SIG MMG 338 Program Series

US Army Considers Adopting an Interim Battle Rifle in 7.62 NATO

According to multiple sources, what started out as a directed requirement for a 7.62 NATO Designated Marksmanship Rifle for issue to Infantry Rifle Squads has grown in scope to increase the Basis of Issue to all personnel in Brigade Combat Teams and perhaps beyond. The genesis of this requirement is overmatch. The troops feel like they’re in a street fight with a guy with longer arms. The 7.62x54R cartridge gives the enemy those longer arms.

Consequently, the Army wants to enable the rifleman to accurately engage targets at a further range than the current 5.56mm. Although at this point, I’ll keep that exact exact distance close to the vest. The goal here is to foster a dialogue about the 7.62 requirement in general, and not offer operational specifics.

It’s important to establish right up front that 7.62mm is not the Army’s end goal. The “Interim” component of this capability’s name relies on a plan to eventually adopt one of the 6.5mm family of intermediate calibers. Currently, elements of the Army are evaluating .260, .264 USA and .277 USA. The .260 is commercially available while .264 USA and .277 USA are developments of the Army Marksmanship Unit. Unfortunately, the US Army doesn’t plan to conduct an intermediate caliber study until the early 2020s. That’s why they want to adopt 7.62mm now. The idea is to adopt the Battle Rifle to deal with a newly identified threat with what’s available now, and transition the fleet to an intermediate caliber cartridge, once its selected. Additionally, the transition to this proposed intermediate caliber cartridge is possible from a 7.62 platform. Such a transition is all-but-impossible with the current 5.56 receiver sets.

The path of least resistance may well be to adopt an existing 7.62mm Government Off The Shelf (GOTS) weapon. It means less oversight and is quicker to put in action. There are currently four options, although the first one I’ll mention hasn’t even been discussed.

First up is the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle. This option, isn’t even really an option. Brought back into limited service during the early years of the war, it suffers from numerous shortcomings. However, it did validate the need for a 7.62 rifle option.

Second, is the Mk17 SCAR-H. Built by FN, and designed to meet USSOCOM’s SOF Combat Assault Rifle requirement, it is a modular platform with a simple swap from one caliber to another. This makes it very attractive for a planned transition to a new cartridge. However, the platform was adopted after a competition between 5.56 weapons and was not evaluated for adoption against other weapons in its 7.62 configuration. Unfortunately, it’s not a panacea. There aren’t nearly enough in inventory so the Army would have to buy more, but that’s true of any of the GOTS options. Finally, the Mk17 uses a proprietary magazine, adapted from the FN FAL which is less than ideal.

The third option is the M110 Semi-Auto Sniper System. Currently in service with the Army as a Sniper weapon, it is manufactured by Knight’s Armament Co. As a system, SASS comes with a rather expensive optic and some other accessories not for general issue. On the plus side, it has been adopted by numerous other user groups and a multitide of variants are readily available. It uses what most believe is the best of the 7.62 AR-style magazines and is considered industry standard.

The final GOTS option is the newly adopted M110A1, Compact Semi-Auto Sniper System. Manufactured by H&K, it is a variant of their HK417 platform, or more specifically, an Americanized G28 sniper rifle. It utilizes a piston system which many prefer over the M110’s M4-style direct impingement gas operating system. However, as a weapon system, it incorporates an expensive optic and a rather unconventional suppressor system. Additionally, it uses a proprietary magazine. Essentially, it would need to be “dumbed down” for general issue.

It’s important to note that if any of one these platforms is adopted for this role, it will require some changes as mentioned above because they were all adopted for other requirements.

However, the Army may evaluate these GOTS platforms and determine that none of them meet their requirement. In this case they may very well issue an RFP to industry. There are definite long-term advantages to this course of action. For example, the Army can get exactly what they want, rather than adapting a weapon originally procured for another purpose. Additionally, the Army can leverage the latest in small arms technology such as the new short frame receivers. Interestingly, these may well turn out to be more appropriate for use with an intermediate caliber cartridge.

In order to take full advantage of the range of the 7.62 cartridge, the current draft requirement for the IBR calls for a 1×6 variable optic.

Obviously, a transition to the heavier 7.62 cartridge means a reduction in the basic load of the Soldier, to just under half of the current 210 rounds. That is a serious consideration; perhaps the most important for Army leaders to contemplate. Obviously, transition to the intermediate caliber cartridge will mean more bullets per Soldier, but there must be continued development of polymer cases or telescoping rounds to take fully realize this increase in lethality.

Other factors to consider are the additional weight and recoil of a 7.62mm Battle Rifle. Let’s face it, the military transitioned from the M14 to the M16 for multiple reasons, and one of those was weight savings. Soldiers are also going to require additional training to take full advantage of the new capability. Increased engagement distances also mean Soldiers will require access to longer marksmanship ranges.

Additionally, word is that the Army desires a sub-MOA gun. If this is true, they are setting themselves up for failure because M80 Ball is not sub-MOA ammunition. Even the M110 is required to often 1.3 MOA accuracy. Something similar occurred in USSOCOM’s Precision Sniper Rifle program where the ammo was not spec’d to the same level of the rifle which fired it. If the Army tests any of these rifles, even if built to deliver sub-MOA precision, with an ammunition which delivers 2-3 MOA, they will get 2-3 MOA results. It’s the old story of the weakest link, and the capability will be considered a failure because all of the variables weren’t considered. You want an accurate rifle? Make sure you use accurate ammunition.

Then, there’s this whole ‘interim’ concept. Too many times I’ve seen capabilities that were sold initially as an interim and ended up never being replaced with the proposed final capability. There’s always a chance our Soldiers could get stuck with a 7.62 rifle if the planned caliber study doesn’t pan out or worse yet, DoD faces another budget challenged situation similar to the sequester. As we’ve learned, we go to war with the Army we have, not the one we wish we had.

While the change to the intermediate cartridge could be accomplished with bolt and barrel swaps, which is less expensive than completely new rifles, the Army will still need to transition to a new ammunition. That would be two ammunition transitions in less than a decade and three within 15 years, if you consider M855A1.

To be sure, this is a very exciting opportunity for the US Army. It could well mean the first major upgrade to the Soldier’s individual weapon in half a century. My concern, as always, is that the Army doesn’t rush into something it will regret, and that it creates a realistic requirememt, having considered all factors, including ammunition and magazines, which continue to plague the M4. As the DoD budget grows over the next few years, there will be money enough to make rash as well as bad decisions.

On the other hand, there will be institutional momentum against this concept. The Army must not let those voices drown out the requirement to overmatch the reach of our enemies on the battlefield. If the requirement is valid, then it must be supported. The rifle is the most basic weapon in the Army’s inventory.

