Army Wants Short M110 SASS for Squad Marksman

Army infantry officials at Fort Benning, Ga., want to replace the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifles squad designated marksman carry with a compact version of the service’s M110 Semi Automatic Sniper System. I posted a story on about the plan this morning.

Infantrymen give the EBR high marks for its accuracy out to 800 meters, but said its 15-pound unloaded weight is a burden. There’s also a concern that the enemy can easily spot designated marksmen carrying the EBR and target them.

The M110, made by Knight’s Armament Company, is also easy to recognize since it’s 46.5-inches with suppressor, more than 13 inches longer than the M4. But Knight’s also makes a carbine version of the M110 that’s very similar to the M4 and weighs just over eight pounds.

 Issuing a collapsible-stock version of the M110 is part of a larger effort officials at the Fort Benning’s Manuever Center of Excellence have launched to make the nine-man squad more decisive and deadly. Benning officials conducted a Capabilities Based Assessment that identified 22 capability gaps that hinder the squad’s ability to gain overmatch quickly in a gunfight with a similar-size enemy force.

Army officials would not release specifics about the 22 gaps, but said they deal with issues such as force protection, load management, the network and lethality. There’s no guarantees about fielding any new weapons in this fiscal environment, but at least Benning officials are trying to improve the squad with lighter weapons, better load-bearing equipment and increased training. I will be writing more posts about the effort soon.

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Matthew Cox
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  • Glock fan

    A bull pup gun like the excellent Keltec design is probably more suitable for this role. A 7.62 marksman gun in a squad will increase the overmatch distance over AK47 from 100m (500m range for M4 vs 400m for AK$&) to 400m (800m range for the 7.62×51 gun)

    • Neal

      How’s the trigger on those?

    • Charles M.

      I never thought I’d hear the words “excellent design” and “Keltec” used in the same sentence.

  • Nice, but if you really want to reach out and touch someone, try the Anzio Ironworks 20-50 Extended Range Sniper Rifle

  • Mike

    Mark, that is a cool toy you built, but they want something one man can carry. Even John Rambo couldn’t hump that thing around Ramadi or Kandahar. And if you read the article, they want something that isn’t easily discernible from a standard service rifle. A one shot bolt action that’s taller than the guy carrying it stands out a bit.

  • NoToday

    …being easily recognized as a designated sniper [because of your tool] can cause a lot of hurt to come your way. Surviving enemies get smarter…and tell tales.

  • TomS

    I know this runs contrary to how the Army works, but let’s not waste time and money answering a question that’s already been answered. New Zealand and the UK Royal Marines have already come up with a solution:

  • Kris

    It is about time!! I have been saying this for years, I also think there should be at least one 5.56 suppressed weapon per squad.

  • Lance

    Overall nice plan doubt it will replace M-14 EBRs A short barrel carbine will have less long range accuracy than a EBR. Overall be better to issue full size M-110s instead of a carbine version. With shortage of money and other budget constraints the M-14 EBR may stay a DMR for some time I doubt the Army has the funds for a full replacement for several years.

    • Lance

      I do know no matter what the US Navy will continue to use stock M-14s for ship security and firing tow lines for supply ships.

    • TomS

      Shorter barrels don’t reduce accuracy, they reduce range.

  • FormerSFMedic

    This is an idea that’s been a longtime coming. I’ve actually been working with the Army on this project (indirectly) as a consultant for the last few weeks. Some of the guys I work with, including myself, believe that a more advanced DM would be extremely effective and fill a capability gap. What makes the DM more advanced is obviously training but even with training there is still a gap in the current SDM-R and the MK14 EBR. A compact modern sniper rifle is absolutely the way to go. The current KAC EMC and M110″A1″ are both fantastic platforms for this role. With a 16in. barrel, the DM will still have the full 800m capability of the M118LR 7.62 cartridge while keeping the rifle non-distinct, easy to carry and most importantly still allow him to shoot, move, and communicate with the rest of the squad.

    My only hope is that the Army does the right thing with the optic choice. The optic setup will determine the DM’s versatility and capability with this system. There are some variable power optics making their way to market just this year (that were developed with SOCOM input) that would work nicely on a compact M110. If the Army goes to a more advanced optic solution, they will have a more advanced capability.

  • FormerSFMedic

    Good observation TomS. A shorter barrel won’t decrease accuracy. It will actually IMPROVE it. Not only that but with the 7.62 specifically a 16in. barrel doesn’t really give up any range capability versus the 21in. barrel of the MK14. A 16in. barrel will still take you out to 1000m, as will the MK14 when using 175gr. M118LR ammo. The velocity difference between the two rifles will only be around 50fps.

    • Lance

      May be BUT range suffers and despite the rifle being lighter it still be alot heavier than a M-4A1. Over all having a selection between a M-14EBR a M-110 and the carbine size M-110 would be best giving the operator room for what the mission needs and what he likes the most. All shoot the same 7.62x51mm NATO round anyway.

      All together this is more bad news for ICC. The army is making DMRs to look like M-4s and are selling also on common parts with M-4s. The look like a M-4 from a distance thing is a shame you can tell between a 5.56mm weapon and 7.62mm weapon by mag size alone. But over with more M-4s being bought from 2013 and 2017 its clear the Stoner system for all purposes is here to stay.

    • Really never noticed the shorter 2.5″ barreled S&W 686 plus being more accurate than an Model 686 3-5-7 Magnum® Series with a 7″ barrel.

      • SleepyDave

        I don’t think there’s a magic bullet for accuracy. Every weapon is difference. Different weapons fill different roles? In this case, they need just a little bit of extra long range punch at the squad level. A 16″ barrel and a collapsible stock sounds brilliant for a SDM rifle.

        If it came down to this and an EBR, yeah, THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY.

      • coolhand77

        when dealing with pistols, shorter barrels mean shorter sight radius. That reduces accuracy potential. We are not talking the difference between a snubby revolver and a Dirty Harry special here. We are talking RIFLE length barrels. Longer barrels give you more velocity, but are suceptable to harmonics issues, which is why bench resters go with the longest bull barrel they can get. Bull barrels are STIFF, but heavy. The other way to stiffen up a barrel is to shorten it. Take two sticks or dowels of the same diameter. Cut one at 20 inches and the other at 16 inches. Which one is stiffer? The shorter one [the material strength stays the same, but there is less end to end leverage due to the reduced distance] will be stiffer and then more accurate.
        This is the “barrel dance” that has been going on for decades. The three things that you have to balance is desired effective range [muzzle velocity], accuracy [barrel stiffness], and weight.
        I’m putting together a .308 AR myself and I’m actually interested in this subject as I want a “working weight” rifle, not a bench rest rifle. Seeing the logic behind the barrel choices and the range effectiveness interests me.

      • FormerSFMedic

        That’s what it really comes down to….barrel harmonics. The shorter barrel has less harmonic shift and therefore has less inconsistencies in accuracy.

        Like I’ve said before, a 16in barrel 7.62 is still good out to 1000m and meets the 800m effective range requirement all day long. A 16in M110 will be just as accurate with just as much range capability as the longer MK14. I always go with short barrels on all my precision guns. My bolt guns have 20in barrels and my semi-auto’s have 16in or 18in barrels. The accuracy is amazing!

      • Kind of a little bait on site radius. Nice explanation of the harmonics. But at some point I would imagine there is a diminishing return. Chop your 16″ barrel in half is that going to be more accurate? Chop it again in half till you have 4″. Then again. The bullet has less time to be stabilized and spin imparted on it, in say a 2″ barrel. Never mind what you did to velocity and range. Take the original 16″ barrel. Make it a bull or even flute it. I tend to like fluting as besides adding rigidity to help with harmonics, it lessen weight and helps with cooling. Both offset some of the effects the harmonics.
        I got my FN A5 M SPR specifically in the 20″ barrel, instead of the 24″. All A5 M barrels are MIL-SPEC cold hammer-forged, fluted and have a hard-chromed bore. I find it more accurate than me. My question is then what would of been the shortest barrel possible for this rifle to most accurately hit out to 800 with enough punch? Would I need to change the twist rate.
        Damn to many variables, like any good Navy man this requires a rum to ponder.

      • coolhand77

        right, but we are not talking “shorter than 16″ barrels” are we? ****, I went that route with 5.56 ONCE…got a 7.5″ barrel on an AR pistol. It was accurate, sure, but the muzzle blast was horrible. Theres reasons they call them “concussion pistols”. Sold that upper and got a 7.62×25 upper with a 10″ barrel [right in between the 9.5″ and 10.5″ barrels of the PPSh-41 and PPS-43 respecitvely]. You have to match the cartridge to the barrel as well. If I were shooting something that takes a good, LONG barrel [say 24″] to efficiently burn the powder and get velocity, I would go with a fluted, heavy barrel. But we are talking about the limits of the 7.62×51 NATO cartridge, in a rifle platform. I wouldn’t go smaller than 16″ because of the same reasons I wouldn’t go shorter than 16 with a 5.56. Its NOT an efficient use of the cartridge which was designed to work with a longer barrel. You want a “short” barrel, go with a cartridge optimized for a short barrel too.

      • Joshua

        Coolhand 5.56 is great out of a 10.3″ barrel with the right bullets.

        Mk318, mk262, brown tipped bullets all perform well out of a 10.3″ barrel with confirmed kills out to 400M

      • Coolhand I do like the match the cartridge to the barrel thing. The Tokarev round does seem to be a nice compromise for a SBR. Give up a some velocity and gain some bullet weight. Plus most velocities stated are out of a barrel less than 4.75″. Looks like it should be about above 1550ft/s out of a 10″ barrel with modern powder and components. I also like the fact you can make cases for it out of 5.56X45 brass. Do you loaded your own or do you by. Quick look at bullets shows an interesting Hornady 30 CAL (.309) 90 GR HP XTP®. Less velocity and a hollow point could help with over penetration issues. Not nesccaaraly a military issue as say police or home defense.

    • yote223

      Wrong answer on the 50fps loss. Try more like 250fps loss in velocity. I’ve been handloading 308’s for 25+ yrs.
      The rule of thumb is 50fps per inch in bbl length.

