New Military Caliber as 5.56×45 Sunsets


New Military Caliber as 5.56x45 Sunsets
New Military Caliber as 5.56×45 Sunsets

Ft Collins, CO –-( Caliber Controversy!

After decades of piously assuring us the 5.56×45 round was “adequate” for military purposes, despite mounting complaints (unsatisfactory range and penetration), dating back to Vietnam, the Pentagon has apparently finally changed its mind.

In spite of a dreary series of failed “wonder bullets” that have, every few years, come forth to “upgrade” the 5.56 round, faith that the 5.56 can ever be “adequate” is fading!

Just as the Marines are buying the HK 416 (M27), a gas-piston AR (in 5.56×45 caliber), to replace aging M4s, Congress and the Army are putting the breaks on that project.

After fifty years of pointless hope that the 5.56×45 round might really be “adequate,” a new, bigger military caliber may now be about to make its debut!

When the AR (in 5.56×45 caliber) first reared its head, and garnered the attention of then Secretary of Defense McNamara, it was slated to gradually replace only the M1 Carbine, never the M1 Garand, later the short-lived M14.

The M1 Carbine, manufactured by the millions during WWII, was originally intended only for rear-area defense and police actions. It was never intended to be a front-line, battle rifle, although it eventually found its way into every corner of the campaign during WWII and Korea.

When I was in Vietnam in 1968, M1 Carbines were still around in large numbers. I saw (and used) plenty of them.

Yet, the AR (in 5.56×45 caliber) somehow eventually became the main, battle rifle of all US Forces, and remains in that status to this day. This, despite continuous misgivings about its adequacy that have been desperately voiced since Vietnam.

Up until now, the Pentagon as assured us that these qualms about adequacy were all in our imaginations!

That is apparently about to change.

Of course, the Pentagon will never admit they’ve been wrong all this time. They’ll simply say “It’s time to move on.”

It was “time to move on” fifty years ago!

Stay tuned!



About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc

As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

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“breaks on that project”

There is no such object as a “break”. Not on a car, a muzzle, or something in motion. It’s not a noun.


all of a sudden got to have english lit degree to squeeze the trigger … and LOOK good doing it.

maybe that looking better part is why they opt’d to allow efeminates on the battlefront

Gregory Romeu

@byproduct, That’s a PsyOps issue… Do you actually think that the enemy would want to shoot at a bunch of college aged American hotties?

Speaking of which, why isn’t there already a Military Hotties reality TV show?

Gregory Romeu

@RattlerJake…. OMG! Even MORE information to support my RESEARCH! We forgot all about U.S. Air Force’s Lemay!

But in ALL honesty, I MUST INQUIRE…. Just WHO gave YOU all of your, “worldly knowledge” on the birth of the M-16 Rifle?


Ok gregory, and exactly where did I say anything about the “Air Force” not being involved in the adoption of the M16? From the replies you get it’s pretty obvious that no one agrees with your blabbering. \In this case there is an entire article devoted to the specifics of how the M16 was adopted by the Air Force and THEN Secretary McNamara who was also a fan of the AR-15 stopped all new procurements of the M14 rifle and the following year, ordered the Corps to work with every branch of the military to adopt the AR-15 rifle as… Read more »

Jim Macklin

Picture of JFK in the White House inspecting an M16 with a General Clinton holding a crossbow. General Curtis LeMay saw the M16 and want it for SAC for USAF to guard the B52s. McNamara was behind the “new” gun and rushed it through military acceptance. In tests with commercial ammunition loaded with IMR stick powders the gun ran w/o getting so dirty cleaning was not an issue. But shortages of IMR powder resulted in a change to easier and faster to manufacture ball powder. Ball powder left more carbon residue and combined with the high humidity in Vietnam jungles… Read more »


Didn’t I just say that? Or were you responding to braindead Gregory!

Gregory Romeu

@RattlesJake, I never made that statement. Back off your alcohol or drugs, clear your brain and READ what, “I” wrote. Not what you imagined I wrote!


for libtard gun-control d-suckers: i carry a fully semi-automatic “defense” pistol, you useless, stupid mf’s.

Gregory Romeu

Drop a trick trigger Into that sucker so you can rock-n-roll when the moon is full!


Gregory: That’s funny,….I have been shooting my 300 Blackout with 223 mags for years now without any problem. ……… Am I just lucky?

Gregory Romeu

@subguy, if you’re responding to me you’re going to have to send me the link to the posting that you’re referring to because I can’t find it on here?

Lee Goodwin

Should be the same case, should feed just fine, maybe loads have too much overall length.?


.224 VALKERIE!! GO!!! 90gr 1000yd. DEATH!!
{NO new LOWERS needed – only UPPERS).


Somebody been watching way too many Tom Berenger: Sniper movies. Snipers do not win battles or wars. Overwhelming force, the best tactics and strategy and the most advanced tech & equipment does however when properly applied.

