Future Infantry small arms


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Tirod
July 16, 2010, 08:14 AM
An interesting read: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/future%20small%20arms.htm

One conclusion that could be made is the potential for a 6.5G bullpup as the future arm, to replace a short urban, long range, and even light SMG. The final comments are pretty accurate, tho. It is going to take a lot of effort to get the decision makers off the dime and actually create change.

The military industry at present is fixated on one specific area that is actually showing the most resistance to change - the M16 magazine design. If anything, that is the biggest issue for any new caliber - it has to feed in the straight 20 round mag well.

Guys, we can argue calibers until the cows come home (and we will,) but the more important problem to any adoption is the mag well, which is getting institutionalized as a requirement in NATO weapons. As a good example, Magpul makes the Emag, which is a euro compatible version of the Pmag for use by other platforms.

Anyone who's seen a picture or handled a AR magazine for the 7.62x39 can immediately see the obvious problem - it looks like a bad joke, a curved AK mag with the best part cut off, attached to a 20 straight M16 with the best part cut off. It's a mystery that they work at all. That is not going pass anyones acceptance trial and will doom an otherwise good rifle.

The problem is adopting a tapered case cartridge immediately obsoletes millions of magazines in service. That would likely also happen if the overall cartridge length is opened up, and if the case diameter changed, it still might require it. Regardless of cause, the issue is that every rifle would need ten magazines immediately, and units dozens more as backup. The obstacle of equipping, say, the entire deployed Afghanistan force with 130,000 rifles means also issuing at least 1.5 million magazines on the spot, with that many more needed.

It makes no difference which caliber you prefer, the magazine replacement has a significant impact on fielding any one of them - and it also needs mag pouches to fit into. There's another major piece of kit to design and issue.

Follow the money, a caliber change has a much bigger affect than we think.

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Al Thompson
July 16, 2010, 08:41 AM
Tony William's heart is in the right place, but his depth (lack thereof) of experience is revealed in the article. The US military has a world wide mission. Almost by definition, we will never have a completely optimized weapons mix for a particular place at a particular time. What works best in the Philippines may not work well in Iran.

I think we will always have a compromise weapons system, not an optimized one, at least in the near future.

Agree completely about the magazine being much more key than previously known. Another important (IMHO) piece of the puzzle is systemic parts replacement as opposed to replacing parts only when the rifle fails to work. TTBOMK, we still have not adopted this as a standard practice. The company armorer should be TIing each weapon on an ongoing basis.

One major thing Tony always overlooks is training. It's obvious that having a rifle that's good to 1000m issued to a soldier who lacks the skills to hit at 500m is a waste.

unit91
July 16, 2010, 08:55 AM
I think we will always have a compromise weapons system, not an optimized one, at least in the near future.

Agreed. The tricky question is what features do we optimize -- accuracy, weight, reliability, cost, caliber, range, recoil management, commonality of parts/ammo, etc.?

We can get several of those, but not all, and the ones we pick will always be second-guessed.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 16, 2010, 09:41 AM
Tony Williams spoke at the 2010 NDIA conference and did his presentation there. There was also a rebuttal presentation from one of the Swedish guys who regularly lectures at NDIA.

Frankly, I think we would probably be better off taking the money necessary to do a caliber change and putting it into training people how to better use the caliber they have.

Al Thompson
July 16, 2010, 10:28 AM
One of the things (IMHO) that is driving the 7.62 train is the restrictive ROE in Afghanistan. Playing "M240 v. PKM" games is not very effective - my choice would be a 60mm mortar in a direct fire application. PKM versus HE & WP rounds, if allowed by ROE would be a better match. For us. :)

USSR
July 16, 2010, 10:35 AM
The US military has a world wide mission. Almost by definition, we will never have a completely optimized weapons mix for a particular place at a particular time. What works best in the Philippines may not work well in Iran.

+1. The problem with small arms development teams is, they are always looking to fight the last war.

Don

Hatterasguy
July 16, 2010, 12:24 PM
The US Army has always fielded a mix of weapons, two rounds to supply really isn't that bad. During the Civil War and up to at least WW2 they were supplying the front line troops with more than that.


The wars we are fighting now are really the last war in terms of arms development.


Your not going to see anything change anytime soon in regards to caliber, NATO will have to switch and thats not happening.

Cosmoline
July 16, 2010, 01:03 PM
The US military has a world wide mission. Almost by definition, we will never have a completely optimized weapons mix for a particular place at a particular time. What works best in the Philippines may not work well in Iran.

This is a good argument for returning the the WWII era use of multiple platforms in multiple chamberings. Forget trying to make everyone use one single weapon platform in one single cartridge. And leave the decision of what to take on a particular mission up to commanders on a much lower operational level. Why can't we do that?

USSR
July 16, 2010, 02:52 PM
Why can't we do that?

Too many bean counters running things.:rolleyes:

Don

fireside44
July 16, 2010, 02:57 PM
The US military has a world wide mission. Almost by definition, we will never have a completely optimized weapons mix for a particular place at a particular time. What works best in the Philippines may not work well in Iran.

I would agree. And since the past 20 years have been spent in the desert, where range is useful, I would think a more powerful caliber rifle might be brought into service for the next 10 or 15, because realistically, with our gov't love of foreign wars that is where our armed forces will be spending the majority of their time.

I myself wouldn't mind seeing a bit more affordable AR-10 civilian market.:)

Tirod
July 16, 2010, 06:03 PM
Ahh, right, let's equip our soldiers with a larger, heavier, longer rifle with less ammo and oops, that magazine thing again, along with mag pouches, back up parts, and double the ammo weight not only for the soldier but also for the entire logistics system from the factory to the battlefield.

Not happening.

And then we go into a situation - again - with a weapon from the last war, not the one we need. As usual.

I tend to agree with one conclusion of the link, move to a better performing caliber. But it's not a single point change. Many other parts of suppy, kit, and training get changed along with it, and that resistance is why we have what we have right now. Make A Wish isn't going to get us where we need to go.

If the Improved Carbine trials coming up perpetuate the M16 magazine with all it's faults, there's not going to be any real improvement. SOCOM has said as much about the SCAR regardless of whether they buy them or not. It's not better until we get rid of a restrictive mag well and cheap flimsy magazine. THEN reliability can improve and a caliber can be made to fit correctly. How the bolt is operated is icing on the cake.

Al Thompson
July 16, 2010, 07:35 PM
Maybe we can Kalashnikov to design the magazine since he seems to know how. :D

Gelgoog
July 17, 2010, 02:07 AM
there is no need to replace the intermediate cartridge for all troops. If you are worried about long range encounters then just issue a few more .308 caliber rifles to some of the squads marksmen.

I hate to say it but the ruskies had the idea right back in the 60s. they issued a few marksmen the dragonov to deal with all those long range encounters. These guys were not specialized snipers, just platoon marksmen.

Tirod
July 17, 2010, 10:02 AM
If the Kalashnikov has one thing that makes it reliable, it's the nearly indestructible magazine with machined steel feed lips. It's the exact opposite of what the M16 has, and much better by all accounts.

Of course, using one means "cutting away" the front half of the mag well to accomodate the curve. Early Dutch production AR10's are showing up that have exactly that, no front wall and a slanted opening.

fireside44
July 17, 2010, 10:51 AM
Ahh, right, let's equip our soldiers with a larger, heavier, longer rifle with less ammo and oops, that magazine thing again, along with mag pouches, back up parts, and double the ammo weight not only for the soldier but also for the entire logistics system from the factory to the battlefield.

By that line of thinking maybe our armed forces should switch to .22lr. Half the weight of .223/5.56.

Hey, .22 lr has killed more people than any other cartridge, so whose to complain about it's knockdown power?

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2010, 11:11 AM
The problem with small arms development teams is, they are always looking to fight the last war.

Actually that's not true. For example, in 1841-42 we adopted cap lock rifles and muskets. Previous wars had been fought with flintlocks.

In the 1850s we developed the Harper's Ferry Bullet (often mistakenly called the Minnie Ball) and the Rifle-Musket -- a revolutionary concept for it's time.

After the Civil War, we went to breech loaders. In 1892, just in time to get them into wide issue for Spanish-American War, we adopted a bolt action smokeless powder repeater. In 1903, we adopted a much-improved rifle, the M1903 Springfield.

And of course we developed the famous -- and revolutionary -- M1 Garand just before WWII.

The history of US arms development shows a forward-looking approach to firearms design and fielding.

USSR
July 17, 2010, 04:33 PM
Vern,

I guess I should have stated "in our lifetime".:rolleyes:

Don

Bartholomew Roberts
July 17, 2010, 07:53 PM
By that line of thinking maybe our armed forces should switch to .22lr. Half the weight of .223/5.56.

If there was as big a difference between 7.62x51 and 5.56x45 as there is between 5.56x45 and .22LR, you might have a point. Unfortunately, all you've done with this comparison is take a perfectly rational point and stretch it to absurdity.

See if you can guess which of the below pics (from Brassfetcher (http://www.brassfetcher.com/index.html) if you want to cheat) are .308, .223, or .22LR:

hso
July 17, 2010, 08:14 PM
Why can't we do that?

Economy of scale, additional costs for weapons of different caliber, additional training for different platforms, additional costs of magazines, additional costs of accessories, additional costs of logistics,...

IOW, cost

SalchaketJoe
July 17, 2010, 09:24 PM
Being a lefty, I am not a fan of bullpup rifles. I dont think the 5.56 is going anywhere. In the past 6 months they have started issuing 2 "new" rounds out there. Only took em 9 years to do it, but it shows that someone out there is working on improving the effectiveness of the 5.56. I think the future is in the propellents and the projectile.

BullfrogKen
July 18, 2010, 02:48 PM
Tony William's heart is in the right place, but his depth (lack thereof) of experience is revealed in the article. The US military has a world wide mission. . . . .


One major thing Tony always overlooks is training. It's obvious that having a rifle that's good to 1000m issued to a soldier who lacks the skills to hit at 500m is a waste.

Al, I completely agree.


I don't know his background well enough to comment, but it seems much more academic than practical. I notice that nearly every person without the practical experience or appreciation of an infantry unit providing an opinion on an infantry rifle generally has one thing in common - He focuses on optimizing the rifle as employed by an individual.

Military units do not fight as individuals. The general-issue rifle need not be optimized for use by an individual, operating as an individual. Rather the make-up of the weaponry in a unit, and the capabilities of the unit in total, should be optimal to the mission.


Practically speaking, every soldier in an infantry unit does not need to have a rifle capable of extreme long range accuracy. The unit needs to have the capability, each individual does not. I consider his criteria - 800 yards - an extremely long range. Notwithstanding the legend of the Marines at Belleau Wood, setting the goal of an 800 yard general-issue rifle, and the training needed to get the average soldier to use it at that range, is not possible.


Mr Williams criteria from his article:
I suggest that the following capabilities should be sought in new small arms, beyond the obvious ones of reliability, robustness, reliability, good ergonomics, reliability, easy maintenance, reliability, ability to accept a wide range of accessories, and of course reliability in extended combat conditions:

1. The rifle should be effective out to the maximum feasible range for small-arms engagements; at least 800 metres. The definition of effectiveness to include hit probability, barrier penetration and rapid incapacitation of personnel.

2. The rifle should be as compact as possible, so that it is handy for urban warfare and for carrying in cramped vehicles and helos.

3. The recoil should be light enough to facilitate training, rapid and accurate semi-automatic fire, and controllable burst fire.

4. The rifle should be capable of maintaining a high rate of fire for several minutes without harmful effects.

5. The LMG should use the same ammunition as the rifle, be belt-fed and be capable of accurate and sustained automatic fire out to at least 1,000 metres.

6. The guns and their ammunition should be as light as they can be without compromising any of the above requirements.



It is impossible to achieve all these goals in the same rifle. A rifle capable of reliably producing terminal wounds at 800 meters will not be controllable in burst fire. A powerful rifle light and compact enough for urban fighting and useful when deployed from a vehicle cannot maintain a high rate of fire for several minutes without harmful effects. On and on . . .


Compromise involves giving up specific advantages to gain general advantages. That's the reality with anything in life. I can't have a light truck that will give me good fuel mileage also be capable of safely hauling a heavy load.


Today we're fighting an enemy who engages in small numbers, and who avoid direct engagement. Throughout the history of combat, from the first time two forces engage each other, they begin to learn how each other fight and they adapt their tactics. If we had general-issue rifles and men capable of using them out to 800 yards, the enemy would learn to stay outside that window and adapt with different tactics.

Tomorrow we might need to fight large-scale units, the size of North Korea's or China's. Under those conditions the amount of ammunition a unit can carry and deploy with will matter quite a bit more than it does when the enemy generally doesn't mass greater than the size of a conventional platoon.


We need to have forces capable of a world-wide mission. A mission that big necessitates compromise on the large scale, with smaller scale specialization. We might very well need a new general-issue infantry rifle. But I reject Mr. Williams' approach on what it should be, and what it must be able to do.

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2010, 04:08 PM
I notice that nearly every person without the practical experience or appreciation of an infantry unit providing an opinion on an infantry rifle generally has one thing in common - He focuses on optimizing the rifle as employed by an individual.

Military units do not fight as individuals. The general-issue rifle need not be optimized for use by an individual, operating as an individual. Rather the make-up of the weaponry in a unit, and the capabilities of the unit in total, should be optimal to the mission.
Right on.

In fact, the key to modern small unit tactics is the fire team (which the British call a "group.") This is a sub-element of a squad, consisting of three or four men (it varies from army to army) which has several key controlling concepts.

One of those concepts is that a fire team employs a mix of weapons -- typically a rifle, a squad automatic weapon and a grenade launcher. The result is a fighting unit where the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

JShirley
July 18, 2010, 05:40 PM
Mr. Williams doesn't appear to have really thought this through.

o He claims attacks are now being launched from beyond 300 meters BUT
---doesn't mention whether those attacks are effective, AND
---makes an unwarranted assumption that the change in engagement range is due to Allied range limitations, instead of the more likely and logical reason that the superior marksmanship of US troops means engaging at closer ranges with less than completely overwhelming force is pure suicide.

In addition, there is the obvious conclusion that Mr. Williams wants us to prepare to fight WWI again (when it comes to range).

Vern Humphrey
July 18, 2010, 06:32 PM
He claims attacks are now being launched from beyond 300 meters BUT
---doesn't mention whether those attacks are effective,
You are right in everything you say. But in his defense, let me point out that we should view such attacks as opportunities -- opportunities to kill the attackers.

People who attack our troops should always be killed, pour encourager les autres.;)

hso
July 19, 2010, 12:20 AM
I don't think that you even have to have served in an infantry unit to understand that the first criteria is impossible to resolve with the second and third. There's no way to make a weapon controllable on burst fire that will also toss an effective projectile lethally to 800 meters with the accuracy he needs or to do it with a weapon that fits the confines of vehicles.

If anyone is aware of any 800 meter effective weapon that is compact enough for guys in a Hummer to dismount with readily AND that line troops can control on burst fire just let me know? M14? Too long and not controllable for the average guy on burst fire. FAL? Same problems. AR10? 6.8 AR? Nope. Perhaps a theoretical 30 cal bullpup?

Art Eatman
July 19, 2010, 06:54 AM
Lessee: The power of an '06 from a 24" barrel. Full-auto controllability of an M16. Short and handy enough for vehicle folks and for room-cleaning. MOA or better for accuracy. Relatively inexpensive to buy by the million.

I call it the JLS School of Firearms Design: Jonathan Livingston Seagull; wish for it hard enough and it'll happen.

Not.

Tirod
July 19, 2010, 09:47 AM
You are right in everything you say. But in his defense, let me point out that we should view such attacks as opportunities -- opportunities to kill the attackers.

People who attack our troops should always be killed, pour encourager les autres.;)
Shooting rock throwers can quickly become an overreaction to an incident and prosecutable under UCMJ. Being "attacked" happens often enough to cops on the street, I don't see much leeway in the law to gun down the perps. It's bad enough punching a drunken female in the face to subdue her.

Bullpups aren't the cure many seem to think. Long barrel? No, the barrel is too short - the front handguard must be designed to retain the users hand so he doesn't shoot himself. The lack of barrel in front doesn't allow a bayonet to mount, and it reduces the effective stand off in CQB. The trigger mechanisms so far are lengthy and as a general class are rated mushy and unresponsive. Loading a magazine is awkward as it has to be inserted under the stock near the armpit, difficult to perform whether prone or standing.

Because of the abbreviated overall length, optics are practically required, BUIS are well forward of the chamber on a very short radius and impractical for distance shooting. The overall length is fixed, no folding stock allowed, you can't hinge the barrel in front of the chamber, and overall balance is a joke. Adjustable length stocks are difficult at best, which makes the bullpup impossible to reduce in size to a 10" barrel PDW as already in use by many armies. That alone restricts the design and prevents commonality of parts as a universal platform. The straight line design requires high mounted optics and close range offset will continue to be a problem,, along with a complete inability to design the stock with any drop for ergonomics that conventional piston guns enjoy.

KABOOM's do happen, a burst chamber will occur directly adjacent to the neck and arteries, as opposed to out in front of the face. Most current injuries affect the off hand and cosmetic facial injuries as many shooter's wear safety eyeshields. With a bullpup, the escaping gases and high velocity parts will eject within six inches of major blood vessels and the central nervous system. Oh, it's not very likely, certainly within military standards of acceptable combat loss. I can see Ruger's version with a flip down notice that disables the action until pushed aside. "Overloads/unprojected bullets may cause significant injury and even death to the user! Caution! check the barrel after every shot for unprojected bullets and use certified ammunition from authorized sources only!" But I digress.

There are some simple, concrete reasons most (98%) of the world's armies don't use bullpups, and it's because they bring problems to the table without significantly improving the overall use. Complaint about vehicular dismounts didn't occur until the HMMV was implemented, and it was never intended as a combat vehicle. Urban warfare is adequately served with the M4 type weapon; grenades, rocket launchers, breaching charges, and tactics as a team count far more than a short barrel in close confines.

It was politely noted that a lot of big caliber and bullpup proponents aren't familiar with miltary tactics and resources as a working team in the field and look at the situation as a single individual. From the perspective of a retired Reservist and non combat vet who qualified Infantry, Ordnance, and MP, I add it's because those opinions are basically clueless and reveal a major lack of awareness or experience to have any substance. Less than one in one hundred are have served in the military, one in one thousand in a combat arm. It's no wonder the prior service community closes ranks when these suggestions are offered.

Beside, y'all know we just toss our M4's on the ground and grab the nearest AK at the first opportunity, right? Who needs bullpups?

Brian Williams
July 19, 2010, 10:37 AM
Is part of the problem of our troopies being in an enclosed Humvee. The old open GP was an excellent vehicle for moving a few troops and giving them easy access and egress.
It seems to me that these uparmored Humvees are a killing trap.

Tirod
July 19, 2010, 10:57 AM
The HMMV is being replaced by the MRAP, as it should. HMMV's were a general vehicle designed as a multirole platform, a truck, ambulance, radio shack, etc. It was never originally intended as an armored vehicle, just forced into the role as MP's faced more hostile fire, then expanded into a general urban patrol vehicle in a LIC zone. Adding on the armor plate required forced induction on the motor to increase horsepower to move the slug along, reduced mobility in field terrain, and took up even more space in the interior with the armor plate.

We went to war with what we had, look at the armored wheel vehicles the Brits used in Ireland. We had none, our bias was tracks for Northern Europe, not urban conflict. But there's no sense saying that we have to change weapons design to suit the HMMV when it was simply a get-by tool to begin with. A longer range perspective of how the HMMV is being displaced would see it.

BullfrogKen
July 19, 2010, 12:11 PM
It was politely noted that a lot of big caliber and bullpup proponents aren't familiar with miltary tactics and resources as a working team in the field and look at the situation as a single individual. From the perspective of a retired Reservist and non combat vet who qualified Infantry, Ordnance, and MP, I add it's because those opinions are basically clueless and reveal a major lack of awareness or experience to have any substance. Less than one in one hundred are have served in the military, one in one thousand in a combat arm. It's no wonder the prior service community closes ranks when these suggestions are offered.
Beside, y'all know we just toss our M4's on the ground and grab the nearest AK at the first opportunity, right? Who needs bullpups?
My comments weren't directed at you. Nor about the bullpup design.
I made them directly in response to the article, and the author.

Closes ranks is one way to put it. Or put another way, I think some of the suggestions made by those without some appreciation of the mission border on the ridiculous. I wouldn't think to tell a mechanic what tools he should use because I like collecting and studying up on old tools. Usually I dismiss and ignore them.

As hso pointed out, it doesn't take much brain power to figure out that the author's list of criteria are mutually exclusive. And the criteria he does list are so vauge to be meaningless.

As light as possible? If you had to lug gear around with you everywhere, who wouldn't want something "as light as possible?" No thanks, burden me down with some extra, meaningless weight on it please.

Light as possible means nothing. If we could design a 3 lb rifle, would that work? It's as light as possible. Again, meaningless criteria. The weight should be reasonable, and proportionate to the caliber. A 7 pound .308 isnít controllable, and frankly hurts. A 14 lb .223 is too heavy, and too cumbersome for the caliber.

Articles like this, written in the vacuum of the real world, do very little to propel design and advancement.

Jaws
July 19, 2010, 03:22 PM
The AR15 mag/magwell issue is really funny.

The most powerful army in the world, with a buget bigger than the rest of the world combined, is held hostage by a crappy, poorly designed, "disposable" magazin.:banghead::D

OMG is too expensive to change it so we have to design the next generation rifles to work with the 40 years old failure.
Did you guys even looked at DOD buget?
You really think replacing the mag/magwell combination is that big a deal for DOD budget?

Look at this numbers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

Those are scarry huge numbers compared to what would take to replace the whole "AR15 magwell- AR 15 mag-5.56mm cartridge" combo.

Hatterasguy
July 19, 2010, 04:07 PM
Yeah I never understood why they don't dump the stupid aluminum ones for Pmags. Retail is $17, I'm sure the DOD could get that number pretty close to cut in half. Pmags are not perfect but they are better than the USGI aluminum mags in every area.

But thats why its the government they don't always make the smartest moves.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 19, 2010, 04:26 PM
Yeah I never understood why they don't dump the stupid aluminum ones for Pmags.

Because PEO Soldier had its own "Improved" magazine design in the works and they decided to fund that instead of buy one of the COTS versions of an improved M16 magazine. Although I know PMAGs have an NSN and are in pretty wide use despite that.

Tirod
July 20, 2010, 09:23 AM
Aside from other aspects of the recent SCAR (non)procurement, one thing that does come up is the use of the Heavy lower with a 5.56 kit - basically a filler to accept a 5.56 mag in a .308 magwell.

While FN may be proposing that as a viable solution, it does hint that maybe there is some acknowledgement the AR magwell isn't a fixed immutable concept. If FN needs to dump it to salvage a contract, why, goodbye, and hello big magwells.

Of course, at that point, all sorts of speculation arises as to which other calibers could feed in a big magwell - which is arguable itself. The focus should be on what it takes to make the disposable AR mag more robust. Does the .308 magwell have enough width to accomodate feed lips that can't be bent when dropped, have a body wall depth thick enough to resist being stepped on, and (crescendo of announcement music!) a consistent axis of motion that doesn't jog and change direction - meaning no doglegs.

Then there's the concept of using a torsion spring that pushes up from the bottom rather than a clockwork mag spring that unwinds from the top down, something thats been available for over a hundred years. The advantage is that spring pressure doesn't double every inch to make the magazine unloadable before it's max capacity. It's the second strike in the count against the 30 round M16 mag - 1) it's flimsy junk 2) you can't even load it to capacity because it causes FTF's.

With these kinds of glaring deficiencies in an elemental part of a weapons system, I then have to just stand back and scratch my head listening to all the BS about DI vs. Piston out on the playground. Mention that magazine feeding malfunctions are the #1 problem recorded and experienced by virtually every organization and you get the deer in the headlights stare. It's like people being SBR shotguns with 9 power scopes - a lack of perspective on the big issues, and not so precise in delivery.

Which could be compared to talking about bullpups, no one specific meant, just blasting away on the subject.

Jaws
July 20, 2010, 01:31 PM
I think there's a chance with the SCAR lower being molded plastic instead of expensive machined aluminium.

Hatterasguy
July 20, 2010, 03:30 PM
I don't understand, I always liked the AR style magwell and mag release. I think its one of the better systems out their, and with Pmags its as close to 100% reliable as a system can be. My friends are big AR shooters and as much as I don't care for that platform they are pretty reliable when set up properly. A good Colt, Stag, or LWRC running Pmags just doesn't hicup.

The AK, and older M14 or even FN49 type mag systems frankly kind of suck in comparison. The only reason AK47's don't have mag problems is that the mags themselves are overbuilt. The rock in system on the rifle is outdated.


The problem is the mags not the rifle, they were originaly supposed to be one use throw away and that didn't work in practice.

Tirod
July 21, 2010, 09:16 AM
No real problem with the mag release or shape of the well, other than it conforms to the thin walled aluminum mags it accepts.

Calling the AK mags overbuilt highlights the difference. M16 magazines cannot be loaded to capacity, dropped from arm's length onto a hard surface, and then function flawlessly. Even if it was meant to be disposable, why is it incapable of handling mishaps, which can and will happen in combat? All the exterior mags stuffed in pouches are also subject to damage if they contact a hard object during maneuvers like a drop and roll. One good dent in the side can render them problematic.

AK mags in a vest are often said to be "bullet resistant", with plenty of commentary on discovering their actual capability in the role, as an extreme comparison. At the least, little criticism is directed at their function. AR mag builders actually emulate as many of the features as they can, with some using machined feed lips, and others playing the hat trick of getting a constant curve feeding action out of the envelope. If anything, the Pmag is the indictment of the GI mag, as so much has gone into the design from day one. Non-tilt follower, high lubricity interior walls, low damage feed lips that retain their shape, special alloy springs, etc. Nonetheless, they don't fit all magwells as they have to use as much of the spec dimensions as possible - while AR lower makers are a bit shaky about machining them to the outer limit of the dimensional range. So, they get sanded and filed in a few cases. Minor point, Pmags have an NSN - which goes to show the standard aluminum disposable magazine is far from perfect.

We've been downloading them since the days when the straight 20 rounders were all that was available. It's a problem that requires some serious changes in production and logistics to follow through, but it's easy if the system accepts the adoption in a new platform from day one, as it will only be an incremental difference. Since we're only talking about small money, less than the cost of a couple of fighter aircraft to reequip DOD across the board, I think it's up to knowledgeable to help it along.

We need to stop talking about mag dumps and talk up dumping the mag.

fireside44
July 21, 2010, 12:24 PM
The rock in system on the rifle is outdated.

I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong.

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