Competing carbines outperformed M4 in IC Competition

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A report leaked from to journalists says the carbines competing in the Army’s Improved Carbine competition outperformed the M4A1, despite the Army’s attempts to make the competition as favorable to the M4 as possible. Washington Times reports

A competing rifle outperformed the Army’s favored M4A1 carbine in key firings during a competition last year before the service abruptly called off the tests and stuck with its gun, according to a new confidential report.

The report also says the Army changed the ammunition midstream to a round “tailored” for the M4A1 rifle. It quoted competing companies as saying the switch was unfair because they did not have enough time to fire the new ammo and redesign their rifles before the tests began.

Exactly how the eight challengers — and the M4 — performed in a shootout to replace the M4, a soldier’s most important personal defense, has been shrouded in secrecy.

But an “official use only report” by the Center for Naval Analyses shows that one of the eight unidentified weapons outperformed the M4 on reliability and on the number of rounds fired before the most common type of failures, or stoppages, occurred, according to data obtained by The Washington Times.

Army.mil reported in June 2013 after the competition was canceled

None of the vendors were able to meet the requirements to pass into phase three,” Ostrowski said. “I want to be very clear — none of the vendors met the minimum requirements to allow them to phase three. The Army is not canceling the Individual Carbine competition. The Army is in a position where it must conclude the Individual Carbine competition, because none of the competitors met the minimum requirement to pass into the next phase.”

The eight competitors in the competition included Adcor Defense, Beretta, Colt, Fabrique Nationale, Heckler & Koch, Lewis Machine & Tool, Remington and Troy. Those competitors all passed phase one of the competition, but did not pass the second phase.

Like I have said many times before. They did not want a new carbine and never planned on choosing a successor to the M4.

Thanks to Christopher for the tip.



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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  • Distant Voice

    The same thing happened with the M14, and then secretary of defense McNamara ordered the M16 to be adopted immediately and unchanged along with 5.56.

    But back then the M14 didn’t have a huge civilian defense industry making clones and accessories that is deeply intertwined with the military. So if anything, the problem of corruption and bias against new rifles is even worse today than ever before.

    • dp

      Yeah, you are right, it was M.N. – former auto industry executive who “outperformed” M14. Politics as usual.

      • Zachary marrs

        The m14 won out over the fal due to some backdoor politics by Springfield armory

        • bucherm

          And it one out over the AR-10 for similar reasons(plus Armalite going against Stoner’s advice and using a “composite” barrel in the tests)

    • Upstart AR-15 manufacturers have just as much to gain from bashing the M4 as manufacturers making alternate designs.

    • Geodkyt

      The M14 vs. FAL and M14 vs, AR10 tests were VERY rigged in favor of teh M14.

      The FAL vs. FAL the most — carefully tuned M14s, specifically adjusted for maximum perfomance in each different environmental test were used, instead of the same rifles used throughout the competition, as the test protocols stated and the FALs did.

      Springfield Armory also ran “pre-tests”, then arbitraily discarded any test prgrams where they couldn;t show the M14 as superior. This is all WELL documentd.

      As is teh fact that Springfield Armory had ALREADY taken the taxpayer on a 10 year ride of fail, waste, LIES (such as, “Oh, we can use 90% of the Garand tooling!”) and blind alleys, creating the M14 in the first place. (Compare the M14 development cycle to the BM59 development. And the BM59 really COULD use Garand tooling to produce it. . . )

      McNamara (who really was an incompetant SOB, but was right on this call) already KNEW Springfield Armory was lying to him and wasting money.

  • Pat

    It’s pretty clear that the Army set the bar very high. I’m not sure that’s entirely unjustified considering the cost of switching to a new weapon system. Without the full report to look at ourselves, it’s impossible to tell just how significant the differences really were. We don’t know the majority of the testing criteria. From the quotes in the article, the information appears to have been brought forward by someone with an agenda, so I think it’s fair to say we should take it all with a grain of salt to begin with.

    • JSmath

      Problem is that NO carbine “met the minimum requirements to enter phase three” – so grain of salt or not, there’s still some fishy bs about how competing products performed better than the current weapon but were deemed inadequate to replace the weapon that was outperformed.

      • Joshua

        The requirement was 3,000 MRBS to enter phase III. Only one competitor out performed the M4A1’s MRBS and it only had 2,500MRBS.

        But it also broke long before the M4A1 did, which had better parts life than any other rifle entered.

        • Jay

          The test was rigged from the start. Look what happened to the guy who was in charge of the test back then. General Casey. He got an executive job at Colt. Then this ammo change mid test BS.
          FN, HK and Bereta, not able to make a rifle, in 21st century, to outperform a 40 tears old, bad design…..Yeah, sounds legit.

          • Joshua

            No, the munition from the atart of the test was M855A1. It was not changed half way through, and if it had been rigged for Colt to win their 6940P-IC would have won.

            As is FNH is benefitting from the M4A1 staying.

          • Jay

            FN is not benefiting from that. FN won a bid for the M4A1 program.
            This competitions for main rifle are always a joke. It’s first, politics, bribes, political BS and the last criteria is always performance. The last US rifle that deserved it’s place in service was M1Garand. Even that was made in the wrong caliber.
            The rest were all politically motivated failures.

          • M4 is much more reliable than the M1 Garand.

          • Zachary marrs

            Yup, my m1 garand needs to be lubed up every 50 rounds before it starts getting slugish, if im lucky, I can make it to 100 rounds before it starts to jam. I will admit that those are reloads using pulled m2 ball projectiles and 47.5 grains of imr 4895

          • Yep. It still brings a smile to my face that my Colt ran through 400 rounds in a New Mexico dust storm with no malfunctions (hadn’t been cleaned in about 1500 rounds when I started), needing only a squirt of CLP at the very end to remove a little sluggishness. This, while my marksmanship instructor, who had previously ribbed me for bringing out a “toy” gun, struggled to keep his M14 running. 🙂

          • Zachary marrs

            Im actually going out to Arizona to a good friends house, so far I haven’t put my ar through a sand storm, so maybe ill rectify that!

