A Few Thoughts On The M16A4

Marine_M16A4_Gharma

Is the M16A4 worth the extra weight and length it brings? Howard of LooseRounds has weighed in with an article relating some of his experiences with the rifle. His conclusion is as follows:

I have often told people that the M4 is a jack of all trade, but master of none. Truthfully, the M4 really excels at many of the roles it is used in. The M16A4 type rifle falls into an odd place where it doesn’t particularly do any one thing significantly better than the M4, yet is inferior in handling and weight.

For some this will come as a surprise, but Howard carefully considers what the M16A4 brings to the table as an infantry weapon – and doesn’t feel that it makes up for the greatly increased weight and inferior handling that comes with it.

One topic this broaches is that of barrel length of standard military rifles: How much is appropriate, and why? How important is muzzle velocity, and to what degree should handiness and ease of use be compromised to improve it? It’s a question with a lot of depth – more than I can plumb – and every user may have a different answer, but Howard’s conclusions mirror the decisions made by numerous armed forces around the world: Shorter is better, says the dominance of carbines with barrels less than 16″ long.

I strongly urge readers to click through and read the whole thing.



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.


Advertisement

  • Anonymoose

    I like full-length rifles. The only thing I would change is putting a collapsible stock on it. They really should have gone through with the A5 program.

    • Joshua

      The H6 system is by all accounts as reliable as the A5 in the M16 and is in the system.

      I do believe however that their current plans are to just adopt the M4 fleet wide.

      • Miles

        The collapsible stock with H6 buffer is a standard piece of “Additionally Authorized Equipment” and has been in the supply system for at least 3 years now.

        All tests by TACOM showed it was as reliable as and functioned as well as the standard stock. The H6 buffer was compared with the standard, H and H2 buffer for rate of fire and reliability.

        I was really surprised when it was adopted because, at the same time it was being tested, all the PS propaganda made absolutely clear that any unauthorized mods (like collapsible stocks on A2s and A4s) was strictly verboten.

        Personally I never had any problems when using a H2 buffer. Who me do these mods? Perish the thought.
        And your info on the M4A1 being the ‘fleet wide’ weapon are correct. However, that’ll probably take some time. I actually saw M16A1s still in the inventory of a NG meteorology unit…… in 2005.

    • Michael Mabey

      C7A2 colapsing stock coloured furniture optics package and many accessories.

    • vereceleritas

      Completely agree. The A2 stock was my single biggest complaint of the M16A4. My second biggest complaint was that garbage three point sling we were issued. I didn’t really mind the barrel length.

  • James

    I used both in the Marines and I felt the M4 was better to handle. I was just as accurate, if not more, with the M4 than the A4. I always thought it was more of a price issue common with the Marines. Otherwise who wants a purple hued rifle?

  • I was never under the impression that military acquisitions were about putting the “best” gun into soldier’s hands. It was always explained to me that practicality, economy, and “what we’ve got on hand already” usually took priority.

    • Joshua

      You heard wrong. they set a requirement and if it is met they will select based off a bid from those who met the said requirement.

      So far no one has met the requirements set for individual rifles, and 95% of the ones tested cannot even perform as well as a product improved M16 or M4.

      There is a reason 99% of everyone in SOCOM are using an updated M4A1.

      • marathag

        And then pick the lowest bidder, unless there’s a ‘thumb on the scale’ for Colt

        • Joshua

          Do tell where Colt has been given all these contracts? Fnh is now making both the M16 and M4 due to underbidding Colt.

          Colt lost the M320 competition as well, actually the only new thing Colt has won contracts for was the M45A1 and spare BCG and barrel assemblies for the M4 to M4A1 conversions.

          As for lowest bidder sure, least expensive of the ones that met every requirement. Generally in acquisitions you have one rifle that does 105% of the requirements and one that is about 3-4% better but then they want about 50% more than the other who was just 3% lower in scores than them.

          Why pay 50% more for a 3% increase? They both met the requirements set forth for the competition.

          Since this is about individual rifles, there have been none that met the requirements set for new rifles. As for the most recent carbine competition(which the Marines were keeping and eye on) there was only one rifle with greater MRBS while the M4A1 had the best MRBEFF.

          • marathag

            I know. Thumb came off the scale

          • Shawn Thompson

            dont bother. the lowest bidder clowns are not capable of understanding meeting spec is meeting spec.

        • Grindstone50k

          Not necessarily the lowest bidder, but the one that offers the procurment team leader’s cousin a cushy job.

        • Shawn Thompson

          that is completely untrue. and the lowest bidder myth died a long time ago, but apparently no one told you. they still meet a spec. the spec in the spec regardless of how much a company charges to make it. and to put a last touch on your ignorance. colt has no M2/M16 contracts so your snark should be directed at Berretta and FN. and to add to all that Colt owns the TDP and has made over 10 million combat guns over 50 years. so yeah, I would want the guys who knew the most about the thing, making mine if I had a choice.

          • Joshua

            Why buy a Beretta when you can buy a Taurus.

      • valorius

        The us army rarely picks the best weapon, they pick based on political considerations as often as anything else.

        For instance, the m9 beat the sig p228 m11 in the original army competition ….the m11 is a much better sidearm for the military.

        The army actually picked the m60 over the fn mag/m240 too, back in the day.

        • CommonSense23

          You mean the Beretta beat the Sig 226. The M9 trial was decided by the final price submitted(which a lot of controversy still ensured from). The Sig and Beretta were the only two pistols to successfully complete the trials, while the Sig was the superior pistol even by the Armys own admission, the Beretta came out cheaper in the end

          • valorius

            Yes, the 226, my apologies.

  • roguetechie

    I split the difference and do essentially a c7a2 type setup. I have a ti-7 stock an a3 upper a.r.m.s flip up traditional m16 style front post and flip up rear set with a cantilever lucid red dot as part of several strategies I use to try to give the rifle as much rearward weight as possible. This is especially important since I’m not a big guy and without a plate carrier I only have my stock set to it’s 4th position, and third position fully geared up.

    I personally feel like firing m855 out of a pinned 14.5 or 16 inch barrel is a waste. If I want to go shorter I can always grab my mgi hydra out of the safe and fire x39 out of an AR platform.

    Then again I’m not servicing targets that are trying to kill me.

    For my money both personally and for guys at the sharp end I feel like a heavily modified AR 12 and a half would be about the sweet spot. If anyone’s interested I’ll lay out a description of what I’m thinking in another comment.

  • Rogier Velting

    Wasn’t there something about the chance to tumble from both barrel lengths? If I recall correctly, the M4 only had a 50 yard lethal range according to that, and the M16 a 200 yard range… If that’s correct, I’d say that difference matters.

