Troops defend Interceptor body armor Update: Future Weapons test video added Update: Mail Call video added

posted at 11:10 am on July 16, 2007 by Bryan

First, let me get the necessary caveats out of the way. I know the author of the article I’m about to link, and she works for PEO Soldier, the group that selected Interceptor over Dragon Skin and has been defending itself from NBC’s scurrilous reporting on the body armor issue. That doesn’t make her dishonest or anything like that. In fact, in my dealings with Debi Dawson, she has been terrific. The Army could use more public affairs professionals like her.

The story she’s reporting, on the subject of Interceptor saving the lives of soldiers in harm’s way, is nothing but true. In fact, I had lined up a video testimonial on my own to be taped by an officer in Iraq whose life was saved by Interceptor, but he had a personal tragedy back home in the states and was unable to tape our segment. That testimonial would have gone into our report on NBC’s emotional terrorism, which we released on July 3. Here’s what that officer said to me in email on May 29.

I will be a spokesman for Interceptor. Because I know firsthand that it will stop a 7.62 AP round and it saved my life. Let me know where we need to send the video clip.

He was more than ready to step up and defend the Army’s choice of body armor, with no prodding from anyone in public affairs.

I’m pointing all of this out so that no one will think that I’m either being bamboozled on this story, or that I’m doing any bamboozling of my own. I’m aware that this is a press release. I’m also aware, based on my own contact with troops in Iraq, that it’s true.

Spc. Gregory T. Miller, 101st Airborne Division, told Congress at a hearing last month that this body armor saved his life while he was on patrol in Kirkuk in preparation for Iraqi elections in December 2005. He was hit in the back by a sniper with what was supposed to be an armor-piercing round. Spc. Miller, who wound up with a bruised back, said he didn’t even realize he’d been hit at first.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion, he said. The water bottle he was holding flew out of his hand; he thought his team leader had hit him on the back – hard. When he realized he’d been hit, he checked himself and then turned to return fire.

When the round was pulled from his armor back plate, ballistics tests identified it as a 7.62 armor-piercing round. “I trust my gear,” he told the congressional panel. When asked why, he replied matter-of-factly: “It saved my life.”

Staff Sgt. Jeremie Oliver of Fort Hood, Texas, has been in Iraq since October 2006, wearing his body armor every single day. “It works very well,” he has reported. The husband and father of four children was shot on Father’s Day this year.

“We were on patrol securing a site … a shot rang out and I got hit in the chest. I was in a Bradley, standing up in the hatch, plotting a grid on my GPS. At first I didn’t know what had really happened, but then I felt the pain. I sat down, realized what happened, and opened my vest. The bullet had not penetrated the vest, so we continued the mission and went after the enemy.”

Sgt. 1st Class Jody Penrod described his combat experience with IBA: “I took a couple of IEDs and some shrapnel, and I had a fire bomb and it didn’t light on fire. So I was pretty pleased.”

Because the IBA vest protected his entire chest area, Sgt. 1st Class Penrod didn’t have so much as a scratch from the shrapnel in the blast. He recounted how insurgents had made Napalm-type bombs with soap so that it would stick to Soldiers while on fire. “I got some on my vest, but it just went right out. So I was kind of happy that the vest didn’t go up in flames.”

Spc. Jason C. Ashline, an infantryman with Fort Drum, N.Y.’s 10th Mountain Division, survived a round from an AK-47 in Afghanistan in 2002 thanks to his body armor. He stated at the recent dedication of MIT’s Institute for Nanotechnologies: “If it weren’t for technology I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

Spc. Ashline was hit twice in the chest during a 12-hour firefight with al-Qaeda insurgents in 2002. The slugs lodged in his body armor. He was stunned but unhurt, and was pulled to safety by his buddies.

Documenting personal accounts of positive body armor experiences is difficult because the Army doesn’t keep count of Soldiers not killed or injured. Still, there are more stories like these and Army leaders at all levels recount apocryphal tales by the dozens.

