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Discussion Starter #1
As reported by the Army Times:

It’s better than the M4, but you can’t have one



By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 20, 2007 14:07:23 EST

Delta Force worked with a gun maker to come up with a better weapon. The 416 is now considered in many circles to be the best carbine in the world, but the regular Army is sticking with the M4 and M16.


Rob Curtis / Staff - The Hekler and Koch 416. Photo by Rob Curtis/Staff

Flash animation-
Comparing carbines
http://www.armytimes.com/projects/flash/2007_02_20_carbine

Video - The H&K 416 Carbine in action
http://www.armytimes.com/projects/video/daily/0219carbine

March 4, 2002. An RPG tore into the right engine of an MH-47 Chinook helicopter loaded with a quick-reaction force of Rangers in the Shahikot Mountains of eastern Afghanistan. The Chinook crashed atop Takur Ghar, a 10,000-foot peak infested with al-Qaida fighters.

Enemy fire poured into the fuselage, killing Rangers even before they got off the aircraft. Capt. Nate Self crawled out.

“As soon as I got off the ramp, a burst of rounds fired right over my head,” he recalled.

He joined a handful of his men in the open, exposed to enemy fire. An RPG exploded within a few feet of their position.

“We got up and started firing and moving to some boulders 15 meters away,” he said.

Once behind cover, Self tried to fire again, but his weapon jammed.

Instinctively, he tried to fix it with “immediate action,” a drill he’d practiced countless times.

“I pulled my charging handle back, and there was a round stuck in the chamber,” he recalled.

Like the rest of his men, Self always carried a cleaning rod zip-tied to the side of his weapon in case it failed to extract a round from the chamber.

“There was only one good way to get it out and that’s to ram it out with a cleaning rod,” he said. “I started to knock the round out by pushing the rod down the barrel, and it broke off. There was nothing I could do with it after that.”

The Rangers were fighting for their lives. Self left his covered position and ran under machine-gun fire to search for a working weapon.

“I just got up and moved back to the aircraft because I knew we had casualties there. I threw my rifle down and picked up another one.”

Self was awarded a Silver Star for his actions that day.

When even highly trained infantrymen like Self have problems with their M4 it is a sign there might be a problem with the weapon, not the soldier.

The problems had become obvious enough that at the time of the Afghanistan battle, members of the Army’s Delta Force had begun working on a solution. Today, Delta Force is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with a special carbine that’s dramatically more reliable than the M16s and M4s that the rest of the Army dependsupon.

Members of the elite unit linked up with German arms maker Heckler & Koch, which replaced the M4’s gas system with one that experts say significantly reduces malfunctions while increasing parts life. After exhaustive tests with the help of Delta, the H&K 416 was ready in 2004.

Members of the elite commando unit — formally known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta — have been carrying it in combat ever since.

The 416 is now considered in many circles to be the best carbine in the world — a weapon that combines the solid handling, accuracy and familiarity of the M4 with the famed dependability of the rugged AK47.

For the foreseeable future, however, the Army is sticking with the M4 and M16 for regular forces.

The Army plans to buy about 100,000 M4s in fiscal 2008. For this large a buy, each M4 without accessories costs about $800, Colt Chief Executive Officer William Keys said. As part of the contract, though, each M4 comes with a rail system for mounting optics and flashlights, a backup iron sight, seven magazines and a sling — additions that raise the price for each M4 package to about $1,300, according to Defense Department budget documents.

The price of each 416 “will range anywhere from $800 to $1,425 depending on volume and accessories,” said H&K’s CEO John Meyer Jr.

To Col. Robert Radcliffe, the man responsible for overseeing the Army’s needs for small arms, the M16 family is “pretty damn good.” It’s simply too expensive, he said, to replace it with anything less than a “significant leap in technology.”

Since 2000, that leap centered on development of the XM29 Objective Individual Combat Weapon — a dual system featuring a 5.56mm carbine on the bottom and a 25mm airburst weapon on top, capable of killing enemy behind cover at 1,000 meters.

