BREAKING: USMC Releases RFI for New Infantry Rifles, Uppers, Optics, Suppressors, Targets

In a surprising turn of events given the recent public motions towards an all-M27 fleet, the United States Marine Corps has just released a new request for information (RFI), soliciting proposals from the industry for a whole new suite of infantry equipment, including rifles, upper receivers for existing weapons, optics, suppressors, and targets. The new RFI is very explicit as to what the industry can and/or should bring to the table as far as proposals. Below is replicated the “Infantry Rifle” segment of the RFI document, which is just one part out of five:

3. Infantry Rifle

The Marine Corps is interested in rifles that incorporate technologies that are applicable to current and future battlefields. The Marine Corps is interested in a rifle that is guided by the following specific requirements:

Required Characteristics

– Upgrade package (URG + fire control group) or complete rifle with enhanced M27 like capability and features

– Free floated handguard 13” for use with 14.5” or longer barrel, 9.5” for use with 10.3/10.5” barrel. Accepts current authorized attachments (i.e., PEQ15/16, lights, etc.). System maintains accuracy and precision through all positons and means of support (free floated) be it sling, barricade, sandbag, etc.

– 14.5” barrel option, with 24,000 round life with AB49 – 2 MOA precision threshold, 1 MOA precision objective for majority of barrel life (Mean radius) (Army Capability Based Assessment requirements).

– Barrel may include low profile gas block but may not use taper pin

– Installation when using a barrel cartridge (i.e., barrel with gas block and barrel nut preinstalled) should take no more than 10 minutes threshold, 5 minutes objective (2nd echelon maintenance)

– Bolt carrier group optimized for M855A1 use with Picatinny Durable Solid Lubricant coating or any similar variations thereof

– Rail must maintain rigidity and alignment (to within 10 MOA) with the rifle’s zeroed point of aim when external pressures (up to 20 pounds) are applied 11” forward of the receiver (accounting for various means of supporting the weapon and weight of existing attachments and aiming devices)

– Rail must include continuous 1913 Picatinny rail at the 12 o’clock position with no interruption from the receiver rail to the handguard rail (semi-monolithic). Must include anti rotation features, may integrate into upper receiver.

– Rail must have integral forward 1913 Picatinny rail sections at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock of 2-3” in length. Remainder of rail shall be M-LOK (like on SURG and ASR) at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Other surfaces may include holes/cutouts for air circulation and weight reduction.

– Rail must be field strippable in a manner similar to the M27 with captured bolts

– The rail may include a steel, or 7075-T6 aluminum barrel nut, but it must be non indexing in nature

– Rail must accept heat resistant rail covers of a similar nature and material to those found the M27

Desired Characteristics

– Ability to fire AB39, .264 USA, .260 Remington, M80A1, etc.

– Modular bolt/barrel/magazine & magazine insert conversion packages for caliber changes (compatibility with A059, AB49, AB57, Mk255 Mod 0, etc) and optimized for respective caliber, charge, burn rate, and pressure curve (barrel threads can be 1/2X28 or 5/8X24)

– Novel approaches to lightweight rifle and ammunition

– Ambidextrous bolt catch and non-reciprocating charging handle

– Reversible magazine release and selector

– Adjustable length of pull stock, integral storage for spare bolt and QD sling attachment points

– Upper receiver will arrive with modular rail mounted sling attachment point

– Pistol grip sized for a 5th-95th percentile Marine

– Handguard sized 11-13” consideration to accessory use (lights, lasers, etc)

– Minimum mass cycling components to create no higher G-load than unsuppressed M110 SASS when fired

– High use of corrosion resistant alloys, coatings or treatments

– System deliberately built to perform at optimal level while suppressed – must divert gasses away from the shooter’s eye

– Bolt and barrel life greater than 15,000 rounds with no more than 200 FPS velocity loss

– Entire system serviceable at no higher than 2nd echelon maintenance level

– Coating or surface treatment in coyote brown in order to not stand out visually in combat environment, and desired reduction in IR signature.

It is interesting to note that the “required characteristics” for the new rifle/upgrade package sound very similar to the features outlined in my recent post Why the M27 IAR is Not the Right Rifle for the Marine Corps. It seems reasonable to suggest then that such an upgrade, which would leapfrog the M27 in capability at reduced time and cost, is a fairly obvious solution to the problem of what the next USMC weapon should be. The only conspicuous absence in this list is anything regarding the trigger of the new weapon, suggesting that either existing triggers or ones already in the pipeline would be used for any future procurement.

Beyond the “required characteristics”, however are a set of “desired characteristics”, and it is here that things get interesting. This list includes everything from a brand new caliber (e.g., .264 USA) to caliber changes, to “novel lightweight ammunition” – the last possible referring to composite cased or cased telescoped ammunition. This set opens the door on this RFI to include not just 5.56mm upgrades to existing weapons or new 5.56mm rifles, but possibly entirely new and revolutionary weapons systems that themselves build upon the existing state of the art rather than overturning it completely.

New rifles and upgrade packages are not the only things the USMC is seeking, however. The RFI also includes requests for automated static and mobile targets, locking suppressor and muzzle device systems, and variable-magnification optics.

The RFI is open to any companies wishing to submit, but it should be noted that it is not a request for proposal (RFP) or an invitation to bid on a contract. At this stage, it is purely exploratory in nature. Those companies whose proposals are selected will be invited to demo their products at the Marksmanship Technology Demonstration 2017, a private event held concurrently with the Modern Day Marine conference.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Seee


  • Twilight sparkle

    Hopefully this goes a little further than the army’s m4a1+ program…

    • LCON

      I hope the Army watches the Marine program here then starts integrating parts off of it into the M4A1 TDP

      • CavScout

        The Marine program? The one to replace everythign down to their underwear with super expensive HK stuff? All because ret Gen Keys still has pull within the corrupt procurement lines?

        • LCON

          That’s one interpretation. But not the only one. Re-read the RFI document, they lay down requirements for changes to the infantry rifle that would fit better a modification to the M4
          Than totally jumping to ths HK416 which has not been kept as up to date. It also has it’s own issues of service life. A good barrel but over gassed.

  • Raptor Fred
    • Squirreltakular

      It would certainly hit a couple requirements.

    • some other joe

      Keymod sucks?

    • Jarrad

      Change to Mlok and maybe

      • Anonymoose

        Lancer makes Mlok handguards for the MCX. Super light, super strong, super expensive (but less pricey than the RIS2 or KAC FF RAS)

      • Adam D.

        Yes, the MCX makes sense from a certain point of view.
        Maybe SIG is becoming the next Colt for the US military.
        One stop shop for the family.

        I wouldn’t trust them with long guns though, based on what I’ve seen from them so far.
        They just can’t seem to make a dependable rifle and they abandon/announce a new small arms messiah every other year.
        The 556Xi series, other 556 and 551 abominations, two generations of the 516, the M400 and now the MCX.
        They could learn a few lessons of long term support from Glock or HK.

        I find it interesting SIG never had these problems with their pistols
        -at least to my knowledge-, although they are designed and made in the
        same factory.
        All the SIG pistols I’m familiar with are squared away, excellent guns,
        but their rifle division is an R&D/marketing/customer support mess.

        I see that they’re trying, but that is just not enough in my opinion for a serious military rifle.
        if I were in place of the Marines, I’d avoid SIG long guns, and have a look at the HK 433 instead, or heck, even the ACR.
        Latter has an unfortunate background with Bushmaster and Remington, but it is a solid platform. Remington Defense guns also seem to get favorable reviews from all sources.

        If the USMC wants to “back it out” with something until they can finish the CTSAS program, the 433 and an updated R. Def. ACR would both be solid contenders, but frankly, I don’t think they’ll part ways with AR(ish) platforms.

    • Big.Little.Kid

      My thoughts exactly. The MCX seems to fit a lot of the requirements, albeit it needs a few changes.

    • Anonymoose

      Yeah, where is the .308 MCX they promised us?

  • USMC_grunt2009-2013

    Interesting caliber options. I wonder how this will affect LSAT and the 6.5mm.

    • LCON

      It won’t LSAT is not ready for Prime Time. Maybe a decade away.

  • USMC_grunt2009-2013

    The 10.3″-10.5″ barrels I assume would be issued primarily to MARSOC/Force Recon, vehicle crewmen, and Fleet Security.

  • BattleshipGrey

    There seems to be an intentional shunning of 6.5 Grendel, which IMO would be cheaper to implement. Is it due to the Grendel’s designer’s reputation? Or did they really find that the new 6.5×48 USA was worth the extra cost in development and would justify brand new rifles? OR, are they looking to be able to switch calibers to at will with an AR10 style base?

    • Right now, I don’t think anyone in the military is seriously considering retrofitting existing AR-15s to a new caliber. Given that is the raison d’être of the 6.5 Grendel, it’s not really on the table.

      Also, any commercial caliber would cost virtually the same to develop into a military caliber as any clean sheet round would. Commercial specifications are almost trivially simplistic relative to military ones, and any commercial-only round would need to be essentially redesigned completely to be suitable for military service. So the 6.5 Grendel isn’t really any better established from a military perspective than anything else. I talk more about this subject in this post.

      • BattleshipGrey

        Thanks for the explanation, I didn’t realize it’d have to be reworked anyway. Question then: did Serbia do any mods to the Grendel, or is this just a US/world power military practice due to our perpetual conflicts?

        • ostiariusalpha

          They did design a specific load for the Grendel to suit their own performance criteria. Prvi Partizan even sort of beta-tested it on the US market, but there were problems and at least one lot ended up being recalled.

        • I am not sure exactly what Serbia did when they adopted the Grendel. My expectation even for a nation of that size would be that they would develop their own more stringent military standards for the round, though.

    • Form Factor

      The 6.5 case angle is extremly shallow = problems in automatic weapons.

      With max BC its extremly slow = bad maximum point blank range, bad trajectory, bad wind drift, verry low steel penetration.

      Also Recoil is p=m x v while KE=1/2m x v² , which means a lighter projectile for the SAME energy has quite a lot less recoil.

      6mm does everything better in those areas.

      • Jared Vynn

        Thoughts on the .277 wolverine?

        Also recoil isn’t just p = m * v that’s momentum, you would have to take into account the firearms mass among other factors to figure out recoil.

        • Form Factor

          Too thick, therefore at max bc it gets way to heavy for ANY adequat velocity. Which results in arge compromizes such as a low bc projectile with medium velocity = still slow, really bad BC = bad trajectory, winddrift, supersonic range, KE/mm²(steel penetration), etc.

          Also for the same energy a lighter faster projectile will result in a lighter overall cartridge weight.

          Which means .277w is ok for hunting but an absolute no go for any military adoption.

          And yes its more than that, but the point stands, less recoil for the same energy/ more energy for the same recoil.

