SIG M5 Spear Deep Dive: Is This a Good US Army Rifle?

The NGSW (Next Generation Squad Weapon) program began in 2017 to find a replacement for the M4, M249, and 5.56mm cartridge. It came to a conclusion in April 2022 with the formula acceptance of the SIG M5 rifle, M250 machine gun, Vortex M157 optic, and the 6.8x51mm cartridge. SIG released a handful of civilian semiauto M5 / Spear rifles and thanks to Illumin Arms I have one to examine.

The rifle (Spear is its commercial designation; M5 is the military one) is an evolution of the SIG MCX, which is in turn an evolution of the AR-15 and AR-18 systems. The MCX move the recoil spring assembly into the top of the upper receiver, allowing the use of a folding stock. It also has very easily swapped barrels and a suite of fully ambidextrous controls. Scaled up to AR-10 size and chambered for 6.8x51mm, the MCX became the Spear.

That new cartridge (commercial designated .277 SIG Fury) is designed to produce high muzzle velocities out of short barrel (the M5 has a 13 inch barrel).It does this by boosting the operating pressure up to an eye-watering 80,000psi, which required the development of hybrid case using a stainless steel case head. This allows the case to handle those pressures safely. The currently available commercial ammunition is loaded to lower pressure, however. Much of the military and civilian use of this rifle will be done with downloaded training ammunition, which uses a conventional all-brass case.

Both the M5 and M250 were ordered by the Army with suppressors on every weapon, a significant advancement in Army policy. The can is another SIG development, entirely made using additive manufacturing and designed specifically to prevent gas blowback into shooters’ faces (which is succeeds at wonderfully).

Overall, I believe the M5 / Spear is an excellent rifle – soft shooting, reliable, and very accurate. However, that does not mean it is the right rifle for the Army. Will its ability to defeat modern body armor prove worth the tradeoff in extra soldier combat load weight and reduced ammunition capacity? Only time will tell…

Thanks to Illumined Arms for the loan of the rifle for filming!


  1. Has the US Army bothered to consult NATO about this, or is it a fait accompli, like the 5.56mm was?

    • No, I don’t believe that they have. This is another unilateral US move, and one I would think ought to piss our allies off immeasurably.

      It’s also a profoundly stupid move, entirely in keeping with our other caliber/small arms misadventures.

      I think that the entire US small arms procurement “system”, if it could be dignified with such a term, ought to be shut down, the facilities plowed under, the sites sown with salt, and the idiots running the freakshow ought to be sterilized for the good of the race. Not because I particularly believe in eugenics, but just out of an abundance of caution… The way they keep gravitating towards these proven failures, again and again, just makes me wonder if there isn’t something rooted in biology. Reduce the variables, see what happens.

      I mean, c’mon, man… SPIW becomes OICW? ACR? This NGSW BS? WTF? How many times are we going to keep repeating failure-driven engineering?

      I’ll put a bet on the M4 carbine still being on general issue in twenty years, and this thing will truly qualify to be subject for one of Ian’s videos, which will likely include wording to the effect of “It just wasn’t better enough than the M4/M240 combination to justify its existence or expense…”

      Because, it isn’t. I’ll confidently assert that I could do better with an M240 mounted on a good tripod than you ever will with an M250 off a bipod, and if you gave me time to train the crews and gun team leaders to my preferred TTP, nothing the current lot of idiots will ever put behind an M250 could ever match that. Regardless of what round you’re firing through it.

      • Kirk:

        Something told me you would not be a fan. It seems like a rather expensive way to finally adopt the AR10.

        • Oh, I think I’ve made my opinion about the entire NGSW thing clear, from the beginning.

          I happen to think that we’re well away from wringing all the performance possible out of the current small arms suite, and that until we do that through better training and supporting equipment? They have absolutely no business changing the cartridges or weapons.

          End of the day, I am certain that I could out-do anything that the current NGSW platform can do off a bipod with a better tripod/sighting setup for the current M240 system. I’m pretty damn sure that the M250/M240 800m performance is going to be near-identical, given that the constraint has nothing to do with cartridge or ballistics, but the crappy support and interfacing provided by the bipod/shoulder combination.

