Putting its money where its mouth is, the Army has requested almost 20,000 M4A1s for fiscal 2012.

We’ve been hearing from PM Soldier Weapons and my SOF contacts that the Army was going to start buying the full-auto model of the M4, but until the budget docs are written and submitted, the program isn’t formally a go.

The request for $35 million to buy 19,409 of the weapons comes as the Army is also seeking funds to upgrade existing M4s with ambidextrous controls. The M4A1 has a heavier barrel and full-auto functionality.

Interestingly, the budget documents go on to list out the contractors for prior year buys (Colt Defense) but for the FY ’12 buy the manufacturer is listed as “TBD.”

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

TROJANII February 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

i eman " ;) "

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TROJANII February 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm

sigh

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Jon February 24, 2011 at 7:25 am

magazines, not clips

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TROJANII February 23, 2011 at 2:27 pm

For that price, it better come with the optics and clips. :)

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Neal February 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Somebody has a hankerin' for Magpul.

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Ranger75 February 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I am surprised nobody commented on the wearing of his multi-cam helmet cover w/ACUs…Hahaha!!! The has a hard time letting go……

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Ranger75 February 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I forgot to insert Army…lol!!

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Stefan S. February 24, 2011 at 2:25 am

Booo! Now stamp your meal card no dessert!

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Glockster20 February 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Full auto will do what for the rifle?

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Sev February 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Carbine

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bbb February 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Don't be anal. A rifle is a rifle. A carbine is just a short rifle.

If he called it a submachine gun then we'd have problems.

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jensenmk February 24, 2011 at 4:24 am

It isn't about what it does for the rifle, it is about what it does for the Soldier. Full auto allows me, the operator, to decide how many rounds I need. Three round burst was a bean counter's answer to not funding appropriate training.

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sappernick February 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

wtf really so the cost will be 1803 per rifle to retro fit them to full auto and ambidextrous controlls BS thats a tottal waste of money. ive been in the army for 16 yrs and every so often ill see an article your new battle rifle they will spend milliions testing one of these things then scrap it. whos making out here the arms contractors thats who while they propose to cut ur pay and increase your tricare to pay for something like this

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Neal February 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

The way I read it, it seems more like they're BUYING new automatic carbines, rather than retrofitting them.
The ambi controls, however, are a modification that does not have a price tag in the article. Seems pretty good considering the huge portion of our population and armed forces that are lefties.
I don't really see how the small arms makers are making any significant money either, considering that it costs a metric buttload to develop a new rifle/carbine/weapon system.
It's sort of a darned if you, darned if you don't situation. Potentially waste hundreds of millions on unfruitful projects, or get behind in the game. Neither sounds great to me. There's a balance to the madness somewhere, and it's just our government has yet to find it.

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Jon February 24, 2011 at 7:30 am

Well look at it this way, money spent is money earned somewhere. At least some companies will continue to grow because of these projects, meaning more jobs, and food on the table. Of course if this new carbine program does work out, then not only will new jobs be created, but the Army will get a new toy.

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Daniel Glass February 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Knights Armament M4 RAS (Rails, Cover set, vert grip): 300
7 magazines (Aluminum): 70
Back-up Iron sight, rear: 155

So at 1803, you're getting a spec M4A1 at roughly 1278 for just the rifle, which is decent for a solid mil-spec AR.

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Jon February 24, 2011 at 7:33 am

The DOD gets all that at a cheaper cost than civies, so its a wonder why these M4s cost so much. 10 years ago an M16A2 cost roughly $595 for the government, so its a wonder how an M4A1, a shorter rifle with a rail system, cost 3 times as much . . .

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Daniel Glass February 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm

An ACOG TA-31 costs more than the rifle itself at 1380 each.

Aimpoint CompM4? ~760

EoTech s are a bit cheaper at 709.

The real big one is the Elcan SpectreDR, at 1700-1900 dollars.

Good glass is really expensive, and these are just the "Big Four" of combat sights in the Army.

