SOCOM Is Snatching Up A Handful Of Feisty New Personal Defense Weapons


U.S. Special Operations Command intends to transform some of its standard-issue M4 carbines into Sig Sauer MCX Rattler personal defense weapons, apparently satisfying the command’s year-long hunt for the daintiest little assault rifle on the market.

The contract with Sig Sauer, managed by U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) and released on Feb. 1, detailed SOCOM’s plan to purchase 10 MCX Personal Defense Weapons (PDW) conversion kits that, built on the lower receiver of an M4A1, can chamber both .300 Blackout cartridges and standard 5.56 mm rounds.

SOCOM had announced its intent to adopt a new PDW for close-quarters combat in March 2017, but the military took a direct contract with Sig Sauer over a bidding competition because “sample systems are needed quickly to be used in formal combat evaluations,” the ACC said. Both the initial request for information and subsequent award were first reported by The War Zone.

Although the MCX Rattler itself — billed by Sig Sauer as the most “discreet platform” ever built at the request of “elite military units” — doesn’t explicitly appear in the ACC’s Feb. 1 announcement, the weapon's 5.5-inch barrel and “thin, side-folding ‘skeleton’ buttstock” are a “perfect match” for the compact MCX platform the firearms manufacturer showed off last month at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to the War Zone.

“This compact firearm can be had in short-barrel-rifle and pistol configurations and provides a rifle-caliber setup in as compact of a frame as possible,” the company announced during SHOT Show’s final day on Jan 26. “This short, compact size is a boon for members of law enforcement, the military and the shooting public who want a compact, easy-to-carry firearm.”

Fresh off a successful new contract for the Army’s Modular Handgun System, Sig Sauer was eager to showcase the MCX Rattler and sister MCX Virtus assault rifle at SHOT Show, touting the latter as the “ultimate modular platform” in the same vein as the P320 9mm handgun. But as The War Zone originally noted, the real appeal is in those .300 Blackout cartridges, developed by Advanced Armament Company in the early 2000s to minimize sound output without sacrificing accuracy or stopping power.

Time will tell how the MCX Rattler actually holds up during tests. And while the Army Contracting Command may have snapped up the Rattler due to Sig’s willingness to keep that sweet, sweet DoD moolah flowing, the ACC isn’t ruling out other contenders; according to the announcement, “any responsible source who believes to be capable of meeting the requirement may submit a capability statement, proposal, or quotation, which shall be considered by the agency.”

Better dust off those designs you’re sitting on…

Want to read more from Task & Purpose? Sign up for our daily newsletter »

Sig Sauer

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal officially endorsed Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) for president on July 18. A former Marine infantry officer who deployed to Iraq four times, Moulton joined McChrystal on MSNBC to discuss the endorsement, and whether he's bothered that he hasn't found a spot on the crowded Democratic debates so far.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bill Dodge)

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer shot down an Iranian drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump announced.

"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance – approximately 1,000 yards – ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said during a White House ceremony. "The drone was immediately destroyed."

"This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," he continued. "The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, our interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait and to work with us in the future."

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Sgt. Michael L. K. West)

The Army may be celebrating its prized Army Futures Command (AFC) reaching full operational capability, but the organization's leaders still have quite a to-do list in front of them.

AFC commander Gen. John Murray briefed reporters on Thursday alongside Bruce Jette, the Army's Assistant Secretary of Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, on the progress of the Army's modernization roadmap and what's coming down the pipe to help soldiers soldiers win the conflicts of the future.

But while that lawmakers skirted questions on the war in Afghanistan during former Secretary of the Army Mark Esper's confirmation hearing for defense secretary this week, AFC's top priority remains, first and foremost, the soldiers fighting in conflict zones right now.

Read More Show Less

The official trailer for Top Gun: Maverick is here, and if you were praying to God there would be another volleyball scene, you are in luck.

Slated to hit theaters in 2020, the sequel to 1986 classic features Tom Cruise back in the role of Maverick, only this time he's a Navy captain behind the stick of an F/A-18 Hornet.

The two-minute trailer features a number of throwbacks to the original Top Gun: There's Maverick pulling the cover off his motorcycle and driving down the flight line, a shirtless volleyballer (there was no way you would have escaped this), and a piano-playing scene with Great Balls of Fire, my man.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the film also stars Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, and Ed Harris. The film hits theaters on June 26, 2020.

Watch the trailer below:

Top Gun: Maverick - Official Trailer (2020) - Paramount Pictures

Marine veteran Brian Tally has been fighting for the last three years.

Read More Show Less