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Old November 2, 2001, 11:44 AM   #1
Join Date: October 10, 2001
Location: Fort Campbell, KY
Posts: 37
Advice on upgrade for M4 rifle with CQB in mind

First off:

Went to the field. Came out early because I had two wisdom teeth that were dislocating my jaw and were putting me in termincal pain. Just had them pulled 30 minutes ago. Am in la la land with Tylox and local anasthesia. Came over here just to get on TFL.

This is the first real field problem I've had with this platoon ... What I found out:

(1) The rats are all kleptos. I lost two pairs of nomex gloves, a bunch of hygenie kit, MREs from my ruck, Heaven knows what else they would have taken if I hadn't stashed it away from the "designated" spots.

(2) Good equipment works wonders. The milspec socks are garbage. The e-tools are worthless. Everything issued to me failed in one way or another, except the Goretex bivy sack.

(3) Painkillers are worth their weight in gold. So is candy, beef jerky and other kinds of "pogi bait."

(4) Cigarettes and cans of dip rise astronomically in price. We had guys buying packs of cowboy killers (Marlboro Reds) for $10+. Small black market here and there.

(5) Incompetence rises to the fore. Our platoon sergeant popped out a TM and was reading out of it in the field and issuing orders. Pretty much the whole NCO cadre failed out there, with one exception. Hypocrisy was the name of the game. "Don't smoke at night" = "I can smoke in my truck because I am an NCO." "Be tactical and exercise noise discipline" = "I can crank up my radio amps so they can be heard 300 yards away because I am too lazy to listen closely while I chat up my buddies and play cards on my guard shift while turning the engine up on the humvee for hours so I can put the heater on full blast because I am an NCO."

Anyways, I plan on ordering more stuff from as needed. Am going to 48 hours quarters now. I feel like my jaw got hit by a semi.


Now for the real question:

I have a stock M4. What would you get in terms of scopes and taclights etc for it if you were me? Would you get a Harris bipod? What kind of folding knife would you get? What kind of straight-edge? Would you get a machete?

I'm leaning towards a Surefire taclight, a new foregrip from, a Harris bipod, and maybe a Reflex sight. And possibly just a Cold Steel tanto folder. What in your experience would work? I'm thinking of house-to-house, tunnel-to-tunnel work out there ... from what I understand, Afghan villages have underground water tunnels called "Karez" which the mujahideen use full advantage. I also don't expect the houses to have many glass windows out there so the bipod is there for me once I go up a few floors or on a roof. Opinions?
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Old November 2, 2001, 01:15 PM   #2
Jeff White
Senior Member
Join Date: October 29, 1998
Location: Kinmundy, IL, USA
Posts: 1,397
What did Uncle Sam issue with the M4?

Do you have an M4 RAS on your M4? Does your unit have the M68 CCO? If so you have a good start.

The M68 will serve you well out to about 300 meters. Don't let anyone kid you, Infantry combat with small arms rarely occurs at longer ranges, and usually at ranges of 100 meters or less. The Army has the AN/PAQ-4 and AN/PVS-14 in the system and I know some (maybe all) of the Infantry battalions are issued them. This leaves you needing a white light system for CQB work. I'd recommend a SureFire 6 or 9 volt system. Get a tip off red or blue filter for it.

I'm not sure what utility a bipod will be to you. Possibly if you are assigned to a SBF element, but most platoon sergeants will make the SBF element heavy with M203s, M249s and M240s.

Does your unit SOP prohibit a fixed blade knife? I'd prefer a good fixed knife and a multi tool (I'm personally fond of the Leatherman Supertool) then a large folder.

I'm really sorry about the quality of leadership you are dealing with. How long have you been in? Is this unit your first assignment after OSUT?


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Old November 2, 2001, 02:03 PM   #3
Join Date: October 10, 2001
Location: Fort Campbell, KY
Posts: 37
Thank you for the reply, Jeff White ... I have a stock M4, no goodies. My PVS-7B is deadlined and in the shop (no fault of mine) ... never even seen the thing yet ...

I'm with the mortar platoon ... no fault of mine ... my airborne contract went to hell and is still in the process of being sorted out half a year later ... MOS change to 11B got approved and is coming down from DA and I should be going to the scouts ... the mortars platoon is the repository for the "untouchables" in the battalion ... even moreso than support ...

I pull a lot of security and OP duty ... hence the desire for a bipod since I am so used to the one on the SAW I had for a month ... was in a weapons squad before for a short time ... unit SOP does not prohibit a fixed knife ... people walk around with K-Bars and Buck Knives ... without $$$ for a Strider, I think I'm going to stick with Cold Steel or something ... I need a sturdier multitool than the SOG switchplier I have now ...

Must go ... painkillers wearing off ... aaaaaargh
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Old November 3, 2001, 10:58 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: March 25, 1999
Posts: 3,147

The Spyderco Military is designed for, well, military use. I know of quite a few people who have used it and say it is superb. I'm not sure its better than a fixed blade, but if you must fold your knife, this is among the better choices.

The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old November 7, 2001, 01:36 AM   #5
Vern Brink
Join Date: March 13, 2000
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 85
Most of the weapons lights will probably work well for you. Based on what you said I would probably not get any of the Turbo head models or the 220/225 output lights for inside work. The reflected light off of lighter colored interior walls could be distracting. If you'll be using it outdoors - those items are a big plus. However you get it configured, get a constant on switch. Holding a pressure switch down for any length of time is a pain and it ties up that hand.

I like the Reflex II for close in work. No batteries is a plus, but not a critical fault in the other sights (depending on how available batteries are of course I found the CompM dot to be a little washed out bright sunlight. If you're swapping sights, stay away from the GG&G MAD. Go with their A2 sight that locks into place when it's up. The MAD does not (unless it's changed) and it can be knocked down a little out of place without you noticing - throwing off your sight alignment. I have fired an EOTech equipped AR, but not enough to get a good feel for it. Initial impressions were good.

I like my Microtech knives if you need a folder. They have held up well under abuse and are 1st rate quality wise. Pricey though.

Sorry bout the teeth.
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