<![CDATA[Small Arms Solutions, LLC - Home]]>Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:03:29 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[LMT Enhanced Bolt & Carrier]]>Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:06:27 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2018/01/lmt-enhanced-bolt-carrier.html
In the late 1990’s, US SOCCOM had experienced significant issues with failures to extract as well as bolt structural failures on their M4A1 rifles. The problem was serious enough where Karl Lewis was approached to design an improved bolt carrier group that would correct the shortcomings of the standard GI bolt carrier group. The new design would improve the durability and reliability of the M4A1 carbine for SOCOM. LMT delivered their Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group because failure was not an option.

The Bolt Carrier had several modifications. The most significant being the modification to the cam track to allow more dwell time before the bolt would unlock giving the cartridge case more time to contract, making extraction easier. Due to the shorter gas system on the carbine the bolt unlocks and extracts sooner than on a standard length rifle. This “too soon” action causes the bolt to unlock while the cartridge case is still slightly expanded making the extractor work harder to pull the cartridge case from the chamber. Sometimes the extractor may slip off causing a failure. The modified cam track allows more time allowing the cartridge case to contract. The gas exhaust port was moved up and forward on the carrier. This permits more gas to be vented out of the ejection port, rather than inside of the receiver. This results in a cleaner rifle.

The change in the location also regulates the peak pressure to slow the action down. There was a third vent added to the carrier to allow quicker egress of unused gas. LMT added a flange to the face of the bolt carrier to fully support the bolt and strengthen the carrier at the end, where the dwell was increased, which decreases any chance of cracking. Sand/dirt relief grooves were added to the top and bottom of the front portion of the bolt carrier. These grooves channel away any debris in the upper receiver to allow the carrier to move smoothly. Additionally, the gas port in the bolt carrier is divided into two channels instead of one large port. These two ports slow down the gas flow and direct the pressure to each side of the bolt rather than on top of it.

The Bolt is highly modified to deal with several common issues found within the heavy firing schedules used by SOCOM. First, the bolt is made of a much stronger material. This material is more costly, as well as the cost of the tools to cut them. The bolt lugs are stress relieved by the radius’s cut into each lug. The lugs are allowed to flex. The LMT bolt is the first bolt which fully supports the base of the cartridge case adding strength. The “Lobster Tail” extractor is a dramatic improvement over the standard with a more aggressive extractor claw that engages more of the rim. This enables a better grip on the rim to aid in extraction under harsh conditions. Instead of using one extractor spring, the enhanced bolt uses two extractor springs. This gives a significant improvement in the life of the extractor springs, as well as extractor force. The bolt has a proprietary nickel-type finish to aid in function and to make cleaning easier. The bolt is both proof-tested and magnetic particle inspected to ensure against stress fractures in the material. The locking lugs have rounded edges instead of squared off edges.

<![CDATA[Glock Austria vs. Glock USA made Pistols]]>Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:39:51 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2018/01/glock-austria-vs-glock-usa-made-pistols.html Throughout the market we are seeing Glock pistols manufactured in both the United States, as well as, Austria. Of course, that presents a question many ask themselves, is one better than the other? How do you determine whether your pistol is made in Austria or the US? We will take a look at both of these questions.

On the 6th of December of 2017, I had the opportunity to visit Glock in Smyrna, GA and go through the factory. I learned many interesting facts that relate to these questions.
The answer in quality difference between the two is quite simple. Absolutely nothing! There are many reasons for this. The Glock USA pistols have American made frame, slide and barrel. The rest of the components come from Austria. All materials for manufacturing the frame, slide and barrels come from Austria and shipped to the US facility. There are no material procurements in the US. Glock Austria keeps 100% quality control of every aspect of production.

Another interesting note, Glock manufactures in-house every single component of the pistol down to springs and pins. All tooling, molds, fixtures, gauging, etc is manufactured in-house in Austria. This allows Glock a unique opportunity most US manufacturers do not exercise. Most US gun manufacturers manufacture certain components in-house but subcontract out others. They may also send parts outside to get heat treated, finish or any other coatings. Whereas, Glock has 100% control.

