Behold, I Make All Things New! ~ US Army’s New Rifle

SIG Next Generation Squad Weapon
SIG Next Generation Squad Weapon

USA – -( New Rifle, New Caliber!

Two days ago, the Pentagon officially announced what many have suspected for some time:

After over two years (actually, more like fifty years!) of testing and evaluation, the US Army’s new rifle will be SIG’s candidate, an upscaled version of their existing gas-piston MCX Rifle, now designated the “XM5,” chambered for SIG’s version of the new military 6.8mm cartridge, called the 6.8×51.

SIG is the only genuine “gun-maker” to actively seek this business. Other candidates were submitted by companies like General Dynamics and Textron. However, SIG’s now-chosen XM5 will have to be eventually manufactured in large numbers (particularly when war breaks-out), and rifles and LMGs will necessarily be manufactured (under license) by any number of other companies, probably including General Dynamics and Textron!

The SIG Sauer MCX-SPEAR Rifle, which has been selected by the U.S. Army as the new XM5 Rifle.

The 6.8×51 round is basically a 308, necked-down to 27-caliber, but this new cartridge has a steel base and a brass forward section, allowing for chamber pressures in the range of 80k psi, all in an effort to get increased range from a short (13″) barrel.

It comes-out to a 140gr bullet and 2800f/s.

The civilian version is called the “277 Fury,” but it likely will be confined to traditional rifle chamber pressures of 50k psi, more like a 140gr bullet at 2400f/s

SIG’s belt-fed GPMG (w/bi-pod and probably a tri-pod), in the same caliber, designated the M250, is also part of the multi-billion dollar deal.

SIG Sauer XM250 Automatic Rifle
The SIG-LMG, which has been selected by the U.S. Army as the new XM250 Automatic Rifle.

Both rifle and GPMG are to be equipped with a sophisticated, but bulky, 1×8 optic, that includes a range-finder and atmospheric sensors.

Both are also to be equipped with suppressors, reducing the weapons’ sound and signature. The downside is that suppressors add considerable length, necessitating short barrels, which translate to a reduction in muzzle velocity.

Additionally, many are skeptical as to whether any kind of suppressor will hold up under heavy, military use!

After sixty-plus years, our existing M4 rifle (5.56×45) actually runs as well as any military weapon ever has, and many of us rely on our M4s every day, in the domestic environment.

Yet for military use, the 5.56×45 NATO round (223 Rem) has shown itself to be consistently inadequate in range and penetration, ever since its adoption in the 1960s. Since that time, many different bullet weights and configurations have been introduced in an effort to address range and penetration issues, but none have adequately solved the problem.

SIG SAUER NGSW-6.8x51 Hybrid Ammunition
SIG SAUER NGSW-6.8×51 Hybrid Ammunition

In the end, the 5.56×45 remains what it has always been, a relatively short-range round that doesn’t penetrate much! Yet, in a police patrol-rifle, and for domestic self-defense, it is close to ideal, but for military use, it is sadly inadequate, and we’ve known that since 1960!

Of course, this announcement comes with the usual nauseating, self-serving hype, but we all know and understand that any new product, when mass-produced, will develop issues, issues that won’t even be identified until many thousands of units are manufactured, issued to troops, trained with, deployed to forward areas, and billions of rounds are fired through it over a number of years.

These issues will have to be identified, verified, and honestly confronted and fixed, assuming they can be!

Unfortunately, our woke-era star-wearers are far better known for creative cover-up and denial than they are for brutal honesty!

In any event, we’ll have a two-tier system, probably for at least the next thirty years. M4s, M240s, and the 5.56×45 round will remain active throughout our entire System for the foreseeable future. New rifles and GPMGs will go to front-line troops first. Troops in rear areas will continue to be served by the older weapons.

It all depends on how fast new weapons, new ammunition, and new accouterments/accessories can be produced (along with spare parts, armorer training, etc), issued, trained with, and ultimately deployed, and mostly how many unforeseen issues rear their ugly heads and have to be fixed, on the fly!

