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I think the continued use of the M14 as a niche weapon will depend heavily on the success of the M5, both in our own implementation, and as 'foreign aid' packages. It would seem to fill the gap that the M4 cannot, though will it fill the gap that the M4 handles nicely? I heard it was 14 pounds loaded fully setup with optics and a full magazine... Does that sound familiar?

But if it works well, there's plenty of money to be made.
 

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Some very interesting points.

Things to pop in my head inspired by such...

'Obsolete' can have a lot of meanings. If you have a hammer, and it hammers, but another hammer fits better on a tool belt of other stuff... Is it obsolete? For a crew wearing a particular tool belt, yes. It doesn't mean that somebody who's learned how to use it cannot drive a nail just as well as they ever did.

I watched the 'Forgotten Weapons' evaluation of the M5, and he did a pretty interesting examination of it.

FW-M5

It seems like the platform may perform well to take over the capabilities where the M14 had been pulled back into service for niche applications, with better accuracy, AR type ergonomics, good reliability (at least in casual use), a standardized high quality versatile optics package, and a far more compact package, suppression included. It also looks like you could train an armorer who could maintain it relatively quickly to do fast and easy service on them.

I'm skeptical that it will become ubiquitous as the do everything for some of the same reasons that the M14 went out of dominance, because of the total weight, both of the rifle, and the ammunition, in which case it is very similar to the M14.

Will it stick? My intuitive guess is that it's got a pretty good chance, so long as it proves reliable and production of rifles, ammunition, and whatever else prove viable, and I cannot see any reason why they couldn't be, but I don't see a lot. There's always poltics...

As far as how quickly the M14 disappears altogether, whether pushed out completely and explicitly in the near future by the M5, or whether they simply fade out like an 80's pop song, I guess we'll see. But I love my hammers.
 
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