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.