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Talk:Heckler & Koch XM8

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Additional Images

Heckler & Koch XM8, Spiral 3 - 5.56x45mm. This is the last iteration of the XM8 which replaced the PCAP mounting point for the proprietary optic with a standard rail. This variant was purchased in small numbers by Malaysia (the pictured rifle is one of these weapons) making it the only variant to see service.
XM8 variants used by Malaysia (supposedly, these variants are marketed as GVM-8):
1: XM8 Compact Spiral 3
2: See above
3: XM8 sharpshooter with XM8-R styled handguard
4: Ditto
XM8-R - 5.56x45mm. This is a variant of the XM8 with a 14.5” barrel that saw testing in the SCAR-L trials but was rejected. It came after Spiral 3. Some variants have extended handguards that extend the top rail.
XM8 railed baseline carbine with Aimpoint CompM2 red dot sight and Picatinny rail sections on the handguard - 5.56x45mm. This is apparently a non-standard Spiral 3 model with three PCAP points on the handguard instead of four.
Heckler & Koch XM8 Carbine with Heckler & Koch XM320 grenade launcher (concept art) - 5.56x45mm NATO & 40x46mm grenade


Reasons for failure?

Supposedly this weapons system was to become the new standard rifle of the US army, but I'm at a loss as to why it was eventually cancelled. The "obvious answers" might be that "American weapons companies like having their stranglehold on equipping such a nice customer as the US army" or that "H&K didn't bid low enough" (as said by the old army truism "remember, all of our equipment was made by the lowest bidder"), but I think there's more to the story than either of those.

H&K's bid to make this "modular weapons system" adaptable to four battle field roles (standard carbine for standard infantry use, compact carbine for PDW use, automatic rifle with bipod and hi-capacity magazine for SAW-type use, and finally a designated marksman variant with a longer barrel and better optics) certainly sounds like a "hostile takeover" strategy of the corporate kind--was it possibly too ambitious and too threatening to corporate interested to have all those weapon types supplant all those individual weapons being used (and paid for) by the US armed forces? Asking everyone to "hand over your M4s, your M249 SAWs, your FN P90s, and your M14s--we've got something better than those which will do all 4 jobs!" definitely could cause some stocks to fall.

Finally, if the XM8 really is just the G36 in a different exterior, why didn't they make a more ambitious and less conventional design, possibly in a bullpup formation? The SA80 (also designed by H&K) had its hiccups early on but appears to be a reliable weapon today, and with the experience gained from its development and deployment I don't see why a better version could be made for the XM8 project. The ambidexterity problem could even be solved with a little ingenuity, kind of like how the FN-F2000 is ambidextrous not because it ejects down like the FN P90 does, but because it dribbles rather than spits spent casings.

I would like to see more of this rifle in movies and games, possibly even with more use of its "transformational capabilities" as well. Seeing a film character rapidly change his XM8 compact carbine variant to a DMR variant could be nice.

Any answers from those in the know would be appreciated. Mazryonh 04:26, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

look like arming an army is more complected then it seems. Rex095

My take is it failed for a number of reasons. I am a bit of a fan of the XM8 but the biggest design flaw I see is that it lacks Picatinny rails. It only has the Picatinny Attachment Points for mounting of optics. The advantage to that is optics don't need to be zeroed quite as much, but in the real world that's useless because you can't put any existing optics on. Plus, no rails on the side or bottom, so no attachment of lasers (although I've heard the XM8 has an infrared laser built into the optic, feel free to correct me) and you can't attach the M203. While its reloading method is possibly the most ergonomic I've seen, it feeds from G36 mags, and the U.S. uses the STANAG magazine found in the M4/M16.

And yes, cost does have a huge effect to it. I've never seen the cost per unit for the XM8, but I can imagine that it can be pretty expensive. Also, the M16 platform has been in use for so long and it's been drilled so far into the heads of some people that they have trouble letting go of it or accepting that any other design completely different from it might work. Sorry, that was just personal opinion.

