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Is It Time For The M-4 & M-16 Rifles Be Retired From Service?

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posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 03:46 PM
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After reading a lot of these posts I think this is a two fold problem...One is the gun does not funtion well unless it is maintained to a high degree. And, the tactics used in the battlefield with it are not conducive with the firearms operation...

I'm curious (for the sake of discussion) does anyone have any information on what happends if you operate an AK in full auto for three or four mags? Does it suffer from the same overheating issues?

And for the record, I'm not an advocate of "full auto" use on the battlefield. I recognize its use as a tool in certain situations, but in general think full auto usage is definately something seen primarily in movies...fake movies with bad tactics being displayed that is...




posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 03:46 PM
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My father said that he didn't know a single soldier that would chose an M16 over an M1/M2 Carbine during the Vietnam War. Those who were given standard issue M16s later in the war would drop them for an M1/M2 seized from the enemy.

The reason being that the M16 is a fearsome looking weapon. It sounds fearsome. It is able to rapidly lay down a suppressing fire that will make anyone take cover. However, it is not as accurate as the M1/M2 (at close ranges anyway, as the M1/M2 has too much muzzle drop for longer ranges). The M16 wastes ammunition which is a luxury during War-times (apparently it was not uncommon for US Troops in Vietnam to be forced to carry empty clips in their M16...and even those with an M1/M2 were lucky if they scrounged up 6 rounds of ammunition). Most of all, it chokes and misfires under heat, dirt, dust, and stress, even if you do clean and maintain it after every firing (it is perhaps one of the most "needy", high-maintenance firearms we have ever had in our arsenal).

The M16 has never been revised to deal with these issues. When the M4 was chosen from numerous other bids, it carried the same issues even though many of the competing bids for an M16 replacement specifically were designed to be accurate, reliable, and low maintenance. It was chosen because of its similarities to the M16, as well as using interchangeable modular parts. It is a fact that both the M16 and the M4 suffer far more stoppages than any other battlefield carbine.

However, at least they do function under some conditions. The same can't be said of other equipment we have given our Troops to do their duty and protect them while they are in harm's way. Our DoD is renown for spending billions developing weapons that look fearsome on paper, but don't actually function as advertised. M1A1 Abrams anyone?



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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Shooting lead projectiles is such a primitive way to kill. The death ray guns are in full production, i am sure. Otherwise we would have heard about them.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by PhoenixDemon
 


Ak 47s do not over heat the same way but yes they do stop working in an Ak 47 the bolt locks we found plenty of ak47s were the bolt was literally froze.But overheating doesn't occur as often because they have a lower firing rate.And in Afghanistan most of the Ak 47s are old and the barrels have been warped making it very difficult for them to hit a target over 100 meters there rounds have a tendency to hit the dirt in front of you.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 

Hey, I used the CAR-16 in combat until I could get my hands on my dream shotgun. And there were usually a few laying around when I needed to let my shotgun cool.

In my squad, I made sure the firing pins were changed every month, and the bolts were exchanged every three.

The M-16 and its variants are fine weapons. I still have one.

But it's at best a short-distance, short-duration light weapon. I've lit cigarettes off the barrel before, from idiots who equated noise with effectiveness.

A couple years after my book was published, I was surprised to hear that the Army was actually handing a couple men per squad with M-14's, as designated shooters.

If you want to engage American troops as currently armed, you do so from 200-800 meters.

The M-16 family starts losing effectiveness at 200 meters, and the snipers don't usually take over until 800 meters.

That leaves a big no-man's land between 200 and 800 meters.

With the M-14's, they can cover 25-800 meters effectively.

Up close and room-clearing? Take some shotguns.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 04:35 PM
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I just had a long talk with my father about this very issue, he said he hated the m-16 because of the expansion you get from the aluminum receiver from heat. He told me in "Nam" he would put a few drops of lsa lube into the holes on the bolt carrier to keep it lubed up. From past conversations he told me quite a bit about the problems w/ the m-16 from his time in the service, 40 years later the same issues keep popping up? It shows what happens when you let special interests dictate a soldiers life.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II
 


Sorry Bueller, but I am going to have to call bullsh*t on the report. The so called facts stated by the reporter are completely in inaccurate.

1. The base was not overrun. The forward observation post that was about 50 meters forward of the base was breached. There were nine soldiers positioned at this point. Four of these soldiers were killed when it was assaulted by approximately 100 Taliban and another 3 soldiers were killed attempting to resupply the forward post.
2. Many of the wounded were inflicted in the first minutes of battle when RPG’s struck a mortar pit and a TOW missile humvee and the ordinance exploded.
3. There have been no reports of any weapons failures during the battle and all investigations surrounding the battle found no problems of this nature but did find that there were intelligence issues.
4. The unit was with the 173rd ABCT and the M4’s that they were issued are not capable of full automatic fire.
5. The problems stated with the units SAW’s barrels heating up is probably accurate under any combat situation. This is why the have two barrels. The change out only takes about 5 seconds.
6. The scene as described by the reporter is that of an undisciplined unit with a complete and total breakdown of fire control. There are very few instances where the use of superior rate of fire is used by a light infantry unit. A couple of these would be to exfiltrate from a hot zone, as in an ambush or as suppression fire to support a flanking maneuver. The undisciplined fire as described would have brought charges on the Officers and NCO’s.

