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. yes they are navy seals are normally said to be the best in the world but seals can be recruited into delta sooo wat does that mean i think that delta can recruit from all services

  2. sounds like the XM8 was slowed or stopped because colt has some prior agreement with the army saying that they will try to use colt for all the small arms needs MO i read alot of ur other Xm8 posts 🙂 and if u think about it airsoft and video games familarizes kids with the guns of tommorow and alot of games are puting the Xm8 in there games i personally like the look and from wat i hear its gona be a great gun and im already use to the M4 with my airsoft gun so if anything the goverment needs to get there new assualt rifles into the airsoft and video game franchises 🙂 i mean i think that i saw that 30% of seals now joined because of the video game SOCOM us navy seals and AA must be getting some into the army so video games must be doing something right i dont like the gun they want to use instead i think its called the sraw looks like a 552

  3. There are quiet alot of games which feature alot of realistic battles (First person games). Peopl normally that are really intrested in that kind of stuff like the Tom Clancys Rainbow six franchise. That involves alot of tactics and is really close to the real thing. SO ppl that enjoy that kind of rush or what ever will join the real thing. But one concern most ppl have is that the person who played these kind of games may think that war in general is like a game and may have stupid thoughts or ideas on how war is thought out.

  4. yes they are navy seals are normally said to be the best in the world but seals can be recruited into delta sooo wat does that mean i think that delta can recruit from all services’ I’m sorry, but that is completely untrue. For a SEAL to go Delta, he would would have to put in a service transfer request, get it approved, and go through the SF pipeline just like anyone else. It wouldn’t matter if you were a former SEAL or a former Navy cook, if you want to try something else in another service, and you can pass all the quals and tests, you can do it. By the same token, if a former soldier wanted to be a SEAL, he could transfer services and go through BUD/S etc, but the SEALs would not recruit him directly. Everyone in Delta is a soldier, and everyone in the SEALs is a sailor. Specialoperations.com says differently (‘Not all SEALs are Navy, just like not all Delta operators are Army’) but that’s false. ‘well over course its better to be auto in close quarters’ Some troops prefer it, but actually, it’s discouraged. As former ST-3 Commander said, ‘If you place the first round properly, you don’t need a second round. If you need one, fire again.’ ‘People normally that are really intrested in that kind of stuff like the Tom Clancys Rainbow six franchise. That involves alot of tactics and is really close to the real thing.’ Involves realistic tactics, yes. Close to the real thing, no. ‘airsoft and video games familarizes kids with the guns of tommorow and alot of games are puting the Xm8 in there games i personally like the look and from wat i hear its gona be a great gun’ Airsoft, I must say, does give a realistic layout of a gun, but it in no way familiarizes anyone with shooting the real thing. There is little in the way of recoil, and not nearly, if any, of the cleaning and maintenance that goes into keeping the real thing in working order. Nothing against it, I like airsoft myself. ‘alot of games are puting the Xm8 in there games i personally like the look and from wat i hear its gona be a great gun’ A lot of games are still putting in the OICW as well, and that is completely dead. In videogames, guns do not jam, and even if they do, remember, it’s because the programmer put that option in the game as challenge. In real life, a jam is an unplanned problem with multiple solutions. In SOCOM 3, the XM8 is a great weapon that does not jam and does not melt. But that’s because it’s a videogame. ‘sounds like the XM8 was slowed or stopped because colt has some prior agreement with the army’ Actually, FN USA makes almost all the M16A2-A4s. Most of the M4s, however, are made by Colt. Colt, HK, and FN are actually all competeing right now. By the way, the reason for the problem with the early M16s was not the environment, it was because Defense Secretary McNamara ordered them issued before they were totally complete, and then refused to spend any more money to improve the defective rifles or the bad ammo. For him, it was all about contracts and he really did not care about what our troops were carrying. But you’re right about that, Travis, the Army was not going to make that mistake again with the XM8.