  • Justin

    The purpose of this project is supposed to make the DM not stick out like a sore thumb correct? Unfortunately, there is really no way to do that against the M4 platform. The rail system will be longer (rifle vs carbine), the optics will be different (aimpoint vs leupold), among other things. A guy at 300m cannot tell who is a DM, but a ******* on the other end of command wire 10m away will still be able to. I like the effort but I see it getting cut.

  • Tomaso

    Bullpup…..bottom line it takes out 10″ on average of the over all length of a firearm….same range same balistics but 10″ shorter package. Trigger isn’t such a big deal if it’s designed right…but it will be a tad heavier …unless one puts in the cash for materials like titanium receiver ..and aluminum components, and carbon fiber shell….only other down side is the off set for the scope…but this to can be addressed by a special purpose built scope that’s optics are right over the barrel but the eye retical is raised …thier is a scope on the market right now that dos this…it can change from QC to LD at a flip of a lever kinda like the elcan.
    …to me this is a no brainier…but I can see the army running circles around this problem just to avoid using the bullpup platform.

    • Joshua

      bullpups are ****

      • Tomaso

        Triggers aren’t everything…sure a great match trigger is awesome …but are you saying that’s what a great marksman needs to be a great marksman? Or can a great marksman train to shoot just as good on a sub par match trigger?…all this ” bullpups are ****” is stupid…’s all down to range and accuracy ( arguably lethality) to a marksman…everything else is a plus….i can’t see why any marksman would trade a platform that’s 33″ long that takes standard mags and feels* the same weight for a platform that’s 43″ long…in more times then not the length of a weapon is more of a hindrance then a sub par trigger would be…’s combat…not leisure shooting.

        • Justin

          Bullpup packages are nice but at 800m a gritty trigger won’t do, ask any long range marksman.

        • coolhand77

          Keltec seems to have solved the bullpup trigger problem, and with a Neu Trigger, even the notorious AUG, MSAR, and F2000 triggers are greatly improved, not AR level, but good enough that I’m going to be trying to stretch my 17.5″ barreled FS2000 out as far as it can go and not worry about the trigger being an issue.

          Some people just hate bullpups because they arn’t traditional…kinda like all the people who hated the AR because it wasn’t wood and steel, or the M1 because it was a gas operated semi-auto and not a reliable bolt action, or….well you get the point.

          • FormerSFMedic

            The bullpup configuration just doesn’t work well for this application. The idea for the DM is for him to be a COMBAT precision marksman. That means quickly getting into supported or semi-supported positions to take shots. The bullpup just isn’t as effective in this role. In fact, it is the bullpups lack of versatility that really makes it unpopular. Not only that, but the Army would have to retrain DM’s to use the system. That’s just too impractical to do.

          • coolhand77

            not arguing the retraining issue. No brainier, yah, thats gonna be a problem, but they already did it going from the M1A/M14 to the M110 anyway. Unless your trigger puller is an idiot he should be able to do it.
            Now, I WOULD like to hear some elaboration on the supported/semi supported comment. I’m not questioning your experience, but as a bullpup owner who has shot from both positions, I didn’t notice any issues.
            Not all bullpupse are created equal. I shoot and FS2000, not an RFB or SA80/L85, so milage may vary.
            Like I said, looking for elaboration, not an arugment.

    • Riceball

      The biggest issue with a bullpup for this particular scenario is that it looks completely different from an M4 and part of the reason for looking for a new DM rifle is so that the DM is carrying something that looks like what his squadmates are carrying and bullpup defeats that. Like someone said previously, if you’re going to advocate going with a bullpup then you might as stick with the M14EBR.

      • coolhand77

        On that point, I concur. I was not saying that the bullpup configuration was a solution to ALL the problems sited, but I am tired of people dismissing it out of hand because “All bullpups are crap!”

  • We had M14 line launcher on my old sub. The Oceanographic ship also had a cool single shot SW line launcher. It used a blank 12 guage.

  • majrod

    A bulpup doesn’t look like the M4. If that’s the case just stay with the EBR.

  • Jarrad

    About time they got rid of that M14 EBR abortion. The AR is superior platform in all respects. Lighter, shorter, more ergonomic , and superior magazines if the PMAG is used. the Optic that should be selected is the new 1×6 Mk6 Leupold. 7.62 out of a 16inch barrel is fine and the OBR has proven how accurate it is.

    • Lance

      Ergonomically yeas a AR is good. but the M-14 is one reliable and accurate weapon and still finds more jobs in the Navy than the Army i wouldn’t underestimate one.

    • I would say there is probably a good reason the M14 been around this long. Yes the AR platform has good ergonomics but the M14 aren’t horrible. Please compare apples to apples. If you say it’s lighter or shorter than Mk 14 EBR you be wrong if comparing to M110. Then you throw in Pmags from an M4 which would have those characteristics but it is an orange due to the caliber. Also I never heard anything bad about M14 magazines, plus you could get Magpul to make you up some new ones if you want. Now maybe this short version of a M110 will bring something good to the table. Will it be enough to push out the Mk 14? Well since M14 been here in some of its what, its half dozen configurations for 50 something years, I think we can say durable is covered. It is durable, reliable and accurate. I think Lance has the bean counters pegged. Not enough of a change for the money.

      • Jarrad

        This isn’t a m110 this is a 16inch carbine version, And they make 7.62/308 Pmags already which are IMHO the best 308 mags out there. The OBR which is a very acurrate gun would be the ideal DMR with a 16inch barrel. And a Surefire mini 7.62 can for when they need to be suppressed. The main reason it has been around this long is luddites who can’t seem to get rid of the thing. I have shot service rifle and a match grade M1A/M14 is a finnicky beast. Hard to make really accurate. To make a AR platform match grade is much easier and it is a far more robust gun. Throw a match M1A on the deck and then throw a match grade AR see which is going to hold zero.

      • FormerSFMedic

        @E. Ronc- I see your point. Apples to apples. BUT, your information is not accurate. The current M110 IS shorter and lighter than the current MK14. A carbine version would only increase that advantage. The PMag 20LR is currently available for the M110 platform. At this time, there is no M14 PMag available nor is there one in the works.

        The M14 was only brought back into service because it filled a gap that we needed a solution for quickly. In other words, the M14 and MK14 was a “band aid” fix until a modern solution could be found. The M14 and MK14 are being replaced by every ground unit and DM at the earliest convenience. It’s “50yrs.” of service is not really a good indication of its capability or popularity. I like the M14 in certain configurations but its not a good modern solution. Unfortunately its days are coming to an end.

      • EBR with its 18″ barrel has an overall length of 35″ with stock collapsed. Extended 41.25″. Knight site list; LENGTH w/ STOCK RET 46 3/4″ / 119 cm, LENGTH w/ STOCK EXT. 47 1/4″ / 120 cm.
        Where I went to school it looks like EBR shorter, even with its stock extended. The weight thing is hard to compare because of optics, bipods and the like best shot on the EBR about 11.25 pounds stripped. Once again from Knight: WEIGHT (w/o MAGAZINE) 16 lbs / 7 Kgs.
        Like I said, hope this carbine version (sounds a little off when talking sniper rifle) is all you hope for. I understand no Pmags for M-14, was just saying if the Army wanted, they could probably get them made.
        I understand your reasoning about it being brought back and concur. Except for the point as a Navy guy, it’s never gone anywhere. It has been around in one configuration or another for quite some time; M21, M25, M14 DMR, and M39. Coolhand be happy they even made a bullpup versions, the Israelis bought M89SR versions mainly for elite IDF unit and also the AWC G2.
        Jarrad when you go to Camp Perry let me know how many M1A’s you see. I never had a problem with my rifle holding zero, most competitors don’t. Yes if you want to beat it about, it would more than likely lose zero first, as it is attached at only two points, compared to a rail which you can lock down on a larger area. Though, if you’re throwing them on the ground your more likely to lose zero from breaking the scope. Sorry I’m not against change. But change for the sake of change. This is more a dollar and cents thing.

        • FormerSFMedic

          @E. Ronc- Your correct, the 18″ MK14 is shorter. I didn’t check the specs, I kinda just guessed. The M14EBR used by the Army has a 22″ barrel, that’s actually the variant they use. Even so, the M14 or MK14 is shorter than the M110. I can admit when I’m wrong. Good on ya!

          The weight is a little off though. The M110 is actually 11.06#. That’s from the actual specs from the official Army SASS specs. So, the M110 is lighter, but longer. Not arguing with you, just clearing it up for us. The proposed weight for the M110C would be around 8.89# and 36″ (collapsed) 40.25″ (extended) in length. I think we can agree, the M110C would be a big advantage over both the M110 and the M14EBR where length and weight is concerned.

          BTW, I will take you up on that offer sometime. I haven’t been that far east in awhile. I would love to see some S&W history. I’ll let you know when I head that way. Hopefully we’re still here dropping comments on kitup when I do.

          • To me that leaves the Navy version an inch shorter or longer, with a two inch longer barrel over your “C”, no big whoop there either way. I hope your new version has the same kind of suppressor setup. That and if you got the M110C down to under 9# I believe that would make a great difference. The advantage of being a sub sailor was not having to hump stuff. We just got stores loading parties. Well, and loading TDU weights was really no party. I don’t like having to carry my stuff to the bench now, can’t imagine having to carry all day.
            I am old, slow, and quite large. When I say a slice it usually means a party size combo. The Springfield Armory museum is a National Historic Site. I believe I can post their web link.
            While not just about S&W, it does have some of their stuff on display. A great presentation on the industrial revolution. Oh and a lot of weapons from all over with large displays featuring ones made there. The original 1840’s arsenal houses the world’s largest collection of historic American military firearms. We could shoot over to the S&W Academy and fire a few rounds after.

          • Lance

            The navy Mk-14 has an 16 inch barrel the M-14 EBR and USMC M-39 have 22 inch barrels. All three work well and are like by operators. The M-110 doesn’t have that high of a approval rate.

