The United States Secret Service has put out a request for a new rifle, as listed on this Federal Government business solicitation page, and as reported by Soldier Systems Daily. I recommend reading both as they have different sets of information. There will be a conference in DC on April 4th for any companies/parties that are interested in participating in the competition. Essentially they want a 34 inch, folding stock, 5.56x45mm rifle for their agents. Soldier Systems Daily reported that this is probably going to be an upgrade from the Services current MP5s (which they also have full length M4s, interestingly enough, most of their uniformed side uses them). They also want it to last 20,000 rounds, and 10 years in service, in addition to 10,000 such rifles. According to their website, they have 4,500 agents, so this contract will give them roughly twice the number of rifles that it would take to equip every single agent they have on staff. Of course, some of these agents probably won’t be issued this depending on their jobs, but it still seems like that is a large amount of rifles for the amount of agents they have, also factoring in guns going down for repair or replacement. They also mentioned that it could either be a direct gas impingement, or a piston operated gun, so it looks like they are looking for some sort of full auto AR15 platform as well. Interestingly there is nothing about magazine capacity, apart from the height which would limit it to maybe a 30 round STANAG magazine. The need for a 5.56x45mm round might be from the increasing threat of assailants with body armor that could stop the current 9x19mm MP5s that they are issued.
Height (no taller than, w/o accessories) 8.5 inches
Weight (no heavier than, w/o accessories) 7.5 pounds
O/A Length (no longer than, w/stock fully extended) 34 inches
Barrel length (min – max)
1 turn in 7 inch twist RH
The barrel shall have a minimum service life of 20,000 rounds.
The weapon shall utilize a direct-impingement gas-operated system or a short-stroke gas piston system.
Mode of Fire.
The weapon shall be selective fire, i.e. semi-automatic and full automatic. A “burst limiter” in the full-automatic mode is not acceptable.
The fire control selector shall be ambidextrous in design, and be a single lever paddle mounted on the side of the receiver, adjacent to the rear pistol grip, thereby not requiring the shooter to significantly break their firing grip when actuating.
The fire control selector shall be a rotary type and shall have three positions; safe, semi-automatic and automatic and shall rotate manually without binding from one position to another.