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Thread: Why Oh WHy

  1. #1
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    Why Oh WHy

    Why is it that when our military looks for a new cartridge or system, they never start with a blank slate? How can anything optimal be found when the basis has ties to the days of black powder?

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    Chieftain stanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howl View Post
    Why is it that when our military looks for a new cartridge or system, they never start with a blank slate? How can anything optimal be found when the basis has ties to the days of black powder?
    1. Depends upon what you mean by "blank slate."
    2. Any projectile launcher using solid propellant will have "ties" to the days of black powder.
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    Chieftain sneaky one's Avatar
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    Why look that far backward, when the modern 6.5 is right here ? I let go of the past- long ago. 1990. Modern 6.5 was the .260 in mid 1990's.

    Grr showed up in 2004. Creed showed up in 2011- nothing better than a .260...- Ask L52, he uses that.260 round for competitions around the globe .
    Last edited by sneaky one; 11-11-2017 at 03:05 AM.

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    Warrior IceAxe's Avatar
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    Not to say there isn't bias, but typically they start with an Operational Requirements Document or an ORD. All development is directly tied to that document. It sets any parameters or specifications for development.

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    Logistics.

    Legacy ammunition on hand, weapon training, existing troops trained on legacy weapons, a new weapon requires retraining and development of new training. Procurement, stocking and distribution of ammunition and spare parts for two weapons systems.

    These factors also make something like improved ammunition for existing weapons look more attractive than replacing an entire weapon system, including ammunition.

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    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAxe View Post
    Not to say there isn't bias, but typically they start with an Operational Requirements Document or an ORD. All development is directly tied to that document. It sets any parameters or specifications for development.
    ^^^^^^ There are aspects to military weapons development and procurement that are far more involved than most people will ever know.

    At the end of the day, much of it can be personality-driven and either go south or really well, depending on what groups of people end up working together on a project and what types of vendors respond to the solicitation.
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    It seems when a military has started with a blank slate, looking at various possible calibers or all of them, they end up at 6mm +/-. Sweden got 6.5mm at the beginning of the smokeless era. China more recently got...5.7mm I think?

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    Chieftain stanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howl View Post
    It seems when a military has started with a blank slate, looking at various possible calibers or all of them, they end up at 6mm +/-. Sweden got 6.5mm at the beginning of the smokeless era. China more recently got...5.7mm I think?
    5.8mm.



    FYI: In the 1890s, the US Navy started with a "blank slate" and created the 6mm USN round, for use in rifles and machine guns.



    In the 1970s, the US Army started with a "blank slate" and created the 6mm SAW round, for use in a squad automatic weapon.

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    6mm SAW pushing a 105gr at 2500fps doesn't need that long of a case to do that, but it looks like they wanted to use aluminum cases to reduce weight, and had to line the aluminum with coatings to prevent aluminum combustion.

    That resulted in a case with a 2.580" COL.

    That Ford Aerospace XM248 was a revolutionary LMG at every aspect of its design, with earlier versions designed to fire the 6x45 SAW. Its feed mechanism, recoil, overall layout, and parts count reduction were aggressive when looking at firearms design.

    The more I study it, the more I really like what they were doing.

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    Chieftain stanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRRPF52 View Post
    6mm SAW pushing a 105gr at 2500fps doesn't need that long of a case to do that, but it looks like they wanted to use aluminum cases to reduce weight, and had to line the aluminum with coatings to prevent aluminum combustion.

    That resulted in a case with a 2.580" COL.
    There were two different case lengths, with two different cartridge overall lengths. The aluminum case version (below, right) was 6x50mm, whereas the steel case version (below, left, and in the photo in my previous post) was 6x45mm. The shorter version was also made with brass cases.



    Quote Originally Posted by LRRPF52 View Post
    That Ford Aerospace XM248 was a revolutionary LMG at every aspect of its design, with earlier versions designed to fire the 6x45 SAW. Its feed mechanism, recoil, overall layout, and parts count reduction were aggressive when looking at firearms design.

    The more I study it, the more I really like what they were doing.
    Indeed. A pity it didn't go further.
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  12. #12
    Because the military procurement procedure has more to do with the correct application of hookers/blow + nepotism than with the actual need or merit of a given product.

    The Pentagon has "lost" how many trillions of dollars lately - plus the disaster that is the VA - should show you how little they think of the actual soldier and his/her needs.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator LRRPF52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharky47 View Post
    Because the military procurement procedure has more to do with the correct application of hookers/blow + nepotism than with the actual need or merit of a given product.

    The Pentagon has "lost" how many trillions of dollars lately - plus the disaster that is the VA - should show you how little they think of the actual soldier and his/her needs.
    From all of what I've been able to study over the past 4 decades, it's a little simpler than that when it comes to small arms, especially LMGs, and the OP's premise is a false one.