          • Most spec sheets list the Mark 14 Mod 0 Enhanced Battle Rifle at 18″. A couple 18.5″ but I think they include flash hider too. This is a decent article:
            Fulton Armory Mk14 Mod 0 recreation is comprised of our acclaimed M14 Service Rifle fitted with an 18.5″ barrel, direct connect Vortex® flash suppressor, and a front sight relocated to the gas cylinder lock (with dovetail), installed in the Sage EBR tactical chassis system.

  • infantryjj

    In 3 months they will change their minds……………………AGAIN.

    • Lance

      Agree every several month some general come with a strategy or test results to support his view I dont think any new DMR will come anytime soon. Slashed budgets and sequestration will force a major slowdown of current project and cancellation of some projects and this idea id DOA till a few years past.

  • Joshua

    if you like a **** trigger.

    ill stick to standard firearms that have match triggers like the Geissele SD combat

    • coolhand77

      Joshua, instead of mouthing off…
      The one person I know with an RFB says the trigger is good. Keltec reengineered the BP trigger concept. Instead of the sear being at the back of the weapon with a long “remote” trigger, they put the trigger pack up front with the grip and the bar goes back to actuate the hammer. All the finess is up front and all the needed brute force for the hammer is in back.
      Like I said elsewhere, the trigger issue can be solved.

      • Joshua

        i know you love bullpups but no bullpup will ever have a good trigger compared to a normal setup rifle.

        No amount of insulting me will change that, ive used the RFB and the trigger is **** compared to my Geissele SSA.

        Its also **** compared to the match triggers the DMR’s get.

        • coolhand77

          Where did I insult you? Seriously man, chill
          Compared to your Geissele SSA. Is that the same type of trigger unit used in the M110?
          As I have said before, your claim of “no bullpup will ever have a good trigger” ignores the fact that bullpups have not had the development cycle of the more “standard” configuration rifles. Give it time and someone could probably solve that issue. I can’t personally comment on the RFB trigger so I will have to take your word that it sucked for you. Honestly, I’ve had off the shelf AR triggers that have sucked worse than my FS2000 after I installed the upgrade.
          Do I love the bullpup platform? No. Do I see the inherint benifits to the layout? Yes. Had I a machine shop, the time, and the money to throw at it, I would probably be building one to prove you wrong. Instead I am putting together a .308 AR…and dealing with the limitations of that system.

        • Joshua

          It doesnt matter coolhand bullpups will neer have good triggers.

          It is part of their design, having the hammer and disconector far behind the trigger causes the ********** of them.

          Also the M110 has a special KAC 2 stage match combat trigger. Something a bullpup will never be able to have.

          The only benefit to a bullpup is a longer barrel in a smaller package, but that one benefit does not outweigh their numerous cons.

        • coolhand77

          Okay, final comment on this and I will stop being off topic. It CAN be done. you just have to think outside the box. If I had the resources, I would actually even prove it to you, but unfortunately I am just a shade tree gunsmith and not a professional working at someplace cool where I could spend my off time tinkering with the design…nor the money for the trial and error it would take at this point.

  • Joshua

    please tell me your joking?

  • Joshua

    Thanks for that I knew the Brits chose the LMT308MWS, but didnt know the NZ’s did too

  • Casey

    • 5000 meters effective fire


  • RAAFieReservist

    Is this product placement?

  • JM

    I’ve humped the EBR (w/ Sage chassis) around for a while, and had the opportunity to fire a new 110 both suppressed and standard side-by-side with my 14; It’s a nice setup. I wouldn’t complain if they changed me over.

    • coolhand77

      FINALLY someone whos used both platforms commenting!
      Love to hear more of your impressions and comparisons between the two. The EBR uses a 24 inch barrel, right? Notice any appreciable drop differences between the 7.62 out of a 24″ tube and out of the M110’s 20″ tube? What about accuracy?

      • FormerSFMedic

        The M14EBR uses a 22in barrel. I have used both the M110 and the M14EBR for years. There is really no appreciable difference between the 20 and 22 inch barrels where range is concerned. The drop at range is probably going to be within the MOA capable of both guns. Accuracy is also about the same. The EBR will hold around a minute as will the M110. I’ve heard of EBR’s being .5 minute guns, but not consistently enough for me to say the EBR is a .5 gun. The big difference in accuracy comes from the M110’s suppressor. The M110 will shoot around .85 consistently with the suppressor attached. The problem with the suppressor though is its heavy weight and its POI shift, which is significant.

        • coolhand77

          Thankyou. That is some excellent information. Sounds like they need a supressor redesign or something.
          Do you think going to a shorter 18 or 16″ barrel will hamper a .308 AR, or improve its versitility over the 20 inch barrel?
          Like I said above, I’m building one so I’m weighing options. I’m at the stage where I am choosing a barrel so, deciding weather to go with a 16, 18, or 20 inch barrel have been on my mind.

          • FormerSFMedic

            @Coolhand77- I’ve always looked at it this way. If I’m going with a semi-auto, then I’m going to run a 16″ barrel. The versatility is amazing and semi-auto’s are/should be light and short. Here’s the kicker for me. If I want a semi-auto for precision but want the added benefit of running and gunning at close range, I’m going with the 16″. If I want a semi-auto for precision only, I’m going with an 18″. I’ll explain. The 16″ is capable of 1000m. I’ve tested it in the real world and the 7.62 at 2500fps will stay supersonic (on a warm day) out to that range. So, I know I can do that with a 16″. So, if I want a versatile gun, I can do that. The 18″ barrel is just added piece of mind FOR ME. If I’m solely concerned about precision and not worried about length and weight (with a semi-auto), then the 18″ barrel guarantees that I’ll get every bit of that 2500fps and probably a little more. With the variances in barrels and ammo, my 16″ might be a little less (probably not, but possible) so I don’t want to chance it on a DEDICATED PRECISION gun. This is with a 7.62 or .308 by the way. I hope that makes sense. The short and sweet……I would go 16″ for a 7.62 semi-auto precision gun 9 times out of 10.

            I did some FORMAL testing with the DOD a little over a year ago. The difference in range capability between 20″, 18″, and 16″ barrels in a 7.62 is minimal and almost insignificant. Obviously there is always a difference in POI when velocity is concerned, but there not enough difference to say 20″ will get out to 1000m and 16″ or 18″ won’t. That’s not the case. 16″ will get you out to 1000m just as effectively as a 20″. At that distance, the difference is only about .6 Mil elevation. In the testing, we found the difference between 20″ and 24″ to also be very little. Which is to say, I can get to 1000m (supersonic) with 7.62 with a 20″ all the way down to 16″ with the right corrections on the scope. The biggest difference is in barrel harmonics, which I think you understand. All said, I believe the 24″ barrels are capable of a little more than 1000m while the 20″ and 16″ barrels are true 950m to 1000m guns. With military sniper ammo of course.

          • coolhand77

            Thank you VERY much. Nice to hear the opinion of a BTDT guy who actually has knowledge of what I am working on. You may have just sold me on a 16″ barrel.
            Most of the reason I am building this rifle is to retire my grandfather’s old 03A3 match grade. As old as it is, it still pulls 2 MoA easily [and probably tighter than that if I work a little harder at it.] and hes had it printing sub 10″ groups at 600 yards in the past. Hes gone now, so its going on the mantle as soon as I have something in the safe that will do what it does and then some. The other thing is, I am trying to bring my build in at under my dad’s HK91A3 weight…just to prove to him that it can be done for one thing.
            Heh, and after I finish, theres my dentist who says hes interested in one…
            Thanks again FormerSFMedic.

          • coolhand77

            Oh, and if you are ever in the San Antonio area, I owe you a slice of pizza at least. The advice and info was MORE than worth a good lunch.

        • Careful the original Navy Mk14 EBR has an 18 inch barrel look it up. The Army made M14EBR-RI has a 22″. 22″ also on: original M14, M14 DMR they used 22″ barrel by Krieger, and M39. 22″.
          I didn’t realize Army made own version which is probably are discrepancies in weight and length from earlier SF.

        • FormerSFMedic if your consulting gets you up to S&W let me know, or even a quick run up from Colt in Hartford. Would love to grab a slice of pizza and show you the around the Armory Museum.

    • JM now first did you have the 18″ or 22″ barrel easiest way to know, if it had a bayonet lug it was 22″. Second how big a role was the suppressor in your thoughts. If you were to have to choose solely on without suppression? On cost?

      • Lance

        Overall E. ronic is right. the Navy SEAL have made short barreled M-14s and call them Mk-14. The M-14 EBR is a 22in barrel. BUT it maintains greater velocity than a short barreled version. In many ways when the original M-110 was adopted the Army rejected short barrel version and stayed with the full sized M-110. In open area combat that extra barrel length is a help. Most grunts I talked to like the EBR and had mixed feeling about the M-110 so this report may be a bit more political than factual.

  • TheDude

    Didn´t the troops complain about M110 reliability and maintainance issues? A 7,62 Carbine that light might not be able to fire a lot of shots in succession or keep accuracy for a longer time

  • SeaDog

    M-79 gernade launcher w/ beehive.

    • coolhand77

      How does that apply?

  • Segment

    On the related issue of upgrading the entire infantry squad’s “overmatch” firepower, hasn’t the M855A1 round already gone a long way towards making that happen regardless of what weapon the designated marksman carries? Not arguing, just asking…..

    • coolhand77

      I seem to recall somone’s opinion that the 855A1 is crap. To elaborate [and justify the word usage instead of just call it that and drop it like some people do], the original concept of a heavier steel penetrator tip with the bismuth core was a failure so they went to a solid copper projectile with the same penetrator tip. This has the effect of further reducing the terminal fragmentation. In addition, to improve muzzle velocity, and there fore the effective fragmentation range of the projectile [remember kiddies, the reason the 55 and 62 grain FMJ rounds were so effective out of the A1 was the 20″ barrel with the 1 inc 12 twist that ramped up the muzzle velocity, and stabilized it just enough to get it to the target reliably], the messed with the powder load. Unfortunately this also jacked up the pressure curve and the chamber pressures to near “proof load” level which is generally rough on the rifles and wears them out faster.

