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View Full Version : The M4 slowly replacing the M16?


Army GI
October 31, 2007, 09:06 PM
Over the years, there has been a slow yet apparent transition from the M16A2 and A4 rifle to the M4 Carbine. Is this simply a tactic that increases soldier versatility in the modern conflict, ie riding around in convoys and breaking down doors? Or is it a sign of the times that the conventional thinking of "long rifles and one shot kills" is obsolete?

I've only ever handles M16A2s in my short career. I always hear things like the "best" guns (read: M4) go to the front lines. And the A4s are only used by a small number of units.

When the AR10 originally came out, it had a 20" barrel and fired 7.62 NATO. So why was the barrel length kept when it was scaled down to 5.56 NATO? The long barrel length is optimal for a battle rifle cartridge. The AR's direct competitor for decades was the AK47. It's barrel length is only 16" and it seems to do just fine.

It seems that while the M4 is surging in popularity, the A4 is now being criticised and being labeled with names like "musket". Is the M4 here to stay or are we looking at a temporary solution for a temporary problem?

ETA: I need to know whether I should buy a M4 stock or a regular stock for my AR:p

taylorce1
October 31, 2007, 09:14 PM
Is the M4 here to stay or are we looking at a temporary solution for a temporary problem?
What problem are you talking about?

The M4 just flat out works better for what the Armed Forces are doing these days compared to a longer rifle. I would want the shorter barreled M4 any day for clearing buildings than a longer barreled version or larger rifle. Most of the fighting takes place in urban areas these days and that means the enemy will be much closer to us. I'd want a quicker handling rifle/carbine for these kinds of engagments.

I'm in a Transportation Company, and I hate having to get in and out of my truck with a long M16A2. The M4 just makes things a little easier when working in tight quarters. I haven't been over to play in the sand yet, but when I go I hope my unit gets the M4.

Army GI
October 31, 2007, 09:29 PM
The war, that's what I'm talking about.

What if you go to Afganistan? What if you become a career soldier and you find on later on down the line you go to Korea?

I sure as hell would rather have the long rifle.

ETA: And another thing, you're the kind of people they made the M4 for anyways! Tankers, pilots, truckers, 11C, all those dudes would obviously prefer an M4.

My focus is for the the front line infantry man. I'm seeing a lot of 11bang bangs who are just coming back and they've never even touched an M16!

Red_Eagle
October 31, 2007, 09:46 PM
Pretty much all the 11 series types are getting the M4 these days. They even have a carbine version of the SAW. Not very many M4s or shortened versions of the 249 have made it into the STB's yet, but were the lowest priority as far as weapons go since most of the time we're never outside the wire. I'm signal so I was pretty much marooned on the FOB both time I went over there except for a month and half of convoy escort my 1st tour. But I think eventually the M4 will be standard issue acrossed the board.

Army GI
October 31, 2007, 09:52 PM
Yeah, it looks like the 20" barrel will be reserved to a DMR role.

W.E.G.
October 31, 2007, 09:57 PM
Bring back the M14!!!


(somebody had to say it)

taylorce1
October 31, 2007, 10:53 PM
Army GI

Let me explain myself a little better before you get that foot any further into your mouth. I am a career soldier, in fact I enlisted in 1992. I took a 4 year break in service 1996-2000, I came back Army Reserves. I hold a civil service job that requires me to be in the Reserves if I want to keep my job. I cannot retire before age 57 and will not be able to collect my retirement from the Reserves until age 60. By the time I retire I will have 37 years for pay in the Army, with 33 years service between the Active Army and Reserves. If I decide to stay until I'm 60 then add 3 more years to my service record.

I'll let you in on a little secret as well the Army Reserves doesn't have what is considered combat MOS's. Those jobs belong to the National Guard. I started out Infantry as well and would love to be back there but it isn't a job I can choose in the Reserves.

I started out my Infantry training in Fort Benning Georgia on Sand Hill, and finished it off at the Army's Airborne school as well. So my first MOS was 11B1P first duty station was with the 3/325 Airborne Battalion Combat Teams in Vincenza Italy, which has become the 173 Airborne Brigade and and the airborne battalion is now the 508th. After that 2 years was up I then got to be stationed with the 3/505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg NC.

The M4 carbine was first given to the Infantry because it is a more versitle platform as far as mounting optics, IR, night vision, and other little goodies that help protect the Infantry soldier. The M4 is slightly lighter as well which helps the 11B as well as they are already weighed down with their basic load, protective gear, and whatever else they have to carry on a mission. I remember jumping in with over 100 lbs of extra weight between my Weapon(M16A2, SAW, or M60), LBE, Kevlar, Ruck and PRC77 when I was RTO and then having to do movement to contact all night long. I'll bet you never had to carry a 100 lbs of extra gear on a 15-20K movement through the woods.

If anything the 11B is now required to carry more gear than ever before and wear an IBA. The have to to this regardless of temperatures so anything that can lighten the load will be appreciated. I'll cut you a little slack because from your manner of speech you are obviously still new to the Army.

You will find out what you want and what you actually need will be two different things while serving in the Army. The M4 was tested and does everything that the every day Army soldier needs it to do, we can't all be SDM or SF. I say reserve your judgment on the M4 until you can actually get to shoot one, you might just find out that it does the job just as well as your M16A2.

MyGunsJammed
October 31, 2007, 10:56 PM
IMHO because of the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of the fighting takes place in urban settings, so the M4 fits the bill well

If we were involved in a war that takes place mostly in the Jungle environment like vietnam, I'm guessing soldiers would prefer the standard length M16A2-A4.

But then again what do I know, I never even served in the military....

Army GI
October 31, 2007, 11:18 PM
I'll cut you a little slack because from your manner of speech you are obviously still new to the Army.

