Senator Blocks Nomination of Acquisitions Chief over Carbine

PARIS — Heidi Shyu, the Army’s acting chief acquisitions official, said today that she met with Sen. Tom Coburn last week to discuss the hold he recently placed on her nomination to become the assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology.

Shyu acknowledged at Eurosatory 12 that the service needs to be clearer on its plans for improving the carbine soldiers take into battle.  

“I’d say we haven’t been doing a very good job explaining what we are doing, and it was a great opportunity for me to say this is what we do. … It was a very good dialogue last week. I sort of explained to him what we’re doing.”

Coburn continues to be the lone voice in Congress that questions the Army’s sluggish pace at deciding whether to replace the M4 carbine or update its design. In a May 29 letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell, Coburn said:

“I remain concerned with the Army’s plans for the improvement of its small arms weapons while our soldiers are at war. For example, I have not seen the Army make sufficient progress on the directive by then Secretary of the Army Pete Geren to conduct a competition to replace its individual carbine rifle no later than the end of FY2009.”

Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who is known for fighting wasteful Washington spending, has been a critic of the Army’s M4 carbine since 2007. He placed a hold on Geren’s nomination to Secretary of the Army until the service took steps to consider the possibility of replacing the M4.

Geren directed the Army to hold an improved carbine competition in 2008 after the M4 finished last in an Army reliability test against three carbines made by Heckler & Koch and FNH USA. Geren has said in the past that his direction on the carbine competition was the right thing to do.

I am currently working with Coburn’s office to schedule an interview with the senator about this issue.

Coburn’s office told me that he wants the Army to lay out a more precise timeline explaining when soldiers will see a new carbine or an improved version of the M4.

The Army launched the Improved Carbine competition last summer and recently completed the first of effort’s three phases. Weapons officials will soon start shooting hundreds of thousands of rounds through prototypes made by Adcor Defense Inc., Colt Defense LLC, FNH USA, Heckler & Koch and Reminton Arms Company.

Shyu said she is planning to meet with Coburn again soon to discuss the issue further.

“This week we’ll probably give him the small arms modernization strategy; lay it out for him,” she said. “We have to do a better job articulating our message.”

— Military.com Associate Editor Michael Hoffman contributed to this post.

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for Military.com. He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

82 Comments on "Senator Blocks Nomination of Acquisitions Chief over Carbine"

  1. This "competition" is the latest silly joke in a long history of silly jokes. Nothing will change. They'll just milk the government and sell the same old junk for an "improved" price. The army procurment guys are in Colt's pocket. They'll make sure nothing new can replace the M4 and the army will keep getting weapons made by a company that never designed a single succesful assault rifle or machine gun.

  2. I agree. It seems a charade from day one, and three of the prototypes are similar to the Stoner design, only with a piston system instead of a DI one. No matter what happens, my wish the is that the carbine will be effective, rugged, and dependable. Our fighting men and women deserve it.

  3. You know you got screwed, when it's [B]2012[/B] and the latest succesful military design of the company that builds youe rifle is the [B]Colt 1911[/B].

  4. Stormcharger | June 12, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply

    Heidi Shyu-
    “I’d say we haven’t been doing a very good job explaining what we are doing, and it was a great opportunity for me to say this is what we do. … It was a very good dialogue last week. I sort of explained to him what we’re doing.”

    Really? It's the explanation that's at fault and not the total and complete lack of anything resembling progress? Really? Perhaps she should sort of not be paid until she gets the explanation right.

  5. FormerSFMedic | June 12, 2012 at 7:10 am | Reply

    The real problem in acquisitions is that the people that run acquisitions don't know Jack about the equipment they are trying to replace. How much time does Shyu have on an M4 in combat? How much time does Shyu have with any of the weapon systems in the ICE? This has been the problem with conventional military acquisitions. Why can't we ever put someone in charge of stuff they understand? Ridiculous!

  6. Do not worry, they are from the government and are here to help. Why is the process taking so long?

  7. John Sullivan | June 12, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply

    Oh that we could cork Congress – sorry, forgot they're already corked, and cork the bureaucracy. Then select five accomplished servicemen with CIBs, from each each service, from enlisted rank PVT to CSM, and from each commissioned rank LT to MAJ. Give them all the prototypes and let THEM test fire'em downrange at Benning, Bragg, Twenty-Nine Palms, Lewis, in ice-rain-jungle-mud-desert-sand-hot-cold-dry-wet conditions. Let them play with these rifles for as long as they wish. Bet they will compare notes, and by majority vote select the new rifle within a few months, tops. Then fund it, build it, issue it, and monitor it in the field. Within a year I believe we could have a sturdy, accurate, reliable, lightweight, harsh-condition-ready rifle. Oh that we could.

  8. i hate it when these senitors and congress men some of who have never shot a gun get to determine equipment that is used by the people whith there life on the line.

  9. The Ugly Truth | June 12, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply

    Back when they were trying to replace the M14 the Army did everything it could to sabotage the Ar15. It took Defense Secretary McNamara bypassing the requirement for an open competition before the adoption of a new service rifle to get the M16 in service.

    Today the situation is even worse. The M16 has been in service much longer than the M14 and now there is a large civilian defense industry that supplies accessories, clones and support for the platform. The relationship between the military and the civilian sector has become so close that movements like Former Army Chief Casey moving in with Colt is not a rare occurrence in reality.

    This is why the FN SCAR surprised me. I never expected a non-AR design to have made it this far in such a hostile environment. Then I looked harder at the SCAR competition and realized that the corruption is still very much there.

    You know of the HK XM8-R and Robinson XCR because they were disqualified, but there were 9 companies with 12 designs entered. We know at least Diemaco, Cobb, Knight's Armament, LMT and Colt were some of the companies that competed with Colt having 3 entries. The reason we never hear about the other competitors is because they don't have the disqualification excuse to explain why they lost. It is also no surprise that all of these companies specialize in the manufacture of the AR platform and why all of this is hushed up so they don't look bad.

    I expect the SCAR to be killed off, the competition to be cancelled or some other decision will be reached that ends up with us being stuck with the AR for another 20 years. But I would not cry if someone high up told them to adopt the SCAR immediately, unchanged across all branches like a certain Defense Secretary did a very long time ago for the AR15.

  10. This whole competition is a waste and was made by Tom Colburn he has been getting money from FNH for his campaign for years and he is corrupt as ever on this uses. Overall the new Purchases of Remington M-4s already shows this competition is dying if not dead already. Time to tell Sen Colburn to move on.

  11. Hay Joshua your email isn't working

    Whats your take looks like Senator Colburn is having tissy fits over
    lack of Army support to replace the M-4 whats your take? Looks like the
    Senator is a dying breed of nay Sayers. Think still the M-4 is here to
    stay?? I dont think Colburn will get his wish think he is having a fit over losing??

  12. The little black rifle/carbine is not going anywhere.

  13. Walter Pautsch | June 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply

    It dosen't matter what platform they choose, the 5.56 is not up to the task for knockdown power. We need a 6.5 or 6.8mm. If course there is the 7.62 as well. Ask the troops how many rounds it takes to put a Taliban down for good.

  14. We don't need any new GDF weapons! What we need is to turn the Dogs lose & kill the GDF enemy.

  15. crackedlenses | June 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply

    Asking the troops what they want would only reveal the fact that the preferred weapon and chambering is usually a matter of preference. Everyone has an opinion, usually different from the person next to him. Everyone has favorite weapons; does that mean the military should just let people buy their own guns from here on out? It sounds as though the people in charge are picking an arbitrary weapon and sticking to it; if I were in their shoes I would hesitate to simply take a poll on whether a weapon should be replaced…..

  16. The military deserves the finest weapon available. I am retired from the Army and I
    think the military should get input from military. They know what weapon works
    well and what does not. I carried various varients of M16 series weapons but would
    have prefered a higher caliber weapon.

  17. while colt may not have created the M16FOW they have made some very good designs based off of it when someone asked for them.

    there was the Colt 703 back when the army wanted to test a piston rifle against the M16.

    there was the Colt Type C-LE1020 that was a piston operated monolithic rifle that was made for the SCAR trials when SOCOM asked them to enter a rifle.

    now we have the CM901.

    while none of their inventions are revolutionary they have made pretty much every type of AR-15 variant popular today. they invented the original piston AR-15 and even the Type C performed very well in the SCAR trials.

  18. "As for some of the SCAR lovers. I say the Mk-17 and its long range cousin the Mk-20 have had some success. However to this day most Operatives have M-14s and AR-10 based weapons in there arsenals and seen pics of many weapons currently being used."

    Some success? *******, they were only recently unveiled in 2007 (SCAR) and last summer (in the case of the mk 20). The are replacing the M14s and AR10s because those weapons are less reliable, heavier, and more expensive in the long run.

    Give it a decade or two, then judge success. You cannot judge a weapon's success when it was only released a couple years ago.

    SEAL Teams, Force Recon, SF, and Pararescue use M4's and mk 18's because they are the most popular weapon in US military inventory. Ease of access to spare parts, less expensive, etc. Myself and my unit used the SCAR and had very few criticisms. I hope FN addresses these few issues with the AC.

    Nobody is saying the SCAR is killing all guns. The SCAR is replacing aging the aging and less reliable M14s and SR25s as the years go on. Weapons wear out and designs evolve. You cannot keep M14s forever just like the M1 Garand wasn't kept forever.

    You sure have a axe to grind with the SCAR. I think the FNAC is better than the other contenders for ICC and I would like to see the men and women of the armed forces equipped with the best rifle possible. Of course, apologists say the M4 is good enough and cling to their love for "bigger, more important" projects than the bloody infantry. Any and all advantages should be pursued for the battlefield.

  19. FN sold weapons to first world, NATO nations, and following post-colonial era, many found their way into the hands of terrorists, guerrillas, and third world nations. There was a reason why the FAL was nicknamed the "right arm of the free world".

    The countries that wanted the cheapest arms just had to buy chinese or soviet, where many organizations received AKs free of charge. The US also had a propensity for giving away M14s since nobody wanted them ;)

    I don't understand how glaringly political the ICC competition is. It is no more political than any other acquisition or trial by the army. It seems to me the only ones that ***** about politics are the ones that have their positions threatened. Colt is feeling slightly threatened. Given the junkie addiction they have on government contracts, they have every reason to be afraid (or perhaps not if the cronyism link is strong enough). Colt's own corruption in the ICC competition reminds me of the Stryker debacle.

    I wouldn't give colt a god damned bit of credit with the 1911. That was John Moses Browning's baby. the only credit i give colt is with the peacemaker…back in samuel colt's day. I view them in the same light as S&W.

  20. "Yeah both the reason me and many other despise the whole ICC and GCV is that they both dont offer anything and both are just a push to use European companies and designs only to monopolize US weapons."

    nope. monopolize US weapons? the US military industrial complex is the largest arms exporter on the planet. Europe combined isn't even as large as we are. GCV is a laughable joke that makes the new family of APCs even heavier and vulnerable on the battlefield. The German Puma is a contender because it is the most superior IFV in the world.

    "Sorry it should be made in the US by US men and money given to US companies FN, HK, and Styre have no place in the military here. They can make guns for there own nations armies just fine."

    A overwhelming majority of small arms used by the military are produced by US companies and manufactured by the men and women of the defense industry. Like I said before, worlds largest arms exporter 'Merica! :D

    "GCV is the same the M-2/3 can do anything a BMP or Swedish APC can do and the M-113 can do base work just fine. There is no point in this days of small defense budgets to waste money on buying foreign junk when American weapons are doing just fine."

    Dude, the BMP3 (even the BM1 with its 73mm) can kick the **** out of a bradley. 100mm anti-tank gun with a 30mm coax? the bradley has notoriously thin armor. The BMP is also lighter, more robust, and truly amphibious. It is one of the most popular combat vehicles sold worldwide. The bradley is not popular at all (for a damned good reason). The German Puma and Swedish CV90 are also better all around vehicles.

    I agree with the M113 part. It can perform the Bradley and Stryker's job with better protection, superior mobility, less expensive cost, lighter chassis and less maintenance intensive mechanics…and that is not considering the "A4" MTLV variant. Many countries have adopted it with a 25mm turret or the BMP3 turret! a marvelous machine.

    "As for any new weapon Let LSAT or a 6.5mm ACR run then the fact is if you want a new weapon get a new caliber other wish the M-4 is just as good as your Eurogun."

    Well the LSAT is truly something. I cannot wait to hear more.

  21. xcalbr. you have a point. But FormerSFMedic hit the nail on the head. Modernize weapons training, maintenance and marksmanship. The way the Army white gloves it's rifles and pistols is a joke. Lubrication and lots of it will make the M-4/M-16 run reliably. Unless somebody in the chain of command acknowledges this, there won't be any significant improvement and it will be another wasteful expenditure of taxpayer's money trying to select a replacement rifle or carbine.

  22. Ohh and M-2s are 100% better than a crappy BMP larger has better AT weapons and fact is M-2/3s can do the job just fine. I bet some here think we will be in A-stain forever, but there mistaken.

  23. Why not provide every front line grunt an allowance and let him purchase whatever weapon he thinks will save his *** when the S hits the F?

    The only limitation would be the ability to digest standardized ammo.

    Sort of a quasi-free market solution to the procurement process. Like school vouchers.

    I'm kidding of course. Nip sweetheart deals between the br*** hats and arms contractors? Fuggedaboudit!

  24. No surprise. Every mothr's son knows that Senator Coburn is a conservative buffoon. Call his office in Washington DC if you don't believe. Staffed by 18 and 19 year old kids that think this is a big joke (I wonder where they got that idea). His office is out of control and his political philosophy is to do whatever is expedient to get him elected. By the way, don't call him Senator Coburn. He insists on being called DOCTOR Doburn – as if being a SEnator was not enough. This chump is self-absorbed and an exmple that our country (at lest on the right) is being led by mesquite bushes rather than Redwood trees.

  25. i concur mr. oscar.

    Why stop at weapons training, maintenance, and marksmanship? youll have to modernize the army's entire paradigm to get anything done :D

  26. Sorry xcalbr, seems you have a special ops prejudice. No kidding the Army spends more on Abrams, Bradleys and Strykers. I bet you spend more on your car than your clothes and tool box. Brilliant!

