The Government Accountability Office recently denied Colt’s second protest of the Army’s M4 Product Improvement Plan, hopefully ending what seems to be a money-driven, seven-month delay over who gets to make M4A1 carbines for soldiers in Afghanistan.

This all began when the Army chose Remington Arms Company over Colt in April to make tens of thousands of M4A1 carbines. That award meant that more soldiers would go into combat with the M4A1, a SOF version of the carbine that features a more durable barrel and a full-auto capability. The Army’s decision to dump the  three-round burst setting will give soldiers a more consistent trigger and better accuracy.

Now, the GAO did rule that Colt’s first protest over the Army’s miscalculation of royalties it would receive for contract awards on its M4 design. The July 24 ruling forced the Army to rework the original solicitation so the vendors that fell into the competitive range could submit new price bids. All gun makers involved were forced to reveal their previous price bids for the $84 million contract to keep things fair.

Colt officials then filed an Oct. 9 protest with the GAO three weeks after the Connecticut-based gun maker received the Army’s amended Sept. 21 solicitation. Colt officials wouldn’t talk about the reason for the second protest then and have not returned my Nov. 29 phone call to discuss the issue.

The Army is now moving forward with its revised attempt to resolve the issue, said Don Jarosz, a spokesman for Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

“The Army intends to complete the source selection process and promptly issue a contract award in accordance with the amended solicitation.  No contract award has been made yet, and we are not aware of any appeals made by Colt,” he said.

With luck, the Army will soon be able to complete the M4 Product Improvement portion of service’s dual-path strategy to improve the individual carbine. Army weapons officials launched its plan to radically improve the M4 carbine about a year after senior leaders announced a plan in November 2008 to search for a possible replacement for the M4. Roughly three years later, the improved carbine that has emerged from the effort is the M4A1, a weapon that has been in the special operations inventory since the mid 1990s.

 The Army has fielded more than 6,000 M4A1s to soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky., this summer. The service plans to begin upgrading existing M4s to M4A1s with special conversion kits next summer.

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Bigge November 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

If I want a 30-06 I buy a Remington-
If I want a 1911, or M-16 variant I go to Colt-
If I want an affordable Colt quality M-16 variant I go to Windham Weaponry in Maine…!

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Skinny November 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

Windham/Bushmaster is definitely not at the same level of quality as Colt. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you one.

(And yes, I'm going to take a big dump in the middle of the room and leave now)

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Mike Baggott November 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

Much the same way that FN took over the M16 contract from Colt, the Remington rifles will be made to the same specifications used by Colt to make their rifles. They will be inspected by government inspectors before they are issued to our troops. I have not heard of any problems with the FN guns and I don't expect their will be with the Remington rifles either.

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Lance November 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

Remington has good DoD experience and will do well in making M-4A1s for the Army. They make M-24s new XM-2010s, and M-40 series rifles already. Good for them.

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John D November 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Colt needs to Fire former Gen Casey former CSA, even he couldn't influence the comittee!!

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Lance November 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Shows too the M-4 isn't going away. With hundreds of thousands made and next year millions of conversion kits coming the M-4 is staying in the Army.

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dude November 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm

It never was. Even if a new rifle is selected in the ICC, it will still be a two-rifle Army.

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Lance December 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

I dont see IC going anywhere soon, or surviving sequestration either.

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Greg November 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Wasn't most of the problems with Colt's made M4s/M4A1s cause by the full-auto fire and the wearing of the barrels because of it? plus wouldn't fully automatic fire mess up accuracy? IMO the Army is just asking for more future problems with these (i believe) regretable changes, no matter who produces them. Don't be surprised it ends up back to 3 Round burst in less than 10 years. Just remember, and M4/M16s were never intended to shoot like AK-47s, even the newer SOCOM made weapons, SCAR, Mk14, HKs ect can be prone to wear and failure. So better to be safe then sorry, to keep burst mode.

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Lance November 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm

No the reason we went to 3rd burst in the 80s was Officer from the Vietnam era saw and felt in combat full auto wasted alot more ammo and so Burst was a way to give rapid shots w/o a waste in ammo, Wrong. No SOCOM M-4A1s are full auto and better training will end bad ammo wasting in combat.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 5:01 am

No one uses full auto, we call that going full retard…and you never go full retard.

What the trigger does bring is a much better trigger pull that is consistant. The burst trigger has a cog in it that each noth has a different trigger pull. Trying to get good long range shots with 3 different trigger pulls can be difficult.

Having one consistant trigger pull will make taking long shots easier.

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Johnny Quest December 1, 2012 at 5:06 am

"No one uses full auto, we call that going full retard…and you never go full retard".

Really? I gotta wrap my head in duct tape to keep it from exploding every time some internet commando says that .

Oh, and who is "we"?

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 5:10 am

Clearly its a light harted joke. But still you should have your selector set to Semi 99.9% of the time, I can think of almost no situations where Auto is better than Semi. Of course this is pertaining to a Carbine and not a belt fed.

