What do you get when you mix these three things?
The Heckler & Koch G36 Assault Rifle (currently fielded by the German and Spanish armies)
The M41-A Pulse Rifle (used by Colonial Marines in the movie Aliens)
The Lazer Tag StarLyte Pro Toy (used by me in my 80’s childhood)
The answer is the Army’s new XM-8 Carbine / Assualt Rifle.StrategyPage says the new rifle is getting good reviews. It currently fires NATO standard 5.56mm rounds, but may be rechambered for the new 6.8mm ammo the Army is considering.
Now the M-16 / M-4 family looks cool and all, but the XM-8 looks like the guns we were promised for “The Future”, along with all the flying cars, despotic coporate police states, and zero-G brothels. The rest of civilization may be failing us, but at least the military is keeping up its end of things. If only they could get those orbital weapons platforms working, we’d be all set…
33 thoughts on “Proof That We Are Living In The Future”
I want one.
Haven’t I heard something from you guys about the fact that it weighs too much? Or was that another blog? If it’s true that you can’t hold a beer in one hand and aim this rifle with the other, it’s DOA for my inventory. You CB’z can have it.
Scott, I believe you are thinking of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW), which is, indeed, too heavy (a 20mm cannon will do that). The XM-8 is actually developed from the assault rifle portion of the OICW. HK claims that the new M-8 will be 20% lighter than the current M-4, which it is meant to replace.
I think a zero G brothel might be more trouble than it’d be worth.
I dunno. A zero-G brothel sounds more interesting than all that libertarian gun economics stuff you people are always talking about.
I saw a review of the XM-8, on strategypage.com? it comes in 2.4 lbs. lighter than the current M-16, and the 6.8mm round has mucho power. Mmmm….XM-8….
I say thank god. The M-16 was a poorly designed and poorly thought out weapon based on biased and poorly designed “research” done in the Korean War. It jams far to easily and the .22 ammo does not have sufficent stopping power. The Israelis I talked to hated it and resented having to use it. A number of them had put up their own money to buy the superior local product.
I hope the XM-8 lives up to the review esp with the bigger cartridge.
Ace of Spades linked to this ChicagoBoyz post and created a “Top Ten Cool Things About the New XM8 Assault Rifle” list. Funny. Scroll down a bit.
Nice collection of urban myths about the M16 there, Robert. I think you hit just about all of them.
The modern version of the M16, the A2 (and now A4) and the M4 carbine are well-thought of by the troops that actually use them (I know, I was one). Oh, ask your Israeli friends why that, with existence of an indigenous arms industry for many years and a home-built alternative to the M16 (the Galil), the M16 is still in widespread Israeli use and the M4 was preferred to the Galil by Israeli infantry. Also ask yourself why the inadequate .22 cartridge (actually .223) is NATO standard, and Israeli rifles like the Galil and the Tavor are also chambered for it.
The 6.8mm cartridge is not a done deal, so don’t go counting on it yet.
For heavens sake can’t we just go back to 7.62mm NATO, and stop inventing new cartridges.
They worked just fine, people dropped dead when shot. The added weight is marginal.
And you ought not be shooting automatic fire with a rifle anyway, 98% of the time, that’s why they have belt fed LMG’s.
The home-built alternative was a lot more expensive than the M16, which Israel got for a very low price. They were also heavier.
I’d agree the first M-16s sucked, and those I know who had to use them back then hated the darn things. The current versions are well “debugged” and have little to do with the original.
As for the XM-8, it is one of the ugliest gun I have ever seen.
The real question is: Can we get the current laws changed in time to let the Army dump all of those outdated M-16’s on the market?
I was told that using the M-16 was the price of recieving American aid including F16’s and Blackhawks. Ditto on the Ammo. where does the 500 lbs Gorilla sleep? Anywhere he wants to.
I note that Pfc. Lynch was unable to fire her weapon at the Iraquis because it jammed.
