USMC is seeking an Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR)


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Lucky
August 13, 2007, 02:06 PM
Source: Jane's Defence Weekly, 30/5/07:

The USMC is seeking an Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) to replace the M249 SAW.

Lt Col Tracy Tafolla, project manager infantry weapons for USMC Systems Command, stated that a capabilities document outlining the requirements was expected to be issued within the next four to six weeks. The new weapon would be chambered in 5.56mm and would provide enhanced accuracy and reliability over the M249. Initial operating capability is expected in first quarter of 2009 FY.

Sources have described the IAR as being similar in concept to the BAR. It is clearly intended to be handier than the M249, which is more of a mini-GPMG.

Prototype contracts are said to have been issued in 2006 to FN Herstal and GD-Armament & Technical Products, but this seems odd if the USMC hasn't even sorted out the requirements yet. I would also be surprised if they omitted the STK Ultimax 100 at such an early date, since that seems to be the best match for what they want.

An interesting issue: the battle between supporters of the 'automatic rifle' and 'mini-GPMG' concepts continues.

30-round magazines are the minimum feed devices, expect larger magazines to come about. I'm not much of a military buff but I guess it's because of the structure of the Marines and them putting 249's in fire support teams because they slow down rifle teams.

Here is an example of one entry (also see the Ultimax and SCAR): http://www.lwrifles.com/images/futureweapons/fw15.jpg

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Joe Demko
August 13, 2007, 02:26 PM
Didn't the USMC field HBAR M-16's for this very purpose 10 or 20 years ago? Other than the flat top and rails, the piece in your picture doesn't seem too awfully different from what they had back then.

Evil Monkey
August 13, 2007, 02:26 PM
In my "2 lsw 1 gpmg" thread, I was explaining how the IAR/LSW can be used with certain tactics and other weapons. But then I realized that if weight is the biggest reason for the use of a IAR/LSW, why not start ground up with a belt fed that's designed to be as light as possible? The MK46 is only 12.5lbs after they took out the vehicle mounting lugs, magazine well, and gave it a shorter barrel and lightened that too with fluting.

I'd say just put a belt feed mechanism on the MK4 Ultimax.

There also seems to be a loss of total ammo load with IAR/LSW's. Take for example the RPK-74 and those quad stack 60rd mags. Say the gunner can carry 8 of those, that's only 480rds of ammo. The M249 box holds 200rds and that means the MG can have 200rds on it and the gunner can carry another 2 boxes for a total of 600rds! That's 120rds more than the RPK gunner.

The loss of ammo count and loss of firepower is too much. The best way to go is creating a very light weight belt fed MG like the LSAT telescopic cased LMG. That thing weighs 9.2lbs unloaded! It's ammo is about half the weight of 5.56mm NATO too.

Lucky
August 13, 2007, 02:34 PM
In general it probably isn't too different. I've seen Vietnam vets post that only 1 man in their team or squad was allowed to fire full-auto with his M16, and if anyone else did they'd receive a cash fine. That one guy was designated Automatic Rifleman. Just seems that the USMC seems like the most practical of the US forces (from outsider perspective), and they seem to do rational things a little at a time. What they've got isn't working, so they fix it. Aiui they have groups of 4 guys, 3 rifles and 1 SAW. And the SAW can't keep up, and can't reload while moving, and can't really use AR magazines well. (and the guns are all wearing out so might as well buy better when you buy new)


Monkey aiui belts are not good for this use. They'll keep belt-fed weapons in another group. Like said, they're noisier (200 box especially), slower to reload, and can't reload while moving. Also limits interchangeability among the team.


That's the LWRC entry, their page says:

The IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle) is part of the USMC IAR solicitation. Our concept of an IAR uses the architecture of the stoner M16/M4 with the addition of a sustained fire barrel using new technologies, our short stroke piston for reliability and a dual fire mode lower receiver. The dual fire mode lower allows you fire semi-auto from the closed bolt, and auto from the open bolt.

The barrel-cooling is suppose to be sort-of secret, though, so they don't really say how that works. Open/close firing sounds interesting.

Dutch marines have been using an AR for years, and the only thing they want is bigger magazines http://kmarns.widodh.nl/upload/foto/wapens/diemaco_lsw/lsw-2.jpg, though general consensus is that may not be a great idea.

ArmedBear
August 13, 2007, 02:35 PM
Didn't the USMC field HBAR M-16's for this very purpose 10 or 20 years ago? Other than the flat top and rails, the piece in your picture doesn't seem too awfully different from what they had back then.

I was going to say, this looks a lot like a lot more of the same, dressed up a bit differently. That's what we civilians do with the platform. Why not the military?

OTOH why is this a big fat contract for somebody? Is that the best way to spend my tax dollars and provide the best weapons for the troops?

Lucky
August 13, 2007, 02:58 PM
The cost of rifles is **** all, relatively. The question is why it wasn't done already. Suppose you buy 10,000 at $2000 each, that's a whopping $20million. Not big nor fat. Suppose you invest in a Crusader artillery system, or a Comanche helicopter, or FCS, $20mil won't buy hubcaps.

Hoppy590
August 13, 2007, 03:05 PM
the problem is the Corp doesnt get the budget of the army or navy. the corp doesnt have money to blow everytime a Apache flys into a hill side

marines need the best bang for the buck. and that comes at a differant price tag. human cost. men, medical, training, and in some cases lives.

a Marine with a rifle/at4/whatever can easily compare with a multi billion dollar "weapon system" thats made to adress the same problem

ArmedBear
August 13, 2007, 03:35 PM
The cost of rifles is **** all, relatively. The question is why it wasn't done already.

That was my question too, if you read what I wrote.

I'm wondering why this has to go through this process, hemorrhaging scarce funds into a few defense contractors' pockets for R&D, eating up precious time in the middle of an active shooting war, when all I have to do as a civilian is get on the Web and order up some parts for a few hundred dollars to get the same thing. That's with retail markup added, too.

Why not empower the Marines to do this themselves? Seems like it would be cheaper and it would get more guns into the hands of more troops a lot faster.