One last big malfunction it had is that the reciever melted during extended automatic fire. The sad part is that if HK had put more money into that I'm sure they could've solved it.

I think the biggest thing is just the fact that the U.S. military just doesn't like to change anything and they find no new need for a new rifle. Colt themselves said it took them over a decade to get an extractor spring changed on the M4. The M16/M4 is probably here to stay for a very very long time. Mandaloin 09:06, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

The production cost for an XM8 is about 400$... The cost for an M4 is 600$ and that of an M16 is 800-900$

WHOA WHOA WHOA! That is NOT true, The company HAS to sell something to make money on, it costs I would estimate $200-$400 dollars for both the M16 and M4, the Military buys them at a cheaper price than the price we see on the shelves at the gunstore. The way HK does business I'm sure the XM8 would have sold for more to the military.--FIVETWOSEVEN 01:15, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Weight and the LMG version were the official reasons for its cancelation. The receiver melting occurred when they were trying to reduce the weight of the weapon to around 4 lbs. Current test/prototype models have increased the weight and the problem has supposedly gone. The LMG aspect also caused issue as there was no easy way to swap barrels if the barrel overheated (though barrels overheating in and of itself was never an issue). Also it failed to improve over the M4/M16 100% in all aspects of weapons performance, which was a mandate put out by the government. One last thing was while most versions of the XM8 used the proprietary mounting system (the circles on the side of the gun), their were some concept models late in testing with traditional rails.

There is a better modular weapons system coming out anyway the Remington ACR.

It failed because, simply put, testing proved it wasn't what the Army wanted. New weapon systems aren't funded and fielded simply because they run a little cleaner. It would be a massive waste of money when you add up the costs (the new weapons themselves, new spare parts, new magazines, retraining of troops to know how it ticks... we're talking in the hundreds of billions of dollars here) and compare that to the negligible advantage it provides (it's got a piston and... wait, what else?). And switching to completely new weapon systems in the middle of two wars poses the real possibility of logistical complications (i.e., getting M16 magazines and spare M4 barrels when your entire unit has XM8s) rendering combat units utterly defenseless in hostile territory. It may look all space-age like a laser gun, but the DoD simply does not want or need it when the M4 does the job just as efficiently. Until some country decides to adopt it, it's going to remain dead. If the big green Army wanted a gas piston so bad, M4s and M16s are easily converted with new upper receivers without the need for retraining. And not to mention the SCAR will eventually filter down into regular combat units as time goes on. I'm not saying there aren't better small arms out there, but the XM8 doesn't provide much of an advantage of the current issue M16/M4. And like is pointed out in the post above mine, the Remington ACR takes everything the XM8 is and throws the full modularity of the M4 into it. And please, people, sign your posts. Spartan198 21:57, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I could see the XM8 still being useful to small teams n' such, being able to swap out parts and magazines with your squadmates in the field no matter what role they play because they have the same base weapon as you could be a big advantage. But the ACR could probably do the same thing and it's supposedly better, but my point still stands. Good for small teams, bad for an entire military. I expect that we won't phase out the M4 or M16 until the next revolutionary change to the gun world. That's One Angry Duck 07:41, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Well the 416 is coming close to doing that, wouldn't you agree? -- 15:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

  • It's an AR-15 with a gas piston. I believe that specific "revolutionary" development has been done before quite a few times, starting in about 1969. To be exact, it's a gas system stolen wholesale from the AR-18. Vangelis 15:53, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

I wasn't referring to the 416 as a next revolutionary step in firearm design, I was trying to state that the HK416 is coming close to replacing the M16 family, at least some branches of the US military.

The same can be said of the of the SCAR. It's already being used by the Rangers and Border Patrol. Excalibur01 16:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Yeah I guess you're right. But that's the only way I could think of the XM8 being of any use to our military, but if the SCAR already has that role then it's pretty much worthless to us. That's One Angry Duck 18:22, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

If the HK 416 is that much better, I don't understand why it scored lower than the XM8 in the "extreme dust environment" test. Still, the XM8 system had a lot of potential that could have been harnessed in its extra reliability and modularity. Changing the internals to accept STANAG magazines, and to be more heat resistant as well as using standard rail systems could be done relatively easily. I'm surprised that more "Private Military Contractors" or SF operators haven't picked up on this gun given its modularity and thus its ability to be reconfigured easily between the demands of different missions. Even if this gun disappears into history like the OICW did, it'd be nice to see it in more games and movies. It's a nice break from AKs and AR-15s. --Mazryonh 03:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

The HK 416 scored lower because AR-15s weren't designed to take a piston; that's what the AR-18 was for. The main reason why the XM8 failed was because aside from reliability (which is still a debatable point, given that the US has been running DI M16s/M4s for decades without mass failure), the XM8 only really met par with M16/M4 effectiveness. When it comes down to it, you're still firing a 5.56mm NATO round out of a carbine, and that isn't worth phasing out so many M16/M4s that do the exact same thing. What I'd have liked to have seen from the "dust environment" test would be an HK G36A1 in the mix; for all we know, the XM8 was just an "updated" G36 that HK tried to sell to the US. The XM8 inherited its proprietary magazines and ambidextrous cocking handle from it, and who knows what else.

They've entered the XM8 into the Individual Carbine competition, and my guess is that it'll fail there too.

I think there were heating issues with the XM8 during testings and they never resolved the problem. Also I've seen pics of the XM8 being fielded in Iraq but I don't think these guys were US military. They weren't dressed in any familiar uniforms. Maybe they were contractors. Excalibur01 17:16, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I recently discovered an article from the Army Times website that blames the Army bureaucracy for the demise of the XM8. The pressure to open up the bids to competition probably came in part because FN didn't want their lucrative M249 contracts with the army to be superseded by the LMG form of the XM8, though I'm sure Colt was pretty ticked that H&K might be elbowing into its commercial territory too. Can anyone tell me just how (un)true this article is? --Mazryonh 05:43, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Army Times isn't owned or affiliated with the actual US Army, so I'd take what they claim with a grain of sand. It's doubtful we'll ever know the concretely true reason for its failure, but it's a fact that the XM8 and M4 are pretty much on par in terms of effectiveness and that isn't going to justify buying a million new carbines that do the M4's job no better than the M4 already does. Besides, try attaching a vertical forgrip, ACOG, PEQ-15, and Surefire light to an XM8. You can't, because none of those mods (mods which won't be going away anytime soon) are backwards compatible with PCAP and the gun's existing RDS is permanently attached. As a result, you have to buy from HK, in addition to the carbines themselves, all new accessories amounting to even more millions of dollars. People claim Colt has a stranglehold on the US military, adopting the XM8 would have been HK wrapping a noose around the US military's neck and putting their hand on the lever which opens the trapdoor beneath its feet. Spartan198 17:50, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Is the US Army collaborating so much with H&K really such a bad thing? Didn't the British government collaborate with them a lot way back in the 80s when the time came to refit their SA80 rifles? They also bought a controlling share during those days, too, so the British government called the shots then, not H&K. Nothing bad happened there with that close collaboration then. What problems do you foresee with a similar collaboration between the USA and H&K?
I also remember two of the major "user feedback" points of the M4 Carbine were that they wanted a lighter and more reliable weapon. The XM8 delivered on both. The accessory problems you mentioned would not have been difficult to overcome. The PCAP system was supposedly developed because it kept the "zero" of accessories more securely (not really an issue with foregrips, but definitely an issue with laser pointers, grenade launchers, and scopes/non-iron sights), but the earlier XM8 prototypes did have conventional rail systems which could be reverted to if necessary. Subcontracting another company to build PCAP-compatible accessories could be another option. Further, changing the chambering to 6.8x43mm or the like shouldn't be too much of a problem (if it's done before mass production is approved) if a caliber change is deemed to be necessary. --Mazryonh 19:43, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how changing the caliber to 6.8 would be any improvement either when you consider that a number of piston ARs in that caliber are readily available already. In addition, FN has a forthcoming 6.8mm caliber conversion for the SCAR system and the ACR is easily converted to 6.8mm at the user level. All three platforms are pretty much on par with the XM8 in terms of effectiveness and are compatible with currently fielded accessories (why buy millions of new accessories when the currently fielded ones work just fine?). The weight decrease is negligible at best with the current weight of the carbine variant at 6.4 lbs [1] compared to 6.9 lbs for most loaded AR-type carbines. True, the ACR and SCAR-L are a bit heavier at around 7 lbs or so each, but both offer much more adaptability OTS than the XM8. Spartan198 01:12, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