Fred: The 7.62 would be about 40% heavier than the 6.8. (linear-cube relation). Its a balancing act between ammo weight and recoil vs stopping power.
Why not just make it in .223?
On the 6.8mm round from Strategypage.com
February 23, 2004: The U.S. Army is seriously looking into adopting a new caliber bullet for its infantry weapons. Now is the time to do it, as a new infantry rifle, the XM-8, is moving quickly through field testing. The proposed new caliber is 6.8mm (also known as .270). Officially, it’s the 6.8mm Remington SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge) Special Forces troops were the first to use 6.8mm ammo in combat, and they were impressed with it’s better (than 5.56mm bullets) ability to take down enemy troops. This should be no surprise, as the 6.8mm round is based on the 19th century 30-30 round. The 6.8mm round is a modified 30-30 caliber round based on the Remington 30 cartridge (first introduced in 1906). The 30-30 is a rimless round first designed for lever action rifles. Most of those lever action rifles you see in cowboy movies are 30-30s. The 30-30 round is still popular with deer hunters because of its ability to bring down deer (of up to about 400 pounds) or wild pigs (up to 300 pounds) at common hunting ranges (100-150 meters) without producing a lot of recoil, or requiring a heavy rifle. The 6.8mm round has a bullet that’s about 40 percent lighter than 30-30 rounds, but about twice as heavy as the current 5.56mm bullet. The superior hitting power can be seen in comparing muzzle energy (1158 foot pounds for the 5.56mm bullet versus 1793 for the 6.8mm round.) At 500 meters it’s 338 versus 600 foot pounds. This means that, out to about 600 meters, the 6.8mm round has about the same impact as the heavier 7.62mm round used in sniper rifles and medium machine-guns.
The 30-30 was never seriously considered for military use, because when standards for modern military rifles were established a century ago, there was an emphasis on killing power and accuracy at long ranges (500-1000+ meters.) The 30-30 was meant for short range shooting, not more than 200-300 meters. But what no one really noticed over the next century was that most infantrymen used their rifles on targets 100-200 meters away. Actually, during the 1930s, the Germans studied their World War I experience and concluded a less powerful and lighter rifle round would be more effective. They were working on a smaller 7mm round, but settled on a shortened regular rifle round (7.92mm), because war was looming. During that war, the Germans developed the first modern assault rifle, the SG-44. This weapon looked a lot like the AK-47, and that was no accident. The SG-44, like the AK-47, used a shortened, 7.92mm, rifle cartridge. This gave the infantryman an automatic weapon that could still fire fairly accurate shots at targets 100-200 meters away. The SG-44, and the AK-47, had about the same stopping power as the 30-30. What a coincidence. The AK-47 didn’t have the accuracy of higher powered bullets, but the Russians didn’t see this as a problem, because most troops using it had little marksmanship training. If they had to kill someone, they could fire at full auto. The U.S. M-16, and its high speed 5.56mm round, was more accurate than the AK-47 when firing individual shots at shorter ranges. But the wounding power of the 5.56mm (.22 caliber) bullet fell off rapidly at ranges over a hundred meters.
The U.S. Army has, since the 1980s, developed an army of marksmen, at least in the infantry. Even journalists noticed this in Afghanistan, where at night they could tell where the American troops were. The American infantry fired single shots, while the Afghans fired bursts of automatic fire. American soldiers get a lot more out of their weapons with well placed single shots. Better sights (a variety of electronic and laser aided devices), plus lots of marksmanship training, have produced infantry units that are a lot more lethal, and a lot less likely to run out of ammo. This is not a unique development. Before World War I, the British army, an all volunteer force, trained hard to develop good shooting skills. British riflemen could deliver a dozen well aimed shots a minute, and keep doing it for minutes on end. German troops who came up against this thought the British had a lot of machine-guns (which the Brits did not) because of the number of German troops who were going down with bullet wounds. The British were using the .303 caliber rifle (similar to the 7.62mm by American snipers today) and were taking down German troops at ranges in excess of 500 meters. U.S. troops today can do the same thing, if they have a weapon with the accuracy and hitting power to support that kind of shooting. The 6.8mm round, having a higher velocity than the 30-30, but also a heavier bullet than the M-16, provides the combination of long range accuracy and hitting power that American troops of today can take advantage of. In Afghanistan and Iraq, there were many situations where U.S. troops were able to spot enemy fighters at longer ranges (over 500 meters), but were not able to do much damage with their 5.56mm rifles. But Special Forces troops using M-16s modified to handle the new 6.8mm ammo, got much better results at these long ranges.
