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Posted: 9/29/2004 1:11:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 1:12:51 PM EST by HardShell]


"I see no possible need for the proposed 6.8 military cartridge. We have the .308 in stock. Clearly, I need education in this matter."

Jeff Cooper (Guns & Ammo, November 2004)





Discuss amongst yourselves...



Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:12:22 PM EST
that guy is certainly full of himself.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:13:27 PM EST
Guns and Ammo had a very praising article of the 6.8 SPC a couple months ago.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:25:25 PM EST
Why can't we just design a 5.56 bullet that reliably fragments at lower velocities (ie 70gr FMJ with one or two deep cannelures).

77 OTM is adequite but very expensive. 6.8 is also going to be very expensive as well and I don't see it being widely issued to troops in the near future. Not to mention replacing all of the uppers and mags.

If we used a 5.56 bullet that effectively fragmented out to 200 M in an M4, and used .308 for anything beyond that, I don't see a need for 6.8 either.


If such a load is impossible for a 5.56 then 6.8 is essential.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:27:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 1:29:08 PM EST by scrum]
6.8mm has been proposed since the 20s as the optimum military cartidge. It has already proven itself as a hunting cartridge (.270, ok it's 7mm but you get the picture). 5.56 has some perceived stopping issues and 7.62/.308 is effective but problematic in an assault rifle (rapid-fire or automatic) mode. 6.8mm is an optimum combination of both. McArthur rejected the Pederson 6.8mm/.276 option for the M1 based on ordinance and machine issues. 6.5 Swiss is an excellent sniping round with an all around balance of outstanding terminal ballistics in a small, controllable package. A 6.8mm cartridge would allow riflemen, snipers, squad gunners, light machine gunners, etc to all use the same ammo, same spare parts, same base rifle system. I do not know if 6.8 SPC is the right version of 6.8, but the concept is solid and balanced for modern warfare - at least until the plasma rifle in a 40W range comes out. I think Jeff Cooper will still be arguing for .308 then (or at least for a higher wattage, lower capacity, heavier, harder to control version of the plasma rifle).

In our modern military infrastructure with CnC machining, tight tolerance ammunition manufactuing, and given the capacity of the M16/M4 (and XM8) to adapt to the round, the infrastructure arguments McArthur used to stick with .30 (and later lost to 5.56mm anyway) have lost their way.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:29:04 PM EST
.308 is WAY better than 6.8

.308 Winchester is better than .270 Winchester period.

CRC
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:34:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By scrum:
A 6.8mm cartridge would allow riflemen, snipers, squad gunners, light machine gunners, etc to all use the same ammo, same spare parts, same base rifle system.



I respectfully disagree with this statement. .308 is barely adequite in a sniper's platform past 1000M. 6.8 would be a step back for a sniper rifle.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:36:09 PM EST
6.8 blows nuts
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:41:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
.308 Winchester is better than .270 Winchester period.

CRC


Other than the velocity (3060fps v. 2820), drop (38"@500 v. 50"), energy (2700 ft/lbs v. 2650) and windage adjustment (19"@500&10mph v. 20"), this is certainly correct.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:49:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:51:42 PM EST
6.5's not a bad little round
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 1:59:37 PM EST
any idea what percentage of military sniping using the .308 is done at distances over 700m? i understand that to be the reliable limit of the 6.8.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:00:22 PM EST
I like Jeff Cooper but he really does come off like a crackpot. He on one hand says .223 is a poodle shooter but 6.8 is unnecessary. 308 isn’t compatible with the m16 series. Might as well recommend we use all the .58 minie balls we have in stock from the civil war, cant use those with an m16 either.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:21:54 PM EST
He is right. we dont need a 6.8, but lots of people want things they dont need.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 2:27:52 PM EST
In a perfect world, the .276 Pederson round would have been adopted for the Garand.

Interestingly, look at the situation we are in now. The more things change, the more they stay the same (ie, history repeats itself).
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 5:29:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 5:29:42 AM EST by HardShell]
Good responses, guys. I sort of expected a rant - or at least a little rancor.

