At the 2017 Association of the US Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting, Textron System displayed for the very first time their firing 6.5mm CT Carbine prototype. Previously, only non-firing mockups had been shown to the public, but after successful tests this summer the real thing was brought out to show at the conference, where TFB got its first look at the weapon.
In the meantime, the 6.5mm CT Carbine has gotten a little lighter, shrinking from 8.7 pounds unloaded to about 8.3 pounds, thanks to a weight reduction effort on the part of Textron’s engineers. Handling the rifle, it felt significantly lighter than it looked, although it should be noted that no optics or other major accessories were mounted to it. The entire upper receiver of the weapon was rapid prototyped from 3D printed sintered aluminum, but Textron representatives said the production weapon would use another production method, such as casting or forging for its receiver.
At the Textron booth was also a shooting demo for both the 6.5mm CT Carbine and the 5.56mm CT belt fed light machine gun, which TFB did not yet get a chance to try (tomorrow!). Interestingly, the Carbine mockup for the demo was based on an M4 or airsoft clone, hinting a little at the Carbine’s subtle AR-15 lineage.