The XM8 was based on the G36, which was based on the American AR-18. So yeah, it can be considered an American design at its roots. But, we probably will never see it in service. Not in this decade anyway. The SCAR and the XM8 are two completely different rifles. The XM8 is based on the G36 and the SCAR is an upgraded FNC.
Itâ€™s supposed to be a pretty good gun, but itâ€™s also competing against upgraded versions of the M4, which is a familiar system and would be less expensive to produce, and it is just as reliable as the FNC. I really havenâ€™t heard much about the SCAR other than snippets from magazines here and there and a few obscure WebPages.
The XM8 apparently was less reliable and more fragile than first reported and it did not make any major improvements on the AR series of rifles that would justify it as a replacement. In truth, all the XM8 was used for was to try and salvage some careers after about a hundred million dollars were wasted on the failed OICW. Why do we need a totally new weapons system?
The AR is good as it is, and with all the improvements put on it over the last 15 years, itâ€™s anything but obsolete! And thatâ€™s just because they hate any rifle thatâ€™s not based on the AK-47. The only things that could use improvement with the AR are the gas system (which isnâ€™t THAT bad) and the round it fires.
The 62gr 5.56 M855 is the problem. It has long range and is effective against body armor, but you all know the horror stories about its occasional failure to yew and fragment and thus, not stopping enemies (most often from the M4). The Vietnam era 5.56, the 55gr M193 was an extremely effective round, but its range was mediocre at best (300 meters as opposed to the 600 meters of the M855). I really donâ€™t know much about that new round, the 77gr Mk 262 Mod 1, but it apparently is much better than the M855. And as for the 6.8? Sorry, probably not happening.
If we get a new rifle, but give it the same round as the current rifle, absolutely nothing will improve. The only thing that will happen is MY tax money will be thrown down the drainâ€¦again! Fix up what we got and get a new 5.56 load. This new round is a mystery to me too, but whatâ€™s interesting is that the French have developed a new round for their FA-MAS rifle. In dimensions, itâ€™s exactly similar to 5.56mm NATO; however itâ€™s a much hotter round. Maybe the French figured out something the rest of NATO havenâ€™t come up with.
HK also designed a upgraded M16 fairly recently called the HK 416. They are planning on introducing it in the race for the next small arms contract. But as I remember that programâ€™s dead. Colt sued them to stop the project. We probably wonâ€™t ever see it in action. The only thing the Colt legal actions did was to prohibit the use of the name M4, thus the new name 416. Check it out yourself, there is no patent protecting anything but the name. Anyway, I think this is the kind of kit the M16 needs to become a new and improved weapon.