The XM8, Why?


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The Last Confederate
September 19, 2004, 10:53 PM
America is spending lots of cash on the xm8 which is essentially a g36 as far as I can see. Why didn’t they go with the g36?

Reliability and longevity are probably the main justifications for a new rifle.

However, the g36 has all that, so if some clever chap can enlighten me I will stop scratching my head like a confused chimp.

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Zak Smith
September 20, 2004, 12:17 AM
Maybe because it has a completely different sucky built-in optic?

Night Guy
September 20, 2004, 12:35 AM
Cause the G36 isn't available in feces brown?

jimbo
September 20, 2004, 12:47 AM
Good question...

winstonsmith
September 20, 2004, 12:51 AM
Cause the G36 isn't available in feces brown


What he said.

Number 6
September 20, 2004, 01:34 AM
I can surmise that they chose the XM8 other your standard plain Jane G36 for several reasons. I am not in the know about the project but from what I have read I can imagine that there are a couple of reasons Firstly there are many little differences that the US military wanted made to make the rifle suited for what the military brass and soldiers wanted. Secondly, the XM8 is supposed to be domestically produced so just buying a bunch of already made G36s is not an option. A production facility has to be made, so why not require that production run to be according the liking of the US military? I am sure there are more reasons one can come up with but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

crucible
September 20, 2004, 02:09 AM
You mean the liking of the US Army-not necessarily the US military en masse. Specifically, I'm referring to the USMC.

To this former Marine, and I suspect the USMC in general, any weapon (such as the XM8) without any kind of provision for a bayonet, or sturdy enough for butt-stroking, is not a weapon I'd want to take into battle regardless of how well and nifty it is.

In fact, any 'battle' rifle without close-combat capability should be a range queen item, not something to give my Marines who have to do everything from assault trenches to house-to-house clearing-and everything else that can result in hand-to-hand combat.

Cruc

arinvolvo
September 20, 2004, 05:58 AM
because the g36 doesnt look like a big plastic tuna fish.:barf:

Steve Smith
September 20, 2004, 07:38 AM
It's the same reason you like to buy a new gun every once in a while. You get bored with what you have now. The guys who make the decisions on what rifle we have get bored too. They went shopping.

SunBear
September 20, 2004, 09:57 AM
Crucible: You are so right about CQB. That is one aspect of war that will always be around. Saw a report just last night with a Marine NCO explaining that his troops were regularly involved in hand-to-hand fighting and had killed many enemy maggots with their knives. Get some!!!

Badger Arms
September 20, 2004, 11:35 AM
America is spending lots of cash on the xm8 which is essentially a g36 as far as I can see. Why didn’t they go with the g36?To be intelectually honest here, we are spending lots more on the Stryker that nobodoy wants and we spent thousands of times as much developing the Comanche which nobody wanted. The fact is, you are talking to gun people if you think nobody wants them, you are not talking to rank-and-file soldiers. Same with the Stryker and Comanche. Every system has its vocal critics, the XM8 is one of them. Those who have handled and shot the gun all praise it over the M16 by far and over the M4 as well. It is significantly lighter, easier to maintain, and can integrate their greande launcher. The M16 can get lighter, yes, but will never be easier to maintain, will never be more reliable, and will never be as compact, bottom line, no iffs, ands, or buts about it.

Those who are fighting the XM8 have valid arguments, but they IGNORE the biggest arguments against the M16. You can debate till you're blue in the face, but the M16/M4 still: have their recoil spring/buffer system behind the operating system; they still deficate where they eat; and they are still made out of metal. You can't have a modular rifle with the M4. Oh, and to preempt all the XM8ers, by "Moduler" I mean that you can integrate the XM8 with other systems, not that you can put a heavy, hot rail system on and duct-tape gadgets to it. The XM8 is INTENDED as a first step towards a larger system that incorporates a grenade launcher with air-burst grenades. Think it's impossible? Can we say JDAM, JSTARS, and Predator?

Bobarino
September 20, 2004, 01:34 PM
i'm a proponent of the XM-8 because the troops seem to like it. Badger has valid points. all the XM-8 naysayers have only cast opinions as justification for ditching it. didn't the exact same thing happen with the M-16? yes it did. except the M-16 when i first was issued really WAS a piece of junk. and now, 40 years of improvements and 40 years of reluctant acceptance later, just look at all of the people coming to its defense. it amazes me how much resistance to anything new there is in the firearms community. just like all the 1911 folks that still call Glocks junk. the troops like it, and i want them to have what makes them most confident in their weapon system when they go into harm's way. the XM-8 project has taken troops' input into consideration and made changes to the rifle based on that input. did you see that with the M-16 before it was fielded? by the time the XM-8 hits the battlefield, it will be darn near perfect. all of the testing and R&D that has gone, and is going in to this weapon is impressive in my eyes. i'm glad they want to get it right the first time BEFORE they send our soldiers into battle with it.

