Will the Marine Corps Replace the M4 with the HK416? USMC Evaluates M27 IAR as Standard Issue Rifle

IAR2

Will Heckler & Koch’s HK416 rifle become the most successful assault rifle model of the early 21st Century? It’s starting to look that way. After the French adoption of the HK416F as their standard issue weapon to replace the FAMAS, and a likely Bundeswehr contract for the rifle on the horizon, now the United States Marine Corps is exploring the possibility of fielding its own HK416 variant – the M27 IAR – to all infantry battalions in place of the M4 Carbine. Military.com reports:

The Marine Corps’ experimental battalion, the California-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, has been conducting pre-deployment exercises with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle to evaluate it as the new service rifle for infantry battalions, the commander of 1st Marine Division, Maj. Gen. Daniel O’Donohue told Military.com Thursday.

The battalion is set to deploy aboard the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit this spring. As part of its workup and deployment, it has been charged with testing and evaluating a host of technologies and concepts ranging from teaming operations with unmanned systems and robotics to experiments with differently sized squads.

“When they take the IAR and they’re training out there with all the ranges we do with the M4, they’re going to look at the tactics of it. They’ll look at the firepower, and they’ll do every bit of training, and then they’ll deploy with that weapon, and we’ll take the feedback to the Marine Corps to judge,” O’Donohue said.

Marines in 3/5 used the IAR as their service rifle during the 28-day Integrated Training Exercise held this month at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, California. The exercise, also known as ITX, is the largest pre-deployment workup for deploying battalions, and typically one of the last exercises they’ll complete. O’Donohue said the ubiquity of ITX would give evaluators ample data as they contrasted results with the different weapons.

“All you have to do is compare this battalion to the other battalions going through ITX,” he said.

But officials do see some potential drawbacks to equipping every infantry Marine with the weapon.

“One of the things we’re looking at is the rate of fire,” O’Donohue said. “You can burn off too much ammo, potentially, with the IAR. We have a selector, a regulator [showing] how many rounds the Marines shoot. So that’s one area we’re examining with experimentation.”

Another variable is cost.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, the gunner, or infantry weapons officer, for 2nd Marine Division, told Military.com the M27 costs about $3,000 apiece, without the sight. Because the Marine Corps is still grappling with budget cutbacks, he said he was skeptical that the service could find enough in the budget to equip all battalions with the weapons. He said a smaller rollout might be more feasible.

The Marine Corps recently made the change from the longer, heavier, less adjustable M16A4 rifle to the handier and more versatile M4 Carbine, but the many felt the adoption in 2009 of a variant of the HK416 as the M27 IAR offered the Marine Corps a “back door” to adopting a new infantry rifle. Now, it seems that sentiment may prove prophetic, as the Corps turns its eye towards the M27 after it has spent 6 years of service as a support weapon.

It seems to me that the primary benefit being considered with the M27 is its selector settings, different from the M4 and M16A4 in that they provide fully automatic fire instead of burst. The US Army felt similarly to the Marine Corps, but took the route of simply converting all their M4s to the fully automatic capable M4A1 variant. Whether the Marine Corps also takes this route, or decides to fully embrace their M27s as a standard infantry weapon, remains to be seen. However, from here, the possibility a few years down the road of a wildly successful Heckler & Koch thanks to multiple HK416 contracts with France, Germany, the UK, and the USMC, does not seem all that far-fetched.

Own own Miles Vining gave me his comments on the M27 and its testing as a potential replacement for the M4:

Ever since we first received the M27 in 2010, the true intentions of the IAR seemed to have some mystery to them. Although it took over the role of the M249 SAW, the light machine gun was still retained within the Weapons platoons of the infantry line companies. And indeed on deployments, the SAW was still carried out on combat patrols.

However, something that immediately stood out about the IAR was it’s superior accuracy. In training I vividly remember hitting Ivan targets out to 500-600 meters with ease, and on deployment Marines in my platoon were easily engaging targets traditionally reserved for machine guns and Mk.12 rifles. In fact, this push towards an M27 towards a DM role was even covered by TFB earlier.

Indeed, combat in Helmand proved that the Taliban overly favored engagements with PKM medium machine guns outside of traditional M16A4/M4 rifle range. Thus, unless a foot patrol had an M240, DM, or attached Sniper team, chances of returning accurate small arms fire was very minimal. In fact, one of the early battalions in Helmand, I believe it was 1/6 or 2/6, took to humping .50 BMG M2s on patrol in 2008, 2009 time frame.

Even when the M27 was introduced, one of the legitimate rumors in the Lance Corporal Underground was that the M27 was a back door way to bring in a much more reliable AR platform for the Infantry, or else why still keep the SAWs?



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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  • roguetechie

    Nathaniel,

    I think it’s actually got more to do with the M27 serving as an acceptable surrogate for the rifle they’re involved in developing through Colt Canada.

    In all likelihood, given equivalent manufacturing, build, fit, finish, and barrel quality I’d expect the Colt Canada gun to be better across the board than M27. However, some similarities do definitely exist that would also make the M27 a good surrogate in early testing to help guide the feedback the Corps gives to Colt Canada.

    This is just me putting 2+2 together between the presentation slides of the colt Canada gun and the prototype furniture some guns Ian and his buddy shot in a full 30 video from a visit to Jim Sullivan.

    • valorius

      It’s all a waste of money, there is nothing you can do to an M4A1 (or to replace an M4A1) to make it appreciably better for a cost effective amount of money. And besides- we’re broke.

      • Major Tom

        Sunk cost fallacy. There are always options available.

        • CommonSense23

          Not really.

  • marathag

    You can burn off too much ammo, potentially, with the IAR

    As has been said since the Civil War.

    Bring back the ML Springfield, that will force those 0311s to not waste ammo.

    • iksnilol

      Nah, crossbows are what’s needed. You can reuse ammo if you manage to capture the enemy position and you fire slowly so every hit needs to be a hit.

      • marathag

        Spears.
        After they toss it at the enemy, it’s totally reusable after recovery.. Think of the savings!
        Just say No to Missile weapons.

        If Spear was good enough for CaveMan Uoak, it’s good enough for a 0311

        • valorius

          Eye teeth! Why throw anything?

        • Billy Jack

          1 million years of testing and refinement can’t be wrong!

        • oldman

          The shepherds slings and atlatls you can reuse those projectiles as well.

        • noob

          Fun fact – The Roman Legions used the Pilum – a spear with a weighted head and a long soft lead spike on the tip. the weighted head gave you accuracy, but the soft lead spike would enter the body of the enemy and then twist up. This twisting would make the Pilum do more terminal damage either by becoming embedded in the enemy’s shield which he would have to discard or by twisting inside his body, but crucially it also made the spear useless to throw back.

          For CQB, there was also a metal tipped butt on the Pilum for your vicious butt strokes.

          Once you threw your Pilum you’d use a thrusting spear called a Hasta (in the times before the Marian reforms) or the more effective and expensive sword – the mighty Gladius.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3a469db9558391cd5066d940f08a0d0e247dc6548387fac3a6d99ecdc7c3c230.gif

          • El Duderino

            Vista my Hasta, baby.

          • noob

            lol!

          • iksnilol

            Sooo… the Romans made non-reusable spears?

            No wonder they went under. shake my head.

          • noob

            to build an empire, you figure out how to trade lead for silver.

          • A.WChuck

            The spears were reused after the battle. The bendable shaft was straighten and the spear re-issued.

          • Beachhawk

            So the Romans were really quite ahead of their time: They were into recycling.

          • JoelC

            No lead in the shaft of the pilum. Just variable hardening in the iron so it bent when it hit shields or the dirt. They were often recovered, reheated, and returned for the next engagement. Lead or hardwood was sometimes used in the handle to weight them though.

          • noob

            Ah thank you! that makes more sense – hard iron in the tip of the spike and soft iron for the shank. I always wondered how they made it work.

          • durabo

            Pilum, gladius et sica!

          • noob

            The Roman version of
            “A pistol for the nightstand,
            A shotgun for the door.
            A rifle to reach out with –
            And who could ask for more?”

          • DaveGinOly

            The pilum’s business end was made of iron, not lead. It was fastened to a shaft by various means so that the weapon broke after impact, so that it could not be thrown back. The most common method was the use of a pivot pin and a shear pin. Upon impact, the shear pin would break, but the iron pointy end remained attached to the shaft by the pivot pin, creating a bendy, floppy spear that was practically useless until repaired.

            There was no terminal twisting effect or any anatomical damage done to the target beyond that of any other spear. Don’t know where you’re getting your information!

          • noob

            The lead vs iron shank mistake was my imperfect memory.

            Here is an image of a bent pilum tip from the archaeological park Museum in Xanten

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df012010224f0e5f883687993f61bb9ad302fe13a4b74bec2aafec43e7d1c18d.jpg

        • durabo

          Enhance the spear range with the Mesoamerican atlatl, aka Australian woomera.

      • valorius

        Eye teeth and claws! Why throw anything?

        • Billy Jack

          A stable, environmentally friendly, biologically sourced solution? Sorry, this could never get approval.

          • Tassiebush

            Yeah claws and teeth were killed by the same vested interests as the ones who killed the electric car.

          • Homer J

            The Stone Cutters?

      • MindMelder

        The Urumi should be adopted and adapted

        • iksnilol

          Were do we put on the laser designator?

    • Frank

      They did waste ammo in Vietnam when they had a general issue fully automatic rifle.

      • Anonymoose

        They were poorly trained conscripts back then. Nowadays we have a “professional” military.

        • valorius

          I’d be curious to see how many rounds expended per casualty in a-stan.

          I doubt it’s a very flattering number.

          • Tom

            Considering that many of the firefights in Afgan were at ranges beyond the ‘useful’ range of the M4 suppressive fire is the best that the average rifleman can do and trust in those with DMRs et al to neutralise the targets.

          • valorius

            I agree, and this is why i have argued that the M16A4 should be standard issue to Infantry forces in A-stan. With a ACOG and M16A4 you have a legit 500 meter rifle in your hands.

          • CommonSense23

            No you don’t. You have a legit static range rifle on your hand. A 4 power optic is pretty much useless beyond 200 yards in combat.

          • valorius

            As a former SDM i completely disagree.

          • CommonSense23

            Wow SDM real impressive. You got experience in Afghansitan or Iraq?

          • valorius

            That’s my business. How about you?

          • CommonSense23

            I got actually trained as a sniper. And have combat experience.

          • valorius

            I seem to recall you also claimed to be a police instructor that didn’t know what RAS was.

          • valorius

            A trained sniper that says 4 power is useless in combat over 200 meters when Vasiliy Zaitsev scored over 400 kills with a 3.5 power PU optic that pales in comparison to a ACOG. His longest kill is said to have been in the vicinity of 800 meters.

            The Finnish Sniper Simo “White death” Hayha – the highest scoring sniper in the history of warfare- used an iron sighted rifle to score over 500 kills. A good chuck of them at ranges in excess of 200 meters, and some as far as 500 meters plus. With iron sights.

            Vladimir Ilyin scored a confirmed kill at 1350m with a 4 power dragunov.

            Billy Dixon scored a confirmed kill at a range of 1400 meters with an iron sighted sharps rifle and an un-named Confederate sniper scored an iron sighted kill with a Whitworth rifle at a range of 1270 meters.

            That’s three of the top ten longest sniper kills in history with a magnifcation of 4 power or less.

            Just as i seriously question whether you are or were a police trainer, i equally question whether you are or ever were a B4.

          • Ron

            You can definitely hit a man sized target with 4X sight at extended ranges. I know of case of a riflemen hitting and killing a TB at 760 meters with an RCO equipped A4.

            However The problem seen by the Marines in Helmand was the TB understood our ability to PID with 4X RCOs so they hung out at 200-300 or so meters and in the shadows where they could not be PID’d and engaged by most riflemen. Once the fight is on shooters can easily engage targets such as large area, tree lines, muzzle flashes etc. But TB just does not stand there once the fight is on giving you full exposure or often any exposure to shoot at.
            The most effective rifle carried by Marine rifle platoons was the Mk12 because its optic allowed engagements when RCO could not see well enough to PID their targets

          • valorius

            I certainly agree hitting long range targets in combat is not easy, but to say 4x is ‘useless’ beyond 200 meters is obviously nonsensical.

          • Rem870

            “A 4 power optic is pretty much useless beyond 200 yards in combat.”??
            1 to 1.2 power per 100 yard optic will allow very well placed shots. I regularly shoot AR15’s (match barrel, match handloads) to 600 very accurately with x6-x10 power. Also shoot 1,000yd on a regular basis at x12 to x15 power (different caliber/rifles).

          • CommonSense23

            So are you shooting in combat or not with your set up.

          • Rem870

            No, i dont shoot in combat, my enlistment ended almost 25years ago. Now i get to buy what i want to shoot with. Only way i can see your statement to hold some validity is more magnification is useful for actually identifying the target. But for placing a shot on target, 1 power per 100yd, or little more, does well. More power would actually hinder field of view that would be detrimental in multiple and moving targets.

          • CommonSense23

            More power doesn’t hinder anything. NSW just went to a 25 power optic for their snipers M4A1s cause it provides much better ability to hit real world targets out to 600 yards. People minimize their profile. At 400 yards the average human head is around less than 2MOA. You are not hitting that much less aquiring it with a 4 power optic in combat when both you and the enemy are popping out of cover, moving between cover to take shots.

          • iksnilol

            yeah it does, strap a telescope to your rifle and keep that sucker steady.

            Super high magnification might be good of a tripod for ID’ing, but for shooting at 1000 meters or less? No, just no.

          • valorius

            Your observation is absolutely correct.

          • valorius

            Combat includes having the initiative vs stationary targets and shooting poor ole’ johnny infantryman at long range when he’s taking a dump too, you know.

            The greatest sniper of all time used a 3.5 power scope. Seriously….stop.

            25 power on an M4….talk about useless.

          • valorius

            When i was in the infantry and an SDM we used 4x fixed power carry handle scopes with fixed bipods. First on M16A1s and later on M16A2s. Like you I am of the (first hand) opinion that they are anything but useless over ranges of 200 meters. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

          • Uniform223

            Unless the target is incredibly static and stationary most shooting beyond 200 meters becomes difficult. Throw in movement, adrenine, and stress and even the best shooter on the range will start to faulter.

          • CommonSense23

            Which you can’t argue with people whose only experience is either training or recreationally.

          • Uniform223

            It’s not so much arguing it, its making them understand it. You don’t necessarily have to be in combat. While I was in I was fortunate to go through a course that drove home the point that BRM is NOTHING like what you actually have to do.

          • valorius

            It depends what sort of combat, in what theater, and even in what region, against what type of enemy.

          • Uniform223

            have a nice day…

          • valorius

            You too?