  27. xcalbr – addressing LEADERSHIP (which is why training, maint and marksmanship isn't the best) WILL address the Army's entire paradigm and pay husge benefits in other areas. Mastering the basics is the mark of a real professional vs. focusing on equipment, the refuge of the dilletente.

  28. THAT was well said!

    The answer is a good mix and someone with a great deal of common sense in charge with the moral spine to do the right thing.

  29. xcalbr – How EXACTLY is the Puma superior?

    Bradley has notoriously thin armor? Based on what?

    Bradley not popular for what "damn good reason"? The most popular APC out there is the M113 and BMP1 due almost exclusively to cost.

    Finally the M113 has less protection than a Stryker and cannont do the Bradley mission. Its only advantage is carrying a nine man squad which is questionable today because of body armor.

    You need to do a lot more study of vehicles to come close to your weapons expertise.

  30. SFMedic – Your repeating that the dust tests were flawed goes a LONG way (I consider you a very credible source even when we don't agree). I'd also like some background and reference data. MANY that don't think for themselves just repeat what they read which is often written by graduates of the new journalistic tradition that emphasizes controversy over substance.

  31. SFMecdic – BINGO!!!! The focus needs to be on training FIRST.

  32. Thanks for staying engaged David. Makes for a better forum.

  33. no need to apologize. I unapologetically have a bias towards common sense and things that work. Unfortunately the army doesnt :'(

  34. its a chicken and egg argument. you cannot reform the army's leadership, anymore you can reform the country's leadership, unless to get rid of the incentive to be influenced by the military industrial complex.

  35. So the military industrial complex dictates leadership? Novel idea.

    I would point to the 70's vs. the 80's Army to show Army leadership can be reformed. The introduction of M16A2 did not result in the renewed empahsis on NCOES, the revamping of officer courses, the addition of the Commander's intent to the op order, the AAR process etc. Read up on Gen DePuy and Vouno when you get a chance.

  36. "xcalbr – How EXACTLY is the Puma superior?"

    ahhh, the questions i have been waiting for.

    For starters, the Puma has superior multi-layer, nano-ceramic armor that is more likely to defeat RPGs than the spaced steel and aluminum armor like the bradley has. It has a stand-alone, remote-operated (with manual override) turret while keeping the crew in the hull. superior protection for crewmembers.

    Its 30mm Rheinmetall automatic cannon has a longer range and more kinetic energy than the Bradley's Bushmaster 25mm. It is also armed with a Spike ATGM, which is arguably one of the most sophisticated anti-tank missiles in the world.

    It is also equipped with a softkill, anti-RPG system. The Puma is so advanced that it is a contender for the Ground Combat Vehicles program because no existing IFV is built to its standards. http://www.psm-spz.com/index.php?id=news&L=1#

    "Bradley has notoriously thin armor? Based on what?"

    The Bradley is supposedly protective against 14.5mm Russian rounds and 30mm armor for the A2 variants, though it does not have external fuel tanks or external missile stowage. For more information about the Bradley's supposed "superior protection" read "The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenge the Old Guard" by Colonel James Burton.

    "Bradley not popular for what “damn good reason”? The most popular APC out there is the M113 and BMP1 due almost exclusively to cost."

    Name another country besides the US that has purchased the Bradley. Not Saudi Arabia…since they were given Bradley's (and are purchasing BMP3s currently!).

    The Bradley is not popular because of its gargantuan individual cost (3 million average for each unit, not counting refurbished/modernized upgrades) compared to other IFVs with similar, or in many cases, better performance.

    "Finally the M113 has less protection than a Stryker and cannont do the Bradley mission. Its only advantage is carrying a nine man squad which is questionable today because of body armor."

    The M113A3 base model is resistant to 12.7mm and the inexpensive applique armor resistant to 14.5, 23mm, and 30mm rounds. The bar armor cage has successfully defeated every chemical energy charge warhead employed by enemy forces in Iraq.

    Egypt employs the M113 with a Bradley turret and turkey uses the BMP3 turret. It sure can do the bradley's job because of its lower height, lower weight, and superior mobility. The M113 can do anything the Bradley can do and certainly more than the Stryker can.

    "You need to do a lot more study of vehicles to come close to your weapons expertise."

    I think you are buying into the mythology of the M113 and the propaganda that the US military has the best vehicles it can purchase. It clearly does not. There is well-detailed documentation that the Bradley is inadequate, the Stryker does not fulfill the prerequisites required for its adoption in the first place, and the M1 Abrams is not as good as people would like to think it is.

  37. I actually hope they do pick a new rifle.

    That way they can stop wasting my tax payer dollars!!! Either pick something or dont, but dont waste my money every few years on a fruitless trial!!!

    So i say pick a damn rifle and stop wasting my money!!!!

  38. crackedlenses | June 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply

    @xcalbr

    Where to begin.

    "I think you are buying into the mythology of the M113 and the propaganda that the US military has the best vehicles it can purchase. It clearly does not. There is well-detailed documentation that the Bradley is inadequate, the Stryker does not fulfill the prerequisites required for its adoption in the first place, and the M1 Abrams is not as good as people would like to think it is."

    As for the Bradley, I'm calling bunk on some of your claims. Check out this entry:
    http://www.army-technology.com/projects/bradley/

    Something's not adding up, and I'm betting on these guys as opposed to you (aka anomynous internet poster)…….

  39. crackedlenses | June 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply

    @xcalbr

    Oops, my response to your quote got left out. Here it is:

    The Bradley is an older design, and comparing it to the emerging Puma is a tad biased. A comparison to the CV90 would be more apropo (although the CV90 still lacks AT capability). The Stryker is actually adequate, that is if it is used as a high-mobility infantry squad carrier. We never needed that role, especially in Iraq/Afghanistan, hence it's outrageously bad performance. As for the M1, it is at least equal to the current MBTs in use (Challenger 2, Leopard 2, Leclerc, etc.), and the Russians have never been known for exporting their best stuff. Thus, short of a war with Russia, most Russian tanks we will encounter will be crap, and not much of a threat to the M1….

  40. Good, common sense and practical solutions are a good thing. That has nothing to do with the cost of an Abrams, Bradley etc. Let's not let a special ops arrogance cloud common sense and practical solutions?

  41. xcalbr – the Puma’s armor is not superior to comparable Bradley versions. You are buying the advertising propaganda. “Nano ceramic” sounds high speed. It does not provide superior or lighter protection (yet costs more). The all around protection is rated the same. Unmanned turret is nice. Nothing that can’t be installed.

    The 30mm is also nice but doesn’t outclass the Bradley which could use an upgrade. The MUSS softkill anti RPG system doesn’t stop RPGs! The system obscures the vehicle or defeats guided missiles. You really have to be a skeptical reader. (BTW, the Bradley and a turretless Bradley are also being looked at for the GCV role).

    Burton insisted "overmatch" tests in which weapons that would easily defeat the Bradley be fired at it. This in no way supports allegations of “notoriously thin armor” unless one doesn’t know the difference between an IFV and a tank. Bradley armor does protect against 14.5 and 30mm. Again. More skeptical reading is in order.

    The basic model of the M113A3 stops 12.7 mm across the frontal arc. “12.7mm resistant” means the armor slows the round a little everywhere else as it enters the vehicle. The Egyptian version has less armor protection than the Bradley as does Turkey’s.

