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Old 04-28-2017, 10:14 AM   #1
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US Army to Search for New 7.62mm Rifle

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...2mm-rifle.html

US Army to Search for New 7.62mm Rifle

The U.S. Army soon will begin searching for a 7.62mm rifle to become its formal squad designated marksman rifle for combat platoons and squads.

A recent directed requirement from Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn prompted Army weapons officials to write a new requirement, and most likely they will conduct a competition that will result in the service equipping each combat arms squad with a new 7.62mm squad designated marksman rifle, Matt Walker, deputy for the Lethality Branch at the Maneuver Center for Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, told Military.com.

Equipping units with SDM rifles so they can shoot farther than the standard 5.56mm M4 carbine is not new.

Weapons officials have "operational need statements from every unit that has deployed for the last 16 years saying that 'a squad designated marksman is a requirement in theater,' " Walker said.

"The presence of a 7.62mm rifle in the formation is nothing new, but when [units] leave theater, they have to turn their guns in," he said. "A lot of the division and the corps commanders are very adamant saying, 'Hey, we need to get those assets back in order to train with them to be competent.'

"The directed requirement for squad designated marksman has formalized, resourced and begun the process of getting those rifles on a full-time basis."

Since 2009, the Army's SBR has been the Enhanced Battle Rifle, or EBR, 14 -- a modernized M14 equipped with a Sage International adjustable aluminum stock with pistol grip, a Leupold 3.5x10 power scope and Harris bipod legs.

The Army adopted the EBR concept, first used in 2004 by Navy SEALs, in response to the growing need of infantry squads operating in Afghanistan to engage enemy fighters at longer ranges.

The EBR is heavy, just under 15 pounds unloaded, compared with the standard M14's unloaded weight of 9 pounds.

"Obviously, resources being what they are, there are people who say, 'Well, we got all these EBR14s,' and there are people that say, 'That is too heavy a load; we have learned that lesson so let's do something right by the soldier,' " Walker said, adding "I'm pretty sure it is going to be a new gun."

There are other 7.62mm rifles in the inventory that could work as an SDM.

Last year, the Army selected the G28, a 7.62mm rifle made by Heckler & Koch, as its new Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System.

Part of the goal of the effort was to arm snipers with a rifle that doesn't stick out to the enemy as a sniper weapon. The M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or SASS, made by Knight's Armament Company -- the Army's previous semi auto sniper rifle -- is easier to recognize since it's 46.5 inches with suppressor, more than 13 inches longer than the M4.

There is also the MK17 Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle, or SCAR, in 7.62mm.

"But none of those, the M110, the SCAR or the SASS replacement ... have an open contract, so we are going to need some new contract vehicle to procure these SDM rifles," Walker said.

He said it is unclear when the new SDM will be fielded, but "I would say you will see it in the next 24 months."

The next step is for the Maneuver Center to write a requirements document for the new SDM rifle over the next 120 days, Walker said.

The goal is to find a rifle similar in size and weight to the service's new Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, which weighs just over 11 pounds, he said.

The SDM rifle will also likely shoot standard M80A1 ammunition, not M118LR precision ammo, Walker said.

And weapons officials want to stay away from sniper scopes, he said.

"We don't want to give a guy a sniper scope because there is a level of training that goes along with that mil dot reticle," Walker said. "We would much rather use an intuitive reticle ... that has a 1x to 6x zoom capability, so a kid that is doing an entry as a member of a team in a room is on 1x and still has that red dot for him to use in close combat.

"But when he is out on patrol and is scanning at range, he can zoom in on things and give squad leaders updates in regards to what that guy in the distance is doing ... It's not just engagement; it's for situational awareness."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.
 
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:16 AM   #2
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It would be kind of nice to standardize on something.

And have enough to go around.
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:05 PM   #3
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But, don't those .308 dia. bullets bounce of people?
 
 
Old 04-28-2017, 03:07 PM   #4
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ROFLMAO! only in the mind of the disabled!
 
Old 04-28-2017, 03:14 PM   #5
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Why do bureaucracies have to make things so friggin' complicated...

If we just MUST do this, it doesn't have to be complicated and drawn-out. Take an AR-10, M-14, SR-25, whatever; pop a decent scope on it, and instead of R&D and trials to find some new magical-problem-solving platform, spend time & money instead on training guys how to actually shoot.

Personally, if there was some requirement that my personal rifle just HAD to be a 7.62x51, it'd be an off-the-shelf Midwest Industries AR. But there are numerous other fine mfr's out there. Just pick the platform and send out RFP's to various mfr's, along with a set of specs and quantities desired. Simple solution, and guns in the hands of the guys in probably 90 days.

