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!

214 Comments

  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.

            cheers

            eon

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

            clear ether

            eon

          • 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.

          cheers

          eon

          • 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.

    • 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.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/apr/14/johnezard

            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! https://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/barrel-parts/rifle-barrel-hardware/barrel-extension-parts/ar-15-m4-barrel-extension-prod31793.aspx?psize=96 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.

        cheers

        eon

        • 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”.

        cheers

        eon

        • 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.

  5. I never thought this NGSW thing would get this far.

    I also think that it’s going to go the way of the SCAR-L.

    The root of my belief that this represents an actual failure is that the powers-that-be misidentified the problem in Afghanistan, and set out from false pretenses to solve a real problem with a solution that doesn’t actually address the causative factors.

    I’ve said it again and again: Your tactics and operational art should be what drive your weapons, not the other way around. The way we operated for decades, which was arrived at what could best be termed a “desire path” means of development, was that the basic infantry small arm was there to defend anyone acting in a combat role out to about 300m, usually less. You used them offensively only in really close-in circumstances, because that’s what worked. The 5.56mm works very well in this role, because you can carry a lot of rounds, and its easy to shoot by everyone who might be carrying it. It’s easy to train, easy on logistics, and it is just good enough that it serves the purpose. Would something else be better? My instincts say “yes”, but I can’t objectively prove that, so I’d leave it the hell alone until I could.

    So… The 5.56mm individual weapons have the role/mission of providing local security, basically. They’re not really what I’d term “offensive weapons”, in the sense that they are meant to kill the enemy. They’re there to keep the crews and individuals alive who man and control the weapons that actually do the killing; namely Forward Observers, Forward Air Controllers, and everyone else. At the low level of it all, the MG teams, the mortars, and the 40mm grenade launchers are the real killers.

    Given that we were operating mostly off of armored vehicles essentially as modern-day dragoons, this worked. The problem was, the idjits running things did not ever think we’d be in a fight where the armored stuff wasn’t there; everything was predicated on battle in Europe, where it was all short-range small arms stuff, coupled with copious amounts of supporting arms. For this, we sort of “fell into” the 5.56mm/7.62mm pairing, exactly as the Soviets/Russians did with their suite of small arms. The dual-caliber solution just works, and trying to force-fit MG/support role cartridge designs into an individual weapon format doesn’t work, just as it doesn’t work to go the other way.

    This fundamental failure to recognize/understand our small arms situation drove the idiocy behind NGSW; solve a training/doctrine problem with gadgetry.

    For the record, I’ll state that my perception of the problems in Afghanistan stemmed from taking soldiers trained and equipped for mechanized warfare in the built-up European theaters into an austere mountain environment and then restricting their access to the fire support they were used to having around to make the existing small arms suite work. Bad ROE didn’t help, either.

    The root issue is that we were being outranged by rifle-caliber PK machineguns up in the hills, nearly all of which were fired from tripods. Responding fire, for many reasons, came from us firing back with individual weapons and bipod-mounted 7.62mm MGs.

    Practical max effective range with an M4 tops out at around 600m, best case scenario. Yeah, you can do better, but those are exceptional marksmen shooting in what are exceptional circumstances for actual combat. Best you can do with the average gunner firing off the bipod in the average combat situation? Maybe, if you’re really lucky, 800m effective range. The bipod allows for way too much dispersion; it’s inconsistent; it does not allow for really effective fire control because it’s not repeatable, and you’re left trying to correct the gunner’s fire with really stupid fire control commands like “Up 50 meters”, which he then has to guess at. Or, you’re describing where you want him to shoot, when you may be looking at an entirely different sight picture than he has.

    So… The enemy is firing at you with a weapon that can deliver effective, accurate fire off a tripod out to 1200m. Even further, if he’s any good. You’re sitting there, “overmatched”, because you don’t have small arms capable of doing the same. You can fire at him with your MG team, but because they don’t have a locked-in firing solution, their bursts are literally all over the landscape. Of course they’re not going to effectively answer that fire… What did you expect?

    So… When you go to “solve” this problem, what did NGSW do? Did it attack the fire control issue, really? Did it attack the range issue that will exist, no matter what you do, because “bipod/average human shoulder”? No; no, they did not. They went after extraneous bullshit like the ballistics, claiming that armored soldiers downrange were the problem. I don’t think there were ever any verified cases where the guys shooting “overmatch” PK weapons at us were not taken out because “body armor”; everything I’ve ever seen, in any reliable source or talking to participants, indicates that we were unable to effectively “reach out and touch them” because of that range mismatch, which ain’t ballistic in causation. You’re going to have the same issues with the M250 that you have with the M240, firing both of them off the bipod. Too much variability, too little fine control, too hard to do fire control with.

    For those unfamiliar with the process, the way it should work is this: Element comes under fire; gun teams alerted and directed to positions; tripods and T&E mechanisms deployed under the guns; initial burst fired; corrections made by gun team leaders using binocular reticles using corrections linked to the T&E like “Left 100 mils, up 10 mils”; fire with corrections until beaten zones are laid across target and target is suppressed. You cannot do this sort of thing off a bipod; you absolutely have to have a damn tripod with T&E, and you have to have had the training to do this. Tripods are not just for use in static defense positions; if you’re going to have to answer long-range MG fire with more long-range MG fire, you need to have your damn guns on tripods. Period. You have to have the tools and the training; you must equip your gun team leaders with rangefinders and properly reticled binoculars, ones that have corresponding mil markings such that you can use them in conjunction with your mil-marked T&E mechanisms.

    Ballistics don’t affect this. This is a human interface issue, more than anything else. The guys equipped with the M250 are only going to be firing way fewer (heavier weights) bullets over the same widely dispersed areas as the old system, with similarly shitty effects on the enemy.

    Ya know how I’d know the NGSW program was serious? They’d have come up with something like a small robotic platform to carry the guns, one that was capable of delivering the same consistency and precision as a tripod-mounted gun. Or, they’d have included actually useful tripods, not the rehashed POS M122/192 that was based on a tripod we first issued for the Browning .30 cal in the 1930s. Which was based on the M2HB tripod designed in the 1920s…

    The Danish precursor to the German Lafette was designed by DISA sometime during the mid-1930s for the Madsen. It’s a highly adaptable and rapidly emplaced platform which can be carried and deployed relatively easily by light infantry, and it has a solid track record. You can change the command height; you can change the leg lengths and angles, to get a solid, level platform for the T&E to work.

    The guns and the ballistics are far less important than the underlying support systems and training. I would lay you long, long odds that a WWII German Gebirgsjager outfit would likely have made short work of most Afghani insurgent attacks based on machine gun fire from over 800m. Their tools, tactics, and training would have given them capabilities that our genius leadership can’t comprehend even existing.

    And, most of that is based not on the ballistics or the guns, but on the training and supporting “accessory” equipment, much of which is actually more important than the guns and cartridges, when considering the delivery of effective fires at long ranges.

    We could be doing so much better, and should be. German gunners had to consult painful tables of data to figure out the most effective ways to deliver fire between different elevations in the mountains; today, that could be an app on a cell phone.

    • Yes. Under those circumstances, WW1 Brits would tear us up with their Vickers and a cartridge even less tacticool than 7.62 NATO – much more so with modern optics and an app like you described.

      • They’d also be hauling said weapons around on horses, mules, or camels… Which we brilliantly removed from the MTOE back around the beginning of WWII. Only to realize we kinda-sorta coulda used a formation like 1st Cavalry up in the mountains of Italy, or elsewhere, horsies included.

        • Something I’ve never even considered, but absolutely insightful as always! Now that you mention it, why haven’t the guys buying $48/gal “green DFM” ever considered those load-haulers that eat unrefined biofuel off the ground, and crap fertilizer?!

          • God, for the sake of the horses, I hope nobody in charge sees my sarcasm and goes “Whoa… What a great idea!”

            For one thing, if it were traced back to me? My sister would solidly kill me, on behalf of the equines…

          • Frankly, it contrasts rather favorably with some of the ideas floated for the “Great Green Fleet”.

          • In contrast to the odd-numbered variant, a trireme at least has a hull that’s efficient at cruising speed.

        • The US Army was still using mules post WW2, for specialist “mountain” type troops.

          Mules are more sure-footed than horses and will forage on rougher pasture.

          I also read somewhere that the animals “lost” their vocal chords in the interest of “operational security”.

          • Actually, the only thing needed to keep a mule from braying is to secure his tail in the down position. Mules instinctively raise the tail to bray. Tie it down, no braying.

