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Army Considers Bringing Battle Rifles Back To War

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For the first time since the M14 was issued in the early days of the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army is giving serious consideration to bringing the battle rifle back to war.

 

According to multiple sources, what started out as a directed requirement for a 7.62 NATO Designated Marksmanship Rifle for issue to Infantry Rifle Squads has grown in scope to increase the Basis of Issue to all personnel in Brigade Combat Teams and perhaps beyond. The genesis of this requirement is overmatch. The troops feel like they’re in a street fight with a guy with longer arms. The 7.62x54R cartridge gives the enemy those longer arms.

 

Consequently, the Army wants to enable the rifleman to accurately engage targets at a further range than the current 5.56mm. Although at this point, I’ll keep that exact exact distance close to the vest. The goal here is to foster a dialogue about the 7.62 requirement in general, and not offer operational specifics.

 

It’s important to establish right up front that 7.62mm is not the Army’s end goal. The “Interim” component of this capability’s name relies on a plan to eventually adopt one of the 6.5mm family of intermediate calibers. Currently, elements of the Army are evaluating .260, .264 USA and .277 USA. The .260 is commercially available while .264 USA and .277 USA are developments of the Army Marksmanship Unit. Unfortunately, the US Army doesn’t plan to conduct an intermediate caliber study until the early 2020s. That’s why they want to adopt 7.62mm now. The idea is to adopt the Battle Rifle to deal with a newly identified threat with what’s available now, and transition the fleet to an intermediate caliber cartridge, once its selected. Additionally, the transition to this proposed intermediate caliber cartridge is possible from a 7.62 platform. Such a transition is all-but-impossible with the current 5.56 receiver sets.

 

Presently, the military will likely be best served by bringing in a commercial off the shelf (COTS) solution, choosing from a range of 7.62 NATO rifles currently available on the market to handle the duties required of a battle rifle until a single long-term replacement for both the 5.56 NATO and 7.62 NATO is developed. Presently, the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) is testing several cartridges in the 6.5mm to 6.8mm range which may give soldiers more punch and longer range, but at the cost of the amount of ammunition a solider can practically carry, and with significantly greater recoil than the 5.56 NATO “poodle shooter.”

 

The demand for a battle rifle comes primarily from the Afghan War, where insurgents are ambushing U.S. forces with 7.62x54R machine guns from beyond the practical engagement range of soldiers and Marines armed with 5.56 NATO M4 carbines. 7.62 NATO battle rifles would once again allow rank and file soldiers (and not just designated marksmen and snipers) the ability to reach out beyond 500-600 meters to where enemy combatants have preferred to engage.

 

Its far too early to know if the Army will look to integrating one of the 7.62 NATO semi-automatic rifles currently used by SOCOM or sniper teams as their choice of battle rifle, or if they will instead look to issuing an RFP for a new battle rifle entirely.

 

 

 

The post Army Considers Bringing Battle Rifles Back To War appeared first on Bearing Arms.

 

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3586197324_4fef77edec_z.jpg

 

For the first time since the M14 was issued in the early days of the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army is giving serious consideration to bringing the battle rifle back to war.

 

According to multiple sources, what started out as a directed requirement for a 7.62 NATO Designated Marksmanship Rifle for issue to Infantry Rifle Squads has grown in scope to increase the Basis of Issue to all personnel in Brigade Combat Teams and perhaps beyond. The genesis of this requirement is overmatch. The troops feel like they’re in a street fight with a guy with longer arms. The 7.62x54R cartridge gives the enemy those longer arms.

 

Consequently, the Army wants to enable the rifleman to accurately engage targets at a further range than the current 5.56mm. Although at this point, I’ll keep that exact exact distance close to the vest. The goal here is to foster a dialogue about the 7.62 requirement in general, and not offer operational specifics.

 

It’s important to establish right up front that 7.62mm is not the Army’s end goal. The “Interim” component of this capability’s name relies on a plan to eventually adopt one of the 6.5mm family of intermediate calibers. Currently, elements of the Army are evaluating .260, .264 USA and .277 USA. The .260 is commercially available while .264 USA and .277 USA are developments of the Army Marksmanship Unit. Unfortunately, the US Army doesn’t plan to conduct an intermediate caliber study until the early 2020s. That’s why they want to adopt 7.62mm now. The idea is to adopt the Battle Rifle to deal with a newly identified threat with what’s available now, and transition the fleet to an intermediate caliber cartridge, once its selected. Additionally, the transition to this proposed intermediate caliber cartridge is possible from a 7.62 platform. Such a transition is all-but-impossible with the current 5.56 receiver sets.

 

Presently, the military will likely be best served by bringing in a commercial off the shelf (COTS) solution, choosing from a range of 7.62 NATO rifles currently available on the market to handle the duties required of a battle rifle until a single long-term replacement for both the 5.56 NATO and 7.62 NATO is developed. Presently, the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) is testing several cartridges in the 6.5mm to 6.8mm range which may give soldiers more punch and longer range, but at the cost of the amount of ammunition a solider can practically carry, and with significantly greater recoil than the 5.56 NATO “poodle shooter.”

 

The demand for a battle rifle comes primarily from the Afghan War, where insurgents are ambushing U.S. forces with 7.62x54R machine guns from beyond the practical engagement range of soldiers and Marines armed with 5.56 NATO M4 carbines. 7.62 NATO battle rifles would once again allow rank and file soldiers (and not just designated marksmen and snipers) the ability to reach out beyond 500-600 meters to where enemy combatants have preferred to engage.

 

Its far too early to know if the Army will look to integrating one of the 7.62 NATO semi-automatic rifles currently used by SOCOM or sniper teams as their choice of battle rifle, or if they will instead look to issuing an RFP for a new battle rifle entirely.