The problem as well with the XM8 is that the US Marine Corp has a serious problem about changing their rifles. If the XM8 was adopted by the Army, it would have taken a while before the Marines would abandon their M16s and M4s. They always seem to be the last guys to change their current weapons for the new thing. Also the SCAR's been having problems as well getting adopted Excalibur01 05:39, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

The Marines don't have the budget to blow on weapons programs left and right like the Army does, though. When the Corps adopts a new piece of kit, they need to get as much use out of it as possible because they don't have the cash to replace it right away should it fail. Think of how many combined billions of dollars the US Army sank into the Advanced Combat Rifle, XM29, XM8, XM307, and XM312 programs only for none to be adopted, then consider that now they're (A) set on upgrading all their M4s and (B) simultaneously running a competition for a completely new carbine to supersede the M4. Add to that the LSAT program and the XM25 airburst grenade launcher (the only so-far salvageable part of the OICW program). And that's just in the small arms category alone. Running development programs all willy-nilly like that would bankrupt the USMC. But I wouldn't say the Marines are always last to adopt the new stuff. The M16A2 and A4 were born within the USMC, after all. Spartan198 07:52, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
From what i heard from a friend of mine, and im not sure if this is true or not, and someone might have already said this, but the XM8 was too expensive too manufacture, which confuses me because i thought the rifle was made out of plastic. Can someone confirm that or is my friend full of s**t?--Gunner5
Just because a rifle is made from composite that doesn't by any means make it cheaper to manufacture. The bare rifle itself was more expensive than an M4, I believe in the order of twice the price. It was also actually heavier than the M4 despite having a 2" shorter barrel. However, the sighting unit included a sight, lasers and illuminators so with this fitted, an M4 with equivalent capability would have been heavier and more expensive. I think most of this has been said above, but have heard there were several reasons why it was dropped, including the cost issue, overheating problems in desert testing, lack of significant improvement over current weapons, non STANAG magazine, abandonment of MIL-STD-1913 rails and replacement with PCAP (Picatinny Combat Attachment Points) system and political problems with using a non American made weapon (mostly stirred up by Colt I believe). --commando552 21:32, 3 November 2011 (CDT)
"Political problems with using a non American made weapon" Most of the weapon used in the US Military are made by *cough* FN *cough*, even M16s nowadays are made by FN! - Mr. Wolf 16:03, 4 November 2011 (CDT)
Most weapons are still made by Colt, as all M4s so far have been Colt made and not all M16s are made by FN, and I believe a lot more M4s are around than M16s these days (at least from what I've seen). Regardless, there is a big difference between a US designed weapon having some of the manufacturing contracted out to someone else than adopting a foreign designed weapon, at least politically speaking. Would be taken by some as admitting that the Germans are better at designing guns than the Americans. Don't think this whole facet was the main reason the XM8 went away (got the impression from what I've read that it was an issue created by Colt to try and play the patriotic card), but certainly didn't help its chances. --commando552 17:24, 4 November 2011 (CDT)
I'm not arguing with you. :) I think H&K would have been more successful if they just entered they're regular G36, I think it would cost atleast as much as an FN SCAR if not less. What do you know/think? I thought I remember seeing a source saying the G36V cost $950~1000 USD. - Mr. Wolf 14:45, 5 November 2011 (CDT)
But the FN SCAR and XM8 were developed in completely different programs. The XM8 was supposed to be light, with a target weight around 4 lbs. They were never able to get it that light and when they got close the weapon developed problems overheating and even melting, which is why the XM8 had all the overheating problems while the G36 did not. The SCAR, on the other hand, was developed under the idea of having one weapon system with multiple calibers to allow solders to preform multiple different rolls while only needing to be familiar with one weapon platform. The individual weapon cost between the SCAR, XM8, and HK416 vs the M4 are not significant, however there are lots of surplus M4 parts that the army has accumulated over the years so maintenance costs on the M4 would be less than what it would be for a new gun, which is something that has to be considered when changing out a weapon system on such a large scale as the US Army or Marines.Dover500 17:53, 5 November 2011 (CDT)
Good God, the way this is going America will still have M16s and M4s in 2500 AD. M16A20 and M4A15 anyone? :D - Mr. Wolf
So, from what I've read here and other places, the main reason it wasn't picked (politics aside) was that it wasn't enough of an improvment over the M4/M16s to justify buying millions of them (plus parts etc) and storing/getting rid of the M4s and M16s. While I believe most modern 5.56mm rifles and carbines are better than the M16 platform, this does make sense to me. If it was significantly better I'd most likely blame a failure on politics, especially on the part of the other manufacturers and the American ones pushing the idea of a non-American gun as bad. That's what happened to the Avro CF-105 Arrow. Alex T Snow 02:06, 29 December 2011 (CST)

