HKPRO Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There has been a lot of talk lately about next generation rifle systems for US armed forces. We have seen the SCAR (come and go?) the recent selection of the 416 in IAR form for the USMC and the army's individual carbine competition. In my totally non-expert opinion, no current system out there compares to the HK416. However, I keep reading about the Beretta ARX-160. The weight, the total ambidextrous capabilities, the piston system, the quick change barrel, etc. and I would like to know what industry experts think of this system as compared to the 416. The Italian armed forces apparently use it. What is the feedback? Does the outstanding reliability of the 416 outperform the ARX?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Hopefully in about 8-10 months can answer as far as MR 556 versus ARX 160 Semi when they hit the US market. Otherwise probably have to rely on Canadian or Italian members who have them available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
It looks interesting, but there's not a lot of info about it. You'll never see it in the US, at least not in civilian circles. It reminds me of what the XM8 could have evolved to if HK got the ergos better and adopted a more modular approach.

-W
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
Hopefully in about 8-10 months can answer as far as MR 556 versus ARX 160 Semi when they hit the US market. Otherwise probably have to rely on Canadian or Italian members who have them available.
Now that is news. Where in the US are these being made/assembled for sale here?

-W
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
There has been a lot of talk lately about next generation rifle systems for US armed forces. We have seen the SCAR (come and go?) the recent selection of the 416 in IAR form for the USMC and the army's individual carbine competition. In my totally non-expert opinion, no current system out there compares to the HK416. However, I keep reading about the Beretta ARX-160. The weight, the total ambidextrous capabilities, the piston system, the quick change barrel, etc. and I would like to know what industry experts think of this system as compared to the 416. The Italian armed forces apparently use it. What is the feedback? Does the outstanding reliability of the 416 outperform the ARX?
Two VERY different rifles - makes for a hard comparison.
-The HK416 is metal based and built to model legacy (M4, M16) operating controls, parts, procedues, etc. It has no user barrel or caliber modularity except in 6.8mm Rem. SPC (protos only). It is a down and dirty working mans gun with few frills.
-The ARX-160 is polymer based and intended by design to be "modular" allowing user adaptation of caliber and barrel lengths and accessories.

The ARX-160 is in service with the Italian Army and reportedly one UK SOF unit in a specialized role and has a limited track record thus far.
The HK416 is in service with many of the elite SOF and tactical units around the globe and has an excellent track record contrary to what you may read.

If you want modularity in barrel lenths and caliber the ARX-160 has the advantage but thus far though available that feature has not really sold many AR's on the military/federal market. Most such rifles are purchased in a dedictaed caliber and not changed (i.e. Rem. ACR, SCAR, CZ805) and those modularity features add cost and complexity, and weight for QC barrel, which is why the QC barrel feature and thus the user modularity feature was dropped from at least 2 US Army IC competitor rifles.

In a head to head test to include environmental, rough handling and abuse testing I would put my money on the HK416. As one HK416 user once said, "butt stroking with a polymer rifle is less than satisfactory".

G3Kurz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
While a very interesting concept, the ARX modularity does add complexity as stated.

I'd be interested in seeing the actual mechanicals around the QC barrel and how effective it is to obtain repeatable accuracy even with the same barrel. Kinda gimmicky IMO.

I would disagree with the assertion that no "current system compares to...." There are advances in bolt carrier tech for DI guns that are further advancing the opinion that the piston op system is a solution to a non-existent problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
the piston op system is a solution to a non-existent problem.
Really? Then why don't we use DI in LMG's? The same DI high heat transfer and fouling transfer issues that would plague DI use in a LMG also apply to AR's especially in thse cases now where the guns are run suppressed most of the time. The reduced heat to the internals increases both bolt life and reliability and the reduced fouling (80% or greater) reduces wear to the parts and maintenance time, effort. No reapplication of lube is required and no gas tube to burst if obstructed.

The peformance of op rod guns like the HK416, XM8, G36 and SCAR L against DI guns like the M4 are well recorded in numerous military tests - there is no comparison. I have tracked now @ 40 op rod guns, uppers and conversion kits new to the market since the 2004 debut of the op rod HKM4/HK416 thus that many companies must see merit. The best Colt candidate in the SCAR testing was their op rod variant. The US Army want's to replace the DI op system in the M4 with a non-DI (ie op rod) system. DI MK18 CQBR's can't run anywhere close to the reliability of an HK416 in the same barrel length. The latest Remington auto-loading shotgun uses two op rods. On and on the examples go. It will be interesing (if it goes that far) how the IC candiates perform side by side under identical conditions - DI and op rod. I know where I would put my money.

