Next Gen Polymer Ammunition Introduced from FightLite

FightLite is introducing a polymer cartridge case to the market with their newest offering. This particular case is unique because unlike hybrid polymer ammunition with a brass base, these rounds are entirely polymer, apart from the primer, powder, and bullet. Although very forward thinking in design, many current polymer rounds suffer from reliability and heat issues that come into play during operation. This is especially important when it comes to machine guns, where the weight reduction from polymer ammunition truly shines, offering a claimed 30 percent decrease in weight as claimed by FightLite. The company is well aware of the various issues involved that have plagued other designs and has systematically tackled the problem to the best of their abilities.

From the press release-

The Army and some of our commercial customers have been interested in lightweight
ammunition for quite some time, so our R&D team is pretty excited about the progress we’re making to finally solve the elusive lightweight ammunition equation for conventional rifles and machine guns,” says Geoffrey Herring, CEO of ARES Defense Systems ® . “We’re aware that various iterations of polymer cased ammunition have been introduced to the commercial market during the past several years, but we also know some of the setbacks they’ve experienced along the way such as ballistic underperformance, case melt, moisture absorption, case separation or deformation, and catastrophic failures when the heat or pressure is up. Most of the polymer ammunition manufacturers are employing first through third generation technology
which can be predisposed to fail when subjected to rough handling, temperature extremes, environmental conditions, and the pressures necessary for full ballistic performance of modernrifle ammunition.

At this time we are unsure whether the company will release the ammunition to the general public for market consumption as it appears that the company is mostly focused on testing and evaluation by the U.S. Army. The Army has been working with a number of polymer cartridges, most notably the LSAT 6.5mm light machine gun. Along with the polymer ammunition, FightLite explicitly released it with the MCR modifications, thus combining an optimal ammunition source for an optimal light machine gun. The combination of these elements might be seen as a direct competitor to the LSAT process.



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Jeff Smith

    Somewhere in Texas, Alex C. is skeptical.

    • noob

      while flooring the gas pedal on a supercar and driving away from his troubles

  • Slab Rankle

    Make this in pistol calibers and put it in your Glock for a complete weapons system that can go through airport metal detectors (using first gen mags, of course).

    What’s not to like?

    • Will

      Well, it costs more than I make in a month.

      • Phillip Cooper

        “Dey Cop Killas, Rigs!”

      • b0x3r0ck

        The base cost would be around steel casing once the get the system right. But I kind of would like it to be made of 3d ceramic resin with a honeycomb shape supporting the cases shape.

        • Slab Rankle

          Truth be told, aluminum case would be almost as light, is proven technology, and would be even cheaper than brass.

          As for ceramic resin cases, they could be made in a 3D printer, complete with honeycomb shape.

          Anything is possible.

          • FlaBoy

            And is going to happen… sooner or later. IF a plastic that was effective as a projectile could be developed, along with a polymer shell of some kind, it would give the anti-gunners something to scream about: “…new plastic ammo that is non-detectable by metal detectors, made to accompany those invisible plastic guns, like Glocks. But then, anti-gunners are mostly stupid and uninformed, so they’ll probably start saying this as soon as a working polymer shell is made, even though the projectile is still metal or partially metal.

        • Twilight sparkle

          Haven’t seen die hard eh?

      • hurrdurr

        You’re thinking of The Glock Model 7…….. <.<

        • noob

          with the porcelain springs.

      • noob

        You’d be surprised what you’ll make in a month.

    • b0x3r0ck

      There slot of metal parts in a glock mainly the barrel so passing a metal detector not happening.

      • ostiariusalpha

        It is an old wives’ tale that hysterical politicians spread around, that Glocks could pass through metal detectors.

      • Slab Rankle

        Cerakoting makes them undetectable to a metal detector.

        • GaryOlson

          Color a half dozen in rainbow colors, tie a string on the end, attach to another barrel, and call it a wind chime. Tell them you bought it at a flea market.

          • noob

            “Why do I have to be Mr Pink?”

    • Bucho4Prez
  • Still skeptical though.

    • Gregory Markle

      Considering that it’s Geoffrey Herring promoting it I’d wager that an actual market viable product is easily a decade away and anyone who invests its continued development will get screwed when he reorganizes the company once a working product is developed. Just extrapolating from the two decade long journey from the ARES Shrike pre-orders, to the large number of pre-orders never filled and promises broken, to the change of the company name to FightLite and the upper name to MCR to try ditching the bad history.

