5.56 Timeline

IWI ARAD : Yawn.

So big news today if you are a fan of Israeli guns. IWI has jumped into the AR market, not just any AR though. Get this. Its a piston AR!. Finally what the world has been waiting for. Obviously I am not impressed. Really nothing they have come up with in the shoulder fired small arms world has impressed me. Yeah the UZI was a big hit but since then.. The Galil is too heavy , the tavor.. Yeah. It’s a bullpup. Now we see them making an AR. Which is like when S&W started making 1911s. It’s a form of accepting reality of the market.

So now we see they have a piston AR. It does nothing other piston ARs can’t do. It is also just as unnecessary as all the other piston ARs.


IWI ARAD Assault Rifle is designed for Infantry use, Special units and Law Enforcement units.

IWI ARAD is especially intended for all kinds of combat scenarios with it’s ability to change calibers.

IWI ARAD is equipped with a picatinny rail to enable the use of a variety of optics and other attachments. The picatinny rail is an integral part of the upper receiver of the rifle. In addition, M-LOK rails at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions along the handguard. It includes a telescopic buttstock which allows the users to adjust the length individually for their particular needs.
The modular structure of the rifle enables the user to easily dismantle and replace the barrel. The weapon is fully ambidextrous with controls on both sides of the rifle.

IWI ARAD Assault Rifle is a short stroke gas piston operated, with a regulator which allows constant operation in all environmental conditions

Short-stroke gas piston
2 position gas regulator – Regular/Suppressor use
Optional: MIL-STD 1913/M-LOK accessory rails at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions
Hard-anodized monolithic aluminum MIL-STD 1913 Rail in the upper receiver

Designed for minimum operator and armorer level maintenance, thus reducing maintenance and life cycle costs
100% interchangeability, reducing the overall costs of the system
All the metal parts of the weapon are corrosion resistant
Hammer-forged, chrome-lined, free-floating barrel, for enhanced accuracy & life cycle
Quick detachable barrel – barrel can be replaced by a user in a matter of seconds
Uses any NATOMIL STD 5.56 Steel, aluminum or polymer magazines

Retractable polymer stock
Highly ergonomic pistol grip
Fully Ambidextrous weapon
4 points along the rifle for QD or Cord attachments
Caliber: 5.56X45mm
Rifling: 6 RH Grooves, 1:7″ twist
Barrel length (mm) : 292 (11.5″)
Total length, butt retracted (mm): 720
Total length, butt extended (mm): 800
Weight (pprox.. Kg) (w/o magazine): 2.85
Rate of fire (pprox.. Rd./min): 700~1100

Maybe next they will do something even more revolutionary like introduced a polymer frames striker fired pistol.

SIG SAUER Down-Selected by U.S. Army

Looks like SIG is really proud of their stuff big achievement, though I wouldn’t get too excited about it myself. For those reading who aren’t familiar with how this works, Down Select does not mean officially adopted as standard A . It really means. “Ok we are gonna take a look, so we are buying a few more for testings.”

SIG SAUER Selected by U.S. Army for Next Generation Weapons with New Ammunition Technology, Lightweight Machine Gun, Rifle, and Suppressors
Published Date: 09/03/2019

NEWINGTON, N.H., (September 3, 2019) – SIG SAUER, Inc. is proud to announce the official award of a contract by the U.S. Army in the down-select process for the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW). The award encompasses the complete SIG SAUER system consisting of 6.8mm hybrid ammunition, a lightweight machine gun, rifle, and included suppressors. SIG SAUER will provide single-source manufacturing for ammunition, weapons, and suppressors allowing for less risk and increased capability for the U.S. Army.

“The U.S. Army is leading the world in the first significant upgrade to small arms in decades to meet the growing demands of soldiers on the battlefield. We are honored to have been selected for the Next Generation Squad Weapons program bringing increased lethality to the warfighter over the legacy weapons,” began Ron Cohen, President & CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. “At the core of our submission is our newly developed, high-pressure, 6.8mm hybrid ammunition that is utilized in both weapons, and is a significant leap forward in ammunition innovation, design, and manufacturing.”

The SIG SAUER 6.8mm hybrid ammunition is designed for increased penetration at greater distances. Cohen continued, “using patent-pending technology the SIG SAUER Ammunition division has engineered a completely new cartridge resulting in a more compact round, with increased velocity and accuracy, while delivering a substantial reduction in the weight of the ammunition.”

The primary objectives set forth by the U.S. Army for the NGSW-AR was a weapon with the firepower and range of a machine gun, coupled with the precision and ergonomics of a rifle. The SIG SAUER NGSW-AR submission is an ultra-light, medium caliber machine gun with AR ergonomics, and chambered in 6.8mm hybrid ammunition. Features include quick detach magazines, side opening feed tray, increased available 1913 rail space for night vision and enablers, folding buttstock, and suppressor.

Additionally, the Prototype Project Opportunity Notice (PPON) requirements were inclusive of an NGSW-Rifle. The SIG SAUER NGSW-Rifle submission also chambered in 6.8mm hybrid, is lightweight and features a free-floating reinforced M-LOK


handguard, side-charging handle, fully ambidextrous controls, folding buttstock, and suppressor.

“The U.S. Army challenged the industry to bring forward significant improvements to the legacy weapons. The SIG SAUER NGSW-AR is lighter in weight, with dramatically less recoil than that currently in service, while our carbine for the NGSW-Rifle submission is built on the foundation of SIG SAUER weapons in service with the premier fighting forces across the globe. Both weapons are designed with features that will increase the capabilities of the soldier,” commented Cohen. “The final component of the SIG SAUER Next-Generation Weapons System is our suppressor, which through exhaustively researched design enhancements, reduces harmful backflow and signature.”