      This is all second hand information, however I would love to hear confirmation from someone like a unit armorer.

      • NMate

        They never shot the 62gr SS109/M855 projectiles out of the 1 in 12″ barrels, at least not officially. That’s the point behind the 1 in 7″. The M855 was designed to penetrate Warsaw Pact issue steel helmets out to 600m when fired from a long barreled M249. It’s performance is degraded in the M16 and severely degraded in the M4. The rather complex construction of the bullet also introduces inconsistencies in its terminal performance.

        Furthermore, the twist rate didn’t have any effect on the terminal performance of the bullet. The high velocity of the 55gr projectile out of the 20″ barrel of the M16A1 was responsible for that.

        • coolhand77

          High velocity was one part of it. The 1 in 7 twist does increase the stabilization as well. The M193 out of an A1 [1 in 12] tends to tumble just a little sooner, terminally, than out of the A2 [1 in 7]. Generally though, the MV is the real story, and as such, I agree with you completely.
          The 855A1 is also a complex to manufacture bullet…I’m sure thats not going to help much either.

          • FormerSFMedic

            On the contrary, the 1 in 12 twist had a lot to do with the M193’s effectiveness. It was the fragment that was causing all the damage (not entirely). It was the tumbling effect of the round as it contacted soft tissue.

          • Lance

            I can disagree. I’ve shot M-193 ammo out of a M-16A2 and it can wreak havoc on soft tissue as it did on wooden targets. Overall with carbines the M-193 is alot better round for urban fighting than M-855 ever was. In many ways the problem that lead to M-855A1 being adopted could have been solved with issuing M-193 ammo for solders in Iraq.

          • FormerSFMedic

            BTW, My comment should have said, “it WASN’T the fragmenting that was causing all the damage (not entirely).”

  • Segment

    This is what the Army’s small arms manager says about the M855A1. Would be interesting to hear if field experience matches the test performance cited here:

  • NMate

    Except it’s a Keltec, a piece of ****, and on and on. Has anything Keltec ever been highly regarded by people that put thousands of rounds through their weapons? I doubt it. They’re usually semi-functional after a few hundred. It’s a toy, not a weapon of war. I wouldn’t even buy one for playing around with.

    The Army should have gone with a 16″ barrel and collapsible stock from the outset. That and they should have leaned upon KAC to develop an improved suppressor. KAC is now making much improved 7.62x51mm suppressors, but they’re not part of the M110 package.

    As for the trigger, the M110 uses a two-stage match trigger of KAC’s own design. I’ve shot them in 5.56 (SR-15 E3) and they’re quite good. I don’t know if they’re as good as a Geissele, but they’re very good none the less.

    • coolhand77

      Keltec’s problem isn’t design, its execution. If FN was building them, they’d probably have a much better reputation. Just look at the bad civilian reputation the AR15 had while Olympic and Bushmaster were churning out iffy guns? Now people know there are differences between manufacturers and don’t dis ALL AR15 based rifles, just those that are from questionable manufacturers and missing features.

  • Segment

    Hmmmmmm, not sure why the “**********37343750” portion of the link I posted above won’t load. It’s an interesting presentation……..

    • coolhand77

      It is, but its the standard powerpoint “Look at our new stuff” kind of presentation that touts all the positives while ignoring the negatives. Look at the chart where it says “Chamber Pressure” All they say is “increased”. They don’t quantify it. Thats a dead give away that they are hiding something.

  • NMate

    Not really. 16″ OBRs (7.62) have been shot well past 1000m without any issue. I’d assume people have done with same with the SR-25 EMC. Barrel length isn’t really a determining factor in accuracy. A shorter barrel in such weapons usually offers slightly higher accuracy, especially if you have a slightly heavier profile with the shorter barrel (weight would remain the same as a longer one).

    Barrel length equals velocity, not accuracy. Since these weapons are being used out to about the 800m mark, you definitely do not need a 20″ barrel. The original weapon should have been specced with a 16″ barrel.

    • Lance

      Overall it should be left for the Squad DM to say what he wants for a DMR. Alot swear by the M-14 DMR and dont want to give them up. Some may want a AR-10. I dont think it matters. There NOT money to buy them right now.

  • Segment

    This is from another Army article, and so to you is an equally suspect source I imagine, but it indirectly speaks to your concern:

    “There’s also a new propellant in the EPR, designed to enhance its performance in the M4 Carbine rifle — what most Soldiers are carrying today in Afghanistan.

    The M4 has a shorter barrel than the M16 rifle, and barrel length is directly related to a bullet’s velocity.

    “The M855 leaving an M16 had a higher muzzle velocity than when it left the M4,” Woods said. “Because the M16 is the longer barrel, you get the full burn of the powder, pushing a bullet to its maximum velocity before it left the barrel.”

    On an M4, however, the M855 bullet might leave the barrel before its powder is completely burned — that means the bullet isn’t getting the full benefit of all the powder contained in its shell and an increased muzzle flash.

    “A longer-burning propellant is still burning when the round is leaving the barrel and you are going to get a brighter flash, which is obviously not good for Soldiers,” Woods said.

    Both of those issues have been addressed with the M855A1.

    The SMP-842 propellant in the EPR burns quicker, ensuring less muzzle flash in the M4, and also meaning improved muzzle velocity.”

    • coolhand77

      Inescapable fact, the faster the powder burns, the higher the pressure spikes. Simple rules of reloading. Nothing suspicious about that, except that they don’t address how the faster burn rate effects chamber pressures, pressure curves, and stress on the firearm.
      Lets look at an extreme example. You think to yourself “hey, I have an AR pistol with a really short barrel, so lets use pistol powders to drive my bullet”. Pistol powders burn WAY fast to deal with shorter barrels. On the other hand, you are not trying to reach the same velocities, and generally [there are exceptions] your pistols are not direct impingement operated. All that pressure has to go somewhere, and once you start maxing it out, you start overstressing parts, and maybe even get KABOOMS if you push it too far.
      Pushing the load above the standard operating pressure reduces your safety margin.

      • coolhand77

        M193 – 52,000 psi
        M855 – 55,000 psi
        M197 proof round [hot loaded M193] – 70,000 psi [not meant to be fired on a regular basis over the life of the weapon]
        Mk 262 77 grain OTM – 58,700 psi
        I can find no data on the 855A1 chamber pressure. I find this worrysome as well as some scattered reports of increased heat build up in weapons using the round, which would indicate a hot, and potentially higher pressure reaction.

        • FormerSFMedic

          I’m surprised to hear someone defending (or at least giving it the benefit of doubt) the M855A1. Now, I work within the DOD and I often have a lot of information that others don’t get but I was under the impression that the TERRIBLE SHORTCOMINGS of the M855A1 were widely known. I’ll cover a few points that have been mentioned here.

          Chamber pressure- The chamber pressure of the A1 is 63,000 psi. Yes, that is almost proof load level! The standard is around 55,000psi for the M855 and that is considered hot. The higher chamber pressures increase wear on internal parts and the barrel. Unfortunately the M4 is still built by 1950’s standards and won’t likely fair well with the new stress the A1 will put on it. One of the problems here is that soldiers are not trained to recognize worn out parts. They are not trained to master their weapons. There is also no way to keep round count on current M4’s and many in use are already in “overhaul” condition. The Army doesn’t have the maintenance procedures in place to keep track of worn out guns.

          Price- The A1 is considerably more expensive to manufacture when compared to the M855 due to the complex manufacturing process needed to “build” the bullet. The materials are more expensive too.

          Accuracy- The accuracy standard for the MK318 SOST (Marines, SOCOM) is 2moa. The standard for M855 Green Tip is 4moa. The accuracy standard for the M855A1 is……drum roll…..5.5moa! Nuff said.

          Powder formulation- The powder formulation used in the A1 is more efficient in shorter barrels. That, and it’s dirty. The A1 ammo shows increased fouling over the Green Tip. In the testing I saw, A1 had completely coated an M4 with fouling after firing the same number of rounds the M855 did with very little carbon buildup or fouling. So, more malfunctions for troops that are not well trained on malfunction clearing. In addition, the parts wear caused by high chamber pressures combined with bad carbon buildup will only compound the malfunction and parts wear problem!

          Terminal performance- This is where it gets interesting. The A1 penetrates the same type of steel that the green tip does, only at longer ranges. It also penetrates cinder block a LITTLE better. HOWEVER, it performs awful against glass and other urban materials and DOES NOT penetrate SAPI plates! So, it goes through a German helmet from WWII, but won’t go through the modern armor our enemies will be wearing in the future? Nice (sarcasm)! Not only that but testing shows that terminal effect on soft tissue is no better than the M855. It is green though. I guess that’s more important than killing and shooting through things to do it.

          • Lance

            Overall except for fighting bad guys with level 3 armor, go back to M-193 ball.

          • coolhand77

            Hey FormerSFMedic, can you confirm or unconfirm what the tip of the SS109 projectile is made of? Someone SEEMS to think its tungsten, but all the literature and the one I have seen diesected all seem to say steel tip. Am I going to have to cut one up myself and prove it, or can you point me in the right direction?

            Thanks again!

          • majrod

            SFMedic – Those are some interesting stats/performance points and conflict what the small arms guys told/showed me at the Infantry conference last year. I’m going to need to send them an e-mail.

            Matthew – Might be a story?

  • Segment

    Very true, but the basis of that concern is the assumption that the new round’s pressure must be maxing out the M4s components. I’ve read nothing that supports that perspective. Anyway, as several million rounds are headed downrange to Afghanistan, I guess we’ll find out one way or the other fairly soon……

  • Tomaso

    Former….I think your lacking greatly in what a bullpup platform can do…it’s size and how it’s weight is carried is exactly why it’s perfect for this job….to have a package that’s the size of an M4 but with a 20″ barrel….and if it has a’s the same size as the M14 with out a can….to me it seems as if all your experiance is making your blind to things out side your experiance..a common trait for ” pros”

    I understand the army wanting thier DM to look like everyone else, by using the same platform…but as with everything theirs trade offs.

