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"The Real Deal"
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So as title states, I was sitiing at my reloading table rolling some 450 bushmasters, and you know how you have random thoughts waiting for the dispenser to kick out a charge.

So I have been reading about the militaries planning to switch to the obscure 6.8 cartridge. Im curious to see this new round, and I am sure a civilian rifle will be conceived to run that ammo type. However at the time being 5.56 is dirt cheap, I buy once fired 5.56 cases for $3 per hundred. The factory loaded ammo is fairly inexpensive. So "IF" the military switches, its only logical that the price will increase, since right now we all benefit from the biggest customer, uncle sam. What are your thoughts?

On another note what do you know about the new military obscure 6.8 round? I mean I own a 6.8spc, its a good cartridge, but it just provides twice the energy of the 5.56 at equal ranges roughly 600 yards max. Im sure this is not the round the military is going to but something that uses a 6.8 or .277 bullet in some sort of case. Thoughts?
 

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Corps Commander NGV
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I'm not worried. The armed forces will still be burning big quantities of 5.56x45 for a long time. The extreme popularity of civilian firearms chambered for .223/ 5.56mm will ensure large amounts are manufactured until handheld laser weapons are commonplace. I don't have any problem finding relatively inexpensive ammo for my .30-06 or .45acp.
 

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There is a good possibility that the Army will adopt a case telescoped 6.8mm cartridge - not the 6.8 SPC. I've been working with weapons in and for the Army for nearly 40 years. I would expect that it will be another 8-10 years before the Army actually fields a new weapon, in a new cartridge. Add to that the fact that there are, literally, millions of rifles chambered in .223/5.56mm in use by Americans. I don't see the cartridge going away any time soon.
 

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The AR/M-16 weapon system has been around for a long time and seems to be very well sorted out. I suspect that our military will be using it in some form or fashion for a very long time. I am all for ballistic progress but I hope the military gets the next rifle really ready for prime time before they start issuing it to the troops.
 

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By the time the switch is made,some of us will have ZZTop beards and those with beards may be clean shaven.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not worried. The armed forces will still be burning big quantities of 5.56x45 for a long time. The extreme popularity of civilian firearms chambered for .223/ 5.56mm will ensure large amounts are manufactured until handheld laser weapons are commonplace. I don't have any problem finding relatively inexpensive ammo for my .30-06 or .45acp.
I ain't worried either, hand held laser weapons, still waiting on a light sabre since the first time I saw star wars many, many, many, moons ago.

There is a good possibility that the Army will adopt a case telescoped 6.8mm cartridge - not the 6.8 SPC. I've been working with weapons in and for the Army for nearly 40 years. I would expect that it will be another 8-10 years before the Army actually fields a new weapon, in a new cartridge. Add to that the fact that there are, literally, millions of rifles chambered in .223/5.56mm in use by Americans. I don't see the cartridge going away any time soon.
Yes, I saw a rendition that appeared to have a polymer or plastic case, I was like, wait a minute. IF its a polymer case, and its been stated its for a beltfed machine gun, will it not melt under sustained fire, as with a beltfed weapon?

The AR/M-16 weapon system has been around for a long time and seems to be very well sorted out. I suspect that our military will be using it in some form or fashion for a very long time. I am all for ballistic progress but I hope the military gets the next rifle really ready for prime time before they start issuing it to the troops.
Yes they definately need to do their homework, and field the most positive working example they can, if they are capable of it.

Knowing how slowly government bureaucracy moves, we've got a long time until they make the switch from 5.56.
Isn't that the truth, slow as molasses in the winter.:D

By the time the switch is made,some of us will have ZZTop beards and those with beards may be clean shaven.
Beings its no shave November I am getting closer to that everyday. Well not the beard since the FD doesn't allow it, but have a nice horeshoe stache going.
 