Foot in my mouth? I'm sorry if I offended you in any way, it wasn't intentional. But how can you begin your argument with

I'm in a Transportation Company, and I hate having to get in and out of my truck with a long M16A2. The M4 just makes things a little easier when working in tight quarters. I haven't been over to play in the sand yet, but when I go I hope my unit gets the M4.

and then wonder why nobody bothered to inquire about any further experience?

Leading with a statement like that and then busting out everything else you've done to prove some sort of point after I've already made a reply based on the information you provided in your first post is kind of underhanded.

Furthermore, even though you list all of your active duty time in Italy, NC, elsewhere, and your BAC credentials, I don't see any combat experience. So as far as that aspect concerned, you're in the same boat as me.

By the way, the M4 is also ideal for airborne troops. Based exactly for the reasons you stated.

Never the less, its fine to talk to me in a condescending manner, because I know TIS gives you that privilege.

...that and when you were graduating high school, I was 5:D

Jermtheory
October 31, 2007, 11:21 PM
isnt the M4 supposed to be more reliable as well?

couldnt tell you why,but ive heard that alot.

Army GI
October 31, 2007, 11:25 PM
I think you have it the other way around. In extreme circumstances, it seems that the M4 jams more often because of the shorter gas system. The impulse is more violent than in the longer 20" rifle.

Jermtheory
October 31, 2007, 11:32 PM
you're probably right...im new to the whole "scene" and my head's swimming from months of reading up.:D

MyGunsJammed
October 31, 2007, 11:32 PM
I'd hate to have my gun jam on me in the middle of a hairy gun fight....

Might as well pick up an AK47 or something from the locals lol...

Army GI
October 31, 2007, 11:33 PM
Every gun jams;)

The M16 family of weapons are quite reliable if you maintain them properly. As a matter of fact, the only time I've had a problem with mine was when I was issued crappy magazines.

cgbills
October 31, 2007, 11:33 PM
Well I started out my short career thus far as an 11Bang Bang. My first weapon was an M16A4. I remember thinking how sweet that weapon was. I thought it was the best, till they gave me my M4. The adjustable stock makes shooting in an IBA loads easier and it feels more comfortable, especially with the neck piece on. It is next to impossible to shoot prone with the neck guard on with an M16. Also for the females in the Army the M4 seems to be better for them because of the stock as well. The slight reduced weight is also better on long movements. Also the overall shortness and ability to make the weapon compact makes MOUT (military operations in urban terrain) a hell of a lot easier. The M16 in MOUT just feels way too big and unwieldy. As to taking long shots, I can hit the 300meter target just fine with an M4. I am no longer in the infantry. Since my commissioning I got branched military intelligence. Every time my unit gets out our M16A2s for qualification I always make a joke about us “getting out the Kentucky Long rifles.” Again to the range of the M4, a lot of people can’t hit past 300 meters even with the M16. I think if you ask any infantry guy or military personnel for that matter who has had to extensively use their weapon in many different situations, most would give the thumbs up to the M4.

Another thing going back to the switch from 7.62 to 5.56. One of the main factors for this is the amount of ammo able to be carried. You can carrier almost double the amount of 5.56 than 7.62. This comes into big play when you understand the infantry battle drills and strategies. The main thing is volume of fire. Laying down as much ammo on your enemy as you can to suppress him and make him keep his head down.

Also it always seemed like I had more jamming issues with my M16 than my M4. Don't know why thats just what i can say, but you must always maintain your weapon. Last the recoil of the M4 to me is comparable to that of the M16, no more violent

Army GI
October 31, 2007, 11:43 PM
I can agree to the unwieldyness of the M16 in anything but long range shooting. Trying to carry a stretcher loaded with a 200lb casualty and all his gear in an urban setting with that M16 dangling around getting caught in my legs, in between my arms, and in door ways was absolute hell.

I like the "Kentucky Long Rifles" reference, that's clever:D

As far as the 5.56 NATO, I agree completely. I reiterate a post I made earlier this week about that subject: A few points here before this thread flies off into la-la land:

1) The 7.62x39, in any configuration, will NEVER be considered. The fundemental shape of the cartridge will not allow it to be utilized correctly in an AR type magazine. The magazine well of a standard AR is too straight to accept the curved 7.62 mags.

2) This whole thread is based on the premise that failure to stop with 5.56 is a problem so big that is has become a threat to infantry tactics and Army strategy. While there has been a few documented instances, for the most part I remain unconvinced that failures to stop happen enough that it is imperative to switch to a bigger cartridge.

3) The US Army will continue to use 5.56 for the very same reason the M1 Garand was chambered for 30-06; we have assloads of it. The M1 was originally designed for a cartridges called the .276 Pedersen. It had ballistics similar to the 6.8mm SPC and would have been closer to a true intermediate/assault rifle cartridge. But a decision was made by the Brass with the Ass to take advantage of the huge piles of 30-06 laying around in warehouses and the M1 was subsequently chambered for that round. The 276 might have been a better cartridges for the purpose, but logistics over machismo.

4) For decades, the doctorine of infantry tactics has been to overwhelm the enemy with superior firepower. That means those that can get the most bullets in the air usually wins. The 5.56 mm was designed to meet logistical, strategic, and practical needs. It doubled the infantryman's payload of ammo; so while there are failures to stop, 99% of the time it kills folks just fine; it is easier to train soldiers to shoot it effectively; you can make that much more because it requires less lead than a 115gr bullet or a 150gr bullet. The size of the bullet is much less important than how much fire you can lay on the enemy. While a bigger bullet may very well have more barrier penetration or knockdown power per shot, you get more shots with 5.56 and most kill with one center mass shot.

All of this doesn't mean there isn't a place for 6.8 SPC or 45 ACP. For the average joe, the 5.56 and 9mm are good enough and it gives him the highest probability of hitting something per combat load. But it seems that professionals who have for the most part better firearms training seem to lean towards bigger more powerful cartridges. So while smaller bullets have a better strategic advantage, the bigger ones have a more immediate tactical advantage. Though that advantage is not so great to warrant the need for Big Army to switch as supply and logistics is any army's greatest asset.

