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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Army takes HK416s from special unit



By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 11, 2008 14:37:32 EDT
The Army has stripped the Asymmetric Warfare Group of its weapon of choice — the Heckler & Koch 416 — saying that its mission requires the unique outfit to carry the standard issue M4 carbine.
The decision reverses a policy that allowed the AWG to buy 416s instead of carrying M4s when it was established three years ago to help senior Army leaders find new tactics and technologies to make soldiers more lethal in combat.
Members of the AWG have declined to comment on the issue, but sources in the community told Army Times that the unit fought to keep its several hundred 416s, arguing that they outperform the Army’s M4 and require far less maintenance.
In a response to a March 6 Army Times query, the Army acknowledged initial approval of the AWG’s move to the 416.
“The AWG is empowered to procure, on a limited basis, select non-standard equipment to assist in identifying capability gaps and advise on the development of future requirements. To this end, the Asymmetric Warfare Group did purchase H&K 416 rifles,” said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Downie.
“The AWG also advises units on training, tactics and procedures. In this capacity, the use of the standard issue M4 is required. In support of this mission set, the decision was made to transition to the M4 and the AWG is now turning in its H&K rifles.”
This is the latest round of controversy surrounding the M4 since late November, when the weapon finished last in an Army reliability test against several other carbines.
The M4 suffered more stoppages than the combined number of jams by the three other competitors — the Heckler & Koch XM8, FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) and the H&K 416.
Army weapons officials agreed to perform the dust test at the request of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in July. Coburn took up the issue following a Feb. 26 Army Times report on moves by elite Army Special Forces units to ditch the M4 in favor of carbines they consider more reliable. Since then, Coburn has questioned the Army’s plans to spend more than $300 million to purchase M4s through fiscal 2009 rather than considering newer and possibly better weapons available on the commercial market.
Army officials have downplayed the test results, maintaining that soldiers using the M4 in combat praised the weapon in a recent study by the Center for Naval Analysis.
But this isn’t the first time the M4’s performance has come under fire.
U.S. Special Operations Command decided nearly four years ago that it wanted a better weapon than the M4. After a competition, it awarded a developmental contract to FN Herstal to develop its new SCAR to replace all of the command’s M4s.
But even prior to USSOCOM’s decision, the Army’s Delta Force replaced its M4s with the H&K 416 in 2004 after tests revealed that its piston operating system reduces malfunctions while increasing the life of parts.
The M4, like its predecessor, the M16, uses a gas tube system, which relies on the gas created when a bullet is fired to cycle the weapon. Weapon experts say the M4’s system of blowing gas directly into the receiver of the weapon spews carbon residue that can lead to fouling and heat that dries up lubrication and causes excessive wear on parts.
The AWG followed Delta’s example when it stood up in March 2005 to advise the Army’s senior leadership on how to identify and counter emerging threats on the battlefield. With Army approval, the unit bought several hundred 416s for its members to carry when they deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots.
Many senior sergeants in the AWG were angered that soldiers in the unit had to turn in their 416s, a process that began last fall, said a U.S. Military officer with knowledge the special operations and AWG communities.
“They were outraged,” he told Army Times. “It’s a reduction in capability. It’s a waste of money that was already spent, and it makes the job more difficult since [the M4] is much more maintenance-intensive.”
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
did this one do the best on the dust test?
i have heard that the SF boys are using this one..
but the M4 would be good if we switched from gas to piston
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
did this one do the best on the dust test?
i have heard that the SF boys are using this one..
but the M4 would be good if we switched from gas to piston
That's the whole point of the HK upper- gas cycles a piston, which cycles the bolt.....and the chamber stays infinitely cleaner. The appearance is pretty much the same to an M4, but the internals function slightly differently, providing the improved performance. As for reliability tests by SOCOM, the M4 had the most malfunctions, by a longshot. The SCAR is a pretty sweet rifle, though.....I don't think there will be much objection to it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Makes no sense at all...... lets take away a weapon that is keeping our forces safer and give them a lesser weapon.

IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone is giving the Army a reach around so they keep using the outdated M4......

VERY, VERY, SAD
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think there will be much objection to it [SCAR].
Other than having to replace every M4 in their inventory to go with another platform ??????

Don't hold your breath on this happening anytime soon. Especially if Hitlery or any other Dem gets in, they'll be cutting military spending right off the bat on the grounds they think they've already overspent in the 7 or 8 years prior :x

Dems already hold a seniority in Congress.

Add another Dem check (mark) to that balance with the Commander in Chief, and things will go to hell in a handbasket for military spending.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
300 million dollars worth of M4's? wow some congressman or some so called "weapons expert" chairman of committee is getting paid out big time.