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Tacky, I don’t think it’s going to have an effect on the price down the road. I only say that because I think the AR is still selling strong, (at least it was the top selling firearm a couple of years ago). But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

As far as random thoughts go, I get them all the time...........I wish I only got them when I was at the bench...........
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Discussion Starter #10
Tacky, I don’t think it’s going to have an effect on the price down the road. I only say that because I think the AR is still selling strong, (at least it was the top selling firearm a couple of years ago). But hey, I’ve been wrong before.

As far as random thoughts go, I get them all the time...........I wish I only got them when I was at the bench...........
Im with you, I get them at other times, but seems I get alot while on the bench.
 

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The sheer number of 556 rifles will keep prices low.
But, like we've seen in the past. It doesn't take much to stampede the herd, empty the shelves and send the prices back through the roof.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Discussion Starter #12
But, like we've seen in the past. It doesn't take much to stampede the herd, empty the shelves and send the prices back through the roof.
SO TRUE, I haven't forgotten 22 long rifle ammo during the past shortages, but then again you canmot reload 22 as you can with .223. I am sure the 22's out number the .223's, thats a likely assumption.
 

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Based on previous US military weapons and ammunition trials this will take decades to happen, if then. Between the enormous cost and numerous inconclusive trials, nothing is going to change soon.
 

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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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Look what happened to the 30-'06 after the M1 Garand was replaced. The '06 is still a very popular cartridge. The same thing will happen to the 5.56 …. except there are a lot more 5.56s in circulation so it will maintain popularity for many decades.
 

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As a tax payer, it seems we currently have military (metric) rounds in .223 and .308 with large quantities of both arms and ammunition along with some specialized, mission specific calibers that would seem suitable to meet a variety of needs. Our NATO allies are similarly armed. It would seem there will be substantial costs involved in this transition. In a world of limited resources, are the ballistic advantages such that the same dollars may be better spent elsewhere in the armed forces. Just asking as I am unfamiliar with the proposed round.
 

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Honestly, I think the lack of military contracts will cause the ammunition to increase in price, simply because manufacturers won't be able to sell the same amounts as they used to.

.45 ACP uses far more materials than the .380 ACP, but the .380 costs almost as much as the .45.
 

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I agree with the consensus opinion that the 5.56 isn't going anywhere anytime soon and there are enough civilian rifles chambered for it that it will be in high demand for many years to come. So, no, I don't expect any price increase.

What is interesting is whether or not 50 years from now the 5.56 will still be a popular caliber. Unlike the 30-06, 308, 7x57, and other former military rounds the 5.56 is not as useful as a pure hunting caliber. Time will tell.
 

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"The Real Deal"
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Discussion Starter #18
I agree with the consensus opinion that the 5.56 isn't going anywhere anytime soon and there are enough civilian rifles chambered for it that it will be in high demand for many years to come. So, no, I don't expect any price increase.

What is interesting is whether or not 50 years from now the 5.56 will still be a popular caliber. Unlike the 30-06, 308, 7x57, and other former military rounds the 5.56 is not as useful as a pure hunting caliber. Time will tell.
Interesting take, im gonna try to remember that 50 years from now.
 
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I agree with the consensus opinion that the 5.56 isn't going anywhere anytime soon and there are enough civilian rifles chambered for it that it will be in high demand for many years to come. So, no, I don't expect any price increase.
I still remember waaaay back when the ARs were "so-so" for sales and not uncommon to see a few at the range. I'll admit, at the time it wasn't really my weapon of choice UNTIL they started talking about banning them and sales went through the roof. I managed to get a couple different brands before prices started climbing along with many other people I knew. I don't see their popularity going away any time soon. Especially since they've improved so much over the years and all the different accessories that are out there.

Not to mention the TONS of brass out there and being able to reload.
 

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I'm sitting here rolling some .300 BLK and stuffing them into MIL SPEC magazines, wondering if a totally new cartridge, weapon, and accessories are still even on the plate?
Then I delved on the contracts website, and BAM! First fielding scheduled for 1st QTR, FY 23.
Just to be clear, GD (general dynamics) is listed as one of the solicited sources...
 
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