A Chronology of Development by Daniel E. Watters
Mexico imports 76 M4 Commando.
Brunei imports 50 ST Kinetics SAR-21 and 26 SAR-21 MMS.
Colombia exports three Micro Galil to Israel.
Croatia imports 185 HK G36 and nine G36C.
The Republic of Georgia acquires 4,000 Bushmaster M4A3.
Greece returns six each of M16 rifles and M4 carbines to the US.
Indonesia acquires 2,000 Pindad SS1-M and 150 SS2-V4.
Indonesia imports 210 Daewoo K2.
The Netherlands imports 300 FN Minimi.
Poland imports 368 HK 416.
Slovakia imports one HK G36A1, three G36KV, and two MG4.
Slovenia imports 1,700 FN F2000.
Turkey imports 10 M16.
Remington introduces the .17 Fireball. Similar to Vern O’Brien’s wildcat .17 Mach IV and Mach III from 40 years earlier, the cartridge is based on the .221 Fireball case necked down to .17 caliber.
Mexico imports 20 FN P90.
Poland imports seven FN P90.
Croatia imports 20 HK AG36.
New Zealand imports 10 M203PI.
Poland imports 120 HK AG416.
Beretta fields the GRX160 grenade launcher.
US Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) releases “Baseline Reliability and Dust Assessment for the M4, M16, and M249.” Testing indicates that the weapons perform significantly better when the bolt and bolt carrier are heavily lubricated. Out of the 60,000 rounds fired in each phase, the M4’s stoppages dropped from 9,836 with light lubrication to 678 with heavy lubrication. The M16A4 stoppages dropped from 2,124 with light lubrication to 507 with heavy lubrication.
NSWC-Crane awards a $73,500 delivery order to Colt for M4A1.
TACOM awards a $2,327,788.50 delivery order to Colt for 1,475 M4 and 454 M4A1. These are for the US Army and US Navy respectively.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $77,665,731.62 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber ammunition.
NSWC-Crane issues a solicitation for $2,511,250 to $46,900,000 worth of 5.56mm frangible ammunition.
NAVICP awards, then deallocates, $29,000 from a contract to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm cartridges. This is followed by the award of a $290,000 contract for the same.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 9,000 to 75,000 M249 Improved Bipods.
NSWC-Crane awards a $2,544 contract to Okay Industries for magazines.
NAVICP awards a $150,800 delivery order to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
NAVICP awards a $59,600 delivery order to Aimpoint for reflex sights.
On behalf of the US Army, Michael Heayn, Christopher M. Shaffer, Dean M. Mohamed, Kenneth R. Jones, and Richard Beckman receive US Patent #7,162,822 titled “Collapsible buttstock for firearm.”
ACA-Fort Riley issues a solicitation for 800 Wilson Combat Rear Flip-Up Sights – Model RS-WF.
USPFO for Pennsylvania awards a $3,259 contract to Owyhee Capital Corp. for M16A4 Slings.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 6,857 to 58,500 M16A4. The quantities are then changed to 15,998 to 136,500 M16A4.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Colt for 43,000 M4 and 2,010 M4A1.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 2,304 commercial 5.56mm Carbines with the same or equivalent operating characteristics and capabilities as the standard M4/M4A1. This includes a removable carrying handle, telescoping butt stock (minimum of four adjustable positions), and three round burst and/or full automatic firing modes. Each carbine shall be supplied with one sling, one blank firing adapter, and a minimum of one 30 round magazine. The carbine must be capable of accepting and firing all non-linked U.S standard 5.56mm ball (M193/M855), tracer (M196/M865), armor piercing (M995), and blank (M200) ammunition. A rail mounted back up iron sight and an adapter rail system (ARS) equivalent or identical to the M4 RAS shall be offered as options, one per weapon. In addition, the solicitation includes 13,824 thirty round magazines. The magazines shall be M16/AR-15 family compatible and be capable of disassembly without tools to allow cleaning. The magazines may be supplied with MOLLE type pouches and multiple magazine holders as options. The solicitation includes a 200 percent option on all of the items requested.
Colt’s Paul Hochstrate, Laurance Robbins, and Arthur F. Daigle file a patent application for a gas piston M4 with a monolithic upper receiver.
NAVICP awards a $9,999.78 contract to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm cartridges.
Representatives of HK and the Mexican National Defense Secretariat (Sedena), including General Alfredo Oropeza Garnicia, meet in Mexico City to discuss the issue of the FX-05’s design. After an exhibition and inspection of the rifle, HK representatives determine that the FX-05 is not a copy of the G36V. Construction of the FX-05 resumes.
India is scheduled to receive the first batch of 3,070 IWI Tavor rifles ordered for its Special Forces.
NSWC-Crane awards a $16,882 contract to Wilcox Industries for Aimpoint mounts.
The MCWL issues a solicitation for 50 M4/M16 bolt conversion kits, 14 M249 conversion kits, and 5.56mm marking cartridges (8,000 red – clipped, 28,000 blue – clipped, 3,200 red – linked, and 4,000 blue – linked). These are for the Combat Hunter Program.
MARCORSYSCOM‘s Infantry Weapons Systems (IWS), Optics and Non-lethal Systems (ONS) issues a sources-sought notice for a Individual Weapon Night Sight Image Intensified (IWNS I2). The IWNS I2 is an individual imaging device capable of acquiring targets at night with an 80 percent probability of recognition when used in conjunction with the RCO variants. The IWNS I2 shall be mounted on all versions of M16 and M4 series weapons equipped with integral MIL-STD-1913 rail systems.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 6,000 to 60,000 M249 Improved Collapsible Buttstocks.
ARDEC, on behalf of PM-Individual Weapons, issues a sources-sought notice for multiple sources/vendors capable of producing six commercial items that are components in the Close Quarters Battle Kit (CQB Kit) used with the M16 and M4. The kit will consist of the following items:
- M16/M4 Improved Cleaning Kit;
- Squad Designated Marksman (SDM) Bipod;
- Multiple Magazine Holder capable of holding two standard 30 round M16 magazines;
- Forward Rail Bracket (bottom-mounting rail configured to MIL-STD-1913);
- Bipod/Forward Grip; and
- Tactical Sling.
