Soldiers fire M4 carbines size0-army.mil-55077-2009-11-04-151117

The Army has half a million M4 carbines, the lightweight version of the Vietnam-vintage M16. So if the service was going to invest in a replacement, it wanted a “leap ahead” that would, among other things, cut in half the number of times the weapon jammed – a criterion the Army has not made clear until today. None of the eight designs offered for the Individual Carbine competition met that standard, Army officials said, so the service is going to stick with the M4 indefinitely.

That, in a nutshell, is the word from a half-dozen Army experts and officials at a hastily convened press conference to explain the service’s decision to, for all practical purposes, kill off the $1.8 billion Individual Carbine program. The Senate Armed Services Committee has already cut the $49.5 million requested for the program in 2014 “based upon the Army’s decision not to continue with the competitive evaluation program,” to quote the SASC’s official summary of the bill, released just before 1:00 pm today. On the flip side, the Senate left in $21.3 million to buy 12,000 more of the current M4A1. But after years of technical controversy and political pressure, M4 critics are unlikely to just let the matter rest.

Comments

  • brewster01

    Hey, according to this article the high powered assault rifle round, the .223 Remington aka 5.56 NATO is actually a lightweight! The smartest people in the government and media have been telling us of the tank-stopping, plane downing, building demolition, capability of this round for years and now we find out:

    “There’s a whole separate debate about the killing power of the M16/M4 family’s relatively lightweight 5.56 millimeter rounds”

    • alpinist

      Who has been saying the 5.56 can do all that?

      • MadMoto

        Let Feinstein tell it the 5.56 is equivalent to a thermal nuclear device.

        • mrparker1

          Yes, I even have some depleted uranium 5.56 rounds I purchased at a gun show.

    • R.C.

      Actually it wasn’t the smartest people in government saying it was so powerful. It is people that are trying to brainwash the sheeple into banning the AR15 from the civilian market. It is the smallest, least lethal rifle round made so troops can carry more ammunition.

      • Checkmate King Two

        It is hardly the “least lethal rifle round made”, and if you’d ever seen someone who’s been hit by one, you’d realize that.

        The tumbling characteristics of the round once it penetrates flesh are quite “lethal”.

        • Mrlouis

          It’s true, only I have found from hunting deer with this round that only 1/3 or .33 % of the round tumble in this fashion. Usually stopped by a rib or connecting tissue enough to make the bullet tumble in that fashion. It’s a crap shoot as far as ballistics goes how this will work for you. Frankly, I would trust more in the 30.06 150 grain bullet configuration at 2800 feet per second to save my life. How about you?

          • kiljoy616

            For hunting you want something like Sierra 63 grain soft point. No need for tumbling.

        • Bat_Boy

          A .22lr is lethal as hell in the hands of a trained shot and in it’s effective range so?

          • Gordon Johnson

            No it isn’t…unless your game is the size of a chihuahua.

            Even a trained shot can’t be shooting in the triangle (face shot) as a primary target. And people are known to survive even triangle shots from a .22lr. Hell, a trained shot usually means the shooter is trained enough to retain the presence of mind to use the sights in the midst of all the adrenaline.

            Hit the target in the base of the skull at the spinal cord entry (what spooks did) and you’d get a kill from nervous system damage with .22lr. But that’s not a practical target unless you are an executioner.

            In a center of mass shot a man-sized animal will be wounded by .22lr but rarely killed, and almost never incapacitated. That’s why they’re illegal for hunting big game.

        • KM

          the problem is that those tumbling characteristics that were so damaging were only possible in the old m16 rifles with a 1:14 twist. new versions have a much faster twist which over-stabilizes the 55 grain bullet so it doesn’t tumble.

          • katgurl

            couldn’t someone shake the gun around really fast when firing it and make the bullets tumble around?

          • dmisfit

             Flesh is as much as 1000 times denser than air and will cause a bullet to lose stability almost instantly. For M193 and M855 ammo, this typically occurs after 3-5 inches of flesh penetration, though this can vary. In order to spin the bullet fast enough to be stable in flesh, the barrel twist would have to be on the order of 1 twist every 0.012 inches, which would look like the barrel had been threaded instead of rifled.

        • Sean Conville

          The 5.56 does not tumble out of an M4. That was an issue with older Vietnam era M16′s. Moreover, the 5.56mm round is widely considered the “least lethal” cartridge being carried by the world’s major militaries. That’s why you see many SOCOM units adopting the 7.62×51 round. That bullet has three times the mass of the 5.56.

        • BarnRooster

          B.S. – when they went to the M855 round yaw went to zero – it doesn’t tumble and hasn’t since 1974. Retired Army.

        • Gordon Johnson

          I don’t agree. Most of the ‘tumbling’ buzz came in the vietnam era with the plain-jane M16. It had fewer twists in the rifling.

          The flip side of the tumbling equasion was inaccuracy at range, and the round was completely useless when firing even through light CONCEALMENT. Keyholing on impact made it only slightly more effective than bird shot.

          The fix was to add more rifling in the A1 and subsequent. Of course… that too had drawbacks. Namely it made the bullet into a very precise mid-range WOUNDER with a lot of risk of over-penetration. Personal experience there.

          Just visit JFK Warfare Center’s goat lab. You’ll see. Goat lab doesn’t work as well with the 7.62/.308 ammo. Too much energy is delivered to the target – i.e. the goats die too fast.

          And vets who talk that way today might need to be reminded to think back to why they liked their M60/240 gunner so much. If they bothered to look, the casualties usually weren’t hit lots of times either way. 20 guys with M4′s/M16′s were slinging just as much lead as the M60/M240 Gunner. The difference was in the effects.

    • MadMoto

      223REM DOES NOT EQUAL 5.56 NATO for starters.

      • partizanradio

        WRONG. EXACT same round….

        • MadMoto

          WRONG!!! And you clearly know nothing about firearms. The 5.56 NATO round has thicker walls which allow more pressure and they are slightly longer which effects the leade. This is why .223 can be fired from a 5.56 barrel and 5.56 CANNOT or should not be fired from a .223 barrel. You need to go back and study up.

          • OmegaMan34

            The projectile, which is what the article is about, is exactly the same. The primer and and brass casing are different, where the 5.56 creates more pressure thus more muzzle velocity. The problem they want to solve today is a range issue which is using the AK as the measuring stick. If the round can’t match the 7.62 then it wont be considered. Been dealing with this since ‘Nam. The whole reason all the M-16s jammed early on in ‘Nam is the Army demanded more powder be used in the round than what was specified so they could have more muzzle velocity on paper. Morons then and now. Lets all get it right…

          • cmiller

            The angle at the neck is also different, 5.56 has more chamber pressure than the .223 rem. A barrel stamped 5.56 or .223″CAL” is different than a gun stamped .223″REM”.

          • Bat_Boy

            Sigh, you can fire a 5.56 all day long, all life long from a .223 bolt action and never come close to damaging it.

          • MadMoto

            Well the bolt is stronger, but, I don’t know about that. Why risk it when .223 on average is cheaper?

        • SmarterthanMadMoto

          Wrong. Small difference in max pressures. Same dimensions.

          • BenJones1

            You are incorrect. Please look up the information before someone gets hurt. Same dimensions but much different pressure.

          • Smokeybear5

            Wrong! The 556 is a hair longer and does not work in a 223 specific barrel

          • BenJones1

            I have been reloading for over 25 years and I think I know what I an talking about.

            Try looking at any reloading book or better yet, the internet at:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56%C3%9745mm_NATO
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Remington
            Then compare case length for both. 1.760″ is the maximum case length for both. 1.750″ is the minimum case length for both. These are SAAMI specifications. Read and learn:
            http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=35447

          • Blu Clw

            What Mac Vs PC wasn’t lame enough?

            A 5.56 and a .223 are close enough to breed and make little bullet, but please by all means lets resort to ammo geek fights!

            I love gun junkies, they always get so animated and fan boy like. I hate to say it but they can get kind of lib like(Yeah, I said it). You know, how they fail to see the flaws in their weapons but spot everything thats wrong on yours hehe

          • Mrlouis

            The 5.56 MM is the same case as a 223 Remington, even the manufacturer admits it. True, adjustments have been made to the case for military ammo, but that is what the specs are. I am convinced the correct caliber for killing humans is .30 caliber.

          • m4tt1mus

            completely different. using a higher pressure cartridge in a gun not designed for it can make it go boom.

          • Don

            Dude… no…no….and FN NO……..
            the 5.56 NATO is not the same as a .223 and can not be fired safely from 98% of AR-15s….Go do some research on Barrel twist rates and 223 vs 5.56 NATO.
            You can not buy 5.56 NATO it is spec’ed different from .223
            Did you not read the story…did you not see how Companies where complaining that they did not get enough AMMO to test?
            You think those companies just GAVE UP on 1.8 Billion dollars because they did not want to walk down to Wal-Mart and pick up some .223??
            I

          • jason Keefer

            You can buy 5.56 NATO…. there’s a decent market for surplus rounds from other NATO countries, it’s just hard to get your hands on at the moment.

          • JC762N

            You’re so full of shit it isn’t even funny.

            Stick to airsoft, or what Uncle sam hammered into your head.

            I’ve fired thousands of green tipped 5.56mm rounds through rifles marked .223 with no issue what so ever.

          • Bat_Boy

            wrong wrong and wrong right back at you. The builders were to be using the new higher velocity (I presume) rounds. I find it ridiculous that they didnt just use higher velocity commercial rounds. close enough. There are commercially available .223/5.56 that will crush anything the military uses.

        • Mrlouis

          Not exactly, the military settles on a pressure and load that will reliably work an automatic riffle consistently. After all that is what they want. A 223 Remington could be any number of configurations, bolt action, pump action, single shot, so it doesn’t have to be so consistent and may not apply to the task at hand. In the M1 Garand it was a 150 grain bullet at 2800 feet per second. Nothing shabby, I assure you!

      • partizanradio

        Just like 7.62 NATO is 308

        • MadMoto

          Ugh…. this is the same as the 5.56/.223 issue… While they look similar one is spec’d to much higher pressures and has a thicker wall.

        • MadMoto

          Please don’t give false information on firearms. You may inadvertently get someone injured. You are what gun control lobbyist dream about, an uninformed and unsafe shooter.

          • Blu Clw

            No, they dream of people who don’t realize mags can be reloaded.

          • Bat_Boy

            What is all the hair-splitting over 5.56 and .223? Ballistically they are the same. The 5.56 cartridge is built heftier, its bullet in accordance with world standards. The .223 is built SLIGHTLY different and with a much wider range of commercial loads. At the end of the day it is still a varmint round. That is not to say it is not a good round, it is. a smart one too as most servicemen these days probably do not have experience with handling any rifle at all. relatively low recoil is good. I would take a 7.62 any day considering what both are expected to do. Close range and fast action I would want neither.

          • MadMoto

            I am all about the 6.5 if it were more economical.

          • Lujan

            The M8551 costs more & eats barrels 2x as fast. 6.5mm is more economical.

        • Nikki

          Careful, 7.62 has lower pressures than .308WIN. You cannot (or rather, not supposed to) put a .308WIN into an M14, but you can put a 7.62 into an M1A. The lower pressures of 7.62 also means some semi-autos may not have quite enough umph to reload.

          • Bat_Boy

            Comparing military loads to private sector loads is folly. Private sector has much wider variety of loads to choose from. I am actually a little surprised that many of you do not that. I hate to even have to point this out but in non-military world, both of these rounds are chambered for bolt actions which generally can handle MUCH higher pressured that any modern military design can handle. It isn’t even debatable, it is a fact.

      • Weston Moss

        his only matters with firearms that have tight match chambers.

        most modern .223 rifles will chamber and fire 5.56 fine.

        • m4tt1mus

          and they will be marked 5.56

          • Weston Moss

            Not always. A lot of Ruger Mini 14′s are marked .223, but you can run 5.56 in pretty much any of them except the target rifles with tight chambers

      • Sean Conville

        The primary difference has to do with the headspacing of the two cartridges. The 5.56 round requires greater headspace and generates greater chamber pressure. Thus, most AR15 manufacturer’s make 5.56 caliber rifles not .223 caliber. Do NOT fire 5.56mm ammunition out of a .223 rifle.

      • Ted Jones

        the 5.56 NATO and the .223 are the exact same caliber. THe differance is the pressure standared used in the two. The barrel is not an issue but rather chamber pressure, however most of the AR type and even many of the bolt and other simi-automatic .223 remingtons build to the pressure milspecs of the 5.56 so for most its a non issue and older remmington gun chambered in .223 might have a chamber over pressurization and thus crack but would dought any firearm made after 1990 would have issue with either round.

    • Mrlouis

      It kills prairie dogs without fail.

      • Ira Radnick

        Kills coyotes and wild pigs quite nicely also.

    • arclight6

      .223 Remington is not the 5.56 NATO round. the external dimensions are the similar but not internally, and the 5.56 is loaded for higher pressures. 5.56 can damage a .223 rifle (and maybe yourself in the process).

    • Mike

      Your not too smart yourself. Any gun expert will classify a 5.56/.223 rifle as a high powered rifle……..because it is. Just because it is not the highest does not mean it isn’t high.

    • James McBeth

      keep in mind that the USSR used a 7mm caliber for their AK 47 rifle until they saw the results of what the 5.56mm did in the jungles of ‘Nam. Then the USSR switched to a 5.45mm for the AK 47′s replacement the AK 74. The 5.56mm was really designed to be more powerful than the .30 M1 carbine cartridge but less cumbersome and more controllable than the M1 rifles 7mm round. It’s obviously it’s obviously not perfect but it does do what it was intended for.

  • Phil

    A piston system similar to what the AK47 and many other assault rifles use would be much more reliable than the current gas operated system the M4/M16 uses. Benelli makes a carbine called the MR1 which uses the A.R.G.O. (Auto regulating gas operated) system that is used in their M1014 shotgun which is currently used by USMC. It is a piston driven system which won’t require all the cleaning that the M4 requires. The MR1 fires the 5.56 round and can accept M4/M16 magazines. So no need to change calibers or even the magazines currently used. How this weapon or any piston driven carbine would not be considered an upgrade to the M4 is baffling. Time for an upgrade, the M4/M16 is past it’s prime.

    • Chris

      you should read about the Adcor B.E.A.R piston variant that was in the competition. Adcor clearly had a great gun that met the specs. You gotta wonder if the big boys like Colt, Remington or FN worked to kill the program to give them time to catch up.

      • George

        That’s what caused the early M16 failure. Sabotage by those who wanted to retain the “good ol-boy” network.

        McNamara’s “wizz kids” were the source of the “no need to issue cleaning kits” and were also the people who dictated a different powder be used than what Stoner had specified in his original design

      • Ira Radnick

        I have an AdCor BEAR Elite, and absolutely LOVE it. It has a gas compensator valve that can be easily adjusted to fire either 5.56mm NATO rounds, or .223 caliber rounds. I tried running some 5.56mm x193 NATO rounds through it and got a few failures to feed and eject. I adjusted the valve to the .223 setting and it began to work perfectly. I found out later the x193 ammo does not have quite the same pressure as the 5.56mm 855 ammo. Thankfully I was able to do something about it.

        As for jamming, or any problems since regassing the valve, I have not had a single issue other than the effect of an ear-to-ear grin when firing it. Short of not being allowed to have a full auto, or even a 3 burst auto, in NY state I am thrilled with this unit. I loved my M-16 in the Army, and the Colt AR-15 I purchased as soon as I left the Army. But this AdCor is one great firearm. My wife never fired anything larger than a .22LR rifle before firing the AdCor, and she likes it also. She does fire handguns from .22LR through .40, and traps shoots with 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. But once she hit that AdCor on the range it has become her favorite unit. I just wish I could “legally” buy another one in the First Socialist Republic Of New York (I hate all these new gun laws that we jammed down our throats with the ambush legislation this past January. We gun owners will not forget the politicians responsible for that come the next few elections).

    • George

      I’m not a big fan of piston systems, I think it’s a solution in search of a problem.
      The piston systems seem to have more felt recoil and muzzle jump than a gas powered AR.

      The 300 “blackout” round is at its best as a sub-sonic round, no good for any distance. Great for stealth jobs up close with a suppressor.

      The 308 or 7.62 is a great round, lots of distance and power out to 1000 yards.
      More recoil than the 5.56 and harder to control on burst fire.

      The 6 -6.5 millimeter family of projectiles are, in my opinion, the most accurate. Terrific ballistic coefficient, maintains supersonic speed out to distance and doesn’t get blown around by the wind like a lite projectile.

      The problem is the Army wants one round that will do the job of many, historically that theory has failed time and time again.

      • Dale

        Agreed, I did a research paper on this same issue several years ago; you CAN get better lethality and probably meet the best of both worlds with a 6.5 of some type. Alexander Arms has addressed this same issue with their solution……yes, it will cost some money, but the operating system could still be one all of the military and LE community are familiar with.

      • MadMoto

        Perfectly said… and I totally agree with the 6.5… just too damn expensive…

      • Viper

        Operating system alone has taken over lots of conversations by people that don’t understand the intricacies of specific platforms. There are all kinds of piston-operated systems that are unreliable, finiky, and less than robust. The how is far less important than the what. Look at actual test data, performance, and legitimacy of testing protocol. There is an assumption that piston guns are more forgiving in ammunition selection, and that is an incorrect assumption. Look at the FAL, one of the best legacy 7.62 guns; it has a gas regulator with a specific and detailed process to tune the regulator to provide reliable function. Of course, there are examples that do not require regulator adjustment, so, again, one cannot make conclusive statements about performance based on operating system alone.

    • David169

      The problem with a piston system is there are more parts that can break. The problem with a direct gas system is the gas contains powder residue which in time fouls the bolt/bolt carrier. The advantage of the gas system is it allows for a longer delay before the bolt is unlocked. This allows the bullet to exit the barrel before anything of weight starts to move. With the piston system the gas starts the operating rod moving before the bullet has left the barrel. Once the op-rod is moved the vibrations travel through the steel at about 22,000 fps. The mechanical edge goes to the piston system. The accuracy edge goes to the gas system. I doubt you can make a piston rifle shoot sub 1/4th minute groups at 300 yards.

  • BenJones1

    I would convert all the M4′s to 300 AAC Blackout. It would save money and have a better killing rate.

    • Josh

      NOOO, then you REALLY wouldn’t be able to find blackout ammo….

      • BenJones1

        I make my own blackout ammo. Cheaper than commercial and I guarantee it.

    • go4it

      There are “voices” that say bin Laden got nailed by “skunk-works” H-K 416s converted to 7.62 X 35 (a.k.a. .300 BLK). All it takes is a new barrel … and the piston 416s are much more reliable. They WERE NOT Colt M-4s.

      Those rounds of “The Raid” on the W.H. recordings are remarkably quiet! No way they were 5.56s!; those were a suppressed-fire “pop!” … and the perfect CQB (Close Quarters Battle) round is the 220gr. 7.62 X 35 – with a “can”.

      Little noise to interfere with squad-comm …. and the bottom line is, one round, one down.

      • BenJones1

        I am sure they used suppressors and probably a 225 grain bullets.

  • AlwaysGoesBang

    The Army won’t replace the M4 unless the new weapon can go 3,592 “mean rounds before stoppage”. It’s obvious why they don’t want to abandon the “direct impingement” gas system. Doing so would be an admission that an alternative system is superior as far as reliability. And what is that alternative? The AK-47…..ouch.

    • dorfs

      mini-14, AUGstyer

      • mini fan

        agreed mini 14′s are the way to go. the M1 Garand style bolt is dependable. That gun will spit out cheap and expensive rounds alike, It doesn’t care if its clean or dirty, its a dependable gun with accuracy that the M-4 M16 just doesn’t have. You only have to whisper the word “sand” around an M16 style gun and the damn thing jams!

        • jerseydave

          Mini 14 works for me. Mini 14 is a great, great rifle. Could it be made in .300 Whisper? HK-91 in .300 Whisper would be interesting, but Mini-14s would be neat, keep that “lineage” of US rifles that goes back to the M-1 and M-14.

          • Mrlouis

            Quite right! Although I would go with a Ruger Mini .30 stainless steal as an automatic rifle right now. More moving parts but they are buffo stainless steal. You should make a good showing of yourself at the Alamo with that gun. Good Luck.

          • Blu Clw

            I love my mini. It draws AR fan boy aggro sometimes but after they shoot it a few times they tend to agree that they don’t suck like they used to. And they are very reliable. I’ve had a couple failures to feed with some cheap used mags but with Ruger mag in it I’d probably need a spot wielder to jam it.

            I’m not a big gun nut so I never got into the MOA’s of it all. So when I went shopping for my first rifle I was a tad overwhelmed by all the suggestions and free advice.

            Everyone was telling me to get an AR because apparently it was more accurate and had more options. I almost bought one too till I saw a couple jam at the range. At the time I was looking for a bug out gun, something low maintenance and reliable and even a few jams was a few jams to many for what I wanted it for.

            All in all I’ve been very very happy with it. Its small(16inch barrel), its simple, and with a red dot its very fast to get on target!

          • Blu Clw

            BTW I’m not slamming AR’s so please spare me the knee jerk defense. They may be great firearms and those jams may of been a fluke. It could of been weak clips or bad ammo for all I know. I just know I didn’t like what I saw.

  • M60GPMG

    If you really want something wrecked or someone shot, you use a 7.62x51mm round. Still the best choice today in the hands of a TRAINED rifleman or machine gunner.

    • jerseydave

      The M-14 being used as a Designated Marksman rifle comes to mind.

    • Mrlouis

      Cut it out M60, you can see what we are working with!

  • 4902950E9

    Maybe the Army might think about going back to the M14 with the 7.62mm round, much better stopping power than the puny little .223 round of the M4/M16.

    • R.C.

      M14 on full auto is uncontrollable by the average soldier. It’s like aiming a jackhammer. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great rifle in single fire mode.

      • Don

        With Ladies entering combat now…kiss the return to .308 good bye.

        • Smokeybear5

          They have to go through the same exact training and testing as males, therefore have to be at the same standard..

        • Mrlouis

          That’s true, combat at close quarters. I always wanted a 30.06 to deter intruders.

      • Polymathicguy

        True, but very few M4′s are even issued with a full auto selector and the three round burst mode model is the issued rifle. I would like to try an M14 in that configuration (3 round burst) – I think it would be my choice.

        • Mrlouis

          I see you logic!

        • Blu Clw

          That would be pretty sweet, especially with some nice night vision.

    • MadMoto

      I love the M14, but, I think it just has a lot to do with weight (among other things). The 5.56 round can do some significant damage out to about 200yds or so. Anything hitting someone at 2800+ fps at that range is gonna ruin their day. I have seen white tails drop after about 10 ft or so at that range.

    • NobodyInParticular

      Lots of very cool m14/m1a variants available for civilians and military. Check out Springfield Arms web site.

      • Blu Clw

        I did, and it sucks. A SA M1a stripped was about 1200 bucks back when I looked a few years ago, and that was a lot more than my gun budget.

  • ditchdoc94

    of course we all realize the actual goal isn’t to kill but to wound, more men needed to care for wounded soldier than a dead soldier……..right

  • Fieldkorn

    Ah, yes, the old engineering saw I learned way back when rears its head once again: “Enough research tends to support one’s conclusions.” From the very get-go in the infancy of our country the Army has had to go kicking and screaming to accept most nearly all new small arms, even resisting repeating rifles because they used too much ammunition to going from the .45 Colt to a sub-standard .38-caliber round, only to conclude “oops, we goofed” and returning to a .45-cailber item again. I am not surprised the Army has proven, once again, that old adage I mentioned at the top of this post.

    • Checkmate King Two

      Paralysis by analysis.

  • thirtyoddsix

    Military should lay down their arms and just call 911 and wait just like the good citizens in America.

    • MadMoto

      LMAO….

  • Rambler6

    The Army should look into the Primary Weapons MK114 long stroke piston system.
    It’s very reliable and they would only have to replace the upper recievers, using the existing lower recievers. This would save money and improve reliablity. There new system has a gas adjustment feature making it easy to use with suppressors as well.

  • JDsHandsomeSon

    More than 5 million glorious AR15s alone enter the civilian market each year in America. Millions more AKs, FALs, SCARS, G3 variants, and other marvelous lethal military style weapons are also acquired by patriotic citizens, much to the dismay of communists posing as democrats. We pray these statistics eat holes in the livers of all anti-American leftist Constitution haters and shortens their miserable worthless lives.

    • go4it

      Neither of my AR’s has escaped from my home and wrought destruction on *anything*. Not by themselves, never by my hand. They can’t open the safe where they’re securely stored FROM THE INSIDE!!!!!! Once removed, they can’t load their own magazines. They can’t insert the magazines. They can’t pull on the charging handle and put a round into battery (the chamber, ready to fire). They can’t unlatch their own safety. They can’t aim themselves. And they can’t pull their own trigger.

      Gee, maybe the proper term isn’t “gun nuts”; it’s ANTI-GUN NUT IGNORANCE!!!! They won’t dare admit what the REAL problem is!!! IT’S LOONEY PEOPLE!!! Good example: Jared Loughner was reported to be a registered Dumbocrat at the time he Swiss-cheezed Gabrielle Gifford’s skull …

      Any anti-firearm, ANTI-AMERICAN that screams “It’s gun violence! IT’S THE GUN’S FAULT!” is simply an ignoramus. This is slightly more of a huge lie than “the dog ate my homework!” or the classic, “Billy made me do it!”

      Deflect the blame, cloud the issue, get sheeple so upset and scared they pee down their own leg, are afraid of their own shadow … and imagine they see the Boogie Man around every turn in life ……

      O-blame-uh, Sen(seless) Dianne Feinstein, NYC “mare” Michael Bloomberg, Veep Two-Faced, Lyin’ Joe Biden, Harry Reid and the other Marxist gun-ban criminals that have violated their oath of office when they swore – under oath! – that they “will support and defend the Constitution of the United States …. so help me God”- – - were apparently lying the the very citizens that elected them. FOR SHAME!!!!

      Here’s the current, *official* Congressional Oath of Office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

      I’m sorry, but the New Rule of Marxist-American-Democratic Party Law appears to be that lying under oath is a serious crime – but only when anyone but a #%>€£{%# politician does it ……………

      Enough!

      This nations BELONGS to the citizens. We’ve paid for everything this nation is – and has – with OUR taxes. The government creates ZERO “wealth”. It generates ZERO revenue except from sodomizing the citizens each April 15th.

      AMERICAN voters should send those we’ve chosen to reresent us a little reminder this coming November – and each November subsequently.

      Marxists and their sheeple followers will “flame” those of us who love the USA and will do what so many elected have openly stated they have now refused to do: We solemly swear to “support and defend the Constitution” of the United States of America.

      In numbers – I think the unofficial “well-regulated militia” in the 2nd Amendment that scares Librocrats to no end is fully prepared to chime in with protecting the Republic “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

      PATRIOTS, ALL YE SONS OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY …… A CALL TO ARMS!!! ARISE AND BE COUNTED!!!!!!

  • Greg

    Who were these sales reps? Were they actually surprised that the Army wanted fewer jams!!!???

  • Spgfld Tom

    Why not the Israeli Travor? Still 5.56, but as noted in an earlier post it’s the round that make the gun grabbers tremble. Never was fond of the M-16, carried my trusty M-14 throughout Viet Nam….a great stopping power and an effective club when necessary.

  • Robert Cowger

    I served in Korea. We did not have these fancy rounds and M4′s. Go back to the M1 rifle with a heavy round. We killed lots and lots and lots of Chinese and North Koreans with this rifle. The Army did the same in WWII. It is not that much heavier and has a lot more killing power at a better distance. Kill them far away and the serviceman is much safer.

    • Steve

      Thanks for your service! While I agree with your point about distance, consider that much of the modern “low-intensity” conflicts are urban (house to house, room clearing, close quarters, etc). Some might argue that we need a smaller, lighter weapon for such work.

      • Robert Ralph

        kill them at a distance is the Marine Corps way.

    • go4it

      Thank you for serving our nation! Glad you’re back home safely!

    • jerseydave

      We need a .30 caliber round. .300 Whisper? The .300 Whisper can be done on an AR type platform and is similar in weight and bulk. .30-06 is a powerful round but works. We also need 7.62 squad machine guns back.

    • BrokeMexiFornia

      God Bless You for your service. 

    • Checkmate King Two

      The M16 was developed for the short-distance, close-quarters jungle encounters that were the rule in Vietnam.

      During boot camp, we actually trained with BB-guns in an Army quick-target acquisition program called Quick Kill, which taught us to fire literally from the hip since fleeting jungle encounters usually lasted a couple of seconds, which didn’t allow enough time to acquire the target in the traditional down-the-barrel sighting method. You would be surprised how accurate you could get after an hour or so of training this way.

      I would agree that the M1 was an excellent rifle, and it clearly distinguished itself quite well in WWII and Korea.

    • Mrlouis

      Let them go on thinking they have solved it all. They will find out when they have to dispatch someone with a bayonet. I grow weary trying to pass on what we learned the hard way.

  • Heartland Patriot

    “During testing in 2010, M4A1s loaded with the M855A1 round fired, on average, 1,691 times before jamming.” I did the math (divide 1691 by 30). That’s over 56 magazines before jamming, on average. The typical combat loadout, from what I gather talking to guys who went to Iraq, is about 10 magazines. That’s 5+ loadouts worth of ammo expended, on average, before the M4 jams. That would be one serious firefight. Not saying it doesn’t or hasn’t happened, but still, reality must intrude at some point. If reliability is more important than accuracy, then look at the AK. However, American soldiers don’t tend to “spray and pray”, they do their best to hit what they are aiming at.

    • Blu Clw

      Yeah but theres probably a difference in environment as well. Shooting 1600 rds from a bench or low dust position probably won’t produce anywhere near the same results a guy crawling around the dirt would experience.

  • OldSarge

    The US Military abandoned the concept of aimed fire for mass firepower on the premise that unlike recruits previous to WW II, most recruits were not accomplished riflemen. It cost too much money to train them and keep up those perishable skills. Therefore go with a lighter round that is easier to shoot and you can carry more ammo. Only incur the cost during wartime and not during peace time. Love it or hate it, that is the direction they went. It also often said that the smaller round is not as lethal, creating more wounded than dead. One wounded soldier take two healthy soldier to care for him taking potentially three out for each one wounded.
    What I’d like to see them look at is a piston driven AR in 6.5 Grendel. It far, far outperforms the current 5.56 ammo both in close quarters and at distance. Yes you lose 5 rounds in the same sized magazine. I’d be ok with that myself. But a single round could be used in both SBR (Short Barrel Rifles) and in rifles setup for the squad’s DM (Designated Marksman) and everything in between. I would also like to see real marksmanship come back to the US military, and to the US all together. We were considered a country of riflemen.

    • TerryTee

      You are Dead On with the 6.5 Grendel, for all the reason you you pointed out above, Extremely Accurate round. Rumor has it the Russians are looking into using the 6.5 on their new battle rifle.

    • NobodyInParticular

      The guys I know in the Army are going back to aimed fire. Lots of training at 600 yards. Worried about open land in Korea and of course Afghanistan as well as other places.

    • armyaggie99

      Agree with the 6.5. Even the 6.8 would be better then the 5.56.

    • Tom Glaser

      When I was in the desert, I never carried more than 27 rounds in each magazine. I carried extra mags to make up the difference.

  • George

    This is another symptom of an Army that is just too damn bureaucratic and short-sighted. The Army goes through this same routine whether buying rifles or uniforms. The current Class A uniform is just another glaring example–and weall thought the AF Mcpeak uniform looked ridiculous!

    • Dwwolf

      Not quite, There’s a caseless/plastic cased ammo project also underway for 5.56mm what would make sense is to integrate the whole package. Calibre around 6.5mm + new AR/Squad-LMG, + caseless/plastic cased ammo, once the ammo bit matures.

  • Eohara68

    Having used both the M14 and M16 in combat, both become uncontrollable after 4 or 5 rounds on full automatic. That’s why they now limit it to 3. The M16 is great in short combat, just keep it clean, you make that mistake once and you learn not to let that happen again, done that.
    Try humping 500 to 800 rounds of 7.62 vs 5.56 along with your other gear.
    The M14 can get a kill at 400 yards, good luck with a M16 and a banana clip.
    Disagree with the comment about wounded are more valuable than kills, guess which army takes care of the wounded, not the other one.

    • MadMoto

      I was going to comment on the wounded vs dead comment as well. We never shot to wound as a cornered cat is equally or MORE dangerous. Shoot to end the threat… meaning DEAD.

    • Dirka

      Thank you. This debate comes up so much and it’s usually people that have never been in combat asking why we don’t have 7.62 as our standard. That ish is heavy!

  • Mrlouis

    The truth is the old m1 carbine is a better weapon and more reliable. One million dead Japanese can’t be wrong.

    • Jeff Kelland

      Ummm, no, the M1 Carbine was not responsible for one million dead Japanese…I’m hoping you’re trying your hand at humor and maybe I misunderstood. The Carbine was seldom ever thought of that highly by those who actually used them in combat. The were never intended to be a front line infantry weapon, but to replace sidearms for rear echelon types or to be used by troops whos primary duties made carrying the M1 rifle cumbersome…The .30 cal. carbine round has been proven to be a marginal man-stopper at best and has a realistic effective range of not more than 250 meters…

      • gildersleeve

        Effective is closer to 150 yards. Then it takes a good shooter. I have a dozen old WW2 carbines and love them. However they do not stop a deer or person well. Need a 308 or 30 06 to do that….

      • Mrlouis

        Your quite right! The .30 caliber carbine round did lack stopping power although there are veterans who will swear that the .30 caliber carbine was effective against body armor of the time. Which is why I have chosen the Ruger Mini .30 as the rifle of choice at this time. With the 7.62×39 round it is quite effective against 5.56 caliper weapons.

    • DRA2012

      I think you mean the M1 Garand RIFLE. The M1 Carbine was originally intended to supplement the officer’s side arm, being much more accurate than the .45 cal Colt model 1917 pistol (it also allowed the use of 15 & 30 rnd box magazines), and MUCH lighter and handier than the M1 Garand rifle. But the M1 Carbine only uses a .30 cal PISTOL round, which didn’t have the stopping power of EITHER the .45 cal ACP or the .308 cal rifle rounds.

      In any case, the weapons that killed all of those Japanese were the Browning .30 & .50 cal MGs, and the USOD 75mm Pack Howitzer. Individual rifles produce suppressing fire (which mostly caused the enemy to take cover) – it’s the machine guns and artillery that were the real killers.

      • Mrlouis

        Of course your correct. Although there are veteran testimony’s as to the effectiveness of the .30 caliber carbine against body armor of the time that Japanese officers used, one has to think of the advancement of that basic design of a minimal .30 caliber. I think the 7.62×39 mm is a much more logical replacement than the 5.56 mm, don’t you?

  • BoringGuy

    A quality AR, such as a Colt, FN, BCM, or LMT, is unmatched in total for reliability, accuracy, versatility, user friendliness, cost, and overall combat effectiveness. Sure, the AK may be more reliable and easy to use overall, and there may be some rifles out there that are more accurate and powerful, but none have the total package of the modern M4. There’s a reason why even in countries that don’t issue AR-based rifles the M4 is among the most commonly used rifles in special operations forces (i.e. UK’s and Australia’s SAS). The idea that you only have to think about dirt and the weapon jams is an old story from the original M16 series. Those rifles were admittedly very unreliable and fragile, but that was less about design and more about government cost cutting and politicians thinking they knew more about what a gun needed than Eugene Stoner himself. And the direct impingement had next to nothing to do with its problems. Once they upgraded to the M16A1 and fixed the problems, it was an excellent rifle. The AR’s versatility has allowed it to be easily upgraded and kept on the cutting edge even today.

    Really, the Individual Carbine was another waste of taxpayer money on a problem that didn’t really exist. They could have saved millions by simply upgrading parts and changed a few small things here and there. A direct impingement rifle is reliable enough to go thousands of rounds without even a simple wipe down. It has to be, it would be worthless if it wasn’t and it would be universally hated by our men and women in uniform.

    • AlwaysGoesBang

      strong defense of the AR platform, but you’re minimizing its genuine weakness. The first paragraph of the story says it all…”The Army wanted a leap ahead that would cut in half the number of times the weapon jammed. None of the eight (direct impingement gas) designs offered met that standard”. The Army obviously does not agree with you.

      I agree that Stoner’s is the best all around design. But the fact is, dirt and sand make your AR jam too easily, while my AK just keeps on firing….

  • Evan Johnson

    I promise this has more to do with lack of funding for this project that the inability of those companies to produce a qualified weapon. A more accurate description would have been that they could not produce a weapon so much better that it justified the cost. Don’t forget that the Army has to pay to replace weapons for every soldier, even those in support units, national guard, and reserves as well.

  • zzizek

    Mean sadistic people with no values start wars.
    Mean sadistic people with no values make weapons.
    Mean sadistic people with no values go into wars.
    Mean sadistic people with no values support KILLING PEOPLE.

    In 2013 … where there’s enough food … it’s not war for survival … it’s war cause of greed. And all of above support this. Not even animals kill for greed, so what are we – human? …

    • MadMoto

      Spare us all the pacifist nonsense Jim Carrey. As long as there are men and women with things, there will be men and women who want to take them away, by force if necessary. And by things I mean MORE than simple material items. I mean family, freedoms, and lives. “Only the dead have seen the end of war”

      • zzizek

        By calling me a pacifist, you take as normal in world you must kill people. In times when you sit by the computer drinking Coke. LOL, what level of mind this is? 8000 B.C.?

        No. You’re wrong. It’s not as long as there are women and men. As long as there are people who make money and make up exuces, why some war stars, so they can earn bunch of money while satisfying their sadistic non-developed brains. And … as long as there are SHEEPS like you, believing XYZ reasons.

        War is for freedom? Not a single war between countries has been recorded to be started cause of freedom. It’s ABSURD telling war makes freedom. By killing millions and millions and leaving billions suffering. What freedom? Or you mean HEAVEN as a freedom?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUS1m5MSt9k

        • Confused

          WTF?

          • zzizek

            Leave it. Too complicated for you.

        • MadMoto

          If you believe the world is a hand holding campfire sing along you clearly haven’t been in a situation where you need to defend yourself (and I pray you are never in said situation). You position is absurd. You can make yourself a target and try explaining to the non-developed brains when you’re being attacked that there is a more gleeful way to take your things or your life. “Not a single war between countries has been recorded to be started cause of freedom” REALLY? You should really rethink that position. There is NOTHING FREE about FREEdom. It’s is bought with blood and honor by men and women who feel freedom is more important than their own lives.

    • LausDeo!

      You may have posted to get shock value but you are right in a sense. Animals have no greed as they have no conscience. Man has greed and a conscience because of sin (sadistic people). Sin lies in the heart of man and an evil man can only be reproached when the righteous man confronts him.

      • zzizek

        Mix of wanted to get heard and to make it short therefore.

        Sin = ego, right? (not the “original sin” or something) But ego isn’t word enough. Killing really is sadistic and it’s even more evil then just being ego. You can eat all the candies so there’s none left for the friends … or you can be the evilist possible – to kill people, knowing you leave their CONSCIENCENST friends sad for years, maybe whole life. Amazing this world.

    • Nick

      Being an ignorant enough idealist is not a force powerful enough to bend reality to your ideals.

      • zzizek

        Ignorant? Why? Which part is ignorant? Since then … I’m just saying the facts. So saying facts is ideal? Doesn’t make sense. But what does makes sense is, you’re ideals are making people hurt being injuried, without homes their built, leaving their families suffering, etc. Please, choose another word. I mean – whos ideals are things like that?

        • Nick

          Facts according to whom?

          Show me the iron clad evidence that proves without a shadow of doubt that people who participate in wars are without values and “Mean and sadistic”.

          Show me the iron clad evidence that workers who produce needed equipment for the defense of nation as lacking values or being “mean and sadistic”

          What you are offering is in fact not facts but your opinion.

          • zzizek

            Oh. You don’t even know that making weapons and making wars is only because of people’s greed to earn money, even if they kill billions … ? Is this a FACT enough? Because it’s a lie – there’s no such a thing as a national defence. This isn’t the reason, so it’s made up reason.

            Can you provide a more accurate word for people doing this? Going into the job where they will make people suffer? Just give me the word – it can be diferent, doesn’t mather, therefore you’re not getting the point. You sound like politics, that’s all. But you know how politics sound, and what is the reality. Maybe do you like the word REALITY then?

            History books no fact? Death people no fact? Spending billions of EVERY man who works (taxes) to satisfy wealthiest even if there’s no war … no fact?

            Opinions. LOL.

          • Nick

            Is English a second language for you? Seriously because if it is I can understand why your posts make little sense as you have a difficult time using a second language to express your thoughts. If English is your primary language go take some night classes and get back to us.

            With that said the US military has probably saved more lives then all other US institutions combined. Guess who responded to Katrina, conducted tsunami relief and responded to the earthquake in Haiti. Lets not forget missions in Bosnia and Kosovo to end genocide. That is the short list of recent efforts undertaken by the US military to save lives. Hundreds of examples of this can be found with very little effort. I am 100% certain that your average airman, private or sailor has done more for humanity then you have because I have been there and done that.

            While war is always an ugly affair no military in the world puts as much effort into the reduction of “Collateral damage” as the US military does and your average soldier, marine or airman does everything in their power to preserve innocent life. You cannot tell me this is not true because again I have been there and done this. I have personally been in a position where I had to decide whether or not I was going to fire on a questionable vehicle that may have presented a threat. I am sure you have not been in that position. Until you have don’t lecture to me about morals because you have never had to make instant decisions regarding life and death.

            I don’t pretend to know what goes on in the dark halls of DC and quite frankly I don’t care. I however will not sit here and let you trash good service members with the tired old “baby killer” argument. I have been there and I have seen the emotional devastation a soldier has to live with who has killed and seen death. It is estimated 22 veterans a day take their own lives right now and I am sure much of it is due to the trauma of being in those situations. You, who has not seen the bad side of Call of duty much less combat will not claim these good people have no values and are “Mean and sadistic” in front of me.

          • zzizek

            You’re basicly saying “although we killed billions, we can justify it with helping someone, too”.

            That’s no primary goal armys were created, and it’s like 1% of the activities. It’s like lawyers. 1% of people bring to court are really inocent, but they’re trying to save 100% of them …

            LOL. Where were you? Iraq, Afganistan, or any other country of which you don’t know THE REAL REASON that country was INVADED? For god sake. It’s simple. You need a job. You go to army. You DON’T THINK, therefore YOU DON’T CARE. Glad you didn’t kill those people. But other 99% of the truth is THE REAL reason to go into war, AND 120,000 death civilians just in Iraq from the beginning of the war. But you don’t get it. You rather describe how you haven’t killed some person while you could in a situation where you invade country like in a video game because of the greed of govermant which spends billions of tax money for making wars and getting oil, or any other interest. It’s funny how you’re trying to turn war to see BRIGHT SIDE of it. LOL. Damn, how can you?

          • sacj7

            EXCELLENT reply, and thank you for your service!
            From a former

            SSgt, USAF 1969-1972
            379th Bomb Wing (Heavy)
            Strategic Air Command

          • zzizek

            Your lost, I know.

        • konc1

          Who appointed you as the keeper of the facts, you should be thankful you weren’t alive during WWII, a German soldier would have just run a bayonet through you; while you spouted your stupidity.

          • zzizek

            Yes, Hitler wanted death people, too. He is exactly as sick man as presidents of USA are because they both start war cause of own interest, but you guys believe WARS ARE NEEDED. So primitive. You’re not on the developed level yet. You think you must kill human to survive. Ahahaha. Propaganda and brainwashed.

        • DRA2012

          You are obviously ignorant (as it is clear that you don’t actually KNOW anybody who has served in the military or you wouldn’t be saying such untrue and unkind things about them). Soldiers dispassionately kill enemy soldiers as humanely as possible (and try to avoid killing civilians). The object is stop their ability to conduct war, not make them suffer.

          The “mean sadistic people with no values” that you accuse them of being is better applied to the German Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen, or the Soviet NKVD-UFU, who delighted in torturing their victims to death. These people are not considered soldiers but war-criminals, and (as a recent case demonstrates) are still being hunted down and punished despite the war’s ending nearly seventy years ago.

          • zzizek

            OK, then. If they try to KILL them humenly, than it’s ok. Then bombs don’t leave destroyed cities, don’t leave people death, don’t leave their relatives sad for the whole life, etc. Those are FACTS. And another is, EVERY war start cause of few people’s greed and soliders like sheeeps, cause they have nothing else to do, go follow them and kill people, invade countries, etc. Sick world.

            For me, every person supporting war is sick.

            HOW WOULD IT FEEL FOR YOU HAVING YOUR HOUSE BOMBED, YOUR PARENTS, WIFE, KIDS EVERYONE IN THE COFFIN? HOW WOULD IT FEEL FOR YOU BEING THE BASEMENT CAUSE OTHERWISE SOME MAN WILL KILL YOU IF YOU GO OUTSIDE?

            You Americans are so brainwashed. No morality, fake reasons … and then, on the other side, you’re so relegious. LOOOL. Fckd up nonsense socaity.

    • konc1

      Go take another hit off your bong and save us this incoherent crazy blather. Nobody who’s sane wants to kill people, but sometimes it’s necessary unless you want to be the one killed.

      • zzizek

        If you don’t want to kill people, you don’t join the army. LOL. You will be killed if you don’t join the army? Leaders would die if not starting wars for greedy interests? Stop looking for the exuces that wars are necessary. It’s such a sick reason thinking this way. Wars are terror, ffs. Then again, I’ll ask you – what is doing this to you? You’re sniffing coke? Gotta kill? Gotta fight? LOL

        • konc1

          50 million people died in WWII, only about 10 million of them were soldiers, the rest civilians. They didn’t join the army, they didn’t kill anyone, tell me why did they die?

          • zzizek

            Sorry, I don’t get the question, really. What are you trying to say? You just mentioned millions of death BECAUSE OF WAR … another FACT …

            But yeah, wars are absolutly needed. I’m suprised noone mentioned something like consipracy reason, such as “to reduce population”, lol. Probably there are some soldiers taking this reason into account, too, and believe it’s good for that, too. :D

  • Mikie

    Buy a bunch of AK-47s and get it over with. No problems there.

    • Brad

      why would we buy a weapon that hasnt been in production in years. even the soviet blocks are using the ak74 now..

    • Blu Clw

      I shot my buddy’s Siaga 12 and it was pretty awesome with the damage but it was pretty bad on the quality end, especially the stock. It was flimsy and wiggled a lot. It was made out of weak plastic, like the stuff one would make a Frisbee out of. I definitely got the impression that a butt strike with it would break the stock before it broke your opponents chin. I imagine they make wood stocks for it but that would make it kind of heavy IMO, especially for something that only carries 20 rds in a drum. Plus it was kind of long and seemed ANTI tactical, It seemed like a weapon designed to crush targets at close range but felt too long to turn quickly in close quarters. It probably be cool with a shortened barrel but over all I think I’d rather have my Ruger or a short barreled M14.

      • Blu Clw

        I’m of the mind set that its better to have a couple really well made firearms than a lot of so so weapons, especially if you’re gonna gamble with your life.

        • Nick

          Me too. I build my own AR’s as I can afford the parts and use well tested and proven pistols. My rifles aren’t cheap but I know them inside and out and trust them.

