Army officials at the Pentagon acknowledged yesterday that TACOM sent the wrong message to the field in April when it declared that polymer magazines, such as the PMAG, made by Magpul Industries Corp., were not on the authorized list for use in the M4 carbine. If you recall, the Safety of Use/Maintenance Information Message stated that the only USGI aluminum magazines — like the Army’s improved magazine, were authorized for use in the M4 and M16.

I posted a story this morning on Military.com, quoting Matthew Bourke, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, explaining that the message was poorly written and should have included guidance that the final decision on PMAG use rests with commanders in the field.

“At best, the message is incomplete; at worst the message allows soldiers to jump to the wrong conclusions,” Bourke said. “Maintenance Information Messages [from TACOM] are permissive. They are not an order.”

What’s really puzzling about this is the fact that TACOM officials had the chance to clarify this issue when I questioned them about it for the initial May 25 story. Instead, they dug in and argued that the only NSN-approved magazines that are authorized for use are those listed in the technical manuals — the improved magazine with the tan follower and the old magazine with the green follower.

It may have something to do with the $10.7 million contract TACOM Rock Island awarded to Brownells Inc. in 2009 to produce 1.4 million Army improved magazines.

Oh and I did get an answer from Program Executive Office Soldier on how its improved magazine performs against the PMAG.

The command responded through Army public affairs that weapons officials had conducted “limited side-by-side testing and found that no commercial magazine was superior to the improved magazine,” Bourke said.

Hmmmmmmmm.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan June 7, 2012 at 9:12 am

Let's not complain. It is very unusual for the military to admit it was wrong.

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FormerSFMedic June 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

I was actually able to get down to the bottom of this situation last weekend. A friend of mine who is an E8 told me that all the units in his battalion were told that if they already had PMags, they could keep issuing them. He also said units were given permission to purchase more for deployments in the future. So in other words, ignore the TACOM statement and drive on!

On another note, PEO Soldier trying to convince themselves that the USGI mags are anywhere near the mag the PMag is, is hilarious. I would like to see the details of that flawed testing.

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majrod June 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

So would I.

Like the 416 vs M4 test we might find a 1% difference in reliability for twice the cost.

I think TACOM was WRONG and heavy handed in the way they approached this but we also need some sanity and appetite suppresssant.

http://www.murdoconline.net/wp-content/uploads/20

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E. Ronc June 8, 2012 at 3:14 am

I doubt it was a 1% difference but even if it was just that. If it was you or worse now your son over there wouldn't you want that advantage? Say you needed a 100,000 weapons, M4 now about what, roughly what almost $700 for Remington contract. Was almost double for original Colt contract. Let's say the H&K 416 came in at 2K a copy. That is 200 million dollars. In a defense budget of well over 650 Billion.
Or in Navy terms.
A new Ford class carrier estimated to come in at $ 9,ooo,ooo,ooo. Hold off on a carrier for a month and you can buy 300,000 H&K 416's and still have 150 million green backs in change.

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Marc June 8, 2012 at 4:44 am

A HK416 costs nowhere near $2000 when a government organization buys them in large quantities. Consumer prices are massively inflated, double or triple the amount the military would have to pay.

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SpcPoole June 8, 2012 at 4:54 am

I think he was using 2000 bucks as just a random number. I now way it look like he was saying that the cost of a 416 was 2000 bucks. The give a way is the line "Lets say". Generally speaking that mean some one is speaking hypothetically. Not saying any thing just saying.

E. Ronc June 8, 2012 at 6:36 am

SpcPoole is correct I was just showing something at least double what an M4 goes for.

E. Ronc June 8, 2012 at 6:40 am

Also majrod line was "we might find a 1% difference in reliability for twice the cost."
So I hence the doubling.

Erik L June 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

Probably the same team of drunk monkeys that said 'burn pits' were safe!

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still at it June 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

ALL…MIM's (Maintenance Information Messages)…are informative. NOT DIRECTIVE. This is the typical *** clownery of the acquisition side. They can't direct anything. Only COMMANDERS or the Department of the Army (CoS) can direct…this whole issue is what has plagued the Army for decades. Offices, which issue messages about equipment useage which seems to have directive language ultimately confusing Commanders into believing that they are "going to jail" unless they comply. There is no compliance necessary beyond the Commanders guidance. Thanks to Kit-up for gettting this out there…this is an underlying issue within the Army Acquisition community.

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majrod June 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Matthew Cox (posted the article in military.com) decidedly desrves credit for getting this reversed.

Don't think commander's realize that TACOM's MIMs are now guidance and not directive. Nor do I believe TACOM really believes that. There are situations where the maintenance guys weighing in IS good sense. I remember some cleaning practices that broke weapons, removed blueing and even chrome. There's a need for standards and commanders/soldiers need some expertise they might not have. Not everyone reads Kit Up ;)

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majrod June 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

BS, glad they fixed the problem. You can't just say PMAGs are no longer authorized because you bought a new batch of mags (even if they are improved) to control demand and insure no one questions your purchase.

I can understand TACOMs concern if counterfiet or cheapie PMAGs were in use. Just like when they banned weapon accessories for awhile.

BTW, TACOM Maint messages are now permissive? That's a new one. Commanders/soldiers always ran the risk of being stuck with a statement of charges if equipment was not operated/maintained IAW TACOM standards by superiors. TACOM may have not been running the article 15 or 15-6 investigation but their letter caused it. This is like saying Congress passes permissive laws because the police/DA often decide what to enforce/charge.

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straps June 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

'zactly.

And THAT is the root of the issue–a commander taking it as "should", a convening/investigating authority asking why it wasn't taken as "shall."

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Lance June 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

Good I dont mind PMAG users to use PMAGs. I didn't see any bad threat with GI mags but all is good.

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still at it June 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

"BTW, TACOM Maint messages are now permissive? That’s a new one. Commanders/soldiers always ran the risk of being stuck with a statement of charges if equipment was not operated/maintained IAW TACOM standards by superiors. TACOM may have not been running the article 15 or 15-6 investigation but their letter caused it. This is like saying Congress passes permissive laws because the police/DA often decide what to enforce/charge."

