New Combat Rifle Enters the Fray



Theres been a lot of debate recently about the whole issue of small arms, particularly with the effectiveness of the Colt M4 carbine. The Armys reliability study demonstrated that if well lubed, the M4 performs largely without fight-ending stoppage. But theres continued argument over the knock-down power of the 5.56mm round, the reliability of the M4 if constant care isnt possible and on the whole issue of whether or not theres a better operating system out there.

The debate is just reaching a critical point, with the Army recently caving to pressure from Capitol Hill and agreeing to hold a sandstorm test between its M4 and a couple other carbines that fire on a different operating system many say is more reliable. With the end-strength increase in the Army and Marine Corps and the overall focus of budget attention on land forces, momentum may be building to issue a new infantry rifle as the Army and Marine Corps build new brigade combat teams and infantry battalions.

Theres no one in the DoD officially saying this yet, but a lot more people in high places are asking previously taboo questions on whether its time to throw the stoner design to the side.

Weve already taken a look at three of the most popular competitors to the M4: the XM8, the H&K 416 and the FN SCAR - or Mk-17 and Mk-16. Well, a buddy passed along another interesting entrant into the new carbine world (thats not to say there arent others out there, but this ones the new kid on the block) which seems to meld all the best aspects of the previous three rifles into one.

Made by Longmont, Colorado-based Magpul Industries Corp., the Masada does have that first person shooter gamer nerd look to it. But look at the specs and it seems the Masada has some interesting aspects that would make operators give it a second look. One thing I noticed was the two interchangeable lowers one for 5.56mm, the other for AK-47 7.62x39 ammo. So for shooters going native in the AO, this could be the ticket - of course, as long as you have a compatible barrel.

The rest of the specs look pretty standard, but itd be interesting to get feedback from DT readers on some of the more deeply technical stuff. Take a look at the brochure and see what you think.

There are also a couple of cool videos of the weapon being test fired.

I dunno, has a new combat rifle entered the arena?

-- Christian

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