The U.S. military wants to upgrade the rifle that its servicemen use to spread liberty around the world. The current mainstays, the M4 Carbine (pictured here) and the M16 Rifle, introduced to a generation of teenagers thanks to the Call of Duty franchise, are getting a little long in the tooth. The M16 goes back to the 1960s, while the M4 carbine goes back to the swinging 1990s. And while the military has added upgrades to the rifles, the fact is these things aren’t gaming PCs: you can only upgrade them so long before they’re no longer useful. Lives are literally at stake, you know.
The military has asked various arms manufacturers to come up with a rifle that would better serve the current needs of today’s soldiers, namely something that won’t jam up or overheat in places like Afghanistan. The fanciest, most advanced weapon in the world is useless if it keeps jamming up on you.
What to expect from the next-generation rifle? The Wall Street Journal says to be on the lookout for “futuristic sights” and the ability to handle better ammunition. (One of the complaints about both the M16 and M4 is that the 5.56mm cartridge isn’t quite as effective as the military would like to see. And by “effective” I mean lethal.)
All the more reason to stand in owe (I guess that’s the word to use) of the versatility and effectiveness of the AK-47, which is still kicking around out there. In fact, a book, The Gun, came out a few months ago that talks about the gun. I’m only a little bit into it, but what I’ve read was pretty neat.