This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
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My understanding is that yes, BCGs are the bottleneck in AR production.
Well its the Lower + Buffer tube + pistol grip + stock + all the hardware that connects these parts together that is being replaced, not just the receiver.
I understand that.
So its a substantial reduction in both the number of parts that need to be manufactured, plus also the number of parts that need to be assembled. (I think the speed up of assembly time would be almost as important.) Theres also a corresponding decrease in cost that would be attractive if several million needed to be produced.
That brings up some other questions, the most important of which is your priority: should the rifle be quicker to produce or cheaper to produce? What's cheaper may not be faster, and what's faster may not be cheaper. Assuming that a plastic lower/grip/buttstock all in one solution is cheaper, and faster, would this actually speed up rifle production? The answer is yes, but only if stocks, lower, grips, and/or the assembly of them was the bottleneck in the production process. If the bottleneck is something else, we're not making more rifles; we're just making more lowers.
As far as the bottleneck in production? I'd guess the Bolts/BCG would be the most specialized part in terms of scaling up manufacture.
Maybe. I admittedly don't know. What I do know is that if it takes longer to manufacture a bolt/BCG than it does to push out a lower more quickly, then pushing out a lower more quickly would not increase production rates for finished rifles.
But if we look at past weapons programs such as those in WW2, any simplification helps increase production rate and lower cost (as we saw with the increasingly simplified design of the Thompson SMG, for example.)
Lower cost is almost always a good thing, as long as the customer's requirements are still being met. Increasing production rate of a given part is only a good thing if that's the bottleneck, or perhaps if that part can be used elsewhere. (Of course, if that were the case, it wouldn't actually be a bottleneck.)
I don't want to go all Lean/6 Sigma/TOC here, but unfocused manufacturing improvements often aren't actually improvements if maximizing throughput of the final product is the goal, and when they are, it's by accident. The mistakes of WWII are largely what got us to our current theories on manufacturing. It's great when the guy making triggers figures out a way to eliminate a machining step while still providing a trigger that meets specs, but if the barrels were what was slowing us down, then that didn't allow us to make more rifles. (This is an oversimplification, as in this case we could actually take people off of the trigger station and put them on the barrel station if that would help, but that's also a bit of a simplification because lack of manpower might not be the problem at the barrel station.)
I'm now actually very curious about what the bottlenecks in M-16 production are. The manufacturers seem close-lipped about it. My money is on the bolt.
I'm now actually very curious about what the bottlenecks in M-16 production are. The manufacturers seem close-lipped about it. My money is on the bolt
Well, its a tough one to pin down.
I suspect the bolt is the most complex part, but not necessarily a bottle neck.
For example, during the first 3 years reign of the God Emperor, complete BCG's were readily available for ~$70 in a nitride finish. I think they may have been hitting $60 in phosphate. That was only slightly more money then a basic lower receiver, despite being a more complex part.
Whats interesting is that most of these BCG's are only made by one company - Toolcraft. I believe some other companies make bolts, and some other companies make different bolt carrier styles, but Toolcraft was the OEM for the majority of complete milspec BCG's used by both firearms manufacturers and also sold as parts to home builders.
What that means is that a single company was able to produce the majority of the US AR15 markets bolts.
By comparison, 10+ companies made receivers and barrels, and then when it gets into smaller parts, dozens of companies.
So in theory at least, for 'total war production,' having a single plastics company producing complete poly Receivers (stock, buffer tube, lower, grip, hardware) would free up enough production energy to allow a increase in BCG manufacture.
At which point the increase in assembly speed, and mass production of the poly lowers, would result in a net increase in production.
Just from an assembly standpoint, not having to assemble the lower and properly stake the buffer tube to the castle nut, would be a pretty substantial increase in speed, and also lower the overall skill needed to assemble the rifle. At that point the only 'skilled gunsmith' step would really be the proper mounting of the AR15 barrel to the upper receiver.
Logistically, there would also be the befit of having to ship and inventory a single part to the assembly factory, vs various OEM's sending in receivers + buffer tubes + grips + stocks + hardware.
So i just noticed that apparently there were two different models of HK433. This one was the one and only model in the official HK website
And this one was i believe the earlier model.
You can see that both have many differences, mainly in the receiver design. The one shown in the official website has a lower that pretty much resembles the HK416 minus the HK style selector while the other, earlier model has a more original lower and upper receiver design.
Shitshow continues, now Heckler is to be awarded the contract to supply HK416A8, of course, Haenel will fight it in courts. No new tender is planed
AFAIK Spanish Armed Forces aren't going to update their G-36. If they finally do, there are several and savvy options for retrofit kit such as steyr's and others. But they don't find it needed, and our summers are HOT... so after 20 years they should know better than Germans if such problem exists or not.
All this process is just a political and industrial scandal
And all this while NGSW is being developed. What an epic waste of money.
US Army has an abysmal track record for getting shit done not incremental ones and definitely not leaps forward. NGSW-R is more likely than not just one of many dead ends. Following scripts seen so many times before , Projects are started, then developed to 95% then dropped, in few lucky cases the contractors develop the product till the end for launch on the civilian market only to be then bought by US DOD decade later if it catches on the civilan market.
The only part of NGSW-R that will 100% certainty make it are the optics which are low risk and are already in stages of development irrespective of the program, on all other aspects i wouldn't bet my money on.
LMAO indeed, so it will be another AR in the end. What about the 433?
Well, idk why but i really want the haenel to win. They seems to be a good (or at least decent) option for a service rifle. The price is quite cheap too compared to 416.
But looking at the directions of the whole dumpster fire of a procurement, in the end I'm sure it will be HK who will have the last laugh knowing they can't lose.
But FCS is going to offer a really sub par performance if it's mounted on a 5.56 rifle. It will excel with a much more energetic cartridge, and such cartridge is going to be heavy if it is conventional.
Textron entry has been in development the last 23 years at least. I bet for CT cartridge