USAF TCP with M4 (courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsadvmedia/5554389421/)

We’ve reported a few days ago about how the U.S. Army had stopped the competition to find a replacement for the current M4 carbine, and now we’re getting the details about why they did it. Turns out none of the competitors, which included Colt, FNH USA, Beretta, Remington and others, could meet the reliability requirements . . .

Military.com has an official “in the know” source who says that the bar for reliability was set at a little over 3,500 rounds through the gun before a stoppage. That’s an average round count, by the way, which means that if you make it to 6,000 rounds before your first stoppage and then 3 rounds before your second, you’re cooked.

Having had some extensive experience with the SCAR 16S (the civilian version of the SCAR-L, upon which the FNAC in the competition is based) and I think I’ve got it figured out as to what the issue was. The SCAR works amazingly well — provided you feed it properly. Feed it some delicious Hornady ammunition and it runs like a Swiss clock. Try using the dregs from the bottom of your ammo can and it won’t last past one magazine.

The SCAR works great with standard M855 ammunition, but for the test the army switched to the newer M855A1 EPR round that is making its way into the field these days. The newer round uses a lead-free projectile, protruding steel penetrator, and a different propellant than the older M855 round that is currently in service. All of these changes could have thrown off the gun’s mojo and made for a substandard result.

The Army says that it is going to work with the companies to keep working towards a better replacement for the M4, but for the time being the 50+ year old gun remains in service. FYI, the M4 lasted less than 1,700 rounds on average before a stoppage.

202 Responses to U.S. Army: M4 Replacement Candidates Weren’t Reliable Enough

  1. Assuming that when you say “M$” you really mean “M4”, are you telling us that the Army is demanding a rifle that is essentially more than twice as reliable as the current inventory?

    • Thats the point they wanted a huge leap over the M-4 but the SCAR and 416 did not. so they lost Nick’s a SCAR lover and cant sand the fact his favorite gun lost.

      • You forgot he’s sponsored by FN, so the opinion is skewed even more and not to be taken seriously. However, conflicting interests aside, if reliability was such an importance, we should be switching to AK’s to be honest; we all know those things are reliable.

    • Do you expect them to spend 10s of billions of $s implementing an entirely new supply line, training programs and logistical infrastructure for something that’s just a little bit better? It has to be A LOT better. And 3,500 rounds was what they established as the minimal acceptable standard.

  2. The SCAR sucked face it the gun FN made to replace everything with and meant to shoot no matter what never could Handel M-855A! ammo which shoots the same 62gr weight as M-855 ball. Face it there was nothing extremely better than the M-4A1 and SO it failed as it should as long as we stay with 5.56mm NATO stay with the gun meant to shoot it..

    And Nick you really dont think ICC will come back in a year? With production of M-4A1s going like crazy and budget cuts complete now face it Nick the M-4 is going to stay for the 20 teens. Im serious Nick lets talk about this.

    • The SCAR sucked
      You’ll never hear Nick acknowledge this or talk about it. Now that he is on FN’s 3 gun team, he is nothing more than a shill. Why do you think the SCAR is the only gun mentioned in this article, even though there were several other guns in the competition. And when it was mentioned, he became a apologist blaming the ammo rather than the rifle.

      • Easy on the koolaid guys. If someone else has a stated preference don’t jump down their throat. As well as 5.56 & ammo issues go hand in hand since the M-16, when they get it right, it works great, when it is not, there are issues.

        Just for kicks they should have put a arsenal 5.56 AK in to see how it would score.

  3. I was under the impression they didn’t feel like any of the new guns did any better than the M4 in the 5.56 class. Which means it’s not worth the cost of “re-tooling”. But I believe they are still considering the SCAR-H in the .308 class, since a heavy semi-auto rifle is still useful.

    • Agree this was one reason in the ICC death announcement why they lost the other was in all other fields they didn’t offer anything over a M-4 or new M-4A1. As for DMR the cheapness of M-14s and the fact the military is committed on M-110s you wont see too many SCAR Hs outside of SOCOM.

    • No FN and tom Colburn where the two that started ICC in the first place. M-4s had good field reviews and nothing against them. SO Sen Colburn got FN money to make a issue out of nothing to waste millions on a forgone conclusion. Bet FNs madder at Colburn than the Army they thought they bought the Army threw congress.

    • If taken care off, and routinely cleaned, the venerable AR type rifle will be around for at least another 10+ yrs, and will be challenging the venerable AK47/AKM for top of the pile. Read an article that during the 2nd chechen war, russian spetznaz and internal security ministry elite troops were DITCHING their limited supply AN94s and AK74s for the older bigger bullet firing ’47/ AKM! Maybe we’ll see a return to the M14 for our troops in desert/ Afghanistan conflicts( modernized with optics and shorter barrels like the M1A scout), while our UK and western allies dig out their old FALs and G3s???

      As a lightweight carbine that can hit man sized targets with 2-4 ” groups at 450 + yds, its doing what it was designed to do-provide troops with accuracy, moderate lethality, plenty of ammo, and light weight. Its,a 50+ yr old that doesn’t need “viagra” to keep up with the 20-30 yr olds( G 36, LA85a2, Steyr AUG, FAMAS….)

  4. Not too surprising. It’s not just the cost of replacing the rifles, it’s the cost/obsolescence of your spare part inventory, as well as training costs for soldiers and armorers on the new rifle; it will require a huge leap in tech to replace the M4.

    • Still don’t understand why it matters; let the soldiers pick their own guns since they all have to fire the same round and use the same mags, wtf is the difference?

      • Think about it. You’re in Afghanistan and your firing pin breaks. Is your unit armorer going to have to carry the firing pin for the FS2000, Tavor, SCAR, or Mini-14 that you decided to carry?

        It seems like pretty basic logistics. Part standardization is key.

      • > Still don’t understand why it matters; let the soldiers pick their own guns since they all have to fire the same round and use the same mags, wtf is the difference?

        Because it’s not the type of rifle your shooting that will win or lose you the war. It is the tactics and logistics that win or lose wars.

        What do you think people are suppose to do when they wear out parts on their guns? Have the soldier call home to mommy and have her fedex replacement parts or something for their piece of crap custom AR15?

      • I know quite a few people in the Army. If you let them choose what they wanted to carry, you’d probably have a squad made up of 5 Mk 19s, 3 Barrett .50 cal rifles, and one M14 for the squad leader.

        *Yes, I know you meant 5.56 rifles.

        • Gotta love group think. You’re right, tactics and logistics are part of winning wars, whether it’s a scar or other 556 rifle doesn’t matter. Somehow the afghans manage it without an armorers and weapon standardization. Soldiers clean and take care of their weapons religiously, so knowing when something will fail is easy to detect and getting parts should be easy too. If you can ship tanks 1000s of miles away, getting firing pins from manufacturers should be relatively easy. Soldiers already use pmags which aren’t standard, so this isn’t really different. It’s short sighted and lacking flexibility, that sums up the military.

  5. The firearm must be able to shoot our current ammo, the SCAR failed. The M4 platform has been proven for 50 years now, Those wanting to replace it had better step up their game. My Colt eats anything I feed it. Being finicky is not an option. just my .02

    • +1000 Especially when your life depends on it. Most ammo breaks the gun but don’t worry because SCAR owners all agree it’s the best rifle! If you run out in the field and have to scavenge ammo odds are it will not work, but don’t worry because you will die holding a SCAR.

      Sorry, I get sick of all the undeserved hype the SCAR fanboys give it. I like hearing them cry and makes excuses when it falls short, which so far has been every single time. Your weekend fun at the range or 3-Gun match does not translate to the battlefield.

      • @leo
        Just say you hate that the scar fan boys can afford nice toys and that your mad at life you can’t …….then move on.

