Marines May Receive Rifle, Ammunition Upgrades Soon

2015-02-16 12_38_16-Deadlier rifles and ammo may be on the way

MarineTimes reports of a new set of upgrades and enhancements slated to hit USMC M16A4 rifles and M4 carbines over the next few years. The final decision as to exactly what enhancements will be made has not occurred, but a general outline of the improvements desired has been laid down:

If the Marine Corps’ top marksmanship experts get their way, Marines are going to get a rifle retooled with an array of upgrades that will make them deadlier shooters. They recently directed the study of a number of significant changes to the service’s weapons, ammunition, shooting curriculum and ranges and have approved new competitions.

Most eagerly anticipated are recommendations to study overhauling M16A4 rifles and M4 carbines with a host of new features, including a new trigger and barrel, all of which will be a hot topic at the next Combat Marksmanship Symposium in October.

The lines of pursuit — the product of the this year’s Combat Marksmanship Symposium held here in Quantico — hold a common theme, according to leaders at Weapons Training Battalion Quantico. They are designed to make Marines deadlier in combat and provide them the tools and training to dominate the battlefield whether in the sands of the Middle East or the jungles of the Asia Pacific region.

“I thought the most important thing was not to look at the short term,” said Col. Tim Parker, the commanding officer of WTB Quantico and the Marine Corps’ marksmanship proponent.

“I didn’t want a range or weapon for today. I wanted one for 2050 to 2100. Extrapolating what we have in Expeditionary Force 21, it was about how we fight this century. I want the symposiums looking out further,” he added.

A ‘new’ service rifle

Current M16A4 rifles and M4 carbines could get a significant overhaul with mostly inexpensive components already available to consumers. The upgrades would drastically improve accuracy and function without incurring the expense of procuring an new rifle.

Those updates could include a free-floating barrel, rifle compensators, new reticles for the Rifle Combat Optic, more ambidextrous controls and a new trigger group. With significant advancements in rifle technology for the civilian shooting market over the past two decades, those are all features commonly seen on competition rifles and those carried by elite operators.

It’s a novel and mostly inexpensive approach to improve the tried-and-true inventory of standard service rifles even as defense budgets continue to shrink and the service’s procurement and sustainment programs compete for money. Small arms have often taken a back seat in recent years to big-ticket platforms like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Amphibious Assault Vehicle modernization and the procurement of the next generation ship-to-shore troop transport, the Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1.

In 2013, as the military’s manpower drawdown got underway and the services scrambled to realign budgets and personnel, Brig. Gen. William Mullen, head of the Corps’ Capabilities Development Directorate, said small arms were sufficient — even if not ideal. “The weapons we have right now are working pretty good,” he said. “They aren’t perfect. You talk to Marines and get 20 different opinions about our weapons. But they are doing the job.”

But the Corps’ top gunners have an eye toward giving current rifles a makeover that would make them shoot like a next-generation weapon. Over the next seven to eight months they will study proposed upgrades by surveying the commercial market, testing products on the range and estimating potential costs before presenting a recommendation at the next marksmanship symposium. The symposium’s working groups will make final recommendations based on research now underway and hand those to the Corps’ top general, Commandant Joseph Dunford, for a final decision — a process that can take several more months.

The upgrades would include a compensator, free-floated barrel, improved optic based on the M27’s SDO, a more consistent trigger, ambidextrous modifications, the transition entirely to Mk. 318 SOST ammunition for combat, hollow point ammunition for pistols, and a new holster for the pistol.

It’s not clear whether this indicates a that the Marines have forsworn the M855A1 round entirely (last we heard, the Marines were testing the M855A1 and awaiting a final decision).

One of the interesting aspects of this is the lack of an operating rod upgrade for the M16A4 and M4. The Marines now have a few years’ experience with the M27, and many of these upgrades are based on the improvements seen with that rifle, but conspicuously absent is any change to the gas system.



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

  • DonDrapersAcidTrip

    “switching to hollow point ammunition in pistols” then what did they switch back to the 1911 for

    • Bruce

      Because hollow point ammunition makes a pistol suck less. The .45 isn’t some magical man stopper. Stop pretending it is and look at the numbers.

      • claymore

        But it is still prohibited by conventions we signed

        • Bruce

          Read the convention, both sides have to be signatory for it to matter. When was the last time we were shooting at a major European power? It’s just a pistol people, if you use it in combat, your day is already very, very bad.

          • claymore

            But WE have been following that convention, this change will be noticed.

          • anon

            When the people these hollow points are intended for are routinely beheading, executing, and burning civilian prisoners alive, my sympathy level goes down

          • Ethan

            I never had any sympathy to begin with in this area. A military weapon is designed to kill. Taking steps to make it less efficient at that job is just stupid.
            Killing with mustard gas is one thing, but hollow points should never have been a part of that discussion.

          • claymore

            So we fall to that level?

          • Dracon1201

            War isn’t about any level of morality. It’s a horrendous thing to begin with. If you want to bring morality into it, go over and convince ISIS and terrorist groups not to wage theirs. We’d be more than happy never to sacrifice another life if we didn’t have to. That’s not reality, though.

            My thing is, why would you argue against giving our soldiers better weapons to increase their survivability? What is your game in arguing against that?

          • claymore

            War has laws.

          • Dracon1201

            Idealist human-imposed laws. Some of them have their place, and others (like the hollowpoint prohibition) should be reevaluated. Laws are not set in stone. They will never be. Why? Because the situations some were developed for are not what they used to be. They have to be fluid to work. The law preventing hollowpoints was for a different time and place.

          • claymore

            So why have we continued to follow it?

          • Dracon1201

            We haven’t had a reason to change. Not until now.

          • claymore

            LOL you really think this is the very first time our military has attempted to use expanding bullet ammunition? Well do some research and you will find they have been TRYING AND FAILING to be authorized for years and years for all the reasons I have outlined.

          • Dracon1201

            No, I don’t doubt we have experimented with them, I have never denied that. Our procurement system is pretty crap, this much is probably part of the pushing for years and years. We haven’t given our soldiers what they need. Now we are realizing that and giving them what we should.

          • NPC

            “War has laws”…. Only when you intend to lose, or don’t care to win.

          • claymore

            Right…………

          • John

            That the enemy adopts those same weapons and uses them on you. Death is the endgame. The best weapon is the one you don’t have to use in the first place.

            Relying solely on a weapon’s power or qualities is a stupid idea. It’s always about training. You train to be the smarter, faster, stronger soldier, and you keep training until your training becomes so second nature to you that you don’t remember a time when you were anything less. You train and you train and you train for everything conventional and unconventional so that when you have to act, you get to come home alive.

          • Dracon1201

            So we should train our soldiers and then not give them the right tools for the job? These current enemies don’t need us to use hollowpoints to willingly want to use them on us. If the idea for a hollowpoint comes into their heads, they will use it. They don’t apply to any rules of war already.

          • Will

            Yep, fight fire with fire. If they set the rules then we, by all means, should follow the rules.
            The only way to kill mad dogs is to fight like a mad dog.

          • Dual Sport

            Unfortunately sheep don’t eradicate wolves.

          • claymore

            Unfortunately honor and commitment have disappeared from our country.

          • Daisuke0222

            Right on. I’d rather have HP ammo in my .45 (or any pistol for that matter) than ball.

        • Zach

          Also I’m pretty sure we didn’t actually sign onto that?

          • claymore

            There are many and varied some we signed some we didn’t

          • Paul Epstein

            There’s only one that matters, and it’s the Hague convention. And why would the precedent matter? It’s a voluntary agreement to which some countries are party, not an international law.

