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Subject: SSK 6.5mm MPC
doggtag    8/12/2006 11:38:18 AM
For those interested in still trying resurrect a politically-sacrificed dead horse, SSK has come up with a new contender in the "5.56mm-just-won't-cut-it-anymore" debate. http://www.sskindustries.com/6_5mpc.htm>here it is courtesy of SSK's website The 6.5 MPC (Multi Purpose Cartridge) is a SSK development urged by Brian Hormberg (USMC) based on the 5.56 cartridge shortened and opened to 6.5 MM and the same OAL as the 5.56. In the M-16-AR-15 rifles it utilizes the 5.56 bolt and magazines as well as all other parts except the barrel itself. Its design adapts it to a short Close Quarter Battle rifle with a 12? barrel moving a 107 6.5 SMK at 2400 FPS with superior full auto controllability and excellent accuracy. The 12? barrel model easily puts it into the realistic 300+ yard combat category and longer barrels stretch that realistic combat range considerably further. Factory ammunition is not yet available for the 6.5 MPC; however we are working on that. Ready to load brass and dies are in stock. The 120 grain BT is near maximum bullet weight for good performance. 85 grain is about the least weight for good performance. Some 140 grain bullets may be used but ballistically are counterproductive. There is a good article in the latest (Summer 2006) Special Weapons For Military and Police magazine (by Stan Crist, pp 64-67 & p 89), $6.95 @ US newsstand price (displays until Nov 2006, so lots of time yet) http://www.special-weapons-magazine.com/>here's the magazine at its website, with additional ordering info and back issue information Now, this new round was developed to match the existing overall length of the 5.56mm ammunition, which it shares the same (albeit modified) case with, to still be able to fit all current 5.56mm hardware (magazines, belt-feed links, etc), with the only necessary change being a new barrel in this new caliber. It will match per-round capacity of all 5.56mm rounds (20 & 30 round clips, C-Mag 100 round drums, 200 round M249 cassettes, etc), the only difference being a slight weight increase (62-gr typical for 5.56 NATO vs 95-gr typical for 6.5 MPC) One of the oft-suggested more favorable replacements for the 5.56, the Remington 6.8mm SPC (which doesn't stack comparably in standard 5.56 magazines, allowing only 25 rounds instead of 30), compares as follows: keeping the same weight, it breaks down to: 5.56mm NATO- 10x30-rd mags = 300 rounds. 6.5mm MPC - 9x30-rd mags = 270 rounds. 6.8mm SPC - 7x25-rd mags = 175 rounds. Now the Remington 6.8mm SPC is said to offer the most superior performance in "5.56mm-compatible" hardware (can still use standard magazines, etc), while its closest competitor, the 6.5mm Grendell, has to have everything modified to accomodate its considerably-different cartridge profile (although offering much superior performance at extended ranges, with some suggestions putting its performance on par with 7.62mm NATO but in a smaller package). As for sheer round performance, p 89 of the magazine has a nice comparison chart, between the 5.56 62-gr NATO, 6.5 95-gr MPC and 6.8 115-gr SPC. At 200m range (within CQB), the 6.5 has more than 250 foot-lbs advantage (14.5" barrel) over the 5.56. At 500m range, the 6.5 still retains just shy of a 200 ft-lb advantage over the 5.56. Now, Stan Crist's article raises the issue that the round (6.5mm MPC) was designed with regards to field reports suggesting that 5.56 from 14.5" (and shorter, CQB) barrels was proving to lack the 5.56's potential it had from longer barrels which could exploit the high velecoity needed to make the round truly incapacitive (leading many to adopt the view that "controlled pairs" would overcome any definciencies on the single, lowered-velocity (when fired from shorter barrels) 5.56 ammunition. But that of course effectively reduces the number of engagements: what's the advantage of carrying 300 rounds when you can, by the "controlled pairs" book, only sustain 150 engagements?) There were numerous "official" suggestions/recommendations that the current 5.56mm NATO was proving "adequate" in current operations (with the higher-performance Mk262 round not being standard en-masse issue as compared to the typical 5.56 NATO.) But of course, this coming from the same administration who initially thought unarmored logistics vehicles and Humvess and troops lacking body armor would be sufficient and adequate-enough to complete the Iraq mission also. Now, we've all heard the arguments that "nobody wants to cough up the money to retool the most-commonly-used small arms ammunition/weapons in the midst of the current conflict." But SSK's new solution suggests only a barrel change (to the new caliber) is needed, with all other componenets of the M-4/M-16 AR family and M249 series LMG/SAW being fully compatible (gun loads, recoil stresses, ammo mags, etc). Now, there are reports from the field (bot
 
