Taiwan XT100 6.8 SPC Assault Rifle

JL visited Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition (TADTE) and spotted the new XT100 AR-15-style Assault Rifle chambered in 6.8mm SPC. The rifle has been developed by the Taiwanese Military Combined Logistics Command, Arsenal 205. It utilizes a short-stroke piston, has a 16″ barrel and a forward quad rail. The ‘XT’ stands for Experimental Type.

6.8 SPC is slowly gaining acceptance outside of the United States, where sadly it has not been adopted by the special or conventional forces.

UPDATE: According to DW in the comments below, the rifle is chambered in a new 6.8mm cartridge, a 5.56x45mm necked up to 6.8mm. Interesting.

[ Many thanks to JL for emailing me the photos. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • JMD

    Neat, but the third photo leaves me wondering about the overall quality. There are visually obvious irregularities in the rail, and what appears to be a large chip missing. Perhaps this is just because it’s a prototype.

  • JMD

    Upon further inspection, it also appears that the rail segments are at three different heights.

  • jdun1911

    Pretty sure it is not going to be adopted. And for the people that going to post that Taiwan is switching to piston AR. Well no, they been using piston AR since the mid ’70 IIRC.

  • NovaRain

    As far as I know, the “6.8mm” is not the common-known 6.8x43mm Remington SPC. It’s a 6.8x45mm “XTC-100” developed by CLC. The reason is the military want to avoid the licensing costs of 6.8mm SPC, so they make their own 6.8mm.

    Sorry if I can’t explain clearly.

  • Michael Pham

    Eh, economies of scale. I imagine is much easier for a small nation to switch its standard calibre than it is for the hulking United States military.

  • armed_partisan

    Very nice looking, and you know Taiwan is serious about defense. I wonder if they’re serious about the 6.8 SPC? I don’t think it’s a bad idea myself, but there may be better options.

  • Peter

    You’re sure SF hasn’t adopted the 6.8 spc? Wasn’t it made for SF? It seems a number of countries are anticipating that we’ll adopt the 6.8. The Czech mde their rifle compatible with 6.8 SPC. Jordan adopted the 6.8 SPC. Hopefully the US will follow this suite.

    • Peter, it was developed by members of the SF community, but I have never heard of it being used in combat. Rifles chambered in it were submitted by manufacturers to the carbine evaluation the military held a while ago. The military seems to be sticking to the 5.56mm and 7.62mm.

  • DW

    I’ve been to TADTE. Saw the rifle, and spoke with the presenter there. The rifle IS NOT chambered for 6.8 Remington SPC. It is chambered for a proprietary catridge, which is simply 5.56X45mm necked up to 6.8mm. Also, they do not seem to notice anything wrong with the rail quite a bit lower than the flat top receiver, the sling swivel on the gas block( what about the freefloating barrel?) or the notoriously loose fitting of the buttstock. It’s kind of disappinting, IMO.

  • whats up with the rail system, it looks like it was chewed on by a 4.ton-pitbull

  • Brian P.

    Awesome! I’m glad to hear it’s at least gaining popularity. The 6.8mm SPC needs to replace the 5.56mm NATO as the new standard.

  • Axel Nordberg


    I hope the .280 SPC – oh I mean the 6.8 british – gets put into use soon.

  • Lance

    Looks like a Piston M-4orgery with a new caliber. Are they following our new M-4? Who knows?

  • Nooky

    The details on the quadrail in the middle picture makes me think it’s made out of old chunk of tin can.

  • MarKm

    I don’t believe licensing costs have much impact, more likely the designer preferred to go with a hybrid cartridge on a prototype. It frees up discussion and presents alternatives.

    Sidestepping the 6.8SPC is as easy as adopting the drawing dimensions of 6.8 x 43, or similar cartridges. A .050 leade makes it different, just the same as changing one dimension and shoulder angle by a degree makes the .264LBC it’s own cartridge, and the 6.5G is completely and legally sidestepped. It’s been happening in the industry for over one hundred years, any experienced engineers and most knowledgeable shooters are well aware of it. There are dozens of cartridges known by two or even half a dozen alternate names, and they all will shoot from the gun made to handle the heaviest power load.

    I suspect as the conflict in SW Asia winds down to it’s typical low intensity level, armies will then consider long term changes based on lessons learned, and the remaining service life of their battle rifle. While it might be an impediment to adopt licensed designs, don’t forget the US Gov owns the TDP for the M4, and if the IAC changes enough to make it a new weapon, it can give that design away for FREE if it so chooses, even if paying a royalty fee still exists. That can be charged off to State, not DOD, and licensing another plant in a second or third world country to provide jobs is another plus.

    We haven’t seen the last days of DI yet.

  • Chase

    History would have been very different if NATO had adopted .280 British.

  • Nater

    No, 6.8mm SPC was never adopted by anyone. Could it perhaps be in the hands of some high-end unit? Perhaps, but I somewhat doubt it. Everything about 6.8 SPC was simply too intelligent to be adopted by any branch of the US Government. It wasn’t developed by some massive corporation like ATK for millions of dollars. It was brewed up by the 5th SFG and the Marksmenship Unit for less than $10k.

    You also have to laugh at all the foreign armies that have adopted ergonomically challenged bullpup rifles to get around barrel length deficiencies instead of simply developing cartridges that work better from short barrels like the 6.8 SPC or even the Mk 318 and M855A1 5.56mm rounds.

  • Marauder1024

    @Axel Nordberg

    “6.8 British”…you mean the .276 Pedersen right?

  • Sid


    I ask this of you or anyone else who may read. What was the actual contribution and participation by the special forces community? Was it a funded development program? Did it have government support? Was it a R&D venture?

    My curiosity and suspicion is that there was never any approval for a new caliber in a service rifle. Disclaimer: I own a 6.8mm AR and use it for deer and silhouettes.

    I think the “members of the SF community” claim has really been watered down in the last decade. It may be true in this case and I am undecided as to this claim. But not every former Ranger, SEAL, or green beret is in a policy-maiking position. “Contractor” can mean anything from operative assassin to the guy who empties the porta-potty.

    Do we have any knowledge that the US military or any subordindinate command (even JSOC) ever authorized the exploration of a replacement caliber? Was it just an SF rifle or did they have a mandate to test a new standard assault rifle? Is it evidence of yet another great idea that withered on the vine?

    And please, no responses about a neighbor, brother, cousin who once was a clerk typist for the 20th Group who was in the gym when he heard two operators talking about it. Was there a real program that we can pull documents from so I can call my freshman senator about? I would like to know that tradition/lethargy is not standing in the way of my soldiers having a hard-hitting rifle.

  • 543

    The 6.8mm SPC is a great compromise cartridge for NATO but its chances of getting adopted by NATO or any other major world military are close to zero including the U.S. military. Due to a steadily rising global population most of humanity will be residing in urban areas in the future where 5.56mm is more than adequate for battlefield operations. Never mind the massive cost in reequipping and retooling for a caliber change in any military. Budgets are getting tighter and tighter for DoD and they won’t be able to even afford it anyway even if they wanted a change. Considering the major equipment reset for the U.S. Army and USMC once operations end in Iraq and Afghanistan a caliber change won’t even make the list. 6.8mm SPC, 6.5mm Grendel, .300 AAC Blackout are/will always be niche cartridges even for most of the U.S. civilian market. Bloggers and the gun forum crowds have an virtual obsession with these three calibers I’ve noticed even though if you reload any of the mentioned calibers they are sill more expensive component wise than any of the major rifle calibers out there.

  • abc123

    Brian P: What would be the point of that? What are the concrete improvements that a change would bring and would it warrant the cost? Perhaps the money is better spent elsewhere.

    Before even considering such a change there should be trials to determine what advantages and disadvantages there are.

  • Jake

    I wonder if the “proprietary” cartridge design is similar to the 6.8x45mm Kramer round.

  • howlingcoyote

    This is a copy of an old “wildcat” cartridge: 6.5-223 Rem., probably dating back to the 1950’s when the 223 Rem. first came out.So it’s really nothing new. The 223 Rem. has been necked up and down from 14 caliber to 30 caliber (and a straight walled case to use in the old 351 Win. Self-loading rifles).
    The Reminton 6.8 SPC is based on the old 30 Remington cartridge shortened and necked down to .277″.
    Maybe some countries want to opt out of 5.56 nato and go with their own rounds?
    The USA should have adopted either the 25 Remington or 250 Savage back during WW2 for semi-auto rifles.

  • Brian P.

