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Archive for the ‘weapons’ Category

US Army NGSW Submission 6.8 Sherwood by VK Integrated Systems and Bachstein Consulting

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

The XR-68 is a new weapon system that has been submitted to the Army for the NGSW program by VK Integrated Systems of California and Bachstein Consulting LLC of New Hampshire. The system consists of an electronics suite combined with a rifle chambered for a new cartridge design, 6.8 Sherwood. Variants for both, the NGSW-R and NGSW-AR, have been submitted.

A standout unique feature of the XR-68 is the lower receiver designed to house electronics, route power and data in a secure and robust way. Similar to other VK Integrated Systems rifles, the XR-68 houses the SmarTak electronics system, an advanced weapons system design for real-time battlespace awareness. This will provide the warfighter’s enablers and sights with data that will enhance situational awareness. Parameters like number of shots, last service date, location and orientation will be made available in a way that allows for easy upgrades of software and electronics.

Rifle Design

The XR-68 is based on the DPMS308/SR-25 system used throughout the industry. The XR-68 is chambered for a new cartridge called 6.8 Sherwood. The barrel is the only part that is non-standard, similar in concept to a 300BLK in an AR-15. All other parts in the XR-68, such as the bolt, bolt carrier, fire control, etc., are DPMS308/SR-25 compatible parts. The XR-68 has an ambidextrous charging handle, safety selector and magazine catch.

Ammunition/Cartridge Design

Bachstein Consulting designed the 6.8 Sherwood to meet the level of performance required by the Army for the NGSW program. 6.8 Sherwood has more internal case volume than 7.62mm and other cartridges derived from 7.62mm, allowing for more performance potential. 6.8 Sherwood is compatible with 7.62mm bolts and bolt carriers, no special modifications are required.

VK Integrated Systems

Bachstein Consulting

US Marine Corps Adoption of M18 Underscores Success of SIG SAUER Modular Handgun System Program

Monday, June 17th, 2019

NEWINGTON, N.H., (June 17, 2019) –SIG SAUER, Inc. is honored to announce that the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is set to adopt the M18, the compact variant of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS), as their official duty pistol.

“The Marine Corps announcement to put the M18 in service with the Marines is a very exciting development for SIG SAUER, and a true testament to the success of the MHS program,” began Ron Cohen, President & CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. “The Marine’s procurement of the M18 brings the adoption of our Modular Handgun System full circle, as this means, beginning in 2020, either the M17 or the M18 will be officially in service with every branch of the U.S. Military.”


The M18 is a 9mm, striker-fired pistol featuring a coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slide with black controls.  The pistol is equipped with SIGLITE front night sights and removable night sight rear plate, and manual safety. 

Recently, the M18 successfully completed a MHS Material Reliability Test that consisted of firing three M18 pistols to 12,000 rounds each for a total of 36,000 rounds in accordance with the MHS requirements.  Comparatively, the U.S. Army’s legacy pistol was only tested to 5,000 rounds making the test duration for the M18 pistol 2.4 times greater than that of the legacy pistol.  In this testing, the M18 experienced zero stoppages despite being allowed up to twelve stoppages.  Additionally, the M18 passed a parts interchange test, and met stringent accuracy and dispersion requirements.

“The success of the MHS program is the direct result of the indisputable performance and superior quality of the M17 and M18 pistols, and the commitment and dedication of the men and women of SIG SAUER to those that serve in the defense of freedom,” continued Cohen. “We are very proud, and humbled, to have earned the trust of every branch of the U.S. Military through their acceptance of the MHS program and adoption of the M17 and M18 pistols.”

Currently, the M17 and M18 are in service with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.  The USMC will begin their acquisition of the M18 pistol in 2020. 

The Man Behind the Gun, the Eugene Stoner Stories – Presented by the Institute of Military Technology

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Eugene Stoner’s #1 and prototype firearms like they have never been seen before with depth and clarity made possible by new digital camera technology.

Shared to the public for the first time, Mr. Stoner himself speaks of his personal path and a few of the stories behind some of his historic and groundbreaking designs.

