First the M9, Now the M16? Army Seeks Replacement for AR

The United State Army made waves a couple months ago when they finally chose the Sig Sauer P320 as a replacement for the long-serving Beretta M9. Many have mused at why the military chose the Sig over the other entrants. If the M9 is out, could the M16 and M4 be next? According to recent reports, the famed Eugene Stoner rifle could be going the way of the M14, M1 Garand, and 1903 Springfield.

1795 Musket

The M16 and M4 may soon go the way of the Revolutionary War-era muskets

The M16 was adopted into service in 1964 after extensive testing. The army was searching for a smaller projectile and lighter gun that could easily be fired in semi-automatic and fully automatic modes. They found that in the M16. Of course, the original adaption of the Armalite Rifle had some issues, but over the years the M16 adapted to meet the needs and use modern materials. These adaptions led to the M16A1, A2, A3 A4 and then the M4 and M4A1, all of which have been the selected service rifle of the U.S. Military at one time or another.
The M16 and its variants

The M16 and its variants

Those days may soon be gone. A recent report from the Army Times broke the news that the military is looking to replace the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, and thus, the AR platform. The report details how the military is looking for a larger caliber bullet, something in the 6.5mm to 7mm range, that can reach out further with more lethality than the light .22 caliber 5.56mm.

Reports from Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that at least half of the engagement distances are over 300 meters, where the 5.56mm can lose lethality, especially against armored combatants. The Army still wants something light, so not back up to the 7.62mm class, but something with better ballistics than the .223 Remington. (Perhaps the 6.5 Creedmoor?) As most of our enemies are shooting 7.62mm-based firearms such as former Soviet or Iraqi AKs, SKSs, Druganovs, and PKMs, they actually have a deadlier reach than our troops’.

The 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge is too small and can't compete with heavier bullets down range.

The 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge can’t compete with heavier calibers.

Being outmatched on the battlefield is not the American way, and in order to keep our warfighters safe, it may be time to hang up the Stoner-designed rifles. With modern technology, materials, and ballistics, perhaps the next generation of service rifles will capture the hearts of Americans like the M16 did. And hopefully we’ll see an influx of surplus .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO ammunition hit the market!

The Army’s search for a new round and rifle combination has been going on since 2014 but is expected to wrap up in the next few months. Eventually, parts of the military’s study will be made available to civilians, though much of it may stay classified. We’ll just have to wait until we find out more!

Are you sad to see the AR-platform service rifles go? What do you think will take the place of the 5.56 NATO? Weigh in below:

184 Comments On This Article

  1. just go to a AR 10 in 308{7.62} . You will still be able to use everything AR and still in Nato 7.62 what would be wrong with that .

      • True, but, that is part of the problem, too! They want something that can still be used for full auto, but, small men, and most women, find it difficult to shoot 7.62 on semi, much less on Auto. Also, the ammo is heavy, and big, so a Combat load of 7.62 will need to be adjusted. That also means the troops won’t be able to hump extra ammo, especially on LRPs. I’ve thought about it, some, but I don;t know the answer. Maybe .300BLK? Still short range, but I think it punches harder than 5.56 mm. Well, I guess it’s something for the experts to decide! Lord knows the US Army doesn’t care about MY opinion…

        • You are not going to be shooting the .300 Blackout in a shortened 5.56 casing at 300 meters. You are also not going to pick up ammo on the battlefield with odd 6.5 and 7mm new rifles. Yes, the 7.62 is heavy, but one shot one kill at 300 meters versus 5+ hits with 5.56 on a good day. Which ways more, 500 rounds of 5.56 or 100 rounds of 7.62? Not to mention wear and tear and melting gas tubes/barrels going full auto with 5.56 to be effective. .300 Blackout was designed for close in urban work and good ballistics for that.

        • 7.62 is too big to carry around. 300blk does not have the range. We need to be able to shoot out to 700meters easily and be able to have a big capacity. I carried 1 mag in my rifle and 6 mags on me. 10 round mags do not cut it. Neither do 20 round mags. 7.62 is a big kick and most people do would not shoot good with it. We also don’t need to carry around an extra long rifle. Clearing houses would be too hard. 300blk doesn’t fit any of the categories. 300blk is only good for 100meters. I was in tons of firefights that were way over 500 meters. Some firefights I would just watch bullets flying at me because my AR would not stretch out to them and it would be a waste of bullets. Read that last sentence again and think about it. It really sucks to have branches shot right next to you and you just are sitting there like a dumbass not doing anything. We need a new longer caliper. Doesn’t need to have that much piercing power, just needs to reach out. Need to be able to carry 250 rounds easily. Rifle cannot be longer than an m4. Easy to clean. Easy to operate.

          • 7.62 ammo weight is a consideration, but the recoil is totally mitigated with a SCAR 17. I only have one SCAR 17 but it has less recoil and quicker re-acquisition than all of the many AR’s I have and love as well. If you’ve never shot a SCAR 17 don’t do it unless you want to fall in love – it is beyond sweet and hands down would be the one rifle I would have if I could only have one.

    • Lay people want an infantry rifle to be all things to all people. Read up on tactics and equipment. There is a whole world of data on hit ratio-to-distance. The idea of one hit, one kill can apply to many calibers with “proper placement”.
      The above average infantryman is NOT going to hit the enemy soldier he is aiming at past 300 yards a vast majority of the time. All you can do is aim, and hope the enemy does not move. Volume of fire is still a real world tactic. You need enough troops sending metal downrange to both suppress and get “lucky” hits at long distance. This has not changed.
      The over match is an argument made to try and convince civilians in charge that the military needs a new rifle (the person putting forth this argument favorite rifle mind you!). I can kill you at 800 meters with 5.56 IF I happen to hit you in a vital spot. AK cannot effectively engage anyone at those distances. Where is the over match? Unless it is MG fire, all fire is spray-and-pray.
      Our troops have been getting shot at with bigger bullets forever and still we have low body counts. Why? Longer distance is for MGs/LMGs, DMs, snipers. 6.5 Grendel will wear out barrels much too fast. 6.8 SPC loaded to correct powder loads is the best currently available.
      The short barrels of the M4 are only good for relatively short distances. FMJ for ANY rifle is not the best idea. 20″ barrels with 64 grain or higher cartridges would vastly improve performance. Short of that, 6.8 SPC II properly loaded is the cartridge to go with.

      • I agree with your key point,: ” M4.. with a 20″ barrel with a 64 grain or higher cartridge”.. Yes, No doubt about it. I may add a 1:7 twist to get that baby spinning onward downrange to a precise hit of intended target. Bingo! we have a winner here!

      • 6.8SPC was originally developed to replace the 5.56. Politics probably played a part in it not being selected. I love my 6.8. Shoots very well from 85gr thru 115gr. Very accurate too.

      • That is what the 6,8 SPC was all about in the first place. I have hunted with the 6,8 SPC for 5 years. It is a deer killer. It is basic a 270 Winchester.

      • I’m with you on the shot placement and longer barrel. It is common knowledge, for those that have been in firefights or educated, that a longer barrel gives better stabilization and a little more muzzle velocity. The 6.8 SPC is a good choice, but battlefield availability would be from the side that adopts it. Unless it became the universal round for all armed forces worldwide, which we both know wouldn’t happen in our lifetimes.
        It’s a conundrum, at least.
        Give me a 7mm-08, 7mm-06, 7mm Rem Mag, or 338 Lap Mag. I can take anything on the North American continent out to 1500 yds. I have 308s & 30-06s, just don’t shoot them as much as I used to.