American troops in support units are not as accurate when using their rifles, but the new electronic sights help, and the new XM-8 rifles will still allow automatic fire, which always helps in an emergency. The low recoil of the 6.8mm round makes it easier to fire on full automatic. This was a big selling point with the 5.56mm round and the M-16. The older M-14, firing full power 7.62 rounds, had too much recoil for accurate automatic fire.
The 6.8mm ammunition is heavier, meaning about 20 percent fewer rounds are carried (unless you want to carry more weight, which no grunt wants to do). But with troops capable to accurate single round shooting, you don’t need lots of ammo just to survive.
Click here for a picture of the 30 Remington (a rimless 30-30), 6.8mm Remington SPC and 5.56mm rounds together.
Trent, I’ll definitely concur on that. Marksmanship is key. And discipline. Back when I served, our NCOs gave us at least as many points for not wasting ammo as they did for hitting the target. Covering fire, when possible, was provided by the guy(s) with the heavier weapons. We were to hit targets we could see.
Still one ugly-ass gun though.
I must say I love HK’s slogan : “In a world of compromise, some don’t”. Now this is a corporate mission statement I can sign up for.
Re: 6mm round
They Army is also considering using plastic polymer instead of brass shell casing to reduce weight.
BigFire, are these casings ejected or is this a new version of the concept of shell casing vaporization in the chamber ?
They are ejected cases. The base with the primer is still metal but the majority of the case is plastic polymer.
The company making the polymer case ammo is NATEC, son of Amtech.
Gee. I don’t remember that promise. Proof of a sheltered life, I guess. Maybe it was the true motivation behind the space race.
If Star Trek had taken it up, I might have become a fan.
Hey..maybe ZGB could be used to encourage teen boys to pursue science. Harness those hormones.
More than you probably care to hear, but the XM-8 will not truly replace the OICW. Originally, yes, the OICW was to replace all M-16s in inventory. Given the cost of the unit, it is now only going to replace the M-16/M-204 gun/grenade launcher combo. The XM-8 is essentially a derivative of the kinetic energy portion of the M-204.
The 20 mm launcher on the OICW is not properly a cannon, insofar as a cannon would be quite heavy indeed. The 20 mm launcher is a descendent of the M203 grenade launcher. It uses smaller, higher velocity rounds, which are thought, given some fuzing cleverness and whatnot, to exceed the lethality of the previously used 40mm round (threshold goal of 50-70% of incapacitation at 300 m vice 15% at 300m). This is all in conjunction with the development of the OCSW, which is expected to replace both 40mm automatic grenade launchers and .50 cal gun, with a relatively light, man portable, long range, high accuracy 25 mm grenade launcher. All things considered, I wish they had at least matched payloads between the OICW and OCSW, but such is procurement.
The OICW 20mm grenade launcher and the 25mm OCSW automatic grenade launcher have been merged at least in terms of their grenade ammunition.
BTW, the Army has developed a “M-302” 40mm grenade launcher attachment for the XM-8 just to confuse everyone.
