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(Some Military Farker)   M-16 to be replaced by XM8. Your soldiers want a new toy   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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47882 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Aug 2004 at 6:43 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

297 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-08-24 10:59:10 AM  
Here's hoping they dont keep that ugly white and "Nintendo Blaster" grey color scheme. They probably won't, but if they do, ugh.
2004-08-24 11:01:14 AM  
It looks like my son's squirtgun.
2004-08-24 11:06:12 AM  
Kinda looks like the guns in Starship Troopers...
2004-08-24 11:09:08 AM  
It looks sort of like the LaserTag rifle from the 80's, doesn't it?

[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-24 11:10:37 AM  
My "Nintendo Blaster" was Red/Grey
2004-08-24 11:11:02 AM  
Still a .223?
2004-08-24 11:17:08 AM  
Unfortunately yes, D_I_A. Friggin' peashooter.
2004-08-24 11:17:15 AM  

Probably NATO 7.62 or whatever that garbage is...
2004-08-24 11:17:24 AM  

No, this one is 5.56mm.

/I kid, I know, I know.
2004-08-24 11:17:55 AM  
Yep, still a .223. Here's another site with a little more detail.


Looks like it'll be adaptable (color scheme wise) to different environments and also to ammunition type.
2004-08-24 11:17:57 AM  
Yes, still .223, and it looks like a Super Soaker. I hope production models come in a more menacing color than white.

Also it doesn't seem to have that spiffy 20mm grenade launcher I've seen on other prototypes. Of course that is probably to keep the weight down to under thirty pounds.
2004-08-24 11:18:30 AM  
H&K makes a fine weapon, but shouldn't these contracts go to an American company? I guess it's good that they'll be made here. Am I crazy for thinking this?
2004-08-24 11:19:25 AM  
A well trained soldier can cause a lot of havoc with a .223 clip
2004-08-24 11:25:31 AM  
The same well trained soldier can wreak even MORE havoc with a .308...At longer ranges and have a better chance of coming home alive.
2004-08-24 11:25:55 AM  
It has a plastic molded stock that will come in many colors for the environment you are fighting in.

Here is a video about it.


It's a 5.56mm, not .223
2004-08-24 11:26:31 AM  
To the many gunsmiths in farkland, is there any mechanical benefit to making it looks so futuristic or is the design just to make it look cool. Why for instance do they have the space between the barrel and the foregrip. Is that intended to be the carrying handle on this weapon?
2004-08-24 11:26:51 AM  
2wheeljunky, my guess is that they'll do the same thing as Beretta and set up a "H&K USA" or something to that effect.
2004-08-24 11:27:31 AM  

I hadn't thought about the the clip as a weapon...but now that you mention it...tape a couple of thoses banana clips together and you've got yourself a nice boomerang.
2004-08-24 11:30:25 AM  

Whew, coffee not working yet! Thoses?

/Moses supposes his toses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously.
2004-08-24 11:31:06 AM  
I thought the gun was straight out of Halo.

Caliber: 5.56x45 mm NATO
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 838 mm in basic configuration, butt extended
Barrel length: 318 mm in basic configuration; also 229 mm in Compact and 508 mm in Sharpshooter and SAW versions
Weight: 2.659 kg empty in basic configuration
Rate of fire: ~ 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds (STANAG) or 100-rounds double drum in Automatic Rifle/SAW role
2004-08-24 11:40:41 AM  
Say what you will...I still like the Garrand...shame it only holds 8 rounds...
2004-08-24 11:41:01 AM  

It's a 5.56mm, not .223

5.56 IS .223. 5.56=mm .223=caliber
2004-08-24 11:41:23 AM  
it also receives your favorite radio station from back home via satellite anywhere in the world !
2004-08-24 11:50:40 AM  
Is the OICW still in development? I thought it was being prepped to replace the M16.

And anyway, the Ross Rifle is where it's at -- it was Canada's infantry rifle for WWI. It was like a normal bolt-action rifle, except that it didn't work. Saves a ton on ammo.
2004-08-24 11:50:50 AM  
BritneysSpeculum, yes, asthetics do come into play when they are selling the weapon to the gov., The "carrying handle" will most likely be modified with rails for attaching lights, laser sights, night scopes, and the like.
2004-08-24 11:52:41 AM  
2004-08-24 11:40:41 AM Dancin_In_Anson [TotalFark]
Say what you will...I still like the Garrand...shame it only holds 8 rounds...

