New .mil Carbine Sought


February 8, 2006, 12:04 AM
Details from the .mil here (

Call me paranoid, but I think they're trying to sneak the XM8 back in. The only specs are for reliability, accuracy, and weight. No length, height, width, barrel length, length of pull, collapsable/folding/fixed stock, mag size (or compatibility with current mags).

SCAR-L, XCR, and Sig 550/551 don't meet the weight standard. XM8 does, as does the M4. But if the M4 is what they want, why ask for prototypes for something new?

Although I'm sure Senator Dodd wants the Army to buy lots more M4s.

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Bartholomew Roberts
February 8, 2006, 12:12 AM
Sustained rate of fire is 45rpm. I don't think either the M4 or the XM8 can meet that requirement currently. The M4 is 12-15rpm and I don't know what the XM8 is rated for; but with its polymer lower and G36 heritage; I bet it can't get near 20rpm, let alone 45rpm.

Jeff White
February 8, 2006, 03:41 AM


10 -- 5.56mm Carbine Weapon

Notice Date

Notice Type
Solicitation Notice

332994 Small Arms Manufacturing

Contracting Office
TACOM - Rock Island, ATTN: AMSTA-AQ-AR, Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, IL 61299-7630

ZIP Code

Solicitation Number

Response Due

Archive Date

Small Business Set-Aside

The U.S. Army TACOM-Rock Island, Rock Island, IL 61299, on behalf of the Program Manager for Soldier Weapons (PM-SW), has a requirement for a non-developmental carbine that is capable of firing U.S. standard M855 and M856 ammunition. The acquisition will be a capabilities based competition to a performance requirement, not a detailed design technical data package. The Carbine shall demonstrate a minimum of 3,800 Mean Rounds Between Essential Function Failure (MRBEFF) for Class III malfunctions (i.e., for non-operator correctable malfunctions which cause the loss of essential functionality) and a minimum of 600 MRBEF F for Class I and II malfunctions combined (Class I malfunctions are operator clearable within 10 seconds, whereas Class II malfunctions require more than 10 seconds but less than 10 minutes to clear but can be corrected by the operator with available equi pment). Mil-Std-1913 rails shall be incorporated on each weapon, and each weapon shall be compatible with currently fielded sighting, aiming and illuminating devices enabling the warfighter to rapidly and effectively engage stationary and moving targets both with reflexive fire at close ranges, and with precision fire out to the maximum effective range of 500m. These devices include but are not limited to: the M68 Close Combat Optic, the AN/PEQ-2A, the AN/PAQ-4B/C, the AN/PAS-13, the AN/PVS-14, and the AN/PVS-4. In addition each Carbine must be compatible with the M203 under-barrel 40mm Grenade Launcher. A properly zeroed Carbine shall enable a warfighter firing from the prone position to engage E-type silhouettes and hit each target 15 out of 30 rounds from 300m. The Carbine shall have a sustained rate of fire greater than or equal to 45 rounds per minute without degrading reliability. The weight of the Carbine shall be no more than 6.5 lbs, unloaded. The Carbine shall have a minimum barrel life of 10,000 rounds. All Proposals will include written submissions and test (bid) samples, both will be due 30 days after Solicitation release. A pre-solicitation or a pre-proposal conference may be conducted at a later date (to be determined). The offeror shall submit seven (7) complete weapon systems, along with sufficient spare parts, to the Government for bid sample testing no later than the closing date of the solicitation. Should an offerors bid samples pass through the initial and subsequent screening criteria, the samples will be evaluated with live fire to demonstrate the weapons ability to meet the system requirements. The winning offeror will be awarded a contract for test quantities with options for Low Rate Initial Production and Full Rate Production. Subsequent to the production of LRIP quantities, the Government may award multiple Full Rate Production (FRP) options to the winning offeror (up to 200,000 total weapon systems if the total number of options are exercised). Production in the United States/Canada will be required for the majority the FRP quantities. In addition to meeting the requirements above, characteristics that are being considered for evaluation include Reliability/Durability and Cost. Information contained in this pre-solicitation notice is subject to change prior to final Solicitation. A Request for Proposal (RFP), W52H09-06-R-0195, will be posted on the TACOM-Rock Island Acquisition Center website located at: l is planned for release on or about 20 March 2006. Proposals, along with seven (7) bid samples, are required to be delivered within thirty (30) days from the date the RFP is released. Point of contact for this requirement is Teresa Stottlemyre, Contract Specialist, AMSTA-LC-CSC, BLDG 110, Rock Island Arsenal, IL 61299, email:, telephone number: (309)782-4626.

Place of Performance
Address: TACOM - Rock Island ATTN: AMSTA-AQ-AR, Rock Island Arsenal Rock Island IL
Zip Code: 61299-7630
Country: US

The Picatinney rails and the M203 compatability, make me think it's not the XM8 they are looking for. I am betting that they are looking to get around Colt's sole source award, valid through FY08 and sneak another manufacturer's M4 clone in. Note that this solicitation came after Colt lost round 1 in court to Bushmaster over the M4.


February 9, 2006, 01:25 PM
Or they could be trying to get HK to put standard rails on the XM8 instead of proprietary HK ones. Although someone over at Murdoc Online ( has pointed out that later carbine test versions of the XM8 are up around 7.5 pounds, same territory as the SCAR-L and XCR.

One thing I'm curious about WRT the M203: does anyone make a system or adapter that would allow you to bolt a 203 onto any rifle that has rails on the lower part of the handguard?

Something else I just noticed: I didn't see any requirement that the new carbine accept a bayonet, either the current issue M9 or any new one. Is the Army finally giving up on the Spirit of the Bayonet?

Jeff White
February 9, 2006, 01:51 PM
It's rumored that Colt has a new gas piston carbine they are calling the M5, it also may open it up to the HK416. I'm not sure either one would make weight though....And there is a rail adapter for the M203 already in the system.


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