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Posted: 1/3/2006 4:55:18 PM EDT

I was paging through this month's issue of Small Arms Review and came across an article which touched upon a new M16A4 DMR built by the US Army Marksmanship Unit. Apparently, the USAMU built 240 of these special DMRs for the 3rd ID which is redeploying soon. Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of detail provided in this article.

The only real description of the rifle mentioned:

20" 1/7 fluted HBAR
FF quad rail system (manufacturer not mentioned)
two-stage trigger
TA31RCO-A4

I am already working on a M16A4 clone rifle, and if I can get some good specs on this new setup I may turn my project in this direction. If anyone knows any more, particularly about the fluted HBAR and the two stage trigger, please fill us in.

Also, I hope this isn't a dupe, but I did several searches before posting.

Thanks for any info.

Link Posted: 1/3/2006 4:58:05 PM EDT
It has been discused before. We have had some pictures posted of it from Iraq/Afghanistan. Adco makes even makes a "Perfect Clone" of it.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:24:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2006 5:27:37 PM EDT by Blackjack272]
Not sure about the fluted HBAR, probably under the rail I'd guess. The photos of it I've seen don't have fluting forward of the FSB.

I'm relatively sure the trigger is a two-stage KAC, with the auto sear pin removed from the rifle.

The rail is made by Daniel Defense, selected by the USAMU.

I think this will be of interest to you : http://www.odcmp.org/1205/default.asp?page=SDM

Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:25:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
It has been discused before. We have had some pictures posted of it from Iraq/Afghanistan. Adco makes even makes a "Perfect Clone" of it.



Thanks!

[/Runs off to the ADCO forum]
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:50:26 PM EDT
Yeah! Wait for me!


-K
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 6:41:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 1:06:59 PM EDT by Sinister]
This is a Training and Doctrine Command Future Warfighter Experiment, specifically requested by the 3rd Infantry Division.

Start with an M16A2 or M16A4. If an A2, replace upper with a flat-top. Remove GI barrel and trigger.

Douglas 1-8 stainless barrel, 1-inch under the handguard. Twelve lightening flutes under the handguard cut on a FADAL CNC machine with a 3/16 Hertel titanium-carbide double ball end mill. Mill flats for adjustable windage front sight base.

Daniel Defense 12.0 rail with steel nut. GG&G Sling Thing for rails. GI M1/M14/M16 nylon sling. GI MATECH iron sight or detachable carrying handle.

Knight 2-stage trigger set to 4.5 pounds and Lok-tited.

Trijicon TA01 on a TA51 base, sighted with/for 77-grain Match. Must shoot a 10-shot group within 3.28 inches at 300 meters.

22 built for an infantry battalion, 240 for 3rd Infantry Division, and added another 35 for division attachments. 36 at the school house.

CMP bought another 40 for the Designated Marksman Instructor Course Mobile Training Team mission. Start with an Armalite with 1-8 stainless 7/8-inch barrel (fluting not required, but barrel is heavier and we had to reject some barrels). Keep Armalite 2-stage trigger. Same mods as above. :)
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 4:02:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
It has been discused before. We have had some pictures posted of it from Iraq/Afghanistan. Adco makes even makes a "Perfect Clone" of it.



Dinger, are you referring to this upper?



This is their DMR complete upper. I didn't find a complete rifle on their website that matches the DMR, and based on Sinister's description their appear to be several differences.

Link Posted: 1/4/2006 7:03:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 7:05:50 AM EDT by Trey-W]

Originally Posted By Sinister:

CMP bought another 40 for the Designated Marksman Instructor Course Mobile Training Team mission. Start with an Armalite with 1-8 stainless 7/8-inch barrel (fluting not required, but barrel is heavier and we had to reject some barrels). Keep Armalite 2-stage trigger. Same mods as above. :)



Out of curiosity, why were some of them rejected? Accuracy problems, or manufacturing problems of other sorts?

Edit: do you know how well the armalite barresl performed in comparison to the Douglas? ie, semi custom vs mass produced.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 7:18:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 7:36:00 AM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By AvengeR15:

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
It has been discused before. We have had some pictures posted of it from Iraq/Afghanistan. Adco makes even makes a "Perfect Clone" of it.



Dinger, are you referring to this upper?

www.adcofirearms.com/detailpics/sdmupperbg.jpg

This is their DMR complete upper. I didn't find a complete rifle on their website that matches the DMR, and based on Sinister's description their appear to be several differences.




Yes, I think that’s it. The Army calls it the "SDM" or Squad Designated Marksman. I just sent Bigbore an email about this thread. I'm sure he will stop by to let us know.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 7:30:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 7:31:19 AM EDT by bigbore]
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 8:04:55 AM EDT
Just to add a bit...

