Sunday, August 06, 2017

New Infantry Rifle?

The Firearm Blog is reporting:
The US Army has released a solicitation for a new 7.62mm infantry rifle to replace the M4. The Interim Combat Service Rifle program, known to be in the works since April of this year, would replace M4 Carbines in use with combat units with a new weapon in the 7.62x51mm caliber. The new solicitation requires companies to submit 7 weapons plus ancillaries for testing, and includes the promise of up to 8 Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs, non-contract transactions), leading to the eventual selection of 1 weapon for a contract of 50,000 units.
Interesting.  I'm not sure what the motivation for this project is, but it is interesting and pwill probably ignite the old caliber flame wars.The M16/M4 platform is a mature technology and is well regarded in many circles, but it seems that the body armor is an emerging technology and the Army wants something with more punch than can reliably be squeezed out of the 5.56mm.

At one point several years ago, I had opined that the perfect  service rifle would be a platform that used 6mm ammo in the vein of the .243 Winchester.  It would offer increased lethality over the 5.56, great ballistics, and lesser recoil than the 7.62mm.


Anonymous said...

Hm, creeping back to the 30.06 I see.


Sport Pilot said...

The US Navy actually once had a 6mm caliber service rifle, the M1895 Lee Navy.

Theother Ryan said...

1- We have large groups whose job is weapons acquisition. They have to justify their existence. So endless trials even in an environment where we are unlikely to buy a new rifle.

2- If I recall a variety of studies have shown something in the .26-27 range with about a 130 grain bullet would be ideal. NATO almost went that way after WWII but the US refused so we went 7.62x51.

A rugged/ reliable piston drive rifle similar to the HK416/ SIG 556 in such a caliber would be about as good as we can get for a modern Infantry rifle.

Jonathan H said...

I read a while ago that the Army was considering a squad or platoon level rifle for a not-quite-sniper role when in terrain that allowed for long range shots, allowing a small unit to reach out further than the M4 can, but not going to the specialization of a true sniper rifle.

I wonder if this could be it - 50,000 total rifles would be quite a few for sniper use, but not nearly enough for individual infantry use.