Seven years and more than $100 million later, the 18-pound prototype — three times the weight of an M4 — is still too heavy and bulky for the battlefield.

“We think that somewhere around 2010, we should have enough insight into future technologies to take us in a direction we want to go for the next generation of small arms,” said Radcliffe, director of the Infantry Center’s Directorate of Combat Developments at Fort Benning, Ga.

“We will have M4s and M16s for years and years and years and years,” he said.“We are buying a bunch of M4s this year ... and we are doing it for all the right reasons, by the way. It’s doing the job we need it to do.”

But many soldiers and military experts say this mind-set is off target now that soldiers are locked in a harsh desert war with no end in sight.

“We are not saying the [M4 and M16 are] bad,” said former Army vice chief of staff retired Gen. Jack Keane. “The issue for me is do our soldiers have the best rifle in their hands.”

Before retiring in late 2003, Keane launched a campaign to modernize individual soldier gear after ground troops fighting in Afghanistan complained that they were ill-equipped for the current battlefield. As part of that campaign, Keane backed another effort to give soldiers a better rifle — the XM8, a spinoff of the OICW — only to see it sink last year in a sea of bureaucratic opposition.

“If we are going to build the best fighters, and put the best tanks on the ground, don’t our soldiers deserve, absolutely hands down, the best technology for a rifle?,” Keane said. “Not good enough, but the best.”
Reliability tested in war zone

Ever since the Army’s adoption of the M16 in the mid-1960s, a love-hate relationship has existed between combat troops and the weapon known as the “black rifle.”

It’s accurate and easy to shoot. Plus, the M16’s light weight and small caliber helped soldiers carry more ammunition than ever before into battle.

The M16, however, has always required constant cleaning to prevent it from jamming. The gas system, while simple in design, blows carbon into the receiver, which can lead to fouling.

The Army has decided to replace most of its M16s with the newer M4 carbine. The Army started buying M4s in the mid-1990s but mainly reserved them for rapid-deployment combat units. Its collapsible stock and shortened barrel make it ideal for soldiers operating in vehicles and tight quarters associated with urban combat.

Experts, however, contend that the M4 in many ways is even less reliable than the M16.

Special Operations Command documented these problems in a 2001 report, “M4A1 5.56mm Carbine and Related Systems Deficiencies and Solutions: Operational and Technical Study with Analysis of Alternatives.”

The M4 suffers from an “obsolete operating system,” according to the report, which recommended “redesign/replacement of current gas system.” It describes the weapon’s shortened barrel and gas tube as a “fundamentally flawed” design and blames it for problems such as “failure to extract” and “failure to eject” during firing. “The current system was never designed for the rigors of SOF use and training regimens — the M4 Carbine is not the gun for all seasons,” the report concluded.

However, Keys, a retired Marine Corps three-star general, said every M4 made at Colt meets the government’s standards.

“It’s quality, quality, everything is quality. If you don’t have the quality, you don’t get the gun,” Keys said.

Before taking the helm at Colt in 1999, Keys spent 35 years in the Marines. He served as a company commander with the 9th Marine Regiment in the Vietnam War and commanded the 2nd Marine Division during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

“I know what a combat gun has to do in combat because I have been in combat,” he said. “I’m not going to put any out there that doesn’t do the job.”

In the 30 years following the Vietnam War, the Army existed mainly as a peacetime force. The 1991 Gulf War was an armor-dominated fight, lasting only 100 hours. Most soldiers put their rifles to little or no use. But after Sept. 11, 2001, soldiers found themselves fighting protracted shooting wars in the harshest regions on the planet.

M16 rifles and newer M4 carbines no longer were stored in clean arms room racks. They were now a soldier’s constant companion, exposed to the super-fine dust and sand that blow across the desert landscapes of Afghanistan and Iraq. Still, the Army is quick to blame most M16 family malfunctions on soldiers not cleaning weapons properly...

