Marine Corps Brass Approve Replacing M16 With M4 Carbine

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In the Marine Corps, every man is a rifleman, but it seems the days of the full-length rifle with the USMC may be coming to a close. The M4 Carbine, pending approval by the commandant, will likely become the general issue weapon of the Corps, replacing the M16A4 for the infantry, Marine Corps Times reports:

Marine leaders have made the momentous recommendation to ditch the iconic M16 in favor of the M4 carbine as the new universal weapon for infantrymen.

The recommendation to swap the venerated rifle that has served as the grunt’s primary implement of war since Vietnam now sits on the commandant’s desk, pending his final review and a decision. But, the swap appears imminent and if approved will relegate the M16 to a support role. It follows a similar shift already underway in the Army.

With the endorsement of several major commands already supporting the switch — including Marine Corps Combat Development Command; Combat Development and Integration; Plans, Policies and Operations; Marine Corps Systems Command; and Installations and Logistics — final word is possible in weeks or months.

“The proposal to replace the M16A4 with the M4 within infantry battalions is currently under consideration at Headquarters Marine Corps,” according to a jointly written response from the commands provided by Maj. Anton Semelroth, a Marine spokesman in Quantico, Virginia.

The change would be welcomed by infantrymen who say the M16A4 was too long and unwieldy for close-quarters battle in Iraq or vehicle-borne operations in Afghanistan. They tout the M4 for its weight savings, improved mobility and collapsible butt stock, allowing the rifle to be tailored for smaller Marines or those wearing body armor.

“I would have to say my gut reaction is it’s the right choice and will do a lot of good for the guys in the infantry,” said Sgt. Nathan West, an explosive ordnance technician with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, who carried an M4 on dismounted patrols and vehicle-borne operations during two deployments to Afghanistan as an anti-tank missileman.

“The M4 is a great weapons system that has done everything I have ever asked of it,” he added.

The proposed switch also gets the thumbs up from senior marksmen such as the 1st Marine Division gunner, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Vince Kyzer.

“The carbine is a great weapon system for its time,” he said. “…It will increase the war fighter’s lethality and mobility.”

Ultimately, if the move to the M4 is approved by Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford, the M16 would be used exclusively by support personnel in communities like logistics or admin. Once approved, the swap could happen as fast as unit armories can issue weapons because the 17,000 M4s needed to outfit infantrymen who don’t already use one are in the current inventory, said Barb Hamby, a Systems Command spokeswoman. Thus, officials described the move as an “improved capability for the infantry at no additional cost.”

Wider adoption of the M4 is part of an overall small-arms modernization strategy that will look at incremental improvements, based on existing technologies as funding becomes available, according to a Marine official who said more details will likely be revealed in the months ahead.

For now, here is what Marines need to know about the infantry’s next likely weapon of choice — the M4 carbine.

Interestingly, there is no mention of the M4A1, which the Army is currently in the process of upgrading existing carbines to.

The article cites the collapsing buttstock, lighter weight, and improved performance of Mk. 318 as the primary reasons for the switch.



Nathaniel F

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


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  • Spencerhut

    I thought the Afghanistan conflict was showing us we need more range & lethality at distance? It would be nice if they had M16A4, M4 and some standard .308 semi available depending on mission profile and region of operation.

    • TB

      If you need more range and lethality, use a heavier weapon. That’s what DMR/sniper rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, vehicle mounted weapons, indirect fire support, and so on are for. The assault rifle is a close quarter weapon, and needs to be short and handy for room clearing and other CQB, just as is stated in the article.

      • Spencerhut

        “If you need more range and lethality, use a heavier weapon.”
        The units being deployed need to be able to pull the right tool from the armory for the mission at hand depending on mission profile and region of operation. Not some one size fits all solution.

        • TB

          Agreed, if the mission requires lethality at long range, the unit needs the right tools for this. That is, they need the appropriate heavy weapons. But they do not need a full sized M16 that is too long and unwieldy for CQB use.