          • Jared Vynn

            I believe it was 2,500 fps for a 110gr with a BC of .370 with a 16″ barrel. It would be double the weight for the same capacity using the heaviest bullets compared to 5.56 while a little lighter than 7.62×39. for using the existing weapons platform of the M16/ar15 do you think better performance over 5.56 would be worth the extra weight?

          • Form Factor

            Absolutly no, 2500fps is a joke, its aerodynamic shape is a joke, its highly inefficient.

            And please speak in G7BC not G1BC, G1 is outdated.

            And didnt you realized what ive said in the 2 comments. Its too thick, even 6.5 (6,7mm/.264inch) is already too thick, its to heavy for any adequat velocitys, your recoil would become totally stupid.

            That brings an unaerodynamic even thicker projectile like .277 totally out of the game.

            For actual military adoption, you want absolut perfection, light and aerodynamic as possible with medium energy in an EPR projectile construction, with high velocity for optimum flat trajectory, low winddrift, and high supersonic range.

            .277w does in every single way the exact opposite

          • Jared Vynn

            The G7 is supposedly .422 and I think you don’t grasp the concept of what the .277 is accomplishing. In a 2.26 OAL cartridge it is getting 2,500 with a 110 gr

          • Form Factor

            Its never .422, G7 is a lower number than G1, and this unaerodynamic .277 in no way has a .422 G7BC anyways.

          • Jared Vynn

            G7 is supposedly .422, and that’s for a 2.26 oal cartridge. That is much better than either 300 blk or 7.62×39 or even 6×45. Perhaps you don’t understand the confines of the cartridge design in question? For a cartridge that will fit with existing magazines and firearms of the M16/ar15 platform can you offer an existing alternative? Or failing that a hypothetical alternative?

          • Form Factor

            Again, G7 is much lower than G1 , and it de facto NEVER has a .422 G7BC

          • Jared Vynn

            I’m just using the only figure I could find as every manufacturer only lasts the G1 for .277 110gr bullets.

          • Form Factor

            Doesnt matter anyways. The diameter is pure dumbness from the beginning. As said it does the exact opposite in every way than needed. Not one tought even has to go to .277w

          • Jared Vynn

            Compare it to a 308 cartridge within a 2.26 OAL. And do you have a better cartridge real or hypothetical that falls within 2.26 OAL that would work with an ar15?

          • Form Factor

            Yes ofcourse, as said before.

          • Form Factor

            In therms of alternative, ofcourse i have, stands on my desk. Same weight as 5.56×45, far more performance. But sure i dont send you the exact data to make money out of it……..

          • Erm, not sure where you’re getting your data, but 0.422 is not the correct G7 BC figure for the 110gr bullets used by the .277 Wolverine. For one thing, the Wolverine doesn’t really have specific bullets designed for it, it has to either use 6.8mm SPC projectiles or .270 Winchester projectiles. At 110gr weight, which is about as heavy as you can go for the .277 Wolverine while still having decent muzzle velocity, you are looking at G7 BCs not above 0.185. 0.422 is completely ludicrous.

          • Jared Vynn

            I switched to the JBM calculator and got .188 G7.

          • Form Factor

            Fun fact: Ballistic coefficients are in no way constant, the slower projectile will be in a much higher drag zone, while the faster with the same BC “unit” is in a much lower drag zone…..

          • I’m a little confused as to what process you used to get that figure.

          • Form Factor

            I guess starting velocity and velocity at a certain range. Which due to the Mach number is right for the given mid range but fully overestimates the BC for any higher range.

          • Huh? G1 is perfectly fine, just like all the other models. It’s just that people use it for the wrong bullets.

            I mean jeeze dude, you come in here throwing around accusations that other people don’t follow the right physics gods or whatever, and then you make a gaffe like that. Come on.

          • Form Factor

            Sorry, i meant G1 is outdated for spitzer boattail ofcourse. It tends to overestimate performance at range.

        • .277 Wolverine is so ballistically unimpressive as to not be worth talking about.

          Though it’s at least better than .300 Blackout.

          • Jared Vynn

            I thought it was impressive for a cartridge that is only 2.26 inches OAL. Compared to something like 6.5 creedmoor or 308 Winchester it is unimpressive.

          • It’s not that impressive even for a round of that OAL. Heavy 5.56mm outperforms it pretty handily.

          • Jared Vynn

            A 77 gr blackhill 5.56 gets about 2,700 fps (1240 ft/lbs energy) in a 16″ and drops to 1,640 fps at 500 yds (460 ft/lbs) with 65 inches of drop with a 100 yard zero while .277 wolverine with a 110gr gets about 2,500 fps in a 16″ (1,529 ft/lbs energy) and drops to 1491 fps at 500 yards (543 ft/lbs) with 78 inches of drop at 500 yds with a 100 yard zero. How is having more energy with fairly similar drop not outperforming?

          • Form Factor

            … you just dont get it right …

            You want adequat velocity, 3000fps, from a projectile that has maximum weight for its diameter, 110grain for .277 is absolutly nothing, and you need a good Form Factor (aerodynamic shape) something .277 has the exact OPPOSITE.

            G7BC = (weight : (diameter x diameter) : 7000) : Form Factor

            Which means .277w does it as bad as it can get.

            FAR FAR FAR FAR better rounds are possible with ease. Stop even bothering about the utterly dumb .277w its pure junk, and has not the slightest change for adoption in your lifetime ever.

          • Because you might want to double check your figures.

            Let’s start with the muzzle energy. I am highly dubious of the claim that anything like a factory .277 Wolverine could get over 2,000 J of muzzle energy with a 16″ barrel. It has about 27 grains of case capacity, versus 35 grains for 7.62x39mm or ~37 grains for 6.8mm SPC. Compare that with the ~25 grains case capacity of the .300 Blackout. Versus 7.62×39 and .300 Blackout, the swept volume in the bore is also 19% less. So BEST CASE we should see similar energy levels for the .277 Wolverine versus the .300 Blackout. Being charitable, we see .300 Blackout gets about 2,400 ft/s with a 110gr Barnes bullet, which equates to about 1,910 Joules. Since the .277 Wolverine is also using 110gr bullets, and we are assuming the same muzzle energy, that means it will have approximately the same muzzle velocity, too. So 2,400 ft/s is much more reasonable than 2,500 ft/s (which would put it in 7.62×39 or 6.5 Grendel class, which it is clearly not in).

            Now, I’m sure the true believers for the Wolverine would debate me on this. Well, yes, you can take a match barrel and custom handloaded ammo, and probably get more than 2,400 ft/s. But this does not reflect the performance of the round if it were a factory or military round. For an explanation as to why, read this post.

            So we’ve established a muzzle velocity of 2,400 ft/s with a 110gr bullet. There are two viable 110gr bullets for the .277 Wolverine. One is the Hornady BTHP, which has a G7 BC of 0.180. The other is the Nosler 110gr Accubond, which has approximately the same BC. So we will use 0.180.

            The 77gr Sierra BTHP with cannelure of the Mk. 262 has a G7 BC of 0.190. You are right, a muzzle velocity of about 2,700 ft/s is correct for this round from a 16″ barrel. Now, let’s see what these two rounds look like:



            The .277 Wolverine starts with a 220 Joule lead in energy that it quickly gives up, that lead being completely gone by 400 meters. By 500 meters, it has less energy and 50% more drop and 30% more drift. Supersonic range is a full 150 meters less than Mk. 262.

            Of course, since it hits the subsonic flight regime sooner, the drag decreases dramatically at that point, and it begins to regain its energy lead at 660m. By then, it’s too late, because it’s well beyond the round’s effective range anyway. Still, by 1,000m the .277 Wolverine does end up with a 47 Joule lead in energy. Too little too late.

            That’s just with Mk. 262. The butchery is even worse if, say, we used the 77gr TMK instead.

          • Jared Vynn

            2,500 is the published data to work with, and they have been verified from different individuals using chronographs. The 90 gr got 2,700 fps, but has a much lower BC.

            And the .277 is using a Sierra 110gr with a G7 of 1.88 so you are close there. And the .277 loading is a factory loading not a handloading. My original figures are still accurate. If more data comes out showing .277 didn’t perform as many say it does I will revise my position but as is the evidence says the .277 outperforms the 77gr 5.56 at a cost of some extra weight per round. Now I was using Hornady’s ballistic calculator so it’s possible my results could differ from others, but I tried to give all the variables I had.

          • Form Factor

            If you want performance, throw .277w in a damn trashcan. You will get NOWHERE with its diameter, it just doesnt work, its basic physic.

            Look at aerodynamic 5.56 to 6mm for your task, everything else downgrades perfomance exponentially.

          • Jared Vynn

            Physics actually say you are wrong. Look it up in a ballistic calculator yourself using the G7 value of .188 and muzzle velocity of 2,500 and tell me how either the 6×45 or 5.56 can be better with less energy. And that’s less energy out to 1,000 yards.

            At 3,000 fps a 77 gr .223 bullet would have as much energy as the 110gr .277 bullet with roughly the same BC. However since you can’t get above about 2,800 fps with 5.56 you can’t get more energy than the.277 wolverine has.

          • Form Factor

            Its all about aerodynamics. The .277w is fat and light, and shaped extremly bad.

            A 6mm projectile will have a longer nose ogive and much more aerodynamic shape, -really important point: can be brout to maximum weight for its diameter while still having adequat velocity!

            If a really bad shaped 5.56 already has a better BC. Than just imagine a really aerodynamic shaped ~6mm.

            This results in: Much better energy retention at range, much flatter trajectory, much less wind drift, much higher supersonic range.

            While having more steel penetration, less recoil, and less overall weight.

          • Jared Vynn

            Aerodynamics are meaningless next to physical speed and mass. And to achieve the superior aerodynamics you need much longer bullets which in turn weigh more and go slower. The 77 gr bullets for 22 Cal and and the 90gr for .243(6mm) in a cartridge of comparable length just can’t get the velocity needed to be able to match the .277 for energy let alone over take it. The 77 gr must be moving 3,000 while the 90 gr has to exceed 2,700 and there are no cartridges that can achieve that within the confiness of a 2.26 OAL except maybe 22 nosler which hits just under 3,000 fps with a 77 gr, but it does so with a 20″ barrel and drops to about 2,800 in a 16″.

            As you decrease cartridge size (not caliber mind you) you have to decrease bullet length and weight or case length and capacity if not both bullet length/weight and case length/capacity. You can mitigate the needed decreases by changing caliber up or down; going up let’s you use heavier bullets for the same given length while going down let’s you use lighter bullets with greater velocity. You have to strike a balance between bullet and case size for cartridge design within limited specifications and this balance precludes the more aerodynamic 22 or 243 caliber from competing with the heavier and higher energy .277 caliber for an ar15 cartridge. You simply can’t get the needed velocity out of them without changing the diameter of the case which causes a new set of consequences.

