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Trigger Puller Boots on the ground, steel on target -- the pointy end of the spear.

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Old 02-21-2007   #1
tequila
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Default Better than M4, but you canít have it

Military Times article on the HK416, which according to the article (which appears to be heavily sourced from HK itself) is superior to the M4 in wide use among U.S. forces in Iraq & Afghanistan.

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Old 02-21-2007   #2
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Well, it's not in as wide use as the Times would have us believe. Employment is relegated to only certain tier 1 units and personnel.

As one of those operators has commented on another board, the Times also proclaimed that the Army was making a wholesale cutover to the XM-8
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Old 02-21-2007   #3
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Default LOVE this weapon.

From what Ive seen and read the thing certainly is superior to the M-4. They had it on that show "FutureWeapons" on the discovery channel a couple nights ago. Very cool. Id give anything to get one. Hopefully they'll produce a civilian version eventually.
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Old 02-21-2007   #4
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Reading the incident with CPT Self reminds me of similar stories from the Vietnam war of soldiers found dead with cleaning rods in their hands as they tried to clear jammed M16s. It sounds like the HK 416 is close in price and far superior to the M16/M4 family. Anyone know if disadvantages to the HK 416 other than the fact we would need to start replacing the M4 family of weapons?

Seems like an interesting rifle.
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Old 02-21-2007   #5
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Default Many choices

There are a number of gas piston rifles out there, Sig 556, Magpul Masada, the defunct XM-8.

I don't think any of the qualities of a gas piston rifle would prevent the problems that Capt Self or Sgt Miller had, nor the slew of problem that were supposedly marched out by the soldiers in Afghanistan.

The gas piston rifles do one thing particularly well, and that is they release gas and carbon fouling outside the weapon somewhere near the front sight. Just before the gas and carbon is ported out, the gas impinges on, and activates, the piston, driving it into the modern version of the bolt carrier's gas key. All this does is reduce the amount of crap getting into the receiver. It has nothing to do with keeping foreign matter out of the weapon, so if a weapon is dirty with sand/dust, the gas piston rifles are only going to have a longer time before carbon fouling becomes a problem at the chamber (compared to an M4).

If the weapon isn't lubricated, the gas piston isn't a silver bullet. If a cartridge case ruptures in the chamber, a gas piston rifle still isn't the silver bullet. If you find yourself in a running gun battle and putting a lot of rounds downrange, and don't have time to perform a fieldstrip cleaning, then a gas piston rifle definitely has its advantages.

As for the cleaning rod secured to the rifle forearm, I do not know of any unit that has an SOP like that, Ranger or otherwise. It seems totally impractical.

Last edited by jcustis; 02-22-2007 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 02-21-2007   #6
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This whole thing is screamingly similar to the problems the M-16 experienced in Vietnam, although at that time it was due to DoD's insistence on a type of propellant that was not within the original design specifications as well as misinformation to the troops that the M-16 didn't need to be cleaned. If memory serves it took them almost three years to correct that problem, and I don't see the wheels moving any faster in this case.

The interesting thing about the Vietnam case is that it was two-tiered problem: improper propellant AND improper training. One of the difficulties with anecdotal evidence such as the article presents is that it's very compelling reading, but it often doesn't address what happened prior to the engagement (was Self's weapon damaged during the initial action? did Miller do routine cleaning and maintenance on his weapon? and so on). I'm not saying "competitions" are the way to go (since they are often stacked in favor of a particular weapon), but that you need a broad spectrum of input, including some that could be considered unbiased and fully tested. Anecdotes are often neither, and the same can be said for "trials."
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Old 02-21-2007   #7
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Default The MP5 was or is also better

When Delta units visited us in Zaire in 93, their sidearms were modified (Wilson combat) 1911s and two versions of the H&K MP5 in either 5.56 or 9X19. Another version was a 7.62, but never saw one.

Personally, my Colt Commander's model in .45ACP is still my favorite and I don't have to carry a cleaning rod around with me, nor perform double taps. One will do just fine

I wanted the MP5, but can't buy one
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Old 02-21-2007   #8
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MP5s have become, how shall we say?...passe. I was pleasantly surprised to see direct action forces transition to the M4, but wasn't surprised that a lot of PMCs were still slinging the MP5 in Iraq when things started cooking. Those guys learned eventually, the hard way, but I still catch a photo of a tm leader carrying one every now and then.
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Old 02-21-2007   #9
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Hwne I did the MiTT thing I had an MP-5 for a brief period of time. It would have issues in the sand like the M-4 at times. The H&K systems appear to have some advantages, but the magic quetion is do the advantages outweigh the acquisition costs, and does the opportunity cost to purchase the H&K weapons offest the opportunity cost of other things (better vehicles, coms, NVG, etc.).
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Old 02-21-2007   #10
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Default MP5s have become, how shall we say?...passe.

