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Section infantry weapons

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 01 Feb 2019, 19:55

Little J wrote:Isn't it a new bullet design (not the one in the SPC)?
Yes, and as it says in the PPON it is the projectile (what comes out) not a round (that is put in) that is "a given"
- well tested by now (ballistics side of things)
- but leaves it to the manufacturers to decide on the "packaging" and the best way to feed the rounds in (which is what I have called reverse engineering, with weight of gun, its overall size... lots of parameters that have traditionally been fixed (=max'ed or capped) to play with, to bring in some innovation... and get the best result

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Feb 2019, 06:54

leaves it to the manufacturers to decide on the "packaging" and the best way to feed the rounds in


Just to clarify. Though it is not excluded, the true "caseless" alternative is unlikely to emerge, as per https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/201 ... tification
- but who knows what technology can offer, this much later!

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Feb 2019, 07:13

When the company was still transcribed Dektaryev (WW2) they produced quality firearms.

Now there has been a modification https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/201 ... 2BTrending that could be a solution to the biggest problem with the new (prescribed, ie. mandatory) US projectile: its recoil
- that would be funny... paying a license fee to Russia, for GI Joe's best friend
- though the development is through a Russia/ Czech JV company... so pay to the NATO-country Czech Republic, and the JV will (in due course) pay out dividends :lol:

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Poiuytrewq » 02 Feb 2019, 15:17

ArmChairCivvy wrote:- well tested by now (ballistics side of things)
Do you have a link which shows the ballistic superiority of this new 6.8mm projectile vs the 6.5mm/7mm equivalents?

I would be interested to see the data.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Feb 2019, 15:26

I think I had linked (upthread) the terminal energy at 250/ 500/750/ 1000 mtrs for 556vs 680vs 762?
- it was an article with such a graphic
- I don't save these but rather use these pages as note paper (sharing and inviting further comments)

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Feb 2019, 16:18

Did not find the "final product" testing graphs, but here are some for the precursor, which I was talking about in the below quoted post
https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/201 ... s-program/
and when you look at them (relative to existing rounds) they are markedly better. And the ARDEC testing for theirs show better results still, so that's where the 6.8 came from (or was confirmed for commercialisation)
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Military.com has been talking to Textron, about how they got ahead of the curve, while ARDEC was still finessing the new 6.8 GP round
- with "ahead of the curve" I mean that the deadline for prototypes (for testing for the rest of the summer [of 2019]) is June

“We actually used three different bullet shapes and we scaled it,” said Paul Shipley, program manager for of Unmanned Systems. “We scaled 5.56mm up, we scaled 7.62mm down and took a low-drag shape and ran that between the two” to create the 125 grain 6.5mm bullet that’s slightly longer than the Army’s new 130 grain M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round.

Textron officials maintain that the new round retains more energy at 1,200 meters than the M80A1."

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Feb 2019, 08:21

Just to illustrate (also relates to the earlier post I quoted in the above post) where the projectile integration to the rest of "the offer(s)" lies as of now, or by the summer the latest, some Q from suppliers answered:

104. Question: The cartridge design will require a new cartridge with its own safety test requirements. Can 270WSM be used in the Bid Sample with the understanding that the cartridge and therefore the prototype, will change slightly?
Response: Yes. The bid sample is not required to be the final configuration. The proposal will need to discuss the changes between the bid sample and the proposed final configuration.
105. Question: Does LCAAP have a cartridge design developed (with safety report) which meets the government's requirements? Can I get POC information for LCAAP in the short term, to allow for early cartridge design?
Response: No, LCAAP does not have a cartridge designed for the 6.8mm projectile.
106. Question: Can I get an example safety report? Are there any agencies, government or private, that you could refer me to, who could assist in completing the required safety report?
Response: See MIL-STD-882E and DI-SAFT-80102C for guidelines on developing a SAR.
107. Question: Can we get enough surrogate projectiles to LAP, test, and provide with the Bid Sample?
Response: Surrogate projectiles for the Bid Sample will be the responsibility of the Offeror and will not be provided by the Government.

132. Question: Common cartridge performs the same for both systems but at different muzzle velocities? Why are the muzzle velocities different?
Response: The NGSW-R and NGSW-AR have different capabilities which will affect the muzzle velocity goal for each weapon. The NGSW-R and NGSW-AR have different roles within the squad which result in different desired capabilities.

