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Old September 12, 2017, 10:07 PM   #26
44 AMP
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Until there is some breakthrough in firearms technology that proves as capable and reliable (energy weapons, reliable caseless cartridge, etc.), the 5.56x45mm and AR are going nowhere.
While this is true, it leaves out a major factor.

COST.

Any replacement for the AR not only need to be as effective, it needs to be as cheap, or governments won't buy it. And, why should they???

Remember that there are two competing schools of thought when it comes to military weapons. One is "give our boys the best" and the other is "what ever does the job and is affordable/ cheapest"

Most of the time, the $ wins
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Old September 12, 2017, 11:30 PM   #27
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It depends whether you are talking current popular firearms, or
leading edge technology. The ARs are popular, and that's unlikely to
end soon, but leading edge tech is in bullpups. While there are some
nice bullpups here, now, personally, I want the designs to mature,
before choosing a new platform.
A popular part of ARs is their custom ability. You can purpose build them
for a variety of tasks, which is considerably harder, with proprietary brand
bullpups.
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Old September 12, 2017, 11:30 PM   #28
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Fixed that for you.
Thank you!! What the heck was I thinking with that wholly inadequate adjective the first time around!!

Quote:
One is "give our boys the best" and the other is "what ever does the job and is affordable/ cheapest"
Some probably say that the AR is both. I like it, but I'm not a fan-boy, yet I don't really know of something that would somehow do what the AR does any better.
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Old September 13, 2017, 12:06 AM   #29
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A person can put one of decent accuracy and quality together on the kitchen table.
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Old September 13, 2017, 12:22 AM   #30
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Wife got mad when I did kitchen table build last year so I moved it to a folding card table, LOL

AR's are going to be around longer than I will!
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Old September 13, 2017, 07:58 AM   #31
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While this is true, it leaves out a major factor.

COST.

Any replacement for the AR not only need to be as effective, it needs to be as cheap, or governments won't buy it. And, why should they???

Remember that there are two competing schools of thought when it comes to military weapons. One is "give our boys the best" and the other is "what ever does the job and is affordable/ cheapest"

Most of the time, the $ wins
Agreed. The second school of thought wins out because it is the correct one.

Quote:
The ARs are popular, and that's unlikely to
end soon, but leading edge tech is in bullpups.
If that's the case, why do we see many services converting from bullpups back to carbines of more traditional layout?

Ultimately, we're likely to see bullpups become an evolutionary dead-end. There just seem to be too many difficult-to-overcome compromises (ease of ambidextrous use, ergonomics, speed of reload, modularity, etc.). Perhaps I'll be proven wrong.
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Old September 13, 2017, 08:04 AM   #32
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Bullpups:
I can't bring myself to shoot a gun that puts the receiver under my face, no matter how safe they are in reality.
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Old September 13, 2017, 08:28 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Fishbed77
Ultimately, we're likely to see bullpups become an evolutionary dead-end. There just seem to be too many difficult-to-overcome compromises (ease of ambidextrous use, ergonomics, speed of reload, modularity, etc.). Perhaps I'll be proven wrong.
I admit to being intrigued by aspects of the israeli bullpup. Different balance and a potent cartridge in a short package both seem like advantages.

With all the money people spend on linear brakes and "blast diverters", I wonder how punishingly unpleasant it would be to fire a 5.56 with one's face that close to the muzzle.

The design also looks as if the barrel can't be free floated.