RDECOM issues a solicitation for 5,000 to 144,000 Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS). This will include Light Weapon Thermal Sights (LWTS), Medium Weapon Thermal Sights (MWTS), Heavy Weapon Thermal Sights (HWTS), associated spares, and associated Thermal Imaging Modules (TIM).
Aberdeen awards a $1,488,864 contract to D&H Industries Inc. for M16 magazines.
NAVICP awards a $46,729 delivery order to Trijicon for telescopic sights.
NAVICP awards a $54,288 delivery order to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
NAVICP awards a $25,200 delivery order to Surefire for flashlights.
ACA-Fort Carson issues a solicitation for 270 M4 and 272 M9 night sights.
ACA-Fort Riley awards a $78,000 contract to Wilson Combat for Rear Flip-Up Sights – Model RS-WF.
The XM320 CPD is approved.
HK‘s Wilhelm Fischbach and Robert Knöpfle receive US Patent #7,181,881 titled “Methods and apparatus to lock a dust cover in a firearm housing.”
The military specification for the M249 SAW, MIL-M70446A(AR), is revised to MIL-DTL-0070446B(AR).
TACOM cancels its February 2007 solicitation for commercial 5.56mm carbines.
The military specification for the M232 Dummy Cartridge, MIL-D-60254A(AR), is reinstated.
USAF Pacific Air Forces, 18th CONS – Kadena AB, on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 1st SFG, issues a solicitation for 84 HK 416 upper receiver kits with 10″ barrels, 84 sight sets, ten spare 10″ barrels, and related tools.
Jane’s announces that Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) has developed a new 5.56mm rifle, the PK-8. Fifty have been ordered for evaluation. The PK-8 is said to have “multiple parts commonality” with the HK G3, which is currently the Pakistani Army’s primary infantry rifle and produced under license by POF.
USPFO for Louisiana awards a $8,769 contract to Ranger Joe’s International for M16 replicas.
Picatinny awards a $1,792,700 contract modification to Grip Pod Systems for 18,200 forward grip/bipods.
TACOM awards a $200,221.80 delivery order to Polymer Technologies for 9,330 M249 100 Round Soft Pack Magazines.
USSOCOM issues a solicitation for 50 each of Aimpoint’s Micro T-1 and CompM4 sights.
MARCORSYSCOM Infantry Weapons Systems (IWS), Optics and Non-Lethal Systems (ONS) issues a sole-source solicitation to L-3 Communications EOTech for 4,200 EOTech 533.A6 Holographic Weapons Sights (HWS).
On behalf of Wilson Combat, Doug Olson files a patent application for single-piece, bridged extractor spring for improved bolt designs that use two extractor springs.
HK‘s Jürgen Gablowski and Wolfgang Bantle receive US Patent #7,191,557 titled “Firearms, grips for firearms, and methods for using the same.”
US Army Contracting Command Korea (USACCK) awards a $3,735 contract to Fire Force Tactical Gear for 300 M16 slings.
ACA-Fort Riley issues a solicitation for 15 each Fobus M16 Picatinny Rail Handguard Sets, Fobus M16 Ergonomic Forward Grips, and EOTech 552, along with other assorted gear. These are for Security Forces Training and Reaction Team use.
ACA-Fort Sill awards a $4,581 contract to Fire Force Tactical Gear for M16 Tactical Weapon Slings.
The Army awards HK a contract for the XM320.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 3,000 to 60,000 M203.
TACOM awards an $870,000 delivery order to Airtronic Services for 1,000 M203 grenade launchers for the USMC. Later, TACOM awards a $503,910 delivery order for 509 M203 for the US Army. Following that, a third delivery order worth $1,263,360 is awarded for 1,504 M203. These are for the USAF, NSWC-Crane, and FMS to Iraq.
ARDEC, on behalf of PM-Crew Served Weapons, issues a sources-sought notice for a NDI 40mm close-in antipersonnel cartridge that is compatible with the M203 Grenade Launcher. The cartridge must be fired quickly without precise aiming and have a high probability of producing casualties within the operational range.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) sends a letter to Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren asking the Army to hold a “free and open competition” before awarding sole-source contracts to Colt for nearly 500,000 M4 carbines. Coburn states that purchase of the M4 is based on requirements from the early 1990s, and that better, more reliable weapons exist that could give troops a more effective weapon.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Colt for M4 and M4A1.
TACOM awards a $50,775,744.74 delivery order to Colt for 39,420 M4 and 2,491 M4A1. These are for the USMC. Later, TACOM awards a $170,552.98 delivery order to Colt for 76 M4 and 70 M4A1. These are for the US Army and FMS to Colombia.
TACOM awards a $9,629,498 delivery order to FN Manufacturing for an undisclosed number of M16A4. TACOM also awards a separate $22,902,368.20 contract and $576,942.60 contract modification to FN Manufacturing for M16A4. These are for the USMC and FMS.
The Joint Contracting Command, Baghdad awards a $8,153,970 contract to MPRI for M16, M4, M203, and AK-47 refurbishment. The refurbishment process will take place in Iraq.
ACA-Fort Benning issues a solicitation for 400 cases of 5.56mm ammunition loaded with 77gr HPBT projectiles.
NSWC-Crane awards a $594,951 delivery order to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm Long-Range Ammunition.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $16,125 contract to Black Hills Ammunition for 43 cases of .233 Match Ammunition loaded with the 80 Grain Sierra MatchKing.
ACA-Fort Benning awards a $206,500 contract to Atlanta Arms & Ammo Inc. for .223 Match cartridges.