    • Joshua

      Not anymore, M855A1 was designed and tested to reliably fragment out to 600M in unobstructed soft tissue from the 14.5″ M4A1.

      There is also only a small 200fps difference in muzzle velocity between the M4 and M16.

      • valorius

        That’s because m855a1 is loaded extremely hot. Wear will be an issue.

        • M855A1 does have a higher peak pressure, but under sustained fire it should actually beat up the gun less, due to being dramatically more temperature stable.

          • valorius

            Again, this is a subject the dentist has commented on extensively. He claims a significant increase in wear with m855a1 His comments on the topic are easily google-able.

          • Gary is prone to exaggeration and overstepping the bounds of his knowledge. One of the things he harps on is that the round is designed to be environmentally friendly, which isn’t half the story if you read what one of the officers in charge of the program has to say. I think Major Dean’s article on its development is much more valuable in understand the round, its limitations, tradeoffs, and capabilities.

            One thing that most irks me about Roberts’ posts and presentations is his reluctance to cite his sources. I do not consider the Army to be a bunch of saints, incapable of failure or incompetence (I was raised by a Naval officer!), but if he’s going to argue this is a huge Army boondoggle, he could cite some sources.

          • valorius

            I am not a fan of roberts either, generally speaking.
            Still, he knows enough that his comments are worth reading.

            M855a1 was not designed all at once for any particular reason imo, lol. It was designed and redesigned and redesigned again.

            I swear the army spends money just to spend it.

          • I read his stuff. It is worth reading. Mostly it’s his opinions with very little support, but it’s worth reading, as long as one doesn’t get too many ideas from it.

            What’s wrong with spending time and money to make a better round?

          • valorius

            Well designing and redesigning the same round over and over when mk262 is already in service strikes me as pretty stupid and an enormous waste of money.

        • -V-

          No, that’s the MV difference when using M193 55gr ammo in a 20 vs 14.5″ barrel. The muzzle velocity difference is actually just not that great.

          • valorius

            It varies by lot and gun, but can be as high as 300fps.

            200-300 fps makes a very large difference in how violently and completely the projectile fragments, and at what range.

            Here’s a purty picture:

            m855 fragmentation

          • valorius

            It can be as great as 300fps, again not every lot and every gun gives similar readings.

            For 62gr m855/m16 @ 3000fps equates to 1240fpe energy.
            Same bullet @ 2750 is 1040fpe.

            That’s almost 20% less energy and more importantly, the fragmentation effect is greatly reduced at 2750 vs 3000fps. And obviously penetration is greatly reduced as velocity is lost.

            200-250fps is the difference between 9mm and 9mm+p+. I disagree that it is not that big a deal.

          • valorius

            Please consider that if 200fps is no big deal, why is m855a1 loaded to such high pressure?

            To regain the lost velocity- because it can be a big deal.

            Below a certain threshold m855 or any projectile will not fragment at all. That extra 200fps means you’ll get greater frag effect at any range frag occurs, as well as any frag effect at all at greater range.

            Plus flatter trajectory and reduced TOF.

    • That “50 yard fragmentation range” figure for the M4 has been passed around for a while, until it’s become common knowledge. The problem is it’s wrong.

      • valorius

        It’s actually 90 yds under ideal conditions.

        • Please support this statement.

          • valorius

            The “dentist’s” comments on other interwebs message forums is my source.

            It should be quite easy to search for via google. If you can’t find it let me know and I’ll see if i can track down his exact quote on the subject for you.

          • I’m familiar with Gary Roberts’ work. It’s very unconvincing.

          • valorius

            Some is unconvincing, so i take what he says with a grain of salt. However, he has spoken at length on the issue on m4net, and he’s pretty convincing on this particular topic.

          • If he contradicts what Major Dean (who worked on the project) says, am I supposed to believe the dentist or the Major?

          • valorius

            I would hope youd try balance the two opinions then judge them based on your own life experiences. 😉

          • Mazryonh

            Have you ever gotten in touch with Dr. GKR? I’m sure the staff here would have an interesting dialogue with him.

          • I haven’t. I’m a little worried we’d disagree too vehemently.

          • Mazryonh

            Even with that in mind, I do think a civil exchange could be fruitful. We might even see the sources you say he hasn’t been forthcoming about.

          • Could be. I’ll look into it.

          • Mazryonh

            I’m looking forward to it. I’d be particularly interested if his writings about the problems of PDW cartridges like the 5.7x28mm or 4.6x30mm gel with reality, for instance.

          • n0truscotsman

            IMO I think its a good thing that GKR stays on his side of the fence.
            I take what he says with a grain of salt.

      • Rogier Velting

        Alright, thank you for explaining that’s wrong then. I do prefer my knowledge to be correct, as opposed to simply being myths, so that’s helpful.

        • I am glad it was helpful. I was a bit short, but just because I cannot write an extended response every comment. I would love to, really.

  • Wetcoaster

    I thought the newer M855A1 rounds were optimized for short barrels (I assume this mostly means faster burning powders) to reduce the MV difference between the M4 and M16.

    • roguetechie

      Yeah but they do so at the expense of beating guns to scrap in about 50% the time as m855. That’s the price we pay though for cutting more than 25% off the barrel length the gun/round combination was originally designed for. Honestly what I’ve read says this was a lot of why none of the entries in the last competition could really surpass m4a1 to a level that justifies switching.

      • The powder burn rate has nothing to do with M855A1 being harder on guns. I have heard secondhand that at least one company competing in IC blamed M855A1 for their weapons not having as good reliability as the test M4s. I find this claim strange, as M855A1 was designed as a drop-in replacement for M855 in the M4, so how would the test weapons suffer from it relative to the test M4s? Besides, M855A1 is the Army’s standard round, so regardless of whether they think it was fair, there wasn’t some great conspiracy to make the weapons fail.

        • valorius

          M855a1 operates at much higher pressure than m193 or m855.

        • roguetechie

          Oh I wasn’t commenting on faster or slower burning… Just the known and acknowledged fact that it’s hard on the guns compared to 855. This is acknowledged even. However unavailability of sufficient test stocks of m855a1 is actually an extremely good reason to complain about results. Any time you alter even one factor in an ammunition load it will change the pressure curve! That’s basic science that says that not just my opinion.

          Change the pressure curve but only give one team access to decent supplies of the new ammo to optimize with… Kind of the definition of unsportsmanlike lol.

