5.56 x 45 mm
Length (with folded stock)
Cyclic rate of fire
~ 750 rpm
Practical rate of fire
40 - 100 rpm
30, 100 rounds
Range of effective fire
The XM8 is a
prototype infantry weapon system. Its development commenced in the
late 1990s. It was developed by the famous German Heckler & Koch
company in cooperation with the US Army. The US Army required a
cheaper, lighter and more effective weapon than the
M16. The XM8 was
developed as a replacement for the M16
family and was intended to become a standard issue weapon.
First prototypes were delivered for testing in 2003. Overall over 200 prototypes have been produced, however a wide scale
testing was cancelled because of the funding problems. The whole
project was cancelled in 2005.
It is a gas
operated, selective fire weapon, chambered for the standard NATO
5.56 x 45 mm ammunition. The XM8 was developed from the HK
G36 assault rifle into a modular system, which could be reconfigured into one
of the available variants, depending on mission requirement. It is available in some
baseline versions: personal defense weapon, carbine, marksman rifle
and squad automatic weapon. The entire modular construction of the
XM8 is built around the receiver with bolt group. Barrels and other
modules can be swapped quickly, depending on operational
requirements. Barrels are available in several sizes. A baseline
carbine version if fitted with a 318 mm barrel. The XM8
appeared to be a reliable weapon.
materials used to build the XM8 are almost entirely composites. It
appears to be a rugged and reliable weapon. During a "dust test" it recorded
only 128 stoppages in 60 000 rounds.
has ambidextrous controls, mounted above the pistol grip. Trigger
group of the XM8 has semi-auto and full-auto settings. A cocking
handle is located on top of the receiver, so the weapon can be
cocked using either hand. A spent case ejection window is on the
right side of the receiver. It has a spent case deflector, which
propels the cases away from the left-handed shooters.
XM8 is fed from detachable 30-round magazines. However this magazine
is not compatible with the M16's STANAG magazine. A high capacity
double-drum magazine is available for the squad automatic weapon.
the XM8 variants had an integrated red dot 3x optical scope, however
later it was changed to a 1x red dot sight. A dedicated marksman
version comes with a 3.5x magnification scope.
The XM8 has
a telescopic buttstock, which is adjustable for length. This weapon is compatible
with the XM320 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher, which is an
improved version of the HK AG36. It can be mounted on the current M16 and
weapons. Also it can be also
used as a stand-alone weapon. However this grenade launcher is
to the old M203.
uses new accessory attachment system, which allows for precision
attachment. It is worth mentioning that accessories planted on the
Picatinny-type rails often need adjustments, if they were removed
compact carbine, fitted with a 229 mm barrel and short foregrip. It
has a folding stock or buttcap;
support weapon (light machine gun) with a 508 mm barrel and
integrated bipod, which folds over the foregrip. It is fed from
100-rounds double drum magazine;
marksman rifle with a 508 mm barrel and integral 3.5x