Lawyers, Pols May Drag Army Into New Rifle Kicking and Screaming

The Army put the brakes on their individual carbine competition last week. They’d been conducting ongoing trials to find a replacement for the M4/M16 that have been the main battle rifles for over 50 years. The reason they stopped was that none of the guns met their established average reliability requirement, so they sent the guns back for more work. As much as I was disappointed that my beloved SCAR didn’t make the cut, I was extremely happy to see that the military procurement system was working based on actual performance instead of political pressure. Looks like I spoke too soon . . .

From US News and World Report:

Now the $1.8 billion program sits in limbo, with the competitors weighing protest options and lawmakers steaming over what they see as the Army dragging its feet over finding a more modern alternative to the Vietnam-era M4 carbine.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sent a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh earlier this week, criticizing the cancelation of what he says is an essential upgrade. He also pointed to inconsistencies in an Army that uses a decades-old rifle design, yet has changed its battle uniform three times since 2006.

“The Army continues to prioritize modernization of other non-essential equipment over its small arms,” he wrote on Monday.

“If the rifle squad is the foundational element of the Army, and small arms are the rifleman’s primary weapon,” he wrote, “[why] would we not take steps today to ensure that we are equipping our force with the most effective small arms and ammunition available?”

I don’t think Senator Coburn quite understands the difference between “newer” and “better.” The rush for an “improved” battle rifle is how we ended up with the full auto monstrosity of the M-14 instead of something that worked, and how the M-16 made it into the field without being fully baked.

Just because something has better promotional materials doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually better. The Army’s standards might be too high, but at least they have standards this time. And while we need a newer battle rifle, the M4/M16 can hold the line quite nicely until a proper replacement is found. Emphasis on ‘proper.’


  1. avatar Lance says:

    Your using just one senator again Nick I know you love your scar. BUT it wont make the cut. Overall the highest candidate from ICC was Troy or LWRCs weapon did best to some from I doubt they will sue to keep it open especially since FN won the M-4A1 competition.

    Think your jumping to conclusion over any competitions demise most complain but nothing I doubt will happen now.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Re-read the article. I was bemoaning the idea that politics might get in the way of the Army picking the best gun based on test results. There’s nothing in there saying anything about the SCAR being better than the competitors. But thanks to jumping to conclusions about the content based on the picture.

      1. avatar Lance says:

        Most have wrote that ICC wont be revived. Sorry if I thought you were picking a winner. But The M-4 is staying for a long time. whats your take??

        1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

          My best guess is that they’ll continue with the M4 refit (piston kits, etc) and use those for probably another decade at the least. That should give the replacement carbines enough time to develop and for a winner to emerge. Because at the moment, while I have a favorite, I don’t see a winner.

        2. avatar Lance says:

          I do agree. So the M-4 will stick around for ten fifteen years til the mid 2020s. My guess is that Caseless or telescoping LSAT tech will mature and a true revolutionary step could go forward. I dont see the M-4 going anytime soon is that what you mean? I agree 100% if you do.

      2. avatar Accur81 says:

        I hear you, Nick. Apparently the SCAR is a very nice piece, but only if you feed it the right ammo. I have no personal experience with the weapon other than a little fondling and ogling.

        Regarding some of the LWRCi submissions, I don’t see why they would not exceed the current M4/M16 platform in accuracy and reliability. POF armory looks like an improvement as well.

        Either that, or supplementation of current systems with 300 BLK, 6.8 SPC, and 6.5 Grendel and .50 Beowulf. The 5.56 is a great lightweight round, but has a lot of ballistic limitations. If nothing else, new uppers and mags would give a whole lot of capability. Long range conflicts in Afghanistan would be better served by the 6.5 and 6.8, and the 300 would be a great urban / CQB round. The .458 SOCOM or .50 would be great at vehicle checkpoints.

        If people are shooting back at me, I want the best tool for the job, and sincerely don’t care if NATO approves of my caliber choice. If I can have multiple different guns for hunting applications, I don’t see why the military can’t do the same for our soldiers.

        Also, the load soldiers carry could damn well use a drop in weight, but that is a whole ‘nother subject.

        1. avatar Bret says:

          That’s not so much a NATO issue as it is a supply chain issue. Not saying it can’t be done, but it might be more trouble than its worth to the logistics people.

        2. avatar GoldiGlocks says:

          The American infantryman will always carry 100 lbs of the lightest weight gear available.

        3. avatar Lance says:


          I agree. have to say Ive seen some men in uniform still pass over crappy light weight MOLLY gear that uses Velcro for older but sturdier ALICE gear. Strange many GI want metal hooks for there gear buttons and Velcro dont cut it.