          • I think under normal conditions it is harder on guns – but during sustained fire it should be much, much easier on them. The reason for this is that WC 844, the powder used in M193, M855, and early Mk. 262, is not very temperature stable above 140 degrees. A NAVSEA test showed that it could reach in excess of 90,000 PSI during high temperature firings.

            SMP-842, the powder used in M855A1 (and I believe Mk. 318 and late Mk. 262) is much more temperature stable, and experiences lower “highs” and higher “lows”, meaning that it should, during high round count high rate of fire use, actually beat up guns considerably less.

            During normal use, though, yes it will be harder on them.

            One could argue the Army made a mistake in not giving the contestants time to evaluate M855A1 properly. However, it’s been known that M855A1 was going to be the Army’s new standard issue round since 2006, so it is not correct to say the Army “sprung it” on the contestants. It’s certainly not the case that the Army introduced the new round just to screw with the entrants.

            Did they provide the contestants enough test ammunition to tweak their designs for the new round? They gave them 10,000 rounds a piece. Is that enough? Who knows?

            What is clear is that none of the designs performed better enough than the M4 to warrant adoption. You would think if a real quantum leap in reliability was available, it wouldn’t have mattered much if the ammunition did change, would it?

          • roguetechie

            Yeah I’ve read about the powder thing with 855 in sustained fire! Not good.

            And I think DOD is right in changing over. I however don’t have an entire tax base to fund spares though. So personally I’ll be happy to use 855

      • valorius

        Yep

    • Yes, M855A1 was the first round adopted by the Army to be specified from 14.5″ barrels.

  • Timothy G. Yan

    Vltor developed their “M16A5” model for the Marine Corps, which is dragging their butt and probably too cheap to buy it. The Vltor “A5” has free-float barrel, bolt on free-float Keymod handguard (no gunsmithing needed), and a EMod A5 collapsible stock w/ extended buffer tube and special weighted buffer that passed all the drop tests reliability test.

    • Ron

      There was not much gain in the PIP compared to the cost, the end result if the barrels did not get replaced with 16″ ones was a gun only 3″ shorter than an A4.

  • Yellow Devil

    Although I cannot comment on the M16A4, I was issued the M16A2 in the rear and given the M4 for deployments. For some reason, I found the M16 easier to shoot, possible because of the perceived smaller front sight post. I struggled more with the M4, but that seem to go the wayside after we were (finally) given red dots for them. Probable didn’t help that I was never really an expert shooter. I do admit though when going on convoys, I much preferred the M4 for it’s handiness factor.

    • valorius

      The m16a2 has a much longer sight radius and higher mv so it is significantly easier to,shoot at long range.

  • Ron

    There are currently more M4s in Marine infantry battalions than there are A4s

  • valorius

    “I have often told people that the M4 is a jack of all trade, but master of none. Truthfully, the M4 really excels at many of the roles it is used in. The M16A4 type rifle falls into an odd place where it doesn’t particularly do any one thing significantly better than the M4, yet is inferior in handling and weight.”

    This comment is absolute nonsense.

    The m16a4 has longer range, higher velocity and therefore much greater hitting power, flatter trajectory, significantly less recoil in rapid fire, a longer sight radius, and is a better club and spear.

    As a general infantry weapon, the m4 is inferior to the m16a4 in every way except length and weight.

    Gong into battle, I would much prefer an m16a4.

    -a former us army mechanized infantryman.

    • The MER of the M16A4 is about 535 yards, if we use what the PEO Soldier office has laid out. The MER of the M4 is 500 yards. So it’s not that much greater range. Likewise, the available energy at 500 yards is 16% higher. Better, but not that much better. Under Army Metro conditions and with a 3,100 ft/s muzzle velocity (about what the M16A4 gives), M855 drops below 2,500 ft/s at 176 meters, versus 126 meters for a 2,920 ft/s muzzle velocity (about what an M4 gives). So the fragmentation range, however you count it, isn’t so much longer on the M16, either.

      All of this comes with greater bulk and weight. You could argue both ways on this, but “absolute nonsense” is not how I would characterize Howard’s opinion.

      • Dracon1201

        I’m sorry, we know both of the MERs are BS. If either were that damn effective, we wouldn’t be dusting off the M14s or pulling anything 7.62 out. Neither is truly that effective at 500 yds. In your comment, you say that a 40% increase in fragmentation range is insignificant? That’s a massive increase. If my stocks jumped like that, I’d be one rich man. Yeah, of course this all comes with more bulk and weight, but if the military actually tried to improve the M16 and not say, “—-it all, we have an M4 sitting around to give you,” we could have a damn nice M16A4. The parts they use now are horribly obsolete. An A2 stock, really? KAC quad rail? What are we, 2004? There is room for a huge improvement, and a few more ounces of steel for a 40% velocity increase? Sounds like a win with a round that’s entirely dependant on velocity.

        • Really? In what way are they BS? Please be as thorough in your explanation as possible.

          I never used the word “insignificant”. There are a couple of things it would help to understand when discussing this subject: 1. Fragmentation range is not a bold red line; it is a gradient. So the M16 does not have a “40% increase in fragmentation range”, it is about 50m ahead for a given velocity at range. Does that matter? Yes. How much? A much harder question to answer.

          In what way is 5.56 dependent on velocity for terminal effect that any other military FMJ round isn’t?

          • Dracon1201

            The MER is really wishful thinking. You want to push a round that far with that weight, you had better be punching paper at a range. The real MER of a 5.56 is closer to 300. Just remember, I can take a .22LR out to 500 if I do my part. That doesn’t make it a good round for that. The round is simply not built for that distance.

            I never said that you said it was insignificant, but you did belittle the fact, and yes, although it is a gradient, that doesn’t change a thing. The M16 will have a 50m lead. You can’t make light of that. If we are going to throw things like that out, screw it, 5.7 wins. The M16 has a purpose. The M4, without significantly different ammunition will never be the jack of all trades we want it to be.

            All ammo is dependent on velocity (that’s basic physics), but some are more dependent than others. Combine a low weight and a bullet design that truly needs it to tumble/fragment as it was made to, and that’s what I mean. The M16’s extra 4in help with that.

            Either redesign the round, or don’t complain, but there is a reason we are dragging the 7.62s back out, and it sure isn’t nostalgia.

          • CommonSense23

            I have personally recovered the body of a guy who was killed just past 600yards from a one shot/one kill from a MK18MOD1. I carried the MK12 on one deployment. Saying the 5.56 is truly limited to around 300 yards is completely underestimating the round.

          • valorius

            We keep in mind the mk12 is a dedicated SDM platform, with much greater accuracy than a milspec m16 or m4.

