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Interim Combat Service Rifle Program Got Scrapped

Active Military
Active Military
Veteran News
Veteran News
September 22, 2017
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The lethality of our warriors on the ground should be the main focus of arming and training our military. Everything up the chain is easier if the men on the ground are equipped to succeed with a rifle that will give them an edge in all situations. With that being said, the longstanding debate of caliber in our service rifle has hit another pothole. The Interim Combat Service Rifle program has been scrapped. A recent report confirmed that the program to develop a service rifle capable of addressing the immediate needs in regards to range and power apparently lacking in the 5.56 round has essentially been a total waste. The program was designed to give warriors on the ground the same mobility they enjoyed with the M-4 and M-16 variants chambered in 5.56. The 5.56 round was great, for a while. As long as you could shoot the rifle accurately, the round did exactly as it was designed to do. It bounced around inside the body causing all sorts of havoc. However, given our adversaries leaps in technology in the areas of armament and armor, several experts have agreed on the lessened lethality of the 5.56 round and therefore of our warfighters. A study in Afghanistan showed that after 300 meters, the 5.56 round had less killing power and was almost combat ineffective. This is a big problem. While in Iraqi cities where the engagement distance for your average soldier was anywhere between 0 and 200 meters (200 meters being extremely generous in most instances), this was not a problem for the rifle they were equipped with, as a more conventional force though would pose more of a threat.The threats we are facing today are not necessarily insurgents in black pajamas. Instead, it’s rogue nation states that have standing armies with supply, logistics, body armor, and their own research and development. Everyone remembers the scene in Heartbreak Ridge where Clint Eastwood tells everyone about the preferred rifle of their enemy, the AK-47. That was in the eighties. We’re more than thirty years removed from that and our enemies have adapted. We’ve been left in our Hollywood era thinking that the M-4 will always carry the day.Now we rush about frantically trying to catch up in the arms race with one canceled program after another. No doubt our fighter planes are amazing. We have some killer drones. Our ICBMs are a force to be reckoned with. It’s all gravy but, if we don’t invest the time, money and steadfastness to providing the boots on the ground with a rifle and round that allows them to “put warheads on foreheads,” are we not doing ourselves a disservice? If our lethality on the ground is not addressed, each one of those planes and drones are going to be more at risk than if we had a decent rifle.


The cost of a new rifle versus a new airplane, in my opinion, demonstrates the necessity to find a rifle, and a round, capable of the lethality our troops so desperately deserve. We don’t know why we don’t have laser rifles yet, but that’s another article entirely.Read more shooting articles here.

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