(U.S. Army/Matthew Moeller)

Sometimes, size truly doesn't matter.

Engineers with the Army Research Laboratory are working on a new infantry weapon that, at half the weight and length of the M4 carbine, is capable of firing rounds at double the muzzle velocity of a standard-issue sidearm that could easily defeat enemy body armor.

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(Textron Systems)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

U.S. Army weapons officials recently invited defense firms to design and build prototypes of an advanced fire control system that could equip the service's Next-Generation Squad Weapon with wind-sensing as well as facial-recognition technology.

The Prototype Opportunity Notice for the NGSW-Fire Control is intended to develop a system that "increases the soldier's ability to rapidly engage man sized targets out to 600 [meters] or greater while maintaining the ability to conduct Close Quarters Battle," according to the solicitation posted May 30 on FedBizOpps.gov.

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(George W. Bush Presidential Library)

In December 2003, soldiers of the U.S. Special Operations Command captured the Ace of Spades himself: Saddam Hussein.

The former Iraqi president, on the run since the capture of Baghdad, had appeared in a deck of playing cards with the profiles of other fugitive war criminals and naturally was the top card. Hussein, bedraggled and bereft, was armed with one of the rarest of handguns: the Glock 18, the full auto Glock.

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The GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon (U.S. Air Force/3rd Wing via Facebook)

After decades with nothing but pistols to defend themselves with in the event of a successful ejection over enemy territory, Air Force pilots are officially rocking compact versions of a rifle that the U.S. military has used since Vietnam.

In the last month, airmen have started receiving the GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon, a heavily-modified version of the shortened 5.56mm M16 derivative that U.S. service members once brandished in the 1960s as the CAR-15 or "Colt Commando"

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The head-to-toe overhaul of Marine infantry arsenals that Commandant Gen. Robert Neller promised grunts last year is the gift that keeps on giving: the brand new M18 service pistol, the Corps' first new standard-issue sidearm since the mid-1980s, is coming to armories starting next year.

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Congratulations, Marines: After years of drama, the long-awaited M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle is finally coming to a platoon near you.

A Marine Corps Systems Command spokesman told Marine Corps Times that the last of the service's 14,000 M27s have officially arrived in the Corps's inventory. But while the Corps's procurement contract with gunmaker Heckler & Koch provides for a maximum of 50,184 weapons, MARCORSYSCOM said that the service doesn't plan on purchasing more than its current arsenal.

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