To read the entire very long and IMHO extremely interesting and for all tax patyers relevant article point your browser to; http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/02/atCarbine070219

- Janq
 

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DJ 9iron said:
I still want one. (M4/A2,3) :shrug:
and why wouldn't you? these guns shine in the hands of the weekend range visitor or occasional hunter. when it sleeps soundly in a clean gun safe.

not in the hands of an infantry man in the jungle or desert.

at least, thats what the article is getting at i think.
 

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This funny. It was the first featured weapon on the episode of Future Weapons I recorded on my computer last night. I'm watching it right now. Heh.
 

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I just captured this off my screen. Amazing. Shot it right out of the sand on full auto, he then proceeded to let it soak in a bucket of water.

 

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Yeah HK is not very civilian friendly when it comes to firearms. When one of the baltic states was getting rid of UNISSUED Makarovs made in Russia, Hk won the contract and had all those nice maks destroyed so they wouldnt get to the civilian market.
 

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DJ 9iron said:
I just captured this off my screen. Amazing. Shot it right out of the sand on full auto, he then proceeded to let it soak in a bucket of water.

did he close the dust cover and put it in with the ejection window up just like HK do in their demos?

cause if so, that demonstrates nothing. a standard AR will do that too.

the HK is NOT as accurate as an AR. If they can show consistent sub MOA groups, i'll eat my words however.

poor extracting and ejection are more of a function of a VERY undersprung extractor and garbage sprung ejector, both parts that HK have on their G36, and probably on this (i can't recall the bolt from shot show.)
 

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When I watched it the other night it appeared to be the same as the HK demo where the ejection window is facing up, but I think the dust cover was open when he covered it in sand. Not 100% on the dust cover tough.
 

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i just watched it and the dust cover was closed,

POF made a similiar if not the same weapon it is the P415 the accuracy of it in a test from guns and weapons for law enforcement the accuracy with the 16 inch barrel at 100 yds with black hill 77gr bthp was 1.5"
 

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...I just must have been very lucky...I was in the Army for almost 11 years and had been deployed all over the world with an M16A2 and M4...never had one problem with mine or any of my Soldier's weapons...now any M9 Pistol I was issued on the over hand was a Piece O' Crap.

I also have a AR now at home that I've put together and have shot with no issues at all.

Now having said all that I'd kill for a HK 416.
 

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Mach5 said:
...I just must have been very lucky...I was in the Army for almost 11 years and had been deployed all over the world with an M16A2 and M4...never had one problem with mine or any of my Soldier's weapons...now any M9 Pistol I was issued on the over hand was a Piece O' Crap.

I also have a AR now at home that I've put together and have shot with no issues at all.

Now having said all that I'd kill for a HK 416.

Hehe. I was lucky too.


....to not have been issued an M16 or M4. I was always the first volunteer to carry the M249 SAW/SPW. I'm in love with that gun. And no one ever wanted to carry it, but hell, its not THAT heavy, its the ammo thats heavy... and 9 times out of 10 you don't have all 1000 rounds ON you at all times.
 

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I agree with the fact that it's not an issue of whether or not are weapons are "good enough", we should be getting the best that there is to offer. A good point was made in the article, why is it that the tankers (I resisted the urge to say DAT, so I'm getting better) and the flyboys get the most expensive, high tech, top of the line shit science has to offer, why are all the grunts carrying the same shit that we have been since the fucking '60s. Especially since no matter how you fight a war, you're ALWAYS going to need men on the ground with rifles. I also agree with Mach5, I've never had a problem with either the M16A2 or the M4A1 while deployed or otherwise, but that M9 is more trustworthy as a thrown weapon than a firearm. Personally, I'd rather throw that at an enemy or pistol whip him than try to shoot him with it. Hell, I'd probably HAVE to resort to it after trying to shoot with it anyway. I also got your back Motorhead, I was a SAW gunner for 3 years, and I want that weapon to have my children.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Responses To Army Times M4 Article (Colt)

Letter to the Editor Army Times regarding staff writer Matthew Cox feature article, ““It’s Better Than the M4 but you can’t have one” dated February 21, 2007.