Not sure about the language used by the DA PAO reply to kit-up, but all MIM's are instructional guidance. "Permissive" implies exactly what we are discussing was the problem with the MIM in the first place. Permissive/authorized/unauthorized implies Commanders/Soldiers will be held legally liable if it is found that they were not compliant. MIM's pass information to the field that isn't designed to be authoratative or permissve but instead informational to Commanders.

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majrod June 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I think you were replying to me not Lance?

Not exactly sure what you are saying. From my read TACOM is spinning this as MIM's are "guidance", not orders. MIM's have the weight to support docking a commander/soldier's pay. They might not be an "order" but they have the weight of one. It's the same difference in the civilian sector between a gov't regulation and a law. BOTH are going to cost you if you don't adhere.

If you were responding to my post maybe the mods can cut and paste just for clarity of thought?

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Still at it June 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Majrod…yes, I was responding to you. MIM's are not orders. That's a fact…they only carry the weight of one when that MIM is applied the weight by an investigating officer during an AR15-6 investigation or Commanders inquiry. Ultimately, it's the decision of the commander requesting the 15-6 to render an action against a finding…yes this is based on the investigating officers results. But therein lies the problem when you use a message which IS NOT a regulation or a law and the wording of that message causes commanders (or investigating officers) to mis-interpret the weight of the message and use it (the message – in this case the MIM in question) to justify a finding and make a recommendation to fault the investigatee…

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majrod June 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

OK. Why didn't you post under my post vs. Lance's comment? Never mind, no problem. Just trying to be organized.

So MIMSs aren't orders and it's the Commander's fault for listening to the Army's premier "lifecycle maintenance" organization? It's TACOM's responsibility to put out accurate info to inform the force and not to write MIMs that sound like directives. When it doesn't do that and aggravates the problem by saying MIMs are only "guidance" they aren't executing their mission. As a former commander if I have to pick and choose what MIMs I'm going to listen to why do I have TACOM? Why put out MIMs? We can't have it both ways.

I learned long ago staff can't tell commanders to do anything. When staff do THEIR commander has to apply the smack down. Subordinate commanders are too busy to be correcting TACOM. TACOM needs buy in from their command whenever they publish something. The whole "MIMs are guidance" smacks of passing the buck.

E. Ronc June 8, 2012 at 1:11 am

So you have an organization who likes to make "suggestions," but if you don't follow the suggestion you might get your little **** smacked. Seems to be the crux of it. Joseph Heller lives on. In Yossarian's words: "The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on, and that includes Colonel Cathcart. And don't you forget that, because the longer you remember it, the longer you might live."

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RJFlorida June 8, 2012 at 4:16 am

My Rep's office (Bill Young) said they were already on this when it broke. B.Y. has recently deployed Military working in his office. They were livid when this first came out.

B.Y. gets **** done.

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majrod June 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Yep, 1% difference and since I've used the M16 in combat I wouldn't have a problem sending a son into combat with one.

BTW, the Army is a million strong and holding off on a carrier for a month doesn't save money. Canceling it does (not promoting that, just pointing out circular logic).

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E. Ronc June 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Now your comparing an M16 not an M4, but once again I will refer to hopefully some people more knowledgeable than myself.
Self, the former 75th Ranger Regiment officer who had his weapon jam in Afghanistan, told Army Times that his unit routinely kept its M4s covered in a tent to protect them from dust and sand.
“I think it’s the sand” in Afghanistan, he said. “It’s a big problem.”

Infantry Center officials label these criticisms as purely anecdotal, and argue that there is no statistical data that shows reliability problems with the M16 or the M4.

That’s not exactly accurate, according to the Marines.

The M4 suffered significant reliability problems during Marine Corps testing in late summer 2002. According to briefing documents, Marine officials said the M4 malfunctioned three times more often than the M16A4 during an assessment conducted for Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico, Va.
Malfunctions were broken down into several categories, including “magazine,” “failure to chamber,” “failure to fire,” “failure to extract” and “worn or broken part,” according to the briefing documents. During the comparison, the M4 failed 186 times across those categories over the course of 69,000 rounds fired. The M16A4 failed 61 times during the testing.

The Army conducted a more recent reliability test between October 2005 and April 2006, which included 10 new M16s and 10 new M4s. Testers fired 35,000 rounds through each weapon in laboratory conditions. On average, the new M16s and M4s fired approximately 5,000 rounds between stoppages, according to an Army official who asked that his name not be released.

By comparison, the 416 fires 10,000 to 15,000 rounds between stoppages in similar test conditions, Vickers said.
U.S. SOCOM would not comment on any aspect of the 416’s performance, Air Force Maj. Ken Hoffman, a spokesman for the command, said.

In addition to Delta, experts say the 416 is also in use by other specialized Army units, including the Asymmetric Warfare Group, as well as the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6.
Infantry Center officials said it’s much easier for special mission units to find the money for new weapons.
“They can buy 50; we have to buy 50,000,” Stone said. “We are wise to watch them and follow them and see what we can learn from them, but that doesn’t mean that every time that they get a new pair of boots that we need to get a new pair of boots.”

Looks pretty straight forward to me " U.S. SOCOM would not comment on any aspect of the 416’s performance " they clearly don't want people to know what they have is inferior. Delta and AWG can go buy them with their off book money and DO. Why because there is only a 1% difference? Please if that was the case, like you they would more than likely opt to spend that money elsewhere.
Now I believe the M4/M16 system has been improving. I own semi-auto of both. I believe the new extractors have helped. Right along with that the topic here has helped, improved magazines. But make no mistake if the Sig 556 or the H&K 416 made the MA LARGE CAPACITY WEAPONS ROSTER 06-2011 I would have one.
Looks a little more than were talking about a pair of boots to me.

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E. Ronc June 9, 2012 at 12:13 am

So besides not making father of the year (little levity).
Yes, Army a million strong, but how many are in Afghanistan? I think the 1oo,ooo should cover the rest of the troops in harm's way. Why should AWG & Delta be the only ones with good tools. You can budget out for more later or wait for the next best thing since sliced bread.
Wasn't quite circular. Meant if you hold appropriation of carrier, it can free money up in this fiscal year, then allocate that money from this year's budget to other program. Add carrier money lost to next budget year. Known as a push and done a bit if I recall.
Remember this is the government, nothing is impossible. If I remember right the eagle always use to **** on the 15 & 30 of the month. They changed the 30 to the first one year so they could push all that pay into the next fiscal year. As long as we sit here they will always have more money coming into spend.
Killing carrier would just add to overall cost of carriers completed. The dollars involved in that 9 Billion doesn't include R&D cost right now 5 billion. They are normally add after to the class, spread out evenly among ships in class. Oh and when the Nimitz comes off line to decommission, going to be close to a billion. Realize you weren't promoting just wanted to let you glimpse of why it really is a drop in the bucket. Then again the fast attack boys just smoke the Miami. What's a billion between friend? Or 400 mllion + to repair and won't ever be the same.

