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Old 02-02-2014, 12:38 AM   #161
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I agree with you, and I do the same in the everyday world. But in a jungle or sand box I'd still clean every chance that I could. Right or wrong that is just me. It is like a butt if you don't clean it, it will get sticky within time.
I'm kind of lazy I guess, and I don't much like cleaning guns. I started the practice of just shooting them for the most part a while back. I only buy quality guns, and I give them a few drops of oil from time to time, but with the exception of my black powder rifle I really don't clean them. Granted, I don't shoot them a whole bunch, like in a competition.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:46 AM   #162
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Got my DD214 in 1972. Yes I hated the M16 at first then I fell in love with my best friend, as long as I kept her clean. To this day I still have an AR15. Don't need a piston system, just a good cleaning kit.
I kinda did it the opposite. Started out with the M14 in 1966 then the M16 when I went to Vietnam. Loved the M16 from the start but when discharged in 1969 I pretty much forgot about it until the Clinton AWB. When that law sunsetted I knew I had to get an AR-15. Little did I know it wouldn't be "an" AR, it was a few! Yeah, the love affair rekindled!

Mark, your son has a fine rifle. It may not be perfect but so far the perfect rifle hasn't been invented. I pray he'll be ok and come back safe like we did.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:56 AM   #163
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I'm kind of lazy I guess, and I don't much like cleaning guns. I started the practice of just shooting them for the most part a while back. I only buy quality guns, and I give them a few drops of oil from time to time, but with the exception of my black powder rifle I really don't clean them. Granted, I don't shoot them a whole bunch, like in a competition.
I was just trying to be polite and not start a clean or not clean war. I can get a little anal about cleaning weapons. My wife calls me a little mother hen when it comes to my guns. Without fail I empty out my gun safe once a month and strip down and clean every gun. Even though they are cleaned every time I shoot them. Was taught to do that by my Dad. It was also drummed into my head by Uncle Sam at fort Dix
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:17 AM   #164
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I kinda wish the military would dump the millions spent in trying to find something better than the AR-15 into engineering to make the AR-15 parts as good as they possibly can be. At the end of the day, if you invest money in the present platform and incrementally improve the parts, you slowly build a better product.

If it were me, I'd spend the millions on better springs (flat wire chrome silicon buffer springs and extractor springs), better magazines (PMAG's), and better stocks (like a CTR or SOPMOD), better charging handles, and better slings. If better bolts and reliable plastic lowers can be built, I'd buy those, too.

The present product is acceptable, but the aforementioned improvements would make a lot of maintenance issues far less of a problem.

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Old 02-02-2014, 01:25 AM   #165
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I kinda wish the military would dump the millions spent in trying to find something better than the AR-15 into engineering to make the AR-15 parts as good as they possibly can be. At the end of the day, if you invest money in the present platform and incrementally improve the parts, you slowly build a better product.

If it were me, I'd spend the millions on better springs (flat wire chrome silicon buffer springs and extractor springs), better magazines (PMAG's), and better stocks (like a CTR or SOPMOD), better charging handles, and better slings. If better bolts and reliable plastic lowers can be built, I'd buy those, too.

The present product is acceptable, but the aforementioned improvements would make a lot of maintenance issues far less of a problem.
that is one of the best ideas i have heard in a long time. the AR platform is good, but even it could be better with the addition of some high qaulity small parts.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:22 AM   #166
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Here's what I know about my carbine that's different from the ones that the Navy issued:

I have a Colt M4 pattern carbine. No, it's not an actual M4 because it's not select fire and doesn't have a 14.5" barrel with a grenade launcher cut on it.

I have a lightweight 16" barrel. Yes, it slightly increases the length of the carbine, but it also increases velocity. I don't need a heavy or government profile barrel because I don't have full auto and don't launch any grenades. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Stoner designed it to be a lightweight bullet launcher, not a heavy grenade launcher.