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Broadsword December 1, 2012 at 5:42 am

Johnny Quest……LOL! INTERNET COMMANDO!!! There's a phrase for the ages. Gonna remember that one!

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WLCE December 1, 2012 at 8:58 am

full auto, or burst for that matter, is used very little.

Joshua is correct.

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Axel December 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

I agree, full auto only retains to CQB Ops (excluding belt feds, etc.) and we usually use SMGs for those kind of Ops anyways, AND even then, the SMGs are set at semi. Overall, like WLCE and/or Joshua said, "full auto, or burst for that matter, is used very little."

shotbag November 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm

We don't need no GD new M4, we need to close with the enemy kill them

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Axel December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

I don't mean to be a "grammar police" but I had to read that thrice before I could understand what you're trying to say. Maybe you should rethink and double check your inferior argument.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 10:46 am

I still have no idea what the last part means.

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Rick November 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

A little off topic, but why would that soldier in the photo be using a 20 round mag?

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Martin M December 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Rick, you can get more prone with a 20 round mag. They were very popular with bench shooters for a while because most bench equipment of the time wasn't tall enough for 30s. A better question would be where did this GI get a 20 round mag? Even I only have a few of them.

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Yellow Devil December 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

He probable got them from my previous Reserve unit. Half our mags during our last qual were the 20 rounders.

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Ruger11 November 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Shotbag, you clearly aren't the one carrying the current M4/M16A4. How's the war from your laz-y-boy recliner? Please give your opinion more often, it's so good to hear how fat civilians feel about our infantry weapons. I'm sure you have a lot of experience in this area. On second hand, how about you just don't pipe up. If I need the phone number to the nearest Papa John's Pizza, I'll ask you.

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Destro December 1, 2012 at 3:59 am

if it ain't colt spec, it ain't colt quality….Windham god bless em, definitely ain't colt spec.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 4:59 am

One issue with the article. Completin the M4A1 phase is just Phase I.

Phase II consist of the now cancelled BCG PiP(none offered any improvements) and the Forward Rail PiP which is still ongoing.

After all is said and done we will have a M4A1 with ambi selector, a far better trigger than the one in the M4, and a FF forward rail. Sounds good to me, no current 5.56 rifle offers any true advantages that justify the billions it would cost to change systems.

The Marine Corps will also soon be looking at a PiP for their M16(heavy barrel, ambi selector, collapsing stock, FF forward rail, adjustable gas block).

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Axel December 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

I have a buddy in the Corps who was talking to me about how "southpaws" had to adjust to the rifles' non-ambi configurations. Sound very problematic (to me) when out there in the field. This is good news indeed.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

Forgot to mention a new trigger was on the list of possible PiP's.

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WLCE December 1, 2012 at 10:52 am

"now cancelled BCG PiP(none offered any improvements)"

what were the characteristics of improving the bolt carrier group?

i thought they were already pretty foolproof :P

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Lance December 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I agree that buying M-4A1 solves most of the original PIP's need to the M-4. 1 Heavy Barrel, 2 ambi selector 3 full auto over burst. So the FF barrel assembly is the only real improvement still in the works. and outside of wear no improvements where offord in the BCG studied.

As for the USMC I doubt you'll see much of anything new on any weapons all of the USMC budget is geared to the F-35 and more V-22 aircraft as well as a new network system. So any M-16A4 PIP will be years away at a minume.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm

PiP for M16 is set for 4th quarter 2013/1st quarter 2014.

And yes the FF rail is the only PiP left in the works. Down select will be in 2013. This means the Army will take a path similar to SOCOM on upgrading the M4.

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Lance December 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Talked to friend who is a lead writer at the Marine times said some rumores are around but no official upgrade for any M-4s or M-16s will come. They may look at M-4 PIP for a few years first.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm

There is only talk of the M16 PiP atm, basically just deciding things to look at.

They are going to begin the PiP first part of 2014. That said they will do a M16 PiP before they move to the M4.

WLCE December 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

"As for the USMC I doubt you’ll see much of anything new on any weapons all of the USMC budget is geared to the F-35 and more V-22 aircraft as well as a new network system"

with that being said, ill be surprised if marines dont end up in rags because those two abortions rendered them hopelessly broke.

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Lance December 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I agree The JSF is a joke. Too bad we had a all Service system like the F-4 Phantom had with the F-22 would been alot better. V-22 may be faster but SAMs and MiGs are still alot faster so this speed thing Marine brass plays is silly as well.

As for your AR-18 I think the M-16 was better but the AR-18 had one BIG user: killer machines from the future LOL (Joke).

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mka December 1, 2012 at 5:19 am

Regardless of who wins the "contract",keep full auto on the weapon.The wasting of ammo is less important than the wasting of my ***.
I am much too old to get involved in ammo wasting verses aimed shots.However
when our point men turned the corner and there within 10 meters was one or more
on the trail,the full auto the point men carried there rifles on was greatly appreciated.

