XM8 Assault Rifle

I’ve mentioned before that the biggest search engine draw to MO has been the XM8 assault rifle. Stryker searches bring in a lot, as well, but I’ve got an entire category devoted to the new combat vehicle and only one post about the new rifle.

Folks must be desperate for info on this baby. For a basic intro to the XM8, go to my previous post.


The XM8 (M8 if it’s adopted) assault rifle is a proposed replacement for the current M16 rifle and M4 carbine, the standard infantry weapons in today’s US military. The XM8 action is based upon the Hechler & Koch G36, a tried and true infantry weapon with a reputation for toughness and reliability. The XM29 OICW, which combined both an assault rifle and a smart grenade launcher, turned out to be too heavy, fragile, and expensive. The rifle part of the XM29 was adapted to become the XM8. The smart grenade launcher part of the XM29 is being developed separately as the XM25.

xm8b.jpg The XM8 is a modular weapon that can be adapted to different roles fairly easily. It can use any of four barrel sizes: 9″, 12.5″, 20″, and heavy 20″.

The 9″ barrel makes the weapon a submachinegun-like personal defense weapon (called the Compact Carbine) that would be ideal for vehicle crews. Also, I imagine that Special Forces types would find it useful for urban raiding missions and the like. With the buttcap (as pictured on the right, second from the top) it is less than 21″ long overall.

The 12.5″ barrel is the standard set-up, and with the adjustable buttstock, makes the Baseline Carbine variant. With the stock fully extended, it is 33″ long, the same as an M4 (which has a 14.5″ barrel). It weighs in at about 6.4 lbs, with a goal of being reduced to 5.7 lbs. The M4 with comparable accessories weighs nearly 9 lbs. The pic at right shows an XM320 side-loading detachable grenade launcher mounted.

There are two versions of the 20″ barrel. There’s a standard weight match-grade unit for sharpshooter work and a heavy-duty machinegun unit with a folding bipod for use as a sustained fire automatic rifle.

The XM8 seems to be an aberration in the military procurement sector. It is a model that seems to improve upon its inspiration in terms of cost and weight, while sacrificing none of the qualities that made the original so good. An XM8 Baseline Carbine, with its integrated sight, will cost around $1800. An M4 equipped similarly costs over $2500. That translates into a savings of $2.4 million to equip a 3,500 man brigade.

Cost notwithstanding, the biggest advantage of the XM8 over the M4/M16 is almost certainly the new weapon’s durability and resistance to jamming. The manufacturer claims that the XM8 can fire over 15,000 rounds without lubrication or cleaning, even in harsh conditions. While I seriously doubt that those numbers would translate into the field, it is indicative of the weapon’s reliability. The BARREL LIFE of an M4 is rated at 8,000 rounds.

The XM8 achieves this phenomenal reliability in part due to a unique gas-operated pusher-rod operated bolt. This system does not send carbon gasses into the receiver with every round like standard weapons, and therefore reduces greatly the amount of propellant that could potentially foul the action or attract material that could. Additionally, the seal between the bolt and the ejection port is much tighter than in current weapons, which will limit the amount of crud that can get in that way. Also, the weapon can be fired even if the action is flooded with water. No draining required.

While I doubt any squad leader would ever allow anyone to go an extended period of time without cleaning their weapon, regardless of manufacturer’s ratings, there is a fair amount of time savings still to be found. First of all, the XM8 can be field cleaned in 4 minutes. This compares to more than 10 or 12 minutes for an M4, which translates into a an extra bit of rest, patrol, or other duties for the XM8-equipped soldier. Weapons are cleaned at least twice daily, if not more, so this 5-8 minute savings is not insignificant when multiplied by three thousand soldiers in a typical brigade. Also, the integrated sight is zeroed-in at the factory and does not require continual re-zeroing in the field by the troops.

Dirty and jammed weapons seem to have contributed to the defeat of the maintenance group that included Jessica Lynch during the invasion of Iraq. Part of the problem seems to be that the Army-supplied cleaning lubricant isn’t effective, especially against the fine Iraq sand. But non-combat units probably don’t devote enough time to cleaning and maintaining their weapons. The XM8 could help alleviate that by reducing the time required to complete the task, which will increase the odds that the task is attempted, and by being more forgiving if/when the task is forgotten or ignored.

Another nifty feature is the ability to be quickly adapted to fire AK-47 ammunition. This would be especially useful in Iraq, since there’s more AK-47 ammo in Iraq than there is sand.