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majrod June 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Ronc – Crap. Wrote a great post and it didn’t post so here’s the second attempt. Recommend practicing some reflection on your “evidence”. I’m going to assume what you say is 100% accurate, no offense but people get mixed up all the time and there are some dishonest types out there desperate to make a point. We’ll put that aside.

Nate Self, great American hero. Did he say the M4 was crap? Additionally reg’t units run a mobile arms room on deployments because they configure based on the mission. Context is everything. More about reg’t later.

The Marine test… Here’s some issues one should consider before citing a test. There were “worn” parts? So they were using used M4s which is not bad in itself unless you know for a fact how used they were and were the M16A4s identical “as used”. That’s a virtual impossibility to know/control for a “test”. Then I find it exceedingly confusing that the Marine Corps turned around two years later and issued a “three times less reliable” weapon to their leaders and SOCOM units! Don’t you? BTW, the Marines are probably the most resistant to change when it comes to small arms. They were behind on optics and collapsing stocks and this isn’t new. The same “reliability” issue was part of the reason the USMC waited four years to replace the 1903 with the M1 Garand before WWII.

The Army test… Have you ever fired 1000 rounds through an M4 in one day? Have you fired a 1000 rounds through any weapon in one day? ONE jam per FIVE THOUSAND ROUNDS is a bad deal? Sure when you compare it to one in 15000 but that level of use isn't required unles we expect one rifle company to hold the whole Chinese Army. Think about it for a second. 1000 rounds is THIRTY THREE magazines! No one shot that many at the battle of Wanat and weapons seized with the heat. Run YOUR numbers. M4, .02% fail rate or one pre 165 magazines – HK 416 .01 to .007 fail rate/333 – 500 magazines.

During a discussion with some force mod guys at ranger reg’t I asked why they dropped the SCAR-L. Simple answer, cost. Just too darn expensive and there are plenty of other things to do. That’s a good common sense attitude trumping the “I want to be cool too” attitude.

I might not make father of the year but my kids won’t be spoiled or put me in debt to because they want a Ferrari because the billionaires next door have one. (little levity)

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E. Ronc June 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Now I'm not sure how Self felt about the M4, but his quote from army times was: his unit routinely kept its M4s covered in a tent to protect them from dust and sand. “I think it’s the sand” in Afghanistan, he said. “It’s a big problem.” Since he took a silver star after grabbing another weapon (an M4?) I think he knew how to handle it. So not being infantry myself, from what I know, my cousins and friends they slept with theirs. Not with them piled in tents. Doesn't sound like a "a mobile arms room "when he added to protect them from dust and sand."

Will agree that test are hard to get a full picture from most of the time you get just snips out of the results. Point: There were “worn” parts? So they were using used M4s which is not bad in itself unless you know for a fact how used they were and were the M16A4s identical “as used".
I assumed (we all know what that means) that they were new, just that the “worn or broken part” came about because of firing 69,ooo rounds.

Marines are another animal. Another reason for the delay to M1 Grand was they campaign for the Johnson rifle. Which had problems with bayonets attached and excessive vertical shot dispersion. Which always seemed odd to me being they always consider them self more of a marksmanship oriented. Maybe they thought they could cure it. Some units did get the Johnson, and it might of been a little better in a jungle setting.
"Then I find it exceedingly confusing that the Marine Corps turned around two years later and issued a “three times less reliable” weapon to their leaders and SOCOM units!" What else could they issue? They don't get the off book money like Seals and Delta to buy what they want. This is more the case of getting the leftovers as all marines complain about. I think of it as the old SNL skit; no Pepsi, Coke! I think they would of rather the M27 as there weapon, and to finally get it they called it a SAW.
Have you ever fired 1000 rounds through an M4 in one day? Have you fired a 1000 rounds through any weapon in one day? No and yes, I lit an M14 up for a familiarization fire on the oceanographic ship I took the 1000 rounds of linked ammo we had on board (why we had no belt fed guns) and as the XO said make it go away. Usually allowed each person three mags, two slow fire, one in auto burst. Only one of the girls besides the CO shot on burst. Plus a few of the Levino shipping officers (ships master and first officer) shot. This event took about four hours (pain getting people on and off watch) averaging a tad over 12 mags an hour. Plus taking extra time with non shooters.
ONE jam per FIVE THOUSAND ROUNDS is a bad deal? Well like they say in real-estate LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. At the range never a big deal. In a fire fight… timing is everything. I never shot it but the scar always just struck me as bulky looking. Plus I agree nowhere worth the return. The 416 different because you could get a better return with just an upper assembly.

To me this is more than just a difference of spoiled or keeping up with the Jones's. During the Civil War families of men going off to battle often bought arms better than issued or not issued them. Sharps rifle for example or a Colt 1851 Navy with maybe an extra cylinder or two. When my cousin's guard unit went overseas he asked for my old bayonet. This disturbed me to a lot. I have no kids but if my godson wanted something I would send it. Spoiled would be getting a new Corvette and not wanting it because you would of rather had a Ferrari (Lamborghini for me). My friends son wanted a decent fix bladed, I sent him a cold steel, not my Al Mar. They both can do the job, the Al Mars just prettier and more money. The Corvette and the Ferrari both can do the job, one just more expensive. The problem is the M4 in this equation is an old Jag.

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E. Ronc June 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Now I’m not sure how Self felt about the M4, but his quote from army times was: his unit routinely kept its M4s covered in a tent to protect them from dust and sand. “I think it’s the sand” in Afghanistan, he said. “It’s a big problem.” Since he took a silver star after grabbing another weapon (an M4?) I think he knew how to handle it. So not being infantry myself, from what I know, my cousins and friends they slept with theirs. Not with them piled in tents. Doesn’t sound like a “a mobile arms room “when he added to protect them from dust and sand.”

