Interesting...I didn't have any problems, but I'll post the contents of the article.
U.S. Army weapons officials have launched a survey to see what gunmakers can offer for an off-the-shelf 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle.
The May 31 request for information, known in acquisition parlance as an RFI, on behalf of Product Manager Individual Weapons, is an attempt to "identify sources for a combat rifle system" and determine the potential cost and lead time to deliver up to 10,000 weapon systems, according to the document. The request comes in the wake of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley telling lawmakers Congress last week that the M4 Carbine's current 5.56mm round can't penetrate modern enemy body armor plates and that he's considering arming infantry units with rifles chambered for a more potent 7.62mm cartridge.
"The rifle must be a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) system readily available for purchase today. Modified or customized systems are not being considered," according to the document, which specifies that the caliber must be 7.62x51mm. Milley told Senate Armed Services Committee members May 25 that Army officials at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning in Georgia, have developed a new 7.62mm round capable of penetrating enemy body armor plates similar to U.S. military-issue rifle plates such as the Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or ESAPI.
Milley told lawmakers the Army might not require a new rifle since weapons can be chambered for various calibers. The M4, however, would require a new barrel, bolt carrier group, and buffer system in addition to a new lower receiver to shoot 7.62mm ammo, experts maintain. Milley also told lawmakers that not every soldier will need a 7.62mm rifle -- that they could be issued to those infantry units most likely to deploy on contingency operations and engage in close combat. The Army would want an Interim Combat Service Rifle to have either 16-inch or 20-inch barrels, a collapsible buttstock, an extended forward rail, and a detachable magazine of at least 20 rounds, the RFI states. The rifle should weigh less than 12 pounds unloaded and without an optic. Interested companies have until 3 p.m. June 6 to submit their responses to the RFI.
"The information provided may be used by the Army in developing its Acquisition Strategy, Performance Work Statement and Performance Specification," according the document. "This Request For Information (RFI) is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a Request for Proposal or as an obligation on the part of the Government to acquire any services or hardware."
In June 2013, the Army ended a five-year effort to replace the M4 with an Improved Carbine. Instead, the service decided to replace the standard M4 with the M4A1, as a result of its M4 Product Improvement Program. The M4A1 is the special operations version of the weapon that's been in use for more than a decade. It features a heavier barrel and a full-auto trigger. The Army's decision to dump the current three-round burst trigger will give shooters a more consistent trigger pull and lead to better accuracy, weapons officials maintain.
I think the headline is a bit misleading, b/c the Army isn't looking for a new rifle, but a COTS rifle that is ready for purchase today, but I think the important point of the article is that it seems that the Army IS looking for a reasonable solution to the issues it faces on the battlefield. Now if we can just get the idiot politicians to stop sending it (the armed forces) to fight stupid wars...
7.62x51? Why not just re-issues M14s? Oh, because they're heavy, and full auto was useless to the average trooper. But for the bean counter, it is great because the m240 uses the same round and makes logistics easier.
The DoD needs to examine rifle/carbine/MG cartridge and develop and/or adopt an round that hits better than 5.56 but in a package better than 7.62. I had high hopes for 6.8SPC, but that seems to have lost favor. I'm sure the big makers would love to develop a round with their name on it for a new system of weapons.
No doubt! I think for the average troop the 5.56 is plenty lethal. In the article the ACoS stated that they are working to find a system that is able to change calibers for specific missions and that the average soldier could be issued the M4A1 while special missions could be outfitted with a heavier bullet. Problem is there simply isn't one round that is the magic do it all bullet.
We had a weapons system that had much of those capabilities, and was rock solid in the 1970s. In fact, there were 2 of them, one with a gas system and one without.
FN/FAL and the G-3.
Oh, right. Cannot look to the past to solve an old problem.
The only problem with either was they were too much for untrained 110 pound girls.
Yeah, modular 308/762 rifles could be a great option. Agree - 5.56 is very effective at short & medium ranges, but I'd much prefer a 308 rifle with targets beyond 300yds.
Unlike myself, this old-timer in 308 has gotten better with an enormous range of highly effective bullet options available. Bullet weights from 155g to 230g, and Ballistic Coefficients from the low .4xxs to Alco's incredible 210g RBT-BT's .813. These bad boys give 308s are VERY long arm!!
Here's a comparison in meters with 300WMs
There are many options in commercially available rifle platforms too. My choice several years ago was to stay with an AR design, and have been very happy with my PWS MK216 & later MK220. It's AK-like long drive piston system runs cool, clean and totally reliable.
So let's hear it for an OLD gal - Why not look at 308 infantry rifles??!!..
I think the .308 is a fantastic round for many uses. Marine snipers were scoring devastating hits out to 800 yards and better with it in Fallujah. Granted the average soldier isn't likely to engage the enemy at those ranges, but the .308 is also very effective btwn 100-300 yards. I think the ONLY drawback is capacity. One can carry three times as much 5.56 than 7.62, and as it has been mentioned, sometimes stretching combat power is critical to survival. The 7.62 is a far more devastating round, but the 5.56 will keep you in the fight a lot longer.
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