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Bill December 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

It's getting better. When I shot the first Aimpoint on a 10-22, I couldn't get anyone to listen to trying to put the sight on our M-16s. That was in SF. Now cooks have some sort of sight on their weapon. The system is still ruled by the power/money brokers. But every once in a while a breath of fresh air drifts through. Things are getting better. Our soldiers are better trained and better equiped than when I was an 11B. Im hopeful that some in our current leadership can keep us moving in the right direction. I just try to remember "It's the Indian, not the arrow".

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janus December 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

The last remaining main GWOT theater is winding up, soon it will be back to "peacetime" rules… good luck with that right direction, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Frederick December 3, 2012 at 11:20 am

Do you really believe that???

Go figure.

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Nick December 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

From an old 11B, I'm glad to see the FA capability is there. There are very few times it will be needed, but there is a need for it. Next thing the Army needs to worry about is reliability issues. Get rid of DI and go with a piston system, similar to the HK416. I know my piston driven systems stay much cleaner and if they get into less than ideal conditions, it still goes bang. I don't know how the new m855a1 rounds are, but the older M855 (62gr) ammo sucks, by comparison to something like a 69gr round, or even up to 77gr round. I've seen what an M855 does to a body and I've also seen what a 77gr round does. The 77gr round is much better and it extends the range of the weapon system significantly. As far as Remington making the M4's, I don't see any problems with them making it as I'm already not a big fan of Colt. The 3rd burst was about the dumbest thing to put on a weapon. All it is, is a bandaid for lack of training. With a little training, it's not hard to put your weapon on auto and crank out however many round you want to at a time… Controlled pairs, 3rds, 5rds, etc, etc…

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

The M4 will "go bang" in any environment as well, the issue is…and I know I sound like a broken record in regard to the M16FOW…but, lubrication is the issue. I cannot tell you how many people to this day still think a light dry lube is best for the middle east. It's no wonder their M4 has a stoppage when they do not even know how to properly lubricate their rifles.

Run the M4 wet and it won't have issues outside of magazines/ammo, the HK416 won't fix what is a lack of proper training. There have also been reports of HK416's having issues when the soldiers using them did not properly lubricate their rifles, this was not a US incident but it happened.

The biggest part soldiers should be excited about with the new trigger is the consistant trigger pull, this is a huge upgrade over having three unique pulls.

As for M855A1 from what I have seen of gel testing the round is impressive. All I have experience wise is gel testing but it certainly does what its advertised to do.

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Johnny Quest December 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

Op rod conversions of Stoner's rifle suck, including the 416, the biggest and heaviest bloated pig of them all. Keep a di wet and it will run and run and run and run and run……………………………………………………………………….

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WLCE December 1, 2012 at 11:11 am

i think one of the biggest problems with the M4 and other small arms is the use of CLP. that stuff sucks.

on a technical, scientific level, automatic transmission fluid or motor oil is the best cleaner, lubricant, and preserver for firearms since they clean, lubricate, and preserve the life of automobile engines and transmissions that operate in high heat, high friction environments. most gun lubes are expensive snake oils that do not perform any better than automobile oil.

I like the heavy, CHF barrels on the 416 but am a strong believer in 1.) using a weapon that was designed from the ground up for a gas piston (like the SCAR) 2.) not using short-stroke gas pistons on AR15 type rifles; long stroke pistons are much more sufficient, especially ones like the ARs from Primary Weapons Systems and Faxon Firearms conversion. A bottle of ATF and a applicator needle go a long way.

The AR/M4s internal piston is far more reliable than people think (Reference: Armalite Technical Note 54: Direct impingement versus piston drive). This type of operation is disadvantageous with a suppressor and as machine gun (or IAR), though, for a infantryman's rifle, works well.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 11:32 am

Good post, honestly though with an adjustable gas block the Stoner sytem is more than capable with suppressed. Even as is, it performs well suppressed. It just requires more lubricant than when not suppressed. Again a gas block with a suppressed setting fixes this(part of why the Marine Corps is looking into it for the PiP for the M16 MWS package).

For the IAR concept a Stoner system can do that as well, it just requires a larger gas tube which can perform better. I have seen a few that are generally suported and 2 times larger than the standard one and they perform fine. This is actually used in the Colt LSW that has been around since the 60's.

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Johnny Quest December 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm

IAR was a back door acquisition of the HK weapon, and not matter how much you polish a turd, at the end of the day it is still a turd. A similarly configured M16 would perform just as well at less weight, less cost, and better inherent accuracy.

In fact, the IAR concept is a joke. Replacing a belt fed with a mag fed weapon? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?!? The Stoner LMG by Knight's is a 10lb banshee and is what should have been adopted to replace the 249. Of course, proper training is paramount.

