Skip to comments.Army Taps Industry for M4 Replacement
Posted on 09/17/2008 9:00:29 AM PDT by LSUfan
In a move that could reverse years of Army small arms policy, the service is asking industry to send in ideas for a new combat rifle that could replace the M4 carbine.
In late August, the Army issued a solicitation to the arms industry asking companies to submit proposals that would demonstrate "improvements in individual weapon performance in the areas of accuracy and dispersion ... reliability and durability in all environments, modularity and terminal performance."
And in a dramatic gesture that could throw the door wide open to a totally new carbine, the service did not constrain ideas to the current 5.56mm round used in the M4.
(Excerpt) Read more at military.com ...
rechamber the weapon to fire 6.5mm grendal.
I wonder if they will go for carrying more ammo, or for carrying more effective ammo?
How about going back to the M-14? or M1A?
(In Before The Caliber Arguments)
YES! Let’s start with the HK416 as a baseline. Controls and magazines compatible with existing weapons to minimize retraining, short stroke piston operated for improved reliability over direct gas impingement, and able to accept all current M4 accessories.
An effective replacement is probably already available either in prototype or planning stages from some manufacturer, but knowing the US Government huge amounts of money will have to be spent developing from scratch something that ends up not being as capable as something already available.
that or the sig556. basically the same thing. accepts m16/ar15 mags, some accessores.
Some of them M995 rounds would be nice. Don't really nead them tracer rounds.
Stop's 'em cold every time. Can't beat the Garand for range, either. And I hear that it can take a licking and keep on ticking!
Easiest fix is replace the direct gas impingement system with a gas-piston system (a la the AK). POF has a nice implementation of this, and make sure that the standard M855 ammo is replaced with the Mk262 mod1 77gr 5.56 ammo. This would increase both the reliability and the lethality of the system while maintaining almost 100% of training and some 80% of parts.
Other than that, we could go for something exotic, like the SCAR system or just wait for the Phased Plasma Rifle in the 40-watt range.
Another H&K fanboy! (let the flame commence!)
Ummm.....thats not the Garand. You know that, right?
John Garand = M1 rifle. “Carbine” Williams = M1 carbine.
Yah, that’s the Carbine, I know.
But everything goes back to John Garand’s original template.
“Ummm.....thats not the Garand. You know that, right?”
It’s not the Abrams tank either. The Army used “M-1” a few times too many.
Nice carbines, though.
I know FR is a little sarcasm impaired at times but please tell me you’re kidding.
What’s wrong with going back to the dual purpose Phaser. It was an effective weapon back in the late 60’s although I would do away with the outmoded “stun” function and replace it with a “kill faster” function.
Them there is girly guns that shoot big pistol ammo.
They just went through all this nonsense with the XM-8. Why are they starting up again?
I have had the opportunity to test fire it - 200 rounds in both semi and full, suppressed and unsuppressed.
IT kicks some serious ass.
Very accurate in full-mode, and does not go high and right when in full. The recoil is straight back.
There was a problem with the Garand family of weapons: round output in the early days of the Chinese offensives. The Chinese were, strangely enough, more plentifully equipped with more men with more varieties of automatic weapons. It was thought that American soldiers needed to be given lighter rounds and higher volume of output. Thus, Eugene Stoner's Armalite found favor within the Army that had a baleful experience in Korea.
However, in Afghanistan it was found that lighter rounds (from say, the 9mm family of Baretta weapons) didn't necessarily put the Jihadi to sleep. So there has been a trend back to the 1911 as a sidearm. I haven't heard about a trend away from the M-4 as it is the Government Issue rifle, but it does appear that people are looking for a happy medium between round output and stopping power.
Here’s an idea. Go back to having more than one type of infantry weapon/chambering, so that people fighting door to door and people fighting on the North German Plain don’t have to compromise. And give up on the principal of wounding the enemy. Our enemies are dirt bags and don’t slow down to help their wounded.
Yes, I’m kidding.
We need a modern, upcaliber equivalent to the Carbine, however. Methinks the .223 round has had its day.
So there has been a trend back to the 1911 as a sidearm. ............... Like something was wrong with it? Can never reason why they dropped it other than to up date it to a newer look. If they wanted 9mm they could have modified the 1911. If you go house to house, why mess with a M16 derivative when you can unpack, degrease and reissue the stored Thompsons. (Rhet)
You could even re-chamber to 7mm-08 or 6.5 Grendel - or for added punch to the squad, leave at the 7.62
“The Army used ‘M-1’ a few times too many.”
That’s for sure. I remember wiping down and stacking the M-1 chair in the mess hall.
To build on what you said, there is a fundamental problem with the assessment that lighter calibers create greater strain on the enemy by creating wounded vice dead. The problem is that we studied ourselves, but we don’t fight ourselves. Our enemies are dirt bags by nature and aren’t overly worried about their wounded.
Additionally, the Jihadists want to die, wounding them only keeps them alive to detonate.
Finally, we used to have different weapons for different tasks. In room to room fighting in the third world, you need a round that is capable of penetrating cinder block walls and killing a man on the far side, yet it only needs to be able to do this from close range, not 200 yards.
My uncle was drafted right out of high school in June 1950 and served in a reconnaissance platoon for the 24th Infantry Division (Indian Head). He went all the way to the Yalu River before the big ChiCom counterattack in December.
During the battle, we was first armed with a M-1 carbine, but he chucked it for a Garand immediately after he had to pump about ten .30 caliber rounds into a ChiCom solider who was charging him with a bayonet. He said that the little ChiCom just would not go down. My uncle ended up shot in the head (he obviously survived--it was a spent bullet), lying in a foxhole, surrounded by ChiCom troops (jumping over him at night), and nearly froze to death before he was finally resuced and reunited with what was left of his unit.