For a comprehensive comparison of the XM8 Lightweight Modular Weapons System (LMWS) Baseline Carbine to the current M4, check out this .pdf. Keep in mind that it was published by the manufacturier of the XM8.

For an 18 second video of a full-auto firing of the XM8, check this out. HK-USA also has what amounts to a product brochure for the XM8 here. It includes drawings of many of the interchangable components of the XM8 system.

The XM8 has recently finished heavy testing. The next step is going to be to equip two full brgades with the weapons. I’ve been unable to learn which brigades get to be the lucky ones to try a new standard weapon out for the purposes of working out all the bugs. Maybe they haven’t been determined yet. I’d suggest that, in addition to the the big tests, some individuals or small units deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan get them. We must learn how these things really perform, and no amound of testing and simulation can teach as many lessons as a few minutes on a real live battlefield can.

For all the apparent good news surrounding the XM8, one basic issue remains the caliber of round our troops need to be firing at the bad guys. The XM8 will fire the NATO standard 5.56x45mm round, the same as the M4 and M16. There is a lot of grumbling among the troops that this round is insufficient, especially when fired from an M4’s shorter barrel. The standard XM8’s barrel is two inches shorter than the M4, so this issue will be even more pronounced.

This is a very controverisal subject, with feverent believers on both sides. Many who think that a larger round, like the 6.8mm or the good ol’ 7.62mm, is needed admit that the 5.56 might be sufficient if the type of ammunition was altered instead of the size. There have been many reports from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia that the current round just doesn’t cut it. I don’t know enough to have an opinion on the matter, but it certainly seems that something needs to be done.

Airborne Combat Engineer had a post back in November about the XM8 and the ammuntion debate. He notes that we’ve already got so much refinement and investment in the current M16 and M4 that it seems like a waste to start over with a new weapon. He asks why the current weapons can’t just be up-gunned with the new 6.8mm uppers that will soon be hitting the market. That’s a very good question, and one that I hope our military seriously considers.

Back in August I thought the same thing. But, if the XM8 performs in the field like it’s performed in the tests, we might be better off in the long run if we make the change. The cost, reliability, and adaptability of the new weapon may outweigh our experience with the current one.

UPDATE: A Sliding stock for XM8 compact carbine PDW has been added to the mix. Pictures and more.


  1. while In Iraq I had no problems with my M-16 but I know that the M1 Garand and the M-14 were also good rifles…there comes a time when you need to upgrade. what will sell me on the new rifle of course will be the light weight of the system…my M16 only weighed about 10 pounds will all the crap on it but after five hours on patrol it started to get a little heavy. The round is a good accurate round and nice because you can carry a lot of them without it getting too heavy…with that being said I think we can use a little bit more balls behind our round. another thing that the XM8 needs is tactical accesability to the mag release and the saftey…the M16 does a very good job of this and I already see the clip/lock release on the XM8 which is not quick enough as opposed to the index finger button release the m16 has. And also the XM8’s buttstock is ugly…I saw a collapsable version on ‘Mail Call’ which looked cool But when you see an M4 all decked out it just looks so bad ass and tactical that whoever sees it in your hands knows you know what your doing.

  2. I just checked out the SOPMOD M14 from Troy Industries. That is EXACTLY what I’m talking about! I think our military should go and take THAT gun instead of the XM8. But if not, upgrade the XM8 to accept 6.8mm SPC rounds. I read some reviews on those, and their performance is near that of the 7.62 NATO.

  3. Anyone remember that the origional precurser to the m-16 was chambered in 7.62? I believe bushmaster or one of the ar-15 manufacturers produces a 7.62 version of the ar-15. While the 7.62 round might not be ideal, it would be a ‘quick fix’ for those applications requiring a heavier bullet. It would mean that soldiers would not need to be trained on a whole new weapons system, and a NATO round is already chambered for it. Also, just as every soldier is not equipped with a grenade launcher or machine gun, maybe it might be a good idea to mix in a number of longer range weapons untill the debacle is resolved by totally REMOVING 5.56 from use as an infantry round. It has its benifits, but more in the realm of close quarters combat, urban, or situations where large capacity and more hits in rapid fire are needed. An M-4 has a point target range of 500 meters. That only means the average soldier can hit most of his shots on target at that range, NOT that those rounds will incapacitate. The M-14 was a great rifle, still is. The problem is that it requires additional training. The 7.62 version of the m-16/m-4/etc would be ideal because you could just drop it into the hands of a m-16 variant trained soldiers hands and send him off on the mission. While the m-16 rifle has its problems, at least we know what they are. Mid-battle is not a good time to be running off and changing things unless they are totally useless, or a less-impacting solution is not avaliable. the xm8 might be a good weapon, but now is not the time to be thinking about mass distribution of a weapon with even less max range than the one already in service.

