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Posted: 4/10/2006 9:44:51 AM EDT
I've been thinking that there have been so many innovations for the AR-15 in the last ten years, is the .mil's move to find something else considered a poor decision? The AR-15 series it pretty much at it's zenith. Between FF rails, optics, lasers, piston systems, slings, BUIS, 77gr. MK262 Mod1, 6.8mm, enhanced magazines, precision uppers, slings etc. what weak spot does it really have. Even cost would most likely be lower than an all new design that's pretty much going to do the same thing. I love new tech but it seems to me that the AR-15 has finally come to the point where it's perfected and then .mil is deciding on a change. Thoughts?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:50:38 AM EDT
Thoughts?

The m16 is going to be around for a LONG time.

Should we start thinking about replacements AFTER the "zenith" as you say has passed?

The only small arms replacement project I am aware of right now is the Objective Crew Served Weapon slotted to replace Ma Deuce.

SOCOM also has the SCAR, but SOCOM is but a fraction of ".mil"

Every other little project is just that - a LITTLE project.

Link Posted: 4/10/2006 10:47:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 10:48:46 AM EDT by DevL]
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:01:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Solutions to these:

1) Ever heard of a side-charger? They exist. Bolt has a charging handle on the side. Plus charging handle location is fine unless you have some bigass optics and then I would ask you why the location would be an important matter. Long and Fat optics = long-range. Long range = you use time to place shots so you can also use time to pull the damn handle.

2) It IS Ambi-Friendly you just need to learn how to use it. The only guns that are easily Ambi-Friendly are top-ejecting which would interfere with sight picture.

3)With piston uppers, you can modify the carrier and spring to use a folding stock. Plus stowability is only important inside a tank or such in which case we use a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SYSTEM! DUH!

4) Ever heard of the ACB? Every goddamn upper is Aluminum, how is it "not available"? Steel uppers make it goddamn heavy and thusly they aren't used. The bolt and carrier interface directly with the barrel extension so the upper has NOTHING to do with it.

5) Only for a child or somebody with abnormally short thumbs. Plus once you're in Auto you will most likely need it to stay in Auto untill you have effectively earned time enough to flip the damn switch.

6) - As to which rifle fixes these issues; none do. Every single rifle that might 'fix' these issues is in testing and has much more serious issues of its own. We got all cocky over the XM-8 and look what happened-- it melted.

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:06:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



The PS90?

+
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:23:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ironsight-boy:

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.



My money is on the fact DevL has done more research (reading AND hands-on) then 99% of the people on this board, yourself included.

Personally I don't see the need for a folding stock - it's nice to have PROVIDING it already telescopes to adjust for fit.

As for the selector, personally I think it's a 'feature' rather than a liability. I wouldn't want to make it too easy for troops to accidentally go to burst or auto when the adrenaline is running high.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:38:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ironsight-boy:

... We got all cocky over the XM-8 and look what happened-- it melted.

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.



Who is "we" - do you work for H&K or something?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:38:56 AM EDT
I see no reason to replace it, and i doubt it will be replaced for years to come. Of course we will see more modifications as the AR-15 platform is a versatile platform and the 5.56 round isn't going to be replaced for decades--if ever. A good example of the rifle's versatility and longevity is the ever expanding slew of accessories. I believe the marines have a breaching shotgun mounted under rail like the 203. The AR-15 is here to stay!
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:47:08 AM EDT
The AK?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:50:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Caimlas:
The AK?



Of course! The AK, the paragon of ergonomics!
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:05:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SirSqueeboo:
I see no reason to replace it, and i doubt it will be replaced for years to come. Of course we will see more modifications as the AR-15 platform is a versatile platform and the 5.56 round isn't going to be replaced for decades--if ever. A good example of the rifle's versatility and longevity is the ever expanding slew of accessories. I believe the marines have a breaching shotgun mounted under rail like the 203. The AR-15 is here to stay!



That would rock!
Do they have those now?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:24:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 12:26:36 PM EDT by ruggerwterrets]
For DevL

I thought the M16 sucked until I actually went to drill and used one (carried it around the woods, shot a couple hundred blanks, etc.) To anybody who would dog the M16 I would like to know how much time they spent in the military. Keep it clean and shoot the right ammo, do proper preventative maintenance, practice with the controls until they are pure muscle memory. Then come back and tell me how much you love it.

My point is, dont do what these fine people refer to as "drinking your kool-aid". Very few people with real experience have told me they had serious problems with their M16, and they were all from early vietnam before a few bugs were worked out (most of which were user and quartermaster error, not an inherent issue with the rifle).
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:27:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:

Originally Posted By ironsight-boy:

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.



My money is on the fact DevL has done more research (reading AND hands-on) then 99% of the people on this board, yourself included.

Personally I don't see the need for a folding stock - it's nice to have PROVIDING it already telescopes to adjust for fit.