Again, the latest from Strategypage.com:
February 20, 2004: The XM-25 computerized grenade launcher was originally one of two weapons (the other being a 5.56mm rifle) incorporated into the 18 pound XM-29 OICW. The OICW was originally developed to produce a superior replacement for the 40mm grenade launcher. The 40mm rounds weigh eight ounces each, the 20mm OICW round weighs half that. There were several major problems with the OICW. It was too heavy and ungainly, and the 20mm “smart shell” it fired did not appear capable of effectively putting enemy troops out of action. So, in August, 2003, it was decided to take the 5.56mm portion of the OICW and develop it as a separate weapon (the XM-8) and develop the grenade launcher part that fired the “smart shell” as the XM-25. But the XM-25 would use a 25mm shell, which would generate 50 percent more fragments (and heavier ones at that) than the 20mm shell of the OICW.
As far back as 2001, there were doubts about the actually effectiveness of the 20mm shell. A new technology was used to create small, very hard, fragments when the shell exploded. The fragments were supposed to be able to penetrate protective vests and keep going into enemy troops. But there were doubts about just how lethal, or even harmful, these small fragments would be to enemy troops. Tests on substitute materials (no human subjects were available) were inconclusive. This is one reason why manufacturers are so eager to get their new weapons “tested in combat.” Traditionally, 20mm shells just exploded and generated shock effect and a few dozen fairly large fragments. The 20mm shell was never meant to be an anti-personnel weapon, and was most commonly found in anti-aircraft weapons. Many pilots had been killed or injured by those 20mm shells, but the army decided to go high tech with it’s hot isostatic pressingt to produce lightweight, and lethal, 20mm warheads.
The 25mm shell in the XM-25 provided some more options, and, it is hoped, more lethality. The US has fired over 30 million 25mm shells from the cannon on its M-2 Bradley armored vehicles and was satisfied with the lethality of that shell against infantry. One of the new options with a larger shell is a fuel-air explosive (or “thermobaric”) shell for the XM-25. Such a shell would cause greater blast effect in an enclosed space, and actually suck most of the oxygen out of a cave or closed room long enough to make surviving troops at least a bit groggy. In combat, every bit helps.
The 20mm and 25mm “smart shells” use a computer controlled fuze in each shell. The M-25 or M-307 operator can select four different firing modes via a selector switch on the weapon. The four modes include “Bursting” (airburst). For this to work, the soldier first finds the target via the weapons sighting system. This includes a laser range finder and the ability to select and adjust the range shown in the sight picture. For an air burst the soldier aims at an enemy position and fires a round. The shell is optimized to spray incapacitating (wounding or killing) fragments in a roughly six meter radius from the exploding round. Thus if enemy troops are seen moving near trees or buildings at a long distance (over 500 meters), the weapon has a good chance of getting them with one shot. M-16s are not very accurate at that range, and the enemy troops will dive for cover as soon as M-16 bullets hit around them. With smart shells, you get one (or a few) accurate shots and the element of surprise.
The other modes are “PD” (point detonation, where the round explodes on contact), PDD (point detonation delay, where the round detonates immediately after it has gone through a door, window or thin wall) and “Window”, which is used for firing at enemy troops in a trench, behind a stone wall or inside a room. The round detonates just beyond the aiming point. For buildings, this would be a window or door frame, cave entrance or the corner of a building (to get enemy troops thought to be around the corner.)
The XM25 is still a heavy weapon, with the final version coming in at nearly 18 pounds. The 25mm shells are heavier as well, about half a pound each. On the plus side, there is already a 25mm armor piercing round (using a shaped charge capable of penetrating over 50mm of armor). This makes the M-25 capable of knocking out light armored vehicles.
The 25mm “smart shell” was originally designed for the 38 pound OCSW (Objective Crew Served Weapon). This has now evolved into the fifty pound XM307. Both can fire up to 220 25mm shells a minute (or nearly four a second, as one or two second bursts of fire will be the norm). The M-307 is to replace the M-19 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Compared to the M-19, the M-307 is more lethal, has a longer range, its shells travel twice as fast and it has an armor piercing round. In addition, the M-307 can quickly be converted to a .50 (12.7mm) caliber machinegun. The 25mm OCSW was originally supposed to replace the .50 caliber machine-gun, but with 25mm ammo costing twenty times as much as .50 caliber shells, and the .50 caliber still proving so useful, and popular with the troops, it was decided to get the M-307 into use to see how the two weapons compared in combat. The battlefield will determine which weapon survives.
