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Do U.S. armed forces have the best guns money can buy?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Randini, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Randini

    Randini Salem Member

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    You may have seen this story hitting the press about the M4 and M249 machine guns
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091011/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_afghanistan_weapons_failures

    Looks like the story is mostly about over heating of the weapons.

    "Do U.S. armed forces have the best guns money can buy?"

    "Despite the military's insistence that they do, a small but vocal number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq has complained that the standard-issue M4 rifles need too much maintenance and jam at the worst possible times."
     
  2. thelendog

    thelendog Milwaukie Member

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    No.
     
    v0lcom13sn0w likes this.
  3. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    Built by the lowest bidder.
     
  4. JumpWing

    JumpWing NK WA Member

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    Small teams probably do (SF, SEALS, etc.), but as a whole the U.S. military does not.

    Bear in mind that battle requirements are sometimes mutually exclusive making the definition of "the best" a bit arbitrary.

    You can't have a tight-fitting, highly accurate rifle that will endure abuse from gravity and the elements with minimal maintenance. You can't have a rifle "loose" enough to withstand abuse yet still maintain surgical precision. Improving one aspect means degrading the other.
     
  5. svxr8dr

    svxr8dr Vancouver, WA OathKeeper #004404

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    Well said JumpWing. I personally carried the M249 for some time...in fact in the previous Airborne Battalion Combat Team that was stationed in Vicenza prior to the 173rd. My personal experience with the weapon was generally favorable, though you had to be aware of sand and/or other debris getting into the darn thing. However wth the details of this firefight and sheer volume of fire, I'm not especially surprised by a possible malfunction. If you factor in the environmental conditions, the amount of rounds going down range, and the service age of the current M249's out there you are kinda destined for the possibility of a failure.....and failures seem to always occur at the wrong time :(
     
  6. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Our M4s would fail to extract after about 8 magazines fired through it on burst. The heat weakens the extractor spring and you get a double feed. Dusty ammo doesn't help. I think the new short barrels for the SAW maybe the problem. The regulator is now fixed in the max setting and puts a lot of heat and carbon into the system. Probably too much if you dont change barrels at the recommended intervals.
     
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  7. Artilleryman

    Artilleryman Originally from the central midwest but have reloc Active Member

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    As far as any military equipment goes, almost no issued items are "the best that money can buy". It is usually good enough to get the job done, and better than what the bad guys have though. Unless the country wants to exponentially increase spending for military gear on an indefinite basis, fiscal constraints will always prevent that.
     
  8. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well now that the Germans from HK are making the M416 and a version of the SAW we can all be assured of the finest in weapons quality made by a country that doesn't actually shoot people...

    HK-because you suck and we hate you...

    Kidding, just kidding :) The German guys we met and cross trained with actually liked our M4s better than their G36's. I liked firing their MG-3 machine gun even though my shoulder didn't...:)
     
  9. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    Remember that while our "leaders" have for themselves the best that money can buy, they furnish our troops with the cheapest material that pennys can buy!
     
  10. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    Not even close!
     
  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Listened to an interesting bit the other day on the M4. The Gunfighter Podcast (done by a marine, I would assume also a combat veteran) talking with Eric Shelton from the handgun podcast. Eric asked the host about his experience with the m4 and the other weapons systems making the rumor mill rounds. He was fairly positive about the m4 and was very logical in his reasonings. Worth listening to.

    The bottom line is that every weapons system will have failures and every weapons system will have its critics. Whether its the 5.56 vs. 7.62 (x51 or x39), or piston driven vs. direct gas. The AK is inaccurate, the AR is maintenance heavy, the SCAR is clumsy. No one system will ever silence all of the critics.
     
  12. fletcher

    fletcher Washington Co. Member

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    That is, until you shoot them . . .

    I like to watch Future Weapons, and I am drooling after the M110. It would be a joy to own one of those things.
     
  13. JumpWing

    JumpWing NK WA Member

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    Ah, a fellow temporary Vicenzian, I see.

    3/325 89-91
     
  14. svxr8dr

    svxr8dr Vancouver, WA OathKeeper #004404

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    JumpWing you have a PM! :)
     
  15. spider

    spider Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Not at all.
     
  16. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Despite what I have said about it jamming after repeated firing on burst, I like the M4. It is only in the worst case scenario of repeated full auto firing in dusty conditions where I have seen it fail. Its accurate, light, compact, and is comfortable to shoot. As far as civilian carbines are concerned, I don't think a semi auto can develop the heat necessary to create the malfunction although I would volunteer to test out that rapid fire theory if someone pays for the ammo...:) Piston conversions just relocate the area you have to clean in my view.

    From a more sentimental point of view, I just think its sad that America no longer makes its own guns. I mean, America is famous if not percieved as infamous for its gun culture and we, supposedly, can't make our own guns? We need a modern day John Browning...:thumbup:
     
    41Slinger likes this.
  17. crosse

    crosse Bellevue Active Member

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    the guns aren't the real issue, its of course training is the heart of it. Especially with the US acting more and more as a police force in the sandbox. so what do the grunts returning have to say about the training they received.
     
  18. Blacryan

    Blacryan Salem, OR Member

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    I dont know how 1 can even argue that US forces have the best guns money can buy. Sure the M4 is a amazing firearm. It was revolutionary for its time. As far as money constraints and the cost of changing to a new primary assault weapon the m4 right now is the best. It would cost far too much to switch over.

    BUT you cant argue there isnt better out there...

    Have you not seen the XCR? ACR? the HK 416?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJhPMIVgF6c

    ^ that's a cool video regarding what the ACR is all about.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsgstaO18jY

    ^video about HK416 fast forward to 2:15
     
  19. BooKilla

    BooKilla Portland, OR Member

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    The United States Armed Forces do not have the best guns money can buy. As previously said, they have good enough.

    What I don't understand is, why wouldn't we treat these public forces like we do the private forces. One of my best friends just got back from Afghanistan for 6 years and explained to me that he brought his own guns over there. His M4 is one of best I've ever shot (almost as nice as one of mine :D). I'm not at liberty to tell you which private security company he works for, but they gave him an option between the M4's they have or whatever each soldier wants to bring from home. So, he brought two suppressed M4's and a couple of Kimber Custom 1911's. The company he works for is extremely well paid and the standard issue M4's they are handing out are really nice, but not the best. Now think about how underpaid our Armed Forces are for gear. I wouldn't want to bet my life on that rifle.

    We should give our Armed Forces the option like they have in the private sector. All standard M4's shoot 5.56mm, but not all M4's are the same quality.
     
  20. Ding

    Ding Lighter Side of Oz Active Member

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    Well,I think they have the best,they just haven't re-issued em except on a small time basis.Get the M-14 back out there with a three shot burst,FA is useless and a waste,maybe shorten it up to a 16 inch barrel,maybe not.The M-16 is too tight in tolerances and too finicky for prolonged combat usage.I carried one,I chose to carry the 14,XM177E2,only for special missions or the karl gustav.