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To: Jack Black
Hmm. The Wikipedia page on the SCAR says it was about 4x more reliabe in the super dust reliability test than the m4. The article reads as if More widespred testing is continuing.

I always take Wiki with a grain of salt. The statement about "4x more reliable" can be 100% true, and yet totally misleading.

I've read some of the test reports, where most of the tests are designed to be torture tests under once-in-a-century conditions, whether heat, cold, sand, water, unlubed, etc. Vendors submit their weapons, and then complain or brag about how theirs turned out.

In almost every case, the M4/M16 came in dead last with a reliability of about 99.4%. The best weapons, which varied by brand depending on how the testing was done, never did better than 99.7% reliability. Remember, this is "reliability" under the worst conditions the testers could dream up.

These weapons are all almost as perfect as anyone can make them. We're excluding oddballs like the British SA80 and French FAMAS. Things can be tweaked, but we're at the point of diminishing returns. I have my own preferences, but I couldn't gripe too much being issued any one of these. It's still my responsibility to keep it working properly because it's still my own life that depends on it.

Now 5.56mm magazines are another matter, and that problem has been around for almost 40 years. Weapons get political attention, because they are sexy, especially if built in your home district. But debugging springs, curves, followers, lubes, etc. is not sexy, although the magazine is probably the most common source of day-to-day trouble, not your average sandstorm.

The world has pretty much shaken things down to either the NATO 5.56mm, or the ex-soviet 7.62mm round. Usually the choice for most countries is cost and availability. Most countries that use 5.56mm now have weapons that use M16-type magazines, rather than their own unique types. This is a benefit because a lot of people are now working on their own ideas of how to improve these magazines. And we have millions of American civilians participating in the testing and debugging process, which is also a benefit.

The US military has always listed this magazine as "semi-expendable", meaning "get a new one when you get back to base". The problem is surviving until you get back. The price point for magazines of this type is about $5, as far as government purchasing goes, but they buy in lots of hundreds of thousands. Civilians buy a few at a time in the $20-$40 price range, and expect them to run perfectly, and last forever, at that price. So there's a difference in viewpoint between some bureaucrat buying what the military will use, and me buying something with my own money. But overall, the picture continues to improve.

And before anybody mentions it, the "perfect" AK47 spent ten years in debugging mode, with large numbers issued starting only in 1957. It was only with the appearance of the AKM ("modernized" Kalashnikov) in the late 1960s that the weapon started to look (and be built of stamped parts) the way Kalashnikov originally envisioned. It had it's teething problems too, but we never heard much about problems like that coming out of closed dictatorships.

19 posted on 12/20/2009 11:47:55 PM PST by 300winmag (Zero to abject failure in under a month. A new land speed record!)
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To: 300winmag; Lurker

I carried the M1A more than the M16 variants during my service career.
Had em in our armory yet the Hk’s an M1A’s seem to be on the road more than the mouse guns.

I am savin my duckets for a civy version of the Hk 416 for 3 gun matches.

Who is making this new improved mag mentioned here ?

28 posted on 12/21/2009 4:49:26 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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