Harley Quinn
August 13, 2007, 03:41 PM
Not to get to picky but it is Corps.
Now if they want to have a new one it is because it is needed I'd say.

They love the rifle, and if it does not do the job, it needs to be fixed.

The USMC is just that, and because others call themselves Marine does not make them the Corps.
Semper Fi.

Detritus
August 13, 2007, 03:58 PM
Open/close firing sounds interesting

Yeah, the germans tried it with the FG-42.

adds a layer of complexity to the gun, that isn't really needed.

designers need to make a choice open bolt or closed bolt firing, there is little to no REAL utility from having both, and doing so opens up new ways for the weapon to fail "at a most inoportune time".

SlamFire1
August 13, 2007, 07:13 PM
I was squadded last week at Camp Perry with several USMC rifle team members. Great guys. Always helpful, always polite, great examples of the best America has to offer. Most of them have deployed at one time or another. As part of the typical pit pig talk, one of the Gentlemen told me about his participation in some rifle concept. This may be it.

From what he told me, the Marine Corp is looking for something compact as the marines are doing one heck of a lot of kicking in doors and clearing rooms and houses in Iraqi. They also want something that can have controlled full auto fire, (not 308), have parts common to what is in inventory, and fires the .223 round, because that is in inventory.

This picture sure looks like something that fits that bill.

fal 4 me
August 13, 2007, 07:24 PM
What advantages would an infantry automatic rifle have over just returning the full auto mode to the m-16 and issuing larger mags?

horge
August 13, 2007, 07:33 PM
fal 4 me:

The amateur in me is thinking~
weight versus barrel-heat dispersion, relative to task.
That's just for boodocking.
Once you start MOUT'ing, then barrel length becomes an issue too.

4v50 Gary
August 13, 2007, 07:35 PM
What about that Spanish .223 version of the MG-42?

horge
August 13, 2007, 07:44 PM
Do they even still make the AMELI?

Evil Monkey
August 13, 2007, 07:46 PM
What about that Spanish .223 version of the MG-42?

The CETME Ameli? Bad ass weapon at 14lbs! They have a lighter barreled variant that weighs 11.5lbs!!!!!!!

http://www.bellum.nu/armoury/CAmeli.html

video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrMk6B-830I

Joe Demko
August 13, 2007, 07:51 PM
I read somewhere recently that the AMELI was rather fragile.

Harley Quinn
August 13, 2007, 08:04 PM
Someone mentioned where the 06 was not effective at 800 yds yet they mention the 223 is effective at 1000m:rolleyes:

Range: 1000m (effectice)

Users: Mexico, Spain

Spanish are full of it for sure, right next to Mexico, we are in trouble I can see that, there .223 will reach further than our stuff LOL...

horge
August 13, 2007, 08:11 PM
Joe Demko,
Hi. I'm thinking that if operational failures fall under "fragility", then the AMELI
sorta compensates by moving away from a lot of gas-op fouling issues.

And hey, it just occurred to me: The AMELI used to be made by
Empresa Nacional Santa Barbara de Industrias Militares.
ENSB was bought 2-3 years ago by a US company: General Dynamics.

Deaf Smith
August 13, 2007, 08:22 PM
They need a Lewis gun in 5.56. Think about that!

ATW525
August 13, 2007, 08:23 PM
ENSB was bought 2-3 years ago by a US company: General Dynamics.

Interesting, because General Dynamics is one of the companies getting funding to develop an IAR submission.

ETA: The IAR competitors and how much they received from the IAR project (Source (http://www.pica.army.mil/nsac/awards.html))

Leitner-Wise $10,488
FN Herstal $247,095
General Dynamics Armaments & Technical Products $311,386

MudPuppy
August 13, 2007, 08:45 PM
Yeah, first thing I thought of was the CETME MG-82, but it does look like they just want an automatic rifleman's weapon.

Open bolt AR...next.

Lucky
August 13, 2007, 08:47 PM
I think that was for the Ultimax. Aiui GD owns EVERYTHING that's not nailed down.

Sorry ArmedBear, I mis-read.

Prince Yamato
August 13, 2007, 08:57 PM
Why is it that every time the military invests in or "invents" a new gun, it just ends up looking like an AR-15 with new furniture attached to it?

Devonai
August 13, 2007, 10:01 PM
They need to bring back the Bren in .308 and smoke 'em a little harder in basic! :neener:

jerkface11
August 13, 2007, 10:01 PM
I'd think the Ameli or the Ultimax would be great for the job. Or just a lightened version of the SAW.

Lucky
August 13, 2007, 10:29 PM
Yamato the Diemaco and LW ARs are pretty self explanatory. Both companies just modified AR15s.


And to be clear, the 30-round magazine is described as the 'threshold' feeding device. I don't think they're looking at belts at all.

amprecon
August 13, 2007, 10:30 PM
Not much improvement in small arms firepower effectiveness is to be expected until they start seriously considering more effective ammunition.

Evil Monkey
August 13, 2007, 10:41 PM
I don't think they're looking at belts at all.

That's the most confusing thing of all!

How will the platoons be supported? Just by the GPMGs? And how many GPMG's are in a platoon, like 2 or so? That's not enough.

They should really stick to belts. 200rds is a long way before a reload.

But do you see what happens when Western soldiers are taught NOT to use full auto regularly? In many photos I see of Russians fighting in Chechnya, they have 2 45rd mags taped together for 90rds at the ready. Nobody's complaining about weight and there's no shortage of firepower. Full auto is commonplace in their doctrine.

Funny, the US came up with the Salvo concept first and the Russians are much better at it. The AK-74 is built for that kind of concept. It uses a very low impulse round and has a very effective muzzle break to aid in controlling burst fires.

jerkface11
August 14, 2007, 11:26 AM
If they aren't going to go belt fed there's honestly no point. An M16 with a heavy barrel modified to take SAW belts would suit their purposes perfectly though.

sansone
August 14, 2007, 11:33 AM
I like the AR's chambered in .243 // it's a .308 case so it should be an easy transition. basically about the same velocity as .223 but 100gr bullet

walking arsenal
August 14, 2007, 12:14 PM
Why not use somthing like the shrike upper? That gives them the belt fed capacity in a lighter format.