As for the selector, personally I think it's a 'feature' rather than a liability. I wouldn't want to make it too easy for troops to accidentally go to burst or auto when the adrenaline is running high.



I know devl, he knows what he's talking about and I stand by what he says 100%
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:30:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 1:03:01 PM EDT by DevL]

Originally Posted By ironsight-boy:

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Solutions to these:

1) Ever heard of a side-charger? They exist. Bolt has a charging handle on the side. Plus charging handle location is fine unless you have some bigass optics and then I would ask you why the location would be an important matter. Long and Fat optics = long-range. Long range = you use time to place shots so you can also use time to pull the damn handle.

Rapid malfuntion clearance of left handed shooter, rapid malfuntion clearance while staying on the gun is impossible period.Side charger means big hole for dust to get in... you think thats what we need on an AR? Why do we have dust covers on the weapon again???

2) It IS Ambi-Friendly you just need to learn how to use it. The only guns that are easily Ambi-Friendly are top-ejecting which would interfere with sight picture.

How is the bolt release left friendly? The charging handle? Yes there are some solutions for aid left friendly but its still designed for right handed shooters just like a Sig pistol. I an right handed and love the AR and Sig. WTF are you talking about top ejecting???? I am confused.

3)With piston uppers, you can modify the carrier and spring to use a folding stock. Plus stowability is only important inside a tank or such in which case we use a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SYSTEM! DUH!

DUH! The system you describe DOES NOT EXIST. We are talking what EXISTS CURRENTLY not your imagination my friend. Not something you thought you heard about.

4) Ever heard of the ACB? Every goddamn upper is Aluminum, how is it "not available"? Steel uppers make it goddamn heavy and thusly they aren't used. The bolt and carrier interface directly with the barrel extension so the upper has NOTHING to do with it.

You mean the Advanced Combat Bolt? I have one. I have the only electroles nickle/silicon carbide plated ACB in existance. Do you have one? Did you know it uses a STANDARD FACTORY AR EJECTOR? I love new tech stuff but lets be honest that nothing is as reliable as a fixed ejector.

You cant have fixed ejectors on an aluminum upper receiver. THats how a fixed ejector is NOT AVAILBLE.



5) Only for a child or somebody with abnormally short thumbs. Plus once you're in Auto you will most likely need it to stay in Auto untill you have effectively earned time enough to flip the damn switch.

The AR was designed with people with short thumbs in mind... its why the grip is too small in the first place. We are also talking the FULL/AUTO position. I have no problem with the SEMI/FIRE position.

6) - As to which rifle fixes these issues; none do. Every single rifle that might 'fix' these issues is in testing and has much more serious issues of its own. We got all cocky over the XM-8 and look what happened-- it melted.

These were the issues that were specifically addressed by the SCAR because they were REQUIRED to be in the design. Perhaps one day I will own a SCAR. Oh and please enlighten us to the "serious issues" that it has since you are so educated and "did your research". I know the AR is not perfect and I will replace it one day for a rifle with better features. Right now I am building one of the most technologically advanced AR15s you can imagine and its a total headache. If something better was a factory option Id toss the AR project in a heartbeat but its not.... so I build the super high tech, piston driven, ACB bolt having, carbon fiber wrapped, electroless nickle plated, super custom AR with all the bells and whistles.

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.



Thanks I appreciate your post... its nice to have someone come out and play. I counter your volley with an overhead spike! And for those who thought I was doggin gthe AR you are wrong. It is my favorite weapon. There is nothing currently available that is better. The AR is NOT perfect however. You guys sound like a bunch of whining 1911 owners.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:34:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
Thoughts?

The m16 is going to be around for a LONG time.

Should we start thinking about replacements AFTER the "zenith" as you say has passed?

The only small arms replacement project I am aware of right now is the Objective Crew Served Weapon slotted to replace Ma Deuce.

SOCOM also has the SCAR, but SOCOM is but a fraction of ".mil"

Every other little project is just that - a LITTLE project.




XM-8 was a big project that croaked, but it showed the military was thinking of getting away from the AR. I'm not saying the AR series has passed, my phrasing may have been off, it might have been better for me to say the AR is peaking instead of zenith. In a nutshell I'm saying I think the AR series may be the best rifle currently made and it seems like a mistake to get away from it unless something revolutinary comes along.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:53:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ironsight-boy:

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Solutions to these:

1) Ever heard of a side-charger? They exist. Bolt has a charging handle on the side. Plus charging handle location is fine unless you have some bigass optics and then I would ask you why the location would be an important matter. Long and Fat optics = long-range. Long range = you use time to place shots so you can also use time to pull the damn handle.

2) It IS Ambi-Friendly you just need to learn how to use it. The only guns that are easily Ambi-Friendly are top-ejecting which would interfere with sight picture.

3)With piston uppers, you can modify the carrier and spring to use a folding stock. Plus stowability is only important inside a tank or such in which case we use a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SYSTEM! DUH!

