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Overrated???

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by USMCDK, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have been thinking for a while about the (M-16) style weapon systems out there and can't help but wonder if it has become an overrated weapon design?

    Please don't misunderstand. I have noticed in more and more Magazines, out there, have this weapon system on their covers and article after article about how wonderful it is. Sure it's easy to build, easy to break down, and clean! Versatile??? you betcha, but here's where I get all bothered by this...

    I served in the USMC and learned this weapon system in and out. The more and more we trained with it, the more we realized what a POS is was. The old-timers (as the call themselves in the corps i.e. vietnam vets) would always tell us how the M-14 was the greatest rifle they had ever fired along with some that would claim the M1A1 was king.

    There are so many other rifles out there that shoot farther and more accurate than any m16 varient out there of even the same calibers. So why is it that the M-16 types are revered as the end-all-be-all weapon now-a-days???

    I just can't help but FEEL that this weapon system is just overrated.

    So what do you guys have to say about this??? (I mean the weapon system not my opinion)

    Sincerely and respectfully,

    USMCDK
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  2. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    it throws lead down range and doesn't jam what more do you want?
    for a combat weapon it works
    5.56 could be a slightly better round but nothing is going to give you one round stops every time
    m14 is not that brilliant weapon too light for automatic fire too heavy as a standard rifle if you fighting at normal combat ranges getting in and out of armour etc.
    not really designed to mount optics.
    cause there is better stuff out there. What there isn't is a rifle that is going to be a leap like from the Springfield to the Granard
     
  3. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Someone, I think it was Bartholomew Roberts, noted that all the new weapons systems on the market - SIG 556, Robinson XCR, FN SCAR, Magpul Masada/Bushmaster ACR - have copied the AR-15 in terms of ergonomics & control layout. Most also break down very similarly to an AR-15.

    Since you work for SIG perhaps you could tell us why SIG chose to do this on the 556. The 556 safety, mag catch, and bolt catch are all positioned almost exactly the same as on an AR-15. The 556' takedown pins are in the same locations and work identically to those on an AR. Heck, it even uses STANAG magazines.

    You see, for all the complaints about the AR platform, there's still much good. Most of the early complaints have also been addressed throughout the history of the rifle. Magpul's anti tilt followers are a cheap fix for improved magazine reliability. M4 cut feed ramps have improved reliability during rapid/sustained fire. Piston operated drop on uppers are available if you must have one. Faster twist bbls. have allowed the use of heavier bullets. The weapon's modularity and huge aftermarket mean you can further tweak the ergos to perfectly fit the shooter. Last, with just some simple care the rifles work quite reliably.

    In conclusion, no, the M-16 / AR-15 rifles are not over rated. They're good rifles, and good rifles get lots of press.
     
  4. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

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    Well I am not really allowed to tell you much about Sig weapons to be honest, it can get me fired. But you are right they did mimic the M-16 for what reason I couldn't tell you even if I was allowed to cause I just don't know.

    You do speak a volume of truth ugaarguy but I still can't help think that it has become an overrated weapon system. There's plenty of weapon systems that out shoot it caliber for caliber.

    I guess what I am trying to ask is...

    What is everyones opinion about the M-16 design and what is it so darn popular compared to other weapon designs and functions out there???
     
  5. poorfolks

    poorfolks Member

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    i believe that the problem (?) has to do with many factors, so there goes the chance of an easy answer. i personally like the rifle platform because i carried it through two tours in iraq. i would not purchase an exact copy of the model i used but the after market has refined the platform to a very functional rife with many uses. i have a varmint style ar and it is great for its intended use, it is also a twenty four inch tube and full stock.
    the fact that it is a true black rifle has an appeal to a younger generation, who grew up watching r rated movies and lacking parental guidance. most people just want it to look cool and have no idea how to deploy the weapon the way it is intended. the way the media, all forms of it, portrays the rifle also has a huge impact. if they started pushing any other weapon the way the ar platform is pushed on the public there would be a shift in interest. look at the glock, the media talked about the pistol until it was a house hold name. soon the ar platform push will go the way of joe camel and crystal pepsi, some will look back and think, others will laugh. what the heck, just my two cents.
     
  6. johnnyonthespot

    johnnyonthespot Member

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    i have read at least a dozen testimonials by military men complaining about the m16 and .223 platforms.

    I never hear anyone complain about a .30-06 round...

    hrm?
     
  7. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    I don't have any problems with the guns themselves. They are largely disproving the myth that a semi-auto can't be as accurate as a bolt. They are not flawless but they have proven themselves for over 40 years. They need not be compared to the M-14. The real genius of the design was it's modularity. I can't think of any other gun that can go from 16'' barrel CQC gun to 24" prairie dog smoker. It's versatility will keep it the U.S. service rifle for years to come IMO.

