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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Readers may recall "2006 Carbine Competition: What Happened, Revealed" back in February 2007. It discussed an Army solicitation for competitive procurement of 5.56mm carbines, which was withdrawn once the primary manufacturer Colt dropped its prices. The DoD's Inspector General got involved, and the Army dissented, defending its practices as a sound negotiating approach that saved the taxpayer a lot of money on the contract. As it turns out, there's a sequel. A major sequel, that's only getting bigger with time.

It seemed like a routine request. Order more M4 carbines for US forces in the pending FY 2007 supplemental, FY 2008 budget, and FY 2008 supplemental funding bills. It has turned into anything but a routine exercise, however – with serving soldiers, journalists, and Senators casting a very critical eye on the effort and the rifle, and demanding open competition.

With requests amounting to $375 million for weapons and $150 million in accessories, they say, the Army's proposal amounts to an effort to replace the M16 as the USA's primary battle rifle – using specifications that are around 15 years old, without a competition, and without considering whether better 5.56 mm alternatives might be available off the shelf. Meanwhile, the M4/M16 family is both praised and criticized for its current performance in the field. DID explains the effort, the issues, and the options.

The latest developments? The M4 and 3 competitors, including one M4 variant that can be converted from existing rifles, come out of a sandstorm reliability test – and the M4 finishes dead last, with more than 3.5x more jams than the 3rd place finisher. But the US Army publicly says that it doesn't care, and orders more….

FYI from DID

Ed
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
You know, the next time the army asks people to make them some rifles, companies are going to say: "But why? You'll just end up buying more Colts anyway!"
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I cant understand whats so difficult in replacing a upper and reconditioning a lower unit. We have millions of M16's that could become 416's and correct all of the direct gas problems in a heartbeat.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's all politics.

No politicians can see that the HK-416 is a winner because they want the US to buy a brand new design that will outperform everything else on the planet for the next 40 years.

If that takes 40 years to accomplish, that's OK by them. :rolleyes:

Of course in the meantime they could completely retrofit all the existing M-4s and save countless weapons malfunctions (and possibly lives), but that would lessen the need for the creation of a new design.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
my question is.. why should we spend money on weapons that are from a diffrent money.. i agree with the fact that the M4 is a crappy weapon for sandy areas.. but should we invest into an other country to get better weapons.. and make the dollor that much weaker?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does caliber fit into this discussion? I literally just got done reading an interesting page on the 6.8 SPC. I understand what bigun and gsh are saying about modifications to existing M16's. Correct me if I am wrong but if you changed from a gas to a piston system isn't the platform pretty darned good? If there needs to be an upgrade isn't it in caliber? Seems from the ballistic data I've read the 6.8 SPC might fit the bill for having both good CQ's and long distance terminal ballistics.

I thought I read that an existing 5.56 mag body will work but there needs to be a different spring and follower and the mag capacity drops to 25-28 rounds depending on whose info you're reading. Is this correct?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i just dont see the armed forces changing to a whole new weapons platform with the same 5.56 chambering...remember we have alot of 5.56 alot of parts and mags and training and alot of countrys that went to the same platform because "we" asked them too..

i can only think the change will happen with a totally new round with some new ballistic charateristic that will blow our minds..with a piston system and lots of ergo updates,computer uplinks to other gear possibly,i ..us and our friends will be useing the m-16-m4 for many years..

you dont spend billions of dollars in research and training and rearming for a step...you do it for a leap
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That DID article is right on. The special forces have the FN scar now I dont see why that is not considered and the xm8 faired the best in all these tests. Another thing that pisses me off if colt says the can change the piston but the Army seems to be pretty happy with the m4 reliablity. Maybe we shouold put those procurment guys with the grunts and ask them what rifle they want now the 416,scar,xm-8 or the M4. I bet there tune would change real fast. We always say we will pay whatever the cost to give our soldiers the best equipment. These officers need to quit taking the free drinks and golf outings from colt and let the best rifle be procured.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
While I believe the 6.8SPC is a better round than the 5.56, it won't be adopted by the US any day soon because of the logistics. Billions of 5.56 rounds in stock and several allied countries shooting 5.56 makes a change to 6.8SPC unlikely.