          • Form Factor

            At first, “weight more” that only half of the equation. Important is the shape, with a good shape you have a lighter projectile with higher BC than a bad shaped heavy one… And therefore get the velocity with no problem.

            We talk about next generation rounds right, not outdated commercial garbage. So a key is far more progressive propellant.

            And to .277w , infront of me stays an Aerodynamic 5.56 (far better and faster than the 77grain), that completly sh*ts on .277w at range.

            -Much higher energy at range, much flatter trajectory, much less wind drift, much higher supersonic (supression) range. At less weight and recoil. Also more steel penetration.

          • Jared Vynn

            shape is USELESS when you cant use it.
            You need HEAVIER bullets to get LONGER bullets to get BETTER BC. you cant escape this fact. I have given actual numbers not vague hyperbole. Fact is for 5.56 the 77 gr can overtake the 277 at 300 yards if at the muzzle they are going 2,700 and 2,400 respectively. However with with 2,500 fps in the 277 this range extends to 425 yards (now that I have the correct BC for the 277 I can get much better data, thanks to Nathaniel) which is still a good range for a carbine that the 277 is intended for. And interestingly enough at 2,500 fps muzzle velocity the 277 will overtake the 5.56 at 750 yards for energy even after being overtaken itself at 425 yards. And steel penetration is a matter of bullet construction which would change all the BC and other values we are working with and is largely meaningless speculation. Start putting up actual figures please rather than vague hyperboles.

          • Form Factor

            Steel penetration is at one part a matter of bullet construction but thats by far not all. For your low energy a .277 diameter is incredible thick, the area is 38,879158mm² = 48,8693710908 J/mm².
            5.56×45 has … 66,5105079129 J/mm² … nothing left to say…

            And steel plate testers can tell you well “speed kills”, and 2400fps is just a joke.

            As said .277w is not worth to even look at. Its pure utter garbage, and totally underperforms. Never in your lifetime it has the slightest chance of military adoption absolute ever.

            And no you dont magically need a “heavier bullet”, aerodynamic shaped projectiles tend to be midweight, lighter than bad shaped ones.

          • Jared Vynn

            You need 77 gr for 22 caliber and 90 gr for 243 which is the heavier for said calibers.

            Nothing magical, its pure science and physics which you seem to have trouble grasping oddly. To achieve the better aerodynamics you must lengthen the bullet as you decrease the caliber. But when you have a limited OAL you can only use so long of bullets which limits the aerodynamic profiles you can achieve. You cant escape this part of physics. 2,400 fps btw is no joke, its fairly good for a 110 gr bullet for intermediate ranges and exceeds performance of other calibers and cartridges of similar weight, not every cartridge is meant to be purely for distance especially not those designed for carbines or with a short over all length.

            I have consistently given examples of cartridges within the 2.26 OAL limitations that using superior aerodynamics fail to outperform the 277 as they cant achieve the needed velocity, but you keep hand waving and insisting the 277 is garbage because it is not aerodynamic enough. Its time to admit that there is far more to cartridge design and performance than just the bullets shape, otherwise no one will take you serious.

          • Form Factor

            I never said 77grain in the first place… My 5.56 projectile is lighter, faster and still has a quite a bit higher BC than the .277w

            Sure there are OAL restrictions, with your cartridges you wont come far. My still has the same high velocity out of a smaller case due to 3 key aspects.

          • I agree with you that there’s far more to cartridge design than just bullet shape (how the bullet performs when it hits a target is actually more important). However, there’s nothing outstanding about the .277 Wolverine, either. Ballistically, it’s pretty much worse than heavy bullet 5.56mm (not meaningfully better muzzle energy, inferior energy retention, poor trajectory). It’s better than .300 Blackout in this respect, I suppose, but excellent exterior ballistics was never really the point of the .300 Blackout anyway.

            You wanna shoot .277 Wolverine? Go ahead. I bet it kills deer stone dead. Most rifle rounds do, if you shoot well and use appropriate bullets. But it’s not a great caliber, and it’s definitely no ballistic wonder.

          • Thing is, .277 Wolverine isn’t a factory round. It’s a wildcat. So yeah, maybe someone’s loads are that hot, but that doesn’t appear to reflect what factory ammo would be like. Argue all you want, the numbers just don’t shake out. There’s nothing magical about that round.

            And yeah, there is evidence that I’m right. William of the Wound Channel tested the .277 Wolverine through an 18″ barrel and got 2,368 ft/s with a 110gr Sierra. From a 16″ barrel, that means you’re looking at a little over 2,300 ft/s and only 1,800 J or so.

            Now, he did chrono the 100gr Accubond at 2,666, so loads clearly vary in how hot they are. But there’s no magic here. Spec out a factory round at a normal operating pressure (~54,000 PSI), and I bet you don’t get much over 2,400 ft/s.

            You’re using Sierra 110gr Pro-Hunters? Well, for a start, you shouldn’t be measuring those with G7 BCs, since they don’t fit the G7 BC drag model (they are flat-based, not boat-tailed). Instead, G1 or G8 is more appropriate. We can reference Sierra’s G1 BC chart for that bullet, and we see that the average BC over 0-500 yards will be about 0.308 G1:


            The G8 model might be a better fit, though, so we need to use JBM’s converter for that:


            So here’s what it looks like with both models:



            Using the G1 model, your round drops below the energy of Mk. 262 at 200m. At 500m, it has 68% more drop and 54% more drift. Mk. 262 stays supersonic for 180 more meters. Using a frag/expansion threshold of 2,200 ft/s (roughly correct for both bullets), the Mk. 262 beats the .277 195 meters to 65 meters (i.e., it has triple the critical range). The subsonic flight envelope and bullet weight only begin to pay off for the .277 in energy at 690 meters.

            Using the G8 model, things look downright grim for the .277. Mk. 262 beats the Wolverine in energy by 210m, which is the only good news. At 500m, the Wolverine has 69% more drop and 60% more drift. Mk. 262 stays supersonic a disgusting 230 meters more (giving it a solid 45% more supersonic range). Frag/expansion limits are the same as with G1. Adding insult to injury, with the G8 model the large subsonic flight envelope and higher bullet weight never pay off. Flat-based pointed projectiles like the Sierra Pro-Hunter simply don’t fly well in the subsonic flight regime, so it never recovers and energy advantage, and by 1,000m it is still short of the Mk. 262 by 30 Joules (17%). Of course by this point, the .277 Wolverine is almost 500m beyond its max effective range, and Mk. 262 about 250m beyond its.

            Yeah, not impressed with that.

            I’ve heard the same stuff you’re saying from fans of numerous wildcats and niche rounds. It’s SOP for folks to inflate the performance of their favorite round. Add a few hundred feet per second to the velocity, use an unrealistic ballistic coefficient, and suddenly the .261/222 Magnum Ackley Special looks like some kind of wunder round loaded with bullets carved from unicorn horns and powder made from dragon dung. Well, great for the handloaders. I am glad they can push a round to its limits. That’s not possible for a factory tasked with making millions or billions of rounds per year that have to function safely in thousands or hundreds of thousands of guns.

            In order to see what a round would really look like, you need a more sober attitude towards it. Don’t let enthusiasm blind you into believing the magical promises of wildcatters and barrel sellers. There’s no such thing as a “magic” round, not in the wildcat world, anyway.

    • Raven

      I’ve heard 6.5 Grendel reduces bolt life in AR platforms due to the opened-up bolt face (being based indirectly on 7.62×39).

      • Form Factor

        Smaller lugs, and larger casehead therefore much more force (area x pressure). Two things that cant fit together worse.

      • int19h

        Presumably that could be fixed by building on AR-10 platform instead, just like some companies are doing with 7.62×39.

        • Raven

          Yeah, but then you might as well just go with 6.5 Creedmoor or .260 Rem.

  • Dougscamo

    Oh no!….a 6.5 in the US military! Iksnilol will be insufferable now….

  • Get over it fanbois

    The obvious winner would be a modified M27. Which is going to be an
    interim rifle. The DOD now sees .264 USA as a viable replacement for
    5.56. In brass/metal cased temporarily with polymer case and possible
    caseless variants in the future. Of course this assumes the USMC goes with the safe option. They seem bent on making M27 pure fleet whether. the nostalgia crowd likes it or not.
    While the army seems to want a 6mm CSASS. Both will stick around until the LSAT LMG,LSAT Carbine, LWMMG and Next Generation Squad Automatic rifle are deployed to the front lines.

    The final nail in the coffin for the legacy systems would be the adoption of a semi automatic .338 NM DMR. A few Lapua DMRs already exist. So it’s not impossible to downsize them for Norma.

    • A modified M27 doesn’t seem cost competitive with an upgraded M4. Not unless HK drops their bid substantially and proves they were scalping people all along. I’m sure that would make the French happy.

      Not sure “the DoD” sees .264 USA as a viable replacement for 5.56mm. Some do, sure. A lot of people I’ve talked to don’t, however.

      • noob

        What would happen if the whole USMC fielded .338 Norma Magnum GPMGs and .264USA rifles and squad autos? Would other services follow suit?

        • C

          .264 is neighter optimized nor suited

          • noob

            so what are we looking at? “minor shoulder bruising” or “lost battles and lost wars”?

          • Joshua

            USASOC and practically the whole of SOCOM Have no plans to move away from M855A1.

        • Well, that would make waves, certainly. I am not sure that’s very likely, however.

      • iksnilol

        Though a 6.5mm would be a vast improvement over 7.62×51.

        • Form Factor

          Just because something is better than some insanly bad and quite old, doesnt mean its any good…

          6.5 (6,7mm) is not optimum of what can be done at all. Therefore could result in an incredible potential waste.

          • iksnilol

            I agree, 4.7mm hypervelocity needle like projectiles are the future.

            Also, you are really annoying with the “WAAAH! Everything sucks, except for my super secret squirrel design that’s sooo good that it doesn’t exist” spiel. No offense.

          • ostiariusalpha
          • Major Tom

            Seriously. If this guy knows so much (allegedly) why doesn’t he design, patent, build and sell this mythical unicorn of a perfect cartridge and make more money than God?

          • Form Factor

            Stating a basic fact, ..and than this. Im not saying everything sucks, just that it drastically unperperforms, i dont care if some hunter uses some random round, but when it gets to a fully new military adoption you want perfection.

            Otherwise entire NATO changes to a round that drasically underperforms, even tough far better is possible with ease. Thats a waste of money, an an insane waste of potential.

          • iksnilol

            Well, no offense, but how are you the only one who knows that everything underperforms? Is Lapua or Hornady wrong with their match ammo, does their ammo underperform from your perspective?

            Perfection is a mental disease, it is physically impossible. Lamenting that crap will drive you mad.

          • Form Factor

            Yes perfection is a disease, but im addicted to it. I mean it dont have to be “perfect”, but atleast close to it.

