About Those 2007 M4 Dust Tests

2007 M4 Dust Test

2007 M4 Dust Test

Though by this point old news, the 2007 Aberdeen rifle dust tests (link starts a download) have caused a lot of consternation on the Internet since their publication. Championed by some as final proof of the “defective” design of the AR-15, and criticized by others as being imprecise, unrepeatable, and almost meaningless, they still have, in this author’s mind, considerably colored the rifle reliability discussion to this day.
Not long after the release of the test results, SMSgt Mac, a reliability and maintenance technician who runs the Elements of Power blog, wrote a critique of the tests, going above and beyond the call of duty to explain to us laypeople (albeit, perhaps those laypersons who have taken a statistics class) what the shortcomings of the tests were, and why they contribute so little to the discussion:

Using Slide 13 for perspective, we can view this data and say that IF the Extreme Dust Test data is valid and representative of the real world (and we have every reason to believe that the real world is a more benign environment) then the largest average disparity we might find in C1 & C2 stoppages between any two weapons for an engagement that consumed one basic load would be less than 1 stoppage difference for every TWO engagements. If for some reason the soldiers started shooting 2 basic loads on average, the greatest average difference in numbers of stoppages between different weapon types for one engagement would be about 1 ½ stoppages per engagement. Because of the absence of detailed failure data by specific weapon, failure, and failure mode we cannot determine whether or not this information is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ — even if this data was representative of the ‘real world’. If for instance the M4 (or as has been noted possibly the HK416) had one ‘bad actor’ in the bunch, it would have completely skewed the test results. If we cannot even tell if THIS difference is significant, we STILL cannot assert any one weapon is ‘better’ than another even within the confines of this test. All we still KNOW is that the M4 experienced more failures. The good news is, the Army will have a better idea as to what they need to do to perform a better test the next time.

The only thing I fear coming out of these test results is that out of the emotion behind the concern, perhaps this test’s importance will be blown out of proportion within the total context of what a Soldier needs a weapon to do. I can see us very easily buying the best-darn-dust-proof-rifle-that-ever-t’was… and then spend the next twenty years worried about it corroding in a jungle someplace.

Despite the post’s age, I think some TFB readers may find it interesting. The dust tests appear to have since served their intended purpose, and the Army has moved on. What is made clear here is that the understanding of data is just as important as the data itself. With a flawed understanding, or worse, a deliberately twisted interpretation of the data, the potential knowledge to be gained through experimentation is at risk.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • guest

    The only “problem” here is M4 fanboys trying to “interpret” the results, rather than take them at face value. M4 lost, as has the entire DI concept, so get over it and move on.

    The DI rifle’s well earned place is on the shooting range, at the IPSC match etc. Not in the field.

    • Commonsense23

      Really, so my Mk18Mod1 which I haven’t cleaned in over 4 thousand rounds with no malfunctions, the vast majority of them suppressed, shouldn’t be in the field? Well thanks for the info, will go and tell all my buddies this.

      • tallbear10

        Did you walk 5 miles in dusty conditions, then low crawl through dirt after it rained, drop it a few times, in 100 degree heat. You can’t replicate combat conditions at a range.

        • Commonsense23

          Yeah, lets see, those 4 thousand plus rounds were done after river crossing, otb’s, 100 degree heat and freezing, generally just treating my rifle like crap. I only baby it when it I am deployed. DI is a proven system, unfortunately its problems come from people who don’t have a clue how to properly maintain their weapon, talking crap on something when they can’t even describe to you what the sear does.

          • dan citizen

            Sadly many soldiers don’t know how to take care of their weapon. A weapon should be soldier proof.

          • Kivaari

            A soldier that doesn’t care for his weapon is a weak link. The sergeant over him has failed if he doesn’t inspect and correct deficiencies.

          • guest

            So you say you have used it without cleaning… yet say that “problems come from people who don’t have a clue how to properly maintain their weapon”.

            Let me tell you now how I maintain my AK and my Glock: pull a Boresnake trough now and then. And frankly I stopped doing even that because it just does not do anything really.

          • Guest, I suspect there are many soldiers out there glad that you’re not their armorer, given your thoughts on maintenance.

          • Commonsense23

            Yes, cleaning is not the same as maintenance, unfortunately most people don’t understand that. I clean my weapon whenever it malfunctions that is weapon related. Not ammo or mag. I keep a detailed round count so I know my barrel life, and wear and tear on the parts that degrade. I maintain and replace the parts that do at certain round counts. I know how to properly lubricate my rifle for the environment its in.

          • TFB Fan

            How about just working the charging handle, trigger, bolt release, mag release and inserting magazines? Then report back HONESTLY how reliable your AR REALLY performed! That would be a more apples to apples comparison vs mincing words such as cleaning/maintenance… try not to pass off any excuses to mag or ammo either… I’m sure by lubricating you mean you tear the complete upper/BCG down then wipe it not clean but “maintenance” (since you don’t clean-only maintain), then apply enough lubrication to satisfy Ron Simmons… I almost forgot about replacing all moving parts every other weekend… and the only TOOL used is YOU! Apples to Apples please!

          • Commonsense23

            All I do is pull my gun from my case, add lube and shoot. At over 4000 rounds now. And with those 4000 rounds I haven’t had a single malfunction at all. Not even ammo or mag related. I don’t break down BCG. I consider bad ammo to be a round that didn’t fire and was not a lightstrike. Bad mags are if I experience a malfunction, and use another gun and the weapon malfunctions at the same spot. I haven’t replaced any parts on this weapon since it was rebuilt and issued to me. I haven’t even opened it up yet. So yeah you can say my weapon has had zero malfunctions in over 4000 rounds most of them suppressed. Used it in multiple locations, included the desert, muddy forest which included doing multiple river crossing, and swimming the thing through salt water and crossing a beach.

          • TFB Fan

            I apologize for being a bit skeptical but speaking from first hand experience with 3 different “black rifles”… I guess it was just operator error.. and my expectations for my rifles to go bang each and EVERY time regardless of conditions and practical abuse is probably asking too much.. just really unlucky I guess..

          • Commonsense23

            Okay, you have a basis of three rifles. I have personally been issued 7 as of my career, and been responsible for over about three hundred. Since I was taught the difference between actual maintenance vs just cleaning, I have kept a log of rounds fired and and.malfunction for my last 4 rifles. Malfunctions that actually surprised me were extremely rare. First who made your rifle. And if I asked you how many rounds have you fired since you last changed your gas rings, could you honestly answer me at the time. How about the 8 steps in the functioning of M4? Can you tell me tell me proper amount lube that should be applied in the conditions you are in. I kept seeing the same thing with the Marines and Army whenever I work with them. Guys complaining about bad rifles, then I ask them what their round count is and they look at me like I am insane. Number the mags to see if it is the rifle or the mag? Crazy talk? Guys couldn’t change the gas rings on their own, needed a Armorer for. Every time I have talked to someone who has a problem with ARs I get either they bought a crap gun, or they believe wiping down your gun is “maintenance”. And if you believe you can just buy a AK and be done with it, we lined the walls of our toc with AKs we took from dead taliban, and maybe only a third of them you could get a mag thru without problems.

          • guest

            It would be fantastic to get a detailed maintenance guide from an experienced operator. It would make a very popular article.

          • guest

            AR reliability is still “controversial”. I’ve been bouncing around the internet for ten years and haven’t found a definitive guide to proper AR maintenance. Just opinions. “DI this.. Piston that…” a lot of marketing, and more opinions. But not much cohesive info that’s easily drawn upon. It would be a great article on TFB!

          • Tangodown

            Right on ‘Common sense23’. “People” who trash the M4 platform, or any other weapons system for that matter, because THEY didn’t do their part, are quick to trounce it and call it junk. “Oh…when I pull the trigger-thingy it doesn’t go bang, it’s a messed up piece-of-crap (while they really didn’t do THEIR part in KEEPING IT RUNNING). It’s the longest running issue-weapon in the history of this country’s military period. AND others around the world have defended their shores with it as well. Of course AFTER 50+ years improvements in EVERYTHING take place, that’s why it’s called ‘modern’ technology.

        • Joshua

          I have and was issued a M4A1 and a CQBR upper. I can count on 2 hands the number of stoppages I have had and all were magazine or ammunition related.

          • Commonsense23

            Mod 0 or Mod 1?

          • Joshua

            Well there’s not really a Mod 0 or 1 for us, it’s just the CQBR upper. It did however have all of the SOPMOD Block II ancillery items standard on it.

          • Commonsense23

            The cqbr uppers were all renamed Mk18s. If it is free floated it is a mod 1.

          • Joshua

            Either way mine never failed as a result of sand or the operating system. I also ran mine suppressed mostly, and this was before the Surefire cans which have alot less blowback than the old KAC ones.

          • Commonsense23

            Consider yourself lucky to never use the Surefire cans, we hate them and want our KAC cans back.

          • Joshua

            Really? I retired right before they started getting wide issuance. I know they were supposed to offer less blowback which sounded like a big plus.

          • Commonsense23

            One they are extremely hot after only a few shots, like third degree burns after a El presidente drill, and we personally feel they are louder than the KAC cans.

        • dan citizen

          I walk 5 miles in dusty conditions, up hill each way, to the fridge every morning, where I grab a breakfast of rocks and sticks… and when I was a kid, we didn’t even have rocks!

        • supergun

          The AK has the worst magazine function design.

      • dan citizen

        So, you don’t maintain your weapon?

        I shoot mostly AK platform (you know, real guns) which will not fail when confronted by household dust (AR kryptonite) and I still clean them after every trip to the range…
        Well, not last time…
        Or the time before….
        Ok, never.

        • Joshua

          Uh huh, I take it you’ve never deployed to train the locals huh? Seen plenty of AK’s fail.

          • dan citizen

            Yeah, they don’t allow people my age to serve. I’m from the era of wooden stocks and full size cartridges. I consider the M14 to be new fangled and unproven.

            ARs are plastic crap, AKs are commie burp guns. Any gun with any plastic is junk. If you can’t take your rifle by the forestock and use it as a bat for a full game of baseball, it’s a toy.

            Remember when we would have two men hold a rifle between them and the third lucky bastard would use it as a step to leap up out of a trench?

          • JMLipoff

            Oh boy. Old grizzled salt dog alert. Never met a gun made past 1940 that makes the grade, and they never care who you are or how experienced you are. You don’t have the qualifier “I’m old” so your opinion is invalidated regardless of training or combat experience.

            For the record, the AR15 platform is mostly steel and aluminum. The only plastic is the buttstock and pistol grip, which if you recall was also the case for the BAR. Hardly makes it “new fangled Mattel toy”.

          • dan citizen

            I admit nowadays I actually really like the composite ARs over the aluminum. I tried a friends carbon-cannon back in the 90’s and was hooked.

            At the time I was all into the 20″ HBAR, adjustable cheek rest, 7 pound ARs. Then I handled his that weighed right below 5 pounds and I was in love.

            In reality I have seen no difference in reliability between ARs and AKs other than those I caused while working on them. And being lazy, I only clean any gun if I’m intending to sell it.

          • M40

            The weight of the guns is dropping…
            M1 garand – 10+lbs.
            M14 – 9.2 lbs
            M16 – 7.1 lbs
            M4 – 6.3 lbs

            HOWEVER…
            Steel pot helmet and 8Lb flak vest – @11Lbs
            PASGT helmet and vest system – @20Lbs
            “Interceptor” helmet/vest system w’ side plates, etc. – @33 Lbs

            So the individual weapons/munitions load has dropped slightly over the years. BUT… the major cash investments and weight INCREASE have been in the armor systems, comms, battlefield awareness, etc. All of this accounts for a HUGE increase in combat survivability for the individual soldier.

            NOTE: Modern US helmet & vest composite armor systems have proven to be hundreds of times more effective than the “dirty dress, head diaper & faith in Allah” approach adopted by our enemies.

          • Visitor

            I’ve my doubts about legit salty dog. When was the last time you saw grandpa so up to date on internet speak and video game references? “360-no-scope?” “Because ‘Murica?” Really???

          • dan citizen

            Seriously? You are questioning the truthfulness of my silly internet posts? What next?

            Will you cast doubt on the honesty of politicians?
            claim margarine tastes different than butter?
            Accuse wrestling of being staged?

            I am saddened by your lack of trust and faith in the internet. I know that most of the people on the internet accurately represent themselves, a special forces covert operator ninja told me so just yesterday.

          • You know, it’s weird, everyone I’ve seen who repeats this has never actually tried to physically beat up an AR-15.

            I have actually, yes, I’m not kidding or exaggerating, pounded in tent stakes with a collapsible stock AR. I’ve actually hit things with it. Once, my friend wondered how fragile the rifle was, and I went outside and pounded the concrete with it over and over, and came back and told him “nope, not that fragile”.

            Go onto Google Images, and look up broken GI rifles. Not many pictures of “Mattel toys” snapped in half, are there?

            ED: Realized dan was being sarcastic. Oh well, still…

          • dan citizen

            I am sure, historically, there has been a weapon issued to a military that truly failed. I’m guessing the folks at forgotten weapons could name one.

            But the reality is that we have had the AR family for decades, and even the early models did their job, held up to the sort of non-combat abuse only hundreds of disgruntled foot soldiers can dish out. And combat circumstances that met and exceeded their limits.

            I personally have never owned an unreliable AR, though I’ve owned some crappy ones, I even had a couple built wholly of rejected parts from customer builds.

            I saw a coworker grab one by the barrel and knock the former owner unconscious with it. True it broke the grip off, but it broke the mans cheek, jaw, and eye socket. we were pretty sure it would’ve still fired.

            So if you pack enough dust in it, you can gum it up? Really? I’ll bet if you took a chop saw to an M4 you’d get failures too. I think we’ve sent enough boys into the sandbox with them to know they will work around dust.

          • Zachary marrs

            I want to hear the story where your coworker knocked that guy out

          • Phil Hsueh

            There’s at least one military weapon that’s failed, it’s called the Chauchat, it was universally hated by US troops during WW I because it would often fail due to, in part, an open sided magazine designed to allow the operator to see how many rounds he had left but would also let in dirt, sand, mud, and dust.

          • The .30-06 Chauchat used by the Americans did not have open-sided magazines. The guns in service were woefully unreliable, but that was mostly due to the chambers being improperly reamed.

          • Phil Hsueh

            To add to that, when I was in the Marines we were taught to use the butts of our M16s to help break our falls whenever we hit the deck. The drill was we’d run for a bit, then drop all the while slamming the butt of the rifle into the ground and it never seemed to affect the rifle at all, granted it was on dirt but anyone who has trained at Pendleton will tell that you that the dirt there is hardly soft. this was also with an M16A2, I don’t know if they teach the same thing when using an M4 or if an M4, or any collapsible stock AR, can even take that sort of abuse without breaking the stock.