As far as process in manufacturing in the US, it is absolutely identical. All CNC machines come from Austria and have been programmed by the same people who do it in Austria. In fact, the electrical current in the US facility is European instead of American. Even the concrete floors in the US facility are identical to the Austrian plant. The US hammer forge barrel machines also come from Austria. The mold machines manufacture both frames as well as the polymer Glock gun cases the pistols are received in. Those cases would be too expensive and bulky to ship from Austria. To assure ability to produce without interruption, Glock USA keeps one year worth of production materials (steel, polymer manufacturing materials and so on) on hand.

The guns production capacity of US made guns peak last year was 10,000 per day (3 shifts running 7 days a week). Average production is about 25,000 guns per month. That is just US production numbers. The Austrian made guns come disassembled and are assembled and test fired in the US facility. Glock USA has about 25% of the production capability as the Austrian plant. The American facility employs over 400 people. As of December of 2017, The American Glock plant is running at 65% capacity with their most popular model being the Glock 19. 

In Austria, Glock has two different facilities, one deals with metal components and the other deals with the polymer components. All research and development are conducted in Austria. There is no model shop in the USA facility. All Glock models can be manufactured in the USA facility. But 100% of the G42 (380 Auto) pistols are made in the US due to ATF import regulations. The 380 Auto caliber Glock pistols do not meet the importation points to be imported into the US.

The test firing procedures at Glock USA is quite interesting. Each pistol is tested with 2 proof cartridges and 5 standard cartridges. The pistols are inspected before and again after test firing. The fixture is fully automated. The pistol with the loaded magazine and slide open are dropped into a fixture. The fixture is closed, securing the firearm. The tester pulls the slide to the rear to chamber a round. Now a bullet proof clear door closes protecting the tester. The tester pushes a button and the pistol shoots all ammo to lock back. Every pistol does this process. Additionally torture testing can be done this way as well. The pistols are tested for accuracy and sight alignment during this process. The range used is 25 meters. The testing facility is top of the line with constant air circulation and filtration system.

Glock USA is housed in several buildings on Highlands Parkway in Smyrna, Georgia. The headquarters at 6000 Highlands Parkway is the original facility that was bought by Mr. Glock in the early 80's. Originally, it was set up to assemble and test fire pistols and to distribute. In fact the operation was quite small at that time and he leased parts of the building out to other companies. As production grew, and when the tenants contracts were up, Glock would expand until the building was full. Today the original building is mostly administrative. The manufacturing facility is right behind the original building. Down the road you have Glock Professional which is the training facility. Here there is a state of the art range and classroom for armorer and operator classes. Down the road from that you have a facility that deals with web store and media including a large photo studio and broadcasting room. There is also a building that houses Glock Medical, which manufactures products for the medical industry.

Identification of Austrian or American made pistols is quite easy. As previously stated the only components manufactured in the US are the frame, barrel and slide. The rest of the components come from Austria.

On the frame of an American made pistol, the right side will say "MADE IN USA, GLOCK INC SMYRNA GA". In front of the slide lock you will see the Georgia proof mark which is the shape of the state of Georgia with a P in the center.
On the slide of an American made pistol has on the right side behind the extractor the Georgia proof mark. On the left side it will be marked US instead of AUSTRIA.
The barrel will be marked differently as well. The American pistols will not have the 5 sided proof mark from Austria but a football shaped proof mark with 3D in the center. Also on top of the barrel hood you will find the Georgia proof mark and it was say US.

Hopefully this will shed some light on the Austria vs. US guns. There is not one better than the other. They are made from the same machines and with the same materials, and strict standards that Glock has set forth in both facilities with 100% quality control.
<![CDATA[The AN94]]>Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:52:31 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/12/the-an94.html
Few weapons have be so shrouded in secrecy as the "Abakan" program in the former Soviet Union. Still in the midst of the Cold War, the Soviets began a search for a weapon to replace their revered Kalashnikov series rifles for a more modern rifle. The AK74 has served well up until this point.  However, very few would have expected it to still be with the Russians today. But even though type classified as the AN94 as a replacement for the AK74, it never happened.
Adopted in 1974, the 5.45x39mm AK74 rifle first saw action in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The decision to convert over from the 7.62x39mm to a smaller caliber high velocity cartridge was due to the success of the 5.56mm round in Vietnam. The Soviets did not want to lag behind. Kalashnikov was adamantly opposed to going to the smaller 5.45x39mm round but irregardless the decision was made. All there was to do was salute, say "yes sir" and get to work on the round and rifle.

