Skip to comments.Army Secretary Sees New Carbine to Replace M4
Posted on 04/08/2011 9:58:52 AM PDT by re_tail20
Kit Up spoke with Army Secretary John McHugh this morning at a round table interview with top defense scribes in DC.
I pinged him on the glacial pace of the improved carbine program (the replacement or redesign of the M4) and he seemed to indicate that while he sees the program as proceeding apace given the requirements and bureaucratic hurdles with such a massive change the end result will be a "replacement" of the M4, not just a revamped version, say, with a gas piston operating system or tweaked components.
We have a two part plan to over time replace the M4 with the next variant, whatever that may be. We are working the requirements for a [request for proposals] for an eventual replacement of the M4 and a new generation of personal carbine.
Now, you'll remember that my friend Matt Cox over at Army Times got his hands on a briefing slide circulated by PEO Soldier Brig. Gen. Pete Fuller on the Hill showing the near-term improvements the service planned to make to the M4, including a heavier barrel, improved trigger pull, a gas piston system and ambidextrous controls.
A lot of gun watchers think this is a straw man that the Army will erect to impede the fielding of a real replacement for the M4 that there's a large institutional pull in the service to wait until that "leap ahead" technology presents itself for a full-on replacement of the standard-issue carbine. I did sense some frustration with PM-level officials that this requirements process was getting bogged down (particularly on the subcompact weapon) and that some folks were impeding the process.
Not so, says McHugh:
(Excerpt) Read more at kitup.military.com ...
I’d like to try out an HK416/417.
You know the rule, pictures please.
The FN SCAN, in both Light and Heavy versions, is out there NOW. You can buy one at a gun show, store or order one on-line.
I think the SCAR has some improvements over the HK416 and is already fielded by SOCOM.
The HK416’s been in the field for years now. I don’t know how I feel about the idea of that reciprocating charging handle on the SCAR.
Are they going to keep the ground squirrel round(5.56MM)or will they go to a real caliber?
I think an AR-10 with gas piston would make most of these folks happy. I’ve shot this weapon and liken it to driving a Porshe after getting out of a Camaro...no comparing an AR-10 to M-4/M-16. More range, knockdown power and cleaner firing with no gas being used to operate the bolt. Can’t say anything about battle conditions but no weapon is perfect. Would you rather carry an inaccurate AK that shoots with mud on it or take care of your weapon and be able to protect yourself out to 600 yds? And since that is how far we need to carry the fight to the enemy now it makes perfect sense to field both weapons...AR-10’s in Afghanistan and M-4’s (in 6.8) in urban conflicts.
The SCAR scales from a carbine to a full battle rifle, with something like 80% interchangeable parts all around. It should at least be a contender.
I understand that they are issuing accurized AR-10s to snipers as a replacement for the M-14.
Also, I have heard that the SCAR-L has proved unreliable.
People are saying good things about the SCAR-H, though.
I've yet to see or hear of one.........
Translation: getting read of the three-shot burst selector and its ratchet, and going back to full-auto.
The HK416 was tested, but the SCAR was fielded.
The 416 is more of a product improvement, while the SCAR is a completely new rifle.
THe charging handle bugs me too. I’ve been doing the math on a) building AR #4, b) buying a SCAR, or c) picking up the Bushmaster/MagPul ACR.
Still irked that the ACR has a fixed, molded grip, when MagPul made their bones on modularity. It still feels better than the SCAR, though.
That shouldn’t change the trigger, since the sear controls burst/auto.
You’ll only get a better trigger with a semi-auto configuration. Competition single stage or something like the Rock River two-stage. That will cut groups in half, minimum.
Smoke and mirrors. There is no way the Army adopts a new carbine service wide. SpecOps gets the SCAR-H. Big Army gets bupkis.
What really needs to happen is ditching the 5.56mm for a better round. The 6.8 SPC is a step in the right direction but was hamstrung by the Army requiring it fit into a M-16 magazine. If you stretched that case out a couple more mm and use a better bullet the ballistics would really start to look sweet while still having a cartridge shape that feeds reliably and still has low recoil.
Plug that 6.8 enhanced round into the SCAR platform and you have a much superior carbine to the M-4.
Too bad it will never happen.
M16A2 trigger group:
A Soldier’s rifle is made by the lowest bidder.
The challenge for FN, Remington-Bushmaster, and the others, will be to not just beat the M4 in tests, which will be the easy part, but to offer their better rifle at a lower price than the revamped M4.
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