    • That was my thought as well. AR-10 is a badass firearm and you have a choice between 308 or 7.62 with all the light weight composite and a plethora of accessories.

  2. ARs should have been replaced with a bullpup in the 90s… now that the Tavor TAR and Desert Tech MDR are available, they should be the only Assault/Battle rifles considered for AR replacement. Id go with Tavor for warfighters in 6.5 Grendel and MDR in 6.5 Grendel or 7.62 NATO or 6.5 Creedmore for DMR and overwatch.

    • Keep the m4 for urban engagements. Outfit most soldiers in Afghanistan with the Scar-H in 7.62 nato. Super light, 20 round mags, good range, piston system runs clean, and Seals and Ranger Bat loves this weapon system. They’re already been fielded with huge success.

      • Yes they can. The IWI X95 has a much improved trigger and the trigger pack will fit the original Tavor. Plus, there are several aftermarket trigger packs available. The X95 includes the M4 type mag release. They are available in 5.56, 300 Blackout and 9mm. With the 300 blackout, all they would need to do is a barrel change on the M16 and M4. All the current mags would work as well.

          • First remove the barrel and really CLEAN it, finish with denatured alcohol. You must get all carbon, fouling, copper, etc. out of the bore. Then use Tubbs Final Finish Rounds as per instructions with a great lapping job being the goal. Then send barrel to 300 Below for cryogenic treatment so your cold bore shot will be similar to a hot barrel with point of impact. Have the barrel and bore Nitro-carburized making the bore more slick for less friction and higher velocities, plus easier to clean perfectly. Then you’ll have a sub MOA shooter! It is very much worth the trouble, handguns, my 22, even shotguns get similar work done. If ya wanna copy me, add Nodular Nickle-Boron coatings or TiAlNi or TiNiAl in grey or Black. If ya want nice colors such as camouflage, can’t beat Cerakote Gen II, it’s even difficult to detect your gun with IR/Thermal with Gen II.

      • oh contraire pierre… my new ShootingSight TAV-D – Tavor Trigger Pack for my tavor is really great, perfect for my tar21… but it costs $250. Well worth the investment, works fine with suppressors, not all of the alternatives do like the Geissele Super Sabra , hopefully their gen II will work right. The MDR trigger is much better than a stock AR trigger. So what’s the problem?

      • I agree about bullpup triggers. The Tavar has something like a 15 lbs trigger pull. I think the 25 sharps could be a good alternative, at first glance the little round doesn’t seem like much, but down range performance appears to be much improved. Plus the only thing the military would need to do is replace the barrels on current M4’s and your back in business.

        • “Tavor” and it doesn’t certainly does not have a 15lb trigger pull. My Kel-Tec RFB24 bullpup has a 5lb trigger pull and the shortest reset I have on any of my rifles.

    • I always preferred the M14 and its.7.62 round. Yes, you could carry fewer rounds, but the spray and pray tactics use with the M16 simply wasted ammo. Better to aim and fire. A smaller lighter rifle, using 7.62 NATO, could have been made long ago, with modern materials. Yeah, it was great fun to spray ammo, but it accomplished little, and often, if you did hit someone, they would keep coming.

      • I also agree. I carried the M-14 in VN. The 5.56, if it hit a twig, would deflect, whereas the 7.62 would keep going to it’s ultimate destination. I also agree with the ‘spray and pray’ idea. I was in a unit that carried everything we needed, with no resupply provision, so the idea of ‘one shot, one kill’ was our credo. As for smaller, lighter, easier to handle for the little ones, man up, this is a war!

        • Man up indeed! Learn marksmanship! Urban vs long range is opposite needs. 7.62 is an excellent cartridge. Caveat … 4 yr veteran, small arms instructor, who never saw action so probably too easy to spout off.

      • I like the 7.62(.308). Sure, the load-out would be less due to weight-per-round, but they can reach out to 600+ yards with a trained shooter. Controlled auto-fire can be had by proper trigger control for 3-round bursts, again-by a trained shooter. Given the buffer systems in use today, recoil would (should) be less than that experienced by comparable bolt guns and, as has been pointed out elsewhere, 7.62 ammo is already in the system. Full-auto is still available for suppressive fire where volume of fire is more important than accuracy. I’ve been out of the service 40+ years. Can’t the Army teach trigger control as they did back then?

    • Actually, the bullpup has advantages in terms of a shorter weapon for CQB, but it has some inherent problems in terms of ejection, ambidexterity, trigger pull, control placement, and forearm design. They definitely have their place and I doubt they will ever disappear because of the benefits they provide in certain circumstances, but I personally don;t see them becoming the main battle rifle for the US.

      • Have their Place? Let’s see, since the 80’s, major governments have been rearming their soldiers with what? BULLPUPS! Bullpups adopted for current standard issue by various armed forces:
         AUT: Austrian Armed Forces – StG 77; selected in 1977.
         AUS: Australian Defence Force – F88 Austeyr; selected in 1989.
         ARM: Armed Forces of Armenia special forces – K-3; selected in 1996.
         China: People’s Liberation Army – Type 95; selected in 1997.
         Croatia: Croatian Army – VHS; selected in 2009.
         FRA: French Armed Forces – FAMAS; selected in 1978.
         IRE: Irish Defence Forces – Steyr AUG; selected in 1988.
         ISR: Israel Defense Forces – IMI Tavor TAR-21; selected in 2001. Micro Tavor MTAR-21 (alternate designation: X95) variant selected in November 2009—to become standard issue for all first-line infantry units except the Kfir and Paratroopers Brigade by 2018.
         NZ: New Zealand Defence Force – IW Steyr; selected in 1988.
         OMN: Royal Army of Oman – Steyr AUG.
         Russia: Spetsnaz – OTs-14 Groza, A-91, and SVU; selected during the 1990s.
         SIN: Singapore Armed Forces – SAR 21; selected in 1999.
         UK: British Armed Forces – SA80; selected in 1985.
         BEL: Belgian Armed Forces – FN F2000; selected in 2004.
         SLO: Slovenian Armed Forces – FN F2000; selected in 2007.
        other countries are considering switching to bullpups.
        What is my qualifications to say Bullpups are the only choice for the future, I was officially a US Army Weapons Expert. Never shot less than a perfect score in the Army or in the Chattanooga PD. When assigned to Berlin Brigade ( way BEHIND the Iron Curtain) I trained relentlessly with the Black Watch, Royal Highland Fusiliers, Brits, and Frogs. They ALL used Bullpups and were very happy about it! All the Americans were severely jealous… Why you say?… Combat in Cities was hard training. Climbing a rope into a window on the third floor using a grappling hook, throw in a grenade, spray and pray, then dive into the room and take up positions. So much easier to do with a Bullpup! Going around corners, easier, quicker, and there is only two kinds of soldiers: “The Quick and the Dead”. Plus you’ve got a full length barrel for longer range with higher velocities. M4s short barrel reduces the already underpowered 5.56 and gets soldiers killed, ya need that full length for versatility, which is the key to survival. Aftermarket parts made my tavor ambi… new trigger greatly improved accuracy, tavor and mdr – no ejection problems, I’ve always had more stoppages with M16 than the French did with their famas. the Famas is a beast, higher cyclic rate with less recoil and more controllability. As for forearms, my tavor has a flashlight inside the forend with laser mounted at 3. The pistolgrip has a unique bipod which is wonderful. Dear Mikial, I think you are dead wrong, but to each his own said the old woman as she kissed the cow! stay safe, protect what you love, and enjoy life…. even if ya got a outdated AR.

