Guns

Belt-fed Mk 19 Grenade Launcher in action on full auto

The Mark 19 grenade launcher is an American made 40 mm belt-fed automatic tool of destruction.

Developed during the Vietnam War, the first version of the Mark 19 (Mod 0) was considered too unsafe and unreliable in 1966. By 1972 the Navy had improved the weapon significantly with the Mod 1. By 1983 the US Army adopted the Mod 3, which remains in service even today.

The practical fire rate of the Mk 19 is about 60 rounds per minute for rapid fire, or 40 rounds per minute for sustained fire with a maximum distance over 2,400 yards.

The US Army is rolling out a variety of new features for the Mk 19 that could be introduced as early as the end of this year. Those features included faster muzzle velocity, increased cyclic rate, a redesigned round-positioning block that will reduce misfires, improved durability, and more.

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Guns

LEAKED: Glock Gen 5 – NEW Models to Be Released by the End of August

It seems Glock’s Generation 5 may be nearly upon us. According to a photo posted to the Glock Talk forums, one law enforcement officer was able to pre-order a Glock 17 Gen 5 through his dealer. The slip, clearly marked “Gen 5” is shown below:

Note the price is Glock’s Blue Label LEO only rate.

Also released via Facebook was a Glock promotional image for August, announcing an event to be held on the 26th at 100 ranges across the United States, where attendees would be able to get their hands on the newly released pistols. It’s not clear whether this event is for the Gen 5, but given the pre-order above, chances seem good.

What, exactly, the Gen 5 Glock will be is yet unknown, however it seems likely that it will include features from the FBI’s Glock 17M and/or Glock’s XM17 MHS submission to the US Army. While an MHS-style 17/19 hybrid compact/full size might actually pique my interest, I doubt we’ll be so lucky as that.

The Glock 17M includes the following features, most or all of which we can probably expect to see on the Gen 5:

  • A new tougher finish
  • Changes in the rifling
  • Longer recoil spring assembly
  • Reinforced forward notch for the recoil spring assembly
  • A smoother trigger similar to the G42/43
  • Flared magwell
  • No finger grooves
  • Changes in the safety plunger
  • Ambidextrous slide release
  • Magazines may have an extended front lip
  • Magazine well cutout

Poor Glock. They have such a leaky boat!

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Guns

A former special-operations doctor explains why he would rather be shot with an AK-47 than an M4

Admittedly, I’d rather not be shot with either, but if I had to choose, I’d take a round from the AK-47 over the M4 any day of the week. To add a caveat to that statement, I’m talking from relatively close range here — say up to 150 to 200 meters.

To understand why, it’s important to first take a very basic look at the physics behind terminal ballistics.

In this case, consider the science of what happens when a penetrating missile enters a human body.

The first place to start is the following kinetic-energy equation:

KE = ½ M (V1-V2)2

Breaking this equation down into its components, we have kinetic energy (KE) influenced by the mass (M) of the penetrating missile, as well as the velocity (V) of the missile.

This makes sense; it is logical that a heavier, faster missile will do more damage than a lighter, slower missile. What is important to understand is the relative influence that mass and velocity have on kinetic energy, as this is key to understanding why I’d rather be shot with an AK than with an M4.

You’ll notice that the mass component of the KE equation is halved, whereas the velocity component is squared. For this reason, the velocity of the projectile has far more bearing on the energy that it delivers into the target than the mass.

AK-47
An AK-47. Flickr/Carsten Lorentzen

The V1-V2 component of the equation takes into consideration that the projectile might actually pass straight through the target, rather than coming to rest in the target.

In this instance, the change in the velocity of the projectile as it passes through the target (V1 being its velocity as it enters, and V2 being velocity on exit) is the factor that is considered when calculating how much energy the missile delivered into the target.

Naturally, if the projectile comes to rest in the target (i.e., no exit wound), then V2 equals zero and the projectile’s velocity as it entered (V1) is used to calculate the KE.

That’s enough physics for now, but you get the concept that the optimum projectile to shoot someone with is one that has a decent mass; is very, very fast; and is guaranteed to come to restin your target so as to dissipate as much energy as possible into it, and hence do maximal damage.

The next concept to grasp is that of permanent cavitation versus temporary cavitation. Permanent cavitation is the hole left in a target from a projectile punching through it. You can think of it simply like a sharp stick being pushed through a target and leaving a hole the diameter of the stick.

7.62x39 FMJ
An AK-47 bullet. Malis via Wikimedia Commons

The permanent cavity left by a bullet is proportionate to the surface area of the bullet as it passes through the tissue.