The Norwegian Defence Forces award a 100 million NOK ($16.7 million) contract to HK for 8,200 HK 416 rifles. Simultaneously, a 50 million NOK contract is awarded to Aimpoint for delivery of sighting systems for the new rifles. Oddly, the HK 416 was not one of the official service rifle finalists announced last year.
The Milestone C is approved for the M26 MASS for Low Rate Initial Production and Type Classification.
The GAO denies KAC‘s protest over the Army’s cancellation of its M4/M16 suppressor solicitation. The Army had concluded that out of 11 suppressors offered by eight companies, no technically acceptable proposals were received, and that significant revisions to the solicitation were needed.
NSWC-Crane awards a $56,000 contract to The Barrel Barn for 18″ 5.56mm barrels.
TACOM cancels its February 2007 solicitation for M249 Improved Collapsible Buttstocks.
PM-Crew Served Weapons issues a source-sought notice for up to 200,000 M240B/M249 Sling Assemblies.
NAVICP awards a $113,100 delivery order to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
RDECOM awards a $9,889,000 contract to Aimpoint for M68 3x Magnifiers with Laser Filter Units.
ACA-Fort Campbell issues a solicitation for 29 ELCAN Specter DR for use on the M249.
ACA-Fort Totten awards a $7,500 contract to Brigade Quartermasters, Ltd. for M16 Magazine Couplers.
The Fuze Development Center, Fuze Division, AETC, ARDEC issues a source-sought notice for final engineering development of the XM1158 40mm Proximity Fuze for the XM1112 ANLM cartridge. The latter is intended for use in the M203 Grenade Launcher. The ANLM delivers a non-lethal payload at a specified standoff distance from the target throughout the normal range of the weapon. Upon completion of the design, the fuze and ANLM cartridge will be assembled as a single finished product, packaged for delivery to the field.
USMC Regional Contracting Office – Northwest awards a $19,580 contract to R/M Equipment for M203 Grips.
Colt loses their appeal from the original Bushmaster case decision. Court costs are awarded to Bushmaster.
ATEC conducts what becomes known as Extreme Dust Test II on the M4 and M16A4. (The first test was the one reported upon in January.) The results indicate that out of 60,000 rounds fired, the M4 suffered only 307 stoppages. 148 of the stoppages were magazine related.
USMC Ground Board 1-07 notes the USMC‘s interest in the FN SCAR. The Ground Board recommends the following formal requirements for a future service rifle replacement: accuracy, modularity for the shooter and mission requirements, ergonomics, and balance. In addition, adoption of any service rifle round should be based on clearly defined terminal effects.
FN announces that the SCAR has performed well in the first phase of pre-delivery, LRIP acceptance testing by USSOCOM and NSWC-Crane. The first LRIP deliveries are expected take place over the next month with subsequent deliveries running through October 2007.
TACOM modifies its February 2007 solicitation for M16A4, adding M16A3 as well. TACOM also states that instead of being a “free and open” solicitation, it will now include a 30 percent Partial Small Business Setaside. The Government intends to make a single award against the non-setaside portion (with a guaranteed minimum quantity of 15,998 rifles), while two awards will be made against the setaside portion. Each Small Business awardee will receive a guaranteed minimum quantity of 3,428 rifles.
TACOM awards a $2,021,273.65 delivery order to Colt for 1,635 M4 and 95 M4A1. These are for the US Army, USAF, and FMS to Yemen and Japan. Later, TACOM awards a $475,934.50 delivery order to Colt for 336 M4 and 110 M4A1. These are for the USAF, INS, and FMS to Jamaica.
NSWC-Crane awards a $70,000 delivery order to Colt for M4A1.
Polytech Ammunition Company’s Sy Wiley, William E. Rembert, III, and Gary Loftin receive US Patent #7,213,519 titled “Composite polymer based cartridge case having an overmolded metal cup, polymer plug base assembly.”
CZ unveils its new CZ805 assault rifle at the IDET International Exhibition of Defence and Security Technologies.
HK‘s Ernst Wössner receives US Patent #7,219,463 titled “Methods and apparatus to secure a safety catch in a jammed position.”
HK‘s Martin Stussak and Thomas Kopf file an US patent application for the belt bag of the MG4.
USAF Air Education and Training Command, 37th Contracting Squadron, Lackland AFB issues a solicitation for 1,000 M16A2 Training Weapons (non-firing replicas). This is a brand name (or equal) requirement for the Olympic Arms Cobalt Trainer
USPFO for North Dakota awards a $9,495 contract to Law Enforcement Targets Inc. for M16 Training Rifles.
- Able to mount on a MIL-STD-1913 rail using an interface device;
- Have a fixed beam (threshold) or an adjustable beam (narrow to wide) (objective) that allows illumination of a 20x30x8 feet darkened room/enclosure;
- Have a facial recognition range of 20 meters (threshold), 25 meters (objective) inside a darkened room/enclosure;
- Maximum weight with batteries, mounting mechanism, and remote cable: 10 ounces (threshold), 6 ounces (objective);
- Be compatible and not interfere with appropriate day/night optics, aiming lights and with other weapon accessories;
- Have dual activation controls: An on/off switch which shall be located on the device housing and a wired remote control switch;
- A full-off control on the device housing which will prevent other activation controls from functioning;
- Operate on standard military or DOD approved, commercially available batteries;
- Acceptable battery performance with the light constantly on for 1 hour (threshold) or more. Degraded battery performance in extreme temperatures or with prolonged use of the light is acceptable (threshold); and
- Include a set of detachable lens covers. The lens covers shall be interchangeable and consist of red, blue, green, and dust cover (threshold). An IR capability is desired (objective).
