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US Army Launches Phase II of competition to replace M4

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posted on May, 9 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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Many service members, myself included, have been awaiting the replacement of the M4/M16 family of weapons for a very long time. While my personal feelings toward the M4 are positive, I understand the need to modernize the infantryman's main weapon. There are many candidates who have entered to win the contract of a lifetime. I have my preferences. For instance I want to see a larger calibre like the 6.5 Grendel coupled with a long stroke gas piston system. While I can bet a gas piston system will be chosen, my guess is that it will be short stroke, which is fine except I'm a stickler for how the muzzle moves and the gas system is pivitol in that regard.

Military.com article
edit on 9-5-2012 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-5-2012 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 9 2012 @ 07:26 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


As long as the new rifle maintains the same versatility of the M4 it should be a positive move for the military. The M4 is such a modular weapon platform. I'm interested to see what they come up with. They have some big shoes to fill!



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


I thought several years ago the XM8 would be the standard military infantry issued assault rifle; it seemed to have a higher rate of fire, stability, and cool down than the M4A1.



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 07:47 PM
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Something with a more reliable fully auto feature. Love the m16a4/m4 but the three round burst is,shady for a lack of better terms.



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


I agree the M4 is due for a serious overhaul. I do not believe the Grendal round or the 6.8 SPC is the answer. I have built many AR-15s and AR-10(.308-LR or DPMS) piece by piece from stripped receivers. I have built both direct gas impingement (DI) and short/long stroke piston.

Let me start by saying the difference in muzzle climb and felt recoil between a piston driven and a DI is marginal. A way for you to test this is by installing an adjustable gas bock and cutting off all air flow to the bolt carrier group (BCG). Fire a round off like that and you will feel 100% of the recoil. But slowly adding gas by opening up the gas block and you are bleeding off pressure to run the BCG. Yes, there is a slight secondary recoil impulse from the BCG cycling into the buffer, buffer spring, and if poorly tuned the back of the buffer extension tube. This secondary impulse should be very slight. If your BCG is smashing into the back of your tube you are running "over gased." If anything the piston system, with a higher cyclic rate, will tend to climb more. I run with a low mass BCG and buffer which actually slows the cyclic rate down a bit. The single most important combatant of muzzle climb is a well tuned compensator. The comp uses the high pressure gases and directs them in a way that fights against and helps cancel out the muzzle climb. I have a AR-10 that kicks and climbs far less than a stock AR 15 with an A2 flash hider (shooting a 7.62x51 168gr BTHP). Now a lot of it has to do with how heavy the AR 10 is as well.

In my opinion the military's next battle rifle needs to be MODULAR. Mission adaptability is the key. There is no cookie cutter on today's battlefield. Yes, in CQB a 6.8 is probably a better choice. But the 5.56 still has its place and is an amazing round. With this in mind I like the Masada/Bushmaster ACR type rifle. I like the FN SCAR but I do not believe they, as a company, are ready for a contract that large. I'd like to see the contract go to an American company. Remington has really stepped up their game. H&K is a great company and makes amazing firearms. This should be a very interesting contest.



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 09:21 PM
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I definitely would opt for a simple change to a gas piston system. I know that many people are used to the old gas tube, but that weapon gets way too dirty too quickly. While I never did despise the old M15/16, the M4 is more of the same with the system it has. I started out with an M14 and had the Matty Mattel M16 thrown off on me.

The gas piston and block needs to be interchangeable between weapons. I think that new POL system has cap ends of different sizes for different barrel lengths. But if it can be worked out that they are all the same, it will cut down on supply needs.

As far as the cyclic rate, I am all for anything that can throw metal downrange, but full auto is over rated. The best use for full auto is to scare and keep suppressed enemies so that the others can pull flanking movements and pick them off. Most people, even military people, don't seem to want to act responsibly with the fire power. Burst is good as it goes, but you might as well aim at someone's knees with the weapon canted about a quarter left so that you have a better chance at bodyshots. When squads had M14s, the squad leader had the selector switch and could designate who would be the auto rifleman. Once the M16 came around, there was nothing but a spray everywhere making the cost go up for the body count.

You may not believe it, but Apocalypse Now has a few firefight scenes that are representative of what happens when soldiers get surprised and their reaction with full auto. Kinda messed up... Go through magazines quick...

How much ammo do you want to carry? It might be fitting to learn how to shoot the thing.

This rifle will need to be able to pass the test of being thrown into a deep pile of dust and into a crappy puddle with silt and be able to be picked up and fired, in each case with as few stoppages as possible.
edit on 9-5-2012 by akalepos because: more



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


Will the competition permit a new cartridge or is the 5.56 specified? I have suggested that the 6.5mm MPC will be the ugrade to a larger caliber simply because only a barrel change is required as it is a necked up 5.56 with a slightly different shoulder.