Hopefully no more seeing these in movies

I really hope a lot of action movies and even games of the future to come would stop using the XM8 to be the image of "the rifle of the future" look. Even I made the naive mistake once and thought this rifle was cool, I hope that new comers into the world of firearms will wise up quick and see just because it looks kinda cool and spacy...doesn't mean it's NOT a complete piece of crap. Excalibur01 10:36, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

How is the XM8 a piece of crap? Nobody seems to think there's an middleground with the XM8. Either you love it or you think it's a disgrace not worthy to even be thought of. Why do you hate it so much?

Probably just another M16/4-Series Fanboy whose jaw would drop to the ground in awe, when the XM8 blows the M4 to pieces in reliability-tests.

Till the XM8 starts melting.--FIVETWOSEVEN 01:10, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

why is there a wierd cartoonish/not-real picture of the XM8 on some pages.itlooks like it has been digitally made ona computer smish34

Probably because a "weird cartoonish/not-real" picture is easier to make than a picture of one of the couple hundred prototypes in existence is to get. Spartan198 21:59, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I believe those pictures are from the official Army press releases. [2] --funkychinaman 01:28, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I still think that the XM8 will still apear in film, and game based couple years in to the future.

That's because when designers look to a "future" gun, instead of being original and making one up, they pick a gun that is not on any production scale at all. They might as well have the G11 star in games and future war movies again because it was so future like when that thing came out Excalibur01 02:18, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Do me a favor and look at the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier talk page. Those monstrosities are what results when game designers try to be original and make a gun up. Spartan198 17:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
XM8 might be better if it wasn't all fucking plastic,pardon my language. In fact,a lot of weapons would be better,but wouldn't be used in mass production if you know,more steel work would be involved. Of coures,there are holes in the design for steel worked weapons as well as there are synthetic weapons and weapon parts. But this is an opinion from someone who thought there was no difference between clip and magazine,which there are several.-- 02:00, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah for one thing they are not the same thing. Anyway, the fact that the XM8 is made of "plastic" as you call it isn't the problem. Many successful rifles are made of "plastic". The AUG, the G36, the F2000, the Tavor, the QBZ series. There is nothing wrong with the polymer material. It can be as strong as steel and make the weapon lighter and that is what the infantry needs. Lighter weapon means lighter the load and more ammo they can carry into battle without the fatigue. Excalibur01 05:11, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Well,not to be Randy P. Goatboy,but why the heck did SCAR succeed the XM8? Was it more...adaptable? With the SCAR-H,SCAR-L,the subtypes of those...was that the reason it won? So to speak?--Pump_Shotty_Justice
A modified XM8 (how it differed from the original I have no idea) did compete in the SCAR program, but the FN beat it out. I'm unsure of any specifics, though. Spartan198 16:28, 7 November 2011 (CST)
I am going purely by memory so might be totally wrong, but I think the original competition phase of the SCAR was in 2004 and known as SOFCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat (or might be Capable?) Assault Rifle), and the contestants were the Robinson Arms XCR, FN SCAR and the XM8. Remember reading that the XM8 was an improved version, but I believe it was just the late model of the XM8 which is the black/grey one on the main page as opposed to the tan. Only differences (there are supposed to be a dozen or so) I notice are the more attachment points, birdcage flash hider and the folding sights built into the carry handle. Assume the main reason it failed in that there was no caliber modularity which was one of the things SOCOM were looking for. This is the same version of the rifle that was used in the 2007 extreme dust testing the army did (which the XM8 won) which was a four way comparison between the M4, HK416, FN SCAR and the XM8 (Video here). --commando552 18:42, 7 November 2011 (CST)