          • Have fun! A well built and maintained AR (which some will read to mean “expensive”, though Colt/BCM/DD are really no more spendy than a good AK, and quite a bit cheaper than their supposedly superior competition) will definitely surprise when set against tough conditions.

          • whskee

            Don’t take this the wrong way but how old is the M2HB? We still haven’t found a reliable replacement that maintains the same ROF and reliability. If a system works and works moderately well, it very well may go for a very long time without replacement.

          • What do you mean a bunch of gas-operated, rotary bolt, aluminum/polymer 5.56mm select-fire assault rifles couldn’t improve substantially over another gas-operated, rotary bolt, aluminum/polymer 5.56mm select-fire assault rifle using the exact same ammunition and magazines? Conspiracy!

      • Pat

        Again, I point to cost. The cost of re-equipping the entire military with a new rifle is extreme. In an era of shrinking budgets, they would need to point to a very significant increase in reliability in order to justify the cost of scrapping what they have, dumping all the spare parts, buying new equipment, retraining soldiers and armorers, etc. 500 rounds between stoppages isn’t really all that bad when you consider most (though certainly not all) firefights don’t go long enough for a soldier to expend that much ammunition. I don’t know the standard infantry loadout, but I would imagine it’s in the area of 6 mags plus one in the rifle for a total of 210 rounds. As a comment below points out, the “winner” also required serious maintenance with 25% fewer rounds than the M4, which is, in my mind, a more serious issue than a jam which can be cleared in 10 seconds or less (which the 500/2500 number refers to). I’m not saying the M4 got beat in the tests, I’m just saying that without the full report we really don’t know how badly. Hell, for all we know, the reliability “winner” can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Without the full report we don’t have enough information to make a determination.

        • Joshua

          The M4A1 also had to use general issue aluminum mags as they are the “issued” mag for the M4, while everyone else could submit any mag for testing as it was considered to,be part of the rifle.

          • Pat

            And if I recall, the aluminum mags were also one of the reasons the M4 lost the dust test several years ago.

  • Jack Morris

    It’s a damn shame that dirty politics get in the way of choosing the primary weapon for our soldiers. On the bright side, the M4 is a pretty solid weapon system. At least we aren’t still stuck on the M1 Carbine.

    • Zachary marrs

      Hey. Dont diss the war baby. Thing had what, 2 years of development and was 100% reliable

      • Jack Morris

        Hell, I like the M1 Carbine, but I wouldn’t choose it over an M4 in a fight.
        It is funny about how shooters will gush over the power of a 357 magnum, but then shit all over the M1 as an anemic gun. Damn near the same cartridge, folks.

        • Zachary marrs

          Ive just finished my first ar build, so my m1 is a safe queen, but yeah

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            What are the specs on your pee shooter

          • Zachary marrs

            More or less a spikes tactical build, 16″ middy, no optics on it yet, magpul furniture, bcm gunfighter charging handle.

            Nuthin fancy

        • Nicks87

          Out of the same length barrel the cartridges perform similarly but the 357 projectile is larger in diameter which would allow for heavier bullets than the 30 carbine. So you could say that 357 mag is more potent. More lead flying at the same speed being my point.

          • JMLipoff

            Though at the same time the .30 carbine has better penetration. .357 for instance will be stopped by a helmet, while a .30 carbine will not. If that even matters for anything.

        • Cymond

          I’ve also heard old-time shooters say that 9mm sucks, but 38 Special is a reliable stopper. They don’t realize the 2 rounds are nearly identical sizes & weights (.355 vs .357 diameter), but the 9mm has more velocity. The only advantage 38 Special has is that a SWC is arguably a bit more effective than a round-nose ball (assuming no hollowpoints, of course).

        • Turner

          Fighting is one thing, but practical use is another. I’ve killed more hogs with my rossi model 1892 in .357 than any other gun I own. I wish I had an M1, I feel like it would be a go to under the circumstances I would use it under. Then again, South Texas hogs aren’t wearing frozen Korean coats.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            What do those hogs wear down there? Over here by me the women are very large. We call them corn fed. It takes a big man, and a bigger gun

          • Zachary marrs

            M1 carbine is perfect for texas hogs

        • Pimpin OnCrack

          Next time they shít on it, ask them if they would do a favor and volunteer to be shot with one in the face. They can choose the distance.

      • It was reliable enough for the time, but it compares pretty unfavorably in reliability with post-war designs. Basically all the selfloaders from that generation shared that.

        • Zachary marrs

          Ive never had mine jam, but the short stroke piston is annoying. Just dont shoot wolf ammo

          • I have seen more M1 Carbines jam at the range than I have AR-15s of any kind. And I’ve seen a LOT more people at the range with AR-15s.

            Both the Russians, and later the Americans discovered the virtue of closed-receiver rifles after WWII.

          • Zachary marrs

            Ive had trouble with old ww2 surplus ammo, I just break it down and use the brass and bullet

          • Good point about Wolf ammo. I like most of their offerings just fine, but for whatever reason their .30 Carbinr ammo is awful. That could be the sole reason for the high malf rate I’ve seen in Carbines, but I’ve also seen a high malf rate in other open-mechanism guns (M1 Garand, M14, Mini, etc).

            IMO, the more closed your receiver, the more reliable your gun will tend to be, though after a certain point being too closed (Kel-Tec RFB) makes malf clearance hard.

