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Old 06-06-2017, 05:20 PM   #1
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US Army - Living in interesting time

There's some very interesting things going on with the US Army where small arms are concerned.

First - Glock lost it's GAO challenge to the modular pistol program, which means the Sig 320 is officially the new US service pistol;M17
BREAKING: GAO REJECTS Glock's Modular Handgun System Protest - IT'S OVER - The Firearm BlogThe Firearm Blog

Second - US Army Pursues SUPPRESSED, Magazine-Fed Automatic Rifle in New Calibers, to REPLACE M249 SAW
BREAKING: US Army Pursues SUPPRESSED, Magazine-Fed Automatic Rifle in New Calibers, to REPLACE M249 SAW - The Firearm BlogThe Firearm Blog

2.5 - Along the same lines; the US Army is taking a very serious look at the Marine's new M27 rifle/squad auto.
Army Chief Milley Says Army Is "Taking a Hard Look" at HK416, Other Commercial Off-The-Shelf Rifles - The Firearm BlogThe Firearm Blog

Third - US Army Releases RFI for New 7.62mm "Interim" Combat Service Rifle
BREAKING: US Army Releases RFI for New 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle - The Firearm BlogThe Firearm Blog


There's a LOT to talk about here...begin discussions.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:40 PM   #2
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Just some very quick comments...

RE: M17 - I think the Army chose the right pistol, and I was pretty confident the 320 would win from the get go. The Beretta APX to my eye will end up being the "better" pistol, but the APX was just too green at the time of the competition. I wouldn't be surprised if in 5 years we hear special ops is using the APX...actually, that would be a big laugh IMO.

Squad auto - The solicitation talks about a suppressed squad auto, magazine fed, with ammunition that's 20% lighter than 5.56. Now the LSAT machinegun is in development with case telescoped ammunition, so there's something that's a lightweight MG, and has lighter weight ammo, but all versions of the LSAT I'm aware of are belt fed with interchangable barrels.

Next comment...We've been down this road before. Every time we switch to a magazine fed squad auto, the troops complain that they need something with quick change barrels for sustained fire. Imagine troops being under siege at some FOB with no belt fed weapons...I cringe!! There's a reason Marine's say "happiness is a belt fed weapon!"

RE the M27. I think the Marines intend this to be their standard issue weapon, and it was a work around to get it into the system (pretty smart if you ask me). The SCAR and H&K 417 are straight up the best, most reliable assault rifles in the world right now, and the Marines just wormed their way into the 417...brilliant!!! All they have to do is just say, the squad auto needs to be general issue, and boom, they have a new rifle.
As for the Army taking a serious look...does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Looking at the M27, but putting out an RFI for a 7.62 rifle...what's going on?

New .308...I think I know where they're going with this. No current rounds for 5.56 or 7.62 NATO are capable of punching hard plate body armor. This armor is getting cheap, and our soldiers are running into it even with relatively poorly funded enemies. The sorta obvious solution to that is tungsten core ammunition. And if the only thing that's going to go through tissue is a penetration core that's not going to tumble, break apart, etc...then you want the biggest tungsten core going through that tissue. And of course, the Army says they're being out-ranged, and the 7.62 does long range lethality leaps and bounds better than the 5.56. Still, the 7.62 does come with a good deal of baggage. Heavier weapon, and much heavier ammo means far less ammo will be carried into the field, and few soldiers will ever tell you what they want is less ammo.

Okay, there's my initial comments. Coffee time, tawk amongs youselves!!!
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:51 AM   #3
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Hmm...didn't we have the squad-level, high volume 30 caliber problem solved about a hundred years ago with the BAR?

Then again, about fifty years ago, with the M-14?
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:04 AM   #4
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CaptainGyro,

YEP. Just as we solved the HEAVY MG "problem" with MA DEUCE.

yours, sw
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:02 AM   #5
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CaptainGyro,

YEP. Just as we solved the HEAVY MG "problem" with MA DEUCE.

yours, sw
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The squad auto thing always comes up when there's a war. Guys hate carrying and supporting a change barrel, belt fed machinegun. And it would be more convenient if there were more squad autos. So they do the magazine fed squad auto until someone gets bit by some sort of protracted gunfight/siege situation, then they want belt fed again.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:19 AM   #6
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GunGeek,

A 5.56mm SAW with a quick-change barrel & a 30/40/drum magazine would work fine, imo.
(Having talked to many a WWII/Korean War vet who had close combat experience, the REAL problem with the BAR was overheating the barrel. - Tony Palazzo, MSG, 173rd ABN, retired, said to me that he never had difficulty getting help carrying all the BAR magazines that he needed for Korea.)

yours, sw
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:43 AM   #7
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GunGeek,

A 5.56mm SAW with a quick-change barrel & a 30/40/drum magazine would work fine, imo.
(Having talked to many a WWII/Korean War vet who had close combat experience, the REAL problem with the BAR was overheating the barrel. - Tony Palazzo, MSG, 173rd ABN, retired, said to me that he never had difficulty getting help carrying all the BAR magazines that he needed for Korea.)

yours, sw
Yes, that's always the problem with sustained full auto fire in a fixed barrel weapon. They get real hot in just a couple of magazines.