The XM-25 is not expected to be ready for combat testing for at least another year. It will probably show up in Afghanistan and Iraq before too long. Given the fanaticism of some of the al Qaeda fighters found in both places, this will prove if the “smart shell” is lethal as well.
Just to be complete with the XM-8 assault rifle news — since strategypage.com is so difficult to navigate to find this stuff — here are two more clips of news on the US Army’s XM-8 activities from February and January 2004:
February 17, 2004: The U.S. Army is happy with the initial field testing of it’s new M-8 (or XM-8) Assault Rifle. One of the major design features of the M-8 that makes it superior to the M-16 is the way it handles propellant gasses. The M-16 has these gasses going into the receiver, depositing layers of crud from propellant that did not completely burn. The M-8 keeps the propellant gasses out of the receiver and this reduces the cleaning time by about 70 percent. The troops appreciate this. More importantly, the reduced amount of crud in the receiver greatly increases reliability (far fewer rounds getting stuck.) In fact, the M-8 is designed to fire 15,000 rounds without cleaning or lubrication, even in a dirty (like a desert) environment. Troops are not allowed to let their weapons go like that, but this degree of reliability makes it less likely that rifles won’t jam in a sandstorm or after getting dropped in the mud. The M-8 barrel and receiver is also of more sturdy construction, making it less likely that the user will get injured if there’s something in the barrel when a round is fired. This is not unusual in combat. All you have to do is accidentally jam the barrel into the dirt while hitting the ground or otherwise avoiding enemy fire, and then have to return fire. On an M-16, this can often cause the rifle to, well, blow up in your face. This unfortunate event is much less likely with the M-8.
The M-8 comes with a battery powered sight that includes a red-dot, close-combat capability, plus infrared laser aimer and laser illuminator with a backup etched reticule. The sights on the M-8, similar to those which have been showing up on M-16s over the past decade, make it much easier to hit something. The M-8 is better designed for “ease of use” and support troops who don’t handle their weapons frequently will find that they can more easily hit something with an M-8. Tests, using people who have not handled a rifle frequently, have demonstrated this.
Because the attachment points for rail mounted devices are built into the M-8, the sight can be factory zeroed. The M-16, because it has rail mounting hardware mounted on it, requires frequent re-zeroing in the field. This is a feature very much appreciated by the troops. The attachment points allow additional sighting devices to be quickly added to the weapon. A new 40mm, single shot grenade launcher (the M320) will be available for the M-8 and can be quickly installed by troops, without special tools. The M-8 is designed for easy left or right handed operation.
Testing will increase, as more M-8s are available, and the plan is that by early 2007, the first of over a million M-8s will begin distribution to all troops in active and reserve army units. One thing that may slow this down is the army research on the use of a new caliber (6.8mm). The new bullet has shown to have better accuracy and stopping power. While troops would be carrying less ammo with the larger round (25 rounds in the current 30 round magazine), they would require fewer shots to take down enemy troops. American troops today are much better trained in the use of their rifles than they were four decades ago. Automatic fire is not often used, with accurate, individual shots being the norm. The M-8 rifle, and possibly a new caliber, are a reflection of that.
January 14, 2004: Later this year, the U.S. Army will equip two brigades with a prototype of the new XM8 5.56mm assault rifle. This will allow for intensive field use of the rifle to work out any deficiencies in the design.
The XM-8 is based on the very successful Heckler-Koch G36 assault rifle. It was this rifle that was modified to serve as the 5.56mm portion of the XM29 OICW weapon (which has a 20mm computer controlled weapon on top). The XM29 proved to be too heavy and bulky during field tests, but users were very impressed with the Heckler-Koch portion of the weapon. Actually, the 20mm computer controlled portion of the weapon was liked as well, but to solve the weight problem, a separate 25mm weapon (the XM25) is being developed. At the time, it was suggested that the 5.56mm portion of the XM29 was a superb weapon and might make an excellent replacement for the four decade old M-16. So the decision was made to develop the Heckler-Koch 5.56mm weapon into a new American assault rifle.
