New Military Caliber Sparks Much (maybe too much) Debate


M4 Rifle Question Mark
New Military Caliber Sparks Much (maybe too much) Debate

Ft Collins, CO –-( Follow-up on my recent Military Rifle Calibers thoughts:

There has been much comment on this subject:

224 Valkyrie and 6.5 Creedmore are currently all the rage among long-distance, recreational shooters, but will just burn-up barrels in heavy-use, autoloading rifles, particularly in LMGs. And, out of short barrels, which the Pentagon likes, most advantages of these skinny screamers is negated.

Here's a new M1A from Springfield Armory. It's chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor.
Here’s a new M1A from Springfield Armory. It’s chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

Yet, I see Springfield Armory is now building their M1A in 6.5 Creedmore. Maybe they know something we don’t!

6.8SPC still makes a lot of sense and has more than a few fans!

300Blk makes some sense, at least from the standpoint of maximizing use of rifles and magazines in the current inventory.

7.62×51 (308) represents a great choice, with a great track-record. It is surely the best choice among all cartridges based on the 308 case, but many will see its selection as “going backward.”

7.62×39 (Soviet) is a great choice too, but out of the question, because of the “NIH” (Not Invented Here) Syndrome!

I suspect the Pentagon will want to get away from the Stoner system and go back to a gas-piston rifle.

However, I don’t think they will be asking any of us for our opinion!

I trust DOD is looking at this issue from more than just a long-range, target-shooter’s point of view!

“Yesterday’s ‘advanced weapons platform’ is today’s museum exhibit!” ~ Weapons designer’s axiom


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120 years old and still a proven shooter 6.5×55, 110 to 140 gr

Roy F. Wilt

Be Smart! Go back to the 30-06! It’s still the best round of the 20th-21st Centuries! The 7.62×51 was just a Bullshit way of making NATO Happy!

Jimmy Indy

The ballistics are nearly identical, at 1000yrds the 7.62×51 has 3moa more drop than a .30-06 with the same grain round.

Trent Wilson

We’re looking at introducing a cartridge to Gorilla ammo, who’s developing ammo for the US Army, that’s a modified 30-06 that shoots a 140gr 6.5mm bullet at 3700fps. Outshoots a 308, 30-06, and 300 Win Mag out to 1500 yards and more. The 30 cal rounds are dead.

William McAtee

I agree. I loved my 30.06 M1 Garand. Ditto for my WWI G.I. 1911. My favorite rifle and pistol, respectively. American made, the best.

Fred Mascetti

Can I just say what a aid to find someone who actually is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know easy methods to carry an issue to mild and make it important. Extra folks have to read this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant imagine youre not more standard because you undoubtedly have the gift.

phil morris

our US government credo , spending money we don’t have on stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like or care about , or how about if it aint broke don’t fix it , but I do like reading/seeing all of the great ideas/solutions to questions that haven’t been asked , good stuff 😉


I think the US military should approach this with a universal concept. Use the lower of the current M-4’s and M-16’s and use that incredible variety of uppers that are available and match the barrel to mission need. Clearly all the above suggestions have merit. Keep the 5.56 (SS-109 is my current favorite), 6.8 and some of the 7.62’s. The U.S Armed Forces has an incredible an logistics system.


I still feel since so many bcgs in 762, shrinking the 308 cartridge down to fit m4 sized rifle, blow out the shoulders weatherby style keeping a slight taper for ejection, neck to a 7mm, use 130grn cartridge, best overall midfange. Not the 500, 450, or 458 for cqb, but double the bullet weight in cqb vs 556 62 grn. Again, I think someone may have made something similar but not all characteristics. Someone said dod would never change from 556. 556 was chosen for 22 training round costs. Boom, there it is. Just like the Garand was chosen because… Read more »


Why has no one thought of the 25-06 ? It has more punch and speed short or long range. And can be necked from the. 30-06 or 270 would like to see what happens if the 25-06 was put in production. In AR10. It can’t be beat. Just a thought.MJK

Trent Wilson

The 25 caliber is outperformed, mightily, on either end by 6mm and 6.5mm options. The only two companies making -06 based AR platforms have both had issues with reliability, and that’ll never be fixed. If you want an -06 based cartridge, it’s either gonna be in a bolt action or a new Garand action. And in either of those, it’s again outperformed on either end by 6mm and 6.5mm options. In fact, I work for a company that makes an -06 based wildcat that’ll push a 100gr 6.5mm bullet at 3900fps or a 140gr 6.5mm bullet at 3700fps. These are… Read more »

Clifford Mechels

How about a 7.62 x 45mm cartridge with 130-150 grain bullet, puts it better than the 7.62 x 39 and lighter than 7.62 x 51.