The AKM was basically scaled down to fire the 5.45x39mm cartridge. New bolt, barrel and magazine were the primary changes. Many AKM components were compatible. Obviously the rear sight was changed to accommodate the flatter shooting projectile. The muzzle brake was added which made the AK74 perhaps the lightest recoiling military rifle in service anywhere in the world. It was easy for a conscript soldier to transfer from the AKM to the AK74. The entire manual of arms remained the same. The AK74 increased accuracy significantly as well as full auto controlability.

The AK74 would go on to be modernized from 1974 to 2017. Beginning rifles would have a lighter rear stock, as well as the most popular version, would be the AKS-74. This rifle sported a side folding skeleton stock.  It was also the introduction of the plum colored polymer furniture and a fixed polymer stock. The AK74M would be introduced with several updates including a side folding polymer stock, smooth dust cover, solid piston, as well as, a new method of retaining the front sight base and gas block. It would use a punch to move metal instead of drilling and pinning.
The rifle continued to serve with distinction, gaining a reputation for its lethality in Afghanistan. The rifle would be used in other Warsaw Pact countries including Poland, East Germany, North Korea, and Romania, to name a few, but it never saw adoption in other parts of the world. They remained with the 7.62x39mm.

The Soviets were looking for an updated rifle; one with greater range, controlability and easier to shoot. The caliber would remain the 5.45x39mm and utilize the AK74 magazine. Kalashnikov's design bureau did submit a rifle, as well as another designer named Gennadiy Nikonov.
Nikonov designed a rather unique rifle. In fact, I would say he developed the first new operating mechanism since the invention of Stoners direct gas impingement barrel extension designed AR10. Unlike a conventional internal or external piston rifle commonly seen on modern military rifles, he came up with a combination of gas and recoil operation called "blow back shifted pulse". The bolt mechanism would be a locked breech external long stroke piston similar to the AK74 with the addition of recoil operation.

The purpose of this design was to fire off two cartridges and the shooter to feel only one impulse, which was: putting both rounds on target. The upper receiver sat in a lower chassis where the recoil operation operated separately from the gas operation. As the rifle fired its first round, both the barrel and bolt were actuated. After the first round is completely cycled through the mechanism the barrel is at its halfway point in its rearward movement. Then the second round is fired and cycle is completed by the time the rifle barrel is in full rearward motion. The rate of fire is an extremely high 1800 rounds a minute for the first two rounds. When firing automatic, the first two shots are at 1800 rounds a minute, and after that, 600 rounds a minute until the trigger is released. After the first two rounds, the recoil of the barrel slows to one round per complete recoil of the barrel, giving it the slower rate of fire.
When looking at the rifle you will see that the magazine is canted. This is for a reason. As previously stated, the barrel and bolt groups move separately from each other. The bolt does not over reach the rear of the magazine to strip a round. It can't due to the fact the rifle fires with the barrel/bolt in two separate locations. To make this work there is a cable and pulley mechanism that operates the pre-loading mechanism.
Once the gas pushes rearward on the piston, and the bolt starts to move rearward, the bolt carrier reverses the pulley, the cable moves the pre-feed mechanism to strip a round off the magazine. It then moves it into position on the pre-feed locations, so that when the bolt moves fully rearward, the bolt can pick up the round regardless of what location the barrel is recoiling.  Rather than use a conventional hammer mechanism, the AN94 uses a striker similar to that of a Glock pistol. The selector has a semi, 2 shot burst and Automatic setting, with a separate safety lever in front of the trigger.
The stock folds to the right similar to that of the AK74. There was a muzzle brake that had two chambers. This muzzle brake had to be installed for the rifle to cycle properly. It weighs 8.5 pounds and the only parts common with the AK74 is the stock, magazine and pistol grip. The chassis is basically all polymer. The designer claims that this rifle is just as, if not more, reliable than the AK74. It seems a little hard to believe that with, not only the cable pulley mechanism, but the barrel rides on a track connected to the lower that appears if dirt got in that track it could cause malfunctions.