    • Face it Nick and other SCAR lovers will whine for weeks to come. Face it the SCAR L sucked and admit the H will solder on, get over it M-4 is better than the SCAR L was why SOCOM ditched it and why the Army ditched it.

      • Lance, you got some powerful hate going on, dude. Did you even see Nick’s review of the SCAR? I though Glock fanboys were bad, but you’re over the top.

        • Not for Nick but for the SCAR for years SCAR lover said the M-4 was doomed and the M-4 was junk to the FN. But it wasn’t true so all the Hate SCAR lovers spewed is now rebutted. The M-4 is STILL better. face it SOCOM ditched it as did the regular Army.

        • Nothing against Nick, but I would take any review about FN products with a grain of salt due to a conflict of interest.

        • Hence why he hasn’t reviewed any FN products since this stint with the team started and has repeatedly said it would be a conflict of interest. He reviewed the SCAR16 a year or two back, long before he could have hoped to be where he is. I don’t understand where people are coming from when they start dog piling him.

  6. Maybe the army should spend the money from a new rifle on marksmanship and weapons cleaning skills and proficiency. And put a 20″ barrel on the M4.

    • Amen to that. Like the M-9 the only problems where from solder who did not clean or lube there weapons. when cared for M-4s kicked butt. Maybe the Army can hire men who care for there weapons more than stupid women and liberal idiots who hate guns. But that’s against the liberal way.

      • Maybe the Army should switch to a weapons platform that doesn’t need babying to be reliable? Maybe instead of cleaning and inspecting their rifles the soldier could spend their time doing massively more important things… like catching up on some sleep?

        • the M-9 doesn’t need to be nursed to work. It worked well won over SiG in test trials and can shoot under water Glock cant w/o modification. Im saying all guns even the SiG need to be lubricated and lack of due to poor soldering can make any gun SiG Glock Beretta ect jam and fall apart. Any gun need maintenance.

  7. If they sold off their current stock of M4s, m16s and what have you to the civilian Market, they could afford to buy new guns and parts.

    But that would be “crazy” and think of the “Children”

    • Obama would much rather send old M-4’s to the Mexican Army as military aid…which means the drug lords will pay/threaten a metric sh!t ton of PFC’s to defect with 5 carbines each… they will be out killing border patrol agents inside of 3 months.

    • He’s airborne qualified. They don’t maintain seperate schools for seperate branches. He’s probably a PJ or an air commando.

      • Airborne would be jump wings worn above the left breast pocket.

        The “All American” 82nd Airborne patch on the RIGHT shoulder of this USAF Staff Sargeant non-digi set of BDUs would signify a combat tour with the 82nd either during prior service or possibly attached as a FAC. Non digital BDUs are still in use stateside in non combat units until they’re gone.

        I too thought the uniform out of the norm, maybe a file photo from somewhere, but not out of the realm of possibility.

    • AIRTACs (Tactical Controls) PJ’s and Combat Weathermen are all cross leveled (or were during the time of this photo: 1990s to early 2000’s) from the Air Force to the 82nd as they were needed to make up Airborne Operations Task Force, providing the needed links to fighter pilots and guiding in waves of jumpers etc.

        • Probably just a stock photo from somewhere, but it’s bad attention to detail. I would also guess the photo is dayed due to the fact the Airman is wearing BDU’s. Without being able to see his function badge, it’s hard to say what his MOS is. It is definitely not a Soldier participating in rifle testing.

          A vast majority of Army schools are open to Air Force personnel: Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, Combat Diver, Sniper School, Ranger School… As far as what MOS he belongs to he could be Security Forces, TACP, Combat Weather, SERE, Pararescue, EOD, Air Combat Control.

    • Not soon till Obama leave office no gun ammo will be surplussed.

      Like to try some myself. Seems not just the M-4 but M-16A2 can handle it fine too.

      • > Not soon till Obama leave office no gun ammo will be surplussed.

        Don’t worry. If Obama misses any ammo then you’ll be sure that whatever republican stooge that will replace him will be sure to make sure that is melted down and destroyed before it gets shipped out.

    • I’ve been trying for M855A1 since it came out. No dice. The Mk 318 Mod O is great stuff, though. It’s tough to find Mk 318 these days as well.

  8. Just wondering what the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine did in test back in the day. Where is Dyspeptic Gunsmith …

  9. I’d be curious to know how long the other rifles made it without a stoppage. I would consider twice the round count before a stoppage as being a pretty significant advancement. My understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) is that the military never wanted to hold this competition in the first place. This explanation sounds more like an excuse than a real reason to me. That being said, replacing the M4 would be a very expensive proposition, and is not a decision to be taken lightly. I imagine cost factors had a lot more to do with this decision than lack of performance.

  10. I am surprised the H&K 416 could not pass. I wonder what magazines they had the rifles that can take the standard USGI mags using.

  11. Wow, so when did the elites, including congress, ever let reliability stop them from choosing a weapon THEY don’t have to depend on?!?!? You really think the AR paltform was reliable when they chose it? No one came up with enough of a bribe or they would have gone to a different weapon. The current AR system is still very lacking. All the civilians that love them don’t have to put up with the overheating and over filthing from the stupid (but cheaper) gas tube. The newer rifles do have some teething problems that will be solved. They are NOWHERE near the piece of garbage the M-16’s were.

  12. Oh, and by the way, the 92 was chosen over other handguns also, remember? Yep, over the Sigs, etc. Wasn’t that a wonderfull display of incredible stupidity?

    • Strange ive carried a M-9 for years out shoot Glocks and SiGs every time. Strange it was congress who forced the military to goto 9mm NATO hence M-9. If we stayed with .45 cal we still be using M-1911A1s.

        • Most accurate handgun I’ve ever fired, bar none was a bone stock Smith and Wesson Model 15 .38 special. Does that mean if I was a young soldier heading off to Astan would I want my revolver over the auto loader? Hell no!

        • I agree Jwm Id just say the M-9 for a 9mm handgun dose the job fine. The 9mm Glock offer really nothing over a 9mm M-9. If you want to argue then caliber .45 is far better yes.

          PS a Colt Python beats your M-15 any day 🙂

        • The Glock is more suitable for gunfighting than the beretta. End of story.

          Thats not to say that the M9 is bad. It isn’t. Its reliable and very accurate.

          I hate DA/SA handguns. They take longer to master than a striker fired gun and have more small parts (need i go into Beretta’s numerous small parts?)

        • Thats not true at all the M-9 passed all dust and mud test and can shoot under water. Even the Glock w/o modification cant do that. LAPD and other PDs swear by them and the fact I carried one for many years for work no issue what so ever with one. Seen Glocks blow up a few times not pretty but all guns have issues. The Glock is not the all superior pistol sorry.

        • Actually it is, which is why a majority of law enforcement agencies and militaries moved to them

          it takes a fraction of the time to train someone to operate and become proficient with a striker fired gun versus a SA/DA.

          There are far fewer parts in a Glock than a Beretta (and have far less tiny springs and parts). These parts can also be acquired pretty much anywhere. So can the magazines.

          They’re less expensive than Berettas.

          They’re just as accurate.

          And BULLSHIT about the “not shooting underwater”. Yes, Glocks can. Yes, there are maritime spring cups for maritime operations. Shooting underwater is a fantasy anyways and whether a weapon can fire underwater or not is not a merit or demerit on the technical design. The only people ive ever heard about “firing underwater” are mall ninjas.

