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The XM8, Why?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Last Confederate, Sep 19, 2004.

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  1. The Last Confederate

    The Last Confederate member

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    America is spending lots of cash on the xm8 which is essentially a g36 as far as I can see. Why didn’t they go with the g36?

    Reliability and longevity are probably the main justifications for a new rifle.

    However, the g36 has all that, so if some clever chap can enlighten me I will stop scratching my head like a confused chimp.
     
  2. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Maybe because it has a completely different sucky built-in optic?
     
  3. Night Guy

    Night Guy Member

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    Cause the G36 isn't available in feces brown?
     
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Member

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    Good question...
     
  5. winstonsmith

    winstonsmith Member

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    What he said.
     
  6. Number 6

    Number 6 Member

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    I can surmise that they chose the XM8 other your standard plain Jane G36 for several reasons. I am not in the know about the project but from what I have read I can imagine that there are a couple of reasons Firstly there are many little differences that the US military wanted made to make the rifle suited for what the military brass and soldiers wanted. Secondly, the XM8 is supposed to be domestically produced so just buying a bunch of already made G36s is not an option. A production facility has to be made, so why not require that production run to be according the liking of the US military? I am sure there are more reasons one can come up with but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  7. crucible

    crucible Member

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    You mean the liking of the US Army-not necessarily the US military en masse. Specifically, I'm referring to the USMC.

    To this former Marine, and I suspect the USMC in general, any weapon (such as the XM8) without any kind of provision for a bayonet, or sturdy enough for butt-stroking, is not a weapon I'd want to take into battle regardless of how well and nifty it is.

    In fact, any 'battle' rifle without close-combat capability should be a range queen item, not something to give my Marines who have to do everything from assault trenches to house-to-house clearing-and everything else that can result in hand-to-hand combat.

    Cruc
     
  8. arinvolvo

    arinvolvo Member

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    because the g36 doesnt look like a big plastic tuna fish.:barf:
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    It's simple really...

    It's the same reason you like to buy a new gun every once in a while. You get bored with what you have now. The guys who make the decisions on what rifle we have get bored too. They went shopping.
     
  10. SunBear

    SunBear member

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    Crucible: You are so right about CQB. That is one aspect of war that will always be around. Saw a report just last night with a Marine NCO explaining that his troops were regularly involved in hand-to-hand fighting and had killed many enemy maggots with their knives. Get some!!!
     
  11. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    To be intelectually honest here, we are spending lots more on the Stryker that nobodoy wants and we spent thousands of times as much developing the Comanche which nobody wanted. The fact is, you are talking to gun people if you think nobody wants them, you are not talking to rank-and-file soldiers. Same with the Stryker and Comanche. Every system has its vocal critics, the XM8 is one of them. Those who have handled and shot the gun all praise it over the M16 by far and over the M4 as well. It is significantly lighter, easier to maintain, and can integrate their greande launcher. The M16 can get lighter, yes, but will never be easier to maintain, will never be more reliable, and will never be as compact, bottom line, no iffs, ands, or buts about it.

    Those who are fighting the XM8 have valid arguments, but they IGNORE the biggest arguments against the M16. You can debate till you're blue in the face, but the M16/M4 still: have their recoil spring/buffer system behind the operating system; they still deficate where they eat; and they are still made out of metal. You can't have a modular rifle with the M4. Oh, and to preempt all the XM8ers, by "Moduler" I mean that you can integrate the XM8 with other systems, not that you can put a heavy, hot rail system on and duct-tape gadgets to it. The XM8 is INTENDED as a first step towards a larger system that incorporates a grenade launcher with air-burst grenades. Think it's impossible? Can we say JDAM, JSTARS, and Predator?
     
  12. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

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    i'm a proponent of the XM-8 because the troops seem to like it. Badger has valid points. all the XM-8 naysayers have only cast opinions as justification for ditching it. didn't the exact same thing happen with the M-16? yes it did. except the M-16 when i first was issued really WAS a piece of junk. and now, 40 years of improvements and 40 years of reluctant acceptance later, just look at all of the people coming to its defense. it amazes me how much resistance to anything new there is in the firearms community. just like all the 1911 folks that still call Glocks junk. the troops like it, and i want them to have what makes them most confident in their weapon system when they go into harm's way. the XM-8 project has taken troops' input into consideration and made changes to the rifle based on that input. did you see that with the M-16 before it was fielded? by the time the XM-8 hits the battlefield, it will be darn near perfect. all of the testing and R&D that has gone, and is going in to this weapon is impressive in my eyes. i'm glad they want to get it right the first time BEFORE they send our soldiers into battle with it.

    Bobby
     
  13. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    Same reason why the US adopted the M14 when every other Democratic country on the face of planet earth adopted the FN-FAL.

    The M14 was American made and designed.

    That's why.

