Marines new rifle - rant


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Newton
November 4, 2007, 04:33 AM
While the Army is going with the semi auto M110, the Marine core is fielding yet another bolt action sniper rifle, the XM3.

http://www.deathfromafar.com/htm/iba_weaponsys_xm3.html

I am very interested to know exactly what this new system delivers that justifies a basic platform that costs 3 times as much as an M40A3 which costs $3400 stripped and $12000 fully equipped, which is still just over half the price of the XM3 which comes in at a staggering $20,000 per fully equipped copy (I don't have a link for all those prices, but I understand they are correct).

With M118LR ammo as used by snipers, the M40A3 will shoot stupidly small groups right out to 1000m and it weighs only slightly more than this new weapon. Add to this the training/spares/accessory costs of a new weapons system and the money starts to get silly.

With Remington selling a top grade LEO sniper package based on the 700 LTR for $2,500 why are our tax dollars being so heavily invested in a gun that doesn't appear to offer anywhere near an extra $18,000 of value, even with a night scope.

Naturally I want our troops to have the best equipment, but I can't help wondering if we, the tax payer, aren't just being milked like a sap. At an absolute minimum, we should be encouraging our armed forces to standardize on a single weapon system, are their requirements really so different that they need to develop (and pay for)completely separate weapons?

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otomik
November 4, 2007, 04:44 AM
are you sure that's how much the DOD is paying for it? just because it says something on their website, thats just what people are willing to pay for it in what is probably a small scale low supply high demand arrangment. economy of scale naturally. xm3 sounds like it isn't a done deal either, we're talking about prices for what are basically prototypes or custom jobs then?

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 06:16 AM
Can you advise where it states that this rifle has been "fielded"? Can you explain what "fielded" means?
Has it been adopted?? What are your sources??

The Marine Corps builds its sniper rifles at PWS, WTBn. Can you advise of an RFP or solicitation for this rifle????

Because a company builds a product and demonstrates it, does not necessarily mean anything more than that.

Re cost- parts, especially NV and day optics, as well as a can, drive the cost up. However, labor is the bic cost. Think there may be some labor in wrapped up in this gun?

Finally, it is Marine CORPS, not core.

DougW
November 4, 2007, 10:54 AM
The Marines have also tested the AI rifles in .338 Lapua. They have not adopted them, only tested. They would run about $12,000 a copy, with the Schmitt and Bender scope package. Why not have the best they can get, who ever the manufacturer?

ArmedBear
November 4, 2007, 10:58 AM
Naturally I want our troops to have the best equipment, but I can't help wondering if we, the tax payer, aren't just being milked like a sap.

What, by the same people who replaced the jeep with the humvee for puttering around base? Never.:rolleyes:

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 11:07 AM
While way off topic Mr Bear, tactical vehicles are generally restricted from doing non tactical things. The initial cost of such vehicles, followed by a higher operating cost puts them in the obvious category of special purpose.
Clearly we are talking CONUS here, and where there are sufficient quantities of commercial vehicles available for the purpose. OCONUS, and in a combat environment, tac vehicles are generally- but not always used.


Re The Jeep. The M38A1 series (commonly Jeep) was replaced by the M151 (commonly, Mutt)series a long time ago by the Hummers and for many reasons.
The M151 and variants was produced from 1959-1982, though some were in service at least until the early 90's. They had many shortcomings, and trafficability was one. The Hummer was more versatile for sure, and more capable.

It has been a very successful platform, so i am curious as to your comments.

TEDDY
November 4, 2007, 11:30 AM
JEEPS WERE NOT USED FOR PATROLS WHERE YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO GET SHOT UP.THE TACTICAL USE OF THE HUMVEE IN MY OPINION IS WRONG. THE SOUTH AFRICANS HAD A BOMB RESISTANT MACHINE BACK IN THE 70S.WHERE WAS THIS MILITARY THEN.HIND SIGHT IS GREAT. :banghead:

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 11:35 AM
Teddy is correct. The Hummer was a mobility platform. OIF has turned into a different type of war requiring the use of armored vehicles, and while not designed for this purpose, the Hummer does a reasonable job under the circumstances.
Neither the M38 nor the M151 series would have been able to be modified to do this.

However, this is way off topic and still awaiting the OP to cite his sources.

Byron Quick
November 4, 2007, 11:49 AM
Teddy, there is a shift key that allows one to use both upper and lower case letters when typing.

As the use of nothing but upper case letters is considered to be shouting on the Internet, and we here at THR frown upon shouting, please refrain from doing this lest we frown upon you.

hankdatank1362
November 4, 2007, 11:56 AM
Dude, his name and location are also in CAPS. Maybe his key is stuck.

Actually, I have a buddy in Manning named Teddy. Real sweaty fellow, but on heckuva offensive lineman. I doubt that our shouter is him, though.

tsidorus
November 4, 2007, 12:00 PM
back to the pricepoint, the army pays i think 380 something for an M16. Anyone know what a new M16 goes for? (assuming your LE and can buy it without being raped by supply and demand) And the new basic M998 Hummve cost like 60k or something (I dont remember the exact amount but it isnt the same as the 140k a civy one goes for)

-Tsi

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 12:13 PM
The mil and civilian versions of the Hummer (when they were still making them) are no more the same type of motor vehicle then an M4/ M4A1 Carbine is the same as a commercially made variant.

Those items being accepted by the military are built to a standard - for example, Colt builds the M4/ M4A1 (and FN builds the M16A4) according to a Technical Data Package, which specifies certain steels, heat treatings, accuracy and so forth. A commercial manufacturer does not have to do this.
You made a statement that an M16 costs $380.00. What model M16? An M16A2; M16A3, or M16A4. Can you advise the source of this figure- that is what contract? The price will vary between contracts sometimes due to quantity, but I am curious as to your source on this...

While both the mil and the (former) commercial hummers are made by the same company and obviously share certain components, it doesn't share others. Paint is a good example, and the mil spec is for CARC while the commercial Hummers use commercial paint.

Low bidder is not generally a mil requirement. Best value often is.
Comparing a mil Hummer and a civilian Hummer is an apples and grapefruit type thing.

tsidorus
November 4, 2007, 12:26 PM
I wasnt at all suggesting that the mil hummve is the same as an H1 just that everyone expects that the military WAY overpays for everything... the figure for the M16 is an M16A2 that our S4 got from the supply system to charge a soldier for destroying his. Have no clue what contract or what ever but it was 380 something. (edit: yes volume purchase probably has much to do with this price)

-Tsi

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 12:36 PM
Thanks- can you advise what year this was?