    But considering training aside in reality the bullpup is a far better platform for this roll ( designated marksman) then any other layout.
    20″ barrel from a package 30 to 32″ long…..capable of doing CQC to LRE ,it realy can be 2 guns in one…..that just isn’t happening in a standard layout…because a great shooter is going to make more constant hits with a 20″ barrel at range then with a 16″ barrel…and it’s not just about getting the lead out to great ranges on target it’s also about how much energy it has when it gets their.
    If said platform isn’t your thing that’s fine, but your comments about bullpups versatility is utterly wrong, and shows you have little to know experiance with them… if you want to complain about their triggers, historically they are horrible…heck most shooters first experiance with a bullpup is the ak variety…and that uses a cable to connect the triggers…most now use solid linkage.

    • Not a hater
      I think the best advantage of the bullpup design was how short it made the overall weapon. In a hot spot, (like the Israeli SF unit that work undercover in an urban area) I would of rather exited a vehicle with a M89SR @ 33.5″ than pretty much any fixed stock 7.62. The problem now is the introduction of the collapsible stock, most of the AR style are now fairly short, having only to leave a little bit for the buffer system. A rifle like the Mk 14 with its Sage stock that doesn’t even have a buffer can be almost flush to the end, so it is in at 35″. We are at inch and a half difference, not looking at 10″.
      Now you’re up against the bullpup’s big problem, the link to the trigger. You can tinker and play all you want, you might improve it a great deal. Maybe even to the point where it is acceptable. But it will never break like a conventional rifles. I believe the laws of physics are against you there. So for the DM role you lose the advantage of a clean trigger and since I hope you’re not continually exiting a vehicle or busting in doors, you kind of loose the weapons edge factor.
      I believe you could train to shoot well supported/unsupported. Though I think you get a better contact with a longer weapon. Might not of said this quite right but basically if we had two triangles with the point B to C being the same (are bipod) at 1.5 units in both. The A to B and A to C of triangle one being 2units each, shouldn’t be as stable as The A to B and A to C of triangle two being 4units each.
      That’s my spin, every tool in the box has something to which it excels. The game is I want a number 2 Philips over the jewelers eye glass screw driver. The #2 just fits more screws.

  • majrod

    SFMedic – Let me expand on what PEO Ammo Reps told/showed me. Don’t doubt your access to better info working for DoD but what we personally see/hear may differ from what we are told by those with an agenda (that goes for me to).
    Chamber Pressure – M855A1 is hotter but had not demonstrated greater stresses or wear than the weapon can handle. No failures have been reported since its intro. BTW, most troops may not be able to ID excessive wear but unless things have changed weapons are inspected by armorers and 10% are supposed to be sent to higher support BN level maintenance which includes chamber gauging, barrel scoping and at least a visual inspection of the bolt and carrier. Has that changed?
    Accuracy – The PEO guys said designated marksman in the countersniper role were engaging and killing at 600m, cold bore. Your MOA stats might be right but that anecdote is a minor contrast.
    Powder – The PEO guys told me the powder is “dirtier” but not as dirty as blank. Yep, guys might not clean their weapons or have poor habits. Sounds like a leadership problem to me.
    Terminal Performance – I was told the performance on soft tissue was much better than M855 and was “classified”. The only thing they would share was that the improved effect on target was due to the yaw of the round after striking tissue which is directly related to its steel core vs. lead which was done to increase lethality not make a “green” round. I was also shown metal plates and video where the M855A1 showed markedly superior performance. You commented that it’s only true at longer ranges but I’m having a tough time understanding why a round wouldn’t penetrate steel at shorter ranges. They did state they had zero “through and through” reports since its introduction and production was increased to meet the increased demand of units in country.
    BTW, does the Mk318 defeat SAPI plates?
    Appreciate your input and look forward to finding the truth.

  • majrod

    That was good stuff SF medic

  • Don’t believe he was trying to say it wouldn’t shoot through at shorter ranges. I took it to mean it would keep doing so further out than M855.

  • Joshua

    You stated you didnt want an argument and i gave you fact that bullpups are less than ideal.

    British chose the L85, SAS choose the L119A1. They chose the L129A1 for their DMR.
    The NZ’s choose the AUG, their SOF choose a M4 variant, they chose the LMT308MWS for their DMR.

    My list can go on and on, but every country that issues a bullpup to their standard army, their SOF groups choose a standard configured rofle.

    That should say everything.

    • Tomaso

      And most run 1911s as side arms….now how’s the thin ice? I have a very good idea why so many countries SF use the AR platform and it has nothing to do with performance….just consider human behavior you’ll have you answer.

      As for bullpups being less then ideal for DM…your just’s prefect..almost made just for DM….for a DM isn’t a sniper only he is also part of the squad..and so being needs a jack of all trades combat weapon…not a fine tuned lead weight.
      Just how many bullpups have you shot? Any? Iv shot all civi variants ….no kits. The desert tactical arms one had the best trigger ..even so the RFB wasn’t bad at all..but had a mechanical failure. The Aug’s trigger was the same as standard mil spec AR’s
      And so far you don’t have any facts….just statements.

    • Joshua

      Really? I have shot almost every Civilian models, and the L85A2.

      I’ll stick to my AR-15 platform rifles. My Geissele SSA is miles better than any bullpup trigger. You sure your not Coolhand?

      Also very few run 1911’s, I have not seen a 1911 being issued in a long time. Most us SOF groups carry Glock’s or Sig’s. Other countries carry other handguns, but very few carry 1911’s.

      I take it you have no real experience right? The AR-15’s performance is a perfect reason to carry it. Incredibly ergonomic, Incredibly reliable, and Incredibly modular.

    • coolhand77

      Every country? Really?
      Russian Speznaz – Groza, Dragunov SVU
      Polish GROM – F2000
      Argintinian SF – F2000
      Honduran SF – Tavor Micro
      Colombian SF – Tavor
      Georgian SF [circa 2005] – Tavor
      Indian Para-commandos – Tavor
      Royal Thai Army – 4 batches of around 15000 each of Tavors.
      Belgian SF and Land Army – F2000
      Chile SF – F2000
      Pakistan SF – F2000
      Croatian SF – F2000
      Slovenian Army – F2000 + EGLM

      I think you need to do a little research before you make blanket statements like that. BTW, I don’t know who Tomaso is, but hes not me, so instead of throwing out accusations that someone is shilling, stick to the damn topic.

  • matt woodbury

    I have a huge problem with this whole SDM thing, as an infantry squad leader since 2006. I have yet to see a proper SDM…the concept is almost mythological..the only course ive ever seen conducted was the excellent long range marksman course taught by the 197th brigade at Benning…I attended the course and developed a new understanding of the ACOG and M16A4….giving the soldiers a SASS does nothing…he will get no training…NO KD range time…….NO time to prep his scope or get sight dope..none!!!
    the SDM role is half a paragraph in the infantry manual…the army does not take this role a weapons squad leader..I carried that M14…heavy and useless in south afghanistan…because we did not trust our soldiers were trained on a specialized long range system..the M4/M16 with an ACOG is enough to puch at 500-600 meters….ive seen it done…the M110 is a great excellent weaopn, but this SDM thing is not taken seriously in most formations.

    train our men to use this equipment…dont just hand it out.

    • FormerSFMedic

      Now that’s a good comment. Thank you Matt!

      You are right on point. During my time with DOD, we spend a lot of hours brainstorming trying to come up with better ways to train soldiers (Army) on current and possibly new weapons, accessories and equipment. I would say, on average, a good 95% of the training we developed is rejected. It’s unfortunate because our soldiers are NOT getting the most modern or advanced weapons training available at this time.

      One of the areas we looked at recently was the SDM. We looked at the idea of an advanced SDM and what it would entail to train him. I was surprised at the training our SDM got. Is it good training? Yes. No doubt, the training our SDM receive is great training, but it’s a “band aid” fix to get guys out there “right now”. One of the capability gaps for these guys is that they are not trained to the standard of being able to utilize a more advanced sniper weapons system. Now, I’m not saying these guys need an M24 or an M2010, but what Iam saying is that if the Army wants these guys to shoot further and more accurately, they’ve got to train these guys to utilize more advanced long range range weapons and optics.

      That’s the difference. If you put an M110 or a MK12 in the hands of a SDM, he will not be able to utilize that system to its full capability. If they want SDM to shoot more accurately at longer ranges than they need more advanced equipment for those SDM. Therefore, those SDM are going to need training on the basic skills necessary to do so.

  • Old Soldier

    The reason that the M14 filled that gap so readily is that, with a rigid steel receiver/barrel combination seated within a rigid stock, it has an inherent accuracy advantage over the AR-10/15 layout where, at best, a free-floating barrel is cantilevered off the front of the upper receiver while the lower receiver (with the recoil and feed mechanisms) is attached at 2 points by steel push pins seated in the aluminum receiver. That is why standard off-the-shelf M14 actions manufactured a half-century ago have been turned into rifles capable of 1 MOA accuracy when their wooden stock is replaced by with something more rigid, while the aluminum-receiver ARs age more quickly.

    I doubt that anybody has current numbers on how frequently M16/M4 receivers have problems with elongation of the pin holes, but I remember that being one reason why the operator was not authorized to disassemble the trigger mechanism way back when. I would expect there to be similar issues leading to the M110 requiring a more intensive (and expensive) maintenance regimen than those M14s got.

    • FormerSFMedic

      Those are interesting theories. It’s true that the M14 receiver has been tuned to shoot around 1 minute accuracy. The original wooden stock M14 did not have anywhere near the accuracy of the current M14EBR or MK14 variants. Once TACOM has installed the M14 receiver into the EBR stock it really becomes a nice weapon system. However, it’s still very heavy for a SDM-R and doesn’t have the ergonomics of an AR platform.

