Skip to comments.US rifles not suited to warfare in Afghan hills
Posted on 05/22/2010 11:58:33 AM PDT by too_cool_for_skool
KABUL, Afghanistan The U.S. military's workhorse rifle used in battle for the last 40 years is proving less effective in Afghanistan against the Taliban's more primitive but longer range weapons.
As a result, the U.S. is reevaluating the performance of its standard M-4 rifle and considering a switch to weapons that fire a larger round largely discarded in the 1960s.
The M-4 is an updated version of the M-16, which was designed for close quarters combat in Vietnam. It worked well in Iraq, where much of the fighting was in cities such as Baghdad, Ramadi and Fallujah.
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Bring back the M14!
Give them back the Browning Automatic Rifle, the M-14, and the M-60.
This story seems to get dragged out once very six months
Just tell them to get the Israeli Galil. That thing takes a beating in the desert and keeps on shooting.
No, rechamber the M-4 to fire the 6.5mm X 39mm round.
For close in work nothing beats a Thompson.BAR with a cut down barrel aint bad either.
When targets presents themselves at very long ranges of fields of fire the M4s will be inadequate.
Absolutely, and it’s bunk. A 5.56mm round from an M4 will still perforate 1/8” plate steel at 500 meters. if it’ll go through steel plate at that distance, it’ll go through a combatant at that range (most of the combatants encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan do not wear body armor). Is it as potent at a 30-06 or 7.62x51? No, but it’s still carrying the energy and power of a 45 ACP “up close and personal” (like 7 yards). A single shot may not kill your target, but they are going to have a VERY bad day.
The issue isn’t the firepower packed by the soldiers, it’s the insane ROE that limits return fire. If you didn’t see the fire coming from a given individual - even if they have a weapon slung on their shoulder - you cannot return fire. Perfect ROE for the enemy to take a pot shot and go back to goat-herding, unopposed.
The new snipers will be charged with long-distance observation, predominantly, to keep an eye out - well out - for the very situation where a 600m away goat-herder takes a single pot-shot and re-shoulders his weapon before the round strikes or is heard. Having spotters dedicated to extreme range only - and equipped to return accurate fire at that range - is the only thing that has any chance of working with the current ROE.
The M1 Garand did pretty well in the hills and mountains of Italy in WW2... And had a good power punch.. Ok I am biased.. I love my Garand.
I’d be happy to let em try out my Socom .308...
I used to think that then I got to shoot an FN SCAR in 7.62. It is awesome, isn’t that heavy, mounts optics that are a pain on the M-14, has a folding stock which is nice for getting in and out of vehicles. Way nicer than the M-14 in the Sage stock.
give them Napalm, and the delivery system for it
let them have BBQ’s
Flame Throwers and Zippo Tracks too.
I love the M-4. It’s so much better for someone like me with short little arms.
Just like in Saving Ryans Privates. “DONT SHOOT EM,LET EM BURN”!
Is it cheaper to rework a receiver and replace a barrel than to purchase a new rifle chambered for another round? I don’t think the round you suggest has much greater range than does the 5.56.
Clinton order over fifty thousand of our M-14s destroyed while he was president even thought the NATO 7.62 was and still is an excellent round. My preference is the 30.06 cartridge if a new round is chosen to extend a rifleman’s reach.
The m14 was a based upon the Garand and George Patton said the Garand was the greatest battle rifle ever designed.
Troops in Vietnam complained, however, that the 308 round was heavier than the 5.56 and thus couldn't carry as many mags of 308 as they could mags of 5.56. Also, the 308 was more difficult to control in full auto especially when so many troops adopted the spray and pray technique.
Never heard of it... but just checked it out. Looks good. It appears they're replacing it with the Tavor TAR-21.
WOW! it only took 44 years to admit that the Poodle Shooter is nothing more than a top of the line varmit plinker!
How many American lives have been lost since 1966 because of the foolish decision to abandon the .308 M-14 and go with the .223?
If you want to get your blood boiling read the history of the big money, insider influence, and cover ups of operational defects that lead to the adoption of the AR-15/M-16/M-4 Poodle Shooters.
As in everything else related to the Federal Government, if you want the truth just follow the money.
Yep, mine served me well with an EOTech sight attached.
That was before the boating accident...
Ft Know s/b Ft Knox. Lousy keyboard (and typist) and lousy spell check.
I’ve seen the pictures of the FN SCAR - it must be a really nice rifle. I envy your good fortune at actually firing such a fine rifle!
I have a Garand and a MIA national match in my defensive armament. Also a Ruger .223 Ranch Rifle and an SKS. I’m ready no matter what.
We need something in .308.
Why not something in 7.62x39, the preferred caliber of our enemies? I’ve owned one. Mild recoil and utter reliability. 308 is considered mid sized but it still packs large caliber recoil. That’s one of the reasons we got rid of it.
I had a 7.62x39 in a Ruger mini 30, but seriously, with that pencil thin barrel, after the first two shots the groups opened up enormously. I sold it.
Perhaps the action is capable of more rounds per minute, but neither was issued as a full-auto, so that's not really an issue, is it? I'm real sure that I could shoot more rounds with the M-14 in one minute, because of the 20 round magazine vs. the 8 round clip. I think this advantage outweighs any other mechanical cycling advantage the Garand may have.