Go to Vuurwapenblog and watch the video of the 416 flexing and bending like crazy on each cycle while comparatively the M16 is steady as she goes.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I have heard that rumor alot and honestly I believe it. I have no proof or anything but I know that the Marine Corps looked into pushing the IAR fleetwide to replace the M16/M4 only to find out it would cost over $1billion and HK would have to expand their operation and even then it would take 15+ years to replace the M16/M4'a that are in service with the Marine Corps.

The IAR is very expensive and are being delivered at a price of $3,600. What is interesting is the Colt bid was $8million cheaper than the HK bid and it was setup more like a IAR.

WLCE December 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

the IAR concept is not a joke. i disagree. the IAR concept is one of the things the US military is re-learning despite the original lesson being applied after World War II some 50 years ago. Similar to designated marksmen.

But Ill strongly agree that replacing it with a open bolt, belt-fed light machine gun is a very poor decision.

and Im not sure what happened to Knights LMG :( with its weight at 10 lbs, perhaps it would be a good candidate for the IAR role (which has been traditionally filled by upscaled assault rifles since belt feds were characteristically heavier). It has a enormous potential to merge the SAW and IAR roles.

and ill refer to a sentence in the link i posted about external vs internal gas pistons to bolster johnny quests last sentence, "In external piston systems, the path of the operating force is mechanically shifted around the action, resulting in a considerable mass of moving parts moving outside the centerline of the firearm and producing various torques within the system"

the Hk 416 demonstrates this. with mechanically more violent actions like short stroke, these variations of force in torque points are exacerbated which causes more wear and tear. In contrast, long stroke pistons, with their gas tubes and the spacing they give the gas to expand, alleviate the pressure placed on the torque points. That is why short stroke is not ideal for the AR platform.

WLCE December 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm

"But Ill strongly agree that replacing it with a open bolt, belt-fed light machine gun is a very poor decision."

sorry, i meant replacing a open bolt, belt-fed with the M27 IAR.

Lance December 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

No the IAR is laget. The USMC announced it will not replace any other weapon except the M-249 SAW. Also they looked at date from earlier wars the BAR concept worked in WW2 and Korea well and they looked at Soviet combat in Afghanistan and how the RPK-74 worked better for that kind of warfare.

So despite all they hype or rumors its a LMG not the next assault rifle.

Joshua December 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm

You are correct it won't replace any rifle in the system, but they did also look at if it would be possible to replace their M16's with the M27 and found it to be to costly and require to much time.

I'm sorry but the HK416 can only sustain 28 rounds per minute, we also have not seen how the system handles when older and in need of support from HK. When it was first fielded it had big issues and only 300MRBS, HK had to do immediate mods to the gas system to get it running reliably.

Johnny Quest December 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Sorry Lance, but the M27 is NOT a LMG. It is a heavy barreled op rod converted M16. Simple as that.

Consider the BS laid on you with the Garand/BAR story that is persistently repeated time and again.

Lance December 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Umm the marine times did talk to Marines and why they selected the M-27 its not to replace the M-4. They wanted the heavy barrel and its to be closer to a M-4 for ease of manual of arms and to accept USMC mags. They looked at the RPK and say the value of a light automatic weapon not a heavy belt fed MG that fire underpowered 5.56mm for the LMG job at expense of accuracy.

Johnny Quest December 3, 2012 at 4:20 am

Like I previously said, a similarly configured Colt/FN manufactured M16 would do the same job at less cost, lighter weight, parts interchangeability with other rifles in use, and an inherently more accurate rifle.

The USMC though is in fact supplanting a portion of the 249's with the M27. Huge mistake. A 10lb belt fed – Knight's. Virtually the same weight as the M27 within a pound or so and a belt fed!

Why in the heck would anyone, the military or civilian, want a converted Stoner rifle? I can't think of one valid reason to do so.

WLCE December 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

"Like I previously said, a similarly configured Colt/FN manufactured M16 would do the same job at less cost, lighter weight, parts interchangeability with other rifles in use, and an inherently more accurate rifle."

I like the Colt IAR, especially its integrated heat sink. With newer technology, perhaps, it can operate just as reliably as a external gas piston system too but this is just speculation. I can see the advantage other platforms have since external pistons are more ideal for automatic fire due to the cooler operation of the bolt carrier group.

Im not sure about the accuracy. HK DOES use better barrels than Colt and a bullet leaves the barrel long before the mechanical parts start to move. If it IS more accurate, then kudos.

"The USMC though is in fact supplanting a portion of the 249′s with the M27. Huge mistake. A 10lb belt fed – Knight’s. Virtually the same weight as the M27 within a pound or so and a belt fed!"

it seems to me like the military wouldnt even look at it, which is a pity. i think that is the solution to the age old problem of a upscaled assault rifle being used (IAR) because belt feds were more heavy.

Johnny Quest December 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

WLCE –

The whole concept of the IAR a bunch of baloney. The BAR, the predecessor in concept was capable of automatic fire, the only rifle calibered should held weapon to do so in US service. Automatic fire is the operative word here.

