Oops. “The Army is updating procedures for use of the M4A1 automatic rifle after a soldier recorded cellphone video of his weapon firing when it shouldn’t have.”
The video, recorded in late March, shows the soldier operating a rifle that has been converted from a standard M4, which can fire a maximum three-round burst, to the fully automatic M4A1, according a safety message sent to troops on Tuesday.
Apparently about a thousand rifles have been found to fire after putting the safety selector between semi and giggle. Pulling the trigger does nothing, but then moving the switch to auto touches off a round.
Inspectors were able to replicate the malfunction depicted in the soldier’s video in about 10 percent of the weapons they checked, defense industry journal Soldier Systems reported.
Testing also revealed that carbines from a different manufacturer malfunctioned when switched from “safe” to “semi-automatic,” the journal reported.
None of the reports we’ve seen identify either manufacturer. The Army has issued procedures for checking individual rifles before using them in live fire situations.