      3. avatar John says:

        As much as I was disappointed that my beloved SCAR didn’t make the cut

        Nice to see you’re shilling as usual. Instead of calling this site TTAG, you should call it, well shill whoever gives us the most SWAG.

        1. avatar KeithF says:

          John is unfamiliar with the concept of satire it seems

      4. “As much as I was disappointed that my beloved SCAR didn’t make the cut” + a picture of a SCAR. Sure, no statement that the SCAR is better, but the above plus other statements in other pieces tell a different story.

    2. avatar William says:

      “Overall the highest candidate from ICC was Troy or LWRCs weapon did best to some from”

      If you won’t re-write that so it can be understood, I’m just going to assume you don’t care if anyone understands it.

      1. avatar Lance says:

        Well sorry teacher. I was saying from reports about ICC the highest scoring candidates where DI weapons and that was from Troy LLC and LWRC rifle which are reengineered ARs.

        1. avatar CA.Ben says:

          I’m not sure about the Troy, but the LWRC is a piston rifle. LWRC is one of the leading names in the piston business.

        2. avatar Lance says:

          Possibly but the entries where not based on commercial rifles. who knows. All that info I got from I do know the top contender was a DI NOT a piston carbine.

  2. avatar 505mark says:

    It’s like the congressmen mad at the Army because it doesn’t want more tanks… Maybe the Army should tell Congress that they have reconsidered and have selected the new AK-12 as being the only rifle out there that is worthy to replace current weapons. That might shut Congress up a bit. No, nevermind. Nothing will ever shut them up.

  3. avatar borekfk says:

    Until the Army replaces the 5.56mm, they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep the M16/M4 series. Hell, they’ll probably just choose a M16/M4 in a new caliber if they do replace the 5.56mm.

  4. avatar sizzlin bacon says:

    I don’t see why/how politicians feel the need to express their opinions on everything they know nothing about. He might have an R behind his name, but that doesn’t make him smarter than one with a D. The Army should tell these morons to STFU while they do their jobs finding suitable and proper replacements that are going to be an upgrade.

    I am glad to see not as much fanboy nonsense about the SCAR this time.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I read this already on kit up on Nicks mistaken a senators whine for a congressional order. Colbern started ICC when he got money form FN years ago, he made he couldn’t make it up for the company. Most agree this ICC stuff is over. Think Nicks a SCAR lover to the core he just sad. Look up and get a FN M-4A1.

      1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

        No, I didn’t. I said nothing of the sort. I was complaining that politics might get in the way of the procurement process, not that anything was a done deal.

        1. avatar Lance says:

          I make a official apology to Nick for our misunderstanding. But to say to you many gun and mil blogs Ive talked to says its over ICC is DOA. Its just some senators who pushed this are whining for now.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      You mean the same general staff that bends over for Bama on queers in uniform and girl soldiers in combat arms?

      Sure seem to be a lot of people that there is a “miltary opinion” on something. There is not. There “opinion” is whatever the Whitehouse tits tell them they think.

      Senator Coburn is pretty good Senator but he has the same confusion over the “foundational element of the Army”. It only become warfighting after we are attacked (Americans die). Until then the Washington eunics marginalize and neuter any “warriors”.

      If you total up the entire number of Infantrymen protecting our nation (BN level and below) and it is an obscenely small number. The pointy end of the spear. Then find out what part of the DOD is spent on equipment for the grunts. Tiny. Spends $200+/yr on breast cancer research though.

      1. avatar Jake L. says:

        Neiowa, what’s wrong with gays in the military and the possibility of women in combat (even though they are already in combat because we don’t have a front line) if they meet the same standards as men?

        And on the infantry, don’t forget the support. Artillery, intel, aircraft, signal, transpo, maintenance, and the like. You can’t have an effective modern infantry unit without vast amounts of ridiculously well trained and advanced support.

  5. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    Well if congress believes the army needs a new rifle, then why not allow these inferior M4/M16 rifles to be owned by civilians. They want the armed forces to have better firepower than the civilians.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      They need to go to the CMP and be sold direct to our doors. After the NFA and Hughes amendment go away.

  6. avatar Roll says:

    How did that saying go?: “The incompetent, leading the unwilling, to do the unnecessary”

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Doubt htey will this is just one senator no companies announced a lawsuit yet at all.

    2. avatar stitch1870 says:

      If I recall correctly it’s, “The incompetent, leading the uninformed (because who needs real-time intel in a HUMINT war right?), to do the unnecessary, for the ungrateful.” Me and my boys, we were all willing seeing as how we’d all signed the same contract and were all willing to do whatever it takes to come home.

  7. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Jobs jobs jobs, gotta spread the pork around..

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    The new battle rifle will be the solution to what problem? What, we’re not killing efficiently enough with the M16/M4?

