Dutch SF interested in .300 BLK

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Jane’s is reporting that the Dutch special forces are putting out a contract request to buy 195 carbines chambered in .300 BLK and an assorted amount of ammunition to go along with the package. Now, this isn’t big news yet, because all this is, is a request to the gun industry to see what will come out, and possibly go along with the contract if it goes through. It could still be scrapped for whatever reason, but regardless, this is the first time a standing military has been completely serious about purchasing something chambered in the .300 BLK round, and at that, a NATO military as well. They mentioned that they were interested in complete rifles instead of just conversion kits.

The Netherlands Maritime Special Operations Force (NL-MARSOF) are planning to purchase a new carbine chambered in the non-NATO standard 7.62×35 mm (300 BLK), with a formal tender being launched by the Netherlands’ Defence Material Organisation.

The tender is the first publicly known tender for the purchase of a 7.62×35 mm chambered rifle by any military.

In total, the Dutch naval commandos are looking to buy 195 select-fire carbines and 1.82 million 7.62×35 mm cartridges (1,345,000 ball, 244,000 subsonic, and 231,000 lead free frangible). Suppliers can apply to supply any combination of the small arms and rounds until 27 July.

The standard armament for the NL-MARSOF commandos is currently the short-barrelled German H&K HK416 carbine (chambered in the NATO-standard 5.56×45 mm round), which replaced the previously used Diemaco C8A1GD. It is possible to convert the HK416, or other AR-15 based rifles, to fire 7.62×35 mm ammunition by fitting a new upper receiver, barrel, and bolt.

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A Dutch line platoon in Afghanistan with Diemaco rifles. Time will tell if this purchase spreads throughout the rest of the army.



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • 2wheels

    Saw this on Janes yesterday… Interesting, but I guess SF guys get to do whatever they want.

    • uisconfruzed

      Almost, I’e a close Master Sgt friend, after testing them, he wishes they could use the 300BLK for CQB.

  • Marc

    300 Whisper is a CIP-standard cartridge, offered by large munitions manufacturers (e.g RUAG) and already in use with some LE/military SF. I’d be surprised if identifying 7.62×35 mm as .300 Blackout isn’t an error by the author.

    • Tierlieb

      Not only is 300 Whisper a CIP standard, but 300 BLK is not. So, being Europeans, they would not have a choice (unless there was a separate NATO standard, but there isn’t).

      300 BLK was developed slightly larger than the several 300-211 300 fireball, 300 Whisper, so maybe buying the rifles chambered in 300 BLK allows them to savely use both types of ammo, similar to a .223 Wylde chamber?

    • Seburo

      I also thought they confused 300 blk and 300 whisper when I first saw the article. It’s rather strange as to why they would not adopt a CIP standard bullet that has been around much longer.

      • CommonSense23

        Cause they probably got the idea from US, and the US military runs 300BLK.

        • Marc

          Why would their suppliers not offer the same thing sans rebrand already in the catalogue?

          • It’s a tender or a contract. They’re not getting with H&K or whomever for new rifles, they’re asking industry to provide rifles and a contract package to see what the best one out there is, and they’ll pay that winning contract.

        • Seburo

          Still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As I can’t find the name of any European manufacturer of .300 BLK.
          H&K is very unlikely to offer to chamber HK416 in a round that they don’t make themselves. Their also not the ones who make the 416 blk uppers.

          • CommonSense23

            No they don’t make the HK416 in 300BLK, but SIG is pretty close to winning a contract in the US for 300BLK, so good bet that they are probably going to be a forerunner for the Dutch.

          • Patrick M.

            I believe Sig has actually already won the LVAW contract. I have not read anything official though.

          • CommonSense23

            Yeah, from my understanding, its all but announced. Though with the military that doesn’t mean much.

          • Phil Hsueh

            While that may be true, I’m sure that the Dutch SF has competent armorers that can swap out the barrels or they could buy new uppers altogether although I don’t know about compatibility between the 416 and non-HK uppers and barrels.

          • Patrick M.

            JSOC units have reportedly ran HK416s in .300 BLK. Whether or not HK had any involvement I have no idea.

          • CommonSense23

            JSOC hasn’t ran 300BLK HKs, all theirs are AACs.

