This looks like it might be bad news for the HK XM8 rifle (or it could be some arcane government way of doing business). I’ve heard the problem of the melting hand guard a while back- and when it was reported it didn’t seem to pose too much of a problem. Word was that HK would be able to solve that before full production went ahead. The mechanical failure is another matter altogether.
As for the USMC, they don’t seem to want to make the same mistake they did with the M16 in adopting a new weapon too early, when there might still be problems which need to be ironed out. As I’ve always said, it doesn’t pay to be an early adopter. They also, apparently, have issues with retaining the 5.56mm round- possibly heralding a move up to 6.8mm, the 6.5 Grendel or even a 6mm/223 (.223 brass necked up to take a 6mm round). I’m assuming that this is the same as the cartridge discussed here for those of you interested in the reloading data.
From what I’ve heard of it, the XM8 looks to be one of the best choices to go with- what else is there? 5.56mm doesn’t look like the way forward and any of the replacement cartridges listed above which have better lethality would be a better option, but as the rifle is being testing in 5.56mm format, it looks like the poodle-shooter will be around for some time to come.