But no; let's do this the really long & expensive way...
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Old 04-29-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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Buy off the shelf? Heaven forbid. Let's spend millions trying to find a wonder pistol when there's at least a dozen that would be fine. How many handgun's are actually fired in combat anyway?
 
Old 04-29-2017, 02:11 PM   #7
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I suppose it depends on the battle.

One of the problems I see is that in the type of battle where handguns are most likely to be used, and where more than one handgun is likely to be used (an infantry unit that is overrun) most of the people who could tell you about the handgun's performance would be unable to do so.

My impression with the procurement process is that it starts with an honest commitment to providing the best weapon that can be designed.

An interesting exercise is the book The Black Rifle.

For years, I was angry about the M16A1. The first time I read the book, I didn't finish it. Could't read it. Wanted to hunt down and shoot some of the actors. Then my lovely wife suggested to me that the next time I tried, I start with the assumption that everyone in the book was doing the best they could. That everyone was trying to deliver the best rifle in the world to the infantry in Vietnam, without limits, at the earliest possible date, from Secretary McNamara on down.

Of course, I finished the book, and learned a lot about the AR15. But that's not the point. The biggest point was the process I learned, and the next biggest points was that most folks aren't out to rip anyone off, (although certainly some of them are) most folks are honestly shooting for the gold ring, and they're operating on the information they have at the moment, the information they're given by "experts", and they're under the stress of whatever time constraints the situation they're in generates. In Secretary McNamara's case, and from him on down, it was the knowledge that American infantry in Vietnam were carrying a weapon that wasn't optimal for the circumstances, and that every day of delay meant that American infantry was carrying that sub-standard weapon one more day.

If you were given an unlimited credit card and told that all 2.5 million American servicemen would be issued the results of your decision, and that some of them were already in combat and would just be handed the weapon system you chose, wouldn't you ask a couple questions? Maybe do some testing? At least go to the range a couple times?

There are many times and places that off the shelf would work, and work well. Maybe even the majority of times and places. But there are some that they wouldn't work, and a few where they wouldn't work at all. Maybe a weapons system that would work in all cases is a pipe dream, and maybe it's not.

My impression is that most of the folks in the book were honestly trying to deliver the pipe dream, just like they are today.

Last edited by Jammer Six; 04-30-2017 at 03:50 PM.
 
Old 04-30-2017, 06:55 AM   #8
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I never read the book, but my hatred came for an exercise when we were sent up to Alaska for 6 weeks to train at Fort Wainwright in Jan/Feb. Because American 7.62mm blanks could not be used in Canadian FN's because of the difference in powder weights we had to turn in or FN's and draw American M16's. American 7.62mm blanks were designed for the M60 and would do damage to the FN because of the large volume of powder. 3x 10 day exercises later we turned them back in. During that time over 85% of the M16's in my Rifle Company failed to function in weather that went from a windchill of -20F to -70F (we spent 3 days tent bound). Rarely did I ever see an FN fail to function on winter operations during the 13 years I carried an FN.
 
Old 04-30-2017, 03:47 PM   #9
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M16A1s were notorious for malfunctioning on blanks. There was even a training exercise that used that fact: a medium-tall sergeant would take an M16A1, insert a fresh mag of blanks, point it at the ground, set it to auto, pull the trigger, and wait for the malfunction. Then he'd hand it to the private and tell him to clear the jam.
 
Old 04-30-2017, 03:50 PM   #10
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M-60's weren't great with blanks, either. M-14's worked pretty much every time, but really they were just blanks.
 
Old 05-02-2017, 03:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in AR View Post
Why do bureaucracies have to make things so friggin' complicated...

.....But no; let's do this the really long & expensive way...
Because that's the "traditional" bureaucratic way.
 
Old 05-02-2017, 05:23 PM   #12
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The enemy force we "fought" against were Eskimo rangers and at the time they were issued M1 Garands. Every time they attacked us they made mincemeat of our Company
 
Old 05-04-2017, 09:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
Buy off the shelf? Heaven forbid. Let's spend millions trying to find a wonder pistol when there's at least a dozen that would be fine. How many handgun's are actually fired in combat anyway?
Anyone with a rifle in service can respond to a solicitation just as well as any new comer.

Different than off the shelf, but nothing precluding such manufacturers from competing. The idea is it drives costs down, but in reality it doesn't often meet that objective.

There have been many designated marksman rifles used in service. I'd venture this solicitation won't result in much other than a future solicitation which ends up procuring things similar to the SDM-R, with any 7.62 offering being along very similar lines.
 
Old 05-04-2017, 05:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal View Post
Anyone with a rifle in service can respond to a solicitation just as well as any new comer.

