AAI ACR

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: US ACR competition of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

     Notes: The AAI ACR (also called the AAI Low-Impulse ACR, as part of the design includes an internal anti-recoil device) was based on AAI’s previous work during the SPIW program of the 1970s.  The AAI ACR design presented for evaluation outwardly looked almost completely conventional, but was quite unconventional in many ways.  Like all the other ACR candidates of the time, the AAI ACR was rejected by the US Army and became a museum piece.

      The 18.5-inch barrel was tipped by a compact pepperpot-type muzzle brake; the bore used a very lazy twist rate (1:85), since the ammunition was essentially self-stabilizing.  Most of the was of steel or light alloy, but the stock, fore-end, and pistol grip were of polymer/plastic construction using materials that were advanced for the time.  (Early versions of the AAI ACR did not have a pistol grip, but instead a pistol grip wrist.)  The fire selector used a 3-round burst mechanism that fired at a cyclic rate of 1800 rpm – so fast that the third round would be well downrange before the shooter would feel the recoil from the first round.  The firing mechanism also fired from a closed bolt for semiautomatic fire and from an open bolt on burst; this optimized the AAI ACR for both aiming in semiautomatic fire and cooling in rapid burst fire.  Strangely, though AAI’s round for its ACR had naturally low recoil, AAI decided use primarily mechanical means in the firing mechanism to limit dispersion of the rounds.  Atop the receiver was a mount able to use most US and NATO optics and night vision equipment; in addition, AAI used an early version of Trijicon’s ACOG-type sights that are now so common on assault rifles and submachineguns today.  This ACOG, though roughly twice as large as modern ACOGs, set the stage for future developments.  The ACOG had 4x magnification and limited night vision, and even worked well at night.  Standard adjustable iron sights were also developed, with the rear sight assembly being removable and fitting onto the receiver’s sight base, and a low sighting rib was also found above the barrel for quick shooting.

     The ammunition that AAI used was based on flechette rounds developed well before the SPIW program.  The muzzle velocity of the flechettes was very high (over 1400 meters per second), and the flechette had excellent penetration.  The flechette (like most flechettes) twisted into a fishhook-shape upon striking a person, causing wounds out of proportion to the size of the flechette – so much so that it was briefly thought that AAI’s round might be a violation of the Geneva Accords.  However, the AAI flechette was not without its problems; the long, finned, needle-like shape (about 1.6x41mm) together with its very light weight (about 0.56 grams) made it extremely susceptible to wind.  The round, nestled in its casing and liquid-crystal boot, was almost identical in size to the 5.56mm NATO round, and the magazines themselves were based on M-16-type magazines.  The AAI ACR could not fire 5.56mm NATO rounds, though – doing so would cause a chamber explosion, usually accompanied with the bolt assembly blowing backwards out of the weapon at high speed, possibly injuring or even killing its shooter.  The M-16-based magazines were quickly modified before such an accident could happen so that one could not load 5.56mm NATO rounds into AAI ACR magazines and standard M-16-type magazines would not fit into the AAI ACR.  (A 62-round drum was also developed for the AAI ACR, as the company planned to develop a whole family of small arms based on its ACR if the military decided to adopt it – including a SAW.) The problems with the ammunition were one of the main strikes against the AAI ACR; in addition, the cost per round was very high.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AAI ACR

5.56mm AAI Flechette

3.53 kg

30, 62 Drum

$920

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AAI Low-Impulse ACR

3

2

1-1-Nil

7

2

3

49

 

Baryshev/LCZ B-10

     Country of Origin: Czech Republic

     Appears In: Czech competition for both international markets and to replace the Vz-58.

     Notes: The genesis of this weapon is a design by Russian Anatoly Baryshev in the early 1960s.  However, it remained a private venture until Baryshev was able to work with LCZ in the mid-1990s. This weapon appears at first to be a reworked AK, but in fact employs a form of delayed blowback action similar to that of the Hungarian M-39 and M-43 submachineguns, instead of the gas operating system of the AK series.  It is part of a series of weapons, including the B-20 battle rifle, the B-30 sniper rifle, and the B-40 grenade launcher.  Versions of the B-10 were also designed in 5.56mm NATO caliber and 7.62mm NATO caliber (produced in very small numbers, and producing virtually no sales), 7.62mm Nagant (again, with little sales)  and 9mm Parabellum caliber (mostly as a technology demonstrator, with almost no sales).  Whether the 7.62mm Kalashnikov version is very much an open question at this time, but prospects do not look good; though the new operating system produces less felt recoil, it also proved vulnerable to harsh elements and difficult to field-strip.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: This weapon was in very limited issue during the Twilight War, and for most of the war, its existence was regarded as only a rumor.  Barrel lengths for 7.62mm Kalashnikov, 5.56mm NATO, and 9mm Parabellum are 16.34 inches; for 7.62mm NATO and 7.62mm Nagant, the barrel is a bit longer at 17.9 inches.  These barrels are tipped by a compact muzzle brake/flash suppressor.

     Merc 2000 Notes: Though not a big seller in the Czech or the Slovakian military, the B-10 was quite popular among several Southeast Asian and African nations who felt the need to replace their tired old AK-series weapons.  (The modular nature of the weapon also helped in this regard.) 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

B-10

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.6 kg

30, 40, 75

$948

B-10

5.56mm NATO

3.6 kg

20, 30, 40

$708

B-10

7.62mm NATO

3.9 kg

5, 10, 20

$1148

B-10

7.62mm Nagant

3.9 kg

5, 10, 20

$1198

B-10

9mm Parabellum

3.6 kg

20, 30, 40

$408

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

B-10 (7.62mm Kalashnikov)

5

4

2-Nil

5/6

2

6

46

B-10 (5.56mm NATO)

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

4

41

B-10 (7.62mm NATO)

5

4

2-3-Nil

5/6

2

6

53

B-10 (7.62mm Nagant)

5

4

2-3-Nil

5/6

2

6

53

B-10 (9mm Parabellum)

5

2

2-Nil

5/6

1

2

36

 

Boeing/HK-USA XM-8

     Country of Origin: Germany/US

     Appears In: Abortive competition to replace the M-16 series in the early 2000s.

     Notes: This weapon was designed to address the numerous flaws of the M-16/M-4 series, and to provide a sister weapon to the OICW.  The XM-8 is derived from the rifle portion of the OICW (which is itself derived from the G-36), but does not have the grenade launcher or computerized sight attached.  It is a modular construction weapon allowing the weapon to be modified for a variety of different uses and with a large amount of accessories and optics.  The furniture is almost entirely made of high-strength polymer, and does not get hot to the touch like a metal rifle.  It can also be molded with a variety of camouflage finishes.  The XM-8 boasts an operation that does not foul as easily as the M-4/M-16, and can be stripped and cleaned much faster.  Ambidextrous controls allow the weapon to be easily used by left or right handed shooters.  The 3-round burst setting has been dispensed with (to be replaced with better training in fire control), and the weapon is issued with a day/night 3.6x optical sight integrated with a laser aiming module.  There are mounts on all sides of the handguard and on top for virtually any sort of optic or accessory.  The XM-8 was a Heckler & Koch invention, but in 2004, the rights to manufacture the XM-8 were acquired by Boeing in the US.

    Five models of the XM-8 assault rifle are contemplated at present: the standard XM-8 Carbine, the XM-8 Compact carbine, two other XM-8s with 10-inch and 14.5-inch barrels, and a Designated Marksman (DMAR) version with a 20-inch barrel, bipod, and a higher-powered scope.  The Compact Carbine can be used with or without a buttstock; both have a telescoping stock (which in the case of the Compact Carbine can be removed completely, reducing the weight to 2.23 kg).  The two intermediate-length XM-8’s are being experimented with, but probably will not make the cut, though they may be built and issued in small number for special applications.  The DMAR is not exactly a sniper rifle, but more a tactical sharpshooting weapon; while the standard “scope” of the XM-8 has no magnification, and is used only to increase efficiency of aiming, the DMAR has an actual 3.5x scope.  The magazines are semitransparent polymer 30-round magazines.  It is anticipated that the XM-8 will begin field tests in 2005.

     Twilight 2000/Merc 2000 Notes: This weapon does not exist in these timelines.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

XM-8 Carbine (12.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

2.92 kg

30

$698

XM-8 Compact Carbine (9” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

2.73 kg

30

$662

XM-8 (10” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

2.77 kg

30

$672

XM-8 (14.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

2.91 kg

30

$719

XM-8 DMAR (20”)

5.56mm NATO

4.13 kg

30

$1293

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

XM-8 Carbine

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

6

27

XM-8 Compact Carbine

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

3

6

16

XM-8 Compact Carbine (No Stock)

5

2

1-Nil

3

3

7

11

XM-8 (10”)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

3

6

19

XM-8 (14.5”)

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

6

34

XM-8 DMAR (20”)

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

55

XM-8 DMAR (Bipod)

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

1

3

72

 

BSA Model 28-P

     Country of Origin: Britain

     Appears in: Competition to replace the standard British service rifle after World War 2.