The M16 is the quintessential "McNamara" rifle and the 5.56 the consummate "bean counter" cartridge.

Lastly, what I was talking about the violence was the pressure the direct impingement gas system works at in an M4 compared to an M16. While the recoil may feel the same, the pressure coming back to cycle the bolt in an m4 will be higher because it had less distance to cover.

G-Cym
October 31, 2007, 11:54 PM
I'm an MP. I used an A2 in basic and then got an M4 with my unit. I much prefer the M4. Clearing rooms, getting in and out of vehicles, and lightness. The M4 is better for all of this. I just don't see 300 yard shots as serving a point any more. Even back in WWII with the legendary Garand, there are an overwhelming number of reports that GIs would not engage targets that they deemed too far, even if they were well within the spec ranges of the Garand. Point being, soldiers don't like to waste ammo and give away their position shooting at targets hundreds of yards out. I know I don't. The M4 is a great weapon for modern combat.

As far as "what if we go..." I think the US military should switch to the XRC. Cleaner more reliable weapon, same ergos, controls and high-tech gadgetry as the M4, and can be swapped out for longer barrels, stocks and different calibers easily. Going to Korea? Swap some the 14.5 barrels for 18 or 20, maybe in .308 too.

Army GI
November 1, 2007, 12:00 AM
Hey, G-Cym, have you also heard of the XM8?

I was actually interested to see if this weapon was going to be adopted to replace the M4. I know the XCR was also on the table as a potential canditate; unfortunately all those rifles (including the HK416) got scrapped. But the general idea behind these rifles which is modularity and being able to reconfigure the base rifle for a wide variety of task is pretty neat.

The Man
November 1, 2007, 12:14 AM
Urban War,More Compact Gun.

G-Cym
November 1, 2007, 12:21 AM
I have heard of the XM8, and I thought it looked awesome. The XCR however does indeed exist. It's from Robinson Arms.

MyGunsJammed
November 1, 2007, 12:22 AM
I wonder if in this day and age if the US will ever see a future Jungle war? or will wars now just take place in desert/urban environments?

RevolvingCylinder
November 1, 2007, 01:02 AM
Sure are a lot of Soldiers on this board(thought I was one of the few!). I too prefer the M16A2 as a general purpose rifle. But... shorter rifles are a must in urban environments. We also make use of mounted patrol more than we used to. The M4 is mighty handy especially with all that gear hindering mobility. The loss in velocity from the shorter barrels probably isn't such an issue since we're engaging targets at closer ranges in these environments anyhow. I can't vote for either myself since I like 'em both equally. They're both best suited for different roles/environments.

Try picking up an M4-type AR15 sometime and you'll see what I mean. As for which stock to get for your personal AR, get what you like. Even better is to own one of each type(AR15s are addictive).

MGJ, the time will come again as it always does. Won't be for some time though.

The XM8 was killed because of reliability problems and the fact that it didn't do anything the M16/M4 series couldn't do at least as well(the latter could be said about the HK416 as well). If we keep the 5.56 round, maybe a bullpup would negate the barrel length vs. OAL issue. Either way we're not gonna see a new rifle or even a new pistol for some time.

heckledpie
November 1, 2007, 01:09 AM
doesnt the m4 basically exemplify why the military chose the 5.56 nato anyway?

faster up, sooner the bullets get downrange?

i guess the only thing that would be against their light caliber protocol would be that the m4 has slightly more recoil than a m16, but not too much more Im guessing.

Nakanokalronin
November 1, 2007, 04:39 AM
W.E.G: "Bring back the M14!!!


(somebody had to say it)"

They still use the M14.

HorseSoldier
November 1, 2007, 07:42 AM
It seems that while the M4 is surging in popularity, the A4 is now being criticised and being labeled with names like "musket". Is the M4 here to stay or are we looking at a temporary solution for a temporary problem?

If I'm not mistaken, the big picture level decision was that the M4 will replace the M16 army-wide for a general service weapon (eventually).

I sure as hell would rather have the long rifle.

Personally, I'd take an M4 over an M16 without any hesitation. The M4 is quicker handling in general, and its strengths for vehicle ops and CQB/room clearing are very significant. As far as accuracy -- on the range, an M4 with ACOG and a bit of practice can thump steel chest plates at 4-600 meters with boring regularity (mileage may vary in combat, not due to the weapon but due to all the real world issues like moving targets, targets that shoot back, etc.).

The only thing the longer barrel brings to the table is bullet fragmentation at longer ranges, but I'd argue that the fragmentation issue is overstated by a couple orders of magnitude online. A round through the thoracic cavity will tend to put a guy on the ground pretty effectively, regardless of caliber or fragmentation (though if fragmentation puts them down quicker or harder at CQB ranges, that's obviously not a problem).

The only other plus with the 16 I can think of is you can butt-stroke with it, though this manuever is not a great idea with any flavor of AR-15, and if you've got a forward pistol grip and practice muzzle striking instead I don't think there's much lost.

SR420
November 1, 2007, 07:53 AM
M4s with a few M14s mixed in is a good combo.

Dirty_Harry
November 1, 2007, 12:41 PM
Bring back the M14!!!


(somebody had to say it)

+1

M4s with a few M14s mixed in is a good combo.

+2

I have not been in the armed forces and do not have alot of experience. I do own a couple of AR-15's and enjoy them greatly. It all really depends on the person when it comes to these rifles. I like my M1A better than my AR-15's because it fits me better. Same goes for the 20" vs. the 14.5", it all depends on the person. From a general standpoint, the only real advantage that the full size has on the carbine, is a few extra fps and possibly a better sight radius. The carbine is just handier and is easier to mount accessories on.

