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Another new expensive, heavy rifle, the M5

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The last adventure in rifle replacement, the 6.8, developed by Rem Arms, and the US Army Markmanship unit was a complete waste of money. It never measured up to the requested velocity standards without blowing up.
Now we have another 8-9 lb rifle developed by Sig Sauer in 6.8 caliber that, from what I've read, is a great shooter, with all the fancy sights and stuff, but very expensive to produce. This rifle is to replace the M4, M16, and M14.
I doubt very much that the M5 will ever be standard issue to our troops, if produced at all. I can see the M5 as a replacement for the M14 to select troops, but not all.
I'm confused that an AR10 could have been rechambered and Tuned up to meet the so called steel plate penetration request, without spending $billions.
I realize that I'm not in the chase, but why spend a fortune for something we already have available?

Cmarsh164 CWO4 USCG (ret)
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YOu have never heard of $20,000 toilet seats? or a hammer? 馃榿
 

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It鈥檚 called spend it, or lose it. And have a reduced budget next year.

nobody has ever accused the military complex of being frugal with tax payer money.
Universally applied to most 99.999999% of government contracts at all levels, not just military exclusive. There are more money governments wasted. Whenever money are issues, politicians find more way to get money out of our pockets.
 

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The problem with this thing is the same problem with the F35 鈥 ordered to be jack of all trades, replace everything. And it鈥檒l be another money pit.

Just have an arsenal of various tools for various jobs. Jungle warfare? Grab the M4s. Mountain warfare? Grab the SCAR 17s, HKs, or these new things.

Clearing houses? They shot Bin Laden in the face three times, point blank, with 77gr hollow points. Seemed to work fine.
 

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If the M5 ever does see the light of day I hope the military goes all in and we do not wind up with another boondoggle weapon. I am not too sure about the chamber pressures but people smarter than I figured that one out. We need to identify the best equipment for warfighters and supply them with it so they can do their jobs. A lot of the gear I see my son issued I would have coveted in my time.
 

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YOu have never heard of $20,000 toilet seats? or a hammer? 馃榿
Uhm not to defend government waste, part of the problem when working with exotic materials, you need to use exotic materials in the tools as well.
Also when you have something that is built to spec in a short run... you have a higher cost per unit.

That said... that 20K toilet seat would cost a lot less thanks today to 3D printing techniques and materials.

I mean if we look at the F-22, part of the higher cost is that the R&D and production costs were distributed to a smaller number of aircraft. AFAIK, we don't sell or allow other countries to fly F-22s. Do we?
 

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The last adventure in rifle replacement, the 6.8, developed by Rem Arms, and the US Army Markmanship unit was a complete waste of money. It never measured up to the requested velocity standards without blowing up.
Now we have another 8-9 lb rifle developed by Sig Sauer in 6.8 caliber that, from what I've read, is a great shooter, with all the fancy sights and stuff, but very expensive to produce. This rifle is to replace the M4, M16, and M14.
I doubt very much that the M5 will ever be standard issue to our troops, if produced at all. I can see the M5 as a replacement for the M14 to select troops, but not all.
I'm confused that an AR10 could have been rechambered and Tuned up to meet the so called steel plate penetration request, without spending $billions.
I realize that I'm not in the chase, but why spend a fortune for something we already have available?

Cmarsh164 CWO4 USCG (ret)
I know we have discussed this in other threads but my biggest concern is actually less about changing service rifles and more with an entirely new caliber. The Army changing calibers to a new caliber will play logistical nightmares among the Services and NATO during mass conflict. I would guess that concern is why they never went with their 6.8 SPC or 6.5 Grendel the last time there was an attempt to move away from 5.56.
 

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I鈥檒l say it again, the Army wanted to replace the old M249 Squad Automatic light machine guns with something that provides much more effective range, much more kinetic energy (to defleat modern body armor), and possibly wanted more accuracy. (M249s are not accurate weapons).

