Skip to comments.Marines might replace M-16A2 with M-4
Posted on 08/04/2002 11:34:22 AM PDT by demlosers
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I will leave it up to you to carry a M-14 all day!!!!!
Yeah, but unfortunately it's more likely that there's a picture of Diane Feinstein holding one ......before a Senate committee.
When I went through ROTC 'Advanced Camp' many, many years ago, I ruptured a guys spleen with a well placed butt stroke with a pugel stick. I can only imagine that a similar stroke on an enemy soldier would have just about torn out the front part of a rib cage. The bottom corner of the M16 butt stock is pretty pointed and the PSI on a well placed blow must be tremendous.
Just for clarification, the M4 (14.5" barrel) has the same length of barrel in front of the gas port as the M16A1/A2. I only shoot my M4 for fun, but I have had no reliability issues with it. Of course, my Colt commando upper (11.5" barrel) runs just fine, also.
They're chambered in 5.56, as well. The Isrealis are phasing them out, in favor of the M16-family. Galils are too heavy and difficult to mount optics on. Iron sights are obsolete.
Take a Mini-30 and shoot a magazine full of ammo through it. Then try to fire 5 rounds inside a eight inch circle at 100 yards.
One of the things needed when we went from the M16A1 to the A2 was a heavier barrel. Not for more accuracy but because the every day GI Joe used it for a pry-bar. Try flipping the lid off a hidden bunker.
The M4 may look cool for all the want to be Rambos Just like sitting in an Indy car. But not useful in the every day real world.
Lets list some of the old weapons that still do a better job B-52s, .50 cals., 1911.....
Cant afford bullets. But can waste money on hats & toys.
I carried a shotgun on patrol in Viet Nam. Since we often could not see more than a few yards into the bush, distance was not a problem. Keeping it clean and free of rust was. Even with the maintenance problem, I liked it, especially since I was not much of a marksman. Evenually the shotgun was taken away and I was issued a M79 grenade launcher. Not much good for close work, but in the open, if I could see it, I could hit it.
As I said, there is a definite place for the M-4. But let us not cut off 300 meters off our infantry's range of engagement.
I agree - it's a great cartridge. And not a "baby" bullet. I drop deer dead in their tracks, yet it has almost no recoil.
Megadittos on the SL-8. I've had mine for a couple of months now and am really impressed - it doesn't seem as finicky as the ARs I've shot, is easy to fieldstrip, and shoots a mighty small group. On the downside, it is limited to a 10-round mag, but then it's a sporter, not a military rifle. I hated the skinny nylon sling and replaced it.
For anyone contemplating purchase of this piece I'd recommend looking into the G-36 optical sight system - replaces the pickatinny rail with a military reticle lower sight and a Hensloldt red-dot. It's another 6 Benjamins but oh, my is it sweet...
The more I read and remember, the more I think we ought to reactivate the M-14.
One dirty little secret. The M-16 was adopted over the M-14, not so much for the reasons reported, but for the main reason that in the mid-60s, we had ceased being a "Nation of Riflemen" and the kiddies drafted from the big cities couldn't handle the recoil (kick) of the M-14 and were boloing on the range. The M-16, nothing but a .22 Long Rifle on steroids, didn't kick the kiddies so much and they were qualifying with it...but not becoming riflemen.
End of rant.
Answer, probably not many.
A shorter barrel means reduced velocity and accuracy at long ranges. But its unlikely, the Marine review said, that battles would be waged at more than 200 meters.
I don't get it...
All the buzz in the military world is that our forces can be lighter and faster because 'Meeting Engagements' will be a thing of the past as better intell and maneuverability give us stand-off, stand-off, stand-off.
OK, now we've got light and maneuverable stuff and great intell and all that crap and we can't engage anything beyond 200m?!
And the Navy tried several M14s in .243 for SEAL team used, and came back unimpressed, largely due to problems with the rifling twist of the barrels, as those suitable for long-range work are less suitable for up-close work with more lethal projectiles. Neither were barrel luives of 10,000 rounds considered sufficient in weapons meant for fully-automatic fire.
The British .280/30, originally meant for their experimental EM-2 rifle of the 1950s, might have been another step in the right direction. But I suspect we'll be stuck with the M16/5,56mm cartridge combination for so long as conventional mettallic-cased cartridge ammunition remains state-of-the-art.
But when caseless or plastic-cased ammo comes along....