            My mother trained horses and pack mules for the U.S. Army before WW2. She considered mules superior to horses for military purposes, being generally smarter and easier to teach things like “Stand still while I secure the load, OK?”

            She considered mules to be indispensable for mountain, jungle or other “irregular” warfare. As she put it, “Show me a better and more reliable way to move mortars where there aren’t any roads”.

            She also said that the primary purpose of the horse in the Army after the introduction of the tripod-mounted heavy machine gun was to provide senior officers with a taxpayer-funded riding club.

            Fact; During the American Civil War, for every horse being ridden by a cavalryman or dragoon or pulling an artillery piece, there were at least three mules in service pulling supply wagons, ambulances, and etc., plus carrying ammunition boxes for everybody from the infantry to the mountain gunners.

            cheers

            eon

        • Coming from a naval background, I’d much prefer modernized Vickers or M1917s. To me, blindly following the land services’ MG choices (made for very valid land service reasons, which happened to move in the opposite direction from our own requirements) is like copying answers from a smart kid who has a different version of the test.

          • More like copying the “smart kid” that everyone acclaims as a genius, who you catch actually eating paste during his breaks…

          • LOL… No point to playing “team” with the kid who doesn’t even have enough on the ball for the short bus. He’s so lost that he can’t even grasp the concept of team, which is why this whole “new rifle/cartridge” thing is going on in an utter vacuum of allied input and engagement.

      • World war 1 era .303 mk7, actually out performs 150gr .30-06 from about 500m onwards, with about 50% greater max range for laying down a beaten zone.

        I’ve never fully compared it to 150gr boat tail 7.62×51,
        The 174 grain boat tail military loadings of 7.62×51 are probably slightly ahead of. 303mk 7, and roughly on a par with WW2 era .303 mk 8

        • Thanks, Keith! I should have remembered that from “The Grand Old Lady of No Man’s Land”. So they had both advantages; I’d still place top priority on their dedication and mastery of the art and science of gunnery.

  6. “SIG M5 rifle, M250 machine gun”
    I understand that M250, 250 is next after 249, but I am baffled by M5? Was “rifle” sequence restarted recently and thus newer weapon has lower number than already used M16?

    • It follows M4, in an effort to convince soldiers to ignore gravity and think of it as a “carbine”.

      • So… this is nod to Korean War-era users of M1919A6 “light” machine gun, where adjective was unlikely to be applied by men who were tasked with hauling said weapon around battlefield?

        • The “light” appellation/usage back then was meant to describe a weapon that was incapable of sustained fire like the “heavy” MG, the M1917 water-cooled variant.

          Came the M60, that American military usage and definition went slip-sliding away as the force which used the terminology aged out, and it became logical in their minds to refer to the M60 as a light or medium weapon (mostly in map and range card use) and the M2HB as the “heavy”. Which was never a thing, back in the day; the M2HB was the TOW missile of its day, a multi-purpose beast for anti-air and vehicle purposes. If you said “heavy machine gun” to someone of that era when referring to the M2HB, they’d look at you funny, ‘cos to them, that was an M1917 with water-cooling and all that implied.

          So, the “light” and the “heavy” was meant to describe the amount of fire the damn things could deliver, not how much effort it took to haul ’em around.

          At least, that’s how more than one or two old-timers described it to me.

          Bluntly put, despite the best efforts of lexicologists and linguists working for NATO, the terminology is terminally fuxxored across the board. Do not, I pray you, ever try getting into the UK/German/French understandings of these things. You’ll lose your freakin’ mind, especially if you’re ever stuck in dealing with an anally-retentive German Infantry NCO whose English isn’t nuance-enabled, and who can’t get across why he’s so disturbed at the implications of the range cards and sector sketches you’re sharing with him, when he goes to look at what’s out on the ground. I’m still a little unsure about what the issue was, but I think it had something to do with the way we’d used the same weapon symbol for both M60-with-tripod and M60-on-bipod. To us, same weapon. To him? Anathema and obscenity…

    • As Mike says… Don’t try to follow the logic of any weapons designations by the US. By rights, the M250 really ought to be what they termed the MK48 MOD 0, but because they want to confuse the ever-loving snot out of everyone, and because the Navy just has to be “speeshul”, they use the Mark/Mod designators. They could have come up with a policy that said “Small arms are exclusively Army designations”, they could have said that they’d have to have a unified system, or they could have even gone with the electronics usages, where it’s “AN” to indicate usage by both Army and Navy.

      Frankly, the whole issue just pisses me off. All the little esoteric terminology BS that nobody ever bothers to clearly define, or which is kept obfuscated in some esoteric manual or STANAG somewhere, like magical arcana in some long-lost tome of forbidden eldritch knowledge? Screw that. Clarity, simplicity, and consistency ought to be the only three things they worry about.

      Ya wanna really piss me off? Go look for an accessible explanation for all the little iconographic symbols they put on NATO ammo cans to indicate how the ammo is packaged. You see it on every NATO ammo can, it’s meant to clarify what’s in the can or box, but is it ever mentioned anywhere in a training publication or any of our training syllabi? Oh, hell, no. Swear to God, I induced brain-lock in the instructor when I was going through the Ammunition NCO course, back in the day: He had no clue what those symbols meant. NONE. And, he was a.) a retired ammo tech, b.) QASAS-certified, and c.) supposedly a school-trained ammunition handling course trainer. In his entire career, he’d never noticed those icons, never wondered what they meant, and had no ‘effing idea what the hell they were supposed to be. I mean, they’re pretty intuitive, but… C’mon, now… Shouldn’t they be trained on? Shouldn’t there be, like, y’know… An easily available key somewhere accessible to the average soldier or Marine?

      They wanted me to pay for a copy of the STANAG, when I went to include that reference in an SOP I was putting together. PAY. ‘Cos, NATO STANAG pubs are a freakin’ profit center, for someone, somewhere. If I remember right, circa 2002 or so, it was a couple of hundred bucks to get a copy of that thing. Out-‘effin-ra-geous.

      • “(…)they could have even gone with the electronics usages, where it’s “AN” to indicate usage by both Army and Navy.”
        Well, it was done in 1940s at least once for vehicular machine gun, namely AN/M3 http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Browning_M3
        hopefully someone better knowing that part of history will be able to explain why this method felt out of use

        “it’s meant to clarify what’s in the can or box, but is it ever mentioned anywhere in a training publication or any of our training syllabi?”
        It is hard to prove negative, especially considering that above might explained in some training footage or part of that, as it might be apparently laid out in few minutes as shown below
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2AI8CDWryg

        “They wanted me to pay for a copy of the STANAG, when I went to include that reference in an SOP I was putting together. PAY. ‘Cos, NATO STANAG pubs are a freakin’ profit center, for someone, somewhere. If I remember right, circa 2002 or so, it was a couple of hundred bucks to get a copy of that thing. Out-‘effin-ra-geous.”
        Well, at least they do not require you to go personally at own cost to source, that is NATO Standardization Agency (NSA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization HQ,
        Boulevard Leopold III B-1110, Brussels, Belgium.

  7. Looks expensive but then the army has a rich uncle who gets his money from other peoples’ pockets…

    For all that it’s worth I think that sprinkling in a few DMR M16s with 20 inch barrels set up for a 5.56+P+ tungsten core cartridge would be about as effective and not upset so many apple carts. But then it’s my money that the rich uncle is taking.

    • No it’s not your money. It’s part of one of your favorite sayings. “Freedom isn’t Free”. We have to pay for what we have. Otherwise we don’t have squat.

    • And yet, when I daydream about a Congress brave enough to put a kink in the money hose as a first step towards bullying the DoD into running fewer multi-billion-dollar “bridge to nowhere” rackets like NGSW, or the LCS program, or the endless parade of new camouflage uniforms, or (add useless programs of choice ad infinitum), suddenly it’s “unpatriotic” to suggest the MIC deserves anything less than unlimited largesse and a free hand to spend tax money like water.

  8. This choice shows clearly a betrayal of original objective, e.i. WEIGTH of the weapon and respective ammo DOWN so more of it can be carried. I do not see how well will this choice bode with rank and file servicemen. After all it is not a rifle which is the main tool for fire superiority.

    In contrast I like to point out the new Chinese service rifle, the QBZ-191 and 192. That is a well optimized weapon system in 5.8x42mm.

    The XM-5 is just and OVERKILL for whatever the cost may be. Yet, it was NOT publicly disclosed, IF it will indeed penetrate the current Level 4 armor. With 13″ long barrel good luck.