        • Mark Norman: are you using the Appeal to Questionable Authority fallacy of logic? I see this with Glocks: “80% of the world’s police departments use Glocks because…” does NOT make the Glock a better firearm or choice of firearm. Your argument can be used to husify keeping the current 5.56 weapons, since all of NATO uses it.
          I agree that the bull-pup definitely has it place for some of the troops in certain units. Short barrel in 6.8 is a good choice if people insist on short barrels, whether or not it is intended for use by troops clearing buildings, vehicle deployment, etc.
          No hate intended but in my opinion you are wrong. Your experiences while interesting, provide no real validity to the superiority of the weapon. If so, the 1911 would still be the sidearm of choice.
          Isn’t the SA80 non-friendly to lefties? Muzzle flash how far from your face? How loud?
          Cyclic rate for a individual firearm is almost irrelevant. Most are plenty fast.
          I am no expert I admit this freely, but what I read from experts (various professional/military publications) tell me bull pup is not a main battle rifle period.

        • There’s a theory, that you become successful by doing what nobody else does. McDonald’s got to be the world’s most successful restaurant… by making AWESOME food; didn’t they? It must be, everyone eats it.

          Ever use a bullpup at 1000 yards in a Mid-West prairie? Or from a mountain top, down at a highway? How about in trench warfare on a battle-line? How about defending a position against a beach invasion … ? So, you think having your face that close to where the bullet comes out is a good idea, until you have to fire through a hole in a wall at someone shooting back at you…

          A bull-pup is an urban-patrol weapon… it’s great for “police actions” in the crappy little mule-cart alleyways of Europe. Urban combat is a taxpayer funded hobby for politicians with penis envy who don’t have enough to do but waste citizens’ money; not real warfare… few people alive have ever seen seen real warfare… where a nation’s survival is at stake…

          Real warfare involves entire nations. Not a few thousand insurgents hiding out in villages.

          Real warfare is fought with missiles, artillery, bombers, strafing runs, and massive invasions with armored infantry… from both sides. Real warfare has only one rule, DO NOT LOSE. Real warfare means more people killed in one offensive, than during ALL of the war in Viet Nam.
          Real warfare requires tens of millions of desperate citizens laying, crouching, kneeling and leaning behind bombed-out ruins of their communities wielding long-reaching rifles with powerful fire to fend off troops encroaching on their cities.

          Your cool, trendy little rat-shooter slung over your shoulder as you jump over walls was outdated by the ever-changing reality of life before it was ever dreamed-up… it was a niche design optimized for a limited application, in a constantly-changing world. Insurgents with WWI era bolt-action rifles made fresh meat out of our soldiers in Desert Storm and again in the Second Gulf War. Those 20th century soldiers with the highest number of kills wielded bolt-action rifles. 15% of the warriors make 85% of the kills.

          Everything old, is new again.

        • You’re right, bullpups are the future. The 5.56 x 45 was never meant to be fired from anything short of 51 centimeters, or about 20 inches U.S. That tiny bullet is devastating when it’s screaming at as close to 1000 meters per second as it can.

    • Instead of the Desert Tech MDR they should consider the Kel-Tech RDB 7.62 NATO due to its ability to eject spent casings down and behind the pistol grip.

      • I like the 6.8 SPC. It was developed by soldiers to give more energy and range to an M4. I have AR’s in 5.56, 6.8 SPC, and .308. The AR 10 is heavy compared to the AR 15’s, and the recoil of the 6.8 is not much more than the 5.56. The rifle is the same size and weight. The 6.8 will use 5.56 mags in a pinch, but I don’t recommend it. A 30 round 5.56 mag will only hold 25 6.8’s. Might lengthen the mag to carry 30 and be able to tell the difference between the two. 6.8 requires least retraining, re engineering, and cost than any other solution, and it will zap the baddies at 500-600 meters easily. If they are farther away, let a 308 or Ma Deuce speak to them.

  3. 6.5 Grendel in AR platform or 7.62 NATO in a new lightweight rifle. I am 77 years s old and I shoot a 6.5 lb Ruger American in 308. The 308/7.62 would work in a well thought out rifle.

    • They have the AR10 which is 308. I think that would be a great up grade. I think the AR platform is great for its ability to repair easy and break down and and switch out uppers.

    • If they are going to keep the 7.62 why not just use it across the board, Yes it is heaver but it will reach out to 800+

    • The military could benefit by using both the 605 Grendel and the 6.5 Creedmore. The 6.5 Grendel works so well that the existing mags will work. The 6.5 Creedmore is a Natural for a sniper cartridge. Both cartridges can be made in a bullpup style rifle. It is a major logistical undertaking to change main battle rifles. Hopefully the Army in general has learned its lesson well from Vietnam where the children at the top did not want a new cartridges or rifle and it cost the lives of thousands of solders. Let the battle begin.

    • 6.5 Grendel is the obvious choice although the 300 BO & 6.8 SPC is better close up and sentry removal, 6.5 G is much better than 5.56 at all ranges and way outshoots all others in AR compatible sized rounds at long distances, Stanag. But going to the MDR, 6.5 Creedmoor is the obvious choice, put them down close up or 1000 meters.

  4. There is no real reason to change rifles. Just change calibers. the .300 Blackout, 6.5 Creedmore all just need a change of uppers and BCG groups.
    I find it hard to write this since I go against the grain by saying I am not a real fan of the M16 platform, However it the most cost effective way to make a change

    • The cheapest way is exactly what you are saying. Switch out barrels to a round that works with the BCG like 300 AAC (blackout) work with a powder charge in that round to come close to the 7.62-39. And there you have it. Inexpensive fix.

    • You may be correct on the changing the upper on 6.5 creedmore because I do not know, but you do not change uppers on 300 Blackout, I got one I know, shoot mine a lot with regular AR 15 upper.

    • Tug, The 6.5 Grendel uses the same lower and upper receivers, not the 6.5 Creedmoor! The Creedmoor needs an AR10 upper and lower receiver and uses the same magazines as a .308.

    • Just a barrel change, correct. However, my experience with 110g 300blk ballistics is still lacking after 250 yards. The energy is good, but the drop is substantial; just like the 7.62 39. For short action I would personally like to see 6.5 Grendel or a Remington 30 AR ballistics. Just a bit better than the 300. But expensive to retrofit. What about moving forward with the SCAR platform?

    • 6.5 creedmoore is a 308 based round it will not work in the ar 15 platform so the mags wont work either. A ar10 platform is needed for the creedmoore

    • The 6.5 Creedmore round is too long to fit a standard AR 15 lower magwell. The 6.5 Grendel would be a better choice and even though it isn’t as fast as the Creedmore it is still supersonic at 1000 yards with a 123 gr projectile and you can use the same mags. I love my 556 too but I’ve also bought the Grendel for hunting non-varmints.

      • Why do people believe that it is necessary for every troop to shoot supersonic out to 1000m+? What type of optic will they be issued? They cannot see what they are trying to hit!

        6.8 SPC from close up, out to 500 meters (minimum) out of 14″ barrel!

  5. I have played with the .223 caliber weapon since it was first introduced
    in Vietnam. Fun platform to play with and it can be upgraded to heaver
    calibers easily. I do not see the platform going away but not a big fan
    of the caliber in a combat situation. Would prefer a heaver .30 caliber
    that can reach out between 300 to 500 meters consistently and say
    light enough so the members can carry sufficient ammo to do the
    job at hand and not be loaded down with to much weight. I am sure
    the solution is out there but still needs to be proven.