Do you mean the M-1? If so, the problem with that was the weight. It weighed about 3x what an old M-16 weighed.
2004-08-24 11:52:53 AM  
They are working on a similar design for a rocket propelled grenade:

[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-24 11:54:24 AM  
So there is no ballistic or other advantage? As for the rail, won't that interfere with the site already built into the gun?
2004-08-24 11:57:21 AM  
Oh, one question for those lamenting the use of .223/5.56mm ammo: what do you think would be more appropriate for modern combat? To my knowledge, 5.56 was adopted back in the 70s because 7.62 and other previous cartridges couldn't penetrate contemporary body armor. Of course a round as small as 5.56mm isn't all that great for a soft target, but it's much harder to get a larger bullet through armor, and I can't think of any existing rifle cartridges that can do it.

And, come to think of it, firing .30-06 in bursts or full-auto mode must be hell on the shoulder. ;)
2004-08-24 12:13:18 PM  
BritneysSpeculum, my thought is that the current sight will be replaced with "iron "sights to help with overall reliability. As good as some optical sights are, they will never be as strong as metal. There will probably be a "picatinny" (see pic for example) rail on top for multiple sight options. Usually the final product looks nothing like the submitted prototype. Can I use any more generalizations?

[image from too old to be available]
2004-08-24 12:20:59 PM  
2004-08-24 11:57:21 AM SpaceButler And, come to think of it, firing .30-06 in bursts or full-auto mode must be hell on the shoulder. ;)

The BAR is a .30-06. I've heard it would beat the hell out the operator, but I don't know anybody personally who has fired one.
2004-08-24 12:23:51 PM  
thanks dan. Just watched the video that wife be gone was kind enough to link. That is one cool ass weapon.
2004-08-24 12:29:05 PM  
Video?....Oooh, sweet!
2004-08-24 12:48:10 PM  
Our M-16s were replaced by the M-4s back in '99, I believe. So, I think it'd be more accurate to say that the M-4s are being replaced by the XM8.
2004-08-24 12:56:43 PM  

Actually, .223 and NATO 5.56 are close but not quite the same thing. Here's some details, shamlessly stolen from rec.guns:

5.56mm is a NATO STANAG, while the .223Rem is a civilian standard (SAAMI).

5.56mm runs at higher pressures. The external cartridge specs are similar
except the bullet can be longer on the 5.56mm.

5.56mm chambers have more allowable headspace, and the chamber throat must
be reamed long for the long bullets.

Anyways... 5.56 isn't going away any time soon.

2004-08-24 12:59:42 PM  
Last I'd heard of this thing they were going to develop a larger round for it, 6.8mm vs 5.56. Guess that got a little too expensive.
2004-08-24 01:25:25 PM  
Got busy there...Yeah BS I know the M1 was heavy...but damn it was accurate and you could drag it through damn near anything an it would still fire...I get the opportunity to squeeze a few off with one now and then.
2004-08-24 02:10:17 PM  
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought one reason for the .223 caliber choice in the M-16 was due to the fact that it wounded rather than killed?

A wounded soldier takes 2 more out of the fray to carry him back.

I also heard that it is a much better caliber for city battles than the jungle. The slightest bump of a leaf or vine will send the tiny slug careening off course.

2004-08-24 02:46:44 PM  
I read that the primary infantry rifle was cut from a .30-.06 to .223 as studies showed that riflemen tended to wait to engage at a range of 300 yards. The effective range of the.30-.06 is around 800 yards...overkill, if you will. By reducing the size of the round, you reduce the weight and recoil (among other things) thereby making the rifleman more effective...

or something like that.
2004-08-24 03:00:34 PM  

To the best of my knowledge, it was picked primarily for penetration power. After all, there's not much point going to war using a cartridge that can't penetrate your enemy's armor. .223 is basically a smaller, higher-velocity version of a 7.62mm (.30in).

