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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - January 30 2018 :  9:02:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ace

As far as the original subject, seems my earlier post was partly correct--that is, the original design and ammo did tend to work as intended, with emphasis on 'as intended'. Different rifle/ammo might be a better option for that long-range issue, though the point is well made that the average soldier today is likely to have a problem hitting a target at 4-5-600 yards with iron sights. 'Spray and pray' might work....

As to the thread drift, morality issues aside, speaking from my limited military experience--one hitch in a non-wartime National Guard--I can categorically state that I'd want to share a fox hole with someone I'd know was watching my back, not my backside. Ace



iron sights ain't used much, Marine's with M27s are making hits at extended range already

the problem is penetrating Russian supplied body armor

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 02 2018 :  10:56:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
another dirty little secret, current M855a1 ammo,being used by both services, is wearing out rifles at an acellerated rate.

they can deny it, but some reports are that the service life of the Marine M27 has been reduced by 33%

the military will be forced to make some kind of move if these Wars continue, and you can be sure the Wars continue.....

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9501 Posts

Posted - February 03 2018 :  11:21:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gw

another dirty little secret, current M855a1 ammo,being used by both services, is wearing out rifles at an acellerated rate.

they can deny it, but some reports are that the service life of the Marine M27 has been reduced by 33%

the military will be forced to make some kind of move if these Wars continue, and you can be sure the Wars continue.....



I know some folks who went through a course shooting about 1000 rounds of it in M16a4s - they reported the same thing GW.

It is really high pressure and it eats feed ramps.

Jim

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9501 Posts

Posted - February 03 2018 :  11:54:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

I can't argue with much of that. I have long thought that a 6.5mm 140 grain bullet at about 2800 fps would do the job. It could be built on an AR-10 platform that, while heavier, would require little re-training of troops from the present AR-15 platform.



Agree completely, I have been saying this for a long time.

It is interesting that the 6.5 Creedmoor is very similar in size (powder capacity) to the 6.5 X 50 Arisaka and the 6.5 X 54 Mannlicher though both of the latter are loaded to lower pressure and might not reach those ballistics in a short barrel.

As someone recently said, old things are new again.

Jim H.

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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
764 Posts

Posted - February 03 2018 :  12:39:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
But BUT BUT, what about all the AR 15 that so many have lauded for so long? I hated the rifles, in Vietnam, and don't own one till this day. I shot 308, 243, 30 30. AND 30 06 when I was a boy. All of them were better calibers than the 223/556. Was designed to not kill, but to wound, IMO. Grossly underpowered and ineffective then.

Edited to add; Don't have a gripe with the design, just the caliber.

Pop Pop

Edited by - Pop Pop on February 03 2018 12:41:01 PM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9501 Posts

Posted - February 04 2018 :  10:54:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I was younger I used a .222 a lot - a whole lot. But we didn't have any 4 legged vermin back then that weighed more than about 20 pounds max. It was a decent woodchuck cartridge if you did not stretch it too far and worked really good on crows. It probably would have worked well on Coyotes but we did not get those here until the late 80s. I don't find the .223 or 5.56 to be any different though there are some bullets you can load that will stretch it a bit. I've killed a few small deer with the 5.56 - neither they nor I were impressed much.

Having worked with the military a good bit I know that it can work on people if you shoot it well but I have not known many soldiers who would not prefer something that worked quicker or with fewer hits. The student with the most tours and the most gunfights under his belt (and the most decorated) was asked by a Major General once what the thought of the M4 and the 5.56 - put on the spot and not wanting to embarrass the General he said it worked fine as long as you shot them in the face.

Mind you, I have come to believe that about 90% of all human attackers quit when the guns come out - whether there are rounds fired or not - it is more about psychology than ballistics - but then again, I carry a big gun for those pesky 10% that don't fold their tent at the thought of getting hurt.

I've learned to live with the AR but it is not my first choice for anything serious (other than a mission specific role, like an active shooter in an environment crowded with no-shoots where limited penetration is necessary).

Jim H.

