Thursday, December 20, 2007

M4 Gums Up in Dust Tests

This from the Army TIMES:
Newer carbines outperform M4 in dust test

The M4 carbine, the weapon soldiers depend on in combat, finished last in a recent “extreme dust test” to demonstrate the M4’s reliability compared to three newer carbines.

Weapons officials at the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., exposed Colt Defense LLC’s M4, along with the Heckler & Koch XM8, FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and the H&K 416 to sandstorm conditions from late September to late November, firing 6,000 rounds through each test weapon.

When the test was completed, ATEC officials found that the M4 performed “significantly worse” than the other three weapons, sources told Army Times.

Officials tested 10 each of the four carbine models, firing a total of 60,000 rounds per model. Here’s how they ranked, according to the total number of times each model stopped firing:

• XM8: 127 stoppages.

• MK16 SCAR Light: 226 stoppages.

• 416: 233 stoppages.

• M4: 882 stoppages.


Anonymous said...

Rumor has it H&K (because you suck and we hate you) and FN were tipped off that the guns were for testing. Colt, however, was not. So, HK and FN polished, coated, lubed, and generally worked the guns up.

Just a rumor. Heard at defensereview.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw that a couple days ago in Gun Week but thought I might have missed it on DRTV so didn't post it.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that while that was going on the SEALs took a visit to New Hampshire to meet with the guys that make their duty pistol to check out the US made version of the sg550 rifle.

Anonymous said...

Somethings fishy, the rate of failure went UP compared to the last M4 dust test.

Michael Bane said...

Still, you gotta think that the gas piston guns are going to do better in a high-dust environment...

Michael B

Gullyborg said...

I'd like to see them all compared to a Mini-14 Ranch Rifle.

Or an AK.

Anonymous said...

There is a similar thread over at LWRC's forum... Bear in mind, LWRC is a US-made piston AR, and a damn good one at that, but NOT participant in this test. (They've been in others.)

Bottom line, there are some very knowledgable and connected people over there, and some good points were made. On the one hand, yes, a piston gun is likely to perform far better. However, there were flaws in the test that diminish the validity of the result - i.e., brand-new guns with no break-in, mag failures weren't factored in, etc.

Full disclosure; I own a DI RRA gun and a piston LWRC. I prefer the piston, hands down.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly, Colt did make prototype piston AR's in the 60's or 70's and tested those against their current crop of direct impingement guns.

Also, supposedly, the piston guns were NOT more reliable than the DI rifles.


So what does this tell us about the foresight of Army/Pentagon leadership?

Are we going to open up another front (or a war in general) by invading Iran?

Are we going to be there long enough that a new and improved sand resistant gun will make it into the hands of our door kickers when they're raiding homes in Tehran?

Is the piston driven vs. the DI operating system even something we should be looking at?

How about a larger caliber that shoots a heavier bullet so it can pack more punch, ya know, where all those harder cover obstacles are, in those sandy dusty warzones where the PTB expect us to be fighting in, in the future?

Maybe they should be addressing that issue first and then figuring out which platform can better handle the stouter cartridge in a dusty environmnet.

Methinks there is something fishey going on here too.