The Revelator

@Nottinghill You know, For someone who referenced fiction as a reason to claim validity for his own argument, you might want to look up actual history and facts before making blanket statements. You see had it not been for snipers, or had British snipers been more effective we might have lost the revolutionary war. Washington’s reluctance to settle for anything less than European style line infantry was a large factory in our early struggles during the Revolutionary war. The backwoodsmen coming out of Tennessee and western Pennsylvania with their squirrel and deer rifles, along with Washington’s reluctant admittance to a… Read more »

Lee Goodwin

Here’s what I have gleaned from the web .264 USA appears to be designed from the outset for composite metallic polymer cartridge case configuration. 264 USA may be a shortened 35 remington case.? The 264 USA has 46 grains H2O case capacity. Similar to 280 Brit.? With a composite plastic and brass case (telescoped?), the 107 grain 264 USA (CTA = composite telescoped ammo?), is nearly as light as the brass case 5.56, 13.6 grams to 12 grams respectively. The 556 being lighter. Recoil: 264 USA (6.5×48) = 10.5 to 11.5 lb/ft 6.5 grendel = 8.5 5.56×45 = 4.1 6.8… Read more »

Dan Schwager

Teach your people one shot one kill, you won’t need to carry 1000’s of rounds. The 308 in AR platform works just fine.

Gregory Romeu

Sure! We will just drop aerial messages telling everyone to stand still and never be more than 500 yards away…


Nice fail. Last time I checked, AR10s in 308 have been used past 1000 yards with boring accuracy. You really don’t know shit about guns, do you?


The ‘AR’ platform rifles will not be dismissed immediately. They will be phased out. America’s new rifle WILL BE a cartridge-less weight reduced multi-barreled rifle platform that will maximize projectiles carried and fired per trigger pull while incorporating state-of-the-art accessories. The caliber will be between 6.5 and 6.8, favoring the 6.5. Bullet weights will be between 90 – 140. Most likely they will settle on a 115 – 130grn projectile speed of 3100 – 3400 fps for both long range, amour piercing and specialty H/E applications (including in/on projectile guidance systems). Rifles and pistols will use the same calibers. Servicemen… Read more »

Lee Goodwin

What is the new propellant gonna be?

Gregory Romeu

I want massive amounts of the dope that YOU are taking!!!


Don’t you know that weapons that use electromagnetic forces to accelerate a projectile take massive amounts of electrical power & are very inefficient. Why do you think that the Zumwalt class of destroyers have more that twice the electric power generation than required to propel the vessel at flank speed. Check out the Navy’s rail gun prototype. Only nuclear reactions release more energy per unit mass than chemical reactions.


i think they are gonna stick with some newer gun powders as a propellant, with half polymer cases. 130 grain projectiles sounds good. 2800 plus fps outta do it.

Lee Goodwin

Found this looking up Eugene Stoner,

We left with 72 men in our platoon and came back with 19, Believe it or not, you know what killed most of us? Our own rifle. Practically every one of our dead was found with his (M16) torn down next to him where he had been trying to fix it.

— Marine Corps Rifleman, Vietnam.[65][66]

Gregory Romeu

Yep! Ball powder and dirt jambing the bolt carrier groups and no forward assist to aid in forcing the by carrier groups home so they could clear whatever jambs they had to get back into the fight.

Now we have cleaner burning propellants and a forward assist along with all the other multitudes of accessories and items that we can utilize to improve the M16 M4 AR-15 platform as well as LSA and the proper cleaning gear.

Lee Goodwin

Cleaner burning propellants, and, some really hot propellants. Hodgdon super performance is one I have tried. It is little balls, meters well, and I have flattened some primers I unintentionally in a 30.06 . Scary hot powder, but, higher pressures by far. The military may have some blended powders or solid propellants that are duplex? Superperformance powder is for larger cases and lighter projectiles going 200 + fps faster than before. The battle field calls for a different setup? Smaller volume and lighter weight ammo sending heavier bullets faster…tough combo. That and a perfected AR style platform could be the… Read more »

Jim Macklin

The Vietnam War M16 and the ammunition was an experiment. They did not even issue a cleaning kit or a maintenance manual. The change from IMR to WW ball powder, the raw steel chambers and a host of other problems made the M16 a bad rifle. The last half century has has the M4 a different beast. Is it perfect? Hell no! WWIII was supposed to be fought with airplanes, missiles and tactical nukes. The battlefield was supposed to be city clearing and jungles. But we’re in mountain to mountain 600-1,000 yard battles Our enemies now wear body armor. Our… Read more »

Lee Goodwin

I vote m14 .308 but not sub sonic, as in less than the speed of sound, at the muzzle. 2800 plus fps at the muzzle sounds good.