          • Kivaari

            The stock furniture on the M16A1 from my era was a weak point. Our rifles worked well in the desert. The only damages I personally saw were from mishandling (abusing) the rifle. Holes in the butt stock, bent front sight wings and broken hand guards. Metal parts showed what I call normal wear and tear. The most worn parts were the firing pin retainer (cotter pin) on Colt civilian AR15s. The firing pin retainer on M16A1s were not mangled like civilian models. One reason was the civilian guns had the sharp unneeded notch on the nose, and the more exposed firing pin, since the carrier was mutilated by Colt. People trying to lower the hammer while riding the bolt hooked on the firing pin. On rifles with an M16 carrier and the rounded hammer nose, this never seemed to happen. I suspect Colt did it to stop people from “filing a sear” to make it go full auto. Essentially damaging the disconnecter and sear, while fooling with the gun in an unauthorized manner. I don’t like the AR15 hammer and carrier common in earlier Colts. My M4 has the civilian hammer but an M16 carrier. My Bushmaster has a hybrid set up, a round nosed hammer, covered firing pin and metal removed from the carrier so it wont trip an auto-sear. Both guns work well. We had 125 M16A1s in our armory. They worked fine, except while using blanks at the Yakima Firing Center. When using ball ammo we saw few stoppages. At the time we were still using 20 round magazines.

          • John

            What I realized is that AK fans never say that their rifle fails, it only hiccups. stovepipe here and there, stuck case = “hiccup”, or “ammo problem”

        • Zachary marrs

          You were saying

          • guest

            The only reasons for AK FTF/FTE are:
            not AK, some cloned BS
            not AK mag, som cloned BS
            AK was driver over by a tank or dropped in hot lava.
            Or ammo.

          • Zachary marrs

            Funny, thats 99.999 percent of all ar 15 jams

          • Cal S.

            Funny. So it’s cool as long as the failures are only magazine or ammunition induced in AKs. It’s not a design flaw. But the AR jams due to magazines or ammunition, and it’s a flawed design that should be thrown away. Interesting.

            The reason we’re having this discussion is probably because the US only knows one side of the story. We don’t know how many Soviets have died because their AKs failed them. We only have our data to judge from. That and internet myths. For every AK that’s ‘never jammed’, there’s an AR right next to it that’s been just as reliable under the same conditions.

            Don’t believe me? Then run a handful of dirt down your AK barrel and post the video showing it blowing to bits in your hands. Or did you really believe that “Deadliest Warrior” AK vs. AR ‘test’?

          • Joshua

            I had to watch that and lord help me I think I lost a few brain cells, so thanks for making me dumber.

          • guest

            Nothing funny about it: loose tolerances, less complicated mechanics (fixed extractor, one-piece piston and carrier), magazine fixed in two points (forward lip and back at the catch)… and other boring mechanical features all contribute to a more reliable gun.
            I don’t know if you’re new to guns or something, but AK reliability (not infinite, but significant versus other assault rifle designs) is a truth that I hold to be self-evident.

            But this article is not about the AK, but how the DI system rifle lost miserably versus XM-8 et al.

          • Zachary marrs

            You mean the gun that melts itself?

          • Cal S.

            Show me a test like this with an AK that will function 100% (without, of course, the ‘meaningless’ ‘jams’ caused by ammunition or magazines which we all know are capitalist propaganda) that’s not something you saw on Deadliest Warrior.

            I’ve seen uncut torture tests with ARs that have been dragged behind and run over by trucks, buried, tossed unceremoniously into muddy puddles, all this while not having been lubricated, and then picked up and fired without malfunction. I don’t recall if it was Daniel Defense or not that did the test, but you can look it up. All mechanical devices can and will fail regardless.

            Put that in your Kalashnikov-worshiping pipe and smoke it.

          • Kivaari

            If I remember right one thing changed on the AK74 was a stronger extractor mated to a thicker rim on the 5.45mm case. The change from what I read was due to the 7.62mm versions ripping the rim off. A failure that brought around a change. The AKs I had were all fine rifles with limitations. All the ARs I owned or issued performed well. None of them were abused by me. The M16A1s in our armory worked fine. A2 improvements were all positive.

          • Cal S.

            Impossible because AK. All these images are photoshopped. In over 60 years of operations, not one single AK has ever jammed, misfired, blown up, or malfunctioned in any way, shape, or form. You should be banned from the interwebs for presenting this capitalist propaganda filth!

          • l2a3

            When the first AKs came out in 5.56×45 they did have a feed problem because of the lack of a feed ramp. After that small piece was inserted and twink, and getting the “correct” functional magazine for the caliber, they “seemed” to start to work as intended.

            Note shell in first photo above, not 7.63×39 or 5.45×39 but 5.56, there is no bullet in the case, (indicating an ejector problem) and there are different weapons and types of manufacture (factory, non-factory and possible countries (note rivet locations)) shown. Photo 5 has something stuck between the bolt, base of the cartridge and receiver and the last photo the magazine is not inserted correctly for it to feed correctly. I guess that is the only way they could recreate visual view of the “problem”.
            No, I am not a HSLD operator, only a school trained small-arms repairman, (from the 1969 time of history, trained to look for clues of what caused problems and a knowledge of weapons) and other MOS(s) that go “boom or bang”, not a gunsmith.

          • Kivaari

            If any of you bought a Norinco AK in 5.56mm, you probably remember the manual that accompanied the gun. If I remember correctly it listed the usable life of the rifle being 2,300 or 2,600 rounds. A very short life span. If you had one, you most likely remembered it was perhaps the most unreliable rifle made. Several of the ones that passed by me, had a tendency to simply go full-auto. That wouldn’t be so bad, except it always ended in a stoppage.
            Galils even with a milled receiver cracked at the locking recesses.
            There is a reason Yugo AKs used 1.5mm thick receivers and had the stronger RPK lugs.
            The other AKs I personally owned, around 25 varients, worked very well. I often used the Yugo magazines to get the hold open feature.

    • Zachary marrs

      Ive put about 2k rounds through my spikes tactical and haven’t cleaned it, is mine broken?

      • Burst

        Have you done it in the rain?
        Have you done it in Bahrain?

        Have you done it when it’s warm?
        Have you done it innasandstorm?

        • Zachary marrs

          Yes is the rain, and since im in Texas, phuck yeah ive done it in the heat

        • Greg

          No, but i like Green Eggs and Ham

          • dan citizen

            great, now I’m hungry for breakfast food….

        • Eggs & Ham Tactical

          Have you done it in the heat?
          Have you dropped it in the street?

          Have you used it on the sea?
          Filled it with dirt from Galilee?

          • Joshua

            No I do not want greens egg and ham.

          • guest

            Have you exited your computer chip clean-room and tried firing it in field conditions?

        • Joshua

          Yes
          Yes
          Yes
          And
          Yes

          Although no rifles perform in a sandstorm, hell even trucks dont usually work in sandstorms, not to mention the limited general 5ft viewing distance.

    • dan citizen

      Dust – AR kryptonite
      Dirt – enemy force multiplier
      Dust mop – defensive array

      In breaking news, the DoD has declared that all dust is part of an al-qaeda sleeper cell, all homes and buildings worldwide declared enemy strongholds. US losses in the first wave of drone strikes has been devastating.

    • TomcatTCH

      bwahahahaahahah
      thousands of failed rifles leading to hundreds of dead have led you to this result right?

      bwahahahahahahaahahahahaha

    • dan

      Yet it is on the field and doing quite well, while not an M4 fanboy my self, I will label you as a M4 hater, who beyond all reason seems to assume the M4 is malfunctioning in mass quantities. Perhaps you are still stuck on the early problems they faced in Vietnam I don’t know. What I do know is that when someone wants an M4 to fail they try like hell to come up with ridiculous test and extreme circumstances to make sure it fails. While I do recognize it’s problems and short comings and acknowledge reports of failures, it just isn’t in the shear numbers you all want to believe. And of those problems faced in the desert how many were because of improper or lack of maintenence? It’s all good though I am assuming you don’t own one and the closest thing I have to an AR is the Rock River LAR8 so I guess neither of us have yo worry about mass failures of an M4

      Now this is the part where your ego won’t let my reply go and you further demonize the gun and throw out some 2nd hand knowledge to prove your point. That will also be the point in which I don’t care

      • dan citizen

        You sir are wrong! Every AR fails every time, usually killing the operator, several bystanders and one relative at home.

