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  1. #1
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    U.S. Military Reconsiders Army's Use of M4 Rifles in Afghani


    U.S. Military Reconsiders Army's Use of M4 Rifles in Afghanistan

    The U.S. military is re-evaluating the Army’s use of the M4 rifle in Afghanistan following concerns that the Taliban’s primitive AK-47’s are proving more effective.

    The M4 is an updated version of the M16, which was designed for close quarters combat in Vietnam. But while the weapon is better suited for the kind of urban warfare common in Iraq, some have questioned whether it is deadly and accurate for Afghanistan – where U.S. troops often find themselves in long-range combat.

    An Army study found that the 5.56mm bullets fired from the M4s don’t retain enough velocity past 1,000 feet to kill an enemy. In Afghanistan, forces are often up to 2,500 feet apart.

    “It just makes no sense,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Scales Jr., a Fox News military analyst.

    Scales said the M4 is “unsuitable” for Afghan terrain and “notoriously unreliable” in the first place. The Army Times reported on an Army weapons test three years ago that found the M4 performed worse than three other newer carbines when subjected to an “extreme dust test.”

    Problems with the M4 locking up were also cited in a study last year on a July 2008 firefight that left nine U.S. soldiers dead in eastern Afghanistan.

    The Taliban are meanwhile using heavier bullets that allow them to fire at U.S. and NATO troops from distances that are out of range of the M4.

    To counter these tactics, the U.S. military is designating nine soldiers in each infantry company to serve as sharpshooters, according to Maj. Thomas Ehrhart, who wrote the Army study. The sharpshooters are equipped with the new M110 sniper rifle, which fires a larger 7.62mm round and is accurate to at least 2,500 feet.

    As for what could ultimately replace the M4, the Army’s center for small-arms development is trying to find a solution.

    Col. Douglas Tamilio, program manager for U.S. Army firearms at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, said the M4 has the advantage of more-rapid firepower.

    “The 5.56 caliber is more lethal since it can put more rounds on target,” he told The Associated Press. But he acknowledged the weapon is much less effective at 2,000 feet out.

    A possible compromise would be an interim-caliber round combining the best characteristics of the 5.56 mm and 7.62 cartridges, Tamilio said.

    Scales said the U.S. military simply needs to engineer a better weapon – he said the M8, a weapon that was under development before being halted several years ago, could be revived and improved for Afghanistan.

    “We’re the world’s largest superpower. Why don’t we just make one,” Scales said. “This isn’t rocket science. We’re not putting a man on the moon here.”

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Indecision may or may not be my problem.

  2. #2
    Tim's Bromance Partner
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    Re: U.S. Military Reconsiders Army's Use of M4 Rifles in Afg

    Ive never been to Afgan. but I can say the stoppages would not be a problem if the NCOs would make sure their soldiers would properly maintain their M4s. We where involved in long and drawn out fights as far south as Diwo, Samara. And as far north Syrian/Iraninian boders and the Sinjar Mountains. We didnt have any problems that I can remember with the M4s performance, in these vastly different terrains.

    Now with the need to reach out and make the long shots, each scout team had a SDM/Sniper (depending on what school he had attended) with a M21.

    Yes the M4 is outdated and needs replacement, I dont see the need to spend the money on R&D since SOCOM has already spent the money and time and got the SCAR. Why not just deploy the SCAR to the line units and call it good?
    "Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves"

    William Pitt, 1783

  3. #3
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    Re: U.S. Military Reconsiders Army's Use of M4 Rifles in Afg

    I have never had a problem with jams, with either the M4 or the M16, when cleaned properly, i dont even mean passing the white glove test, just cleaning the important stuff, and when handled properly, the weapons have both been flawless for me, where ive seen those to my left and right having all sorts of issues..

    I wouldnt say the weapon is outdated by any means, its just not right for these long range engagements we see in afghanistan.

    and like the article says, its not rocket science, lets just make one.. if the government only worked that easily.

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