Door Kickers

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently conducted the first successful live-fire tests demonstrating in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets, program officials maintain.

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, known as EXACTO, is being developed to “revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet,” DARPA officials maintain. “The EXACTO 50-caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems.”

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I have received a lot of email responses from my July 3 article on the Army’s Modular Handgun System praising .45 caliber as far superior to 9mm.

Pistol-caliber choices are personal and everybody has an opinion. But opinion isn’t fact, and there is some misinformation out there that needs to be addressed.

Many readers are under the impression that U.S. special operations forces have returned to using .45 caliber pistols since the adoption of the M9 9mm in 1985.

This has some truth to it, but in most cases SOF units use 9mm, experts maintain.

The Army’s Delta Force adopted .40 caliber, but the elite unit is having the same problems as the FBI – the heavier caliber is causing excessive wear problems in guns that were originally designed to be 9mm. Delta is now using 9mm Glock 17s, 19s and 34s.

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Iron ManMilitary leaders have not shied away from referring to the new suit the Pentagon wants to build for special operators as the “Iron Man” suit. So much so that they’ve turned to the special effects company in Hollywood that worked on the Iron Man franchise to build a prototype.

Legacy Effects, which has worked on Iron Man, RoboCop, and Captain America, have been asked by the Pentagon to build a prototype of the suit that is officially called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

In fact, the special effects experts are using the same 3-D printers to build the prototype that they used to build the suit that Robert Downey Jr.’s character wears in the movies. [click to continue…]

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Bates Footwear will soon unveil its new jungle boot that was designed with the help of special operators.

The Recondo boot is being officially launched at the ADS Warrior Expo East in Virginia Beach July 10-11. They are a low-absorption, quick drying, durable solution designed to provide secure footing in multi-terrain jungle regions, Bates officials maintain.

“The Recondo provides a much needed jungle boot update for the next generation of our armed services,” said Bates Footwear President Onder Ors. “Based on the specific feedback we received from our development partners in the Special Operations Forces, Bates has created the only boot specifically engineered for hot, wet and humid combat environments common in tropical regions.”

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130606-A-NQ567-052I posted an update story on Military.com this morning looking at the Army’s Modular Handgun System effort. The service is holding its second MHS industry day July 29.

This is not the first story I have written about the Army wanting to replace the M9 9mm pistol with a larger-caliber weapon, but the weapons officials seem set on doing just that.

Army weapons officials from Fort Benning, Ga., say the joint MHS effort will result in a “new gun, new ammo, new holster, everything,” according to Daryl Easlick, a project officer with the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

“We have to do better than our current 9mm.”

The MHS will be an open-caliber competition that will evaluate larger rounds such as .357 Sig, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

The story also points out that the FBI and several major police departments recently decided to return to using the 9mm round after finding that .40 caliber ammunition was causing excessive wear on its service pistols.

The heavier bullet and greater recoil over time resulted in frame damage to well respected makes such as Glock and Beretta, according to Ernest Langdon, a shooting instructor and respected competitive pistol shooter.

“Most of the guns in .40 caliber on the market right now were actually designed to be 9mm originally and then turned into .40 calibers later,” Langdon told Military.com.

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SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has a new series of custom fixed and folding knives called The Kiku. The knife company partnered with “legendary” Japanese knife maker Kiku Matsuda for his talent and experience in blade grinding.

“Known to have a ‘magic hand’ in grinding and polishing blades, in any angle and direction, Matsuda is unlike the average knife grinders in that he uses a side flat area of the power wheel as his canvas to create 3D grindings, concave, hollow, flat, Hamaguri (convex), twist, double and triple grindings in a free hand,” a SOG officials maintain.

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Small-arms innovation programs may not be a high priority these days, but the U.S. Army continues to invest in its dream of a family of ultra-light infantry weapons.

The service awarded a $5.7 million contract last month to Textron Systems to develop a 7.62mm version of the Light Weight Small Arms Technology MG as well as a carbine variant.

The Army has had a strong interest in LSAT for the last decade. The system is far lighter than traditional machine guns, mainly because of its use of cased-telescoped ammunition.

LSAT’s cased-telescoped 5.56mm ammunition relies on a plastic case rather than a brass one to hold the propellant and the projectile, like a conventional shotgun shell. It weighs about 37 percent less than standard belted 5.56mm.

The 5.56mm LSAT weapon itself weighs about half as much as the 17-pound M249 squad automatic weapon.

“The LSAT Light Machine Gun recently took part in the Army’s Dismounted Non-Networked Experiment at Fort Benning, Ga., receiving positive user feedback,” according to a press release from Textron Systems.

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