M-16 Era Ends: Army's 101st Airborne Division Receives Next-Gen Assault Rifles

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Army Futures Command announced last week that troops from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have received the Army's next-generation rifles and light machine guns chambered in a new 6.8mm round. These new weapons are replacing the decades-old M-4 and M-16 battle rifle platforms.

Military Times reports soldiers from 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell were handed XM7 Next Generation Rifle and XM250 Next Generation Automatic Rifle ahead of training in April.

Produced by firearm maker Sig Sauer, the XM7 is a 6.8×51mm gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle that replaces the M-4 carbine for close combat fighting. The XM250 is a 6.8×51mm gas-operated, belt-fed light machine gun that replaces the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW. Both rifles are chambered in 6.8×51mm, a new round for the Army that will increase range and improve lethality against the most advanced body armor used on the modern battlefield.

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Army Futures Command announced last week that troops from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, have received the Army's next-generation rifles and light machine guns chambered in a new 6.8mm round. These new weapons are replacing the decades-old M-4 and M-16 battle rifle platforms.

Military Times reports soldiers from 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell were handed XM7 Next Generation Rifle and XM250 Next Generation Automatic Rifle ahead of training in April.

Produced by firearm maker Sig Sauer, the XM7 is a 6.8×51mm gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle that replaces the M-4 carbine for close combat fighting. The XM250 is a 6.8×51mm gas-operated, belt-fed light machine gun that replaces the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW. Both rifles are chambered in 6.8×51mm, a new round for the Army that will increase range and improve lethality against the most advanced body armor used on the modern battlefield.

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Since when are the M4 / M16 "Battle Rifles" ? Last I checked, they were assault rifles as they were chambered in an intermediate cartridge.

More folks without any real idea what the words they write in an article actually mean.
 
Since when are the M4 / M16 "Battle Rifles" ? Last I checked, they were assault rifles as they were chambered in an intermediate cartridge.

More folks without any real idea what the words they write in an article actually mean.

Amen.

XM7 is more of a battle rifle than M16 ever was.

This is not a major change, in terms of training and manual of arms. It'll change the soldier load and the cleaning ritual, but it's much less of a changeover than the previous times the Army has swapped in new rifles.
 
I won't rest until our fine troops are issued the Grove Industries AR-60. Sure it might blow up at times. What good gun doesn't?

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The only thing stopping it is a Korean guy who can walk on water.

 
The M4 is NOT going away. The era is not ending. The XM7 and XM250 are only getting issued to combat arms troops. And even then, I suspect leaders, grenadiers RTOs, medics, etc will still continue to use M4s.

I’m “meh” on the XM7. I think it, along with its cartridge and XM157 optic will be great to outfit the rifleman position in a fire team, and maybe the team leader. But everyone else should retain the M4. The XM250 on the other hand is so amazing. Lighter than the M249, even with a silencer on it. And much, much better external ballistics. Ammo weighs more, but some units already use the 7.62 Mk48 instead of the 249 anyway. So that ammo weight will stay the same.
 
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When can i get some of that there new fangled 6.8

You might not be able to because it's a weird hybrid cartridge that will not be able to be used in an AR10-type rifle. It has a stainless steel metal base, an aluminum locking washer, and a brass case. It also has a whopping SAAMI MAP chamber pressure of 80,000 psi.


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I can hear the gun shop commandos snapping their suspenders at this over the internet. 🤣

"DA MILLUTARY iz movin to 276 sigxiectalub. Not enuf stopping power in 556. " (pauses after sentence to emit a few wet jimmy dean sausage disc induced farts in the gun shop).
 
Not a fan.

Focus group rifle can f*** itself. US Army procurement requirements limit innovation, add bloat and occasionally completely useless features. As seen here.
It won't matter anyways because this will die on the vine outside of special units, like pretty much every other geegaw thing they come up with .
 
The M4 is NOT going away. The era is not ending. The XM7 and XM250 are only getting issued to combat arms troops. And even then, I suspect leaders, grenadiers RTOs, medics, etc will still continue to use M4s.