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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 04 2018 :  11:51:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the military has an absulute requirement for a rifle that can shoot through stuff

the enemy will dig into defenseive positions and wait to be dug out.

infantry soldiers need weapons that can bust up cover

also future armies will increasingly use personal protective gear, kevlar helmets etc. ( the US Army led the charge with that, the Russians and Chinese are no slouch either)

the 5.56 has never been able to perform in that environment. attempts to improve bullet technology to compensate has not been wholly sucessful.

dating back to at least the first Gulf War this has been a glaring fact, after that war the Army hurriedly brought 7.62 belt feds back to the platoon level, there was a good reason.

armor plated enemy can't be stopped with 5.56, belt fed or rifles

the enemy in Afgahnastan ran into US Marines, terrorists found out Marines were real shooters

they began to back up beyond the range of the 5.56 and engage our troops at long range with their own 7.62 belt feed guns

our basic rifleman in being out gunned, a fact not lost on our future enemies.

for civilians and cops the 5.56 mght just be ideal

for our military it is not

a future weapon needs to have range and penetration, high tech solutions include lighter weight polymer cased ammo that make heavier caliper rifles easier to carry

and improved bullet technology that allows the rifle to function well against a variety of targets, soft and hardened......

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."

Edited by - gw on February 04 2018 11:56:37 AM
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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 04 2018 :  1:29:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I share a theory on what will happen with my friends at Ft. Benning

in 2010 the Marine Corp announced they would replace some m249 5.56 machine guns with a heavy barreled 5.56 HK416 designated M27.

at the time folks said they were nuts, others thought they found a way to sneak fundng for a new rfle through Congress

now years later, after extensive field use, they requested more M27s to outfit every Marine in specified units with this improved system.

clever

now the Army has requested funding for a Interim 7.62 rifle (ICSR)to be issued to specified units

that program was killed in Congress, but the new compact snipper rifle was funded

the new snipper rifle is the HK G28 7.62, 4,000 rifles will be supplied

it's a 7.62 rifle in use by allies with an accepted NATO round

once these are in the invntory, different procurement procedure are used for additional purchass

push come to shove the Army will outfit specified units with the G28 to replave m4s and m249 machine guns

the M4 5.56 will be maintained as a secondary issue/ special issue weapon ( much like the M1 and M1 carbine)

the marine model......

( the SecDef is a 4 star Marine)


"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."

Edited by - gw on February 04 2018 1:50:03 PM
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revjen45
Advanced Member

2259 Posts

Posted - February 11 2018 :  1:02:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Given that I will likely never have to participate in a military engagement, particularly @ 500m or so, I can live with the 5.56x45 for HD and fun.

Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than live to see defeat.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4575 Posts

Posted - February 11 2018 :  1:11:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OTOH— since you won’t be having to lug hundreds of rounds with you everywhere you go, like a soldier does— wouldn’t you rather be hitting the bad guy with 300 grains @ 1900 fps (.458 SOCOM), than 55 grains @ 3000 fps?

But your point is well-taken: home defense involves a very different set of considerations than those of the combat soldier.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on February 11 2018 1:15:26 PM
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revjen45
Advanced Member

2259 Posts

Posted - February 11 2018 :  6:03:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can hit an Orc with a lot more crunch than the 5.56 delivers if I have to. Since I'm not carrying long gun and ammo when I'm out and about you are correct that the weight of the ammo is irrelevant. In the home I would prefer to hit the bad guy in the chest with a 3" #000 load, followed up by 2.75" #00 as req'd.
That said, I would just LOVE an AR platform carbine (or a bunch of them) in caliber(s) that dispose more power than the 5.56. IMHO, an AR carbine in .458 SOCOM would be the perfect thing for bear country. Unfortunately, I am unable to acquire all the guns I want. The 5.56 will probably deliver as much as I would need for HD, since I don't foresee engaging belt fed machine guns beyond 500m. Should that occur I will reassess the situation.
And I agree that .mil would be better off with something more powerful than the 5.56.

Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than live to see defeat.

Edited by - revjen45 on February 11 2018 6:06:28 PM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9501 Posts

Posted - February 12 2018 :  10:54:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a thought Rev but a few weeks ago I happened into Centerfire Systems in Versailles, KY (they have a web site) and was surprised to see they had complete uppers (less the bolt carrier) in .300 Blackout for about $160 (it uses the same magazines and bolt as the 5.56).

I've been shooting one for over a year now and think it hits a good bit harder at short range - it is still a 200 yard cartridge though.

Works fairly well on deer and some friends shoot wild boar with it.

Even un-suppressed it is a LOT quieter than a 5.56 indoors.

Jim

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CW2 Ralph Long
Average Member

USA
368 Posts

Posted - February 12 2018 :  6:58:47 PM  Show Profile  Click to see CW2 Ralph Long's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
From an old Army shooter and trainer: Every 30 years, or so, the Army, primarily, has some "great thinkers," who haven't read history and don't shoot well, come up with the idea that one weapon firing the same ammunition will do all jobs fairly equally. While it makes logisticians happy, the bill is paid for by the guys in the "lead platoon" or the DLIC (Detachment Left in Contact). The Marine Corps gets bullied or hornswaggled into the Army's thinking because of interchangeability/repair and resupply issues.