There are better grenade launchers now, like the HK and FNH designs, that don't require them to be mounted to the carbine. The lightest grenade launchers are still going to add a few pounds to the weapon and that's dead weight that you have to carry and fight against every time you pick up or point the rifle.

I use flat wire springs because they compress better than round springs. Chrome silicon means that they can survive more cycles than typical carbon or stainless steel. Cost was nominal. I don't need that stupid rubber thing to increase extractor tension because the better extractor spring does that for me.

I've busted extractor handles by torquing them (my fault, but the weapon wasn't operative at that point), so I upgraded to a BCM GunFighter. No more torquing problems.

I like the MagPul CTR stocks because they're as close as possible to the M4 pattern stocks in terms of weight, but it's more difficult to collapse it by snagging the stock on something and it has more surface area on your shoulder and a rubber pad so it stays put a little better.

I purchased a MagPul K2 grip because the reduced grip angle lessens the strain on your wrist and you can hold it in a firing position longer as a result. If you have longer fingers, like I do, it also permits the tip of your finger to make contact with the trigger instead of the crook of your finger.

I purchased a MagPul trigger guard because the trigger guard that the Colt comes with is not comfortable.

I purchased a sling plate for the carbine because I want the sling mounted to the receiver, not the stock.

I purchased a Blue Force Gear quick-adjust sling, so that when the sling is shortened the carbine is pinned to your chest when you're not carrying it in your hands. If you run a single point, you can still pin it behind your pistol. Point is, a good quality sling with an adjustment tab permits changing the length without undue effort so you can go hands-free when you need to, in about a second.

Maybe it's not a problem for other people, but I have stepped on magazines a number of times and the USGI aluminum ones don't like that. I switched to PMAG's. I still step on my magazines every so often and they still work after I do it.

The flash suppressor that comes with the gun from Colt will still blind you at dusk, but the SEI flash suppressor won't. Again, problem solved.

All of those "fixes", apart from changing the bolt and barrel, will run about $250 and give you a qualitatively improved carbine (better ergonomics, better usability, better reliability).

We already have the "fixes" for most of the issues with the M4, we just need to stop spending money on things that won't yield results that justify the cost.

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Old 02-02-2014, 04:08 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by kbd512 View Post
Here's what I know about my carbine that's different from the ones that the Navy issued:

I have a Colt M4 pattern carbine. No, it's not an actual M4 because it's not select fire and doesn't have a 14.5" barrel with a grenade launcher cut on it.

I have a lightweight 16" barrel. Yes, it slightly increases the length of the carbine, but it also increases velocity. I don't need a heavy or government profile barrel because I don't have full auto and don't launch any grenades. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Stoner designed it to be a lightweight bullet launcher, not a heavy grenade launcher.

There are better grenade launchers now, like the HK and FNH designs, that don't require them to be mounted to the carbine. The lightest grenade launchers are still going to add a few pounds to the weapon and that's dead weight that you have to carry and fight against every time you pick up or point the rifle.

I use flat wire springs because they compress better than round springs. Chrome silicon means that they can survive more cycles than typical carbon or stainless steel. Cost was nominal. I don't need that stupid rubber thing to increase extractor tension because the better extractor spring does that for me.

I've busted extractor handles by torquing them (my fault, but the weapon wasn't operative at that point), so I upgraded to a BCM GunFighter. No more torquing problems.

I like the MagPul CTR stocks because they're as close as possible to the M4 pattern stocks in terms of weight, but it's more difficult to collapse it by snagging the stock on something and it has more surface area on your shoulder and a rubber pad so it stays put a little better.

I purchased a MagPul K2 grip because the reduced grip angle lessens the strain on your wrist and you can hold it in a firing position longer as a result. If you have longer fingers, like I do, it also permits the tip of your finger to make contact with the trigger instead of the crook of your finger.

I purchased a MagPul trigger guard because the trigger guard that the Colt comes with is not comfortable.

I purchased a sling plate for the carbine because I want the sling mounted to the receiver, not the stock.

