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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After looking at the pics from SHOT '09, and considering the ACR, XCR, and SCAR, it is my opinion that the Stoner platform rifle is on the way out relatively soon. The military is moving away form it and more and more manufacturer are deciding that it is better to design a new platform with the benefits of various platforms without the shortcomings.

Do not get me wrong, I feel the AR-15 platform is a great weapon and will survive for a very long time to come. However, I think it's time as the front and center assault weapon is very short. :(

Please share your thoughts on the long term future of the Stoner AR system.
 

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I agree with MickeySquid. The end of the AR15 ended with the XCR. I had three AR15's, & one AR180B. And only been shooting with AR's since 2001.
 

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In my humble opinion, there are a lot of AR and AR stuff manufacturers to go along with the cornucopia of AR's that are out there. It is a simple rifle and easy to work on. Some of the companies are taking it to different levels like KAC's E3 model and the LWRC piston rifles, etc so as a viable and marketable platform I think it still has plenty life in it. The faults of the rifle, perceived or otherwise, are often spun out of control from folks with no first hand experience of it.
For right now, the so-called "next gen" rifles like the XCR's and SCAR's are still too "boutique" and not out there in large enough numbers to really start hacking into that market.
But, back to the original question, I think it'll be around for some time yet. Even if these new carbine trials select a new weapon (which I highly doubt and they will turn into an open ended study of the concept) I'd take a look at the phase-in timelines. I'd look at them trying to wring every last drop of usefulness out of the M16/M4 first; i.e. heavier slugs, maybe a FMJ version of the Mk262; piston conversions, eventhough the DI vs. piston argument is not something I'm getting into the perception of it being a better system is out there in force.
 

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Up until a few weeks ago only the XCR leading the Next Generation charge. Now we have the SCAR which will probably do small numbers in the short run due to the price tag. Bushmaster/Magpul will probably have a hit on their hands if they can pull their head out their asses long enough to actually get the ACR on shelves

Many shooters still havent realized they need the features of a next gen rifle. For example, it's going to be damn tough to get an XCR shooter shooter to give up their QD barrel and go back to a system that requires a vice, wrench or trip back to the factory to get rebarreled. I personally wont even consider a complete gun that doesnt feature a QD barrel at this point. This is a direct result of my experiance with the XCR.

As more shooters try Next Gen carbines and take advantage of the features, the less appealing the AR15 will become.

Again, it boils down to giving the shooter/LEA/.Mil what they didnt know they needed
 

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After looking at the pics from SHOT '09, and considering the ACR, XCR, and SCAR, it is my opinion that the Stoner platform rifle is on the way out relatively soon. The military is moving away form it...
I don't know if that is true. Granted, SOCOM is evaluating the SCAR, but SOCOM is not "the" military, only a small portion of it. The Army briefly flirted with the XM8 carbine a few years ago, but then decided that the M4 is satisfactory.
...and more and more manufacturer are deciding that it is better to design a new platform with the benefits of various platforms without the shortcomings.
Trouble is, the new rifles have their own shortcomings, not the least of which is weight. XCR, XM8, SCAR, etc, are all significantly heavier than the M4.

Also, since the military wants weapon overall length to not exceed that of the M4, the XM8 and SCAR have standard barrels shorter than the M4's 14.5" (XM8/12.5", SCAR/14"), which reduces their terminal effectiveness to below that for which the M4 has been criticized.
Do not get me wrong, I feel the AR-15 platform is a great weapon and will survive for a very long time to come. However, I think it's time as the front and center assault weapon is very short.:(
I'd say it depends in large measure on whether or not the Armed Forces adopt and field a new infantry rifle/carbine. As long as the military sticks with the M4/M16, the AR-15 will continue to reign supreme in civilian use.

If and when the military replaces the M4/M16 family, then I'd expect the new rifle to gradually become the "front and center assault weapon" for civilian shooters. Even then, with only a single manufacturer, it'd take a while for a rifle like the XCR, SCAR, and ACR to usurp the AR-15 throne.
 

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I think Mickey and VB pretty much summed it up. The AR will be here for a while, probably another 15 years easily.

Just a small bit of trivia, SOCOM is having most of their M4 barrels cut down to 10.3 inches (or have been for a while).
 

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Here is a question that I want to pose: Has the M-1 Garand or M-1A1 (M-14) ever left us? Thats how I see the AR and AK over the next 50 years. They will always be around hell even the M-1 Carbine, which had a bad battle record in Korea. The small .30 wouldn't even pass through the winter clothing of the advancing Chinese Red Army. The M-16/AR has been in controversy since Stoner presented it to the US Army.

The Army will delay getting a new weapon because of one simple issue $money$. Unless there is HUGE political pressure the bean counters are happy with the status quo. Garand had to contend with MacArthur when he was the CoS. There was an issue with ammo and powder between what the M-1 used and the Springfield 1903. I think the only rifle ever in the history of US procurement that did NOT have a problem was the M-14. I may be wrong if some knows the history better by all means please let me know.
 

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AR will never go away. Jut like the M14 won't go away :p

But as far as the Military goes, I say the AR last another 20 years. Small arms does not really play a big part in real war where you have mortars, artillery, and planes available. I don't see nothing in the pipe that revolutionary where the AR needs to be replaced. For the most part it is a reliable, accurate, and easy to shoot weapon.
 

