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Posted: 8/24/2004 9:48:11 PM EST
Issue Date: August 30, 2004

XM8 update: Your fix is in
Thanks to soldier feedback, the Army’s expected next rifle will be lighter, fire faster and sight better

By Matthew Cox
Times staff writer

The Army is about to enter the final round of testing on what is well on its way to becoming your next weapon. The second-generation XM8s sport more than a dozen soldier-inspired refinements that weapons experts hope will help them convince Army leaders to adopt the new family of weapons in early 2005.

Until then, the new prototypes — 17 carbines, 15 compacts and 14 designated marksman versions — are slated for more soldier evaluation through the fall and winter.

The Army developed the XM8 in late 2003 as part of a longer-range effort to perfect an over-and-under style weapon, known as the XM29, developed by Alliant Techsystems and Heckler and Koch.

The XM29 fires special air-bursting projectiles and standard 5.56mm ammunition. But it is still too heavy and unwieldy to meet Army requirements.

The Army decided to perfect each of XM29’s components separately, so soldiers can take advantage of new technology sooner. The parts would be brought back together when lighter materials become available. The XM8 is one of those components.

The weapon was tested in lab conditions, and by soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).

“Every time we take it to the field Army, they tell us to leave it with them,” Brig. Gen. James Moran, head of Project Executive Office Soldier, said at a June 14 Pentagon briefing.

Soldiers reacted positively, but they also had plenty of ideas for making the XM8 more effective on the battlefield.

The new prototypes — standard carbine, compact carbine and designated marksman models — include changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry, said Col. Michael Smith, head of Project Manager Soldier Weapons.

“We did not try to build the perfect weapon the first time,” Smith said. “We did make a lot of changes. Soldiers definitely affected the design of the second generation.”

One of the more challenging changes involved redesigning backup iron sights.

The XM8 relies on special optics for its primary aiming system. There’s a short-range version with a red aiming dot and a long-range version for use by marksmen. But soldiers always want the traditional front and rear iron sights, since anything electronic can fail, Smith said.

The backup sights fold down into the hand guard and carrying handle when not in use.

“I’m very happy with the way it turned out; it’s put out of the way until you need it,” Smith said. The original design was trashed, he said, because it called for the backup sight to be built into the optic.

“What if it is smashed? That’s why [soldiers] wanted it to be separate.”

Both optics have also been improved on the prototypes.

The battery life for each has increased from 110 hours to 400. And the new designs feature a lever-style clamping mechanism for attaching the optics to the weapon instead of the screws that soldiers tended to strip during testing.

Both the short-range and long-range optics have a built-in infrared pointer and illuminator similar to the PEQ2 attachment soldiers currently use on the M4 carbine. Plus, there’s more range on the pointer and illuminator — designers upped it from 600 meters to 800 on both optics. Soldiers can focus the pointer and illuminator on the long range or 4x optic while the same infrared features on the short-range or unity optic remain fixed.

Better aim

Developers said the full-auto capability should be more reliable now that they have increased the rate of fire by 25 to 50 rounds per minute. The change makes the XM8 capable of firing 850 rpm.

“We did the change to give us better a capability in nasty environments like the desert,” Smith said, explaining that the higher rate should help push more sand and grit out of the chamber when firing. “You get a little more force blowing that stuff out of there.”

The Army changed from full-auto to three-round burst on the M16A2 in the 1980s when the service decided most soldiers did not fire effectively in the full-auto mode.

But weapons experts now say a soldier using three-round bursts is no more effective than one well-trained in the use of fully automatic fire.

Unlike the first generation, the designated marksman and automatic rifle models are now the same weapon, except the automatic rifle will be fielded with a special 100-round, drum magazine. The designated marksman variant will use the 30-round magazine used on the standard carbine.

The high-capacity magazine, which can be used in all the XM8 models, is intended to give commanders the option to beef up a squad’s volume of fire beyond the current M249 squad automatic weapon, which is belt-fed and equipped with quick-changing barrels.

“We are not proposing that we replace the M249 in the light machine gun role,” Smith said. The XM8 squad auto rifle’s barrel can be changed but the process takes too long to perform in the middle of a firefight, he said.