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jensenmk February 24, 2011 at 4:20 am

DoD costs are significantly less:
TA-31F ACOG – around $800
M68 (M4 version) – around $400
EOTech 552/557 – arounf $400

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Stefan S. February 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm

XM-8 anybody? LOL.

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Stefan S. February 24, 2011 at 2:23 am

Not to bemoan the issue…but…They could juts slap on a new upper, change the selector, safety etc all for less than a whole new rifle. But the "Good idea fairy" rules in the Pentagon!

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ryan February 24, 2011 at 4:34 am

They don't even need to change the whole upper, just re-barrel it, change the fire control system and be done with the "upgrade" for about 250-300 per weapon.

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jensenmk February 24, 2011 at 4:22 am

What 'clip'? The ammo comes on clips and is loaded into magazines (which cost about $10 each) that are issued seperately.

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ChuckCVG February 24, 2011 at 4:34 am

$1800 per rifle? Really?

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Stormcharger February 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

Yep. About wholesale, and well below retail. Go get a Class III licence and buy one yourself, it'll set you back about $3000 for a full auto plus hassle and taxes.

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Jon February 24, 2011 at 7:36 am

The government doesn't have to pay for a Class III licence, so that figure is irrelevant. M16A2s cost the gov. only $595 10 years ago. So even with inflation its a wonder how these costs so much. I'm thinking part of that $35 mil will also go towards upgrading the old M4s, b/c AFAIK the last big M4A1 buy was only $1100 per carbine.

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Trainwreck February 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

The M4 with a shorter barrel is great for CQB, but for anything 300 yards and beyond, you want at least an M16 with a 20 inch barrel. The wound ballistics for a 16 inch M4 barrel are useless beyond 200 yards. One doctor over at Walter Reed was fired because he did a study on the wound ballistics that proved the Pentagon wrong.

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Nance, E February 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

No the M4 can kill out to over 800m. It is accurate for a point target to 500m and for an area target at 600m. It wont fragment out to 200m but it can kill. So how about some fact checking?

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Moondog February 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm

An ice pick can kill you too, but I would not want one as my primary combat weapon. For that matter you can kill someone with a rock, but we have progressed past chucking rocks at each other. The ballistics of the 5.56 with a carbine length barrel are terrible much past 100 yards. The effect is not a whole lot greater than a .22 LR at 10 yards. It will kill you, but you may take a day or so to die. The army needs to quit trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

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Nance, E February 25, 2011 at 4:14 am

Ice picks, as an example, make bigger holes than 7.62mm bullets as well yet which would you pick? The size of the hole isn't what really matters. Where the hole is matters much more than bullet size. If you hit someone in the right spot, CNS or vitals, they will be stopped with a CNS hit and will be stopped or die with a vital hit. Miss those and it may stop them but it will be unreliable and you'd need to wait for them to bleed out which can take hours.

The ballistics of a 5.56mm from an M4 are basically the same at the muzzle as a 5.56mm from an M16 at 50m. However no matter how you look at it a 7.62mm will make a 7.62mm hole at long range while a 5.56mm will make a 5.56mm hole at long range. Now the size difference isn't very much so the bleed out time wont be too different, slightly faster for 7.62mm, but due to the bigger size it can hit something a smaller bullet would miss. Having good accuracy with a 5.56mm and being able to hit vitals is much more important than simply having a bigger bullet.

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Taylor February 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

That's a dumb statement man they cost that much to civies bc you can't buy anything made after '86 I believe so the price has soared but your looking at closer to 20000 not 3000. Maybe 3000 if you buy one for LEO work but even then your buying it for your department so you can use it it's not yours to keep.

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Lance February 24, 2011 at 10:37 am

I think its a OK buy other makers can make them cheaper than Colt. But the improvements to the M-4 will make it s new and better weapon once they get all the improvements installed.

Even Remington's VP said he thinks the improved M-4 will be the new Army weapon with BIG cuts here and coming there's no money even for these guns little loan more expensive weapons out there. The M-4 is here to stay.

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Moondog February 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

We have billions for high speed rail, but no money for an effective quality battle rifle. Go figgure.