    You’ve bought the EVIL Military Industrial Complex conspiracy to the point you can’t objectively weigh the facts. The MIC exists but it’s not as omnipresent and powerful as the conspiracy nuts would like us to believe.

  42. "xcalbr – the Puma’s armor is not superior to comparable Bradley versions. You are buying the advertising propaganda. “Nano ceramic” sounds high speed. It does not provide superior or lighter protection (yet costs more). The all around protection is rated the same. Unmanned turret is nice. Nothing that can’t be installed."

    So what information is this based on? If the Puma had armor and protection that was not superior, then why would it be a contender for GCV? (the original FCS was cancelled because of less than ideal protection against IEDs) Ill add that the crew is further protected like a MRAP, with the seats having no contact with the floor. Ill also add that the Puma is better protected in critical areas of the vehicle than the Bradley. This is a established fact if you examine them both.

    The fact is that the Bradley doesn't have a unmanned turret, the armor, crew seating, and firepower of the Puma. Such upgrades will add to the astronomically high cost of already expensive family of vehicles.

    "The 30mm is also nice but doesn’t outclass the Bradley which could use an upgrade. The MUSS softkill anti RPG system doesn’t stop RPGs! The system obscures the vehicle or defeats guided missiles. You really have to be a skeptical reader. (BTW, the Bradley and a turretless Bradley are also being looked at for the GCV role)."

    The bradley's upgrade is not fielded yet, so thats irrelevant. Where did I say the MUSS "stops" RPGs? I can be blamed for created the misconception that it is only RPG, in fact being anti-missile, but the MUSS functions by detecting the missile and a.) jamming it with infrared, or b.) throwing up a smoke screen like you said. Certainly more effective against a ATGM but also somewhat effective against a RPG. It is a consideration between collateral damage of Arena or other similar systems or a more "soft" approach".

    "Burton insisted “overmatch” tests in which weapons that would easily defeat the Bradley be fired at it. This in no way supports allegations of “notoriously thin armor” unless one doesn’t know the difference between an IFV and a tank. Bradley armor does protect against 14.5 and 30mm. Again. More skeptical reading is in order."

    Like I said before, the "A3" variant, with its additional armor, offers protection to the sides and a square in the front and tiny portion on the turret, not as much as the Puma; i digress, the A3 is a measurable improvement over the A2 and previous series. The A2 variants were far more common in Iraq in 2003, unfortunately. You mean "overmatch" by actually testing the aluminum armor of the Bradley against EXISTING anti-tank and vehicle weaponry? say it aint so.

    "The basic model of the M113A3 stops 12.7 mm across the frontal arc. “12.7mm resistant” means the armor slows the round a little everywhere else as it enters the vehicle. The Egyptian version has less armor protection than the Bradley as does Turkey’s."

    As I have confirmed before. This is not counting the applique armor. With the applique it is as protected as a Bradley.

    "You’ve bought the EVIL Military Industrial Complex conspiracy to the point you can’t objectively weigh the facts. The MIC exists but it’s not as omnipresent and powerful as the conspiracy nuts would like us to believe."

    conspiracy nut? LOL. Im sure Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, author of "War is a Racket" and muckraker of the Business Plot, was a conspiracy nut. Im sure Paul Craig Roberts, Michael Ruppert, and Dwight D Eisenhower are also conspiracy nuts. I rest my case. The MIC not omnipresent? war is immensely profitable. Like what Eisenhower forewarned, the US political spectrum is dominated by the desire to go to war for money.

    If you TRULY believe we are getting the best bang for our buck, then you are sadly mistaken. Respectfully, Im not sure what is worse, actually believing the Pentagon, or downplaying the threat to American liberty by the MIC…

  43. crackedlenses | June 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply

    @xcalbr

    I see some of what you are getting at. No, none of the systems we use in our military are perfect. The Sherman tank is a perfect example of this; out-gunned and out-classed and a literal death-trap in tank vs tank battles with the Germans.

    That being said, (and we could go on and on about the failings of our weapons and equipment), in the end it works. We became a world power and then THE world power because of who we were, not because our weapons were unbeatable. Everyone knows that the best in technology won't save you if you cannot or will not fight. So far, we have been able and willing, and have succeeded (or failed) at that point.

    It's great fun to make fun of our tanks and what not, compared to what the rest of the world uses, and it's great fun to take shots at the evil corporations that are always supposed to be taking over the country and the world (when things don't happen the way we humans like it, it is amazing who immature and nonsensical we can become), what does it accomplish? The Bradley did it's job, the M1 dominated every tank it came upon, what more do you want?

    I'm not implying that we should not get the best for our soldiers. But the solution is to come up with something better, not drone on and on about how much better someone else's is. That, and fire some people at the top. The way our military projects have been going on the past few years is simply atrocious…..

  44. i understand your points. Don't mistake my criticism of american AFVs for anti-americanism or attacks against the individual soldiers (that would be self-masochistic for me).

    American might has everything to do with technology, industrial capacity, and wealth to invest (or squander/manipulate/cash in in many cases) in new technologies. No, i disagree, it is not fun to take shots at corporations and the status quo because so many are hopelessly protective and dependent on it and will do anything to defend it. It is not about a immature "corporations are evil" argument, it is sticking with the facts that the current status quo cannot be maintained and american citizens are paying dearly in their own prosperity, health, and well-being. America's merger of state and corporate power (fascism) brings back the old quote of "those that give up essential liberty to obtain little or no security deserve neither".

    By no means do I intend to drone on (and get hopelessly off subject); I want whats best for our soldiers because we can do such much better…with our nation and military.

  45. Your totally wrong the T-90 is just upgraded T-72. The T-72 horrible combat performance in Lebanon and Kuwait made the Russian change the name from T-72BV to T-90 to avoid potential contract losses with clients in the 90s. The T-90 is a standard T-72 with some T-80 features like gun stabilizer and some targeting systems but not all. T-80s have high Russian and Ukrainian crew approval. The T-80 wasn't bought as much because it is expensive like the M-1A1 is. The same went for the T-64 high quality and performance tanks is not the Soviet and Russian cup of tea so the cheaper and ******** T-55 and T-72 where made and sold for alot cheaper and greater number. and can beat a crappy T-72 and its regurgitated T-90 anytime. India is the only major buyer of the T-90 and the T-80 is bought by not only Russia and Ukrainian but by Pakistan and Cypress and other CIS states.

    Fact to is that the M-60A1 and M-1A1 have destroyed large number of Syrian Iraqi T-72s and the T-72 has failed to even match the older model Merkava tanks which means the T-72 isn't that BIG of a bell ringer id use to argue that our tanks suck opinion you have. Having family in US Army armor for years I can pick your arguments apart about MBTs.

    As for your CV-90 and Namar it isn't really that improved they lack AT and chain gun armament and are too close to the ground to warrant those two the best APCs ever.

    The BMP-3 isn't new its a late 1980s Soviet design and some way failed to Replace the older BMP-2 in Russian service there many units BMP-1 still. Mostly quality over quality idea still is the mindset of the Russian army in armored vehicles .

  46. crackedlenses | June 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply

    Oh boy; this will take a while.

    "i think you wont find much criticisms of design limitations there. Thats my .2 cents. you wont find criticism of subarus on subaru’s website."