 

 

 

The post Army Considers Bringing Battle Rifles Back To War appeared first on Bearing Arms.

 

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Personally I would rather carry the .308.

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I might be preaching to the choir...but Armalite originally built the M16 prototype as an AR10 platform. The rifle was a bit light and muzzle rise was rapid. If the rifle had been built to be outfitted with all of the special optics and accessories that today's combat troops use, the rifle would be heavier and more controllable.

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This is just another boondoggle to drop 20+ million dollars for a program to replace a rifle the Army has already decided to not replace

 

Get real, this is a proposal like the other 20-30 proposals put up in the last 30 years to get somebodies program manager promoted

 

Spend a little time researching the actual results of this kind of crap. Somebody gets a star, but nothing ever gets to the troops except junk that costs way too much

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Military contracts are a great way to make money. The "fleecing of America" is a term that comes to mind from time to time when hearing about these kind of project programs.

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I agree, its nice to see that the Military Industrial Complex is still alive and well. I always thought it was a mistake to phase out the M-14, even not Upgrading the M-1 Garand to a magazine fed weapon. The US .30 cal/30.06 is awesome and arsenals were full of it. I Missed getting the M-14. I got the M16. The 7.62 either .308Win or 30.06 Spring have some real knockdown power. The 5.56 or 223 is a varmit round. Ok on those little people in the far east but not enough to knock those Dune Coons off their camels. But in the hands of a Rifleman a .22 is deadly. Keep Your Powder Dry.

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I never lost my affection for the 7.62.

My safe is well stocked with 308 and 30-06, but for a short time I made use of a 6.8 spc and really enjoyed it.

The range of wildcat cartridges I've had and loaded lead me to the same inevitable conclusion. 30-06 is too heavy to carry en-mass, 5.56 is too anemic which leaves the 7.62x51 as the only clear choice. It out performs the Russian counterparts, is light enough to carry 300+ rounds and is commercially available making it's price point very attractive. Not to mention that the recoil is extremely manageable.

No down side.

If war comes to American soil I will have my .22, my 12ga and my .308. The rest of the collection may be divided amongst the few who would stand with me. Let's face it, we all have enough ammo to stand a lengthy assault.

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Yes, I was raised hunting with the old .35 Rem round 200 grn round nose because used in a lever action loaded nose to toes in the magazine. It was a Marlin 336C with the 24 in bbl not the 20in carbine. I was 12. in 63 my first yr hunting in Forest Co. near Tipler, Wi. Killed lots of deer with it still do on occasion. I also used a Rem Model 81 the old semi auto where the barrel was inside another barrel and the whole inner barrel recoiled in and out like an ack- ack gun, shot that in .35 Rem and a Rem Model 8? Same type of gun. both had safeties like the AK, both weight 12 lbs. I looked like an orangatang after carry them around all day. in .300 savage where I believe the .308 was developed off of. Didn't get into the 30-06 or 308 till many years later when I bought a sporterized 1903 30-06 had military sites and I could pik off beer cans at 100 yrds. Had some Rem 742 carbines, Killed lots of deer with those. But I liked to shoot and those guns weren't made for that. Found out that those old warhorses could be shot for fun,take a licking, fill the freezer, and protect this country. I had and stil hunt with my M-1 in 30-06, its a short version the Tanker as its called. 18.5 in barrel Nuthin walks away from this puppy if the round don't get ya the muzzle blast will. Have to use 150 grn ammo only, performance ammo booggers the op rod and charging handle, Another good .308 in not only the M1A or converted M1 Garand to 308. Was the poor mans M1A. The French MAS 49-56, Made originally in 7.5x54 French were rechambered for the 7.62/.308. Ten round box detachable may. Semi auto, had a wicked looking flash hider and grenade launcher mount permanently attached. Wood stock, shot lots of deer with mine. You could load this gun with ten different brands, ten different loads, they'd all function flawlessly. no gas port to adjust. Everything from Military FMJ to Winchester Black Talons. One time I took it apart and cleaned it good. greased up all the contact points with white lithium grease. Took it out to shoot, and it went full auto on the first five rounds. But never again after that. I guess I gotta mention my 1944 K98 Mauser bolt action five rounds internal load. 7.92 or 8mm. Shot a ten Point buck up north at 140yrds with the military sites. Blew him out of his socks. He was laying where he was standing, 196 grn Rem core loc bullets loaded by WISCONSIN CARTRIDGE out of Friendship. You can order on line ,and they take Brass in on trade or used to. Prices used to be great but they too have gotten pricey. They're always at the Fondulac gun Shows. Now I'm down to my 12ga/M1 Garand Tanker/Bushmaster M4/Some Marlin levers in .35 and 45-70, and a Polish PPsh43. Its OK Guys at this age I don't care who knows, you still have to come to get em. That's why I own 30 round mags, one for the deer, and 29 for the democrats who try to take them away. Keep your powder dry, and God Bless

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When i bought my Mas 49/56 it was in 7.5 French. I was laughed at, until I let it eat. I really miss that rifle. Always wanted one in .308.

Now they bring way too much, especially considering they were $120 with the canvas bag, grenade launcher and cleaning kit.

Were i to be financially blessed I would like to bring that platform back.

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Yes, I got my first one when I had my FFL for 189.95$ had three of em but always sold them cuz they were safe queens. Tracked down last nice one I had with five mags in .308. Here in town, I offered him five hundred for it for first dibs on it. 7.5 French was pricy to shoot. Privi Partizan makes FMJ for it for around 20$ a box brass case. Don't see any at Gun Shows anymore. Thanx for the comeback.....

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