            Yes Lapua and Hornady projectiles are comperable unaerodynamic fo theyr weight. But that doesnt even matter, its civillian ammo, not in the same level as a NATO adoption over decades.

          • iksnilol

            But us lowly civilians usually push the envelope further than the military ever does… and we shoot to more stringent standards than they do (for the most part). So dismissing Lapua and Hornady because it’s “just civilian ammo” is a bit silly of thee.

            And also, you’re obsessed with aeorodynamics, right? But what happens when you have to sacrifice some aerodynamics in favor of better terminal effect (IE barrier blind ammo or fragmenting/tumbling)?

          • Form Factor

            No im not dismissing it, im saying its unaerodynamic for theyr weight. Which does not matter, it doesnt need to be, its buyed by individuals, like hunters and target shooters, that dont need to carry hundrets of rounds.

            This argument is absolutly senceless, i know what you mean sure but, shape is a totally diffrent thing than projectile construction.

  • Reality

    lol the .264 is a pure piece of totally underperforming garbage…

    • Jarrad

      How so?

      • Sticky-eye Rivers

        Because he doesn’t like it. Alternative Facts.

      • Yeah, I’m a bit stumped too.

        • Reality

          Nathaniel, we both know it totally underperforms, if not you might forgot certain physical formulas.

          • Vitor Roma

            So what is the BC of the projectile that you are so assured it is awful?

          • Reality

            Its not the BC itself. Its the BC for its diameter, the BC for its weight, the BC for its Recoil. Its bad trajectory, its wind drift. Its overall weight and recoil.

            If anything calls it a such substantial word as “perfect” than thats the worst joke ive ever heard.

          • Major Tom

            Form Factor, is that you?

          • Reality

            Yes, i always use 2 names FF and Reality, not sure why, just got used to it. When you enter youre name it shows the two names, and i just click on one.

          • iksnilol

            That’s stupid. Like, doo-doo stupid.

          • Reality

            Maybe youre right, it might be time to make an disqus an account.

          • iksnilol

            Imagine all the upvotes you could have gotten.

          • Guest

            And so the .264 is just awful and not massively better than the .30 calibers we’re fielding now?? I mean, I’m an open-to-new-ideas sort of guy, but everything I’ve seen, basically anything .264 flavored will kick the .308 six ways to Sunday…

          • Reality

            Ofcourse because .308 is old and outdated. .264 is a new Round optimized for performance, made from the ground up, thats an entire diffrent thing, and thats where it lacks greatly. For it beeing new it totally underperforms.

            Infront of me on my desk stays a Round with slightly less Recoil, but has 110% more performance (/210% the performance) of brass cased 123gr .264USA, and 95% more (/195% the performance) to poly-steel cased 123gr .264USA , considering energy, trajectory, wind drift, at 1200m and overall cartridge weight. Not even calculating supersonic range in.
            And thats the unperfected variant.

            For the Marksmenship Unit as 7.62×51 replacement for theyr M40, but actually close to perfected. Thats the key word, perfection, and Dr.Roberts missused it eighter by accident or lack of aerodynamic knowledge.

          • ClintTorres

            Reality/FF, either you’re some sort of visionary genius who sees things we ordinary folks are oblivious to or you are just plain ignorant of the accepted tenets of external ballistics.

          • Form Factor

            Choose yourself. But 200% the performance, might say that i know how to fully optimize Rounds.

          • The round you keep talking about doesn’t seem to exist in more than just words.

          • Form Factor

            Yeah sure im a wizard… Im a bit disappointed of you, you know much better is possible.

          • What I’m saying is that if you want to go around saying you’ve got a round that can do “200% better”, you should probably back it up with at least a teaser image or something.

          • Form Factor

            Yeah ofcourse, and next sent every bit of data into your post office box.

            I not “go around”, i just say a Military adoption in the extrem size of NATO, should better be one heck of an optimized round in every aspect. I dont want this round to get adopted for standart Infantery at all. Its made for contering the .264usa as a 7.62×51 replacement, to show how much better is possible for the same recoil.

            And lower weight, flatter trajectory, less wind drift, higher supersonic range. Simple.

          • Well, if you don’t want to share anything, then what do you get out of getting on here and making unsupported claims that make people think you might be full of it? How does that help you?

          • Form Factor

            Sorry i might sound not nice sometimes, idk. Its just that better is possible.

          • I’m just saying you’re making the kind of impression you probably don’t want to make.

          • Form Factor

            I dont care about any impressions. I care about physics. Doesnt matter, have an nice day.

          • Like for example. I have designed a set of rounds that could hypothetically improve the fragmentation threshold of M855A1 by 70%. Aaaaand here’s a picture of those rounds:


          • Form Factor

            Looks good, performs ok. Not nearly in the same Liga however in dozends of aspects.

            Your rounds look nice but have 3 fatal flaws.

          • Yeah, see that sort of thing doesn’t really help you. You can’t convince everyone that you’re clever by yelling “I’M SUPER CLEVER” at them. That actually tends to make them think the opposite.

          • Form Factor

            Which i dont care much about. Im not trying to “convince” someone, rather just state a fact, thats not something that makes me “smart” and i have no reason to.

          • Fine, but why waste your time arguing with people when you can’t back up a lot of what you say due to IP reasons? I mean, I dive into the comments for a few reasons: 1, I enjoy it. 2, I am paid to do it. 3, I want to engage with people. So there you go. For you? What do you get?

          • Form Factor

            I usually enjoy it, in normal articels, everything is nice and calm.

            This however is this type of article where i more care about physics.
            And how should i resist answering when someone writes to me, impossible.

          • I should make clear that I’m not saying I don’t want you here, I just don’t get why you argue the way you do. It doesn’t seem to get you anywhere.

            It’s not like I think you’re all that wrong, either. Form factor is an important design consideration, and I do think there’s a lot of ammunition concepts that haven’t been explored.

          • Form Factor

            As said, cant resist answering.

            And you know, there really are one or two things you cant calculate. Its not the slightest that youre not intelligent enough, youre one of the most intelligent i know it this area, you just dont have the calculator to to it, so an outcome is always diffrent.

            And thanks for saying that, really.

          • Vitor Roma

            BC for diameter makes no sense, since BC already takes the whole shape of the bullet in consideration.

          • Reality

            It does. Im talking BC for its diameter in therms of whats the max EPR G7BC for its diameter practically possible.

          • Vitor Roma

            So tell us the BC, so we can compare to the BC of the M855A1 and M80A1.

          • It accepts bullets with form factors at least as fine as 0.92. Not sure I see the problem.

          • Reality

            As said a bit further down in %. Far better is possible. It would be an absolute insane potential waste.

          • Well, not quite. Remember, form factor isn’t free. The finer and finer you go, the longer and longer your bullet has to be for a given sectional density. The longer your bullet is, the more it pushes on the limit of what’s possible for a military ammunition system. So ultra low FF bullets with high SDs might, for example, make stabilization in all conditions difficult, or make a pyrotechnic tracer that had a close enough trajectory problematic to design.

            Is the .264 USA perfect? No, but it’s still pretty high performance. And anyway, if your only criticism is form factor, then you can just let out the OAL by fifty thou. It’s not like there’s a bunch of rifles already restricted to the 2.6″ OAL.

          • Reality

            Nathaniel, you forgot basic aerodynamic laws. I know what you mean, but it greatly lacks in one point.

          • Oh, what did I forget?

          • Still waiting. 🙂

    • Walter E. Kurtz

      Quote from DOCGKR, perhaps THE subject matter expert on small arms ammunition and their terminal effectiveness: .”264 USA is just about perfect as a traditional cartridge for military use.” So what’s your beef Reality? What to you know that Dr. Roberts doesn’t? The horror…..the horror….

      • Reality

        Than this Dr.Roberts has absolutly no idea about aerodynamics and ballistics, i dont give a damn about him.

        Physics doesnt change.

        • Joshua

          Well he’s a navy dentist…so.

          • Bucho4Prez

            So he knows his way around a filthy mouth…

      • Hmmm, well I wouldn’t indulge Roberts quite that much.

  • Raginzerker

    why is it so difficult for the U.S to obtain new rifles?

    • randomswede

      I’m thinking it’s either “But we already have all these X.”; as in We already have stockpiles of .30-06 we aren’t adopting an arguably better round for the new semiautomatic rifle.
      Or, as in the case of the AR-15, the rifle in use is “super OK”, that is; there are rifles that are incrementally better on almost all “stats”, but either the M16Ax+1 can shorten the gap (see first argument) or “It’s only incrementally better we are holding out for the first truly revolutionary jump in weapons development!”.

      • Major Tom

        Aka stupidity.

        • randomswede

          For a Neophile such as me it seems shortsighted and/or stingy (as in saving millions on rifles to spend billions on some sinkhole of a project).

      • CommonSense23

        What rifles are better than the AR15?

        • randomswede

          If you are here, asking that question in earnest it’s unlikely that we’d ever agree.

          • Joshua

            So you can’t say?

          • randomswede

            Interesting interpretation.

            What I actually mean is; I’d say “the HK416 is better than the AR-15”, and you would say “That is an AR-15” and I’d say “It uses a different trigger system, it’s an over the barrel piston and has polygonal rifling to name a few easy standouts” and you’d say “It’s heavy and expensive, not really an improvement anyways” and I’d say “fine, the SIG MCX” and you’d say “AR-15, expensive, not battle proven, not really an improvement” and so i’d respond with “It’s closer to an AR-18 wrapped in an AR-15 but OK, the Remington ACR, Radom MSBS both have massive potential as service rifles” and you’d say “but the ACR is a commercial failure and the MSBS might never make it into the US civilian market” my response would be “That has no real bearing on a service rifle or if they are incrementally better than the AR-15” your response would be something like “The cost of an M4A1 or an M16A4 is only $750 a piece for the state, an ACR is twice that” and so I’d make the case that that price would go way down if the size of the procurement was in the hundreds of thousands of rifles, you’d agree to a point but argue that “it’s unlikely to become cheaper than the AR-15 that’s already in service and it’s only an incremental improvement at best, who knows how that plastic would hold up over time we all know what happened with the G36” and I’d say “They said that about the AR-15 with it’s aluminum receivers and plastic furniture, also the ACR is 10 years younger than the G36 and introduced after a major leap in computer aided design, further more it’s not really a cut and dry case if the G36 is a flawed design” and so you’d point out that “Germany is spending a large amount of money to replace it, and they are probably going to replace it with the RS-556 and that’s an AR-15” and I’d stick to my technicalities “It’s more like a Steyr AUG wrapped in an AR-15, also my money’s on the HK 433, and that’s pretty much an ACR” and you’ll counter with “but made by HK so it will be even more expensive” and so we would dance through time on a never ending round of “Top Trumps”.

