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    The Army Forced to Change the Name of Its New Rifle

    The Army Forced to Change the Name of Its New Rifle

    The is changing the name of its rifle after accidentally taking a name from an unrelated existing weapon, the service announced Wednesday.

    The service's upcoming M5 from Sig Sauer will now be called the M7 after it was discovered Colt Industries also makes a weapon called the M5. The light machine gun set to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, the M250, will not change.

    “The Army originally chose the designation XM5 as the name of the new rifle in March,” a service spokesperson said in a statement. “Since then, the service learned that the M5 name is used by Colt Industries for one of its 5.56mm carbines.”

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    The new weapons have an X designation to indicate they have not yet been fielded.

    The weapons' capabilities, including how far they can accurately engage targets, are unclear as the Army is still testing them.

    But it'll be roughly a decade before most formations see the M7 or M250. The service plans to issue only a small batch of roughly 40 weapons this year, with more expected to trickle out as the Army builds new ammunition factories to accommodate the new type of bullets required for those firearms. Production on the new ammo isn't expected to kick off in any significant way until at least 2026.

    The new weapons use 6.8mm rounds as the Army looked for heftier ammo than the current 5.56mm used in the M4 and SAW…

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