It's should not be fired in full-auto however...unless to clear a room from a stiff hip-mount.
The USMC used to regularly mix weapons in their rifle teams....30 Carbine, .45 Thompson and the M1 Garand were a common mix.
I see no reason why we wouldn't go about 50-50 with the M4 and M14...it's the same round used to the two machine guns currently in service....308 and .223.
Wahoo! Saw one with a regular rifle scope attached. Got to shoot it. WOW! A real “Christian” maker need in Afgan!
I've an 870, M1A, and an AP4 .308 panther. : )
The italians had a updated version with a 20 round deatachable mag
We need to be able to push bullets with heft (e.g., 150 grain) long distances over open spaces in Afghanistan. A .308, a very accurate round, is up to the task.
The rifles now referred to as “assault rifles” came to be in the latter years of WWll, when the Germans found that the full-house infantry round, the 8x57mm Mauser, was uncontrollable in a rifle-weight shoulder-fired weapon. The devised the MP-44 “Sturmgewhre”, a rifle featuring select fire and firing a less-powerful cartrige, the 8x33mm. Mikhail Kalasnikov applied the concept to his AK-47. The definition of “assault rifle by the military is a select-fire rifle of INTERMEDIATE POWER.
The M-14 was unmanagable in full-auto fire. The old BAR was capable of select fire but tipped the scales at 20 lbs.
I have seen AR-15s used in high power rifle competitions at 600 yards but it requires an 80gr. bullet with a different rate of twist in the barrel rifling. There is a difference between punching a hole in a piece of paper and making certain that SOB 600 yards out is down for the count. The M-4 is a cut-down M-16. In making it more compact for urban warfare, a good deal of velocity was sacrifices, further reducing the effectiveness of a marginally effective round.
It is difficult to build a rifle that will do all things for all people but in the end, ya gotta have enough gun
I would say that you are correct.
But it does give everyone a chance to bash the M16 (and its more modern variants) and its "poodle-shooter" 5.56x39mm round, and to discuss what would be better (bring back the M14, go to a modern rifle which fires the .243 / 6.5mm round, etc.) so it is all good...
> Bring back the M14!
Exactly !!! In Vietnam I was issued an M14, 4 months later they took it away from my and substituted a crappy piece of junk called the M16. (Mine failed me in 2 different firefights). The M14 was a nice weapon. Accurate, long range and with lots of knock down power.
Call in an air strike.
My favorite too (if I were in charge of what rifle for the U.S. military to use).
Also works really well with optics attached.
I carried an M14 in basic, then we fired the M16 in the last week. The consensus was the M16 felt and handled like a toy. Any military weapon that needs an extra assist mechanism to chamber a round is seriously flawed.
I like the sound of a .30 caliber weapon. A frickin’ gussied up .22 is not a suitable battle weapon. In my un-soldier-trained opinion. Them boys need firepower.
Again, it was never my honor to serve so I only have theoretical knowledge of this, I’m just flapping my lips.
You can pour sand in the receiver of the Galil (an AK-47 variant) and it’ll still fire. The Israelis do carry M-16s but they weren’t really designed for that environment.
My understanding is that since WWII, marksmanship was considered less important than firepower. Standard military doctrine for small-units revolves around suppressing the enemy with high firepower while a second team maneuvers in close for the kill. If further out, then you call in air strikes or artillery. But generally you try to avoid a marksmanship contest.
Of course, according to the NYTimes, Afghan (and Taliban) marksmanship is terrible:
Yeah but AK variants achieve their reliability by having really loosy-goosy tolerances - which wrecks their accuracy. I see AR variants routinely hitting 300+ yard targets at my local range - never seen it with an AK.
I trained on the M-14 and a few years later was given a course on an M-16 as I had my over the pond orders albeit never went. From my limited knowledge the M-14 was designed as a longer range weapon to defend fixed positions in Europe. The M-16 came along as a more rapid fire closer in weapon which allowed a soldier to carry more rounds. I own ARs in both 308 and 556 and would say the calibers of each fit their billing exactly. So, given our need for a longer range rifle with great knock down power at long range needed in Afghanistan, I would opt for the M-14 or any other 308 rifle deemed OK.
As a side note, there was a story this week that due to ROE in Afghanistan, soldiers in some areas patrol with empty firearms. Now, whether one has a 556 or 308, such rules are beyond the bounds of logic. The nitwit responsible for promulgating them should be fired.
It’s a big improvement over the AK-47. It’s a 2 MOA rifle. There’s even a sniper variant of the Galil which is good for 1 MOA. Would that work for ya?
The L-shaped rear sight has two apertures preset for firing at 0300 m and 300500 m respectively (the rear sight can only be adjusted for elevation). The front post is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation zero and is enclosed in a protective hood. Low-light flip-up front blade and rear sight elements have three self-luminous tritium capsules (betalights) which are calibrated for 100 m when deployed. When the rear night sight is flipped up for use, the rear aperture sights must be placed in an offset position intermediate between the two apertures. Certain variants have a receiver-mounted dovetail adapter that is used to mount various optical sights.