The Ultra-Compact Automatic Rifle, or, U-CAR, is a carbine/PDW produced by Valkryie Industries .
The U-CAR is a extremely compact carbine developed specifically to bridge the gap between PDW's using low power, high velocity cartridges and (comparatively big) carbines with high power rifle rounds.
The U-CAR was born upon a request of a Chief Master Sergeant from the 9th Air Force, who's F-15 got shot down during Operation Desert Storm. He got shot down 15km from the next US Base, and was only armed with a CAR-15. The Sergeant found that the rifle was powerful enough to engage targets with ease, but the 5.56mm NATO ammunition was getting scarce as he approched the base, and the carbine was getting heavy to carry.
He said to his superiors that he requested an MP5 for his next weapon, but that was declined. So he asked the CEO of Valkryie Industries and an old friend, Ralph Kruse, to develop a PDW which was light enough to carry over long periods but still uses the 5.56mm NATO and was highly customizable and accurate.
The result, after first hitting the drawing board in 2001 and going through multiple revisions, was a highly accurate and customizable carbine, finally hititng the market in 2012.
Specifications and features
- Firing modes: Safe, Semi and fully automatic firing at 800 rpm
- Chambering/Calibre: 5.56mm NATO
- Magazines: accepts all STANAG and PMAG variations.
- Barrel length: 300mm
- Overall length: 510mm
- Weight: 2.5kg fully loaded with a 30-round STANAG magazine
- Dissasembles into 10 seperate parts for easy cleaning and maintenance
- Features standard picatinny rails on both sides, top and bottom for mounting various gagets
- Maintains the accuracy of a full sized carbine while being extremely portable
- Accuracy: 2 MOA at 300 m out.
The U-CAR fires from a closed bolt, which means that when the trigger is pulled, the bolt is already foward and around the round when the firing pin hits the round. The main advantages are that the weapon is more accurate and silent compared to open bolts, but can overheat more quickly during full auto because the closed bolt traps heat.
The U-CAR was praised as to be a effective personal defense weapon, excelling in ranges up to 300 meteres- the effective range of a standard assault rifle. One downside noted by the a SAS member was that the magazine tended to fall out when using the buttplate to melee. However SAS still bought 300 untis for use, the IDF bought 300 and the 1st mechanized brigade bought 34000 for use with vehicle crews.