BREAKING: US Army Pursues SUPPRESSED, Magazine-Fed Automatic Rifle in New Calibers, to REPLACE M249 SAW

After over 30 years of using the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, it seems the US Army may be moving away from the concept of squad-level belt-fed automatic firepower in favor of a lower-capacity but more precise (and probably magazine-fed) weapon. In a recent Special Notice posted to FBO.gov, the US Army formally announced its intention to replace the M249 with a magazine-fed weapon, dubbed the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR). The Special Notice also announced a classified set of Industry Days for demonstration of potential NGSAR weapons, to be held July 25-27 of this year. The new Special Notice seems more similar to a Request for Information (RFI) than a Request for Proposal (RFP), and explicitly states that no contracts will be awarded or offers accepted:

No award is intended as a result of this Special Notice nor does the Government intend to pay for information received. Any response to this notice is not an offer and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.

However, the contract also makes it very clear that the US Army intends to move in this direction, and replace the M249 SAW with what will likely be a magazine-fed weapon:

The Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) is a single incremental program to meet future force warfighting needs. It is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) and select support units during the next decade. It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a carbine, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range, and lethality. The weapon will be lightweight and fire lightweight ammunition with improved lethality. The NGSAR will help to reduce the heavy load that burdens Soldiers and that has a significant negative impact on their mobility, survivability, and firing accuracy. Soldiers will employ the NGSAR against close and extended range targets in all terrains and conditions. The NGSAR will be compatible with and dependent on legacy optics and night vision devices to meet required capabilities. It will also be compatible with the Small Arms Fire Control system currently in development and possess back-up sights. It is anticipated the NGSAR support concept will be consistent with (comparable to) that of the predecessor M249 SAW involving the Army two level field and sustainment maintenance system. The NGSAR will achieve overmatch by killing stationary, and suppressing moving, threats out to 600 meters (T), and suppressing all threats to a range of 1200 meters (O).

While the unclassified portion of the Special Notice does not have magazine feed as a requirement, both NGSAR concepts presented by Program Manager of Crew Served Weapons Lt. Col Beal at NDIA are portrayed as magazine-fed. Therefore, it seems belt-feeding is unlikely, and that the Army’s focus is on magazine-feeding. Note that the first concept, shown in this post’s title image, dates to at least 2015 when it was included in an NDIA presentation made by Soldier Division Director David Libersat.

Alternate NGSAR concept displayed in Lt. Col. Beal’s presentation at NDIA. It appears to be a bullpup, magazine-fed weapon firing CT ammunition.

 

Of further note in the RFI is that not only is the weapon’s ammunition intended to weigh 20% less than equivalent brass-cased ammunition, it may also use different caliber ammunition than the existing 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds already in inventory. In addition, the NGSAR is intended to be fully suppressed, with a sound signature low enough to prevent locating and identifying the gunner beyond 300 meters.

You can read the entire Special Notice over at the FedBizOpps website, here.



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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  • ostiariusalpha

    And here I thought that Valerian was the only thing to look forward to at the end of July.

    • valorius

      The new movie, or is that a game of thrones reference?

      • ostiariusalpha

        The flick. Game of thrones starts in the middle of the month, but only 7 eps makes it a bit bittersweet.

        • valorius

          I heard the eps are going to be feature length films though. So that’ll be cool.

          • CommonSense23

            Plus each episode has more funding and time to film.

  • USMC03Vet

    Volume of fire matters.

    • Joshua

      Whoever is making these RFI’s has their head up you know where.

      First they want 7.62 for all reducing combat loads, and then on top of that now they want to remove LMG’s……

      • Brett baker

        I recall reading as a kid a similar idiocy. They’d bring back M14’s
        , carry 260 rounds, ditch the mg’s and use tactics to use the m14’s range. If I remember, they also would have mortars and manpads. And we’d be able to for the first time in history, assure resupply. There were references to previous attempts to try the idea(they failed).

    • yodamiles

      It doesn’t matter to the people who made these RFI because after realizing their “mistake,” they will send out another poorly thought out RFI…
      Step 2: Profit

    • Independent George

      The barrel needs to be heavy enough for sustained fire, but that doesn’t mean the entire thing needs to weigh 20 pounds empty like the SAW. There seems to be a lot of room between the two.

      • yodamiles

        Well, the LSAT machine gun is around 10lbs empty and this gun performance is probably closer to M27 or M110 than a SAW.

        • roguetechie

          And it’s still god damn belt fed!

          • jcitizen

            I found that humping belt fed ammo attachments a lot lighter than a chest full of magazines. Especially up and down the mountains. Of course I was using M60 cardboard and canvas boxes, (with a rubber cover when needed for rain). I’ve never carried a SAW, but I do have some loaded plastic carry boxes and they seem even lighter that the old cardboard 7.62.

          • Joshua

            100rnd nut sack are easier to carry than a Magpul D60.

      • valorius

        The SAW weighs 17lbs empty.

        • iksnilol

          because those 3 pounds make it go from ridicilous to okay? A PKM is lighter for chrissakes.

          • valorius

            3 lbs is a pretty huge difference, yes. That’s 3 extra magazines of ammunition. (a loaded USGI mag weighs about 17-18oz.)

          • iksnilol

            It’s still ridiculously heavy for what it is. Those 3 pounds won’t change that.

          • valorius

            Those 3 lbs adds 100rds of additional ammunition for the same overall weight.

          • iksnilol

            It doesn’t change my point that the M249 is too heavy for what it is.

            You’re killing me, Smalls.

          • Joshua

            I agree it is, but thinks like the KAC Stoner LMG exist.

          • iksnilol

            Yup… and it is probably hella more reliable than an M249 as well.

            Will it get adopted? Hell no.

          • Joshua

            One can dream though.

          • jcitizen

            Wonder if it has the stainless steel receiver the M96 Expeditionary built by ROBARM – I always did think they were crazy for trying to change it up and compete with XCR – total FAIL!

          • valorius

            The M249 was much lighter than what it replaced, so was viewed by all us old timers to be a featherweight. Now, if you can make the same thing even lighter without sacrificing durability, reliability and controllability, by all means, go for it.

            Just make sure it’s belt fed.

          • Norm

            I understand the need for modularity, but I think it’s overburdened with rails and attachments. Perhaps there’s no way to achieve what it can do in an all around fashion without so much weight. Going to a caliber that none of the other infantry use, and storing it in mags rather than belts that can be shared seems iffy.

        • Haulin’ Oats

          Time to redesign the saw using lighter weight components. Barrett, FN, and Daniel Defense are you listening?

          • valorius

            While i think that would be a good idea, i’d caution that going too light would make that design hard to control. The SAW is a very, very controllable machinegun in full auto fire.