“It’s not designed to give you that continuous high rate of fire the machine gun will give you,” Smith said.

Lighter load

The second generation XM8s include several ergonomic improvements, such as new ridges or knurls added to the cocking lever for a better grip. They also are about 15 percent lighter than the first prototypes, Smith said. That’s about a pound less on the carbine model which now weighs in at 7.14 pounds with optic and loaded 30-round magazine. An M4 carbine with its standard attachments and a 30-round magazine weighs about 8.5 pounds, he said.

The prototypes are black, but Smith said the final production models would most likely be a solid earth-tone since the Army’s recently approved Army Combat Uniform has no black in the new digital pattern. Camouflage tests have shown that black is too easily detected during movement, Smith said.

The Army’s senior leadership is scheduled to make a decision on replacing the M16 with the XM8 in February, Smith said.

There were plans to possibly field the XM8 to two infantry brigades in 2005, but Congress chose not to provide the roughly $27 million needed for the purchase in the fiscal 2005 budget or in supplemental funding, Smith said.

The Army could still begin fielding in 2005, but the money would have to come from existing programs, Smith said.

Before those decisions are made, however, the second-generation XM8s are slated to go through desert testing in Arizona in September, tropic testing in Panama in October and arctic testing in Alaska in December. A limited user test, involving an undisclosed, active infantry division is also scheduled for October, Smith said.

“As always, we are testing the changes to verify them,” Smith said. “We want the very best for our soldiers. They deserve it.”

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-ARMYPAPER-291882.php
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 10:42:31 PM EST
How hard is it to mount a light on an XM8?
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 10:45:52 PM EST
not that hard if you have a roll of duct tape
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 10:48:44 PM EST
It's OK, like he says they "Didn't try to build the perfect weapon the first time"
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:48:51 AM EST
please dear lord someone kill this program.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:52:16 AM EST
i hate it
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 3:59:20 AM EST
According to some sources from MARCH 2006 the XM8 (what will be the military denomination? M8? M17? M what?) will be delivered to the US Army.

The M16 era is going to end. I feel a little bit sad for it.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:10:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 4:14:15 AM EST by 1-75Ranger]
Like it or not the end is near, many people hated the M-16 when it first came out. But who ever likes anything the Army comes out with, The Bradley sucked when it first came out, people hated it, people hated the M1 tank, it was to heavy and all kind of other stuff.

People hated the M60, but I loved mine. People now hate the ACU and the Molle gear and the MRE's, so I ask what do people like thast the Army issues.

Freefall posted a very good review on the weapon, I have yet to see one let alone fire one so I can not make a firm judgement on the weapon system. Remember most people said the first M-16's look like plastic toys, the same thing they are now saying about XM8 project.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:10:20 AM EST
I got to check one for myself out earlier this year.

I was not impressed.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 4:14:53 AM EST
The Army can say all they want and say it will replace the M-16 but if Congress does not fund it, they WILL NOT get it.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:14:31 AM EST
If the Army does get it the sad part is all those used M4's will be sold to countries like Iraq to use against us 10 years down the road or destroyed. What they should do is offer them to the citizens of this great country.

mzzlebrk
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:20:10 AM EST
what happened to teh SCAR program? and that rumored impressive MRP-like rifle from Colt?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:21:04 AM EST
Bayonet lug?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 6:22:53 AM EST
Thank GOD for the Marines.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:31:48 AM EST
IMHO, if they're going ahead with it, I think they should chamber it for 6.8. Otherwise, why change it?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:44:21 AM EST
I still fail to see the need for this "thing."

The M16/M4 series does everything a small arm should...and it's modular and there are tons of upgrades and accessories for it. As far as the sight goes, the Aimpoint M2 is superior--wow, 400 hours v. 10,000 hours of battery life.

The only downside to the M16 platform IMO is the caliber. And that can be fixed with the 6.8mm round.

I simply do not understand the need to replace the M16 platform.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 7:54:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
I still fail to see the need for this "thing."

The M16/M4 series does everything a small arm should...and it's modular and there are tons of upgrades and accessories for it. As far as the sight goes, the Aimpoint M2 is superior--wow, 400 hours v. 10,000 hours of battery life.

