Skip to comments.Colt's Grip on Military Rifle Market Called Bad Deal
Posted on 04/20/2008 1:10:11 PM PDT by kellynla
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At 1500 somalians, is the M4 the “best bang for the buck?”
Keep Congress out of it.
kinda nice to keep the business and money in the US, ask american companies to develop a new model. HK416 is pretty cool and HK certainly has its paid lobbyists in the US Congress.
If it is only about money, I’m sure China makes some inexpensive arms.
So what’s Coburn got in mind? Norinco? Kalashnikov?
This pretty much seems like a hit piece on Colt. If there are problems with the gun, by all means fix it or put out another bid for design and price and replace the thing.
Keep production in the United States.
Someone is always belching about a corporation making money of the U.S. Government and wars. That’s the way it works. If you put out a good product, you should get fair return. A healthy company makes for a good source when quality merchandise is required.
Since when is it a business concern to give product away, just because the purchaser is the federal government.
‘Since when is it a business concern to give product away, just because the purchaser is the federal government.”
man you’ve apparently never dealt with a contracting officer for the federal government. those folks are TIGHT
Defense firms are obligated to put out products that perform perfectly (in spite of the governments inability to define the requirements) and guaranty the taxpayers they are making no profit on the contract.
Probably so. I haven’t. Thanks.
Sorta seems like it.
I almost stopped reading right there. Maybe there's something in it, and maybe there isn't. But I don't trust AP, and I don't much trust congresscritters either, until I know who's paying them off.
The weapons jam in the sand? Well, weapons tend to do that. But is it a design flaw, or just a necessary consequence of using any weapons in a country with frequent sand storms?
I was just agreeing with you in an off hand confused sort of way. its pretty amazing how complicated the procurement process is. the sheer amount of bureaucracy is mind boggling.
I agree. Colt could easily buy H&K’s piston system patent and introduce them in their weapons...better yet...someone in America should introduce something similar.
Theres an en episode of future weapons where the host demonstrates the HK416 at the companies range. They stuff it in a box of sand and then take it out, shake it off and shoot it full auto for about 30 rds. Then they stick it in a tub of water and do the same.
Looks cool, but I have no idea if its really that great. Regardless I don’t like the idea of depending on a foreign company for our main battle rifle.
It would be interesting to see how many of the Army Logistics Command employees end up on the Colt payroll after retirement.
"William Keys, Colt's chief executive officer, says the M4 gets impressive reviews from the battlefield.
Which is it. someone is not being truthful
Colt is overpriced. So is HK and FN
Well, there's the problem right there! The carbine has a serious carbon footprint problem. If a more sustainable, non-carbon technology were used, everything would be alright.
Maybe we should give the contract to the Chinese. They make everything else we use. And I’m repeatedly told what a wonderful weapon the AK is.
>>I was just agreeing with you in an off hand confused sort of way. its pretty amazing how complicated the procurement process is. the sheer amount of bureaucracy is mind boggling.
My thought was, that’s probably a $900 or so rifle in the quantities we’re dealing with here, and the balance is the cost of dealing with the bureaucracy.
Well there are many companies making commercial semi-auto versions of the gun and $1500 is easy to spend buying one of their rifles. So, no, it’s now way out of range in my opinion.
That’s the way I took your comments. I’m sure it is a major pain to deal the govenment bids/purchasers. No offense taken at all.
Thanks. I appreciate it.
That’s an interesting take, and it would be an eye opener to know just how close you are on that.
That makes sense to me. Good points.
At 16 lbs it aint fit for battle though
M14’s could go mud diving, and the M16 had a total sand phobia.
7.62 was nice too.
But I’m just an ancient kinda guy that saw that stupid move first hand and I always liked 8oz workout gloves punching the heavy bag. :-)
FN makes the SAW, and our main handgun is a Baretta. But I know at least the Baretta is made in the US (which, BTW, caused some quality issues).