          • valorius

            Or fake internet commandos.

          • iksnilol

            Aww comrade, I wanted to agree with you there. Why throw that bit about scopes in? 1x magnification per 100 meters is the golden rule and it works well from what I know.

          • CommonSense23

            Golden rule from what?

          • iksnilol

            From basically everyone. Europeans, Americans, old folks, young folks, soldiers, hunters, basically anybody using a gun.

            Nobody has problems hitting at 100 meters with no magnification, barring old people.

          • CommonSense23

            Except the whole in combat thing.

          • iksnilol

            Well, if what you’re saying is true… then please do tell me why ACOGs don’t have 12x magnification?

            Huh?

            Or why don’t elcans have 16x magnification? Why are most combat optics either 4x or 6x ?

            C’mon, waiting for that good answer.

          • CommonSense23

            Cause the average shooter can’t make reliable hits past 200 yards. It makes no sense issuing a far more expensive optic or gun or round when you average marine or soldier isn’t effective past 200 yards with what ever set up you give them. That’s why we have mortars, rockets, cas and arty for.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, I doubt that ACOGs would have markings all the way to like 800 meters if that was true. And I doubt sniper rifles such as the SVD would have like 4x scopes, or DMRs that are used at like 600-800 meters would also have low magnification scopes.

            How bad are your eyes? I mean, do you have trouble seeing a human target at 100 meters?

          • CommonSense23

            My eyes are a little better than 20/15. The issue isnt see a person at 100 yards. The issue is seeing a person who is wearing camoflauged minimizing their profile behind cover or concealment. Then engaging a relatively small target.

          • iksnilol

            We didn’t need 25x magnification do that before, I doubt we suddenly need it now.

            Also, what happened about shooting through cover?

          • iksnilol

            besides, sorry for double posting, you’re ignoring the real issues of having too much magnifiaction.

            -less field of view (harder to track target)
            -increased scope sway
            -increased mirage (that increases drastically).

          • CommonSense23

            Increased scope sway isn’t a problem. It lets you know when engaging 2MOA or smaller that you are not on target. Less field of view is not really a issue with today’s optics, and mirage while a issue, is no where as bad as its stated. Your statement about not needing 25x of magnification is ludicrous. It sounds like someone making a 1911 argument about not needing more than 7 rounds in a mag. The US has been in constant engagements for over 15 years now. We have learned a lot, and a lot of important gear has changed. There is a reason Socom snipers are being issued 25x optics for their M4A1s now. Its cause they are more effective than a MK12 with a 10x.

          • iksnilol

            You’re conveniently ignoring that the S&B scope is 5-25. It’s more likely used at a setting closer to 5x than 25x.

            No, my argument isn’t like a 1911 7 rounds being all you need argument. My argument is more like you’re gonna hit more with a semi auto than an auto, thus why you should go with a Glock 17 over a 18 even if the 18 is “better” (due to firing more rounds). Or like why you should use 5.56 over 7.62×51. More doesn’t always equal more gooder.

            I don’t understand why you’re being so difficult about it, I mean, the entire world agrees about it, but you gotta be the special snowflake who argues it.

          • Kivaari

            I use Leupold Mark 4 1.5-6x and it is suitable to 500m if you can locate the target. The hardest part is finding what to shoot at. Once found a 4x or 5x scope is adequate.

          • iksnilol

            Not according to that other guy who I presume has bolted a 20-60x telescope on his rifle.

            😛

            But yeah, I assume you’re kinda old so if you can manage with 4-5x at 500 meters I think your run of the mil soldier should be able to use it without issue? Or is that optimistic thinking of me?

          • Kivaari

            You got that right, I am old.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, if I ever saw you I’d probably guess 50 or so.

            That’s the safest age to bet when somebody is old. You’ll get it wrong by 10-20 years and they’ll feel good about themselves while I feel good about my choice to take off my glasses.

          • Kivaari

            69

          • iksnilol

            Would still say 50 or so out of common courtesy, I’m almost polite to a fault.

            :=)

          • valorius

            Good number 😀

          • valorius

            The M1 Abrams tank has 10x magification and engages targets up to 1.5- 2miles away. Max magnification for an Apache gunship is also in the vicinity of 10x magnification. Acquiring a target at 25 power is much much harder than at 9 or 10 power (which is what snipers have used for decades)

            Seriously…you sound insane.

          • Ron

            M1s are not engaging men at 1-2 mils, they are engaging vehicles which are several times larger so its not an apples to apples comparison. The TADs on an Apache magnifies to something like 120X

          • valorius

            Tanks aim at specific parts of tanks, such as the turret ring. That is a very small target and they do engage that small target at the ranges i quoted.

            When Carlos Hathcock was using a M2 .50 cal MG in Vietnam to engage personnel in Vietnam he made his record long distance shot of 1.4 miles using a Unertl 10 power scope. That still stands as the fifth longest engagement in history.

            A quick google search didn’t give a definitive number for the Apache TADS system’s max magnification.

            The M107 anti material rifle only has a maximum magnification of 14 power.

          • Ron

            The announcement made when the M1A2 SEP was fielded

            “The Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command recently rolled out an improved model of the M1A2-series tank that includes a new-generation thermal sight. The System Enhancement Package (SEP) M1A2s include a 50-power sight magnification that will allow more accurate target acquisition at long ranges, compared to the present 10-power systems. The sighting system will allow both gunners and tank commanders to acquire targets faster and at greater range than current systems.

            A problem identified in the Gulf War was that the M1’s gun could kill targets at a greater range than the tank’s sights could acquire them clearly. This may have been a factor in several fratricide incidents. “

          • valorius

            I’m sure the 50 power setting is just for target ID, not for engagements.

            Having looked through a first gen M1 TIS, i definitely agree they were very low resolution. A tank looked like little more than a blob at long range.

          • iksnilol

            Or just an ACOG on an M4.

          • valorius

            An M16A4 (or even better an ‘A5’ with a lightweight collapsable stock and lightweight composite free floating rail system) is a much more suitable weapon for long range shooting. It has approx. 250-400 fps more muzzle velocity (depending on load), which translates to a flatter trajectory, less lead requirement, and greater fragmentation range. It will also penetrate body armor to greater distances.

            Trying to make a 14.5″ barrel carbine into a long range weapon is a fools errand. Sure, a really good shot can shoot well at reasonably long ranges with one, but joe average infantryman will do much better at long range- or really any range- with an M16.

          • iksnilol

            I still stand by that the slightly reduced velocity of the shorter barrel is irrelevant. Have a decent scope,decent/worn in trigger, some decent ammo and you’ll connect at 500 meters in no time. If you don’t, you gotta work on your skills.

          • Billy Jack

            I think CQB ain’t long range engagement. Either have multiple uppers to swap out before going to perform a specific task or don’t use 14″ barrels if you regularly engage targets over 300 meters. Room to room urban choose 14.5, patrolling a rural area with villages go 16in with a certain number of folks with 18 or 20in barrels. What’s the point of modularity if it’s never utilized? You wouldn’t be crippled clearing shacks in Pajamabad and you wouldn’t be crippled engaging hostiles on a hillside a fifth of a mile away.

          • iksnilol

            Because you can do the same with the 16 in upper as you can with the 20 in upper… only you don’t need to lug half a rifle extra with you.

          • Billy Jack

            I’m not saying lug it with you, I’m saying use the appropriate equipment for what you’re likely to see that day. Why choose between always using 14.5″ or always using 18″? They already aren’t sold on your 16″ middle ground or 20″ barrels. I don’t see snipers carrying SBRs either. Maybe it’s the “in no time” part.

          • iksnilol

            14.5 is basically 16, so I don’t really differentiate the two to be honest 🙂

            And i’ve seen (relatively) short barreled sniper rifles. 308’s with 40 cm barrels and the like. And I know about 308 ARs with shorter barrels that have been used without problems at distance.

          • Billy Jack

            LMAO. I know you’re not an American so that’s funny as hell.
            In America the difference between 14.5 and 16 is about 5-10.

          • iksnilol

            like, 3.8 cm is not a big difference in my opinion. So again, I don’t see the issue.

          • Billy Jack

            But on topic, I’ve seen 308 and similar “Pistols” which are a legal kinda thing here- just barrels shorter than 16in on what would normally be called a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) or carbine. Not sure how those terms are used internationally, or if they are used. Legally in the US you need approval and to pay a special tax to have a rifle with a barrel below 16 inches- hence the 5-10 remark. It meant 5-10 years in prison. I have seen short barreled rifle-style* weapons but never have seen anyone attempt to be accurate with one at distance beyond 300 meters. Usually most distance shooting I come into contact with is for hunting with 16in barrels being the shortest legally without paying and filing paperwork.
            Is 40 cm a standard size in Europe or your nation? That’s imperial 15.7 inches -almost 16in which is a popular length here. 16, 18, 20 are what I see most often. What distance are you talking about with the .308 and with what barrel size? I’ve seen trick shooters use pistols at long distances so I know what can be done, but I’m interested in what can be done reliably below 40cm.

          • iksnilol

            well, tecnically, 16 inches is 40.6 cm, but I just round down to 40 cm (since it’s easier to say than 41 cm and easier to calculate with in my head). So sorry for that confusion on my part. Laws in plenty of places in Europe are similar, here in Norway you need OAL length of 84 cm and a barrel over 40 cm, but of course, on some weapons you need a longer barrel since having it at 40 cm would drive the OAL below 84 cm (84 cm = 33.1 inches).

            I’ve seen 6.5×55 chopped to 41 cm, still worked well, but here in Norway suppressors are unregulated, so that means people chop barrels a bit more liberally to fit the suppressor. Most suppressors (available here) extend the barrel by about 10 cm (about 4 inches), so it is common to chop 10 cm off your barrel to maintain the same length and balance that you had before fitting the suppressor. Heck, my plan is for a 46 cm (18 inch) 30-06, or I’ll go all the way down to 41 cm just to make it even handier with the aforementioned suppressor. With heavier bullets it should work just fine for hunting. And then just rig it up as a switch barrel and go whole hog with a long barrel in 6.5 for precision/distance use.

          • valorius

            The shortest “sniper rifle” (that i am aware of) that has ever served in US service is 18″. Most are over 22″.

          • iksnilol

            Well, ignore US service for a moment.

            The German G-28 is a DMR, and it has a 16.5 inch barrel. Canadas DMR version of the C7 and C8 can be gotten with either 16 inch or 20 inch barrels. The UK L129A1 (AKA LMT AR-10) as issued by the UK has also a 16 inch barrel. Australias DMR is basically just an Austeyr 88 with a scope on it.

            Plenty of short barreled bolt action snipers have been used by police as well.

          • valorius

            Police snipers rarely engage targets over 100 yards.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            I used to be all about 20″ uppers and the extra range on my ARs, finally bought one 14.5″ M4A1 profiled one, cut it down to 13.7″ with a perm attached flash hider and I can still make the same hits on static ranges out to 500 yards no problem. Sold all but one of me 20 inchers now. The extra velocity really is overrated when people discuss 14.5-20″ barrels and the 5.56. Having a shorter handier carbine is way more beneficial than having a very slight velocity edge which is only relevant at the extreme edge of your range with a 5.56 weapon. With the new 5.56 loads like M855A1 and MK262 the carbine edges even closer to the longer barrels in performance.

          • iksnilol

            And the clue is, the extend distance you fire at (IE 500 yards) is far from the maximum for the weapon.

            Sure, theoretically it’s a bit easier to hit with 6 inches more barrel, but it’s easier to git gud with the shorter barrel and enjoy having much better handling the other 90% of the time over having a bit easier hits like 10% of the time.

          • valorius

            Honestly any grunt cant easily hump a 20″ m16 15 miles with full kit is a limp wristed sissy.

            I’ve done the same many times with an M60. You want to talk heavy, let’s talk ATGM.

          • iksnilol

            And you’re still missing the point.

          • valorius

            I lived the life bud, im not missing anything. Literally the ONLY advantage an M4 has over an M16 is weight and being 5″ shorter. Both are inconsequential in my first hand opinion as a former US Army Mechanized infantryman.

          • iksnilol

            Well, if science and the real world agreed with you I don’t think the M4 would be so widespread, nor would the MK18 and HK416 exist then either.

          • valorius

            The M16, FAL HK91 AK47/74 and on and on and on wouldn’t exist if you were right either.

          • iksnilol

            Bad example to use AKs, buddy, they got 41 cm barrels by default.

            And both FALs and G3s were chopped later when it was seen that very long barrels aren’t that useful. Also, the G3 by default has a pretty short barrel for 308 (less than 18 inches).

          • valorius

            The AK has a 16.3″ barrel – pretty close to right between that of the M4 and M16.

            G3 Barrel length 17.7″- closer to 20 than to 14.5″, yeah?

            Most FALs had a 21″ barrel, but the carbine versions were in fact 17.2″

            If you look at the 3 (excluding the 21″ FAL), they’re all right between that of the M4 and the M16- So is the Mk12 SPR. They might be onto something, eh?

          • iksnilol

            Not even close. I mean, in your head 16 is right inbetween 14.5 and 20

            But yeah, you’re conveniently ignoring that the M4 and AKs are chambered in intermediate cartridges while the FAL and G3 are chambered in 7.62×51. So for their caliber they have very short barrels (and don’t get me started on the G3Ks or the FALs with 13 inch barrels)

          • valorius

            Clearly we dont agree. Which i’ve said now 3 times. But we can keep going…

            If you want to bring up intermediate calibers as a qualifier, the FAMAS has a 19.2″ barrel, the SA-80 has a 20.4″ barrel. The G36 has a 18.9″ barrel.

            Besides the M16, those are the most common rifles in use by NATO. All with barrels of about 19″ or longer.

            The M4’s short barrel length is an anomaly in modern NATO use, not the standard bearer.

          • valorius

            BTW, 17.5″ is exactly half way between 14.5 and 20….So yeah, 16.3″ is pretty darned close to half way between.

          • iksnilol

            And 16 inches is right in between 14.5 and 17.5.

            You can stretch this ad nauseam.

          • valorius

            I said it’s about half way, you jumped on me. We’ve been beyond ad nauseum for about 2 days now. Can we stop yet? 😀

          • iksnilol

            To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!

            :p

          • valorius

            LMAO i’m debating Melville 😉

          • roguetechie

            OK two things here,

            1. The extra velocity isn’t about actually scoring hits or trajectory. It’s about the range at which your round drops below the minimum fragmentation velocity threshold… Look up the numbers, there’s very good reason to deal with the extra 5.5 inches of barrel!

            2. Closely related to point 1 is that unless you can afford the going rate for the little bit of M855A1 that gets out to us civvies (and the increased breakage rates) … Which is usually around $10-$20 PER ROUND or the good OTM stuff, usually $2-$3 per round, you ain’t getting the frag range back without increased bbl length!