The BAR ( really a WWI weapon !) was good at the same range,and an excellent "light" machine gun : heavy and awkward to carry, but a LOT lighter than the air-cooled .30 machine gun.
One person in each 4 man fire team carried a BAR ( for some reason, it was generally the smallest member of the team. )
During the Korean war, a lot of the shooting was at longer ranges. People who were there said the 7.62 Russian rounds would "fall short" at those ranges, but the Garand and the BAR - in capable hands - would make life interesting for the Koreans and Chinese.
Sorry, the world doesn't work that way.
"War is the continuation of politics by other means."
--Karl von Clausewitz
If you read "On Strategy" by the late Col Harry Summers, you will see the difference.
Since I don't understand the argument, that would appear to be the case.
Wars may be prosecuted as extensions of a country's political goals and ambitions, but it is fought with rifles and spirit.
No. Wars must be prosecuted as political means to an end. And while rifles help win wars, "spirit" doesn't count for much at all. If you have any doubts about that, ask the French how far they got on elan alone, or the Germans Fourth Army, for that matter.
If you read "On Strategy" by the late Col Harry Summers, you will see the difference.
I read Summers' book about 20 years ago, and I remember liking it, but disagreeing with most of its conclusions regarding Vietnam. If I remember correctly, Summers argued that defeat was largely the result of errors in strategy by Westmoreland's people. I think it goes beyond that. I don't believe any war in Indochina was winnable, in the sense that we could have permanently suppressed insurgency without enormous costs, both in economic terms and in manpower. Invading Laos and North Vietnam could have escaped the underlying political mistakes at the heart of US entry.
Did you get a chance to notice the scores that the competitiors were getting between the Garands, M1A's and the Ar-15's?
Care to share?
The single biggest determining factor in ditching the M-14 was that it was ungodly expensive to manufacture. Far and away one of the most expensive combat rifles ever produced by any country. The M-16 was something like half the cost per unit (and more accurate off-the-rack, not that it matters).
As for the ballistics of the .223, your are badly mistaken. If you've ever looked at physical models of terminal ballistics, there is a crossover velocity (2500-2700 fps, depending on the bullet) where terminal lethality takes on a new dimension due to reaching critical rotational energy densities. The .22LR has the terminal ballistics of a pistol bullet. The .308 sits on the edge of this envelope at the muzzle. The .223 is in it for about 100-200 yards out of an M16. I've never met an operator that wasn't quite pleased with the performance of the .223 when it mattered and even many old-timers prefer it.
And for those interested, the critical rotational energy density has to do with fragmentation behavior. Below the critical threshold, fragmentation adds little or no value to the terminal characteristics of a bullet. Above the critical threshold, the energy density is so high that the bullet literally explodes quite violently with the fragments travelling perpendicular to the center axis of the bullet at velocities around 250-300 fps depending on the specifics as a simple consequence of physics. At those velocities, bullet fragments are quite capable of perforating tissue, particularly in distressed tissue (like a temporary cavity). Hence why a good hit at relatively close range with a .223 can turn the insides of a person into hamburger that substantially exceeds the expected damage. The tumbling bullet causing damage bit is something of a myth -- ALL bullets tumble when they hit tissue. When it happens to bullets that exceed the critical rotational energy density, this frequently triggers the very energetic radial fragmentation.
And no this was not a design consideration when the .223 was originally selected. It was a fortunate coincidence.
As the LTC Summers stated to his NVA LTC counter-part..."You know we defeated you on the battlefield every time." to which his counterpart stated, "Yes, but that is irrelevent."
Again, to quote you, "Since I don't understand the argument, that would appear to be the case."
As to accuracy, I would disagree.
As for a general purpose weapon, I would prefer a 7.62 NATO rather than a 5.56mm in fire hose mode.
Of course I agree that winning the most pitched battles is irrelevent, most especially in a guerilla war. But Summers argued (and again, this is to the best of my memory) that Vietnam was the fault of political and conceptual strategic errors and not, as you seem to claim, moral turpitude on the part of the American public. The public would have turned against the massive casualties in the war no matter what, for American goals were nebulous, casualties were high, and there was no way we could "win" without paying a heavy cost.