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Yimmy    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/12/2006 12:25:57 PM
I think it would likely be better to adopt a new round without making sacrifices to make it compatible with the old round. Rifles wear out anyway, so I don't see a need to think about just replacing barrels... replace the entire rifle when the time comes. In the mean time 5.56mm can soldier on.
 
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Horsesoldier    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/12/2006 5:41:15 PM
Seems like we've discussed the various errors in this post at least once before . . . >>For those interested in still trying resurrect a politically-sacrificed dead horse, SSK has come up with a new contender in the "5.56mm-just-won't-cut-it-anymore" debate.<< Politically sacrificed? I hate to rain on the whining and all, but the heavier calibers got field trialled and were found to not bring enough to the table to justify replacing 5.56mm. Or, more exactly, the tradeoffs they generated did not justify what they brought to the table. And that was internal to USASOC, where the money and will was there to replace the 5.56mm round if 6.8 Rem SPC proved notably superior. Under field trials, when putting steel on target and killing bad guys, it was not found to be a notable improvement. >>Stan Crist's article<< Stan Crist tends to be on the wrong side of every argument I've ever seen his name associated with. If he's praising a round, it's a solid bet procurement would be the worst possible course of action. >> raises the issue that the round (6.5mm MPC) was designed with regards to field reports suggesting that 5.56 from 14.5" (and shorter, CQB) barrels was proving to lack the 5.56's potential it had from longer barrels which could exploit the high velecoity needed to make the round truly incapacitive (leading many to adopt the view that "controlled pairs" would overcome any definciencies on the single, lowered-velocity (when fired from shorter barrels) 5.56 ammunition.<< Once again, and I don't know where this misinformation comes from unless its just fundamental lack of combat marksmanship training, CONTROLLED PAIRS IN CQB HAVE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE USE OF 5.56mm AMMUNITION. We use controlled pairs (quotes are not necessary, unless it's a fancy new term to you or something) because bullets of all calibers fail to stop regularly. When the range is close enough that even an indifferent marksman with an automatic weapon can score hits on you or your buddies if he does not get dropped fast, you would be insane to bet your life on a single round of *any* caliber. Change over to .308, 6.5 MPC or Grendel, 6.8 SPC, or anything else, AND YOU STILL SHOOT CONTROLLED PAIRS DURING CQB. >> But that of course effectively reduces the number of engagements: what's the advantage of carrying 300 rounds when you can, by the "controlled pairs" book, only sustain 150 engagements?)<< As noted above, you don't gain any net number of engagements from going to a larger caliber, since you're still doubling up when engaging the enemy. You do give the shooter a heavier load to carry, possibly a smaller basic load depending on the particular round, etc., but you simply don't make CQB fundamentals different. >>There were numerous "official" suggestions/recommendations that the current 5.56mm NATO was proving "adequate" in current operations (with the higher-performance Mk262 round not being standard en-masse issue as compared to the typical 5.56 NATO.)<< Strangely, I don't personally know anyone who's been in a gunfight carrying an M4 or M16 since 9/11 who has complained about lethality with those weapons at typical engagment ranges. I'd love to know where this wellspring of dissatisfaction in the military is with regards to 5.56mm, because it's not the special operations community. My suspicion is that it starts with non-combat units whose members are failing on basic marksmanship fundamentals and want to blame lack of stopping power when the real problem is not hitting the target at all. At 2-300 meters how would someone with iron sights know? >>Now, there are reports from the field (both theaters) that certain SpecForces have been given enough leeway to decide for themselve to acquire ammunition/weapons outside the normal chain of logistics, including various 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendell systems, various 7.62 NATO rifles, even types of 7.62x39 weapons.<< Essentially internet myth, with such a small kernel of truth as to be irrelevant. 6.8mm Rem SPC is a dead issue within USASOC. Was combat tested, and the benefits did not outweigh the costs. 6.5mm Grendel was never much more than an internet myth with a few experimental uppers bought with unit funds to start the rumor. Same basic problem as 6.8 SPC -- benefits did not outweigh costs, with the added problem that it's not a service rifle round, and is the "answer" to questions no one needs to ask about service rifles as infantry engagement ranges (i.e. stellar ballistics at 600-1000 meters mean very little shot from a 3-4 MOA service rifle with a red dot sight or iron sights . . .). The "return" to 7.62x51 is false except for applications where that round is preferable (i.e. sniping). The 7.62x39 weapons were never procured in numbers beyond the miniscule and were, again, a bigger issue on the internet than they ever were in the real world. They weren't even available for when they would have been handy (i.e. inva
 
