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The M16, the controversy just never ends

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dr. Dickie, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Member

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  2. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Did you mean to say: "Oh boy! And you thought the M9 drew flack?"
     
  3. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Member

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    Yep, I did.
     
  4. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Wow, so we're going to whiz more money away on something that doesn't adress the issues.
     
  5. mattw

    mattw Member

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    So what are the issues?
     
  6. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    There will always be controversy about the general issue military weapon no matter what it is. When they go "one size fits all", there are going to be certain applications where something else works better sometimes. It is just the nature of the beast. When there are many, many, many millions in use here and around the world, there are going to be some anecdotal stories of malfunctions. That is just how it is, and that wouldn't change no matter what platform they are shooting, and no matter what cartridge they are shooting.

    Personally I think the days when something other than the M16/M4 is the general issue rifle are still quite a ways off. At the end of the day, it still performs 99% as well as anything else would.
     
  7. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Member

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    Basically, the blow-back system in the AR15 causes carbon build-up in the receiver (bolt and bolt carrier). H&K re-designed the system with a piston that is supposed to up the reliability and wear and tear.
     
  8. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Tight chambers, and the bolt itself. Never had an issue with carbon fouling in the chamber. The moondust/ silt/ sand however had a way of working into every crevice, and creating a hard white coating that was next to impossible to remove. We carried babywipes for more than just bathing, they worked quite well to remove said crap.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Bureaucracy is the enemy of mankind! :mad:

    and...

    there's no money to upgrade the M16/M4 becasue the funds are needed for sexual harassment training. :rolleyes:

    and...

    though the training motto is "improvise, adapt, overcome" there's no room for such "out of the box" thinking and problem solving at the desk brigade level.
     
  10. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    So was his failure to extract a result of the case being stuck in the chamber or the bolt sticking? If the former, how does a different gas system fix that?

    That story at the very end is about a truck driver. There is no information on how well his rifle was maintained or anything.

    Is there a weapon that a soldier can leave alone and not touch indefinitely yet still work reliably when he needs it?
     
  11. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    What about all the stories from people (including members here) who had no problems whatsoever with their M16?
    This article reads like an HK sales brochure.
     
  12. Vitamin G

    Vitamin G Member

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    You mean an AK?:neener:
     
  13. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I knew someone would mention that. No I don't mean that either. Maybe a 30-30 lever gun.
     
  14. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    A lever gun seems like it would get gunked up pretty quick. You can't just pull a pin and pop out the bolt carrier/bolt to wipe down either.
     
  15. High Planes Drifter

    High Planes Drifter Member

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    A rifle is a tool, nothing more. I want our troops to have the best, most reliable tool available. We all should want that for our troops. If it means abandoning the AR platform in leu of something else, so be it. The article quoted someone as saying that it would take a billion dollars to completely replace the M4. A billion dollars to the federal government isnt that much. It sounds like alot to you and me, but to the government its really not that much. If they find a better weapon, shame on them for not getting it to the men on the front line.

    Surely you arent suggesting the military issue Marlins and Winchesters.?
     
  16. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    Study the history of US Army Ordnance and you'll discover that putting the right rifle for the job into the hands of the troops has NEVER been a priority of the Army. Politics is the number one factor in choosing a particular weapon. WWII and the Garand was the one and only time they got it right.
     
  17. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    I don't see how a piston upper will make the AR platform any more reliable in the sand.

    This is a bait and switch. The article largely speaks of sand being the major problem and the complaints of soldiers. It also speaks of powder fouling issues. However, the solution is the 416 - which is implied will solve the sand issues in addition. This is false. The tone of the article, as well as the HK marketing strategy is to portray the 416 as the solution by getting rid of the carbon fouling in the action. Unfortunately, that isn't the M16's problem.

    The article admits that gas impingment averages 5,000rds before stoppage. While the piston is better, no one is going to shoot 5,000rds without a cleaning or without oiling inbetween. Load out is like 240rds or something. Even with 3 load outs, you're no where near that.

    It is already known that the AR platform is weak in the desert. This has been proven. Even when cleaned fanatically, it still manages to produce a higher than normal failure rate. To have a reliable rifle in the desert, you need a rifle with very large clearances. A rattle trap. Basically, and AK. If you read up, you'll hear that even the beloved M1 Garand and Carbine had failures in the South Pacific in the sands of beaches....Sand environment is by far the worst of all. That makes it especially tough for the M16.

    We also know that the M4 is a more abusive system than the M16 in regards to gas. This leads to less parts life, but is NOT a failure of the gas system. As far as extraction is concerned, H-buffers and enhanced extractor springs largely deal with that.
     
