Skip to comments.M4 does poorly in Army's own test
Posted on 04/20/2008 11:54:38 AM PDT by Dawnsblood
When the dust finally settled, Army officials sought to put the best face on a sandstorm test that humbled Colt Defense's vaunted M4 carbine.
The tests were conducted at an Army laboratory in Maryland last fall. Ten M4s and 10 copies each of three other carbines - the SCAR from Belgium's FN Herstal, and the HK416 and the XM8 from Germany's Heckler & Koch - were coated in heavy layers of talcum-fine dust to simulate a sandstorm. Tens of thousands of rounds were fired through the rifles.
The M4s malfunctioned 882 times. Bullets that didn't feed through the rifles properly or became lodged in the firing chamber were the biggest problems.
The other carbines had far fewer hitches. The carbine with highest marks was the XM8, a gun with a Star Wars look that the Army considered buying just a few years ago but didn't. The program collapsed due to bureaucratic infighting and questionable acquisition methods.
(Excerpt) Read more at seattlepi.nwsource.com ...
Looks Israeli/South African to me! I want one!
The 6.5 Grendel, (on the 5.56 case form factor!)
what does that mean, exactly? I’m not green; I know what 5.56 means, but not familiar with the 6.5 Grendel terminology.
It is probably manufactured under license from Israel.
This guy took the powerpoint briefing of this exercise and did an analysis. Many of the slides are included.
Well, let’s be careful here: I’m pointing out the 6.5x284 only as evidence of the superior exterior ballistics of the 6.5mm bullets.
The Winchester .284 is a real oddball case, a “rebated rim” case, which means that they’ve using a .473” head, but the case diameter is large than the head rim.
For a full-auto weapon, there are feeding issues that have to come into consideration of the case design, which is why I say “start with the bullet” and then design a case that will feed properly, then start worrying about the action. The superior ballistics mean nothing if our guys are dying because their rifles jam, much as the superior accuracy of the M-16’s direct gas impingement means nothing if the action fouls and jams or fails to feed.
The whole method by which we now field weapons is infuriating to this taxpayer. Colt is taking some serious money off the US taxpayer at the same time they’re delivering an inferior product. They do this by gaming the contract bidding process.
There’s the 6.5 Grendel, which is a private-sector effort by Alexander Arms to fit a 6.5mm round into the M-16 platform.
That is sweeet! Thanks for sharing.
And with an engineer’s eye for the details that the bureaucrats don’t want to acknowledge or wish they could downplay.
The net:net result comes out that the M4 has problems. Duh. The practical experience of our Vietnam vets, our vets since then (Desert Storm and Iraq), private sector shootists, et al, is borne out: there are issues with direct gas impingement.
A lot of our vets swear by the M-16 - and I can sort of understand that. It is the weapon that brought them through some really tough spots - and there’s a loyalty there for our guys who have been in tough spots with a weapon.
That should not prevent us from acknowledging that there are issues, they can be fixed (eg, the HK-416 action) and that there are better weapons that we could have.
When in our history as a nation have we kept one infantry rifle 40+ years? Seriously, when? To my knowledge, not since the Civil War have we kept the same rifle for 40+ years. The 1903 Springfield was an excellent bolt rifle - still is today. But we didn’t keep it as our primary weapon for 40+ years.
The Garand was also an excellent rifle. Didn’t keep it 40+ years.
The M-14 had issues, but was a good rifle. Didn’t keep it very long.
The .30-40 Krag, the .45-70, etc — none of them were kept 40+ years.
So why has the nation with the most firearms experience in the world, both civilian and military, so stubbornly holding onto a compromised design?
6.5 caliber or .264 also called a 260 remington, has been around since the crack of dawn. neck up a 243 or neck down 308, you have a 260. First used by the US military before the Japanese adapted it in WWII nothing new about he 6.5.
Yep time for a change...........get it done !
I agree, start with the best 6.5mm and go from there....but that’ll never happen. Not with the way our screwed up system works. Just as the 1930’s supply of on-hand 30-06 caused the army to dump the best round for the Garand, today our “legacy” 5.56 and 308 causes the army to stick with those rounds no matter what.
And it will forever, I suspect.
Historical footnote to legacy calibers: Roman coins were copied in size and weight, empire after empire, down through the centuries to the Spanis “piece of eight” coins, to the original American silver dollars.
It was always just easier to say, “Let’s make our new coin the same as the most common old coin still in circulation.”
Thus it is with rifle calibers.
If it was up to the Army, we’d still be using muskets. Sometimes those aholes need a swift kick.
Weapon acquisition not always logical, eh?
They did it once, starting with the gun and building a plane around it. Turned out rather successfully.
Exactly — and look at how hard the USAF has wanted to get rid of the A-10. It isn’t supersonic, it isn’t sexy, it doesn’t have a glass cockpit.
But boy oh boy, does it get the job done.
Yea, a 308 case pushing a 6.5 instead of a 7.62 would probably be "quick." I just might check that out.
I’ve seen too many weapons that perform well and poor due different conditions. We lock ourselves in to ONE standard issue primary rifle every time. I would suggest that due a modern level of logistical support that no ONE caliber or type should be considered. Possible to have one caliber such as the 6.5 Grendel for airborne. spec ops or expeditionary forces where resupply may be in doubt etc but multiple platforms such as a M134DT , GPMG, DM / sniper rifle, primary infantry weapon and smaller PDW’s that share common caliber shouldn’t be set in stone.
There's a certain "Pucker Factor" when one is on a Night Assault, tens of klicks from any backup, with tracers going both ways, and the weapon you meticulously cleaned a few hours before decides to jam with the shell casing stuck in the breach!
Been there, done that!
One of these days, the Powers that be should, hmmm, "enjoy that feeling" before they vote to choose the next generation of "huntin" implements!