            Of course your actual arguments would be much more articulate and you might even feel that my simulated version of you was on the winning side of this argument; if so that proves my point.

            The AR-15, it’s derivatives and evolutionary steps are great rifles and if I had to go to war with one tomorrow that would be fine, but in my opinion there are better rifles that are simply considered “not significantly better”.

            As you are on this forum, implying that I can’t name a rifle better than the AR-15, in earnest; it’s unlikely we’ll ever agree on this matter.

        • Treiz

          Such a thing does not currently exist.

        • OldHand241

          Kinda depends on where one is standing. For those familiar with the M1 manual of arms, the operation and maintenance of Ruger’s Mini-14 is instinctive. The biggest problem with the Mini-14 is Ruger’s crappy bedding practices. Give it the same bedding treatment as the M1 and M14 and it’s easily a 3 min. rifle (better than a standard-issue M4. Most folks fault the magazines – especially the cost. If the Mini had been adopted by a major military organization, there would have been thousands, if not millions, of good surplus magazines at reasonable prices; and the plethora of shoddy companies making shoddy magazines would have long ago gone out of business.

          One can easily argue the Stoner’s AR18/180 was actually a considerable improvement over the AR15. Getting rid of that stupid buffer tube was genius.

          • CommonSense23

            What? Have you seen how much maintenance a M1 or M14 requires vs a AR15 or AR10? Or how horrible the M1 or M14 is with sand or mud or dirt. And the M4A1 is roughly a 2 minute gun. Its allowed to be up to 4 minutes due to use of with M855. The AR15 is a cheaper more accurate and far more reliable gun than any mini 14.

      • OldHand241

        It’s worth remembering that the M16 was first adopted by the Air Force as a replacement for the Carbine, M1. It that case, it was a definite step up. Once Armalite had their foot in the door …

        • randomswede

          Essentially this article is about the USMC creating a similar “loophole” by means of the M27 to semi replace the M249.

    • For a whole bunch of reasons, after World War II the US Army’s procurement system for small arms basically collapsed.

      • KestrelBike

        Have you/can you do an article on how/why “after World War II the US Army’s procurement system for small arms basically collapsed.”?

        • noob

          This – I’d like to know how it got to this point and why

          • Major Tom

            Of what I know of the matter there are two names who are responsible either directly or indirectly. Robert McNamara and Eugene Stoner.

          • noob

            and that whole Sullaloy split barrel thing that killed the AR-10.

            Although I note that the AR-10 and Robinson XCR had the deck stacked against them during trials. The XCR was rejected from the SCAR trials on a technicality because they were late to deliver a blank firing adapter – but the XCR took M16 BFAs which made it ridiculous.

            I bet there will be a big cast of characters to point fingers at.

          • McNamara, sort of, though it’s wrong to lay all the blame on his shoulders.

            Stoner!? Um, no.

          • Major Tom

            Stoner is not directly responsible, but the shenanigans surrounding the AR-10’s entry into the program that brought us the M-14 (technically according to the rules, it wasn’t supposed to be there, Stoner missed the deadline) and the initial adoption of the M16 without following proper adoption procedure meant that indirectly the collapse of US military procurement effectiveness can be attributed to him in part. A small part yes, but a part nonetheless.

            McNamara may not be entirely directly responsible but he is the “face” of why it went to crap.

          • You’ve got your history of the AR-10 wrong, and the cause and effect of the M16’s adoption backwards.

          • Folks tend to forget that Springfield routinely evaluated small arms outside of any formal procurement program. The AR-10 was never really part of the T44 vs T48 trials. Even if the AR-10 had not blown its barrel at Springfield, it was still too late to stop the adoption of the T44.

        • Pete Sheppard

          For starters you can read up on ‘Springfield Armory’ (the gov’t one) and M14 development. It turned into such a mess that the place was closed down. You should also find references to other small-arms procurement headaches.

        • It’s a big tangly subject, but I’ll see what I can do.

        • gunsandrockets

          The short answer is LBJ strangled it.

          The longer answer would include the claim the FUBAR goes back farther, to the Civil War.

          The true answer is that both of those are wrong, and as bad as the Army is (and it’s bad) it still isn’t as awful the critics say.

        • Ben Post

          Yes, please

    • Paul Labrador

      1) the procurement system is designed to ensure that a weapon isn’t chosen because someone is getting kickbacks from the company.

      2) there really isn’t a reason to replace the M16/M4 until something significantly better is available. And while there are weapons out there that may have some better individual features, nothing is significantly better. The M16 is still the gold standard for western assault rifles. Just because it’s been around for a while doesn’t mean it’s an obsolete design. And being modular, you can upgrade it at will for a fraction of the cost of adopting a totally new weapon system.

  • Form Factor

    “Noted that it is NOT a request – purely exploratory in nature”

    THANK GOD, everything else would become a complete disater.

    While this is a good idea for technology exploration.

  • QuadGMoto

    I wonder if Desert Tech will propose the MDR. It would seem to do well… except for the weight. And no adjustable stock. And that IT’S NOT SHIPPING YET!

    Sorry about the yelling. That’s really become a sore spot.

    • RSG

      It’s vaporware. And desert tech hasn’t done itself any favors in the reliability department. Not sure there’s any confidence they can produce anything, let alone fulfill any gov contracts.

      • QuadGMoto

        “Reliability department”? What do you mean?

        They’ve been making bolt action rifles for years. Those are apparently highly reliable, fantastic rifles.

        • RSG

          I don’t mean reliable regarding proper mechanical function. The reliable I’m referring to is that the company can NOT be relied on to fulfill its obligations.

          • QuadGMoto

            Which obligations do you mean?

          • RSG

            Are you unaware or are you being obtuse? Outside of just a few remaining “true believers” they have lost the confidence to produce working firearms to the general public. Their once promising bull pup adventures has turned into an industry joke. And I have no doubt that any military procurement division would be well aware of their inability to deliver.

          • QuadGMoto

            I can think of at least two competing obligations: To ship when they say they will ship and to ship a product that meets their stated standards. If the product does not meet their standards at the stated ship date, which obligation is more important?

          • RSG

            Except they are BOTH failures. Either they failed to ship or they failed to build to their expected quality. It’s not like they’ve missed these “deadlines” by months. We are talking in YEARS. Essentially, their only track record is of non performing failure. It’s unacceptable in the civilian market, let alone for a govt contract.

          • QuadGMoto

            they failed to build to their expected quality.

            Really? They’re shipping a defective product?!?

          • RSG

            I posted a comment with a link so it’s waiting for approval.

            I hadn’t realized they were shipping. According to DT own website, they say they are not. Another excuse. That’s the link I was trying to provide. Anyway- when they finally do, it will be too little, too late. The true believers will be happy, though.

          • QuadGMoto

            They’re not shipping. That’s the point. A product is not “defective” prior to shipment when it’s still undergoing development and testing. Heck, that’s why the development process is called a “process”. Until they start shipping, it is unreasonable to slam them for poor quality.

            Underestimating the length of that development process is a problem, but it is also normal. A development process completing and meeting its goals is actually the exception, not the rule.

          • john huscio

            Even if it wasn’t Vaporware, what does it offer over battle tested and proven systems like the AUG and Tavor?

          • QuadGMoto

            What do you mean by “Vaporware”?

            Were the AUG and Tavor first shipped as “battle tested and proven” rifles? Should the army have rejected the M-1 Garand because it wasn’t “battle tested”?

          • iksnilol

            Vaporware = software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed.

          • QuadGMoto

            And yet, when it comes to DT, that word is frequently used as if it means “nonexistent”.

          • iksnilol

            Because it is non-existent.

          • QuadGMoto

            That’s funny. So what did the people at the NRA convention fire? Was it their imaginations?

          • iksnilol

            It isn’t manufactured. You can’t count a couple of prototypes.

            It is non-existent on the market.

          • QuadGMoto

            So those pictures and videos of parts being manufactured are fakes?

          • iksnilol

            I don’t know, you tell me.

            As far as I know, when a rifle is actually manufactured, it gets sold and shipped to customers. Considering they’ve accepted people’s money but not given them the product promised. That doesn’t look good.

          • QuadGMoto

            Your position aligns with “fakes”. After all, companies don’t manufacture something that is “non-existent.”

          • iksnilol

            They could have been making prototypes.

            They sure as heck weren’t manufacturing the rifles they sold to gullible people who trusted them.

          • QuadGMoto

            Again, why all the hate and hard feelings? Did someone from DT kick your dog and shoot your truck?

          • iksnilol

            Again, why all the love for a dishonest company?

            You are whining about me voicing legitimate criticism of a company, just because you are irrationally attached to that company.

          • QuadGMoto


            Again, what makes you assume they’re dishonest? It is that very assumption and insisting on the worst possible view of them that leads to the reasonable conclusion that you hate them.

            irrationally attached

            When my very first post on the topic included a complaint about them? So now you’re hating on me too???

          • iksnilol

            Accepting money for a product you haven’t delivered for like 2 years past the date you said you would deliver it. That is dishonest. You can’t excuse such unprofessional behaviour.

            No, you’re just being obtuse.

          • QuadGMoto

            How is May 2017 “two years” after 2nd Quarter 2016 (ending in June), the date they estimated when they started taking orders.

            Also, stuff does get delayed in business. Stuff happens. Why does such a delay seem to require your hatred, especially when it’s mostly not your money on the line?

            (For the record, I do have an order for an MDR in with a dealer, not directly with DT.)

          • iksnilol

            It was showcased in 2014, I was assuming they’d start shipping next year in 2015 or so.

            But still, a delay for a year is stil unacceptable. And I am perplexed by how you not only accept but applaud such bad customer service.

          • QuadGMoto

            Again, you are misrepresenting me. Knock it OFF!!!

            I was assuming…

            So they failed to meet your assumptions, and that’s justification for hating them?

            BTW, re: “gullible people who trusted them.”

            There is only a problem for the people who trusted them if the rifles are never delivered or are delivered prematurely, in incomplete form. Both of those are outcomes your hatred would cause if that was widespread. Your attempts to drive business away from DT—which could produce either of those results—is also harming the very people you claim to be offended on behalf of. Your hatred still does not make sense.

            Engineering problems (science applied to reality) do not care about emotional overreactions. Though I am annoyed by the delays, I’m not stupid enough to think that just because I want it now means that it will come any faster.

          • iksnilol

            Again, it is you throwing the word “hate”. I just find them a dishonest company and wouldn’t do business with them.

            So au contraire, you should knock it off by claiming I hate the company.

          • QuadGMoto

            Here are your words:

            they’re not shipping it at all.


            the company is unreliable and is not to be trusted

            their bullpup bolt action is a ripoff

            it is non-existent

            It isn’t manufactured

            They could have been making prototypes.

