More on the Army M4-replacement competition


Army Times reports

The Army has outlined the competition that will select the best new carbine — and one that ultimately will face off against the improved M4A1 in a battle to become your next weapon.

The overall schedule of competition, testing, production and fielding is approximately three years to first unit equipped.

A draft solicitation to industry released Monday morning said the down-select will occur in three phases covering two years. The Army will host an industry day in March or April to solicit feedback and answer specific industry questions. The final solicitation will go out in May, and competitors typically have a couple of months to present their submissions.

More information here.

[ Many thanks to Lance & Aaron for emailing me the link. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Adam

    I am extremely interested to see what they go with. I am wondering if it will be a SCAR / ACR type rifle or a bullpup unit like some other countries.

  • If I were a betting man, I’d place money on the following outcomes:

    1. The winner will be in 5.56×45 (too much money spent on the M855A1 to throw that away – they couldn’t admit that it’s not good enough).

    2. The winner will not be a bullpup, despite the need for a compact weapon.

    3. After extensive testing, the Army will conclude that while some of the contenders show advantages over the M4, none is so much better as to justify changing over (in parallel with this, they are currently spending a lot of money on a phased programme of improvements to the M4 – they would hardly want to admit that that was being wasted, would they?)

  • Graham

    I’m really curious to see what the submissions will be.

  • clamp

    Will the fabled Glock Chupacabra Carbine finally appear for a chance at global domination?

  • Mike

    So does it have to be a carbine? Im glad there will only be 5.56mm only.

  • Mike

    Oops my last post should say “Im glad there will be other non 5.56mm cartridges allowed.”

  • Tony,

    I’m all for a bullpup design, but it would need to be an ambi design – can’t exclude 10% of shooters.

    Also for piston over GI operation.

  • J.T.

    $1300 a piece? That sounds way to high for a high volume government contract. I was thinking per-unit cost for the government was between $6-800 dollars. If that is correct, if we replace the M4 for any reason, it should be because Colt is bending the taxpayers over on the price.

  • Rob

    If they were smart they would adopt a new caliber and sell the surplus ammunition onto the civilian market as well as the m4’s in parts kit form to offset the cost of converting. But this is the government we’re talking about.

  • John C

    Why don’t they just poll the military and ask if the troops think their M4s and M16s are sufficient? If the troops think the guns are perfoming well enough, then there is no need for a change. I just hope that some bureaucrat with no combat experience is not the deciding factor.

  • Peter

    I’m wondering but not likely if there will be a 5.45×39 because of the better balistics over the 5.56×45 or maybe a 6.8 SPC or a 6.5 grendal I would like the see some thing other then 5.56

  • jdun1911

    John C,

    Already did a poll. 90% liked their M4 and over 80% like their M16 (Marines). Highest rating of any carbine in the history of the US Army.

    Peter,

    There won’t be any change in caliber because there something that all military have to deal with is called logistics.

    In order for the AR to be replace the winning rifle/carbine must be superior in every way to justified the logistical nightmare that will come with the new weapon especially in the middle of a war.

  • jdun1911

    Rob,

    Do you know how much ammo we’re using in Afghanistan? Lake City is at full capacity and still not enough. The US military is digging deep into the stockpile to fill the needs.

  • William C.

    Not that I disagree about the advantages of bullpups, but you seem to have become quite the convert to such designs Tony. Personally, I don’t think the bullpup vs. conventional issue is as important as many make it out to be.

    I hope some some new calibers other than 5.56mm are tested, I think the Army needs to bite the bullet not just for increased performance at long range, but to deal with better body armor too.

    Also they ought to dump the three-round burst in favor of full-auto, it doesn’t seem very popular and today’s Army doesn’t need such restrictions in my opinion.

  • jay1975

    The Army wil most likeely select a weapon that is modular enough to switch calibers like the ACR. The SCAR in 5.56 and 7.62 and the H&K 416 and 417 are being field tested by special ops in Afghanistan right now. Word around the campfire is that H&K will win because their lobbyists are pouring more money than anyone else into DC. Colt recently released its 901 model that had interchangeable uppers that switch between 5.56 and 7.62. While the 6.8 would seem like a good compromise, because of how long initial issue takes and the lag of time for equipment to reach the Guard and Reserve, it is unlikely that a caliber change will take place. I would be happy if they just bought the piston conversion kits for the M4’s as they cost a fraction of that of a new rifle and testing.

  • On bullpups: lefties shooting right-handed is only a problem if they’re used to shooting before entering the Army. The British Army tested new recruits and found that lefties could shoot right-handed just as accurately as righties, so didn’t bother asking for a lefty version of the SA80.

    Most bullpups allow left-handed shooting with a bit of fiddling around (e.g. AUG, Tavor), but I agree that it would be better for a gun to be instantly ambidextrous; this could be achieved in various ways with a bullpup, but of the military 5.56mms only the quirky FN F2000 delivers that for now.

    I would love to see a different calibre too, but it isn’t going to happen in this competition.

  • Lance

    @ Adam

    I really doubt FN will win since they are having many fallout’s due to that it offers little advantage over existing m-4s that’s why SOCOM drooped it last summer.

    @ Tony Willams

    I agree with you

    Due to the financial constraints and cuts of the current government. I think the improved M-4 or a M-4 like carbine (HK 416 as an example) will win since costs cuts in that they use many common parts AND TRAINING WOULD BE IDENTICAL to current standards

    Also do to the fact no other service is taking part in the whole program and the USMC is already staying with M-16A4s and is adopting a HK 416 variant make me think that too much of the military is in for AR rifles for many purposes.

    If you read the bottom half of the article even Remington’s VP says he doubts the M-4 will go away and hence why 3 out of4 Remington’s entries are M-4 carbine with different bells and whistles. he even stated his company wanted to get contracts to make current none piston M-4A1s for current orders that will come from the M-4 improvement program.

  • Moose

    The time to replace was 10 years ago, now we’re too close to the end of the conventional cartridge’s lifespan for this to mae sense. We’re 5 years or less from the LSAT program combat-ready Caseless or Polymer Cases Telescoped ammunition and we should be getting ready for a new ammunition standard to adopt.

  • PRO

    I would bet the same as Mr. Tony Williams .

    I dont think that there could be any legitimate reason (for the disicion makers) to change to another cartridge , exept if that cartridge could replace both the 5.56 and the 7.62 . Who cares about what the end users think? Body bags are cheeper .

  • SoulTown

    I’m willing to bet none of those “new” guns will make the cut. Really, a “knockout punch” against improved M4? The AR platform has its limits, but there is nothing titanic about those shortcomings.

    Now, if the SR-15E3 makes it, I’m gonna have myself a big laugh. Then again, it is a BRILLIANT gun.

