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17 Soldier driven changes to XM-8 outlined in "Army Times"

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bobarino, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    in the 30 August 2004 Issue of Amry Times is a cover story about the second generation of XM-8 prototypes with new changes made after input from soldiers that have used the weapon. i didn't find the article on their website, www.ArmyTimes.com but they do have a 3-D view of the second generation prototype XM-8 on there.

    one of the main changes is the combining of the "Designated Marksman Rilfe" and the "Automatic Rifle" into the "Designated Marksman Automatic Rifle" or DMAR. there will be standard 30 round magazines issued with rifles intended for "Marksman" duties and 100 round drum magazines issued with rifles intended for "automatic" duties. i'm guessing those intended for marksman duties will have different optics. thats just a guess from me.

    the 17 changes to the XM-8 are as follows.

    1. improved bolt locking mechanism and larger bolt release for easier use.

    2. increased rate of fire to 800-850 rounds per miunte. this is supposed to help keep the chamber cleaner in adverse conditions such as desert.

    3. score marks on the top of the buttstock extension to help soldiers know how far the stock is extended.

    4. stronger bird-cage type flash suppressor has replaced the open prong type suppressor. a few early prototypes developed cracks in the prongs at around 15,000 rounds.

    5. ambi-charging handle now has a knurled handle for better grip.

    6. flip up/down back-up iron sights itegrated into the top of the handguard
    (front) and carrying handle (rear). the front sight looks very similar to the M-16 front sight and the rear is a 1 inch tall by 1/4 inch wide post with a hole in the top.

    7. windage and elevation knobs for optics can now be adjust with a 5.56mm casing or a small coin instead of the dedicated tool that could easily be lost.

    8. windage and elevation knobs now make an audible "click" so they can be adjusted by sound.

    9. optics now mount with a lever style clamping mechanism instead of screws which troops tended to strip out durring installation of the optics.

    10. improved handguard with upgraded heat resistant material and added heat shields to guard against heat damage durring sustained fire.

    11. increased range of infrared pointer and illuminator from 600 to 800 meters.

    12. optics controls are now on the rear of the optics unit instead of the side so soldiers can adjust and see the status of the optics easier.

    13. optics controls are larger and now have "+" and "-" signs instead of up and down arrows.

    14. battery life for optics unit is increased from 110 to 400 hours.

    15. the DMAR now has a heavier and fluted barrel for lighter weight and better heat dissapation.

    16. Bi-pod legs for the DMAR have been redesigned and can now be adjusted for length and each one can be independently adjusted for uneven terrain and they have been shortened so as not to interfere with the support hand with firing with bi-pod folded.

    17. improved buttstock for compact carbine models to allow for easier shouldering of the weapon while wearing body armor or load bearing gear.

    the current Gen 2 XM-8 prototypes are all black but production models will be more earth tone-ish.

    man i REALLY hope H&K makes a civy version of this rifle. i'll be first in line if they do. all they need to do is put a semi-auto trigger group on it and presto! awesome rifle for the private market. no more worries about "evil" features. keep your fingers crossed. i also hope they offer it in different calibers. it would be fun to have a 7.62x39 and a 7.62x51 version of this thing too.

  2. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Well-Known Member

    I'd also like to see a civvie version, but you can bet your left nad that it'll be at least $1,500.

    What I'd really like to see is the issue version of this rifle firing a more substantial cartridge than the 5.56 mm like, for instance, the 6.5 Grendel for great long range performance.
  3. atek3

    atek3 Well-Known Member

    civie version...ain't going to happen. (unless its some ugly bastardized SL9 thingie)
    different cartridge...ain't going to happen. Too much bureaucratic inertia to admit that the 223 isn't the end all and be all of small arms cartridges.

  4. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Well-Known Member

    Next question: how will this largely plastic weapon do if there's hand-to-hand fighting? Does it have a bayonet lug? What happens if the rifle butt is used as a weapon and breaks - is it as useless as the M-16 family?
  5. Pinned&Recessed

    Pinned&Recessed Well-Known Member

    I see nothing about making the standard barrel length 20", so I guess the "standard" rifle will have the 12.5" barrel. YAY!!! Our troops will have a rifle with an effective killing range of 25 meters. YAY!!!!