          • Haulin’ Oats

            I had thought about that. Perhaps we could get a Kriss Vector style counterweight to counteract the recoil forces.

          • valorius

            Any new machinegun should probably include some sort of recoil reduction device.

          • Wow!

            If you really wanted to go light, you could use an Ares MCR upper and a properly tuned brake. It would be cheaper than an M249 too. Heck, you could even put a silencer on if that is what the Army has a hard on for. If you are afraid of cook offs you can always use the old Colt M16A2 LMG trigger packs and mill the appropriate slot in the MCR bolt to convert it to open bolt.

            A PKM would be a terrible replacement for a M249. You thought the SAW was heavy? Just try lifting a loaded PKM drum. A PKM is more like an M60. An RPD would be a closer equivalent to an M249

          • Sermon 7.62
          • Wow!

            Yes, the only thing that survived from the RPK is the drum magazine which can be put in standard ak. The huge long barrel/sight radius, the long bipod, and the RPD style stock that differentiate it from just an AK are no longer there (they do have a full length barrel, but I think those aren’t the “patrol ready” versions). Basically what is left of the RPK concept is an AK with an optional drum fielded with the idea to use as a SAW. And then it still did replace belt fed options like the PK.

          • Sermon 7.62

            The concept is the same.

            RPK still is, as it has been before, an AK that has a thick receiver and barrel. That’s the concept 🙂

          • jcitizen

            Plus the Ares design has a removable barrel as well – for those afraid of a cook off. They really need a switch or something to cause a bolt hold open between shots – shouldn’t be too hard to dream up a simple mechanical idea like that; something like tying it to the full auto switch setting already built in.

          • iksnilol

            Umm, PKM doesn’t use drums.

          • Sermon 7.62

            He meant belt boxes, I think. PKM uses 100, 200 or 250 round belts.

            M60 unloaded: 10.5 kg (23.15 lb), M249 unloaded: 7.5 kg (17 lb), PKM unloaded: 7.5 kg (16.53 lb).

          • Wow!

            Ammo can, whatever. You get the idea that it is silly to replace a weapon believed to be too heavy with a weapon that is even heavier and lower capacity than the first.

          • jcitizen

            They use metal boxes that hold the belted ammo – pretty light in my opinion, but then I never had to carry one over land.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Perhaps, a suppressor? 🙂

          • iksnilol

            NOO, THAT’S MALL NINJA!

            /sarcasm

          • tiger

            Better yet a active cooling system.

          • valorius

            LMAO, don’t gaslight me. 😉

          • There is no such thing.

          • Kivaari

            I understand the “Kriss system” works in the imagination of the inventor.

          • Form Factory

            It slightly decreases muzzle rise, but doesnt work with rifle cartridges, nor has any effect in bullpups, also… a compensator does this job way simpler.

          • int19h

            Are any PKM users complaining about controllability?

          • valorius

            I don’t know any PK users, do you?

          • int19h

            I do actually. Haven’t ever heard them complaining about that.

          • jcitizen

            I’ve always shot it standing up, but then I’ve never had to hump it and all the ammo. It was a nice range toy, and I’d love it for fixed positions. controllability was great! Especially considering that old 7.62x54r ammo! In fact it beat out anything I’ve fired in that category except a Bren, but we all know that one is obsolete! The range and accuracy wasn’t too shabby either. We were working on other guns trying to get them to shoot, but NOT that one! I wished I could own one, to tell you the truth, but a pre ban ’86 is rare,. and the semi-autos have dried up. I was shooting the full auto version.

          • valorius

            Thanks for the real world opinion. 🙂

  • izhmash

    Using a 30-40 round magazine seems like it defeats the purpose of a weapon like this. 🤔

    • Ark

      Around here we just call that…a rifle.

      • Paveway

        Why not give every squad member an automatic rifle? Each role demands specialized weapons now?

        • valorius

          It always has.

        • Kelly Jackson

          Take it easier there McNamara

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            Awesome! Best laugh I’ve had today.

          • Liberal Juggalo supremacist

            Lol!!!

          • noob

            Yeah. That sounds expensive. Better implement cost cutting in the propellent department to make up for the higher rate of ammo consumption.

        • Tom Currie

          Errr…. We have done exactly that for very close to 50 years now.

        • Aaron

          The M4A1 pip generally fulfills that purpose by making the standard infantry carbine full auto and giving the firearms a heavier profile barrel to improve cooling times.

          • LilWolfy

            The FA trigger mechanism is for accuracy, not so everyone has FA. Infantrymen in riflemen, Grenadier, Team Leader, Squad Leader, PSG, PL, etc. duty positions don’t shoot on Auto. The heavy barrel was a mistake over the original M4 barrel profile, other than for a DM, which they don’t even support in the Army, outside the AMU and a few incidental commands who miraculously understand the value of that duty position.

        • Anthony “stalker6recon”

          Actually, it does. When I was on active duty as an Army 19Delta, Cavalry Scout, the members of each squad/truck (light cav) was issued a different weapons system. The driver of each truck carried the M203. One member of the squad would carry the pig, FN M240bravo LMG with two one-hundred round belts of ammo. Another member, designated as the assistant gunner would carry another two belts of ammo for the LMG. That member carried an M4 carbine. The TC (truck commander) would also carry the M4.

          Basically, each squad member had firepower with different capabilities to help cover the squad in the fluid fighting environments we faced. The position you held in the truck was usually determined by several factors, most important, proficiency with each weapon system. For the FN, size of the soldier also played a role, you didn’t give the pig to the guy that weighed less than the LMG W/ammo, for obvious reasons.

          I have limited experience with the M249, we did not have them as Scouts, but from what I understand about them, it was a decent weapon which while primarily belt fed, did accept AR magazines as well. Though apparently not very well.

          Any way that the military can increase lethality of soldiers AND lighten the loads we carry, will increase survivability of the soldiers and their teams. That is always a good thing.

          When I was serving, you could tell what MOS a soldier was to some extent, by the weapons they carried. As 19Delta’s, we were the only soldiers in our company that carried M4’s. Today, everybody does. These rifles were great for CQB, but they lacked the reach and stopping power required in open AO’s, especially when fighting against an elevated enemy, like the mountains in Afghanistan.

          Why the Army decided to widen the number/type of soldiers that carry the M4, is beyond me. They also need to move towards a gas/piston weapon, cleaning the AR sucks, and the H&K 416 upper became very desirable at that time for the confidence and ease of cleaning. Fouling jams suck, and can only be corrected by breaking down the weapon in the field. While most jams were caused by bad magazines/followers, a fouling jam would repeat until corrected, never a good thing.