Instead, the Army must navigate the middle path, carefully considering its near and long-tern requirements. The M16/M4 with its 5.56mm caliber have been in service for over 50 years. The next rifle may well be in service just as long. Or, until Phased Plasma Rifles in the 40-watt range, are available.

197 Responses to “US Army Considers Adopting an Interim Battle Rifle in 7.62 NATO”

  1. mark says:

    Very interesting development.

    The only thing I noticed was the choice of a 1-6x optic.

    Might be worth looking into something like the Steiner ICS, which has an integral range finder that adjusts the reticle for distance, especially since this rifle is designed for filling the “performance gap” in the 500-800+ meter range.

    With a 200 yard zero, M80 ball has something like 200″ of drop at 800 yards. So having an optic that automatically adjusts for that and gives you an exact aiming point would be a huge advantage for the average rifleman.

    • steve says:

      M80 ball at 800m!? You can only use M80 ball beyond 300yd for spray and pray.

    • Seamus says:

      BLUF: We will end up with an expensive study to tell us to bring back squad or team level DMR with 7.62 rifles. maybe if we are lucky a Mk 48 to replace the M249.

      Saves weight for most soldiers, and allows the soldiers who don’t suck at shooting to get the 7.62 DMR rifle (which type I really don’t care) to use it to max effect.

      Mk48 will help with overmatch with belt feds but add A LOT of weight to squad in order to carry ammo. That said M80A1 out of Mk48 in urban environments is great for masonry and barriers so can be a big win for UO/CQB and long range.

  2. Mac says:

    When you say “USSOCOM recently removed all of its SCARs from service…” does that statement include the mk17/20 7.62 weapons too? If so, why? After reading the previous post about countering overmatch and remembering an older white paper by Maj. Ehrhart, “Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer”, is this truly a new discussion? It’s exciting if the problem is finally being given serious consideration. Given the proliferation of body armor and modern electroptics amongst combatant forces, it seems like it’s time. Plenty of good light weight and modern weapon choices these days.

    • Seamus says:

      Glad I wasn’t the only one who caught that and read that study.

    • Will says:

      USSOCOM only removed SCAR16s from service because they’re junk, there are no SCAR-17s “there for the taking”

  3. DangerMouse says:

    Of the weapons listed, only the SCAR-H would offer the ability to easily adapt to proposed new cartridges.

    The modular lower receiver would allow Big Army to swap out for a lower with the correct mag well for .264USA.

    Also, there are already commercially available lower conversion to allow the SCAR-H to accept M110 magazines.

    .260 conversion barrels are on the market too in case they wanted to stick with a full length cartridge instead of the shorter .264USA.

    With the AR-10 based systems, you are stuck with that mag well (more or less).

    • Buckaroomedic says:

      Very true, but the AR-10 platform would be a very familiar platform for the soldiers to use.

      • Nate says:

        I’ve never understood that argument. If WW2 soldiers could figure out individually how to use a 03 Springfield, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Tommy gun, grease gun, 1919, Bar, shotguns, pistols, and more with minimal training then why the actual inability for modern soldiers to do the same? Haven’t they already proven their ability to do so In GWOT, especially when you have E-3s flying Drones and using BFT, ECM’s and sophisticated Coms? The short answer is they can. They need a good reliable DMR, That actually produces consistent 1MOA hits with issued ammo. They need the training to learn the optics more so then the maintenance. Why such a rifle is not a standardized weapon in every single infantry squad after all the lessons learned in the past 16 years is beyond comprehension. A rifle is a rifle, and any rifleman worth his salt will figure out how to use it if given the chance and range time.

        • OldDog says:

          Thank you. I was wondering the same thing.

        • James says:

          It’s not a matter of whether or not Joe can figure it out, it’s that by going to a large frame AR platform the learning curve is shortened-for instance, running the charging handle on an AR10/SR25/417/MWS for malfunction reduction is the same as an M4 since they’re in the same location. The SCAR platform has its charging handle in a forward location, so time to learn a new manual of arms. Again, not saying it’s impossible to learn or even super difficult-just that the same manual of arms shortens the learning curve and allows for more time training in things like putting rounds on target.
          From a logistical standpoint, some of the large frame AR platforms use the same parts as the M4 as well.

          • steve says:

            for 1 moa accuracy you need 1 moa ammo. Would this not be a logistic problem?

          • Jeremiah Reidy says:

            Its is not ore time training, it is the same aount of time training on something different. Most of this operation is taught during drill tarining with your weapon in your first few weeks, well before you get to shoot anything. The intelligence level of the avg US soldier is quite a bit higher than their skinny jeans wearing counterparts. Every challenge in learning is easily curable by mass formation push ups, or ground drills.

        • JJSchwartz says:

          I have no hands on knowledge but I have interest. Is sub-MOA capability necessary for your average infantryman? For the designated marksman, yes, but the average soldier? High end, high cost optics for the average trigger-puller? I can see the decision makers insisting on a long wish list and ending up with nothing except wasted money. Money: With Congress’ sequestration policy can longer firing ranges and longer periods of training and more expensive more accurate ammunition be prioritized above the replacement of worn out big ticket equipment?

    • Frank says:

      The solutions for the Scar are at

      • Cuvie says:

        There’s also the Stryker Enterprise lower which was seen with some SEALs in Iraq earlier this year

        • Frank says:

          yea I saw that. He’s a Tm 3 guy. Since he had access to Gov’t guns He did ALOT of testing for them (60k+ rounds). But what are you gonna do? can’t control the guys, they are gonna make unauthorized mods. Handl Defense has sold a bunch to team guys unknowingly.

        • Mike D says:

          The Sgt Stryker stuff is a Handl knock off that is never available

  4. Gerard says:

    A lot of questions are being asked w few answers. The 300BLK isnt perfect but could be adopted with mininal changes to the current rifles and offer 300+ meter effectivness.

    • Erin says:

      The 300BLK is by far the most logical step considering it only requires changing the barrel. But would run into logistic problems with ammo supply and nato. The reason we stick with the 5.56 and 7.62 is because all nato countries have adopted it and have stockpiles of ammo around the world that can be accessed by other nato countries.

      • Pat T says:

        300BLK is not suitable to the ranges discussed for this project. Is 7.62x54R is the benchmark the Army is setting, 300BLK is woefully underpowered. It’s a cartridge designed for very short barrels, and CQB distances out to maybe a couple hundred yards. 300BLK simply doesn’t have the case capacity to provide improved terminal ballistics at longer ranges, in addition to the severe drop from POA to POI at longer ranges.

        • BigT says:

          Exactly. .300 Blk is made for 200-300 yds. It’s in its element when fitted with a suppressor and using subsonic ammo; making the range even less.

