This guy took the powerpoint briefing of this exercise and did an analysis. Many of the slides are included.
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?
An excellent debunking of a seriously flawed and political test.
Excessive amounts of dust were used more than would have ever been accumulated in combat conditions.
The M-4’s were off the shelf while it’s competitors were hand crafted and some received extra lubrication the M-4’s did not.
When properly lubricated the M-4 performed as well as the rest of the rifles used in the test.
All of the rifles used were worn out to the point where the head space on the bolts of each weapon exceeded safe conditions and resulted ruptured cartridge cases in all the rifles with the M-4 suffering the least amount of ruptures.
Rather debate the merits of one gun over the other perhaps the old axiom should be applied to all these tests.
Keep your powder dry.
or rather take care of your weapon properly and it will take care of you.