6.8 mm NGSW

Does anyone have photos of the proposed 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapon cartridge? Either hybrid or CT.

the proposed ballistics put it in the magnum class, and I am curious why they chose .277 caliber over .264.


I would guess it had something to do with the trials of the 6.8 SPC round a few years ago.
There was widespread approval of the cartridge, and favourable downrange ballistics. If I remember correctly, the U.S. 10th Mountain was one of the units that tested it under actual combat conditions…
Interested to see how the two rounds compare.



Does anyone have photos of the proposed 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapon cartridge? Either hybrid or CT."

No, because each participating company involved in developing the next generation of weapons in 6.8mm have their own lighter weight cartridge design and from what I’ve been able to determine specific information on these cartridges have not been released to the public. Your second question is basically unanswerable because the specifications put forth by the military keep changing from one year to the next or more often than that.

Add to this mix are the advances in body armor around the world which can stop the U.S. 5.56x45mm M855a1 bullet in many situations. See Militech Level IV Body Armor, Alumina Oxide Demonstration, Made in China https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlvegB2T0AU

Just my 2 cents worth.


Brian, I see your point, but I meant the 6.8 vs. 6.5 caliber from the testing. Everything I heard said it was preferred over a 6.5 caliber…
What are the chances the 6.8 SPC IS the preferred cartridge, and the competition is about the weapons design, since it has been done that way in the past?

From what little information that has come to light recently, the 6.8mmSPC most likely will not be the round of choice.


Did I miss something? The first paragraph barely mentions the “6.8mm projectile”, but the picture below is marked “6.5”.
I fail to find any info on the 6.8mm cartridge in question.
Why would they not utilize a battle proven cartridge? Simpler than designing a new cartridge from scratch.


If you are referring to the Sig Sauer posting shown above, Alex basically asked the same question and my response was:

"It is a bit confusing as SOCOM (Special Operations Command) recently adopted the 6.5 Creedmoor as a sniper round:NDIA’s Annual Armaments Conference, SOCOM Ammunition "News" Includes adoption of 6.5mm Creedmoor as a Sniper Round, .338 Norma Mag. MG, 9mm Speer Gold Dot etc

But the “regular” U.S Army wants a 6.8mm round: U.S. Army Seriously Considering the Adoption of a 6.8mm cartridge "

Sig Sauer is one of the companies competing for the 6.8mm NGSW. From the article in soldiersystems.net (posted above) on the Sig Sauer hybrid cartridge: .

“SIG SAUER has unveiled their new Belt-Fed machine gun. Originally developed to fire the 338 Norma Mag cartridge, a 7.62 NATO version was quickly developed and now they are prepared to accommodate the 6.8mm projectile and associated ballistic requirements of the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle Other Transaction Authority (OTA) currently underway.

Sig Sauer is most likely not publicly showing their 6.8mm hybrid cartridge due to the ongoing competition.

In the same light PCP Tactical is one of the companies in the competition for the 6.8mm NGSW and associated with PCP Tactical is PCP Ammunition Co.
PCP Ammunition announced their “hybrid” polymer SOCOM 6.5mm cartridge at the 2018 Shot show:

As you can see PCP Ammo put on display their 6.5mm SOCOM cartridge, which is lighter in weight than a comparable brass case cartridge. But to compete for the 6.8mm NGSW they have to have a 6.8mm cartridge.

The five companies competing for the 6.8mm NGSW must provide a cartridge of their design that meets the weight and ballistic requirements set forth by the US Army. And none of these companies are talking much about the 6.8mm cartridge they plan to submit with their weapon.

Is this confusing? Absolutely!

Is it logical? Does it all make sense? That’s for you to decide!


I recently posted an article summarising the present situation on the UK Land Power blog: https://uklandpower.com/2018/10/19/the-us-armys-next-generation-squad-weapon-programme/

This doesn’t mention the 6.8 mm Rem SPC as this is nowhere near powerful enough to meet the US Army requirement.

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On October 19 of this year Tactical Life reported the Army would supply the “projectiles.”
I am not sure if they meant ammunition or bullets but as I read the report think it meant ammunition.

I think some of the confusion here is the statement “6.8 caliber”, with people assuming 6.8 SPC is where they’re going. At the 2018 NDIA Small Arms symposium, they were quite clear that for the 6.8 system they were considering, all that had been decided was that the final candidate would use the 6.8 “Government” projectile. The case/chambering was still open, industry would drive that by how they met the performance specs. DoD had a specific projectile they wanted used and how they wanted the round to perform, but how industry filled in the blanks would decide. They weren’t specifying a chambering, or a case material, or telescoped, or caseless, or anything else.