Trent Wilson

Because that’s essentially 300 Blackout, and it has pathetic results outside of 100 yards. You don’t go to war with a round designed for subsonic use.

willy d

The biggest pain is that the 5.56 was designed for crowed control, never plan to buy one and have no interest in buying one, the bad taste in my mouth will never fade from Nam, first two firefights we got into I almost got killed, it didn’t take long to find a 60 and I carried it for 111/2 months, no problem, I would rather carry that than an M16, more fire power!!!!!! Oh it’s to heavy!!!!!


6.5 Grendel….. Outshoots 6.8spc all day long. Some people say, oh 6.8 has more velocity. Match bullet weight and 6.5 matches velocity with better long range ballistics. I have both and will pick up my Grendel first in any circumstances.

Jack Payne

Amen! Grendel 6.5 has my blessing!

Aaron Johnson

I like 7-08, or .243 my concern is the sectional density to give the next generation more penetration and flatter ballistics.
I used to have to carry the M60(late 90s), then I go to Iraq with the M-4! I hate the flimsy thin barrel in that. if you are clearing buildings I guess it’s ok, but a sub gun works way better. There is no truly perfect rounds or systems for all missions. The sopmod m4 was kitted to make it a bit more flexible, not perfect.

TF Green 82

Yeah problem is I happen to know FACTUALLY being not far from the Range 19 folks at Bragg that the Grendel has SUPPOSEDLY not only have some higher speed “upper echelon/top tier” type orgs have had the latitude, but almost always been “encouraged, but only so far…but always told to strive to INNOVATE in all areas–*I assume that meant ballistics’ terminal effects on even a wildcat?—and to think not just outside the box, but beyond it”…being reminded daily in NSW too…there are rounds downrange that have shown terminals “people couldn’t imagine have been fielded and not considered for adoption w/… Read more »

Jack Payne

I have 2 Grendels one for me and one for the person thats shooting with me. Its deadly, fun to shoot for any sex and age group. It performs great with a can. It shoots great in short barrels and is a lazer in a 20” barrel.
Low recoil means easy follow up shots. And a 26 rd clip is a lot of fire power!


Sorta leaning towards the 7mm-08 also. Sorry but forgot to mention this versatile round. I read a comment about us having to much invested in 5.56 and agree totally. I recommended a heavier bullet pushing out at 2,800-3,000 fps. And finding a way around the FMJ requirement. Maybe a SP or fragmenting round. As a Marine 0331, hauling around 7.62X51mm combat load isn’t so easy on a 20+ mile hump. The powers that be will no doubt keep the 5.56x45mm as our combat round. That’s my opinion. SF


We are going to get what ever the soon to be retired generals want because they all have guaranteed lobbyist jobs at whatever company they pick for whatever platform. My very close personal friends son is the general in charge of procurement of all systems in the army. He happens to be an honest person. However most others are relying on that dream consultant job. I would take 308 brass neck it to 7mm shrink it to fit ar15 mags. Run about 125 gr bullets. Make it hot so it has down range punch but not burn out barrels like… Read more »


For years I have been recommending the development of a .23-.24 carbine cartridge. I’m starting to think .224 may be a better alternative. I can see the M4 uppers getting a makeover. There is nothing wrong with the .223, but a .224 that can reach out to 1300 meters is nicer for SPR work in a 18″ Recce format. You lose a bit of velocity but it’s not that significant. Shorter projectiles could be used for CQB work. The 6.8SPC and .300 has no overall combat advantage over 5.56N to warrant the investment. Being able to engage the enemy accurately… Read more »


Same diameter of the .270 with shorter case. Used by the Navy Seals.


What about the 7mm 08 , it’s made here , can be made from 308 , less recoil , and is already in production with ballistic research. Oh yeah that’s right can’t be something that easy to pick.

Trent Wilson

What does the 7mm-08 do that isn’t surpassed by the 6.5 Creedmoor they just picked up? Shoots flatter, hits harder. Leave the 7mm-08 where it belongs….in a hunting rifle.


I’d start thinking of going up from .22 caliber and stop as soon as I get the performance I need. .24 or .25 maybe? You want to keep the recoil as low as possible so trainees start making hits sooner. The lightest ammo in the smallest caliber that erases the deficiencies of the .556 is the idea.