          If it had been me looking to solve this problem? I’d have gone back to look at how it was done earlier on, like during the Alpine campaigns of WWI, and the mountain campaigns of WWII. I’d have looked at how the successful armies in those fights managed their machine guns, and then sought to emulate them. I would have started by doing better, more realistic training with the guns, followed by procurement of something like a modernized lightweight Lafette tripod, issued better optics, rangefinders, and other accessories to the gun teams, and then analyzed the results from Afghanistan. If that didn’t do it, knowing full well that the M240/7.62 NATO combination is capable of delivering lethal fires out to 1800m, I’d have gone with spending the money to develop something like a remotely-operated PakBot chassis that was capable of keeping up with infantry on foot, and which could deliver the requisite precision and remote-operations capability delivered by a Lafette and periscopic sight.

          Which would have made the death of one of the young men I trained, back in the early 2000’s, a non-event. I’m still pissed off beyond belief that the Army put him out there as an M240 gunner with an optic he had to use with his head above the line-of-sight, there for everyone in range to shoot at and hit. Off a Lafette and with a periscopic sight? He’d have been below the line of fire, safe, and might well have lived to go home to his wife and newborn kid. Who he never got to meet in person.

          • Kirk:

            I hear you. Never send a bipod to do a tripod’s job. Ever since the M1917 left the inventory, the US Army has had a strange blind spot about machine guns and their deployment.

          • “I am certain that I could out-do anything that the current NGSW platform can do off a bipod with a better tripod/sighting setup for the current M240 system.”

            The NGSW is replacement for the M4 and M249 SAW for the purpose of defeating common body armor, not as a replacement for a GPMG set up as a medium machine gun for long range fire.

            An M240 with tripod is going to weigh between 15-18 KG with the current M192 which puts it a lot closer to something like an M224 mortar sitting at 21.1 KG than XM5 Spear at 4.46 KG or XM250 at 6.6 KG.

            The point of a GPMG isn’t that its a light machine gun and a medium machine gun at the same time, its that you can set up for either role. Run with bipod only? You have a light machine gun. Toss it in a tripod? The extra weight, size, and set up time makes it a medium machine gun.

            More than that, given the M249 is compatible with the M192 tripod, its pretty much certain that the XM250 is going to be compatible as well.

            ” like during the Alpine campaigns of WWI, and the mountain campaigns of WWII.”

            The NGSW is designed to defeat body armor, not to fight in arid mountains of Afghanistan that likely won’t be the next major theatre we fight in. Its designed to give squads weapons to defeat body armor that could very well show up either because its a near peer conflict or foreign support. Which may I remind you, there is currently an active near pear conflict that is currently active right now.

            “at how the successful armies in those fights managed their machine guns, and then sought to emulate them.”

            So absolutely no tripods for regular squads for their GPMGs so they exclusively use them off bipods because the mounts are 20+ KG(Such as the Lafette tripod) by themselves and get used like light weight field artillery?

            When looking back to WW1/WW2 even when one particular piece of kit they were using isn’t completely and absolutely obsolete, its stuck deep in a system of completely and utterly obsolete equipment and out of date assumptions.

            But it should be reiterated, the Next Gen Squad Weapon is aimed to produce a weapon for squads operating in many environments to use for defeating body armor, not to create a medium machine gun setup replacement for Afghanistan.

        • That was a whole different beast; more akin to a cordite-fueled 7mm Remington Magnum. UTTER INSANITY as a general-issue infantry (and others) rifle. Barrel life was about 600 rounds, mainly due to the insistence of using Cordite; no 4831 (.50 BMG powder), etc., back in those days.

          • It’s far from a 7mm mag

            Performance is 150 fps slower than factory 130 grain .270 Winchester out of a normal rifle barrel.

            That said, WW1 .303 mk7 is within 1/2 a minute of angle of the trajectory of “the flat shooting” .270 Winchester, out to beyond 300m.

        • Correct! Yinz Brits had a new round in the works before “The Great War” kicked off, and so stayed with the .303. I’m a OIF/OEF Infantry vet with a lot of involvement with firearms both civilian and L.E. side. This will be a disaster. It seems every thing the Ordnance Dept is doing is wrong. A new 9mm round, (M-1152. 115 gr, 1325 fps), that isn’t NATO standard. Going with the .338 Norma Mag, instead of the .338 Lapua mag that the rest of NATO. Now this? WTF is going on here?

          • M1152 basically reinvents the WW2 German 480C code 9 x 19mm with the sintered zinc bullet core. Which was intended for SMGs only as a short-range semi-armor-piercing round to penetrate things like the side of U.S. halftracks.