Capt. David Beard, now stationed at Fort Myer, Va., previously served in Iraq. “I remember a guy in Najaf got shot with an AK right in the chest,” Beard said, “and his IBA plate saved him!”

Capt. Daniel Leard, also at Fort Myer by way of Iraq, called his body armor “a great protective asset.” He said it routinely stop rounds. “In our own unit we had, on several occasions, Soldiers pulling bullets out of their body armor or helmet. It clearly saved their lives.”

I’d like to hear from more troops on this issue, pro or con Interceptor or Dragon Skin. So, if you’re in the military and you’ve been to either Iraq or Afghanistan and have a story to tell that relates to body armor, email me at bryan — at — hotair — dot — com.

Update: Mentioned in comments, here’s Discovery Channel’s test of Dragon Skin on Future Weapons. It’s from Season 2. It’s a fine example how not to conduct a valid body armor test. All of the shots are straight on, and there are no weight comparisons, temperature tests or any other tests designed to determine how the armor will stand up to the real war in the real world. It’s deceptive, and Future Weapons ought to know better than to pass this off as a valid test of Dragon Skin’s usefulness.


Link: sevenload.com

Update: And here’s the Mail Call segment on Dragon Skin. Pinnacle CEO Murray Neal appears in both this segment and the one above (though he’s not identified in the Future Weapons segment). The shooter in both segments appears to be either an employee or contractor of Pinnacle. He appears in this Pinnacle-produced segment touting Dragon Skin. That gives the game away imho–these segments are ads for Dragon Skin, not fair and valid field tests.


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To me this issue is settled. Interceptor works.

You’ve done a great job of reporting on this. NBC should be, but is not, ashamed.

Christoph on July 16, 2007 at 11:20 AM

Christoph on July 16, 2007 at 11:20 AM

NBC should be, but is not, ashamed.

You have to have something that NBC doesn’t have before you can be ashamed, that something is called morals and ethics.

doriangrey on July 16, 2007 at 11:23 AM

I mentioned this once awhile ago….I know of the efficacy of Interceptor armor; a family member doing security in Balad, Iraq uses the armor and swears by it. None of us should ever be surprised by the rancor NBC expresses in its reports. You should have seen the local affiliate covering Keith Ellison

MNDavenotPC on July 16, 2007 at 11:28 AM

There is no doubt that Interceptor works, but I would also like to see what Dragon Skin can do in combat. I don’t know if anyone saw the episode of “futureweapons” where they had Dragon Skin, but they placed it right on top of a grenade, set the grenade off, and nothing went through the vest. They also shot the hell out of it with 7.62, 5.56, and 9mm rounds without changing the vest. That’s pretty darn impressive to me.

matthewbit07 on July 16, 2007 at 11:29 AM

Dragon Skin weighs too much. With ammunition and gear hanging off of it, the Interceptor can already weigh in at 60-80+ lbs., depending. Dragonskin tacks on another 17-20 lbs. This weight difference is impractical, aside from the protective comparisons.

BillINDC on July 16, 2007 at 11:35 AM

To the people who have been down on Geraldo for calling Michelle a Nazi:
Many people were offended but no one died. Geraldo was exposed.

To the many people who think that Lisa Meyers is credible:
Her hatchet piece on the military caused people to purchase and wear Dragon Skin in combat. I have seen a report of at least two Americans who died in Iraq while wearing Dragon Skin armor. NBC needs to be exposed and held accountable for every American injured in Iraq because of the Lisa Meyers hit piece.

TunaTalon on July 16, 2007 at 11:36 AM

My brother-in-law’s brother took a round in the chest while in Baghdad. SAPI plate stopped it. I’ll see if I can get any more details. It might be tough to bring up at a family get together as he never told his mother about the incident. :-)

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 16, 2007 at 11:37 AM

Note: the interceptor armor alone (without ammunition and gear on the vest) weighs 27-35 lbs., depending on the plates and config. The dragonskin weighs like 40-someodd lbs., depending on the size (47.5 in XL). I personally wouldn’t want to wear it in a situation requiring mobility.