  • Cal S.

    Who knows, maybe .300BLK will be affordable in a couple years?

    • Ethan

      5 years from now we’ll see the first waves of Dutch Mil-Surp 300BLK (by then it will be called 7.62×35 NATO) washing up on the shores of the USA at m885 prices.

      *sigh*
      It’s a beautiful image. Hopefully we’ll get to see it happen.

      • Cal S.

        That may actually induce me to make the jump to that cartridge. Had my eye on it for some time already, but since I don’t reload (yet), then the prices are keeping me where I’m at.

        • Sledgecrowbar

          I actually just broke down and did an upper in Blackout since the crazy-cheap, questionably-sourced AR parts have flooded the market, as the price was also my hump to get over. The only factory loads I could stand to buy were some Fiocchi for $0.50/round, as I didn’t feel like tooling up and putting the effort into rolling my own yet. Aside from standard low-dollar upper components, barrels under a hundred dollars meant I jumped both into Blackout and 9mm for about $300 each. I will say this, building a 9mm AR from cheap components means sanding parts to fit together, which is fine, as long as you know how.

  • farmer fred

    Why bother, the Germans will just roll ’em up again anyway.

    • KestrelBike

      Can anyone shed some light on whether or not the Germans have gutted their military’s actual fighting capability (not talking about their luftwaffe where pilots just have to press buttons on a joystick) with their pacifist constitution? Have I just said something terribly ignorant? 0

      • n0truscotsman

        The Germans haven’t had the full potential of their military capability since the beginning weeks of WW1.

        That statement you made isn’t ignorant. Its fact.

        In the 80s, we expected the bundeswehr to fold like a origami figurine if Ivan/Warsaw Pact and Friends decided to venture west through the fulda gap. The state of the Bundeswehr in 2015? it makes the 80s look like the glorious Prussian days, which is saying a lot.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “Who are the Dutch?”

    • Jans

      They’re the people who settled New Amsterdam before you were Just another British colony.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Here in America we have these things called “jokes”.

  • It is possible to convert the HK416, or other AR-15 based rifles, to fire 7.62×35 mm ammunition by fitting a new upper receiver, barrel, and bolt.

    Nope, no need for a new bolt.

    • Phil Hsueh

      I thought as much since I just recently read an article (here maybe?) saying that all you need to fire .300 Blk from a standard AR is a different barrel.

      • Budogunner

        That is correct, it is just a barrel swap. .300 Blk is necked up 5.56, so the bolt, carrier, buffer, and buffer spring are all fine.

        • Duray

          It’s actually not a “necked up” 5.56. To make blackout you remove the entire neck & shoulder, then neck the case body DOWN to 308.

      • mags are the same AR15 too.

  • Anonymoose

    An HK416 in .300 Blackout?

  • vereceleritas

    As others have already noted, rumor has it that the Low Visibility Assault Weapon contract was awarded to SIG for MCX’s in 300BLK. I believe the LVAW solicitation was released in 2011 so the Dutch are not the first to take a serious look at the caliber.

  • Esh325

    Don’t tell Joshua or Nathaniel that somebody replaced their DI AR’s with HK416’s.

    • CommonSense23

      And don’t tell the HK fanboys that the SMUs have a lot more problems with the HKs than people hear about. There is a reason SOCOM has stuck with the MK18.

      • Esh325

        What kind of problems?

        • CommonSense23

          Guns breaking down at faster rates than the MK18s, a lot more malfunctions overall. The 417s isn’t as accurate as a DI AR10 which is why a replacement for the HK417 is coming quick in one of the SMUs.

          • Esh325

            According to whom?

          • CommonSense23

            I have worked with one of the SMU on multiple occasions, still got lots of buddies in them. You can take that how you want. You can look at the fact that SOCOM has still stuck with the MK18/M4 for the majority of its force. You can look up the reasons why the HK416 came into existence, and how it solved the problem it was designed for. You can look up the last Army test, and see the malfunction reports which show that the HK had far more malfunctions that required a armorer than the M4.