        • imachinegunstuff

          That would insanely expensive and a logistical nightmare. Our M16s and M4s worked fine in Afghanistan, and when supplemented with DM rifles and medium machine guns, there wasn’t much we couldn’t do.

    • But does the M16A4 really provide a meaningful boost in range and lethality over the M4A1 when using modern (not M193 or M855/SS109) ammo? It doesn’t really seem that way.

      I would further be cautious of “learning too much” from Afghanistan. We’ve been down the path of .308 battle rifles – they didn’t work well historically, even when locked to semi (which nearly all FALs and M14s were, IIRC). The DMR program was probably a good outcome; trying to re-equip everyone with .308 rifles would probably not yield the same bang for buck, pardon the pun..

      • Lance

        The A4 is alot more accurate past 300 years. But the lack of marksmanship training in today’s military relegate the rifleman to just100-200 years of shooting. Then when you goto fights its classic Army spray and Prey training.

        • “A lot more accurate”? How? Why?

          • nadnerbus

            It’s not. It has a slight increase in muzzle velocity with older ammo, to give it an edge at targets a little further away. From what I understand, the new ammo will be optimized for the 14.5 inch barrel, which should make that moot.

            Anyway, the enemy rarely stands still, full silhouette, at 5 or 6 hundred yards. Short of dedicated marksmen and snipers, I don’t really think the slight oomph at that range makes much of a difference.

          • Hedd Wyn John

            Pretty much this^^^ you can train troops to hit stationary targets at 500m+ on the firing range. But when it comes to the stress of combat against moving targets with rounds being fired back at them, the individual riflemans accuracy drops sharply beyond 200m.

          • noob

            is it possible to load ammo to get to 3000fps out of a 14.5″ barrel? is that safe? or is the new loading just going to sacrifice the velocity compared to what could be had from a 22″ or 16″ bbl and say “the velocity you get from our optimised ammo is better than old ammo in the m4, and good enough to make the bullet do its fragmentation thing at expected ranges”?

          • nadnerbus

            I’m not qualified to answer that one. I assume to increase MV from the same chamber more, or a more powerful, powder charge has to be used, increasing chamber pressure. From what I had read, at least one of the new rounds does just that, leading people to comment that it was going to stress the gun and wear out parts faster.

          • noob

            I imagine you could drive the camber pressure up by using a faster hotter powder, but maybe make the total energy still be comparable to a slower powder load in the old ammo. Still that might mean a big increase in acceleration to go from 0ft/s to 3000ft/s in 14.5″.

            If we are talking a copper jacketed projectile, too much acceleration could damage the jacket inside the bore, leading to projectile breakup in the air before hitting the target.

        • DataMatters

          Not really. I have shot a 20″ HBAR and a 16″ carbine out to 600 yards and the difference (with good ammo) is pretty small. I know the M4 is 14.5″, but what I’m saying is that it is decently accurate for most purposes when using an optic. The shorter sight radius is somewhat more of an issue when shooting the iron sights.

        • Joshua

          No its not. Barrel length has no effect on accuracy as long as there is enough barrel to stabilize the bullet(so don’t come at me with a 2″ barrel excuse).

        • Uniform223

          The point target range between the M4 and M16 is something like 25-40 meters. To your average soldier or marine that is pretty much negligible past the 300m mark. Even with your standard ACOG that difference in engagement range means almost nothing to them.

    • Para

      A lot of modern combat is at short, fast cqb ranges e.g. Iraq, Syria, Gaza, etc. Afghanistan really is the exception to that rule and capabilities were adjusted to fit (DMRs, crew served weapons, air support)

      • Bill

        Have you seen the boatload of M16s in the IDF? They seem to kill people quite handily with them.

        • Joshua

          Have you seen how old and ancient they are with no upgrades ever making it to the rifles? It’s one of the big reasons they developed and adopted the Tavor.

          • Bill

            And yet they still manage to use them quite effectively.

          • Joshua

            When you have no choice you figure it out.

          • crackedlenses

            There are people on today’s battlefields using bolt-action rifles. And they use them quite effectively. It doesn’t make them a good idea when your opponents have AKs.