        At the mere scent of dust your average M4 will fire out of battery, fail to feed, smokestack, be lost in transit, suffer insufficient funds, and fail to launch.

        I know this because I have 6,000 internet proofs, an affidavit from my cat, and 20 tours of Iran as a marines seal team 6 member.

      • TFB Fan

        I lived with my black rifle for 11yrs before I got tired of “egg in my face” (many witnesses) and moved to VEPR AK’s… Multiple FTF’s (fire and feed)/FTE’s were something i just lived with b/c I probably was a huge AR fanboy caught up in the hype… after costing me numerous kills year after year (thank God it was just hunting) and the lingering thought of; I SURE HOPE IT PERFORMS THIS TIME..; What if SHTF or WROL or New Orleans was to occur to me?? I finally departed with the only semi-auto I’ve ever owned to put 4/5 rounds of surplus ammo basically in the same hole at 100yds… In the end I decided my target isn’t normally eyeballs and reliability trumps accuracy… Just me tho.. got tired of the egg..

    • JMLipoff

      5 years and three combat deployments and I never had a failure with any weapons issued to me. I had two malfunctions that happened that were unrelated to the rifle’s design. One was a damaged mag that caused misfeeds (and it was a steel HK mag, so the blame can’t even be put on cheap mags it was just that badly dented), and the other was caused by this idiotic extractor spring o-ring in my Mk 12 that would swell and gum up the extractor once a mag was fired through it. Took it out and never had any other problems.

      So no, I don’t think the DI rifle is limited to the shooting range.

    • That is not how many veterans who served with them feel.

      • dan citizen

        I don’t think there has ever been a service weapon that did not get undeserved measures of both praise and criticism.

        Back in the day I am sure it was:
        Ogg say mammoth bone best club! light, ergonomic!
        Grog know you wrong! Old time rock is better! Simple, never crack!

        • Svigor

          Dan, I gotta give it to you, you’ve got style.

          Ogg say light, ergonomic. Great stuff.

    • sabasarge

      What a joke.
      From someone who’s carried one through two wars and more reserve duty skirmishes than I care to count.

  • The best way to improve upon the AR platform is to unscrew the front sight and put a new gun under it 🙂

    • Giolli Joker

      This is a funny one!

    • dan citizen

      And then replace the front sight….

    • Zachary marrs

      You seem to be confused with the 10/22

      • dan citizen

        slighting the 10/22 is sacrilege.

        • Zachary marrs

          No, slighting the 1911 is sacrilege

          • dan citizen

            Alright, so long as nobody besmirches HK

          • Zachary marrs

            Hk belittles themselves

          • dan citizen

            Everything post G3 is a travesty.

          • Phil

            And the G3 is by far the worst of the 4 7.62NATO calibre guns…

          • dan citizen

            Cray talk! I carried the G3 and have fond memories of it, so therefore it is the best combat rifle ever, logic and reality be damned!

        • The Glock, blessed be the name, is the one gun to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them.

          • ricolib

            Surely you meant to say ‘ The SIG’ ,

    • What do you have against the AR-15’s front sight? 😉

      • dan citizen

        I think it’s one of the better front sights out there.

  • wetcorps

    The M4 might be worse than some other design, but is it worse enough for the army to spend millions on a bunch of rifles that will do the same job?
    We tend to focus on small arms because it’s our hobby, but is a soldier’s personnal weapon really that important in a battle where there is artillery and planes blowing everything up? I remember some statistics showing that for one enemy down, several thousands of rounds where fired.
    In the first and second world wars, being the first to replace your bolt actions with semi auto could maybe give you the edge in some battles, but we’re talking about replacing a 5.56 select fire rifle with a 30 rounds mag by another. A new rifle might be more reliable, but how much more?

    • J.T.

      Exactly. We went through this whole mess about the tests being unfair and that the Army doesn’t want to replace the M4 when the competition was ended last year. What it comes down to is that the the Army couldn’t afford to spend billions of dollars switching over to a new platform in the middle of a round of spending cuts just because the new gun was a little better than what we currently have. There needed to be a major improvement in order to justify it.

      • UnrepentantLib

        Just a little quibble here: the Army can’t afford to spend billions switching to a new platform. But they can afford to spend a few hundred million buying more of the same. And in a few years they’ll be spending a few hundred million more, etc. etc. Because they have to replace a certain number of weapons as they wear out. Does this make sense? The majority of the potential replacements are essentially just M16/M4’s with a piston drive upper. It’s not a big change from a standpoint of training or accessory items. So, if they’re buying 50,000 M4’s (or whatever the number is) to replace worn out M4’s, why not buy the best of the contenders instead (assuming there’s not a big price differential). Do a gradual changeover and relegate the older weapons to stateside garrison and training duty. There’s no reason to replace every M16 and M4 at one time. Or would that be too logical?

        • Joshua

          Did you read the part where the M4A1 had the lowest Class III stoppages. This require an armorer to fix and signifies broken and worn parts.

          Why would we buy uppers that cost nearly double and have to be rebuilt twice as often.

          I can say from personal testing that given the results the barrel is the first thing to go, and that happens at 5,500-6,000 rounds(opens up to just past the max allowable 5moa, soon after followed by keyholing) followed by the bolt at 9,000-10,000 rounds.

          The next best rifle(rifle C) had 4,500 MRBEFF, meaning it breaks sooner than our current rifles and would need to be rebuilt more often. And that was the rifle just under the M4A1 in Class III, others faired much worse.

        • M

          I think that would be a logistical issue. Too many splinter groups to micromanage.

          As stated in another comment above with his friend and the broken SAW stock, the military already has a hard enough time supplying the parts to they need keep their current weapons in working order, and assuming that the rifles are not replaced all at once, there would be more rifles issued at some places than others.

          So to provide the tech support for said weapons, they’d have to be able to allocate parts, trained armorers and deal with other unforeseeable consequences by following the distribution of new M4 carbines through the military.
          Another option if replacing new M4s is in mind would be to concentrate the newly replaced rifles in a certain area, but that would mean redistributing the current M4s, another big task

        • J.T.

          “Do a gradual changeover and relegate the older weapons to stateside garrison and training duty. There’s no reason to replace every M16 and M4 at one time. Or would that be too logical?”

          That was what the plan would have been if they selected a new carbine. They were going to place an order for 500,000 and have them delivered over a number of years. The new carbines would have gone to troops in front line roles and the older M4s would have been transferred to those that aren’t in combat roles and are still using M16s.

          “But they can afford to spend a few hundred million buying more of the same. And in a few years they’ll be spending a few hundred million more, etc. etc. Because they have to replace a certain number of weapons as they wear out. Does this make sense?”

          Yes.

          “The majority of the potential replacements are essentially just M16/M4’s with a piston drive upper. It’s not a big change from a standpoint of training or accessory items.”

          There wouldn’t have been a change in accessories, but there would have been a need to change training for things like solder level maintenance and cleaning. Depending on which was selected, there likely would have been minor adjustments to training for the general operation of the carbine. The big back end costs for a switch comes at the armory level. Something like the SCAR would have required a total overhaul at that level which would cost a lot of money.