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Jon February 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I was reading about this earlier today, it makes sense that the Army would ask for more money than they actually need. They're requesting $35 mil, but really only need about $20 if they want 19k M4s. If they get the $35 mil they'll either buy more M4s or put the money into something else. Either way, Colt only charges the gov. $900 to $1100 per M4 depending on how big the order is.

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CavScoutSniper February 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm

6.8SPC, 18" bbl at minimun! If we are going to be real about our weapons we need to go ahead and move up to the AR-10 with a 20" bbl for the standard and a 18" bbl for the carbine role. The 7.62X51 (.308Win) is just the best standard battle rifle and everyone knows it. If you cant hump the ammo and handle the slightly increased recoil you got no buisness in the Military to begin with. Damn!

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Robert February 25, 2011 at 4:29 am

The troops already have too much weight to hump, and you want to add even more. Plus, fergit about full auto, you can't carry enough ammo. Back in the day, the basic load for the M14 was 180 rounds. Some carried less. Lastly, if you think that the 7.62 Nato only has slightly increased recoil over the 5.56, that just shows that you don't do any shooting of either one.

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Eric February 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I love how some of you armchair commandos have all the answers while you sit in your lazy boys, inhaling your cokes and chips!

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Daniel E. Watters February 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Actually, the final order dated December 29, 2010 from Colt's contract W52H09-07-D-0425 listed the M4A1's price at just over $1,221. Under the contract terms, Colt was responsible for providing the BUIS and M4 ARS for the carbines, not the Government.

Heavy barrels have been standard for the M4A1 for several years, and I don't remember that the ambidextrous selectors adding all that much to the cost.

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Daniel E. Watters February 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

In addition to the new carbines, the Army has put out contracts for replacement barrel assemblies and FCS parts.

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Jeff Shultz February 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

We don't have billions for high speed rail either. Our grandkids will be paying for that foolishness.

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JCitizen February 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Hell a maintenance depot could do it! I've done mods more difficult myself!

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JCitizen February 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm

That's true. The big prices you estimate are what pre-'86 weapons sell for now! Those you CAN take home and keep. (after paying the 200 NFA tax stamp) It is better to go class 4 manufacturer and then you can build 'em cheap! After that you might as well give them to the CLEO, because it is not such a big loss anyway.

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JCitizen February 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I vote for the 300 AAC Blackout round! In a shorter barrel you need to pay attention to Col. Hatcher's scale of ft/lbs energy delivered to the target, and that cross sectional density will deliver more punch at distance with anything from 6 to 7.62 mm. The accuracy and recoil are nearly the same. You can even use the same bolt face and magazines as the old M4. With today's chemistry, the 300 AAC uses less gunpowder and accelerates the bullet instead of blasting it out like a cannon. This makes a much more efficient system, without adding too much more weight for the war-fighter to carry. Varmint enthusiast are doing the same thing with 10" barrels and 30 caliber wildcat loads that use the dual pressure powder developed by some of the big reloading powder companies. They can clean plow on a woodchuck at more than 300 meters with those little carbines. Most are actually legal short barrel rifles built by Thompson Center, the only pistol manufacturer allowed by the BATF to sell SBRs. This because of a court decision won by TC a few years ago.

While they are at it, they need to put the gas system Eugene Stoner originally deemed as superior, that was used in the AR-18, and Stoner 63 weapons system. He sold the M-16 because he didn't want to develop an inferior gas system to burden our troops. But he underestimated the power of Colt Manufacturing to sway the congress.

If I'm not mistaken the 300 AAC was already being evaluated by SF and SPECOPS teams and should be reporting results on the special cartridge before long . It is so easy to modify the M4 for this conversion, that their own in house armorers did it on the spot. I think Stickman over at 'Military Times Gear Scout' has several articles on it. The ammo can be easily modified for sub-sonic or supersonic velocity; this makes it a honey of a silencer favorite.

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bbb February 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

The size of a bullet does not effect accuracy, unless you're talking about a bullet that is almost as large as the target. Like a shot pattern with a shotgun or the fragmentation radius of an air to air missle.