In the old days....before my time... a rifle platoon carried some 20 rifles, at least three BARs (or nine in a Marine platoon), some leaders carried carbines or submachine guns. The M14 was to be the great fix. But an M14 with a bipod was not a BAR. The M16 and 16A1 didn't have the right abilities either. After the M16A2/A4/M203 and the M249 w/ M855 fix came, things worked pretty good, at least ballistically. Then some Army Infantry brass saw MPs toting M4s and thought, "I sure wish I could carry "that gun" instead of that unwieldy rifle. That move whacked 5.5 inches of muzzle velocity (down range terminal energy) creating barrel from the rifle. The M855 works well in the M16A2. The M855 was not designed for the M4; hence more problems.

And all the fancy optics in the world won't make it any better if the warrior isn't trained to be a marksman. The trigger will be jerked and the bullet trace will not be aligned with the target and...well that's a miss. Historically, the Marines are the Nation's long-range shooters. They are trained by skilled marksmanship instructors in Boot Camp. Today they qualify on known distance (KD) ranges, out to 500 yards; the pit crew pulls every target and spots all the hits exactly. Soldiers in Basic Training are coached by Drill Sergeants who may or may not have an understanding of what it takes to shoot well. Soldiers normally only qualify on 300 meter ranges using pop-up targets that don't let you know whether you got a lucky ricochet hit or a hit that the target sensor didn't read. In fact the typical US soldier believes that the M16A2 and M4 are not capable of producing hits beyond 300 meters.

So here we are again after re-equipping the whole force a couple of times over and realizing one weapon and one cartridge won't do it all. Training riflemen to shoot and using a variety of weapons for the variey of situations the force may find itself is the only solution. Brigades and Battalions are now organized with a mix of weapons and weapons systems with infantry, armor and artillery elements. Why do we try to force a "one size fits all" solution on the rifle company and platoon?


“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed;
if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may
come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Winston Churchill
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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 13 2018 :  12:38:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
recent testimony to Congress on current small arms program

Lt. Gen. John Murray, Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-8, replied that the service was looking to address the issue in two phases. The first is a “near-term” solution in the form of the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDM-R).

“That is a 7.62 capability that gives us the ability to penetrate the most advanced body armor in the world, along with the Advanced Armor Piercing round that’s in development,” Murray said. “We are accelerating the SDM-R, or the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, to ’18 … We had hoped to accelerate the ADVAP round, the Advanced Armor Piercing Round, to ’18 as well to line up with that, but we’re about a year off. So we will develop that ammo and field it in ’19. You can still fire 7.62, and you can still penetrate, you just can’t get quite the range you will with the next generation round.

“That’s Phase 1. Phase 2 is the development of what we’re calling the Next Generation Squad Weapon,” Murray continued. “First iteration will probably be an automatic rifle to replace the SAW, which is also a 5.56. We’ve been pushed on the M27 which the Marine Corps has adopted. That is also a 5.56 which doesn’t penetrate, so we’re gonna go down the path of Next Generation Squad Weapon, automatic rifle first, to be closely followed I’m hopeful for either a rifle or a carbine that will fire something other than a 5.56. It probably won’t be a 7.62, it’ll probably be something in-between. Cased telescoping round, probably polymer casing to reduce the weight of it.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."

Edited by - gw on February 13 2018 12:39:39 PM
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WR Moore
Senior Member

USA
874 Posts

Posted - February 13 2018 :  4:02:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I agree that some extra effective range and barrier penetration would be a real good idea, I'd like to specifically address the "armored opponents" thing.

The last several years I worked, I was required to "up armor" (over my regular armor) with rifle plate carriers and complete a stress course (run, gun and communicate) against a time/accuracy standard. I realized real fast that the plates depend upon the bad guy being directly in front/behind you and a real good shot. I also decided that, if any significant movement was on the menu in a real world situation, the extra ammo was coming with me, the rifle plates weren't.

There's an ongoing study weighing current armor systems and the loss of agility, speed and stamina against different protection systems. Preliminary results are that in certain cases, the increased armor actually is increasing casualties.
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9501 Posts

Posted - February 14 2018 :  08:54:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WR Moore

While I agree that some extra effective range and barrier penetration would be a real good idea, I'd like to specifically address the "armored opponents" thing.