XM8 Rail Model

I've heard that there were actually some XM8 prototypes with rail sets, but I have personally never seen one. Does anyone have pics of these? Would they be a good addition to the page? Researcher

I don't think it belongs on the main page as it hasn't appeared in anything (or has it?). The variant with the rails was called the XM8R. There were also some very early prototyped with conventional rails I think but not sure. I think the pic below is the standard length XM8R, but have also seen a shorter one: --commando552 20:17, 27 December 2011 (CST)
XM8R - 5.56x45mm
I seem to recall hearing that the holes in the forends were for plugging in rail mounts, sort of like with the G36 the XM8 was based on, and other newer H&K weapons like the UMP. Orca1 9904 20:42, 27 December 2011 (CST)

Yesh, with the rails, this gun went from interesting looking to ugly as hell Excalibur01 07:20, 28 December 2011 (CST)

I actually prefer it with the rails, looks less like a toy. The holes in the handguard weren't to plug rails into, they were a new attachment system that was supposed to replace MIL-STD-1913 rails. From what I have read, this railed version was entered into the (SOF)CAR competition, but was pretty quickly ruled out for a number of reasons. --commando552 10:11, 28 December 2011 (CST)

Not meaning to be offensive to anyone, but why do people show up wanting every variant of a gun ever made added to the page? Does nobody bother reading Section 2.9 of the Rules, Standards, and Principles page?

  • Unless it appears in a film, television show, anime or Video Game, don't upload every variation of every gun possible.

Spartan198 11:30, 28 December 2011 (CST)

I'm not that sure any real railed XM8s were actually made, most image you can get of railed XM8s turn out to be Airsoft. That one looks to have the "XM8" logo but not the "HK" that usually went before it on the prototypes. Evil Tim 11:43, 28 December 2011 (CST)
I believe that the Malaysian Army/Navy/Police actually have a number that were delivered for evaluation so they definitely exist. Below are a few different variants that they have, which includes regular carbines and compact carbines (with MP5A3 style stock) with the carry handle and sight replaced with a rail but retaining the PCAP handguard, along with a DMR/LMG length gun with RIS handguard and full length monolithic top rail. --commando552 13:17, 28 December 2011 (CST)
Yeah, I've seen shots like those before, but always on random little websites I couldn't tell were trustworthy or not, and it always seemed odd they'd use PCAP and RIS on the same weapon, especially since no standardised PCAP accessories actually exist yet. Where did that one come from? Evil Tim 13:25, 28 December 2011 (CST)
Go here and you can see it actually being shot by Malaysian armed forces, police and HK reps. Also, here you can see some photos from a Malaysian Navy anniversary event where you can see an XM8 with PCAP and top rail (along with some other odd stuff like and MP5 with M203 and an Accuracy International AWC ) --commando552 16:09, 28 December 2011 (CST)

At least some country is considering it. Realistically only a small country can change their standard infantry rifle on a nation wide scale. The US would need a lot of time to phase out any of its rifles and I'm talking about the branches that will give, like the Army, who are always gets the new toys, while the Marines will stick to their rifles until they die. Excalibur01 21:47, 28 December 2011 (CST)

Did a bit more research about the XM8 and come up with a few little tid-bits that shed some light on the "Malaysian" variant. There were three different "spirals" (prototypes) for the XM8:

  • Spiral 1: Two PCAP holes in the handguard.
  • Spiral 2: Four PCAP holes in the handguard (two wider spaced holes on the compact carbine).
  • Spiral 3: Aluminium MIL-STD-1913 top rail (compact carbines now have 3 PCAP hole with the same spacing as on the standard carbine)

Also, Heckler & Koch no longer markets the XM8 under that name, instead calling it the GVM8, which is basically the latest version with the UG Govt XM8 markings removed. As you can't see the markings on the above guns I can't tell for sure, so they are either "Spiral 3" XM8s or GVM8s. If they turn up in anything would call them "Spiral 3" XM8s so as not to confuse people though. Now for a random little fact I came across, General Petraeus actually carried a Compact Carbine XM8 whilst he was CG of the 101st Airborne in Iraq. Apparently he was so impressed with the XM8 after shooting it in an Army sponsored demo he actually requested and carried it while on duty there. There are also several other photos knocking around of XM8s (normally Compact Carbines) in Iraq, which were supposedly tested by Special Forces. --commando552 07:21, 11 January 2012 (CST)

Sweet, thanks for the info. Also: "This gun, I like it... I SHALL HAVE ONE!" ;) Alex T Snow 16:16, 11 January 2012 (CST)

Thought this could be of some use: http://static.hkpro.com/straightgrain/docs/TheHKDecades.pdf --Researcher (talk) 05:07, 26 December 2012 (EST)

The whole "XM8: Myths and Lies" portion reads like we were obligated to adopt the system or something. Spartan198 (talk) 20:02, 5 August 2013 (EDT)

Here's a pic of the compact XM8R, for anyone interested [3]. Spartan198 (talk) 12:27, 20 January 2014 (EST)

Can we use this image

XM8 railed baseline carbine with Aimpoint CompM2 red dot sight and Picatinny rail sections on the handguard - 5.56x45mm

XM8s in this or approximate configurations appear in a few games (Rainbow Six: Vegas, its sequel, and CoD: Black Ops II, off the top of my head), so I thought I'd upload it thinking we'll have some uses for it. I figure it's better than the cropped boxes taken from the above image collection of the Malaysian test samples. Spartan198 (talk) 22:14, 14 November 2013 (EST)

That variant is confusing me a bit, as it doesn't look like a typical spiral 3 XM8. The standard length carbine had 4 PCAP holes in the the handguard, but that is missing the rear most one (assuming that it has any at all and that those rails are fitted with PCAP adapters rather than this being an interim variant of some sort that replaced the PCAP with rails). The Malaysian example above has the four holes in the side of the handguard, and I can think of no reason why they would get rid of the back one on the carbine as there is more than enough room for it, and 4 holes was the standard for the XM8 series from spiral 2 onwards. Either way, the Vegas variant has the 4 PCAP holes so although a crappy image, the picture of the Malaysian gun with the grenade launcher is a better match in my opinion as it is actually the same variant. --commando552 (talk) 06:13, 15 November 2013 (EST)
I'm pretty sure it's some kind of PCAP cover to keep the mounting points from getting damaged/filled with crud. Spartan198 (talk) 21:40, 15 November 2013 (EST)
There should be a PCAP hole under the rear vent hole, however the handguard under there is totally flat without even the raised section around the hole, let along any kind of plug that I can make out. Also, if you were putting rail adapters on the side I would have though you would use all the holes in order to get as much rail length as possible. My best guess is that for some reason this carbine only has 3 PCAP holes in the handguard, but I have never seen another carbine with a handguard like this. --commando552 (talk) 06:57, 16 November 2013 (EST)

Judging from Commando's recent edits, I've changed the image's caption. Hope nobody minds. --Wuzh (talk) 22:48, 16 August 2018 (EDT)

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