    • Seburo

      The USMC is the only branch without a .338 sniper rifle. Able to reach where .308s can’t. A .338 DMR would be awesome but not feasible yet.

      I also find it strange that they want to switch to the M4 when they can just purchase more M27s.The 20 inch barrel M16A4 is inferior in accuracy to the 16 inch barreled HK416/M27. In fact they use it as a DMR rather then as a replacement for the M249.

      • Joshua

        The M27 costs $2,000 per rifle. The M4 costs $560 per rifle and the M27 is not 4 times the rifle the M4 is.

        • Seburo

          The M4A1 and M27 are at least twice as better then the M4 is. The Army prefers the newer version of its rifle. Bulk purchases and back room deals can bring down the price of anything, not just a rifle.

          The CQB mafia dismisses Afghanistan because it would mean that their acquisitions projects were a waste of money.

          • Joshua

            Doesn’t matter. You won’t get the 416 for anything close to the cost of the M4.

            As for the “CQB Mafia” goes, the extra barrel length gets you a couple hundred extra FPS. In the long run its about 50M of extra performance. The M16 vs M4 muzzle velocity argument is very overstated.

          • Seburo

            Which is why I find it strange that their going with the M4 instead of the A1. Unless they can get them upgraded to the same rifle the Army currently has.

        • noob

          Thanks. I didn’t know about the price difference.

        • Squirreltakular

          I’ve seen the paperwork for the acquisitions at my old battalion. $560 was about the price of the M16. The M4s were listed for about $1300.

          • Joshua

            That was before FN started making them. Back when Colt was the sole source supplier due to improper handling of the TDP. Back when they purposely overcharged because they could and no one could do anything about it.

          • Squirreltakular

            Ah, okay. I’ve never even seen an FN M4. We did have a couple Sabre Defense M16s, which I thought was strange.

            But yeah, yet another reason Colt is in trouble.

          • Joshua

            Agreed. The Army was wrong to hand out the TDP like they did, but Colt became the sole source provider of the M4…they didn’t have to go an screw over the tax payers and charge the Army $200 more than a 6920 costs a civilian.

          • Sabre Defence received a set-aside contract back when the Army was trying to expand the small arms industrial base. The original goal was to make three awards: one primary with two set-asides. FN Manufacturing received the main award with the set-asides going to Bushmaster and Colt. Bushmaster’s award was cancelled after it was ruled that they no longer qualified as a small business given their ownership by Cerberus. Colt balked at their award with claims that they had mistakenly underbid, and the Army insisted that they honor their bid. The Army scrambled to make up for the lost production, and the next in line was Sabre.

      • gunsandrockets

        Bearingarmsdotcom says the USMC is looking to replace the 7.62mm M40 sniper rifle too. So some kind of upgrade in caliber is in the pipeline.

      • Uniform223

        “I also find it strange that they want to switch to the M4 when they can just purchase more M27s.”

        M27 IAR is too expensive to equip every US Marine.

        “The 20 inch barrel M16A4 is inferior in accuracy to the 16 inch barreled HK416/M27.”

        Not really. In terms of potential accuracy an M16A4 can still compete against if not be slightly better. What gives the M27 good accuracy is the free-floated barrel. Give an M16A4 the same bi-pod and scope that is standard on the M27 and the difference in accuracy is damn near negligible.

        “In fact they use it as a DMR rather then as a replacement for the M249”

        It was never intended to fully replace the SAW. It is more of a lighter weight more compact alternative. As for it being used as a DMR, I think it would very superficial. It wouldn’t have the range of an M110 or M14 EBR.

        • Ron

          The M27 is significantly more accurate than the A4, in the OAD test to determine the feasibility of adopting the M27 as a service rifle. The M27, both fired off fixed mounts and by shooters, proved to be more accurate than either the M4 or A4, it also proved to be more accurate the PIPed versions of both guns with caged (free floating barrels). But the PIPd guns could achieve 70 percent of the improved accuracy at 30 percent of the cost.