151. Question: Why did the Government choose 6.8mm caliber instead of leaving it open?

10 [COPY/ PASTE changes the page numbering from 9, so what is shown on the screen has parts hidden. Any ambigous parts of answers may have been hidden? For later reference?]

Response: The 6.8mm caliber projectile cannot change. A 6.8mm caliber is large enough to achieve Government’s required outcomes whereas a 6.5mm caliber cannot.

AND FINALLY, one question brought about a refinement. Indicates that the PON/PPON is quite mature and thoroughly thought out:

110. Question: Prior to the first and second tests, I think that weighing error rates on functions that are sure to be improved during later phases may lead the government passing over what could be better weapons. Getting the geometries for feeding mechanisms and systems right is one example of a challenging and costly task in prototyping.
Response: Thank you. We will take this into consideration for the final NGSW PON
[One of the two weapons is required to be able to switch from belt feed to mags (used on the other one)]

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Feb 2019, 21:27

Well at least we can sit on the fence on this one and wait to see what the US Army ends up with for its money. Please don't let the MoD start a similar research programme under the Guise of what the MDP objective of being innovative.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 13 Apr 2019, 09:39

Over in the Warrior thread, There’s been a bit of discussion on shoulder launched AT and the comparison between reusable launchers like the CarlGustav and disposable weapons like the NLAW and ASM / Matador. It’s interesting, but probably belongs here more that there.

Personally I favour the disposables as they are simpler and, for a round and launcher, lighter. The CG wins out over more rounds (more than two for the ASM and more than one vs the NLAW), but that’s before anything other than iron sights or ammunition carriers. In the case of the NLAW, the disposable system is also much more capable*.
With disposable systems, every round of ammunition is usable, without a separate launcher, so you can disperse the capability across sections or fireteams.

*the NLAW has a much larger warhead (100mm+ vs <84mm) and has an Overfly Top Attack (OTA) capability. Compared with the Javelin profile, which goes up before diving down, the NLAW flies level and uses sensors to detonate the warhead as the missile flies over the target. The Swedish BILL missile does the same thing and is where the technology comes from.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Apr 2019, 10:10

mr.fred wrote:that’s before anything other than iron sights or ammunition carriers. In the case of the NLAW, the disposable system is also much more capable*.

I agree that this is the place (initially you suggested vehicle mounting to give a quick reaction capability, while the dismounts err, dismount (if that is practical).
- I agreed, but then somehow the discussion was directed to an either/ or vs. autocannon

RE; the quote, NLAW can also be effectively used in other than pitch-dark conditions with (e.g.) NLAW VV3X (Patria) nightsight
- under strict orders not to leave that part behind :D

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Apr 2019, 10:34

mr.fred wrote: NLAW has a much larger warhead (100mm+ vs <84mm) and has an Overfly Top Attack (OTA) capability


I tried to find a vid (they are on the web, but browsers are getting worse :?: ) to illustrate the downward firing charge (and function): "The oversized 150mm warhead combine with the OTA seeks to increase the effectiveness against main battle tanks. With a total weight of 12.5kg (27.5lb) and 1.02m length it is intended to be carried and used as a dispose after use weapon. NLAW was first fielded in 2009 and is now in service in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Switzerland"

Now that we have taken two steps fwrd, to move the discussion onto this thread, let me take one back, namely:
breach-loaded mortars are not of much use in anti-tank role, though against other targets they (e.g. AMOS/ NEMO) can work out to 1 km in direct fire mode
- whether it is possible to fire (with a low loading) an NLAW-like mortar bomb, before its own rocket motor igniting, is an interesting question
- e.g. the mentioned sensor (to detonate the charge at the right time) would have to withstand the higher g's that would go with such a method. The Ruskies (and Ukrainians, helping e.g. Cockerill) do launch missiles with much longer range through the tank cannon barrel... with a different purpose: to extend the engagement range

There is no right place for this one: perhaps supporting a single squad, pinned down, and a wheeled platform making it into close proximity fast enough and carrying enough varieties of rounds/ bombs for 'all occasions'
... while definitely not being a squad weapon

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Apr 2019, 13:20

I have little doubt that NLAW is a good weapon system, but there is also a place for the CG especially in tis light weight M4 guise. It is now as portable as the ever present RPG-7 and it family but has access to smarter and more varied ammunition types and it is here that the real usefulness of the Weapon system exists.

With its substantial weight loss the M4 CG has given he weapon a new lease of life and after he US Army Rangers had great success with its immediate predecessor the M3, the US Army is now considering making it general issue and the USMC plans to use it to replace its existing SMAW. IT has recently also been adopted by the Australian Army and many others are rediscovering the weapon.