USSOCOM issues a sources-sought notice for the development of a Multi-Function Aiming Device (MFAD). The MFAD will combine the following components into a single, integrated system: a day sight, IR laser pointer, IR illuminator, visible laser pointer, and white light flashlight. The MFAD must meet the following characteristics:
- Length not to exceed 5 inches (T), 2.5 inches (O);
- Width not to exceed 3.5 inches (T), 2 inches (O);
- Height not to exceed 4 inches (T), 2 inches (O);
- Weight not to exceed 15 oz. (T), 10 oz (O);
- Remain functional when immersed in sea water at a depth of 1 meter for 2 hours (T), 33 feet for 2 hours (O);
- Capable of being operated and stored under temperature conditions that range from:
- Minimum Temperature: -25 degrees F operational (T), -31 degrees F storage (T), -40 degrees F for both operational and storage (O);
- Maximum Temperature: 125 degrees F operational (T/O), 159 degrees F Storage (T/O);
- Operational Altitude: above 15,000 feet (T), 50,000 feet (O); and
- Operational in Humidity: 100 percent (T/O);
- Auto-adjusting brightness (T/O);
- Manual override for brightness of the sight (T/O);
- Aiming point with a 2 MOA dot (T/O) enclosed by a circle for quick acquisition;
- A 400 meter aiming point set for a 5.56 mm, 70 grain round from a 14.5 inch barrel (T/O);
- Power source of CR-123 batteries (T), new lightweight battery technology (O);
- Laser selector switch configured as follows:
- Off (T/O);
- Dual Low, visible laser (T/O);
- Dual High, visible laser (T/O); and
- Flood High, visible laser (T/O);
- Individual pressure pads for the IR and visible lasers (T/O); and
- Mount to a MIL-STD-1913 rail (T/O).
Approximately 2,300 to 10,000 MFAD are projected to be ordered.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Grip Pod Systems for 33,600 Rifle Bipods.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Best Made Designs for 42,000 to 126,000 Slings for the M4 and M16.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Thor Defense for 8,100 to 24,300 Multiple Magazine Holders.
TACOM awards a $407,740 delivery order to Polymer Technologies for 19,000 M249 100 Round Soft Pack Magazines.
Daniel Defense’s Marvin C. Daniel and Ashley A. Burnsed, Jr. file a patent application for their RIS II rail forearm.
Tango Down, LLC’s Jeffrey M. Cahill files a patent application for the pressure switch pocket of their MK46 vertical foregrip.
The DLA issues a solicitation for EOTech 552.A65.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Insight Technology for AN/PSQ-18A Day/Night Sights for the M203.
The XM320 I&KPT is completed.
HK‘s Jurgen Gablowski files an US patent application for a sight for the AG36.
USMC Commandant General James T. Conway signs MARADMIN 378/07. This officially changes weapon assignment policies within the USMC. Marine staff sergeants and up, along with second lieutenants through lieutenant colonels and chief warrant officers, will now be issued the M4 carbine instead of the M9 pistol. Sailors E-5 and below who are with Marine units will also be issued the M4. Marine privates through sergeants will continue be issued the M16A4. Assignment of automatic rifles will not change. Marines holding the rank of colonel and higher, along with Naval personnel E-6 and higher, will continue to be issued the M9.
The military specification for the M249 SAW, MIL-DTL-0070446B(AR), is amended.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $43,715,817.48 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm (DODIC A059), 7.62mm (DODIC A131), and .50 caliber (DODIC A557 and A576). Army Sustainment Command also deallocates $265,470.72 from another delivery order for the same.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $1,104,202 delivery order to ATK for 5.56mm production modernization upgrades.
NSWC-Crane awards a $754,236 delivery order to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm Long-Range Ammunition.
NSWC-Crane awards Federal Cartridge Co. a contract worth up to $19,500,000 for linked 5.56mm frangible ammunition.
Arrow Tech Associates publishes “Final Report of the Rifling Profile Push Test.” A study was conducted to assess the engraving force and the associated resistance pressure of the M855 projectile in an M16A2 barrel section.
Brunei adopts the Ultimax 100 to replace its M16-HBAR.
US Military Group-Colombia (USMILGP) awards a $5,442 contract to Ranger Joe’s International for M16 replicas.
Picatinny awards a $8,789.15 contract modification to Vertu Corp. for XM26 engineering changes. These are mostly to improve cold-weather performance.
Picatinny awards a $6,934,400 contract modification to Grip Pod Systems for 70,400 forward grip/bipods.
TACOM awards a $271,683.60 delivery order to Polymer Technologies for 12,660 M249 100 Round Soft Pack Magazines.
ACA-Fort Campbell awards a $37,546.59 contract to Personal Protection Group, LLC for Specter DR optics.
ACA-Fort Eustis awards a $5,760 contract to Best Made Designs LLC for M16 Slings.
US Army Space Command awards a $13,369 contract to Simunition for M16 Bolt Conversion Kits.
Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton issues a solicitation for 900 coyote tan Tactical Slings for use with the M16, M4, and M249.
USSOCOM issues a source-sought notice for anti-personnel and/or multi-purpose rifle grenades. The grenades must be able to be fired from short barreled (10 to 14 inch) 5.56mm and/or 7.62mm rifles using standard NATO ammunition.
The US Army agrees to conduct extreme dust chamber testing of the M4 carbine, HK 416, XM8, and FN SCAR at Aberdeen in August. This appears to be a quid-pro-quo move in return for Sen. Coburn lifting his hold on the confirmation of Peter Geren as Secretary of the Army. Ten weapons of each design will fire 6,000 rounds each to examine how they perform in dusty conditions. The weapons and loaded magazines will also be exposed to extreme dust for 30 minutes before firing 120 rounds. Each rifle will be wiped down and lubricated once every 600 rounds with a full cleaning every 1,200 rounds.
The SCAR and EGLM are approved for entry into the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) phase. The initial EX designations have changed to Mk 16 Mod 0 SCAR-L, Mk 17 Mod 0 SCAR-H, and Mk 13 Mod 0 EGLM.
NSWC-Crane awards a $6,220,375 delivery order to Colt for M4A1.
ARDEC, on behalf of PM-Crew Served Weapons, issues a solicitation for 3,000 to 15,419 M249.