The last several years I worked, I was required to "up armor" (over my regular armor) with rifle plate carriers and complete a stress course (run, gun and communicate) against a time/accuracy standard. I realized real fast that the plates depend upon the bad guy being directly in front/behind you and a real good shot. I also decided that, if any significant movement was on the menu in a real world situation, the extra ammo was coming with me, the rifle plates weren't.

There's an ongoing study weighing current armor systems and the loss of agility, speed and stamina against different protection systems. Preliminary results are that in certain cases, the increased armor actually is increasing casualties.



I don't keep up with what the world's armies are equipped with these days but I'd agree, it would definitely be a consideration in selecting a rifle for our military.

Heck, there was a murder within 50 miles of me (and within 2 of my son's house) in which the murderer used an AK and when captured - in Florida no less - he was wearing body armor (I'm not sure whether it was soft or hard).

Jim

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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 14 2018 :  10:58:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the world is armoring up

current thinking is the Next Generation Squad Weapon/ Automatic Rifle will a fire a steel dart flechete round with a computor based fire control system, a miniature version of the weapons on current armored vehicle.

recommendations are based on the following:

caliper is not as important as you think
velocity is that important ( high)
improve current bullet technology
control/placement is key

the infantry rifle may be simular

the technology exists, but it requires miniturization to reduce weight and become practicle.

the Soldier in the 21st Century

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1736 Posts

Posted - February 14 2018 :  4:42:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yawn.

Big Army is big on talk, short on delivery.

How many small arms replacement/upgrade programs have fizzled out in the last 3 decades with nothing to show for it?

I think it took, what? Three or four attempts just to acquire a replacement handgun? And the jury is still out on whether or not it was the best choice. I just read about them being grounded for upgrades, didn't I?

And rifles? Anybody remember SPIW? OICW? Caseless ammo? Individual Carbine? Carbine Product Improvement Program? SCAR Heavy and Light? ACR? How many other roads to nowhere have I forgotten?

I don't argue the need for an improved and upgraded capability, only the government's (and particularly, the military's) ability to do it in a reasonable timeframe, within the bounds of a reasonable budget.

The good General may actually think he will get to Phase Two, but I won't be surprised if Phase One grinds to a halt before it even gets out of the motor pool, and I won't hold my breath for any of it.

The sons of today's newest enlistees will probably be fighting with M4s that still have Iraqi sand in their actions, if the history of military small arms procurement is any kind of guide map.

Mike

Edited by - Ten Driver on February 14 2018 4:48:39 PM
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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 14 2018 :  7:51:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know

the big Army came up with the M1 and M1 carbine when the rest of the world had bolt guns and blowback sub guns

when they ran into the AK47 in Vietnam they countered with the M16a1 and M60 machine gun

during the cold war they upgraded the m16a1 to the A2 (and variants) with m855 ammo to improve long range penetration.

when they went to increased combat in urban warfare they adopted the M4 for close combat, a modular system improved with technology as required

they've addopted infrared lasers, optics, etc. to improve performance in current wars

they've improved ammo with the m855, m855a1, m955, and various barrier blind ammo to impove penetration/down range performance during current wars

they have added improved light and medium machine guns to the infantry squad during the same period

the Chinese and Russian armies have raced to keep up with our current issue weapons, their current issue are small caliper high velocity full auto rifles including ammo with steel cores

our current SecDef is a 4 Star Marine General called "Mad Dog" , he just got a $180 billion + budget signed by Donald Trump

if he thinks we need a new rifle we might get one......

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1736 Posts

Posted - February 15 2018 :  04:00:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hope you're right on that last count. Sincerely, I, do.

To counter:

A significant part of the Army brass and Ordnance Corps didn't like the Garand, fearing soldiers would waste ammunition. They preferred the 'O3, and didn't order the Garand in sufficient quantity until after the war started and their hand was forced.

The M1 carbine was a wartime development from a different America, that was 100% committed to the fight. Times have changed. Apples and oranges compared to today. If the M1 carbine program had been launched today, we'd probably wind up with a 10 pound, $800 Hi
Point that took 8 years to develop, and required a part to be made in each of the 50 states.

The Army didn't want the M16 either, and only got it because the Air Force and McNamara pushed them into it. The M60? Well, we would have been better off building the German MG under license.

I think the A2 came more from a Marine requirement than an Army one. Just look at that rear sight--it's a Marine Corps rifle. Too bad it got screwed up with the three round burst selector, but they fixed that later.

I'll give the Army well-deserved credit for the M4, but the M855A1 is a prime example of what's still wrong with Ordnance and procurement. The Marine Corps has a better idea with SOST, and it doesn't eat up the guns, but they don't have enough influence to make it the DoD standard.