The only downside to the M16 platform IMO is the caliber. And that can be fixed with the 6.8mm round.

I simply do not understand the need to replace the M16 platform.



As far as the round, agreed. Why not use the newer superior intermediate round rather than going back to 7.62 or just keep modding the 5.56?

As far as plateform, I'd tend to agree with you.

However..... loyalty, bias, bullheadedness aside, what do you think of the XM-8's gas system vs. the M16? It seems to me, actual operation, to be cleaner, more robust which translates into less issues with jamming. Just my .02. Don't jump me for bringing up the discussion.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:00:23 AM EST
Will the piston system be cleaner? Absolutely. No one disputes that. Will it make a difference in REAL conditions? Hardly. The M16 can easily reach (and surpass) over 6K rounds with no cleaning. No real soldier would fire that many rounds and not clean his rifle.

Does anybody know of any GI with an M1 Garand or M14 that shot, say 2K rounds without cleaning his rifle? This would be in the actual armed forces, no private guns.

The whole "but it can shoot 15K rounds with no cleaning" is so moot as to be irrelevant.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:07:09 AM EST
Go to 6.8mm!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:17:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:
Will the piston system be cleaner? Absolutely. No one disputes that. Will it make a difference in REAL conditions? Hardly. The M16 can easily reach (and surpass) over 6K rounds with no cleaning. No real soldier would fire that many rounds and not clean his rifle.

Does anybody know of any GI with an M1 Garand or M14 that shot, say 2K rounds without cleaning his rifle? This would be in the actual armed forces, no private guns.

The whole "but it can shoot 15K rounds with no cleaning" is so moot as to be irrelevant.



BINGO!

Funny thing is, they sold the M16 and it's "wonder" chrome barrel that way too...."No cleaning needed!"

Odds are, if it's fielded, they'll figure that one out fast....and issue cleaning kits.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:20:16 AM EST
HKM4 Period.
the XM8 has that RIDICULOUSLY unnecessay handle that ruins hte whole thing. Remove the carry handle, and how's it different from an HKM4?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:25:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 8:26:02 AM EST by 1911ar-15]

Originally Posted By hepcat85:

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:
Will the piston system be cleaner? Absolutely. No one disputes that. Will it make a difference in REAL conditions? Hardly. The M16 can easily reach (and surpass) over 6K rounds with no cleaning. No real soldier would fire that many rounds and not clean his rifle.

Does anybody know of any GI with an M1 Garand or M14 that shot, say 2K rounds without cleaning his rifle? This would be in the actual armed forces, no private guns.

The whole "but it can shoot 15K rounds with no cleaning" is so moot as to be irrelevant.



BINGO!

Funny thing is, they sold the M16 and it's "wonder" chrome barrel that way too...."No cleaning needed!"

Odds are, if it's fielded, they'll figure that one out fast....and issue cleaning kits.



Actually, to be "fair". When the GIs where told the whole "you don't have to clean the M16!!" BS, the M16 DID NOT have chromed anything. (I know, makes the whole affair even worse). The decision to chrome the chamber and bore was not made until the reports of jammed rifles. And even then MacNamara was reluctant to do it, since chroming parts was not included in Gene Stoner's initial design.

When I think about the whole idiocy of the whole deal I feel like I want to cry.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 8:34:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:

Originally Posted By hepcat85:

Originally Posted By 1911ar-15:
Will the piston system be cleaner? Absolutely. No one disputes that. Will it make a difference in REAL conditions? Hardly. The M16 can easily reach (and surpass) over 6K rounds with no cleaning. No real soldier would fire that many rounds and not clean his rifle.

Does anybody know of any GI with an M1 Garand or M14 that shot, say 2K rounds without cleaning his rifle? This would be in the actual armed forces, no private guns.

The whole "but it can shoot 15K rounds with no cleaning" is so moot as to be irrelevant.



BINGO!

Funny thing is, they sold the M16 and it's "wonder" chrome barrel that way too...."No cleaning needed!"

Odds are, if it's fielded, they'll figure that one out fast....and issue cleaning kits.