          • Bert

            We (my cav unit) initially gave our drivers the m203, as well. Over the course of the deployment, it became clear that meant the m203 would never be used, since the drivers stayed with the truck most of the time. We received a bunch of TPE m203’s and from there the gunner’s received them too. When we transitioned to m320’s, the gunner and driver both qual’d on them, but it was understood that the grenade launcher would be in stand alone configuration and an integral tool in the gunner’s toolbox.
            The SAW we received early on in both deployments in brigade level trades and TPE. My opinion of it is low, but admittedly this may be because of my lower level of experience with it compared to the M240B, and the overall low condition of the guns I have handled. I would likely appreciate it more if they had not been shot out over the course of 20-30 years. It worked well enough with belts and live ammo, but blanks or high volume live fire would give it too many opportunities for those tiny links to fall in the action or the useless magwell. The mag feed would have frequent stoppages and rip up the feedlips.

          • Anthony “stalker6recon”

            I have no experience with the M320, the stand alone would be a great addition to the squad but I hope that those who carry such a limited use weapon also have a backup. You can only carry so much 40mm ammo. My second favorite system will always be the Mk19, but the ma’deuce will always be tops.

            Thanks for your service, Scouts Out!

          • LilWolfy

            Fouling jam? AR15 increases reliability with fouling. Gas regulators and piston cups, gas blocks need cleaning on 1920s-era designs. If someone told you that the gas system doesn’t need cleaning on the 416, you were sold a bill of goods.

            The decision to expand issuing M4s to everyone in the line was a good one. I was advocting for it since the 1990s. Go run a ballistics calculator comparison between a 20″ and 14.5″ gun.

            Biggest things missing from the inventory are good high efficiency intermediate cartridges in a LMG and DM/Sniper System that units can tailor per METT-TC. Combined with M4s, that would solve a lot of problems, but not the biggest problem: an incompetent leadership culture and climate.

          • Anthony “stalker6recon”

            Obviously anything that fouls, needs cleaning. The M240 gunner must rotate the aperature/gas block as fouling slows/stops the gun from firing. It is quick and easy to do on the go. When the AR fails due to fouling, you are in deep trouble. The CLP/whale sperm etc all encourage dirt/sand/grime to build up, further creating a failure to occur.

            As I said in my original comment, most of the failures I encountered, were caused by magazine problems. Bad springs/followers caused the majority of the problems, like double feeds and were easy to correct. Once fouling jams began, they would only get worse unless you did a guick strip/clean of the bolt group and chamber. Those I know who have had 416’s, spoke very highly of the reliability and how little fouling occured in the chamber, some even fired the rifle dry. I did not have the 416, so I can’t judge it from personal experience. Whether or not that design is a better rifle all around is difficult to say. I was given the opportunity to play with the XM-8 before that was axed and I liked it very much. Reminded me of the G36 with all the add-ons built into the top rail. No need to attach the M68 or PEQ-4, as they were integrated into the rifle, which as very nice.

            Lets face it, we will never all agree on what rifle our soldiers should carry, nor will we ever see our fighters carry the best weapons we believe they deserve, its the Army.

        • LilWolfy

          Traditionally, with metallic rifle cartrdges, it hinders mobility of the Squad and Fire Teams. Ammo weight is a big factor, which I why I would like to see the LSAT LMG, not some magazine-fed system.

      • tiger

        Try the return of the BAR or BREN gun.

    • USMC03Vet

      The Magpul 60 round drum mags are a good start.

      • John

        Some time ago an Army test group found that modern Beta-C mags were much, much more reliable and durable than in the past, and warranted a serious look at being issued, particularly with the HK416.

        I’d imagine carrying those around might help with weight and reload times. And if you need a heavier gun, the M240 “maximi” is on call too.

        • Anonymoose

          The Mk48 is better if you need a 7.62 automatic rifle (which you don’t, so you may as well issue Mk46s until the LSAT comes through). 240s should stay relegated to actual machinegunners who fire from tripods or at least tripods most of the time.

    • Don Ward

      For a second I thought you were talking about a magazine for a 30-40 Krag.

      Then reading comprehension kicked in and I got sad.

  • James Kachman

    There’s a lot of emphasis on lightweight, is this going to be the path by which the LSAT is formally adopted? That 1200m figure is the same as listed for the 6.5 CT, if I recall correctly. Slap an EPR projectile on it, and it’d be a mean customer. Still not sure what if any connection there is to the RFI for 7.62 NATO rifles, but times are a changing in small arms.

    • Uthýr

      6.5CT actually propably is not supersonic to 1200m (supression)

      • James Kachman

        Does it need to be supersonic for the suppression requirement?

        • CommonSense23

          Nope.

        • Uthýr

          Subsonic = no supersonic crack

          • iksnilol

            Subsonic = beneath sonic velocity.

        • Dracon1201

          I’d say yeah. We’d be putting our troops at a yuge disadvantage with subsonic only ammo. You think the brass complains about range now…

          • James Kachman

            No, you mistake what I meant. All supersonic rifle rounds will eventually lose enough kinetic energy to become subsonic, its simply a question of what distance that happens at. My question is whether or not a round that is subsonic at 1200m would suffice for the suppression requirement.

          • Dracon1201

            That makes more sense.

    • valorius

      Honestly i think all these programs will be cancelled before anything is produced. Just my gut instinct talking to me.

      • James Kachman

        What? Haven’t you seen the M8, M25 and OICW on the frontlines of Afghanistan? /s

        • valorius

          Exactly.

        • valorius

          The only troops with an OICW on the front lines are Korean.

  • idahoguy101

    The more things change, the more they stay the same? Perhaps a version of the Browning Automatic Rifle is and was a great idea??? Personally I recommend the British BREN gun in 7.62NATO

    • Major Tom

      HCAR is a thing. A modernized BAR.

      • Get over it fanbois

        A mall ninja range toy that the army rejected.

      • Jolly

        I fondled one of those at my LGS the other day. I have to say I was less than impressed with the machining quality. Looked like a monkey got a hold of the mill while cutting the receiver (Machine marks and tooling gouges everywhere) At $4000+ I expect perfection. Also heavy AF!

    • Edeco

      Yeah, seems like they keep interpolating around between different classes of weapon without an overall vision, that I can discern.

  • Get over it fanbois

    The gun Luddites seem to be losing ground. The LSAT program is moving forward, while 6.5mm and IARs are the future. Belt feed machine guns will be .338 Norma or larger.
    Just hope the Army doesn’t screw up like the USMC did with the M27 and fail to adopt casket magazines along with it. Why they didn’t as HK to make them is something only they would know.