I agree that the AR in out market is to rifles what the 1911 was to pistols, the Remington 700 was to bolt action rifle builds or the Chevrolet small block was to automotive hobbyists. As a subjective matter, I also note that for me the government 20 inch barrel configurations are remarkably comfortable, handy and reasonably light items.
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Old September 13, 2017, 10:42 AM   #34
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A nice gentleman let me load and shoot his new muzzleloader a few months back. But I think they're just a passing fad.
I have 6 archery bows--same with them I afraid.
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Old September 13, 2017, 02:06 PM   #35
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Fishbed77 wrote:
And yet none of this research has yet led to a viable replacement.
Whether a replacement has been adopted has nothing to do with whether the existing M-16 is "state of the art". If the customers believed it WAS state of the art, they wouldn't be spending millions of dollars to come up with a replacement.
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Old September 13, 2017, 02:09 PM   #36
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turtlehead wrote:
A nice gentleman let me load and shoot his new muzzleloader a few months back. But I think they're just a passing fad.
Don't confuse obsolescence with caprice.

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Old September 13, 2017, 02:09 PM   #37
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When the government tells you it is...
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Old September 13, 2017, 02:11 PM   #38
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Fishbed77 wrote:
...why do we see many services converting from bullpups back to carbines of more traditional layout?
Do we?

Who? And under what circumstances.
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Old September 13, 2017, 02:34 PM   #39
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Classic ongoing Product Improvement Program, PIP.
As such, like cars and other hard goods where new technology is rolled into a model on a recurring basis, the AR will be here for probably longer than anyone reading this.
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Old September 13, 2017, 02:36 PM   #40
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Fishbed77 wrote:
There just seem to be too many difficult-to-overcome compromises (ease of ambidextrous use, ergonomics, speed of reload, modularity, etc.).
Back in the late 1970's and early 1980's, I did some of the engineering on a bullpup configuration rifle called the MA-10. The guy who had the idea ran out of money after only a couple prototypes were made.

Still, we solved the ambidextrous use issue by having the round ejected straight up and deflected by a reversible deflector assembly. A removable plug covered the ejection port on the unused side. The switch between right-side to left-side could be done by simply field stripping the rifle, removing the deflector, popping out the ejection port plug, reinserting the plug on the other side of the housing and reinstalling the deflector in an orientation reversed from how it was when removed. The only difficulty was getting the deflector molded in such a way that it consistently ejected the case and didn't just cause it to bounce back down into the action.

The other problems you identify can likewise be resolved by some clever engineers and procurement officials who aren't afraid of something that doesn't look the way they are used to it looking.
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Old September 13, 2017, 02:40 PM   #41
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I don't think the AR15 style rifle will be going anywhere even if the Army chooses to replace M4/M16 or whatever version of the M16 is being used now.
Nearly all weapons that are actually surplus, or styled after military weapons, are still popular years after their adopting military entity has abandoned them.

AR style rifles will still be around... heck, I've seen rifles out of New York or California that are required to have a suitcase for a stock and people still buy them.
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Old September 13, 2017, 03:14 PM   #42
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Agreed. The second school of thought wins out because it is the correct one.
This.

There are better rifles, but they all cost multiples of what the government pays for an M16/M4. Added to this, the manufacturing infrastructure in place to support military (and civilian) use of the AR platform and the 5.56 cartridge is, near as makes no difference, equivalent to our cars having gas stations on every corner.

The total cost of replacing the rifle would be massive in much the same way that replacing gasoline and diesel-powered cars and associated pumps with electronic vehicles and charging stations would be massive. Even if you wanted to do it, consider the cascade effect of everything which would have to be scrapped and then rebuilt differently.

This is one of the reasons the 1911 remained in use for so long. Simply put, we had a lot of them as well as the capability to service them. The trials for a then-new service pistol didn't make any financial sense until it was determined that replacing the existing stock of serviceable 1911's and associated spare parts was the more expensive option.

I think the cartridge is pretty safe, too. Sure, there are better calibers, depending on the intended use, but the actual projectiles keep improving to compensate for shortcomings and, again, we've got depots filled to the roof with 5.56. They won't just throw that stuff away as they would with, say, an aged fighter or bomber, or something equally dependent upon being on the cutting edge of technology with the only alternative being obsolescence. It's a small arm and it does its job.
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Old September 14, 2017, 07:45 AM   #43
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A bit over 150 years ago the Army adopted the Trapdoor Springfield in 50-70. They're still around. I was just playing with mine yesterday.

