The US Army intends to switch to a new 6.8-mm cartridge

Almost 55 years after the adoption of the M-16 rifle with a cartridge of 5, 56 mm, the US Army is preparing to switch to a new generation of cartridges. We are talking about 6, 8 mm ammunition for weapons, which will replace the M4A1 carbine and the M249 light machine gun.

The army command believes that the 5, 56 mm cartridge from the Vietnam War is outdated and is unlikely to be able to penetrate Chinese and Russian-made bulletproof vests during a hypothetical conflict.

According to, the new cartridge will contain more gunpowder, which will increase its power due to the higher speed of the bullet, and will make it possible to penetrate steel and ceramic armor.

The 6, 8 mm ammunition is very similar to the existing M855A1 cartridge, consisting of an open steel penetration element located over a copper core and partially enclosed in a copper jacket.

General Dynamics / True Velocity, Textron and Sig Sauer are participating in the competition for a contract for the production of a new ammunition. The military requires the cartridge to weigh 30% less than its old brass counterparts. The first samples of weapons with new cartridges should go into service in 2023.

Existing cartridge M855A1 and its bullet