Setting the Record Straight on Milley’s Congressional Testimony

Original caption: "Brig. Gen. Mark Milley, deputy commander of operations for the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault, addresses the audience during his promotion ceremony on Fort Campbell, Ky., Feb. 1, 2008." Department of Defense photo by Cherie A. Thurlby, public domain

In the wake of Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley’s testimony to Congress on the present and future state of the US Army, there has been a significant amount of speculation and in some cases misleading reporting regarding his statements on small arms and ammunition. Authors such as Todd South with Army Times and Eric Graves of Soldier Systems have presented their take on General Milley’s comments, but in doing so have presented an interpretation of his testimony that I do not think reflects what he said or meant. Therefore, briefly, I’d like to go over some of these interpretations and explain why I think they are not accurate and what General Milley meant, instead. After each bullet I will list the interpretation that I think is incorrect, followed by General Milley’s statement regarding it, and then my own explanation.

 

Myth: Fort Benning has developed a new bullet, which is 7.62mm M80A1 or 5.56mm M855A1

Milley: The 5.56 round, we recognize that there is a type of body armor out there that it doesn’t penetrate – we also have that body armor ourselves – and that adversarial states are actually selling that stuff on the Internet for about 250 bucks. So, yes, there’s a need, and there’s an operational need, and we think we can do it relatively quickly. The key on any of these things is not so much the rifle, it’s the bullet. It’s the ballistics of the bullet, and down at Fort Benning, we’ve done some developmental work, we think we have a solution that we know we have developed a bullet that can penetrate these new plates, so-

King: “Does this bullet require a new rifle?”

Milley: “It might, but probably not. It could, it could be chambered – the bullet can be chambered in various calibers – I don’t want to get into the technicals of ballistics, but it can be modified to 5.56, 7.62, or, uh-”

[From a later conversation with Senator Reed]

Milley: “We’ve developed a pretty effective round down at Fort Benning. We think that we can get that into production here in a year or two,”

Reality: In all likelihood, General Milley is actually referring to the XM1158 Advanced Armor Penetrating (ADVAP) round. Very little is known about this round so far, but it has been in development for at least two years, supporting the idea that it could be fielded in “a year or two”, as per Milley’s comments, something that does not support the idea that he is referring to M80A1.

 

Myth: The Army has developed a new 7.62mm round that is compatible with the M4 Carbine

Reed: “Just one quick follow-up question with respect to small arms: To what extent if we adopt a new round would it impact the inter-operability of our relationship with NATO countries and the rounds that they have, and related to that is what would it cost us to refurbish the worldwide stockpile, which is now 5.56 and 7.62?”

Milley: “Right, and those are all part of the analysis that we’re doing down at Benning, but just to put your mind at ease a little bit, what we’ve developed is a 7.62 bullet. So, it’s not something that’s not in the inventory anywhere. We’ve developed a pretty effective round down at Fort Benning. We think that we can get that into production here in a year or two, and get that fielded out to the force. It is 7.62, not 5.56, but not everybody necessarily needs – uh – this idea that the entire Army needs the same thing all the time is not necessarily true; there are some units, some infantry units that are much more highly likely to rapidly deploy than others, and conduct close quarters combat, that we would probably want to field them with a weapon – a better grade weapon – that can penetrate this body armor that we’re talking about.

Reed: “And, uh, but would this round be inter-operable with NATO allies?”

Milley: “I, uh, I should probably owe you a specific answer – I think yes. It’s a 7.62 round, so I think the answer is “yes”, but let me get a specific ballistics answer.

Reed: “Thank you, sir.

Reality: General Milley is still talking about the aforementioned new 7.62mm projectile, not a new round. It’s Senator Reed that mistakes this for a totally new cartridge, but the General’s comments make it pretty clear what he means:

[J]ust to put your mind at ease a little bit, what we’ve developed is a 7.62 bullet. So, it’s not something that’s not in the inventory anywhere.

The General’s hesitance to affirmatively answer Senator Reed on the inter-compatibility of the new 7.62x51mm round with NATO allies doesn’t appear to indicate any new cartridge specification. It probably simply means the General is unsure whether the new 7.62x51mm round has been tested in allied weapons, such as the MG3.

