XM8 Barrel Drills?

From a comment on post Numero Uno:

Anyway, my company currently has a deep hole drilling machine on the shop floor that is due to be delivered to H&K in Dec. I presume that we will be drilling XM8 barrels in their new facility in georgia early next year. This machine has the capability of running 4 barrels at a time and is a production type machine. A little expensive and large for small batches. It would appear that like it or not the XM8 will soon be the M8.

Well, we all figure that the XM8 is going ahead. And we all figure that we’re pretty happy with it. But we also all figure that the 5.56 just isn’t the answer.

Do we have a consensus on that?


  1. Yeah I think we can all agree the xm8 isn’t bad. I’ll also concur that the 5.56 is a weak round even if its high speed and low weight. The 7.62×39 is pretty imho and ammo for it can be rounded up in a pinch from ak47s on the field. Its a proven manstopper but I’d even settle for the proposed oldie but goodie 6.5mm cartridge. My other whines on the xm8 is its foriegn made and its a tad heavy. All in all the israeli ‘tavor’ probably a better choice if we had to stay with Stoner’s weak 5.56 cartridge. http://www.imi-israel.com/imi/doa_iis.dll/Serve/item/English/

  2. I would be happier if: 1) it were shown the buttstock was solidly constructed for the purposes of our violent infantryme…er persons. 2) it were shown that rifle grenades work well; or even better if they could use smart rifle grendades like the Israelis are using with Refaim. 3) the Bayonet could be mounted horizontally; so as to avoid interfereing with the add on GL or LSS or whatever. 4) issues of melting, and grit in the magazines were resolved; along with whatever other issues have cropped up. 5) ensure that third parties can make add ons without having to go through icky liscensing crap.

  3. Isn’t the XM8 just a dressed up H&K G36 which is standard issue for the German Herr. I would think the Germans know a thing or two about weapons.

  4. Siegfried: Yes, the XM8 is based upon the G36. And yes, the that’s a pretty good, proven weapon. That’s exactly why it won the competition. But I think a lot of folks are concerned about the 5.56mm round.

  5. Since the XM8 could be chambered for other rounds, such as the 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel, using the same clip opening, aren’t they two distinct issues (the rifle and the round)? Now, the SCAR specs call for the ability to chamber the 7.62×39 round used in the AK-47, which requires a slightly longer receiver. Personally, I like the ‘AR-47’ being fielded by several manufacturers, eg. Knights Armament. It’s an AR patterned rifle which accepts AK47 magazines, which one can hardly walk around Iraq without stepping on. Then again, we could just adopt the AK-47. They can be bought for about $5 US in Iraq, I’ve read, and they are proven reliable and deadly firearms. The 7.62×39 is a bit anemic vs. the NATO 7.62, but it can get the job done at the ranges our soldiers typically fight. We can use sniper rifles in 7.62 NATO, 300 Win. Mag or .338 LM when we need to reach out and touch someone past 600 yds.

  6. Re. Stoner, let’s not forget that he also developed an AR for the .308. The US military wanted the smaller round, based on studies done on shooting in the Korean war, where our troops had to fight off waves of mean little guys, and maximum number of rounds was to be desired. Armalite now offers an AR for .300 RSAUM, which I’d buy if I didn’t have my heart set on one chambered for .338 LM, custom built by DeSantis. It’s a little bulky, and kicks a bit much, but it can throw a 250-300gr bullet over 1500 yards and still drill a hole through a 3/8 in. steel plate.

  7. Murdoc, I think we need for details from your ‘informant’ before we can deduce much. HK also makes the HK4, which is an AR. The deep hole drillers could be for that. Sorry about the multiple comments. Just typing as they come to me, in semi-auto mode, under the influence of 5-6 cups of strong java.

  8. ACE: I wasn’t trying to present this comment as proof of anything. The commenter did seem to think they were for XM8s, but I was just pointing it out since few will scroll through all the comments on that post and I thought all the gun nuts that stop by would find it interesting. Despite the recent talk that the XM8 might be in trouble, it seems clear that it isn’t and is moving ahead. As you’ve pointed out before, the big facility in Georgia is still going up and HK hasn’t said anything to the contrary. And keep those comments coming. We love ’em.

  9. As long as a 6.8 SPC and the 6.5 Grendel option are available I think the troops will be happy with it. Anything is better than the dirt and sand attracting M-16/M4. Troops in Stan’ have been using WWII issue M-14’s and putting nice scopes on them. Personally I think the new ‘high-tech’ approach is a waste of money(typical government bahavior). Troops want one shot stops from a larger round(308). Who wants to have to pump 3-5 rounds into a guy to stop him?!

  10. Just a quick question: how long do u think theyll use the XM8? XM29? XM307? XM312? XM107? I know that is a lot, but im just wonderin.

  11. from what I understand 40 years has been the upper range for service life of infatnrypersons’ weapons. The 307/312 replaces the M2 which has been around since at least WW2; the 307/312 might be replaced faster, but it would seem to me that the xm8 is a good and flexible enough platform to last several decades

  12. ACE:The only thing I know at this point is the machine is going to Georgia c/o H&K.It would seem logical that,given the volume of the govt.s order, H&K would be concentrating on the M8. Murdoc:I can’t find my post on numero uno only here.Hopefully I will learn more as the machine gets closer to ship date as H&K engineers will visit to inspect.It’s just another drill order for my company and there was’nt a lot of info from the salesman.We will do our part and hold tight tolerances measured in microns to make the straightest shooting 5.56 we can.Becuz headshots kill.

  13. I’m new here so bear with me… Sam, if you’re talking about basic infantry weapons, then the oldest ones still in service are the M-14s which have already been mentioned. I know they’re sometimes used for Designated Marksmen in some units of the US military. However, we can’t forget about the good ol’ Ma duece. The Browning M-2 .50 cal has been in service since WWI and the design hasn’t changed for over 80 years now (I believe the last changes were in 1923). I know the military seems to adopt the worst possible weapons, but this is proof that if the gun can get the job done, the actual troops will raise enough hell to keep it around for quite a few years.