            The only real reason we’ve followed it is that most of our allies in NATO are party to the agreement, and so any NATO standard round would have to adhere to it or it couldn’t be NATO standard. That entire concept of standardization evaporated years ago.

          • claymore

            In your opinion only.

          • Jeff S

            You know what’s funny? The myriad of US agencies running around Afghanistan using hollow-point bullets… Hell, DOD civilians in CID, NCIS, and OSI use hollow-points.

          • claymore

            The operative word is “Civilian” this discussion is for military combatants not civilian law enforcement.

          • Paul Epstein

            Which is my opinion? That the Hague convention is the only one that matters? Oh, right, it’s the only one that mentions hollowpoints- so it is the only one that COULD POSSIBLY BE RELEVANT.

            That it’s a voluntary agreement? That’s not my opinion, that’s how treaties work.

            That we’ve only followed it because of NATO standardization? Buddy, if you think that’s just my opinion, perhaps you might want to actually read literally anything about NATO and standardization of arms.

            And finally, that the concept of standardization has gone away? You’re aware that much of NATO doesn’t even use the same general cartridges, let alone the same loadings within those cartridges? If all of those countries still cared about mutual resupply, the facts on the ground indicate they have no intention of actually doing anything about it.

            At least my opinion is actually based on SOMETHING in the real world. Yours is fantasy.

          • claymore

            Dude if that is so why NO USE of them prior to now?

          • n0truscotsman

            Because there was no reason to. See my reply above.
            The advantages of adopting a hollowpoint for a standard infantry cartridge are outweighed by the disadvantages.

            Not only do we have to defeat people wearing personal protective equipment, but also enemies behind trees, foliage, cinderblock, buildings, etc or riding in soft skinned vehicles.

            In the case of fighting unarmored third world guerrillas, hollowpoints are advantageous. Niche specific purposes.

          • claymore

            But there are reasons for not using them. Have you been following the discussion? IF they are lawful why did JAG take it upon themselves to issue opinions ?

          • n0truscotsman

            ” IF they are lawful why did JAG take it upon themselves to issue opinions ?”

            Because of the misunderstandings of Hague and the misunderstandings of the differences between nomenclature designated Open Tip Match ammunition and hollow points. I posted the link above.

            “But there are reasons for not using them.”
            Um yeah. Probably because they’re the *worst* type of ammunition to standardize for a military force’s rifles/carbines/LMGs due to the reasons I mentioned above.

          • claymore

            Right ……….and not lawful.

          • n0truscotsman

            So what other ammunition types besides FMJ existed for 5.56 that could penetrate helmets and body armor, in addition to light skinned vehicles during the Cold War era?

            You are trying to argue that the reason why we didn’t adopt it is because “it is unlawful” and trying to equate that argument to the comment about “hollowpoint” pistol ammunition above (without us knowing the full details of this pistol ammunition type, which COULD very well be a variant of OTM for 9mm for all we know).

            This is being more than a tad obtuse. We never used it because there was no reason to during the Cold War, and differing ammunition types besides FMJ were simply not available for mass adoption and production. Even with JHP ammunition evolving considerably since even the 90s, there is no reason to adopt it now. OTM is in. In the case of the Army, arrows are back in style apparently.

            But hollowpoints those rounds are NOT, therefore, all of your “legal” concerns are completely avoided. This is a good thing.

          • claymore

            Look it up this is not the first time and those attempts negate all your specious arguments.

          • n0truscotsman

            Im not being facetious. Im serious. You made the claim, you sparked my curiosity, now its your role to provide me the evidence. I shouldn’t have to research your claims for you.

            and which arguments are specious?

            That JAG’s opinion certainly holds water in this instance? that the use of SOST/OTM and JHP pistol ammunition in counter-terrorism operations is permitted?

            That technical reasons, ammunition technological evolution, and geopolitical circumstances are the reasoning why we haven’t adopted JHP ammunition? and why we didn’t following the adoption of the M16?

            You are spinning like a dreidel on Hanukkah.

          • claymore

            And I’m being serious when I say do your own work. It’s out there you just have to find it.

            Your reasoning is convoluted and that is proven by the FACTS that the Army has tired to get expanding round ammunition since the time of M-16 introduction. That fact of and by itself negates all the things you keep repeating on the physical limitations of expanding bullet ammunition and it’s history.

            Your continued use of pejoratives in an adult discussion is childish at best.

          • n0truscotsman

            This is how these things work:
            When you make a claim, you prove it. It is not my job to prove your claim for *you*

          • claymore

            I state FACTS and you try and prove them incorrect.

          • n0truscotsman

            LOL /double facepalm/

            You dont get to make a rather significant claim, while refusing to provide the evidence for that assertion despite multiple demands to do so, and then somehow magically expect me to view that claim as a “FACT” (thine own words).

            I dont think so, tinkerbell.

            I dont roll that way. Find someone else’s wall to coat with monkey excrement.

          • claymore

            We are done here juvenile troll.

          • Dracon1201

            We haven’t fought foes in a time period where hollowpoints were reliable and cost justified, and the foes are as we have faced in the 21st century.

          • claymore

            Wrong our army has been trying and failing to get authorized use of expanding bullet ammunition of years and years.

            Guess you missed all the crying and whining by OUR side when the AK-74 came out and the round it fired had a bullet that was found to have a hollow cavity under the nose. Look it up and educate yourself.

          • Dracon1201

            Who wouldn’t whine and cry when their ammo puts them at a perceived disadvantage? Everyone does that when they cry, “Not fair, not fair, he has a better stick, Mommy NATO!” Besides, really before sometime in the 80s, there weren’t many auto handguns that could reliably feed hollow points, even then they were dubious at best. So, quite frankly, I think that wasn’t a bad idea not to issue them at that point. Now, everything has changed. It’s definitely a good idea.

          • Paul Epstein

            Snipers in the US military have been using open tip bullets since 1990. They’re not, strictly speaking, hollow points, but most other NATO countries haven’t followed us because they’ve felt it’s a violation of the Hague conventions.So… we’ve had 25 years of precedent in the opposite direction already.

            But more generally, with standard 5.56 loadings, we haven’t really needed hollow points since the bullet will tumble inside the target under most conditions. There’s no pressing need to adopt hollowpoints as a standard rifle round.

            Handgun rounds, on the other hand, don’t have that as an option and if we’re going to be using side arms in combat, they should probably work as well as we can make them.

          • claymore

            If they are not expanding bullets then there is no prior use. Two different things.

          • Joe

            No in proof form. Every NATO signatory has thier version of NATO ammunition. The U.S. uses .45acp for some pistols, The U.S. uses .300 Win Mag. etc, etc.

            Beyond your countless posts defending the Hauge, and stating that wars must have rules, and the adage that “Well we’ve always done it that way” why do you care Claymore that the U.S. is using, will continue to, and wants to expand (pardon the pun, couldnt help myself) the use of hollow point, expanding open tip ammunition?

            Then tell me what is more humane,
            A. Being stabbed multiple times with a bayonet in the gut and bleeding out.
            B. A 500 lb bomb being dropped onto your abode and being turned into mist.
            Or,
            C. Being shot multiple times in the face with 5.56×45 mm Mk 318.

          • claymore

            Not my job to make that decision and it has been made.

          • Dracon1201

            Not the ones relating to the prohibition of the use of hollowpoints. Tradition is not a valid argument. We can change to hollowpoints any time we want. My question to you, claymore, is why shouldn’t we change? Besides some “European gentleman” perception of how war should go, of course.

          • claymore

            Tradition is not the same as legal presidence. We follow the rules of Nato of which our allies in the organization have signed them.

          • Dracon1201

            This isn’t legal presidence, we’ve simply never outfitted our troops with it. Considering that we were prepping to deal with Russian soldiers for so long, we haven’t bothered with hollowpoints. Now, circumstances have changed.

            So I ask again, why shouldn’t we arm our soldiers with hollowpoints?

          • claymore

            Why haven’t we is the point you are avoiding.

          • Dracon1201

            No, I’m not. As I stated, we were preparing for a war involving European Nations, and Russia, on European soil. Hollowpoints would have not justified the expense of procuring them when faced with Russian troops outfitted with body armor. Remember that at the beginning of that and before, hollowpoints not the most reliable. Now they are viable and we could justify the expense. The foes of the 21st century thus far have mostly been jihadists that don’t wear armor. The situation technologically, and in terms of enemies has changed. That is why we haven’t in the past and we should now.

          • claymore

            LOL that is the most convoluted least informed response yet. COST has nothing to do with it. And this started WAY before we have Russians with body armor.

          • n0truscotsman

            Its quite simple, if you are informed about the history of 5.56 as a caliber and military equipment.
            Ill try to be as simple as I can

            1.) M855 was adopted for multiple reasons. Among them: barrier penetration (which hollowpoints are terrible at), foliage penetration, and the ability to defeat Warsaw Pact body armor and steel helmets. Defeating soft skinned vehicles is also conducive for the adoption of M855. The M855A1 has even better barrier penetration, in addition to superior design that just happens to increase its effectiveness against human targets. Good on them.

            2.) Hollowpoint ammunition is terrible at those things, but is excellent at dispensing energy into adversaries without armor (like the types of adversaries we’ve been fighting in the GWOT). In fact, everything OTHER than FMJ before basically now was known to be terrbile for anything else besides unarmored targets. Against barriers, foliage, light skinned vehicles, helmets, and armor? Forget it. Remember SOST is a recent technology and even 1980s blackhills 77gr (known as Mk262 Mod 0 and 1) is not known for its qualities against barriers and soft skinned vehicles.

            So “why not hollow points”? Because hollowpoints, when compared to FMJ for military purposes, have many disadvantages and a limited advantage against unarmored adversaries, which weren’t much of a concern until after the Cold War.

            Better technologies exist. Like OTM, or open tip match (which isn’t a hollowpoint). Or the new M855A1.

            Its not because of Hague or some evil conspiracy by belgian ammunition manufacturers. Its due to common sense reasons.

          • claymore

            And cost fits in where? I never said that hollowpoint or expanding bullet ammunition isn’t the best thing since sliced bread for lawful civilian use. However their use in warfare is and always have been restricted and we have always abided by that.

          • n0truscotsman

            Cost certainly fits in the equation, which was a ding against hollowpoints.

            “However their use in warfare is and always have been restricted and we have always abided by that”
            For various reasons we have not used them (I mentioned them above), although the legal differences between fighting “terrorists” and Warsaw Pact troops or the NVA are quite different. I dont agree that they should be, although Im not a lawyer and certainly not a JAG officer.

          • claymore

            And it shows with your postings LOL.

          • n0truscotsman

            So JAG opinions, in your mind, hold no water?

          • claymore

            No they do not. Court rulings are based on presented sworn testimony and evidence unlike opinions that have NOT been given the same tests.

          • n0truscotsman

            Well, in the US Military, they most certainly do.

            It doesn’t matter if you dont agree or like them (heh, ironic im giving this lecture, lemme tell ya), but to simply dismiss JAG and claim that they hold no water is completely delusional. Like, sovereign citizen-level of delusion.

            I dont know what to tell you at this point.

          • claymore

            No the opinions of JAG don’t count for anything in Courts-Martials other than an advisory condition. Any allegations still have to be proven and those opinions maybe entered but count the same as any other testimony.

          • claymore

            And you are the one taking an adult discussion and turning it juvenile by your use of pejoratives when you don’t agree.

          • claymore

            And your link has nothing but opinions. Nothing in it has been scrutinized by courts which leaves it just opinion for now.

          • n0truscotsman

            Jesus, well then WTF is your point?
            Since you are interested in splitting hairs, court rulings ARE opinions and there is no getting around this. You may disagree with those opinions, you may not like those opinions, but that doesn’t make them subject to dismissal.

          • claymore

            Court rulings are based on testimony and evidence whereas opinions of JAG lawyers have not yet been tested by anybody but themselves.

          • claymore

            The point of law always involves “splitting hairs” and having one side or the other forever disagreeing with the decision.

          • M855, so far as I know, was not developed for barrier penetration. Its primary purpose was to penetrate Soviet helmets and primitive body armor at extended ranges for the M249 SAW without compromising the effectiveness of M193.

          • n0truscotsman

            I hear and have read different stories.
            I know that SS109 was largely centered around the features of the SAW at the time, to penetrate steel and helmets. SS109 was also the “best” of its type for the time, at least, or military clients.
            Either way, its obsolete now.

          • Dracon1201

            No crap! Hollowpoints were not really viable until about the same time frame that we were gearing up for the Russians. Cost does have something to do with it. Hollowpoints are more expensive to produce, especially without modern equipment. Besides, our little gentleman’s agreement with Europe (Who we were mostly involved in wars with), changed our mindset on what we declared that we needed.

          • Sadler

            The word you’re looking for is “precedence.” And there is nothing relating to law in our decision to use expanding bullets or not. The US is not a signatory of Hague Convention declaration detailing the use of expanding bullets. Additionally, the US Armed Forces have consistently said that they are not required to adhere to the declaration which the US did not sign.

          • claymore

            So why no use before now pray tell?

          • Sadler

            Because we use standard NATO ammunition for the most part, and most NATO countries are signatories of the Hague Convention declaration on expanding ammunition. The US has also decided, in the past, that it will adhere to the declaration, but is in no way legally bound by it.

          • claymore

            Nobody has said they are BUT now there has been a legal precedence created by our non-use

          • Sadler

            That’s not what legal precedence is. We’re not bound by any law regarding expanding ammunition use. There’s no previous legal case to base the precedent on in the US. The only possible argument you could make for actual legal precedent is pointing out that the US Armed Forces has made it illegal for soldiers to modify their ammunition.

          • claymore

            And there in lies the problem. It has not been tested in court so this precedence still stands.

          • Sadler

            You’re REALLY not understanding it. That’s not how legal precedence works, it has to be established in a legal setting. You’re talking about tradition, not a legal precedent.

            If you want an actual legal precedent, look at how the US is not a signatory of the Hague Convention declaration on expanding bullets, and how the US did not ratify Clinton’s signature of the Rome Statute and later retracted its signatory status. That’s legal precedence regarding the US not, I repeat NOT, being bound by law against the use of expanding bullets in war.

            I’ll repeat again, the US is NOT bound by any law or legal precedent against the use of expanding bullets in war. The US is completely free to use expanding bullets in war.

          • claymore

            So why didn’t they?

          • claymore

            And why does JAG still say they can be used in terrorist operations but NOT against another Army?

          • John

            >Additionally, the US Armed Forces have consistently said that they are
            not required to adhere to the declaration which the US did not sign.

            But the Commander in Chief, a.k.a. the President of the United States, does. And the United States Congress does. And what Congress and the President says, goes. And the vast majority of the civilian populace agrees with the Geneva and Hague Conventions.

            And it’s always an election year.

            So the Congress and President say they follow the law. No hollow points for soldiers in the U.S., and no chemical weapons for anyone else. We agree to a civilized form of brutality.

          • Sadler

            As a country, you can say you follow the the law, but you are in no way legally bound by it unless you have signed and ratified the declaration. We haven’t signed it, we haven’t ratified it, so we are not required to adhere to it, regardless of what any POTUS of Congress says.

