posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 01:32 AM
and frankly I have my concerns about it. I believe that its strengths are not nearly as relevant as it's weaknesses. The M-16 would be my ONLY choice
for fighting on a grassy plain or in taking an airfield, but if there was ANY dust, any exposure to moisture, ANY vegitation, and ANY constricting
terrain, I would be a lot happier with a reliable 7.62mm weapon like the AK-47.
The advantage of the M-16 is ergonomics and precise design which make it deadly accurate out to 550m (point targets... aka people). That's for a
stationary target in an open field though. A moving target in the woods or brush of any kind is tough, because the little 5.56 round has less energy
which makes it more subject to the influence of wind. It is also DESIGNED to pigeon-toe and change direction on impact, which means contact with any
vegetation will ruin your accuracy. This essentially nulls the M-16's advantage in most terrain, and is the reason that most combat takes place at
300m and less.
The disadvantage of the M-16 is that precise clearances in the weapon make the interference of dust, water, dirty, or rust (rust forms VERY easily in
the field) a major factor. During the crucible, after my first run on the assault course, I realized that my weapon would probably jam if I attempted
to fire it. During the night assault course I was EXTREMELY careful to keep my weapon out of the dirt, and I was horrified at how much it slowed me
down, just to keep my weapon in firing condition. Many recruits had to clean their weapons for at least 5 minutes before they could fire at the
reactive targets. I also noticed that quite a few who qualified "expert" failed on the reactive targets- proving the difference between the range
and the field.
The AK-47 has better stopping power, and it can take more abuse. You can take cover with the AK-47 and not have a heart attack if you land in the mud.
And at 300m, the AK-47 IS accurate... maybe not to blow the nuts off a fruit fly, but enough to greatly reduce the life expectancy of a jihadist. If
you factor in that the M-16 might be dirty and that there may be vegetation in the way making M-16 rounds pigeon-toe, the AK-47 may actually be MORE
accurate at 300m. 300m is what counts because that's where most combat occurs, and that (actually 250m) is where you can pin the enemy down and take
him out with the M-203.
I have heard rumors about a plan to produce a 6.3mm version of the M-16. I could be mistaken as to the calliber or the rumor may not be accurate. that
would make a difference, but the M-16 would still be too fusy about maintance for the real battlefield. Maybe there's a "gear queer" (no offense)
somewhere who can tell me more about this, and if in fact this is the M-16A4 that i've heard rumors about? (supposedly accurate on point targets to
800m... although i've already discussed the reality of such claims).
(look at what happened to Jessica Lynch- poor weapons maintance, secondary to being a gaggle of nasties, turned prospective @$$-whoopin reservists
into dead reservists... but if they'd had AK-47s, only their cowardice would have stood in their way.)
Kozzy is dead-on for both points.
5.56 NATO rounds tumble also, and they are an awful thing to be wounded by. It does however have a major problem- the low mass means less energy,
which means lower effectiveness at longer ranges. The problem would be even greater for the 5.45x39 round, which is of course smaller.
The M-4 is an M-16 carbine with a rail system for attatchments like the M-203, a shotgun, a flashlight, etc. It shares 84% of its parts with the M-16,
just as it shares the reliability and stopping power complains that were prevalent in Afghanistan. Both required cleaning up to 5 times daily in the
worst conditions, and it was not uncommon for 3 bullets or more to be necessary for a kill, according to SOF magazine.
[edit on 21-6-2004 by The Vagabond]