     Notes: This rifle was developed to compete with the EM-2 and other weapons during the British Army weapon trials of 1949-50.  As such, it fires what was supposed to be the new standard British military cartridge – the .280 British.  The Model 28-P had a squared receiver incorporating an optical sight, but a rather conventional pistol-gripped half-stock similar to that of the US M-1 Carbine.  The trigger mechanism was made deliberately heavier than required to slow the rate of fire.  The flash suppressor could double as a grenade launcher (though it is not capable of launching modern-pattern rifle grenades).  Unfortunately, testing showed that it was not a particularly accurate weapon (by the standards of the time); the Model 28-P also suffered breech explosion during testing.  Though the breech design was revised and proved reliable, the Model 28-P was cut from the testing program.  No more than 15 of these rifles were ever built.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Model 28-P

.280 British

4.01 kg

20

$951

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Model 28-P

5

3

2-Nil

7

4

9

62

 

Colt ACR 

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: US ACR competition of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

     Notes: Colt’s ACR was a result of the US military’s Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) program.  The Colt entry was based on the M-16A2; one can see the family resemblance, but the Colt ACR is still a greatly-modified version.  Like the rest of the ACR candidates, the Colt ACR was rejected and they were placed in museums (I saw one on display at the Infantry Museum at Ft Benning) or taken back to Colt for further study.

     The Colt ACR used an adjustable stock similar to the XM-177/M-4 carbine series, but with seven positions. The standard M-16A2 handguards were replaced with handguards with heavy heat shielding as well as a long sighting rib, used for short-range reflex shooting in the same manner as the rib on a shotgun.  The 20.5-inch heavy barrel was tipped with new muzzle brake designed to be effective, compact and low-profile, yet allow for the use of rifle grenades and underbarrel grenade launchers.  Fire controls were ambidextrous.  The receiver was topped with a very early version of what became the MIL-STD-1913 rail; on this rail, an integral Leitz Wildcat 3.5x sight was meant to be mounted for troops who needed it, or it could be replaced with other US/NATO optics or a simple carrying handle with iron sights.

     The ACR was specially designed to fire a new 5.56mm duplex round, which features two smaller-than-normal bullets point-to-tail.  This increases hit probability (and effectively doubles rate of fire), but also significantly reduces effective range, as the two rounds are each much lighter and less stable.  Standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition could still be fired from the Colt ACR. 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: As this project was shelved several years before the Twilight War, it was largely a non-participant in the Twilight 2000 timeline.  The Infantry Museum at Fort Benning had one that was taken along with most of the weapons, and it was put to use by US Army troops; in addition, at least 4 others were known to have been used during the war (all in the US).  Duplex ammunition was extremely limited in quantity and the Colt ACRs were almost always used with standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Colt ACR

5.56mm Duplex or 5.56mm NATO

3.31 kg

20, 30

$890

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Colt ACR (5.56mm Duplex)

5

2

1-Nil

5/6

2

5

41

Colt ACR (5.56mm NATO)

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

5

59

*The duplex round consists of two smaller bullets within one cartridge case instead of one standard-sized one.  Upon achieving a hit upon a target, the firer will hit the target with at least one bullet.  The second bullet will automatically hit at short range, hit 75% of the time at medium range, 50% of the time at long range, and 25% of the time at extreme or longer range.  The damage listed is per individual bullet.

 

Colt M-16A1 (Experimental)

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: A company experiment on the M-16A1 in the mid-1970s.

     Notes: This oddball variant of the M-16A1 was modified from a standard M-16A1 in 1974 to fire an experimental cartridge (essentially a standard 5.56mm NATO round necked down to 4.32mm).  The idea was to further lighten the M-16A1 as well as the ammunition.  This experimental M-16A1 was never given an official designation.  The M-16A1 was simply rebarreled to fire the 4.32mm ammunition, and the bolt and chamber were also modified for the same purpose (in the case of the bolt, most of the modifications were in the bolt face; the bolt and bolt carrier assembly were otherwise almost a standard M-16A1 bolt carrier assembly).  This experimental M-16A1 also had some other unusual features – the carrying handle was removed and replaced with a reflex collimator sight, barrel was tipped with a muzzle brake, and it used a 3-round burst setting in addition to a full-auto setting.  (The 3-round burst setting was the only feature kept, and reappeared on the M-16A2 in a simplified form; however, a similar sight was used on the Colt ACR.)

     30 of these rifles were so modified, and extensive field trials were done with them.  Despite the fact that the objective of lighter weight was achieved, and the collimator sight made the modified M-16A1 quite accurate, the bullet was simply too light in weight, and was highly subject to long-range dispersion from wind due to that light weight; it also did not have the damaging potential of even the lightweight 5.56mm NATO round  The cartridge and the rifle were therefore dropped from testing.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-16A1 (Experimental)

4.32mm Rodman

3.36 kg

30

$749

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-16A1 (Experimental)

3/5

2

1-Nil

6

1

2/3

42

 

Colt M-16EZ

     Country of Origin: United States

     Appears in: Twilight 2000 First Edition Small Arms Guide, though I have embellished the story a little.

     Fictional (Twilight 2000-Only) Notes: The M-16EZ is a crude copy of the M-16A1 issued to US militia units starting in 1999. They were built by both Milgov and Civgov so that their militia forces could have something that is better (and gives them more credibility) than deer rifles and shotguns. They are made from reconditioned parts that were originally tagged by the US military as too worn out for military use, and what newer parts were still available. They vary in quality and appearance, often having wooden stocks and handguards, telescopic sights, and other modifications limited only by imagination. Unfortunately, due to the generally poor condition of the parts involved, they also vary widely in reliability and performance. The figures given below are for an average M-16EZ.

     (The M-16EZ could also be used in other Twilight 2000 campaign areas, or even in some Merc 2000 or Dark Conspiracy games, representing the sort of weapon that sometimes appears in various parts of the world -- a crude copy of an existing weapon built in local machine shops, or even someone's garage.)

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-16EZ

5.56mm NATO

3.6 kg

10, 20, 30

$575

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-16EZ

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

6

45

 

Colt M-4 Mods

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: Late-2000s tests of “new” technology for the M-4 Carbine (ie, they were meant to be technology demonstrators and not issue weapons).

     Notes: Inundated by a number of gas-piston M-4/M-16-type designs that are vying for military attention (particularly the US military), Colt has recently (as of the time I write this, December 2009) been experimenting with several gas piston and hybrid designs to keep up with the Jonses.  Gas piston designs are, by and large, more reliable and less subject to fouling than the Stoner direct gas impingement system, and allow for reliable functioning with shorter barrel lengths.

     The Colt APC (Advanced Piston Carbine) in an M-4 that uses a gas piston operation, but that’s not all there is to it.  The APC also has a monolithic upper receiver with a MIL-STD-1913 rail and the upper receiver being one piece.  The front sight post remained and a flip-up rear sight may be attached to the rear end of the MIL-STD-1913 rail.  The barrel, while still 14.5 inches, is free-floating to increase accuracy. The combination of a floating barrel and a gas piston system required that the APC have a specially-designed piston system, as standard piston systems would warp or break under the stresses imposed by a floating barrel. The barrel used is also a heavier than standard barrel.  The APC comes in two variants: one with an integral suppressor (with the standard flash suppressor extending from the end of the suppressor, and a standard one with no suppressor.  The suppressor can use standard 5.56mm NATO ammunition; though the suppressor is designed for long life, the use of standard ammunition cuts life considerably, so subsonic ammunition is recommended.

     The AHC (Alternative Hybrid Carbine) is sort of a middle-of-the-road solution, designed to be retrofitted to existing M-4s.  The new operating system is basically a gas piston operated by direct gas impingement, allowing for retrofitting while cutting down on some of the fouling and increasing reliability.  The gas tube essentially has a piston system halfway down the gas tube.  Most combustion gasses and their deposits are released under the handguard rather than being directed back towards the chamber and into the barrel.  Other than the different operation, the AHC is identical to the APC for game purposes, including having a suppressed and non-suppressed option.

     The SCW (Subcompact Weapon) is essentially a short, PDW variant of the M-4, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at it.  The basic M-4 body upper and lower receiver is there, and the operation is the same as the M-4 as well.  However, the handguards have four MIL-STD-1913 rails, and the upper receiver also has a monolithic MIL-STD-1913 rail.  The stock is designed to fold even shorter than that of the M-4; it not only slides back and forth, it folds to the right just behind the buffer tube.  The barrel is a mere 10.3 inches, and tipped with a compact muzzle brake.  (An 11.5-inch barrel has also been tested.) The SCW is designed to be used with a foregrip; the one Colt uses is a Lasermax foregrip that incorporates a laser sight.  The charging handle is also relocated; instead of being at the rear of the receiver, the SCW uses an ambidextrous handle that extends from the forward quarter of the handguard and uses a short charging stroke.  The SCW-P is identical, but uses gas piston operation. In addition to being useful as a PDW, the SCW is also a good CQB weapon and for use from firing ports.

     Going the opposite direction, we have the ERC (Extended-Range Carbine).  This is designed for use by designated marksmen, and are not meant to be dedicated sniper rifles.  There are two versions, the ERC-16 and ERC-20, with a 16 and 20-inch floating match-quality barrel, respectively.  These retain the sliding stock of the M-4, but have a monolithic MIL-STD-1913 rail and four more rails on the handguards.  They are designed with bipods in mind, though they could still mount underbarrel grenade launchers instead.  Iron sights are flip-up; primary sights are meant to be anything from simple Trijicon ACOG sights to low-power telescopic sights.  The muscle memory of the M-4 is retained, but the ERC is a much more accurate weapon. (The price below includes an ACOG and a light bipod.)

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

APC

5.56mm NATO

2.81 kg

20, 30

$579

APC (Suppressed)

5.56mm NATO Subsonic

4.11 kg

20, 30

$884

AHC

5.56mm NATO

2.81 kg

20, 30

$575

AHC (Suppressed)

5.56mm NATO Subsonic

4.11 kg

20, 30

$880

SCW/SCW-P (10.3” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

2.83 kg

20, 30

$982

SCW/SCW-P (11.5” Barrel)

5.56mm NATO

2.89 kg

20, 30

$994

ERC-16

5.56mm NATO

3.58 kg

20, 30

$1155

ERC-20

5.56mm NATO

3.71 kg

20, 30

$1285

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

APC

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

7

35

APC (Suppressed)

5

2

1-Nil

6/7

1

3

25

AHC

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

6

34

AHC (Suppressed)

5

3

1-Nil

6/7

1

2

24

SCW/SCW-P (10.3”)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4*

2

5

20

SCW/SCW-P (11.5”)

5

2

1-Nil

3/5*

2

5

24

ERC-16

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

6

42

With Bipod

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

1

3

55

ERC-20

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

59

With Bipod

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

1

3

77

*The Bulk rating is 3 if the stock is side-folded.

