Let's say the M16/M4 is replaced tomorrow


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.cheese.
June 18, 2007, 07:06 PM
... by something manufactured by say, FN (which is looking possible).

What do you think will happen to Colt considering they've been putting all their eggs in the military basket and cutting down more and more on sales to the civilian sector?

Just curious.

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cheygriz
June 18, 2007, 07:11 PM
First, it isn't going to happen. You can forget it.

Second, the M-16 and M4 are ALREADY being manufactured by FN at factories in the U.S.

Colt is history, and unless the management changes their attitude, and joins our side, Ruger is next.

.cheese.
June 18, 2007, 08:26 PM
No, that's not what I'm asking. lol

I'm asking, do you think Colt would be badly hurt financially by such a thing hypothetically happening, or are they diversified enough to not be shut down by such a move? In other words, how much hedging is going on at Colt?

I'm thinking they're putting way too many eggs in one basket.

Nomad, 2nd
June 18, 2007, 08:27 PM
Colt= Next Winchester.

.cheese.
June 18, 2007, 08:31 PM
I don't know the history of Winchester. Could you elaborate?

buck00
June 18, 2007, 08:56 PM
Just playing along, taking lobbying, back-door deals, pork-barrel politics, and the military's basic stubborness to change out of the equation.... I would think Colt would want to start selling semi-auto AR's to the public in a hurry.

JLelli
June 18, 2007, 09:02 PM
I don't know the history of Winchester. Could you elaborate?

Winchester, for all intents and purposes, is out of business. The name lives on, but as a brand for guns made in Belgium or Japan. The plant in New Haven shut down a year ago.

.cheese.
June 18, 2007, 09:15 PM
I'm surprised this got moved to Rifle Country. It's more about business tactics and business models than actual guns. But ok.

LoadedDrum
June 18, 2007, 09:25 PM
I thought Colt still had the M4 contract. I hope that FN gets it however.

Outlaws
June 18, 2007, 09:27 PM
Colt= Next Winchester.

Colt already is. They are still made here, but Colt is just a name owned by a multinational holdings group milking government contracts. There is nothing "American" about buying Colt....literally. Besides, what is the last firearm they had anything to do with designing? Beats me. There was nothing new even with something like the Pythons or the Police Positives. Standard DA revolvers. M16/M4, just a licensed design. No intelligence or creativity there. 1911? That was almost 100 years ago and they didn't even design that either. Oh, the SAA. Gee thanks. So we are going on what, 135 years and nothing new? Sounds like Winchester.

As for what would happen to Colt if they lost their contract, they would probably attempt to re-enter the civilian market. Hopefully they would fail miserably and go belly up and the name and plant would be sold to someone who gave a flying ****.

(I realize I probably grossly overstate that whole thing, but seriously, its been a long time since they released anything new. Its not like they have the ATF on their backs. They can build anything they want.)

Number 6
June 18, 2007, 10:57 PM
If Colt lost their military contract I would imagine they would probably start marketing to the civilian market. I remember hearing somewhere that since the state of Connecticut has part ownership of Colt, they would have a say in who they market to. Whether that is true or not I do not know, but if it is true then that might prevent them from marketing to the civilian market.

It could also be the case that Colt's management would try to ignore the civilian market, and still attempt to market only to the military. There are plenty of companies that have tried that but unless they get some international sales, they would not be able to survive in their current iteration.

Onmilo
June 18, 2007, 11:32 PM
Colt produces material on a global sale.
Loss of US military sales would hurt but it wouldn't kill the Company.

HorseSoldier
June 18, 2007, 11:43 PM
If, say, there was some army-wide or military-wide decision to adopt the FN SCAR in FY 08 (very, very unlikely, even if it gets rave reviews from SOCOM users), I'd look at Colt still managing to wrangle some portion of the contract or otherwise get a piece of the pie through politicking and lobbying.

Alphazulu6
June 18, 2007, 11:45 PM
I can 100% guarantee you that it is not going to happen for a long while. The Army is still getting its contract for M4s filled! If they passed the contract today we would see them in use by the regular Army in 2020...maybe, considering that the M4s were issued almost 10 years ago and 70% of the Army is still in line to be filled (my unit included).
:cuss:

Quiet
June 19, 2007, 12:26 AM
The US Military, in general (minus SOF) is married to the M16/M4 system and will not be changing until something that is significantly more advanced comes along.