For instance, if an AK-47 round with a 7.62mm diameter at its widest point passes cleanly through a target, it will leave a round, 7.62mm permanent cavity.

If this hole goes through a vital structure in the body, the wound can be fatal.

If the bullet passes through soft tissues only, however, the permanent cavity can be relatively benign.

Below is a slow-motion video by Brass Fetcher of a 5.56x45mm round (same as what the M4 fires) hitting ballistic gelatin in slow motion.

After watching, the medical provider can begin to appreciate the damage done to tissues by the pressure wave of the temporary cavitation.

Having had the chance to treat dozens of high-velocity missile wounds over my years in the military, I’ve seen firsthand the effect that various rifle calibers can have at various distances, hitting various body parts. Naturally a multitude of variables come into play when someone gets shot, and no two gunshot wounds are ever going to be the same.

The purpose of this article is not to draw any academic conclusions about the ballistics of the AK-47 versus the M4, or argue the merits of one ammo over another; it is to introduce the concepts of the different wounding profiles of permanent and temporary cavities using a couple of case studies.

Below are two examples I was involved with that illustrate somewhat of a comparative study of an AK-47 round and an M4 round striking approximately the same anatomical location from roughly the same range (in these cases, 150 to 200 meters).

gunshot wound

This series of photos you can see a particularly nasty M4 gunshot wound, with a small entrance wound in the right lower buttock, and a massive exit wound in the right lateral thigh.

The X-ray in the last image shows that the projectile struck the upper femur and demolished the bone, sending secondary bone fragments flying through the tissues and accounting for the majority of the exit wound.

The damage done by the pressure wave of the temporary cavity can be appreciated in the first image, with deep bruising extending up the buttock and into the casualty’s lower back. This bruising resulted from the energy dissipated through the tissues pulverizing small blood vessels in its path (think back to the ballistic gelatin video to imagine what went on in the tissues).

gunshot wound
Don’t worry, he’s OK. TacMed Australia

The granular material in the middle of the thigh wound seen on the X-ray is an older-generation QuikClot advanced clotting sponge (ACS), which was inserted at the point of injury for hemorrhage control to excellent effect. The bright white fragments on the X-ray are small pieces of the bullet, which had disintegrated on impact with the tissue and bone. This is another characteristic of the M4 round that makes it all the more unappealing to be shot with — the tendency for the bullet to disintegrate if it strikes tissue at a decent velocity.

Despite being a jacketed round, because it’s smaller, lighter, and faster than an AK-47 projectile, the 5.56mm tends to yaw faster once it hits tissue. The shearing forces on the bullet once it is traveling at 90 degrees through the tissue often tears the bullet into pieces, thus creating multiple smaller projectiles and increasing the chances of all of the bullet parts remaining in the target, and hence dissipating more energy.

The AK-47 round, being slightly heavier and slower than the M4 round, has a tendency to remain intact as it strikes tissue, and while it will penetrate deeper, it tends to remain intact and not yaw until it has penetrated much deeper than the M4.

Here’s a video from The Ammo Channel of the AK-47’s 7.62x39mm projectile being fired into ballistic gelatin for comparison to the video above of the 5.56x45mm (M4) round. Though the video shows a soft-point round being used, which theoretically should be more destructive than its full-metal-jacket counterpart, the video still illustrates nicely the significant penetration of the AK-47 round without it yawing significantly or disintegrating.

I once saw a good case study illustrating this point, where a casualty had sustained an AK-47 gunshot wound to the right lateral thigh and we recovered the intact bullet from the inside of his left upper abdominal wall. It had passed through approximately one metre of his tissues and shredded his small bowel, but the projectile hadn’t fragmented at all, and the temporary cavitation hadn’t done enough damage to be lethal. The casualty required a laparotomy to remove multiple sections of small intestine, but he made a good recovery. That one is a story for another time.

The following photo is of a good friend of mine who was shot by an AK-47 from approximately 200 meters while standing right next to me!

Fortunately the bullet passed cleanly through, and after a surgical clean-out the afternoon of the injury, he turned up ready for work the very next day. They breed them tough where he is from!

The image was taken a few days after the injury and the bruising from the temporary cavity of the projectile can be seen along the path of the bullet.
gunshot wound
Don’t worry, he’s OK too. TacMed Australia

The entrance wound is at the top of the left buttock, with the exit being down on the left upper thigh. Though the injury is unpleasant to have, the fact that the AK-47 round was traveling slower than an M4’s round at the same range, coupled with the fact that the projectile remained intact and didn’t yaw significantly as it passed through him, meant the wound was nowhere near as devastating as the above-mentioned M4 injury in the same area.