            M1 Garand/M1 Carbine/Mini good, SVT/FN-49/Vz. 58 better, FAL/AK/AR-15 best.

          • Zachary marrs

            I have no clue what it is about wolf, ive seen the crack bolts, not good. Bad mags are a big problem as well

            A cool story, my dad used to have one of those rebuilt m1 carbines, and it wouldn’t eject the last round on a 15 round mag, the problem was the extractor claw was gone, to the point it wouldn’t pull out the rounds, but even then it would shoot the first 14 rounds like a champ. I agree with you that the closed system is better, but the carbine aint nothing to sneeze at

          • The Carbine has truly atrocious mags, but then, there was reasoning behind that (many crappy mags > few excellent ones, in an era where excellent production engineering and airborne logistics was not assured).

            The Carbine will extract/eject, usually, even without an extractor, thanks to residual gas pressure and enough tension on the bolt and spent case from the next round in the mag.

          • Zachary marrs

            I cant tell you how many mags ive had to toss because the locking nubs keep shearing off

    • JSmath

      Biggest problem the M1 Carbine had was it’s users being afraid it wasn’t enough when it was.

      • Zachary marrs

        Fear was unfounded, reports of bullets bouncing off coats were found to be misses

        • Sulaco

          OK now I want your source for this continued slur on our troops of WWII. Put up or shut up.

          • Zachary marrs

            The last two dtic posts have fools like you continuing to ignore facts. http://Www.theboxotruth.com/thebox-o-truth/frozen-clothing-and-the-box-o-truth

            Hey, wait. I renember you. Dont you learn?

          • Sulaco

            The Box of Truth? That’s your “proof”? OK you stay in your mom’s basement and beleave an on line non scientific tester that is playing around and having fun. I have talked with the men that were there and saw and did it, unlike you bedroom commando’s that know everything and by that I mean nothing. And while we are at it, lets have your scientific or LE qualifications to lie and pontificate like you know any thing about the subject at hand.

          • Zachary marrs

            This insult again? Grow the hell up and admit you are wrong. Do you have proof other than what you heard at the vfw? No?

          • Zachary marrs

            Being a cop doesn’t make you an expert in ballistics, fool

            What proof do you have, the test that was performed has been done multiple times, by lots of people, including me, have you done any such test? No?

          • Sulaco

            Still waiting for ANY proof other than insults. Your qualifications please!!! Military, Civilian LE or scientific……waiting…..still waiting.
            Naw didn’t think so. Also please list the place time and date and scientific results of YOUR “tests” and please list the “lots of people” that also did your “tests”.

          • Zachary marrs

            Where are your qualifications?

            Ive reloaded for 20 years, starting with the .30 carbine and .45 acp
            Ive shot my carbine for abput as long, and used it to run several carbine courses
            I have done the frozen winter jacket test twice, both times the bullets went through

          • displacer

            I 100% agree with Zachary here. You would have to be literally retarded to believe it possible that a 110 grain FMJ projectile doing about 2,000 FPS at the muzzle would bounce off a cotton batted winter coat, the NIJ recommends a Level III ballistic vest to stop .30 Carbine (same thing they recommend for .308 and .30-06.) They don’t just make those numbers up, they test them and .30 Carbine has been shown to be able to defeat Level II consistently and Level IIIa intermittently.

            I have no idea how any sane adult can continue to give credence to this obvious myth, if a quilted coat can stop .30 Carbine then most carry handguns should be stopped by a nylon tracksuit or something. The projectile fired from an M1 Carbine has a ballistic coefficient equal to or greater than most pistol rounds combined with _far_ more velocity

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Next time try the frozen jacket test while you are wearing it. With Sulaco behind you, and tell us how far it goes after penetrating both of you. Don’t penetrate each other, let the bullet do the penetrating only.

          • Zachary marrs

            Place time and date? Tha fuck you on meth? I guess you will also want to see my drivers license?

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Watch out he may be a serial àss raper trying to lure you into position.

          • It is ok to be wrong Sulaco, just cut your losses and move along.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            If he’s a cop he can’t admit he’s wrong. He will argue it, then shoot you.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Qualifications don’t mean jack. Just look at cops, most of them are below average intelligence direction followers, who would be considered sociopaths if they were evaluated. So what the hell does that matter. Hopefully somebody shoots you on your next shift, then you can share your qualifications. A head shot would be awesome.

          • dan

            We get it you don’t like cops, now shut up you’re starting to sound like a douche that broke the law and whines when he faced the consequences

          • Tothe

            Breaking laws isn’t always a bad thing. A bunch of colonists broke bad laws in 1775, you may recall. It has been at various times and places “illegal” to own certain plants, books, beverages, coins, etc.

            If you base your morality on legality, you’re gonna have a bad time.

          • It seems you have no tolerance for anyone disagreeing with you on the M1 Carbine, anywhere. I have seen you comment on several of my posts, starting the same conversation over and over.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Like what? Let’s see your source. And the source that says you need to breathe to stay alive. Give me your sources you queers

          • Zachary marrs

            And hes usually arguing with me! 😛

          • To be fair, I also enjoy arguing with you. 😉

          • Zachary marrs

            Everyone does

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            If he is a cop it’s even more likely he is lying through his teeth. They are the most extreme liars. And more dangerous than the criminal element in your area, because they get away with it.

          • Zachary marrs

            There was even a government study, post korea, about the mythical lack of stopping power, I belive it was “the effects of infantry weapons in the korean war” perhaps steve would be so kind as to link to a digital copy, as I dont know where to find it.
            Needless to say, most “failures to stop” were actually misses.

            Do you even belive in ballistics, or do you think gun powder is a mix of fary dust and gnome farts that push the mystical chunk of lead using the power of magic? Because to hear you say it, a red rider bb gun is more powerful!