This is far more than a fad. If you live with a quality op rod gun for even just a week the differences are clear.

G3Kurz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,872 Posts
G, always eloquent and correct. You are the MAN!! I see no problem with DI for semi auto only guns. Still quite dirty little beasts especially suppressed. But DI in full auto? Op rod is better every time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
Oh sorry, I thought we were talking about infantry carbines/rifles (AR160 vs HK416) not LMGs.

Wow..but yeah, your right about increase fouling, heat etc. The op will no doubt need that in the sands of St Louis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,872 Posts
I'm in the sands of South Carolina!! Does that count??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,872 Posts
The only thing I'd be concerned about in a DI is sustained fa fire. I've watched those gas tubes catch on fire. Sure, that was a lot of rounds. But still.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
In my totally non-expert opinion, no current system out there compares to the HK416.
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you've never handled a G36?

I actually agree with Joehk. A piston operated "battle rifle" is not a necessary improvement over the current DI weapon. Yes DI does have some disadvantages when compared to a piston / pushrod rifle. Yes, I personally prefer a piston, and choking on operating gas when shooting the DI rifle suppressed sucks horribly - I'm a lefty, I really know. I think comparing a battle rifle to a LMG or the everyday use of a grunt rifle to that of a super human, high speed, low drag, elite, tactical operator is more of an unfair comparison than comparing the 416 to the ARX-160, though.
As a standard issue weapon, let's not forget that more than 99% of the people carrying this rifle will never fire full auto or suppressed. In fact a vast majority of them will never even use the burst. They will not be in prolonged, sustained fire engagements to the point that fouling will cause an interruption. The only advantage in a piston from this aspect would be fixing the problem of lazy, chicken$#!^ leadership that doesn't want to keep after their troops to clean their rifles. Current M16/M4s are not being issued as automatic rifles (3round burst is standard), and only spec ops teams even hope for silencer use. In the United States, Infantry and other combat arms teams are no longer using the M16 in the automatic rifle role. They've been using the M249 in that role for a couple decades, now. Support troops haven't had a full auto M16 since the A1. For what it's worth, the Marine Corps is only selectively replacing the M249 with the IAR, not wholesale. There's more than just DI issues in the automatic rifle role, there's barrel heat, as well. MGs have interchangeable barrels for exactly that reason. For some reason, the Navy does still carry an inventory of F/A M16A3s, but who know what/why the Navy does anything it does with a rifle. Specialty roles have, and will continue to be just that: specialty. A machine gun, or even automatic rifle is not a standard issue battle rifle, and spec-ops will always have their own procurements.

Yes, op rod/piston *weapons* are different from DI systems. The problem is that too many people seem to be hung up on trying to band-aid a piston into the AR platform, when they should be looking at a whole new system. Magpul started out trying to improve the AR. In the end they built the Masada/ACR because they were smart enough to realize this. HK innovated with the G36, then in my opinion, took a giant step backwards (dare I even say: compromised) with the 416 and it's family.

The Individual Carbine competition states that a replacement must be a *significant* improvement over the current battle rifle, and without a significant cost increase. The best thing they could do to improve the current rifle is to modify the bolt and receiver to reduce intake of environmental contaminants Get rid of the unnecessary forward assist. I never once had to use it, on a military issued or civilian rifle. It's just another path for mud, sand, water and other environmentals to get inside, and the notches on the bolt for it are just hangouts for failure inducing garbage.
Redesign the bolt and ejection port areas so that a dustcover is no longer necessary. A good bolt-receiver fit, and a bolt carrier without all the nooks, crannies, and holes exposed through the port would go a long way towards matching competition in those mud, dirt and other "torture" tests.

