So it’s been a year and a half since we first ran this post about the reliability of the M4/M16. Since then we’ve seen new ammunition, new furniture, new lubricants, entirely new rifles.

The ubiquitous M16 in Vietnam
Kit Up! The ubiquitous M16 in Vietnam.

 

What do you think? Are there reliability problems with the M4/M16 platform? Do we need the 6.8 or the 300 AAC Blackout? Or it all just more of the same old/same old we’ve seen since RUMINT first said the M16s were made by a toy company?

Begin your POLITE, academic argument here, please.

As Jim Cirillo, aka Cirillo the Great (may he sit at the right hand of God, to steal the Colonel’s phrase), always said at the beginning of a course of fire: “You may commence.”


Kit Up! A more modern version of an M16 platform…

{ 305 comments… read them below or add one }

Otis Hatfield February 6, 2012 at 4:05 am

I believe that the M16/M4 platform is flawed by its gas blowback system, regardless of the crater that is used we need to switch to a piston system. Weapons systems such as the HK 416 or the G36 would be suitable however expensive. Expense is clearly not an issue in the US military when a single ACOG scope is close to $600.

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Go Navy! February 6, 2012 at 4:09 am

Hopefully, the $600 is our military/govt price. I know the ACOGs at my stores are like $1,200!!

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 5:45 am

A piston "conversion" of the Stoner rifle is not a suitable solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Stoner's DI system works very well, and was not designed to have an op-rod. If a piston/op-rod driven rifle is desired, then one that was designed as such i.e., the SCAR or other rifle, is the way to go.

For the record, the bolt is the "piston" in the Stoner rifle, hence the gas rings.

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Josh February 6, 2012 at 4:08 am

I think the M4 can be a really reliable weapon system. The problem is, it is too maintenance intensive to keep it that way. I hate to say it but the HK416 is probably the best option but not really a good one. And 5.56 is an ok round. We probably should move up to 6.8 sense we teach our guys to shoot straight instead of shooting alot.

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Go Navy! February 6, 2012 at 4:19 am

Josh: Would love to see our military move off the 5.56 round. Look at World War II, .30 06 and .45 caliber. If you get shot with one of those, you aren't getting back up. But our govt looks at costs first…..

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Go Navy! February 6, 2012 at 4:15 am

David: This is going to be a huge discussion. This should be an interesting topic. We can't move off the 5.56 mm rounds because of NATO. However, we should upgrade to the 7.62 which is another NATO standard. As for gas system, Direct Impingment has no issues if all you do is go to the range and come home. For combat, I think the Piston system is better because it can be prone to less cleaning. Overall, I feel the M4/M16 platform has great ergomics and a lot of capabilties. However, gas system, the round, and charging handle should be upgraded for the current soldier. But all of this cost money which at the end of the day is what our govt looks at.

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Neal February 6, 2012 at 4:38 am

I'm in the 6.5 Grendel/ train maintenance 'til your hind-end hurts club.
But I know neither of those is gonna come out of .mil as acceptable.

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Konrado February 6, 2012 at 4:50 am

Go Navy!: Do not forget why 5.56×45 was created > standard rifle rounds were too powerfull, 5.56 is much more efficient in therms of wounding and killing (not to mention less weight and very small recoil). With Afghanistan being an exception, modern conflict will be fought in urban areas, it is there where infantry rifles have much to say (unlike the field, where even infantry platoon will neutralize enemy, once discovered, by mortar fire). With new M855A1 round i belive 5.56 is the best option, as it offers smooth recoil, high killing/wounding efficency and even penetrating power (check 855A1 data out). In therms of weapon systems: are there better rifles than M4? Yes definitely! Are they worth changing the whole system of training, logistics etc.? No. SCAR, ACR and other new rifles offer better ergonomy and reliability. But on the other hand look at new KAC SR-16 or LWRC M6 rifles -> they not only offer great ergonomics but are much more reliable than standard M4s and what's very important – changing of logistics, traninng etc. is reduced to minimum. One word on HK416. A lot of people seem to treat it as a "ground braker" and "deus ex" rifle. It is not. Speaking from my own experience I can say it wastes pros of M4 rifles they are based on -> It is front heavy (with AN/PEQs, lights, grips, not to mention GLs, it's even more), and the recoil imuple is much more stronger. Is it more reliable? I bet it is, but well mantained M4 isn't much of a problem too.

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Anthony February 6, 2012 at 5:06 am

I don't know much about the new rounds or the ultimate combat effectiveness of the 5.56 because I have never shot a person with it thought I can tell you that a 5.56 will barely put a 50lb coyote down right away unless it's a head/neck shot. On the reliability side of this discussion I have run my ar through several tactical courses and torture test like scenarios and as long as I consistently dropped lube in the carrier it was good to go. Frankly the majority of the malfunctions I faced were caused by cheap or faulty magizines NOT the gun itself.

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TheDude February 6, 2012 at 6:00 am

You will barely put down a coyote with .338 or even .50 if it isn´t a proper shot. In fact 5,56mm is now gradualy replacing 9mm in police/military use, because it´s way more effective in many aspects.

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David K. February 6, 2012 at 5:18 am

With the new MK318 and other heavier bullets, the 5.56mm is far more effective than it was with the 55gr load. In fact, the barrier blind bonded-core 64gr or 70gr bullets, it does quite well. And the Barnes TSX 70gr bullet is probably the best thing going right now. It shows massive penetration, consistent expansion, and i've had no trouble taking coyotes and larger game with it with a proper chest shot.

My AR also has been dead reliable through dirt, mud, sand, blowing sand storms, water, whatever.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 5:48 am

The M193 was superbly effective out of a 1/12 20" barrel as the rifle was designed.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 6:00 am
TheDude February 6, 2012 at 6:02 am

…also many experts will tell you, that a 9mm with 15 rounds in the mag is way more benefitial in combat than a .45 with 9 rounds in the mag. It´s just that faulty american "bigger is always better"-way of thinking. Its just the wrong way of judging things.

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jumper February 6, 2012 at 6:04 am

I've never had any serious M4 failures, and none that rendered the weapon inoperable. That being said, I have seen some jam up in sand, but I've never seen some of the other stuff I've read about (internals melting, upper receivers blowing up, etc). Another problem is the internet debates usually are driven by people who have never done anything but take their AR-15 out to the range. The DI vs. piston and 5.56 vs 7.62 arguements are usually very heated and very ridiculous. We can all agree we'll not be going away from the 5.56 NATO round anytime soon, for a host of reasons… a heavier 62 or 75 gr bullet might be nice but I don't see a new round in our future. I think everyone would like to get away from DI, it introduces dirt and heat into the weapon's action, but I've seen a fair share of jammed up AK-47's to know pistons aren't infallible. I personally would trust my life to a properly maintained M4 (which isn't really all that intensive if you keep it lubed and take some simple precautions). In our upcoming age of austerity in the DoD I also don't see a radical shift to an entirely new infantry rifle in the near future.

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MarkM February 6, 2012 at 6:13 am

Somebody is really bored to pop this troll up in a no-win format.

If any of the respondents really had an argument they'd have posted on any of five different firearms forums where other Fudds could engage them. It's been handled over the last two years, the only ones who don't get the message simply don't understand firearms design.

DI works, it's been here for 45 years, and if you want to build a better gun, it actually has to do something better. That means its testable, measurable, and capable of being put into numbers.

You also have to understand exactly what is better: number of hits, mean rounds to failure, and even more importantly, it has to be easy to support in the overall industry of making guns and ammo.

Number of hits going up? Cartridge design won't provide it, optics did. All thats left is training. Since the actual engagement range is 500m, and you only need 2MOA, most of the cartridge fanboys just don't get it – the 5.56 does the job removing the fight from someone shooting back. You don't need to knock them off their feet and dismember them, and those who don't understand that are starting off with the wrong perspective.

Mean rounds to failure? Name the acceptable limit, because if you don't, it's impossible to make a gun to that standard. Don't forget, it's the magazines, ammo, and operator error on the top three of "OMG the gun jammed!" Not how the bolt is actuated. They ALL work good enough.

Exotic materials or new cutting edge design? Not happening. We need something easy to make, that solves problems, not creates new ones. Wonder why the LSAT is still out there, going into the test phase at Battalion level? Because it's a simple, easy to make design, and it delivers something none of the other cartridge fanboys can deliver – MORE AMMO. It does it by throwing out the biggest piece of dead weight, the brass case. Now a soldier can carry 40% MORE AMMO, which means up to 40% MORE HITS, and that means 40% MORE ENEMY DISABLED, which means 40% MORE BATTLES WON.

It's not about superior downrange accuracy at 600m, or more power at 200, it's about 40% more bullets flying around getting more hits. And those who don't know that soldiers are hit by bullets that were never specifically aimed are clueless. It's NOT what some want to believe, it's what IS happening that counts, and unaimed fire causes 50% of the casualities. If you want more hits, fire more ammo. If you want more ammo, make it lighter.

As long as cartridge fanboys keep thinking in terms of .1mm, that's how they are going to measure up.

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Rapier975 February 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

Man, excellent post! Couldn't agree more. Undoubtedly, someone will post here soon stating that we need to switch our service round to .35 Whelan, or some other equally obscure caliber.

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TheDude February 6, 2012 at 6:53 am

BUt BUT BUT, WHAT ABOUT ZOMBIES?! COme ON!!! ZOMBIES NEED TO BE DISMEMBERED!!! xD

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jrexilius February 6, 2012 at 7:25 am

Damn good post. That is the realistic view of the question.

I think this exercise was more along the lines of daydreaming, but still interesting.

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Very well said

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Rapier975 February 6, 2012 at 6:15 am

There are incidents of soldiers complaining of the "lack of stopping power" of the .30 '06 round in WW2. The M4/M16 is an excellent weapon, and not hard to keep running reliably. THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of our enemies are dead because of the 5.56mm round.

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DHunt.AUS February 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I've heard stories from Vietnam where blokes were hit multiples times with 5.56 and crawled away or kept coming.

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Eric September 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I would like to admit at the outset that this an anecdotal story told by my uncle who was a battalion surgeon in WW2. It happened before I was born and therefore I have no way to authenticate it but likewise no reason to doubt it. According to me uncle one the casualties he was called upon to treat was a German straggler who, in the process of trying to make it back to his own lines encountered one the battalion's sentries. The sentry called upon him to halt and when he did not,opened fire, emptying his rifle. The German did not seem to react other than throwing his own rifle down, putting up his hands, and slowly sitting down. The sentry, under the impression that he had missed, reloaded, and cautiously approached the German soldier who was now sitting on the ground with his hands up. Closer inspection revealed that 6 of the 8 shots had hit the German in various parts of his torso and gone clean through, leaving him with 12 holes, none of which proved fatal. According to my uncle the German, who he described as "a big guy" was out of the hospital in about two weeks. My point is that regardless what one may be shot with strange things can happen and one anecdote is no substitute for actual research. The 30-06 round is legendary in the US and is still in widespread use as a hunting cartridge but it failed to kill that particular guy. Again, according to my uncle, German doctors he spoke with after the war expressed a rather low opinion of the killing qualities of the 30-06 round though it should be pointed that they, like my uncle, were only treating the living not those where were killed outright. As Jack Sparrow pointed out (Pirates of the Caribbean) "No survivors, eh? Then where do the stories come from?"
From what I have read the most critical factor in wounding potential is velocity and a 5.56 requires upward of 2,400 fps to reliably fragment or tumble. With a M4 barrel limiting the muzzle velocity to about 2,800 fps at the muzzle one should expect a significant reduction in effective range. At that point I guess you would have several choices A) Go back to a 20" barrel ( This is what the 5.56 was originally designed for after all. The 30-06 was designed for the then standard 30" barrel. When the barrel length was shortened to 22-24" the round worked fine but at the cost of excessive muzzle flash and recoil. That's why the 7.62 NATO could reduce the amount of propellant and maintain the muzzle velocity) or B) Change the ammunition. I'm to guess that option B is what will eventually happen

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Davey February 6, 2012 at 6:26 am

There is nothing seriously wrong with the M4. It is extremely reliable when maintained properly. The problem is all of the "experts" in the Army who pass along old wives tales (let's call them what they are – lies) about proper maintenance. We still hear that we have to check the alignment of gas rings, and that the Stoner M-16 platform has to be kept spotlessly clean and dry. Folks are still told that you have to get all that carbon off the bolt tail; as if white-glove-inspection cleaning has any place in combat. Pat Rogers' Filthy Fourteen is a perfect antidote for this kind of ignorance, but stupid M16 / M4 tricks are doctrinal in the Army at all levels of the organization.

The one thing that has been really well adopted is the Magpul Pmag magazine. It eliminates most of the failure-to-feed / double-feed issues that come from out-of-spec feed lips on aluminum magazines.

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Go Navy! February 6, 2012 at 8:38 am

Davey: Agree with you there on PMAGs. It's all I use now. I still have one alumn mag from 90s as a reminder how far we have come.

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defensor fortissimo February 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

that's great for those of you who have that option. When I was in bagram some idiot master sergeant saw another guy from my flight walking around on his night off with a p-mag in his m4. It turns out said idiot was a big enough wig that he raised a stink with leadership about the p-mag being unauthorized and after that we were stuck using the standard GI mags

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Jim37F February 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

Wow really? There's nothing unauthorized about P-mags, heck our unit went out and bought a whole bunch and issued a full combat load to all of us who wanted them (needless to say I took all 7)

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Pmags are nice but they aren't the end all. The Army just pulled them from BRM because they weren't holding up as well as steel mags. The complaint was the constant loading reloading was causing the mags to fail.

Go figure…

jagersmith February 6, 2012 at 6:26 am

Yes, piston is much, much cleaner. I have a ton of both DI and Piston AR uppers, in many different calibers, and the pistons are always cleaner. Especially suppressed! I still remember Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning M16A2's in the maintenance and armory bay (not to be confused with the armor bay) at Ft. Knox. We had all the great gear and tools, ultrasonic tubs, compressed air hoses every 5 ft, you name it. Each A2 still took about 30 minutes to fully clean. It was that experience that taught me just how dirty a DI system is when utilized in military applications.
On the issue of caliber, maybe optimize twist rate in M4s to properly stabilize the longer, usually heavier bullets, as it is length, not weight of the bullet, that matters in twist rate stabilization. In the age of terrorism, wounding is no longer the best option (i.e. causing 4 men to go out of the fight rather than just one), as terrorists do not operate like conventional forces. Shamiyl Basayev sure caused plenty of headaches for the Russians, even after they blew off his leg.
Keep in mind: US military thought on small arms has come a long long way from thinking that rifle-wielding troops would just be needed to mop up after airpower. I do hope to see an advancement off of a 60+ year old weapons system, but nothing offers a quantum leap as of yet.

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Navy – I’m confused with you logic. We can’t leave 5.56 because of NATO but should go to 7.62 because of NATO? I would posit that NATO compatibility is less of an issue today given the threat and the size of our forces overseas. Additionally, we’ve never had a problem changing calibers despite NATO.

Jager – Even terrorists evacuate their dead and wounded. The occasional suicide mission is few and far between. If it weren’t the war on terror would have been over quite a few years ago. It’s not the preferred tactic.

Range and stopping power are much better arguments.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I've been in Afghanistan more than a few times and I can tell you that our current enemy DOES NOT evacuate their wounded during battle. They will come back for them later if they can, but they don't care for them like we do.

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Anthony February 6, 2012 at 6:54 am

Yeah good call Dude I have a lot of friends and family in the law enforcement community and they mostly say this is due to the 5.56 platforms having more versality than sub guns and actually less likelyhood to penetrate walls than 9mm but most of the guys I know actually preffer the HK UMP in .40 for cqb scenarios. But that is SWAT whos mission guidlines tend to be more specific, shorter durations and less dirty overall than our warfighters face.

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Austin February 6, 2012 at 6:58 am

I have shot close to 100 coyotes over the years and not a single one of them fell over and died instantly. dosent matter what caliber you shoot them with. 30-06, 270, 7mag, 8 mag, 257 roberts, or .223. is what I've used. But at least out of the calibers I listed 223 is the cheapest one!

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Wile E. Coyote, Geni February 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Thaaat's right no matter what you shoot me you'll never get me down. S–t, fire a flippin' cannon at me and I'll be back in the business within a day or two…

Yours Truly,

Wile E. Coyote, Genius

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jrexilius February 6, 2012 at 7:20 am

I'm struggling to formulate a reply as I think the question is too vague. Or maybe my ingrained beliefs are so deep rooted that I can't approach the questions straight. And context is important.

I would re-frame the questions as separate items:

1) Are there more reliable rifle/carbine platforms available today that improve combat effectiveness (reduced maintenance + improved reliability).

2) Is the 5.56 round the right choice for a general purpose round to face future threats in various theaters. (Afghanistan != Iraq != Iran != China != Former Soviet Block states)

Keeping in mind that these are completely theoretical as no changes will happen in the budget environment we will be living in for the next 5 years.

My answers are:

1) **** yes there are a lot of better platforms out there than the M4. Improved reliability, reduced maintenance etc. The 416, SCAR Sig 556 etc. Weapons evolve slowly and Stoner was a genius but materials, manufacturing and engineering have come a LONG way in the .. ~50 years?

2) Considering what others have already said about Afghanistan being an exceptional environment and our experiences in Iraq are more likely the norm for future conflicts, I'd say the 5.56 is solid. One of the 6.x (spc or grendel) rounds is probably a better choice for a general purpose rifle round. 300 AAC is hard to beat for close in/quite work. 7.62 is hard to beat for Afghanistan and environs where reach is needed.

So if I were to sum up my opinion it would be something along the lines of SCAR or HK platform (SCAR would be my vote, despite my love of HK) as standard platform in three caliber models, 300 ACC, 6.5 grendel and 7.62 nato. Consistent training on a common platform, 3 different rounds depending on the mission, with the middle child being the default for all.

We can dream can't we?

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clarence February 6, 2012 at 10:10 am

Have you heard of the Adcor Bear elite? It is simple goodness when it comes to an upgrade for the M4 platform. It looks and feels like an M4. It has a Free floated gas piston system, and it has a forward charging handle and a rear charging handle just in case. If Our military wants to upgrade without having to buy a whole new rifle, they can just get the Adcor Bear Elite upper and make the soldiers happy, and save money. I'm a simple man. All of these ******* contests that are ran by politics complicate things that could be solved with a simple upgrade. Its sad really.

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jrexilius February 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Yeah, I've heard a few PR releases about the Adcor but haven't heard anything good or bad about it from testing/field use. It sounds like a decent upgrade, but I think you get comparable training wins by going to the 416.

I'm not really a fan of swapping out parts and would prefer to buy a system built to work together. I approached this whole discussion as being an imagination exercise rather than what's cost effective or likely.

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clarence February 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm

The 14.5 inch HK416 weighs 8.24 Lbs with a loaded mag, the 14.5 inch Adcor Bear Elite weighs 6.85 Lbs with loaded mag. Even the 20 inch Adcor Bear Elite weighs less than the aforementioned 416. Not only is the Bear Elite lighter but it is a truly free-floated piston system, thus having better accuracy than the 416. Hk may be a well known brand and loved by many, but our troops needs a weapon that offers more than just a brand name and the Adcor Bear Elite offers just that.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

The SCAR was flawed in its stock design and while the H model is in service many 5.56mm models have been ditched in favor of MK-18s and M-4A1s in SOCOM service the Plastic stock on the SCAR has a horrible time breaking when dropped and its barrel set up is complex to change. A HK 416 is easier and more of a better infantry rifle. The USMC is already adopted it as a LMG and Army SOCOM has them so there is a push by some units and services to adopt it. However the Army is going to update the M-4 and with BIG defense cuts will be cheapest and in many ways best way to address the M-4 questions in the army.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

The HK 416 is NOT a LMG. The nomencalture the USMC uses is Infantry Automatic Rifle, a throw back the the BAR days. It is as useless as a screen door in a submarine because in many instances it replaces a beltfed weapon. It will do nothing more than a similalry configured Colt/FN M16. Anyone that falls prey to the piston AR myth some continually perpetuate, can by some beach front property in Kansas from me.

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jrexilius February 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Piston myth? I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to but I think it's pretty uncontroversial that piston design of the AK is hard to beat in the reliability arena. Yes, it can impinge on accuracy but I don't know that it being, generally, a more reliable design is a myth.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Perhaps reading comprehension is not your forte, so I will say it again as posted above:

"…….the piston AR myth…….."

The operative acronym being AR.

Anything else?

jrexilius February 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I'd heard some reports of the folding stock latch breaking, not the whole stock. My understanding of the move from SCAR-L to SCAR-H was that it was en exercise of optimizing budget and filling a gap that couldn't otherwise be filled, not that the SCAR-L was inferior to the M4.

I understand that there are a lot of operators who don't like change and thought the re-training muscle memory from M4 to SCAR-L wasn't worth it. Considering their busy schedule and other priorities I can see the validity in that argument.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Im not saying the SCAR L was inferior it just didn't offer any advantage over the M-4. and at Johnny Quest the M-27 is a 416 version and its a LMG version.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Uhhhhhhh, no. The FN SAW is LMG. The Ultimax is a LMG. The creme de le creme of the ilk, Knights LMG, is well, a LMG!