          • MNOR

            Having been issued two Hk416’s during my time in the Norwegian armed forces, I’m amazed by the need by DI-fans to bash the 416 and bring all matters of alleged issues with the weapon system.
            My current issue 416 has about 12-14k rounds trough it, give or take.
            Not a single issue with it, with the exceptions high round counts with dirty firing, bio-degradable blanks and BFA.
            so far I’ve had to magazine related malfunctions, and thats it.

            Other guns in my unit has over 20k rounds trough them, without parts replacements and still functions without issue and loss of accuracy. typically the barrel taps out at between 20-25k rounds.

            I get that you’re attached/fans of DI AR’s, and they are by all account a great systemt overall. But can whomever this may concern stop bashing weapons based on third-hand info?
            “My friends, boyfriends cousin was in ****, and his cat overheard that the HK416 sucked”.
            Well, apparantly GROM, FORMOZA, MJK, FSK, Dutch SF, Norway and a shitload of other end users(read: people that has actually used/deployed with it), disagree with your friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s cat.

          • sauerquint

            You want a moratorium on the ‘well, I heard from a reliable source…”?

            That’s so cute.

          • MNOR

            You missed the point of my highly satirical post.
            I dont mind people bashing a weapon system that they THEMSELVES, has used. If you have had issues using a scar/416/whatever, then fine, tell us. Describe the problem.
            what I find wird is that people need to bash systems they have ZERO, PERSONAL, experience with, and seemingly only in order to defend they’re worship of they’re chosen pet platform(AR/AK/whatever).
            It only adds misinformation, and internet myths;that simply will not die(modern DI ARs jams if you breathe at them, carriertilt on HK416 etc.)
            Arent we all for enlightening people about guns here at TFB?

          • Dan

            In all fairness, we are expected to believe you are who you say you are on the Internet, but completely ignore anyone else who claims to have credible information? No offense, if you’re legit then cool if not gee imagine that a liar on the internet. I tend not to believe anyone unless I see it myself.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            Well, for what it is worth, I´m also Norwegian, and what he says pretty much sums up my own experience…

          • Dan

            It’s worth one dollar. That is as high as I can go

          • Esh325

            Honestly that’s how it always is on the Internet especially gun forums. They say “Oh my seal buddy says HK416’s break down more often than M4’s” And they act like you should just take what they are saying as absolute fact even though they have no evidence or sources to back any of it. When he was saying about a test it’s funny but all the available tests show the HK416 outperforming the M4, namely the dust test. They hate when the dust test is mentioned and come up with all sorts of ways to say it wasn’t a valid test.

          • n0truscotsman

            “When he was saying about a test it’s funny but all the available tests show the HK416 outperforming the M4, namely the dust test. They hate when the dust test is mentioned and come up with all sorts of ways to say it wasn’t a valid test.”

            The only thing I hate about the mention of the dust test is that it is used improperly as a club for the 416/SCAR/XM8 fanbase who often don’t examine the nitty gritty details and cannot be inconvenienced with the data…

            http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2008/01/extreme-dust-test-m4-and-others.html

            This was already posted here on TFB, so Ill post it again since you want to make a issue about the dust tests.

            Hopefully others will take advantage of this opportunity to learn something.

            This is not even getting into the results of the Individual Carbine Competition, which pretty much vindicated the M4 in spite of the disinformation campaign by outrage artists in the media (OMG! wanat!) and a few know-nothing busy bodies in the gun world (courtesy of Coburn and friends).

          • Vitor Roma

            MAC has a video review of the HK417 and was very, very impressed by how accurate it is. But really, any high quality AR10 with match ammo can make around 1moa.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            MAC reviewed the civvie version, which has a more accurate, non chrome lined barrel. As a matter of fact, HK recognised this, and the new G28 is de-facto an MR308.

    • n0truscotsman

      Somehow, some people believe a small order of 416s for a small number of commandoes is somehow threatening to the M16s/M4s used by scores of nations and special operations units 😉

      Norway’s adoption of the 416 is still a major WTF for me. Pay more, for the same capability. Derp.

      • G0rdon_Fr33man

        We got the best, most robust and reliable AR. Gas piston has its advantages, even if you won´t admit it. WTF to your WTF. The Norwegian variant also had the adjustable gas block, which wasn´t even introduced until the A5 version.

        • n0truscotsman

          “We got the best, most robust and reliable AR”

          Okay, where is the data to support this?