  5. and they fixed the melting problem and ya Colt signed a agreement with the army in 1997 stating they had to go threw colt if at all possible to get there small arms and i like for close quaters the G36c 2 bullet burst and ya the only game i know of that guns jam is AA(americas army) and there is no cleaning that is true but would anyone buy a game if they had to spend a simulated 30 minutes to clean there weapon B4 socom 2 came out on the internet they had a mini game where u hade to put to gether a M4 it was like 20 or so parts the Xm8 i saw taken apart army times and it has so few parts

  6. Michael, it was a few posts back, but when you say full auto, I’m assuming that you actually mean a 6-10 round burst. A soldier is not going to empty his/her entire magazine on the first go. They are going to use a controlled rate of fire. The only place that you are going to throw lead for a longer period of time is if you are in an APC, riding through an alley that has more insurgents than rats (or visa versa, depending on your definitions) and are the one manning the M249 with a box mag. But even that will be 20-30 round bursts. And actually, I can’t think of a place where you would use only single or double taps. If the enemy is beyond CQB range, you have three options: 1. step aside and let the sniper take the shot 2. move closer 3. use 3/6/10 round bursts to try to make a hit. In a previous post, it was discussed that the M16 was not built for range, but for a more rapid firepower. Guns that would be aided by a double tap would be pistols (as you need to conserve ammo, no matter what tv shows you of someone burning through their entire clip and pulling out yet another) and 9mm CQB weapons such as the MP5 series (as the soldiers who use that style of weapon are going to need to rely on quick, efficient and quite kills that will not drain their ammo supply, resulting in few reloads). Having never actually been in these situations (other than airsoft, but as someone said, that doesn’t really count) I can’t speak for everyone in every event. But this seems the most logical to me. Oh, and I’m very sad about losing the XM8. To me, it looked very promising. Hopefully I can get an XM8 aeg some time MUCH later in life, and just hang in on my wall.

  7. oh yeah next time i should be more specific on how much rounds are actually shot in auto. thanks for that.

  8. the M16 was built for range that y we train at hitting targets at 500m and it was not really meant as a automatic machine gun but it works so well because of how light it is so there isnt much kick back atleast that is for the vietnam m16

  9. Even at 75 meters, it’s hard to hit your target if you try and burst. I shot an M16A2 (real, not airsoft) rapid fire (that is, single shot but with rapid target aquisition) at that range and was 23 for 32. I then shot precision (took careful aim and fired) at that range and was 30 for 32. Then, amazingly, I was 32 for 32 at 175m (of course, this was because by then I was warmed up). Another guy tried shooting the M16 on burst, and he was only something like 13 for 32. He then tried firing precision and was 26 for 32. Compared to many combat rifle rounds, the 5.56 has light recoil. But, really all that means is it doesn’t hurt your shoulder as much or as fast as, say, the 30.06, and your recovery time is quicker. But, remember, it still is a powerful round, and it kicks. I didn’t dare try it on burst, it would have been pointless. Consider this: In WWII, the number of rounds fired per enemy killed was about 10,000. In Vietnam, with our new select fire M16s, the number of rounds per enemy killed was about 200,000!

  10. i remeber seeing something on the internet saying that those numbers include ALL machine guns fired by personel which means helcopter mini guns m60’s and all the rifles fired in combat and if u watch some vietnam footage they werent even aiming they were sticking the gun over the trench and sprayin and those mini guns in helicopters were just spraying in the jungle where infantry were claiming to be fired at from those numbers have signifacently dropped since vietnam but not if they actually use that machine gun that fires 1 million rounds a minute 🙂

  11. Well, it looks like there are at least 2 people here who watch Mail Call (PaulCG and travis) as they both made comments that came from the show a few nights ago… And, call me crazy, but I consider 75m to still be in CQB range. And in most battles *today*, when will the target be 175m away and it not be advantagous/safe to get closer? It is possible, but from what I’ve seen and read, most battles are much closer. Michael, I’m not going to assume that your comment was an attmept to be sacrastic, but it is hard to tell. Written corespondence is the most difficult way to communicate as most of our language is conveyed through facial expressions, tone and ‘body language’. If your remark was not intended to be sarcastic, try to write it next time in an overly monotone voice (hopefully you can hear that in my writing) so that all of the context is found in the diction, not the syntax. How does this relate to military arms? Well, I prefer to over simplify my methods so that fewer things will go wrong. This means that I prefer smaller and controllable weapons such as pistols and sub-machine guns such as the MP5 series and other related styles. Why over-do the system and make it more complicated than it has to be? Preferably, all of incounters should be in a 35-50mm window at a great distance. One shot (and with a frangible round) one kill. Very simple and neat. (Yes, the firing process at that great of a distance is somewhat complicated, but you can take the decision of whether or not to fire one shot at a time, as opposed to many holes, many bodies, many questions, few answers. And how does this relate to the XM8, the topic of this ‘forum’? No clue.

  12. Well, yes, I did watch that episode, but I already knew that bit of information prior from talking to some vets and reading. It was just fresh in my mind from Mail Call. Other than the fact that the XM8 might not get much further than it is now, there’s nothing new to talk about. But still, it’s related since we are discussing elements such as proper fire control, CQB, etc. Things that weapon developers themselves discuss.

  13. ok wjen ur in the middle of a desert engagement ranges can get pretty far, out there but seeing as the AK has no real range capability yes all battles are close in but i my convoy got attacked and that man was holding a AK47 im not gonna want a mp5 9mm rounds can be stopped quite easily with some primative body armor id much rather have a m4 with a retractable stock it is pretty small compact and still has the range if needed

  14. I figured it was just a misunderstanding. Thanks for clearing that up Mike. Travis, I agree that when body armor comes into play, the stronger the firepower the better, at any range. But I was just saying that I personally prefer a smaller more controllabe round and get in close enough to make the shots count.

  15. ya that is true also diffrent perspectives we are both looking at but from what ive seen a m4 isnt very hard to control as long as ur not spraying ya i dont know why i remebered this but the american tank officers were mad that the saudi officers were issued a Mp5 and the american officers in the tanks only got a pistol so if there tank was hit they were pretty much screwed like i said i dont know y i membered that

  16. yeah, I was mostly referring back to the comment made earlier (Oct. 31) by Mike when he said that M4s were best in full auto in a CQB situation. I was just trying to say that full auto is rarely a great idea (on the History channel yesturday, they called this ‘spray and pray’) as it is seldomly under control. Then we got off onto the topic that the M16 has a ‘good’ range. I then said that in most cases, it is better to get closer and make better shots than to stay far away and dump a lot of lead. The only reason that I could see that you would again switch topics to what you just said is that your comment constains the MP5 (though you did not give the end designation. I prefer the SD6.)

  17. Anyway… It’s too bad that the XM8 was canceled. I could see it as being a mediator between the M4 and the MP5. (or at least between the machine and sub-machine gun styles)

  18. no not nessicarily what happened was is that colt flashed a contract saying the army has to use them for small arms purchases so what there doing is having colt make a gun comprable to the XM8 and having them face off like the f22 and f23 there going to have tests to see which is better but i hope the XM8 wins it has been in development for a cuple years and what a waste of money it would be to just scrap it like the commanche and the OICW they have a working product and becuase they feel it is not practical they just scrap it rather than try to find a use for it

  19. No actually what happened was after the whole melting plastic thing, the XM8 was ordered back to the drawing board. There’s no word on what exactly it or any other competitor’s status is, but I have a tendancy to doubt that it will be adopted at least within the next three years. ‘M4s were best in full auto in a CQB situation. I was just trying to say that full auto is rarely a great idea’ True, it’s hard enough to double tap let alone spray effectively. With training it becomes easier, but still, there’s no need. You have your SAWs for spraying. Riflemen need to be taking out point targets.

  20. thanks, have u seen that new H&K416 rifal. its looks pretty good on the spec and the stock looks alot like the m4’s. i think its said to be a possable replacement for the m16/m4 because it has improved all the faults of the prevouse colt weapons and its shorter than the m4 its self (personaly i prefer the look of the xm8 and the xm8 had the complete set with it e.g granade laurncher, saw and co. anyway check this rifal out where i saw it at that world.guns web site.

  21. Right now, the HK416 is competing with the FN SCAR for the affections of SOCOM with the SCAR having a slight edge because it was introduced first. I’m not sure if the 416 will be distributed on a service-wide basis, but it certainly is possible. Personally, I believe we need to stop relying on foreign-based companies and give companies such as Colt, Robinson, Armalite, and Springfield more of a chance. It’s strange because most of H&K’s modern designs are American based (The G36, HK416, and XM8’s AR-18 system is American). Oh, and I would say give Colt back the rights to the M16.

  22. ok 1 they fixed the melting problem a long time ago and it was up and running and then colt shut them down (the melting did not close the project) 2 H&K made there m16 version rifle becuase they stole the plans of the m4 and said it was pretty much the same and got sewed 4 it 3 u cant just take the rights of the m16 away from colt they had to of sold the rights

  23. Colt has the rights to the M4, FN has rights to the M16A2, and many of the rifles being issued are made by FN and the others made by Colt.

  24. The Colt M16A2s are actually converted A1s. The FN ones were made directly into the A2 configuration. All M16A2s made after 1988 are FN.