The M14 was the product of NATO standardizing on one cartridge and the Ordinance Corps being hidebound & sabotaging rifle trials. The Army didn’t want an intermediate cartridge like the British 284. The 7.62X51 is shorter than the 30-06 however it has essentially the same ballistics by using higher chamber pressure. Then for the stated reason they could use the same arsenal tooling as the M1 Garand they developed the M14 which is basically an M1 with detachable box magazine & select fire. In auto mode the M14 is totally uncontrolable; since the barrel is not direct inline with the… Read more »

The Revelator

@ JD Try this. The weight of a M14 is around 9 pounds 4 ounces. The FAL comes in at 9 pounds 8 ounces. This is unloaded weight. Fully loaded both are right around 11 pounds. The FAL was never designed for the 7.62×51 cartridge, but was adapted due to the aforementioned nato requirements much like the original development of the Garand rifle. Two rifles, similar weight, same cartridge, and…. Wait for it. SAME ISSUES! Both rifles had the same problems with fully automatic fire when they originally came out, both used the same cartridge, and both were roughly the… Read more »

Lee Goodwin

Whatever new cartridge the service comes with will hopefully be at least 6mm to 7mm. I would think 260 Remington makes sense related to the parent .308 case. It seems like the m14 platform would work just fine. I can see the service keeping the 5.56 and the m4 platform for what it does best. I have noticed that powders have improved significantly in the last decade. Projectiles have gotten better also. It is imperative that our warriors get the best equipment we can provide. And, we as a nation have to be ready to change, adapt and prepare ourselves… Read more »


The M14 platform is a POS as an assault rifle. I shot it once in auto mode in BCT in 1969. Even the range officer couldn’t control it in auto mode. I believe it is where the term pray & spray came from. If the cartridge selected won’t fit in an M16 form factor rifle an AR10, FN/FAL or HK rifle or something new would have to be used. The SCAR Heavy is too heavy for the grunt. The advantage of the AR10 platform is the manual of arms is the same as M4/M16.

Gregory Romeu

You covered ALL the angles… Good job! That must be why we have the rifles and tooling to Tiawan?

Gregory Romeu

Have = gave Damn we hate not being able to edit our postings!

The Revelator

@Ammoland The only thing I question with concern about such a system is whether or not it will allow those who routinely commit to falsehoods to go back and alter or altogether delete comments as a means of covering it up. We currently have accountability, as each man’s words remain unedited for all to see, with date and time stamped prominently on the forefront. When outright lies or hypocrisy are displayed and pointed out, will they now be able to go back, edit, or delete the evidence so they may then feign ignorance or denounce those that called them out… Read more »

The Revelator

@ Greg

Surprised no one bothered to point out the basic difference between “Assault Rifle” and “Battle Rifle”, much less the sheer duplicity of citing The FN/FAL platform as it was never designed to handle the 7.62 and thus had the exact same issue with recoil as was cited being the downfall of the M14. So many words.

El Mac

Oh wow….an untrained cat speaking about an experience he had almost 50 years ago…blisteringly ignorant. But it did make me laugh Forest.


Old Marine >>> DJ Funny that you call the m14 A “POS” when most snipers used it for their backup and night time rifle. I think their experience and choice makes your statement immaterial. True they didn’t use the full auto position but other than that still a great weapon that is known today as th M!A!… A dam good rifle.This is basically the third version of the M1 Garand that proved good in three wars and still one of the most dependable rifles ever made. With Iron sights its’s good even to 600-800 yards and with a scope I… Read more »


I believe you misread what was said, although I totally agree that calling the M14 a “POS” for any reason is ignorant. JD was referring to it as an “assault” rifle, when it was actually designed and called a “Battle” rifle.
The M14 is one of the best rifles ever produced and is the weapon I learned with in Special Forces Sniper School in the early 80’s – it was called the XM21 (M14, floated, with ART1/2 scope. Later we switched to the M24 (Remington 700 bolt action). Biggest problem with the M14 being an “assault” weapon is the weight.


The 7.62X51 is not an intermediate cartridge which is an essential part of the description of an assault rifle. The StG44, the prototypical assault rifle, was chambered in the 8mm Kurz.
The US hasn’t fought in a conflict like WWII since WWII; so, a Battle Rifle hasn’t been appropriate & what possible conflict in the future is there where the squad members will need them? If the Wehrmacht had been equipped with StG44’s VE Day would have occurred at a latter date.
The Germans lost in Russia for the same reason as Napolean did, weather & overextended resupply lines.

Lee Goodwin

Tonight I get down on my knees and pray that the Pentagon chooses a new military battle cartridge that is the 6.5×47 Lapua, or something as powerful, or more powerful.
140 grain 6.5 mm high BC projectile going 2600 to 2700 fps. ~50,000 CUP pressure.

Gregory Romeu

It pretty much runs neck-to-neck with the 308 which is already in service. The cost effectivity and availability of brass tosses the 6.5×47 out the window.

Lee Goodwin

260 remington?
6.5 grendel?
243 Winchester?
6mm Lee Navy?
6.5 carcano aka 6.5 creedmore?
6.5mm in the 223/5.56 case?
.337 LEEroy?
130 to 160 grain projectile going plenty fast…

Jeff Larson

About 4 yearss ago, the Army sent out an RFP for ammo in .264 USA that had to meet the following specs: “2,875 ft/s with a 107gr lead-cored Sierra HPBT from a 16.7″ barrel, or 2,657 ft/s with a 123gr Sierra from the same length” As much as everyone would like to be able to carry around a fully automatic 30-mm cannon, there are limits on how much recoil the typical soldier can be trained to handle, and to how much ammo by weight he can hump. The Army Marksmanship Unit put a lot of study into just what improvements… Read more »

Gregory Romeu

The Army has been sucking BILLIONS of taxpayer money over these bloated, innefective boondoggles! It’s time to lett the Marine Grunts make these we decisions! We can no longer afford the Army’s ignorance in small arms.