BillINDC on July 16, 2007 at 11:41 AM

Body armor has become so political. The politicians want to score points by trying to encase us in a suit of armor.

Interceptor works great, and is a huge leap from anything we’ve ever had. That NBC report was pointless. Who wants to risk changing something that works? I can’t count the number of times, we’ve had equipment “upgrades” that turned out to be complete crap, and we had to go back to the old gear. Does anyone want to take that chance with body armor? Does anyone want to slap on even more body armor or heavier body armor?

reaganaut on July 16, 2007 at 11:44 AM

From what I’ve seen both work fine.

I think the dragon skin makers are capitalizing on the medias anti war rabidness by promoting the idea that the government isn’t equipping the soldiers properly. I think the design of the dragon skin armor would possibly make it more vulnerable to an IED attack than the interceptor but I’m not in a position to say for sure. Just from a physics standpoint it seems more likely.

bj1126 on July 16, 2007 at 11:45 AM

“From what I’ve seen both work fine.”

Assuming that’s true, I’d still have to strongly support Interceptor. It weighs much less.

Soldiers carry a whole lot. Add an unnecessary 20lb to the mix and the performance penalty reduces results, prolonging the war, and causing more deaths as well as immediate soldier deaths due to lack of mobility and resulting tactical disadvantage(s).

Christoph on July 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM

To clarify: Soldiers’ job is to kill the enemy… weighing another 20lb means less enemies get killed. Not good.

Christoph on July 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM

matthewbit07,

The most effective military gear is that which uses the KISS principle. Interceptor has very few pieces that can fail. The Dragon skin is made up of several dozens of armor pieces that have failure points. You have to consider mechanical failures. A fresh Dragon vest can work well. But after time of body movement heat, mud, there is wear. This can lead to a failure of the individual platelets that make up the overall vest. Interceptor does not have this weakness.

A compromise might be a combination of dragon skin over part of the body that Interceptor does not cover. DS needs to make some considerable design improvements to equal the mechanical reliability of a single plate.

Egfrow on July 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM

From a history standpoint plate armor was always stronger than scale armor, so it would make sense that Interceptor would be better, right?

Bad Candy on July 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM

I think the dragon skin makers are capitalizing on the medias anti war rabidness by promoting the idea that the government isn’t equipping the soldiers properly.

And that’s the problem. The merest inference that something is “better” then what we’re using comes hand in hand with an expectation that DoD should, magically and immediately, outfit our entire force with the “better” product.

This is the same line of thought that drove the Humvee armor hysteria.

Pablo on July 16, 2007 at 11:50 AM

Put another way… imagine every combat soldier in the U.S. had another 20lb of fat on their body over and above what they may have now… do you imagine this would reduce military effectiveness?

Christoph on July 16, 2007 at 11:50 AM

It took the M-16 several years and several soldiers deaths before major improvements were made to make it a reliable field weapon. I don’t like the Idea of our guys in the field playing guinea pigs with their lives.

Egfrow on July 16, 2007 at 11:52 AM

I actually saw a “test” of Dragonskin on Mail Call recently. 5.56mm at ten metres failed to penetrate to the trauma plates, and they claimed that it offered equivalent protection vs. fragmentation, etc., compared to Interceptor. Not better- just about the same.

Dragonskin was stated to be “no heavier” than Interceptor; from other sources, I have gathered that this is only true if you leave out the trauma plates. From what I saw on that segment, even without the trauma plates, Dragonskin seems to be more likely to impede wearer movement than Interceptor.

Add in that Dragonskin, with all the “extras” (trauma plate, etc.)is more expensive than IBA, and I see no great advantage in preferring it over IBA.