    There have been several clean slate approaches to cartridge design based specifically on stated performance requirements, with a lot of engineer and ODT&E involvement, to include man-firing and testing in the hands of both new and salty soldiers alike.

    The SCHV Rifle concept is one that actually gained traction and became the standard service rifle cartridge, despite all the odds stacked against it within Army Ordnance.

    Institutional resistance based on logistics is a very real concern with many valid points, especially considering that our allies will be pulled into the selection of a new service rifle or machine-gun cartridge.

    The .276 Pedersen, .224 SCHV, and 6mm SAW were about as clean slate as you'll ever see. Only the .224 SCHV rifle cartridge, the .222 Remington Special/AKA 5.56x45mm, was adopted en masse.
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  14. #14
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    I just bought the last one of these. I couldn't resist the price.
    I posted back in the spring how I would end up at 6x45.
    https://truesportingarmsllc.com/prod...18-br-tc-mach/

    This article influenced my decision. Now I need dies.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/6mm_military_cartridge.htm

    Would there be a potential safety problem or will 6x45 not chamber in a 5.56 chamber?
    I'm thinking it won't.
    Last edited by bj139; 12-17-2017 at 02:51 AM.

  15. #15
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    What's the cartridge in the middle? Looks like a 6x45 ackley?

  16. #16
    Chieftain stanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwh View Post
    What's the cartridge in the middle? Looks like a 6x45 ackley?
    6x45 Brunswick

    https://forum.cartridgecollectors.or...ridges/12119/9
    http://www.municion.org/6Mm/6x45Brunswick.htm
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  17. #17
    Chieftain stanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj139 View Post
    I just bought the last one of these. I couldn't resist the price.
    I posted back in the spring how I would end up at 6x45.
    https://truesportingarmsllc.com/prod...18-br-tc-mach/

    This article influenced my decision. Now I need dies.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/6mm_military_cartridge.htm
    6mm-.223 would not be my choice for a 6mm "main battle cartridge able to carry the goods to 600-800 meters in a suppressive fire mode from a machine gun, and to 500-600 meters from a rifle."

    If limited to 5.56x45 COL, I'd opt for the 6x41 (6.8 SPC parent case, shortened and necked down). Uses longer, more streamlined, higher BC projectiles than the 6x45, driven to faster velocities.

    Last edited by stanc; 12-17-2017 at 07:13 PM.
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  18. #18
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    The 6mm-223 would provide a noticeable increase in momentum (mass x velocity) while not having a very big weight penalty and would only be a barrel and ammunition change.

    In the article I posted, I don't think he says these would be useful for machine guns.

  19. #19
    Chieftain stanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj139 View Post
    In the article I posted, I don't think he says these would be useful for machine guns.
    From the article: "...main battle cartridge able to carry the goods to 600-800 meters in a suppressive fire mode from a machine gun..."

    He also wrote: "[6mm-223] should be able to drive an 85 grain bullet to 3000 fps. Its overall length, head size, case capacity, shoulder angle, etc. are identical to the current 5.56 NATO cartridge, so it could easily be adapted to current 5.56mm weapons merely by re-barreling."

    The current 5.56mm weapons used by the US Army have a 14.5" barrel length. I doubt that 6mm-223 could push an 85gr bullet to anywhere near 3000 fps from a 14.5" barrel. Maybe 2600 fps, if that.

    He followed with: "A FMJ 6mm bullet of boat tail spitzer form weighing 85 grains has an adequately high ballistic coefficient to make an excellent long range bullet..."

    I don't know of any company that offers an 85gr FMJ, but Sierra has a 90gr FMJ that was developed specifically for the 6mm-223, and its BC is a mediocre 0.376 in the range of 2100-2800 fps.

    Complicating matters further is that the article was written in 2002, long before lead-free bullets became mandated. Lead-free projectiles for 6mm-223 will either weigh less than 85gr -- and therefore have even lower BC, reducing long range capability -- or will have a much longer base, which will reduce powder capacity and muzzle velocity. This would be even worse for Tracer bullets, which are typically longer than Ball projectiles.

    There was a time when I thought 6mm-223 would be a good alternative to 5.56x45 (http://www.benning.army.mil/magazine..._4/06_pf01.pdf). But, it is just not the best option for an 800-meter cartridge.
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  20. #20
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    My bad. I didn't catch that since "from a machine gun" was on the next line.

    Hodgdenreloading.com shows an 85g bullet at 2800fps at 49,000psi from a 24" barrel.

    If loaded to the same pressure as 5.56 it might make 3000fps.

    Lead free projectiles are mandated? How about radioactive uranium free projectiles? I thought that was only in California.

    I agree that nothing is as good as the 30-06, except when you have to carry all the ammo and the rifle.

    There is no one best choice, just a series of compromises.

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