Will agree that test are hard to get a full picture from most of the time you get just snips out of the results. Point: There were “worn” parts? So they were using used M4s which is not bad in itself unless you know for a fact how used they were and were the M16A4s identical “as used”.
I assumed (we all know what that means) that they were new, just that the “worn or broken part” came about because of firing 69,ooo rounds.

Marines are another animal. Another reason for the delay to M1 Grand was they campaign for the Johnson rifle. Which had problems with bayonets attached and excessive vertical shot dispersion. Which always seemed odd to me being they always consider them self more of a marksmanship oriented. Maybe they thought they could cure it. Some units did get the Johnson, and it might of been a little better in a jungle setting.
“Then I find it exceedingly confusing that the Marine Corps turned around two years later and issued a “three times less reliable” weapon to their leaders and SOCOM units!” What else could they issue? They don’t get the off book money like Seals and Delta to buy what they want. This is more the case of getting the leftovers as all marines complain about. I think of it as the old SNL skit; no Pepsi, Coke! I think they would of rather the M27 as there weapon, and to finally get it they called it a SAW.
Have you ever fired 1000 rounds through an M4 in one day? Have you fired a 1000 rounds through any weapon in one day? No and yes, I lit an M14 up for a familiarization fire on the oceanographic ship I took the 1000 rounds of linked ammo we had on board (why we had no belt fed guns) and as the XO said make it go away. Usually allowed each person three mags, two slow fire, one in auto burst. Only one of the girls besides the CO shot on burst. Plus a few of the Levino shipping officers (ships master and first officer) shot. This event took about four hours (pain getting people on and off watch) averaging a tad over 12 mags an hour. Plus taking extra time with non shooters.
ONE jam per FIVE THOUSAND ROUNDS is a bad deal? Well like they say in real-estate LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. At the range never a big deal. In a fire fight… timing is everything. I never shot it but the scar always just struck me as bulky looking. Plus I agree nowhere worth the return. The 416 different because you could get a better return with just an upper assembly.

To me this is more than just a difference of spoiled or keeping up with the Jones’s. During the Civil War families of men going off to battle often bought arms better than issued or not issued them. Sharps rifle for example or a Colt 1851 Navy with maybe an extra cylinder or two. When my cousin’s guard unit went overseas he asked for my old bayonet. This disturbed me to a lot. I have no kids but if my godson wanted something I would send it. Spoiled would be getting a new Corvette and not wanting it because you would of rather had a Ferrari (Lamborghini for me). My friends son wanted a decent fix bladed, I sent him a cold steel, not my Al Mar. They both can do the job, the Al Mars just prettier and more money. The Corvette and the Ferrari both can do the job, one just more expensive. The problem is the M4 in this equation is an old Jag.

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majrod June 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I explained the arms room concept. That’s current SOP. You sleep with your weapon in a COP. Not necessarily so in an FOB. There’s a difference. Again, you’re talking about a sample size of one and like MANY news outlets they tend to look for a conspiracy where none exists. Just look at the reporting of Wanat. There were tons of articles written about weapons seizing up and being no good. Then when the facts were analyzed the rate of fire was so through the roof anything would have done the same.

Ref Marine test and later issuing the M4. What else could they have done? Wait a minute. If the Marines can’t afford 416s how the heck is the Army going to at twice the size (MUCH more so if you are just talking Marine officers/NCOs)? I’ve stated previously the “leftover” claim is largely a myth. There is no little old lady stamping old Army equipment “USMC” and issuing it to Marines. The fact is the Marines have had their own unique equipment from head to toe for almost a decade and before then much of it was unique and if it wasn’t it was bought NEW by the Marines who just replaced it much slower than the Army did. (Research/compare SAW reliability leading to the M27 selection)
You originally said the Army test fired 35k rounds per weapon, now it’s almost 70k? Which is it? When was that test again? I’d like to look it up and see what it said. Seems like something’s getting lost in translation.

It took you four hours to put a thousand rounds down range. At the same rate it would take TWENTY hours to fire five thousand resulting in ONE jam. Do you really want to rest your argument on one jam in 20 hours of near constant shooting is not good enough? Having been in firefights and run more ranges than I can ever count (I was an Infantry officer for 20 years) I can assure you the M16/M4 will be up to the task when the time calls. The “location” argument stands for something you live in not for a hiccup in 5,000 repetitions. That would equate to your car starting twice a day for FIFTEEN years without fail. That’s far from any car let alone a jag.

My point on the SCAR was cost not bulk. You didn’t get it nor the fact that the Ranger Reg’t agrees with the perspective I’ve been trying to share with you. Instead you rest your case on spurious arguments and anecdotes . Posting it twice doesn’t make it more valid.

BTW, the civil war was 150 years ago.

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oscar June 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

besides, weren't there examples of the 416 upper receivers cracking? keep just keep the bcg of a standard M-4 or M-16 heavily lubed ( with motor oil preferably) and those things will run. close the dust cover, insert the mag and it shouldn't be much of a problem. also, why settle for an incremental uprade like the 416? these modifications are just a stop gap measure. I think it's better to adopt a piston rifle that was designed as so from the beginning.

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E. Ronc June 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Majrod, I will give you your arms room concept as SOP now. Though you didn't explain it, well maybe in post you lost. But I grasp the concept. Like I said I'm not army. Just the way Self said it seemed it was for the express purpose of keeping them out of the sand, not to configure before a mission. Maybe because it was 2002. Maybe because he lead a QRF. Just came across as a tad odd not to have your weapon.

"The Marines can’t afford 416s" because they don't have the off book budget like Delta or SEALs, like I said before. "The price of each 416 “will range anywhere from $800 to $1,425 depending on volume and accessories,” said H&K’s CEO John Meyer Jr." Like I said you could mitigate even more with just buying uppers. "U.S. special operations forces, with their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can't, already are replacing their M4s with a new rifle." Maybe leftover wasn't the right word for what Marines were getting. They only got what was issue, that better. Unlike Delta who said basically said since we like are people, were willing to go out and get something better even if it cost us.

