Army goes for new lighter machine gun
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Army goes for new lighter machine gun


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Old 05-31-2015, 11:39 PM   #1
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Default Army goes for new lighter machine gun

Home page Firearms Talk has an article about the Army has developed a new lighter machine gun shooting a larger bullet, in a polymer case.
I wonder if it is all sorted out?
Polymer cases have always had a lot of problems, in particular another design or caseless ammunition.
Cookoff was one.
A plastic case melted, in the chamber?
It went through a lot of rounds though.


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Old 06-01-2015, 01:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinbucket View Post
Home page Firearms Talk has an article about the Army has developed a new lighter machine gun shooting a larger bullet, in a polymer case.
I wonder if it is all sorted out?
Polymer cases have always had a lot of problems, in particular another design or caseless ammunition.
Cookoff was one.
A plastic case melted, in the chamber?
It went through a lot of rounds though.
Polymer cases are a step backwards. We developed caseless ammunition decades ago. Cookoff is a problem with any automatic firearm. Brass casings can absorb some of the heat from the chamber, but if you let a brass cased round sit in a hot chamber too long it will light off, too.

In any event, caseless cartridges using propellants with high ignition temperatures actually have less of a cookoff problem than brass cased ammunition. However, they still can and do cookoff.

The biggest problems with caseless cartridges have been chamber obturation for firing, feeding, and preventing degradation of the propellant from moisture, chemicals, and UV.

The HK G11's mechanism was complicated by the requirement for an extremely high burst rate of fire, something like 2200RPM, that was borne out of a requirement for a rather silly improved hit capability. For infantry, appropriate optics and training do far more to improve first round hit than high firing rates.

High firing rates mean something more in the context of weapon systems mounted to vehicles moving at high velocity, typically aircraft.

LSAT is about giving individual infantrymen more rounds per man than current technology allows for. The thinking is that if our infantrymen can carry double or triple what our enemies can carry, then our guys can sustain themselves longer in a firefight than our enemies. The low cost, lethality, and prevalence of high explosives on modern battlefields largely makes better small arms technology a moo point, like the opinion of a cow.

Small arms, bullets of all kinds really, aren't responsible for the majority of casualties on modern battlefields whereas weapons that use high explosives are. In any event, better small arms technology is still better. Any advantage we can give our soldiers should be actively pursued.


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Old 06-01-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
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only problem I have with this, is if ALL ammo goes to being polymer, their goes our ability to reload. It might become only a RICH MANS hobby when you start talking 2 bucks or more PER round!
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:43 PM   #4
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Technology moves on.

Remember, WD-40 was the 40th formulation of the product. (39 failures before they got it right)

I seriously doubt this particular weapon or round will be adopted "as is."

However, it's a step in the direction technology is moving.

I'll bet the next LMG will fire a round similar to the 5.7 FNH with a .17, or possibly .14 caliber bullet at ~4000FPS+ with a waterproof paper case that burns up during firing. Perhaps with a smoothbore ceramic barrel.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:21 PM   #5
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People are getting weaker and easier to kill.

Remember WWII? BAR 20 lbs or so unloaded. 12 loaded magazines (minimum) + his basic pack/kit.

Ammo .30-06 150 gr bullet @ 2800 fps 2600 ft/lbs of energy (Each!)

Our main enemy armed with 7.92 X 57 (8mm Mauser) ammo

197 gr bullet @ 2500 fps 2900 ft/lbs of energy ( I guess our enemies required less energy to kill than the average American GI.

Now we use the M-855 cartridge w/62 gr bullet at 3100 fps 1300 ft/lbs of energy. It now takes less than half the energy to kill a combatant. Wimpier soldiers?

Weight has become an over riding consideration. Weaker soldiers?

Oh, but it is so they can carry more ammo! Marksmanship has gotten worse? Resupply is now much easier with the advent of the helicopter.

They are considering even lighter weapons and ammo so the weaker soldiers of the future can keep up and the really bad shooters can participate?

All in jest of course
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinbucket View Post
Home page Firearms Talk has an article about the Army has developed a new lighter machine gun shooting a larger bullet, in a polymer case.
I re-reread the article. It's still a 5.56 mm bullet.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:38 PM   #7
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It now takes less than half the energy to kill a combatant. Wimpier soldiers?
A wounded man takes two out of the fight.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:06 AM   #8
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http://www.firearmstalk.com/The-Army-goes-for-a-lighter-machine-gun-and-you-wont-believe-what-it-shoots-Firearms-Talk.html
Is this what you were referring to? Looks to me like shotgun shells. They can probably make them re-loadable if they wanted to. I can foresee a bunch of jammed weapons while they are working out the kinks in the system. Of course, the demo models will all be almost perfect to get procurement...
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Old 06-07-2015, 03:49 AM   #9
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http://www.firearmstalk.com/The-Army-goes-for-a-lighter-machine-gun-and-you-wont-believe-what-it-shoots-Firearms-Talk.html
Is this what you were referring to? Looks to me like shotgun shells. They can probably make them re-loadable if they wanted to. I can foresee a bunch of jammed weapons while they are working out the kinks in the system. Of course, the demo models will all be almost perfect to get procurement...
The polymer encased telescoped cartridges that the current generation of LSAT uses are nothing like shotguns shells and probably can't be reloaded, either.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #10
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I really feel for the people who gotta support it: the supply sergeant, the armoror, and the motor sergeant.


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