 

Foote R-68

     Country of Origin: United States

     Appears in: Pamphlets and several firearms magazines in the 1970s

     Notes: Firearms designer JP Foote, towards the end of the Vietnam War, looked at the major trends in US military firearms – the perceived failure and unpopularity of the M-16, the high (RL) cost of the AR-15 to civilians, the unreliability of Stoner’s direct gas impingement system, and the fact than perhaps billions of 5.56mm NATO rounds were available everywhere and a weapon that fired a new round would go nowhere fast.  Foote designed the operation of the R-68 around a gas tappet system, which, while it did increase the weight of the R-68, also dramatically increased reliability. It also means that by adjustment of the gas block, a wide range of ammunition types could be used.  Cost was further kept low with simple steel stampings for much of R-68’s parts, and “off-the-rack” tubings and parts were used when possible.  A rotating bolt along with an interrupted buttress thread makes this whole assembly stronger, lighter, and more reliable.  The charging handle is above the barrel, but kept low enough to not interfere with the operation of the sights. The safety is a simple which is inside the bottom of the trigger guard. The only tool required to disassemble most parts of the R-68 is a bullet. Any magazine which would fit into an AR-15/M-16 will fit into an R-68.

     The first set of figures below are the stats of the actual prototype produced.  The second are what Foote felt he could achieve with more development, using higher-quality steel, more polymers, etc.  I have put in automatic fire stats as Foot’s intended customer was the US military.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

R-68 (Prototype)

5.56mm NATO

4.63 kg

5, 10, 20, 30

$593

R-68 (Developed)

5.56mm NATO

4.22 kg

5, 10, 20, 30

$606

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

R-68 (Both)

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

5

55

 

Weyland-Yutland M-41A Pulse Rifle

     Appears in: Aliens 2

     Notes: This is the signature weapon of the Colonial Marines in the sequel to Aliens, Aliens 2.  It is a short barreled assault rifle that fires 10mm caseless explosive-tipped armor-piercing ammunition.  The rounds are caseless chemically-propelled rounds; however, the primer is electrically-ignited.  It uses a rotating breech mechanism and the barrel is free-floating, granting a bit more accuracy.  The M-41A is constructed largely of what would be considered in our time exotic composites, such as carbon nanotubes.  The weapon has a gyroscopic recoil compensator to help control recoil, as well as a conventional muzzle brake.  On the side of the magazine well is a digital ammunition counter; this device counts the ammunition as it is being fired or reloaded in clear, easy-to read red LED numbers.

     Of course, the assault rifle portion is only half the weapon.  The M-41A includes a 30mm grenade launcher under the barrel for heavier work.  This is a pump-action weapon which, though not designed for sustained fire use (its magazine holds only four rounds), it useful for quick explosive work.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-41A Pulse Rifle

10x24mm Caseless

4.9 kg

99

$9710

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-41A (Ball Ammo)

4/10

4

2-3-Nil

4/5

1

2/6

55

M-41A (AP)

4/10

4

1-2-3

4/5

1

2/6

66

M-41A (HE)

4/10

C0  B4

Nil

4/5

1

2/6

40

M-41A (HEAP)

4/10

(5) C0  B4

1-2-3 (5C)

4/5

1

2/6

53

 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazine

Price

PN Grenade Launcher

30x45mm Medium Velocity

Integral to Rifle

4 Tubular

Integral to Rifle

 

Weapon

ROF

Round

SS

Burst

Range

IFR

PN Grenade Launcher

PA

APERS

2

Nil

15

Nil

 

PA

CHEM

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

Flash-Bang

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

Flechette

2

Nil

20

Nil

 

PA

HE

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

HEAT

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

HEDP

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

HE Airburst

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

ILLUM

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

Thermobaric

2

Nil

120

730

 

PA

WP

2

Nil

120

730

 

PN Grenade Launcher Ammunition

Round

Round Weight

Round Price

Damage

Penetration

APERS

0.08 kg

$2

1d6x8

Nil

CHEM

0.15 kg

$2/$4/$6

C2 (B1)

Nil

Flash-Bang

0.12 kg

$3

(C4)

Nil

Flechette

0.08 kg

$4

1d6x8

1-2-Nil

HE

0.16 kg

$2

C2  B11

Nil

HEAT

0.16 kg

$6

C1  B9

29C

HEDP

0.16 kg

$4

C2  B11

4C

HE Airburst

0.17 kg

$6

C3  B14

Nil

ILLUM

0.15 kg

$2

(B145)

Nil

Thermobaric

0.18 kg

$10

C6  B6

14C

WP

0.15 kg

$5

C2  B6

Nil

 

Enfield EM-2

     Country of Origin: Britain

     Appears in: Competition to replace the standard British service rifle after World War 2.

     Notes: This bullpup rifle, years ahead of its time, really looked for a short time like it was going to become the new infantry rifle of the British Commonwealth.  It was a very unconventional rifle for its time; not only was it a bullpup weapon reminiscent of the much-later L-85 series, it fired a small, short cartridge – the .280 British round, developed specifically for the purpose.  The weapon incorporated a carrying handle and an optical sight to increase aiming accuracy.  Experience with bullpup-type rifles at the time was small, and there were initially some difficulties with an overly-complicated operating mechanism in its predecessor, the EM-1.  (The EM-1 borrowed heavily from another rather complicated design, the Nazi Gerät 06, a gas-operated roller-locking experimental rifle designed by Mauser.)

     Enfield then turned to a less complicated (but still rather modern) gas-operated system with flap locking, and instead of the stamped steel of the EM-1, returned to largely machined parts, which were more suited to British manufacturing methods of the time.  Another modern feature was that the primary sight was a 1x reflex-type sight which could be replaced with a compact 3.5x sight, with backup iron sights.  The EM-2 was ergonomically sound, well balanced with easy-to-reach controls and quite controllable in automatic fire.  The EM-2 design worked quite well and was very reliable, and about the only thing that stopped its adoption by British armed forces was politics – in this case, the beginning of NATO, the demand for a common NATO round for its members’ rifles, and an absolutely intractable United States, who insisted on what would become the 7.62mm NATO round.  The British briefly considered going its own way rifle-wise – The EM-2 even received the British Army designation of “Rifle, Automatic, No. 9 Mk 1” – and Belgium and Canada also produced experimental designs firing the .280 British cartridge.  The US essentially bullied the rest of NATO into adopting the 7.62mm NATO cartridge.

     Enfield tried converting the EM-2 to fire 7.62mm NATO, but the result was a rifle that (like most of the 7.62mm NATO rifles designed at the time) was uncontrollable in automatic fire.  They then converted the EM-2 to fire only on semiautomatic, but the British Government, citing the costs and the length of the development program, decided to license a variant of the FN FAL (which became the L-1A1).  Only 25 examples of the EM-2 were built in .280 British, plus the very few experimental 7.62mm NATO versions.  I feel this is a shame, as the British would have had an exceptional assault rifle at least a decade before anyone else in NATO; in addition, the .280 British is a much better intermediate round than the 5.56mm NATO that we eventually ended up with.  (In addition, this would not be the last time that the US would use political bullying to stop the British from fielding a superior assault rifle…)

     Just for the heck of it, I included a 7.62mm version below, though I don’t even know if any examples of those experimental versions of the EM-2 even exist anymore.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

EM-2

.280 British

3.41 kg

20

$974

EM-2

7.62mm NATO

3.62 kg

20

$1194

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

EM-2 (.280)

5

4

2-3-Nil

6

3

8

71

EM-2 (7.62mm)

5

4

2-3-Nil

6

4

10

76

 

Enfield XL-64

     Country of Origin: Britain

     Appears in: Experiment into a possible new assault rifle for British Forces in Mid to late 1970s.

     Notes: In 1960s, the British were (as many countries) looking for smaller, lighter assault rifles to replace their larger, bulkier battle rifles firing high-powered ammunition.  The British MoD liked the compactness and light weight of the US M-16 series and its 5.56mm NATO round, but had also paid close attention to the numerous deficiencies of the M-16 series and its ammunition that were being revealed in Vietnam.  The idea of a lightweight rifle firing small-caliber, high-powered ammunition was a good idea, but they felt they could do better.  This led to the predecessor of the L-85, called the XL-64.

     Enfield and the British MoD had always liked their EM-2 design (and rightly so).  The bullpup design made for a compact, handy weapon, suitable for a variety of roles, from a cook who has it slung over his shoulder for emergencies to infantrymen on the attack.  Enfield felt that improvements in ammunition propellant and bullet construction meant that they could use a far smaller round than that of the EM-2 – it wouldn’t be as powerful as the .280 British round, but could outclass the 5.56mm NATO.  Radway Green, the company contracted to produce the ammunition, started with a necked-down and trimmed 5.56mm NATO case, eventually ending up with a 4.85x49mm round.  (This round was very close in dimensions to the 5.56mm NATO round, and many 5.56mm-firing weapons could be easily converted to fire it using a kit that Enfield also intended to produce.)