I figured if there were any 1911-purists/Jeff Cooper worshippers who were REALLY interested in a 6.8 AR, the resulting internal conflict might make their heads spin...


FWIW, Cooper says a lot of meaningless stuff (to me) interspersed with a few really great observations and comments IMO but frequently comes across as a crackpot or just an enormously arrogant SOB these days. His writings from his younger days OTOH should be required reading for most shooters. Either way, his comments are usually the first thing I read when G&A arrives each month.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 7:59:54 AM EST
His observations about people, politics, history, etc. are great, but his opinions on weapons development have not kept pace with modern tactics.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 8:45:35 AM EST
For clarity - I am not knocking the .308/7.62. I shoot it and was trained on it (FN FAL and Parker Hale) long before I ever touched a 5.56 weapon - I trust the round and the platforms. When I am discussing the sniping role on a standard platform I am talking about designated marksmen, not long range sniping. Long range military sniping has changed dramatically since the 1970s to vastly outpace .308 ballistics. There are numerous confirmed kills at over 2000m in Afganistan, including one verified 2400m kill (PPCLI team, confirmed by a US SEAL). The .50BMG and .338LM are the tools of modern sniping. The US' Carlos Hathcock understood this when he made his 2250m shot in 1967.

For ARMIES, in an era when the sniper role has been informally but effectively split between squad designated marksmen and true long-range snipers, the logistical need for .308 has diminished. When discussing a medium range sniper/designated marksman role, based on a standard rifle platform, .308 makes no sense. Between the threshold of 5.56mm SPR/SAM-R of the rifleman and the true, modern sniper rifle systems capable of engaging personnel and vehicle targets RELIABLY well beyond of 800m into 1200-1500m (and beyond), the .308 occupies a shrinking pocket. That pocket has a cost logistically. By increasing the effective ballistic range of the designated marksman on the current platform, something that can be done with a 6.5-6.8mm cartridge, you effectively remove the need for .308 and let true snipers get to their business at long range.

If riflemen could be equipped with a standard round capable of reliably engaging targets up to 600-800m, such as something in the 6.5-6.8mm series, that has relatively high capacity, short action, light weight, and controllable recoil, ON THE CURRENT PLATFORM, then it would enable troops to use 1 standard ammunition type across many roles. In contrast we are currently seeing diversification of ammunition types, especially in special forces soldiers seeking more effective terminal ballistics than 5.56mm offers (real or perceived). I think a 6.5-6.8 solution would be an effective solution to these issues.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 8:51:28 AM EST

Originally Posted By thetruth:
6.8 blows nuts off



Fixed that for ya.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 9:21:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By WI_Rifleman:
Guns and Ammo had a very praising article of the 6.8 SPC a couple months ago.



Of course they did, and it probably has great future as a deer cartridge.

But there is no need for it as a cartridge for a combat weapon.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 9:40:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By scrum:
For clarity - I am not knocking the .308/7.62. I shoot it and was trained on it (FN FAL and Parker Hale) long before I ever touched a 5.56 weapon - I trust the round and the platforms. When I am discussing the sniping role on a standard platform I am talking about designated marksmen, not long range sniping. Long range military sniping has changed dramatically since the 1970s to vastly outpace .308 ballistics. There are numerous confirmed kills at over 2000m in Afganistan, including one verified 2400m kill (PPCLI team, confirmed by a US SEAL). The .50BMG and .338LM are the tools of modern sniping. The US' Carlos Hathcock understood this when he made his 2250m shot in 1967.

For ARMIES, in an era when the sniper role has been informally but effectively split between squad designated marksmen and true long-range snipers, the logistical need for .308 has diminished. When discussing a medium range sniper/designated marksman role, based on a standard rifle platform, .308 makes no sense. Between the threshold of 5.56mm SPR/SAM-R of the rifleman and the true, modern sniper rifle systems capable of engaging personnel and vehicle targets RELIABLY well beyond of 800m into 1200-1500m (and beyond), the .308 occupies a shrinking pocket. That pocket has a cost logistically. By increasing the effective ballistic range of the designated marksman on the current platform, something that can be done with a 6.5-6.8mm cartridge, you effectively remove the need for .308 and let true snipers get to their business at long range.

