More
    HomeMilitaryU.S. Army to Transition from Legendary M16 Series to New XM7 Rifle

    U.S. Army to Transition from Legendary M16 Series to New XM7 Rifle

    Published on

    spot_img

    After over five decades of faithful service, the M16 series, an icon of American military might and a direct descendant of the AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner will be succeeded by Sig Sauer’s advanced XM7 rifle.

    The M16, first introduced in 1964, has been the most-produced 5.56x45mm weapon, marking a significant chapter in the annals of U.S. military history.

    Capt. McElyea Fires M16” by U.S. Army Europe is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The latest variant, the M16A4, known for its three-round burst feature, will soon yield to the cutting-edge design of the XM7, a testament to the relentless pursuit of small arms excellence.

    The Army’s decision to replace the M16, along with the M4 carbine and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), forms the core of the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) program. This ambitious initiative aims to equip soldiers with rifles and light machine guns that offer enhanced range, accuracy, and lethality to confront modern threats.

    The XM7, originally designated as the XM5, has undergone a name revision due to a naming conflict with a Colt Industries carbine.

    Two US Army assault rifles.
    Two US Army assault rifles.

    The Army spokesperson from Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, clarified the change stating, “As a result, the [Next Generation Squad Weapon] Rifle will now be called the XM/M7.” The corresponding light machine gun, retaining its XM250 nomenclature, is also chambered in 6.8mm and will replace the venerable M249 SAW.

    Sig Sauer’s XM7 and XM250 promise a significant capability increase over their predecessors, firing a common 6.8mm ammunition that delivers greater effectiveness against current and emergent threats.

    The new round, an intermediate caliber, outperforms both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm in terms of accuracy and power, especially at extended ranges—a critical factor in modern combat scenarios where adversaries have improved their body armor.

    Ammunition cartridge on background.

    Both the XM7 and XM250 are slated for fielding later this year as part of a 10-year contract awarded to Sig Sauer, amounting to an initial $20.4 million.

    Modern army assault rifle - low angle shot
    Modern army assault rifle – low angle shot

    Sig Sauer, already the provider of the M17 9mm pistol replacing the Beretta M9, will now become a predominant supplier of small arms to the U.S. Army’s close combat forces, potentially extending to special operations forces.

    FORT BENNING, Ga. – Soldiers of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, demonstrate the U.S. Army’s newest weapon during a Rangers in Action Ceremony September 16, 2022, at Victory Pond, Fort Benning, Georgia. The XM5 Rifle will replace the M4/M4A1 carbine within the close combat force. The new ammunition includes multiple types of tactical and training rounds that increase accuracy and are more lethal against emerging threats than both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning Public Affairs)

    The selection process for these weapons spanned 27 months of rigorous evaluation, with other defense contractors vying for the contract. Sig Sauer’s submissions were ultimately chosen for their notable improvements in soldier lethality.

    An added enhancement to these weapons is the inclusion of the XM157 Fire Control optic, manufactured by Vortex Optics subsidiary Sheltered Wings, which integrates a suite of advanced technologies to further augment the user’s combat efficiency.

    Custom air soft gun using for sport

    The transition to the XM7 marks the end of an era for the M16 series, a rifle that has been a staple in the hands of American servicemembers across multiple generations. As the M16’s storied service draws to a close, the military community looks forward to the next chapter in small arms history with the XM7, poised to become the new benchmark in soldier firepower.

    related images you might be interested.

    Weapons and military equipment for army, Assault rifle gun (M4A1) and pistol on camouflage background.
    Close-up studio photo against a dark textured wall. The elite unit, special forces soldier in camouflage uniform holding an assault rifle with a laser sight and aims at the target
    AR-15 (M4A1) tactical carbine with sniper sight, flashlight, AFG grip and PEQ (target pointer/illuminator/aiming) device on white background
    USA rifle versus soviet union rifle.

    Latest articles

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...

    The B-21 Raider of the U.S. Air Force Prepares for Deployment Despite Production Hurdles and Hypersonic Competition

    The B-21 Raider, the United States Air Force's new stealth bomber, is edging closer...

    More like this

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...