An interesting bit of information just surfaced. This information comes from Patrick Fisher, the the acquisition program manager for ammunition for Special Operations Command. When addressing an audience at the National Defense Industry Association Armament Systems forum in Indianapolis on Monday he indicated that last October they tested the SR-25, M110A1, and Mk20 chambered in .308, 260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmoor to determine which provided the best capability. This was not just a theoretical test but apparently a test for actual acquisition. They settled on the 6.5 Creedmoor and will begin swapping barrels on their 7.62x51mm NATO rifles with 6.5 CM barrels starting next year. Of course, their standardized load will also be acquired at the same time.

This was done to offer an effective stop gap setup while the Army continues to test and seek their replacement cartridge for the 7.62x51mm NATO and its rifle systems by 2021. They have settled on a specific loading for the 6.5 CM, but no details were offered. Using the 6.5 CM offers a very easy caliber conversion for all their 308/7.62 rifles but yet offers a considerable improvement on long range capability and even a reduction in recoil. Considering that most of SOCOM is using M2010s and other 300 WM rifles as their primary sniper rifles, we are assuming all of their other 7.62 sniper rifles, which primarily consist of the ones they tested last year, will be getting the barrel swaps.

Incidentally, the Department of Homland Security (DHS) has decided to make the same switch to 6.5 CM as SOCOM. This is all interesting news and we’ll keep you posted.

Sniper Central

 

20 Comments

Joseph Smith

Must we reinvent the wheel? I can understand the need for change in small arms when technology and modernity demand it, smokeless powder, repeaters, etc., but is the 7.62 Nato round SO obsolete that a new cartridge is needed?

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mele-02

The ballistics of the 6.5CM are significantly better than the 308, and rival that of the 300WM, but yet out of the same rifles as the 308 and less recoil. It is a big jump. Necessary? No, but highly desirable.

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Ben

Maybe in drop, not even close in energy. And when dropping bad guys, you can’t calculate more power.

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Incognito

When it’s your life on the line you want the best you can get

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Brian

This prompted me to look at the energy of a 140gr 6.5 vs a 175gr 308 at 600+ yards. It’s way closer than I’d have expected.

I hadn’t thought about downrange energy since my 6.5 CM only gets used for ringing steel and as an expensive hole punch. Going to 6.5 CM makes sense with to the lack of energy loss compared to a 175SMK.

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dsw

This seems a no brainier for me.
The NATO round is flanked by superior performing offerings that mirror each other in ballistics.
The situation will dictate what caliber to use, 300wm or 6.5cm, and the trajectory remains nearly identical. Glad to see the military is thinking.
My problem is I would have to rechamber my ¼moa .243 Winchester to 6.5cm or buy another rifle!
I just don’t see the 308 as necessary as it once was.

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Douglas

Mel,

Looks like the idea of providing Ruger Precision Rifle options is making sense.

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Platt Brabner

I am a big fan of the .300 WM and 7 MM with the heaviest bullet they can handle using G-7 tables. Planning the same for my latest AR-10 in 6.5 CM.

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Gene D

So….when you get in a gun-fight on the other side of the planet , in a place you aren’t supposed to be , and you run low , or “out” of 6.5 Creed , or 300 WSM , which local gun shop will you run down to for re-supply ? Rather have it and not need it , than need it and not have it . Where can you currently go to on this planet and not find .308 Nato , or a useful derivative .No matter whether the 6.5 is the next super round , if you can’t get it , so what ?

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mele-02

It is a valid point and the same one I have wondered about, but I think they are running off of the fact that they have been fighting a war for 15+ years now, and have not run into supply issues.

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K T

Question: “Where can you currently go to on this planet and not find .308 Nato , or a useful derivative ”
Answer: Try Afghanistan, Iraq, , Libya, Syria, Iran…..and prob a couple of others.

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JJ

I don’t think that is a valid point at all. It might have been during a potential Cold War conflict, but not on today’s battlefield. If I run out of ammo in Afghanistan (or any other country where our adversaries primarily field AK variants) the only place I’m going to find it is off of a dead or wounded comrade. The same would be true for 6.5 CM.

To the point of energy, the 7.62 has an energy advantage out to about 400 yards or so before the 6.5 takes over and surpasses it. The 6.5 carries lethal energy out past 1200 yards while the 7.62 drops below at 1000 yards. Additionally the 6.5 has something like a 60% higher hit rate on a 20” steel plate at 1000yards. I’ll take the 6.5 round all day over the 7.62. There is a reason why some of the special units have been fielding .260 Remington lately.

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MICHAEL SLINKARD

having used 7.62 , .300WM , and now the new 6.5CM , the 6.5CM has it all over the 7.62 . The 6.5CM can be pushed out past 1200m and it is still packing enough energy to do the job . The old work horse 7.62 drops well behind at about700-800 m . yes it has been credited with kill shots at 900-1100m in the hands of the most skilled “shooters” . I feel time will show that the move to the 6.5CM will be a wise one. Yet i will still hang onto my Remington 700 in 7.62

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iceeman32y

Still going to keep my socom 2 7.62 and 7mm bolt. Along with my 444 lever. Should serve me well if the SHTF.

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Phantom30

Think of this, your a squad marksman. You get primary rifle and pistol. Rifle weighs 11 pounds. You need it for sniping at 1300m and COB. Bolt guns do not get it. Carrying a pile of rifles on your back doesn’t get it either. 6.5 Creedmoor can do both in a semi-auto with right ammunition. Hornady’s and Federal’s BTHPs and OTMs have tip concentricity problems in semi-auto chambering. You need an FMJ BT like S&B 140gr, G1 BC .548, gets you range accuracy and reliability so you can use just one rifle.

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