          “So, if they’re buying 50,000 M4’s (or whatever the number is) to replace worn out M4’s, why not buy the best of the contenders instead (assuming there’s not a big price differential).”

          There would have been a price difference of probably 50% more per gun if they switched judging by the commercial prices of equivalent rifles and then lowering the price a bit since it would be a large contract. From what I have read, one issue that was run into is that while the new guns went longer between stoppages which can be (but didn’t make it to the number the army provided which was about twice that of the M4A1), they didn’t go as long between essential function failures, which require a trip to the armorer to get the gun running properly again. So while the M4A1 is more likely to need a jam cleared, the others were more likely to require more frequent repairs and turn into a paperweight during a firefight than the M4A1.

          “Do a gradual changeover and relegate the older weapons to stateside garrison and training duty. There’s no reason to replace every M16 and M4 at one time. Or would that be too logical?”

          That was what the plan would have been if they selected a new carbine. They were going to place an order for 500,000 and have them delivered over a number of years. The new carbines would have gone to troops in front line roles and the older M4s would have been transferred to those that aren’t in combat roles and are still using M16s.

    • Great comment, wetcorps.

  • Frank

    Wasn’t the big problem those awful magazines the Army used to issue, before they actually had proper anti tilt followers. With the 416 using the high quality steel HK mags and FN using their own with an anti tilt follower. Something my dad, who was an armorer in the marines for 20 years always told me was how many problems were caused by magazines, before 30s were widely issued and they still used 20 rounders, he said they were unreliable if you topped them off at 20, and most people using them would underload them to 17 or 18 rounds, which I’ve read was common with SLR/FAL magazines also.

    • Yellow Devil

      I would say from my personal experience (anecdotal of course) is that the older, (generally worn) magazines issued by my units was the leading cause of failure to feed. I remember tossing three different mags during a qualifications because I kept having problems with them.

      • dan citizen

        I was on a job (not firearm related) and we had an expensive prototype destroyed because someone tried to reuse a questionable $3 consumable part.

        The magazine is the weak point on most weapon systems. The trick is to immediately repair or destroy the magazine that proves troublesome.

        As a gunsmith I have “repaired” many a gun by using one of my own, known serviceable magazines.

    • Sid Collins

      We stomped a magazine until it was deformed once we realized it was no longer serviceable. That made certain it was never put back in the rotation again.

  • ColaBox

    The AR platform is about as close to perfect as we’re capable of getting at this point in time. Nothing that has come out has made enough difference to justify a change, and usually suffers more shortcomings. The things that did in fact do better on one rifle can be implemented into an M4(a1) and more often then not the AR platform seems to do it better. We need to go back to the days of old where the qualifications were, “Does it shoot? Yes. Does it feed reliably? Yes. Can you hit a guy at 300 yards with no real adjustments? Yes. Ok good to go.”

    • dan citizen

      “The AR platform is about as close to perfect as we’re capable of getting at this point” ….You win.

      Funniest thing ever. I laughed so hard coffee came out my nose.

    • Gabe

      The AR is good but is far from perfect, it has one major design flaw. It shits where it eats, meaning it dumps gas into the receiver where the ammo feeds. This has proved to be not a huge problem as all that is required to overcome it is to make sure you clean it. However, cleaning your rifle in the field can be harder than it sounds.

      • Joshua

        No not really. If you cannot spare 2-3 minutes to yank out the BCG wipe it dow, then wipe down the upper, then run a bore snake down the bore and relube the BCG you need to get out.

        The only people I have ever heard say they don’t have time to clean their rifles are the POGues.

        • dan citizen

          I think you’re both right.

        • Gabe

          I agree, it’s a simple task, one that should not be overlooked. However, that 2-3 minutes seems a lot longer when you’re being shot at.

          • dan citizen

            Another way in which procrastination can get you killed.

          • All guns need lubrication.

          • Commonsense23

            Seriously, what type of situation do you see where somebody could go over 2000 rounds without cleaning their weapon? And gas pistons have to be cleaned also, otherwise there will stop working, you ever have to clean a 240?

          • I concur. I only cleaned my 6920 when I got bored, and I still managed only 1800 rounds between cleanings, max.

      • John

        From the Filthy 14, and the analysis done by Vuurwapenblog both came to the conclusion that lubrication is more important than actual cleaning. An AR-15 kept lubricated will run for thousands upon thousands of rounds without cleaning.

        Vuurwapen states:”While the AR-15 is not self cleaning, carbon does not build up on or in critical areas. It builds up in a lot of places that do not have an immediate effect on function.” In the areas that are critical for function, it is evident that carbon buildup is scraped away and left clean and functional

        http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?95136-BCM-Filthy-14/page3

      • “shits where it eats” Oh good lord save us…

        You know what other design “shits where it eats”? HK roller delayed blowback (G3, MP5, etc).

        • Zachary marrs

          Nothing shits where it eats like a marlin 60

          • Kivaari

            The M60 was the most sold rifle in America, thanks to Walmart. It is still one of worst rifles ever made. Like H&R revolvers, the cost to repair was the price of a new gun, as they were useless to repair.

          • Zachary marrs

            I will admit to owning one ($50 at my local pawn shop) after I shoot 100 rounds the receiver will have to be cleaned out, so many lead shavings you could cast a .44 slug

  • dp

    Imagine all those people living out of this hublaboo. Does it add to value of weapon in any measureable way? Hardly so. Any weapon can be ‘jammed by dust’ when comes to it. Open receiver perhaps faster than enclosed, but in enclosed gets jammed it’s for good.

  • dan citizen

    I thought Iraq was the AR dust test?

  • dan citizen

    “There are many accounts of the AK platform failing due to dust…” Said no one, ever.

    • Joshua

      Actually there are quite a few guys who have come back from Afghanistan and ut in their AAR’S that they were alive because the goat humper who would have shot them had a jammed up AK.

      Happened a number of times to guys in COP Keating during that battle when they got inside.

      I could also point out that durin that same battle a number of guys expended 40+ mags through their M4’s and there was no weapon stoppages from anything, aside from the one M2 that took a RPG.

      • dan citizen

        Have you seen the ammo they use? Salvaged powder, reused projectiles, match head primers…

        As soon as Call of Duty comes out with a dust-jam variable all these folks whose combat experience originates on a flat screen will start whining about how their ARs jam all the time….

        “I would have 360 no-scoped him, but that dust fubared my M4… OORAH! Navy!”

        • Joshua

          And yet no one had any rifle or lmg malfunctions during the battle, and every stoppage I ever had was magazine/ammunition related. Also no one in my unit never had any issues to report either.

          We must just be super lucky.

          • tfb.lurker

            I’ve put Dan on my growing TFB list of, “ignore this poster,” after he posted, “I dislike the AR out of principle.”

          • dan citizen

            I am not to be taken seriously.

            I love ARs, especially really light builds (sub 5 pounds). But I had a 20″ heavy barrel that I used for hog hunting. Reliable, accurate, fantastic ergonomics.

            These anti-Ar threads are just too fun to pass up.

          • JMLipoff

            “I am not to be taken seriously.

            I love ARs, especially really light builds (sub 5 pounds). But I had a 20″ heavy barrel that I used for hog hunting. Reliable, accurate, fantastic ergonomics.

            These anti-Ar threads are just too fun to pass up.”

            AKA

            “I am a troll. Do not EVER listen to me, nor should you respond from here on out.”