Georgian
November 1, 2007, 01:18 PM
Holy ****....yall think a rifle with a 20" barrel is long? My shortest rifle has a 19" barrel....

HorseSoldier
November 1, 2007, 07:50 PM
When hopping in and out of hum-vees or AFVs or zipping through a building at the low ready, 20" is real, real long. 14.5" can actually start seeming real long in those contexts.

DonR101395
November 1, 2007, 08:01 PM
Adopting the M4 as the standard issue weapon also eases logistical issues with maintaining a bench stock for unit armorers.

Arabia
November 1, 2007, 08:32 PM
Personally I like the 18" SPR over either rifle.:p Anyway, I understand why a shorter barrel is preferable in many combat situations. One thing to note you will not loose much accuracy with a 14.5" barrel over a 20". You will loose some velocity which is only a problem at longer distances. The only real issue is reliability, the M4 has a know issue with reliability because of the shorter gas system. That is why the military is doing a reliability test between the M4, XM8, FSCAR, and HK416 to see which one is better is desert conditions.

velocette
November 1, 2007, 08:48 PM
Why bring back the M14?? I say, bring back the M1 Garand! Big Heavy, awkward to load but oh lawdy it do shoot good! ;) ;) ;)

Roger

Georgian
November 1, 2007, 09:36 PM
Na....the .308 and .30-06 are too big....:rolleyes:

Army GI
November 2, 2007, 01:12 AM
So it seems that the M4 is replacing the M16 in much the same way that the AKM replaced the SKS.

Also, in some Army publications, they refer to the M4 as the "M4 Rifle" now, not the M4 Carbine.

FS2K
November 2, 2007, 02:51 AM
The ammo being used in the M4's today is very different than what was used in the M16. Allot of the original 20" barreled M16's had a 1:12 barrel twist and shot 55grain bullets. The M4's have 1:7 twists and are capable of shooting 77gr HPBT bullets reliably.

In the end, the M16 was never designed to be a long distance weapon anyway. The M4 simply fits in the niche' for a midrange weapon. If longer distances of effectiveness is needed, other weapons can be used like the M14, or SPR's (Special Purpose Rifles w/18" barrels).

Army GI
November 2, 2007, 10:45 AM
HorseSoldier, do you have any sources regarding the M4 becoming "Army wide"? Not that I don't believe you, I do. But I would like to learn more about how Big Army plans to implement this.

Furthermore, I would really like to know what is to become of the M16A4 rifle. At first, I would say that the most logical thing would be to use them as squad designated marksman rifles with ACOGs while Joes just use M4s with M68s. But from what I've seen, the squad designated marksman rifles are specially made by the AMU with free floating stainless steel fluted barrels!

cgbills
November 2, 2007, 03:35 PM
"what is to become of the M16A4 rifle"

We will give them all to the Marines:D jk.

82ndtrooper
November 2, 2007, 04:43 PM
I too served with the 82nd ABN when the best rifle was given to us was the M16A2 varient with a 3 round burst selector not a FA select. Looking back that rifle was just to darn long and my trigger reach a bit too far for me with a fixed stock. Although like any good soldier I learned to keep my dislike of the weapon to myself and to make it run for me regardless of it's charachteristics vs the M4.

I remember seeing members of the 1st/75 Ranger Batt with CAR-15's during a JTCAPEX and the envy of thier rifles kept eating at me for months and months. I believe this may have been around the 1987 or 1988 time frame.

With a 1:7 twist rate I do not see the difference in muzzle velocity or max effective range, no matter what any of the "experts" tell me. Open field shots are still effective out to 300 meters even with a 14.5 Barrel with M885 or M855 ammunition. For me even the lighter XM193 still seems to perform well at those distances. Assuming I do my part with the trigger and optics or sights.

The Army reserve unit just down the road recieved all new M4's prior to deployment. Some where Colt and others were LMT's. All flat topped with M68 CCO's and seemingly some had installed rail interface systems and purchased their own lights and foregrips. I wonder if they even bothered to zero the iron sights and Aimpoints ?

Since I've now purchased several AR15's in the M4gery configuration I can't imagine desiring an M16A2 or A4 configuration, unless I'm going to build an SPR type rifle. I'd then use a match grade barrel from Noveske, full length gas system, rail system, Harris pod, etc, etc, etc, etc.

HorseSoldier
November 2, 2007, 04:54 PM
That is why the military is doing a reliability test between the M4, XM8, FSCAR, and HK416 to see which one is better is desert conditions.

They're doing reliability tests because some congressman got his knickers in a wad and raised a fuss.

HorseSoldier, do you have any sources regarding the M4 becoming "Army wide"? Not that I don't believe you, I do. But I would like to learn more about how Big Army plans to implement this.

If I'm not mistaken, it's mentioned in a number of relatively recent Army Times articles, including their various cheerleading pieces on the HK 416. I may be wrong on basis of issue, but my understanding is that the plan is for it to be the new standard issue weapon.

Furthermore, I would really like to know what is to become of the M16A4 rifle.

There were some floating around at the beginning of the GWOT -- I can recall at least one 'Guard or Reserve unit turning in their M16A2s as they were mobing through post and needing to go to the range to zero their brand new A4s.

I think battlefield requirements have basically passed it by, though (at least for general use, I can see your logic on using it for a DMR), with everyone wanting light as possible and short as possible weapons (that seems to be what's wanted in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Big Army and SOF).

G-Cym
November 2, 2007, 05:15 PM
I think battlefield requirements have basically passed it by, though (at least for general use, I can see your logic on using it for a DMR), with everyone wanting light as possible and short as possible weapons (that seems to be what's wanted in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Big Army and SOF).

