The Secret Service is looking for a new rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm, and they have some serious expectations.
The agency has issued a pre-solicitation notice calling for a rifle to fit the bill for a five-year contract that will be handed out in fiscal year 2018, according to this story from tactical-life.com.
Essentially, the Secret Service is looking for a rifle that is selective-fire (full-auto, and semi-auto) that can be used in pretty much any environmental conditions and is sized for “maximum concealment” when necessary.
The rifle has to have a “dark subdued, rust/corrosion resistant finish” that isn’t effected by “commercially available gun cleaning solvents, such as Simple Green, used in heated ultrasonic cleaning tanks,” the story says.
When it comes to the action, the agency will accept either direct-impingement gas systems or a short-stroke gas-piston system.
You can read the entire Draft Statement of Requirements that details exactly what the Secret Service wants from it’s new rifle here. But below is a quick rundown of some primary features included in the requirements. The Secret Service says they will use only Magpul PMAGs and Mechanix Wear “Vent” gloves while testing rifles to fill the contract.
The rifle can be no taller, with folded sights, than 8.5 inches, with a length (stock fully extended) of 34 inches and a barrel length of 10 to 12 inches, with a 1:7” RH twist. The rifle can weigh no more than 7.5 pounds, without accessories.
The agency demands the barrel have a minimum service life of 15,000 rounds, in addition to being free of imperfections. The muzzle must be equipped with a flash hider and a 1/2-inch x 28 tpi thread size, with a shoulder geometry of 90 degrees.
The buttstock must be adjustable and have at least four total positions, including fully collapsed and fully extended.
In addition to being non-reciprocating and being placed on the upper receiver, like every AR-style rifle, the handle must also be configured for one-handed operation while the shooter’s other hand is grasping the pistol grip or forend of the rifle.
Bolt Hold-Open Device
The rifle has to have a magazine-activated bolt hold open device that can also be activated manually by the operator. The bolt also has to remain locked open when the operator inserts a new magazine until the bolt release is activated.
Though the agency will use Magpul PMAG 30-round polymer magazines made for the AR16 and M4 to test the rifle submissions, the guns must also be compatible with the standard NATO STANAG 30 round M16 magazine.
The bang switch must be a two-stage trigger, with a pull between 4 pounds and 6.5 pounds in all modes of fire. It cannot have any adjustment screws or set screws and must have a smooth face and can be no wider than the trigger guard.
The statement also says that “while utilizing gloves, the trigger shall not pinch the trigger finger between the trigger and the side of the receiver or between the trigger and the inside bottom of the trigger guard. Any manipulation/modification to the trigger guard to meet this requirement is not acceptable.”
Additionally, the rifle must have a Mil-Std-1913 Picatinny rail for mounting optics, iron sights, etc., as well as a free-floating handguard assembly measuring no less than 9 inches of functional/configurable railspace measured along the 6-o’clock position of the rail.
The agency specifies that, when used, the front and rear backup iron sights must be viewable through an Aimpoint Model T2 optic “while mounted on a suitable optic-specific commercially available sight mount.”