        • Not 100% true I know you love your Glock but many PDs have Beretta’s LAPD Minneapolis and San Diego. Do numerous small ones also still use M-92FS. Alot of PD use Glocks but most militaries dont use them Norway and Austria are some yes. The US didn’t want them for a sidearm lack of a manual safety and its mostly polymer frame where reasons. Even the ill fated modular pistol competition idea dismissed the Glock for the XD USP and SIG-PRO and others. The M-9 can shoot under water with no special parts the Glock has to have modified firing pin. SIG cannot all together. The military wanted SA/DA the NYPD and other dont thats why your Glock wasn’t adopted as well. M-92 passed all dust test and has high troop approval as well. The Army will buy new ones for another 5 years as well.

        • 1.) Um. can you please stop attacking strawmen? I said a majority of agencies use Glock. That is a fact.

          Yes, some use Berettas or anything in between. But Glock is the king of the hill in terms of ubiquity.

          2.) Yes, major military players do have Glocks as a sidearm. Many, such as the British military, are transitioning to the Glock. They will soon surpass SIGs (if they havent already) and the Browning High Power.

          3.) The US never had a chance to evaluate them against the Beretta and the SIG. Glock never participated in the trials. It was not because of the lack of a safety and polymer construction.

          That goes without saying, certain units in the military are already using Glocks (19, 17, and 22)

          4.) In the Joint Combat Pistol trials, the Glock 21 was also a participant before the project was axed.

          5.) Who f^cking cares about shooting underwater? that does not make or break a pistol as far as being a modern, combat effective weapon. End of Story.

          Btw, yes, SIGs can fire underwater. LOL. I dont know why you’re getting wrapped around the axle about firing underwater.

          6.) I do love my Glock 19. I love my Walther P99 just as much.

        • No I dont know why you arguing. Military uses Beretta LAPD and other PDs yes many use Glocks for PDs. But your Glock wont be a US military side arm. Dont know why your getting off topic on sidearms. face it Beretta will live on so will Glock your idea every one will use Glocks is crazy. The G-21 was far down on the list in JCP trials.

          Man you should agree to disagree your arguing is making you should bitter and little.

        • off subject with handguns?

          I was responding to YOUR comment about the M9. Do try and stay with the program here.

          I never claimed that it will be a US military sidearm (god im getting tired of addressing your strawman arguments), although certain units do use them. And there’s no way the army would anyways: they cater to the lowest common denominator and treat grown men like children, so they would never trust them with a striker fired handgun and spend the time to train them properly.

          Oh really? “far down” the JCP trials?

          citations please?

          Im not agreeing to disagree. If you are going to spam someplace, at least pass around good information.

        • Let’s not forget that the US military HAS in fact adopted a SIG, the M11 based on the P228. Not nearly as widely issued, but it’s still an issue weapon.

        • Yes but only in small numbers to CID and some pilots of maned aircraft. The USCG went to SIGs for some units that are attached to DHS. But 90% of pistols in US service are Beretta M-9s.

        • I . . . ahhh . . . what’s your point Lance? Seems you pretty much repeated what I said . . . . The M11 probably isn’t as widely issued as the M9 due to a few factors I can think of: cost, spare parts stock, mag capacity, and the lack of a manual safety. The US military likes them some manual safeties. They seem just as durable and reliable as each other, though I personally like SIG’s more for the way they feel in my hand. No hate though to the M9, fine weapon.

        • No I can agree the SiG has its god sides im saying unlike other there no superior 9mm pistol SiG works like the Beretta M-9. Glock works for LE. We all got our preferences and many PDs and the military have there own tastes.

        • “We all got our preferences and many PDs and the military [sic] have there [sic] own tastes.”

          Exactly. That’s the pivotal point in why there are so many moderate-to-great 5.56 rifles and 9mm handguns out there. That’s also why I want to own one of each to play with and learn why diff. countries/orgs use diff. rifles.

    • Seriously dude, you’re spamming the entire thread. You hate the SCAR. Everyone get’s that. Move one and get over it. Plus, grammar and punctuation are your friend… it’s really hard to take your spamming seriously when they look like they were written by a 14 y/o failing English class.

      • Sorry I didn’t know your a SCAR living English teacher who know squat about guns to start with. All im saying is they hype over the SCAR is now proven to be bull. And all the crap said by these SCAR lovers was false and fact is you dont like it get over it. Your name calling is the spam.

        • No Lance, you really are spamming. I’m an English teacher, and you should seriously go read The Little Brown Handbook, The Little Seagull Handbook, and The Elements of Style before you write another word. No hate though, you can improve.

        • No id say you. If all you got are personal attacks I know your not knowledgeable on small arms and just want to brag about a SCAR or 416 you bought. Now fight on points not personal attacks and maybe you can act like a adult.

        • Back to guns, throughout the years I have learned that the M16 and its derivatives are great weapons. In basic training I hated the M16A2 because it is fairly big, bulky, and slipped around when very sweaty. We were also issued magazines that would jam every 10 rounds. After basic I got more into guns and found that my main gripes were the stock pistol grip and the mag, both of which Magpul has fixed 🙂 Now, five years later, I’ve never had a jam in my M&P-15.

          As for the HK’s and FN’s out there, I haven’t had any extensive experience with either. They seem like fine weapons, but the weight, feel, and purchase of the ol’ handy service carbine will make changing my mind pretty difficult.

        • Strange Jake carried a A2 for years and shot it even longer never had a issue in hot weather or cold. Your problem is from worn out “Black” follower mags in basic and the new “Green” and “Tan” mags corrected this so no new issue there.

        • Really? Why don’t you just go “neener neener”?

          As a mater of fact, I’m not a “SCAR lover”. Shot a few and liked them, and might one day pick up a SCAR-17 if I have the $2,600 (or whatever they go for these days) and nothing better to spend it on (gun wise). But I’m plenty happy with DDM4v3 AR-15, and feel no real need to go buy a SCAR. You’re incessant SCAR bashing is just tiring.

          And I’m not an English teacher (videographer/editor actually, and recent TV news refugee), but you’re command of the English language makes it both hard to read your comments because they’re so poorly written and hard to take your arguments seriously. Typos are one thing, but you can’t even be bothered to at least make an attempt at a proper coherent sentence.

        • Now Now your name calling makes you look small. You yourself made grammar errors but I dont attack people who dont love you favorite gun by attacking spelling. Shows you lost your argument.

        • “ONE MORE FLAME AND YOU WILL BE PERMANENTLY BANNED”

          Then f^cking do it then.

          Since you seem to love feeding the likes of mikey numb nuts, hmmmmm job, and LANCE, a prolific troll that has been chased off other military affiliated sites for his lack of grammer and poor information derived from the despicable rumor mill, maybe my permanent deletion would be doing me a f^cking favor.

          Lance, to quote patton oswald, “you are going to miss everything cool and die angry”

  13. An average of 1,700 rounds between stoppages is still 55+ magazines. 3,500 is 116+. Forgive my civilian ignorance, but would your average soldier or Marine ever conceivably go through that many rounds in combat without having a chance to clean their rifles?

      • Im think MikeH who has a issue about me is right no way your going to shoot threw 55+ mags of ammo w/o field maintenance of some type. Face it there no self cleaning rifle out there by FN or any one.

    • Excellent point. That’s a stretch for any semi-auto.
      If your troops need that many rounds, you should consider a different tool like an LMG (with a 2nd barrel). For long distances, maybe a fire mission.
      Closer in, grenade launcher or light mortars.
      I suppose if you’re about to be over-run, or retreating under fire, you could go through those amounts of ammo, which = Gyufygy’s “Bad Day”.

      • Remember that incident where an OP right outside a FOB got overrun a few years ago.over in the stan? I think 9 soldiers died, there were numerpus reports of stopages though that may have been due to the M4’s being used more like LMG’s.

        • Very true Sen Colburn used Wannat to promote the SCAR but in the end it was poor training and lack of artillery and air cover that mad the battle a disaster.

        • FLAME DELETED

          I have a acquaintance that was at Wanat and get offended when some asshat makes stupid comments like you made.

          First of all, it wasn’t lack of training. It was the strategically poor location for US forces and a cunning enemy taking advantage of odds in their favor. The troops at that battle were hardly a mishmash crew of mechanized dopes or air force security pukes.

          Second, There was air support. A UAV, AH64, and fixed wing bombers.

          Third, the battle was not “a disaster”. Get your facts straight.

        • ED: Please don’t respond to flames

          The official report showed troops trying to use there M-4s as LMG and a SCAR or AK would have also failed in such poor handling AND there was no artillery or air support used till way into the battle. If you dont like it argue with Army brass and the official report.

        • “The official report showed troops trying to use there M-4s as LMG and a SCAR or AK…”

          are you even trying anymore?

          They used their M4s in that matter because they were under threat of being overrun. Yes, in a sense…like a LMG.

          Yes, any other weapon system would have probably failed.

          you need to check your facts lance. THEY DID HAVE ARTILLERY! 155mm HE to be exact. They also had a 120mm mortar and ammunition that was knocked out by strategically “placed” RPG rounds.

          can you do research before you post on subjects? thank you.

  14. Bunch of my Security Forces buddies (US AIR FORCE) airborne qualified, and a few Ranger qualified/tabbed, combat dropped into N. Iraq in 2003 during the opening hours of the invasion. We do more than bitch about the cable being out…
    MSGT USAF(Ret)

  15. Just once I would like to see a pivotal selection program like this supervised by a neutral outside agency so there would be no question of fair test protocols, or insinuations regarding how the process was run.

    No surprise zingers for the bidders. A thorough, real-world test regime incorporating, e.g., a wide variety of conditions and supplies found in the operating environment. Program admins required to specify, in advance, that guns must run reliably with every 5.56 load currently in the US/NATO supply chain. Etc.

    This is not rocket science, but letting in the politics even a little clearly screws things up like nobody’s business.

    • No you cant do that because what you’re suggesting makes sense

      and when did any testing by the DOD ever make any sense?

  16. Technically, the article said the M4A1 was good for ~1700 rounds without failure. The standard M4 was only tested to 600 rounds MTBF with M855 ammo. The new rifles were canned for failing to exceed double the M4A1 mark, with no mention of how the current rifle (the M4) actually handles with M855A1, and that the army’s going to upgrade all rifles to the A1 variant.

    Looks like Colt managed to politick their way into keeping the contract, while selling an “upgrade package” to boot.

    • Good point I counter Nicks argument by saying ive shoot steel jacketed ammo like M-855A1 threw a A2 rifle and a M-4 style rifle and seen A1s shoot it with no issue. bullet materials have no real influence like bullet weight to make a weapon shoot accurately.

  17. I own an ADCOR B.E.A.R. and surpassed 3000 rounds of m855 before I cleaned it without so much as a single stoppage. That new round must beat the hell out of the guns that were tested.

  18. If the M4/AR/M-16 platform had to jump thru the hoops put before these other rifles it would never had made it to the battlefield let alone be the U.S. favorite it is today. More time and money is/was spent on the AR platform and the 5.56/.223 round than any other small arms venture in human history. Nato ball ammo is some of the cleanest out there and it still jams more than any other past or current service rifle. Consider how much cleaner the ammo had to get thru the 60’s and 70’s so the darn thing would run right. Compare it to the Tavor, Steyr, AK, and even the M1/M-14 that were rock’n pretty much out of the gate.

    The M4 does get the job done often and is more reliable than preceding versions but . . . it should. It has had more time and money thrown into tweeking the thing than any other competitor.

  19. Back in the day, countries used to upgrade their armament all the time, whenever anything seriously better showed up. Of course, there’s a pretty big world of difference between muskets, breechloaders, magazine-fed repeating rifles with smokeless powder, centerfire semi-automatic rifles, etc.

    Nowadays it’s hard to make a case for the massive change (particularly when we have decades of infrastructure and familiarity built up) unless the gun is demonstrably and really notably superior in several key ways, and won’t ultimately be more expensive, to boot. The AR-15/M16 probably shouldn’t have been chosen in the first place, but since it was, we’re effectively stuck with it until somebody comes up with something that is more reliable (enough to write home about,) with more knockdown power, and the same ruggedness, relative simplicity, light weight and light recoil, and relatively low cost. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything like that on the horizon barring some amazing new technological breakthrough to give us another edge against the laws of physics. The M16 might be a relatively old design now, but it’s still pretty much top-of-the-line technology wise in terms of a practical combat rifle. Compared to the flintlock musket, which enjoyed that “relative top of the line” position for more than 200 years, the AR platform is definitely a young whippersnapper.

  20. Nice round, bet that’s expensive. At least their thinking outside the box and moving toward the round instead of the gun.

  21. It’s funny, I’ve never understood all the negativity towards the M4/M16 series of rifles, nor towards the SCAR/416/etc fans. I don’t know what experience most of the fans of either rifle have, but I doubt 99% of them have truly tested them and KNOW that the one they LIKE is better. I have no experience with the SCAR or the 416. I’m sure they are great rifles. When I went into the Army I was expecting the rifles we had to be complete pieces of crap…jam-o-matics. In Basic we had M16A4’s that had been beaten on by MANY before us. Surprisingly they ran and ran without problems. Mud, water, vegetation inside the weapons…they continued to work. In Iraq we had M4’s. Before deploying the only malfunctions seen were with blanks/BFA’s. Once we were in Iraq despite clay and dust getting into everything (at times my rifle looked like it had been spray painted tan), they just worked.

    I’m sure some had a different experience than myself, but from people in many units I’ve talked to combined with my own experiences I’ve come to the conclusion that the M4 is a damn fine weapon. I, for one, see no need to spend billions of dollars to replace it with something that is not a tremendous improvement in many areas.

    • had A4s? sure? I still know most trainees have M-16A2s? I agree training and maintenance makes the M-4 better than any current Euro guns out there. Like the M-9 I see more problems from solder/marines who dont like guns and never maintain there weapons on free time so I think there a personnel change needed not a weapon.

      • Yep, A4’s…don’t you worry, I know what rifle I had in Basic. 😉

        I’d be very surprised if most were using A2’s…no one I know who went to Basic after 2003 used an A2. I’m sure there are many who don’t know the difference, though.

        • I didn’t think to mention I went to Basic/AIT at Ft Benning, and most everyone else I know was Infantry, too, so may have had something to do with everyone using A4’s

      • Nope. Trainees havent used a2 in along time. When I went to infants OSUT we had m4s and all support units hd m16a4 rifles. I think you have some faulty Intel there chief

        • I used and a2 in basic in ’10 and an a2 in OCS last year, but I did go through Ft Jackson.

        • Maybe in your unit. I know other who have M-16A2s most national guard and Army Reserve have M-16s still as well. M-4s are most common for regular army.

          fact two is that the Army unlike the Marines never bought many M-16A4 never got into them and went with M-4s for most units.

  22. yea… i call BS, probably another excuse not to switch because of cost just like they’ve down twice with the M9. I find it extremely hard to believe that in 2013 no modern design can outlast an M4, the same M4 that even our own troops call unreliable.

    • Say the same about the 416. Any gun jams look on crappy Taliban AKs they blow up before they shoot LOL.

  23. I’m sure that is just a stock photo, but that is a Air Force Staff Sergeant. Definitely not a Soldier participating in rifle testing.

  24. swallow pride and issue a variant of a Kalashnikov. it’s hilariously reliable, packs a big punch, and is just as accurate as an M4 when in the hands of a properly trained soldier. it would save plenty of money and regardless of where a conflict is happening, mags and ammo would be plentiful from dead enemies on the battlefield.

