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Posted: 10/17/2001 8:28:37 AM EST
I found myself in a quandary earlier today about what was going to be the next standard round for NATO. 5.56mm has been the standard for almost half a century, so what's next? The OCIW flopped big time. Do you think that any of the ACR candidates might see a revival like the G11 or the Steyr ACR? Do you think that Fletchlete or caseless ammo has a future? Personally I think that generation after next will most likely be a Rail gun of some sort, possible a hybrid caseless/electromagnetic system as a sort of transition weapon.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 8:50:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2001 8:47:47 AM EST by SouthernShark]
I wouldn't be surprised if the flow of things didn't reverse course somewhat. The SAW was originally designed to shoot a large 6mm bullet (quite a bit bigger than 5.56x45mm). A round like that is still a lot smaller than 7.62Nato. Yet it is powerful enough, and has enough weight and mass behind it to penetrate solid objects better than 5.56mm and would theoretically need less optimum conditions to perform at maximum effectiveness. 5.56mm does great against flesh (at close range, if it tumbles), but it hasn't done so great against solid objects. And its a finiky round. Its generally recognized that a larger bullet say 6- 6.5mm would penetrate objects better and probably be more effective at longer ranges. If we keep fighting in the desert and the mountains a gun with more ummph has a lot going for it. The government tested smaller bullets/ flackets and they did very poorly. Needle sized rounds just pricked people's skin (a good thing if you are just trying to piss them off, but otherwise a bad thing). So I don't think that anyone is going to adopt a smaller caliber. That means they either stick with 5.56mm or get something bigger. Since nobody sticks with anything forever, I'd guess that its just a matter of time until they get a bigger bullet. Still I'd be shocked if they went back to 7.62Nato or to 30/06. It would make more sense to adopt a 6mm to 6.5mm bullet. Just my .02 cents worth. -SS
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:07:19 AM EST
I was just fliping throght Janes Subguns, and under the section on the FN P90, they seem to think that 5.7mm SS109 is going to be the next standard. Intresting because I heard that 5.7mm isn't the wonder round that it's supposed to be.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:09:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By Armed Scientist: I was just fliping throght Janes Subguns, and under the section on the FN P90, they seem to think that 5.7mm SS109 is going to be the next standard. Intresting because I heard that 5.7mm isn't the wonder round that it's supposed to be.
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I heard though that the maximum effective range is 400 meters (which is one big reason cops like it). I doubt the military guys would like that though. I'm not sure I could see trading in a rifle for a subgun round. Just a thought. -SS
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:13:46 AM EST
That's what I thoght, except it looks to me like the current trend in the military (which I disagree with) is moving in the direction of subguns. We went from the M-16 to the M-4, and most nations are now feilding bullpups that are in the subgun size range. (I love bullpups so I'm not saying that's a bad thing)But they are all still in 5.56mm. It just seems to me like they are more worried about urban enviroment warfare then the more conventional battle feilds. Just my take on it
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:14:08 AM EST
I believe that they will move toward someting along the lines of a ".243 kurz" round. The full size .243-type rounds aren't much of a savings in weight and material over a 7.6 NATO. Thus, in order to get the better performance of the 6mm projectile, while retaining the advantages of a true assault rifle, we'll see some type of short 6mm round. Or maybe I'm full of shytte and completely off base on this.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:14:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2001 9:19:30 AM EST by reidry]
Why not .243 (6mm) Winchester? Best of all worlds? Better yet a .243 Short Magnum ... Ryan
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:15:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By reidry: Why not .243 (6mm) Winchester? Best of all worlds?
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Hell yeah.... total agreement. -SS
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:18:36 AM EST
How about a 6mm caseless round? A round with a bit more heft to it, but in a more compact form to allow more rounds to be carried per mag.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:22:15 AM EST
Hmmm... I dont know, what works good on ScareCrows?