            The field manuals specifically said that it was not to be used in handguns. In case nobody has noticed, there aren’t a lot of 9 x 19mm SMGs in service anymore; they’ve mostly been replaced by M4s and etc.

            Using this in 9 x 19mm handguns should be briefly interesting. Then probably far-from-briefly painful for those unfortunate enough to try qualification with it.

            As for the 6.8 x 51mm aka .277 Whatever, it’s example 1,326 of re-inventing the 7 x 57mm Mauser of 1892. The fact that there will be a “reduced charge” version for general service use reminds me of just about everybody but the British and U.S. armies SOP with 7.62 x 51mm.

            I expect this entire SLICC to go the way of the XM-8 fairly quickly. And like it, good riddance.



            Apparently Ordnance is incapable of learning from history. Or even simply Looking S#!t Up.

            clear ether


          • I picked up a Blue Label “civilian” M-17 before going out to shoot the Governor’s 20 a couple of years ago and got to examine it next to the issued one. Here’s what I noticed. 1. Heaver recoil spring. 2. The bottom of the civilian one had more steel machined out of it. I’d guess the military slide is about a half oz heaver. 3. The hood of the barrel chamber was machined slightly differently. I’m not sure the two barrels are interchangeable, I didn’t try. I have about 300 rds of the commercial Winchester M-1152 at home. Funny thing is I still haven’t seen it in the military yet, either in quals or competition. Just the old stuff so far.

          • “(…)Using this in 9 x 19mm handguns should be briefly interesting. Then probably far-from-briefly painful for those unfortunate enough to try qualification with it.(…)”
            Which raise question who was responsible for trialing said cartridge and why elect to green-light it.

    • I wonder if anyone considered the humble 7.62 NATO? Poland wanted to keep the ultra-reliable PKM machine gun, but has to re-engineer it to accommodate the NATO round. I suspect the NATO round can accomplish 80% of what they are asking the new 6.8 round to do without the cost of inventing new infrastructure to support a new class of weapons and the logistical complexity of supporting it.

      • Not just the 6.8×51. We have a new 9mm round, M-1152, 115 gr, 1325 fps. Is it compatible with other NATO handguns/SMGs? It should be, but still is not NATO standard. Why have we gone with the .338 Norma Mag over the .338 Lapua Mag? Everyone else uses the Lapua and its record in combat is outstanding. What did we gain with the Norma? On paper, maybe, but real world? I’ve got lots of trigger time on the Lapua, including out to 2,200 meters. What more do they want?

      • 7.62×51 out of an AR10, with a silencer on can do everything that this can do, and do it better

        This .270 in its high pressure form is 150 fps slower than 130gr factory. 270 Winchester out of a proper length barrel

        7.62 and .303 are both within 1/2 minute of angle on trajectory out to 300m compared to .270 Winchester.

        For any given weight of bullet, out of the same length barrel, a .308 will achieve the same muzzle velocity at 5he same pressure as a .270 Winchester

        Unless someone has a sub 1/2 minutes accuracy .270 Winchester, there are zero reasons to choose a .270 over a .308

        Even in its high pressure form, this thing isn’t even a .270 Winchester

        (Yeah, Jack O’Connor wrote utter bullshit in the gunzines on behalf of marketing Winchester and its .270)

        • Going even further back, at 300 meters there is no noticeable difference in velocity/energy/trajectory/drop between .270 and the 1892-vintage 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser with comparable bullet weights.

          And unlike .30-06, .270 cannot effectively use bullets heavier than 170 grains. The usual maximum bullet weight for 6.5 x 55mm? 165 grains.

          .270 was created solely as a way of creating a 7mm class cartridge off the .30-06 case. Ballistically, it offered nothing that hadn’t been seen before.



          • Yeah
            7×64 and 7x65R Brenneke are the cartridges from 1917, that .270 Winchester and .280 Remington can only dream of emulating.

            Compared to the .270, they come factory loaded with high quality tough bullets up to 175 grains. Some may have gone to 195 grains, I can’t remember with certainty.

            Compared to the .280 Remington, they’re not downloaded to work through pump actions and semi autos, they’re loaded right up to 65,000 PSI.

            Thats before we get onto the various hot 7mm cartridges by Ross, H&H, Jeffery etc, and the screamingly hot loads of the Ross case by Halger.

    • I understand how the cartridge can handle 80ksi but how about the bolt lugs? Barrel recesses that lock the lugs? What material or design can hold 80ksi for thousands of rounds?

    • Agreed. Worse yet, they transposed the projected (and largely discredited, at least for the Russians) capabilities of near-peer adversaries with feedback from Afghanistan where COIN ROE limited many long-range engagements to small arms, rationalizing a use case that doesn’t bear much resemblance to any plausible real-world scenario.

      • The afghans didn’t even have body armour… Was a “range” issue… Long barrelled ar’s would maybe have solved.

        Hmm… Well that was a shock, not sure; suppose the ammo is versitile…

        • Versatile… Hmmm… Well thats shocked me, regardless. I totally forgot about that comp as I thought the m4 was a dead cert to carry on.

          • That is probably Google translate; remember when you posted Russian links, and it translated it as Da my mother is tank big of Siberia with clock.

            Well that is not what it said, really in Russian; so don’t show Vlad the atomic steyr aug, as it is not real he he.

          • Spell-check wasn’t anyone’s friend. I think that was supposed to be “automatic”, not “atomic”.

            Machine translation is getting better, but… Jeezly Jones, the crap I’ve seen since this thing in Ukraine started taking off. I do not have high hopes that we’ll ever get seamless quality translations in real time. I can only imagine what it would be like to be trying to operate a real war with those “translator” apps, interfacing with allies and the enemy alike. You might try to tell someone “Surrender, or we bring up the artillery…”, and the app would be putting out “F*ck your mother, we’re coming to rape your tank…”.

          • Kirk,

            You might remember the old story that the message “send reinforcements, we’re going to advance” ended up as “send three and four pence, we’re going to a dance”. Brought to you by the British Army, specializing in garbled messages since the charge of the Light Brigade.

          • @JohnK,

            Then ya have to add in the cultural issues, like the stiff-upper lip British Brigadier’s very understated

            “”Things are a bit sticky, sir,” (Brig Tom Brodie) of the Gloucestershire Regiment told General Robert H Soule, intending to convey that they were in extreme difficulty.

            But US Gen Soule understood this to mean “We’re having a bit of rough and tumble but we’re holding the line”. Oh good, the general decided, no need to reinforce or withdraw them, not yet anyway.”


            Which is what led to the Glosters getting another in a very long line of battle honors on their colors under really lousy circumstances. It’s never a good sign when they’re naming terrain features after you, when it’s all over…

          • And the classic Cold War translation of “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” to “The vodka is great but the meat is rotten.”

          • Kirk:

            Yes, that’s an example of our two countries being divided by a common language isn’t it?

          • Mmmm… Not necessarily “better”, but certainly “different”.

            I think the current warfighting schema is going to work out with a “desire path” approach including mortars, drones, and MG fires as the actual killing tools, with things like the M4 or AK-12 being the “heavy PDW” more than a primary killing tool.

            Squads are going to have to become integrated all-arms outfits, with indirect fires, RPV observation/kill tools, and the capability to engage most targets on the battlefield. I’m thinking they’re going to have to grow from the current “mostly nine-man” size across NATO, and integrate an actual command/control node that includes drone operator and communications/control specialists.

            We’ve observed a steady growth in complexity for squads; that’s only going to get worse, as time goes on. I suspect that the complexity/experience requirements coming into play mean that tomorrow’s squad leader is going to have to be the equivalent of today’s platoon sergeant, but younger and fitter. He’s going to have to undergo much more intense selection and training, as well. We may well see a lot of armies, probably the Russians first, decide to make “squad leader” a commissioned-ranks job rather than enlisted.

            Or, conversely, we could just throw civilians at the wall until they figure it all out. I shudder to think about the casualty rates while they determine the “desire path”, though…

    • Couldn’t agree more. NGSW basically recapped the entire 7.62 NATO fiasco, although I think they came out with better weapons than the M14 and M60. Hopefully. The caliber is still massively stupid, however.

      I remain a proponent of the two-caliber solution, namely something 5.56-esque with a bit more “oomph” for the individual weapon, and something a bit more powerful than the 7.62mm NATO for the support-class weapons.

      However, huge ‘effin comma, that is what I freely acknowledge and emphasize to be entirely personal subjective opinion. The data supporting said opinion does not exist; the actual reality, as I see it, is that the 5.56/7.62 dual-caliber solution works effectively here-and-now, and I don’t see strong indicators that it would not work well into the distant future. Especially off a mostly small-arms centric battlefield like Afghanistan.

