Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Mr Happy, Feb 4, 2011.
The heart of the site is the forum area, including:
yankfor looking for a new rifle, again...
Army Sets Sights on New Rifle - WSJ.com
Really? Did they not waste enough time, money and effort on the FN SCAR?
The SCAR is lovely gat, well made, well balanced, has everything a left or right handed shooter needs. SOCOM championed the project and the procurement people there were wined and dined by the sales people at FN who doubtless had the thought of a magnificent contract on the horizon. Then SOCOM took the idea to the defence committee for blah di blah blah and said, "SOCOM wants this, nay SOCOM needs this". The committee replied, "We have given you M4's aplenty.......so if you want it go and spend your own budget money on it".
Suddenly, faced with having to raid its own piggy bank SOCOM found that the M4 was actually an acceptable weapons system for its warfighters. In all fairness to SOCOM they have actually put some of their money where their mouth is and bought 650 SCAR's though not in 5.56mm. They have bought the 7.62mm SCAR SSR - sniper support rifle - which is in itself a nice piece providing accurate fire out to 1000 yards.
However, nice as the SCAR is they are faced with competing against the ACR which has been a joint development effort by Bushmaster, Magpul and Remington. Those that have test fired both have come down marginally, mind you only marginally, on the side of the ACR. The main reason for the preference of the ACR is that it has a discrete cocking mechanism compared to the SCAR which has reciprocating cocking levers - that is to say they stick out of both sides and are fixed with the bolt so the fly back and forth everytime a round is fired. They also negatively present the chance for the cocking lever to be caught up whilst the user is closely manouvering around or over terrain.
Interestingly I have seen many weapon manufacturers are rapidly re-jigging the AR (M4) platform into a variety 7.62mm versions hoping to collect some official purchases. I recall people saying years ago that the M16 was underpowered for serious warfighting, even back in Vietnam US troops were binning the M16 in favour of captured AK47's. Finally it seems now the people with cheque books are seeing sense. Indeed, there was much scrabbling around US Army warehouses located in backwaters looking for M14's to refurbish and send out to the troops.
Why don't procurement people just ask the squaddies.
First of all, the M-14's are being used in the SDM role not general issue to all squad members. The reason for it wasn't for the range(which in Astan is a plus) but for the superior penetration of walls, cars, etc than the M855 in the M4. I've yet to meet an Infantry squad that wants all 7.62NATO to carry as the EBR chassis adds some weight to the original M14, and the ammo load is heavy for comparable number of rounds.
SOCOM's issue with the M4A1(which has Full Auto as opposed to 3 rd Burst of the M4) is they use it like a Belt fed LMG when in contact. Something it was not designed for. If you run around burning through 2-300 rds in 2-3 minutes you're going to wind up with problems of the Bolt Carrier expanding and the gas port eroding in an elongated oval with plays hell with the pressure it was designed for.
What SOCOM wants in a rifle isn't neccessarily what the rest of the Army needs
There's a carbine upgrade program to convert standard M4s to SOCOM m4a1 standards - heavy barrel, full auto etc ... For more on the differences: M4 vs M4a1 - NYTimes.com
PS: for those unaware, a new 5.56mm cartridge is being phased in m855a1, supposedly better performance
The Americans services seem to make a regular trolley dash around the worlds arms fairs, it must be a G4 nightmare to support all the gizzits they come home with. Why can't they do it like us i.e.
1. Develop a world beating assault rifle way ahead of it's time.
2. Wait half a century until it's out of date.
3. Change it's design, materials and calibre to make it unreliable.
4. Bring it into service without testing it in all environments.
5. Take fifteen years to recognise that it's crap.
6. Pay a foreign firm to sort it all out.
7. In the middle of every conflict do a trolley dash around the arms fairs so that at least some of our troops can fight.
Separate names with a comma.