      • I’m not sure where this meme of “they aren’t accurate” came from. I don’t want to debate something that has no beneficial resolution, but I’ll say this. I’ve owned and shot plenty of variations of M4s and AKs. at my local range I shoot steel at 200 and 300yards. I haven’t seen any differences in accuracy between the two. and let me know how many soldiers you know who are taking aimed shots passed that range in combat with small arms. I’ve rid of my AR and replaced it with a custom mostly American made Yugo M67 underfolder as my go-to, life entrusting rifle and I haven’t looked back.

        • Most reports show accuracy falls really steep after 100 yards with a 7.62mm AK. ARs goto 500 yards fine.

        • AZ47,

          I agree in regards to reliability. No AR in existence can beat their reliabity.

          http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h8hFZ7Jt2hQ

          @Lance – if I’m taking a shot at 500 yards I wouldn’t be using an AK in 7.62×39, a 5.45, or an AR15 – In my opinion. For a close to medium range weapon the AK variants work great. Are they cheap? Sure. Most of them are made out of laminated glued wood and stamped sheet metal and I would agree the ARs are more accurate – however they are not as reliable.

        • as for the supposed dramatic bullet drop past 100yards, I have yet to experience it. at battle zero (no elevation setting) with open factory AK sights I put lead on steel 8/10 shots average with a 24″x24″ plate @300. same goes for my last AR when I had it sighted in. I suspect I’d have noticeable drop past 400, but as previously stated, neither rifle is ideal for that kind of range.

      • FLAME DELETED

        The 5.45 is accurate up to 500 meters. End of story.

        No AR guy will ever admit that the AK has roughly comparable accuracy.

        • I was talking to other about AKMs or AKs in 7.62×39. 5.45mm is far more accurate. But not as much as 5.56mm M-16/M-4 at the same range. 5.45 share the same faults as 5.56mm as well being such a small bullet.

        • I know what you mean, but even a AKM is “minute of man” accurate up to 300 meters, and it is a older design.

          With the proper optics, yes, a well built AK74 is just as accurate, even up to 500 meters.

        • Not really combat data from Iraq and Afghanistan show Taliban’s AKMs only were good up to around 100 yards most long range fighting was with PKMs and bolt action rifles. 5.45 is a very good round but 5.56 does the same and the M-4 is darn accurate past 500 meters and is far more modular than a AK can ever be.

        • You’re using the Taliban as a point of comparison for accuracy? I hear some of them can be vicious, effective fighters (although I think the imported foreign fighters are the really nasty ones), but others probably have worse aim than I do, and the only training I’ve had in rifles is what I see on YouTube. Throw shitty maintanence into the mix (wonder if they use corrosive ammo), and no wonder their AKMs can’t hit the broad side of a barn. Let’s see what the Russians or another professional army can do with the gun and round.

          And since you leap to conclusions like it’s going out of style, no, I don’t have a SCAR or an AK. I like the AR, I just don’t see it as the end-all-be-all of the rifle world.

          That would be the ACR.

        • No dont mind your polite challenge than other here. Not just the Taliban I used them for being the most recent reports on fighting come from them. The Russian in Afghanistan complained the same way about there AK-74s in combat. Reliable but not as accurate at long ranges than the Enfield .303s used by Muslims then. Don’t mean to dis the AK I love the AK-74 best Euro Gun out there. But for trained solders like ours the M-16 if better. There is range and effective range the M-16A2 can goto 800 meters M-4 600 meters. AK only marked for 1000 but only good for at most 300.

          PS and I like the ACR too. If the Army had to goto a new rifle then ditch 5.56mm and goto 6.5mm Grendel and the ACR platform. But the NATO crap forces us to stay with 5.56mm so stay with the M-16/M-4 for now best choice for NATO ammo.

        • FLAME DELETED

          I said a AK with good optics and good ammunition is just as accurate, not some ex-Soviet, beat up AK used by the taliban

          and no shit most ambushes in afghanistan are conducted with PKMs and Enfields. /facepalm/ Those engagements are typically 500-1000 meters. Likewise, you dont see M4s doing what the M240s and mortars are doing in Afghanistan.

          and you havent seen some of the aftermarket accessories for AKs out there. RS Regulate and Midwest give the AK the same level of modularity as a M4.

          and a trained marksman can plunge 5.56 up to 800 meters with a M16, no doubt. When there are optical sights involved.

          Youre trying to compare a M4 with optics to a AK with irons (which are ideal for up to 300 meters).

        • I know your a BIG AK guy the west wont adopt the Soviet design. Even the AK-74M which your talking about is not as long range as you think with optics maybe 500 yards who know. I know you have a beef with the M-4 and hate it with a passion. I think the SCAR is a poc. Over in a trained solders hands AR beat AKs in rate of fire accuracy and modularity. The AKs you site as Modular are US mad version the Russian dont use. While the M-4 can boast 5 1913 rails the AK-74M in Russian service has only 3 rails on the weapon.

        • FLAME DELETED

          When have I suggested that the US will adopt a Soviet design? never.

          Yes, a well built AK with the proper optics (I prefer the aimpoint Micro but perhaps the ACOG) is accurate up to 500 meters. So is a M4. Such as the case with both guns, the limitations are often in the individual infantryman, not the rifle itself.

          Yeah I have beef with the M4 despite arduous defense of the platform many times /rolls eyes
          Despite me owning more than one AR…yeah sure. Big beef with the M4 /sarcasm off

          In a trained soldiers hands, any platform is deadly. That includes AKs. M4s, limited in their effectiveness by the caliber, arent any deadlier than any other rifle of its class.

          And you’re wrong. My Vepr and Arsenal are both Russian made and rail systems are no longer US exclusive. The Russians are starting to adapt to rail systems with the newer series of AK and the AK12 since they left the AK74 as is since the 70s.

          And why in the f^ck do you need 5 rails when you realistically only need enough room to mount a optic (which doesn’t count if you use a new side mount), flashlight, and laser?

          And you can configure AKs to have 5 rails, assuming you use the Dogleg rail cover and the numerous aftermarket quad rails available. and the AK74M in Russian service only has the side receiver rail, not three rails.

        • Dammit, that ACR comment was supposed to be surrounded by *troll bait/face* tags, but they got eaten. Never even seen one in person, just trying to egg someone on.

          Bad TrollGyu, bad.

    • There is in fact an incredibly accurate (as in, equal to M16A2) variant of AK that is also very ergonomical, permits easy mounting of scopes and other hardware, and yet is at least reliable as the original thing if not more so (milled vs stamped).

      It’s called SIG SG 550.

        • I would have thought that the notion of SG 550 being essentially an AK in terms of its operating system is indisputable. I mean, it’s long-stroke piston with bolt locking using two lugs in almost exactly the same way it does on an AK (except that it uses the barrel rather than receiver to lock by – which is one of the numerous design improvements that Swiss have made to it), and with the bolt riding on rails inside the receiver. It also shares some other design quirks – e.g. the impulse from the gas piston is actually somewhat more powerful than is necessary to cycle the action (which helps cycling it reliably when dirty etc). And, of course, the rock-in mags and the lack of a protruding mag well.

          If you look at the list closely, it’s pretty much the complete list of things that make AK as reliable as it is, and what distinguishes it from AR, FAL and other competing platforms. So I think calling it an “AK variant” is justified – it just happens to be an extremely well-engineered variant that leaves only the key essence of the original design untouched (for the sake of reliability), but strips out the outer shell entirely and replaces it with something more in line with how a modern infantry rifle should look like. And, of course, manufactured to a much more rigorous quality standard (normal AKs work despite the generally sloppy quality, not because of it).

      • I agree some NATO and West Euro adaptation to the AK action made them a great weapon, IE SiG 552 and AR-180 style weapons.