A 7.62 will do far more damage when it does hit, over a much greater range of distances. And it will generally be easier to hit the target at that range. But that is because of weight and velocity, not the size of the bullet.

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Jay Citizen February 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I have seen some experimental large caliber/short barrel combinations that had bad bullet instability. It really depends on too many factors to make generalized statements. I vote for the 300 AAC Blackout, myself.

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Nance, E March 1, 2011 at 4:50 am

I didn't say it affects accuracy. I said that It is better to be accurate with a 5.56mm, as in the shooter can accurately fire 5.56mm rounds and get good hits, than to have a bigger round. I would rather have someone that trains everyday with 5.56mm rounds than someone that trains once every week with 7.62mm rounds watching my back. Shooter skill is far more important than the size of the round. Which is what I was trying to say in the other post. I thought it was clear but that may have been due to me writing it.

No a 7.62mm will make a 7.62mm hole while a 5.56mm will make a 5.56mm hole. That is not far more damage as the difference is 2.06mm(or 0.08cal) it is slightly more damage, as it is a slightly bigger hole, obviously but not far more. If it yaws the hole will be bigger than 7.62mm but military 7.62mms generally don't yaw inside a human. The temporary cavity is bigger but not reliable as it depends on where it hits. Permanent cavity however is just the hole left by the bullet and is the most reliable wound made by any bullet.

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Jay Citizen March 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

Not sayin' your wrong Nance E; I like your arguments. But a heavier larger caliber bullet was proven almost 100 years ago(Col. Hatcher) to affect the target greater by imparting more ft/lbs energy to the target, and cross sectional density can have a greater affect on hardened targets as well.

I really think a 6 to 7.62mm variant like the 300 AAC Blackout is a well thought out change. Besides, many of the better designs than the M4 are interchangeable in the field. Take the Robinson Armament XCR for example. No sacrifice to accuracy or range in the same length barrel too!. Certain team members could be picked to carry the extra barrel and bolt carrier if necessary. The bolt and magazine are the same.

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bbb February 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm

A country with no infrastructure has no money for defense.

Paying for infrastructure creates commerce, which turns into tax dollars that pay for defense.

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DOUG HASH March 1, 2011 at 5:01 am

The military's rifles, pistols and LMG/GPMG's are worn out across the board. Better weapons are IMMEDIATELY available. Spec-Ops folks can go to the big PX and pick out anything they want to play with. When the boys at foggy bottom wanted the M16 it was no problem to replace M14's while they were still warm from the last fire fight! It only takes the will, which is pitifully lacking in the upper military crust of too many Colonels and Generals. When I see some of these flag rank officers begin to resign their commissions because of this grievous waste of young lives and billions of dollars I might begin to respect this military's command structure again!!
There are good, really good officers out there. They better start acting like men. There are more important things going on here than just your career!!! You can't hide behind: "I'm just following orders." Remember Nuremberg? Following orders is no defense for immoral, criminal conduct. Be leaders, damn it!! Don't be the British army of 1770 be the Colonists again!! The good people of America are in desperate need of leadership! Where will the leaders come from if not our military!?

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Jay Citizen March 1, 2011 at 8:52 am

Probably true for some of us; but for the others, we been their – done that!

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bbb March 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm

The difference between a 5.56 and a 7.62 is like the difference between getting punched by a boxer and getting punched by a bear. Both can kill you, but the latter almost certainly will. And by comparison, a .50 would be like getting hit by a freight train. The caliber of the bullet has less to do than the wake it causes when it passes through flesh.

And when you consider the engagement distances in Afghanistan, being able to fire a handful of 7.62 rounds accurately will trump a bunch of accurate 5.56 rounds most of the time.

But really, the ideal solution would be to move up to a mid-range round like the 6.8 SPC.

OTOH, at close ranges and urban combat I think I'd like the 5.56 and the ability to carry a lot more rounds.

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Jay Citizen March 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm

If I remember correctly the 6.8 SPC was already rejected by DOD. The reasons were numerous, but case weight and dimension was part of the decision.

