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6.8 Caracal (H&K NGSW Entry)


The .277 Caracal or 6.8×51mm Caracal, is a centerfire rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge produced by H&K as part of their NGSW program entry. It utilizes a hybrid three-piece cartridge case that has a steel case head, nickel body and a locking washer that mechanically connects the two to support a chamber pressure of 100,000 psi. 6.8 Caracal was the highest pressure entrant into the NGSW program. 

The 6.8 Caracal cartridge was the eventual winner of the NGSW program. As the victor of the program Caracal was given German Bundeswehr designations and additional cartridges were developed by request following the completion of the program. They are as follows:

DM11A1 (Weichkern) - A steelcore, FMJ Ball load.

DM21 (Leuchtspur) - DM11A1 tracer variant.

DM51 (Soft Target) - Hollowpoint match load designed for anti-terror and special forces operations against unarmoured targets at range.

DM31A1 - Tungsten core armor piercing load.

DM31A2 - Depleted Uranium armor piercing load, Tracer.

DM31A3 - High Velocity Armor Piercing Tracer

DM80 (Brandstifter) - RAUFOSS like loading. High explosive, incendiary armor piercing.

DM82 (Geschmolzen) - High Velocity Self Propelled Incendiary Load


Ammunition Type Damage Bullet Velocity (m/s) Barrier Penetration Armor Piercing
DM11 15.4 1000 4.5 16
DM51 18.7 990 0.3 1
DM31A1 15 1084 6 100
DM31A2 14.11 981 27 280
DM31A3 11.6 1550 18.5 320
DM80 16 + 8EDMG 999 8.3 99
DM82 8.6 2050 4.5 10
Note: Barrier penetration represents the rounds ability to go through walls and barriers. Armor piercing represents the rounds ability to penetrate body armor plates.