It must be noted, however, that the comparison is far from perfect, given that the M4 injury involved the bone, with the one immediately above passing solely through soft tissues.

So there it is. All things being equal, when all is said and done, I’d rather be shot with an AK-47 than an M4 on any day of the week. Naturally, as medical responders, it is always important to treat the wound and not the rifle that inflicted it, and I have certainly seen some horrendous AK-47 wounds over the years and some relatively minor ones from M4s. It all depends.

The main take-home points for first responders and medicos are: Be aware of the magnitude of damage that can be caused by the temporary cavitation resulting from high-velocity missile wounds, and if you find an entrance wound, there’s no telling where in the body the projectile might have ended up!

The moral of the story is look at the bruising and swelling of the wounds. There is no way our Orlando ‘survivors’ were shot. The 7.62 mm round is even the one that does less damage. The wounds of the .223 are egregious. It’s going to take a lot to restore a victim to health. The alleged victims bear no evidence of having been shot. Keep this in mind as further fake shootings are thrust upon us.

Guns

Czech government tells its citizens how to fight terrorists: Shoot them yourselves

 

A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists.

Never mind that there are fewer than 4,000 Muslims in this country of 10 million people — gun purchases spiked. One shop owner in East Bohemia, a region in the northern center of the Czech Republic, told a local paper that people were scared of a “wave of Islamists.”

Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists. Proponents say this could save lives if an attack occurs and police are delayed or unable to make their way to the scene. To become law, Parliament must approve the proposal; they’ll vote in the coming months.

Getty.jpg

The Czech Republic already has some of the most lenient gun policies in Europe. It’s home to about 800,000 registered firearms and 300,000 people with gun licenses. Obtaining a weapon is relatively easy: Residents must be 21, pass a gun knowledge check and have no criminal record. By law, Czechs can use their weapons to protect their property or when in danger, although they need to prove they faced a real threat.

This puts the country at odds with much of Europe, which has long supported much more stringent gun-control measures.  In the wake of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, France pushed the European Union to enact even tougher policies. The European Commission’s initial proposal called for a complete ban on the sale of weapons like Kalashnikovs or AR-15s that are intended primarily for military use. Ammunition magazines would be limited to 20 rounds or less.

The Czech Republic came out hard against the directive. Officials warned — somewhat ominously — that the measure would limit the country’s ability to build “an internal security system” and make it nearly impossible to train army reservists. And a total ban on military-style rifles that can fire large numbers of rounds would make illegal thousands of weapons already owned by Czech citizens, potentially creating a black market for terrorists to exploit. Finland and Germany offered their own reservations; Europe’s pro-gun groups also mobilised against the bill with the support of politicians on the extreme right.

After months of contentious negotiations, the EU passed a compromise last month; the Council of Ministers will confirm the measure this spring. All member states will have 15 months to comply with the new gun restrictions. The final measure bans the sale of most military-style rifles and requires all potential buyers to go through a psychological check before they can buy a weapon. If someone fails a check in one E.U. state, that information will be shared in an international database so that the person can’t procure a gun somewhere else. Online sales are also severely curtailed. The Czech Republic was the only country to oppose the directive for being too strict. Luxembourg also voted against the measure, but on the grounds that it was too weak.

That means that regardless of how the Czech parliament votes on the terrorist-hunting measure, gun laws in the Czech Republic are going to get stricter. All gun purchasers will be required to pass the psychological checks, though it’s not yet clear if gun owners will have to turn in newly illegal weapons. That ambiguity has led one Czech newspaper to suggest that the Interior Ministry’s latest move is much more about political safety than safety from terrorism.

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Guns

Do You Think Gun Range Owner Did Anything Wrong By Banning Muslims From Her Business? Yes Or No?

 

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The owner of an Arkansas shooting range has banned all Muslim people from patronizing her business. Now, despite threats of legal actions, she is doubling down on her policy.

The businesswoman has now resorted to social media to spread her ideas, and you may find them interesting when you read them.

Last September, Jan Morgan, the owner of Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range, pronounced that she would no longer allow Muslims from patronizing her business, by declaring it a “Muslim-free zone.”

A legal complaint was filed by The Council for American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, on behalf of a South Asian father and son who claim they were denied access because of their skin color. Both claim to be Hindu, not Muslim.