Last time I looked the Tuetonic Turd was mag fed.

Lance February 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm

While I say a belt fed requirement is a key for a LMG the USMC categorized the M-27 as a LMG not a rifle.

Don't yell at me, yell at General James Amos! LOL

Kris February 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

The M4 is a good weapons system there are newer and better out there but nothing has a distinct advantage that can not be applied to the M4. The 5.56 can be called anemic but it HAS killed a lot of bad guys and with the new M885A1 and MK 318 issue ammo it is more effective then ever as long as you have good shot placement. In my opinion keep the system look at a upgrade in caliber but the biggest thing is to train Soldiers, Marines, and the other shooters protecting our country how to shoot better in real life high stress conditions.

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Jay February 6, 2012 at 7:47 am

As an engineer, i can never really love the AR15. I like it, I own a few, but I can't love it. It has few fundamental design flaws that should not have been there or should have been fixed all this years.
For a civilian rifle it's the best. As a war rifle it's not.
It has a lot of things going for it, but from the function point of view, it's not a great design.
Parts have a short life compared to other designs, It runs hotter than most other combat rifles out there, it's more dirty than most other designs.
Another thing I don't like is that it has no reliable means to regulate the rate of fire, and with all this variations out there, you have a lot of rifle running at higher rate of fire than what the parts were designed for. Specially when suppressed.
For the kind of wars we fight this days, with short skirmishes that usually last minutes, with supply lines working perfectly, M4 is good enough.
I'm worried about M4's capability when we'll have to fight prolonged battles against a capable opponents.

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Nmate February 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

No way to regulate the rate of fire? Are you serious? You change buffer weights, you change rate of fire.

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Jay February 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Yes, but what happens when you put a suppressor on it? What happens when you change to a shorter barrel? The rate of fire is again out of sync.
A lot of the AR15's out there, including factory models, are runing at higher rate of fire than intended. Once you put a supressor on them, many even go over 1100 rounds per minute. That's way too much no mater how you look at it. The rifle ends up having to extract expanded cases, with all the problems that come with that.

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Why are you firing rock and roll?

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Ian February 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

Rumor has it is that one of the main reasons the Army is looking into a gas piston upgrade to the M4 is that the M855A1's new short barrel optimized power burns so dirty.

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farmboy 7.62 February 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

The G36? Are you serious? And what happens when your polymer gun gets super hot, doesn't shed heat well then reforms around the trunion. Zero Shift issues!? Why do you think that HK is putting all their eggs in the "stoner basket"?

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Marc February 6, 2012 at 8:15 am

The 416 was created to sell uppers to the US military (after the XM8 was axed by politics), not because there's something wrong with the G36.

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that guy February 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

You mean the xm8 wasn't melting in testing!? lol Here is the LAV's take on the G36.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM3a_kp6yMU

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I would say the M4's direct gas impingement design has strengths and weaknesses like every other design. When utilizing a suppressor, having the weapon endure less than ideal conditions, and prolonged firing, the gas piston system certainly has key advantages. Given current technologies, gas piston and DI guns are comparable in weight and accuracy.

Mechanically speaking, A bolt that remains cooler and more lubricated prolongs the firepower of the carbine. After prolonged firing, one can overhead a direct impingement carbine, which directs all heat to the gas tube and bolt carrier group, two essential parts for the functioning of the weapon.

My experience with the G36, objectively speaking, is that it is a outstanding rifle. It is ergonomic and comfortable to carry. With its cold hammer forged barrel and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer with steel inserts, it is plenty durable and accurate. I believe its AR18-like block shaped bolt is superior to the AR15 bolt carrier group. It features its own forward assist and dissipates heat faster.

Given aftermarket accessories, a AR15 can be made extremely reliable. A military specification Colt M4 leaves a lot for the military joe/jane to desire.

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jake February 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

I have couple of AR's that i built from start and lego'ed it up very well.Enogh so that very easy it can shoot 1200+ rounds without any FTF's. Excellent MOA's from the many types of ammo that i choose.Stoners Design is perfect!, i say "look at the shooter before looking at the weapon" for those who don't do well.

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that guy February 6, 2012 at 8:14 am

M4 reliability is due to bad magazines, weak extractors,worn out gas rings, improper lubrication and weakened buffer tube. All parts that require regular maintenance…replacement. This maintenance for the most part ignored by the US Military. The Hk416 has a buffer tube, and extractor and also feeds from the same STANAG magazine. Lets see how long they run without being "maintained".

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jrexilius February 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I guess one of the counter arguments that I'd make is the AK comparison. The amount of maintenance required by that platform, as a comparison, is pretty low. Yes it's not the best platform out there but it's hard to argue that it can be equally or more reliable with less maintenance.

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sbd45acp August 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm

The Gunny Sgt would call it "MEALS" as in (faulty ) Magazines, Extractor, Ammunition, Lube.
Most "failures" are due to out of spec parts, ammo and Maint. Rarely in 30 years have I seen a MIL SPEC AR or a MIL SPEC 1911a1 fail when using MIL SPEC ammunition and MIL SPEC magazines. Many, MANY failures on parts built / put together guns and poor mags, and out of spec ammo………..predictably

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burkefett February 6, 2012 at 8:26 am

Just going to point out here that the M4/M16 platform is Direct Gas Impingement, not Gas blowback. Gas blowback would be something along the lines of a Ruger 10/22.

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Go Navy! February 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

When I hear blow back, I hear airsoft.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I hear a gag reflex

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sbd45acp August 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

The RUGER 10/22 is more accurately described as " non- locking breech, blowback" system. In a direct blowback operation, the cartridge base directly pushes back on the bolt face and pushes it straight back.
In the DI system used by the "AR/Stoner" rifles, the gas is transported back down the gas tube where it impinges on the AR "Gas key or Gas cup" on top of the BCG ( Bolt Carrier Group) which drives the BCG to the rear, thus unlocking and rotating the bolt head out of battery.

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Stryker February 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

I have to disagree, "many experts" are perhaps thinking about a LEO or Self Defense role where one can use JHP. The Military must use FMJ/Ball ammunition which no matter what pistol caliber will go right through someone. I'd much rather make a .45 caliber hole in some guys chest or face then a 9mm hole.

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sbd45acp August 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Mil uses Hollow Point "Match" in theater against combatants very often. Military is not restricted to FMJ/ Ball only. US courts have decide that SOME HPs are acceptable if not used against regular organized Armies

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Reid February 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

Our troops standard rifle needs to be 7.62 NATO/.308. We should have had them since we put first foot on Afghani soil. The 5.56 just doesn't cut it out there. The old argument for "5.56 is lighter/you can carry more" is a moot point in this day and age. This is a modern military with modern resupply methods. Our enemy does not respect the 5.56. For good reason. Hunters have known that 5.56 doesn't cut it in the mountains for decades, and won't/can't use the round to take game because of its ineffectiveness, especially at the ranges you encounter in the wilderness. But we can send our boys out into the mountains with it to hunt men/the deadliest game? Is it really that hard of a concept to grasp? It's just more bureaucratic BS getting our boys killed. How many hunters do you know that take a .223/5.56 out to hunt, even at close distances? It boggles my mind. We might as well have them firing red ryder BB guns up at the surrounding ridges 1200m + away, it would probably be equally as effective.

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that guy February 6, 2012 at 11:18 am

What about an "Operation Redwing" scenario. A few guys and a lot of enemy? Proabably wouldn't mind having 10-12 magazines filled with 5.56 or 300 black out in that scenario…

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Reid February 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

So you can hopelessly fire them toward the surrounding hilltops, falling completely short of the enemy? I would rather put the 7.62 BDC on them and shoot them in the face. You missed my entire point. What good is 10-12 magazines going to do if the enemy is outside the effective range? Of course, doctrine will need to be adjusted as well, with more emphasis on PID/IFF before engaging, rather than dumping rounds aimlessly for suppressive fire. Let the MG's do that.

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raymondh3201 August 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

I'll agree to a point. MK 262 does the job at range. You can't always count on resupply. The best Assault Rifle round is probably in the 6 to 7 mm range. I like the Grendel with the 6.8 SPC second but this is a moot point. The military is stuck with the 5.56 for awhile.

I will take you to count with hunting on the 5.56. Here in the South its legal. I know of several besides me who use an AR platform 16" to 20" and have always put meat on the table and some of the shots have been 250 m. With modern hunting rounds at that range its not a problem. Shot placement is key snd if s hunter doesn't know where his round is going he shouldn't be hunting.

Hunting humans is a different thing entirely. M 193, MK 262 or MK 318 can get the job done. Yes 7.62 is better but as with all things there are compromises. Hence the mix.

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PBDVA February 6, 2012 at 10:43 am

Everyone should check out the article by Pat Rogers per reliability in AR style rifles.
http://www.slip2000.com/art-swat2.html

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quentin February 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm

PBDVA,

That was an interesting article, thank you. It didn't really seem to reference a wide range of environmental tests, sand, etc to back up their claim about apparent universal reliability. It seemed to be range gun. Nevertheless, it was impressive reading.

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Nmate February 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Gas blowback system? If you're going to comment, at least know what it's called. It's called direct gas impingement. An HK 416 isn't the answer as adding a piston op-rod to a weapon that was designed for DGI induces it's own set of problems. If you want a piston gun, get one from the AR-16/18 legacy. The G36 would be in this line, but it's far from the best choice. HK won't talk about it, but high levels of heat cause trunion shift and walking zero issues.

I don't know what mil contract prices are, but ACOGs list for a lot more than $600.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

"HK won’t talk about it, but high levels of heat cause trunion shift and walking zero issues."

Please point out references of this. I have nearly a decade of experience with the G36 and have never heard of this issue.

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that guy February 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm
FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

The problems with the G36 are WIDELY known throughout the shooting/military communities. There is NO argument here. The G36 has issues with heat and that's a fact! It doesn't matter if we like the gun or not, the issue still stands.

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Nmate February 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

A 6.5 Grendel-type cartridge was looked at by the ERC program that eventually developed the 6.8 SPC. It simply didn't offer reliability. Extraction in particular is always going to be a problem with a short, fat cartridge like that in the AR-system. It's not a good choice for combat.

I'm only in favor of replacing 5.56 if you also develop a round that will replace 7.62x51mm as well. It's been known for some time that a projectile traveling at ~2,600fps and weighing around 130gr is the best bet for killing humans the most efficiently.

That said, I don't really think that 5.56mm needs to be replaced. I think better bullet designs and better zeros (Army) will solve much of the problems with lethality.

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Neal February 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm

More so the concept than the actual cartridge is what I was driving at. Something a wee bit better at range. Reliability is up to the operator.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This is a none issue in reality outside of a few solders who didn't care for there weapons and complained to some money grabbing senators in 06-07 time frame. The M-4 yes has to be cleaned a bit more than some piston designs like the HK416 but is far more accurate and is more ergonomic than many of the plastic wonder guns some have touted to replace it. Having worked with the M-16A2 style weapons for work I've seen no issues with the Stoner design and talked to solders and Marines who also work with them most have no complaints over the weapon and many prefer it to all European rifle on the military market.Yes you have to clean it when you get back to base but any smart Solder and Marine should do that no matter what weapon he has. Problem is like any large service some people are lazy and do NOT do maintenance on there weapons and so they do get malfunctions and this NOT the fault of the weapon but the shooter. The Biggest malfunctions I've have seen is bad mags old mags from the 70s and 80s which should have been scrapped stay in circulation and being worn out can leave to jams. The other issue is bad powder in military ammo. the new M-855A1 ammo is environmentally sound they claim but most defense workers have stated its very very dirty powder so maybe they should goto extruded powder like Eugene Stoner mad the 5.56mm round to shoot and hang up the dumb environment friendly powder. I also know the whole 5.56mm vs 6.8mm or 6.5mm is a dead issue NO military service is going to drop 5.56mm NATO. Biggest thing needed to be done is for urban combat in places like Iraq or Somalia should be issuing M-193 ammo again. While the USCG and Navy and even the air force has some M-193 ammo in storage the USMC and Army abandoned it decades ago. they might reconsider. Over a hollow point should be adopted and when facing a foe like terrorist the Geneva convention should NOT apply.

over all I dont think the Stoner rifle system is going away. BIG first the Marines and Navy and USAF have stated last year they will NOT adopt any Army ICC winner and will stay with current rifles. The USMC is going to upgrade the M-16A4 to a new M-16A5. Fact is also the Army is pouring millions into upgrading the M-4 to a M-4A2 weapon and I doubt this money they spent will go away in two years in favor of a whole new weapon. the article the site has on a new sight scope on the M-4 which could make them shoot to past 600 yards now is another prof the Army is not abandoning the M-4.

The Biggest point for all men in uniform being cops and security here at home or our military men overseas is to take care of your weapon like its your baby and clean or wipe it down most times you have free. Get decent mags for it some nice green follower mags or Pmags would be key for good function and reliability. And for none military get decent ammo TRU or TAP is great ammo for carrying a rifle to work being cop or security, I know this excludes military personnel sorry with we could use HPs. This is my two cents from years of shooting Stoner's design rifles.

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Neal February 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I thought that M855A1 was optimized for shorter barrels, not green?

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm

It was both a Green round and optimized for the M-4.

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David Reeder February 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

The point of this discussion wasn't to have a "win". It was to start an intelligent discussion and allow for the expression of opinions (I enjoy these things because I always learn something and hear points of view I haven't heard before). Myself, I definitely think proper training is a huge issue that should be the first thing we address, but secondarily we have to realistically look at range. Doesn't matter how good (or bad) the M4 or any other platform is, if it doesn't have the legs needed to effectively engage the enemy, the point is moot. Someday something will certainly replace the M4, I just wonder what it will be. Interesting article, if you're interested: http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA512331

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

So Mr. Reeder

Your making a general discussion this is just discussion your not making this a foreshadow of any news? I do know the M-4 isn't going away soon though since the Marines and other none Marine services stated they will not replace M-16s and M-4s with any ICC winner. Now yes someday in the distant future the rifles will be replaced. but I doubt its anytime soon.

The article you stated is old and its whats lead to ICC and the M-4 improvement program. And this was before the BIG cuts of last summer and this coming year. But I do under stand your point and say thanks for being polite.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Ohh and I read your article its not really about the M-4 itself but ways to make the M-4 system more reliable.

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David Reeder February 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Lance; I know no more than you do (and possibly less) about any future weapon development. Essentially once in a while we (meaning the staff here) like to bring up old topics that might warrant a revisit for whatever reason. I realize much of what appears here may actually be a regurgitation of what appears on other forums, but to be honest I don't watch most of the "cool guy" forums that much. I find that on serious topics I can usually get a pretty well-written and intelligent response on here if I pitch the question right….in any case, yes basically I was trying to get my finger on the pulse of what everyone thinks now that SHOT is over, new lubricants and bullets have been released, etc. Frankly, there are a lot of readers here who are far more knowledgable and experienced than I. Sometimes I like to bring up something I've been thinking about and see what you all have to say. In this case, it was educational (for me) and hopefully worth reading for some of you! By no means was I trying to troll anything or be snarky. It was a sincere question. Can we make do with what have in the way of M4 ammo, lubricants and furniture or do we need a change and they're just not doing what needs to be done? If you're interested, what prompted this was a discussion between one of my friends and I. He's in Afghanistan and was aggravated about some situations where their rifles wouldn't reach out and touch the ******** shooting at 'em. Happily a JTAC and an amenable F15 provided a ready solution to the issue. He also complained about needing multiple hits on muj to put them down (with the 556) . This then when into an argument about using an AR platform indoors in an LE function (something I'm somewhat more able to intelligently argue), but that's beside the point. In regards to some of the earlier posts, I would say that yes, volume of fire can be a good thing, but it doesn't obviate a need for good marksmanship.

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Dave – Just for my ediciation. Was he shooting green tip or M855A1 (the "green round")? Would you find out?

Lance February 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm

No I haven't fired M-855A1 "Green" ammo. But Daniel Defense and a few others at SHOT show said they tested some of it and it was very dirty. I actually prefer extruded powder for 5.56mm ammo like IMR and H 4895 based powder. Now I just went with what some gun maker said about M-855A1 ammo. They and I could be wrong about that. But Having shot plain M-855 and M-193 ammo I can say some ball powders are too dirty for military use. Vietnam was a good example. 5.56mm when it was designed was meant to use extruded powder. the Military made the cartridge use ball powder.

Lance February 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Thanks for being polite and curious Mr. Reeder. I respect you alot for that. I was not trying to debate you just curious on whats on your mind. I agree the M-4 could use improvements. Personally wish they use a Carbine for what Carbines are used for and give riflemen M-16A2s and M-16A4s. Many many times in WW2 Korea and Vietnam the USAF like in the situation you said saved US solders from being wiped out, just look at the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in 65'. Frankly for open combat in Afghanistan I would give more M-14 DMR and EBRs in my squad. The Soviets had similar complaints on small arms in the 1980s. The then new AK-74's 5.45mm round didn't have the range to hit Afghans shooting WW1 era Lee Enfeild rifles. The Russian also had issues with there AKMs and AK-74s jamming in dust and mud, sound familiar, like our guys do now days. And like our men the Soviets where saved many times from total annihilation by air and artillery support since the Terrorists love to pick off isolated troop encampments.

As for the M-4 my two cents on key improvements would be. first a redesigned bolt the only real M-4 failure I've seen was a bolt on a carbine snapping in two at the roller pin point. a tougher bolt would help alot. A heavier barrel but in 1/9 twist instead of 1/7. Police found slower twists can give much better terminal velocities than the 1/7 which was mad for a 20 inch M-16A2 rifle not a 14.5 inch M-4. Police found that lighter 55gr bullets with expandable designs like HPs and Accu tips work much better to kill than a FMJ the military uses. The USMC partially did this with the use the adoption of the MK-262 HP round SOCOM also uses, while officially no a expanding bullet it gave alot better wound cavities than M-855 did. Another point is to give M-4s a free floating rail system preferably made from tough polymer than a heavy aluminum quad rail. Test shown both the USMC's HK IAR and some custom M-4s with free floating systems had major improvements in accuracy. And dumping heavy metal quad rails would balance the carbine more. lastly adopt the Magpul butstock and replace the heavier 6 position stock.

Over all im against the idea of a all carbine service. The rifle are larger and bulky but have there place in the squad. If the army balances troops with M-4s and other with M-16s it would improve combat in the sand box alot.

Over all in open combat like in Afghanistan larger harder hitting weapons like the M-14 is king while in Vietnam and Iraq the M-4 was king.
Thanks for being a good host.

majrod February 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Navy – Cost isn't the driving criteria, weight and number of rounds carried is.

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Strider February 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I'm a civilian developing a strong interest in modern firearms – so bear with me.

The M4 is a carbine – so does a carbine NEED to have a 700+ yard effective range? In that case the 5.56 should stay, if only for $$$ issues, unless some other country or entity develops something exponentially better that we might have to compete with (or fight against).

Think about WWII/Korea. M1 Garand, M1917 Enfield, '03 Springfield & B.A.R. in .30-.06; those were real, knock your *** on the ground 'BA' rifles. The M1 "pea-shooter" was in .30 Carbine (7.62×33mm). It seems to me that most everyone thinks a carbine and a rifle should be the exact same and serve the same purpose.

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Strider February 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Bro Tip: Don't hit tab and enter if you weren't finished with your post or if you wrote something you'll regret later. Didn't mean to send that yet.

Anyways I realize that warfare has changed a lot since WWII/Korea and that counter-terrorism is a whole different way of war. There is more of a focus on urban enviroments so a smaller, lighter weapon with a smaller cartridge that allows higher mag-cap's is a plus.
So I'm still an ignorant fool when it comes to this, but it seems like the M16 would benefit more from a larger cartridge than the M4 would. Places like Afghanistan require rifles – unless you're some operator who raids compounds or whatever at night. As for reliability, I'm def. no expert, but I think merely a few upgrades would be the best option. In short, guess my posts are really just asking if a carbine can and/or should serve the same use as rifles. I welcome your feedback.

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

What's the general gist?

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Josh February 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Gun was lubricated all the time as well.

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Discussion of rifle/caliber changes are pedantic without addressing training first. I posit fixing training will fix most if not all problems.

Short an evolutionary change in weapon design or ammunition there is not answer though the conversation is interesting.

But then we wouldn't be talking "kit and the is KitUp".