    I do however get a little disgusted at every other thread being about AR's and AK's on this and other forums. I remember just a few years ago if you wanted to read about "rifles" there were plenty of threads about the classic bolt actions that I'm into. I haven't read a thread about a pre-64 model 70 in months. 3 or 4 years ago they were pretty common. Nothing against the AR's. I wouldn't like to read about any type of rifle that much. Just my .02
     
  8. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Perhaps it is similar to the 350 Chevy engine... maybe not the best choice for every application, but a good choice for most. Parts and accessories are readily available. If properly maintained will do the job for a long time.

    I just don't like the AR platform.
     
  9. Ash

    Ash Member

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    What I don't get, really, is that it seems if you clamp on a new thing, the rifle suddenly becomes a whole new model in the magazines. Add one thing or the other and, suddenly, we aren't even talking about the AR-15 platform. It reminds me of the gag-photo of the guy with everything attached to his tacticool AR, including the swiss-army knife.

    I like the platform just fine, but changing out the handguards does not suddenly make it a new model. This may not really be directed to folks here, just an observation I have made.

    Ash
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If over rated, then what is so much better? If something was, it would be everywhere like the AR is.

    An AR is a very versatile rifle, with a lot going for it. I am not an AR nut like some, although I do like them and have a couple, but they are undeniably an excellent platform.
     
  11. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Do any of you guys remember a few years ago when the threads were more about sporting rifles. It seems like anymore if there is a thread about sporting rifles it's often someone looking for the cheapest whatever. Nobody seems interested in the medium to high end guns. A lot of people want cheap guns or tactical guns. Is it just me or has the market made a drastic change in the past few years? Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread. This has just kinda been naggin at me a while.
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    People have bought cheap hunting rifles for a long time. Lots are rusting in basements. Now and then somebody dies and you get to see what sort of crap people used to buy, when the family goes through his old stuff.

    The guns you see at gun shows are only the ones WORTH reselling...

    And yes, there are some old sleepers, too, but man, there's been a lot of junk out there.
     
  13. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Really? I can think of a few bolt guns that can outshoot an AR; but I cannot think of a single semi-automatic rifle and certainly not a 5.56 model. Which rifles did you have in mind?

    If anything, I would say the M16 series is underrated. During the recent sand tests, the M4 fired almost three times its basic load of ammo in a raging sand storm without cleaning and repeated this ten times while functioning at better than 98% and most people considered this a horrible failure.

    As already noted, the ergos and modularity are top notch and set the standard for the rest of the market. From my perspective, you have a well-proven, infinitely-tested rifle that is tops in ergos, modularity and accuracy and while not tops in reliability, is certainly way up there in reliability.

    Really? In what ways did you find it not meeting your expectations? My experience has been the opposite. The more I train with the AR, the more I appreciate it compared to other rifles. What kind of training did you do with it in the military?

    Well, an M1A1 would be an Abrams tank, not a rifle. So you can certainly make the argument it is the king compared to any rifle.
     
  14. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    What is the AR, really? How do you define it?

    All you have to do is look through a catalog or two and it becomes clear that the only thing that makes an AR an AR is the stripped lower receiver. Everything else, and I mean everything else can be had from multiple vendors in many configurations and sometimes with radically different engineering. Hell, now you can even get lowers that are quite different from a standard one.

    How can you call something "overrated" or "underrated" or anything else, when it has little definition except for certain standard dimensions? Is the Picatinny Rail overrated? Is the 1" scope overrated? How about sling swivel studs?
     
  15. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    Speaking of accuracy, are we talking about your run-of-the-mill fielded M16, or some custom built AR stateside that only eats hand-rolled rounds?
     
  16. fingerbanger

    fingerbanger Member

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    i agree the m16 ptatform would not be my first choice. dont know about the after markets though. they may have perfected it by now. didnt care for the m16a1 or a2 both jammed, so often in fact every soldier is taught the SPORTS drill not in the event it jams but i the likely hood that it will jam. and mine did often. i didn't find cleaning the thing to be easy either maybe our armorer was just to picky though. my 2 cents
     
  17. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    Many think the AR type is the end-all-be-all weapon - it is not - none are.
    The M16 platform is cheap and easy to make and there is alot of profit to be made on the civilian side of the market.
    This is why you see the platform on the cover of every gun magazine.
    Nothing wrong with that, but it does tend to blow the platforms capabilities out of proportion.


