Skip to comments.Hill Aides to Test M4 Alternatives
Posted on 07/11/2008 5:24:57 AM PDT by DJ Taylor
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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?
More carbon in the chamber.
It’s not just a catchy old saw. It’s the truth. 1960’s direct blowback technology is just stupid when HK, LWRC, FN, etc all have piston driven operating rod systems that are far superior.
And trust me, it’s NOT well liked in the field. In the middle of a firefight, in dusty conditions like in Iraq and Afghanistan, you don’t have time to sit down and do a nice little cleaning.
For $400 a piece HK will sell upper receivers for the M4 based on the HK 416 (a damn fine weapon) that will fit all of them NOW.
I don’t know of anyone that would argue a direct blowback system is superior to a piston driven one. People only argue that it’s “good enough”. Not better.
Well why the hell are we staking our troops’ lives in the field on something that is second best and not the best?
Why would Delta switch to the HK 416 instead of the M4? And if you don’t like buying from the Germans, LWRC makes a very nice system as well.
But hey, if a Studebaker got Granpa down to the corner and back, then why bother spending money on car with new technology?
I thing this system was first used on the Swedish Llungman. It worked fine on that rifle and it, like the M16 is known for it's accuracy. That piston system invented by John Browning in the 19th century is reliable but certainly not newer.
I'll bet a hit just about any place with a 30-06 or .308 would take an adversary down. Might not kill him, but he would go down.
If a deer hunter said, "I'll bet a hit just about any place with a 30-06 or .308 would take a deer down," you'd right away see the fallacy in his argument, so why can't you apply the same logic in this discussion?
The same rules apply whether you're shooting two legged or four legged animals; shot placement is all important. There is no "magic" bullet that will take down an animal if it is not hit in a vital area. Soldiers who are also hunters know this and place their shots accordingly.
A leg shot or arm shot from a 30-06 would put the man down ,IMHO. The wound would be that traumatic.
He might not stay down or die immediately but he would be incapacitated.
At Mogadishu, soldiers reported hitting men with 2-3 solid shots and the perps appeared unaffected.
Dirty chambers haven’t been an issue since the standard powder was changed in Vietnam.
The M193 and M885 rounds fragment MORE than the comparable 7.62mm ball.
If the 5.56mm round would go through them “like an icepick”, the 7.62mm counterpart would do the same.
5.56mm fragments very well, nothing like an icepick, in deep tissue and bone. Extremity hits have never been depandable in ANY infantry rifle cartridge.
That old, unwarranted comparison would work if there was an infantry rifle option that would bridge a gap alluded to in the “Studebaker” scenario.
There isn’t such a weapon.
After 100 years, we’re still working with the same basic cartridge design.
After 50+ years, we’re still working with the assault rifle platform in varying forms.
There’s simply no weapon out there that makes enough of a revolutionary (even evolutionary) leap to warrant the change.
If a weapon system were developed that significantly increased hit probability, lethality and firepower, I’d back it in a second. There simply ISN’T. Numerous trials, especially the ACR project of the 1980s, have proven this so.
That statement, by itself, makes me wonder.
My nephew did 15 months in Iraq. He liked the range and accuracy of his M16, but didn't like that his rifle could not shoot through a wall and theirs could.