<XMP><BODY></xmp> Future rifle design features

        Sometimes we tend to put too much emphasis on the rifle. For long range combat the mortar and the machine gun are more effective. At close range the grenade is often more effective and tactically more prudent. The grenade produces no muzzle flash and can be thrown from concealed positions. Its noise can be mistaken for booby trap, artillery or mortar fire.
        On the other hand, modern combat involves many situations where the enemy must be eliminated with the minimum risk of collateral damage and for this the rifle is perfect.

        We live in a world of ironies. The British army desperately needs a new assault rifle but intends to continue fielding the disastrous SA-80 until 2020. The US military has large numbers of the perfectly acceptable M16 family of weapons yet there are factions that are campaigning for the adoption of the XM8, an Americanized Heckler and Koch G36. The G36 seems to be a quite capable weapon but the bottom line is that it doesn't represent a significant advance over the M16 to be worth the expense.
        Some wild and sometimes stupid claims have been made about the XM8. It's been claimed that it is modular and the M16 FOW is not, which is blatantly false, as can be seen here. It is claimed that it will be lighter than the M16. This seems to be arrived at by comparing a 20” barreled M16 with a 12.5” barreled XM8 prototype. The 16” M4 is a shade lighter than the published XM8. It has been claimed that a XM8 with a 12.5” barrel has a muzzle velocity equal or greater than a AR-15 type weapon with a 16-20” barrel, despite using the same ammunition. The very idea of issuing 5.56mm standard weapons with 12.5” barrels is in itself nonsense, since this would severely compromise terminal and exterior ballistics.

        Below is a rewriting of one of the older Scrapboard articles. Unlike the US at the moment many nations do need a new model of rifle. Some references are made to the 6.8mm SPC round. See this page for the reasons I no longer think this is the most prudent choice of new round.

AR-180B rifle

Any new model of rifle should have the following features:-

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