Colt and FN both have contracts to provide the M16/M4 system to the US Military.

That said, US SOCOM is currently taking in it's first shipment of the FN SCAR weapon system. The SCAR-L (Mk16) will be replacing the M-4A1, the Mk 12 Mod 0/1 SPR and the Mk18 CQBR. The SCAR-H (Mk 17) will be replacing the M-14 and the SR-25 (Mk 11).

MarshallDodge
June 19, 2007, 12:40 AM
My friend in the Air Force is a firearms instructor and said that their M4's are made by FN.

HorseSoldier
June 19, 2007, 09:23 AM
My friend in the Air Force is a firearms instructor and said that their M4's are made by FN.

Colt has the M4 contract, but the Air Force apparently builds a lot of their own weapons in house from various components (at least from what I've seen of their M4s), so I don't doubt they have some with FN rollmarked lower receivers.

ar10
June 19, 2007, 09:32 AM
If I were the military decision maker, I wouldn't use any of them. I'd get AK's. They're cheap, dependable, and you can use the BG's ammo when you run out.

Jeremy2171
June 19, 2007, 02:54 PM
If I were the military decision maker, I wouldn't use any of them. I'd get AK's. They're cheap, dependable, and you can use the BG's ammo when you run out.

Good thing you aren't in charge.....apparently you've never seen Iraqi ammo....you want to see an "unjammable" AK jam???? Shoot some Iraqi ammo in it.... LOL

M16 is fine and works like a charm...don't believe all the Kool-Aid drinkers that say it sucks....

HorseSoldier
June 19, 2007, 03:18 PM
If I were the military decision maker, I wouldn't use any of them. I'd get AK's. They're cheap, dependable, and you can use the BG's ammo when you run out.

And as an added bonus, all the controls are in the wrong place for rapid handling, reloading, etc. Add in the short sight radius and it's the finest stab at mediocrity the firearms world has seen in a long time.

marksman13
June 19, 2007, 03:46 PM
Dammit, Horsesoldier, you have a way with words. I am inclined to agree with you that AKs are poorly designed in the ergos department, and accuracy is more than questionable past 200 yards, but they aren't so bad for clearing a house if you don't mind moving with the safety off...which I do mind.(firendly jab at Nomad, 2nd intended:neener::D)

I don't know that Colt will ever go belly up as long as our firearms laws stay the way they are. There are still people out there who won't buy a 1911 or M16 that doesn't have a pony on it's side. Losing a contract with the US military would hurt them, but I don't think it would be a mortal wound.

TX1911fan
June 19, 2007, 03:49 PM
Jeremy and Horse, thank you very much. It drives me crazy that anytime there is an M16/AR-15 discussion, we have to hear "just get an AK."

Langenator
June 19, 2007, 04:52 PM
As far as 'new' stuff from Colt goes, Colt did submit what was basically a gas piston AR system, with a monolithic rail platform type upper, for it's entry into the SCAR competition that FN ultimately won.

Although this design was mostly an upgrade of something they started playing with about 40 years ago.

doubleg
June 19, 2007, 06:19 PM
IMO what the military should do is..

Dump the .223 gas operated AR. Then they could dump all of the surplus .223 uppers into the CMP and civilians would buy them and the mags up like hot cakes. That would get rid of the "But theres no money" :rolleyes: excuse used by politicians.

Then I would replace them all with 6.8 SPC piston driven uppers mounted on the old receivers. Maybe even give the contract to Colt to keep the money in America. This would give the grunts the reliability and extra power they have been whining for. :cool:

Jeremy2171
June 19, 2007, 06:35 PM
"who's whining?"

No one around here.......

mister_wilburn
June 19, 2007, 06:37 PM
Seems like Colt would have to start Civilan sales pretty quick. but would all those back ordered m-4's which military units are waiting for still be shipped? if so, colt would have a bit of breathing room. Unfortunately, they have had their hands in the gov'ts pockets for long enough they forgot that on the civilian front they aren't making any friends. Whats the last rifle they produced for the civ. market? You can still get a revolver or even a nice 1911, but they aint cheap and Ill put my money elsewhere. Doubt i help colt out of their hole if they bottom up tomorrow (all hypothetical of course)

Curare
June 19, 2007, 10:18 PM
The M4 and its derivatives will be around as long as we are fielding 5.56mm. The flexibility of the platform will insure its (and Colt's) existence for the next 20+ years. It will be the B-52 of small arms despite its numerous failings.