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Hey where is this fary dust and gnome farts? I live in eastern South Africa, so things are a bit different here. Can I hunt them in the states?

          • Zachary marrs

            No, we have to poach them over here

          • dan

            How is he any different than you? You “talked with the men” oh so you heard it second hand? And soldier most definately don’t lie or obscure the truth? I am not saying he is right and you’re wrong just don’t call people out on their facts when your facts are just as relevant.

          • displacer

            According to some of the soldiers I’ve talked guns with all AKs fire the exact same round as M240s because “they’re both thirty cals.” They’ve also told me that if a .50 BMG passes within 10 feet of someone it will shatter or completely rip off their limbs due to the bullet’s bow shock, and if it scores a direct hit on a person they will literally explode. Neither of these things are anywhere remotely true, the first can be disproved by as little as reading the caliber on any AK while the BMG shockwave myth has been debunked over and over again by hunters and other BMG rifle owners.

            I think it’s safe to say that the basic marksmanship and simple maintenance procedures that most soldiers are taught do not automatically a ballistics expert make, nor do they (or anyone else) have superhuman recall of what happens in the heat of battle. Studies by the Navy have specifically shown that human perception is warped by stressful and violent situations to the point where firsthand accounts are almost always incorrect in at least one major way, everyone in a squad can remember a shared event completely differently.

            If you think that a cotton coat warping the laws of physics to stop a 110 grain bullet going 2,000 fps is more plausible than a soldier simply not realizing they are missing a great deal of shots fired at an enemy who is evading and returning fire I don’t know what to tell you. After-action studies of every war have showed that almost every single round of small arms fire doesn’t really hit its mark, the estimate for rounds fired to enemy soldiers killed in Vietnam was 50,000 to one. Recently in in Iraq and Afghanistan the GOA estimated that US forces were firing 250,000 rounds for every one insurgent killed. That isn’t a typo, as of 2011 the US military was plowing through 1.8 billion rounds of ammo a year

          • Cymond

            I heard the 50 BMG myth from an ex-Marine back in 2006. Of course, same guy also claimed that he could shoot the “nuts” off a target on the shooting range with an M-16 at 500 yards, repeatedly. Obviously that’s a complete load of bull, considering that’s far beyond the accuracy potential of an M-16.
            Now that I think about it, I didn’t have anyway to confirm that he was even really a vet.

          • Tpike

            Actually as a former Marine I can tell you we have to qualify at 500 yards yearly with the M16, Or M4 or M27 IAR

          • Commonsense23

            Yes you can, but even if your rifle was capable of 1MOA, which the M16 and M4 are not(don’t know about the HK), coupled with M855, you would be lucky to get a 5inch grouping. Probably closer to 10, which isn’t going to let you reliably shoot the nuts off something.

          • sickofthespin

            You haven’t seen my nuts!

          • Cymond

            CommonSense basically said what I meant to say. Although the M-16 can definitely reach out to 500 yards, it won’t “shoot off his nuts” reliably. Human-sized targets – yes. Fist-sized targets – no.

          • sickofthespin

            Tpike is right. I’m a former Marine and I qualified regularly, at 500 yards and yes I hit what I aimed at. I miss those young eyes!

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Him marine him live in cave eat raw meat so him smart

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Have you ever used wild game hides in your tests?

          • John

            Why don’t you think the tests are legitimate?

          • Zachary marrs

            The m1 carbine was made for sub 200 yard firefights, this was pushed in the korean war, where the m1 carbine was expected to do the job of the m1 garand. Would you shoot a man with a .357 magnum handgun witj a 3 inch barrel?

          • Nicks87

            Jerry Miculek would and he’d probably make a youtube video to prove it.

          • Zachary marrs

            Jerry miculek could kill chuck norris, twice.

          • Zachary marrs

            You are the kind of guy who, if he heard Christopher Columbus say the world was round, would be all like “nu uh you basement dweller! My dad said its flat! “

          • Sulaco

            You THINK there was a study while you pronounce from on high with your decades long knowledge base of reloading? You spout hot air and opinion as if its a fact that you can not back up with anything but opinion from sufing the internet for lack of any real experience and insult better men than you will ever be. Go back to Call of Duty III its as close as you will ever come. Peace out

          • Zachary marrs

            I have the study on my bookcase, I just haven’t looked for it online.

            Im amazed that you even read.

            And no thanks, I prefer fallout

          • DMZ

            Hell yes, Fallout. Anyway it’s pretty interesting that fighting in northern Europe during the winter didn’t result in the same frozen clothing myth. Whereas by the Korean war M1 Carbines were equipped with a full auto switch and were often used that way. Hm…

          • 45LC

            What’s up with that boner for Zachary, damn man. Did you not notice you’re the minority on this topic so far with other comments?

            Also, ditch the green collar worship. They’re just as fallible as the rest of us.

          • Cymond

            Where’s your proof, other than some second-hand stories from some veterans?
            I’ll take a pile of circumstantial evidence over some second-hand rumors any day.

          • Revere

            As far as I can tell you’ve been spouting hot air without any facts to back it up….

          • Turner

            You are a certified clown. I love how you’re calling out everybody else’s information as bunk when you’ve supplied a bunch of second hand stories without a shred of actual proof. Where are YOUR scientific credentials? Where is proof of YOUR LEO background (that if matters with this subject)? Where are videos of YOU bouncing 30 carbine off of frozen coats? Get a clue or grow a brain.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            He sounds like he’s a cop. Wonder what he does when he’s not playin keyboard commando.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            You are the dîpshit with the picture of a computer in your avatar spot. Get a clue àss monkey.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            You are wrong. He has 2 moms

          • JSmath

            You realize our troops were the same nincompoops who reported the M16 as being failure prone when they were neglecting to care for and clean/oil it (on top of 556 NATO being loaded with bad powder during initial years of issue), right?