LMT – Confined Space Weapon

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Chambered in 300 BLK, the CSW300 from Lewis Machine & Tool combines their Monolithic Rail Platform upper receiver with the Modular Ambidextrous Rifle System – Light Automatic (MARS-LA) lower receiver. It measures 24″ overall with a barrel length of about 8″.

The integral suppressor is based on the Lewis Livermore National Lab Virtual Baffle System geometry. When fired, the gas creates a region of high pressure within a cylinder in the suppressor and then forces the gas into an outer chamber before being expelled out the front of the suppressor.

US Army To Procure New Variable Scopes For M4 Carbines

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

During this week’s NDIA Annual Armament Meeting LTC Steven Power, Assistant Program Manager for Individual Weapons under PM Soldier Weapons, PEO Soldier, briefed current and upcoming Small Arms efforts.

He covered a lot of ground, but the big surprise was that the Army would soon be releasing a requirement for a Direct View Optic which is a 1-6x variable scope. What makes this even more interesting is that these will be used in conjunction with the M4A1 carbine. There has been a great deal of criticism that the Army is ignoring the M4 as it moves towards a next generation rifle. While that program promises a huge leap forward and capability, it is still many years off. It’s great to see the addressing addressing near term concerns, and jumping on board with a variable power optic.

The Army already has some experience with a 1-6x optic. Just a year ago it selected the SIG SAUER TANGO6 for use with the new Squad Designated Marksman variant of the 7.62mm M110A1 rifle, manufactured by H&K. The first 117 of just over 6000 rifles have already been fielded at Ft Bliss. The plan is to provide an M110A1 SDMR to every Infantry, Scout, and Combat Engineer Squads in the Army.

Additionally, the LTC Power provided an update on the M4A1 fielding. They have fielded 250,000 M4A1s in the last year, but the Army finds itself in a position to buy more. An additional contract will be let soon to provide carbines for the next several years. This allows the Army flexibility to procure new weapons to replace those which of been coded out and support sister service requirements as well as military sales, when needed. The Army is currently at 79% of its desired end state of M4A1 modernization and plans to complete the process by FY22.

Just one year ago, the Army announced plans to procure a Sub Compact Weapons for use by personal protective details. Not only did the Army conduct a full competition for these 9mm subguns, but it selected a solution, issued a contract and recently conducted new Equipment Training for the B&T APC9K.

Modular Handgun System fielding is picking up pace as the other services begin fielding along with the Army. As of right now, there are still 335,000 9mm pistols left to field. It is available in two variants, the standard sized M17 and the Compact M18 model.

On the M320A1 40mm grenade launcher side, the Army will soon issue an award for the new Grenadier Sighting System. It will provide day/night capability and facilitate use of a new airburst 40mm round currently under development. The Army has committed $30 million to the first delivery order of GSS. The Army also plans to let a new production contract for additional M320A1s which were designed by H&K but currently manufactured by CAPCOM in Colorado.

Last but not least, LTC Power is leaving PEO Soldier for a year at the Eisenhower School (formerly known as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces) at Ft McNair. He’s done a great job and overseen the fielding of several capabilities including the Modular Handgun System.

Textron Systems Lightweight Small Arms Technology Demonstrator in 6.8mm

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Textron Systems has been developing the Lightweight Small Arms Technology Demonstrator for many years. Initially, it was chambered in 5.56 mm and 7.62mm and later ported over to 6.5mm. In light of the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle PON, they created a 6.8mm variant which was used to inform the requirement and prove out the caliber choice.

A belt fed weapon, based on the same technology you see here, is one of six currently being evaluated by the Army under NGSAR.

What sets LSAT apart from all other weapons in the NGSAR PON, is that it uses a unique ammunition type called Case Telescoped which more resembles a shotgun shell than a traditional shoulder case ammo design. It’s very interesting to see how this technology works.

This short video is of a government test fire of a single magazine through a carbine. It was recorded while the video played during a session at this year’s NDIA Annual Armaments Meeting.

