Category: Military

Gun Review: IMI Negev LMG

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The M249 is one of the most successful squad automatic weapons ever introduced. Where previously an entire crew was required to set up and run a machine gun, the M249 allowed a single soldier to carry all of the necessary equipment and operate the firearm. It was a major leap forward, but the gun wasn’t perfect. As nice as the FN-produced firearm looks, there are some improvements to be made. Israel’s IMI figured out a way to fix all of those issues and produced a light machine gun that is superior to the M249 in almost every way. They call it the Negev, and I had a chance to get familiar with it this past weekend . . .

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Video: 2014 SOFIC Special Operations Demonstration

Apparently SOFIC, the “Special Operations Forces Industry Conference” run by the NDIA, is a big deal. I had never experienced it before, but then again I’ve only been in this industry for a couple years. This year I twisted Robert’s arm enough to get me a front row seat to the shindig, and boy was it worth the price of admission. Not only were there rows upon rows of product to salivate over, but the special operations community put on a small demonstration of their abilities live in the harbor in Tampa. From my seat — which was even closer to the action than the generals and dignitaries — it was amazing. I’ve patched together a quick video to showcase a taste of what went on. Needless to say it’s on the schedule for next year, too.

New from Knight’s Armament: Lightweight Fixed-Silencer .308 Rifle

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If there was a theme to SOFIC this year, it was that lighter is better. Lighter rifles, lighter silencers, lighter gear…lighter everything. Except marketing budgets and corporate waistlines, that is. Keeping in line with that theme, KAC has introduced a new rifle designed to give our boys in the field a lighter designated marksman rifle with some built-in signature reduction. The SR-25 rifle is chambered in 7.62 NATO and sports a 14.5 inch barrel, onto which is (more or less) permanently attached a .30 caliber silencer — KAC designates this puppy the M110K5. It makes sense since the barrel will be shot out long before the silencer, and eliminating the need for a QD mounting system and perfectly tuning the can to the gun make it lighter and more accurate. We’ll see this on the civilian market about the same time the Stoner LMG is available for commercial sales, though.

P320 Entry: There and Back Again-My Vietnam Hi Power

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The author conducting a ‘hot refuel’ on his aircraft “Maid Mary” in 1966

 

By James “Bud” Harton

Years ago, actually eons ago, I was a crew chief/door gunner on a UH-1D helicopter in Vietnam. I was assigned to an assault company and our unit was comprised of 24 UH-1D “slicks” as troop carriers and eight UH-1C gunships in our armed platoon. The “slicks” earned their nickname as they did not have any outboard weapons, just the M60D machineguns mounted on each side of the rear of the cargo hold. Slicks carried the troops into the landing zones and then kept them supplied while in the field and the gunships, armed with mini-guns, rockets and 40mm automatic grenade launchers, escorted the slicks in and then provided overhead cover for the grunts in the field . . .

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New from SRM: “Silent Slug” Low Velocity, Low Recoil, Extremely Quiet Shotgun Slug

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The guys over at SRM have been refining their 1216 shotgun, adding in all kinds of new bells and whistles. Improved plastics for the magazine to prevent warping, better materials for the stock, and even a better design for the receiver will all be available this year for new buyers. But something they’ve been tinkering with more and more is their dedicated “less lethal” bolt — a drop-in replacement that will only fire “less lethal” low pressure rounds, and will split if a full power load is used (to prevent more than one round from flying downrange). After a session showing off their latest tricks to a team of special forces soldiers, the guys asked them to do something ingenious: make a lethal shotgun slug that’s quieter than a .22 caliber gun (even without a silencer) and won’t penetrate walls and still be lethal on the other side. So they did. And it’s going on sale soon . . .

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First Impressions: SIG SAUER’s MCX Rifle

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It all started with the Honey Badger, a strange yet awesome creation from the R&D department of Advanced Armament Corp. back in the day. The plan was to create a do-it-all weapon, one that’s shorter and quieter than an MP5, has the barrier penetration and “stopping power” of an AK-47, uses as many standard AR-15 parts as possible, and can swap from subsonic to supersonic ammunition without needing to adjust any settings on the gun. That’s how the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge came to be, and now SIG SAUER is in the process of perfecting the rifle even further. Enter their MCX . . .

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Video: Full Auto SIG SAUER MPX in Slow Motion

The whole point of the MP5 is to have a small, easily concealable, maneuverable weapon. And while H&K’s design is pretty good, it can be so much better. Lighter magazines that don’t jam. Controls like the common AR-15, not a completely new platform that soldiers need to familiarize themselves with and train for. Mission configurable in the field. Easy to disassemble. And, most important, actually making the damn things accurate. If memory serves, the acceptance test for an MP5SD was a mean radius of 8 inches at 100 yards for the shot pattern, which is nowhere near the accuracy you’d want. The MPX fixes all of these things, and looks awesome doing it. We’ll have a review when they finally hit the civilian shelves, but for now enjoy the full auto goodness.