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bbb March 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm

A mid-range cartridge would still solve a lot of problems. Namely the recoil and weight of the 7.62 and the ballistics and wound patterns of the 5.56.

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Nance, E March 2, 2011 at 7:36 am

My post was actually directed at bbl. I should have said that, I understand that larger ones are going to be better for long range but more power is still secondary to shooter accuracy. As it is easier to become skilled with 5.56mm weapons than with 7.62mm weapons if two people had the same amount of range time and practice shots I would rather have the one with 5.56mm as, unless they are just unable to shoot, they should, on average, be able to have better control and get more accurate shots off.

Technically the XCR has a longer barrel standard. Out of the possible new carbines for the Army the XCR does seem like one of, if not the, best but IMO the M4 would be preferable. Since the XCR has a carbine barrel for a weapon that is roughly the length and weight of an unloaded M16 with the stock extended. With the stock folded it will be shorter than the M4 with stock collapsed but then it wont be as stable or controllable for again what is basically the weight of an unloaded M16. Now I'm not saying an M16 is heavy but if the weapon will be of similar weight and length(most of the time the stock will be extended) than you might as well use an M16 and get a full size barrel.

Now bbl the rest of this post is directed at yours.

No it isn't. The 7.62mm has more energy but the energy is an unreliable/unproven wounding mechanism. Both will kill either with bleed out or with a vital hit. So a 7.62mm almost certainly will kill you? What if it misses all vital organs and just passes through the back? It would kill if the one shot doesn't get medical treatment but it would be due to a bleed out or infection. The bleed out would take 10 mins or more if no major organs are hit and infection would take days or weeks. So yes both can kill but where a target is hit determines how fast they die or are stopped. This goes back to shooter accuracy. If someone gets hit with a 5.56mm round in a vital organ then it will be better at stopping/killing them than a 7.62mm that misses the same vital organ completely. A 5.56mm hole in someone's heart will be better than a 7.62mm hole that missed the heart but is right beside it at stopping killing someone. Have you ever been hunting? If you have you should now that in order to stop/kill the animal you need to hit vitals regardless of the round you use or it will just run off. I'll post a link up where you can see some pics of what a 7.62mm sniper rifle, 7.62x39mm, .50 BMG, a fragmenting 5.56mm, and what I'm pretty sure is another fragmenting 5.56mm, can do to people. Link will be in next post.

Not really. As long as a 5.56mm hits vitals it will do it's job fine. Miss the vitals and it wont but this is true of all man portable small arms. I mean people can survive grenade explosions when they are right on top of them. A small arms bullet obviously doesn't cause that kind of damage so it can't offer anywhere close to 100% quick incapacitation/death. So if a bunch of accurate 5.56mms hit vitals they will work. Same with if a handful of 7.62mms hit vitals. If they miss the vitals though then what they do becomes unreliable. As in some people will get stopped while others wont while a vital hit will reliably stop the target a few seconds after the hit, or instant with a CNS hit.

To be honest I'd prefer 5.56mm over 6.8mm. As long as the shooter does their job either will work and I prefer the other advantages a 5.56mm offers over more powerful rounds such as weight, recoil, amount able to be carried, and fragmentation. When it does fragment anyway. Oh and this only applies for standard issue assault rifles or battle rifles based on what people want standard. For DMs and snipers I think they should have 7.62mm or some other long range cartridge. For regular grunts though 5.56mm is, IMO, the best overall choice.

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Nance, E March 2, 2011 at 7:37 am

http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b185/RGM-79GM/B

There is the link. All pics are titled. The ones with a known cartridge used have it listed in title. Two or three are unknown however.

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JCitizen March 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Good post Nance E. I guess I'm going to have to admit I haven't shot anyone so I might as well forget using that as experience. However I have hunted varmints and wild dogs/coyotes, and have 30 years experience in this area. When I wasn't doing artillery in the Army, I was hunting on civilian ground.