Everyone seems to focus on semi-only use as stated in this thread numerous times by numerous individuals. So, why in the heck to they decide to employ a rifle capable of automatic fire as its intended use? It is an *** backwards formula that is bogus imo.

Shore up the standard M16A4 with a 16" heavy barrel, Vltor A5 stock, and TRAIN the users to fire in controlled burst if needed.

Again, give me a 10lb belt fed and you could use the m27 for a tire jack. There is absolutely no comparison. Anyone that tries is being intellectually dishonest.

WLCE December 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

The IAR is a valuable addition to the infantry squad just like designated marksmen.

The RPK was far ahead of its time. It amazes me how we havent fielded a IAR M16/M4 yet and when a branch does, it is a different weapon system. Now with the technology to make belt-feds as light as traditional upscaled rifles, like the Knights LMG, new possibilities exist that didn't before.

The Soviets learned the value of the designated marksman and automatic riflemen during World War II and quickly applied those lessons. We're re-learning those lessons 60 years later. Utter idiocy.

Joshua December 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

PS: did I mention the HK entrant was $1,500 more per rifle than the Colt entrant?

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Jay December 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

When it comes to the IAR competition, I still think FN had a better produuct for the job. Their HAMR was able to switch between closed and open bolt automatically, as the tempetature increases and passed a certain point. This allowes the weapon to sustain higher rates of fire when needed, without the risk of cookof.
They wanted the HK and they got it, I guess.

Lance December 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

M-855 ball isn't going anywhere the Army improved it with the M-855A1 ball ammo. In CQC studies showed that even M-193 ball (55gr) did do a better job.

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janus December 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Didn't Stoner invent the short-stroke AR in the form of the (easier to manufacture) AR-18? But as I recall the USMil was already committed to the M16, and so it went nowhere…

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WLCE December 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Stoner didn't design the AR18, but he designed the AR16, which was the AR18s predecessor chambered in 7.62 NATO.

Yes, the US military was committed to the M16, which was a pity since the AR18 had every right to succeed as a viable, modern fighting rifle. Its spirit would come back to haunt the M16, however, as many, many countries have since adopted rifles that were inspired by the AR18 (like the L85, G36, etc etc).

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Yellow Devil December 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Although I would note that the first generation of L85's suffered from many problems as well, even though it was inspired from the AR18.

Joshua December 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I fail to see how it has come back to haunt the M16.

The M16 easily holds its own against any modern rifle system including AR18 insired ones. When the SAS were selecting a new rifle the C8 went against the Sig551 as well as the G36(a sytem based of the AR18) and they found the C8 to far exceed the other two entrants.

If you know anything about the SAS they leave nothing untested and the rifles were tested very hard and the best weapon was selected.

WLCE December 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm

i meant that facetiously and the M4/M16s success in international arms sales is nothing to balk at, far surpassing other arms except the AK. The fact that the SAS adopted the weapon fairly soon after it was standardized with the US military is a testimony of the versatility of the M16.

yes, the L85 was a troublesome weapon. and i remain skeptical that the C8 was "better" since certain units in the British military use the G36C.

Joshua December 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I fail to see how it has come back to haunt the M16.

The M16 easily holds its own against any modern rifle system including AR18 insired ones. When the SAS were selecting a new rifle the C8 went against the Sig551 as well as the G36(a sytem based of the AR18) and they found the C8 to far exceed the other two entrants.

If you know anything about the SAS they leave nothing untested and the rifles were tested very hard and the best weapon was selected.

Axel December 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

Glad things are moving along. Colt is really starting to wear on me. (Off topic) With all of this M4 news, I'm glad I have my SBR but I'd like to get an IWI Tavor X95.

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Joshua December 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

Colt did what any company would when handed the short end of the stick by the Army, and clearly the GAO agreed with them about the royaltie fees.

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Lance December 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

Agreed Colt will still get money from this. They are also making money making M-240 GPMGs.

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LetsLobRob December 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Gives me faith in the system.

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Jay December 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm

This is not first time when Colt f*ked the army and it got back in through the back door. All this guys did this century was to milk the government and beg for bancrupty protection. Not a single succesful military firearm was designed by Colt, from the ground up, for over a century. Their legacy this century was screwing the tax payers, screwing their employees, screwing the army and getting good men killed. The only people that had a good time since Colt rules DOD small arms procurement, are few generals and politicians.
Everyone else got screwed. It's nice to see some people trying to fix this, but I doubt they can. Colt has too many fat cats in their pocket.

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Johnny Quest December 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!! Why the hate on Colt?

Please expound on you post above with specific examples line by line.

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Jay December 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Well.
-Colt made rifles did get good men killed in Vietnam.
-They lost the M16 contract because extremely poor quality and bad overall service, after milking it for few decades with little to no improvements.
-They went bankrupt right after, since they weren't able to function in a normal civilian compiting environment.
- Colt holds the record for the longest strike in the American history.
-after all those failures, some how they got back in charge to make millions of M4s. Why?
-The last succesfull military firearm they designed was the 1911, a single stack pistol… about 100 years ago. Small changes to firearms designed by other companies they got to milk for a reason or another don't count.
-got fat cat generals straight into exec positions when they "retire" from the army.