 

Myth: The Army is going to adopt the M27

Ernst: “That’s good, and I’m glad to hear you say that, because I think there could be some potential savings if we are looking at systems that could be modified taken off the shelf and used for our soldiers. I think that would be something that would be very beneficial to our forces. Retired General Scales testified at that subcommittee hearing and he spoke about a weapon that could fill the role of both the machine gun and the rifle, a light machine gun and a basic rifle. So is the need for a machine gun, would that be a higher priority than that of a basic rifle. Or would they be at the same level of priority?”

Milley: “Well, they are both very important, they compliment each other. I think what he’s talking about is what the Marines are adopting as the M27; we’re taking a hard look at that, and probably gonna go in that direction as well, but we haven’t made a final decision on it. You know, infantry squads, infantry platoons, they gotta have an automatic weapon for suppression, they gotta have the individual weapon as well, so you need both, it’s not one or the other. You have to have both in order to be effective in ground combat.”

Ernst: “OK, well thank you General very much.”

Reality: While General Milley does clearly state that the Army is considering off the shelf rifle systems, his testimony also seems to strongly hint that any “upgrade” will come in 7.62x51mm caliber, not 5.56mm. My read on this comment is that General Milley is talking about the HK416/417 family in general, not the M27 IAR specifically. When he says the Army is “probably gonna go in that direction as well”, he most likely means procuring a variant of the 7.62mm G28E, adopted as the M110A1 CSASS. This is more inference on my part, but no other explanation makes much sense to me. The Army adopting the 5.56mm IAR concept in general seems unlikely (but it could happen), and Eric Graves suggestion that this statement refers to adopting the M27 as an echelon weapon for non-infantry makes little sense, either. Having said all that, the General’s comments here are ambiguous.





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 nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • James Kachman

    I mentioned this on the other, similar article, but the idea of adopting a G28-derived DMR/IAR for the squad with this new armor penetrative bullet, and leave the M4A1/M855A1 combination for the riflemen seems to make the most sense given the facts, and hopefully offers the best compromise of capabilities. Maybe scale down the XM1158 to a 5.56 analog just to have better marginal capability in the M4A1?

    Edit: Thank you for these articles. The times, they are a changin’ for small arms, and its good to have clear representations of the facts. It’ll be an interesting few years.

    • valorius

      Leaving a carbine as the prime component for riflemen makes a lot of sense? Huh?

      • James Kachman

        Shall we continue this conversation from where we left off?

        Yes, giving the average grunt, infantryman, rifleman (or whatever your term of preference is) a shorter, lighter, handier weapon makes the most sense. M855A1 fragments very consistently, independent of velocity, as does MK318.

        You claimed earlier that a 55gr M855A1 homologue from a 20″ would penetrate Level IV plates. I would actually like to see some testing done to prove that. M193 from a 20″ is 3165 fps, according to specifications. M855A1 from a 20″ is 3150 fps, according to a public release by the Army. (Citation 5 under the wiki article on the M16, so I don’t have to include a link.) Do you have any figures to show what kind of velocity this 55gr homologue would reach using the powders from M855A1, and how that would affect performance against Level IV plate?

        This isn’t meant necessarily in a disbelieving manner, if it’s true, I’m willing to support 55gr EPR to solve this issue.

        • valorius

          InRangeTV just built a high quality, highly durable 18″ barrel AR that weighs 5.2lbs.

          How much does an M4 weigh?

          Sadly we won’t see a 55gr M855A1 analogue fired from a 20″ barrel tested, because no such creature exists. However, we do know -for a fact- that the same projectile design pushed about 350 fps faster would have a much better chance at penetrating any given object.

          I would point out that M995 weighs in at a mere 52 grains, and that’s for a reason.

          • James Kachman

            There’s frankly no way in hell the Army is adopting a polymer lower, which is what Ian and Karl used to get the AR that light. Similarly, I doubt the Army will reverse its decision and move towards pencil profile barrels. What’s more, for the same polymer lower and barrel profile, the shorter barreled rifle will always be lighter.