Evil Monkey
August 14, 2007, 12:32 PM
Why not use somthing like the shrike upper? That gives them the belt fed capacity in a lighter format.

That's a damn good idea. That's truly a belt fed individual weapon.

The M249 was built to be crew served for European Armies that don't use the Auto Rifleman concept the US uses. As said earlier, the MK46 was made by taking out all the crap that was not needed on the M249 for individual soldier use. It went from 16lbs to 12.5lbs.

A belt fed upper for the M16 should have the gun weigh no more than 12lbs, closer to 10lbs. That puts it in the same weight class as the Ultimax, RPK, L86, etc, but with far more firepower.

Lucky
August 14, 2007, 12:37 PM
Jerkface that's been done too, different company though, 'Shrike'. http://securityarms.com/20010315/galleryfiles/2700/2782.htm
http://securityarms.com/cgi-local/protect.pl?File=2700/2782b.jpg

Also of course there's versions of Famas and AUG, AUG has 42-round magazine aiui http://www.army.lt/guns/gallery/S46.jpg


As for why no belt-fed, aiui they are moving that all to support teams, wile the fire teams would have lighter weapons more suitable for close-quarters, unlike belt-fed MGs.

41magsnub
August 14, 2007, 12:40 PM
This makes me remember the one abortive range we did in the Army trying to feed SAWs off of M16 mags because the armorer ordered/brought the wrong ammo. This was right after we turned in the M60's and took delivery of SAWs. Figured we were there, might as well shoot some even though it would be invalid for qualification and would be good training regardless. 5 rounds.. jam.. 1 more round.. jam.. 15 rounds... jam.. and etc.

I got a full mag out without a jam once... only once

benEzra
August 14, 2007, 02:12 PM
What advantages would an infantry automatic rifle have over just returning the full auto mode to the m-16 and issuing larger mags?
Heavier barrel, beefed up parts to withstand higher temps and sustained full-auto firing, and the ability to fire from an open bolt to prevent cookoffs and other problems that you'd have with an M16 at high sustained rates of fire.

This basically is an M16 variant, just beefed up and with a BHO added, as I see it.

To those wondering why it's not belt-fed; the Marines already have belt-fed SAW's. As I read it, they're looking for something quieter on the move and easier to reload, rather than long strings of fire from fixed positions.

Evil Monkey
August 14, 2007, 02:32 PM
So if they do end up using this new mag fed IAR and the M249 gets pushed into support teams, will the M249 remain an individual weapon or will it be crew served for maximum efficiency?

Sry0fcr
August 14, 2007, 03:33 PM
The Colt/Diemaco LMG sounds like the logical choice, not just because it's pretty much exactly what they're looking for but because, it's available off the shelf and it's already in service with some of our allies. If this spurs development of more reliable/higher capacity mags I'm all for it.

LeonCarr
August 14, 2007, 03:50 PM
Any BARs still in storage? :)

jerkface11
August 14, 2007, 03:53 PM
A belt feed makes so much more sense than a big magazine though. The shrike looks like exactly what they need.

Correia
August 14, 2007, 03:59 PM
I have an old Diemaco supper heavy upper with A1 style carry handle. Believe it or not, that thing runs like crazy on a full auto lower.

It is a pig of a gun though. :)

Sry0fcr
August 14, 2007, 04:30 PM
It is a pig of a gun though.


Bet it's still lighter than a SAW though. ;)

Limeyfellow
August 14, 2007, 04:38 PM
I'm wondering why this has to go through this process, hemorrhaging scarce funds into a few defense contractors' pockets for R&D, eating up precious time in the middle of an active shooting war, when all I have to do as a civilian is get on the Web and order up some parts for a few hundred dollars to get the same thing. That's with retail markup added, too.

I would happen to guess it has more to do with making jobs for the US market and investing money into the economy that way than anything else. Thats decided many weapons decision choices as much as the design and performance.

Evil Monkey
August 14, 2007, 05:37 PM
Here's a plan, how about we start ground up with a LMG that's under 12lbs and is belt fed AND has a reliable magazine feed. This way if the belt runs out in CQB, he can just slap in a magazine for the time being until they can reorganize, put in a belt, and get the hell out of the CQB structure. I'm pretty sure it CAN BE DONE!

Think about it, the magazine well can be used to put in a belt box into and then you could pull out the belt and place it into the feed tray. No more rounds? Drop the box and pop in a mag. You can also have the gas piston off set to the left or right so that it's not in the bolts way and the weapon can actually feed belts and mags.

Isn't the Israeli Negev like that?

theken206
August 14, 2007, 05:43 PM
that sounds like halfway decent idea

JamisJockey
August 14, 2007, 10:27 PM
That's the most confusing thing of all!

How will the platoons be supported? Just by the GPMGs? And how many GPMG's are in a platoon, like 2 or so? That's not enough.

They should really stick to belts. 200rds is a long way before a reload.

But do you see what happens when Western soldiers are taught NOT to use full auto regularly? In many photos I see of Russians fighting in Chechnya, they have 2 45rd mags taped together for 90rds at the ready. Nobody's complaining about weight and there's no shortage of firepower. Full auto is commonplace in their doctrine.

Funny, the US came up with the Salvo concept first and the Russians are much better at it. The AK-74 is built for that kind of concept. It uses a very low impulse round and has a very effective muzzle break to aid in controlling burst fires.

That's because the Marines don't know anything about small unit tactics.....oh....wait.....:rolleyes:
Seriously.......do you know any other armed force that knows more about the use of small unit tactics than the Marines? And is more effective with thier weapon than the United States Marine Corps?
:scrutiny:
I really dig all the armchair suggestions on what the Marines should employ as a small unit weapon. Because all you know better than the Marines who are out there kicking doors in day in and day out in Iraq......
:rolleyes:

HorseSoldier
August 14, 2007, 10:46 PM
But do you see what happens when Western soldiers are taught NOT to use full auto regularly? In many photos I see of Russians fighting in Chechnya, they have 2 45rd mags taped together for 90rds at the ready. Nobody's complaining about weight and there's no shortage of firepower. Full auto is commonplace in their doctrine.

