The FDM ‘ribbon gun’ could bring caseless ammo by the salvo to the Army (VIDEOS)
Currently based in Martin Grier’s Colorado Springs garage, Forward Defense Munitions may have what the Army has long been looking for.
FDM’s 6.5-pound experimental “ribbon gun” has five 6mm bores in one barrel and is loaded with five-shot caseless ammo blocks that can be snapped together to eliminate a traditional detachable magazine.
The electrically-fired gun, which he filed a patent for in 2016, has been showing up at trade shows in the past year and promises flexible fire control ranging from semi-auto the four-shot at a time full-auto with overlapping target impact.
Grier recently told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he has poured over $500,000 of his savings and investments by others into the working prototype and the Army has asked him to create a prototype for testing and the weapon could be a game changer. “Our guys have the same junk weapons as our adversaries,” he said.
But it’s not just the military that could see the gun. According to the company’s website, they expect production on the civilian L4 model to begin in the middle of 2019, noting that, “Pricing is TBD.”
Caseless ammo, salvo fire and the military’s interest in both from one soldier-portable weapon is not new for the Pentagon. In the 1990’s, German gun giant Heckler & Koch proposed their G11 platform as part of the U.S. Army’s Advanced Combat Rifle program in 1986. That prototype used a salvo system to fire 4.7mm caseless ammunition.
The ACR program and its follow-on but equally ill-fated Objective Infantry Combat Weapon descendant burned through $300 million without producing a replacement for the military’s standard 5.56mm-chambered M16/M4 series rifles. A wider scope on the ACR project, which also saw contenders from Steyr and Colt submitted, is below for those so curious.
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