            The 5.2lb AR is a great tech demo, but I doubt its specifics will ever be adopted by the Army.

            The M4A1, with a heavy profile barrel, weighs half a pound less than the M16A4, if that’s what you’re asking.

            “pushed about 350 fps faster”
            You could start by backing that particular statement up, since 55gr M193 is going only 15 fps faster than M855A1.

          • valorius

            Actually an M4 profile 14.5″ barrel is heavier than a 20″ faxon gunners profile barrel (slightly heavier than a pencil barrel). I posted the exact weights in another post.

            Lots of modern firearms are polymer. IRT stressed that the lower they chose is the only one they felt was robust enough for real life field duty.

            M193 from a 20″ barrel has a mv of 3300fps (so does M995)

          • James Kachman

            “an M4 profile 14.5″ barrel is heavier than a 20″ faxon gunners profile barrel”

            I know, and that’s why I’m a particular fan of Faxon’s gunner line. However, the fact of the matter is that the Army is wedded to the heavier profile barrels, especially after the shitshow at Wannat, since they value sustained automatic fire from the carbines. If we *are* willing to transition to pencil profile barrels, which the Army seems unwilling to do, then it still is lighter to go with a pencil profile.

            While it is true that Faxon’s excellent line is lighter, its also unfortunately irrelevant.

            “IRT stressed that the lower they chose is the only one they felt was robust enough for real life field duty.”

            Again, they are not the Army. I’ve seen their videos where the GWacs lowers take 5.56 rounds and keep working, I believe their reliability. But due both to the newness of the design and the loss of collapsing stock ability, I really don’t see that being accepted by the military. (For goodness sake, they even put collapsing stocks on light machine guns nowadays.)

            >M193 vs M855A1 velocity kerfluffle

            What source are you citing for M855A1 and M193? All the information I can find makes it seem like a ~100 fps difference, which really isn’t all that much. Again, this isn’t sarcasm; I’d love to see what a 55gr loaded to a hotrod pressure can do. But “55gr EPR in a 20″ rifle” as your Level IV killer remains unproven and theoretical at best, and I’m not sure what kind of performance increase you’d even see.

          • valorius

            M4 dot net has a big chart with muzzle velocities for every round under the sun in 5.56mm. (IMI M193 is the champ at 3345 from a 20″ barrel).

            M995 is loaded to 3300 fps and is a 52 grain projectile. It will defeat 12mm of rolled homogenous armor (what they used on main battle tanks before Chobham came around). An M995 will shoot holes right through a BRDM-2 armored personnel carrier.

            My point behind the IRTV 5.2lb 18″ rifle is that we CAN very much field a rifle that is both more capable and lighter than the M4. Even if you go with a aluminum lower and lightweight collapsible stock, 20″ pencil barrel is lighter than a M4 barrel.

            The M4 profile barrel is a really stupid and needlessly heavy design according to interviews IRTV has done with the lead engineer of faxon. Back in vietnam the US Army and it’s 20″ pencil barreled M16s engaged in numerous firefights that lasted hours and hours on end. The longer barrel moves the hot gas block back farther from the action with numerous well known benefits. Not the least of which is significantly less bolt carrier group heating.

          • James Kachman

            “The M4 profile barrel is a really stupid”
            I’ve watched every InRangeTV video, including the one with Faxon. The M4 profile barrel is nonsense for civilian shooters and semi-auto fire, but it allows you to put down sustained automatic fire, which is something the Army decided it wants. Adopting a pencil profile barrel would, in the Army’s eyes, be a reduction of capabilities.

            I’m aware that you could build a 18″ rifle using lightweight components that is lighter than an M4. But for the same design compromises of lighter components and pencil profile, you can build an even lighter and better M4A2 carbine, which is still shorter and lighter. The effective range of a shoulder-fired rifle is limited far more by terrain and training than it is by barrel length.