            On the note of chemical weapons, we have signed the Geneva Protocol, and Congress has ratified it with a reservation that it becomes nonbinding when in combat against a party that does no observe the protocol. But the Geneva Protocol only deals with chemical and biological weapons.

            Additionally, back to the issue of expanding bullets, the US signed the Rome Statute, but Clinton refused to send it to the Senate, and, as such it was not ratified. In 2002, the UN was informed that the US had no intention of ratification, and has no obligation toward the treaty.

            So, again, the US has consistently said that it was not legally bound from the use expanding bullets, but it would adhere to the Hague Convention declaration detailing expanding bullet use. One more time, the US is not legally obstructed from the use of expanding bullets.

          • claymore

            And it eeally doesn’r matter because we have been following them and that has set a presidence.

          • buzzman1

            Time to start a new presidence

          • claymore

            Better look up presidence.

          • Daisuke0222

            Precedents can (and sometimes ought to) be overturned. Plessy vs. Ferguson comes to mind…

          • buzzman1

            Why? Liberals are always setting new ones that are different than their last one.

          • claymore

            So liberals prevent us from using them?

          • buzzman1

            WTF are you talking about here? Libs love to get us into wars and then not let us fight them.

          • claymore

            So you think the liberals have something to do with the prohibition on expanding ammunition?

          • buzzman1

            Yes, they have convinced people we can’t use effective ammunition and that we have to treat our enemies as special people with constitutional rights. Both are wrong as we don’t have to.

          • claymore

            right sure.

        • CommonSense23

          No it’s not. We didn’t sign them and they have been cleared multiple times by Jag.

          • claymore

            On the use of hollow points? I think not.

          • CommonSense23

            Yes we have. On multiple occasions Jags have said the use Expanding rounds/ Hollowpoints are authorized. Jag officers have stated time and time again that the use of expanding munitions when a military necessity is completely legal. Socom got clearance early on for them do the the counter terrorist claim. Which is fully supported by the Hague Conventions(which if you look at the purpose of the part dealing with expanding munitions, it was never designed to completely eliminate them, just their use between European countries). Then when SOCOM took over the anti proliferation bit, the military necessity part came into play with regards to uniformed combatants. The military does a lot of things that are against conventions. We just have to get the Jags to write up a finding.

          • claymore

            Which means nothing. A jag write up is worth the paper it’s written on as it’s just an OPINION nothing more

          • CommonSense23

            Just like the Hague Conventions. You noticed in world war 2 we didn’t try the Germans and Japanese for the violations that both sides committed.

          • claymore

            You honestly think there were no trials for war crimes after WWII?

          • CommonSense23

            I should have stated that better. The allies never tried the Germans or the Japanese for violations of the Hague Conventions that the Allies also committed. The small arms part of the Hague Conventions is just a small part. Go read your history, all the Allied Air Planners knew they would be tried for War Crimes if they lost. People are so focused on the expanding munitions part of the Hague Conventions that they don’t notice how much of it we threw out in WW2.

          • claymore

            And are still are. Like the use of sound moderating devices (suppressors), the growing of beards and blending with the civilian population. When our SOF forces do that they immediately cease being lawful combatants and fall uner the protections of FIOs not military laws.

            It would be extremely naive to think their are not people out there just itching and planning to grab one of our SOF personnel and parading them before the world or even handing them to the world court for these violations and all the JAG opinions written will do nothing to protect them.

            IF and it’s a big if the use of hollow point (expanding bullet) ammunition was a totally lawful, accepted practice Why then di the JAG feel the necessity to interject their opinion on their use?

            Clearly they do not sit around thinking up things to express opinions on (well maybe they do LOL) but in this case it shows that their use is not clearly lawful. I guarantee you there were also, strenuously put forward , opinions put forth by the opposing side that object to their use by US military forces. But being the military their opinions and objections are not heard.

          • CommonSense23

            First, growing beards doesn’t make you a unlawful combatant, or even wearing nontraditional uniforms. And what point are you trying to make. That we should hold ourselves to some outdated convention that all the signatories threw to the wind as soon as the fighting got intense.

          • John

            >That we should hold ourselves to some outdated convention that all the
            signatories threw to the wind as soon as the fighting got intense.

            Careful now. By that logic, the Second Amendment is itself outdated and worthless.

          • claymore

            Boy you better read up on the laws of warfare. To be considered a lawful military combatant an army MUST have, distinctive IDENTIFIABLE uniforms, carry arms openly, have clearly identifiable distinctive INSIGNIA and others. Yes not having a uniform and attempting to blend with the local population clearly moves them into the Foreign Intelligence Officer category and the no longer are considered lawful combatants with the same protections as military combatants..

          • Dracon1201

            So the current fighting isn’t between two armies? Then the Hague definitely doesn’t apply.

          • claymore

            Guerrilla armies are a separate and distinct category of combatant. Do some research.

          • Dracon1201

            I wanted to make sure you understood that from the way you phrased it.

          • n0truscotsman

            Is multicam not identifiable?
            Are their IR old glories not identifiable?
            Are their 416s/SCARs/M4s not identifiable?
            Are their military ID’s invalid?

            Are their operational orders from their superior officers invalid?
            Are they subject to the laws and regulations of UCMJ?

            They (Special Operations Forces) *are* considered lawful combatants.

            Intelligence-types are a cat of an entirely different meow though.

          • claymore

            If their uniform is identifiable with their army it is fine but it ALSO must have identifiable distinctive insignia. Flags could be PART of it. Weapons are not definitive identifiers as many other armys can purchase and display them.

            Military IDs are not readily identifiable insignia unless they are displayed outside clothing and everybody in that army displays them OPENLY.

          • CommonSense23

            And you might want to read up on why they grow beards. Having 10-15 jacked tatted up white guys with beards wearing ball caps doesn’t exactly blend in. It’s a respect issue that along idea of blending into the population has been a joke that SOF has milked for decades to have relaxed grooming standards.
            Anytime SOF is actually trying to blend they are either falling under OGA authority or part of a Task Force which at that point pretty much no one cares about being a lawful combatant.

          • claymore

            Just like I said and if the rest of the army is prohibited from some action or uniform article it sure does matter at it puts them outside. And blending in for respect or any other mater is prohibited.

            They should care about it as it effects their status and being under OGA does not protect them as then for sure they are NOT military combatants they are intelligence officers. IT they don’t understand that or nobody tells them they are doing themselves a big disservice.

          • CommonSense23

            You really think guys in SOF have been caring about the protection of being a lawful combatant in today’s battlefield. You really are naive if you believe that. Guys have been living by the no quarter asked, none given for a while now. You really are naive about how the wars are being fought these days.

          • claymore

            Right sure

          • claymore

            So you admit I’m correct and they are putting themselves in legal jeopardy with these violations. Good we are making progress.

          • CommonSense23

            Legal jeopardy with who exactly?

          • claymore

            World court for one.

          • CommonSense23

            What charges would be brought against them?

          • claymore

            War crimes.

          • CommonSense23

            Really what war crimes are would US forces have by having beards, and wearing multicam plate carriers.

          • claymore

            Now you are cherry picking. It’s NOT just the beards and you should know that. Never said anything about multicam.

          • CommonSense23

            No, you are trying to state that certain uniforms or having beards even though the rest of the military doesn’t, counts as war crimes. If you want to state doing certain activities conducted by SOF lose them lawful combatant status that is one thing. But it is another to state that embedding yourself with a partisan or guerilla force requires you to wear a specific type of uniform to have lawful combatant status.

          • claymore

            You are having a nice try at picking out certain phrases and trying to twist my words but it’s not working. Guerrilla forces are a separate category and just the fact of embedding is not a violation in and of itself. Now you are just being silly because you can’t make your points. Read the relevant sections and educate yourself then get back to us.

