The Army's Next-Generation Rifle Will Be "The iPhone of Lethality," Officials Say

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Not really. People who were issued bullpups mention how slow they are to reload while prone or in a restricted place. Standing upright is fine but that isn't real world use. And no, I don't know of any bullpup that cuts a whole 10" inches off the length. In general they're about 5" shorter. So that 18" may be equal to around a 12.5-13" traditional rifle.

    With a 14" rifle our troops have no issues engaging enemies at 400 meters. In general, outside of that range it comes down to other types of weapons.
     
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  2. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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  3. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Fair enough. Accuracy isn't really the problem, it's limited range which would cause problems hitting the broad side of a barn at specific distances. Better?
     
  4. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Probably mean auto targeting so it'll pull when shake and wind is right, empowering average marksxirs to hit racist white men with ease, just like aim assist on a console.
     
  5. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    As far as reloads, there are many scenarios where a bullpup is awkward to reload as you've pointed out. Again, the design also pretty much precludes the use of drum magazines and longer magazines become potentially more awkward than in a traditional rifle. The only thing a bullpup does is give you a longer barrel in CQB type engagements with the same or a shorter overall length. Distances where longer ranges offered by longer barrels are immaterial.
     
  6. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

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    That still isn't correct. The shorter barrel will affect velocity and the most detrimental issue then is affect on the terminal ballistics. Not accuracy.
     
  7. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    This is very true, and it worries me.

    We have the M240(G) because our last two attempts at getting a lightweight LMG didn't work. The M60 is flaky, and the SAW is flaky and doesn't hold up for desert ranges. The M240 might be heavy but it works, and that is the most important thing to an infantryman (it's why we still have the Ma Deuce - it just works.)

    The Marines did learn something from their experiments using an M27 as an LMG. It showed that our military forces could be using the LMG differently. Most people have this Forest Gump idea of an LMG in a firefight: The enemy is in a line, the LMG gets into a coverage position, and belted rounds are pounded down range. That's ideal, but it's also simplistic, and it doesn't always work out that way. In the last 10 years a more common engagement would be to locate the enemy and then keep him preoccupied until an A10 arrives, but for some reason units were burning through their basic loadout of belted ammunition for no effective purpose. Why? Because most people think the LMG is best to rain down on the enemy. Really, though, all that shooting is just exposing the LMG's position. Even for a force that likes to walk as much as the Marine Corps does, the LMG was being hampered by a need for resupply by vehicle. The newer thinking is that LMG support is primarily for advancement - if the enemy is advancing on you, the LMG comes out. If you are advancing on the enemy, the LMG comes out. Stop using the belted ammo to dig 7mm holes in the wall, the LMG is a tactical weapon, not a psychological one.

    TL/DR; I find this interesting, and I like to talk about it (too much.) :D

    edit: M249/M240 nomenclature error caught by capt_cope.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  8. Fresch

    Fresch n00b

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    Or racist men of any color.
    So who is going to use the weapons, Jill, nonbinary willi, ?
    Sounds like pr for budget money with zero information actually given.
     
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Iphone of lethality... so like every couple years it'll stop work as well and you need to pay for the next version that cost more?
     
  10. capt_cope

    capt_cope Gawd

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    I feel like you're talking about the M240G?
     
  11. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    Aaaargh, WTF, I hate it when I screw up nomenclature. We never called it the M249, we always called it the SAW, and the only time I saw an M240 was on a Bradley or my CEV.

    Gonna go back and edit my post. Thanks for the catch. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  12. Axman

    Axman Gawd

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    It's going to be an M4 chassis that runs power from a buttstock to a handguard with integral powered rails, and a similar setup for a machine gun.

    There's a lot of rumors for a new 6.5mm intermediate cartridge but DARPA has already stated they have a 5.56 bullet that can defeat the new Chinese body armor. They may roll out new machine guns for longer ranges along with SPRs but a new infantry rifle isn't really in the works.

    Small arms aren't the future of mechanized infantry in any case, it's going to be drones, light artillery, and grenade launchers. Small arms are going to be for personal defense, not larger-scale engagements.
     
  13. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    That's not what I meant to say. Barrel length isn't what determines accuracy. I've made this point several times in many handgun threads.
     
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  14. Gottfried Leibnizzle

    Gottfried Leibnizzle Limp Gawd

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    No, but muzzle velocity gets throttled.
     
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  15. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    Looking at getting the UTAS-15 Gen 4 up in here. Kel-Tec’s Might as well be Unicorns up here in Canada.
     
  16. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah Barrel length has more to do with spin and velocity than the actual accuracy itself. A great 14” can do better than a good 18” it all comes down to the rifling and the finish.
     
