Gun News Daily
Game changer or no big deal?
What We Know About the Army's New 'Bullets'
Something we do know about the new 6.8mm army caliber is that the recoil is significantly more than that of the 5.56 (due to the fact that it is a larger bullet), so periods of sustained fire will be more difficult.
You may not have heard, but late last year it was decided that the United States army would be ditching the traditional 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO rounds for an entirely new caliber in the form of the 6.8mm.
While we don’t know much about the 6.8mm so far, we do know that it is designed as a compromise between the virtues of both the 5.56 and 7.62 rounds. There are big concerns among Army officials that the 5.56 round will not be strong enough to penetrate the body armor worn by soldiers in the Russian Army.
According to Colonel Geoffrey A. Norman, the Force Development Division Chief at Army Headquarters, the 7.62 has too much mass without enough propellant, while the 5.56 simply does not have the mass to penetrate through the body armor. As a result, it makes sense to switch to a new caliber that both has sufficient propellant and enough mass to break through Russian body armor.
Furthermore, most of the combat overseas in Afghanistan has shifted from dense urban towns to sprawled out open areas in the mountains, where US troops are forced to engage hostile targets at long distances, and where the power of the 5.56 ammunition is drastically reduced.