            These are objective unvarnished truths, and I promise you that after you look at the fragmentation velocity thresholds versus MV and at various range increments you will see the point of extra bbl length…

            Unless you just punch paper targets and soda cans at the range NTTAWT.

          • CommonSense23

            What needs as a civilian do you need extreme fragmentation ranges for?

          • roguetechie

            Umm so 5.56 does it’s job?

            Also, there’s nothing extreme about the range to which 5.56 will fragment out of a 14.5 inch barrel.

            Aside from that, it’s neither your job nor your business to decide or even question what I, as a civilian, need or do not…

            Seriously… Some people’s kids

          • CommonSense23

            As a civilian you can use expanding ammo which works at much lower velocities.

          • roguetechie

            For a variety of reasons I choose not to most of the time though.

            So, in my case because of choices I make and financial realities I face I find myself using mostly m855 and m193 type rounds.

            Is it a limitation.. Sure

            Am I well informed of the limitations & constraints? Yes

            In this hobby that’s all you can really expect of anyone.

          • valorius

            And is many times more expensive than M193.

          • Dan

            It’s neither your job not business to tell us what is neither our job or buisness to question you about…..consider yourself on our list buddy.

          • valorius

            I could see that for hunters in the midwest. I use Black Hills TSX 50gr LE ammo in my AR’s (a near magical round that has the exact same penetration and expansion from a 7.5″ barrel as it does from 20″ barrel) so it’s pretty much irrelevant in my case.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, funny thing is, frag range is nowhere close to max range. Neither an M16 or M4 will cause ammo to frag at 300-400 meters, which is the distance people usually use to push the M16 over the M4.

          • valorius

            Even at close range, the extra velocity of a 20″ barrel causes significantly more violent and destructive fragmentation. There are charts online that show fragmentation effect of M193 and M855 at given impact velocities. The difference between 3250 and 2950 is very significant.

          • gunsandrockets

            And then there is the simple QC variability between different brands of 55 grain FMJ. A 20 inch barrel is better for some of the slower brands.

          • gunsandrockets

            To be fair, when it comes to civilian applications the availability of quality SP ammunition sort of moots the whole fragmentation vs. range issue.

            On the other hand, the fact that dirt cheap XM193 ball does fragment is certainly not to be overlooked, and a fair argument for 20 inch barrel over a 14.5 inch barrel.

          • roguetechie

            Especially if you’ve seen the magic tricks m193 can do pretty regularly in a certain situation…

            That’s pretty neat too… Hehe

          • In civilian applications, even if you primarily use M193 for practice due to cost (and thus prefer to use the same ammo for defensive use), how many shots at longer ranges are you realistically planning to take, in an actual defensive shooting?

            I don’t know about y’all, but even if I was “repelling boarders” the entire distance from my house to my mailbox, that’s only 70 meters. And I live on five acres. Even if I had a sight line out to 150 meters or more (and I don’t, unless I climb on top the roof), it’s kind of hard to articulate Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy for self defense at those ranges.

            For the situations where that longer range terminal ballistics would be relevant *to me*, short of Fantasy Insurrection, I wouldn’t be using ball ammo anyway… and probably wouldn’t be using a 5.56mm AR anyway. (Given I don’t live in prairie dog country, any long range shooting I need to do with terminal ballistics as a concern will likely involve a caliber that begins with “.3”.)

          • Uniform223

            The M855A1 has been issued and in service since 2011. Until there is an actual official report stating that these rounds are indeed breaking our weapons…
            Saying that the M855A1 is breaking our weapons is simply a myth based on either hearsay.

          • Stan Darsh

            I don’t know about ‘breakage’ of the rifle, but with M855A1 loaded to the original 62,500psi, the round was causing reduced service life of components, which forced the reduction to 58k PSI. A secondary issue was when using USGI mags, the penetrator would impact the M4 feed ramps, chewing the aluminum up and causing FTF. Since then, the EPMs have come online allowing the round to angle upwards and bypass the feed ramps.

          • Shaun Connery Oliver II

            Didn’t I hear that there are accuracy and barrel life issues as well?

          • There were accuracy issues with some of the very early prototypes.

          • valorius

            M855A1 gives optimal performance from 1:8 barrels, so I suppose that could be considered an accuracy issue.

          • Tired of Silly Bun Fights

            Or you could just use M193 which has been killing enemies since 1965 or so, for about $0.34/round currently.

          • roguetechie

            m193 also likes longer barrels better, and throughout the conversation I state that I use m193 & m855 at least once.

            … I want to say more but I won’t

          • n0truscotsman

            Yes

            This discussion about M16 vs M4 barrel length is ridiculous, and it irritates me, because it was utterly crushed the last time it was brought up. But I see Ill have to address it again

            here’s a graph for the curious

            http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-22-9/image1607.jpg

            And this is with M855. A mediocre, obsolete cartridge being phased out of service.

            And again, nobody has provided sufficient data that the 20″ barrel enhances the combat power and engagement range accuracy of infantry squads compared to the M4.

          • iksnilol

            Can we get Nathaniel F. to write an article about it? I mean, he’s used to drawing ire from everybody, at least dispell this one pretty please.

          • n0truscotsman

            That would be nice. Im sure im not the only one getting irritated having to refute the same myths over and over again.

          • iksnilol

            I sure am.

          • valorius

            there’s nothing to dispel. It is a fact of physics that a faster moving bullet of equal design drops less, drifts less and arrives on target faster. It is also a fact of physics that the same bullet driven faster will fragment more violently at any range where fragmentation occurs, and at a greater range than one moving slower.

            These are all scientific facts.

          • Uniform223

            all for an additional 50 or so meters…

            Unless you’re a sniper, 50 meters to your infantry soldier and marine isn’t even going to in the back of their heads when they come in contact.

            I get it, you’re old you want to go back to the old ways but that just isn’t happening. The doctrine and tactics have changed.

          • iksnilol

            Yeeeah… but it is a marginal difference.

            It’s like the difference between a 300 hp engine, and a 310 hp engine. That other guy did post the drop chart and you can see for yourself that the difference is negligible. And frag range is irrelevant to be honest. Since even with a 20 inch barrel the frag range won’t be past 200 meters. So tell me, why care about 150 vs 200 meter frag range when you’re shooting at somebody at 400-500 meters?

          • valorius

            Two use your example: In two identically prepared cars the guy with the 310 hp engine is the winner, and the guy with the 300 hp engine is the loser.

          • iksnilol

            Not really, I don’t drag race. I drive in mountains, depends on who’s skills are better. I’ve beaten cars with twice my horsepower.

          • valorius

            OK, equally prepared cars and drivers with equal skills. I’ve smoked a few higher powered cars in my Porsche 928S over the years too. 🙂

          • iksnilol

            Kids nowadays, driving Porsches.

            I shake my head at this tomfoolery.

            But in all seriousness, how does a back-heavy car handle when going fast?

          • valorius

            The 928S is front engined and has a 50/50 weight balance. It’s also the first production car to have had 4 wheel steering. It handles very well, especially for it’s age.

          • iksnilol

            Aaah, I assumed rear balance being SOP for Porsches what with their rear mounted engine.

          • valorius

            The 911 is a whole different animal.

          • iksnilol

            An animal I’m too poor to have. I really dislike the situation with cars nowadays. The used cars I can trust/afford are too new (FWD and whatnot) whilst the JDMs and such are too expensive/rare to actually have.

            I guess I’ll one day have to convert a Skoda to RWD. Would have to sacrifice some trunk space but eh, I could live with that.

          • Uniform223

            You know what… that car with the extra 10hp isn’t going to win by much. Yeah it will win but it wont flat out smoke the other car. What if that car with the 300hp engine was some 350lbs lighter, what than?

          • valorius

            If you win by an inch you just won. If you lose by an inch, you just lost. Miss a target by an inch…and you missed.

            Pretty simple concept.

          • I guess I could knock that one out.

          • iksnilol

            THANK YOU, BLESSED BE THEE!

          • Joseph Goins

            The barrel length impacts the velocity and thus the kinetic energy and bullet drop. However, that doesn’t exactly translate to ballistic performance in flesh. The M193 and M855 have better fragmentation at distance out of a 20″ barrel than a 14.5″ barrel. However, the M262 works better out the 10.5″ barrel of the Mk18 than the M193 from a 20″ barrel.

          • valorius

            80″ drop vs over 110″ drop is significant. Time of flight is significant, fragmentation at any given range is significant, max fragmentation range is significant.

            Add it all up together, it is very significant, and no, this argument has never been “crushed”

          • n0truscotsman

            What is ‘significant’ about those differences? within typical combat ranges, and a bit longer, to the max effective ranges on point targets, the differences are negligible.

            Claiming ‘significance’ is far different than proving it with evidence. I have a bad feeling ill be left in the dark like I was the last time I asked for it.

          • valorius

            Ever qualified? Rounds take quite a while to get downrange and hit the 300 meter target. Longer time of flight means decreased hit chance because the target might move. It also means you need to lead the target farther.

            A bunch of small differences add up to a big difference pretty fast.

          • n0truscotsman

            So whats the time of flight time differences between the two? and at what respective distances?

            Mind you, the established velocity differences are typically 2,900 vs 3,100 fps on average.

          • valorius

            For M855 it’s about 200fps, but its more like 300 fps for M193. The difference in time of flight is small, but perceptible. If the guy decidess to bend over (or duck) just as you shoot at 300 meters the faster round obviously has a better chance to hit. TOF is just one small piece of the puzzle. It’s when you add up all the advantages you get with a 20″ barrel that the advantage becomes significant.

            If you’ve ever played any online FPS games, you quickly realize that a ping rate even a few dozen milliseconds faster is a very real advantage (I have a teen aged god son, so FPS games are obligatory, lol). Speed kills, and yada yada yada.

          • Uniform223

            “The difference in time of flight is small, but perceptible. If the guy decidess to bend over (or duck) just as you shoot at 300 meters the faster round obviously has a better chance to hit”

            > Again, UNLESS YOU’RE A SNIPER… your regular infantry soldier and marine in combat ISN’T (IS NOT) going to perceive, notice, or CARE about a difference that is MINISCULE.

            “TOF is just one small piece of the puzzle. It’s when you add up all the advantages you get with a 20″ barrel that the advantage becomes significant.”

            > Again that advantage of simply having an additional 25-50 meter point target range and an extra 200fps is just that… marginal. If the M16A2 was just so much better why did the US Army decide to go to the M4 and later M4A1? Marines applauded the move from the M16A4 to the M4… (the current M27 topic is a waste of time, money, and personnel in my opinion). The differences in actual use (combat) is negligible to the user and to the intended target. This isn’t like comparing .308 to 300 WinMag. Your seemingly dogmatic devotion to the 20inch barrel M16 is old and seemingly by the current end users… PLAYED OUT. There is a reason why before I got out soldiers started to call M16s, “muskets”.

          • valorius

            If you have 200 more fps of velocity you just turned a miss by an inch into a hit.

          • valorius

            What did you call M-14s, howitzers?

          • n0truscotsman

            Im not concerned about M193. Its hasn’t been in US Military service since M855 was adopted, which is also going the way of the dodo bird as well.

            Using 300 meters for example, which is roughly equivalent to 980-ish feet, Im not convinced there is a measurable difference in flight time between the two either. I recall M855 5.56 traveling 2,900 feet *per second* from a 14.5″ M4 barrel and 3,100 feet *per second* from a 20″ M16 one. Negligible differences in flight time, at least differences that you wouldn’t be able to notice.

            “TOF is just one small piece of the puzzle.”

            Which I have been asking for and hasn’t been sufficiently provided. No data, no citations, nothing. Im not good at accepting something face value.

          • valorius

            A difference of .1 or even .01 second is not negligible if it makes you miss. Miss a moving target by an inch at 300 meters, you’re talking miliseconds difference in flight time.

            If you want specific times of flight simply google them.

          • n0truscotsman

            1.) And how do these differences affect the kill radios of standard infantry engagements? you are making assertions backed only by assumptions, not data. I’ve seen nothing so far.

            Furthermore, time of flight is not only affected by barrel length, but a myriad of other factors such as altitude, weather, windage, etc.

            2.) No. You are making the claims, you provide the citations. The only thing you’ve done so far is dance around the questions, simply making proclaimations that are unsupported.

          • valorius

            I’m making assertions based on common sense. It’s the same as a boxer with really fast hand speed. The faster your punch is, the lest likely it is to be countered or evaded.

            It’s simple common sense.

            I’m not searching all over the web for info just to placate you. If you disagree with me, that’s certainly your right. It’s not like you’re an army ordnance officer with the capability to switch back to the M16, so whether you agree with me or not is pretty irrelevant, no?

          • n0truscotsman

            ‘Common sense’ isn’t.

            Im not interested in personal feelings based off of one person’s perception of ‘common sense’, Im interested in assertions proven by data. Common sense has a nasty trend of being refuted by data-backed fact.

            “I’m not searching all over the web for info just to placate you. ”

            Thats fine. Those are your claims you are choosing not to back up with citations.

          • valorius

            I’m making my statements based on first hand experience. You don’t agree, obviously.

          • valorius

            For the record, human beings can perceive differences in time as low as a few milliseconds. Feel free to google it.

          • n0truscotsman

            And how are those differences affecting the combat efficacy of infantry units in small arms engagements?

          • valorius

            Actually the 20″ barrel of the M16 gives drastically superior fragmentation range at any range where fragmentation occurs (Simply google M193 M855 fragmentation chart for a clear illustration of this)

            If you have no problem hitting at 500m with a 14.5″ barrel it’s because you’re a really good shot, and not a reflection of what either platform is capable of in an average infantryman’s hands.

          • Ron

            Fragmentation is a bonus when you get it, but all and all is not required for lethality. The number one requirement is hitting the target and hits to the high chest area tend to be debilitating if not fatal even if they only produce “ice pick” like wounds.

            Marines and SOF have found that they have been able to kill with 5.56mm from SAMs and Mk12s at the 6-700 meter range, well beyond the point the round is fragment.

          • valorius

            At 600-700 meters immediate incapacitation is far less of a concern, as i’m sure we’d all agree. I do not disagree with anything you said though.

          • valorius

            This is simply not true.

          • iksnilol

            Yes it is.

          • Uniform223

            The M855A1 and Mk318 rounds easily makes a 14.5 inch barrel carbine a 500 meter weapon.

          • valorius

            Easily eh? LOL.

          • valorius

            Obviously i disagree.

          • iksnilol

            Yes, yes you do. In spite of evidence for my claims. You still refute it, as if out of a Freudian fear.

            Have a decent evening, my good sir.