She took to Facebook to post photographs of the men, claiming she asked them to leave because they were acting “strange.”

Along with the photographs of the men, she wrote “Geeze…I hate to have to embarrass the liberal mainstream media again, but…a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.”

She has defended her discriminatory policy by alleging that Islam is a religion that commands its followers to kill unbelievers and that she refuses to put a gun into the hands of “someone who aligns himself with that ideology.”

She goes on to say “We are dealing in lethal firearms. I’m not going to let a Nazi shoot in here, or a Ku Klux Klan member in here, either.”

She says she identifies Muslims based on the names given on reservations. She also claims that, despite the negative attention she has gotten in the press for her policy, her business has actually picked up.

Since her story has become public, many people have taken to social media to share opinions, with some showing their support for her by saying:

“I’d go there just BECAUSE she did it!”- John n Julie Frye

“Good for her. It’s not racist, it’s a religious belief and a way of life.Why the hell should we pander to a religion that discriminates against women.One would think the lefty liberals would be against discrimination.”- Stephan Paul Williams

“Good for her it just shows that you can support what you believe in and not give in to being Politically correct and live with the results.”- Dick Howard

Of course, with this being the internet and all, there were plenty of people expressing their disagreement with the policy, saying things like:

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed all discrimination based on race, color, RELIGION, sex, or NATIONAL ORIGIN.”- Sara Hart

“I think it’s wrong. there are some beautiful Muslim names that like Tobias and Ariana for example… those are just two names. imagine going here and getting kicked out because your name is Adam, which is an Islamic or Muslim name.”- Nicole Braden

“If she banned Christians there’d probably be screeches of discrimination.”- Camille

“Her insanely stupid quote that Islam is a religion that commands its followers to kill others proves she knows absolutely nothing about Islam. What an ignorant idiot.”- Michael Brauer

“The Bible commands Christians to kill as well (for a very wide range of offenses, including petty ones). Yet somehow her tiny, bigoted brain is able to recognize that most people ignore those parts of the Bible. What an ignorant piece of human garbage.”- Karrine Knutson

Does she have a leg to stand on or do you think she will lose in court? Share your thoughts with us here.

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Guns

Oregon governor signs gun confiscation bill into law

 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday approved Democrat-backed gun control legislation to establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders, forcing subjects to surrender their firearms.

The law, SB 719A, allows police, or a member of a subject’s family or household, to file a petition with the court which could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession if it is believed they pose an imminent risk to themselves or others. The bill passed the Senate 17-11 in May and the House 31-28 last month, picking up only one Republican supporter along the way.

Brown, a Democrat, signed the bill without comment this week but in remarks to lawmakers during the legislative process she called Extreme Risk Protection Orders the “best way to ensure that a person who is at risk of harming themselves or others is identified, while still ensuring their rights are protected by a court review.”

Brown, a Democrat, signed the measure into law this week after it squeaked through the legislature. (Photo: Gov. Brown's office)

The new law will establish a process for obtaining an order issued by a judge in a civil court prohibiting the subject from possessing or buying firearms or ammo for one year. It grants police enforcing such orders the power to search for and seize guns that were not surrendered or stored with a third party such as a gun dealer. The subject of the order has 30 days to request a hearing to keep their firearms, which must be held within 21 days.

Those filing fake orders could be imprisoned for up to a year, or pay a fine of up to $6,250, or both.

The law was modeled on one adopted after a ballot referendum last fall in neighboring Washington following a $3.5 million push by gun control groups, which in turn was based on a 2014 California law.

Gun control advocates lauded the new tool to take guns out of some situations.

“SB 719 is a common-sense bill that will empower families and law enforcement officers to take action to potentially prevent tragedies before they happen,” said Lisa Reynolds with Moms Demand Action in a statement. “That law will help save lives.”

Second Amendment groups have blasted the ERPO process, arguing it provides no structure for those deemed at risk to receive help, or those dangerous to be taken into custody. Further, they point to due process concerns.

“By allowing a law enforcement officer, family member, or household member to seek the ERPO, SB 719A would allow people who are not mental health professionals, who may be mistaken, and who may only have minimal contact with the respondent to file a petition with the court and testify on the respondent’s state of mind,” says a statement from the National Rifle Association’s legislative lobby arm.

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Guns

Pittsburgh area construction site yields 700 pieces of ordnance (PHOTOS)

Ongoing construction this year in Lawrenceville near the location of the historic Allegheny Arsenal has kept Army explosive ordnance disposal teams busy.