            But i do agree the range of 5.56mm can exceed 300 meters…..in the right conditions and the right hands.

            Our Bn rifle team used to shoot m16a1s at 400 and 500 meters, with m193.

          • CommonSense23

            But the MK18MOD1 isn’t a SDM.

          • The M4 is a much more accurate rifle than nearly all of the people using it.

          • valorius

            So is an m16

          • Right; so is that an advantage the M16 has?

          • valorius

            Does anyone at camp perry competitions compete with a 14.5″ ar? No.

            You’ll see lots of 18″ and 20″ ar’s though.

            Even if all things are equal between the m4 and m16, the m16 still gives higher velocity. That equates to flatter trajectory and reduced TOF. Reduced TOF limits the amount of time wind has to act on the bullet, and also reduces the required lead to hit moving targets. +200fps velocity can result in 10% less wind drift

            Perhaps the biggest advantage of the m16 is the reduced recoil in rapid fire vs an m4.

            Each thing taken by itself is small, but when they’re all combined it makes a pretty significant advantage.

          • valorius

            More on wind drift and velocity:

            Article from back country chronicles: ballistic factors that most affect wind drift:

            “The largest change in wind drift was produced from a 10% decrease in the distance. By decreasing the distance from 500 yards to 450 yards, the wind drift decreased over 20%.

            The next largest effect comes from a 10% increase in velocity which corresponds to a 12.6% decrease in wind drift. The Ballistics Coefficient of the bullet was the third ranked factor, with a 10% improvement of BC resulting in a 10.6% decrease in wind drift.”

            So that extra 200fps really does make a big difference in long or even medium range wind drift.

          • Dracon1201

            Sure, that can happen. It can happen with anything. But one good lucky hit does not mean it’s truly effective at that range. A super accurate hit with a MK12, yeah it can bring someone down. But we are talking about the 5.56 out of a milspec M4 and M16, and that just isn’t a good range for the round especially when paired with either.

          • CommonSense23

            It was not a lucky hit. One he was using 262. And the MK18MOD1 is capable of sub moa accuracy. The simple fact is 5.56 with good ammo is going to be able to deliver effective hits beyond the vast majority of users ability

          • valorius

            Ex grunt nods agreement 😉

          • None of what you say is supported. Many of it is in fact contradicted by historical facts:

            1. The original chambering of the AR-15 rifle, the .222 Remington, was augmented to become the .222 Remington Special (with case dimensions identical to the .223 Remington and 5.56mm, which didn’t exist yet) specifically to fulfill a 500m penetration requirement set by the Air Force. The round is, at least in one sense, built specifically for that distance. The range of M855 is even longer.

            2. “In your comment, you say that a 40% increase in fragmentation range is insignificant?” Yes, you did say this.

            3. How are some rounds more dependent on velocity than others? Please be thorough in your explanation and cite sources. In what way does higher bullet weight offset this? Again, please be thorough and cite sources.

          • valorius

            The higher the impact velocity, the more violent the fragmentation, the more devastating the secondary effects.

            The increased fragmentation range of the m16a4 means the ability to deliver devastating wounds on an enemy while he is still outside the range of an ak47 when used by a typical third world peasant fighter.

            And honestly, though it is discounted nowadays, the m16 is just plain superior to the m4 as a club and spear. The m4 is a ridiculously poor platform for hand to hand fixed bayonet combat., especially when all that crap todays troops rely on is hung off of it.

            The m4 is a good weapon, but it is a remf’s and commandos weapon. Not an infantrymans.

          • Could you qualify these statements in any way?

          • valorius

            Its a fact.

          • Again, I ask (and, frankly, I’m getting a little tired of asking): What makes 5.56 qualitatively different in this respect? Any military FMJ projectile of similar construction will be dependent on velocity to do dramatic things. A .308″ projectile of the same construction and design as a .224″ one will fragment at the same velocities. If it doesn’t fragment or do anything else special, you’re left with .32 ACP-like wounds.

            What makes these larger calibers qualitatively different? I have never received an answer to this question.

          • valorius

            Larger caliber bullets tend to also be longer, so even if it doesn’t fragment, a .30 cal spitzer bullet is going to tear a longer hole as it tumbles, but mostly it is the increased energy that reduces the need for fragmentation in 7.62mm weapons. The hydrostatic shock of 7.62 nato – or whatever term is en vogue- is a primary contributor to wound severity in rifle calibers.

            Not to say that .30 cal is the holy grail or anything.

          • n0truscotsman

            bullet design is the holy grail.
            We have evolved past the need to rely on velocity alone to make 5.56 effective. Hence, why do we have mk 262 and mk 318? superior bullet design conducive for killing shitheads than M855.

          • valorius

            The mk262 has a velocity threshold of 2100 fps for fragmentation as well.

            Apparently mk262 was not good enough for the us army or usmc for general issue. There is nothing fancy about it, it’s just a long spritzer with a cannelure.

          • n0truscotsman

            It was good enough for a wide variety of reasons (and not just “good enough” but excellent), but the US Army in particular favors rounds with more penetration value. The Mk 262 is definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to this misguided parameter. Hence, the M855A1 exists now.

          • valorius

            The mk262 is an excellent rd, you’re right. I would prefer it over the new ammo for almost all tasks infantry related. I don’t currently own a 5.56mm at right now, but when I did it was my preferred home defense choice.

            Honestly, I think it was foolish to switch from m193 to begin with. M855 was designed as a semi armor piercing machine gun round for the SAW, it was a fish out of water from day one in the m16 imo.

          • valorius

            Btw, if we really want to pick nits….shot place,net is the true holy grail 😉

        • valorius

          I agree with your points. To elaborate further….

          I carried an m16a2 in the mechanized infantry and on many dismounted road marches. I participated in numerous mout and cqb field problems while using it, and also on a real world deployment.. Its length and bulk are absolutely worth the increased overall performance of the m16 vs m4, and honestly, the m16 is NOT too long for

      • valorius

        It is how i, as an ex infantryman and real world end user characterize that opinion.

        The m16a4 is a significantly, if not vastly, superior over all infantry weapon, when all around capability is considered. Especially in hand to hand combat and close quarters combat.

        The extra velocity of the m16a4 causes far more consistent and violent fragmentation with all us military loadings in 5.56mm, at any given range.

        The flatter trajectory and increased velocity and longer sight radius equate to more useful combat range in real world conditions.

        This is not to say the m4 is bad per se, it is great for cqb and remf’s….but it simply and categorically inferior to the m16a4 in many quantifiable categories.