As outlined in the recent award issued by the U.S. Army, SIG SAUER will deliver a complete SIG SAUER system inclusive of the SIG SAUER 6.8mm hybrid ammunition, lightweight machine gun, rifle, and suppressors.

“SIG SAUER has designed the most comprehensive solution to meet the requirements of the Next Generation Squad Weapons to enhance mission effectiveness. We are looking forward to partnering with the U.S. Army throughout this process and ensuring our soldiers are equipped for the demands of the modern battlefield,” concluded Cohen.


Of course Sig would like to believe they are the chosen one. Reality is they are not the only company to be down selected for further testing.


“In its announcement on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the Army said it had selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, AAI Corporation Textron Systems and Sig Sauer as the three finalists for the program”


If I were starting my gun collection from scratch…

Back during Hurricane Irma I spent a good bit of the time during the power outages thinking about this topic. From my thoughts on that topic I’ve done a fair bit of reorganizing my collection since then. I’ve started this article several times, and held off writing it as I wanted to use it as a discussion point for when we restart the podcast. But since we keep putting off making the podcast again, and I have a hurricane heading towards me again, I figured I’d finally write this up.

When people ask me what guns to buy, I give the same answer. Colt 6920 with an Aimpoint PRO and a Glock 19.

If I was starting over with that, I would be pretty happy with that start.

But personally, I’d buy something different for my self.

A problem with thoughts like this, is considering the availability of items. There are plenty of things I currently own that are unavailable now. I couldn’t buy one to replace it, or it would be extremely hard to replace. That makes the decision a little harder. All sorts of questions like, would I want to buy the coolest newest stuff or still with older time proven equipment? Off the shelf guns, or customize everything? Etc.

For the sake of brevity, we will ignore mags, ammo, cleaning gear, etc.

For pistols, it would be pretty simple. I carry a Glock G26. So I would start with one of those. Then I would buy another to be a spare. I’d carry one while using the other for training, and switch between them each year. As I do currently.

Then I’d pick up a Glock 19. I’d be perfectly fine with a gen 2 or 3, but I would spend a little more to get a Gen 5 MOS so I would have the option of mounting what ever optic down the road should I choose to do so.

Horribly simple. I’d pick up more pistols as fun guns. Plenty of them, but they would be for fun.

What about rifles?

Now for a while now my favorite rifle has been my Colt 6945. Over time it slowly pushes my other AR15s out of that spot. So I would order a replacement Colt 6945.

Colt LE6945

I’d throw a Aimpoint T-1 or T-2 on the top. Then I would order a Surefire can for it.

But, unfortunately, the NFA process sucks and can take a long time. So I would need a non-nfa rifle around.

I’d pick up a Larue PredatAR. I love the accurate light weight barrel and the design of the hand guards on it.

A PredatAR upper on a Colt Lower.

I like the extended hand guard. I love how light and handy it is. The PredatAR feels equally at home with a reflex sight as it does with a magnified optic. It is great for run and gun, or you could slap on a big scope and shoot tight groups at distance. It is my favorite non-NFA AR15 configuration. If I were starting over, I’d order one immediately and would probably put a lower power variable optic on it.

Now the PredatAR uses a proprietary rail unlike the more popular MLOK and Keymod. If I wanted that, I could go with the Larue Ultimate Upper option, but given the choice, I’d just stick with the PredatAR.

Larue UU upper on a Colt Lower. A passable alternative to the PredatAR.

So I got some Glocks, and some AR15s. What else?

Sometimes, you just feel you want something not as nice as an AR15. Something less handy, not as light. You know what is like. Sometimes you just crave something not small caliber high velocity. There are countless lesser firearms that could fill that niche.

Larue PredatAR 7.62

I’d order a Larue PredatAR 7.62. All the same reasons as the PredatAR 5.56. Accurate, light and handy. Feels just as right with a red dot or a high magnification scope. For this, I would likely mainly use a higher magnification scope and set it up for firing from the bench or from the prone.

Having not started from scratch, I settled for the cheaper and easier to get Larue UU kit in 7.62 with the PredatAR barrel.

A .30 cal AR gives me a familiar platform than I can use in any number of ways. With a reduced mag, I could hunt with it in locals that don’t allow hunting with a .223. But for the most part it would just like the 5.56 PredatAR would be used. Just launching a little larger diameter projectile.

I’d have to get a silencer for each.

After putting together this core few guns I’d start buying all the other odd, rare, cool looking, or obscure guns I want. But these few listed would be the first.

The Colt 1/7 Twist M16A1 Barrel

A few days ago I talked about guns I wished I could buy. One of the things I talked about was the rare Colt M16A1 barrel with a 1/7 twist. I have wanted one of these for years ever since I learned they existed. It was made for export model rifles and not sold here in the US on any commercial model.

I love the idea of the M16A1 or SP-1 rifle but with the 1/7 twist. Being able to shoot the full range of modern high performance ammo through the retro rifle has a pretty big appeal to me. Of course I could buy some other maker’s barrel. But I would not demean myself ( kidding. Not really though). The idea is to keep it 100 percent Colt.

Yesterday while on one of my periodic searches for one, I happened to find a place selling two.

hen’s teeth

I have lusted for one of these for so long I can’t even tell you. Am I going to buy this one? I would love to. But not for the 1,000 plus bucks the seller is asking for it, That’s absurd as I have seen them sell for 500 or less in the past a few times. Always about 5 minutes before I found them of course. * Sad trombone noises*.

One day I will get one. And I will put it on my SP1 and proceed to shoot 77 grain MK262 ammo through it.