Live Civil War-era cannonballs have been popping up since March resulting in a response at first the Pittsburgh Police bomb squad, then a more lingering military presence.

Elements of the 192nd Ordnance Company from Fort Bragg, North Carolina and the 55th Ordnance Company from Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, transported some 700 items from the construction site to Fort Indiantown Gap, a Pennsylvania National Guard base with a live-fire range and facilities for demolition.

Pittsburgh area construction site yields 700 pieces of ordnance (PHOTOS) 2
Officials advise the public should keep in mind “the 3Rs” — Recognize, Retreat and Report — when encountering potential unexploded ordnance.

“While we are often called up to dispose of unexploded ordnance, this operation was slightly unusual due to the age and volume of the munitions,” said Capt. Dan Dellorusso. “We’re always happy to help members of the community.”

Officials advise the public should keep in mind “the 3Rs” — Recognize, Retreat and Report — when encountering potential unexploded ordnance.

Authorities stress these items are not souvenirs
Authorities stress these items are not souvenirs

“Regardless of the munition’s age, these items are not souvenirs and have the potential to harm you,” said the Army in a statement.

Founded by the U.S. Army Ordnance Department near Lawrenceville in 1814, Allegheny was active through the Civil War period making everything from cartridges to harnesses for artillery horses.

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Guns

“THE M4 RIFLE IS A TERRIBLY FLAWED WEAPON”

It looks like the U.S. military might finally be moving away from the M4 platform as the go-to infantry rifle, possibly in favor of something chambered for a larger round, marking a move away from the 5.56 as well.

In a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales leveled some serious concerns about the M4 family of rifles, and to the lengthy, expensive, and some say unnecessary process of updating military firearms in general, according to the text posted by outdoorhub.com.

An M4A1 carbine with an ACOG sight.

He laments that, since World War II, a military that has prided itself on being the most technologically advanced in the world has essentially ignored the most basic, on-the-ground weapons that infantry use the most for decades—which is a significant problem since infantry incur about 80 percent of battlefield casualties. Scales alleges that insufficient or malfunctioning guns have led to too many of those deaths.

“They died because the Army’s weapon buying bureaucracy has consistently denied that a Soldier’s individual weapon is important enough to gain their serious attention,” Scales said in his statement, before noting that the “Ma Deuce” 50-caliber machine gun is about to hit its 100th anniversary and it still in service.

Most of the issues outlined in Scales’ statement hit on major problems with the acquisition process by which the U.S. Army chooses its guns, most recently highlighted by the the X17 trials, a new handgun for soldiers that will replace the M9, in service since 1985.

We followed the long and expensive trials, which resulted in the Army choosing the Sig Sauer P320 as its new sidearm. The duration of the trial puzzled many, who said the Army could have simply chosen a gun that has been combat proven, like the Glock.

Just Buy Glocks, Recommends Army Chief of Staff

Just Buy Glocks, Recommends Army Chief of Staff

“I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine with a pistol for $17 million,” General Mark Milley said.

 “The Army’s Acquisition Community wasn’t able to select something as simple as a pistol. After eight years and millions of dollars the only product they produced was a 400-page written “Request for Proposal” for an off the shelf commercial pistol,” Scales said.

He then moved on to rifles, saying, “The most horrific story has to be the one about the rifle. During my 35 years in the Army, it became clear to me that from Hamburger Hill to the streets of Baghdad that the American penchant for arming troops with lousy rifles has been responsible for a staggering number of unnecessary deaths.”

The M16 was introduced in the late 1960s at the start of the Vietnam War, nearly 50 years ago. It replaced the M14, a box-magazine fed update of the venerable M1 Garand, chambered in .308 Win. The rifle was intended to be small and handy, utilizing composite materials and chambered for the small and fast 5.56 round. The idea was that the round’s speed and the fact that its size would allow troops to carry more ammo would make up for its lack of mass—a plan that Scales says hasn’t panned out.

A Brief History of U.S. Military Rifles
A Brief History of U.S. Military Rifles

Take a quick tour through the various rifles fielded by U.S. servicemembers, from the American Revolution to today.

 The original issued M16, designed by Eugene Stoner, was hated on the battlefield. The gun had furniture not ready for jungle climates, it lacked the chrome lining on the bore and chamber, which allowed jams to become frequent, a problem exacerbated by ammo using propellant that burned extremely dirty. Soldiers were told their new rifle didn’t need to be cleaned (and it was famously first issued without a cleaning kit), when the reality was the rifle’s small parts needed cleaning more than other rifles.