    My point was specific criticisms you made concerning the Bradley. Army Technologies clearly states that the Bradley's chain-gun can be cranked to 500 RPM, and that the A3 is capable of amphibious operations, both of which contradict your earlier posts. They render no judgement as to the Bradley's performance. Reading their BMP-3 entry did not impress me; big guns and light weight mean nothing if the most you can withstand is 12.7 mm. Even including applique armor, that still gives the Bradley an armor advantage from the get-go (probably what the Army bet on).

    "Yet you are ignoring key players to compare the Bradley with: the CV90, Puma (even the Marder), Dardo, other European IFVs, and the new BMPs."

    "Consider the CV90 attained commercial success following budget cuts after the end of the cold war. That merit speaks for itself."
    Marder is as obsolete as the Bradley is, and even more underarmed. Warrior traded ATGM for 30 mm. cannon, and has had better export success. Puma is next-gen, totally different class in my opinion. Dardo, eh, has not struck me as anything beyond a close relative of the Bradley, CV90 definitely looks good, have not seen anything on combat performance, still have argueably less capability against tanks compared to the Bradley (which could probably be easily remedied). ASCOD, Brits are buying it, so it can't be too bad. BMP-2/3, 2 looks capable, 3 looks like they traded protection for tank-level firepower. Russian weapons work well generally, but I do not prefer them (and there is no way on earth that we would ever buy from them).

    I do not disagree that the Stryker was less than promised. In the airborne capacity, I never understood why a M113/M8 AGS combo was never pursued. Then again, I would assume that part of the whole point of the Stryker was to gain increased armor protection over the M113 without losing mobility. This obviously failed, if it was what was intended.

    "The M1′s main disadvantages is its astronomically high cost of operation, large size, and gas turbine engine. The gas turbine takes a measurable amount of time to start (instead of instantly like a diesel engine) and consumes 4-7 gallons for every mile. It has a operational range of 260 miles, shorter than modern competing MBTs, and can remain idled at a significantly shorter time than other MBTs; thats not even getting into its thermal signature. It has no infantry-telephone, troops cannot take cover behind it because of the engine, and it has no bottom escape hatch"

    The Army knew the cons of the gas turbine, and bet they could supply enough fuel to keep it going. The advantages are a higher acceleration and overall speed (and the Army has been working to fix the high fuel consumption). I'm sure you could get a diesel for it if you really had to have it. TUSK II has the infantry phone. Not sure which modern MBTs have bottom escape hatches (haven't heard of those since WWII). As for infantry, well, I guess that's what the Bradleys were for, right? [raises eyebrows]

    "You coincidentally ignore the T90, which is exported in large numbers around the globe. Modernized and upgraded T72 and even T55 variants are also being sold and adopted."

    Since when have Russians (or us for that matter) exported our good stuff? All the Russian equipment we have encountered has been junk (if the Russians wouldn't give out good T-72s the export T-90s won't be much better); as long as we don't take the Ruskies themselves, I highly doubt our future opponents will have Russian tanks superior to the M1.

    As for the Namer, I concur that it is a dangerous-looking APC with promising armor capabilities. Still, how much weight and funding will it take to give it the firepower of a BMP or Bradley?

    At the end of the day, this is a stupid debate. None of us (except for Major Rod) have ever piloted a Bradley or faced a BMP in our lives. In reality we are discussing topics we really don't know crap about (and the first-hand experience seems to side against you). I don't depreciate your alternate opinion, but Major Rod's view still stands. In any case, let's hope something good comes of GCV. We're going to need it for the future….

  47. Robert Patty | June 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply

    The problem is not the design, the M4A1 is a fine and fully functional design. The problem is with the cartridge. Between the longer distances that engagements are taking place and the shorter barrel the 5.56×45 is a mess.

    A friend of mine from my days in 5th SFG, Steve Holland, along with another NCO from AMU at Ft. Benning came up with the solution and that was to retrofit the current issue carbine with a new barrel, bolt and magazine in 6.8 SPC. The army however shot this down, even for SOF soldiers, which is what the design was originally for. That's a low cost, simple and effective solution.

    Unfortunately the people that make these decisions all too often have never had any time behind a gun in a real world situation. They live in a glass bubble or idealism.

  48. xcalbr – You’re the fella saying the Puma’s armor is better. You have ZERO documentation that it is. Your “assuming”. It's not. FCS was a family of systems not one vehicle. You’re referring to the XM1202 Mounted Combat System (MCS). It was cancelled with FCS because it was “too” much. Too much technical risk, too expensive, too complicated.

    Selection for the GCV eval doesn’t mean the vehicle is superior in every respect. SEVEN vehicles are being evaluated. BTW, the latest Bradley troop seats are also isolated from the floor.
    Critical protection? Besides the turret crew what exactly? Equipping the Bradley with a remote turret is going to be a heck of a lot less than $5mil. The Puma doesn’t seat a full squad. The turretless Bradley does (and has a remote weapon system).

    “Where did I say the MUSS “stops” RPGs? “ Up above, you said… “It is also equipped with a softkill, anti-RPG system. “ Need to spread some sand on the ground for that tap dancing?

    You cited Burton as evidence the Bradley had poor protection. I quoted what the man wanted to do (shoot tank guns at Bradleys). Now you want to move the goal posts? You can jump up and down and say it a dozen times but the Puma doesn’t provide more armor protection than a similar applique armored Bradley. It is so. Again, major “assumption” on your part.

    Be careful, I hear black helicopters in the distance…

  49. xcalbr – You saw Bradley’s get stuck in Euprates mud and base your “opinion” on that. May I remind you, you didn’t see Pumas plow through that ground either.

    Million dollar question? Of course other vehicles could do the job. I didn’t say something as silly as “Objectively, the M2/M3 conduct the IFV, Recce, Scout jobs the worst out of any class of combat vehicles.”

    Monkey models? Really, what’s the difference between the Iraqi BMP 1 & 2’s besides not having Russians in them? (Ans. There aren’t any. It’s an excuse) BTW, I’d avoid using the term “monkey” armor. “Monkey” is how Russians refer to their third world customers. It’s blatantly racist and comes from internalizing too much of what Russian bloggers say.

    BTW, I’ll mention that Russian equip couldn’t get close enough in Desert Storm. My former XO Mike Ammons was awarded a bronze star with “V” for destroying two T62s with 25mm when the first Tow round failed to explode because they were within the arming distance. He’ll be entertained.

  50. "xcalbr – You saw Bradley’s get stuck in Euprates mud and base your “opinion” on that. May I remind you, you didn’t see Pumas plow through that ground either."

    I will base my opinion on that because it spells bad news for infantrymen. Puma's wouldn't plough through the ground because they were only adopted last year. Ill add that the CV90 is performing nicely in afghanistan, alongside NATO-member variants of the M113. Where is the Bradley in afghanistan?

    "Million dollar question? Of course other vehicles could do the job. I didn’t say something as silly as “Objectively, the M2/M3 conduct the IFV, Recce, Scout jobs the worst out of any class of combat vehicles.”"

    Actually it does. It has a "multipurpose" system that the US military likes. You either have two or three vehicle's perform a specialized role very well (even if they're based on the same chassis), or one that performs all tasks mediocre.