  4. Corey, I hate to burst your bubble, but the M-4 has become standard issue, the only 2 reasons that troops in Iraq still carry m-16’s is because of longer range, or m-4’s being in short supply. Just seperated from the USAF as a cop, and the M-4 became our standard duty weapon. (I liked it because it was light, and looked nifty, but agree that it has its shortcomings).

  5. just another bit of conventional wisdom. the bayonet lug is a useless bit of carried over junk from WWI. While they were usefull at that time, when weapons were LONG, bolt action weapons that required time and effort to lond each round. A bayonet was essential for close quarters combat so that soldiers could quickly run up and disable the opposing soldier. In the days of full auto assult rifles, one who tries that method will most likely be shot multiple times before they are able to stab someone with a weapon designed to SHOOT them. Piss and moan all you want about the bayonet lug. Ask anyone who has been in combat, and find out how often they actually stabbed someone with their gun.

  6. i am looking for an m4 conversion kit for my m16. i am currently deployed, so as you can guess it is a little difficult finding the right parts. so any suggestions would be nice, thanks rob

  7. thanks adam after i had posted that comment i did seem to notice a lot more m4’s in the hands of regular troops. i have also heard that the m4 has even worse problems than the m16. i’ve read in various places that the shortened barrel of the m4 results in a shortened gas system, which works under greater pressures, than the m16, which increases the rate of fire and produces more stress on the unstrengthend moving parts, decreasing the reliability of the weapon. any word on that?

  8. Quite a few good posts here. The evidence against the 5.56×45 cartridge being as effective as our troops would like, and deserve is quite convincing (at least to me). There are a number of different reasons for that; which have been well thrashed here and elsewhere, so…….I’ll leave that dead horse alone. There’s no arguing the newer 6.8×43 cartridge is more effective….it’s a more powerful cartridge! The major drawback with the 6.8 as I understand it, is current weapons must be able to fire it with a 6.8 upper receiver ‘and’ standard M16/M4 mags, though in a single stack rather than a double. That’s the problem; the 30 round 5.56 mag now becomes a 17 or 18 round 6.8 mag. Which brings me to my point. There’s another way around the lack of 5.56 performance that won’t give up standard mag capacity, wouldn’t have cost ANYTHING for development (though those costs were admirably low in the 6.8 SPR program),and is readily available. What the heck is it? RBCD ammunition chambered in 5.56×45. For the last three years running, at the Armed Forces Journals annual invitational small arms shoot out; RBCD has wowed the crowd (most all current and/or former spec ops personnel). As I recall, RBCD bills their product as a ‘bimetal technology’. Whatever it is, and however it works…..it’s just amazing in the still and video pictures. Tremendous anti armor (hard and soft)penetration with explosive performance on soft tissue (we’re talking tennis ball size craters from 5.56, even after the round has penetrated a kevlar vest). The annectodotal evidence on this ammunition is also very convincing. Additionally, as it’s a total metal round (no hollow point, soft point, or ballistic tip) it appears to comply with the Geneva Convention on expanding ammunition and feeds as reliably as you’d expect ball ammo to. For the life of me, I don’t know why the military establishment didn’t give this amazing product some significant field trials (you know–buy a bunch of rounds at let our troops field test it on some cooperative subjects that deserve it!). Well, that’s my two cents! God bless all you troops and keep your heads down!

  9. Blended Metal Technology, basically the bullet, upon a rapid change in temperature and hydrostatic pressure, makes the bullet fragment like a little mofo. Distributed by Lemas (I think). And I agree, though I still think they should keep manufactuing the standard ammo stuff for training and range practice. Armed Forces Journal pointed this out, that one accidently discharge rifle in the wrong direction means a body bag and a furneral back home (apparently even outside center mass shots are still quite lethal). At least with the standard stuff you stand a chance.

  10. Thanks, D. Liu! It was blended metal not ‘bi metal’. Unfortunately, my memory is increasingly fuzzy and I no longer have access to my back issues of AFJ. Your accurate RBCD terminology and description of the blended metal fragmentation process filled in some unfortunate blank spaces in my post. You make an excellent point in retaining conventional ammo for training purposes as well….something I hadn’t thought about.