          • dan citizen

            I get the feeling your saying that you take things way too seriously and get overly emotional on internet threads

            AM I to take seriously the
            “ARs never jam because they’re amurica!” comments?
            ….Or the self inconsistent:
            “I only keep my M4 clean on deployment” yet… “in the afghanistan we never clean an M4 ever”

            I have been gunsmithing for 25 years, I have built maybe 150 ars, they’re a great gun platform, with well known weaknesses. These weaknesses are easily addressed through maintenance, or modification, yet the pro AR crowd wants to think the gun is flawless and the pro-AK crowd thinks they shatter if you look at them sideways. Meanwhile probably half the people who post on the subject have never owned or fired either weapon.

            Taking unverified poster’s comments seriously is pointless, we’re here to have fun.

          • Joshua

            I must be missing it but can you point out where people are saying their rifles never fail? Or they never clean them?

            My rifle’s failed, but not due to the operating system. They failed due to ammunition and magazines, completely different thing.

            I also cleaned my rifle daily, but that cleaning consisted of wiping down the BCG, wiping out the upper, and running a shoe string down the bore(learned it from the locals) until bore snakes came out then I went to those. Then I just relubed the BCG and put a couple of drops in the cam pin slot and into the exhaust vents to get it on the gas rings and behind the bolt tail. I never had to disassemble my BCG to keep it running. I however do not recommend that for inspections unless you want your legs chopped off for a “dirty rifle”.

          • dan citizen

            there are multiple posts on here where the poster claims to never clean their AR, and/or claim they have never had a malfunction.

            * “I never had a failure with any weapons issued to me”
            * “Ive put about 2k rounds of wolf through my spikes tactical and haven’t cleaned”
            * “Mk18Mod1 which I haven’t cleaned in over 4 thousand rounds with no malfunctions”

          • Commonsense23

            I never claimed not to clean my rifle, just it hasn’t been cleaned in 4000 rounds. I clean my rifle whenever it malfunctions, which aren’t ammo are mag related. I keep a detailed log of all my shots, so I can know the condition of my barrel, and the wear on tear on certain parts. I do regular maintenance on my rifles wearable parts to prevent problems.

          • Zachary marrs

            Same as commonsense23, I will clean my guns, but not religiously

          • Having fun with Internet comments is not the same thing as being a troll.

          • dan citizen

            I hear the next Call of Duty game will be harder.

          • Lance

            Dont forget you even said the M-4s used where beaters that where worn out so any test would have made the M-4 look bad.

          • Joshua

            I believe they were 6-7 months old at the time of the testing and were just pulled from the rack.

  • dan citizen

    This is all so sad, gone are the days when a rifle was 4 feet of steel wrapped in walnut, shooting a bullet meant for moose, when submerging it in the mud and blood of a trench was lubrication, when failure meant it stopped an enemy bullet, and when out of ammo you could beat a platoon to death with it.

    • Joshua

      You do realize the M14 had a number of issues and reported stoppages in combat? Then again it never saw the amount of action the AR platform has.

      Not to mention we run our rifles way harder now than even in 2001 before the war started….much less back in the day of the M1 and M14.

      • dan citizen

        M1? M14? New fangled sissy rifles.

        • displacer

          I only use .75 caliber matchlocks, anything newer is for effete hipsters

          • Joshua

            Pfft we did bayonet charges up hills through cannon ball and musket fire….beat that!

          • dan citizen

            Cannons? bayonets? Muskets? Witchcraft and sorcery!

            We had to fight the enemy with rocks and bare calloused fists, and because your worst enemy is yourself. we all had to qualify by having a fight to the death with ourselves.

          • You are an artist, sir.

  • Mr.T

    If anything tests are benign compared to combat use(here guns are just dusted that is all add some typical wear & damage to the magazines and things would get much worse) ,all weapons fail sooner or later on the battlefield due to various reasons but more soldier proof the firearm is the better. M16 and M4 are still in service only because generals keep getting jobs at various contractors.

    • displacer

      I don’t know what kind of combat you’ve experienced but the 2007 dust chamber tests involved placing rifles into a simulated sandstorm that would have been impossible to fight (let alone see) in for thirty-minute intervals, then firing off 120 round strings as fast as possible (repeating until they reached 60,000 rounds for each type of gun.) Basic maintenance and light lubrication was only allowed every 600 rounds which is 20 mags, or about three times the ammunition that most soldiers actually carry. As per Aberdeen the environmental conditions were purposefully far more extreme than you could expect to see in the wild unless maybe your job is conducting nonstop guerrilla warfare against the sand people on Tatooine. From the official presentation: “Extreme nature of test (number of rounds and minimal maintenance in severe dust environment) is not representative of a weapon’s realistic experience in an operational environment.” The extreme conditions were not meant to show what happens during normal operation, but were rather specifically unrealistic in order to simulate an implausible and absolute worst-case dust scenario (while also allowing the collection of statistically-significant data points on stoppages without requiring millions of rounds to be fired under normal conditions.)

      Even then the difference in overall reliability between the best and worst-performing guns in the earlier tests was a whopping 1.25%, with the XM8 going bang 99.78% of the time vs 98.53% for the M4. Additionally, it was determined that 27% of the failures seen by the M4 were not related to the gun itself but rather to the aluminum green-follower magazines, which are far inferior to modern anti-tilt designs like AWMs or PMags or even an alloy retrofitted with an orange or gold follower. Other tests have proven that one of the main problems with the M-16/M4 series is that official military doctrine seems to promote misguided under-lubrication with little empirical evidence to support such a thing. A separate dust test from the same year which used the same trial setup found that using heavy lubrication instead of the bare minimum offered a significant increase in reliability.

      In the test that was just released the new M4A1 (which was specifically built for improved relability) seems to have beaten all but one of the competitors in at least one major category if not more, and it’s likely that the difference in reliability between the M4A1 and the one gun that beat it is so small the insane pricetag associated with buying an all-new rifle arsenal couldn’t really be justified. Did you even read the article and some of the other comments here?

  • Lance

    You forget that the M-4s used where direct beater brought back from Iraq. And they faced brand new competitors carbines it was a set up for some who wanted FN crap adopted. Luckily there scam failed last year.

    • I’ve heard this before, but never seen confirmation of it. It would go a long way toward explaining the results.

  • Still doesn’t explain the M-4 platform’s failure at the Battle of Wanat.

    • JMLipoff

      Being a few days away from a deployment being over, they were probably getting lazy. Seen it a lot. Guys get fed up because deployments suck, they know they’re leaving in a few days, so they stop taking things seriously figuring nothing too bad will happen since they leave soon and start to slack. Their weapons were probably not well maintained.

      • Joshua

        Buddy of mine at the time was out there 2 months before that battle happened at Wanat and he spoke of the crappy maintenance that was going on. They had just gotten fed up and lax and they ended up paying in the end.

        Even still the AAR’s only show 5 M4’s failing, one overheated, one took a 7.62x54r through it killing the soldier, and 3 actually were locked up.

        • SimpleJack

          I usually don’t get into interservice rivalry crap because it’s largely stupid, but I will say that I am glad that the Marine Corps taught us to clean weapons religiously. Even though we cleaned weapons like crazy, there were still serious weapons failures in firefights (almost all of them M249 related), so I can only imagine what that’d be like if we slacked on weapons maintenance.

          Though I didn’t read too in depth into the battle of Wanat, one thing I took away from it was the repeated phrase “their M4s were malfunctioning and overheating from continuous full auto fire”. Well no shit! Assault rifles, especially M4s since they have a chopped down gas tube” are not especially good at firing continuously on full auto. Even more so when they are high round count military issue weapons that have been in service probably longer than the people using them.

          • I have some anecdotal evidence that some units in the Army have a hard time maintaining their weapons. Not cleaning-related, mind you.

          • SimpleJack

            Oh the Marines certainly do too. My SAW gunner had the retaining pin for his buttstock break (no idea how) and he had to hold it on with a stick and duct tape for a significant portion of the deployment. That is not an exaggeration. I’m actually surprised it worked.

            A big part of that is the nature of Afghanistan. We spent a week or two out of the wire at a time living off of helicopter resupplies. No armorer on hand meant having to make do a lot of times.

    • Joshua

      Wanat does not explain the lack of failures at Keating, in which the battle lasted longer, they went black on numerous calibers, and more than one soldier expended 40+ mags. Yet nothing failed but a M2 that took an RPG to the feed tray.

    • Commonsense23

      Wanat has two answers, the Army blamed their weapons failed them, or the Navy one where the Army leadership and training of the soldiers plus current condition of the soldiers was to blame. Considering Keating had no failures and was worse attack. Which one makes more sense to you. Which story do you think the Army is going to push about Wanat.

  • dan citizen

    These threads are the best traffic generator TFB could have, it’s like throwing a steak into a dog kennel…

    AK fans:
    See, I told you, ARs fail if you touch them without wearing silk gloves, wheras you can grind an AK into a fine powder and it will still work!

    AR fans:
    No criticism of ARs is valid, I have a $6,000, 9 pound AR with 17 picatinnys, 3 scopes and an MP3 player and it’s never failed no matter how long I leave it in the safe!

    We all should acknowledge that regardless of it’s weak points the AR has served and saved a lot of our boys, and sent more than a few enemies off to confirm their religion.

    • Joshua

      Pfft I was given a $700 M4A1 from uncle sam with about $10,000+ of ancillery items.

    • Zachary marrs

      You also forget the arguments over the m1 carbine ; P

      • dan citizen

        M1 carbines? I guess I missed that one. I wouldn’t know enough about them to contribute much…. not that it would stop me.

  • Will

    Didn’t the Brits make, and issue, a canvas dust cover in WWII?
    Designed for the Enfield and issued to troops in Africa?
    I’ve never seen, nor heard of, ANYONE getting into a fire fight in a dust storm. Seems to me a bit of cloth or even plastic food wrap, around the receiver, might be a great help.
    Of course I’m an old fart who thinks “If it’s stupid but it works, it’s not stupid.”

  • Mike

    Still a piece of crap… Look at the Ace-32 (7.62×39 by IWI)….. Much better at a much lower cost!… 🙁

    • Zachary marrs

      How much would it cost to retool for ammo production, all the guns needed to replace all m4/16’s currently in use, retrain all solders/ armorers, speare parts etc…

      Plus what exactly does that do better, other than wasting billions of dollars

      • Mike

        Talk to any Vietnam vet who picked up and used an AK-47 in country…. The M-16 would not shoot through the jungle and the AK would… The M-16 (M-4) would jam and the AK did not….. Currently the M-4 won’t shoot through a mud hut wall and the AK will. The only think needed on the AK-47 was a better more accurate barrel and a machined receiver as the stamped one would distort after hours and hours of continuous use, hours after the M-16 (M-4) had stopped working period.. That is without even covering the range and thing power of the 7.62×39 as opposed to the pee shooter power and range of the 5.56….Many of our guys died in Nam because the 5.56 would not knock down the opium hopped up VC and NVA while the 7.62 would…
        Enough already!…. 🙁

        • Zachary marrs

          Dude vietnam was almost 50 years ago! Have you been living under a rock? Look at the vets here, they love the m4

          • Mike

            Same problem in Iraq and Afghanistan…… Range and hitting power… Oh did I mention it won’t shot through the corner or wall of a mud hut while the 7.62 AK will?

          • Zachary marrs

            Look at allll the vets here who have had trouble with the ar, all zero of them, go back to commenting on fpsrussia videos

          • Zachary marrs

            How is range a problem with 5.56? Ive shot past 600 yards with my 16″ spikes tactical. You want to see what a 5.56 can do to a man, look up “5.56 wound” in google images, not pretty

    • petru sova

      Notice how the Ace did not I repeat did not blow up when shot with water in the barrel. In the U.S. Service tests of the M16 they had to draw the bolt back to let the water out of the .22 cal. small diameter barrel so the gun would not blow up with water in the barrel.

  • Cavscout

    It’s popular to jump on board with the newest and coolest [looking?] guns that people get to use in video games, or simply to bash the M16 platform in general because of its bad debute. But generally I think soldiers and marines like/trust their weapons more than the civilian populace wants to believe.

    You guys get to buy and have fun blasting at the range with newest high dollar toys. Some even attend formal courses, though not a large percentage. The military can’t update their entire arsenal every time video games and the forums get everyone excited about another gun.

    • Mike

      See below….. 🙁 Incidentally, Israel has been at war since t was formed…. Pretty darn good test range….. The DOD made a huge mistake in the early 1960’s and has been loth to admit it and change….. Ever handle an AK-47 in a firefight?

  • JimL

    The communication problem can often lie in how stats are used. When we were debating adding adjustable stocks to weapons due to the difficulties with shooting in IBA, the weapons folks often quoted relative risk (vice absolute risk). Saying something “doubles the risk” of a stoppage is really not useful unless you understand the actual risk. For example, going from 1 stoppage per 10,000 rounds to 2 stoppages per 10,000 rounds ‘doubles’ the risk, but is hardly meaningful.

  • Bill Liles

    I’m not a war fighter in any way. I understand that if my gun is needed to kill people that needs killing it will be right here in the USA. Being realistic if my gun and I get off 200 rounds (thats all I have magazines loaded for) I will be perfectly happy with that. My $700.00 AK patterned rifle will do that in spades.

  • Tangodown

    WHAT…would YOU replace it WITH?!!!

    • Fegelein

      AKS-74. No doubt. But since NATO demands 5.56, AK-101.

  • petru sova

    I used the AR15 for many years in competition and any gun that sprays burnt powder all over the action and looks like a coal bin after only 30 rounds should never ever have been adopted by the U.S. military. I have seen about every brand of AR fail and jam up but the AK 47’s I have shot worked flawlessly. There simply is no comparison absolutely none.

    • Zachary marrs

      Whatever you say

    • Commonsense23

      Ah, so my MK46 and MK 48 should be taken out of service. Might as well stop using my Scar with a suppressor cause that thing gets insanely dirty. And I must have been confused when dealing with all those AKs I thought were broken while doing fid, cause obviously AKs don’t break.

      • Mike

        I believe the comparison was the standard issued M-4 to the Ace- 23,,,, Few even know what the MK-46 and the MK-48 are…..

    • Mike

      Look at the Ace 23 from IWI with a better barrel and machined receiver…..See the video below….. It is better than the AK-47 for those two very important reasons

    • Mike

      I’ve always said, the best weapon is one that can “go into the mud and still go to work”…… Neither the M-16 nor the M-4 will do that, while the AK-47 and it’s more accurate and dependable brother, the Ace 23 by IWI will…… So, as a soldier, which would you prefer to carry into a firefight?

  • petru sova

    Despite the religious fanaticism on all weapons that were adopted by the military history has proven many of them were no match for the Russian and German designed weapons of WWII and post WWII. Mr. Kalashnikov himself shook his head in disbelief when he examined the M16 for the first time. He could not believe a country with the firearms expertise and manufacturing capability would choose a military rifle with a gas system that sprayed burnt powder all over the actions internal parts. Despite the half baked improvements since the invasion of Viet-Nam the M16 still is not much more reliable than it was during those years. At our own range whenever a semi-auto military jams up and I hear someone cussing a blue streak I do not even have to look first to figure out what rifle is jamming up as it almost always is an AR-15.