    "Monkey models? Really, what’s the difference between the Iraqi BMP 1 & 2’s besides not having Russians in them? (Ans. There aren’t any. It’s an excuse) BTW, I’d avoid using the term “monkey” armor. “Monkey” is how Russians refer to their third world customers. It’s blatantly racist and comes from internalizing too much of what Russian bloggers say."

    Well, for starters, like the Iraq tanks, their munitions were inferior quality and no additional armor upgrades were integrated, alongside fire control systems, etc. Yes, not having Russians in them, highly trained RPG tank hunter teams, gunships for support, and up to par main battle tanks essentially made them impotent. These aren't excuses, they are facts. Another fact is that a American Bradley IFV has never faced a highly trained Soviet crew in a A-group standard BMP.

    *facepalm. You really need to read "Inside the Red Army" by Viktor Suvorov; its a well known book, even cited in wikipedia, amazon.com, and barnes and noble. Monkey model is a term for inferior equipment that essentially looks like a model of equipment, like a T72, though is not equipped with the sophisticated armor, electronics, and weapons systems, ipso facto, making it a entirely different system. These models were sold to non-communist allies, primarily in the Middle East and, to lesser extent, Africa, because their capture would be no big deal (if fact, their strategy to deceive adversaries that capture such models worked profoundly well given the western press about the inferior "T72" used in iraq LOL).

    "BTW, I’ll mention that Russian equip couldn’t get close enough in Desert Storm. My former XO Mike Ammons was awarded a bronze star with “V” for destroying two T62s with 25mm when the first Tow round failed to explode because they were within the arming distance. He’ll be entertained."

    Like I said before, without their radio-guided ATGMs, modern munitions, crew training, armor, and other battlefield essentials, they were inevitably doomed to failure, not to downplay the individual valor of the Americans that fought them. Not to sound like a *******, I remain extremely dubious that 25mm penetrated a tank's front armor; now shots within the turret ring, especially on these kinds of tanks where the rounds are stored, would yield catastrophic results.

  51. I kind of hung back on this a bit, but I'll throw my 2 cents in. Tom Coburn is a Senator from Oklahoma. He has an "A" NRA rating. I have no idea if he is a shooter or shot an M4. But being from that neck of the woods, I would imagine he has taken the obligatory hunting photo opportunity shot. A staffer originally brought up the M4 to his attention. I believe he was a veteran, though I am not sure. Why would he really care? None of the weapons are made or would be made in his state. I do not see him in FN pocket as some have said. Checked for contributions. http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.ph
    The Doctor is at least not a lawyer like most. He upheld his campaign pledge to serve no more than three consecutive terms and did not run for re-election in 2000. In 2004, he returned to political office with a successful run for the Senate. Announced on February 12, 2010 that he was running for a second term in the Senate, but would not run for re-election to a third term in the Senate in 2016.Senate.
    He does however sit on these Committees:
    • Committee on Finance
    o Subcommittee on Health Care
    o Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure (Chairman)
    o Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight
    o United States Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy (Ranking Member)
    o Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth
    • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    o Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information and International Security
    o Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (Ranking Member)
    o Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight
    • Committee on the Judiciary
    o Subcommittee on the Constitution (Ranking Member)
    o Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
    o Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
    Several of which would I think have him looking into the M4 contracts. His big line is fiscal conservatism. He did get Colt to drop their price. Then after next tussle, open contract to competition. Remington got contract now at cheaper cost per unit.
    As for the test, do I believe they were rigged no. The Army wanted the M4, so they put in crap ones… doesn't make much sense. Were a lot of non-standard issues.
    Those that say they should be made here. Take a look, FN has a huge plant in Colombia, SC. There is a new HK manufacturing facility in Newington, New Hampshire. The facility is collocated within an existing 70,000 square foot facility.

  52. “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.” With quantity comes discount. I also said you could mitigate even more with just buying uppers.

  53. Once again majrod don't list me as a “HK416 for all” fan. My main contention was 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. For all the' M4 for all' fans.

  54. Surprised you didn't ask him for chapter and verse?

  55. "If you look at the Army’s evolution from the 1903 Springfield to the M16 family you can see MAJOR improvements in lethality, accuracy, reliability or weight in EVERY case. Technology just hasn’t delivered a major improvement, yet."
    Slightly off the mark a bit, 1903 8.67 lb with an effective range 0f 656 yd (600 m) (more with optic). Maximum range 1,200 yd (1,097 m). M1 Grand weighed more at 9.5 lb., effective range (without optics) range down a bit due to bleed from gas piston. M14 comes in a touch heavier at 9.8 lb with an effective range 800+ m (875+ yd) (with optics).
    So we went from a highly accurate bolt action to something that weighed more, lost some range. Then up again to the M14 for a tad more weight. Till the great M16 with a loaded weight more than the 1903. Dropping to 5.56mm showed "improvements in lethality". Somehow I doubt that especially at say, 600 yards. Some would say no big technology jump between M1 Grand and M14. But if you were to let a WWII era soldier choose which do you think he would take?

    "BTW, only the Army awards the CIB but I get where you were going." If you knew where he was going why bother. Maybe should of told him navy doesn't have sergeants or majors. But since I'm fairly sure he knows that and I knew where he was going I won't bother.

  56. "Also the dust test was demanded by Coburn after Wanat, the issues at Wanat also was not the M4′s fault. Yes there was M4 failuers at Wanat but the media horribly blew it out of proportion, M4′s used as LMG’s are bound to fail. If you look at Keating it lasted longer and more ammo was expended than Wanat." "Of course Coburn would never mention that since he clearly knows the M4 is a horrible weapon, and admitting there were no failures and more ammo expended at keating would be detrimental to his argument." Well to be fair, Wanat and Keating were about a year apart and Coburn had already asked for the test. I do agree most of the problems at Wanat were from treating M4′s as LMG’s. "Keating it lasted longer and more ammo was expended." I don't know how much ammo was used at either? The key was the rate of fire. But with bad guys in the wire you can't say wait till my M4 cools so I can shoot you

  57. For FormerSFMedic

    I was reading the December 2006 survey, conducted on behalf of the Army by CNA Corp., conducted over 2,600 interviews with Soldiers returning from combat duty.
    http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/research/S

    From Page 32:
    Soldiers issued cleaning kits were less likely to experience stoppages
    and more likely to be confident in weapon reliability. Weapon
    cleaning type and frequency had little impact on stoppages and repairs
    overall. However, soldiers who frequently performed quick
    wipe-down cleanings experienced more stoppages. Frequency of
    disassembled cleanings had no effect on the occurrence of stoppages.
    Variations in lubrication practices, such as type of lubrication
    used and amount of lubrication applied, also had little effect on
    stoppages. Using a dry lubricant decreased reports of stoppages only
    for the M4 users. However, soldiers using a non-Army issued lubricant
    were more likely to have confidence in the reliability of their
    weapon.
    Any thoughts on this conclusion?

  58. I do agree at closer ranges 5.56mm dose a bit more damage due to tumbling to flesh than 7.62mm NATO dose. However 7.62 NATO dose better on vehicle damage and long range past 500 yards. hence the current M-4 and M-110/M-14 combo going on.

    The M-14 was good for its day too. The main draw down to the M-14 like the FAL was its 7.62mm round is too BIG to be a assault rifle round for infantrymen.