        • That’s fine, but it’s not really convincing evidence. It’s your opinion, and that’s fine.

          It’s clear that I’m getting tired tonight, so I’ll leave it at that.

          • valorius

            Well yes, real world end user experience with all the weapons in question is all i can offer on this subject.

          • Shawn Thompson

            how far have you fired the M4 at for record? how about the A4? how many times in combat did you say to yourself. ” damn, if only I had 200 FPS more, I would have made that hit”? how many times did a bad hit result in death when it would have not been a kill had it been a M4? let us know all that. and until then. its your opinion

          • valorius

            I’ve shot m16a1s to ranges of 500 meters, prone. (Colt 4x issue scope) The m4 was not introduced yet when i Served, but i sure can’t hit squat at 500 meters with my 16″ ar except under the best conditions.

            A huge part of the reason the m855a1 was developed at all is because of the lack of lethality of m855 from m4s, due to lower muzzle velocities.

            Damn man, try and follow along.

          • Shawn Thompson

            he has typed some real mental gymnastics trying to justify something out of tradition or nostalgia. please repost or share my shooting the M4 at 1,000 yards article at looserounds with Howards A4 link for those who are cluselss about the M4 later if you get the time

          • That might make for an interesting topic.

    • n0truscotsman

      The key words are “one thing significantly better”, which is true.

      It does not have “significantly better” range, velocity (especially hitting power), trajectory, recoil management, sight radius, and durability to use as a melee weapon (from an anachronistic, WW1 era perspective)

      If they do, I would like to see some data proving each one of these things true.
      The fact feature was “significantly better”, than SOCOM would be standardizing 20″ barrels because those features would render the M4s advantages moot.

      • valorius

        Yes it does.

        what is good for SOCOM is not good for the infantry….unless you think the infantry should be using 10″ AR’s.

        Bayonet fighting might be anachronistic to you, but when the order “fix bayonets” is issued the length of your spear is the most I portent thing in the entire world, at that very moment.

        Ps: British forces did a bayonet charge during the Iraq war.

        • n0truscotsman

          SOCOM doesn’t only use Mk18s. Why do people make this assumption?

          Since their focus on small arms is in multitudes more refined than big army, I consider them the standard bearers. If 20″ barrels really brought the advantages you claim to the table, they would be standardized.

          It is not some kind of grand conspiracy to make the army look “cooler” with carbine length M4s. Our mission dictates the type of equipment we use.

          and its very ironic that Im going on about this, considering I was once a adamant supporter of the M16 and its 20″ barrel versus the M4 once upon a time. Times change. The M4 evolved considerably since the turn of the 21st century.

          and i agree with bayonets, but my point was about the butt stroke versus barrel thrust.

          • valorius

            20″ barrels WERE standardized 40 years. And before that, even longer. This trend of issuing sbr carbines to infantry forces is very new, and is not even NATO wide, let alone world wide.

            SOCOM can worry about SOCOM, their needs are completely different than the infantry. I’m not saying SOCOM only uses mk18’s, they use all kinds of fancy Dan guns like the hk mp7 and various other designs that are suited to the needs of commandos, but not infantrymen.

            What downside does the m16 have? Besides a few inches and a lb or two, which I did not find to be a problem as a mech infantryman, what does it do better than an m16? Anything at all?

            To me the reduced recoil during rapid fire alone is enough reason to use the m16 over the m4.

            It’s cool to disagree. If we all agreed this would be a boring site. 😉

  • valorius

    Isn’t it odd how Uncle Sam switched to the colt made m4 after fn won the exclusive contract for all m16 sales to the us military?

  • Man you use words like the one I deleted and it will get blocked by Disquis every time. Keep it clean!

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    We might want to remember that in the overall equation, “best” is often the enemy of “good” — meaning that, striving to make a given weapon superior in all ( or at least most ) categories usually results in an inferior weapon at the end of the day. On the other hand, a weapon that performs well, though not necessarily outstandingly, in the majority of categories usually ends up as being the best overall weapon.

  • Ben

    If anything is going to replace the M4, I would be interested in investigating a bullpup with 20″ barrel. Best of both worlds?

    • This approach makes some sense, but if you look at those nations that have procured bullpups recently, they seem to be using the better layout to make the weapons even shorter, not to increase the length of barrels. Example: Israel adopting the X95, with a 13″ barrel.

      • Mazryonh

        Do you have any links explaining why the IDF adopted the Micro Tavor over the longer-barrelled models?

        • Ugh, I really wish I did!

        • Evan Jay

          The IDF has NOT adopted the shorter tavor rifle for regular infantry. the m16/m4 is still in widespread use with certain combat brigades being issued the tavor. The shorter version is in use mostly with SF and other specialized needs.

      • gunsandrockets

        A 13″ length barrel bullpup in 5.56mm? What fun muzzle blast that must have. Ouch!

    • valorius

      Bullpups blow chunks as bayonet platforms. Just sayin’

      • roguetechie

        Tell that to the fedayeen that attacked the British a little after the invasion of Iraq…. Oh wait you can’t…. BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD!!

        People mock the requirement in the m1 garand program that resulted in en bloc clips rather than detachable box magazines… Then say things like bullpups can’t do x!

        Just because you have to do something different doesn’t mean it is bad at it or can’t do it!

        Personally as a southpaw even I still love bullpups! I mean don’t get me wrong my rifle rack has vz’s ak’s in the usual flavors AR15 or two and a msar e4 …. Other than that I’ve got a couple projects in process to put together a couple bullpups I’m basically frankensteining together from a little of this and…. Oooh I like that!

        If they don’t suck horribly maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to get a shout out here on TFB.

        • valorius

          One succesful bayonet charge vs poorly trained militiamen does not make a good platform.

          You can beat someone to death with an ashtray. It doesn’t mean an ashtray is a good weapon.

        • Mazryonh

          Tell that to the fedayeen that attacked the British a little after the
          invasion of Iraq…. Oh wait you can’t…. BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD!!

          Are you referring to the “Battle of Danny Boy”?

          Anyway, it doesn’t change the fact that in melee combat, having reach and leverage (which favour longer weapons up to a point over shorter ones) on your side is a significant advantage in most circumstances. This has been the case for thousands of years.

          • roguetechie

            Yet when rifles stood substantially higher than a man was tall…. Etools and hand made fighting knives were extremely common CHOICES for soldiers to make if it was gonna get bloody!

            Reach and leverage have their place, but a skilled fighter has just as many ways to use both against you.