          • DangerMouse says:

            Which begs the question, are we at the point where we actually do need modular weapons that can be caliber converted per-mission?

            Going to the mountains of AFG? Bring a 6.5mm barrel. Raiding Colombian coke villages? Bring your suppressed .300blk barrel.

            Tracking Point or Steiner style optics that could re-calibrate for your current barrel with the push of a button could be invented to keep up.

    • Diddler says:

      The whole premise is “over-match 7.62x54R” NOT “to approximate 7.62×39 or .30-30Win ballistics and trajectories.”

    • Rob says:

      If you are seeking better effective range than 300blk would be a step back.

    • seans says:

      So you have any understanding of 300BLK ballistics? The whole point of the cartridge was to have MP5SD level of suppression, while still be capable of rifle like ballistics with the same gun. It achieves that by having two different rounds. The supersonic round is on par with a 7.62×39. Its not even a medium range cartridge. If you are only shooting supers, 5.56 outclasses it with ease.

      • Wake27 says:

        Yeah 300BLK fanboys need to reread some stuff. It was designed as a replacement for the MP7 – a PDW. This isn’t about terminal ballistics under 200m, it’s about extending the capabilities past 400-500. A better argument would be do issue 75-77 grain 5.56 rounds.

        • Dr. John W. Rogers Jr says:

          6.5 creedmore….. nuf said….

          • Dr. John W. Rogers Jr says:

            1600 yards travel and still enough energy for deep penetration.

            • Mike Garbe says:

              That’s exactly the same thing the .260 does; but, the .260 does it 100fps faster. There’s also a lot of .308 brass in the world that can be resized. Not so for the Creedmore.

    • Stu says:

      .300 BLK is short range replacement for pistol round based SMGs. Accuracy past 200 is poor let alone the 800 meters the Army wants out of the 7.62 program.

      .300 BLK is very good when used within a very narrow capabilities set. SOCOM isn’t using it except in rare occasions, we certainly don’t want BCTs to use it.

  5. blue says:

    why did socom drop the SCAR

    • Dev says:

      Yeah I read that bit and wondered too.

      • DangerMouse says:

        The VERY recent photos of the SCAR-H carbine configuration in Syria suggest that is not an across the board situation.

        • Gerard says:

          Perhaps the guys overseas didnt get the message they arnt supposed to be using the SCAR…lol

        • BrettW says:

          SCAR was never dropped by SOCOM. Its a much longer story, that I don’t have time to type out. Short answer (why it was divested from not dropped) is funding – P2 funds v P11 and Army SF (who the largest voice in SOF) moving their funding (once SOCOM gave their money back to units to spend it on SCAR as they wish – ie Ratio; how many heavy’s to how many lights to be fielded) to helicopters and other gear. Once SF backed away and moved money to other sources, the program wouldn’t sustain itself as written. This didn’t stop the other branches from buying them, it just made the limited fielding more difficult.

          I will tell you that I felt the program was sabotaged in the later stages. I was at events where SGMs would pull testers aside and make sure they knew the upper management wanted the program to sink. It reached an almost childish level; especially when 90%+ and above of the end users / testers were confident in the system.

          • seans says:

            Where are you getting 90% of users where confident in the system from. Almost everyone I worked with hated the SCAR and would have preferred a AR10.

            • BrettW says:

              @Seans – I have it from about 6 years of data collection while working on the program. (and for the record the MK17 out-of-the box out performed the Mk11 to a 1K yards).

              • Frank says:

                Everything the SCAR needed was in Handl Defense’s ECP. It was submitted 3 times. It solved the constructive interference, has 300 blk, 7.62×39, and the 260REM SOCOM is testing. There were 8 shop people saying lets do it. EU labor union says fuck that. So the 8 shops said that’s it. What is LaRue selling, hey can I get an HK? I still think the SCAR is the answer. But the FN-USA guys cant do what they need to, and the program is gonna die.

          • HoldingIII says:

            I know that gunners mates supporting the Teams hated the SCAR. They were brought in often with issues in the 2008 time frame. So there’s more to the story than politics.

            • BrettW says:

              @HoldingIII – well it wasn’t even fielded in 2008, so i’m not sure what issues they ma have brought in (i would know, since I fielded it to every unit, personally).

              You are correct, there is a lot more to the story, but its not for internet consumption.

              • Joshua says:

                As I understand it, the funding to maintain the SCAR has been pulled.

                No more funding means as MK-17s and Mk-20s reach the end of their life cycles they won’t be repaired.

                No money to repair means they are essentially done, sure it will take years for the final SCAR to be retired, but it’s coming.

          • Jack says:

            You left out or twisted some major details there. SCAR H was the only deal the users wanted. The SCAR light was greased up to replace all USASFC M4A1’s as a quid pro quo deal. Not just that but the grenade launchers also. When the user’s pushed back with “no thanks” to the SCAR light, USSOCOM and USASOC tried to move on without user approval…but the users threatened to go public with what was clearly a “Drug deal” with a vendor

  6. B0x3R0ck says:

    Personally my vote is for the SA58 with a lower that uses AR10 mags. Out of all the options I feel can stay in service longer. If we take the ideal that smart guns are going to be a thing I feel it would be easier to upgrade it vs any of these options.

    • d says:

      An FAL? No thanks.

      • Fred says:

        Wasn’t that a loser in, um, 1960? FAL triggers just suck, the amount of stoning I’ve done trying to tune still didn’t do much. Just like 1960, the Sage stocked m14 still wins, and the Knight beats that…

        • some other joe says:

          Because Springfield used more T44s than the authorized 5? Because this included arctic tuned T44s to compete against the continuously used 5 T48s? Because Springfield was put in charge of a rifle trial including the gun it designed? The light rifle trial was a horrible case of NIHism.

          It (or its TDP) was available free of charge in gratitude to Belgium’s allies and liberators and earned its name as right arm of the free world. Who else thought the M14 was better?

  7. Long says:

    Larue doesn’t get mentioned much these days. No consideration for the PredatOBR, etc.?

  8. d says:

    “USSOCOM recently removed all of its SCARs from service so they are there for the taking.”

    Source for this?

  9. the Dude says:

    I’m going full retard with my comment on this, and feel free to flame me. But if you look at prs and bolt guns-training is everything, “rack grade” semi auto’s just cant compete in terms of sub moa accuracy. Aussies DMR setup use a HK .308 with 6x acog. Brits/NZ went with LMT .308 6x acog. US Army is moving to HK .308. We could go with the CSASS or SCAR. (.260 or 6.5cm would be better)
    I would simply suggest the lowest cost but reliable solution($2k for gun and scope) such as a bolt gun (Tikka CTR .260, 10 round mag) and a 3-12 FFP scope such as the bushnell series lrhs or lrtsi if you want an illuminated reticle. Its a 9 pound answer (gun and scope) and with the FFP reticle you could have a standard dope chart for say 130 grain loads that are known to shoot sub moa. This would give you a 1200-1400 yard range depending on altitude and other environmental factors.
    These guys certainly can work a bolt gun.