  11. ME and my friend are only in 8th grade, although we have been researching this weapon, and its really usefull for our marines today, and in the future. -vincent, Luis

  12. ME and my friend are only in 8th grade, although we have been researching this weapon, and its really usefull for our marines today, and in the future. -vincent, Luis

  13. Interesting posts, but it’s clear that the rifle and the caliber issues are somewhat distinct. 5.56×45 is problematic; you get either good incapacitation < 300m OR penetration up to 500m. Enough said. I’ll bite on an argument between G36 and XM8, but there’s no argument that either is a major improvement on the M-16 action. The M-16’s ridiculous gas system and bizarre charging handle/forward assist are anomolies in small arms design; Gene Stoner abandoned both in subsequent designs (AR-18 & 63 family) within 10 years. The operating system is fundamentally flawed because it blows crap into the reciprocating parts of the action, and only a top down bureacratic institution that regards its labor as free would take 40 years to figure it out. It’s also inflexible in requiring a stock buffer. If you think the angle of ejection is unfriendly a for left-handed shooter, think what it’s like when gas blows out the ejection port near your non-shooting eye. As a rhetorical question, have you seen either feature incorporated in rifles designed in the intervening 40 years? No. DUH. Replace the M16/M4 immediately, even if it’s in 5.56×45. One cleaning/day versus two and the relative time savings is about half an hour. In precious field training time, use it to teach you soldiers how to be more effective at killing the other guy. In a combat environment, when you’re mentally stressed out and physically exhausted, a weapon that works and 30 extra minutes/day of sleep or paying attention to the lethal world around will keep you and your soldiers alive.

  14. For anyone interested: http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/blackwater/analysis1.html This is the Armed Forces Journal that mentions the Blended Metal Techonology. There’s also articles of various other evaluated military technologies. It’s pretty interesting. I personally recomend taking a look also at the video section, Todd Jarret’s pistol shooting tips. They’re quite excellent, easy to learn, and actually does helps accuracy quite a bit (speaking from personal experience. I still keep making the mistake of focusing more on my target and less on my sights however and my pistol likes to yaw a little to the left when I do). There’s also a bunch of info on the XM8 you all might wanna check out. http://www.ammo-oracle.com/body.htm Also, everything you ever wanted to know about the 5.56 x 43mm / .223 cartridge but was too lazy to go look up for yourself. An excellent information resource compiled by the folks over at ar15.com. My own opinion of the XM-8… Mostly I think it’s just politicians trying to save a whole bunch of money they spent away on the XM-29 project (which was a bad idea in the first place, at least with today’s current level of technology). However I do approve of a few things. Mounting of the grenade launcher is now a breeze (I still think however a rifle grenade does have it’s place in modern combat), no more disassembling the entire front end of the rifle to mount your 203. Cleaning is also a little easier, and doesn’t take as long. Being able to directly access the gas piston for cleaning is a definate plus since it’s the part most prone to fouling now. Plus you can stash those damn little body pins right on the bridge. Those pins do worry me a little, since them being able to come out so easily… It worries me if one solid whack was enough to knock off a pin or loosen it. The polymer construction doesn’t worry me all too much. However I do question it’s long term reliability with sustained fire. Polymer, still has a nasty tendoncy to deform at higher temperatures. If they’ve already solved this, more power to HK. The magazines worry me a tad. G36 magazines are bigger then your STANG magazines, meaning current mag pouches won’t hold them. That’ll probably annoy a lot of people who still have pouches for STANG mags. Especially if logistics screws up (which seems to happen quite often. Not entirely sure if they’re entirely at fault but screws up do happen with them, as with anything else that’s human). Probably some moron will come along and try to force the XM8 mag into an M16 mag carrier and it’ll probably get stuck in there until he either cuts up the pouch or gets shot while trying to reload. 😛 I don’t particularly like the fact that there is no forward assist of any kind, but that’s just a personal preference. Mag release style is closer to that of the AK line of weapons. Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know. For me it’s not as natural as the colt mag release style but again, preference. Oh, and for all you AR15 lovers out there that are left handed, Diemaco is now producing an ambidex magazine release. I don’t know if it’s availible for civilians but it does exist. It’ll be standard issue on Canadian C7A2 rifles (which are slightly modified M16A2s) once all the C7A1’s are recyled into A2s. If anything however, from the videos it would look like the rifle is VERY controllable from full auto fire. Safe to assume that they’ve done some working on controlling the recoil even further. HK reduced thier little estimate of 15,000 rounds without cleaning to 5,000 rounds without cleaning. Probably still a little exhagerrated… The intergrated optics are nice, but the back up iron sights shouldn’t be just primitive iron sights. If and when the optic decides to quit, a good set of iron sights are a must. Is it worth replacing the M16? Who knows, I still think it’s just politicians trying to save face from the whole XM29 waste. I’m more on the fence with this one. But since the M16 looks like it’s going to be phased out either way, it’ll be interesting to watch what bugs will be found along the way.