El Mac

Ah, you mean the same crew (Marines) that gave us that musket called the M16A4? Ha. That’s funny right there.

Gregory Romeu

@El Mac-aroni, if it wasn’t for the Army Special Forces and cohesion with the u.s. Air Force and the Ordnance Corps monkeying everything up by accepting and using ball powder in the original M16, the Marines would have never seen them. You should pull your head out of your ass from time to time you would be able to breathe better and actually do your research.


Gregory, you’re an idiot. Ball powder was being used in military small arms as early as WWII (civilian small arms in the 60s). Special Forces had nothing to do with the Army adopting anything prior to the ’80s; SF always got the short end of the stick when it came to supplies and equipment, that’s why we were always known as the guys who could do the most with the least! Why don’t you provide us with a link to the information to prove your claim.

Gregory Romeu

@RatfuckJake, I am pretty self assured that the mass population will believe that BRITTANICA holds a wee bit more intelligence than you’ll ever be able to squeeze into your dumb ass!

Gregory Romeu

@Rattlerjake or, RatFuck.
It’s called RESEARCH Eienstien!

It must really suck being you? Here you stupid ass!

Gregory Romeu


By the way did your strange Uncle Bob give you that nickname “RattlerJake”

here’s just one more out of the thousands of links available proclaiming the same information I already posted.

You should check with your Uncle Bobby and let him know when the butt hurt stops?


By the way gregory, it’s Einstein!

Every article you provided makes the same generalized statement and NONE of them provide a source for their claim. But you believe what you want to, it’s obvious by your constant ad hominem attacks on most of the people on this site. You sound like a leftist troll! You’ve been called out on most of the crap you replied with! Compared to you I am an Einstein!


a very few army & marine & other nco’s could work this out if there was no interference from countless, useless d-suckers who have to their “stamp” of approval on everything

Wild Bill

@Lee G, I really love my 6.5 Lapua, but I don’t necessarily think that it will be considered for a US Army round, the Fins can’t afford the bribe.
@GR, Cost effectiveness would not eliminate the 6.5 Lapua cartridge from potentential US Military use.


The 6.5 Creedmoor beats the Lapua crap day in, day out. I’m loading the new 150 grain MatchKing to 2950fps+ depending on powder.


Just read an article on Wilson Combats new .300 HAMR cartridge. MAY just be the ticket for a new military cartridge. Uses reworked .5.56 brass, same BCG, same mags, etc…. Just a barrel change required.


Same considerations favoring .300 Blackout. Or is .300 HAMR just a souped up Blackout?

Lee Goodwin

As an aside, Charles Lindbergh was on an island in the Pacific during WW2, the enemy was staying just outside of the kill zone of the aircraft we were flying due to refueling needs, running out of gas. A mechanic noticed Lindbergh’s always came back with extra fuel in it. As it turns out Lindbergh knew how to increase manifold pressure to get longer fly time and greater distance. He taught the pilots how to safely do it on their craft and for a while we caught the enemy by surprise and bombed the fuck out of them. As I… Read more »

Jim Macklin

Lindberg was an officer in the Army Air Corps prior to WWII. His activities against going to war again in Europe resulted in his resigning his commission.. When then war started FDR refused to let him join up again. Henry Ford hired him as a civilian test pilot. Lindbergh kept a War Diary which covers his combat “test flights.” These were illegal since he was a civilian. He also would have been an ACE if he still held his rank. Aircraft engines RPM is controlled by the propeller. A quick and dirty rule of thumb was to not exceed manifold… Read more »

Gregory Wilson

Untrue it requires a Barrel change plus the 300 Blackout magazine. The regular .223/5.56 won’t work.

Gregory Romeu

You bitch and moan about the guy making 1 literary mistake and here I’m residing in a remote location having to use speech to text technology on a cellphone to communicate and and regardless how it looks on this end, by the time I hit the send button there is absolutely NO guarantee how it will come out on the other end or whether it will please everybody? For people so sensitive to perfection, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “Go f’ck yourself!”

ed hines

I do not know if anyone has commented from this perspective yet. If so then disregard but there were some reasons for the 5.56/7.62 adoption of the time. 1. Testing of the day: given the adoption process of the day, there may/may not have been adequate ballistics testing. Also, politics might have gotten in the way. Without getting into the weeds on the “Why” ill continue with a more current issue. 2. Lessons learned: Whichever caliber was adopted, the U.S. military has a rule that it uses to guide the thought process on all other small arms testing. Its a… Read more »


The DOD doesn’t have any infrastructure to mfg. small arms and ammunition post Vietnam. These are all made by publically traded or private corporations.