      • noob

        the company you have to Fight after they make your wallet Lite.

      • Anton_Zilwicki

        You got bit on that one too huh? Bummer that these FBN operators can try and reinvent the wheel and say “It’s different this time I promise!” Bren Ten all over again…..

        • Gregory Markle

          I didn’t personally get screwed but I have several friends who did. One friend was in as early as 1996 on a pre-order and it was near 20 years before he got one of the cheap, downgraded uppers Ares was sending out to cover pre-orders but had a second order denied because thee they claimed they weren’t taking pre-orders at the time the check was written. They also screwed multiple guys I know who live in NY and refused to send their uppers even though NY state said they were okay at the time, and they wouldn’t allow them to transfer the order even to a dealer in or out of state.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Is it economical?

    • Brett baker

      This is taxpayer dollars we’re talking about, OF COURSE it’s economical! Seriously, though, I agree with Joshua.

      • noob

        “It’s economical if you build it in my district” – D-MI

  • Joshua

    One day.

    I’d love for this to be the one though.

    • SGT Fish

      Brass liked the idea. but the thing is in no way capable of withstanding military use. the number of people who have had to replace their upper receivers is evidence enough. along with most people needing to use “used” links that are already broken in. No military uses “used” links

      • jcitizen

        I never had any problem with used non-disintegrating links.(German/Soviet) Never had any problem with used disintegrating links on .50 BMG. Are you talking about M27 links? You can get them all over the web brand new!

        • SGT Fish

          I was talking about the “shrike”
          what I was saying is that many shrikes/MCRs/whatevers don’t run well on factory new links, you must use broken in “used” links for the gun to work somewhat reliably. so no military is going to buy the Shrike/MCR and have to buy their links form the surplus store.
          I have had no trouble with non-disintegrating links for my RPD. though even Nato doesn’t reuse belts and requires new ones to be issued. there is actually a big problem with companies collecting up used PKM belts, re-finishing them, and selling them as new to NATO buyers

          • jcitizen

            Okay, I get it now. Have you ever found a link loader for the RPD? They look beautiful in the examples I’ve seen, but the intermediate round and no removable barrel turned me off.

            I’ve never had any problems with my PKM belts. I even tried old Russian Maxim belts on it ( had to borrow a link loader from a friend), and it ran great in the PKM! Cleaning all that cosmoline gunk off of them was a real hassle though.

    • noob

      The Army Brass is skeptical, but Army Polymer got the handgun they wanted so who knows?

    • meadmkr

      Seems like some of the Army Brass may be replaced with lighter weight Army Polymers 🙂

  • Veteran for Trump

    If it can’t be reloaded, I don’t want it.

  • Seth Hill

    With a locking bolt design, I don’t see why a design like this wouldn’t work. Things I could see as a problem though:

    *the heat from the burning powder creating a “glue” from the polymer and not being able to extract all of the case.
    *build up of polymer in the chamber and on the bolt head
    *possibly toxic fumes from the polymer when the round is fired

    • ostiariusalpha

      As long as you’re using the right polymer, that’s all moot. The LSAT/CTSAS ammo has certainly shown none of those problems; though admittedly it isn’t a conventional case design, and doesn’t extract in the same way this FightLite ammo would have to.

  • Scott Wagner

    I want this to come to fruition so bad, but I remember the Shrike days….

  • Blake

    PSA for anybody thinking about buying polymer-cased ammo:

    DO NOT use it in roller-locked weapons!

    (& it might be wise to avoid using it in anything with a fluted chamber, not just H&K-pattern guns)

    • Sledgecrowbar

      Delayed blowbacks even eat brass-cased ammo, if you want to split hairs. They run best with steel-cased.

  • mazkact

    I do not like aluminum cases but to my skeptical mind aluminum makes more sense than polymer. If your after strong and light cases some sort of metal alloy is the way to go……………………………….maybe brass would work 😉

  • bobk90

    I remember back in the 1980’s, when I was in the Army, they said that we were going to “Case less” ammo. Of course, that never happened

    • Zobeid

      That was when they tested the H&K G11 and eventually determined that it was superior to conventional rifles, but then decided it wasn’t superior enough to justify shelling out a bazillion dollars for new rifles, new ammo, new ammo *factories* and etc.

      And now, 30+ years later, they’re still trying to figure a way to cheap out.

      • bobk90

        That’s right, thanks!

  • LilWolfy

    Plastic rim with metal extractor with rotational torsion? What could go wrong?

    Gonna need to see some video from independent testing.