  6. Paul Wayne Dominy

    Having Trained soldiers on the M16 A1,and A2 at both 300 to 600 meters shooting @ Ft. Benning Ga. from 88-92 and I later help test what would become the A3 , I say don’t throw out the AR. platform but rather adapt and retool it’s design to a higher caliber while still keeping the 5.5.6 in inventory Because we must remember the M16 was made and adapted for short range / Jungle warfare/ and it’s ability to cause massive wounds at a short range the smart money says keep the old as we add the new. The new soldiers are smart they can learn both and it’s the battle field that dictates the weapon not the soldier, as for the Army Staying with the 9mm cal in hand guns, big mistake, that’s gender orientated 40cal S/W would have been perfect for Combat forces. P.W.D. S.F.C. Retired Infantry U.S. Army.

    • Michael Archebelle

      I was with you on everything you said right up till you said to replace the 9mm with a 40cal.
      The 40 is a piece of crap. The 9mm is tested and true. It does not put a big hole in the target but at the end of the day dead is dead.

    • I agree with the first part regarding the M4/M16 platform. I am a huge fan of 300 Blackout for versatility and cost savings in conversion. ( I did give up my M4 for a Tavor to carry on duty. The full length barrel of the bull pup combination gives the edge in CQB but without the negatives of a shorter barrel. As far as handguns, I have carried just about every caliber in my 39 years in law enforcement. I prefer the .45ACP but in a gun fight, no one died because they had too much ammo. The .40 was a compromise between the 10mm and 9mm. I happen to have a friend that worked for S&W as an engineer. The .40 S&W was designed by five guys eating lunch on a napkin. 10 years later, when the FBI was looking to replace the 10mm quickly, it was pulled off the shelf (even though Glock produced the gun first) and the rest is history. The .40 S&W is a good round. However, the round is hard on guns. One Federal Agency replaced their 92’s every 10,000 rounds because it tore them up so badly. The Sig P320 advantage is that they can change the caliber from 9mm to 40 because it is modular. The FBI has elected to go back to the 9mm because modern ammo is much better at stopping threats than it used to be. The military is also looking at other than ball ammo as well. Capacity has been a big issue. 9mm has the advantage of higher capacity. For most civilians, it probably doesn’t matter. But for troops on the ground in the middle of nowhere, having more is better.

  7. I have not been an AR15/M16 fan myself, for a couple of reasons (MY OPINION, I know it doesn’t match others who love this platform so please don’t bash me on this. I’m just going by experience an use of this weapon myself). First I thought the cal. was too light in a combat situation an the loss of soldiers in the field from this rifle (sad to find out they were sent out to test it the hard way … all lost in the 60’s). Then the fact they had to add an unjammer to the upper receiver (I’m not happy about the added weight and to give me peace of mind NOT!). And the constant cleaning an repairs that come with this rifle, like a high maintenance woman, and not to mention all the special tools that are needed (more weight). Comparing both the AR to the AK when it comes to field use DIRT! The real enemy, where the AR system fails in a big way to the AK. I would like to see the .308 NATO round return. it’s still a hard hitter and still within the .30 cal range which is short an light enough compared to the ole’ .30-06 round. A simplified rifle platform is needed that is light to carry all day, short enough for close combat (offence/defense), and have a round for harder an deeper penetration. We could look at the old M14 platform by replacing the wooden stock with the AR adjustable, short the barrel some what an add rails for the extra’s like lights/night vision … just sayin’.

  8. We already have the LSAT program well into development. We should just continue that development. There’s no hurry, so we can take our time and get it right.

  9. 6.8 SPC, its already tested and ready to go and very little modification needed. Uses standard AR magazines. Kill power increased “Bigly”, weight and recoil are a negligible increase. Bullet weight big increase. Govt will probably spend years researching the exact caliber to enrich some arms/ammo maker. 6.8 has been ready for some time.

    • I agree with you on this caliber. Personally I see nothing wrong with the AR platform in this caliber. I definitely DO NOT care for bullpups.

      • Always taught by my father and the military, of it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… AR platform, M-16, M-4 will make you just as dead as your blackouts and bullpups and the rest of them… the cost alone is crazy and I for one as a retired military would rather see it in my paycheck than wasted trying to fix some that is NOT broken.

        • Rich said: “…if it ain’t broke…” But the article said it was broken. They are having problems with the 5.56 at the longer engagement ranges in our current war zones.

    • You are right I have been shooting and handloading the 6.8 for 10 years it is a good choice. I got my first Car 15 in 1969 after they took my M 14

    • 6.8 SPC is the way to the future. Tried and true, by far the most cost effective way for the Army to go! Same platform different Upper and BCG. DONE.

    • I agree on the projectile weight improvement and little need for other changes, but, as I have found from building one of each of the 5.56 and 6.8 versions, the “standard” AR-15 / 5.56 mil-spec mags DO NOT feed reliably with the 6.8 round. The slight added girth causes a bulging effect in the mag walls such that after loading 5-7 rounds in a 5.56 mag, the 6.8 rounds won’t allow any more in due to follower bind and internal misalignment, and the walls need to be beefed up by using thicker sheet metal or stiffer alloys to allow the mag to still insert freely into the lower receiver, and drop free when empty. Even swapping a 6.8 follower into a 5.56 mag did not solve the bulging issue. There are also minute differences in the feed lip specs needed to allow problem-free feeding of the 6.8. My suggestion to the Army would be to go with the 6.8 or 6.5 Creedmore, but before fielding the new rifles and rounds undertake a program of rotating the existing weapons through a marking process where the caliber needed for any particular upper is as obvious as the rank on the soldiers’ uniform – laser-engrave it on the ejection port cover in bold font, and mark the BCGs to mate with their uppers (maybe to match their existing lowers, with an extension to signify caliber?). Then the lowers can be repurposed with new uppers in the new caliber. Mags can be ID’d with different colored followers and / or more laser engraving.

    • 6.8 is a great round, but uses a proprietary sized magazine, not same as 5.56/.300 Blk. Also requires a new lower to accommodate the larger magazines.

      • No it doesn’t require a new power unless you decide to use pmags. Standard ar lower works just fine. I have used this round extensively and built numerous rifles for it. It only requires you too change the barrel, bolt and mag.

    • The problem with 6.8 SPC is lack of range. It was designed to be a 300 meter round.

      A slightly redesigned 6.5/6.8 would work well with M4 style lowers, and have much better ranging characteristics. Really, though, a new lightweight rifle based on the 6.5 Creedmore would be the best way to go. Get rid of direct impingement as well as selective fire. Leave full auto to the true light machine guns.

      A good shot with an accurate, controllable semi-auto, and a round with sufficient killing power will be just fine.

  10. The added cost of cal change will be excessive, modtly due to amounts expended per enemy casualty by lack of marksmanship of our troop.
    That said no nations main battle rifle/ weapon has ever had the kill ratio, us versus them, as has been the case of our M16/ AR and its’so called tiny round.
    Even el cheapo AR’s in civilian hands can effectively reach out and touch up to 500 meters.
    The NATO nations can build and sell US militarys’ ammo needs cheaply, never mind the vast expenditures to retool ours and their ammo facilities.
    We fight civilian militia not body armored national military forces and supply our paid foreign mrrcs with Balkan and Polish produced AK derivatives knowing that just in case they turn weapons upon our troops both AK 7.62 and even NATO 5.56 are ineffective against our own troops body armor.
    Millions of kills by our adoption of AR platform and no matter the weapon or round chosen, compare to China or Russian rounds and weapons,at battlefield and urban combat ranges the AR platform regns supreme.
    More money to military contractors, not necessarily U.S. based, and more jobs for retiring military brass within those entities.