  15. D Liu IIRC, the xm8 should be able to use common rifle-grenades (not sure, only read somewhere) The heat problems reported after they supposedly fixed it were still after firing several hundred rounds in within a couple minutes, not great, but usable. I never heard if they fixed the grit fouling in the magazines (not usre if that was even a real problem) I wouldn’t worry about the iron sights too much (though they ought to work properly). The battery power will last 6 hours with all options left on full (there are 1/2 power settings), enough for one standard watch. The red-dot itself lasts 400 hours; a conscientous user could extend battery life for 12 hours easily. Batteries are easy to change and of common types (aaa batteries). Nuclear isotope based self recharging devices and batteries will revolutionize such things anyway. http://www.eetimes.com/at/news/OEG20021104S0040 Supposedly some report or other was just released, and we should be hearing of some decsision by the end of November. I would like to hear more of the higly related SCAR-H & SCAR-L programs.

  16. The XM8 is a kick ass rifle. I think it’s most impressive feature is it’s modular capabilities. You can create four different rifles on the field in record time.

  17. The XM8 has a supirior advantage over said M16 and M4 Carbines. If I could create a SAW out of a rifle, I would gladly do so, and I also enjoy the capabilities of a grenade launcher on a SAW. Sometimes, that comes in handy. The carbine version looks like a submachine gun, if you ask me. I can see everyone using this in due time.

  18. Reading all of this material has been very informative and enlightening. I haven’t any practical military experince, ie. participated in battle, but I have some comments I would like to add based upon my shooting experiences and testimonials I have heard from various service men and women. The issue of 5.56 ammo compared to 7.62 and others is interesting. I have also heard stories of combat veterans needing several shots to take down their targets, particularly at short range, and likely due to the fact that the bullets went right through them. Though I appreciate the notion of bigger weightier bullets from a pure physics/ballistics stand point, I am not totally convinced that ‘bigger’ is neccessarily the way to go. The current inclusion of the M-14 and its 7.62 x 51 cartridge appears neccessary, specifically for long range shooting, if not for pure knock down capapbility. I would think that this need would/should be somewhat accounted for infintry at the squad and platoon levels – ie. don’t build a new rifle or cartridge to suit the purpose, use what is already at hand. The need for a light weight, dependable rifle still exists for its niche; for closer combat situations within 300 yards, and likely much closer. Although the 5.56 cartridge may not be perfect I don’t think it should be dropped all together for something slightly larger and heavier. The development of these blended metals that basically fragment all over the place when they meet the meat seems a logical answer to many of the current problems regarding the cartridge, all except perhaps range. It makes sense to me that development should progress in the area of these technological break throughs in better performing metals/bullets than trying to go through the hassel of accomadating what a huge logistical and industrial effort it would likely take to change to a new cartridge. With all that said I like what I read and see regarding the XM8 rifle. It looks cool, which I realize is the least important feature for the grunts on the ground who would be using it. I love its apparent modularity. Being able to easily change components quickly, easily, and without tools seems to be the greatest legacy of the M-16, especially in terms of adding zeroed optics. I imagine this would have great benefits in a changing battlefield environment. It certainly makes sense from a cost savings stand point of having a simple platform that can be easily modified for the job at hand. I believe ultimately that it would also translate for ease of proper weapon procurement for the troops too. There are a couple things I’m not too hot on for the rifle however. I can’t say I like the magazine release lever. Too much like an AK-47, kinda clumsy. There has got to be a better configuration. I like it the way it is on an M-16, or perhaps a way that wouldn’t distract the trigger finger unduly. The pistol grip also seems to be a problem – too narrow, too NOT ergonomic. I believe this is also a small problem for the M-16. A slightly thicker grip with some finger grooves or a better palm swell would likely help keep the hand from moving from its intended position during fire. Other than that I would admit that I am a fan of the XM8. I would like to add however, that apart from the bad ass blended metal bullets, smart grenade launchers like that proposed for the OICW XM-29 should be seriously tested and developed. I think that kind of technology would be a huge advance towards the goals of greater lethality, knock down power, range and pure intimidation. Hell, the Iraqis unfortunately seem to be having too much success with the old yet venerable RPG, and those rockets, like the Iraqis, are pretty ‘dumb!’ Lastly, I own both an M-16 and an AK-47, I have shot thousands of rounds through each type of rifle under various conditions (I compete with both for military gas-op matches), and although I like them both the accuracy of the M-16 is far superior. Unless someone has hand built an accuratized AK they would be hard pressed to ever convince me that an AK is going to match an M-16 in accuracy. Reliable? Perhaps, but anything 100 yards and more and an AK-47 will not do the job too effectively/accurately. The M-16 has a greater ease of function and generally isn’t clunky or clumsy in its operation. I only wish the M-16 was easier to clean. I’m no sniper, but with an M-16 I can’t miss, with an AK-47 I almost can’t hit! I’m not a huge fan of the 7.62 x 39 ballistically either. Would love to hear opinions from our troops fighting around the world. I admire and and respect what you do everyday. I thank you personally, and often!