It is much more easily deflected than most heavier combat cartridges, yes. This is also why, in certain situations, 5.56mm rounds entering a body can get deflected along bones and, for example, a round that entered the hip can end up down in the ankle.

I'm not sure if the deflection would really be a huge problem in the jungle, though. If one can see an enemy soldier in the jungle, one is probably quite close to that soldier, and at distances like that I would imagine 5.56mm goes fast enough that leaves and vines wouldn't cause significant deflection.

5.56mm isn't a particularly great round, overall. IIRC, when fired from an M16 it's most effective against living things at a range of 250-500m, which is well beyond the range at which meaningful small-arms combat usually takes place. The M4 Carbine is popular partly because 5.56mm rounds fired from it are most effective at about 150m, which is more practical.

I believe Dancin_In_Anson is right that the initial move away from .30-06 was largely motivated by the desire for a lighter cartridge with less recoil when fired. I think, though, that .30-06 was initially dropped in favor of 7.62mm (.30cal), which was used for the M14 rifle which replaced the Garand. I'm not sure if M16s used 7.62mm or 5.56mm when they were first brought in in 1962.

Anyway, I could be wrong about any or all of this. Add salt to taste. :)
2004-08-24 03:09:23 PM  
sfmission There are stories from Vietnam where soldiers with M14s(abyssimal weapons for a whole different reason) were able to engage enemy forces THROUGH hardwood trees, the .223 (5.56 nato... same thing for all intents and purposes, political differences mostly) would be stopped.
2004-08-24 03:12:56 PM  
Just did some quick research, and realized a couple of things I should probably clarify:

1. When I mention 7.62mm, I mean NATO 7.62x51mm rounds, which are equivalent to .308 Winchester. .30cal is equivalent to the shorter Sovier 7.62x39mm round, which the AK-47 uses.

2. Apparently the M16 used 5.56mm from the beginning, as it had been found that 7.62mm NATO was too powerful to be practical in an assault rifle. So the decision to adopt 5.56mm may not have been based on penetration of body armour, as I thought it was. I'll post again if I find more on that.
2004-08-24 03:19:48 PM  
The M16 very early precursor, the AR10 was a .308, but that was changed very early in the design.
2004-08-24 03:39:00 PM  
Okay, it looks like penetration was indeed also a consideration when NATO adopted 5.56mm. By the looks of things, no one could design a rifle for 7.62mm NATO with burst and fully automatic firing capabilities which was both controllable and of reasonable weight. So a whole mess of studies and tests were conducted to find a suitable medium-power round for use by front-line soldiers. NATO found that .223 Remington was lighter, more lethal, and penetrated armor better than 7.62mm NATO, and adopted .223 Remington as the new NATO standard 5.56mm.

Interestingly, this report from 1986 takes issue with NATO's decision. It states that the 5.56mm rounds were tested against standard 7.62mm NATO ball ammunition and found to be superior, but that with a few improvements the 7.62mm NATO cartridge (designed in the early 1950s) would have outperformed the 5.56mm. Sadly, I don't have time to read through the whole paper right now, but it looks informative.

Ah, I see; thanks. I thought I remembered a game which used 7.62 ammo for early-70s-era M16s, but I must be misremembering. Or maybe there's a game somewhere which was shoddily researched. ;)
2004-08-24 06:50:51 PM  
Would it kill the US military to try a bullpup configuration?
2004-08-24 06:51:07 PM  
Awesome design, but it's kind of Queer Eye for Military guy, don't you think? As an artist I like it but it's definitely Storm Trooper quasi-queer.
2004-08-24 06:53:25 PM  
The only way that gun could look any more gay is if they painted it pink.
2004-08-24 06:56:19 PM  
ugh..what a tired ass tagline.
2004-08-24 06:57:20 PM  
Is the OICW still in development? I thought it was being prepped to replace the M16.

I think the OICW was ditched because (surprise surprise) it was too heavy and hard to handle. Funny thing is that was the first thing I thought when I first saw a picture of the OICW, though it took the US army a couple of years and a few million dollars of research money to come to the same conclusion :)
2004-08-24 06:58:00 PM  
Damn some of you know wayyyy too much about guns.

Pretty cool stuff though.
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