D.R. – Have you read Erhart's paper on Small Arms? His conclusion is totally wrong but its a great read on marksmanship training and the last century weapon's evolution. Well referenced. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA512331

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Trons Away February 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Mr. Reeder,
The reasons I would replace a weapons system:
1. If the weapon is beyond its useful service life, it is no longer produced, and suitable parts for upkeep are unavailable or cost prohibitive – "It's worn out."
2. The adversary has developed a weapon system or TTPs that negate the tactical advantage of our weapon – "It's obsolete."
3. Friendly technology has advanced enough to provide a significant and measurable tactical advantage over the adversary – "It's revolutionary."
4. We can afford it.
The M-16 family does not seem to fall into categories 1 or 2, and with regards to small arms development, we've likely not seen a cat 3 revolutionary development in a while. Cat 4 speaks for itself. The B-52 has been in the inventory since 1952 (almost a decade before the M-16), and will continue to fly on for at least the next quarter century. It works for the mission intended, there are plenty of parts, and it would cost a ton to replace. Perhaps if the Navy can figure out its shipboard rail gun, and get it miniaturized, you'll see prototype "Eraser" type battle rifle about the time the BUFF is retired.

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mpower6428 February 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm

its a moot point. pentagon procurement offices should have taken this issue seriously almost 20 years ago. thats what they get paid for.

in the meantime an entire cottage industry of solutions and alternatives have grown up in the aftermath. as far as i know the US is the only country with this kind firearms industry based around openness and innovation.

the military brass should finally earn their pay grade. keep purchases small and competitive. keeping said purchases local and loosely based on stoners (AR) brainchild is good but, they should not be affraid to neglect companies that fail in favor of "international" accusition.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

A good DI gun WILL run reliably for thousands of rounds without cleaning as long as it's lubricated in the right places and the operator maintains proper dustcover orientation when the weapon is not being fired. The M4 is absolutely reliable and remains so to this day in DI configuration. Surely, a mid-length gas system and a heavy buffer can enhance the reliability even more, but the carbine system with H2 buffer will run great. Not much more to say. The gun runs fine if you know how to run it.

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Nick V February 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Higher Gr ammo for the 5.56 and piston driven M4's would do trick. Something like a 68gr or 70gr 5.56 with an 1/7 twist rate would work. I have seen haji's hit in the chest with M855 and run off, yeah he probably died later, but he could still fight and run off. In Afghanistan they are sitting on top of a mountain and out of our affective small arms range, .50cals and 240's will hit em, but the m4 doesn't have a chance. If they want to keep the 5.56, they need to give the round some more ***.. 62gr M855's just don't cut it. I know they have the new M855a1 ammo out now, but never the less, it's not the answer. Look at the round used in an SPR, it's 5.56, but it sure as **** isn't 62gr and it sure as **** doesn't have a 1/8 or 1/9 twist.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

" Mounting an op rod on an M16 makes as much sense as mountng ski poles on a bicycle."

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

can god create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it?

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Would a frog bump his *** if he had wings?

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Oh, and that is God and He. Show some respect.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 10:16 pm

haha you completely missed my point. your ski poles on a bicycle comment is illogical, paradoxical and irrelevant when it pertains to a rifle. show some respect? classical ironic moment. that is a two-sided road…

Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 5:05 am

Thanks for confirming my point, which YOU missed. Scabbing an op-rod on an M16 "is illogical, paradoxical, and irrelevant…." To be clear, I am unlcear how 'paradoxical' enters the equation. It really doesn't apply, but perhaps you wanted to come across with a little vocab in a feeble attempt to elevate your position, but I will take it for what it is worth. I guess the pertinent question is, do you know what paradoxical means?

More importantly, and no matter what you believe, but if you are too ignorant to know that when referencing God, the first letter is capatilized, perhaps you should rethink your purpose on this planet. I can assure you this, your purpose is not to distrupt good discussion on this site, which by the way you do with great regularity.

Oh, ha ha, so there!

Matt February 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

The XM8 was/is a piece of crap, it's a G36 in a new body designed to look futuristic for the public. And yes it did have HUGE problems with heat dissapation and durability. It was "axed" because it had problems not because of politics.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

"And yes it did have HUGE problems with heat dissapation and durability"

which could have been EASILY remedied with different materials. JC, you guys act like the thing exploded in everybody's face…

The XM8 was a excellent concept, though, I believe, was limited by politics at the time rather than technical deficiencies.

"During the same period, the Army came under pressure from other arms makers to open up the XM8 to competition. The main argument was that the weapon that was being adopted was a substantially different system than for the original competition that ATK and H&K had actually won. Other issues were that the Army has a legislated obligation to prefer U.S.-based manufacturers (Barry Amendment), and that a previous agreement with Colt Defense required the Army to involve Colt in certain small-arms programs. The exact reason why this happened is a matter of debate; some combination of the aforementioned technical issues, funding restrictions, and outside pressure being involved"

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Matt February 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I garuantee you they would be just as dead if those rounds were 7.62×51's.

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defensor fortissimo February 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Well that's part of what was so f-ed up the majority of the people with p-mags were issued them from their s4. The captain in my sector was seeing red but the whole thing was out of his hands Security Forces give security forces take away blessed be the name of Security Forces

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Great observation! I've found over the years that most of the "stopping failure" accounts that soldiers speak of are BS!

We have soldiers that have never fired a round in anger running around saying the 5.56 didn't get the job done because of the "old wives tale" they been made to believe is true. They want to sound like they know what they're talking about so they just repeat what they've been told. Those of us that have actually seen the true performance of the 5.56 know better!

Another problem is the zero's the Army uses and the fact that most soldiers aren't taught about offset or holdover's. In other words, they miss their intended target and then blame it on the lack of effectiveness of the cartridge being fired. "Surely I hit that guy at 100 yards?…..must be this crappy 5.56 that everyone is speaking of?" An the cycle continues.

Training is a key issue here. If the Army and Marines weren't decades behind in their shooting methodology you probably wouldn't hear nearly as many "stopping failure" AAR's. The fact is, the 5.56 using any of the modern cartridges (M855, M855A1, 5.56 OPT, etc.) WILL get the job done all day long as long as you hit what your aiming at. Hit a guy with 5 rounds in 1 second in the upper chest and head/neck and he's not getting back up. TRAINING! The "one shot, one kill" and "double tap" is gone people. These ideas shouldn't be taught anymore and they are.

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raymondh3201 August 6, 2013 at 8:44 am

Yes training is a key issue as it is with all things-but…
I never had any problem with M193 putting anybody down. I did with the M855 and I believe the M855A1 is in the same boat. The M855 was designed to deal with hoards of Soviets pouring into West Europe wearing body armor. There armor at the time was titanium/steel plates and after penetration the round fragments just like the M193 on unarmored opponents. On thin emaciated drugged out enemy there is a problem. The Marine Corp went with lethality in mid with the MK 318 instead of being "Green" like the US Army.

The 5.56 kills most by fragmentation. Once the round falls below 2700 fps this drops the effectiveness of the round. After that shot placement is the key, it is above 2700 fps but you have a little lee way.

This brings us to the 20" M16 or the M4 Carbine with the 14.5" barrel. Yes the sights for the M4 go to 600 m, but realistically 100 to 150 m is as good as it gets and with the weapon being designed for CQB and city fighting with m193 or MK 262 thats good enough.

Anything longer than 200 m and you need the 20" M16 variant with MK 262 for some range and it'll do the job.

I'll agree with the single shot kill, that for a different type of killing. The Mozambique technique with 2 rounds to the chest and 1 to the head came about because of drugged up terrs in different war and they were using 7.62's at the time. It worked. Again training is a key issue here.

So I agree with you to a point, but even with bad ammo shot placement is king.

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Matt February 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

The way of thinking isn't "fualty american 'bigger is always better'"; it's that the bigger the hole – the more hydrostatic shock – overall, it puts people down and keeps them down.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

The move to the MK17 SCAR-H was made because it was decided that the original SCAR objective could be accomplished. Many people believed it was budget (which was a concern), or the MK16 didn't perform well, or didn't have anything to offer, but that's not the driving force behind the decision. SOCOM now believes they can use one "common receiver" for 5.56 and 7.62. They call this weapon system the "Objective SCAR Weapon System".

In the early stages of the SCAR program, the program developers wanted a common receiver. However, SOCOM operators didn't want to give up weight. The platform has to be designed around the larger cartridge obviously. So, they decided on 2 separate weapon systems.

Today, operators have changed their minds and SOCOM is continuing toward the objective SCAR. The 5.56 conversion kit has already been tested and approved and currently going through testing in the field. From what I've heard, the conversion is doing well.

BTW Lance, the barrel change on the SCAR IS NOT COMPLICATED. Compared to the M4 is a piece of cake and is changeable at the end user level in a few minutes.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Id say in some conditions a Objective SCAR may be OK but not all SOCOM members are NOT dropping the M-4 either its up to what the operator wants. A few SEAL operations in the news shows them still using M-4s.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Yeah, rate of fire is really a non-issue. There are a myriad of fixes that will negate this "problem". Soldiers don't use (shouldn't use) full auto enough to matter anyway. Besides, the question is "is the M4 reliable?". Not, "is the MK18 reliable with a suppressor when the rate of fire and parts wear become an issue?" There really shouldn't be any discussion toward the MK18, XM177E2 type platforms. The AR was never designed to be optimized for barrels that short. ****, if you cut the barrel down that far on any weapon system designed around a 20in. barrel, your going to see issues. In that regard, the M4 has actually done very well for itself..

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Nicely said.

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Nadnerbus February 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I agree.

I had read on another site, I think maybe Defense Review, where the author suggested a better maintenance schedule for infantry weapons would reduce those rare instances where the weapon truly does break down. I was thinking that one of those new fangled electronic round counters could be embedded somewhere in the rifle, like the pistol grip, and would allow armorers to keep track of the wear on a rifle and know when to perform scheduled maintenance on parts that were known to wear and fail at certain round counts. It makes tons of sense. A good car might not need a lot of maintenance, but scheduled checkups, oil changes, and tuneups will make it run reliably for much much longer and not leave you stranded on the side of the road. A rifle might not be as complex, but it's still a machine.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Nicely said! The problems that many M4's are having can be attributed to worn out parts. The fact is that soldiers are not trained to spot deficient parts or troubleshoot the issues a gun might be having. The Army will say that it's the armorers job to take care of such things, but I suspect that many so called armorers are not trained to a high standard either. Certainly, there are highly trained armorers/gunsmiths in the Army, but they are not readily available to every unit.

A shooter should be the master of his weapon system. He should understand that gun down to the smallest component. With that said, the Army doesn't condone the replacement of worn out parts at the end user level. The Army would be doing itself a favor if they would train each soldier in basic armorers skills. This would allow each soldier to replace worn out components and get the guns up and running at optimal performance.

This solution though probably isn't realistic. However, the Army might be able to make progress by doing what you suggested. Implementing a more intensive maintenance schedule. They also need to get with the times and teach soldiers that a dry gun is not a reliable gun. In other words, they need to put the old myths to rest.

The shot counter idea is a great solution to helping improve the maintenance issues with the M4. The current SOPMOD kit does have a shot counter. But, its not always used by operators. No matter what solution the military comes up with, keeping M4's well maintained and training soldiers what that means would go a long way to keeping the M4 reliable.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

the issue, in my opinion is the dual optical sight, rather than the construction itself. I Believe a aluminum or magnesium lower receiver would be theoretically more suitable, though I have never experienced a POI shift with the G36 once the dual Hensoldt optics were removed and a aftermarket optic utilized (the commando variant wisely employs a rail to mount a more suitable optic). For whatever reason, HK decided to utilize a proprietary magazine instead of using M4 style magazines (though there is a aftermarket modification for that as well).

The "issue" with the trunnion is a theory that has not been backed with any solid evidence, just rumors over the internet. I would certainly appreciate a comprehensive study to prove otherwise.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm

The DI M4 with superior parts is extremely reliable, provided it is adequately lubricated with a premium lubricant. The introduction of Nickel bolt carrier groups, heavier barrels, and heavier extractor springs in a AR15/M4 makes it just as reliable as any other rifle available on the market.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

dude and anthony, you are absolutely correct. AR15's that utilize polymer tipped ammunition actually have less of a tendency to over-penetrate than even a 9mm. Law Enforcement sees this as particularly advantageous for just reason.

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Ruby February 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Now admittedly, I was a POG FOBbit when I was with 10th Mountain. And the only reason I had to fire more rounds than average was because I was not so good at keeping a sight picture so I sometimes had to re-fire. So take my commentary with a grain of salt. But **** if I very often got through two mags without a jam. And that was stateside. In Kuwait and Iraq there was often a jam or two per magazine. On a good day (ie a day when a layer of sand dune didn't gently relocate itself into the firing chambers of our unit's entire firing lane – that was pretty funny to watch.)

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

YES!!! I am truly excited to see the future of LSAT in military applications. Caseless or even telescopic ammunition offers so many possibilities that cannot be touched with conventional cartridges.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I 100% agree with you. Some stainless or Nickle coated or made parts would also help in both performance and ease of cleaning.

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Distantvoice February 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

There were 12 rifles entered into the SCAR competition by 9 companies. The public knows of 3; The FN SCAR, the HK XM8-R and the Robinson Arms XCR. I've asked why the other companies in the competition aren't recognized or marketing their products and got either a vague answer back or none at all.

The only list of competitors I found was a partial list from militaryphotos.net that says Colt, Diemaco, Cobb Manufacturing, LMT, and KAC were some of the participants. I heard elsewhere that Colt had 3 entries, which explains the disparity between the number of companies and the number of rifles entered into the competition. There is still one company left that hasn't been revealed and I would prefer official confirmation… but if this is true it explains a lot.

Colt, Diemaco, Cobb, LMT and KAC are all AR manufacturers. If I recall correctly, there was no requirement that the SCAR be a gas piston design. HK and Robinson Arms never completed directly against the SCAR. HK's XM8-R was disqualified because it overlapped with the then ongoing Army program. The Robinson Arms XCR was disqualified because their blank firing adapters arrived late. The 6 companies left competed directly and according to FN's history, the FN entry was the -only- one to pass all of the GO/NO-GO criteria.

HK and Robarms could freely discuss and market their entries because they didn't technically "lose". But for everyone else who entered an AR variant and lost, it would have been bad for both the companies and for the industry that have made their living off of rifles and accessories for the platform.

Does that mean the SCAR is better? Eh, maybe. It's been almost a decade and it's much harder for the standard SCAR to shine when it goes up against yearly updates to the AR platform from various manufacturers.

A tricked out AR would definitely give the stock SCAR a run for its money and FN winning the new army carbine is far from guaranteed, assuming the entire thing isn't called off before a winner is declared. The biggest advantage the SCAR has is those 2 million rounds and several years of rigorous testing by SOCOM that worked out most of the bugs. Any rifle we do adopt in the future will have some quirk in it that needs to be fixed.

I personally would like to see the SCAR or maybe even the ACR win just because no matter what happens, the AR will never go away. We have foreign allies, reservists, police and civilians that will continue to support the platform. The SCAR is not perfect, but neither was the AR-15 when it was starting out. I think we have enough room in our gunsafes for both of them and more.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Big problem with you idea the SCAR is way more expensive and has some issues still. But I agree this whole ICC is being blown up by either M-4 haters and or gun companies and I doubt the Army will turn down its own improved M-4 given the money its invested in. it

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Nmate February 7, 2012 at 3:51 am

I did see a picture of KAC's entry on the internet. I cannot remember where it was. It was more in line with their PDW (which probably was developed from it) than their SR-15. It used a short stroke gas piston operating system. Since very short barrels were a requirement from the start, a piston operating system was likely seen as the best way to go.

If the SCAR or ACR end up replacing the M16, then it'll be kind of funny. They're part of the AR-16/18 lineage. Eugene Stoner's guns would still be in the hands of US troops.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm

The SCAR was flawed in its stock design and while the H model is in service many 5.56mm models have been ditched in favor of MK-18s and M-4A1s in SOCOM service the Plastic stock on the SCAR has a horrible time breaking when dropped and its barrel set up is complex to change.

5.56 SCAR ditched for mk 18's and M4's? absolutely not. If this were true, then I suppose the Navy wouldn't buy additional SCAR L's.

The process to change the barrel on the SCAR is hardly complex, though perhaps if you had a 3rd grade education…

"A HK 416 is easier and more of a better infantry rifle."

Actually it is not. The SCAR's reciprocating charging handle allows possible piston seizures to be easily remedied. With a 416, a piston seizure means disassembling the weapon system. This is a key advantage for prolonged firing.

Excessively worn barrels can be easily replaced and the SCAR family features high parts commonality. The 416 does not.

The SCAR also features a free floating barrel, which enhances accuracy and heat dissipation.

If there is any argument to be had, the 416 is not "superior" to the SCAR. In fact, as it stands right now, very few carbines are technically superior.

"The USMC is already adopted it as a LMG and Army SOCOM has them so there is a push by some units and services to adopt it."

The M27 is a infantry automatic rifle that has not replaced the M249 squad automatic weapon…which still remains in the inventory of Marine Corps units. The 416 is employed alongside the SCAR in its CQB configuration.

"However the Army is going to update the M-4 and with BIG defense cuts will be cheapest and in many ways best way to address the M-4 questions in the army.

Like Ive said previously. There are no "BIG" defense cuts. Only in the growth.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Here we go again you have to argue well I hate to tell you the SCAR sent to the ICC dose NOT have any barrel change capability. And the M-27 which the ICC HK416 model is based on dose have a free floating barrel. The Navy only bought a few Mk-16s to replace worn out SCARs and most SEALs have not ditched there M-4s for SCAR Ls while the Mk-17 has had some success. While a common receiver model is coming on most SOCOM operators have not replaced standard M-4s with any NEW weapon.

And sorry with sequestration and additional cuts coming and while growth got cut several BIG programs too have been nailed and with more cuts coming I don't see ICC as a BIG priority over JLTV and GCV.

You just said adding nickel and stainless parts to standard M-4 would make any problems go away and make it a better weapon.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Ohh if you going to insult me don't bother posting I will NOT reply if your going to be impolite again. I thought and I was pleased we agreed on a few other points here.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Sorry Lance (did I just say that?) the barrel change capability comment above in my post wasn't aimed at you. It was aimed at Xcalbr. I'll say it again. The barrel change capability on the SCAR IS NOT COMPLICATED. Nuff said.

@Lance- The ICC SCAR DOES HAVE A QUICK CHANGE BARREL. The SCAR, by it's design has always had a quick change barrel. The ACR that was developed for the ICC also has a quick change barrel.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

"Here we go again you have to argue well I hate to tell you the SCAR sent to the ICC dose NOT have any barrel change capability."

And there you go failing to understand the gravity of the argument. the SCAR, as it is now, does have a barrel change capability. Im not talking about the ICC competition, im talking about the SCAR as it is now.

"And the M-27 which the ICC HK416 model is based on dose have a free floating barrel."

And where did I say it didn't?

"The Navy only bought a few Mk-16s to replace worn out SCARs and most SEALs have not ditched there M-4s for SCAR Ls while the Mk-17 has had some success. While a common receiver model is coming on most SOCOM operators have not replaced standard M-4s with any NEW weapon."

Did you come to this conclusion based off of the SEALs with M4's that you "saw in the news"?

"And sorry with sequestration and additional cuts coming and while growth got cut several BIG programs too have been nailed and with more cuts coming I don’t see ICC as a BIG priority over JLTV and GCV."

Seriously, how many times do I have to re-post this? http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/

"You just said adding nickel and stainless parts to standard M-4 would make any problems go away and make it a better weapon."

No I didn't. I said it enhances the reliability significantly, which it factually does. Nickel is easier to clean, runs cooler, significantly reduces friction, and requires little or no lubrication. This is advantageous for a direct impingement rifle who's bolt carrier group acts as the "piston". The main disadvantage of the M4 is heat in its bolt carrier group. Nickel coating mitigates these disadvantages and significantly increases durability and reliability.

Iim not insulting you. I am highlighting the glaring deficiencies in your "facts". Everybody deserves good information.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

See Xcalbr your being impolite and being nonfactual By you nature of saying im fibbing and im misinforming people is a insult and If you don't like my post ignore them don't get into a insulting contest. I know you love your SCAR with all your heart. Fact is I can give and I have Army Times articles to counter you budget idea in your head they are cuts and more cuts coming.You talk about the SCAR but you fail to mention that not every SOCOM operator chose the SCAR some did some didn't. To you the SCAR is so good and you hate everything else but it. Your letting your personal bias against other weapon spew on the web.

@FormerSFMedic
Yes the SOCOM version of the SCAR has barrel change same for the ACR. But at Shot show both FNH and Remington stated here and on other sites since ICC didn't require a barrel change set up they both deleted the feature to make them cheaper. the SCAR in ICC will not have any quick barrel change.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

"See Xcalbr your being impolite and being nonfactual By you nature of saying im fibbing and im misinforming people is a insult and If you don’t like my post ignore them don’t get into a insulting contest."

Likewise. I pointed out that the term "budget cuts" is a misnomer. Also I pointed out that the SCAR didn't get "ditched" and that the barrel is not complex to change.

"I know you love your SCAR with all your heart. Fact is I can give and I have Army Times articles to counter you budget idea in your head they are cuts and more cuts coming."

LOL lance, point out me the references that the army times uses. Ill point out the references for my article i posted, "It was instead an effort by the military service chiefs to decide which missions they still wanted to accomplish after Obama and his top national security advisers decided – as part of their new economic policies — to shoehorn the Pentagon's decade-long spending plan, estimated to cost around $6.25 trillion, into a box roughly 7 percent smaller."