    I’ve had enough of bullsh1t military spending for the sake of spending. Teach soldiers how to shoot better and stick with the battle rifles that we already have. They work just fine.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Many agree IC is dead and this is its proponents crying that there crappy SCAR didn’t win. Face with FN’s BIG M-4A1 contract its over, you think???

    2. avatar Sid says:

      The only thing the Army or the military needs to improve the performance of the battle rifle is soldiers spending more time shooting more bullets.

      It is not the bullet or the rifle or the optics or any of the other BS that is constantly brought up. The Army actually got this one right. The current bullet flies fairly accurately out of the current rifle. Until something comes along that takes it to a new level of performance or operational ability, there is no justification for spending our tax dollars on something new.

      1. avatar Lance says:

        I agree more training is key the Army crapped out on rifle training since the 60s. maybe the Army needs to learn from the Marines.

  9. avatar Jesus says:

    What’s the difference between a battle rifle and an assault rifle.

    1. avatar Bret says:

      A battle rifle fires full sized cartridges like 7.62 NATO, while assault rifles use smaller rounds optimized for 300 m ranges like the 5.56 or 7.62*39

    2. avatar B says:

      Battle rifle is the primary rifle for armed forces. The Mosin Nagant is a battle rifle. So is the Garand. Assault rifles are full auto rifle caliber lighter weight infantry weapons. They can be battle rifles also like the M4, FAMAS, and TAVOR. Light machine guns are the heavy squad rifles like the M249 or the RPD, usually with big box mags.

    3. avatar Ross says:

      It’s generally understood that an “assault rifle” is a light or medium range caliber i.e. 5.56 (0 to 300) and a “battle rifle” is a heavy or long range caliber i.e. 7.62×51 (0 to 800, 306 NATO).

      That being said the term “assault rifle” is an uniquely an American term: “to assault a position”, the German word “Sturmgewehr”, “Storm rifle” i.e. to storm a position is the more common term. The use of the word “assault or storm” in this context would imply force/speed/violence.

      Feel free to correct me if you feel I’m wrong on this folks.

    4. avatar That Guy says:

      Battle Rifles are chambered in full power rounds (7.62×51, 7.62x54R, 30.06, 8mm Mauser, etc) whereas assault rifles are chambered in intermediate rounds (5.56×45, 5.45×39, 7.62×39, etc) Both feature semi-automatic and often fully automatic or burst firing modes (less often with battle rifles)

  10. avatar Steiney says:

    I can’t wait until Slowburn’s term is done next year, this shill has sold my state up a river more times than I would care to count… These past few months he’s really shown his true colors with his NSA comments (, his work for magazine restrictions and UBC’s, and flying in the face of his constituents wishes ad nauseum. “Nobody protects the Bill of Rights more than I do,” my ass.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I think your senator is crying his ICC program he started died so he whine for months. glad to see him go but still get a progunner elected in OK.

  11. avatar Bob says:

    “And while we need a newer battle rifle”

    One question. Why?

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Because Colbern wanted more and more money from FN and HK. In his mind let American gun jobs die for his gain.

      1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

        SCAR: Made in America. FYI.

        1. avatar Lance says:

          But Belgian company and all the money and design goes to Belgium.

    2. avatar gyrfalcon says:

      ““And while we need a newer battle rifle”
      One question. Why?”

      So they can be color coordinated?

  12. avatar Amanathia says:

    What’s wrong with the m4? Maybe try a gas piston system M4, if they really need something?

    1. avatar Lance says:

      They were going to but M-4 PIP chose to drop that and stay with M-4A1 features. Overall a piston is overblown DI guns are lighter and more accurate than some piston designs.

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      If the rifle is going to be subjected to heavy wear then adding a piston system to the AR-design bolt/bolt carrier is a mistake, due to inherent off-axis forces once a piston is added. I’m shocked that they don’t simply start issuing plated bolt carrier groups, NiB or other. Battles are fought with machine guns, mortars, and other long-range weapons. For close range the 5.56 suffices, together with shotguns for special occasions. Light, accurate, and reliable are the attributes wanted in a standard weapon. The M4, BTW, is the new ‘in’ rifle in Syria, and the rebels envy the Hezbollah for their quantity of M16’s. Who would’a thunk it?

      1. avatar Pat says:

        And if they want/need, all they gotta do is throw in a squad designated marksman into the group with an M14 (or similar) to give the added ability the M4 lacks (harder hitting at greater distances).

    3. avatar int19h says:

      The real problem with M16/M4 isn’t the lack of piston. It’s the insanely stupid design of the receiver (with much contact between it and bolt carrier when the latter is moving, which means that it is much more likely to jam from dirt or sand) that’s the biggest contributor to its unreliability and non-longevity.

  13. avatar William says:

    You really don’t know why?