    • Jan Moszczuk

      Most of the commenters here are gun luddites. Not to mention Nathaniel F himself… though seeing his luddism utterly destroyed by Kori Phillips was certainly fun

    • Dracon1201

      The heck are you talking about? Casket mags are unreliable on clean, square ranges. You will never beat a belt fed rifle in volume of fire (the whole purpose of an LMG/IAR). Considering the hideously large profile of 100rd caskets compared to belts, you might as well add a pair of shooting sticks or 12+” bipods in the RFI. They didn’t ask H&K to make them because not even Magpul, the magazine specialists, could create a reliable casket mag.

      • Get over it fanbois

        Or maybe we are too reliant on Magpul to for making magazines. Surefire has a 100 round casket mag. I see very little complaints about them. The large profile of the magazine wouldn’t matter with a longer barrel or a bullpup.

        “You will never beat a belt fed rifle in volume of fire”
        Yet the Famas G2 has a rate of 1100 rounds per minute. France should repurpose them as replacement for the Minimi.

        • ostiariusalpha

          The SureFire casket mag shares the same weakness as the Magpul prototype did. If you jostle it too hard the rounds jumble and won’t feed right anymore, that’s why Magpul abandoned it for a drum mag.

          • Get over it fanbois

            Nobody is going to use drum magazines though. Their very poor for shooting from the prone position . “Jostling” is a non existent problem for cased telescoped bullets.

          • ostiariusalpha

            There is virtually no difference between firing a 30-rnd standard mag and the Magpul D60 from the prone; it’s heavier, that’s it. And what exactly is your experience with CT casket mags?

          • Get over it fanbois

            The information I’ve read say that their perfectly fine. Steel is heavy, while composite mags are not only lighter but more durable.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Uh huh, I’m sure you’ve been privy to all the non-existent drop tests that they performed on the one, single magazine that was constructed.

          • iksnilol

            And much wider, just like a casket mag.

          • ostiariusalpha

            True, though it isn’t much of an issue when the mag is actually in the gun. It’s trying to pack around spare drums that makes it unattractive as a standard issue mag. One D60 takes up as much space in a pouch as 4 conventional mags, but giving you half as much ammo.

          • iksnilol

            then why complain about the width of casket mags?

          • ostiariusalpha

            It’s not their width (at least, not for me) that’s the problem. It’s their vulnerability to rough handling, that drum mags don’t share.

          • 1911a145acp

            Indeed, I have tried to like the 60 round casket SureFires. Too wide, Too expensive, too noisy, too heavy in the gun. I don’t trust them. I have never had one fail during firing- but I have never subjected them to hard use. I had one loaded w/ 300 BLK and dropped it and it vomited out 1/3 of it’s contents. I heard two noted firearms trainers say the same about them- ” Range toy,Nobody in the real world uses those…..” I would rather have 6 MagPul or 10 Brownells 30 rounders for the same money.

        • CommonSense23

          I’m guessing you have never tried to keep up volume of fire with a mag fed weapon versus a belt fed.

        • Dracon1201

          High rof is not the same as volume. Running through a mag fast isn’t what I’m talking about.

          Also, “no complaints about the Surefires,” I hear they are unreliable and about as tall as a freaking cow all the time, and yes, it would matter. They’re literally a foot extra, and in a bullpup, yeah, prone would suck more

          • Get over it fanbois

            Your not going to use drum magazines or Beta-C mags in a bullpup, which are worse. It obstructs the arm and the ability to aim well.
            Casket would only make it the bullpup heaver with a bipod, but that is just a problem for American shooters who never handled anything heaver than an AR. As they seem to hate anything over six pounds.

          • Dracon1201

            Exos aren’t fielded, so that’s an odd, and irrelevant point. No, I’m used to handling heavier rifles. Have you ever handled a bullpup with a casket mag? It’s incredibly unwieldy. I have a 60rd Surefire, I promise the moment you put that in a bullpup you’ll be shooting uncomfortably higher than your elbows in prone on a square range. It would be disgusting to handle in a combat situation, I promise. Also, the rifle will not be a bullpup, that I can most definitely promise for a multitude of reasons.

  • valorius

    If you want an SDM in the squad, just add an SDM. Getting rid of the machine gun is so patently stupid that only the DoD could come up with such an idea.

  • Major Tom

    On this one, the Army is completely missing the point. The SAW role is not about precision, it’s portable volume of fire. The LSAT machine gun is the answer to this issue, not a pathetic attempt at an RPK.

    • Kinetics

      Agreed on the RPK not being the solution but respectfully, LSAT is not the solution either. Polymer cased ammo combined with modern manufacturing is the solution. The Barret M240 attains M240L weights (~22-23 lbs) without using titanium receivers and being more expensive.

      The SAW has been updated throughout its life but the base weapon was still designed in the 80’s. You could certainly cut a few pounds out with new manufacturing methods and polymer cased ammo would make ammo much easier to carry.

      • Major Tom

        How is LSAT not the answer? It’s a belt-fed CT machine gun that weighs less than 10 pounds loaded with 100 rounds. It’s more accurate than the 249, better at the SAW role than the M27 and it’s all but ready for prime time.

        What’s not to like? How is it not the solution?

        • Sermon 7.62

          Snipers like shooting soldiers with belt-fed machine guns

          • They like shooting officers, too, but that’s not a good reason to put a PFC in charge of a BCT.

          • Sermon 7.62

            But that’s a good reason to make a BCT look the same as a PFC. Hence, a MG shouldn’t stand out

          • Major Tom

            If I was to be a sniper against US troops I’d look for the guys with bipods or grenade launchers, they’d be the ones I shoot first. Making the automatic rifleman in the squad carry the same weapon as anyone else only diminishes his capability to put sustained fire against me and keep me from popping a round in him. Plus he’ll still stand out with the need for a bipod/gripod equipped weapon.

          • Sermon 7.62

            It’s the size of a gun that makes it stand out, not some details like a bipod. And the weight of it that makes a soldier less mobile. An LMG equipped with a 96-round mag, light and compact, and suppressed like the RPK-16 is a much better choice compared to LSAT

          • Major Tom

            When the LSAT has:

            > More capacity: 100+ rounds to 96
            > light weight: under 10 lbs empty and barebones loaded
            > provisions for muzzle devices including suppressors.
            > a quick-change barrel for easy swaps when the weapon runs hot

            There’s really nothing an RPK-style has over LSAT.

          • Sermon 7.62

            RPK-16 is 8.8-pound unloaded
            Has interchangeable barrels (16″ and 20″)
            1913 rail on top of the handguard for clip-on sights
            Folding buttstock
            More compact and less looking like a MG
            Drum mag takes 5-10 seconds to change

          • iksnilol

            >has a big drum mag that looks nothing like non-MG rifle mags.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Doesn’t matter. It’s the general outlook of the rifle that matters: the size, not the details. Plus, it’s smaller than a belt container.

          • iksnilol

            Front profile is a thing, buddy.