Sorry. Their record the last century wasn't exactly that stelar. You would expect companies that get such huge millitary contracts to spend a penny or two on developing new firearms, not just pay generals and politicians.

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WLCE December 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm

and that is just Colt :D

were not talking about General Dynamics Land Systems yet…

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Johnny Quest December 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Jay –

Let me get you squared away with accurate information, not regurgitated internet crap.

-Colt made rifles did get good men killed in Vietnam.

You should really read up on some history prior to spouting off. Colt made the rifles to spec. Period. The reason some early examples failed (short story) is McNamara wanted the rifles fielded quickly. No chrome chamber or bore, plus the switch to ball powder which was not recommended by GS himself.

-They lost the M16 contract because extremely poor quality and bad overall service, after milking it for few decades with little to no improvements.

NO, they lost the contract because they were underbid by FN. Period.

-They went bankrupt right after, since they weren’t able to function in a normal civilian compiting environment.

What does that have to do with anything. Nevertheless, Colt was sold several times as part of a larger acquisition and was not a focus of the business plans of the purchaser. There are several types of bankruptcy, you can read up on that also. Colt reorganized their debt, got good management, and are up and running.

- Colt holds the record for the longest strike in the American history.

Don't even go there with me bucko.

-after all those failures, some how they got back in charge to make millions of M4s. Why?

Because they make them and make them well. Plus, they had the contract.

-The last succesfull military firearm they designed was the 1911, a single stack pistol… about 100 years ago. Small changes to firearms designed by other companies they got to milk for a reason or another don’t count.

Colt did not design the 1911, only built it. Not unlike the M16.

-got fat cat generals straight into exec positions when they “retire” from the army.

And? Actually, it was a Marine General running the show.

Sorry. Their record the last century wasn’t exactly that stelar. You would expect companies that get such huge millitary contracts to spend a penny or two on developing new firearms, not just pay generals and politicians.

Uniformed again. Colt has spent plenty of dough on new stuff, but generally, when you have huge contracts to deliver to the DoD, and without the demand or REQUEST or SOLICITATION for something new, you run with it.

You really need to up your research in the subject matter at hand prior to involving yourself in this type of discussion. It would make for a better debate if you were informed and didn't get caught up in the drivel off internet sites.

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Joshua December 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

You need to brush up on history. Every issue with the M16 in Vietnam was soleyl from the ammo and lack ofcleaning kits. Both were caused by the Army.

The actual first fielding of the M16 came in early Vietnam by the Navy. It was still called the AR-15 then and was issued to the ARVN as well as the SEALs. During that time it received incredible reviews from the soldiers using them and had no issues, at the time the Navy ordered cleaning kits and used IMR specced powder.

Once it was adopted by the Army it was not ordered with cleaning kits and the Army chose to use the remaining surplus of 7.62 powder to load the 5.56. This caused excessive fouling as well as excessive cyclic rates of over 1,100RPM. This increase in cyclic rate cause the bolt to unlock far to quickly while the case was still obturated against the chamber thus causing numerous failure to extract stoppages resulting from torn case rims.

There is plenty of court hearings you can look up in regards to these issues. Once the Army moved to the correct powder and issued cleaning kits the problems went away and Colt made a few mods as well like a buffer and chrome lining to the bore. Both were not in the AR-15 at the time the SEALs and ARVN had them and they had no issues.

As far as building rifles from the ground up…who cares, they own a system that works and has been upgraded numerous times to keep it competitive against numerous newer designs which none have been able to surpass the Stoner system that Colt owns the TDP for.

Also the Army and Remington knowingly played with the royalties which helped Remington win. Colt was justified intheir protest and the GAO said so. In the up coming bids Colt is a surewin.

Did you know that Colt was only outbid by $25? Had the Army calculated the royalties correctly Colt would have won.

Sent from my iPhone

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WLCE December 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

what!? the army can do no wrong! ;)

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SrA Tom December 3, 2012 at 5:05 am

I'll start this off by saying, even though I'm a battlefield airman, I'm still a POG. But as a shooter, I have to say I think that the M4A1 is a step in the right direction. It's mechanically simpler, and I like that. Also, I've never been allowed to use anything other than semi. As for full auto, I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. In addition to shooting real firearms, I also play airsoft, and I so rarely use Full auto, because I believe in getting the biggest payoff for the least effort, even airsoft guns have muzzle climb. I just hope the Air Force gets the M4A1 soon.

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Johnny Quest December 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm

What is the IAR? A heave barreled M16. So what is the big deal? There has been several incarnations of heavy barreled M16's.