As for my credentials, as a criminalistics technician (think; a more primitive version of CSI) in the 1970s, I tested (and sometimes wore on duty) most of the early Kevlar vests, from Second Chance on up, in both “hard” and “soft” versions. This included firing live rounds at said vests from handguns, rifles, and shotguns to evaluate their performance. From what I have seen, Interceptor outperforms all the earlier types of vests. And so does Dragonskin. But Dragonskin does not outperform Interceptor.

Case closed.

cheers

eon

eon on July 16, 2007 at 11:53 AM

For stopping rounds I am sure both do a super job. As for an IED….up close and personal, it is not just the shrapnel but the overpressure from the blast. No body armor will protect you from that.

Limerick on July 16, 2007 at 11:53 AM

matthewbit07 on July 16, 2007 at 11:29 AM

Watched that episode… and was impressed until I realized that all the shots were coming in from straight ahead…

DragonSkin is a variation of ScaleArmor from the Dark Ages… the scales work really well straight on, but the protection is non existant if you bring the bullet in from an angle… it splits the seam between the scales, and the scales actualy channel it deeper in the set….

While with a plate, although once breached it provides little protection… if you hit a Plate at an angle the protection actualy becomes greater, as it has to penetrate a larger cross section of material…

Now… when I used to do boarding ops in the Navy, I NEVER stood straight on to where an opponent would be… I was always ducking, kneeling, looking around a corner… somthing like that… so the chance of an angled shot was much greater than the chance of a straight on shot…

Dragonskin IMO is substandard for a combat environment, due to basic physics, and design.

Romeo13 on July 16, 2007 at 11:54 AM

I think the dragon skin makers are capitalizing on the medias anti war rabidness by promoting the idea that the government isn’t equipping the soldiers properly.

Exactly. And that’s a disgraceful marketing strategy.

Slublog on July 16, 2007 at 11:56 AM

Romeo13, they did the same thing on that Futureweapons show on Discovery, I hadn’t thought of that till you said that. They blasted the hell out of it with several guns and it looked damned impressive, but they hit it straight on in every shot, I think most people won’t think of the different angles you can be shot at watching demos like that.

Bad Candy on July 16, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Pentagon audio at Wizbang:

Brig. General Mark Brown describes the testing that body armor has to pass before it is deployed in the field, and the results of testing Dragon Skin under much more difficult circumstances than the German lab that NBC bought and paid for…

And followup video and audio: House Armed Services Committee hearing on June 6

RushBaby on July 16, 2007 at 12:19 PM

Wait wait wait, don’t you think the army keeps data such as location of fatal wounds?

Here’s why I ask: if IBA is as good as we think it is, fatal wound data will support it’s effectiveness, i.e. we won’t see many fatal back or chest wounds caused by shrapnel or bullets…

unamused on July 16, 2007 at 12:24 PM

DragonSkin is a variation of ScaleArmor from the Dark Ages… the scales work really well straight on, but the protection is non existant if you bring the bullet in from an angle… it splits the seam between the scales, and the scales actualy channel it deeper in the set….

Which is exactly why I said it would be more vulnerable to an IED. You have no control over where the shrapnel is coming from and it’s likely coming from the ground up or at somewhat of an upward angle. Also in an instance where you are crouching and running for cover you expose the weaker points of the vest to fire.

Also keep in mind that while Future Weapons and Mail Call are really cool shows they are in the end ABC/NYT productions.

bj1126 on July 16, 2007 at 12:27 PM

bj1126 on July 16, 2007 at 12:27 PM

Another problem with scale-type armor when dealing with explosions is a tendency for the overpressure to “imprint” each and every scale onto your body. The result is usually serious and often deep bruising damage, with the possibility of laceration at the plate junctures (all it takes is a penetration of the backing by a plate edge or corner). This is why police bomb technicians wear “hardshell” armor; it’s bulky, but it won’t try to “vacuform” itself to your body if the “package” gets irate about being examined.