US Army Sustainment Command issues a sources-sought notice for 5.56x45mm ammunition for Galil rifles and 7.62x39mm ammunition for AK-47. Ammunition may be produced under NATO spec, Warsaw Pact spec, and/or commercial equivalent.
USPFO for Maryland awards a $12,047 contract to ATD-American Co. for M16 training rifles.
USPFO for Connecticut awards a $12,179 contract to Gall’s Inc. for M16 rubber training rifles.
NSWC-Crane issues a sole-source solicitation to PRI for 2,900 M84 Gas Buster Charging Handles with Big Latch.
JM&L LCMC, on behalf of the PM-Soldier Weapons, issues a solicitation for a CQB Kit Tactical Sling that allows a soldier’s weapon to remain in a ready position while conducting non-weapon firing related tasks.
JM&L LCMC, on behalf of the PM-Soldier Weapons, issues a solicitation for a CQB Kit Forward Rail Bracket (FRB) that allows M16 weapons not equipped with a MIL-STD-1913 ARS to mount bipods, a weapons light, or a forward vertical grip. The FRB shall feature at a minimum a bottom rail, at least 4 inches in length. The FRB shall attach to rifles without any modification to the weapon.
JM&L LCMC, on behalf of the PM-Soldier Weapons, issues a solicitation for a CQB Kit Multi-Magazine Holder. Weighing less than four ounces, the Multi-Magazine Holder will mount two standard 5.56mm 30 round magazines together. Attaching the Multi-Magazine Holder shall not require any special tools to add, remove, or adjust the magazines. The Multi-Magazine Holder shall also be packaged with a storage pouch that will hold the Multi-Magazine Holder with two magazines attached. The storage pouch must be MOLLE and ALICE compatible, have a tan, gray-green, gray, or taupe coating, which will support various camouflage combinations and minimize infrared and radar signatures, and be constructed of synthetic, water resistant, rapid drying, soft material.
JM&L LCMC issues a solicitation for approximately 200,000 M240B/M249 Sling Assemblies.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Grip Pod Systems for 33,600 bipods.
NSWC-Crane awards a $9,130 contract to Wilcox Industries for Aimpoint mounts.
TACOM awards a $54,850 delivery order to Airtronic USA for 650 M2 bolts. These are used with 5.56mm M862 Short Range Training Ammunition.
TACOM also awards a contract to P&S Products for up to 334,000 Vertical Pistol Grips. The first delivery order worth $85,000 is for 10,000 Vertical Pistol Grips.
Picatinny awards a $6,934,400 contract modification to Grip Pod Systems for forward grip bipods.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 awards a $3,237 contract to Safety Systems Corp. for M16 Tactical Weapon Slings.
NAVICP awards $75,400 and $339,300 delivery orders to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
NAVICP awards a $64,901 delivery order to Trijicon for telescopic sights.
NAVICP awards a $29,800 delivery order to Aimpoint for reflex sights.
Tango Down, LLC’s Jeffrey M. Cahill receives US Patent #7,243,454 titled “Integrated pressure switch pocket for a vertical fore grip.”
ACA-Fort Bliss issues a solicitation for 480 M4/M16 Simunition weapon adapter kits, 24 adaptor kits for the M249, 180,000 rounds each of clipped 5.56mm red and blue FX cartridges, 80,000 rounds each of linked 5.56mm red and blue FX cartridges, and protective gear.
ACA-Fort Dix awards a $74 contract to US Cavalry for M16/M4 3-Point Slings.
ACA-Fort Eustis deallocates $18,187 from a contract to Simunitions for M4/M16 bolt kits.
USPFO for Indiana awards a $11,603 contract to Raine Inc. for M16 Stock Magazine Holders.
MCB Camp Pendleton issues a solicitation for 900 one-point slings.
RDECOM, on behalf of PM-Soldier Sensors and Lasers, issues a sources-sought notice for the rapid development and deployment of 72,000 COTS/NDI rifle-mountable rangefinders for the XM320 GLM. Key requirements for the GLM rangefinder are that it provide a handheld range determination capability out to 800 meters with a measurement accuracy of 3 meters. The rangefinder should at least provide repeatable and accurate range determination capability for man-sized targets out to 200 meters and tank-sized targets out to 300 meters. Optimally, it would provide an enhanced day and night fire control with rangefinder and ballistic solution capability integrated with the sight and fire control with range determination capability out to 2,000 meters with an accuracy of 1 meter in ideal conditions. The Army’s intent is to procure a rangefinder for grenadiers that is mountable on an M4 carbine equipped with the GLM and associated day/night sight. The rangefinder should be backward-compatible with the M203. The system must fit on the limited rail space on the M4 not already occupied by the GLM, its DNS, and other equipment (day sights, aiming lights, etc.) common to the M4 carbine.
Picatinny awards a $8,664,592 contract to Insight Technology for M203 DNS.
USAF Materiel Command, Kirtland AFB – 377 CONS issues a solicitation for 55 of Patriot Manufacturing M203 Quadrant Sight and Rail Adapter, with infrared laser assist modification. Later in the month, the solicitation is cancelled.
USAF Air Combat Command, Nellis AFB – 99 CONS issues a solicitation for 42 M203 IR Quadrant Sights for the M4. The sight must mount to the top rail of the M4A1’s receiver in a position just forward and to the left of the M68 CCO.
NSWC-Crane awards a $999,695 delivery order to Federal Cartridge for 5.56mm Frangible Cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $491,280 delivery order to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm moly-coated ammunition. NSWC-Crane also awards a $550,986 delivery order to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm RRLP ammunition.
The Australian press uncovers military documents indicating systematic problems with the action springs of deployed soldiers’ F88 rifles.
USPFO for Vermont awards a $15,481 contract to Ranger Joe’s International for M16 Training Weapons.
JM&L LCMC issues a sole-source solicitation to Ideas to Market for continued engineering studies and manufacturing support on the 5.56mm 30 Round Composite Magazine. The efforts will involve identifying and refining low cost manufacturing processes, and the manufacture and delivery of a total of 550 prototype composite magazines for further government testing and evaluation.