  • Victor

    Nothing will happen, and the army will still issue the M4 until they find out a way to reliably use caseless ammunition.

  • J.T.,

    The final prices on Colt’s last contract were around $1,221. The price had been rising steadily since the War on Terror began. However, Colt’s contract ended December 31, 2010.

  • @jdun1911

    “Already did a poll. 90% liked their M4 and over 80% like their M16 (Marines). Highest rating of any carbine in the history of the US Army.”

    And for how many different carbines have they carried out such polls? The fact is, most soldiers know only what they have trained with and use, so can’t make comparisons. There is a general tendency to accept what you have unless it’s a real dog.

    @William C

    I agree that if you’re just using 5.56mm in short-barrelled carbines and keeping 7.62mm for long-range use then the advantages of a bullpup are relatively minor (although still there). Where it would really come into its own is if a new general-purpose universal calibre were adopted, since then you’d want the rifle to be short overall for urban use but have a long barrel for long-range fire. Much simpler than carrying around barrels of different lengths and keep swapping them over as the range changes!

    Two of the first modifications planned for the M4 are a heavier barrel and a full-auto switch.

  • I guess if they phased in the bullpup along with new recruits that’s be fine, but most of the lefties already in the military would be used to shooting left. I’m personally strongly left-sided, including left-eye dominant.

  • subase

    I was under the impression that this was a dog and pony show, whereby the new ‘improved’ M4 would win or do quite well, and someone makes money somewhere.

    Those guys talking about adopting a new calibre or adopting a new rifle are smoking something. At best the military may perhaps get a piston conversion kit. That isn’t really necessary.

    The only worthwhile improvement I want to see is a round counter, then much more accurate preventative maintenance and replacement of parts becomes possible.

  • sadlerbw

    Here is my prediction: No ‘new’ carbine in 5.56 can beat the M4 with the criteria they have set. So, if they pick a winner in 5.56, you can expect the M4 to stay around. If they pick a winner in a different caliber, there might actually be a change. The bottom line is that the product improved M4 is going to be a pretty decent gun, and no matter how awesome you make a new carbine, there are performance criteria that you just cannot change if you stick with 5.56. Basically, if you don’t change the cartridge then you are already putting yourself behind in the final competition against the M4A1. A new system must be MUCH BETTER in order to win, not just as-good-as, and I don’t think you can get there if you are ultimately firing the same round as the M4.

    – Bret

  • Rusty Ray

    Bullpup is fine, just never been done right.

    Now that most fighting seems to be in towns, there is a real need to be able to swop from right to left instantly, then you can shoot around cover without exposing your whole body.

    For my buck, that outweighs any advantage given by the bullpup. Fix that and it wil be THE weapon style of choice.

    Rusty

  • michael

    army is not leaving ar platform for our lifetime

  • Ken

    Polling the force probably does not provide a good answer because of the following:
    1. The majority of the force are non-combat arms and have minimal knowledge of small arms, trends and development.
    2. The majority of combat arms are lower ranked soldiers who also have little exposure to foreign weapons and or industry development efforts.
    3. The majority of NCOs and officer in combat arms are resistant to change as they have deployed and extensive exposure to current platforms.

    Hence, the best population to poll are SOF types.

    I would like to see a platform that can be configures as a bullpup and a conventional layout. I think there was a recent Euro effort that had this in mind.

    I do think there is some life left in the FN F2000 platform. There is no reason why they can’t make that rifle a multi-caliber modular platform. Then make the mag well and chamber door translucent and we might have a winner.

  • aeronathan

    Being involved in Army procurement on a daily basis, that reads like a program set up to rubber stamp approval on the decisions already made by the current brass in charge….

  • charles222

    The Bullpup flaw isn’t just for left-eye-dominant types; it also effects things like having to fire weak-side (which covers, you know, the other 90% of shooters) to maintain effective cover or when firing off corners.

    And yeah- 6.8 is a dead end. There’s nothing it can do that calibers and specific types of ammunition-namely Mk 262, Mk 317, and Mk 318-already in the supply system cannot.

  • Brian10

    “if a new general-purpose universal calibre were adopted”

    Many people are suggesting a single caliber to replace both 5.56 and 7.62. What you end up with is a compromise caliber that falls short of what the 5.56 is intended for and also falls short of what the 7.62 was intended for. The 5.56 and 7.62 are very effective for their respective purposes.

    A single general purpose cartridge is a very bad idea.

  • Lance

    Im with you Jdun1911

    If you read my last post i got from the article this post was based on. you find most don’t see the M-4 going anywhere. Improved one way or another yes but NOT going away.

  • Rijoenpial

    Hi guys… Since I have been away since lat year, happy 2011 for all!

    Now, to the matters at hand, I seem to remember the first notice about this sollicitation (well, the notice of the notice, actually) that they said that the entry companies that were to provide a different caliber weapon, would have to provide the ammo… Now, I can only see three companies that have the history and experience in manufacturing the thousands of rifles the Army will need… The replacement will, obviously, be gradual, but I dont see the little ones sustaining that amount of weapons to be manufactured and delivered… I see Colt, FN, HK and Remington doing that, but not so much the Bushmaster, Robinson Armament and the other dozens of small AR_15 manufacturers… Unless the Army decides ex-aequo, which I don’t believe they will, they will probably not risk it and giving to an already established BIG company…

    Having said this, my belief is that this is another smokescreen… The Army has already cried ‘Wolf’ way too many times for me to believe it until I actually see it on the field, being tested and fielded! With the XM8, the SCAR 16 being the most recent fiascos, I think that the very BROAD requirements may mean that the Army is not taking this that seriously or that they don’t actually know what they want and so they want to be surprised! But given the latest ammo and additions to the M4, and also the new shipments of M4s, I think this may yet be the USArmy crying ‘Wolf’ again’!

    Time will tell… Apparently, in March, they will be more specific about the specs and so we will know what to really expect! Until then… ‘Wolf’…

    Personally, I would like to see a modified F2000 in 7.62 ( I know, Kel-Tech RFB already exists) or a 6.8 weapon… I think in the middle lies the virtue, and the 6.8 is the best default cartridge for a regular soldier to carry…

    If the brass are being serious about the statement that any company can present submissions in other calibers than just 5.56 NATO or 7.62 NATO provided they supply the ammo, I think that FN and Remington should present these calibers… They have the ability to produce ammo (2.23 remington (duh) and the 5.7 from FN) and I know that Knight’s Armament Company made their own ammo for the KAC PDW, but their M110 problems may be too fresh for the Army to consider them!

    The next month or so will be exciting and, hopefully, historical! It may be the hero’s funeral for the much revered M4!