I’m “meh” on the XM7. I think it, along with its cartridge and XM157 optic will be great to outfit the rifleman position in a fire team, and maybe the team leader. But everyone else should retain the M4. The XM250 on the other hand is so amazing. Lighter than the M249, even with a silencer on it. And much, much better external ballistics. Ammo weighs more, but some units already use the 7.62 Mk48 instead of the 249 anyway. So that ammo weight will stay the same.
Ammo does not weigh more. It’s supposedly 20% lighter.
 
Ammo does not weigh more. It’s supposedly 20% lighter.

Than 7.62, yes. Not 20% though. 100 round pouch of linked 6.8x51 is 6.77lbs. 7.62x51 is just shy of 7lbs. Multiply that out to 400 rounds and you’re looking at 27lbs vs 28lbs.

400 rounds is still really heavy, whether it’s 6.8 or 7.62.
 
When can i get some of that there new fangled 6.8

The ones loaded up with an M855A1/M80A1 style bullet, not gonna happen for a long time until they start falling off trucks. But Sig can’t even keep up with their required production.
 
You might not be able to because it's a weird hybrid cartridge that will not be able to be used in an AR10-type rifle. It has a stainless steel metal base, an aluminum locking washer, and a brass case. It also has a whopping SAAMI MAP chamber pressure of 80,000 psi.


View attachment 868454
I Know lol I've been waiting for it though
 
Than 7.62, yes. Not 20% though. 100 round pouch of linked 6.8x51 is 6.77lbs. 7.62x51 is just shy of 7lbs. Multiply that out to 400 rounds and you’re looking at 27lbs vs 28lbs.

400 rounds is still really heavy, whether it’s 6.8 or 7.62.

SIG Sauer developed an innovative thinner, lighter hybrid brass/alloy cartridge to pair with 6.8-millimeter projectiles, reducing overall weight by 30 percent. The new combination yields rounds that weigh about the same as the 5.56mm ammunition the M4/M249 fire. But it packs a much heavier punch, able to lethally pierce body armor close-in and at longer ranges.
Read the article.

 

View: https://youtu.be/S7FsAgPuVwU?si=7bAr6J6KAC1rP7UZ


I kid, i kid..... but it's still funny. All the weird fawning over another wundercartrige. 🤣 I remember the days of 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grundle and how those were going to take over the world..... 🤣


This one is a wundercartridge… or rather a wundercase. I’d love to see more bi-metal brass&steel cases available for other cartridges. I bet 6.8 SPC with the higher pressures of this case design, or 6 MAX with the higher pressure cases would be a fantastic update for M4s. I say 6 MAX because I don’t think the thin 6 ARC/6.5G bolts would survive long with the higher pressures.

A company named Shellshock Technologies is making some (called NAS3) for .223, 300blk, and 9mm cases. Some other ammo companies are loading with them.

I don’t see the appeal of 9mm using this technology though.
 
SIG Sauer developed an innovative thinner, lighter hybrid brass/alloy cartridge to pair with 6.8-millimeter projectiles, reducing overall weight by 30 percent. The new combination yields rounds that weigh about the same as the 5.56mm ammunition the M4/M249 fire. But it packs a much heavier punch, able to lethally pierce body armor close-in and at longer ranges.
Read the article.


I’m well aware of what the new cartridge consist of. That article is misleading. I could believe that the case itself is 20% lighter. But the whole cartridge is not. Then you have an extra 5 grains per bullet (over the 130gr M80A1), and all the links are the same weight.

Edit: also nowhere close to 5.56 weight. There’s a reason why the M249 combat load is 600 rounds and the XM250/Mk48 are 400.
 
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View: https://youtu.be/S7FsAgPuVwU?si=7bAr6J6KAC1rP7UZ


I kid, i kid..... but it's still funny. All the weird fawning over another wundercartrige. 🤣 I remember the days of 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grundle and how those were going to take over the world..... 🤣

I don’t think anyone is fawning over it. The actual cartridge for the military has crazy high pressures. The civilian stuff is tamed down. I think sig only has it chambered in their bolt gun.
 
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