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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

Stimulated by strong tea, early morning pre-journey jitters and this article: NZDF To Replace Steyr AUG - The Firearm Blog

If you were equipping a moderately sized military, what small arms would you choose, all things political and dependent financial being disregarded?

Stick to off-the-shelf items currently on the military market. (OK that gives a heck of a bias to the Armalite style rifle/carbine. Let's stick to small arms as well, knowledge of light artillery is generally limited and mine's outdated. Heavy Machine Gun at the upper limit. Armored vehicles are a different topic.

Geoff
Who will follow with an opinion...as soon as my wife gives permission to have one. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After some 38 years of thinking about the topic, ever since I participated in a user survey at MAASTERS before the adoption of the M-9 pistol by the US Army, I submit the following.

Pistol, every military needs some, for dressing Flag officers and giving pilots something to hang on to on the way to their aircraft.

S&W Shield 9mm. Universal ammo availability. Compact size. Lightweight. Can be the pistol you always have. Cross reference recent deaths in Afghanistan.

Carbine: The all others arm for support troops, ships crews, et al. Tavor CTAR-21 with the Mepro 21 battery free sight. Uses STANAG magazine.

Infantry Rifle: Beretta ARX-160 adaptable weapons system. Has the full range of sight options. I choose the ACOG as the base and add NV Optics as required. With the Grenade launcher one per section and the Autorifle Upper barrel option for the Squad Auto Rifle role and the Marksman upper with a variable power scope.

LMG: FN Minimi It is the most developed LMG firing the 5.56. The Mk 46 Mod 1 US Navy version seems the current preferred version, stripped and lightened.

MMG: FN MAG, 7.62 NATO usually vehicle mounted or tripod mounted it can be used semi-portable.

HMG: FN M3M .50 Cal. with the Variable rate of fire option. This has fixed head space and timing an annoyance with the M2. A rate of fire up to 1100 RPM.

Geoff
Who notes there are more liberal items out there, but hey, tradition!
 

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I Am Wary...

...of any bullpup rifle that has not addressed the issue of throwing hot brass into the face of the user when the rifle is shifted to the non-dominant shoulder. I have been told - by someone who was there - that this was an issue that affected street-patrol tactics when British troops used the SA80 or one of its variants in Northern Ireland.
 

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To me, the most proven "next gen" traditional style infantry rifle out there is the FN-SCAR.

The TAVOR is the most promising bullpup if that's what you like.

For a handgun, the Glock just makes a lot of sense for a military. They're cheap, reliable, and uber-easy to fix.

If you want a 5.56 Squad auto, the FN 249 makes the most sense, it's by far the most proven out there.

These days, the newly re-developed M-60 from US Ordnance is now what I consider the best GPMG in the world; they really have made it what it was intended to be.

I'm surprised their RFP is only 8,800 rifles; that's not a lot of rifles even for a small military.
 

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To me, the most proven "next gen" traditional style infantry rifle out there is the FN-SCAR.

The TAVOR is the most promising bullpup if that's what you like.

For a handgun, the Glock just makes a lot of sense for a military. They're cheap, reliable, and uber-easy to fix.

If you want a 5.56 Squad auto, the FN 249 makes the most sense, it's by far the most proven out there.

These days, the newly re-developed M-60 from US Ordnance is now what I consider the best GPMG in the world; they really have made it what it was intended to be.

I'm surprised their RFP is only 8,800 rifles; that's not a lot of rifles even for a small military.
Kevin, I agree with you on the Glock. Even though it doesn't trip my trigger, experience has proven to me that they are easily maintained, take tons of abuse and are boringly reliable. I would insist on steel sights though.

Right with you on the M-249 and M-60.

The Tavor I have only held and dry fired. Really lousy trigger on the specimen I had my hands on. Other than that...
 

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My 2 cents:

Handgun: 1911 GM or clone.
MBR: M-14E1 or clone
Shotgun: Remington Model 870R
SMG: Latest version of the Swedish K
LMG: XM-60 in 7.62x51 NATO
HMG: "Ma Deuce" of course!

just my OPINION, sw
 

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The Glock is also, relatively, "disposable." Problem is, it doesn't fit everybody's hand necessarily--with a 1911 early on in my shooting career to hit center-mass I had to use an Offset Aimpoint in the target's crotch, but the ONE Glock COM-area hit I've scored the OA was between the KNEES. Even then, things didn't feel quite right in my arm doing it... it didn't have quite the same lock-up in the bones and musculature as Old Ugly gives me.