Last Fall, 200 prototype XM8s were ordered and put through tests. The rifles were fired thousands of times, without being cleaned and in dusty and sandy terrain, and the weapons didn’t jam. This was no surprise, as Heckler-Koch had developed an innovative mechanism for the G36 that keeps crud from building up and jamming the firing mechanism. While the major appeal of the XM8 is reliability, Heckler-Koch designs are also noted for their flexibility. The XM-8 is a modular weapon, taking three different barrels for different functions. Most XM-8s would look similar to the current M-4, with a shorter barrel than the M-16. There would be a longer barrel for sharpshooters and snipers (longer than the M-16 barrel) and a heavy barrel, of about the same length as the M-16, for the XM-8 when used as a light machine-gun. There would also be a “commando” version with an even shorter barrel and, with the butt stock folded, is only 20 inches long. This would be for use in tight spaces, and for vehicle crews. There has been a big demand for this sort of thing in Iraq, where vehicles get ambushed a lot and people in the vehicles want to get their rifles out and firing as quickly as possible.
For all but the commando version, the barrels can be changed by the unit armorer (with some special tools.) Instead of the different optical systems currently available for the M-4/M-16, the XM-8 would have one system combining a red dot reticule, a backup sight that requires no power, an infrared pointer, an infrared illuminator and a visible pointer. The multipurpose optical system will be popular with the troops, since they will only have to zero one optical system, but be able to use all of them.
There would also be parts available to quickly convert XM-8s to fire AK-47 ammo (some M-16s are already available with that modification.) Special Forces troops often use this type of weapon, when operating in areas with lots of AK-47 ammo. The XM-8 will not have the three round burst fire mode M-16s have had since the 1980s. The mechanism that allowed the three round burst has caused reliability problems, and most officers now agree that well trained troops can handle using full auto fire (and any problems with running out of ammo.) The G36 has other innovations that will probably show up in the XM-8, like the magazine with clear plastic on one side, so that the soldier can just look to see how many rounds he has left.
Equipping entire brigades with XM-8s as a large scale test shows great confidence in the weapon. But this should not be surprising, as the G36 that the XM-8 is based on has been around for years. The German army began using the G36 in 1995, and other European armies (and U.S. troops stationed in Europe) quickly noticed that it was an exceptional weapon. If the XM-8 does replace the M-16, it will probably be built in the United States by Heckler-Koch, and by one or more American firms under license.
Israel phases out its trademark Uzi, by Peter Hermann Jerusalem Post Mar. 14, 2004The Uzi submachine gun, . . . is becoming a relic within the institution that introduced the gun nearly a half-century ago: the Israeli army. . . Front-line soldiers abandoned the Uzi two decades ago for the American M-16. . . “Old technology has to be phased out at some point,” says Iddo Gal, son of the gun’s inventor, Uziel Gal, a German immigrant who died in 2002 at age 79. . . He began designing it in 1948, months before Israel became a nation, when he worked in a secret machine shop as part of the Jewish underground. He completed a prototype around 1950. The army put it into service five years later.Gal designed the weapon to have seven parts, fewer than half the number that others of the time required. To this day, middle-age army reservists say they can assemble and disassemble the Uzi blindfolded. It was functional, durable, cheap to build, didn’t jam in desert dust storms, could be fired with one hand, and weighed 7.7 pounds throughout its history. It was useful for close-in fighting but inaccurate at more than 50 yards. The weapon was made of steel stamped from metal sheets, reflecting the limited technology and resources of the new state. . .It was taken out of service for front-line combatants in theearly 1980s and replaced with the M-16, which is accurate up to 1,000 yards. The Uzi’s compact nature and rapid firing ability still made it popular among special forces engaged in close-quarter combat. . . The army is gradually phasing out the M-16 for a newer, more compact assault rifle, the Tavor, also made by TAAS. It’s snub-nosed with a barrel about an inch shorter than the Uzi’s, can fire 900 rounds per minute to the Uzi’s 600, and can accommodate laser-guided sights.