    • Bouncy Shoes says:

      Anyone who wants to carry a bolt gun with a 10 round mag into combat has never been shot at.

      • The Stig says:

        My cousin Richie got drunk and ND-ed near me. Does that count?

      • the Dude says:

        There are guys carrying xm2010’s into combat….
        All I’m saying is a 9 pound (total weight) bolt gun with 100 rounds and still carrying an m4 with reduced basic load would allow you to return fire on someone engaging you with a PKM from 1100 meters.

        • TCBA_Joe says:

          Are you really saying every rifle equipped soldier should also be toting a PRS and swap between that and an M4 based on how far away the enemy is?

          • the Dude says:

            no just one guy per squad or two guys per platoon, toting a lightweight 20 inch bolt gun in 6.5 in addition to their m4

  10. CWG says:

    What’s the point? Aside from wasting money, of course.

  11. Joe S says:


    • Joe S says:

      or 7.62×39 if you mean the bad guys’ weapons. pretty sure not many 7.62×54 on the modern bf

      • Nick says:

        Joe theres plenty of 7.62x54R Chambered weapons on thr Modern Battlefield. PKM Belt fed MG’s, SVD Dragunov Sniper Rifles, Old Mosin Nagants. Its the Longest serving military cartridge with the Russian Military.

        • Leon Vickers says:

          Cant we just copy the PKM already? Probably the best weapon system on the battlefield as of right now….. although I never had 100% reliability with the “para” models.

          That being said the best battle rifle fielded so far would be the SR25EMC version(improved on all versions of the MK11). For the weight of a HK 416 u get a MOA or less, rifle length gas, 4.5lb trigger, 16″ chrome lined, optimal for 7.62×51. The scar 17 is a close second after about 2k in upgrades and still lacks somewhat in accuracy.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        Negative – every Dragunov and PKM on the battlefield is a 7.62x54R caliber weapon.

      • Joe S says:

        I stand corrected.

  12. Kyle says:

    This sounds like a good time for the ACR’s concept to be fully realized…

    • d says:

      Why on earth?

      • ACR fan says:

        The ACR is still alive and kicking, we have the DMR available now and within the my group we have 6.8, 300blk and 7.62×39 quick conversions available or soon to be available for purchase. Can’t say that for the SCAR. Remington is also producing the quick change 5.56 barrels in 10.5 inch up to 18. It won’t be long before conversions in larger caliburs in 6.5 or 308 will be in the works. Mind you most of the development has been through diehard ACR fans not Bushmaster or Remington.

  13. Phil says:

    M80A1 is a damned good round and is seeing fewer problems that M855A1 is seeing, I understand. A battle rifle spec’d to use the A1 ammo would be a nice thing to have for very specific tasks.

    I would like to see a upper receiver for the CSASS with a barrel optimized for the A1 round. A relatively light, 14.5″ HK417 upper with a 1-6x (or even an ACOG, fuck it, whatever) would be a good, economical supplement to a system we are already invested in.

    That said, this is a bandaid on a bullet wound. We need to fix marksmanship and the M4A1’s ridiculous 7″ non-free floating handguard.

    • SSD says:

      Thanks Phil.

      • Seamus says:

        Fix marksmanship first.

        Step 1 :Invest the money for the “interim” cartridge into more training and better ranges (USPSA style) and
        Step 2: Adopt a MORE difficult qualification standard
        Step 3: When the product solution is ready then and only then (decade from now?) buy the necessary equipment.

        While I agree there is a capability gap the solution is 90% training and 10% equipment. Classic Army, trying to buy its way out of a problem.

        Current Marksmanship standards and training (i.e. BCT and AIT) are woefully behind the times. So to buy a 21st century gun, optic and ammo with 1960’s era training and ranges and qualification standard is flat out stupid.

        SSD now would be a good time to repost this as it is clearly a hot topic once again.
        โ€œIncreasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometerโ€

        • Ole Cowboy says:

          BINGO! Our entire Basic Training for combat soldiers. Integrate Sniper training as there is MUCH there every combat soldier should know. The soldiers who do well in BCT Sniper should be offered the post BCT Sniper Course (MOS producing).

          Increase BCT to 6 mo and produce a soldier who arrives at his unit as a functioning member rather than a 10% soldier.

          Training is key and should occur at BCT! We must leave the WWII BCT mentality behind…

          • Seamus says:

            I agree, I would be great to get soldiers that have simple things already checked off like Combat Life Saver, Driver qualified on basic military vehicles (ie HMWWV, FMTV, LMTV, TMP, trailer, water buffalo, etc.) Combative level 1.

            This is to say nothing of marksmanship which should be easily expert after 11 series AIT.

            Why is it the unit’s responsibility to get these guys certified when big army can do this in a one stop shop instead of piece meal via units. Additionally if we did get back on a war footing like we had only a few years ago soldiers are deploying almost as soon as they arrive to units, they might as well be prepared to drive a vehicle and treat a GSW when they get there.

            BCT and AIT are not producing the prepared soldiers they should be.

    • d says:

      Agreed. I’m not convinced that big Army is maximizing the full potential of the 5.56 round. Once they have, if they still need to longer range or a heavier bullet, I’m interested in the armchair soldier “battle rifle” concept.

      • BrettW says:

        Some of the SOST rounds that came out around 2010 (that we were testing) had incredible consistency – in 5.56 and 7.62 (both NATO). From what I remember, it wasn’t “green” enough for the big Army. I haven’t followed it much since I left my last job, but it had lots of potential.

      • Will says:

        Cough* Mk262

      • Seamus says:

        For the love of God free float the handguard already!!!!

  14. Tim says:

    How about a 308 AR style rifle like the Sig 308 or LMT platform with a leupold mark 6 and a shit ton of P-mags stick with a platform that’s simple and similar to the one we operate now…. or spend the money and get the scars for our brothers at arms. Our government should spend the money on our boys in the field then on half the shit they do now.

  15. Strike-Hold says:

    Phased Plasma Rifles in the 40-watt range will also end up being an interim solution…

    • PTMcCain says:

      Because it had to be said…

    • Terry says:

      The problem with 40w phased plasma rifles is that they are no match for the 50 and 60w models. Hell, they even struggle to overmatch a multi-phased 30w model with a scanning array modulator; fortunately those are very expensive and haven’t been deployed in significant numbers.

      • Mick says:

        I don’t understand why we don’t just go back to the 20w phased plasma rifle. It had the knock down power to take out xenomorphs and was reliable.