  11. The .300 blackout is a short range round, so it’s not going to get the job. It was designed for kill house work, not distance. With new plastic cases and other technologies the 7.62×54 (.308) makes sense.

  12. I remember when the .556 was introduced, against strident opposition from NATO partners who preferred the .30 caliber. The U.S. argued then that most infantry battles were fought at (IIRC) under 50 yards and that rapid fire, the ability to carry more rounds of the lighter ammo and the tumbling effect of the tail-heavy .556 were much more important than the ability to penetrate a NATO helmet at 300 yards.

    It has taken a while, but I guess we are turning full circle.

    Having said that, I love shooting my .556 AR-15 type rifle, ideal for street fighting, but I would pick something heavier for serious insurgency work. Pick them off at a distance, ideally before they spot you, is my idea of a sensible fight.

  13. The AR platform is still good to go, make it ambitious and issues solved. The modern changex necessary all fall on the upper receiver. Easier to upgrade from there, time to replace the gas impingement system with something cleaner and reliable, which has already been done. As for the ammo… what makes the 223/5.56 round effective is the point A to Point B time. Projectile speed is vital to ensure solid hits on moving targets. 223/5.56 was originally a 3250 feet per second round, the heavier projectiles and shorted barrels have dropped it below 3000 FPS andin some cases as low as 2700 FPS.

    My suggestion, do not completely reinvent the wheel, but utilize what works and what is known. Start with 6.8 SPC resize and reform to obtain greater power capacity and efficiency, drop the projectile down to the proven 6.5mm running around 105 grains and push it at 3000 FPS from a 16 inch barrel. This combo produces 2099 foot pounds of energy. To compare 223/5.56 55gr creates 1251 FPE, 7.62×39= 1653 FPE, 308 Winchester = 2519 FPE.

    This upgrade is easy to achieve with modern materials and willing manufacturers.

  14. That is strange. My recent post is time stamped 7 hours ahead of my current time zone time. I guess this server is based in, maybe, Britain. Strange place for a gun friendly website ???


    As a Marine veteran from the range community, law enforcement officer/ range instructor, we have several generations of people engrained with the AR platform. I agree that the M468 is the way to go. We spent a lot of money developing thst weapon. Besides range and armor penetration, the other consideration in the modern battlefield is colateral damage. In this case, over penetration The quest for the perfect weapon has always been about range, penetration, weight, and cost. The truth is, some are better than others depending on the mission. Lets keep what we have, develop what we need and use the right tool for the job. In the mean time. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. (KISS). The 468 is the best alternative for the cost.

  16. I didn’t like it when they took our M-14’s and issued us the little black plastic rifle that didn’t work well. It has taken years but I now like the platform, If you work on something long enough you can make it perform. Having said that I do think it is time for a change, I just hope the government goes with something good, not just low bidder. Our troops deserve the best we can give them. Meanwhile my AR will most likely serve me well the rest of my days.

  17. We already use the 7.62×51 in several weapon platforms along with other NATO- countries…to me this is a hard hitting round with a good reach…I would go with this round so that we don’t have a mix of different rounds. Of course specialized weapons may use a different round, but since they are small in number and used by special units it’s not a problem for them. Just my thoughts … R/ Jim

  18. Could it be that the Swedes had it right all along? A higher performance version of the 6.5 X 55 in AR format would be awesome. The 6.5 creedmore, 260, and others based on the 7.62 case all have issues, and if you’re going that heavy, why not stick with the original 30 cal projectle. It’s a proven long range round.

  19. 6.5 Creedmore: 120 gr bullet gets 3,020 ft/s with 2,430 ft·lbs energy. I think that will satisfy both distance and knock down ability with minimal weight increase in the AR platform. Refitting the AR with uppers could be an economic choice. However, could be more effective to build all new AR for military and flood the market with used ARs for civilians (yeah). I have built a 7.62 NATO AR that is absolutely great but with an 18″ barrel it is a little heavy. That round is perfect except for size and weight. The AR could be optimized for weight but there is not much that can be done for the ammo. The AR 7.62 NATO can be made lighter than the predecessor M14 but it is still cumbersom. That is why I would opt for the 6.5 Creedmore or possibly the 6.8. I hope the Military does not scrap the AR platform.

  20. I’m uncertain on this topic. For example, what’s wrong with having multiple calibers of which each would be used for the right purpose? That situation exists today: 7.62×51 and 5.56×45. Due to longevity of these calibers, ammo is plentiful and competitively priced, assuming even more so for the DoD. That said, the DoD should consider adopting 6.5 Grendel for the ubiquitous AR platform if the penchant for a new battle rifle is manic. This would suggest that the USAF’s continuing to fly B-52s isn’t a fluke. Modernized weapon systems and other upgrades have kept this brilliant war bird relevant. Hopefully, DoD considering adoption of a new “light” battle rifle in a new caliber doesn’t repeat the F-111 blunder.

  21. Having served in Iraq and being very familiar with the modern day AR platform… and guns in general I have to agree with the masses on the fact that there is nothing at all wrong with the platform itself. Many people who join the services have never held a gun and the AR is a very simple easy to use design, I would definitely look into a larger round as I have seen first hand the inability to demobilize an enemy that is hopped up on drugs and adrenaline. On a side note I am a huge 40 sw fan and find the 9mm to be like shooting a bull with a BB gun…. personal opinion!

  22. When will we wake up to the fact that the 7.62X39 is a superior cartridge? More energy and long-range knockdown power. And–what is wrong with using an almost universally found cartridge? Pick them up on the battlefield, and keep shooting. The M-16 can be adapted for it, at a much lower cost than replacement. Sounds like the gun manufacturers’ lobby is winning.

  23. When Gene Stoner built the first AR for the government, it was in .308/7.62 caliber. His idea of a battle rifle. Here is a WWII vet that knew what he was doing, took the shortened version of a 30.06. Then McNamara decided we will have 5.56, because its cheaper and every thing will be the same. How many of our boys died because of the faults with the M16. How many upgrades and reworks to get where we are now? And we still go to war with a .22 rifle. Stick with .30 caliber.

  24. My Israeli friends who are combat vets love their Galil. It is as forgiving as the old colt .45 when it comes to dirty combat conditions and is a proven platform. Why not let the US GI give it a try?

  25. Changing to the 6.5 creedmore would be a great and flat shooting rifle and sufficient knock down power you could need. As for the 300 blackout it’s good for close range but as you get out past 200 plus yards bullet drop is significant

  26. You can change the Caliber and keep the same proven platform the Upper receiver with Barrel and Chamber can be changed out and use the same lower receiver. No reason to reinvent the wheel. Just make the M16 in a Different Caliber. Already comes in 22 Cal, 9mm, 5.56mm, 6.5mm, 7.62x35mm, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x45mm. There may even be other calibers available.

  27. Why don’t We supply the soldiers with the 77 grain OTM across the board not much else to say! Problem solved!

  28. The Armalite rifle was originally a 7.62 NATO. It’s one of the most accurate .30 caliber rounds in the world, effective to 1,000+ yards. The round exists, the tooling exists, the platform exists. This is not brain surgery, people.