    Because ammunition and bombs are expendable goods. They get replaced promptly and regularly – that’s what wars are for. To use up the goods, so new ones must be bought.

    However, rifles are durable, and may last many years. They need Congressmen to replace them, so the cash flow is kept up. The munitions manufacturers stay fat and happy, and the Congressmen’s pockets stay lined with fresh, crisp cash. Back scratches and backslaps all around.

    That’s modern warfare in a nutshell.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Modern? That is warfare in a nutshell, modern or ancient history. Lincoln used to complain bitterly about the war profiteers, and I’m sure the French charged a pretty penny to the colonists.

  14. avatar Maynard says:

    It sounds like there is this notion that the military is objective and apolitical. That just isn’t so.
    The Army bigwigs don’t want a new carbine, and feel that the candidates don’t meet the standards. Who, why and how were those standards set? Were they set artificially high to avoid the headaches of adoption?

    ‘More training’ may be easy to say, but is harder to do. Shooting skills and habits atrophy. If skills can be augmented by equipment that doesn’t atrophy, get the equipment.

  15. avatar K says:

    “Now the $1.8 billion program sits in limbo . . . .”

    Except the Army hasn’t spent $1.8 billion on the program. That huge figure includes buying 500K or so new carbines and all the related costs (retraining armorers etc), which isn’t happening now. Typical MSM reporting fail.

    1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

      I’m all for the military not wasting money on new rifles or equipment they don’t need. They can spend it on training.

      1. avatar stitch1870 says:

        Except the individual commands will spend that funding on new conference tables & chair sets (20k to replace a 2yr old table and nice chairs), make a new unit marker in front of the CP, and other accoutrements for the office while the HMMWV’s are listed as WIR (without-intent-to-repair, i.e. run em till they stop), and real fieldcraft and tactics training suffered because we barely did any real training in the field.

  16. avatar David says:

    If the scar is picked (which it probably won’t be) it will be mired in controversy as long it is w/ the DoD. Personally, I could see some version of the M-16 being around for the next 100 years. There is such an apologetically driven group think in the DoD when it comes to the AR platorm that the powers that be could never fathom something being better than their beloved M4’s. Many career military personnel are emotionally invested in it for various reasons. It’s downright anti-American to say anything against the M4.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I dont see it ever happening David. I think most are overestimating Colbern this a is a letter of whining over his loss than he could restart ICC I dont see it going any wear. YOU?

  17. avatar gyrfalcon says:

    The M-14 was, and is still a good rifle. They’re still using it in Afghanistan because it’ll reach out farther than the M16/M4s.

    I suppose you’re going to rip on the Garand next?

    1. avatar Dave says:


      I own both an M1A and an AR; if I had to run out the door with just one it would be the M1A hands down. You want an accurate, powerful, piston operated rifle? M1A it is. At least Nick is willing to engage in debate.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Running out the door is one thing. But if you intend to keep on running through the jungle/forest/up a mountain, you might want to consider the M4 or M16. Unless of course, you’re one of those true power-runner types.

      2. avatar Pat says:

        The correct answer is indeed both an AR and M1A (or similar). Three to five troops with ARs and a squad designated marksman with a good 308 semi is often the best of both worlds (which is why the old warhorse proved so valuable….and inexpensive).

    2. avatar Sid says:

      When distance shooting is your only goal, it is a great rifle. But that is all.

      Carrying ammo is a real issue. Quick follow-up shots is a real issue. Magazine capacity is a real issue. Shorten length for ease of movement in a vehicle or urban environment is a real issue. All of those issues are won by the M4.

      1. avatar Marlin says:

        What’s the fire ration? 7 mags? Probably about 15lbs more for the soldier to carry (total guess). Follow up shots depend on your control of the weapon (watch miculek quick fire his garand). I believe they make 30 round mags for the m1a. They also make stocks that (gasp) fold, even bullpup!

        The weight is the only real point you have here.

        1. avatar Lance says:

          I agree seem shooting threw 12+ mags w/o a a time to clean the weapon is far fetched. Even marines on Iwo Jima spent a few minutes a day to wipe there weapons down. Think some of this requirements on any carbine are far fetched.

      2. avatar Pat says:

        Sid, distance shooting AND punch (which may be needed at shorter distances). It really is best to have most of the troops with the M4, but also quite effective with a designated marksman thrown into the group. Best of both worlds.

        1. avatar Sid says:

          That is what we are currently using (at least it was in 09-10). But a designated marksman rifle is not handed out to every soldier. In maneuver warfare, suppressive shooting is required.

        2. avatar Lance says:

          @ Sid

          I think that’s good I want the best marksman in m squad to have a M-14 EBR and the sprayers to have M-4s.