You can buy quality M4 knock-offs, with better gas systems, from American companies; all day long for less than $1100.00 per copy. Much less, I’d imagine, if you ordered in governmental quantities.
Time for Colt to bite the big one.
that show is fun to watch and not bad if one realizes it is one big infomercial. there you can say cut and re shoot in a battle not as easy.
Good point. Colt made a mint selling their revolvers to the Federal Government during the Civil War.
"The M4 uses 'gas impingement,' a method that pushes hot carbon-fouled gas through critical parts of the gun, according to detractors."
The gas blows right into the little tube on the top of the bolt carrier assembly in the upper receiver. It's a stupid design, IMHO. The extractor retaining pin failed on me at a very bad time. It broke in half.
5 is the bolt carrier. 4 is the bolt with the extractor pinned in place on its side. I wouldn't pay for a 'gas impingement' design.
Magpul Masada....nuff said.
The controlled tests of the Colt, H&K, and FN showed the M4 coming out on the bottom in reliability in sand, with one stoppage in every 600 rounds. The other two were a bit better, but all three clustered around the 98% reliability rate. Most stoppages were quickly cleared, as troops are trained to do. "Catastrophic" stoppages were rare on all three.
All of these weapons are just about as close to perfect reliability as is possible to get. Tinkering at the margin to get another .1% costs lots of money, with no detectable difference to the troop.
Frequency of maintenance is a factor, but no professional soldier wants to abuse his rifle just for the hell of it. In the cavalry, you take care of your horse before yourself. For infantry, it's your rifle. Both are your only personal means of salvation.
The FN and H&K can both be considered evolutionary improvements of the M16/M4. All use the M16 magazine, although I'll admit the H&K version is the Rolls Royce of M16 mags, and the most expensive. Both are attempts to move away from the gas-tube system of the M16, which was revolutionary in that it cut down on moving parts, and therefore costs. It also brought hot chamber gas deep into the bolt carrier.
All three are fine weapons, and if I had the money, I'd buy one of each (in semi-auto only, of course). When I have to consider millions of weapons and parts already in the field, I'd have to be much more cautious, since I don't want to cause an upheaval over weapons systems that come within a few percentage points of each other.
Another thing to consider is that all three are priced about the same. Anybody who knows anything about manufacturing will tell you that there are only so many ways of milling aluminum, forging steel, and molding plastic. I can't speak to anybody's profit margins (or R&D costs), but none of them are the "magic bullet" that brings the cost down to the $17 it costs Chinese slave labor to make a AK47. Also, the price on all of them seems to include some sort of fancy optics, where the real weapons progress has been made in this war. These sights, with proper training, allow our troops to drop the bad guy further and faster than the sh!thead can even conceive.
I’m pretty sure the SAW is, too, at a plant in SC. I think I learned that on another FR thread in the last couple of years. Dig around on FN’s web site to confirm, if you like.
>As Colt pumps out 800 new M4s every day to meet U.S. and overseas demand,<
Can the other companies match 800 new rifles per day? I would imagine that has something to do with why they were selected.
It probably does a better job at sealing its critical parts from the dirt than the M-4. Colt may be able to do minor design changes to the M-4 that could make it comparable to the HK416 at protecting it from the elements.
I’ve always wondered if a heavier caliber, perhaps in the .30 range, might not be a better investment.
And what was the price of the firearms just fifteen years ago, before all the assault gun band BS. You could buy an m16 for about $350.00, to $400.00 and an AK style for 125.00 and an sks was about $89.00.. The good old politicians.
I question the $1500 per rifle. I’ve spoken with folks who reported the base M16A1 cost under $200 a copy at government rates. Could be way off of course.
Almost bought one. I still prolly will
The better question is , why do we need 800 new one's a day?? Are they so bad that breakage is that high.
cool gun porn
Yup.. I like the Panther.
Its just heavy as hell