  29. I have just purchase and stated shooting a Colt 901-16S. Shoots the .308 and of course the 7.62×51. Gun quality is superb, if a little heavy. Excuse my dumb question, but would this excellent firearm be a worthwhile contender? Colt has all the tooling and I assume would be ready to go.

  30. 6.5 Grendel would be the best in a AR15 Platform bolt and mag change will be required. It will outclass the 7.62×39 in any situation the 300 blackout even in supersonic cant keep up with it either.

  31. I am amazed that anyone would champion 300 blackout or 7.62X39 rounds. If you are going with .30 cal, much better to go with 7.62 NATO. Personally, I believe a 6.5 (.25 cal) X45 with a min 18″ (or longer) barrel would be much better. Better ballistics, more accurate, more energy than all but 7.62 NATO. Virtually all the advantages of 5.56 with the advantage of heavier bullet weight, better ballistics, more energy for longer range stopping power for a barrel change.

    • Both the .300 AAC Blackout and 7.62×39 are great carbine/CQB rounds, which by nature are short to medium range weapons. The bean-counters seem to forget the old saw about equipping the troops for the field they are going to fight upon. The M-16/M-4 is a jack of many trades but a master of none.

  32. Keep the platform. Redesign the barrel/chamber with more and better modern materials, With today’s better powder technology,design the ammunition for multiple use… ball, hollow-point (illegal I think,) explosive, AP. Build in or issue to all a sound suppressor/flash suppressor with interchangeable cartridges (different types for different jobs.) Include an adjustable stock with adjustable cheek-piece, and fold-down adjustable metal front and rear sight. Keep in mind that the carry-handle has to be adjustable to compensate for accessory weight-changes. Put the whole thing out for bid and let actual combat vets do the final testing for each type of ammunition, suppressor, and trigger group. Keep the politicians out of the selection process.

  33. “If the M9 is out, could the M16 and M4 be next?”

    In other words, this article is speculation and not news the way the title implies (“Army Seeks Replacement for AR.)” To say that the Army has been looking for a new round “has been going on since 2014 but is expected to wrap up in the next few months” demonstrates an incredible level of uninformed naivete regarding the military R&D and procurement process. As for why the Sig was selected over the other bidders, while I am not necessarily a Sig fan (don’t get me wrong, they’re great guns), but having worked with a lot of government bids I’d say Sig was selected because they met solicitation criteria better than the other bidders.

  34. John 1943. Please go back and study the rifle trials of the late 1940’s/50’s. The other NATO partners did not want a .30 caliber. They were advocating a 7mm intermediate cartridge. It was the US that crammed the .30 down their throats then immediately jumped ship in favor of the 5.56.

    The 300 blackout is a worthless toy. Why not get a 07 Winchester in .351. Comparable ballistics there.

    All this talk of reaching only out to 500 yards was solved by the Germans with the 8mm Kurz.

    This is a never ending dog chases tail debate just like all the comparisons of 9mm vs .45. No satisfactory conclusion is ever reached.

  35. Is the military actually looking to replace the CARTRIDGE, or the PLATFORM? The Armalite PLATFORM is adaptable to a wide range of cartridges; do they really want to change platforms?

    Ammo quantity that a soldier can carry vs. greater energy at longer range seems to be the deciding argument. One of the touted “features” of the 5.56 cartridge was its light weight. Is cartridge weight less of a factor now? A rough comparison of the extremes show that the TRAJECTORY of the 5.56 and 7.62 was almost identical, with the 7.62 holding a much healthier energy at 300 yards/meters. What advantages do the Grendel, Creedmoor and SPC hold over the 7.62, besides lighter cartridge weight? What disadvantage at 300 yards, such as lower energy?

  36. Common sense tells you the Russians have better rounds than us. They make weapons to kill which was not the idea with the .223 NATO…wounding was their goal.
    Next, in a battle ammo supply may become an issue. Why not take the ammo of the enemy and use it in your weapon?
    I am not wild about the AK but it is a better battle rifle than our’s and can be tuned and refined as we had to do with the early M16’s.

    • Most Russians use 5.45×39, since the 1970s. It’s a similar round to 5.56 which they moved to after the USA went to 5.56. So they have the 5.45×39 and the 7.62x54r. Seems they pretty similar to us.

  37. They can’t get rid of the the M16/M4! Suddenly the Ar-15 would no longer be a military style weapon and the anti-gunners heads would explode. Come to think of it, bring on the new platform.


  39. IIRC The Military stated that they would NOT get any new replacement for the M4 or M16 family until there was a “SIGNIFICANT IMPROVMENT” over the current weapon system. There has not been any development showing a SIGNIFICANT IMPROVMENT in the last 50 years.

  40. I agree with Mr. Olds’ proposal of a new cartridge in the 6.5 range, re-sized from the 6.8 SPC. I did a quick check in my old Sierra manual, and the ballistics are an eye-opener! They list a 100 gr. flat-based HP @ 3000fps with a muzzle energy of 1998 lb/ft. and 907 lb/ft. at 300 yards! Definitely lethal and with a not-too-shabby mid-range trajectory of approx. 4.5″ high @ 100 yds and 5.5″ high @ 200 yds, reasonably flat shooting, as well. The original 55 gr. FMJBT round at 3100fps has 1173 lb/ft. @ the muzzle and 498 lb/ft @ 300 yards; only 55% of the energy possessed by the 6.5 round! OK, my Sierra manual is old, as am I, but that’s a significant difference, and there’s one more thing we should consider: Our military are going to need a cartridge/rifle combination that is controllable in full-auto fire as well, and I feel the 6.5 round, or something thereabouts, could fill the bill. I’m certain there are more modern 6.5 projectiles at around 100-105 gr. that would provide even better ballistics. My 2 cents worth from an old soldier (7th ID)!

  41. I’ve never been in the military so you can call me dumb if you want. What I see in “live fire” exercises and in real combat footage, is the “front line” combat soldier’s main objective today is to send lots of nasty sounding little rounds (that will kill you dead if they hit you) downrange to keep the enemies heads down until the 50 cal. arrive on board a Helo or close combat airplane. The M4 does this very nicely. I watch a lot of “real” combat footage from the Middle East and I see a lot of enemy untrained combatants holding their Aks over their heads to shoot over top of a wall because there are so many little zingers from m4s flying around they don’t dare expose themselves. Our snipers carry either a 308 or 50 cal. to take care of long distance work. Leave the M4 alone, good, dependable and light to carry (both rifle and ammo).

    • The .243 win or 6mm Rem shooting a 80 grain (plus or minus) would be a great improvement over the.223. With the proper bullet they are extremely well suited for our needs. I’ve used the 6mm to take deer with and they are excellent and will make a larger more violent wound channel than the deer I’ve shot with the .30/06 and other larger calibres.
      Compared to the 300 black out it should be a no brainer. I just don’t see where the .300 bo would even be a contender for this.

  42. Warfare tactics have changed radically from conflicts involving large scale units in combat to select, highly mobile small unit engagement forces. Consequently, it is imperative that these units are able to carry what they need with them in sufficiency to sustain the mission in a worst case scenario. Why? Because resupply is difficult if not impossible in many instances…hence, the small arms ammunition must be kept light enough and yet maintain its lethality in today’s combat circumstances in order to sustain the soldier throughout his mission, whatever that might be. To run out of ammo is death.