            “It is certainly logical to assume a 55gr M855A1 analog at 3340 fps from a 20″ barrel will significantly outperform the same projectile weighing 62 gr at 3100fps.”
            While that’s a higher figure than actual M193, I’ll grant that for sake of argument, but the issue still remains over whether or not that will defeat the Level IV and Level IV+ plates Milley is concerned about, especially since the solution the Army is proposing is a 7.62 round. I would presume that means they’ve already tried M955 and found it wanting. Given that M955 is lighter and theoretically faster, and completely steel rather than partially steel like EPR, what makes you think 55gr EPR will outperform M955 and penetrate Level IV or Level IV+?

          • valorius

            M995 is tungsten.

            I don’t think a 55r EPR would out penetrate M995 in pure penetration, but i think it would out perform it in what really matters- soft dissue destruction, while ALSO out performing M855A1 62gr in penetration.

            Frankly, i’d like to see gel tests with M995. It’s construction is such that i’m extremely surprised it doesn’t break up into it’s component parts when it hits and yaws in soft tissue.

            As far as sustained fire, ‘d again point to the fact that over-gassed carbines put a heck of a lot more heat into the BCG and action than rifles do.

            At the -very least- any new M4 should be a 16″ mid length gas system.

          • neoritter

            I’m fairly ignorant on body armor specs and abilities; and I’m no ballistics expert either, but this…
            “The 5.56 round, we recognize that there is a type of body armor out there that it doesn’t penetrate – we also have that body armor ourselves – and that adversarial states are actually selling that stuff on the Internet for about 250 bucks.”

            Which is from the interview above, seemingly contradicts this from your comment…”Let’s face it, US troops have never had to face a foe with SAPI body armor, perhaps out side of some secret squirrel commando actions.”
            Now again, I’m no expert, but it seems to me, that if there’s body armor that defeats the 5.56 and the general is indicating that the body armor is proliferating to adversarial forces, then the US troops are facing foes with body armor of sufficient quality to reduce or negate their weapons’ effectiveness; whether that’s specifically SAPI body armor or not seems irrelevant. Honestly, am I missing or misinterpreting something?

          • valorius

            I am extremely dubious that there is any body armor in use anywhere that will defeat M995 tungsten, which will defeat 12mm (1/2″) of RHA (very similar to 4340 chrome moly steel) main battle tank armor, and was designed to allow infantry forces with small arms to engage armored personnel carriers. M995 was tested directly against BRDM-2 armored vehicles with all around 7.62mm AP protection rating, and can defeat the BRDM-2 from any aspect.

            As far as US troops having ever faced enemy troops in lvl IV armor, it hasn’t happened as no nation we’ve ever fought used the stuff.

            On top of that M993 7.62mm NATO will defeat 18mm (.7″) of RHA.

          • LilWolfy

            You’re overlooking BC and how it influences impact speed at distance, even close distances. What happens at the muzzle is only part of the equation to achieving armor defeat, especially at distances beyond 100m.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    I wonder about the effective range for penetration of hard plates… velocity is essential for penetration.
    You can never really have light armour that resists everything, nor super bullets in conventional rifle/carbine calibers that defeat everything at any common range.

  • DW

    Where is form factor when you need one?

    • Form Factor

      Nah, too hot here, so im not in the mood.

  • AlbertEinstein

    It would be unbelievably short sighted if the Army adopted a 7.62 replacement for the M4. Ask this question: What happens faster and with less expense than the many years, dollars and lawsuits brought about by the evaluation and selection of an, “off the shelf rifle”?:

    Russia simply upgrading their body armor one month after the “new” rifle is chosen.

    MHS took ~6 years, (13 years if you count FHS,) to choose a simple handgun. Think about how long it would take for a rifle! This is nothing more than asymmetrical procurement warfare that in the end condemns the American soldier to carry a rifle that was designed to solve only one problem (at which it will fail) and will be obsolete the day it is adopted.

    • idahoguy101

      Body armor that could stop a 7.62 NATO bullet would be exceedingly bulky and heavy. It’s highly unlikely to happen other than in specialized roles.

