M4 beaten by piston carbines

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The Army dust test results are out. As you can see above the M4 has fared very badly.

Weapons officials at the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., exposed Colt Defense LLC’s M4, along with the Heckler & Koch XM8, FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and the H&K 416 to sandstorm conditions from late September to late November, firing 6,000 rounds through each test weapon.

When the test was completed, ATEC officials found that the M4 performed “significantly worse” than the other three weapons, sources told Army Times.

Officials tested 10 each of the four carbine models, firing a total of 60,000 rounds per model. Here’s how they ranked, according to the total number of times each model stopped firing:

* XM8: 127 stoppages.
* MK16 SCAR Light: 226 stoppages.
* 416: 233 stoppages.
* M4: 882 stoppages.

The results of the test were “a wake-up call,” but Army officials continue to stand by the current carbine, said Brig. Gen. Mark Brown, commander of Program Executive Office Soldier, the command that is responsible for equipping soldiers.

You can bet H&K, FN and Magpul are happy about these results!

Hat Tip: Murdoc Online

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 23 comments
  • Kristopher Kristopher on Apr 09, 2010

    The M-16/M4 is an excellent weapon system, very accurate weapon. but its performance outside of temperate environments and urban zones is deplorable. once you introduce mud and sand into the mix the weapon jams like there's no tomorrow. the ACR program in the late 70's/80's was another good example of the military saying they wanted something "better" to replace the M16A2/A1. millions of dollars later they turn around and say the M16 was far more accurate.
    Honestly they shouldn't be playing politics with soldiers lives and our tax money. stop pussy-footing, playing politics and give our soldiers a modern assault rifle system. Someone said the XM8 had bolt breaking problems and the hand-guards (which i seriously doubt) melted is this true or more propaganda by companies like colt? If Colt wasn't so dense headed maybe they should have taken the Stoner design and given it a short stroke piston, oh wait HK did that too. its called the 416. or look at some american designs like the the Magpul Masada/ACR.

  • Me Me on Apr 06, 2012

    I don't buy a stoppage every 68 rounds on a m4. Anyone been in the sand knows a soldier has 15 minutes to clean his rifle somewhere in that 60k rounds. Thus the reason the test seams off somewhere. Then again maybe not. Id like more information on test before forming a opinion!