US Army Excited About New "Subcompact"Gun

#1
Despite initial industry suspicion that the Army would let the effort die a slow death, the service is moving forward with the development of a compact weapon that shoots like a rifle but slings like a sub gun.

According to the Army official in charge of fielding new weapons for the service, the search for a so-called "subcompact individual weapon system" is moving ahead in earnest. In May, the Army sponsored a user evaluation where Soldiers put subcompact weapons through their paces to see if the idea would stick.

And at least for the brass running the show, it did.

"I'm excited about the subcompact," said Col. Doug Tamilio, the Army program manager for Soldier weapons, during an Oct. 15 interview with Military.com. "There are a lot of Soldiers today who do not need to carry either a carbine or an M-16, but yet a pistol may just not be enough."

Read more on the Army’s search for a new rifle.

The Army's preliminary evaluation tested a host of weapons in different scenarios and conditions, their accuracy at different ranges and how well Joes could control the small weapons with a big punch while firing.

"We tested how Soldiers worked with those weapons and what seems to work form, fit and function better than others," Tamilio explained. "We got some great data on that."

Though Tamilio wouldn't say who participated in the evaluation, an industry source said that about six manufacturers may have submitted weapons for the shoot.

The search for a weapon that delivers a Mike Tyson punch in Sugar Ray Leonard package was included in an Army solicitation last year for a possible alternative to the M-4 carbine. The solicitation left open size, weight, barrel length and caliber, but many companies had already developed so-called personal defense weapons, or PDWs, for contract security teams and other covert operators.

"We found out a lot of good things," Tamilio said of the early summer evaluation. "There are a lot of good weapons out there [and] Soldiers can hit accurately, hit very well with all of the weapons that were out there."

"So now it comes down to what are the best parts of all of these?"

Officials with the Army's soldier weapons office said the Army Infantry School is working on final requirements for the subcompact weapon, and while it may be two years before a Joe commanding a supply convoy gets to sling one of these bantam bad boys, Army officials are moving with deliberate speed to get the program in gear.

"We got a lot of great data," Tamilio added. "So, now as the Infantry School writes the requirement they'll be more informed on what they're looking for."

Only a couple months before the Army's subcompact evaluation, industry insiders were grumbling that the Army would likely lose interest in the initiative since it was part of a much larger, more expensive push to look at alternatives to the M-4 carbine.

According to Tamilio, the so-called "Improved Carbine" program is stuck in bureaucratic and budgetary limbo. Top Army generals are still bandying about the requirements developed by the Infantry School, but Tamilio expects those to be resolved "very shortly." Then it goes to Pentagon evaluators for their chop before the Army starts to look at competitors' guns.

"There are a couple comments that they are trying to adjudicate as we speak," Tamilio said of the Army's deliberations.

"To some people [the issues] are fundamental, to other people they're on the margins - it depends on who you talk to," he added, declining to be more specific.

The service is also waiting for the final version of the fiscal 2010 Pentagon budget to be signed by the president, releasing nearly $10 million to start the program.

"At the end of that process, I'll be in a good position to start executing the program," Tamilio said. "Once we get that [Pentagon] approved requirement ... we'll be moving along at our original timeline. We're excited about that still."

Army officials have said that if all the benchmarks are met, Joes could potentially see a new rifle or redesigned M-4 by 2012.

http://www.military.com/news/article/army-excited-about-new-subcompact-gun.html?ESRC=dod.nl
This is the official bid solicitation:

Description
The Army is in the process of assessing the state of the art in small arms technologies and how these technologies can potentially provide the best weapon system(s) for our Soldiers. To that end, the Program Manager for Soldier Weapons (PM SW) Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07860-5000, on behalf of the Program Executive Office Soldier, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5422, is assessing the enhanced carbine and subcompact small arms technologies as well as production capacity of the US small arms industrial base. This effort may be formally initiated in late 2009 with a competitive solicitation. To facilitate planning for this pending solicitation, the following information is requested: oPerformance Improvement. Request information on potential improvements in individual weapon performance in the areas of accuracy and dispersion out to 600m, reliability and durability in all environments, modularity, and terminal performance on a variety of target mediums. Modularity includes, but is not limited to, compatibility with accessory items such as optical sights, image intensification sights, thermal sights, laser targeting systems, bipods, tactical lights, MILES, bayonets, and accessory type grenade launchers. There is specific interest in improvements to zero retention and zero repeatability. Note: Although this request for information is not limited to 5.56mm NATO systems, it is limited to ammunition that will meet International Convention standards. oProduction capacity estimates. Request information on minimum and maximum monthly production rates for a military carbine and/or subcompact individual weapon, and the lead times to achieve these production rates. This estimate should consider a US based production facility by the third year of deliveries. This capacity should be above and beyond any current production orders or current sales. If new facilities are planned or required, so state. oDetailed descriptions of proposed weapon systems to include engineering drawings, pictures, brochures, etc. that will convey the principles as well as general and specific capabilities behind the submissions. oSummarized and detailed test data from any certified test facility that addresses improvements in the areas proposed. Test operating procedures utilized and independent evaluations are also solicited. oAll respondents to this RFI will get an invitation to an Industry Day to be conducted in the fall of 2008. Specific date and time will be announced in the aforementioned invitation. Interested offerors should submit the information annotated above, in hard copy, by 16 Sep 2008 to: U.S. Army TACOM LCMC, Acquisition Center, AMSTA-LC-WSC-C, Bldg 110, Attn: Bob Egan,Rock Island Arsenal, IL 61299-7630. Electronic submissions may be sent to robert.r.egan@us.army.mil. Submissions shall not exceed 25 pages (8 x 11 inches), not including test data. Font shall be 12 pitch with one inch borders. All information is to be submitted at no cost or obligation to the Government. All information marked {Proprietary to company name} will not be disclosed outside of the Department of Defense. No telephone inquiries will be accepted. The documentation provided will not be returned. This is a sources sought notice only. It is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a Request for Proposal or a commitment by the United States of America.
 