I purchased a Blue Force Gear quick-adjust sling, so that when the sling is shortened the carbine is pinned to your chest when you're not carrying it in your hands. If you run a single point, you can still pin it behind your pistol. Point is, a good quality sling with an adjustment tab permits changing the length without undue effort so you can go hands-free when you need to, in about a second.

Maybe it's not a problem for other people, but I have stepped on magazines a number of times and the USGI aluminum ones don't like that. I switched to PMAG's. I still step on my magazines every so often and they still work after I do it.

The flash suppressor that comes with the gun from Colt will still blind you at dusk, but the SEI flash suppressor won't. Again, problem solved.

All of those "fixes", apart from changing the bolt and barrel, will run about $250 and give you a qualitatively improved carbine (better ergonomics, better usability, better reliability).

We already have the "fixes" for most of the issues with the M4, we just need to stop spending money on things that won't yield results that justify the cost.

Yes! Yes! Yes!
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:51 AM   #168
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Regarding the 7.62 NATO rifles, this is where military technology has actually surpassed what's available in general inventory.

The SCAR is a qualitatively better rifle than the M14 in terms of manufacturing costs and performance. Certain aspects of the rifle are not as good as they could be, but it's more compact, lighter, and has less recoil than a standard M14 rifle. It's also a much better optics platform, although that has more to do with suitability to purpose than performance.

SEI makes a qualitatively better M14 at substantial cost. The amount of man years in engineering effort and cost that was required to improve the product amounted to tens of millions of dollars.

A lot of the advancement that the M14 has experienced has come about relatively recently, decades after it was no longer a general issue service rifle, and was due to advancements in metallurgy, heat treatment, and an improved understanding of metal fatigue.

A SEI M14 receiver takes over 24 hours of machine time to produce a single receiver, not including heat treatment or testing time. FNH will produce more SCAR receivers in an hour of operation than SEI will in a day of operation. It shouldn't take an advanced mathematics degree to figure out that the SEI rifles will cost more.

The SCAR could be even better with a better trigger, a lighter magnesium alloy upper receiver and a redesigned plastic lower that's slightly thicker and accepts SR-25 magazines. The plastic stock latch needs to go and the difficult to grasp charging handle is perplexing, given that it was designed for SOCOM. Apart from that, you won't see many, if any, major advancements in battle rifle design after the SCAR.

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Old 02-02-2014, 02:02 PM   #169
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Gentlemen, I'm a retired army officer and sat on several projects committees on small arms over my career. All I or anyone else can say substantivly about these things is "still classified". Nothing in service carries higher secrecy than experimental weapons development.

Weapons development is a continuos process for all the services. We regularly go back and look at previous sessions work in light of new technology. Can we make it better. Can we improve. And finally is the improvement worth the cost. Are the regular questions. But the final bar to acceptance of a new system is what we call the "3 trillion dollar question". Is this improvement worth the cost of changing out the current system. For this reason we are more likely to see small incremental changes rather than a whole new system anytime soon.

The current AR M4A1 is rated as ~95% combat effective in is current configuration. Terminal ballistics is its only major shortfall. But unless a new cartridge can meet the 3 trillion dollar question changes are very unlikely. So far none have come close.

I agree better add on optics are the most likely improvement in the near future. As is some type of integrated target painting to eliminate friendly fire casualties and guide various smart weapons systems to the targets.

Hopefully it doesn't run on windows .... :what::sly:

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Old 02-02-2014, 02:48 PM   #170
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People the military does not use an AR 15 or an M4 as we see them on the civilian market. The military needs one weapons system with interchangeable parts. Lots of people mentioned recoil being a problem with a 5.56x45 cartridge. No one that recoil sensitive can make it through basic training. The recruit is going to get bounced around a lot in PT. He/she will wash out long before they get to qualify with any weapons. In combat ones adrenaline is rolling. Getting blinded by flash is not going to be an issue.

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