          • CommonSense23

            So what war crimes would SOF be committing. You never could explain your original argument.

          • claymore

            guessing you did not see or are ignoring, because it kills your argument, somebody that actually has the letter in his possession. From whskee’s post:

            “I’ve still got a copy of the JAG letter authorizing the use of
            hollow-points, NALC AA14 (.45) and A260 (9mm), signed by a Rear-Admiral
            and promulgated out to the teams. The terrorists don’t get the
            protections afforded by the conventions. It states it is only for
            counter-terror missions, and not allowed against any armed forces or
            other lawful combatant engagement.”

            Read this and weep even the JAG know LOL.

            “It states it is only for
            counter-terror missions, and not allowed against any armed forces or
            other lawful combatant engagement.”

            so much for your imaginary letters from JAG saying they are ok.

          • claymore

            Like I said read and get to know the relevant sections and get back to me when you are conversant in the subject.

          • CommonSense23

            So you don’t actually know.

          • claymore

            I know, you don’t and it shows

          • CommonSense23

            That isn’t how this works. If you think that they are committing war crimes let’s bear what it is. I have sat thru enough briefing on this to know they aren’t just cause they blend in.

          • claymore

            Right I’m not going to continue your education for you. If you want to really know what they say I would suggest the local library and (Gasp) some books on the subject.

          • CommonSense23

            Just tell me what relevant sections to look in please.

          • claymore

            No that is part of your continuing education do your own work. Read them all and see if you can figure it out with out somebody leading you by the hand

          • CommonSense23

            Or you could just admit you have no clue what you have no clue what you are talking about.

          • claymore

            No I know alright you are the one who’s education on the subject is lacking.

            So no response on the REAL JAG memo whskee provided where they actually write they are NOT for use against other armies?

          • CommonSense23

            Which JAG memo is that by the way. Let’s see your source.

          • claymore

            Just look down the page for the post by whskee

          • claymore

            So now are you going to call him a liar?

          • CommonSense23

            Except that goes against what the Hague Convention has been since it was implemented. After the Hague Convention was ratified. None of the signatories gave up there Dum Dums. They still used them against non signatories.

          • claymore

            Right grasping at straws now. You loved to spout JAG but now that they say NO use against Armies you turn on them.

          • CommonSense23

            Sorry just saw what you are referring to. He was referring to a ruling that was written a while ago. Again multiple JAG ruling have happened over the years. At multiple points in the last two decades have JAGs ruled that expanding munitions are legal for use against all forces.

          • claymore

            Right sure show us them. And IF that is true why still no general use?

          • CommonSense23

            Why. Cause of large numbers of reasons, production ability of effective hollowpoints on a mass scale, the fact that the military has preferred the effects of fragmentation which is a form of expansion, the fact that our military prefers to be set up to fight a conventional power.

          • claymore

            Right sure now you are just compensating for having nothing.

            So you don’t actually have your copies?

          • CommonSense23

            They are online, go search the mil.smil net.

          • claymore

            Right you want me to provide my sources but not yourself LOL.

          • CommonSense23

            Isn’t it awesome. Guessing you don’t have a smil account do you.

          • claymore

            it’s ironic as all hell that the one who demands sources from everybody else can’t provide them himself. And you would loose that bet.

          • claymore

            Funny how the only link you can provide isn’t available to most of our viewers funny how that works out. Or even quote one just one that says that expanding round points are LAWFUL for use against another Army.

          • CommonSense23

            You realize the Hague Convention itself says the use of expanding munitions is legal right against standing armies if the criteria is right.

          • claymore

            Never mind I just read your history and I’m done trying to educate someone who picks at straws to continue their specious theories in many many threads. And you serve as a beacon of ignorance for our shooter who according to you are ME MONGO, mongo break door, shoot shoot, bad guys go away type Neanderthals that should have no concern for things that could hurt them. So keep on shining that beacon there sunny.

            So you can’t still find EVEN ONE JAG ruling that allows for there use in warfare with an army and post it here for the readers?

            You might wan to check why you end up in fracases in the majority of your replies.

          • buzzman1

            What an F’n dumbass you are. You’ve probably never been out of your mamma’s basement and you’ve never been in the military. You actually think the SOF guys are are going to get clean shaven every day in the field when time and water are precious?
            And I’ve talked to JAG people on this and they are basically looking at the Hague Conventions like it is a local US criminal law. Besides jihadis are covered by the conventions or any other treaty.

          • claymore

            Rigth sure sweetcakes.

          • buzzman1

            Actually there were very few and those were mostly high profile people directing the war crimes. Most of the actual war criminals got away with it and because of their positions during the war the mid level people were put back into gov;t positions because they were the only ones who know how to run the countries.

          • claymore

            A jag opinion is just that an opinion

          • CommonSense23

            That gives us the legal authorization to due something.

          • claymore

            No it doesn’t. All that means is if you do this you won’t be prosecuted under UCMJ.

        • Bruce

          I’m no JAG, but we did not sign Hague and Geneva makes no problem with HP ammo.

          • claymore

            So why no use of them in the past 50 years or so?

          • Mike N.

            What does it matter if we haven’t used them before, if we’re not a party to the convention? What magical court are you going to raise this issue? The laws of war are not like traditional laws, where there is some greater power or sovereign enforcing it. They are only enforceable only to the extent that states agree to abide by them, if we never actually agreed on paper, but only in practice, there i see nothing wrong with abrogating what is really merely a practice, and not a legal obligation. Custom (which is what you’re claiming) is an even weaker basis for law than mutual agreements.

          • claymore

            But it became legal practice because of our continuing not using it and following the guidelines.

          • Mike N.

            No it doesn’t.

          • claymore

            Better bone up on law.

          • Dracon1201

            That means nothing. We don’t use satellites as direct weapons in warfare, so I guess we won’t according to you. You are trying to say that the military doesn’t account for changes in warfare. That is contrary to all of history.

          • claymore

            I’m saying if you don’t like the rules/ laws CHANGE THEM LAWFULLY don’t ignore them. How did we get off on satellites?

          • Dracon1201

            See my other posts.

          • claymore

            Your other posts don’t say why. I really think you better go back and do some research this is not the first time our military has attempted to get authorized use of expanding bullet ammunition and have failed every time. and not for the reasons being bandied about in this thread

          • Dracon1201

            Oh, I did do research on this. I also have bothered to go out and look at the political climate outside at those times. There’s more that goes into the procurement than just a military perspective. My reasons are quite justified.

        • Mike N.

          We are not a signatory to the Hague convention of 1899 banning expanding bullets.

          • claymore

            Yea so what’s your point we have still and are continuing to follow the conventions.

          • Dracon1201

            Not anymore as indicated by this article.

          • claymore

            Not YET they still have not been authorized this is just a wish list.

          • Dracon1201

            True, and just like the many other procurement programs, this may be shot down in flames. This is an official request, however. So we will have to see, won’t we?

        • whskee

          I’ve still got a copy of the JAG letter authorizing the use of hollow-points, NALC AA14 (.45) and A260 (9mm), signed by a Rear-Admiral and promulgated out to the teams. The terrorists don’t get the protections afforded by the conventions. It states it is only for counter-terror missions, and not allowed against any armed forces or other lawful combatant engagement.

          • claymore

            apples and oranges.

          • whskee

            Yeah, I hadn’t read down to see the back-and-forth of that whole comment thread. Oh wells. I’m late. I kept that letter just to cover our ass should some politician type want to burn people.

          • claymore

            this is a perfect example of what I have been saying. the letter was issued for terrorist actions NOT warfare IF they were lawful for warfare the prohibition wouldn’t need to be mentioned. The JAG knows quite well they are NOT FOR WARFARE with a recognized ARMY.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip

        Uh…. I agree? I wasn’t praising the magical powers of .45? Learn to read before launching into your auto-rant? I’m saying what was the point of switching to .45 if they were just about to finally make the switch to using hollow point ammunition.