  19. Since this seems to be the most active thread, I will post my greatest concerns in hopes that persons who are both influential and aren’t armchair generals (unlike moi), might influence development. 1. I noticed that the standard buttstock is different from that on the known2bRugged g36. Will really stand up to being used as a club when needed? 2. While I am glad that the CAM1A1 bayonet will be a part of the kit, I am concerned that it might not be mountable horizontally, so as to not interfere with the underslung XM320/LSS. (and to better penetrate rib cages without being stuck). 3. It seems that rifle grenades can be launched fromt he XM-8. But has this even been tested thoroughly? If it breaks in the process soldiers would be mad…and possibly dead. Also would the bayonet and other accessories interfere with rifle grenades? (/me crosses fingers) On this last subject, might the XM-8 be able to make use of the features of the Israeli Refaim ‘smart’-rifle grenades?

  20. I think this new weapon will be great and easy to maintain since all the components remain basically the same for all versions of this rifle. I am in the army and look forward to using this in the future.

  21. Skimming through this has motivated me to join in. I have been an assigned full- or part-time sniper, sniper trainer/coordinator, and small-arms instructor with the Army, NG, and a law enforcement agency since 1972. I’ve worked with the M1C/D, XM21/M21/M25, M24, and M700/PSS. I’ve shot competitively with all the above systems as well as the M16/AR15/A1/A2, M4, M1, and M14. I’ve done T&E with the AR18/180, AR10T, SR25, and several .50s. My most important and intensively trained students have been my four sons, two of whom are right now boots-in-the-sand in Iraq. I know a bit about ballistics and battle/assault rifles, so here goes. The comment about reducing the rifle’s weight having a point of diminishing returns is dead on. So is the observation that the trend to short barrels is causing reduced effectiveness. The laws of physics remain impervious to the application of money; ya gotta figure out ways to advance technology that enhance effectiveness, not fritter it away. Perhaps the 6.8s will be the answer to effectiveness combined with lightweight compactness – that remains to be seen. The reference to the tubeless op rod for the M16 family is also worth noting. I believe the company or the part had ‘Buffalo’ in its name; seemed like a good way to keep the blooky out of the action – I don’t know why they went Tango Uniform but it would probably be worth resurrecting. To sum up, you can only shorten a barrel so much in a given caliber before you start hurting the ballistics enough to make the effort counterproductive. You can only lighten a given weapon so much before a normal person can’t shoot the damned thing effectively. I won’t even comment on the state of marksmanship training beyond the fact that marksmanship is a highly perishable skill that undergoes an unbelievable degree of degradation under extreme stress (that’s a subject for a whole thread of its own). Practical application? *sigh* It depends on the situation and terrain…I work out of a Ford SUV now and carry my issue pistol as a PDW (no comment on brand/caliber), my personal M4 for mid-range tasks, and the Department’s M700 in good ole .308 for precision requirements. I realize the infantryman doesn’t have the luxury of carrying the equivalent of a bag of golf clubs, this is just my present situation.

  22. OOPS – left out the H&K PSG-1, the Steyr bolt rifle and a few others…This forum needs an ‘edit’ button.

  23. i think we should go to the 6.8mm or 7.62mm round i will go into the army and the m-16 has been around way before i was born and it is time for a change in weapons i only wish they would sell them to the public right now cuz i would buy a few

  24. Actually, I think the XM8 looks pretty tight. Yeah, maybe it does resemble something out of a Star Trek armory.. and looks like it should shoot lasers rather than bullets.. but is that entirely a bad thing? Guns, just like cars and everything else, get continually cosmetically upgraded. Either way I think it looks pretty high-tech.