4) Ever heard of the ACB? Every goddamn upper is Aluminum, how is it "not available"? Steel uppers make it goddamn heavy and thusly they aren't used. The bolt and carrier interface directly with the barrel extension so the upper has NOTHING to do with it.

5) Only for a child or somebody with abnormally short thumbs. Plus once you're in Auto you will most likely need it to stay in Auto untill you have effectively earned time enough to flip the damn switch.

6) - As to which rifle fixes these issues; none do. Every single rifle that might 'fix' these issues is in testing and has much more serious issues of its own. We got all cocky over the XM-8 and look what happened-- it melted.

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.



Very nice

Oh and +1
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:57:44 PM EDT
+1?!?!!?

What is with the newbies? Did you read my response?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:59:45 PM EDT
I dont think while we are in iraq and about 500 billon in the red ink. That the goverment will be scraping the AR/M16 anytime soon. I have been reading about the M16's replacment from the 1970 on. Still here. I think there will have to be a quantim leap in small arms before anything new comes along. Also remember The NATO STANG agrement is still around. That requires comonality of equipment. My Two cents.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 1:02:57 PM EDT
i for one agree with devl except for one thing. I think the charging handle is in a pretty good pos. I usually manipulate it with my left hand from the ready...
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 1:09:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 0612Devil:
i for one agree with devl except for one thing. I think the charging handle is in a pretty good pos. I usually manipulate it with my left hand from the ready...



Do you not agree it would be better placed in a more forward postion even if it works for you where it is now? Would it not be faster to clear the malfunction if you could stay on the gun, keep it aimed at your target area, and not have to reach so far back to begin the actual manipulation of the charging handle? This would also fix the issue with stock like the Magpul PRS which cant have the cheek piece forward because the charging handle gets in the way. I just dont think "adequate" is the same as "best". I do fine one handed with a Gas Buster but I have to lift my cheek off the stock. I think its pretty clear an ambi forward mounted charging handle is better. Not like an issue of reciprocating vs non reciprocating charging handle which is more opinion IMO.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 1:13:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 1:17:33 PM EDT by GETSUM]

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?






FULL AUTO is way overrated ..

Maybe used full auto or "3 round burst" on select occasions.

Full auto is not as good in a firefight as well placed shots.
Especially when you are loaded down with 30 round mags.
30 rounds is gone in no time.

That is why units have SAWS to give the unit the autoatic weapons support.
At least it is in the CORPS.

But if you have small hands I could see the issue with the selector lever.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:08:45 PM EDT
I'm far from an expert and I do not have any military experience (will soon) but I have also done alot of research/reading on the AR and it is not perfect but it's a damn fine rifle/carbine and it is NOT going anywhere for a long time (10/15yrs probably longer)
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:13:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Uhhhh...........lessee...........CH on side, check...........could be made ambi friendly, check............side-folder, check...........fixed ejector standard (aluminum upper, too), check...........selector position - well, you got me there (but may be correctible with a slight redesign).

Answer..................(drum roll, pls)....................

Daewoo.

Sam
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:15:32 PM EDT
I agree. I just wish I waited and bought all pistol operated uppers. I think the ARs are awsome.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:18:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Charging handle (SCAR requires taking your hand out of shooting location to charge it)

Not ambi friendly (duel side selectors and STAG arms)

Ejector (???)

Selector (Use trigger control)
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:22:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:



You guys sound like a bunch of whining 1911 owners.




Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:41:57 PM EDT
i know i'm a noob and shouldn't inflict my own ignorance so obvious, but Devl is right. The AR is great, no mistake about it, but it can still be better. Give me a charging system more similar to my Cetme, and ditch the charging handle. Yes it's easy to use and all, but I still have to come off shooting position to charge it(or punch myself in the face, which ain't going to improve my accuracy). I find the selector could use some improvement, if only to alter it so it doesn't ride under my hand when firing left handed. I don't have any experience with SF M16s, so I'm not gonna offer a thought on the FA/Burst position. Also, on the stock issue, can't say I care for side foulders, but a collapsible that goes all the way would be nice, I am irritated by having those extra several inches that just CANNOT go away due to the buffer. Never had a problem wityh the extractor, but I'm new to this game.

For my own reasons, I would like to see piston operation become a standard, if only to make the weapon run cleaner.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:52:34 PM EDT
Any one having ejector problems doesn't know how to maintain his weapon. Any one who needs to use his charging handle constantly doesn't maintain his weapon. Any one that can't find room for a 16" barreled carbine with collapsable stock needs to be issued a pistol or learn to prioritize his essentials better.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 5:35:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:

How is the bolt release left friendly? The charging handle?