There are a lot more ARs out there then Trapdoors so I'm thinking the AR would be around at least as long, so you can probably assume the ARs will be around at least another 150 years.

I dont know how long you plan on hanging around this big old rock, but I'm guessing the ARs will out last any of us setting here on The Firing Line.
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Old September 14, 2017, 07:56 AM   #44
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IMO, 10-20 years.

The military accepts the AR15 in 5.56 as capable and lightweight. Current modifications are mostly ergos and optics. Right now, most energy seems directed at making the soldier better with the rifle and away from making the rifle better.

In a sense, I feel like they are waiting on ray guns or programmable projectile weapons or less than lethal advancements. Those will all be supplements like the BAR was to the M1.
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Old September 14, 2017, 01:53 PM   #45
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I'm e.g. referring to technologies that would render contemporary cased ammunition and thus the AR platform obsolete. I wouldn't care if the military switched to say .300 BLK since its still the same technology as such.
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Old September 14, 2017, 02:12 PM   #46
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I know it might be unpopular to say this but I frankly think they'll be banned long before they lose any real world effectiveness. Bullet and cartridge technology are so good right now across many rounds. The gun, in my mind, is a fairly mature technology that is more making small refinments in materials and some usability aspects than in any sort of revolutionary or transformative fashion. Mind you, body armor is an interesting technology but it is more a matter of unsavory types you might face using it to make this a consideration. Ultimately in the munitions vs. armor race, the former is almost always ahead, else tanks would be the supreme battle weapon.

What is in my mind certain isn't if but when there will be widescale prohibition. That and/or in conjunction with the death by a thousand cuts of no online ammo sales, taxing and rezoning every local gun shop out of business, licensing and permitting. At some point owning a gun becomes a hypothetical and no longer real world prospect.

Even with R's in all 3 branches of government, we still see states pushing for more controls such as oregon did.

Sorry, I love mine but it's only a matter of time before they are no longer legal. I've been and lived in other countries and that's how it always starts....get the fudds and others to agree to "common sense" laws and it cascades from there.

From a battlefield and military perspective, there is a massive revolution coming in unarmed/drone-based warfare which we've been slow to embrace in some ways but it is inevitable. It will happen most vividly with aircraft but robots will be implemented in other roles too. Even putin understands that AI and its applications will rule the roost having made note of this in a big speech lately. So in that sense the common soldier with a firearm seems like something that will be of diminishing importance. Weaponizing drones isn't some apocylptic scenario as ISIS has already done that in the ME. How long before we see it stateside?

Last edited by ARqueen15; September 14, 2017 at 02:18 PM.
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Old September 15, 2017, 10:40 AM   #47
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Who? And under what circumstances.
France (who is replacing the FAMAS with the HK416) and New Zealand (who is replacing the AUG with the LMT MARS-L) are two recent examples.


.

Last edited by Fishbed77; September 15, 2017 at 10:48 AM.
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Old September 16, 2017, 09:08 PM   #48
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I have forty of them, they will be around until I croak.
Kraigwy, My trapdoor carbine (1885) hangs over the fireplace when I am not shooting it so I can attest to it's longevity.
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Old September 16, 2017, 09:57 PM   #49
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I have forty of them, they will be around until I croak.
I thought I was a sicko--but you have me beat. I tip my hat to you.
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Old September 18, 2017, 08:55 AM   #50
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I'd like to hear your assessment on how long ARs and .223 are going to be state of the art.
I don't look at any AR as "state of the art". To me a state-of-the-art 5.56 rifle would be a Swiss made Sig SG 550. Runner up might be an FN SCAR-16. American made AR's are the most common type of piece-together firearm out there. While some are excellent builds and make fine rifles, I wouldn't describe them as state of the art. However, I do believe they will be the civilian rifle of choice for many many years to come.
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