Great article on m4 and h&k 416


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Sky
March 8, 2012, 10:52 AM
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usas-m4-carbine-controversy-03289/

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usas-m4-carbine-controversy-03289/#complaints

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usas-m4-carbine-controversy-03289/#m4


“One thing I valued about being the weapons developer for Special Operations is that I could go to Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere with whatever weapons I wanted to carry. As soon as the H&K 416 was available, it got stuffed into my kit bag and, through test after test, it became my primary carry weapon as a long gun. I had already gotten the data from folks carrying it before me and had determined that it would be foolish to risk my life with a lesser system.”

Have we got any H&K 416 owners at THR? What are your thoughts?:scrutiny:

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Ranger30-06
March 8, 2012, 12:40 PM
It's very expensive from what I've seen... If we were to go for it, I have a feeling we would only be buying uppers to slap onto out pre-existing lowers.

I'm a SCAR fan though, and I really think that if we want to make the leap to a new weapon we need to:
A) Choose a new family of weapon (SCAR etc.) instead of constantly band-aiding an old one.
B) Up the round we shoot (.300 BLK, 6.8mm, etc.) if we are going to keep going with short barreled carbines.
C) Open the machine gun registry so all of these M4s can be sold to pay off whatever new weapon we want to go with.

Keep in mind, the M16's aren't the ones having problems; the little M4's are. I am a huge proponent of a more powerful, more reliable carbine. The problem is reliability and power both = weight and more money.

Chindo18Z
March 8, 2012, 01:41 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=600758&page=2

My response from a previous thread on the same topic (June 2011):

Chindo18Z: Yeah, I'm familiar with the good Major (MAJ Chaz Bowser) and his all-over-the-internet "buy" HK quote. He is a fine American whose words were scooped up and misappropriated by HK fan-boys everywhere. It was further shamelessly spread everywhere by the "Oh No...The Sky is Falling...We Need to Buy HK" Capital Hill/Gannett Publishing/HK mafia.

Oft repeated HK shill sales article from one of the trade rags (quotes Bowser):

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...roversy-03289/

The original quote from a 2007 editorial article he wrote into Army Times:

http://www.armytimes.com/community/o..._bowser070319/

What you seem to miss is context. Bowser was only indirectly referencing the 416 in a discussion of the need for even acquiring a new long gun for the force. The fact that he had access to grab a 416 when going out the door on downrange TDY business trips was a function of where he worked...not whether the gun worked. It was available. He was exercising simple personal preference. We all do that from time to time. I routinely carry an issue 1911A1 on downrange deployments because I can. I do so in preference to other available pistols and calibers.

For purposes of that article, Bowser was actually advocating the SCAR (a better weapon than the 416 BTW). I have 416s in my unit and can carry one if I so choose. I don't. I won't give up the distance fight and I don't feel like carrying the extra weapon weight when I'm already running a quad-rail, vertical grip, offset Surefire, ATPIAL-15, and an Elcan Specter DR. I'm also not one of those who chugs the piston Kool-aid. I've had years of practical experience to figure it out...and I have...long before DI vs. Gas Piston was a discussion point on internet forums.

Those who have worked military procurement & programs of record under a Service or Unified Combatant Command Headquarters can appreciate where a transient O-4 falls in the food chain. With all due respect to MAJ Bowser...who is a competent guy...that place is not very high. As I recall, he came to us as an ARDEC guy from Picatinney. I also recall that he worked at USASOC, not SOCOM. And I seem to recall that he is a Logistician...not a long tab guy. Not an Operator. Not a Gunfighter. And yes...I knew his (then) boss...as well as the (then) Small Arms Program Director at NSWC Crane. If you understand how USSOCOM procures weaponry, you will realize that Crane is our belly button for weapons not already provided to the entire conventional Army. SOF unique items come out of Crane.

Not to knock MAJ Bowser (who I believe is a competent cat), but if you met some of the other folks assigned weapon program managerial duties, you'd be shocked at their lack of subject matter expertise. The last time the Ft Benning Infantry Center was playing the "Let's Evaluate a New Rifle Game", I spent an interesting couple of hours on the phone with their rifle program manager, amplifying some e-mail feedback I had previously sent them. The breadth of his ignorance concerning 5.56 ballistics and combat rifles was breathtaking. It was like talking to a novice shooter on this board. And that guy was charged with putting together a proposed rifle equip program for the entire conventional Army! He was a great Soldier and a fine young officer, but didn't know poop about rifles.

That is typical of staffing for large military organizations. We assign branch qualified personnel to brand new staff jobs despite their having no hands-on experience. It is simply expected that they are teachable and will pick up expertise (via OJT) about a given topic, produce Staff Studies & Decision Briefs, and then brief those deliverables to the decision making bosses.

MAJ Bowser's quote was nothing more than a personal opinion from someone who was working a staff directorate position for a year or so until his next logistics assignment or eventual promotion to O-5. I don't regard his opinion as to what constitutes a proper combat weapon as authoritative in the least.

The 416 achieved a certain cachet due to SFOD-D bringing it on board well over a decade ago. White SOF also adopted it in limited numbers and we continue to use them today. What we got was an overweight and not-so-accurate CQB weapon with crappy overweight (and over sized) magazines. AWG wanted to be cool kids too, and while they were casting about for an actual reason to exist, they used their shekels to buy 416s (look...me too! Just like CAG!). They later cried crocodile tears when the funding stream & support mechanism for future maintenance didn't carry over to their eventual Big Army charter... and they had to give the rifles up.