  16. mudd says:

    A 16″ 7.62 SCAR or M110K-variant will have to grow the barrel likely to 20″ to get decent velocities out of the smaller 6.5.

    I would suggest a much better interm position would be 16″ accurized m4 uppers & an intermediate power variable compact scope 1-6, 1-8, 1-10, 2.5-10 etc. with a mil-based grid reticle. Give each fireteam leader a LaserRangeFinder w/ ballistic solution. A Sigkilo2400ABS or IR equivelent.

    What would be lacking would be training, marksmanship expertise across the force, and range infrastructure.

    When a decent iteration of 6-6.5 polymer cased or cased telescoping has evolved. Having mitigated the weight & recoil burden of 7.62, go all in.

  17. H2O says:

    “The path of least resistance may well be to adopt an existing 7.62mm Government Off The Shelf (GOTS) weapon. It means less oversight and is quicker to put in action.”

    The TACOM M14EBR-RI, and Smith Enterprise, Inc. ‘Crazy Horse’ M14 rifles can be put into action faster, and in larger numbers than any of the 4 rifle mentioned. We could field 100,000 of them rather quickly.

    • seans says:

      So adopt a POS weapon that never should have existed in the first place. That requires more maintenance, money, training to maintain, and absolutely has to be kept clean to work? Great idea.

    • ThatBlueFalcon says:

      Those are not solutions… Those are resource sinks. No maintenance support, shitty weapons to begin with, no magazines in the system, no new parts in the system, and they’re not remotely accurate.

      This rose-tinted remembrance of the mythical ‘amazing M14 battle rifle’ needs to die already.

    • Bax says:

      Banned from nearly every firearms forum on the planet, the plumber with no military nor gov’t experience prattles on.

    • Biggins Fox1 says:

      A few thoughts from a non-veteran, non-shooter, non-gun owner, long-time video gamer, long-time SSD reader. Some of these thoughts may contradict each other.

      1.) I love the M-14 and would be overjoyed if it was RE-adopted. This probably won’t happen because of poor performance in mud and sand tests. I know some DM’s have complained about the tiny little screws in the Sage EBR stock. Maybe a modular, tool-less fiberglass stock with some Pic rails would be better. How about the Blackfeather stock?

      2.) What about the LMT L129A1? With a 1-6x tube scope or the ELCAN Specter DR 1.5-6x instead of the ACOG 6x. This should be on the short list.

      3.) Conversion kits usually don’t work very well. This has been poorly executed time and time again, especially during WWI. The Army should develop and test a rifle in 6.5mm and then build 50,000 of them. Having conversion kits also adds more parts. Bad idea.

      4.) Squads should have a mixture of 5.56 and 7.62 weapons. Having interchangeable parts between rifles would be good for logistics. The REMF’s and tanker crews don’t need a 6.5 or 7.62 rifle that can fire accurately out to 800 meters. They can keep the M4 or adopt the Tavor. Having one caliber that is good at everything is a fantasy.

      5.) Last I heard, USSOCOM dropped the Mk16 SCAR-L but they are still using the Mk17 SCAR-H. I really like the SCAR-H but they are expensive.

      6.) Thanks for the “Phased Plasma Rifles 40-watt range” comment! I love the Terminator series!

  18. mudd says:

    The m80a1 has a crap BC and will not be spectacular for long range. Low BC = an upside down hockey stick trajectory arc. Low BC = more challenging wind calls, something there will never be a force-wide competency in.

    The HK417 is an overbuilt heavy pig, with poor recoil characteristics.

  19. Michael says:

    This is foolish, IMO.

    Out of every 100 rounds fired from individual weapons in combat, how many hit their mark? Don’t crew served and LMGs do most of the actual killing with respect to boots on the ground fighting?

    I fail to see how cutting rounds carried in half and using a round that’s arguably more difficult to fire for the average grunt is the way forward?

    This feels like the 9mm vs .40 all over again and will likely have the same poor outcome.

    • Will Rodriguez says:

      Spectacular points.

      Fielding a long range rifle to every grunt to defeat enemy snipers and crew served weapons fails to realize the Soldier doesn’t fight alone. There are designated marksmen in the squad and it’s just ridiculous to expect to defeat a crew served weapon with an individual one.

      Most important though is training. If we had the PERFECT rifle today we still don’t train Soldiers to shoot well let alone at more than 300m. Let’s fix that first.

  20. Justin says:

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the question at hand. But I keep reading that 5.56 is “ineffective” at distance. I know from experience that 500+ even out to 6-700 is easily doable with a quality rifle and ammunition. Now, I will give, that terminal ballistics certainly suffer at distance with the 5.56, but the external characteristics are there to get it to the target. Another poster mentioned the issued KAC Ras. It’s 2017, Free floating rail systems that are strong and reliable are a thing. Let’s upgrade the platform to move it beyond a 3-4 MOA gun, put LPVO’s on rifles, free float the barrels and issue Mk262 army wide. IMO this is a much more fiscally sound, and effective “interim” solution until a 6.5 caliber can be tested and fielded. We adopt a 6.5 platform that just requires a bolt and barrel change maybe, and you can easily pack 7.62 ballistics (or better) into an Ar15 sized platform. The 6.5 grendel is a great example of this, that’s already sitting on the shelf.

  21. Jon says:

    SSD- this maybe an off the wall question, but is there an option for .300 blackout as an interim round? When I was getting out, I think some special operations units were using it as a PDW. If the Army for instance, were to at the lowest level install a .300 barrel (16-18″ with suppressor ready flash hider), could utilize the same magazines and be relatively fast in implementing change over a proprietary system.

    Aside from the weapon system, the ammunition supply is going to be a point of concern as well, from a supply standpoint (actual manufacturing and storage) to training- how many rounds per year is a Soldier going to get to qualify? Will range requirements change to new required distances? There are a lot of other questions that would come up I would think.

    Thanks for the post SSD. At least this is a step in the right direction away from 5.56.

    • seans says:

      So adopt a round that has less effective range than a 5.56 for what? Have you actually looked at 300BLK ballistics. Its in no way or shape a better step in the right direction. Its a specialist round.

      • DSM says:

        Gotta concur on this one. The 300 Blackout is a fun round and I don’t want to get tagged by one any more than its smaller, older brother the 221 Fireball. I own a 300 and to me, unless you’re shooting suppressed subs, there isn’t much gain over a 5.56 with appropriate ammunition. The 300 has had a fine marketing department methinks and that adds to over estimation of what is realistic and achievable by average soldiers.