That's why a modular system with gas-piston like the XM8 or the XRC is such a good idea. Issue the troops XRCs as 14.5 inch carbines for use in the middle east. But if we ever go to war someplace where long range shots and larger calibers are better, instead of trying to find a new weapon and replacing all of the rifles, just swap barrels. All of the soldiers are still shooting the same weapon. They'll still know how to keep it clean, how to tweak it's performance to best fit them, and they'll still have confidence in it.


The AR platform is 50ish years old. There's no reason why we shouldn't switch over to a modular and cleaner system. It would solve the "the M16 is unreliable" arguments, the "5.56 is too weak" arguments, and the "carbines might be too short for the next war" arguments.

Art Eatman
November 2, 2007, 08:21 PM
Military doctrine. Or "battle doctine". Whatever: the Russians liked the AK idea because their battle tactics involved first an artillery barrage and then a tank division assault, with the accompanying infantrymen not really engaging the enemy until within roughly 50 meters.

Okay, fine. US battle doctrine assumed using smallarms to control a radius of some 200 meters while using the primary weapon, the radio, to call for air or artillery. The fire-suppression capability plus the ammo load-out made the M16 suitable for that doctrine.

Gulf II has seen a tremendous increase in the use of snipers and/or long range aimed fire as compared to, say, Vietnam. So, .308s, .300 WinMags, Barretts, etc. Technology has added gadgets onto the M16; sights, lights, more grenade-launchers as a percentage of all M-whatzits. Shorter barrels, different twist rates.

As any handloader knows full well, different bullets function in different ways, so the change to heavier bullets is a relatively trivial matter. It's just that decision-making by the military takes longer.

But the fundamental platform is not appreciably different...

Art

heckledpie
November 2, 2007, 09:42 PM
Military doctrine. Or "battle doctine". Whatever: the Russians liked the AK idea because their battle tactics involved first an artillery barrage and then a tank division assault, with the accompanying infantrymen not really engaging the enemy until within roughly 50 meters.

Okay, fine. US battle doctrine assumed using smallarms to control a radius of some 200 meters while using the primary weapon, the radio, to call for air or artillery. The fire-suppression capability plus the ammo load-out made the M16 suitable for that doctrine.

Gulf II has seen a tremendous increase in the use of snipers and/or long range aimed fire as compared to, say, Vietnam. So, .308s, .300 WinMags, Barretts, etc. Technology has added gadgets onto the M16; sights, lights, more grenade-launchers as a percentage of all M-whatzits. Shorter barrels, different twist rates.

As any handloader knows full well, different bullets function in different ways, so the change to heavier bullets is a relatively trivial matter. It's just that decision-making by the military takes longer.

But the fundamental platform is not appreciably different...

plus the m4 further accomplishes the 'wounding' tactic easily up to 300 yards: wound one guy, take three more out of the fight for a while, gives time to call in for support or throw a grenade WHATEver.

Crosshair
November 2, 2007, 10:56 PM
heckledpie

plus the m4 further accomplishes the 'wounding' tactic easily up to 300 yards: wound one guy, take three more out of the fight for a while, gives time to call in for support or throw a grenade WHATEver.

Myth Myth MYTH. This has never been military doctrine. Mabee some military planer whose job it is to cook up ideas. The only place where it is really used is in anti-personnel landlines. Take the foot off the person and have others help them back.

A wounded soldier is someone who can still fight back, though mabee a little slower. A dead soldier can't. You also have enemies who don't care about their wounded until the battle is over, as is the case with our current enemies.

heckledpie
November 2, 2007, 11:01 PM
well thats close range combat, thats different, then you have to stop the bastards.

HorseSoldier
November 2, 2007, 11:24 PM
Yeah, the military specifications are to kill or incapacitate the enemy with the M16/M4 (and all other small arms that aren't specially designed to be less than lethal). As long as the bad guy quits doing whatever he was doing and lays there dead, dying or unable to continue the fight then the round/weapon has done its job.

There was no intent with the 5.56mm round to make it deliberately less lethal so as to burden enemy logistics/medical systems. That is, as Crosshair said, pure urban myth. Initial combat testing by Special Forces soldiers and the ARVN troops they were advising back in the 60s suggested that 5.56mm was actually more lethal than 7.62 (and evaluation of AARs apparently derived an 11% greater lethality figure). We now understand that this is because 5.56mm may fragment and M80 7.62 ball is slow to tumble and does not fragment and all that, but the point is in this context that the powers that be back in the 60s were purchasing a more lethal round, based on the reports they were getting, not a less lethal one.

joshua
November 2, 2007, 11:31 PM
Modern battle is not the same as WWII, Korea or Vietnam. When the enemy fortifies their beaches to prevent our Marines from landing, our air forces takes out their missile defenses then puts a hurting on their supply line. Cut off the supply the enemy soldiers won't be able to move and it brings thier morale down. The worst soldier is a demoralized one. The days of long range shooting with a rifle is not needed, but an exception to a few in which our SDM and snipers fill. I disagree when an SDM is armed with an M4, at least give him a full size accurized A2 firing and the right ammo. josh

Army GI
November 2, 2007, 11:50 PM
Actually, the days of long range rifle shooting ended in WWI. This was the zenith of exchanging rifle shots between trenches at 800 yards.