The Russians tend to have a rather thicker skin about collateral damage and putting civilians in the ground, etc., than we can get away with in the US. Their doctrine/TTPs would not survive ten minutes in contact with CNN, the US Congress, and the Court of World Opinion, etc.

This is not necessarily a bad thing -- certainly the focus on semi-auto rifle/carbine skills (coupled with the other small arms in the tool kit) seems to be handily dropping errant Mohammedans by the truck load anytime they decide they want to try their hand at a stand up fight.

Funny, the US came up with the Salvo concept first and the Russians are much better at it. The AK-74 is built for that kind of concept. It uses a very low impulse round and has a very effective muzzle break to aid in controlling burst fires.

I'd question if that's the direction we should be trying to go in any case -- we've got a pretty good bullet thrower in service, but rate of fire doesn't seem to have helped much with lethality (going by rounds per enemy KIA from, say, Vietnam). Taking that same weapon and throwing an ACOG or AimPoint on it, with some real, quality combat marksmanship training seems to be doing a better job of generating enemy casualties. I'd say that if one had to go without improved/modern optics or full auto/burst capability, the latter is the more disposable feature.

Joe Demko
August 14, 2007, 10:47 PM
I'm not against them having such a thing. My only question is why they have to field such a thing as "new" now when they had something pretty much identical decades ago. Why did they ditch it the first time around?

HorseSoldier
August 14, 2007, 11:33 PM
I'm not against them having such a thing. My only question is why they have to field such a thing as "new" now when they had something pretty much identical decades ago. Why did they ditch it the first time around?

The BAR was supposed to be replaced by the SAW version of the M14, which was a great big failure. For whatever reason (I'm guessing $$$) it then took until the 1980s to get a new fire-team level auto/suppressive sort of weapon fielded.

Lucky
August 15, 2007, 02:02 AM
M14a1 was phased out with the other M14s. Plus it was marginally controllable, aiui. It was replaced, aiui, by an ordinary M16 with a clip-on bipod and permission to fire FA.

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 02:40 AM
Of course...call me "Crazy"....
but there is nothing "wrong" with the M249 right now. Once again we are looking for a replacement weapon that doesn't need replacing......

ugaarguy
August 15, 2007, 02:43 AM
There already is a reliable large capacity magazine for the AR/M-16, the Beta C-Mag. Seems to me like a Colt/Diemaco super heavy upper - modified to use a piston perhaps - coupled with C-Mags would be a good solution. All available off the shelf, keeps with AR components already in inventory. Just an idea.

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 02:59 AM
Beta-Cs "aren't" that reliable, especially under field conditions.

Evil Monkey
August 15, 2007, 03:54 AM
Jeremy, your location says you are in "Sunny Iraq". Might this be a hint that you are in the Marines/Army?

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 03:57 AM
"Aye, that it be".....

Evil Monkey
August 15, 2007, 04:03 AM
Are you in a squad, fighting in the streets?

Tell us about the tactics you guys use. Tell us about the effectiveness of the M249. Tell us whatever you can. If anywhere in this forum, this thread is the place to spill everything.

LaEscopeta
August 15, 2007, 02:01 PM
Of course...call me "Crazy"....
but there is nothing "wrong" with the M249 right now. Once again we are looking for a replacement weapon that doesn't need replacing......I remember reading in a news story (about replacing the M16/M4/M249 with the XM8) a quote from a Marine officer saying their M249s are getting old. Apparently they were all purchased over a few years, and incremental purchasers have not been made since then. So the Marine Corps M249s are all approaching 20+ years old, the useful life of the mechanism. They could replace them with brand new ones from FN, but if the Army was going to go through with the XM8, the Corps was going to go along, including with the IAR version of the XM8. Since both the Army and Marines is sticking with the M16/M4 for now, then Marines need to replace their aging M249s. And since they have to be replaced might as well look at alternatives.

(My memory is not what it used to be, so Iím sure Iíll be corrected if any of the above is wrong. Also my memory is not what it used to be.)

Joe Demko
August 15, 2007, 02:47 PM
M14a1 was phased out with the other M14s. Plus it was marginally controllable, aiui. It was replaced, aiui, by an ordinary M16 with a clip-on bipod and permission to fire FA.

No, the USMC used M-16's with heavier barrels than the standard-issue M-16 in the role of automatic rifle. They did use a clip-on bipod with it. Some of the features of the Marine Corps automatic rifle were subsequently used in the PIP that eventually resulted in the M-16A2. So they've bee down this road before. If they need it, they need it and should have it. I just want to know what factors made them abandon it last time and if those same factors will cause them to abandon it again.

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 03:31 PM
LaEscopeta Quote:Of course...call me "Crazy"....
but there is nothing "wrong" with the M249 right now. Once again we are looking for a replacement weapon that doesn't need replacing......

I remember reading in a news story (about replacing the M16/M4/M249 with the XM8) a quote from a Marine officer saying their M249s are getting old. Apparently they were all purchased over a few years, and incremental purchasers have not been made since then. So the Marine Corps M249s are all approaching 20+ years old, the useful life of the mechanism. They could replace them with brand new ones from FN, but if the Army was going to go through with the XM8, the Corps was going to go along, including with the IAR version of the XM8. Since both the Army and Marines is sticking with the M16/M4 for now, then Marines need to replace their aging M249s. And since they have to be replaced might as well look at alternatives.

(My memory is not what it used to be, so I’m sure I’ll be corrected if any of the above is wrong. Also my memory is not what it used to be.)

Well there are plenty of brand new ones here and those that need rebuilding get it. They are very rugged weapons and pretty reliable as long as you maintain them. The biggest thing that kills them is the early guns didn't have a reinforcing ring for the front sling swivel and when that gets bent/worn out then the receiver is coded out. You could probably repair it but since there are ample numbers in storage why do that. Most of our M249s have already been converted to "para" standards (short barrel and collapsible buttstock).


Joe Demko Quote:M14a1 was phased out with the other M14s. Plus it was marginally controllable, aiui. It was replaced, aiui, by an ordinary M16 with a clip-on bipod and permission to fire FA.