     The XL-64 could easily be mistaken for an early L-85 at first glance – because they are essentially the same weapons.  (More on this later.)  The XL-64 had been long in the design and finalization of its configuration, and it was the mid-1970s before it was revealed; trials didn’t even start until 1978.  Once trials started, problems began immediately – and they were almost entirely political (and monetary) problems.  Once again, the United States had already decided that the new version of the 5.56mm NATO round, the FN-designed SS-109, was going to be the new NATO standard assault rifle round, and weren’t interested in anyone else’s cartridge designs.  (Of course, tons of money were also on the line.) 

     Enfield had realized almost from the beginning that the same thing that happened to their .280 British cartridge would almost certainly happen to their new 4.85mm round.  Therefore, they designed into the XL-64 almost from its inception the capability to be easily converted to fire the 5.56mm NATO round and use M-16-type magazines.  Though the SS-109 round was in its infancy when Enfield began working on the XL-64, only a few modifications were needed to accommodate the SS-109.  That, and some more cost-cutting measures, morphed the XL-64 into the L-85.

     One good thing did survive the XL-64 program – the SUSAT 3.5x light weapons sight.  This compact scope would go to equip many L-85s, and draw the attention of the entire world.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

XL-64

4.85mm British

3.89 kg

20, 30

$711

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

XL-64

5

3

1-1-Nil

5

2

5

48

 

Heckler & Koch G-11

     Country of Origin: Germany

     Appears in: German weapon competition of the 1970s and 1980s, and later the US ACR competition.

     Notes: The initial design work for the G-11 began in 1969, in response to a German Army request for a new rifle with a high first-round hit-probability, even when fired on automatic, yet would be light, compact, and extremely resistant to harsh climates. Many designs came and went, but by the late 1980s, Heckler and Koch presented the G-11 in final form. The G-11, though reportedly a very effective weapon, suffered from rumors that the ammunition could cook off, that it’s construction made maintenance difficult for both armorers and users, and that it’s looks and design were so exotic as to assault the sensibilities of traditional weapons. In addition, it did not fire 5.56mm NATO ammunition, which was a cardinal sin in NATO at the time. On top of this came the reunification of Germany, and the massive amounts of AKM and AK-74-type weapons the former East German Army already had available. Finally, the G-11 was going to be an expensive weapon to produce, and retooling for series production would take even more expense. By 2006, despite reports of very limited use by special operations forces in various countries, the G-11 is largely a curiosity piece, found mainly in museums or gun collections.

     The G-11 was a revolutionary design, almost completely encased in plastic composites, with 50-round composite magazines that were sealed in plastic until they were loaded. Operation is by gas with a hint of blowback, with a cocking "dial" on the side of the stock and a fire selector above the pistol grip. Original G-11’s had selector settings for safe, semiautomatic, 4-round burst, and fully automatic. Once a magazine is loaded into the G-11 (slid into a track atop the handguard), the rounds face downward, and rounds are pushed downwards into the breech/chamber. The breech/chamber then rotates 90 degrees to line up with the 21.26-inch barrel. The cocking "dial" does not move when the G-11 fires, and can also be used as a decocker. The magazine moves back and forth in its track as the rifle fires; this actually helps dampen recoil, along with some other recoil-dampening mechanisms inside the G-11. When firing on full automatic, the cyclic rate is rather slow, at about 600 rpm; but when on burst, the cyclic rate rises to over 2000 rpm – so fast that the fourth round is well downrange before the recoil from any of the rounds is felt. (This kind of burst feature served as a model for future burst-firing weapons, and is now quite common on such weapons.) This makes bursts extremely accurate and virtually immune to barrel climb. There is, of course, no spent case ejection, but dud rounds are automatically ejected from a port with a hinged cover under the "receiver." This port closes again after the round is ejected. The "receiver" is topped with a carrying handle that contains a simple 1x aiming tube with a Mil-Dot reticule, with provisions for the removal of this aiming tube and replacement with a special 3.5x scope or certain other optics. The G-11 is also a very compact assault rifle, only a little over 29.5 inches long, despite the length of its barrel. The barrel is tipped by a cylindrical flash suppressor. The original version of the G-11 had no provision for the mounting of a bayonet, but this was quickly rectified.

     Heckler & Koch went through a number of prototypes over the intervening years, but the initial production model was supposed to be the G-11K2; this model used 45-round magazines, but there were three mounted above the handguard (which was also larger, rounded on the bottom, and otherwise rather squarish). (The G-11K2 is still capable of being loaded with the original 50-round magazines, but they will not fit into the spare magazine tracks on the sides of the loaded magazine.) One of these magazines was to be carried inserted into the rifle, with the other two on separate tracks on either side of the inserted magazine to allow for quick magazine changes. The three magazines were carried lower on the top of the handguard than on the original G-11. A locking slot for a special bayonet was added, and the cylindrical flash suppressor was replaced by semi-flash suppressor combined with a muzzle set well back from the front of the weapon, effectively doing the same job. The carrying handle was replaced with one which could be completely removed, with a mount for various NATO-compatible optics. (A future modification was to include a length of MIL-STD-1913 rail.) The burst setting was changed from four to three rounds, to simplify the fire mechanism. A number of other mechanical and ergonomic modifications were also carried out, and the shape of the G-11K2 is very different from that of the original G-11.

     Of course, the most revolutionary aspect of the G-11 is its ammunition, which is caseless. The bullet and combustible primer is embedded in a block or propellant, and nothing needs to be ejected after firing; there is no spent brass. The ammunition is therefore extremely light in weight and compact in size, allowing for a large magazine capacity without undue weight or magazine size. (I personally think this sort of ammunition for small arms may be the wave of the near future, but that’s just my opinion.)

When the US military announced its competition for the ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle), Heckler and Koch sent some G-11K2s for that competition, where it picked up monikers like "space rifle" and "plastic plank," despite the fact that the troops testing the G-11 liked its performance and compact size. However, the US military had such a large investment in M-16-type weapons, and especially in the 5.56mm NATO cartridge, at the time of testing, which was probably the biggest reason for its ultimate rejection.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Production of the G-11 began very rapidly in 1990, and just as quickly slowed in 1991; by 1994, Heckler & Koch were concentrating on the G-41 and then-upcoming G-36. Despite some 20,000 examples of the G-11 being made, by 2000, most of them had been discarded as pre-war stocks of ammunition were largely expended and new stocks were almost impossible to make using the production methods available by 2000.

     Merc 2000 Notes: This is a popular weapon for special ops forces operating in harsh climates. If you encounter a force armed with the G-11, they are probably clandestine forces of a large national government or of someone who has a lot of money to spend on exotic weapons and ammunition.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

G-11

4.7mm Caseless

3.6 kg

50

$805

G-11K2

4.7mm Caseless

3.6 kg

45, 50

$805

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

G-11

4/5

3

1-1-Nil

5

2

3/5

48

G-11K2

3/5

3

1-1-Nil

5

2

3/5

48

 

Interdynamic MKS/MKR

     Country of Origin: Sweden

     Appears in: Company experiment into an alternative type of assault rifle.

     Notes:  These were very unusual-format assault rifles designed by Interdynamic in the late 1970s.  The idea was to provide a compact weapon for vehicle crews, paratroopers, and special operations troops.  They are “semi-bullpup” designs; the layout is fairly standard, but the magazine is used as the pistol grip of the weapon, and this contributes to a shorter length.  The bodies of the rifles are largely of high-impact plastic.  The MKS fires 5.56mm NATO ammunition, but the MKR fires an experimental 4.7x26mm rimfire cartridge in addition to a version firing 5.56mm NATO.  The MKR has a longer barrel and uses a standard stock, while the MKS uses a folding stock.  Both of these weapons were rejected by Sweden and everyone else, and there were only tiny amounts of civilian sales; the Swedish Army’s primary strike against the 4.7mm version was the lack of stopping power from the unusual ammunition.  The biggest strike against the MKS was, though it had a semi-standard layout, used the magazine as a pistol grip, which was very awkward except for those with very big hands. Barrel length for the MKR was a nice 23.6 inches, due to the bullpup layout; the MKS Rifle had a barrel of 18.4 inches, and the Carbine 13.75 inches. They are presented as a “what-if.”

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

MKS Rifle

5.56mm NATO

2.72 kg

30

$609

MKS Carbine

5.56mm NATO

2.36 kg

30

$562

MKR

5.56mm NATO

2.99 kg

30

$622

MKR

4.7mm Interdynamic Rimfire

2.99 kg

50

$398

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

MKS Rifle

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

7

49

MKS Carbine

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

3

7

32

MKR (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

5

3

7

61

MKR (4.7mm)

5

2

1-Nil

5

2

6

55

 

Kalashnikov AKMR

     Country of Origin: Russia (Soviet Union)

     Appears In: Twilight 2000 game since its inception.

     Notes: This weapon was never produced in the real world, at least not officially, though it is possible that some early AK-74s were in fact modified AKMs.  Any such weapons, however would still be of better quality than a hypothetical AKMR.

     Twilight 2000 Notes:  Early in the Twilight War, the Russians and some of its Eastern European allies had a problem: they had invested heavily in the new 5.45mm Kalashnikov round, but production of the AK-74s to fire them was seriously lagging.  At the same time, there were large amounts of AK47s and even AKMs that were no longer mechanically reliable due to wear.  The decision was made to “fix” those old rifles; they were rebarrelled and rechambered to accept 5.45mm Kalashnikov ammunition and the new magazines designed for it, other worn out parts were sometimes replaced, and rotting wooden stock were replaced with new ones (or sometimes even ones made of plastic or fiberglass).  These weapons were then issued back out to the hoards of Category III, Mobilization only, and militia units being raised.  The “AKMR,” as the weapon was dubbed, was regarded as being unreliable compared to the average AK series weapon, and modification standards were generally poor and got poorer as the war went on.  Depending on the base weapon, a soldier might either be issued a standard AKMR or a folding stock AKMRS.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AKMR

5.45mm Kalashnikov

3.7 kg

30, 40, 75D

$496

AKMRS

5.45mm Kalashnikov

3.2 kg

30, 40, 75D

$521

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AKMR

5

2

1-Nil

5

2

6

42

AKMRS

5

2

1-Nil

4/5

2

6

42

 

Kalashnikov AK-47 – the Prototypes

     Country of Origin: Russia (Soviet Union)

     Appears In: Russian research leading up to the AK-47.

