Stumbled upon a couple news articles today, courtesy of Military.com. Both concern the USMC and their experimental units playing around with things I called.
The first, and probably least surprising, is that there’s a testing battalion experimenting with the M27 (HK 416) as a general-issue rifle. Compared to the standard M4 that the Corps has finally switched to, the M27 has a free-float barrel, a safe/semi/auto trigger group instead of safe/semi/burst, and the HK short-stroke gas-piston system. A well-designed piston system is a lot easier to regulate than the conventional direct impingement system on an AR (this will be important in a moment). There are definite gains to be made (though you could get a lot of the same stuff by changing out a few parts on the M4, but the M27 has the advantage of being in the procurement stream. It has the disadvantage of costing more, of course. They do really like the M27. As do I, as it was my choice for Borgundy’s military carbine. It was also the choice of the French.
That’s not super surprising though. What is more surprising to me is that they’ve also got a battalion experimenting with suppressors on everything. Carbines, machine guns, everything. Yes, even the Ma Deuces. Hey, that sounds familiar. It makes command and control easier, to no one’s surprise.1 It also took away the noise that provides an illusion of effectiveness. This fascinates me. Noise means “good enough”. Take a lot of that away, and you have to concentrate on what your shooting is actually doing. Huh. Plus, it’s easier to concentrate with all that racket gone. I’m very proud to say you saw that idea here first.
1.) Ever had a date in a loud restaurant? It sucks. You want a place that’s quiet. Same thing here. It really helps if your soldiers can hear you tell them things.