In any event, today there are BETTER piston guns than HK's offering and we buy those instead.


Quote:
HKs are extremely popular for operators who actually get to choose their weapons instead of bureaucrats as in standard weapon selection.

Actually...not so much. And in actuality, not that many organizations get to choose their weapons in the way you are thinking. It's not Neo and the virtual arms room of the Matrix in the real world of Special Operations. Not even for Delta, SAS, GROM, KSK, FBI HRT, etc. Money & politics always influence weapon choices for government funded organizations.

Just not that many credible 1st World forces carry HKs. I don't count local and regional LEOs as "Operators". National SOF/CT Forces only. The Germans use them (for obvious financial reasons) and they equip most of the military and police in that country. UK SOF is another exception and that primarily because BAE owns HK; if you don't think bureaucracy was at play in their choice of pistols, you are dreaming. In any event, the SAS uses an M4 variant for primaries. In fact, among Tier One Units across the planet, AR platforms & Glock pistols generally rule. Everyone loves a winner.

On the other hand, lots of 2nd & 3rd world units (Arab forces in particular) continue to have a love affair with the 9mm MP-5 (and its Turkish clones) 'cause they've seen them in the movies (they look cool) and the MP-5 doesn't require actual rifle marksmanship skills to employ effectively. They are mostly used as a short range PSD status item, delivering negligible recoil. No one has to lose face demonstrating misses with a rifle round at distance...it's a crowd pleasing recipe among certain cultures.

Nevertheless, the MP-5 is still just about the best choice out there for an accurate, proven , and suppressed SMG. Of course, this is partially due to its having better than average rifle-type sights for an SMG, but primarily because it fires from a closed bolt. However, most pros have discarded the SMG concept like yesteryear's bell-bottoms.

Anyway, that concludes my hate-on for the HK 416 Uber-Myth. Lest you think that I detest HK products, I've owned several over the years and consider the USP series to be superb weapons. That is why I own a USP/C today. The 416 IS a very good weapon within the limitations of its envelope. And I'd love to own an MP-5SD 'cause it's so amazingly quiet on full auto and gives good hits at distance. That's probably never in the cards, so I'll just use the issue ones at my unit.

----------------------------

Chindo18Z: The 416 is a quality build but vastly over weight and not especially accurate. It provides a piston system of dubious advantage unless you happen to be running a 10.5" barrel or a can on a full-auto weapon.

The Teutons could over-engineer a toothpick.

Blakenzy
March 8, 2012, 02:15 PM
C) Open the machine gun registry so all of these M4s can be sold to pay off whatever new weapon we want to go with.

Fat chance. They are more likely to go into the hands of Al-Q type rebels fighting Assad than into US Citizens' homes.

Ranger30-06
March 8, 2012, 02:19 PM
Fat chance. They are more likely to go into the hands of Al-Q type rebels fighting Assad than into US Citizens' homes.
And we keep voting in the retarded people that think this is somehow smart. :rolleyes:

Seriously. Open the registry, sell em off for $700 a piece. Sell 10,000 of them and you've got $7,000,000 towards new guns and accessories. How is this not smart for our military?

Now figure the military gets brand new M4's for ~$400 a piece, that would mean selling 10,000 of them could buy 17.5K more NEW M4A1's. *sigh...*

Sky
March 8, 2012, 04:20 PM
Chindo18Z: The 416 is a quality build but vastly over weight and not especially accurate. It provides a piston system of dubious advantage unless you happen to be running a 10.5" barrel or a can on a full-auto weapon

Great write up Chindo18z and thanks for the knowledge.

JustinJ
March 8, 2012, 04:28 PM
There are knowledgeable writers and people considered "experts" from experience on both sides of the debate as far as i can tell. My opinion is that the carrier of a piston gun should ultimately ride on rails as opposed to a round channel. I do believe a piston, in principle, offers more reliability than DI. Its hard to ignore that nobody is trying to design a new DI gun but the whole carrier tilt issue and fact that an AR upper limits the size of a piston rod makes me have doubts about retrofits. I can't figure out why nobody has made a totally new upper for the AR that addresses these issues. It would of course not be able to use an AR carrier.

henschman
March 8, 2012, 05:20 PM
If we really wanted the very best, we should be looking for a design that uses a totally different magazine. The straight mag well does not help the M-4's reliability. Also, when looking at intermediate caliber rounds, it would mean we wouldn't be limited to ones that are shoehorned into a 5.56mm-length mag.

Unfortunately all the current designs for an M4 replacement use STANAG mags.

Sam Cade
March 8, 2012, 06:04 PM
Now figure the military gets brand new M4's for ~$400 a piece, that would mean selling 10,000 of them could buy 17.5K more NEW M4A1's. *sigh...*

They don't get the M4 for for $400.

At the time of the final sole-source delivery order in December 2010, Coltís price was just over $1,221 per fully-equipped carbine
(W52H09-07-D-0425-BR02)

Bare rifle was over $800.

Ranger30-06
March 8, 2012, 07:06 PM
They don't get the M4 for for $400.



Bare rifle was over $800.
Wow really? Okay my aunts ex-husband had told me about 6 years ago that they were getting them for around $400... Just curious but what are they coming with "fully equipped"?

Okay well even then, adjust the prices to $1,100 a piece and you still have a good plan...

Sam Cade
March 8, 2012, 07:37 PM
Just curious but what are they coming with "fully equipped"?

RAS, rear sight, and 2 magazines I think.

W52H09-07-D-0425-XXXX <--- Colt. The last 4 digits are who its for IIRC.

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