          • Sermon 7.62
          • iksnilol

            still looks like an MG.

          • Sermon 7.62

            But hard to notice if the soldier has matching camo

          • randomMTguy

            That camo pattern looks like the stuff my dog barfed up on my center console in my truck yesterday on the bumpy back road I was on.

          • Sermon 7.62
          • jcitizen

            Two of my favorite patterns!

          • LilWolfy

            LSAT ammo bag is way lower profile than AK drums. If you’ve ever done this duty position before, you start to see immediately the problem with drum mags. LSAT bags have half the length of an AK drum, and the ammo weighs 40% less than 5.56 linked.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Does it look lile much lower profile?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/134a4b0fd957c989c11f90ec3fa6e80b6f233a83276ac01628613285a3e7d6ca.jpg

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8d24b118d4c0a890f3d84bbb4add8cf5bf52fc1723c5c62952b23af7ae3bc37.jpg

            RPK is 1 pound lighter than LSAT, amd much more compact. Doesn’t stand out as much as LSAT. Drum mags are faster to reload, and that LSAT experimental ammo is still an experiment.

          • LilWolfy

            LSAT weighs less, has a smaller profile, constant recoil, higher hit probability, easier to train and gain proficiency with, no drums to retain when conducting rapid sack change, way better reliability, less heat transmission into the barrel, better maneuverability. Allows LMG gunners more longevity in a fight, continue mission, another contact, actions on objective, and exfil, with less ammo weight and higher round count.

          • Sermon 7.62
          • Uniform223

            “They like shooting officers”

            Sniper check…

          • jono102

            Realistically outside of movies, computer games or youtube, soldiers with belt fed machine guns are only something to mitigate or avoid. Above that they are of little consideration to a sniper and not worth the risk of compromise to engage.

            HVT’s like Enemy Snipers, C2 elements, support weapons (Company/Battalion level and higher) are Snipers key “Audience”.

          • Sermon 7.62

            In Russia, a designated marksman is called a sniper, too

          • jono102

            Sniper is a very loosely used term in some places. A designated marksman/SDM/DM or similar is just a rifleman with maybe a little extra training, a longer barrel and possible a bigger bullet.

            A sniper is among other things a highly trained marksman and observer. Its a snipers roles and capabilitiies that seperate them from line infantry. If a sniper is going to even bother with platoon level infantry targets, after commanders and comms, DM/SDM’s would be next as they may offer a limited threat. Machine gunners are of little threat to a properly trained and qualified sniper

          • Sermon 7.62

            Yes, it makes sense

            But, like I said, in Russia a designated marksman is called a sniper, too

          • LilWolfy

            I don’t know of any army that loosely defines Snipers, not in the East, not in the West. An SDM is integral to the Infantry Squad, providing a trained shooter/observer who is equipped with optics who can 1) Enhance the Situational awareness of the Squad and Platoon, and 2) Deliver high 1st-round hit probability fires on TGTs of opportunity in support of his Squad’s fires plan/scheme.

            Snipers spend a lot of their time working with Rifle Platoons and Companies, because that’s our main customer. The books about low-crawling into enemy lines to shoot Generals are BS, never happened. You are another tool for Commanders to use to accomplish the mission, not a lone dude stalking around the battlefield with no security. It rubs us wrong when people who have clearly never done the job go around explaining to others what that job is.

            Comes across as someone who isn’t a plumber telling other plumbers it’s ok to chew their fingernails, and that crap runs uphill, payday is on Thursday.

          • jono102

            There are quite a few military’s who’s definition of Sniping would be defined as “Loose” when compared with most western military’s doctrine or definition especially in the Middle East, Asia and other services. For example I’ve worked with those who were defined as “Snipers” purely based off a range qualification and little to no field work or tactical testing.

            Most the SDM’s (US Army) I have encountered had little training over and above others within their rifle platoons apart from the use of their particular weapon.

            I understand from the US Army may parcel their snipers out or TACON them out to a lower level than some other forces. We may find our selves co-located with a Rifle Coy or Pl in support of the Bn CO’s intent, but control/co-ord still sitting with the Sniper Supervisor in Bn. Generally we’re to busy to get tied up with a Rifle Pl and rapidly bouncing on to the next task the CO has lined up as their are to many jobs and not enough teams.

            Never been a Plumber unless you count working with pipe that has .308 or .338 internal diameter, don’t chew my nails either. Never seen crap run up hill but did see an aqueduct in Afghan that allowed water flow up hill and pay day in the NZDF happens to be Thursday.

          • LilWolfy

            Russian snipers who have gone through their 3-month training program disagree with that statement strongly.

          • Sermon 7.62

            To become a sniper, a candidate must complete the course of 12 months as a conscript in paratrooper, marine, recon, Spetsnaz units or as a squad sniper (DM) in regular units. Then, he can sign a contract and go to a sniper school. Out of 100 people 4-5 can pass. To sign a contract, he must have a higher education.

            A DM, called a platoon sniper, goes through a 6-months program.

          • LilWolfy

            This doesn’t jive well with how we were employed. A lot of the time, Snipers are co-located with the machineguns on the support-by-fire position to support the commander’s intent. We would also do overwatch of long halts and positions, as well as advanced reconnaissance for the line Companies through BN.

            In OIF, a lot of teams did counter-IED as well. Crew-served weapons definitely were a key traget priority for us in every Scout Sniper Platoon I was in. Not sure where you’re getting your info, but it’s not congruent with what I know. Crew-served weapons are the most casulaty-producing weapons under indirect and anti-armor, and were frequently prioritized in daily FRAGOs and commander’s priority targets, both for searches, as well as TGTs of opportunity.

        • aka_mythos

          I agree with you but I just wanted to add one caveat… this RFI is open to any sort of system configuration, someone could come up with something new that in itself allows weight savings but where even if it isn’t LSAT the lessons from LSAT could then be applied to it to achieve greater strides than either of the two technologies could do independently.

          LSAT is a big investment as it would require the retooling of several federally operated ammunition manufacturing plants and I think it’s important to the Army that it’s able to say “this is as far as we can go without LSAT.” I think it gives them a firmer position to say LSAT is the best path forward, by showing the deficiencies of any other best attempts.

    • LilWolfy

      Yup. I don’t know who greased whose paws, but the LSAT needs more support. Its biggest challenge is establishing the economy of scale for the manufacturing, which is already in-place for metallic rifle cartridges. LSAT is more reliable than the SAW or even the 240 and PKM, because there is no traditional extractor or ejector, and heat mitigation is handled mostly by the case. Weapon and ammo weight are drastically reduced. They are so accurate, that the test Platoon found out that they could use the LSAT in the DM role in semi, when some of their M110Ks went down.