No, the USMC used M-16's with heavier barrels than the standard-issue M-16 in the role of automatic rifle. They did use a clip-on bipod with it. Some of the features of the Marine Corps automatic rifle were subsequently used in the PIP that eventually resulted in the M-16A2. So they've bee down this road before. If they need it, they need it and should have it. I just want to know what factors made them abandon it last time and if those same factors will cause them to abandon it again.

No heavy barreled M16A1s were issued they were all "standard" weight barrels. The heavy barrels came along with the A2's and are still here with us in the A4s.

GunTech
August 15, 2007, 03:44 PM
I had a chance to fire tha Amelli MG80 back in the day - It is a terrific weapon, and if the 1200 rpm rate of fire is too much for you, you can change the gun to reduce fire to around 800 IIRC. The barrel change is the best ever invented - you change the barrel and nothing else with a pull of a lever. I liked iot much better then the Minimi (M249). Everyone made a big deal about the M249 being able to take M16 magazines. I's rather have a lighter, simpler weapon.

As far as the Shrike, I know of two people who ordered the kit when announce and sent in their deposits. So far as I know, neither has received the upper yet - some many years later

I did a brief writeup if the shrike a few years ago after seeing one at the shot show. Great concept. Ares has had a hard time delivering.

http://www.guntech.com/shrike/index.html

http://www.aresdefense.com/status.htm

hcddog
August 15, 2007, 03:47 PM
Jeremy2171, question for you since you're in the thick of things over there...

To me, the 249 SAW seems like it would be too cumbersome to lug around for use in a house to house, door to door fight. Do the Marines/soldiers doing such fighting think the same, or is it's weight not an issue for them?

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 03:57 PM
Well considering we aren't doing much "house to house, door to door fighting", (that was 2 years ago). They aren't that big of a deal. Most of us aren't running around with 7+ mags "loaded for bear" as we rarely find any bears around. :D

We normally aren't too far from our vehicles where resupply isn't a problem. If we run into trouble it usually doesn't last long. I typically carry 2 spare mags for my M4, 3 M9 mags and a frag. Sometimes I have a Congo "para" FAL and it gets 2 spare mags as well.

buzz_knox
August 15, 2007, 04:17 PM
Sometimes I have a Congo "para" FAL and it gets 2 spare mags as well.

If you're active duty, how'd you get permission to carry a FAL?

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 04:19 PM
Depends on who's around.......

SpeedAKL
August 15, 2007, 09:34 PM
Has the SAW encountered any major problems besides those mentioned in this thread?

Jeremy2171
August 15, 2007, 10:01 PM
The M249 doesn't have any major problems from my experience.

jerkface11
August 16, 2007, 12:18 AM
Jeremy your injection of reality is taking the fun out of this thread. I mean look at the Ameli it's soooooooooo much sexier than the SAW. Next thing you know you'll be telling us 5.56 is just fine and the M4 is a good weapon. This completely wrecks our armchair generalship.

But seriously thank you for chiming in with your experiences and for your service.

Evil Monkey
August 16, 2007, 12:53 AM
Here's something interesting, a couple days ago while researching the Finnish KvKK 7.62x39mm LMG/SAW, I came across a military forum with a discussion about how the Finnish are going to replace the KvKK in squads with PKM GPMG's!!!!!! Apparently, the 7.62x39 doesn't penetrate urban barriers well enough like the 7.62x54R. :D :D :D

It seems like nothing matters but doctrine. Doctrine decides all. The weapon doesn't make the doctrine.

So what's the doctrine of the USMC to require an IAR and not the M249? Weight can't possibly the only issue because it can be reduced whether belt or mag fed.

Lucky
August 16, 2007, 04:08 AM
I think the USMC was designed so that each group of 4 men would always have auto-fire available to them. If the 3 guys keep out-pacing their 4th, they don't have it.

max popenker
August 16, 2007, 06:02 AM
Evil Monkey, 762 KK 62 (this is the current designation of the thing ;)) has its own share of problems, such as high rate of fire and non-detachable barrel. It also has some issues when firing from hard surface - brass is ejected straight down and once in a while it can bounce back into ejection port and jam the whole thing.
PKM is certainly much more reliable and has more punch, especially in the woods.

On the other hand, more than a few Euro-armies replace their 7,62 GPMGs with 5,56 LMGs, such as Swiss (replacing superb 7,5 M51s with 5,6 Mimimi) or Germans (replacing 7,62 MG3s with 5,56 HK MG4), and some others...

0007
August 16, 2007, 12:21 PM
Can anyone say "Stoner 63"?

Jeremy2171
August 16, 2007, 02:22 PM
Lucky I think the USMC was designed so that each group of 4 men would always have auto-fire available to them. If the 3 guys keep out-pacing their 4th, they don't have it.

Considering that most M4/A4s weigh almost as much as the M249 that point is moot..... Oh and the fact that we are doing vehicle ops 99% of the time as well.....

25lbs of armor plate slow you down more than anything else........

Stoner 63??? C'mon are you kidding? The Stoner 63 LMG and the M249 are almost the same gun.

Evil Monkey
August 16, 2007, 10:48 PM
Why can't there be 2 SAW's in a fireteam to compensate for the loss of a belt fed?

In an 8 man squad plus 1 leader and 1 NCO....

Team one:
1x squad leader (M4)
1x Rifleman/Anti-Armor (M4 and AT4)
1x Rifleman/Grenadier (M4/M203)
2x Gunners (Ultimax MK4 short barrel)

Team 2:
1x NCO (M4)
1x Rifleman/Grenadier (M4/M203)
1x Marksman (M16A4 or XM110SASS)
2x Gunners (Ultimax MK4 short barrel)

Now every body, save for maybe the marksman, can conduct CQB and at the same time there is no loss of firepower nor is anybody being outpaced if the intro of a mag fed LMG like the Ultimax will solve that problem.

Here's what I had in mind as the SAW.
http://www.gun-world.net/singapore/ultimax/1019mk3.jpg

HorseSoldier
August 16, 2007, 11:02 PM
Why can't there be 2 SAW's in a fireteam to compensate for the loss of a belt fed?