At anything over 100 meters, a dog or coyote will literally stop and sit down, to observe just what is shooting him(it) when using a 5.56mm. This with every 5.56mm round in US inventory including the machine gun round used in the SAW. The current small caliber NATO round just does not have the stopping power of a 7.62 X 39 or better. It doesn't matter if I hit them in the gut, the, head, or the chest, they simply turn and look at their attacker with this quizzical look and curiosity takes the day! Usually one of my other partners has to pull out his 22-250 or .243 to finally issue the coup de grâce!

I can hit a dog or coyote at 600 meters with the Russian 30 caliber and they will literally flip head over heals, but they think a bug is stinging them with the puny .22. It is very hard for me to get rid of this prejudice because I saw it over and over again, in the field; and in fact I had to stop using the 5.56 mm for that, and switched to FALs or AK-47 variants for my hunting expeditions. I occasionally play with various loads rather than surplus ammo to try to improve on this performance, but the result is always the same for any thing at or bigger than a fox.

You may be thinking of the old ROBARM XCR; the new one is very configurable, I am only offering it as an example:
http://www.robarm.com/resources/products/xcrlmini

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bbb March 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

A 7.62 will have more effect on the organs it didn't quite hit than the 5.56 will. All that energy means you aren't simply punching a .30 caliber hole in your target. There's also hydrostatic shock which effects the brain and can lead to incapacitation.

And fragmentation is great…when it works. Which according to after action reports and ballistics testing, it isn't, at least not at the ranges they're engaging targets at.

A 5.56 is great but there needs to be at least one guy carrying a 7.62, preferably with optics.

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Nance, E March 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

JCitizen that is the experience of several people for sure but, and I mean this with no offense intended, but that really means you aren't hitting the vitals. Humans, deer, coyotes, wild boar, and foxes have all been killed by 5.56mm rounds and will continue to be killed by them. As I said a vital hit will kill them rather well even out to 600m if the shooter has enough skill. Miss the vitals and it wont.

I have to assume you are exaggerating about flipping head over heals. Not even .308 does that. Once again no offense but if you have trouble with coyotes when using 5.56mm you are missing the vitals.

I understand that I was just going by the standard version as I would assume that is the one that would be issued if adopted. http://www.robarm.com/resources/products/xcrlstd/

bbb sorry I didn't notice I was spelling your name wrong. Yes a 7.62mm will have more of an effect with a shot that missed a vital than a 5.56mm that missed a vital but it would be worse than a 5.56mm that did hit a vital if it missed the vital. Any round over 2000fps will cause hydrostatic shock. FMJ 5.7x28mm is said to have high amounts of hydrostatic shock so a 5.56x45mm would cause much more. Even handgun rounds, such as 9x19mm, can cause hydrostatic shock. Yes it can lead to hydrostatic shock but it is unreliable compared to the permanent cavity.

Yes I know it doesn't fragment at long range. M855A1, according to one article, can fragment at long range but no proof of that. However 7.62mm rounds don't fragment either so for either one the only reliable wounds caused at long range are the permanent cavities as the temporary and hydrostatic shock may cause extensive damage but can also do minimal damage while the hole is a given.

I agree at least one needs 7.62mm, which is why I said the DMs should have 7.62mm rifles, just that for the vast majority of people in a squad 5.56mm is the best overall choice. Not best performing just best overall.

As a note the link to my photobucket page is meaningless now. All but two of the pics have been removed since I made it public. I'm assuming due to them being considered too graphic.

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Nance, E March 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=34714

Anyway this will be my final post on the topic. I've had too many past experiences where stuff like this got out of hand so I'm just gonna stop now. Thank you for the good arguments though. ^_^

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JCitizen March 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I really appreciate your arguments Nance E. This is the kind of discussion that needs to happen. I did see your photos, and the were a very good case for your arguments. Sorry if my experience seem skewed, but they have been consistent without fail; and I just can't get that out of my head. If I were deployed with anything less than an M240 I would probably be shaking in my boots until I learned differently. I always ended up carrying the M60 in my old soldier days anyway, and I loved it!