  59. Cmon E. Ronc, wait till my M4 cools to shoot you? Please.

    It doesn matter if its a piston or not treating a Carbine as a LMG will have adverse side effect. I you look a Wanat there was more spray and pray than alot of engagements, the fact that they were engaging using burst mode shows that.

    Keating used more ammo than Wanat, at Keating they went black on all ammo but 5.56 and .50. The soldiers expended far more ammo at Keating it was also 4-5hrs longer than Wanat. The difference is the soldiers at Keating were true soldiers. They were trained and did not as warriors and did not freak out when being engaged like the soldiers at Wanat did.

    The fact that soldiers at Wanat just threw down their rifles when they got to hot to hold shows really what kind of soldiers they were

  60. "It doesn matter if its a piston or not treating a Carbine as a LMG will have adverse side effect." I concur whole hardily with that. "Keating they went black on all ammo but 5.56 and .50. The soldiers expended far more ammo at Keating it was also 4-5hrs longer than Wanat." A couple things to notice of here A) Longer battle, more ammo expended. B) Looks to me then Keating used all their 7.62 ammo. So they got a lot more use out of their 240's. Not to mention they did have 50. Wanat's took round in feed tray early.

    Also look at overall layouts, Keating was larger, after the initial assault they were able to fall back to the out buildings, larger fields of fire. Wanat you were pretty much where your were. Stuck with a bad layout, unfinished defenses, hotel/bazaar complex able to put MG fire on area. Initial assault pretty much left those not dead, dazed, 120 mortar and TOW out.

    "The difference is the soldiers at Keating were true soldiers." That shows a lot of balls for someone not there at Wanat. My point is if all you have is an M4, do you not shoot at the guys close enough to throw rocks or wait for it to cool down. Do I believe they were using as a LMG on occasion sure, with almost no other suppressive fire weapon. "threw down their rifles when they got to hot to hold " And I guess your answer would be to hold it and get burned rather than get something else. The 173rd Airborne is not your ill equipped National Guard unit but professional soldiers. You can take that "freak out when being engaged" and stuff it.

  61. xcalbr – I've read the book. Again, you aren't thinking through. I was a CO during DS. I was serving in Germany. Who do you think we were supposed to be fighting? I'm more than a little familiar with Soviet equipment. Our GDP was behind the Fulda Gap (3rd Armored Div). BTW, had discussions with E. German and Soviets discussing equip and have been in their vehicles. Have you? I'm not a fanboy or speaking from google experience. (facepalm)

    BTW, never said Mike shot up T62s in the front (rear turret). The point was you said they'd never get close enough.

    We're done here.

  62. you think I haven't been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan? or examined foreign weaponry and equipment?

    It utterly amazes me that people think they can judge the effectiveness of Russian equipment because of desert storm and OIF. That is utterly ******* stupid. God forbid you mention the limitations of the high priesthood of armor.

    If you really did read the book, you wouldnt have made the inane "racist comment". Youre right, were done.

  63. Joshua the EXO coating actually penetrates the metal much like bluing. So if you use a knife or scraper you will be taking pieces off the BCG, will you nick down past coatings penetration sure possible. The thing is with it there is no need to use a knife or scraper, what little carbon does stick is easily just wiped away with it your rag or T shirt. "scraping the crown on their rifles" now I feel I'll. My FN SPR has such a nice recessed crown. Damn if that important to them for cleaning, use a copper solvent.

    "Once you gouge the bolt tail or inisde of the carrier it changes everything about how the rifle cycles and functions. The biggest thing we could do is teach proper cleaning and lubrication." I'm on board with what you have said. I do believe they should take your comments on white gloving a weapon right out of the equation. It is pointless and detrimental. I'm just looking for a decent set of cleaning instructions to follow. A universal standard. This is after all the military still, there should be a clear documented procedure for this. Stating like you said certain amounts of carbon is allowable for your reasons you already listed. What type lube works best, in say what condition.

  64. Honestly E.Ronc, if it was me I would say a good thorough wipe down of the bolt carrier group and inside the upper, a good cleaning of the chamber(by good i mean a 20-30 seconds of twisting the chamber brush) and a couple of bore snakes down the bore is all you need, even in a dusty environment.

    there is no need to scrape off carbon(what needs to come off will with a rag), there is no need to scrape the crown(copper buildup does not effect anything since its self limiting), and there is no need to scrub the chamber like there is no tomorrow(you want it clean but dont overdo it)

    after cleaning liberally apply a good lube, i personally use SLIP2000EWL since I have found it to last longer than most lubes and it does not attract as much dust as other lubes do either. it also has pretty good rust protection.

    before going outside the wire each rifle should get a good bit of lube applied to the bolt carrier group(cam pin, gas rings, guide rails on carrier), you can never overlube a rifle, its not possible. what is not needed will be slung off.

    keeping it lubed in the field will keep it running no matter how sandy it is. just look at what pat rogers did with filthy 14(google it) he also has numerous rifles that are in the 12-20 thousand round counts with no cleaning.

  65. Joshua. Well, I think I would like one of them Otis kits. Here at the house I usually just use my coated one piece rod to clean with, Kleen bore made it if I remember right. I do have a snake for the FN. I usually run it after every 5 rounds while out shooting. If you're in/from the New England area look me up.

  66. The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and around Breed's Hill. Continental Army authorized three days before. No politician picked out their equipment. They brought their own rifles and kit to work. Also Lincoln didn't do real bad picking out the sharps, then again he was suppose to be a real good shot. I gotta stop hanging out at armory.

  67. The Army needs a new carbine, face it. Compared to modern rifles the M4 is probably one of the lower end rifles.

    While the M4A1 may be reliable it could be better.
    The M4A1 uses a 60yr old TDP with outdated materials and techniques.
    The M4A1 when using M855A1 has a bolt and barrel life o 5,000 rounds.
    The M4A1 is very dependent on lubrication to keep it running in sand.
    The M4A1 requires more maintenance.
    The M4A1 is a 4-5 MOA rifle.

    The M4 PiP is failing, the bolt carrier group and operating system PiP have been cancelled so at the end of the M4 PiP we will have a FF M4A1.

    The IC is the way to go.

    The IC rifles use a TDP comprised of modern day materials and techniques.
    The IC rifles will cost on par what the M4A1 does.
    The IC rifles have a bolt and barrel life of 10,000 on M855A1.
    The IC rifles have better ergonomics(ARX-160IC, ACR, FNAC, BEAR).
    The IC rifles are not dependent of lubrication, while still requiring lubrication they do not need a constan supply to run.
    The IC rifles are more resistant to sand and dust and will run longer with fewer stoppages than the M4A1.
    The IC rifles have a higher cookoff point.

    It should be obvious that the IC is the way to go and our soldiers deserve the best. To field 500,000 rifles it would cost us $600mil. About the cost of a F-35.

  68. You dont know squat about weapons. Any new weapon would be billions not just for the new weapon but for accessories manuals and training. The IC contenders dont offer squat over the PIP M-4A1 and this whole program is a waste of money.

  69. WE all should raise **** about this !!!and call your Rep and Senators If you guys are going to bitck about this ,***** to your Rep and Senators.Put a lot of pressure on them to do the right thing for our troops. And ***** loud and clear about colt!!!WE all know what needs to be done.