Seems like the single belt fed M249 is superior if it takes two alternatives to do its job.

Now every body, save for maybe the marksman, can conduct CQB and at the same time there is no loss of firepower nor is anybody being outpaced if the intro of a mag fed LMG like the Ultimax will solve that problem.

Looking at the Ultimax, I'm pretty certain I'd prefer a Para-SAW. Haven't tried the Ultimax, but don't find the Para-SAW very troubling, nor does the SAW really generate a mobility differential compared to an M4 or M203. It's the belted ammo that adds up, but that should be distributed around the team and squad under normal conditions.

KC&97TA
August 17, 2007, 03:08 AM
There's nothing wrong with the M249... there's the Para SAW that came out in early 2004 to most units as well, short barrel and collapsable stock... let me tell you, it's a great CQB weapon :)

The M249 was designed to be employed as an automatic rifle, instead most units employ them as light machine guns... there is a differance...

For those that haven't lugged it in a fire team or up 1st Sgts Hill in San Mateo, they're worth thier weight at 17lbs, when you're makeing a small wall of lead in the streets of Ramadi. Here's the problem, a bunch of REMF are into wageing war, and everyones answer is to get a new weapon...

Ever heard the lines below?

my M16 jamms when it's dirty... we need a new weapon

I shot a guy once in the leg with my M16 and he didn't go down... we need a new weapon

my SAW jamms when I fire blanks through it, even though we've never live fired the M249... we need a new weapon

my SAW runs slow and I have it on gas setting 3... clean the gun you lazy REMF... we need a new weapon

my new SAW doesn't have gas settings so I can't put it on setting 3 when it's dirty... we need a new weapon

when I lube my SAW with LSA it attracts alot of dirt, lube it with CLP or a light coat of LSA-T moron... we need a new weapon

my M9 jamms because I left my 15 round mags packed with 15 rounds for 5 months, I was taugh to rotate my mags but I'd rather play X-Box... we need a new weapon

I was present to the testing of the H-BAR Colt in 2000, I never knew a 30 round mag could go so fast and the uppers would get so hot the reciever would turn white and the barrels would droop, they weren't Marine proof

Problem is the Corps doesn't believe in full auto fire on a rifle, except in a Machine gun, we don't even believe in Burst Fire, it's there because the Army and Airforce wanted it there. There are M16M41's that are full auto in 'select' units, and they are there as a back up only as needed to provide the replacement to not haveing a SAW on hand in a small element.

You have to understand; if you tell a Marine something is "Marine Proof" they'll break it, they'll call for fire on it or run it over with a tank... if you tell a Marine "if you loose this piece of gear, you'll be mauled by wild bulls", he'll still loose it. If you tell him not to fire on full auto, unless he needs it, he'll shoot full auto till his whole team is out of ammo.

Jeremy2171
August 17, 2007, 04:22 PM
Excellent post and accurate!

doc2rn
August 17, 2007, 05:58 PM
I thought the 249 golf was a 7.62, while the saw was a 5.56. Aren't they 2 different weapon systems?

Evil Monkey
August 17, 2007, 06:16 PM
I thought the 249 golf was a 7.62, while the saw was a 5.56. Aren't they 2 different weapon systems?

The M240G 7.62mm is an FN MAG58 with minor mods and the M249 SAW 5.56mm is an FN Minimi with minor mods.

selector67
August 18, 2007, 08:41 AM
Maybe one of these. http://www.knightarmco.com/lmg.html http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l67/selector67/kac_srlmg.jpg

Evil Monkey
August 18, 2007, 09:49 AM
There it is, the Holy Grail at only 10lbs. The IAR is done. Next problem please.

jerkface11
August 18, 2007, 09:53 AM
Isn't that just a lightened m249?

Jeremy2171
August 18, 2007, 11:55 AM
And why would we need to drop all of the M249s for this "new" LMG? No bipod, 12.5" bbl (worse than the M4 for downrange effectiveness with M855) no proven trackrecord...oh yeah its from KAC..It AIN'T gonna be cheap...but alas its just me talking after a long day in the sun....must be the heat getting to me...

Now for a nice cold Alcolhol Frei Warstiener... :)

Evil Monkey
August 18, 2007, 12:56 PM
And why would we need to drop all of the M249s for this "new" LMG? No bipod, 12.5" bbl (worse than the M4 for downrange effectiveness with M855) no proven trackrecord...oh yeah its from KAC..It AIN'T gonna be cheap...but alas its just me talking after a long day in the sun....must be the heat getting to me...

Now that I think about it, if you put a bi-pod on this new LMG and then give it a longer 15" inch barrel then you're pretty much at 12lbs. That's how much the MK46 weighs.

Jeremy2171
August 18, 2007, 01:07 PM
Once again we are talking about a weight savings of about 4lbs....not that much just to get an all "new" LMG thats basically the same as what you just replaced....

Evil Monkey
August 18, 2007, 01:17 PM
Once again we are talking about a weight savings of about 4lbs....not that much just to get an all "new" LMG thats basically the same as what you just replaced....

I agree. I never said we should replace the m249 with this stoner lmg. Unless it can do some other things or has better features or whatever, there's no need to change.

Jeremy2171
August 18, 2007, 01:29 PM
Yup,
I'm of the opinion we are at the pinacle of modern weaponry. There's not much else you can do (with current technology)that will give that much of performance boost until somthing really "new" comes along. JMHO.....

doubleg
August 18, 2007, 01:41 PM
http://world.guns.ru/machine/Stoner63lmg-2.jpg
Just change the design a little to make it more reliable in sand and mission complete.

Jeremy2171
August 18, 2007, 01:55 PM
doubleg
Just change the design a little to make it more reliable in sand and mission complete.

Who says it's not reliable in sand? Just shot a few thousand rounds today with no trouble..."after" a dust storm rolled over us.

Famaldehide Face
July 31, 2008, 05:52 PM
That weapon is a revival of the Stoner 63.

If the USMC want an "Infantry Automatic Rifle" to replace the Minimi, They may as well get rif of it as the IAR is just another M16 derivative but with the bolt closed/open dependine on which mode of fire.