I can tap the bolt release with my trigger finger, without shifting grip at all. If anything it seems quicker for me to hit the bolt release left handed, than when shooting right handed. Charging handle operation as a lefty doesn't seem to be an issue either.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 8:44:58 PM EDT
I am in the infantry and I have never heard anyone bash the M-4. It is accurate and dependable. If we got issued the 77gr rounds or if perhaps the army would rechamber to 6.8 it would be an improvement. The gun is awesome. I am left-handed and in many cases it's easier for me to work the controls than for right-handed Soldiers. Nothing out there that I have seen is enough of an improvement to cause the army to switch. The 62gr is suspect some times but is NATO standard so I doubt that they change that either. The fact is that I will probably still be usin an M-4 in 7 years when I retire.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 8:55:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

XM-8 was a big project that croaked, but it showed the military was thinking of getting away from the AR. I'm not saying the AR series has passed, my phrasing may have been off, it might have been better for me to say the AR is peaking instead of zenith. In a nutshell I'm saying I think the AR series may be the best rifle currently made and it seems like a mistake to get away from it unless something revolutinary comes along.



Which is exactly DoD's viewpoint, and which is exactly why the "revolutionary" criteria in the OICW was established, what, some 20 years ago now. As of now, we are nowhere near there. That is a good part of the reason why the Army told H&K to shut up about the XM-8 already - it was a half-ass, non-revolutionary spinoff of the OICW and not at all what they wanted.

So you see, I'm just not seeing where your getting with your post.

Perhaps someday the Army will decide OICW is impractical and look to replace the M16 series with other available systems. Maybe by then SOCOM will have fielded something new, like the SCAR. It's possible that the SCAR could someday be adapted across the board. There are currently zero plans for that though. Until such time, I just do not understand the "the .mil's move to find something else" and ".mil is deciding on a change" comments.

Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:44:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 9:51:19 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

XM-8 was a big project that croaked, but it showed the military was thinking of getting away from the AR. I'm not saying the AR series has passed, my phrasing may have been off, it might have been better for me to say the AR is peaking instead of zenith. In a nutshell I'm saying I think the AR series may be the best rifle currently made and it seems like a mistake to get away from it unless something revolutinary comes along.



Which is exactly DoD's viewpoint, and which is exactly why the "revolutionary" criteria in the OICW was established, what, some 20 years ago now. As of now, we are nowhere near there. That is a good part of the reason why the Army told H&K to shut up about the XM-8 already - it was a half-ass, non-revolutionary spinoff of the OICW and not at all what they wanted.

So you see, I'm just not seeing where your getting with your post.

Perhaps someday the Army will decide OICW is impractical and look to replace the M16 series with other available systems. Maybe by then SOCOM will have fielded something new, like the SCAR. It's possible that the SCAR could someday be adapted across the board. There are currently zero plans for that though. Until such time, I just do not understand the "the .mil's move to find something else" and ".mil is deciding on a change" comments.




I was under the impression that the Army was pretty interested in the XM-8 and was working with H&K.
Example:

Posted on: Monday, August 23, 2004
Army zeroing in on new rifle

By Tony Adams
Knight Ridder News Service

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The U.S. Army's pursuit of a weapon to replace the aging M-16 rifle is still on track despite a failed congressional attempt to pump nearly $26 million into the federal budget to manufacture the weapon in 2005.

Military and legislative officials said development and testing of the new XM8 assault rifle will run through December. It is the second round of tests for the highly anticipated rifle, with evaluations taking place in the hot, gritty desert near Yuma, Ariz., the tropical jungles of Panama, and the arctic climate of Alaska, said Col. Mike Smith, who oversees the XM8 testing program at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey.

"After this round of testing, we will present our findings and our ability to meet the requirements, which are developed at Fort Benning, to the Army leadership, which should be in the late February time frame," Smith said.

"Then they'll make a decision on how to go forward on the program, and how fast to go forward on the program."

German gunmaker Heckler & Koch, which has a U.S. site in Sterling, Va., is working with the military on the prototype rifle. It would be mass-produced by H&K at a 150,000-square-foot plant the company plans to build in Columbus, Ga.

H&K spokeswoman Jimmi Clifton said initial work could mean about 200 jobs, although more could be added as production ramps up. The company has said a contract with the government could be very lucrative, perhaps worth up to $1 billion over 10 years.


rest of article....


So unless I'm reading this wrong, someone in DOD was interested in procuring something else besides the M-16. ( OICW was also spun off in to ATK's 25mm grenade launcher, which is actually still being tested.) I know H&K has a great spin machine, but I don't think they're advertising power would be enough to get the military that involved unless the Army was interested. I got the impression that the GWOT probably ate a lot of the budget that otherwise may have seen the adoption of the XM-8.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 10:42:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 10:52:53 PM EDT by Bohr_Adam]


So unless I'm reading this wrong, someone in DOD was interested in procuring something else besides the M-16. ( OICW was also spun off in to ATK's 25mm grenade launcher, which is actually still being tested.)



You are reading it wrong. The above is mostly old H&K spin, yet good info is hiding in there.