Its replacement will be much more advanced, and unlike anything we have today. Think caseless ammo, etc.

I do not see the SCAR ever becomming general issue.

Oh, yeah--just get AKs.

I LIKE IT!
June 19, 2007, 10:27 PM
Thats funny HAHAHAH:neener:

Not gonna happen. I can't see another viable option.

The M16 may not be perfect but it's closer to it than most euro-trash.
Why is both HK and FN producing M16 variants?

Because there inventors can't get around the M16's brilliance, only improve on it.

Eugene was a genius, the M16 is the B-52 of Guns keeps on bringin the pain.:evil:

My .02:cool:

steveracer
June 19, 2007, 10:34 PM
Colt would re-tool and build whatever the contract called for. They already have what they need to make pistol uppers, sniper variants, .30 cals, watever. They are prepared to make the shift, and could have it up and running in no time. It would HELP Colt, simply because we already have such a huge amount of money invested in the company.
Steve

Outlaws
June 19, 2007, 10:43 PM
Why is both HK and FN producing M16 variants?

I am not familiar with HK building anything here and selling to the armed forces, but FN can smell the money in the air that our government just tosses around like its going out of style.

The M16 may not be perfect but it's closer to it than most euro-trash.
..........
Because there inventors can't get around the M16's brilliance, only improve on it.

Eugene was a genius
Don't forget Colt had nothing to do with any of it.

.cheese.
June 19, 2007, 11:16 PM
Outlaws: HK416 and HK417

HK416 is in testing right now in Iraq.

Dr.Rob
June 19, 2007, 11:36 PM
When Colt lost the M16 contract to FN, it hurt. They spent a lot of money lobbying, built a new plant and side stepped regular procurement to deliver the M4 to Special units like SF, Delta and the Rangers. Thing is now the M4 is 'in demand'.

If it happens again, Colt may indeed go belly up, but I hope not.

Sunray
June 19, 2007, 11:55 PM
"...do you think Colt would be badly hurt financially..." Colt Firearms could close tomorrow and not be noticed by Colt Industries. Colt Firearms is a very small part of the parent company.

BigG
June 20, 2007, 07:10 AM
A lot of hate in this thread. :rolleyes:

kennyboy
June 20, 2007, 01:06 PM
I think Colt will be hurt, but not too badly. They still sell a lot of ARs to Law Enforcement. Also, civilians will buy them up as they will be more readily available and probably cheaper than they are now. Colt has a reputable name and, therefore, it will be a cold day in hell before they are in trouble.

kcmarine
June 20, 2007, 01:12 PM
If the M16 were replaced tomorrow, yes, Colt would have a serious problem.

Will the M16 be replaced tomorrow? NO.

I doubt it will be replaced in the next 10 years.

Dr.Rob
June 20, 2007, 01:49 PM
Doesn't matter WHO designs a firearm these days, doesn't mean they will produce it.. that's not how procurement works.

Colt has drwan the ire of many a gunnie... sometimes for the right reason and sometimes for the wrong.

I don't think anyone really wants to see America's most famous gunmaker go under.

RockyMtnTactical
June 20, 2007, 02:32 PM
I don't think Colt will lose the contract tomorrow. IIRC, they are promised the M4 contract until 2011 when the military can seek competitive procurement.

That said, if they lost the military contract, they still have a very strong civilian and LE following. They would come out just fine IMO.

Eightball
June 21, 2007, 12:13 AM
IMO, Colt would cease to exist. Time for them to face the music after alienating the public, and thinking that .gov-style sales can be relied upon to keep a company afloat. I mean, who does Colt think they are, that "Special Weapons" company? :rolleyes:

.cheese.
June 21, 2007, 12:59 AM
Colt Firearms is a very small part of the parent company.

So what else are they invested in? This is really getting to the heart of what I was wondering.

Danus ex
June 21, 2007, 01:44 AM
Colt acts primarily as a manufacturing company, not a design company. Think of Colt as a small arms manufacturing division of US military, a sort of privately-owned Soviet-era Tula or Izhevsk. Colt would, in all likelihood, negotiate their own piece of whatever manufacturing was needed for this hypothetical new rifle.

