The Shrike 5.56 is not a fully-functional weapon. It is an upper receiver that, when combined with a M16/M4 lower receiver, becomes a belt-fed or magazine-fed squad automatic weapon similar to the FN M249. Like the M249, the Shrike 5.56 features a quick-change barrel designed to prevent overheating. It is therefore capable of the sustained rates of fire of existing LMGs, but is as light and compact as an assault rifle. Ares claims the Shrike is the lightest belt-fed machine gun in the world.
The kit requires no permanent modifications to the M16 receiver. The assembled weapon can take either STANAG magazines through the receiver`s magazine well, or linked ammunition through the top-mounted feed tray, but it cannot use both ammo sources at once.
The Shrike production model has recently emerged from development. There exist some notable differences between the current model and the prototypes it was based on.
EXP-1 - the initial proof-of-concept prototype. It features a modified M249 handguard, a unique firing mechanism and a quick-detach barrel latch derived from the Stoner 63.
EXP-2 - this improved prototype featured a new Picatinny handguard, an improved firing mechanism using some M16 components, and a new barrel latch similar to that of the M60 machine gun.
03A - the production model. It has a compact side-mounted gas system different from the previous prototypes, and its firing mechanism is also significantly modified. It has a circular handguard. The barrel latch and some other components are similar to the EXP-1.
ARES-16SPW receiver - this receiver was designed by Ares specifically for the Shrike system. It is identical to the mil-spec M16 receiver, except its magazine well is cut away to save space. Shrikes mounted on this receiver can only use M249 box magazines with linked ammo, but they have a smaller vertical profile.
The production variant can be fitted with multiple Picatinny rails. These enable it to mount various commercial scopes, flashlights, lasers, and even secondary underbarrel weapons such as grenade launchers and shotguns.
Ares Defense Systems, Inc. P.O. Box 10667 Blacksburg, Virginia 24062-0667 USA Telephone: (540) 639-8633 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gas Piston, Short-Stroke Tappet
5.56x45mm NATO, .223 Remington
711 - 990 mm (depends on barrel)
330 - 508 mm, 406 mm (standard)
1 twist in 228 mm (standard), 1 twist in 177 mm OR 1 twist in 304 mm (Optional)
4179 STANAG (M16) Magazine or M27 (M249 SAW) Disintegratng Links or 100 Rd. Beta C Magazine
Rate of fire:
625 - 1000 RPM