  18. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I agree. I've used a M16/AR15/M4 since 1968 in the military and law enforcement and the multitude of problems people report have somehow avoided me. There were times I would clean my rifle several times a day but it always worked.

    I question the AK supporters and their claims of being "riflemen". Most AKs I've fired/seen shoot basketball size groups at 200 meters and that's with a good shooter. Yes the Ak is rteliable but to achieve that you need a lot of slop in the action. It fits Soviet design technology where "perfection is the enemy of good enough".
     
  19. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Talk about an H&K propaganda piece...

    My first question is how does the HK416 prevent the problem Self experienced (a case being stuck in the chamber so solidly that he broke a cleaning rod in half trying to ram it out)? How did the direct impingement system contribute to that problem?

    I can't think of any aspect of a gas piston or direct impingement that creates that particular problem to me. The only thing I've seen similar to that is when somebody grossly overloads a cartridge with powder and it expands to the shape of the chamber.

    Second question is the one Don't Tread On Me asked - how does this design stop sand from getting into the bolt lug/chamber area when it basically uses the same M16 design it criticizes for this part? If sand gets into this area and can't get out, it is going to have the same result regardless of whether it is a piston pushing the carrier key or a blast of hot gas.

    Also, is it worth a billion dollars to change a weapon that goes 5,000 rounds without a stoppage and no cleaning to a weapon that goes 15,000 rounds without a stoppage and no cleaning? Are soldiers currently firing 5k rounds between cleaning? Is the problem severe enough that it needs a billion dollar fix?

    Of course it isn't that much to the government, that is because they get that billion dollars by taking it from you and me. Now I don't mind paying it to give our soldiers top-of-the-line equipment; but I do mind paying an extra billion for minimal capability. I can't carry 5k rounds on my person, let alone 15k. If a soldier will still be cleaning more frequently than every 5k rounds, I don't see what the extra billion buys us.

    I also thought it was funny that they blamed the failure of the XM29 program for not providing the big leap forward without noting H&K's role in that failure.

    The H&K416 might well be a great weapon and even worthy of that extra billion. You certainly couldn't tell from this article though whether that is the case.
     
  20. trainwreck100

    trainwreck100 Member

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    No, those are American guns...more likely Japanes Browning BLR's.
     
  21. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Note that the Marine Corps Times has a tendency to be a bit colorful. They sell them in the checkout lines at the PX, so eye-catching/controversial covers are pretty popular. I'm not saying it's a tabloid or anything, but it's not exactly The Marine Gazette (which has its own issues).

    The most over-the-top issue I saw was one in 2004 where the cover article said something like:

    "THE LETHAL NEW M16 ROUND: and why the brass won't let you have it!!!"

    Long article about fragmenting rounds in combat, but with a cover-picture not far behind ExtremeShock graphics.

    -MV
     
  22. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    What Bartholomew Roberts said. I'm startled to hear that the guys who are trying to sell the HK 416 and the retired general that was a lobbyist for the XM8 think that the M4 is broken. Almost as surprised I am to find out that the retired general who runs Colt and makes the M4 thinks that the M16/M4 isn't broken . . .
     
  23. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Yes, the whole gas-fouling and sand issues being mixed together and being blamed on the gas system is HK marketing.

    That's why, even in that article, there is huge discrepency between what top experts and officials have to say on the matter. There are those who look at things in a scientific and practical way, and those with special interests. A general who lobbies to get an HK rifle might sit on their board of directors one day. This is a conflict of interests, but hey, that's politics.

    So, that's why you have one guy saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and another ready to replace the entire arsenal with the rifle they endorse, which is most likely from a company that is promising them some sort of kick backs later on.
     
  24. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Member

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    Right behind you!!
    And even then, some say they should have used the .276 (or whatever it was) instead of changing the Garand to .30-ought.

    I think the point is that any self-loader will have malfs, especially in the hands of "pogues." If you really want to eliminate them, go to a lever-action or something else worked manually. It really would be funny if the twenty-first century M1 Carbine (light, handy weapon for non-infantry) turned out to be a 336. :p
     
  25. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    My gosh, won't that internet BS just limp off and die already? That is about as wrong as most of the "facts" about the M16 you find on the internet. Most modern production AKs from Russia or Bulgaria will shoot 2 MOA. Just because a slapped together US gun, made from used Romanian parts, is 10 MOA doesn't mean that the AK can't shoot.

    And I don't believe any hype about HK products. Ever. The only points I'll give HK is that they have the most aggresive marketing department in the gun industry.
     
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