As for spending money on weapons made by a foreign company, the M-9 is made by Beretta, the M-2HB, M-240 and the M-249 are all made by FN so why not have the new rifle made by HK?

By the way, Beretta is located in Accokeek, MD, FN is located in Columbia SC and HK is in Trussville, AL. This means that all our weapons would be made by Americans in the good ol' USA.

As for needing to make a leap in our weapons systems, that's a bunch a bull. MOST of our weapons systems have been upgraded since they were introduced. While most of these are vehicles such as planes and tanks, they also include the M-2 and the GAU-17. Why not make the necessary changes to improve our rifle?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
my question is.. why should we spend money on weapons that are from a different money.. i agree with the fact that the M4 is a crappy weapon for sandy areas.. but should we invest into an other country to get better weapons.. and make the dollar that much weaker?
Colt Defense is not a US company, It's an international company. It has no political or national alliance. Whomever gives them the $$. I don't think the politicians understand that and think it's a US based company. It's not Colt Firearms, it's Colt Defense.

FN is not a US based company either. Most US weapons manufactures are not based in the US.

I don't care who it's made by, as long as it's what's best for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. I also agree that the manufacturing plant has to be in the US. In case there's a problem and we need to nationalize the plant (aka: Takeover by the gov't because we're in war with the country that they are based in.)

Hardwarz
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I believe the 6.8SPC is a better round than the 5.56, it won't be adopted by the US any day soon because of the logistics. Billions of 5.56 rounds in stock and several allied countries shooting 5.56 makes a change to 6.8SPC unlikely.

several??? try several dozen ,there are 26 nato countries that signed the nato standerdazation agrement,plus a long list of political allies that went to 5.56 because we asked so nicely.

and a caliber change is more than a update..swapping a piston system is one thing ,calber change is another..im sure the m-16 platform will get some upgrades,,but why keep updateing rather then spending the money on research on a more deadlyer and better functioning system????? the m16 will go the way of the m-14 and colt .45 i know change is hard but let it go..

i think any country can offer up a rifle for testing but to get the contract you have to build the guns here i think its a requirment ,that was why h&k halfway built the one in georgia just in case.someone posted its a federal law but i cant say its a fact
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
several??? try several dozen ,there are 26 nato countries that signed the nato standerdazation agrement,plus a long list of political allies that went to 5.56 because we asked so nicely.

and a caliber change is more than a update..swapping a piston system is one thing ,calber change is another..im sure the m-16 platform will get some upgrades,,but why keep updateing rather then spending the money on research on a more deadlyer and better functioning system????? the m16 will go the way of the m-14 and colt .45 i know change is hard but let it go..

i think any country can offer up a rifle for testing but to get the contract you have to build the guns here i think its a requirment ,that was why h&k halfway built the one in georgia just in case.someone posted its a federal law but i cant say its a fact
Look, I have nothing against developing new and deadlier weaponry for our military, but converting our existing stock of M-16/M-4 rifles to using the HK-416 system is as simple as buying the upper receiver and placing it on the current lower receiver. That's it. No major design change or retooling is necessary. Start issuing the rifle with the HK uppers and do a little training and you have a rifle that solves most of the problems of the M-16/M-4.

This would be an upgrade measure just like the quick change barrel was to the M-2. Someday something will replace it, but if you have a problem and you have a solution ready today, why wait for years, possibly decades, to replace the whole system? And if you're already going to purchase millions more rifles, wouldn't this be a good time to make the change to solve the problem that has been identified for decades by the troops in the field?

P.S. Learn to use capital letters and the spell checker. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Someday something will replace it, but if you have a problem and you have a solution ready today, why wait for years, possibly decades, to replace the whole system? And if you're already going to purchase millions more rifles, wouldn't this be a good time to make the change to solve the problem that has been identified for decades by the troops in the field?
Don't forget, change in the .gov happens at, well, .gov speed. No one ever said it had to make since, but it does have to be submitted on the proper forms, have the proper studies, be approved by the proper committees (and lobbyists), get financed by the proper procedure, then sat on until someone gets the balls to implement it after the proper waiting period has gone by, a process that in total can take decades.:rolleyes:
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
im sure the m-16 platform will get some upgrades,,but why keep updateing rather then spending the money on research on a more deadlyer and better functioning system???

