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

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

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

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New for 2019 is the Max Long Range model featuring a composite Max stock with fully adjustable comb, spacers for adjusting length of pull, stainless fluted heavy sporter barrel, threaded muzzle brake and extended bolt handle.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27. 2nd Amendment

Tell the White House that the 2nd Amendment Was Not Given to the People by Government

Firearms News - July 02, 2019

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27.

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...

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...

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto retro rifle. Rifles

Brownells BRN-Proto Retro Rifle

Patrick Sweeney - July 02, 2019

Want the “Holy Grail” of AR-15 rifles? Brownells has made that possible with their BRN-Proto...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

SIG Sauer's new CROSS Rifle was created to meet the demands of both precision long-range shooting and extreme backcountry hunting. Rifles

SIG Sauer Introduces New CROSS Rifle

David M. Fortier - December 20, 2019

SIG Sauer's new CROSS Rifle was created to meet the demands of both precision long-range...

The Russian Vityaz 9mm submachine gun is based on the Bizon series, it fires from the closed-bolt position and is a simple blow-back design which feeds from 30-round magazines. Rifles

Russia's AK 9mm Vityaz Submachine Gun

David M. Fortier - September 13, 2019

The Russian Vityaz 9mm submachine gun is based on the Bizon series, it fires from the...

The Soviet 3.5x22mm PU scope racked up the highest body count of any sniper scope ever fielded. While very basic, it performed well in actual combat. Rifles

Soviet M1891/30 Mosin-Nagant PU Sniper

David M. Fortier - September 18, 2019

The Soviet 3.5x22mm PU scope racked up the highest body count of any sniper scope ever...

Since the 2 bore is the most powerful sporting rifle ever made, it is only fitting that it would honor the most powerful predator of all time, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Rifles

Tyrannosaurus 2 Bore Rifle

Jim Dickson - August 14, 2019

Since the 2 bore is the most powerful sporting rifle ever made, it is only fitting that it...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

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