If riflemen could be equipped with a standard round capable of reliably engaging targets up to 600-800m, such as something in the 6.5-6.8mm series, that has relatively high capacity, short action, light weight, and controllable recoil, ON THE CURRENT PLATFORM, then it would enable troops to use 1 standard ammunition type across many roles. In contrast we are currently seeing diversification of ammunition types, especially in special forces soldiers seeking more effective terminal ballistics than 5.56mm offers (real or perceived). I think a 6.5-6.8 solution would be an effective solution to these issues.



Much better.

It still seems to me, that the complaints of the 5.56 system primary arise from the use of short barreled m4s and m855 ammo, shooting at distances way beyond the fragmentation range. Why wouldn't correcting this issue,with redesigned ammo, not be a more prudent solution than a compete weapons and caliber change?
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 9:46:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 9:47:19 AM EST by arowneragain]

Originally Posted By brouhaha:

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
that guy is certainly full of himself.



Indeed.



I guess when you guys earn the right, the world will allow you to be full of yourselves, too.

Meantime, I love the old guy.....he's earned the right to his opinions. And our military would be a lot better off if they listened to him more.



Edit.......whoever designed a new AR cartridge that does NOT use existing magazines really screwed the pooch. Dumb, I tell you.......
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 10:11:26 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 10:17:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
In a perfect world, the .276 Pederson round would have been adopted for the Garand.

Interestingly, look at the situation we are in now. The more things change, the more they stay the same (ie, history repeats itself).



I THINK I read something in a American Rifleman magazine about the .276 Pederson... Basically that the cartridge (not the bullet) was ballistically inferior, and not a good choice for a main battle rifle. However, I think it's demise was a logistical decision by the Army, because they had plenty of .30-06 left over from WWI, and didn't want to change any of their other weapons, or have a rifle that used different ammunition. In the end, it made sense.

Would have been neat to have a 10 round Garand, tho.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 10:24:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By Troy:
The whole reason 5.56 was originally adopted is because it was demonstrated that a much smaller bullet could still be effective if it was fired at very high velocity. But the military believes it needs shorter rifles, and the average barrel length of a combat soldier has been getting shorter and shorter. The Army's standard barrel length has dropped from 20" to 14.5", and if the XM8 is adopted, it will drop futher to 12.3". Spec-Ops folks are commonly using 10.5" barrels. Rifles and ammo are a SYSTEM, and if you make significant changes to one, you're going to have a big effect on the other.

The facts are that 5.56 ammo just does not give the needed performance in these rifles. Even the best ammo has a very limited effective (meaning: fragmentation) range. And there's really not much that could be done to make it any more effective.

The 6.8mm SPC was developed with a good understanding of the above issues. From a 12" barrel, fragmentation range exceeds 100m. From a 20" barrel, expect 300+m. That's a HUGE improvement. In fact, in virtually any ballistics category you use to compare, the 6.8 beats any 5.56 load except for recoil, which is obviously increased with the 6.8.

It would also make an outstanding DM cartridge. Testing on the Army's instrumented range turned in 1 MOA groups at 600m from a 16" barrel in the hands of good shooters. THAT is effective accuracy.

5.56 would be okay if you could convince everyone to go back to 20" barrels as standard, and 16" barrels minimum for carbines, but that is obviously never going to happen. So, changing the caliber is the only other solution.

-Troy



Except even anicdotal evidence that the 5.56 is inadquate has largely dried up or been disproven.

Its true that the 6.8 works better in jelly, but so does some of the 7.62mm cartridges like Hirtenburger and AMAX. But the Haji seem to die just as quickly with M855 as anything else.

ACOGs seem to have increased effectiveness much more than any ammo change, even the M262.

And as I said in the other thread on this, 5.56 has only about another 10 or so years of life before the rest of the world catches up on us in body armor technology. There has been ZERO published evidence that 6.8 penetrates armor any better than 5.56 or 7.62. So it would be obsolete too, with a shorter service life than even .30 Krag had.