      • ARCNA442

        To defeat armor you need velocity and sectional density – two things that 7.62 isn’t much better at than 5.56 unless you are using the extra diameter for some sort of sub caliber.

      • James Kachman

        “Body armor that could stop a 7.62 NATO bullet would be exceedingly bulky and heavy.”

        Pardon? Level IV is rated to stop a .30-06 AP round, and a plate can be had for under 7 pounds.

      • valorius

        All modern body armor level III and up stops 7.62 NATO bullets.
        No modern body armor has any chance of stopping M993 or M995 armor piercing bullets, in 5.56mm or 7.62mm.

        • AlbertEinstein

          I have found that the most illuminating videos on 5.56 velocity and body armor (mostly steel armor) have been done by The Wound Channel on youtube. He has done extensive testing (for a youtuber) with the M855A1 and even shown that the old 55gr M193 fired from a 22” barrel performs better than the SS109 green tip. Links to some of those videos will be in the “reply” that follows this post.

          • valorius

            Youtube is a fantastic source for literally everything nowadays. I agree.

  • SerArthurDayne

    What I want to know is when I can get an off-the-shelf HK416 with 10.4″ barrel , no NFA none of that BS, and I can tacticool that baby up with some Magpul OD Green.

    For $1000 flat.

    That’s what I want to know.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Scales of economy. HK will make a custom configuration of whatever you want if you’re buying them buy the 100,000. Plus, that size of order will allow them to reduce costs, which means the Army will get better pricing. Not sure if that will get you down to $1,000.00, but it will dramatically reduce costs.

  • idahoguy101

    I nominate a new 7.62 NATO light machine gun for issue on the squad level. Make it easy and use the BREN gun as the baseline model. No need to reinvent the wheel

    • valorius

      Why?

    • Kinetics

      BREN? What? A 7.62 LMG at the squad level is possible with polymer cased rounds to decrease weight and a likely contender would be the Mk48 Mod 1. It’s in the system, has been fielded by conventional infantry, the Army likes it, and has commonality of training/maintanence with the SAW.

      But several things have to happen before that is possible (any 7.62 weapons as a squad level support weapons would be dependent on using polymer cased ammo), mostly some more testing/production of polymer 7.62 ammo.

    • int19h

      If you don’t want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to light MGs, take PKM.

      Poles even have a version already chambered in 7.62×51.

  • valorius

    What’s the point in replacing the M993 and M995? They both already have true over-match capabilities.

    • Given that their performance is still classified, what makes you say that?

      • valorius

        You can buy M993 and M995 online.

        • Yeah, their penetration is excellent. However, we don’t know at what distance they will penetrate Level IV armor, which is AFAIK the concern.

          Actually, we might have some idea, but I’ll post about that when I get more info.

          • valorius

            I’ll be looking forward to the post.

  • valorius

    “Reality: General Milley is still talking about the
    aforementioned new 7.62mm projectile, not a new round. It’s Senator Reed
    that mistakes this for a totally new cartridge, but the General’s
    comments make it pretty clear what he means:”

    In the part you’re talking about, the General never says that the 7.62mm projectile wont replace 5.56mm M4s, or somehow be adapted to M4s with new uppers. if anything, he’s saying rapid deployment forces would get this new rifle firing this new round.

    • Yes? I didn’t say anything contrary to that idea.

      • valorius

        I must’ve misinterpreted your comments.

  • valorius

    “The General’s hesitance to affirmatively answer Senator Reed on the
    inter-compatibility of the new 7.62x51mm round with NATO allies doesn’t
    appear to indicate any new cartridge specification. It probably simply
    means the General is unsure whether the new 7.62x51mm round has been
    tested in allied weapons, such as the MG3.”

    I don’t see anything in the Generals statement to support your conclusion here.

    • He explicitly says it’s not a new round. Can’t be much clearer than that.

      • valorius

        But the round is a new round. It’s just not a new caliber in the sense that 7.62mm is already in the inventory.

        • Many outlets claimed it was a totally new ammunition system. It’s not that, it’s a new loading for 7.62mm. When he says he’s not sure if it’s NATO-compatible, he probably means he’s not sure whether it’s been tested for NATO compatibility.