Dear Editor,

Until the cancellation of the XM8 program in 2005, Army Times and its staff writer, Matthew Cox, strongly promoted the HK XM8 for its adoption as the service weapon for the US Army. In his recent feature article, “It’s better than the M4, but you can’t have one” Mr. Cox attributes cancellation of the XM8 program to “a sea of bureaucratic opposition.” Mr. Cox fails to mention a DoD IG report on the Acquisition of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (D-2006-004) dated October 7, 2005, which addresses the XM8 Program and is found at http://www.dodig.mil/audit/reports. This DoD IG report clearly stated the rationale, which indicated the XM8 offered no potential efficiency over the present weapons systems, as well as including mismanagement by those persons responsible for the program, both of which clearly may have been a strong consideration in the cancellation of the program. Another related and informative DoD IG report is Competition of the 5.56 Millimeter Carbine (D-2007-026) dated November 22, 2006 and is also found at http://www.dodig.mil/audit/reports. Now, promoting the HK 416, Mr. Cox references unnamed experts, misrepresents data for comparison between the HK 416 and M4, misleads readers by using findings in a 2001 SOCOM report on the M4 and a Marine Corps test of the M4 in 2002 but he does not inform the reader of measures taken immediately by the Army and Colt to eliminate those problems, uses quotes to imply the M16 and M4 are the same weapon used 42 years ago, which they are clearly not, and bases his argument for adoption of the HK 416 for the entire US Army on use by a group of elite operators within SOCOM who rightfully develop their own kit of weapons and modify them to their needs. His stated rationale is based on unsupervised tests made on a rifle made in Germany.

Additionally, his writing very wrongly alleges that Army leadership is not providing our men and women in uniform the best weapon available and, more disturbing, his article irresponsibly raises a concern to the Soldiers, Marines and Special Operations Forces in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families that their service weapon is not reliable. This is absolutely not a true statement and could cause serious morale issues to those engaged in day to day combat operations and to those in leadership positions in these units. To go further I would question his loyalty to those in uniform and his lack of real credibility, truthfulness and personal integrity in writing an article of this nature.

The M4 speaks for itself as to its combat credibility. Before its introduction into the US Army inventory in 1994 it was subjected to the full range of functioning and environmental tests required by the US Army test and evaluation process. Later, as a result of the 2001 SOCOM report on the M4, referred to by Mr. Cox, the US Army and Colt immediately conducted a joint effort to rectify the problems raised. This effort took until spring 2002 and manufacturing changes were implemented at Colt by fall 2002. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps conducted their own test of the M4 with weapons produced prior to the fall 2002 manufacturing change and they experienced similar problems as SOCOM. These issues were also resolved with the manufacturing changes implemented thereafter. From fall 2002 to today, government quality deficiency reports for the M4 have been nearly non-existent and that is attributable to the joint effort between the US Army and Colt to solve the problems raised in the 2001 and 2002 reports. Additionally, regarding reliability of the M4, from fall 2002, US government inspectors at the Colt plant have overseen the firing of nearly 4,000,000 (million) endurance rounds with only three endurance gun failures: one in January 2004, one in July 2005 and one in August 2005. The government quality assurance representative at Colt holds the documents supporting this testing. In June 2006, Colt had the opportunity to endurance fire an HK 416. At 3,000 rounds, a broken firing pin spring was found in the HK 416. Without a spare part, the endurance testing was ended. Other findings in those 3,000 rounds of firing were frequent loosening of the hand guard retainer screw and the cyclic rate of fire was over 1,000 rounds per minute. The gas piston system in the H&K 416 is not a new system and was initially rejected by the Army for the M16 in the 1960’s. Colt Defense has the present ability and expertise to manufacture in great numbers piston system carbines of exceptional quality should the US Army and other US Services initiate a combat requirement for this type of weapon. Attached is an email written to Mr. Cox by a recognized weapons expert, Mr. Chris Bartocci, author of Black Rifle II, who provides background on the M16 and M4. Anecdotal examples of fouled weapons are not taken lightly, yet the information is not helpful if the type of fouling is not clearly defined. In a desert environment, for example, sand and dust have the same effects on a weapon, whether it has a gas piston system or a gas impingement system. This issue is completely different from a debate over a gas piston system operating cleaner than a gas impingement system. Is a gas piston operated weapon less vulnerable to the effects of the desert than a gas impingement system? If so, where are the results of the controlled tests. Additionally, there are a number of reasons for fouling of weapons to include the reliability of the ammunition and reliability of magazines. The M16 and M4 have undergone major enhancements since introduction of the M16 into the US military inventory in the 1960s. These enhancements have improved functioning, reliability, maintenance and versatility for the individual Soldier and Marine throughout the years. Currently, there is a government funded operational evaluation being conducted for SOCOM by Colt and Ultra Chem Technologies (UCT) for greaseless operating parts on the M4 to improve maintenance, functioning and the wear of select parts of the weapon. In closing, at the 2006 Laboratory and Industry Day sponsored by the Chief of Infantry and Commanding General United States Army Infantry Center & School, Fort Benning, Georgia, the M4 Carbine was listed by the Commanding General and included in his brief as one of the many success stories in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