            They sure as heck weren’t manufacturing the rifles they sold to gullible people…

            dishonest company

            irrationally attached to that company


            unprofessional behaviour

            You have not written a single positive, even merely even handed, statement about them. Not one. But you have posted these numerous wildly negative statements and blatantly making the worst possible assumptions about them and any defense of them or pointing out of common business issues and practices. How could it be anything but hate?

          • iksnilol

            It isn’t hate. It’s all valid criticism. They are dishonest (accepting money for products not delivered now a year after the date).

            And yes, their bullpup bolt action (their flagship) is basically a carbon copy of the DRS-1.

          • Kivaari

            Lke the Ruger XGI?

          • kzrkp

            that would be your fault entirely, for pre-ordering. nobody twists people’s arms to pay ahead of time, production delays happen.
            if you pre-order that risk is your choice, not theirs.

          • Phil Hsueh

            This sort of thing happens all of the time in the software industry, there has been many cases of a company advertising some new game, complete with in game footage or even a demo, only for it to never see the light of day. I think that this is what we have here, a working prototype with no finished/final product in sight.

          • QuadGMoto

            The key is “never coming to market.” If a company is spending money to make parts then they certainly don’t consider the project dead. In that case, to insist there will definitely not be an end is not reasonable.

            That the project could fail is reasonable. Any project could fail, even if all is going well. But it is the over “we want to see it fail/ it’s gotta fail” hatred that makes no sense to me.

          • Phil Hsueh

            I’m not saying that they intend or plan on the project failing, what company does that? Just that a lot of companies go in with the best of intentions but end up failing anyway for any number of reasons from being overly ambitious and getting in over their heads to sudden and drastic economic downturns.

          • QuadGMoto

            That is true. What I’m saying is that a missed date—or even a bunch of them—is not automatically the equivalent of “vaporware.”

          • Uniform223

            “What I’m saying is that a missed date”

            > they missed dateS (“s” at the end making it plural). Desert Tech has been showing off and advertising this design and rifle for some time now. What people (Like me) are sore about is that it feels like Desert Tech is just dragging us along by keeping our hopes up and not delivering. How many times have they show cased it in shot show already? They keep saying “soon”, but how soon is soon for them? Next year? The year after that? What is taking so long?

          • iksnilol

            No, they’re not shipping it at all. And they constantly use the excuse that they don’t want to ship until it is made correctly to their standards.

            Considering they’ve delayed it by years then it means they’ve not managed to build it to their standard because they wouldn’t ship a “defective” product.

            You are really denser than iridium.

          • QuadGMoto

            they constantly use the excuse that they don’t want to ship until it is made correctly to their standards.

            Is there anything wrong about having such standards? Do you consider meeting a promised ship date to be a higher obligation than meeting the standards they want to meet?

          • iksnilol

            Notice how I said “excuse” and not “valid reason”

          • QuadGMoto

            So you’re assuming that they’re lying?

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, the company is unreliable and is not to be trusted.

            Their only original idea (their bullpup bolt action is a ripoff of the DSR-1) can’t be brought to the market due to “internal reasons”.

          • QuadGMoto


            Why all the hate and hard feelings? Did someone from DT kick your dog and shoot your truck?

          • iksnilol

            No, if they shot my car they wouldn’t be alive.

            I just appreciate honest work.

          • lol

            QuadG, please seek help immediately. There is no reason to continue this thread.

          • QuadGMoto

            I did not realize that patience was no longer a virtue, and that hostility and toxicity at the smallest slight have taken its place. My apologies.

    • FOC Ewe

      There is zero chance the USMC would consider equiping Riflemen with bullpups.

    • LCON

      Zero chance. The Marines are not looking to replace the Service rifle, The Issues with the M4 are such that it can be fixed with a rebuild what is needed is an “M4A2” Alterations to the carbine to adapt it better to the stresses of the M855A1 and modernize it.

      • QuadGMoto

        I’m not sure from this article whether this RFI is targeted at updating the existing platform or whether other platforms are to be considered as possibilities. Some things (like the gas block spec) do seem to suggest the narrow “update the existing platform” path. If so, then I can’t argue with what you’ve written.

        • LCON

          I point away as the Army did trial other rifles with the M855A1 including piston operated rifles, those weapons might have fared well with M855 but after a few thousand rounds of M855A1 they suffered some of the same issues as the M4A1 and HK416.

          • Joshua

            What issues is the M4A1 having with M855A1?

          • LCON

            Life cycle, A Mil Spec M4A1 Barrel with M855 should last about 10,000 rounds. Firing M855A1 that number dropped to 7000 rounds from Wear. It has a higher chamber pressure that can result in higher Rates of fire meaning more wear and tear. Cracked bolts Sheared Lugs, but that should be expected. The round is higher pressure it’s like running your street car on Jet fuel, You are going to get more energy from the car but also a higher mechanic bill. M4A1 and M4 were built for M855 ammo M855A1 is a hotter load.

          • Joshua

            Your info is old.

            Chamber pressure is down to slightly below M855. As is port pressure.

            Barrel wear however is increased, but that will happen with any long, solid copper round.

            The bearing surface on M855A1 is solid copper.

            A dense, solid copper projectile, with a long bearing surface will of course wear out barrels faster than a softer bimetal jacket with less bearing surface.

            Reduced barrel life from M855A1 is also seen in units using brown tip ammo because of a 70gr open tip solid copper projectile.

    • Uniform223

      Every time I read a comment that brings up desert tech’s MDR I immediately think of people who are stuck in “the friendzone”.

      It’s been how many years now? Seriously. Either put out the damn thing or drop it. Stop leading people on.

  • RSG

    No operating requirements (DI or piston) or weight requirements. And if they are looking for target suggestions…..there are plenty of them in the Middle East.

    • Treiz

      “Novel approaches to lightweight rifle and ammunition”
      Would seem to DQ the piston designs…

      • Rob

        How do you figure that out of that statement. If anything that is implying that they want to break the status quo of DI. The MCX is a light weapon system with a piston. This probably hinds ant advanced materials selection suck as AiLi alloy receivers and Carbon fiber handguards.

        We have been married to the ar15 design for a long time and for good reason. But it is important not to be dogmatic and limit future innovation because of it.

        • Treiz

          Any new whizbang materials that can be used to make a piston system lighter can also be used to make a DI system lighter. Recognizing that the DI system is inherently lighter and simpler than any piston system will ever be is not dogma, it is fact. Thus their intention to procure a lightweight solution on it’s face rules out piston designs all things being equal.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            and inherently longer and dirty. just a nic to the gas key or a slight bend to the thin gas making it cant ever so slightly and DI action will be trashed.

          • Treiz

            Dirty? Most of the fouling comes through the chamber, not the impingement system. Both DI and Piston systems have chambers. If you want a cleaner system just slow down the cyclic rate.

            What would happen to the piston system if you start bending parts of it? What’s your point?

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            the gas tube is quite susceptible to bend more so then a solid op rod. have you never cleaned your gas key?

          • Treiz

            I must have missed the thousands of reports of rifle operating systems bending unexpectedly in the field. Feel free to link to anything that substantiates your unreasonable concerns.

          • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

            speaking from experience.

  • nate

    sounds a lot like the LMT MWS system with a few changes and a better barrel

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Kind of sounds like they’re just asking for a SCAR/ACR/et al. I guess they could also accept the M27 but I don’t think it could meet every requirement, like a reversible mag catch.

    • Rob

      The USMC has authorized the ambi Norgon catch in legacy M4 and M16 rifles for a decade. There are dozens of aftermarket options that would fit directly on an M27 and the newest HK 416 rifle have Ambi releases on them from factory. If they want them to be reversible instead of full time ambi, a solution can be engineered as easily as it could for any other system.

      • Joshua

        That’s just the desired.

        More than likely they would adopt a URG+FCG, due to cost.

        • Rob

          I was just replying to the poster above that seemed to believe that an M27 was somehow harder to make ambidextrous.

          I think that FNH has a strong candidate for an URG with their version of the Hodge with some small tweaks. I am interested to see what USASOC will seek as a continued SOPMOD block upgrade.

  • Me

    Why no taper pin for the gas block? What would they prefer instead? Also will the barrel be chrome lined?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      They want it to take down for cleaning and maintenance apparently.

      Interesting to see that requirement though.

      • QuadGMoto

        I tend to think it’s a bad idea to specify a technology rather than the goal to be accomplished.

        For example, it used to be that government regulations specified the type (specific design) of headlights to be used. That’s why everything on the road had the same round headlights. Now the government merely specifies what area and brightness needs to be generated by headlights and now we see far more creativity and ingenuity from automotive engineers.

        I would have hoped that government firearm specifications would have learned from that lesson.

    • J.T.

      Either chrome or melonite probably. All that matters is that it meets the barrel life requirement.

  • Joshua

    Here’s my take on this.

    5.56 ain’t going no where. M855A1 is a mean bullet that puts guys into the ground out to 500M easily.

    Second pay attention to one specific aspect of this RFI.

    Bolt carrier group optimized for M855A1 use with Picatinny Durable Solid Lubricant coating or any similar variations thereof

    Op rod guns don’t like M855A1, the M27 doesn’t like M855A1.

    If this happens, look for it to be using Stoners DI.

    • Friend

      M855A1 sucks against unarmored targets.

      • Joshua

        What? M855A1 is one of the most effect 5.56 rounds ever developed against soft targets.

        • Chris Floyd

          Because more and more 2 legged targets are wearing more and more armor. It’s the ages old paradigm, protection increases, thus the weapons ability to defeat that protection must evolve..rinse and repeat.

          • Joshua

            Until every nation is issuing modern Level IV SAPI plates it doesn’t matter.

            M855A1 punches through all other armor.

            So far outside of SF near peer nations can’t afford to issued E-SAPI plates to everyone, if they have armor they’re lucky to have decent steel armor which M855A1 defeats.

            Even then we have M995 for level IV ceramics armor.

      • John

        On the bright side, fragments of whatever cover an enemy hides behind will go into them as M885A1 passes through. So they’re going to be double dead.

      • lowell houser

        Not according to every gel block test I’ve seen. That bullet reliably explodes after about two inches of travel in any soft target even after it punches through AR500 steel plate. This is why they went jacked copper rather than monometalic.

    • int19h

      These guns don’t like M855A1 because they weren’t designed for it, and the pressure difference is substantial. There’s absolutely no reason why a piston gun shouldn’t be able to handle it if done right.

      • Joshua

        Are you saying the M4 designed in 1994 was designed for M855A1?

        Also M855A1 has a chamber pressure of 54,290 PSI with a gas port pressure of 16,740 PSI when tested in the M4A1.

        • int19h

          No, I’m saying that 416 was not. I didn’t say anything about M4.

          If the pressure is not substantially different, then why does it behave different at all? Clearly there’s something about it that makes the difference.