        3. avatar Pat says:

          We are all in agreement that what is done now (AR with a few SDM thrown into certain groups) is pretty good with no current need for minor upgrade to universal rifle at massive cost. If a revolutionary improvement comes about, then it should be examined.

    3. avatar Hanover Fist says:

      I think he was talking about the M14 in full auto, which is a nightmare.

      1. avatar Pat says:

        It would have to be heavy, like a BAR (around 20 lbs).

  18. avatar Tim says:

    I’d be more ok with a new army rifle if they sold the old ones to us citizens as surplus like they used to do. Of course, we’d also have to do away with the 1986 amendment closing the NFA registry to select fire rifles.

    1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

      I agree, but keep dreaming.

      1. avatar Lance says:

        Not happening on both ways ICC is staying dead and the liberals would never sell us former select fire rifles.

  19. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    Was the Tavor tested, how badly did it do?

    They need to work on getting it right period. Take your time.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      No it wasn’t. And the Army made it clear no bullpup was ever considered. Whats your take Dan I think ICC is staying dead you?

  20. avatar Mark N. says:

    Why don’t we start from scratch and design our own ultimate battle rifle for the modern battlefield? I’d start with caseless ammo in 6.8 or 7mm, interchangeable barrels. Might be a bull pup to maximize urban warfare but retain barrel length for range….

    1. avatar stitch1870 says:

      Bullpups might seem nice in civvy eyes, but as far as down range…no thanks. I’ve met Royal Marines, and worked with RAF guys who hated the L85 but loved the M4/M16 because mag changes are much more fluid than with a bullpup. In a close distance engagement, it’s easier to reach for something that is slightly farther away from your chest that’s artificially puffed out due to flak & the gear attached to it than trying to reach across your chest with the minimized mobility. If everyone was issued a sidearm it may not be as big of an issue because a transition would be faster, but in theory you are only issued if you are an officer/SNCO/squad leader/machine gunner/k9 handler, and in practice it’s usually only the first two.

  21. avatar Mediocrates says:

    Senator Coburn should spend more time ordering planes the Air Force doesn’t need and carrier battle groups the navy has not requested.

  22. avatar Shenandoah says:

    So which lobbying firm did FN hire to needle Coburn and how much did they pay?

  23. avatar Kyle says:

    Battle uniforms are non-essential equipment!? And the modern M-16s and M-4s are not the exact equivalent of the 1960s variants.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      My words exactly the M-16A2 and M-16A4 are not the Mattel Toy M-16A1 of the late 1960s they are ALOT more reliable and fare more versatile.

  24. avatar the last Marine out says:

    You missed the point the 556 and m16/m4 is too much for the new Queer/girl Army, looks like the winner is the 22 long rifle…

    1. avatar Pat says:

      Ha Ha, 22short in the main AR role while some use the 22lr (M14 designated marksman).

  25. To stray from alot of the other comments, I personally think the standards the Army put out was reasonable. They didn’t want something “better” than what they had, no.. They wanted something that would be a huge evolution and nobody delivered it. It is reasonable to want this standard because you are UPGRADING to something GROUNDBREAKING, not just Better. They’re definitely not too high at all.. The manufactures just need to come up with something new to meet that standard. (AK-12 could prolly do it though hoho) This is why I’m not in a rush to buy any new rifle that hits the market, because none of them are truly groundbreaking and worth the excess cost over a perfectly fine AR15.

  26. avatar WLCE says:

    Cancel ICC, cancel the F35, cancel the Zumwalt Destroyer, cancel GCV, make all services adopt the same uniform.

    A lot of fat that can be trimmed.

    I say keep the M4 (hell introduce the M4 PIP), teach soldiers better how to shoot it, and, for gods sake, throw away the garrison mentality that the army is frothing at the mouth to go back to and start teaching soldiers mindset over gear/technology.

  27. avatar Thrawn says:

    HEY NOW, don’t call the M-14 with a giggle switch a monstrosity! Someday, my sweet baby. Someday, I’ll have a giggle switch M-14.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      So you, too, can have your very own anti-aircraft gun after the second round. =P

  28. avatar savaze says:

    I’d be more interested to see these trials with rifles that are built using components close to failure (or over the wearout date). I started out in the infantry, but finished in aviation. Let’s just say the level of quality dropped significantly after the move, with “new” barrels already being close to expiration.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      That was the issue with the 2007 dust test M-4s where Iraq war returns and worn out vs new out of box weapons and you saw the results. This test but a more fair comparison and the SCAR 416 lost to the M-4.

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Savaze, I will never forget that the brass sent me to horrible places, Lam Son 719 for example, with worn M60 parts: we couldn’t get our hands on new feed trays, but the fvk’g navy was getting twin-engined hueys. Parts, we just needed a few parts.

      1. avatar savaze says:

        We always referred to the M-4 as the expensive bats, and unfortunately we had M9’s as backups, the ball.

  29. avatar Dave S says:

    m4 works for what it is, leave it be!

    and maybe find a uniform that you wont change too, 1 uniform, all services.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Look, get used to it. With chicks in the infantry you’re going to have BDU changes, like it or not. With gays in the open, there’s gonna be the whole accessorizing thing. Seasonally.

      1. avatar Pat says:

        Didn’t look at it from that point of view. A womans touch, indeed. Hot jungle pink and tranquil blue.

  30. avatar I'm confused says:

    I’ve worked for various military organizations for over 42 years.

    The only mistake you made is “politics might”.

    I retired supervising up to 250 people.

    POLITICS is ALWAYS involved in DOD decisions, down to what manufacturers of range hoods that can be used in kitchens.

    And how do I know that?

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I agree but I think its why rightly ICC died. No new caliber due to NATO and the fact sequestration and 2011 BCA mad funds impossible to test.

    2. avatar savaze says:

      Oh I believe ya. I had a good friend who, before he retired, was in charge of all Army Aviation requisition and his stories varied from absurd to insane.

      Example time.

      The Army still uses the Kiowa, a Vietnam era helicopter that was considered such a failure in combat (and at elevation, in humidity, or/and heat) that it was only ever used to shuttle politicians very quickly after its introduction to the “police action.” On the other hand the Cayuse did the same mission so well, and several others, that it was a favorite for use over its under-powered counterpart. Politicians decided to open bidding for a scout helicopter during Vietnam. The first round went to the Cayuse, but politicians saw its loss numbers (and besides they’d flown in the Kiowa) and during round two the Hughes Cayuses’ paperwork suddenly disappeared and politicians rejoiced and the contract went to the Kiowa. So fast forward to today and due to weird insider-trading political deals the Kiowa is still using a 700# computer that my watch can out compute, limiting its maneuverability and general load-out (enough so that the copilot can be considered the only weapon for some missions). Interestingly the Special Forces still use the Cayuse to this day. They aren’t bound by politician’s decisions when it comes to gear so maybe we should be looking at their gear more often?! Just a thought

      1. avatar Lance says:

        The Marines still use Cobras which was a Vietnam attack helo design.Thing is that idiots on the hill dont understand. newer doesn’t mean better think the tried and true weapons we have are doing the job just fine. We haven’t had a new tank design since 1979.

  31. avatar Daniel says:

    You just bad-mouthed the M-14…
    My father, former Marine, who used both the M-14 and M-16, would have some serious words for you. At the time the M-16 began replacing the M-14, any grunt who handled both would tell you that the M-14 was twice the rifle the M-16 was at the time. About the only thing the M-16 had on the M-14 was the fact that it didn’t have a wood stock (which were prone to splitting). Otherwise, the only other argument- the weight difference – was rendered rather moot if you were one of the guys to walk into the jungles of Vietname carrying 800 rounds on your back.

    1. avatar Pat says:

      They were actually in the process of changing out the wooden stocks for the fiberglass when the change to the M16 went into effect. There were many men who used the fiberglass stocks in Nam.

      1. avatar the last Marine out says:

        You are correct the Viet Nam M16 was total junk , always jams, the the ammo was real trash too.. the M14 never failed only problem i saw was some wood stocks had to be turned in due to almost never ending rain, even jungle boots were only good for 2/3 weeks in field use… most all our other gear web etc. was WW2 and Korea leftovers…..and the 556 was useless in a combat roll.. the M60 in 7.62 became our life saver……..

        1. avatar Pat says:

          I heard the M16 at the end of the war was light years better than the ‘death sticks’ that were ramrodded through to the troops when they first appeared.
          Really, a duel usage of M16 AND M14 would be the ideal (kind of what they do today with the squad designated marksman role supporting the spray suppressor M4).

  32. avatar Chris says:

    I wanted to buy another rifle. I was really digging the FS2000 but like the Army I realized that it wasn’t any better than my AR-15 for less than half the price.

  33. avatar Jeh says:

    Last I checked the m4 came out in 1998.
    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I had a little bit of time with the SCAR (H) system and it weights a lot more then an m4 (AR platform), even without the magazine. Taking money and statistics aside, shouldn’t we be giving our troops lighter gear then something that’s maybe a tiny bit better?

  34. avatar Corey C. Jordan says:

    I’ve had opportunities to test fire some of the rifles considered and/or tested (SCAR 16, H&K 416 and variously configured M4s). The one I personally preferred was LWRC’s M6.8-A2. M16/M4 type lower receiver, with a very reliable short stroke gas system. Chambered in 6.8 SPC, it’s a more effective and reliable alternative to the M4, while maintaining the similarity to the M4 that allows for minimal transitional training.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Well rumors where that a AR based weapon (new design) that was DI did the best. I agree LWRC are fine ARs if you can afford one. Id prefer in a new caliber a AR in 6.5 Grendel caliber better long range ballistics than .68 SPC.