Actually, to be "fair". When the GIs where told the whole "you don't have to clean the M16!!" BS, the M16 DID NOT have chromed anything. (I know, makes the whole affair even worse). The decision to chrome the chamber and bore was not made until the reports of jammed rifles. And even then MacNamara was reluctant to do it, since chroming parts was not included in Gene Stoner's initial design.

When I think about the whole idiocy of the whole deal I feel like I want to cry.




REALLY????? Wow. I didn't know that. Where did they get the BS idea of it being "cleaning free" What a pack of Le Fucktards...excuse my French.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:18:32 AM EST
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:22:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!



I think what most people are confused about is why go to a platform that has some advantages but then also has some serious drawbacks. That big stupid handle on top and the top-mounted charging handle precludes it from having a flattop rail system. There are still no rails on the front handguard, and with all the pictures I see of our guys with forward grips and weapon mounted lights I wonder how they will accomidate those? Another "HK-proprietary" front end swap out? The XM8 wouldn't have nearly as many critics if the first version had a reasonable rail system.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:27:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 9:54:04 AM EST by magnum_99]

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!



Fuck HK. In no uncertain terms.

And 40 years of modifications are part of the point.

The AR/M16 platform is HIGHLY evolved and vetted. No telling how long it will take the XM-8 platform to reach the same level of refinement.

So, that begs the question then of what are the great advantages of the XM-8 over the AR that warrant such a new and potentially long and EXPENSIVE development process?


THAT is the issue. There appear to be only minor advantages, if any, offered over the AR platform (i.e. gas piston v. gas impingement--and what SOLDIER is permitted to not clean his weapon for 5000 rounds anyway, nor what SOLDIER would even allow that himself?).

Perhaps standardization between infantry rifle, DM rifle, and SAW platform is the most compelling argument. But, somehow I don't envision great success turning this particular platform into the swiss army knife of the infantry squad. AND, the AR can do all of those things as well with appropriate upper changeout while keeping the lower, and hence cost, intact.

The XM-8 DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:34:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 9:47:27 AM EST by Rem700PSS]

Originally Posted By SNorman:

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!



I think what most people are confused about is why go to a platform that has some advantages but then also has some serious drawbacks. That big stupid handle on top and the top-mounted charging handle precludes it from having a flattop rail system. There are still no rails on the front handguard, and with all the pictures I see of our guys with forward grips and weapon mounted lights I wonder how they will accomidate those? Another "HK-proprietary" front end swap out? The XM8 wouldn't have nearly as many critics if the first version had a reasonable rail system.



The standard foregrip does have some rails integrated right into them, they are not long but you could mount something on them.

My only gripe is that people are giving this project...no chance what so ever. How long was it before the M16 and M4 got a rail system? Not in the first year. Hell in the first year they were still trying to hammer out the operating system. Like I said, yeah its a good platform and gun...only after 40 YEARS! And evern then it STILL has some SERIOUS drawbacks. I admit, it does need a rail system. The G36 didn't have a rail system when it first came out, but it has one now, a damn good one at that. A rail system will come out. I'd bet $1,000,000 on it, seriously. This weapon is still just a prototype. They are getting the platform down and then they will add.

Trust me, a rail system isn't worth having this entire, God sent, project scrapped. The m16 series is going to shit, we need the XM8.


Fuck HK. In no uncertain terms.
That has to be one the most ignorant and classless things I've ever heard. HK is the leading weapons manufactor in the world. Name one thing Colt has done better than HK?


And 40 years of modifications are part of the point.

The AR/M16 platform is HIGHLY evolved and vetted. No telling how long it will take the XM-8 platform to reach the same level of refinement.

So, that begs the question then of what are the great advantages of the XM-8 over the AR that warrant such a new and potentially long and EXPENSIVE development process?

THAT is the issue. There appear to be only minor advantages, if any, offered over the AR platform (i.e. gas piston v. gas impingement--and what SOLDIER is permitted to not clean his weapon for 5000 rounds anyway, nor what SOLDIER would even allow that himself?).

