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Old 02-20-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
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This is Interesting...

Spotted this article linked to Drudge this afternoon.

I am not exactly an industry insider, but did anybody else know Colt lost the M-4 contract to FN-Herstal?

Troops left to fend for themselves after Army was warned of flaws in M4 carbine assault rifle - Washington Times
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:49 PM   #2
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I think I heard it might or did but not as to why a good read (abit long).The article stated on page 5 this ..


“The M4A1 has also experienced cook-off [premature ammunition explosion] after a relatively few numbers of rounds have been fired at a high rate of fire,” it said. “Catastrophic barrel failure has also been experienced after a relatively low number of rounds have been fired.”

Really

“Open source reports from Afghanistan since 2001 reveal that soldiers are engaging the enemy at ranges from contact distance to beyond the maximum effective range of the M4 carbine,” wrote Maj. Thomas P. Ehrhart,

So I have not been totally wrong in my assertion that the 5.56mm was just about a worthless round for combat.Yet we will have those that begrudge a 110g 30 carbine not having enough killing power but the Army relies on a 55g granted it's a 1000f/s For what it was designed for close combat maybe something with the weight of a pistol round 110-150g might produce the needed results?Then you have the range capabilities of the 5.56mm falling short and now we are back to the 30cal with a weighted projectile coming from the ole venerable M14 and at 1/2 the maintence.I will get down off the soapbox and leave but am glad I Have never P/U or owned the AR16 platform and should I ever it would be the 6.5 or the AR10.



Read more: Troops left to fend for themselves after Army was warned of flaws in M4 carbine assault rifle - Washington Times
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:45 PM   #3
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FN has been making the M-4 in Columbia, SC for some time. My understanding is that the FN product was well received but there was a shared contract betweenFN and Colt. I imagine that contract ran out and a new one was signed.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:19 PM   #4
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So after 50 years of development we're just now deciding the M4 is having barrel failures, cook-offs, and the 5.56mm. round is too anemic to vaporize Jihadi terrorists?



Quote:
“Open source reports from Afghanistan since 2001 reveal that soldiers are engaging the enemy at ranges from contact distance¹ to beyond the maximum effective range of the M4 carbine,²” wrote Maj. Thomas P. Ehrhart...
¹- The solution it would seem, is to whack the bad guy before they get close enough to run a knife between your ribs.
²- The solution here is to not shoot at people outside your range. I don't shoot at people in Alaska because I live in Alabama and I can't reach them from here -- not that I have anything against Alaskans.

Seriously though, yeah, I would like the M1A and the .308 round better than the 5.56mm. But I had sorta thought the 5.56mm, while not outstandingly metaphysically supernatural of a round, was deemed pretty effective.
I know of WW2 events where soldiers were shot with high power enemy rounds and didn't even realize they'd been shot.
Placement is everything.


I'm not really sure WHAT to make of this. FN can't make good rifles? I thought they were known to be a very capable firearms manufacturer ....
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:04 PM   #5
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if I remember correctly, Colt gets a royalty for every rifle or M4 that FN makes, so they aren't hurting too bad.

Much of the article is rehashed and some now discredited stuff.
A lot of these stories originated with H&K when they were trying to sell the Army on their "wonder rifle" that wasn't so wonderful in actual combat.
The mentioned congressman was carrying H&K's water during that time.

Among other things, no one I've ever heard from mentioned anything about Colt barrels coming loose, and I'm just shocked that continuous, sustained full auto fire will cause problems with a thinner, lighter barrel then a thicker, heavier barrel.

One hilarious statement in the article was the complaint that the first thing they had to do upon returning from a patrol was to clean their rifles. DUH!!!

Some time months ago on another forum a post was started asking actual recent combat vets of the Sand Wars to give their experiences with the M4.
Almost to a man they they were completely satisfied with the M4 and reported no problems.

Their main issues were with worn out magazines that once turned in as defective, were simply reissued instead of being scrapped.
Many stated that after seeing that, when they got a bad mag they either "lost it in combat" or damaged it enough it couldn't be used.
Some reported being issued magazines that were Vietnam War era heavily used mags, but most of them still functioned 100%.

They said that the people who had problems with their M4's were the people who never came out from behind the wire, and didn't give their weapons proper maintenance.
I'm sure that in Caesar's legion some headquarters puke was found to have a rusty sword that wouldn't cut well when he needed it.

Every one of these actual combat vets were completely satisfied with the 5.56mm round, although some who served in Afghanistan did say a longer ranging cartridge would be nice in the mountains, but also said that during combat inside villages a more powerful round wouldn't work as well.
Most said that most of their combat was at shorter ranges, well within the 5.56 M4 range, and that at longer ranges, machine guns, rockets, and air support were far more effective than any rifle.

