Or at least a salve.
Simply, what system do you feel would be best suited then if you are one that feels the M-16 gas operation/ 5.56 System isn't sufficient.
This is not a flame war battleground, or an argument over gelatin molds with metal pieces in them, or even the ever present "it's unreliable and the AK is better comments". I would simply like each one of you who are willing to contribute reasonbly, to post here which weapon system throughout history or even things on the drawing boards to come would be the best for the current senarios of fighting our troops are facing today. The caliber is not assumed, but you can through in one if you'd like and give the reasoning behind it as well (something legit like "urban environment, goes through most cover generally speaking").
Just an idea guys, and Im interested to see what you'd have to say. If it has been posted already I apologize for the repedativeness.
Personally, I like the AR system and the 556, but I wouldnt mind seeing L-W's gas piston system, with the 6.5 grendel, but IMHO I wouldnt be suprised if almost all fighting started taking place in the near future in mostly urban/metropolis environments in which case I really like and am in support of the FN P90 weapon system. From what I have read it's extremely reliable with minimal cleaning needed (twice a year i think the article said), the mags hold 50 rds, the 5.7 is capable of piercing through body armor, yet does not over penetrate concrete walls/buildings/housing. The con would be its only accurate out to 200yrds max?
Since nobody else has dived in, I will!
As you say, there has recently been a heavy emphasis on urban fighting - in Iraq. Hence the popularity of the M4, not just for use in buildings but also because it's much handier if you're forever getting in and out of armoured vehicles or helos. But conditions are very different in Afghanistan where ranges are often much longer, and the M4's short barrel is a disadvantage.
So if you need a compact gun with a long barrel to equip you to deal with either scenario, the best choice has to be a bullpup. No fiddling about extending or unfolding stocks (or switching barrels around), it's instantly ready to use. However, the US Army seems to have a real down on bullpups, for no very good reason that I can see.
As to which bullpup, well there's currently a choice between the A3 version of the AUG, the Israeli Tavor and the FN F2000. All good guns, as far as I know - I'd be interested to see the results of a contest between them. And Steyr have already said that they'll made the AUG in 6.8mm Rem if anyone wants one.
Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
Having seen some pix of a man badly injured when a bull pup came apart quite a number of years ago, I'd personally never fire one. I know it happens infrequently but it only takes once to ruin your year.
It's an interesting proposal, but we don't buy huge quantities of weapons for a single environment such as urban warfare. Right now, that is where most of the combat takes place. It will be that way in any country where you first invade and then hang around. Initial combat takes place in the more open areas where armies can maneuver and fight. But part of being the winning side is you achieve air superiority and the ability to overwhelm the enemy in the open. Consequently, enemy forces will scatter in urban areas and resort to small unit operations so that you can't use the overwhelming might that you initially used to destroy the army.
That said, I think the AR/M16/M4 system offers greater versatility than any other weapon system out there. Here is my reasoning for my choice.
First, the primary configuration should be a 16" midlength in 6.8x43 with the LW piston system and a collapsing stock. I like this combo for a number of reasons. 16" offers a reasonable compromise between the longer range capability (increased velocity) of the 20" and the handiness of the M4. I don't think sight radius is as important as it used to be with the widespread issue of optics. Midlength gives increased handguard real estate over the M4 carbine length gas system and the gas system improvements. The LW piston system also improves control and cleanliness. 6.8mm offers increased lethality over 5.56 at all ranges, especially the longer range. It bridges the gap to 7.62mm. Collapsible stock allows for adjusting the length of pull for body armor, etc.
I think the AR system is more versatile than the alternates for a number of reasons. First of all, it is more ambidextrous than most. Most rifles have a charging handle on one side or the other. If it is on the left, it is very handy for a right handed shooter, but less so for a lefty. It also has the potential to snag on gear, 3 point slings, etc. If it is on the right side like the AK, SIG, etc., a right handed shooter has to reach over or under to reach it. The AR charging handle is equally accessible to left or right handers. The bolt release and mag release are not ambidextrous, but those are not as important an issue and the only ambi mag releases are paddle types, which aren't as fast as the trigger finger button.
I'm not a real big fan of easily changeable barrels for one reason. Zero. If the only thing you change is the barrel, the new barrel will not be zeroed to your sights. If you change out the whole upper receiver, it can be zeroed and then set aside. With this in mind, I'd like to see units get a number of extra upper receivers issued for more specialized use. Some 10.5 or 11.5" uppers for CQB ops. Maybe a 20" upper for a designated marksman.
The M16 and the M4 is a great weapons system. That being said, I think that we should examine bull pups. I know what the potential negatives are but I think that with good R&D the problems could be eliminated. Here's why I think that bull pups deserve another look:
Using the Bushmaster bullpup as an example:
The 14.5 inch M4 is
approximately 32 inches long(a little shorter than 30 inches when the stock is collapsed)
The M17S bullpup is:
30 inches long
has a 21.5 inch barrel
Therefore, you get a rifle that's about the same length as an M4 but with a barrel that's longer than the full length M16.
I realize that there are issues with the M17S(probably why Bushmaster is discontinuing it). However, I think that the military should put some R&D into bullpups and see what happens. I've handled the M17S and it's very ergonomic.
I like the M16/M4 but think that bull pups deserve a good hard look.
I kind of like the idea of the M16/M4 platform in 6.8SPC, using some sort of piston system. More knockdown power without the need to re-familiarize.
First off, Welcome Mk262. Have fun here.
Personally I think the rifle should be based on the M16. Everyone already knows how to shoot, clean, and maintain them. There should also be a piston system, something along the lines of LW or POF. Since urban operations and longer distance operations (think open desert) are likely, I think the 6.5 or 6.8 cartridge should be used. This would work best in a ~16 inch barrel, since neither cartridge are as dependent on velocity for killing potential as the 5.56. The 6.x cartridges are more likely to turn the cover in the sandbox to concealment.
In summary, an M16 with a 16 inch barrel, LW or POF piston, and the 6.5 (preferable, as it could be used as the only common rifle cartridge in our .mil) or the 6.8 cartridge would be ideal in the current and potential battlegrounds of our troops. Of course, this is merely the humble opinion of an amrchair commando with no .mil or LEO experience. Take it with a grain of salt.
ETA: I absolutely love the p90 except it does have the pentration power of a rifle. In objects like concrete walls and the like. I think the p90 would be great for tanks and armoured crews, people that shouldn't be needing a full sized rifle, but not as the main infantry weapon due to its lack of range and penetration power in the urban environment of the sandbox.
You know I never realized that nor thought of it that way, much longer barrel in bullpup...thanks for that info. I wonder if the weight shift makes them quicker or easier to handle in the middle of combat??