I have been shooting the 6.8 for about ten years now. I have two AR 15 rifles in that caliber and would not hesitate to use on deer. It’s a great hard hitting round and I would use it before my 5.56 rifles.

Jack Payne

(((((6.5 Grendel)))))

David Keith

I’d have to agree with the 6.8, but if you consider the type of shooting that is done in combat I don’t think there’s that great a need to switch calibers. Combat shooting is generally not carefully aimed. It’s more about putting a lot of rounds downfield. Anything beyond that is Sniper or Designated Marksman domain. However, if I was aiming in combat, I’m pretty sure I could kill an enemy combatant at 300 yards with a burst of three from a decent 5.56.


I’m happy with the M4 CARBINE.


I have to agree with most of what you write but take exception with the thought of guaranteed 300 yd. kills with selective fire. When the adrenaline starts pumping through your eyes and ears a guaranteed hit is no guarantee. With a 5.56X45 shot placement is real important to guarantee a kill. That’s the deficiency of the 5.56. I really can’t understand why our government doesn’t create a new platform for the 7.62X51 or modernize the millions of M-14 rifles stashed in various armories. For front line troops in “urban” combat (house to house) I would like to see a… Read more »


I’ve got an 6.8mm spc in AR 15 amazing accuracy. With the 110gr bthp it was the choice of the Navy Seals, maybe that should speak volumesfor this .270 short cartridge.

VIETNAM veteran.


I would love to see 7.62×51 in use I’ve Ben hunting elk with a .308 every year I have no problem killing elk with it and has anyone suggested .243 Winchester?

Adam E. Doyle

Have we forgotten about the 300 WIN Mag already?


That is a joke right?

Trent Wilson

The 300 WM is reserved for 1000-1500 yard engagements and has been surpassed by -06 based wildcats. It’s a dead cartridge.

Aaron Johnson

You are mistaken.

Trent Wilson

No I’m not. The 190 grain Berger OTM in the 300 Win Mag the military currently uses is surpassed by a round called the 260 Dingo. It shoots 140 grainers at 3700fps. Sorry butter cup, but there’s MUCH better options than the 30 caps. They’re dead in the long range world.

Troy Anderson

The 6. 8 is a way to go I’ve been shooting one for over 10 years the only thing you have to do to change over from a 5. 56 is changed the bolt the barrel and the mag and that’s it they’ve already built bullets becuase I bought a bunch of Lake City brass that had all the bullets pulled by the military and sold to civilians, before you say bad stuff about it try one and it might change your mind.

willy d

R K M prefer a fifty no walk away!!!!!!


You guys are all thinking in the past. Brass cased ammo is dead! There are already prototypes in long-term testing, both in assault rifles and SAWs, of the new caseless 6.5mm stuff. It weighs half anything brass-cased, wastes nothing except a plastic “sleeve” that holds the primer in contact with the powder, and they have figured out how to deal with the heat issues of melting the plastic sleeves. The future is caseless.


Exactly right!


If staying with the 5.55, a heavier bullet like 69-75 gr. out of a 1/7 barrel. I love the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.8 SPC. Charles Whitman used a 6mm back in 1966 to great unfortunate effect. All rounds are low recoiling and MOA accurate. With the trillions of 5.56 in our inventory, upping the projectile weight makes the most sense to me. Nix on the 300 Blackout and 300 WinMag only as recoil would effect accuracy with some except in sniper role. If changing caliber, 6.8 is my choice but hearing great stats on the Valkrie. Semper Fi.

Nathan Ross

Agree the .224 doesn’t perform well enough out of short barrels, although it would allow for the newly develop m855 a1 bullet to still be used. The move will probably be to a caseless sabot ammunition that can operate out of straight lands and grooves or smooth bore, which may be a great solutions to move away from rifles and into AOW. The potential for the consumer market would be substantial but the initial development cost without a military contact would price it out of the market and ammo availability would extemely limited initially.

JOhn Yuzamas

Spend the money on something else.


DOD wants a 30 caliber,but they argue with the Budget assessment group of the advantage over cost.5.56 is not that capable out past 1000 yards unless you get multiple hits or some vitals.Yet 5.56 will stay where it is for now.Dont see a change for another 7 years .

David Keith

Like anyone shoots at a 1000 yard target with a 5.56 in combat? Doesn’t happen unless guys are wasting ammo. There’s other shooters with the correct platform for long shots.


