The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

The not-really Next Generation Weapons Program

BY PGF
1 year, 1 month ago

Commentary at Army Times:

On all key technical measures, the Next Generation Squad Weapons program is imploding before Army’s very eyes. The program is on mechanical life support, with its progenitors at the Joint Chiefs obstinately now ramming the program through despite spectacularly failing multiple civilian-sector peer reviews almost immediately upon commercial release.

Indeed the rifle seems cursed from birth. Even the naming has failed. Army recently allowed a third-party company to scare it off the military designation M5. The re-naming will certainly also help scupper bad public relations growing around ‘XM-5′ search results.

Civilian testing problems have, or should have, sunk the program already. The XM-5/7 as it turns out fails a single round into a mud test. Given the platform is a piston-driven rifle it now lacks gas, as the M-16 was originally designed, to blow away debris from the eject port. Possibly aiming to avoid long-term health and safety issues associated with rifle gas, Army has selected an operating system less hardy in battlefield environments. A choice understandable in certain respects, however, in the larger scheme the decision presents potentially war-losing cost/benefit analysis.

Watch the mud test video above. It’s possible to tailor demonstrations and testing to sell any product, and that’s what many manufacturers do in Military arms contracts award trials. And there’s almost always a high-level ringer in uniform to urge his peers into acceptance.

Civilian testing, testing Army either never did or is hiding, also only recently demonstrated that the rifle seemingly fails, at point-blank ranges, to meet its base criteria of penetrating Level 4 body armor (unassisted). True, the Army never explicitly set this goal, but it has nonetheless insinuated at every level, from media to Congress, that the rifle will penetrate said armor unassisted. Indeed, that was the entire point of the program. Of course, the rounds can penetrate body armor with Armor Piercing rounds, but so can 7.62x51mm NATO, even 5.56x45mm NATO.

Everybody knew outsourcing manufacturing would have dire national consequences over time. All strategic negligence will result in tactical failures; it’s the nature of planning and execution. There’s really no way around it other than clever soldiers who are able to overcome bad decision-making. Having to overcome your own National Strategic Commander’s acquisition errors is no way for a soldier to be thrust into battle. But by now, we all know Washington doesn’t have the individual Soldier or Marine at heart. I sighed out loud, reading this next paragraph.

The fundamental problem with the program is there remains not enough tungsten available from China, as Army knows, to make the goal of making every round armor piercing even remotely feasible. The plan also assumes that the world’s by far largest supplier will have zero problems selling tungsten to America only for it to be shot back at its troops during World War III. Even making steel core penetrators would be exceedingly difficult when the time came, adding layers of complexity and time to the most time-contingent of human endeavors. In any case, most large bullet manufacturers and even Army pre-program have moved to tungsten penetrators for a reason, despite the fact it increases the cost by an order of magnitude and supply seems troubled. Perhaps Army has a solution, perhaps.

There’s this conclusion:

The slight increase in ballistic coefficiency between the 6.8x51mm and 7.62x51mm cartridges neither justified the money pumped into the program nor does the slight increase in kinetic energy dumped on target. Itself a simple function of case pressurization within the bastardized 7.62mm case. Thus the net mechanical results of the program design-wise is a rifle still chambered in a 7.62×51 mm NATO base case (as the M-14), enjoying now two ways to charge the weapon and a folding stock. This is the limit of the touted generational design ‘leap’ under the program.

And more at the source.

H/T Bill Buppert g/@zerogov


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