Coming from the horse's mouth. When it comes between the Joint Chiefs/Commander-in-Chief and the Army Times staff writers, ill pick the former. Here's another source: http://dev.publicintegrity.org/

The myth of "budget cuts" is spread by industrialists, war mongers, and their pocketed politicians that are threatened by cuts to the projected 18% growth down to a more sustainable level of smaller defense budget growth. It is political hocus pocus that is focused on another ******** attack on the current administration. There is legitimate criticism for the Obama administration…the defense budget is not one of those.

"The bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, popularly known as the Bowles-Simpson commission, said in December 2010 that the United States needs to trim the overall federal deficit by $4 trillion by 2020 to avoid impeding economic growth. The deep budget cuts required to avoid sequestration – including defense spending changes double the amount proposed by Obama — would only do half the job. So the pressure to make deeper defense cuts will not disappear anytime soon."

I rest my case.

"You talk about the SCAR but you fail to mention that not every SOCOM operator chose the SCAR some did some didn’t. To you the SCAR is so good and you hate everything else but it. Your letting your personal bias against other weapon spew on the web."

dude whatever. You must have missed my flood of previous complementary posts about the AR15/M4, G36, AKM, and HK416. You are cherry picking. Do you have any idea what a "objective analysis" is?

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

@Lance- What? I just said in my post. THE SCAR AND ACR IN THE ICC DO HAVE QUICK CHANGE BARRELS! Why are you putting out bad info. I was telling you, not asking you.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

@FormerSFmedic

Im NOT lying that's more name calling I don't put up with that It says here in this article that FN was not clear on the barrel change feature on the SCAR would stay and Remington ACR dumped it because the ICC has no requirement for a barrel change and all companies dropped it for weight concerns.
http://www.military.com/news/article/gun-firms-fe

I notice SCAR lover get very nasty to none SCAR lovers and somehow they think the SCAR has to be bound to replace all US weapons This is NOT going to happen it found a home in SOCOM but that's really it. The USMC dumped the HMAR version and it finished last to the HK IAR and Colt Automatic rifle. Yes I can say its design thought was innovative. The USMC and other US military service except the Army all have stated they will NOT adopt a ICC winner and focus on current or improved M-16s and M-4s. I do NOT see ICC as the end for the M-4 and I don't see SCAR being the champion. Heck the ICC entry of the HK 416 features new addons which HK didn't say but claimed they were revolutionary. SO I don't put out other guns out anyway.

the SCAR is not a mightier than though weapon nor should some of you spew so much hate when facts and opinion don't back your Belgian weapon up.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 10:08 pm

lance, just drop it. You have no leg to stand on. SFMedic has demonstrated multiple times that he knows what he's talking about.. .http://www.remingtonmilitary.com/Firearms/Carbines/ACR.aspx

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Xcalibre Shut up this isn't your fight your nosing around the article i put clearly states the barrel change in ICC is dropped that's why Colt with Drew the CM901 from ICC. Yes the commercial ACR has barrel change BUT the ICC model submitted dose NOT! Nore dose the commercial version have a magnesium lower. Try reading articles instead of nosing in some one else conversation you know it all jerk-wad.

You a Big mouth and don't know ^$W& Stay away from my post or I can tell you where you can put your crap at pal. Your full of it.

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SleepyDave February 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

One, I see the trolls are thick tonight.

Two, calling someone out for name calling when they're not, and then throwing out foul language and the like, is just bad form. Getting mad at someone for doing something, and then doing it to them, just makes you look silly. Its the internet. Nothing you say on here really matters in the grand scheme of things. I would say that SFMedic has proven his credentials (also, at no point did he call you a liar. He said you were putting out bad info. There's a difference between being wrong, and being a liar. Again, its the internet. Try not to take it so hard.)

Three, I don't think that, inherently, there's anything wrong with the AR platform. Its a relatively simple platform that the average 1st-world foot soldier can maintain, is adaptable to changing mission needs,and is well supported in both the military and civilian industry. Its like changing the oil on your car, or the brakes. Routine maintenance will keep it running. Neglecting that maintenance, will destroy your car. You wouldn't go 2 years without changing your oil. Rare cars are hard to find parts for, and hard to maintain. But every NAPA in the country can get you a transmission rebuild kit for a 70 F-100.

Were the SCAR, the HK416, and similar piston-driven ARs attempts to "cash in" with a solution no one asked for to a problem no one has? No. They were well-meaning attempts to find alternate ways of functioning. No one had the perfect solution, but they all tried really hard. As far as the civilian market is concerned, let the wallet vote. Welcome to capitalism.

Is a heavier caliber the answer? Probably not. Marksmanship skills and weapons training will trump big bullets any day of the week. Take a platoon of combat-seasoned Marines with M16s, versus a bunch of Afghans with no training and chinese AKs, tell me who comes out on top. I'd be willing to bet, 99/100, the Marines walk away. It doesn't matter how big the bullet is, if you miss with every bullet.

Now, that all being said, the day we refuse to put any more money into better weapons because the current ones work well enough, is the day we start losing battles. A change in focus would be nice though. If we spent on Individual and Crew Served Weapons what we've spent on Harrier, Super Hornet, Raptor, and the new LCS, we would have finished LSAT years ago.

Also, there's nothing wrong with the M9. Slide problems are decades old, magazine problems were traced to bad magazines (You don't say…), caliber concerns are both unfounded and unrelated to the weapon, and the thing simply works.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm

@ Sleepy Dave

Sorry if you thought I was calling SFMedic a name I was not and I was trying to just have a conversation with him. I read and gave a article which stated barrel change requirements he disagrees I can respect him on that. Most of my anger comes to a person who barges in at the conversation and picks sides in middle of a conversation and tonight and in past name
ed called.

I agree with you point alot.

@SFMedic I wast calling you any name if that came across im sorry. I know you like the SCAR I don't but we can agree to disagree. We both had links to sights to say our points. Anyway want to know I do respect you SEmedic because you where civil on debating small arms.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

and testing a brand new rifle with a comprehensive test and then comparing to a well-seasoned M4 is inapplicable.

Here is a pretty compelling case for gas piston rifles http://www.pof-usa.net/articles/P416Torture.pdf

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm

First, the only thing accurately stated in the whole article was they were "testing beyond the limits of the weapon". Second, we don't know what make DI rifle was being used, but the loose gas key raises some concern and my guess it was a POS brand. Third, as you previously stated, having the same coatings on the internals of the DI weapon would be a better comparison. Fourth, the POF has to have the s***iest rails ever concieved. Fifth, the additonal parts, bulk, and reduced accuracy of the POF rifle are huge stikes against it. Lastly, gas piston rifles DESIGNED as such are fine, the CONVERSION of the AR/M rifle as designed by Stoner is not.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm

the only thing accurately stated? LOL c'mon. enough with the conspiracy theories. that is a pretty inelegant way of saying "uh-huh!"

The purpose of such tests is to push designs beyond their limits and find out which one fails first. Your guess that the DI was a POS brand? how are gas tubes drastically different from Colt or any other manufacturer, if at all? of course the coating is different…the HK 416 also has different coatings. This test is also a strong case for nickel.

Your comment on the rails is pure opinion. Indicating by the technical durability of the rail system, they are anything but ****** LOL.

gas piston rifles designed as such? the POF is still a gas piston modified AR15 cupcake…just like the HK 416 or any other gas piston AR15. This argument would only be applicable if they tested a SCAR or other non-AR15 design.

Keep up the good work though.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 4:44 am

"gas piston rifles designed as such? the POF is still a gas piston modified AR15 cupcake…just like the HK 416 or any other gas piston AR15. This argument would only be applicable if they tested a SCAR or other non-AR15 design."

Wow. WOW! Sharper than a tack you are!

Seriously, what is your major malfunction? ANY AR15 type rifle with a gas piston/op-rod scabbed on top is a POS. It is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Dayum Count Chocula, you keep championing this bastardized rifle. I have no problem with a rifle designed from inception with an op rod, but conversions suck, no matter who makes it, period.

I am gonna ask you again as I did in another thread and you never answered. Have you ever even held a 416 in your hand much less shot one? Again, think about it before your answer. Don't want to get caught fibbing.

No bro, POF rails suck. Period.

And to help clarify this statement for you, "……the loose gas key raises some concern and my guess it was a POS brand."

THE LOOSE GAS KEY!!!! Mmmmm, I don't recall saying anything about the gas tube. Wait, let me look, nope, didn't say a thing about it. I have never, I repeat, never in 35+ plus years seen a properly stake gas key come loose.

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Reece February 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Ok, i'm putting in my two sense on this. First the M4 will operate fine if maintained properly. Would a short stroke piston system imporve relibilty no it just reduces how much carbon fouling ends up in the reciver. But you still have the same matinace but just in a differnt place. As for a larger round I would like to see be a larger round but thats not going to happen any time soon. What is needed is a better load for the 5.56( with a hoter buring powder and a hevier bullet 80+ grains). Now to the rifles intended to replace the M4 they dont offer enough of a improvment to warrant the cost. But you could improve the accuracy with a free float rail. Over all if its not broke dont fix it. The weapon is'nt broke the shooter just needs better tranning on his weapon. He also needs a better matinace cycle.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

piston AR myth? man…1st SFOD-D and Devgru must be so gullible…*****

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

the M27 is a INFANTRY AUTOMATIC RIFLE…not a Light Machine Gun.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

From your reference:

"Every round that has gone down that barrel has been fired at class, with an average of approximately 1,300 rounds every three days. It has been lubed generously with Slip 2000 Enhanced Weapons Lube (EWL).

"Rack #14 is a 16-inch Bravo Company Mid Length Carbine—mid length meaning that the gas system is two inches longer than the standard carbine gas system."

"The barrel steel is chrome moly vanadium (CMV) and certified under milspec Mil-B-11595E."

to me, that sounds like a lot of variables. I would be tickled, if anybody, i mean anybody, provides a reference of such a test with a Colt M4 Carbine. More points if it provides the same comparison with the SCAR 16 and HK 416.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 4:55 am

Here you go again, "a lot of varialbles"? ***? Only thing 'different' from a Colt would be the mid gas.

BCM rifles are built to a minimum the TDP. No coatings on BCG, no gimmiks. Don't like what you are reading eh? I will suggest again as I have in a previous thread, it is not my test, so perhaps you can question Pat Rogers on the viabilty of the test since it is his. Tells us how that works for ya.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm

A carbine is just a shorter variant of a larger and nearly identical rifle. With that in mind, I don't think it matters what barrel length a weapon has or carbine vs rifle. What matters is what kind of ammunition is put in the gun. In other words, a carbine with a 10.5in barrel can get out to 800m with tons of power with the right ammo. In reality, we would like to build the cartridge then the rifle to optimize the combination of the 2. The M16 was designed for the 5.56, which was designed around the 20in barrel.

All that said, the answer to your question is yes and no. We shouldn't expect a carbine version of a rifle designed around a cartridge optimized for a 20in barrel to do a rifles job. But, the M4 carbine is capable of making effective hits out to 500m easily. Is that enough? Depends. What I can say is that the M4's lighter weight and portability trump any range advantage the M16 might bring to the table. Remember, the M16 is only going to give us about 100m more effective range. The name of the game is "light and fast".

I suspect that most soldiers can't shoot very well past about 350m or so. So, the M4 will do just fine for what the average soldier is capable of. If we train our soldiers with MODERN shooting techniques, then maybe your question should be brought up. Then its a matter of cartridge effectiveness not weapon system capability.

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Strider February 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm

thanks for your input!

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doc February 6, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Can someone tell why is it that the new "green" ammo were shooting now fouls up the works way faster than the old reliable ammo. This stuff cycles like crap and takes twice as long to remove fouling.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

M-855A1 isn't available to the public yet but some reports came from gun makers at Shot. they tested that ammo for there weapon and stated it was dirty.

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FormerSFMedic February 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

It's just the powder that's being used. It's as simple as that.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm

have you considered Acme's stock options? or a preferred customer package?

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Reid February 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Mr. Reeder, I agree 100%, see my comments above.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Can you read?

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David Reeder February 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Lance; no offense taken, I didn't take it as an argument, just a good academic conversation! MajRod, I sent him a message to ask him, might be a couple of days before I hear back.

I hope this reply went where it was supposed to go.

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Lance February 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Thanks again I like it when someone doesn't claim your lying or making stuff up. Just say your point and calmly debate. I hope you send a email you wanted to know some pointer I had. The biggest thing is most experts agree the M-4 is here for a long while, the question is how can we make one better than a stock model. You can find my email on this page.

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Doc February 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm

The stuff we used at our last 300 meter qual was ****-tastic. I clean my M4 to the point of being able to eat off of it and the new stuff just gums up everything. I hope this crap dosent make it to the civilian market and god-forbid police have to start using it.

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Doc February 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm

just got a text from my old plt sgt. The powder is different as well, apparently to push that alloy based round downrange effectively. I like lead i must say.

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Nmate February 7, 2012 at 3:58 am

It's to increase effectiveness from short barrels. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with being able to push a bullet of different construction and I do not see why it would make a difference. The physics are the same, it doesn't matter what the material is, the weight (62gr) is unchanged.

There really is no reason to clean your AR that much, unless you just want to. Proper lubrication of the areas where you have metal on metal contact is what matters.

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Johnny Quest February 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Dude, throughout these thread you are constantly referencing which units are using the Teutonic Turd, apparently based on what you read on various internet forums. While some Turds are still being used, many more are also being put down in favor of MK18's and M4A1 types with greater regularty. That I know for a fact.

So, we all know you love HK and have the "When Only the Best Will Do" posters on your wall, we get it. In the end, the idea that converting a Stoner DI rifle by scabbing an op-rod on top where it does not belong is somehow supremely superior to the original design or a rifle designed from the ground up to have an op-rod, will in fact prove to be a "myth".

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majrod February 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Thanks David. BTW it was edification I mistyped.

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gwb February 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I'd rather use a rifle or carbine round than any ineffective ball ammo, .45 ACP included.

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xcalbr February 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

"apparently based on what you read on various internet forums"

This statement is so ironic its hilarious. especially since you continue to talk about how terrible the 416 is when credible experts say otherwise. Funny how that works.

Your antagonistic opinion still doesn't change the fact that those units use the 416 or SCAR! Indeed, if you knew anything about these units, you would know they drop weapons that are ineffective for ones that are better.

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KnowALittleBit February 7, 2012 at 1:28 am

Lance, just wanted to throw in a little clarification. In an earler post you mentioned "Fact is also the Army is pouring millions into upgrading the M-4 to a M-4A2 weapon… Close but no cigar. The Army is upgrading ALL M4 and M4A1 carbines with an ambi selector switch, and converting all M4s to the M4A1 configuration. Technically easy, since only five parts distinguish between the two models, but you're right about the millions needed to accomplish it. However, the Army does NOT intend to type classify an M4A2. That would only complicate the logistics/sustainment piece and wreak havoc in the property book/Unique Item Tracking community, not to mention generate additional costs from technical manual updates!

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Petrus February 7, 2012 at 2:46 am

Regardless of reliability, the new rifle looks more like a Leatherman tool, with more gadgets than my smartphone!

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Nmate February 7, 2012 at 3:44 am

I honestly think that if you're really going to replace the M16 FOW, then you're going to have to go big. I believe the SCAR is likely a better rifle in most aspects, but it's not that much better. Not enough to justify the price of adoption.

Best case (not concerned with NATO adoption, unlikely):

Cartridge: 7x46mm polymer cased, telescoped ammunition. ~130gr projectile at ~2,600fps. Much more technically feasible than caseless at this point, but substantially lighter than brass. I wouldn't think that this cartridge would be too much heavier than brass cased 5.56x45mm. Lack of a bottleneck would dramatically improve feeding in double stack and especially quad stack magazines. Would, in theory, be short enough to fit inside the M16 FOW magwell.

Action: I like the roller delayed blow back design, it's probably the most rugged of any semi-automatic rifle action. However, I don't like the felt recoil and I suspect not too many others do either. I don't think it's technically infeasible to do a recoil reducing countermass system like that seen on the AEK-971 on a roller delayed gun. Packaging might be difficult, however. If the countermass system is incompatible with roller delayed blowback, then a short stroke gas piston with the same setup would be the way to go. I think the very rapid (~1800rd/min) "hyper burst" feature of the AN-94 is largely unwarranted. Especially with a rather heavy caliber like this. It also adds a lot of complexity to the action, far more than a recoil balancing countermass. The Stoner-type multi-lug bolt should stay, but with modern machining technology, I don't see any reason for sharp edges on the locking lugs. They should be chamfered to prevent stress build-up (see KAC E3 bolt). The bolt, carrier, and inside of the upper receiver should be coated in Exo. The charging handle should be ambidextrous, folding, and should not reciprocate.

Receiver: I still think forged aluminum is the way to go. I like polymer in pistols, but I think actual metal is a better bet in a rifle. You're less likely to get the sorts of heat issues that have been seen in the G36 and XM8, but it remains a very light weight weapon.

Barrel: Really depends upon the performance of the cartridge, but I'd say 14.5" or particularly 16" would be idea. I think we definitely need something better than SAE 4150, 41V45 should fit the bill. As for twist rate, I'd guess 1:10" or 1:11"/1:11.5". This is a guess, someone more astute in this area could offer some better estimates. I'd say just stick with the 5/8-24 thread (usual 7.62x51mm thread) and a really good flash hider. I think comps and brakes definitely have their place, but unless you're going to issue suppressors to everyone then a flash hider is the best way to go for a combat rifle. That said, it should be capable of rapidly mounting and unmounting a sound suppressor. The barrel should be QPQed (nitrided), it offers superior corrosion resistance compared to hard chroming and shouldn't impact accuracy.

Hand guard/Stock – I think that slick rails (KAC URX 3/3.1, LWRC REPR, SPR, IC) type hand guards are probably the best idea. This assumes that the attachment of the rail sections proves to be as rigid as a machined rail. Zero shift may not matter a whole lot on your flash light or fore grip, but it would on a PEQ-15. The top rail should be continuous and machined into the hand guard. The ability to free float an M203 or M320 from the hand guard like the Daniel Defense RIS II is probably not necessary, but would be nice. The stock should be adjustable for length of pull and preferably comb. I think folding is also a good idea, provided that the hinge is very durable. The integral, folding front sight on the KAC URX II and III is pretty slick. It's probably the best way to go here.

I really like the idea of multiple upper receivers being available to rapidly change the capabilities of a weapon. I think a quick change barrel has it's place, but probably only on an LMG variant. Maybe, just maybe, they could make a belt-fed upper work.

This, I think, would be a rifle worthy of buying and buying in large numbers. Even if you didn't adopt the heavier cartridge, even in 5.56 it would offer quite an improvement over the M16 FOW and anything else that is available. It may also be a complete monstrosity that could never be built.

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Alex February 7, 2012 at 3:53 am

Which doesn't that defeat the original purpose of the 5.56? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard the military was thought to shoot to wound(or the round was made to shoot to wound), so when their friends come back to grab their wounded, we'd shoot them and take more guys out of the fight?

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raymondh3201 August 6, 2013 at 9:17 am

The Military never had the thought of shoot to wound, only to kill

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JEFF February 7, 2012 at 4:47 am

The FNP-45 offers .45 with 15+1 capactity.

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jake February 7, 2012 at 5:04 am

Reid , check out the facts about the M855A1 also the MK 262 77grain OTM NATO.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 5:36 am

Man, you can definitely beat the proverbial dead horse.

First let's get this out of the way. The SCAR is not part of the discussion.

Second, the 416 is "terrible" in the sense that it is a CONVERSION of an already successful design, and an unecessary conversion at that. It is approximately 20% heavier that a similarly configured Colt, it is proprietary in and unto itself, it is bulky, and has more moving parts. Oh, and cost.

There is not a thing wrong with Stoner's rifle. With tech improvements to the CARBINE version and other improvements to include a refined barrel profile, auto capable, and buffer improvements, it is only better.

Other items that you have brough up i.e., NiB coated BCG is another that should be considered by the DoD.

I would also throw in the Vltor A5 system.

This 416 fanboi stuff gets real old. If there is going to be a replacement, the SCAR or other rifle designed from the ground up to have an op-rod is the way to go. Not a not an op-rod coverted M16 series rifle.

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jagersmith February 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

I suggest you read "The other side of the mountain". Primarily relating to Pakistani/Afghan tribes, they leave their wounded ,dead, and surrounded/cut off units, and come back for them later. They do not assign men to take them out of the fight while the fight is going on.

Alex- I was suggesting a temporary fix within our system by optimizing twist rate for longer, more lethal bullets within the caliber, which the powers that be seem intransigent to change. This is because for a change to an entirely new system or caliber, they often very high levels of improvement that intermediary systems have yet to achieve. Consider the sand/dust test wherein the XM8 had 127 FTFs, the SCAR had 226, and the M4 had 882. Still not enough for the Army to replace the M4.

None of this will remedy the fact that an M4 cannot reach out and touch a 1000m away DHSK position across a valley. For that, a change in caliber or weapons system is needed.