  • Papa_Ray

    Politics as usual won the competition. There is no other logical answer. But who cares?
    Who cares if the world’s best Military has the world’s best individual weapons?

    Evidently not the politicians.

  • DaneChile

    1. Find out why Sanchez and Coburn are such fierce proponents of a replacement carbine.
    2. Find out the average amount of rounds fired by real soldiers in real combat before they clean their weapons.
    3. Find out if the demonstration of 3,592 rounds fired included cleaning and maintenance at the interval mentioned in (2) above.
    I am glad the Army is making good decisons.

  • Rickey J. Reade

    It is hard to comment on this as the article gives no ballistic info for the new round. Also some of the reporting is obscure, some just ignorance. For example, the original
    AR-15 issued in S. V. N. had NO cleaning kit. The troops were told that it was a self-
    cleaning rifle!!!. Eventually they got the cleaning kits, and a chrome lined barrel
    which significantly reduced the fouling causing many of the jams. Maybe the new
    M4a1 just needs a chrome lined barrel, or, maybe it needs to be an upgraded AK47.
    Something like the Dae Woo? But no aluminum receivers, please!
    Another problem is the number of round fired without stoppage. How many rounds
    would a soldier fire even in an extended firefight? What is the average? In other
    words, how many rounds would a soldier fire before the weapon was cleaned and
    the count restarts at zero? How realistic is the military’s goal on number of rounds
    fired? How accurate is it in semi-automatic mode, if there is one?

    • Austin Mabry

      The M4a1 and every M16 variant since the M16 A1 have had chrome-lined barrels. Nothing to that statement.

      Nothing wrong with aluminum receivers.

      Soldiers usually carry fewer than 300 rounds with them into combat. So, realistically, if that’s the standard you want to use for it, the M4 already surpasses that number by 400%.

      Semi automatic mode does exist, as well as the M4A1 going back to full-automatic select fire, instead of the 3-round burst that was used for so many years. The rifle is incredibly accurate at combat effective range (550-660 yards).

  • 6591

    1. The 5.56 MM, the only round the M16 family of military weapons uses, is not a high powered round as the ill informed media likes to say. It is near the bottom of a long list of cartridges ending at the upper end with the .50 caliber M2 Machine gun cartridge.

    2. The .223 and the 5.56 (both actually .224 inches in diameter) while similar are not the same. The .223 caliber cartridge has a SAAMI maximum chamber pressure of 55.000 PSI, a shorter leade in the chamber and a more abrupt beginning to the chambers rifling while the 5.56 MM has a SAAMI maximum chamber pressure of 62,000. PSI, a longer leade and a slower leading edge to it’s rifling. It also uses slightly thicker brass resulting in less interior volume and generally uses propellants not loaded in civilian .223. As there are numerous different 5.56 rounds from 52 grains in weight to 63 grains in projectile weight and different purposes such as penetrator, tracer, etc., with velocities from 2550 fps to 3250 fps. Specialty rounds are also numerous and that also varies the specifics.

    3. The Marines and the Army have different ideas on what their needs are for the structure of their forces and that causes some confusion as the Army as the largest buyer is designated as the lead on the RFP. The Marines are willing to buy separately but that of course becomes another budget battle. For example, the Army apparently is sticking with the 9MM pistol round while the Marines have contracted with Colt Manufacturing for an entirely new 1911 platform pistol in .45 ACP to replace their aging WWII 1911 which their in house Marine Armorers have worked hard to keep going and the M92 Baretta 9MM they were forced to field along with all of American and most of NATO. Again a variety of other pistols are used by different groups such as Navy Seals, Marine Force Recon and Marine Special Operators, etc. Firearms are tools and like any other endeavor requires different tools for different jobs. No one knowledgeable would choose the .338 Lapua fed bolt action rifle for close combat and neither would they choose the M16 for lethal 1,000 yard plus needs.

    4. The Army like all of DOD is faced with mounting budget problems and needs to use it’s limited resources according to its priorities which are not the same as the other services nor the Congress whom are often more concerned with keeping constituents and unions happy by insuring manufacturing isn’t lost or gained at their expense. Congress is famous for forcing the services to buy unwanted planes and ships, etc, to keep voters happy while the services beg for latitude to spend according to their own priorities. What Congress wants and what the Army wants are often two very different things as is BIG Army and small Coast Guard or US Marines.

    • sacj7

      Without being condescending, your reply was one of the best ‘thought-out’ and well written of any statement have read on DISCUS on any subject!

  • Oldvet

    Nam69 Carried M16A1 20 rnd clip. If you loaded 20 rounds in clip and fired first round the bolt would not chamber the 19th round, bummer in fire fight. Rather have had an M1. By the way I kept my 16 clean. I fired long and short guns since I was a kid .Wonder how much it costs Colt Ind. to keep the M16 M4 variants in service?

    • sacj7

      Thank you for your service! From a former
      SSgt, USAF 1969-1972
      379th Bomb Wing (Heavy)
      Strategic Air Command

    • Paul Henning

      Sounds like your buffer spring needed to be replaced.

  • OmegaMan34

    The article says “On the flip side, the Senate left in $21.3 million to buy 12,000 more of the current M4A1″…

    $21MM to buy 12,000 M4? WTF????

    • MGM2ADMIRER

      That includes magazines, cleaning kits, replacement parts, rail attachments such as scopes, sites, lights and such.

  • Ray

    Was everyone in Vietnam a ‘conscript’ with no sense of cleaniness? The whole article loses any credibility when the writer adds such ignorant statements.

    • DRA2012

      An awful lot of them WERE conscripts with little sense of cleanliness (and less sense of how to use and maintain firearms) – but a bigger problem was that the areas (where combat actually took place) that weren’t tropical jungle were rice paddies or swamps! It’s REALLY difficult to keep a finicky weapon like the M16A1 functioning under those circumstances.

      In contrast, the opponents were using AK-47s which can be dropped in a mud puddle, then run over by a truck, and still function w/out any cleaning (except, perhaps, unclogging the barrel). Their ease of maintenance and durability are legendary.

      NOTE: what I have to say about ground combat in SE Asia was told to me by my spec-ops friends that served there – I was too young (Saigon fell the year before I graduated from highschool), and the officers in my family are mostly blue-water Navy anyway :-)

  • OtrDave

    Should have never gotten rid of the M-14′s.

    • JBnID

      TRUE statement!!

    • Paul Henning

      Let’s see how much you like the M-14 when you have to lug it through the jungle for 3 days, along with all it’s ammo and your gear.

      I love the BAR as a gun nut, but my grandfather carried one in Korea and said he’d have prefered to lug a little M1 Carbine (which I own). An M-14 after day 1 feels like a god damned anvil in your hands.

      • OtrDave

        I carried an M-60, I can carry an M-14. And in the desert I’ll take the longer effective range of the 7.62 round. An M-14 is 11lbs and a M-16 was 8lbs. And if you added ACOG to an M-14 you would have fantastic accuracy. With an M-16/M-4 troops usually just spray and pray.

  • Nick

    In my opinion the next great “leap” in firearms won’t be in the rifles themselves but the ammunition. Firearms really have reached a plateau in their development for the moment. I say this because all the soldiers of real military powers now have armor that easily defeats the 5.56 round. In my opinion they need to be investing their time and resources into creating ammunition that will defeat this armor and then building a rifle to use it.

    • The_Saxon

      They stop even the steel tipped ones too?

      • Brad

        yep. the steel perpetrator in a M855 round is tiny. if it ever defeated body armor rated for rifle rounds then the ATF would classify it as armor piercing and restrict the sale to civilians. you can go into any gun shop and buy M855 all day and twice on sunday

        • Nick

          Such is the case with M995. Although the M995 is an AP it is difficult to find much data on it and I am sure it is still plagued by the problems that all 5.56 rounds are plagued with. Poor stopping power etc.

          I am sure in the near future though new rounds will be introduced that really are a “leap” ahead of the 5.56 and worthy of serious consideration as my Civilian AR’s are starting to be offered in different calibers now so the research is already being done in the civilian market.

        • Austin Mabry

          Virtually EVERY rifle round is “armor piercing” by its very nature. Pretty much no armor will stop a full-power rifle round (including the penetrator) short of ceramic plates.

          The only “armor piercing” ammunition that is currently controlled by the ATF is PISTOL ammunition. Get your facts straight.

  • tommyrot

    The point is the current weapon is in, the proposed weapon is out. The .223 or 5.56 rounds are light weight rounds good out to about 300 yards and tend to wound rather than to kill. Wounding an enemy is a good strategy (unless he happens to be shooting back at you and then it sucks), in terms of requiring logistical support to treat, evacuate, and heal the wounded soldier.

  • jason Keefer

    Lies…. The last time they ran these tests the M4 and the M16 were significantly more prone to stoppages than all other competitors. The problem here is Colt has too many friends.

  • bill

    oh my but you guys are clueless a barrel chambered in .223 uses a different chambering reamer than a 5.56. the pressures are different with the mil spec 5.56 having higher pressures but a sammi chambered .223 rifle will not feed the 5.56 rounds consistantly and possibly not at all…. all rifles are slightly different. And yes a 5.56 chambered rifle can and will fire .223 rounds with no jams or mis feeds.

    • The_Saxon

      The 5.56 then is a more lethal round?

      • Brad

        maybe by .001% projectile is still the same size

  • EXGI

    You guys are all a bunch of ignorant whiny little babies, arguing about .223 and 5.56. This is about a new, improved, reliable device, designed to accurately and reliably propel a projectile from point “A” to point “B” with enough energy to inflict a predetermined, minimum amount of lethality and energy. Engineering, materials, size, weight, ergonomics, usability, cost, production capability. Do we really want to spend billions of tax payer’s (our) dollars for a 5% improvement or an HK, AK gas system?That’s the point!

  • maxxxq

    M14 EBR. Was able to fire one once.Wow!,that’s what I would want going into harms way.

    • Austin Mabry

      ^^
      Fired once, instant fanboy, prepared to carry into combat and place dependence of life on it.

      Cool story, bro!

  • J42

    I understand we were using the wrong powder for the M-16 rounds in Nam because it was cheaper, we had plenty of it left over from World War II. Also, the average grunt In Nam rarely had much time for cleaning in the field.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1039056756 Robin Rosenblatt

    Buy the the Israeli Carbine it works TAR -21.

    • The_Saxon

      Is that the new bull-pup rifle? What are the Left-handers going to do?? Where’s the love?

      • Slaine777

        Put in a left handed bolt and switch ejection to the left side.

        • eayeayO

          great!

          I’ll love the extra seconds fumbling as I grab a weapon from my fallen comrade in the midst of a firefight

  • Jerry Okamura

    If a rifle jams less often than another riffle, why is that a bad thing? Why does it have to be much better?

    • Austin Mabry

      Because you don’t spend 500 Million dollars to replace just the hardware aspect, and then probably that much again in new training, plus refitting every armory with parts, and give out 10-year exclusivity contracts, etc, etc, etc, etc, EVERY TIME something jams ‘a little less’.

      If it’s not “much better” you keep using the system that’s already more than ‘pretty good’, that you have infrastructure and training in place for, and that soldiers are already fully familiar with, until such time as something that IS much better, comes along.

  • J42

    As a followup, the in Nam the army’s cleaning instructions were perfunctory at best. When the grunts did have time to clean the weapon, their cleaning was often perfunctory.

    Anyone who has owned or owns an AR knows that you have to clean the bolt carrier group and gas areas as well. Failure to do so will result in rapid fouling buildup and cause jams. Combine all that with the powder problem and it’s not hard to see why there were problems. Actually, the last M-16 I was issued there never jammed. Either I got one of the good ones or they had begun to address the issues, not sure which.

  • Geoff

    Carried M16 variants throughout a career in the Army, including 15 years in SF, 13 of which were spent on an A team, and as a contractor. Never had the slightest bit of trouble with them. Not the best choice for every mission, but “Big Army” doesn’t have the leisure to give every soldier a selection of weapon systems to chose from…

    Are there better weapons and rounds out there? Yes. Are they “more better” enough to warrant replacing 500,000+ M4s, probably billions of rounds of 5.56 in stock, the entire training system, and the supply inventory? No. Every weapon, every round, has pros and cons.