By WWII, everyone was looking for the lighter rifle/cartridge. The only reason the M1 was eventually chambered for the 30-06 instead of the .276 Pedersen was for logistical reasons.

heckledpie
November 3, 2007, 12:09 AM
im not saying that the Military purposefully is going for a less than lethal round, im saying that the slight draw back on power from a slightly shorter barrel really is not a worry for them.

joshua
November 3, 2007, 07:33 AM
As a soldier, I have had experience carrying the M16A2 in vehicles and defensive firing positions. I never had to fire my weapon at an enemy, but I do have experience shooting both my full size Colt HBar 1/7 twist and my DPMS 16" 1/9 twist with a 2" Vandenberg muzzle brake in 3 gun club matches. The shorter rifle has the advantage in tight spots and is more faster to deploy. It also is more agile and my scores are actually better when the range is arms length to 200 yards. I have to admit that the longer barrel is better in prone shooting at targets that are up to 300 yards because the 77 grain SMKs does make a difference in accuracy and consistency in bucking the wind a little better. If I was to engage the enemy in house clearing and block to block fighting or staking out a block in a perch where space is limited the M4 has an advantage. If I was on a watch tower watching over the perimeter that has a clearing up to 500 or over yards then the full size M16A2 is better suited for the job. Now if I'm in a watch tower and I was given a choice of a 7.62x51 scoped bolt gun and an M4, then I'll take that over the M16A2. josh

RockyMtnTactical
November 3, 2007, 04:06 PM
The Army seems to be adopting it much more now, not so much the Marines... but I do believe that the M4 is taking the place of the M16 slowly but surely... and I like that it is, personally.

I believe the M4 is a more versatile weapon than the M16.

Neal in GA
November 4, 2007, 12:12 AM
I'm an 11 bang bang with only about 2.5 yrs in service. Was at Benning when I was active, and I'm NG now (was med boarded out of active). I used the M16A4 when I was active duty and have used both the M16 and the M4 in the Guard. Of the two, as a regular infantry soldier, I'd prefer the M4 for Iraq or the M16 for Afghanistan. That said, I'm going to SDM school in a few months, and our next deployment will be Afghanistan. I'm hoping for an M14 (during the deployment - I know SDM school uses M16A4s with ACOGs).

KShaft
November 5, 2007, 12:19 AM
Those of us in country have a name for the a4. Musket.

Our building was used as a distribution point for RFI and new M4's that came in. Funny we didnt get any of the M4's even though they used our building. Big huge boxes full of M4's for the brigade. Let me tell you this, every 11 bang bang has an M4. Most everyone else who was directly organic to the brigade and even many that werent recieved M4's. The reason we didnt get to many is because we were a separates unit, which means you get ****ed on many different fronts, even though we drive the brigade. We did recieve some of thier hand down a4's and M4's. Felt like I was back in the Corps. Definately wish I was. Most CONUS units almost everyone has an M4 with gadgets included. Id say the army is most definately exclusively going to the M4. While groups like CAG, AWG, and SF are going to the HK416.

Actually going out on HVT TST missions (not many but some) in Baghdad, an m16 is totally a hinderance. Shots at 300 M? are you kidding me? More like 25 to 50. I was the 240 gunner on our truck and trying to use the dual weapon method was very difficult with being inside the turret(duh), having all the rediculous amount of body armor you have on aspecially with the side sapi plates and water wings. Your often in in enclosed spaces in this type of enviroment and the m16 is anything but optimal. The M4 is lighter, handier and quicker, and just as accurate for all ranges typically used in our environment. Handier in that also it having an adjustable stock since we are wearing body armor we can bring the weapon in closer and have better control, and the shorter barrel increases swing speed as well for those CQB engagements that are the most common. For anything past the 300M range, go find your former Marines or perhaps a DM, or oh wait thats right youve got 240s and 50cals that Im pretty sure can shoot past 300M (try 5 times that... for a 240). Hardly any one has died from a SAF attack in months anyway (at least in western Baghdad).

As for the m14 comment, I love em, own a SOCOM II that I bought while on r&r. It feels like a "real" rifle. In this environment way to slow. Yeah you hit somebody they stay down, but the M4's are so much faster, I can get on target way faster, get 3 shots off in a CQB environment for one of the SOCOM, and walk the shots in if hes moving laterally or away, not even an option with the SOCOM.
For a DMR however, I like it, but there are a lot of AR .308 platforms out there from of course from Armalite and Knights, DPMS, Fulton, Rock River that would be able to fulfill that role as a DMR if you wanted the more powerful caliber. Its not cheap to accurize an M14 as Im finding out looking into it for my SOCOM. Bout the same price to buy the rifles listed above (save the knights) and no waiting on the custom bedding and barrel fitting etc...
Redeployment T-9 days!
SGT S

Army GI
November 6, 2007, 05:29 PM
hmm, something's missing..

davlandrum
November 6, 2007, 06:12 PM
Neal - You can be medically boarded off active duty but still be in a Guard unit that will deploy??????

Man, that just seems incredibly stupid. I have no experience with the Guard, spent 20 on AD, but wouldn't it make sense if "deployable" was the same for both?

Learn something new everyday.

G-Cym
November 6, 2007, 07:31 PM
The rules haven't quite caught up with the new operational norm. The Guard is still considered a reserve, primarily stateside force, and the rules are written according to that. Of course we know that since the Iraq war started, Guard units get deployed just as much as AD units, and those deployments are exactly the same as their AD counterpart deployments.

armedtotheteeth
November 6, 2007, 09:10 PM
I though t you guys would get a kick out of this

DonR101395
November 6, 2007, 09:14 PM
I though t you guys would get a kick out of this

The caption is wrong, but I'd vote for her. She actually an H-60 gunner.

armedtotheteeth
November 6, 2007, 09:17 PM
Yeah < i didnt think that was a AC130, but makes a nice pic. i like the feed tray stoppages thing my self

hormiga
November 6, 2007, 11:59 PM
Seems my reply was a victum of the server burp :(

Anyway I prefer the m-4, main reason is the stock is a helluva lot easier to deal with while in body armor.

Army GI
November 7, 2007, 10:44 AM
The 20" is definately obsolete as a standard issue rifle.

Someone here said it best that most engagements don't take place over 300 yards and usually at 150yards or less. The M1 Garand was way too powerful for modern infantry combat and the M16s ability to reach out to 500 yards is unnecessary. The M4 is perfect for 300 yards and below. Anything else can be taken with indirect fire or SDMs.

Army GI
November 7, 2007, 08:25 PM
I guess this would be pertinent information too:

The M4 Carbine is the Army's primary individual combat rifle for Infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations forces. Since its introduction in 1991, the M4 carbine has proven its worth on the battlefield because it is accurate, easy to shoot and maintain. The M4's collapsible stock and shortened barrel make it ideal for Soldiers operating in vehicles or within the confines associated with urban terrain. The M4 has been improved numerous times and employs the most current technology available on any rifle/carbine in general use today.

The M4 is the highest-rated weapon by Soldiers in combat, according to the Directorate of Combat Development, Ft. Benning, Ga. In December 2006, the Center for Naval Analysis conducted a "Soldiers' Perspective on Small Arms in Combat" survey. Their poll of over 2,600 Soldiers reported overwhelming satisfaction with the M4. The survey included serviceability and usefulness in completing assigned missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Similar to its programs ensuring the best body armor, armored tactical-wheeled vehicles, and force protection equipment for its fighting force, the Army continues to improve its capabilities to ensure our Soldiers are protected and best able to continue to execute any assigned mission. The U.S. Army Infantry Center is conducting a study to refine the Army's Small Arms Strategy, which focuses on the employment of rifles, carbines, ammunition caliber, and future technologies. All Services are participating in this study, which is expected in the July/August 2007 timeframe.

The Army has approximately 225,000 M4/M4A1 carbines in the inventory, with more procurement programmed.

- 30 -
For additional information, the media may contact Lt. Col. William Wiggins, william.wiggins@hqda.army.mil, Office of the Chief Army Public Affairs, 703-697-7591.

http://www.army.mil/-newsreleases/2007/03/29/2471-army-position--m4-carbine-is-soldiers-battlefield-weapon-of-choice/

Neal in GA
November 7, 2007, 10:30 PM
Neal - You can be medically boarded off active duty but still be in a Guard unit that will deploy??????

Man, that just seems incredibly stupid. I have no experience with the Guard, spent 20 on AD, but wouldn't it make sense if "deployable" was the same for both?

Learn something new everyday.

Yes, Davlandrum, I was as surprised as you when I found out it was possible. I'm on 20% for my knees, but I was able to get waivers (took about 6 months), pass a physical, and come back into the NG. I have a permanent no-run profile, but I have no other limitations (do a 2.5 mile fast walk for the PT test). I wear knee braces for road marches and the like, and I do well. It hurts like hell, but infantry is supposed to hurt. :D Marching up and down the mountains of Germany with 80 lbs of gear moving to and from OPs, my knees held up fine. Technically, I could go back into the regular army, but I would have to give up my disability for the rest of my life in order to do so. And yes, I'm deployable. Doesn't make sense to me, but I'll take it. ;)

hormiga
November 8, 2007, 12:25 AM
Neal in GA
Yes, Davlandrum, I was as surprised as you when I found out it was possible. I'm on 20% for my knees, but I was able to get waivers (took about 6 months), pass a physical, and come back into the NG. I have a permanent no-run profile, but I have no other limitations (do a 2.5 mile fast walk for the PT test). I wear knee braces for road marches and the like, and I do well. It hurts like hell, but infantry is supposed to hurt. Marching up and down the mountains of Germany with 80 lbs of gear moving to and from OPs, my knees held up fine. Technically, I could go back into the regular army, but I would have to give up my disability for the rest of my life in order to do so. And yes, I'm deployable. Doesn't make sense to me, but I'll take it.

Not to thread jack or offend, but I am really surprised they kept you as 11bravo. I am a Navy officer (TDY to an Army unit oddly enough) going through an interservice transfer into the Army. I wanted Infantry but got Artillery (13A)... I was told it is hard to get infantry. I figured it was because of the higher "hooah" factor or something, so I just assumed that all 11's had to be awesome runners and PT studs... not saying you aren't a PT stud or anything, just didn't figure you could have a perm. profile with out changing MOS, Anyway stay safe man. (So they make you speed walk an extra half mile for the PFT? It is normally 2mi right? That is all kinds of messed up)

Back on topic: I dont know if you decided or not yet Army GI but if you can, buy an AR-15 with the M-4 stock (my humble opinion) regardles of barrel length. Also Army GI what is your MOS if you don't mind me asking.

Neal in GA
November 8, 2007, 01:38 AM
Yeah, they let me come back 11B. The screwy thing is the alternate events for the run on the PT test are pass/fail, so the max I can possibly score on the AFPT is 260 :( I thought they'd make me reclass too, and I was thinking about going MI (have the scores for it), but I came back into the Guard in January 06 as infantry. Maybe they were hard up for infantry. Who knows. /shrug

HorseSoldier
November 8, 2007, 02:30 AM
I was told it is hard to get infantry.

Officer versus enlisted and Regular Army versus National Guard can make for some very different situations in terms of recruiting and retention.

hormiga
November 8, 2007, 03:10 AM
Officer versus enlisted and Regular Army versus National Guard can make for some very different situations in terms of recruiting and retention.

Makes sense I suppose. Oddly enough I score 286 in the 17-21 range on the APFT (296 in my age cat.) which is not even a part of the transfer package. (Not a fast enough runner to max the damn thing... Doesn't the Army hand out boyscout badges for score over 280 or something?)

Well arty isn't bad, from what I hear they are doing infantry jobs anyway in many areas. As an officer I'll probably end up in the rear with the gear watching all the action on CNN anyway. :(

Army GI
November 8, 2007, 08:17 AM
Hormiga,

My MOS is 68W "health care specialist", otherwise known as combat medic.

Neal in GA
November 8, 2007, 11:54 AM
It's 290+ to get the Physical Fitness Excellence badge to go on your APFT uniform. Standards are the same for ARNG and regular Army for initial enlistment.

HorseSoldier
November 8, 2007, 01:44 PM
Well arty isn't bad, from what I hear they are doing infantry jobs anyway in many areas.