     Notes: There have been a lot of prototypes, experimental versions, and variants of the AK series from Soviet and Russian designers over the years.  Many of them failed or were never adopted, for a variety of reasons – they didn’t work, they were too complicated, they were technologically infeasible at the time of their inception, the improvements weren’t necessary, too complex, or too expensive, their designers were not in political favor at the time, etc.  Some of them were good, solid weapons, some sucked, and some were quite interesting.  This entry will describe some of these variants and put them into game terms.

     There is much evidence that work on the rifle that became the AK-47 may have started as early as late 1943 (most experts believe Kalashnikov started with captured Nazi StG-44s, though Mikhail Kalashnikov himself insisted until his death that his was an original, independent design, with no influence from any other weapon).  However, the first prototype of the AK-47 that is generally known was actually the AK-46 No. 1 of 1946.  The AK-46 No. 1 fired the predecessor of the current 7.62mm Kalashnikov round, which is generally called the 7.62x41mm Kalashnikov or 7.62x41mm M-1943 (both cartridges were designated by the Russians the M-1943).  The AK-46’s design was quite similar to that of the AK-47, though the receiver has features reminiscent of the StG-44 – it actually looks like a sort of blend of the StG-44 and AK-47.  Unlike the AK-47, the AK-46 used a gas piston and rod assembly that are separate from the bolt carrier.  The pistol grip is actually made of a steel frame with thick wooden grip plates.  The 15.63-inch barrel was ported with 3 holes on either side of the barrel, just behind the front sight assembly – a feature later dropped, reportedly as a cost-cutting and manufacturing time-saving measure.  (The front sight assembly actually sits directly above the muzzle.)  The safety and selector switch were separate, and located on the left side of receiver above the trigger.  Ironically, the receiver was made of stamped steel instead of milled and machined steel, in order to make the AK-46 lighter and cheaper to produce – a feature that would not be found on production AK rifles until the introduction of the AKM.

     Prototypes rapidly moved along to the AK-46 No. 2 version.  Though for the most part similar to the No. 1, the No. 2 changed to a sectional receiver built out of a combination of stampings that are welded and/or riveted as necessary.  (This made production easier and cheaper, but led to a somewhat weaker receiver assembly.)  The charging handle could be detached from the bolt carrier in order to prevent it from being caught on equipment, clothing, or other possible snags; the AK-46 No. 2 could still be operated with the charging handle removed by a finger hole in the bolt carrier face (similar to that of the M-3A1 Grease Gun submachinegun).  The barrel porting was deleted, and the handguards and gas tube made shorter.  The barrel length was increased to 17.72 inches, though it included a substantial length of unprotected barrel from the end of the gas block to the muzzle – and the barrel itself is of a rather narrow cross-section, leading one to believe that bending could be a problem.  The AK-46 No. 3 is based on the No. 2, but has a forward-folding stock of the type found on the later AKS-47 and AKMS; in addition, the barrel length is reduced to 15.75 inches.

     The first AK-47 prototype, the AK-47 No. 1, was still chambered for the 7.62x41mm cartridge.  In external appearance, it looked more like the AK-47 we all know and love, though the stock had more of a drop and the handguards looked a bit lumpish.  The barrel length remained at 15.75 inches, but the barrel porting reappeared. The gas piston and rod assembly assumed their current form, integral with the bolt carrier, joined by a threaded portion and secured by a pin.  The receiver of the AK-47 No. 1 was once again made of stamped steel, with a chamber extension to ensure a proper fit with the barrel.  Changes were made to the operation to make locking more reliable and case extraction simpler and more reliable.  The safety and fire selector were relocated to the now-familiar position on the right side, with a paddle switch almost identical in shape to production AK-series weapons.  The gas system did not have the regulator of production AKs. 

     The AK-47 No. 2 prototype lengthened the barrel somewhat to 15.94 inches, and the barrel porting was replaced by a two-chamber muzzle brake; the front sight assembly was moved behind this brake.  (The barrel length does include this brake; the nominal length of the barrel was still 15.75 inches.) The assembly was also of stronger construction.  The handguards were a bit shorter.  The structure of the front end of the gas tube and the gas block are rather striking – they look almost identical to those of the StG-44.  There were two brass strips on the right side of the receiver near the front; these were used to mount various vision devices for testing purposes.  The stock had a slightly-raised cheekpiece and much less of a drop than the AK-47 No. 1; the wood of the pistol grip was checkered.  The AK-47 No. 3 was virtually identical to the No. 2, but the end of the gas tube and gas block assumed their now-familiar shape, and the two-chamber muzzle brake was replaced by two simple, oval shaped barrel ports. The AK-47 No. 4 was basically the same weapon as the AK-47 No. 3, but used the same folding stock as the AK-46 No. 2.  The AK-47 No. 5 is the AK-47 No. 4, but without the barrel porting, and a few other measures to lighten the weapon.

     The AK-48 No. 1 and No. 2 were the last prototypes of the AK-47 before the rifle that is known today as the AK-47 began mass production (which began in late 1948, with first issues to units starting in mid-1949).  These prototypes were generally in the same form as the production AK-47 and AKS-47; the No. 1 corresponded to the production AK-47 and the No. 2 the production AKS-47.  The ammunition had been revised, and both examples of the AK-48 fired what is now called the 7.62mm Kalashnikov round.  The barrel assumed the length of production AK-47s – 16.34 inches.  However, while the barrel porting was deleted, the muzzle was threaded to allow the attachment of various muzzle devices, including silencers and suppressor, muzzle brakes, or even an adapter for use with a possible (at the time) vehicular firing port that might be later developed.  The No. 2 used a folding wire stock, though it was simplified in construction over the folding stock used on the other AK-47 prototypes.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AK-46 No. 1

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

3.91 kg

30

$833

AK-46 No. 2

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

4.03 kg

30

$830

AK-46 No. 3

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

3.9 kg

30

$835

AK-47 No. 1

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

4.21 kg

30

$835

AK-47 No. 2

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

3.85 kg

30

$860

AK-47 No. 3

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

3.89 kg

30

$835

AK-47 No. 4

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

3.95 kg

30

$860

AK-47 No. 5

7.62x41mm Kalashnikov

3.77 kg

30

$835

AK-48 No. 1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.95 kg

30

$797

AK-48 No. 2

7.62mm Kalashnikov

4.03 kg

30

$822

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AK-46 No. 1

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

8

43

AK-46 No. 2

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

9

52

AK-46 No. 3

5

4

2-Nil

4/6

3

9

44

AK-47 No. 1/No. 2

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

8

44

AK-47 No. 3

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

8

44

AK-47 No. 4

5

4

2-Nil

4/6

3

8

44

AK-47 No. 5

5

4

2-Nil

4/6

3

9

44

AK-48 No. 1

5

4

2-Nil

6

3

9

46

AK-48 No. 2

5

4

2-Nil

4/6

3

9

46

 

Knight’s Armament SR-47

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears In: US experiments by US Navy SEALs.

     Notes:  Early in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US found itself with a shortage of 5.56mm NATO ammunition and mountains 7.62mm Kalashnikov ammunition as well as magazines for it.  A temporary fix was to issue AKs to rear area troops and some scouts, but many at the Pentagon thought a better solution would be an M-4 that could use AK magazines and fire AK ammunition, and such a weapon could also be used by special operations troops behind enemy lines.  This was the reason the SR-47 was designed.  Six were selected for field and combat evaluation under the temporary designation SPR-V (Special Purpose Rifle – Variant).  The SR-47 was not successful, and after evaluation was drawn into the SCAR program, where the idea died.

     The problem was that modifying the M4 (or M16, for that matter) in such a way that it could take an M4 lower presents a number of problems, ranging from the larger magazines of the AK, to the fact that the small diameter gas tube of the M4 did not lend itself to smooth operation with 7.62mm Kalashnikov ammunition.  The result was a weapon that was the bane of any soldier – a weapon that consistently failed at the wrong moment.  Continual modifications and fixes were tried, but no satisfactory solution was achieved.

     The SR-47 did have a number of features that set it above the AK.  It had MIL-STD-1913 rails atop the receiver and lower handguard and the ergonomic advantages of the M-4. The SR-47 was designed to work with a silencer, which required a great deal if modification on an AK platform.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

SR-47

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.52 kg

20, 30, 40, 75D

$663

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

SR-47

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

6

45

 

Korobov TKB-022

     Country of Origin: USSR

     Appears In: Russian research into experimental variant assault rifles.    