          • valorius

            I dont agree with your evidence. LOL…as i’ve stated I was an SDM, i’ve fired M16A1’s and A2’s at ranges in excess of 500 meters. There is no comparison btw a 14.5″ carbine and a 20″ rifle at long range. Which is why no one hunts in the midwest with short barrels and sniper rifles all have barrels 18″ and longer (often much longer), and why the US Army integrated SDM’s into every squad.

          • Joe

            There is literally no appreciable difference between a 14.5 and a 20″ barrel at ranges out to 500 M. Have you done side by side comparisons?

          • valorius

            Read my previous comment.

          • iksnilol

            “I don’t agree with your evidence”

            Well, the nice thing about science it is true whether you believe it or not. Now what you experienced in the ancient days of dinosaurs and when it was acceptable to call black people “negroes” I don’t really care much about, since it is anecdotal.

            Maybe nobody hunts in the midwest with shorter barrels but around the world it is happening. Hunting buddies of mine rock 16 in 6.5x55s and they also use these for shooting at longer ranges in their free time (IE 700-800 meters since any farther ranges are waay too far to drive). Heck, I’ve seen integrally suppressed rifles with barrel (+ suppressor) at or slightly longer than minimum legal length. Why few people do it in your AO might be just because they’ve never tried anything else and don’t want to.

            I still maintain that if you can’t hit at 500 meters with an M4 you need to brush up on your marksmanship.

          • Shaun Connery Oliver II

            I agree with you. I saw on vid that shows accuracy of the three different loads: M193, M855, and M855A1. The M855A1 performed HORRIBLY! $10 – $20/round and YOU THE BEST YOU CAN SHOW IS 2.24″!

          • Uniform223

            Link video please…

            From everywhere I have read and seen the M855A1 out of your 1:7 inch twist barrels on an M16A2 or M4A1 is JUST AS ACCURATE as the older M855. It was when it was shot at competition at Camp Perry in 2012 from a M16 type rifle with a match grade barrel did it show to have “match grade accuracy”.

          • He’s talking about William Purnell’s video where he shoots a lot that almost certainly didn’t make QC.

            Neat video, but people need to understand that that ammunition will by definition not shoot as well as a contract overrun lot.

          • …Who told you M855A1 cost “$10-$20/round”?

          • valorius

            How much does it cost? Is it even available except as a reloading component?

          • valorius

            14.5″ vs 20″ is not insignificant when it comes to velocity. It’s in the vicinity of 10%. If you think 10% is insignificant, please transfer 10% of your net worth into my savings account. 😉 😀

          • iksnilol

            Oh yeah, that’s a good argument.

            Just like “if .22 is so weak why don’t you let me shoot you with my 10/22 to prove it”. Like, seriously?

          • valorius

            Like, for real.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, for real, your analogy was silly and you should feel bad.

          • valorius

            It was not, and i do not. Shall i now issue the argument ending “ninga ninga naa naa?”

          • iksnilol

            Oookay, 5% velocity loss is negligible, thusly it should be negligble for you to give me 5% of your savings.

            It’s a pretty stupid analogy to be fair, you pinko commie liberal asking for handouts… wasn’t like this in my day.

          • valorius

            I’m an ex cold warrior, calling me a commie really hurts. LOL.

          • iksnilol

            Why the ex?

            Did you put on a coat? LOL

          • valorius

            The Army left me for a younger man. LMAO.

          • iksnilol

            Wow, didn’t know the Army swung that way. :O

          • valorius

            Under Ash Carter even trannies are the army’s type.

          • valorius

            All the infantrymen that have commented based on first hand experience that the M4 is inadequate for long range engagements in A-stan obviously need to go to the iksilol school of shooting. You could make millions. 😉

          • Uniform223

            And the M16 was better?

            If I read the writings on the wall and all the publicly released reports, BOTH the M4 and M16 were determined to be inadequate at long range engagements. This lead to a wider adoption of DMRs in 7.62×51 (M14s and M110s). On the other hand the M4 was praised for being lighter, more compact, and easier to maneuver with in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters.

          • valorius

            Yes, the M16 was and is better for general infantry use. Note: Most NATO infantry forces still use weapons with barrels of 18.5″ and longer.

            The M4 poll polled troops of of all mos’s. This includes tank crewmen, artillery crewman, Truck drivers, as well as REMF’s of every variety. They are all perfectly well served with the M4.

            I’ve conceded the M4 is lighter and handier. I’ve also said it’s a non factor. I’ve humped an 81mm tube AND an M16 many times. The 2 lbs of weight difference of an M16 vs an M4 is inconsequential, and could easily be mitigated anyway with a few changes to the M16 rifle. (MOE style stock, composite quad rail)

          • Bullphrog855

            For the M16 to have a retractable stock, it would have to include a newly designed bolt or buffer tube that the military does not have in it’s inventory. That’s if you want to maintain fullauto/burst.

            I agree with what you’re saying for the record, the M16/M4 synergies pretty well together, min/maxing and diversifying a squads capabilities.

          • milesfortis

            A collapsible stock kit – carbine receiver extension/spring and appropriate weight buffer (H6) – had been authorized for additional issue for close to 7 years now.

          • Bullphrog855

            Really? I just know the MK.12 lost it’s full auto when it went to a retractable stock because of those issues.

          • Kivaari

            The Mk 12 lost its FA ability when the designers said don’t install FA hardware as we want a better SA trigger pull because we intent to use this as a DMR (AKA: light duty sniper rifle). You drop the full-auto parts when seeking a good semi-auto trigger pull. You can buy an off-the-shelf SA trigger that is far superior to any of the select fire models.

          • milesfortis

            “The Mk 12 lost its FA ability when the designers said don’t install FA hardware as we want a better SA trigger pull because we intent to use this as a DMR (AKA: light duty sniper rifle). ”
            Bingo

          • Kivaari

            The M4 butt stock assembly will fit any M16.

          • FWIW: The US Army adopted a separate adjustable buttstock assembly for the M16A4, which has its own unique buffer – the H6. They have been warning against the use of standard M4 buttstock assemblies on the M16A4 for years. The following is a message that was posted by the PS Magazine staff earlier this month.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9129b1a62ddf5781c039f72dfe3cc7b3e255b92853bcf234aa1ea9fd5b370689.jpg

          • Kivaari

            Thanks for the updated material.

          • valorius

            Even if it didn’t collapse an MOE style stock without all that extra material would certainly still reduce the weight considerably. Which is the main goal.

          • roguetechie

            My primary gun is configured sorta like a C7a2 / the A5 style you’re talking about.

            I also use a duostock which I’ve heavily modified, including reprofiling the “camel toe” at the bottom.

            I also run a heavier profile barrel and actually wound up weighting my stock specifically to deal with the front end being heavier.

            Everything is a tradeoff

          • valorius

            To me the perfect standard issue rifle is a modified 20″ M16A4 with a magpul MOE style stock, a composite quad rail, a 1:8 twist barrel (this twist seems to offer the greatest accuracy with M855A1), and a military profile barrel with M203 cutout.

            This would cut the M16A4’s 8.9lb weight considerably. Perhaps by as much as 2lbs.

          • roguetechie

            Agree 100% on 1:8 twist.

            However on my personal guns I prefer a heavier profile towards the barrel shank, almost M231 profile when I can find it. If any fluting at all, it has to be fairly minimal and geared to heat dissipation.

            I pay for the heavy profile by running light hand guards and always free float.

            The rest of what I do, how I do it, and the parts I make, mod, or repurpose for my personal guns I’m not quite ready to share…

            Suffice it to say that my guns are far from stock, perform VERY WELL, and do so with pretty minimal cash outlay.

            I’m not one of those delusion I get .1 MOA from wolf polyfermance and can fire 900 rounds before cook off guys…

            Nor do I have voodoo space magic.

            But, I’m pretty proud of my mutant freak squad.

          • valorius

            LOL 🙂

          • roguetechie

            Admit it LOL, you know exactly what I mean.

            Too many people out there insist that their secret recipe somehow suspends the laws of physics somehow.

          • valorius

            I was laughing with you about the last couple lines of your last post, not laughing at you. This thread is a perfect illustration that quite a few people seem to think 14.5″ is the best because the US military uses it.

            It can’t possibly be because Colt lost the M16 contract to FN or because the female soldiers are better served with a lighter weight weapon. 😉

          • The M4 was designed as a replacement for the M3 Grease Gun (in armor units) and a collection of clapped out cows of the XM177 family in SOCOM units.

            The 14.5″ barrel is what results from taking an XM177/CAR15 gas system and handguards, an adding a barrel long enough for the bayonet to latch on properly.

            This all occurred before Colt lost the M16 contract, and without any serious consideration for issuing the resulting carbines to females (although Colt did point out that issuing carbines to troops who weren’t riflemen, but still needed a long arm (preferably one a little more handy, since their primary job *wasn’t* “trigger puller”), was a smart idea – you know, all those troops who would have been issued an M1 or M2 Carbine in the 1940s and 1950s, for the very same reasons…)

            It was the Army, not Colt, who decided (due to intense lobbying from the Airborne Mafia, who wanted the LCD – Looks Cool Factor – of the M4, since SOCOM used it) to make it the standard infantry rifle (thus exactly reversing the appropriate priority of issue 180°).

            Luckily, the M855A1 development fixed the problem of issuing short barrelled carbines as primary infantry rifles, along with fixing issues that were also present with 20″ rifles firing M855.

            At this point, the “controversy” of issuing M4s is analogous to the “controversy” from the turn of the *last* century, about dropping really long infantry rifles and fairly short cavalry/artillery carbines, and just issuing everyone a mid length rifle like the NoI MkIII SMLE, Kar98, or M1903.

          • valorius

            Good post.

            The M4 was adopted as standard infantrywide infantry weapon shortly after Colt lost the contract to FN, no?

            The US Army has been using CAR-15 variants since Vietnam. When i was in, the few we had in our unit, IIRC, were marked “Colt Commando, Property US Govt).

            The M4 is an excellent weapon for many, many MOS’s, such as those you listed and others. It’s also a great CQB weapon, though IMO the 10.5” Mk18 with “brown tip” 5.56mm optimized is even better for that.

          • Why would the Army have optimized the M855A1 for a 20″ barrel, when the Army had standardized shorter barrels for the carbines and LMGs that fired it, and even optimized for the shorter barrel, it still performs great from a longer barrel? (Note, had it been optimized for the 20″ barrel, the relative loss of performance when shooting it from the M4 would be greater than the other way around.)

            Remember, having a barrel that is 5.5″ longer than ideal for your interior ballistics is better than having a barrel that is 5.5″ shorter than ideal. (And, remember, even the Marines are moving to shorter barrelled weapons, increasing issue of M4s and replacing many of their M249s with 16″ IARs… and there’s been a strong push within the Corps to standardize the IAR for riflemen.)

            The Army was going to be the primary purchaser of the new ammo (even if all services adopted it as the primary standard; due to size, the Army buys more small arms ammo than the rest of DoD combined), the round was developed using mostly Army R&D budget, and the Marines refused to fully commit to even purchasing it.

            So, of course it was developed to be tailored for the majority of the weapons that would be firing it, while still improving performance significantly in older, longer systems. It wouldn’t make any sense for the Army to standardize it for a weapons system that we are moving away from, at the *significant* detriment of the systems we were moving towards.

          • valorius

            Anyone that follows any of these carbine threads knows my opinion on the matter- a lightened 1:8 M-16″A5″ with ACOG should be standard issue for US troops in regions with wide open spaces.

          • Reginald Pettifogger

            See, there is still a role for the M-14.

          • Billy Jack

            Sorry. Counting money or ammunition used is not permitted in Afghanistan. That is in accordance with local custom which only permits use of the abacus. Unfortunately, the US military has its hands tied on this issue. Maybe next conflict.

          • Uniform223

            Trying to count how rounds are expended per confirmed kill is futile, useless, and most of all stupid.

          • John

            Standard loadout for an infantryman is 300 rounds, right? That’s 10 magazines. If everyone blows through that on a confirmed kill, you’ve got a rough estimate of how much ammo was used.

          • USA 11C

            No true ‘standard’ loadout. minimum combat load is 210 rounds; six mags carried plus one loaded.

          • valorius

            Yep, thats what we were issued as well. 6 mags in pouches and 1 in the weapon, plus one bandolier of ammunition.

          • Bill

            As well as a very hot weapon and a melted front sight if it is a polymer example.

          • carlcasino

            Why are we still using our Military as targets? Use the Japanese strategy -No prisoners at any cost.

          • Anonymoose

            That’s more of the M249’s fault, though. We should really check out how much money has been blown on bombs and missiles per enemy casualty.

          • valorius

            It would indeed.

          • noob

            I’d say it would be something like 10 to 20 per each m795 155mm artillery round. For your own personal safety you’d want to only use your small arms to fix the enemy and then pound them with fires platforms. In that case the ratio is not calculable for the small arms ammo because you are firing to suppress – it is a different goal.

            If you are forced into using your small arms directly then that means they’ve pulled you into a compound and are going house to house. That’s playing into their hands.

            I wonder what a shoulder fired weapon that is dangerous in its own right but was optimized to give the maximum suppression time over a precisely defined area for a given cost would look like?

            Some kind of Belt Fed 5.7×28? bullets optimized for maximum sonic crack to scare the enemy?

            joerg sprave has a youtube video about the “Whistling Roman Sling Stones” which could punch through plywood but also made a terrifying noise as they flew – if a lot of them were coming for you you’d know about it.

          • Jtrain

            What’s the cumulative cost to drop one 500 pound bomb? Probably more than all that ammo.

          • nick

            well, I have figures for Iraq, but not Astan, sorry. Per confirmed “kill” , 250,000 small arm rounds expended.
            In Vietnam, the rounds per confirmed kill, 75,000 small arms rnds.

          • valorius

            thanks for the info nick.

        • Kivaari

          Conscripts usually performed as well as regular army. Bad mouthing the draftees is a popular pass time. Reading the VFW magazine leaves me with the impression that draftees performed quite well over all.

          • n0truscotsman

            Yeah I was never thoroughly convinced that a well-led and well-trained ‘conscript’ force was markedly inferior. Perhaps for COIN, maybe, but certainly not for conventional warfare.

          • valorius

            the problems seemed to be disciplinary, not performance oriented.

      • marathag

        Given the tactics in place, that was the goal, ‘recon by fire’ does that

      • roguetechie

        Combat at 0-300 meters against a well entrenched, well camouflaged, highly mobile enemy, that also happens to have virtually unassailable forcible or voluntary support from the civilian population will result in profligate ammunition for little in the way of casualties no matter how well trained your force is!

        Issuing less ammo would just result in more fights degenerating into h2h combat and even higher casualties.

        Or did you not notice that everyone from MACV-SOG to Aussie SAS to Force recon left the wire with as many intermediate/SCHV caliber belt feds as possible and positively massive ammunition loads?