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 7:06 am

am I the only one who has honestly never had issues with their M4? everytime something like this comes up people praise HK for their "fix to the M4". i wonder if they knew that in the 60's colt even designed a piston M16 but later found out it didnt offer a true improvement to the M16 so they dropped it.

i always see people say the M4 is so incredibly labor intensive to keep running but this has not been my experiences or those of my friends. cleaning takes us 10-15 minutes if we arent having to pass inspection and with oil in the right places we have never seen a stoppage not caused by magazines.

once i swapped out my green follower USGI mags for Lancers i never encountered any stoppages. i think 90% of the people who think we need a piston rifle have never served and are only going on gunshop BS and internet rumors, because those who have actually used the weapons seem to really like them.

by the way, i know someone who is over in poland using the HK416 and apparently he cleans it as often as we clean ours? who woulda thought, i also know a few guys who got issues SCAR16's for a certain mission and when done were incredibly happy to have their standard M4A1 back

i honestly believe the M4A1 equipped with the SOPMOD Block II is one of the best rifles there is today and as long as you keep it lubed you wont have issues, even moon dust doesnt have an effect on a lubed Rifle, i remember having a moon dusted(?) rifle and then having to fire 4 to 5 magazines of ammo while it was still completely covered in dust, and guess what no issues?

now on to the stop ability of the 5.56, its fine, while certain rounds like M193 and M855 are very very poor choices things have changed. newer rounds like the MK318(marines) M855A1(Army) 5.56 optimized(Barnes TSX-SEALS) will all reliably incapacitate an insurgent it may have taken us a while to get here but we have finally come to a day and age where 5.56 is an incredible round, but again shot placement is key, you have to remember alot of the insurgents over in iraq/afghanistan are hyped up on drugs, so they have the resistance of drug crazies, so be it 5.56 or 7.62 they can and have taken multiple shots to kill, this is why shot placement is key and why 5.56 does fine as a combat round

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Anthony February 7, 2012 at 7:23 am

I love the coyote discussion I somehow started

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that guy February 7, 2012 at 8:07 am

There are alot of people in the Industry that DO NOT recommend POF guns. Chris Costa being one of them.

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that guy February 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

I agree with you. One platform requires a bit more maintenance. I don't think alot of shooters mind the maintenance because when an M4 is working…its a damn fine weapon. I akin it to the 1911 vs glock debate. One requires a little bit more attention. I am an accuracy freak so the AK is a no go.

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jake February 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

Joshua , that was a great posting!

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that guy February 7, 2012 at 8:35 am

You would be surprised how far you can shoot the 5.56…especially with proper optics. You seem to be about 10-15 years behind the curve.

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that guy February 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

Ironically the Navy SEALs that were involved in Operation Redwing were sent to take out a Taliban leader. Two of the men were snipers and their weapon of choice for that particular operation was a Mk12 variant.

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Reid February 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

No, I wouldn't be surprised, I have fired hundreds of thousands of 5.56 rounds. I am very familiar with their ballistics, as well as modern optics. I'm not sure what your point is, or how I'm 10-15 years "behind the curve", what are you talking about? Also, this is not a discussion on "Navy SEALs" and their load outs. This is a discussion on the standard military rifle and its ammunition. The main point is 5.56 is not cutting it in Afghanistan, it does not have enough range, or adequate power at those extended ranges. It is a fact, not some assumption. Anyone familiar with the cartridge, hunting, or firearms in general can deduce this on their own.

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Riceball February 7, 2012 at 9:16 am

The AK's vaunted reliability is, from what I understand, due largely to its loose tolerances more than any genius inherent in its basic design. Looser tolerances means there's more room for crud to get in and build up before it starts to gum up the works. Of course the trade off for looser tolerances is decreased accuracy but I don't think that Soviet doctrine emphasized marksmanship, not when you a massive conscript army and not much time to train them.

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Buzz February 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

Back when the 5.56 was selected by the US they were looking for a round that could be fired with some degree of controlability so were could field an automatic rifle like the soviets AKM. The Euros wanted a sub 7MM round to get leathality, controlability and range. The AR-15 was selected by a politician and not the army. Once we bought the 5.56 the euros had to start following our lead because they had no ammo (they never had more than 3 days worth) and were depending on us to supply them in the event of a war.

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Slag February 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

The .223/5.56 is a fine little hunting round, but as others have stated about the adoption of the .45 during the Philippine uprisings, back in the motor sports circles we have a few sayings "There's no replacement for displacement!" "There's no substitute for cubic inches." I once had the pleasure of knowing a leatherneck who did 2 tours in nam who told me of an encounter where he had unloaded a full mag into a vc who kept coming until a crack from the tree line finally dropped him, when the sniper came to get his "confirmation" he stated "what good is it to carry boxcars of ammo if it isn't gonna kill em?" & then returned to the jungle.

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Riceball February 7, 2012 at 10:17 am

I think that your idea about training troops to spot wear and to replace parts isn't a bad idea and up to a certain level could be easily implemented. At the very least if troops are trained to spot wear they can then tell their unit armorer that something is beginning to look worn and might need replacing. On a slightly higher level of training the individual could replace basic parts after requisitioning them with approval from somebody like their squad leader or platoon sgt., something like the buffer tube, buffer spring, and bolt carrier group would be easy enough for anybody to replace since we're all to how to take those parts out for cleaning in basic anyway. All that would be needed is to take the rifle down, remove the worn part and replace it with the new piece, no armorer needed.

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BLACK February 7, 2012 at 10:17 am

Gas blowback= airsoft. Never heard the term used anywhere else.

According to a few SME's a piston AR is ideal for heavy round count, full auto/ burst fire, short barrel suppressed set ups. Environmental conditions and underwater submersion arent much of an argument against a DI, if certain PM steps are taken.
Retro fitting a piston kit to a DI AR may just result in a different set of problems.
DI guns are plenty reliable the way stoner designed them but if the variables mentioned above are introduced then a piston rig is priobably a viable option…but I would only choose a "ground up" type system like the XCR.

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Lance February 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

I think you on the money Nmate. The situation is like Russia was in the 90s with elite Russian troops having the advanced AN-94 in there kit like the SCAR is in US SOCOM. But like Russia who found the AN-94 not warranting to replace the AK-74M had infantry stay with the AK-74/M. US in its part is likely to stay with the M-4 for infantry in the Army and only SOCOM to use unique weapons.

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Riceball February 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

@JQ Note that xcalbr does not use any caps in his posts, even at the beginning of sentences so what makes you think he'd actually take the time or understand the concept of capitalizing God? You have to remember/understand that the modern Twittter generation aren't too fond of using the Shift key on their keyboards, they tend to find the basics of English that was taught to them in school, stuff like spelling, grammar, and punctuation, a bother or optional at best.

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BLACK February 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

You will be cleaning that piston system too.

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

"Wow. WOW! Sharper than a tack you are!"

knock it off. You brought up the original point and I answered it. Plain and simple.

"Seriously, what is your major malfunction? ANY AR15 type rifle with a gas piston/op-rod scabbed on top is a POS."

By your logic, I have a "malfunction" because I don't believe that gas piston/op-rods make a AR15 a POS. Pretty childish of you. Next.

"It is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Dayum Count Chocula, you keep championing this bastardized rifle. I have no problem with a rifle designed from inception with an op rod, but conversions suck, no matter who makes it, period."

You may think the problem doesn't exist, though the M4 has had enough issues that its use by US military personnel has been called into question. I don't necessarily believe the M4 is horrible; on the contrary, it is a fine weapon system. Though I believe, for military applications, it has key disadvantages.

"I am gonna ask you again as I did in another thread and you never answered. Have you ever even held a 416 in your hand much less shot one? Again, think about it before your answer. Don’t want to get caught fibbing."

And you missed my reply, which was two weeks ago. I carried a 416 with me in afghanistan and iraq. I was a unit armorer. Like I said previously, the 416's i inherited had tens of thousands of rounds shot through them. The only issue I had was with the front flip up sight, which is unnecessarily delicate. Besides that, mechanically speaking, there was no "carrier tilt", no issues with the gas system, and no accelerated wear on the bolt lugs or any other issue that seems to be perpetuated by the internet.

"No bro, POF rails suck. Period."

Again, that is a opinion. I prefer free float tubes (VTAC) over anything, though the POF rail is advantageous for the design because it allows for better cooling. This is highly useful because a gas piston retains most of its heat at the gas block.

And to help clarify this statement for you, “……the loose gas key raises some concern and my guess it was a POS brand.
"THE LOOSE GAS KEY!!!! Mmmmm, I don’t recall saying anything about the gas tube. Wait, let me look, nope, didn’t say a thing about it. I have never, I repeat, never in 35+ plus years seen a properly stake gas key come loose."

and it was a human mistake, ill own up to it. You can also be a adult about it.
But i have to ask, gas key? *** are you talking about!? there was mention of a loose gas key in the article…from a test of a new gun years ago (the theme was "using your ears") which had nothing to do with the torture test. I thought you were addressing the gas tube failure of the tested DI AR15, but apparently you are talking about a digression that had nothing to do with the main test.

Read the conclusion. Nowhere did they say their rifle was the end all. They said they pushed weapons past their realistic limits, which can happen in a situation on the battlefield albeit rarely. No system is perfect for "everybody". It certainly shows the advantages of a gas piston system and disadvantages of direct impingement.

but keep taking what i have to say out of context and making up problems that never existed…

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

"Man, you can definitely beat the proverbial dead horse."

you seem to love drawing to wrong conclusions about me.

"Second, the 416 is “terrible” in the sense that it is a CONVERSION of an already successful design, and an unecessary conversion at that."

Technically, the 416 is reverse engineered. It essentially improves on the M4/M16 because Colt was unwilling to take the step to evolve their 1950's design.

"It is approximately 20% heavier that a similarly configured Colt, it is proprietary in and unto itself, it is bulky, and has more moving parts. Oh, and cost."

Actually a 416, according to DOD acquisition costs, is about 1430 give or take. A Colt, with a knights armament rail system, is 1400. Its proprietary parts is a necessary evil when fielding a evolution of a tried weapon system.

"There is not a thing wrong with Stoner’s rifle. With tech improvements to the CARBINE version and other improvements to include a refined barrel profile, auto capable, and buffer improvements, it is only better."

I disagree that there is "nothing" wrong with stoner's rifle, though agree that technological improvements make it significantly better. There is not a single rifle out there with "nothing" wrong.

"This 416 fanboi stuff gets real old. If there is going to be a replacement, the SCAR or other rifle designed from the ground up to have an op-rod is the way to go. Not a not an op-rod coverted M16 series rifle."

Again, drawing to wrong conclusions. In fact, I believe the DI system is so horrible, I own three DI AR15's. You keep saying the 416 is a horrible weapon system, I am disagreeing with you. Get over it.

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

and the use of slip 2000, which the military uses CLP. There is a night and day difference between the two.

What Im saying is that there is a difference between this rifle and a Colt M4 sitting in a Fort Benning armory. If they used a Colt M4 with CLP and GI Spec magazines, I would be more impressed.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

The only difference is the mid-length gas system. For the sake of this discussion let's consider the lubricant is irrelevant, or the same one is available to everyone, the point is the thing is like the energizer bunny, it runs, and runs, and runs. If that is what it takes, a "better" lubricant, then so be it. If it takes more proper lubrication, so be it. Doesn't really matter.

This BCM rifle works with GI mags, as you are assuming that in 40,000 plus rounds, Rogers and his students only run something else. Also understand, this weapon is not used solely by Mr. Rogers, it is used extensively by students in class.

It is irrefutable the success of the DI system. The biggest issue has been getting a rifle designed with a 20" barrel to accomodate barrels up to half that length and with shorter buffer tubes to run like the rifle. I think if we are pretty much there.

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

Thanks for confirming my point, which YOU missed. Scabbing an op-rod on an M16 “is illogical, paradoxical, and irrelevant….”

Illogical, paradoxical, and irrelevant if it improves the soldier's ability to kill the enemy on the battlefield? you said it, not me.

"To be clear, I am unlcear how ‘paradoxical’ enters the equation."

Your paradox is defined as a "hasty generalization". Is that clear enough for you?

"It really doesn’t apply, but perhaps you wanted to come across with a little vocab in a feeble attempt to elevate your position, but I will take it for what it is worth. I guess the pertinent question is, do you know what paradoxical means?"

Do you? don't answer that. I already know. Not that is particularly important. Your commonly used quote is a elaborate way of saying "nuh-huh".

"More importantly, and no matter what you believe, but if you are too ignorant to know that when referencing God, the first letter is capatilized, perhaps you should rethink your purpose on this planet."

Here we go with the self righteousness and attempting to derail my argument by criticizing my use of (or lack thereof) capitalization. That is utterly hilarious.

"I can assure you this, your purpose is not to distrupt good discussion on this site, which by the way you do with great regularity."

lets be honest. You didn't expect anybody to call you out. The fact that I did and stood up to your snark and generalizations must really irritate you. For that, take this advice for what it is: It is the internet.

"Oh, ha ha, so there!"

compelling. utterly compelling.

"@JQ Note that xcalbr does not use any caps in his posts, even at the beginning of sentences so what makes you think he’d actually take the time or understand the concept of capitalizing God?"

I honestly didn't know that capitalization was a prerequisite to post on a internet blog. LOL.

"You have to remember/understand that the modern Twittter generation aren’t too fond of using the Shift key on their keyboards, they tend to find the basics of English that was taught to them in school, stuff like spelling, grammar, and punctuation, a bother or optional at best."

oh please. modern generation? I was born in the 70's. The fact that you are attacking my lack of capitalization is hilarious, if not outright ridiculous. I didn't know I was on a English 101 blog…

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Reid February 7, 2012 at 11:37 am

Jake, I am aware of the improved ballistics and overall improvements, but it still just seems like "polishing a turd" to me. IMO we need 7.62 battle rifles. Why not use 7.62NATO as the base and improve from there, rather than start with an inherently weak, flawed design, and try to make it usable. It seems counter productive. It's like the Honda crowd trying to squeeze every last bit of horsepower out of a motor that was never intended to be used that way. Of course, this is all just my opinion.

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elee February 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

What if you could just re-introduce the M-16/m4? Most of the Soldiers and Police Officers I know only have the bad news that comes back from places like Afghanistan, where they said they couldn't reach out, or it jammed too much in the dirt. Not enough reports come back saying that said person tapped someone in the chest twice and they just dropped dead. Is the AR a good enough system for the basic bullet catcher at the bottom? If you qualify in the top 10% should you get a bigger/better rifle? If you do well enough with that rifle do you move up the food chain?
If I get issued a different AR each time I transfer, roatate, etc. why would I care about it, why can't I be issued the same AR for life? Whatever the caliber, size, shape, etc. wouldn't I come to rely on it more if it was mine?

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

You know what i have noticed on this topic? I see a bunch of here say and very little experience.

From my experience even the dreaded moon dust is not an issue to an M4, like i said mine was once covered in it when i had to use it and fired 7 magazines eith no stoppages. The #1 cause of stoppages is bad magazines. The military still issues 10yr old green follower mags, that should tell you something.

Everyone i know has never had an issue with their M4 or M16 that wasnt magazine or ammo related, theres a reason why the M4 and M16 have a 90% approval rate by soldiers, and of that 10% who dont approve 8% said it was because they had a repaired rifle that seemed to have issues. The 90% who had an origional rifle never had issues.

But what do i know, im sure the armchair commandos who spend their lives reading news posts know more than I do. The DI system is a great system if you lube it, i see ussues with non lubed rifles but the ones who actually are smart run it lubed and neer have an issue.

As for 5.56 its a fine caliber, granted in the hills of afghanistan it can have issues but thats why we have designated marksmen. The new rounds being issued fix 90% of issues 5.56 had early on in the war. The new M855A1 while being dirtier than the M855 is worth it. It has a much higher velocity when leaving the barrel which allows it to be more effective at distance, i havent had issues at 500M with it.

Now on to the Hk416, the polish guy i know was issued one. His was cleaned the same as our M4's and while the inside was cleaner the barrel and piston was just as dirty as the inside of a DI rifle, its also fairly heavy compared to our M4's when you add on. All the stuff we put on tthe rifles. While it was a nice rifle i dont see the huge advantage.

This is just my experience and my opinion but you know im sure the arm chair commandos who read reports and the internet know more than I do

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Just go away. Seriously. You waste way too much of people's time here.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Forgot to ask I think it is the FOURTH time here, without an answer mind you.

Have you ever had a 416 in your hands? Have you ever shot one? I urge you to excerise caution when considering your answer, if you have the testicles to be honest. Don't want to catch you fibbing now would we?

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John Stackhouse February 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I'm partial to the M-14. It was standard issue when I was in the Marine Corps. I loved it, in fact. The M-16 was issued to us about half way through my term of enlistment. The 16 had some issues early on, but it was quickly corrected…..in terms of what Uncle Sam considers quick! tehe I liked the 16 when it came around to my unit, Battalion 2/5 at Camp Legeune. I enlisted in 1969. I liked the lighter weight of the 16. The smaller rounds seemed a bit sissyfied, to me at least, but I came to appreciate it just the same.

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BLACK February 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Outstanding…definately incentive to stay in ones lane.

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm

You need to take a look at what a 70gr barnes tsx will do.

.224 expanding to .50

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Reid February 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm

It doesn't matter, how is that going to help in Afghanistan when its maximum effective range is 395 yards out of a 24" barrel. That is laughable. Did you even read anything I wrote?

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I read what you said but i dont agree, now while in afghanistand i noticed some issues with the 5.56 with ranges past 500M for those our designated marksman handeled them, now imo i feel if your going to be engaging targets past 500M i agree the 7.62 nato is a better round but aside from only certain parts of afghanistan the engagement ranes are more around 300M and less so the 5.56 is fine, theres not enough instances to warrant a large caliber that has more recoil, more weight, and is far more uncontrollable on auto.

Thats why we have guys with DMR's for those instances where we need it, the guys with 5.56 lays down suppressive and the guy with the DMR engages the targets we can get.

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majrod February 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm

7.62 aficianados never address it's twice the weight.

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

"It is irrefutable the success of the DI system."

Regardless of what we have previously disagreed on, I absolutely agree with you on this point. It pretty much blows the myth, that ARs have to be white glove clean in order to function correctly, out of the water. The DI's success is multiplied with heavier calibers, such as 308 or 7.5mm, respectively with the AR10 and MAS-49. The MAS49, even when using military surplus ammunition for many years and less than ideal cleaning conditions, was lauded for its reliability.

I couldn't imagine what it was like to handle or clean dirty 14…

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

i honestly don't have to go away…i have just as much of a right to post here as anybody else. don't get bent out of shape…its just electrons on a computer screen.

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Lance February 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

You nailed it right on the head Joshua

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm

OK, so here we go, I am throwing a flag on this one. You were an armorer, and you are just now saying so? Hmmmm. After spending the last, I don't know month or so stroking the Tuetonic Phallus, and we only now hear this claim? Hmmmmm. It must have been fairly recent being that you "inherited 416's with tens of thousands of round through them". Hmmmmm. "No issues but the front sight"? Hmmmmmm. I hope you can support this with some particulars:

"And you missed my reply, which was two weeks ago. I carried a 416 with me in afghanistan and iraq. I was a unit armorer. Like I said previously, the 416′s i inherited had tens of thousands of rounds shot through them. The only issue I had was with the front flip up sight, which is unnecessarily delicate. Besides that, mechanically speaking, there was no “carrier tilt”, no issues with the gas system, and no accelerated wear on the bolt lugs or any other issues…….."

Scince you have been very clear on who carries the Tuetonic Turd, and you were the "unit armoror", you must have been attached to one of these "special" units. So, which was it? DEVGRU or 1st SFOD-D? Be clear now and give us some dates, AO, base assignments. Who was your CO in DEVGRU? 1st SFOD-D?

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I am not interested in posting my resume on a military blog and am legally bound not to. It is irrelevant. Yes I am a veteran and yes I have much experience with the 416 just like I have experience with the M4, SCAR, and any other weapon available in the US military inventory. Take it for what it is.

You can throw flags all you want. I could really care less about "proving" my credentials to some random person over the internet. I would ask you what your experience is with the 416, though I honestly could care less.

My main point, concluding several weeks of postings, is that the 416 is not as terrible as you think it is. Never have I said it is the end all of all weapon systems. It suits the needs of certain units with a propensity of binning weapons that are unsuitable.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Dude, you definitely have too much time on your hands to copy and past all that text and respond to the minutiae. I'll play this time.

"Technically, the 416 is reverse engineered. It essentially improves on the M4/M16 because Colt was unwilling to take the step to evolve their 1950′s design."

Technically. Oh, ok. Now I get it. Because it done "technically", it is good.

Hmmm. Reverse engineered. Better yet, "Technically reverse engineered". Well then, it is definitely good boy howdy!!

Then, "essentially" mind you, it improves on the M4/M16!!! Holy snikees!!

"Colt was unwilling to take the step to evolve their 1950′s design."