            The Israeli Police still issue and use the M1 Carbine.

            Many people have tested the .30 Carbine’s penetration power, and the result is always the same:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVgX2zLO_Jk

          • sianmink

            It’s not that they neglected to care for them.
            It’s that they weren’t issued cleaning kits, and were told these new wonder rifles didn’t need maintenance at all.

          • Tothe

            .30 carbine isn’t too far behind the .300 Blackout, which isn’t exactly a weakling round. On paper it has slightly less energy than a 5.56, but a 110 gr. 7.62mm projectile @ almost 2000 FPS is nothing to sneeze at.

          • Guest

            Audie Murphy must have had the one good M1 I guess….

          • guest

            If believes Carbine bounced off frozen, winter coats, then also believes:

            – 45 drops a man in one shot, always
            – 9mm is anemic
            – 5.56 was a mistake
            – 5.7 never killed a soul
            – Racking a pump shotgun makes bad guys flee without fail

            Amiright, folks? Did I miss anything? 🙂

          • Zachary marrs

            – the .22 isn’t a real gun
            – shoot a home invader in the back of the head and turn him over and shoot him in the face so it doesn’t look like murder

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            You forgot your mom is a pornstar. I’ve seen her, she’s a door mat.

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            You guys that always want a source like that are usually the ones who are wrong, but to hardheaded to even admit it when the source is provided. So go crawl back under your rock and suck on mamas tit for dinner.

          • Tothe

            If you think a frozen coat will stop .30 carbine, there’s a simple test. Freeze a damp coat after setting it up on a mannequin.100 yards downrange. Shoot it. Then eat crow. Unless it’s a fur coat so caked in ice that its wearer is dead already from hypothermia, you’ll punch through it.

      • James

        At least the WWII Germans thought it highly enough to issue what they captured. Even elite units like paratroopers and SS LAH were issued the M1 Carbine.

        • Nicks87

          I dont think the germans using the M1 had much of a choice. More out of necessity.

          • Zachary marrs

            Has anyone ever seen german troops with m1 garands?

          • Pimpin OnCrack

            Has anyone here seen German troops? The war ended almost 70 years ago.

          • Zachary marrs

            Dag namit! 70 years already?!?!

            It felt like I punched that nazi in his face just yesterday…..

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Everybody thinks they’re gonna get a chance to punch some Nazi in the face in Normandy, but those days are over. They’re long gone.

          • Zachary marrs

            The only good movie, the sequels were garbage

        • Yellow Devil

          The Germans were known (notorious) for taking their adversary’s weapons and pressing them into service for their own use. A clear example of this was the Soviet PPSh-41, which they captured in large numbers and were able to use their own 7.63x25mm Mauser ammunition. This largely stemmed from not only the necessity of War but the rather low production output of the Axis armament industries compared to the Allies.

        • Pimpin OnCrack

          Yea because they were down to swords basically.

      • BillC

        These comments about thebM1 Carbine made my morning.

      • dp

        Exactly: in addition, the .30 cal carbine ammo could have been further developed (bullet for sure). Also, the structure could have been altered or modified to take use of modern materials and processes. It is of low impulse, easy to control weapon with many adherents around the world. With trained finger on trigger it is good to 300 yrds. Statistically, most engagements take place in 100 -200 yrds range. For the rest of it you have 7.62 x 51.

        • The M1 Carbine did see further development. Its progeny lost to the AR-15.

          The Gustafson Carbine in a caliber fairly similar to .221 Fireball (41gr at 3,000 ft/s) was found to be decidedly superior to the M1 Carbine, and better than the Garand at short ranges due to its low recoil.

          The Winchester LMR was a further development of the same basic principles of the M1 Carbine, and was very lightweight indeed, despite its conventional construction. It lost out to the AR-15, eventually.

    • dp

      Watch out…. no politics, just guns…)))))

      • Pimpin OnCrack

        Guns are politics

    • Pimpin OnCrack

      It is a shame. And it has caused lives in other tests, which is equivalent to murder. Every level of government is infected with this disease. We can’t even have an honest test to get the troops the best anymore. Hang em all

  • Zachary marrs

    The m4 did better in class 3 stoppages, those have to be cleared by an armory

    • Joshua

      Meaning every rifle that was entered broke faster than the M4A1.

      • Zachary marrs

        Yup, thats the neat thing about the ar, its almost too easy to work on

  • big daddy

    This is why I don’t trust the Army about the M855A1. They have always made their testing unscientific in terms of keeping an even playing field and providing data. You cannot have a test be scientific if you change something in the middle of that test and you cherry pick things. The parameters must be set and followed to have a legitimate outcome. If things do not go the way that the Army wants they will change things to suit them. Historically they have done that time and time again, like with the Bradley vehicles. They do what they want and do not answer to anybody including congress, they just lie.

    • Joshua

      They didn’t change ammunition mid test. Every manuf. was supplied with 10,000 rounds free of M855A1 before the trials to do last minute changes on their rifles. More could have been requested at a cost to the manuf.

      Everyone knew nearly a year in advance that M855A1 would be the round being used.

      • Not to mention that M855A1 is a drop in replacement for M855, and the M4 hasn’t been changed to accomodate the new round specifically.

        So if these guys are whining that M855A1 made their weapons perform poorly, they are basically saying their weapons are more ammunition sensitive than the M4 and/or that their weapons can’t closely enough match military specifications to use service ammunition.

        • Joshua

          That’s pretty much spot on with what happened. Even after making adjustments the entrants beat themselves to death.

    • J.T.

