The Era of Lego Weapons
The necessity of these weapons is not going away.
I am a military firearms collector and love the history of world politics. Usually, advancement of weapons on a global scale is the direct consequence of failure of politics to solve situations between nations or factions. For the last century and the 17 years of this one, Uncle Sam has generally been in the thick of it. The weapons adopted by the US, and by proxy our allies, have the power to literally change history, i.e. The M1 Garand.
So when the US military announced adoption of the Sig P320 as it’s new sidearm I was definitely intrigued. I don’t have one, but my friend and range partner bought one immediately after the announcement. Upon handling one and firing it, my reaction was lukewarm at best.
It handled fine. It is indeed accurate and a breeze to breakdown and clean. But it felt and looked like every other chunky, high-capacity, striker-fired plastic gun I’ve tried. I didn’t get why it was adopted over others. Until it was explained to me that every single part of the gun can be adapted or switched out to meet the needs of each soldier or even each mission!
The gun revolves around an inner firing mechanism and trigger group, so that’s the part assigned to the soldier. Everything else is inexpensive and infinitely changeable. The Army can have giant bins of slides, barrels, grip sizes, colors and frames, depending on the need. Then they just dip in and take one when they need it. That’s genius. Now I get it.
In that very spirit Sig Sauer has now introduced the MCX Virtus rifle platform that can be configured in (get this!) 500 different variations. It has an advertised 20,000+ round service life without a single part replacement. It features a 5-position folding stock, three barrel lengths (9,11.5 and 16 inches) and the smoked clear 30-round mag I loved in my 556 A1. It features eight new floating M-LOK handguards including suppressor ready variations. If the trigger is as good as they say it is, this rifle really is something new not just another “this years model” gotta have it B.S.
It’s also able to switch back and forth between 5.56 NATO and 300 Blk. I’ll be very interested to see if these developments change the way we fight and use the weapons of war. I’m fairly certain the necessity for these systems isn’t going away anytime soon.
Image from sigsauer.com