Old Marine >>> ed hines
Who are you ? need to get in touch with you I will exchange info unusual situation.

Mike Settles, SGM, AUS, Ret.

1. I expect that DoD will, once again, change nothing about the 5.56mm ammo we currently use – except perhaps to go back from the copper M855A1 round to the (now) venerable M855, because it’s cheaper and more accurate. 2. That having been said, perhaps into the mix of suggested different calibers (I do like the Grendel for a 5.56mm replacement) we can add a change in bullets. Try a heavier match-grade bullet in 5.56mm: No need to change the firearms (though it WOULD perform better out of a 16 inch as opposed to a 14.5 inch barrel), and would… Read more »

The Revelator

@Mike Settles The heavy bullet theory for the 5.56 has been looked into before, particularly the 75 and 77gr loads. Results have been so-so. While I love the 300 blackout, its designed purpose was to replace submachine guns, increase modularity, reduce training, and improve logistics. It was not meant for a front line battle rifle, it is purpose driven. Meanwhile, the 6.8SPC is an ideal cartridge and a perfect performance envelope, but to effectively use it would require a new rifle built around the chambering itself. Not something a country twenty trillion dollars in debt can realistically look at. I… Read more »

Jim Macklin

There are thousands of aluminum alloys. Pure aluminum is highly resistant because the top layer of molecules oxidize and protect the metal from further corrosion. Some alloys do corrode more because some of the metals in the alloy. Steel cases rust and must be protected by plating, painting or waxing. I think that BLASER Aluminum cases have a sound track record. Brass is expensive and brass corrodes too. Brass is also heavy. Brass and copper were the best for drawing cartridge cases from 1860 to 1940. Then steel was used because brass and copper [ copper being te primary metal]… Read more »


I know that the guns and ammo are heavy, but I’ll stay with my .30-06 and .308s.
I know that when you hit something with either one of those rounds, it stays down especially at the distances we have to play with today.
Those rounds will go through most doors and walls.
For close in work, from experience, I prefer a 12 gauge!
End of story!


i’m hoping for the switch to be 6.8spc, even tho they already looked it over before this decision came up
of all the ar15 compatible cartridges I’ve tried it seems to be the best for putting down 100-150lb+ bambi beyond 300 yards, no tracking is friggin sweet! especially body shooting em on kill permits, when you are shooting 2-7 a night

Troy D

How about 25 cal or 6mm with improved SPC case in AR platform …..more lethality in small package

Mike B

How about that 25-45 sharps!


25/45 first non 223/556 ar15 cartridge I tried on kill permit, 2nd was 277 wolverine and so on, I went thru 7 different cartridges before settling on the 6.8spc for high volume bambi and I hope DOD does too and for the same reasons!


I’m guessing that the choice will come down to cost, The green eyeshades types will militate for anything that costs less. That’s the death knell for 7.62 NATO or 6.5 Creedmore as neither round is compatible with the M4 sized lower receiver. I’m partial to .30 caliber, so, if it’s suitably powerful or can be made so, I lean toward .300 Blackout. Besides requiring only a barrel change, the round is compatible with the billions of magazines already owned by the armed forces. And since it uses an enlarged .223 case, there’s no loss of magazine capacity.

Jim Macklin

The 300 Blackout is 7.62×35 and the .221 Fireball is the parent case. Powder charges are limited by case volume. The .223/5.56×45 will hold about 40% MORE powder by volume. The 300 BLK is a short range cartridge pushed to its limits. It is in the power range of a 357 handgun. A 300 BLK SBR would be ideal for arming school teachers, Soldiers might need to shoot people 1/2 mile away and the 300 BLK just isn’t suitable. The 6.8 SPC is a Winchester 270 which is a necked down 30/06 or 7.62×63 or 6.8×63. A 7.62×51 NATO is… Read more »


If the parent case is 221 Fireball how come if you don’t want to buy new 300BO brass you fabricate it from 223 brass? The 200 300BO cases I bought on sale from Midway came in blister packs & have a 223 headstamp. There are several YouTube videos showing the process of turning 223 cases into 300BO cases. 1st the 223 case neck is cut off. 2nd these are resized using 300BO resizing die. 3rd the cases are trimmed to the correct length.

Jim Macklin

5.56×45 brass aka .223 Remington is cheap. Forming a case begins with shortening the case from 45 mm to 40 mm. Then it is run into a .223 full length sizing die to set the shoulder back and create the neck. The expander rod sizes the inside diameter of the neck and if te neck outside diameter is too big, the case neck is reamed or turned and the case is trimmed to 35 mm.
Starting with commercial 221 Fireball reduces the reaming or turning. Spend a little money and save time and tooling costs.


You can buy 300BO brass formed from 223 brass for less than 221 Fireball brass. If money is more valuable than time go the range brass 223/556 route. Actually if one is concerned about the possibility of case neck thickness use only 223 brass.


First off, yes, it is time for a different round than what DOD is currently using. But everyone must understand what the overall intent was for using the 5.56 x 45 round. Tom Votaw is correct on everything he said, but there is one more reason the military went to 5.56; lethality. They were not trying to kill the enemy, only wound them. The premise was this: if you kill 10 fighters you take 11 out of the fight; the 10 dead and the one who stays behind to evac the bodies. If you wound 10 fighters (presumably enough to… Read more »


You are assuming that the enemy forces are inclined to evacuate the dead and wounded. In some cases, they may just leave them on the field when they withdraw or, if wounded, kill them.
They may even think that because we are the “good guys”, we’ll pick up their wounded and dead, then “booby-trap” them.
Not all enemy nations/forces behave according to the Geneva Convention.


Just switch uppers,,go to AR-10,,,No excessing training,,,Plenty of ammo to be found,,, Don’t have to re-train everybody..And plenty of power

Timothy Barker

You can not just add an AR10 upper to a M4 lower. No offense but educate yourself before for giving advice or opinions on a subject.

Anthony Lambert

The 6.5 Grendal would be a good replacement.. Can use the same AR platforms.

Jerry James Sanchez

Yes, I think the military should adapt to this round. Being prior military myself and owning several ar’s chambered in 6.5. The Grendel shoots out flat to 3-4 hundred yards and is a good round between the 5.56 and 308. Penatration is better and the ability to carry extra ammo is key. I think this is the best AR round to date.


I like the grendal but i would have them redesign lowers and skightly larger mag to fit rounds better to be more reliable

Jason Gunn

I think they should consider the 300 Blackout. Only have to change the barrel. Cheaper and a better penatrating round into the human body.

Jeff Larson

Perhaps they will adopt the .264 USA.

Jim Macklin

The M14 has a switch at the rear on the receiver to select full auto or semi. The switch was removed by most commanders. The M14 has a high cyclic rate, a stock that does little to moderate recoil and muzzle rise. The M14 has a flashhider and needs a muzzle brake.
An AR geometry is better for handling recoil. By using a heavy buffer the cyclic rate is slower and a burst or 3 shot trigger prevents the rifle firing the whole magazine in one 3 second, 20 round waste.


This is an impressive amount of derp here. Thank you restoring my faith that there is still gun store, mall commando talk on the internet. And here I thought everyone believed in science. Personally, they should replace 5.56mm with the .45 ACP. in fact, everyone should be issued old stocks of 1911s and 45 ball ammo instead of rifles. We know how much more lethal it is over everything.

John Dunlap

If our military brass didn’t morph into politicians as soon as they set foot in the Pentagon, (and actually do have a good reason for the caliber requirement), they would simply procure a synthetic stocked, 19″ barreled version of the M14 chambered in either .260 Remimgton or 7mm-08 for frontline troops, and solicit bids for a SAW in the same chambering. Either can launch a 139 to 145 grain bullet at better than 2,600 FPS with less recoil than the 7.62 NATO. Issue P90’s to support personnel, and call it a day. Of course, weapons procurement has been an extremely… Read more »


The DOD might choose the 6.8 SPC with all the .30 caliber brass available but the 6.5 Grendel is the better choice because it has a greater range in bullet sizes including those with better BCs than either the 6.8 SPC or the 300BLK.
Note: Speed is not just about barrel length, its also very much about powder choice (fast v. slow burning) and bullet weight.

Jim Macklin

Back in the 1930s the Garand was going to be adopted in caliber .276, General Marshall overruled the board and the Garand was adopted in .30/06 with a new load. The M1 Rifle came with the M1 ammunition with a 172 gr FMJBT. The M1 ammunition was soon replaced because National Guard rifle ranges would not contain the 172 grain bullet. The M2 Ball with a 150 grain FMJ Flatbase was adopted and was the standard round through WWII and Korea. Improvements in chemistry replaced the 1930s smokeless powder with Improved Military Rifle powders such as 4064 and 4895. To… Read more »

Gregory Romeu

Wouldn’t the aluminum case of a 7.62×51 for Military purposes corrode quickly given all the various climate changes and storage facilities with variable temps in them , much like the cheap Bear ammo does?

John Klingenberg

If it’s any bigger cartridge it will be in a totally different weapon system, that will take them a decade and millions of our dollars to accomplish. I like the Grendel a lot and the 6.8 is no slouch but the Grendel has a ballistic advantage with better bullet design. A midsize piston AR would really thrill me!

swain williams

yep. Grendel


6.8 will replace 5.56.


Here’s the word on what the new round may be: “Ideally, the Army’s rifle should fire a round between 6.5mm and 6.8mm, which is highly accurate because it retains supersonic velocity longer than existing military calibers, and it also generates less recoil so fully automatic fire is more stable, he said.” Here’s the word on the SAW upgrade: “The service plans on fielding a Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) — the first version in the Army’s Next-Generation Weapons System that chambers a round between 6.5mm and 6.8mm — as a potential replacement for its 80,000 M249 SAWs starting in… Read more »


The 6.5mm Creedmoor will replace the 5.56 and 7.62 NATO
It will 1st be deployed by special forces before going into general use.