    It is time for something new (here’s hoping)!

    Cheers!

  • Alaskan

    Can’t we go back to the M1 Garand?
    .30-06 Springfield put down enough Germans and Japs…

    I don’t know whether or not to use the /sarcasm tag….

  • jdun1911

    The military poll asked if they LIKE their M4 and M16 or NOT. Then I compare with other polls from different era in American history. 90% of all current soldiers like their M4. Over 80% of all current Marines like their M16. It’s not my opinion it’s a fact that the M4 is the most popular carbine in America military history.

    The AR is over 40 years old the longest serving rifle/carbin in America history. It is in the forefront of almost all military small arms developments.

    Suburban Survivalist,

    It’s not all about ambidextrous. If bullpup design is better than conventional than you would see Private Contractors and Special Operator using it in conflict zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan. Even countries that made bullpup their standard issue, their best fighters gone with the conventional design.

  • John C

    I don’t see them choosing a bullpup anytime in the near future. It would HAVE to be ambidextrious and the only viable ambidextrious gun I can think of is the F2000. The SCAR or the ACR in 6.8 or 6.5 would be nice, but if they aren’t going to change calibers, they might as well go with a modified M4.

  • I’m in the unusual position of agreeing with almost everything that others have posted since my last message.

    As I said in my first post, the calibre will be 5.56mm, it won’t be a bullpup and will almost certainly be the improved M4 which is selected. It has been very clear in several competitions going back decades that the US Army is not going to select a rifle/carbine other than the M16/M4 unless it offers MASSIVE improvements – and that just isn’t going to happen.

    @Rusty Ray – I agree that the bullpup hasn’t yet been done right, which is frustrating because it easily could be. I have posted a number of suggestions for doing so here: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/bullpups.htm

    @Ken, you are right that the opinions of the SOF types will be much better-informed than those of the infantry. But you also have to bear in mind that SOF have their own requirements which may not be the same as those for a standard infantry rifle.

    IMO, LSAT remains the only realistic hope for a new calibre to be adopted.

  • Chad

    [Quote]No caliber restriction has been placed on a new design. It will be at least a 500-meter weapon and have a higher incapacitation percentage.[/quote]

    It would be funny if someone like Alexander Arms submits a 6.5 Grendel M4 DI rifle and wins. Because this quote sounds like they are looking for a new round more than a new weapon.

  • SoulTown

    Few issues I see with F2000 as it stands.

    1) Unadjustable stock. Have fun running that gun with a freakin’ Level III rig. Shouldn’t be too hard to fix. Hell, even a VIDEO GAME came up with a solution.

    2) Limited rail space. I am yet to see one set up with all of the standard US military trickadoos(PEQ-2/15, Tac lights, Optic, BUIS), but I’m pretty sure that if one manages to do that, the optic will have to be really close to the user’s eye. Bad news if you put on a reflex optic.

    A bit of a mall ninja complaint, yes, but still. More rail space = more options. I think this is one of the reasons why the AR patterned weapons (meaning, including the HK416) is still going strong.

    3) Gun too tall. “High grip”/”3-gunner grip”/”OMGMAGPULSOCOOL” pretty much impossible.

    4) Not the lightest gun in the world.

    I do have to say that the 40mm + FCS combo on the F2000 is a really interesting system. Not to mention it being MAD COOL.

  • DDK

    Comments ignore recorded facts and videos of our Soldiers shooting folks three or more times with documented body hits, and the M4/M16 rounds’ failure to incapacitate. The round desired has to penetrate and kill-that is .30 and above. The platform must be easily trainable/maintainable.

    The progenitor platforms are there now: firms like Knight in SR25; FN in .308 SCAR; Rock River in LAR8; Armalite with AR10, etc. Option to cover CQB and long distance.
    Goals do not say only one winner! There may well be multiple bidders with one uniform platform all agree to make. That removes chance of business loss, allows platforms’ redundancy of parts/supplies, moves the industrial base to many Congressional Districts for broad supporting votes.

    We are in early parts of WW4, and need to act fast-so will.

  • cc19

    Interesting to see the history of how difficult the platform was to get adopted at all and now how difficult it is to get out of it – it’s reminiscent of a typical dysfunctional marriage where the dependancies allow neither side to leave for a possible, bright new future.

  • michael

    6.8 would be the way to go

  • Lance

    Not going to happen DDK 5.56mm is staying the army riged this competition to use the same ammo.

  • Brian10

    The 308/7.62mm NATO cartridge will never become the primary weapon system again, as it’s been proven that winning battles is more about the number of bullets fired as opposed to the size of bullet fired. The 5.56mm is here to stay, because it is essentially the lightest bullet that is still lethal to the target. A soldier can carry much more 5.56mm than 7.62mm or any of the intermediate calibers.

    The US has already abandoned the 7.62mm NATO as a primary cartridge, and even Russia has abandoned the 7.62×39 in favor of a lighter 5.45mm bullet. This is essentially the future.

    The 7.62mm NATO definitely has its place as a precision cartridge or a machine gun cartridge, but it’s not replacing the 5.56.

  • jdun1911

    Rusty Ray,

    If they couldn’t get the bullpup design done right in over 100 years. What’s the odds of getting it right in the future?

    You assumed there is only one problem but that’s not the case.

    SoulTown,

    On your number three point. When your life is decided by less than a second you want to get the first shot first hit before your enemy. That’s one of the reason why you don’t see the best using bullpup.

    In competition half a second will determine if you’re a winner or loser. That’s why you don’t see bullpup in high level tournaments.

    I have no problem with people owning bullpup. They are fun to shoot. However I do have a problem with people suggesting subpar designs for people that put their life on the line.

  • @Brian10, the 5.56mm was OK while infantry small arms were seen as having a very minor role in a future high-intensity war of the NATO vs Warsaw Pact sort, or even of the armour-led invasion of Iraq. What’s changed is that small-arms engagements in Afghanistan can take place anywhere between 0-900 metres, with the Taiban often preferring to engage from outside the 5.56’s practical effective range of about 300 m.

    So the 7.62mm has come back and is now used at section level to a much greater extent than it used to be. You are right that it won’t be replacing 5.56mm though – the reasons why the 7.62mm was rejected as the standard calibre years ago still apply: too much weight, and too much recoil for controllability in automatic fire from a rifle.

    The ideal is a long-range cartridge in the 6.5/7mm class with a lot less weight and recoil than 7.62mm, but the main objection to change is cost, combined with an unwillingness to rock the boat by the decision makers.