    That little cartridge is already handicapped with a 20" barrel, no need to totally emasculate it.
  6. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Well-Known Member

    No bayonet or lug that I've seen. I guess we'd better start equipping them with reinforced shovels in case of hand to hand (works for the Russians).
  7. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Well-Known Member

    I guess only the marksman are engaging targets at range and everone else is just shell foder and ammo carriers until they get urban. Depends on the tactics and environment I guess.

    I hope the final version doesn't have the ugly and pointless curved bow on top and any other extranious crap. It doesn't need to be "science fictiony" it needs to be functional.

    If they're not going to a more potent round they need to go back to the designed bullet weight for the 5.56x45 as well.

    I haven't really been following this closely. Are there any other condenders for replacement of the AR family? Or is the XM8 the winner by default regardless of how it turns out?
  8. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    i haven't heard of any other contenders in the contest and by the way H&K is shelling R&D dollars and building a factory in America so it can call the rifle American made so congress won't throw a fit about the American service rifle not being made in the U.S.A. like they did with the FFDO's program of the USP Compact, i'm guessing that they are virtually guaranteed the contract. so far the weapon has tested very favorably both in functional trials and with the troops in the field.

    the article doesn't make any mention of a bayonet lug, nor the durability of the polymers as far as impact goes. i'm guessing its probably tougher than some are giving it credit for. its likely that it will have steel reinforcements like the frame on HK pistols.

    i too hope they don't give everyone a 12 inch barrel. i hope they go for at least 16 inches if not 18 or so for the standard issue rifle. thats just my opinion though.

    overall its still a very neat a modern weapon with superior reliability and modularity. i could live without the Star Wars-ish looks of it too though.

  9. SoundWave

    SoundWave Well-Known Member

    I'd buy it....:)
  10. CaesarI

    CaesarI Well-Known Member

    I read the XM8 got cut from the budget a while ago. Maybe next year.

    I'm only interested if it's in 6.8SPC

    Testing on the 6.5 Grendel was not as good as expected, the neck before fragmentation was rather long at 5-7". (see the thread on TF)

    Kinda worried that the gun will get weighted down with all these product improvements. One of the bigger perks to the XM8 is that it's VERY light. It's also more reliable, in terms of ability to be run dirty.

  11. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    $1500.00 might get you a dedicated upper with no iron sights, no bayonet lug and no goodies hanging off the picatinney handguard rails.
    The Barnett Military rifle, full automatic, with accessories, runs in the neighborhood of $4800.00 each Government cost.
  12. Gifted

    Gifted Well-Known Member

    I was under the impression, previously, that they were wanting to make the next generation 6.8mm, I think it was.
  13. George Hill

    George Hill Well-Known Member

    I was told by a Senator that the XM-8 goes into full production in 2005.

    Like it or not, it's our new GI rifle.
  14. swingset

    swingset Well-Known Member

    They said that about the Krag, about the 1903, about the 1917, about the Garand, the M1 Carbine, about the M14, about the M16....

    See a pattern developing?

    They even said bad things prior to JMB's vaunted 1911 being adopted.
  15. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Well-Known Member

    Cut and pasted from a post on HKPRO which I assume comes from the Army Times. Interesting.
  16. Blackhawk 6

    Blackhawk 6 Well-Known Member

    The funding for the XM-8 was dropped from the FY05 budget. It may become the new rifle but it probably will not happen next year.
  17. Soap

    Soap Well-Known Member

    My best friend is working on the XM-8 project in Maryland as we speak. He loves the rifle and thinks highly of it. But then again, he is an engineer and not a combat soldier. The last round of testing that he did was, "Shooting the rifle until the handguards melt." And he gets paid to do this? :confused:
  18. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Anyone else have an uneasy feeling in their stomachs?:scrutiny: :uhoh:

    Before Big Army does this, I pray they test it, not just in a lab, but by giving it to a bunch of 19 year olds and letting them roll around in the dirt with it.
  19. Mikul

    Mikul Well-Known Member

    ..and may they be female. Okay, my mind is obviously elsewhere.

    The update is battery life is huge. I wonder how they did it? My guess is that it takes a bigger battery.

    I too wish they went with a new cartridge.
  20. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    I'll believe it when I see it. Personal feeling is that it isn't going to get adopted.

    Refer back to this thread in a few years and see if I'm right. :)

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