What is really needed is a straight cased .40 cal cartridge on a about 2" long case, telescoped or semi-telscoped firing a long 6.5-7mm diameter serrated tungstin rod in a discarding plastic sabot.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 1:33:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
I THINK I read something in a American Rifleman magazine about the .276 Pederson... Basically that the cartridge (not the bullet) was ballistically inferior, and not a good choice for a main battle rifle. However, I think it's demise was a logistical decision by the Army, because they had plenty of .30-06 left over from WWI, and didn't want to change any of their other weapons, or have a rifle that used different ammunition. In the end, it made sense.

Would have been neat to have a 10 round Garand, tho.


What I was saying was: If we had "bit the bullet" and made the switch from 30'06 to the .276 back when Garands were adopted, we wouldn't be having this discussion now. We'd still be using the .276 instead of bouncing from .30 caliber down to .22 caliber, and then back up to somewhere in between.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 1:40:43 PM EST
The real advantage is a 6.8 over a 308 is that it can run through an M16 lower. A 308 won't fit, no matter how hard you try.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 2:14:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:10:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
What is really needed is a straight cased .40 cal cartridge on a about 2" long case, telescoped or semi-telscoped firing a long 6.5-7mm diameter serrated tungstin rod in a discarding plastic sabot.



Sounds like a cartridge a Marlin might chamber.

-YJ
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:21:54 PM EST

As we have been for the last 40 years or so, the enemies we're most likely to face will be terrorists and guerrilla warriors, and few of these are going to have ANY body armor, much less advanced armor that's capable of stopping rifle bullets. That's just not how things play out. In 3rd-World countries, a vest is worth a lot more than the life of a footsoldier to begin with, and I don't see any 3rd-World military spending the money to equip their soldiers with them. Even if they did, few troops would have the discipline to wear them most of the time.



Body armor WILL be sought after, it is one of the few weapons we make that can be converted to terrorist or gureillia use. They WILL pay for it when they find that even suicide troops cannot get close enough to our forces otherwise.

And in ten years OUR body armor will be far superior to what we have today as industrial production of Carbon Nanotube filiment begins

A projectile like I described is what is needed to bring down someone wearing a a threat level IV plate.
Once they become cheap enough the third world WILL acquire them in imitation of us. Not because they give a damn about their soldiers but because of the psychological effect that it will have on both sides when the men get shot point blank and keep on fighting.

They are NOT going to remain either expensive or exclusively our provence for ever.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:58:20 PM EST
I read that Guns and Ammo article. 6.8 sounds like an excellent round for the M-16.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:01:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:
His observations about people, politics, history, etc. are great, but his opinions on weapons development have not kept pace with modern tactics.



+1

Jeff Cooper is a has-been
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:04:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:
His observations about people, politics, history, etc. are great, but his opinions on weapons development have not kept pace with modern tactics.



+1

Jeff Cooper is a has-been



He still learns though. I have seen him come around to new ideas. The guys expertise isn't technical anymore though--he is keeping the old traditions going, and we need that.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:06:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
I THINK I read something in a American Rifleman magazine about the .276 Pederson... Basically that the cartridge (not the bullet) was ballistically inferior, and not a good choice for a main battle rifle. However, I think it's demise was a logistical decision by the Army, because they had plenty of .30-06 left over from WWI, and didn't want to change any of their other weapons, or have a rifle that used different ammunition. In the end, it made sense.

Would have been neat to have a 10 round Garand, tho.


What I was saying was: If we had "bit the bullet" and made the switch from 30'06 to the .276 back when Garands were adopted, we wouldn't be having this discussion now. We'd still be using the .276 instead of bouncing from .30 caliber down to .22 caliber, and then back up to somewhere in between.



Actually, if the US Army hadn't been so stupidly shortisghted in the late 40s early 50s for insisting on a basically full power 30 caliber round (7.62X51) and insisting on an M1 derivative (M14), our Army would still be using FALs chambered in 280 British (aka 7X43mm NATO). That was the combination being put forth as the standard NATO rifle and cartridge by Belgium, the UK, and (I think) Germany and was summarily shot down by US Army Ordnance dumbasess still fighting the last war.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:11:48 PM EST
Bunch of pussies here can't handle .308/7.62?

