Last Spring, USSOCOM undertook a study of 6.5 family cartridges to determine a path forward for Precision Intermediate Caliber Ammunition. Over the last year, USASOC, the primary driver of this initiative, narrowed it down to 260 Remington and 6.5 Creemoor. Testing indicated that the two calibers performed very closely.
Last month, the command conducted a reliability test, using two incumbent weapons, currently in US service; the FN SCAR Heavy and KAC M110. Two weapons of each type were used, one was in 260 Remington and the other in 6.5 CM. What they found is that both weapons performed just as well and were just as reliable in either caliber.
As both cartridges were similarly accurate and reliable, the determining factor for selection of 6.5 CM would end up being trade space. The prevailing attitude is that there was more room with the 6.5 CM to further develop projectiles and loads.
I don’t expect a major announcement, or any fanfare with this decision. Instead, you’ll begin to see small movements toward configuring weapons to utilize this round.
At the USASOC Sniper Competition, there were several weapons in 6.5 CM. Yesterday, we gave a little tease on Instagram of a Knight’s Armament Co M110 in 6.5 CM.
Today, I fired a FN Mk20 in 6.5 CM which was configured as a demonstrator for new features, such as a non-reciprocating charging handle and AR-style stock. Shooting a SCAR Heavy is like taming a beast, but with 6.5 CM, the recoil impulse was negligible.
Briefings last year indicated that SOCOM was interested in looking at an intermediate cartridge family gas gun and light machine gun. However, the lay Of the land is a little different now. I do not expect a full and open competition for a new car being in 6.5 CM. Rather, I expect them to modify the 7.62 rifles they already own. Additionally, there has been no recent talk of looking at a light machine gun in that caliber.