          • Uniform223

            “The M27 is significantly more accurate than the A4, in the OAD test to determine the feasibility of adopting the M27 as a service rifle.”

            Significantly? By how much?

            In short… sources please.

          • Ron

            Marine Corps Develop Command,Operational Analysis Division’s M27 AS USMC SERVICE RIFLE STUDY REPORT of April 2011 page 17, there is a graph showing the 300m grouping capability of the systems. The M27 is significanly more accurate

          • Uniform223

            Though I wasn’t able to find a link to the study report you listed I was able to find this.

            https://books.google.com/books?id=34KpCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=M27+IAR+more+accurate+than+M16A4&source=bl&ots=7HqReka2Cp&sig=Szsv1v-36nJrzn-zGjNk8mUg9Po&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCUQ6AEwATgKahUKEwjg3J3y9YLHAhVD1YAKHaZAD7Y#v=onepage&q=M27%20IAR%20more%20accurate%20than%20M16A4&f=false

            It quotes…
            “Additionally the free floated barrel offers improved accuracy over at approximately 2 MOA compared to 4.5 MOA for M16A4 rifles”

            *page 108 section 2.36.2 Combat Reviews*

            A free floated barrel for the M27 would be more accurate then the M16A4s standard RIS. If an M16A4 had free floated barrel I would place a bet that the M16A4 would either meet or be slightly better.

          • Ron

            Free floating does improve the inherent accuracy of the MWS and closed 70 percent of the gap between the M27 and the non-free floated MWSs. But there is something about the M27, whether that is just a better barrel or something else that makes it a more accurate weapon.

          • Joshua

            The HK barrel uses a tapered bore to squeeze out extra accuracy and to keep it accurate for longer. The crown is a slightly smaller diameter than the start of the bore on the chamber side.

          • Uniform223

            I know the civilian 416 has a stainless steel match grade barrel on it. It is a free-floated barrel.

          • CommonSense23

            HK barrels are actually pretty accurate, its about the only good thing the HK416 does.

          • Joshua

            So are the Marines doing their own PiP or going to use Army contracts when they finish the M4A1+?

      • CommonSense23

        The only branch without a .338 rifle? Maybe CAG has them, but no one else in the military is fielding a .338 yet.

  • Tassiebush

    The article mentioned the 17,000 carbines were already in the inventory. 3rd last paragraph of quote.
    Gosh it’s a shame military surplus don’t hit the market like they did in the olden days.

  • USMC03Vet

    This is more of a convience thing for troops that regularly use the weapons than superior capabilities that it would offer. Rarely would a smaller platform have been legitmately superior over the current m16a4, but as the guy carrying it you always want smaller and lighter. If they want to make life a little better for grunts I’m for it. This change makes far more sense than the m249 replacement did.

    This doesn’t mean the m16a4 is incapable or a bad weapon though. This is simply a convience choice and with all the crap the infantry has to deal with compared to the rest of the corps its about time they got a little love. Either weapon is a good choice.

    • imachinegunstuff

      agreed the M16A4 is a good rifle, but when I left my unit M4s were more prevalent than M16s. Usually M16s were issued to guys who didn’t use it as a primary weapon like the gunners in machine gun teams. M4s make a bit more sense if the Marines are looking to go back toa more amphibious role, Shorter carbines ar emuch ahndier in cramped ships, helicopters, and the dreaded AAV

      • Squirreltakular

        I always said that an 18″ barrel and an A5 extension and collapsible stock would be the best mods to the M16. A little lighter, a little shorter, more adjustable, almost no velocity sacrifice.

        • Anonymoose

          Bayonets, though. Also, they’re already issuing Mk12s to replace the SAM-Rs.

          • Squirreltakular

            1.) Grunts don’t train in bayonet fighting and they are almost never issued out for deployments or field ops. (MCMAP doesn’t count.)

            2.) Bayonet charges became useless right around the same time the machine gun was invented.

  • Ron

    The Marine Corps has over 80K M4s in its inventory, Victory battalions have actually had more carbines than rifles for the last 5 years.

    • Is that enough to replace all the M16s in inventory, though?

      • gunsandrockets

        From your own article. You already answered that question.

        “Once approved, the swap could happen as fast as unit armories can issue weapons because the 17,000 M4s needed to outfit infantrymen who don’t already use one are in the current inventory, said Barb Hamby, a Systems Command spokeswoman. Thus, officials described the move as an “improved capability for the infantry at no additional cost.”

        • Herpaderp. I missed it the first time, but after seeing WeaponsMan’s article on it, checked again.

          Wooo, good going me. 😉

          • gunsandrockets

            Dude! You memory-holed your original article? I certainly understand your embarrassment over the original boo-boo, but still that ain’t classy. At least add a note that the new version is a new version.

            It’s not like you merely edited out a typo of a disqus comment under a pseudonym account. It’s your article under your name and you changed the content without notice.

          • Err… OK, I don’t see it that way. I am not embarrassed about the error, really. I am human and make errors. It’s important to correct them when they become visible, so that people aren’t getting the wrong information. When there is an error in an article of mine, I usually correct it via edit, whether it’s a typo or something like this where I just got it wrong.

            I’ve made no attempt to hide the error – here I will restate it for anyone interested: I originally said we didn’t know where the carbines would be coming from, even though the article said they were coming from USMC inventory. I changed the article to reflect that fact.

            In some cases I think it’s important to disclose these edits, but in others I do not (e.g., a typo). I didn’t rate the change we’re discussing as very significant, so I didn’t see a need for a public edit.

            I don’t feel this is out of the ordinary in terms of editing policy, especially since I disclosed everything fully in the comments.

      • Lance

        No but maybe Colt may get a carbine contract for this? Thats if they do it the Commandant may kill this idea anyway in favor of Octobers conference of a M-16A5.

        • Naw, I just did a stupid and missed a paragraph in the article. The Carbines will be coming from existing USMC inventory.

        • Ron

          Idea of the collapsible stock for the A4 as a program of record is dead and TI 05538D/10012A/10012B-OI/1 of 30 April 2014 authorized commanders to add collapsible stocks at their own discretion.

          • Lance

            Then why is it going to be discussed by the USMC marksmanship symposium?

          • Ron

            The swap out of the stock is authorized, the usage of the modified weapon is not authorized for qualification per the semiannual MARADMIN for what is authorized for qualification.

            Pro tip for those who have never worked on a HQMC staff. The Marksmanship symposium is not really the venue to approve or deny equipment needs. For changes in gear-requirements the normal mechanism is that the Infantry Operational Advisory Group (meets spring and fall) which is sponsored by and advises the Director of Operations and owner of ground combat advocacy of the requirement for a change. DirOps working for his boss Deputy Commandant (DC) for PP&O to coordinate with the office of the DC for CD&I to develop the requirement and solutions to meet the requirements and DC for P&R to pay for it. Once the various DCs have worked their magic, the executive directors of the Marine Corps (all the 3 stars) make their recommendations to the Commandant who decides.

  • adverse

    Little known fact, more and more US military are becoming nearsighted, so they don’t need a rifle for long ranges. Due to cut backs, optics are being phased out, individual eye glasses are no longer issued. It has also been noted troops seldom get out of the trucks anymore, carbines are more comfortable in tight quarters. The future combat soldier will be issued nothing but Woodsman .22 semi auto pistols. Air Power will, once again, make infantry obsolete on the battle field.

  • Vitor Roma

    A M16A5 with adjustable stock should be done, maybe with some upgraded bolt like KAC and JP do, than you would have a gun that would be very hard to justify a new design.

    • Esh325

      A M16 with an adjustable stock is still probably too long.

  • Sianmink

    “Interestingly, there is no mention of where the carbines will be coming from”
    Knowing the Marines, they’ll get all the broken, worn-out 20-year old castoffs that the army replaced a while back.

    • Ron

      The Marine Corps already has the guns, its just a matter of swapping out M4s for A4s

    • Phil Hsueh

      The days of the Corps getting Army castoffs is long gone, if it ever really existed at all. Everything the Corps has fielded in the past 20 or so years has been of new manufacture and not old Army cast offs.