The BAR was the ONLY rifle in it's time that did what it did. The RPK is nothing more than a AK47 with a 20" barrel with a bipod mounted on it and a 40rd mag. Far ahead of its time? This was no groundbreaking advancement in tactics with the RPK. Put it this way, you seem them in use currently by the Russians or Chinese? May see old stuff in third world hot spots.

When the Germans came out with the MP43/44, the game changed and the IAR concept became obsolete. Why not just issue everyone a HB 16" M16 and they could all be "riflemen".

Curious, what weapon did the Russian automatic rifleman use in WWII?

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Lance December 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm

The Soviets used the DPM light Machine gun.

The M-27 is not just a heavy barreled M-16. It has a heavy barrel but s also beefed up to take prolonged auto fire and its piston system keeps it cooler longer.

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Clark December 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm

20 rounders are also convenient if you're working around vehicles and dismounting quickly. They're a lot less likely to drag a handmike or BFT cable out of the truck with you.

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WLCE December 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

"What is the IAR? A heave barreled M16. So what is the big deal? There has been several incarnations of heavy barreled M16′s."

typically a IAR is a assault rifle with a heavier receiver and barrel. The US tried such a beast before with the M16 Automatic Rifle/Light Support Weapon and somehow dropped it for the M249 instead of augmenting it.

"The BAR was the ONLY rifle in it’s time that did what it did."

If by that you mean a lightweight, suppressive fire rifle that fires the same cartridge as the main rifle then that is incorrect. There was the DP. The Bren. The MG42 (which was the best weapon of its type in that war because it was light AND belt-fed). In fact, those weapons were better than the BAR because they had larger magazines.

"The RPK is nothing more than a AK47 with a 20″ barrel with a bipod mounted on it and a 40rd mag."

and a heavier receiver and integrated carrying handle. These features are critical differences between assault rifles and automatic rifles

"Far ahead of its time? This was no groundbreaking advancement in tactics with the RPK. Put it this way, you seem them in use currently by the Russians or Chinese? May see old stuff in third world hot spots."

Actually it was ground breaking. It was a "light" suppressive fire weapon similar to the AK that gave infantrymen the ability to fire and maneuver on a far superior level than with the heavier caliber PKM and the RPKs heavy belt-fed predecessor, the RPD. This was instrumental to the perceived Warsaw Pact tactics required to break through NATO lines during a anticipated WWIII.

And yes, the concept is still in use. There is the RPK74 used by the Russian Armed Forces (and others). There is also the QBB95 (used by the PLA). IARs should supplement light machine gun and general purpose machine guns, not replace then.

"When the Germans came out with the MP43/44, the game changed and the IAR concept became obsolete."

not remotely. The assault rifle still didn't have the suppressive fire capability of a machine gun. belt-fed machine guns (at that time) didn't have the light weight to accomodate fire and maneuver. Besides, such a statement would mean the MP44 made the MG42 light obsolete. http://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=8672 This is obviously not true.

"Why not just issue everyone a HB 16″ M16 and they could all be “riflemen”."

Because riflemen have niche specific jobs in a fire team that are different than automatic riflemen. Equipping all riflemen with a infantry automatic rifle would make them automatic riflemen, which obviously affects the flexibility of the infantry fire team and squad. Also, IARs are still heavier and less mobile than rifles or carbines. The automatic rifleman job should utilize both belt-fed and IAR-type weapons to encourage flexibility. Assault squads can use IARs and Support can use belt-feds just for a generalization.

"Curious, what weapon did the Russian automatic rifleman use in WWII?"

The DP Degtyaryov.

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Ryan December 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Remington makes the 6.8 spc :D maybe we will see a push to get the m4 replacement in 6.8 spc! whoop whoop

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Johnny Quest December 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

You must have too much time on your hands, but I will play.

“What is the IAR? A heave barreled M16. So what is the big deal? There has been several incarnations of heavy barreled M16′s.”

"typically a IAR is a assault rifle with a heavier receiver and barrel. The US tried such a beast before with the M16 Automatic Rifle/Light Support Weapon and somehow dropped it for the M249 instead of augmenting it."

Nothing to augment. A “special” rifle (that is not so special) as described and built by HK is a farce. I keep repeating this but it apparently is not getting through. A similarly configured rifle by Colt, FN, or whomever based on the Stoner di system would do the same thing at less cost, parts commonality, lighter weight, and better accuracy.

By the way, their ain’t no ‘heavier receiver component to the current IAR

“The BAR was the ONLY rifle in it’s time that did what it did.”

"If by that you mean a lightweight, suppressive fire rifle that fires the same cartridge as the main rifle then that is incorrect. There was the DP. The Bren. The MG42 (which was the best weapon of its type in that war because it was light AND belt-fed). In fact, those weapons were better than the BAR because they had larger magazines."

Uhhh, no I am not, and I beg to differ. What the BAR lacked in mag capacity it more than made up for in weight savings.

The BAR generally weighed in around 15-16 lbs and fired from a 20rd magazine.

The DP during the war weighed in at around 20 lbs and fired from a 30 rd mag.
The Bren is in a whole other class and weighed in at around 22-23 lbs and fired from a 30 rd mag.