I'm not sure about specific instruments, but my gut says you want to keep ammo supply and if possible even mags shared between weps as much as possible, so...

-Pistol and SMG should share a round, whether 9mm NATO or .45ACP
-Carbine/Light MBR/Light DMR and LMG should similarly share in 5.56 NATO
-Med DMR, Heavy MBR and MMG 7.62 NATO
-Anti-Materiel/Long Range Rifle and HMG are .50BMG

I can see why Charlie chose the ARX--it's got a LOT of commonality, which simplifies things for the Supply troops, as well as for field fixes: if your ARX SAW lower breaks and somebody's in no shape to fire their MBR, grab it and swap uppers and you're back in the fight. I differentiate between "Light" and "Med/Hvy" in MBR's and DMR's mainly in recognition that there are some environments where the 5.56 is better while others 7.62 has the edge.
 

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The Tavor I have only held and dry fired. Really lousy trigger on the specimen I had my hands on. Other than that...
That's the linkage inherent with a Bullpup. I've yet to fire ANY bullpup with a decent trigger. There was this Israeli company that did a very slick bullpup conversion of the M1 Carbine called HEZI. I fired one back in 2005 and the trigger was acceptable in that while it was heavy (probably 6-8 lbs) it was at least fairly crisp after a very short take up.

It was a very impressive conversion, they really thought it out well. Still not really my cup of tea (I find very little wrong with the M1 Carbine as they are), but it was a very well thought out and executed piece of work.
 

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I've fondled, but not fired, the Tavor. It's surprisingly heavy and could double as a chock for a tank.

HK G36/416 for carbine.

I've also fondled, but not fired, the SCAR. I'm not impressed. The FAL isn't that bad a choice for full size MBR, but climbing into a sling seriously affects the POI. Possibly a G3 with longer barrel.
 

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William R. Moore,

How do you rate the FAL to the M-14? ====> Maybe I like the M-14 better because I've shot it more???

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The FAL was not very reliable in 7.62, especially when used Full Auto.

The weight was considerable.

The M-14 had problems in full auto as well and had some piston expansion problems when used for heavy semi-auto.

Now if you want 7.62 x 51..the FN 17 comes to mind. FN SCAR - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geoff
Who knows there are advantages and disadvantages.
 

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Been decades since I've shot either. The M14 wasn't in service long enough for product development to take place, which might improve it's standing. There's a chassis system out there now that stabilizes the action much better than the original stock. Simply looking at service and adoption, the FAL wins hands down. At one time, 90+ countries issued it in some form.

This isn't to say it (FAL) didn't/doesn't have its quirks. The sling thing being one of them. Climbing into a tight sling dropped POI for me over a foot at 100 meters. Does have the op handle on the correct side, lacks a way to force the bolt forward....although doing that sometimes isn't a good thing.

Actually, FN does have an interesting rifle that's not part of the SCAR system. I don't recall what they call it, but it's basically a semi infantry rifle. I'd use the stock from the DMR version. They can keep the sensor system that decides between open/closed bolt in a drawer somewhere (if I'm not confusing features between models). More crap to potentially go wrong.

The post above notes some reasons to like the G3, which is still in service in a number of countries. Oddly including Iran, where the army seems to still have the G3 (the Shah bought a license to produce them) and the revolutionary guards the AK.

Full auto versions of 7.62 x 51mm MBRs were always really bad ideas. Even in the M14E2 version which was supposed to be the modern BAR.
 

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William R. Moore,

I've fired the M-14E1 a great deal & very much liked it. Otoh, I've shot the Canadian version (the C1) of the FAL little.

NOT really surprisingly, as a Garand-aholic, I truly LIKE the BM59*2 SA "Nigerian" version & wonder why it was NOT ever US-issue.
(The RRAD engineering folks estimated that they could convert the Garands to BM59 configuration, for less than 60.oo each.)

yours, sw
 

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OK, apparently FN dropped the updated SLR concept, the only rifles now showing on their FN Herstal website are part of the SCAR system and the P90. They've got two versions of a precision SLR for designated marksmen- the SCAR-H PR and SCAR-H TPR.

Apparently, there's no market for a simple SLR these days for general issue. Pity.