  43. Holy mackerel! I’ve read through ALMOST all the comments here and can’t believe that with so many people talking ballistics that not one that I’ve seen has suggested the 26 Nosler, 28 Nosler, etc.

    For those arguing about using a 6.5 Creedmor as a “sniper” round, I doubt it. It’d be more likely that they use something like a 33 Nosler if they switch seeing as so many of them are accustomed to 300 Win Mag or .338 Lapua. The 33 Nosler has more speed, range, and energy transfer than a .338 Lapua and yet, less felt recoil in an 8 LB rifle. If memory serves, it’s approximately 80% of the .338 Lapua.

    More importantly, ALL of these cartridges designed by Nosler are a beltless magnum designed to fit in a 30.06 long action. So now you’ve got a standard action that’s been around forever (hypothetically) along with a cartridge utilizing modern technology for ballistics and less felt recoil with more lethal and accuracy potential (shooter dependent).

    As for the 26 Nosler, it was designed to be the nemesis of the 6.5 Creemor (my words not theirs). Flatter trajectory, lots more speed and energy, AND less felt recoil (about 65% I think) than the Creedmor. I think that they compare the 28 Nosler to 7 mm Mag, the 30 Nosler to 300 Win Mag and RUM, and the 33 Nosler to .338 Lapua.

    It’s all eye candy for me. Nosler is making the rifles to match their ammo and I THINK that maybe SAKO or someone else may be as well currently. But the retail price point of the firearm and ammo is out of reach for me currently.

    HOWEVER, with mass production and a government contract, economies of scale SHOULD take effect and drive the price down to be competitive in the consumer market as well as supply a superior product to our men and women who serve. Hell, if they want a modular system, all they’d have to do is design an AR style platform around the action. It’s already been done with 300 Blackout, 9 MM, .22 LR, etc. No big deal there. And if they want a precision rifle that is battle ready for a sniper or sharpshooter, well, Nosler is already making those. Just a few tweaks for environmental variance in the tolerances.

  44. 6.5 creedmoor was first thing I thought of even before getting to that in article. Keep the .308 for snipers and such (and 50, where necessary). Also believe it’s not just the caliber, but the bullet itself- type, weight, fps, etc., that make a difference


  46. I think everyone is Forgetting NATO–Do you think with the World Wide Economic Crisis any one is going to Switch to a New Caliber –I don’t think so.
    I do agree we have to go to a Piston Upper on the M4 -such as H&K/lwrc/ or a Ruger.
    I think the Japanese army might have a solution they Down load the 7.62 nato to 150 gr bullet at 2400fps as their Rifle has a gas adjuster so you can also shoot Full Power 7.62.
    I reload and hunt deer -i would never use a 5.56 to hunt deer-even if it legal/ 7.62 is the right caliber for deer and a man is the same weight and size of a Deer / GET IT

  47. Can we have rifle that can shoot anything, by changing the barrel. Whatever they pick, I believe it should have a long action, then they can pick any caliber needed, customized for the war at hand. Having one rifle do all, seems impossible, but I believe we have the tech to do this.

  48. RW has it right. Look at ballistics with different bullet weights and shapes in various calibers. When the most appropriate combination is found it will be time to look at a proper platform. Gawd it’s awful to have to carry heavy bullets around. Those poor GI’s in WWII didn’t realize how heavy their load was carrying all that 30-06 ammo with them. Today in desert warfare it seems that teams of 4 or 5 are in vehicles that can carry the ammo for them. I’m not suggesting we go back to the 30-06 but maybe a new cartridge in 25 caliber might work very well. Base it on the 308 cartridge. My experience with 25 caliber is one of accuracy and with the right bullet weight and design high velocity with accompanying energy. -just thinkin’

  49. Would it not be unlikely that a brand new cartridge shooting a heavy combat purposed 6 mm projectile is in the works ? Something for thought.

  50. When John Garand introduced what became the US M1 Rifle, in 1932, it was chambered for a lighter weight 27cal cartridge. Our troops could have carried a greater number of cartridges in their combat load. A then stingy Congress only saw millions of 30-06 cartridges in storage, following WWI, and sent John Garand back to Springfield Armory to re-chamber his design for the old heavy 30-06 cartridge. The entire exercise was dictated by economics and not by what would have made a superior rifle for our troops. The same will happen today.

  51. Death Ray’s folks, death Ray’s! We all got our panties in a bunch(no offense intended to those wearing panties) this will go how it always goes, a lot of talk, resting smart folks saying this is the best & others saying they are retarded & them the military will make or not make a decision & the next generation will have to live with it. Damned Corp got it right, improvise, adapt & overcome. It’s what has always happened & probably always will. This is just mental (I sincerely hope it’s only mental) masturbation. Read these comments. Holy crap thank God for this because this is entertainment! Beats anything on TV!

  52. Pardon me if I sound ignorant, but it has always appeared to me that there are different tools for different applications, and guns in combat would probably be no different. From an HK or an Uzi 9mm to a sniper weapon there would be many situations and different “ideal” weapons for each situation. I doubt that the .556 is outdated, nor is the .308 or .30-06…merely different situations and applications.

  53. Having read MOST of the responses here, I find one thing to be universal. EVERYONE has an opinion. Many, such as I, have military experience. Many do not. One thing that we all need to realize is that the troops on the front line need the very best that we can supply. We can beat this horse until WE die, but I trust the military to provide their opinions, and if allowed to, choose the best for their needs.

  54. Just as a quick question for all this glorious debate, how many here have taken a 5.56 six round on the down range side. Sure balistically speaking it may be inferior, but it still rocks your world when it hits you. Current military thought process on main battle rifles is suppresion, not so much marksmanship. So why go to a heavier round and reduce combat loads. Not only do you have to retool and stockpile ammo, but you also have to retrain soldiers. You are talking about billions of dollars added to our deficit. That’s money not going to schools and roads, also it would potentially create Obama style civilian ammo shortages. If a heavier caliber may be needed in certain instances 7.62 weapon systems can be placed into circulation with select individials during mission critical tasks. Both the ar10 or m14 ebr/socom would fit these needs while keeping that 5.56 on the field for suppression. The weapons don’t need to change just the operational mentality of the command structure in regards to the actual field capability of deployed systems

  55. Historically 7mm bullets sit in the sweet spot of high ballistic coefficient with retained velocity at greater distances. The .276 Pedersen was almost there in a M1 Garand variant but that cartridge today is still too long. The 6.8mm SPC is a modern compromise and using longer boat-tailed projectiles best emulates the 7mm. The 6.8mm SPC also keeps the M16 rifle relevant in the search for something better. The M16 is a mature form-factor and still a bit more accurate than many of its foreign 5.56 class competitors. Iraq and Afghanistan have both amply shown the M16 beats the Kalashnikov for accuracy beyond 200 meters. We don’t need a totally new rifle, just a reasonable upgrade. Maybe this go round we can add more reliability to the born-again 6.8mm M16s with an H&K style tune-up much like the USMC did for their M27 squad auto-rifle. I really believe re-adopting 7.62mm NATO rifles and ammo are a move back to heavier combat loads and fewer rounds available per squad member.

  56. I own a Bushmaster 7.62×51 and love it. That being said, it is definitely not a rapid fire weapon, unless of course your intention is to miss whatever your shooting at. The military has been researching caseless flechete rounds for a least 30 years, and with new advances in technology that’s probably where the future lies. Until then a combination of M4’s and AR10’s will get the job done.