The OICW program still exists. Just because the PM has broken it up into two increments, does not mean anything. He appears to be trying to get some efficiency and tangible results out of the program.

Increment I (the rifle) is ongoing, as is increment II (the GL), and will be until the DoD cancels the program or something is procured to meet the requirements.

THis says nothing about the Army deciding to buy just a rifle, let alone the XM-8. I will highlight in BLUE what clearly came from COL Smith, and RED what clearly came from H&K.


Posted on: Monday, August 23, 2004
Army zeroing in on new rifle

By Tony Adams
Knight Ridder News Service

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The U.S. Army's pursuit of a weapon to replace the aging M-16 rifle is still on track despite a failed congressional attempt to pump nearly $26 million into the federal budget to manufacture the weapon in 2005. [Note: Congress does not deciude what the Army needs, the Army does - the fact that such an effort was even made tells you the efforts H&K has made to get this thing pushed through]

Military and legislative officials said development and testing of the new XM8 assault rifle will run through December. It is the second round of tests for the highly anticipated rifle, with evaluations taking place in the hot, gritty desert near Yuma, Ariz., the tropical jungles of Panama, and the arctic climate of Alaska, said Col. Mike Smith, who oversees the XM8 testing program at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey.

"After this round of testing, we will present our findings and our ability to meet the requirements, which are developed at Fort Benning, to the Army leadership, which should be in the late February time frame," Smith said.

"Then they'll make a decision on how to go forward on the program, and how fast to go forward on the program."
[Note - it is not clear who the term "highly anticipated" came from, but my gut tells me H&K. If COL Smith said it, I'm sure he meant it in the OICW context.]

German gunmaker Heckler & Koch, which has a U.S. site in Sterling, Va., is working with the military on the prototype rifle. It would be mass-produced by H&K at a 150,000-square-foot plant the company plans to build in Columbus, Ga.

H&K spokeswoman Jimmi Clifton said initial work could mean about 200 jobs, although more could be added as production ramps up. The company has said a contract with the government could be very lucrative, perhaps worth up to $1 billion over 10 years.

rest of article....



In other words, OICW increment I was still ongoing, but the folks who make the decisions had yet to to even make a decision whether going forward with just the rifle increment was even a good idea. I'm not sure if tests were even completed, but I definitely don't recall and decision by the Infantry Center to pursue a rifle-only track. Either way, such a departure from the original spec would require a competitive bidding process and new tests from other folks who might want to meet the new standard. It was H&K's claer attempt to circumvent such a process that has pissed a lot of us off that have been following this drama.

COL Smith is no doubt an honorable man, but it is his JOB to facilitate the OICW process, and in this case getting an OICW product off the ground and fielded is in his vested interest. He does not represent "The Army" in that regard, he instead must convince "The Army" of the validity of going forward with procurign anything other than the capabilities as established in the original OICW specs.

Here is the latest projects straight from COL Smith's (actually, it is now some other guy's) website, minus H&K spin (peosoldier.army.mil/pmweapons/iwfuturesystems.asp):

Close Quarters Battle Kit
Future Handgun
M68 Close Combat Optics (Dual Source Qualification)
Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW)
OICW Increment I
OICW Increment II - XM25 Air Burst Weapon
Small Arms Suppressors
XM26 12 Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun System (MASS)
XM29 Integrated Airburst Weapon System
XM320 Grenade Launcher Module (GLM)
XM1041/XM1042 - Close Combat Mission Capability Kit

As of now, OICW increment I does not even have a hotlink to a PDF brochure. There is probably a good reason for that.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:09:03 PM EDT
Interesting...

Apparently while I was out of the loop enjoying the fresh air of the western Ninewah province, the Infantry Center may very well have decided a rifle-only replacement may be in order after all.

Seems the specs they came up with were not what the PM Weapon Systems was hoping, though - and the XM-8 was not going to fit the bill without changes.

Sounds like I need to catch up.

It also sounds like any replacement is still a long ways off.

I'm not sure at this time if the SCAR would meet these requirements or not, but FN is likely to offer something to this process either way.

Have their been any threads in here on this that I maybe missed?

The new PM is a former infantrymen as well. Read into that whatever you might like.

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:23:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
I've been thinking that there have been so many innovations for the AR-15 in the last ten years, is the .mil's move to find something else considered a poor decision? The AR-15 series it pretty much at it's zenith. Between FF rails, optics, lasers, piston systems, slings, BUIS, 77gr. MK262 Mod1, 6.8mm, enhanced magazines, precision uppers, slings etc. what weak spot does it really have. Even cost would most likely be lower than an all new design that's pretty much going to do the same thing. I love new tech but it seems to me that the AR-15 has finally come to the point where it's perfected and then .mil is deciding on a change. Thoughts?





