Navy SEAL's Thoughts On The New SIG SAUER XM5 Rifle

Navy SEAL's Thoughts On The New SIG SAUER XM5 Rifle

Retired Navy SEAL, Mark “Coch” Cochiolo, shares his thoughts on the new SIG SAUER XM5 rifle.

The SIG XM5 is the U.S. Army variant of the SIG MCX Spear, a 6.8×51mm (.277 in), gas-operated, magazine-fed, assault rifle designed by SIG Sauer for the Next Generation Squad Weapon Program in 2022 to replace the M4 carbine. 

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  1. Dennis Wood on September 19, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    I wonder why they just wouldn’t use 6.5 grendel. Is the .3 mm going to make that much of a difference

  2. Kirk Shipp on September 19, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Hey Coch, great explanation for those of us far less in the know. I really believe in our troops all of the time, even if I don’t like the politics behind a conflict, I think we should always, always support the men and women of the forces. I did not realize or think of the MCX family of weapons concept. With the MCX in .300 BO, our guys have a far better option for shorter range work than 5.56 coming out of 10 or 12 inch barrels. So the Spear would do the work of the Scar H and the MCX could handle the urban work or CQB roles. Is there a need for something in between those? I guess with the proper optic and in the right hands, the Spear could do DMR work too eh? The pro on the weight of the ammo is the belt fed LMG version or SAW version. The belts are lighter and out performing the .308 if the reports I’ve read are correct. A belt fed weapon with 200 rounds that can punch through body armor at 500 yards is mind blowing. Thanks for the opinion and the information sir.

  3. SixFiveOutfitters on September 19, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Agree with Coch’s final analysis: A good replacement for 7.62 NATO, but not for 5.56 NATO.

  4. Kea Sadi on September 19, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Maybe if you use a heavier round in 5.56 like 62-90 grain we have a different conversation. Ijs. Never the rifle but the round and energy it delivers. Also forget the weight train up to reality focus on health not gear my opinion.

  5. Gregory Palmer on September 19, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Very nice discussion, even balanced and accurate.

  6. Branden Terrance on September 19, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Very nice input.

  7. Paul Jeurissen on September 19, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Stg 44 SturmGewehr….. is German for Assault Rifle
    Nice video and thanks for the educational explenation of the history wich lead to the development of this new rifle.

  8. OWL on September 19, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Sure would suck to have those rifles pointed at free Americans in t-shirts.

  9. Bob Jackson on September 19, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Take it from some average joe, who trains but is not military; the way i see it is 6.5 to 7.62 NATO is how .45 GAP was to .45 ACP right now.
    Yes 6.5 has a better ballistic coefficient, but at 500 yards it’s a few inches, at 1000 its close six feet. This seems to be its real selling point, as it’s overall size is ever so slightly bigger.

    This is not for free however, the chamber pressure is 80k so very short barrel life, same is true for extractors and ejectors. The round is also not cheap at least right now. Currently 308 makes more sense. For a skilled shooter 308 is a 1000 yard capable round.

    As far as the military is concerned this will be a supplementary weapon at best and forgotten weapon food in the future at worst. Time will tell If the round sees huge adoption for the machine gun (The real winner of the contest) then later 277 might be the way to go. For right now it’s not cheap enough and a big enough upgrade over 308.

    Quickly speaking on 300BLK and the Rattler; 300 is the answer to needing a 7.62×39 or 30-30 type of mid range round, and it does it very well. It seems that 30 cal going around 2500 fps is never going to go out of style no matter what kind of flavor it is.

  10. Edward Warwick on September 19, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    In the 1980’s HK made an G11 assault rifle that used caseless ammo and only a spent primer was ejected from the weapon. Save a lot of weight, can’t be done now?

  11. Jeremy C on September 19, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    I really enjoyed your well articulated yet soft spoken and deeply knowledgeable analysis. Family friendly so even my kids could watch.
    Subscribed to your channel.

