Army goes for new lighter machine gun

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by tinbucket, May 31, 2015.

  1. tinbucket

    tinbucket Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    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.
     

  3. formerCav

    formerCav Member

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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!
     
  4. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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
     
  6. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I re-reread the article. It's still a 5.56 mm bullet.
     
  7. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A wounded man takes two out of the fight.
     
  8. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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  9. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The polymer encased telescoped cartridges that the current generation of LSAT uses are nothing like shotguns shells and probably can't be reloaded, either.
     
  10. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    I really feel for the people who gotta support it: the supply sergeant, the armoror, and the motor sergeant.
     
  11. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Anything that is truly new and next generation will not be much like what were using now. Its really gotta have fully disposable lightweight cartridges or it wont lower weight and multi-frame for multi application. Weight is a big concern for the next generation Service Member than this generation. The SM of the future will come with a National Stock Number just like the firearm incorporated into its design and until armor, power supplies and batteries become lighter, more powerful and less expensive, light will be very important.

    For those of you that say it wont happen, it has already in the private sector and more is coming. Surgeons are doing it robotic-ally and remotely now, Private Industry had lead the way for the military on this one but the military is playing catch up fast! Bots up front R&D costs are high but their long term value vs risk far exceeds humans that are not at all expendable. Bots dont get PTSD, do get readily available replacement parts and the people that are operating them get to go home and play with their kids at night, seems like a win/ win to me!
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    That assuming the enemy gives the first damn about their wounded combatants. When you personal goal is martyrdom, will the lack of medevac deter you from fighting?

    That presumption about taking "two out of the fight" applies only to fighting forces in developed, Judeo-Christian cultures.
     
  13. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is the future. Even the new Russian T-12 tank is being developed to eventually be unmanned. An unmanned version of the F35 is being developed.

    I remember 55 years ago when the "conventional wisdom" was that the 5.56 would never make it. Now everybody, including NATO, Russia and China has some version of it.

    Technology marches on. Those of us who dislike change just have to adapt.

    At least you don't have to sharpen "Light Sabres.":D
     
  14. fsted2a

    fsted2a Active Member

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    ..................
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
  15. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No but focusing them is a PITA.:rolleyes: