posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 09:16 PM
This is my first post on this forum. I apologize if I overstep some boundary, however, I have to ask a question about what you think about todays
The M-16 A-4 Carbine, AKA, the M-4 carbine. While it seems to make sense to want a lighter, more compact weapon; are we going too far?
The M-4 takes a full pressure 5.56x45mm rifle round and fires it from a 14.5" barrel when the round was intended for 22" barrels. This creates
several problems, serious ones, and they need to be looked at.
Hearing- I have a brother who is a state police officer and who allowed me to fire his M-4 at the range. After the first shot I thought my head would
explode. Quite simply, the gun sounds like a hand grenade going off every shot- and I had earplugs in. What about our soldiers who constantly fire
Accuracy- As the bullet exits the barrel, the powder that did not burn in the barrel burns on the outside of the barrel around the bullet. The shorter
the barrel, the more powder that burns around the bullet and the more uneven pressures there are that affect the bullet. For instance, the M-16 is
famed for its 2" groups at 300 Meters. The M-4 takes that and widens it to 6.5" IF you use a scope and benchrest. Those are often not used in combat
on these carbines, therefore, the accuracy degrades fast.
Flash- Plain and simple, when you fire this gun, you might as well set up a spotlight that says "Shoot over here". It is the worst position giveaway
since the Mosin-Nagant carbines fireball.
Night Vision- In a night battle, the flash is like the smoke after firing a black powder gun- like the smoke from a musket, the flash half blinds the
shooter and makes keeping a target dang near impossible- while that same flash gives you away.
What is a solution?
Take a step back.
The Sub-Machine Gun. Light, effective, great close-range weapon that fires a pistol bullet in a semi-rifle configuration. For instance, assuming we
start using 9mm Luger (9x19mm) calibre sub-machine guns in M-4 configuration (AKA the Colt SMG) then the soldiers will already be used to the design
and dont need extra training, but, the muzzle flash and hearing loss will be greatly minimized. The fact is that even though the maximum range of the
Colt SMG is a little over 100 M (thanks to the higher velocity provided by a longer 10.5" barrel) the M-4 was designed for close ranges anyway. For
longer ranges we have M-16 A3s, M249s, and other more accurate weapons which are already in issue.
To summarize, the fact that SMG's have lighter ammunition, have less than half the muzzle flash and roar of the M-4, and have close to no reciol
means that they would be perfect for the city and brush combat that our soldiers experience. Of course it would be better if they could get 10mm or
.45 calibre SMG's, but thanks to NATO standardization, that wont happen.
What does everyone think?
NOTE- I know that the M249 SAW and M-16 A3 fire the same 5.56x45mm bullet as the M-4, but, the 16.5" and 18.5" barrel lengths as well as the
full-size stocks and longer sight radiuss' mean that there is more power (longer barrel= higher velocity) and better accuracy (the full size stocks
fit the shoulder better and the longer sight radius means the target is easier pictured).