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Discussion Starter #1
The US Army has run into controversy over its plan to replace its existing rifles with M4 carbines, without competition, and despite recent test results that show significant improvements from other 5.56mm weapons and even an M4 variant in use by US special forces. The US Marines and Navy have been known to use M4s, but it is not their primary battle rifle. The M16A3 is a fully automatic version of the M16A2, and is used by the US Navy. The M16A4 is the standard rifle of the US Marine Corps. Its biggest innovation is replacement of the M-16 family's the well known carrying handle/sight with the MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail that lets troops mount and remove a carrying handle, sights, and other useful attachments without specialized tools. Other MIL-STD-1913 rails can be found on the front grips et. al. of the A3s and A4s, where they mount useful items like flashlights, laser pointers, grip pods, et. al.

Unlike the M4 Carbine, which is procured as a sole-source item proprietary to Colt, M-16 production is competed. Contracts are issued based on bid prices from qualifying vendors, with better pricing resulting in proportionately more contracts. This kind of competition may also be part of the reason that the longer, heavier replacement barrels for the M16 cost $100, while spare M4 carbine barrels cost $240.

Contracts & Key Events

Dec 26/07:
FN Manufacturing in Columbia, SC received a $33.7 million firm-fixed-price, contract for M16A3 and M16A4 Rifles to support the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Columbia, SC, and is expected to be complete by Dec 31/10. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Sep. 10, 2007, and 9 bids were received by TACOM LCMC in Rock Island, IL (W52H09-08-D-0121).

Dec 26/07: Colt Defense in Hartford, CT received a $15.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for M16A3 and M16A4 Rifles to support the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Hartford, CT and is expected to be complete by Dec 13/10. Web bids were solicited on Sept 10/07, and 9 bids were received. by TACOM LCMC in Rock Island, IL (W52H09-08-D-0122).

FYI from DID

Ed
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Amazing that the government entered into an exclusive contract with Colt:confused:

Hmmm, yep seize their assets and open the contract for bid.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Why fix what isn't broken? The M16 works.
Meh, the Chevrolet Corvair 'worked' too...

Sorry, couldnt resist :mrgreen:

Anyways, I'll agree that the US's patronage of a companies like Colt and willful disregard of superior firearms is disgusting.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
A lot of bean counters look at the picture from a lot different angle than folks who use the tools they buy.

If the M16 is $400 and the HK is $600, they can get 50% more rifles for the same dollar amount if they go with the cheaper rifle, add in the cost of retraining and parts and the percentage get higher.

I would rather we get our troops the best tools, instruction and the ammo to properly train them, but it isn't a priority for us as a nation.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I would rather we get our troops the best tools, instruction and the ammo to properly train them, but it isn't a priority for us as a nation.
+1 They deserve the best, but thats not what they get.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I think M4's are being over-used, particularly by regualr troops who aare doing the bulk of the fighting. Should be a supplement, not a substitute for a good service rifle.

M16A4 is a great system for regular troops not in need of a more compact carbine. It's still pretty nice with a collapsible stock on it. 400 fps more velocity with better accuracy AND reliabiltiy.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
IIRC, the M4 was never meant to be used by front line troops.(Infantry...) The shorter barrel ruins the ballistics that the 20" HB of the m16. It was more meant for vehicle crews, support troops, admin....

I had 2 Colts and 1 FN while I served. Should have had a M4 because I was a AAV crewchief in a tiny ass turret. (should have had a pistol too, but the marine corps is poor) I loved the FN, it felt much better made than the Colts.

my 2¢

I thought that the military had stopped using Colt as a supplier??
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Colt must be buying free drinks and throwing golf junkets. As long as the offiecers state side are happy the Army is happy. Colt finds out there is going to be competition and guess what we lower the price. In order to avoid competition. If I test drive four trucks there is no way in hell I'm buying the one that has 3 and ahalf more problems than the 3rd place finisher. But let remember its not the procurement guys money either.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
The example of brand Loyalty to Colt leads me to understand the Star Wars universe a little better.

Obviously, the company that made the empire's blasters were so confident in their ability to sell the weapons, they made them "clumsy and random" as Obiwan put it. Obviously, they couldn't hit jack-squat.
 
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