The SOCOM guys at Crane doing the procurement pull from all four services and they have plenty of experience they can and can't share with you (or me without a need to know). I think this is probably the best arena to make things change. However, from the big Army standpoint the problem is not simply how well a rifle performs, how reliable it is or how much punch it has. They have to look it from a System's Engineer point of view...every aspect of the problem needs to be weighed and balanced respectivey. The final decision may come down to the top dog. In the old days, things were driven from the top down. There's more chance now for change than ever was in the past.
Quite a few, if not most, of the Officer and civilian corps doing requirements and procurement for these and other big ticket items--especially for Soldier Systems--have had their dick in the dirt at one time or another...additionally, many at O-5 and above have kids that will serve or are serving...remember, we've been at war actively for quite a few years going back to Lebanon and First Gulf war. Many of us have friends who are still serving or kids now serving.
Somebody has to run the show...be in charge. At least those wearing uniforms (at that level of puppetmasters) in the Pentagon have a stake in this [their friends, and family currently serving] to do the best they can.
I can't vouch for the current civilian administration...
FAL is a decent weapon. So is the M4 and M16...none of them are perfect for every battlefield or tactic. I certainly don't see an "ideal" battle rifle on the horizon yet either...cased telescoped ammunition or plastic jacket ammo is pretty cool...some of the polymers are extremely robust and stable--they don't tarnish like brass or rust like steel...but there are still significant issues. I think in the long run they even want it biodegradeable. Why not even make it edible? Till your garden with the stuff or make some Lake City Stew!
"It's all plastics these Days!"...
BY the biggest portion of the pie for the Defense budget is essentially paychecks and healthcare...the most valuable weapon is a soldier--his mind and will--it's most certainly the thing we spend the most $ on believe it or not.
Originally Posted by FAL Shot
Defense Department is full of idiots (or more probably just self serving individuals who consider their position ahead of other considerations and you consider them idiots because of it), and what the common soldier has compared to what he could have in the way of a better rifle is only one proof of that.
The REAL solution to the problem is to grab the sons of the Puppetmasters and throw THEM into uniforms and let THEM get killed for the sake of Empire Amerika. All of a sudden, state-of-the-art weaponry would start showing up, as their sons would probably count for something to them. Your sons do NOT count for much of anything to them. Never have. Read some history books.