5.56 is not that capable ……period. It is a joke as a battle caliber.

Tim Acosta

I have engaged many targets with a 5.56 and at almost 3000 ft per second I find that it is accurate and deadly from 400 yards in. It does the job and you can carry a hell of a lot more than 7.62 ammo. The M16/M4 has saved my life on multiple occasions and it it required was lube and an occasional cleaning after about 350 rounds or so. With the new piston driven M4s I would assume that you wouldn’t have to clean them as much. The only thing I would suggest is change the actual bullet size from… Read more »


On Guns & Ammo TV was a piece about how the Army snipers are using the 6.5 Creedmoor right now.


Sniper rifles are considerably different than what is used in a normal combat situation.


I like the 260 Rem and the 7mm-08, both built on the 308 Win. case.

David Keith


Trent Wilson

260 has been outperformed by the 6.5 Creedmoor for years. It’s the lack of seating depth that kills it. You cannot load anything above 130 grains without eating powder capacity.


The grendle is not reliable enough for mil use,feeding issues, bolt breakage issues, none bad enough to say it is bad cartage for target and hunting, but high volume mil shooting to many problems keeping grendel running. Should look at 6.5 or 6mm based on 6.8 spc case, or develop high bc bullet in 6.8.


Not entirely true….Here’s a high speed fella that will say he’s had feeding issues w/.22 Nosler. the usual green tip 5.56mm lighter gr boys we all know, the VALKYRIE which was designed by guys he (and yeah it’s random as hell enough, but even I’ve been acquainted w/two of these fellows who were at it’s start from a SHOT yrs ago….as they’re just down the road., we got talking about winning the SOTIC challenge among another NATO team…(i.e I’m referring to those in an older group at the AMU–just to those who aren’t familiar–& these astonishingly sharp, innovative folks who… Read more »

Jack Payne

6.5 Grendel is hard to beat!Recoil or the lack of it for follow up shots is huge. Light weigh is huge. Fire power is huge. Short barrels is huge. Money of changing the upper and not the hole gun save tax dollars.

E. Bryan Hoover

Forward Defense Munitions looks interesting.
This is a new firearms technology – not – repeat NOT – a caliber.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything the DOD does.
Both in terms of new firearm technology, and, in terms of caliber.


Farnam, nobody’s talking about this but you.
And you’re not contributing anything.
This article has more exclamation points than coherent statements.

Victor J Kelly, Sr

Hey — If the military goes to a new caliber/platform, maybe the hysteria over the AR-15/M4 “assault” rifle will start to fade. One lives in hope.


I don’t see anything wrong with going to an AR 10/AR 308 platform, full auto(maybe) 3 round burst, semiautomatic modes. Arm half the squad with this type of rifle. Ammo magazines all readily available! I guess people are prone to reinvent the wheel.

David Keith

Have you ever humped with a thousand rounds of 7.62 ammo? If so, you’d know why it’s not a good pick. Also they’re would never be two different calibers in the same unit for the basic combat rifle. It would be an absolute fuck up waiting to happen.


This is a terrible article. Poor opinions and no facts anywhere in the article. How did someone let this get posted from ammoland? Also there is a lot of reasons they will not go back to .308 and 7.62×39 is an ok caliber but definitely not an improvement over anything current. 5.56 and .308 will remain in the military inventory for a very long time, you may see another caliber added but doubtful you’ll see any removed. 77 grain 5.56 if a very worthy caliber for a fighting rifle. Yes I have personal experience with this matter.


Not arguing with you at all, but if your looking for facts an opinion article isn’t the place to find them. I just saying don’t jump on the guy for expressing his opinion and not backing it up with facts, that’s why it’s his opinion

Jack Lea Mason

Inside sources in the German military indicate they are giving 300 BK/Whisper a serious look. RUAG is tooling up for it too.

Robert K Martin

Nice Piece,Now deploy 100K of these to our Southern US Boarder!


I’m with you on that one. Here in Green Bay if you do a walk through on a job interview its filled up with Mexicans. You & I are being deliberately phased out for dirt cheap labor. CEO makes 280 X what make & swap spit with the devil snorting coke all fucking day. GO BACK HOME, KILL OFF MS13 ANDFIX YOUR OWN COUNTRY. STOP DESTROYING MY COUNTRY


Another operation fast and furious , Great .