        • Pete Sheppard

          The M9/M9A1 pistol is still general issue for the Marine Corps. .45s are for special issue only.

  • Uniform223

    So the USMC is going to do with the M16A4s what the US Army did to with their M4s to upgrade them to the M4A1? So is the “new” M16 for the USMC going to get an A5 at the end of it?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      They have been kicking around the “A5” for YEARS. Vltor had a concept model that centered around their excellent buffer system (the A5 buffer, of course) but more than likely the H6 would be selected for mil to keep commonality with the M4.

      I’ve love to see a an A5 buffer and magpul stock, a form of Giessele SSF trigger, Surefire comp/brake (since SF won the suppressor contract for m4 and mk18), Giessele/Other rail…

      But on that rail… It’s going to be either MLOK or Keymod. While I think MLOK is probably the overall better system. Barrett did just show the M240LW with a Keymod rail on it…

      • Vitsaus

        How likely is it that a non STANAG rail would be adopted? If Nato is using the pic rail, switching to keymod/mlok would be a pretty a-hole move on our part. Wouldn’t be the first time we’ve forced our junk down our allie’s gullets then changed our mind after they grudgingly accept, but still….

        • JumpIf NotZero

          No idea on the M16A5, but I bet within two years you see a Keymod or MLOK system adopted on a military gun.

          • TheDaniel

            pretty sure HK already has a keymod rail for the 416

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Nope. HK uses a stupid proprietary non-sense that is literally backwards to keymod.

          • Patrick Mingle

            and people say they don’t hate us

          • Joshua

            It’s called HKay Mod…….I keed, I keed.

        • FightFireJay

          Either of those systems can accept STANAG rail adapters. And adapters to each other, so it’s sort of a moot point.

      • mig1nc

        The VLTOR M16A5 concept also used a VIS-KM rifle length upper. I would love to see the whole VLTOR concept adopted. But I don’t know about that muzzle break idea. A large blast/flash signature isn’t a great idea in combat.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          That’s what suppressors are for. I don’t know if you buy all the marketing, but comps have flash, and they say they are looking for a comp.

      • 360AD

        MLOK is cheaper and less time consuming to produce. But since this is govt procurement, cost isn’t really an issue. They’ll overpay either way.

    • Ron

      The term M16A5 is in the Marine vernacular, there was a M16A4PIP and a M4PIP but no M16A5

  • Pete Sheppard

    Isn’t an adjustable stock also an M16A4 feature?

    • Squirreltakular

      No.

    • LCON

      M16A4 is just a M16A2 with a flat top Receiver.

    • Lance

      Nope the USMC training makes use of fixed stocks for riflemen so they didn’t seem to goto a collapsible stock. Have to to be a noncom with a M-4 carbine to to have one.

      • LCON

        The concern from the Marines is MCMAP, Marine Corps Martial Arts Training and using the stock for a leg up when climbing obstacles. If the Marines could find a Rifle stock that could telescope and take the pounding the Marine commandant is convinced that it can take the pounding M16A4 would be cycled in to the weapons shops asap.

        • Chase Buchanan

          Magpul’s UBR stock could probably do that, but it’s really expensive.

  • buzzman1

    Glad to see they want to go to the MK 318. The M855A1 brings along a host of problems like increased chamber pressure which will wear rifles out faster and a significant number of them have steel penetraters that are not secure in the round and can be spun around which decreases accuracy and bullet stabilization.

    • Joshua

      Internet hearsay or personal experience? My personal experience says at most there is a 10% degredation yo parts life and I have yet to see a lot of M855A1 excede 2moa from the M4A1.

      • n0truscotsman

        Thats good news.

        That means the most glaring issue with M855A1 that I was able to ascertain is not that big of a problem then.

    • M855A1 has increased pressure at ambient temperature, but decreased pressure at temperatures over 165dF.

      • buzzman1

        Been to the ME many times in my life and about 155 was the hottest I’ve ever seen so that isnt a relevant factor.

        • CommonSense23

          You are forgetting how hot your chamber gets when shooting.

          • buzzman1

            Nope. I’ve seen barrels glow cherry red. The Marines wanted the thick Barrel 30 years ago on the A2 to counter the warpage caused by heavy firing. At that point all bullet/cartridge performance sucks.

          • CommonSense23

            Yes, but what they learned from the MK262 development was that rounds that sat in the chamber that were not fired, were getting incredibly hot, and that was effecting the performance issues of the round after the weapon had cooled, and the round has had its powder baked.

          • buzzman1

            I hear you but you are talking about an incredibly small number of rounds and since most troops seem to be suppressive firing the number goes even lower.

        • Uniform223

          Ground temp or ambient atmospheric?

          • buzzman1

            Atmospheric at ground level.

            I was in Turkey at Incirlik Air Base Turkey back in 1989 and the temp was about 135. C-130s couldnt take off because the air at that temp is too thin to support lift. Only the fast movers had the thrust needed to get airborne.

          • Uniform223

            Reminded me of a time in Kuwait. We had a dial thermometer in the shade and the damn thing was reading at 140F ( I’m certain that was ground temperature because the thing was on the ground )… it maxed at 140F. That day post commander suspending all non major operations or tasks that involved outside duty.

          • buzzman1

            This one dumbass who had to prove how tough he was, would go for a two mile run at noon every day. One day after he was about an hour late returning they went looking for him and found him face planted into the asphalt. He lived but reportedly had 2nd and 3rd degree burns all over the front of his body and one side of his face. He should have been a Darwin award winner.

      • Lance

        M-855A1 uses a very dirty powder as well. It has more issues than MK 318 and so its logical to go for the tried and true USMC rifle round.

        • Uniform223

          exactly what issues does the M855A1 have over the Mk 318? All those supposed issues have been thrown out there but none have been proven, let alone deemed detrimental to the operation of the platform ( M4/M4A1 ) in which they are used in. Any issues with the M855A1 that did arise were quickly identified and remedied from all sources I have read. As far as I know there have been no negative glaring ( official or non-official ) reports concerning the M855A1.
          Interesting little tid bit is that even though the M855A1 was more expensive to develop, it is cheaper to manufacture over the Mk318.

    • Agitator

      “a significant number of them have steel penetraters that are not secure in the round”

      This isn’t unique to the A1; Legacy M855 suffers from (or can suffer from) this as well. Don’t know anything about increased chamber pressure, though.

      • buzzman1

        I was never a fan of the 855 but while in the army you shoot what you are issued.

  • Ethan

    Honestly I’m most interested by the Hollow Points being OK for military issue now. Does this mean we could start seeing tons of cheap surplus hollow point bullets hitting the commercial market in a few years??

    • buzzman1

      The MK 318 is not a hollow point

      • Ethan

        Handgun hollow points

      • CommonSense23

        It was designed with expansion in mind. Which was the critical point in the Hague Convention.

        • Mk. 318 fragments, it does not expand.

          • CommonSense23

            Fragmentation is considered a form of expansion. That’s what every Jag lawyer had told me. It’s why we had to have authorization to use MK255.

          • I wonder what those JAG lawyers would say about M193…

          • CommonSense23

            What ever they are told to do. It’s kinda my point. Go read the entire list of things the Hague Conventions bans, not just the small arms part. It’s pretty much all been ignored or just had the lawyers just come up with insane loopholes. It’s like the executive order banning assassinations.

        • buzzman1

          Marine Lawyers at first called it a hollow point but after finding out how the round s made they cleared it for combat use.