Needless to say, he's a big fan of the Garand even today, while condemning the M-1 carbines as next to useless in toe-to-toe infantry combat.
I don’t recall an M14 carbine. Please educate me.
M1 carbine? You got to be kidding. limited to 150 yards for realistic accuracy and power. P@$$ ant cartridge with a bad record of stopping power. Why go backwards? HK 416? Yawn. Just a redesigned upper that will cost us taxpayers 3x what it’s worth. Not impressed by Sig, either. Snooty people to deal with. Let’s stay USA stuff, please.You wanna go old school? How about the AR-18 (aka: AR-180 in semi), maybe with a slightly heavier barrel and a rail system. Or a stoner, has a quick change bbl. Both reliable as heck, and reasonable to mfg.
M-14 was one sweet bullet launcher.
I agree 100%.
Nice bit of illiteracy in FN’s flier.
Pubric Skroolz Rulz!
“Chosen by the US Special Operations Command’s”.....
“Chosen by the U.S. Special Operations Command”
or just USSOCOM
Not quite on par with HK’s backwards bullet ad though...
I hold to my position that until a quantum leap in firearms technology is acquired, there is absolutely no need nor reason to toss out the AR platform for some similarly “gilded” piece of current technology.
Background: The M4 was procured primarily to enable ground troops to better optimize the length (for mounted troops) weight(for light Infantry etc) and terminal effects (nominal combat ranges less than 300m).
As for the notion that a “bigger” round will provide “more stopping power”, hmmmmm, too much assumption of what “stopping power” is and what it means.
To improve the M4, add back a few inches to the 14.5 inch barrel to keep the on-target velocity of the M855 style round above 2400 f/s, which allows/causes the projectile to yaw nearly immediately on impact, breaking in two, and causing quite bit of “stopping” power.
If you must go for a new cartridge, add some body diameter to the 556 round (at the cost of magazine capacity), add some more, slower, powder (with the added barrel length, maybe a little diameter (6mm maybe?)as long as the striking velocity at expected combat ranges enables the terminal effects to be as good or better than the the M855 or even the M193 rounds at proper velocity).
Remember, adding horsepower to a firearm increases recoil and blast, (if the platform remains unchanged in terms of weight)reducing hit potential and negating any perceived or real increase of “stopping power”. Recall that old adage “ a hit with a 22 is better than a miss with a 44?
The trade of between bigger/faster bullets and weapon weight/length is unavoidable given today's technology and the laws of physics.
Sure, my Ruger No 1 single shot in 416 Rigby has tremendous “stopping power” and fairly light weight (9.5 lbs), but most Soldiers and civilians I know who have tried it, tried it only once. Only one desired to try it again. I actually enjoy the discipline it takes to force myself to carefully press the trigger, knowing that each shot pretty much unleashes a mini-car crash effect (you know, the funny stars you see and the odd taste in your mouth after a car wreck or a good wack to the face?). I guess I am pretty accustomed to it by now, though, I don't experience much of that effect anymore (maybe Muhammad Ali knows what I am talking about?).
Most High power competitors I shoot with think my M1 Garand Match rifle is a “big bore” (30/06) and many will not shoot it as it recoils too much compared to their 16 lb AR15A2 “service rifles” in 223/556. They do however, have a system advantage-less recoil means faster return to position in rapid fire strings, less fatigue and recoil induced stresses, and better ballistics using the latest 75-90 grain .224 bullets and custom hand loads (cheaper to feed as well!).
Want to increase the terminal effects of the M4? Add 3.5 or so inches of barrel, load up a new ball round with a magazine length 70-80 grain ball round with cannelure (w or w/o a steel penetrator) (The SPECOPS family uses a similar round with the 77grn sierra match king bullet), adjust gas port position to accommodate a slower powder and higher extraction pressure dynamics and increased velocity over the stubby M4 tube, and clearly state that this platform will be most lethal out to 350 m, after that, you'll need a larger platform and significant added recoil to generate the same terminal effects.
Remember, there never has been nor ever will be, a free lunch for the Dogs of War.
Other combinations of course will do the same, maybe some what better. The AR platform now is the most developed weapon in history. It is the king of the combat rifles/carbines. Will be for a long time to come.
As currently configured, an M855 bullet coming out of a 14.5" - 16" barrel from a weapon 4-7 X more prone to jam than other models is simply unacceptable.
Short term: issue heavier/longer rounds more likely to fragment from M4 carbines, with 69-77 grain bullets (as some SF are already using). Medium/long term: a new caliber (115 grain or less bullet, to use the 6.8 SPC as a benchmark) fired from a more reliable operating system.
We owe it to our soldiers and Marines to get this right.
the solution has been out for a while, the Springfield Armory SOCOM II.
Hated the M-14. Plastic handguard wouldn’t take wear and tear. Flash suppressor made it less accurate than the M-1 Garand. I know because I qualified with both.
I realize that the M-1 was made for a different era and a different type of warfare; but if you are fighting a determined enemy, you want a bullet that kills with one shot. How about a re-designed Thompson, firing maybe .357 Magnum?
“rechamber the weapon to fire 6.5mm grendal.”
Agree. The M4 itself seems to be a mighty fine weapon. The cartridge just doesn’t seem to have the punch. The 6.5 would be a good compromise, IMO.
I understand a number of our men and women in Iraq have rediscovered the M-14 and its advantages.
Why not start with it and create an evolved bullpup version?
My vote would go to an AR10 in 7.62 with 16” barrel. 150 grains at 2700 fps beats 70 grains at 2700 fps any old day of the week.
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