By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
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September 23, 2012
Last modified on 11/25/12.
The ARES-16 MCR/AMG-2(Mission Configurable Rifle/Assault Machine Gun-2) dual-feed AR-type modular machine gun was hands-down the coolest and most interesting 5.56mm NATO (5.56x45mm NATO)/.223 Rem. weapon DefenseReview (DR) saw at Special Operations Forces Industry Conference 2012 (SOFIC 2012). Made by ARES Defense Systems out of Melbourne, Florida, the ARES-16 weapons system has been around for awhile, the latest version we saw at SOFIC appeared to be really refined, and ready for prime time, assuming it lives up to company hype and is reliable, accurate and durable at high round count under adverse conditions (mud, dirt, sand, water, snow and ice) on full-auto.
The ARES-16 MCR/AMG-2 has some really interesting design features, including:
- Dual-Feed Mechanism allowing belt-fed or magazine-fed operation
- Side-Mounted Short-Stroke Gas Piston/Op-Rod System with barrel-mounted piston
- Self-Regulating or Manual Adjustable Gas Block/Gas Regulator with standard, suppressor and single-shot settings
- Left-Side Charging Handle
- Quick-Change Barrrel (QCB) System
- Mil-Std-1913 "Picatinny" Quad Rail System for mounting tactical accessories
- Side-Folding or Telescoping/Retractable Buttstock
The ARES-16 MCR/AMG-2 5.56mm NATO mission-configurable machine gun weighs in at 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) in its lightest configuration and has a cyclic rate of fire (ROF) of 625-1000 RPM (Rounds Per Minute). The Mission-Configurable-Rifle aspect means that the ARES-16 Small Arms Family offers the end-user any of the following weapon configs: short-barreled rifle (SBR)/sub-carbine, carbine, assault rifle, Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR), magazine-fed Assault Machine Gun (AMG), belt-fed Assault Machine Gun-1 (AMG-1), dual-feed Assault Machine Gun-2 (AMG-2), belt-fed mounted light machine gun (LMG).
The ARES-16 AMG-2/MCR is reminiscent of the Stoner 63 Weapon System in terms of capability and modularity, particularly with regard to its belt-fed/mag-fed dual-feed aspect. The Stoner 63 was designed and developed at Cadillac Gauge by Defense Review's good friend Jim Sullivan (L. James Sullivan) in the 1960s and was a favorite weapon of U.S. Navy SEAL assaulters/operators and Marines during the Vietnam War.
The ARES-16 AMG-1/MCR belt-fed LMG reminds DR of the Knight's Armament Co. (KAC) Stoner LMG (Light Machine Gun), which we've handled and photographed on several occasions. The KAC Stoner LMG is another really cool LMG/SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon).
Come to think of it, it would be really interesting to see how the ARES-16 MCR/AMG, KAC Stoner LMG and FERFRANS HVLAR (High Volume Light Automatic Rifle) all stack up against each other in a side-by-side, high-round-count comparison that mimics combat conditions. We'd want to run the mag-fed-config ARES-16 AMG/MCR and HVLAR with SureFire MAG5-60 HCM 60-shot and MAG5-100 HCM 100-shot quad-stack mags, of course.
It's DR's understanding at present that semi-auto-only versions of the ARES-16 MCR/AMG small arms family are available to civilian tactical shooters, but we haven't yet confirmed this. We'll put a call into ARES Defense Systems as soon as we can to get confirmation on this, and update this article accordingly.
Editor's Note: In one of the embedded photos, there's a Grip Pod System (GPS) tactical foregrip/bipod mounted on the weapon. The Grip Pod, while relatively large for a vertical foregrip, can come in very handy on a tactical AR-15 carbine or lightweight machine gun.
"ARES-16™ Small Arms Family
The ARES-16™ small arms family represents a military grade, state-of-the-art advance in compact, lightweight and mission-configurable weapons. The ARES-16™ features a unique and patented receiver group from which a variety of military firearms can be configured including
3. Assault Rifle
4. Designated Marksman Rifle
5. Magazine-Fed Assault Machine Gun
6. Belt-Fed Assault Machine Gun
7. Dual-Feed Assault Machine Gun
8. Belt-Fed Mounted Light Machine Gun
All of the ARES-16™ weapons share significant part commonality for reduced logistical footprint and can be user-arranged from one configuration to another in less than 30 seconds supporting “One Weapon, Any Mission!™”
ARES-16™ weapons are primarily chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and accept a variety of Ball, Tracer and Special Purpose ammunition from NATO-Standard 30-round M16 magazines and/or NATO-Standard M27 linked ammunition packaged for the US M249 SAW. The ARES-16™ small arms system is available as a complete weapon or can be supplied as an upgrade kit to existing M16/M4 service rifle and carbines.
ARES-16™ Assault Machine Gun
The innovative ARES-16™ extends the longevity of America’s longest serving infantry weapon, the M-16, and significantly expands its lethality and operational utility with the introduction of a new warfighter solution; the ARES-16 AMG™ “Assault Machine Gun”.
The new ARES-16™ Assault Machine Gun bridges the capability gap that exists between M16/M4 rifles and the M249 light machine gun. The ARES-16 AMG™ is user-arranged into three discrete base configurations to provide a magazine-fed Assault Machine Gun (AMG™), a belt-fed Assault Machine Gun (AMG-1™), and a dual-feed Assault Machine Gun (AMG-2™) which fires interchangeably between magazine and belt-feed. In all present configurations, the ARES-16 AMG™ weapons are gas-piston operated, select-fire from a closed bolt; and feature MIL-STD 1913 rail interface system and quick-change barrels for ultimate mission flexibility.
Manufactured from high-strength aerospace alloys; the ARES-16 AMG™ weighs as little as 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) placing it in the size/weight envelope of an M4 Carbine but with the firepower of a light machine gun. Sound suppressor and grenade launcher capable; the compact and portable ARES-16™ Assault Machine Gun provides an individual operator with an unprecedented combination of decisive firepower and swift mobility during special operations and high-speed military assault.
Caliber: 5.56 x 45mm NATO (.223 REM)
Weight: 7.5 lbs (3.4kg) Lightest Configuration
Barrel: 16.25” (413mm) Quick Change 12“ (318mm), 20” (508mm) Optional Sound Suppressed Bbl Assy. Optional Rifling: 16.25” (413mm) Quick Change 12″ (318mm), 20” (508mm) Optional Sound Suppressed Bbl Assy. Optional Overall Length (OAL): 34.55” (876mm) with 16.25“ Bbl
Feed Device: Magazine – All M16 magazines, Belt Feed – NATO M27 Linked Ammo
Rate of Fire: 625 – 1000 RPM
Operation: Gas-Piston, Short Stroke Tappet
Range: 600 meters
Origin: United State of America"
Company Contact Info:
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