  25. ok thanks i knew what a A2 was but didnt know that FN owned the rights who is making the A4 model i here that it might have automatic

  26. The M16A4 is basically the same thing as the A2 except that it has a rail system, detachable carry handle, and full auto instead of 3 round burst. It’s also, to my knowledge, being manufactured by FN USA, but that could change. It’s really new, I think only about two or three years old. When the rest of the military was putting serious consideration into the XM8, the Marines quickly said ‘No way’ and chose the M16A4 instead. From what I understand, most of the regular units are following suit.

  27. reason being is that the XM8 is a specialized expensive carbine and for regular forces who want the range of weight are gonna stear clear of the XM8 but special forces units will probably go for it or the damn scar rifle

  28. SOCOM was the second organization after the Marines to reject the XM8, saying they would either stick with the M4 or look for a new rifle rather than go with the XM8. The XM8 was originally intended to be the standard issue weapon, replacing the M16 series servicewide. It was SOCOM and the USMC’s rejections that began the unraveling of the all but certain XM8 adoption. The main problem was not as much the plastic melting as much as it was the fact that the XM8 was not enough of an improvement to justify it replacing the M16 series of rifles. If it was, the melting plastic could have easily been corrected. Right now, I think (though I’m not sure) the SCAR is only being considered by USASOC; there’s no word on NSW or AFST’s stance on the weapon.

  29. ya the Xm8 isnt much better than the M4 and they would have to replace all the m16s so ya that is true but its kinda waste of money cause of all the funds we put into it and then just dropped it i dont like the scar

  30. its kinda waste of money cause of all the funds we put into it and then just dropped it’ That’s better than spending another few billion to reequip our entire military. At least it was stopped now. What our Defense Department needs to do is learn how to be good stewards with the tax payers’ money. I mean, they spent over a billion trying to develop the OICW, but that would have just been a drop in the bucket. Do you know the estimated price of one XM29 OICW rifle? $35,000 a rifle! Compare that to the…I believe $800 for the M16. So that billion was an acceptable loss, because it could have, and would have been a lot worse. I’m not nuts about the SCAR myself. For one thing, it’s ugly. That’ll probably change as it gets closer and closer to adoption…and there’s the second thing. As time went by with the XM8, I heard more and more about it. I heard a bit about the SCAR and that’s it. So I’m wondering if that program is still going. A Green Beret I talked to said that the SCAR, if as it is being said is based on the FAL, it should be a good weapon. But how much better than the M16 series it will be, if better at all, waits to be seen. There has been talk about complete replacement of the M4 in Army SOF units already, but considering the fact that the weapon is not much out of its conceptual stages makes me wonder if that’s manufacturer propaganda. I could be very wrong about this, but I don’t think the SCAR is going to make it.

  31. Hey i think some body already posted this but anyway here it is again but the FN-SCARl and the H model have won a competition which determined what weapon would be used for special forces in 2006 or maybe at the end of this year.

  32. They won the competition, but recently, H&K has been pushing for their 416, and Colt is still pushing the M4 with upgrades (such as a short stroke piston). All things considered, we won’t know until our SOF guys are actually taking it into combat. And I’m not sure if it was SOCOM as a whole, I think it was Army SOC only. But a weapon that is officially out of service often pops up in SOF. Look at the M14: It’s now officially issued once again in new configurations, but it never left service with SOCOM units. And believe it or not, a few SF A-Teams used H&K G3 rifles, which were never issued officially. I have a tendency to think that the M4 is going to be the same way. It may be unofficial, but if it performs the same role as the SCAR and is compatible with it (that is, can change ammo and magazines with the SCAR) we might not see it die as quickly as the Pentagon claims.

  33. life got in the way and i hate the SRAW it looks so gay but when they make a gun its not all for looks but like all the best guns looks so cool XM8 M4 M14(wood) i mean the sraw looks so chunky

  34. As many of you have remarked, the main problem with the 5.56 in the M4 is barrel length, or rather, lack of it. The 5.56 cartridge is relatively over-bore; it needs a relatively long barrel to reach the design velocity of the little bullet. A long barrel in a conventionally designed rifle however results in a long long weapon, i.e. the M16. The solution is to go to a bull-pup design with an 18-20 inch barrel. They’re ugly but more and more armies are switching to them and excellent ones are available, for instance the Steyr AUG. The new FN 2000 may possibly be the best of the current crop of bull-pups.