      The AR has NEVER had problems with accuracy. In fact, it’s well known to be one of the most accurate assault rifle weapon systems in the world. That’s something the M14 cannot say. As far as the trigger pins becoming elongated. That’s simply fiction. No one has ever reported problems in that area with a Mil-Spec receiver. The 7075 T6 Aluminum receivers are extremely durable and have little problem going through 100,000’s of rounds without needing replacement. A good friend of mine has over 450,000 rounds through one of his AR15’s with no signs of issue in the receivers. Soldiers aren’t allowed to remove trigger groups because they’re not trained to do so. That’s the last place I want guys screwing around with! The Army doesn’t train soldiers to master weapons in this way and that’s why end users aren’t allowed to mess with trigger groups. Not some made up problem with elongated trigger pin holes.

      • Lance

        The M-24 had great accuracy and did well for years at Camp Perry championships and was used as a sniper rifle in the form of the M-21 and M-25 till today. Its also very reliable. I’m a AR fan too but the M-14 can also hold up in accuracy and reliability.

        • Lance

          Sorry M-14 NOT M-24 thought too its accurate.

  • Old Soldier

    For those with a sense of history, the Army ordnance-procurement folks ********* any problems caused by a significant increase in pressure and using a “dirtier” powder is both ironic and a bit of deja vu.

    Ironic because I can still see in my mind’s eye pictures of the AR10 with a ruptured barrel that Ordnance used to justify rejecting Stoner’s original design.

    Deja vu because much of the M16’s bad reputation derived from some Ordnance officers’ decision to save money by changing the powder in 5.56mm ammunition to one that resulted in a higher pressure at the gas port (increasing the cyclic rate from 7-800 rounds per minute up to 900-1000) along with increased corrosion resulting from the increased fouling in a humid environment.

    Always remember that the folks who are supposed to think through the engineering implications may not have thought it all the way through, while the grunts carrying the weapons almost certainly don’t have the knowledge to identify subtle design weaknesses.

    By the way, while it’s not directly related to this procurement decision, you might find this old-school 1989 interview with MG Robert Sunnell both interesting and enlightening (the first part deals with how the Army developed and produced the M1/M2/M3 AFVs):

  • coolhand77

    Mil surplus was clocking around 1700 FPS if I recall correctly. Thats the Yugo and I think Bulgarian stuff.
    Mostly I run mil surplus and factory hollowpoints, however, I did roll my own, but for a slightly different reason. Eventually I intend to get a multi purpose .30 caliber can and running an AR pistol with a 10″ barrel with subsonic “heavies” appealed to me. I experimented both with point forward and base forward using 150 grain FMJBTs and got them consistantly clocking right at 1050 FPS. Never got around to accuracy testing [reasources being what they are] but it ran, it cycled, and it didn’t screw up the cartridges. The trick was using a more compact powder, that had the right burn rate. Wound up with something in the neighborhood of 7 grains of 2400. Brass and primers were milspec berden. My dad bought a case of Tok ammo, just to pull the bullets and use them for reloading M1 carbine ammo, as it was actually CHEAPER than buying new .30 cal M1 carbine bullets. Left me with a ******** of already primed cases to play with while I was experimenting.

  • Tomaso

    Your 35″ is with stock closed…a horrible ergonomic shooting position. With a 22″ barrel…that’s same barrel length in a bullpup is 32″ with the correct shooters ergonomics all set up to take a shot when you need to from QC to long…and with the right optics that change thats just a lever throw away…now thats not so with a collapsed stock…that takes time in adjust…and time isn’t alway on our side.

    I look at this issue very simply…If my son or daughters have to go to war for this country and they have a choice between a 16″ barrel weapon that performs like a 16″ barrel. Or a 16″ barrel that preforms like a 22″ barrel…with all things basically the same…the 22″ performance wins hands down. the only way right now to get said performance out of a weapon that as compact as possible is bullpup. This trigger shat is bull…I have antique millitary rifles with great triggers and ones with horrible triggers. When they are sighted in they make thier mark…sure the Swiss k31 is hand and feet above an Enfield mkIII but id take the Enfield to war over the K31. 10 rnds over 6 and better ergonomics. But not a better trigger.
    Heck if you want to stick with the M14 just put it in the Bulldog shell….iv heard* it has a great trigger.
    A bullpups layout isn’t just that it’s short….it’s quicker on target and it’s weight is carried in such a way its far less taxing on the shooter…in a standing position a shooter has 6 positions to stabilize the weapon.(areas).and the weights over the trigger not in front..standard layouts you have only 3 usable positions, and that’s only if you have a foward grip.
    In a ready position ( weapon held flat to the chest ready to acquire targets) a bullpup increases protection of vital organs by 15% over a standard layout, because of we’re the mass and magazine over heart and lungs.
    Bottom line as a whole package the bullpup out performs a standard platform all things the same in length, caliber,capasity,ergonomics and weight. Because you get better balistics, better balance ,quicker engagements and more protection….a shooter can hit targets further out with less fatigue and quicker close target acquisitions all these equations come down to ” time” and everything in combat comes down to ” time” it’s eather working for you or against you…….I would prefer to make sure our soldiers get all the ” time” credits they can get.

    • FormerSFMedic

      When does a 16″ barrel work like a 22″ barrel? What 3 positions require a vertical grip? Positional shooting is where the bullpup is lacking. In COMBAT precision shooting the standard configured platform is much more practical.

      • Tomaso

        Former …try actually reading my post…you missed some points when you skimed over it. Have you ever shot a bullpup? All your comments show you have not. In a lot of ways I’d say the desert tactical is near perfect…except for the fact it’s a bolt action.
        Because of how a bullpup balances standing and shooting you have more choices to position your hands to make a steady shot….because of the weight of standard platforms you only have 3. As for prone…their is a issue with a bullpup if your running 30 round mags..especially if you trying to shoot above your horizon ..20 rounders help…but even so standard platforms have this same problem because of their length….remember we aren’t talking snipers here…we’re talking designated marksman. Now the sight line is closer to the flight path on the m14 which gets sacrificed on the bullpup design….but it’s the same as any AR platform.
        I would suggest you try a bullpup out…and work with it, instead of tring to run it like a standard platform…you will find its far above a better balanced package.

    • Like I said I don’t hate it, I just think a lot of its advantages have been eclipsed by time. Collapsible stocks is just one of many. Exiting a vehicle in CQ I would not feel at a great disadvantage with A Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR with its 18″ barrel and 35″ closed stock. Close work, a laser on the rail and pistol grip should suffice. To extend the stock for something further will take less than a second, which if you are extending it for distance work, you should have. That being said, that is just for exiting a vehicle. On patrol it would be already be in the shooter’s best position. To be honest I have come around a bit on collapsible stocks. I use to be in the, should have something solid to swing an break someone’s head open group. Just like they showed me at Great Lakes when I had to go to IT with that old M1 Grand. Now as I have grown older (and larger), I see the advantage of the collapsible stock. No such advantage with a bullpup. The stock either fits you and that’s great. To short or to long are not real pleasant.
      Triggers are a different story. You need not go back and pick on the Lee Enfield Mk3. Just look at what Colt did when it went to the series 80. My point is all things considered the mechanical link to the trigger adds to the its problem, much like adding the internal firing pin safety added to the Colt. Now can a good gunsmith help the series 80, of course, he might actually get it to feel better than a fresh out of box series 70. Now if that same smith worked on the 70 guess what to expect. Now I’m not saying that all bullpups are terrible, just that with fewer parts its easier to get a better feeling trigger on a conventional rifle.
      I do like the M14, being a Navy guy and stationed on a boomer and an Oceanographic ship with them, I learned to shoot them quite well. So you could say we’ve been going steady for about 30 years. Also a lot of them were made right here. I had an uncle who worked with John Grand. My father after getting out of the Navy, learned tool and die at the Armory in an apprentice program.
      Oh and besides the M89SR which is the M14 in a bullpup there is also the AWC G2 model bullpup built from you guessed it an M14.
      Since I never had to hump one I’ll let someone who did/does take those points.

  • Glock fan

    Any ideas on what the identified 22 capabilities gaps are, in terms of equipment??? Put differently, what will you change/add in an infantry squad?

  • crackedlenses


    Have you actually used a bulpup in combat? If not, I doubt your ability to say whether or not a bulpup would work well in combat. No offense to you, but for the kind of qualifications you are making I’d prefer some actual combat conditions usage to back it up……

    • Tomaso

      **** you got me their…..then again I teach bipeds how to fight with 2 legs even though iv never had two legs….go figure.
      I do concure I would prefer to have far more credentials in this area, and I do believe said experiance is very important, but in no way required…understanding of how the body works in top condition and hindered condition is something I am very much qualified at. A balanced weapon platform always works better then an unwieldy platform. I also know that when it comes to combat every micro second is life and death…and a it stand now their is not a working bullpup on the market that is perfect for our military…but as a platform it’s perfect…but hay it’s no problem to keep band aid fixing the’s just soldiers lives on the line…….they don’t need the best right?

      • I will give you the only bullpup I have fired was a 10/22 one. I did heft a Styer AUG at a show. I remember thinking how cool they looked when they first came out. They both just seemed a little “bulky” to me, might be more of a perceived thing. Plus the sights are kind of up there. Least AR got rid of carry handle so sights are more inline. Might be simply a matter old dog, new trick. Like you said there is nothing out there right now. Find me something and I’ll try it. Just not a FAMAS, no bugles allowed.

        • coolhand77

          if you are ever in the San Antonio area, you can try running my FS2000. Considering FN has been quite the innovator, its worth giving the tactical tuna a chance. After all, people didn’t like many of the rifles that became world wide staples in the beginning, including the M16 family [the Mattel rifle jokes still abound] and I’m sure the Belgian military could have gotten FN to design something different.
          Yes, its bulky, but you get used to it. Especially when you remeber that as a platform, it was intended to mount the EGLM and laser range finding inclinometer sight for first shot “hits” from a 40mm.
          Are there things I would change about it? Yes.