Also, there are other weapons/calibers in the pipeline for development as well, each independent of the others on what the application was for and not related to the 6.8 system. e.g. the .300/.338 NM system, the .338 LM MG system, the 6.5 system, etc. Those are other projects/other objectives.

So there isn’t just one project underway here, all new/interesting calibers.

The .338 LWMMG (lightweight medium MG) by GD which has been kicking around for a while (I got to fire it at an NDIA event a few years ago) is chambered in .338 Norma Magnum, not the Lapua round.

0.338 Norma Magnum MG (Polymer Cartridge Case) 2016 (Gen Dyn).pdf (804.8 KB)

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Somehow I see history repeating it’s self with new anagrams like SPIW or SALVO & new wheel reinventions on the scene.

Still pretty neat stuff for collectors & hopefully something worthwhile for our war fighters.

The “super-velocity” 6.8 mm which the Army is apparently looking for reminds me of the .276 Enfield saga of over a century ago when, as a result of the Boer War, the Brits decided they needed a long-range flat-shooting rifle. They came up with a 7 mm round in the magnum class in the P.13 rifle. They were having all sorts of problems with excessive recoil, muzzle flash, overheating and barrel wear, and were probably relieved when the advent of WW1 led to the cancellation of the .276 in favour of a better loading of the .303.

The conflict between armor/anti-armor is as old as the battle of Agincourt in 1415, and probably as old as the invention of chainmail in the 4th and 5th centuries. Nothing new here. There are many ways to defeat current and future armor threats other than adopting a magnum AR and LMG.

I am afraid that Big Army will ruin what is an otherwise relatively easy (evolutionary) leap forward by adopting a hybrid or CT 6.5 or 6.8 mm projectile in AR’s and LMG’s that have sensible (600-650 spm) cyclic rates. Turning these weapons into magnum caliber weapons while still obtaining descent full auto dispersion is probably not possible.

For medium and long range engagements a more powerful .338 NM medium machinegun combined with guided 40mm projectiles like the Raython Spike, HE 84mm Carl Gustaf projectiles, and guided mortars can overwhelm well armored troops without use of a magnum AR or LMG. For close quarters battle a kinetic energy projectile capable of perforating Level IV probably is necessary, but I wonder if that could not be achieved with a saboted 6.5 or 6.8 candidate cartridge when it was necessary?

Improved full auto dispersion is certainly possible from legacy weapons, and this should make legs and extremities vulnerable.

Other force multipliers come to mind for mechanized troops. The GAU -19 could replace existing 762 mm MMG’s.

BDGreen, thanks for posting.
Love the see through case, and view of the powder, hope they become available to the public.

Gunwriter Daniel Watters posted this on his Facebook feed today which I found very interesting. He notes that this snippet from the NGSW Industry Questions gives a hint at where the 6.8 project is headed (not sure on who was asking the question, but they are inside the project on some end):

“104. Question: The cartridge design will require a new cartridge with its own safety test requirements. Can 270WSM be used in the Bid Sample with the understanding that the cartridge and therefore the prototype, will change slightly?”

To which I replied in horror about the weight of such a cartridge:

"WOW, I knew the cartridge would have to be a little bit larger to allow for the kind of power increase that is being implied, but suggesting .270WSM as a viable analog for a test-bed cartridge… That’s talking about an average weight increase of around 80% per overall cartridge from the 245gr ballpark of 6.8SPC to the 440gr ballpark of .270WSM. To say nothing of the amount of space the cartridges take up. Now if they could just get Shell Shock Technologies to set them up with some stainless/nickel cases, the weight problem will be resolved for this pending “6.8 Death Star.”

What is this “Warfighter” PC garbage??? SOLDIERS FIGHT WARS, Not some PC snowflakes.
Sometimes Civilians fight wars as well…does Lexington ring a bell?

Let’s keep this board PC free.

Your friendly curmudgeon,
Doc AV

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Doc, while fully agreeing with you I wonder if this is more something heroic-patriotic propagandistic thing or so.


The term “warfighter” came about due to the ever growing field of specialists who contribute seriously to fighting wars, but who are not exactly soldiers. Such as drone pilots, hackers, satellite operators, etc… Many of these newer jobs will kill more enemy combatents than most traditional soldiers ever will, hence the warfighter term, whether they are boots on the ground, or behind a screen, they fight war. Also it has a tough publicity ring to it.