  35. I will sum this up in the words of a ex-SF major as well as my own: Bullpups suck. First off, they are not ambidexterous. (You can only shoot right handed. If you want to shoot left, you need to convert the ejection port…something you can’t do in combat) Changing the magazines take a lot longer time…time is not something one usually has in battle. They are back heavy and very uncomfortable. They look great on paper and theory, but they have never proven to work in combat. Wessels, actually, more and more armys are moving AWAY from the bullpup. The Brits are looking at a G36 varient or maybe an FNC. France’s special ops (haha, I know) usually operate with the SIG 550 or 551, and if I’m not mistaken, the Austrians are using more Germany weapons now. No, you will probably not see too much in the way of bullpup weapons here in the US.

  36. but you gotta give the Bullpup design some credit, it does have good acuracy because of the barrel length. If u know what i meaan.

  37. i checked out that FN 2000 and i must admit it does look pretty good on paper, and dam good looks wize. but then again i do agree with paul about bullpulps are the not the easyest weapon to reloadin a hurry , but this one does look very compact i meen its the roughly the size of like an G36k carbine.

  38. True, the F2000 is extremely compact. However, it is so compact that it has a shortened, carbine length barrel as well. So you wouldn’t have the ‘rifle in a carbine package’ deal with that weapon. Yes, bullpups are accurate, that is an upside. However, in combat you need a combination of accuracy and versitility. Also, a few of them have non-shooting related problems as well. The L85 has a rap sheet a mile long, the SAR-21 has issues with it’s optics, as does the TAR-21. Many armies have expriemented with the design, and most of them have found it unsuited to the needs of today’s soldier. The bullpup design is nearly sixty years old, and it still has the same problems that it had when the concept began in the 1940s.

  39. French spec ops haha but anyway ya i have a L85 airsoft gun the thing is a pain to reload especaially when ur being shot at

  40. Think about that when things flying your way aren’t little green plastic BBs and are 123gr 7.62mm M1943 rounds. They do a little more than just sting! So pump up your airsoft stress to about one hundred. And also realize that your L85 airsoft has probably not taken as much abuse as a real one in the hands of a British soldier, and is probably a bit lighter too! The bullpup is a failed design because it was designed specifically for versitility and that is it’s main drawback…lack of!

  41. I agree with most of the comments on bull-pups. The balance is awkward, magazine changes are slow, they tend to bang in your ears and you must have reliable optics; the sight base is too short for open sights. They are also not ambidexterous or have to be changed in the field to switch them from left hand to right hand use. (The FN 2000 is fully ambidexterous by the way; it ejects the cartridge case through a tube next to the barrel). These are however the sacrifices you have to make if you want a compact weapon and you want to use a small, high velocity bullet that needs a relatively long barrel to get up steam, such as the 5.56. Cartridges in which the calibre is larger and the case capacity to calibre ratio is smaller than that of the 5.56 round tend to work better in short-barrelled weapons. A case in point is the 6.8 SPC. I do not for one moment believe that the US will switch to the 6.8 round however. It will be hideously expensive and NATO will bitch like hell! If you stay with the 5.56 round, the only way to get decent performance out of a compact weapon is a bull-pup, whether we like it or not.

  42. The 5.56 from a 14.5 inch barrel is still satisfactory, especially in the 70 grain load. The effective range (that is, where the bullet will reliably fragment) is still somewhere between 150-250 meters. The 20 inch barrel extends that range to about 300-350 meters. Considering that most engagements take place between 50 and 150 meters, the effective range on our M4s is still decent. Anything beyond that would (or should) be handled by a marksman, armed with an M14 series rifle, or a even an M16A4. Despite what you may read in some magazines, according to soldiers, the performance does not drop dramatically. Noticeably, but not dramatically. Cons of a bullpup far outweight the pros. Just like the bullpup, the 6.8’s performance is also an issue, not just the money. It’s TB, although good on paper, is still not much better than the 5.56 in combat, and the accuracy is deminished as well. Plus, it would be much heavier and bulky to carry. Once again, the pros outweight the cons. And I frankly don’t trust the forward ejection system of the F2000, it sounds like a jamming problem in the making.

  43. Just like the bullpup, the 6.8’s performance is also an issue, not just the money. It’s TB, although good on paper, is still not much better than the 5.56 in combat, and the accuracy is deminished as well. Plus, it would be much heavier and bulky to carry. Once again, the pros outweight the cons.’ Sorry, I meant that the other way around, cons outweight the pros ;D