        If you’re going to armchair Monday morning quarterback… At least have the slightest damn idea of what you’re talking about!

        • valorius

          I dont think anyone was really criticizing so much as just wondering. I know i wasnt.

          • roguetechie

            This was a reply specifically to someone who posted the old fully automatic rifles waste ammo argument

    • Broz

      Which is EXACTLY WHY it took so damn long for the ‘gravel bellies’ in the ordnance department to consider repeating rifles over the traditional single shot rifles…and WHY for the longest time, there was a ‘cut off’ on magazine fed rifles..to keep the troopie from ‘wasting’ ammo

      • …I actually don’t think their reasons were quite that simple.

    • supergun

      When you got 200 zombies bearing down on you, an automatic serves the purpose.
      Why not train the soldiers to only use automatic when needed.

  • Joe

    So the Marine Corps has a grand conspiracy and the Lance Corporal underground knows best? The M27 isn’t going to be the standard rifle. It costs four times more than the M4, weighs more, and simply isn’t significantly better. Look at some other Battalions, the M249 is all but gone.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    I don’t understand. How can a rifle replace a machine gun?

    Volume of fire. Sustainability of fire. Overheating. Magazine. Barrel. Precision on full auto. Etc etc

    • You don’t understand the differences between a machine gun and an automatic rifle. Most Marines and Soldiers don’t either.

      • valorius

        Condescension is no way to make friends.

        I’m ex infantry, my opinion is that the M27 is a definite step BACK from the capability of the SAW.

        • Martin Grønsdal

          My point was; how can you exchange apples with oranges? If the grunt has a rifle, and a machinegunner a machine gun, and they both have their guns for a reason… then how can you change machine gun with a rifle? No comprende

          • valorius

            My comment was directed at John.

            But to answer your question- You cannot change a machine gun out for an auto rifle -effectively- for several reasons.

            1) The rifle lacks a quick change barrel so suffers in sustained fire
            2) The rifle’s 30rd magazine is woefully inadequate compared to a MG’s belt, therefore it’s ability to deliver effective suppressing fire is greatly compromised.
            3) Rifles lack the beaten zone of any machine gun, which is a deliberate design feature of all machine guns.

            The ONLY advantage of using a rifle in place of a machine gun is weight. That’s it. In all other ways, the rifle is not just inferior, but decidedly so.

          • Twilight sparkle

            You forgot the rifles advantage of precision, machine guns are usually open bolt and inherently less precise

          • iksnilol

            Many MGs are surprisinginly accurate (something about a heavy receiver and a heavy barrel being accurate) if the barrel isn’t too abused.

          • Twilight sparkle

            I would agree with those things but machine guns tend to be open bolt and that lag time between squeezing the trigger and firing the cartridge is enough to throw you off. Specifically comparing the m249 to the m27 iar the iar has an obvious accuracy advantage

          • CommonSense23

            The issue with the M249 is the ammo, not the gun. Belts of MK262, MK318, or M855A1 would solve the major accuracy issues with the SAW/46. The 48,240, and PKM are extremely accurate due to using much better ammo.

          • jono102

            Doesn’t help a lot of them are bashed up and had a hard service life. Some of the US Army and Marine outfits we have worked with in the past had some pretty munted M249’s even compared to ours. Doesn’t help that some expect to get the same results out of para barrels as the do out of standard barrels at range.

          • Ron

            although I occasionally saw belts of AP and heavy ball used by PKs, they normally were just loaded with plain ball ammo.

          • CommonSense23

            Which is far more accurate than M855.

          • Ron

            True, but I think most of the inaccuracy is due to just poor machine gunnery technique.

          • CommonSense23

            You got to be joking right. A SAW versus a 48, versus a PKM. The SAW is going to lose. I have our partner force link a belt of MK262 and it significantly reduced the spread.

          • Ron

            Its more to do with material not matching doctrine and TTP, a light machine gun employed as an automatic rifle. When you employ a M249 like a machine gun, it can be used out to around 1Km, but that means putting the full length barrel on it and firing it off a fixed mount with a T/E. When you have the short barrel on it, firing it off hand or resting it on objects and not even using the bipods and when you do, you shoot it like a rifle instead of belt feed you get rifle like performance.

          • roguetechie

            Except the open bolt full closed bolt semi MG’s which have been around for 75 years now…

            Hell, you do know that Carlos Hathcock made his record long distance kill with a scoped ma deuce right…?

          • iksnilol

            well, he did it on semi (that is, closed bolt)..

            so kinda missing that persons point.

          • roguetechie

            No I got the point,

            I was just throwing the counterpoint that many many guns have come in closed bolt semi open bolt full auto which allows the best of both worlds in all the important ways that matter.

            Heck from what I know it’s very possible to mod an AR this way.

            Pretty sure it’s already been done multiple times at least two different ways.

          • Twilight sparkle

            Unlike the m249 the m2 fires from a closed bolt and it had a very expierenced shooter behind it who had made a lot of non standard modifications, that shot was a testament to Carlos Hathcocks ability, the fact that he could do it with an m2 is even more amazing

          • Evan

            A couple other advantages – the rifle is more accurate, and it looks the same as everyone else’s rifle thus potentially making the automatic rifleman less of a target. Still not worth it though.

        • Stating facts is not condescension.

          • valorius

            Condescension is condescension. Also, your opinion is not a fact, it’s your opinion.

      • Martin Grønsdal

        Educate us, please.

    • valorius

      It cannot.

    • A Fascist Corgi

      If I remember correctly, they justified the transition by saying that the HK416’s increased accuracy compensated for the decrease in firepower. They basically said that precision fire was better at suppressing the enemy than shooting a cloud of bullets at them.

      • CommonSense23

        Which there squandered by putting a weaker optic on, and having a rifle which is just as accurate as their M16s and M4s.

        • Uniform223

          Don’t forget stupendously more expensive (3k) with no real beneficial trade off.

        • Ron

          The M27 is significantly more accurate than the M4 or A4, and why they are also replacing the Mk12s in units. Through a combination of a better trigger and a heavy profile, taper bore, caged barrel it was able to meet the semi-precision requirement of less than 2 MOA with service ammo. Under the M16A4 PIP through changing to a match trigger and adding a caged barrel they were able to get guns with almost the same accuracy.

      • Uniform223

        They also wanted something lighter than the SAW (which I can understand and agree with). All the other stated reasons as stand in for the SAW is borderline stupid on my opinion.

    • n0truscotsman

      It goes back to the Marine Corps’ love for the M1918A2 BAR, IMO.

      IARs and LMGs are a bit different in their concept.

    • Jack

      >I don’t understand. How can a rifle replace a machine gun?

      The same way a toilet seat can cost $30,000 while not actually becoming a toilet seat in the process.

      Politics.

    • MeaCulpa

      That my friend is a question that has no answer. Most western nations get this idea every other decade that the regular assault rifle with a heavy barrel will be just great as a machine gun, after a couple of years (during peacetime) or a couple of weeks (during wartime) everybody wakes up and buys proper Machine guns.

    • HKmaster

      Just curious does anyone know why the USMC only sticks with 30 rounder GI mags for the M27? I would think that drum mags or extended magazines of around 50 rounds would be useful for sure.

      • Ron

        an automatic riflemen get issued 20, 30 round magazines.

      • SP mclaughlin

        I think it is because the IAR isn’t used to spray so much as to provide accurate supression; a few shots every few seconds.
        I think the 40 round Pmag was designed with this in mind though.

      • It’s because there are no high capacity magazines that are suitable for combat use.

        • HKmaster

          The Magpul D60 magazines seem pretty reliable for me personally , but then again I’m not kicking in doors in Afghanistan or anything like that. Has there been any military testing of these mags for potential acceptance?

    • Well, the role filled by the M249 is one that has alternately been filled by either belt fed machine guns or automatic rifles.

      For example, the weapon the M249 replaced? That was the M16A1.

  • mechamaster

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0d60a681800366e91fdd3aa0a287e2843856443c1546b9fd54fd7ccc9961174.jpg

    Well the piston-AR type… Rather than HK overpriced product, maybe the US-made POF P415 / P416 is more a realistic option.

    With slightly weight-reduced material. It’s one of the best piston-AR in the market. ( plus the $2000 price is good too )

    And yes, with the IV8888 torture test, it’s a good example too.

    • Anonymoose

      That is a really high rail.

      • valorius

        Apparently exposing more of your head over the parapet to sight your rifle in is a good thing nowadays.

        • Marc

          Standard AR15s all have raised irons and raised optics. Raise them a bit less and you have the exact same sight height.

        • iksnilol

          Wait what?

          And what do risers that raise optics on regular ARs do in regards to your outline?

          • valorius

            Obviously the higher the optic, the more of your face is presented to be shot off. Some rifles/setups (such as the M14) allow you to expose less of your head, others such as the weapon being discussed force you to expose more of your head.

            I’ll let you decide for yourself which is preferable.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah. But think of it like this:

            high rail = low riser
            low rail (like on a regular AR-15) = high riser

            So what I am saying is that your complaint about the POF’s high rail is irrelevant, unless you complain about the AR-15 in general exposing much of your head.

          • valorius

            I think any objective analysis would come to the conclusion that exposing a lot of your head is one of the shortfalls of the AR15 sighting design.

      • iksnilol

        Something about reflex shooting,

    • HKGUNS

      You’re seriously comparing POF to HK? HK is military grade, POF, not so much. Just go away.

      • iksnilol

        A perfectly unbiased comment by somebody calling themselves “HKGUNS”.

        Bravo.

        • roguetechie

          Personally I’ll skip the HK or POF, graze the open market for parts of my choosing, and build a premium DI AR AND a premium AK74 …

          That way, if my AR goes down during my wish fulfillment fantasy gunfight where I’m the hero… I can just unsling the 74 and keep mowing down the hordes of Ming the merciless!!!

          • iksnilol

            I’d go for a OTs-14 Groza… for maximum cheeki breeki. Would get a FN F2000 for the occasional IV DAMKE! and to use NATO supplies 🙂

          • roguetechie

            Well yeah,

            I’d take a groza too except for the free dental work it would give me firing it, but what’s a few missing teeth between friends?

          • iksnilol

            Aaah… you’re one of those “devil-handed” people? I imagine you could just chop the handle down and install a folding charging handle which wouldn’t break yoru teeth.

            I mean, maintaining optimum cheeki breeki is important, comrade.

          • roguetechie

            Ah ha comrade,

            But I have the official Russian AK-12 patent regarding the fancy charging handle, a small but nice selection of CNC tools, spare AK kits n flats, and absolutely no fear of accidentally destroying parts occasionally!

            In other words, it’s on the to do list but it’s a big damn list!

          • iksnilol

            the HK type charging handle?

            Yeah, that one’s easy:

            – chop off original charging handle
            -cut groove inn gas tube where you attach a handle to the gas piston (don’t cut too far forward on the gas tube to not impede cycling)
            -??
            -enjoy your teeth

          • Mazryonh

            You’re not a Master Stalker until you’ve survived the Zone with nothing more than your Grandfather’s Mosin Nagant rifle (suppressed or not), your Uncle’s double-barrelled shotgun, and your Father’s Makarov pistol. Then you can truly say you’ve surpassed Cheeki Breeki altogether.

          • iksnilol

            I didn’t have the mod that added the Mosin.

            :/

          • n0truscotsman

            For that kind of money, you can buy a Noveske or Arsenal Democracy and have the best money can buy.

    • 360_AD

      Someone drank the POF Kool-Aid. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s the end-all be-all. Besides, doubt POF has the manufacturing capacity to produce them in numbers. That alone would disqualify them from any procurement competition.

  • Petto

    Nah , i don’t think so

    M27 IAR is slightly overated , it won’t be better than M249 if they make a belt fed IAR that can easily change barrels then maybe

    maybe in the future Marines will switch to piston driven ARs , from who it will be? we must wait a see

    • Anonymoose

      KAC still has their Stoner LMG.

      • Uniform223

        Can someone PLEASE make a video of that!

        *looks at Larry Vickers*

      • HKmaster

        Why has nobody adopted that yet? I’d definitely want to have one of those in my collection!

    • Billy Jack

      Carry an extra upper instead of a barrel? Not a difficult swap. Add in carrying more higher cap mags? Add a heavier barrel more capable of tolerating the heat and you’re giving up the primary advantage of not carrying a saw in the first place. Why aren’t they testing space age ceramic barrels or something to actually replace a thing with a better version of the same thing? DARPA has to have some better materials by now.

      • CommonSense23

        So carry a extra upper, with extra optics, extra laser? And the manor issue with mags is there are never going to allow the flexibility of running a belt. What happens when you get a lull in firing and you have only 25 rounds left in your hundred round mag? Do you change mags or just wait to empty. With a belt you can begin reloading without emptying the gun.

        • Billy Jack

          I was saying it sounds like the more you make a M4 or similar carbine into a SMG you end up with the same number of drawbacks. Plus it isn’t built to be a SMG like an actual SMG is. Also wondering why there’s been no revolution in materials used. I don’t think a M4 with an extra upper and a 100rd drum is a SMG.

          • CommonSense23

            You keep saying SMG, you mean LMG?

          • Billy Jack

            sorry tryin to keep up – your replies(and others) are on Disqus in notifications but not on TFB for some reason and I can’t see the conversation thread. I mean the SAW LMG my bad. But I can’t even see the original comment so I can’t remember why people are talking about it being a substitute when the article only mentions it being an excuse to ditch M4s and they still have the SAWs.

          • J. Murphy

            The Marines have replaced most of their SAW’s with IAR’s. The church of the belt fed believes that it’s impossible to have a magazine fed IAR instead of a belt fed LMG (despite the fact that the mag fed IAR concept existed long before the belt fed LMG concept.) thus the rumor started that the M27 IAR is some sort of Marine backdoor to replacing the M4 with the H&K. And people are now running with any “evidence” they can find to support that theory.

          • Billy Jack

            Okay. That first sentence is something maybe the article could use. I wondered what I was missing when people were ignoring the part where the quoted guy said SAWs were fine. Fandom aside only issue seem to me to be if the M27 IAR reliably does the job. I’m guessing it gets it done good enough or is this a secret sweetheart deal with negative experiences on the ground being silenced?

          • Billy Jack

            Nope I mean M249 with the 5inch barrel.

        • roguetechie

          Go Johnson and put a stripper clip port in either ejection port or directly into top of the magazine body?

          I know it sounds dumb at first blush, but with modern polymers, witness windows, and maybe jump stripper capacity to 15 like 5.45 or pay Natick to make a DSSC (Double Stack Stripper Clip).

      • roguetechie

        They are…

        • Billy Jack

          Then I guess I’m at a loss for what’s being argued over. Just swapping the M4 platform out altogether for HK’s and totally killing the SMG?