Picatinny awards a $156,730.60 contract modification to Vertu Corp. for the incorporation of several Engineering Change Proposals (ECP) for the XM26 MASS. These include: mitigation of felt recoil in the stand alone configuration, improve retention of the fasteners for the removable rail, creation of an enhanced sight to increase hit probability, elimination of the possibility of losing the removable sight, creation of a short three-round magazine, and elimination of tolerance stack-ups.
TACOM awards a contract to Applied Resources Corp. for 9,000 to 75,000 M249 New Bipods. The first delivery order worth $622,104 is for 9,106 bipods. Later three more bipods are added worth $207.
NAVICP awards a $199,895 delivery order to Trijicon for telescopic sights.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a contract to US Tactical Supply, Inc. for 60,250 Grip Pod forward grip bipods.
The DLA issues a solicitation for EOTech 552.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 issues a solicitation for 300 KAC 300m folding rear sights.
AFSOC, Hurlburt Field – 16 CONS issues a solicitation for 202 each of Vltor Carbine Modstock Combo Kits, slip on rubber butt pads, Single Attachment Sling Endplates, and Classic Series Scout Mounts. This is followed by an additional solicitation for 250 each of variants of the same items.
AFSOC, Hurlburt Field – 16 CONS issues a solicitation for 50 Mounting Solutions Plus Delta II Single Point Stack Slings, 150 HK Maritime 30 round magazines, 50 ARMS #40A Flip Up Rear Sights, 50 Samson Barrel Mounted Flip Up Front Sights, and 50 Trijicon TA31DOC ACOG.
USAF Air Education and Training Command, Maxwell AFB – 42 CONS issues a solicitation for 18 M4 Simunition Conversion Kits, 18 M9 Simunition Conversion Kits, 8,000 rounds each of 5.56mm and 9mm FX marking ammunition, and other equipment.
USAF Air Combat Command, Minot AFB – 5 CONS issues a solicitation for Simunition or equivalent: 40 M16 conversion bolts, 30 cases of 5.56mm training ammunition, 15 M9 conversion kits, 10 cases of 9mm training ammunition, and protective gear.
The British MOD‘s Combat Support Equipment Integrated Project Team (CSE IPT) issues a solicitation for railed handguards and vertical foregrip/bipods for the L85A2 to fill an Urgent Operational Requirement. The minimum quantity is 8,000 of each item with the possibility of 15,000 more added later.
TACOM awards a $2,889,335.66 delivery order to Colt for 2,127 M4 and 530 M4A1. The former are for the US Army and FMS to Colombia and Iraq, and the latter are for the US Army, USAF, and FMS to Colombia. Later in the month, TACOM awards Colt another delivery order worth $4,737,417.62 for 1,660 M4 and 2,567 M4A1. The former are for the USAF, and the latter are for the USAF and Customs Service.
The US Navy completes the transition from the M14 to the M16A3 for shipboard use. Only two M14 are retained per ship for line-throwing duties.
JM&L LCMC issues a sources-sought notice for a PDW chambered in 5.56mm NATO. Potential PDW candidates should not exceed the size and weight of the M4 carbine. Furthermore, they should be no smaller or lighter than the current M9 pistol.
Picatinny awards a $4,879,317.83 contract to Olin-Winchester for 5.56mm M862 SRTA cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $2,532,816 delivery order to Federal Cartridge for 5.56mm Frangible Cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $622,503 delivery order to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm Long-Range Ammunition.
University of Texas’ Institute for Advanced Technology publishes “Preliminary Design and Analysis of an Environmentally Friendly 5.56mm Bullet to Replace the M855.” The scope of the study effort was to evolve a suitable, environmentally friendly replacement round that is compatible with the M249, M16 family, and M4 series weapons. Principal features of the conceptual design are an improved ballistic coefficient and replacement of lead antimony in the bullet core with a LiquidMetal Technologies (LQMT) penetrator core. The LQMT high density core easily penetrates steel targets, and the truncated projectile boattail provides less resistance to tumbling in a soft target.
NNMC-Bethesda awards a $3,213 contract to Gall’s Inc. for M16 Red Training Guns.
USPFO for Arkansas awards a $12,535 contract to Brigade Quartermaster Ltd. for M16 Training Guns.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $177,670 contract to Boland Production Supply, Inc. for mock M16A2 rifles.
Picatinny awards a $98,790 contract to Ecomass Technologies for 550 prototype composite magazines for the M16/M4. The magazines are based a government developed design.
Picatinny awards a $209,629.24 contract modification to Vertu Corp. for 80 XM26 MASS. These are for another iteration of Production Qualification Testing (PQT) and Initial Operational Testing (IOT) in support of the program’s Milestone C decision.
Picatinny awards a contract to Trijicon worth up to $109,356,098 for 100 to 675,100 XM150 Rifle Combat Optics.
TACOM awards a $3,309,600 contract to Grip Pod Systems for 33,600 forward grip/bipods.
TACOM awards a $138 contract modification to Applied Resources Corp. for two additional M249 New Bipods.
NAVICP awards a $435,058 delivery order to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $53,000,000 contract to Insight Technology for a minimum of 25 Individual Weapon Night Sights, Image Intensified (IWNS-I2). The IWNS-I2 will provide a RCO compatible night sight, able to be clipped on and off of the M16A4.
AFSOC, Hurlburt Field – 16 CONS issues a solicitation for 256 standard 30 round magazines, 32 each Tango Down vertical foregrips and bipods, 20 Aimpoint 3X Magnifiers, 20 each GG&G Accucam Quick Detach Aimpoint Cantilever Rings, Multi Flex Adapter Plates, and Multi Flex Bases, and assorted other tactical gear.
The XM320 fails Initial Operational Testing at Fort Bragg and Developmental Testing at Aberdeen.