The SDM and SAM-R projects are not new, been around for quite awhile now. While I love Small Arms Review, one of the best gun mags out there, my biggest complaint is their timing. By the time the newest issue of SAR reaches the readers, the "news" in it is 2-3 months old at least. I've talked to Dan about this. Several times SAR has gone to press with a "developing" story like pending legislation, making comments on what might happen and by the time the issue is out, the story has fully developed and developed in ways that make the 3 month old information you are reading look utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, just realize that if you're reading about for the first time in SAR, then you are decidedly the last to know.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 5:50:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 5:52:26 PM EDT by Sinister]
The Armalites rejected didn't meet accuracy standard. Doesn't make it a bad gun (as it is a mass-produced barrel). They also came circumsized in post-ban profile, so the machinists had to turn and thread the muzzles for A2 comp/flash hiders.

I think Steve at ADCO can build you the closest civilian duplicate to the AMU rifle. I agree with him on the Geiselle trigger.

By the way, the Armalites have the clamp-on front sight A-frames which eliminate the need for barrel flats and Allen head screws. A big pain in the butt to try to get the front sight mechanically centered if you're trying to keep the peep in the handle at mechanical zero. Those will probably be replaced when they get re-barreled in cycle.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 8:05:08 PM EDT
Nice details Sinister, thanks for sharing that info.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:42:15 PM EDT


They need to get rid of the old fixed front sight/gas block and put a folder or low-profile railed block.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 7:52:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:


They need to get rid of the old fixed front sight/gas block and put a folder or low-profile railed block.



Why would you want to add more mechanical parts like a folder with a lopro gas block? The F marked sight tower is perfect for this "battle" weapon for one it follows the KISS methodology plus it is mounted to the barrel instead of the rails, which is a plus IMO when it comes to iron sights, because they are on the barrel which is being sighted in, and not a rail system which is subject to loosening, twisting or flex. You don’t need to start adding Gwiz parts if they are not needed.

Matt Carper
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 10:36:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 11:23:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Matth3wdean:

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:


They need to get rid of the old fixed front sight/gas block and put a folder or low-profile railed block.



Why would you want to add more mechanical parts like a folder with a lopro gas block? The F marked sight tower is perfect for this "battle" weapon for one it follows the KISS methodology plus it is mounted to the barrel instead of the rails, which is a plus IMO when it comes to iron sights, because they are on the barrel which is being sighted in, and not a rail system which is subject to loosening, twisting or flex. You don’t need to start adding Gwiz parts if they are not needed.

Matt Carper



Because this is a Precision Rifle not a Battle Rifle, and uses optic sights primarily; irons would be BUIS only. KISS is nice but it limits you sometimes. The fixed front sight is an anachronism; get it out of the farking way.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 12:25:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sinister:
Daniel Defense 12.0 rail with steel nut.



I've heard different rationales for the steel barrel nut on the DD rail... these varied from "Can't handle an M203" to "Armorers destroy the aluminium barrel nuts when removing/reinstalling barrels". Is there any chance you might be able to elaborate on why AMU prefers the steel barrel nut?

By the way, have you all taken a look at the Lilja barrels? I don't have a lot to compare it to so it is possible I am just amazed by something that isn't that special; but I've yet to find a type of ammo it doesn't like and I've been extremely pleased with the accuracy.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 2:12:18 AM EDT
Better info than what I got out of Infantry Journal. They didn't give the 101st any of them, so I've never seen one except in print.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 3:56:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 7:22:56 AM EDT by dennysguns]
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:05:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bartholomew_Roberts:

Originally Posted By Sinister:
Daniel Defense 12.0 rail with steel nut.



I've heard different rationales for the steel barrel nut on the DD rail... these varied from "Can't handle an M203" to "Armorers destroy the aluminium barrel nuts when removing/reinstalling barrels". Is there any chance you might be able to elaborate on why AMU prefers the steel barrel nut?



Tag because I would like to read more about that too
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:49:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 5:56:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 6:38:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Homeinvader:
Just to add a bit...

The SDM and SAM-R projects are not new, been around for quite awhile now. While I love Small Arms Review, one of the best gun mags out there, my biggest complaint is their timing. By the time the newest issue of SAR reaches the readers, the "news" in it is 2-3 months old at least. I've talked to Dan about this. Several times SAR has gone to press with a "developing" story like pending legislation, making comments on what might happen and by the time the issue is out, the story has fully developed and developed in ways that make the 3 month old information you are reading look utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, just realize that if you're reading about for the first time in SAR, then you are decidedly the last to know.