Special Operations Command documented these problems in a 2001 report, “M4A1 5.56mm Carbine and Related Systems Deficiencies and Solutions: Operational and Technical Study with Analysis of Alternatives.”
The M4 suffers from an “obsolete operating system,” according to the report, which recommended “redesign/replacement of current gas system.” It describes the weapon’s shortened barrel and gas tube as a “fundamentally flawed” design and blames it for problems such as “failure to extract” and “failure to eject” during firing. “The current system was never designed for the rigors of SOF use and training regimens — the M4 Carbine is not the gun for all seasons,” the report concluded.

'“Location” argument stands for something you live in not for a hiccup". That location with more than a hiccup could also be right where Self found himself. Right in front of the enemy with a piece of junk in his hands. Usually leads to someone knocking on your door.

"You originally said the Army test fired 35k rounds per weapon, now it’s almost 70k? Which is it?"

Reading comprehension. More than one test. I'll break them apart for you. Army test was 35,000. Marines test was 69,000.

The M4 suffered significant reliability problems during Marine Corps testing in late summer 2002. According to briefing documents, Marine officials said the M4 malfunctioned three times more often than the M16A4 during an assessment conducted for Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico, Va.
Malfunctions were broken down into several categories, including “magazine,” “failure to chamber,” “failure to fire,” “failure to extract” and “worn or broken part,” according to the briefing documents. During the comparison, the M4 failed 186 times across those categories over the course of 69,000 rounds fired. The M16A4 failed 61 times during the testing.

That was one test, this was another.
The Army conducted a more recent reliability test between October 2005 and April 2006, which included 10 new M16s and 10 new M4s. Testers fired 35,000 rounds through each weapon in laboratory conditions. On average, the new M16s and M4s fired approximately 5,000 rounds between stoppages, according to an Army official who asked that his name not be released. http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2007/02/atCa

US Army Ranger Capt. Nate Self, whose M4 jammed into uselessness during a 2002 firefight after their MH-47 Chinook was shot down in Afghanistan’s Shah-i-kot Mountains, offers another case. He won a Silver Star that day – with another soldier’s gun – and his comments in the Army Times article appear to agree that there is a problem with the current M4 design and specifications.
From: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usas-m4-c

"My point on the SCAR was cost not bulk. You didn’t get it nor the fact that the Ranger Reg’t agrees with the perspective I’ve been trying to share with you."

Once again reading comprehension
I realized your point on the SCAR, mentioned bulk as my own observation. I did get it hence the "Plus I agree nowhere worth the return."

"Posting it twice doesn’t make it more valid." true. Sorry I hit the SUBMIT twice. It was taking awhile to post so I thought I wasn't quite on it the SUBMIT first time, should of checked. Usually doesn't let you do it twice but I must of been inside it's window. Then again we all have an occasional problem. "Crap. Wrote a great post and it didn’t post so here’s the second attempt."

Correct, Civil War quite away back. My point you missed is why are we still having to independently supply are people with stuff. My cousin former 25th INF in Somalia had an issued bayonet, of course not the latest. Goes Mass NG and sent to Iraq without one? Sent him mine I picked up at a gun show. He was use to it and felt undress without. Friends son in 181 not issued any edge weapon, sent him cold steel knife. Will move up a bit, WWII weren't pretty much all soldiers given an edge weapon of some sort?

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E. Ronc June 11, 2012 at 12:22 am

Oscar, first time I shot my carbine with the kid who was from the 181 in Afghanistan did, was empty my bottle of breakfree on the BCG soaking it. This is New England not over there. Plus I have some boron parts. Will need rag to put carbine back in case. All systems have problems on initial rollout. Look at the "poor M16 growing pains and then they changed the ammo. "Some these modifications are just a stop gap measure. I think it’s better to adopt a piston rifle that was designed as so from the beginning." As a stop gap 416 advantage is it very familiar already to troops.

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E. Ronc June 11, 2012 at 7:26 am

Oscar, But I believe your right, design from ground up instead of try to put into another forms limitation is better.

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majrod June 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Ronc – You aren’t getting it because you don’t want to. 69k rounds weren’t being fired through one weapon by the Marines. “Worn” parts =’s previously used weapons. Not good test methodology.

Cost – everything is affordable when you aren’t paying for it. Saying how cheap the HK416 “can be" doesn’t make it affordable. Again, the Marines chose the M4 OVER the HK416 to equip their officers, senior NCOs and MARSOC units. You were making the case for the Army to spend this money and I was showing you that even the Marines with a MUCH smaller targeted population went for the M4. (JUST like the Rangers did). This is beyond faulty reading comprehension.

SOCOM dinged the M4. Then said, “that the shortfalls that they identified had not become evident in conventional Army units that used the M-4, likely due to the “newness” of the weapon and the lower firing schedules of conventional unit training. USSOCOM further noted that the M-4 met or exceeded the Army’s specifications for reliability and that the M-4 met the needs of the conventional Army.” (Cited in the Congressional Research Services report ‘The Army’s M-4 Carbine: Background and Issues for Congress” 8 Jun ‘08 pg. 2 which directly referenced the USSOCOM Study Feb 23, 2001.) Note: I’m referencing the source. Not a writer trying to excite those that aren’t familiar with weapons and the demands of combat. BTW, that CRS study also cites soldier satisfaction surveys you won’t see the muckrakers cite often.

As for deploying without all the gear. No force in HISTORY has ever deployed with all the gear they want. We have deployed troops with the overwhelming majority of what they need. There’s a difference. I’ve bought PLENTY of gear. It’s the nature of the beast. Not the best answer but reality. Did your grandson have to stab the enemy? BTW, I always carried an Ontario combat knife (not issued).

Finally, we’re done. You started with “father of the year levity” and are upping the ante with reading comprehension quips. Before I remind you of my qualifications/references vs. yours I’m going to let you have the last word to the effect that we should be issuing the 416 Army wide because that’s what the pundits are saying.

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Intelligent Armour June 9, 2012 at 3:44 am

I was a bit suprised that this TACOM statement took so long to be "clarified". Isn't that someone's job??

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APAC June 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

Knew somebody had a new contract!! Brownell's and some officers/senators are making a big deal! At lease the brownell magazines work!!

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Give it up June 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm

MAJ Rod-
Your obviously a former APM at PM SW. We get it, your still pushing the company line. The TACOM MIM was written at the direction of PM SW to protect their investment (ten's of millions ****** away "developing" the improved magazine). Can't have companies under TACOM contract complaining because soldiers are buying other magazines.