As JD42 mentioned, the (US) military can't afford the cost of replacement (even if they wanted to) right now. Can you imagine the outcry from the Lefties if the cost of the current conflicts were to rise by the amount needed to refit our troops?? Isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Of course, only my opinion.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:29:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HP40:
Any one having ejector problems doesn't know how to maintain his weapon. Any one who needs to use his charging handle constantly doesn't maintain his weapon. Any one that can't find room for a 16" barreled carbine with collapsable stock needs to be issued a pistol or learn to prioritize his essentials better.



i'm glad your willing to consider condition/longevity induced malfunctions in your post friend. The fact of the matter is we are discussing a COMBAT rifle, not the safe queens most of us have. Yes, my AR has not had any function issues that required any of these solutions, but it's hardest work is only under IDEAL conditions. I have the luxury of keeping it cleaned, constantly inspecting it, etc. But as this is a BATTLE rifle, it is my opinion that it should be designed with the absolute worst circumstances in mind, not the best. Yes under most circumstances, the charging handle is a non-issue, yes under ideal circumstances the extractor is a non-issue. Yes, under normal circumstances a collapsible stock is fine. That doesn't mean there is no room for improvement, and personally, I want a combat weapon as over engineered as possible. I also have always been of the belief that as many jobs as I can get my primary weapon to fill is a good thing, whether that involves a main battle rifle or a ultra carbine to stash in a vehicle. Specialization is for insects. Regardless of how much we all love the AR, there is ALWAYS room for improvement, atleast until we're all dead. This post is not to bash the AR(atleast not in my case) simply to discuss possible improvements in a good but not perfect design.

That being said, I don't personally believe the AR is going anywhere in the near future. Every design I've seen for new battle rifles has been an incremental, or at best, marginal improvement over the AR platform, and I just don't believe the military will go through the expense of reissuing and retraining the armed forces for anyhting that is not a clear and massive improvement over what we have, which I just don't see happening in the near future. I'm more inclined to believe they will take more advantage of the ARs modular platform for as long as they can, or until someone does come up with some radical new concept that is a clear step forward in design/technology.

My 2 pennies from under the sofa cushions....
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:44:33 AM EDT
I dont see where the selector is a problem at all,sure i dont have full auto but i know if i did i could select it without moving my hand.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:01:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 9:16:21 AM EDT by JoshNC]

Originally Posted By DevL:

Originally Posted By ironsight-boy:

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Solutions to these:

1) Ever heard of a side-charger? They exist. Bolt has a charging handle on the side. Plus charging handle location is fine unless you have some bigass optics and then I would ask you why the location would be an important matter. Long and Fat optics = long-range. Long range = you use time to place shots so you can also use time to pull the damn handle.

Rapid malfuntion clearance of left handed shooter, rapid malfuntion clearance while staying on the gun is impossible period.Side charger means big hole for dust to get in... you think thats what we need on an AR? Why do we have dust covers on the weapon again???

2) It IS Ambi-Friendly you just need to learn how to use it. The only guns that are easily Ambi-Friendly are top-ejecting which would interfere with sight picture.

How is the bolt release left friendly? The charging handle? Yes there are some solutions for aid left friendly but its still designed for right handed shooters just like a Sig pistol. I an right handed and love the AR and Sig. WTF are you talking about top ejecting???? I am confused.

3)With piston uppers, you can modify the carrier and spring to use a folding stock. Plus stowability is only important inside a tank or such in which case we use a TOTALLY DIFFERENT SYSTEM! DUH!

DUH! The system you describe DOES NOT EXIST. We are talking what EXISTS CURRENTLY not your imagination my friend. Not something you thought you heard about.

4) Ever heard of the ACB? Every goddamn upper is Aluminum, how is it "not available"? Steel uppers make it goddamn heavy and thusly they aren't used. The bolt and carrier interface directly with the barrel extension so the upper has NOTHING to do with it.

You mean the Advanced Combat Bolt? I have one. I have the only electroles nickle/silicon carbide plated ACB in existance. Do you have one? Did you know it uses a STANDARD FACTORY AR EJECTOR? I love new tech stuff but lets be honest that nothing is as reliable as a fixed ejector.

You cant have fixed ejectors on an aluminum upper receiver. THats how a fixed ejector is NOT AVAILBLE.



5) Only for a child or somebody with abnormally short thumbs. Plus once you're in Auto you will most likely need it to stay in Auto untill you have effectively earned time enough to flip the damn switch.

The AR was designed with people with short thumbs in mind... its why the grip is too small in the first place. We are also talking the FULL/AUTO position. I have no problem with the SEMI/FIRE position.

6) - As to which rifle fixes these issues; none do. Every single rifle that might 'fix' these issues is in testing and has much more serious issues of its own. We got all cocky over the XM-8 and look what happened-- it melted.

