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RM277 Next Generation Squad Weapons from General Dynamics-OTS, Manufactured by Beretta Defense Systems

SSD has a article up today about the ongoing waste of tax payer money known as the NGSW program. AKA , the sweet retirement gig for 4 star generals program.


General Dynamics-OTS is competing with Textron Systems SIG SAUER in the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) program which seeks to replace the current M4A1 Carbine and M249 Light Machine Gun in the close combat squads with a Rifle and Automatic Rifle designed to fire 6.8mm ammunition. The intent is to provide similar characteristics to 270 Win Short Mag. It’s important to note that the 6.8mm settled on by the Army is the equivalent of .277 in Imperial measurement.

General Dynamics-OTS is partnered with Beretta Defense Systems and True Velocity to offer their NGSW candidate system. The .277 ammunition size has influenced the naming of their rifle and ammunition, the RM277, which also makes it handy to begin marketing to other customers.

General Dynamics-OTS designed the bullpup RM277 and Beretta provides Research and Development support and future high-volume manufacturing capabilities at its new Gallatin, TN, facility.

When the Army decided on a 6.8 cartridge, they left it up to industry to develop the actual ammunition. True Velocity has named their composite cased cartridge the 277 TVCM.

The composite construction makes it 30-40% lighter than current, conventional ammunition. Additional benefits are reduced heat transfer as the composite insulates the chamber and bolt face, the production of extremely concentric and consistent case and precise powder drop which results in consistent pressure and muzzle velocities for improved accuracy, and elimination of heavy metals that produce adverse health effects on Soldiers.

TV also boasts magnetic retrieval of spent cases during training and a case which is 100% recyclable.

Unlike the weapon candidates from their competitors, GD-OTS’ M277-R and RM277-AR are extremely similar. The AR is naturally longer and heavier for sustained fire.

Rather than introducing a box-fed rifle and belt-fed automatic rifle like the others, the bullpup design called for both weapons to be box-fed. The bullpup also allows for longer barrels for both increased velocity and accuracy.

They are gas and recoil operated and impulse averaged with short recoil to offer controllable, accurate automatic fire. They also incorporate dual firing modes, closed bolt in semi-automatic mode and open bolt in automatic mode. Naturally, the weapons feature ambidextrous controls. The suppressor is 3D printed and provided by Delta-P.

Having participated in Soldier Touch Points and reliability and performance testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, next up for General Dynamics-OTS is to incorporate feedback from Prototype Testing #1 into their design and produce the Prototype Testing #2 samples of weapons and ammunition.

2 thoughts on “RM277 Next Generation Squad Weapons from General Dynamics-OTS, Manufactured by Beretta Defense Systems”

    • Seems to me that they work well for rifles that are going to be carried around a lot and shot some, but never (or rarely) reloaded under fire. They probably do nice duty as home-defense rifles for that reason. The likelihood of needing to pop another 30 rounds in your HD rifle is basically zero. It’s also pretty unlikely to be reloading under fire if you’re an artilleryman or tanker or some sort of support staffer.

      For an infantry weapon, it strikes me as a dubious choice, and for a box-fed squad automatic, it seems insane. Maybe it gives the barrel a chance to cool while the gunner futzes with the box mag under his armpit.

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