        I’ll sideline quarterback my opinion by saying for a true, INTERIM solution going with something like a Block II M4A1 with a better barrel and Mk262 would make more sense here. Issue 1-6 Elcan Spectres to each, or simplify it to just an ACOG. Magnification is one of those things you want a lot of when you can your time but want less of when people are running around. Investment is small, contracts are already in place. Training and most importantly, logistics support, takes less resources and that’s where people who tout their latest basement built AR creation don’t see the forest for the trees.
        The second part of that COA is to increase the number of MGs in the units and expend more ammo on training them and the leaders employing them. Add a better tripod to that list too.

      • Jester says:

        So what’s your solution? You seem to know what’s wrong with the ideas of everyone else.

        • Jon says:

          Thanks guys- I don’t have any experience with 300 BLK…I was under the understanding it performed better than 5.56 at range. I guess time will tell what they will be able to do then. Retrofit seems maybe out of the question to me then.

  22. Keld says:

    So, am I alone in thinking the newly developed .338 LM MG could overmatch the PKM and it would be the easiest option for the interim period, until a proper cartridge with polymer casing and individual weapon system to match was developed?

  23. Ex11A says:

    And around and around we go, similar to the camouflage debacle. Like camo, some really smart guys figured this out in WW2 and the years immediately after, but were ignored at the time for petty politics and there findings have now been largely forgotten. The “Pig Board” and other subsequent testing found that the .276 (American) and .280/30 (British ADE round) are the way to go for dominating the Infantry Half-Kilometer. I know technology has improved since the 40’s and 50’s, but there is no reason to start from zero and try to re-invent the wheel. Upgrade the M4 with a modern version of one of these rounds (6.5 to 7mm, medium length) and split some wigs at 500 meters.

    • Strike-Hold says:

      I also brought up the .280/30 British round in yesterday’s story about “Overmatch”.

      Seems if we had gone with that, or a similar choice, back in the ’50’s – along with the .30-06 for BARs and MGs we would not have had any problem with over-matching the bad guys up to the present day…

      But hey-ho, hindsight is always 20/20 right?

      • Joshua says:

        We don’t have an overmatch problem today either.

        The M4A1 + M855A1 is fine out to 500M.

        The issue with these overmatch discussions is comparing PKMs to M4s. They’re not comparable.

        We have the M240, SR-25, Etc to counter the PKM. We don’t need a general issue rifle that counters a belt fed MG.

  24. Lcon says:

    Basically it boils down to the M110 variants. M14 is limited by numbers unless they want to buy M1As, SCAR is pricy has a reputation for breaking glass and offers nothing not already in system M110 and M110A1 are both in system or to be in system with existing orders that could be expanded to fill the niche.

  25. Brendan says:

    I want it to be the FN SCAR-17
    -CQB Profile barrel
    -Geissele SCAR Trigger
    -Surefire compensator with suppressor
    -Atlas Bi-Pod legs
    -Leupold MK-6 1-6x
    -M118 LR Ammo

    This set-up….tested and worked like a boss!

  26. Rayforest says:

    Does this mean we are banning the use of tactical blind fire and tactical spray and pray over the Hesco? Possibly a reduction in full auto and rapid fire with the carbine beyond 500m? These techniques seem so prevelant in every liveleak or dunker video. I often wonder how much the reports of overmatch in the GPF are. Certainly the PKM overmatched the M4 but If it warrants a complete transfer to another cartridge and weapon system. Would it be absolutely nuts to optimize and issue the PKM in theater specific applications? Could the SVD not be countered with a similar western weapons system? Lighter versions of the Barrett or 60mm mortar to counter the DshKa? Without specific training to optimize the new weapons system in the GPF (which we won’t completely fulfill), average joe will still not connect outside the range of his current platform when used with a FF hand guard and 1-6 variable optic.

    • Joshua says:

      Most overmatch discussions compare the M4 with 5.56 to the PKM with 7.62x54r.

      Both guns serve entirely different uses, yet are always compared.

  27. SC says:


    Theis will never be adopted. However f they were serious there are many options to choose from such as a HK 417 14.5″, SR25K, Larue PredatOBR, LMT MWS all good weapons.

  28. PTMcCain says:

    Hey, why not just go big or go home? Want to “overmatch” the 7.62 x 54? Want to change hearts and minds in a permanent way?

    Nothing does that better than delivering 300 grain .338 Lapua Magnum.

    When you care enough to stay far away and still send the very best.

  29. 32sbct says:

    This capability has been lacking for years in conventional units. Finding a rifle with greater range then an M4A1 with greater lethality at those ranges for use by conventional forces could be accomplished by a large number of 7.62 AR platform rifles. All the Joes already know how to operate and maintain them and there are many rifles that could fill the bill. I think the standard 7.62 round is adequate for this task and its already in the inventory. My biggest concern is that this will take years to figure out and finalize. Remember, It was ten years between UCP and full adoption of OCP. The Army is always in pursuit of perfect which takes forever, rather then something that is less then perfect but can be fielded now.

  30. John says:

    6.5 Grendel would be a nice solution. Great ballistics, minimal change in hardware. Even uses standard AR mags. When you are talking about intermediate cartridges that can still hit hard and accurately at 800m, it doesn’t get much better.

    • P.J. says:

      It doesn’t use the same mags. There also aren’t many good 6.5 mags on the market, which is an issue given the propensity towards buying mags from the lowest bidder.

    • Leon Vickers says:

      Only issue would be barrel length, although I have read good reports with just an 18″ barrel…. probably need a 20-25″

  31. Frank says:

    Handl Defense has addressed every problem and more listed in this article. But it was done in 2014. The HD Mk.17/Mk.20 enhancement program was submitted twice and solves all of this, and it was cost neutral. FN was going to buy all of the program components and SF command had the cash. There ended up being some USA/EU issues and the deal never went down. SF bought a bunch of OBR’s instead. The solution is still on the shelves and SOCOM/FN knows exactly where the answer is.

  32. ThatBlueFalcon says:

    The more I look at this the more it looks like the KAC M110K1 or the M110 is the solution to the problem, as imperfect of a solution as it is. Already in inventory, already in use, already tested (and yes, the flaws are known).

    .300BLK lacks the long-range performance, the M14 EBR is an unwieldy abortion of a weapon, the Scar-H doesn’t have the upkeep funds allocated in SOCOM for a reason (and eats glass, PEQs, lights, etc), and there’re very few viable 7.62 platforms outside of the SR25 family or the Scar-H that can be fielded in the quantities needed.

    The only other option I can think of is the LMT .308 platform which the British have adopted in terms of platforms which have been combat tested and which can be produced in quantity.

    • Leon Vickers says:

      If u ditch the MK110 and go with the EMC 16″, which is lighter than a 416 – u lose a lot of the Mk110’s flaws.