So, shocker of shockers, the M4 is not the ultimate end all, be all of combat rifles that can do it all.
Name one that is.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 02-20-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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Nothing can do it all, but i I could only have one rifle, it would be a Finnish RK-95 fed with Lapua 7.62x39.
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:45 PM   #7
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To All,

Taking my cue from Kevin Gibson,

I'd take an "AMU-tweaked" M-14 by TRW ,in 7.62NATO.
(As most old members know, I'm no fan of "The Mattel special" in any of its formats.)

yours, satx
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:18 AM   #8
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I believe the royalty comment is correct, but don't know if it is permanent.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:29 AM   #9
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OTOH, Colt is picking up LWRC:
Breaking News: Colt is buying LWRC for $60 million
Breaking News: Colt is buying LWRC for $60 million - The Firearm Blog
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:28 AM   #10
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there's nothing wrong with the m4 that placing a 1 in front of the 4 wouldn't fix- my m16 et al( 20 inch barrel a2 config) sits at the back of my safe, unloved- my province requires a cartridge length of not under 2 inches for big game- the 556/223 is a GOPHER GUN- all these arguments were alive in nam and are still alive today- I wonder how long it will be b4 the emery cloth trick re-surfaces
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
... emery cloth trick ...


Musta been staring out a window at a pretty picture when that one was first mentioned.. ......
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:52 AM   #12
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Part 2 of the Exposé

The Coverup.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:28 PM   #13
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emery cloth trick- one wraps a piece of emery cloth around a jag( the slotted kind works best) and puts that in section of cleaning rod- the works is then clamped in a 1/4 drill and made several passes in the chamber- this was an IN COUNTRY fix for those rifles with "sticky" chambers- ie too tight- remember the "red"canned ammo?- of course this was done when the armorer muckymucks weren't looking-
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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Such a poorly researched non-story. News flash, the M16/M4 works; it always has. There has NEVER been anything wrong with the design; because the functional design really hasn't changed. The only problems the weapon has had has been the arrogance of the US Army and the poor decisions and testing they have done with the M16/M4.

As for use in sandy areas, the M16/M4 has been tested in such conditions for a good 40 years now. The Israeli's spec ops have been using the M16/M4 system off and on (now days more on) for nearly 40 years. Iran has used the M16 in such conditions for a good 30 years, and actually manufacture their own version. The US has tested in the sand for decades. So news flash, it works even in sandy conditions.

Problems encountered in the field can almost always be traced back to improper ammunition or improper maintenance or both.

Maintain the M16/M4, keep it good and wet, and take care of you magazines and it will work well. Abuse it, put magazine pouches up front and dive on your aluminum magazines a few dozen times, and you'll start to experience problems.

Are there "better" rifles; yes there are. But the M16/M4 is VERY proven, one of the most proven weapons in existence; and it works.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:15 PM   #16
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^^^
+1
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:54 PM   #17
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The bottom line is, the US military has decided to stick with the M16-M4 series until a SIGNIFICANTLY better weapon OR cartridge is invented.
This means until there's a technology break through in weapons design or a break through in some sort of new type of ammunition.

All the vaunted rifles with pistons etc. just don't offer enough over the M4 to justify spending billions of dollars developing a new rifle along with support services and training for so little gain.

A key to all this is that the people who have been out there actually shooting bad guys are very satisfied with the M16-M4 series rifles.
These are not people still dreaming of the M14, AK, or the latest wonder rifle from Europe.
It's tough for an old one or two tour vet or civilian enthusiast to argue with a Ranger with more then 20 combat deployments under his belt hunting down terrorists in the sand box.
Some of these Rangers and Special Ops people are the MOST combat experienced soldiers in American history.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:12 PM   #18
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Yep, the truth is; the M16 is a very tough act to follow.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:17 AM   #19
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I have talked to several local LEO's who have served in the sandbox over the last dozen years. None of them had any complaints about the M16/M4 system. They did bitch about problems with the Beretta, but that was found to be a magazine issue...good ol' DOD bought cheapies, and surprise, surprise, they didn't work.

I thought it interesting that one of the main sources was a fellow that works for a company that is marketing a "fix" for these problems.

Gee, the M4 ain't a 600 yard gun? That's a real scoop right there. Even way back during my service years the Max Effective Range for an M-16 was listed as 500 yards...and we were pretty sure that was B.S.

And who are these Jihadi's that are killing us at ranges where we can't return effective fire, and what the heck kinda guns are they using?

Melting barrels during prolonged full auto fire? Won't just about ANY full auto weapon melt (or damage) a barrel if subjected to prolonged full auto fire (M2, M60, M249, etc, etc)?

Really, the only interesting thing I read I noted in the first post...that Colt lost the contract. Never thought I would see that happen.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:45 PM   #20
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To drift off-topic a bit...
The original Check-Mate M9 mags were first-rate magazines that fully met GI specs, and didn't have a problem until they were exposed to the extremely fine sand of the theater of operations. The specified parkerized finish would trap sand, which in turn hindered cartridges from moving around each other from the double-stack of the mag body to the single-feed of the mag lips, causing stoppages.
When the finish was changed in response to the complaints, the problem went away.
----
The insurgents are using 7.62x54R machine guns and rifles for their long-range mischief.

Last edited by shep854; 02-24-2014 at 04:49 PM.
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