George Hill aka Mad Ogre drops some very interesting news from his SHOT Show 2010 coverage. He talked to a Heckler and Koch rep-
In fact, we are going to be seeing some new stuff that would have been previously unheard of... such as a very real possibility of a revamped XM-8 – for Civilian Sales. Which would be outstanding.
HK put an awful lot of time, effort and money into developing the XM8- a version for civilians (and presumably police and military sales) would make sense to recoup their costs. Before the project was killed, it was being out through its paces at the Aberdeen Testing Ground and there was talk of the 10th Mountain Division taking the weapon into combat in Afghanistan with them.
A few years has passed and HK has brought out its product improved M4, the piston driven 416, and the long-lived, slowly evolving M16/M4 platform is now facing competition from the likes of FN's SCAR and the new Bushmaster ACR. It would be interesting to see how a "revamped" XM8 stacks up alongside them. Remember, in the recent "dust test" the Army carried out, the XM8 came out on top, defeating the SCAR, HK's 416 and the M4.
One other thing to bear in mind is that not only are US Special Forces using the HK 416 but the Army is adopting the HK M320 40mm grenade launcher and the USMC have just announced that HK won their IAR competition. I'm guessing a new XM8 would no doubt appeal to a number of different military and police units.