Man you love to twist statements! You just admitted to what I pointed out to you and tried to accuse me of something entirely different. The North Vietnamese used the mush-heads on American Campuses for their political and propaganda campaigns. The media was also a willing accomplice. I know. My late Father ran into a stone wall as a PIO in Nam trying to post articles about volunteer civic action work National Guard and Reserve troops were accomplishing. The guy to killed the stories...Dan Rather. He admitted to my Dad that he "was probably a Communist, but as long as he was in charge of the bureau in Siagon, the American people were only going to see the war the way he wanted them to see it!"
The primary problem was the failure at the NCA to strategize it. The campus riots and protests and the media lies supported the NVA operation. The field actions by the NVA were only a supporting attack on the US populace.
As I recall, tests done by the military on early M16s pulled off the rack and fired by a mechanical benchrest showed an average accuracy of 1.1 MOA. It was considered remarkable at the time, and I know the M14 never did that. I don't think I've ever owned an AR15 pattern weapon that couldn't shoot 1-MOA all day with good ammo. Its the only semi-auto military rifle I've owned that could do that routinely. Most non-American species never did better than about 1.5-MOA in the finest specimens (including a couple very nice AK variants that could shoot respectable groups with match ammo). Any competent gunsmith can get an M14 or Garand to routinely shoot 1-MOA, but you don't usually find that accuracy in the stock rack-grade weapon.
I'm not saying that relatively thin differences in accuracy matter in practice, but the AR15 family is technically a more accurate platform in rack or match grade and I don't know too many people who disagree with this. You may have other reasons for disliking the M16, but accuracy isn't a valid one (except at distances where the .308 isn't any better).
You give me too much credit. I'm just trying to respond to arguments I disagree with.
The North Vietnamese used the mush-heads on American Campuses for their political and propaganda campaigns. The media was also a willing accomplice.
That's just silly. The rise of the campus leftist loonies was an effect, not a cause of the US defeat in Vietnam. And Summers doesn't disagree.
My late Father ran into a stone wall as a PIO in Nam trying to post articles about volunteer civic action work National Guard and Reserve troops were accomplishing. The guy to killed the stories...Dan Rather.
I'm not going to analyze the validity of the Rather quotation, but I think the numbers of US and Vietnamese casualties speak for themselves. We were fighting without any political or strategic objectives, using tactics that were doomed to failure. Any domestic lunacy was purely coincidental. The costs were enormous, and no gain was possible.
I can stay in the 400s with an HK-91A2, but since it's not a US military service rifle I have to shoot in the 'Match' competition against guys with hyper-accurized Tikkas that usually comes down to the winner being who cut the most X's inside the ten ring. I don't think that there are any Hk rifles with iron sights that can do that.
I really wish I would have made the time to get into the Freeper Postal Match.
In comparing the 5.56mm to the .22 cal LR, I was referring to the recoil, not the ballistics. I agree that the high speed, combined with the tumble at impact was devestating on humands, but useless on materiale.You were correct before, actually the 5.56mm is .22 cal. there is absolutely no difference and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise does not know what they are talking about. 5.56 is nothing more than the metric measurement of a .22 cal bullet. The military usually uses 55gn 22 cal bullets in their 5.56mm cartridges. Thats a fact, Jack!
5.56@500yds 207-ft-pds (yes that is 207 what a joke!)Want to know what I think. We should go back to the M-14 or M-1
.308@500yds 1239 ft-pds
Guess which caliber the enemy is using!
Hint: It is NOT the first one...
I think the reason we walked away from Vietnam (Notice how I said we did not lose Vietnam.) was a composite of the factors you have named.
I must say that I disagree with you Andy on your opinion that we could NOT have won the war. My opinion on why we walked away is two-fold...
1/ All the branches of the Military were playing "Politics," and the actual Politicians did not help at all. In effect, they became "Armchair Generals.", the actual Pols that is.
2/ (This is the big one for me!) The ENTIRE MORONIC "Escalating Force," doctrine of the US Military at that time. I am not a Vietnam Vet but my CO was one and he sat down and explained this concept to me in length(He did not approve, he said he threw away tagets because of orders.) and it was a laughable strategy. Furthermore, I think all of the propoganda and Anti-US demonstrations actually strengthened the reliance on this foolish doctrine.
Sorry to butt in but I wanted to add my two cents. I realize I am in the minority, I think we could have destroyed them. Dont you think leaving the North relatively unharmed while the South focused on the Guerilla war and we "Escalated," force against the NVA was a tad... moronic?