#2
There's nothing wrong with the M4 / AR platform. And the HK416 piston driven uppers have their share of hang ups as well. Introducing a pistol caliber carbine may be a viable option but there's nothing cutting-edge about that tech. PCC's have been employed by the Army since the days of Custer. Heck, I personally saw Sheridan tankers from the 82nd toting .45 caliber grease guns as recently as Operation Blue Spoon.

Nah, I don't see much coming from this other than tweaking the M4 system a bit. The big stink in the news recently about M4 failures was nothing more than a smear piece. A failure to maintain specific weapons was the culprit. As with any weapon, the M4 is a solid performer when maintained properly.

We saw similar press releases littered with guesses, assumptions and predictions last year and the year prior. Nothing materialized.

I'm all for keeping the M4 / M16 in the hands of joe. Just like the 1911's enduring service, what's the point of fixing something that isn't broke?

`
 
#3
Lower_Jumper said:
There's nothing wrong with the M4 / AR platform. And the HK416 piston driven uppers have their share of hang ups as well. Introducing a pistol caliber carbine may be a viable option but there's nothing cutting-edge about that tech. PCC's have been employed by the Army since the days of Custer. Heck, I personally saw Sheridan tankers from the 82nd toting .45 caliber grease guns as recently as Operation Blue Spoon.

Nah, I don't see much coming from this other than tweaking the M4 system a bit. The big stink in the news recently about M4 failures was nothing more than a smear piece. A failure to maintain specific weapons was the culprit. As with any weapon, the M4 is a solid performer when maintained properly.

We saw similar press releases littered with guesses, assumptions and predictions last year and the year prior. Nothing materialized.

I'm all for keeping the M4 / M16 in the hands of joe. Just like the 1911's enduring service, what's the point of fixing something that isn't broke?

`
I am mystified also at this "requirement." Smacks of some weapon producers pushing for a market perhaps. I am afraid I do not share your enthusiasm for the M16/M4 platform unless retrofitted with short stroke piston. I agree the SSP is not perfect either but I just do not like direct impingement systems and I also am no fan of the 5.56.
 
#4
I would certainly not scoff at the implementation of the 6.8 SPC either. But that is not heading in the direction of the quoted article and their bias towards small(er) arms.

Nevertheless, these field tests and discussions are always interesting. We (the public) get to see new innovations and ideas from industry level competition.

Thanks for the post.


`
 
#5
Lower_Jumper said:
I would certainly not scoff at the implementation of the 6.8 SPC either. But that is not heading in the direction of the quoted article and their bias towards small(er) arms.

Nevertheless, these field tests and discussions are always interesting. We (the public) get to see new innovations and ideas from industry level competition.

Thanks for the post.


`
Agreed--I would not be at all surprised to learn HK had a role in this latest subcompact thing to sell its MP7. I shot the 6.5 Grendel and found it to be ok although I still prefer heavier calibers being of the old "well aimed shot" school that was not as concerned with how many rounds a rifleman could carry.
 
#6
I think I'm having a deja-vu moment. This is what they came up with last time:

 
#7
put a 10 inch barrel on an m4 job done. :roll:
 
#8
They aren't looking for a pistol calbire weapon though.

They want a small weapon that can deliver a punch.

the above suggestion is a viable one, although I would imagine it would reduce the range and hitting power of the weapon.

What about this offering from HK.


HK MP7,
folds down (in base form) to about 30cms. fires a 4.6mm round with mags of 20-60. As can be seen a fair bit can be added to it, although this would make a small weapon bulky. But can't see much wrong with a opical sight and a torch or laser spot. The 20 round mag pretty much sits inside the pistol grip.

It even comes with a holster that folds it up under the arm, running down to the waist... no more cam monsters!!! yay.

They can come in KH 'Navy' form with a saftey/selector on both sides, and the new ones are shipped with a Glock style safety trigger. They generally fire as single or full auto, but 3 rd burst is also available.

Having had a cabby I can say I liked the weapon. It is only rated at 200m but I think that has something to do with its PDW/armour piercing bits and bobs... it is certainly capable of going further accurately.