      • gunsandrockets

        Not exactly. Army did transfer M1 Abrams tanks to USMC.

        WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 5, 2007) – The Army will transfer 80 M1A1 Abrams tanks over the next eight months to the Marine Corps to help them replace earlier models which the Army has already upgraded.

        In an agreement between the two services, 25 M1A1s will be transferred to the Marine Corps by the end of March. The remaining 55 will be transferred as they become available during the fiscal year. The Marine Corps will fund all transfer costs from the Army’s tank storage facility at the Sierra Army Depot in California.

        This is not the first time Army G8, Force Development Division, has collaborated with the Marine Corps. Since 2004, the Army has transferred 144 M1A1s to the Marine Corps, which then modifies the Abrams’ hulls and turrets for their unique operational requirements, such as forward deployments afloat via Marine expeditionary units.

        • Phil Hsueh

          Yeah, you’re right, I forgot about the M1s. Still, it’s not exactly the same as saying getting Army cast offs, that implies that they’re old, worn, and practically obsolete which these M1s weren’t.

          • gunsandrockets

            I tried finding when the USMC first received M1a2, or if all USMC M1a1 have been upgraded without any luck.

            It’s kind of telling that the USMC were still getting M1a1 in 2007 during wartime while the Army got the M1a2 in 2000 during peacetime.

          • Phil Hsueh

            But, to the best of my knowledge, the Corps didn’t want or uses the A2, we have our own version of the M1 I believe. Maybe we took the used ones from the Army because it was cheaper to do so than to manufacture new Abrams to Marine Corps spec. Besides, if they were stock A1s that were converted over to the Marine Corps spec I’d imagine that they’d have received a complete overhaul and became, effectively, brand new tanks.

          • Lance

            No USMC adopted the M-16A2 in 1983 the Army not till 1986.

          • Phil Hsueh

            We’re talking about the M1 Abrams here, not the M16; so by A1 & A2 we mean M1A1 & M1A2.

  • DIR911911 .

    after just watching you guys shooting the m16a1 full auto , I have no idea why anyone would want to change. love that gun

  • The young guy who did this was arrested yesterday.

    • gunsandrockets

      That’s terrible!

    • Grindstone50k

      Good thing there are no other REAL crimes going on that need to be handled first.

      • Budogunner

        The ATF has never been known to have a sense of humor or leniency. They also act first and worry about legality later. In sorry it is best to never try any cute loopholes or play semantics with the law. You will always lose even if the law seems on your side. I suspect it wasn’t in this case, though.

        Remember, the ATF one ruled that shoe strings were machine guns. It took them three years to reverse this decision. I wish I were joking.

        • Grindstone50k

          “Austin Haughwout, 18, of Clinton was reportedly told to turn himself by police following an arrest warrant over an unrelated incident”

          WTF does the ATF have to do with this?

          • Budogunner

            No link to information about the arrest was posted at the time I wrote my post. It was certainly reasonable in this context to believe it was related.

            As far as the ATF goes, I think anyone in the industry can tell you that if they don’t like what you are doing, even if you are within the law, they can find a way to make your life miserable.

          • Grindstone50k

            Really? abc7.com/news/teen-who-posted-video-of-gun-firing-drone-arrested/879680/

            That was five days ago. Why don’t people research what they’re talking about before opening their mouths?

          • Budogunner

            That article says nothing about why he was actually arrested. It does say repeatedly that multiple agencies are investigating him because of the drone video. Moreover, nothing in this thread started reason for arrest.

            If TFB members choose to not post a source when starting he was arrested and not explain it was unrelated, then I suppose I can be faulted for trusting this as an information source. No need to be rude when opening your own mouth.

          • Grindstone50k

            You went straight to the tinfoil hat craziness with zero information. So, yes, you can be faulted. Also, sorry I’m not sorry for upsetting your delicate sensibilities.

    • Budogunner

      I feel a bit bad for the guy, but can’t say I didn’t see the arrest coming a mile away. That was not a wise thing to do, film, and post to the Internet.