Full auto is OK for a squad weapon but if every soldier has full auto capability, ammunition loadouts will have to increase significantly. Aimed semi-auto fire is more efficient when combined with full auto supressing fire. Lightweight full-auto weapons firing from a closed bolt have shorter duty cycles because of insufficient cooling.

It would be interesting to see a scaled down BAR chambered for an intermediate round and made with modern materials. The BAR worked in poor conditions and is proven technology. The only downside was the weight of the weapon and the ammunition.



posted on May, 10 2012 @ 05:32 PM
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reply to post by Skepticalifragilistic
 


Like I said, I'm a stickler. I see the results of minute differences down range. While the DI system is, in my opinion, superior in how it affects muzzle climb, it creates a problem others here have addressed, fouling. With respect to buffers, I use a Enidine hydraulic buffer in my weapons, as well as a tungsten carbide bolt weight to even out the force placed on the receiver when a round is fired. I feel essentially nothing. But on stock M16/M4 rifles you don't have that choice.

My complaint about the 5.56mm round is about long range effectiveness. Beyond 200 meters it loses power. It's fast moving and causes a lot of damage in engagements under 200 meters, but in open deserts and mountains, range and power are key. The 6.5 Grendel addresses both the load-out issue and the speed and power issue by essentially marrying the best features of the 5.56mm with the 7.62x39. I think it's about time to start looking beyond the 5.56mm platform and move onto something more modern and effective.

As far as cyclic rates are concerned I believe 3RB is the limit. It's about accuracy after the 3 round the climb on the muzzle is so much that subsequent rounds would be fired nowhere near the enemy. I still prefer semi-auto fire as I like to control my weapon and hit what I'm aiming at.

reply to post by sgspecial19
 


The XM8 ran into some heating problems that melted the polymer frame. It looks cool, but that's about it.

reply to post by Cosmic911
 


Modularity is the norm among weapons manufacturers the world over. Whatever the US Army chooses, in the end, it will likely be capable of far more than the M4. You see these new kinds of features with weapons like the ACR where adaptive features like tool-less breakdown, and barrel/caliber changes have become the norm. Even shotguns and handguns are moving in this direction as well.



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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I do not understand why you are all thinking so... similarly. You are thinking of replacing a gun with a copy of the gun. What we need is an accurate, powerful, and compact gun. A gun with all of these features would have to be of bullpup design. this design allows the weapon to have a longer barrel while still using less space. and because of the power being created close to your shoulder, you have less recoil. therefore, you have the ability to make faster follow-up shots, both up close and at range. This also allows you to use larger rounds with similar recoil to a smaller round in an original AR design.

AUG(standard): barrel length:20 inches length: 31 inches weight: 7.9 lbs
M4: barrel length: 14.5 inches length: 33 inches weight:6.9 lbs
edit on 11-5-2012 by ChemistryAdept because: added information



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by ChemistryAdept
 


A bullpup design is not out of the question for me. But there are certain features I want in a combat weapon. Especially since it's part of my job description.



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by ChemistryAdept
I do not understand why you are all thinking so... similarly. You are thinking of replacing a gun with a copy of the gun. What we need is an accurate, powerful, and compact gun. A gun with all of these features would have to be of bullpup design. this design allows the weapon to have a longer barrel while still using less space. and because of the power being created close to your shoulder, you have less recoil. therefore, you have the ability to make faster follow-up shots, both up close and at range. This also allows you to use larger rounds with similar recoil to a smaller round in an original AR design.

AUG(standard): barrel length:20 inches length: 31 inches weight: 7.9 lbs
M4: barrel length: 14.5 inches length: 33 inches weight:6.9 lbs


Felt recoil is a function of the action and the mass of the weapon. Keeping the weapon on target for multiple shots is easier if the vector is directed straight back. A stock with a large drop at the comb tends to recoil upwards [Winchster 94] but the bullpup design can't have a drop because of the action. The M4 likewise has a straight stock.

I have fired the AUG and do not particularly like it for several reasons. The location of the bolt is such that any failure leaves no room for safety and the shooters face and eyes suffer. The magazine makes prone shooting awkward and exposes the shooter more than other rifles. Even the BAR, designed for walking fire from the hip, is still a fine weapon when fired prone. The advantage of a longer barrel can be offset by proper selection of propellant and projectile.
edit on 5/12/2012 by pteridine because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 03:39 PM
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reply to post by projectvxn
 


I was under the impression that the ACR was/is the replacement for that family of rifles. If not, why is the ACR outfitted to do the same job but not the official replacement?