Ultimately, we should all be glad this long-overdue update is finally going forward!

What concerns me is that our current armed forces are one-third the absolute minimum size a so-called “super-power” needs to be in our dangerous world. A new war will require an immediate, exponential expansion, much like what we, as a nation, went through in 1941. I’m not at all sure this nation is even capable of that currently!

With any luck, that theory will not be tested any time soon!


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 its students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

Defense Training International, Inc


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A unproven round and weapon on the battlefield If I am correct this weapon system weighs in at 21 lbs plus extra ammo. I am all for equipping our military with better weapons. I would not want to carry this around in any desert or jungle or urban assault on the enemy.
The 308 is a proven round which is effective and deadly at most ranges in battle.  There’s something to be said for 30 cal rifles and planting power hiding from a 308 round behind block walls or car doors will get you killed.


Ridiculous. Who’s gonna carry this system around and who’s gonna carry the spare barrels and receiver parts? BS! They could have applied some of this technology to the 6mm ARC or the 6.5 Grendel and had a much more practical system.


neither of your choices have the ability to penetrate modern ballistic armor at extended range which is one of the fundamental requirements set on this replacement.


Ammo is necessary for survival in a gun battle, don’t bring enough your dead. This system is too heavy and will cost lives. Thank you pentagon commandos


you bought into the 556 bs 308 is one shot one kill at 800 yards you cant even hail marry a 556 that far


Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook “Yet for military use, the 5.56×45 NATO round (223 Rem) has shown itself to be consistently inadequate in range and penetration, ever since its adoption in the 1960s. Since that time, many different bullet weights and configurations have been introduced in an effort to address range and penetration issues, but none have adequately solved the problem” Does this not prove that a AR rifle is not a weapon of war? Or at the least not a good one if this is the opinion of the Military? Does this not punch huge… Read more »


What ever happened to team snipers? Everybody has 5.56 and the sniper has something else. This is NOT WWII. We will NOT engage at long distances with few exceptions.


God forbid it will be tested any time soon. We will NOT survive, if it is.


boutique ammo, that’s 5 times more expensive CHECK
excessive recoil noise and flash without a can CHECK
won’t be good for longevity of firearm barrel life CHECK
rethinking an existing cartridge CHECK
made by a foreign company CHECK
problem could be solved with a 7.62 AR-10 CHECK
the military industrial complex rapes taxpayers CHECK

Knute Knute

All totaled up:
Another giveaway of US taxpayer’s funds to those who actually rule the western half of planet Earth.
CHECK and double check!!


Lloyd has medals and ribbons. He’s been there and done that and he has been where the action is and he was in grave danger.

Mark also has medals and ribbons. He’s a man of immense intellectual capacity and he defended our country by surrounding D.C. with a ring of steel to keep the “Nazis” out.

Are you saying these guys made a bad decision?

Knute Knute

Who is Lloyd? Who’s Mark? What are you talking about? Are you on the correct page, or has something been deleted along the way?


Good question. I think we can rule out Lloyd George & Marky Mark!


Having both of them still making decisions IS a BAD DECISION. Mikey’s “I’m gonna tell the Chinese what we’re doing” should have gotten him kicked out the door!

Lloyds brownER nose for jumping right on Obison’s “our military is racist” and ” the USmilitary will be proud to be gender integrated- regardless of readiness” shows that his decision making abilities have a certain ” what’s best for me now” flair to them.

Dogma Factor

So the Armed forces reject the AR10 platform as a replacement for the M14 many years ago. Cited issues being size and weight of the weapon system in the field which included ammo. At that time after Korea the pentagon wanted more rounds issued in the field and the only way to achieve the goal was a size (weight) reduction of the issued weapon system.

So now many years latter we are basically going back to an updated AR10 platform, do see the irony of what’s old is new again?


Soooo, SIG (a foreign company) will hold all the cards with ALL the new U.S. battle weapons AND ammo ? Am I the only one that sees a possible future problem here ?