    As I posted elsewhere: the sad, simple fact is that no-one involved in arms procurement is going to prejudice his career if he advocates minimal change from the status quo. To argue for a new calibre means admitting that the 5.56mm isn’t adequate, which means admitting that troops have been sent in harms way with inadequate weapons. It also means accepting that the huge sums of money spent on developing the M855A1 were wasted. And it means arguing for the complete replacement of the existing small arms family, at a cost which I have seen estimated to be over one billion dollars. Who is going to be brave enough to stand up and speak out in support of all that?

    That’s why I hope that, against all experience and expectation, LSAT results in an acceptable solution, because it would be much easier for people to argue for, as they could point to the huge weight savings (plus the super new technology) as a reason for adopting it.

    My fear is that, even if is adopted, somebody is going to order the LSAT weapons in their existing test calibre of 5.56mm, because that would be a bit cheaper than developing a new round.

  • snmp

    @SoulTown

    In bullpup configuration you could have rail than in M4

    * Autralian F88/A4 or (STEYR AUG A4) :
    * SA80 Rail (from Daniel Defense or B&T ) : http://images.wikia.com/guns/images/f/fd/L85a2_ris_acog.jpg
    *FAMAS with Rail handgaurd and handel Rail : http://2reg.legion-etrangere.com/modules_media/article/164.jpg
    BTW, bullpup like the FAMAS is ambi, you could switch left to right (or vis versa) in 15 to 30 seconds (rotate the bolt and change the side of cover)

    The M4-replacement competition is more an competition for improvement of the platform : DI or pistion, stock, Ambi control, Cheap & Lightwheig Rail solution, lenth of Barrel (14,5, 16″ or 18″ …) .

    If FN (SCAR) or Remington(ACR) make an upper comaptible with M4 lower with compaible AR15 barrel in same way of HK with HK416 (AR15 with G36/XM8 system )

  • Rijoenpial

    Brian10,

    the Brazilian Special Forces and the Military and Civilian Police Dept. use the FAL 7.62 NATO model to great effect… the PARA version with collapsible stock while maintaining the 16 or 18 inch long barrel, is still being used to great effect…Even though they use precision shots to the head or chest, that ammo’s stopping power is second to none in the urban settings where most conflicts will most likely take place for the future… The current Afghanistan setting, with long range shooting, is not gonna be the norm, but rather urban combats… For that, the bullpup is a better weapon… The 10 inch barrel is nonsensical for a 5.56 ammo… Hence why KAC made their PDW with a proprietary 6x35mm ammo… CQB requires either a PDW weapon either in 5.7 or 6×35 whihc have much more stropping power than the obsolete 5.56, which teh Army have in great quantities that could be easily sold to other countries and that money used to acquire the new ammo…

    The Brazilian SOF and Police Departments are the longest engaging forces right now… Even if we can see already M4s and G36s, there is always their big brother for either precision or scare tactics… Have you seen that barrel and weapon? It is much more intimidating than the 5.56 M4…

    So, teh USArmy already knows all about the 5.56 lack of stopping power from the Somalia war days and much earlier even… The M4 as a shortened version of the M16, was preceded by the Colt Commando which was nothing more than a short barrel M16…

    I disagree with the idea of spraying bullets until the target is down… No matter how cheap the ammo is… The idea behind the approval of the 30-round IAR nonsense was for precision shooting, instead of suppressive power… And this with a 5.56 bullet… We all know the 5.56 is only effective if they are precision shots, but in the heat of battle, I would rather be carrying a 7.62 and have a buddy of mine with a 5.56 suppressive weapon like the SAW to keep the enemy down (cheaper ammo) leaving me to do those precision shots with the heavier, more precise, more expensive and more powerful ammo…

    So, I think this M4 comp is the best opportunity to get an improved version of a bullpup, because an infantry man does not require all the gear the SOF do on their weapon, anda polymer steel reinforced weapon can be lighter than an M4 and much more maneuvreable than an M4 while still having a 17 long barrel… The M4 is only in so many SOF forces because of shady deals with the US governments because there is no point trading bullpups for M4s in CQB settings, much less for longer distances…

    The M4 is not the best weapon, not by a long shot… It’s service life is only maintained through stubborness and self-absorbed pride… The reason most guns are Ar15 designs is because of what I call ‘lobby asphixiation’, meaning, the maintenance of a prolonged technological status quo, undermining the natural evolution of weapon technology,asphixiating it through military-industrial lobbying…

    That is the main reason the Ar-15 design has lasted this long… The drawbacks, shortcomings of this design and the ammo it carries were adressed long ago by the AR-15’s evolution design, the Ar-18, which if not for the FNC and now the SCAR, it would never come to surface… Eugene Stoner was aware of the Direct Impingement AR-15 design flaws and improved them through the piston driven AR-18…

    Now, if Lance is right and this comp is in fact rigged, then we will know soon enough… Bt if they are really willing to change, to evolve, to be modernised, then they will have certainly many designs, AR-10, AR-15, AR-18, AK (Robarm – please do not forget the blank attachments this time, Alex!), bullpup, etc… to choose from… with hopefully many ammo alternatives as well (SOF 5.56, 6×35, 6.5, 6.8, 7.62, etc…)

    Given the US influence on NATO and the UN, I think they could easily get the new cartridge adopted for internationally sanctioned operations…

    So, it is all a matter of willpower and lont term vision…

    Cheers!

  • Nicholas

    Yes. The M4 is here to stay and so is 5.56 mm. That is certainly how things seem.

    I’d like to remind everyone that the M4/M16 platform and ammunition were adopted less than 10 years after the M14 and 7.62 mm ammunition were selected.the reason was very simple. The M16 was clearly a better weapon and the arguments that favoured .223 seemed totally compelling based on the limited testing that had been done at that time. So, if something truly innovative was presented and performed well, maybe we might get a big surprise.

    Is there anything in the pipeline? Well, there has been a big change in the last year. For a long time, people spoke about replacing 5.56 mm ammunition. While the Remington 6.8 mm SPC had a lot to recommend it, ultimately it was not a significant step forward to justify adoption. That decision was validated by combat experience in Afghanistan. The 6.8 simply didn’t have the necessary range. What’s happened instead is that 7.62 mm has re-emerged as a principal calibre.

    7.62 mm is all very well, but is big and heavy with massive recoil, as well know. Cris Murray, who helped to develop the 6.8 mm round has been working on a new universal cartridge designed to replace 7.62 mm. It’s smaller, lighter and with less recoil. But it retains more energy at 1,000 metres than a 7.62 mm round. Of course, such ammunition is a long way from production, but the concept has genuine merit because if it can effectively replace 7.62 mm, it can also supplant 5.56 mm.

    So while the M4 is likely to soldier on for some time to come, we could see a new round and a new weapon to fire it gradually gain credibility and acceptance. We might still have 5.56 mm M4’s, but no one would be using them, just as the early M16 made the M14 redundant 50 years ago.