  17. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    So essentially the M4 will be around for another 10+ years then.

    How technical do you have to get for a device that on average has to pump 250000 rounds before a confirmed kill?
     
  18. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Just hope it can fire without any of the electronic gee-wiz stuff and has a fall back to iron sights. Batteries seem to pick the worst times to reach 0% life remaining.
     
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  19. c3k

    c3k [H]ard|Gawd

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    Auto-targeting is a real thing. This, https://www.tracking-point.com/technology/how-it-works/ has been out for several years. I can only imagine that it can be made smaller and gain a longer battery life. (Not that it's an issue, now...)

    This system, and any like it, would certainly make aimed fire far more accurate. (There remains the case of unaimed fire...such as suppression, or fleeting muzzle flashes, etc.)

    There are far more effective intermediate-caliber rounds than the 5.56. From 55 grains up to 77 grains, the 5.56 has improved. But a 6.8 SPCII or a 6.5 Grendel brings a lot more energy/range to the fight. The US Army is looking at the 6.8mm caliber...but NOT the 6.8 SPC. (There are some significant drawbacks with the 6.8 SPC, which is part of why the 6.5 Grendel gained in popularity.)

    The bigger challenge is the change in chamber pressure. From 55,000 to 62,000 psi for 5.56 (going from memory here), the latest improved round the military uses, the M855A1 pushes 3-5,000 more psi.

    The newer round is supposed to push towards 80,000 psi chamber pressure. That is...significant. Those types of pressures may have implications for barrel life, let alone the metallurgical challenges of creating a chamber capable of reliably containing that pressure while still being small and light and easily manufactured. The bolt (and its lugs) will need to withstand a LOT of force.

    This is a large shift for the US Army. Changing caliber is not something done lightly.
     
  20. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

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    Well, you did when talking about SBRs.....twice...... so its kind of tough to tell....
     
  21. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    You're still sacrificing velocity energy with a shorter barrel. Yes, they can be accurate, but not terminal at greater distance. And the hold over at longer distances increases drastically. To get velocity out of shorter barrels requires higher charges of fast burning powder. That means increased case capacity that reduces magazine capacity and adds ammo weight.

    Short barrels are not the answer for military rifles and definitely not light machine guns.
     
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  22. Glock24

    Glock24 [H]Lite

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    So this rifle will be bend-prone, will have (trigger) touch issues, sometimes it will not respond, other times it'll fire on it's own. Ammo can only be purchased from the rifle manufacture's store, when something breaks you need to replace the whole thing, you have to take it to a certified technician for cleaning, batteries will be non-user replaceable, and SW updates will make slower.

    Who wouldn't want that?
     
  23. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    It’s not meant for longer distances, the US military is designing this for urban environments and close quarters. I recall them saying they are seeing most of the action in distances under 100 yards building to building block fighting. In those cases they need information far more than 1000 yard shots. That and they are using a 6.8mm round for these new guns so it likely doesn’t need the larger barrels because top speed will likely be reached much faster.
     
  24. Axman

    Axman Gawd

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    This tech is not meant for military use. It's not auto-targetinig, because the shooter has to first target and tag the shot, then re-acquire the target and hold before the rifle shoots by itself.

    This is for ethical long-range culls in hunting, not shooting accurately in a firefight.

    There are a couple of companies working on smart reticles that predict where subjects' point of aim is going to be, and that's possibly the future of optics, but that's not where this project is headed.

    It's going to be a power chassis that future optics, rangefinders, and pointers can run on. The actual optics technology is way to immature.
     
  25. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    It's what I get for posting on zero sleep.
     
  26. pillagenburn

    pillagenburn Gawd

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    What would be cool is a portable battery-powered, solar-rechargeable sentry mounting base for M249. M249 would get an upgrade to allow the mounting base to electronically operate the trigger mechanism. Basically turn any M249 into a sentry gun with a small portable tripod that could be anchored to the ground (stakes, weights etc).
     
  27. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    i cant imagine apple is happy at all about being compared to a gun.
     
  28. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Man this is s stupid argument.

    Bullpups are stupid. They area PITA to use with a sling in a variety of ways, they are slow to reload, and if you get fast the amount of effort needed to reach "competent" speeds with them is significantly higher than with the AR platform and those that behave similarly.

    I can't find an example anywhere of sub 3 second reloads, and most of them are slower than that. Especially without modifying the rifle to be stupid for practical use, and I can hit those numbers being lazy and not giving a crap. PEople who practice with AR layout rifles are hitting sub 2 second reloads shot to shot.

    Then there is ejection and offhand use and brass in the face and jamming. Sure you get a longer barrel in a smaller package, but you also get a system where mounting optics that let you take advantage of that velocity is a PITA because bullpup.

    The 6.8 cartridge is on the table because they want something wit more range not due to CQB but due to Afghanistan and engagements at longer ranges (it's also why they are coming up with approved LPVOs for bulk procurement). They also want it because they want one machine gun to rule them all if it isn't a .50. They also want to hang their telescoping ammo wants on the 6.8 as well. 6.8 will also come with more "case capacity" be it telescoping or not. Which means in theory you can mitigate the impact of short barrels like you said and pull back some of the velocity. they have a 5.56 round that can defeat modern body armor. They jsut hang that one on the 6.8 cartridge as wel cause they really want uncle sam to pay for it.

    In short it will sound like more firepoer, more ammo, no weight indcrease and every soldier will be a sniper NOW!!!!. Which will be bullshit but not totally a lie kind of liek the every grunt will be special forces now!!! push we had last time. Infantry units are more capable at the end of it, but most of it didn't pan out.
     
  29. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    So it will be 50% more expensive, and actually 10% less effective than the competitions product, however it will look slick and cool.
     
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  30. notarat

    notarat [H]ard|Gawd

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    Soldier: "I missed!"
    DARPA: "You're not holding it right!"
     
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  31. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    Bullpups are not stupid, they are just very situation specific, they aren't even designed for 100 yard engagements that is the realm of an AR. Bullpups are a breach and clear weapon, tight corners, close range, and enclosed space. However, if you take them outside a Bullpup is significantly outgunned. If your fighting building to building in Paris or Tokyo, you'll be thankful that Bullpup's exist.

    Turns out that reality is messy, and the idea of one weapon for every situation is stupid.
     
  32. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    Just wait for in-field software updates lol.
     
  33. Skull_Angel

    Skull_Angel [H]ard|Gawd

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    I was looking for this comment :D
     
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  34. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    I am confused here, they are modeling it after the iPhone so it will be all glitz and glamor at an exorbitant price with less power under the hood? They also mentioning they will not be making it without soldier input, so automatically it can't be modeled after the "you are holding it wrong" iPhone...
     
  35. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'll admit I'm not up on the latest rifle tech, but this screams development hole for military budget inflation. Wouldn't surprise me if they're likely facing cutbacks. I imagine field maintenance issues would put a stop to any fancy computer bullshit. Having your gun reboot and stop detecting your thumb print wouldn't be so hot when youre kicking down a door.
     
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  36. NoOther

    NoOther [H]ardness Supreme

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    The army as well as other branches have been looking for a rifle to replace the myriad of rifles they are using now. It is cheaper in the long run to have a common stock rifle than to have several different rifle styles. The problem is finding a one size fits all rifle. They have already tried a few times in the past and not quite gotten it right. As for the design of it, I would say the cost for designing a new rifle system is nowhere near the cost of designing an F35, and the savings of a common rifle solution could be far greater...
     
  37. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    They're also looking at replacing 7.62x51 LMG's with a modified 6.5 Creedmoor / .270WSM cartridge. Kind of a mash between the two, even though they are very similar. Flatter trajectory at longer distances delivering more energy with minimal weight increase.

    Everything I've read is that the military is looking for longer range, flatter shooting, higher energy rounds. I've not read anything about them wanting shorter barrels since all the optics they use can't account for that kind of bullet drop over distance.

    Even 110 or 125 grain 6.8 SPC has considerably more drop at 200-300 yards than 5.56. Beyond that it plummets like a rock.
     
  38. veilv0x

    veilv0x [H]Lite

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    Anyone else think this looks like a futuristic Thompson M1A1?
     
  39. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That wasn't their intended purpose when they became popular and still isn't. They're supposed to be standard issue rifles, a one size fits all. A rifle that has range for out door environments but is also a bit more compact to make deploying from vehicles easier, or makes close quarters easier. When it comes to specialized SWAT or SF teams, they choose the right weapon for their specific task. For SWAT it is pretty much short ranged, so they don't need to compromise with a bullpup in the first place. They'll use an SMG or more recently, a short rifle. For SF, they often have multiple variants of a rifle or different upper halves. Throughout the 70s and 80s American SF had carbines and full length rifles at this disposal typically because they're well funded, so a compromise rifle such as a bullpup isn't needed. The same can be said for other foreign units like the British SAS.
     
  40. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    They still have their place, and are used regularly by the EU. Still you are kinda making the same point, specific weapons for specific uses. that the bull pup wasn't intended as a CQB weapon highlights the issues with designing new weapons.