  12. JavaSoldier on September 19, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    probably solution is allready exist – ar 10 with 6,5 creedmore or old good 7.62/51. but somebody want to spend a lot of money))

  13. Jay2Jay Gaming on September 19, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    I think the issue it really revolves around, is armor penetration. The US HAS to equip infantry with a weapon that will penetrate body armor of near-pear adversaries- it’s not about trade-offs. We can argue all day long about carry weight and shot fatigue, but in the end, one of the minimum requirements of any weapon is that it must at least be capable of taking out the enemy it’s meant to be used against. Even if the US never fights a near-pear adversary capable of equipping its soldiers with body armor, it’s still a necessity to at least be capable of doing so. Whether or not your primary infantry weapon can defeat personal armor is going to play a major role in the decisions the enemy makes whether in times of war or peace.

    The really concerning thing is what this says about the armor vs firepower dilema. For a very long time now, firepower has long outpaced armor development. Only recently has widespread personal armor been issued to regular troops- and now we’re being forced to upsize rounds to over come it.

    To make it clear, the technology to use such a hot round has been around for quite a while- it’s simply a matter of how much weight you’re willing to put up with and the quality of the materials used in the weapon. It’s just never been _necessary_ before. Most infantry engagements happen between 150-300m, with the large exceptions being terrain like Jungle (<100m, Vietnam) and arid, hilly/mountainous scrubland (400m+, Afghanistan). You just don’t need _that_ much power to maintain a reasonably flat trajectory and level of lethality out to 300m. In that case, you really just want the lightest equipment possible that meets minimum range/lethality requirements.

    The 6.8 is a change in that. Suddenly weight isn’t as important because that lethality requirement just skyrocketed. For this reason, the 6.8 is packing about as much energy as you can reasonably pack into a cartridge while still being relatively practical to put a reasonable volume of fire downrange while shoulder-firing. Anything more is venturing into full-power rifle round territory. If technology ends up making personal armor that can defeat a cartridge like that widely available and practical to use, then we’re going to have a much bigger problem. Because at that point, you can’t really upscale your round anymore and reasonably expect to maintain volume of fire. Barring some other advancement in technology, we’ll be going back to rifles+machine guns.

    It’s important to note this is only true if there is no work around to the energy problem. If they can squeeze more penetrative power out of a cartridge without increasing the amount of energy- or alternatively find a way to significantly reduce recoil and gun weight- then there is no issue. Generally speaking though, the solutions to this I can think up off the top of my head (sabot rounds, super-dense penetrators, etc) have been tried before and found lacking for one reason or another- at least for small arms.

    Interestingly enough, electric weapons (such as gauss or rail guns) would have the same issue. Ultimately you’re still trying to overcome the armor with sheer kinetic energy, and so volume of fire will still be impacted.

    As an aside, if the US is going to adopt a new cartridge, it’s best that cartridge stick around for the foreseeable future. To do that it doesn’t _just_ need to be able to penetrate modern body armor, it needs to be able to penetrate the body armor that’s going to exist, two, three, preferably four decades into the future. I’d say that’s the biggest benefit for having such an overpowered rounded for the intended role, not to maintain penetration and lethality 500m+, but to have future-proof capability. Of course, if there’s some breakthrough in armor technology that won’t remain true, but assuming armor improvement stays linear, I’d say the 6.8 has about three decades before they start looking for a replacement.

    TLDR: The implementation of the 6.8 could be a sign that personal armor technology is beginning to outpace small arms technology, which would force a paradigm shift.

  14. Duke Makedo on September 19, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    They say it’s a 14 lb gun with 20 rounds. An extra 4-6 lb in your hands seems like a big deal. And it’s 20 rnd vs 30 rnd.

  15. John Newisland on September 19, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Maybe the M4/intermediate rifle will go to the place of the submachine gun in use in WW2. Assault elements within a platoon might carry one. Mixed use with M5 and M4 in a squad. If the new optics is as good in the field as on paper, a squad can hold down accurate and effective fire as another squad gets close and destroys with higher volume of fire/launched and thrown grenades.