  • SpudGun

    @Brian10 – I’m a little confused by your comment – ‘The 308/7.62mm NATO cartridge will never become the primary weapon system again, as it’s been proven that winning battles is more about the number of bullets fired as opposed to the size of bullet fired.’

    Can you please clarify where you received your data as all of the statistics I’ve seen suggest the opposite – particularly in regards to the bullet per kill ratio from previous conflicts such as World War 2 and Korea.

    By contrast, the bullet per kill ratio by US Forces increased substantially from Vietnam onwards after the introduction of the 5.56mm. Latest anecdotal stats were claiming 250,000 rounds fired per insurgent killed in Iraq (though I think those claims were certainly dubious).

    I do agree with you that the US won’t re-introduce the 7.62mm for it’s armed forces, but only because of economic constraints rather then tactical considerations.

    As for Russia abandoning the 7.62×39, that doesn’t really help much, as everyone else we’re fighting at the moment hasn’t. 😉

  • Aurelien

    Jdun1911,

    The problem with the current bullpup rifles is that they are either 1970s designs (AUG, FA-MAS, L85) reworked to be more modular (and that does not work very well), or they are “designer rifles” built more as a proof of concept than a military combat rifle (RFB, F2000…). The trend has pretty much died in the early 1990s when everybody understood that we would not be shooting at russians near Fulda anymore.

    The classic Vs bullpup relationship works both ways : in the French army the standard rifle is the FA-MAS and the common COS (spec ops) rifle is AR-based. That is mainly due to the FAMAS not having the modularity of the M4. But in the other hand, the main rifle of the Belgian army is the FNC/CAL carbine and the spec-ops use the FN2000.

    What is missing is a real no-BS military modular bullpup rifle. Only when someone makes one will there be basis for comparison.

  • SoulTown

    @ snmp

    http://stickman.rainierarms.com/galleries/Daniel%20Defense,%20Inc./IMG_3426%20Stick.jpg

    No, you can’t. You can make an argument about how many bullpup systems can have “enough” rail space, but ARs are hard to beat when it comes to options. With ARs you can have a freakin’ 14 inch rail system if you wanted to.

    Most importantly, I was talking about F2000, not bullpups in general.

  • charles222

    Yeah, the 5.45 Russian ammunition is a pretty good example of the bullcrap complaint that “only 7.62” will reliably incapacitate. I’ll tell you guys a story from my last deployment; I saw an Iraqi male take a 7.62mm NATO round through the neck and survive. In fact, he was perfectly fine; the round entered and exited without tumbling or fragmenting. But of course in the Modern Warfare 2 Laws Of Firearms lethality that most people on the Internet seem to believe in, there’s no possible way for that to have happened.

    Look, the people taking multiple hits from M-4s/M-16s in Somalia were predominantly hopped on on quat, which lowers the pain threshold to begin with. Not to mention that people in any sort of firefight on either side are going to be redlining their bodies with adrenaline and ephedephrin, which even further lowers your pain threshold and allows your body to do things it normally wouldn’t. In this state, a human’s body can take massive, massive damage and still pull through.

    Bear with me here; a great example of this is shark attack victims. There’s been more than a few cases where massive tissue loss has occurred and the victim has still survived, Rodney Fox being probably the most famous of these-he was so mangled that the main reason he lived was that his wetsuit was literally holding him together. If people can survive damage like that, expecting anything in the world of small arms that isn’t a .50-cal to deliver 100% one-shot kills is frankly foolish.

    Another good example of just how rugged humans are is my former platoon leader. On a mission also on my last deployment, he stepped directly onto a crush-wire IED that blew his right leg off just above the knee. This is obviously a level of damage well beyond 5.56 OR 7.62mm, and he survived without assistance for several minutes before anyone found him. (He eventually recovered and now works at the Pentagon with a shiny artificial limb.)

    People are a good deal tougher to kill than these bs lethality debates give them credit for, and expecting projectiles barely a quarter-inch in diameter to generate one-shot kills, particularly with FMJ construction, is just stupid.

  • Lance

    I wouldnt call the FAMAS a success or the AUG since most solders complain abot ther erginomics. I do agree that the competition will result in a better M-4 carbine.

  • snmp

    @Lance

    M4 is to weak for launch a rifle grenad and if US taxe payer not offert M16 and M4 for free or 100USD (dumping). Other countries could sell their weapon in fair maket. M4 have the tactical accurany of an PPSH41/PPS43 or an M1 Carbine with the same week this weapons of WWII. The 5.56 need 18″ or 20″ barrel for have the right velocity.

    @SoulTown

    I speak M4A1 in miltary configuration (Military tools) and not Sport Cutom weapon.

    The F2000 have rail module from FN (Upper rail for sight and Rail hanguard ) => http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y14/Check6/P1020921.jpg

  • Lance

    I agree SNMP

    I said for a carbine the M-4 is good for the job the USMC has it right for the rifleman the M-16A4 is way better for grunt work.

    This idea from some that this will bring a 6.8mm bullpup into service are dreaming the fact is that ever since the 1990s NATO has had more influence on the US military than we have on them look at the M-9 pistol replaceing the M1911. The Europeans are not moveing away from 5.56mm and we arnt either. I agree 6.5mm would be great for a infantry rifle. BUT with each service adopting a new 5.56mm round of wither M-855A1 or Mk262 there staying no way we are dumping new ammo just after adopting them. The M-4 is still one of the best designs out there and yes it needs some improvement but every design dose. The fact is all other service are also staying with the M-4 or a type of M-16 rifle, so we arnt dumping the AR.

  • Rijoenpial: Gene Stoner quit using the direct impingement system simply because ArmaLite’s parent, Fairchild, had licensed the patent rights to Colt. At the time, Stoner had already started work on an economy answer to the 7.62mm AR-10, which would use steel stampings instead of expensive aluminum forgings. The AR-12 prototype was originally designed to use direct impingement. When Fairchild pulled the rug out from under him, Stoner then had the gas tube hole in the bolt carrier welded up so he could use a short-stroke gas system instead. The AR-12 then evolved into the AR-16 before Stoner left ArmaLite. In the early 1960s, Fairchild cut ArmaLite loose, and sold all of the patent rights to the AR-15 to Colt. It was only after the US Army and USAF started buying AR-15, that ArmaLite decided that they needed to have their own 5.56mm rifle design to compete on the global arms market. ArmaLite’s replacement for Stoner, Arthur Miller, borrowed from Stoner’s 7.62mm AR-16 design to develop the 5.56mm AR-18. The AR-18 was developed too early to address reliability issues with the XM16E1. Outside of the limited Project Agile test, the AR-15/M16 had not seen major combat yet.