    • Y’know… I went looking for the original NGSW documentation, the justifications for what they were going out after with it.

      Everything beyond the most general of generalizations was classified. You ask the question of “Does this meet the documented reasons they undertook this…?”, and you can’t even really answer that, ‘cos… Classified.

      An individual weapon and a support weapon are not Skunkworks-level stealth engineering. I honestly do not understand why a rational person would slap a classification on the supporting documents justifying this program, unless it were for purposes of obfuscation.

      Or, alternatively, that they were French or Soviets… I believe I read somewhere that the original work for the 8mm Lebel was still classified, under the French system…?

      Still strikes me as nuts. You have all this out in the open so that the brass can’t just pat you on the head and assert “Yes, Timmy… It’s mo bettah…”, and be done with it.

      • That mantra about “weight reduction to afford more carried ammunition per mission” is what I read in TFB since his hublaboo started some four years ago. There was one knowledgeable writer with name Nathanial who popularized it. It was ALL about the weight saving – supposedly. Suddenly, before your say “dervish” it was turned into something else.

        Btw., does anyone know what the capabilities of personal armor will be 5 years from now?

        Now, I do not intend o sound conspiratorial for sake of it, but I cannot help the feelin’ the SIGs transfer to this continent was NOT without a plan to begin with. Think of what suits to you.

        • The “weight reduction” thing went out the window with the failure of the caseless and cased-telescopic technologies. I noted that when it happened, and I kinda thought that was the death-knell for the program, as it was really the only thing I could see making the least sense.

          Turns out, I was wrong. There’s an awful lot of “stupid” in the Army, when it comes to weapons. My guess is that the M5 is not only going to recapitulate the M14/7.62mm fiasco, but it’ll have some of the same features of the SCAR-L failure. The weight thing and the loss of ammo capacity is going to be what does it; I predict that the M5 will spend a lot of time left behind in the various arms rooms of units issued the things, and they’ll likely glom onto the M4A1s that are supposed to go to all the other not-so-high-speed types. It will be a repetition of history, in other words.

      • “(…) I believe I read somewhere that the original work for the 8mm Lebel was still classified, under the French system…?(…)Still strikes me as nuts.(…)”
        I do not know about this, but in dawn of 20th century, when they were looking for machine gun, they say Hotchkiss is not acceptable, because can not be kept secret (it was offered internationally) so they concluded to make own machine gun which could be secret and so they ended with https://modernfirearms.net/en/machineguns/france-machineguns/puteaux-m1905-eng/

  9. Aside from all the other valid complaints, why the expensive to manufacture bi-metal cases? SIG says that brass case heads can’t handle the higher pressure, hence the steel base. OK, then why not make the entire case out of steel like the Rooskies?

    • Good question; we know brass does the seal bit… Maybe Russian steel cases, are not the same steel as the bases of these. Actually must be that; but it would be interesting to hear the details.

      • Casings on Russian and other makes shots of their traditional calibers are of medium strength, draw quality steel. I shoot them regularly and observe it is definitely not very soft material; it takes quite a force to strip the rim. At the neck they are just as thin the brass so they definitely seal well. What makes them easier to extract and keeps rust away is the lacquer coat. Chinese shots of older vintage are copper washed; they work just as fine.

      • “(…)Maybe Russian steel cases, are not the same steel as the bases of these.(…)”
        Which technology do you mean by this exactly
        – steel case, brass coating
        – steel case, tombak plated
        – steel case, lacquer
        – steel case, polymer
        ?

        • Steel case ammo is a softer steel. It expands similar to brass when fired. This new round uses much harder stainless steel for the base because of the ridiculously high chamber pressure. This should have been the first and last clue that this whole plan was stupid from the start.

    • Too simple a solution…? Not patented by SIG, so they can’t charge licensing for the use thereof…?

      Pick one, or make up your own. They all make about as much sense as the rest of this incredible ‘effing boondoggle.

      I honestly don’t know which Milley “initiative” pisses me off more: The new WWII-esque dress uniforms, adopted less than ten years after the last iteration of “new dress uniforms”, or this. It’s about as much sense as the ACU in that crappy UCP pattern (when we already owned what became MultiCam, and which, apparently, they never really looked at as an alternative…), or the ever-popular blood-pressure raising fiasco with the Shinseki black beret.

      I gotta be honest with you: After a lifetime of working within the system, subject to the idiotic whims of these assholes, none of whom could set a consistent and rational set of priorities about important shit to save their lives? I’d frankly be up for shutting down the entire sorry edifice and going back to private military contractors like they did back in the days of yore. It couldn’t possibly be any worse than it is, by doing that, and at least you’d be able to fire the morons when they did something so egregiously stupid as to buy new uniforms AGAIN within less than a decade after buying entirely unnecessary new ones in the first place.

      What yikes me about both of those things, the new WWII uniforms and the “new” camouflage pattern…? BOTH of those options were strongly suggested by many, many people back when the decisions were made to go with UCP and that blue abomination.

      Swear to God, they don’t do the right thing until they’ve tried everything else, and have run out of all other options. No idea how many trillions of dollars have gone down that rathole…

      • Decade between uniforms you say? The Navy sees that and raises. I’ll spare you all the details, but we still don’t have one working uniform that we can both wear to and from work, and underway / on inport duty.

        As dumb as the grass-stain ACU was, I respected the fact that the Army not only has one full-time working uniform, but uses it for NFL color guards and such – seeing nothing “unprofessional” about representing warriors in the warfighting uniform, as opposed to our prissy REMF “leadership”.

        • Left up to me, there wouldn’t be any such things as “dress uniforms”, period.

          Ya wanna play dress-up with live-action toys? Join a re-enactor’s organization. Dress uniforms are a waste of money, time, and utterly without purpose in today’s military. There isn’t a single ‘effing junior enlisted guy out there who says to his buddy “Hey, let’s go downtown and score with the chicks wearing our dress uniforms…” Which was, essentially, the original purpose behind “walking out” uniforms that evolved into the universal “dress uniform”. Aside from the fact that nobody wears them anymore, unless ordered to, there is the little facet of life known as “OPSEC”, wherein you don’t skyline yourself for terrorists and others by being easily identifiable as military off-duty.

          I’ll tell you when my last straw was put on my back RE: dress uniforms; it was the day that the nice security folks at the base security office told us that, if we were going to hold a unit function off-base, we were not going to be allowed to do so in uniform. Because, reasons. Much argument afterwards, they threw us a bone, and said we could go to the venue in civilian clothes, then change into dress uniforms there. But, we could not go outside in dress uniforms, and we had to change back into civvies to go home.

          Said unit function did not occur. And, there was a supposed “legitimate” threat to any such military function off-base, at the time. Which leads inescapably to my issue with the entire idea of a dress uniform in the first place.

          I gotta be honest with people, as well… I think it was unmitigated idiocy to have people traipsing through the civilian transportation network wearing uniforms at all, especially back during the early days after 9/11. Care to guess who’d have been the first dude shot, during a hijacking? Not to mention, dear God, the state of your average uniform after being in-country for six months, and then coming home on mid-tour leave? Yikes… They’d have been better served to have given everyone Tyvek painter’s coveralls as they left Kuwait.

          • I’d keep dress uniforms (optional on the E side), but only for changes of command, weddings, etc. (not #$%^&* shipboard watches!).

          • I honestly cannot see the point to them. It’s all so useless and utterly lacking in practicality, when you get down to it.

            The old uniforms with all the color and the uniform accoutrements that made sense? Like, the little cannon spikes that the Hussar’s wore, so when they managed to capture cannon, they could disable them? That was practicality; it made sense, on a battlefield where conditions required those things. Having vestigial gilt and color on the dress uniforms, hauled out for special occasions only? WTF?

            You can tell how idiotic it is by the observation of how this generation’s dress uniform is usually the battledress of a generation or more in the past, tarted up with bling and shinies. I have no doubt but that we will one day be using camouflage patterns as heraldic items, with the dress uniforms likely including vestigial plate carriers and the sleeved fireproof spandex tops to go with them. Meanwhile, the actual combat uniform will feature some kind of optically-active camouflage measure that blends in like the aliens in Predator, totally disconnected from the “dress uniform” of the future. The ammo pouches will be like the uniform pockets in the dress greens, just there for the flaps and a place to pin crap. We’ll probably be hanging the awards off the MOLLE strapping, or something…

            Total. ‘Effing. Lunacy.

