How many controls are on a rifle that transition training would be difficult?
The operator either knows how his/her equipment works or they don't. If they don't then the mag release could be in the butt stock and it would not be any less awkward.
"It's more ergonomic; but, the controls are laid out the same." I'm an Engineer and that reasoning doesn't fly on the manufacturing floor. Why does it work for guns?
Can you tell I hate that reasoning. :banghead:
Stress during combat;
Combat doesn't occurr in an engineering office or a manufacturer's floor. Many things have been designed, manufactured, and fielded to be used by grunts. I can personally vouch over half of the typical combat TO&E never seen used in 5 to 10 years after it's initial induction. Some things gets replaced by something newer and better, others just wasn't a good idea once it hit the field.
You wouldn't go into combat with just merely putting a measly 1k rounds down range and say "That should do it". In a combat stress fine motor skills go out the window. If a soldier/Marine/operator has has years behind the trigger of a weapon system that they are accustomed to it would not be smart to swap it out to one that has different controls. For a green troop that may be fine off the bat. The SCAR stays close to the M16 erogo's so transitioning wouldn't/shouldn't be much of an issue. This would be prudent specially diring wartime. I believe that was one of the reasons the Army dumped the XM8.
As a former/and still semi-grunt POV it is best to keep a new gun reasonable similar to the one being replaced. Take for instance how difficult it would be to get used to a P90. During a non-stress practice not such a biggie, but I'd bet in combat someone will forget, or more like resort to, loading the mag incorrectly in a rush. Russians could have switched to a staight in mag decades ago but they resist it since that is the way their troops load mags, by rocking them in.
A few changes here and there would not be hard to re-train troops to use, but to switch to something totally different isn't a good idea. Like the M14 to M16 transition. I'd bet a lot of the old troops then still manipulated the M16 charging handle with their right hand for a while and tried to dump empty mag looking for the mag release in the wrong place. These things do happen. Basically soldiers are programmed to operate their weapons automatically. They should be kept very simple and every soldier should be very familiar with thier weapon.
Can't recall the year, but I believe it was in the early 70's. California HP got into a shootout with bad guys using semi auto guns, them with revolvers. At the range during quals they would frequently pick up thier brass as they shoot their quals. Well some of the chippies they found dead had either empty casings in their hands and/or in their pockets. Thier mind resorted immediately to how they were trained.
Transitioning a whole Army/Armed Forces from one weapons platform to another takes years and a lot of money. Not only money to buy the weapon but rounds, many rounds, to get the soldiers used to the weapon. So keeping the ergo's as close to the M16 would mean less time, less rounds, less lives that could be potentially lost. This isn't like some corporation that would need to retrain employees to use Windows Vista.
Personally I couldn't see the harm to use a bolt release like the XCR, but oh well. The M16 style I'm all too well used to it already to the point it is second nature and I remember when they didn't care if we used a thumb or finger to drop the bolt, but now it's a no-no. Seems as if the SCAR gives a soldier a new weapon (well almost) but retains nearly identical controls. Can't say I'm sad to see that foward assist go away. SPORTS is the dumbest immediate action dril ever devised, alway a guaranteed double feed jam.