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Lawman    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/12/2006 6:38:39 PM
I have to say, a lot of the problems with second line units, i.e. supply troops etc, could probably be solved more cheaply by simply by giving them some money to buy scopes! Support troops tend not to be great shots, and as horsesoldier says, the tend to miss at 2-300m, and claim that their shot did not bring the bad guy down. If they were given a reasonable weapons sight, they would miss a lot less, and stop complaining so much about 'stopping power'. It always amused me that in Brit Army service, the guys who know how to shoot straight (infantry) get the advanced fool-proof (well, certainly worked for me) SUSAT weapons sights, yet the guys who could not hit the broadside of a barn get just iron sights! I certainly agree that the 5.56mm is a small round, but unless the bad guys are wearing flak jackets (which some of them do nowadays, along with adopting commercial NVGs, GPS gear etc), it is sufficient. Arguably, the 6.5/6.8mm round could prove useful for the SAWs - I would be interested to see something like the ARES Shrike chambered for these rounds, giving a lot of firepower in a small package.
 
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Yimmy    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/12/2006 7:28:41 PM
Lawman, what makes you think infantry are good shots and the support troops bad? My old Logistics shooting team outshoots the team from my infantry regiment by far. Especially when using iron sights, but also with SUSAT. Of course, that may well be an exception to the rule, and ever unit have those individuals who can't hit a barn door.
 
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doggtag    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/12/2006 11:16:42 PM
My old Logistics shooting team outshoots the team from my infantry regiment by far. Nothing personal but, competition shooting teams spend much more time at the ranges than your average troops. Hell, if every personnel in US inventory were required to train & qualify every other month, then we'd have no problems hitting the targets first time every time (and we could even incorporate stress factors into the fray: it becomes much more difficult to focus when under the stresses associated with aggressive conditions, as compared to the relative safety of a qualification range. But then again, that would cost money, too. I'm all for getting better optics on any given weapon: when a soldier/marine/airman/sailor is spending a few fractions of a second less trying to get a good sight picture, then he/she may gain the valuable split second edge over who gets the critical shot off first: you or your adversary. For the record, the aforementioned magazine also has a reasonable article on optics (See it-Shoot it: Six optics that optimize speed of target acquisition and engagement, pp 22-23 & 82-83, by Charlie Cutshaw.) The article mentions the merits of various Aimpoint, L-3 EOTech, Horus Vision, Leupold, Trijicon, and Zeiss optics designed specifically to relieve the eyestrain of trying to focus across iron sights at the target and increase acquisition ability & speed, critical especially moreso during CQB. Hey, I'm all for anything that gives me the edge over any given adversary. ...or does Charlie Cutshaw not know a damn credible ounce of accurate, unbiased information, neither? : Stan Crist tends to be on the wrong side of every argument I've ever seen his name associated with. If he's praising a round, it's a solid bet procurement would be the worst possible course of action. Damn, dude. Since you feel so harshly about any credibility the guy has, perhaps you could forward your opinion to the magazine staff itself, suggesting your thoughts that he's too incompetent to even write anything worthwhile for them. And perhaps you can recommend someone of better credibility? Try emailing your opinion to: comments@harris-pub.com But then again, who am I to even offer my $.02 or suggest such things? After all, I'm just some rear-echelon wrench turner/electronics geek (if there even is such a thing as rear echelon anymore). Who am I to comment on frontline stuff I'm not even a part of and most likely know nothing at all about, short of reading books and questionable internet articles. For that matter then, who are any of us SP armchair generals to comment on anything we aren't personally involved in?
 