  25. I’ve read and seen a lot of reviews on ‘the weapon of the future’ you know the ‘XM8’ and I really feel that if the repuetation holds up to the hype it is the weapon to go with. When the M 16 was brought out in the Vietnam War it was question a lot. It cost us a lot of lives because of its jamming. If we can avoid this, this time around this will defientley be the weapon of choice for our protectors of the U.S.A.

  26. I forgot to say how SEXY it is. The only diverse weapon to be able to serve in 4 diffrent purposes. Trained in one trained in all.

  27. I wanted to make a interesting comment about the XM8, would you as a soldier want to take a new primary weapon into combat that has no actual field testing using a cartrige that has very little expirience in its self? We have changed a weapon that works so why go and change the ammunition that we know works (for now). Ammunition and chamber specifications for the 5.56 have been honed down to a near perfection. If we change to a new cartridge this would bring the possibilities of minor stoppages. Have any of you hade a slam fire, stove pipe, cookoff, or have a cartridge stuck in the chamber? Scarey huh? I think they are taking a very wise and small step into the future, and maybe we will see later models in a 6.8 or maybe .300 Win Magnum for those who are still not satisfied.

  28. Adapting to the 7.62x39mm cartridge is actually quite simple for most assault rifles, all that is needed is a new receiver, barrel, etc. As long as the body of the gun is big enough, any cartridge can be used. However, there really is no reason to chamber for the 7.62x39mm round. It is a relatively cheap and now very effective. It is more likely that the gun will be chambered for the 6.8mm SPC ammo or the 6.5mm Grendel round which have superior ballistics/penetration. Yes, the Kalashnikov round is abundant in Iraq, and most of the world, but so is the 5.56 and 7.92 NATO rounds that most US guns are chambered for. Changing to 7.62x39mm round would just add to the logistics equation that is already complicated enough.

  29. So-called blended metal bullets are a fraud. There is no such thing. These bullets have been sectioned and examined by electron microscopes and they don’t work as advertized. They are fake. The manufacturer is making these outlandish claims to try and get a piece of the millions that the US armed forces spends on 5.56 ammo every year.

  30. I was looking for a referance because I belive the information is incorrect. I am more than aware that guns are easily modified for other calibers, however no NATO country stocks 7.62×39 to my knowledge (except the old russian satellites). I was really looking at getting an accurate source for the information that I could reasonably confirm.

  31. first off, wanna apologize for flamin yall. second. i agree with mike. sure the 5.56 round is possibly under powered. but it works. the m16 needs replacing. its old. the xm8’s modular design means that it will be more upgradeable in the future. i can say ive got first hand experiance with these different rounds now. and our whole party as relatively inexperianced shooters, were able to hit clay pigeons thrown at 100 ft with a chinese AK rechambered to 5.56. this might not be impressive to some of you real profesional types, but the point is: the 5.56 round was THAT easy to get used to. its kick is light enough that young, admittedly wussy amatures such as ourselves were able to quickly get familiarized and proficient. As we moved to larger rounds. the kick ineviably got harder. for inexperianced and non-tough guys like us its direct result was lowered accuracy. if i was in combat i’d want to use a gun that is as easy and intuitive to operate as possible. increasing the caliber and charge arent gonna help that. penetration i’m not so sure bout. but i’d rather be able to hit and mebe have to shot him again rather than having trouble hitting my target the first time. the obvious counter to my argument is that a soldier is supposed to be well trained and proficient in handling his gun. but i woudl say. wouldn’t it be better if we can spend less time training, and have more flexibiliy and ease of use in the heat of battle where conditions are chaotic and unfavorable? there, i’m in the caliber debate… why does the floor suddenly feel icy cold?