The Norwegians, Germans and (IIRC) the Dutch are bring this weapon in as a weapon for their Support Arms. The Germans are already patroling with it in Afghanistan. Bearing in mind that the Dutch have issued a fair few of their blokes with UZI 9mm for some time.

Various high readiness/fire arms police in UK, Ireland and Germany are now using it, and the first users were apparently the German SF. Indeed the MoD Police brought it in to replace the L85, MP9 AND Browning 9mm in one weapon.

All in all a good weapon IMHO. Couple it to the same calibre HK Ultimate Combat Pistol (basically a Glock derivitave by the look of it) with picatinny under the barrel and you have a two good weapon systems that can be easily resupped.

For longer range, and to satisfy the Americans craving for firepower :D , the trucks of the support arms could be fitted with GPMGs (7.62mm), HMGs (.50 cal) or GMGs (40mm). With tri-pods for ground mounting.
 
#9
chocolate_frog said:
...


HK MP7,
folds down (in base form) to about 30cms. fires a 4.6mm round with mags of 20-60. As can be seen a fair bit can be added to it, although this would make a small weapon bulky. But can't see much wrong with a opical sight and a torch or laser spot. The 20 round mag pretty much sits inside the pistol grip.
...
It's all very Buck Rogers with the sight. But yet another kind of ammo and a widgy baby brother to the 5.56mm at that?

The Russian PP-2000 is closer to a pistol replacement:

Caliber: 9x19mm Luger/Para
Weight: ~ 1.4 kg
Length (stock closed/open): 582 / 340 mm
Barrel length: no data
Rate of fire: 600 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 or 30 rounds
Effective range: 50-100 meters
After all there is such a thing as armor piecing 9mm and it's compatible with pistols that a lot of soldiers will still cling to, even if most can't hit damned thing with them.

Or there's the Magpul PDR which last I heard was still in development. Offers Backward compatibility with AR-15/M16 magazines and ammunition.

General:

- Barrel: 10.5 & 12.5" polygonal rifling

- OAL: 18-20"

- Weight: 3-4 lbs

- Caliber: 5.56×45mm NATO/.223 Rem. (5.56mm NATO). Weapon can be refitted with 6mm, 6.5mm (i.e. 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 MPC, etc.), 6.8 SPC (6.8×43mm SPC), etc.

- Std. Mag: USGI 15-20-round custom polymer box mag

- Effective Range: 300 yds with 12.5" barrel
...
 
#11
chocolate_frog said:
They aren't looking for a pistol calbire weapon though.

They want a small weapon that can deliver a punch.

the above suggestion is a viable one, although I would imagine it would reduce the range and hitting power of the weapon.

What about this offering from HK.


HK MP7,
I agree wholeheartedly with your choice mate. A cracking weapon. I haven't seen the results of how well it performs in hot dusty environments, because it does have a habit of heating up a fair bit. It cetainly packs a punch for it's size.
 
#14
JonnoJonno said:
chocolate_frog said:
They aren't looking for a pistol calbire weapon though.

They want a small weapon that can deliver a punch.

the above suggestion is a viable one, although I would imagine it would reduce the range and hitting power of the weapon.

What about this offering from HK.


HK MP7,
I agree wholeheartedly with your choice mate. A cracking weapon. I haven't seen the results of how well it performs in hot dusty environments, because it does have a habit of heating up a fair bit. It cetainly packs a punch for it's size.
I noticed at least 4 unused detents on the rails of this weapon--surely it needs some more ally kit--maybe a green laser to complement the red one or perhaps a 3X magnifier to enhance the optics. I cannot stand to see any rail unused. Soon it will be as cumbersome and heavy as the venerable BAR. :?
 
#15
jumpinjarhead said:
I noticed at least 4 unused detents on the rails of this weapon--surely it needs some more ally kit--maybe a green laser to complement the red one or perhaps a 3X magnifier to enhance the optics. I cannot stand to see any rail unused. Soon it will be as cumbersome and heavy as the venerable BAR. :?
I picked that pic to demonstrate the versatility of the weapon. I doubt there would any real time need to fit that much kit to an MP7!! If there is... then I feel it is the wrong weapon for the task.

As noted, the weapons can get hot. But I haven't heard anything bad from the Germans I know. Bearing in mind that the same USN SEAL fella from the above youtube link fired something like 100 rounds through a HK 416 and could pop the bolt and hold it in his hands straight after!!!

If you want to stick with 5.56mm what about....

L22 A2.



According to the wiki.

70cms long, 4.5Kg.

more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SA80#L22_carbine
 
#18
wah shield on

easier to fit into afv's as demonstrated

easier manufacture

same weapon handling drills

wah shield off
 
#20
4(T) said:
chocolate_frog said:
[
If you want to stick with 5.56mm what about....

L22 A2.



According to the wiki.

70cms long, 4.5Kg.

more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SA80#L22_carbine


Really - what the heck was the point of this thing?! Did lopping about three inches off the barrel serve any purpose whilst the rest of the rifle remained unchanged?

A a left handed shooter, no thanks.
 

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