Kit Up reports that the US Army would like hyper-burst capability (firing multiple rounds at incredibly high rate of fire) for the next generation carbine. It is not an official requirement yet for the potential M4 replacement, but could be in the future. Matt Cox reports …
Small arms companies are already balking at the “hyper burst” requirement the Army wants as a feature on potential replacements for the M4 carbine. It’s not specifically identified in the draft solicitation the service released in late January, but Col. Doug Tamilio, the head of Project Manager Soldier Weapons told me the Army wants a weapon with hyper burst.
Apparently, putting two bullets through the same hole could potentially penetrate some types of foreign body armor more effectively and incapacitate a foe more quickly.
Only one assault rifle, the Russian Izhmash AN-94, features hyper-burst. It can fire a two round burst at 1,800 rounds per minute. For comparison, the Mac-10 machine pistol and FN Minimi LMG both have a maximum rpm of around 1,100 rpm.
The AN-94 was designed from the ground up to achieve this hyper burst capability. You cannot retrofit an existing carbine, such as the Remington ACR or FN SCAR, with a rate of fire of 600-700 rpm, to achieve the same insane cycle speed as the AN-94. The AN-94′s entire barreled action recoils freely inside its plastic shell and uses a steel cable and pulley system to operate a two-stage feeding system1 in order to cycle as fast as possible.
If Col. Tamilio wants hyper-burst, he is going to have to field a gun at least as complex (and potentially failure prone) as the AN-94.
On the other hand, this could represent a fantastic licensing opportunity for Izhmash. Maybe one day we will see Army Rangers charging into battle with Russian-designed American-made carbines. Maybe.
[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]