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Knights Armament SR-47
Quarterbore ^ | April 2003 | SCOTT GOURLEY

Posted on 07/28/2003 12:57:26 PM PDT by 45Auto

US special operations forces have received a small number of new assault rifles optimised for the type of cave-complex fighting experienced in Afghanistan.

The weapons are based on the M-4/M-4A1 carbine variants of the M-16 assault rifle family, but fire the 7.62 x 39mm Soviet-designed cartridge and magazines used in the AK-47 assault rifle.

Knight's Armament Company of Vero Beach, Florida, delivered the first six rifles, called the SR-47 (Stoner Rifle-47), to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in January. The company received a contract for an initial six weapons in late October 2001.

David Lutz, vice president of military marketing for Knight's Armament Company, said: "For the last couple of years there was a requirement in USSOCOM for an addition to their [M-4 series carbine] SOPMOD [Special Operations Peculiar Modification] kit that they called a 'Special Purpose Receiver' (SPR).

"Originally they called it the SPR V1 for 'variant one', and it was to be a drop-in 7.62 x 39mm receiver replacement."

According to Lutz, government laboratory efforts to satisfy the SPR requirement were further complicated by "user input" from the USSOCOM specifying that special forces did not want to use the "straight box" M-16 magazines but instead wanted to utilize "battlefield pick-up" AK-47 magazines taken from opponents.

"That was a dilemma because the AK-47 magazine won't go well in a straight chute dimensional magazine - it just won't happen," he said.

He added: "But actually this program was kind of on a back-burner until US special operations guys were going into these complex of tunnels that were so deep, expansive and target-rich that they couldn't take enough loaded M-16 magazines. So they wanted a weapon that had all the muscle memory of an M-4 - safety, grip, everything that's familiar to the soldier or the SEAL - but capable of using battlefield pick-up magazines."

Instead of a drop-in receiver addition to the SOPMOD kit, design changes mandated a completely new weapon with resulting change in terminology from Special-Purpose Receiver to Special-Purpose Rifle (SPR).

"To enable the use of battlefield pick-up magazines, we had to make the upper and lower receiver 0.25in longer. You couldn't take an M-4 receiver and even machine it out to take the AK-47 magazine because it was too short. That also meant that the bolt carrier had to be made longer and the firing pin had to be made longer.

"So you started losing what some people would have liked to have in terms of optimal interchangeability of parts; that's just part of the trade-off to fire the different cartridges," Lutz said.

He highlighted the advantages of the 7.62mm size round for close-quarter battle (CQB) operations. Noting that many of the world's counter-terrorist organizations have evolved from 9mm to 5.56mm ammunition over the last decade, he highlighted the larger 7.62mm ammunition for the ability to package heavier, slower bullets that could provide greater contributions in CQB scenarios.

In addition to the extended upper and lower receivers, another challenging design effort in the SR-47 involved getting the M-4/M-16 magazine catch to externally function like the M-16 magazine but work with a curved AK-47 magazine. In practice, US soldiers use gravity to 'drop' their empty M-16 magazines. The SR-47 design requires the introduction of an internal magazine ejector to push the empty AK-47 magazine from the bottom of the weapon. Additional design features include the introduction of a free-floated match grade barrel.

"This particular 7.62 x 39mm is probably the most accurate 7.62 x 39mm in the world because it's got a really fine free-floated barrel," Lutz added.

"And, of course, it has the rail system so all of the other SOPMOD accessories off the M-4s are compatible.

"There's also a possibility, although they haven't let the contract yet, that there could be another variant that we'd call the SR-74. That could be used if our special operations guys go to a country that has the 'newer' 5.45mm former Soviet weapons. Then they would also have the same ability to pick up magazines."

All six of the SR-47s were delivered with sound suppressors, which Lutz described as "essential" in tunnel operations because of the weapon report.

"We don't know how the six did," he said. "We don't know if they are ever going to order one more. We don't know if we're going to get the second phase, which is to develop the 5.45mm version. But this is probably the hottest weapon that's out there right now."

Lutz concluded: "The SR-47 is a great gun because of the three technologies that it marries: the basic Stoner gun design; the AK-47 series cartridge and magazine; and the modular weapon concept."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; banglist; miltech; specialops; sr47
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1 posted on 07/28/2003 12:57:27 PM PDT by 45Auto
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To: 45Auto

2 posted on 07/28/2003 12:58:29 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: 45Auto
That seems quite the weapon.
Can't tell friend from foe by gunfire though.
3 posted on 07/28/2003 1:01:20 PM PDT by grobdriver
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To: 45Auto
Funny tag, I get it, I mean I understand it.
4 posted on 07/28/2003 1:01:39 PM PDT by stevio
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To: *bang_list
Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!
5 posted on 07/28/2003 1:03:11 PM PDT by Joe Brower ("History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." - Dwight Eisenhower)
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To: 45Auto
The key to chambering an AR-type rfle in 7.62 x 39 (the 30 Russian, or the .30 Russian short, the AK round)is the opened mag well adapted to use AK 30 round magazines. The straight-wall AR mags will hold the short Russian round, but the rounds will not feed well in 30 Russian-cambered AR upper receivers because of the cartridge taper. Still, Olympic Arms (and a few others) sell bolt-on 30 Russian uppers for the AR-15; these will work with Colt .223 magazines if the follower is modified, the bolt is changed to the larger 30 Russian case head dimensions, and only 5 rounds are loaded in the mag.
6 posted on 07/28/2003 1:05:01 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: 45Auto
In several past wars, diabolical soldiers would take captured ammo, sabotage it and take it back to the battlefield to be picked up by an unsuspecting enemy soldier. Too much powder, or a ball bearing squeezed into a cartridge would ruin somebody's day. Actually, it would blow their head off.