  • valorius

    “This has all happened before, and it will all happen again.”
    -BSG

  • gunsandrockets

    The M249 SAW always seemed to me to be oddly misnamed considering the Army and USMC always used it as a Fire Team level weapon instead of a Squad level weapon. No wonder the M249 is considered too heavy.

    • Sticky-eye Rivers

      The US Army likes rifles and names some rifles machine guns, ergo they call this rifle “machine gun” and then use it like a rifle. To each their own? In another country this would replace the M4 and you’d add M240’s in the Fire team to replace the SAW.

  • gunsandrockets

    With this new Army solicitation out there, its bizarre the Army just lets the LSAT sit on the shelf rather than adapt it.

  • roguetechie

    So they’re finally on the cusp of an all belt fed sub 12 pound 100 round capacity firearms fleet….

    And they go f***ing left on all of us and say nahhhh!!!!

  • valorius

    Suppressive fire with 20 rd magazines? Boy, that’d be a neat trick.

    • Dracon1201

      Agreed, a neat trick in the 40’s, not even comparable now.

    • A Mk45 could do suppressive fire with a 20rd magazine, and I would not at all be surprised to hear that some Marine officer had proposed equipping every fireteam with one.

      • valorius

        LMAO let’s stick to man portable land based ordnance, shall we? 😀

        • Hey, as long as whatever machine gun rifle they go with has a STOVL lift fan, man.

          • valorius

            Yep! Cause nothing says Marine CAS aviation like a supersonic stealth air superiority fighter!

    • iksnilol

      Worked fine with bipod equipped G3s.

      • valorius

        Sure it did. It ‘worked fine’ with volley fired muskets too.

    • tiger

      That is how it was done for decades with the BAR & BREN.

      • valorius

        Done inadequately.

    • Uniform223

      Better have a lot of spare magazines and be able to reload at the speed of mach jesus.

      • jono102

        And hope anyone you are covering who’s moving to an FUP or flanking can do the 4 minute mile in full kit.
        Its the same issue with the likes of the Ultimax as an LSW/LMG, yeah its light and handy but packs a sad when they get hot and can be temperamental with drums. Then you have the problem of trying to load these over sized drums that take up a lot of space. The Singaporeans spent all this time and money developing them and their drums only to have the largely conscript Army primarily use AR mags because they were to heavy for them, unreliable and awkward to reload in the field.

  • valorius

    If the US Army wants to go down this idiotic path, why not just buy M27s?

    • gunsandrockets

      Perhaps that’s exactly what’s going on.

      • valorius

        Wouldn’t surprise me, but i certainly hope not. The only replacement for a belt fed machine gun is a better belt fed machine gun.

        • Uniform223

          KAC LMG or the Israeli Negev would be my choices.

    • Redfoot

      Ding ding ding!!!

  • Sermon 7.62

    This is it

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ea5b2297e9af6eb335304977ebf8a451dc9ff354f9a65d8e24d1dbd22b51e0f.jpg

    8.8-pound unloaded
    96-round drum mag
    7N6, 7N10, 7T3, and 7T3M ammo
    interchangeable 16 and 20 inch barrels
    suppressor
    1913 rail

    • noob

      Better go to the classified set of industry days to be held July 25-27 of this year.

      • Sermon 7.62

        I think it needs a better buttstock and pistol grip. The bipod should be mounted to a spigot in front of the handguard not under it. And over-barrel suppressor

        • randomswede

          But that would take HOURS to change so that’s out.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Hours to change? Explain, please

          • randomswede

            It was intended as a joke; the humor i intended was in the incongruity of a task that is easily achieved (within hours with off-the-shelf parts) and still not ready for july 25-27 date that’s over a month away. Admittedly, not a very good one.

  • Audie Bakerson

    The range rules out 300 blackout.

  • Ian McCollum

    The US military has a long a rich history of running new weapon tests and rejecting all submissions.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Not that you’re complaining. This will keep you busy into your golden years.

      • John McMickle

        Actually Ian is correct there have been a huge number of weapons tested over the years that were never adopted. Like the Luger chambered in .45 ACP that was tested.

        • ostiariusalpha

          No one has contradicted him, we all knew that already.

    • Anonymoose

      No love for the CMG-3, huh?

      • John McMickle

        This is a step backwards, the progression was M1918 BAR, M60, M242, and now we are going back to a magazine fed rifle. How about reading the justification for the change from the BAR to the M60 before going down this road.

    • Zaza Pensive

      and spending/wasting huge amounts of money doing it.
      why not just air drop ammo to the ground troops more often.
      isn’t that what automatic drone supply bots will do for UPS?

    • Kerwin Kerr

      Indeed!

    • wpjokari

      they need to focus on thermal/IR vision and portable drones for forward observation, to fulfill the spirit of this change back to dragunov/designated marksman style long range accuracy instead of spray and pray SAW.

  • Big Daddy

    I wonder if anybody there knows what they are doing? I think they whole concept of an infantry squad has to be rewritten. It sounds like they are making weapons without a clear cut job within the infantry squad and platoon. How does this work with mech troops? They need to step back and get a plan for how to equip and deploy the infantry and in what numbers. 7 man, 9 man, 15 man quads? How many to a team? How many teams to a squad and how to equip them, how to deploy them and so on. It just seems that there are a bunch of guys not working together to have a clear cut plan.

  • adverse4

    Dreamers. If they want a lethal rifle they have to get off the fence. Do they want just another PDW, or an actual battle rifle?

  • XT6Wagon

    In other news they plan to replace shovels with baseball bats.

    I am missing how the replacement is anything like what its replacing.

    • FarmerB

      They are replacing shovels with baseballs bats, because you cannot beat a horse to death with a shovel.

      • DW

        You totally can, in fact many shovels are weaponized (have cutting edge)

        • randomswede

          I thought there was a ban on assault shovels!
          (I’m Sorry, I know, but I almost had to.)

  • Brett baker

    Un,1200 meters suppression with rounds weighing 20% less? Would you use a 6.5 and say it’s lighter than 7.62? Or do they think polymer cases or CT are ready for prime time? Or is it a case of “aim for the stars and hope you hit the moon”? Although I gotta admit it is a neat concept; a sniper SAW.

    • Dracon1201

      Aluminum casings would help…

      • FF

        Aluminium burns at that pressure….. (also its expensive)

        • Dracon1201

          Not expensive, I’m sure the issues could be overcome with proper research. Aluminum handgun casings work quite well.

          • FF

            It was done back in the day, you need special plastic inserts to shield the aluminium, at which point… you can just use polymer cases anyways (lighter too!). And no you cant magically “overcome” basic physics, pistol ammo has way lower pressure than rifle ammo, usually you have 55000psi while they burned even at only 38000psi.

