True Velocity's 6.8mm Polymer Cased Round Primed for Wider Use
The hybrid polymer-cased cartridge, developed by Texas-based True Velocity as part of the Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon program, is compatible with legacy firearms as well.
The 6.8mm TVCM composite case design, coupled with the Army's 6.8mm (.277-caliber) common cartridge projectile, was originally developed and optimized for use in the NGSW-Rifle and NGSW-Automatic Rifle submissions submitted to that military program by General Dynamics-OTS.
However, using what True Velocity characterizes as a "switch barrel" capability, they have demonstrated it can work with much of the Army's currently fielded small arms including the M240B belt-fed machine gun, the M110 semi-automatic sniper system, and the M134 minigun.
This is important because the 6.8mm TVCM cartridge is billed as providing significantly increased muzzle velocity and effective range over the traditional brass-cased 7.62 NATO rounds, while greatly reducing the weight of the cartridge, cutting down on heat transfer, and keeping chamber pressures at normal levels.
“You’re talking about something as simple as pulling a barrel off the M240 and replacing it with one that accommodates 6.8 TVCM,” said Patrick Hogan, True Velocity’s chief sales and marketing officer, in an email to Guns.com, “and, all of a sudden, you’ve increased the effective range of this weapon by more than 50 percent, you’ve reduced the weight of the ammunition by over 30 percent, and you’ve given our soldiers a meaningful advantage on the battlefield.”
The NGSW system is set to replace the Army's 5.56 NATO platforms, such as the M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, in front-line use. Besides the True Velocity/General Dynamics team-- which is working with Maryland-based firearms icon Beretta-- the two other teams currently down selected for further review by the Army include Sig Sauer, and an effort by AAI/Textron partnered with ammo maker Winchester-Olin and firearms maker Heckler & Koch.
The Army hopes to field the first selected NGSW platforms to units in FY2022, a potentially huge award in which the winner could stand to deliver 250,000 NGSWs and 150 million rounds of ammo plus options for further contracts.