Bobby

hillbilly
September 20, 2004, 01:37 PM
Same reason why the US adopted the M14 when every other Democratic country on the face of planet earth adopted the FN-FAL.

The M14 was American made and designed.

That's why.

I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm just saying that's why.

hillbilly

Andrew Wyatt
September 20, 2004, 01:39 PM
the XM8 is less modular than the Ar series. the XM-8 has only one kind of optic. the XM8 is not compatable with the billions of dollars in flashlights, lasers, and other stuff we already have. the XM8 magazines are bulkier than m-16 magazines, which means you can only carry two in a three magazine pouch.


HK is spending lots of taxpayer money to reenvent the wheel.

Badger Arms
September 20, 2004, 02:26 PM
the XM8 is less modular than the Ar series. the XM-8 has only one kind of optic. the XM8 is not compatable with the billions of dollars in flashlights, lasers, and other stuff we already have.The XM8 is not incompatible with all that crap, it makes them unnecessary. It has an optic that includes everything that's nomrally attached to the M16's accessory rails. You can put those things on an XM8 as well, but why? You don't need them, they're built in? But let's talk modularity for a second, what can you attach an M16 or M4 to? How hard is it to integrate the M16 to a repeating grenade launcher? That's the next step and that can't be done if we stick with the M16 series.the XM8 magazines are bulkier than m-16 magazines, which means you can only carry two in a three magazine pouch.Yes, but since you can clip them together, you can have two on the rifle and two in the pouch. That's only one reach to the pouch per 120 rounds vs. three reaches for the same ammo on the M16. BTW: I agree with you on the magazines, the little jungle-clip thingies on the side need to go. There is also the argument that the M16's magazines are too SMALL and don't allow a reliable plastic magazine to be made. And hasn't the M16 magazine with its fragile aluminum lips, double-curve contour, and oft-criticized follower. Remember it took them, what, 30 years to get that design right?

Destructo6
September 20, 2004, 03:48 PM
the XM8 is less modular than the Ar series. the XM-8 has only one kind of optic. the XM8 is not compatable with the billions of dollars in flashlights, lasers, and other stuff we already have.
That's simply not true. The carry handle/sight rail, handguards, and just about everything else is replaceable. So, all of those things can be replaced by versions with 1913 Picatinny rails for mounting any accessory that can be mounted to the AR family. Heck, it even has rail mounts molded into the handguards!

wasrjoe
September 20, 2004, 05:25 PM
Everyone seems to be veering from the original question. The original question was:

America is spending lots of cash on the xm8 which is essentially a g36 as far as I can see. Why didn’t they go with the g36?

The original question was not why we are choosing the XM8 over the M16.

Mumbles_45
September 20, 2004, 05:31 PM
I heard some talk about the XM-8 maybe being in 6.8mm rather than 5.56. Whatever happened about that? Is it still a possibility or did they decide against it?

The Last Confederate
September 20, 2004, 06:15 PM
The original question was not why we are choosing the XM8 over the M16.

Thank you for putting that back into the open, Joe. :D

Mulliga
September 20, 2004, 07:16 PM
Do we have to do this again every month?

:D

Badger Arms
September 20, 2004, 07:25 PM
Do we have to do this again every month?No, so long as everybody concedes to my opinion! :D

Glock Glockler
September 20, 2004, 07:49 PM
Ok, Badger, why is the XM8 still a wise choice when we can arm our guys with the Robinson Arms XCR? It seems to have a lot more flexibiliy to it than the XM8.

Trebor
September 20, 2004, 07:57 PM
To answer the original question:

The XM-8 is a offshoot of the OICW project. That project originally envisioned a computerized 20mm Grenade Launcher with an attached 5.56 assault rifle. HK was one of the original entreants for the combo weapon and was selected to be the contractor for the 5.56 rifle portion (ATK won the contract as lead developer for the grenade launcher).

The original assault rifle component had to be stripped down for weight and space reasons. HK started with the G-36 as the base platform and used that to develop the assault rifle component of the OICW.

Later, it was determined that the combo grenade launcher/assault rifle was too heavy and it was decided to split it up into two separate weapons. The assault rfile component was then redesigned slightly as a stand alone weapon, the new XM-8.

Basically, if HK hadn't been involved in the OICW project, the XM-8 would have never come into being. The U.S. would also have never looked at the G-36 as a possible replacement for the G-36. The only reason they are considering it now is because of the familiarity with it gained through the OICW project.

Badger Arms
September 20, 2004, 08:13 PM
Ok, Badger, why is the XM8 still a wise choice when we can arm our guys with the Robinson Arms XCR? It seems to have a lot more flexibiliy to it than the XM8.In part, because it's a more developed rifle. The G36 still serves as the core of the XM8 rifle. The G36 is in a full-manufacture status and therefore most of the manufacturing kinks have been worked out.