  • Major Tom

    Concerning the cost, ya realize the Marines (especially if they get Army brass and/or politicians on board) have the power to nationalize the design right? It’s what the DOD did to the M4 to begin with rather than leaving exclusivity to Colt.

    If they nationalize the 416/M27 design and farm it out to US manufacturers, that cost is going to go way down. A lot of HK price is simple price gouging, not material or labor cost.

    • valorius

      Whoever decided to replace the SAW with a mag fed rifle should face 200 lashes with a belt of 5.56mm ammunition.

      • Major Tom

        Nah, caning by way of an M2A1 .50 cal barrel.

        • Billy Jack

          Do we get to watch on CSPAN? Pretty please?

          • iksnilol

            Y’all need some Jesus, you perverts.

          • Billy Jack

            True. Jesus would beat them like money changers in the temple.

  • valorius

    The US Military loves to spend money on needless programs. The M4 is perfectly fine as far as carbines go, and the M16A4 was even better still.

  • lostintranslation

    But, but, this is insane…….it’s not DI.

  • dave

    M4a1 all day. Same cost, lower weight, plenty accurate. Keep it simple marin

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I don’t understand why military units around the world seem to like the HK416 so much. What makes it so special?

    What’s also noteworthy is that military units don’t seem to share your views on weight. The HK416 weighs over 7.5 pounds, and the M27 IAR weighs about 8 pounds.

    • CommonSense23

      Good marketing.

    • SIG751

      In Switzerland the standard soldier has to hit targets at 300 meters with open site. Sig 550 in 5.56. Teach basic marksmanship to your troops before discussing new material

      • CommonSense23

        Huge difference between static range and combat.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        300 meters still isn’t far enough. The obvious solution to our troops getting outranged is to improve their equipment and their training.

        • J. Murphy

          That “outranging” is happening at the hands of Mortars and PKM machine guns, not Assault rifles.

          And NATO spent much of the 50’s messing around with 7.62×51 battle rifles, and the end conclusion was that true assault rifles were the better solution.

    • CommonSense23

      The average soldier or marine can’t hit targets past 200 yards reliably. Doesn’t matter what gun you give. And its honestly closer to 100 yards in combat.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        “In training I vividly remember hitting Ivan targets out to 500-600
        meters with ease, and on deployment Marines in my platoon were easily
        engaging targets traditionally reserved for machine guns and Mk.12
        rifles.”

        • CommonSense23

          And that means what. I have taken my issued MK18MOD1 out to just over 750s with ease in training. In no way do I expect to those types of shots in combat.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Agreed.

            I have hits for any know my holds to echo sized steel played at 600y with my 11.5″ and red dot – no way I’d ever attempt that shot on anything but a piece of steel.

            After 400 the holds become pretty unrealistic.

    • n0truscotsman

      You are missing *a lot* about the context of the 2007 dust tests, which were posted here, on TFB

      Ill source the original http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2008/01/extreme-dust-test-m4-and-others.html

      “But that contradicts what the owner of Battlefield Vegas said about the flawless performance of the HK416 clones at his range.”

      You have to remember this was a MR556 that performed *badly* when it came to barrel life. The barrel (non-chrome lined) is different than the 416’s.

      “And so much for your “your average soldier can’t hit anything beyond 200 yards in combat” argument.”

      That doesn’t refute that, actually. Its still as true as gravity.

      You’re going from M855 on iron sights to M855A1 with optics. That increases the odds of hits within 2-300 meters.

      200 meters and less are typical infantry engagements, with few notable exceptions (which is why, again, for the fiftieth time, M4s dont operate in a vacuum)

  • iksnilol

    Now this is truly unexpected backdoor action.

    • schizuki

      That’s what SHE said.

      • iksnilol

        THANK YOU… for goodness sake, I expected it to just lie there unnoticed.

    • jono102

      Apparently it doesn’t need nearly as much lube as others in the past….

  • CommonSense23

    The 416 or M27 isn’t going to solve any issues the Marine Corp or military in general is having. What needs to be done is completely change the culture of maintenance starting with the individual and beyond. The M4 is a great gun. The M9 was a good gun. The M60s were excellent as a light machine gun(but horrible as a GPMG), the SAWs are good guns. But until inidivual and unit level maintenance programs are implemented, nothing is going to change. All that would happen if the Marines adopted HKs is it would be a couple years of general praise than all the issues that are plaguing our current weapons would come out of the woodwork and even worse with the 416s.

    • Uniform223

      I don’t know how the newer 240L and M60E5 compare to each other but it would fun to watch or read about.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I liked when the clearly nonsense articles ran on April 1st, and not just on the weekends.

  • TJbrena

    Buy the M4A1 and/or convert existing M4s and improve maintenance. Boom. Better trigger and HBAR means better accuracy and suppressive fire capabilities.

    Use the savings to buy more helicopters or something.

    Please hire me DoD.

    • TW

      No you have to much common sense to work for the DOD.

  • Minuteman

    They ought to re-arm all rifle men with the G38 and replace both the IAR and M249 with the Negev NG7, while retaining the M240 as the crew served LMG/GPMG.

  • Cory C

    Isn’t the 416 an order of magnitude more expensive than the M4?

    • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

      Kill the F35 and you’ll have lotsa cash.

      • Uniform223

        And be stuck with 4th gen fighter aircraft as your primary means for the next 20 to 30 years. Good for you for thinking ahead and having a shred of knowledge on the subject.

        • roguetechie

          Over a 5th gen that doesn’t work and even if we get it working the hideously expensive complex and completely nonviable basing and naval accommodations required to host them in light of things like IRBM’s supersonic and hypersonic AShM’s, AND very strong anti access doctrines and equipment which would force us to base them WELL INSIDE the range envelope of said systems..

          All at double plus some the cost of gen 4++ refits and repops just to acquire….

          Do we need a fifth gen fighter..?.

          Yeah probably

          Is the F35 the fifth gen fighter we need?

          Not just no but F*** NO

          • CommonSense23

            I have met a lot of Fighter pilots from both the navy/marines and air force. I have yet to hear any of them bad mouth the 35. I mean does nobody remember how much flak the M1 Abrams got before the first gulf war.

          • iksnilol

            Eeh, a tank is a bit different from an airplane. It’s hard to screw up an armored vehicle with a cannon on it.

          • CommonSense23

            Tell that to all the arm chair analyst from the 80s.

          • Uniform223

            You would be suprised…

          • iksnilol

            Shhh, I want to keep some faith in humanity.

          • roguetechie

            It’s really a different situation though, even IF the aircraft is everything it’s supposed to be several of my criticisms still apply just as much.

            Honestly, I have a way larger list of stuff that sucks that was just the worst of it.

            A couple of the weaknesses I obliquely referred to put us in very untenable positions against any number of opponents…

            Basically, you don’t even have to kill the plane to kill the plane in this case!

          • Ron

            Most of the Aircrafts actual capabilities are SAPs and those speculating on its capability are not read to those capabilities.

          • roguetechie

            Sorta, but not really…

            It’s a white world contract with all the reporting and etc duties that entails…

            It might have some neat parts etc in it, but the information out there is extremely telling.

          • Ron

            What is in the open is its physical capability almost all its warfighting capabilities are not. I am not read it to all its capabilities, but what I have been to “lighthouse” and the best way I can describe it in an open forum is to say it can do what nothing else before it could, I have heard many people say “what did we get the technology from Martians”

          • roguetechie

            Even just being one of those people extremely interested in technology whose spent years haunting odd forums, I’ve heard some very interesting Chinese whispers…

            That stuff sounds really cool, it’s other stuff that bothers me…

            I could be wrong, but I may not be.

          • Uniform223

          • Rogue, love ya buddy, but PUT THE MILRAGS DOWN.

          • roguetechie

            Nathaniel I’m talking about very very specific things that bother me…

            The actual guts and subsystems, saying I’m excited about some of them would be a huge understatement.

            What I’m not excited about is boring stuff that most people file under logistics and promptly ignore etc.

            Could they possibly get this stuff under control?

            God I hope so.

            I get that some of my criticisms sound the same, but they’re coming from different places.

            I don’t like the F35 program, and probably won’t like it unless or until it proves itself the hard way…

            It’s not personal, just business.

        • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

          You obviously don’t know me, so I’ll just ignore your personal attack.

          Back on F-35.

          The STOVL version (F-35 B) demanded so many compromises that A and C are far worse (and costlier) than they should be.

          What should (IMHO) be the solution?

          Develop the B version as it should. It’s range requirements are somewhat high IMHO. It’s a STOVL and CAS plane, after all. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) be deep interdiction or strategic attack. Therefore, it doesn’t need such a long range and integration with some weapons.
          Cut range (and consequently size) and many of its development hurdles wouldn’t have occurred.

          Develop A and C versions completely independent of B version – at most use the same avionics. Range requirements of such versions are obviously higher, and both would benefit of a twin-engined design.
          These versions do need as many range and weapons they can get. They can be a lot bigger and heavier than B.
          Weight obviously has limits, but such limits aren’t as strict as STOVL ones.

          This way, A and C versions could be bigger and have bigger weapon bays, maybe up to JASSM-friendly size. B would be smaller and potentially not as difficult to R&D as it was. Everybody happy.

          • If a decision like this was ever going to be made, it was going to be made ten years ago. Not when we have almost two hundred airframes flying around.

            “F-35B compromised the design of F-35A” is also one of those things you hear repeated a lot, but never really supported.

          • iksnilol

            Imma just armchair it and say, it would’a probably been easier and better if they made a couple of different frames for different tasks instead of trying to cram everytihng into one.

          • Bullphrog855

            It’s never been supported because it’s a flat out lie that has been disproven countless times.

            It’s a tell for BS in the F-35 debate.

          • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

            Had A and C been designed as larger, twin-engined fighters, and B a smaller, shorter ranged fighter, lotsa problems could have been avoided. But it’s too late now. I’m pretty aware of that.
            Point is, all F-35 versions could be a lot better than they are – and potentially a lot cheaper – had their developments not been troubled by commonality issues.
            The X35 had to pass through quite a bit of changes and compromises, many of them related excusively or mainly to STOVL, that did hurt its full potential – one of them was SWAT (STOVL Weight Attack Team).
            SWAT included quite a bit of changes that were pretty much only needed for B. A and C coult have skipped them altogether. And if B was originally made smaller/shorter ranged, SWAT could possibly not even had been needed to begin with.

          • Uniform223

            Former test pilot Jon Beesley

            Also the commonly held FALLACY that the F-35B compromised the other variants is just that, a fallacy. The JSF Program came about when the CALF and JAST programs were combined into a single program we see today. CALF (Common Affordable Light Fighter) was a DARPA program headed by USAF and USMC to have an aircraft design that fit the needs of USMC STOVL and USAF conventional flight. JAST (Joint Advanced Strike Technology) was a USAF and USN effort to look at (at the time) future technologies such as weapons and avionics.

    • n0truscotsman

      Yes. more than 3x per unit.

  • Basque

    In future all US military branches with non american weapons, and all OTAN armies with German H&K or Finland FN weapons. Less competitive market with only GLOCK handguns, H&K rifles and FN automatic rifle/MGs is a goos idea?

    • Renato H. M. de Oliveira

      FN is actually from Belgium. And with and after many mergers, there are quite a bit less companies out there.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Replacing their terrible DMR should come before another change in main rifle.

  • Joseph Goins

    No, they will not.

    #1. USMC just approved the adoption of the M4.
    #2. USMC has already spent money on it.
    #3. USMC has can’t afford to buy the 416s.

    • guest

      Not to mention that though all branches of US armed forced do like experimenting and pulling the ol’ “look at me, my weapons are special” stunt now and then by having somewhat similar – yet different – firearms than other branches, still despite all that a weapon has to show significant improvement and/or advantages over what it is supposed to replace.
      HK-416/417 has marginal improvements that do not cover the whole plethora of issues that are wrong with the AR based weapons, at the expense of a ridiculous price tag.
      Same goes for all the telescoping ammo and whatever else. A SIGNIFICANT improvement has to be the selling point, not some meager re-design or technological evolutionary step.

      • Joseph Goins

        Yup. We are going to have the AR family with us until ammo itself goes beyond metallic cartridges. When I was in 1/75th, we fielded the M4 (safe, semi, burst) while the conventional units were still rocking the M16A2/A4. We loved it simply because it was a smaller, lighter package; however, it wasn’t radically different as to alter small arms. We debated amongst ourselves whether it was even worth it to “change” the weapon platform.

    • Ron

      The infantry and infantry like battalions going M4 pure, we already had over 80K of M4 spread throughout the system.

  • SomeRandomGuy

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, because I don’t have the source in front of me, but I remember reading “somewhere” that the 416’s or the M27’s (or maybe it was both) were having lower receiver cracking/fracturing at a stupidly low round counts (like 2,500 rounds or something).

    I could be wrong, could be thinking about something else, or could just have had one too many concussions.

  • John Eden

    Adams Arms is cheaper and you can just slap a new upper on an old lower.

  • lowell houser

    Oh, NOW everybody gets a 16 that doesn’t need to be cleaned every ten minutes. In my day you got your M16A2 and didn’t dare get it sandy, muddy, wet, breathe on it, look at it funny, or tap rack bang. No, I’m not bitter at all, why would you ask?

    • DIR911911 .

      a2? what modern wizardy , for me it was m16a1

    • Uniform223

      It’s funny how people bring the past as if it is relevant to what we have now.

  • Ark

    I feel like I remember going through all this several years ago and we just ended up giving all the contracts to Colt again.

  • NewMan

    It’s long overdue that they ditch the POS M4. It is an extremely flawed design that has proven to be problematic so many time in combat. The day of the DI AR need to end soon.

    The 416 is the perfect improvement that the AR platform desperately need. It’s just vastly superior in so many ways, and that why seriois user prefer the 416 over everything else.

    • CommonSense23

      So how much time do you have using either rifle.

      • NewMan

        Enough to know that I don’t trust it as a serious rifle. Even with all the bandage fixes (mid length gas, heavy buffer, o ring) it’s still a poor performer. And it isn’t just poor reliability, short parts lifespan is a serious issue as well.

        Just adopt the 416 and move on with life

        • CommonSense23

          So what military experience do you have with them.

          • NewMan

            I don’t need to be in combat to know the general reliability of weapon system. The fact of the matter is that, vast majority of soldiers and operators out there prefer the 416.

            The M4 platform is an utter failure platform. They had to make tons of compromises to shorten the original m16 rifle and turned into a carbine. The result is an extremely flawed system that is not meant to be used as a serious rifle.