      I still think the best explanation for NGSW is just sheer stupidity coupled with a desire to make companies like SIG more money. That proprietary bimetallic cartridge? What does it do that a fully steel case couldn’t do, aside from provide a source of licensing fees?

      • I think that the Ukrainians are actually saying fuc* your mother we’re coming to rape your tank.

        • What they really need is for the various RKG-carrying drones to be accompanied by gunship drones for protection, ones with loudspeakers blaring “Ride of the Valkyries” along with that subtle statement of intent regarding Russian tanks…

          ‘Twould be epic. And, the guys recording it need to set the resulting carnage to Benny Hill’s favorite tune, “Yakkity Sax”. I bet ya cash money that after awhile, all you’d need to fly would be the drones with loudspeakers, and you’d be able to roll up entire tank platoons intact.

      • I did wonder why the bimetallic case as well. If they needed steel, steel cases are not exactly new, and it would have both spared expensive and strategic material, and simplified the construction of the cartridge.
        BUT, when compared, steel cases still seems to have a marginally higher rate of extraction failures (something in the range od 1-2 per thousand, but in a belt fed gun it counts), and the very high pressure round coupled with a suppressor (so residual pressure in the barrel when a short-stroke piston, or a direct impingment as well, opens the action) probably worsens it (but, if this was the problem, I wonder if a simple copper plating, like often seen in shotgun shells, would have solved it as well).
        As for the rifle, it seems incredible. The same reason (for the 7.62 was the “very important” requirement of perforating a steel helmet at a certain distance), generated the same rifle, heavy, bulky (with the suppressor is not that much shorter than the M14) firing heavy ammos, impossible to use in full auto…
        Add to this the LMG, always shown with the 50 rounds pouch (and it will probably use mainly them, due to weight considerations). All the operations needed to change the pouch and the belt, for 50 rounds?

        • I think the whole thing is going to come to a screeching halt once it is out in the hands of the actual user base, and all the “experts” are faced with the realities of keeping these things running under those conditions.

          I despair, sometimes: Doesn’t anyone, particularly in the US small arms procurement community, pay attention to history? Other than as a guide for repeating the same failed processes time and time again, recapitulating the same poor choices and lazy thinking?

          My beef with NGSW from the beginning is that I look at the whole thing and see no real evidence that the people designing it really understand what the hell the weapons are doing out in field, with the majority of the troops. OK, great; you’ve got the idealized perfect individual weapon for Johnny Ranger, Tactical Operator extraordinaire. So. F*cking. What? The real question is, does this weapon work in the other 90% of the use cases, for the other 90% of the soldiers you’re going to be issuing it to? This is the precise reason the M4, for all of its very real deficiencies, wound up supplanting and replacing the M16A2 as the basic infantry weapon: It answered the mail better for more of the users.

          I think there was a lot of flawed and wishful thinking behind the entire premise of the NGSW. We have, yet again, another case where someone thought they’d overcome training and doctrine issues with better toys. It didn’t work with the M1/BAR/M1 Carbine complex of weapons, it didn’t work with the M14/M15/M60, and I can see a lot of the same sort of piss-poor thinking going into this NGSW fiasco. The key takeaway for me from it, that leads me to believe it’s going to fail, is that they didn’t do a damn thing to address the very real problems with the MG team that’s going to be hauling these things around. No new means of providing the sort of support and repeatable fire that the Lafette gave the MG34/42 family, no crew-served weapons fire control improvements, none of that has been conceptualized or included. They really need some way of replicating the same things that you got out of the Lafette/MG34/42 combination, more than they need new cartridges and guns. Robotic mounts on PakBots? Some means of spreading fires observations across the squad from all sights? Automated fire controls slaved to the gun crew leader’s observation system? Any and all of that would do more to “enhance lethality” and whateverthehell “overmatch” is than this objectively idiotic concept of a super-high pressure cartridge and new weapons.

          I’ll lay long odds that the high-pressure ammo gets pulled in relatively short order, and that there are going to be scads of incidents with blown barrels and bolts resulting from it until they do. The guys designing this stuff need to recognize that they’re not designing for the Ranger or SF use case, where the guys shooting the weapons are highly trained experts, and there’s a DA civilian in the Arms Room tracking wear and abuse of the weapons on a routine basis.

          I am not seeing this end well. At. All. The track record for this crap is horrendously bad, and I suspect that this isn’t going to be the “exception to the rule”.