Regardless the rifle was officially adopted in 1994 by the Soviet Army. However it would see little service for two main reasons. With the fall of the Soviet Union the money went away. Russia could not afford it. Also it was very complex. The rifle was used by SPETZNAZ on a limited basis and I am not aware of any foreign sales. It was only in production from 1994 to 2006. You do see them occasionally at defense trade shows in the Izhmash booth. The AK74M went in production in 1991 and remains in production as of now.
This is a truly fascinating rifle. Perhaps the most advanced the industry has yet to see. It never really got a combat reputation. Its failures were economic and perhaps it being as complex as it was rendered it useless to the masses. There are only a couple in the US so few have had the chance to even fire one. I got a close look at one of these a couple time but never had the opportunity to fire one. The way it operates is fascinating. The entire concept is really the opposite of Kalashnikov's philosophy. He believe in simplicity as the key to reliability. Nikonov believed more so in technology and complex engineering.
<![CDATA[CYBER MONDAY IS HERE]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 15:33:44 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/cyber-monday-is-here.html Cyber Monday is here! It's that one day a year where you are encouraged to online shop with deep discounts. Brownells is offering 11% off everything sitewide, plus free shipping with code NBB. Here are some more of Chris's picks for deep savings.

Barrel Weight:
 1 lbs
Cartridge: 5.56 mm NATO
Contour: Lightweight, Pencil
Finish: QPQ
Gas System Length: Mid-Length
Length: 14.5
Muzzle Threads: 1/2-28
Twist: 1-8


This compact, model-specific field maintenance pack is designed for servicing combat weapons and, provide the soldier or law enforcement personnel with all the tools required to field strip, repair, and maintain weapons while on the move. Not a run-of-the-mill cleaning kit, but carefully selected, high-quality field armorer tools dedicated to working on specific weapon types, so there is no confusion and no down time spent scrounging through a large field case of loose odds and ends. Individual pouches and compartments inside the water- and abrasion-resistant, denier Cordura case keep tools secure and separated to help minimize noise that could jeopardize your mission. Quiet, #9 YKK zippers with oversize pulls make it fast and easy to get tools in and out. Front panel features clear, I.D. card sleeve and loop strip for name tape. Includes two, nylon grab handles for easy carry. Made in the U.S.A. Field Pack Case also available separately. The M16/M4 Field Pack allows complete weapon breakdown for routine maintenance and repair, plus includes tools for sight adjustments and field cleaning of the Colt M16/M4. Includes special tools for removal of barrel nut, flash hider and lower receiver extension without damage to any rifle component.

Battery Life:
 5 yrs
Color: Black
Magnification: 1x
Objective Size: 25mm
Power Supply: (1) CR 2032 Lithium battery
Reticle: 2.0 MOA Red Dot
Weight: 4.1 oz
Made in the USA


Designed in conjunction with Nodak Spud, the BRN-16A1 Lower Receiver matches the features of the original M16A1 Receiver.  Perfect for a “Retro” or reproduction build, these lowers precisely mirror the original profile.  
Features specific to the BRN-16A1 Lower Receiver are the proper M16A1 front takedown lug profile, and profile surrounding the receiver extension.  Most forged lower receivers produced today feature “A2” profiles, which are incorrect for M16A1 reproduction builds.  The lower starts off as a 7075 T6 aluminum forging, then is machined to mil-spec dimensions.  Once machined, the lower is finished with a matte black hard anodized finish.  This finish matches modern uppers found on the market today, as well as the Brownells M16A1 Upper Receiver sold separately.  
Standard AR-15 components will work perfectly with this lower.

These receivers only have cosmetic blemishes.  Expected blemishes are safety engravings on both sides of the receiver.  Receivers are otherwise perfectly functional. 


The Geissele 2 Stage Enhanced Trigger (B-G2S-E) provides superior control and helps accuracy while maintaining the robustness and reliability that Geissele triggers are known for. The B-G2S-E gives a smooth, light 1st stage take up of 2.3lbs and a crisp, candy-cane-like 2nd stage break of 1.2lbs. The B-G2S-E is ideal for use in precision Squad Designated Marksman type rifles where weapon accuracy and reliability are critical.

B-GRF (Geissele Rapid Fire)
The Geissele Rapid Fire Trigger (B-GRF) was developed to give semiautomatic-only rifles a glass-smooth trigger pull very similar to the Geissele Super Select Fire (SSF) trigger designed for the U.S. Special Operations Community .  The B-GRF is a fast-shooting, smooth trigger ideal for 3 Gun competition and recreational shooting alike. It pulls like a single-stage, but resets like a two-stage. Two trigger springs are included so the B-GRF can be set up with a pull of either 4 lbs or 3.2 lbs. Does NOT convert semiautomatic rifles to automatic.