The US really wants to use a drum with the M27, but with the AR design (piston or not) a big issue is dwell time at the end of the bolt stroke. The bolt just barely clears the magazine on AR's and that's still a problem with the M27. They have got some drums to work on the M27, but after just a little spring set, they stop working. It's also the reason that 40 round magazines in M16/M4's have never worked well. They just can't advance the next round quick enough to be reliable.

This has been a problem since day one...Hence the downloading of 20 round magazines early in the war, then downloading of 30 round magazines.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:16 AM   #8
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Stoner 63 weapons system anyone?
Geoff
Who notes the BREN was better than the BAR...(Flamesuit and armor on.)
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:41 AM   #9
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Stoner 63 weapons system anyone?
Geoff
Who notes the BREN was better than the BAR...(Flamesuit and armor on.)
You know, had we went with the Stoner 63, we could have saved ourselves a LOT of headaches (and probably inherit a few too). I still think that concept is extremely valid and relevant. Would love to see a modern take on that concept.

L. James Sullivan (of M16 fame) has been working on a new individual rifle with quick change barrels that returns to zero, will feed from an Ultimax drum, or STANAG magazine, and weighs 8.5 lbs. Every rifleman can be a squad automatic.

Oh, and the BREN was better than the BAR.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:12 AM   #10
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I old fashioned in that I'd rather see a squad of bolts than a squad of SAWs. Might get 'em back to aimed fire rather than the spray-n-pray I see today.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:19 PM   #11
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I old fashioned in that I'd rather see a squad of bolts than a squad of SAWs. Might get 'em back to aimed fire rather than the spray-n-pray I see today.
I don't think there's a whole lot of spray and pray going on these days. I remember reading about one battle where UN inspectors wanted to open an investigation into possible executions by US soldiers because there were so many head shots. They were invited to actually watch a battle and saw that when our forces were engaged by the more "professional" combatants on the other side, head shots became the norm, because the enemy was savvy enough not to expose any of their body. So our soldiers had to take very deliberate aim, and precisely place their shots.

Still, there remains a great need for full auto fire for fire suppression to gain fire superiority, and eventually eliminate the enemy.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:57 PM   #12
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I don't think there's a whole lot of spray and pray going on these days.
I don't think you've seen the same news casts I have.
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Old 06-13-2017, 02:26 PM   #13
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Hmm...didn't we have the squad-level, high volume 30 caliber problem solved ....... about fifty years ago, with the M-14?
HELL NO! The M-14E2 wasn't a solution to that problem. Cone of fire was ginormous and only slightly related to where you might have been aiming when you started to fire. Glaringly obvious when you realize it was about 1/2 the weight of the BAR. And, as noted above, doesn't to anything for the barrel life. Gotta have a quick change barrel.

After a quick skim of the interim 7.62 wants, I see two problems: mandatory select fire ability (see above) and mandatory ambi fire selector & mag release. I can see configurable, but ambi is asking for actual/potential problems. Said problems can be solved be a return to the safety/mag release system used on the M-14 which were suitably ambi without causing potential issues for the other handed.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 06-13-2017 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:59 PM   #14
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HELL NO! The M-14E2 wasn't a solution to that problem. Cone of fire was ginormous and only slightly related to where you might have been aiming when you started to fire. Glaringly obvious when you realize it was about 1/2 the weight of the BAR. And, as noted above, doesn't to anything for the barrel life. Gotta have a quick change barrel.

After a quick skim of the interim 7.62 wants, I see two problems: mandatory select fire ability (see above) and mandatory ambi fire selector & mag release. I can see configurable, but ambi is asking for actual/potential problems. Said problems can be solved be a return to the safety/mag release system used on the M-14 which were suitably ambi without causing potential issues for the other handed.
And the M14E2 never really fully got off the ground because it had so many issues.

I don’t think anyone is giving any serious thought about the M14, that just makes no sense at all. If they’re going to use existing weapons, and then either modify, add to, or both; it makes sense that they would start with the M110 sniper rifle. Last year the Army awarded a contract (not exactly sure the full intent of the contract though) for H&K to provide what they call the CSASS. I thought it was to modify the M110 into a lighter weight, compact version, but then later I read that it was to replace the M110 with the H&K 417; at this point I’m not exactly sure what route they’re going. Going to the H&K family of piston AR’s makes a lot of sense for the US military. First, the “sniper/DM” won’t stand out much because his weapon will look like everyone else’s weapon. Training/support for end operator, trainer, supply chain, and support will all be much the same as the M4, M27, M110; so the changes system wide would be very minimal. I don’t know if the 417 and M110 use the same magazine; I doubt it. If they did, then you could upgrade the M110’s to H&K 417 configuration and probably save a little money.

Well, if we end up with the H&K 417 as the interim rifle, that wouldn’t break my heart. Overall I think the SCAR 16/17 is the best combat rifle in the world, but the H&K 416/417 isn’t much behind the SCAR, so I’d be 100% okay with the 416/417.
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