  33. Rayforest says:

    I posted above after reading this AM before heading to the airport. Now that I’m catching up on the other posts, it looks as though a lot of folks are advocating issuing basically a dumbed down ( I like that application of the term here)sniper rifle across the board? Does anyone think we would proper train anyone to get more out of this system? Or would we have a bunch of guns deadlined in short order because LCDs can’t maintain the system? It really seems like the true interim solution would be to truly optimize the current carbine with Training, ammo, FF rails, maybe a trigger, and a FFP1-6x with a true 1x bottom end and day visible red dot in the 2nd focal plane. I’ve also advocated a multi service gunfighter school for guys in shooter slots. A school for all services on a base that is optimized for only small arms use. You would go right after MOS school. It’s staffed by master gunner types with the big name trainers coming through to offer profession development to instructors. Think weapons committee on a large scale. Give everyone 4-5 weeks to get professional gunfighter levels.

    • Diddler says:

      Stop. Just stop using your brain. We need to just keep being mediocre at best, but spend lots of money on stuff we won’t train people to adequately use.

  34. Joshua says:

    And then when another war similar to WWII breaks out we will have relearn everything WWII taught us.

    Yay for preparing for the last war.

  35. P.J. says:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to leave it as a DMR and see how that works out first? Especially considering that without training a new rifle or cartridge isn’t going to magically give overmatch. We should propbably nail down the DM role before we start making the whole squad DMs.

    • badjujuu says:

      More focus and effort on basic and advanced marksmanship skills.

    • Mick says:

      Agreed. I recently read an old article in Infantry magazine (cannot find now unfortunately) by a Nat’l Guard officer singing the praises of the Squad Designated Marksman Course. He basically said it was the training to properly use combat optics being issued to rifleman.
      He advocated a program where anyone who shoots expert in basic be sent to this course right after to further refine their shooting. This would be a way to open up a pipeline of more DM’s; equip them with M110 or M110A1 (although… that has a proprietary mag? Surprised the Army allowed that…) and develop more data from there.

  36. Ben says:

    The Army, as usual, is about 20 years behind evolving technology. The industry supporting the customization of the AR-10/15 platform of weapons has already developed multiple solutions that would work for the Army if they would pull their head out of their rear and consider something other than 20 year old technology.

    The 7.62 is the wrong cartridge for this mission.

    The 6.5 Grendel is a newer cartridge designed to work on the M4/AR15 family of systems, and it requires only a new barrel and new bolt (not the full carrier group) and a very slightly different magazine.

    It has 85% of the stopping power of the 7.62 NATO, with half the recoil, and fired from the smaller M4/AR15 size receivers. The 7.61 NATO on the other hand requires the much larger AR10 size platform, and cannot use most of the accessories designed for the AR15.

    The 6.5 Grendel also shoots flatter than the 7.62, with better ballistic coefficient and less drop at longer ranges.

    It is just as accurate as the 7.62 at targets up to 1,000 meters, and has almost as much stopping power.

    The 6.5 Grendel uses slightly different magazines from the M4/AR15 (although in a pinch, M4 magazines can be used) and holds 24 rounds of ammunition in the same size and weight magazine that the M4 normally uses to hold 30 rounds of 5.56 NATO.

    Lighter weapon, same range, nearly same stopping power, same manual of arms and training for troops, higher ammo capacity per magazine and in total load, more accurate and easier to shoot at long range due to flatter trajectory.

    The only down side is that it is newer and less familiar.

    The piston gas system is an upgrade for ANY AR10/15 style weapon, so if they want Piston, they can have that on the Grendel as well.

    Honestly – the Piston system is being driven by those who do not understand the reliability of modern AR10/15 weapons. A MUCH better solution is higher end bolt / bolt carrier group such as the exo coated FailZero bolts, which can run 10,000 rounds through an Ar15 without cleaning and no failures. Again, this solution keeps the same function as the current M4, simply with higher quality parts. Soldiers do not have to be re-trained for anything.

    • John says:


      • Seamus says:

        Or 6.5 Creedmoor. Lighter weight and recoil than 7.62NATO, flatter shooting commercially available, and any optics purchased for it can easily be used for a 6.5mm CT-LSAT program adopted later on.

  37. Mike Hancho says:

    April 1st was 4 days ago.

    • SSD says:

      That’s funny because someone I know suggested that I post it on Saturday.

  38. Todd Kunkle says:

    Bring back an updated 7.9×33 and cost effective rounds with knockdown use cast iron
    Would be lead free cheap and effective. The 7.62 x 51 is a wildcat of the 8x51mm. So just use a proven round just update ballistics

  39. BigT says:

    My biggest concern is REMF qualifications. Even when I went through basic and
    AIT lots of soldiers had difficulty qualifying with the M16. I think the heavier recoil will have an adverse effect on those who have never shot before. Personally, I wish we would have had a bigger round when I was serving. It will be interesting to see what the army does. It is kind of funny that they want a larger caliber rifle but stayed with the 9mm. Just my .02 maybe .01.

  40. REM1875 says:

    Same as usual – given to lowest bidder who already has a team of lawyers working on cost overruns who happens to be Senator X’s cousin with factory located in congress women Y’s district of disadvantaged youths (ghetto) with all the jobs going to foreign donor Z’s H1-B holders with funds to appropriate union members.
    Quality and function are built to fail (see money for perpetual cost over runs)
    50 year from now Army will finally talk to soldiers and get a new gun whose pattern of politics and manufacturer will be the same.

    Once again the Army will ask for a simple mule to get the job done and once again they will get a bionic racing gray hound the does not race and never even gets off the factory table to take it’s first breath.

  41. James B. says:

    I have a feeling the “multiple sources” either don’t know what they are talking about or are in the wishful thinking department, not acquisitions or infantry combat.

    A 7.62mm DMR is useful for hitting targets at longer ranges, but it gives up the light weight and ammunition load of the M4. Having lots of bullets is really nice. Carrying a heavy rifle is less nice. M110s, SCARs, and their accessories are also pricey, and much worse if you add high-quality scopes. Therefore, it sounds very unlikely that all infantry Soldiers would get any 7.62mm system suggested.

    Intermediate solutions sound much more likely, because they would be cheaper, quicker, and more flexible to roll back as the need changes. The Army might buy the M27 IAR that the USMC is using for long-range suppression. Or they might simply increase the issue of DMRs a bit–say three to a squad instead of one–a middle-ground solution that could probably be carried out with weapons already in inventory.

  42. hmm says:

    Why didn’t you cover the HK417? An HK417 spec’d similar to the M27 IAR seems like what they’re looking for, more than the CSASS.

    • SSD says:

      Because the 417 isn’t part of a DoD Program of Record. All of the weapons I featured are.

      • Joshua says:

        Don’t think the CSASS is a program of record yet.