As far as I'm concerned your wound article cannot be refuted. I am only relating the physics part of the argument. I deal in the physics of mass in motion everyday, and this is something I can get a handle on. Many of the principles I've written previously boil down to E=mv where energy equals mass times velocity. With a more massive bullet you have more energy imparted to the target, where velocity is not significantly different. It is like the difference in hitting the target with an pick axe or a sledge hammer. The pick axe will do damage, but the hammer will do damage and knock the target down.

Sectional density has more to do with the Hatcher scale and can work with the principle of inertia as well. Inertia is an object that doesn't want to stop moving, or if it is at rest it wants to stay that way. Energy is preserved. The more mass an object has while moving the less it wants to stop, and the more power it takes to slow it down; but it takes cross sectional density to impart this to the target, because even a heavy needle cannot be slowed much by solid matter.

Perhaps the bigger bullets help impart what your article called psychological damage, where the fact that a sledgehammer blow will put fear in the enemy faster than the proverbial needle gun. There is no doubt the nervous system of the human body can be a chaotic thing – I feel larger diameter/heavier bullets impart this damage more successfully.

bbb March 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I think it's foolish to assume that even a trained marksman will be able to hit center mass or the CNS in combat. Moving targets, partially concealed targets, suppressing fire, fear, sand, sun, chance, luck, and about a million other variables means that eight times out of ten, you're better off with a weapon that can provide incapacitation without a perfect shot. At short ranges, a 5.56 will do the job reasonably well. But in combat you're better off putting one lethal shot on a target instead of needing a double tap.

This is why fragmentation weapons, artillery, and high explosives provide the bulk of firepower for modern military's.

Nance, E March 4, 2011 at 7:02 am

I know what I said earlier. I just can't help it.

JCitizen I guess this just goes to show that bullet wounds/effects are never a constant standard no matter how much we try to make them one or want them to be. However thank you for bringing up your experiences.

bbb well they do usually get center mass hits since that is where they are taught to aim and it is the easiest target to hit on a person. CNS not really but center mass is rather common. Not to many limb shots that I hear of. A few obviously but usually center mass.

Any weapon can provide incapacitation without a perfect shot. However it is unreliable as it falls into their mentality. A shot to the hand from a .22lr can incapacitate one person while a .50 cal to the gut might not incapacitate someone else. Obviously however a .50 cal would do more damage than a .22lr but the damage isn't the major factor for incapacitation.

Ok that is BS. 7.62mm weapons needs double taps just the same as 5.56mms especially for CQB. A 7.62mm round doesn't guarantee a lethal hit. Not even .50 BMG does. No man portable small arms weapon does. The thing is most military personnel with 7.62mm weapons are DMs or snipers and have more marksmanship training than those with 5.56mm weapons. Which allows them to make better shots usually. As in the case of JCitizen however others have M240s or M60s. They wouldn't have the kind of marksmanship training that a DM or sniper would have but would be able to get multiple rounds down range and on target quickly due to their machine guns.

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JCitizen March 4, 2011 at 7:40 am

I thank you both for your interesting points! It is easy to see why the Army in in such a conundrum about the next change in infantry small arms.

I feel mine is a good idea because:

1. It is a new system, not a hashed arsenal rebuild
2. Can be converted in the field to fit the situation.
3. Requires the least change in parts, i.e. mags/bolts
4. Offers flexibility without concern to ammo availability.
5. Is as accurate and almost as controllable as the 5.56mm
6. Can work with silenced systems in SPECOPS.
7. Has a better gas system that requires less maintenance.
8. Weights nearly the same as the M4 and ammo slightly heavier
9. Beats the 7.62 x 39mm in case weight and configuration
10. Beats the 6.8 SPC(just a mod of previous case) for same reason and performance.

It seems like a no brainer to me, but then, it is just my personal opinion!

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bbb March 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Wasn't suggesting that a 7.62 guarantees anything. It's always a matter of probability, physics, and physiology. I do find the comparison of a .22LR to an extremity to a .50 BMG gut shot quite amusing though.

Honestly, this is essentially the same argument as 9MM versus .45. Both will kill effectively and with a 9MM you can carry a good 30% more ammunition, but all else equal most people would want a bigger bullet.