MCWL issues a sources-sought notice for COTS/NDI Indirect Fire Day/Night Sights for the M203. The sights will allow rapid acquisition of a target with the M203 giving the user the information needed to engage the target with minimal time and effort. A digital readout will give the distance to target and the angle of weapons system necessary to engage target with the first shot kill ability. The sight must attach without interfering with the RCO and other accessories, all while maintaining the center of gravity of the weapon system.
USMC Regional Contracting Office – Southwest, Camp Pendleton awards a $5,820 contract to R/M Equipment for M203 Grips.
NSWC-Crane awards a $180,670 contract to Black Hill Ammunition for 5.56mm Mk 262.
NSWC-Crane awards a $7,517 contract to Red Diamond Uniform & Police Supply, Inc. for M16 Training Guns.
JM&L LCMC issues a source-sought notice for COTS/NDI Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies for the M249. This notice is to determine if there are any products readily available which can meet the following Government requirements:
- The CBS assembly should provide a total adjustment length of approximately 3 inches with multiple intermittent positions, without the use of tools;
- The CBS assembly should not exceed a weight of 1.8 lbs;
- The CBS assembly must be easy to disassemble and clean by the weapon operator;
- The CBS assembly must be compatible with the existing buttstock interface of the M249 SAW weapon receiver, incorporate a positive means of being retained to the receiver and permit removal from the receiver without the use of tools;
- The CBS assembly must be compatible with or utilize the existing M249 buffer assembly; and
- The CBS assembly, when attached to the M249, must not present any uncontrolled safety hazards to the operator. It must also allow safe operation of the weapon after undergoing a drop test series from a height of five feet onto a concrete surface.
TACOM awards a $849,980.56 delivery order to Polymer Technologies for 40,456 M249 100 round soft packs.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 250 to 3,000 M249 gun mount adapters.
TACOM awards a $9,872,497.89 contract to Center Industries for 1,254,447 thirty round M16 magazines.
TACOM also awards a $60,000 delivery order to P&S Products for 40,000 Vertical Pistol Grips.
NSWC-Crane issues a sole-source solicitation to Trijicon for 309 each RX01-10 and RX01-11 Reflex Scopes.
HK‘s Johannes Murello files an US patent application for an interchangeable barrel system for the AG36 family that will accept 25mm airbursting ammunition and integrally include the fire control system.
USPFO for Illinois issues a sources-sought notice for M203 Grenadier Module Kits. The kits must include a M203 Adaptor Rail System, Quick Release Mount, and Leaf Sight. This is followed by a solicitation notice for the items.
ATEC extreme dust testing ends. Out of 60,000 rounds fired from each model, the number of stoppages are as follows:
Class 1 & 2 Weapon Stoppages
Class 1 & 2 Magazine Stoppages
Class 3 Stoppages
|Mk 16 SCAR-L||191||19||16||226|
MARCORSYSCOM Infantry Weapons Systems announces its intent to conduct a limited competition for the second phase (production) of the IAR project. The phase two competition is limited to the following vendors who successfully responded to the phase one RFP with a valid proposal: Colt, FN, General Dynamics, HK, KAC, and Leitner-Wise Rifle Company.
JSSAP issues a sources-sought notice for the continued maturation of developmental Lightweight Small Arms Systems (LSAS), including, but not limited to, caseless ammunition and lightweight weapon technology. Sources must be able to show existing products, capabilities, technical expertise and management systems that have the following characteristics as a minimum:
- Ammunition for this system must be a minimum of 35 percent lighter than the currently available brass case ammunition. A 50 percent weight reduction is desired;
- At least one of the ammunition concepts presented must be a non-nitrocellulose based caseless ammunition technology. Additionally, an existing facility that can support the immediate fabrication of this ammunition must be identified and described in detail; and
- At least one ammunition technology presented must be matured to a technology readiness level (TRL) of 5, which means that more than 500 rounds of this ammunition have been tested in a weapon or a simulated weapon (test barrel) under controlled conditions. It is desired that all ammunition technologies be at a TRL 5 by February 2008, including the non-nitrocellulose based caseless ammunition.
B. Weapon System:
- This system must have the capability to fire the lightweight ammunition described above, and must include a light machine gun variant. The technology must also be adaptable to other small arms systems, i.e. rifles, carbines, medium machine guns;
- The LMG variant should weigh no more than 11 pounds; the rifle variant should weigh no more than 7 pounds;
- The LMG should be demonstrated to a TRL 5, which requires that the weapon or weapons have fired more than 2,000 rounds of live ammunition under controlled conditions;
- A developmental 3-D model must exist for the entire weapon system, including dynamic simulations of the weapon action;
- The weapons must be designed to be highly reliable under all operating conditions. If actual test data is not available to support this, a reliability analysis must be provided; and
- A complete thermal analysis of the weapon and ammunition system must be provided that shows any potential thermal issues, along with a mitigation plan that addresses these issues.
PEO-Simulation, Training and Instrumentation issues a sources-sought notice for OPFOR Rifle Surrogate Systems. These will be visually similar to the AK-47 and SVD, but use standard 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO blanks with MILES II training gear.
Lithuania adopts the HK G36.
Jane’s announces that the South African Army has decided to upgrade its R4 rifles rather than introduce a new type. The upgraded R4 will be fitted with Picatinny rails for mounting of optics, lights, and other accessories. Most soldiers will receive red dot sights while the two best shots in each section will be issued a low-magnification telescopic sight to enable them to act as designated marksmen. The South African Army will also acquire a number of 40mm grenade launcher attachments.
The Portuguese decision to adopt the HK G36 is overturned.
JM&L LCMC issues a solicitation for 12,300 M249 Front Rail Kits with a 50 percent option.
TACOM issues a solicitation for M249 forward pistol grips.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $24,885,386 contract to Insight Technology for 2,192 Individual Weapon Night Sights, Thermal (IWNS-T). The IWNS-T will provide a RCO compatible night sight, able to be clipped on and off of the M16A4.