Different than off the shelf, but nothing precluding such manufacturers from competing. The idea is it drives costs down, but in reality it doesn't often meet that objective.

There have been many designated marksman rifles used in service. I'd venture this solicitation won't result in much other than a future solicitation which ends up procuring things similar to the SDM-R, with any 7.62 offering being along very similar lines.
I don't think I understand your post, Ethereal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal View Post
Anyone with a rifle in service can respond to a solicitation just as well as any new comer.
What does "...a rifle in service..." mean? Does that mean a rifle the United States is using in one of the armed services? Or do you call rifles you're using "in service"? I'm not sure many folks have a rifle in service with the United States military, but calling a rifle "in service" if you use it is just sort of weird (and pretentious) to me.

Taken together, doesn't "anyone etc., etc." and "...any newcomer" mean everyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal View Post
Different than off the shelf, but nothing precluding such manufacturers from competing. The idea is it drives costs down, but in reality it doesn't often meet that objective.
Okay, what's different? ("Different than off the shelf,") What idea? ("The idea is it drives costs down," And what is "it"?

Last edited by Jammer Six; 05-04-2017 at 05:59 PM.
 
Old 05-05-2017, 12:09 PM   #15
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I don't think I understand your post, Ethereal.
My reply was mostly directed to the sentiment expressed by Terry and John, and was discussing how the System for Award Management is used by our government in this context.

A surprising amount of firms have weapons or accessories in service with the United States armed forces and federal government. Quite a bit of smaller contracts (especially for designated marksman and precision rifle applications) even have the weapons being sourced by a firm other than the weapon's original manufacturer before being outfitted or modified into a package (be they bought under a federal ledger then extended to the company, or fully supplied through the contracting company).

The way these proposals typically get written is that a "need" is stated for official purposes, then criteria is provided. Companies then either directly bid on the contract through SAM or submit a solution by a given deadline to a command unit (Aberdeen would probably be the most famous) which then suggests who should get the contract. Quantities, special terms, and extension options are usually, but not always, disclosed (depending on how the sampling schedule is structured). If you're a leading contender on an undisclosed quantity contract, they will often send a representative to perform a site survey to evaluate plant capacity. There is even some ability for them to take a winning idea and have it made somewhere else, though obviously the lawyers get involved there.

Many firms which compete, even with great if not absolutely superior ideas, get knocked out of a sampling process on behalf of not adhering to the solicited criteria (or its rare followup) to the letter. Discrepancies with quality management system (as it pertains to manufacturing standards) audits and material certifications also come into play here. Glock, HK, and Remington are excellent historical examples of this.

Not all companies are immediately ready or even willing to provide full traceability with a given product, which hampers off the shelf purchasing and typically precludes participation in a solicitation. Obviously, there are off the shelf accounts, but they are not usually used for this kind of wide scale purchase.

While seemingly over-involved, the process of problem recognition -> RFI -> RFQ ~+ Sampling allows for non-major firms to compete on what is supposed to be (but isn't) a level playing field (ideally preventing monopoly, and thus lowering cost) while assuring BigGov that their sustainment, purchasing, and quality protocols are met.

I hope I've answered your question, it's a big subject
 
Old 06-02-2017, 09:58 PM   #16
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when all you have for enemies is goatherds with junk old enfields or Ak's, no training, no practice ammo, just how far away do you imagine you'll have to be able to hit? certainly no further than a typical AR can manage, given a scope, trigger job and quality ammo (ie, 500 yds) In actuality, 99% of the time, 100m would suffice. Those goathers have no idea about ballistics, lead, wind, mirage, etc. They just fire and hope that they hit you in the head or legs, cause you're armored.
 
Old 06-04-2017, 02:18 PM   #17
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Melvin, thinking that everyone's skills are as bad as yours, could get you dead in a very short time if the balloon ever went up. Marksmanship is a perishable skill
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
when all you have for enemies is goatherds with junk old enfields or Ak's, no training, no practice ammo, just how far away do you imagine you'll have to be able to hit? certainly no further than a typical AR can manage, given a scope, trigger job and quality ammo (ie, 500 yds) In actuality, 99% of the time, 100m would suffice. Those goathers have no idea about ballistics, lead, wind, mirage, etc. They just fire and hope that they hit you in the head or legs, cause you're armored.
Those "goat herder's" have managed to kill or wound a Hell of a lot of our guy's. They have training camps, not a training regimen like the U.S., but they train. A friend of my Son-in-Law's, a 10st Airmobile Trooper, took a hit in the neck from a Dragunov 7.62X54 at what was in excess of 800 yards. He can tell you that they train their sniper's in the same way ours are trained.
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