It's not a bad business model. I'm no businessman, but I watched my grandpa's manufacturing company circle the toilet bowl as it tried to do both design and manufacturing when it had no lasting design talent (early successes caused them to invest too much in design). As people have mentioned several times, design (particularly new design) hasn't been a Colt strength for many years and they know it.

Boanerges57
June 21, 2007, 07:07 AM
The only reason to replace the m16/m4 is the weak cartridge. 5.56x45 provides excellent accuracy and allows for a rifleman to carry a decent amount of ammo by weight. It makes very small holes and doesnt penetrate intermediate barriers very well. The direct gas impingement does make for interesting problems in the desert (have you ever seen sand melted and ground into the receiver?). The low reciprocating mass of the system lowers recoil. I love how much cleaner a gas piston system is; I carry an M249 SAW and fire many more rounds in an engagement than any of the riflemen, but I would rather clean a saw any day of the week. But the main problem with the m16/m4 in a military situation is while it is good at putting rounds downrange accurately it isnt good at killing. Three round burst was created because full auto wasted ammo and three rounds was optimum for ensuring that a wounded enemy would go into shock. Have you ever tried to hit a moving target multiple times at 100 meters in only one second? We need a better round, and could perhaps acheive this with a simpler supply chain, but it would take too much change. 6.8 SPC certainly puts a bigger hole in things, but 6.5 Grendel (.26 Grendel) has many ballistic and design advantages over that as well as providing superior long range terminal ballistics compared to the current 7.62 NATO. Putting a gas piston on an m16 will not make it handel sand or muck any better, the tolerances of the weapon are too tight. The AK has loose tolerances because it is designed to survive poor treatment and poor conditions. Yes it would be nice if our rifles were a little cleaner after firing and didnt recycle very hot gases, unburnt powder residue and carbon back into the chamber, but it would also be nice if I could trust my rounds put a man down at 100m. I carry a shotgun for close in work because I dont have time to make sure my target is going down before I turn to face the next enemy. The M16 is a fine concept, it has stood up for 40 years and served our nation well, but it was only accepted because of military stubborness, political frustration and international posturing. The british .260 round was far superior to our .223 in many ways.
Stoner was a genius, Kalashnikov was too, neither weapon is perfect and unfortunately both suffer from concessions and restrictions required by government and forced upon the designers. Unfortunately the men who make such big decisions are usually stubbornly resistant to change, unqualified to make an informed decision or just corrupt.

Jeremy2171
June 21, 2007, 07:36 AM
Melted sand ground into the receiver? Never seen that.

You want to put a man down at 100m you have to hit him in the kill box..doesn't matter what caliber you use.

All of the guys I hit went down and stayed down.

Onmilo
June 21, 2007, 10:38 AM
Hey Jeremy, say it ain't so,,,
When the shyt is flying all around,,,
It doesn't matter what caliber your rifle is,,,,
It isn't big enough!!!!!!:eek:

Bartholomew Roberts
June 21, 2007, 10:41 AM
The direct gas impingement does make for interesting problems in the desert (have you ever seen sand melted and ground into the receiver?).

No, and I doubt anyone has since the melting point for sand is 1,710C (http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/SA/sand.html). Considering that the M16 will burst its barrel at barrel temperatures of 1,750F, I feel confident in stating that nobody has ever had melted sand in their receiver.

Even sand mixes of specific temperatures used for low-temperature glass molding have melting points in the 900F range - which is about 300F past cook-off temperature of the barrel and well into "the barrel is glowing red - is that bad?" land. To get the actual receiver into the 900F temp range would mean that the barrel was much hotter than 900F and probably had already been destroyed.

SWMAN
June 21, 2007, 10:54 AM
Colt divided itself into two distinct companies, Colt Manufacturing (civilian) and Colt Defense (military & law enforcement) back in 2005. While operations for both are in the same area, both manufacturing material and operations are physically separate. Finances are separate as well, as I understand it. If one side goes down, the other shouldn't be affected.

BigG
June 21, 2007, 11:02 AM
Don't forget Colt had nothing to do with any of it.

Colt had more to do with it than you think.