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Lawman    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/13/2006 6:16:50 AM
I agree, some in the support arms are good shots, but the majority of them I know (mostly US Army) tend to be a bit borderline on annual weapons qualifications. Also, different 'support' units attract different people - if you are a combat engineer, you probably will be a good shot, but if you're a truck driver, not so much...
 
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Carl D.    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/13/2006 5:43:28 PM
Read the Crist article also. From an energy/physics and rounds/weight point of view it looks good. But then, if you issued 75 grain 5.56 Wolf FMJ you'd close that gap between the 62 grain 5.56 and the 6.5 MPC without having to change barrels either. That said on paper it looks like a good deer/steel round. Range time for everybody helps no matter what as well as any other edge that can be thought of and proves to work. I'd be more concerned that the weapon works every time I pulled the trigger, especially when I'm doing my part on the PM side of things. I remember those stories about non-stop hits going back to both Mogadishu and Afghanistan. I also recall that in the case of Afghanistan that there were also post action reports that the KIA Taliban/AQ who had to be hit multiple times to stop them were using morphine and amphetamines also. With that in mind, you could be hitting them with 7.62x51mm softpointed hunting rounds and unless you took their head off or severed their spines you still couldn't guarantee a one shot stop/kill. Heck my uncle was a USMC M60 gunner and he told me that one time he hit a guy with a full burst and he kept going a good ways until he just stopped and fell down. These weapons aren't deathrays, the shooter has to do his/her part in the process. If this round is that much of an improvement making it a SAW round might make more sense except from the logistics side, remember that there was a 6mm SAW round that was looked at a while back. Considering the level of competence we now have with cased ammo/weapon systems, I'd think that the safer next step would be to go from brass/aluminum/steel cartfidge cases to polymer/plastic. But them what I just shoot them. :)
 
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ChdNorm    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/14/2006 12:13:54 AM
I think it's absolutely brilliant. Why hadnt anybody thought of that before? Oh wait ... http://www.strategypage.com/messageboards/messages/29-2291.asp ; )
 
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Bigbro    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/14/2006 10:10:57 AM
This round sounds a lot like the old 6.5 TCU with a shorter neck. Loading data and performance in the fourth edition of the hornady handbook of reloading. Terminal balistics have as much or more to due with bullet design and construction as mass and diameter. But given the same design and construction a bigger diameter bullet is better. I can load, right now, a 5.56 round that will give a larger wound volume than the standard ball 7.62x51 147 gr load. I can also load the 7.62 x 51 to cleanly and humanly take animals up to 1000#s which you can not do with the 5.56. You want to fix this easy? Issue a 62gr match bthp that has the same velocity and BC as the ss109. same point of aim. same tragectory. Less than one MOA accuracy vs. 2 MOA for the SS109. Less over penitration in house clearing and less likely to penitrate a vest. Also the bullet would be at least 1/2 the cost of the ss109. Maintain both in service and issue as needed for the task at hand. Just my 2cents worth. Bb
 
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Yimmy    RE:SSK 6.5mm MPC   8/14/2006 10:44:15 AM
When the British Empire would fight "savages", we would use different tactics and in parts equipment, compared to when we would fight a European army. Why don't we take the same attitude when we fight terrorists? When we fight these terrorists, be they in Afghanistan or Iraq, the Hague and Geneva conventions do not apply. Of course, we are still obliged to act morally, however this does not stop us from taking use of weaponry which may well be illegal when fighting nation states. Ergo, why don't we bring back "dum dum" bullets? I am sure you could make a 5.56mm case vastly more leathel if you were to increase the weight to 62 grains, and make it a hollow point, with a hardened penetrator behind, keeping its armour piercing abilities to an extent.
 
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