  • William M Durham

    Some jackass wants to go back to pre-WW2 BAR style weapon, fast firing but very limited capacity for ammo, another really stupid idea to waste money

  • n0truscotsman

    Stupid.

    Next.

  • aka_mythos

    Here is what I think…
    What they need is a bullpup that loads forward of the trigger group and draws the rounds further back into the rear of the gun before round is then driven forward into the chamber. There are already machine guns that draw the round back and out of the disintegrating belt before chambering it… lengthen that rearward draw and use it to soften the recoil.

    Further I think there is an opportunity in producing an integrally suppressed machinegun… rather than having a typical gas system that bleeds off from a gas block mounted mid-barrel to drive the action… they could try to to feed off of the suppressor, this would serve a number of purposes… 1) the gas driving the weapon would be more efficiently burned and thus cleaner than if it’s taken from a mid-length point, further the suppressor plays double duty by allowing heavier particles in the gas to collect and filter out more of what potentially fouls up the weapon. 2) the cycling of the weapon acts as a regulator on the pressure of the suppressor, preventing over pressure. 3) in a minor way the variable and increased volume for gas expansion more evenly distributes and lowers the peak temperatures associated with suppressor use.

    • Ray

      Check out AR gas trap rifle

      • aka_mythos

        That’s pretty cool. I only gave it a quick look over and I’ll need to read into it more. It certainly shows there is something to it.

        • forrest1985

          You lost me at “bullpup”

          • aka_mythos

            I’m sorry you’re lost.

  • james

    Major problem!! Despite President Trump expanding the DOD budget somewhat, it still has not the funds to replace every small arm that’s its trying to do now. Also heavy weapons development is in much decay and we are wasting time with this program and other small arms which doesn’t need to be replaced now.
    As well I think this just a Army version of the USMC IAR and like the Marines may end up with the M-27 in Army use.
    Rumors for now, but proof the DOD is wasting billions for crap we don’t need!

  • jono102

    Judging by the RFI’s and kit calls by generals in the media, is it close to the end of the financial year or someone found some “Spend it or they’ll take it” money?

  • Anonymoose

    I may be really drunk, but this sounds really stupid. Also, why the heck are they using an A2 grip on that one super-short-barreled 7.62×51 abomination? The other one looks like a child’s drawing of an AUG 9mm SMG.

  • Alexandru Ianu

    Wait, as a replacement for an LMG/SAW? What are they smoking? Or did they hire Wiz Khalifa as a consultant?

    That could work as a complement/replacement for DMRs, so they can also counter the enemy’s heavier MGs in a compact package, but replacing the M249 with that is ridiculous.

  • DW

    Someone should enter a short-barreled, aluminum receiver Madsen LMG shooting 7.62/6.5 CT. Not because it’s what we need (it isn’t), because someone ****** up.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    ‘A magazinet fed rifle with fixed barrel, will outshoot a belt fed mg, and give more firepower.’

    Said no one ever.

  • Don Ward
  • Risto Kantonen

    What are the premises that form the reasoning behind this development? To me, this seems nothing more than an effort to line someone’s pockets and as such goes in the same category of stupid with the 7.62×51 ICSR.

    I understand the weight reduction argument, but there’s already the LSAT LMG development for that, which has been covered here on TFB.

  • Wow!

    Seems like the Army leaders have been watching too many movies or something. Do they not even know what a machine gunner’s role is? Among other things, you aren’t going to get the same level of area denial capabilities in a box mag capacity vs a belt. Semi auto/select fire trigger groups make sense. Dropping the belt fed capabilities doesn’t. Not to mention since it seems like they are trying to go caseless, the bulker (but lighter?) ammo probably means reduced capacities compared to an M16.

    • Utýr

      Polymer Telescopic Cased – not Caseless.

      • jcitizen

        A lot of engineers still call that caseless – doesn’t make sense though.

        • Curmudgeon

          I thought those polymer cases of compacted propellant with a bullet buried in them were consumed/burned in the firing cycle.

          • jcitizen

            They tried nitrocellulose cases, but I’ve never seen a successful design of it. Probably because the magazines/belts have to be sealed against the elements and thrown away after use.

  • AR-PRO

    So their looking for an “SBR’d” suppressed BAR?

  • tiger

    So, in other words…,…. 100 years after John Browning gave us the M 1918 BAR; We are returning to basically a new M 1918 BAR, but with a suppressor??? Head scratch begin….

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Exactly. Belt feed adds a lot of mass to a weapon, which isn’t a problem for a crew served support weapon, but is for an automatic rifle.

  • Matt Kraemer

    So they want a BAR?

  • tiger

    So we go to Barbara Eden, and have her do her gennie thing. Smoke clears & she makes à 10 lbs. Bren gun. No problem ,..

  • Zaza Pensive

    ‘…The NGSAR will achieve overmatch by killing stationary, and suppressing moving, threats out to 600 meters (T), and suppressing all threats to a range of 1200 meters (O).

    has anyone in the military here thought that adding a few more .50 cal would resolve the 1200 meter reach problem?

    • CommonSense23

      How exactly are you going to be carrying said 50?

      • iksnilol

        Interns?

  • Threethreeight

    What is a suppressed ultimax?

  • Sermon 7.62

    This is what makes them scratch their heads, I guess

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Suppressed is something worthwhile looking into. What will getting rid of the SAW for a glorified and overpriced AR? Why not keep working on the LSAT?

  • lookinoutforu

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Guido FL

    The Soviets solved this mag problem by going to 75 rd. drum mags.

    • Sermon 7.62

      96 rd. for 5.45

  • A.WChuck

    I think people are missing the intent of this RFI. It is an attempt to see if there are any bright new ideas out in the industry prior to spending all the money to re-arm. This should have made that clear “No award is intended as a result of this Special Notice nor does the Government intend to pay for information received. Any response to this notice is not an offer and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.”
    This RFI is actually a Good Thing ™.

    • Uthýr

      Still a bit silly because an inventor will not give his work away if they not intent to pay anything. Its Basicly: Tell us everything, thanks for the data, bye.

      • A.WChuck

        If the design is accepted the RFI will become an RFP and contracts will be signed and lillions of dollars will change hands. It has always been thus with Military Contracts.

        • Utýr

          Can i get a lillion too?

          • A.WChuck

            Lol, sure I’m handing them out on the street corner.
            Weird, I know I corrected that typo and yet there it is.

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Exactly. Ask for Mars, see if you can get the Moon.

    • Read the rest of the SN, it makes it pretty clear this is the direction the Army is headed.

      • A.WChuck

        Correct, but my comment does not dispute that. They are trying to see what the industry can offer, prior to drawing up their plans to spend our tax dollars. Money will be spent at some point and they might even end up with what they want. Hopefully, it will also be what is needed.