The IAR is a nice weapon and i do understand the strategies of it, But the USMC should stick with a belt-fed support weapon. Magazine-fed support weapons are just overgrown assault rifles.

Here is a nice 'sideways' image of it.
http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/2839/lwrcinfantryautomaticrinb3.jpg

SFvet
July 31, 2008, 06:06 PM
Um yeah.... Why another SAW? I loved the M-60, hated the SAW and hated the "new" M240b. Why not make a lightweight 7.62 machinegun?

LENABURG
August 1, 2008, 01:47 AM
"Um yeah.... Why another SAW? I loved the M-60, hated the SAW and hated the "new" M240b. Why not make a lightweight 7.62 machinegun?"


I totally agree. I said that all through my time in Iraq while in my "thinking time" during the long hours in a turret with a M240B in my hands.

In my opinion they should get rid of the M249 Saw for the MK48 Mod 1 that FN offers. It basically is a saw beefed up to the 7.62x51 cartridge. It
compares nicely to the M60-E4.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v667/STORMINAZ/FNM0042mb.png


M60-E4

Caliber 7.62 Nato
Max Effective Range 1100m*
Max Range 3725m
Rate of Fire(RPM) 500-650
Weight 21.3 lbs (Assault Barrel)
Length 37 in (Assault Barrel)

MK48 Mod 1

Caliber 7.62 Nato
Max Effective Range 900m*
Max Range 3600m
Rate of Fire (RPM) 500-625
Weight 18.6 lbs
Length 39.75 in

**Notes on Above:
The Mk48 has 900m max effective range on an point target not an area target, M60-E4 is not specific if their 1100m max effective range is on a point or area target.

SFvet
August 1, 2008, 02:15 AM
Sweet! Now thats what im talking about :cool:

MTMilitiaman
August 1, 2008, 03:36 AM
For those that haven't lugged it in a fire team or up 1st Sgts Hill in San Mateo...

I still have nightmares about that hill...

I never had problems with my weapons while I was in. The M16 wasn't the jammomatic POS I was told it was going to be and I never had any problems keeping it running. That said, I am not sure if it has it in it to be a support weapon.

The SAW was a decent weapon, in all actuality. I just don't have the mentality of a machine gunner. I am a rifleman at heart, so when they stuck me with it, I was pissed because I just viewed it as a 17 pound poodle shooter. I wouldn't mind 20 pounds of machine gun if it was something a little larger than 5.56mm. I really think technology exists to get the SAW down to 12 pounds or so. Removing the magazine feeding device would be the first step, since it doesn't work very well any ways.

I never had any problems keeping either system running, or with employing our tactics with them, or with hitting the target with them. But I think better options exist for each, or at least, improvements can be made to each.

The 200 round drums on the SAW, for those who are not familiar with them, are crap, and a major PITA. They rattle when you run with them. When you go prone with them, it isn't uncommon for them to pop open and have your rounds end up in the dirt. There were ways to modify them, but the simplest way to avoid the hassle is simply to trade them for the 100 round nut sacks. You have to reload twice as often, but IMO, it is worth it.

And concerning tactics in the Marine Corp that would lead them to show interest in a lighter weapon system?

The Marine Corp is leaning towards a lighter, faster infantryman to accept the realities of modern fighting in urban arenas. We consider ourselves modern day shock troopers. Ideally, we operate with three 4 man fire teams, each with a fire team leader, automatic rifleman, assistant automatic rifleman (which is basically just another rifleman, as the SAW is operated as an individual weapon. He even carries his own spare barrels, though others pitch in by carrying ammo.), and a rifleman. This makes 12 men in a squad, plus an NCO squad leader, and three squads in a platoon. Emphasis is, more and more, on mobility and speed.

And any time you can reduce the weight of a weapon system without sacrificing firepower or reliability, you rarely get any complaints from a grunt. Less weight in the weapon means more ammo.

rangerruck
August 1, 2008, 04:02 AM
the perfect weapon was allready invented for this 35 years ago, the continuous recoil, mag , or drum fired rifle, that never jammed. It is the ultimax 100
pay attention to the slower rate of fire, this is very important, and what makes it so reliable; it is part of the continuous recoil concept, that mr. Sullivan was so high on, he also finished the stoner 62, 63, and other various projects. But the 63 and this, was his favorite.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev2yJeeyn5A
recoil is much better on this , than a saw.
http://world.guns.ru/machine/mg20-e.htm
http://www.ultimaxsaw.com/

plus, as you can see, the Marines are allready looking at it;
http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=853

Clean97GTI
August 1, 2008, 05:32 AM
Tally another vote for the Stoner 63. There is one already being made by Robinson Armaments as the M96.

Lets make sure this new weapon is American designed and built please.

Number 6
August 1, 2008, 07:13 AM
Tally another vote for the Stoner 63. There is one already being made by Robinson Armaments as the M96.

Lets make sure this new weapon is American designed and built please.

Robinsons Armament has ceased production on the M96.

HorseSoldier
August 1, 2008, 11:16 AM
Lets make sure this new weapon is American designed and built please.

No. For the sake of the end users, let's make sure it's the best design. If American companies can't deliver the best, it would be criminal to foist second or third best on soldiers or marines just for the sake of having an American design issued to the troops.

Let's keep in mind that for any major weapons procurement, such as a SAW replacement for the whole USMC, it's going to be made here in the US by American workers in any case. So who cares if the design is or is not cooked up by an American or not -- it's still manufacturing jobs for Americans. The only people who really risk losing are the executives and stockholders of this or that company (who, in the world we live in, may or may not be Americans even for an "American" company) that can't get the best product to market.

strangelittleman
August 1, 2008, 11:56 AM
Once again Horse Soldier, you're dead-on!

Clean97GTI
August 1, 2008, 05:00 PM
I must respectfully disagree.
While the manufacturing would be done here, the added value always goes back to the parent company. The money goes into their economy, not ours.

Besides, its not a question of making sure our troops get the best weapons possible. We are perfectly capable of making the best weapons on earth. The only question is how can we work with American arms manufacturers to ensure they deliver top quality goods.

