what's the deal with the "new" 6.8 the army "chose".

It's not, and while it's pretty neat stuff,  any direct knowledge should be covered by NDA for the time being- take details provided by friends of friends with a grain of salt for now. The RFI and RFPs out there have since additional information, but not much. 

Huck,

At risk of speculation the linked article seems to allude to a magic wonder cartridge. Is this more rainbow flavored unicorn poop or is there actually a major step forward in existence?

Second out of my lane question: Is there a tangible, objective advantage to the rifle and SAW using the same round? The linked article alludes to compromises made when shoehorning cartridges into two applications. How often is SAW ammo actually delinked and reused in M4 mags or vice versa?

It may be old news, but from my understanding the Army said they want to keep the 6.8 caliber bullet(.277) but they are looking for a cartridge that is not the SPC. At least from the design criteria that I thought I saw floating around somewhere was the same .277 caliber bullet in the weight range of the SPC, but in a lighter cartridge weight at a higher velocity and pressure limit to still allow penetration of armor at extended ranges. I have seen proposed pictures of a telescoping/steel-brass cartridge in the wild but no real performance reports. As much as I would love to see the military adopt the 6.8 SPC II as a cartridge, I have a feeling Remington screwed the pooch with the initial chamber issues during military testing(IMO as a 6.8 owner).

Honestly, this seems to me like bench racing. You've got a bunch if dudes looking at quarter mile times and HP numbers arguing for which car will be faster around the track without considering a multitude of other factors because they're not high level drivers themselves. 

There is always an advantage in taking a more aerodynamically or terminally efficient projectile and sending it as fast as possible, there is always a cost as well (heat and bbl life typically). 

There are a couple other calibers still being kicked around with hybrid or telescoping cases that show promise, we might just not be there as far as the manufacturability and logistics go. Whether or not this is another false start is anyone's guess, but fielded or not its pushing some smart people to look at some tough R&D questions that will probably benefit all of us eventually 

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David-Reeves
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