          • They started with a practical purpose when battle hinged on holding or breaking lines, and militaries did whatever they could to awe the enemy. Working uniforms diverged once fires began to dominate the battlefield.

            Today they serve the same purpose as formal business attire, without making us look like a bunch of sillyvilians. I just prefer the Army’s view of what constitutes a formal occasion over the Navy’s.

        • What actually happened is that the Army is trapped in a dress-uniform color cycle, but now it’s speeding up.

          In the ’50s the Army decided that olive drab was no good because all the surplus uniforms floating around civilian life hurt recruiting. They held a contest between 3 choices: stick with OD, turn the 1938 blue dress uniform into the service uniform, or introduce forest green.

          I knew by 2003 that the Army was again blaming the uniforms for recruiting problems, and indeed the next contest was between the same 3 choices. I guessed OD that time and blue won.

          So when the next contest happened only a decade later, OD was no surprise. The cycle is completed. They’ll never bring back forest green, so probably back to the blues next time.

        • I’m about as far removed from the world of coveralls and FRVs and all that fleeter shit as you can be and still be in the Navy; on my side of the house, we’re fortunate enough to have one working uniform whether we’re homeported or deployed, in the field or in the office. We went directly from woodland BDUs to the Type IIIs, and I’m not at all convinced that it was a worthwhile move. “Digital guacamole” blends passingly well in the wall-to-wall greenery of southern Mississippi in the summer, but that’s about the only place I’ve ever seen it work, and although they don’t blow out at the crotch like the BDUs used to, the Type IIIs rapidly fade with weather and wear from avocado green to a sort of a pale blue-grey that resembles nothing more than the execrable UCP ACU.

          If it were up to me, the entire DoD would have adopted functionally identical fatigue uniforms in Multicam as designed by Caleb Crye & co. sometime circa 2004 and we’d be wearing them until Cyberdyne or whomever is ready to roll out the powered exoskeletons with the nuclear batteries or what have you. Actually, scratch that, given my druthers we’d still be wearing woodland BDUs and DCUs depending on the occasion, with Multicam reserved for stuff like plate carriers and all that tactical nylon we lug around.

          • Jian,
            You make a lot of good points, and I agree. I always figured that the Army’s odd choice of grass-stain camo during a desert war was due to their uniform traditions, but I don’t get it for the Navy. Not only are deserts shades of tan and grey, but so are mountains / rocks, buildings and roads, marshlands, standing grain, plowed fields, entrenchments, etc. Green works in jungles, and it resembles city people’s view of temperate forests (i.e. from the outside, from highways or pictures) – but when people who have a choice buy camouflage for the woods, what do they buy? Shades of tan and grey, because temperate forests look like tree trunks and dead leaves from the inside at human height.

      • Kirk:

        I think they found the blue uniforms made the top brass look too much like cops for their liking.

        • Well, now they look like little fat boys who borrowed their older, fitter brother’s Marine outfit.

          • You have no idea. This is actually me trying to filter my now-engrained inner voice of cynicism for public consumption…

            Spend a career in the service, paying attention to things? You’ll leave it with your childhood illusions about the rational nature of the universe and the competency of “the adults” running things utterly and thoroughly shattered. When I was a private soldier, I’d listen to the LT giving us the Operations Order, and I’d be all agog and enthusiastic at the depth of planning and demonstrated skill. By the time I was standing next to the LT as a platoon sergeant, I knew in the depths of my soul that all the BS we were pumping out from higher in the OPORD was more accurately a list of things that weren’t going to happen, and if they did happen, they’d happen in a manner and time entirely unconceived within the OPORD…

            Which is why, if it were me, I’d fire the lot of these morons running this show, and hire us a bunch of retired senior SF weapons sergeants who spent their careers training Third-world military forces how to use small arms. We’d probably wind up with us procuring some obscure Czech weapons from decades in the past, but I guarantee you two things: They’d work, and we’d be able to rely on them working well in the hands of the troops.

          • Have you shot the new Bren 2 yet? I’d take that Czeck rifle over this mistake any day of the week.

          • “Have you shot the new Bren 2 yet? I’d take that Czeck rifle over this mistake any day of the week.”
            Now I confused, you are embracing said design XOR show disdain by changing spelling of Czech?

          • Did you mean XCR? That’s a good rifle, just heavy. I got to shoot a Bren 2, and I have to say I was impressed. I’d like to see it get a full rigorous test.

      • Milley belongs in a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera.

        He is “the very model of a (post-)modern major general”.

        And generally manages to look and act even less coherent than Gary Busey in Under Siege.

        cheers

        eon

    • Precisely, my thought since a long time ago. That casing is based on on 7.62 NATO, which is based on Spr.30.06 which is based on 7mm Mauser. The 8mm Mauser shot had alternately steel casing and it worked fine. Of course as you mentioned three major Russian calibers are with steel casings.

      So it looks to me like a solution to non-existing problem.

  10. Lots of naysayers in the comments today it would seem. This sort of design has been overdue, the US military has been wanting a larger caliber for many years. The existing m16 to m4 derivation has done all it can by myriad modifications and it was about time to adopt a modern design for use with modern optics, mlok accessories, QD sling mounting, and finally an issued suppressor. And I’m glad it’s not a bullpup.

    • Want does not equate to need.

      They need to solve the range problem with long-range fires in small-arms only engagements. This entire NGSW fiasco does nothing to solve the issue, and creates several more “new and better” mistakes/issues.

      The M5 looks sexier; it’s got mo’ bettah enguhneering. But, raw fact? Does it do the job better than the M4A1?

      Wanna know what I think is going to happen? I’ll tell ya: The same gawddamn thing that happened with their idiotic M16A2/M4 issuance, which was supposed to put the M16A2 into the hands of the infantry bubbas ‘cos they sure did need that longer barrel and increased accuracy/lethality. The M4 was supposed to be relegated to the support troops, ‘cos they needed compact and easily carried.

      Know what happened, though? The Infantry guys saw that M4, tried it out, and all of a sudden, every one of those “support arms M4 Carbines” got themselves a new home: Out in the Infantry units. We in the support arms never saw the bastards, even though we sure could have used something like them in our jobs. Oh, and because of the fact that the idiots in charge never really bothered to validate the lethality of the M4/M855 combination, we went nearly 15-20 years before someone was smart enough to acknowledge what a lot of Rangers were saying after Mogadishu: The M4 wasn’t killing people. Not loaded with the M855, anyway… Think about that, for a second: Nobody validated what became the standard infantry weapon with the standard ammunition, or investigated reports of failure-to-stop, or did anything about it for nearly two decades.

      Here’s what I project for the M5: It’ll be the latest hotness for a little bit, kinda like the SCAR-L was with the Ranger battalions. Then, people will notice that they’re not getting what they were told they were gonna get, in terms of weight/performance/lethality out of it, and it’s gonna go right back into the arms room the same way the M21 and the initial tranche of M110s did. And, the M14 “MBR” upgraded rifles they pawned off on us, and only a tiny fraction ever managed to use effectively.

      One the M5 is back in storage, look for a return of the “just works” solution, the M4. That’ll happen when the infantry again does a “vote with their feet” thing, following that “desire path design” process. Yet again. I’d even wager good money that the M240 in 7.62mm will come back in, due to expense of replacing barrels and all the rest.

      Nobody has ever really acknowledged how thoroughly and how badly they screwed up the modernization of the M16 after Vietnam. The M16A2 was a friggin’ shit-show, from day one. Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY came out of Vietnam saying that the M16A1 was great, they should just make it a little longer, a lot heavier, and, oh, add in a freakin’ nightmarishly complex rear sight suitable only for Marine Corps known-distance ranges and the National Matches. You’re not going to find a single set of after-action reports saying any of that crap, although you will find plenty of places where they said it should be shorter and handier, have night sights, and maybe a few other improvements like issuing actual optics instead of relying on someone buying their own.

      There’s a lot of analysis that should have been done, once it was clear that the actual weapon we were going to use was the M4. Because, my friend, that little shift of target pretty much indicates just how wrong we got the M16A2.

      • I would certainly feel alot more confident if we got a new gun, and they put you on T.V to say why… You know like Rona science, Dr’s on telly… Should get you, this is why we are doing this gun, and this is why you will like it. Now salute.

        • Only way I’d ever put my name anywhere near the vicinity of this BS was if they paid me enough money for me to privately purchase stuff that worked for the Army, which I’d outsource to a handy consortium of retired SF Weapons Sergeants, and I had money left over to pay for the hired killing of the entire current set of idiots currently running this BS shitshow into the ground.