JC,
My days in M88s and XM1s (they weren't M1s yet) were coupled with M3 grease guns and later M4s.
Those who desire can keep the M4 with the M16s and mess with jams. The M3 worked better, just a bitch to reload, but never jammed. I have now dated myself.

The lowest bidder to a USG contract (ahem)
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Old 02-21-2007   #11
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Although it was basic pressings, I would think a M3 would be the schizznit. Same for the British Sten, at least from a suppressive, make a lotta noise perspective.
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Old 02-21-2007   #12
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JC,
You'd be correct there ! Stamped steel. The AK (I have never had the pleasure of using a real Russian AK, just the Chinese versions) was also built on a tight budget. Those weapons worked because there was no "lowest bid" then, just needed a realiable weapon and fast.

Funny you mentioning the Sten, which was made of stamped and welded metal with a paint-like coating (known today as anodized), scored higher than the Thompson when such things as simplicity, accuracy, weight and reliability were measured.

Thanks, American Rifleman, for that info ! Yepper, Life Member I be

On with your history lesson:
The M3/M3A1s were far easier to manufacture than the Thompson, and had a number of excellent design features. The low cyclical rate of fire makes the M3/M3A1 easier to control than most submachine guns. The weapon's straight line of recoil thrust also adds substantially in controlling the gun in automatic fire. Her loose tolerances allow for reliable operation even if very dirty and, with its bolt and guide rod design make it more reliable than the AK under adverse conditions.

I know my weapons
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Old 02-21-2007   #13
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Frankly, I like the FN SCAR. There are limited number of civilian HK 416s out there in semiauto, and the reviews are not very high on them. They seem a little cheap in construction and regress in the areas of sighting options (unique rail system) The FN SCAR promises to be modular, like the XM8, but without the long-term polymer heat degradation which the Bundeswehr is dealing with in their rifles, which are functionally identical. The FN SCAR is also modular in calibers. The base carbine/rifle combo can be chambered in a variety of 45mm length casings, while the heavy carbine/rifle can be chambered in 7.62 x 51mm. (We dodged THAT bullet, when we cancelled the M8) Plus, FN is producing M16s, M4s, M249s and M240s for us right now, and doing a bang-up job of it. (FN is also fully supported on the civilian side in the US. Try getting customer support from H&K.)

Reading about weapons in the MSM is like nails on a chalkboard, to me. They just are NOT capable of getting details, or even overviews of the subject correct.

The bolt riding forward on the M3/M3A1 always kept me from getting good accuracy out of it. Just too much mass, firing from the open bolt for my tastes.
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Old 02-21-2007   #14
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I was pumped about the SCAR system too, until I saw how it disassembles. It's no a simple matter of pulling a pin and levering the upper receiver up. It got a thumbs down after I saw that, which may be my own M16 parochialism.
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Old 02-21-2007   #15
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Default Practice Makes Perfect, even with M4s !

120,
Quote:
The bolt riding forward on the M3/M3A1 always kept me from getting good accuracy out of it.
That's a matter of practice (me thinks). She was never designed around ranges beyond 100 meters. But then, the M4 is considered to be effective to 150 due mostly to its short barrel. The tanker must exit the vehicle and commence firing. You can do that with an M2HB (my preference) nor M60.

JC, Yes, the M4 is easy to use and maintain. But if you started out like I did when the M16A1 was a total failure, it was hard to beleive the M4 would far better. Granted, it was rarely slung over one's shoulder for any length of time, so barrel warp would be insignificant.

The H&K is a nice and expensive toy and I doubt we will get these anytime soon.
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Old 02-21-2007   #16
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Default Similar experience as Jimbo

Across 4 months of carrying an MP5 is Somalia, I ran into the same finicky issues with dust/sand. It needs almost meticulous care and cleaning, and a drive down the "by-pass road" didn't lend itself to any sterile environment.
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Old 02-21-2007   #17
Stan
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Default down the "by-pass road" in a sterile environment

JC,
Well said and I agree !

So, we've canned the idea of an H&K in today's USA and USMC
I liked the discussion and await a new one !

Good Evening.....
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Old 02-21-2007   #18
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Well, have any of you older hands ever shot an Ingram M10?
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Old 02-22-2007   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
Well, have any of you older hands ever shot an Ingram M10?
The M10 and the M11 if you mean this little beastie.



I shot the M11 fully suppressed.

Never while in harms way, but while doing Hogan's alley a few times.
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Old 02-22-2007   #20
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Impressions? Or is it safe to say that the hands are still sore?
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