Hollow-Ended "Starter" Punches For Roll PinsHolds roll pins perfectly aligned for starting correctly. Especially good on the tiny, tough-to-grab ones, or those in tight places. 1/16" is notched to clear M16/AR-15 rear sight. 3.5mm excellent for holding the pin that retains the breech block on Sig handguns. Finish driving with roll pin punch. O/A in chart means "Overall". Available individually or as a set of 5.


The PMAG 30 AR 300 B GEN M3 is a purpose-designed magazine for rifles chambered in .300 Blackout. Since its inception, .300 Blackout shooters have had to use a magazine designed for another cartridge, limiting its performance and compatibility.

One of the nice features of .300 Blackout is the compatibility with 5.56x45mm parts, but with the magazine it is a compromise to do so. Due to the wide variety of projectile weights and shapes potentially decreasing overall reliability, a dedicated .300 Blackout magazine was a logical step for the PMAG line.

In addition to the performance gained by a dedicated mag, the PMAG 30 AR 300 B also offers a safer way to feed your .300 BLK rifle. When using 5.56 mags, the potential to chamber and fire a .300 BLK round in a 5.56 rifle with catastrophic results requires diligent ammunition management by the shooter. The PMAG 30 AR 300 B’s distinct rib design provides the shooter a distinct visual and tactile difference from any other PMAG to mitigate dangerous cross-loading issues.


Convenient, Money-Saving 3-Paks Of Factory Mags For Popular ModelsGenuine Glock® factory magazines ensure smooth, reliable feeding and help you stay confident your pistol will perform reliably. Manufactured to Glock® specifications in Austria by Glock®. Features a round count indicator on rear face of mag body and the standard factory base plate. Also available bundled with a rugged Uncle Mike’s molded-Kydex two-mag belt pouch. Tension screw system lets you adjust the amount of retention for competition or carry. Combo available for Glock® 17/34 (9mm).

<![CDATA[Colt Lower on Sale!]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:37:22 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/colt-lower-on-sale.html Colt lower on sale for $249 plus use code MED to save an additional $15 and get Free Shipping. https://goo.gl/NPpqjP
<![CDATA[Black Friday Deals are Here!]]>Fri, 24 Nov 2017 19:15:02 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/black-friday-deals-are-here.html We are pulling some of the most amazing deals for your Black Friday Shopping.

Chris's favorite one is this ammo deal on 223 FMJ American Eagle. Combined with a sale price, mail in rebate and the codes Brownells is offering for free shipping and percentages off, it's rock bottom!

<![CDATA[The Ultimate Man's Guide to Black Friday Shopping]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:34:57 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/the-ultimate-mans-guide-to-black-friday-shopping.html Wondering what to add to your holiday list? Chris is running through gun accessories, gear, cleaning equipment, and tools. Brownells will be having a huge Black Friday sale where they offer a percentage off based on how much you purchase.

100-016-825 Vltor IMOD Stock https://goo.gl/nKroXP
100-003-750 Vltor Receiver Extension https://goo.gl/3DHWgt
100-003-185 SAS End Plate https://goo.gl/MvwNq1
452-000-209 JP Enterprises Silent Recoil Spring https://goo.gl/4AWgNC
100-024-307 Radian Arms Raptor Charging Handle https://goo.gl/VdSox9
100-019-321 Aimpoint 3x Magnifier https://goo.gl/EpkPga
100-003-002 Aimpoint Comp 4 https://goo.gl/sRLhso
100-009-823 Centurion Rail System https://goo.gl/C5r1ue
071-000-034 Tango Down Pistol Grip https://goo.gl/SE9Y7U
100-003-742 Arms Folding Front Sight https://goo.gl/iR7P28
100-022-768 FN 16” Barrel https://goo.gl/sHZNMZ
100-003-114 Vltor Flash Suppressor https://goo.gl/Pt8Lre
100-004-042 Vltor Upper Receiver Assembly https://goo.gl/oCACxk
100-024-753 Radian Arms Ambi Lower Receiver https://goo.gl/qNQo3z
100-014-095 Magpul MIAD Grip https://goo.gl/1pzizk
100-013-592 Hiperfire Elite Trigger https://goo.gl/X2BYjy
851-110-016 Smith Enterprise Bolt Carrier Assembly https://goo.gl/xT7sSx
901-000-002 Tank Rifle Shop Extractor Donut https://goo.gl/3oqqkk
100-011-219 Magpul Gen 3 PMag https://goo.gl/oWyBei
851-000-068 Smith Enterprise Armorer Wrench https://goo.gl/heUGuQ
100-003-986 CA Torque, Torque Wrench https://goo.gl/NRs6XZ
133-100-015 Mark Brown Gas Tube Wrench https://goo.gl/pEYcQX
100-000-308 Maglula AR Lula https://goo.gl/MDkuK2
851-000-091 Smith Enterprise Vortex Flash Suppressor https://goo.gl/kryJ2G
635-001-015 Norgon Ambi Magazine Release https://goo.gl/2tYJ8L
939-000-003 Young Manufacturing AR15 Bolt Ejection Tool https://goo.gl/aD4FPk
100-004-875 Gerber Effect Tool https://goo.gl/W2WcMA
100-010-603 Troy Battle Rail https://goo.gl/8y9RuH
471-100-008 Kroil 13oz Can https://goo.gl/wAhkTf

