A new caliber for the United States Special Operations Command

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

The American Command of Special Operations will replace, starting from the 2019, for the sniper weapons, the caliber 7,62x51 mm NATO with the new caliber 6,5x49 mm Creedmoor.

The decision came after the results obtained using three calibres (7,62, 6,5 and .260 Remington) on three different precision rifles: the SR-25, the M-110 and the Mk-20 Ssr (sniper version of the Mk-17 SCAR-H).

The bullet in the 6,5x49 caliber gave better results than, compared to the 7,62x51, it would have shown to be able to double, at a distance of 1.000 meters, the probability of hit (having less sensitivity to the side wind and decreasing the effect of the recoil), thus considerably increasing the useful range of the weapon that uses it.

The need to introduce a new caliber is felt in many Western armies, as the standard 5,56x45 NATO bullet showed poor reliability, especially in operating theaters such as Afghanistan, while the cartridge in the 7,62x51 caliber, despite the excellent ballistic performance it offers , has an excessive weight (which limits the amount transportable) and is difficult to control in the burst.

Also in the field of light machine gun, like the FN MINIMI, one gets the impression that the 5,56 is a caliber now outdated.

For several years now, the Marine Corps of the United States of America has embarked on the transition from the M-249 SAW to the M-27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle) at its infantry departments.

This is a bridge solution, waiting for the NGSAR (Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle) program launched by the US Army to be developed, aimed at combining the ergonomics of a standard assault rifle with the firepower and the range of a support machine gun, through the adoption of a new caliber, such as the 6,5 Creedmoor.

(photo: US Marine Corps)