  • SoulTown

    @ snmp

    “I speak M4A1 in miltary configuration (Military tools) and not Sport Cutom weapon.”

    See, this is where you are WRONG. I hate to break it to you, but because the photos I provided was of Daniel Defense RIS II, part of the SOPMOD Block 2 kit. It is currently being issued to SOCOM units.

    In other words, IT IS a military setup.

    The FN module does look rather nice. But against M4A1 with RIS II? Not even a chance.

  • Rijoenpial

    Daniel,

    Uau… Thanks for that thorough explanation… Still, you raised another issue: the AR-15 and the AR-18 could have both competed, if the AR-18 was given a fair chance to compete… The fact remains that once the Vietnam war became serious, the AR-15 M16 was proving to be far less superior to the Automat Kalashinikova at that time, a gas piston battle rifle, a gun that despite the far less precision, vastly compensated it with fierce fire and stopping power, clearly should have made the brass re-think the AR-18 advantages, being it a gas piston weapon… The ammo is part of the problem, yes, but the short 20-round clips didn’t help either… When you have a 30-round 7.62 round for CQB combats like in the ‘Nam, 20-round 5.56 round meant that you had to shoot 5 or 6 bullets ( or more!) to get a man down when all the Vietcong needed was one, maybe two!

    So, this ‘protectionism’ of the AR-15 meant that the US has had a flawed weapon system for more than 50 years, when they already had a better system (Ar-18)… The M-4 reduced the capability of the M-16, by forcing a 5.56 bullte out of a shorter barrel, therefore decreasing the bullet’s performance! The 5.56 was conceived for a 16 inch barrel lie the M-16… So, effectiveness and reliability were sacrificed over portability and lighter weight… The fact is that since the ‘Nam, the first Iraq War and other smaller conflicts never really tested the M-4 until Afghanistan came along! And since we all seem to agree, namely the manufacturers, that the 5.56 should only come out of a long 16 inch barrel, then it is simple to conclude that a modular weapon should be compact while still maintaining a long barrel (bullpup) and having the ability to change to a 6.5, 6.8 or 7.62×39 cal (for AK mag recoveries while in combat)…

    Also, as a sidenote, the F2000 by FN was designed to be a modular weapon… One of the only reasons I can find for FN not investing in that, was because the procurement of the weapon as well as the need for a modular system AT THAT TIME did not justify building it! The way the FN F2000 is built, clearly shows it could have replacement barrels in various lengths replaced fairly rapidly, and the division into two separate parts (upper and lower) would make the transition from a 5.56 to a 7.62 NATO upper and lower more rapidly than the CM901, for instance… just separate the two halves and voilá…!

    I think that the lower F2000 lower could ‘easily’ (from a design POV) be made into a universal lower like the CM901…

    I think the F2000 futuristic design should be re-designed by FN and I would fidn it terrific if FN were to presnt two weapon systems, teh F2000 bulpup design and a 6.8 evolution of the SCAR into the competition…

    I think the bullpup has termendous potential that make it a far more ergonomic, far more reliable, far more compact weapon than the Ar-15 one… The problem is that the bullpup design has not have as much brainpower and investments as the Ar-15 had, and that is the only reason the bullpup is not at the stahe it should be by right… Done right, it’s advantages over the Ar-15 design are staggering! The FN F2000 has been chosen by some countries over the Ar-15 because of the obvious advantages of having a more compact weapon for both long and short distances combat situations!

    Remember, the 5.56 demands a long 16-inch barrel and you cannot have that on an Ar-15 M4 without sacrificing compactness and ergonomics…

    This is all why I think that the future relies on the evolution of the bullpup and Ar-18 gas piston designs…

    Like I said, if the problem is the ammo and the vast numbers of M4 already bought, sell them to any country in th world and you’ll get your money back to get a better weapon!

    Simple, isn’t it? LOL

    Cheers!

    So, th

  • SoulTown

    @ snmp

    The picture I’ve shown you was of Daniel Defense RIS II, which is a part of SOPMOD block 2 kit currently being issued. It is a military setup.

  • SoulTown

    @ Rijoenpial

    The SAS and number of other foreign units use C8 carbine, a Canadian rifle. I don’t think it’s all Noam Chomsky, mate.

  • Rijoenpial: The XM16E1 did face competitive testing against the AR-18, Stoner 63, and HK33 during the Small Arms Weapon Systems (SAWS) trials. These trials had already started before the decision was made to issue XM16E1 to all combat arms units in Vietnam. The AR-18 simply wasn’t ready for fielding at the time.

  • Lance

    A 6.8mm adoption is NOT going to happen. We had the ropund well near a decade now and even SOCOM abandoned the round. While theres NO caliber requirement of the competition the fact is the Army is makeing every check there weapons to shoot M-855A1 ammo so the new round is being tested the caliber is not going away. The Army dosnt have a barrel change requirment and even Col Tamilo commander of Army R&D says it wont determin a winner.

    So the fact is 9-out of ten chances we will have a simular gun after 3 years of testing. The guns listed offer no BIG advantge over the M-4 in 5.56mm.

  • subase

    Rijoenpial I doubt very much the FN F2000 was designed to be modular. It’s possible that they may use the forward ejection design for other calibres but it’s been ten years since first introduced and no respectable military force has adopted it. (Saudia Arabia don’t really count and Slovenia has a population of 2 million)

    The Bushmaster/Remington ACR has an AR-18 operating mechanism.

  • jdun1911

    The problem with the bullpup is that you fix one problem, one or more problems pop up to replace it.

    Lets take PS90, a very nice modern bullpup design. Magpul even copy the basic lay in their rifle bullpup. It solve the ambidextrous problem but at what cost? New magazine design and different way of loading the magazine into the firearm.

    As for bullpup that have forward ejection system. Those will fail in sandy environment.

  • Rijoenpial

    Subase,

    the modularity, as I said, was regarding more the barrel change for different lengths…At the time, the present day concept of ‘modularity’ (different barrel lengths, differet calibers) did not exist… I also said that I think one MAIN reasons for the FN not developping/investing in the modularity was because there wasn’t much procurement for the weapon and the modular aspect of it… The modularity was mentioned by an FNH rep some time ago…

    Daniel, gotcha… thanks again… I wasn’t directly implying during Vietnam War, but after it! Before the Colt Commando gave way to the M4… And of course, we all know that only the winner gets invested on, not the loser… Hence why of not for the efforts of FN with the F2000, or IMI with the Tavor and a few others, the bullpup design, and the Ar-18 design as well, would have fallen into oblivion and not have the slow, but steady developments they have had the past decades… When we see 30 companies offering at Exhibits the same regurgitated Ar-15 designs year after year just with new ambi controls, it just shows how stale the market has become!