James R. Battaglini
MajGen, USMC (Ret)
Chief Operating Officer
Colt Defense LLC

- Janq
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Responses To Army Times M4 Article (Bartocci)

Letter to the Editor Army Times regarding staff writer Matthew Cox feature article, ““It’s Better Than the M4 but you can’t have one” dated February 21, 2007.

Mr.Cox,

I just had the opportunity to read your article "It's better than the M4, but you can't have it" regarding the HK416 compared to the M4. I have to say I was quite disturbed. My name is Chris Bartocci, I am the author of Collector Grade Publications title, Black Rifle II. This is the definitive history of the product development and procurement of the M16/M4 carbine from 1985 to present. I am also a contributing editor to Small Arms Review magazine as well as many other publications. My area of expertise is the M16 family of weapons and am quite familiar with the HK416. I am also very familiar with firearms design and trouble shooting (particularly the M16/M4 family of weapons).

I do not feel you portrayed the facts of the service of the M4/M16 rifle correctly and in fact it is quite disturbing. This is very much the propaganda that H&K has been pushing since they came up with the idea that the direct gas system was flawed and they had the century old magical piston system which they claim is new. Please let me give you some background that you might not be aware of nor the people you interviewed for this article. First the M16 rifle was designed to give decreased weight and ability to provide aimed and accurate semi as well as automatic fire. During the development phases, the conventional piston system had been around for more than 50 years, the same way the H&K system is now. The Army during the war in Vietnam tested all these weapons side by side and it was found the AR-15 outperformed all of them in accuracy and reliability. Being rushed into service, the Army disregarded the orders of the Secretary of Defense to put the AR-15 through a development process and got it ready for the troops in the field. Problems began with malfunctions when the ammunition propellant was changed and chambers corroded due to the Army not finding it necessary to test ammunition that had been changed from its spec nor to chrome plate the chamber, which is a significant reliability enhancement that became a Mil-Spec after the war in the Pacific during WW2. Every small arm in the U.S. inventory had it but the AR-15.