            When people say stuff like this I always think back to sparring matches with my bigger, stronger, much longer reach friends… Really the victor was consistently the one who wanted it worse, hit early and often, and didn’t let the other guy get him to stop thinking! Notice not ONE of the factors determining a win was reach or leverage…

            Mistaking the only way you know how to fight successfully as the only WAY to fight successfully is dangerous.

          • Mazryonh

            When rifles stood substantially higher than a man was tall . . .

            Which specific historical era are you referring to?

            As for your sparring matches, what you mention appear to be morale factors, and I was referring to reach and leverage provided by weapons, not by the bodies of combatants. Give two physically-similar combatants a knife each, and both will be on equal ground. Let one combatant mount a knife on a short pole (turning it into a spear) and that one will gain a significant advantage, both in hitting power, reach, and the like. Of course, these advantages only go up to a point (as I said earlier).

  • Neither the US Army nor Marines issue M193 to deployed forces.

    Also your velocity numbers are bonkers. Double chromed barrels do not lose 55 feet per second velocity per inch.

    • valorius

      Its a shame, because the m193 at 3300 fps from an m16 is the cats pajamas when it comes to the fragmentation effect.

      I always thought the m855 was a poor replacement for m193.

  • I do not think we need comments like this on this website.

  • Your comment is appreciated!

  • It loses about 200 ft/s.

    • valorius

      The difference in fragmentation effect and frequency between an m855 at 3000fps and one at 2700 to 2800 fps is pretty profound,

      There are pix online of m855 recovered projectile fragments at various velocities. The higher the impact velocity, the more violent fragmentation, but even more importantly the higher the % chance that you’ll actually get fragmentation at all.

  • Ron

    More reliable yes, during testing that lead to the A4s adoption by the Marines the A4 was 25 percent more reliable. But the difference was like 1 less failure per 1000 rounds on scale of like 100K rounds fired. But accuracy wise the M4 is inherently more accurate than the A4, its ergonomics also allowed better accuracy on both KD and UNK distance ranges. However without optics the longer sight radius did give an advantage to the A4 because of being slightly more forgiving of improper alignment. Since the carrying handle is a hybrid one to allow usage on either weapon the gain may not be all that important.

    • Dracon1201

      Source please

      • Ron

        I saw the various studies when I was at HQMC

  • Dracon1201

    Sorry, but WTF? What are you even talking about? The reason we decreased the size of the barrel was because of the increased amounts of urban and difficult to maneuver areas where more and more of the fighting was taking place, not some Freudian mental undercurrent by the higher ups, if that is what you mean. In addition, the size of the round changed based on the evolving idea of what you want it to do. A .22 sized bullet was meant to wound and tie up supply lines and people to help the wounded, as well as increase the number of rounds carried over the 30-06, and .308 which just do so much more damage. Tactics changed to blitzkrieg-style spray rounds everywhere mentalities.

    I don’t know what marketing is in your area, but where I’m from, it’s not about masculinity, it’s about what you enjoy. Sure some people are going to enjoy hanging rolls of toilet paper off of picatinny rails, but that’s what they enjoy, and 9/10 times it’s about what is cool to them, and not who has the biggest gun.

    Let me ask you a question, if most 5.56 I buy is made to be optimal in a 20in barrel, and I’m not pointman on an entry team, why wouldn’t I go with a 20in?

    • As far as I can tell, the “.22 bullet was meant to wound” idea is a myth. All of the earliest examinations of .22 caliber rounds in the fifties (i.e., the ones that clued in small arms designers that this might be a good idea) actually suggest they will have increased lethality v. .30-06.

      • Dracon1201

        Sure, let’s toss that. The rest of the post is O.o

  • Joe

    Spoken like an Army dogface thats lost too many barfights, and girls to a certain branch of service.

    • valorius

      Silly, confused marine. Lol…. 😉

  • Nicks87

    Really? War with Russia? If it happens I might just fight on their side considering the direction the US is going nowdays.

    • valorius

      War with russia is as real a possibility now as it was back in the 80’s, when I served during the height of the Cold War.

      At least in my opinion.

  • CommonSense23

    Really curious what course you were at that was having that problem. I have a lot of experience using the MK18MOD1, been in charge of maintaining a large amount of them at this point, over a hundred now, and have absolute faith in the system. I personally don’t clean my rifle until it either malfunctions or I swim it thru salt water. And I am currently around probably 30,000 rounds from my last malfunction. And the vast majority of them were suppressed. I also have a lot of experience with the HK, and while it is a excellent weapon it has its flaws, and at this point is no more reliable than the current SOPMOD issued MK18MOD1.

  • Mazryonh

    Since the discussion has taken a turn towards how useful collapsible stocks are versus fixed ones, I thought it might be interesting to list some things a fixed stock can do that a collapsible one can’t. We can start with these:

    -Store things inside the hollow cavity.

    -Make clubbing attacks with much less risk of the gun’s length of pull becoming uncontrollable, so you can use more force.

    Assuming fixed stocks are interchangeable, what’s stopping those from being swapped out for fixed ones of different length for those who need it during most of their day-to-day activities or the like?

    • CommonSense23

      If you are using your gun to rifle butt someone you don’t know what you are doing. Much better to muzzle strike someone.

      • valorius

        Dude, with all due respect, the butt stroke is an absolutely devastating mode of attack, and when I was in, was taught to all infantrymen. Same for the butt thrust.

        An m16a2 butt strike or thrust can easily crush or fragment an enemy soldiers skull.

        • CommonSense23

          And I have personally seen multiple muzzle strikes from MK18s and 416s go thru skulls. Tactics change. Muzzle strikes are quicker, less telegraphing, and deliver plenty of energy.

          • valorius

            I never said a muzzle strike or bayonet thrust was bad…I said the butt stroke and thrust are devastating attacks, because they are.

            You are taught several moves which are best applied in sequence. Bayonet thrust, butt stroke, bayonet slash, for instance.

            The same moves work great with a bat, staff or spear as well.

          • CommonSense23

            They teach those moves to teach aggression, and from old bad tactics. Go hang out with any SOF unit and ask them what they think of those. Fight any body who has any skill and try to slash or butt stroke them and they will absolutely own you.

          • valorius

            Dude….no.

            A butt stroke is a perfect move to follow up with after a muzzle parry or bayonet thrust, and will end your enemies world with one solid strike.

          • valorius

            Multiple?

            After your muzzle strike whats your follow up move if you don’t believe in butt strikes and strikes? You just muzzle thrust over and over?

            Bayonet Thrust, butt stroke, bayonet slash is a highly effective combo.