          Yes, I have strong feelings on the matter. I was brought up to respect the taxpayer’s dollars, and the lives of the men they entrusted me to take into combat on their behalf. The people behind this NGSW crap never had that ethos inculcated into them, and I think that is clearly demonstrated by the outcome of this program.

      • Short barrelled bastards… And to think, I thought it was increased rifling which made long barrels “better” until I came on here. He he!

      • with the locked-in factor of case capacity of the 5.56 NATO, anything more than 20 inches is pretty much a waste of material. 24 inch “target” barrels show little velocity improvement over 20 inch barrels. Stoner and Sullivan actually had a few clues between them.

        20 inch 5.56 NATO barrels in a bullpup, a la the basic Steyr AUG works fine to all practical individual combat ranges. Beyond that, is the realm of the light mortar and the GPMG. (Or airstrike, battleship or whatever you are lucky enough to call in.

        A modern 60mm mortar can deliver a LOT of unpleasantness, a LOT further than even a 7.62 NATO GPMG on a tripod, and is a LOT lighter; ammo not included.

    • IT’S A DISASTER
      which was predictable
      it’s an 10 lb gun with the pressure of a 30-06 80K PSI and a 20 round mag,
      the scope will require the armorer to fix rings
      The design is range nerds being played by corrupt military and contractors

      it’s a giant step back
      and the squad m250 version has a fixed barrel – a machine gun that you can’t change the barrel on.

      it’s a corrupt disaster
      predictable
      but the people who think war is going to the range will be happy
      until it gets their sons bagged up

      • Fixed barrel on the MG version says it all. These idiots have no idea, whatsoever, what the hell these weapons are supposed to actually do, in combat.

        Can’t wait for the after-action on the next Wanat we fight using these weapons. It’s gonna be epic.

  11. 6.8 x 51 looks a LOT like the old 7mm second optimum EM-2 cartridge from th early 1950’s. A cartridge that went on to briefly become th e7mm Liviano in Venezuelan FALs.

    It is also somewhat akin to the.270-.308 wildcat that was invented about five minutes after Winchester introduced the .308Win. in the 1950s. A cartridge developing the stated pressure will produce “interesting blast and recoil, especially from a short-ish barrel, unless the laws of physics are repealed.

    In MG use, the smaller bullet diameter educes tracer pellet capacity. Loading up a lengthened bullet to deliver the required burn distance means reduced propellant space in the case, thus repeating the problems seen in the M856 / L110 5.56 NATO tracer round.

    Gas port temperature and pressure? Stellite-sleeved gas ports?? “Self-regulating” a la M-14 / AR, or user ajustable “bleed” like the FAL / L1A1? Bleed flash at night?

    60K PSI breech pressure? Planning on a muffler? That could get interesting.

    All a bit of a worry.

    • I foresee a lot of Safety-of-use-messages. I don’t see that suppressor doing very well with Joe Snuffy the RagBag Man running it into the ground, especially with all that pressure backing it up.

      • Tank cannon, unlike infantry weapons, get a lot of attention from the maintenance guys. They keep logs on them. They replace them on preventative maintenance schedules after they’ve fired enough rounds that they are slightly worn.

        The thing about NGSW that floors me is that the weapons do not seem to have any implementation of even passive logging hardware that would keep track of round counts and other data. This, to me, when coupled with the irrationally high pressures they are intending to use, is rank stupidity and incompetence. The technology ain’t out of reach, but it should be developed and be included.

        Whole bunch of other crap along with this needs some dire re-thinking. Stuff nobody pays attention to, either–The admin side of things is equally important. As an example, if you look at the M1/M14, the serial numbers were positioned on the top rear of the receiver. Small, unimportant bit of esoterica for the average interested person, totally irrelevant to the general shooting public. But… Get it into military context, and that’s an incredibly smart thing for Garand to have done, because it means that you can read and verify serial numbers on a racked and secured weapon. Do you have any idea how many goddamn hours are blown, every year, doing serial number inventories on weapons that have to have the racks unlocked, weapons removed, read, and then replaced? All because Stoner put his serial numbers on the sides of the receivers?

        You ask me, and I’d tell you that all the BS they think is important with the weapons is only a small slice of what is actually relevant to the needs of the military. New weapons, going forward? They need to have things like bar codes and military-safe RFID tracking baked into the system from the get-go, so that units don’t take half a training day just to issue the damn things for routine training. The arms racks should double as transport containers, and they ought to have built-in integrated chargers and diagnostic systems for any battery-powered electronics you put on the weapons. Not to mention, the entire system ought to be set up such that if the commander wants to know where his weapons are, he can “ping” the arms room to find out precisely what is inside the secured cage 24/7.

        You think that crap isn’t important? Try issuing weapons during an alert in Korea, sometime. You would be shocked at what an impediment that “minor” thing can become, and it’s only gotten worse with time. Back in the day, you had maybe one or two things per soldier in the Arms Room they had to get out. These days? LOL… Rifle, scope, night vision, crypto key… Nightmarish. One of these days, we’re gonna get caught flat-footed, and have a combat unit get wiped out because they were standing in line trying to get their stuff issued to them out of storage. Probably by people armed with sticks and stones…

  12. Ian, love ya’ man, but all those things you said you loved about it are going out the window when you use the “real” ammo. I can make a .460 WM fun to shoot, if I load it with half the powder charge.

  13. Oh, and as an aside…? That side-folding stock? I’ve owned several weapons that did that, and I’m here to say that the contemplation of having to carry those bastards in combat did not thrill me to bits.

    Ian notwithstanding, most of us out here are right-handers. You put a leftwards-folding stock on a rifle that’s going to be carried by a rightie? That decision is going to cost you, in terms of actual usability. Odds are, that stock will either never be folded, or if it is, it’s going to get hung up in shit and tangled beyond belief. I owned a Valmet M76FS for a few years, and once had the great good fortune to be allowed to take out as an OPFOR weapon for an exercise. That thing got one day of use with the stock folded, and it was extended from there on out. Having the stock up against your body, which is where it goes when you are a right-handed sort? Hugely, massively a pain in the ass; it hooks on gear, it doesn’t want to ride right, and the fact that the Finns went to the effort of having all following weapons like the RK-95 fold to the right…? Ought to tell you something. Whoever is responsible for that at SIG has just ensured that there will be an eventual change to the design, once enough people get tired of dealing with it.

    • The first thing I noticed about left-folding stocks on AK-pattern weapons was that they only worked because on the basic AK the fire control is that big dust-cover thing on the right side that Mikhail Timofeyevich copied from the Remington Model 8.

      On a Galil, it pretty much blocks access to the fire control lever, which is more sensibly in the same position as on an FAL. But the FAL Para had the same problem.

      Much as I hate to admit it, only HK got it right with the retracting stock on the G3 and etc. Then they went to the side-folding stock on the G36, mainly because its receiver was too flimsy to handle the telescoping “grease gun” type setup. But the G36 was a flimsy PoS overall, so that shouldn’t have surprised anybody.

      As for the XM-8, they should have come up with a stock patterned on something other than a Lazer Tag Starlyte Pro;

      https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images1/1/1113/02/worlds-wonder-vintage-starlyte-pro_1_471fd6d0c433af41dd289df2ccfe8618.jpg

      But then again that was apparently what they based the entire damn rifle on.

      cheers

      eon

  14. Only weeks ago I was asking, why has the Army pursued several different lines of acquisition (M27 in 5.56, M5/M250 in 6.8, existing guns in 7.62 NATO, the MG338 in .338 Norma Magnum, and a confirmed supply of 6mm ARC).

    The only way this works is if the plan is to eliminate standard rifles. Each combat unit will be custom-tailored for specialist missions, and have its own supply chain and unique weapons. The support troops will get all the old M4s as PDWs.

    Which is not so different than the British Army 300 years ago, except those were privatized to the point where each regimental colonel took a lump sum from the Crown to equip, arm and uniform his men however he pleased as cheaply as he could get away with. The regiments didn’t fit into any larger permanent divisions. The Cabinet simply decided which regiments to throw at a problem. They had plenty of options: foot infantry, light infantry, rifle regiments.

    The 6mm ARC gets used in rebarreled M27s and M249s by airborne. The M5/M250 go to the heavy infantry, with some M5s used as DMRs all around. Someone very specialized is getting the MG338s.