This right here should make it clear to everyone that xcalbr is not who he would like to represent himself as being – essentially. An op-rod on the AR/M series is NOT an "evolution of a tried weapon system", it is a detriment. If Stoner wanted an op-rod on the rifle, he would have designed it with one.

FYI brainiac, Colt developed an op-rod AR type rifle in the late 60's, aka the 703. You must be the only guy on the planet that doesn't know that. Army saw no need for it so it was shelved. When all the piston rage peaked a few years ago, Colt again had a revised piston rifle ready (LE versions being the 1020 and 1033). Nothing became of it and it was shelved. So now Colt has further developed another hybrid op-rod/DI version and has it at the ready, but as of last report may not enter it in an IC trial so they don't have to give their technology to the two other manufacturers.

This is where your BS stops. I am suprised the mods here allow you to keep foaming at the mouth with nothing based in fact. Actually, you argue based not on experience, but on what you read and what you WANT to believe. You are the only person that has problems with everyone here. This is getting like ARFCOM.

I have said it all along you are an HK fanboi, absoulutely no doubt about it. Ok if that is how you want to roll, but don't come in hear with your internet fueled crap and tell us you were an armorer, was the caretaker of who knows how may 416's, yet have no experience with the weapon yourself. I am gonna say you have no experience with the MK18's or M4 either.

I am looking for my can of troll spray right now.

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm

With adequate education and maintenance, the M4 is an excellent weapon. It is a assault rifle/carbine, which means it is most optimal when used at typical ranges in close combat (within 300 meters).

The M4 has enormous potential to be improved, with a heavier barrel, different materials of the bolt/bolt carrier group, and more reliable magazines. The issue is justifying the need for replacement, if indeed caseless or telescopic ammunition (LSAT) is progressing like the government says it is. With comparatively inexpensive modifications, on the theoretical M4A2, this weapons platform can suit the military adequately until the next breakthrough in weapons technology is fielded. Whether or not to go with a gas piston design is a factor to decide with objective tests and evidence.

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Johnny Quest February 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Yeah, I know, it requires clearance to devulge your creds. Who woulda thunk?

But it is not irrelevant because YOU brought it up to promote yourself as some type of experienced individual. Your claim doesn't mean ****, and my flag is still on the field.

So now you are an armoror for any weapon in the US inventory. Hmmmm. This just keeps getting better.

Like I have said on a couple of occasions, you just need to go away. I might have fallen off the turnip truck, but it wasn't last night, so just go away. Go back to ARFCOM and play there.

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majrod February 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Jager – I've read it and the sequel. Not the point.

Jager & SFMedic – I said "Even terrorists evacuate their dead and wounded". We don't do it immediately either if we are being overrun and we know better than to leave our wounded knowing what the enemy will do to them. The enemy has a choice as does historically all our enemies. The point was 5.56 was adopted because it takes a couple of guys to evacuate the wounded that hasn't changed and the enemy does evacuate their wounded when they can. That was pretty much the same in Nam. The enemy would casevac as they could. I don't remember any documentation that the enemy fought to recover their KIA/WIA.

On a separate point assuming you guys are 100% right you're saying we should change all of the Army's weapons or caliber because of our experience in Afghanistan?

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raymondh3201 August 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

The U.S. military has never published any documents, requirements or doctrines stating a desire to adopt a rifle cartridge designed to only wound the enemy. Of course the military views wounding as better than no hit at all, and taking an enemy combatant out of the fight they view as a good thing. But they have never built a doctrine around the concept of wounding being the desired result of a gunshot wound.

The 5.56mm cartridge was designed to kill not wound or maim.

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majrod February 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hey, if you put an EGA on the side of any weapon it will magically increase it's reliability, accuracy and lethality.

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

just stick with what you know JQ: jack **** at the Hanna-Barbara studio. I'm done responding to somebody so stupid.

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gwb February 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Statistically, 45 ball really doesn't have that kind of record if you actually look into it.

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gwb February 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I suspect LAV, who worked for HK and helped design the HK45, has a bit more info than you.

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm

i prefer lancers, their polymers can take a true beating and they have a wrap around steel feed lips, you cant get much better than that

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gwb February 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm

The .45 ACP never saw action in the Philippine's during the insurection.

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Slag February 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

@GWB, Correction on my part: It was the insurrections that led to the adoption of the .45

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

its not an issue though, the standard combat load is 210 round of ammo(7 magazines)

even with the M855A1 powder being dirtier it takes thousands of rounds before you see any ill effects of it. ive heard that people who fire 5-10k rounds of it usually have to use a sonic cleaner to get it clean the stuff is so dirt but again not an issue.

a soldier cleans his rifle during down time and he will never ever fire enough rounds to notice the side effects of the dirty powder in the round

like i said it would take thousands of rounds to notice and issue with the powder, thats something a soldier will never reach without a cleaning

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

lance going to a 1/9 twist would be a horrible mistake, in order to stabilize larger bullets like the M855A1 and the 77 SMK rounds you need a 1/7 twist, anything less and the bullet will keyhole.

you should also research the SOPMOD Block II for the M4A1's. they are some of the best rifles IMO you can get.

i posted alot of info at the bottom if you want to read it and what not

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Lance February 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Doubt that's going to happen.

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Lance February 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Plus not all M-16s are going away the Army is the only service to do this all carbine idea. The USMC US Navy USAF and the Coast Guard have already told congress they are staying with the current A2s A4s and M-4s in service and will not adopt a ICC winner if that even happens which I doubt.

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Lance February 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I do get your point, However I said I want going to use 77+ grain bullets but used a 55gr or 62gr Bullet if I could pic. But get your point Joshua. I do ask you your opinion on this I think there more hype than fact. Most people Ive talked to say the Improved M-4 will win and the rest is a show to please politicians other companies pay for this competition. Your opinion?

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xcalbr February 7, 2012 at 8:53 pm

"Technically. Oh, ok. Now I get it. Because it done “technically”, it is good.
Hmmm. Reverse engineered. Better yet, “Technically reverse engineered”. Well then, it is definitely good boy howdy!!
Then, “essentially” mind you, it improves on the M4/M16!!! Holy snikees!!"

Grow the **** up. You act like the 416's piston was just slabbed on there like a pakistan gun shop…

"This right here should make it clear to everyone that xcalbr is not who he would like to represent himself as being – essentially. An op-rod on the AR/M series is NOT an “evolution of a tried weapon system”, it is a detriment. If Stoner wanted an op-rod on the rifle, he would have designed it with one."

You seem to ignore the fact that Stoner designed the AR16, which incorporated a gas piston and stamped steel design, and the gas piston Stoner 63 weapons system after the AR15/M16. Both weapons were not successful, though the AR16 lead to the development of the AR18 and subsequently modern gas pistons.

"FYI brainiac, Colt developed an op-rod AR type rifle in the late 60′s, aka the 703. You must be the only guy on the planet that doesn’t know that. Army saw no need for it so it was shelved."

The 703 was not proven to be reliable enough to replace the DI M16. That is the last time Colt attempted to produce a gas piston for the M16 until very recently, after H&K marketed the 416. Firearms technology is vastly farther ahead now than it was in the 60's. The CAR15 development, which was scheduled to undergo testing to augment or replace the M16, was also shelved because the US military withdrew from Vietnam.

"When all the piston rage peaked a few years ago, Colt again had a revised piston rifle ready (LE versions being the 1020 and 1033). Nothing became of it and it was shelved."

The Colt gas piston carbine was developed due to fears that arose because of the 416. Colt's design of this weapon was reactive to HK.

"So now Colt has further developed another hybrid op-rod/DI version and has it at the ready, but as of last report may not enter it in an IC trial so they don’t have to give their technology to the two other manufacturers."

Colt also has the advanced piston carbine, CM901, and Monolithic Carbine. Apparently if the competitors do show a significant breakthrough, then Colt's "improved" M4 will be adopted. The details of this "improved carbine" remain ambiguous.

"This is where your BS stops. I am suprised the mods here allow you to keep foaming at the mouth with nothing based in fact. Actually, you argue based not on experience, but on what you read and what you WANT to believe. You are the only person that has problems with everyone here. This is getting like ARFCOM."

Another classical example of the pot calling the kettle black. You keep bringing up ARFCOM frequently and criticize any possible improvements to Stoner's design…fascinating. You are also excessively lippy with several people here, which makes me laugh that you attempt you highlight me as "having problems with everyone here". This keeps getting better and better, please continue though.

"I have said it all along you are an HK fanboi, absoulutely no doubt about it."

And you are a AR15 fanboy who obviously believes everything he has read on the internet. You obviously missed my numerous other comments about other weapons and the objective criticisms of the M27 and 416.

"Ok if that is how you want to roll, but don’t come in hear with your internet fueled crap and tell us you were an armorer, was the caretaker of who knows how may 416′s, yet have no experience with the weapon yourself. I am gonna say you have no experience with the MK18′s or M4 either."

Your exact criticism of the aforementioned weapon designs are being continually spread by the internet. Again, you are just digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.

and you are still not answering my question: what is your experience with the 416?

"I am looking for my can of troll spray right now."

The best way to deal with trolls apparently is to ignore them. which is what im going to do from now on. good bye.

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majrod February 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Great post

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Joshua February 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Lance, i honestly believe the improved M4 has this in the bag.

having used one i can say its a huge step up from the standard M4 and M4A1's in use now.

its the M4A1 that alot of the SF guys are using now, Army rangers, MARSOC, alot of SEALS use it.

the good thing is this will get the guns the SF guys are using in the hands of the normal guys.

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Nmate February 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Not entirely. Is it entirely up the the operator that an M4 is much more likely to get bolt overrides than the SCAR? No, not really. It's a function of the design of the SCAR. I'm in no way saying the SCAR is perfect, but the Mk 16 is much less likely (or even incapable) of getting bolt override malfunctions.

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Nmate February 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Try to carry around 600 rounds of 7.62x51mm, then tell me we need .308 battle rifles. I can see 6.8 SPC, it increases performance in the role that the rifle and carbine are designed for. Rifles and carbines are not really designed for shooting long ranges, they're not designed for heavy volumes of suppressive fire. An infantry platoon has enough organic and non-organic long range assets to make the adoption of a 7.62 NATO battle rifle moot.

Also, you obviously don't know what you're talking about. There are plenty of guys that have kills with 5.56 NATO out to 700m and beyond. The only real issue with 5.56mm was the M855. It was designed for engaging lightly armored, Warsaw Pact infantry out to ranges of 600m with the M249. For that job, it's decent. It just doesn't work particularly well from rifles and carbines, particularly when you start using shorter and shorter barrels. Notice there were few complaints about the lethality of 5.56 back in the M193 days. The Mk 318 and M855A1 cartridges have addressed this on the large scale while more specialized cartridges like the Mk 262
and "brown tip" Barnes TSX offer even greater performance in certain engagement scenarios.

Not to mention that Afghanistan is a tactical anomaly. Most fighting today and in the future is likely to take place inside built up areas at ranges of 100m or less. I think the best bet is to adopt better 5.56mm, which we've already done. It wouldn't hurt for the Army to swallow it's pride and use the USMC zero, I think it's more effective. Moving to something like 6.8 SPC would be idea, but it's not going to happen. Taking a big leap backwards to 7.62 NATO isn't going to happen and definitely should not happen. It's always been grossly overpowered as an infantry rifle round.

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Nmate February 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm

He missed or is passing on some rumor as his own story. You put multiple rounds of 5.56mm into any critical area of the body and it's going to incapacitate the guy. Especially when you're talking about an enemy wearing no body armor, no heavy clothing, and is of small stature. He missed or is making it up.

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4FingersOfBourbon February 8, 2012 at 12:54 am

Anyone ever read about the Battle of Wanat? Not the ******** but the real report? It shows some interesting takes on the m4/249 when in the ****….

I think the M4 is very effective. I do like the idea of the 6.8 as long as the upper is interchangeable with 5.56 for mission selection. Or maybe that is too much versatility? Oh, another good point about the m4 platform; read: adaptability.

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Joshua February 8, 2012 at 4:28 am

I read the reports of wanat, it was a huge thing in the media since they made the M4 the reason we lost people there. It was a horrible base setup and should have had more than 40 men guarding it, the higher ups knew it was a prime target and knew the size of forces in the area but decided to keep just 40 men there.

They ran their rifles so hard alot of the M4's melted down which from demo's by colt takes around 400rnds for the standar gov profile M4, it certainly is a tough rifle. The M4's in this battle were used as LMG's and finally melted down

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jagersmith February 8, 2012 at 6:17 am

Majrod-
Valid points. I am interested to hear what your suggestion would be within the current realities of our military, small arms, and how acquisitions work? This has to be one of the best KU subjects in a long time.

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crackedlenses February 8, 2012 at 7:49 am

Some observations:

1. A lot of the debate seems to be a matter of personal preference. Perhaps adopting an Objective system would fix much of the issues, as soldiers would be able to configure the weapon to their satisfaction.

2. Some people will never be satisfied with anything less than a one-shot one-kill cartridge that will reach out to 600-700 meters. They should probably go with a Mosin-Nagant or Mauser 98, two weapons that combine range, heavy hitting on the target and extreme reliability.

3. A rifle or carbine is designed to compete with another rifle or carbine. If you want to take on a LMG or even an HMG or sniping weapon, get something bigger…..

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BLACK February 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

If window lickers like myself would take more time to listen and understand the SME's(civvy or .mil) when they take a few moments to grace the errornet with thier technical hands on prowess, we would have less bull**** tossed around like golden nuggets.
There are a couple of people amongst this mess that are actually offering objective first hand knowledge and its being blocked by the usual habituated errornet debate syndrome.
My take is this…. If some of the most premier
"trigger pullers" are saying that even they have seen no necessity in swithing to a piston driven AR on thier own rifles…then why in the **** would a LSHD civvy like me think I am entitled to feel the need to have one.???

Here is a little something that DocGKR had to say about pistons:
"While initially excited by the piston concept, over the last 5 years, I have come to the conclusion that 90% of users will be better off with a quality 16" mid-length DI AR15. In addition to Colt, DI rifles by BCM, Centurion, DD, KAC, LaRue, as well as LMT and Noveske (those w/a true 5.56 mm chamber) all run well. The highly esteemed, extremely experienced Pat McNamara recently mentioned that he prefers a 5.56 mm DI 16” barrel AR15 with a long FF rail and a RDS (w/flip up 3x magnifier as a useful addition) for the majority of his carbine use, including indoors for CQB; he specifically mentioned LaRue and DD AR15’s as working very well for him. Kyle Defoor mentioned nearly the same thing in a recent class. I fully agree with them and run almost all my carbines the same way:"

I am fine with my DI gun and I feel confident in my utilization of all the SME advice that I manage to sponge since the plunge.
I chose the 6.8X43 over all the aaplicable caliber choices for the AR15 platform not because of the "5.56 aint good enough and the 7.62 is too heavy" kewlaide but becuase of its intended purpose as a combative/hunting tool and the fact that the round speaks volumes for itself when you actually shoot it. Do I ever think the military will adopt it…it has been my brief experience in nthe past that the military does what is cost effective…not what is smart….so the answer is no and I dont care. There is plenty of vetted manufacturers and civilians behind the caliber so I have all the support I need and then some.
As far as the 5.56 round is concerned….there are thousands of dead enemies that cant complain but that does not mean there is no room to improve its killing ability to a point of DRT status… but that also consists of good marksmanship training across the board…there is no reason to have to designate a marksman when all soldiers and sailors should be designated as marksmen.

There is nothing wrong with a well built, well maintained AR and that is a factoid that trickles all the way down from the top tier. There is no reliability issues with the DI design that a retro fit is going to fix.
There also is no problem with the 5.56 killing what it is aimed at… it has been been deemed "unpredictable" by some who have shot humans or seen other humans being shot by the round but that does not mean it is obsolete…it just means we need a heavier 5.56 load that is designed from the ground up to kill 2 legged creatures(barnes tsx) and maybe an upper in a heavier caliber(6.8/7mm/7.62) to augment the 5.56 kit.

SALUS

BLACK

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majrod February 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

Jager – flattered that you'd care about my weak voice in this hurricane of opinion. I doubt I'll be able to answer your complicated ques in one post. Rational debate is always welcome.

Solution? What's the problem? The enemy not going down or getting hit? Until we have some radical innovation let's look at training first. I'd defer to SFMedic for details but there are boatloads of marksmanship, maintenance and armorer training we don't do. Set a high standard and train to meet it.

Acquisitions? Soup sandwich. Case in point, this upcoming "competition" which isn't a competition it's preventive political maintenance. Something to show some politician when he starts sticking his nose into rifle fielding when a constituent with deep pockets probes him or the politico wants to add to his resume for an election. The Army isn't going to re-equip the force with a new weapon or caliber until there is a leap in lethality, accuracy, maintenance or weight. That was stated afetr the XM8 comp and is historically how we do things if you look at the evolution form the Springfield-M1-M14-M16 journey.

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HunterGuy February 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

I do 3 gun tournaments with my DI AR in which I may fire several hundred rounds in quick succession. Granted I never through my gun in the dirt or had to weather a dust storm before using it, I have had no malfunctions with the rifle as long as I properly cleaned it before game time.

I have had malfunctions with other equipment but not at the fault of the rifle itself.

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Lance February 8, 2012 at 11:28 am

Part of the problem was poor location and lack of artillery and air support. The M-4 was not at fault for this and some problems was the panic fire solders there where emptying there mags way too fast.

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xcalbr February 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

yeah according to the media, the M4 barrels were "white hot" LOL. Anybody with a basic knowledge of metallurgy will know a M4 barrel would burst (optimistically, if the gas tube doesn't) before getting white hot.

I believe the part about the M4 and M249 bolt seizing up, which is one of the side effects of basically firing the weapons beyond their capabilities.

Artillery and air support (to include UAVs and heavy bombers) was used, which forced the enemy to withdraw. The battle proved that the insurgents were highly resourceful and tenacious, definitely underestimated.

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xcalbr February 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I honestly could care less about what rifle (if any) is adopted to replace the M4. As long as it is generally more effective.

The SCAR or ACR are certainly credible entries, due to their technical features that the AR15 design doesn't have. Of course those platforms are more expensive now, though a cost comparison to the M4/AR15 is unfair since the later has significantly more numerous production assets.

If the military adopts a improved M4 that is better than the existing model, then more power to the soldiers that will benefit from this.

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that guy February 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

What do you consider the effective range of the 5.56? It seems that the average Marine with an ACOG has no problems sending a 5.56 5-600 meters.

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that guy February 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Agree.

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Johnny Quest February 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Reid

"an inherently weak, flawed design"

Please expound on what YOU base this statement.

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xcalbr February 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

bringing back the 7.62 at this point is illogical. It was foolish to adopt that round to begin with (over the 280 british or similar cartridges), though the military was still attached to the 30-06 and its power and a cartridge effective up to 800 meters was still overpowered for the average infantryman that statistically engaged targets below 300 meters.

I believe there are plenty of adequate 5.56mm cartridges that are more effective against soft targets than the 62 grain M855 green tip. The 70 grain barnes are among many examples (as is the Mk 262 and Mk 318). 5.56, when proper cartridges are used, are more than adequate for engaging enemy infantry. Of course, it is less than ideal at ranges up to 500 meters. Infantry do not typically engage targets at that range with the exception of designated marksmen, automatic riflemen, machine gunners, and snipers.

The 5.56 is not a weak, inherently flawed design. Since the population is becoming more urbanized, not less so, it is conducive for a 21st century military force to retain the caliber. In the event of World War III with the Soviet Union, the 5.56 would also be more ideal as a infantry cartridge than the 7.62.

I believe the most ideal M16 design that could have been adopted for the US military would be M16A4 with a collapsible stock, heavier barrel, nickel-coated BCG/bolt, and ambidextrous safety. I like the 20" barrel for its accuracy and velocity (especially with other cartridges besides the M855). The cost to retrofit couldnt have been too high.

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J.K. February 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm
Johnny Quest February 9, 2012 at 3:54 am

"….5.56 was adopted because it takes a couple of guys to evacuate the wounded…."

majrod –

that is fundamentally untrue. There are references that describe Gene Stoner's developement of the round along with his rifle.

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Johnny Quest February 9, 2012 at 3:57 am

When your argument holds no water, resort to personal attacks. Who would have guessed?

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that guy February 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

See…your about 10-15 years behind on your understanding of current tactics and equipment.

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Johnny Quest February 10, 2012 at 8:38 am

'You act like the 416′s piston was just slabbed on there like a pakistan gun shop….."

May as well have been, and that includes LWRC, LMT, Addams Arms, et. al. There is absolutely no reason to alter the rifle in that fashion.

"You seem to ignore the fact that Stoner designed the AR16, which incorporated a gas piston and stamped steel design, and the gas piston Stoner 63 weapons system after the AR15/M16. Both weapons were not successful, though the AR16 lead to the development of the AR18 and subsequently modern gas pistons."

A little education for you. First, the AR16 was a different method of manufacture, one reason for the change, and let's face it, most competing designs had an op-rod/piston set up. Stamping proved in those days especially, to be more cost effective than forged and milled aluminum. That was the last design he did while at ArmaLite by the way, and it was a 7.62MM battle rifle.