During this time, the AK47 was already known already for its reliability in adverse conditions. So the Army asked Colt to develop an M16 that would utilize the piston system (AK-type same as HK416). Colt developed their model 703, which was the same type piston system. This is in the late 1960's. After the congressional hearings on the M16 program came out, and the Army was accused of being "borderline criminally negligent" on their entire handling of the M16 weapons program, the rifles were modified to work with the newly manufactured 5.56mm ball ammunition. This included a change in the manufacturing process and design of the buffer, chamber, bolt and some trigger components, and the piston system was dropped by the Army. After the "bugs" were worked out and the new M16A1 came online, the reliability increased and troops who went to Vietnam after 1969 encountered little trouble. My point is that the piston driven AR is an old concept that the Army rejected in favor of the direct gas system currently in use in the M16. They found no significant increase in reliability due to the use of the piston system. The M16/M4 would go on to be the most combat proven 5.56mm rifle and carbine in the world seeing service in every climate in the world. From the jungles of Southeast Asia, the deserts of the Middle East and the Arctic of Canada and Alaska. All have been chosen by armed forces in the regions including Canada (Arctic) and Israel (Desert). For one to call the M16/M4 operating system "Obsolete" is untrue and unprofessional. This system has worked in combat reliably for more than 40 years. It worked then and it works now. I do not hear anybody calling the M1911 obsolete after more than 100 years of service. It works as well now as it did then. For something to be obsolete would mean it was replaced with something better, the Army has tried several times and goes back to this system. It is only obsolete to a faction that is trying to dislodge the weapon from service and get theirs adopted. The only way to constitute a change is to claim the current equipment is flawed. This is basic marketing.

Colt developed the M4 carbine in the late 1980's with it being finalized in 1995 and type classified as the first general purpose carbine since the M1 carbine of World War 2. It was designed for troops that needed more power than a pistol but could not carry a standard rifle. Colt was given restrictions by the Army to mandate significant amounts of part interchangeability with the current M16A2 rifle. The Army was more concerned with interchangeability than reliability and Colt had to work within this framework. As the carbines began to circulate, it was not the truck drivers, tankers and maintenance people who were carrying them, it was front line special operations forces operators. Those who would later go on record calling this weapon flawed because the 6 pound carbine would not function as a high volume of fire, light support, belt fed weapon they required. They also went on record saying they use this weapon well beyond its design parameters. This does not mean this weapon is flawed, it means it was not designed for what they wanted to use it for. Regular Army units loved the M4 carbine, over the M16A2 and A4. That is why Colt has received additional contracts since the wars began. The regular troop use them as intended.

You made mention of the SCAR program where Special Operations Forces adopted (although not fielded) the FN rifle. Some additional pertinent information is that the reason for the SCAR program had much to do with SOCOM wanting to be their own project manager and have the ability to make changes to the weapon specific to them. This is something they could not do with the M4A1. The M4A1 is a procured weapon by the Department of Defense from Colt and is subject to mil-standards and the technical data package. You mentioned the government inspectors at Colt, which is part of this. As the M4 and M4A1 are adopted, these are the standards Colt must meet, no more and no less. Any change or modification must be requested by the Department of Defense, not SOCOM. For example, SOCOM had issues with barrels bursting when used under extreme firing sessions and they made the claim the barrels were flawed. When Rock Island Arsenal investigated they found that the firing schedules from 540 to 596 rounds per minute were fired within 3 and 3.5 minutes and heated the barrels up over 1300 degrees, which is their transformation temperature. The round count that resulted is more ammunition than a combat soldier would even carry. Machine guns change barrels due to this heat. Rock Island found that this had not occurred in any place other than SOCOM and that it was cause by abuse of the weapons and would not act on any changes from Colt. Another major issue SOCOM had was maintenance. They had no real maintenance schedules to replace worn parts so they ran weapons without round counts and maintenance until they broke. As General Keys mentioned about the extractor spring that is how difficult it is to get the Army to make changes. The Army would not make changes to the weapons if they worked for them. SOCOM could not request the changes needed due to them not being the procurement agency. This led to animosity and friction between Colt and SOCOM. Colt has had many improvements they have made to the government over the years to improve the weapons and they were shot down every time.