        • The reason for all of these programs including the F35,the little crappy ships,Ford class carriers and NGSW is Money.
          The navy is finally building one new salvage ship because the two(!) in service are 36 years old.
          The US Navy will soon have one salvage ship for two oceans.
          The Navy has no fire fighting ships,no dedicated ammunition ships…
          It is corruption in more than one sense of the word and it is pervasive.
          Contrast the Flynn and Sussman trials.
          And recording ‘toria Nuland boasting about buying Ukraine for only $5 Billion is a little harder to find.
          Maintenance costs have gone up quite a bit since the Maidan massacre 8 years ago,$40 Billion last week.
          It sure is a pity we can’t afford to do anything to prepare for the fall Covid surge.
          The CDC is predicting 100,000,000 cases in the USA this fall with 20% of those cases resulting in Long Covid.
          20,000,000 cases of Long Covid.
          Vascular problems,Neurological problems, Long Covid is not a joke.
          America is a failed State.

          • The decision makers seem all to fall for the shiny and new and impressive presentaions given by lobbyists. New firefighting ships, new salvage ships and other support ships are just not as fancy and impressive to the layman than the hottest and greatest newest hightech ship stuffed from keel to top with the newest (and thus of course best) technologies. Support ships is boring to the layman. Or this obsession with the new rifle and mg in the NGSW programme. As Kirk correctly imho states, it is a hardware fix to a software problem. That is training and doctrine for the soldiers. But a new wonderweapon is always shinier to the laymen making the decisions. Although history has shown time and again that the new wonderweapon with features and features in most cases does not work out. Reminds me of the saying that amateurs study tactics, professionals logistics. And in logistics I would include all the boring training and doctrine. Heck you can see it in the reporting and politicians talking at the moment about deliveries to Ukraine and every new piece is held like this one wonder solution bringing Ukraine to victory. No. It won’t. A handful of toys is not going to help them one bit. Same with the wonderweapon NGSW, as the doctrine and tactics stay flawed and there is not enough good trianing going on. Or all those fancy exüpensive ships for the USN that look good on paper, but are not really what the USN needs to do its mission.

            Or this fixation on these few wonder panaceas that have to be forced into every body from baby to the elderly with all the authoritarian power of the state the state. Instead of assessing the situation and who gets sick and why and go from there. Trusting in this fancy wonder medicine that is being advertised looks so much better. Really the same pattern I see there as with NGSW. Faulty assessment of the situation and then having a shiny solution and then make the problem fit the solution.

            Problem solving is totally FUBAR at this point IMHO. All public projects seem affected by this approach. 🙁

          • The US military has always, always plumped down for the new shiny rather than spent the time on training the people.

            If you go back and look into the reasons why they were so enamored of the Hall breech-loading rifles and carbines, the base reason was that they thought that they enabled the US forces to match or better the rates of fire of the European line infantry with men who weren’t trained and conditioned to the same standards.

            I think that one of the things a lot of Europeans just don’t “get” about the US is the labor mobility. Where in Europe, you could count on having men who were trained sticking around, in the US? LOL… They used the Army as a cheap means of getting out to the frontiers, where they’d promptly desert for greener pastures. As well, nobody saw the military as being a good idea or a steady job, unless it was a national crisis. Soooo… Anything that would allow the US military to match or better the European rates of fire that were enabled by better training/more experience? They’d buy it. After a few generations, that became so engrained that they don’t even think about it.

            With the MAG58, the Israelis and the Brits trained their guys not to touch the barrel/gas system. US? LOL… Yeah, we’re sticking a heavy-ass, complicated handguard on that bitch before we issue it out to the ground-pounders.

            Gadget before training, ‘Cos the training always, always takes a back seat when it comes to problem-solving approaches.

            This syndrome, along with so much else, derive from the military/political/social matrix that US forces exist within. Labor mobility, class distinctions, attitude towards the military, and the fact that we’ve got “No standing Army” wired into the cultural/political framework like you would not believe. One of the reasons that the Navy is the way it is with shipbuilding goes back to that inability to forecast budgets reliably more than two years out. What you’ve got going on in the US is, in large part, what can happen when you have to graft a quasi-hegemony military requirement onto a social matrix that had “standing army” as an anathema rather than an assumption.

          • Relax about the coNvid

            T’was what it said on the tin

            Started as a moderate flu and finished as a mild cold, no more and probably quite a bit less than a mild cold.