    @abc123: Everything I’ve seen has indicated that the 6.8mm SPC is ballistically superior to both the 5.56mm NATO and the 7.62x39mm rounds. The 6.8mm SPC round may cost more, and it would be expensive to convert, yes. I think the 6.8mm SPC would become cheaper if it became more widely used, though. As for the cost to convert, yeah, it may never happen, but I still hope it does. I hate the 5.56mm NATO, so that’s part of why I hope the 6.8 will be adopted.

  • Lance

    Here we go again another 5.56mm vs 6.8 war going on. 6.8 was inferior to 6.5 Grendel and 5.56 every one in the west uses. No one uses 6.8mm its dead get over it.

  • jdun1911

    Michael Pham,

    Not for Taiwan. When an invasion for mainland China is greater than ever. Their limited military resources are needed elsewhere.

    The South China Sea is getting hot with China new Aircraft carrier now operational. There going to be an arm race in the area.

  • charles222

    6.8’s chief failure as a rifle cartridge is that it does not provide anything a loaded-down 7.62mm NATO cannot, specifically the Mk 316 loading with it’s 130-grain round. Calling a cartridge “intermediate” between 5.56 and 7.62 is just bullshit marketing because the two rounds already overlap in capability; there’s no need for a cartridge in-between when you can up-load the 5.56 with the 77-grain Mk 262 (which has seen nothing but rave reviews out of M4s in Afghanistan) or download the 7.62 with the 130-grain Mk 318, and then KEEP GOING with the 7.62 all the way up to the 168-grain MatchKing-loaded M118LR. Then you have the Mk 318 SOST 5.56 cartridge, which is a…62-grain load with a different bullet design and a faster burning propellant to help with velocity out of shortened barrels. Adopting a twice as heavy cartridge to erase a magical “range gap” (which can be covered with literally anything from a Mk. 17 SCAR to any of the high-powered bolt-action rifles SOCOM fields, or a Barrett for that matter) is the height of stupidity.

  • A few comments:

    Simply necking-up the 5.56×45 to 6.8mm isn’t going to gain a lot; a bit harder-hitting at short range, probably less so at long range. To achieve any worthwhile improvement over the 5.56mm (enough to be worth changing the calibre for) requires significantly more muzzle energy which requires a bigger case capacity.

    The 6.8×43 Rem SPC is not an ideal compromise military cartridge, the long-range performance isn’t good enough to replace 7.62mm, so it could only replace 5.56mm. The 6.5mm Grendel has a much better long-range performance, but the short, stubby cartridge case is not ideal. Both rounds have been flawed by being squeezed into the restrictive dimensions of the AR-15 action: it would be necessary to move away from this to achieve an optimised rifle.

    The best chance for a new calibre being adopted is the LSAT programme, since this would need entirely new guns and ammo manufacturing processes anyway, so you really are starting with a “clean sheet”. While this is being tested in 5.56mm calibre, funding for future years is to be linked to the development of a version in a larger calibre with a longer effective range.

    Something with ballistics in the general range of the 6.5 Grendel to the 7×46 UIAC should do nicely for both MG and rifle use. This was the conclusion of the recent ARDEC calibre tests, which identified 6.5 to 7mm as the optimum rifle calibre.

    For a general-purpose rifle, a long barrel is a Good Thing to get the most out of the ammo. Optimising ammo design for use in short barrels means that it would have to be bigger and more powerful to achieve the same ballistics (with a lot more muzzle flash and blast), which is not desirable. Think of 3-inch barrelled .357 Magnum revolvers…

    One optimised general-purpose 6.5-7mm cartridge would have several advantages over the current two-calibre legacy:

    1 – Weight reduced compared with 7.62 ammunition without losing its long-range capability.

    2 – Effectiveness and barrier penetration improved at all ranges compared with 5.56 ammunition without the heavy recoil of 7.62.

    3 – Greater tactical flexibility, with all riflemen being equipped with weapons effective at all combat ranges.

    4 – Resupply and ammunition sharing facilitated, with only one ammunition type in a section.

    5 – Procurement, support and training costs reduced by halving the number of different small arms acquired.

    The right cartridge can be designed to achieve all of this and it may even measure 6.8×45 – but it will use a significantly wider case than the 5.56×45 and will be a lot longer overall because of the need for a low-drag long-range bullet.

  • KAZH

    i thought Type 100 was a ww2 jap smg and not a taiwanese AR15 ^^

  • 6.8 is an open design, there are no licenses. It’s not proprietary like 6.5 Grendel or 6.5 MPC are.

  • Jake
    I guess you’re right !

  • Guys, we all are happy about 6.8mm SPC…but this cartridge is just a necked up 5.56×45 and it must have much poor performance compared with 6.8mm SPC (if using same bullets). 6.8mm SPC is based on .30remington case with .422 rim/base diameter, so it’ll have higher case capacity (can hold more powder). Has anybody any ballistic data for this cartridge to compare it with 6.8 SPC ?

  • 68guy


    Read this article if you want to know who exactly designed the 6.8 and why.


    The 6.8 SPC cartridge was the result of the Enhanced Rifle Cartridge program, it’s not just something someone in the SF made because he could.
    Participating in the program were U.S. Special Operations soldiers, as well as armorers and other technicians from the United States Army Marksmanship Unit

  • Nater


    The main contributors were some guys at the Army’s Marksmenship Unit and a MSgt from the 5th Special Forces Group. I believe it was called the ‘Enhanced Rifle Cartridge’. They first looked at PPC-type cases and a very similar design to the 6.5 Grendel. They abandoned it due to poor extraction in the AR platform.

    They then went with a .30 Remington as a parent case and tested it with 6mm, 6.5mm, and 7mm projectiles for certain. They may have tried a 7.62mm projectile as well, I am not sure. The 6.5mm yielded the greatest accuracy, the 7mm the greatest terminal effects. They split the difference and tested a 6.8mm projectile and liked it. I believe they may have chambered an M249/Mk 46 Mod 0 for the cartridge as well, but I’m not for certain. All told I think they spend less than $10,000 on the thing.

  • don dallas

    Made in Taiwan, hmmm… maybe that explains the poor quality?

  • Lance

    I wouldn’t put China’s threat past lip value since any war would financially cripple China and the USA to them the pride of scaring Taiwan is sufficient. There Carrier is there but they lack aircraft for it outside of helicopters. India is far ahead of China it has a carrier and two fighter wings for it one of Sea Harriers and a new one of MiG-29Ks. Taiwan has alot of formidable anti ship missiles to keep China’s still puny navy at bay for now.

    As per 6.8 here we go again SPC dosn’t have that good of ballistics to beat either 5.56mm NATO or 6.5 Grendel. The fact is 5.56mm NATO in 55gr or 623gr or 77gr isn’t going away. I also don’t think the M-4/AR type isn’t going away either.

  • Nater

    I love the 6.5 Grendel arguments. The facts are that the program which spawned the 6.8 SPC tried a cartridge that was analogous to the 6.5 Grendel. Guess what? It had extraction issues. Big surprise.

    If you want to shoot long range off a bench with an AR, 6.5 Grendel is a good choice. If you want to hunt Pronghorn at long ranges with an AR, 6.5 Grendel is a good choice. If you want an assault rifle cartridge that provides excellent ballistics out of a 10.5″ barrel and has acceptable accuracy to 500m in longer barrel lengths while providing dead reliable feeding and extraction, 6.5 Grendel is not a good choice. I would think it would be a horrible choice for an LMG as well, where there is no reason why 6.8 SPC couldn’t work well from an M13 link.

  • Nater

    Edit, M27 link would probably be a better choice.

  • jdun1911

    I don’t think it’s lip service. The desire of Taiwan to be part of China again is great. It something that they wants to resolve either by peaceful ways or military means.

    I believe China is the richest country in the world. They have trillions in the bank and their modernization of their military shows that they are willing to spend wealth to increase the influence. I have no problem with that because it part of nation building. However the side effect is an arm race.

    There is an arm race in the area surrounding China and not just in the South China Sea. India is in an arm race with China. They are trying to get their aircraft carrier up and running but the Russians screw them up really bad. IIRC India used aircraft carrier cost more than a new US super carrier. God I love the Russians.

    Anyway I’ll doubt any countries in region will upgrade their small arms anytime soon. They are looking to buy the really really big guns. Small arms don’t win wars, big guns do.

  • jdun1911

    India aircraft carrier is actually new and not used. It looks like they are getting two of them.

  • Lance

    The easy find of 6.5mm bullets and its better balistics makes it better than 6.8 which is a total wildcat caliber.

  • Sid


    Thanks. Good read.

  • Lance, the Winchester .270 has been a production cartridge since 1925. In metric terms its calibre is 6.8mm.

  • Lance

    Yes but more international makers of ammo make 6.5mm or .243 caliber more often and in better numbers.