          • CommonSense23

            You ever actually do that combo in real life? There is a reason every block of CQD I have attended has taught just stick to palm strikes, all those fancy moves go right out the window once you start fighting. As for muzzle strikes, I have yet to see someone take a muzzle strike and still be standing. I have yet to see someone in a redman suit take one to the face and still be left standing. And yes I have witnessed multiple muzzle strikes go thru skulls.

          • valorius

            I’ve done those moves in real life, in that exact sequence, but with an aluminum baseball bat.

            I did tell the dude to stop stalking my little sister the day before….he should’ve listened.

            Thrust/parry transitioning to opposite end strike/parry is also a fundamental weapon attack sequence in (all) martial arts, with both spear and staff. In sparring settings, I have used the moves i described countless times to good effect.

            Thrust/parry, butt stroke/parry, bayonet slash/parry. Takes about 1 sec to execute the entire sequence, and delivers three individual killing blows.

            Each move can be a parry or an attack.

    • n0truscotsman

      Why club when I can shatter a bad guys face into pulp with my steel barrel with multiple strikes? Especially a short steel barrel?
      Its much faster and wastes less energy.

  • valorius

    I agree completely.

    The us army, and really the whole us military, has made itself into a COIN force. Both in equipment and in training.

  • valorius

    Batteries die, optics break. It is a reality of life in the infantry.

    • JoelC

      The army ACOGs use Fiber Optics for the day, and Tritium at night. The Marines ACOGs just use the Tritium.

      It takes a lot of years for a H3 battery to die…

      • valorius

        Not everyone uses acogs, but they can and do break as well. batteries come defective right out of the box sometimes. This is why m16s or m4s have BUIS.

        Is it a huge issue or factor? No.

        But shit does happen , and always at the most inopportune time.

  • mosinman

    the funny thing is, civilian ar500 plates stop multiple hits of 308 at very close range.
    so the longer barrels might help but armor piercing is the best bet imo.

    • Shawn Thompson

      exactly. few every bother to mention the ESAPI will stop 762 AP. but for some reason they thing a few hundred feet per second velocity from a 20 inch rifle is some how going to be the miracle cure. absurdity

      • mosinman

        but it’s also a point that super shot barrel rifles won’t be better if longer barreled rifles can’t deal with armor either.
        i think (this is my opinion) that we should have better armor piercing ammo with higher velocities.

      • valorius

        Velocity is the key to armor penetration, along with bullet profile and density. It is a fact that is absolutely beyond dispute.

  • valorius

    The sbr’s and carbines overheat in sustained fire combat faster than m16s too.

  • valorius

    Exactly.

    The m4 is literally a horrible choice for ridge to ridge to ridge long range infantry combat.

    But it looks cool….;)

  • valorius

    An m4 with all the crap of the day hung on it is actually heavier than an m16a4 with just an acog and BUIS, which to me is all that is actually required on an infantrymans rifle.

    I personally found the length difference to be inconsequential for mounted operations (m113a3).

  • valorius

    Replacing the m249 with the m27 seems to me to be a particularly stupid idea.

    The overwhelming majority of an infantry squads direct fire combat power comes from it’s SAW. No mag fed rifle will ever match a belt fed weapon like the m249 in combat effectiveness.

    • Ron

      Marine Rifle squads are 1/3 larger than the Army counter-part and able to generate more firepower. And though the M249 can produce significant more fire than an M27, most of its effects are just sound and fury because it those rounds normally don’t hit anything. Strangely the M27 is the most accurate weapon in the infantry battalion outside of the sniper rifles, was look it as a replacement for the Mk12 and is significantly more effective at hitting identified targets. The rifle companies still keep SAWs to issued as required, but what was seen in AFG with a several years of fighting with the M27, the IAR was generally the prefer weapon because the people being fought really don’t get suppressed all that easily, so burning through belts with a SAW may make the shooter feel well but has little effect on the target

      • valorius

        Machine guns are designed with a beaten zone (round dispersion) on purpose. An mg is not supposed to have rifle like accuracy, it’s designed for suppressing type fires and base of fire.

        • Ron

          There are several doctrinal and employment issues with the SAW, which is a light machine gun, because by both services’ doctrine it should bei employed as an automatic rifle (see the actual MTOE/ TO&E designation) of those assigned the gun in most infantry formations in the Army and Marines). But a huge of the problem is most knowledge of how to properly employ MGs has been lost and now they are employed as bullet hoses or heavy SAWs instead of crew served weapons that they are

          Honestly Marine formations all start with same attitude about the lose of firepower until they employ the IAR in combat and see no real lose in combat power with a signficantly gain mobility

  • roguetechie

    Wanna know something even funnier? Look up la France m16k sometime and be prepared to giggle like a schoolgirl!!
    La France solved the overgassing AND early unlocking literally before any of this stuff was cool!

    Yet here we are a good chunk of a decade into an SBR renaissance and … a problem that’s long been solved is still plaguing most of the industry!

    Oh and FWIW I’m pretty sure a modified version of the la France solution would mitigate to a great degree many m855a1 related accelerated parts breakage rates!

    Hell there’s another gun actively sitting in most mech units’ arms lockers that has multiple features that could be ported over to the rest of the fleet! In theory with some intelligence you could wind up with 12 inch barrel guns that with both stocks collapsed would be the same length as an 8 inch barrel mk18.

  • -V-

    Also the officially sighted velocity for 100% fragmentation rate for M193 is 2700 FPS.

  • Uniform223

    All I have to say on this matter is, “personal opinion”.

  • Shawn Thompson

    the M4 with its current barrel is capable of shots to 1,000 yards, engaging a peer nation with body armor at long distance., well MGs will do most of the work past 200 yards. just like they do now. you are letting nostalgia for a rifle over come common sense

    • valorius

      No one at perry uses a short barrel ar for long range competition. They all use 18″ and up.

      Sure, miculek can shoot an m4 at 1000 yds, but he is the most rarified of air. One shooter out of 10000 can do that, and at that range the extra velocity of an m16 will result in a MASSIVE decrease in wind drift and tof at that range.

      Forget your new tangled nonsense. Long barrels are proven with centuries of warfare, all the way back to the Kentucky long rifle.

  • CommonSense23

    And I also swim thru a lot of salt water with my MK18MOD1. And the reason Damneck went with the HKs was the HK solved the SBR suppressed problem first. Damneck adopted the weapon, and once it was in they was no reason to go back to the 18. Neither weapon really outclassed each other to justify switching one way or the other if you already have one in the inventory.

  • n0truscotsman

    More accurate? Compared to what? and in what context?

    Within standard infantry engagement ranges, their accuracy is very similar.