     Notes: The design of the TKB-022 was finalized in 1962, and it was already several decades out of the box.  Though the TKB-022 appears to be rather lumpish, it incorporated many features that would not appear until several decades later – a bullpup configuration to provide a full-length barrel in a smaller package (the magazine feed is at the end of the buttstock), folding iron sights, sight bases that allowed the mounting of several (Soviet) optics of the time, several passive and manual safeties, and the use of large amounts of polymer.  The base operation is that of the AK-47/AKM, but modified to reduce recoil through an innovative add-on to the operation.  The TKB-022 appears to have fallen to the “just too weird” method of thinking – it was and still is a very strange-looking weapon – and not really that ergonomic.  Barrel length is a full 16.3 inches, with no flash suppressor or muzzle brake. Primary chambering is in 7.62mm Kalashnikov, but a few were made for 5.6mm Kalashnikov, at that time an experimental cartridge.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

TKB-022

7.62mm Kalashnikov

2.8 kg

30, 40

$786

TKB-022

5.6mm Kalashnikov

2.4 kg

30

$489

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

TKB-022 (7.62mm)

5

4

2-Nil

4

4

10

41

TKB-022 (5.6mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4

3

7

41

 

KRASA

     Country of Origin: Czechoslovakia

     Appears in: Czech research into a new short assault rifle for special Ops and police forces.

     Notes: The KRASA (for Kratky Samapol – short automatic weapon) was an extremely small and compact short assault rifle, more a submachinegun in appearance but firing assault rifle ammunition, developed in the late 1970s for Czechoslovakia’s special operations troops and for police.  The KRASA was a gas-operated weapon with a tilting block mechanism, and the magazine under the barrel forward of the chamber and bolt in order to make the KRASA more compact.  A two-stage feeding system moved rounds out of the magazine and back to the chamber for firing.  The barrel, only 6.7 inches long, was tipped with a compact but useful muzzle brake.  Feed is from 10 or 20-round magazines built for the KRASA or from AK-type magazines.  Much of the KRASA was built using light alloys and high-strength polymers, and the folding stock was of tubular light alloy struts with a plastic/rubber buttplate.  Prototypes of the KRASA were built in both calibers, but apparently that is all that was built of this interesting little design, despite the fact that it apparently (at least in a mechanical sense) worked quite well.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

KRASA

7.62mm Kalashnikov

2.8 kg

10, 20, 30, 40, 75 Drum

$779

KRASA

5.45mm Kalashnikov

2.2 kg

10, 20, 30, 40, 75 Drum

$484

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

KRASA (7.62mm)

5

3

2-Nil

3/4

2

6

10

KRASA (5.45mm)

5

2

1-Nil

2/4

2

6

10

 

LAPA FA M-03

     Country of Origin: Brazil

     Appears in: Competition to replace the LAR in the mid-to-late 1980s.

     Notes: This weapon was seriously considered to replace the LAR in the mid-to-late 1980s.  However, using the LAPA would have meant extensive retooling and updating of weapon factories, as well as possible importation of the plastics used to make the body of the weapon.  In addition, retraining of the troops for a new type of weapon would have been required.  Finally, the Brazilian troops themselves did not trust this very non-traditional rifle, particularly those who had grown up with firearms.  As a result, the LAPA was quickly withdrawn from consideration by the Brazilian armed forces, and had no luck on the international market either.  It was, perhaps, a weapon that was just too far ahead of its time.  The M-03 is a bullpup design, molded almost entirely out of two pieces of plastic. The M-03 has a single-action setting instead of a safety (but can still be fired at the BA rate at this setting).  It can use standard US/NATO-pattern magazines, or a 40-round magazine designed for it.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Factories could not be geared up quickly enough to produce this weapon in large quantities, and after the November Nuclear Strikes, the materials to produce it were almost unobtainable.  However, the troops who did use the LAPA loved it, since it was virtually indestructible and idiot-proof.

     Merc 2000 Notes: This is a Brazilian assault rifle that was adopted for a short time by Brazilian armed forces, and also had some success with foreign sales.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

LAPA FA M-03

5.56mm NATO

3.16 kg

20, 30, 40

$760

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

LAPA FA M-03

3/5

3

1-Nil

4

2

4/6

47

 

Objective Individual Combat Weapon (XM-29 OICW) 

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: Advanced weapon experiment in the early 2000s.

     Notes: This weapon was designed in the aftermath of the failure of the US Army and Marines to choose a new assault rifle in the late 1980s.  The OICW bears no resemblance to any assault rifle, having a 20mm grenade launcher and a 5.56mm NATO carbine, as well as newly-designed optics which greatly-increase hit probability, and a computer-controlled 20mm round which is designed to shower enemy soldiers hiding behind cover with shrapnel.

     Development of the weapon began in 1994, but development has been a very slow process.  The OICW’s 20mm round explodes over the target, showering the target(s) with 1d6+2 pieces of shrapnel.  Point-detonations are also possible, with 1d6 pieces of shrapnel being produced, or attacking fortifications with a DPW of 6.  The OICW’s sight is equivalent to both an image intensifier and a starlight scope, as well as being an electronic sight.  A sticking point of the OICW is the weapon’s high cost and high weight.  The OICW, as presented here, is probably not in the final form, and it is not expected to be in service before 2006 at the earliest. 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The OICW does not exist in the Twilight 2000 World.

     Merc 2000 Notes: As the Notes, except that the service date is delayed until 2008 due to budgetary concerns. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

OICW

5.56mm NATO + 20mm OICW Grenade

8.42 kg

20, 30 + 6

$5834

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

OICW (Carbine)

2

2

1-Nil

5

2

2

39

OICW (GL, HE)

SA

C1  B7

Nil

5

1

Nil

DF 140, IF 830

OICW (GL, HEDP)

SA

C1  B7

2C

5

1

Nil

DF 140, IF830

 

POF-USA/Vltor P-415/P-416

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: Special Weapons for Military & Police April 2009 issue; the weapon is a special modification done by Charlie Cutshaw.  The P-416 version was something I added in as a “what-if.”

     Notes: Noted firearms expert and gunsmith Charlie Cutshaw took a POF-USA P-415 chambered for 6.5mm Grendel and modified it using a Vltor VIS (Versatile Interface Structure) kit for the upper receiver, along with a Vltor Rifle Modstock.  Then Cutshaw added some other extras, such as a Vltor top-mounted bipod, attached to the top of the handguard.  The trigger group is match-quality.  The rifle uses an 18.5-inch match-quality tipped with a Vltor VC-65 flash suppressor/brake.  The handguards have four-point MIL-STD-1913 rails, and the upper receiver has its own MIL-STD-1913 rail.  The receiver rail is topped with a Leupold Mk 4 1.5-5x20mmMR/T telescopic sight, and the upper handguard rail uses an AN/PVS-22 UNS (Universal Night Sight), a 3rd-Generation night vision scope.  The two can be used together day or night since the AN/PVS-22 has a day and a night channel.  On the lower rail is a SureFire M-900 Foregrip WeaponLight with an IR filter attached to allow night use without showing a bright visible light source. It also includes a vertical foregrip behind the light.  (The SureFire M-900 is required since the AN/PVS-22 needs a light source to function.)

     Charlie Cutshaw’s conversion job is based on the semiautomatic P-415; simply use only the semiautomatic figures for this version.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

POF-USA/Vltor P-415/P-416

6.5mm Grendel

3.63 kg

16, 25

$1877

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

POF-USA/Vltor P-415/P-416

5

3

1-2-Nil

5/6

2

5

68

With Bipod

5

3

1-2-Nil

5/6

1

2

89

 

Saurian Game Gun

     Appears in: Dinosaur World, a book by Stephen Leigh.

     Fictional Notes: This personal Gatling gun was featured in Stephen Leigh's book Dinosaur World (a concept he developed from an idea by Ray Bradbury).  In this book, the hero uses a time machine to explore the Age of Dinosaurs, and has for dinosaur hunting a six-barreled rotary weapon that fires .357 Magnum ammunition.  Just imagine it as an antipersonnel weapon!  This weapon includes telescopic sights for long-range use and an Aimpoint-type laser sight for short-range work.  The ammunition is carried in a backpack in belted form. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Saurian Game Gun

.357 Magnum

7.5 kg

100 Belt

$2384

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Saurian Game Gun

20

3

1-Nil

6

1

14

59

 

Smith & Wesson M-1945 Carbine

     Appears in: Smith & Wesson weapon experiment post-World War 2.

     Notes: This carbine was intended primarily for European military and police units, to fill the same role as the M-1 Carbine filled in the US military – to be a light rifle for use by rear-area troops and drivers and for police to use as a heavier firearm than pistols.  Smith & Wesson did not seriously consider it something the US military would pickup, since the standard US military pistol round was the .45 ACP cartridge.  Nonetheless, they still submitted it to the US military at Aberdeen Proving Ground for testing, as well as to several European countries.  Surprisingly, the testers at Aberdeen gave it high marks, though the 9mm cartridge it fired meant it would never see US use. European countries also did not bite, stating that such a weapon was unnecessary in the wake of World War 2.

     Smith & Wesson put wartime manufacture of the M-1 Carbine and M-1 Garand; the M-1945 strips in a similar manner to the M-1 Carbine, and the safety mechanism and some parts of the trigger mechanism are similar to those of the M-1 Garand.  Operation is by locked Breech inertia, a type of blowback operation.  The 12-inch barrel is free-floating and of good quality, better than the typical military weapon of the time.  The stock and fore-end are in one piece and are again similar to the M-1 carbine’s stock.  The rear sight is adjustable for windage and the front sight a fixed blade.  The M-1945 is designed to use with Sten magazines, but can also accept the magazines of the M-3 Grease Gun conversion to 9mm Parabellum (which are also essentially slightly-modified Sten magazines). The M-1945, at the time of its inception and prototype status, was a semiautomatic only weapon, an automatic version was projected, which would make it into a submachinegun of sorts. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-1945

9mm Parabellum

2.96 kg

32

$236

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-1945

5

2

Nil

4

1

3

26

 

Socimi AR-832/FS

     Country of Origin: Italy

     Appears in: Attempted weapon sale by Socimi in the late 1980s.