  • Secundius

    I find it interesting that you pulled out a 7-year old test report. Nothing newer then that.

  • petru sova

    I think everyone remembers several years ago the battle where a group of U.S. soldiers got lost and then were attacked by local Arabs armed with AK 47’s. The Arabs are well known for not taking care of their weapons yet their AK 47’s worked and every one except one of the U.S. Personal M16 quit working. What more proof would even a mentally challenged person need in regards to which weapon was better suited to desert warfare and was more reliable. Lets calm down the religious fervor and realize the M16 did not work in Nam and it still is not working today. One can hide ones head in the sands of the desert but it does not change the reality of the sorry history of the M16 as a military weapon. It should have been crap canned after Viet-Nam. It failed in the jungle numerous ways and failed in the desert too. Perhaps if we only fought wars on the well kept grassy boulevards of France or Germany the M16 might just work 25 per cent of the time.

    • Mike

      Petru,
      As a double problem (screw up), the light weight 5.56 will not shoot through jungle or forest without ricocheting, while the 7.62 will go right through and hit it’s target. Same thing with the walls of mud huts in Iraq and Afghanistan…….

      • Commonsense23

        Mud walls can stop RPGs, 5.56 can’t even come close to penetrating.

      • Commonsense23

        Should have said 7.62 can’v even come close to penetrating, neither can 50 cal.

    • Commonsense23

      I have pulled enough broken AKs off dead taliban to know that AKs are not retard proof. You are referring to a group of mechanics and truck drivers who got lost and ambushed by a infantry unit.

      • petru sova

        Of which none of the AK’s failed to work and all but one of the M16 jammed up. I think putting aside super patriotism and looking at the M16 as a mechanical device it does not take a rocket scientist to see what a failed design this weapon has been since day one of its adoption. Its got a lot of people killed because it was adopted. If our Gov’t under McNamara had brain one they would have developed a weapon based on the AK47. To deny that the M16 is even the equal of the AK is just plain ridiculous.

        • Commonsense23

          What are you referring to? You want to go back to Vietnam why did both SF and the Seals love the AR-15 and M16 and push for its adoption. Yes some people got killed by the push to field the M16, but that has to do with the way the weapon was fielded and changing the specs of the ammo without consulting the designers. M16 was a huge advantage over the M14 in Vietnam and more than held its own against a weapon that had more than a decade to work out its bugs.

          • petru sova

            You had better watch the international news occasionally. Just a few years ago an entire truck full of U.S. personnel was shot up, a few killed and the rest captured because every one of their M16 jammed up but the AK’s did not. As I said before the M16 was a failure in Nam and it is still a failure today.

          • Commonsense23

            Okay, first show me where the statement none of the enemies AKs jammed. And the only incident you can be referring to is when Jessica Lynch was captured. Over a decade ago. She is someone who admitted they didn’t know how to do a tap rack bang. She was someone who has so little training in carrying a gun they couldn’t reload under stress. Do you really think she would have been better with a AK? Now lets go back to Vietnam, other than the rushed entry early in the war, why did every survey of troop opinion of the M16 come back favorable?

          • petru sova

            Quote:Now lets go back to Vietnam, other than the rushed entry early in the war, why did every survey of troop opinion of the M16 come back favorable? Quote.

            Once again if you had ever bothered to look at actual battle footage you will see M16 jamming and you will see some troops using captured AK47’s because they new it was a better weapon.
            I would suggest you take any AR 15 out and just shoot one clip out of it. Then look at the inside of the action now caked with burnt power. When this happens and it is raining the burnt power mixes with the rain making a slur that now makes the gun jam up. The U.S. Military spent several million dollars to come up with a lube that would let the M16 fire in the rain a bit longer before jamming up. It was called LSA fluid and even today brand new fluid is very, very, expensive to make and sell. The AK 47 needs no such expensive fluid to fire in the rain.
            In conclusion: YOU CAN LEAD A MAN TO KNOWLEDGE BUT YOU CAN NEVER FORCE HIM TO THINK. You are a perfect example of this.

          • Commonsense23

            You use terms like clip instead of magazine, doesn’t help make you sound like you know what you are talking about. Okay, lets see find me some photos of guys using AKs in Vietnam. Not photos of guys posing with AKs they just took off a body or back at the base, but dudes going on patrol with AKs. Why did the Seals use the M16 then, guys who did nothing but maritime and swamp work love it? I would love to see some actual documentation of guys rolling out with AKs constantly. If burnt powder mixed with rain is going to gunk up a gun, guess I won’t be able to fire my MK46 or M48 in the rain or when wet, or my MK17 when I run it suppressed, cause those all run dirty. I currently use CLP which is cheap and have no problem crossing rivers or using my gun in the. You are so biased against the M16 family of weapons you are just believing myth and legends.

          • petru sova

            Ok genius boy. You should watch American Rifleman TV. They recently researched the snob arguments about clip v/s Magazine nomenclature. It was found out that as early as 1911 the military was calling the 1911 pistols feeding device a clip in their instruction manuals not a magazine. If you were not living in the past or in the present in a cave you would also know that in modern times clip is being used to describe a detachable feeding device while more and more the word magazine is used to describe a fixed feeding device such as a tube in a pump shotgun. So much for the history lesson which you obviously flunked. As far as photo’s there is a secret building which obviously you never use or have heard of. Its called a library. Go to it and request a copy of the 10 part TV series called “The 10,000 day war”. In it they have a special 1 hour segment on the weapons used and how the AK was superior to the M16 as well as other episodes showing plenty of U.S. troops having to resort to using the AK 47 because of its superior reliability. The AK47 as stated by Mr. Ezel who wrote an entire book on the subject and someone you obviously have never heard of gives details about the superiority of the gun such as its 6 to 1 weight piston ratio which was one of the reasons it worked so well as opposed the the M16 which sprayed burnt powder all over the action as well as not having such a ratio in its gas impingement operation which has no piston. Of course when one like yourself is mechanically challenged to put it very mildly all this is quite over your head.

  • petru sova

    Notice how the Ace did not, I repeat did not, blow up when shot with water in the barrel. In the U.S. Service tests of the M16 they had to draw the bolt back to let the water out of the .22 cal. small diameter barrel so the gun would not blow up with water in the barrel.

  • df

    Mil-STD-810F Sand and Dust Test states in section 2.3.2.7 (Orientation).

    a. Blowing dust tests. Unless otherwise specified, orient the test item such that the most vulnerable surfaces face the blowing dust. Using the specified test duration, rotate the test item (if required) at equal intervals to expose all vulnerable surfaces.

    b. Blowing sand tests. Orient the test item with respect to the direction of the blowing sand such that the test item will experience maximum erosion effects. The test item may be re-oriented at 90-minute intervals.

    c. Settling dust tests. Install the test item in the test chamber in a manner representative of its anticipated deployment in service.

    Why are the M4s oriented in a muzzle up vertical position (cruiser carry, rifle rack, ceremonial carry) instead of the horizontal or muzzle down (low ready, patrol carry, 1-point sling carry) in the 2007 dust chamber?
    Why the sudden change from the horizontal dusting position of the AR-10 (1960 dust test), AR-15 (1960 dust test), and the M16A1 (1993 dust test of lubricants)?
    Are they afraid of the settling dust test will jam further the M4?

    When the “sand stormed” M4 (chamber loaded) is lowered muzzle down to a vertical position, fine sand that has penetrate the trigger hole (LR), pass under the cocked hammer, travel along the firing control well (LR), roll over the bolt catch sear, jump to the firing pin well (carrier), lodges on the bolt stem tip can jam the firing pin flange.