Tag: M4

Frankenstein Gun Of The Day: HK91-M4 Hybrid Abomination


Some people think that any rifle can be improved by slapping an M4 buttstock on it. Got an AK? Slap an M4 stock on it! A 10/22? Slap an M4 stock on it! A converted semi-auto RPD? Slap an M4 stock on it! When it messed with the HK91, this M4 buttstock fetish went a little too far. The HK91 may be an obsolete, overweight, brass-chewing monster that kicks like a mule, but it has earned its place in history. It should be allowed to keep its dignity . . .

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New TWS II Thermal Sight Uses AA Batteries

The Thermal Weapon Sight II (TWS II) is a joint US Army and US Marine Corps program to develop and deploy thermal weapon sight systems. The TWS II “family”—from rifle to armored vehicles—-is built round BAE Systems’ MicroIR microbolometer-based sensor architecture. They’re better than ye olde light amplifying sights. So much so that the U.S. Marines have ordered $72 million worth of TWS II thermal sights, after the U.S. Army signed a check to BAE for $68 million to equip M-16/4 assault rifle with thermal sights. Average cost: $10,000 each. Whoa. But they do have an analog video output. And speaking of low tech, strategypage.com reports that the latest versions are “use standard AA batteries. This was something the troops were emphatic about. TWS I used special batteries, which, too often, the users could not get replacements for. But you can always get AAs. Even during combat, troops have found local Iraqi or Afghan shops selling AAs, and were able to keep their electronic gear going as a result.” Yo! Arash! Energize me!


You Want a Bigger Bullet for Your M4?

Wikipedia: “Grendel is one of three antagonists, along with Grendel’s mother and the dragon, in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf (AD 700–1000). Grendel is usually taken to be some kind of monster, though this is the subject of scholarly debate. In the poem, Grendel is feared by all but Beowulf.” This rifle conversion is called Gendal. Close enough.


Book Review: The Last Patriot by Brad Thor

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Let’s get right to the point. The Last Patriot, a thriller by Brad Thor, is the most ridiculous book I’ve read in my adult life with the possible exception of Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi, which I read to my children when they were toilet training. The book was so impossibly bad that I could not put it down. It was like watching a clown car accident – every time the paramedics would pull a dead clown from the wreckage they would find another, and another, and another… Anyway, for all its faults, The Last Patriot managed to both top the New York Times Bestseller list and be banned in Saudi Arabia. As a result of death threats Thor received after this book was published, WorldNetDaily dubbed the author “the new Salmon Rushdie.” Now that’s offensive.
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TWHN BS: Great Landing Wrong M4 Edition

I am not the most technical of gun nuts. Load, aim, fire, make safe. Buy the best gun you can afford and use the recommended ammo. But I admire the technologically adept amongst us and read their work religiously (votive candles and all). One of my favorites: David Crane at Defense Review. In this article, Mr. Crane takes on the myth that the M4 semi-automatic is a rifle most foul. He soon discovers (i.e. proves his theory) that the armed services version isn’t ready to spring into action. So, will the Powers That Be adopt his recommendation? Cue Mandarkian laugh.

With an enhanced extractor spring (BCM 4 coil, Sprinco 5 coil or comparable) and a Crane O-ring, I have not experienced any failures to extract except for faulty ammunition (specifically Radway Green training ammunition used by the 82nd in 2006) The SOPMOD bolt upgrade kit (new extractor and pin, 5 coil extractor spring, Crane O-ring and new gas rings), first fielded by SOCOM, should be standard on all M4’s used by the military or law enforcement.


U.S. Army Drops Bayonet Practice

According to the AP [via KTUU], the U.S. Army has dropped bayonet practice from basic training. “Adapting to battlefield experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army is revamping its basic training regimen for the first time in three decades by nixing five-mile runs and bayonet drills in favor of zigzag sprints and honing core muscles . . . Bayonet drills had continued for decades, even though soldiers no longer carry the blades on their automatic rifles. [Army Training and Doctrine Command Lt. Gen. Mark] Hertling ordered the drills dropped. ‘We have to make the training relevant to the conditions on the modern battlefield,’ Hertling said during a visit to Fort Jackson in January.” Hang on a second there sir. They may not carry the blades on their rifles, but they ARE available. More specifically, the M4, M14 and M16 all hold bayonets, which are an effective wire cutter as well as fearsome sharp pointy thingie. There’s also an M11 bayonet for explosives ordinance disposal (good luck with that). So, while it’s certainly true that charging at a line of defenders with a bayonet may no longer be the done thing, and the bayonet may not be a soldier’s best bet in close quarters fighting, and you can certainly put an eye out with that thing, perhaps someone should figure out something to do with a rifle-mounted bayonet before dropping the skill entirely. Just sayin’.


Real Reason for Marines’ Underpowered Rounds Revealed

According to The Marine Times, the head of Joint Forces Command was trying to get his troops a better rifle with more powerful bullets well before the Corps deployed in Afghanistan. Pre-theater, General James Mattis’ lobbied for a 6.8mm round. Yes, well, the Marines recently “settled” for partial deployment of 5.56mm Special Operations Science and Technology (a.k.a. SOST) ammunition, to fit existing weapons. “The Corps is still considering a swap to larger calibers, but if SOST continues to show promise, it may not be necessary, said Chief Warrant Officer-5 Jeffrey Eby, the Corps’ senior gunner. Marine officials ‘100 percent trust’ the new round, he said, and are awaiting feedback from operating forces who are beginning to use it.” (Never mind the AA-12, of course. Or the 416.) Question: why are the Marines so reticent about switching to larger, more powerful and accurate ammo? Recoil. More specifically, not-so-strapping Marines. “Fielding 6.8mm ammo also would result in new marksmanship challenges. Much like the 7.62mm M14, a 6.8mm rifle produces larger recoil than an M16A4 or M4, making it difficult for smaller Marines to keep the weapon on target, Eby said.”


TWHN BS: Bring a Rifle to A Shotgun Fight Edition

According to the Wichita Eagle, the local police wants to trade shotguns for rifles in patrol cars. It seems some members of the Kansas law enforcement fraternity are feeling out-gunned. “It used to be that if you had an active-shooter situation, you’d call in SWAT and set up a perimeter, and then move in,” Sedgwick County Sheriff Robert Hinshaw told the Eagle. “But Columbine and other school shootings, other spree shootings, showed you can’t afford to wait. The sooner you can mount a response to that, the more lives that are saved and the sooner you can bring it to a resolution. We can’t just send people into harm’s way without having the right tools.” And a rifle’s a better weapon for a cop than a shotgun because . . . “it’s more accurate and has a much longer range.” Whoa there Sheriff! What about the good folks on the other side of that perp? You know, AFTER the bullet pierces his person? “You’re going to have some issues,” Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams cautioned. “That may have some deadly consequences for an innocent person.” Ya think? He thinks. “It’s one thing to be able to pick up a shotgun,” Williams said. “It’s a whole different ball game to pick up a rifle.” Truer words have never been spoken. You know, since last time.