  16. Mark Landwehr on September 19, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    I like the idea kind of reminds me of the way they used to make Safari rifles out of the arasaka because only the arisaka could handle higher pressure because of the type of Steel Chrome nickel steel with molybdenum other rifles would explode at less pounds per square inch than $80,000 just have to practice with rifles that weigh three times as much

  17. John Clare on September 19, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    At last, normal review about new rifle

  18. WDOOF40 on September 19, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    I thought the AK took inspiration from the AS-44 and a bit of the M1 Garand

  19. Joshua Sanders on September 19, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Not military so I might be talking out of my ass. But far as I can tell, past decade we’ve been fighting close quarters against men in pajamas in a theater of small crappy mud huts. 5.56 prolly works fine for that

    I think the US is gearing up for conflict with China, who has a lot of body armor, in a theater of large cities. So, given that context, I feel like the MCX with the smart optics and the idea that you want range advantage, is a good choice. Just from the outside looking in.

  20. KEK Rangel on September 19, 2022 at 8:49 pm


  21. Donald Schutt on September 19, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Really bad analysis Amigo. And no, its not 10 or 11 pounds all in. At least get your facts straight.

    Also the finicky 5.56mm cartridge was so lame that the Communists initially told their Viet Cong troops to avoid the Americans who had the black rifle, because the finicky 5.56mm was deadly in the jungle. Of course this was before it was neutered with short barrels and 1/7 twist bores.

  22. Lincoln Garces on September 19, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    At least it ain’t 7.62, it’s only a little bit of a change on the 5.56 cartridge, I think it’s becuase were so used to the 5.56, that’s why we are a little nervous on changing the 5.56 cartridge, I also think that they need to test it more and upgrade it more jf you know what I mean?, maybe they could just give it to machinegunners only and the rifleman can just use 5.56, idk, I can tell they want all there guns to look the same

  23. WhatAreYouBuyen on September 19, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    You have a lot of watches

  24. Five Weight on September 19, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    7.62×51 has a proven record dating back to the late 50s’. With todays mfg. technology it should be our new battle rifle caliber, but it won’t be. It seems to me that new and more expense always beats out old and effective!

  25. Lourens Rudman on September 19, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    Time will tell, but real testing can help to show if it is the best or not. The fancy case and high pressure might just be a weakness. Think about very hot climates and during heavy fire there is potential for some issues.

  26. nole 89 on September 19, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    What about squads where most have the intermediate cartridge but a few have the bigger cartridge gun like the guys in the first predator movie.

  27. MCJ on September 19, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Unless future soldiers are equipped with high futuristic heavy armor, this weapon looks too heavy and not fitting. Also why don’t they just release the best military rifle already. Its like the iPhone. As if they couldn’t release an water resistant iPhone in 2011 but profit $$

  28. Just a Florida man from the 75th RR on September 19, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    So a retired Navy SEAL – who by default never served in an infantry unit and has zero infantry/ large unit tactics training and has minimal infantry combat experience at best (in case he was ever deployed to Afghanistan) – evaluates a rifle that has been designed specifically for the Army’s infantry units’ with future large scale infantry combat in mind, thus representing + initiating a paradigm shift in infantry combat. I’m interested in watching this 😀 EDIT: it was a very good and informative video, very insightful

  29. Christian Silva on September 19, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    I for once agree that both M4 and M5 should be used. Great video.

  30. Bafumat on September 19, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    I think its not a mistake of engineering. But of concept. I was never a front line soldier, but I just don’t see open field combat being a thing in this era. I am on the lots of armor swiss cheeseing ammo in a light high mobility platform side.

  31. Reive on September 19, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    All I have to say about it is that everything I’ve ever had that was made by Sig Sauer was terrible. I always ended up trading in for something else that always performed way better.
    If the military is sticking to this change, I hope with all my heart that my experience with Sig Sauer will not be the same experience that our service members will have.

  32. James Herron on September 19, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    For them close range battles 57 and a P90 platform with a 19 inch barrel not the 10 1/4 has the exact same ballistics as an AR 15 out 200 m then comes standard with 50 round mags is much more effective weapon in close range urban warfare and the AR 15 and due to its 26 inch length with a barrel of 19 inches it is a great weapon for close quarters as well and it’s 100% ambidextrous

  33. Donald Schutt on September 19, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    M5 is a Dumb dumb dumb solution.