      The competitors were given plenty of forewarning that the change to M855A1 was going to be happening and the Army gave each of them 10,000 rounds of the new ammo to test their rifles with and make any changes. There was over a year and a half between the Army changing to the new ammo for the competition and the second phase of testing that the live fire tests were done in. It is nothing more than the competitors throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get a contract.

      • big daddy

        From what understand the manufacturers just gave up and let it roll. They had enough and probably knew the Army was blowing smoke. It was time to cut your loses as a business and move to something else in R&D. The Army was sticking with the M4. I cannot believe not one of the designs was better than the M4 and could not pass to enter phase three whatever that is.

        • Joshua

          Well it is the truth, one rifle performed better in Class I and II stoppages, but the M4A1 performed better in Class III stoppages which are the most important ones.

    • Lance

      M855A1 has mostly god reports in combat in the sand box. Only down side its a really dirty powder they use for it.

  • Joshua

    It is worth pointing out only one rifle had better MRBS than the M4A1, while the M4A1 had the best MRBEFF by far.

    • Josh, it sounds like you have some information I have not seen. Would you be willing to share? I’ve seen very little official documentation on IC.

    • n0truscotsman

      “There is no Military that will go to a new rifle that costs twice as much as their current rifle, and has to be rebuilt twice as fast…..even if it does have half the stoppages as the current rifle.”

      thank you, im glad some people can see this and it completely eluded Washington Times too.

  • I am working towards getting an article out handling this topic. I’ve found it difficult to write, so far, since the subject is fragile.

    • Commonsense23

      Can you guys at least explain to the masses who don’t know how to read these reports, important facts such as the M4A1 had the least failures in Class 3 failures, the most important ones. Or that the round “tailored” to the M4 the competitors are complaining about is the M855A1, which everybody new we were going to for years. And the competitors got 10,000 rounds free, and more if they paid for it.

      • All good points. I’ll be covering the gamut, I hope, in my end-of-month post later this week.

    • guest

      Nope, the subject is not delicate, only certain people are “delicate” as in fail to admit they support something out of passion/affection rather than form and function.
      AKA immaturity.

      • I’m sorry, come again?

        • guest

          i.e. the only “delicate” part IMHO is the people who wholeheartedly believe in superiority of any DI weapon, the same people who ignore all its drawbacks.

          • I’m willing to be persuaded that these drawbacks you mention with DI exist, and are significant, if you’ll provide me with the sources you base this opinion on.

    • whskee

      My thinking leans that they made the right decision at this point. Even if I hand you wonder rifle B that is only slightly better than what you have, do you want to spend the money to replace your already substantial inventory, not to mention losing all the parts and maintenance items you’ve already bought? They want something that has immediate and positive gains. Nothing shown has been worth the switch. We have to consider the other variables. Inventory, training, backwards compatibility, etc.

      When we were given the SCAR 16 and 17, we only wanted the 17 for the 7.62mm. The 16 wasn’t doing anything for us that we couldn’t solve with our M4A1/CQBR combo. They bought it anyway, and finally listened about a year later that none of us wanted or needed it (SCAR 16). SOCOM tends to listen to the boys doing the job a little more than Big Army does the regulars.

      Most people think its as simple as just putting a new rifle on the shelf and aren’t aware of all the background that goes with it. And then there will always be bias and emotion to inflame the decision process.

  • bbmg

    Infantry rifles don’t matter. If they did, we wouldn’t still be using calibers that are older than the vast majority of the soldiers using them.

    • big daddy

      To a degree you’re right, the US relies on fire power, find them and dump as much ordnance on them as we can. But I still would want aweapon I know is the best if I went into combat. The US soldier in WWII had the Garand and that was the best rifle at that time until the Germans released their assault rifle in limited numbers. Still American troops had the best combat infantry weapons compared to other countries as a whole, not perfect but overall the best IMO. Now for tanks that’s a different story.

  • joshz

    Does anyone have a link to the report? I’d like to read it.

  • RickH

    Well, this article was really informative………………..not! And I’m referring to the original article from the army. It would be nice to know the details.

    • big daddy

      That’s classified….what is the sarcasm font?

  • dp

    Where is criteria for term “out-performed” in this case? Is it shooting more accurately, faster, jamming less in adverse conditions or what? But then, the results are “classified” right?! You cannot take these ‘results’ seriously.

    • dan citizen

      “out performed” is a category primarily based on coloration, does it match the current camo? Smell is a component too, it has to have that “new gun smell” Several submissions were rejected for having cheated by mixing wd40 and hoppes #9 and then misting it on the stock.

  • Julio

    I find it useful to ask myself “what do I want to believe?” before I read something. This helps me to spot my own prejudices, to look for the facts, and to form a balanced judgement based on them. I’m not saying I always manage it. It’s just worth remembering how easy it is to mistake one’s own opinions for knowledge. Trouble is, it’s an approach that kills a discussion like this dead.

    • dan citizen

      Blasphemy. Let’s just stick to quoting internet “facts”

      Seriously though…. Very well put.

  • Seburo

    It should read competing Carbine not Carbines.

    Anybody have any info as to the identity of Rifle C? As it could be any one of the five phase II test rifles.
    FN FNAC
    HK416A5
    Remington ACR
    BEAR Elite
    ARX-160
    The common consensus from internet searches says the HK416. Though I would also guess the ARX-160 or the improved SCAR. Though 1 to 3 is still a risky bet.

    • Joshua

      LMT was C.

      Your list leaves out the LMT and the TROY just fyi.

      • Seburo

        Did you ignore the Phase II part? What proof do you have of it even being the rifle that outdid the M4 other than personal bias?

        • Joshua

          There was 8 rifles that made it past Phase I(which was just cost and manuf. Capability).