  • L. Roger Rich

    What a load..computer models… not worth the tax $$

  • Steven

    Ask any Vietnam infantryman what he would have most like to have back then and the belt fed 249 will be at the top of the list. Like several posters have mentioned, so now we are going back to a high tech BAR?

  • Lee

    So… they basically want a select fire DMR?
    I thought the whole point of a squad automatic weapon was indirect or direct suppressive fire. It seems like they are trying to replace oranges with apples…

  • SFC TIM RIFFE

    That is fully .billings carbine look better.

  • jcitizen

    I don’t know how a suppressor can take that kind of heat – you can vaporize bacon on a semi auto rifle with a suppressor on it – at full auto it would just be ridiculous. I realize they have value in a spec op, but for regular usage at high firing rates, just doesn’t make sense, unless it is a pistol round.

  • Darrell Elmore

    A new BAR? What caliber? There are a number of rounds out there today that can use the same lower receiver as an M-16/M-4 but unless there is a better sustained fire capability than you get from 20-30 round magazines, what have you gained. Suppressor? This trend may be practical, not proven in actual combat yet. Reliable drum magazines as well as standard magazine feed might be worth a look. Still, as an old BAR man it seems we are finally accepting that the 5.56 round sucks and we need both a better round and weapon.

    • Joshua

      Except M855A1 doesn’t suck and is standard issue.

      • iksnilol

        Why do you botther? This guy is so outdated so as to say that suppressors aren’t proven in actual combat yet.

  • H.C.

    This Is obviously a backdoor attempt at getting a new rifle in for the Army, just like the USMC did with the M27 IAR. Anyone thinking that this is a actual “replacement” for the SAW needs their head checked.

  • bpegg72

    Using a magazine fed rifle makes no sense to me. Even though I hated hauling around the M60 all the time, it was really nice having a belt fed when it was needed.

  • snmp

    * STK Ultimax 100 MK5
    * FN SCAR L/16 – HAMR
    * HK416 IAR/M27
    * Colt IAR / Diamanco LOAWNLD

    • snmp

      For cheaper alternative they could convert M249 SAW in mag fed on top (like the British BREN) with an BETA C-MAG or SURFIRE MAG5-100

  • Veloxto

    The first rendering looks like an XCR-M. In which case, just get an XCR-M.

  • GNTownsend

    Once the Army goes back to a magazine-fed weapon, you can forget all about enemy fire suppression. Only belt-fed weapons can lay down the requisite volume and duration of fire to keep the enemy heads down while infantry maneuvers against them. If they’re going to go back to a magazine-fed squad automatic weapon, may as well just bring back the good old BAR and develop a 30-round magazine. That would certainly cost the taxpayers a whole lot less money and give the Army a squad weapon that can reach out to 800 yards.

    • Uthýr

      800y is nothing special.

    • Curmudgeon

      Yeah but the M2 Ball we were shooting in the BAR keyholes before 600 yards. 2200 feet above sea level, even when 100°F or hotter. Truly an “area-fire” weapon at 800.

    • Jim

      Trouble is, they want something that can be suppressed AND is lighter in both the rifle itself, but also the ammo it uses. The BAR definitely does not fit and neither does the M-6o.

  • Uniform223

    I’ll say it, Desert Tech MDR…

    I couldn’t keep a straight face while I typed that

  • Curmudgeon

    I smell another M14 debacle coming.

    Expecting too much from a too-light weapon. Perhaps a KRISS style active recoil damping system is the only way to make it work?

    Telescoped ammo might be the way to get something between 6.5 Grendel and Creedmoor performance without stepping all the way backwards to M14/AR10 size magazines and ammo and ammo weight. And with decent barrel life. But I still don’t understand you you can get decent rifle accuracy with a bazillion millimeters of freebore. The squad auto just has to use the same ammo as the grunts’ rifles.

  • HKfan

    They will stay with 5.56. They were saying the same exact thing with MHS. Everyone though the Army would go to 40 or 45 for handguns, and what did they do? Make a $580M contract for tens off thousands of 9MM P320s.

    Going to a new caliber presents many problems. Updating training, logistics/availability problems, design issues and what do they do with the millions of NATO rounds in inventory?

    If they do stick with 5.56, they need the M27

  • WELLS SHANE

    My father cared the 3.06 B.A.R. But i do not expect the boy.s and gal’s to tote one of them.I was one who WAS all way’s glad we had the 60.If you ever really get into a hot fire fight i am not talking Middle East.But we always had chopper re supply and we cared a link of rounds.

  • Richard Lutz

    Why doesn’t the US Army they just adopt the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle used by the Marines and fit a sound suppressor to it?

  • Jim

    This idea is rather stupid as the M249 SAW can also use magazines. Additionally I don’t know of a suppressor that could handle full auto fire for very many rounds.

  • TW

    All this money spent on wanting to replace the 5.56 and M-16 type weapons is annoying. The new M855A1 does wonders and with upgraded weapons can be very effective. The best infantry squad I could come up with is a new M4 gun like the LMT MARS, a lighter M249 (or KAC LMG type), and the new HK CSASS. Does everything effective in normal combat distance.

  • jcitizen

    Interesting! I’ve seen a lot of NFA drop in trigger kits, but I didn’t know any of them held the bolt back! Thanks!

    • Wow!

      There is also an improved version of the concept in the form of the LWRC M6A3/A4 IAR. Same basic trigger mechanism but the selector goes from safe, semi (closed bolt), and auto (open bolt). All they do is add the arm on the open bolt sear which is actuated by the selector notches when the disconnector is inactivated. Well, at least that is what I think. I’ve never handled an M6 like I have with an M16 LMG, so I’m not certain about their trigger group, but I am pretty sure I reverse engineered it accurately on paper.

      • jcitizen

        I went to defensereview(dot)com, and they said it even had polygonal rifling – I assume to reduce heat production from bullet traffic. The test rifle pictured was also suppressed – sounds like a perfect candidate!

  • jcitizen

    I wonder if titanium would help – that sucker was flat glowing! – but then – they had to have ruined that barrel!! A guy can probably get replacement parts cheap though.(for now)

  • jcitizen

    New weapon by 1996 – well that dates that film! I thought I’d heard the flechette idea died quickly during testing.

  • jcitizen

    I saw one youtube video where a Glock barrel did better with the third party land and groove rifling. Who knew? Accuracy and velocity were higher with the land/groove rifled barrel. Maybe like you said – they thought fouling would be less with polygonal rifling? – oh well. Perhaps manufacturing it is less cumbersome. Perhaps barrel life improves?

  • John McMickle

    Well they are going back to the days of the M1918 BAR. They moved away form that weapon for a reason. Maybe they need to review the old paperwork before going down this road.