Headphones http://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/...

Troy Rifles, 5% off at MyServiceRifle.com - Code: SASMSR2017 and 10% off Troy Accessories at Troyind.com - Code: SASTroy2017

Manta Code SAS20 to Save 20% http://www.manta.us/products.php G96 Code SAS10 to Save 10% http://www.mcssl.com/store/c0e84d9548...

Armorer's Manual https://www.amazon.com/Armorers-Manua...
<![CDATA[When Will the M4 Be Replaced?]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:53:20 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/when-will-the-m4-be-replaced.html
When will the M16/M4 be replaced? It's been a popular question looming over the last 50 years or so. It has been attempted numerous times throughout the years through the ACR trials, Individual Carbine, as well as many others. For some reason, in the end, we stay with what we know works. Looking back to World War II, we saw a transformation from semi-automatic combat rifles, and in the post war era we saw the introduction of the intermediate caliber. Towards the end of World War II, we saw iron and wood turn into stamped sheet metal (StG44).
Now along comes the 1950's which really was the dawn of the aircraft age; the introduction and usage of modern aluminum and polymer components. Eugene Stoner from ArmaLite introduced a groundbreaking application of the modern materials to the firearms industry. Like any change, the industry went kicking and screaming into a new age. Another major change was the introduction of the barrel extension which decreased the weight of firearms. This would be a major change in the firearms design and be adopted in designs all over the world. Direct gas was viewed as an improvement over external piston by the testers of the AR10 and AR15 at Aberdeen, although the head poobah told the testers to erase the comments.
The AK47 also remained nearly the same with minor production improvement and caliber changes. It was a solid design and it worked. Soviet doctrine was fulfilled by this rifle. Precision accuracy was not important, but short range full auto firepower was. Since World War II the major Soviet tactic was massive bombing and artillery bombardment, and then, mobilizing overwhelming infantry at close range.

The US was quite different in their requirements. And the AK-type rifle would not meet the requirements at all. Longer range precision accuracy was a requirement, as well as, many human engineering factors (easy to use, controllable, modular, etc…..). The AK really only has evolved with the change in caliber to 5.45x39mm but core design has stayed the same. Brutally reliable, poor human engineering, poor accuracy beyond 150 yards compared to its American counterpart, but it fit the need of the Soviet conscript Army.
In the mid 1980's, NATO standardized on the Belgian SS109 cartridge as the new 5.56x45mm NATO round. The M16 was readily adapted to this new caliber and its unique needs over the Vietnam-era M193. New barrel twist plus numerous improvements over the M16A1 including stronger furniture, shell deflector, reinforced receivers, sights fully adjustable for use with the longer range potential of the M855 round. In the mid 1990's the M16A2 would morph into the M4 carbine. Again adapting to new conditions of mounted warfare, lighter for carrying and many accessories introduced such as rail systems, optics, lasers, IR scopes, night vision, as well as, vertical pistol grips. Following suit came the M16A4 which gave the adaptability and modularity of the 14.5 inch M4 carbine to the 20 inch full size rifle. The AK remained the same. For military use you had difficulty adapting any of these components to it. Some rifles would be issued with a side mounted scope, but general issue still did not make use of scopes and optics of other sorts.