The biggest problem is that they (US Government) took a bite out of the 2A and essentially did away with the free market system on full auto/ select fire firearms.

Back in the day John Browning made a bunch of money designing the best full Auto guns available any where in the world. He sold his guns to different country's around and also to the citizens of the USA. With all the different markets available he could spend a lot of time and money to develop new and better weapons.


Since 1986 it has been illegal for any new full auto gun or receiver or even parts to be sold or made in the USA (To lowly citizens ONLY). That is why class III guns are so expensive - they have cut off the supply:(

Check out the Machine Gun Ban or 1986 - its sickening
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_Owners_Protection_Act
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i choose not to use spell check to infurerer infurer ..infuurreya ...to make the spelling police mad :p..i agree with you simple changes would make it a better weapon ,,the hk lower is just a update..but its just personal feelings that a new sysyem needs to be designed to move us ahead..new caliber ,new design,we have to look past iraq and toward the next war...and its just a fact that there will be one...could be 5-10-30 years from now but there will be one..always is.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i choose not to use spell check to infurerer infurer ..infuurreya ...to make the spelling police mad :p..i agree with you simple changes would make it a better weapon ,,the hk lower is just a update..but its just personal feelings that a new sysyem needs to be designed to move us ahead..new caliber ,new design,we have to look past iraq and toward the next war...and its just a fact that there will be one...could be 5-10-30 years from now but there will be one..always is.
Uhhh... the HK upper receiver is the update.

And designing the next best and greatest rifle system of all time is certainly on the agenda. But WHY stick with a rifle that can be improved so easily and is in the midst of being replaced anyway?

Once again, just to be certain this is understood.

1. Go ahead and design the next great battle rifle.

2. The current rifle has a reliability issue compared to improved versions currently available.

3. Millions of the current rifle are being replaced due to wear and tear right now with the same faulty design.

4. Purchasing the improved version would be a definite bonus to our troops RIGHT NOW!

5. By the time the next great battle rifle is designed, tested, approved, rejected, redesigned, retested, reapproved, haggled over in congress, shot down, retested, resubmitted and approved for actual issue the HK-416's that would be issued today would be ready for replacement due to wear and tear.

SO WHY NOT ISSUE A BETTER RIFLE NOW?
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so how much better would a few updates make the m4 ,m-16? if it were up to me sure get the hk UPPERS im saying i dont see the powers in charge doing it except for a few small groups..and who knows maybe these small groups of operaters testing diffirent rifles are actually testing future small arms principals that will be used in the next generation..


i get your point the millitary may spend more updateing certain aspects of the current rifle....i just dont see them changeing caliber to shoot out of the same platform we are useing now. ..m-16 with hk upper,,it could happen. m-16 shooting 50 beowolf or 6.8 i dont see happening.

that was my point;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think they are waiting to upgrade to laser weapons systems. Think about it you never have to reload, you can set your "laserarm" to stun, it stops stormtroopers with one shot, they are quiet, and they look cool shooting them:rolleyes:


:lol::lol::lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
but converting our existing stock of M-16/M-4 rifles to using the HK-416 system is as simple as buying the upper receiver and placing it on the current lower receiver. That's it.
my sentiments exactly. fix the problem areas with one fell swoop.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The M16 family of rifles is the longest currently serving rifle the US has ever used.

We have done caliber changes many times in the past. It can and has been done. Hell in WW II we had three different calibers all in use at once.

But remember that during WW II weapons development was very fast. The US went through many different aircraft in less than 5 years. How long has the F-22 been coming? Or the JSF?

Now that weapons development and procurement are careers in the military this problem is not going to change.

There is no career in deciding on the requirements for the new rifle, getting samples, testing samples, making decision in what normal people would consider a timely manner. Say 3-4 years max.

And of course you have the problem of all the O7-O10 chair warmers retiring and taking jobs with defense contractors. I would bet that if the law were changed to make it illegal for O7-O10 ranks to take jobs with defense contractors for 5 years after their retirement we would not have half the procurement problems we have.
 
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