I'm not a fan of a one-size-fits-all modular solution. Jack of all trades = master of none. I think that was the obstacle, and eventual demise for the XM8. They tried too hard to make what should have been a simple carbine into a modular system capable of filling every role, from subcompact urban SBR to DMR to full scale LMG at what would essentially have been the flip of a switch - and then complained when it all added too much weight/expense to the system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Oh sorry, I thought we were talking about infantry carbines/rifles (AR160 vs HK416) not LMGs.

Wow..but yeah, your right about increase fouling, heat etc. The op will no doubt need that in the sands of St Louis.
Well St. Louis is one of the most dangerous cities on the planet according to several surveys but I have no NEED for either rifle. My concern is for the American warfighter to have the absolute best technology available. The ARX reminded me of the XM8 in some respects. I am a big HK fan but our troops should have the best regardless of the brand. "Best" is hard to quantify and even harder with the USG procurement process.

I have some experience with Rock Island, ARDEC, Crane, etc. and I am amazed that anything actually makes it through the procurement process to the warfighter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
And I appreciate your concern for those of thus that have served, and whom have sons/daughters that are currently serving.

As someone who has experience with the SCAR, M4 and piston op AR platforms, it's my opinion that the op system in the SCAR is a much more robust system than that of any piston AR platform I've come across. Not surprising as it is also a close copy of the G36 in design, but in a more robust extruded alum monolithic rail platform. Kinda why the new HK uses steel upper.

The proof for me is in how linear the recoil impulse is and how easily it has been adapted to the larger 7.62 caliber in a light rifle.
Many AR type rifles adapted for 7.62 are a full 2 pounds heavier than the SCAR H. It is far more user friendly platform for shooting the 7.62 than any AR in that caliber and the reason it is highly sought after. "Come and gone"?

Even the USAR concluded that there wasn't enough performance gain over the venerable M4 carbine to replace it with the SCAR L, so why would there be any believe the USAR would replace the M4 with another AR piston op system, that would also offer no clear advantage that can't be obtained with improved DI design?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Really? Then why don't we use DI in LMG's? The same DI high heat transfer and fouling transfer issues that would plague DI use in a LMG also apply to AR's especially in thse cases now where the guns are run suppressed most of the time. The reduced heat to the internals increases both bolt life and reliability and the reduced fouling (80% or greater) reduces wear to the parts and maintenance time, effort. No reapplication of lube is required and no gas tube to burst if obstructed.

The peformance of op rod guns like the HK416, XM8, G36 and SCAR L against DI guns like the M4 are well recorded in numerous military tests - there is no comparison. I have tracked now @ 40 op rod guns, uppers and conversion kits new to the market since the 2004 debut of the op rod HKM4/HK416 thus that many companies must see merit. The best Colt candidate in the SCAR testing was their op rod variant. The US Army want's to replace the DI op system in the M4 with a non-DI (ie op rod) system. DI MK18 CQBR's can't run anywhere close to the reliability of an HK416 in the same barrel length. The latest Remington auto-loading shotgun uses two op rods. On and on the examples go. It will be interesing (if it goes that far) how the IC candiates perform side by side under identical conditions - DI and op rod. I know where I would put my money.

This is far more than a fad. If you live with a quality op rod gun for even just a week the differences are clear.

G3Kurz
Well said. HK Op rod guns also have higher cook off rates compared to the DI M4. The G36 and HK416 have a cook off rate of 240-270 rounds while the M4 is 180-210 rounds.
I'm not saying that DI is broken but I do think a modern op rod system is much better in performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
731 Posts
Beretta makes nice guns, I look forward to handling one when they come out. The HK416 is pretty BA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
HK innovated with the G36, then in my opinion, took a giant step backwards (dare I even say: compromised) with the 416 and it's family.
I would have to respectfully disagree. I do think the G36 is an excellent system and handles a wider variety of ammo than the 416 and has a better designed mag. But the G36 (another 5.56mm system) doesn't offer enough advantages to replace the M16 FOW. It would make much more sense to improve the M16 FOW for M16 users and the HK416 is exactly that. The HK416 offers most of the enhanced performance of the SCAR-L by simply attaching a 416 upper to an M4 lower.

Both the G36 and 416 have their advantages and disadvantages. As G3 kurz said before, in a side by side reliability test, the G36 would probably win. But the 416 has better ergos and is more durable. But the HK416 is probably more expensive compared to the G36. I do think extruded aluminum is a good compromise between polymer and forged aluminum.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top