A change in standard NATO ammunition?

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Dramatikk
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A change in standard NATO ammunition?

Post by Dramatikk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:13 pm

There have been a lot of speculations and romours spreading across the internet regarding a change in standard NATO ammunition. The battle stands between the 6.5 Grendell and the 6.8 SPC, wich one will win?

What do you think about these calibers 5.56 NATO vs 6.5 Grendell vs 6.8 SPC?

Kind regards, Dramatikk. :)

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Ryan
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Re: A change in standard NATO ammunition?

Post by Ryan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:02 am

Dramatikk wrote:There have been a lot of speculations and romours spreading across the internet regarding a change in standard NATO ammunition. The battle stands between the 6.5 Grendell and the 6.8 SPC, wich one will win?

What do you think about these calibers 5.56 NATO vs 6.5 Grendell vs 6.8 SPC?

Kind regards, Dramatikk. :)
I don't think they are going to change the 5.56 for anything else - at least not for the whole defence force (maybe some units) and in the near future - 5.56 is getting improved on quite a bit, here in Australia we're making the new F1A1 ammo for the F88's and to be F88A3 (We had to make the F88 work less efficiently so it could handle the extra port pressure from M855 ammo). Australian ammo is great, no complaints - it works beautifully in high temperatures - F1A1 is slightly better than the SS109 at certain ranges too.

The velcocity change for Australian ammo from -54 to +71 is about 25 to 50 m/s. The US ammo changes by over 150 to 200m/s over the same temp window and even had cases of the US m855 break up when fired at +52°C, Aussie ammo is designed to work at 80°C or more.

So it could be the way ammo is produced. Another problem is obviously the range out there in Afghanistan, the average engagement range is 500m - so some reports state - but remember range and elevation (air density factor) can change the true range of engagements, Pythagorean theorem, and effect on the projectile.

This is in effective range (accuracy wise) for some variants of the M4 but for the round (maximum effective range being around 300-500m), it really loses a lot of kinect energy - it's slower which is sometimes a good thing for wound ballistics as it gets to transfer more energy in the body and there is more chance of it tumbling. The 5.56 has a minimum required terminal velocity in order to fragment and cause the damage it is meant to and the range just isn't helping with that - it doesn't help when you're fighting mostly malnutrished, skinny and very experienced fighters too and that is quite a factor, wearing only a few rags - not much to slow the bullet to allow for true damage.

The British army has started using the L129A1, 7.62mm sharpshooter rifle for Afghanistan, they need it for that extra bit of range and a round that is a bit larger which could compensate for extra bleeding and a larger entry or exit wound. Also if they get it out around 500m, it'll slow down and do a bit more.

They made great improvements to longer range ammunition over there - being the 5.56 MK262 by Black Hills. Mk 262 Mod 1 has a cannelure to the bullet for effective crimping.

"Ballistics tests found that the round caused "consistent initial yaw in soft tissue" at 300+ meters. (Wikipedia)" - Perfect for Afghanistan.

In terms of the 6.8mm Remington SPC - probably not. Iraq was the main place it was needed in all honesty and they didn't change then, they won't change now. It's very monetary for the Government, and changing not only the round but the weapon would be costly. If one unit had it and it was working well, other units would want it and it would back-fire quite a bit. I don't think they would make it a purpose built round for a certain role within the military either - at least not for most conventional units - unlike the 7.62 being made mainly for MG's and some sniper rifles or the .338 being made for great long-range shooting. They should make it just for the close quarters <300m role though. Shame they didn't.

The 6.5 Grendell has really great terminal ballistics, it penetrates deeply (some may say overpenetration in most cases and common angles) and it tumbles firmly within a short period - it's basically trying to compete with the 6.8mm Remington SPC - hopefully both manufacturers will make improvements for good old competition standards and we'll see something better in the future.
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Re: A change in standard NATO ammunition?

Post by Ryan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:07 am

Also check out Black Hills 5.56 R2LP
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=78943
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Re: A change in standard NATO ammunition?

Post by Ryan » Sun May 01, 2011 11:11 am

No other thoughts?
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Re: A change in standard NATO ammunition?