     Notes: This weapon was designed in the late 1980s to provide a rugged weapon for Italian special forces and the San Marcos Marines that also has a good punch.  The Italian government decided to concentrate on the AR-70/90 series instead. The AR-832/FS is considered heavy for an assault rifle, but this also has the effect of fighting recoil and barrel climb.  It has the novel feature of a special gas regulator that allows the firing of rifle grenades with normal ammunition that can normally only be fired using ballistite cartridges.  It is also a simple weapon to strip and maintain, and is very tolerant to dirt and abuse.  Socimi withdrew the weapon from the market after a few years, and it was never heard from again.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: A number of these weapons were obtained by their intended users and could be encountered in their hands during the Twilight War; the San Marcos Marines were said to be especially fond of the AR-832/FS.     

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AR-832/FS

7.62mm NATO

4.3 kg

20, 30

$1032

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AR-832/FS

5

4

2-3-Nil

5/6

3

9

52

 

Socimi AR-871

     Country of Origin: Italy

     Appears in: Entry into assault rifle to replace the AR-70/

     Notes: This was another competing entry to the AR-70/90, and despite its good qualities, also lost that competition.  The AR-871 is able to take a modular sight mount to use the array of optics that were becoming available at the time. It is basically a scaled-down AR-832/FS, fitted with a Picatinny rail that could be replaced with a conventional carrying handle/rear sight combination.  In addition to the light alloy construction of the AR-832/FS base, plastics are used for the stock and pistol grip.  Like the AR-832/FS, it basically disappeared from the market after the Italian military chose the AR-70/90.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Italian special operations personnel liked the punch of the AR-832/FS, but soon requested a smaller version using the 5.56N cartridge.  Socimi’s response was the AR-871.  Like the AR-832/FS, it was a favorite of Italian special ops units, and the San Marcos Marines.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AR-871

5.56mm NATO

3.6 kg

20, 30

$784

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AR-871

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

4/6

46

 

Steyr-Mannlicher ACR

     Country of Origin: Austria

     Appears in: US ACR competition of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

     Notes: This assault rifle was one of the finalists in the US military’s ACR competition.  Unlike the other three finalists in the ACR competition, Steyr has slowly and quietly continued its development; Steyr believes that such rifles represent a possible path in the future of assault rifles.  However, like all of the ACR competitors, the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR was rejected by the US military and Steyr is not trying to sell it to anyone else at this point.

     Though the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR bears a superficial resemblance to the AUG, its appearance is very different than that of the AUG; it looks rather odd and vaguely ugly (at least to me, anyway).  The Steyr-Mannlicher ACR used a bullpup layout, with the exterior of the rifle made of a two-part polymer shell that hinges open for stripping and cleaning.  The polymer shell is strengthened with light alloy or steel reinforcement where necessary.  Like the AUG, the mechanism is largely made of steel or light alloy, with the exception of a high-strength polymer hammer.  Though the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR is a bullpup, it is completely ambidextrous; fire controls are duplicated on the right and left, and case ejection is downward, with the ejection port being forward of the magazine almost halfway between the magazine well and pistol grip.  (This just sounds like a bad idea from an ergonomic standpoint to me – like a good way to get shells down your shirt.)  The magazine well is close to the butt itself, making quick magazine changes virtually impossible in most cases, and the magazine release is behind the magazine well.  The trigger mechanism, pistol grip, and large trigger guard are taken directly from the AUG, though at request of the Pentagon, the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR has a standard selector mechanism instead of the two-stage trigger of the AUG.  Atop the rifle is a long carrying handle/sighting rib; this rib has a mount for a Steyr-developed 1.5-3.5x compact telescopic sight that is quite useable as a sort of ACOG-type sight, and the scope can be removed and replaced with a standard adjustable rear sight.

     The operation of the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR is quite novel.  The chamber’s barrel extension is not a part of the barrel; instead, it is an independent piece.  Between firing cycles, this chamber piece is below barrel and in front of the magazine; a rammer picks up a round from the magazine and pushes it into the chamber piece, which then moves it to the breech where it is locked in place.  The rammer mechanism also acts as the extractor and ejector.  The purpose of this operation is to provide a weapon that fires from an open bolt for cooling, yet does not have the jarring motion of the typical open-bolt weapon that can easily throw off the aim of the shooter.  Steyr Mannlicher apparently supplied two versions: one that used a 3-round burst setting, and one that used a full-automatic setting.  The Steyr-Mannlicher ACR also uses a gas-piston mechanism to power its operation cycle, and, unusually for an assault rifle, utilizes a modification of a telescoping bolt design in the form of an annular ring gas piston that surrounds the bolt.  The result is a very low recoil weapon firing a high-velocity cartridge and does not need a muzzle brake to reduce recoil, but uses a very complicated mechanism.  The 20.25-inch barrel projected only for a very short length outside of the shell, making a specially-designed proprietary bayonet necessary.

     The ammunition designed for the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR is as novel as the rifle itself.  The cases are of high-strength, heat-resistant polymer, and are actually rimfire rounds.  The round is a flechette, and is entirely contained within the cartridge.  The muzzle velocity of the flechette is about 1500 meters per second, and the flechette reaches it’s designed maximum effective range of 600 meters in less than half a second.  The trajectory is thus very flat and the high speed means that compensation for drop at even long ranges is rarely necessary – except for wind.  The Steyr SCF’s flechette (about the same size as AAI’s flechette, though even lighter in weight) suffers from the same problem that most flechettes do – it is long, needle-like, very light, and fin-stabilized, making it very susceptible to wind.  Steyr also had problems with the synthetic casings during the US ACR tests – the cases suffered from inconsistent strength due to manufacturing difficulties, and this led to the rounds producing inconstant chamber pressures when fired.  This in turn led to differences in muzzle velocity, and the trajectory of the flechettes tended to change from round to round as they were fired.  Though in the figures below I have assumed perfected cartridges, the fact was that during the ACR tests, the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR could vary from dead-on accuracy to utter inaccuracy (and everywhere in between) from shot to shot.  This problem was the greatest strike against the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR (apart from the usual political and bureaucratic problems.)

     Twilight 2000 Story: In the Twilight 2000 timeline, the Steyr-Mannlicher ACR is used in small numbers by the Austrian Army and also by some Bosnian Army troops which maintain loose contact with Austria.  The Bosnians found them almost impossible to make spare parts for them domestically, and by 2001, almost no one was actually using the rifle.  In addition, the handful of US examples of the weapon are all missing.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Steyr-Mannlicher ACR

5.56mm Steyr Synthetic-Cased Flechette

3.23 kg

24

$948

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Steyr-Mannlicher ACR

3

2

1-1-Nil

5

2

3

56

Steyr-Mannlicher ACR

5

2

1-1-Nil

5

2

5

56

 

Thorpe EM-1

     Country of Origin: Britain

     Appears in: Competition to replace the standard British service rifle after World War 2.

     Notes: This was the primary competitor to the Enfield EM-2.  Externally, it looked similar to the EM-2, but was an even more compact design, with a different-looking fore-end and a flat-sided receiver.  It used the same optical tube sight as the EM-2.  That receiver, made from thin steel stampings, was rather flimsy and could fail on occasion.  The firing mechanism was very efficient and the trigger pull especially crisp, but it was also very complicated and the EM-1 could be a nightmare to field strip.  The EM-1 was basically a weapon ahead of its time; it could not be designed or manufactured efficiently with the technology of the time.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

EM-1

.280 British

4.68 kg

20

$974

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

EM-1

5

4

2-3-Nil

6

3

9

74

 

TRW LMR

     Country of Origin: US

     Appears in: Weapon experiment post-Vietnam War.

     Notes: The LMR (Low-Maintenance Rifle) was born of US experience in Vietnam, particularly the ridiculous information at first given to US troops that the M-16 required virtually no maintenance of any sort.  The idea of a rifle which requires little or no maintenance is a pipe dream, but in 1971, a study was started by the Pentagon to come up with a rifle for which this was really true, and a company named TRW (Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge) was given the contract to develop it.

     TRW’s LMR is a rather odd-looking assault rifle; it appears to have been built with the idea of using as little materials of any sort, and therefore has a sort of bare and spartan appearance.  (In fact, the LMR actually was designed to use as few parts as possible!)  Construction was largely of lightweight, yet strong steel, finished with a new, TRW-designed coating which proved to be highly-resistant to corrosion and the elements.  The LMR has perhaps the straightest, most in-line design I have ever seen in an assault rifle; unfortunately, this means that the sights had to be put on high mounts.  The simple stock is adjustable for length to an extent.  Operation is by gas and uses a roller-locked design powering a gas piston.  The LMR had only full-automatic and safe settings, but the cyclic rate of fire is so low (450 RPM) that single shots and bursts are easy to squeeze off.  (This was done on purpose; it allowed for a simpler fire mechanism.) The LMR fired from an open bolt, ejecting rounds to the left through an ejection port with a spring-loaded cover that automatically opened and closed after each case ejection. Feed was from standard M-16 magazines, which were side-mounted directly opposite of the ejection port.  Operating parts, as well as the chamber and the inside of the receiver, are coated with a dry lubricant designed by TRW to allow the LMR to function with no need for the shooter to add lubrication. The pistol grip and selector switch are an almost unmodified version of that of the M-60 machinegun.  The LMR used the standard M-16-type bayonet, but it was mounted above the muzzle, below the sight line.  It could also mount the “scissors” bipod developed for the M-16.  The 19.4-inch barrel had no flash suppressor or muzzle brake, nor was it intended to have one.

     Virtually all of the LMR prototypes were designed for the 5.56mm NATO round (the M-193 version, not the modern SS-109 rounds, which didn’t exist at the time), but at least one was designed for an experimental flechette round called the XM-216.  This round had virtually the same external dimensions as the 5.56mm M-193 NATO round (to allow it to use the same magazines).