Again, I agree our troops need improved gear, but unless Mattis is able to apply a Kiwi Injection to the process, I don't think it's likely to happen anytime soon.

I hope I'm wrong.

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9501 Posts

Posted - February 15 2018 :  08:44:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a good bit of experience with the Army (and my Dad before me) - I'm not all that optimistic on the best of equipment being selected.

The guys who gave us the Garand, the BAR and the 1911 are long gone.

One thing I am optimistic about though is that the soldiers will take what they are issued and make it work as well as it can.

God bless 'em!

Jim H.

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gw
Advanced Member

4088 Posts

Posted - February 15 2018 :  09:29:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ten Driver

I hope you're right on that last count. Sincerely, I, do.

To counter:

A significant part of the Army brass and Ordnance Corps didn't like the Garand, fearing soldiers would waste ammunition. They preferred the 'O3, and didn't order the Garand in sufficient quantity until after the war started and their hand was forced.

The M1 carbine was a wartime development from a different America, that was 100% committed to the fight. Times have changed. Apples and oranges compared to today. If the M1 carbine program had been launched today, we'd probably wind up with a 10 pound, $800 Hi
Point that took 8 years to develop, and required a part to be made in each of the 50 states.

The Army didn't want the M16 either, and only got it because the Air Force and McNamara pushed them into it. The M60? Well, we would have been better off building the German MG under license.

I think the A2 came more from a Marine requirement than an Army one. Just look at that rear sight--it's a Marine Corps rifle. Too bad it got screwed up with the three round burst selector, but they fixed that later.

I'll give the Army well-deserved credit for the M4, but the M855A1 is a prime example of what's still wrong with Ordnance and procurement. The Marine Corps has a better idea with SOST, and it doesn't eat up the guns, but they don't have enough influence to make it the DoD standard.

Again, I agree our troops need improved gear, but unless Mattis is able to apply a Kiwi Injection to the process, I don't think it's likely to happen anytime soon.

I hope I'm wrong.





whether the head shed liked it or not, change did happen

the Marines ain't the end all, they didn't turn in their 03s until they saw the Army use the M1 on Guadalcanal, then they started stealing Army rifles,

they didn't want the M16 until they tried humping an M14 through rice paties

and they wouldn't buy M4s until their NCOs and Officers started carrying them and their line units started singing it's praises.

they also dropped the SOST round and have adopted the 855A1

the fact that the 855A1 has decreased the service life of the Marine M27 by 33% is the prime reason the Army awarded HK $45 million to begin the purchase of new 7.62 rifles.

the HK G28 will be in the pipe line this year, with more coming

my crystal ball says the Marines will buy some too

When I joined the Army my squad had Vietnam era M16a1s with shot out barrels and M60s with red lined head space inspections.

I left we had M4s ( about to be upgraded to new M4A1s ) improved m249 light guns, 240g mediums, improved ammo for all.

my squad had available at least 5 high performance weapons system and more firepower than a WWII platoon.

the system kept us equipped pretty good

I got faith in it

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1736 Posts

Posted - February 15 2018 :  12:07:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Higginbotham

I have a good bit of experience with the Army (and my Dad before me) - I'm not all that optimistic on the best of equipment being selected.

The guys who gave us the Garand, the BAR and the 1911 are long gone.

One thing I am optimistic about though is that the soldiers will take what they are issued and make it work as well as it can.

God bless 'em!

Jim H.



Amen to that, Jim! The troops will find a way.
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Ten Driver
Advanced Member

1736 Posts

Posted - February 15 2018 :  12:11:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GW, I didn't mean to pick on your alma mater. They just happen to get tasked with most of the heavy lifting on small arms development.

Believe me, us bluesuiters have plenty of issues of our own when it comes to design and procurement of weapons systems!

Like you, I hope the system will give our troops improved equipment on a reasonable timetable. I'm just not predisposed to expect it, based on past performance.

Maybe Mattis and crew can change that for the better.

Mike
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WR Moore
Senior Member

USA
874 Posts

Posted - February 17 2018 :  3:59:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My old man used to do some work on what the military calls "guns" and some other stuff. He did, however, hear things in the small arms world. The M60 got adopted since Big Green wasn't going to buy Belgian (MAG58). Funny thing, they do now. There's an incredible lack of drive for finding the best product, partially due to the career considerations of whoever happens to be project officers for the various competitors. And, of course, Congressional pressure from those who have prospective vendors in their state/district. Not to mention the cubicle critters in the Pentagon who dream up some of those programs. It's easy to be enthusiastic about a proposal/product when your personal butt isn't depending upon it.
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