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Knight’s Assault Machine Guns at the Range

Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on I’m Ian McCollum, and I am here today at Knight’s Armament getting a chance to take a look at something that is not forgotten because most people don’t probably know about it yet. This is Knight’s … they’re calling it a light assault machine gun, and they have two versions, we have a 7.62 and a 5.56. And this is in some ways like the
spiritual successor to the Stoner 63. This is envisioned as, like, the
automatic rifleman’s machine gun for today. It is for, say, a fireteam group that is
equipped primarily with infantry rifles, but wants a little bit of extra firepower in a package
that is actually portable and controllable. It’s … not as heavy as a 249, or in
this case not as heavy as an M240. It can be operated like a rifle, but then allows actual
real light machine gun capability when necessary. So I find this a fascinating concept put together
here. And one of the fundamental things that it does is it uses the constant-recoil system that has kind
of been existing in a lot of the Stoner-esque designs for many decades. The basic fundamental
idea is that the bolt does not actually impact the back of the receiver at the end of its
travel. It is decelerated completely by the mainspring, stops of its own accord, and then reciprocates
back forward. And that does two things, first off it tends to mean a relatively low rate of fire,
which is one thing that helps keep a gun controllable, and especially in the case of a gun where
you have to carry all of your ammunition on you, where it’s not a crew-served weapon. It
means you have a longer available period of fire, your ammunition is going to
last longer at a lower rate of fire. Probably more importantly what this
does is dramatically reduce the felt recoil. So … something that I’ve found both through
experience and through watching high-speed video for a long time is the [felt] recoil of a gun is not so
much determined by the weight of the gun or the cartridge that it’s firing, it is determined by the velocity
of the bolt when it impacts the back of the receiver. Because at that point all of this kind of
hypothetical energy that is in the bolt as it’s moving, all that energy gets transferred into the shooter
when the bolt comes to a sudden and abrupt stop at the end of the receiver. And it’s really cool how
on high-speed footage you can watch that happen, you can watch the gun fire, and the gun will
slowly start to recoil, and then when that bolt hits the gun stops and the shooter moves back.
And that’s when you’ll see the barrel jump or move. If you have a gun like this one, or like a few of the other
examples out there like the Ultimax light machine gun, if that doesn’t actually happen, what you end up with is
a gun that … gives you a push when you start shooting, and it’s a constant push, you don’t have this,
you know, percussive impact each time you fire. You have a constant force coming back from the
gun, hence a constant-recoil. And that is what these guns are designed to do, and that
makes them exceptionally controllable. So let’s go ahead and do some shooting, let me
show you. We’ll go ahead and start with the 5.56. And once you see how cool this is,
then we’ll move over to the 7.62. Alright, if you’re interested in all the exact mechanics
of this thing, we have a video already up on InRange, which I’ll link at the end here and you can
take a look at. But short version for this is you open the top cover, you drop
the ammo in, and you’re ready to go. Fires from an open bolt, I am in fire position. This really is actually kind of boring to
shoot from the bipod. It just sits there and lets you hammer whatever
it is that you’re shooting at. So the idea is an infantryman armed with one
of these is going to act basically like a rifleman for most of what he’s doing. As his unit is manoeuvring,
advancing, he can deliver fire like a rifle, not use up ammo, not give away the fact perhaps
that there is a machine gun element in the unit. Then when the unit needs … heavier
firepower delivered on a particular target, that’s when this can drop onto a bipod and
you’ve got 200 rounds in the box here to work with. By the way for the record, this is 9 pounds unloaded. So this thing is a belt-fed light machine
gun that weighs less than an M1 Garand. And you can see it just doesn’t
move when you’re shooting. In fact, I’m just gonna stand up because
it’s so easy to shoot, why wouldn’t I? The thing really actually just handles a bit like a rifle,
I think I’m gonna shorten this up just a little bit. Alright, you can see it smoking a little bit. This
is not intended for, like, final suppressive fire, you know, we’ve got 1,000 rounds, so we
have to dump them all in the next three minutes. It is fundamentally an automatic rifle / light machine
gun sort of weapon. It does have a quick-change barrel, but this is a gun designed for shootability
and weight and transportability, handling. All the things in firearms design are compromises,
and what this gives up in its compromise is its ability for really heavy sustained
firepower. This will not replace an M240, what this does do is replace an M16 with something
that has … tremendously greater potential. There’s an interesting design choice that firearms
designers always have to make when it comes to gas systems, most specifically adjustable