USSOCOM Small Arms Update – 2019

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

In the wake of United States Special Operations Command’s Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) is the Hyper Enabled Operator concept. PEO SOF Warrior is applying that as Lethal Integrated Operator. They want to ensure the integration of individual data across the full battlespace for application where needed. We are finally at the point, due to sensors and communications infrastructure, to actualize the “every Soldier as a sensor” concept from the early 2000s. Operators will be able to leverage one another’s point of view, and unique access to items and targets of interest, in order to improve decision making, lethality and survivability.

On the kinetic side of Operator lethality, SOCOM is moving quickly forward with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge adopted last year.

They have commenced on a Mid-Range Gas Gun – Sniper OTA through SOFWERX. Intended as a replacement for the SCAR MK20, numerous companies have submitted weapons. A shoot-off to cull the herd is coming later this summer. The requirement is simple. With each of three guns, shoot a sub-1 MOA group of five rounds.

In a similar vein, discussions continue with industry for a Lightweight Assault Machine Gun in both 5.56mm and 6.5 CM.

SOCOM is also interested in a Personal Defense Weapon for use by Naval Special Warfare. This is a kit consisting of upper receiver group and buttstock which will adapt the M4A1 into a concealable 300 BLK weapon. A 5.56mm capability for training is also desired. The PDW Kit is required to work with existing SOCOM issue 7.62mm suppressors.

As we mentioned earlier, SOCOM is moving out on the 338 Norma Mag Lightweight Machine Gun Medium with a Combat Evaluation of SIG’s SL-MAG to be conducted by MARSOC. To facilitate this test event, SOCOM is certifying a Machine Gun cartridge in 338 NM.

The Barrett MRAD was selected earlier this year as SOCOM’s Advanced Sniper Rifle. Calibers can be swapped by the Operator from 7.62mm NATO, 300 NM and 338 NM. Army, Marine Corps and Air Force have expressed interest in fielding ASR as their next sniper Rifle.

USSOCOM also has a handgun Suppressor requirement which they plan on satisfying in FY22. No further information was provided on this effort aside from that it will replace the current MK27 Suppressor.

*Capability photos are representative and not necessarily the actual item which will be procured.

USMC Small Arms Update – 2019

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

The Marine Corps is well under way with the Small Arms modernization initiatives announced last year.

USMC photo by Sgt. Aaron Henson

The biggest improvement for the Marine Infantryman isn’t a weapon, but it will make him much more effective. The Marines are moving very quickly to field the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle, with contract award mid-July.

The H&K produced M27 is being fielded to Marine Rifle Squads along with the M38 Designated Marksman variant.

The M320A1 40mm grenade launcher replaces the M203 and will be used in the stand alone mode.

Limited numbers of the Mk 13 Mod 7, sniper rifle have been brought over from SOCOM. The Marines consider this 300 WinMag Rifle as a bridge between the long serving M40 family and the Advanced Sniper Rifle in 7.62mm, 300 and 348 Norma Mag coming in the early 20s.

They are at the initial stages of replacing SMAW-D with the 84mm M3E1 Carl Gustaf. An interesting aside, the Marines are also making a T/O change. They will go from 8 to 4 TOW launchers per Battalion and increase from 8 to 12 Javelins.

Yes, that’s an M110A1 you see. The Marine Corps long ago signed up for the program, but there has been little indication of how many they plan to buy or how they will use them.

This is a slide indicating what the future holds for Marine Corps Small Arms. Some of these we have already seen draft requirements for, like the Squad Common Optic which is a variable power (6/8x). The SCO will go on every M27 currently being fielded to Marine Rifle Platoons. Expect a full Request for Proposals 1st quarter of 20.

The Marine Corps plans to suppress all of its M27s and eventually, its belt fed machine guns.

Army has lead on Next Gen weapons and the Marines are working with SOCOM to refine the Lightweight Medium Machine Gun requirement.

“Success is not found in contracts awarded…Success is found in confirmed kills”