The early years of the Global War on Terrorism sparks the newest debate: Is direct gas impingement inferior to the old technology of the external piston? This was brought out by issues SOCOM has had with their M4A1 carbines. Originally they had claimed the rifles were deficient and "fundamentally flawed". Reality was they were using a lightweight carbine in the role of a light machinegun. The weapon evolved once again into the SOPMOD M4A1 carbine. The barrel was made into a heavy barrel to better deal with the SOF higher rate of fire schedules. Around that same time the SCAR or Special Operations Command Automatic Rifle program was initiated.
This was for a new firearm designed specifically for their needs and they would become the project manager of. The final two were the Colt Type C and the FN Scar 16. Based on soldier feedback, they felt there was more of a future in the FN entry and it was adopted. In the meantime, the new M4A1 rifles came out and were used by SOF with little issues. The SCAR 16 was plagued with issues, enough so that after a few years of trying to get the gun ready to put in service, they cancelled the program in favor of the new SOPMOD M4A1 rifles. The MK26 offered no performance enhancement over the M4A1.

Heckler & Koch would launch a very aggressive marketing campaign claiming their HK 416 was superior. The rifle got very mixed reviews. It got feathers riled enough that Senator Coburn demanded the Army do a full open competition test to see if our military had the best rifle. The Army stated that they were pleased with the rifle and saw no need to replace it but they were forced to run the competition. Many companies submitted. It was down to four different rifles. All rifles were tested with the new M855A1 ammunition, which was higher pressure. None of these companies were provided this ammunition to design their firearms around.

All 4 failed the durability testing with the new ammo. The competition was cancelled. The M4 would remain. However, this did lead to an M4 upgrade program. This would replace the barrel with the new SOCOM heavy barrel; replace the burst fire control with an auto; and, make the rifle ambidextrous with an ambi safety and magazine release. This too was cancelled after a brief time. As of 2017, all rifles procured are in the SOCOM M4A1 configuration.
This leads us back to the question, how long until this family of weapon are retired for something new? My answer is I think we have reached an evolutionary peak in the industry. All military rifles are very similar in mechanism and modularity. We see newer lighter materials, some changes in finish and coatings to the barrels but mechanically about the same. Nothing coming out really offers enough of an improvement to move forward.

I believe we have reached the peak with the use of the metallic cartridge. Until we see some new form of ammunition (caseless, for example, or a laser gun!) I do not see any change. With the new technology for ammunition, we will see the next evolution in small arms. The M4/M16 has changed with new battlefield requirements successfully since 1965. Through changes in materials, changes in battlefield environment, as well as, all the new optic technology. The ability to change out with different cartridges has yet to be realized within the military (300 Blackout, 6.8mmSPC for instance).

The platform still has much life in it. I believe it will continue to serve until we reach that new thing. I believe the same for the AK47 on the Russian side. We have seen the evolution to the AK74. We have even seen the AN94 officially replace it, yet never go into production for anyone out of SPETZNAZ. It was too expensive and complicated to produce so we have the AK74M. New rifles are showing some presence but the core is still the AK-series. Like everything in life, it is up to speculation and debate, but this is my opinion.
<![CDATA[Review of the Desert Eagle]]>Fri, 17 Nov 2017 02:19:39 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/review-of-the-desert-eagle.html The Desert Eagle has become iconic because of its star status created in popular movies of our time, with one of most iconic film stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It has become one of the most recognized pistols in the world. It was in production for a few years without notice. In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film, Commando the Desert Eagles is when its fame began. Other Schwarzenegger’s movies such as: Red Heat, Eraser and my favorite, Last Action Hero, would create the demand for this family of pistols.

The Desert Eagle is a large gas operated pistol firing the 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum and the most powerful cartridge in the world to be chambered in a semi-automatic pistol, the .50 Action Express. Although the designers wanted an even larger projectile but the ATF would have classified anything over .50 cal to be considered a destructive device.
<![CDATA[Review of the Robinson Armament XCR-M]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:40:13 GMThttp://smallarmssolutions.com/1/post/2017/11/review-of-the-robinson-armament-xcr-m.html A technical review and test firing of the Robinson Armament XCR-M is available on YouTube. Products mentioned in the video are as follows:

100-025-597 Geissele AR-15 SOPMOD Mount  https://goo.gl/RTYcy2
100-017-237 Sig Sauer Rifle Scope https://goo.gl/GERQik
Manta Rail Covers - Manta Code SAS20 to Save 20% http://www.manta.us/products.php