I cannot believe we cannot make the best infantry weapon in the world.
The beauty of the XM8 was the interchangable barrel, allowing the upgrading of the weapon to reasonably larger and improved calibers as ammunition became available, yet immediately usable with the existing stocks of 5,56x45mm ammunition.
The XM8 I fired two years back was indeed in the *old* 5.56mm chambering, but was also instantly upgradable to the 6.8 SPC round developed by the bright lads at 5th Special Forces Group and detested by the *professionals* in the Ordnance establishment as a result- just as the M16 was resisted by Army Ordnance in favour of the older Garand-based M14. But if either the 6,8mm cartridge or the XM8 rifle finds favour, it's likely that the other will eventually follow.
But the XM8 or its FN equivalent is not quite yet a dead issue, and problems resulting from Stoner's design of the AR15/M16 magazine well will continue to plague the system for its lifetime. Meantime, the Australians have developed a 6,8mm barrel/bolt/magazine package for their F88 AusSteyr, though they're still sticking with the 5,56mm ammunition for now.
The real place where improvement would be most appreciated would be in a 6,8mm barrel/bolt/linkbelt fot the M249 SAW. But it appears that the Navy is happier going to a 7,62x51 NATO version, the Mk. 48 Mod 0, instead.
BTW: if you stop by the Pentagon, you'll note that the guards there are using XM8-family G36 rifles, not M16 or M4 carbines... I guess the top brass feels safer knowing that their guards have weapons that'll work.
Chamber those with 6.8 ammo, and problem solved.
"BTW: if you stop by the Pentagon, you'll note that the guards there are using XM8-family G36 rifles, not M16 or M4 carbines... I guess the top brass feels safer knowing that their guards have weapons that'll work."
Maybe. Or maybe they got the weapons out of friendship with the Krauts. The Pentagon, IMO, is less likely to experience actual combat. After all, the only attack on it has been on 9/11 when AQ crashed a hijakced plane into it. I wish that we could get a American-designed weapon that would fire the 6.8 mm.