Skip to comments.Hill Aides to Test M4 Alternatives
Posted on 07/11/2008 5:24:57 AM PDT by DJ Taylor
In a move that could ruffle the feathers of an Army command that views the Colt Defense-built M4 as the best carbine in the world, a select group of top senate staffers is gathering today to look at what could be the future of the military's standard assault rifle.
About 30 legislative aides have signed up to attend a July 11 demonstration at Marine Corps Base Quantico, just outside Washington, D.C., that will feature weapons from various manufacturers vying to end the reign of the M16 and M4 as the U.S. military's most fielded personal weapon.
The range day is intended to help familiarize key lawmakers with possible alternatives to the M16 and M4 once the exclusive contract with Colt Defense of West Hartford, Conn., ends in the summer of 2009, a senior senate aide told Military.com.
(Excerpt) Read more at military.com ...
If you shoot someone, and the round is not heavy enough to put them down...you need a bigger bullet.
The 5.56 was the old NATO bullet, supposed to create ease of ammo if the Russians came. We’re not in a NATO world anymore, and we’re not fighting Russians.
Was watching Futureweapons the other day, and they were showing a new PDW, shoots the 6.8 caseless round, short barrel, weighs the same as the M-4, highly accurate, much better put-down. If this is out there, why are we wasting time?
“Senate Aides now think they know more about military firearms than do our senior military leadership.”
They probably do.
Photo op -- along with some serious fun time...
If I were a staffer, I'd sign up!
OTOH, is this what we're paying Senate staffers to do?
Times have changed since Abraham Lincoln took an Army officer and a Spencer rifle out to the Potomac and shot at a board. Deciding it was a good rifle, he ordered them for the Army.
“Senate Aides now think they know more about military firearms than do our senior military leadership. “
Maybe they’re just staffers who like guns and don’t want to pass up a free range demo. Well, it’s a thought.
A catchy old saw, but I have yet to hear from serious users thereof that think it’s a problem. Keep it clean - which you’ll have time for before the issue arises - and apparently it’s well-liked in the field.
But get a little dirt in the action and it won’t fire.
Really, they should also invite firearms enthusiasts to these, as well as some military officials that don’t have an office in the Pentagon.
I prefer this, Perdogg:
What about the special forces that were permitted to buy their own weapons, and who chose M4 carbines with gas piston uppers? The suits then told them to get rid of the rifles because the didn't field strip in the standard way.
That is stupidity and/or scratching someone's back. As for the cartridge, it wouldn't take a lot of rocket science or excessive money to get new uppers in 6.8 with gas pistons and just hand them out. New barrels, new firepower, new reliability on the same rifle. Solved. No giant research project.
Even if there was a significantly better system out there, regardless of caliber or even “reliability”, the cost alone would likely kill most other needed systems in the pipeline-yes the pipeline. The acquisition process is not just a guy writing a check-the bigger picture requires testing of commonalities, capabilities and interaction with all other related systems.
Say a new rifle is about the same cost, does it use the same magazines? We have about 20 million M16 mag in the inventory in the army alone), does it use the same optics platforms? Tools? Is it compatible with the load bearing equipment? Cleaning gear? Range limitations? Does our ammunition plant (LC AAP) have the ability to ramp up and produce scads of ammo rapidly? Is it patented and therefore royalty driven? (Ask the US Army about the 1903 Springfield-the US Army was found in violation of Paul Mauser's patents and only the First WW stopped the payments to FN/Mauser....)
All of you “quick change” specialists need to look past a one gun, several magazines and a case of ammo mentality to make any switch.
As a retired combat infantryman, I do agree that our troops need the best equipment-but the “best” is an elusive idea.
I want my son to carry a 100% percent effective, unlimited capacity, pinpoint accurate and near weightless system-but alas, the laws of physics and economy dictate otherwise. he too, will tote a 14+ pound small arm that requires lots of professional knowledge and training to employ. As it should be.
I do think that a partial upgrade to the 6.8 SPC is a viable idea-a simple barrel and bolt change out by unit armorers is reasonable. LC AAP can ramp up production and phase back 556 as the main round while units gradually upgrade.
Finally, let not anyone think the 6.8 SPC is the equivalent of the 762x51 NATO-it is not anywhere near the level of energy and range. (115 grn at 2600 vice 147 grn at 2800) Plus it will bump recoil up to about 150% of the 556.
Remember-NO FREE LUNCHES FOR THE DOGS OF WAR.
Truthfully, how much do generals really know about bullet wound characteristics, penetrating power, kill/disable ability, etc. There are too many retired generals working for arms manufacturers to leave the choice up to them.
In many categories the M4 falls short of other rifles. For one, the M4 has such close fitting parts and tight tolerances that dirt will foul it much easier than their competitors. The “perceived lack of stopping power” is real. At distances over 100 yards, the bullet lacks the velocity to yaw and cause a larger, more debilitating wound than other rounds. Many, many soldiers tell of shooting an enemy combatant and watching them run off as the bullet zips right through them causing only a tiny hole and little damage.
“The Brown Bess musket was good enough for your grandpa, and it’s good enough for you! Besides, we have tens of thousands in the inventory, and it’s too costly to switch to a new, unproven design.”
I don’t agree.
“a little dirt” doesn’t have much effect, if any.
A LOT of sand will, but that’s different.
But, one thing: The current USGI aluminum M16 mag is a certified POS, and shitty mags have always been the singularly biggest weak link in the system.
Time to penny-up and get somethig that works, like the MagPul P-Mag. I have 20 and they work better than any of my 60+ USGI mags.
Never had a carbon-related failure in any of my issued or personal weapons. It’s a non-starter.
“Many, many soldiers tell of shooting an enemy combatant and watching them run off as the bullet zips right through them causing only a tiny hole and little damage.”