    • tt_ttf

      Funny how people go “he didn’t do anything wrong”

      ATF rules on triggers

      FAA rules on armed civilian a/c

      Oh and most importantly being only 18 and having a handgun in his possession “Connecticut prohibits any person from
      selling, bartering, lending, giving, delivering or otherwise
      transferring any handgun to a person under age 21”

  • gunsandrockets

    This story at least kills the silly conspiracy theory that USMC selection of the M27 was just a sneaky back-door way for the Corps to bypass adapting the M4!

    • Joshua

      They tried. It was actually looked into. But it would have cost around a billion dollars to fleet and would have taken 20+ years.

      Plus the contract for the M27 is completed and would now need a new competition in which the Hk416 may not win.

      • CommonSense23

        Which it shouldn’t. The HK416 offers nothing over the M4A1.

  • Lance

    Actually the Washington Post read this USMC times piece and its still a few generals away from being a rule. As for grunts think for bayonet fights order of arms the longer M-16 is better. And dont forget the USMC marksmanship symposium this October is going to discuss upgrades for the A4 to A5 with a collapsing stock FF barrels.

    Dont buy into hype its 100% done and is law of the service.

    • hikerguy

      We will see how it turns out. I can understand those who need a lighter and shorter weapon could use the M4, but the phrase “Everyman is a carbine man” doesn’t sound as effective, LOL. I still see a need for both.

      • USMC03Vet

        If you tell a Marine grunt “every Marine is a rifleman” you might kill them via laughter.

      • Hedd Wyn John

        I suppose ‘Carbine’ is a relative term, historically rifles have been much longer than modern rifles and have been getting shorter over time. Most notably barrels have been getting shorter has advances in propellant technology has reduced the need for long barrels to achieve high muzzle velocities. The Mauser 98k for example was considered a carbine despite having a 24 inch barrel. The mosin Nagant carbine features a 20inch barrel etc. the British army has fielded the L129a1 DMR with a 16″ barrel, which is considered a rifle despite having a shorter barrel than the ww2-era M1 Carbine (18″) and British Lee-Enfield jungle-carbine (19″)

        • hikerguy

          The lines are often blurred between the two in recent history. New 5.56 rounds developed for the Marines and Army have such a high velocity that the difference between the two weapons is not a whole lot of difference anyway.

    • USMC03Vet

      lol higher must be threatened that they’ll have to forgo their lighter weapons to some non rate PFC grunt that will actually use it. M4 was a status privilege weapon while I was in.

      • Lance

        But there still is nothing really bad about the A4 compared to the M-4 yes its longer but its better for bayonet and hand to hand combat I know Marines stress that in training. Overall I think this another step to please women in combat a A4 maybe long for a woman so the Obama idiots want to have all weapons woman friendly.

        • CommonSense23

          Bayonet fighting? Jesus have you any clue about the military other than crap you read online?

          • Iksnilol

            I never understood that. If it was actually an issue they would just make longer bayonets (or make a bayonet lengthener that attaches between the rifle and bayonet). Since neither has been done I doubt it is actually a real problem.

    • gunsandrockets

      Actually just one general.

  • Lance

    What no T-800??????

  • Bill

    I always thought the “full – size” M16 was barely a rifle to begin with. Having an adjustable stock would be nice, but if you can’t handle an additional 4 inches of barrel in tight quarters, that’s a training issue.

    • Rock or Something

      I’m a big believer in the military needing to get down to the basics and train, train, train, but for tight quarters (door-kicking, convoys, etc) no amount of training is going to make the M16(a2,a4) that easier to wield compared to the M4(a1). We didn’t joking call our M16s muskets for nothing.

      • Bill

        I suppose. You can sacrifice range for size. I guess it just shows my age, when people claim that a M16 is “big.” My first entry gun, though we just called them “guns” last century, was an AR15 HBAR. That was before “operators” and Barbie guns with all the accessories.

