Most firefights in our current theatre of combat are not sustained fights that require resupply, so it seems kinda stupid to redesign our weapons platform to do something that it isn't being used to do. Considering that the average load out of ammo is 210 rounds and pretty much any AR that is even in poorly maintained condition is going to be go through the load out without problems (or even 10 times the load out), it makes me wonder where the complaints are coming from. Assuming the complaints are real (and a lot are a media/industry fabrication) then it's reasonable to assume that the carbine in question was probably so worn that something was out of spec. I've read about and seen pictures of weapons deployed to soldiers that were literally falling apart. It's well known that our supply of AR are aging but that isn't a platform issue.
There are many excellent designs out there...
In context it appears that you mean excellent designs that are better than the AR. What do you think those are?
The caliber discussion has nothing to do with the AR platform and should be a separate discussion as the AR platform can handle pretty much any caliber that any other battle rifle can.
It's time to put veterans with combat experience into weapon development programs over the civilian developers at Picatinny.
The best weapons designer the world has ever seen didn't have any combat experience. Combat experience doesn't increase knowledge of Materials science, metallurgy, engineering or machining. Troops should be used in testing programs sure but weapons design and development? To paraphrase a Japanese saying "you can either be master of making a sword or using a sword but not both".
The PS-90 is pretty good for CQB.
For something more ranged, you'd want a larger caliber and a longer gun.
As for the M-14, it was miles more effective round for round than M-16s or AKs - and supremely accurate. I always hit who I was aiming at and when I was a competitive shooter used a match M-14 to score 34 consecutive V-ring bullseyes at 600m in 1978. M-14s held the 1,000m iron sight record and may still have it, as far as I know. So much for the "simple physics".
I still haven't heard anything from you about your combat experience. What the heck do you know about ammunition loadouts, resupply options, or what works best? All I know for sure is that you never, ever run out of ammunition. If you're really lucky you only do that once and then never again.
I didn't say that a combat veteran would design a better weapon. What I did say was the combat veteran - or veterans - should be the Program Manager over the talented designers to guide their efforts towards a system that is precise, reliable, element-proof and the best possible caliber to ensure long-distance lethality/obstacle penetration. A combat veteran would better than anyone else the characteristics and therefore the specifications the design team would strive for.
Better weapons. Almost anything is better than the gas tube M-16. How about the HK G36 or the SIG 550 or the Galil/Valmet for starters?
Bottom line - our weapons must be the finest possible in all respects, price be hanged. Our kid's lives depend on them so we need the best. Not just what some comfortable DoD civilian thinks we should have.
When your baby cake AR platform has choked on green cased battlefield ammo my M14 will still be rattling them off down range killin stuff.....dead