NSWC-Crane awards a $87,209 contract to Simunition for M16A2 conversion kits.
NAVICP awards a $37,700 delivery order to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
In response to the XM320 failure of Initial Operational Testing and Developmental Testing, Picatinny requests 50 additional XM320 and 64 DNS, plus two sets each of improved parts for the XM320 and DNS. These will be provided at no cost to the Government for further Government Developmental Testing, Initial Operational Testing and Logistics Demonstration testing.
The US Army demands that units equipped with the HK 416 begin turning them in for standard M4 and M4A1. Certain JSOC assets have reportedly avoided this, but the Asymmetric Warfare Group cannot.
The press release the results of the ATEC extreme dust trials. In response, PEO-Soldier BG Mark Brown defends the M4’s performance noting “Extreme dust test does not replicate any typical Soldier use or operational condition.” Brown stresses that the test did not address reliability in any typical operational condition, nor did it test weapons part service life or life-cycle maintenance costs or any other aspect of weapons effectiveness, such as suitability, survivability or other reliability and performance other than technical reports in extreme dust conditions. However, improvements such as hammer forged barrels and improved magazines with stronger springs are listed as being under consideration.
TACOM awards contracts to FN Manufacturing, Colt, and Bushmaster for M16A3 and M16A4 production. FN Manufacturing’s first delivery order for an undisclosed number of M16A4 is worth $33,670,649. Colt’s first delivery order for 20,000 M16A4 for the USMC is worth $15,925,000. Bushmaster’s first delivery order for 5,631 M16A3 for the US Navy is worth $4,026,165.
TACOM awards a $209,629.44 delivery order to Colt for 64,460 M4. These are FMS to El Salvador. Later in the month, TACOM awards Colt another delivery order worth $75,859,897.40 for 1,660 M4. These are for the US Army and FMS to Colombia.
Picatinny awards a $1,387,879.52 contract option to Winchester for M862 SRTA cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $52,500 contract to Back Hills Ammunition for packing 5.56mm Dim Tracer ammunition.
The Canadian military agrees to donate 2,500 surplus C7 rifles to the Afghan National Army along with ammunition and training.
JM&L LCMC issues a solicitation for approximately 200,000 M240B/M249 Sling Assemblies.
Picatinny awards a $2,274,300 delivery order to Design West Aratech for M249 Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies.
RDECOM, on behalf of PM-Soldier Sensors and Lasers issues a source-sought notice for COTS Weapon Mountable Lights (WL). The WL will give soldiers the capability to employ a white light that is small and lightweight, and that can be weapon-mounted or hand-held. The WL will be employed with the following weapons: M16A4 modular weapons, M4/M4A1, M249 (threshold), and M240B (objective). Among the requirements are:
- The WL must be able to mount on a MIL-STD-1913 rail, and be easily attached and detached by a soldier with out special tools.
- The WL shall have a fixed beam (threshold) or an adjustable beam (objective) that allows illumination of a 20x30x8 feet darkened room or enclosure, and shall have a facial recognition range of 20 meters (threshold), 25 meters (objective) inside a darkened room or enclosure.
- The maximum WL weight with batteries, mounting mechanism, and remote cable shall be 10 ounces (threshold), 6 ounces (objective).
- The WL shall be compatible with (shall not interfere with) day/night optics, aiming lights and other weapon accessories.
- The WL shall have dual activation controls, an on/off switch which shall be located on the device housing and a wired remote control switch. The system shall also have both a constant on/off and momentary light capabilities which includes a remote momentary capability. A full-off control shall also be provided on the device housing which will prevent activation controls from functioning. The WL must provide for one-handed, ambidextrous operation.
- The WL operates on standard military or DOD-approved, commercially available batteries. Acceptable battery performance with the light constantly on must be one hour. Degraded battery performance in extreme temperatures or with prolonged use of the light is acceptable.
- The WL shall include a set of detachable lens covers. The lens covers shall be interchangeable and consist of red, blue, green, and dust cover. The WL shall have an infrared (IR) capability (threshold).
- The WL must be capable of being used when Soldiers are wearing the Army issued black leather glove with wool insert and must be compatible with NBC operations and with the full ensemble of Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) 4 gear when worn by the Soldier in any NBC environment.
- The WL must be capable of being dropped from 3 feet (threshold), 5 feet (objective), without impacting operational capability. The WL must be capable of being immersed in 3 feet or less of water or exposed to moisture. If the WL uses incandescent bulbs, bulb life must exceed 96 accumulative hours of use. The WL will operate in 5 percent to 100 percent relative humidity without degradation of capability.
MARCORSYSCOM issues a source-sought notice for a M249 Machine Gun Day Optic.
NSWC-Crane awards a $2,643 contract to Brownell’s for thirty round M16 magazines.
NSWC-Crane awards a $187,551 contract to Atlantic Diving Supply for reflex sights with M16 carry handle mounts.
NAVICP awards a $48,960 contract to Aimpoint.
USSOCOM awards a $7,000 contract to Simunition for 20 round M16/M4 magazines.
The DLA issues a solicitation for Trijicon RX01M4A1 sights.
HK‘s Johannes Murello receives US Patent #7,311,032 titled “Firearms with gas pressure loading mechanisms.”
by Daniel E. Watters, Small Arms Historian
Post questions or comments at The 5.56mm Timeline’s Facebook page.
Last Revised: 05/17/2009
This article was originally published at The Gun Zone — The Gunperson’s Authoritative Internet Information Resource. My friend and mentor Dean Speir has graciously hosted my articles at TGZ for nearly 16 years. These articles would likely have never appeared online without his constant encouragement and assistance.
With TGZ’s closure in early 2017, Dean encouraged me to find a new home for my scholarship so it wouldn’t be lost in the dustbin of the Internet. Loose Rounds has welcomed me with open arms. In the future, I intend to expand my legacy TGZ articles and add new contributions here at Loose Rounds.