Alan in NH

The SIG company may have been born over there, but most SIG products are made here in the USA. The main headquarters are here in New Hampshire. My new X5 Legend says ‘Newington NH’ as do all new Sig handguns. As for the new caliber, it’s about time we took advantage of modern, long for caliber bullets to increase range and lethality. The 5.56 isn’t going anywhere but you have to admit that it is only a 500-600 yard capability at best. This new round will more likely replace the 7.62X51 NATO over time.

Wild Bill

Well … I’m glad to see that SIG manufactures in the US.

Old Gun

Another attempt to fix a problem by committee, gun is too long then shorten barrel, velocity too low then increase chamber pressure. Might as well go back to M14’s chambered in 7.62×51. I personally like the looks of the 6mm ARC where all they need to do is change out the barrel and bcg on their existing M4’s. Instead of carrying a 6 pound rifle the grunts now have to lug a 12 pound anchor around. You can tell someone who’s never been out in the field design this monstrosity. Glad I’m no longer in.


And wouldn’t the 6.5 CM been a better option across the board ? Besides having to changing the whole weapon system out. As to upper change for 6.8 SPC. Which I think would have paid for itself in the end with farther kill shots. There were surely more possible alternatives available. I don’t see the benefit of the 6.8 SPC.


if not for the requirement of punching thru modern ballistic armor at 600yards listed, the 6.8 SPC would have met the standards needed.
i have doubts about depending on any small arms electronics to achieve hits at 600yds IN COMBAT FIELD SETTINGS.


a good scope and training , electronics is bs, one em pulse and done, sunspots can take them out


Old Gun. A better choice would be the AR-10 in 7.62. I personality like my FN-G1 German variant but that’s just my choice!


If it was a bad choice, it wasn’t for lack of the Army throwing a massive amount of bureaucracy, time, and cost at the idea. It will be interesting to see how the careers of Dave and Wyatt progress. Maybe they will end up on Sig’s board or do “consulting” for them during their retirement years. 

Brig. Gen. David Hodne, Infantry School commandant and Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team director

Maj. Wyatt Ottmar Next Generation Squad Weapons Project Officer


I love my m14 and it shoots circles around the ars , have an ar 10 as well if the 6.8 upper is made for it I will buy one, but then I am a long range shooter you may not be and as for the weight cart a Barrett around


This is a hilarious April Fool’s joke right?
…..”The civilian version is called the “277 Fury,” but it likely will be confined to traditional rifle chamber pressures of 50k psi, more like a 140gr bullet at 2400f/s”
A 140 grain bullet @2400 FPS is pretty much the equivalent of the Russian 7.62X39 cartridge. ….. The Sig rifle will cost premium bucks, chambered in a new cartridge that barely has better ballistics than the 7.62X39? Hilarious!
Don’t look to NATO countries & our allies to convert any time soon either…..

Dogma Factor

Quote “The Sig rifle will cost premium bucks…..” Sig is offering a Simi auto version now for pre-orders for only $7,999.98 as a special. That’s one expensive AR10 with a modified gas system for high pressures.

Deplorable Bill

Have not seen, much less fired a 6.8. I am certain it will be a killer BUT, the advantages of the 556 are numerous. It recoils less. It’s a smaller platform. Ammo weighs a lot less per round. This is a good thing because I don’t have Uncle Sam airlifting ammo to me should I run low. In the Army we carried, among other things, a basic load of 720 rounds at all times. Try doing that with a 50 Browning or even the 762 x 51 and you will see the good in this. Accuracy; I have seen and… Read more »


A “basic load” of 720 rounds? What for the whole fire team? I didn’t carry that many rounds as a SAW Gunner.

Deplorable Bill

LRP’s. 12 nearly full mags, the rest in the pack. 1 LAW, 1 claymore, 4 frags, 1 smoke, 200 rounds for the pig. various trips, 20 pairs of socks etc Scouts out

Arm up and carry on

I Haz A Question

I’m trying to figure out your reasoning for using Revelation 21:5 (God’s “I Make All Things New” declaration from his throne) to trumpet a military gun platform, Mr. Farnham. Not in the best taste.