            A supposed new disease but with no distinguishing symptoms

            Supposed to be caused by a new virus- that no one to this day has ever isolated or seen

            Transmission electron microscopes cannot resolve a “virus”. samples require “fixing” with osmium, tungsten and gold salts and dehydrating before organic particles that size can be resolved, and can withstand the elecron beam

            Whether anything seen after that sample preparation treatment represents something that was there before the treatment is a highly dubious proposition. It’s far more likely to be an artifact of the fixing process, and is analogous to the detailed maps that some astronomers drew of the canals on Mars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
            Visible on their instruments- but not there in reality.

            In the 9 pages of bad effects from the Pfizer quaxxine, we’ve a bunch of things with rashes of spots and blisters (and clots and heart attacks and hepatitis…)

            Who’s going to be fool enough to believe that their quaxxine induced herpes or shingles flare up is money pox $$$$$

      • What is continuous war

        Except a distraction for the masses while the well connected launder all of the money that they’re stealing through inflation, via “defence” procurement projects.

        Something to ponder, every time we drive over yet another un patched pot hole in the road to serfdom and munch on a kill bates farmed cockroach

  2. One of the neat things from a manufacturing and engineering standpoint on the MCX is that the barrel extension is actually a separate part

    Behold, the great innovation – of 1956! Actually, I think Johnson got there first, so ~1940.

    The short-stroke piston seems kind of silly too. I understand the potential advantage of using a small, light piston that only travels a short distance, reducing total recoiling mass, etc. In this case, omitting the piston from the BCG still leaves a spring tube every bit as long and heavy as an AK’s, while requiring handguard removal to dig up the piston for cleaning.

    • I was puzzled by that comment of Ian’s, as well. To my knowledge, the AR-10/15 family has always used separate barrel extensions. I’m not even sure how the hell you could machine a single-piece barrel/extension combo, economically.

      I think that what throws off a lot of people is that you never, ever see the barrels for the M16 or other AR-type rifle sold without an installed extension.

      • Kirk,
        That would be a nightmare, having to use really short-taper broaches and reposition them many times for each recess.

        I think the extension idea is grossly underutilized, and recently commented to that effect on a different site. To me it is a “check-valve” in the history of technology – one of those innovations (or flashes of the obvious, depending on perspective) that obsoletes the old way (at the very least, once it passes out of patent protection).

        I’d also take it a step further and use a longer extension to hoop the chamber area, avoiding tremendous waste by making it feasible to use slimmer barrel blanks.

      • The early “Sudanese pattern ultra-light AR-10s has a one-piece barrel / extension. They also had deeply-fluted barrels ; stiffness and lightness.

        Interestingly, the Australian “Sportco / Omark” target rifles also used a one-piece setup from the early 1960’s onward. I have a few in my barrel rack and one on my “vintage” target rifle.

        Not much of a challenge with modern machines and metrology.

        • I just went digging through Joseph Putnam Evans’s The Armalite AR-10, and I can’t find anything even addressing that point. What I can find is ambivalent, and I wonder if your information reflects the change from the very early composite barrels vice the later steel ones…

          Do you have a cite for that? I’m really curious, now…

          And, while it might not be much of a challenge for the modern machine tool set, it’s still gotta be a lot more expensive than the barrel extension approach.

          • I’m guessing that you could do a very good job of the lug race ways in a one piece job with a good, old fashioned Fellows Gear Shaper

            Or it might even swage over a mandrel.
            Remington, used to cold form the lug raceways for the 788 and its .22 rf twin, on a set up like a barrel hammer forger

          • I owned and shot 2 Sudanese and i Portuguese (improved model AR-10s back in the “good old days”. the older ones also had a horrible one-piece tapered tubular fore-end. To remove it, you had to remove the gas block / front-sight pillar; NOT fun. Note that the new Brownells Retro AR-10 has a 2-piece fore-end that replicates the look of the original, including being a brown polymer, but is mechanically similar to the M-16A2 hand-guard system. Interestingly, the ones I had were fitted wit an adjustable gas system; being a stainless-steel screw-thingy that needed a special tool . The later pattern with the gas regulator that looked like a shrunken “Bren” type, was a serious improvement. Not entirely “soldier-proof, but very functional. The “off” position was for launching grenades from the multi-function muzzle gizmo.

      • The only rifle I’ve ever heard of with the barrel extension machined into the barrel itself was the late-production “war emergency” version of the Japanese Arisaka Type 99 in 1944-45.