        • I wouldn’t call AR-18 an “AK action”. It’s short-stroke piston, not long stroke, and that’s a pretty major difference. Also the bolt itself is much more like an AR (although the bolt carrier is not).

          Anyway, the line is pretty blurry there. SCAR has a long-stroke piston action with rotating bolt, and bolt carrier riding on rails – does that make it an “AK action”? My gut feel says no, but I can’t really explain it logically. Sure, its bolt is more like an AR, but is it that big of a difference?

        • Ni id agree just saying some action copied the AK action I dont call a SiG a AK at all either.

        • As it goes, it seems like many modern piston rifles are based a good deal off the AK. Great system with many opportunities for improvement as int19h pointed out.

          Very similar to how a lot of/most/almost all modern semi-auto handguns are based of JMBrowning’s designs.

        • There is considerably more diversity with rifles, though. AR (and therefore DI) aside, we have long-stroke vs short-stroke piston, rotating or tilting bolt, and different ways to guide the bolt carrier.

          It used to be that there were clear ancestry lines along distinct groups. E.g. AK was in its own group with clear Garand heritage of long-stroke rotating bolt action, and itself spawning SG 550 and FNC. SVT, StG 44, SKS and FAL were all in a second group – short-stroke tilting bolt – and in this case the derivation between most of these is also documented (esp. FAL and StG).

          Now, though, we have all those converging and mixing in various ways – e.g. AR-18 and its progeny (like G36 and SA80) are rotating bolt and short-stroke; and its bolt doesn’t really look much like AK, either. Overall, it seems that everyone has agreed that rotation is the best way to lock the breech, but the rest is still up for debate.

  25. I hear a lot of bitching about Leghorn’s assumed sucking up to FN. Maybe there’s some truth to it. Could part of it also be that the knowledge about the M4 is pretty common, and that maybe he hasn’t had nearly as much (if any) direct experience with any of the other candidates? I don’t remember reading any reviews from him on the ARX-160, the Adcor BEAR, or the flashy new 416A5 (correct me if I’m wrong). He talks about what he knows, and frankly I’m glad he brought up the point about the new variant of the M855 round.

    On an unrelated note, I wonder if Tom Clancy will ever get his dream service rifle of a .300 BLK SCAR-M(?) to see production. (Yes, I know in EndWar it was 6.8mm. .300 BLK wasn’t around back then).

  26. M855A1 is supposed to run hotter.

    I think when you look back at the dust test from 07. You can tell this is BS. The M4 got smashed by every other rifle in the test and the fanboys kept whining about magazine failures, but there was never any real proof any of the other rifles used different magazines.

  27. Perhaps they should have used a AK and a Galil as the control benchmarks. It would have been interesting to see how they would compare.

  28. You have all of the M4 on your rack already, the tooling, parts, accessories, the know-how, the training, the supporting civilian market. They work fine. If another rifle comes along with a 3% increase in performance, or hell, even 10% or 20%, but you are already meeting the performance you need with the M4, it makes no sense to pay into a change over. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Every tick past good enough tends to be more expensive than you’ll ever realize the benefit from.

    • I doubt it. The bullet is still 62gr FMJ bullet. Even if the jacket is harder ive shot steel jacketed ammo threw A2s and M-4 style rifle no issue. I doubt ammo had anything to so about it.

      • yes, it clearly is LOL

        The M855A1 has very little in common with the M855. Higher chamber pressures, different powder, and faster velocity.

  29. “But Army officials maintain that the Army’s reliability requirement for the Individual Carbine effort proved unreachable for Adcor Defense Inc., Beretta, Colt Defense LLC (EMPHASIZED), FNH-USA, Heckler & Koch, Lewis Machine & Tool, Remington Defense and Troy Defense.”

    “Testers fired thousands of rounds though each vendor’s carbines, but none were able to achieve 3,592 mean rounds without malfunctioning established in the requirements document.”

    So even the M4 didn’t reach the requirements. Nothing did.

    Im curious as to which firearm had the highest MRBF rate.

    “It’s still unclear how close any of the competitors came to reaching requirement 3,592 mean rounds between stoppages”

    Yes, I would like to see which one.

    I think certain unnamed retards attacking the SCAR or M4 or any other platform are being utterly stupid due to their inability to comprehend what they’re reading.

    The devil is in the details too. What about the M855A1???

    There seems to be some problems that are being kept low key by the army. The only anecdotes i have heard was that the M855A1 has higher peak pressures than the M855 and shoots a different propellant. Is the cartridge technology mature yet? meaning have the bugs been worked out?

    If the reliability is affected by the cartridge, then perhaps the cartridges need to be viewed with a magnifying glass.

    Ill also add that the author is the first person I have heard that has had issues with “lower quality” ammunition. Ive fired Wolf, Silver bear, and Golden Tiger through my 16S and it chomps through them like skittles. Of course, the rifle isn’t as reliable as when I use Federal 55gr or M855 surplus, but realistically, neither are ARs. Not saying such ammunition makes either one unreliable, its just that you cannot beat brass cased ammunition in anything outside the realm of AKs.

    The SCAR also works extremely well with Mk318 and Mk 262 specification ammunition.

    • oh…

      and how do you know this?

      tell me other weapons acquisition secrets that are occurring within the kremlin while youre at it.

        • um NO. Thats not going to cut it.

          get me some credible sources, then ill take your contention seriously.

          Otherwise, have a nice tall glass

  30. Think the ammo argument is silly. The SCAR was made to take all 5.56mm NATO and US SOCOM rounds as well as .223 REM loads. M-855A1 can be handled by M-4 and M-16 rifles and has passed on other NATO weapons. So if the SCAR and 416 cant Handel it show how crappy the SCAR is and proves why they shouldn’t win. The rifle should take the standard new and old ball ammo. think the ammo argument back fires on ICC supporters.

    • 1.) First of all, you dont know FLAME DELETED the details of the ICC. Stop pretending like you do. For all you know, the SCAR had a lower MRBF rate with the new ammunition than the Colt contender since the details about the contenders’ performance are unknown at this point. It was even mentioned in the article if you bothered to read it.

      2.) So with the higher chamber pressure, different powder, and higher velocity, there is no adverse affect on the M4s? I dont buy that one bit. Also, I dont buy that there would be no adverse affects on other nations’ rifles either.

      3.) Once again, you dont know anything about any contender being able to “handle” the M855A1. I dont even know why the SCAR was brought up to begin with.

      4.) You obviously didn’t read the article. If no carbine contenders made the reliability standards (to include Colts own contender), then there should be a red flag.

      Until there are more facts about the ICC posted, other than military blog rumor bullshit, ill take anything with a grain of salt.

      • M-855A1 been in use for 2 years now. M-4s can handle it SCAR cant even know if it did have higher pressure a lighter AR action can handle it a SCAR should though it didn’t do well.

        • HUH??? (WTF did you write?)

          You dont know that the SCAR “couldnt handle it” because no data was released as to the performance of each competitor (MRBF, etc). You dont have a single clue.

          You are speculating and pulling made up information from your ass.

          Please provide evidence or some credible source of information that indicates that “the SCAR couldnt handle M855A1”.

        • OY give it a break WLCE you think you can win the army over by arguing with me on everything get over it. When ever its the M-9 or M-4 or anything else the Army is going with the current weapons sorry you have a fit over it but the world doesn’t follow your tune. I got my info from military.com and Army-times. and the ammo question was from Nick. So quit arguing making yourself to be spam after all.

        • 1.) The Army is already going to do what the Army is going to do despite objections from people like me and the countless letters we have written to the government accountability office. Good things did come from it at least; the ACU is getting replaced (unless something changes)

          2.) military.com and army times…which are not reliable sources of information. you might as well get all of your information from the main stream media.

