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 ...
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 !
If I recall the history correctly, they then had what is called a "cook off" problem. Troops really don't like this problem.
And that makes things a little too fun in the bunker or APC.
...a small group of tenacious senators, including Oklahoma Republican James Coburn,...
The only Republican U.S. Senator from Oklahoma I know of is TOM Coburn, M.D.
And yes, he’s a tenacious good guy.
Sounds like Military.Com, the Daily Kos and a few other sources have
confused the good senator with the sadly departed actor James Coburn.
Maybe they think that ob-gyn doctor Tom Coburn M.D. is also “The President’s
Analyst” (one of my favorite Coburn films).
Senator Thomas Allen “Tom” Coburn, M.D. (R, OK)
James Coburn (the late, missed actor)
The President’s Analyst
Google for “Senator James Coburn”
Yes, it has more energy, but the physics of the bullet at that velocity vs just a few hundred ft/sec more means the bullet zips right through and unless it strikes someone in the head or heart or nicks an artery, it doesn’t cause a wound that will put that person out of the fight immediately. Even at the lower ve3locities that a 7.62 X 39 Russian round goes, it dumps more energy into a human body and causes more damage.
Nope. The enemy would fall or flinch when the round hit him but still continue fighting. The round went through him and caused a wound like an ice pick, small and straight through. Many times an enemy combatant has been killed or caught with old, healed 5.56 bullet wounds in them.
It’s only an example, and it may be a technical issue that can be overcome. Who knows? But right now, all were looking for a commercially off the shelf solution.
The problem is simple. All the present day alternatives aren’t really worth the trouble, cost, and risk. None really give a real “break through” in performance or capabilities like the M1 or M16 did when they were new. Weapons that lasted for a long time and gave a serious advantage to our troops in some way in their time, they all had one thing in common, they were more revolutionary in concept or design with new features or vast performance advantages. Perfect example of the opposite was the M14, which was never an awe-inspiring weapon even though it was reliable, durable, and had lots of firepower. It was an evolutionary development based on the M1, and outside some special applications where it does well, even today BTW (Sniper rifle in some variants), within three years of its implementation it was being replaced by the M16 and you had commanders in Vietnam begging to get that thing replaced which finally happened by 1965.
What we have today as options, are off the shelf designs in part not much younger than the M16 itself. The M-8 is essentially an AR-18 (2 years younger than an M16 design), the SCAR which some will refute, isn’t new either from how it operates. It’s all old potatoes reheated and repackaged, using of course tan plastic instead of green! (The important details)
What these discussion deteriorate into amounts to squabbling over whats better, the Springfield XD, or a Glock!? Then someone will post a picture that looks cool, and the cool picture wins. I personally feel the Springfield has an advantage, does it mean much though? No. Is replacing a Beretta with a USP really going to improve anything? No. And there were voices screaming for that nonsense years ago as well. Its the first guy with a mini-ball, the first rifled barrels, the first rifle or revolver to shoot a cartridge vs. being front loading .. those are real advantages.
The goal isn’t to pack useless technology into a design, or over-engineer something that works well as it is, but to employ and identify new technologies in a way to give more than a “marginal” gain in performance or add some new capability all together. What we need today is someone like DARPA in conjunction with Armalite (Just an ***example*** again, because that was the case with the M16) to develop a new weapon. We have come a long way when it comes to computing power, optics, material sciences, propellants, even alloys, power supplies...... The real achievements (and they have been largely capitalized on) are in the realm of optics, pointers/illuminators etc . Some of the stuff available today is truly awesome, but the basic gun is bla.
Start bottom up; analyze the needs, the environment, the Soldier/Marine, the threat, the new materials, optics, propellants, and electronics out there, bounce that off of what is mass producible, logistically sustainable, and from a cost realistic, and develop something that has future growth capabilities designed into it. Design a gun incorporating the new technologies and around the needs; not modify some old crap, giving it a cool name, and peddling it off as something new and great. Maybe that abortion of an OICW killed this idea, and today were looking for a quick, lower risk, and cheap off the shelf answer, I dont know. But were settling for less than what we could have, and that I do know.
The Infantry museum use to have a nice display of the prototypes of the M16 and its evolution:
I dont see it anymore, and thats sad. But the point is that they developed a weapon based on the needs and data gained from real analysis, and incorporated new concepts (high velocity, small caliber, unstable round at impact) that allowed the weapon to be lighter, more compact, and carry more ammunition at the same weight while retaining the same if not having greater effect on a human target. They used state of the art materials (plastic and cast aluminum at the time the materials were wood and machined or stamped steel) to make the weapon less susceptible to rust and corrosion and make it lighter yet. What they ended up with, was something that was truly awesome; a gun lighter, more compact, with greater accuracy, easy to learn to use, high resistance to rust and corrosion, manageable on auto, with more ammunition at the same weight, that had in most cases more effect on a human target It was done right, and 43 YEARS later this weapon is still around.
I personally think they should have stuck with the 20 inch barrel version of the M16 as it is still not that long, tho it is pretty heavy.
My guess is soldiers will always like smaller, lighter guns. I also wonder if clearing houses like I sometimes see on TV, the new FN high velocity pistol or machine pistol version might be ideal. I know the Russians did just fine in Berlin using the really underpowered 7.62 pistol caliber PSP sub machine gun.
Well, in a way, they might. At least it is unlikely that the aides are going to be getting the potential kickbacks or campaign donations that the military industrial complex has carefully built over the decades. Letting the Aides do the tests gives the politicians some cover to do the right thing. What if an "aide" is specially hired for just this job, say from the ranks of the military recently separated from active duty? For that matter, I'm available. Where do I sign up?
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