Dr. Benny

I sincerely hope you’re correct, Sir. It’s truly a spectacular cartridge for Military purposes.

Wild Bill

@Trevor, I’d like to read more of COL Norman’s assessment. Where can I access that?


The .224 Valkyrie.
A 6.8 SPC necked down to 5.56mm, throwing a 90 grain bullet still going ~ 1419 fps at 100 yards !


Ditto on the Valk. People ought to try firing this round to see how much better ii is than the .223/5.56 using the same AR rifle.

Bullet Foot Pounds of Energy at 1,000 Yards
.223 Remington 77-grain Matchking 158 ft-lbs
.224 Valkyrie 90-grain Matchking 402 ft-lbs

Charles schmitz

I’m far from an expert but something 107 – 111 grain fast moving with 18 inch barrel would be awesome

TL Warren

No references or links?


So what are they going to replace it with?

Wild Bill

@Bill, Well, it is government work, so the results will be subpar. What exactly we don’t know yet because not all of the after service offers of executive employment are not in yet. Then there is the picking of the low bidding vendor to make and supply the thing. Oh, yes, there is lots of corrupt money to still be made.


Prolly a 6.5, or maybe even the 6.8.

Saul Alunski

The 224 Valkyrie will replace the 5.56

An Angry Farmer

Grendel has bolt problems. Type 1 or type 2 bolts. Great round though.

No calls for the return of 45-70?……….it hasn’t gone away for a reason……..


Explain the problems please


The M4 of today and the M16 of Viet Nam, where I spent my early adulthood, are different in their lethality not because of the ammo. No the M4 has a very short barrel and making it as short as it is caused a serious loss of velocity. .That loss of velocity is todays failure problem. If one had a chance to e fortunate to seethe m16 and the XM177 in combat they would see the validity of this. While the XM177 was easier to pack around , it lacked the lethality of the M16 because it gave up too… Read more »


338 Lapua


270 round

H. Spires

I like the .270. I use one for deer hunting and it has some kind of knock down power. I shot a 240 pound buck and he went down like he had been pole-axed. I shot one that was within spitting distance of my stand a couple of years ago and he never knew what hit him. He was also over 200 pounds. It is a very flat shooting round that has lots of speed.

Scotty Gunn

:…and the Army are putting the breaks on that project.”
You mean “brakes”, as in to slow down or stop, not “breaks”


With all the girls and wimps in the military now. They will be looking at weight over firepower. I can’t carry that it’s to heavy. Oh, it hurts when I shoot it. It kicks to much. There are still a lot of good people in the military. But Clinton and Obamy pushed in queers and girls. So light with no recoil will rule the day.

Timothy Votaw

For starters, and disclaimer, I won’t argue with or repeat the many comments already here, youse have your beliefs, some I can hang with. (As an aside, being a now-retired former fed investigator, I wince when I see some of the horrid spelling and even minimal attempts at decent sentence structure. Even the author has to figure the difference between “break” and “brake”. P-lease, show the pinheads who lurk, and sometimes plant a turd here, that we are reasonably literate. Common sense and intelligence are already quite present here, which I appreciate, because we must outsmart the opposition, beat the… Read more »

Wild Bill

@TV, Long, but I can not argue, quibble or cavil with any of it!

Rick Florke

first sir, thank you for your service and insight on battlefield rounds. Everything you said is dead on, with how many rounds someone can carry is more important to the big guys in the offices not what that round can do. historically the generals in Washington have been too worried about the pennies it cost per round than how much a soldier’s life cost. I really enjoyed your comments and thank you again

Gregory Romeu

Chaos! Senator Cornyn! Congressman Hurd! Are you listening?

Semper Fi Mac! Semper Fi!

Donald L. Cline

Speaking of “I wince when I see some of the horrid spelling and even minimal attempts at decent sentence structure.”
Uh … ‘youse’?

Two whores and a divorce

Donald, Tim just delivered an informative Red, White and Blue discussion with topic on several levels which included a request for intelligent exchange. He delivered on that and you counter his argument with one word that hangs you up, and on the third line no less. I’m wincing at your quote and end quote placement. Had you reached line 11, youse would have seen an offering for reasonable literacy by the author. Dad burn It Virginia, git meez a beer an finish reedin the article. It is interesting and it’s the least we can do for a guy who took… Read more »

Heed the Csll-up

Vernacular is often used in common writing on Internet posts and elsewhere. You picked one word out of 1,084 to attempt to discredit him? You couldn’t even write one grammatically correct sentence in your rebuke of his post.

Wild Bill

@Heed, Yep, Mark Twain use the same technique quite often.

Timothy Votaw

Donald, like the man said, it’s vernacular, a colloquialism, slang, whatever. I’m not an elitist, just a guy, so I have some fun with our language, time to time. But my original point stays – write smartly, let the “others” know we are much more than a bunch of “loons with guns”. Si?

Joe Wright

‘ Youse’ is proper language usage in 50’s through 60’s, St Louis, so, find a real reason to jump his ass , or button it.