Perhaps standardization between infrantry rifle, DM rifle, and SAW platform is the most compelling argument. But, somehow I don't envision great success turning this particular platform into the swiss army knife of the infantry squad. AND, the AR can do all of those things as well with appropriate upper changeout while keeping the lower, and hence cost, intact.

The XM-8 DOES NOT COMPUTE.



Cleaning, ease of maintence, relieablity, and modularity. These are things that the M16 haven't been able to produce let, even after 40 years. It was a great design back in Vietnam, but not for today, especially fighting in desert areas. The XM8 is better all the way around. The one thing I'll give on in the carry handle and lack of rails, but even they are in the works. \

XM8 vs M4 It doesn't take a genious to figure out
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:51:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
Perhaps standardization between infrantry rifle, DM rifle, and SAW platform is the most compelling argument. But, somehow I don't envision great success turning this particular platform into the swiss army knife of the infantry squad. AND, the AR can do all of those things as well with appropriate upper changeout while keeping the lower, and hence cost, intact.




I imagine that a magazine-fed SAW (ala XM8) would suck hind tit. Did they ever make a provision for belt-fed on that baby?

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:53:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 9:53:30 AM EST by napalm]
Double tap.

*pow!**pow!*
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:54:15 AM EST


Lighter load

The second generation XM8s ... are about 15 percent lighter than the first prototypes, Smith said. That’s about a pound less on the carbine model which now weighs in at 7.14 pounds with optic and loaded 30-round magazine. An M4 carbine with its standard attachments and a 30-round magazine weighs about 8.5 pounds, he said.



And why not work on making the M16 lighter? Commercial makers already sell lightweight synthetic uppers and lowers. Surely there are other parts which may be lightened as well.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 9:59:27 AM EST
Durability issues most likely.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:00:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 10:01:25 AM EST by magnum_99]

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:



Fuck HK. In no uncertain terms.
That has to be one the most ignorant and classless things I've ever heard. HK is the leading weapons manufactor in the world. Name one thing Colt has done better than HK?






Damn, got you excited there!

I'm tired of all the HK eliteism I see on gun boards.

They don't have one single platform that I like (ok, I like the MP-5 a little). Sure, they are fine weapons I suppose, but not so much that every HK guy on the planet needs to keep remining us of it every 5 seconds. And certainly NOT superior in real terms to other platforms such as the AR, 1911, and FAL.

So, in that light, fuck HK.

Once they start manufacturing domestic MP5's, 93's, 91's, etc, MAYBE I'll cut them some slack. But until then, they are just overpriced, eliteist kraut guns--give me Bushie or RRA arms any day.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:02:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By magnum_99:

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:



Fuck HK. In no uncertain terms.
That has to be one the most ignorant and classless things I've ever heard. HK is the leading weapons manufactor in the world. Name one thing Colt has done better than HK?






Damn, got you excited there!

I'm tired of all the HK eliteism I see on gun boards.

They don't have one single platform that I like (ok, I like the MP-5 a little). Sure, they are fine weapons I suppose, but not so much that every HK guy on the planet needs to keep remining us of it every 5 seconds.

So, in that light, fuck HK.

Once they start manufacturing domestic MP5's, 93's, 91's, etc, MAYBE I'll cut them some slack. But until then, they are just overpriced, eliteist kraut guns--give me Bushie or RRA arms any day.



HK makes solid weapons IMHO...if anything, their business practices suck ass.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:24:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By hepcat85:


HK makes solid weapons IMHO...if anything, their business practices suck ass.



And what I was getting at as much as anything. But, from my experience, their platforms simply are not superior to others. Good, solid designs, but nothing earth shattering and far from perfect.

But the HK guys don't seem to want to accpet that.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:31:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 10:34:18 AM EST by Wobblin-Goblin]
If the answer is a piston gas system, I can think of nearly half-a-dozen firms RIGHT NOW that are producing piston uppers for ARs and M4s.

If the answer is lightness, then simply produce M16s with the same materials that the XM8 is being produced with. I can think of atleast one firm doing that right now (Bushmaster).

If the answer is modularity and adaptiblity, there is no way the XM8 surpasses the current rifle. Between the rail systems ALREADY BEING MADE AND BEING USED AROUND THE WORLD, and the idiot-proof swapping of uppers (pull two pins and swap, push same two pins and you are ready to fire your weapon), the XM8 is wayyyyyy behind the curve on this one. What other rifle system in the world has the capability to transform itself from one type of rifle to another in mere seconds? With no tools even? By a blindfolded idiot no less?

If the answer is "wanting the best for our troops," then I say let's save the countless millions of dollars on the new rifle and buy piston uppers for all our boys, have them swap uppers (it'll take about ten seconds to do), and NOT HAVE TO RE-TRAIN WITH A NEW RIFLE SYSTEM.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:41:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
If the answer is a piston gas system, I can think of nearly half-a-dozen firms RIGHT NOW that are producing piston uppers for ARs and M4s.

If the answer is lightness, then simply produce M16s with the same materials that the XM8 is being produced with. I can think of atleast one firm doing that right now (Bushmaster).

If the answer is modularity and adaptiblity, there is no way the XM8 surpasses the current rifle. Between the rail systems ALREADY BEING MADE AND BEING USED AROUND THE WORLD, and the idiot-proof swapping of uppers (pull two pins and swap, push same two pins and you are ready to fire your weapon), the XM8 is wayyyyyy behind the curve on this one. What other rifle system in the world has the capability to transform itself from one type of rifle to another in mere seconds? With no tools even? By a blindfolded idiot no less?

If the answer is "wanting the best for our troops," then I say let's save the countless millions of dollars on the new rifle and buy piston uppers for all our boys, have them swap uppers (it'll take about ten seconds to do), and NOT HAVE TO RE-TRAIN WITH A NEW RIFLE SYSTEM.




Nice.

Not to mention the extra $$$ could be spent on fielding the superior 6.8mm round.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:41:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
The standard foregrip does have some rails integrated right into them, they are not long but you could mount something on them.

My only gripe is that people are giving this project...no chance what so ever. How long was it before the M16 and M4 got a rail system?



Yeah, it's just that in today's RAIL CRAZY atmosphere it seems wierd to introduce a new gun with no standard rails. Also, there is the more difficult problem of the top carry handle and charging handle. The charging handle will need to be moved to another location to make a proper flat top. If the military assumes they will always use HK optics, I guess it's not too much of a problem. I assume they have some provision for mounting night vision?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:43:08 AM EST
I think it might be easier to swallow if it were 6.8. Otherwise, they're just reinventing the wheel.

I know, they could go 6.8 with the M16 platform. I'm just emphasizing how strange it seems to change platforms without looking at other rounds that would serve better.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 10:51:21 AM EST
I'm not trying to be offensive towards anyone or manufactorer. I like the AR platform. I think they are excellent weapons, but imho, not for military use anymore. They make great sporting and general shooting weapons yes, I'm not trying to take anything away from them. I'm simply saying that the XM8 offers more to our soldiers than what we currently have. It gives them more of what they need. And thats what I'm interested in. I love HK with all my heart, but honestly, I could care less who makes the XM8 (it just happens to be made by the greatest weapons company in the world), as long as the service life and relieablity is increased and maintance and weight is decreased. The XM8 isn't the best looking gun in the world, but then again neither was the M16 prototype. You can't deny that there were a lot of problems with the M16 in its prototype stage. And it upsets me when you AR lovers are doing the same thing to the XM8. I don't think you guys are giving it a very fair chance, much of the way no one wanted to give the AR a chance. The world is afraid of change.

HK has an excellent track record. Regardless if you like them or not, they make top quality weapons. Who here is going to say the MP5 is a POS? No one. Because any answer of yes is based off pure ignorance. I liked the M4, I really did, but it was when HK made their M4 (416) is when I really realized that HK is taking large steps foreward and Colt is dragging their feet.

Perhaps the HKM4 is the answer? I would love that! Regardess if you like the XM8 you have to admit, its stats are impressive.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:02:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:02:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 11:33:12 AM EST by iNuhBaDNayburhood]
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:06:15 AM EST
If ANY test can show evidence that the XM-8 rifle increases lethality, then there is a reason to switch. Without an increase of lethality, this is just a reason to change for the sake of changing.

-Fuji

p.s., my humble opinions on the this weapon are simple. Too much plastic & no increased lethality.

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:17:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 11:21:12 AM EST by Blackjack272]

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!



Yep, maybe modify this thing for another 40 years and they might get the damn thing right.

Durability - Can it be used as a ladder in MOUT situations like M-16s have been?
Easier to clean - Both strip down almost identically.
Modular - You're kidding, right?
Less Expensive - Find the cost for MP5 parts these days. HK loves to jack prices up.
Made by HK - Better made by Americans, eh? We worry about our economy first. This money is going OVERSEAS.

Well, then again, since they still have not dealt with melting and deforming recievers, a god awful stock, short barrels for infantry models, the correct rail system, etc, I think the XM-8 ain't that bad, eh?

EDIT - Take that HK/M4 comparison as gospel, and you're a fool. Take a closer look at it.

And Colt DID design a flattop upper for the AR WELL before the 1980s-90s. The designs for the M-16A2 were in place during Vietnam - a flattop version DID exist within a few years of the military adopting the M16A1. Colt got it together within a fwe years. HK has not.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:23:13 AM EST
From my experience (6 years as a USMC armorer), I think the most cost effective solution would be a gas piston upper for the existing M16/M4 platform. The direct impingement system is fine for civilian use, but in military use, it's "shitting where you eat". Those of us that have had an M16 series weapon turn into a straight pull bolt action know what I mean.

The M16 is not the be all and end all. The XM8 seems to be a worthy weapon, but I do wonder about it's final configuration. A proprietary sighting system will reduce the military's ability to adapt.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:42:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!



Yep, maybe modify this thing for another 40 years and they might get the damn thing right.

Durability - Can it be used as a ladder in MOUT situations like M-16s have been?
Easier to clean - Both strip down almost identically.
Modular - You're kidding, right?
Less Expensive - Find the cost for MP5 parts these days. HK loves to jack prices up.
Made by HK - Better made by Americans, eh? We worry about our economy first. This money is going OVERSEAS.

Well, then again, since they still have not dealt with melting and deforming recievers, a god awful stock, short barrels for infantry models, the correct rail system, etc, I think the XM-8 ain't that bad, eh?

EDIT - Take that HK/M4 comparison as gospel, and you're a fool. Take a closer look at it.

And Colt DID design a flattop upper for the AR WELL before the 1980s-90s. The designs for the M-16A2 were in place during Vietnam - a flattop version DID exist within a few years of the military adopting the M16A1. Colt got it together within a fwe years. HK has not.



And the XM8 as been going for how long...16 months? If that? ITS A PROTOTYPE PEOPLE!

M16 Problems

And what the hell do you mean "HK has not"? That has to be one of the most half-witted, ignorant, and self-degrading statements I have ever read. You just lost all my respect with that statement. Holy shit dude...ignorant...ignorant.

I realized that I'm a HK guy trying to defend HK weapons on a AR15 board. I know you guys are all pissed that the HK XM8 is replacing the M16/AR. I can't fight you all for ever. So I'll just accept the fact that you guys are jealous of the XM8 replacing the M16 and just drop it.
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:50:35 AM EST
I for one am not upset at the possible replacement, just that HK most likely won't sell a 'civilian' version for us to have fun with.

-Fuji

Also, my question was not answered. How does the XM8 increase lethality?

Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:53:27 AM EST
This is what someone said on the HK Boards on another forum awhile back when asked why did they go with a 12.5" barrel.

Shorter barrel = lower velocity = more stopping power

Makes sense, I can't confirm nor deny though.

P.S. The XM8 is being tested for 6.8mm (SOF Mag article).
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:53:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 11:56:35 AM EST by magnum_99]

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
Jezuz MF Christ people! Get off your high fuckin horses about the AR! Yeah, its a good gun...only after 40 YEARS of modification!

The XM8 is lighter, more durable, easier to clean, modular, less expensive, and its made by HK! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT!!!

Why don't they put it in 6.8? Well, NATO for one thing. The other is that the 6.8mm is still beingn tested. Roughly 1 year behind the XM8.


changes that make the XM8 more reliable, easier to operate and lighter to carry,


Thats light telling Jesus to be more holy!