Post by Ryan » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:02 am

Just looking at the 6.5 Grendel, pretty good results, and proper test results from 50 or 100 yards and protocols on Wikipedia.. this is a first. :shock:

"Alexander Arms contracted Speer Law Enforcement to perform terminal ballistics tests in accordance with standard F.B.I. Protocols and their standard in-house procedures. They use 6 in × 6 in × 16 in (150 mm × 150 mm × 400 mm) blocks of ten percent ballistic gelatin, calibrated with a BB. These results were made public in May 2006. All tests were completed using either 14.5- or 16.0-inch (370 or 400 mm) chrome-lined Alexander Arms Tactical rifles and shot from either 50 or 100 yards (45 or 90 m) to simulate combat conditions using short-barreled M4 format weapons. Barrel pressures were less than 345 MPa (50,000 psi). These are all production rifles and ammunition except for the prototype 123 gr (8.0 g) Sierra MatchKing (now a production bullet). In addition to the photos shown below, a 90 gr (5.8 g) TNT was tested resulting in explosive fragmentation after penetrating only 0.5 in (13 mm).

The 120-grain (7.8 g) Sierra MatchKing penetrated 3.25 inches (83 mm) before yawing and fragmenting. The Alexander Arms Tactical 16 carbine (16 in/410 mm barrel) was used at a range of 100 yards (91 m). Impact velocity: 2,383 feet per second (726 m/s). Maximum penetration of the 120 gr (7.8 g) SMK was 19.5 inches (500 mm), maximum permanent cavity diameter was more than 6 inches (150 mm) with lesions running to gel block exterior surfaces. Depth to the maximum permanent cavity was 7.5 inches (190 mm). The bullet fragmented, with seven large pieces visible within the block. Jacket sections came to rest at 11.75 and 16.25 inches (298 mm and 413 mm), and the bullet core at 19.5 inches (500 mm).

The prototype 123 gr (8.0 g) SMK penetrated 2 inches (51 mm) before yawing and fragmenting. The Alexander Arms Tactical 14.5 carbine (14.5 inches (370 mm) barrel) was used at a range of 50 yards (46 m). Impact velocity was 2,385 ft/s (727 m/s). The 123 SMK penetrated to a depth of 16.2 inches (410 mm), maximum permanent cavity diameter was more than 6 inches (150 mm) with lesions running to block exterior surfaces. Depth to the maximum permanent cavity was 7 inches (180 mm). The bullet fragmented into multiple small fragments with jacket pieces visible at 11 and 13 inches (280 and 330 mm). A small core fragment was visible at a maximum depth of 16.2 inches (410 mm).

The 120 gr (7.8 g) Norma FMJ penetrated 16.5 inches (420 mm) before veering out the side of the block and impacting the support frame. No fragmentation was evident, but the slug is believed to have tumbled at about 7 inches (180 mm) with its maximum permanent cavity at 11 inches (280 mm). Lesions of more than 6 inches (150 mm) were torn through the top and bottom block surfaces. The bullet was fired from an Alexander Arms Tactical 14.5-inch (370 mm) AR-15 rifle at a range of 50 yards (46 m) with a chronographed impact velocity of 2,405 ft/s (733 m/s)."

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Even the FMJ performed well to say the least... but then again, some of these are double the weight of the 5.56.

Other than that the 6.8 SPC has no real results about yaw, fragmentation, etc but only of "energy" which only applies if you believe the "energy dump" theory - Special Operations have tested it.... on enemy combatants... and it has got some really good results, along with using multiple types of ammunition for it; some of which give greater and more immediate temporary cavity expansion, it tended to put the bad guys down. No information on Special Ops using the 6.5 Grendel but I'm sure they've tried it out at somepoint... that said, it doesn't mean it has to be tested in theatre.

Both manufacturers have changed the overall velocity of the cartridges a few times, one time it went down by a whole 100fps. How'd they get that wrong? :P

Anyways, both these ammunition types are lighter than the 7.62 NATO, give good accuracy and give great wound ballistics. I noticed they are trying to play the card of getting rid of the 7.62 for this round on Wikipedia; nothing's wrong with 7.62. :)
CQB-TEAM Education and Motivation.

"Pragmatism over theory."
"Anyone with a weapon is just as deadly as the next person."
"Unopposed CQB is always a success, if you wanted you could moonwalk into the room holding a Pepsi."

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