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Here is a question that I want to pose: Has the M-1 Garand or M-1A1 (M-14) ever left us?
Nope. But, neither is the M1 Garand as popular as it was 40 years ago.
The small .30 wouldn't even pass through the winter clothing of the advancing Chinese Red Army.
Why do some people continue to perpetuate that myth? The supposed "failures" to penetrate Chinese winter clothing during the Korean War were much likely the result of missing the body inside the clothes. It doesn't seem plausible that a couple layers of quilted cotton could stop a bullet. Even moving as slow as 800 fps, it'd pass through such material like the proverbial hot knife through butter.
I think the only rifle ever in the history of US procurement that did NOT have a problem was the M-14. I may be wrong if some knows the history better by all means please let me know.
Oh, the M14 had its share of problems. That's why we have the M16 family today. Companies like H&R were experiencing ongoing difficulties in mass production of the M14, so then-SecDef McNamara discontinued the program and directed the Army to buy the AR-15/M16.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't know if that is true. Granted, SOCOM is evaluating the SCAR, but SOCOM is not "the" military, only a small portion of it.
Actually, SOCOM were the first to have the M4 and now we are issueing it as the standard weapon to the troops. SOCOM is always the first to get the best and then it trickles down to the rest.

OK I agree that the M1 and the M1A/M14 are still around but not nearly as popular as they once were.

Let me pose the question another way: If the following rifles cost $1500 each and money was not an issue for you, which would you buy (only one): AR-15, XCR, ACR or SCAR? Keep in mind they all fire the same caliber 5.56.
 

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Since I have only ever fired the XCR and AR I would go with the XCR. I would at least have to handle the other 2 for them to even be considered.
 

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[
The small .30 wouldn't even pass through the winter clothing of the advancing Chinese Red Army.
Why do some people continue to perpetuate that myth? The supposed "failures" to penetrate Chinese winter clothing during the Korean War were much likely the result of missing the body inside the clothes. It doesn't seem plausible that a couple layers of quilted cotton could stop a bullet. Even moving as slow as 800 fps, it'd pass through such material like the proverbial hot knife through butter.
You maybe right about that, however I read 1st person accounts in AARs about this incidents and it wasn't just one account. Since I was not there, and I do not own a M-1 carbine I would trust the information from the individual who was in combat.
As far as the M-14 procurement process, the US Army was all for it. There were no sabotaging of the test, unlike the M-16. I have a feeling you are going to make me dig through some data to locate the Arctic test that were performed and the results. ;D The point I was am making about the M-14 vs M-16 was the Army wanted the M-14. They did not want the 'Matel" toy... The SecDef at the time was trying to reform the whole procurement process within the DoD. Plus as a side note I do procurement for both the AF and the Army and its the most convoluted system you can imagine. It will not surprise me that either Colt, FNH, or H&K are awarded the contract for what ever new weapon is used to replace the M-4.
 

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The AR is the 1911 of the rifle world. It is never going away, and it is never going to get significantly less popular than it is right now. It is going to be a *long* time before there is another platform out there with the kind of aftermarket development that is available for the AR. Many decades. Remember, it has taken 50+ years of having the rifle in military hands to get the AR market to where it is. Even if the military adopted the SCAR across the board tomorrow, it would be how many decades before the patents expired, and all the companies of the world could start making match triggers, match barrels; modified uppers, lowers, etc? Quite a while.

Part of the appeal of the SCARspec rifles is that they can change calibers so easily, so the cartridge, I don't think should be a major factor when choosing one. Especially if it is the military doing the choosing. They are just a drop in barrel/bolt change away, if/when they decide to go to a new caliber.
 

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The AR is the 1911 of the rifle world. It is never going away, and it is never going to get significantly less popular than it is right now. ...
Why don't they do another round of improvements. They've done it to the M-16 before, right? How about retrofitting with pistons, or are there alot of influential people that are still convinced that DI doesn't pose a reliability problem? I should think that would be way easier than a calibre change. How many major manufacturers are there that still don't offer a piston version of the AR?
 

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When properly maintained, a DI rifle isn't better or worse than any piston rifle out there. Both systems have their perks and drawbacks.
 

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When properly maintained, a DI rifle isn't better or worse than any piston rifle out there. Both systems have their perks and drawbacks.
Dude, I wouldn't post this reply on any other forum but this, because I think the maturity level here is high enough to prevent some sort of flame war, but I must say that I have seen this defense made many many places, andthink that it totally misses the point. If you could have rifle A or B, and you know that rifle B is just like rifle A, except that it is less sensitive to dirt, sand and debris and is less sensitive to infrequent cleaning (maybe a LOT less sensitive), which would you choose? I can't believe that you wouldn't choose rifle B. It may be that you are refuting the notion that pistons offer those advantages, but there seems to be a veritable mountain of evidence to the contrary.

What, exactly, are the perks of DI?
 

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:D :D :D

sinjin- I don't normally get into that debate myself! But here's my viewpoint: personally speaking of course you want the best you can get. Now looking at it from a gov't procurement standpoint, if I have a finite budget and can resolve a problem through a) spending about a zillion dollars on retrofitting several hundred thousand rifles or b) spending a few dollars on further education and training on proper maintenance, and the answer is clear.

If you or I purchase a rifle and it turns out to be a lemon then we answer only to ourselves (hopefully we can hide it from the spousal unit!). Gov't programs are accountable so when they take from one to pay another and the "another" suffers, there has to be an answer, especially if it is high profile. Nobody will ever be totally satisfied understandably.

What are the perks of DI? Easy, KISS. Less moving parts. Less weight. And like I said, as long as you pay that extra small amount of attention to its quirks there isn't much wrong with it. My rifle in all my years of service was DI and it never failed me so that's my reference point. I had troops you could leave alone in an empty room with a bowling ball and come back in an hour and the bowling ball would be broke in half and the 1stSgt's daughter would be pregnant and no one saw a thing so, you see, in some folk's hands anything is just a matter of time!
 

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Those are good counterpoints, m118sb. Here's another question for you, though, and it requires a bit of speculation, which some people do not like to do: if, and when the US finally replaces the M-16/M-4 with something new, do you think it's likely to be another DI design? >:D ;D
 
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