I hadn’t known about Mail Call being an ABC/NYT Co. production. I don’t see it often (Dogfights is more my “speed”), but when I do, I’ll be sure to increase the number of grains of salt I always apply to their “conclusions”.

cheers

eon

eon on July 16, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Bryan,

This is why I like your posts so much. You’re up front about your associations and about those you’ve spoken with. I appreciate that.

Thanks.

.

GT on July 16, 2007 at 12:43 PM

This became an issue based on the premise our military and the President always do the wrong thing and are willing to be bought.

This, by people who look down their nose at the military and only are interested in military technology when they think it can be a wedge issue. I would go as far as to say they would love to have some US KIAs just to prove their point. They are scumbags.

Hening on July 16, 2007 at 12:44 PM

Bryan, you should call up some of the security firms that operate in Iraq, I think some of their contractors choose Dragon Skin; I would like to hear from some one who actually has worn Dragon Skin in the field.

liquidflorian on July 16, 2007 at 12:53 PM

The Mail Call video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNY1MtsVwG8

TheBigOldDog on July 16, 2007 at 1:01 PM

unamused on July 16, 2007 at 12:24 PM

No no, don’t you remember? That Pentagon report proved our government wasn’t equipping our soldiers properly, because of all the wounds where there was no armor coverage! If only they had better armor, they wouldn’t get wounded! (I still remember the news reports about that. I pounded my head on my desk for like, a week.)

At least on Futureweapons they didn’t act like Interceptor was sub-standard. And like someone said in another post, Futureweapons is always talking about something is the the absolute most awesome or totally state-of-the-art, etc. It’s filled with hyperbole about everything :P NBC should really be held to a way higher standard. I mean both Mail Call and Futureweapons they’re just … shows to see neat stuff. They’re not really meant to be serious science or hard journalism. Not that Bryan was implying they were, just from the comments. I mean, the Gunny goes out, he fires a gun and goes “OO-RAH!” … That’s not something you want to base any sort of conclusions on XD

Myself, I used to think Dragonskin was super awesome too — it never dawned on me that if you move 3 feet over and shoot at an angle the failure rate would suddenly be horrible. While I’m sure there’s solutions for that, it seems Pinnacle is more interested wasting time helping NBC fan anti-military flames. Like bj1126 said, Pinnacle is engaging in some really shameless marketing. Maybe they oughta stick to armor R&D and shut up.

apollyonbob on July 16, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Dragon Skin is good armor…but only in ideal conditions. There are some good concepts in the armor such as the way the impact is absorbed over a larger area.

Many of the problems with dragon skin deal with the fabric, not with the discs. Tests found that under extreme temperatures and in wet conditions, the fabric would fail and the discs would fall out of place and huge areas would become vulnerable.

Also, dragon skin does not have crotch coverage which is important.

Spacen on July 16, 2007 at 1:19 PM

While I’m sure there’s solutions for that, it seems Pinnacle is more interested wasting time helping NBC fan anti-military flames. Like bj1126 said, Pinnacle is engaging in some really shameless marketing. Maybe they oughta stick to armor R&D and shut up.

apollyonbob on July 16, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Key here is that its basic physics. There IS NO FIX! The only way to do it would be to either significantly increase the amount of “layers” (adding mucho weight), or fuse the layers, basicly making them a set of PLATE…

Scale mail was historicaly replaced by Banded mail, as the scales got larger and larger… and combinations of Chain with added plates… over leather…

Kevlar was the attempt to overcome the weight of plate… with multiple layers and stranded weaves slowing the bullet/shell fragment… but to get a proper protection it becomes very bulky… thus the added plates…

Romeo13 on July 16, 2007 at 1:21 PM

ASK anyone who has “Been There Done That” and they will say they prefer Interceptor. Is Dragon Skin was better they would buy it, same with the HK416 for the standard issue rifle

Win Win Win on July 16, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Dragon Skin weighs too much. With ammunition and gear hanging off of it, the Interceptor can already weigh in at 60-80+ lbs., depending. Dragonskin tacks on another 17-20 lbs. This weight difference is impractical, aside from the protective comparisons.

