The HK XM8 Modular Weapon System is a gas operated, rotating bolt rifle that was designed as a cost effective, reliable weapon system to replace the much respected M16 rifle. As of 2013, the XM8 is one of the standard service rifles of the 5th Special Forces Group, also known as Ghost Recon.
Baseline Rifle: The standard variant of the XM8 program is a gas operated, select fire assault rifle that fires 5.56mmx45mm NATO rounds from a thirty round magazine.
Grenadier: Identical in most aspects to the Baseline, except for the underslung M320 40mm grenade launcher, which increases its overall firepower.
Squad Automatic Weapon: This version of the system is equipped with a bipod and is fed from a one hundred round Beta-C magazine, making it useful for enemy suppression at medium range.
Designated Marksman: An XM8 with a lengthened barrel, bipod, and a 4x scope. Increased penetration and accuracy, at the cost of rate of fire and magazine size.
Personal Defense Weapon: A shortened, stockless version of the XM8, designed as an alternative to a submachine gun, with slightly less accuracy than the Baseline, and a slightly higher rate of fire.
Real-world CounterpartEditThe XM8 was a standard layout assault rifle firing the 5.56mm round. Made mostly from polymers the frame of the rifle was light, the firing mechanism was reliable, (Beating out the HK416, SCAR-L, and M4A1 Carbines) yet the heat created upon the firing of the weapon could melt through the handgrip.
Numerous other complaints prevented the XM8 from entering a wide-scale field service, and congress denied applications for a larger quantity to be manufactured. The rifle suffered major complaints about battery life and reliability, and the project was cancelled when they could not sufficiently overcome these issues.