With that said, I for one would be very glad to see a suitable replacement for the M4, but to date the only two suitable weapons I have seen in use are the EBR and the HK 417.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by Birddog26
 



Well i retract my earlier statement of poor training i was rather dumbfounded that they would issue m4A1 to front line troops thought things had changed alot since i was in.In a spec ops unit you are trained when and how to use full auto as i stated above basically for clearing a building never in open fire fight.
Oh and there is a replacement i would highly recommend i have had the opertunity to play with the Barrett REC7 it is only made up of an upper receiver (made by Barrett) that is attached to M16/M4 service rifle lower receivers and is compatible with many accessories intended for the M16/M4 . It can also be mated to M16/M4 lower receivers currently in the possession of the US military. This would cut down on the cost as only the upper reciever needs to be purchased.




posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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Just to cause havoc and maybe get flamed a bit, what if we started to train soldiers to see what they are shooting at first. 30-06 bolt actions, iron sights, see that you are going hit your target. Sure have a few S.A.W's maybe a mini-gun, some close-air support A-10's to keep enemies' head down. The military has to do something, kids today are brought up on video games, there is a endless supply of ammo, just hold down the button. I think there is a term for it. Spray and Pray. I wonder where I heard that..oh yeah.. it was on the range in Pendleton.



posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 


The overall reporting itself was a hack job, the issue of full auto was just one of the problems. When a reporter starts stating that the barrels were turning “white hot” this just defies all types of reason. While this is a good visulation in fiction writing (which this report was) in the real world we would have weapons melting in the hands of our soldiers. This report was written 15 months after the incident (I use the word incident but this is not meant to minimilze the battle or the action of the soldiers involved) and it appears that this is a fabricated story. I will post here in the next few day’s steps that I am taking to bring these fabrications to light with the Associated Press.

Now as to the Barrett REC7, it shows great promise, and you should post a separate topic on this for some great debate.

Also as a response to Jacksmoke, I think your concerns and ideas are valid. But I think both your and Dragonridr”s topics deserve a topic post of their own and I would be more than happy to give my opinion on thee subjects.



[edit on 17-10-2009 by Birddog26]



posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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The issue of 5.56 vs 7.62 has been done to death and there are plenty of discussions on it elsewhere on this site. My experience is that sometimes 5.56mm kills, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes 7.62mm kills, sometimes it doesn't. It's all about who you hit, where you hit them and their mental state when you hit them. The most important factor is that you do hit them.

The fundamental problem with the M16/M4 is the gas system. It is extremely prone to carbon fouling ('clogging') as well as over heating. Combine this with continued rapid fire and high ambient temperatures and you're going to get stoppages.

You'll get stoppages with any weapon if you abuse it, even the much-vaunted AK47s. (As an aside, I have encountered some AKs in the middle east that were of such shoddy construction you were lucky if one round in ten actually fired).

It's been said before but i'll say it again. Refit the weapon with a gas piston and you'll reduce many of these problems. You'll still have a weapon that is essentially the same functionally but with increased reliability. Just make sure that it's a decent gas system! Look at the state of the one on our SA80s before H&K go hold of them.



posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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yes i agree, it is true



posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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yes i agree, it is true



posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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but i dont agree that is why



posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 12:05 AM
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Originally posted by PaddyInf


You'll get stoppages with any weapon if you abuse it, even the much-vaunted AK47s. (As an aside, I have encountered some AKs in the middle east that were of such shoddy construction you were lucky if one round in ten actually fired).


Thats what happens when you try to repair Russian weapons with Chinese parts they captured all those AK 47s and the Russians weren't willing to give them parts so they bought then from China.Iwill say one thing though Ive seen some AK 47s with severely bent barrels and worn cylinders still able to fire from that stand point it is an amazing weapon.



posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by jungly
 


What are you talking about? And why did you need 3 posts in a row to do it?

I agree that, in my experience, the M16 family of weapons are high in maintnance, but if you do keep them clean they are reliable enough.

I would love to see the 16/M4 replaced though by a better, more robust weapon more geared towards how we actually fight wars now and the enviroments we are fighting in, i.e. desert.



posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 02:54 AM
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It boggles the mind that the U.S.A. spends some 400-600 billion a year on defense, yet can't develop a kick ass, dependable, reliable, assault rifle.

What's wrong with this picture?



posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 11:21 AM
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Without a doubt they should be retired. Yes a more reliable platform is needed but also a larger bullet is needed. The .223 just doesn't cut it in my book. I know there have been many threads and discussions all over the place about the advantages and disadvantages of the .223.

Yes you can hit something accurately from a long distance but your weapon has to fire and also the energy from that small bullet may not be enough to prevent your enemy from firing back or escaping to fight another day.

Why do you think the AK has been around for so long? Yes it's not as accurate but that setup will fire all day long through all types of environments. It has been chambered in different rounds but the 7.62x39 has endured. For short range



posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 01:57 AM
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The light weight of the M16/M4 family and the smaller rounds reduce felt recoil and allow more ammuniton to be carried. M1's and BAR's worked but would beat you up firing prone and the ammo got heavier if you were humping ruck any distance. What do the posters think of semi auto only, gas piston mod to the M4, and necking up the 5.56 to 6 or 6.5 mm. This would reduce bullet velocity but allow better ballistic performance at longer ranges. Hits would be more effective and long range accuracy and barrier penetration improvements would have the troops shoot less and hit more. This would mainly involve barrel change out to minimize costs and maybe some buffer mods. Mags would still work and additional weight would be minimal.
Lowest cost, more bang, less prone to overheat.



posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 04:10 AM
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The problem here is the government is too cheap. The Army canceled the XM8 and the Dragon armor supposedly because of "performance". But really, its because they cost too much. They would rather have state-of-the art fighting vehicles and precision guided bombs more then they want to protect the people on the ground.

[edit on 21-10-2009 by Arbalest]



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