No wonder the Army adopted the M14 over the FAL.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More wasted money by uncle sam and why? The M-4 is a great rifle but when you can have better, why not have better?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think we should be able to have the same firearms as the troops - so if HK wont release the 416 to US lowly citizens then why should we pay for our boys to have them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think we should be able to have the same firearms as the troops - so if HK wont release the 416 to US lowly citizens then why should we pay for our boys to have them.

I'm going to assume you were just joking but incase you wern't it could be becuase these guy's lives ride on their weapons. If their weapons fail in combat they die. Their wives, sons, daughters, ect. never get to seem them alive again.

I really don't give two ****s if H&K decides to never sell us 416s becuase for me and you there are weapons out there that work and we can get gas piston ARs from elsewhere if we need to.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Other than having to replace every M4 in their inventory to go with another platform ??????

Don't hold your breath on this happening anytime soon. Especially if Hitlery or any other Dem gets in, they'll be cutting military spending right off the bat on the grounds they think they've already overspent in the 7 or 8 years prior :x

Dems already hold a seniority in Congress.

Add another Dem check (mark) to that balance with the Commander in Chief, and things will go to hell in a handbasket for military spending.
The SCAR has already been selected by SOCOM for fielding across the services to units under the COCOM. This isn't Army-wide or anything similar, just SOCOM.

Fact of the matter is they'll find it very difficult to magically slash spending. First, you need to understand the way the POM process works, authorization and appropriation bills (DoD is the ONLY executive department that is funded in this manner) and the financial cost to cut off programs mid-stream. Additionally, a huge chunk of spending comes in the form of the MP accounts, defense healthcare and other "non-discretionary" single year appropriations that have to be met (in short, direct and indirect personnel costs). Even when getting into multi-year investment appropriations, there would be a massive 1-2 year cost to turn off acquisition programs, which are necessary anyways due to readiness and usage rates across the services over the past 5 years. This, in no small part, is due to the procurement holiday that was conducted under her husband. At the end of the day, you can fearmonger all you want about Hillary, or even Obama, but there won't be this massive drop-off in resourcing. We'd actually spend more money trying to turn it off rather than actually executing the acquisition programs as POM'd.

So yes, SOCOM is getting SCAR's. DoA was looking strongly at fielding the XM-8 a few years ago as an M16/M4 replacement, but that died a quick and quiet death in late 2005/early 2006. It's M4's for everyone else.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think we should be able to have the same firearms as the troops - so if HK wont release the 416 to US lowly citizens then why should we pay for our boys to have them.
You do it because it's a better performing weapon in the environment in which we find ourselves fighting today. Until your life depends upon the reliability of a weapon, it's a little amateurish to make such a statement. You can care for an M4 all you want....it still attracts that fine particulate matter dust like a pile of cow dung attracts flies. A bit too much of it and you start getting malfunctions. Last I checked, we aren't pulling the triggers in a sterile environment. The piston upper SHOULD be going to all SOF (absent the SCAR) and eventually the regular forces. As for the general public, who cares. Somehow, I doubt your ability to wake up tomorrow will be impacted on whether you have a piston or gas system in your upper.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The M4 is a fine weapon, i have no problems with it.
Easy to clean when needed (which seems to be a lot) just put a piston in there and every is fine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Its providing American soldiers with American guns, American equipment. What happens if we buy all their stuff and suddenly they get mad and cut us off?

Like someone said early - put a gas piston and you still have American guns
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Its providing American soldiers with American guns, American equipment. What happens if we buy all their stuff and suddenly they get mad and cut us off?

Like someone said early - put a gas piston and you still have American guns
Here's the problem....HK was the only ones that did it (more to the point, they were solicited to work on the problem a few years ago). Blind fealty to the Buy American Act (caveats exist to bypass when an bona fide need exists) does not put the best system in our hands. This has nothing to do with relations with HK or anything else (has HK cut us off over the Mk23?), but rather an institutional decision over dubious (and parochial) concerns. At the end of the day, HK is not going to cut off Uncle Sugar, no matter what their politics. Money speaks much louder to a company that has had close relations with DoD as a supplier for many years.

Further, from an IP standpoint, HK has almost certainly filed a patent application....guess what, you need to buy from HK, unless of course you want to pay licensing fees to Colt or FN, which still finds the money (and ability to grant the license) back to HK. But again, the purchase has been made, so this is about maintaining an in-service item, not continuing an acquisition program.

It helps to understand the underlying reasons WHY something happened (and in this case, the WHAT, as well) before offering a supposed solution that doesn't address the issue at hand.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Think again... 4 years in an Amtrac, 3 deployments, 3 different M16s
LOL.

I would not doubt it. Last time I was qualing the 2nd (I think I'm a winger so I don't keep track of where they are) LAR battalion was there they all had to qual with M4s.

I heard that our MAG just recently got a large shipment of A4s in to replace all the A2s we have.
 
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