Really? I was hoping that it was one piece.
For example, the issue of the M16's reliability problems, which seem to be inherent to its design, have never been addressed. Nor, for that matter, has its fragility. Furthermore, while the effectiveness of the 5.56mm NATO round is quite good, it too has been around for quite some time. Personally, I'd like to see someone come up with something between it and the 7.62x51mm NATO.
Or, we could just admit once and for all that a single weapon is unlikely to do all things well, and develop specialized ones. It worked during WWII, when the typical squad would have a mix of M-1 Garands, BAR's, and Thompsons and carbines. Seems to me it worked pretty well, considering the results.
Besides, not all the services have the same requirements. My own, the Navy, still keeps M-14 rifles in its inventory, for example. H&K MP-5s as well.
Just one Sailor's opinion.
One thing I saw with the M16A2 was a lot of people had problems zeroing the weapon for some reason. I mean most guys could get theirs zeroed but still quite a few did have problems with it. Being a Mortar Platoon in the Headquarters Company, you often have to run the shooting ranges for the rest of the company- cooks, mechanics, medics, commo- with the exception of the Scouts and Support all these guys were non-combat arms. That might have had something to do with it but my own personal theory was a lot of individuals had a problem aquiring proper sight picture and alignment with the M16A2. I don't know if the M4 has a different sight system than the M16 (personally, I liked the M16's system).
I think overall, I agree with someone else that perhaps having one weapon that solves all problems is not really practical- perhaps a mixture of different weapons that accomplish different tasks being brought to bear on the enemy as part of a fire team as opposed to an individual. I think there's still place for a shotgun in an infantry platoon in the right environments and I know it's expensive but I think an infantry unit should have a variety of tools in their armory that they could choose from- choose the right tool for the task at hand as opposed to trying to make one tool do every task.
The one thing about the M16A2 was it had a nice sturdy plastic stock that you could butt stroke someone with. Can you do that with the M4 and how does the M4 hold up if you have to fix bayonets?
The one total and complete advantage the M-16 has over the Ak-47 is range.
We were able to drop Iraqis from ranges they couldnt concieve of. All their infantry troops could do was run for cover as they tried to elevate their AKs in a vain attempt to reach us.
Individual Marines were able to snipe Iraqis at standoff distances. I understand the Amry using the M-4....Army soldiers already cant engage from great distances, so giving them a rifle with a shorter range only seems appropriate....but taking an advantage away from Marines is not something I like at all.
Sounds like some jealous geek Marine decision to me. The M-4 looks cooler.
Time to break out the "old" 7.62 mm M-14's, and come up with a 7.62 BAR.
Re-organize the squad into 3 four man fire teams-one BAR un each team.
Two contradictory articles. As a buff and not a vet I leave it to the experienced to make a judgement.
The only substantive difference between the M4 and M16A4 is the barrel length (14.5" vs 20") and the buttstock (collapsible vs. fixed).
The M4 is proving wildly popular everywhere, especially with law enforcement, as it's easy to tote around and still offers much of the lethality of a rifle.
Problem is, it's not a rifle -it's a carbine. The short barrel cuts the velocity of the issue M855 considerably, and reduces not only it's effective range but also its terminal performance. Yup, they're bitching about the ammunition - ammunition which, by the way, works just fine from a standard 20" barrel. And while were on the subject, the 11 and 14.5in barreled M4s remain statistically somewhat less reliable than 20" rifles, due to reduced gas system length.
The right answer is to purchase quantities of both rifles, and issue the long guns to troops most likely to need them.
For a tanker, artillerymen or aviator, the M4 is a great rifle. For the infantryman, the 20" M16A4 is the superior choice.
How many stores do we have of the M-14 in the Army and Marine inventories?
That's what I think.
Be Seeing You,
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.