When the SCAR trials came out, SOCOM was the procurement agency and they would have full control of the weapon and changes it may need in the future. Colt had submitted 3 entries into that as well. Two were direct gas rifles and the other a piston operated mechanism. Based on my research, all the Colt weapons served well and passed the trials as did the FN. In the end, the FN candidate was selected. The Colt piston system rifle is the ONLY piston driven M4-platform weapon to ever complete an official SOCOM trial, not the HK416. This weapon was not in the competition. As of right now, the M4A1 is the weapon of choice for SOCOM with the exception of Delta who procured the HK 416 on their own. Also based on my research there is a possibility the SCAR program could be cancelled as well...

Continued below >>
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Responses To Army Times M4 Article (Bartocci)

<< Continued

...As for the combat reliability of the HK416 over the M4, well, the M4 has been on the battlefield all over the world for more than a decade and is used by some of the most elite units in the world to include the legendary British SAS who use a Colt Canada made SFW, which is a M4 derivative. Based on my research and discussions with several of the finest engineers in the industry, there has never been any military comparisons between the two systems to determine which is better. More importantly, the criteria set for by the Army for the M4 has been met and the Army has said on record that the M4 has exceeded the government specs by 3 times. The specs and "improvements" of the HK416 are self-made specs that have nothing to do with the Army. For example, the crown jewel hammer forged barrel of the HK416, Colt has offered hammer-forged barrels to the U.S. government for more than a decade since their licensee, Diemaco (now Colt Canada) has manufactured them. The Army told Colt no as they found no evidence it would be an improvement over the current barrels. The stronger bolt of the HK416, Colt proposed to the government a redesign of the M4/M4A1 bolt/barrel extension to cope with the higher impact of constant automatic fire and the U.S. government rebuffed. Colt has offered this technology before, actually all of it. They offered the piston system, the hammer forged barrels, improved life bolt and much more. The Army says they are satisfied with the current production weapons.

The stories you depict in this article from the field are very misleading. First, I have heard many stories from the sand box that are the exact opposite. Troops claim their M16 and M4 work just fine and I have heard some amazing stories of long distant shots taken with M4 carbines. ALL weapons malfunction in that environment if not maintained. There have been complaints surfaced about the M9 pistol, M249 Saw and many other weapons. This sand jams AK's. The soldiers in question, you do not know the condition those weapons were in. How dirty were they? Were they worn out? Did they have defective magazines? The malfunctions described, particularly the failures to extract, are normally caused by corroded or damaged chambers which any weapon would have. Without knowing the circumstances and why the weapons malfunctioned, it is not responsible to claim it is a flaw in the weapon design.

There is something I want to caution you against. During the war in Vietnam the reputation of the M16 far overstated the actual malfunctions. What it did was hurt morale of the troops. It made troops lose confidence in their weapon.. Opinions were formed before they even pulled the trigger. It hurt morale worse than the actual amount of problems. With an article like this, which is basically an H&K sales pitch based on their claims the M4 is flawed, you are doing the same thing to those troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hurting their morale and confidence in their weapon when the groups that are having the problems abuse the weapon admittedly and use them beyond their design intent. That is dangerous. If you are looking to buy oil for your car and you walk into a store and buy Quaker State and it runs in your Grand Am, perfect. Now a race car driver puts that same oil in his race car and it breaks down and causes engine problems. I ask you, is that oil the problem or maybe that high performance engine needed a different kind of oil to serve its purpose? This is what you are looking at, the difference between SOCOM and the rest of the military.

I am writing you this based on my concerns for the fallout on the troops in combat who will read it and get very misinformed about their equipment and make them feel unjustly that they have substandard equipment when in all actuality they carry the world standard that all modern military rifles are compared. If I did not know better, your story would scare the hell out of me.

If I can be of any help to you in reference to this issue, please feel free to contact me.