BillINDC on July 16, 2007 at 11:35 AM

Agree completely! I didn’t have to wear my IBA much of the time while I was in Afghanistan (on base most the time), but the few times I did the IBA was heavy enough and I was just performing vehicle searches. Can’t imagine even heavier armor plus all your field gear strapped on!

More weight, definitely a NO-GO!

SSG Fuzzy on July 16, 2007 at 1:50 PM

Win Win Win on July 16, 2007 at 1:38 PM

Wasn’t the HK416 developed in conjunction with Army Special Forces, and isn’t it being purchased by them because of it’s superiority to the M16/M4? Cuz that’s what I’ve read in several places, both print and online.

Bryan, is there any way that Hot Air can get its hands on some Dragon Skin armor so that they can do a “fair and valid field test”? I mean, isn’t that how things like this should be combatted? By showing the truth? I would personally love to see a side-by-side showing Interceptor holding its own. Or even just Dragon Skin getting frozen and failing, or getting shot at an angle and failing.

apollyonbob on July 16, 2007 at 1:53 PM

Army Dragon Skin Test Video

If you watch it, the bullets penetrate DS. stop the video at 2:09, and that looks liek the inventor of DS Murray Neal. Same watch as you will see in DS InfoMercial

He was present at Army testing. DS could not put up when put under testing by the Army, a non-controlled testing.

WoosterOh on July 16, 2007 at 2:08 PM

Informative. Excellent follow up post Bryan. And welcome back, I trust you had a good vacation.

Kini on July 16, 2007 at 2:13 PM

I should say it is controlled, but not controlled by the inventor who knows what it can withstand, knows how it would fail.

WoosterOh on July 16, 2007 at 2:16 PM

I hadn’t known about Mail Call being an ABC/NYT Co. production. I don’t see it often (Dogfights is more my “speed”), but when I do, I’ll be sure to increase the number of grains of salt I always apply to their “conclusions”.

I don’t know about the specific production companies but History Channel and Discovery Channel are owned by ABC and work closely with NYT. Combine that with the DS manufacturer’s desire to get the word out that the troops “aren’t being protected” a rather insidious campaign of misinformation is starting to take shape. I’m not one for conspiracy theories but this one is starting to look really shady

bj1126 on July 16, 2007 at 2:24 PM

20 lbs? Forget it. If the protection level is even CLOSE, then go with the lighter brand.

Newsflash: The liberals don’t WANT our soldiers to be able to move.

I remember a few years ago, moonbat astrophysicist Barbara Boxer found out there were meteors in space. She tried to call a halt to all Space Shuttle Missions until we could figure out how to launch a 1000-ton lead shield to “protect” the space program that she believes, litterally, takes food from the mouths of children.

The US military would be as well off taking advice from Al Qaeda as from Democrats.

logis on July 16, 2007 at 3:32 PM

When I was in Iraq during Operation Phantom Fury one of my fellow Marines took nine shots from an AK-47 in the back. Not one bullet penatrated his Interceptor vest. That is just one instance I can remember of one of those vests saving a fellow Marines life

mundayr on July 16, 2007 at 3:47 PM

When I was in Iraq during Operation Phantom Fury one of my fellow Marines took nine shots from an AK-47 in the back. Not one bullet penatrated his Interceptor vest. That is just one instance I can remember of one of those vests saving a fellow Marines life

mundayr on July 16, 2007 at 3:47 PM

Wow, that’s pretty good shot-grouping by the bad guys! Glad he’s okay!