          I really don’t care one way or another about this trial honestly.

          As for proof don’t have any, just what friends of mine in the indusry have told me, take it or leave it…..no bother to me.

  • Lance

    The article fails to show that even if one had some improvement over the M-4A1 it still isn’t a huge leap over it which warrants adoption. Face replacing a 5.56mm carbine with another is a waste of money. M-4s have 95% troop satisfaction and can still out shoot most competitors rifles.

    @Joshua Which carbine you think got close think it was a 416 or BEAR which itself was a M-4 with a piston system any way?

  • joe

    PVT Snuffy wants the best he can get right now, but the brass needs to be smarter and longer term thinking.

    They know that getting a new primary weapon is a once in 30 year thing and they don’t want to waste that one shot and 30 billion for a 2% increase in reliability.

    They will upgrade when they have a substantial increase in lethality. Give it 10 years and you will see the LSAT rifle in 6.5 caliber with the TrackingPoint fire control. That is worth upgrading for.

    • displacer

      Yeah, and right now the current offerings wouldn’t even be a 2% increase. In the earlier 2007 Aberdeen dust tests the difference in overall reliability between the M4 and the best-performing rifle was a whopping 1.25% even with minimal lubrication and maintenance in the worst dust conditions they could simulate. (Also the best-performing rifle- the XM8- was later found to have a host of teething problems the M4 didn’t, such as the polymer upper melting under sustained fire.)

      The M4A1 used in the recent trials was built specifically for reliability and seems to have actually beaten all but one of the competitors in at least one major category of reliability if not more. You’re 100% correct that it would be dumb to spend vast sums of money to buy a huge arsenal of new guns (along with the training and support needed to run them) when all it can offer over the much cheaper M4A1 upgrade is a tiny bit more reliability in purposefully-unrealistic lab tests

    • whskee

      Someone give this guy a cookie, he’s on the right track. They want immediate and positive gains. Most of the competitors entries are just variations born out of the M16/M4 family. More of a Product Improvement Program (PIP) gain than a leap ahead. I personally feel like the biggest gain would come from advanced barrel technology to allow better heat dissipation and enhanced accuracy.

    • Good comment. However, I disagree with the 6.5mm caliber thing. I can’t see any advantage to such a round for the infantryman.

      TrackingPoint for standard infantry rifles is a ways off yet, but I eagerly await its first application in the field, already.

  • Andrew

    How much better were these other rifles? Marginally better will not outweigh the overall cost of switching from the M4. Personally, without to much knowledge, I am of the opinion that we cant afford an entirely new system and am not such if we need one anyway.

  • tirod

    The report is a week late and still unsubstantiated. Got to ask, what ammo change, and why would it be so decidedly “pro M-4” in it’s load?

    Second, what test did the other weapons perform better in – and like the Dust Test retro posting above, just what does it mean in real life? Are we talking on mean failure per magazine, combat load, what?

    What is the standard and how is it comparable? Meaning, how do we measure things, and who says it’s even important?

    Just a troll media report without the facts, sounds like another HK fanboy got to the media.

    • I think that was a very sober and cogent comment, tirod. Thanks.

      • Pimpin OnCrack

        How long have you been sober? Congrats. I’m going on 3 hours, and its tough. From your comments, and spelling, you haven’t been off the sauce very long

    • LCON

      Mostly agree except for one point we don’t know which carbine was the one claimed to preform better. I read the article and watched the video which identified it as “Carbine C”

  • Uniform223

    oh shit here is this can of worms again 🙁

    • dan citizen

      I’m getting the popcorn….

  • Jim

    The M4 is not that great of a weapon in fact not even good. The main problem I had was its to small in size plus suffers from accuracy issues, jams and over heats way to fast. The M16A2 was about as small as I wanted to go and that was pushing it yet in combat the M4 is a failure. I served 4 tours in Iraq and several in Afghanistan plus my combat tours go back to panama and the gulf war…we need a better caliber maybe the 6mmBR of 6mmBRX which is simply .100 of an inch longer then the former. Both highly accurate a with a heavy punch way passed 600 meters. The M16 series to include the M4 and all its variants are a thing of the past. Time to move forward with anew main battle rifle that will out perform all other world wide…not the crap we have used since the early 1960s…I have seen many weapons leaving like the m60 replaced and now the M2 50 cal being replaced…why not a rifle to make the American fighting soldier the most dangerous in combat. I came in 1985 and left april 2014 yet we have the same weapon..tiem to go!

    • Mike

      It was a piece of crap in the early 60’s and is still today….. Another DOD waste of money that doesn’t come close to comparing with the much cheaper AK-47!

      • Jim

        I have used the AK-47 and its crap also both seems to be ok at close quarters at but the AK-47 sufferes serious accuraccy problems.

    • Seburo

      The Army seems to prefer the LSAT program for a real M16 replacement. However if they want actual knock down power it needs to be more like SOST instead of M855A1.

      • LCON

        IF LSAT gets that far. and even then They might just figure our a way of loading LSAT rounds into a M4 derivative. THe Army is still running the M4A1 PIP ( last I checked)

        • Seburo

          It already has a fully functioning Light Machine Gun.
          A DI weapon is the worst weapon they could to use a caseless or a polymer cased round. It would need to be a gas piston.
          The mockup magazine also looks different as well due to increased ammo capacity. As the magazine is straight and not banana shaped. So it ceases to be an M4 with the lower gone as well.