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:24:08 AM EST
Well since he's in Canada, anything with more firepower then a paintball gun since that's about all he can get [:D]
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:31:47 AM EST
.243 weighs nearly as much as .308 and requires an action/weapon of the same size as a .308 rifle. They also have a reputation for short barrel life, whether that is deserved or not. The things that a true assault rifle can do require a reasonably compact weapon with high ammunition capacity, low recoil, and light ammunition that can be carried in quantity. This mitigates against a full-size 6mm. With the newer propellants, it should be possible to get .243 ballistics from a shorter cartridge.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:33:51 AM EST
On the subject of the .243... I do not believe it to be "somewhere between .223 and .308." I believe it to be superior to both. The .308 is a piss poor long range performer that is horrible in terms of long range ballistics and energy compared to its total mass per round. The 100 gr .243 shoots flatter and has more energy than just about any .308 round (incidently, weighing 50 to 80% more) at 500 meters. This is considering how much effort has been put into developing the .308. The .260 and 7mm-08 are also far superior to the .308
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:42:49 AM EST
Personaly I think that caseless will make a comeback, more propelant-higher velocity in a more compact package compared to a conventional round. The only problem the G11 (is it still being used by german special forces) had was hear dissipation. I think modern materials science has that problem solved by now by metalic cermaic alloys and advanced composites.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 9:48:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2001 9:44:55 AM EST by kindstranger]
Launch a 90 to 110 grain 6 to 6.5mm projectile from a case size between that of the .22-250 and .223 at 3000 fps plus and you would have "the s%!t"
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 10:00:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By kindstranger: Launch a 90 to 110 grain 6 to 6.5mm projectile from a case size between that of the .22-250 and .223 at 3000 fps plus and you would have "the s%!t"
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Put that kind of round in a modernized rifle like the G11, then throw in some FN P90 esque ergonomics, and you would have one awsome rifle...maybe even electronic ignition and fire controls, so that you wouldn't have to have crazy long trigger linkages?
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 10:06:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2001 10:02:53 AM EST by Quarterbore]
How about a Quarterbore caliber.... 257-08! But Seriously.... I think the 260 Remington (6.5-08) may well be a top contender based on it's performance at 1000-yrd matches, DCM/CMP matches, and anywhere else that guys compete. It is even better than the 243 and/or the 308 for all the same reasons described before! Then again, I also like the 300 Whisper, but I doubt JD will let NATO have it!
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 10:29:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2001 10:33:03 AM EST by cc48510]
[img]http://popularmechanics.com/science/military/2001/9/ultimate_firepower/images/tb_1.jpg[/img] [url]http://popularmechanics.com/science/military/2001/9/ultimate_firepower/[/url]
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 10:40:20 AM EST
An all-electronic firing control mechanism is easily adapted to include a fingerprint-based user-ID system, and an on-the-fly selection of different rounds for different situations. To the human ear, the sound of 180 bullets being fired in less than one-hundredth of a second is perceived as one enormous noise. And the fact that some people have heard that noise is testimony to the perseverance of one inventor with a unique vision of the future of weapons technology. "They say that half the engineers in the first company that I worked with wanted me to finish my coffee and leave as soon as possible," says Mike O'Dwyer, recalling the way some of his far-reaching ideas were received. O'Dwyer's revolutionary weapons concept is based on an electronically fired gun-and-launcher design with multiple rounds stacked in a single barrel. The only moving parts are the bullets themselves. Beyond creating an astounding fast-firing weapon, the concept makes way for the creation of entirely new types of firearms. Among other things, it will allow the shooter to select from different types of rounds and even between firing lethal and nonlethal ammunition. O'Dwyer's ideas were initially met with skepticism, but now they are being taken seriously by the military and police. "Nothing succeeds like actually building something and pulling the trigger or, in our case, pressing the button to show what happens," he tells POPULAR MECHANICS. "One of the first things I did was to build a prototype with one short piece of barrel loaded with two projectiles and propellant behind each," O'Dwyer says. "I then fired the leading projectile just to determine whether the system would operate. If it did, the second projectile should stay in the barrel, without being pushed back with the propellant behind it." Based on the results of that testing, O'Dwyer quickly moved to an expanded firing prototype--a single-barrel design loaded with 15 9mm rounds. "There was nothing particularly optimum about having 15 rounds," he says. "It was just a good number. There was also nothing particularly optimum about 9mm. It was just a convenient size. "The wedging-system design O'Dwyer used to lock and seal multiple projectiles stacked in a single barrel required each of the 9mm projectiles to be slightly modified from their sporting configurations. "The 15 shots was a big step for us from two, and electronically firing those 15 shots from a single barrel allowed us to experiment immediately with rates of fire," O'Dwyer says. The smoothbore prototype allowed electronically variable rates of fire ranging from semiauto to the equivalent of 45,000 rounds per minute.