          3.) People like you piss me off because you never ask questions, you always think commanders know best, and you never look into any decision that gets made.

          you still havent addressed my points: Show me a credible source of information that indicated that

          a.) The M4 performed with a lower MRBF than the SCAR
          b.) That the SCAR “couldn’t handle” the M855A1.

          Your axe to grind with the SCAR is ridiculous. God forbid anybody at least try to improve the effectiveness of the individual rifleman and adopt a modular weapon system with some degree of parts commonality with a 7.62 NATO variant.

          But no. F^ck it i guess. Just buy F35s and Littoral Combat Ships. LOL.

        • You keep using the old 2007 dust test that was rigged against the M-4 that was before the M-855A1 ball entered service. You keep using faulty data you get from your fellow SCAR lovers. M-4A1 was not measured in ICC In other test the M-4 did similar in the ball park to the others.

          You let your bias effect you in your facts.

        • How do I keep using the old 2007 dust test information???

          Oh thats right. Nowhere. You magically pulled that out of your ass again.

          Again, the M4 “performing similar in the ballpark” is not a definitive answer and is opinion.

          I want to see some numbers and evidence. You have provided nothing.

          Once again Lance, show me evidence that

          a.) The M4 performed with a lower MRBF than the SCAR
          b.) That the SCAR “couldn’t handle” the M855A1.

          Ill be waiting

        • Don’t matter your test in 2007 was a old and now posted misused test didn’t work. I know mil blog like military.com who found the tests were fixed against the M-4. The reason I said M-855A1 may not work with the SCAR is that Nick said its possible and the Army said the carbine lost accuracy and reliability with new ammo which tested ok for the M-4 and M-16 weapons.

          Go check otut military sites instead of FN’s web page for info.

        • 1.) /FACEPALM Where in the f^ck did i mention the 2007 dust test. NO F^CKING WHERE thats where!

          2.) Fixed against the M4? where is your evidence? that is a lofty claim to make. Once again, provide evidence or have a tall glass.

          3.) You do realize that the M4 “tested okay” with the new ammunition as in its MRBF was significantly increased. More failures is not a good thing.

          But the fact is that for all we know the SCAR could have had a lower MRBF than the M4. Maybe the 416 did. Maybe they all did. Perhaps they didnt. Whatever the truth may be, nobody knows what it is except those involved in the project.

          4.) If military sites are where you get your information, remind me not to venture there, lest i become blind and ignorant.

          dont bother responding back. this discussion is over.

  31. I’ve spoken to some Army guys who’ve used the SCAR and are familiar with it, and they have some serious gripes about it. Mainly, the charging handle flying back at their face freaks them out. Also related to the charging handle, it apparently prevents the use of certain firing positions under certain cover, since the charging handle would come into contact with the shooter’s chest when firing. I’ll admit however that since I’m not infantry this was kind of one of those “smile and nod” points for me.

    • I agree talked to many who didn’t like the feel of a FN. I also talked to some who disliked the HK 416 because its very heavy for a carbine.

    • >> Mainly, the charging handle flying back at their face freaks them out.

      A reciprocating charging handle freaks them out? Why did they sign up for Army service?

      I bet most kids in Africa aren’t freaked out of the charging handle on their AKs…

      Meanwhile, the reason why reciprocating charging handle is a Good Thing ™ on a service rifle is because it allows to clear many different kinds of stoppages quickly and efficiently.

    • I have heard of people complaining about the charging handle, but mostly it was the location of it.

      It becomes somewhat impeded when you mount some optics and lasers.

      Its a funny thing hearing people gripe about it. Nobody says jack about the other weapons besides the M4 that have reciprocating charging handles too LOL.

  32. I’ll also admit to being an AR-15 platform fanboy. My buddy owns a SCAR and shoots it frequently, so I’ve gotten a chance to use it on multiple occasions. And my verdict was: I. Hate. This. Gun. So my opinion’s definitely biased here.

  33. The Fall 2007 Extreme Dust Test strongly indicates that the M4 is the weakest offering available as far as reliability goes but the Summer 2007 Extreme Dust Test ( which preceded the Fall 2007 ) indicates the M4 carbine is as good as the other firearms tested and the final Extreme Dust Test conducted by Stork East-West Technology of Jupiter, Florida furthered the argument that the M4 carbine is as good as other rifles available. Another way to look at the Fall 2007 Extreme Dust Test results for the M4 carbine is: old M4 carbines that are not maintained to military specification and fed by old questionable magazines still function 98.5% of the time. So imagine what an M4 in proper operating specs fed by a quality magazine would do.

  34. Whats funny to me about all of the SCAR bashers and M4 lovers in here, is that nobody that I seen has commented on the fact that the SCAR did in fact out perform the M4, it just didn’t meet Phase2 standards, which are standards setup that are probably nearly impossible to beat.

    We won’t see a platform change, until we do another caliber change.

    Also, the OP, is it nick? Pretty piss poor excuse for the SCAR. Blaming the ammo? Really? The scars will munch on just about any ammo you want to run though it, they are not picky in the least bit.

    I carried an M4 in OEF. I’ve owned an AR15, and I own both a SCAR17 and SCAR16. Do I think the SCAR16 is enough of a better rifle to justify the cost to replace the M4? No. Why? Because its still 5.56.

    However, if neither were in service, and we were choosing one.. the 16 is absolutely a better all around rifle.

    • Wrong on both counts your dust test was fixed, and flawed when they used old beater M-4s back from Iraq when you put it against the new from factory FN. It was fixed so was the SCAR making it from phase one to two. Sen tom Colbern made it pass since he started the ICC crap in the first place and got money form FN. And since the Amy is going issue M-4A1s not M-4s no test was done in 07 to pit the crap plastic FN wonder gun against the newer M-4A1.

      Face it military didn’t go your way were staying with the M-4.

      • Lance, you come off as nothing more than what you accuse the FN fan boys of being…. well, because you’re not. You’re an M4 nut swinger.

        Do you own both rifle platforms? Are you in the military? Have you been down range? Have you used your weapon downrange?

        My answer to all above questions are yes.

        What do I need to face? The reality is they are staying with the M4A1. I never once thought they would change platforms, I know how the military works. Doesn’t mean its the best rifle.

        • AWW the SCAR lover is crying and having a temper tantrum. Your name calling only shows how bankrupt your arguments are.

        • and your evasion shows that you have no real world experience with either weapons platform.

          Go sit back down in the corner and play some call of duty.

        • Strange carried a A2 for years now. Your the one who pulls your own facts out check out other mill blogs the majority is NOT with you.

  35. A round that costs considerably more & eats barrels twice as fast is like trying to supercharge a lawnmower. It seems there’s 2 major problems that aren’t being addressed. Lethality & durability. Less heat & cleaning requirements increases durability, which makes a rifle more reliable. A good piston system takes care of that. A caliber in 6.5mm -7mm would address lethality, without over engineering a special round.
    The .276 Pederson is almost exactly the same dimensions as the 7mm-08. A round that can shoot with less SWAG then the 7.62 nato yet is considerably better at felt recoil. (7mm-08 that is) . That means it shoots flatter!
    While the rest of the world rearms itself with HK416’s,ARX-160’s, or CZ-bren’s America loses the initiative. Not to mention an opportunity to sell billions in the latest American modern firearm! How STUPID!

    • No the world is NOT going to all HK 416s or Brens 70% is staying with AKMs or going to M-16s. The 416 offer nothing but heavier weight over a M-4 and its more expensive with no real advantage. The M-4 works fine and should stay till a new caliber is adopted.

      • That 70% figure is probably true, but it’s also very misleading.

        70% of the world doesn’t have the money to afford even an AR, much less anything better. They want cheap; AK is the best you can buy cheap, so that’s what they use.