The UK is falling back into its old ways by reducing the fire power of its infantry now we are basically back on a peace time footing with operations in the Middle East finally winding down (hopefully). The idea of reducing the load each soldier carries is a laudable objective, but how we configure the Infantry must not be based on the Last War manual.

We scrambled left and right to increase the range and weight of firepower the infantry were able to lay down, using UORs to obtain everything from modified M72s, to AT4s to 60mm Mortars and so on. The Army now has the NLAW and Matador, though there are quite a few comments on various blogs that the troops are not totally happy with the latter. To these we add Javelin which is the Infantry's hardest hitting weapon, but has been used as a very effective but expensive bunker buster in resent conflicts. Should we be looking at something that has a similar capability but cheaper?

Many nations have adopted the guidance kit to turn the air launched fin stabilised rocket into precision weapons, as a much cheaper alternative to AGMs and ATGMs Would it be possible to have a ground launched version, using the same laser seeker? There are many light weight MLRS systems out there mounted on 4x4s or even man packed. Surely it would be worth looking at and if one takes into account the number of warhead options the CVR-7 we use on the Apache has from HE to Flechette to smoke have a system able to be carried and launched by the Infantry would give them a weapon system with good range and accuracy, and negate the need to use expensive guided missiles in roles for which they have been pressed onto service. WE have limited stocks and in a high intensity conflict they are going to be needed for use against the threat they were designed for.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Apr 2019, 14:43

Lord Jim wrote:it would be worth looking at and if one takes into account the number of warhead options the CVR-7 we use on the Apache has from HE to Flechette to smoke have a system able to be carried and launched by the Infantry would give them a weapon system with good range and accuracy


We could have an Apache on four wheels, having the cannon as a suppression weapon and the guided rockets for launching from a bit further back, by infantry actually designating the targets (after calling the 'fires').
- jltv is easy to associate wit infantry
- with Shinkensi's air-mech the plan was to reduce Abrams weight (by trading down to a 105 mm gun, and then compensate for the firepower and range loss by attaching guided rockets to the sides of the turret)... that was a while :D back

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 13 Apr 2019, 16:53

70mm rockets like the CRV7 or 120mm launched munitions are hardly section weapons. Vehicle-mounted weapons are their own thing

The same applies, albeit to a lesser degree, to the CG. It may be able to fire lots of different natures, but each one needs it’s own round, which makes it more suited to a dedicated team at platoon, company or battalion level. Compared to a Javelin, it is short ranged, inaccurate and lacks the observation capability. It is very much cheaper, which is no bad thing.

Section firepower is an interesting topic, to which we should ask: what is firepower?
It it the effect you have on the enemy or the amount of ammunition you can convert into noise?
In terms of shoulder launched weapons. We’ve gone from the AT4 to NLAW, from something that might reach to 300m and might trouble an obsolescent MBT to something that will reach out to 600m and stands a good chance of killing a modern MBT. We’ve gone from M72 to Matador, again going from 200m to 400m and a substantial increase in explosive weight. That sounds like a firepower increase to me.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Apr 2019, 20:00

Agreed we are moving towards Platoon or even Company level kit here. Don't get me wrong the NLAW and Matador are improvements on what came before, but the sections are going to be down to just the L85s, one with a G/L and the DMR. Hopefully there will be some L7s at platoon level at that is where the CGs would fit in. The Javelins are spread about, and the suggestion I made was for a weapon system to do the job we have been using the Javelin for in Iraq and Afghanistan, name engaging buildings and other location occupied by the enemy, that would be cheaper to buy and use. Again it would be spread about the unit. We do still attach weapons teams to Sections I assume, or so they operate totally independently?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Apr 2019, 21:04

mr.fred wrote:Section firepower is an interesting topic, to which we should ask: what is firepower?
It it the effect you have on the enemy or the amount of ammunition you can convert into noise?


A good point, as we are now in April of 2019, the below attempted to give an answer:
"Reports that the British Army was firmly considering moving away from suppression in favour of precision in infantry fire-fights surfaced at a specialist Soldier Technology conference in London in early 2016 and at a Future Soldier Technology conference this spring more detail surfaced. One of the current underlying British Army’s mantras is ‘Fight Light’ and in this context casting some weapons types might make sense.