  35. avatar KevinMA says:

    Last I heard some units are still fielding 1911 handguns. They are also clamoring for 7.62X51 rifles for long engagements. Sometimes things just work.

    Now putting on the tinfoil, the push to change guns is to get away from the AR15 lower and .223/5.56 round to make those obsolete for civilians? Correct me if I’m wrong but our enemy today uses 5.45X39, an inferior cartridge to the 5.56, and they also use 7.62X39 which is similar to the .300 Blackout, though the latter is slightly inferior to the former there.

    I’m no expert, but it seems the AR platform has thoroughly matured. You can build almost unlimited rifles on the same lower: different gas systems (Piston/AK or Stoner as you wish), multiple calibers (anything up to the length of 5.56X45 and width of that cartridge is good to go), etc. You can of course get .308 AR type configuration with an extended magwell as well.

    All of these variants take very standard, read cheap, 30 round mags and drums that civilians can buy, and millions of them exist. the only reason to make a radical change IMO is to make a new rifle without a civi counterpart so that we break cheap parts conpatibility with the civilian market. Couple that with increased trade restrictions on imported AK parts that can be done via executive order and you’ve ruined the civi market for relatively inexpensive military style semi-auto’s.


  36. avatar the last Marine out says:

    Hot insider tip first the M9 in 9MM has to go too… to much kick, tinfoil time,, we will get Hot pink Ruger 10/22’s made by pro mag.. will use 30 round HOT lips mags , any color but black.the machine gun will be the 10/22 with 50 round promag drums and when the congressperson saw that box of 22 long rifle and read danger range 1 mile , it was sealed… so it looks like the pistol will be the Ruger 22/45 in 22LR… one ammo even the gay girls will line up to enlist as the FED RES. can print money so fast that a private’s pay will be 1 million per year.

    1. avatar stitch1870 says:

      Dude,…bigot much? I served with a closet gay in afghan and my problem with him wasn’t his preference, it was his complete lack of competence and ability to be a combat effective Marine. I’ve served with other men who possibly had a different sexual life but I had no issues with them because they pulled their weight and sucked it up like everyone else. Gays have been serving in the military for quite some time, they just weren’t open about it. You do know that NOT all gays flaunt rainbow cammies right? And besides… is the repealing of DADT have ANYTHING to do with the ICC’s choice in not changing service rifles?

      1. avatar Edgar says:

        Then are you ok with the military picking on Christian then under the new Obama approved anti religion rules???

        1. avatar stitch1870 says:

          I highly doubt we’ll see much of that lead to actual punitive punishment for any religion. As far as combat type units, this will basically be a non-issue as you are subject to slurs of all colors to begin with by your peers already. None of it was ever expressed as anything more than good natured ribbing and everyone took their licks and dished it back out in turn. I didn’t give a shit that some of my buddies were atheist, catholic, etc. because at the end of the day we had each other’s back and that is what mattered to us.
          One issue I DO have with, is outright preaching in inappropriate settings to the wrong crowd. Case in point, I went to work on one of my off days to show my girlfriend and another one of my friends some guns (the fact I got a commission off him that day didn’t hurt) and a middle aged couple was there looking as our 1911 counter in very…..”modern cowboy” attire. Turns out he was a pastor and his wife started chatting up my friend and my girlfriend and then started preaching to me when I got near, now normally I don’t mind and I’ll dismiss it because I’m pretty indifferent to religion but once she found out my indifference she told my gf I was the “enemy”. In any other situation or setting I would’ve given her both barrels because it’s not the time or place to incite intolerance but being at my place of work puts me at a disadvantage when I can’t properly defend my POV without causing bad blood for business. I’d have had the same sentiments if she were with LDS/Catholics/atheist so I’m not “Christian hating” but my belief is that everyone has their right to whatever religion or lack thereof that they want but atleast be tolerant without being militant. My indifference doesn’t cause me to go around arguing my biases without impunity, so what gives her the right?
          I do find that Christians do tend to be on the forefront for doing things like that (WBC not included, those cats are straight nuts), having been berated by street corner sign holding Christians for smoking a cigarette and drinking and became verbally aggressive when I reminded them in the Bible “holy” people got drunk off wine…but I’m in the wrong?……this is an outstanding derail.

      2. avatar the last Marine out says:

        Hey nothing personal ,they forgot to tell you Amerika is history. My best combat rifle is the M1 followed by the FN/FAL… not even sure if we make it to 2014.. It’s a last days judgement : I will take away all the MIGHTY MAN of WAR. WE are done. nothing left to save.

  37. avatar the last Marine out says:

    Their are no holy people , only 1 holy God, yes things are a mess , just my point, It’s late , see the hand writing on the wall , it’s there ! I see nothing that will save Amerika. (Christ is the ONLY answer) I fear no man come what may.. I am sad for the little ones who will NEVER know liberty … It’s done. as the say at the finish .. THE END.

  38. avatar The Bear says:

    Here we go again. Bet on the politicos. The whole “Dump the M1911” screw up began when Jimaye Carter,having quaffed too much Billy Beer no doubt, wanted to ensure some Cruise Missile sites in Northern Italia. The M9 result was kicked overboard by Special Ops personnel in favor of the Browning design; Navy boarding parties packed the old .45 and I’ve been told by two individuals closely involved with the “better” military sidearms that the guy who made the final decision in favor of the Italian entry at Rock Island Arsenal went to work for its manufacturer three weeks later. One of my informants, now deceased, personally conducted a field test before Army General Staff attendees at Fort Dix in which the high mag capacity proposed military side arm jammed after three rounds were away while the M1911 emptied its seven round magazine under identical conditions faultlessly. In adopting the offshore pistol, no one informed members of Congressional Intelligence committees, a genuine oxymoron, the closing down and total rebuilding of an arsenal line to produce spare parts would be required. Nor was mention made of the need to rewrite. reissue, and reprint all training and maintenance manuals.
    I was told by the same individual that. to date, adoption of the M9, including modifications made to it and all other related expenses equal the cost of a batalion of Abrams Tanks. So far, I’ve been unable secure FIA statistics to confirm his statement but I can positively prove every M1911 held in arsenals at the time of the M9 being accepted could have been converted to 9mm for less than $10.00 per gun. This was deemed impossible by the military advising the committees…who, then as now, know far too little about most subjects upon which they exert their experteese and assorted influences. Oh well, that’s politics.

  39. avatar Jacen says:

    If I remember correctly, in the beginning, the Army was very adamant about not picking the M16 and did everything they could to get rid of it until one day the Secretary of defense just up and ordered the military to pick up the M16.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Not happening under combat woman Hagel he wants small weapons with no kick for women what if a woman brakes here nails on a M-1911 or M-14 OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Plus he passed the order to kill ICC, give him a bit of praise for that..

  40. I think you guys are all missing some key information here.

    The 5.56 round SUCKS compared to the AK in terms of how much kinetic energy it has behind it. That said, the reason why the Army went with the AR15 was because the M14 was so damn heavy and troops would carry less ammunition.

    M16 was created in 1970, was sexy, lighter, troops could carry more ammo.

    “In a series of mock-combat situations testing in the early 1960s with the M16, M14 and AK-47, the Army found that the M16’s small size and light weight allowed it to be brought to bear much more quickly.[citation needed] Their final conclusion was that an 8-man team equipped with the M16 would have the same fire-power as a current 11-man team armed with the M14. U.S. troops were able to carry more than twice as much 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition as 7.62×51mm NATO for the same weight, which would allow them a better advantage against a typical NVA unit armed with AK-47s.” (Source:

    SOF guys nowadays are migrating to the HK416, FN SCAR because of the GP design, modularity, SCAR rocks 7.62, they can do what they want, etc. Conventional units are stuck following what the brass thinks is best.

    Bottom line: there’s probably a LOT of politicking going on trying to not rock the boat, but weight is a significant issue, as is cost. As much as I wanna see the M4/M16 get axed, I doubt it’s gonna happen until someone finds a way to make a super lightweight CQB/battle rifle chambered in .300 win mag with zero recoil, virtually zero maintenance, and for next to nothing.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      Actually SOF dumped the SCAR L in favor of the M-4A1 and many M-14 EBRs and M-110are also used. I agree the M-4 is going no wear but for different reason. Think new 5.56mm rounds make it far more lethal and that the AR system is so modular you can make it into anything you want.

    2. avatar Pat says:

      Not being able to shoot M14 (or any 308 or greater) full auto was another major strike against.

      1. avatar Lance says:

        I agree you say we should have a M-4 and M-14 combo. We do the M-14 EBR is standard DM rifle for squad in he Afghan theater of operations.

  41. avatar AJ says:

    “He also pointed to inconsistencies in an Army that uses a decades-old rifle design, yet has changed its battle uniform three times since 2006.”

    Not to be too pointed, but weren’t those changes politically motivated? And did they not also prove to be failures in the real world application? Replacing button closures with velcro failed miserably, and the revised camo patterns were horrible at actually camouflaging. But let us not allow facts to interfere with political agendas.

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