Hi! I am new here. Few of you that know me have been telling me about this forum for years.
Now with all this interests in the new US Army’s 6.8mm NGSAR, it’s interesting that the Chinese have not only created the 6.8mm caliber, but they did it twice. The first time in 1903, and the 2rd time in 1979 (yes, it’s related to the same effort they came up with the 10.5x94mm)
BTW, the Chinese 6.8x57mm has a similar ballistic as the Remington 6.8 SPC, a 100 years later. The 6.8x57mm caliber went out of service in the 1920s mostly due to the cheap World War I surplus German 7.92-S and Mauser 98 flooding into China.
The resurrection of the Chinese 6.8mm caliber started in 1973. The Chinese CMC (Central Military Commission, their version of the MOD or Pentagon) wants a new full power cartridge to replace the 7.62x54R in all services. I don’t know what is the case length, but I would guess somewhere in the 48-50mm length.
Interestingly, one of the Chinese gun designer proposed a 2nd variant of it with a shorter case to be used in the assault rifle. The CMC rejected that since they already had the 5.8x42 in the work.
By 1979, they developed the working ammo and the field test was successful. So, what happened to this new 6.8mm ammo? The Sino-Vietnamese war of 1979-1988 started and it was not a good time to switch caliber amongst that. By the time that dwindled down in the mid-1980s, the CMC just came up with the long range version of the 5.8x42 (DVP-88 w/ 77 gr and 74 gr bullet weights w/ higher chamber pressure) to replaced the 7.62x54R in the infantry. The other services took a look at that and said no thanks, so the 54R is remaining in use today with vehicles and aircraft.
If you know anything else about this second Chinese 6.8mm cartridge, like the bullet weight or its ballistic, please share with us. Thanks Tim