I'm fuzzy on the BM-59 particulars, but one of the objects of the XM-14 project was improving the gas system so it could vent excessive pressure. The Garand was/is entirely too sensitive to port pressure. I got to watch a great many folks in the
DCM program kick start their M1s when the op rod got bent.
 

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William R. Moore,

I know of NO Garands that ever had an op rod bent while using "in spec" .30-06 ball ammo OR firing 7.62x51NATO ball in the "Navy Garands" & the "Italian models".
Otoh, I know of NUMEROUS Garands that were damaged by "HOT handloads" that John C. Garand never expected for anyone to fire in his design.
(FYI, I know of a fellow who complained to CMP Customer Service about bending his op rod. - Turns out that he was shooting a handload that was EQUIVILENT TO the old .318 Westley Richards 250grain load at >2400FPS.)

IF a shooter wants to fire HOT loads OR bullets heavier than 162 grains, there is a "pressure-venting update" to the gas system that works well & it's CHEAP to buy & easy to install.

just my opinion/experience, sw
 

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The FAL was not very reliable in 7.62, especially when used Full Auto.
That's news to me…I've fired a few select fire FAL's in my time; never had a hint of a problem. But to be honest, I never really cranked off a whole lot on FA; I just consider .308 rifles on full auto pretty much worthless.

In semi auto, I've found the FAL to be very reliable and clearly head and shoulders above the G3 and M14 in pretty much every category.

I haven't had the chance to try the SCAR-17, but I hear it really is the chit!!!.

A cousin of mine was an armorer for the Marine Corps, and he got to talk to both Recon guys and SEAL's; both groups had a very high regard for the SCAR-17 according to him.

If I were in need of a 7.62 NATO main battle rifle, I'd go with the FAL just because parts are far more available for the FAL than the SCAR-17.
 

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William R. Moore,

How do you rate the FAL to the M-14? ====> Maybe I like the M-14 better because I've shot it more???

yours, sw
Well just consider that the FAL won in tests against the M14. The US then went back and rigged the tests so the M14 would win against the FAL. And remember that while we went with the M14 (which is a great rifle), the rest of the world went with the FAL; and the FAL was NOT cheaper.

The 3 major 7.62 NATO rifles are the FAL, M14, and G3. Both the FAL and G3 saw considerably more success in foreign sales than the M14. But honestly all 3 are good rifles that are very well proven.
 

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The post above notes some reasons to like the G3, which is still in service in a number of countries. Oddly including Iran, where the army seems to still have the G3 (the Shah bought a license to produce them) and the revolutionary guards the AK.
The G3 is a rifle that has absolutely no business being as good as it ended up being. It's the most over-engineered, complex STAMPED receiver known to man. The operating system is just crazy, but they made the sucker work, and it really works well in the Middle East. The delayed roller locking system came back in the 1930's when Hitler told the design bureaus to abandon gas operation and only pursue recoil operation (another genius move by Hitler into a subject he knew nothing about). Being Germans, they figured out how to make a recoil operated rifle that really works; crazy.

Pluses -
Easy to maintain (in the field, not so easy for armorers). Modularity and lots of accessories available from H&K. Stocks, grips, forends, bipods, scope mounts (claw mount is slick), etc. If you don't like your G3, there are lots of ways to change it.

Minuses -
Ergonomically it's really not all that great. The distance from the pistol grip to the sights is rather high and that just feels awkward compared to other rifles. The magazine catch is conveniently located…said no one ever!! The upgrade to put the AK style catch is a good idea. The push pins to hold in the forearm and the buttstock are a bad idea for an infantry rifle; just begging to get lost. Along with being a very complex stamping, the receiver is really long, meaning the G3's only had a 16" barrel, yet were only a couple inches shorter overall as a FAL or M14. Sights can only be adjusted by the use of a horribly complex sight adjustment tool.

For civilians, the other minus is that the G3 system is abusive to brass.

But at the end of the day, the thing is very reliable in all sorts of conditions, and it's not an especially complex rifle to understand.
 

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Is it correct to note that the M14 is, like the BM59, basically a detachable-magazine-fed, select-fire, rechambered Garand? If so, that's probably what the Home Team saw in it.
 

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Is it correct to note that the M14 is, like the BM59, basically a detachable-magazine-fed, select-fire, rechambered Garand? If so, that's probably what the Home Team saw in it.
Yes sort of ... with some minor improvements. IMHO the full auto on the military's M-14 was a mistake since not many soldiers could control it very well. The civie M1A version is, however, pretty darn close to perfection.
 
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