In other news did you hear that PMAGs performed better than USGI mags (the new and improved tan ones) in ATEC testing with the M4 and M855A1? Turns out that the steel penetrator increases wear on the M4 barrel extension and the PMAG presents the round higher and eliminates this problem. But the Army would never admit this…oops did I just let the cat out of the bag?

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crackedlenses June 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

@E. Ronc, Major Rod,

Reading your debate has reinforced my belief that much of the debate of M4A1 vs HK416, 5.56 mm. vs 7.62 mm., etc. is a matter of personal preference and fighting style. Others on this blog have proven that the M16/M4 can be made reliable without excessive trouble; at the end of the day, some will prefer a direct gas action system, and others will prefer a gas piston system. The military can't do both, and so far it is sticking with the direct gas system. If a miracle occurs and the military switches to the HK416 or similar systems, we will simply discover the piston system's disadvantages, and the debate will continue….

The M16/M4 works well enough as a standard issue weapon (albeit requiring education to use without reliability problems), and and a system's age (just ask the Russians) does not disqualify it as a modern infantry weapon….

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E. Ronc June 10, 2012 at 12:13 am

I believe you are correct crackedlenses in that part of the debate is about "a matter of personal preference". I've agreed the M4/16 can and has been improved to be more reliable. My debate (at least in my mind) with the majrod is when or how much of an improvement is needed to warrant a change? If the H&K 416 was the standard issue and the numbers were reversed say the M4 had a 1% better performance, I think I would advocate to change the upper assemblies to that.

I believe in part that it is important for our people serving to feel some confidence we are giving them the best we can. Obviously if there was something out there that cost what a destroyer did, we couldn't out fit the whole Army. But if it was me out there getting carbine 'A' and I see that AWG, Delta and SEALs are getting carbine 'B' and say they say are better, by how much would be irrelevant to me. I would think I am being treated as cannon fodder, right or wrong. To change just the uppers in the war zone would not break the bank. "The military can't do both, and so far it is sticking with the direct gas system." They kind of are doing both by letting select units carry what they want. It isn't just a matter of envy or looking cool. This is about life and death. What's the best way to win a knife fight? Bring a gun. Bring a superior tool to the job is always preferable, especially for a professional.

The piston system’s disadvantages are more parts, generally not a good thing. Though against direct impingement disadvantages of the gas tube. Plus the dumping of carbon and heat, back onto bolt and in the in the upper receiver area which tends to wear parts more… To me the last parts a wash, like you and other say with good education a rifleman should be able to overcome these shortcomings. The gas tube though. I would never shoot majrod 1ooo rounds out of my carbine. Tube starts glowing way before that.

"a system’s age (just ask the Russians) does not disqualify it as a modern infantry weapon…. No argument here. Alex, I'll take the 1903 for 600… yards. Answer what is against any AK.

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crackedlenses June 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

@E.Ronc,

So if I am understanding you correctly, then the rationale for giving troops the HK416 is as much a matter of perception as of reality? The HK416 won't change the fact that most of our troops are not being properly trained and educated with the current weapon. If the military wants to standard issue the HK416, they would have to fix the training and education issues. Otherwise the HK416 would become a band-aid, and a cop-out on a much larger issue. Then again, perhaps the troops' current complaints stem from distrust of their weapons as much as the actual quality of the weapon itself.

My comment about the Russians was referring to the fact that the majority of their troops are still using the AK-74, itself a rechambering of the (relatively) ancient AK-47. My point was merely that the M16/M4's age in and of itself does not disqualify it.

My interest currently resides on how the SCAR will evolve in SOF use; I see the SCAR as being the next major step up from the M4….

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E. Ronc June 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

"So if I am understanding you correctly, then the rationale for giving troops the HK416 is as much a matter of perception as of reality?" I would tend to agree, that is part of it. Yes I believe the M4 stops more than an H&K 416. So every time there is a problem with an M4, it would just stand out more in my mind. Even at as little as a 1% rate. So that is where the other line comes to play – where there's smoke, there's fire.

The "properly trained and educated" isn't either weapon systems fault. That "they would have to fix the training and education issues" with either carbine, so that is no reason not to go with it, you should spend same on education and training on either system. I can't speak to the level of training, not Army, I'll leave that to you guys to debate. My believe is if I am going to be given something to fight with, I think I would like to know it inside and out. Also not much training difference in the 416, controls are all laid out pretty much the same, a big selling point I would think. Cleaning may be a little different.

Oh I agree age not a factor, the piston-operating rod type style isn't much older than direct impingement method around since only 1901. Even though generally speaking piston-operating rod has more parts, this does not necessarily have to mean more problems. Some of them, such as your AK, and the FAL are consider the most reliable select fire arms ever made.

No way do I want to start a debate about the merits of; 5.45X39, 5.56X45, 7.62X39 or 7.62X51. And/or what should be.

As to the SCAR, like I said I have had no experience, just always looked bulky. But if it is the next best thing since sliced bread, ascetics be damned. If I understand others here they pretty much 86 the L version and kept the H. Maybe a ride down to Connecticut to rent one. There almost as stupid as Massachusetts. We can't have it and they have to pin all those evil collapsible stocks.

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SpcPoole June 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm

"Maybe a ride down to Connecticut to rent one. There almost as stupid as Massachusetts. We can’t have it and they have to pin all those evil collapsible stocks."

And that's why I don't live in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. Ill keep my happu butt in the woods of Maine. :)

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E. Ronc June 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

I wish to live in a cabin, unfortunately I do have family here. Was thinking New Hampshire when I retire close enough to go see them.

majrod June 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Ronc – The M4's malfunction rate (One of FIVE THOUSAND) is miniscule and good enough for combat. The greatest source of a lack of confidence in the M4 by our troops are the muckrakers trying to make an issue where one doesn't exist so they can sell magazines or get hits to their website. Those that parrot those comments without question are less responsible but just as guilty.

The M4 is more than adequate for the fight and as the Congressional Research Service (non partisan or Army influenced organization) stated in the M-4 Carbine: Background and Issues for Congress report of 2010.

Some interesting tidbits they shared from the Center for Naval Analyses (again, non partisan or Army influenced):

- Over 50% of soldiers using the M-4 and M-16 reported that they never
experienced a stoppage [malfunction] while in theater, to include during training
firing of the weapons

- Of soldiers surveyed who used the M-4, 89% reported being satisfied with their
weapon

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E. Ronc June 10, 2012 at 10:31 am

Once again, on further thought, just need the upper assemblies and maybe trigger group if you wanted to convert three round burst carbines. Should bring cost down even further.