    High pressure round to obtain velocity.

    Short barrel to facilitate what exactly? House clearing?

    Short barrel reduces velocity.

    Short barrel and 80,000 PSI equals broken eardrums.

    Add Suppressor to save ears and huge muzzle flash.

    Gun with 13 inch barrel is now as long as an M14, but has lost its armor defeating velocity.

    And its heavy. 10 pounds without optic, 14 pounds all in.

    And it does not defeat body armor any better than a 6mm alternative – and a basic load loses 70 rounds.


  34. Jeffery Boring on September 19, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    I’ve not seen much shooting or actual use or testing of these bullets I’m hearing about. When u load ammo hot a lot of times or pretty much always it becomes inaccurate. I wanna see the recoil and accuracy and barrel life heat etc. their selling this whole thing and not showing the biggest sell. Where’s the meat

  35. Sam J on September 19, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    wow, very interesting, good research and analysis

  36. OWL on September 19, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    This thing will never replace the AR. The AR is the quintessential utility rifle.

  37. Chris Moody on September 19, 2022 at 9:16 pm


  38. Dave Unknown on September 19, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    M16 not worth a shit after 300 yds…. that does not work in the dessert >>>>>>>>>>

  39. swaghauler on September 19, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    I have my doubts about this system because of one thing… LOGISTICS.
    I DO NOT see the US issuing large amounts of this new ammo for the frontline troops. In a near-peer conflict, the US will be swamped up to its neck producing 5.56mmN for all those NATO partners who are too lazy to make their own these days. Remember that we are OBLIGATED by the NATO treaty to make 9mmP, 5.56mmN, and 7.62mmN in order to have "commonality" with our other NATO partners. And, Ukraine has shown us that our NATO partners are NOT ready for a major conflict…

  40. A74568Z on September 19, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    I like your straight talk. You tell it like it is. Hope you get a copy of the M6X and video your tests.

  41. Apocraphon tripp on September 19, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    How about the 80,000 psi of cylinder pressure??? Unless the barrel is made of Vibranium, you can kiss your barrel life goodbye.

  42. John L Shilling on September 19, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    I think that what you think is far more valuable than what I think 🤔
    Thanks for the breakdown!

  43. Onseki on September 19, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    They should try a bimetal high psi 4.6×30 cartridge or similar for a mass issue subgun alongside the M5. Imagine armor piercing at 400y at 65% the weight of 5.56

  44. BD Pershing on September 19, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    I think the military is moving to more distance and accuracy. Taking 1 or 2 shots vs a volume. How would this work in a cqb or urban environment? Not sure. Though currently with the new smart scope, this new weapon system, and a larger round. It would seem they expect the next type of fighting is going to be more distant and needs more accurate fire.

  45. ReiMonCoH on September 19, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    It’s not the Xm anymore.
    The M5 is an Excellent choice.
    Enough with the friggin BB gun that jams every time it gets dirty.
    An actual battle rifle.

  46. Sandman - on September 19, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    What is chosen is indicative of the wars they have planed for you .👌

  47. Chris Evans on September 19, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    what about the 6mm arc? retrofit the M4’s? seems like a great interminate round.

  48. Su Freidman on September 19, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    It’s 270 win recoil. That’s bad unless they come up with something to reduce it. 130 gr bullet at 3000fps has recoil.

  49. Tim Ouellette on September 19, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    I appreciate your knowledge and your perspective on this new and very interesting rifle. You definitely filled in the blanks I had questions about. I am stillconcerned about how hard this cartridge is going to be on the rifle and will the military up its maintenance schedule for this rifle pro actively, rather than when the rifles are already worn out and risk of catastrophic failure is high.

  50. WarHawk_Hayz on September 19, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    MCX in 6.8spc with a 12.5" barrel would have sufficed I feel. Not as heavy as the speae, not a bigger learning curve as far as ammunition/ hold overs, more manageable recoil. Optimal barrel length. If its going army wide, then getting in and out of vehicle will be better. More manueverable.

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