Your eyes do not deceive you. That is indeed an “XM8” rifle in the wild…
But, its not a “real” XM8, of which few could have potentially made it into the civilian market. The “XM8” shown is a custom build from Tommy-Built commissioned by Tim at Military Arms Channel.
The “XM8” started life as a civilian SL8 (which in my opinion, only exist to provide the base parts for a G36 or XM8 conversion). Due to byzantine German export laws, the base G36 design had to be modified to be sold to the US and foreign markets including fixed thumb-hole stock, a magazine well that only accepted single-stack 10 round magazines, and a receiver that did not accept folding stocks.
With the base rifle (and about $3,000 for the custom work) Tommy-Built custom fabricated various components to convert the rifle to the near clone of the potential US Army rifle. Modifications to the base SL8 include, but are not limited to:
- Double-stack magazine wells for both G36 and STANAG magazines.
- Recontoured barrel.
- Custom fabricated handguard
- Custom fabricated, adjustable LOP, stock
- Custom rail and charging handle handguard
MAC then adorns the rifle with an Insight weapons optic similar to the one originally proposed on the XM8 rifle. Its picatinny mounted (not built-in), but does an excellent job as a stand-in.
If you are interested in your own conversion, check out the custom work by Tommy Built Customs at their website.