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majrod June 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Give it up – reread my posts dude. Where am I pushing the company line?

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E. Ronc June 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I might be a little thick, would not be the first time I was called that. "Cost – everything is affordable when you aren’t paying for it." Concur 100%. "Saying how cheap the HK416 “can be” doesn’t make it affordable." You lose me a little here, weren't we just paying Colt over $1,300 a copy? H&K CEO says $800 to $1425 depending on what they want. Remington has contract for what a round $700 and with accessories almost $1300. To update wouldn't even need to buy whole weapon. We're not talking about slight increase in reliability for all out doors here.

(“A mathematically statistically significant difference, but not an operationally statistical difference.” Statistically, 99% is a 100% improvement over 98%. Operationally, I jam every 68 rounds is almost one jam for every 2 30-round magazines. Whereas one jam in 257 rounds would only happen about once in 8 30-round magazines. Readers are left to contemplate the operational significance of those probabilities in a sustained, serious firefight.) From Defense Industry Daily.

Don't remember anyone asking the rangers what they wanted. "the lower firing schedules of conventional unit training." How about the actual use in combat!
Bottom line, you can find studies saying the M4 is OK.

(A December 2006 survey, conducted on behalf of the Army by CNA Corp., conducted over 2,600 interviews with Soldiers returning from combat duty. The M4 received a number of strong requests from M-16 users, who liked its smaller profile. {Among M4 users}, however, 19% of said they experienced stoppages in combat – and almost 20% of those said they were “unable to engage the target with that weapon during a significant portion of or the entire firefight after performing immediate or remedial action to clear the stoppage.”)
I can find ones where there not. http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/004729.html

I believe your position has grown stronger as time has gone on. With improvements in the weapon such as better extractor, feed ramp, heavy barrels, improved magazines and troops learning to care for better in that environment
You go out of your way to take me to task with "I’m referencing the source. Not a writer" The funny thing is if you check the foot notes of your source they sure do mention that very same writer, are own M. Cox a whole bunch. Just saying.
24 Information in this section is taken from Matthew Cox, “75th Rangers Will Take Scar Into Combat,” Defense News,
May 11, 2009.
25 Information in this section is from Matthew Cox, “Competition Sought for New Army Rifle,” Army Times, April 27,
2007.
26 Matthew Cox, “Army Tests of Rival Carbines Postponed,” Army Times, September 20, 2007.
27 Matthew Cox, “New Carbines Outperform M-4 in Dust Test,” Army Times, December 17, 2007.
28 Information in this section is from Matthew Cox, “Giving M-4 Failures an Alibi,” Army Times, December 29, 2007.

"It’s the nature of the beast. Not the best answer but reality." Agree. No stabbing necessary for godson, but you yourself know how useful it is to have a knife on hand for everyday things. I don't leave my house without one. Should really be part of kit.
Am sorry about the reading comprehension quips, was a little hurt from the double post shot that I threw it in. First was because you shot at me with the [You originally said the Army test fired 35k rounds per weapon, now it’s almost 70k? Which is it?”] The other was I wanted to especially emphasize I did understand and you had my agreement on the SCAR. Not enough of an improvement to warrant the price.

So I think we come to our point, I believe improvements of H&K416 are worth at worse a few more dollars and what's better less, if you go just upper. You believe much like the SCAR it isn't.
No need to remind you of your qualifications/references. I am sure you are/were a good officer. Though trying to put me in my place with the vs. yours is a little petty. I have never inflated who I was or my experience, though not as ample as yours. I was an ET on a sub for almost three years and an oceanographic ship for a year and a half. Qualified Expert Pistol and rifle. Like I said I am a shooter, one of the reason only ET on my boat qualified with firearms. On oceanographic ship I was the small arms PO. Besides familiarization shooting off fantail, I also organized 45 qualification shoots in port. Received letter of commendation as small arms PO. Now I am a NRA instructor basic pistol and personal protection. I live here in Springfield and often go to the National Armory historic site. They have many interesting things and I like to sit and read up on firearms history there. In many of my post I will say that I have not had an experience with something or will leave it to others, since I am not army. I am however pretty mechanically inclined and it is a big reason I like weapons. I like to think I'm open mind and like a good debate. I believe these forums are a positive way learn much. I'm sorry if I'm not on the inside such as yourself. Whether you know it or not I also like your post, I have learned much from them.

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E. Ronc June 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Counter with (A December 2006 survey, conducted on behalf of the Army by CNA Corp., conducted over 2,600 interviews with Soldiers returning from combat duty. The M4 received a number of strong requests from M-16 users, who liked its smaller profile. {Among M4 users}, however, 19% of said they experienced stoppages in combat – and almost 20% of those said they were “unable to engage the target with that weapon during a significant portion of or the entire firefight after performing immediate or remedial action to clear the stoppage.”) As requested, actual report: http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/research/S
"parrot those comments without question" as you can see I do look for facts. Muckrakers… You don't want believe all the guys in uniform using the M4 saying this carbine doesn't work well here. I guess only your experience counts. Now who is putting ones head in the sand and saying there isn't a problem here.
"miniscule and good enough for combat." those lines just don't bother you. I'm positive you keep your weapon in tip top shape as you feel reliable with it, but do you trust the guy just out of boot?
- Over 50% of soldiers using the M-4 and M-16 reported that they never
experienced a stoppage [malfunction] while in theater, to include during training
firing of the weapons

That means to me the converse is true, 50% did experienced a stoppage [malfunction] while in theater.
Blaming writers, web people, please acknowledge your fellow soldiers. Think just maybe with all that smoke there could be a fire?

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E. Ronc June 12, 2012 at 4:48 am

To me this is about what is going to keep are people safest. I really don't have a dog in this race. What I said to crackedlenses is that my debate (at least in my mind) with the majrod is when or how much of an improvement is needed to warrant a change? Obviously I think there is. Like I said if the 1% went the other way, I would be backing the M4 since in my mind price difference between them is moot. Don't want you to think I'm particularly in love with the H&K416. I think/believe there are better pistons systems out there. Using H&K416 in discussion because we have data supporting it, we have units using it and we can just change uppers for an improvement.