    The mysterious recent decision by the USMC to go to all-M27 squads with a pretend-SAW now looks like an interim measure to wait out this Army mess. The Marines ordered 6mm ARC stocks too. It could rebarrel its M27s but also acquire MG338s or M250s as real LMGs.

    • It’s an incoherent mess begging for Congressional slap-down, when and if they ever do their job of oversight. End of the day, I foresee the M4, M249, and M240 still being the primary weapons.

      This boutique “golf-bag” line of BS works only until someone has to do the logistics for it. We were suffering severe enough shortages of the Lake City OTM sniper rounds in Iraq that the snipers were reduced to de-linking and then weighing (for consistency) the 7.62 ball ammo for the machineguns…

      JIT is a shitty concept to run military logistics on. I don’t see this many-caliber, many mission concept actually working or being tolerated by Congress. I think there will be a “put up, or shut up” moment when the services have to actually prove there’s an objective need and an objective benefit from all these new rounds.

      When that doesn’t actually apparate, well… M4s for everybody, baby! Along with M240s!!

      • I think you’re right, but I can’t figure out any other plan in mind. It’s the trap of an empire that claims a sphere of influence of over 100 countries in every climate zone. You might need to send troops to any of them so you either under-specialize and get poor results with generic NATO-style units, or over-specialize and get caught short when a unit gets wrecked and you don’t have a second such unit still in the Rolodex. Logistics aside.

        • I don’t think that the US is really something we should consider an “empire”. To my mind, we’re really filling the role of Venice, after the fall of the various other powers, some of which they caused. Empire implies that you’re drawing taxation directly, not through the intermediary of trade. Yes, there are dependencies out there, but we’re not drawing on their tax bases to support things, other than the treaty obligations for them to have us base troops and defend them.

          People keep saying “Imperial”, and I have to grit my teeth; if we were an empire, we’d have access to a lot of other tools, ones we’ve chosen not to take up. I think “Venice after the Byzantine Empire went away…” is a better mental model to map things on.

          What that implies for use of military force, and how we deploy it? That’s for smarter people than I to work out.

  15. Great Ideal Fairy: All Infantry NCOs now carry a M-17. Now we have a rifle that weights 2 pounds more. We reduce the ammo we carry by 70 rounds. What are we to do? Rechamber the M-17 in .30 Super Carry, that way we’ll get an extra round in each mag. This is a joke, please God don’t let the Ordinance idiots read this!

  16. At this point, I think a “Red Team” (OP force) platoon with Hakim Rifles and Madsen-Saetter Mk 2’s (with corresponding tripods) would be better armed than a “Blue Team” (regulars) platoon with M5’s and M250’s if the former were to ambush the latter in the deep dark woods while disguised as bushes. And yes, let’s assume Red Team laid out lots of landmines to slow down Blue Team. I could be wrong, but it’s going to be hard to call in artillery if you’re stuck too close to the targets you want barraged.

    • I see my work here is done… 🙂 If nothing else, I have managed to inculcate the “cult of the tripod” into the regulars around Forgotten Weapons.

      I’d be willing to lay some money on the idea that the current “state of military art” means that the small arms piece is nearly irrelevant, in terms of which weapon is procured and issued. The really important bits and bobs are a.) training, b.) optics/sights, c.) training, d.) command/control/communications/intelligence, e.) training, f.) maintenance, and most importantly of all, g.) training.

      I think you could hand out StG44 as your primary infantry weapon, and so long as you focused on the above, you’d probably wreak havoc on anyone with the “latest and greatest” rifle like the M5. The important thing is the training, and the “software enablers” like the sights. I think that the future is going to show that the side with the integrated intel/fire control solution down in the squads and fire teams is the one that’s going to win. The biggest damn problem out there isn’t “lethality”, it’s “where the f*ck is he…?” Fix that, and you’ll win. Don’t fix that? Won’t matter which wunderwaffe you issue, you’re going to have a hard time.

  17. they’ll buy a bunch of them, never issue them, and in 20 years they’ll throw the whole batch into a shredder.

    this is the way of military procurement.

  18. I think it was a guy called O’Connor who had patented a steel headed brass case to allow pressures up to 100k PSI in reloadable cases

    It’s got to be about 25 years ago that I bought a proper paper copy of his patent doc

    So that’s definitely lapsed and left a place for someone to add some new pointless gimmick and re patent.

      • “bunch of money siphoned off”
        Now I see some parallel with Christmas Bullet
        http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/models/aircraft/Christmas-Bullet.html
        whilst most aviation designer of time considered flatter to be enemy, Christmas embraced that in his wing design and said that result is safest, easiest controlled plane in the world.. Reality apparently was not willing to warp to Christmas’ wishes and 2 prototypes were lost in crashed during their 1st flights. One must wonder how he managed to conclude from that Bullets were the fastest, safest and most efficient airplanes on Earth. Anyway finally
        Dr Christmas, who in 1923 impudently billed the US Army $100,000 for his ‘revolutionary’ wing design. He had to have had a gift of charm that has been exceeded by few men in history. The Army paid the bill.

    • Noticed that, did you?

      Don’t worry, the M5A1 will no doubt include such a thing, and they’ll make it so complicated that you won’t believe it. Likely, because they’ll decide that it needs to work on the rifle with the suppressor installed as well as when it isn’t.

      • “M5A1 will no doubt include such a thing, and they’ll make it so complicated that you won’t believe it. Likely, because they’ll decide that it needs to work on the rifle with the suppressor installed as well as when it isn’t.”
        I do not have ready solution for you, but if you wish to use grenade launcher and bayonet at some time there is at least one possibility namely Japanese Model 100 http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/jp_rifle_grenade/index.html

        • That’s actually a rather brilliant idea for a grenade launcher… Does away with the need for a blank cartridge, and leaves you with zero worries about mistakenly firing a live round through a grenade.

          I think the RAAW used a similar technique, now that I think about it.

          • The Brunswick RAW tapped gas from the muzzle to ignite a solid rocket motor on a grenade located safely under the barrel. The rocket had offset exhausts and the grenade could spin on its launcher under their thrust until there was finally enough thrust to break it free.

          • Bullet “THROUGH” grenades have been around since the late 1970s, at least. It beats fumbling for the right mag with the special “blank” rounds, and changing back afterwards.

            The SADF apparently used them extensively and went on patrols with a grenade on the launcher spigot / flash-hider. Standard drill upon contact / ambush, turn toward the enemy and fire. The first volley launches a shower of HE grenades and this is immediately followed up by normal “fire and movement” drills until the problem goes away.In a platoon of thirty or so troops, that is a LOT of nastiness going down range.Not forgetting the three or four MaG 58s in said platoon.

          • The South Africans were always a delightfully pragmatic lot, and I have to say that I like the way they thought, when it came to military matters.

          • Daweo;

            Actually, the modern “thing” is bullet trap grenades with a hardened cup in the tail that lets you launch them with a standard cartridge. They have less range than regular grenades.

            The bullet through type goes back to WW1, with the French Vivien-Bessiere or VB, launched from a discharger cup. The nice thing about it was that the bullet going through hit the igniter to start the time fuze. if you had a misfire, the grenade wasn’t armed, so unloading it was not a problem.

            By comparison, any grenade like the British No. 36, with a safety pin and arming spoon, had to be very carefully dealt with in a discharger. As in, making sure you got the pin back in so it wouldn’t fall out, because otherwise the spoon would fly off as soon as you got it clear of the cup.

            It was more difficult than it looked in the manual. Especially in a trench.

            Like the old drill instructor’s axiom goes;

            “This is Mr. Grenade. This is his associate, Mr. Pin. Once you have pulled Mr. Pin out of Mr. Grenade, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.”

            cheers

            eon

  19. No one is commenting on the mud trap that is the forend? It won’t take much wet dirt to get in there and solidify, locking that piston up good and hard.

    Also yes that suppressor will be a trainwreck in battle.

    And it weighs more than a Garand or Brown Bess!

    This is stupid.

    • “(…)This is stupid.”
      Now I wonder about how troops trials were done before standardizing said weapon.

  20. A 14 pound general issue rifle. Where have we seen this before? M14 mistake all over again but who cares as long as the right people get kick backs. Dumbest shit ever.

  21. Will the down-loaded training round have exactly the same ballistics as the wartime round? I don’t see now that is possible, but otherwise, all of the weapons will have to re-zeroed before deployment. That is completely impractical.

    • I don’t see how it could be possible for them to have the same ballistics, and I think it would be massively confusing to have all that built into the sights.