Enjoyed your comments. Thank you for your service. I’ve shot a lot as a hunter. 38 racks since 1974 is way over the average. You’ve got tons of history shooting so I’ll just add my two cents for kicks. Never cared for 5.56 for all the same reasons you covered. I want to know I dont need more than one shot and then move on to new target. On deer I use .308 win (7.62) in 150 gn BTSP. Would never go higher. If I were ever in combat and had a choice I’d go down to 100gn. I’d value… Read more »

Timothy Votaw

Russell, I’d have to defer to the numerous and skilled ballistics minds here. I fear that it would be a challenge to load a .308 case behind that light a bullet with the right powder and number of grains to prevent a tumbling effect somewhere along the trajectory… like the charge would overwhelm the round, but I could be way off. Worth trying. Nonetheless, when the serpent strikes, I’ll likely still reach for the 7.62×51, because I am old school, (even though 6.5 Creed and .300 BO youngsters reside next to it, because some of these guys like ’em so… Read more »


The 200+ grain 300 BO subsonic are ideal for building clearing operations in urban environments with suppressed select fire SBR’s. This combo is the best means to minimize hearing loss of our warfighters. When I was young & dumb I suffered permanent hearing loss burning through 2 ammo cans shooting up the rats at the Cu Chi garbage dump w/my issued M16 on auto mode. Couldn’t hardly hear for a week.


Old Marine >>> Timothy Votaw I love it. My sediment exactly. I have more faith in a fire team than in any other unit in any military. the four man Fire team has built the croch’s reputation all thru Marine history and always with good f. ire power. In all the wars that firearms were used, the heavy caliber has always won out If you don’t think so then you’ve never seen a Ma-Duce in action. Overwhelming Fire power is what wins, not how light the load is for the shooter. Artillery and Mortars are just big guns with a… Read more »


The DoD knows that accurate riflemen are force multipliers; that’s why they have the designated marksman, scout sniper, recon, rangers, SEALs, etc. It comes down to cost. Training costs money and time. Battlefield movement and unit based tactics training costs money and time. Supplying all of the extra rifles, extra ammunition, and extra ranges to practice at takes time and money. Unfortunately, it’s the irresponsible fiscal policies of Congress and the actions of Presidents that force us to spend billions of dollars on countless pointless police actions in foreign soil over the years which prevents us from having a smaller… Read more »


You guys are all thinking in the past. The rifles are prototyped, the SAWs are prototyped, the ammo has been tested. They are going to a caseless 6.5 round! Brass is dead!

Logan Engebretson

6.8 caseless I bet. Shorter and lighter than 5.56 with the power of a .308.


I have never understood why they didn’t select the 243 Win, it’s a necked down 308. Can propel a 115gr bullet @2900fps giving a ME of 2148. Does beat your shoulder to death. DPMS makes one in their AR15 style and it is sweet.


Golly..Have they considered how many Crosman .177 pellets a GI can carry?
I can shoot all day with a tin of those in my pocket, and those enemy squirrels drop DRT..!

Well..But not even shooting as quickly as my Red Ryder does, though….With 650 rounds on board, that save a lot of magazine reloading time.

Dan Higgins

I don’t have nearly as much experience as most commenters on this thread, so pardon me if I say something stupid. So, what would be the problem with an established hunting round, like the.243? There’s plenty of evidence already out there on the effectiveness of hunting rounds, so a lot of testing would be unnecessary. It would simply be a packaging issue.

Gregory Romeu

@Dan Higgins, nothing you said is stupid or out of line. What a lot of people don’t realize is that when in combat situations infantry units need to have weapons and ammo that work reliable in all climates and places across the globe. If you’re fighting in the mountains you have to be able to hump the weapons and ammo up the mountains, if you’re fighting like in the jungles of Vietnam during the monsoon climates when you’re surrounded with nothing but water and foliage the weapons have to be effective in that environment and just as we are now… Read more »


Opinions are like asshole, everyone has one! If you ask 1000 “gun guys” what the perfect caliber is, you’ll get 1000 different answers. The 5.56 is used for hunting a variety of animals and has shown to be just as effective on humans. The military’s biggest problem is the quality of recruits – most are not really bright, most have ZERO weapons experience (unlike 50-100 years ago when many recruits came from farms and ranches and grew up plinking and hunting), most are not very strong or tough (needing light loads), and the military training is pretty pathetic. When you… Read more »


Yes there are fewer recruits who are familiar with rifles than in the past; however, the their intelligence is much higher than the cannon fodder of the Vietnam era. Their strength is lower as evidenced by hand grenade qualification being dropped from BCT.


Not hardly! I served from 75 thru 97 in the USArmy Special Forces and then attended college, and from what I saw of the high school graduates attending college, they are far less intelligent; a huge percentage come to college and need to take remedial or prerequisite courses before their required courses. By the way, I obtained a BS in Biology in 3.5 years, without needing any prerequisites, and graduated Cum Laude – there were none that could compete! Our entire government educational system has dumbed down our current generations through lowering standards and removing important curriculum; of course you… Read more »