You are incorrect in that the 63/63A had moderate success, but was never adopted beyond primarily SEAL Teams and a few folks within SOG.

Gene had nothing to do with the AR18,.

Lastly, Gene worked with Reed for I guess the last 15 years of his life anyway, and never went back to an op-rod 'assualt rifle' in the AR form. He in fact made the DI a bit better and of course went back to the grandaddy, the AR10, for his SR25 series cumulating in the M110 ,and Knight's SR16/16 in 5.56.

The ONLY op-rod piece he really worked on was the evolution of the 63A, which was originally designated the Stoner 86, and now in it's final incarnation the Stoner (Knight's) LMG.

"The 703 was not proven to be reliable enough to replace the DI M16. That is the last time Colt attempted to produce a gas piston for the M16 until very recently, after H&K marketed the 416."

Reliability had nothing to do with it. The DoD determined it wasn't necessary, and not unlike today, there is not enough if any improvement over the standard weapon to warrant a change.

Also you are incorrect about the more recent op-rod rifle from Colt (Winchester to be exact) in that somehow the 416 was the impetus for their development program. HKool-aid drinkers would of course like to believe that, that the all seeing all knowing super being at Orbendorf sprinkled fairy dust on the DI rifle and created a semi-devine op-rod rifle, but nothing is further from the truth. The grumblings of Sen Coburn (R-OK) had allot to do with it the interest in an op-rod rifle.

In a letter to Army Times magazine, Colt COO James R. Battaglini (US Marine Corps Maj. Gen., ret.) said:

“The gas piston system in the H&K 416 is not a new system. Rifles were being designed with these systems in the 1920’s. Colt proposed a piston operated weapon to the Army in the early 1960’s. Today Colt Defense has the ability and expertise to manufacture in great numbers piston system carbines of exceptional quality should the U.S. military services initiate a combat requirement for this type of weapon”
http://kitup.military.com/2010/07/theres-no-relia

“You keep bringing up ARFCOM frequently and criticize any possible improvements to Stoner’s design”

This is where your disconnect is. You believe that fundamentally changing Stoner’s design by adding an op-rod/piston is an improvement. It is not an improvement, and in fact a detriment i.e. increased weight, bulk, parts, and cost. When this thing all plays out, I think the op-rod M16 based on Stoner’s rifle will pass into history. That is not to say an op-rod type rifle won’t be adopted some time in the future, that probably will be the case, but it will be designed that way.

“You are also excessively lippy with several people here, which makes me laugh that you attempt you highlight me as “having problems with everyone here”.

Only lippy with you. You on the other had have problems with several of which Riceball and Lance come to mind. Whether you agree with Lance or not, or whether his position is valid or not, you attack him also. I could go look for more, but no time for Sergeants.

“And you are a AR15 fanboy who obviously believes everything he has read on the internet”.

Try an original thought, although imitation is the supreme form of flattery. In any case, I am a fan of a lightweight and proven rifle. I am not a fan of an afterthought scabbed on to that same rifle guised under the false pretense that it is now superior.

“Your exact criticism of the aforementioned weapon designs are being continually spread by the internet. Again, you are just digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.”

The criticism is based in the fallacy being perpetuated that adding an op-rod to the AR/M series is somehow superior the Stoner’s DI design. That is it. If a rifle originally designed with an op-rod is what is needed, then do that. Get a 550 series and be done with it.

You and I have different opinions. I carried and used the AR/M series in various configurations on more than one occasion, far more than you can fathom. With some tech improvements with materials and some mechanical, the rifle and particularly the carbine has come into it’s own, all the while maintaining the benefits of lighter weight, simplicity, better accuracy, and associated ergonomics.

All these piston conversion s whether by HK, LWRC, LMT, et. al., are a solution to a problem that does not exist. I will acknowledge that since the Bin Laden raid and the alleged use of the 416, now all of the sudden even some of the anti op-rod AR folks are giving the 416 a pass , as though it is different. Well it isn’t, it is a conversion like they all are. A MK18 would have (and may have) done an equally good job at a lighter weight. Give me a Colt Commando type with a good rail, Vltor A5, and optic any day over an op-rod conversion.

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Johnny Quest February 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

Typo, the 703 was a Winchester design.

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xcalbr February 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

"May as well have been, and that includes LWRC, LMT, Addams Arms, et. al. There is absolutely no reason to alter the rifle in that fashion."

It is a matter of different thinking. I believe that if a weapon system can possibly be improved, then why not attempt to do so? That goes without saying direct impingement is more reliable than people think, though I think the M16's sullied reputation in Vietnam has disingenuously carried throughout the decades, despite being significantly improved with the A1, A2, and A4 variants.

Whether or not it offers a superior platform (it is too early to tell, thus direct impingement traditionalists remain justifiably dubious), I have to give credit to companies for making a effort. i am surprised, however, that nobody has attempted a long stroke AR15 gas piston with a reciprocating charging handle.

A little education for you. First, the AR16 was a different method of manufacture, one reason for the change, and let’s face it, most competing designs had an op-rod/piston set up. Stamping proved in those days especially, to be more cost effective than forged and milled aluminum. That was the last design he did while at ArmaLite by the way, and it was a 7.62MM battle rifle."

It also incorporated stamped steel, which demonstrated that Stoner wanted to improve the platform by attempting to construct something that is more reliable and easier/less expensive to manufacture. It was 7.62, and led to the development of the AR18 (which wasn't designed by Stoner, regardless of what many think).

"You are incorrect in that the 63/63A had moderate success, but was never adopted beyond primarily SEAL Teams and a few folks within SOG."

No, I never said the Stoner 63 was successful. In fact, it was a example that you can either have a specialized weapon that excels in its primary role, or a multipurpose weapon that performs all roles poorly. The Stoner 63 was a admirable attempt; one has to respect what it was trying to accomplish.

"Gene had nothing to do with the AR18,."

Other than the AR18's design derived from the AR16, nothing. Many still think Stoner designed the AR18 however.

"Lastly, Gene worked with Reed for I guess the last 15 years of his life anyway, and never went back to an op-rod ‘assualt rifle’ in the AR form. He in fact made the DI a bit better and of course went back to the grandaddy, the AR10, for his SR25 series cumulating in the M110 ,and Knight’s SR16/16 in 5.56."

Exactly. He had to reason to attempt another design of a gas piston AR15 because the military had no intention on adopting one. By that time anyway, the reliability issues had been largely ironed out of the M16.

"Also you are incorrect about the more recent op-rod rifle from Colt (Winchester to be exact) in that somehow the 416 was the impetus for their development program. HKool-aid drinkers would of course like to believe that, that the all seeing all knowing super being at Orbendorf sprinkled fairy dust on the DI rifle and created a semi-devine op-rod rifle, but nothing is further from the truth. The grumblings of Sen Coburn (R-OK) had allot to do with it the interest in an op-rod rifle."

I honestly do not believe that. I found it hilariously suspicious that Colt designed the APC (advanced piston carbine) and a hybrid gas/DI system after the HK 416 was first introduced. I respect what HK was trying to do, because they had intentions on improving the M4/M16 in a similar manner in which they improved the Enfield L86. Are both Colt system's better? I cannot say because I have never even held one. Based off of Colt's description, they have sparked my curiosity however.

I believe that Colt (wisely) has designed both new gas piston and direct impingement rifles to secure their hold on the military's rifle/carbine contract. That would be a smart thing for them to do anyways.

“The gas piston system in the H&K 416 is not a new system. Rifles were being designed with these systems in the 1920’s. Colt proposed a piston operated weapon to the Army in the early 1960’s. Today Colt Defense has the ability and expertise to manufacture in great numbers piston system carbines of exceptional quality should the U.S. military services initiate a combat requirement for this type of weapon”

Which is great news. I'm glad to see a American company taking steps to ensure it remains relevant in the small arms world, especially with military contracts. Going back to the Colt APC, I would like to examine this carbine closely.

"This is where your disconnect is. You believe that fundamentally changing Stoner’s design by adding an op-rod/piston is an improvement."

No, that is not true at all. I believe in exploring the possibilities of making it more reliable. Given the fact that firearms technology is far ahead of the 1960's, it is important to keep our options open and explore a little into the unknown. But I'm glad we have that understanding.

"It is not an improvement, and in fact a detriment i.e. increased weight, bulk, parts, and cost. When this thing all plays out, I think the op-rod M16 based on Stoner’s rifle will p*** into history. That is not to say an op-rod type rifle won’t be adopted some time in the future, that probably will be the case, but it will be designed that way."

I cannot disagree with that. Personally, I hope the LSAT concept takes off and leaves cartridge-based weapons in the bin of history. It will be delightful to see such scientific breakthroughs in my lifetime.

"Only lippy with you. You on the other had have problems with several of which Riceball and Lance come to mind. Whether you agree with Lance or not, or whether his position is valid or not, you attack him also. I could go look for more, but no time for Sergeants."

I do have problems with anybody that posts disinformation or something utterly ridiculous. I also have a problem with people resorting to personal attacks and getting worked up over electrons printed over a electronic screen. You have the option of being civil, even with a disagreement, though I suppose to some it is easier to act like an *** hole.

“And you are a AR15 fanboy who obviously believes everything he has read on the internet”.

"Try an original thought, although imitation is the supreme form of flattery. In any case, I am a fan of a lightweight and proven rifle. I am not a fan of an afterthought scabbed on to that same rifle guised under the false pretense that it is now superior."

Likewise with HK fanboy (which is a tired and old "insult"). I am a HK fanboy. I also a fanboy of all that goes bang, like FNH, Colt, Glock, etc, etc. In fact, out of my collection of private arms, I own two HK weapons. I honestly do not know how you drew to the HK fanboy conclusion, especially since my original point is that the 416 is not a horrific weapon and HK itself has very legitimate criticism like every other major gun manufacturer.

"The criticism is based in the fallacy being perpetuated that adding an op-rod to the AR/M series is somehow superior the Stoner’s DI design. That is it. If a rifle originally designed with an op-rod is what is needed, then do that. Get a 550 series and be done with it."

See this is where we part. I do not believe that scientific experimentation to possibly improve a soldier's killing capability is a fallacy. If this were the case, we would still be using smoothbore muskets. I don't give a baker's **** if it is a DI M4 or gas piston M4, as long as one weapon is objectively more reliable and improves the effectiveness of the man/woman in harms way. Of course, many believe the DI alter is sacred and should not be desecrated, though these same people seem to reject any notion that the design can possibly be improved upon. Reluctance (or fear?) to move ahead is cowardice.

"You and I have different opinions. I carried and used the AR/M series in various configurations on more than one occasion, far more than you can fathom. With some tech improvements with materials and some mechanical, the rifle and particularly the carbine has come into it’s own, all the while maintaining the benefits of lighter weight, simplicity, better accuracy, and associated ergonomics."

Oh i can fathom it, believe me. I respect the idea of the technological improvements in materials and methods of production, however. I read your link about the M4 (defense review), and saved it to my favorites.

"All these piston conversion s whether by HK, LWRC, LMT, et. al., are a solution to a problem that does not exist. I will acknowledge that since the Bin Laden raid and the alleged use of the 416, now all of the sudden even some of the anti op-rod AR folks are giving the 416 a p*** , as though it is different. Well it isn’t, it is a conversion like they all are. A MK18 would have (and may have) done an equally good job at a lighter weight. Give me a Colt Commando type with a good rail, Vltor A5, and optic any day over an op-rod conversion."

I believe the Bin Laden raid led to the 416 popularizing among gun enthusiasts (alongside the 2011 Chinook shootdown and the MSM photos of burnt HK 416 receivers). I think their logic is sound, as they see members of a elite unit using a specific weapon (whatever it is), leading them to associate the standard of the weapon to the standard of the people operating them. I wouldn't have minded carrying a Mk 18, because I would trust my personal weapon with my life (like I have trusted a M4, 416 and a SCAR).

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Matt February 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

- Lance
No one is saying the M27 isn't a 416 derivative and i'm pretty sure the M27 is classified as an AUTOMATIC RIFLE calling it a machinegun is like calling an MP5 an assault rifle.

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Joshua February 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

the M27 is not a LMG, but its used like one if that makes sense.

its purpose to to lay down accurate suppressive fire, the issue IMO is that its magazine fed and right now we only have good 30rnd mags, in which the person is supposed to carry 20 magazines. im serious 20 magazines

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KnowALittleBit February 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

Joshua,

Carrying 20-28 mags for an individual weapon is actually not that unusual for SpecOps, but I agree that it seems a bit much for an Automatic Rifleman in a line company.

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Lance February 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Agree but id prefer a Automatic Rifleman to carry higher cap mags. As you said the M-4 and M-16 will be around for a wile and the standard 30rd mag is fine for rifleman. A higher cap mag like 40 and 100rd drums would be better for a auto-rifleman.

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Joshua February 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm

actually the MK16 was discontinued in SOCOM, since it did not offer anything over the M4. though the few purchased are still used some times

the MK17 is very much used since its one of the best battle rifles you can get right now.

a few buddies of mine recently had an OP that lased a day in which they were issued a MK16, when they got back they requested their M4A1's back. these guys are gun guys who know their stuff and they prefer the M4A1 over the SCAR, that should say something

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Matt February 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

@ gwb
Sorry, I had a senior moment; I meant to say the bigger the bullet – the bigger permanent cavity. (instead of more hydrostatic shock)

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KnowALittleBit February 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Lance,

That makes sense, but I can tell you there just isn't a dependable 100rd drum mag out there that is suitable for combat applications. The so-called Beta mag started life as the C-Mag, a dismal failure. When H&K almost snookered the Army with the XM-8, the autorifle variant was to be equipped with the BetaMag. Most folks don't know that in order to hedge their bets, H&K bought the rights to the C-Mag, which was reborn as the Beta ("new and improved" C-Mag). So, buying a Beta actually puts money in H&K's pocket due to licensing and royalties. Congress finally wised up back in 2006 and defunded the XM-8, and I see no reason anyone would want to buy the Beta since it is now an H&K product in all but name. On the other hand, the M249 SAW has always had magazine feed as a fallback if belted ammo isn't available. That goes back to its origin as the FN Herstal Minimi. Doesn't work real well, but the M249 is a true light machine gun, whereas the abortion the Marines adopted has all the drawbacks of the bipod equipped M16 from 'Nam days. That was a stop gap solution between the BAR and the SAW. At the end of the day, you can get away with using a light machine gun like the SAW in the autorifle role, especially with its 200 rd assault pack, but the reverse just isn't true. There simply isn't a rifle barrel out there that is designed to push the same number of rounds in the same amount of time as a machine gun. You'll never convince H&K fans of that, but it is what it is.

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Lance February 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Maybe a 40rd or 60 round Cmag would be better. The Soviet RPK had a similar system with higher cap stick mags.

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Jeff the Baptist February 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

Alex, the 5.56 was never developed as a shoot-to-wound system. As near as I can find, it's an old wives tale. 5.56 went forward because the smaller, lighter, faster round was believed to be adequately lethal on personnel while being more controllable in full-auto and more weight efficient for infantry.

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Nmate February 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I have one, it's a so-so pistol. The magazines are very hit and miss and the extractor is on the small side. My Glock 19 has more extractor contact area than the FNP-45 (not 100% on this, it's an estimate). It's absolutely huge too.

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KnowALittleBit February 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Objective system? As in the Objective Individual Combat System, of which the XM-8 was the 5.56MM kinetic weapon component. Hmmm, I think that was tried and called the XM-8. It cost you, the taxpayer, about $65M to fail; did you notice? "Soldiers" can't configure their weapons to "their satisfaction" for a very simple reason: The Soldiers aren't paid enough and the taxpayer isn't willing to pay more for a Buck Rogers weapon, Senator Coburn of Oklahoma notwithstanding. Also never mentioned in this entire dialogue is one simple fact: No Army, or other armed force, is ever going to equip their grunts with a weapon that exceeds the range of Command and Control. If they did, it would be a one time deal, eh? So, all the talk of what bullet is the best and what weapon is the best pretty much pales in comparison to that one simple fact, doesn't it?

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Lance February 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I agree the past 3 attempts to replace the M-16/M-4 are stupid failure this included the ICC competition. The ACR program or 1989 the OICW which spun into the XM-8 and even the more promising AACW in the early 70s program fail to make sense since they all are 5.56mm shooter and the M-16 may lack some ''cool'' things like a semi auto grenade launcher or flachet rounds or changing barrel system they are not worth it it infantrymen a M-203 can do great grenade work and the XM-25 dose the job just as well w/o a bulky rifle attached to the launcher. NO infantry man will take is barrel off in the heat of a firefight to change for a different length barrel even SOCOM doesn't do that. So the M-4 or M-16 is with out those features just as good makes no sense to change the weapon if there the same caliber.

Oh just want to know both Joshua and Knowalittlebit whats your MOS and are you still in service??

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KnowALittleBit February 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Lance,

I can't give you an MOS, would a Job Series suffice? 1670, Equipment Specialist (TACOM). I worked the sustainment/logistics side of the XM8, the M16A2, the M203A2, the AN PSQ-18A Day Night Sight, the M320 and the M26 MASS. If you ever used a small arms gage in the last 20 years, you already know who I am. I'm retired now, but if you know how to search, you can find me on AKO.

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NFG February 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Yes, the AR should be replaced and so should the 5.56 round. The design is inherently less reliable. Many small components, uses hot dirty gas to propel the carrier and has a very large bearing surface. The design has so much self infliction involved.

More specifically. Having a carrier that is guided by the upper receiver's shape, by the way of surface contact, into a receiver extension tube, if damaged, which it is prone to as it is "weak", will stop the gun from functioning. Then couple that with the increasing level of friction from the lubrication, that is self contaminated with the remnants of the fired cartridge, by itself will stop the gun from functioning properly. The gas tube is also very weak and is more easily damaged, which will stop the gun from functioning. Compared to other designs there is also more parts that need to be monitored and eventually replaced before failure to keep the gun functioning. Like the bolt; it isn't very strong, there are many lugs, but they are very small, making them weaker, eventually it needs to be replaced. There is also the added complexity (tuning) that the design incurs when shortening barrels and or adding suppressors. For instance: gas port size, buffer weights and springs. That is only speaking to a few problems with the AR design.

The 5.56mm round is a fragmentation reliant design. High velocity is necessary, so a longer barrel is needed. Obviously a longer barrel is heavier and less wieldy. Removing barrel length to decrease weight and improve handling decreases the 5.56mm effectiveness overall and especially at longer distances. The bullet is very small in diameter and is generally on the lighter side. Without that high velocity the bullet just makes a small, not so noticeable (even for the person shot), hole. In other words, this means the 5.56mm does not transfer its energy. Yes, the cartridge allows you to carry more rounds for the weight, but you will need more rounds to kill. That actually is a good thing for police who do not want to kill, but are required to shoot someone. The bullet is also easily deflected by intermediaries. So again, you will need to carry more rounds. The bullet is also not very aerodynamic. It loses much of its velocity quickly, making it effective up to about 300m, even though you can hit targets out to 500-600m. Another negative about the 5.56 is it's a straight case design. This decreases probability of successful extraction.

In contrast to the 5.56mm is the Russian design, their 5.45mm, it is tapered for more reliable extraction and has a bullet that is designed to tumble to transfer energy. It is better than the 5.56 in a few ways. Comparably, one of the biggest being is its effectiveness in shorter barrels.

Combine the 5.56 cartridge with the M4 and you have a less reliable system. Both in mechanical function and lethality. It is light and accurate (with a free float rail) though. Seems to be its only redeeming qualities.

The AR system should be replaced with a design that has a tappet or piston system. Has at least 2 gas adjustment settings. Can be fitted with a folding stock. Also the rifle should use a new cartridge similar to the 6.5mm, but with a slight taper and longer case (between 5.56 and 7.62 NATO) and a bullet between 100-123gr.

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Nmate February 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm

-A highly tapered case would function LESS reliably in a rifle with a magazine well. A highly tapered case requires a highly tapered magazine to match, these don't work particularly well in magazine wells. Furthermore, the .308/7.62 NATO cartridge also has a very straight case and it has functioned with extremely high reliability in rifles and machine guns for even longer than the 5.56.

-5.56x45mm NATO is not necessarily a "fragmentation reliant" design. M193 and M855 are fragmentation reliant designs. Look at 5.56 OPT. It's the most effective loading of 5.56 NATO that you're likely to find and it's not reliant upon fragmentation of the projectile.

-The "carbon foulding locks up the gun" argument is tired, but somehow it always gets repeated. All the areas critical to immediate weapon function will not have carbon building up on them. Why? Because there is metal on metal contact and the carbon will be scraped away. You can probably fire about 10x the standard combat of ammunition through an M4 without cleaning or lubrication, with lubrication you can likely double that.

-You need to make changes to the gas system when shortening the barrels on gas piston systems as well. Look at the AKS-74u. A piston system is likely less senstive to changes in barrel lenght, but it still needs to be accounted for in the design.