I don't expect the military to overpay. I do expect that they pay for best value in what is put in the hands of those that are tasked with defending this country. That doesn't always occur of course, but the dramanet is full of statements that often bear no relation to common sense- or reality.

ArmedBear
November 4, 2007, 12:52 PM
While way off topic Mr Bear, tactical vehicles are generally restricted from doing non tactical things. The initial cost of such vehicles, followed by a higher operating cost puts them in the obvious category of special purpose.
Clearly we are talking CONUS here, and where there are sufficient quantities of commercial vehicles available for the purpose. OCONUS, and in a combat environment, tac vehicles are generally- but not always used.

Horsepucky.

I live in Point Loma in San Diego. I live within a few miles (single digit) of 4 military bases, and a short drive from a few more, including Camp Pendleton.

I see the things driving around, and they're hardly being used as "tactical vehicles," nor are once-common commercial vehicles, e.g. pickup trucks, Blazers, Cherokees, etc., seen very often in military service any more. Yes I know the Blazer and Cherokee are no longer built; their replacements are not seen in military service, either.

Furthermore, one problem with the Humvee is that it's NOT really a tactical vehicle like others that are designed to withstand mines, etc. See Iraq for plenty of evidence.

It actually has plenty in common with the commercial "H1", other than shiny paint, just as the M38A1 has a lot in common with the CJ-5 (at least until AMC reduced the frames to baling wire strength in '72).

If you look around military bases, the Humvee has replaced the jeep (and the M-151) as a tool-around vehicle. It has also replaced standard pickups and SUV's.

I'm not saying it's not capable. It certainly is. I am saying that it's being used a lot where much cheaper and more efficient vehicles can and did serve quite well for many decades.

Tully M. Pick
November 4, 2007, 12:55 PM
Unless they have the USMC 2112s in Quantico on staff, they aren't fielding this rifle in the Marine Corps.

Gator
November 4, 2007, 01:03 PM
I saw a pic of a Marine in Iraq with the new IBA. He posted "want to see what an $18,000 rifle looks like?", or words to that effect. Wish I'd saved the pic!

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 01:20 PM
Mr Bear- your definition of what a tactical vehicle is/ is not is incorrect.
The HUMVEE series are tact vehicles, as are the 7 ton trucks etc. Tactical does not mean a fighting vehicle.
You may also be confused about "blazers etc. The CUCV (M1009) and similar were modified commercial vehicles that were less expensive (appx 56K) to buy/ maintain. That is, if you are talking about the camouflaged vehicle common in the Arm, Navy and Air Force.

Having spent a fair amount of time in your A/O, and a lot at CamPen, i will speak only for the latter. The use of tactical vehicles is restricted to certain movements. Troops are required to wear body armor and helmets when operating or riding within.

I spend a fair amount of time on a great number of military bases. I don't have access to trip tickets, and i'll venture neither do you. But i know that a commercial truck will be used instead of the MTVR (the 7 ton) when it can, and most of the people "tooling around" are doing official business (when possible) in their POV's.

You are making great claims. Perhaps you can find the guidance that backs that up.

In the meantime, back to the OP and his post...

RevolvingCylinder
November 4, 2007, 01:51 PM
Actually the Blazers are still in use along with the pickups of that era and I've seen plenty of them recently. The HMMWV and Hummers are NOT the same vehicle and from what I've seen share very little if anything in common. The M4 and AR15 share a lot more in common. As for "putting around", the HMMWVs are used mostly in training since they are used quite a bit overseas. The Army also calls the HMMWV a tactical vehicle. There are plenty of commercial vehicles on hand to be used for other purposes. Unless you feel training to operate with these vehicles as one would overseas is a waste of tax dollars I don't see the problem.

armoredman
November 4, 2007, 02:03 PM
Teddy, that was the Buffalo, and ALL it was was mine proof, hugely tall, way top heavy, made for the mine heavy guerrilla warfare during aparthied. Nifty vehicle, but not designed for true urban combat. Rhodesia made a mine resitant VW bug, with a full round-the-body roll cage and stretched out wheels, so when a tire set off a mine, the little lightly armored body would just roll away safely.

El Tejon
November 4, 2007, 02:24 PM
Getting away from cars and back to guns: Is DARPA the key here? Pat, this rifle is a spotting round, correct? A sample for the powers that be in the USMC to test? And now the bidness gets to be "associated" with the USMC and gets the benefit of erroreous stream of info on the Errornet.

Why was this not done at Crane? Because it comes from an outside contractor?

Lastly, do you think that the USMC will adopt Big Army's M110 as unit cost will be lower?

No dog in any fight here, just curious. Thanks.:)

Harley Quinn
November 4, 2007, 02:32 PM
The Corps has gotten many of the "Armys rejects" and used them very well and enjoyed the "handmedowns"...Other wise the political machine would have done away with them (Corps).

They are going to go back to the sea and reinforce the Navy I have read. Maybe these rifles are going to be put to use there?:uhoh:

http://www.military.com:80/forums/0,15240,154638,00.html?ESRC=marine-a.nl

Be interesting if that is the case.:)

Jeremy2171
November 4, 2007, 03:21 PM
I was on the TR in '93 fun boat! The 600 of us had the run of that place!

Nothing wrong with the XM-3 nor is thier anything wrong with the Mk11 so whay change to the M110?

Pat_Rogers
November 4, 2007, 08:37 PM
El Tejon- No idea at all. Looks like a nice rifle and all, but as WTBn is dedicated to building their guns in house, i have doubts as to why anything would be contracted out. Re the M110. Beats me. They didn't have good luck with the other SA system.

Harley- Hey Devil Dog-those days are decades gone. The Marine Corps is cutting edge on a lot of what it has does, and doesn't have to accept anything from anyone.

It isn't like the 60's.....

Cosmoline
November 4, 2007, 08:44 PM
Guys, you have to put this in perspective. Small arms are small change for the DOD, and if they have to spend some extra on our snipers then they should. I'd rather have them overspend on the best optics and platform for a sniper than see them drop BILLIONS into some idiotic cold war era weapons system that will never do anything but line the pockets of some Congressman's buddies. At least they're buying something that's useful and that will safe lives on the front line. For the DOD that's a small miracle right there.

4v50 Gary
November 4, 2007, 08:47 PM
The rifle in dispute has been field tested (that means some were used to zap some insurgents)and considering the barrel is less than 20" long excluding its suppressor and it can still shoot sub-MOA at 1,000 yards, that's quite amazing. Another advantage of the gun is that at 13 lbs, its much lighter than other rifles. Portability comes to mind and that's a definite plus.

Every weapon has a special purpose and I wouldn't want that rifle for house clearing or to stop a frontal assault at less than 300 yards. Give me an AR for that.

Precision Shooting magazine has an article about the XM3.Precision Shooting on-line article on the XM3 (http://www.precisionshooting.com/psm_2007_11_frame.html)

ALS
November 4, 2007, 09:22 PM
My .308 IBA Chandler weights in at 17 lbs with bi-pod and five rounds in the magazine. The XM-3 weighing in at 13 lbs is 3/4 the weight of the normal Sniper rifle is a huge advantage. Ask the guy that has to carry it around in a war zone.

Gordon
November 4, 2007, 09:33 PM
Ooh rah, a butt chewing from Pat Rogers.Can't wait to receive one in person!;)

LeonCarr
November 4, 2007, 09:34 PM
What exactly is the difference between the XM3 and the M40A3 besides the shorter barrel? What makes it so much better that it is worth 20 grand?

4v50 Gary
November 4, 2007, 09:37 PM
I agree with you ALS on the weight. I've watched as stocks became bulkier and heavier and while they're great, stable and steady, the trade off is carrying them. Five pounds is a lot of weight that could be water, food, batteries, ammo or other gear. Even without substituting extra stuff, five pounds less is easier on the soldier. He's s a soldier, not a pack animal (despite the load of the average infantryman since the days of the Roman Legion being over 50 lbs).

LeonCarr - click on the link in my previous post and read the article about the rifle. A lot of good things about the XM3.

Fatelvis
November 5, 2007, 08:29 AM
Newton, I agree with you. There is no way a tiny bit of extra accuracy, loss of weapon weight, etc., is worth all that extra $.

Gator
November 5, 2007, 09:53 AM
Reducing the rifle's weight by almost five pounds while increasing accuracy to produce sub MOA at 1000 yards sound like huge advancements to me. And when you consider how few such rifles will ever be in the inventory the added cost really doesn't amount to much. The cost of a single F-22 engine would probably cover the difference and then some.

LittleLebowski
November 5, 2007, 10:14 AM
There's no huge advancement here, it's all COTS parts. Iron Brigade is easily charging double for this rifle and robbing the Marine Corps.

ALS
November 5, 2007, 10:54 AM
What they are charging the Marines is a lot less than the general public pays.
The so called experts on building rifles have no idea what it really costs in man hours to put one of these guns together. You just don't slap a few parts together and say ta daa. Second, IBA rifles have to pass the accuracy test. If the gun doesn't measure up, the gun is totally disassembled and the process starts all over until the gun does shoot at the desired accuracy level.

HorseSoldier
November 5, 2007, 10:58 AM
Nothing wrong with the XM-3 nor is thier anything wrong with the Mk11 so whay change to the M110?

SR-25, Mk 11, and M110 are all basically the same thing. Big Army does not get weapons development/support from Crane, so I suppose when they adopted it, it needed an M# rather than a Mark # (the mods they made are so minor I don't think the changes warrant the different nomenclature on technical merits). I guess the ones we have in my unit are officially Mk 11's, but no one ever calls them "Mark 11s" as they are SR-25s (same way an SPR is not a Mk-12 in my little corner of the army).

LittleLebowski
November 5, 2007, 11:01 AM
Stolen from another forum (Tactical at snipershide)

Hey I got an idea. How about some one call the companies up that make the stuff on this rifle and price it out

Get Remington 700 action and trigger. Seems 300.00 to 350.00 is price for this

Send to Hart to true action and bbl. Most will do this for 600.00- 700.00 including bbl

Send to any 2112 to bed 150.00-200.00

Add Scope mount 125.00

Add Badger floor metal 265.00- 350.00 depending on if you get the Detachable keep you alive version (no one plans on having to shoot more than one round but poop happens)

Purchase the McMillan stock. Pretty basic here 450.00 or so. (Also can we pick a stock that works with all inventory optics because the comb on this one is too low) If you want a folder get the AICS as its the only one thats field worthy.

Then get either a McCann or USO NVD mount. Hey they might even be on same optical plane and that would be a hell of an idea. Never saw a Optical device that did not see better through center of lense. While at it tell them its a "MARS Mount"

Let see what that costs to put together.

Then add in Scope and NVD.


While I am at it I challenge this 18.5" bbl wonder rifle to shoot at 1000 yards with issue ammo, in wind and at 32-40 degrees air temp. Same shooter with M40A3 under same conditions. Watch how bad it gets beat.

If you want a shorter bbl for urban ops why not use the MK11 or M110's where when you are about to get over run you have some options for the bad guys to think about, not a fire five rounds and die weapon! Hell I would take a 5.56 SPR over this any day!

If we can save the USMC money let it go to the Scout Snipers.

Or how about buy the parts and have the 2112s put it together and no one makes a freakin dime but original manufactures. No sub contractors!

The 2112s are good enough. Hell they are the best. Last year at US NRA National F TR Clas Championships I did very well with Black Hills Factory ammo and a GAP Built M40A3. The ex 2112 that built it is Eric Reid. Even won at 1000 yards with this. Did not see one other bbl shorter than mine.

LittleLebowski
November 5, 2007, 12:04 PM
This seems pretty cut and dry, same source.


As to 1000 yard shooting. The 18.5" will get there but only some one who knows very little or has an agenda will tell you its as good as a 25" bbl M40A3 or 300WM at 1000 yards. That 150 fps is huge difference between the two bbl lengths and once again how does it group lauching around 2500 fps, in cold weather, at sea level?

Give you and idea
175s at sea level and 70 air temp run around 2670 and get to 1000 yards with 36.5 moa from 100 yard zero. Drop velocity down to 2600 and 32 air temp and now you need 39.75 moa from 100 yard zero. Velocity remaining is way above sound barrier.

Now start at 2500 at 70 degress and you need 42.5 moa to get to 1000. Thats roughly 60" more drop than same round from 25" bbl. under same conditions. Also the velocity for the short bbl here is roughly the speed of sound and that means iffy for accuracy under these conditions.

Now drop to 2470fps and you need 46.5 moa to get to 1000 yards, or over 6 moa more drop than same round in 25" M40A3 bbl, under same conditions.

The thing here is remember the velocity drops when temp drops so everything gets wrose.

To even debate this is like having to prove the world is round to a new born. Its just stupid!

Now does anyone have an idea what happens to wind drift when bullet speed slows?

Now shall we talk 308 18.5" versus a 300WM?

Macpherson
November 5, 2007, 01:27 PM
Not to suggest that placing more weight on our soldiers is a good thing, but I don't see why weight savings is an army requirement for a sniper weapon. Maybe I'm mistaken on this, but snipers aren't foot soldiers humping around on patrols all day, they occupy a perch and stay there for long periods. Weight is less of an issue for a bolt action rifle fired off a bipod than for an combat infantryman's rifle. Increased accuracy is definitely a good thing, but decreased weight for increased cost doesn't sell it for me.

Funderb
November 5, 2007, 01:35 PM
who would ever pay that much for a rifle?
There is no use to sped that kind of money, when you could spend 1/4 of it and get an equivalent rifle.

Harley Quinn
November 5, 2007, 01:57 PM
who would ever pay that much for a rifle?

Not that expensive compared to other stuff the Gov has been paying for, these private contractors are now and have been for years screwing the Gov. which relates= to the people of the US....Nothing new:what:

ALS
November 5, 2007, 01:58 PM
Little Lebowski you should get into building rifles for a living. Bill Gates needs the competition on being the richest person on the Earth. Oh you forgot about the 20K to 50K grand minimum you will have to put out for supplies and machinery such as lathes. I love people who have never made a payroll or owned a business love to tell everyone how businesses are ripping them off.
That profit pays for all those pesky expenses such as inventory, transportation, shipping costs from suppliers, rent or mortgage cost, liability and health insurance insurance on the premises, payroll for employees, payroll taxes, inventory needed to kept on hand, electric, gas, phone, local taxes on the property as well as mercantile taxes, income taxes and any loans that are out standing. Then after all those expenses are met then the owner gets a paycheck.
Do you have any idea what the mechanic or technician at your local car dealer has invested in his tool box? Try $30,000 to $50,000 or more.

Fatelvis
November 5, 2007, 02:34 PM
I understand ALS, but $20,000 for 1 rifle? Please.

Funderb
November 5, 2007, 02:43 PM
that makes sense, ALS, but you shouldn't have to buy the lathe to have the rifle.

Bartholomew Roberts
November 5, 2007, 03:02 PM
Is the $20k quoted price for the rifle alone or for the entire system (including AN/PVS-22, optics, suppressor, etc.)?

ALS
November 5, 2007, 03:22 PM
The night-vision runs over $9000 and the Suppressor runs around $1,200. Then you have to pay the Government $200 for the tax stamp for the right to own the suppresser. The NF scope alone is $1200 to $1500.

Specs and price list.
http://www.deathfromafar.com/htm/iba_weaponsys_xm3.html

SoonerSP101
November 5, 2007, 03:28 PM
Talk about your sniper rifles. The 50 ain't got nothing on this puppy!

http://www.gunweek.com/2006/feature0420.html

...the .416 Barrett...400 grain solid brass boattail spitzer...

... .416 Barrett muzzle velocity is right at 3,250fps and the 400-grain spitzer is still supersonic at 2,500 yards.

ALS
November 5, 2007, 03:44 PM
The 416 is a nice gun with great ballistics but the thought of paying $4.70 to $5.10 per round makes the gun somewhat expensive to shoot.
With the accuracy that gun has right out of the box it may be worth it.

Tully M. Pick
November 5, 2007, 04:11 PM
We'll see.

Zak Smith
November 5, 2007, 04:33 PM
For the cost of the XM3, they should have bought an off-the-shelf AI-AW with the barrel length they wanted and spent the extra on a better scope (S&B).

The U.S. keeps hacking together bolt-action siper systems based on really old technology instead of using or building a new system from the ground up (like many of the European sniper rifles including the AI and TRG).

-z

Gator
November 5, 2007, 04:44 PM
Maybe I'm mistaken on this, but snipers aren't foot soldiers humping around on patrols all day, they occupy a perch and stay there for long periods.

HAH! Speaking from the Marine perspective, how do you think they get there? Marine scout snipers hump all day with the grunts, then hump some more to do their jobs. :)

The night-vision runs over $9000 and the Suppressor runs around $1,200. Then you have to pay the Government $200 for the tax stamp for the right to own the suppresser. The NF scope alone is $1200 to $1500.


Yep. The $18,000 price quoted (for civilians) includes all the accessories. The rifle alone is $8295, which is not out of line for a high end custom bolt action. Check out other makers, like David Miller for example.

Andrew Wyatt
November 5, 2007, 04:55 PM
For the cost of the XM3, they should have bought an off-the-shelf AI-AW with the barrel length they wanted and spent the extra on a better scope (S&B).


The AI isn't built in the U.S., as far as i know, and the XM3 seems to address the issues with the m40A3 that arose from the Target shooting mafia's input on the project (weight, prone only stock, no suppressor).

The SASS is, when you get right down to it, a spotters weapon, and i doubt it will suppress as well or be as accurate as the Xm3.

IBA makes first rate equipment, and they really don't deserve to be dogpiled like this.

Funderb
November 5, 2007, 04:59 PM
It's just that the price is ungodly.
Even without any amenities, and basic design.
It's just not worth that much, to be honest.

Zak Smith
November 5, 2007, 05:05 PM
The AI isn't built in the U.S., as far as i know, and the XM3 seems to address the issues with the m40A3 that arose from the Target shooting mafia's input on the project (weight, prone only stock, no suppressor).

The XM3 is fundamentally a Remington action bedded into a conventional stock, with rails added where needed for the NV optics and so forth. The scope rail is bolted to the receiver just like every other Remington 700. It's an $8200 rifle and the promo photo shows it needs a $40 Eagle Stock to give it the right comb height. You've got to be kidding me.

When you break it down, it (and the M24 and M40) are individually-gunsmithed rifles built on a receiver which is a commercial copy of a copy of a Mauser action designed before the year 1900. The stock has to be individually bedded to the receiver. Then a bunch of features are added to make modern accessories work.

My point is that it does not take advantage of any of the things we've learned about manufacturing and improved rifle designed in the last 30 years. Fundamentally, it's a commercial sporter action with thousands of dollars of custom work done to it to make it halfway acceptable. And it costs $8300 per copy. The AI-AW was designed from the ground up as a sniper weapons platform in 1980 (almost 30 years ago - by now we should be able to do better), totally eclipses the XM3 in terms of design and manufacturability, and is half the cost of the XM3.

-z

ArmedBear
November 5, 2007, 05:06 PM
BTW I never wanted to suggest that snipers shouldn't get top-notch equipment, or that these aren't the best rifles for the mission. I don't know. Zak knows a lot more, above.

I sure don't believe, blindly, that any given military expenditure is necessarily optimal, just because the decision was made.

And snipers save lives. Lots of lives.

However, yesterday, when I once again saw a couple of young Marines tooling down the highway in a Humvee, I wondered yet again if the difference between the price of the things and commercial Jeep Wranglers in quantity (like ICE uses), and the extra fuel cost of driving the big beast on paved roads around LA Metro, couldn't have been better used on an armored Humvee in Iraq or Afghanistan a few years ago.

Maybe the whole vehicle thing makes perfect sense from every perspective, but I'm not blindly trusting of military spending priorities when people like John Murtha are involved in big money decisions. Not by a long shot.

Andrew Wyatt
November 5, 2007, 05:20 PM
The AI-AW was designed from the ground up as a sniper weapons platform in 1980 (almost 30 years ago - by now we should be able to do better), totally eclipses the XM3 in terms of design and manufacturability, and is half the cost of the XM3.

It's also not made in the U.S. The USMC and the army will not adopt a weapon that vital without the ability to make it.

additionally, the stock design on the AI doesn't seem in my opinion to lend itself to shooting from anything but prone. I may be wrong.

It would be nice to field a ground up sniper rifle for the purpose, but modifying things we have laying around means we can get things out the door now, not years from now.

Zak Smith
November 5, 2007, 05:28 PM
$8300 is INSANE for what's fundamentally a custom-built Remington 700. There are better choices out there, and the ideas and technology exist to built a better solution in the US, if that's really required. The USMC didn't seem to have a problem adopting the 3-12x50 S&B.

-z

Andrew Wyatt
November 5, 2007, 05:39 PM
Absolutely, but there's really no better option that has the possibility of being adopted.

ArmedBear
November 5, 2007, 05:45 PM
Perhaps the real issue here is that the US Government, despite the documented significance of snipers with accurized, scoped rifles since the Civil War, has never requisitioned the production of a rifle designed for snipers.

Why not? Not enough money in it for big campaign donors?

Seems like the armed forces sure could use one.

Newton
November 5, 2007, 09:53 PM
Zak pretty much confirmed my suspicions.

Let's also remember that it isn't the Marine Corps that is being milked by this hunk of gold with a scope on it, it's US, the tax paying citizens.

That very informed cut and paste from another forum was also very interesting. The summary would appear to be that an 18.5" barrelled sniper rifle is a really stupid idea for long range shooting, especially in 7.62NATO.

mp510
November 5, 2007, 10:21 PM
In the big picture, an extra few thousand dollars per rifle is really nothing within the confines of military/ government spending. I am all for the government pinching pennies, but a few thousand dollars on even a few hundred rifles (how many would they really purchase) is really nothing.

yesit'sloaded
November 5, 2007, 10:25 PM
Will someone explain how this is better than the SASS.

Gator
November 5, 2007, 11:33 PM
In the big picture, an extra few thousand dollars per rifle is really nothing within the confines of military/ government spending. I am all for the government pinching pennies, but a few thousand dollars on even a few hundred rifles (how many would they really purchase) is really nothing.

Exactly. Compared to the millions of dollars we throw away on not only useless, but actually harmful social programs every year, a few thousand for some primo boomsticks for our grunts is not worth getting excited about. I would welcome more government waste if it benefits the guys on the ground!

P.S. Plus the IBA doesn't need duct tape to get it ready to go into the field, like the AI :neener:

Jeremy2171
November 5, 2007, 11:35 PM
Funny how the Marines are getting "milked" by Norm Chandler (former Marine OIC of Sniper School) when the Marines are getting a rifle "they" want.....

colt.45
November 5, 2007, 11:40 PM
are you aware that there are only around 100 of these rifles being made? i have only done a little research i can tell you they want it to be a hush puppy. full length scilencer that envelops he entire barrel(plus some) and a fast twist rate for heavy bullets. oooh ya, that sounds like a short range high priority target kind of rifle to me

Zak Smith
November 5, 2007, 11:45 PM
.. just like the AI Covert. Nothin' like NIH syndrome.

Detritus
November 6, 2007, 04:24 AM
$8300 is INSANE for what's fundamentally a custom-built Remington 700.

It is SO nice to see that written by someone that can justifiably be said to "know what he's talking about".

of course i can actually remember when IBA's pricing on their product in general was "Sane". but i digress.

my take (as an uninvolved party and definate outsider) on this issue, is that the XM3 is in no way being seen as "a replacement for the M40A3" but as two things. a testbed for what is to come (and i figure half of it will wind up in the wastebin) and as a limited issue/use weapon for those few situations where it's size and suppression would be most needed, rather than simply convenient.

But mainly i think that the XM3 is mostly marketing hype from IBA. As noted by an earlier post, a few pics Marines shooting your gun (at pendelton from the looks of one shot, on teh IBA site) means you Demonstratd the thing, maybe got a small order out of someone to have it evaluated, NOT that it has or will, go beyond the "Well sir, it's interesting" stage.

LittleLebowski
November 6, 2007, 11:07 AM
I'd like to see this rifle go head to head with a suppressed SR25.

The no-compete contract and price are very troubling.

LittleLebowski
November 6, 2007, 11:10 AM
ALS, there are any number of manufacturers who could have done it for far cheaper and that are already established. I may not be a rifle manufacturer (are you?) but the facts don't lie and I'm raising the BS flag.

ALS
November 6, 2007, 11:40 AM
Ok I agree lets look at the other TOP sniper rifle manufacture McMillan Bros. By the way only IBA and McMillan rifles are being fielded in Iraq and Afghanistan by our military. I don't know of any other tactical rifle manufacture who's weapons are in the hands of our Military. IBA if you don't know it has a contract for 250 sniper rifles for the U.S. Army bet you didn't know that one. But let me add look at the prices of a McMillan Bros rifle. http://www.mcmfamily.com/pricing_rifle_packages.html

Most of the prices I have seen of these "other" manufactures don't include mount, rings, or scopes on the gun let alone a torque wrench and case for the weapon. That is a difference of around $1600 to $1700 less than the full package from IBA. So compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges.

Edit: I was talking bolt actions in .308, 300 WM, 338 Lapua's, and .50 BMG.
Yes Knight and Barretts are also being fielded in the war zone.

LittleLebowski
November 6, 2007, 11:45 AM
Damn, I guess Barrett and KAC are not issued in your world? Also, are you going to address Zak's points?

Andrew Wyatt
November 6, 2007, 01:11 PM
The XM3 has a bunch of qualities the marine snipers have actually asked for, like a suppressor and useable night vision.

It's stupid, IMHO that there are any sniper rifles out there without suppressors.

It's also irritating that no one here seems to have read the precision shooting article written by Roy Chandler.

Read the article. The man explains exactly why everything on the rifle is done the way it was.

Jeremy2171
November 6, 2007, 03:29 PM
Yup, XM-3 is well liked out here...haven't had any complaints on it yet.

LittleLebowski
November 6, 2007, 05:08 PM
And not one person addresses the cost or the fact it's COTS with nothing new or revolutionary at twice the price of an AI that actually is new and revolutionary compared to the Remington 700.

Zak Smith
November 6, 2007, 05:09 PM
AI that actually is new and revolutionary compared to the Remington 700.
It was new 25 years ago-- that's the sad part.

Detritus
November 6, 2007, 05:13 PM
Zak a thought just hit me,

Isn't AI out of business??

obviously not a reflection on the quality of their products, but i was under the impression that they'd gone under from a lack of sales.

Zak Smith
November 6, 2007, 05:17 PM
No. In early 2005, AI was repurchased by a group of the original rifle designers and seems to be doing strong business since. The US importer gets rifle shipments every few months from the UK. Overall US market demand for AI rifles is high, and it's not uncommon for a used AI rifle to command a near-new price because of immediate availability.

-z

Detritus
November 6, 2007, 05:19 PM
ok cool, some times it's nice to wrong :)

Detritus
November 6, 2007, 05:34 PM
And not one person addresses the cost or the fact it's COTS with nothing new or revolutionary at twice the price of an AI that actually is new and revolutionary compared to the Remington 700.

welcome to American gunsnobbery, there is a deep rooted and often sub-conscious(sp?) belief amoung many US gun nuts that being made in America makes an item magicly worth more (shoot better, of better quality, etc) than anything produced overseas. this belief esp holds true of things that a "American Designed" if the competition is european in origin.

Plus there is a certain sour grapes aspect as well. (i could write a whole PAGE on this but i'll not)

personally i know than an AI, or a Sako TRG, is going to shoot better than I can by a wider magin than an OTS rem 700. But since i can't and probably never will afford either of those, what's it matter.
Plus my life and those of others are not reliant upon how surgically accurate my rifle is. so it really does NOT matter what i think.

Kalashnikov
November 6, 2007, 11:56 PM
I know Iron Brigade really well. One of their top firearms testers (greg) is my tattoo artist. I personally welcome anything they have to offer.

LittleLebowski
November 7, 2007, 09:01 AM
You must be rich then.

buzz_knox
November 7, 2007, 09:24 AM
welcome to American gunsnobbery, there is a deep rooted and often sub-conscious(sp?) belief amoung many US gun nuts that being made in America makes an item magicly worth more (shoot better, of better quality, etc) than anything produced overseas. this belief esp holds true of things that a "American Designed" if the competition is european in origin.


AI has an American affiliate based in Oak Ridge, TN, that does the majority of AI's work for American agencies.

Zak Smith
November 7, 2007, 01:19 PM
I thought the Oak Ridge AI location closed? The old guns had the Oak Ridge import mark-- the new ones are marked Mingus TX.

-z

buzz_knox
November 7, 2007, 01:33 PM
I thought the Oak Ridge AI location closed? The old guns had the Oak Ridge import mark-- the new ones are marked Mingus TX.


I hadn't heard anything about it since it opened. One site I checked still discussed the Oak Ridge location, but it could have easily been old information that hadn't been updated yet.

woodybrighton
November 7, 2007, 01:41 PM
AI are not exactly based in china and your not going to need vast amount of spares even I couldn't bend one :uhoh:
unlike the large number of SA80s I broke maybe thats why they made me a sniper :D

GunTech
November 7, 2007, 02:16 PM
The Marines selected a foreign made scope, I don;t see why they'd have a problem with a foreign made rifle. The AI is, IMO superior for military applications than a tarted up M700. Try doing a barrel swap with each rifle.

As Zak noted, it is a sorry situation when we can do any better than 1960s technology. AI and PGM rifles seem much more 'advanced' than the souped up sporters we are using. And after a couple of failures, I am not keen on the 700 extractor for a life or death rifle. Battle rifles of the early 20th century were almost exclusively fixed ejector CRF rifles - and for good reason.

And even if you are going to stick with the 700, why not something like the Surgeon action, which eliminates a lot of the 700s problems?

Detritus
November 7, 2007, 04:39 PM
AI has an American affiliate based in Oak Ridge, TN, that does the majority of AI's work for American agencies.

And?

having a service center in Georgia doesn't make Glock "american" does it. neither is the Berretta 92FS/M9 an "american design" the majority of the ones sold here as i understand are made at a US plant, but most US gunowners think of it as an "Itallian" gun.

my point was that Origin as in "where it was born, built, designed originally" has a weird affect on a lot of people. and sometimes that mentality bleeds over into decisions about critical gear for our armed forces.


I know AI is good, got nothing at all against it, i wish i could afford one. Unfortunately for me the closest i'll probably ever get to an AI is the other side of a pane of glass.

Titan6
November 7, 2007, 05:20 PM
War is expensive.

The cost of war (in dollars) rises the more you want to conserve your manpower and maximize the loss to the enemy. Eventually you get to the law of Diminishing Returns. However if you have an open wallet and are really concerned about the lives of your soldiers than diminished returns mean little.

As we now live in the information age we suffer under the notion that everyone must have the very best as soon as they realize what the very best is.

I am sure many remember the question that a young Army Specialist asked the SECDEF in "Why don't we have enough body Armor and why don't we have enough armored HMVV?" And he said; "You go to war with what you got, not what you want" (papraphrase).

It was a BS answer then and it is now. Are there better choices? Probably. Are there cheaper choices? Certainly. Will it do a great job? Undoubtly.


Armed Bear Wrote:

However, yesterday, when I once again saw a couple of young Marines tooling down the highway in a Humvee, I wondered yet again if the difference between the price of the things and commercial Jeep Wranglers in quantity (like ICE uses), and the extra fuel cost of driving the big beast on paved roads around LA Metro, couldn't have been better used on an armored Humvee in Iraq or Afghanistan a few years ago.

Since you were wondering I will tell you. The vehicle you saw cost a lot less than you would pay for an H3 or F350. They carry a lot more than most civilian vehicles as well. But in any case the services use many thousands of civilian type vehicles in just the role you are talking about anyway. They are leased through GSA. I am surprised you have not noticed the tags in your area with so many bases around.

There are dozens of variations of the Hummer out there and the contract price on them is actually quite low for most of the utility models. The Armored versions cost a lot more. About 5-15 times as much, or even more depending upon the model.

At the start of the war the most common armored version was designed to stop multiple 7.62X39 (and 5.56) hits at close range to the doors or windshield. Not high explosives. More of these would not have helped much. They have gotten progressively better each year.

The newer versions can stop most smaller IEDs (at least stop well enough to keep the crew alive). The larger bombs are designed to destroy a Bradley and throw it 50 feet in the air so no wheeled vehicle made (that I know of) will take that kind of punishment.

Mantis
November 7, 2007, 11:22 PM
Unless they have the USMC 2112s in Quantico on staff, they aren't fielding this rifle in the Marine Corps.


IBA does hire ex-USMC 2112s from Quantico to build their rifles. In fact a good friend of mine is a former 2112 who used to build rifles for IBA. Much more detail goes into these rifles than most people realize. The goal is to make them extremely accurate AND bullet proof, so to speak. When your life is on the line, you can't afford to have your rifle lose it's zero just because you accidentally banged it against a tree.

Just about anyone can bed and accurize a rifle, but to do it the right way takes extra skill. I had this same friend accurize a couple of my Rem 700's and watched him do the work. Never in my life have I watch someone work who paid as much attention to detail as he did. My .308 Rem 700 VS that he worked on will now shoot 1.5" five shot groups at 300 yds, and that's no BS.

On a side note, I had the opportunity to go to dinner with Norm Sr. and Rocky Chandler a few years ago with my friend while we at Camp Perry. We sat and talked for 4 hours. Rocky, especially is a fascinating man. If we didn't have to get up early to shoot the next morning, I could have sat and listened to him all night.

Zak Smith
November 7, 2007, 11:40 PM
Bedding is so 1960's.

quicktime
November 8, 2007, 04:00 AM
Bedding is so 1960's

Then why is it that 99% of all target rifles are bedded?
I might go as far as to agree that fiberglass bedding is 1960's
But give me a good bedded action in Devcon with a metal powder added over a block any day.
Especially on a rifle with any kind of recoil.
I agree that the guns used by the military need to be pretty much bullet proof reliable.
But I have personally seen my gunsmith throw a 100% custom built sniper rig down the length of the shop twice and it still hold zero. This was done for a retail price of about 9000 with optics and accessories.
There was no night vision however.
Nesika action, Lilja barrel, Robertson composite stock, Nightforce Optics

Zak Smith
November 8, 2007, 04:12 AM
Probably because they're custom built for target use with components easily available in the after market, not engineered from the ground up. Interestingly, the dominant Match Rifle in NRA HP, the T2K, has no bedding. Its design made bedding irrelevant.

Many modern sniper rifle designs have done away completely with the conventional "action in stock" paradigm, for mechanical simplicity, durability / zero retention, and manufacturabilty.

LittleLebowski
November 8, 2007, 08:18 AM
Mantis, GAP can build a rifle that will go head to head with and very likely outshoot the XM3 for $3k. But the AI Covert is cheaper than the XM3 and more durable and easier to service than either.

24kshooter
November 8, 2007, 10:08 AM
Benchrester's can afford to use old line technology of bedding as the rifle is shot under controlled circumstances and bedding is less expensive than a new stock or rifle platform. The new rifle platforms have moved away from bedding. An average benchrest rifle would be fortunate to last a week in the "field" - excepting perhaps a Tubbs.

alsaqr
November 8, 2007, 11:05 AM
Maj. Jim Land, USMC (Ret'd) wrote an article in a magazine not long ago. He stated that the Model 70 Winchester that Carlos Hathcock used with great effect was not a minute of angle rifle. The barrel was even lightly pitted.

The junebugs have gotten involved in the sniper rifle business. Now they want the military to have a special day or night scope and lots of other bells and whistles. The rifle and scope ends up weighing 15 pounds or more. With all the other crap he has to carry, a sniper does not need a 15 pound rifle.

US, Russian, German and Japanese snipers did a great job in WWII with service rifles and mostly low powered scopes.

HorseSoldier
November 8, 2007, 12:13 PM
With all the other crap he has to carry, a sniper does not need a 15 pound rifle.

He does if it enhances his ability to perform his mission, which such esoteric and new fangled ideas as night vision scopes and suppressors most definitely do :)

US, Russian, German and Japanese snipers did a great job in WWII with service rifles and mostly low powered scopes.

And could have done a much better job with more modern equipment. I'd be curious to know how many guys with kinda-above-average-accurate service rifles, standard ammunition and scopes of x4 power or below were able to make shots past, say, 600 meters or 800 meters with anything approaching modern standards of consistency and repeatability. I simply don't buy that a guy of any ability level will be more successful with something like a 1903A4 compared to something more modern with better optics, better ammunition, and better mechanical accuracy built into the weapon.

ALS
November 8, 2007, 12:19 PM
As far as bedding goes IBA's rifles will all pass a military drop test.
What is a military drop test you ask?
The gun is first sighted in a 300 yards. The gun in placed a barrel vise on a pendulum upside down. That means the top of the gun and scope are facing down closest to the floor. The gun it self is being held by the first 4 to 5 inches from the muzzle. The butt of the rifle is raised four feet from a concrete floor and dropped. It will hit at between a 30 and 45 degree angle on the top corner of the butt. This is repeated for 10 times then the gun is removed and shot at a target at 300 yards. The gun MUST hold that original zero at 300 yards even after the drop test. This test is to measure the quality of the bedding.
I would love to see just how many bedded weapons other than what is coming out of IBA, McMillan, Quantico, and Fort Benning pass this test.

Harley Quinn
November 8, 2007, 12:48 PM
The 20 pound loaded, (approx) BAR was used and it is heavier, had to carry it, so I know about that:what: Had a "recoil rate reducer buffer" and would come out of your shoulder if not held in good. It was 30-06...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1918_Browning_Automatic_Rifle


:)

LittleLebowski
November 8, 2007, 01:21 PM
I'll bet a GAP could survive that military drop test. And once again, the AI could do better for cheaper.

Does anyone else here on this thread think that Marine Corps was wrong for doing a no-compete award for a rifle that is less capable and more expensive than a COTS AI Covert?

I do.

Next?

Mantis
November 8, 2007, 01:58 PM
Then why is it that 99% of all target rifles are bedded?
I might go as far as to agree that fiberglass bedding is 1960's
But give me a good bedded action in Devcon with a metal powder added over a block any day.
Especially on a rifle with any kind of recoil.

I really don't know much about the new rifle that everyone is talking about, but I know the previous IBA models were Titanium bedded. To do it correctly takes a lot more skill than most people think. I had a benchrest gunsmith bed my Rem 700VS before I met my 2112 friend. When he took my rifle apart, he pointed out all the areas where the benchrest guy screwed up. I never would have known. He was pointing out things that I could barely see.

You guys got me curious now. My friend still has close contacts at IBA and I'm going to try to find out what makes these rifles different.

Zak Smith
November 8, 2007, 03:43 PM
Bedding, with whatever material, is a manual and individual process and to do it right apparently requires "a lot more skill than most people think." "Manufacturing" processes like these that cannot be scaled limit production and increase cost.

Think about the logistics trail required behind these guns that are each one built custom. Parts such as barrels and bolts, and even stocks, are not interchangeable. If anything goes wrong, it goes back to an armorer who has the skill to rebuild any part of the rifle. On modern designs such as the AI or Tubb rifle, basically everything is interchangeable. This means they are more maintainable and repairable, and any many copies as you want can be manufactured on the line.

ALS
November 8, 2007, 05:00 PM
I really don't know much about the new rifle that everyone is talking about, but I know the previous IBA models were Titanium bedded. To do it correctly takes a lot more skill than most people think. I had a benchrest gunsmith bed my Rem 700VS before I met my 2112 friend. When he took my rifle apart, he pointed out all the areas where the benchrest guy screwed up. I never would have known. He was pointing out things that I could barely see.


Ditto on that one. I just had my SA Super Match rebarreled by Charlie Maloney and when he took it apart he found all kinds of accuracy problems with it. It only took him less than an hour to correct these problems.
Most local gunsmiths would have ignored or not have known that there was even a problem.
I'm sorry but I have been spoiled by Military trained gunsmiths. When I wanted to get this gun rebarreled I wanted someone who knew what they were doing. When you find a man with a resume like his you want him to work on your M1A.

Fulton Armory, Savage, MD Chief Gunsmith, National Match Gunsmith (8 years) - Retired

* US Army Marksmanship Training Unit #1, Ft. Meade National Match Gunsmith & Instructor, (Civilian, 8 years)
Trained by Ray Parkinson

* US Army DIO Weapons Branch, Ft. Meade Small Arms Repair & Armorer, (Civilian, 1 year)

* Firing Pin Gunshop, Catonsville, MD Owner / Manager / Gunsmith (4/76 through 7/81)

* Army Marksmanship Unit, Ft. Benning, GA - AMU National Match Gunsmith Training

* US Army Counter Sniper School, Ft. Meade - Diploma, March, 1984

* US Army Small Arms Repair School, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD Audit, Fall 1987

* Built special weapons, M21 sniper systems, NM Guns for the 10th Special Forces Group, Ft. Devens, MA, US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Ft. Meade MP Installation Special Reaction Team.

* Built NM rifles that won the All-Army National Match Championships in 1984 & 1985, plus accurizing work on over 5,000 other match firearms.

Titan6
November 8, 2007, 11:45 PM
Think about the logistics trail required behind these guns that are each one built custom. Parts such as barrels and bolts, and even stocks, are not interchangeable. If anything goes wrong, it goes back to an armorer who has the skill to rebuild any part of the rifle. On modern designs such as the AI or Tubb rifle, basically everything is interchangeable. This means they are more maintainable and repairable, and any many copies as you want can be manufactured on the line.

Not these days. Any specialty item that is still under warranty goes back to the maker for repairs. This may take time (but not as long as you might think) so another might be pulled off the shelf.

GunTech
November 9, 2007, 12:04 AM
I think you all are missing Zak's point.

We have the ability to design and build precision rifles that donlt require the detailed skills and time of a master gunsmith. Basically accurizing a 490 year old design is putting on a bandaid, while the correct answer is to fix the problem at the source. Look at rifles like the AI or Tubb 2000. They don't need special bedding or working over to fix production flaws.

For that matter, and recalling another thread, you could fix the whole bedding issuse by simply going to a 700 based tube gun, and gain the advantage of the AI detachable box magazine in the bargain. Then you can add any M16/AR-15 compatible add ons as required.

Zak Smith
November 9, 2007, 12:37 AM
Not these days. Any specialty item that is still under warranty goes back to the maker for repairs. This may take time (but not as long as you might think) so another might be pulled off the shelf.
This doesn't contradict at all my point-- it has to go back to someone who has the very specific skill sets to rebuild the rifle, fabricate parts, and fit them; where as a modern design can have the broken part replaced in 5 minutes with another off the shelf part.

It's analagous to replacing a part on a Glock vs. a hand-fitted 1911. The latter requires a highly-skilled armorer with special tools and knowlwdge, while the former requires hardly more than the ability to field-strip the pistol.

-z

quicktime
November 9, 2007, 03:52 AM
If you are in a military unit and have a part break it goes to the armorer no matter what. That is the only way you can get the part no matter how minor. That is just the way it work one for parts accountability and two to ensure that every private with a multitool can not be swapping out parts on their own weapons. I also tend to disagree that the T2K is the dominant weapon in Long range. Granted it is a fine rifle but it is no where near being dominant on the 1000 yard line.
I will agree that it takes longer to assemble a bedded rifle correctly and your average gunsmith is lacking in the talent to assemble a world class rifle. In fact I would rather have a competent machinist assemble a rifle over your local person listed under gunsmith in the phonebook.

And look at a barnard action basically a molding of the two technologies of tube guns and traditional. But I do not care if it is a tube gun or glue-in benchrest or pillar bedded unit. It all comes down to the barrel and good machining practices to ensure everything is square and tolerances are held. And you can not substitute that when every bit of accuracy is on the line. How you attach the action to the shooter is 90% cosmetics and individual feel and 10% function. You could stick a good barreled action on a lead pipe and it would shoot sub minute of angle.

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