  • Lance….that doesn’t alter the fact that 6.8mm is far from a “total wildcat caliber”. Apart from the .270, the gradual growth in popularity of the 6.8mm Rem is leading to a wider choice of bullets being made.

  • Lance

    Its not that popular 5.56mm is being sold far more than6.8 ever will be.

  • Nater


    Well duh. I doubt there is a rifle cartridge available that is sold in greater numbers than the 5.56x45mm NATO inside the United States. Maybe the 7.62x54R or the 7.62×39, but I’m not sure.

    What do these cartridges all have in common? They are all standard military cartridges for rifles and LMGs and were and still are produced in massive numbers. With that you get government contract overruns and b-stock ammunition that is then sold in the consumer channel.

    That was a straw man if I’ve ever seen one.

    Also, calling 6.8 SPC a ‘total wildcat caliber’ shows a fundamental lack of understanding. Not only are .270″ (6.8mm) bullets widely available for reloaders, but 6.8mm SPC is standardized by SAAMI. The definition for wildcat calibers is that they ARE NOT specified by SAAMI or the CIP.

  • Lance, you are busily putting up straw men – I never suggested that 6.8mm would ever match 5.56mm sales, I merely pointed out that when you said that the 6.8mm was a “total wildcat caliber” you were in fact totally wrong.

  • Lance

    Wild cat was a wrong term sorry I do mean it never caught on as a standard issue round.

  • Brian P.

    I’m not gonna argue about this. If you want to believe that the 5.56mm NATO is all it’s hyped up to be, be my guest. I support the use of the 6.8mm SPC over the 5.56mm NATO, and that’s that.

  • charles222

    For the military? No. .270 is pretty dang popular amongst civilians, last I heard.

  • Lance

    Im NOT saying 5.56mm is the best im saying 6.5 Grendel is far superior to 6.8 SPC. But 5.56mm can do the job well though we used it over 50 years now.

  • Nater

    6.5 Grendel is not superior to 6.8 SPC for military usage. No matter how many times this gets mentioned, it seems people always forget about it; the Enhanced Cartridge Program looked at a PPC-type 6.5mm round and REJECTED it due to reliability issues. That short fat case simply doesn’t work well in AR-type rifles or (likely) any other semi-automatic long arm.

    Believe me, I looked at it. I was shopping for an AR in an intermediate caliber and looked hard at both 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel. On paper, the Grendel looks superior. On paper and in real life are two different things.

    As far as wounding effects go, 6.8mm is again superior (see Roberts pdf) while also being better against intermediate barriers. The ranges in which 6.5G offers superior performance to the 6.8 SPC are at very long ranges where small caliber carbines are not going to be employed.

  • Brian P.

    @Lance: Just to make sure, I hope you know my previous comment wasn’t targeted at you. It was directed at everyone. As for 6.5 Grendel, I haven’t looked into that one. I’ll go run the math on it right now.

  • Brian P.

    @Lance: Ok, for comparison’s sake, I’m comparing Hornady’s 6.5 Grendel 123 grain A-MAX® (which seems to be the only 6.5 Grendel ammunition they have) with their 6.8mm SPC 120 grain SST®. Here is the listed data from their website, using a 16″ test barrel:

    6.5 Grendel 123 grain A-MAX®

    Muzzle Velocity: 2350 fps
    Velocity @ 100 yds: 2189 fps
    Velocity @ 200 yds: 2034 fps
    Velocity @ 300 yds: 1885 fps
    Velocity @ 400 yds: 1744 fps
    Velocity @ 500 yds: 1612 fps

    Muzzle Energy: 1508 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 100 yds: 1308 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 200 yds: 1129 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 300 yds: 971 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 400 yds: 831 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 500 yds: 709 ft-lbs

    6.8mm SPC 120 grain SST®

    Muzzle Velocity: 2460 fps
    Velocity @ 100 yds: 2250 fps
    Velocity @ 200 yds: 2050 fps
    Velocity @ 300 yds: 1862 fps
    Velocity @ 400 yds: 1685 fps
    Velocity @ 500 yds: 1522 fps

    Muzzle Energy: 1612 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 100 yds: 1349 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 200 yds: 1120 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 300 yds: 923 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 400 yds: 756 ft-lbs
    Energy @ 500 yds: 617 ft-lbs

    So, in terms of energy, the 6.5 Grendel is only better once you hit 200 yds, and only a little better, at that. I believe most people would consider 300 yds the maximum practical range, unless you’re target shooting or something. However, I don’t know about you, but I also don’t go purely by “energy” of a bullet. I know a lot of people don’t like it, and think it’s total BS, but I like to go by Taylor KO factors. So, here are the TKOF’s of the two rounds.

    6.5 Grendel 123 grain A-MAX®

    Muzzle TKOF: 10.901
    TKOF @ 100 yds: 10.154
    TKOF @ 200 yds: 9.435
    TKOF @ 300 yds: 8.744
    TKOF @ 400 yds: 8.090
    TKOF @ 500 yds: 7.478

    6.8mm SPC 120 grain SST®

    Muzzle TKOF: 11.681
    TKOF @ 100 yds: 10.684
    TKOF @ 200 yds: 9.735
    TKOF @ 300 yds: 8.842
    TKOF @ 400 yds: 8.001
    TKOF @ 500 yds: 7.227

    So, it still doesn’t look that different. Whether you go by energy, or Taylor KO factors, they’re pretty close. Personally, I still side with the 6.8mm SPC. I don’t know about other brand names of ammunition, but when comparing Hornady to Hornady, the 6.8 is slightly cheaper.

  • Lance

    Muzzle volatility is better for 6.8 under 300 yards but over 300 yards Grendel keeps its volatility and 6.8 dosnt so thats what I Say 6.5 is better.

  • Brian, for military purposes the effective small-arms ranges (including MGs) that we’re looking at are up to 1,000 metres.

    To make a case for itself, a new intermediate small-arms calibre would have to match the hit probability and terminal effects of 7.62mm M80 at 400-1,000 metres (while saving a lot of weight by being more efficient) while also providing better barrier penetration and terminal effectiveness than 5.56mm within 400 metres. Having just one general-purpose round rather than two would bring a number of benefits.

    The argument in favour of the 6.5mm Grendel over the 6.8mm Rem is that the Grendel is (at least in theory) capable of matching the 7.62mm M80 at long range while the 6.8mm Rem is not. However, I am not advocating the 6.5mm Grendel as such since there seem to be issues over the case shape for military use.

  • Nater

    The effective range for military small arms is generally far less than 1000m. Assault rifles and carbines aren’t meant to shoot those distances, and hence don’t need a cartridge that is effective that far out. Automatic rifles/light machine guns also aren’t employed much beyond 5-600m effectively against point targets, so again, no need for a round that is minute of angle accurate at a kilometer.

    The only infantry small arms that can be expected to be used at these ranges are precision bolt-action sniper rifles for point targets and tripod mounted medium machine guns for area targets. From what I’ve been hearing, even semi-automatic sniper rifles like the SR-25/M110 aren’t being employed much beyond 600m. Of course it would be nice to have one round that can do it all, but that is a big hurdle to jump. I think it’s much better to go with two rounds (we are already, anyway) and have more effective rifles, carbines, and light machine guns than it is to wait until the perfect cartridge is developed.

  • Nater, more than half of Taliban small-arms attacks against ISAF forces in Afghanistan have been launched from ranges of greater than 300m and out as far as 900m, mainly using PKM LMGs with some SVD rifles.

    The standard response would be to call up heavy weapons or air support to deal with an enemy at such long range, but in a counter-insurgency conflict like A’stan it is considered important to minimise collateral damage and civilian casualties, which places severe limits on the use of such weapons.

    The 5.56mm weapons are generally considered effective only out to around 300m. If your second calibre is good for only 600m then you need a third calibre to reach out to 900m…

    There are strong arguments in favour of one long-range intermediate cartridge:

    1. To reduce the weight compared with 7.62 ammunition without losing its long-range capability.

    2. To improve the effectiveness and barrier penetration at all ranges compared with 5.56 ammunition without the heavy recoil of 7.62.

    3. To provide greater tactical flexibility, with all riflemen being equipped with weapons effective at all combat ranges.

    4. To facilitate resupply and ammunition sharing, with only one ammunition type in a section.

    5. To save on procurement, support and training costs by halving the number of different small arms acquired.

    Of course, the history of small arms tells us that however strong the arguments, it’s still very unlikely to happen….

  • Brian P.