      • Lance

        But combat in Iraq showed A4 with RCO A4 optics did more head shots and better accuracy than M-4s or even units who had A2s. Think this is more tacti cool crap from people who want in the end a 10ich pistol for there personnel weapon. In the end why not leave it to the Marine if he wants a M-16A4 give it to him if they want a M-4 let them pick it enough with is standard issue for all to fit all sizes crap in the end.

        • CommonSense23

          What are you talking about, where are you getting this info?

    • ARCNA442

      Actually, 5.5” more since M4 has a 14.5” barrel rather than the civilian 16”. But, for the sake of argument, if 4” more or less is just a training issue why not go to a 24” barrel and get even better performance – oh, wait, that’s what we had with the M1 Garand and it apparently wasn’t that appreciated given the requirement for a shorter gun that lead to the M14.

  • John

    “the M16 would be used exclusively by support personnel in communities like logistics or admin”

    I get that they want the infantry to have the preferred weapon, but giving the full size rifle to the support folks seems silly.

    • gunsandrockets

      It’s all about the benjamins.

    • crackedlenses

      The Israelis did something similar, giving their Galils to the armored vehicle crewmembers while issuing the infantry M16s.

      • /k/ommando

        Well the Galil has a folding stock and the M16 doesn’t. Thus it ended up being mainly issued to mechanized infantry and vehicle crews once US aid started arriving.

  • Ben

    I wonder who they had to wait for to retire before they could put this through officially? 😀

    Personally I think this would be more interesting if the USMC put together a new upper with a re-profiled, floated barrel with mid-length gas. Leave the standard upper for the M320/203 equipped carbines.

    They could even pick between Keymod and MLok for the rail and end that debate!

    • Squirreltakular

      No way. They’d adopt HK’s proprietary keymod ripoff to make life harder for everybody.

    • Anonymoose

      Adding mid-length gas systems into the mix would be almost as cost prohibitive as adding gas pistons. Also, the M320 attaches to a rail, not directly to the barrel like the 203, and only the Army has adopted it. They could go with the Vltor VIS upper and still attach the 203 to the barrel, but I think they should use something like the 12″ VIS-KMSL and a heavy 20″ barrel with an A-5 stock and 4-position lowers for a DMR/SPR and stick a 14.5″ in there for general issue. I read a couple years ago that they were finally fiddling around with M16A5s, but just reissuing/rebuilding M4s and tacking on more M4s to the Colt/Remington/FN orders is going to be much cheaper.

  • Uniform223

    As I said before. Marines I cross trained with in Pendelton liked my units new M4 over their M16s. I could’ve seen this coming.

  • noob

    Interesting, why didn’t they field every rifleman with a M27 IAR? It’s already in inventory. What would happen if the HK M27 IAR was the standard Marine Rifle?

    • gunsandrockets

      Also, I think the M27 can’t take the GL.

      • noob

        yup. hk would want to sell you their proprietary rail mounted GL.

        • Squirreltakular

          LMT makes a rail mounted one as well.

  • Joe

    Give both of the below pictured configurations to ALL Marine Grunts. And be done with it.

    • Squirreltakular

      Looks good to me.

      • Joshua

        Should be what the M4A1+ is aiming for.

  • snmp

    In fact, support personel need more M4 as PDW and front line/grunt need more a long rifle (may be with telecopic stock)

  • LCON

    The Heart of the M4 is still a M16A2 only with the loss of 4.5 inches of barrel and a telescoping barrel. Really as long as they are using 5.56mm this is no world changing event. The only questions I have are how the Marines will spec there M4’s wil they just use the Existing Marine M4 currently in issue and simply expand force wide or will they follow the Army in making more changes?

  • Esh325

    It would have been better if they gave everybody M27 IAR, but the M4 will have to do. It’s something they should have did a long time ago. It’s only tradition that kept the M16.

  • Pranqster

    “an overall small-arms modernization strategy that will look at incremental improvements, based on existing technologies as funding becomes available”

    Translation: insignificant changes based on old technology as cheaply as we can do it.

    Not very innovative if you ask me. The US should be looking at bullpups like the Tavor especially considering the nature of close quarters conflicts these days.