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It's going to be just like Christmas; the weapon costs $14,000 alreay, but when the army starts getting the weapons in stock, the crates will be marked: "Batteries not included; some assembly required." And the batteries will probably cost $500 each. And the assembly instructions won't be understandable; just like that bike you got for Christmas when you were ten and dad spent all night cussing and throwing tools and still it was only half-finished when it was time to open the presents. You know those instructions: "Take Bolt 'A' (to complete subassembly 'C') and connect it to nut 'D' while making sure subassembly 'F' does not fall off sprocket retaining assembly. Turn sprocket retaining assembly (not shown) 90 degrees left and down until the threaded fastener can be slided forward and over to connect to the brake housing assembly (not shown)..."

This "weapon" is going to be the biggest and most expensive POS ever.

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Besides the fancy scope, what advantages, if any, does the OICW have over an M16 equipped with a grenade launcher? (I believe it's called the M203.)
 

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The problem with its alleged "advantages" is that they are all theoretical.

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Originally posted by GI-45:
Besides the fancy scope, what advantages, if any, does the OICW have over an M16 equipped with a grenade launcher? (I believe it's called the M203.)
The advantage, as I understand it, is that the 20mm projectile is supposed to be 'Smart', so it knows when and where to airburst over an enemy in a foxhole. What I don't understand is that the military went to the 5.5 to cut ammoload/weapon weight. So what's up with the OICW? Besides that, having had a little grunt time myself, I don't think I'd be comfortable thinking about the reliability of that $500 battery in a firefight on extended ops!
 

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As a former 45B (small arms repairman), I can say that more than likely, there would be no replacing 'parts' on this OICW, but rather, replacement of entire assemblies. Expensive. I fail to see how any one MOS could repair this weapon. Itwould take a small arms repairman and a fire control repairman to do anything with it. Expensive. Read also: more training at Aberdeen; the Small Arms Repairers Course was well over three months when I went through it. This will become another MOS to be critically short of people due to the difficulty of keeping trained people in the army and the length of time to train the MOS.

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Addresssing one of the original questions asked, I was in the military long enough (and long enough ago) to have been issued both the M14 & M16. I have carried a full combat load for each. That is something quite different from hauling a rifle & ammo from your car to the firing line of your range. Try putting on a set of web gear with 2 canteens, Butt pack with 3 days rations, 160 rds of ammo (8 full mags in the 14), bayonet & E-tool. Sling a rifle over your shoulder and do a days worth of work and tell me that you think the weight difference makes the 14 better. Take a box stock AR and an M1A to the range and see which is easier to get 1st shot hits with out to 500 yds. Which is easier to maintain in the field over time? My experience says the 16. (no special tools required to dismount the 16) Put an enemy troop down at any combat range? Either one depending where you hit them. Real life tests have shown that there is no practical difference in "brushbucking" between the two rds. Yes the 7.62 has more "power" than the 5.56 but the 5.56 has enough to get the job done.

I own an M14 and love to shoot it as a reminder of my service time but given a choice I'll take a M16 in any of it's configurations over a M14 for day in, day out combat.

[This message has been edited by Grump (edited 09-10-2001).]
 

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I don't think hitting a target on a range is really that difficult using either - except maybe for women, and frail men. The latter two really ought to be in another trade anyway.

As for weight of ammo; with the lack of emphasis today on marksmanship and it's tactical incorporation, the average "combat load" is going to vanish very early in a fight. 5.56 or 7.62, regardless, there better be a motor transport resupply right behind you all the way to the bitter end.

Myself, I would rather have 100 rds of 7.62 and a suitable rifle than 200 rds of 5.56. The former is more effective against tactical barriers, and it will buck the wind better as well.

As for the effectiveness of those 20mm shells; it is worth noting that it is recorded as far back as the Boer war, then in two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam (and the rest) that even a thorough pounding with the heaviest artillery often will not have a significant effect on a well-dug enemy. Even less so in certain types of terrain. Some semi-exposed easily marked individual targets might be dealt with under ideal conditions.

Whichs leads to one of the achilles heels (and I think it has several) of the OICW. The "rangefinder". Laser rangfinders require a target with a certain level of reflection. A target hidden amongst what amounts to a visible expanse of foliage, unless it is in view itself (or there are other reflective features to mark it with), is not going to avail an accurate fix. Likewise over any expanse of forest, where your target might be located in depth, or very rocky terrain with no particular features conveniently at the target location. There are plenty of other factors that make the use of such gadgets impractical under many circumstances - like heavy rain or fog. And any optical sight is going to be affected in use with just water, ice, dirt, mud, dust on the outer lens surfaces. The specs say a 6X scope. I would be interested to know what field of view it renders at say 25, 50, 100, 200 and 300 yards.

And I hope they have considered light reflection. Any unshaded (any not *deeply* shaded) optical device with an objective lens will reflect light. There are some anti-reflection devices (like KillFlash), but they are add-ons, and cut the amount of usable light entering a scope. Without them, looking through a scope can be extremely risky business. Even if the sun is behind; take the head away from behind the scope, and (unless OICW has a shuttered eyepiece) a telltale signature visible for a long way will be produced.

I seriously doubt that the gadget factor will be enhanced in extreme heat or cold. Even the best batteries won't last in extreme cold. Often they are not even reliable under ideal conditions.
 

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Let's also not forget the lessons of some of the army's "other" wonder weapon---the Sgt. York anti-aircraft gun, for example. The gun that couldn't shoot down a drone.

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