          • valorius

            There’s almost no publically available info on it that i could find, so who knows.

  • valorius

    “Reality: While General Milley does clearly state that the Army is considering off the shelf rifle systems,
    his testimony also seems to strongly hint that any “upgrade” will come
    in 7.62x51mm caliber, not 5.56mm. My read on this comment is that
    General Milley is talking about the HK416/417 family in general, not the
    M27 IAR specifically. When he says the Army is “probably gonna go in
    that direction as well”, he most likely means procuring a variant of the
    7.62mm G28E, adopted as the M110A1 CSASS. This is more inference on my
    part, but no other explanation makes much sense to me. The Army adopting
    the 5.56mm IAR concept in general seems unlikely (but it could
    happen), and Eric Graves suggestion that this statement refers to
    adopting the M27 as an echelon weapon for non-infantry makes little
    sense, either. Having said all that, the General’s comments here are ambiguous.”

    Again, i just really don’t see anything in the General’s actual quote that supports your conclusion. If anything, what i got from it is that the US Army is going to look at the M27.

    Of course this idea of using a 30rd mag fed carbine to replace machine guns is utterly stupid, but that’s another issue entirely.

    • LCON

      Cost benefit Doesn’t work for the Army moving from M4A1 to M27 or HK416. There is no real edge and all indications are that they intend to continue to Pure fleet the M4A1. The Marines adopted the M27 but they use the M16A4 and M4 both with 3 round burst. The Army has M4A1 with full auto, PIP with heavy barrels. moving to the IAR would be a major step down.
      We know the Army is moving to the M110A1 based on the G28 for potential as a SDR this makes the most sense for his statements also the time line as they should start fielding in 18 months.
      If there was a change to happen to the Army SAW It would happen with the Next generation Squad Automatic Rifle. that is targeted into FY 2023 meaning either LSAT or a LSAT alternative.

      • valorius

        I sure hope the army doesn’t replace SAWs with mag fed carbines. I also agree that the Army is highly unlikely to replace the M4 with the m27, though i have little doubt they’re gonna blow a cool couple hundred mil on this program before ultimately cancelling it.

        • LCON

          Way I see it The Army has planned out a Next generation Squad weapons in 6 years. The most likely contender they are looking at for that is the Cased Telescoped Small Arms Systems, Either directly or Indirectly. Directly in a LSAT production version or Indirectly in some form of weight reduced conventional weapons system.

          • valorius

            Hopefully it works and isn’t a giant boondoggle.

          • LCON

            That’s why I hope they have an Alternatives program option. Off the Shelf preferably. Upgrades for M4A1, Replacement for M249 like KAC LMG, Flightlite MCR ( formerly Ares Shrike ) or The Ultimax. As the Key issue for the M249 seems to be weight.

          • valorius

            I still cant wrap my head around the “M249” is too heavy argument, when the weapon it replaced, the M60, was almost 10lbs heaver loaded, and in a service where the M240 is like a gigantic high rate of fire brick.

          • Warren Ellis

            Probably because the M249, combined with all that ammo, and all the other knick-knacks required to survive against both non-peer and peer opponents, is just grinding down the troops carrying it with the weight.

            In general, everything is too heavy yet at the same time, in order to fight a non-peer opponent, let alone peer ones where weight goes up now down, soldiers need all this stuff.

          • valorius

            Even with all the doo dads i suspect an M249 weighs a lot less than an M60.

          • crackedlenses

            It would certainly weigh less than an M60 with all the doo-dads.

          • Warren Ellis

            Yeah but they’re trying to make both a lighter M249 equivalent & a lighter M240 equivalent for that LSAT thing. So someday we may have a 7.62 CT/6.5 (or whatever 6 mm CT round) MMG that is also lighter than the M60, or current M240.