    Subase,

    the 55,000 F2000 rifles Saudi Arabia bought may not be worldwide, but each and every country that bought the weapon recognise their value… Just because they don’t get into war all the time, doesn’t mean their SOF forces, who were the main users, don’t recognise their value… even Pakistna bought a few…

    Jdun,

    The problems you have addressed are minimal: the P90 MO is quickly learnable… and the forward ejection mode on the F2000 would be evolved (10 years have passed since the F2000 was first introduced in 2001) but only if the need should arise… The F2000 was designed to be free from debris, hence the rubber pads inside the mag well and the chamber window on the top… And the F2000 has a dust cover that protects the ejection tube, like the M4 has a dust cover…!

    I think that the bullpup design has a future, the AR-15 design is not! The reason three of the most innovative weapons these last decade came out of FN (the Five-seveN, the P90 and the F2000) was because the AR-15 market is cluttered!

    I sincerely hope this M4 competition, even if it’s a dud, presents us with some out of the box thinking, and some new weapons, but I agree with Lance, most likely we will see very minor changes, if any at all, but I think that a new weapon, should it exist, ought to be in a more reliable caliber, a more reliable system and a weapon system more in tune with the many fighting scenarios! In my opinion, we can’t have a 5.56 as it is anymore, a caliber that doesn’t penetrate, doesn’t hit a target with the stopping power that is required… Even the Israeli instructors have included in their training shooting the target until it drops, clearly talking about the 5.56 here! The mere fact that this new SOCOM 5.56 ammo happened 10 years after the Somali conflict clearly demonstrated that a caliber with more stopping power was needed, in fact, obligatory, even before that conflict! They just dragged their feet!

    If the winner should be an Ar-15 design in the 5.56 persuasion, just with the few addons the Military specs require, I will be not at all surprised… I will be more focused on the other entries and whether or not they are innovative and reliable!

    I will say this again, the notice before this one was more hope-lifting: the allowing of the presentation of different calibers provided the manufacturers would provide the ammo! It made me think that maybe this was for real this time and not just a gimmick! With this one, however, I am not so sure anymore! Time will tell!

    Come March, we will see where this is going… if anywhere at all!

    Cheers!

  • Aurelien

    @Jdun1911 : The P-90 is a good example of what i call a “designer rifle”. It’s a very nive, powerfull SMG in a compact and streamlined package, but the setup is pretty weird, it needs to be constantly in the shop to get fixed, and the magazine is a pain in the ass to reload.
    The fact is, when you finish your 50 rounds, you’re pretty much done. No way you will reload fast in a combat/stress situation.
    The FN2000 and the RFB are pretty much the same : they are technically nice weapons, but not really designed for your average foot soldier.

    As for the 7.62 vs 5.56, i’ve seen countless reports of people not falling after being shot with either of them.
    People running around after getting shot a few times with a FAL was a common sight in the 1960s central africa. In combat people tend to be pretty resilient, and when you get them really, really high, they can pretty much be blown to pieces and still try to take over your position.

  • Lance

    Saudi Arabia has more differnt types of rifles in service than most other armies period. I know there units armed with G-3 some with US issued M-16 and M-4s. And some even have Romanian or Russian AKMs.Most None Soviet bloc states have had alot of differnt wepons in service. Jordan has some armed with western weapons and I know of a HUGE Romanian AKM sale to the same Army. Isreal too has several wepons in service too. yes some use Tavor and M-16s. But there units with galils and some MP units armed with Uzis. Not all wepons are a success. FALs served Isreal from the 1956 Suez war till mid 1973 war. The wepons in the Syrian campaigns were prised but in the Sinai the FAL had coplants about long range accuracy and even sand clogs in the gun. Now we can debate if the M-16 given to Irealis was forward or backwards but thats differnt story. Main point here is apart from pure commie states like Syria preInvasion Iraq and libya most countries have alot of guns floting in there ranks and adoption of one dosnt mean its the dream gun of the future.

    As per claiber there are alot of good ideas past up due to military lagistics. The M-1 was a good point since a .270 type round was planned for it and offerd superior performence to the ,30 M1 ball round the military had. But due to politics and logistics it was passed up and the military stayed with 3006 for another 21 years. 5.56mm is the same 6.8 or Grendell is promising But no chance. I do hope we give Federal Hollow points the marines adopted a fair unbiased chance. Cops use 5.56mm for decades and with out a FMJ requriment the 5.56mm has some real good killing power useing expanding bullets. The fact is they rip apart and blow up in tissue and thats why cops use .223 over 6.8mm or older SWAT guns like .30 carbine M1. Lets wait and see how true riflemen feel and fight with piston AR M-27s and hollow point ammo from a LE stand point this will be very good and may Eliminate many shortcommings old FMJ AP rounds had.

  • Rijoenpial

    Aurelien,

    whether you use an SMG or an AR (as in ‘Assault Rifle’), you’ll know that most have different MOs and so you are supposed to practice ad nauseam until it becomes second nature to you, until you can reload that weapon, even disassemble and re-assemble it with your eyes closed!

    Being cool and remembering one’s training will certainly save their lives and the lives of the men next to them!

    Regarding the 7.62 stopping power, it will certainly buy you the few seconds you need to terminate the target (unless you simply graze the enemy)… That is one of the reasons I believe regular soldiers should attend anatomy classes during basic training, to enable them to identify key points of the nervous system that could enable them to neutralise the enemy quickly and effectively… The Brazilian BOPE SOF, for instance, are trained to automatically and systematically fire one at the chest and one at the head during engagements… Training that systematically, as they do, enables them to kill their opponent expeditiously, in a second or two… You can only achieve that with the right frame of mind, with the right training…!

    So,the weapon becomes of lesser importance, and the training takes precedence!

  • Lance

    The problem is NOT 5.56mm or 7.62mm its FMJ a Hollow point is fr surpior to a FMJ in knock down power.

  • Logan

    Is this even a real competition?
    If so what are the competitors?
    Which could replace the M4?

  • Lance

    @Logan

    Know one knows the army has two competitions in a era where there budget will be cut BIG time and even Remington and LWRC have stated they dont belive the com,pepetion will lead to a M-4 replacement. Most belive a improved M-4 might make it threw though.

  • Logan

    @lance

    What rifles are going to be in it?
    Would Any replace the M4?
    If not how many more years would we probably use the M4?

  • Lance

    @Logan

    Most enteries are M-4 upgrades like M6 and the HK 416. Theres a new hyper burst requrment that means even the ACR and others are not going to qualify which mean somthing new may come.

    But most put there money in the improved M-4.