          • LCON

            Funny I could have sworn i replied… Ok first Phase 2 of the PIP was supposed to include a Swap to a Short stroke piston system some time in 2017. Second It makes zero sense for the Army go back to that long barrel after the Army dropped a Rifle with a comparable barrel M16A4 in favor of a Carbine with a Shorter barrel M4 with a 14.5″ Barrel. Finally the M4A1 lower receiver like all M4 Variants is based on the lower of the M16A2 which it’s self is a modification of the M16 which is a AR15… Yes I know you know this but It’s good to remember because as AR15 it was feed by a straight 20 round box. the magazine well of all AR15 series save for the Rare AK mag feeding types still has a straight shaft. The Magazine Geometry of the M4/M16 and all NATO spec save for HK’s G36, Famas 25 rounders, SIG550 series and the AUG start straight and then curve. past the magwell. this means that M4 can take a straight magazine and does in 20 round and lower capacity as well as 9mm conversions

          • Seburo

            The LSAT Carbine mockup doesn’t use a Stanag magazine. http://sadefensejournal.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/mdm8.jpg So a thoreatical caseless piston AR would need an enterely new lower to feed it. At that point it’s no longer an AR since it now a new upper and lower.

            I think the Army is trying to address the range issues that soldiers are complaining about or trying to make their own M27 IAR with the carbine. Since 42 rounds is a lot to put down range you may as well give it a longer barrel if its the same length as the M4.

            “It uses a rising chamber with an aft feed, which means that although the 42-round magazine is ahead of the pistol grip, the barrel is actually 4 inches longer than an M4 of the same total length”

          • LCON

            true but remember it’s only a mockup, We have seen Mockups come and go and change. And the Future is still the Future nothing is set in stone. I am simply pointing out that form a system stand point it is entirely possible for a LSAT-M4. As to a Army IAR not likely. If the Army wanted that they could have grabbed M27. The Marines wanted the IAR because of there different doctrine and retaining the M16A4 with 3 round burst well wanting a system that offered full auto suppression with the same accuracy of a M16 to replace Squad M249’s.. The Army is pushing LSAT LMG as they want a belt fed light weight LMG to replace M249. as for the Range issue if it’s still using 5.56mm it’s not going to push much father even with that 4 inches.

  • Mike

    What about the Ace 32 in 7.62×39 from IWI? Better, more accurate barrel than the AK-47 with a machined receiver at a lower cost than the pee shooter M-4? Heaven forbid that the Jewish state is making a better weapon than the U.S.!…… How quickly we have forgotten that they tricked up the F-4’s and F-16’s that we sold/gave them and then we used those improvements in our U.S. models with little fanfare…… 🙁

    • Seburo

      Israel made the Tavor because they didn’t want to bribe Colt for cheap M4’s to be made in state. The ACE is primarily made for export to countries already using the Galil or an AK and don’t want to switch calibers or retrain their soldiers.

      • Mike

        When you’ve some time, compare the M-4 to the Ace-23 with lots of rounds and knockdown targets in back of forests and jungles and at great distances….. Then take both into the mud and dirt and do the same….. My opinion is that there is no comparison… 7.62×39 Ace 23 over the 5.56 M-4 by a mile…… Oh did I mention that the Ace-23 is cheaper?

        • Seburo

          To get it purchase by militaries that still use an AK variant it better be cheaper than the M4. If it is that accurate over the M4 that is just right out price fixing. Most second & third world militaries would never adopt an AR for any reason if they knew about it.
          However no unit in the IDF that I know of uses it.
          The 31 and 32 feed the 7.62×39, the 23 is 5.56.

    • RSR

      The Galil ACE is made (and I think originally designed and modified) by Indumil in Columbia. In fact, I believe Indumil is the only manufacturer making any Galil’s currently. All of Israel’s are mothballed in reserve to the best of my knowledge.

      Rumor is the IMI US might be offering ACE’s in the next year or so, fingers crossed.
      BUT, I’m personally a bigger fan of the original’s looks than the ACE. But haven’t shot both to compare ergos.

  • steve

    They should have let Red Jacket submit a rifle. They would have submitted a “game changer”

  • Dragonheart

    Military equipment has “Never” been about getting the best for our troops, it has always been about money in the right pockets!

  • Steve_7

    I suspect one of the reasons for this result is that the DoD currently has a pointless make-work program going on to upgrade all the M4 carbines to M4A1s, so if they found a better gun, the logic for wasting that money on keeping people employed doing nothing would unravel.

  • Cavscout

    Sounds like a company making excuses and ‘leaking’ a story to either save force, or they were just too proud to admit defeat. Lol.
    But they day I trust a random media story without question, I’ll hang up my hat. Either way, the M4 is a good weapon, and people like to bash stuff for stupid reasons usually. No idea why the civilian populace is so concerned about getting the M16/M4 replaced, time now! It will be replaced, that is assured, so best to do it right.

  • adverse

    Scary to think some of you people own firearms.

  • n0truscotsman

    Washington Times was wrong, as are the people making the claim that “carbine C” “outperformed” the M4A1 (and the title is also incorrect. The competing carbines most certainly DID NOT outperform the M4).

    1.) What is worse? having more malfunctions that dont require an armorer or more that do? More long term durability that doesn’t require an armorer’s intervention or less?

    For example, the supposed “winner” that “outperformed the M4” had more type III malfunctions and less type I and II, while the M4A1 was opposite. To me, it is more logical to select the carbine that can be brought back into the fight faster, with the least specialization as possible, than something that offers minimal incremental improvement in type I and II malfunctions at the cost of more intensive maintenance for specialized tasks.

    2.) All competitors had the decisive edge to use their own magazines, while the M4 used the USGI magazine. The weaknesses of the M4 carbine is actually the USGI magazine itself (which is fine at its own right, but being honest, the aftermarket magazines are miles superior like the PMAGs). So despite having their own superior magazines, the competitors still didn’t beat the M4A1. That says a lot.

    3.) M855A1 was not switched “mid competition” or any other such nonsense perpetuated on the internet.