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Thread: Newly designed rifles for America's most elite troops

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS...assault.rifle/
    HatTip http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/
    From Larry Shaughnessy
    CNN Pentagon producer
    MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida (CNN) --
    No piece of equipment is more crucial to a soldier in the field than his rifle. And America's most elite troops are about to get a new series of rifles designed for their unique and dangerous missions.

    CNN was given an exclusive look at two new rifles for an elite group of U.S. troops.

    "The difference is, I'm gonna have a weapon that's gonna fit the situation," an Army Ranger staff sergeant said.

    Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is about to start training its SEALs, Green Berets and other Special Operations troops in the use of Mark 16 and Mark 17 rifles.
    Within a year, the new rifles should be in action against terrorists and insurgents in Iraq, Afghanistan and hot spots the public may never hear about.
    The usually secretive SOCOM gave CNN an exclusive chance to see and even fire the new weapon recently at its headquarters near Tampa, Florida.
    Watch a preview of the new weapons »

    The contractors working with SOCOM to develop the weapon say it is more versatile and more accurate, jams less and lasts longer than the current rifle used by many Special Operations troops, the M-4.

    The Mark 16 (Mk16) fires a 5.56 mm round, the same size used for decades in M-16s and M-4s. The Mk17 fires a larger 7.62 mm round that is used in some U.S. military machine guns, but it's not the same round as in the AK-47, the world's most widely used assault rifle.

    Both of the new rifles are designed to kill regardless of the situation.

    "Whether that's a soft target, a guy without body armor, or whether that's an enemy force within a vehicle that you need to shoot through a window or the side of the vehicle and you want to ensure that round is not deflected," said Tucker Campion, a retired Navy SEAL who now is a civilian contractor working on the new rifles. "We want a round that, when it hits the enemy soldier, provides the maximum amount of damage."

    Even though they fire different-size bullets, each rifle is largely interchangeable with the other. By changing only a few parts, including the bolt and the barrel, a soldier can switch from a gun that fires the lighter 5.56 mm round to one that shoots the heavier 7.62 mm round in a matter of minutes.

    That's just one example of the rifle's versatility. Each gun comes with three interchangeable barrels, and each gives the troops a specific advantage.
    "If you were going to clear an urban environment, buildings, rooms, you'd probably throw the short barrel on there," the staff sergeant said.

    CNN is honoring the Ranger's request not to identify him, because in battle, anonymity is crucial for Special Operations troops.
    "If you're in Afghanistan and you're walking in the mountains and the hills and all that, and your distance is going to be a lot greater to the enemy, and you're probably going to want to throw the longer barrel on there so you get that extra reach," the Ranger said.

    Even though the rifles fire the same bullets as existing weapons, they are designed to be much more accurate.

    "If you look at a current inventory assault rifle, you get 350 to 400 meters," Campion said of their range of accuracy. "Put a long barrel in (the new rifle), and now you're at 6 to 7 (hundred meters). So we're extending the standoff between us and the enemy." A longer standoff means an American can shoot an enemy soldier from farther away; thus, the American is safer.

    One of the main goals was to design a gun that lasts longer. Campion says the M-4 is designed to fire 6,000 rounds over five years. But the Mk16 and Mk17 were designed for Special Operations, who are likely to fire 6,000 rounds in less than one year. The new rifles are designed to handle the greater rate of use and last twice as long.
    The design changes that make the Mk16 and Mk17 last longer also make them more reliable. Nothing is worse for a GI in battle than for his rifle to jam at the wrong moment, but it happens with all kinds of guns. These new rifles are designed to reduce those jamming problems as much as possible.

    The improvements come with a price tag. Each Mk16 or Mk17 costs about $2,200 for the rifle, the interchangeable barrels, 10 "high-reliability" magazines, a backup sight and a suppressor. A comparable M-4 equipped for Special Operations costs about half that.

    But Campion points out that an Mk16 or 17 "will last four to five times as long."
    The new rifle also comes in a Mk13 model, which includes a grenade launcher mounted below the barrel.

    To those who will use the rifles in the field, what they need first and foremost from the new weapons is success.

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    "...longer barrel to get extra reach?" :?

    If that's thecase, just put a longer barrel on a small caliber gun, right? Why need bigger calibers if "extra reach" is gained simply by making the barrel longer?

    And these are weapons experts talking?

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    cloudcroft wrote:
    SNIP Why need bigger calibers if "extra reach" is gained simply by making the barrel longer?
    Its a way of avoidingsayingwe want something stronger than "poodle shooters?"
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Knowing the defense industry, this smells like another attempt to pay a bunch of money for little return. Remember the 6.5mm fiasco? And "Objective Infantry Combat Weapon" that got so loaded with gizmos and gadgets that the cost went through the roof and it became impossible to replace the simpler, cheaper M16 with it?

