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Old 08-25-2014, 02:45 PM   #71
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Here are my points to ponder regarding EDT III:

* No rifle should be destroying bolts at 6K. All weapons tested should have better bolt design, materials, and manufacturing tolerances to increase fatigue life. The correct number of bolt failures after expending six cases of ammo, even in a hot and dusty environment, is zero.

* It is not possible to make an aluminum magazines with equivalent durability to a PMAG and the continuous curve internal geometry of the HK steel magazines and PMAG magazines is optimal for feeding.

* Special units that are particularly hard on their weapons, with respect to firing cycles, may benefit from a weapon like the HK416, MK16, or XM8, but the overwhelming majority of users aren't going to see a dramatic performance improvement in actual use.

* M855A1 will induce faster wear of operating components and weapons not specifically designed to fire it, like the HK416, may have issues with it. It's not a proof loading, as some claim, but it does significantly increase operating pressures.

* The XM8 may have significantly fewer stoppages in dusty or muddy environments, but the way it accomplishes this is to reduce bolt locking tolerances. That's fine, but the bolts need to accommodate this without premature failures.

* If it's possible to significantly increase the reliability of the M4 using operating component coatings and better springs, then that's the way forward until LSAT rifles/carbines are fully deployed.

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Old 08-25-2014, 09:14 PM   #72
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Your "last minute" change was the introduction of "green" lead free M855A1 ammo the Army was forced to switch to in 2010, well before the IC competition. The piston ARs were so finely tuned for M855 ball that they choked on M855A1! The M4A1 handled both of course. Like Axxe, I'd rather have a weapon that's reliable with any 5.56 or 223 I could get my hands on. Oh wait, I do have that with my DI ARs!
The IC solicitation required the attachment of the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System (MASS), the M203 and the HK M320 EGLM. This particular requirement created a difficult challenge for new businesses that were not already plugged in to the defense industry. Neither the military nor the manufacturers were allowed to send these systems or engineering drawings to interested candidates.

“You can’t buy the HK M320 EGLM or C-More M26 shotgun,” says Darren Mellors, executive vice president for LWRC. “The Army only shared engineering drawings that it owned, which did not include the shotgun or grenade launcher. They gave each candidate eight hours at HP White Labs to essentially measure and figure out a method to mount these. We sent an engineer to try and reverse-engineer the mounting interface. To determine if our new rail would hold up to the unique stresses of each system, we bought a Remington 870 and chopped it down to a short-barreled shotgun and attached it to the rifle for in-house live-fire testing with military buckshot and breeching loads.”

On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Defense Department included testimony from the Pentagon Inspector General to reconsider the Individual Carbine program to replace the M4 in an effort to improve spending efficiency and reduce overall waste. The Inspector General questioned why the Army was shopping for a new rifle when the total force was being reduced and M4A1 carbines were still scheduled for purchase through 2018. Phase II of testing had been completed by the time the Army announced it was considering canceling the IC competition on May 2nd, but no contract was awarded for candidates to enter the Phase III soldier evaluation. The three-year competition was canceled on June 13, 2013.

On June 17, 2013, Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) sent a Letter of Disappointment to Secretary of the Army John McHugh over the decision to cancel the Individual Carbine program without giving soldiers an opportunity to field test the rifles and determine if there were marked improvements over the M4. For now, it appears that FN Manufacturing will be the provider of M4s and M4A1s after outbidding Remington Defense and Colt Defense for the nearly $77 million contract. At the end, PEO Soldier reported, “No competitor demonstrated a significant improvement in weapon reliability to justify buying a new carbine.”
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:22 AM   #73
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Attachments that would or would not fit were not the reason the competition ended early. And not having access to those attachments shouldn't be unsurmountable for competent engineers since every competitor did have access to the M4. Quite simple, make your carbine compatible with the M4 and the attachment problem is solved!

The real problem that no competitor could solve was what the Army required in the first place: field a new carbine that is significantly better than the M4. Everything else from the vendors sounds like sour grapes.

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Old 08-26-2014, 02:20 AM   #74
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Anything with as modern a gas system as the Garand would be a big step up from the M16.

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Old 08-26-2014, 03:22 AM   #75
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The DI M16 replaced the gas piston M1 Garand/M14 almost 50 years ago as the military's standard issue rifle. No matter how good the older rifles are (and they are very good) the M16/M4 isn't going away soon. Which also is a very good thing!

Which piston AR do you own?

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Old 08-26-2014, 04:33 AM   #76
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Quote:
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Anything with as modern a gas system as the Garand would be a big step up from the M16.
Salvo,

Do some more reading on all the problems encountered with the M1 and M14 gas systems.

The M1, M14, M16, and M4 all have piston operated gas systems.

The piston in the M1 and M14 is located below the barrel.

The M16 and M4 have their gas pistons integrated with the bolt and bolt carrier.

Would you ever drive a vehicle with an internal combustion engine without motor oil?

If not, then why would you ever shoot a rifle without lubricant?



In any event, if someone handed me a M4, HK416, or MK16 I'd be happy with any of them and prefer the M4 for its lighter weight. If I didn't have to carry the weapon anywhere, any of the three are just fine.

I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that with coatings like RF-85/NiB/TiNi, better bolt lug geometry, better extractor geometry, and flat wire chrome silicon springs, there's little meaningful difference in reliability.

The only reason these things have not been implemented is cost. We'll spend tens of millions of dollars on new weapons acquisition projects rather than working on meaningful upgrades to existing weapons.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:41 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
The DI M16 replaced the gas piston M1 Garand/M14 almost 50 years ago as the military's standard issue rifle. No matter how good the older rifles are (and they are very good) the M16/M4 isn't going away soon. Which also is a very good thing!

Which piston AR do you own?
I don't own an AR at all. I owned one (DPMS) a few years back so that I could learn how to work on them, but afterward it sat around in the rack a lot, and when a buddy was looking for an AR, I sold him mine at a very reasonable price.

Currently I own an M1A Scout Squad but it's going up for sale Saturday at the local gun show, to help finance a new gun purchase. The M1A will be going for a very reasonable price, too.

Once I learn how to tweak a given firearm type and have the tools for it, I'm ready to pass it on and learn about something else. I have owned hundreds of firearms due to this policy, and just a few favorites have been kept for personal use.

There are a few that I regret not having kept, but that's only because they went up in value, or something like that.
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Last edited by Salvo; 08-27-2014 at 06:57 PM.
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