        The idea there was that since this allowed the barrel and bolt to contain all firing stresses, the receiver’s only job was to be stiff enough to keep them in proper orientation to each other. So instead of scarce steel they could use cast iron, thereby economizing on materials.

        Today, the Savage Model 110 series bolt-action rifles use a similar setup. Except that even with them, the barrel extension is a separate piece, secured to the barrel itself by a fermeture nut at the front.



        • Eon,
          That would be the logical way to do the 110, but it isn’t how Savage does it. Their barrels have conventional threaded shanks; you can see the chamber (not lug recesses) at the breech end. Their boast is that they make it easier to achieve repeatable headspace by using that breeching ring.

          What you noted about the late-war Arisakas was exactly my point. It’s not just that I think swapping barrels is cool as a customer; extensions are absolutely in the manufacturers’ best interest. They reduce the “receiver” to a mere chassis to hold the barrel, BCG, FCG, and optics in alignment. What engineer or “gun guy” could fail to understand that he can then make it out of lighter, easier to machine, cheaper material? Instead of “Hurr, durr, I’m going to forge, harden, drill out, and broach long raceways into a long alloy steel receiver, cuz that’s how we’ve always done it!

          Actually, I can’t blame the manufacturers much, given the large vocal segment of the market who see “Work smarter, not harder” not as evidence of functioning human reason, but questionable quality, masculinity, patriotism, and probably parentage as well.

        • Some of the Savage-Stevens centrefire bolt actions actually did have the receiver formed out of the same piece of metal as the barrel

  3. Looks costly, like; for “throw away equipment” Couldn’t we just say like aim a bit lower with m4’s in like world war… Thus avoiding body armour. The side cocking handle should probably be turned into a claps for the folding stock. I mean like I don’t know, but I would suggest maybe North Korea would say like, erm… Shoot them in nuts like, with the cheaper gun, in ww3 like.

    • clasp… For the stock; turned into. Clap, clap. No not really, in answer to the question; is this a good u.s army rifle. All things considered. Interesting ammo I suppose. But I mean “legions” of commie chinese folk, in cheap but effective body armour shooting us in the nuts; I doubt this would be a game changer. Maybe I am wrong. But like… Looks expensive that, for like; not being a game changer. The M4 works… Sooo… Like, nooo…

      • Know what I mean? No… When you think about it… Even though it won the comp, it was entered into… Well. With good reason. But like, still no… Bit “lame” these lawsuit larks in the u.s in regards designing guns for them; I mean in ww3 god forbid they’d be being sprayed with monkey pox and worse, be vapourised by phosporus, obliterated by nukes… And whatnot. I mean if then the risk to a nation in a “life and death struggle” is frivilous lawsuits. Well I suggest avoiding wars.

        I mean we sure the transgender community can operate this rifle effectively? A war winning consideration surely; North Korea must be stratching there heads, in regards a similarly war winning response.

    • You’ve left out the most important role/mission for this weapon: Providing post-military retirement careers for the officers and civilian bureaucrats who enabled the entire mis-directed fiasco.

      • Also gives the generals and colonels a reason to be promoted. They’ll be retired, or too high up to criticize, when this becomes another M14 program.

      • They’ll be all indignant, and protesting the injustice of it

        When they’re brought before Nuremburg 2.

        There was a meme doing the rounds a few days ago, with a picture of a guillotine and the caption something like

        “In these difficult times”

        “A few cuts need to be made”

      • Training. If the target is still standing after two in the chest, shoot him in the head.

        Today of course, the training syllabus for infantry puts rifle marksmanship somewhere in the priority list below “necessary formalities” and “line-item justification”.

        And far below “pronouns”.



        • Sadly, you have that exactly right.

          We were “unexpectedly” issued our M68 Close Combat Optical Sights a few weeks before deployment to Iraq on our second tour. Care to guess what took precedence over the new equipment training and the ranges for zeroing them all and doing familiarization fires with them?

          The freakin’ “Casing the Colors” ceremony.

          A year after we got back, I was still running into soldiers on qual ranges who had no idea how to zero their sights, use them, or who were capable of understanding what they were able to do for them. From, ohbytheway, people who’d had those sights on their rifles the entire time we were in Iraq. Including some of the dudes and dudettes who were going outside the wire regularly on security taskings…

    • “Looks costly, like; for “throw away equipment” (…)”
      But was that one of technical tactical requirements or it was not?

  4. Have you (The U.S actually…) is that the new gun? I honestly don’t know, oh my… My oh my… Have to look at thus m250 thing.