The link has several photos.
Army says 'no thanks' to Marine M27, opting instead to build its own rifle
by Todd South
Feb 8, 2018
While the Marines love their M27 rifle, it’s not good enough for the Army — they’re building their own.
Army leaders this week provided key weapons updates during a Senate hearing on modernization that included timelines on an improved armor-piercing round, sniper rifles and their Next Generation Squad Weapon.
Lt. Gen. John Murray, deputy chief of staff, G-8, and Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, principal military secretary to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, spoke primarily in response to questions from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, about lethality concerns within the infantry squad.
Cotton asked for updates to the rifles and rounds infantry soldiers use, given advancements in body armor that can defeat the standard 5.56mm round fired by the M4 carbine and M16 rifle variants.
Army is building a “Next Generation Squad Weapon,” which has been previously reported by Army Times. Murray confirmed to the senators that the Army has a “demonstration weapon right now.”
“It’s too big. It’s too heavy,” Murray said. “But we’ve recently opened it up to commercial industry for them to come in with their ideas about how they would get with that, get to that.”
The first variant, Murray said, will be an automatic rifle to replace the Squad Automatic Weapon, which is chambered in 5.56mm.
“We’ve been pushed on the M27, which the Marine Corps has adopted. That is also a 5.56mm, which doesn’t penetrate. So, we’re going to go down the path of [the] Next Generation Squad Weapon, automatic rifle first, to be closely followed — I’m hopeful — for either a rifle or carbine that will fire something other than 5.56mm,” Murray said.
He quickly added that the new round will likely not be in 7.62mm.
“The weapon will probably weigh a little bit more, the ammo will probably weigh a little bit less, and we can get penetration of the most advanced body armor in the world, probably well out beyond even max effective range of the current M4,” Murray said. “And that’s what we see as a replacement for the M4 in the future, not the [Squad Designated Marksman Rifle].”
Marines began working with the M27 Infantry Automatic Weapon, which is the military variant of the commercially available Heckler & Koch 416, in 2010 and began large orders and fielding last year. They have also adopted an upgraded version as their squad designated marksman weapon.
Experts at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence have previously told Army Times that they are working with several 6mm variants, a round that cuts the difference between 5.56mm and 7.62mm, providing the range and lethality of the larger round without the weight.
Advancements not only include a new round but also improved fire controls and polymer casing.
Textron Systems has partnered with the Army to develop a cased telescope cartridge and weapons built around the shortened polymer round. They also have a 6mm carbine variant, which was on display at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting last year.
Ostrowski told the senators that the work with Textron and others will be offered to vendors in 2018, with the goal of seeing a decision by 2021 and having the capability ready by 2022 or 2023.
Murray listed several other, interim efforts, including the near-term gap of providing a Squad Designated Marksman Rifle chambered in 7.62mm that also fires the Advanced Armor-Piercing Round.
While the SDMR program has been sped up and will see fielding among infantry units this year, the round program has been delayed to field in 2019, Murray said.
“You can still fire a 7.62 and you can still penetrate; you just can’t get quite the range you will with the next generation round,” Murray said.
I'll repeat what I always say in these threads.
They'll spend millions and then cancel the project after deciding on nothing.
Want more firepower? Just add another 7.62mm machine gun team or two to each infantry platoon.
Plenty of advances can be realized by improved ammunition.
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Hey guys, I have this groundbreaking, never-been-done-before super-great idea:
What say we use a cartridge that's bigger than the 5.56 and smaller than the 7.62. We'll call it the 6.8 SPC, and we'll shoot it out of a rifle that's 50+% plastic. We'll call it the XM-8.
We could even pair it a giant spin-counting grenade that could be range-designated to explode behind an enemy's cover...we'll call that the OICW.
So excited, why didn't anyone ever think of this before?
| Get my pies|
outta the oven!
You have to understand the mentality here.
First the Army NEVER wants to be seen using something that the Marines had first.
Second, you have Generals and Pentagon civilians who need to justify their existence and just adopting what already works for the Marines just won't help them do that.
This is all about being able to make work and spend more money.
I think you're giving them a little too much credit. You need to factor in laziness, incompetence, redundant processes, unclear or undefined requirements, and lack of communication between the service, to name a few...
Twas ever thus. I was reading about how the US Army turned down the Winchester lever action in favor of the Trapdoor Springfield.
The Winchester might have been handy.... At the Little Bighorn.
End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
I only saw 1 photo in the link, and it was of the prototype SAW not the "new" M4. There's a quick glimpse of the weapon in the video but I guess the one shown is only a test gun? I was confused.
It's part of the LSAT program. there is a non-optimized carbine version made by Textron that has shown up in some pictures.
Link to article on the Carbine. The Firearm Blog article I just linked has a slide from an NDIA convention that gives more detail on the carbine. The plan is to go to industry and come up with a light weight version for manufacture.
Here is a link to a picture of the actual carbine as displayed by Textron at AUSA
Army bureaucracy didn't want troops wasting ammo is the reason they didn't go with the lever action rifle.......not much has changed in 150+ years.
Why use a magazine fed automatic weapon? I see little purpose for the M27 as well, sure it's nice but in an overwatch or an ambush position I would prefer to have something beltfed. Give me a beltfed in 6.5 please with 100 rnd assualt bags...if the weapon is not 5.56 there is no reason to make it mag capable.
Plastic casings would be very cool to cut down on weight.
But hey....as a tax payer I am just funding this boondoggle....what do I know?
I wonder how the Ultimax performed during testing.
More likely there were no lever action rifles capable of firing a cartridge of sufficient power to deliver effective volley fire at over 1000 yards in the late 1860s when the 45-70 was being developed. No doubt some repeaters would have been useful to Custer at Bighorn, but that doesn't mean a 38-55 (or other of the many) lever cartridges would have been the correct choice as a standard infantry cartridge at the time of the 45-70's procurement.
It would be similar to arguing that the M1 Carbine would have been the better choice in WWII over the Garand because it makes a better assault weapon.
You must also consider the huge number of weapons on hand that could be converted at minimal expense. I'm sure cost was a factor, as a country just emerging from a civil war, with half of its territory and economy in shambles, was feeling cost conscience about armaments. In those days, the government didn't just print an unlimited amount of money, and there were more tangible limits on its spending power. I doubt the army brass would be unaware of the mood in Congress WRT funding an expensive rearmament so soon after the 1860s, and they made their choices accordingly.
And finally, cycling a lever action sucks when you are infantry laying face down in the dirt.
Hannibal ad portas. Carthago delenda est.
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