However, the primary reason the XM8 is better than the XCR is that the XCR is made from an aluminum core. Judging by your name, I'm sure you are familiar with the construction of the Glock pistol, right? The Glock is a sound concept. It utilizes a light steel subframe and a composite overshell. This combines the wear resistance and dimensional stability of the steel with the low-cost and design flexibility of the composite in a corrosion resistant, durable, and lightweight package. The plastic is a natural insulator and can be handled by ungloved hands, and unprotected cheeks in heat, cold, and rain. The accessory mounting points on the XM8 are molded into the frame and add no extra weight if there is no gizmo attached.

So, while the XCR is cool looking and appears to be an improvement over the M4, it CANNOT achieve what the XM8 offers in the areas of weight, corrosion resistance, heat control, cost (all theoretical at this time, but it's always been cheaper to injection mold than it has been to machine), design flexibility, manufacturing maturity, and overall coolness.

Destructo6
September 21, 2004, 12:02 AM
In addition to having been spun off from the XM29 project, the US military apparently decided that the off the shelf G36 didn't have the specific feature they wanted.

The US would have done the same with any foreign design at any time in the last 100 years. Other countries do it as well, if they can (eg Britain and FAL or Austria with the same).

A sturdier telescopic buttstock replaced the fragile-looking G36 folding version. The bolt release was modified for easier manipulation on the XM8 and has been incorporated into some of the newer G36s. And so on.

Why they decided to make the exterior look the way it does is anyone's guess.

Correia
October 13, 2004, 04:39 PM
So, while the XCR is cool looking and appears to be an improvement over the M4, it CANNOT achieve what the XM8 offers in the areas of weight, corrosion resistance, heat control, cost (all theoretical at this time, but it's always been cheaper to injection mold than it has been to machine), design flexibility, manufacturing maturity, and overall coolness. - BadgerArms



Badger, I've got to differ with you on this. I've been playing with the XCR prototype. It is very light. As for corrosion resistance, the plastic gun will win, but the internals (the parts vulnerable to corrosion) it will be a tie. As for heat control, nope. The XCR has been shot full auto to the point that the barrel was glowing and the edges on the vortex melted. It was fine. My understanding (all rumor mill of course) is that the XM8 is really struggling on the heat dissipation end of things, especially in arctic testing.

Cost? Don't know yet. HK doesn't do anything cheap, so I'm betting it will be a wash. Even for government contracts. And when you factor in that you are bolting seperate rails onto the XM8, the cost will rise, whereas the rails are an integral part of the XCR.

Design flexibility. Nope. I don't see any flexibility that the XM8 offers that the XCR will not be able to match. Both are similar in setup. The XCR will have more mounting options, and the XM8 integrated optics is kind of dumb instead of just having a rail that you can put existing sights on.

Manufacturing maturity? Ok, you've got the G36 history to build on. And HK is a bigger company. Everything will have to be done to Mil-spec anyway, so I figure that will work out to be a moot point as well.

Overall coolness? :D :D Ok. Whatever you say. I don't drive a BMW, and I don't think 99 Red Balloons is the pinnacle of musical achievement either. I will however give the Germans brautwurst and Ramstein. Whereas Utah, I guess we just aren't very hip. :p

Dmack_901
October 13, 2004, 05:11 PM
Easy answer, pride. Do you really expect them to adopt a gn which has been invented, devolped, and first adopted by another country? That would not be right.

The Last Confederate
October 13, 2004, 05:19 PM
I hope they issue it in a new caliber if they DO go with the XM8....that would at least make it somewhat worthwhile.

PMDW
October 13, 2004, 06:36 PM
Easy answer, pride. Do you really expect them to adopt a gn which has been invented, devolped, and first adopted by another country? That would not be right.

Beretta 92

M249

M240

mons meg
October 13, 2004, 08:03 PM
My only problem was with the short barrels combined with the 5.56...isn't that the main reason the USMC went with the M16A4 over the M4?

Destructo6
October 13, 2004, 10:54 PM
I don't drive a BMW, and I don't think 99 Red Balloons is the pinnacle of musical achievement either.
I thought pinnacle was "Rock you like a hurricane"?
My only problem was with the short barrels combined with the 5.56...isn't that the main reason the USMC went with the M16A4 over the M4?
I think they're just ultra-conservative when it comes to weapons. They scoffed at the Garand until Guadalcanal.

MrAcheson
October 14, 2004, 09:21 AM
I think they're just ultra-conservative when it comes to weapons. They scoffed at the Garand until Guadalcanal. They also don't have the operating budget the Army has to make new purchases. The Marines get their money through the Navy. So if the Navy wants to buy a new aircraft carrier or new tanks/guns/food for the Marines, which do you think they go for? They may have gone with the A4 because it was cheaper and they could just build them by retrofitting old equipment.

mons meg
October 14, 2004, 07:16 PM
They may have gone with the A4 because it was cheaper and they could just build them by retrofitting old equipment.

Also, the 20 inch barrel on the A4, as God Intended. :)

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