          • CommonSense23

            They nevered called it a hollowpoint, but a open tip round. The thing to remember is that MK318 was designed for SOCOM who has always had the most leeway when it came to munitions. It was only after the USMC went for it did you see the JAG officers try and cover it as something else.

      • Kevin Harron

        They were talking about pistol ammo, not rifle ammo.

    • Dracon1201

      Doubtful. They will spend years developing the round. Then it will most likely be decided that it is “Too expensive”, or some bleeding heart in Congress will shut it town for bullcrap humanitarian reasons.

  • toms

    They want the M27 (HK416) but cant afford it.

    • Joshua

      They actually tried to get it in 2010(it’s the only reason it won the IAR competition) but found it was to costly and would take far to long to fleet.

      • toms

        Exactly, I wonder if the longer service life would help mitigate the costs. I wonder what the per unit cost for hk416’s are for US military. I know FN Ars are like 700$.

        • Joshua

          Service life is not significantly longer. Only part truly better is the barrel due to the tapered bore and superior steel used. Combined Both double or nearly triple the life of the barrel compared to the M16 and M4. Other parts are similar or have about 10-15% increase in parts life.

          The guns generally cost 2-3 times as much as a M4 or M16 though.

          The main issue with the HK416 is when used with M855A1, which when used in the M4 has at Most a 10% degredation in parts life, has a far greater affect on parts life of the HK416, which is already overgassed significantly to help increase rounds between stoppages.

          The HK416 does have OTB capability which is a nice plus.

          But in the end the cost of a M4A1 barrel allows for nearly 4 M4A1 barrels to be bought at the cost of one HK416 barrel.

          I think comparing a base M4 or M16 the HK416 wins due to features. Compare the M4A1 with all the ancillery items of the SOPMOD program, including the newly issued SSF triggers and it comes out a wash, except in cost where the M4A1 wins.

          What SOCOM has done to the M4A1 has made it a far superior rifle compared to the M4 in the Marines or Army.

          • CommonSense23

            The 416 OTB ability is seriously overrated. It was a specific model that could not use certain rounds.

  • Squirreltakular

    All good news. Changing things out like the trigger, stock, comp, etc. is so damn easy that I’ve spent years wondering why it isn’t common practice. Great idea with the ACOG reticle change, too. There’s a reason I got the horse shoe on mine.

  • Tahoe

    PRECEDENT. That’s the word you’re looking for.

    As for the treatise in question, the Hague Accords of 1899 covered expanding rounds; we did not sign it (though everyone else did), but after Nuremberg it was accepted that everyone was party to it, regardless of signature. So we are bound by it just as by all other laws of war.

    Is that silly, given our current enemies? Maybe; but if we aren’t going to abide by them, why not just expend our aging chemical stockpiles and turn the entire region into a wasteland? Sounds good at first, I know, but we would pay for it.

    • Vitsaus

      100% Agree with you. Its also small minded to think that just because we are fighting guerillas and insurgents now, that in 2-3 or 5 years we won’t be fighting uniformed combatants as well. Imagine we must intervene in some other country, and we have to fight their standing army (perhaps alongside various irregular forces, though that would be irrelevant to our abiding by conventions of war), that standing army would be following the accepted rules of war and so must we. Certainly we do not like that irregular combatants take advantage of the “good guy” aspects of how first world nations wage war, but again, it is what gives us the moral imperitive, and the leg to stand on when we accuse them of barbarism. If we become as savage as our enemies, then the “hearts and minds” aspect of victory is heavily hampered and the locals, or the world at large will not see any kind of superiority in our world view. Just my feeling on the matter.

    • CommonSense23

      The US military Jag officers have on multiple occasions stated that expanding munitions are allowed on multiple occasions.

    • n0truscotsman
  • Lance

    This is if budgets allow such a upgrade. Seems USMC is getting a new 9mm round for its M-9s seems USMC is not currently interested in MHS, which makes MHS less multi-service adoption and like ICC will result in program cancellation.

    Overall like the M-16 up grades excpet for the FF barrel. It makes gas tub cleaning very difficult since FF barrel systems dont come off like hand guards. All said this depends if the USMC get enough money for the upgrade program to commence.

    • CommonSense23

      What are you needing to clean on the gas tube that often

      • Lance

        Well in Marine training you have to crawl threw mud and go threw swamp water so your gas tub would have dirty water/mud in it. Easy access for gas tube cleaning makes it a whole lot easier for Marines to keep there rifle functional.

        • CommonSense23

          Not the problem you are making it out to be. And how exactly would you be cleaning the interior of the gas tube in the field to begin with. The average marine isn’t allowed to break his rifle down that far.

        • jdkchem

          Where is the swamp at Pendelton?

          • Uniform223

            No real “swamps” per se but after heavy rains there are parts around post that might as well be sometimes when they get over flooded.

          • Ron

            Well since only 1 of our MEFs is in CPEN and the others are at Oki and CLNC, aka Camp Swampy
            But that aside, I have done infiltration courses at CPEN that involved crawling through mud.

        • Phil Hsueh

          Generally speaking, when you’re crawling through mud your ejection port cover is going to be closed so nothing gets inside. Even if it comes open some how the bolt is going to be closed thus sealing the ejection port and will also keep stuff from getting inside.

          CommonSense is correct, most Marines aren’t allowed to break down their rifles beyond basic field stripping. Never, during my time in the Corps did I ever have to do anything with the gas tube beyond sticking a pipe cleaner in it and that was from inside the upper. So not being able to get at the gas tube from the outside is not really an issue.

          • M

            And even then, it’s kinda frowned upon (sticking cleaning implements/solvent down the gas tube) it tends to exacerbate things by gumming up the tube. The gas tube IIRC is the only part of an M16 that was actually self-cleaning

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Ignore troll. Never fired a gun in his life.

    • n0truscotsman

      Many free float systems, like the ones on the M27 and 416 for example, are extremely easy in that you just remove the drive screw, which crosses a machined notch in the barrel nut, allowing the rail to slide right off (which gives you unrestricted access to the short stroke gas piston)

      Geissele’s system is the same way.

      The RIS system (DD) is a piece of cake too.

      All of them are FAR easier, in multitudes, to remove than the standard rifle or carbine length handguards on the Stoner rifle. Easy peasy.

      With free float rails and their ease of removal, you can polish the gas tube at your heart’s content or replace it completely if need be.

    • Ron

      The Marine Corps position at the AMCB (Army/Marine Corps board) is that if MHS is adopted it would eventaully become the standard pistol for the Marines also.

  • CommonSense23

    You are reading the press release that was spun by the USMC. The 318 was developed for use in the MK18 and 416 for use in SOCOM.

  • HSR47

    “Three distinct trigger pulls”

    So they’re going to get rid of the burst mechanism and go back to Safe/Semi/Auto fire control groups?

  • 360AD

    ALG QMS. Best bang for the buck as far as the trigger goes.

  • Rick…..

    The military needs to transition the M4 platform to a gas piston weapon similar to the AK ! Maybe, now that Kalisnakov is planning on building a plant in the U.S. this will be able to become a collaboration that would make one hell of a dependable , knock down weapon…! All we can do is hope….!

    • Uniform223

      uh oh here we go again with that can of worms ( piston vs DI

    • LCON

      About as likely as the Titanic pulling into port.
      1) the US Russian relationship is in shambles, even if it was not Chances of the US DOD buying any system beyond specialized roles such as training or foreign aide are zilch
      2) There is no need to resort to a Russian owned maker, The Us has hundreds of makers already including a number who specialize in excellent piston systems and AK mods
      3) Unless there is a change in round fired there is no indication of any change.
      4) The only major changes that could seemingly shift to a new system are New Ammo system like Cased Telescoped, or Caseless Telescoped.