What we really need is a .458 Winchester case necked down to a .17 bullet.

CRC
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:14:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:
Actually, if the US Army hadn't been so stupidly shortisghted in the late 40s early 50s for insisting on a basically full power 30 caliber round (7.62X51) and insisting on an M1 derivative (M14), our Army would still be using FALs chambered in 280 British (aka 7X43mm NATO). That was the combination being put forth as the standard NATO rifle and cartridge by Belgium, the UK, and (I think) Germany and was summarily shot down by US Army Ordnance dumbasess still fighting the last war.


That too! Good point.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:16:54 PM EST
For most soldiers even a .270 cartridge will kick too much.

They will bitch and moan about recoil.

CRC
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:18:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:
Actually, if the US Army hadn't been so stupidly shortisghted in the late 40s early 50s for insisting on a basically full power 30 caliber round (7.62X51) and insisting on an M1 derivative (M14), our Army would still be using FALs chambered in 280 British (aka 7X43mm NATO). That was the combination being put forth as the standard NATO rifle and cartridge by Belgium, the UK, and (I think) Germany and was summarily shot down by US Army Ordnance dumbasess still fighting the last war.


That too! Good point.



Moot point, the guys that killed that project are probably withered and dead by now.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:20:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 6:24:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
Bunch of pussies here can't handle .308/7.62?

What we really need is a .458 Winchester case necked down to a .17 bullet.

CRC



You want one Ill build ya one!! What they need is the .44 super automag. It will fit in an ar and will feed with standard mags. It uses the 7.62x39 bolt. that and it looks cool!
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 9:55:42 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:02:07 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:22:21 AM EST
Some time ago, it was said among gun writers and other persons professing to know a lot about firearms, that the 7MM was the ideal cartridge for accuracy.

I think the military is on the right track with the 6.8 for a basic infantry round. Soldiers generally only shoot at what they can see or to lay down supressing fire at lesser ranges. The smaller the round, the more they can carry. A good medium needs to be found where an adequate amount of effective ammo can be carried by the infantryman. The army thought it was the 5.56. Now they think a 6.8 might be better. It looks to me like a bullet weighing 100 grains to 125 grains and in the 7MM range might be just right.

I seriously think they should go to the 300WinMag or .338 for the snipers. The British have a very good sniper system that I think is in .338 Lapua.

Just my opinion, but I think Cooper is full of it. I agree with him on the 1911, but that's it.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:45:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:
His observations about people, politics, history, etc. are great, but his opinions on weapons development have not kept pace with modern tactics.



+1

Jeff Cooper is a has-been


I certainly wouldn't call him a has-been. I'll be the first to admit that he knows more about people and human nature than I know or am likely to ever know. But he's giving opinions on weapons based on tactics that are no longer in commom use by the infantry. It's not that what he proposes are out dated, it's that they are too limited in scope for the assorted missions our military is faced with.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:47:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:52:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By SuperChicken:
I always enjoy reading Troy's posts.




+1

Troy - the ammo oracle.



Link Posted: 10/1/2004 10:58:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hoplophile:
I certainly wouldn't call him a has-been. I'll be the first to admit that he knows more about people and human nature than I know or am likely to ever know. But he's giving opinions on weapons based on tactics that are no longer in commom use by the infantry. It's not that what he proposes are out dated, it's that they are too limited in scope for the assorted missions our military is faced with.



That is the classic definition of a has-been.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 11:17:58 AM EST
In this entire thread nobody has been able to sucessfully refute Coopers claim, that there is no need for the 6.8SPC.

Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:21:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:24:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By newtoma:
The real advantage is a 6.8 over a 308 is that it can run through an M16 lower. A 308 won't fit, no matter how hard you try.


This is where somebody posts pics of an AR15 with 308 holes through it.

-z
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 12:40:38 PM EST
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