Respectfully,
Chris Bartocci

- Janq
 

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i mean i hate the disgusting fouling in the AR gas system more than anyone (cleaning guns after 500-2500 rounds ain't fun) but if you want a semi auto that can put a piece of metal in a .5moa-1moa spot on a person consistently, well you gotta deal with it.

if you want to shoot forever and not clean? get an AK (or any of its billion derivitives.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For combat/field non-sporting effectivness is .5 to 1 MoA even necessary?

Toward those in play that require as much in the way of extreme absolute accuracy they can be outfitted specifically while everyone else be they infantry etc. might be better served with something more robust and of higher usage duration and ultimate indestructibility as opposed to proper/optimal maintenance based reliability.
Obviously the AK47 and it's variants has served the worlds armies and freedom fighters well even with procurment cost being a non-issue.

No disrespect to Colt or those who have used the M* rifle to high effective use in theaters current or past, but one does have to wonder how long do we stick with the old because it's old and ignore issues that are real and documented which are resulting in actual persons being injured, captured, or killed due to outright product failure or in ability of the operator to adhere to best case scenario/optimal/mfr. suggested product maintenance conditons?

Imagine if our cars malfunctioned or siezed upon hitting a given mileage toward maintenance such as mfr. suggested filter & fluid changes.
If this were to occur and our cars were unable to operate properly beyond as much then we'd not buy that car and they would go the way of the Yugo as we trade in and up to Honda, Toyota, Subaru and other more reliable options.
Why has Uncle Sam not applied this same thinking to the current battle rifle, the one life saving as well as taking implement that our soldiers rely on at a basic immediate action level?

- Janq
 

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Janq said:
For combat/field non-sporting effectivness is .5 to 1 MoA even necessary?

Toward those in play that require as much in the way of extreme absolute accuracy they can be outfitted specifically while everyone else be they infantry etc. might be better served with something more robust and of higher usage duration and ultimate indestructibility as opposed to proper/optimal maintenance based reliability.
Obviously the AK47 and it's variants has served the worlds armies and freedom fighters well even with procurment cost being a non-issue.

No disrespect to Colt or those who have used the M* rifle to high effective use in theaters current or past, but one does have to wonder how long do we stick with the old because it's old and ignore issues that are real and documented which are resulting in actual persons being injured, captured, or killed due to outright product failure or in ability of the operator to adhere to best case scenario/optimal/mfr. suggested product maintenance conditons?

Imagine if our cars malfunctioned or siezed upon hitting a given mileage toward maintenance such as mfr. suggested filter & fluid changes.
If this were to occur and our cars were unable to operate properly beyond as much then we'd not buy that car and they would go the way of the Yugo as we trade in and up to Honda, Toyota, Subaru and other more reliable options.
Why has Uncle Sam not applied this same thinking to the current battle rifle, the one life saving as well as taking implement that our soldiers rely on at a basic immediate action level?

- Janq
I was thinking of posting something similar to this, however after thinking about it, it just didn't seem the same.
Although I understand your point, a car engine has oil circulating through it's moving parts, whether its old or new oil. If a gun had this feature, I believe it would last much longer before it's mandatory cleaning.
Most M* variants I have experience with, will fire for a long time if you drop some oil in it periodically.
I'm not arguing with your point, because I agree, but a little maintenance can go a long way. Plus I'm a big fan of the HK 416.
BTW very few soldiers could effectively utilize a sub moa rifle without a ton of practice, which most units don't get.
 

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Plays Counter Strike and knows everything about gu
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einzelherz said:
i mean i hate the disgusting fouling in the AR gas system more than anyone (cleaning guns after 500-2500 rounds ain't fun) but if you want a semi auto that can put a piece of metal in a .5moa-1moa spot on a person consistently, well you gotta deal with it.

if you want to shoot forever and not clean? get an AK (or any of its billion derivitives.
But don't you have to clean anything you use in your daily life? (unless it's disposable)
Everything I own requires cleaning, from my car to personal hygiene. I don't expect anything different from my firearm, especially if I expect it to save my life.
 
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