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 ...
Everybody who can is ditching the AK-47/AKM for the M4 carbine.
And it poops where it eats.
Oh. I thought they were going to be armed with the weapons and sent out to a local starbucks for coffee, thus having ample opportunity to return fire.
6.8 X 43 SPC,
6.5 x 45 APC, or
6.8 X 45.
The Grendel requires new bolt and a new magazine to function, has a significantly reduced magazine capacity, and an unacceptable increase in weight (210 rounds in magazines). The 6.8 SPC suffers from the same defects.
The 6.5 x 45 and the 6.8 x 45 use the same bolt face and magazine (with minor modifications) as the 5.56 X 45 with minimum increase in weight.
I am going to check out The Capitolist.com to see what the LA’s are saying. That’s their chat room. They were saying some really snotty things about the people who called during the big illegal immigration legislation meltdown.
I can’t watch this from work, but I think this is the Barrett 468 assault rifle video.
They should stay in their offices in DC, watch NBC/CNN and conduct a “study” purely academically. This would save the resources wasted on a demonstration that will only be set-up to bring predetermined results.
Yes, the M4 isn’t the newest and greatest. One can make something “a bit” better, but that’s the problem. ALL THOSE who argue for alternatives (to date) are essentially splitting hairs and looking at microscopic differences in performance to justify spending billions and assuming great risk in other areas typically not considered by these them. Spend the money on hardware where our “net benefit” where the “return on investment” for the soldier and Marine is greater. The reductions in weight, the increased accuracy, the handling of the weapon under rapid fire, the weapons modularity etc..... none of these aspects really give a “significant” advantage in the alternatives out there. As of date, there is simply no real alternative that is a break through making the cost, pain in transitioning (logistics, training....etc), risk (production short falls, possible system failure down the road when they begin fatiguing).......... worthwhile. People dont realize, its not just as easy as buying a bunch of new guns. Yes, they will be new and shiny and look cool. They might even have a rep there that calls them by a cool name. There are many things I can think of, right off the top of my head, where the soldier and Marine would benefit more from on money spent. Resources are limited, spend them where we maximize the return, not chase some marginal gain with a cool new toy.
But the Air Farce and Navyget to buy new stuff all the time! LOL
Ah, cut them some slack. If you had the chance to take a day off from pushing paper and go shoot some neat guns, wouldn’t you take it?
ONLY 30 SIGNED UP!?!?!?!
What a bunch of doofus’...
DPMS LR308-AP4 or SOCOM II.
I have a Bushmaster M4 in 6.8. - "significantly reduced magazine capacity" - no. Going from 30 rounds to 26 is hardly significantly reduced, especially when you consider what you're getting for that 13% capacity loss.
Heh! Nice graphic for this subject for the ping.
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.”
I’ve cleaned the gas tube in my first AR exactly once in 20 years. Zero carbon/gas fouling problems.
Laquered cases getting stuck, and broken ejector claw, yes, but no “s*** where it eats” issues.
Because caseless rounds have a severe problem with removing heat. Cased rounds dump most of the heat into the shell, which is promptly physically ejected. Caseless rounds dump that heat into the chamber, where it disperses slowly. While you can fire mag after mag for hundreds of rounds from a regular design, a caseless system will overheat way too early. H&K had such a design long ago, but they never resolved the heat problem.
Well, after 23+ year of Infantry and Engr service, I had a few mags that accidently got “crushed” to get them out of circulation, but most were tested with a few mags full before my comrades and I kept them in our personal kit.
I can honestly say that the vast majority worked, and when kept in personal equipment, worked for a long time!
Buying surplus or gunshow stuff usually is a waste of time and effort/$. (Think of how they got to teh show-discarded by the Army and sold as salvage mostly!)
Get some freethinkers who have been there and done that many times and know what the abuses a primary and secondary firearm may be exposed too by your average Mk 1 Mod Ohhhh shoot and scoot Soldier, Sailor , Airman or Marine.
As in .......why do we seek just ONE ?...........:o)
As you well know each environment and each enemy poses a different threat and problems that must be addressed initially and as the threat changes.......When we were dipped we packed the M4 w/ M203, a M1A, a MP5SDA3 and a 12 ga shotgun as well as a 1911A1 or a Browning Highpower in fly away kits and took what weapons we needed when threat briefings were disseminated.
Modern logistics will provide for more than one weapon system IMO for the modern DOD fighting troop !
At 100 yards the standard 5.56 round has more energy than a .45 ACP does at the muzzle.
Granted it's not delivering all of that energy into the target, but no Mil-Spec round ever will.
Extraction issues, after mag feed issues, are my worst fear with the M-16 family.
I’ve had case heads break off, or extractors break, or cases just get stuck.
I can feed the rifle by hand, if necessary.
Not being able to extract a case scares the shit outta me.
I’d like to try one of the enhanced bolts where the extractor is two, wider extractors sharing some of the same space.
Other than that, I’ve been very happy with the M-16/M-4 and my personal AR rifles.
There's no 'ideal' weapon. It's a fantasy. They've all got plusses and minuses.
In some cases the ideal weapon for the job is going to be a Barret M82, in others, a 1911 or a Hi-Power. For 'housecleaning' duties the MP-5 is just about perfect, but you've got to get to the house that needs cleaning first. Under fire from hidden assailants firing AK's, the MP-5 is just about useless.
They're all some sort of compromise.
Perhaps what is best is to decide on a small 'suite' of weapons and then make sure our front line guys are expert in ALL of them.
But that means more training and more ammo stocks which means more money and a bigger logistical trail which means.....
Well you get it.
Just my two cents.
I always test new mags with a full dump, just to be sure.
However, aluminum mags really are the weak link.
Almost every FTF I’ve experienced has been caused by weak or cracked feed lips or an otherwise out-of-spec mag.
Finding a few that work well and keeping ahold of them is fine, but even NIW USGI are risky.
My experiences with some of the newer mags has been excellent, especially in terms of feed lip deformation (none) and cracks (none).
Yep time too get smart .......have options for each scenario !