So now we advocate scavenging ammo?

The rifle does look fine though!

7 posted on 07/28/2003 1:09:40 PM PDT by FreeInWV
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To: grobdriver
The interesting thing about this, aside from the really nice gun, is that some of the special ops teams are going back to a .30 cal round for close quarters battle applications, like cave-sweeping. The Russians have gone over to a .22 caliber round in their AK's, actually the 30 Russian case necked down to .223. I have loaded the .30 Russian with Hornady 150 grain (.311 diameter)bullets and fired them in my AR-15 fitted with 30 Russian upper receiver. The 150 grain bullet is a little too heavy for the gun to fire on a regular basis, but definitely has more "hitting" power than the 55 grain .223. The recoil is substantially increased, and this probably would not do the gun any good over time. Using the standard 123 grain rounds, however, the gun performs nicely, except for the 5-round limitation dictated by the magazine well geometry.
8 posted on 07/28/2003 1:11:41 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: FreeInWV
In several past wars, diabolical soldiers would take captured ammo, sabotage it and take it back to the battlefield to be picked up by an unsuspecting enemy soldier.

Yep! Eventually the enemy catches on & turns the tables on you.

9 posted on 07/28/2003 1:15:47 PM PDT by Tallguy (Trying desperately to ignore Hillary.... and not succeeding.)
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To: FreeInWV
I'm not sure I actually believe the bit about "field scavenging" for magazines/ammo; this might work if one was under fire and desparately needed more ammo, but these special ops teams usually carry what they need for operations having a highly specified and rather short time frame for their mission. The big improvement in setting up an AR-type rifle for 30 Russian is the modified magazine well. Unfortunately, it looks like the rifle receiver dimensions had to be changed in order to make it work well.
10 posted on 07/28/2003 1:18:54 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: 45Auto
Check this out at www.robarm.com, there are some videos...quite similar but based on the original Stoner design. The company also makes some sweet AK-type rifles with the stronger RPK receiver....Sorry but the pics are squished...

From Robarm...Our latest project, the RAV02 MC (Pronounced "RAVE") was very successful. It can be chambered for 5.56 NATO; 7.62x39mm; and 5.45x39mm. It was developed and tested to current military specifications. Soldiers who have shot it prefer it hands down over the M4 Carbine. Even using the 7.62x39mm round, it is as accurate as an M4 Carbine. it can digest steel or brass cased ammunition fed through AK47 magazines and drums. The Rifle Features the S.I.R. (Swan Integrated Rail System) which give the rifle Accessory Rails (Picatinny Rails) at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 O'clock positions. The reliability also surpasses the M4 Carbine.

Hope Santa brings me one of these...


11 posted on 07/28/2003 1:21:17 PM PDT by MD_Willington_1976
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To: MD_Willington_1976
Then there's this little gem - the SSK Suppressed AR chambered in .300 Whisper.


12 posted on 07/28/2003 1:34:44 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: 45Auto
Reminds me more of a silenced MP5k-PDW than the M4.
13 posted on 07/28/2003 1:35:09 PM PDT by Ex-Dem
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To: 45Auto
battlefield pick-up
Sounds like an interesting weapon but I would be scared of "battlefield pick-up". Especially after the enemy has found out that you use it.
14 posted on 07/28/2003 1:42:52 PM PDT by CCCV
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To: FreeInWV
"So now we advocate scavenging ammo?"
You bet your assets you scavenger ammo when you are running low. Ammo that has been pole beaned can be picked up by either sidse. I would rather take my chances with ammo picked up off the field than an empty magazine.
15 posted on 07/28/2003 1:44:26 PM PDT by em2vn
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To: em2vn
...field than an empty magazine.
I guess so, but I would much rather carry enough of my own. You point is well made though; kinda difficult to get close enough to knock them in the head with your empty magazine.
16 posted on 07/28/2003 1:51:09 PM PDT by CCCV
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To: em2vn; Travis McGee
One of the tactics used by the SEAL TEAMS in RVN was to put a charge of c-4 in anAK47 magazine about ten rounds down. When it hit a trip switch after en rounds were fired the charge of C4 detonated. There is another reason for this and a good one.
17 posted on 07/28/2003 1:51:38 PM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: em2vn
I would posit this is for sustained ops deep in Indian country using captured ammunition for resupply when our own resupply channel is not available. This is not for when resupply is merely a call home to get more ammo delivered.
18 posted on 07/28/2003 1:53:44 PM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: harpseal
was to put a charge of c-4 in anAK47 magazine about ten rounds down
I was never in country (I was in the AF: stayed around expensive equipment that they didn't want to get shot up anymore than necessary - kept it out of the country), but I had a friend of mine that was in the Central Highlands for his tour and according to him the only time his unit would use captured munitions is when his unit saw the guy drop and were able to remove the ammo from him/her's person. A couple of guys in his unit carried AK's, but he did say they had to be careful using them.
19 posted on 07/28/2003 2:07:31 PM PDT by CCCV
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To: grobdriver
Can't tell friend from foe by gunfire though.

Not a problem if ours have suppressors. And sometimes it's an advantage if the reports are the same. For example, when operating behind enemy lines, it's a disadvantage to be ID'd as having the only 5.56 for grid squares around. All the bad guys know just where to go and shoot.

20 posted on 07/28/2003 4:01:51 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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