And it's all the same line for officers reporting for Special Forces Assessment and Selection, infantry, artillery or whatever else ;)

Army GI
November 8, 2007, 11:26 PM
By the way, Hormiga, I've decided to go with an AR15 in an M4 configuration. I'm going to get an M4 stock and a carbine upper from CMMG. What do you think, good choice;)

hormiga
November 9, 2007, 12:41 AM
By the way, Hormiga, I've decided to go with an AR15 in an M4 configuration. I'm going to get an M4 stock and a carbine upper from CMMG. What do you think, good choice

You can't go wrong with an M-4, that is my opinion and seems most agree here.

Until about a month ago I had only ever handled M-16s. There is just something about that M-4 stock and design that makes you go from feeling like a rank&file soldier with a 16 to feeling like Chuck Norris in Delta Force. Strap a M-203 on it and you're going to feel like a freakin' steely-eyed death-dealing machine.

Seriously though, it is a nice little stock and a nice little carbine, the only downside is you can't butt stroke people. Shouldn't be a problem though because you will be able to shoot the booger-eaters at a closer range and quicker.

Combat medic, a good choice. I recently learned that the first step of combat medicine is to "kill the motherf$%^er that injured your battle buddy and then stuff his wound with tampons". Sounds good to me.

And it's all the same line for officers reporting for Special Forces Assessment and Selection, infantry, artillery or whatever else
I am hoping for a chance at Ranger school. SF wold be awesome, but I will be past the rank cut off I think, anyway I have to take baby steps and get out of the Navy and into the Army (huge amounts of paper work/redtape).

Army GI
November 9, 2007, 01:17 AM
The M16 is over long for what it was intended for. It should have been designed like the M4 all along, but the old salts demanded the longer barrel and stock. It makes no sense when you consider that the AR10 had a 20" barrel. That's like shooting 9mm out of a 7.5" revolver.

I was considering going Navy; my JROTC unit was Navy. Though I ended up going Army for family tradition. I'm doing Army ROTC right now, and I hear lots of horror stories about being a butterbar:D

famous2146
November 9, 2007, 05:48 PM
Im currently serving in the marine corps and i have been to iraq 2 times the first time over i had the m16A2 and i loved it the second time around i had the M4 boy i hated the dam thing i complained so much, i actually had it exchanged for the old a2. Bottom line is for those who actually fired the A4 and the M16 in a combat zone where your life or some one else is life depended on it you know that by far the m16 was more acurate and more reliable than the a4.

Pat Rogers
November 9, 2007, 05:53 PM
Help me out here.
"I am currently serving in the marine corps (sic)"???

A strange way to put that.

A Marine (note the capitol "M") would state- "I am a Marine serving in Iraq".

He would not use "marine corps" in lower case.

So are you a Sailor serving with the Marines? A Soldier serving with the Marines?

Or, have you just forgotten everything you have ever learned to show your hindquarters on a gun forum?

G-Cym
November 9, 2007, 07:14 PM
Or maybe he isn't that good at English.

Strange you would question someone's service because of the lack of capitalization in a sentence.

hormiga
November 9, 2007, 10:52 PM
Im currently serving in the marine corps and i have been to iraq 2 times the first time over i had the m16A2 and i loved it the second time around i had the M4 boy i hated the dam thing i complained so much, i actually had it exchanged for the old a2. Bottom line is for those who actually fired the A4 and the M16 in a combat zone where your life or some one else is life depended on it you know that by far the m16 was more acurate and more reliable than the a4.

Care to explain why you don't like it? You are basically saying "it sucks" which is a little vague.

I thought the only difference between the A2 and the A4 was they removed the handle and added the picatinny rails? Does the handle really help that much in combat?

Pat Rogers
November 10, 2007, 07:26 AM
G-cym- It is a Marine thing. If you aren't one, you wouldn't know.

On another forum, one alleging to be a Marine was moaning about a gun law. Yet when he spoke of the units he was in- they didn't exist. He gave clues, and was called on it, but the masses on that forum spoke only of an issue he claimed, not that fact that he was a poser.

joshua
November 10, 2007, 08:06 AM
The M16 is over long for what it was intended for. It should have been designed like the M4 all along, but the old salts demanded the longer barrel and stock.

If it was given a 14" barrel from the start it would not meet the velocity requirement for the ammo being used then. It seems that heavier and slower bullets are acceptable now. In the US Air Force (I have to ensure I show my pride here and authenticity) security forces and special units have made the M4 their standard assault rifle, but the regular units that can be called to convoy, or secondary to third defense line are still issued M16A2s, supplemented by, 203s old M60s and the newer M240 and M249. josh

Neal in GA
November 10, 2007, 12:42 PM
G-cym- It is a Marine thing. If you aren't one, you wouldn't know.

On another forum, one alleging to be a Marine was moaning about a gun law. Yet when he spoke of the units he was in- they didn't exist. He gave clues, and was called on it, but the masses on that forum spoke only of an issue he claimed, not that fact that he was a poser.

True enough. About 1/3 of my platoon is comprised of former Marines. Even this army grunt knows that. Oh, and happy birthday, USMC!

Pat Rogers
November 10, 2007, 01:55 PM
Thank you Neal!
232 Years, not bad for an organization founded in a Gin Mill....:)

RevolvingCylinder
November 10, 2007, 04:12 PM
Even this army grunt knows that.
Uh-Oh! He didn't capitalize Army.:eek:

Army GI
November 10, 2007, 08:08 PM
only DA documents are required to capitalized Army and Soldier. Gen Schoomaker mandated it. But the rest of the world recognizes Marines as a proper noun while there is no standarization for Army. Lots of published works newspapers etc spell it US army.

Neal in GA
November 10, 2007, 08:09 PM
It's different for army. Every nation has an army. There's only one USMC, and few countries even have branches called Marines. Of course, I do still have to take this opportunity to point out that my current branch, the ARNG, is the oldest.