    If we’re looking for something that’s effective at ranges of up to 1000m or so, then it sounds to me like we’re going to need something that matches the .45-70 Govt (which I’ve heard is effective at those ranges). To expect all of those things from one cartridge is highly unreasonable, and I’d even say practically insane. As it stands, the 5.56mm NATO is barely suitable, even under 300m. The 7.62mm NATO is fine, if you ask me. I was never talking about replacing that one, anyway. Neither the 6.8mm SPC, nor the 6.5mm Grendel could outperform the 7.62. To expect something lighter than the 7.62mm NATO to replace both of them seems like a practical impossibility, to me.

  • Brian it isn’t insane at all.

    To make a worthwhile replacement for 5.56mm (in terms of more reliable terminal effectiveness and barrier penetration over a longer range) you need a bigger cartridge. The 6.8mm Rem was the result when this was last tried, and it does the job very well – at up to maybe 500m. It isn’t good at longer ranges because the necessity to fit it into the AR-15 action means that the bullets are too short and stubby to have good aerodynamics.

    It is easily possible to produce a cartridge which is smaller than the 7.62mm but which matches it at long range. That’s because the 7.62mm M80 is not a very efficient cartridge; the bullet loses velocity quite quickly. When loaded with a low-drag target bullet, the 6.5mm Grendel overtakes the 7.62mm in energy at about 700m and by 1,000m it is significantly better, with more energy, a flatter trajectory and less wind drift. Not a fair comparison, I know, as target bullets are expensive, but it is possible to devise military bullets in the 6.5-7mm range which have lower drag than the M80 and will allow them to gradually catch up with it at longer ranges.

    So if the 6.8mm Rem is a good replacement for the 5.56mm, and a medium-power round in the 6.5-7mm calibre bracket using long-range bullets can replace the 7.62mm, you don’t need to be a genius to work out that one round can be developed to do both jobs.

  • W

    @ Tony

    Im grateful that there are objective minded people like you that agree on the “270” caliber debate. It seems to me that such cartridges, which originally competed against the 7.62 NATO and 30-06, were far ahead of their time. If the military ever wised up, they would adopt a common cartridge. Since we have the technology and ability to do so, it is stupid to keep beating the 5.56mm and 7.62 horse dead (not to mention the nostalgic, emotional fallacy of “bring the 7.62 back” argument).

    Unless phase disruptors come out in the near future, cartridge rifles will remain in service…that is unless somebody makes a breakthrough with caseless rounds (which i think are more of a interm solution anyways).

  • Lance

    @ W

    Its not the Army’s fault NATO made it clear that 9mm 7.62×51 and 5.56×45 are standard the reason we never left them last decade when budgets where good to do so is because of NATO standardization.

  • Nater

    It is, however, the Army’s fault we didn’t get the .276 Pedersen in the M1 in the 1930s. It is the Army’s fault we didn’t get the .270 or .280 British and the FAL in the 1950s. I think that the latter is definitely a worse call.

    I can understand sticking with the 30-06 for the M1. The budgets were non-existent and there were huge stocks of 30-06 left over from WWI. It also simplified the logistics as the military still had a lot of 1903 rifles and all the machine guns and light support weapons used the 30-06.

    The decision to go with the “30 Short”, or .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO was far more ignorant. Yes, it was a physically smaller round than the 30-06 but the ballistics were virtually identical. It was clearly too heavy for automatic fire. Instead of the modern FAL (T-48) chambered in a modern cartridge (.280 British), we got a 1930s rifle with a box magazine and selector switch taped on to it with an overpowered cartridge.

    The people clamoring for 7.62 NATO to come back and pointing to Afghanistan as proof that it needs to are myopic. Afghanistan is a tactical anomaly. Pretty much any fighting in the future will be done in built up areas at close range. The world is becoming more urbanized, not less so.

  • Lance

    @ Nater

    The FAL couldn’t shoot on full auto being controllable either so there was no real advantage in the FAL vs M-14 the M-14 is more accurate at long ranges and more modular since M-14s have been updated threw the years to the EBR standard while FALs have largely disappear from military usage.

  • Nater

    Read my post, that’s not what I said. No 7.62 NATO rifle can be fired on full auto. I said the FAL and the .280 British, the cartridge the rifle was originally designed for.

    There is little doubt the FAL is superior to the M14. The FAL is light years ahead of it from an ergonomics standpoint, it didn’t have a wooden stock to swell during jungle operations, and it could be had in paratrooper/carbine versions.

    The British have done the same thing with the FAL and the US has done with the M14 in recent years. The reason the US uses the M14 (in some cases) for the DMR role is very simple; it’s available. The US government has massive quantities of M14 rifles just gathering dust. The EBR chassis and other similar stock systems exist to correct some of the inherent ergonomic weaknesses of the design that simply do no exist in the FAL.

    Even if the US had gone with a 7.62 NATO FAL, it would have had a common rifle platform with almost all of NATO. They didn’t call the FAL “The Right Arm of the Free World” for nothing.

    The FAL is obsolete now, along with it the M14, G3, and AR-10/SR-25 type rifles. The SCAR-H is superior to any of them.

  • @Lance,

    You have misunderstood Nater’s post. The FAL he was talking about was the one in .280 British, a cartridge which generated far less recoil than the 7.62mm NATO. As a result, that FAL would have been controllable in auto fire.

    When the FAL was redesigned to take the 7.62mm round it became just as uncontrollable as any other rifle in this calibre. It was the choice of calibre that was the mistake – it made little difference whether you had the M14 or the FAL.

    You are also mistaken in believing that the M14 is more common in military service than the FAL. Only some 5,000 M14 have been entirely rebuilt to the EBR standard as a stopgap measure to meet an urgent need for longer-ranged DMRs (sharpshooter rifles) in Afghanistan (the selected DMR is the M110, but they weren’t arriving quickly enough). The M14 was used simply because there were thousands lying unused in store.

    The FN FAL is still in regular frontline service with a few armies. It has been replaced elsewhere simply because the 7.62mm round has largely been replaced in rifles by 5.56mm. The FAL was sold to many more countries than ever used the M14 (and many of those did so because the US gave M14s away). So by any measure, the FAL will go down in history as being far more successful than the M14.

  • W

    Tony and Nater, you are absolutely correct.

    I would certainly blame the 7.62 NATO’s acquisition on the US Army and the US in general, who believed in not “hindering” the power of the 30-06 cartridge for a 270 sized one (even though factually, it would prove to be superior many years later for military roles).

    Even if Afghanistan is a tactical anomaly, it still screams for the need of a 270 sized cartridge, which given current technology, is indeed superior to the 5.56 and comparable to the 7.62 in terms of ballistics and range. In urban combat, i could not think of anything better than a 270 sized cartridge.

    Yes, the FAL is a fine weapon and in my opinion, superior to the M14 in most aspects. It is less expensive to produce, more reliable, and ergonomically superior (while in parallel, not requiring expensive modifications to improve ergonomics such as the case of refurbished M14s).

    I think perhaps it is too much to hope that a 270 sized cartridge will be standardized. As soon as caseless technology matures and undergoes extensive testing, cartridge weapons will be rendered obsolete and it will be pointless to field a temporary stop-gap caliber to replace the 5.56 and 7.62.

    Thinking if we would have adopted the 276 petersen in the 30’s, how far ahead we would have been (not to mention the copious amount of military surplus ammunition!); being able to possess a caliber that was controllable, effective, and accurate back then and equally conducive to the war in afghanistan now. Hindsight 20/20 indeed. This should be considered one of the great blunders of the US military. Still want to “bring the 7.62” back? LOL

  • Lance

    @ NATER

    Sorry nater your wrong the M-14 was lighter and more accurate than the FAL. Yes more countries bought FALs the FAL like the M-14 is a fine weapon and FN had way better marketing than the US government own Springfield armory which over sought Winchester and H&Rs M-14 production fact is the government was too busy selling WW2 M-1 grands and carbines than sell new rifles like FN was doing. As a exporter FAL was more successful but in combat performance and accuracy the M-14 was better. Yes a few countries in Africa and South America use FALs BUT they are old and getting replaced by newer guns like the FNC, M-16, and AKM, AK-103 in Venezuela, Bahamas ect. Yes the original M-14 DMRs where a stop gap in 2001 when we had now reliable semi auto rifle in long distance shooting in Afghanistan. However the M-110 was adopted in 2007 a year before the M-14EBR was adopted most solders prefer the M-14 EBR over the M-110 due to reliability issues and weight. Both will be used for years to come

    Ill meet you half way Tony Williams. the FAL was a awsome rifle and both M-14 and FAL would have worked far better in .280 Brit But it didn’t happen. They both would have been even better in 7.92×33 Kurz like the FAL was suppose to be chambered for.

    I can say both weapons are great M-14 and FAL are history makers the SCAR H is a piece of crap and has it own issues.