  57. I was 5ft 8in and weighed all of 124 lbs. the first time I fired the 7.62. Don’t tell me little guys can’t fire it. It doesn’t have that much recoil, a shotgun has far more. What is it with the wimps out there today? Additionally if you can’t fire a weapon because of recoil and you are to small to carry the weapon (male or female) you don’t belong in combat.

  58. There is a easy fix that retains most of the stock m4.. Rechamber for 22-250.. Same caliber but 300 yard flat shooter and 50 percent more energy. Soldiers can shoot 77 grain bullets hotter then 62 grain.

  59. UMAR AR-15 has a modified lower receiver magazine well. Designed specifically for the UMAR magazines to accept the longer loads of the 300 OSSM, as well as other caliber likes the venerable .22-250.

    The 300 ossm is a once wildcat, now commercially offered by olympic arms in an ar 15 type upper which fits an ar15 lower.
    The 300 ossm is essentially a 25 wssm necked up to .308.

    45.7g of “xbr” will push a 150 core lokt @ 2825fps, this makes the cartridge fall directly between a 30-06, and a 300 win mag.

  60. It makes no sense to change rifles or calibers. Our troops are no outgunned by the enemy armed with the 7.62x39mm, 5.45x39mm or 7.62x54mm. The 5.56mm outperforms the AK ronds. The Draganov is mtched by our designated marksman rifles. The PKM is matched by our M240B. Overmatch is a fraud.
    All we need is a suitable, tough, new optical sight.

  61. H&K made a brass less round years ago that reduced weight since the round and propellant were the round. Maybe it’s time to move forward (really forward) in our thinking instead of basing everything on a 60s design. The F-4 Phatom was a great fighter, in the 70s.

  62. Just a Jar-Head,
    Two tours down in the jungles of S.A., lots of range time as well as a small arms expert, the m-14 5.56 isn’t’ and can’t drop & kill anything like A 7.62 Rd. No brianer! Way Way Way too much politics involved! Let the ones that you train to kill chose the weapons of their choice.
    Way too much B.S. From want a bees !!
    Go have fun & send rds. down range! One day your training may really be needed.
    I’m up & game for it!
    Sempher fi

  63. Military arms evolve, and with very few exceptions they evolve for the best. I love the AR platform, and own several of my own as well as using them both in the military and as a civilian DoD contractor. I also used AKs and own one of them as well. But I look forward to the next generation of military rifle. To be honest, we need to start arming our troops to fit the environment,. The M16 was designed for the jungles of Southeast Asia, so it is still a viable platform for many battlefields in Africa and Asia, but it is not well suited for the longer ranges of Iraq and Afghanistan. Trust me, I’ve worked in both.

  64. The perfect cartridge already exists and it’s made for the AR platform rifle. No need to spend the taxpayers money changing the battle rifle. Just go to the awesome 6.8 SPC cartridge.

  65. What about the newest on the block, Federals 224 Valkyrie?
    Heavier bullet, 72-90 grain, 3000+ fpm@100, better billet design and more powder but same length as 223, base barely larger diameter.
    Preliminary test show more for at 600 than old NATO round at 300, with lethality out to 1000 yds no prob..
    Everything about that round sounds like a perfect fit for AT platform.
    Friend said no specs out of shorter than 20″ barrel yet but he knows they, three manufacturrs, have em.
    Course he could just be blowing smoke as he still thinks 1911 and M-14 best combat arms ever; you know, the real mans guns mentality.

  66. Everyone has a favorite caliber/rifle, and can make an argument for their favorite.
    I “humped” the M60 MG, many years ago. That 7.62mm bullet put a lot of hurt on the target. Wasn’t crazy about the weight, but loved that 7.62mm round. If/when, a new rifle makes it’s way through the pipeline, that 7.62mm should get a very close look.

    • I to humped the 60, that round tour up ass. After all the chanting on which round is better, u each have your personnal choose. I did not mind the extra weight of my weapon or the rounds weight.
      So i will only say use the 7.62 nato round in a ar platform. And if the soldier finds this to heavy, offer him a slingshot or a bigger set of “nadds”. It pains me to see how our youth have lost a lot of what we had and valued.

  67. Interesting discussion, especially the accounts by recent vets. One thing I don’t see debated though is whether the current approach to squad armament and composition itself should be updated. i.,e., instead of having one do it all weapon, to bring back squad mix to meet different but conflicting needs.
    I say that because I can recall my dad’s recounting some aspects of his WWII experiences as a paratrooper. As a paratrooper, the standard to be considered competent was qualifying at a minimum of 500 yards, albeit with the M1 Garand and the 30-06.
    He always was telling me about how he turned down the opportunity to use the M1 carbine when he made sergeant because there were so many complaints as to stopping power. He was also always talking about how a squad often had a BAR gunner, which would often be used for long range suppression.
    I was reminded of this in 2004 when in Kuwait supporting the Army and I noticed some folks with various non-standard weapons. I saw at least one M-14 but what really blew my my mind was seeing one M1 Garand. It was highly polished with a glossy finish which made me think it might have been some drill team’s weapon that had been pressed into service.
    My buddy who had just retired and was now working with me in Kuwait explained that the convoy escorts had started carrying various things to meet the perceived disadvantage. He also stressed that they got hit constantly in convoy, but never if they had a vehicle with a .50 cal!

  68. FYI:
    C-Products 26-round Grendel Magazine
    Proponents assert that the Grendel is a middle ground between the 5.56×45mm NATO and the 7.62×51mm NATO. It retains greater terminal energy at extended ranges than either of these cartridges due to its higher ballistic coefficient.[2] For example, the 123 gr (8.0 g) 6.5 Grendel has more energy and better armor penetration at 1,000 meters than the larger and heavier 147 gr (9.5 g) M80 7.62 NATO round.[9][10][11][12]
    In order to obtain ballistics that are superior to the 7.62×51mm cartridge, a weapon with a longer barrel and firing a heavier bullet is necessary. To achieve the same results from shorter length barrels, even heavier bullets are needed.[13]
    External ballistics[edit]

    Muzzle Velocity Change with Bullet Weight
    Bullet velocity: 24 inch (609.6 mm) barrel

    Bullet mass
    Muzzle velocity
    1,000 meter velocity
    Lapua Scenar
    Lapua Scenar
    Lapua FMJBT
    As noted above, the Grendel case is very closely related to the .220 Russian case. In general, each additional grain of bullet weight will reduce muzzle velocity by 10 ft/s (4.7 m/s for each gram) and each additional inch of barrel length will increase muzzle velocity by 20 ft/s (2.4 m/s for each centimeter).[citation needed] Therefore, a handy rule of thumb is “one inch of barrel length equals two grains of bullet weight (1 mm → 5 mg)”. Specific details are available as graphs derived from Alexander Arms’ public domain load table linked below.

  69. 7.62 is the way to go. Ammo of the enemy can always pick up and go. And what are you talking about hard to shoot. This is military not civilians. If they can’t handle the caliber find a new occupation. That’s like voting for a .22 over a 9. Yes you can become proficient if you trin

  70. The USA beat the Nato allies to adopt the 5.56 way back in the 1950 –with all the economic Problems in the world –who is going to adopt a new Rifle/Cartridge.
    Are we going to Borrow more money from the Chinease 4 Trillion and Counting.
    Maybe the cheapest alternative is to put 6.5 bullet on the 5.56 and up the pressure to 60,000psi maybe we can get 2500 fps with a 90 gr bullet 14inch bbl-and piston driven like the H&K416