Monday, January 31, 2011

Army kicks off new carbine tests

Colt M4A1 with M203
The US Army has announced that it will be conducting new tests to select a new carbine for general issue.  The current generation M4 will be included in the tests of course, but it will face some stiff competition from the SCAR, ACR, XCR, Colt CM901, and a few others. 

Remington now owns Bushmaster and of course their ACR will be their primary entry but Remington isn't stopping there.  They have a couple of M4A1's with various improvements that will also likely show up in the competition.

XM8 Rifle
This isn't the first time the Army has considered a new rifle.  We all remember the defunct XM8.  There was so much excitement over that rifle that the internet was awash in rumors and discussions and even game manufacturers included it in their wares, assuming it was sure to be adopted.

But it wasn't.

The SCAR Mk16 (5.56mm) and Mk17 (7.62x51) won the SOCOM contract.  But due to cost considerations the Mk16 was dropped but the Mk17 continues on to be issued to our nations Special Operators.

There are not many details as to the requirements for the new rifles.  The Army plans to host an "industry day" in March or April of this year, which is just around the corner.  They will then announce the specifications and answer questions the various vendors may have.

The Army plans to conduct an extensive test period that will span 3 years and several millions of rounds fired.  They plan to conduct a new test, one previously not conducted, which will run the rifles to failure and measure their accuracy throughout their life cycle.

It will be interesting to see what the submissions are and how well each of them fare in the testing.

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