    Most of the whining is (a) armchair warriors, (b) Darwinian challenged soldiers who can’t grasp the concept that any weapon will jam if you drag it behind you on a string through the sand and/or “stopping power” actually entails hitting the target, and (c) People wanting to sell FedGov their weapon system and climb on the gravy train for life.

  • The_Saxon

    Will someone reply to this? The 5.56 is actually, generally, a more powerful round than the .223? Will the steel-tipped, or “green tipped” 5.56 from Lake City Utah bust through body armor (like Infidel Body Armor?)? If you have an AR that has not just the barrel chromed, but several internal components chromed, does that extend the number of rounds from the number above before it jams? If so, why not just invest in “chroming” the suckers?

  • Checkmate King Two

    As I recall, the early jamming problems with the M16 during Vietnam were ultimately attributed to the gunpowder in the rounds. Once it was reformulated, the reliability issues were essentially resolved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ssgduke Tom K. Duke

      Another reason is some idiots were telling soldiers that the M16 does net need any cleaning…

    • Austin Mabry

      Not only the powder, but they were using corrosive primers back then. Corrosive primers+wet jungle environment=sheer havoc on all steel components (barrel, BGC, fire control group, etc).

  • John

    The military will have millions of guns to work with after the government confiscates them from us.

    • Greg

      Yes, but there will be a lot fewer government officials left if they try to come get our guns.

  • candidpachyderm

    Can you believe that the NJ state senate has a bill that would ban any investment in firms that manufacture rifles . No wonder AUG STYR is light years ahead of the M4 .These liberals wil have us fighting with bows and arrows before we can get our own R & D done.

    • Austin Mabry

      They STYR AUG is only ahead of the M4 in terms of LOOKING futuristic. They’re fun little guns. The bullpup design is fun and interesting. Performance capabilities wise, it’s just another ugly gun that doesn’t perform any better than the M4.

  • 32nd I.D

    In 1965 I was in boot qualifying with the M-14 and it seemed to be a pretty good weapon but because I was N.G. I never got to use the 16…..Can anyone tell me why they got rid of the 14? It seemed to be quite accurate at 300 meters…

    • Austin Mabry

      It was heavy, clumsy, and didn’t perform any better at effective combat ranges than the M16.

    • Gordon Johnson

      In my 25 years in the Army I’ve had dozens of M14s and M21′s (sniper version of M14), and had THOUSANDS of M16s/M4s etc, and put, conservatively, many, many 10′s of thousands of rounds through both over the years.

      Well, there are the reasons they tell you:
      -It is heavy (actually it is within 2 oz of the M-16, it’s the ammo that is heavy).
      -The cyclic rate is low. (This matters if you believe in grazing fire – I don’t. But in the 1960s Big Army did, and many -especially from the heavy side of the Army still do. But, hey, they’re in tanks, tracks, and trucks. They can carry enough ammo to waste.)
      It was hard to control as a squad automatic weapon. (But the M16 was too, which is why they bought the SAW.)

      Then there are the real reasons (which are the same reasons for all acquisition decisions):
      - The M16 had a more influential lobby.
      - Politicians and Generals both owed Fairchild Aircraft (owner of Armalite) favors – and owed Colt even more.
      - The theory after Korea was that lots of little bullets with limited accuracy were more effective than accurate effective fire resulting in the Army wanting a smaller bullet.
      - The M14 had production problems – namely the receivers weren’t properly heat treated as was common practice with the M-1, and there were QC issues like loose parts. These created bad buzz for the M14.
      - The Early M16′s really were much lighter, and had fewer turns in the rifling which resulted in a tumbling bullet and outrageous wounds – creating positive buzz for the M16. But that turned out to be a problem, as they were also much less durable. Later M16s were more durable, but nearly as heavy as the M14. And the low rifling also had to be reversed later because it made the early M16s inaccurate.

      There is today a significant buzz around M16-variants being ‘modern’ and M1 and M14 being ‘old technology’. That is BS. They weren’t designed that far apart, anyway. And iron that is still used after 75 years, is still used FOR A REASON. It’s not an IPOD folks.

      Here are my observations:
      M16 variants are smaller. Very important getting in and out of vehicles with doors. We don’t use the Jeep anymore (sadly – it was cheap, easy to fix, transport, maintain, and replace and would go places a HMMWV is too heavy and too wide to go).
      M16 variants use a smaller, lighter round. (with lighter round effects)
      M16 variants are more modular.
      M16 variants have had more investment than any small arm in history. (and have needed the investment). But they are reasonably reliable now.
      M16 variants are gas-operated resulting comparatively more carbon build-up in the working parts (bolt, chamber, bolt carrier).
      M16 variants take longer to clean well.
      M16 variants have small parts that you must remove to effectively clean, which are easily lost in a field environment. (just ask me how many of my soldiers have been in trouble for this)

      -M14s are longer. You’re not going to find it easy to shoot out a vehicle window, or quickly transit a door while on-target.
      -M14s have had comparatively little investment in modular components.
      -M14 design doesn’t well lend itself to modularity.
      -M14 ammo is heavier – but also has a heavier punch. Don’t try to BS me. It is not a discussion. I’ve shot people with both. All things being equal, I’d rather put a bigger hole in the other guy.
      -M14 have 8 parts for field stripping, all of them big.
      -M14s are rod operated – the crud doesn’t get recycled for a second visit to the chamber.
      -M14s are more reliable in all-weather, all-terrain. Every trainee sees multiple reliability issues with the M16s/M4s during BRM and after. Even my 50-year-old, worn out M14s, beat my much-newer M4s for reliability. Its almost always going to shoot when you want it to.
      -M14′s are not designed for a scope. One was added, but we all know the mount is awkward, prone to being bumped out of accuracy, and restricts round ejection.
      -M14′s magazine and magazine well design is awkward – by which I mean that it doesn’t operate like most any other magazine fed firearm, you tilt it in rather than push straight in, and that adds training time and makes for errors under stress.
      -The government doesn’t want M14s out there, and has restrictions on makers, and potential makers that restrict supply, drive the price up, and prevent a lot of the investment that would facilitate a little more modularity.
      – Don’t ask more. I won’t tell you, anyway. But I’ve worked for PEO Soldier, it is not a theory.

      Which would I rather have?

      Right now I have an AR-15, not an M1A as my personal weapon. M1As are more expensive and harder to get in a flexible configuration.

      And the question is begging, “Which would I rather have to do what?”

      If I had to bet my life on one, today, and never get the other, I’d choose the M14, because I don’t anticipate doing a lot of CQB, or transiting armored vehicle hatches in my personal weapon. And the reliability edge, longer range flexibility, and easier cleaning are important to me.

      Your milieage will vary depending on your anticipated use-case.

  • Barstid

    Red Jacket Firearms developed a hybrid M-4, AK for their show. It has the piston reliability of the AK and the accuracy of the M-4. They dragged it through dirt and sand and dunked it in water and it still fired. Maybe DoD should call Red Jacket and license the thing. Looks and feels like an M-4 so the muscle memory would still be there.

    • Austin Mabry

      Red Jacket Firearms used off-the-shelf parts from existing designs for piston-driven uppers. They developed NOTHING on that scripted television show. Their alleged “testing” was done in a controlled manner, and edited to make it look like it had some magical abilities. Even unedited, their rifle didn’t perform any better than one would expect to see out of a direct impingement rifle. It simply doesn’t.

      Piston driven ARs perform only marginally better (if at all). The H&K 416 has been in limited use in the military for some time. It’s not as if they’re not aware of it, or as if Red Jacket and the viewers of a shitty, fake, TV program are the only ones aware of the various failed attempts at making a piston upper that,
      A. Shows a marked improvement over direct impingement.
      and B. doesn’t cause other unintended issues with the weapon system (like carrier tilt, connecting-rod binding and wear, buffer tube wear (caused by carrier tilt), etc, etc, etc,.

      The SCAR is a piston gun. The XCR/ACR are piston guns. The HK416 is a Piston gun. The military has used/tested all of these weapons, and rejected them as replacements for the M4A1 rifle. The reason is simple. There’s no marked improvement offered by any currently available piston gun over the current designated M4A1.

      If you can’t get it done with a standard M4A1, you ain’t gettin’ it done with any of the other over-hyped and over-priced ‘alternatives’ that are currently being touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Don’t believe everything you see on TV, or read on the internet.

  • jones

    Just for the Record, I vote that they adopt the ArmaLite AR-18 upgrade. i.e. Bushmaster Advanced. That rifle will shoot thousands of rounds without a stovepipe, jam or failed extractor. Very inexpensive, easy to clean, repair and is very reliable.

  • Jim Jones

    AK 47?

  • Bill Morgan

    No matter how everyone tries to slice it, the .223/5.56mm round is a squirrel load .22 that is not suited to any kind of serious warfare. The minimum caliber I would consider is the.308/7.62mm and the preferable platform for one of those is the 7.62×39 proven in millions of Kalashnikov variants that are actually Russian ripoffs of good German weapons design. Much of the AK ammo available today is junk but still functions reasonably well in the AKMs of the world. Just get the American and western European ammo makers producing high-quality rounds, smooth out some of the rough corners of the AK platform and recruit non-sissies who can lug around enough ammo weight to keep themselves alive.

    • Nick

      The days of the battle rifle are long gone and they aren’t ever coming back. There has been research into different rounds though and some of it is making great strides. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the military switch calibers in the future but it won’t be going back to .308. The pea shooters are here to stay but I am sure eventually a much better round will be fielded.

      300 Blackout is looking promising.

      • Bill Morgan

        Nick, the laws of physics seem to almost rule out any vast improvement of the micro-calibers. Unless we can find a projectile material substantially heavier than lead, the only way to wring more energy out of a lighter mass of metal is by increasing velocity. That higher velocity with lighter bullet approach means a projectile that tends to fragment early and is easily deflected. I continue to contend that .308 is the very smallest practical caliber and in the days of closer-quarters warfare I would prefer something from .44 to .50. Lower speeds with higher mass, perhaps something like a .45 magnum and elimination of the sissies who are too weak to lug around the equipment they need.

      • Paul Henning

        Except for anything past 300 yards and even intelligence officers are made to qualify at 4 and 500. Let alone the Marines.

        • Austin Mabry

          You’re saying that the 300 blk doesn’t perform past 300 yards? Sorry, I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed. at 400-500 yards, the 300 BLK actually has MORE energy than the 5.56. ;)

    • Austin Mabry

      Yeah, because let’s take the millions upon millions of dollars worth of testing that has been done with the 5.56mm round, regarding combat effectiveness, and ignore that in place of the personal opinions of one Bill Morgan.

      If you can’t kill somebody with a 5.56, the round isn’t the issue, and a larger caliber isn’t going to help you. If you can’t get it done with a 5.56mm, the problem is YOU, not the round, not the gun.

      Plenty of folks out there capable of getting it done with the 5.56mm. Just ask all the dead Afghans and Iraqis over the past dozen years.

      It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

  • Jonathan Kamp

    Anyone know which rifle(s) were top of the list to replace the M4?

  • Lop_Eared_Galoot

    Essentially, if you read the associated LINK story, the M4, even in the ‘evolved’ A4 variant, still has roughly FOUR TIMES the number of stoppages that any other weapon, including the vastly superior XM8 does-

    >

    XM-8, 127 stoppages; FNH SCAR, 226 stoppages; HK-416, 233 stoppages; and the

    M-4, 882 stoppages.

    >

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22888.pdf

    The USAr who are firmly wedded, bedded and with child by Colt, realized this and promptly changed how the rules were interpreted (which is like a judge being allowed to change murder one to petty theft, after the indictment) so that it wasn’t the /number/ of stoppages but their ’cause’ which defined the M4s deficiencies-

    >

    27 On December 17, 2007, when the Army briefed Congress and the press, the Army reportedly claimed that the M-4 suffered only 296 stoppages during the test, explaining that the stoppage discrepancy from the original 882 M-4 stoppages reported could have been due

    to the application of the Army Test and Evaluation Center’s post-test Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) Scoring Conference.28 This process attributes failures to such factors as operator error or part failure and, as an example, if evaluators linked 10 stoppages to a broken part on a weapon, they could eliminate nine of the stoppages and count only one failure for reporting purposes.