The next part of the equation is no matter how much anyone says now that the M4 is up to the task, there is a large perceived notion, right or wrong that it is not reliable in that environment. People need to feel confidence in their equipment. The taxpayer in me doesn't want to waste money on perception alone, but factored in with actual occurrence of problems means to me a corrective action take place.

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SpcPoole June 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm

ok will it let me post now.

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SpcPoole June 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

OK it wont let me post what I want to. GD it.

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SpcPoole June 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm

OK I give up.

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crackedlenses June 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

@ E.Ronc,

"Think just maybe with all that smoke there could be a fire?"

Or perhaps troops simply don't know how to maintain the weapon. Not saying the M16/M4 requires extensive maintaince, but that you have to know what to do to get it to work. One of the hallmarks of the AK series was the fact that one didn't have to have any know-how in weapon maintance to use one in combat…..

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E. Ronc June 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I I may of agreed earlier with the "troops simply don’t know how to maintain the weapon." Especially talking 2001- 2003. But not now, when friends son went with 181st said they were given good briefs on maintaining there M4's. Every soldier by now has heard that there are/were problems. Back into that perception reality thing again now. So that if you, I or any normal Joe would be I think extra vigilant over there, along with the individual commands being on the lookout for weapons poorly maintained. As I said I believe the situation much better now with improvements in the weapon such as better extractor, feed ramp, heavy barrels, improved magazines and troops learning to care for better in that environment.
Our guys take on the chin now every time a weapon doesn't go bang. The first words inevitably seem to be he did not maintain his weapon. That possibility exist, though maintenance doesn't cover every stoppage.

"One of the hallmarks of the AK series was the fact that one didn’t have to have any know-how in weapon maintance to use one in combat….." Thank you! I see this as a critical point, why go with something harder to maintain, than something that would be easier?

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crackedlenses June 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Because it's not as accurate (depending on model), and because many people do not prefer it. It all gets back to personal preference again. If we were on a battlefield where everyone had picked their preferred weapon, I would expect to see AK-47s right next to M16s and G3s and what have you.

Point is, I guess, is that both systems work; the M16 requires more know-how, the AK-47 is a peasant soldier weapon (if you are trained, then you will probably get better performance than a peasant soldier, but if you are trained why not use the M16?) Many in our military prefer the M16/M4 (just check out the comments on the Senate post). Our troops have a training gap, and sometimes it seems as though the rifle gets the flack for it. Perhaps bring training up to standard would solve today's complaints, or merely highlight the need for an improved weapon. Regardless, I believe the money should be spent on training first, improving the weapon second. What we have works (for the most part), and the best rifle will not improve substandard training.

Just my 0.02 as a civilian enthusiast…..

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E. Ronc June 13, 2012 at 12:54 am

"why go with something harder to maintain, than something that would be easier?" Was thinking more about M4 Vs. H&K416 not AK. Your accuracy should be about the same (piston a tad worse MAYBE), but pistons like in the AK are easier to maintain than the direct impingement. Sure you're not a navy man? Sounds like the CO on my boat, We're gonna do us some training and when we're done, we're gonna do it again. "rifle gets the flack for it" concur, the stoppage might of been because of the aluminum magazines feed lips, they blame rifle. All for training, though if you did switch to an easier to maintain rifle, you could throw some of that maintenance training time into say marksmanship.

"What we have works (for the most part), and the best rifle will not improve substandard training." Believe it or not I actually agree. They do work for the most part, majrod is correct. True some genius out there could figure out how to make some awesome needle, pulse or rail gun that will be "The Game Changer". If no one trained how to use it, it is pretty much worthless.

The way I see it is can we have something better for the same cost? I think so. A car that gets 42mpg is great (especially compared to my truck at 14mpg.) But all other things equal wouldn't you by the car that got 43mpg for the same price? Plus cost of ownership is lower since maintenance schedule changed.

"a civilian enthusiast" is pretty much what I am now. Plus don't forget it is are money, we should make sure it is spent wisely. Also I'm will retract my previous not having a dog in this fight. I/we do- are fellow countrymen who serve. We should be looking out for them too. All my family and friends who's kids are now there should be getting equipment that they can have confidence in. The original start of this thread was "Big Army: Soldiers Free to Use PMAGs" why the uproar, the confidence in Pmags with our troops and/or lack of confidence in the other. Some will say they never had a problem with a tan follower mag. But others or their units would rather go out and spend money for Pmags because they know/perceive the tan are not as good. Do not under estimate confidence. It could get even me laid occasionally.

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Riceball June 20, 2012 at 7:06 am

The thing that a lot of people either forget or don't understand about that AK's famed reliability is that it was designed as a weapon for a conscript army and so was designed so that it would take minimal training to operate and maintain. One of the ways that they got it to be so reliable had nothing to do with superior design/engineering, in fact it's the opposite, the AK family of weapons were designed to be built with loose tolerances meaning that there's more room between the parts for dirt and sand to get into without gumming up the works. The AK's loose tolerances are also why it's not and inherently accurate weapon although I don't know if tightening tolerances to improve accuracy would have any affect on its reliability.

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E. Ronc June 20, 2012 at 7:47 am

You can improve accuracy, the Galil is known for better accuracy in an AK style. Yes you are tightening up the specs some. But like everyone says about the M4/16 series keep it clean no real problems for a professional. Range limit though of 7.62X39. It makes great assault round, though not real good for any distance.

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Joshua October 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Bit old but something interesting regarding this whole thing.

The Marines found during testing that to replace the M16A4's/M4's it would cost the Marines over $1 billion USD, and HK would have to retool in order to supply the amount of rifles and even then it would take HK 15-20 years to completely replace every M16/M4 in Marine inventory.

What they Marines found is that with a PiP they could get 90% of what the HK416 offers in 2-3 years and at 25% of the cost of the HK416's(so around $250 million).

Now imagine HK having to supply 500,000 rifles, it would cost billions of dollars and take more than 15-20 years to do. In 15-20 years the HK would be finally finished fielding and be completely outclassed by something new……..now tell me how that makes sense, why not settle with the 90% solution, get it now, for 25% of the cost. Works for me. Also not Marine testing was done with USGI mags, I guarantee you with PMags the M16/M4 would be a 95% solution.

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