An Analysis of the Soldier’s Load with 6.5mm Cased Telescoped Ammunition (Part 1)

lsat-machine-gun-tfb

Recently, I wrote an editorial regarding the LSAT/CTSAS team’s NDIA presentation on their 6.5mm cased telescoped carbine and machine gun concepts. There was a lot to say about the history of Army programs and the pitfalls facing that team, but today I want to get down to brass tacks and explore the weight savings and/or penalty of issuing to the infantry platoon the 6.5mm CT cartridge Phillips’ team proposed. Like in my November of 2013 article on the general purpose cartridge concept, I will be using the loads reported in the paper The Modern Warrior’s Combat Load, released in 2003. That paper is a little dated, unfortunately, but it’s the most comprehensive survey of the platoon’s loadout of which I am aware.

I am going to approach this from three angles: 1.) What is the weight penalty for replacing 5.56mm and 7.62mm both round-for-round with 6.5mm CT ammunition? 2.) What is the ammunition reduction for replacing 5.56mm and 7.62mm both pound-for-pound with 6.5mm CT ammunition? 3.) What is the weight penalty or reduction for replacing 5.56mm and 7.62mm both round-for-round with a lightened, more optimized 6.5mm CT configuration (which I will call for the purposes of this article “LW 6.5mm CT”)? 4.) What is the weight penalty or reduction for replacing 5.56mm and 7.62mm both round-for-round with 5.56mm CT and 6.5mm CT*? We’ll cover the first two in this post, and the rest in part two.

*Note that 7.62mm CT is almost identical in weight to 6.5mm CT, so this should be illustrative of both.

lsat-machine-gun-tfb

The 5.56mm CT LSAT machine gun.

 

TFB readers should also know that as I write this, I have not done the calculations yet. So, you will find out as I do what the results are; that’s the best way for me to stay honest. Now, to begin: First, we need to do some preliminary math. Unlike my previous articles using this method, this time I will be accounting for the weight of magazines and belt links (at the time I wrote those articles I could not find or create those figures, so I left them out). So, below I have listed the weights of the different elements in this calculation, with hyperlinks to their sources. In some cases, the weights are calculated from information given in the sources, but for the sake of brevity I will leave out that math. My readers should still be able to check my work, even so. I should finally note that while I have listed weights for all items in grains and grams both, all my math will be done using grams and kilograms only.

 

Weight of 1 round of 6.5mm CT: 237 grains / 15.4 grams
Weight of 1 belt link for 7.62mm/6.5mm CT: 22.5 grains / 1.46 grams

Weight of 1 round of 5.56mm CT: 127 grains / 8.2 grams
Weight of 1 belt link for 5.56mm CT: 13 grains / 0.84 grams*

*Plastic belt link figures given in various LSAT/CTSAS presentations are all over the place, from 6 grains to 21 grains, so I am using a guesstimated figure of 13 grains for this exercise, which I arrived at simply by scaling down the 22.5 grain figure for the 7.62mm belt link. If there’s an error here, it shouldn’t significantly affect the end result, and using these figures should at least be fair to both calibers.

Weight of 1 round of 5.56mm NATO (M855, M855A1, Mk. 318, or SS109): 185 grains / 12.0 grams
Weight of 1 M27 belt link: 30.9 grains / 2.00 grams
Weight of 1 30-round USGI magazine: 1,750 grains / 113 grams

Weight of 1 round of 7.62mm M80A1 Ball: 356 grains / 23.1 grams
Weight of 1 M13 belt link: 65.1 grains / 4.22 grams
Weight of 1 20-round M14 magazine: 3,580 grains / 232 grams

 

dw650ot

Exactly what it says on the tin. Source: Picatinny/Textron.

 

We are pretty much given the weight figures for everything above, but we don’t know what the weight of the 20-round 6.5mm CT magazine is for the CTSAS 6.5mm carbine. However, this should be fairly easy to estimate. We can start with a known polymer magazine of similar dimensions:

Weight of 1 30-round Gen M3 PMag: 4.9 oz, 2,144 grains, 138.9 grams

And then make some adjustments. First, I want to calculate the volume of each respective cartridge stack, which will inform what the weight adjustment needs to look like. This is easily done, as long as we know the width modifier for double-stacked cartridges. That is:

Width modifier for stacked circles: 1.866

So then we calculate the volume of each respective cartridge stack. Here I have converted all figures into metric using the factor 25.4 mm/in; the raw figures I obtained from the slide from Phillips’ presentation, show below:

wV5UVry

So that gives us:

Volume of 30-round column of 5.56mm cartridges: 1.866 * 9.6mm * 15.5 * 9.6mm * 57.4mm = 153.0 cm^3
Volume of 20-round column of 6.5mm CT cartridges: 1.866 * 12.8mm * 10.5 * 12.8mm * 51.6mm = 165.6 cm^3

Adjustment = 165.6 / 153.0 = 1.083x

Weight (estimated) of 1 20 round 6.5mm CT polymer magazine: 2,321 grains / 150.4 grams

Let’s round that off to:

Weight of 1 20-round 6.5mm CT magazine: 2,320 grains / 150 grams

Alright, so now we’re cooking with gas. Let’s take a look at what the ammunition load for the infantry platoon looks like now. The infantry platoon in the US Army contains three infantry squads, a weapons squad, and a platoon headquarters, for a total of five units. In each of the three infantry squads, there is the Squad Leader armed with an M4 Carbine, two Team Leaders armed with M4 Carbines, two Automatic Riflemen armed with M249 SAWs, two Grenadiers armed with M4 Carbines and attached M203 GLs, and two Riflemen armed with M4 Carbines. Their ammunition load looks like this:

 

Infantry Squad:

Squad Leader: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines totaling 3.311 kg
Team Leader: 210 rounds 5.56mm in magazines, 200 rounds linked 5.56mm for M249 totaling 6.111 kg (x2)
Automatic Rifleman: 800 rounds linked 5.56mm totaling 11.200 kg (x2)
Grenadier: 210 rounds 5.56mm in magazines, 200 rounds linked 5.56mm for M249 totaling 6.111 kg (x2)
Rifleman: 210 rounds 5.56mm in magazines, 200 rounds linked 5.56mm for M249 totaling 6.111 kg (x2)

Weight of ammunition of infantry squad: 62.377 kg (x3)

 

In the weapons squad, you have the Squad Leader armed with an M4 Carbine, two Machine Gunners armed with M240 GPMGs, two Assistant Gunners armed with M4 Carbines, and two Ammunition Bearers armed with M4 Carbines.

 

Weapons Squad:

Squad Leader: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines totaling 3.311kg
Machine Gunner: 300 rounds linked 7.62mm, totaling 8.196 kg (x2)
Assistant Gunners: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines, 400 rounds linked 7.62mm for M240 totaling 14.239 kg (x2)
Ammunition Bearer: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines, 300 rounds linked 7.62mm for M240, 140 rounds 7.62mm in 7 magazines totaling 16.365 kg (x2)

Weight of ammunition of weapons squad: 80.911 kg

 

In the platoon headquarters, you have the Platoon Leader armed with an M4 Carbine, the Platoon Sergeant armed with an M4 Carbine, the Radio Operator armed with an M4 Carbine, the Combat Medic armed with an M4 Carbine, and the Field Artillery Forward Observer, also armed with an M4 Carbine.

 

Platoon HQ:

Platoon Leader: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines totaling 3.311 kg
Platoon Sergeant: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines totaling 3.311 kg
Radio Operator: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines totaling 3.311 kg
Combat Medic: 210 rounds 5.56mm in 7 magazines totaling 3.311 kg

Weight of ammunition of platoon headquarters: 13.244 kg

 

So that gives us a total ammunition load for the entire platoon as currently armed of 281.286 kilograms. Now we’ll compute that load with the 6.5mm CT, if we control (approximately) for the number of rounds carried. I should note before, however, that the ammunition bearer in the weapons squad will not carry the same number of rounds, as in theory the 6.5mm CT carbine would be able to replace both the 5.56mm M4 Carbine and 7.62mm M14 EBR that he previously carried. This would actually allow him to carry more linked ammunition, or for some of the ammunition carried by the AGs to be carried by him instead, but I’ll leave it like it is for the purposes of this post. We find:

 

Infantry Squad:

Squad Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Team Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 200 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 7.952 kg (x2)
Automatic Rifleman: 800 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 13.488 kg (x2)
Grenadier: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 200 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 7.952 kg (x2)
Rifleman: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 200 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 7.952 kg (x2)

Weight of ammunition of infantry squad: 79.268 kg (x3)

 

Weapons Squad:

Squad Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Machine Gunner: 300 rounds linked 6.5mm CT, totaling 5.058 kg (x2)
Assistant Gunners: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 400 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 11.324 kg (x2)
Ammunition Bearer: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 300 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 9.638 kg (x2)

Weight of ammunition of weapons squad: 56.620 kg

 

Platoon HQ:

Platoon Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Platoon Sergeant: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Radio Operator: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Combat Medic: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg

Weight of ammunition of platoon headquarters: 18.320 kg

 

The total weight carried by the platoon equipped with 6.5mm CT ammunition as proposed by the CTSAS program is therefore 312.744 kilograms, an increase in weight carried of 11% versus the dual-caliber brass-cased infantry platoon. For accounting purposes, if we add in the difference of 300 rounds (and 15 magazines needed to carry them) that are the difference between these two examples, we get a weight of 319.623 kilograms, and an increase of 14%.

In fact, the new infantry squad carries almost as much weight collectively with its nine men as the seven men of the old weapons squad carried with 7.62×51 and 5.56×45 NATO. The big winners with the 6.5mm CT, however, are the members of the weapons squad. The Machine Gunners carry more than three kilograms less than they previously did, while the two Assistant Gunners lose nearly as much. The Ammunition Bearers, though, lose a whopping 6.727 kilograms by switching to 6.5mm CT! Good news for them, to be sure.

Now another question we can answer is “if switching to 6.5mm CT increases the weight carried by the platoon, by how many rounds would the platoon’s load need to be reduced to equalize the weight carried with the legacy arrangement?” We know that we need to reduce weight by 31.458 kilograms, and the obvious place to start is with the linked ammunition in the infantry squads, who carry the most weight in ammunition of any unit in the platoon under the new 6.5mm CT configuration. Individually, each infantry squad carries 2800 linked rounds (1400 rounds per automatic rifle), for 8400 rounds of between all three squads. By comparison, the weapons squad only carries 2000 linked rounds (1000 rounds per machine gun).

Each round of 6.5mm CT weighs 16.86 grams when linked, so that means we have to reduce the load of the platoon by 1,866 rounds of (linked) ammunition to equal the previous load. If we take this out of the infantry squads only, that’s 622 rounds per infantry squad, or a loss of 311 rounds per automatic rifle. Still, that leaves each automatic rifle with 1,089 rounds, more than is available for each machine gun in the weapons squad. We’ll just round that up to 1,100 rounds per automatic rifle (2,200 per squad, 6,600 for all three squads):

 

Infantry Squad:

Squad Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Team Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 200 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 7.952 kg (x2)
Automatic Rifleman: 500 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 8.430 kg (x2)
Grenadier: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 200 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 7.952 kg (x2)
Rifleman: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 200 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 7.952 kg (x2)

Weight of ammunition of infantry squad: 69.152 kg (x3)

 

Weapons Squad:

Squad Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Machine Gunner: 300 rounds linked 6.5mm CT, totaling 5.058 kg (x2)
Assistant Gunners: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 400 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 11.324 kg (x2)
Ammunition Bearer: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines, 300 rounds linked 6.5mm CT totaling 9.638 kg (x2)

Weight of ammunition of weapons squad: 56.620 kg

 

Platoon HQ:

Platoon Leader: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Platoon Sergeant: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Radio Operator: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg
Combat Medic: 200 rounds 6.5mm CT in 10 magazines totaling 4.580 kg

Weight of ammunition of platoon headquarters: 18.320 kg

 

That gives us a weight for ammunition in the platoon of 282.396 kg, a difference of just a kilogram. Close enough.

What’s interesting about this configuration is that it reduces the ammunition load on those who previously carried the most, while spreading the load out more evenly among the members of the platoon. Still, the additional weight of the 6.5mm CT round versus 5.56mm does result in the loss of 1800 rounds of ammunition for the platoon.

That’s all for part one. In part two, we’ll compare this result with dual-caliber PCT systems, and with a reduced-weight 6.5mm PCT system, to see if we can’t start saving even more weight.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


Advertisement

  • politicsbyothermeans

    Good stuff as always, Nathaniel. From an academic perspective, it’s interesting to look at the ammunition reduction required to maintain weight parity between brass and CT. In practice, we’re not going to take one round less than we think we’ll need. Guys will take the back plates or sides plates out of their IOTV to get weight reduction before they’d leave ammo in the vehicle or back at the COP. Anyway, I look forward to part 2.

    • Jarrad

      I have never heard of this and as an NCO would never allow this. And anyone that would do this is foolish

      • politicsbyothermeans

        Okay, dude. Stay safe.

        • Jarrad

          4 tours Iraq 03. 05-06, 07-08 09-10. 11 Bravo. 2 tours with 3rd ID and 2 with 1st ID

          • politicsbyothermeans

            No, no dickmeasuring going on here. I don’t know you, you don’t know me. I’m not any more interested in a discussion with a COD fanboy than you are. That’s not the case here so let’s drive on.

            You and I have different experiences, no big deal. Given the relatively low number of hits on rear and side plates and depending on the mission profile, it could be a prudent risk to only wear the front plate. That’s some major weight savings. You know that fatigue can, and does, kill just as sure as small arms fire does.

            Goose gunners in particular sometimes don’t wear rear plates in their RBAV. Plenty of guys with beards don’t wear a rear plate in their MBAV. The Crye JPC doesn’t even have pouches for side plates. Most guys at Group running plate carriers like the ATS Aegis roll with soft side armor and use the plate pouches to hold stuff, especially chest seals and other medical gear that doesn’r fare well when rolled up.

            Different mission profiles, different requirements. I’ll also note that Iraq was, and is, a very different fight than AFG. I’m not dogging your time in the sand, just saying that there is probably less of an excuse to ditch plates in Iraq when you are rarely out more than a day and almost always have vehicles nearby and a COP or FOB to return to every night. It is also often more of a 360° threat environment whereas AFG is often less so.

            Anyway, thanks for your service and thanks for the perspective.

          • Jarrad

            I had heard of guys ditching side plates but never rear plates no mater the weight savings. That just sees foolish. But I suppose it happened though if it did a someone got killed because of it. I imagine therewould be hell to pay and 15-6 Investgations for everyone

      • Some of the SF guys would go entirely without armor in some cases. Just wearing a light weight chest rig.

        If you are actually trying to catch up with the dudes you are chasing being weighed down with 45lbs of armor doesn’t help.

        • Jarrad

          I am not SF and SF does what they want. As a regular Infantryman this is foolish. hence why plate carriers came into play. Even the Regiment is always in armor.

        • CommonSense23

          Going without plates actually requires getting a waiver put in. Typically only for the Recce guys. Someone takes a round to the chest without that waiver and a lot of head are going to roll.

  • PK

    I’m very much looking forward to part two! This is a wonderful article, keep up the great work.

  • Tritro29

    For every pound freed, two pounds of supplemental stuff will be added. And not always impacting the fighting capabilities favourably. It’s the un step forward, two back symptom from Log Team!

    • politicsbyothermeans

      100lbs of lightweight gear.

      • Kivaari

        Like, which is lighter a hundred pounds of gold or a hundred pounds of feathers?

        • Longhaired Redneck

          100 British pounds?

          • Kivaari

            A hundred English pounds worth of gold probably weighs less than a hundred pounds worth of feathers.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            But more than a $100 USDs worth of gold

          • Kivaari

            English pounds or Euros has always been more than the USD. At one time the English pound was worth 3.5 times a USD. The Euro has kept pace with the dollar, always being more valuable. But in the end, the product costs the same using any currency. The biggest difference in Europe is the VAT that makes US products more costly.
            I remember selling Leupold scopes to Swedes, where the same $scope had so much tax they cost a similar 3.5 times the over the counter price in the USA. It was likely unlawful for them to take them to Sweden and not declaring them. Since we can’t ship gun items valued at $100 or more out of the USA without getting permission from the State Department. ITAR gear.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            The British Pound Sterling – once equivalent to 12 Troy ounces of Sterling silver…or a Troy pound of sterling

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            There was a time the European was worth U$D 0.88.

        • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          Hundred pounds of gold … literally. Gold is measured in Troy

          • Kivaari

            Except we are not using Troy units, we are suing pounds and ounces that are equal. We could use kilograms if you like.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Except for the fact that gold isn’t measured or sold in the US customary system only Troy Oz, Troy pounds, Troy Tonnes . You’d be correct. If you used kilos, that would be different. They do sell gold in grams and kilogram

          • Kivaari

            Except when we say 100 pounds we mean 100 pounds. Just because gold is in Troy ounces, doesn’t mean anything. Regardless of how gold is bought or sold, it is still 100 pounds, not “Troy pounds”.
            When we say English pounds, the monetary unit, translates into how much they buy. L100 buys less than a single Troy ounce of gold. Buy L100 worth of feathers and they will be heavier, unless you are killing endangered species where those are sold at inflated prices. Like buying bald eagle feathers, and they are worth 10 years in prison.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Saying 100 pounds of gold means a hundred pounds avoirdupois , unless you actually are trying to buy or sell gold. Good arguing with you. Only people that know nothing about gold would say that. Some things have a different measures, land speed mph or airspeed knots. Nautical miles are used.
            I guess you could convert them but when you are talking about certain things, there are implied standards. If you ask a pilot how fast verses a driver and they both answer about a 100, is the unit of measure is implied?

            By the by, I didn’t say anything about Pounds Sterling other than a £100 buys more gold than $100. The whole £100 of gold weighing more that 100 pounds of feathers, not sure where you pulled that from.

          • Kivaari

            It’s an old grade school question, where people were asked. “Which weighs more, one hundred pounds of gold or feathers.”. English pounds didn’t matter than, nor today. They only came in when someone couldn’t grasp the grade school level question.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            This came up in the third grade but the question was which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of gold? At least in our southern grade schools. It was used to teach critical thinking and the mistakes make when assuming things are equivalent.
            The first question is above and the answer was feathers. Then the explanation of Troy pounds verse avoirdupois.
            The next question was which is heavier, an ounce of feathers or an ounces of Gold?
            The right answer was what is the equivalent amount of troy ounces of gold to an avoirdupois ounce of feathers? This was folded in to the metric system .
            I guess they taught critical thinking a little different when I was in school.
            I do find it interesting that the British Pound or Pound Sterling was a Troy pound of sterling [92.5% silver] worth about $183 at the time I calculated while the actual paper currency has been debased to $1.45. Hard to believe that it is worth less than 1% of the standard. The amount of gold one US dollar represented 85 years ago is about $57 today. However based on the admitted manipulation to keep gold and silver prices low, this is probably off my a major factor.

          • Kivaari

            Except we never went there. We often used other metals, like lead or steel. We could not have cared less about using other weights and measures, when comparing equals. If one item was in metric, we either did the math so the items were used comparing the same formula. Same with gold weights measures. One doesn’t compare pounds to pounds unless you convert to the unit of measure. As for money, that was not even discussed in that context. I feel you guys are being silly to inject those side issues. What weighs more 100 pounds of lead or 100 pounds of feathers? It’s simple they are the same. Don’t add pallets or wrapping as it is net weight.

          • Kivaari

            Except, all of that doesn’t matter. A hundred pounds of gold is one hundred pounds of gold. It doesn’t matter if it is sold using variously named units of measure. If I have one hundred pounds of anything, it is a hundred pounds. If I had my own schedule of weights, when converted to pounds and ounces of common use in America, it would be 100 pounds. A rose by another name is still a rose. A hundred pounds of gold by any other name is still 100 pounds of gold.

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Perhaps In your world . I net you think a gallon in the UK is a gallon here. My world is nuanced and requires implied knowledge.

      • n0truscotsman

        The general rule is: any pound saved by the lightening of something shall be compensated for in ammunition weight.

        😛

        It weighs what it weighs.

      • Greg Kelemen

        Mind. Blown.

    • Martin M

      Precisely. You develop lighter ammunition, you carry more ammunition. The load never decreases.

      • Tritro29

        The biggest issue with more, is that it is never going to be enough. So basically it’s a very short sighted course of action. The idea is to actually unburden the individual soldier so as to have him be more tactically flexible. Which, all people who’ve served , means the complete opposite for the Brass.

        The load qualitatively isn’t going to decrease anyway, it quantitatively that it becomes absurd. Holding 30% more ammo, for instance, isn’t always useful. Having a supplemental disposable MP launcher, or a LAW-type weapon system, that is, in my opinion far more interesting . Things we didn’t exactly achieved in Russia, where Load loads you…but yet, I feel that on some instances, training to haul around an RPO/RShG style launcher meant a LOT more fire power than a couple hundred rounds more.

        • Martin M

          You want to know how to halve the load of a trooper? Send twice as many troopers! Then you don’t need to carry as much ammo as a WWII platoon. Better yet, send 10x as many.
          Bring back conscription and send these whiny millennials off to do some good in the world. Why not have every rifleman be issued to millennials to carry their extra ammo and gear.

          • Kivaari

            If they did use the draft, I think the quality of soldiers would improve. Too many people enlist as a last ditch way to find a job. Reading the reports, in VFW magazine, about how well conscripts acted in Vietnam, for the most part were good. It was only bad in the last years of the war and post-Vietnam where the Army lost its mind.

          • Rob

            This is the first time I have ever heard someone suggest that a conscripted military is of higher quality than a professional one.

          • gusto

            the nordic militaries often won competitions vs the american military
            competition isn’t battle but it is still something,

            we just in recent years shifted to a professional military but it does not work properly, not enough people want to do it

            conscription is great, great to have a year in between HS and college IMO. and it is the only real integration that have worked something that is very needed now in the nordic countries with all the refugees

          • Kivaari

            That makes sense.

          • Kivaari

            It’s been nearly 200 years since Sweden fought. Norway was stopped fast, but did have a resistance. Too bad contemporary Norwegians seem to despise soldiers and American soldiers the most

          • Kivaari

            That’s because the common idea is formed by popular media. Like the horrible crazed Vietnam vets being loner and killers and drug addicts. When the truth was Vietnam vets outperformed the “average American non-vet”.

          • jcitizen

            That is because the Army picks the quality of the trooper, not the trooper himself.

          • Greg Kelemen

            You learn something new everyday.

          • Tritro29

            That’s not exactly the problem. And obviously, there must be a barrier somewhere. Possibly my English not being clear enough. I don’t want to “halve” the load. I want for the soldier to be more flexible and more capable. In Russia we didn’t have (and will probably NOT have for a while) these subtle changes in weight, yet we were lugging around 10Kg launchers, just in case an improvised spontaneous demolition service was needed. The fact the troops can retain their initial capability at less weight should push people to add ANOTHER capability, not multiply something redundant. Having more ammo, will require more food, since the guys would be able to fight for longer thus would need to sustain themselves for longer. They would need more other supplies as well. This is just going nowhere fast.

          • Martin M

            Allow me to clarify. At issue is the infantryman’s need to carry an obscene amount of ammo. Why? Because the operating unit is small and support is limited.
            By increasing the number of troops you widen the frontage of the fight, which in turn reduces the amount of firepower required from each individual. In turn, each individual isn’t compelled to carry as much, making the load lighter. Larger operating units come with more support, meaning resupply and fresh troops aren’t so far away.

            There is a stacking effect by reducing the number of troops in an operation. By increasing manpower, individual loadouts end up being reduced and troops are unburdened.

          • Tritro29

            But that doesn’t address the US situation at all IMO. US log is unparalleled, certainly when compared to ours (Russia), so the US willing to go down to a situation it usually never founds itself stuck…

            I’m looking at the logic behind a lighter ammunition, and it doesn’t only limit itself to manpower numbers. The bigger the footprint the bigger the cost of deployment and in many cases the bigger statistically the chance to take casualties.

            Sharing the cake isn’t at all the position in the military. It’s rather more cake, if possible diabeetus-inducing portions per head.

          • MPWS

            I do not feel qualified to answer your thoughts, but it appears to me there is a constant struggle in planner mind between 2 points of extreme. One is efficiency and the other is redundancy (make sure you have enough). In actual approach the is a compromise at some point.
            You English is excellent, btw.

          • Kivaari

            Sorry, this wandered into politics. But I think it is part of the small arms issue. The “NEED” to replace our rifles and machineguns is not needed.
            Yup, your English is fine, and better than many Americans. I wonder what the mind set in the Russian forces are concerning the potential pf going to go to war with NATO. My American mind suggests that no one wants to go to war with Russia and I suspect not many Russians want to go to war with NATO. We have too much in common with each other than we did 20 years ago. In fact the disassembly of the Soviet Union resulted from the people in Russia (not just the satellites) wanting to have the freedoms of the west. I remember in the years right before the wall came down, people were thinking we were going to go to war in Europe. I didn’t see that at all. I saw not only different attitudes in the satellite nations, but within the Russian population. If every nation would simply sit back and recognize their boundaries and its needs for materials (oil, metals and other natural resources) can be had with a business contract. Unlike Germany in WW2, Hitler wanted the resources his neighbors had, and instead of buying them with money, bought the materials by killing not only the “enemy” people, but at the cost of millions of Germans as well.
            I believe that no one with a brain wants wars like that. That shows us why we are at war with Islamic theocracy. Those people ARE NUTS. Most Europeans are not. We wont forget history that we lived through, and if we start teaching history in schools again without the horrible revisionist teaching we have been getting for the last 30 years. Leftist Americans teach warped history to our children. Making our early founders out to be simply thugs, while the concepts of freedom get overlooked. When they teach the Constitution they either ignore the 2A or teach the lie of the left.
            I don’t see the USA going to war against any European nation of Asian nations, even China. China needs the west to survive.

          • Tritro29

            I’d say that usually we Russians prepare for little issues to get bigger and bigger issues to get smaller. If you follow the current ABM “problem”. It started as a fairly little issue, against a regional power that didn’t have the means to send ballistic missiles to Europe. The it was against North Korea. Which has yet to have the means to send its warheads the “wrong side” of the globe. On the other side the overreaction about the Ukrainian affair, seemed very violent, yet, it has mostly died down. The Ukrainian leadership has reverted to the old ways, so a “BIG” problem got smaller.

            There are many things that aren’t simply about money or power. They’re about pride and prejudice. And this qualifies both our nations’ leadership as insane. Here I am reading about US guns mostly trying to make most of this experience in order to be better informed, both regarding the Gun culture in the US, but also the American perspective about them. Things like these indeed would have been impossible 25 years ago. Unless in specific intelligence service.

            America has two great advantages, that Russia doesn’t have. 1. It’s a young nation, both in absolute terms and subjective terms. It is mostly unshaken. Its biggest threat has been a civil war. Therefore it can reflect in mostly material terms. 2. It has solved most of its territorial issues in a way, you are criticizing us for…Basically the US has pulled Crimeas left and right and no one today in their right might would contest that those lands are American.

            Russia is a tortured country, with a vividly bitter history. We have suffered, mostly because of ourselves, but also, and that’s important to understand, because of foreign meddling.

            The current Islamic issue is something big, but that would get smaller. You can only dread, more “advanced” social groups going through desperate times like some muslim groups currently. We were there in the early nineties. What is dangerous is that the US hubris is getting in the way of Russian hubris and Chinese hubris and European hubris.

            I perfectly understand that there was a power struggle during the Cold war and we basically lost that power struggle. But the demise of the Soviet Union is a completely different affair than Russian National interests. My best friend who served with me, from Yakutia had this etched on his knife. “War first comes in your house, eats at your table, burns your wood, wears your horse and then it knocks on the door”.

          • jcitizen

            Man you hit that right on the ticker dude!

          • Ron

            The reason you carry quite a bit of ammo is that unlike square ranges you shoot a lot and hit very little.
            People need to divorce rifle range performance with combat performance, you can build habits that help in the endeavor to hit your target on the range, but in the end your range performance will never match your fire fight performance.

          • Kivaari

            The RPG7 launchers are heavy. When you run out of missiles, someone still has to carry that 7kg launcher. The AT4 weighs 6.7kg complete. When it is fired you can throw the tube away. On some AT4s the red dote sight is kept and reused. All kinds of warheads are available. If you don’t need AP-HEAT you can carry fragmentation rounds that can airburst above you target, Full of tungsten spheres.
            Even two stage war heads for armor or bunkers.

          • Tritro29

            Hmmm, I don’t know how it works in the US, but usually the spent disposable launchers we kept and returned back. RPO’s, RPG26’s, RPG22’s. I know for sure on deployment, the US squad keeps its spent tubes as well. At least this was the norm in Afghanistan according to people who were deployed. And we have quite the choice when it comes to pocket artillery. RPG’s are but one of tools of the trade.

          • Kivaari

            Bringing them home is policy. The idea WAS to have a weapon that COULD be ditched after firing. Doing so is a good thing. But, so is bringing them back. An empty AT4 tube is much lighter than an RPG7.

          • CommonSense23

            Except you arent allowed to throw the tube away. Got to bring it back

          • Kivaari

            We brought them back to base, and kept a couple sitting in a corner. Many went home.

        • Anthony “stalker6recon”

          While I agree with almost everything you said, you also know that the SOP for load out, and what we carried, was almost never the same. If you had a choice between another magazine, and an MRE, I bet you went with the magazine. Especially those from light units, where foot patrols were long, and resupply was spotty at best. The MRE won’t save our life, that extra mag just might.

          Anyway, thanks for your service.

      • Kivaari

        That would then be an improvement of the force. If you get more ammo and more effective wounding, you have made it worthwhile to change.

    • Lee

      Yup have to make room for new electronics… like features that disable the units weapons platform remotely. “Smart guns aren’t just an initiative in the civilian market.” Just imagine when our guys are in a fox hole not able to shoot back, because some politician decided it wasn’t politically correct… Its coming a lot sooner than you think…

    • DaveGinOly

      True. Although the riflemen today may carry less weight in ammo, they make up for it by carrying things like hand grenades, Claymore mines, C4, flares, etc. The Army figures that each man is capable of bearing a particular load, so if he’s not carrying enough ammo to meet that load, he’s given something else to carry.

    • Zebra Dun

      yes, exactly.

  • Jay

    I don’t even think it’s worth talking about this version of “6.5mm CT”. This one is just the 7.62mm loDed with a 6.5mm bullet. Both, the ammo and the firearms are just as heavy as their 7.62CT. This is no intermediary cartridge.
    So basically you counted the difference in weight and/or round count, if the whole army went back to 7.62mm, in a new package.
    With this 6.5mm round they are basically repeating the .3006/7.62x51mm fiasco.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to findout they went this route with the 6.5mm just to kill the interest for that caliber.

    • Tomorrow I look at an optimized 6.5mm caliber, don’t worry.

      • Jay

        Sorry, for the rant. I appreciate your analysis. Thank you.

        I just find this 6.5mm cartridge, they came up with, such a waste of time and money.

        .

  • Joesph Constable

    One look at the “ammo” and I figured CT was a hoax.

  • Tony Williams

    For information: I have a 5.56mm LSAT round with a couple of belt links attached, so I’ve just removed and weighed them. Each one weighs 0.3 g (to the nearest 0.1 g).

    • ostiariusalpha

      Good information! It’s too bad you don’t have ten or twenty of them to get a more precise weight in hundredths or thousandths of a gram, but this gives a better idea than trying to extrapolate from the 7.62 CT links.

      • Tony Wlliams

        Yes, measuring lots of them would be more accurate. I’ve just redone the measurement with two together and got different results – after several tries it comes out at 1.0 g for two.

        Sorry to have misled you folks, the problem is that the weights are close to the bottom limit of what my old electronic scales can measure, so although they are usually OK they evidently don’t give consistent results at such small values.

        As a matter of interest the weight of my 5.56mm LSAT round (without links) comes out as 8.5 g.

        • Kivaari

          Add another weight. Like the calibration weights used to check your loading scale. Put a 150 grain bullet (after you weigh it) then don’t leave the bullet and zero it. Just record the combined weight and do the subtraction. That may get you past the low end limits of the scale. Just be sure to not accept the label saying it’s 150 gr. .

          • randomswede

            Or if you have a ruler you could make a lever and scale the weight up.
            Another thought is to bring them along food shopping and see if the produce section has an accurate scale, or the post office.

          • Tony Williams

            Yep, I’ve measured the 5.56 LSAT round with both links and it comes to 9.5 g, which is consistent.

          • That suggests that a belt link for 5.56mm CT weighs 1 gram, no?

          • ostiariusalpha

            Almost like that was what they intended in the first place. 🤔

          • Tony Williams

            No. The 5.56mm LSAT I have weighs 8.5 g by itself, and 9.5 g with two belt links: so each one weighs 0.5 g.

          • Two links! I missed that part, pardon me!

      • Longhaired Redneck

        I have a belt of 100 rds of 5.56, so I disassembled 10 links and weighed them. Using my Frankford Arsenal digital reloading scale I came up with the following numbers:

        Single link: 2.07 grams

        Ten links: 20.735 grams, .733 ounces, 320.1 grains

        No dog in the fight here, just in the interest of accuracy.

        • ostiariusalpha

          That jives pretty closely with Nathaniel F.’s measurement for the M27 link, so thanks for the confirmation. Too bad neither you or Tony have ten of the 5.56 CT links.

    • PK

      Excellent information, the link weight of the LSAT program is something I haven’t had hard data on until now. Thank you very much for providing that!

    • Thank you, Tony, I will correct those figures for both this and the next post.

      Interestingly, that is a lighter figure than any I’ve seen previously…

    • MPWS

      Really? What is it made out of? The 6.5CT link weighs 1.46 grams. I suspect material is polymer in both cases. 1.3g looks more likely.

  • Steven

    210 rounds sounds like a pretty light combat load to me. I never carried less than around 400 and I knew guys that were packing up to 600

    • politicsbyothermeans

      Same. If we weren’t near vehicles everyone had at least 10 magazines, often quite a bit more. If we knew we would be out for a bit, it was at least three times that with a bunch of extras carried in assault bags.

      • Jarrad

        You carried 30 mags on you? 30 per man?

        • politicsbyothermeans

          And spare linked 5.56. If you’re going to be out for three days with no hope of support, what else are you going to do?

          • Jarrad

            So 30 mags per man, Where did you put food, water, mortar rounds? No support? Come on dude no one sending guys out for three days with no Air on Standby or a way of resupply? Platoon sized element or Squad sized?

          • politicsbyothermeans

            My team worked with four different infantry divisions in Afghanistan. Only one actually packed their mortars at the platoon level. The rest saw it as a capability that was not worth the weight. A very very common mission profile for us was to patrol out to a Kandak outpost or AFG police station, spend the night, spend the next day out doing whatever, and then patrol back the third day. The Afghans had water, food and usually a generator so that took care of most everything except Class V.

            I am, of course, describing a worst case scenario when it’s too hot and you’re too high for rotary or air is red. I readily acknowledge that ~30 magazines is a lot of freaking ammo but I can also describe two different prolonged firefights where some guys went black on ammo and there was some hasty cross-leveling.

          • Kivaari

            Today, having no support is unusual.

          • Jarrad

            Very. Air can always reach you. Blackhawks and Chinooks unless the air was red but then you’d call CAS and then drop supplies

          • politicsbyothermeans

            Density altitude was always tracked at the AOC and could fluctuate rapidly. Hard “NO GO” values were constantly calculated and required a GO to sign off for rotary wing flights. Blackhawks spent a lot of time in NO GO land where I worked the most. Even Chinooks sometimes weren’t an option, depending on headwind direction in comparison to the valleys or ridgelines where we might need them. Plus the pilots were always watching tab data once they took off and it was not at all uncommon for them to wave off as weather, wind and density altitude turned raised their risk to an unacceptable level.

            I would change your statement to “Rotary air can sometimes, even usually, reach you” and note that fixed wing never really has a problem unless the weather sucks. LCLA , JPADs and other capabilities can definitely resupply guys outside the wire but, again, weather gets a vote.

          • Kivaari

            Weather limits air assets often.

          • randomswede

            Your department doesn’t have A-10s on tap in case a drug bust goes bad?

          • Kivaari

            I am retired. The only time we had aircraft to use was a DEA inspired case where suspects were cooking meth across a large river from us. It was within view of the PD station and in forest that was actually in our city, but never was patrolled. We had a helicopter and boat to take down the suspects as they headed for the boat launch about 100 yards from or station. It made good dramatic action, but the suspects had planned for such an event. They had the drugs in a disposable tube. When the swoop in and boat headed to control them by force, they simply cut the device and let it sink into an 80 foot deep river. The river has fast currents as it is effected by tides. There was no hope of getting the evidence. If I had been in charge of the scene, I would have not used the chopper or boat. I would have simply waited to grab them when they landed on that boat launching site. The chief wanted the opportunity to look like a TV character riding in the nose of the CG boat with his MP5. It just ruined the case. The suspects, as dumb as they were, were better than the DEA, USCG and us. Neat visuals, but nothing more.

          • randomswede

            Wow, that’s… sad, a very interesting story for which I thank you for sharing, but a sad outcome.

            How do you feel about drones for surveillance and tracking?
            Not the go-to-Afghanistan Predator kind, but the smaller “squad car priced” ones.

          • politicsbyothermeans

            That really depends. If it’s hot and you are at a relatively high altitude, rotary wing can be completely out of the question. Depending on what else is going on in country, you may not be anywhere near a priority for fixed wing. Add no navigable roads and an overly restrictive ROE for indirect fire and it feels like there is no support.

          • Kivaari

            That is one reason we have been using Russian helicopters. Those HIPs were able to go higher. The CH47 has higher altitude potential , but they are big.

          • politicsbyothermeans

            Mi-17s be like, “Altitude density? lol, comrade!”

          • datimes

            Not so sure our guys in Benghazi would agree with that.

          • Kivaari

            COMMAND FAILURE. Not every operation has good leadership. The failure to plan ahead is what led to that disaster. Those CIA members were held back by a commander that failed. We will always have that. We will always have isolated cases where support having real firepower just isn’t there where it is needed. We do have more assets than the enemy. But a 6 man team that has poor communication can find itself in deep doodoo. Operation Red Wing is a prime example.
            In the first Gulf War, that team sited along the road to Baghdad, were compromised by curious children. Stuff happens.
            Much of the problem exists where everything falls apart because your radio gear is dead or out of range. Like Red Wing where Murphy had to leave the trees to phone in for help. It killed him. Foliage attenuation means those nice trees giving you cover from eyes, hides you from radio signals going both ways. Just like listening to Sirius XM radio, large buildings to your south, a building or semi-truck trailer blocks the signal. I’ve done it where I was standing in the tree line where I could simply extend my arm into a clear path and the signals came rolling in. It doesn’t just effect comms with a base, but it can limit your ability to talk to a team mate that is just a few hundred meters away.

          • datimes

            I am in 100% agreement with you. Command failure that rises to a criminal level.

          • Kivaari

            Much of the time I used my tactical vest to carry two radios and spare batteries. I’ve been on too many assignments where the radios go down. At one time we had GE PCS radios that had the on-off switch built into each battery. Those switches would fail. Those PCS radios eared the nick name of POS.

        • Kivaari

          10 magazines having 30 rounds each, equals 300 rounds at the ready. He surely can’t mean he had 30 magazines in his pack. 900 rounds is a lot of ammo. Surely he must mean he had that many rounds in the accompanying vehicles. I’ve carried 300 rounds of 5.56mm and 200 rounds of 7.62x51mm. That two hundred rounds of 7.62 is a load. Especially if you have a rifle that weighs a couple pounds more than an M16A1 or M4. Personally, to admit my lower skill, I could not hit any better using 7.62 than I could with a 5.56.
          We used to train on a 400m range (measured – a real 400m) and as long as you had a decent rest and rifle it was easy to hit a 12 inch target. With a scope if you missed, something was loose. Try it with any rifle having a crummy trigger (HK, FAL, and some lesser ARs) and it is easy to miss. Do it with a properly zeroed AR having a Geiselle SSA trigger and the hits are pretty easy. With a GI “Mil Spec” trigger and it is hard.

    • Kivaari

      That IS a serious load.

      • Steven

        Nothing convinces you that never running out of ammo is the answer to all life’s problems than a serious firefight.

        • One of these days I wish we had luxury of carpet bombing known hotspots… horrendous collateral damage (esp. civs) though.

          Sadly it’s considered a war crime by Geneva convention (was it in the 70s?)

        • One of these days I wish we had the luxury of carpet bombing known hotspots…

          Sadly it’s considered a war crime by Geneva convention (was it in the 70s?) for its tendency for horrendous collateral damage.

    • n0truscotsman

      The last time I carried 210 rounds was in the late 80s, when I was in basic training. haha.

      The rest of the time, even in Afghanistan, it was 300 *minimal* (10 mags). For Iraq, in say, a cordon and search circa 2004-2007, 600 rounds per man (20 mags) was commonplace.

      No reason not to, honestly.

    • A Fascist Corgi

      My father told me the same thing about his service in Vietnam. He told me that soldiers were shoving extra magazines into every pocket that they had because they were terrified of running out of ammo while out on patrols. He also told me that one of the reasons why U.S. soldiers felt outgunned in Vietnam was because their M-16s were equipped with 20-round magazines. He also told me that he was pissed that the U.S. military didn’t issue sidearms to every soldier. He thought that it was morally wrong to issue guys with single-shot grenade launchers and not also provide them with handguns.

      I think the lesson to be learned from that is that soldiers like having tons of firepower regardless of how much it weighs (within reason of course). My father mostly carried the M60 in Vietnam and he never complained about the weight (at least not to me).

      • jcitizen

        Your damn right oh that!

  • Bonzaipilot

    Great job! The one thing I hate about the concept is that plastic is non reloadable and even less even less biodegradable then brass.

    • FarmerB

      Brass biodegradable? I think most plastics (even those not specifically formulated to break down) are significantly more biodegradable than brass. Don’t they still dig up WW-I brass cases?

  • randomswede

    It’s worth noting that the weapons that fire the CT rounds are all projected to be lighter than the weapons in current use, this compares ammo to ammo not system to system.

    It seems to me quite premature to draw any conclusions on the 6.5 CT as it’s at the very beginning of its first spiral.

    Also for some real weight savings, do the math for .22 LR.

    • As noted elsewhere, tomorrow I will also be comparing with an optimized lighter weight 6.5mm.

  • Pedro .Persson

    Lets make a lightweight system by going with the heavier option… so the new lightweight system is heavier or less capable. Sure the MG guys have less weight but everyone else has more weight and less ammo that is not justified for the role of the rest of the personal, lovely. Yep looks like someone is trying to bend reality to fit the premisse of a bigger bullet.

    Frankly the best option would be to keep two distinct calibers because that is what works. 5.56 and 6.5 sounds good, but since the whole cartridge system is different they could go with a smaller caliber bullet, say between 4.6-5.0 (for the 5.56 replacement) but heavy and long as to have a good BC while keeping the weight down. Basically what they did with the 6.5. Or have a good look at sabot rounds.

    One thing that worries me is feeding reliability. Those polymer telescopic cases looks awfully similar to shot-shell, arguably the worst possible shape for reliable feeding: Flexible, straight walled, completely flat nose, low diameter to length ratio… it only lacks the bloody rim.

    • MPWS

      Weapon weight and complexity (aka reliability) is left at least so far out of discussion. There is an increased complexity as you say and with that comes weight and potential reliability issue; more things can break. No way around it. I do not intend to expound my view, but you are one of few who sees that.

      • Pedro .Persson

        Complexity itself is not the problem, but how you implement it. Sometimes it’s better to add spring loaded plungers to each trigger-group element than a single multi-lobbed leaf spring, or sometimes a dedicated part to a function frees other parts to perform better their role. Then there is serviceability, production costs, HOW are you going to make the bloody thing and modularity. The KISS is true but not a law, and often misinterpreted to an extreme. It’s about having what you need to have for a good performance al-around. Besides formal training and base science knowledge that is the difference between a tinkerer or a mechanic to a true engineer.

        On a second look I don’t think it would be unfeasible to add a tapper angle to the telescopic cases or even a shoulder, that would help with feeding, but then there is concern of having a case that is too fat. One advantage I see is having a much shorter action.

  • George

    A spreadsheet would be amazing. Excel would be ok but a Google Docs one with read-only access even better…

    • I may create an editable spreadsheet for this, if I have time.

  • MPWS

    An excellent piece of journalism!
    So, here comes the premise of “weight saving” when converting to CT ammunition. There in no sensible foundation to continue with 6.5 CT project; other than those illusion filled 1,200m.

    • MPWS

      And…. we did not tackle the weight of rifle/ carbine increase and complexity (2-stage feed).

      • iksnilol

        I dunno, the LSAT in 6.5 seems lighter than the M240 or the M249.

    • Jay

      That’s because the 6.5CT IS the 7.62CT loaded with a 6.5mm bullet. This is not a cartridge designed for 6.5mm, but for 7.62mm nato. That means it’s heavier than what it needs to be. And so is the platform shooting it.
      This is like saying you don’t save much weight going from .308 to .260 Remington. Of course you don’t, because they are made from the same case.

  • Joshua

    Don’t forget the mention in PT.2 that the 6.5CT has to use the 7.62LMG.

    The 5.56 LSAT gun won’t work.

  • Major Tom

    The Afghanistan Problem would happen if you followed that doctrine. Which is to say, the NEXT little soiree into somewhere would pit a 5.7mm PDW round equipped army in a place where assault and battle rifle ammunition rule the day.

    Experience in Vietnam binned the submachinegun sights of the original M16s, now they graduate to 600m. Experience in Afghanistan and elsewhere of the past 20-30 years has made SBR’s and carbines highly questionable of value as a one-size-fits-all proposition. (It’s also all but eliminated the submachinegun from military use as well.)

    • iksnilol

      Okay, but you can at the very leastget rid of 7.62×51.

      • Major Tom

        If and only if the ballistics and wounding profile of the 6.5 CT are good enough. If it’s got the range and the oomph to replace 7.62, then there’s little reason to keep 7.62. If not, then something needs improved.

        • Kivaari

          That is what matters. It must perform as well or better than the 7.62. It should come only if there is a reduction in weight of the package. If it saves 5 pounds but can’t do the job better, then why bother.

          • randomswede

            “Better” could be hard to define if saving 5 pounds isn’t part of the job.
            My point is, if what you mean is “If it saves 5 pounds and does no worse, then why not.” Dead is dead, when it comes to compromising an enemy’s ability to cause you harm, dead is hard to beat.

          • Kivaari

            A new round has to perform its job better than what it replaces. Even if the ballistics are the same, it must have a NEW and better feature. Like being lighter, smaller, more controllable, and easier to maintain.

          • randomswede

            To me being appreciably lighter with equal performance would count as better, but we’ll have to agree to disagree.

          • Kivaari

            That is what I said, so where do we disagree?

          • randomswede

            My misunderstanding; no amount of practice changes that English is my second language.

    • CommonSense23

      My platoon somehow racked up over 40 kills in 3 months with submachine guns, SBRs, and pistols. The Afghanistan problem is we aren’t fighting our to our strengths.

      • Kivaari

        Bravo !!!

      • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Thank you sir

  • Ed

    Not all Army units have M-4s many none infantry still have M-16A2s.

    • Kivaari

      The only thing wrong with the A2 is it is heavier and longer. Performance wise it’s a great rifle.

  • randomswede

    Or 6.5 CT and 6.5 CTS for short, same outer diameter but shorter cartridge and bullet.
    Either the rifle is built to accommodate either or the chamber is exchanged along with the magazines.
    As for barrel twist, what stabilizes the long range round could potentially leave the shorter round suitably unstable.

    Obviously the “blind” weapon would be to be prefered, were going from combat range to long range is a magazine change. And if the LMG can take the magazines and function with either round, all the better.

    _If_ this is possible it’s only because the CT cartridge is neckless and doesn’t require an extractor. In one way that would take us back to muzzle loaders where the powder charge can be varied to some degree.

    • Kivaari

      One more thing to ensure problems in the field. Like those wanting a quick change barrel for the M4. No soldier will carry a spare barrel unless they are machine gunners. Like the M240-M249-M60-MG42-MG34. It is why the AR rifles with quick change barrels to have different calibers with a change of upper. Those are for civilians sportsmen since there is no serious need for them in the military or law enforcement.

      • randomswede

        Since the magazines would be quite different in size I see it more as an AR-15 that takes both the 5.56 “STANAG” magazines and M3 (Grease Gun) magazines without parts change. Where the M3 magazine would be your standard magazine and depending on if you are in a jungle or Afghanistan you would pack more or less long range ammunition.

        If it can’t be done without conversion it could still be suitable for an army/military that fights in every part of the world to have a rifle that that’s less locked into a single doctrine. Much like the ambition was behind the SCAR competition, same ergonomics but mission configurable.

        • Kivaari

          I hope you aren’t wanting a .45 SMG. That would be a real step backwards.

          • randomswede

            No, that was just an example most people have seen, 9mm or .45 AR lowers as well as of course 5.56 lowers.
            However the quad stack LSAT carbine magazine is slightly reminiscent of an M3 magazine.

      • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        I’ll get that rebarrel at base if I n3ed it

  • aka_mythos

    On the point of more evenly distributing the ammunition load; I think it additionally worth noting the range advantage of 6.5 over the present mix of 5.56 and 7.62 also means the firepower of these units are also more evenly distributed and the dependence on higher caliber weapons for longer ranges is mitigated.

  • JSmath

    This is at least attempting to be factual, but it’s a far from scientific approach to analyzing the 6.5CT… If all that mattered was loadout weight and bullet count, we’d have switched our main battle weapon over to the P90 is the early 2000’s.

    At the VERY LEAST, this article should have compared the weight benefits/deficiencies of replacing 7.62NATO to 6.5CT and 5.56NATO to 5.56CT systems/magazines/ammo. When comparing the replacement of M14s with the 6.5CT carbine and M240B with M240L with 6.5CT, the weight savings and, most importantly, the cost and impact of introducing change, is phenomenally low.

    The very laughably obvious takeaway from the presentation wasn’t that the 6.5CT could replace everything, but that it would be a *possibly* better direction than 7.62CT; And that they had already developed a 5.56CT carbine, which was the action used as a basis for the 6.5CT carbine prototype specs.

    For a remotely realistic (, intelligent) comparison, too, Nathan should analyze the costs and benefits of replacing 5.56NATO with 5.56CT, since as the presentation noted, the 5.56CT carbine had already been developed and tested and was used as the basis for developing the 6.5CT one. ‘Till then, this reads like poorly argued strawman bullsh**. Yes, every cartridge in existence is TERRIBLE when framed in a way that maximizes it deficiencies. The .45ACP is the worst thing to ever exist. Pistols with only 7 shots? That could never, ever work, what was the Army thinking.

    • It looks like you got emotional and commented before you finished reading:

      “That’s all for part one. In part two, we’ll compare this result with dual-caliber PCT systems, and with a reduced-weight 6.5mm PCT system, to see if we can’t start saving even more weight.”

      • JSmath

        Nothing emotional about my response, just strongly doubted that meant what it could have meant as far as dual-caliber, when that would say that this first part was a complete waste of time.

        • Considering that there are many people advocating for a 6.5mm caliber to replace both 5.56 and 7.62, doesn’t seem like a waste of time to me.

        • Ebby123

          You know, you are free to start your own blog if you feel you are wasting your time here..

          Really. I wouldn’t complain.

  • gunsandrockets

    The problem with a one for one weapon ammunition weight comparison is that it would be illogical to structure an all 6.5mm CT platoon the same as the current platoon.

    Rather than a 3 rifle squad + 1 mg squad structure of a current platoon, an all 6.5mm CT platoon would be more logical with 4 rifle squads and no MG squad. And each rifle squad should have one 6.5mm team of gunner, assistant gunner, and ammunition bearer.

  • gunsandrockets

    I like the idea of using the lightweight 5.56mm CT ammo for the platoon weapons dedicated to automatic fire, and larger caliber ammo for individual weapons which are primarily fired semi-automatic.

    The real weight burden on a rifle platoon is the weight of ammunition carried for the support weapons, not the individual weapons.

  • Kivaari

    A bar or line graph would make it easier to understand without the brain power this old man has left.

  • Kivaari

    5.7x28mm is a weenie of a round. It may work up close since it goes through soft armor. As an infantry weapon in the role of a handgun, PK. Carry a 5.7 pistol or P90 if your main duty is a machine gunner or supply clerk.
    There is no way anyone can make the 5.7 into anything other than a weapon designed for last ditch, its all gone to hell use.
    The M4 and its counterparts around the globe are serious weapons. The 5.7s are designed to replace pistols, and they can do that. Those dinky .22 bullets weighing 17 to 30 grains are seriously under powered at 200m.

    • Only guys I’ve seen with 5.7 was the Secret Service PPD with their P90s and the (very) occasional mall ninja.

      6.5mm standardization is long overdue tbh.

      • Actually, 6.5mm standardization would be extremely premature right now. There are many questions to be answered first, some appallingly basic in nature.

        • After some read-up I’d argue that we could get those answers before 2020 but yeah.

          I really hope if 6.5mm got green-light we only need caliber conversion kits rather than brand-new sparkling rifle with questionable reliability and ergonomics.

          • Kivaari

            It will likely come at a loss in ammo load. It will take a new rifle of upper at a minimum.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            For the U.S. military to swap to the 6.5 Grendel, all they’d have to do is buy a complete upper receiver and new magazines. Civilians do it every day; and without issue since AR-15s chambered in 6.5 Grendel work fine. When you factor in the savings that you get when you buy in bulk (to say the least), you could probably make this change for around $300 per rifle. And you wouldn’t really need to retrain your armorers either since they’d still be working on the AR-15 platform.

            And as to the people who will say that we can’t afford this kind of change, it’s funny how they never make those same arguments when the U.S. military announces that they’re upgrading the M16 and M4 rifle in some way; or when we swapped from the M855 round to the M855A1 round…

          • Us normal people didn’t have to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops and red tapes. Military on the other hand…

            And yeah, kinda forgotten the 416/417/M27 drop-in uppers.

          • Kivaari

            Using a rebated rim, like the .284 Winchester would allow for a fatter casing that would not require a new bolt. A fatter case means more powder. That behind a 6mm or 6.5mm bullet would be fine for me.

          • That already exists in factory form as the 6.5/284 Norma.

          • Kivaari

            I know. What I am thinking is the move to the M43, 6.5mm Mannlicher case. The .284 is larger than the .308 in diameter. It used the concept to give the short actions a cartridge that would perform above the 30-06. a short 7mm magnum. Everyone seems to want a case of the true intermediate calibers of 110 years ago. I’d go along. A simple barrel change, and perhaps a new hole size for the gas port. Pretty simple. Like the .220 Russian case being uploaded to 6mm, 6.5, 7mm and all of a sudden 76.2x39mm. Take that case and turn the rim down. Stuff more powder and a bullet of your diameter choice and away we go. Nothing is new, except for this being plastic. Brass or steel would keep we old guys happy. But plastic that works would be great.

          • Let me break it down for you:

            1. A new upper receiver is about 2/3s the cost of a new rifle (the cheapest 6.5 Grendel upper receivers are about $600 on the civilian market, contrast that with the ~$650 unit cost for an M4) and still would need a full development and procurement program to ensure correct operation and parts lifecycles in all conditions. If the Army committed to buying half a million new upper receivers at, say, $430/per, that would be a $215 million purchase, not including development costs, which if you’re lucky would run about half that. If they’re unlucky, and it turns out that 6.5 Grendel bolts are not strong enough for military use (protip: They’re very likely not) and that the buffers and other gear aren’t the correct spec for the new round in a full auto platfrorm (protip: They’re very likely not), then that cost could easily triple. Add in the fact that several of the components (e.g., bolts, flash hiders) would need to be made non-compatible with the legacy 5.56mm system, and that adds even more development and cost. So you’re looking at $350+ million just to procure new upper receivers.

            2. All of the old magazines would become obsolete overnight for operational units, and the new magazines would have to look sufficiently different to avoid confusion. Since no such magazines exist on the civilian market, a new development program for magazines would have to be conducted. This means more $$$$.

            3. No one is producing 6.5 Grendel ammunition in quantity. It uses a completely unique case head diameter among US military ammunition, and a 30-degree shoulder which makes mass production tricky.*

            *US .30 Light Rifle ammunition up to the FAT1E1 used a 30 degree shoulder. It was changed to a 20 degree shoulder because 30 degree shoulder cartridges are harder to manufacture, especially when running your machines full speed to meet a billion-or-more round a year quota.

            This means that a whole development production for new 6.5mm ammunition, only loosely based on the 6.5 Grendel would need to be conducted. It took $32 million to develop the M855A1, which used a legacy case and primer, and an existing caliber and twist rate as well as a new but pre-existing propellant. This new caliber, which would not end up being identical to 6.5 Grendel, would need to have completely new cases, propellants, projectiles (ball, tracer, , twist rate, etc; every element but the primers developed from scratch. Cost would likely be at least $50 million. Plus, completely new ammunition would need to be procured alongside existing ammunition production, to maintain readiness. That would cost the USG approximately $350 million for a billion rounds (approx. yearly small arms ammunition production), although some of that could be absorbed by the reduction in 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition procurement.

            That means, to adopt the 6.5 Grendel, development costs would be well over $200 million, and procurement costs well into the half a billion dollar mark. Overall, the program would likely cost close to a billion dollars altogether.

            Is all that worth it? Yes, if you have an ironclad case that the weight increase of the new round brings with it truly increased and meaningful effectiveness and a tangible advantage in firepower for the squad.

            But that ironclad case doesn’t exist, yet.

          • A Fascist Corgi

            I’ve seen 6.5 Grendel uppers for $400. I’m not saying that those uppers were ready for war, but you could probably make a good one at a decent price.

            And 5.56x45mm NATO spec bolt are already one of the many weak spots for the AR-15. You know as well as I do that Battlefield Vegas has exposed that design flaw with the AR-15; which is why the AR-15 should be replaced with a more robust design like the FN SCAR.

            And AR-15 buffers and buffer springs cost almost nothing. You could replace those for like $10, so I don’t even know why you brought it up.

            “Add in the fact that several of the components (e.g., bolts, flash
            hiders) would need to be made non-compatible with the legacy 5.56mm
            system, and that adds even more development and cost.”

            Huh? Why would you need to make the flash hiders non-compatible? You could probably just cannibalize the A2 flash hiders from the old uppers and screw them onto the new 6.5 Grendel barrels.

            As to making it easier for soldiers to differentiate between 6.5 Grendel and 5.56x45mm NATO magazines, all they’d have to do is paint the 6.5 Grendel magazine follower a new color.

            And why is creating a 30-degree shoulder tricky?

            “Overall, the program would likely cost close to a billion dollars altogether.”

            Which is practically nothing for the U.S. government.

            As to the effectiveness of the 6.5 Grendel round, you’d agree that if two armies were pitted against each other and one side was equipped with 6.5 Grendel rounds and the other side was equipped with 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, that the side with the 6.5 Grendel round would have a ballistic advantage over the 5.56x45mm NATO side, right? I mean, it seems pretty obvious.

          • I’ve seen 6.5 Grendel uppers for $400.

            So? I’ve seen AR-15s for $400, but that doesn’t mean the Army can procure M4s for that little.

            “And 5.56x45mm NATO spec bolt are already one of the many weak spots for the AR-15.”

            Which is why we should weaken them further, and switch to a cartridge with far higher bolt thrust, obviously.

            “which is why the AR-15 should be replaced with a more robust design like the FN SCAR.”

            Oh, I see. Make that procurement figure $750 million, then, if we’re buying SCARs.

            “And AR-15 buffers and buffer springs cost almost nothing. You could replace those for like $10, so I don’t even know why you brought it up.”

            One more thing that needs development, and development takes time and money. Wishing doesn’t change that.

            “Huh? Why would you need to make the flash hiders non-compatible? You could probably just cannibalize the A2 flash hiders from the old uppers and screw them onto the new 6.5 Grendel barrels.”

            And then get chewed out by your superior officer when the .264″ diameter projectiles strike the smaller diameter flash hider, yes.

            “As to making it easier for soldiers to differentiate between 6.5 Grendel and 5.56x45mm NATO magazines, all they’d have to do is paint the 6.5 Grendel magazine follower a new color.

            Oh, you mean so that when the magazine is loaded/when it’s dark the soldier can’t tell the difference and puts the wrong ammo in his gun?

            “Which is practically nothing for the U.S. government.”

            Okeedokee, run along now and tell the PEO Soldier office that they should just use that cool billion they have lying around to switch to 6.5 Grendel. They have a public affairs number, I’m sure they’d love to hear your suggestion.

            “As to the effectiveness of the 6.5 Grendel round, you’d agree that if two armies were pitted against each other and one side was equipped with 6.5 Grendel rounds and the other side was equipped with 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, that the side with the 6.5 Grendel round would have a ballistic advantage over the 5.56x45mm NATO side, right? I mean, it seems pretty obvious.”

            No, I would not agree. I do not know that’s the case, and neither do you, although you get a nice warm, smug feeling when you say it, evidently.

    • marathag

      Just get 22 RF Mag with better bullet design and you are at what the 5.7 does.

      If you have to have a bottleneck pistol round, might as well go with the 22 TCM

      • Kivaari

        Back during the Vietnam war none other than “Carbine Williams” the guy that invented the short stroke piston used in the M1 carbine, built and demonstrated a machinegun in .22 magnum, with the idea being it would make a good perimeter defense gun. Much lower cost to build and operate. It still has some merit in my mind. I would never want to go afield with anything less than the 5.56mm.

  • MPWS

    Just crossed my mind: LSAT conception had involved Canadian effort too. Does anyone known how affected it is or will be by this turn of events? Are they automatically jumping on 6.5 CT bandwagon or stick with earlier 5.56 version?

    • Jay

      The Canadians and the Brits were begging for a more powerful cartridge to replace the 5.56mm for a long time.

      • Kivaari

        Soldiers of every era seem to think what they have, isn’t good enough.

  • Ευστάθιος Παλαιολόγος

    Great article!
    May I comment on the 1200 meters requirement.
    How can the individual soldier spot targets at such distances, and how will he be able to hit them, if he could spot them?
    The infantry squad soldier has a very particular mission (in my mind at least), until today that is, I don’t know if the dogma of use will or has changed. Maneuver to close in with the enemy and destroy him in close combat (close as in distances where the regular guy can have some sort of situational awareness and be able to spot and hi targets). This the squad does under the covering fire of support weapons.
    Long distance target are the job of support and heavy weapons such as MGs, Mortars, Light Cannons on IFVs, Grenade Machine Guns, ATGMs etc, etc. These weapons usually have the sight to spot targets and the mounts to be able to achieve some sort of hits or suppression at long distances.
    For medium distances Sharpshooters and GPMGs in the platoon can do the job just fine IMO.
    Longer distances “can wait”. But you can’t make allowances in CQB. There the weapon must be easy to use and the ammo must be easy to shoot.
    This, my opinion, from a person never been shot at…
    flanker7

    • Kivaari

      Unless they are using stable platforms with high quality optics, they wont see the enemy nor hit them with rifle fire. It just wont happen. Even the best of snipers using special equipment miss.

      • FarmerB

        Agreed. If you cannot see where the bullets are landing – you’re screwed – even if you have your data ironed out and the wind estimate close. Unless things are really in your favour, you cannot see bullets land at that distance without serious optics. In fact, even with serious optics – it can be a challenge (e.g. the target is in front of soft snow). This is fresh in my mind: I spent one full day this week at 1080m with 7.62×51 HK auto and 7.5×55 Swiss bolt rifles. This just isn’t a role for a standard infantry to my mind.

        • Kivaari

          Yes! If people think giving each soldier a 6.5mm anything is going to make them able to hit at any range beyond 500m is not seriously thinking through the facts of life and physics.

  • Tormund Giantsbane

    Hey any ballistic stats on the 6.5mm CT? I haven’t heard of the project until now.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    You focus exclusively on weight while completely ignoring ballistics. You act as if weight was everything and nothing else mattered. You flippantly dismiss major increases in foot-pounds of energy and ballistic coefficient because you believe that your average infantryman shouldn’t have to worry about combat beyond 200 yards; and because you (wrongly) think that the 5.56x45mm NATO round has sufficient stopping power.

    Using your logic, the FN P90 and the FN 5.7x28mm round should be our new standard-issue infantry weapon since it’s much lighter than the M4 and the 5.56x45mm NATO round. You’d save even more weight and streamline logistics by switching to the FN 5.7x28mm round since the FN Five-seveN is lighter than any full-sized 9mm pistol.

    By switching to a new round like the 6.5 Grendel, the effectiveness of our troops would increase by roughly 50%. If you created a combat simulator that allowed you to equip two opposing forces with different ammo, the side that was utilizing the 6.5 Grendel round would have a significant advantage over the side using 5.56x45mm NATO.

    • It’s pretty interesting that some people, including yourself, see this as a biased attack on the 6.5mm caliber, rather than just an accounting of the weight of these different paradigms.

      I’ve written over four thousand words on this subject (over two thousand to come tomorrow morning as part 2), and it’s triggered the hell out of some of you 6.Xmm advocates. Why? Because any criticism of your pet concept, even if it’s balanced out by other factors (which aren’t the subject of these posts), is an all-out attack on the idea and therefore your identity? Is that what’s going on in your head?

      Now, since you brought it up, I challenge you to cite a study – any study – showing that the 6.5mm caliber will improve effectiveness. Not someone’s opinion, an actual study showing this will be the case. I am betting you can’t, because I’ve looked, and have never found one. This doesn’t mean switching to a 6.5mm won’t improve effectiveness, but it sure does make claims that effectiveness will improve by some specific percent look awfully contrived and silly.

      • Kivaari

        Excellent response. “They” don’t get it. “They” don’t understand the whole concept and its goal.

    • Ron

      The problem with mid to long range effects with small arms is not a terminal effects problem. Instead its a problem of hitting targets, this is through a combination of inability to PID/locate the target and shooter error. In fact I have seen enough enemy KIA who were hit at longer ranges with 5.56 and they were just as wounded or dead as one would expect from any rifle round hit.

      A study done by the USMC at the height of our Afghanistan effort showed Scout-Snipers were missing the majority of shots they took well with in the distances and conditions that the one would expect them to have 100 percent success (300-600 Meters)

      Adapting another caliber will not solve the mid to long range problems.

    • Bob

      I’m an old “codger” from the Vietnam fiasco and I was there when we “transitioned” from the M14 to the M16. We were one of the later units to do so as we were armored cavalry and had APC’s and M48A3 Tanks. (1968).
      I was LUCKY and got a ‘new’ M-16 with the bird cage (closed) flash suppressor and the BLACK 8620 TOOL STEEL bolt (not the chrome job).
      That said and having been a hunter, I’ve always considered the .223 round to be more of a squirrel gun! (prairie dogs, coyotes, etc).
      I believe they should have made the M-16 in 6 MM Remington (a little hotter then the .243 which is a .308 necked down) and the 107 grain bullets.
      Furthermore, instead of having that SPLINE set up on the bolt for lockup, have only TWO or THREE lugs (TWO on the M-14 and M-1 Garrand) with SAND clearance!
      The US Army should have KEPT the 1911 also, or if they were all worn out as they claim, the FNX-45 is a da*ned fine pistol.
      One other thing. I’ve had the “great joy and privilege” to be point man a time or two.
      I can tell you that when I was hitting the dinks with my 55 grain bullets and they were turning on my with their AK-47’s that you could have squeezed a bee bee with my sphincter!!. Not POLITICALLY CORRECT, but it is the TRUTH no matter what.

  • n0truscotsman

    I would rather see a standardized 6.5mm carbine than 5.7 even getting within a continent away from armed forces standardization honestly.

    “Instead of messing with 5.56 + 7.62×51 what about 5.56 + 6.5 CT”

    Yeah maybe!

    Well have to see, but I can forsee this is happening. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea either TBH assuming it works as advertised.

  • FarmerB

    I have a question on consistency?
    Why is the ammunition bearer carrying all those M14 magazines and yet armed with an M4 carbine? I presume you mean he’s currently carrying a 7.62mm M14 EBR? In fact you say “…in theory the 6.5mm CT carbine would be able to replace both the 5.56mm M4 Carbine and 7.62mm M14 EBR that he previously carried.”
    Is he carrying BOTH?

    • Yes, he’s carrying both.

      • Ethan

        Dang.. that seems mucho inefficient.

        • Actually, it seems I’m wrong. A contact of mine sent me an email with a heads up that it’s usually an “either/or” kind of thing.

          So that does help that poor sunnova somewhat.

  • Kivaari

    I can only go in what the kid said about the M249. Stateside they couldn’t get them to work with M4 magazines. In Iraq he never used his weapon.

  • Kivaari

    We did fix many places in the last 100 years. But there are always people that don’t like the fix. We rescued quite a few places. Keep in mind we stopped Hitler and Tojo. MOST of the places we rescued were fixed, except for giving too much away to the Soviets. What idiots our leaders were. No one will fix any Islamic state. If 99% of the population is Islamic, they have little hope, unless it starts internally.

    • jcitizen

      I guess if you are out in the middle of a land with no information that is believable to the population it is understandable that only the same old crap that was taught for 1000 years was the only acceptable alternative. Plus hero worship for past victims of such ideology would be extremely hard to turn around. It took almost the total loss of the Japanese Army and a horrible strategic bombing champagne, plus two atomic bombs to finally see the light.

  • Frank_O

    Only 200 rounds per man? Man, we carried just shy of double that in 5.56, plus the spare belt of 5.56 for the minimi and a belt for the gpmg (if there was one in the op). Granted, the CT stuff is a little heavier, but the difference isn’t that much.

    200 rounds though, you’ll burn through that quickly.

  • Yeah? Take it to the Hague.

  • Hi Jay,

    I can’t seem to reach the PDF you linked, but I am betting it was regarding the Knox propellants. By all accounts, this appeared to be investor bait of one variety or another. My understanding is that they were running up pressures well beyond what even Mann test barrels could withstand for long.

  • throwedoff

    Looking at the weights of the 7.62 CT and the 6.5 CT there is only a three grain advantage with the 6.5 CT, yet it still occupies the same volume as the 7.62 CT. The big winner is the 5.56CT. I don’t know of any infantry man that wants to give up ammunition. We will discard from our rucks anything that is not mission critical in order to carry more ammunition. Water, ammo, and radio batteries are the three most critical items you don’t want to run out of and can never have enough of.

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    Although these numbers are the SOP, the truth about load out, in reality, is very different. 7 magazines was the minimum load soldiers will carry into battle. But ammo is more precious than food, almost as precious as hydration. It the ammo is lighter, great, they will just carry more of it.

    If I had the choice between an MRE pack, and another magazine, I will pick that magazine every time. I was not infantry though, as a Scout 19Delta, we may have had more latitude than infantry, but I don’t really know.

    Interesting article though, I like the CT ammo, but will the weapons fire standard and cased? With the cased work with legacy weapons? There are pluses and minuses to having incompatible ammo. Usually some guys would carry an AK while doing their job, ammo was never in short supply on the battlefield.

  • Kivaari

    Except for a short block of troops in the late 70s-early 80s. ON average the American draftee performed every bit as well as volunteers. In combat the Americans performed with honor, they were not running and hiding. When Vietnam Vets came home, on average, they outperformed the non-vets in life and business. Perhaps you fello Germans were not wanting to be there and was still felling the national guilt and embarrassment of the WW2 idiocy. American and Russian draftees kicked Germany all over the battle field. Germany always trues to take too much by force. A good contract would likely result in more oil for Germans and more BMWs for Turk and Caspian Seas residents

    • Anthony “stalker6recon”

      Have you served in the military? Even some “volunteer” members don’t want to be there. The number of people that would have to be given drug/crime waivers, would be astonishing. There are already a huge number of slackers in the military, and the influx of non-volunteers would only make that worse.

      If you are serious about the German guilt, it shows how in the clouds you are about the issue. They were inferior, because they did not want to be there. They had no pride in their uniform, or appearance, and had the look of slaves. They did their duty, half asleep, with shabby beards and even shabbier uniforms that appeared to have never been washed, or pressed.

      Just because the military during Vietnam was somewhat successful, does not mean it was the right thing to do. They had the worst problems with drug abuse than any other time in history. These were not problems they picked up while in the military, it is problems they brought with them.

      As for effective fighting, that only changed after research proved that only 20% of WWII fighters actually did all of the killing. The rest hunkered down and hid from battle. This happened because of training. Ranges during the war, had round targets with bulls eye’s. Then they learned to use human shapes, and pop up targets. This changed the behavior of the soldiers completely. Instead of hiding, they engaged targets as they appeared.

      The behavior of soldiers was changed, and just because they can teach a person to kill, does not mean they can make them become honorable, clean, motivated professional soldiers.

      Any argument to the contrary, is bogus.