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?
Zeroing the M16 wasn't hard for me either, easy as 1 2 3.
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.
Yes I tend to agree, until the military does get the "perfect rifle" thats seems the way to go.
That doesn't sound like there were toe to toe. Range and accuracy may matter. OTOH, that was a SpecOps unit, and may have had snipers along.
I heard a news report a couple days ago that a soldier from the 82nd in Afghanistan was given an article 15 for butt stroking a handcuffed Taliban POW. So, I guess you can still effectively use the M-4 for that purpose, but the M-16A2, with it's relatively large stock is probably a better weapon for smashing people upside the head. The M-16A2, with it's longer barrel, would also be the better rifle to attach a bayonet to. However, overall, the M-4 looks like a better, more versatile weapon than M-16A2 IMO.
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.
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.