As the Army debates internally its strategy for either improving or replacing the M4/M16, there's been some bottom up innovation going in with weapons makers posturing themselves as the best alternative.
Clearly the debate his shifted well beyond direct gas impingement vs. gas-piston OR caliber OR barrel length and furniture.
Now, it's about having ALL of them...and it's pretty darned exciting what's going on.
We all know that FNH-USA is repositioning its SCAR family as a modular weapon system -- with the added feature of being able to convert calibers. And recently, our friends at The Firearms Blog have been posting some news on the Bushmaster ACR (formerly the Magpul Masada) which seems to be carving out a niche at the head of the pack with its weapons already being made available to both the civilian and LE community.
The ACR conglomerate has launched a new YouTube channel, and I'd encourage you to visit there and see this pretty sweet weapon spit out lead with aplomb. I had the good fortune to meet the folks flacking the Bushmaster ACR at last year's SHOT Show and really was impressed with the weapon.
Both the FNH-USA family and the ACR weapon demonstrate that it's high time the Army adopt a new carbine given the leaps in technology now available to shooters in even the civilian marketplace.