        If you look at countries that do actually have a decent military budget, though, and can afford shopping around or even developing their own weapons, most of them do not pick AR – e.g. AUG and FNC have been fairly popular choices, and Tavor is picking up lately. I can think of only two rich countries that have been using AR platform as a base for their main service rifle – Canada, which is explained by their need to collaborate with US in case of any real emergency, and Israel, which is explained by the fact that they got them dirt cheap from US (and even then they still went to the expense of developing Tavor!).

        • Not really US uses stoner rifles so do Canada Philippines Thailand Denmark Holland Columbia over 5 south American Military or Police agencies use the Stoner system. More nations use M-4 or M-16s than FNC or the crappy incarnation the SCAR L which SOCOM dumped. The world has no evolved far ahead we all using 5.56mm or 7.62mm rifles of carbines using a STANMAG mags. There is and was no need to go Euro crap at all.

        • Half of the countries you’ve listed get them for cheap from US, which is why they use it – otherwise they wouldn’t have the budget for anything but AKs. I admit I didn’t know about Denmark and Netherlands, but still, most of Europe uses their own guns. AUG, FNC, F2000, FAMAS, G36, SG550, ARX160, HK416, Valmet, Bren etc.

          Anyway, to me the most glaring development that shows that M4/M16 is not the end-all-be-all for a high-tech army is the fact that IDF went from M16 to Tavor. IDF has more combat experience than pretty much anyone else out there at this point, and for them M16 was the easiest choice because they could buy it dirt cheap with US subsidizing it. They also had decades of experience with it in combat. Yet they decided that they need something else, and they went and made it despite it being several times more expensive for them (since US only subsidizes cost of weapons that’s bought from US). And it’s still chambered in 5.56mm. Clearly, Israelis felt that Tavor has a big enough edge that the expense is justified. And if you look at Tavor – hey, it’s long stroke piston with rotating bolt, just like Garand and AK. Pretty much the only thing in it that reminds of AR is the bolt.

          BTW, what’s up with “Euro crap” talk? Are you racist or something? Can we stick to discussing the objective merits of firearms regardless of their geographic origin?

        • Ohh your one of those SCAR lovers LOL. its a shame you SCAR lover cant get over your plastic crap gun wasn’t the winner you where brainwashed into thinking. You keep pointing to Israel well that’s a bad choice the main reason they went to the Tavor is that they thought ten years ago that all wars were going to be in the west bank and urban fighting. SO they made a small carbine for that. This is not a good choice for open area warfare. Short barreled rifles of all type haven’t been doing well in Afghanistan including your 416 and Bren not too well in open area war. With the exception of Norway no one uses the 416 for standard issue. The FNC is not being well used out of Belgium and Sweden. Most nation out of those two use them in only a few units. Most East Block nation still use a 5,45 or 7.62mm AKs, no plastic wonder gun you like there. Your AUG is only used by Austria and is a neutral nation so no NATO standard there except caliber. Pistons are over rated and often subtract accuracy like DI does. Most ARs can out shoot a AKs or SiGs any day been there saw it.

          By your scared remark on Euro crap you must be a liberal then. It tells that you dont have facts with you when its all about your love of FN and HK and how if someone dare your Euro greatness thought you goto racism. Thats weak sauce were staying with Stonner system weapons get over it.

        • Lance, you’re seriously deluded. I haven’t even mentioned SCAR in my post, yet you somehow convinced yourself that I am a “SCAR lover”. I’ve noticed from your post history that somehow you always talk about SCAR and how it sucks; apparently, it’s some kind of monologue, since we weren’t talking about SCAR at all, yet you keep going back to that topic again and again, as if there’s some kind of insecurity you’re trying to address.

          Now, getting back to facts. Tavor is not a “small sized carbine”; the standard version has a barrel length of 18″. AUG is used by Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

          Pistons are definitely more reliable than DI, that’s basic physics. Yes, they do affect accuracy, but the extent to which they do so is also vastly overrated, and they can still give accuracy that is well beyond what an infantry service rifle needs – a good example of that is SG 550, which can shoot groups as accurate as any issue (i.e. not sporter/accurized) M16. Their only real disadvantage in service rifle role is that they are heavier. Nevertheless, the point remains that AR is the only small arms system in service that uses DI; everyone else uses piston, in all existing and new developments, including those countries which, like Israel, had a lot of experience with DI. It’s blatantly obvious at this point that DI is a perfect choice for something like a designated marksman rifle, like SR-25 or M110, but not so much for a service rifle.

          Anyway, the problem with AR is not limited to DI. It’s also the way BCG rides directly against the receiver walls rather than on rails, with a lot of friction generated from that – which is largely what is responsible for low dirt tolerance. Exacerbating the problem is that receiver itself is aluminum, and it’s very easy to ding it in such a way that will impede bolt carrier movement (again, because it contacts the inner wall of the receiver directly).

          Also, thank you for clarifying that in your parlance “liberal” means “someone who doesn’t hate European firearms”. If that’s your definition, then yeah, I’m definitely a liberal – I think that SG 550 is the true pinnacle of assault rifle development.

        • No i know your full of crap. been shooting ARs vs your SCAR and SIG for years ARs are a better weapon. The SiG is less accurate, uses none STAGMAGs, and over heats too much. Your HK 416 you also champion is too heavy over priced and is no leap over the M-4. Your the one who is throwing a temper tantrum over the fact the Military correctly found no other gun was a leap over the M4 and if we stay with 5.56mm we stay with the Stonner system. I bet you own a SiG or SCAR or HK and have a dream your gun is the wonder gun everyone should use. Fact is yeah 4 nations use AUGs but the exception of Australia no one used them much in combat and it never mastered the fabled AKM.

          You seem to have a the little boy insecurity and think you know everything about guns yet you never held one out of a shooting range your love affair with Euro zone gun makes you a 3 year old in debates abut guns the Army sided with me your thought lost get over it loser!

        • The IDF moved from the M4 to the slightly lighter tavor for two reasons 1) homemade means money stays home and no chance of an embargo 2) tavor is easier for their up close type of house to house fighting scenarios. Is it more advanced than an M4? Not really. Piston weapons jam less of course, but remember the tavor is an advanced weapon for a WELL trained soldier, the SAME type who would KNOW to keep his/her M4 clean and combat ready….

  36. what if i said i have a new system? although i lack all means of manufacturing it and it’s just a prototype sketch. but if the army let me submit my idea and perhaps pay me a bit i’d be willing to just let them run with it. would they even take me serious? i’m 26 this is not a joke.

  37. It was interesting to see my photograph being used for this article. I took this picture in December 2006 prior to the widespread issue of the newer Airman Battle Uniform (ABU). The Battlefield Airman in the photograph was a member of the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS). This Air Force squadron, and others like it, provide TACPs (Tactical Air Control Party) to Army combat formations. Air Force TACPs fight on the ground beside Army soldiers and call for and coordinate close air support.The 14th ASOS supports the 82nd Airborne Division and has seen lots of combat. You can see more TACP photos on my Flickr website.

    • Christian,
      Glad to see TACP’S get some respect and acknowledgement. This is coming from an old, beat up ex-Combat Controller. I spent over 16 years in CCT (Combat Control Teams) before parachute injury took me out of the career field. Spent 8 years at Pope AFB back when Combat Control School was just across from the ASOS.

    • Christian,
      Glad to see TACP’S get some respect and acknowledgement. This is coming from an old, beat up ex-Combat Controller. I spent over 16 years in CCT (Combat Control Teams) before parachute injury took me out of the career field. Spent 8 years at Pope AFB back when Combat Control School was just across from the 1 ASOS.

  38. No the SCAR L was a piece of junk some Admiral forced on SOCOM. Notice how it was still ditched by the M-4A1 by SOCOM operators.

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