        It still has yet to see field trials, and H&K has yet to fully deliver the entire…what was it? 26 or 36 rifles? That were guaranteed?

        Either way it could go the same route the PSR did.

  43. James Drouin says:

    “US Army Considers Adopting an Interim Battle Rifle in 7.62 NATO”

    Well, if that’s actually the case, and not some Army nincompoop’s wet dream, one can only hope that sanity returns or the rifle ‘malfunctions’ during evaluation and said nincompoop suffers a fatal ‘accident’.

    I know guys that enjoy being able to pack 600 to a 1,000 rounds of 5.56, and if they feel they’re ‘outmatched’, have no problems whatsoever in calling in something with a lot more heft.

    And that is the primary reason the 5.56 was fielded.

    • GySgtDad says:

      Yup. It’s the hits โ€” or near hits โ€” that count. Volume is a big deal only to the Russkies.

  44. Stefan S. says:

    Typical Big Army. This from the same branch that gave you the despised UCP. Can’t find a better rifle/cartridge in 50+ years? GMAFB. This is another “Politicians with Stars” (GO) snipe hunt. They will spend millions only to say…”The 5.56MM is fine. Nothing to see here, move along”. Just like they did with the Individual Carbine Preplacement program, and the XM-8.

  45. John says:

    If great accuracy and maintaining power at a distance is the goal and you compare the following, 5.56x45mm, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, 300 BLK, 7.62x39mm, one of them does outperform the others.

  46. GySgtDad says:

    Speaking as someone who has used both the M-14 (NATO 7.62) & the M-16 (5.56mm), I can assure you the 7.62 NATO is a better round.

    Accuracy & reliability are the key. Do the proposed alternatives offer something better than the Garand mechanism in the M-14? If not, then why the fol-der-ol?

    • John Goudge says:

      As some one who has carried and used the M14 & M16 and M4. The 7.62 round is a non starter for a basic round. It is a slightly modified 30-06,which was intended to break up massed charges at 1000 yards. It has too much recoil to be fired full auto out anything lighter than a BAR or Bren Gun (20 pounds). Nor did the E2 version correct the problem.

      We would be better advised to use 7.62 mm for one or two designated marksmen while we decide which one on many 6-7mm cartridges to choose. Hint almost any of the 6.5 mm rounds mentioned in the comments would work just fine. We might also give some thought to fitting longer barrels on the M16 family. Remember, the .222/223 cartridge was originally designed for 24 in barrel varmmit

    • John Goudge says:

      As some one who has carried and used the M14 & M16 and M4. The 7.62 round is a non starter for a basic round. It is a slightly modified 30-06,which was intended to break up massed charges at 1000 yards. It has too much recoil to be fired full auto out anything lighter than a BAR or Bren Gun (20 pounds). Nor did the E2 version correct the problem.

      We would be better advised to use 7.62 mm for one or two designated marksmen while we decide which one on many 6-7mm cartridges to choose. Hint almost any of the 6.5 mm rounds mentioned in the comments would work just fine. We might also give some thought to fitting longer barrels on the M16 family. Remember, the .222/223 cartridge was originally designed for 24 in barrel varmint and target rifles. The lose of velocity in a 16 or 14.5 in barrel must be significant.

  47. John says:

    “6.5mm Grendel: The Round the Military Ought to Have”

  48. John says:

    Since the entire western arms industry seems incapable of developing a GPMG that matches the PKM in all areas of performance including cost, just f’ing adopt the PKM in a 6.5-7mm whatever and be done with it. We can probably make them cheaper than any of these “battle rifles” on offer at this point, and then 1:1 replace the SAWs that have been falling apart after years of endless deployments at the squad level.

    Then upgrade the 5.56 to 77gr sost (I suspect the “green” ammo initiatives and all the careers supporting making that a thing have had the wind taken out of their sails by trump) that will give the rest of the grunts the ability to reach out. That or just replace 5.56 m4s with a 6.8 or 6.5 carbine with all of the features people want and polymer cased ammo, actual dedicated mag wells and real honest to god 30 round mags.

    Price isn’t the object any more boys! Now that the gubmint is in the hands of the republicans you can rest assured that the money spigot will remain in the “on” position for the time being and you can buy and build whatever loony toon’s weapons you want with our tax dollars. Why do you think the .338 MG is back on the table?

  49. H2O says:

    M14 :: The worlds finest stop-gap Battle Rifle.

    • pdxr13 says:

      Tied for 1st place in 1958 with the FN-FAL. XM-14 Made Here: WINNER! FN-FAL plenty good for most of the rest of the world, with Taiwan snatching up M-14 we set down.

      Agree with intelligent posters above: 90% training issue, at most 10% hardware. Copy PKM if you have to, or just buy from Russians! Make ammo cheaper and mandate much more range-training with standards for speed and accuracy that 15% of students CAN NOT ACHIEVE (no matter if recycled 5 times). These 85% will be your shooters. So sorry that females can not do this. Select the top 10% of these qualified shooters and you have instant “elite” individual pool to train more. Every serving person should qualify as a “safe handler” and “maintainer” of the standard weapon (with Performance Reports reflecting range results at not less than 10% of points: shoot functionally or be passed-over for promotion), if only to be an effective speedbump. Use gov’t credit card to buy mission-specific gear and hold commands accountable for cost and results.

      Artillery and A-10’s are how empire takes ground with unlimited energy inputs. Infantry can hold the ground with 10W pdw plasma rifles and more PT. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  50. TKS says:

    Army Ordnance and their social climbing bureaucrats have been the ENEMY of the soldiers and Marines for the past 150+ years. Pig Board in the 1920’s identified “the solution”. I have a heavy 18″ barreled MK12 Grendel and a light weight 14.5″ barrel Grendel. Never had mag failures. I have put 3 rounds in the same hole at 100 yards off the bench with both. Can hit a 4″ strip of metal at 450 yards all day long with an ACOG.

    Grendel adoption is the easiest and cheapest answer.

    (BTW have 10+ 556, 6 L1A1’s, 3 AR-10’s to include a LMT MWS in addition to the two Grendels so I am not a deadhead Grendel fanboy)

    • John says:

      That’s the same conclusion I’ve come to.

      • Jerries kids says:

        Hk 417 ….if crying about costs

        M14 been doing its job for almost 100yrs…
        Still in use today as of right now overseas…crying cuz its too old or doesnt work….

        Try iwi galil ace 53

        • pdxr13 says:

          M14 is 1950’s-era weapon, not 1917 (end of The Great War).

          No self-loaders were widely fielded in WWI. Boltie for infantry with heavy MG’s as focus of attention. Now with smokeless powder!

          Food was the real weapon of WWI. The USA got Europe’s gold. Ha ha.
          History cycles again. Ha ha. We have short memory.