The point being, is both weapons mentioned are quite a bit heavier than the BAR, but nevertheless, I was speaking of US inventory. Plus, these weapons and the concept were replaced with lightweight single man portable belt feds. That is just the way it is. The IAR is not going to add any more ‘suppressive fire’ than a similarly configured di M16.

The MG42 shouldn’t even be mentioned in the discussion.

“The RPK is nothing more than a AK47 with a 20″ barrel with a bipod mounted on it and a 40rd mag.”

"and a heavier receiver and integrated carrying handle. These features are critical differences between assault rifles and automatic rifles"

Same receiver made out of 1.5mm material versus 1mm material which is not a big deal really and not enough of a departure from the AKM to really classify it other than anything but a longer barreled AK with a bipod.

The HK, Colt, LWRC, etc. IAR rifles usr the same receiver as a standard M16.

“Far ahead of its time? This was no groundbreaking advancement in tactics with the RPK. Put it this way, you seem them in use currently by the Russians or Chinese? May see old stuff in third world hot spots.”

"Actually it was ground breaking. It was a “light” suppressive fire weapon similar to the AK that gave infantrymen the ability to fire and maneuver on a far superior level than with the heavier caliber PKM and the RPKs heavy belt-fed predecessor, the RPD. This was instrumental to the perceived Warsaw Pact tactics required to break through NATO lines during a anticipated WWIII."

Yeah, but the Warsaw tactics sucked, and I highly doubt the RPK was gonna change the day if the big one happened. I would take an RPD 100 times over and RPK. I like belt feds if you can't tell.

"And yes, the concept is still in use. There is the RPK74 used by the Russian Armed Forces (and others). There is also the QBB95 (used by the PLA). IARs should supplement light machine gun and general purpose machine guns, not replace then."

I have not seen any recent information that shows the Rooskies still using a RPK type in front line units. I could be wrong there as I haven’t really had the interest to look in depth.

That is what I am saying, the concept doesn’t supplement anything in the palce of a belt fed unit. If I lose one belt fed to the bloated HK turd, I am ******.

“When the Germans came out with the MP43/44, the game changed and the IAR concept became obsolete.”

"not remotely. The assault rifle still didn’t have the suppressive fire capability of a machine gun. belt-fed machine guns (at that time) didn’t have the light weight to accomodate fire and maneuver. Besides, such a statement would mean the MP44 made the MG42 light obsolete. http://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=8672 This is obviously not true.

Suppressive fire is one of the exact reasons the Germans came up with the MP43/44, the ability to get more controllable rounds down range in a hurry. The MG42 wasn’t light weight relative to its peers of the time, considering the volume of fire, and the capacity of a quick change barrel?

“Why not just issue everyone a HB 16″ M16 and they could all be “riflemen”.

"Because riflemen have niche specific jobs in a fire team that are different than automatic riflemen. Equipping all riflemen with a infantry automatic rifle would make them automatic riflemen, which obviously affects the flexibility of the infantry fire team and squad. Also, IARs are still heavier and less mobile than rifles or carbines. The automatic rifleman job should utilize both belt-fed and IAR-type weapons to encourage flexibility. Assault squads can use IARs and Support can use belt-feds just for a generalization."

How does it affect it adversely? The are the same friggin rifle except one uses a bit of a heavier barrel. You act like 20 magawatt lasers are coming out the doggone thing. When rounds are being exchanged, allot of this stuff goes out the window. The IAR in its current form – HK – blows. There simply is no advantage to that rifle over a similarly configured M16. In fact as I have said here in this post as well as previous ones, the fact that the op rod is scabbed on the thing and never was designed to have one, the weight, the physical distortion the rifle experiences when fired due to the op rod, proprietary parts, etc. make it a boondoggle.

“Curious, what weapon did the Russian automatic rifleman use in WWII?”

"The DP Degtyaryov."

I knew that but it was a 30% heavier weapon than the BAR. So I don’t consider it the “same”. Maybe in concept it is. I will tell you this, it played far less of a role in the success of the Russians than the PPSh or PPS-43. How is that for a hard fact?

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WLCE December 4, 2012 at 11:41 am
Brian December 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm
Dan Valentine December 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm
Clive December 9, 2012 at 2:58 am
The one December 17, 2012 at 5:51 am
Pat January 24, 2013 at 8:35 am

Joshua is 100% correct. The accuracy comes from a consistant trigger pull. Also, if I am not mistaken, the joke was a Tropic Thunder reference.

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Joe CT. February 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

Can someone tell me what ISAF and /arabic text means on the shoulder patch shown on this picture.

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Mike in Fort Worth February 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

International Security Assistance Force -ISAF. That's what we call our coalition in Afghanistan. I assume the Arabic writing is just saying the same thing.

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SFC 11B4XB4 December 5, 2012 at 5:35 pm
SFC 11B4XB4 December 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

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