          “Gas piston has its advantages, even if you won´t admit it”

          Okay, where is the data to support this?

          You heard me right. They paid more for a rifle that performs more or less the same. To me, that makes zero sense.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            Well, you made a claim to begin with, so how about you start? Reliability tests on the HK416 vs DI-guns are all over the place. The Norwegian Army did extensive testing of the Sig551, FN2000, Colt Canada (which were used by SO, but now replaced with the 416) and G36. They were given free reign to choose the best rifle with few requirements by the government. They were: Lower operating costs, mount for optical sights and lighter, cheaper ammunition (i.e 5,56). Reliability and the advantages of a piston system is well know, so don´t pretend to be completely ignorant on the subject. If you are arguing on a price/advantages, that is a different discussion all together, and while is was an easy pick for us (we had the G3), say for the US, it might not be worth the costs to replace the M4.

          • n0truscotsman

            Where is this claim I made? do pray tell? and what exactly was I claiming?

            You said “We got the best, most robust and reliable AR”. I asked for data to prove that this is indeed true. I wont hold my breath however, as I’ve asked HK416, LWRC, Barrett, and other (insert your gas piston conversion brand here) fans for similar data to support their conclusions and have received nothing over the past 5 years.

            “Reliability and the advantages of a piston system is well know, so don´t pretend to be completely ignorant on the subject.”

            Don’t confuse my requests for evidence to back up your conjecture as “ignorance” on my behalf.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            You claimed it had no significant advantages. Yet, they are being adopted by plenty of users. Don´t you think every user has ran tests to figure out which one to buy? I don´t have access to the testing the Norwegian Army put it through, but I trust they had their reasons.

          • n0truscotsman

            It doesn’t have significant advantages. Its slight advantage is its barrel, which is the best part of the weapon IMO, although that is rather a moot point since USGI barrels are produced inexpensively and in large numbers anyways.

            Its short stroke gas piston doesn’t enhance mechanical reliability (as demonstrated by 10th SFG at Fort Carson), it weighs slightly more which is a non-issue IMO, and it is more expensive than a contract M4 in multitudes.

            The only edge it had (and its raison d’etre for adoption) was against pre-2007 mk18s. Times have changed.

            Im sure they have their reasons for adopting it, although my experiences with the weapon raise many questions as to “why”…

  • n0truscotsman

    Whatever. Im sure the forums are all super excited their glamorized 7.62 soviet outcast, which is really only practical for the niche purpose of a sub-200 meter, suppressed carbine/sbr, is going to finally face “real world use”*

    *and it probably wont.

    Im antithetical to 300 blackout, as you can tell. No different than my feelings about gas piston ARs.

  • uisconfruzed

    “It is possible to convert the HK416, or other AR-15 based rifles, to fire 7.62×35 mm ammunition by fitting a new upper receiver, barrel, and bolt.”

    Silly Dutch, all I have to do is replace the barrel.

  • MNOR

    I feel that I need to point out that I’ve never said the M4/C8/AR is a bad system. It’s track record speaks for itself in that it has been used by every western SOF-unit there is.
    But, you’re statement about the trend is going back to the M4 is something I disagree with. The trend in the US, yes, that may be the case(I have no information to suggest otherwise”.
    But most other NATO SOF-units are currently seen in the media wielding HK’s variant.
    And that’s including nations that has new and improved Dimaco/Colt canada C8’s, such as Denmark(C8 IUR as standard issue), and the Netherlands. Other users are: French SF, Polish SF, german SF, hell even the Russian Alpha have been seen using HK variants.
    In essence, units that can choose whatever platform they want has chosen the HK416 over a DI platform. IMO that speaks for itself, even if the differences between the platforms are marginal at best. Both are great platforms.

    • n0truscotsman

      I never attempted to put words in your mouth with accusations that the M4 is a bad system. Its settled that it isn’t.

      My entire premise is that despite the rampant fanboyism, especially in 2007, the other proposed designs were proven to be no better/marginal improvements at best and, at worst, actually inferior when considering costs and MRBF rates.

      My response to other NATO units using the 416: so what? Look at the number of nations using M4s and the units using them. Not that hardware really matters when it comes down to it, just pointing out that I disagree with “look at what they’re using!”-type arguments.