            Other manufactures have tried for decades to improve it but it’s still fall short by a wide margin. Politics is the only reason why it’s still around

          • CommonSense23

            So how do you explain the HK416 having more class 3 malfunctions when using M855A1. Or how 10th group and Socom found the 416s weren’t more reliable than the MK18s and no reason to switch over the HKs.

          • NewMan

            Marine fired hundred of thousands of M855A1 through their M27 during testing without any issues. So I don’t know where you get that from.

            MK18 is a POS SBR that’s only works with hot milspec ammo. That why civilian version has much bigger port size, at the cost of durability, obviously

          • CommonSense23

            Wow the MK18s are POS? Rifles that can go thousands of rounds suppressed without cleaning, outperform HKs in term of reliability, gas system is set up to run any round in the US inventory without any fine tuning, can run either suppressed or unseppressed without any changes.
            So what experience do you have with firearms professionally?

          • 40mmCattleDog

            Remember this is the guy that argued that the G36 is a better weapon than the M4A1 and that all the special forces who adopted the M4 platform were wrong and stupid for doing so. He’s real special.

          • NewMan

            I don’t remember saying that, but since you brought it up… G36 destroyed the M4 in reliable testing, though. What’s your point?

          • n0truscotsman

            When? where? and under what parameters?

          • TW

            The M4 may not be the BEST, but it works. If they really wanted to the could replace the gun with a DI, 16 inch rifle with a free floated barrel and have the best dam gun you can get. All while staying at a fraction of the cost of the M27.
            Think Daniel Defence DDM4 with a mid lenght gas system and rail. Now that would do everything needed.

          • NewMan

            MK18 only works with the hottest ammo and when suppressed it blow crap back into the operator face and drastically reduced the already short lifespan of the weapon.

            Most operator who use SBR prefer the 416

          • CommonSense23

            What operators are you talking to?

          • NewMan

            Not giving out any name or unit.

            Fact is the only reason why the M4 is still around is due to propaganda and politics.

            I’ll say it again vast majority of end users prefer the 416

          • Uniform223

            Go back to your CoD, mountain dew, and duritos….

            Grown ups are talking.

          • NewMan

            Why are you so desperate for my attention? You’re a nobody. Get back to me when you have some credentials.

          • Uniform223

            “Get back to me when you have some credentials”

            LMAO

            I guess anyone that plays hours and hours of CoD and plays Airsoft can call themselves an expert now…
            http://funnyand.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Dont-worry-Sir.jpg

          • iksnilol

            Buuut… we don’t have your credentials either.

          • AC97

            *Citation needed.

          • CommonSense23

            Most operators? The vast majority of SOF have almost zero experience with both the 416 and M4. So how can they know which one they prefer one they never used over the other?

          • Not Gersh Kuntzman

            Actually, the Mk18 has a larger port size because of the severally reduced dwell time. It won’t cycle properly with a regular sized gas port, so the gas port on Mk18 barrels is opened up to allow more gas to flow back and operate the action before the bullet clears the barrel.

            This is for ALL Mk18s – both the F/A ones used by the military and S/A conversions used by civilians.

          • Ron

            Actually we only bought 1 millions of M855A1 for testing, the you are referring to was done in November of 2013 with 6 M27 firing 12K rounds per gun so approx. 72K of M855A1 were fired. During the testing the M27 experienced 94 class I weapon stoppages across the six weapons, there no stoppages recorded on the 6 M4A1 carbines or the 6 M16A4 rifles.
            The analysis found that the M855A1’s steeper slope projectile and the M27’s lack of a barrel face chamfer (part of the OTB feature) were the causal factors for the failures to feed

          • Uniform223

            LMAO

    • 40mmCattleDog

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Now that’s rich.

    • Not Gersh Kuntzman

      If the M4 is so terrible, then why did USSOCOM pass over the SCAR-L in favor of retaining the M4?

      • CommonSense23

        Why did JSOC not even adopt the SCAR?

        • Not Gersh Kuntzman

          They adopted the SCAR-H, but kept the M4 over the SCAR-L.

          They felt that the minor improvements the SCAR-L offered over the M4 wasn’t enough to justify replacing all M4s with SCAR-Ls.

          But I believe individual operators can request and receieve a SCAR-L.

          • CommonSense23

            They definitely did adopt the SCAR H. That’s what the 417 is for. And even then one of the two major units still heavily issues KAC 7.62s

          • Not Gersh Kuntzman

            If they didn’t adopt the SCAR-H, can you explain the plethora of USSOCOM imagery that prominently features the Mk17 SCAR-H?

          • CommonSense23

            JSOC is a element of SOCOM. They have different equipment. What you are seeing is the white side with SCAR Hs.

          • Not Gersh Kuntzman

            What you are missing is that the Mk17 SCAR-H fulfills a different role than the HK417 or SR25 (regardless of whether it is Mk11 or M110 configuration).

            The HK417 and SR25 act as marksman rifles. The Mk17 is used as a battle rifle. Which is why it is frequently configured with a 13″ barrel.

            If I looked hard enough, and was willing to trust the Internet enough, I could find plenty of examples of DEVGRU or Delta using the Mk17 along with the HK417 and SR25.

            The HK417 and SR25 are two rifles trying to fulfill the same niche. The Mk17 is in a niche by itself as a CQB 7.62x51mm battle rifle.

          • CommonSense23

            417s come in multiple barrel lengths. And Damneck does not issue SCARs. I have been in their armories.

          • Not Gersh Kuntzman

            I’d love to see inside of those armories.

            Since when is the armory at Dam Neck? I did C School at FCTCLANT Dam Neck and don’t recall anything other than a bunch of Navy A and C Schools there.

          • CommonSense23

            Devgru is based out of Damneck. They got their own set up their that keeps them out of the rest of the bases way.
            And worked with multiple JSOC elements and have yet to see a SCAR. All either 416s or 417s. What can confuse people is non JSOC SOF personnel who are directly working with a JSOC element, who aren’t assigned to them as augments, who are bringing their own gear and weapons.

          • Uniform223

            I see more pictures of them using either the SR-25/M110 than I do the SCAR-H. Even than the SCAR-H seems to be limited issue. From what I have seen.

      • NewMan

        Politics, plain and simple. The SCAR is another platform that is vastly superior to the M4

        Politics one of the main reason why operators are still forced to use theM4.

        The m4 is fine for urban environment, but in harsher setting and hard use, it is an utter failure.

        One need to understand that major compromises had to be made to shorten the m16 into a carbine.

        • CommonSense23

          Seriously what is your firearms background.

          • Uniform223
          • NewMan

            I have done plenty of analysis, wrote countless of articles and talked to many end users/operators. The conclusion is that they want the 416 when SHTF. The only positive thing they have to say about the M4 is the ever so slightly ‘softer’ recoil pulse, but even that is negligible.

            The M4 is meant to be used in urban environment, but is not suitable for hard use and harsher conditions. It’s a flawed system.

          • CommonSense23

            Let’s see one of your articles you have wrote.

        • Not Gersh Kuntzman

          Operators are not “forced” to use M4s. An operator can request a Mk16 SCAR-L and receive itnfor use, if they desire.

          But they usually don’t. They’ll either use a M4 or a Mk17 SCAR-H.

          There is no politics involved.

          • NewMan

            You’re naive if you think politics have nothing to do with it. It’s one of the major reason why the M4 is still around despite other platforms like SCAR and 416 have already proven be vastly superior than it in many ways.

          • Not Gersh Kuntzman

            Once again. USSOCOM evaluations did not consider the marginal improvement of the Mk16 SCAR-L or HK416 worth the trouble (and cost) replacing the existing M4s currently in service or overhauling both the supply and maintenance systems already in place.

        • Joe

          The stupid….it burns!!!!
          Btw good job on the trolling man.

  • Michael

    $3000 without the sight? Is that just the ACOG, or also the AN-PEQ-16?
    Pull my finger. Maybe including the bipod, extra magazines, the vert grip, spare parts and armorer support for X amount of years, but not as a single clean unit.

    • Ron

      M-27 get SDOs not RCOs. Units that are using them as SDM rifles have replaced the SDO with Mk8.

  • Ed

    No I doubt the USMC is going g to replace them. One the US Army and others are not replacing the M-4 series. And two the budgets of the next two years won’t allow it. H&K is far to darn expensive! As well as your source is not relighable Military times predicted ICC would give us SCARs or Adcors for standard issue by now. That didn’t happen. By the way USMC didn’t throw away the A4 rifle it followed the Army and moved them to support units, while infantry got M-4s

  • CS

    So… They want to know what the army’s full auto m4’s are like, but are to shy to ask if they can borrow a few. Got ya. Good article.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    Basically, the M27 IAR is the wrong solution to a different problem- an MG that reaches far enough to tackle taleban attacks.

    Get a modern 308 MG!

    • Uniform223

      They already have that in the form of the 240G… Army uses 240B.

      • iksnilol

        Yeeeah… something that weighs 5 kg more than it should and was made in the late 50’s doesn’t feel modern to me.

      • Ron

        All the Marine Gs were converted to B in the 2007-2008 time frame. If you get a FSMAO inspection and they find Gs in your armory that would be an automatic fail.

        • Uniform223

          Sorry if I mixed the two up. I know the Army is having the 240Ls twinkle in.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Mark 48???

    • Ron

      I know what Gunner Wade said, but the AAR he is referring to mention they were carried (along with Mk19s) the last couple of Kms (moved via vehicle to there) to either support by fire or defensive positions not because of a range issue but instead they provided overwhelming fire power without the need to use mortars, Arty or CAS when there was concern with collateral effects.

      In the same AAR they mentioned using M240s as heavy SAWs for non-0331s and the 31s were the only ones using Machine guns properly.

  • gunsandrockets

    An interesting USMC experiment to be sure.

    The evolution of the M27 towards DMR use is only natural, and will have the added benefit of reducing overall costs and the weight burden placed on the rifle squad. However the cost issue alone will stop the USMC from adapting the M27 as a standard issue rifle. At most this M27 experiment may cause a switch to a full auto M4 as the standard individual weapon.

    The worst part of this experiment is how it is giving new life to conspiracy thinking about the IAR program, and the crazy idea the USMC rigged the competition in favor of the HK entry, because the USMC was supposedly trying to go around pentagon procurement processes (the ‘back door’) in order to replace the M16 rifle with a carbine. Of course that theory was already discredited when the USMC decided to replace the M16 rifle with the M4 carbine.

    I hadn’t heard yet the new version of the conspiracy theory,”… the M27 was a back door way to bring in a much more reliable AR platform for the Infantry, or else why still keep the SAWs?”.

    Yeah, and XM16e1 stocks were made by Mattel! Ah, rumors…

    • Ron

      I was not, it was a mean to replace system the Marine initial bought because it being an Army program of record.

    • Uniform223

      shoehorning the M27 as a DMR seemed like a waste of time when M110s and Mk12 SPRs are already in service and circulation.

      To me this whole M27 as a Infantry Squad Automatic Weapon/DMR/Standard Issue is waste of time and money and personnel.

      • Ron

        The Marine Mk12s are worn out and the M27 meets the semi-precision requirement. Remove the SDO and add a MK8 and you have all the capability of Mk12 without having acquire a non-POR system.

  • Frank

    Short answer: Probably not.
    Long answer: When was the last time the US Army replaced anything?

  • mig1nc

    I don’t want to turn this into a politics discussion, but one of the things that President Trump has on his 1st year agenda is ending the sequestration of the defense department. Hopefully that frees up funds for something like this.

  • steveday72

    So, basically … a high-end 16.5″ heavy barrel was far more accurate than a 14.5″ M4 profile barrel. Whodathunkit. Duh!

    Are there morons in charge of these kind of evaluations or is it all just based on kickbacks??

  • El Duderino

    “Look devil, I can’t let you check out your Koch without showing me your CAC!”

  • Jack

    Marines won’t adopt it until the Navy adopts it. That seems unlikely right now.

    • Ron

      Not really, they Navy under NAVAIR buys Marine aircraft but not Marine Ground equipment

  • Ron

    It was looked at around the 11-12 time frame, the problems were three fold 1) It would have been a major procurement that there was no contract vehicle, so it would require a new round of bidding and competition meaning it may not end up being a M27 in the long run. 2) total cost for the just GCE (the 4 divisions) was over a billion dollars, which would probable require a congressional line item to accomplish 3) H&K production capability would require something like 10 years to just equip the GCE.

    • Joshua

      That is what I thought, so where is this whole thing coming from then?

  • Ron

    The problem seen by the Marines in Helmand was the TB understood our ability to PID with 4X RCOs so they hung out at 200-300 or so meters and in the shadows where they could not be PID’d and engaged by most riflemen. The most effective rifle carried by rifle platoons was the Mk12 because its optic allowed engagements when RCO could not see well enough to PID their targets.

    • jono102

      Yes, and on top of that the fact the threats were active and generally reacted to fire. So as you referred to, you had to PID the target first then get it with the initial engagement, after that he wasn’t going to play range rules and present as a “Herman the German” or a “Rushing Russian” would on a range. If you are the moving element, its the disadvantage you will generally have against a static mildly competent threat.
      I trained with US, Canadian, Aussies and Brits (Infantry/recce) and found them to be fairly competent shooters across the board, but as threats don’t generally lend themselves to being shot at its understandable why they aren’t getting hit at distance. I very much doubt barrel length had as much to do with it as many believe.

  • noob
  • Cosworth

    As this is supposed to be a discussion about replacing the
    M4 with a new infantry rifle, but several related topics have come up, let me
    comment on the related topics and then the main topic.

    First, the complaint that the M4 needs to be cleaned
    regularly to operate reliably. Why in
    hell aren’t young men going through basic training taught that their life in
    combat depends on their rifle operating?
    I’m not interested in how many thousand rounds an infantry rifle can
    fire before absolutely having to be cleaned.
    When your life depends on it you should be taught to clean and lubricate
    your weapon any chance you get, even when in the field. Even if you just fired 20 rounds. If my life depended on it I would clean and
    lube my weapon very frequently. I do that
    in civilian life every time I fire a weapon.
    Why isn’t this taught to all troops and reinforced by all platoon
    sergeants in the field?

    Second, several people have said that green soldiers can’t
    hit anything beyond 100-200 yards. When
    I was growing up many decades ago in the South every boy learned to shoot when
    he was a teenager, and continued to refine his marksmanship skills as he grew
    older. So he arrived at basic training
    with fairly good marksmanship skills.
    Maybe now some city dwellers volunteer for the army or marines never
    having held a rifle in their hands before, but they can be taught by a good
    marksmanship instructor if given the time.
    Shooting 1 MOA groups at 300 yards under field conditions should be a
    requirement for passing basic training. As
    important as fire and maneuver training.