Say what you like, but I grok this gun.
Sure. Just like some people like the Pontiac Aztek. And I find it ugly too.
Funny how we’re going back to the future with the 6.8mm…after laughing in the Brits’ faces post WWII when they suggested a 7mm rifle…http://world.guns.ru/assault/as59-e.htm
So we forced NATO to adopt the 7.62 x 51 as the standard cartrdige, a bullet too powerful to be fired automatically, and then we turned around and went with the .223…with this history, it’s not hard to imagine that Israelis and others were force-fed M-16s, or were otherwise subject to the whims of Americans who never seemed to get the hang of infantry combat…
Interesting, but isn’t the US military having problems putting the Colt Commando into wide spread use?
Always good and practical to read, but when is the Army going to develop true VTOL, armored deep-strike air delivery capability for it and America’s infantry and mech forces, ala its doctrine of “SKY SLDIERS”, soon to be “SPACE SOLDIERS”, and the concept of “SPACETANKS” [low atmospheric, free-moving armed battlestations]for the future 3D+ BATTLESPACE! IF THE USA AND USDOD IS GOING TO PROCLAIM A DOCTRINE OF AEROSPACE DOMINANCE, IT SHOULD DEVELOP THE BATTLE-WINNING AND WAR-WINNING WEAPONS AND CAPABILITIES TO ACHIEVE SAME. According to the US Naval War College, China’s best chance to settle geopolitical or vital regional issues, e.g. Taiwan and North Korea, IS TO DO SO THIS DECADE BEFORE US RESEARCH AND RESULTANT US TECH DOMINANCE MAKES ANY PRO-CHINA OR CHINA-SPECIFIC MILPOL DEDICATED SETTLEMENT ALL BUT IMPOSSIBLE FOR CHINA TO ATTAIN, EVEN WITH ITS CURRENT OR FUTURE MODERNIZED NUCLEAR ARSENALS! To use armored warfare as an example, this means that China’s new MBTs or “Abramized” older MBTs ideally should be used SOONER, NOT LATER, in any war scenario that involves, or potentially involves, the USA! Conversely, for the USA, it means that despite possessing inherent tech superiority or near dominance, the US as a matter of course should NOT settle for any level of costs-cutting or self-inhibitive “sufficiency”, or rough parity, against the warfighting forces or elements of potential, allegedly inferior, international enemies, IN ANY DIMENSION OF WARFIGHTING REALITY! To do so is to put at real and LT risk America’s potential success in the WOT!
Re the 6.8mm… the Barrett M468 is already on the market (both law enforcement and military configurations available). I haven’t read up on the trials.
It’s important to remember that the M16 is a change from the original AR-15 Stoner (Sullivan) design, and that was major cause of problems (and still is). There’s a nice article on the rigid frame M16 by Gary Paul Johnston in the last SOF that covers the technical details quite well…
Basically the early M16 type moved the gas-block closer to the receiver off optimal. This changes the pressure curve, bringing the source points on the heat just ahead of the chamber and gas ports (bringing them together causes performance problems). To rig it, the size of the gas port is adjusted and recoil spring and buffer have to be designed off optimum (whcih is why the jamming was a problem)… over simply put, the cartridge doesn’t cool enough by the next cycle to uncompress within the barrel, which causes the extractor to strip off and the system to jam.
But it’s not a original design flaw… and it’s been addressed somewhat (although the .223 has it’s problems as discussed above).
I think the X-versions look suspect. I’ve never needed a rifle to wash my socks or tell me how pretty I am, and bell’s and whistles have a way of overlooking the point. First and last, is it a good pure rifle?
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