          • LCON

            The lightest version of the FN Minimi PARA is 14.5 pounds empty. add in a 100 round belt for 18 pounds! It’s not unique in this the Negev, K3 and HK MG4 are in the same weight

            Now consider It was designed in the late 70’s and even then it was still heavier than a existing 5.56mm Light machine gun that had been in service since 1964 the Stoner 63A which was 12 pounds empty for 15 pounds loaded. The Stoner weighs the same loaded as the Regular issue M249 empty.
            Furthermore today there are other belt fed LMG’s far lighter. The Kac LMG is a further evolution of the Stoner 63 series at 10 pounds, add 100 rounds for 13 pounds loaded. the Ultimax again 10 pounds 13 loaded. The former Ares Shrike now Flightlight MCR 8 pounds empty 11 loaded.
            Think about that, same caliber, similar barrel lengths who weigh the same as the reduced weight M249 Para Empty well loaded. And we are talking about Infantry weapons. With Existing infantry loads at easily 100 pounds.
            Mind you I have not mentioned the LSAT LMG 10 pound weapon 2 pounds for 100 rounds CT ammo 12 pounds. All before other accessories.
            like you said 10 pounds lighter well we can shave another 5 pounds easily.

          • valorius

            You just have to remember that you get to a certain point where a machine gun is too light to keep on target as well. Something to consider. All i know is we loved the SAW because compared to the M60 it replaced in our unit, it was a god send.

          • LCON

            The weight of the M249 is used to dampen felt recoil for that system. The Kac LMG and Utilimax use a mechanical constant recoil system this has a longer Receiver and weighted spring to reduce the velocity of the bolt in rearward cycle preventing the bolt from ending it’s cycle at full impulse It never makes contact with the rear of the receiver and is pushed forward to Countering muzzle rise by pushing the barrel into a dip.
            This system has been used in the Utilimax for a number of years by a number of nations. It was even trailed in the M27 IAR competition, Although the Marines in the End dropped a requirement ( the the IAR fire full auto form a Open bolt and semi from a closed ) and chose the HK416 entry as it was the lightest and most rifle accurate.
            There is also a similar system in the AA12 fully Automatic shotgun.

          • valorius

            If they can field a belt fed machine gun thats substantially lighter than a SAW, that’s controllable, and as reliable, obviously i’d welcome that. All grunts would.

          • Kinetics

            I would bet on a weight reduced conventional weapons system, probably using polymer cased rounds and modern manufacturing techniques for support weapons and better tech for infantry rifles (such as modern FF rails w/ M-LOK or similar technology).

    • I think he does mean they are considering the 416, but when he says “we will probably go that route” it doesn’t seem like he means they are likely to adopt the 416. The only thing recent announcements suggest the Army is “likely” to adopt is the G28E, a 416 relative. Graves theory that the Army may adopt the 416 as an echelon weapon doesn’t make much sense, either. Why bother when M4A1s are already in inventory?

      • valorius

        I agree.

      • Smedley54

        Would the General be referring to an HK417 variant for the 7.62×51?

        • That’s what the G28E is, so I assume that’s what he means.

          • Smedley54

            Doh! Let my ignorance show!

            So a gas operated, AR10 variant, made by a German company, made in (presumably) Columbus, Ga., is the off-the-shelf, revolutionary new infantry rifle? So – (M14 + M16) / 2 = G28E? Sounds like a great rifle where everything old is new again.

  • Risto Kantonen

    Based on how unspecific the questions are, it’s not possible to answer them accurately. Therefore, it’s damn near impossible to draw any useful conclusions from this conversation.

    Guesswork and speculation, that’s pretty much all you can get from this.

  • Cap’n Mike

    Great Article Nathaniel.
    Sure wish we could get Hognoses opinion on this.

  • Matt Collins

    I don’t know why they are bothering to develop anything new for AP in 7.62. It doesn’t get any better than the long-been-around SLAP saboted tungsten penetrator, the M993 from Nammo, or the defunct Pacific Technica D.U.D.S. depleted Uranium rd, except that they might be too effective. That’s 3 rds that probably would all out-perform whatever they are doing now, unless it is some wild D.U. thing

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    I may be an idiot plebe, but all I saw was overly-vague questions being fielded and unnecessarily vague responses. Each of those answers could easily be interpreted one way or the other.