Both the 5.56mm L86A2, generally known as the Light Support Weapon, and the 5.56mm L110A3 Light Machine Gun, the FN Minimi, will be withdrawn from service at the end of the current fiscal year (i.e. by April 2019), along with the M6C-640 60mm mortar. It has been stated that to partially compensate for this reduction in firepower of the infantry section the number of 7.62mm L129A1 Sharpshooter rifles could be increased, but to date there is no sign of an order being placed for more of these, and it has also been hinted that the hand-held mortar will be replaced by another system currently under
evaluation." from 12 Aug 2018
UK News, joint-forces.com

As we have over 3000 of those rifles, assuming 1 per section would cover 21.000 front line infantry
- scale that with the A-stan numbers, of the total deployed (at peak) 3000 were frontline infantry. For the sniper's number two, for A-stan needs the MoD purchased 580 PLRF 15C’ Pocket laser Rangefinders from the Swiss company Vectronix in 2008.
- I presume that at normal section level there is no number two, but all optics used are attached to the weapon? Take the specialists away, and you can still kit out 2000 sections and have a good number in armouries. As the trained infantry numbers hover around 25k (add 10% on top, from Gurkhas in infantry roles... and not forgetting the RM) how many sections does that make?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Apr 2019, 18:24

Precision fire could almost be seen as harking back to the days of the L1A1 with the troops using carefully aimed semi-auto fire to engage the opposition. Now I know full auto with a 7.62 Battle Rifle was more like one shot on target the rest aimed at low flying aircraft, but precision fire can limit the frontage a given formation can supress to any extent. Now this may work in situation like Afghanistan but what happens when you are engaging an opponent who has a major numerical advantage backed up by their own suppressive fire capability.

I might not be explaining this well but I worry that the "Fight Light", mantra maybe one of those ideas that sound great in the class room but has little bearing on what happens in a firefight. Are we making the capabilities of the Infantry so taught that the number of casualties it can suffer before not being able to effectively control it frontage becomes too few.

It is amazing how many times people have tried to remove the 7.62 GPMG from the Infantry Section in many armies yet when a conflict erupts they seem to find their way back either officially or unofficially. I think a similar thing happened in the Falklands where stocks of old 7.62 LMGs (Brens) were emptied overnight.

If we are going to pursue this "Fight Light", doctrine an extensive series of very realistic exercises at least up to Company level need to be undertaken, investigating various load outs for the Infantry from Fire Team upwards, to identify the best compromise between fire power and mobility. This also needs to include their transport platforms and what additional stores these are to carry as well as examine the more sci fi unmanned platforms like those being trialled by the US Army.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 14 Apr 2019, 18:34

Lord Jim wrote: this may work in situation like Afghanistan but what happens when you are engaging an opponent who has a major numerical advantage backed up by their own suppressive fire capability.
Our Finnish friend here (can't remember which one as there seems to be two) gave some guidance on this aspect, how it has been considered (when I was quoting old numbers). Something like this:
Section 8 ->9
Platoon 30 ->45
BG 1500-1700 -> 2400

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Apr 2019, 20:04

Can you remember any further details. I seem to remember that the Finns had a quite a few PKs scattered around including one on a dedicated AA mount. IF we gave the L7s back to the Sections as a starting point I would be happier. They will already be carrying two types of ammunition so that argument is mute, and I doubt any soldier would begrudge carrying a belt of 7.62 in addition to his personal load if it meant they where bringing a L7 to the party. A well trained gunner on a L7 can put precision burst down range consistently but also has the ability, to increase his rate of fire to compensate for the movement of a fire team.

A few nations, Sweden amongst them, have gone on to develop lighter variants of the FN MAG by modifying their existing weapons, so for use to look at doing the same would be a fairly inexpensive route to take if needed and far cheaper then buying a new platform. Saying all that I think we have been over this ground before so will leave it there.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 14 Apr 2019, 21:44

Lord Jim wrote:Can you remember any further details.

Vaguely: the increased section size gives 3 three fire teams... 2 (!) with a PK in it.
- additionally about every third man has an AT weapon of some kind. At the section level mainly the 66 mm LAW-like weapons
- the above needs to have its ' strategic measurements' compared to NLAW (brackets) as the former is for dealing with IFVs and the latter with MBTs
Reach 300m (600m)
Penetration 300mm (500mm) - note OTA option for NLAW
Weight 3.3 kg (12.5 kg)... if you need to be dragging something like that around, I would give the bloke an AR (or RK for the Finns) with a folding stock so as to save him from constantly clobbering himself :)

The weight (comes with weight of fire, as a bonus) to me would suggest that this is for dismounts - not normal infantry. Jaeger units' dismounts enjoying protected mobility (but far from being AI - who do exist, but in small numbers. Can't be huge as IFVs i the country total 200 in all)

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Poiuytrewq » 15 Apr 2019, 13:33

ArmChairCivvy wrote:...the British Army was firmly considering moving away from suppression in favour of precision in infantry fire-fights...
A possible precursor to changing the 5.56 for something heavier both in terms of weight and recoil?