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Link Posted: 10/17/2001 10:42:40 AM EST
Applying what he had learned about tube loading and firing rates, O'Dwyer constructed a triple-barrel, a nine-barrel, and a 36-barrel firing prototype design that he lovingly named Bertha. "The reason for the 36 barrels was simply to indicate to ourselves and to others the future versatility of this system, in that with the 36 barrels we had 540 rounds on board and, based on the 45,000-round-per-minute rate per barrel, that gave us a maximum firing rate of 1.62 million rounds per minute," the inventor says. Prior to Bertha's well-deserved retirement, O'Dwyer used the demonstrator to achieve a 180-round burst of 9mm rounds (155 grain weight) at a rate of just over 1 million rounds per minute. New Families Of Weapons O'Dwyer's experience with the 36-tube Bertha has provided him with a new understanding of the technology--not just the gun. When he speaks of the weapons, he uses the analogy of an inkjet printer. He compares the projectiles to dots of ink exploding out of a print head. O'Dwyer's concept is that of a weapons system capable of delivering a wide range of customized "packages" of varying degrees of lethality. "While the enormous rate of fire is a major advantage in some significant areas, this is not a weapons system that operates as if it were a shotgun," O'Dwyer says. "This is not an area weapon that deals with a target by overkill. It is about accuracy, precision and electronic controllability." Other recent Metal Storm demonstrator systems have included a "scaled up" 40mm grenade launcher for the military that fires small "shot bursts" at rates equivalent to 6000 rounds per minute, as well as a Variable Lethality Law Enforcement (VLE) handgun. The fully electronic VLE can be easily safety-keyed to a particular individual or group, preventing its use should it fall into the wrong hands. Through his company, Metal Storm Ltd., the Australian inventor hopes to apply this technology to a variety of military and commercial products worldwide.
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Link Posted: 10/17/2001 10:50:39 AM EST
Caseless,, and probably around 4mm in calibre. Many years away though.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 11:06:03 AM EST
I don't think flechettes will catch on because of their poor energy transfer abilities. I don't really think that caseless ammunition will catch on either due to cook off issues and a slew of other difficulties. Steyr's idea of plastic casings may work. A high melting polymer case would provide excellent insulation against cook off (way better than brass) and be cheaper and lighter to boot. The bugs seem easy to work out though Steyr had velocity consistency problems. I doubt 30 cal projectiles will ever come back, nor any type of 08 or 06 hybrid because it would take big mags and guns to accomodate them. I'd envision some type of 22 to 25 cal (perhaps 6mm) bullet with a weight in the neighborhood of 80 to 100 grains and a moderate velocity to keep it controllable in FA and minimize barrel erosion. Perhaps something in the neighborhood of 2800-3000 FPS. The bullet would be designed to for better piercing ability and soft tissue damage. I'm not too knowledgable about loads, but perhaps a 5.56 case could be loaded with a 6mm bullets to achieve these numbers. Tooling would already exist and weapons could be retrofitted and existing platforms easily modified to accept the new cartridge. I could envision this scenario happening at some point especially if we go into afghanistan and the 5.56 doesn't perform well.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 11:25:35 AM EST
With the ever-growing bleeding heart population in this country, the next military weapon will probably be a megaphone, and harsh language.... Rich
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 11:28:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By sk8brdnick: ...especially if we go into afghanistan and the 5.56 doesn't perform well.
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Watch your mouth!!! The 5.56 will out do the 7.62x39 without much trouble! I think we will see the next NATO round only when there is a more capable opponent.... As far as a 243 to 6.5 bullet in a 223 sized cartridge. All we need to do is look at SSK industries. These bullets shouls work just fine in a 221 fireball case and they would work in standard M-16 mags and lowers.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 11:31:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By kindstranger: Launch a 90 to 110 grain 6 to 6.5mm projectile from a case size between that of the .22-250 and .223 at 3000 fps plus and you would have "the s%!t"
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Sounds alot like the 6.5 swede, hmmm..... Maybe those guys were on to something?
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 11:41:41 AM EST
Also sounds like the 243 and 260!
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 11:44:07 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 12:35:49 PM EST
I've always said the .280 British (the Brit contender vs. the 308 Win in the NATO trials) would have been the best all around cartridge for a personal weapon and a SAW. The .280 Brit had a 140gr 7mm BT bullet that flew at 2415fps. Very flat shooting (in combat terms), compact, and powerful enough to keep pace with the 7.62 NATO penetration. It round had the very similar recoil as the AK-47 when fired out of the full sized rifle FAL/L1A1. With the 3 round burst dominating the scene, full auto capability is less of a concern in any case. I think the similarity between the 9mm vs. .45ACP arguement and the 5.56 vs 7.62 arguement is striking. Both have extremes, why not settle for the "in between" and get the best of both worlds? Look at the .40 S&W caliber? I would like to see a heavier bullet that the 62gr 5.56 NATO. I say a 85gr to 120gr 6mm, 6.5mm, or even a 7mm with a 2400-2600 fps velocity would do the trick just nicely. Hence the .280 British. JRB
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 12:51:32 PM EST
I'll vote for this one: [url]http://www.birdman.org/images/pistolbig.jpg[/url] Demo video: [url]http://www.biggerhammer.net/videos/birdman_nuke50.wmv[/url]
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 1:03:39 PM EST
"Phased plasma rifle in the 40-Watt range"
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 2:07:42 PM EST
Hiram, Caseless ammo is a amunition cased in hardened propelant such as nitrium-60. The round is barried in this block of propelant with a booster charge behind it and behind that a primer. When the primary is struck, or current is passed throght it depending on the design it ignites the booster charge which reaches the ignition temprature of the propelant (which is very high for cook-off reason). The propelant is ignited, the bullet is on it's way, and there is no case to extract or eject. Because they're is no case you get more propelant in a more compact, and lighter package. The proplem with caseless rifles is heat build up. When a conventional rifle is fired, the brass acts as a heat sink, it absorbs most of the heat of the firing and is ejected. There is no such built in heat management system in a caseless weapon, so they are notorious for cook off problems. These problems probaly could be solved today with modern composite and cermaic alloys. To learn more go to [link]www.hkpro.com[link]. They have the best article on the G11 I can find.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 2:34:46 PM EST
Dug into my old copy of “Cartridges of the World”(Fifth Edition)- 6 X 45 mm (6 mm bullet in 5.56 x 45 case) 75 grains @ 2800 fps 85 grains @ 2650 fps 100 grains @ 2500 fps I’ve toyed with the idea of a 6 X 45 in an AR for years. I’ve known coyote hunters that swear by them. I think that Quarterbore is right – we won’t see any change until a need is perceived by “those who make the decisions”, and they won’t change until what we have is proved inferior or much more expensive that the replacement. One of the other problems with caseless ammunition is durability. The package just can’t stand up to rough handling the way conventional ammunition can. I’m sure that this problem will be solved eventually. But until then, 300 rounds that will go bang are a whole lot better than 400 that probably will.
Link Posted: 10/17/2001 3:11:00 PM EST
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