SSG Fuzzy on July 16, 2007 at 3:51 PM

Well its good to hear more info about Dragon Skin and Interceptor. I don’t like the only sources I hear to be TV programs and company employees. I’ve worn Interceptor, if Dragon Skin is heavier, that alone is putting it on my black list. An additional 17-20 pounds is just getting too impractical.

matthewbit07 on July 16, 2007 at 4:32 PM

ASK anyone who has “Been There Done That” and they will say they prefer Interceptor. Is Dragon Skin was better they would buy it, same with the HK416 for the standard issue rifle

I disagree… From what I hear the HK416 was designed by those that had “been there done that” and from my life’s experience with firearms it’s the next logical leap in correcting the major deficiency of the M16/M4 family. The upgrade to the HK makes a lot of sense.

As for the interceptor vs DS… I have deployed with the Interceptor, I trust it, it is simple, and IT WORKS!. I have seen SAPI plates with 6 7.62×39 rounds in them and none penetrated. (And those weren’t even the new E-SAPI.) The Dragon Skin suffers from “Disk Migration” when hit from an angle, allowing the rounds to penetrate the vest. That alone is a “NO GO”. Not to mention our gear is already too heavy… and they think an extra 20 lbs is going to make things better? Even if it MIGHT be slightly better… I’ll take something I KNOW works all the time in the worse case (ie shot in the center chest) than something that is “better” (meaning it covers more area) but only works if the round comes from a 90 degree angle to the vest.

If the liberals want to spend more money on protecting us, how about getting the Military to get us a damn handgun that is worth a crap (cancelled twice in the last 3 years now) and upgrade our rifles to something that is not older than I am (they cancelled the XM-8 and refuse to adopt the HK416). The Beretta 9mm should have never been adopted and it’s about time we went back to a .45 cal from a company that isn’t the ‘lowest bidder’. I’d buy my own if we were allowed, but were not allowed personal weapons. Ditto for the HK416… it’s better, everyone knows it, but we’ll continue to spend millions every year on brand-new M4′s. Before you say it… these issues are not the same. The XM-8/HK416 both offer a large INCREASE in reliability and decrease in maintainence over the current weapons… the DS is heavier, more complicated… and flawed.

BadBrad on July 16, 2007 at 5:04 PM

I disagree… From what I hear the HK416 was designed by those that had “been there done that” and from my life’s experience with firearms it’s the next logical leap in correcting the major deficiency of the M16/M4 family. The upgrade to the HK makes a lot of sense.

I think the standards the DoD are using for new firearms are pretty extreme. Basically, any replacement for the M-16 has to be a “one hundred percent improvement” in operational capability.

I think the average troop would settle for a lot less than that. Just imagine if you offered him a rifle that had “only” 50% more killing efficiency; you’d be lucky if he didn’t rip your arm off grabbing it.

No matter what the potential long-term gain, no politician wants to be blamed for the unnecessary death of even one soldier. But this is really outrageous. If we sit around and wait for somebody to invent phasors, a lot of troops will die needlessly in the meantime.

Bear in mind that when the M-16 first came out, it was a piece of hammered crap – not because the fundamental design was bad, but just because it was too revolutionary a change. If a more modern replacement weapon were fielded today, who knows how great it might be ten years from now?

logis on July 16, 2007 at 5:43 PM

I think the average troop would settle for a lot less than that. Just imagine if you offered him a rifle that had “only” 50% more killing efficiency; you’d be lucky if he didn’t rip your arm off grabbing it.

logis on July 16, 2007 at 5:43 PM

Thats why the M-14 is so popular.

xplodeit on July 16, 2007 at 6:58 PM

Wow, that’s pretty good shot-grouping by the bad guys! Glad he’s okay!

SSG Fuzzy on July 16, 2007 at 3:51 PM

The Haji came out of a door right behind him and got off a good burst before he was sent to his 72 Virginians.

mundayr on July 17, 2007 at 9:17 AM