Brett banks

Of course “Fernando’ a MEXICAN has a snide reply. I agree with Russell. Kill off MS13 scum


At Nottinghill….. Whatever happened to Metal Storm from yrs back? I believe an Australian invented it.
Vids on YouTube from at least 15 yrs ago, maybe 20.


One overlooked caliber ( your going to laugh) the 25-45 sharps. The only thing you need is a barrel swap from the .556, and the ammo just needs necked up to 25 cal. . You get the same range as the 556 and a hevier bullet down range with more velocity. So the military doesn’t have to much of a curve to relearn the wepons or caliber plus more knock down power with great accuracy. But this will never be looked at. But the 6.5 Grendel is no slouch either it would be a good round also. Just saying.


I agree. Been loading and shooting the 25-45 sharps now for about six months. Great round. Will take a fat doe with it this fall. All it took was a barrel swap and a new set of dies.


Totally agree. The 25-45 LOVES the 110gr FTX bullet, gives 2600fps, and 1.5 MOA accuracy, using existing current technology and parts. Not that it matters to DOD, but brass last almost forever.


.250 Savage performance with the same chamber, case and magazine has a lot to offer. What bullet size? 87 grains or something heavier?


Check out the .30 Apache. Better round with more stopping power at close range.

Trent Wilson

25 caliber isn’t known for anything over a couple hundred yards. They’ll step up to 26 or down to 24, which both have 1000+ yard accuracy.


The Military is not changing from 5.56mm.
– Too much invested.
– NATO commitment to a standard Caliber (556, 762, and 9)

Nice click bait. Springfield make what they make cause civilians buy with the trend…..

Do you do conspiracy theories too????


The original Stoner system was piston driven. Some parts were swappable between 7.62 & 5.56.
Maybe revisiting this system is worth a look.


6.8 SPC has better (longer= better mag follower support) case design for military auto feed guns and mags. Barrel life extended over the 6.5 or Valkyrie. Accuracy and range on par with the 6.5 Grendel. Piston driven would be a plus but more expensive to produce. They will give the nod to the 6.8 direct gas sytem.


No they won’t. You will never see 6.8 in the US military.

Troy Anderson

I have 600 6.8 military brass lake city, also 300 sierra 90 gr. boat tail pulled from them demilitarized. You could take a M4 change the barrel bolt and mags and shoot it 6lbs 270, not a 11 lbs ar.
Just try 1 you might be supersized for the better.

Mick Kelly

6.8 SPC?
Isn’t this the .280 British that America rejected in 1947?

Sadly Winston Churchill abandoned the .280 project to appease (NATO) in 1951 and both countries lost a calibre that had a huge potential.

Trent Wilson

No, because 6.8mm is .277 and .280 is .284.

Paul Michniewicz

6.5 Grendel .AR platform piston driven. Effective round very little re training for troops and armorer.


Weighty Tricky Firearms ?


I thought the 6.5 Grendel had the best of the long and short worlds.


6.5 Grendel for the win !!! Winning performance long and short range and in the same size and weight rifles.


Agreed. Even in a short-barreled config (12.5″) it is super sonic to just past 1000Y, hit with twice the energy of 5.56 62gr at 500Y. There would need to be come work on mags. Yes, some folks have good experience with mags. I’ve tried just about every option out there and some are decent, most are passable to not great. I would not want to equip out troops with any of the mags I’ve used (AA originals, AA E-Landers, CPD, ASC, RZE, Stoner, PRIs subbed for 6.5). I’ve had better luck running 6.5s in CPD x39 mags than most of… Read more »

Jack Payne

I have 2 Grendels No feeding issues. anyone that has one in 6.5 Grendel understands why this is the best gun to put in the hands of the military. Kids love this gun! It does everything well. And if the right parts are used it runs like a Swiss watch!

Donald M Durst

If it’s not broke don’t fix it!


@citizenX: Yes! That is it. (That’s the ticket!) Forward Defense Munitions L5 Rifle. That is the way the Armed Forces will go.
Thanks brother!


Hmmmm… with that said. I guess the DOD is going to go with a 6.5mm powder-less round in setup like the rifle demo at this years 2018 Shot Show. I can’t remember the name but I do remember that it used stack auto feeding rounds fired electronically from up to four vertical barrels all milled and billeted from one solid piece of steel. It was MIGHTY IMPRESSIVE.
Anyone remember the name of the Mfg.?


Forward Defense Munitions I think.


I think it would be a long way off before something like that was considered. Found the link: