Years ago I saw a video of the XM 8 being tested, and even then I knew it was cancelled. Did H&K go on to make these? Or sell the design to someone else? They remind me a little of the SCAR. Thanks for any info.
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July 19, 2010, 09:21 AM
There was some problems with the polymer they used not being quite up to the heat produced after long firing, if I remember correctly. There was also some grumblings from other designers that the HK design got pushed through so fast.
July 19, 2010, 02:49 PM
It fell on its face in trials. Why they dropped it all together I am not sure. I have personally talked with two people who personally fired the weapon and it was evidently a 'jam-o-matic' in less than ideal conditions. This is not conducive to being chosen as a battle rifle.
July 19, 2010, 03:42 PM
It was much ballyhooed -- which should be a lesson to us. Every new rifle is the best thing since sliced bread, a dramatic improvement over the rifle it's supposed to replace, etc., etc.
The lesson is, every new rifle is a risk -- it may well fail in actual combat. That risk is only justified if the new rifle is a quantum leap forward, as the M1 was over the Springfield.
July 19, 2010, 03:47 PM
Why do it with 10 parts when a team of engineers can figure out how to get 32 parts into the gun....
July 19, 2010, 04:16 PM
My understanding is that the only reason the XM8 existed is because after spending $117 million on the XM29 OICW program and still not being ready for primetime, it was thought that maybe they could spin off the 5.56mm component and show something for all the money spent. They spun off the grenade launcher as the XM25 and the rifle as the XM8.
The XM8 got the axe in 2005 when the Army decided to reevaluate its small arms needs. I think the XM8 just didn't offer much in the way of an advance (especially compared to the LSAT program).
July 19, 2010, 04:32 PM
long answer: polymer failed several environmental tests; heat shields were unsatisfactory; firearm was extremely expensive as a gun AND as a system; political whining because it was just a re-shelled G36C; it offered no significant (if any) improvement on current designs; poor logistics; other programs made more promising advancements
short answer: it was a waste of time and money that melted above 110-degrees Fahrenheit.
July 19, 2010, 04:44 PM
My understanding is that the only reason the XM8 existed is because after spending $117 million on the XM29 OICW program and still not being ready for primetime, it was thought that maybe they could spin off the 5.56mm component and show something for all the money spent.
That's basicaly correct.
July 19, 2010, 04:55 PM
The XM-8 has left the realm of being a viable military weapon and has moved on to video game world.
July 19, 2010, 05:02 PM
IT was also being worked on with OICW funds, after Congress specifically told the Army to stop. There were a few forced retirements and firing involved with this program.
July 20, 2010, 08:50 AM
The H&K XM8 weapon system is effectively dead.
It lives on in the form of airsoft and video games.
H&K and the US Army developed the XM8 system as a replacement for the M16/M4 system.
Due to budgetary concerns the program was cancelled.
During testing the XM8 had two major concerns/faults.
Battery life for the intergrated electronic sight was very low and the handguards on the XM8 would melt under sustained fire.
Before those concerns could be fixed, the program was cancelled in 2005.
Even though it was canceled, H&K continued to tweak it.
They've renamed it the GVM-8, due to trademark/patent issues (US Army owns "XM8") and, in 2007, they demonstrated it to the Malaysian military & police (The Malaysians passed on it in favor of the FN F2000, which out performed the GVM8/XM8).
The XM8s still in US Army hands still get brought out and tested, as evident in the last extreme enviroment testing of the XM8 v SCAR-L v HK416 v M4.
Even though H&K still fiddles with it, it is on the back burner with the G11.
H&K is more concentrated on promoting/selling the HK416/417 system and G36 system.