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The US Army is looking for alternatives to 5.56mm weapons. New composite cartridge provides “significant logistical advantages over traditional brass-cased ammunition and gives end users unmatched accuracy, repeatability and reliability, all in a light-weight cartridge,” according to ammunition manufacturer True Velocity.
The company will deliver more than 625,000 rounds of its proprietary composite-cased 6.8 mm ammo to the U.S. Army for consideration in the next-generation squad weapon program.
The Army is experimenting with composite-cased 6.8 mm ammunition, which may help lighten soldiers’ loads, and is looking to replace the standard 5.56×45 mm round, according to a company statement.
The product offers a “30 percent weight reduction, improved accuracy, optimized muzzle velocity and increased ballistic efficiency,” it added.
For a typical infantryman’s load of seven 30-round magazines, that would amount to him being able to carry an additional 90 rounds. Composite casing also reduces heat produced during the firing process. That in turn diminishes wear and tear on the gun. The composite material is a heat insulator while brass is a conductor, according to nationaldefensemagazin.org.
The Army will test the ammunition in a variety of settings throughout 2021 before issuing a final decision.
The composite-cased rounds are currently being offered to other public agencies, with plans to offer them to general public consumers later. The Australian Defence Force is also experimenting with the ammunition.