    I prefer the M14 platform and the 7.62mm NATO round, I also like the AK platform in 7.62 x 39.


    I recently purchased a Colt LE 6920 just to have one.

    Over rated? Maybe
    Useful? Defiantly
     
  18. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    A firearm design doesn't reach the level of popularity held by the AR without a large group of experienced shooters deciding they LIKE 'em. Yes, there are detracters of the .223 as a caliber. Yes, there are folks with tales of less-than-ideal performance. Yes, there will always be shooters who are loyal fans of other designs (M1A, HK 91, AK, FN FAL, etc.) making fine arguments to substantiate their alternative preferences. But the fact remains...that the sheer (over-whelming) number of AR manufacturers, parts builders, application options, and Championship Winning shooters that support & reinforce the AR's status makes the suggestion that the design is over-rated seem, uh, short-sighted.

    Success in the (free)marketplace is based strictly on value received. Billions of dollars worth of success hint that the AR is on top until the next rifle innovation competes for those same dollars. It hasn't happened yet.
     
  19. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    actually, I think the weapon system itself is fine, except for the gas tube, which has a fix, but was never implemented, the rate of fire, and the necessity of cleaning. But all 3 of these complaints are covered , in one way or another , by piston drive., if they wont' fix the gas prob with the ar.
    I also think the ar is overly accurate, and should be as to it's origional design, barely stable, and within 4 moa. Then if we were to switch to a 6. 45, the grendel, the creedmore, or any other round, where to only change would be to change all the ar's bbls, then this would take care of many other problems, mainly all having to do with the round itself.
     
  20. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    No, not really.
    There have been many successful items in the free marketplace that deliver less value than expected.
    The AR platform is riding a wave of popularity - get one and enjoy it.
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It is and it isn't. The AR 15 was rejected by both the Army and Marines, although as you might expect, a few people here and there liked it.

    MacNamara ordered it adopted -- primarily to show the generals he was in charge, and to boost the economy of the northeast -- where he and the Kennedys came from, and where the rifle was made.

    The M16s we were issued in Viet Nam were truly POSes. But since then, there have been literally thousands of changes to the rifle. It's a different rifle now, and the ammo is also much different.

    We have changed our tactics to adapt to the weapon, minimizing its weaknesses and capitalizing on its strong points.

    We have innumerable accessories, parts, tools and so on in stock -- it isn't just a rifle anymore, it's a complete system.

    And we have a huge institutional memory on the M16. Currently serving Sergeants Major cut their teeth on this rifle, know it inside out, and don't have experience with other rifles and tactics.
     
  22. 11c2v

    11c2v Member

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    There will always be those who hail the black rifle, and those who spurn it.

    1. I have served with the A2. I have sent many rounds down range. I have cleaned it in garrison. I have field stripped in the field. I have experienced few malfunctions with it throughout over 5 years in the infantry. Truth is, I bet most of the malfunction claims come cooks and clerks firing blanks.
    I find it likely some armorers won't/don't replace faulty extractors and ejectors causing a FEW weapons to jam more frequently than I have had or witnessed.
    Of course were are trained in SPORTS! We train for every possibility in combat. To do less is to die. I don't like dying.

    2. And true, a 7.62 will penetrate deeper brush than the 5.56. Basic physics here fellas. The heavier round carries far more energy. Compare the muzzle energy: 55 grains@ 3240ft/sec for the 5.56 = 1282 ft/lbs.
    150 grains@2820ft/sec for the 7.62 = 2649 ft/lbs.
    Consider the weight difference when you load up with a minimum 210 rounds.
    I prefer to pack more of less for a firefight. My two cents.

    Overall I enjoyed my time with ser# 6459999 M16A2
     
  23. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    the SA80a2 is probably more accurate than an m4 and more reliable too gas piston and hand forged by rhine goblins:evil:
     
  24. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    Personally, I do think it is overrated. It's a fairly accurate and very ergonomic design that's somewhat lacking in reliability. It's main claim to fame is that it was adopted by the U.S. military. If we had adopted the FNC, Sig 55x, or even the AK, you'd be seeing tons of tricked out versions of those rifles and you would be hearing about how they were the greatest design ever.
     
  25. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    Like I actually know anything, but wouldn't an upper chambered in something a little more potent, such as 6.8 or 6.5 fix one of the major problems with the m16 platform? The 5.56 was adopted partially for its weight savings while still being *considered* lethal, correct? Something between 7.62 nato and 5.56 sounds like the ticket to me. Throw on a piston and problem solved.

    I just built my first ar 2 weeks ago so I can't speak to the reliability.
     
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