They told industry that they wanted a 1200 meter effective of range (presumably) for a new light machine gun with a cartridge that weighs equal or less than common M80 7.62 ammo. The high pressure 6.8x51 with hybrid-case was thus developed to meet that requirement. (Along with the innovative composite-cased True Velocity ammo that was ultimately not selected). Presumably Big Army also decided that since the M4 w/ M855 ammo was limited to 300 meter effective range, it would be best to have a new replacement infantry rifle using the same caliber (as the forthcoming light machine gun), with a 600 meter effective range - given that was one of the main battle field "lessons learned" in Afghanistan (and to some extent Iraq).

A 2021 dated Army document refers to fielding a 鈥渞educed range鈥 ammo during Fiscal Year 2023, which is presumably for the M5 infantry rifle.

So time will tell, but a new and more capable squad light machine gun was the genesis of the NGWS program, and the XM5 with lower pressure ammo was a secondary development. My understanding is that both platforms can use either ammo, and a program to retrofit the M240 7.62 machine guns to the new 6.8 caliber is underway. Again, Big Army wanted a light machine gun with a 1200 meter range, and that requirement is driving the program.

Fwiw, I think a common Army infantry solider with a new M5 (6.8x51 ammo and a 1-6x optic) will be more effective and more lethal compared to a common Army Infantry soldier with an M4 (5.56x45 ammo and perhaps a 3.5x ACOG) - when it comes to battle field fights. Along with the M250 light machine gun, they will no longer be out-gunned in a place like Afghanistan, etc.

I agree that NATO adoption is likely a real issue.
 

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Change the bullets core to tungsten. I believe some WW2 surplus tungsten German 8mm rounds that weigh about 173 hrs can be found and have a dramatic affect on level four body armor. Now they could do the same with a 7.62x51 and not have to change anything. I think they already have them in stock for 7.62x51 & 5.56x45 AP. Improve the ammo is cheaper than any new play pretty.
 

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The change will happen and it is Big Army's way of modernizing their weapons.

The Marines will stay with M4's until the new weapons have been proven. And the M14 will stay around unless they are given away to the UK's. No matter what the 5.56 and the 7.62 will be around 20 more years as secondary weapons.
 

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Change the bullets core to tungsten. I believe some WW2 surplus tungsten German 8mm rounds that weigh about 173 hrs can be found and have a dramatic affect on level four body armor. Now they could do the same with a 7.62x51 and not have to change anything. I think they already have them in stock for 7.62x51 & 5.56x45 AP. Improve the ammo is cheaper than any new play pretty.
I鈥檓 a M5 hater, I thought the M80A1 penetrated Level IV. I guess not!

 

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I've been reading seemingly reputable sources that cite the 6.8x51 round runs at 80,000 PSI. It sounds like the ammunition had to be to this pressure level in order to get the specified velocities and energy levels required out of the relatively short barrel of the SIG platform. This is why the other entrants in the competition offered bullpup configurations to get the extra barrel length. I think it will be interesting to see how the rifles and the squad weapon hold up to a steady diet of those rounds. Bolts and bolt locking lugs, barrel chambers and bores will take a beating. Armorer support and rebuild capabilities will probably be crucial.
 

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The last adventure in rifle replacement, the 6.8, developed by Rem Arms, and the US Army Markmanship unit was a complete waste of money. It never measured up to the requested velocity standards without blowing up.
Now we have another 8-9 lb rifle developed by Sig Sauer in 6.8 caliber that, from what I've read, is a great shooter, with all the fancy sights and stuff, but very expensive to produce. This rifle is to replace the M4, M16, and M14.
I doubt very much that the M5 will ever be standard issue to our troops, if produced at all. I can see the M5 as a replacement for the M14 to select troops, but not all.
I'm confused that an AR10 could have been rechambered and Tuned up to meet the so called steel plate penetration request, without spending $billions.
I realize that I'm not in the chase, but why spend a fortune for something we already have available?

Cmarsh164 CWO4 USCG (ret)
From what little I have read the requirement is to be capable of defeating the new level 5 body armor. This required projo and case development for the velocity necessary.
Nothing in the inventory is capable of the chamber pressure needed to meet that velocity including the cartridge case.

IMO all the time wasted with 6.8 SPC etc was from DOD looking for a cheap quick fix from a re-chamber instead of admitting the limitations of the 5.56. It was the dimensions of the platform that limited the adoption of an effective chambering for the job.
 
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