  70. About the test. I see a lot of people say this, but no one shows an actual report, with the Army pushing so hard for the M4 you think they would of issued at least a statement that listed over gassing of the rifles and other discrepancies or abnormalities in the testing . Not a blank well, we all in the know knew. Sorry as Majrod would say that don't fly. Because "the results show that it was rigged." So if a result comes out as a surprise in testing, it must of been rigged? Not too much logic in that.

    As I've said the M4 is a **** of a system, but it does have short comings in certain areas. Please don't be that foolish to think its perfect. God forbid anything could do actually do better than it, is all I hear. But yet your top professionals, the people who are suppose to be in the know like; the AWG, Deltas and SEALS don't have to go M4. Think about that. Ask yourself again why a man in the tops of his profession isn't picking the M4 if it was all your making it out to be.

  71. ok this has gotten odd.

    M855A1 is correct in a way, its a fact M855A1 does indeed reduce barrel life and bolt life, since its running at nearly proof load strength.

    I have heard the Army is looking at ways to fix this, but I am not sure how true that is. I do know the Marines will not adopt it until it is fixed.

    as far as parts life on the M4A1, I have personally experienced about 7,000 bolt life and longer for the barrel, that is still pretty good, while not 10,000 its not 5,000 either.

    for accuracy the main issue the M4A1 suffers is the non FF KAC M4 RAS. having used a FF drop in rail on the M4 before I can say I was getting about 1.5-2MOA using MK318SOST which is good. you have to remember M855 was a 3-4MOA bullet, no special barrel will make it perform better, bullet construction is HUGE in accuracy and M855 is a 3-4MOA bullet.

    from what I hear current production M855A1 is a 1.5-2MOA bullet, but it is also built using older outdated machines, if it ever gets started on new machines who knows what it will be.

    as far as reliability, the M4 does not need constant cleaning, a wipe down in the morning and at night was good enough for me(unless I had to pass an inspection then it was scraping for days on end). the M4 does not need to be scraped like the Military teaches, honestly a wipe down with a T-shirt is all it needs. the M4 is self scraping and self limiting in where carbon builds up.

    the M4 does require alot of lube to run in a sandy environment, but I think one of the main issues(that gets passed around as all lubes) is CLP, to me and my experiences its crap. I have never had it last more than 5 mags or so. I personally use SLIP2000EWL, or Motor oil when im out of SLIP, I have had nearly 1,000 rounds of M855 through my M4 on just one lubing with SLIP, it is also built to NOT attract sand and dust, while it still does, it is nothing like CLP.

    sure the M4 PiP could have had better results, but the M4A1 is not outclassed by any current rifle to date, are there some that are slightly better? sure, but not enough to afford the cost.

    while the other PiP categories have failed, the handguard part will 95% likely give us a FF handguard since it is easy to see the advantages.

    @Lance, you gotta calm down. I know you like the M4 but you do come off as someone who refuses to admit that it will be replaced eventually. I dont think it will be with another 5.56 rifle(unless we get one with no chances to ever fail or break parts).

  72. Only SF groups use the Block II M4A1's.

    Standard troops are using the M4/M4A1MWS(modular weapon system) package.

    The main reason for the HKM4 bein developed(later renamed the HK416) was to address the issues with the DI system in the 10.3" MK18 package. HK later tried to corner the marke with their piston design which at this point did no work for them.

    Anyone running 14.5" M4's are running DI Block II's. Where a piston really shines is short weapons like the MK18.

    The MK18 is rated for 5,000 rounds bolt life which is not a lot, while the HK416 is rated for 10,000 bolt life in the 10.3" package. This basically gives you M4A1 parts life in the MK18 package.

    It should be noted the 14.5" HK416 the polish use is also rated for 10,000 rounds which is what the Block II M4A1's is rated for. Having talked to my Polish friend the HK416 is a great rifle but the piston if it gets gouged its toast. They had a few die from being scraped to remove carbon and once the piston got goiged it would no longer function.

  73. Yeah I knew piston shined in the SBR. If I remember right H&K had to renamed due to Colt complaining copyright on M4 name. What do these people have against a little carbon? Ever here of carbon remover? Stop the scraping and gouging.

  74. E.Ronc

    got some info for you.

    I talked to my armor buddy who knows his stuff. I also talked to my buddy in the Norwegian Army again(for some reason I keep saying Polish….hes Norwegian….)

    anyways. the bolt on the M4A1 will develop microscopic cracks at around 5,000 rounds. the bolt will then last around 8,000-14,000 rounds depending on use. if its a hard use rifle thats seen alot of automatic fire it will go around 8,000, if its been a mix it will go around 14,000.

    Now in heavy use units the bolts get replaced at 5,000 rounds just for the added security of knowing the bolt wont give out prematurely.

    now my buddy in the Norwegian military has said their HK416 bolts go 10,000-14,000 rounds, he also stated the rifles require similar maintenance to the M4A1, the difference being the carbon is in the piston vs the bolt carrier group.

    he also said the rifles still require plenty of lube to run in the deserts of afghanistan.

    so basically there is very little difference between the HK416 and the M4A1 other than the FF rail(excluding SOCOM).

  75. Joshua: So the bolts are rated pretty close to each other. I would suspect other internals to wear out a little quicker with hot gas being dumped into the rifle, but not a huge deal breaker. Any decent armor when he changed the bolt should inspect internals for wear and tear and replace what was necessary. Cook off should also occur a little earlier on DI. How much earlier should probably be quantified if we want to know.

  76. M4A1 is rated for 210 rounds before cookoff, the HK416 is rated for 240 rounds.

    cook off is related to the chamber so the only real diff is the barrel material.

    Bolts are indeed rated very similar to each other. one thing to note is that the whole piston is cooler than DI has been very overplayed, there is not a huge difference according to testing done by multiple sources on the internet. after 150rnds on full auto the Colt bolt was 90*F the HK416 was 78*F, certainly not enough of a diff to cause any issues.

  77. Thanks for the cook off numbers Joshua. I still believe the heat on the bolt should contribute some. How much, I'm not sure. I think if the barrels were created "equal" that at some point the extra heat from the bolt should add to the overall temperature in the chamber. Seems like pretty much straight physics. Unless I'm missing something? Wonder what it's like at say 200rds for both?

  78. It's pretty simple what you do. You fund the LSAT LMG and Carbine completely, wait for the technology to fully cook, then you deploy it. Getting a SCAR or product improved M4 isn't going to make much of a difference. Coburn is an ****** anyway, the M4 is a good weapon. The LSAT is the only thing I can think of that would actually be worth the trouble and expense of issuing a new rifle.

  79. "Senator Blocks Nomination of Acquisitions Chief over Carbine"__________________And they wonder why very few people like teapublicans…they are like the mafia

  80. I think the M4/M16 should be upgraded but not replaced. Possibly drop in a piston system, and a rail system. The platform is solid and expandable. You go with a totally new weapon you got a whole lot of proprietary new parts to deal with, which is a lot more costly.

  81. A few folks in this discussion are throwing out some bs numbers on barrel life. A 14,16,20 inch barrel weapon can last 20,000 to as high as 60,000 rounds depending on how the ratio of semiau fire to automatic/burst fire. HK has a open bolt fcg when fired on auto to avoid cookoffs.

  82. The US Army's idea of a better rifle is mall ninja-ing up the M4A1.

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