     LMR development lasted until 1973.  In the end, the LMR was a victim of the winding down of the Vietnam War, politics, budget cutbacks, and the “weirdness factor” of a rifle that simply looked “too futuristic.” 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

LMR

5.56mm NATO

3.08 kg

20, 30

$581

LMR

5.6mm XM-216

3.08 kg

20, 30

$586

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

LMR (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

6

3

6

53

LMR (5.6mm)

5

2

1-1-Nil

6

3

6

64

 

TSNIITOCHMASH Unified Assault Rifle

     Country or Origin: Russia

     Appears in: Russian weapon experiment of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

     Notes: Developed at the same time as the Unified Machinegun (see Russian Automatic Rifles), the so-called Unified Assault Rifle (and Machinegun) were to be a family of small arms firing the same cartridge – hence the name “Unified.”  The assault rifle and light machinegun were first shown at various arms shows in 1993, but they have not been seen again after 1997, although the Russians are still distributing literature about the weapons and the possibilities of a weapons family based around the 6mm cartridge designed for these weapons. The lineage of the Unified Assault Rifle can be traced to experiments first done in the late 1960s by Kalashnikov, on an AKM variant called the AL-7. (Strangely enough, the UAR looks, externally at least, more crude than the AL-7.). The UAR is, however, a much more polished design.  There are many speculations on why the UAR and its 6mm brethren have not been adopted by the Russian military despite the greatly superior round, but cost of the fielding a weapon with a new cartridge and the logistical problems of the same are probably the two biggest reasons.

     The Unified Assault Rifle (UAR) is essentially a highly-modified AK-74, with the primary modifications made to accommodate the larger, longer cartridge.  As with the AK-74, the UAR is largely constructed of stamped steel, but the buttstock, pistol grip, and handguards are of polymer.  (The buttstock and pistol grip appear to be the same as used on the AK-74M.)  The UAR appears to use the same flash suppressor/muzzle brake as the AK-74, and it feeds from modified versions of AK-74 magazines.  The barrel is 20 inches long, and the UAR uses standard AK-type sights.

     Two rare variants of the UAR were also built in the hopes of better attracting foreign sales and Russian military sales. One was chambered for 5.45mm Kalashnikov, and the other was chambered for 5.56mm NATO.  No one sees interested in them either; they are essentially no better than any other rifle chambered for the same rounds.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Like the Unified Machinegun, virtually no UARs appeared in the Twilight War; the ones that did were primarily in the hands of Spetsnaz troops.

     Merc 2000 Notes: Also like the Unified Machinegun, the UAR never appeared except at a few arms shows, a victim of the world recession.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Unified Assault Rifle

5.45mm Kalashnikov

3.06 kg

30, 40, 45. 60, 75 Drum

$597

Unified Assault Rifle

5.56mm NATO

3.11 kg

30

$647

Unified Assault Rifle

6mm UMG

3.2 kg

30

$727

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Unified Assault Rifle (5.45mm)

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

5

61

Unified Assault Rifle (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

5

55

Unified Assault Rifle (6mm)

5

3

1-2-Nil

6

2

5

64

 

Type 87

     Country of Origin: China

     Appears in: Tests of a rifle to fire the then-new 5.8xmm Chinese cartridge.

     Notes: After the introduction of smaller-caliber rifles by the US, NATO, and then the Soviet Union and some of her satellite states, the Chinese began research into their own version of a small-caliber-firing military rifle. They were, however not totally convinced as to the effectiveness of the small-caliber military cartridge concept, and not impressed by either the 5.56mm NATO or 5.45mm Kalashnikov cartridges. The Chinese there decided to develop their own small-caliber military cartridge, eventually resulting in the 5.8mm Chinese cartridge.

However, the QBZ-95 series was not the first weapon to be chambered for the new round; before the QBZ-95, there was the Type 87. The initial Type 87 was essentially a Type 81 with just enough modifications to enable it to fire the 5.8mm Chinese cartridge. In addition, the Type 87 was built only in a folding stock version, but not the same type of folding stock as the Type 81. In addition, the muzzle of the Type 87 has a different flash suppressor.

     The Type 87 underwent extensive manufacturer and military evaluation; in addition, it also underwent limited field training with Chinese troops. Its reliability was found wanting; this is most likely because the gas system was not modified sufficiently to handle the new cartridge. It was also considered to be too heavy for a small-caliber-firing military rifle (especially since the Type 87 was supposed to have been much lighter than the Type 81). The Type 81 was therefore quickly withdrawn, without achieving any sort of operational status.

In the late 1980s, the Chinese were still working on the Type 87 and had made a number of improvements to the rifle. These improvements let to the Type 87A. It was a much lighter rifle due to the extensive use of high-impact plastics and light alloys, and with a modified gas system, it was also much more reliable. A small production run of Type 87A rifles was ordered by the PLA – about enough to equip one battalion of Chinese Airborne troops, who conducted the field tests. Though reportedly quite pleased with the Type 87A, they were trumped by higher command – the PLA brass didn’t feel that the Type 87A was enough of a technological advance over the Type 81. The Type 87A was therefore withdrawn from service, and again never reached any sort of operational status. The ultimate fate of the small production run of Type 87As actually built is unknown, but much of the technology and lessons learned from the Type 87 and Type 87A later went into developing the QBZ-95 and improving the 5.8mm Chinese cartridge.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Type 87

5.8mm Chinese

3.95 kg

30

$598

Type 87A

5.8mm Chinese

3.33 kg

30

$600

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Type 87

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

53

Type 87A

5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

6

53

 

Valmet M-82

     Country of Origin: Finland

     Appears in: A paratrooper assault rifle experimental program in the early 1980s.

     Notes: The M-82 was a rare variant of the M-76 (and is also referred to as the M-76B). The change in the design is easily apparent – the M-82 has a bullpup construction, enclosed in an almost one-piece synthetic shell. (Pre-production versions were actually enclosed in a wooden shell, which had to be carved in an expensive, time-consuming, and laborious process.) The barrel is tipped by an M-16-type birdcage flash suppressor, and is capable of launching most rifle grenades in the world today. The trigger guard is larger than the rest of the M-76 series, allowing for the use of bulky gloves, and can be hinged away from the trigger as well. The M-82 was designed for airborne troops and special operations troops, both for domestic use and for export. However, during field trials and early in the short deployment of the M-82, Finnish Paratroopers discovered a problem with the M-82: the position of the sights. While the front sight remained near the muzzle (a protected post upon a large raised triangular mount), the rear sights were moved to a position near the center of the weapon. Since Finnish paratroopers parachuted with the M-82 uncased atop their reserve chute, a bad PLF often led to facial injuries, sometimes to the point of broken noses or teeth. A fall atop the M-82 could do the same thing. Such dislike of the weapon by the troops using it may have led to the very short production run of the M-82, mostly for evaluation purposes; it was never used in any operational role by any country.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Though an emergency production order for 1200 M-82s was authorized by the Finnish government in 1997, only 776 examples were actually produced. These mostly went to security troops and certain bodyguard details.

     Merc 2000 Notes: This is just one of those weapons normally found only as curiosities among weapon collectors or in museums.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

M-82

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.3 kg

20, 30

$797

M-82

5.56mm NATO

3.3 kg

20, 30

$549

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

M-82

5

4

2-Nil

4

4

9

42

M-82

5

3

1-Nil

4

2

6

38

 

W+F SG C-42

     Country of Origin: Switzerland

     Appears in: Swiss arms competition of the late 1980s.

     Notes: Designed for the Swiss arms competition that eventually produced the SG-550 family, the C-42 nearly won that competition.  The breaking point with the Swiss government was the new ammunition that the family was designed around; 5.56mm NATO ammunition was simply too readily-available, and SiG was ready with a 5.56mm-firing family of rifles. W+F found redesigning the C-42 for 5.56mm ammunition difficult without retaining the performance of the C-42 family.  Two of the family are essentially submachineguns firing large rounds, and the Swiss Army has never really been that fond of submachineguns. (Technically, they’re short-barreled assault rifles, but…) Added to that is that the C-42 family requires two new ammunition types, and the fate of the C-42 family was sealed.  However, apart from the performance of the new ammunition, the C-42 family had a number of interesting features, such as a detachable bipod, a new bayonet lug stronger than standard Swiss bayonet lugs (except for the MP E-21, which is too short to mount a bayonet), and a sight base able to mount a wide variety of optics.  Again, except for the MP E-21, any of the family can mount a grenade launcher adapter, which is removable.  The rifles have a gas cutoff lever to allow older rifle grenades to be launched using ballistite. They can fire on semiautomatic, automatic, or burst settings. The C-42 family are sound weapons, beaten by sounder and more expedient weapons.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

SG C-42

5.6mm NSK

4.18 kg

20, 25, 30

$1306

MP C-41

5.6mm NSK

3.96 kg

20, 25, 30

$1113

SG E-22

6.45mm NSK

4.12 kg

20, 25, 30

$1540

MP E-21

6.45mm NSK

3.91 kg

20, 25, 30

$1346

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

SG C-42

3/5

3

1-Nil

5/6

2

3/6

59

Bipod

3/5

3

1-Nil

5/6

1

2/3

77

MP C-41

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

3/5

35

Bipod

3/5

3

1-Nil

4/5

1

2/3

45

SG E-22

3/5

3

1-2-Nil

5/7

2

4/6

77

Bipod

3/5

3

1-2-Nil

5/7

1

2/3

100

MP E-21

3/5

3

1-2-Nil

4/6

2

4/6

45

Bipod

3/5

3

1-2-Nil

4/6

1

2/3

58