gas systems. How do you do that? Because historically we’ve seen there are guns
like the FN FAL that has, on the metric models, a crap load, like 11 or 12 different gas settings.
And this legitimately caused problems for military users because there were too
many adjustments, and it was too easy to mess with the system
and get the gun out of balance. So one of those things that for an individual
professional shooter, for a target shooter, for a, you know, a single person who is
dedicated to understanding that weapon it’s fine and it’s actually useful. It
allows you to tune the gun very precisely. But for an actual real world military user
it’s generally not something that’s good. I’ve kind of come to the point where I really like guns
that don’t have any adjustability to the gas system. The manufacturer sets it up for the ammunition
that it’s intended to use and it just works. You don’t have to mess with it, you don’t have to tweak it. Any control that can be manipulated
can inevitably make the gun not work. It can become counterproductive and Knight’s has actually
taken that decision on the light assault machine gun. So this has no adjustable gas system and there is
one … place where in today’s modern technology that’s actually a problem, and that is a suppressor. The problem is if you use the same gas setting
for a suppressed and an unsuppressed gun, one of them is going to be either vastly
overpowered or vastly underpowered. And Knight’s solution to this I think is really cool. It is they offer a gun with an integral fixed suppressor, a
barrel with an integral fixed suppressor already on it. This has an easy quick change barrel. If you want to shoot
suppressed you put on the barrel with the suppressor, it’s already got a gas block that’s set
up for exactly the gas pressure that’s necessary to run this gun properly with the suppressor. So I’m going to go ahead and load this up here, drop that in, close that down, and … we are hot and good to go. Let’s see
how this shoots integrally suppressed. That’s really cool, it’s even softer shooting. Man, I almost don’t even have to
lean into the thing to control it. Alright, so the 7.62 version here is the exact same gun
scaled up. This guy weighs in at about 14 pounds, which sounds a little bit heavy, but for a belt-fed 7.62
NATO machine gun that’s quite remarkably light, and it shares all the same mechanical
design features as the 5.56 version. So figure 7.62 gun, so we’ll start with it on a bipod. You can see it’s got the same constant-
recoil capability or characteristics, a relatively low rate of fire, which helps keep
it on target, helps conserve ammunition. This thing also really probably doesn’t
need to be fired exclusively from the bipod. Just like the 5.56 version this is easily fired from
the shoulder because of that constant-recoil system. Now the difference is this has more energy
coming back into your shoulder, because it is a much heavier cartridge. So what you
get is a heavier initial push and then you just maintain pressure against that
push and the gun stays where it is. And when you let off the trigger then you’re gonna
push forward, you know, anticipating the next shot, which of course the gun has stopped firing.
And so then you go forward and stop. It’s just super easy to shoot. (Oops, ’til you put the safety on…) So, yeah, about 14 pounds. This
is like half the weight of an M60, maybe two-thirds the weight of
an M60, half the weight of a 240. One last thing I do want to point out is that
because of, again, the constant-recoil system, the butt-stock is entirely optional.
There’s no buffer necessary. The bolt doesn’t actually hit the end of the
receiver. So any butt-stock can be mounted to it. Guys who are airborne or vehicular who want the gun
as short as possible can have it in this configuration you can fire it in this configuration. The butt-stock’s
only there if you actually want to shoulder it. Like so. Alrighty, you guys have gotten a bit spoiled
by me doing mag dumps at the ends of videos, but I suppose this is no time to stop indulging. So
I’ve got, I don’t know, 40 or 50 rounds left on this belt. We stuck it in a box this time so it doesn’t
hang down too far, just dump this casually offhand. Wheee, that’s … fun. Well, I hope that you guys enjoyed the video. It has been
really cool getting a chance to take a look at these. I’ve been wanting to try out shooting these ever since
I first saw them at Shot Show a couple years ago. Much appreciation to Knight’s Armament for giving
me the opportunity. Hopefully you guys enjoy the video. Thanks for watching. Alrighty so we’re not gonna leave out the 5.56. And you know, it’s funny, Knight’s – the guys here – are like, “Remember, you know, don’t get
people’s expectations too high, this is not meant for final supportive fire and
mag dumps, it’s not a sustained fire machine gun.” And I’m like, “Well, people really
want to see a mag dump. … There’s 200 rounds do you really want me to dump all
200?” and they’re like, “Yeah, go for it, it’ll be awesome.” So I guess we will. That’s a lot of ammo. Hope you guys enjoyed the video. Thanks for watching. (Don’t recommend touching that.) [Thanks for watching.]

6 thoughts on “Knight’s Assault Machine Guns at the Range

  1. Ian was writing his full name on the target. Now is this the same recoil spring set up as the AA12? Regardless, I'll take one of each. Hopefully they will be in around the same time as the AA12 I ordered!?!

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