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M4 does poorly in Army's own test
Seattle PI ^ | 4/20/08 | RICHARD LARDNER

Posted on 04/20/2008 11:54:38 AM PDT by Dawnsblood

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To: NVDave
that the M262 round (a 77gr bullet) has appeared to provide some ballistic performance for the M-16

M262 being hard to get, and M4gery being what many have, does anyone know a good recipie for reloading to M262 specs?

101 posted on 04/21/2008 11:13:02 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: chainsaw

As has been noted: the M4 didn’t perform that much worse, and the tests were of dubious value.

(Rumor has it one reason the XM8 hasn’t been approved is it’s tendency to _melt_ under not-unreasonable conditions.)


102 posted on 04/21/2008 11:16:09 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: ctdonath2

No, largely because the powder being used in military loadings won’t be available to you. You would have to start with the ballistics reported and the bullet used (the 77gr Sierra) and work your way up. M262 shot out of a 20” barrel (or an 18” barrel) shows 2,800 fps or more at the muzzle; SAAMI spec ammo tends to top out in the 2650 to 2700 fps range (depending on powder) for a 77gr pill. If you don’t hold a NFA license, you won’t be able to own a 14.5” barrel for a AR, so let’s not worry about that.

When loading to 2800+ fps is done with commercial powders you, the civilian, can obtain, you’ll see your primers flatten - indicating a hot load. Modern firearms should withstand the load, but they’d better be in spec on the headspace or you’ll start to see case failures. I’m not going to give a load that would replicate M262 velocities because I’m not going to assume any liability for failures of case, firearm or reloader. There are benchrest types out there who claim they can push a 77 or 80gr pill at nearly 3,000 fps, but I don’t think that sort of load would be at all wise, in either a bolt or semi-auto.

You can obtain a commercial loading of the 77gr Sierra bullet from Black Hills Ammunition, at a bit over 2,700 fps. Nosler is also shipping a 77gr round, at 2,600 fps.

Both of their products are of very high quality, so expect a high price accordingly.


103 posted on 04/21/2008 11:42:33 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: Pistolshot

That is a big question for me — were the M4’s the same as before or pulled out of production, or what?

The whole thing does cry out for a more uniform test, indeed. And perhaps they should standardize a test, rather than slap one together that is dictated by political pressures inside the DOD. This is another issue where the private sector should run the show. The test should be a “black box” as far as the DOD is concerned. A test which is run by a private sector lab, using weapons pulled at random from production, using issue ammunition, in standardized environments, much as is done for other gear, is what is needed.


104 posted on 04/21/2008 11:46:14 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: xsrdx

To elaborate:
The M16/M4 platform is, unlike most calibers, suffers dramatic changes in performance when assorted factors vary. Barrel length is significant, as is twist rate, bullet weight, expansion/fragmentation behavior, velocity, etc. Seems it works quite well when all these factors are tuned correctly as required for certain needs ... but use the wrong parameters under certain conditions, and of course it doesn’t work as desired.

Biggest problem I can tell is the insistence on using “green tip” rounds on soft targets using short barrels. Use Mk262 and it works fine; use a lighter round that won’t yaw/fragment, well duh performance is sub-optimal.


105 posted on 04/21/2008 12:02:23 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: Solitar
Seems one of the big problems with 6.5G is licensing: there's simply too much paperwork & fees involved to bother.
106 posted on 04/21/2008 12:04:45 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: NVDave
Agree. The US Army has a habit of fitting the results it wants to get out of the testing. Look what they did to the AR-10 when the M14 was being developed or comparing the M14 to the new radical AR system from Stoner.

In the end, the 6.8 SPC will be where the AR system evolves into. IMHO. It is an excellent cartridge, requiring only a bolt and magazine change to function in the AR system and awesome downrange ballistics.

Now if they had necked down the M1 Carbine to 6.5 in the begining we wouldn't be having these issues.

107 posted on 04/21/2008 12:16:24 PM PDT by Pistolshot (When you let what you are define who you are, you create racial divisiveness.)
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To: Gilbo_3

“Found” ammo loaded with C4 (or otherwise rigged) is not unheard of.


108 posted on 04/21/2008 12:22:57 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: ctdonath2
Biggest problem I can tell is the insistence on using “green tip” rounds on soft targets using short barrels.

The insistence on 1:7 twist, combined with lowered velocity and 62gr steel core pill, leads to subpar terminal performance.

Given M855 and 1:7 twist, the short barrel is a poor choice.

Additionally, the short gas system reduces available power to cycle the action compared to mid or full length gas systems.

109 posted on 04/21/2008 12:28:13 PM PDT by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: Gilbo_3

It’s usually considered doctrine to not use ANYONE’s “found” munitions ‘cept for “last resort”.

Not unusual in competitions or other range activity to find loose rounds rolling around. It’s awfully tempting to use them, esp. considering price (you’re looking at $0.20-0.50 per round); a common warning entails you not knowing what is inside (risk of over/under-pressure, KaBoom or squib), who made it (you really wanna use Bubba’s handloads?), what happened to it (deep-seated => overpressure; damage => jam), what it’s made of (over-used shell, copper-wash vs. FMJ), etc. ...and that’s protocol involving “found” stuff left behind by people like you & on your side. How much worse coming across “found” stuff made to far lower standards, handled with far less care under far worse conditions, made for different platforms, and quite possibly sabatoged?


