US Air Force Survival Rifle: GAU-5A ASDW

US Air Force Survival Rifle: GAU-5A ASDW


Did you know the US Air Force recently adopted a specialized carbine for pilots and aircrew members? For decades the US Air Force has wrestled with trying to find the perfect firearm solution for aircrew members who crash, or are shot down and must defend themselves, or forage for food. What makes it a difficult solution is the very limited space available combined with the need for it to be very light weight. World War II thinking consisted of a revolver chambered in .38 Special and/or a lightweight "survival gun" useful for foraging. Neither of these proved to be the right solution. The GAU-5A ASDW is a 5.56x45mm M4 based platform. The chief difference is the QD barrel/handguard and folding pistol grip. These allow for a substantially smaller foot-print. The GAU-5A utilizes a Quick Release Barrel (QBR) system from Cry Havoc Tactical and a FAB Defense AGF-43S Folding Pistol Grip. The QBR system was extensively tested before fielding to prove that an aircrew member could quickly reassemble the carbine, even in total darkness, under heavy stress or while disorientated. The compact carbine passed all military testing and was adopted in 2019. The GAU-5A is part of the ACES II survival kit and includes 4 magazines (120 rounds). It fits beneath the jet’s ejection seat, measures 16x14x3.5 inches and weighs just under 40 pounds. Each survival kit is outfitted with flares, a sidewinder flashlight, medical modules, survival modules, life raft and the GAU-5A aircrew self-defense weapon (ASDW) along with other items. The US Air Force confirmed that 2,137 ASDWs will be fielded with all combat coded A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, F-15C, F-15E, F-16, and F-22 units. The carbines are being retrofitted at the USAF Gunsmith Shop, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

Trending Articles

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

Legacy Sports International's Howa Model 1500 Mini is a handy bolt-action hunting rifle available in .223 Rem, 6.5mm Grendel, 300 BLK and 7.62x39mm. Rifles

Howa 1500 Mini Action 7.62x39mm

David M. Fortier - September 27, 2019

Legacy Sports International's Howa Model 1500 Mini is a handy bolt-action hunting rifle...

The Rock River Arms LAR-PDS is a proprietary design that eliminates carrier tilt and allows for a side-folding stock. Rifles

Rock River Arms LAR-PDS Folding AR-15

James Tarr - July 24, 2019

The Rock River Arms LAR-PDS is a proprietary design that eliminates carrier tilt and allows...

The M21 sniper rifle was developed during Vietnam and remained the standard issue US Army sniper rifle until 1988. It was based upon the M14 National Match. Rifles

US Army M21 Sniper Rifle

David M. Fortier - September 12, 2019

The M21 sniper rifle was developed during Vietnam and remained the standard issue US Army...

The AR-556 with Lite Free-Float Handguard is a minimalist approach to achieving maximum performance. Rifles

Ruger AR-556 with Lite Free-Float Handguard

Ruger Newsroom - December 18, 2019

The AR-556 with Lite Free-Float Handguard is a minimalist approach to achieving maximum...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.