I've never heard that the Shrike/MCR uses proprietary links. I've always understood them to use the same links as all other NATO 5.56x45mm MGs, like the M249, Mk46, Minimi, HK MG4, etc. The whole reason it was designed was to be a lighter and more affordable alternative to the M249, so it wouldn't make sense for it to utilize proprietary links when there are already links widely available.yeah, that's the thing, Shrike has their own custom links. I don't know how much different they are from ARES, probably not a whole lot. The main issue is that 9mm is a fairly weak round so imperfections can have a big impact. How consistently can you make those links? Sheet metal thickness varies a lot from sources, same gage.
The dude I was talking about has a huge can of lube that he periodically dumps into it to make sure it runs smooth. That's not fantastic, although I can see how lube and
sexshooting guns goes together.
Another aspect is how much power does it take to pull the belt. I talked to M60 gunners, they damned made fittings from alum cans to get belt feed smooth and straight. Another test is at what hight can your MG pull the belt. Gory was designed to shoot from AA stand, so it can easily pull the belt 4" up. I bet a lot of problems with 9mm feeding comes from that setup, ability to pull belt low and straight, not the actual upper mechanism.
Edit: Yeah, the Shrike/MCR takes NATO standard M27 links as per their website. Proprietary links make sense when you're dealing with a cartridge that no one makes links for already, like the FM-9 being chambered in 9mm, but it wouldn't make sense when there's already a metric ass-load of links already available for that cartridge.