      • crackedlenses

        The Army more likely than not simply doesn’t want to have to retrain a bunch of soldiers to use a bulpup platform; lousy excuse as the Israelis are showing. I’m frankly neutral on the subject, as the soldiers have yet to show major preference for a system other than Stoner’s AR. Even with the SCAR, it’s value appears to be as a battle rifle, not as an AR replacement, although time will tell as it is a modular system. I am interested in what the Tavor will become, as if you are correct it will be a highly desirable potential replacement for the M16/M4.

        In the meantime though, the M16/M4 works well enough, unless we plan to train our troops better; I’m all for a replacement, but only provided it can succeed where the SCAR, ACR, OICW, etc. have failed. We’ve blown way too much on reinventing the wheel so far.

        I’m only a civilian enthusiast, so my 0.02 is worth as much as you take it. Thank you for your service…..

  • Matt(B4)

    M14 is to much work to keep as accurate as a modern AR10 platorm, wish people would just let it freakin die already. Kel-tech? Really? You say that with a straight face?

    Consider bullpups… if you have a high pressure event, guess how much closer that chamber is to your face. So far there haven’t been “extreme” advantages to a bullpup as a lot of people seem to think, beyond a shorter package with a longer barrel. SA80 and AUG, two of the most widely used and tested bullpup rifles have and still have had growing pains. The M16 has had the some progression. However, were the M16 has reached a relative point of being reliable and robust the AUG and SA80 still have some room to grow.

    Is it a wonder that SAS/SASR dudes perfer the M4? Its simply a more ergonomic platform and easier to manipulate. I would say the best example of what a modern bullpup could accomplish is the Tavor.

    If they insist on the SDM position being something that stays, then an SPR type platform makes the most sense. Beyond the weapons, training and institutional inertia will be the toughest to overcome.

    • The shooters at Camp Perry would be surprised at how much work it is to keep their rifles accurate. The Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR with its aluminum stock and thus bedding is pretty much rock solid.
      The Tavor is an interesting piece. The Israelis generally know how to get stuff to work in that environment. Wonder if they got some ideas from the M89SR.

    • FormerSFMedic

      Matt, another excellent observation! The SPR platform is perfect for the SDM application. The MK12 provides SDM with a weapon system capable of being effective to 700m and beyond. With its sub1moa accuracy, MK262 MOD1 ammo, and a more capable optic, it would be perfect for the SDM in every way. I think that a 7.62 M110C would be a great platform as well, however if the SDM is going to utilize its 800m effective range and reach out to 1000m they’re going to have to get some more advanced training as well as more advanced optics. The MK12 might just be the perfect “transition” platform for shooters to get “acclimated” to a more sniper type system.

      • Mk12 does seems well liked. Tend to believe 18″ an Ideal length barrel. Now I wouldn’t think you would quite get to 700 with standard ammo and still have good punch. Does that MK262 MOD1 ammo really work better pushing 77gr bullet? How would it do with M118LR ammo. Is there that big a difference, if not, lets save some money and carry the better one, it’s a logistic thing.

        • Sorry thought I dropped Mk118 comments its late/early. just had to many M something in mind. Realize after post still there. I know one 5.56 the other 7.62.

    • coolhand77

      correction, just because your face is 10 inches closer does not make a bullpup more dangerous if you have a “kaboom”. Most bullpups are engineered with plenty of protection for the rifleman, including proper channeling to vent the “event” in a safe direction, and in the case of the Keltec, an armored plate to protect your face. Again, Keltec’s problem is not concept or design, its execution.
      I will concur that most modern bullpups feel…fat. My FS2000 is an obvious example, however you get used to the “tactical tuna” AND besides the “lifter” and forward ejection, the guts are almost identical to the SCAR-L. I will also admit that before the neutrigger the trigger was a little mushy. Now it feels like a good, stock Glock trigger.

  • Joshua

    The very first run of M110’s had issues, but that was quickly fixed by KAC and the current rifles are very reliable

  • Joshua

    M855A1 is an improvement in every way over M855.

    Its accuracy is on par with MK318 and Brown tip rounds
    Its performance in soft tissue is on par with MK318 and Brown tip rounds.
    Its performance through cover is similar to MK318 and Brown tip, while excelling in certain areas.

    the issues with M855A1 is that its more expensive than other rounds since it can only be made on older less effective machines and it runs at a higher pressure which may lead to excessive wear(this has not yet been noticed but who knows in a few years)

  • FormerSFMedic

    @Coolhand77- The M855 comes in two flavors. The original M855 has a STEEL penetrator tip and a LEAD core. The newer M855 uses a TUNGSTEN penetrator tip and a STEEL core. The majority of COTS M855 will have a steel penetrator with lead core like the stuff you get from Federal (American Eagle). Here’s where it gets interesting. A friend of mine (someone I highly respect) tells me that the M855 that’s been used for the last few years in combat has been the tungsten version. From what I always understood, there was no way to tell the difference between the two unless you had the actual box the cartridges came in. The “newer” tungsten version is commonly referred to as “M855 Lead Free”.

    I’m always up for some San Antonio pizza! I visit Fort Sam quite a bit. I’ll hit you up when I head that way. Good luck with your .308 rifle build!

    @Majrod- That’s exactly what I thought PEO would say. All I can say on the matter is that I stand by my observations. I’ve had the chance to see some of the issues with my own eyes while other issues are simply my opinion and theories. I’ll briefly reply to the points you’ve posted.

    Chamber pressure- 62,000psi is considered to be the maximum pressure the M4 chambered in 5.56 can handle. At 63,000 psi the A1 will wear out parts and barrels faster. I gaurentee it. The reason I know is because we’ve already tested some high pressure loads with the M4 with the carbine gas system and the standard buffer/spring combination. With standard M855 the carbine gas system has exhibited excessive bolt speed and excessive pressures at the gas port. Furthermore, with a standard M4 profile barrel, the throat has a very thin profile which leads to excessive throat erosion. That was with M855. We ran some high pressure handloads all the way up to proof loads (in a controlled environment) and the result was exponential (obviously). The A1 takes the system to its limits. I don’t care what they’re telling themselves, I’ve seen the tests. Unless they (Army) move to a heavier barrel, a longer gas system, and a heavier buffer/spring assembly there is no way around the increased wear.

    Accuracy- I’ll say this. It doesn’t matter what the accuracy standard is, skilled shooters are going to find a way to hit their target. A 5.5moa standard doesn’t mean that ammo will always shoot 5.5moa. A certain Lot might shoot better. However, if my ammo is going to shoot slightly better than its standard, wouldn’t you want that standard to be better than 5.5moa? If the standard is 2.0moa (MK318) then I know that my ammo will never shoot worse than that. I would think that would make sense to most shooters in combat. Also, how many times did guys miss at 600m, or 300m, or 450m? They didn’t give you that info, did they? BTW, cold bore doesn’t mean much to me. Cold bore is more of a myth than it is a fact. In actuality, cold bore comes down to other variables.

    Powder- It’s dirtier, they said it. Not much to say to that. I still stand by what I said on that matter.

    Terminal Performance- They claim better performance on tissue. My belief is that performance IS better. BUT, only marginally so. Not enough to justify the added cost of the new round and certainly not the best we could do. ERonc was correct, I meant the A1 performs on par with Green Tip, but extends the range of that performance. Terminal performance on soft tissue is something we’ll have to wait to see. I can tell you that a round that is yaw dependant is never going to give us consistent performance.

    No, the MK318 does not penetrate SAPI plates. However, it is substantially more consistent on soft tissue and it is superior at penetrating light urban barriers like vehicle glass/bodies, wood, and sheetrock, where the M855A1 performs poorly against such barriers.

    Hopefully, we find the truth soon, because I’m not optimistic about the M855A1.

  • coolhand77

    AAAAh, thanks. I had heard of the LF round, but thought it had fallen by the wayside since tungsten is significantly harder to shape than lead or steel, and the 855A1 was supposed to take the lead free. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever SEEN a tungsten core from an 855, but hey, I’m just a stupid civvy. That and none of the literature on the subject mentions it when searched other than passing mention to the 855 Lead Free.
    I would be more concerned with barrier penetration than SAPI anyway. For one thing, Hadji isn’t wearing much body armor in general. Add to that the fact that plates only cover certain areas, and soft armor doesn’t do jack to stop rifle rounds…yah, barrier penetration means a **** of alot more.
    Not to mention a DM should be able to shoot around the armor…to quote one of my favorite fictional charaters “What about his face…is his face armored?”

  • Tomaso

    When I first saw the FS2000 I thought” man is that thing fat”….. But shouldered it’s a dream…I relate it to how the Porsche cayenne is…ugly on the out side…but man are they nice to drive. This feeling of bulk is what a lot of people say when they first pick up a’s weight being aft or over the grip…but shouldered it’s perfect..and can be shot one handed with acceptable accuracy…of all the bullpups iv shot the FS2000 was the most surprising…I was turned off by the toy like chamber components…but she ran real well. The RFB had a concussion in my right ear that was very discomforting, but it didn’t have the cheek rest like the newer ones.
    I have not shot a Trevor yet but that platform has had many developments over the years…and it’s coming to the states.

    • coolhand77

      I think part of the reason its so fat [besides the fact it was engineered so that the EGLM would integrate with the weapon in a snag free package, with room in the stock for the battery pack for the EGLM sight] is that they did what Steyr did with the gas piston and angled it over so that its “off axis”. Just my personal opinion but I think they could have slimmed it up by about 10%, and shortened the LOP a little by using a hard trap door in the back instead of the sliding rubber buttpad.
      All in all though, if I can get my fat butt in shape in time, I’m going to take it to the Pecos Run and Gun this year, and see what I can wring out of her. With a 1-4x variable scope [with BDC and range finding reticle], if the rifle can do it, and I can do it, I expect passable results.
      Oh, FYI, to get down low, and for “bag storage” I use the 20 round mags with a magpul base plate…as low profile as it goes, but you still have a grabbable purchase if the mag gets stuck for some reason.
      One minor complaint I had about the FS2000…the tri rail…what idiot designed that thing…I was able to shave a half pound or more of aluminum off it just because of that huge hump in there…sheesh.