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 03:44 PM
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The acr will most likely not be chosen - nor will any new caliber. I see the improved colt if any being chose because the .mil thinks soldiers are complete morons and can't handle a completely new rifle.

I'd like to see the ACR in 6.5 chosen but that makes to much sense and it's better that mexico with the fx05 - the Uk with the acrs predecessor the g36 and even poland with ACR adoption all have better rifles than us.



posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by circuitsports
 


Whoops! This was army specifically. I think it's the marines were using ACRs for a while.

The ACR has issues though, which is nothing new for a military rifle.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 09:29 AM
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Why fix what ain't broken? They won't be replacing the M4 any time soon. The M4 is way more versatile than pretty much anything out there and the Army knows this. The modern M4 is completely different monster from the original M16. It's evolved like no other weapon in history. Different calibers, different gas systems or a piston system if you prefer, so many different accessories, so many attachments. It's just a waste of time. Army has no real plans to replace the M4 -- they're just trying to please the politically correct naysayers.



posted on Jul, 17 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by DriCo04
 


I'll have to second that. I went to the range recently and an AK jammed 5 times within the span of an hour while my AR15 has yet to have a problem.

The soldiers that went to war tell me they are pleased with the M16/M4 platform. And as far as my experience with them, all that needs to be done is to give the standard military equipment a few upgrades.

Those same soldiers tell me that their AR15 has better specs than the ones they used in Operation Phantom Fury and etc. And with what you can find in the civilian market right now, I have no doubts of that being possible.
edit on 17-7-2012 by GambitVII because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2012 @ 04:32 AM
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Originally posted by GambitVII
reply to post by DriCo04
 


I'll have to second that. I went to the range recently and an AK jammed 5 times within the span of an hour while my AR15 has yet to have a problem.


What the hell type of AKM are you running?!? =) I enjoy my M4gery, it's good for it's intended use, I've got years of muscle memory into it and I'm anal about cleaning it. I am however not a fan of the 5.56. I've got an SAR-1 AKM pattern, It's a fun gun SUPER reliable and I like what the x39 does inside of 200 yards and it's effect on barriers.

I WANT a SCAR17 BADLY!!! Our FN rep brought some products to the range to try to sell to the dept & It's full of awesome. I've never used a softer shooting .308 semi. The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger is the fact that Mags and replacement parts are pretty much unobtanium and the Price (as most FN products) is crazy in the market. Personally it's a $2000 gun and I feel comfortable paying that, but anything over 2g's I simply cant justify.



posted on Jul, 25 2012 @ 06:17 AM
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Wow , the M4 is the single biggest # weapon I have ever graced with my presence. If you speak to that rifle with the wrong tone , it will jam. You shoot a meat sack and that meat sack will continue returning fire. It is weak. It needs to be replaced. Oh , yeah , it jams a lot.

If a target is 200m+ you aren't going to hit jack #. I don't know if any one noticed , but sand , heat , and wind destroys the m4. Oh , wait , that's where we have a current campaign. Oh well.

2/5

I trust my M9 more than that pos.
edit on 25-7-2012 by milkyway12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by EyesWideShut
 


Wow, I had SAR-1...Reliable, fun to shoot, no trigger slap (rare for SARs), but it couldn't hit the broad side of barn.

Might have been the ammo, but I ran several types from Russian to S. African to USA Federal. Typically out of 20 or 30 rounds about half would be on the paper at 100 yards the other half who knows??? At first I thought it was me, (I have some eyesight issues) till I got a Busmaster Carbine.....nice tight groups.........



posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by SrWingCommander
 


See I DID get slap on mine! I had to replace my FCG with the Tapco G2, then my shepherd's crook was all mangled and I had to order a replacement plate and pop that in. The issue now is my trigger is SUPER light, like 2.5 lbs light. It's not a big issue because it's my fun gun, but it's really too light for any duty.

When I picked up the rifle I swapped out my Irons with mepros and I had been shooting fiocci 123gr (minute of man @ 300 yards) , I've got a 1/2 case of wolf sp I haven't touched yet and a couple boxes of Hornady V-Max for social work, the V-Max is surprisingly accurate (For an AKM)

As far as comparing accuracy between the AK & AR , there simply is no comparison, I hit Consistantly @ the 500 meter with @ 20" Ar & Irons, I challenge someone to hit period with an AK at that range. The tolerances of the AK & BC of the x39 hurt its accuracy anyway when you try to reach out with it.



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