    >

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22888.pdf

    That the M4 was still, a minimum of 63 rounds behind the competitors while using a round which, presumably, was design optimized for the gun, should have been the point where Congress took away the right to hold further competitions from the USAr as a service biased in their defense-of-nation loyalties by the commercial interests of their principle supplier.

    To put this in perspective, _I guarantee you_ that if Heckler and Koch or Fabrique National Herstahl had been allowed to tailor a specific cartridge to their gun’s receiver and barrel length systems, they would have -trounced- the Colt weapon. Easily matching the ‘twice as good’ requirement that USAr only came up with as a last stand defense against the M4′s incredibly poor performance in BOTH the CBA/SWA ‘assessments’.

    Now. Let’s ask ourselves why this is important.

    The 5.56mm round stockpile exists in millions. However; it was so heavily used in the SWA campaign that we actually had to make use of foreign suppliers to keep up with demand. Which means that the next question you have to ask is how many infantry soldiers actually employed the weapon in combat. How many kills they made. And how many rounds they shot per kill.

    If we had accurate accountings of these three variables, we could answer the next question which is inherent to this statement-

     

    >

    In July 2003, the Army published a report to assess small arms performance during Iraqi

    Freedom. Army personnel interviewed over 1,000 soldiers to assess what “worked well and what

    did not.” The assessment was generally favorable toward all small arms examined and did not

    employ any discernable analytic metrics. The assessment stated that the M-4 was “by far the

    preferred individual weapon across the theater of operations”13 and recommended in the “near

    term replace the M-16 with the M-4 as the standard issue weapon.”14 But without any

    corresponding analytical data, some might question the validity of the Army’s assessment.

    >

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS22888.pdf

    Now, frankly, I have my doubts as to the competence of these soldiers (who were interviewed) to be making the kinds of judgments they were.

    1. Unlike the SOCOM operators the Army infantry forces didn’t test competing weapons at length or in statistically repeatable conditions.

    2. The M4 is a bit of a status symbol and it is also, without doubt, more effective in CQB as you do not want to port arms roll through a doorway where the enemy is waiting for you. Clearly if you are operating in Iraq, where the majority of fighting is in built up zones from vehicles or buildings, a short barrel weapon can have real survivability as well as ‘cool’ factor influence on young male psychologies.

    3. The M4 is ineffective beyond about 100m in the 14.5″ barrel version and about 250m in the 16.5″ version. It is utterly useless in the 500m+ fights which the Taliban have gone to in Afghanistan. The 20″ barrel on an M16 is capable out to 800m but only under conditions where winds and appropriate ammunition (Mk.262 or Mk.318) and optics are available from match grade barrels. Remove any one of the above (standard on SOCOM weapons) and effective range remains about 350m. Because the bullet is too light and loses MV too quickly. Which is why we have two designated marksmen carrying 40 year old M14s in every Afghan walking patrol.

    4. Without knowing how many active combats (firing your weapon against a known threat and counting the dead, after) these _occupational troops_ have indeed had, you cannot guarantee their variety and depth of combat experience to be trustworthy as a function of given opinions.

    I’m sorry to say this but it is -way- too easy for someone who has been in the Sandbox to lord it over a civilian until the latter just /assumes/ that being a soldier with combat theater experience is the same as being a veteran of many engagements with lethal knowledge of how often he kills someone when he pulls a trigger.

    Civilians who are fiduciarily responsible to oversee military subordinates in the responsible expenditure of the public fisk need to understand this intimidation psychology and drill themselves to ask the right kinds of questions before leaping to ‘oh well, they asked 20 year olds who said…’ conclusions.

    Because young men are not wise ones and combat is not the place to be making informed decisions until after you’re a lot older.

    Beware an Army that will use tricky wording to justify what amounts to sweet-deal contracts with long term suppliers like Colt every time they feel their wallets being threatened.

    Trust SOCOM because SOCOM shoots 50,000rds a year, per operator, just in training. And every operator is a blooded killer who has had experience of and access to any weapon buildup he chooses. And they have all chosen to go to the HK416 with enclosed gas pistons over the direct impingement M4. Even allowing for the added mass-in-motion inertia effects on aimpoint hold.

    ARGUMENT:

    The 5.56mm doesn’t kill efficiently. Short of a CNS hit to the brain or the spine (something Marines do so frequently that they have been investigated for post engagement ‘mop up’ tactics due to the number of headshots taken) even a lethally wounded man, high on khat or epinephrin, can continue to fight when hit by these varmint killers, often multiple times (2-3, 3 round bursts, per target, is not unusual…).

    This is not something you want to have happening when he is holding an RPG-7 pointed at you or your fellow soldiers. Or when you are deep in enemy territory, chasing an insurgent sniper or IED party and suddenly 200 of their friends pop out of the woodwork, literally from every sidealley and building door, for blocks up and down the street around you. Or when the enemy is on a ridgeline 500m+ distance away and firing explosive RCL or mortar weapons at you while you have a casualty as stopped vehicle you are trying to address from an IED detonation.

    ALL of these situations have happened in both Iraq and AfG. Because the enemy doesn’t fight fair but uses the same combined arms drill we do.

    The way around the lethality and effective range issues is to go to a heavy bullet, at least 65 grains if not 70, and a larger caliber. Use Open Tip Boat Tail Hollowpoint Match Grade rounds, just like SOCOM does. And provide a good, rugged, longitudinally stiff, weapon to fire them through.

    Even if it’s heavier, you will win the round:round caliber carriage comparison in shots fired vs. threats downed. Every time.

    CONCLUSION:

    Since we need to reevaluate how we use weapons as a function of where we want lethal terminal effects to happen, it stands to reason that a new gun, firing a new bullet, could put paid to Colt’s unfair (dangerous to our men) monopoly over small arms manufacture, simply by dictating that a NEW RIFLE be the baseline for our maneuver forces and a new SMG be the close quarter combat weapon for our MOUT troops.

    The MP7 has features which make it a better softtarget or SAPI killer inside 50m while still not going through multiple walls inside a building. That is why SEALs use it for CQB.

    A G36 (as XM8) or SCAR, configured for a 6.5 round would vastly out perform, ballistically, the M4A4 or M16A4 at distances over 300m.

    If you are going to break the Army to heel on what is good for our troops vs. what is good for Colt, it stands to reason that we will have to use a common new round on a common new set of guns for which -everyone- has equal access to sufficient test lots of ammo in which to optimize their weapons.

    6.5 firing at high pressure will break the M4. It will not break the HK weapons or the SCAR.

    Once you have proven this, get a small production lot of weapons (2-3,000) to troops in the field or deployed forward and let -them- conduct comparitive testing under combat level exercise conditions with impartial observers. Again, the Marines are the obvious force to use here because their standards are much higher.

    And much farther from USAr negative influence.

    Finally, we need to seriously consider removing the right to spec out the requirements of new weapons systems from the individual services. It is clear that they are compromised in their loyalties and not thinking clearly about the consequences to the men under their command inherent to pushing for single baseline solutions. Something similar to the DSB/DSAC or even DARPA, as a separate-from-service (non-uniformed, combat experienced) entity, must take over all functions of service qualification testing so that KPP requirements are neither exaggerated to ensure a competitor cannot make spec nor twisted/lowered to allow for favored-son redemption of broken weapons.

    The M16 was broken when it entered into service in 1968. It will remain broken until they replace it with something that can fire appropriately lethal, accurate, ammo out to a useful distance for the combat environment. The M4 is not that IC solution.

  • JohnJohn4251

    I just recently received this story and read several of the comments.

    To the following. I’m a little confused with All the arguing over .223 versus 5.56mm loads.

    It’s a story on a Military Contract. What does any of this have to do with the point of .223 ammo, when the rifles are shooting 5.56mm Pressure rounds, which although Not identical to what the Military is using; is available at 5.56mm Pressures.

    1: The Military shoots 5.56mm rounds.

    The 5.56mm round is Identical in size and shape to the .223 Remington, if using the Same bullet side by side..

    The 5.56mm round is loaded to HIGHER pressures, and Generally has Thicker walls to hold this pressure, such as “LC” cases.

    Therefore, it is NOT advisable to shoot 5.56mm in a .223 Chamber rifle.

    This is due to the 5.56mm having a HIGHER pressure, and the Chamber of the .223 barrel.

    2: The Chamber of the Barrel is what Dictates either .223 or 5.56mm for proper use?

    The NATO Spec 5.56mm chambers have a longer “leade” or throat than the SAAMI Spec .223 caliber chambers which have about half of the leade or throat of the 5.56mm chambering. While it is safe to fire both 5.56mm and .223 caliber ammunition in 5.56mm rifles, the 5.56mm ammunition should not be fired in rifles chambered in .223 caliber as they will develop very high pressures.

    3: Look at what is marked on the barrel for caliber, NOT the receiver. The barrel should be stamped for what the chamber of that barrel is.

    4:As far as Jamming Controversy back in VietNam, this has to do with multiple factors.

    1: McNamara believed they didn’t need cleaning kits in the beginning, and so none were issued and the Troops were led to believe that the guns did not need to be cleaned as they should of been all along.

    Hence the later comic book, “Cleaning your M-16″.

    2: There was a powder change involving Ball and Stick powders.

    The weapon Originally designed for one powder now using another type of powder and NO cleaning kits, plus the Heat and Humidity of the jungle.

    I hope this clears up any Controversy about .223 versus 5.56mm Cartridges?

    My ONLY concern, is has anyone done the Math of the $21.3 Million to buy another 12,000 M4′s. That is $1775.00 Each.
    When did the .GOV ever give that much for an M4???

  • Bill Newcomb

    This conversation has been going on since the 556 was born. We are way passed, if it was the right thing to do. The Worlds Nations has followed us into the wonderful world of 223/556.
    The World has changed and along with it, the type of wars and the firearms needed to fight. I agree with the WWII & Korean Vets on the 30cal and even more so with the 30-06. 30-06 one of the greatest rounds in the history of firearms.( Anyone remember the 30-06 vs..270 ??) But the 30.06 is just to big, takes up to much room. We went to 308 so we could carry two for one.Same for the .45 vs.9mm giving up the punch for more rounds.

    But the interchanging of .223 and 5.56 should be looked at carefully.
    Its Chamber Preasure that is measured in ‘CUPS’ easy to look up on the net.
    To make this easier, lets just say CUPS for .223 is 40,000psi
    CUPS for 5.56 is 50,000psi ——a 10,000psi difference.

    You can fire 223 from 556 rifle all day— safely. But firing 556 from 223 rifle will weaken the chamber, just a little, every time you pull the trigger. So sooner or later the 223 chamber will fail.
    As for The M16, M4 and all the others from the same design——-> I do not understand why anyone would design a rifle that needs a bolt assist, or why anyone would buy it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003739819638 Anthony James

    Be glad they didn’t buy a better carbine. They will end up using them against us anyway.

  • Bill Nye Tho

    This is a good thing. Think about what a logistical pain in the ass it would be if we adopted some gimmicky rifle that shares no common parts with anything in our inventory. Not to mention the fact that the DoD would have to re-train every soldier on how to use their rifle. And for what, it doesn’t jam as much? The M4 platform is reliable despite what the sperglords say, and accurate enough to take out Ahmed and his friends at 600 yards.

    We should have taken that 1.8 billion and used it for developing the M1A3 Abrams or used it to improve personal body armor systems.

    • eayeayO

      I’m with you on the personal body armor systems, especially with better blast disruption and lower body protection (since most of our injuries come from ground level IEDs)

      Hell, even better BOOTS with better shock absorption and energy recycling could have benefited with the money spent…sigh

  • Crossbow36

    Attributing the M16 jamming difficulties in Vietnam upon conscript soldiers is a false and deceitful statement. The jamming issue was caused by changing the ammunition without properly testing it beforehand.