    I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    I'm just saying that's why.

    hillbilly
     
  14. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    the XM8 is less modular than the Ar series. the XM-8 has only one kind of optic. the XM8 is not compatable with the billions of dollars in flashlights, lasers, and other stuff we already have. the XM8 magazines are bulkier than m-16 magazines, which means you can only carry two in a three magazine pouch.


    HK is spending lots of taxpayer money to reenvent the wheel.
     
  15. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    The XM8 is not incompatible with all that crap, it makes them unnecessary. It has an optic that includes everything that's nomrally attached to the M16's accessory rails. You can put those things on an XM8 as well, but why? You don't need them, they're built in? But let's talk modularity for a second, what can you attach an M16 or M4 to? How hard is it to integrate the M16 to a repeating grenade launcher? That's the next step and that can't be done if we stick with the M16 series.
    Yes, but since you can clip them together, you can have two on the rifle and two in the pouch. That's only one reach to the pouch per 120 rounds vs. three reaches for the same ammo on the M16. BTW: I agree with you on the magazines, the little jungle-clip thingies on the side need to go. There is also the argument that the M16's magazines are too SMALL and don't allow a reliable plastic magazine to be made. And hasn't the M16 magazine with its fragile aluminum lips, double-curve contour, and oft-criticized follower. Remember it took them, what, 30 years to get that design right?
     
  16. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    That's simply not true. The carry handle/sight rail, handguards, and just about everything else is replaceable. So, all of those things can be replaced by versions with 1913 Picatinny rails for mounting any accessory that can be mounted to the AR family. Heck, it even has rail mounts molded into the handguards!
     
  17. wasrjoe

    wasrjoe Member

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    Everyone seems to be veering from the original question. The original question was:

    The original question was not why we are choosing the XM8 over the M16.
     
  18. Mumbles_45

    Mumbles_45 Member

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    I heard some talk about the XM-8 maybe being in 6.8mm rather than 5.56. Whatever happened about that? Is it still a possibility or did they decide against it?
     
  19. The Last Confederate

    The Last Confederate member

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    Thank you for putting that back into the open, Joe. :D
     
  20. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Do we have to do this again every month?

    :D
     
  21. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    No, so long as everybody concedes to my opinion! :D
     
  22. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

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    Ok, Badger, why is the XM8 still a wise choice when we can arm our guys with the Robinson Arms XCR? It seems to have a lot more flexibiliy to it than the XM8.
     
  23. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    To answer the original question:

    The XM-8 is a offshoot of the OICW project. That project originally envisioned a computerized 20mm Grenade Launcher with an attached 5.56 assault rifle. HK was one of the original entreants for the combo weapon and was selected to be the contractor for the 5.56 rifle portion (ATK won the contract as lead developer for the grenade launcher).

    The original assault rifle component had to be stripped down for weight and space reasons. HK started with the G-36 as the base platform and used that to develop the assault rifle component of the OICW.

    Later, it was determined that the combo grenade launcher/assault rifle was too heavy and it was decided to split it up into two separate weapons. The assault rfile component was then redesigned slightly as a stand alone weapon, the new XM-8.

    Basically, if HK hadn't been involved in the OICW project, the XM-8 would have never come into being. The U.S. would also have never looked at the G-36 as a possible replacement for the G-36. The only reason they are considering it now is because of the familiarity with it gained through the OICW project.
     
  24. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    In part, because it's a more developed rifle. The G36 still serves as the core of the XM8 rifle. The G36 is in a full-manufacture status and therefore most of the manufacturing kinks have been worked out.

    However, the primary reason the XM8 is better than the XCR is that the XCR is made from an aluminum core. Judging by your name, I'm sure you are familiar with the construction of the Glock pistol, right? The Glock is a sound concept. It utilizes a light steel subframe and a composite overshell. This combines the wear resistance and dimensional stability of the steel with the low-cost and design flexibility of the composite in a corrosion resistant, durable, and lightweight package. The plastic is a natural insulator and can be handled by ungloved hands, and unprotected cheeks in heat, cold, and rain. The accessory mounting points on the XM8 are molded into the frame and add no extra weight if there is no gizmo attached.

    So, while the XCR is cool looking and appears to be an improvement over the M4, it CANNOT achieve what the XM8 offers in the areas of weight, corrosion resistance, heat control, cost (all theoretical at this time, but it's always been cheaper to injection mold than it has been to machine), design flexibility, manufacturing maturity, and overall coolness.
     
  25. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    In addition to having been spun off from the XM29 project, the US military apparently decided that the off the shelf G36 didn't have the specific feature they wanted.

    The US would have done the same with any foreign design at any time in the last 100 years. Other countries do it as well, if they can (eg Britain and FAL or Austria with the same).

    A sturdier telescopic buttstock replaced the fragile-looking G36 folding version. The bolt release was modified for easier manipulation on the XM8 and has been incorporated into some of the newer G36s. And so on.

    Why they decided to make the exterior look the way it does is anyone's guess.
     
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