    At first glance this looks a little smarter, as these weapons don't appear to be so complex and they use existing chamberings. Who knows maybe it'll amount to something.

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    And as if 7.62x39, 7.62x51, and 7.62x54R weren't enough 7.62 calibers, now there's a new 7.62 caliber? Not to mention 7.62x25, 7.62x38, and 7.62x45, the 7.65 calibers, and all of the .308 calibers.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    And as if 7.62x39, 7.62x51, and 7.62x54R weren't enough 7.62 calibers, now there's a new 7.62 caliber? Not to mention 7.62x25, 7.62x38, and 7.62x45, the 7.65 calibers, and all of the .308 calibers.
    And 7.62x63 (aka 30.06 Sprg), and of course .303 Enfield, the list goes on.

    The problem is that they keep trying to get around Isaac Newton. The .308 Win/7.62x51 is certainly an effective cartridge, but the price for this effective power is recoil, which makes an automatic rifle, like the full auto versions of the M14, hard to control. Shrink it down to make it more controllable, you get Mr. Kalashnikov's cartridge, which just doesn't perform as well as .308, especially at longer ranges.

    Even the .308 was an attempt to cut down the recoil of the 30.06, so that the M1 could be made into a more controllable full auto rifle (the M14). It seems nobody has figured it out quite yet.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    And as if 7.62x39, 7.62x51, and 7.62x54R weren't enough 7.62 calibers, now there's a new 7.62 caliber? Not to mention 7.62x25, 7.62x38, and 7.62x45, the 7.65 calibers, and all of the .308 calibers.
    It's not a "new" 7.62 caliber...the weapon uses the .308.....or 7.62x51 NATO

    From the article....
    The Mk17 fires a larger 7.62 mm round that is used in some U.S. military machine guns

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    The problem is that they keep trying to get around Isaac Newton. The .308 Win/7.62x51 is certainly an effective cartridge, but the price for this effective power is recoil, which makes an automatic rifle, like the full auto versions of the M14, hard to control. Shrink it down to make it more controllable, you get Mr. Kalashnikov's cartridge, which just doesn't perform as well as .308, especially at longer ranges.
    I wonder why more is not made of this weapon and its principles. 1800 rpm is 30 rps!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN-94
    Nikonov and the other engineers use the Russian term смещенный импульс свободного затвора (smeshchonnyy impul's svobodnovo zatvora) to describe the rifle's method of operation, meaning "blowback shifted pulse".

    When the bolt carrier is driven backwards by the force of the gas from the cartridge, a pulley activates a cartridge-feeding device. This mechanism allows a much higher rate of fire than would otherwise be possible. This high rate of fire (1800 rounds/min) is employed in two-round bursts. These form the first two shots on fully automatic fire, with following rounds fired at 600 rounds/min.
    Note that no one is spitting at the mention of 'elite' in this article. Will paramilitarized elite police forces get new rifles denied to citizens?

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******

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    Comp-tech wrote:
    imperialism2024 wrote:
    And as if 7.62x39, 7.62x51, and 7.62x54R weren't enough 7.62 calibers, now there's a new 7.62 caliber? Not to mention 7.62x25, 7.62x38, and 7.62x45, the 7.65 calibers, and all of the .308 calibers.
    It's not a "new" 7.62 caliber...the weapon uses the .308.....or 7.62x51 NATO

    From the article....
    The Mk17 fires a larger 7.62 mm round that is used in some U.S. military machine guns
    Whoops, didn't read that properly...

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    http://world.guns.ru/assault/as70-e.htm

    According to the information on that page, the end theory of the Mk17 is to accept multipletypes of 7.62 caliber roundswith minimal modification to the weapon. For example, there would also be a 7.62x39 M43 chambered variation that would readily accept AK-47 mags.

    I think it's safe to say I want one!

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    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Ummm isn't that the Magpull Massada?

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    nakedshoplifter wrote:
    Ummm isn't that the Magpull Massada?
    Nope....FN SCAR series...

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    They do look very similar
    FN-SCAR
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Masada
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    As for the "longer barrel to get extra reach" bit, most rifle ammo is designed so that you get a complete powder burn at about 26 inches barrel length. With shorter barrels, the bulletleaves before the full energy of the charge is imparted to it. In practice, I doubt a couple of inches more or less matters greatly as far as the energy of the projectile, but it might noticeably affect accuracy at a distance.

    Glad to hear they're resurrecting the .30-cal rifle in some form anyway.

    -ljp

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