110 posted on 04/21/2008 12:29:48 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: NVDave
If you don’t hold a NFA license, you won’t be able to own a 14.5” barrel for a AR, so let’s not worry about that.

I have an 11.5" AR (Colt 6933 M4LE, as close to a true M4 as a civvie can get), that's why I'm interested. (Yes, it's NFA papers are in order.) I have a small & diminishing supply of Mk262 that it rather likes, hence my question.

You can obtain a commercial loading of the 77gr Sierra bullet from Black Hills Ammunition, at a bit over 2,700 fps.

Got a link handy?

111 posted on 04/21/2008 12:38:52 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: ctdonath2

a few times a years I get a truly optomistic idea...and just damn...lolol...all good points that have beaten me about the head, neck, and shoulders...lolol...


112 posted on 04/21/2008 1:28:43 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Gilbo_3

heh ... all that aside, I’ve all too often used “found” rounds. Stupid, but irresistable at times...


113 posted on 04/21/2008 1:31:56 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: Pistolshot
I guess my optimistic logical logistics was more geared to the rare type engagements where air and armour arent readily at hand...I guess even then [Somalia for ex] our guys still never 'ran out' completely...

As was mentioned above, just the thought of bubbas handloads give me the willies, not to mention babalous' stuff...

even I aint that cheap...

thanks much...

114 posted on 04/21/2008 1:35:36 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: ctdonath2
Here you go. Short barrel rifles are much cheaper than Full-auto, but still need the tax stamp.

http://www.autoweapons.com/products/sbr.html

115 posted on 04/21/2008 1:43:54 PM PDT by Pistolshot (When you let what you are define who you are, you create racial divisiveness.)
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To: NVDave
Yea, but answer me this: Why compromise your weapon to address what is a vehicle issue?

Because we will NOT be using one cartridge for the infantry/airmobile and another for the mechanized forces. And because having a weapon in the vehicle that is longer-ranged than our probable adversaries' weaponry is desirable.

Why not come back and say “We need vehicles that will withstand attack better” rather than create a morphodite rifle to “fix” this problem?

Because you begin with a *quick fix* to do what can immediately be done to cut down on your casualties [IE, up-armored HUMVEES and *bedspring armor* on Strykers, even though it breaks axles and tires have to be run over-inflated. Which results in more replacements being needed, which costs airlift. Eventually, better vehicles [MRAPs] come along, in a year or two or three. But they should probably be considered a *quick fix* for the present problem only; in the Spring/Winter thaws of central europe, they're a bigger headache waiting to happen. When tracks get stuck, wheels get stuck worse.

To this engineer, this problem isn’t “fixed” by changing the rifle.

Nope, not at all. But a change of rifle can very easily impact the tank, especially if a change of cartridge is also involved. And conversely, if the *all purpose* weapon is to replace a vehicle crewman's weapon [as the M4 carbine replaced the M3 and M3A1 SMGs carried by American tank crews since mid-WWII] then it's use in and from the vehicle also has to be considered.

The Israelis found that out when they replaced the 20,000 Uzi SMGs carried by their tank crews with M16 rifles cut down to M4 specifications. Two years later, they found a third of them destroyed or damaged to near the point of uselessness, and set about giving their tankers 20,000 new shorty *Micro Galils* [Glilon or Gilatz Galil Tzalafim, in Israeli tanker speak] And soon, I suspect, they'll be getting 20,000 more new weapons....

116 posted on 04/21/2008 1:54:29 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: Pistolshot

Got mine: http://donath.org/M4LE_Omni.JPG


117 posted on 04/21/2008 2:20:25 PM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: archy
But either a breakthrough in propellant technology, probably caseless, …

As I recall, around 1980, the Marines were pushing hard for a rifle upgrade. They were offered two options: continue with the M16 and minor changes (sights?) and wait 10 or 15 years for the next generation of rifle which would include caseless ammo, or get nothing. They took what they could get.

I’m sure someone closer to the process will be along to fill in the blanks.

BTW – At the beginning of WW II, those .45-70 single shots were still in National Guard armories. Your great-grandkids will be training with M4s some day.

118 posted on 04/21/2008 3:21:07 PM PDT by kitchen (Any day without a fair tax thread is a good day.)
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To: ctdonath2
Image hosted by Photobucket.com FN, in Belgium... 8^)
119 posted on 04/21/2008 3:33:41 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: Dawnsblood
My son, an infantryman now fighting in Iraq, has been involved in "house to house" "Room to room" fighting. I asked him which weapon he would prefer for such fighting: M-4 or Ak-47. He said the AK because at close range where accuracy is not an issue (assuming one can hit a man sized target across a living room) shot for shot, burst for burst, the AK takes the target down more reliably and more quickly.

The troops seem mostly satisfied with the AR. Once we had the cleaning issue resolved in Vietnam, I found the M-16a1 to be quite a nice weapon. We cleaned them with gasoline and lubed them with that LSA stuff and they worked fine.

120 posted on 04/21/2008 3:48:34 PM PDT by oneolcop
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