Boanerges57
June 21, 2007, 12:30 PM
wow! sorry. I guess it was some other material that melted or maybe some kind of residual film. It was hard to get off. I was simply trying to make a point that it can get quite hot in there, I've never measured it, maybe when I get back stateside ill get my IR thermo out and find out, I do realize that the gas tube will blow when the weapons is too hot, I've seen the gas tube glow a few times now.
I did not mean to upset anyone so much. If it helps I dont think AKs are the best weapon ever either, but that will probably get someone else mad. The M16 is awesome, keep it clean and it is reliable, but get it dirty and it fails before an AK would. The AK is less accurate than the M16 but also relatively soldier proof. I would still rather have an M16. I prefer accuracy, I would simply like to change the caliber. I don't mind direct gas, but I also love my long gas piston M249. I would like to point out that I was writing my first post while back at my base and on codeine for an injury, I do apologize for any inaccuracies in it.
As far as guys getting hit and staying down Ive only seen a few single shot fatalities in the 100-200m range, although most engagements are much closer. I carry a SAW and a shotgun, so I'm more of a one squeeze one kill kind of guy out here. Id much rather be at home shooting targets but somebody has to do this before our country turns into the international equivalent of Barney and we try reasoning with everyone so we can all get along.

UKarmourer
June 21, 2007, 03:12 PM
5.56mm, with a gas piston?

try the New improved L85A2!!
No really, I hated the A1 version of the 'SA80' but the A2 its quite simply, fantastic, short, accurate, very well balanced ( I hated the M16A2 I fired)

and from my new point of view, easy to work on

spartacus2002
June 21, 2007, 10:35 PM
I'd like to see it replaced with these :evil:


http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/smith/rifle/smithrifle05.jpg

Jeremy2171
June 22, 2007, 02:52 AM
Good lord no....those thing aren't that accurate and the work it takes to keep them shooting straing then on top of that teaching some of the "weaker" military personel to shoot one when they have a hard enough time with the recoil on an M16.

HorseSoldier
June 22, 2007, 07:35 PM
HK416 is in testing right now in Iraq.


I wouldn't really say it is being "tested." It has been adopted by some SOF units, for a number of reasons (which are a bit more complicated than "direct gas systems are bad, mmmm-kay" despite what the internet claims). It's unlikely to ever be general issue to the Big Army and other components of the US military outside SOCOM.

HorseSoldier
June 22, 2007, 07:42 PM
I'd like to see it replaced with these




Poor control placement (almost as bad as an AK). We'd be better off with FALs or SCAR-Hs if we were to go back to 7.62x51 for general issue (which would be a bad idea in its own right).

Boanerges57
June 23, 2007, 01:58 AM
well I just read the army times story about the "new lighter weapons" we are supposedly getting in a couple of years. It looks like the army spent a crapload of money to figure out that there are "issues" with caseless ammo... didnt H&K already figure that out in the early 90s?

UKarmourer - unfortunately I am left handed and therefore quite incompatible with the L85A1. If I were to get a bull pup 5.56 I would buy an FN F2000.
I have fired an SA80 before but I really didnt like it myself.

I did find out more about what I had assumed was sand in a reciever. This morning when I got back in I went and spoke with our unit armorer. He believes the sesidue was something to do with a copper build up on the gas port seeing as how my buddy is one of those guys who doesnt like cleaning his weapon.

On topic note: The US government plans to equip Iraqs military and police forces with M16s and M4s so I think Colt will be okay for a little while at least.
Also, didnt we just buy a large number of new AKs for them from russia?

Jeremy2171
June 23, 2007, 04:10 AM
The only build up I've seen in and M16 is on the bolt "tail". The rest of the fouling wipes off rather easy. Its the "tail" and inside the carrier that need cleaning the most. Everything else is a quick wipedown and you are good to go.

HorseSoldier
June 23, 2007, 11:03 AM
well I just read the army times story about the "new lighter weapons" we are supposedly getting in a couple of years. It looks like the army spent a crapload of money to figure out that there are "issues" with caseless ammo... didnt H&K already figure that out in the early 90s?


Supposedly just the opposite. The caseless G11 was set to be adopted by the Bundeswehr starting in the early 1990s, but German reunification (and the mess that was East Germany) and the end of the Cold War led to the idea being scratched.

I've always been curious as to what would have been the findings with the G11 provided as general issue to a large number of troops, but supposedly it and its ammo were ready for prime time.

Tony Williams
June 25, 2007, 05:17 AM
Dynamit Nobel did a lot of work on producing a solid propellant for the HK G11 which would not cook off in normal use - by all accounts, successfully.

ATK has bought the right to use the Dynamit Nobel technology in developing their own caseless 5.56mm round for the current US Lightweight Small Arms Technologies programme.

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