    The soldiers in the field were servicing the weapon as they were trained to do so. It was not the rifle that failed. It was the people at the Pentagon, who were supposed to support the people in the field, who failed!

  • ycplum

    While you would still need Congres sto authorize money for any new program or weaponss system purchase, It would be nice if all the services were allowed to cancel any program or close any base they wish.

    • eayeayO

      programs and bases are not military decisions but political ones and as such, correctly under the province of the legislature.

      • ycplum

        True, Congress controls the purse strings and determines how to spend the money. But, military prograrms and military bases should be military decisions. Congress should not be using the military to support their own local economy.

        • eayeayO

          Actually they should not.We either operate under a Civilian Govt. or we do not.

          Your statement has no logical nor constitutional foundation.

          • ycplum

            You are missing my point. I am not saying the military is (constitutionally) allowed to appropriate its own funding or that it even should appropriate its own funding. That is teh job of Congress. However, Congress should not be using the military appropriates for pork barrel spending, particularly for systems and bases teh military does want. This hurts our military. I am saying Congress should respect the military’s judgement on what they don’t need and allow the military to close unwanted bases and kill unwanted weapons programs.

          • eayeayO

            Ah, but now you are moving into the bigger picture of appropriations for political gain to support either a district or lobbyist, you have no argument from me on that score.

            But as far as the military closing “unwanted bases” and killing “unwanted weapons programs” AGAIN, the military cannot “want” anything!

            They exist and act at the pleasure of their civilian bosses, one of the things that make our military different from say Pakistan or any banana republic.

            It’s like a waiter not liking french toast with ice cream on it!

            A base is “needed” when and where the legislature says so, and that is that. Can it cause moral and logistical problems when deployment to far flung bases require the shuttling of limited resources back and forth?

            Perhaps, and so be it – If we cant manage commuting from Ft Drum to Ft Irwin during peace time, how will we manage during war?

            Besides, a base is more than a military camp, it is a powerful economic and social focal point, especially in poor rural communities where the military base is basically the only ‘industry’ that they have!

            The unwanted weapons programs…ouch…I feel you on that one, but hey – the heart wants what the heart wants!

          • ycplum

            The military can “want” what it wants in its military judgemnt. They simply can not take what they want.
            The military exists and acts on the “fiduciary” decisions of our civilian leadership. It seems our civilian leadership is forgetting the fiduciary part.
            With regard to the base, the civilian leadership should be using some other program with respect to supporting local economies. To use the military is both inefficient and potentially counterproductive. But, it is politically expedient to them, but not for the Nation. If it was me, I would close militarily unnecessary bases, but I fully recognize that the local economy may need to weened off the military dependency. I wouldn’t shut it down overnight.
            I seen how dependent some towns are to military bases. I served in Fort Knox. I also have friends and family are civilan employees to the military as well as some that work for military contractors.

  • old geek

    I doubt the current weapons is why we have been unable to win the wars over the past 12 years. This is a matter of funding something new but not better..

  • ex-grunt

    If I may point out the freaking obvious, at this point in time we don’t have to rearm everyone with a replacement for the M4/M4A1. Half or more of the individual carbine candidates were essentially AR15/M16/M4 clones with a gas piston instead of the direct impingement system. Basically just upgraded M4′s. Heck, they could just be called M4A2′s, so it’s not a real big transition requiring extensive retraining to hand them to the troops. I believe it’s pretty well accepted at this point that gas pistons work more reliably than the DI system. The new Marine M27 IAR is based on the HK 416, which is nothing more, really, than a piston driven M16. What makes me suspicious of motives here is that the Army says the candidate weapons weren’t better enough than the existing M4, then says they’re going to buy 12,000 new M4A1s, even when they know there’s better weapons available. Why not buy 12,000 better weapons and start issuing them to infantry battalions to begin with.

  • Lujan

    Its time for an AR-10 style rifle; 7.5lbs. magnesium alloy construction, long stroke piston, carbon fiber barrel, folding stock & 6.5Creedmore or 7mm-08 caliber. Recoil , weight, ambi-controls, reliable, & lethal. Just make one already!

  • RSMJR87

    I think our Military needs to look at some newer cartridges specifically the .300 AAC Blackout. Now I understand that they want 100% more reliability and I’m sure that this can be accomplished in time with a newer evolved upper. Here’s a YouTube video with HaleyStrategic running the .300 AAC Blackout and explaining In depth the the Pros and Cons of this new round.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgKjbySsAik

  • Snowshift

    Can somebody please explain this to me? How can all eight designs be such utter failures? Every single modification that every single engineer came up with to improve the existing design was a failure?

    The gun TV shows make it sound as if there are thousands of experts out there who know how to customize guns for better performance.

    • Raze Fan

      This is late but, they weren’t’ failures. They just didn’t work as great as the military was aiming for.

  • Mike

    A lot of people saying 5.56 doesn’t have stopping power just read a lot of other people’s crap and have no real field experience.

  • TheIntegral

    If they want a truly reliable weapon why not use AK-47s?
    Failing all of the alternatives to the M-4 because they did not meet an unspecified specification is why the US has lost every war it fought in since WW II.
    What a bunch of morons.

    • TL

      I’ve read stories of grunts in vietnam who tossed their M16s and picked up a AK47 on the battlefield.

  • BarnRooster

    The AR-15 platform is just fine. The bullet sucks! The existing A-4 weapons could be converted to 6.8 SPC in about 20 minutes per rifle. Lethality (knock down power) would jump 300%. However, since the U.S. has all that 5,56mm stashed – no dice. Dumb.

  • Richard Jefferies

    They are already issuing Special Operations Forces SCARs and HK-416s, and they are the ones doing most of the dirty work in today’s style of warfare. It is probably impractical on a number of fronts to replace the M4 for 90% of those who are issued it, many of whom have one simply because they are in a combat zone, not because they will be called upon to use it with any degree of likelihood. I am fan of the 6.8, however, and I think that would be a better move than a whole new platform. At least you can keep all the lower components and the bolt carrier. You only need a bolt, barrel, and new gas block.

    That being said I don’t know how the army doesn’t get twice as reliable, during those tests the SCAR had 226 stoppages in 60,000 rounds, and the HK-416 had 233 stoppages. In comparison the M4 had 882 stoppages in 60,000 rounds. That seems like twice as good to me. The SCAR and HK-416 are both piston driven, which I think the Army needs to bite the bullet and accept is the superior system. There is nothing wrong with the modular AR system that couldn’t be fixed by adding a piston.

  • Gordon Johnson

    The M16/M4 is a decent weapon (but not great).

    It ought to be decent. It has had more R&D and more re-work than any weapon in history, and more than most of the others combined.

    Its drawbacks are:
    - The gas system deposits combustion by-products back into the chamber leading to carbon fouling.
    - Bolt locking mechanism is intricate, hard to clean, and features lots of small parts which contribute to environmental fouling (sand, debris) and parts losses while cleaning the weapon in the field.
    - It uses th 5.56 mm NATO round, which is suitable for some types of engagement (short to mid range unarmored) and not suitable for others.

    Its advantages are:
    - In military inventory in massive numbers, requiring only incremental repurchase/replacement.
    - Logistics considerations – replacement parts & training are all well established & require only incremental replacement.
    - It is light (this is mostly due to the ammunition).

    With that said, many soldiers have found it inadequately reliable over the years because of fouling (see drawbacks 1 & 2). in the last 10 years many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan (which often required longer range engagements) have complained about its utility at those ranges.

    I work in Army acquisition, though not under PEO Soldier. But we talk.

    To replace the M4 with something that addresses the 3 drawbacks I mentioned will require a few things:
    - POLITICAL COVER:
    EITHER a huge anti-M4 movement OR a huge difference in observed reliability and useability of the replacement with respect to issues caused by drawbacks 1-3. The huge anti-M4 movement doesn’t exist. Most soldiers don’t know M4 alternatives, and the M4 is ‘decent’ – a.k.a. ‘good enough’. Either of these things are required to provide enough political cover to justify the expense as a policy decision, and to provide the congressional political cover to counteract the ‘M4 contractor loss-of-ricebowl’ syndrome. This is just reality.

    - A comprehensive logistics plan that mitigates M4 advantages 1 & 2.
    - A design that mitigates M4 advantage #3.

    While in uniform I have carried the M16, M16A2, M16A4, the M4, the M21 and the M14 for 25 years. (yes, there are – or were in the ’80s and ’90s a small number of M14s and M21s still issued to units).

    My objective opinion is that the difference in weight between the M16A2 or M16A4 and the M21 or M14 is negligible. The M4 variants are lighter, but mostly just shorter. The difference in weight once they are loaded is NOTICEABLE. ERGO – the weight is in the ammo.

    My subjective opinion is that, once exposed to them, I preferred to carry an M14 variant whenever I was in a unit where they were available. I feel they stay cleaner from combustion, and are less picky about environmental fouling and that difference is very noticeable but not huge in absolute terms (for most guys it become an overriding concern only when they’ve malfunctioned while someone was shooting their way). Finally, I subjectively preferred the M14 family because of the 7.62mm ammunition. It was noticably easier to hit things at greater ranges and with greater effects on the target in combat…but the extra weight is no fun to carry, and you have to retrain your body to insert magazines differently (tilt-in vs slap in).

    If I were an ICC competitor I would come up with an M14 variant and a CHEAP way to convert ARSENAL STORED Vietnam-era M14′s and training materials (most of which had little wear when put in arsenal). And then I would compete with M16/M4 on terms of EFFECTS and RELIABILITY and against other competitors on terms of COST. Finally, I would pre-package a TRANSITION PLAN, such that the Army could upgrade units slowly, as M4′s naturally reached end-of-life. This means you have to know the replacement rate.

    So shortly… my advice to competitors would be to focus on the logistics of the issue with the Acquisition Center and to do a grass-roots campaign with the troops. Unlike even 20 years ago, most troops now have had little contact with anything other than an M16 variant. And lack of negative affect on fielding and maintenance logistics will be a huge deciding factor for the PEO. Of course…that means you can’t expect to sell 500,000 units in your first few years.

    PS – Don’t FORGET NATO. Manufacturing in a NATO country will give you a lot of political support in Congress and with allies who may not want to go to another carbine ammunition.

  • Robert Johnson

    If the M16 and the 5.56 really worked there would be no debate. You never hear WW2 vets complain or debate about the lack of stopping power of the 30 caliber Garand rifle. Read William Foley’s “Vision from a foxhole”. This World War Two vet details the many bloody battles he fought, both long range and at hand to hand distances and he says his M1 Garand “never failed me”. He would probably would not have survived if he had an M16 / 5.56. When the enemy would be hit with the 30.06 they would go DOWN immediately and STAY down. That is the purpose of the infantry rifle! The M16 / 5.56 DOES fail a certain amount of the time and that’s the only reason there is this endless debate. Our Special Forces developed the 6.8 round. The M16 should have been upgraded long ago to the 6.8 or something similar. It’s all politics.

    • DC

      The debate has nothing to do with the cartridge. The mil will not be changing cartridge.

  • Carlos Deras

    This has to stop. The Military Top Brass has spent Billions of Dollars on these types of test only to constantly disregard and spit on the competing weapon systems. I am not a member of our US Armed Forces but I am a citizen who is tired of hearing stories from people in the service about the current outdated, underpowered M4/M16 Weapon Systems. So I started a petition. I hope the readers of this article will sign.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/replace-m4m16-weapon-system-used-our-us-armed-forces-modern-reliable-weapon-system/w4fldnyC

  • Travis

    I read today that the above article might be in error…according to the source that test was cancelled AFTER the M4 was soundly beaten by at least one competitor…so badly so that half way thru the test the Army changed the ammo used in testing to favor the M4, prior to that point the M4 failed at 500 rounds and the competitor (not mentioned but hinted at that it was an AUG) had surpassed 2500 rounds or more than the test standards of twice as rerliable and in actuality 5 times more relaible…after the change in ammo and still getting beat the test was cancelled…go figger…