…and come to think of it, most people just went with a .40 since it was a pretty decent compromise.

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Nance, E March 8, 2011 at 7:59 am

When I read your post it seemed, to me anyway, like you were saying 7.62mm does guarantee a lethal hit. It may be amusing but it is possible. Some people can, do, and will get incapacitated due to extremity wounds because of their mentality. While others can take torso hits from high power small arms rounds and not be incapacitated. As I said a .50 BMG does a lot more damage and would defiantly kill them faster than a .22lr hand wound but based on the individual it might not incapacitate them.

Yeah it is basically the same. Yeah a bigger bullet is useful but I personally prefer higher magazine caps, good accuracy, lower recoil, and lighter weight weapons and rounds.

To me with pistols the size is rather meaningless, FMJ only, as it is about 1mm for a .40 and about 2mm for a .45. So in FMJ I'd rather have a 9mm over the other two. For hollowpoints it would depend on expansion rates for each though. Pistols generally don't do much of anything apart from a hole anyway so a 1-2mm difference isn't that noticeable. Hollowpoints are obviously different but that depends on the brand and make of it.

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bbb March 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I hope you're joking.

A 2mm difference? The .45 bullet weighs twice as much as the 9mm and has almost twice as much energy.

Have you not learned anything? The size of the hole is irrelevant compared to the amount of energy put into the target. Shrapnel moving at 20,000 feet per second might be a millimeter around, but it'll still kill just as easily as a bullet because there's so much energy in it.

If energy didn't matter, in WW2 every fighter plane would have had a ton of .30 caliber guns instead of a few .50s, 20mms, 30mms, etc.

Not to mention that in terms of bullet size, millimeters is a pretty big difference. 2 millimeters from a 9mm is 7mm. But I suppose you'd rather have a .30 caliber than a 9mm since the bullets will be lighter, smaller, and have less recoil.

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Nance, E March 10, 2011 at 9:57 am

Pistol rounds don't do reliable or effective damage beyond the permanent cavity. Rifles are different but again only reliable damage is the permanent and temporary. Actually 9mms have more muzzle energy. Comparing 9mm 125gr FMJ to .45 230gr. FMJ.

There is a huge difference between a 9mm bullet at 1300FPS compared to a 1mm piece of metal at more than ten times that velocity. Also no the energy is again unreliable except in things with much more energy than small arms. IIRC Roberts and Fackler have both said energy dump isn't useful or doesn't do much of anything and they study this more than most others.

Except comparing fighters to infantry is completely different. Fighter's armor is going to be too tough for .30cal bullets. Energy wasn't the deciding factor here. It was armor penetration, range, and accuracy. While infantry armor can be penetrated by 5.56mm-12.7mm based on the armor and round.

With a pistol no I wouldn't want to go beyond 9mm as smaller than that they are unreliable as hollowpoints and they usually lack enough penetration which would make them a very bad choice. There is a reason rounds smaller than 9mm are not as commonly used as 9mm-11.43mm. Their speeds are usually too low or too light to expand reliably or penetrate far enough reliably.
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=42775

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greg October 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm

its a rifle what r u gonna do man. your paying for an m4 not an ak47 dub ass

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Yellow Devil January 26, 2012 at 7:41 am

Not necessarily. If you spend x amount of dollars for a "high-speed" rail system that won't get the necessary ridership, than it will probable cost MORE taxpayer money and benefit no one. Case in point, here in AZ, officials have been pushing for a rail system for years that would link Phoenix and Tucson (as well as other towns). After doing the initial study, it was determine there would not be enough ridership demand to justify the cost. Plus the cost of laying down the rail was estimated to be about a million dollars per mile. Now you might ask what about opening the rail to commercial freight? Well problem is, there is already a freight line that exists but I am guessing they can't put a "high speed" passenger rail on there or vice versa. Plus, they would have to extend or alter the route of the existing line to go through town/city centers for passengers to get on/off, since freight lines are generally built away from residential areas. I think they tried to get Federal funding for it, but again, it won't solve the cost/benefit ratio. I can only imagine this sort of thing happening all around the country.

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