Yep, maybe modify this thing for another 40 years and they might get the damn thing right.

Durability - Can it be used as a ladder in MOUT situations like M-16s have been?
Easier to clean - Both strip down almost identically.
Modular - You're kidding, right?
Less Expensive - Find the cost for MP5 parts these days. HK loves to jack prices up.
Made by HK - Better made by Americans, eh? We worry about our economy first. This money is going OVERSEAS.

Well, then again, since they still have not dealt with melting and deforming recievers, a god awful stock, short barrels for infantry models, the correct rail system, etc, I think the XM-8 ain't that bad, eh?

EDIT - Take that HK/M4 comparison as gospel, and you're a fool. Take a closer look at it.

And Colt DID design a flattop upper for the AR WELL before the 1980s-90s. The designs for the M-16A2 were in place during Vietnam - a flattop version DID exist within a few years of the military adopting the M16A1. Colt got it together within a fwe years. HK has not.



And the XM8 as been going for how long...16 months? If that? ITS A PROTOTYPE PEOPLE!

M16 Problems

And what the hell do you mean "HK has not"? That has to be one of the most half-witted, ignorant, and self-degrading statements I have ever read. You just lost all my respect with that statement. Holy shit dude...ignorant...ignorant.

I realized that I'm a HK guy trying to defend HK weapons on a AR15 board. I know you guys are all pissed that the HK XM8 is replacing the M16/AR. I can't fight you all for ever. So I'll just accept the fact that you guys are jealous of the XM8 replacing the M16 and just drop it.



Damn, now you're just talkin shit.

I don't give a crap about the AR platform in general. It's a tool. What doesn't make sense is to replace a proven design with something decidedly UNPROVEN for LITTLE OR NO REAL BENEFIT, other than simply changing for the sake of change.

It has been stated that small arms development has reached a zenith and plateau that will only be surpassed by some new true innovation such as plasma, laser, magnetic projectiles, or some other "star-trek"-like technology.

I don't entirely disagree. The AR is highly evolved (flat-tops, rails, multiple optics and BUIS, FF forends, heavy and light barrels, accuracy better than most shooters can exploit, and even polymer receivers) but it is still basically 19th century tech in terms of the projectile and propulsion.

I'm not saying don't innovate with small arms, I'm just saying that the XM8 is not the answer.

And, F HK!
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:55:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By Rem700PSS:
This is what someone said on the HK Boards on another forum awhile back when asked why did they go with a 12.5" barrel.

Shorter barrel = lower velocity = more stopping power

Makes sense, I can't confirm nor deny though.

P.S. The XM8 is being tested for 6.8mm (SOF Mag article).




WHAAAAAT?

Lower velocity=more stopping power?

How the fuck does that make sense?

Every damn ballistic test known to man regards velocity as the major factor in stopping power above just about all else.

WTF?
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 11:57:43 AM EST
Rem700PSS,

If a 14.5" barrel cannot produce proper velocity for opitmal wound channels with either 55gr, 62gr or 77gr loads( past 90m ), how does a 12.5" barrel sovle this?

A different round, such as the 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, etc.. is another conversation all together.


-Fuji
Link Posted: 8/25/2004 12:04:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/25/2004 12:09:30 PM EST by Rem700PSS]
Hey...read my post. I said I couldn't confirm no deny it. I was posting that to find out if it was true, as to me, like all, it didn't seem right. So I guess I do not know how the XM8 is supoose to increase lethality, but is that even the focus of the project? 12.5" barrel...I don't know, I didn't design it, can't tell you the exact benefits.

To all: Its not that I disagree with what you're all saying, its that I don't agree with what your saying...if that makes sense. You guys are disgarding the XM8 as if it is useless and unbenificial, which is simply not true. All I ask is that you give it a chance. The M16 has had 40 years to improve itself, the XM8 has had a year and a half (and even then, imho, its passed the M16).

What's my proposed answer: HK M4 in 6.8mm SPC. Thats what I think should happen. *Note I said HK M4, not Colt M4.
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