-Increased case length is not really necessary. You'd have to increase overall length, but with modern propellants I don't see the need for a case much longer than 45mm. You need a cartridge with about a 6.5 to 7mm, 8.5g projectile travelling at around 760 to 800m/s. Chris Murray's 7mm UAIC fits that bill almost perfectly. Honestly, if they're going to go to the trouble of building a new cartridge, they might as well ditch brass all together and go with the polymer telescoping ammunition they've developed for the LSAT.

I agree that a better rifle can be built, but most of the arguments used against the M16 FOW are either wrong or theoretical at best.

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Joshua February 16, 2012 at 4:04 am

Good post, I get tired of crap like what NFG posted.

There is far to Little speaking from personal experience when topics like this come up, NFG speaks like the media which in general have no idea about what they are talking about.

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KnowALittleBit February 16, 2012 at 4:33 am

NFG,

Very nice piece of theoretical writing. However, the reference to the receiver extension tube falls short of the reality. Having personally inspected literally thousands of M16s and M4s, I can count the number of extension tubes I have found damaged to the point of causing the weapon to stop functioning on one hand, and could still do so if I were missing a finger and a thumb. Similarly, the gas tube is most commonly damaged because it is installed incorrectly, which causes impact to the tube and the carrier key. That's not a design issue, that's a training issue. Finally, the gas tube is protected from external damage by the forward rail system, while the receiver extension protected by the butt stock. Can the receiver extension or gas tube wear out? Of course. You could never afford a gun that never wears out.

As to reliability, hows does 4300 Mean Rounds Between Failures grab you? That's what the M4 achieved in OIF, and in an austere maintenance environment, to boot. After the Army switched from light to heavy lube for desert/arid environments as a result of a study in 2007, the rounds between failures actually increased. Not bad for a 50+ year old platform that certain people are absolutely positive must be replaced because of "poor reliability" and "low lethality".

As to ammo, the MK318 (Marines) and the M855A1 (Army) are both "barrier blind", meaning "intermediaries" are not really the issue they once were many years ago with the original 55GR M193, and both retain the 62GR weight of the original M855. Both rounds are quite capable of penetrating windshields and doors and still hitting intended targets with high lethality. Both were inspired somewhat by the MK262 MOD1 77GR round SpecOp has been using for years. Perhaps you missed this in your exhaustive research. I might also add that the M995, while weighing in at a meager 51GR, will penetrate half inch thick armor plate at 100 yards. Note I said armor plate, NOT body armor. To top it off, all of these rounds are 5.56MM, and all of them work just fine in the M16/M4 family of weapons, barrel length notwithtanding.

Speaking of barrel length, when the SOPMOD folks adopted the Close Quarter Battle Receiver for optional use with the M4A1, they went with a 10.25 inch barrel and kept the original length gas tube. To make it function reliably, they opened up the gas port. That's it.

As to the bolt being weak, just how many rounds do you think a bolt should last for? Yes, the M16/M4 has many lugs, as does the bolt for the M249 SAW. The M16/M4 bolt is good 6000+ rounds. Divide that by 210 rounds, the normal ammo load for a line fighter, and you get some perspective on how many missions the bolt is good for. Your point is? In extremis, the M16/M4 bolt will still function with only one lug, not for long, but it will function.

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Lance February 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

@ Joshua and knowalittlebit

Can you give me a facebook or email I got a few more questions to ask.

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KnowALittleBit February 20, 2012 at 4:11 am

Lance,

Try *********@*****.***. I don't use that account much except for collecting spam.

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KnowALittleBit February 20, 2012 at 6:04 am

Lance, I tried to put my email out here, but the moderator quashed it. Guess that's part of the anonymity of the forum. Not sure how to make the requested connection, unless the moderator can give you unmasked access to my last post. I'll be glad to try and answer any other questions you have.

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Joshua February 20, 2012 at 7:15 am

sure its ************@*****.***, thats my spam email but i still check it

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Joshua February 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

hmmm try s k y line f r eek (at) g mail (dot) com

see if that works

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KnowALittleBit February 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

I like Joshua's solution K i t b e a r 0 8 at yahoo dot com

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NFG February 21, 2012 at 5:13 am

@Nmate

I do not see why you want to argue. My post was not meant for debate.

The reality is, the 5.56mm was designed to be high velocity (longer barrels), a 14.5 inch barrel is not long. I do not see why you attempt to rationalize that .22 caliber for military use against humans. The philosophy of more rounds for the given weight is an understandable one, but people want to argue the 5.56mm's terminal effectiveness.

It is simple, 5.56mm bullets have a low ballistic coefficient and are more easily deflected (same with 5.45mm) by vegetation. Without fragmentation or expanding bullets a .22 caliber is very unlikely to strike and accomplish the required damage to the necessary organs. Purely due to its diameter. If a .22 was an amazingly efficient caliber we wouldn't care for the .45 ACP.

In terms of taper. I never said a large taper. A slight taper could be an aid in extraction from the chamber and not cause problems. Must a new round be tapered? Maybe not.

What am I wrong about with the AR? I never said, "carbon fouling locks up the gun." I did say, "from functioning PROPERLY." What I am saying is the AR, as a complete system, is very much self defeating. How? You have a system with a spring extractor, spring ejector, cams off the receiver, gas rings, small lugs, obtrusive charging handle, a receiver extension that can't be used for striking and isn't capable of having a folding stock, a carrier that is reliant on surface contact (instead of "rails") to guide itself to the extension thereby increasing the bearing surface, requires staking of parts and can have carrier bounce.

That isn't even mentioning the added heat and fouling. Or being over gassed with a suppressor. Or catastrophic failure when firing just after coming out of water.

In regards to a new cartridge, it would obviously be better with more case capacity. More velocity, the better.

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Joshua February 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

Dont be ignorant.

On the 5.56 you should go look up the 70gr barnes tsx, its an expanding bullet that is approved for miltary use, its a barrier blind round that expands to .50 with 4 petals, it expands down to 1800fps, so you can easily get 300-400yrds from the M4 with the bullet.

You also know nothing on the ar-15 if you think the bolt carrier doesnt have rails….thats funny, your ignorance made you out for the troll you are

Trust me carbon build up has do negative effect on the M4 and its a fine combat rifle everyone i know including myself never had a stoppage even with a rifle freshly covered in mood dust.

And trust me there are 4 small rails on the bolt carrier that ride the upper and RE on the M4 which leaves enough room for small sand and such to freely move inside the rifle

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NFG February 21, 2012 at 6:39 am

Taliban like to engage past 400m with PKMs. So a M4 isn't usable with its 5.56.

Your definition of "rail" is different them most everyone else's. I will leave that there.

Carbon build up is still a negative no matter how you look at it. And a gas tube is a major negative when firing the rifle after exiting the water. You can deny that reality.

I understand you are major fan of the AR. To you it is a fine, no need of change, design. They might even have to pry that .22 from your cold dead hands.

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Joshua February 21, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thats why squads have DMR's, you see most taliban(really alot of different forces over there) run similiar to use, generally one or two with have a pkm some akm's etc, the DMR deals with the Gunners generally its not that difficult. At least that was my experience.

Generally rails in guns are something that guide the bolt carrier in its path when cycling, thats exactly whatthe 4 rails built into the M16 bolt carrier do, so its a correct definition.

Carbon build up is not an issue, guess what? Even piston guns have carbon build up that must be cleaned, ive fired an M4 in every god forsaken environment known to man and never had a single stoppage not pertaining to magazines. I cleaned my rufle during down time, only took about 15 minutes and lubed it up with motor oil we used since i hate CLP, it burns off way to fast and just doesnt seem great.

Also the water thing is moot, it takes 5-7 seconds for the gas tube to drain and if you charge the rifle the water drains in 1 second, you blow things way out of proportion.

And sure they can pry my MK18 from my cold dead hands but ill take down 5-6 guys before they do.

Ive seen what that ".22" can do and its nothing to laugh at, when you have a .224 that expands to .50 trust me its nothig to make fun of.

Ive seen what Mk318 SOST, M855A1, brown tip optimized can all do and they work

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KnowALittleBit February 21, 2012 at 5:55 am

NFG,

The M4/M4A1, and now optionally, the M16A2/M16A4, have a collapsible butt stock which serves the same purpose a folding butt stock. The advantage is that the pull length of the weapon is adjustable to fit the shooter. A folding butt stock might seem like a good idea, but it's ergonomically unsound. If you fold the stock, where does it go? That's right, it folds forward to either the right or left side of the receiver. Where are the controls for the weapon located? On the receiver. So, you could conceivably design the weapon so that it was completely ambidextrous and the postion of the butt stock when folded wouldn't affect access to the weapon controls. Show me the R&D budget for this undertaking. The collapsible butt stock, both the standard issue one and the SOPMOD version, work just fine. Why fix it if it ain't broke?

As to the receiver lacking rails, I agree with Joshua; you don't know the weapon. In fact, the XM-8 used a "rail" scheme for guiding its bolt carrier. These rails were embedded in the interior walls of the upper receiver, which was made of a copolymer (AKA plastic). The gas system in that weapon concentrated heat in the upper receiver,and the heat caused the copolymer to lose its rigidity. As a result, the bolt carrier began to oscillate during each firing cycle, and that caused shaving of inside of the upper receiver. By the way, this occurred at minus 22 degrees farenheit during an arctic test at Ft. Greeley, AK. Post firing examination of the lower receiver revealed plastic shavings from the upper receiver had collected in the lower. Amazingly, the M4s used in that test as a baseline experienced no problems.

You say something about "…requires staking of parts…". Could you be more specific? I've got the technical manual right here in front of me, so please tell me what page you are finding this information on. Perhaps you are referring to the staking of the carrier key? If so, so what? Many weapons utilize staking, as well as safety wiring.

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BLACK February 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

[quote]"Or catastrophic failure when firing just after coming out of water"[/quote]
According to some, fashioning(drilling) a drain hole in the buffer tube makes the above a non-issue.

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KnowALittleBit February 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Drilling a hole in the buffer tube? The buffer tube is the same as the lower receiver extension and so it's not part of the gas system and has nothing to do with chamber overpressure conditions. Look, if you have a round chambered, meaning the bolt is locked into the barrel extension, brass is kissing the chamber, and you have a barrel full of water, AND don't follow the instructions in the Operator's TM, you will probably blow up the weapon when you pull the trigger. Drilling a hole in the buffer tube will not prevent this. Besides, the upper and lower receivers have enough play, even when new, that any water in the receivers will drain out of their own accord. In a chambered weapon water cannot leak around the chambered round from the barrel into the receiver, and thus into the buffer tube. If it does, the weapon is already way overdue for turn in and rebuild!

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BLACK February 24, 2012 at 7:38 am

Thanks for the heads up!

SALUS

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KnowALittleBit February 27, 2012 at 8:03 am

Joshua, need some clarification on the following:

"On the 5.56 you should go look up the 70gr barnes tsx, its an expanding bullet that is approved for miltary use…"

"Approved" for military use by who? Which units are approved to use it, and when did it get into the inventory? Thanks!

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Joshua February 27, 2012 at 9:35 am

I know the SEALS are using it and i have seen different SF groups use it as well, mainly Rangers.

You can tell it apart by its brown paint on the tip of the bullet.

One thing to remember is the US never signed the Hague convention so technically we can use what ever ammo we want.

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KnowALittleBit February 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

Joshua,

You and I might want to have a discussion about what YOU consider "approved for military use" and the reality of what is actually authorized by the military, and by extension, the National Command Authority. You might have heard of them? I advise you to get your thinking cap on first; do your homework.

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Joshua February 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Your are correct, it was poor choice of words. What i was mainly trying to get across is that the 5.56 is not a poor choice like some seem to think.

i should have just mentioned the bullets certain groups use that work better than what people think of when they think of 5.56(M193 and M855)

that said the 5.56 brown tip is in use, as is MK318 SOST, MK262 Mod1 and the M855A1.

like i said we never joined the hague convention so theoretically we dont have to abide by their ammo choices of ball ammunition we just always have until recently. having hung around some british people they seem to question our ammo choices as well.

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crackedlenses March 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm

What I am suggesting is that soldiers have the option of choosing between a smaller assault rifle and a larger, heavier battle rifle. If it means pulling M14s out of storage and making them available, then I'm all for it.

The reason I'm advocating this is that some soldiers will never be happy with anything less than a powerful, in-your-face battle rifle in 7.62 mm. I believe they should be given the freedom to choose to hump the monster if they really want to. And, those who are just happy with their M4s can keep them, and the two types will balance each other out.

Expensive? Probably. But no rifle can do it all; like with the camo debate, if we want to cover all bases we are going to need more than one for standard issue….

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Lance March 6, 2012 at 12:14 am

I agree the M-320 offer no real advantage that's why the Marines and Navy did NOT adopt it. Over all its shorter and that's why the Army liked it to fit a Short barreled M-4.

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KnowALittleBit March 6, 2012 at 4:02 am

Not sure how the discussion got onto the M320/M320A1, but the following is provided for background.

The M320/M320A1 are essentially the same weapon. The only signficant difference between the two models is the hardware for mounting to the M16A2/M16A4 (M320) and mounting to the M4/M4A1 (M320A1). In the stand alone mode, the only difference between the two models is the model number stamped on the receiver. Fot those who have access, both models are covered in TM 9-1010-232-10 (Operator) and TM 9-1010-232-23&P (Maintenance).

The original concept was to field a single model with both sets of mounting hardware. This was abandoned when H&K jacked up the price of the mounting hardware. The cost of fielding both sets of hardware with each grenade launcher came in at a cool $25M. Long story short, it was a lot cheaper to type classify two models, each with it's own mounting hardware.

The M320 was intended to be an improvement over the M203 family since it has an onboard day night laser sighting system (AKA DNS). However, the M203 has had the AN-PSQ-18A DNS available since about 2003, and the DNS for the M320 is essentially the same as the PSQ-18A except for the fact it mounts on the M320 receiver rather than on the barrel. The M320 barrel recesses into the receiver, so a barrel mounted configuration wasn't doable. So, the perceived benefit never really came to pass. The primary advantage to the M320 is the swing out barrel, which theoretically allows you to load longer than standard rounds. The down side is that while the standard M203 barrel is 12 inches long, the M320 barrel is only 8 inches long. Longer than standard rounds thus receive minimal stabilization from the rifling in the M320, and that affects the down range accuracy. Standard rounds also suffer somewhat from the shorter barrel. For those familiar with it, the M203 has a 9 inch barrel available to SpecOps. SpecOps wanted a shorter barrle because of the M4/M4A1 barrel. This was pointless because the M203 with the standard 12 inch barrel does not project beyond the muzzle of the M4/M4A1. For those with long memories, the old M79 had a 14 inch barrel. The M203 has no stand alone mode, while the M79 cannot be mounted to a host weapon.

The only other "advantage" to the M320 is the firing mechanism, which is essentially the same as in a double action revolver. The M320 is quite a bit heavier than the M203, but it can take a lot of abuse. There is a program in place to come up with a more compact DNS that incorporates a laser range finder, but that isn't likely to be fielded for a few years yet, if ever. Ironically, shortly after the AN-PSQ-18A was fielded to the Army under the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI), a hand held laser range finder was also fielded under RFI to enhance the performance of the PSQ-18A. The same laser range finder is fielded with the M320. So, the M320 doesn't really replace the capability of the M203, it costs more, and it's heavier. At the end of the day, the only thing the M320 really offers is a stand alone mode.

As to 40MM ammo, the only training round I'm aware of is the M781. Both the M203 and M320 families use the same ammo. There has been a new family of 40MM rounds in development for some years now. Clearly, rounds longer than those currently standard will only work in the M320 due to the swing out barrel, but the shorter barrel presents some accuracy challenges. Speaking of which, several NATO countries have used their own versions of the M320 for a number years, and all of them have 12 inch barrels, just like the M203. It's still a mystery to me why the Army opted for the 8 inch barrel. Speculation about compatibility with the M4 is just that, speculation. The reality is that the M320 was always intended to be mounted to both rifles and carbines.

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Joshua March 6, 2012 at 5:01 am

Thanks know, kind of confirmed my suspicions about the advantages, or lack there of. I was always a M203 fan.

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Joshua March 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

hey know, what is it about the M320 that got it accepted? To me its overly bulky and I much prefer the M203.

only benefit i see to the M320 is its ability to side load the longer training rounds

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NMate March 6, 2012 at 1:32 am

You can load much longer grenades into it. It can also more easily be used as a stand alone weapon. Theoretically, it's advantageous to the M203. I don't think those grenades are widely available, though.

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KnowALittleBit March 7, 2012 at 7:20 am

Joshua, you still Active Duty?

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Joshua March 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

nope, just a family man now days. working a normal job.

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KnowALittleBit March 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

Roger. Retired myself.

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NMate March 7, 2012 at 11:49 am

As far as I know, we can only use open tipped rifle ammunition so long as the open tip is for aiding accuracy and not increasing terminal effects. Units that are tasked with counter terrorism can use whatever ammunition they want, since counter terror is exempt for whatever reason. I'm not sure of the specifics.

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Joshua March 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

yall guys shoot me another email.

i forgot to put yall in my contacts now i cant find your emails in my email that gets 40-50 spam messages a day lol

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Buck April 26, 2012 at 2:24 am

The "Extreme Dust Test" is not all that great in my opinion. I always wonder why it is not commonly known that there was more than one Extreme Dust Test, the EDT that had the M4 failing to fire 882 times is actually the second EDT. The first EDT, sometimes the summer test, had the M4 failing to fire around 300 times. That's a difference of about 500. Why the difference? There was a different set of testers used on both. I imagine the guy who was about to retire from the military and had his resume submitted to Heckler and Koch is the reason for the 500 round difference. There are also a lot of subtleties that are glossed over about that test such as; the M4 and HK416 were the only rifles in actual service at the time of the test. The SCAR and XM8 were prototypes specially prepared for the test. The XM8 even used specialized magazines. Furthermore, most of the M4's FTFs were due to faulty magazines. Also, it is conveniently forgotten that the XM8 had about the same amount of catastrophic FTF as old M4s and the XM8 also had incidinces of actually cracking its lower receiver. I don't put faith in the extreme dust test, especially the winter one, it's just too fishy. Could anybody skew the test results by submitting old surplus M4s that needed to be overhauled to compete in the test, could anybody skew the test results by providing defective magazines for the M4? Probably and the startling different test results from the first test and the winter test make me believe that something less than honest was going on. I also noticed that defects with the Heckler and Koch offerings were downplayed to the point that most people don't realize that there were things wrong with them as well.

I'm not much on conspiracy theories but the extreme dust really smells like one.

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KnowALittleBit April 26, 2012 at 7:16 am

Buck,

Glad to see you weighing in on this discussion. You said some very interesting things. Personally, I'd love to see you elaborate on some of the things you said, especially your statements about the XM-8 (cracking of the lower receiver). You seem to have a very good source of information.

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1000YdStare March 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

IMHO, the AR-15 DI is long in the tooth. No gun is flawless, but some are less flawed. The piston operated Robinson XCR (Circa 2012 or later), Steyr AUG and now the Isralie Travor all come to mind. These weapons just work. Google the reliability of an AUG! 16,000 rounds were recently put through the same AUG receiver with no malfunctions. This is the stuff an AR-15 platform can only dream of.

In a gunfight in the middle of a desert with the Taliban closing in, I'll take one of the rifles mentioned above any day over an AR-15. I am not interested in a beauty contest (AUG and Travor lose, hands down) and I don't want a gun that needs to be cleaned three times a day with special lubricant to function properly. I want a gun that goes BANG every time I pull the trigger.

Disclosure: I own both an XCR and an AUG A3, and a TRAVOR is on the way. Travor? Well, lets just say our friends in Israel know just a little bit more than us about fighting wars in the desert, and when you have been at war for thousands of years, you've learned to manufacture weapons your entire country can bet there unborn children's future on.

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Eric September 15, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I have never used an M16/M4, or for that matter any weapon, in combat but I still would like to put in my two cents worth. In the first place, the M16 was designed to, and first purchased by the US Air Force to, replace the M2 Carbine which was still in widespread usage by Air Force personnel. The M2s had not been subject to a service wide rebuilding program like the M1 Garand and were near the end of their useful lives. The 5.56 cartridge was designed using a new powder that eventually failed to meet US Army spec and rather than invest in trying to re-engineer the powder the manufacturer, who had small hope of receiving an Army contract simply stopped manufacturing it. The replacement powder used caused some problems with the weapon and in addition to that the weapon itself had some flaws, especially the lack of a chrome plated barrel or chamber as well as a buffer that was inadequate for the new powder. These problems were eventually corrected. The US Army and Marines adopted the M16 because it was available and they needed a rifle for the Vietnam War immediately. As I said before I've never been in combat and I'm hardly qualified to expound on the merits of on rifle vs another but one thing that is generally overlooked is both the M14 and older rifles exhibited problems during the war both from failure the chrome plate the barrel and chamber and warpage of the wood used their stocks creating accuracy problems. Most weapons, even legendary ones, have flaws. These flaws, with some notable exceptions like US torpedoes in WW2, usually don't prevent them from being used effectively provided their operators have been well trained.

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