These were the issues that were specifically addressed by the SCAR because they were REQUIRED to be in the design. Perhaps one day I will own a SCAR. Oh and please enlighten us to the "serious issues" that it has since you are so educated and "did your research". I know the AR is not perfect and I will replace it one day for a rifle with better features. Right now I am building one of the most technologically advanced AR15s you can imagine and its a total headache. If something better was a factory option Id toss the AR project in a heartbeat but its not.... so I build the super high tech, piston driven, ACB bolt having, carbon fiber wrapped, electroless nickle plated, super custom AR with all the bells and whistles.

I give the previous post 5 trolls. Do your research before you start bashing on the rifle.



Thanks I appreciate your post... its nice to have someone come out and play. I counter your volley with an overhead spike! And for those who thought I was doggin gthe AR you are wrong. It is my favorite weapon. There is nothing currently available that is better. The AR is NOT perfect however. You guys sound like a bunch of whining 1911 owners.



IronsightBoy, no offense here pal, I'll go with DevL's expertise on the matter. You mentioned in a previous post that you're a teenager. I think it is great that you're into guns, and even better that you're into EBRs. However, you need to learn that others here (case in point, DevL) have years of hands-on knowledge and experience in this arena and I'd bet that you are regurgitating what you've heard at Robarm (you also mentioned in a previous post that you have a connection to Alex Robinson) and elsewhere. My suggestion is to keep learning and shooting, and only offer your opinion where you have first hand experience. Just my $.02, feel free to flame away.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:09:35 AM EDT
In my opinion, unless the nature of warfare changes significantly, I would be suprised if Im NOT still using some derivative of the M16/M4 when I retire in 20+ years. It is a fine rifle. The handguards, accesories, sights and stock might change on me (probably sooner than later since the rifles in our armory are still M16A2s) with time and with changing units (I hope to be with the 82nd one day). But I suspect that I will never have to be retaught the controls and maintenance of something else, for as long as I am in the Army. I think the M16s/M4s are THAT good. The SCAR, XM-8 and even the G-36 all look pretty cool. But I think when I retire my weapon is not going to be much different than the M4A1.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:16:24 AM EDT
The FN SCAR appears to be a significant improvement in nearly every way--and I'm a BIG fan of the AR platform.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:53:21 AM EDT
Per side folding stocks: It might be a little early to say, but the rumor mill on the Sig 556 is that a 55x style side folder will be available. Since the 556 currently portrays an AR stock, the guess is that the side folder for the 556 should/might fit ARs depending on how high the buffer tube mount piece wraps and if it blocks the charging handle.

I could give my $0.02 on everything else but I have a feeling it would just be regurgitation of the same crap we've all been through before on the realtive cost benefits of X improvement vs Y design vs Z alternative.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:56:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 9:59:04 AM EDT by Hotgun]
The inconveniences of the selector moving between safe-semi-auto is no accident. It's there on-purpose to keep the adrenaline from flipping over to auto too easily.

Along with others I know, the ease of rocking an H&K into auto is considered a negative on their weapon's features.

Never heard of an ejector failing on the M16/M4...sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Now... a solid extractor is possible, but again primary user problem is not having an extractor spring / insert installed.

I believe an ambi-selector is desireable & we'll see this become standard to the M16/M4 in the future.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:06:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scrum:
Per side folding stocks: It might be a little early to say, but the rumor mill on the Sig 556 is that a 55x style side folder will be available. Since the 556 currently portrays an AR stock, the guess is that the side folder for the 556 should/might fit ARs depending on how high the buffer tube mount piece wraps and if it blocks the charging handle.

I could give my $0.02 on everything else but I have a feeling it would just be regurgitation of the same crap we've all been through before on the realtive cost benefits of X improvement vs Y design vs Z alternative.



If Sig sticks to the legacy (for lack of a better word) 55x stock design, it definitely will not work on an AR15 without some newly engineered adapter.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:10:26 AM EDT
if your talking combat(the reason for the change in the chargeing handle) I would say it is not really a weakness, frist of all your in condition 1 or 3. when a mag is emptyed you hit the bolt release after reloading, if you have faliure you go in to sports. which your average soldier would unshoulder the weapon for this( i know what they say, but what is said and whats done it two different things) which

Originally Posted By jBullfrog:
i know i'm a noob and shouldn't inflict my own ignorance so obvious, but Devl is right. The AR is great, no mistake about it, but it can still be better. Give me a charging system more similar to my Cetme, and ditch the charging handle. Yes it's easy to use and all, but I still have to come off shooting position to charge it(or punch myself in the face, which ain't going to improve my accuracy). I find the selector could use some improvement, if only to alter it so it doesn't ride under my hand when firing left handed. I don't have any experience with SF M16s, so I'm not gonna offer a thought on the FA/Burst position. Also, on the stock issue, can't say I care for side foulders, but a collapsible that goes all the way would be nice, I am irritated by having those extra several inches that just CANNOT go away due to the buffer. Never had a problem wityh the extractor, but I'm new to this game.

For my own reasons, I would like to see piston operation become a standard, if only to make the weapon run cleaner.