      Not to mention, the sheer potential for PVT Snuffy to get it wrong. You already have issues with them leaving their sights set for the 50m zero when qualifying on the big range…

      I think there are going to be a lot of bumps on the road, with this thing. Mostly due to people not bothering to think things through.

        • We saw the same thing in Iraq. Say what you want about the Taliban, a lot of them could shoot.

          • I have been reliably informed by “cultural specialists” that worked in Afghanistan that the Arabs were universally disdained by the Afghani tribal types as being inbred and effete, city-slickers.

            I don’t think there’s quite as much cousin-marriage going on in Afghanistan. The thing that utterly baffled my informant about that whole culture was that they disparaged the Arabs as being corrupt and effete, men who would lay with other men, and then the same Afghanis would have their bachi-bazi boys in the next tent… While boasting about their own manliness.

            Weird, weird culture, if you ask me. Buddy of mine was over there working with the Afghanis negotiating construction stuff, and the biggest thing that got him was that he didn’t need to really worry about the women he had working for him, it was the young and attractive males the Afghanis were eying. See, the women weren’t really “women” to them, ‘cos they dressed and acted like men, which was seriously against their norms. The young males, though? Totally accessible, totally attractive. They had to have the younger guys going around in pairs or small groups in some of the villages, while the women were under far less threat. Female LT of my acquaintance was kinda outraged at the whole thing, ‘cos while she was considered very attractive to everyone else, the Afghanis just turned up their noses at her. Too manly. I wish I could have been there when the interpreter told her that they needed to be on guard for rape in a certain village, and she thought he meant her.

            The interpreter was talking about her male RTO/driver… She did not take the correction well. She was still sputtering about it a year later, when they came out of Afghanistan.

        • LOL… Yeah, that almost certainly happened. And, I’ve seen similar things with even US troops.

          You would be absolutely astonished at the level of misunderstanding and magical thinking that goes on with people. You only ever really encounter it intimately when you’re training people how to use lethal objects, ‘cos when you’re teaching them grammar and math, their misunderstandings just fail them on tests. You have someone do something incredibly stupid with explosives…? It’s almost impossible to miss.

          Over in the other M5 post, I relate something that actually happened with US troops and MICLIC charges. The level of demonstrated stupidity in that incident is nearly the same as the one with the Rhodesians reporting the rifle sight things, although I’m a little dubious about at least one of the guys who related that one to me. I think it really happened, or something fairly analogous.

          There was also the Rhodesian scout who observed a team of idiots emplacing land mines on a road surface who went through all the steps of digging the hole, fusing the mines, and then putting them in the hole and then covering them. He was sitting there, taking notes, and his number two grabs his arm and starts giggling, followed by a huge explosion. He was like “WTF? WTF? What happened!!!????”. His number two tells him that the mining party covered over the hole with the mines in it and then decided it needed… Tamping. So, they all joined hands and arms and started jumping up and down on the loose earth.

          Scratch one mine-laying team. All they had to do was saunter over and pick up their gear for the intel bubbas.

          You’d see similar crap in Iraq. At least one of our platoons got into mutually-interlocked set of similar idiocies that we watched over an RPV camera at headquarters. Due to the vagaries of radio communications, nobody who had access to the feed could talk to the platoon leader before it was all over, but we could hear everything he was saying. Basically, what it boiled down to was that the US platoon had misidentified where the fire was coming from that they were taking, and were directing all their fires at the wrong location, while the guys shooting at them were blazing away at the US forces. Then, out of the blue, someone shot that location up with massive volumes of machinegun fire, all of which was non-US tracer. All anyone could figure out in the next 24 hours was that it was probably enemy blue-on-blue, because there were no Coalition forces anywhere near the location that the MG fire came from.

          War happens at the intersection of happenstance and rank stupidity. If the participants were actually halfway intelligent, in most cases, they’d be doing something else. I include an awful lot of our own guys in that number, because, God love them (as I do myself…) a lot of them are just bone-deep stupid and totally unable to work out what will happen when they do really stupid things.

          There’s also the fact that the guy sitting behind a computer screen with a cup of coffee and full night’s rest ain’t the same guy who was wandering around a battlefield many moons ago, not having slept in 72 hours and whose thought processes were decidedly sluggish and somewhat intemperate. I, too, have done some seriously stupid things. Things I thought were really, really good ideas at the time, and which, looking back? Oh, dear God… You have no idea.

          So, yeah. Add in “cousin-marrying Arab” and “not-exposed-to-modern-life African”, and you’re gonna get some epic tales of intellectual dwarfism. I’m not gonna mock the poor bastards, either, just make note to stay the hell away from them whilst nature takes its inevitable course.

          The military and the military at war are places where the environment is decidedly dangerous, and you really, truly have to be on the ball to avoid dying from what everyone around you will likely laugh at. Flight deck of an active carrier, launching aircraft? LOL… Talk to one of the rearm/refuel guys about that, sometime. You’ll have your eyes opened.

        • I’m sure that’s an interesting story, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to open a Reddit account just to read it.

          • I didn’t realize that Reddit was doing that…

            Summary of it was that the Rhodesians were capturing rifles from the terrorists with the sights always set at the furthest range. Which explained why the enemy kept missing their targets… Intel could not figure out why, until someone asked a captured terrorist why they were doing that. Turns out, the terrorists all thought that the higher the number on the sight, the more the power of the shot…

            I’ve heard that from several sources, including one guy “who was there”, just like the “link arms and jump on the mines” story. I think that both of them were reported by writers for Soldier of Fortune, back in the day, and that it were both common “war stories” from the “Bush War”. Accuracy and veracity…? No idea. It’s like the stories you get out of certain Vietnam veterans; everyone tells them, like the “Mattel M-16” that everyone’s battle buddy had in Basic Training or was issued in Vietnam when they got off the plane…

            I don’t have a lot of trouble believing them, to be honest. I’ve read a collection of translated Soviet “lessons learned” from training both Arabs and Sub-Saharan Africans, and you would not believe some of the anecdotes related therein. Some of which I suspect stem from the ethnic Russian disdain for all things not Russian, and outright racism. However, it was pretty damn interesting to hear the other side of the story, from the trainers that were engaged in that effort. The Russians all loved the Vietnamese; the Arabs, somewhat less, and the Africans they outright loathed having to deal with. The position of “Soviet Advisor to African Nation” was not sought-after, and was used as a punishment in a lot of cases. They preferred to use Cubans as intermediaries, and the Cubans had a lot better luck.

            To a degree, I think cross-cultural military training is a lot like cross-cultural marriage. You don’t know what buttons to push, culturally, and a lot of the times it just doesn’t work. Look at the difference between the Arab Legion and the forces cobbled together outside Jordan. For whatever reason, the Brits did amazing things with the Arab Legion; everywhere else? Not so much. Same-same in much of the Indian military. The Gurkhas were wonderful partners to the British, in all respects giving much better service than they got rewards. Then, you look at the inept way the British managed some of the Indian regiments back in the day, and you’re stuck wondering how in the hell they didn’t get more mutinies than they did.

            So, I don’t doubt that there were “accidents and incidents” like the rifle sights and the land mine tamping. I’m just not too sure who to blame; could be down to the sheer idiocy of the men doing it, or it could just as well have been dramatically inept trainers at work.

          • “(…)if I’m going to open a Reddit account just to read it.”
            What do you mean by this? I can read said story (see image with text) without any need to login/register with said entity.

          • Kirk:

            I am surprised these guys were even using sights at all. Whenever I see Africans firing anything, it is usually full auto from the hip. The main objective seems to be to make as much noise as possible.

          • I dunno that it’s necessarily “African” so much as it’s piss-poor training conducted by those who’re contemptuous of the men they’re training. The Germans did a lot better with their Askaris than the Soviets did with their proxies in Rhodesia. Same-same with the French and the Senegalese, the Brits with their King’s African Rifles, and a bunch of others. Even the South Africans did pretty damn well with their various efforts. Some of the multi-racial units they assembled and trained were positively lethal and professional.

            It’s like anything; it’s a poor carpenter that blames his tools. If you’re not getting the results you want, maybe, just maybe, it’s not the troops themselves, but your training techniques and foolish attempts to organize things along the lines of your own culture?

            I think this has been the key reason that most US efforts to train foreign forces have gone seriously wrong. The ARVN and Afghan National Army have a lot in common, in that the US went in and tried turning them into what amounted to auxiliaries to the US Army, reliant on all the resources that the US Army can call on. Withdraw the air support, withdraw the logistics? Whoosh, there go those forces. Nobody seems to bother to stop and think about what they really ought to be doing, at all.