    • I think the M4 is best suited to DI, as that’s the system that best creates even forces on the carrier.

    • Joshua

      Whole lot of wiz bang words, and a whole lack of knowledge of rifles.

  • LCON

    The Marines and the Army both seem to have decided the Trigger group of the M4/M16A2/4 sucks. The Army moved to the A1 well the Marines seem to have deemed a want of keeping the 3 shot burst mode.
    the Stock issue will be debated with the Marines having 4 options. 1 retain the A2 but stock, 2 move to a new fixed stock, 3 modify based on off the shelf product like the Vltor A5 offering, 4 develop a new receiver and buffer that could stand up to the demands of the Marines MCMAP.
    In all likelihood The Rail system the Marines put on there new M16’s would be a quad rail with fixed M1913 rails Keymod or Mlok are just not in the US Militaries mind yet maybe in post 2020.
    Changing pistol grips might also be a good move for the Army and marines it’s a small change but one that might pay some dividends.
    As to a gas piston neither the Army nor Marines are moving to it Conversion kits have yet to show much of a difference in reliability probably due to being a Conversion kit.
    One thing I am hoping to see for both the Army and Marines that may come to pass is a shift in color.

  • LCON

    the Marines don’t like the Short barrel length of the M4, They deem that the effective range of a M16A4 is 550 meters well the M4 maxes in their doctrine at 500 yards.

    • n0truscotsman

      Yeah that is puzzling to me, considering that *back in World War 2* it was determined that infantry, under stress and fire, typically engage targets within 200 meters anyways.
      Given the advances in modern ammunition technology, there is NO reason for a 20″ barrel. Unless maybe you have a stainless for a DMR role. Maybe. Its certainly not worth the PITA of the full size buttstock with body armor.

      • LCON

        The DMR role is already in hand off to a soldier using a dedicated rifle mostly modified M14’s with a few M110’s as well. the A2 butt stock on the M16A4 was a product of the A2 development the stock length was gaged as a mean length of pull based off soldiers at the range in the prone wearing Alice harness. I can under stand wanting to have a greater range. In Afghanistan attack from enemy forces beyond 200 meters was more common but a 50 meter range difference to justify the superiority of one system over another is odd.
        The Army’s choice of M4 was some what controversial of itself as has been it choice to rebuild them to M4A1but there justifications have been based on combat. The Army Optimized itself for Urban and mechanized where the extra length of the M16A2 and A4 were more trouble then they were worth. If you look at the Army’s choices as a whole you see cut down barrels and telescoping stocks not just on M4’s but M249, M240L, The M24 upgrades that created the M2010 and the requirements for the CSASS.

        The controversial choice of the Marines M27 IAR (HK416) is of interest as it also includes a barrel of 16 inches compared to the Marines 20″ Barrel found on M16 and a telescoping stock but for suppression fire it seems a major step back from a belt feed the Marines have emphasized “Accuracy” and commonality in squad and weight reduction. Yet what they have fielded is little more then a updated M4A1 not even fielded with a high cap magazine. and oddly by Marine doctrine the 16 inch barrel on there M27 has the same range 550 Meters as there 20″ M16A4.

        • Uniform223

          Compromise and is the juice worth the squeeze.

          True one can make the assertion that the US Army had optimized itself for urban and mechanized operations/combat based on experience in Iraq. True the M4 ( according the the manual ) has between a 25 to 50meter shorter point target range than the M16. In reality that is almost considered negligible unless you’re a sniper where ever extra meter counts.
          Compromise and is the juice worth the squeeze, according the the US Army it is. You lose those extra 50meters of effective engagement range for more maneuverability and lighter weight. Maneuverability is a huge factor when you’re clearing a building in MOUT or clearing huts in Afghanistan. Lighter weight, need I say more? Not just a regular SAW with the telescopic stock but also the 249 Para. Some Europeans wanted our 249 Paras because it was lighter and more maneuverable then their full sized SAWs ( they commonly called it the FN Mini ).

          My last unit we would do FTX and cross training with Marines in Pendleton. I wont speak for all but some Marines that I met and knew personally preferred the M4 over their full sized M16s. They liked their M27s over their SAWs but didn’t see the point behind it. Some saw their M27s as a heavier M16 with a piston and used it in similar fashion. One thing they didn’t like was that the M27 was not compatible with those highspeed polymer magpul magazines they bought themselves to use with their issued M16A4s.

        • n0truscotsman

          I think the evolution of ammunition mostly closed the gap between the differences of 14.5″ and 16″ to 20″ barrels. I know this has occurred with 7.62 NATO caliber guns as well.

          I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the 20″ barrel though for some reason. A number of years ago, I even argued that collapsable stocks should have been put on M16s, which would have resulted in more front heavy guns ill admit. This was, of course, back when we didn’t even anticipate the M855 going way.

          that is interesting about the M27. I know HKs have a superior barrel to USGI M4s, so its not really surprising that they are “rated” with a max point target effective range of 550m. Yeah, the fact that they didn’t field a larger capacity magazine was puzzling to me as well. Thats kind of the point of a IAR, in a way.

          I disagreed with their adoption of the M27 to be honest. I think a better solution perhaps would have been something like this http://www.knightarmco.com/portfolio/stoner-lmg/

          • Uniform223

            The US military didn’t have something like the M63 until the M249 that came on board in the mid 80s.

  • Esh325

    Honestly I think a 20 inch barrel is pointless on a 5.56. The only reason they retain 20 inch barrel is because of a tradition rather than practicality. If the argument is that a 20 inch barrel is needed to reach targets at long range, a 5.56 is already bad at doing that, hence the reason for the reissue of .308s A collapsible stock should be part of the upgrade. The A2 stock is just too long for some

    • Ron

      The reason the A4 was selected over the M4 was reliability; during the testing phase prior to the decision the A4 was approx 25 percent more reliable. The number of actual failures may have been very small but the A4 had approx 25 percent less.

      • Joshua

        Long before the M4 got the new buffer and extractor spring assemblies, which greatly increased reliability with the rifle.

        • Ron

          You are referring to the 3d BN, 2nd Mar Limited Use Test (LUT) which also saw significant numbers of loose barrels in 99-2000. However the testing was done several years later with appropriately upgraded weapons and used an activated reserve unit (F CO 2/25) Marines) the M4 was the preferred weapon by the testers, had higher qualification scores, did better at unknown distance courses and in MOUT. However it had a lower reliability during schedule of fire of 69K rounds

  • Ron

    The Marine Corps already authorizes the installation of a collapsible stock on the A4

  • claymore

    Yes BUT STILL can not be used in warfare against an Army. Two different things.

    • buzzman1

      And what army would that be?

      Besides we never ratified the provision concerning expanding bullets and it only applies to wars between signitories.

      Declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations

      This declaration states that, in any war between signatory powers, the parties will abstain from using “bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body.” Ratified by all major powers, except the United States.[15]

      • claymore

        blah blah blah you sure haven’t been following the discussion. why don’t you go back and read them all and get back to use when you have caught up.

        • buzzman1

          We didnt sign up to not use expanding bullets so what is your argument? In fact it proves my point that jag officers made up the rules out of thin air or they are just too stupid to actually read.

          • claymore

            So why haven’t we been using them LOL?

          • buzzman1

            Because someone a long time ago made the claim only ball ammo would work in our weapons or more likely someone said even though we didnt sign the convention we are americans and we don’t use nasty bullets to kill people, Just like we are forces to fight by Geneva Convention rules even through we are fighting insurgents.

          • claymore

            Sure ……………….

          • buzzman1

            Once again you’ve proved you have never been in the military.

          • claymore

            LOL want to see my DD214? I have one unlike yourself.