Thoughts on Service Weapons


Another day of Doctors  sawing bones ,and leech treatments today.   But thankfully Mack, has written a guest post for today on his idea on US service  rifles. Some of you will recognize Mack as he was a regular commentor at weaponsman and here.  I have invited him to be a regular guest for our site and therefore giving me more chance to be lazy.




The A-7F StrikeFighter II was a multi role carrier capable high sub-sonic war plane that was relatively cheap that worked and was flown in some variant by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. After the First Gulf War, it was ingloriously sent to the bone yard in Arizona. The A-7F was everything the F-35 wants to be but better and cheaper. The F-35 project is about like the damn M-17/ P320. This is what I am afraid will happen with the Army trying to adopt a new 7.62 platform.

First off, all the Camp Perry and M-14 fanboys can chill in that the solicitation as currently available to the public is for new DMR platforms only. So no, Cletus, the Army is not giving every soldier a 7.62 battle rifle. Sorry about it, go put another coat of varnish on your M1A.

I will not dispute issues of lethality with the M-4/ 5.56; however, I will proudly stand by the rifle and the round when used with effective ammunition at realistic ranges. Whatever genius in the ordnance corps thought the M855 was a good man stopper out of a carbine, is probably the grandson of the fella that thought the AEF shouldn’t use a Lewis gun.

Iraq for the most part was an urban war. Afghanistan was fought in the valleys and the mountains. For the most part, the M-4 did okay in both of these. However, a good case can be made in Afghanistan particularly, that the American soldier or Marine could have been better served by more 7.62 rifle, key word rifle, platforms. However, this in my opinion, is specific to the war in Afghanistan. Begrudgingly, I will admit, the Marine Corp seems to be on the right track with the M-27. That gives more fire power and accuracy to the individual fire team. I believe something like the Navy’s Mk 13 issued to the fire team level is what the Army should go with. However, since it is both a Navy specific platform and not new, I highly doubt the Department of the Army will go with it because it makes too much sense.

There are undoubtedly times when a 7.62 is needed, but with apologies to MG Scales, the United States Army is not being outranged in Afghanistan by illiterate goat farmers with Mosin Nagants. For whatever reason, the US Army is infatuated with the myth of SGT York stopping the Germans with accurate rifle fire at 1000 yards. That is all well and good, but the damn training doesn’t even live up to that myth, much less the equipment. The US Army would be better served to half the amount of don’t drive drunk and don’t sexually harass power points in favor of more realistic range time that isn’t done on a square range shooting at paper targets.

And of course, after great fan fare, the request for a new 7.62mm platform was quietly dropped. And now the Army is looking for a new sub gun. Which makes sense to an extent. But not really.

If I were allowed to select the Army’s new crop of personal weapons, we would see a Glock 19 as a sidearm. And multiple uppers for the M-4. A .300 BLK for PDW/suppressed awesome, the standard M-4 style 5.56mm upper, and a heavy barreled SDM platform. Modularity for days.

If the U.S. military could supply six calibers to far flung fronts across the world in World War II, they can certainly bear the burden of supplying .300 BLK to the guys in the Sandbox.


  1. The requirement issued for the new service pistol was written for the Sig 320…i like the 320, the full sized gun is pretty nice, the compact does nothing for me. The G-19 should have been the choice though, simple, cheap, maintainable and on and on…Politics and money make the decisions now, not that they weren’t always factors but sheesh.

    The F-35 is a huge underperforming money pit, again politics and money. Look at the ‘50s and ‘60s we had specific aircraft for specific missions, probably twenty or thirty types in service, some being phased in and some being phased out for something better, some left over from the last war. Then came the one plane to do everything bullshit culminating in the F-18 which replaced the 14-not as fast, the A-6 & A-7 not as good a bomber, hell it does everything just not as good as the stuff it replaced. Litoral combat ships…it goes on and on-and doesn’t get better.

    • I dig the modularity of the 320, I really do. But outside of a few SOF units, that won’t trickle down to the individual Joe or Jane. And the SOF units who can use it to their full advantage already carry pretty much what ever they want.

      I’d have gone with a Glock 19 for everybody. Or the M-11A1 which already has support in place. But I got out with bars and not stars.

      I truly hope Robert Strange is burning in hell.

  2. Flashing back to the Weaponsman days, Kirk always made the point that if your guys are regularly using their assault rifles to engage enemies 500+ yards away, then your entire military is just doing it wrong. Ours is a first world military with first world artillery and air support. If our ROEs don’t allow artillery/air support for your guys when engagements start at those distances, then it’s the ROEs that are designed wrong, not the assault rifle.

    That made a lot of sense to me once he made the point, and it wasn’t a perspective I’d considered before. He also blamed NFA ’34 for the US military’s cult of the rifle. Since we all grow up on rifles, not on other military hardware, we tend to think rifles are the solution to whatever problem, instead of really thinking through what tools like machine guns and artillery can do for us. That one hit pretty close to home.

    -John M.


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