Though those problems were mostly attributed to changes made from Stoner’s original design and had been patched with the M16A1, A2, and subsequent models, the rifle remains largely unchanged and it is still limited by the performance capabilities of the 5.56 round.

“The M4 rifle is a terribly flawed weapon,” Scales said in his testimony, according to this story from stripes.com, as he recalled carrying the M16 in Vietnam.

“Not all the problems with the M16 can be blamed on the Army. Buried in the M16’s, and now the M4’s, operating system is a flaw that no amount of militarizing and tinkering has ever erased,” Scales said. “Stoner’s gun cycles cartridges from the magazine into the chamber using gas pressure vented off as the bullet passes through the barrel. Gases traveling down a very narrow aluminum tube produce an intense “puff” that throws the bolt assembly to the rear, making the bolt assembly a freely moving object in the body of the rifle. Any dust or dirt or residue from the cartridge might cause the bolt assembly, and thus the rifle, to jam.”

Of course, there are many AR-platform rifles on the market that use piston systems that don’t blast barrel gases into the rifle’s chamber instead of Stoner’s direct impingement system, but they certainly aren’t general issue. Since they are exempt from the acquisition process of the Army, Special Operations groups like the Navy SEALs can select or requisition pretty much any gun they want, so various updated versions of the M16 platform have been fielded and tested in combat, further highlighting the M4’s shortcomings.

The Rifle That Killed Bin Laden

The Rifle That Killed Bin Laden

Six years ago today, a team of elite Navy SEALs raided a compound that held the man who orchestrated the 9/11 terror attacks. This is the gun that got him.

 “…Front line Army and Marine riflemen still fire weapons much more likely to jam than the AK-47,” Scales said. “In the open terrain of Afghanistan, the M4 is badly out ranged by Taliban weapons manufactured before the First World War.”

So what should the Army be looking for?

Scales went on to say a new infantry weapon should be modular, with multiple configurations assembled off a single chassis, allowing it to perform as a rifle, a carbine, a light machine gun or a infantry automatic rifle—which sounds a lot like the Stoner 63 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoner_63#Deployment, a weapon platform created by Eugene Stoner in the early 1960s that saw limited combat use by U.S. forces in Vietnam. It became a favorite of Navy SEALs and Marines who got their hands on them, though the gun was seen as difficult to maintain and overly complex.

He also said the 5.56 is “too small for modern combat. Its lack of mass limits its range to less than 400 meters. The civilian version of the 5.56mm bullet was designed as a varmint killer and six states prohibit its use for deer hunting because it is not lethal enough to ensure a quick kill.”

The best caliber for the next generation rifle lies between 6.5 and 7mm, according to Scales, who likes the Remington 270.

Whenever anyone talks about upping the caliber for the military, the first consideration is weight, since bigger rounds mean heavier cartridges, and that means fewer rounds per ounce carried by a given infantryman, the very problem the 5.56 was supposed to solve.

Scales says new, larger cartridges could be made almost as light as the brass-cased 5.56 by “using a plastic shell casing, which is now in final development by the Marine Corps.”

Army Considers New Rifle that Fires "Telescoped" Polymer-Cased Ammo

Army Considers New Rifle that Fires “Telescoped” Polymer-Cased Ammo

The polymer-cased rounds are wider than standard loads, but pack much more of a punch for its weight.

 Later in his statement, Scales said suppressors should be attached to every infantry rifle to reduce noise and muzzle flash and that electronic targeting systems, like Tracking Point, should be implemented.

We reported that units from the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2nd Marine Division has already been issued suppressors and is currently evaluating them in combat zones.

But wouldn’t fielding a new rifle for the entire U.S. Army be extremely expensive? The Army says it will cost about $2 billion to outfit every soldier with a new rifle.

Scales says, if the Army follows the Special Forces model, it would cost much less.

He said if the Army and Marine Corps bought new rifles only for the 100,000 infantry who use them in combat at $1,000 each, the cost would be about $100 million—the price of a new fighter jet— with the current stockpile of M4s and M16s held in reserve for use by non-infantry personnel.

Scales ultimately asked the committee to authorize $100 million to support an open competition to develop a new family of small arms that would last a year and to be overseen by ground combat arms officers and non-commissioned officers and run by the Ground Service Chiefs and the Commander, Special Operations Command with no acquisition agencies involved.

If they follow his recommendation, we may see the U.S. Army adopt a new infantry service rifle in the next couple years.

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