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Should the 5.56 be replaced?

This is a discussion on Should the 5.56 be replaced? within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by sgtgunn I think 5.56mm does that well enough. Now, if someone comes up with a round that ...


View Poll Results: Should the 5.56 be replaced?
No the 5.56 is good enough. 43 28.29%
Replace it with 6.5mm or 6.8mm. 76 50.00%
Just go back to the 7.62mm. 27 17.76%
Unsure. 7 4.61%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 152. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 2nd, 2012   #286
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Originally Posted by sgtgunn View Post
I think 5.56mm does that well enough. Now, if someone comes up with a round that has superior performace to 5.56mm and weighs the same (or even less) - then sign me up!

Adrian
Isn't that the thinking behind the KAC 6x45mm PDW?
Knight's Armament Company PDW - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Similar or better performance to 5.56x45mm out to 300m in a smaller, lighter easiers to use weapon.

I note that it is described as a PDW and pushed as being suitable for vehicle crews etc but no mention of infantry, so it may not be seen as a suitable replacement for the M4. Then again if you are issuing 7.62x51 battle rifles as DMRs and ARs, have a decent LMG and a maybe the XM25 it might fit.
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Old March 4th, 2013   #287
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Now I've heard some people here talking about weapons like the HKsMP-7 and FNs P-90 and from what I've heard they're pretty good.But should also give consideration to the Kriis V smg the first weapon in over 60 yrs to fire the 45.cal round and it should be given some thought as a replacement for the HK MP-5.
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Old August 26th, 2013   #288
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Now I've heard some people here talking about weapons like the HKsMP-7 and FNs P-90 and from what I've heard they're pretty good.But should also give consideration to the Kriis V smg the first weapon in over 60 yrs to fire the 45.cal round and it should be given some thought as a replacement for the HK MP-5.
I agree with you. The Kriis submachinegun is a very excellent smg. I have fired one myself. They shoot the .45 which is much more powerful than the 9mm, without the usual recoil of such a round. The Kriis's design drastically reduces recoil. It has about the same recoil as an M16. It is very easy to keep on target, even in full auto.
I would say it comes down between the Kriis and the MP7, the MP7 due to its penetration capability.
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Old November 17th, 2013   #289
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Thought this might be interesting, study by the US Army announced a few days ago which is supposed to ultimately result in the replacement of all 5.56 weapons in the inventory with one single modular weapons system although it's unclear if it will be chambered in 5.56 or a new calibre. The weapon system is meant to come in several variations; a carbine rifle, assault rifle, DMR & SAW/LMG.

Sounds alot like what the Stoner-63 used to be.

US Army to study new small-arms calibers - IHS Jane's 360

Two programs
  • Combat Lightweight Automatic Weapon System - CLAWS
  • Lightweight Dismounted Automatic Machinegun - LDAM
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Old November 17th, 2013   #290
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I wonder if they'll go with anything from the LSAT program? Sounds like a good chance for a clean sheet after all.
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Old November 17th, 2013   #291
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I'd be highly surprised if at least some elements weren't included in the second program, "Lightweight Dismounted Automatic Machinegun".

The stats are impressive, half the weight of an M249 empty, ammo is 40% lighter & it's been worked out that an LSAT + 1000 rounds is close to 3lbs lighter than 1000 rounds of regular 5.56 alone.

The system + ammo has supposedly reached Technology Readiness Level 7 which equates to that the prototypes built do work
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Old November 18th, 2013   #292
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Wish we knew what a Caliber Configuration Study meant. Are they looking for the best bullet, the best cartridge, or the best gun and cartridge combination?

And how are they going to conduct the testing and evaluation? The last time they tried for a new weapon any caliber was acceptable, but if it wasn't 5.56 NATO the manufacturer had to supply the 500,000 rounds of ammunition for the testing process without being reimbursed. Since without a caliber change this would have just been a repeat of the competition for a replacement for the current version M-4 (which won the competition to replace the old M-4) all the vendors withdrew from the competition and it collapsed in a little over a month.
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Old November 18th, 2013   #293
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Presumably the latter, the headline indicates they're after a new calibre and the actual meat of the article says they're after a new weapon system.

Basically, sounds like a clean slate to me. Reading it again, LSAT would fit more in with CLAWS for the last requirement meaning that - presumably - LDAM is looking at a weapon in the region of the M240. Something like this perhaps? But GD has said that it's not supposed to be a replacement for the M240, more a bridge between the M240 & M2HB

General Dynamics announces .338 LWMMG | Military Times GearScout
NDIA - General Dynamics .338 Norma Magnum Machine Gun - YouTube
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Old November 21st, 2013   #294
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Originally Posted by RobWilliams View Post
Thought this might be interesting, study by the US Army announced a few days ago which is supposed to ultimately result in the replacement of all 5.56 weapons in the inventory with one single modular weapons system although it's unclear if it will be chambered in 5.56 or a new calibre. The weapon system is meant to come in several variations; a carbine rifle, assault rifle, DMR & SAW/LMG.

Sounds alot like what the Stoner-63 used to be.

US Army to study new small-arms calibers - IHS Jane's 360

Two programs
Let me quote a short passage from a study conducted by our Project officer for the IW Steyr upgrade team.

In this debate about calibre a key component is often glanced over or not even included in the debate IMHO.

"Barrel length is however the key to ballistic performance because the velocity potential is proportional to its length and is the primary component in producing the kinetic potential of an inert projectile".

CD
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Old December 4th, 2013   #295
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The whole 5.56mm replacement issue is one that misses the point of current Western military reality. Yes, there are limitations to the current 5.56mm round. Yes, in many situations a 6.8mm or even 'traditional' 7.62mm is preferable. However, given that the US Army has been searching for a replacement for the M16 family for nearly 20 years now and has only managed limited adoption of the superb and low-risk HK 416 to replace the M4, the idea that the Western military complex would devote the resources to developing and standardising weapons completely different calibre is mad. Although there might be benefits, there are gaping holes appearing in Western military capability due to lack of funding that are far more critical than the limitations of the 5.56. Unfortunately, it's just not an issue that's going to be addressed on any real scale any time soon.
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Old July 17th, 2017   #296
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Here's an interesting article about research into a 6.5 mm cartridge over 100 years ago! Like many persons today, this Russian officer concluded the 6.5mm would be a good choice.

The Original 6.5mm Cartridge of the Fedorov Avtomat - The Firearm BlogThe Firearm Blog
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