Its not just SAR its any rag you read. Its why they arent worth the paper they are printed on anymore with the internet.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:03:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 7:05:30 AM EDT by zissou]
Those are some old rifles...

The guy in the picture is a good guy, don't know if he still works there or not. I went to PLDC with him. I think it would be sweet of you to edit his nametag and face out fo the photo though.

I think the rifle that is half painted may be a very early SPR top end on a joe-average AMU lower - put together just for the show... but I'm not 100% certain.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:05:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By new-arguy:
Look, its a picture of Mongo!!!!


Nevermind, its Mango




Mongo's my internet name.
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:24:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2006 7:35:59 AM EDT
Thanks Denny. That dude is pretty easy to recognize... so, I figured, just in case.

To be honest, I had likely just left before that IN Conference. So, although, I would be your best bet for fucking stuff up while I was there, I take no blame for mounting that CCO backwards.

A lot of the time, guys are just "hey you'd" into stuff like that and don't really give a rat's ass about the gee-whiz ninja side of the Army. So, maybe someone just put it on there not knowing any better.

I remember the rush to get things done during the fall of 2001. Our frantic service rifle gunsmiths working on "real" projects - one dude, the alpha gunsmith, I remember really well...

I was standing outside the shop smoking a cigarette with a buddy from 3/75 who had just got home from the first deployment. Then comes this long haired, foul mouthed gunsmith with a cigarette hanging from his lower lip, AR of some sort in one hand, can of black Krylon in the other, mumbling about getting these ready for such and such a unit.

That was the early days.

Link Posted: 1/29/2006 10:20:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2006 10:22:39 AM EDT by Sinister]
Denny, roger on there not being much difference between the aluminum and steel nuts. We specified steel not necessarily for strength, but for the Gorilla-Armorer element in the equation -- we know years from now the Armorers we trained will pass from the scene through natural attrition.

Some knucklehead with a wrench and cheater bar can oblong the holes in an aluminum nut much easier than a steel nut, so we tried to eliminate the "GI Effect". I think the difference was only $4 a nut.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:20:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sinister:
Denny, roger on there not being much difference between the aluminum and steel nuts. We specified steel not necessarily for strength, but for the Gorilla-Armorer element in the equation -- we know years from now the Armorers we trained will pass from the scene through natural attrition.

Some knucklehead with a wrench and cheater bar can oblong the holes in an aluminum nut much easier than a steel nut, so we tried to eliminate the "GI Effect". I think the difference was only $4 a nut.



Thanks Sinister and Denny for the info!
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 12:57:08 PM EDT
Originaly posted by: 1SGA regarding the U.S. Army’s Squad Designated Marksman’s Rifle


(SDM.01) Here is the current Army SDM rifle as built by the AMU for the 3rd ID. I took these photos while at the SDM Instructor Course at Benning in Nov.


(SDM.02) This is a close up of the right side - DD sleeve w/ steel collar - note 4 screw FSB


(SDM.03) Close up of the Left side w/ AN/PEQ2A


(SDM.04) ACOG detail - note 100mph tape over the fiber optic - the reticle is waaay too bright and is a common complaint - the triangle looses its sharpness and is very tiresome to look at. Alot of shooters prefer the std crosshair reticle. Note BUIS - Picatinny type or Matech 600m adj.


(SDM.05) Detail of DD tube - note deep barrel flutes - barrels are Douglas 20" w/ std flash hiders, 1/8 SS w/ 12 flutes that the AMU does in house.


(SDM.06) Fore end detail - note fluting, bipod QD assy, 4 screw FSB


(SDM.07) Rcvr detail - rifle started life as an FNMI M16A2 - the "2" was X'd out with an overstamp. Triggers are the semi auto 2 stage match units from KAC, all select fire components are stripped out and the pin hole in the rcvr is left open.


(SDM.08) Close up of ACOG w/ taped fiber optic and the Tenebrex Kill Flash. Optis are all unit owned / supplied.


(SDM.09) More fore end detail - FSB's were not F marked


(SDM.10) Final pic w/ detail of the PEQ2A - these are deadly when used to their full capabilities - married to the rifle and zero'd.

Hope this clarifies and shed light on the current SDM rifle.
As mentioned earlier, there have been various effort to get some sort of SDM Rifle into various units and as such M14's are being pulled out of the woodwork. Like LTC Liwanag said - the M14 is not supportable and is not the answer in line units - SOF yes, but not across the board. 2 of my good friends were up at Ft Drum TDY - bulding M14's for the 10th Mtn. The headaches and frustrations to get part, fixtures and qualified people to help build them was a nightmare.
OBTW - those M14's were equipped with 10X Super Sniper scopes on ARMS mounts and GI barrels. Definitely a stop gap effort.

1SGA
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