  32. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ So-called blended metal bullets are a fraud. There is no such thing. These bullets have been sectioned and examined by electron microscopes and they don’t work as advertized. They are fake. The manufacturer i

  33. Only thing i know about an Airsoft Xm8 is a Converstion Kit for the g36. All i know is i want to get my hands on my all though i do love my Sig552

  34. Well I’ve been following this thread for a while, and it seems some of the more common complaints are; 1. It looks like a startrek/girlie/plastic pos gun. 2. Caliber, Barrel Length/Accuracy/Velocity (cartridge specific details) 3. Reliability While I can say for the 1st point, i really dont care if it looks like a prop from a kids show, if it works better than the other guys weapon, i’m all for it. really, how the weapon looks is a completely stupid argument. ergonomics is one thing, movie cred is another A lot of people have pointed out how there are several type of 5.56 ammo for rifles and not all are equal. considering h&k have made an easily interchangable caliber system, this should surely mean that they can interchange internal parts based upon the type of cartridge used, whether it be one 30 years old or 3 years old…barrel length is a concern with all rifles with any change of caliber, so perhaps the powers that be should make another standard of ammo qualification…ie certain ammo is rated for rifles of a certain era/type. I dont know how practical this would be, im more thinking on the top of my head at this point, but surely there would have to be options… I love the SLR/L1A1 and one of the best things is the adjustible gas vent, so depending on climate and round you can twist it either way to increase or decrease the kickback….. if the XM8 has this facility, i dont think theyll have much of a problem…esp with this new pushrod design, i think this’ll be a huge improvement on anything anyone has to offer….just have to make sure the parts are durable i suppose i remember when the steyr came out here in aus…..optical sights getting flooded in relative humidity over 60% !!! and the barrels getting bent in bayonet training cause BHP used low grade steel And thats not mentioning the rediculous amount of small bits in that rifle. I got confused when told how to strip the steyr. Stripping the FAL was easy, I can do it drunk! anyhow, there are lots of ifs and whens,….if this rifle has anything *comparable* of the specifications it boasts when it actually gets put to use, it will be a much venerated member of any armed force. I’ll always prefer a 7.62 rifle personally, but from all points (barrel length concerns aside) it looks really promising. I’d recommend the caliber upgrade but nato is slow to move… Bring It On! If its more reliable than the m16/m4 series, and has anything comparable to the stopping power of the SLR, I’m for it. And those dual drum 100 round magazines are a wet dream waiting to happen….. -Dohmar

  35. I assume Mr. Liu is refering to the RCBD company’s bullets. I’m not sure of the tests results, however I can point to the Modern Marvels show about bullets (I belive the exact title was ‘Projectiles’) on The History channel. Also note bonded bullets (Winchester, Remington, and Sierra – not the RCBD) have been around for a while and I have yet to see anything saying that they do not work as advertised. Please do not ask others to not only do your research for you, but disprove your belief (if you have referrances, use them!).

  36. I Believe we need a new more powerful round with more stopping power. The bottom line is we will no always be fighting terrorists with no body armor. I am not a big fan of the 7.62 round. but the 6.8 might be the answer. If you are at war you are not trying to ‘wound’ your target. You need to put him down faster than he will put you down.

  37. XM8…It’s been over 40 years. A change is needed. Not going into ballistics or engineering, we need a modular, multi-caliber, light weight, highly reliable, 400ydMaxEeffectiveRange INFANTRY weapon that will work from the antartic to any other place in the world at any time. The M16 was the first step if you put aside all the dirty politics and other factors. The M16 was a good design or it wouldn’t be here today. I’ve read about the dead Marines in Nam with rods shoved down the barrels trying to clear the weapon(a chilling and disturbing, if not angering thought). I’ve also read that then the first M16’s hit Nam and they worked, they worked WELL. Even the NVA and Cong tried to obtain as many as they could because they were light, quick, and devistating in a full blown fire fight. I think the XM8 with a 16/20’+barrels would be GOOD if it performs as advertised. We should learn from the past so those Soldiers and Marines who were found with rods shoved down the barrels of their weapons have NOT died in vain (just my opinion).

  38. U Gun toting Yankees are giving ur country a bad name. Most of u dont really know what shooting someone really means. What killing someone really means. U big up those crazy marines that are laying whole cities in the Middle East to waste. I bet u something. If some maniac came and shot you, you’d probably take an interest in gun control you paranoid maniacs. Futhermore, I got news for u if u dont know already. The Iraqi ‘insurgents’ are going to keep multiplying. When 1 dies, 20 spring up in his place for veangence. Those tough yankee boys in the desert are going to keep getting shot at and when America finally gets out of their country, theyre still going to be there. Big up the Iraqi restistance. Boycott the dollar. Viva Fidel. Viva Che Guevara. F*** BUSH f*** OSAMA and f*** the NRA. Big kiss boys.

  39. Think of the thousands of families that weep every year in America because of guns. Just try think about it for a few minutes. You think its worth it. Especially in a country full of so many edgy people.