  • Logan

    @lance

    So are you saying the M4 will be replaced or not?

    Realistically what rifle is 50% better?

  • Lance

    @Logan

    My money says no about 60\40%. The Army is haveing too many confusing competitions to upgrade them M-4 and only one modefied test for a better weapon. The Army is buying over 10,000 M-4A1s for elittroops and will be adding a piston system and free floating hand guards too them.

    Some designs offer a differnt package like the ACR can change barrels and claibers. But the Army is forceing companies too chosse between 5.56mm and 7.62 NATO caibers unless a comany wants to give free with out charge a million rounds of differnt ammo, thats not going to happen.

    The biggest clue to me is tha last friday the Army changed the requirements of any new carbine to have hyper burst option to it. Hyper burst is only found in the AN-94 which it can shoot two rounds so fast the shooter only feels one rounds recoil. No current US or NATO design has this capibility the ACR XCR FN and all M-4s cannot do this at all. Meaning every one will goto the drawing board or just quit this dumb madness.

    there is no need to replace the M-4 its fine for a 5.56mm weapon only a cliber change will bring any new weapon to the army.

  • Lance – can you post links to the info you posted, about the million rounds having to be donated and the hyper burst option?

  • Lance

    @Tony Willams

    Here Tony

    http://kitup.military.com/2011/03/army-wants-hyper-burst-in-improved-carbine.html

    As per ammo the Army RFP has stated that the maker who has a weapon that is NOT 5.56mm NATO will have to supply its own ammo for the competition.

  • Some Guy

    Money isn’t an issue. If every single soldier in our Armed forces, that is, 3 million, were to get a new rifle, for 2000 dollars a pop, that would be 6 billion dollars.

    That is the price of a single Aircraft Carrier. It costs 1 billion dollars per year to support an aircraft carrier.

    Considering that this would be guns for the entire military (which only a fraction of that is actually combat troops), one expenditure of 12 billion dollars would be good enough to take make the entire military vastly more effective.

    For the price of a couple of planes, two aircraft carriers, etc., 12 out of 800 billion dollars currently allocated to our military would not go to a squadron of planes of a single ship…

    But to the vast bulk and majority of what our fighting combat troops are; infantry. A 200% improvement in capability isn’t just a single weapon system being upgraded, but a force wide deployment, possibly thousands of individual combat units, becoming 200% more effective. The bulk of our fighting force.

    The tremendous increase in power would be so great it might just set us over to win the war.

    And yet it would be 12/800, or 1/66.66 of the price.

    Money, is not an issue. And all you idiots who actually believe in politics who think that, cutting away money from rifles and education is going to solve anything, are essentially believing that a glass of water will be good enough to put out a house fire; a glass of water that you stole from dehydrating people in a desert. The tiny amount of money spent could have such an enormous effect, yet everyone thinks that fucking pocket change, 1 billion dollars, which is the upkeep on an aircraft carrier, compared to the 700 billion dollars given to GM, is going to be so huge on the budget.

  • Lance

    It will cost more than you think and cost per solder is not 3 million that would cripple the defese department. The more and more vital programs get cut more money from other programs will be needed for new APCs and MBTs fo there will be money issues.

  • Kevin

    I’d like to see an FN-P90 style with 5.56 ammo, it could also have enough room underneath for a single 25mm grenade launcher. Compact, lightweight, and since it’s a bull-up design, it can still be compact while having the longer barrel! Did I mention it should be 5.56, I hope you’re listening FN!!! BTW the FN-45 Tactical should also be considered as a standard sidearm and how about that MK-48 machine gun, FN has good stuff! If not, then the HK 416 all the way, easy choice, my 2 cents!

  • Kevin, what you’re after is one of these: http://www.magpul.com/pdfs/PDRtech_PR.pdf

  • Lance

    Sorry HK has the good stuff by a long shot.

  • Logan

    So my question is how many more years will we use the M4

  • Logan

    I have some questions about this

    1) is there a 2011 M4 replacement competition?

    2) if so what are the competitors

    3) is there a rifle in the competition that is 50% better that justifies the cost of all new rifles and training

    4) what are the chances of the M4 being replaced since the Army is the only one who wanted the competition

    5) how many more years will the marines use the M16A4

    6) how many more years will the Army and airforce use the M4

  • Lance

    Ok Logan I told you already yes there is a new carbine tecnology competition there over 20 competitiors. Many include HK 416 Remington ACR and Modular Gas Pision carbine and LWRC AR.

    I also told you this is a competition to see if there is a gun thats a MAJOR LEAP AHEAD of the M-4 which most peolpe say no. The Army is also upgradeing the M-4 with a new heavy barrel, gas piston, and free floating tube for the barrel. The army is buying over 12,000 M-4A1s this year alone.

    The USMC is NOT particapating in this competition and the Air Force isnt either. The USMC planes to us A4s for at least another decade. The Air Force is still using M-16A2s and M-4s and have NO plans to replace them.

    If you want to know more goto Army.mil and there a article on ARNEWS section that is about body armor but the last paragrath is about the M-4 and main pentagon generals tell congress there plans goto that if you want more awnsers.

    M-4 is here to stay in my opinion.

  • Logan

    How long is the M4 here to stay for the Army

    How long is the m16a4 here to stay for the marines

    How long is the m4 and m16a2 here to stay for the airforce

    What is the primary rifle for the navy and how long is it here to stay

  • Lance

    @ Logan

    The navy still uses M-16A2 and A3 and the Navy Air Force and USMC are NOT having any plans to replace there current weapons at least for 10 years. The improved M-4 when finnally made will be standerd issue for probably 10-20 years at least.

  • Logan

    @ lance

    Could you put the branch of th US military their primary rifle(s) and how many more years they will use it at least in bullet points?

    Thanks

  • Lance

    Logan

    Navy M-16A3 and M-16A2
    Army M-16A2 and M4
    USMC M-16A4 and M4
    USAF M-4 M-16A2
    USCG M-16A2

  • Logan

    @lance

    Now could you put how many more years they will use these rifles

  • Lance

    10 to 20 I think.

  • Logan

    @ lance
    Will you put the the branch of the military and their primary rifle and how many more years they will use the rifle

  • Lance

    Logan I already did this

  • Logan

    Lance not years with every rifle
    DO IT AGAIN

  • joshua berry

    complete waste, more than likely none of the rifles will be any better and we will end up keeping the M4A1, personally id like to see a new caliber.

    the .300Blk is promising, 7.62×35, designed for SBR rifles, and built to use everything on the current AR-15 platform except for the barrel.

    it also seems to have better terminal ballistics by far, has a supersonic and subsonic round, its better on suppressors, and good for out to 300meters