  • Lance: “Ill meet you half way Tony Williams. the FAL was a awsome rifle and both M-14 and FAL would have worked far better in .280 Brit But it didn’t happen. They both would have been even better in 7.92×33 Kurz like the FAL was suppose to be chambered for.”

    If all you want is a short-range rifle (out to 300m) then the 7.92×33 is fine. The point about the .280 is that it by using a heavy, aerodynamic bullet, it matched the long-range performance of the 7.62mm so was genuinely an all-purpose military cartridge. The British planned to replace all the .303 weapons plus the 9mm SMGs with .280/7mm weapons.

  • Nater

    Lance, you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. The FAL is in every way superior to the M14 with one exception, the M14 can be made more accurate. As is, it isn’t dramatically more accurate, but with a lot of work it can shoot 1MOA. The FAL is currently in service with more nations now, nearly 60 years after it’s first adoption, than the M14 ever was. There is a good reason for that, it’s a better rifle.

    The SEALs have been using the Mk 14 EBR Mod 0 since 2004, not 2007. The M110 isn’t a DMR rifle, though it can fill that role. It’s accuracy is high enough (sub-MOA) to be considered a legitimate sniper rifle and that is the role it performs. The Mk 14 and other M14 variants are simply not nearly as accurate as the M110. You sacrifice accuracy for durability.

    The SCAR-H is an amazing rifle. The stock hinge is too weak, that’s a minor fault. It is a vastly superior system to any other semi-automatic 7.62x51mm NATO rifle available. It has far less recoil, substantially less weight, and better ergonomics than the FAL, M14, G3/CETME, or SR-25. I highly doubt there is anyone that has shot one and doesn’t like it. Again, you make it obvious that you do not know what you’re ill informed.

    Finally, the .280 British was a superior cartridge compared with the 7.92x33mm Kurz. The 7.92k has all the problems associated with dramatically shortening a full sized rifle case. It’s ballistics are very similar to that of the 7.62×39 with kinetic energy more in line with the 5.56×45, not exactly ideal under any circumstances. It’s a 200m cartridge at best.

  • Nater

    This comment system really needs an edit function. Seriously, it’s probably the only comment or forum system I’ve ever used that doesn’t give you the ability to edit posts.

  • Lance

    @ NAter

    Your thinking of the Mk 14 and the Mk 0 short barred M-14 the EBR did not enter Army service till 07. The FAL was bought more like I keep saying because the US government didn’t sell them till after we adopted the M-16 and so 7.62 NATO rifle were obsolete by then. FN had better sales reps Ill agree with you on that. The EBR is very accurate and I know kills way over 600+ yards away from them. Ive seen and handled SCARs they are not that good and over rely on cheap plastic and I read stories and know people who said its not that durable. You can like FAL I do too I also like the M-14 there mans guns, but you and I can argue on this forever I got my people on my side so do you, lets just move on to guns we can agree on… Amends?

  • Nater

    Lastly, the FAL 50.00 weighs in at roughly 9.5lbs, fairly heavy by today’s standards but light back in the 1950s. The 50.63, the carbine version, weighed 8.4lbs. The M14, on the other hand, weighed in at a piggish 11.5lbs.

  • Nater

    You can think whatever you like, but that doesn’t mean that you’re right. FN didn’t need great sales reps, the FAL sold itself. It was the original ‘space gun’. With most armies still fielding bolt actions, the FAL was an easy choice. The US adopted the M14 over the FAL simply because it was made here. There was a massive, entrenched bureaucracy that was resistant to the idea of any rifle that didn’t have an walnut stock and that wasn’t designed by the Springfield Armory (the actual armory, not the company that now uses it’s name).

    Compared to the M14 the FAL is lighter, has better ergonomics, has been available with folding stocks and short barrels for decades, and is more durable. The M14 having maybe an extra .5MOA of accuracy really doesn’t matter that much for a battle rifle.

    So what if the SCAR-H uses plastic? I thought we were well beyond that sort of backwards thinking. Plastics can be as strong or stronger than steel, they don’t corrode in any way, they aren’t affected by moisture, and they’re light. You’ve obviously not shot a SCAR-17S/H. It’s far and away the best battle rifle that can be had. It weighs close a pound and a half less than any other, has AR ergonomics, and the felt recoil is barely higher than an AR-15. It’s also brand new, whenever a new weapon is first deployed, there are going to be some things that need tweaking. The SCAR has a stock hinge that’s a little weak. That’s pretty mild compared to the normal fielding issues suffered by most rifles. For what it’s worth, rifles have been seen in the wild with a redesigned stock hinge.

    Go shoot a 2x2x2 or a half and half drill with a M14 (or G3, or FAL), then do it with a SCAR-17S. There is no comparison. Sure, I wish it had a longer hand guard, a non-reciprocating charging handle, a front sight that isn’t hooded, and accepted SR-25 pattern magazines… but that doesn’t change the facts about it. It has replaced the FAL 50.63 as the best battle rifle/carbine ever developed.

    The Mk 14 IS the EBR. The Army has the M14EBR-RI. Why they just didn’t go with the rifle already developed my NSWC Crane, I don’t know. The extra 4″ of barrel really doesn’t add that much beyond making the weapon heavier and more unwieldy. It was probably just cheaper and easier to put rack grade M14 barreled actions into Sage stock systems and call it a day.

  • Lance

    Most NATO armies never used carbine versions of the FAL only some paratroopers and some African nations 1 pound dosnt matter all that much I extended a olive branch to you but you prefer to argue. Well The M-14 can engage targets well over 1200 meters FAL was only 800.

  • Nater, I’ve fired a FN SCAR-H alongside an HK 417, an FN FAL, a G3K and an SVD in quick succession.

    The SCAR had a noticeably sharper kick than the HK or FAL (those two felt very similar). Probably because, at least in the versions I fired, the FN was noticeably lighter (barrel length and weight vary in both the SCAR and HK). The FN also felt less solid than the HK, and I have heard comments about fragility from NZ users. On the other hand, you can fold the stock, which you can’t with the HK.

    As a matter of interest, the SVD was much worse than the SCAR, it was a brutal gun to shoot, while the G3K was the worst of the lot – a light, short-barrelled carbine with a folding stock which had a tiny metal buttpad which dug in viciously (I gather the users called that the “meat tenderiser”). I was only wearing a thin shirt and after that session I had a shoulder bruise which lasted for days.

    I’ve also fired an M14, but that was on an earlier occasion so I didn’t get a direct comparison. The M14 felt quite comfortable to shoot, though, probably because of its weight.

  • Nater

    Out of all the 7.62x51mm rifles I’ve shot, the SCAR definitely has the least muzzle climb and felt recoil. While the rifle is light, the reciprocating components are heavy. The one I put a hundred rounds through had a Blackout on it, no muzzle brake. A brake would only make it that much better. It feels more like 6.8mm SPC or 7.62×39.

    The roller delayed blowback rifles definitely had the most violent recoil. A CETME-type rifle with the meat grinder stock is definitely not fun to shoot. I think heavy felt recoil may just be common to system these weapons employ but I’ve never shot them in other calibers to know for certain.

    I shot an LWRC REPR, 16″, and it had fairly stout recoil, definitely not as bad as a CETME/G3, but definitely worse than an M14 or a FAL. I’d put those two roughly even along with the DGI SR-25 style rifles.

    To summarize, from most felt recoil to least:

    HK G3/CETME/PTR-91, gas piston AR-10/SR-25 type rifle, M14 (or M1 in .308), FN FAL, DGI AR-10/SR-25, FN SCAR-H.

    I’d like to shoot an HK 417/MR762, but who knows if I’ll ever get to. HK hasn’t exactly been rushing these things to market.

  • W

    I’m glad somebody is more patient than I am (Nater…well done).

    This is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. There will be no gigantic leap in small arms capability just because of the frame of thinking that has been demonstrated here. It extends far in the civilian world, and even worse in the bureaucratic military. Most of it is emotionalism, sentimental attachment, and downright willful ignorance.

    Plastics = junk
    Bring back the 7.62
    A design that was conceived in the 1930’s is superior to everything else
    Old is best!
    technology has peaked

    Defeatism at its finest. What ever happened to g–dda–ed good ‘ol fashioned human ingenuity!? Somebody clone John Moses Browning…the world needs saving again.

  • Nater

    Bring the straw men.

    A rack grade M14 is a 3 MOA gun, in combat it’s probably shooting 4 MOA ammunition. Let’s just stick with the lower number. 3 MOA at 1,200m is roughly 36″. The rifle isn’t effective at those ranges, period. 1,200m is .300WM bolt gun territory. Even with the M110, a rifle that’s sub-MOA (about twice as accurate as any M14 you’re going to run across) even our best troops don’t rely on it past 600m. Not to mention that the M80-type ammunition the M14 would be shooting during that era drops below supersonic speeds well short of 1,200, well short of 1,000m. The short answer? The M14 isn’t a 1,200m gun, no matter what the Army thought. It doesn’t have the accuracy, it doesn’t have the sights (re: serious optics), it didn’t have the ammunition. Even today, 1,200m with a .308 in a bolt action rifle is quite an accomplishment.

    I’m sure you could probably lob rounds at area targets at that range, but you could do that with a FAL too. But that’s besides the point as the job isn’t really what rifles are for.

    It is slightly more accurate than the FAL, but that’s not nearly enough to make up for all it’s downsides.

    +Available in carbine variant
    +Available with folding stock
    +More durable
    +NATO standard
    +Decent ergonomics
    -Expensive to produce
    -Less accurate than M14

    +More accurate than FAL (or CETME/G3)
    +Fairly inexpensive to produce
    -Rifle variant only
    -No folding stock available
    -Wooden stock
    -Little/no adoption by allies
    -Poor ergonomics

  • Lance

    Nater I know you hate US guns but your wrong The FAL was exported years before the US military exported M-14s, the main reason why it succeed in foreign sales and most experts say the FAL and M-14 where superior to the G3. The current M-14 EBRs are very durable and are perferd by solders over M-110 and that junky SCAR in SOCOM. The M-110, AR-10, M-14, and H&K 417 have been chosen by many over your Mk-17.

    Fact is the M-14 EBR is going to be around for year if not longer cry all you want that’s whats happening in the US Army and Navy. The USMC was going to replace the Mk-39 M-14 with M-110 but the reliability issue may cause delays. Yes the Stoner DI of the M-110 makes accuracy better than piston guns like the M-14 and FAL but there not as reliable in theory.

  • Brian P.

    @Tony Williams: Perhaps it’s just because I go by a different school of thought, but if you ask me, the ability to hit your target at such extremely long ranges (600-1000m) doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effective at those ranges. Also, I would have figured that you would have gathered from one of my previous posts that I don’t go purely by kinetic energy of a bullet. I take stopping power into account too, which I know is typically a controversial subject here, because a lot of people think it’s a bunch of crap, but I don’t. I stand firmly behind it, and that’s not changing. With that said, I don’t believe the 6.8mm SPC and 6.5mm Grendel can outperform the 7.62x51mm NATO because of the lack of power. However, if it is possible and feasible to produce one single cartridge to replace both the 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm NATO rounds, and the 6.8mm SPC isn’t quite suitable because it’s too short, then why not design a cartridge in that “intermediate” range that is more aerodynamic, and design a new rifle around it, instead of trying to make it work in the AR-15 platform? I mean, come on, does the military plan on using the AR-15 design forever? It’s not a universal, end-all be-all rifle. So why not design and manufacture something that is specifically designed around a new round that can be made cheaper than the AR-15, and be more reliable?

  • Lance

    @ Nater


    The M-14 is NOT much heaver and modern stock are collapsible and folding your thinking or the 60s version which FAL did not have a folding stock in German UK and Canadian version so not real BIG deal. FAL IS NOT NATO standard Belgium Austria and UK and Canada used them BUT After 1960 Germany Spain Greece Turkey USA Norway Denmark did NATO use FALs Germany dropped after only short time in use due to FN and Belgium politics. The Rifle variants in NATO use where longer especially UK versions. I read history more than you have.

    I was going to drop the whole thing then you start mud flinging at me well you can argure for 100 years I got facts to shoot you down.

  • W

    “Nater I know you hate US guns but your wrong The FAL was exported years before the US military exported M-14s, the main reason why it succeed in foreign sales and most experts say the FAL and M-14 where superior to the G3.”

    So by all of the compelling points that Nater has brought up, you have come to the conclusion that its all because “he hates US guns”. absolutely absurd. This false assertion has caused you to lose what little credibility you had with me.

    Besides all of the real facts and merits based on the SCAR, you still believe it is “junky”. all facts thrown aside. well done. Way to prove my point i mentioned above.

    For Brian P, “stopping power” relates to kinetic energy. I believe that destruction of tissue is true “stopping power”. I cannot contend that it is a myth either. Of course, there are reports of 7.62 NATO not completely stopping targets on the first shot, so no bullet is a true single shot miracle bullet. I believe that it is possible, and essential, to develop a round to replace both. Having two different types of ammunition presents a significant logistics burden that has been unforeseen until 4th generation warfare in the late 20th, early 21st century. To simply doddle around and hope for the best while keeping obsolete cartridges in services does nobody any good, especially the poor, bloody infantryman.

  • Brian,

    Terminal effectiveness/stopping power is of vital importance at close range, when you have to drop the other guy before he shoots you. As the range extends, it becomes less of an issue – hit probability becomes more important. That means a flat trajectory with a short flight time and minimum deviation from wind drift.

    Terminal effectiveness is about the quantity of energy dumped into the target. For military FMJ rifle bullets, the only way they dump much energy (as opposed to passing straight through and wasting their energy on the background scenery) is if they yaw rapildy on impact so they’re travelling sideways. The 7.62mm M80 does not yaw that fast – a smaller and lighter bullet with quick yaw can be more effective.

    The M80 is also not that great in terms of long-range ballistics – the bullet is fairly light for the calibre. A good 6.5mm can provide better hit probability at 1,000m.

    If you check my post of 20 August at 8.00, you’ll see that we agree on the Grendel, SPC and AR-15. I posted:

    “The 6.8×43 Rem SPC is not an ideal compromise military cartridge, the long-range performance isn’t good enough to replace 7.62mm, so it could only replace 5.56mm. The 6.5mm Grendel has a much better long-range performance, but the short, stubby cartridge case is not ideal. Both rounds have been flawed by being squeezed into the restrictive dimensions of the AR-15 action: it would be necessary to move away from this to achieve an optimised rifle.”

  • Nater

    I only own several different ARs, an M1, an M1 Carbine, and collect Colt double action revolvers…yes, I hate American guns.

    Batty emotional? That’d be you, buddy. Just look at your posts and look at mine, it’s easy enough to see.

    The FAL was as close to a NATO standard as any rifle every got. If the US had picked it up, that would have only made it more so. Countries didn’t buy the M14 instead of the FAL or G3 because it was inferior to both of them. It’s a WWII rifle, it was obsolete before it ever entered service.

    Spain wasn’t in NATO until 1981 or 1982. So them using the CETME instead of the FAL isn’t a big deal. What does matter is that a large number of NATO countries used the rifle. How many used the M14? One.

    SOCOM finds the SCAR-H so ‘junky’ that…they’re ordering more than they planned to? That makes a lot of sense. Complaints about weapons systems usually find their way on to the internet, there are no serious complaints with the SCAR-H. There is a reason why it’s going to replace the SR-25 and M14 in service, it’s better than either.

    I don’t think the average SOF guy is going to take an M14 when a lighter, more accurate, more reliable weapons system is available. The only time you hear about the M14 these days, it’s being used by Army or Marine infantry, not SOCOM. There is a reason for this, the SCAR-H.

    As for the M110 vs. M39. If that were true, then why is the USMC using the Mk 11 Mod 0? It’s pretty much the same rifle as the M110. The early M110s did have some barrel issues because the barrels were contracted to someone other than KAC, but that was fixed a long time ago. Probably before the Marines ever decided to adopt the weapon.

  • Nater

    Oh, and Lance. The M14 is TWO POUNDS heavier. That is, when you’re talking about two rifles chambered in the same cartridge for the same role, a lot.

    The SCAR is a US project. I don’t know the particulars on it, but it may be awhile before you see other nations using it. It’s only very recently that it’s gone beyond the LRIP phase for the United States military.

    The AR-10 hasn’t been made since the 1960s. The M-110 was chosen by the big Army for a different role than the Mk 17. The M-14 has been used because it’s widely available for the US military. The whole point behind the SCAR-H is to replace the M14 and SR-25 in SOCOM.

    The HK 417? That’s a furrin’ gun, the US definitely does not use it. Not to mention that SCAR beat the 416 in harsh condition/endurance testing.

  • Brian P.

    @W: Yes, you could say that stopping power relates to kinetic energy, but having more kinetic energy does not necessarily equate to more stopping power. Sometimes, it does, but certainly not always. Let’s say you have a 5.56x45mm NATO round with a 75 grain bullet, and a 7.62x39mm round with a 123 grain bullet. The 5.56x45mm has a muzzle velocity of 2910 fps, and the 7.62x39mm has a muzzle velocity of 2350 fps. Assuming barrel lengths and shooting conditions equal, the 7.62x39mm bullet has more energy and stopping power at the muzzle than the 5.56x45mm bullet does. Go out to 300 yards, and the 5.56x45mm bullet has more energy, but the 7.62×39 still has more stopping power because it is a bigger, heavier bullet. And yes, I know that the 7.62x51mm NATO isn’t a miracle one-shot knockdown round, but it does have much more stopping power than either of the previous rounds I mentioned, and is more likely to knock someone flat on their ass than those others (assuming equal shot placement, of course). The reason I believe that the 5.56x45mm NATO round should be replaced is because there are handgun rounds with more stopping power. Seriously, the 5.56 only has about as much stopping power as a 9mm Luger, and that doesn’t include the +P rounds. So yes, we need to replace it, and the 7.62x51mm NATO too, if possible.

    @Tony Williams: So you’re speaking of tumbling, then, right? I recommend checking this out, then. It’s an article a friend of mine showed me not too long ago about the “lethality” of the 5.56x45mm NATO round.


    And yes, I agree, it is important that you are able to hit your target. Otherwise, your stopping power becomes zero.

    Ah, sorry, I don’t always read every post before I post a comment, so I must have missed that.

  • Lance

    Sorry Nater your the one who cant stop yelling and winning about it. The M-14 is only 1.5 pounds heaver than a light FAL other version where alot heaver. Sorry the SCAR won because of politics the XCR and H&K have better performance and it won because SOCOM had FN make the gun before the competition even began. The SCAR heavy is being bought because there is NO SBRed 7.62mm rilfe in service M-110 and M-14s are long barreled weapons and dont fair well in CQB battle. Fact is SOCOM adopted it but not too many operators use them main complaint it breaks. M-14 isnt going to be replace by the SCAR the only user of them in any numbers are SEALs Army and USMC units still use them alot. Seen them in plenty of use and the M-14 is still being bout part wise by LBR and Smith enterprises. Fact is the M-14 evolved with the times FAL did not since it was replaced and scrapped by liberal European countries like UK and Belgium. The Brits went with AR-10s and due to the fact the FAL is only in Brit service in very small numbers and the fact there not real accurate past 800 meters they chose AR-10s instead Germany still uses G-3s and the US and Taiwan and South Korea still use M-14s. FALs are in service still in some third world countries but most replaced by a 5.56mm weapon or a AK-47 variant.

    The G-3 was tested in SEAL test and it failed against the M-14 and yes you can argue over the FAL the fact is not all NATO countries used them most used G-3s or even M-1 Grands from WW2 until 5.56mm weapons showed up in the 70s and 80s. The M-14 was used by Pacific allies over FAL and G-3. Taiwan South Korea Philippines and I think a few in Thailand are used Colombia was the only user of M-14 in South America. FAL not a bad weapon I dint say it was it has its place in history BUT your hatred over the M-4 and saying it was junk and inferior is NOT true as well since it has GI trust over 50 years and will be in Military service for many many years to come. Ohh as for NATO standard since so many countries had a mix of Inch and Metric parts and mags and different ammo tolerances it was NOT all compatible. British and American and French and West German Forces had all different rifles or took different FAL or rifle mags so NATO standardization wouldn’t have worked like the WARSAW Pact use of all AK-47s.

  • @Brian: “Tumbling” is not an accurate word, since that implies that the bullet keeps rotating longitudinally. What a pointed FMJ rifle bullet does on entering a dense medium like flesh is to yaw through 180 degrees until it’s travelling base first, which is the stable orientation. This is known as bullet “upset” or “overturn”. Of course, while travelling sideways it makes a much bigger hole and the stress of doing so may also cause it to break up (depending on the bullet design), further enlarging the wound.

    Bullet upset is an important wounding mechanism for all pointed FMJ rifle bullets. The very first .30-cal military FMJ bullets (around 1890-1910) were round-nosed, and they were much more stable so they didn’t yaw on impact, they zipped straight through. Damage was minimal unless they hit something vital, but it was found that making them pointed to improve aerodynamics also made them unstable on impact – and far more effective.

    Bullets vary a lot in the speed and reliability with which they yaw and overturn. What you want for maximum terminal effectiveness is one which begins to yaw as soon as possible (within the first couple of inches) and completes its overturn within about 12 inches. That places the maximum size of the wound channel where it will do most damage. Few bullets manage this but some are better than others.

    The problem with the 5.56mm bullet design (especially the SS109/M855 NATO) is that its yaw and overturn performance is very unreliable, and depend to a great extent on the degree to which the bullet is already yawing in the air before impact – and that’s down to luck. When it is already yawing by at least 3 degrees, then on impact it will overturn quickly and at short range will disintegrate explosively. If it is not yawing it overturns very slowly or not at all. Tests have shown that in 85% of hits on ballistic gel, the M855 does not start to yaw until travelling at least 4.7 inches – if it yaws at all.

    This is why you get such variable accounts of 5.56mm effectiveness. Some soldiers say “He dropped like a stone after just one shot”, others “I kept shooting him and he wouldn’t go down”. They are both correct – what happens to someone who is shot obviously depends on bullet placement, and less obviously (but importantly) on what the bullet does after it has hit – which as I said is down to luck.

  • @Lance: on a point of information, the FAL isn’t in any kind of British service and hasn’t been for decades. Unlike the USA, the UK does not store obselete weapons, it gets rid of them. So when a demand arose for a 7.62mm semi-automatic sharpshooter rifle, a new one had to be bought.

    The main criterion in choosing the L129A1 was accuracy; it not only has a heavy barrel but a rigid supporting structure of all-round P-rails. The SCAR-H is more of a general-purpose rifle, although SOCOM has since acquired a variant with a long heavy barrel for the sharpshooter role.

  • Lance

    I know Tony about the Mk-20 But ive seen only short barreled version in use.

  • Nater

    Sorry, but I’m not the one that made a semi-rational post about how someone ‘hates US guns’, with the use of all caps in certain instances. That’s packetized butthurt.

    I don’t know of any competition between the SCAR-H and the HK417, so it’s impossible to state which one was chosen as superior. I can tell you that from a purely theoretical standpoint, the SCAR-H is more reliable. You get a seized piston with an HK 417, you have to remove the hand guard to free it. Racking the charging handle on the SCAR would likely free a seized piston. If either has a badly seized piston, well, they’re both going to be down for some time.

    In a competition between the SCAR-L and the HK416, performance was equal. The SCAR-L had a slightly better number of stoppages, but it was so close as to not matter. Comparison with the XM8, the SCAR had slightly more stoppages but the SCAR doesn’t tend to melt under sustained fire. It also has rail space.

    1.5lbs is a huge amount of weight in a rifle system. It’s a pretty big difference when all other parameters are equal. But in the case of the FAL and the M14, they’re certainly not equal. Objectively, the FAL is a better weapons system. It’s beyond debate.

    Most of the nations that did use the M14 got them for next to nothing via US largess. South Korea received them via a US military assistance program, I believe the Philippines and Taiwan did as well. Columbia has also been a major recipient of US military assistance… If you don’t have to buy your rifles or get them at a substantial discount, it isn’t such a big deal to take an obsolete system. The US is also probably the best weapons salesman in the world.

    If the G3 failed in SEAL testing, what failed and why? Why can you see SEALs prepping G3s for battle in footage of Grenada? Why did the SEALs use the G3 in Vietnam instead of the M14? The roller delayed blow back system is about as durable as any. It’s more durable than short/long stroke gas piston systems. Don’t think the G3 is the most durable 7.62 NATO rifle system? Ask Larry Vickers.

    I never said the ‘M14 was junk’. I said it was obsolete compared to other weapons systems that were introduced at the same time. This is absolutely true. The system was state of the art circa 1940, not 1960.

    You are right about the metric and imperial FALs, but even that difference would be pretty minor compared to three different rifle systems. Some parts are interchangeable and they have the exact same manual of arms. It’s unfortunate that the US and UK can’t use the vastly superior metric system, but that’s the way it is.

  • Brian P.

    @Tony Williams: Hmm…I was under the impression that tumbling meant that it yawed. My mistake. Either way, what you said is right, and that’s why I don’t like the 5.56. It’s unreliable, and if it doesn’t yaw at all, then you’re just putting a really tiny hole through someone when you shoot them. As I see it, it’s a peashooter, and you have to either hit someone’s vitals or get lucky to take someone down with it.

  • Lance


    Your the one whi is yelling. The SOCOM competition for the SCAR is what was rigged for it to pass the H&K series of piston ARs where there and XCR as well bother where better than the SCAR but politics won in the navy since the staff who wrote the competition worked with FN for the gun.

    The M-14 may have had a old style stock but was just a compatible in the 60s as the G3 FAL rifles. No its modernized none Navy M-14s use modern EBR stocks and have been liked by troops well over the G-3 and SEALs didn’t carry G-3s in Vietnam they used M-16A1s and Stoner LMG. The M-14 won over Navy use and in temperate and Arctic warfare is still in use with SEALs.

    Now Steve will eventually say stop I say let it go NATER lets find thins on line here we can agree on stop the fighting over a issue none of use will ever have a say in the M-14 is going to be in US service for many years to come.

  • Nater

    The XCR is a massive pile of crap. It can’t even pass a simple dirt and debris test without the rear takedown pin blowing and the upper and lower coming apart. It’s on the internet for everyone to see. Not to mention that Robinson doesn’t have the massive manufacturing capabilities of someone like FNH.

    The HK piston ARs were not in the SCAR trials but a third party entered the XM8 with rails hung on it. The XCR was disqualified because Robinson couldn’t even deliver parts on time. Clutch at those straws a little harder with erroneous information. Par for the course.

    The SEALs used the G3 in Vietnam as their 7.62mm rifle. They also carried the HK33, basically a 5.56mm version.

    Back up your comments. There is absolutely nothing to be found on the internet regarding statements like ‘no one uses it because it breaks’. In fact, there is little to be found but praise for the SCAR-H. When users don’t like a weapons system, it finds it way on to the internet. You only have to look at the massive numbers of articles on the M110 to realize this.

    You again and again make things up to justify your false ideology. It is ideology, since it’s not based on anything resembling fact. I only keep going because you keep posting erroneous information.

  • Lance

    No Nater your using your ideology The G-3 was not used by SEALs in name and the HK-33 wasn’t even in mass production during most of the war.

    The XCr is proven design and AR piston guns in many ways are a better gun to the SCAR the SCAR is just a AR-180 action with new furniture

  • Lance

    Your the one using fiction on your post Or are you destroyer from years past who was banned from this site? You are going way way out on personal attacks and hatred over a discussion on a site which no too many people read comments and more about the articles. You have no say in history or US policy on guns in service and you keep saying you know all. I keep offering you to stop and id stop and we can talk about stuff we can agree on and other articles. Your the one who gets all bent out of shape and calling me a lair fake and other insults. Nater you have to learn that not every one agrees with you feelings in history and what gun is the best. get over it Nater.

    There is too little info about the SCAR, only a few are in sue and They are NOT replacing M-14s and M-110s in service. Only a few SOCOM units are using them and even less when L models get phased out soon. The cuts in defense will make production slower as well.

    FNH is a old company with some good MG designs BUT there new designs haven’t been the best the FN 2000 is a bust only a few agencies using them. Same for SCAR which has been passed by by H&K and Glock and Colt and other companies and designs in foreign sales.

  • Nater

    You can find pictures in Vietnam of the SEALs carrying the HK33, you can find pictures of them carrying G3-type rifles. How widespread their use was, I do not now, but used they were. I didn’t even know they used the HK33 until recently, but there is a prominent picture of a SEAL taking a prisoner and he’s carrying one. They’re pretty distinctive rifles.

    AR piston guns have one serious weakness, you can’t un-stick a stuck piston without taking them apart. You don’t have that problem with the SCAR. It’s actually the AR-16’s operating system, and it’s a superior system to any AR-15 type design with a piston retrofitted. The mass of the system is more centralized, the charging handle operates the entire operating system, and the recoil impulse and cyclic rate are lower. The HK 416 cycles at roughly 1000rds/sec, even faster with a suppressor attached. Obviously not the best for reliably feeding and parts longevity. Half of the problems with the original XM16E1 were caused by a similarly high cyclic rate, luckily we have better magazines now. This is, obviously, not how fast HK says it cycles but is the result of independent testing. Gas piston ARs, in general, cycle very fast.

    I’ve called you a liar or fake? I’ve said you don’t know what you’re talking about, which is correct. Other than you going off the rails for one post, there hasn’t been any personal insults on either side. You just seem to have a bad habit of making up ‘facts’ or mis-remembering things. Only you know which it is.

    It’s fine that you think the M14 is better, but it’s entertaining to point out just how wrong you usually are. Every single fact I’ve stated is probably available on Wikipedia. I don’t have to resort to falsehoods when the facts are available.

    The whole point of the SCAR-H is to replace the M14 and SR-25. Considering it’s only been in LRIP recently, obviously this isn’t happening NOW. However, it is the whole point of the -H system.

    The F2000 is designed for Europe. America doesn’t like bullpups, with good reason, so it should be no surprise that no one here is really using it. The SCAR has been passed by Glock? A company that only makes pistols? By Colt? Who hasn’t had an original idea in…decades? By HK? Who’s 416 has performed below the SCAR in testing and the (cancelled) XM8 that melts? That doesn’t have 1913 space? How exactly have any of these companies produced a better 7.62mm rifle? It’s also pretty hard to judge it’s sales performance when thus far it’s only been part of a US program and only in LRIP.

    That the SCAR-L isn’t being adopted is no great surprise. It’s not enough of an improvement over the standard carbines to warrant purchase. Despite what people think, the M4 is a fairly reliable weapon when properly maintained.

    Your bleating about ‘stopping’ is also disingenuous…if you want to stop, then stop. But you want to have the last, likely incorrect, word.

    As for the SCAR-H, maybe Larry Vickers can educate you where I cannot:

  • ragnarok220

    XCR is not a piston AR. It’s more like an AK with an AR lower receiver.


  • Lance

    Nater there you go with your name calling and false hoods gain

    Every Vietnam book and documentary and SEALs interviewed said they used M-16s and Stoner machine guns your wrong they dont use G-3s No US military service ever did.The pic you see must have been either of African bush war or of other national armies in Asia fighter the commies. Your usually wrong abut the M-14 every time Guess what the Army agreed with my side they use M-14s and AR-10 action rifle your FAL is no where in most armies now days. Your pics may be of another service or war. 7.62mm rifles where not popular in Vietnam Aussies even dumped the L1A1 for M-16s.I personally know vets and know they didn’t use German rifles of any type.

    As for your SCAR its a SOCOM only weapon and is NOT replacing M-14s and M-110s in military service check out SOCOM entries on popular military web blogs and you fin they are not as popular as you think. yes you can say SCAR did ok in the dust test but the XM-8 beat it and the H&K 416 matched your scar with only a handful of more stoppages. No one is buying it. As for mentioning Glock i meant no one is buying FN pistols any more apart from the High Power most Cops and solders in the west dumped FN SA/DA pistols for Glock Berettas and 1911s.

    Before you go name calling check what your shoveling.

  • ragnarok220

    SEALs did use HK 33s in Vietnam. The rifles were made by Harrington & Richardson called the T223.

    T223 – which is a copy of the Heckler & Koch HK33 Assault Rifle under license by Harrington & Richardson used in small numbers by Navy SEAL teams. Even though the empty H&R T223 was 0.9 pounds (0.41kg) heavier than an empty M16A1, the weapon had a forty-round magazine available for it and this made it attractive to the SEALS.

  • Lance, they are correct. The seals used a licensed copy of the HK33 made by H&R called the T223. Plenty of photos from Vietnam document this. Its a fact.

    • As a point of trivia, one of the SEAL Team 2 evaluators of the T223 was Rudy Boesch.

  • Lance

    Yes I did some research to day and a small number of H&R rilfes where used I admit I was wrong on that. But they did not use G-3s or any other 7.62mm NATO rifle in Nam I check out Vietnam website and wikapedia. So I know I admit on the T223. But still hold on about the fact no US military units used G-3s that’s why SEAL still have M-14s.

  • Lance

    Ahh check it out though H&R was the largest commercial maker of M-14s. Only second to the US Springfield Armory.

    M14 (1959–1964). H&R had the largest contract of four (4) manufacturers (H&R, Winchester, The Springfield Armory, and Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge (TRW)), to produce the M14 rifle.

    I admit when im wrong and I admit it over the T223 I just never saw one most sec ops men I talked to or read about used M-16A1s which H&R made too. I stil stand firm the M-14 is a great weapon and has its place on the modern battlefield as a EBR or navy watchmen rifle.

    Thank you Steve.

  • Brian P.

    I don’t know about you all, but I love the G3s, the FALs, AND the M1s.

  • Lance

    There all good weapons I didnt say they where they are all good.

  • Brian P.

    @Lance: I know, I’m just saying. I’d like to get one of each, and maybe an M21 Tactical sometime down the road, but those things are really expensive. I looked up the M21’s retail price, and it’s almost $3500.