          Either way, I fail to see why a piston driven system *in general* (not 416 specifically) would be less tolerant of M855A1 than DI guns. Generally speaking, piston guns seem to be the most tolerant in terms of variety of ammunition they can cycle, and conditions under which they can do it (suppressed etc). I don’t see why this would suddenly be any different here.

          • Joshua

            It’s due to the burn rate of SMP-842. The powder is designed for full burn in a 14.5″ barrel. More powder burned, means more gases get sent back into the gas port.

            This causes op rod guns to begin unlocking sooner than normal, which imparts more stress to the bolt lugs.

            The DI system has the luxury of increased distance for the gas to travel before it begins unlocking, which gives the brass case longer to let go of the chamber wall, thus taking less stress than op rod guns.

          • int19h

            It sounds like all it would take is just moving the gas port forward, so that it’s engaged later and at lower pressure?

          • Joshua

            And then you run into the issue of having to beef up the op rod. The longer the rod the more flex the rod will see.
            This means you have to add even more weight to the rifle.

      • CavScout

        That’d be great but we don’t want a heavier gun. A regular M4 or for sure an enhanced M4 type will take that round a LOT better than the 416 ever will. So might as well scrap the 416 nonsense.

    • CavScout

      The 416 isn’t that great of a gun and shouldn’t be adopted by anyone due to price for not such a good gun.

  • Arnold Llw

    SR-16E3 Mod 2?

  • idahoguy101

    This is a U.S. Army incompetence issue. Since the Navy-Marine Corps have shown competence why not not direct the USMC/USN take over as lead agency on small arms?

    • Get over it Fanbois

      USN/USMC more competent at procurement? Have you ignored the failures of the LCS program, F-35 and ACV programs? The incompetence isn’t just the Army.

      • How is F-35 a failure? And I mean really, not just in the eyes of “journalists” who couldn’t draw a flight envelope if you held a gun to their head.

        • The F35 can suck it

          You mean other than astronomical cost over-runs, repeated failures to meet requirements, the diversion of funding for maintenance on current operational aircraft into the F35 money-pit…..?

          • No, I mean the fact that over 200 have been produced and delivered to ten armed forces in six countries.

            Cost overruns, requirements changes, and delays are positively standard for military programs. Or have you not been paying attention?

          • 1

            Didnt even the Israeli F35 flyd trough an active russian anti air a while ago?

            And seeing Simulations – greatly underestimating the F35 capabilitys, still they where undetected, its like flying in fog for the enemy, and without any contact out of nowhere missles came.

          • From every reliable source I have seen (mostly pilots who actually fly the things), F-35s are great.

            It’s a ludicrously expensive program with huge opportunities for graft and waste, but the actual jets seem to be magnificent. Pretty typical Lockheed stuff.

            Which makes it all the more sad that F-35 journalism can’t tell its head from its ass. We could really use informed people digging up dirt on subcontractors and stuff to help save the taxpayer some money. But no, instead we get folks who don’t understand what wing loading really means, or how payload affects sustained turn rate.

            There are a couple of people doing God’s work, though. Check out SM Sgt Mac over at the Elements of Power blog. Here’s his epic four part takedown of the whole “sustained G” issue:





            Coincidentally, Mac is the same guy who absolutely ravaged the 07 dust tests that are quoted every five seconds by oprod advocates. Sharp dude. Sharper than me, for sure. I hope we don’t get an influx of people like him in the small arms world, or I’ll be out of a job. 🙂

          • 1

            Smarter than you? Never

          • Chris Floyd

            This F35 costs over runs “data point always pisses me off. Ask anyone actually associated with the program and you will get an epic rant on why the bird costs so much.. thank you defense arms devices committee ( screw you John McCain for forcing this issue) and forcing Lockheed to spread production and partial development across every member nation in the joint program and literally hundreds of international “partner” compaines. If production had been limited to north America let’s say.. you’d have between a 10 and 15% reduction is costs.. all costs.

            Back to the regularly scheduled litany of ignorance

          • MichaelZWilliamson

            And constant reductions in program numbers always drive the per-unit cost up, if you consider R&D to be a unit share.

          • Chris Floyd

            Right, with a reduction in orders from the likes of Canada and the UK, costs rise exponentially. The initial per unit cost of each variant was predicated on numbers, production efficiencies and quality from the OCONUS partners..those efficiencies and the quality did not matieralize.

            Still, in conjunction with enhanced current air frames ( f16 and 18 enhanced generations and c3 system integration) and systems not to mention the F22 (which is part of the broader air superiority plan for the 2000’s) the 35 is an exceptionally capable air frame. You have to remember that the 35 and 22 are parts of the broader strategy, but still demonstrative of the complicated and byzitinian military procurement system…from the smallest item to the big ticket items it’s all a cluster frak and a half

          • MichaelZWilliamson

            And all systems have an adoption curve and implementation cycle. It should reach full potential just in time for upgrades in about a decade…which was the intention, because the F16 will be 50 years old by then.

          • Chris Floyd

            I don’t think it will will take another 10 years, Lockheed learned a ton from the f22 program and applied it to the 35.

            Long lead times for maintenance, the parts pipeline aka the logistics tail have been accelerated significantly when compared to say..the deployment of just about any 4th gen platform we or the west have in inventory.

            The mean time to operational adoption and full operational application is at least 1/2 of previous platform deployments. Look at how long the f16 and f18 took to become fully realized deployments, line that up against the f35. It’s pretty cool what they’ve pulled off despite the procurement contract constraints

          • MichaelZWilliamson

            Right, but the pilots need time to learn the envelope limits and improve the planned doctrine into actual air battle strategy.

      • int19h

        To remind, USMC were the ones who gave us the abomination that was M16A2. Complete with its nonsensical barrel profile; three-round burst that no-one needed but which made trigger pull worse in single-shot mode as well; lengthened stock designed for matches rather than field use with body armor, in cars etc; an overcomplicated rear sight with useless – again, outside of matches – distance adjustment and two apertures, of which one is too big and the other one is too small; and even such minor fubar as safety selector markings on the right side of the receiver without the actual lever to go with them (there’s a story there, it’s not just a coincidence).

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          And an idiotic ammo requirement to “penetrate a steel helmet at 800 meters” which is outside sight range, outside engagement range, and outside capability range of most shooters…right at a tim everyone went away from steel helmets, and destroying closer range lethality in the process.

    • James Kachman

      I really don’t see where you’re coming from… the M4A1 is a perfectly acceptable upgrade program, though I wish they’d thrown some more love at it with COTS solutions. M855A1 is a masterpiece of smart defense acquisitions now that the bugs have been worked out. I can’t exactly speak to the MHS, though.

    • Paul Labrador

      This isn’t an “incompetence” issue. It’s a “The Marines want to act like SOCOM and be able to buy their own stuff independently of anybody else, because they think they’re super special” issue.

      And you can thank the Marines for the adoption of the M16A2 and the M855 round.

  • FOC Ewe

    .264 USA and 260 Remington?

    Sounds like they want the SCAR-H….

  • Malthrak

    It will be interesting to see who/what meets these requirements.

    In particular with the m855A1 cartridge. By all accounts an excellent round…that destroys every rifle it is used in as a result of its dramatically higher pressures.

    It’s good to see that being acknowledged ahead of time.

    • Logic

      … pressures got dropped mr specialist

      Only the early loads had such high pressure.

      • Malthrak

        Is there a source on that? Not trying to be argumentative, genuinely curious. I haven’t heard anything about that.

        • Unfortunately, I can’t give you a link or anything, but I can also confirm that the pressure was dropped to right around where M855 is at.

          • int19h

            Aren’t they still seeing increased wear, as exemplified by those recent docs published about M27 testing?

            Or was that testing done on earlier M855A1 loads?

          • Decreased barrel life, yes. That’s probably not going to change, and it is deemed an acceptable tradeoff for the increased lethality.

          • int19h

            I thought they also mentioned decreased bolt life as well? Presumably due to increased stress on the lugs.

            BTW, something that I don’t quite get… if the pressure is the same, then how do they get higher velocity? And if they don’t, then why is it harsher on the barrels?

          • Decreased bolt life seems to be less of an issue now that the pressure ceiling has been brought down.

            Velocity is not so much higher. M855A1 is primarily hard on barrels I think because of the long bearing surface of the bullet and tough bullet construction.

          • Joshua

            Longer bearing surface and solid copper vs m855.

            Solid copper is harder to compress, which reduces barrel life.

  • Ed

    5.56mm isn’t going away. It’s a NATO round. And two this more of a M-4 upgrade program not a replacement. Overall seem they want FF barrel assembly than anything else will this survive in the tight budgets of today? Who knows.

  • Anonymoose

    >ability to shoot full-length short-action cartridges and not just 5.56
    There’s a gun for that.

    • CommonSense23

      Please no.

      • Anonymoose

        Please yes.

        • CommonSense23

          I’ve been issued both 17s and 20s. There are far better choices.

          • Anonymoose

            I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked the HK417, an LMT, or one of the new SR-25 offerings.

          • CommonSense23

            I would love to see the new M110s being more widely adopted. Scars suck cause you get one upper to multiple barrels. So instead of spending 10 seconds changing uppers. You change barrels. Then change optics, possible grip or bipod, maybe laser. Then re zero and bailing wire everything to the gun. Then throw on top the retarded charging handle. And then the stupid ambi mag release. And I’m left handed and think it’s stupid. Which causes all the righties to learn how crappy being a lefty is.

    • That’s pretty much DQ’d by the g forces requirement.

  • b. griffin

    First they want a COTS civie rifle with an auto selector, but while still keeping their lowers and lowers only? Then they want stuff that can only be done with totally new lowers (ambi bolt catch). Next it just descends into fantasy with new calibers (with no coordination with the Army’s developements). We round it out with standard issue variable magnification (bad) and caliber changes (more bad; apparently nobody is familiar enough with guns at the USMC or SOCOM to realize every time you switch barrels you’ve gotta rezero your gun, but let’s let the grunt switch calibers whenever he feels like it). All in all I expect this to go exactly nowhere rapidly, but not before a lot of money is spent.

    • CommonSense23

      Enough people have complained about the issue with switching barrels in Socom. Its not just rezeroing your optic. Its changing out your optic, maybe moving your laser, possibly switiching out your grip or bipod. So if you want to work out of a vehicle where you can easily bring extra weight. You are screwed cause you got 3 barrels and 1 upper.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      No one said the grunts would change calibers when they felt like it. It would be for specific missions.

      As you may recall, the original intent of the AR10/AR15 platform was to issue the lower, and have various uppers in the armory to swap out for different missions.

  • Uniform223

    So does this mean the USMC will finally adopt the M855A1?

    • James Kachman

      Congress requires them to agree on one round, either MK318 or M855A1, by 2018. The Army, having a larger budget and more shooters, is the most likely to win out in the end. IMO, the M855A1 offers a better path moving forward as a general purpose rifle round, given its armor penetrative capabilities.