A good plan as long as you can see the enemy, optics etc would need to improve.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Apr 2019, 16:21

Poiuytrewq wrote:A possible precursor to changing the 5.56 for something heavier both in terms of weight and recoil?


With their current 5,56 ammo, the British Army think they have sufficient range until they need to change calibre due to NATO/US adopting a new one. They believe the current 5.56 ammo is capable of delivering precision fore out to 600m. Add to that the fire from the Section intended 7.62 DMR and that is the structure of the Section with regards to small arms.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby mr.fred » 15 Apr 2019, 20:08

Lord Jim wrote:Precision fire could almost be seen as harking back to the days of the L1A1 with the troops using carefully aimed semi-auto fire to engage the opposition.

But wasn't that also the time when the section machine gun was a belt-fed GPMG?
Given the battle drills featuring the Lee Enfield and Bren focussed on the Bren as a base of fire, why should the SLR/GPMG mix remove emphasis from the machine gun?
Lord Jim wrote:Now I know full auto with a 7.62 Battle Rifle was more like one shot on target the rest aimed at low flying aircraft, but precision fire can limit the frontage a given formation can supress to any extent.

Can it? Is it always the case, or only sometimes, or rarely? How do you define "suppression" and how do you measure it?
Lord Jim wrote:Now this may work in situation like Afghanistan but what happens when you are engaging an opponent who has a major numerical advantage backed up by their own suppressive fire capability.

That would seem to me to be the textbook situation for artillery rather than expect your section firepower to deal with it. Furthermore, if you measure suppression purely by weight of ammunition expended I fear that you may be missing something.
Lord Jim wrote:I might not be explaining this well but I worry that the "Fight Light", mantra maybe one of those ideas that sound great in the class room but has little bearing on what happens in a firefight. Are we making the capabilities of the Infantry so taught that the number of casualties it can suffer before not being able to effectively control it frontage becomes too few.

Where do the classroom instructors come from? How do you know that it isn't your ideas that seem sound in theory but are lacking in practice?
Lord Jim wrote:If we are going to pursue this "Fight Light", doctrine an extensive series of very realistic exercises at least up to Company level need to be undertaken, investigating various load outs for the Infantry from Fire Team upwards, to identify the best compromise between fire power and mobility. This also needs to include their transport platforms and what additional stores these are to carry as well as examine the more sci fi unmanned platforms like those being trialled by the US Army.

And you know that this sort of investigation has not occurred how?

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Poiuytrewq » 15 Apr 2019, 21:11

Lord Jim wrote:They believe the current 5.56 ammo is capable of delivering precision fore out to 600m.
Depends on your definition of precision. A 5.56 round over 300m in high wind is a lottery and even in windless conditions trying to maintain even 2 MOA at 600m is tough. The LSW makes life a bit easier with the longer barrel and bipod but really it's the 5.56 round that's running out of steam.

An intermediate 6.5mm or 7mm round would really help out to 600m and if high rates of fully automatic fire wasn't normally required then the concerns about excessive recoil and barrel heating would be less of an issue.

My comment about suitable optics I think is valid. Obviously if you can't see it you can't hit it but high magnification optics on fully automatic weapons leads to big trouble very quickly, especially in hot weather. Is the 4x ELCAN really the right choice for precision out 600m and beyond? Generally 1x magnification per 100m is a good rule of thumb so maybe an upgrade up to 6x would sensible whilst still maintaining a CQB sight for the close stuff. In low light conditions this would make a big difference to help make the first few rounds count.

Maybe the best time to make a fundamental change would be when the L85A3 finally bows out. Procuring another 5.56 weapon to replace the L85 would seem unwise but if an ammo change is in the pipeline will the US and the rest of NATO have made up their minds by the mid 2020's? Highly unlikely.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby RunningStrong » 15 Apr 2019, 21:23

Lord Jim wrote:They believe the current 5.56 ammo is capable of delivering precision fore out to 600m.

Nope. British army states a fire team can suppress at 600m, not an individual.


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