    But the main topic of this thread is should the M4 be
    replaced, and if so, with what. My first
    question is, what is the enemy target, under what cover is the enemy, and at
    what range? The M16 was inserted into Vietnam because
    the enemy was usually at very close range hidden behind vegetation, and the
    theory was that a 22 caliber automatic rifle with ammunition weighing half what
    a .308 weighed allowed the troops to carry twice as much ammo and spray the vegetation
    with full automatic fire. We see how
    that theory worked out. Now the enemy is
    at much longer ranges with no vegetation, but we are still arguing which 22
    caliber cartridge variant is the most effective at those longer ranges. Why don’t we admit that the .223 cartridge is
    just not suitable for the new enemy. The
    7.63-51 old NATO round has been around a long time and is proven, production in
    the US
    is ongoing, and that is what the troops need in this new environment. There are a number of AR model rifles with
    7.62-51 bolts and barrels that wouldn’t require much retraining for our troops
    already familiar with the M16/M4 platform.
    So the ammo is heavier and the magazines only hold 20 rounds, so what? A .308 shoots longer and flatter at long
    ranges with much more killing power, so less ammo is needed. Solders with full automatic rifles, as
    pointed out by some commenters above, have not worked out very well in the past
    because a full automatic rifle is not a substitute for a real machine gun. Try a .50 caliber M2, that will really get
    their heads down. I am now older than 70
    and do have a .223 AR-15 (with heavy target barrel), but I prefer my AR pattern
    DPMS .308 with optic. I suspect that the
    soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan
    would prefer a modern .308 too.

    • Joe

      Only one problem with the goal of a 3 MOA group at 300 Yards. The M4 is a 4 MOA Carbine shooting 2.5 MOA ammunition.

      • iksnilol

        Should be completely doable then.

        3 moa is like 9 inches at 300 yards.

    • mig1nc

      The thing is though, in regards to longer engagement ranges, is that you have to look at that in context. In AFG the ranges are longer and the battlefield environment facilitates the tactics of the TB. But you look at OIF and you see the ranges are very short. Same time period, different environs.

      The problem is there is no one size fits all solution. So you have to go with an 80% solution and back it up with heavy weapons and CAS.

      • Squirreltakular

        Most cost common sense and cost effective solution (to me, at least) would be to standardize on an AR style platform and just switch uppers.

  • WELLS SHANE

    THEY SHOULD NEVER BE UNDER 18 IN

    • CommonSense23

      Only if you are trying to win sniper comps with 5.56.

  • Joe

    I’d like to see how the Shrike stacks up against the M27 and M249 for accuracy reliability and durability. You could issue the same weapon to everyone and have the choice of running it as a belt fed LMG (w/ open bolt), IAR or DMR. I guess it would be like the F35 program, something for everyone, but probably not worth the risk or expense.

    • Squirreltakular

      It hasn’t had many reviews. I wish someone like TFB or MAC could get their hands on some and put them through their paces.

      • n0truscotsman

        I would like to see a no BS review of one. I hear not so good things, but nothing that can be substantiated as fact IMO. The concept is sound…in theory…(and you know how that goes).

  • Guido FL

    Odd no mention of caliber or if the HK in question is a piston system or DI ?

    • CommonSense23

      It’s pretty well known its HKs piston in 5.56.

    • DIR911911 .

      no mention because it’s considered common knowledge at this point

    • Squirreltakular

      So I know this is totally unrelated, but my gods, I would buy a DI HK 6.5 Grendel rifle as soon as they offered it.

  • User

    I dont really see much sence, didnt they upgrade the M4 dozends of times? Not sure if its worth the cost.

    • DIR911911 .

      that’s army

  • Hallahan likely lifted it from James Fallows’ chapter on the M16 in his 1981 book “National Defense.” However, here is an even earlier usage of the term in a 1974 book “The Life of a Regiment – The History of the Gordon Highlanders.”

    http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015003469403?urlappend=%3Bseq=146

  • LCON

    So let me get this straight they adopted it as the IAR, They were thinking about using it for the DMR and now the Service rifle… so when will it be the main gun on the Marine Abrams?

  • valorius

    The US military has issued mag fed support weapons many times in it’s history, it doesn’t mean the BAR wasn’t an inferior weapon, and it doesn’t mean the M14 in the auto rifleman wasn’t an inferior weapon, when compared to the other options.

  • valorius

    I also pointd out that SF are not infantry, and have different needs than infantry. Which is a fact that is beyond dispute.

    Sure SF use 10″ carbines…. They also use full length M14s, M21s, M24s, M25s and Mk12’s.

    SPECOPS also carry significantly more gear than a standard grunt.

  • JoelC

    Nathaniel, you should do a post on the M27 IAR’s system for automatically transitioning to open bolt. Or did that get dropped from final production?

    Im curious what the weight difference is too.

    • milesfortis

      The M27 is a closed bolt system. No transition to open bolt for FA. Soooorrry.

  • The_Champ

    That sad moment when, on a quiet weekend, a post about a truly interesting and unheard of rifle gets less than a dozen comments, while the post above it, which is yet another long winded discussion repeating the same boring points about an AR derivative possibly replacing an AR gets hundreds of comments. 🙂

  • Jacen

    Give them drum mags, and they’ll be fine

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    Well it is inadequate as a replacement for the SAW but it should make a good standard issue rifle. Marines should have never replaced the M16 with the M4 though.

  • Cmex

    I expected more salt. T.T Good article, Nat. So what if the 416 does take over the Corps?

  • Leigh Rich

    I PREDICT USA WILL NOT REPLACE M4. NO REASON TO.

  • wkm1911

    When will the leaders of this country start using items from American companies, instead of all these countries that may or may not stand with us.

    • J. Murphy

      The IAR is put together in Virginia, H&K is a German company, Germany is an integral part of NATO. Weapons for any army should be selected based on suitability, not nationalistic fervor.

      As for “may or may not stand with us”, in the current political climate, the United States abandoning its allies is far more likely then the reverse.

      • wkm1911

        Yes and we need to get out of NATO. Germany only caused millions upon millions of deaths in the 20 century. Tell american workers why Germans have their jobs. Making weapons for our military. When will people like you loose their job due to companies over seas maybe you will understand.
        Sent from my iPad

        • J. Murphy

          Says the man using an Ipad made in China, so much for buy American.

          • wkm1911

            Tell me where I can buy one made in the USA and I will gladly buy it. And you may want to know it was given to me. I understand we have created the problems for workers in this country. But sooner or later we need to turn this import problem around. For instance Springfield allow their weapons to be built in the Philippines, now that country wants to cut ties with the USA. Understand what I mean.
            Bill’S iPhone

  • Vorant

    Buy American!

  • Ron

    Artillery is more than just the cannon it is the system of employment. Non-artillerymen often get wrapped around the axle about range but forget that the only thing that range gives them is the ability to mass across the wider front. But the age of massed fires has some what passed, you use to have to use volume of fire to destroy targets because of lack of precision fires. Now when US Army and Marine artillery can put an Excal or GMLRS right on the target so there is no longer need to sling a regimental mass on the target to have the effect.

    • valorius

      The M109’s rate of fire is less than half that of current systems, which really hurts it in time on target missions. BTW, i spent some time in a 4.2″ mortar platoon (11C was my secondary MOS), so indirect fires are not exactly greek to me 😀

      • Ron

        A time on target mission is one in which units mass fires on a target with rounds impacting with plus or minus 3 seconds. ROF is not that important unless you are attempting to a hi-low simo impact, aka multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) mission, normally all you can do is a 2 round SIMO because of charge to range issues, but in some weird circumstance you can do more than 2 round per tube MRSI missions. So in that discover channel special showing a PZ2000 doing an 8 round MRSI may look cool, however it is highly unlikely to get targets in which you can get a charge overlap that can do that (with new modular charges, there significantly few charges than when we used bag powders).

        However this completely ignore the fact, that you don’t need to mass if you can put 1 round right on the target. The reason massing was important was the inherent inaccuracy of artillery (and aerial fires) in the days prior to PGMs. Even when you accounted for all 5 requirements of accurate predicted fire, you could still got inherent errors causing PeRs and PeDs so great that you would require battalion or regimental mass mission to have the desired effect

        • valorius

          I have serious skepticism that any GPS type round such as excalibur will be useable in a conflict with a peer or near peer power. We had Copperhead when i was in, and i recall it having serious limitations as well in bad weather.

          We also have extremely limited stockpiles of the guided munitions, so even if they did work i rather suspect we would run out of them very quickly in any war with Russia or China.

          They’re fantastic vs 2nd rate (or lower) powers though.

          • Ron

            1st our weapons are GPS assisted, meaning even without GPS their internal guidance system brings them very close to the target. 2nd, it is harder to actual jam out GPS than most people think, what more than likely will occur is just limited duration spoofing of its signal it, but our munitions are designed to deal with spoofing additional there are already means of augmenting GPS satellites and targeting GPS jamming devices. 3rd almost all big bullets and bombs bought today are either guided or have a guided kit added option (JDAM guidance kits being the most widely known of these kits and artillery is now using the PGK, precision guided fuze kit for dumb munitions, PGK will make its way to mortars in the future.) 4th, most of the MFOM is now guided with the rest being upgraded to having guidance systems, so grid smashing with MLRS is thing of the past.
            The M712 Copperhead was a pain the ass to shoot, it did work if the FO/FSO and FDC knew what were doing. But Copperhead really was the model T of guided munitions, the systems used today are like dealing with cars from 2010s in comparison.

          • valorius

            We have to keep in mind that we have not fought an enemy with technology even within 30 years of our own since Vietnam.

            The Russians completely shut down an Aegis destroyer with an SU-24 electronic jamming bird in the past year.

            Grid smashing is not exactly a bad thing when you are facing an enormous numerical deficit.

          • valorius

            good conversation, btw.

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    “You can burn off too much ammo, potentially,” This is the same, exact EXCUSE that was used back in the 1870’s though the 1890’s when repeating rifles were coming of age!!! The Ordinance Department refused to see ANY repeating rifle as only something that anything that wasted ammunition and discouraged marksmanship! That was why the U. S. Military was among the last to adopt a repeating rifle, the Springfield 1892 based on the Krag-Jorgensen.

    That being said, I don’t understand what the hell is so “different” about the HK-416 that makes it THAT much “better” than the M4. Is the worth the expense of getting a “new” rifle just for a “selector switch”? I thought that was settled years ago when they supposedly did away with the “burst mode”.

    This whole process is a bit ridiculous. All the guns in this class are like taxis, they have a job to do they do it EXACTLY the same manner (piston or DI does NOT matter)! Insert magazine, select fire mode and pull trigger, repeat process until full magazine is required! What happens when they discover that it is NOT the rifle, it is the operator that makes the difference! It does NOT matter to anyone on the receiving end what make.model rifle it is!

    OMG, They are using an HK! Hands up! We surrender!

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    Oooh, oooh, I know the answer!!! Lets design a gun bag like a golf bag! Then we can carry multiple different weapons all at the same time and select which ever one is most appropriate for the situation!!! Yes, that is the solution!!!

  • cwolf

    I’m confused. If the enemy MG outranges USMC rifles, why go to another 556 rifle?

    • Ron

      It is sort of a Non sequitur

    • n0truscotsman

      Its typical preconceived intentions when adopting a piece of equipment. The military does it all the time.

      And it makes no sense

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    When I was on active duty, my MOS was one of the first to field the M4 as a standard carry rifle. When we were going to train-up in Hoenfels(sp), those who could afford to get a 416 upper to convert their rifle, did so. Those who couldn’t afford to do it, just wished they had.

    I never got to play with the 416, but everything I have heard from those who have, one of the major changes is the lack of fouling in the chamber, making cleaning much easier and foul related jamming extraordinarily rare. Most of the jams I observed with my M4 were due to double feeds, usually caused by a bad magazine or follower. We were all issued new magazine before deployment, and the jams went down considerably with just the introduction of new mags. But, the power of the M4 was always questionable, and we already knew that our enemies have figured out what range they had the most protection from, and it was well beyond the range of the M4, especially when fighting from a lower position.

    I am surprised at the cost of the rifle though, 3k per for the military seems pretty ridiculous when the orders for the Colt come in much cheaper. We all also know that we don’t get the best equipment available, we get the cheapest. Scary stuff.

  • valorius

    Head shot, lol.

  • Oh come on, we all know the real reason it’s under consideration – the HK’s just cooler.

  • RTW365

    Instead of replacing the AR platform M-4, why not add an AR platform 7.62×51 to each “Fire Team”…that would be four 7.62×51 rifles to each squad.

    • J. Murphy

      Because you’re sacrificing a significant amount of the ammo pool for a long range fire capability that the fireteam might not require in most situations. Not every battlefield is going to be Afghanistan.

  • RTW365

    Instead of replacing the AR platform M-4, add an AR platform 7.62×51 rifle to each “Fire Team”…that would add 4 long range 30 caliber rifles to each Marine Squad.

    • Ron

      There are three fire teams per squad

  • RTW365

    K…my point is to stick with a known rifle platform while at the same time adding a more powerful cartridge. I shot the M-14…never dropped a point on “qual-day” at the 500 yard line.

    • Ron

      There is not really a reason to add a 7.62mm rifle in the rifle platoons, what occurred during the GWOT was the Army did an improper DOTMLPF analysis of their capability gap of providing direct fire coverage between 300-600 meters. It was partially a material short fall with a lack of precision or semi-precision capability within the rifle platoons but more a training short fall, with a total lack of training for troops other than sniper on engagements beyond 300ms. Their choice of a less accurate 7.62 instead of focusing more on training was unnecessary material and training burden on the receiving units.

  • David F. Podesta

    There is an unlimited supply of free ammo – rocks. Rocks used with slings can kill at 100 yds. They are re-usable and in unlimited supply. Use the extra dough to give the troops a raise!!!!!

  • Uniform223

    I stand SOMEWHAT corrected…

    When I stated “breaking our weapons”, I was using it in context on how many people have been accusing the M855A1. Yes in testing and in early deployment there were teething problems that were encountered (the M110 SASS also had some initial teething problems I recall). Yet by in large their hasn’t been reports of weapons breaking in the field or on deployment due to the “new” round.

    • roguetechie

      Yeah,

      Wasn’t saying it breaks guns completely… That would be impressive actually.

      You just have to accelerate your parts replacement schedule by a fairly significant, but definitely not budget breaking amount.

      Not a huge deal, but also not insignificant.

      Just something to watch out for.

  • Uniform223

    I wouldn’t say the M1 Abrams have been “leapfrogged” by the T-14.

    • valorius

      Then don’t say it, but it has. The concept the Armata is based on was in testing and development by the US Army in the late 80s and early 90s (google: M1TTB) but was cancelled because the Cold War ended.

      The T-14 is the first next generation tank in service in the world. It offers crew survivability no other tank on earth can match.