    With irons, ill give the edge to the M16 with its longer sight radius, although, optics are now standard, making the argument about sight radius irrelevant.

    Again reliability, compared to what? and in what context?

    Is this compared to the M4 in 2001? or compared to the M4 now?

    and more room? this is actually incorrect. Especially given the recent developments in free float tubes and keymod rails when attaching the new standard that is a weaponlight and IR laser. Daniel Defense also addressed this with their quad rail.

    And I think grunts are better with collapsable stocks since we now wear body armor and other gear and ride in ground vehicles and aircraft.

    and the the “fragile” features of a collapsable stock is moot since a barrel thrust is far more effective in dropping bad guys than swinging your fixed stock around.

    Ive strongly disagreed with Nathan on a lot of things, but in the case of comparing velocities versus the big picture of what happens in firefights, “facts are stubborn things”. Some of you M16 fans are applying the same logic that shifted certain perceptions in favor of the Brits following the Boston Massacre.

  • n0truscotsman

    There are too many variables that influence the outcome besides resorting to blaming gas tube length as the cause of the problem.

    What magazines were used? what ammunition? lubrication? (did they grease the guns or use CLP?) what were the maintenance cycles? did they fire 7k rounds through their short barrels without replacement?

    Ill even agree that the longer gas tube provides an advantage in reliability, although, there is not enough data from your anecdote to form a conclusion one way or the other.

  • n0truscotsman

    1.) Every wargame in which we faced off with a first rate power, it ended up going nuclear. The end result is the same. We wont be fighting first rate powers in major wars.

    2.) “A 10.5 inch mk18 is incapable of penetrating the newer Russian helmets and plates”

    So is 7.62 NATO, let alone M855 from a 20″ barrel (and axiomatically, any other 5.56 type from that same length). Russian level 6 body armor from the Ratnik suite can supposedly stop multiple 7.62 AP rounds. While these are anecdotes from the Russian side, most of the most effective western body armor can stop at least 3 rounds of *30-06 AP*.

    So the barrel length of the Mk18 is mistaking one tiny aspect with a larger problem.

    3.) Brushfire wars and skirmishes against irregulars will be the future. At most, short wars against tinpot dictators with toy armies.
    Thats my 2cents.

    • valorius

      M995 ap from a 20″ AR will penetrate level IV ceramic plates with ease. I think it’s rated to penetrate almost an inch of rha steel plate, iirc.

      Penetration Performance of m995 will be reduced with a shorter barrel. It’s just a fact.

      • n0truscotsman

        But who has M995? which adversaries?
        That stuff was impossible to find when I was active duty.

        And Im rather skeptical of that claim, since ESAPI are rated against M-2 30-06 AP, which is very effective against light armor.

        And we have no idea about the protection abilities of level 6 Russian body armor. A 20″ barrel rifle versus 10.5″ SBR or 14.5″ carbine will make no meaningful difference. It is a miniscule issue.

        • valorius

          You don’t think the Russians have tungsten ammo? They have far, far, far greater access to tungsten then we do. We buy ours off of them.

          M995 can penetrate almost 1″ of rolled homogenous steel armor according to reports I’ve read.

          The fact is, you are wrong.

        • valorius

          Btw, m995 is tungsten core vs the steel core .30 ap round you mentioned. M995 is only 52 grains and has a mv over 3300fps from a 20″ m16. Tungsten is 1.8 times denser than lead. Short of depleted uranium, it is the best penetrator material going, far, far better than steel.

          You never saw m995 because you weren’t fighting anyone with modern body armor, so it wasn’t issued. the stuff is very expensive because all our tungsten comes from russia. Ironic eh?

          M996 is the designation for tungsten 7.62 ap ammo.

          • n0truscotsman

            heh…that is sadly ironic. 😀

          • valorius

            The same is true for the titanium we use. Almost all of it comes from russia.
            crazy that they sell it to us so we can build weapons to fight them … But i guess business is business. Lol.

  • mosinman

    so i would say (i’m not an expert) that long barrels and specialized AP rounds would be the best bet for fighting a modern army

  • valorius

    M995 is the cure. 🙂

  • Jim_Macklin

    The beauty of the M16/M4 [ and the AR ] is that it should be possible to issue one lower and several uppers depending on what the days task is. 800-1200 meters, put a 24″ 7.62×51 NATO upper, CQB urban, issue the M4 or even shorter.
    They could use the 7.62×51 lower and an adapter to use the 5.56×45 magazine in the larger lower.
    Or just issue two rifles to each grunt,
    Civilians in the US are never satisfied with one rifle, why should the government fail to issue the tools needed to win in battle?
    And why can’t soldiers bring their own 9mm or 45 ACP, the handgun is primary only for tunnel rats in the tunnel. But a pistol has saved many soldiers life because it is there, at hand when the rifle may be 5 yards away on the other side of the tent.

    • Mazryonh

      The logistics train is the main problem here. Providing that many platforms for soldiers (who may not even possess the skills needed to use them effectively) would be pretty difficult, given the difficulties the logistics train already has. Starting with providing collapsible stocks on M16s would be a good first step, at least for those on long foot patrols.

  • valorius

    The m16 does not have a wooden stock, but, it could easily be reconfigured with a collapsible m4 stock in any case.

  • n0truscotsman

    1.) My original point is that since other small arms calibers (7.62 NATO, 30-06, 7.62x54R etc) from longer barrel lengths (14.5″, 20″) can be stopped by body armor, the disadvantages of energy loss from a 10.5″ barrel shooting 5.56 is essentially a non-issue (and mk 18s aren’t standardized big army wise anyways).

    2.) “A bigger bullet does not mean better armor penetration”

    Where did I argue such? I used M2 30-06 AP as a base comparison for penetrative values. And DocGKR made that claim about M995 being able to penetrate level IV body armor. I have not seen any data or anecdotes to prove this true.

    “who has M995? Its around in some quantities and is often issued to DMRs and saw gunners”

    I challenge “often” because in my nigh 20 years active duty, M995 was encountered very seldomly. I mean seldomly. And there is no reason for it to be issued to designated marksmen because we aren’t fighting bad guys clad in level 6/ESAPI armor.

    “In any case, it could be made or purchased and issued quickly in the event of war”
    This wasn’t true in WW2 with M2, with our industrial base geared for total war, let alone true for M995 in post-industrial America that has castrated its industrial base.

    • valorius

      If my memory serves me, the us has a stockpile of some 14,000,000 rds of m995 in reserve. It might even be higher, I’m getting old and my memory is not what it once was, lol.

      M855a1 was originally going to be tungsten, then bismuth. It has been designed and redesigned many times.