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What advantages does the larger M16A2 have over the more compact M4 carbine? They both fire the same type of ammunition, use 30-round mags, and can both be fitted with various types of accessories (M-203, etc.).

During Thanksgiving, I saw several National Guard troops carrying the A2, and the rifles seemed rather cumbersome for security duty. Although I'm sure they used the A2 because it's available in larger numbers, I think that the M4 would be a better choice, at least for that type of work.

Most of the pictures I've seen of U.S. troops in Afghanistan show them carrying the M4. Do you think it will eventually replace the A2 as the standard issue rifle for our military?
 

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According to the Pentagon the M4 isn't intended to replace the M16A2, although some sources say that M4's are all that will be ordered from now on. Soldiers who qualify with the M4 shoot the same scores on average as those with M16A2's, even up to 600 yards. The only real advantage of the M16A2 over the M4 relates to the A2's longer 20" barrel, as opposed to the M4's 14.5". The 5.56 round is highly velocity-dependent, and 2800fps seems to be the threshold for reliable terminal performance. Out of the M4 the bullet will drop below 2800fps at around 150 yards, as opposed to about 250-300 yards from a 20" barrel. Personally, I'd rather have the portability of the M4 than the slight ballistic and accuracy edge provided by the longer rifle.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 12-04-2001).]
 

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As DSK made mention...Yardage is a factor and requires a certain velocity.

You see a Mil Spec 55 grn bullet is designed to flip upon impact. This sudden change causes the Canature to fracture and the bullet to come apart in 8 to 15 pieces, thus causing a massive wound channel.

I myself don't understand why the USGI M4 barrels aren't a solid 16 inch one piece rather than a 14.5 and an extention.

16's are easier to move about with than the 20's. Hold the velocity to while 15 yards or so of the 20.

If I were just too have 1 AR, I would opt for a Bushmaster Dissapator....You get the heavy barrel, Full lenth sight radius and milspec chambered in 5.56...Along with the chrome and all.

Karsten
 

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Military M4 barrels are 14.5", with the standard A2 flash hider attached bringing OAL to about 15.5". Civilian guns have to be 16" BEFORE any removeable muzzle-end device. For example, my "M4gery" has a Bushy 14.5" M4 barrel with a permanently-mounted, 1.5" long "Phantom" flash hider which makes OAL the legal 16".

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 12-05-2001).]
 

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According to an Army SFC armorer at Aberdeen, eventually all soldiers will be issued M4s. Right now the Rangers and Special Forces have them, and there might be a few other divisions like 82d or 10th Mountain that are transitioning (anyone who knows better please speak up!). We just got a few last summer to play with at Canoe U. Don't know how long it will be before the Marines will change over completely, if ever; right now just Force Recon and a few others have the M4.

The reason for the USGI M4 profile is twofold - light weight and the ability to mount stuff on the barrel, specifically the M203 but also the Knight's RAS. If I could just buy a milspec M4 from Colt I'd be on Cloud 9. Instead I have to be happy with the postban stuff.

One advantage to the M16 is that you might be able to get a better cheek weld on its stock. I like the A2 stock - if I had to hit somebody in with a rifle, I'd much rather do it with an M16 than an M4! Just pick up an M4 and you'll know what I mean. It's great for humping or room clearing, though. I once watched a couple of Rangers demonstrating hand-to-hand with M4s and bayonets. I thought they were joking, putting a little knife on the end of a little plastic rifle.

All things considered, I'd pick an M4 over an M16 every time. The National Guard won't be using M4s for a very long time - the front line troops need them more (most troops in Afghanistan prior to the Marine deployment were SpecOps, and they ALL use the M4 now) and we've got alot of M16s floating around.

[This message has been edited by McNamara (edited 12-05-2001).]
 

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Same goes here. The M4 finally makes the M16 family of weapons interesting. Here is my M4gery. A pre-ban PWA lower, FN upper, Colt M4 handguards, and BM 14.5" barrel with welded/pinned Phantom flash hider.



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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://usgi1911.tripod.com
 

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Ballistics aside, the big advantages of the M4 are lighter weight and a smaller size. For most troops, it is what they should be carrying over the A2. Realistically speaking, most will never engage other troops beyond 300-400 yards. The M4 is a 500-600 yard rifle easily. This is why the Pentagon is only buying M4s from now on.

HOWEVER, if the Pentagon really cared, we'd be buying new G36Ks to replace the M4 and the M16A2


themao
 

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During a John Farnam Rifle class this last weekend I noticed an interesting phenomenom. The shooters who were using heavier rifles got tired very quickly when engaging multiple targets from the offhand position. The targets were 20cm x 30cm plates at 45 meters. When 5 targets had to be engaged, most had to go to kneeling or prone to hit all 5 consistently.

The A2 is fine if you do all your shooting from a foxhole on a Trainfire or KD range. Once you have to start humping it along with a bunch of ammo and equipment it becomes much inferior to the M4 (or A1).

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Claude
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I'm an old guy. When I served in the Army the M16 was brand new. It's supposed major strong point over the M14 was the weight savings. That was very true with the M16 and M16A1. Then we got the A2. It certainly was a better match rifle than the A1, but the thing was a lot heavier. IMHO the M4 is getting back to the idea of a light weight rifle that the A2 never was. Things have gone full circle. Watch-Six

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Get your 1911s and AR15s while you still can!
 
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