US Marines Preparing to Replace 5.56 Cartridge

From Military.com

Marines Working with the Army on 5.56mm Rifle Round Replacement

A senior Marine Corps official confirmed today that the service is lockstep with the Army’s effort to search for a rifle round more potent than the current 5.56mm round.

For months, senior Army officials have been telling Congress that the current 5.56mm Enhanced Performance Round is not potent enough to penetrate enemy body armor plates similar to U.S. military-issue rifle plates such as the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or ESAPI.

As a solution, the Army is experimenting with a plan to replace its M249squad automatic weapon and M4 carbine with futuristic weapons that fire a 6.5mm case-telescoped round or something that falls between a 5.56mm and a 7.62mm round.

The Marine Corps, which recently decided to buy more M27 5.56mm Infantry Automatic Rifles, has not publically echoed the Army’s concern with 5.56mm until now.

“We are working the Army; we have looked at the 6.5mm Creedmoor with the Army and [Special Operations Command],” Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, told Military.com at the annual Sea-Air-Space exposition Wednesday.

“We are lockstep with them looking at a new round.”

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