  • Tomaso

    Training on a new system is a huge dilemma ….it’s very true…but I perception is that if your starting with new recruiters what’s the real difference….it’s mostly new to them anyways….now sure the AR platform is a stellar preformed now but it’s takin 40 yrs to get here….and it’s still a very good design…but take what has been learned from the m16 development and put it in a bullpup ( which is the Trevor ) and it’s a smaller more potent package….and with a 20″ barrel it’s a perfect DM system…my worry is that a SASS is too slotted for the sniper like roll and it’s parameters too narrow for use in the DM roll…I believe that roll should overlap basic CQ engagements and long range. This is an area I believe the scopes roll has to be addressed …a contemporary scope just won’t cut it…and I have no experiance with the Elcan 1×6 variable scope..but looks good on paper.

  • Ian

    Just to touch on this real quick… I’m a Platoon Sergeant of a Sniper Platoon currently deployed to Afghanistan. I have 4 MK-12s, shooting MK262 MOD1 ammo out of them. We are currently using Leupold CQBSS scopes with them, due to their versatility. We have been achieving consistent hits out to 900m on man sized targets. The MK262 MOD1 (DODIC AA53) is a very effective round.

    Within my platoon we are using MK-12s, MK-11s, M110 SASS, M40A5s and M107s. I would love the M110C, and so would my Snipers, trust me, I’ve asked. So long as they make it in black to blend in with the rest of the weapons. Right now we are using MK-11s more than the M110 due to it looking a little more like an M16A4.

  • FormerSFMedic

    Ian, thanks for the feedback! From the weapons and optics you describe, you appear to be a Marine. That brings up a point that I haven’t mentioned here yet. The optic! I feel that even if the Army goes with the M110C, SDM will still have a less than optimal scope to utilize the system. The Marine Corps has some of the best optics available to them. Not only that, but from what I understand, many SDM in the Corps have the knowledge and skills to use those optics. The M8541SSDS makes for a fantastic setup for an SDM-R in 5.56 or 7.62. Furthermore, the Leupold CQBSS is practically MK12 or M110C PERFECTION!

    I can only hope that the Army does the right thing when/if they move forward with this. Honestly, the optic choice is more important than the rifle choice. I would like to see a MK12 in the hands of conventional SDM. It’s absolutely one of the best sniper rifles in the inventory and represents the best option for many SDM. For those times when the SDM needs a little more, the M110C will fit that medium range requirement as well. The Leupold CQBSS could be utilized for both systems and could be swapped back and forth depending on which gun the SDM needs for the mission. The CQBSS would allow SDM to be more accurate at longer ranges and make shooting at all distances much faster and easier.

    Without a good MODERN optic, the M110C or MK12 will do little good for closing that SDM-R gap that has been identified!

  • So not to be overly simplistic, my ammo guru but how do you think the M855A1 bullet do loaded into the MK262 MOD1 primed case with an appropriate charger of that powder?

  • Tomaso

    Ok…enough about this platform or that….I too think the scope choice will make or break this SASS or DM …….what are the choices out their that can do long range and close?
    I should mention I can’t honestly see how a system that’s slotted more towards sniper will work in a DM roll….but with a platform that can hold 20 to 30 rounds in semi auto package the only issue is what can the scope do to fill in the CQ aspect.
    Are their any range finder scopes in use in the military that would worK for this roll?

  • FormerSFMedic

    Yes, that 77gr bullet makes a big difference. At close range it really likes to tumble and come apart. At longer ranges, it doesn’t so much come apart, but it will penetrate soft tissue real nicely even at reduced velocity. The long, slender bullet creates a lot of damage when it tumbles due to its larger sectional density over the M855. Guys really love the MK262 MOD1.

    As far as the comparison to 7.62 M118LR. There really is no comparison. The .308 175gr SMK is worlds more effective when speaking in terms of terminal velocity. However, the 5.56 round has the advantage in the fact that we can much more easily fight AND take precision shots with the MK12 versus the larger M110 or M110C.

    Putting the M855A1 into a MK262 case won’t make much difference unless the same company (Black Hills) were to load it. Even then, the MK262 has the advantage of a higher ballistic coefficient and a much more precise manufacturing standard. The MK262 bullet was made to be a match bullet where the M855A1 is not. The case and powder load would likely not make any difference at all in accuracy.

  • coolhand77

    I was wondering about the BC on the 77 grain vs the M855A1. Its one of the reasons I am so fond of the FS2000 [no, not the reason you think all you BP haters, so shut up and read]. I generally don’t pick up ANY rifle or barrel that doesn’t have a 1 in 8 or 1 in 7 twist to stabilize the heavier rounds, and my group dropped in half going from mil surplus to black hills 77 grain OTM [I was hoping for 1MOA but I’ll be satisfied with what I got, especially considering I was rushed and a little off my game that day]
    It boggles the mind that ARs still come with 1 in 9 twist barrels that are at best, iffy with the heavier bullets

  • Say it was Black Hills doing it, I wasn’t looking for the accuracy per say, but to have a cleaner shooting round that penetrates better.

  • coolhand77

    Well, that takes you back to a sane powder/pressure load, but removes the MV increase in the short barreled carbines. Honestly I’d have to see how the projectile actually flies…how consistant the manufacture is, and how it operates under NORMAL pressure loads in various barrel twists and lengths. It might still be acceptable in a 20″ barrel, and suck in a carbine barrel, etc.
    From the sounds of things, the manufacturing process isn’t consistant enough. 5.5 MOA out of a combat carbine is pretty poor, especially considering I think off the shelf grade is 3 MOA for the the same carbines with M855. That tells me that there is a consistancy issue with powder, bullet, or both.

  • Old Soldier

    Former, one thing I’ve noticed is that everybody seems to mis-define ergonomics as “what feels comfortable to me”.

    For example, the primary force driving the dominance of straight-line stocks and pistol grips in rifle design was the need to cope with repetitive recoil impulses as more weapons made full-auto an option for the soldier. When it comes to aimed rapid (semi-auto) firing, the disadvantages of straight-line configuration (e.g., the raised sight-line leading to increased error when the rifle is canted slightly) start to become significant.

    BTW, I would also note that folding stocks are an ergonomic trade-off — increased portability in confined spaces versus decreased accuracy until the stock is unfolded. Admittedly, unfolding usually takes no longer than a magazine change, but that’s still a measurable time which may or may not be available.

    As to the durability of aluminum, the reason that riflemen disassembling the trigger mechanism was a wear issue was that we’d use the steel cleaning rod to drive the pins out (when you have a hammer…), so the steel rod would eventually expand the hole enough that the pressed pin which belonged in there would have some play in it. As to not wanting riflemen to play with the firing mecanism, it wasn’t all that complicated and all that was being done was swabbing off the carbon buildup that M16s are renowned for.

    As to the durability of aluminum versus steel, I would hope that your friend takes better care of his rifles than what soldiers have to put them through. I remember seeing some photos a quarter-century back in Soldier of Fortune magazine of captured M16s, shipped to Latin America by Vietnam, with holes worn in front corners of the magazine well (where soldiers typically grasp the weapon while carrying it casually). Hence my concern about the durability of aluminum receivers.

  • Old Soldier

    One last kick of the horse’s carcass regarding worn pin holes: if it’s just a “made up problem”, then why did TM 9-1005-249-23&P prescribe testing procedures (with specifically designed gauges) to test for worn holes along with testing for play in the pivot pin lugs, all of which were (are?) considered to render the rifle unserviceable?

  • coolhand77

    Old Soldier, I think you pointed out the issue in your previous post. It was improper disassembly and reassembly that was damaging the receivers, NOT normal wear and tear. The installation/removal of the trigger pack is not “grunt proof”. Like you said “if all you have is a hammer…”
    Probably the reason you don’t see it anymore is that nobody outside an armorer with the proper tools and knowledge is assembling and disassembling the trigger pack. In fact, unless I am mistaken, thats about the ONLY way the stresses required to stretch those holes can be imparted since under normal operation that part of the lower recieves almost NO impact stresses, and the parts that do [receiver extension mounting] are reinforced.

  • I don’t understand this. After 9/11 I did a 4 month and then a 3 month deployment to Afghanistan. In the beginning the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Haqqani Net., etc. were horrible shots. They would have their occasional ambushes also. After invading Iraq I didn’t return until the Surge in January 2009 and was discharged in 2010. When I was getting out of the Army the M-14 was being assigned to squads for long range shots that was out of effective range of the M-4. They started using the HK-416, HK-417 in the SOF command. The Ranger Battalion began carrying the Scar 16 and that was aborted for the Scar 17. There was a Scar sniper rifle that was coming into experimental use also that shot beautifully. The M-4 aside from it’s jamming issues is far more accurate than the AK, especially when the Army added Optics. The M110 feels just the same as a M-4, this is why it was adopted and with the Ammo of course the weight was going to increase. Out of all my deployments to Afghan very few battles were closer than 200 meters. I thought the upgrade of the M-24 to the .338 model was a great addition to snipers. It gave almost one thousand more yards than the 7.62. I met a few guys that never went to Sniper school, maybe they were on a wait list but were considered Designated Marksman. I can understand a lighter rifle. When you start reducing the Barrel length there will be issues with the Effective range unless the Rifle caliber is larger. I can understand maybe a 6.8 mm. The bull pup concept will cause issues if our military goes that route. The Marksman is normally the hidden/covert member of the fight though. We were always in support our Infantryman. I know it sounds bad but we would hide and use or Soldiers as bait to take out the threat to them.

  • The Bull pup concept is a lot different from what most soldiers are used to. I said earlier that taking length off the barrel would cause issues in the effective range. I got out in 2010 and actually went through sniper school. I had to go through several actually due to the change in battlefields. When I was getting out they had guys called Designated Marksmen that had not actually gone to Sniper School. I don’t know if they were on a Wait list or if they were just good shots handed the M-14, and M 110. I got out in 2010 and I know a lot has changed. Maybe you or someone else can explain this to me.

  • JLM

    the answer is already field with SOF. MK17 SCAR. its 7.5 pounds naked and out performs a carbine SASS any day.