  • Treiz

    “Novel approaches to lightweight rifle and ammunition”
    Would seem to DQ the piston designs. Most of the requirements are too specific or too fantastic. More tax money down the drain…

  • Right, so 90grs at 2,719 ft/s is 2,004 J with a suppressor. The propellant load that produces should therefore give similar energy when loaded with a higher weight bullet, all things being equal. Simple math says therefore that with a 110gr bullet that propellant load will give 2,460 ft/s with a 110gr bullet.

    However, there are two other factors to keep in mind. First, he chronographed the round with a suppressor, which adds about 20 ft/s to the velocity total. That means we’re really talking just about an even 2,700 ft/s muzzle velocity, or 1,976 J. With a 110gr bullet, that means roughly 2,440 ft/s.

    But we’re still not done. The 110gr bullet is longer, and therefore will take up more case capacity. How much longer? Well, according to this post on the 68forums, the 90gr Gold Dot is 0.802″ long. JBM has a lovely list of bullet overall lengths, which gives us 1.000″ So how do we figure out how much that loses us? Well, we can get an idea by turning to the Powley computer. Here’s what we have as a baseline:

    Right off the bat, we see that the longer bullet, even at 0.050″ longer OAL, we lose 9.5% of our net capacity. That is pretty worrying. Now what does Powley say that does to our muzzle energy? It decreases it by 4.7%.

    So how does that shake out? Well, that takes us to 1,883 J muzzle energy from a 16″ barrel. With a 110gr bullet, that brings us to… 2,384 ft/s. Note that’s actually higher than what William’s test gives us above, and from a 2″ shorter barrel. So fair? I think it’s fair.

    As for William’s test, yeah, he chronographed striking velocity, but he didn’t shoot the block at 25 yards, he shot it at 10 feet. I can ask him and check for you, but it was ten feet.

    Well, for one thing, your calculator is set to yards, not meters. 625 yards is 572 meters, so not that far from what JBM gave me.

    First, Wikipedia is not usually a good source for gun stuff. Second, the Wikipedia page lists 0.370 G1 as the BC for a 110gr bullet, which is probably referring to the 110gr Nosler Accubond which has an 0.370 G1 BC. The 110gr Sierra Pro Hunter you are using has an 0.308 G1 BC approximate average over 500 meters. You are still playing fast and loose with the numbers here. Read Sierra’s chart carefully:

    0.318 is the G1 BC for velocities above 2,800 ft/s. .277 Wolverine has a muzzle velocity of 2,400ish ft/s. So at best, you’re using 0.314 G1. Really, if we want the longer picture, we should use the 0.308 value because it better reflects the actual flight regime from 0-500m.

    Not sure what you are using for Powley values, but Powley does NOT give 2,500 ft/s with the .277 Wolverine at 63,000 PSI:

    See? You need 73,000 PSI according to Powley. Now, how valid is Powley for this round? Maybe kinda valid. I’d rather use it to get a clue as to how bullet length and propellant volume affect muzzle energy than to treat it as gospel. Historically, it’s short-changed some of these stubby rounds (like, it does not at all play well with the 6.5 Grendel, as I’ve mentioned before). Having said that, see my analysis above. We should expect about 1,900 J from the .277 Wolverine from a 16″ barrel with 110gr bullets. More than that, and you really need to take a close look at what the manufacturer is doing.

    • Jared Vynn

      .8 is the length of the Sierra 110gr bullet otherwise you are on point. I am very familiar with the JBM bullet length list. That invalides a chunk of your comment unfortunately.

      • I was using the Hornady 110gr BTHP. Using the 110gr Pro-Hunter seems kind of unfair to me because its BC is so poor. Yeah, you’d net, what, an extra 40-60 ft/s with it? But the bullet drops like a rock.

        “And also shows you too are playing fast and loose with numbers.”

        I’m showing you all my work. You can see what I’m doing and check it against your own. That’s not really fast and loose.

        “The sierra bullet is also a .318 g1 BC,”

        The Sierra bullet has an 0.308 G1 BC over the velocity range we’re talking about. Read the chart!

        “As I layed out with a .8 long 110 gr bullet at 63000 psi the Powley computer shows a velocity of about 2,500 with a 22.4 gr charge change the bullet length to the correct .8 for the 110 and see what happens, and keeping the pressure the same and changing to the 90 gr .851 long you get about 2,700.”

        You’ll need to screenshot that for me.

        “Yes Wikipedia is not the most reliable, but it is a good starting point.”

        Well, not if you’re using the wrong BC for the bullet you want.

        “the calculator I am using is hornady’s and I have to switch the entire calculator to metric to do meters, and in meters it gives 750 before it drops to 1,000 ft/s.”

        What is the significance of 1,000 ft/s? ~1,120 ft/s is the speed of sound at sea level.

        “sierra 110 gr bullet,”

        Given that the bullet is flat-based, I don’t think it’s a great choice if you want to maximize the ballistics of .277 Wolverine.

        “.318 g1,”

        Again, that’s for 2,800 ft/s/. Our muzzle velocity is no higher than 2,500 ft/s, and the BC would be measured over 500 meters for a military round. So 0.308 is more representative.

        “using 77gr with .373 g1 and 2700 fps for the 5.56”

        The best BC model for the 77gr Sierra MatchKing is G7. Bryan Litz gives the 77gr SMK as having a G7 BC of 0.190.

        If you want a refresher on BC models, I wrote two articles on the subject:

        “The 5.56 over takes the 277 at about 300 yards for energy it appears and the 277 goes subsonic at about 625 yards while the 5.56 continues at super till about 850 yards. For long range the 77 gr appears to emerge as better while under 300 yards the 277 has the edge, but this is simply in terms of energy as wounding and fragmentations are something I am simply not educated enough in to comment on. I would point out that the 2,500 fps with 110 gr still appears plausible with the sierra bullet, but I think you are right to go with 2,400 as its better to be conservative for unproven cartridges.”

        Under 100 yards you might see better performance from the .277 just because of the larger mass for fragmentation and expansion. However, we should also keep in mind that the energy difference between the two within this range is not very great, starting at 17% and diminishing from there. One of the things we care about with fragmenting projectiles is not just fragment size and the number of fragments, but also how much energy is imparted to each fragment. As a rough guesstimate, we see that Mk. 262 has 22 Joules of muzzle energy for every grain of bullet weight, while the .277 Wolverine has only 18. So, based on this, we might expect to see fewer fragments with Mk. 262, but ones that separate from the wound channel more deeply. Only testing can show what the wounds would be like, but my guess would be that it would be difficult to judge either round as clearly more lethal up close.

        I think 2,500 ft/s is plausible with a 110gr bullet for a handloader or for high pressure match ammo, but I don’t think it would be representative of the performance of a standard issue military round. Certainly not one with a lead-free bullet (which would by necessity be longer).

  • kzrkp

    reading this RFI is like reading a kid describing his superhero character. wtf is wrong with USMC procurement?

    • Form Factor

      Yes thats what it is. “Dear Santa Claus: We want a Carbine with the range and powah of an entrenched heavy Machinegun, the Size of a Submachinegun, and weight of a bb gun.”

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      You always ask for your dream. Then you see who can deliver the closest. If you want something that already exists, you just buy it.

  • Form Factor

    See, you have to calculate maximum point blank range first anyways and adjust zero…

    • Or just use JBM’s calculator and tick the “zero at MPBR” button.

      • Form Factor

        I usually dont like to use JBM.

        • Why not? Seems to work good for me, and most of the other long range shooters I have talked to agree.

          • Form Factor

            You need to go a site back to adjust settings, doesnt show the graph by default.

  • Why do you keep using a 0.188 G7 for the Sierra Pro-Hunter? That’s obviously the wrong BC model, not to mention value.

    • Jared Vynn

      I stopped that’s an older comment and I haven’t yet updated the pictures.

  • lowell houser

    In other words, what they are asking for is a SCAR17 with 5.56 conversion in place pending whatever the new 6.5mm turns out to be.

    • Not with those g forces and rail length requirements, they’re not.

  • Dave Buck

    Sorry to see the USMC has bought into the M855A1. I thought they were going to stand fast with Mk 318.

  • inchang

    Pretty much sounds like the Marines want to equip everyone with a M27/M416
    when you could simply just upgrade a few parts on the M4A1
    I still think they should just hold onto M16 length barrels too because it has better range, velocity, and significantly better penetration.

  • Core

    Sounds like LMT might have a solution. But honestly Colt Defense could probably deliver a better solution if they are willing to tweak their recipe. I’m absolutely sure Colt could deliver a more reliable and durable product at a good price point. They would have to build an in house cerakote shop and contract some CHF machine gun steel barrels. They already have the rest of suppliers that are already making modified Stoner parts. The only thing I don’t get is why no taper pins? Pins are the best way to attach a gas block…

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    Again, you ask for the impossible, and occassionally you get it.

  • Markbo

    I am curious how many multiples of retail they will pay for supressors.

  • Joshua

    That’s why everyone is getting M855A1. Superior hard and soft target performance to any other 5.56 today.

  • Paul Labrador

    XM8 is nothing more than a G36 wrapped up in a sci-fi polymer carriage….and we all saw what happened with the G36….

  • Sean Heihn

    My idea would be:
    *Replace both the M16A4 and M4 receiver extension/buffer with the VLTOR A5 system. Simplifies supply, gives the M16 a collapsible stock, increases reliability/durability of M4.
    *Replace M16A4 and M4 barrels with Faxon Gunner profile or similar profile barrels, Nitriding instead of chrome lining. Reduces weight without sacrificing accuracy or sustained fire ability, Nitriding increases corrosion resistance and potentially accuracy and barrel life while being cheaper.
    *Replace M4 14.5″ barrel with 16″ with mid length gas system or M16A4 20″ with 18″ and intermediate length for infantry issue (if the M16 with collapsible stock isn’t considered compact enough). Velocity increase with minimal size penalty over current M4, more importantly alleviates the problems with M855A1 in a M4 with 14.5″ barrel/carbine gas system to some degree.
    *Free float M-Lok hand guard with Picatinny rail at 12 o’clock. Reduces weight, increases accuracy and barrel cooling.
    *Update steel and aluminum alloy specs throughout rifle to use the best current alloys. Same with coatings/surface treatments. Possibly adopt a permanent lubricant coating.
    *Replace M4 stock with a better COTS option/options, same with pistol grip. Either have multiple options for stock and grip so each Marine can select which fits best, or allow individual Marines to purchase replacements to suit them.
    *Replace Semi/Burst FCG with a M16A1/M4A1 Semi/Full or COTS Semi/Full FCG. More consistent trigger pull, more reliable/durable, COTS could provide smoother, shorter, lighter trigger pull, increased resistance to foreign matter ingress. Translates to better accuracy.