            Case in point… While I was in Iraq 2005-06, the guys standing up the Iraqi National Police (actual name changed a coupla times, that I remember…) in Northern Iraq were working out of the 101st Airborne Division’s HQ, where I was the liaison NCO for my brigade. I had jack squat to do, most of the time, so I wandered around and talked to people, trying to find something productive to do with myself. Talking to the guys in the cell working with the Iraqi Police, I learned that they were getting slaughtered by IEDs, and that the “fix” for that was literally years off, when they’d be able to get them some shiny new MRAP vehicles manufactured.

            Now, trust me, this was right up my alley. I’d studied the whole mine/IED issue from back in the 1990s; I knew exactly how the Rhodesians and South Africans had come to develop that technology, and I knew that the Rhodesians did it under sanction, building the initial MRAP vehicles in places like railway shops and the like. I described this to some of the bright lights working that issue, and they were like “Oh, really… Never heard of that…”

            I thought that it would be a perfect fit… Do like the Rhodesians did, get some of those commercial vehicles they had easy access to, uparmor them appropriately, put people to work in the shops doing it, and protect the Iraqi cops at the same time. Win-win, right?

            Well, nobody was interested in what I had to say. Period. So, I ordered in a copy of Peter Stiff’s Taming the Landmine, and made sure that those guys got a chance to read it, after highlighting the chapters covering the development phases in Rhodesia, where they were starting out by improvising the V-shaped hulls and so forth.

            Not a bit of attention paid. They passed it around, went “Oh, that’s interesting…”, and then went right back to waiting on the delivery of those MRAPs from outside Iraq. They probably could have had reasonably effective up-armor for most of those Iraqi Police vehicles in a couple of months, by having it locally fabricated. Plus, they would have employed a bunch of guys who were sitting idle, with nothing to do but hang around and make trouble when they got recruited by the insurgents.

            Long story short, I think the problem isn’t so much the people we’re dealing with, but our own inability to find ways to work effectively with them. The ARVN didn’t do so badly, before we cut them off. I think a lot of the disdain people have for them simply stems from the fact that we didn’t know what the hell we were doing, when we stood those forces up and tried training them to be the US Army speaking Vietnamese. That pretty obviously didn’t work, and I remain extremely irritated that we tried doing the same damn thing with the ANA, and had the audacity to blame them for not being the US Army, after we were done with them…

            Afghanis can fight. That’s pretty much the national pastime. What they can’t do is fight as the US Army does, without all the copious support and logistics. Trying to build out the ANA the way we did? Stupid, stupid, stupid… We did to them precisely what we did to the ARVN: Programmed them to fail, the minute we cut off logistic and other support.

          • Kirk:

            That’s pretty much how I see it. The US trained the ARVN to fight like the US Army. The US left South Vietnam in 1973, at which point Congress pretty much cut off funding for the ARVN. Hard to fight like the US Army with no fire support or air cover.

            Ditto Afghanistan. Sleepy Joe pulls America out like thieves in the night, and really expects the ANA to stand and fight? The Taliban pretty much walked into Kabul. What a waste.

            Interesting story about the mine protected vehicles. We had much the same problem with the British top brass. They did not want to spend on MPVs, because they wanted to save the money for their super new FRES family of armoured vehicles. In the end mounting casualties meant they had to buy MPVs (which they then sold off as soon as we left Iraq), and FRES got cancelled. Then they planned to put a new turret on Warrior, and that got cancelled. Then they picked an IFV called Ajax brought to you by your friends General Dynamics. It vibrates badly, and is so noisy it deafens anyone unlucky enough to be inside it. That programme is now paused while they try and work out what happened. About £3.5 billion has been spent trying to get a new family of IFVs for the British Army, with nothing to show for it. Even by the insane standards of defence procurement that is pretty impressive. Number of people sacked? None, of course.

          • @ JohnK,

            Yeah, I’ve been watching that one from the sidelines, steadily shaking my head. I don’t know where you guys got your managers-of-things in the MOD, but I think they came from even lower in the barrel than we got ours.

            I wouldn’t mind the whole fiasco with the MRAPs; I get that people can be slow to adapt to changes. But, for the love of God, we were telling them as early as 1993 that they’d need the damn things. Repeatedly. We told them they needed to have armor for the trucks, back when they were still designing and testing the FMTV program. We told them that cab-forward was a bad, bad idea for tactical trucks, because front axles have this tendency to set things off, so you want them doing that as far away from the crew compartment as possible–Not right under it. We were told, and I quote nearly verbatim, that “…these trucks are not combat vehicles, and will not ever be used in combat conditions. Therefore, we have determined that the weight and expense of armor is unnecessary…”

            Yeah, that played really, really well in late 2003.

            Thing that really pissed me off? Same assholes who blew us off were there taking credit for “doing something” after having blocked any attempts at preparing for the threat. If I were given carte blanche to do anything, I’d go through the staff at the responsible agencies with fire and sword, firing the lot of them and stripping them of their pensions… Which I’d then give to the survivors of the guys who got killed in 2003-5 because they were driving around clearing land mines and IEDs in unarmored, unprotected vehicles.

          • Kirk:

            Sounds like some people hadn’t heard of counter insurgency warfare. Front lines indeed!

          • The South Africans pretty much wrote the book on mine-protected vehicles in the 70s and 80s.

            Picking up on the work of the Rhodesians, they designed and built vehicles to fulfill an operational task, not look slick in a glossy brochure.

            If there were such a thing as an honest CEO, they could do lot worse than to order their engineers to study the precedents and principles and also learn from them. And right now, the Executives and the “Brass” are doing a LOT worse.

            “Off-route mines” have been around since at least the time the Germans were rigging Panzerfausts alongside roads and triggering them by a vehicle hitting a simple trip-wire.

          • The irony in a lot of it, Bruce, is that the Soviets pioneered the “rear area strategy” during WWII, used it with good effect against the Germans, and then taught it across the world for the various Soviet-sponsored insurgencies.

            However, comma… They did not, apparently, remember it out in the mainstream Red Army, because when those same tactics and techniques were used against them in Afghanistan, they’d completely forgotten about it. Or, how the Germans effectively dealt with the problem…

            South Africans and Germans managed to deal with it, through better technology and better doctrine. Nobody noticed, nobody paid attention. I have to laugh at it, because it was a Russian who pointed the Afghan thing out to me, and when you go back and look at it, there ya go… The Soviets were as vulnerable as everyone else, and as helpless before the strategy. Same thing is going on in Ukraine as we speak; the rear area strategy was what put an end to the Kyiv advance.

  22. I shoot an ar-15. That being said, I am not a big fan of the .223 / 556 cartridge. I can appreciate the softer shooting and the lighter weight of the cartridge. 6.8×61 just seems like trying to find a home when there are other proven answers.
    In the AR-15 / M4 platform you have the 6.5 grendel which has greater range than the 556, only slightly heavier and slightly lower rounds per weight. Also throws a 139gr projectile instead of a 55 to 70 gr.
    If you have to go with a 51mm case you could ho with a Creedmoor or in a slightly larger upper, a 6.5×55
    Either will reach out much farther than 556 and doesn’t go subsonic until roughly 1,000 yards
    Reduced rnd count, but far sperior ballistics. The term is “KISS”.

    • Funny thing is that the Grendel is based on the 6mm PPC, which is a development of the .22 PPC, which, in turn is a “Westernized”, “improved” version of the early 1960’s 5.6 x 39 Russian “running-boar” cartridge, which is simply a necked down 7.62 x 39. taper and all.

      6mm PPC is a VERY impressive little package that has been around for a few decades. But where is the “spillage” in adopting an existing cartridge

  23. Kirk, and others who may be interested:

    Though it might be a little hard to find these days, I have a fascinating book called, “Taming the Landmine”, by South African author, Peter Stiff.

    Galago Publishing, 1986. ISBN 0 947020 04 7

    Profusely illustrated with a detailed history of mine warfare and mine-protected vehicles up to the mid 1980’s. Probably never read by almost everyone who really needed to.

    • Fully familiar with it. Great book, lots of details. Highly recommend it to anyone, but if you’re a US Army Engineer, you might want to start blood pressure medication, because when you do the compare/contrast between Rhodesia/South Africa and what we were doing in Vietnam…? You will absolutely blow a gasket. Or, two. Maybe three.

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