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:10:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DevL:
What weak spots does it really have you ask?

OK, how about these...

Charging handle location is poor
Not ambi friendly
No ability to use folding stock for compact storage
Ejector would be more reliable if fixed and this is not available with an aluminum upper
Selector is difficult to move to auto and back again without removing the firing hand from its normal grip position.

Can you guess which rifle fixes these issues?



Did you spend any real time in the military?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 10:54:33 AM EDT
I hate the thought of our troops carrying German kit.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 11:13:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 11:13:55 AM EDT by jBullfrog]

Originally Posted By pinkmist:
if your talking combat(the reason for the change in the chargeing handle) I would say it is not really a weakness, frist of all your in condition 1 or 3. when a mag is emptyed you hit the bolt release after reloading, if you have faliure you go in to sports. which your average soldier would unshoulder the weapon for this( i know what they say, but what is said and whats done it two different things) which

Originally Posted By jBullfrog:
i know i'm a noob and shouldn't inflict my own ignorance so obvious, but Devl is right. The AR is great, no mistake about it, but it can still be better. Give me a charging system more similar to my Cetme, and ditch the charging handle. Yes it's easy to use and all, but I still have to come off shooting position to charge it(or punch myself in the face, which ain't going to improve my accuracy). I find the selector could use some improvement, if only to alter it so it doesn't ride under my hand when firing left handed. I don't have any experience with SF M16s, so I'm not gonna offer a thought on the FA/Burst position. Also, on the stock issue, can't say I care for side foulders, but a collapsible that goes all the way would be nice, I am irritated by having those extra several inches that just CANNOT go away due to the buffer. Never had a problem wityh the extractor, but I'm new to this game.

For my own reasons, I would like to see piston operation become a standard, if only to make the weapon run cleaner.




i'm not saying that under any normal condition it really matters, cause it frankly doesn't. The only instance I know of that someone had to repeatedly cycle the CHin combat was in vietnam, but i believe in over building for the worst circumstances imaginable, and from an engineering standpoint, a redisigned upper that puts the chraging handle forward of the reciever is a relatively simple matter. Not to mention making it ambidextrous(more overengineering) by stealling the G36 design.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:01:16 PM EDT
Throwing my two cents in.

As a LEFTY, and a Marine from 91-95, no, the AR is NOT lefty friendly...and never has been. I love my AR and the "ingrained muscle memory" gets you so far. Anything that removes the butt of my weapon from my shoulder is NOT a good thing. I also learned to live with gas in the eyes at EVERY shot fired. It was a fact of life and I learned to live with it, literally.

Like it or not, want to admit it or not, the AR will have a closing chapter just like any other weapon. DevL is completely on the money IMO and I believe we are looking at presently .....efforts that could and CAN replace the AR in military service.

The SCAR is not expensive and the sheer logistical ability afforded a combat unit is worth its weight in gold. Need a precision shooter? Hand him a precision barrel and bolt choose the appropriate glass. Need a standard 16” for urban patrol? Hand em a standard 16” barrel and bolt. Need a slightly heavier round due to mission requirements? No problem, hand em a 7.62 barrel and bolt.

I’ve been keeping up with a variety of “will replace the M4” offerings since getting out of the Corps. Some with amusement, some with real promise. The SCAR shows real promise. I love my AR for many reasons, but from a Lefty, I would prefer a platform more lefty friendly right out of the box.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:05:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sneaky_Snauzer:
I hate the thought of our troops carrying German kit.



Like it not, some of the best kit available to us in the Corps was German, Swiss or Belgium. I'd rather my fellow Marines carried weapons from another country that works rather then a crapper made in the Good Ole US.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:13:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sneaky_Snauzer:
I hate the thought of our troops carrying German kit.


Yeah that's the thinking that got us the M60 in time for Vietnam instead of an MG42/MG3 in 30-06, probably before the end of WWII. BTW FN isn't German, they are Belgian. And the SCAR was mostly conceived in the US, to meet design specs written by US SOCOM. And will be built in the US, the same as FN's M16 type rifles.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 12:20:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sneaky_Snauzer:
I hate the thought of our troops carrying German kit.



You remember the 1903 Sprinfield? It was a licensed copy of the GERMAN Mauser design (asthetically different, but still). It replaced the American designed Craig-Jorgenson disaster of a rifle after the Spanish American War.

John C. Garand, IIRC, was CANADIAN, the M1 was a FINE rifle and its derivative, the M14 is STILL in limited use today.

The very CONCEPT of the selctfire, intermediate power, intermediate weight, high capacity "Assualt Rifle" was a GERMAN idea and the RUSSIANs were the first to exploit it on a large scale.

The M249 SAW is a BELGIAN design. So is the M240.

Our pistols are ITALIAN and fire a GERMAN cartridge.

Digital Camo was a CANADIAN innovation.

I dont care who makes/designs my kit as long as I come back alive.
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