I'm all for making sure our troops have the best equipment. I simply think that equipment should be provided by our country.

Glock Glockler
August 1, 2008, 05:19 PM
Besides, its not a question of making sure our troops get the best weapons possible. We are perfectly capable of making the best weapons on earth. The only question is how can we work with American arms manufacturers to ensure they deliver top quality goods.

If Ruger doesn't design a good weapon but HK does then we go with the HK weapon, why are you trying to make it more complicated than that?

Clean97GTI
August 1, 2008, 05:25 PM
Because HK is not an American company and we have several companies here that can make the better weapon while helping out our own companies as well as local and national economies.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 1, 2008, 06:17 PM
Bring back the Chauchaut! :neener:

dscottw88
August 1, 2008, 11:00 PM
I Remember hearing about the first rifle pictured. It fires from an open bolt to help keep cool and prevent cook-offs.

RP88
August 1, 2008, 11:15 PM
just when you think you got something right in the Corp, or anywhere else in our forces, they change their minds.

"that M14 is too big, take this AR15"

"that AR15 is busted, take this M16"

"that M16 is busted, take this M16A2, 4, etc."

"that M16 is too big, take this M4"

"That M4 rattles and jams, take that dead guy's AK47 for now, but don't tell no one you did"

"that AK47 is an old commie weapon! Pick up your M4 NOW!"

"that M4/M16 shoots a wimpy bullet... man, I miss the good ol' days of the Garand and M14"

that is what I keep getting out of it.

SFvet
August 1, 2008, 11:27 PM
Ah the politics of our Armed Forces lol.

Realbigo
August 2, 2008, 12:58 AM
We had minor problems w/ our first 249's, but alot of those were operator error. I was never carrying one while under fire so I can't really give much of an opinion. I did get to shoot an Ultimax in Thailand, and I F'ing loved it! If I'm ever in a positin to own one, I won't hesitate for a second. It gets my Vote for an IAR

MTMilitiaman
August 2, 2008, 05:27 AM
The only problems I ever experienced with the SAW were the ones in SOI. And that was just because those poor things were so old and beat up.

natescout
August 2, 2008, 02:15 PM
I thought one of the reasons the infantry automatic rifle was replacing the m249 saw was that ememy snipers where singling out, saw gunners. With a rifle like the infantry automatic rifle a saw gunner looks just like any other rifleman.

HorseSoldier
August 2, 2008, 03:28 PM
That logic only works if they go with some Colt derivative. (Or, in the case of the FN entry, if the Corps converts over to SCAR-L for a service rifle/carbine which, I guess, is a remote possibility.)

Main complaint and logic for the replacement is strictly the mobility issue. I suspect they could probably make it work with new SAWs, if they kitted them out as Para-SAWs and possibly looked at something like the titanium receiver idea for the M240, but the USMC seems to want more of a rifle that can provide superior covering/suppressing fire than a 5.56mm LMG.

Nolo
September 14, 2008, 11:57 PM
Just was watching some PBS program on the tele with my folks about local (San Antonio) Medal of Honor recipients. It was definitely a neat program.
Now...
Just as a little quip, and I am sure my conclusions will come as no surprise to anyone, this one guy got his medal by getting a BAR, charging through German lines, using the automatic fire from his rifle to cover his @$$ and systematically taking those positions.
Now, it took a ton of bravery to do that. But the mobile, automatic fire from the BAR really helped.
I believe this is the sort of thing the Marines are trying to accomodate with the IAR. Not just suppressive fire. But MOBILE suppressive fire.

Rifleman 173
September 15, 2008, 12:25 AM
Until such time as the military can keep the politicians from fouling up new military firearms and equipment nothing good will come from this effort. If you want to read horror stories, look what Ted Kennedy, the senator from Chappaquiddick, did to obstruct and bleed millions of tax dollars into Taxachusetts involving the M-1 tank. What the Army wanted was a decent and easy to produce armored fighting vehicle. Kennedy got his paws on the design plans and switched things all around to the point that it wasn't anything close to what was desired or needed.

HorseSoldier
September 15, 2008, 11:17 AM
The M1 works pretty well, actually. Much as I dislike Ted Kennedy, if he was involved in getting it to its final form, that's not much of a strike against him.

Nolo
September 15, 2008, 02:19 PM
The M1 works pretty well, actually. Much as I dislike Ted Kennedy, if he was involved in getting it to its final form, that's not much of a strike against him.
Ted Kennedy didn't have anything to do with the M1, from what I understand. He was however, dipping his fingers in the M2/M3 Bradley project, which is why that monstrosity looks nothing like an APC.
It would have been a terrible vehicle would it not have been for the efforts of USAF Lt. Col. James Burton.
But it still has problems (aluminum armor and centrally-stored fuel), which have largely not been fleshed out because of the absence of a conventional war.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

HorseSoldier
September 15, 2008, 06:53 PM
Ted Kennedy didn't have anything to do with the M1, from what I understand. He was however, dipping his fingers in the M2/M3 Bradley project,

I was under the impression that any problems with the Bradley stemmed from the fact that the army decided to condense it's cavalry fighting vehicle and infantry fighting vehicles into a single platform. This is the first I've heard of congressional meddling into the requirements for the vehicle.

which is why that monstrosity looks nothing like an APC.

Who would want an infantry fighting vehicle to look like an armored personnel carrier.

APCs are under-gunned and function only as taxis for the guys in back. IFVs can engage and destroy enemy light armor (or in the case of the Bradley and other ATGM armed IFVs, any armored vehicle the enemy operates).

It would have been a terrible vehicle would it not have been for the efforts of USAF Lt. Col. James Burton.

I've seen the movie, too, but tend to get a bit intrigued when a member of one service becomes an outspoken critic of another service's projects.

But it still has problems (aluminum armor and centrally-stored fuel), which have largely not been fleshed out because of the absence of a conventional war.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

The Brad has a pretty good track record during Gulf War 1 and the conventional phases of the latest go 'round.

Having been a scout on M113A3s and M3s, I can definitely say the Bradley was a big improvement in a lot of ways.

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