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Marine leaders have made the momentous recommendation to ditch the iconic M16 in favor of the M4 carbine as the new universal weapon for infantrymen.
The recommendation to swap the venerated rifle that has served as the grunt's primary implement of war since Vietnam now sits on the commandant's desk, pending his final review and a decision. But, the swap appears imminent and if approved will relegate the M16 to a support role. It follows a similar shift already underway in the Army.
With the endorsement of several major commands already supporting the switch — including Marine Corps Combat Development Command; Combat Development and Integration; Plans, Policies and Operations; Marine Corps Systems Command; and Installations and Logistics — final word is possible in weeks or months.
The proposed switch also gets the thumbs up from senior marksmen such as the 1st Marine Division gunner, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Vince Kyzer. "The carbine is a great weapon system for its time," he said. "...It will increase the war fighter's lethality and mobility."
There are a few minor drawbacks to adopting the M4, but infantrymen seem to agree those are insignificant compared to the advantages.
Both Innis and West said trading in the M16's 20-inch barrel for the M4's 14.5-inch barrel does sacrifice some muzzle velocity, which translates into a slightly shorter effective range — although Colt markets both with an effective range of about 650 yards. But that isn't a significant concern given the closer ranges at which Marines and soldiers commonly engage enemy in modern warfare.
Members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's maritime
To strike the enemy beyond the range of the M4 or even the M16, each Marine fire team already has an M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, which in semi-auto with its free-floating barrel and precision trigger also now doubles as the designated marksman's rifle. It's a role that will no longer be filled by the Squad Advanced Marksman Rifle, a match-grade M16 with a scope.
When the M27 can't get the job done, combined arms doctrine means indirect fire and air assets are just a radio call away, West said.
This is My Rifle
Back in 69, I didn't have a care
Before they called my number, I chopped of all my hair
Said goodbye to mamma, dad and uncle Dan
Boarded an airplane and headed off for Nam
He called us to attention as we stepped off the plane
Checked us off a list as he called out our names
Then he picked up his rifle and raised it in the air
Grabbed his crotch with his other hand as we all stood and stared
This is my rifle
This is my gun
One is for killing
The others for fun
So until this war is over
Or until your time is done
This is your rifle and this one is your gun
Thirty years have passed since I stepped off that plane
The nightmares haven't ended and neither has the pain
I've drank my share of liquor and smoked my share of grass
But I can't unload the memories or these few words from my past
Well, a dear friend of mine finally called it quits
They found him one cold morning laying in a ditch
A bullet through his brain, his rifle at his side
And one old rusted dog tag from 1969
When they turned his body over they found his written note
It wasn't but a few lines, but the last he ever wrote
And when they laid him in his grave on that cold December day
I took those words he'd written and I began to play
Back in 69, I didn't have a care
Before they called my number, I chopped off all my hair
originally posted by: Acidx
big mistake, the ballistics are completely different. This will be the last blow to the .223 as a military round. We need a bigger bullet not a slower, smaller one. If you need a SMG, take a SMG as a side arm, replace the damn m9 with something useful already!