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Soldiers Want a Bigger Bang

by Ward Carroll on May 25, 2007

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Nearly 80 percent of Soldiers said in a recent survey they are satisfied with their weapons, though almost half recommended a replacement for the standard-issued M9 pistol or ammunition with more stopping power.

Additionally, nearly 30 percent of Soldiers in the December 2006 survey, conducted on behalf of the Army by the Center for Naval Analyses, said the M4 carbine should be replaced or more deadly ammunition fielded.

“Across weapons, Soldiers have requested weapons and ammunition with more stopping power/lethality,” the report said.

The study was commissioned by the Army’s Project Manager for Soldier Weapons to address concerns raised by Soldiers returning from combat about the dependability and effectiveness of their small arms.

Download the entire CNA report here (2MB pdf).

“This study assessed Soldier perspectives on the reliability and durability of their weapons systems in combat to aid in decisions regarding current and future small arms needs of the Army,” said the study, which was obtained by Military​.com.

CNA surveyors conducted over 2,600 interviews with Soldiers returning from combat duty, asking them a variety of questions about accessories, weapons training, maintenance and recommended changes to their small arms.

“The U.S. Army Infantry Center is conducting a study to refine the Army’s Small Arms Strategy, which focuses on the employment of rifles, carbines, ammunition caliber, and future technologies,” said Army spokesman, Lt. Col. William Wiggins, in a statement. “All Services are participating in this study, which is expected in the July/August 2007 timeframe.”

The survey lends weight to Army claims that current-issued weapons are effective despite growing criticism from Soldiers and lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the service should re-assess the standard M4 — as well as the M9 pistol.

In April, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sent a letter to acting Army secretary Pete Geren taking issue with the service’s sole-source contract to buy about 500,000 M4 carbines despite evidence that new rifle technologies could provide more reliable weapons.

The study found the most stoppage problems with the M249 machine gun and M9 pistol, with an average of about 30 percent of respondents saying they experienced stoppages with each weapon in firefights. About four in ten Soldiers who said they experienced jams during combat with their pistols or machine guns claimed it took them out of the fight.

Though vocal critics of the M4 say it’s prone to jamming in the talcum-like sand environments of Iraq and Afghanistan, only 19 percent of M4 users said they experienced stoppages in combat.

But of those with malfunctioning M4s, nearly 20 percent said they were “unable to engage the target with that weapon during a significant portion of or the entire firefight after performing immediate or remedial action to clear the stoppage,” the report said.

Soldiers who attach accessories to their weapons experienced a disproportionate number of malfunctions, with M249 users nine times more likely to experience a stoppage “if accessories were attached via zip cord, four times more likely if attached with duct tape and three times more likely if attached with dummy cords or rails.”

“Accessory attachments had a significant impact on reported stoppages,” the report said. “Those who attached accessories to their weapon were more likely to experience stoppages, regardless of how the accessories were attached.”

The CNA surveyors also asked Soldiers for their opinions on possible improvements to their small arms. The top request from Soldiers was for more knock-down power, reigniting the debate over America’s small arms caliber choices.

“When speaking to experts and Soldiers on site, many commented on the limited ability to effectively stop targets, saying that those personnel targets who were shot multiple times were still able to continue pursuit,” the report said.

A full 20 percent of M9 users said they wanted a new weapon, and “some were more specific and requested a return to the Colt .45 for standard issue pistols,” including others who asked for hollow-point ammo.

Hollow point rounds have been deemed illegal for military use.

Additionally, M16 users were “consistent and adamant” in asking to be re-issued the more compact M4.

Christian

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{ 372 comments… read them below or add one }

mrnitropb May 25, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Does anyone else think that if this current GWOT continues unabated, with US forces fighting non-national forces that the Hague convention’s prohibition on expanding amunition will be dropped for us troops fighting non-conventional forces?

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Demophilus May 25, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Thanks for the link to the report, Christian. LOTS of useful info there.
I’m not 100% sure of one thing: the statement that “Hollow point rounds have been deemed illegal for military use.” That’s a straight quote out of the report, but I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate.
Legal questions are by nature somewhat nebulous. Illegality isn’t a simple scalar state like heat, or speed. It’s more of a sliding scale.
I was never a JAG officer, so I’m not up on the conventional wisdom on hollowpoints. If anyone out there knows the score, please share your info.
IIRC, hollowpoints have deemed unacceptable for use against nation-state combatants under the Hague Convention and/or our own Rules of Armed Conflict. As a matter of practice, the US avoids their use against dissidents or insurgents presuming to act on behalf of a nation state who observe similar laws of war. However, I seem to recall that there are opinions out there supporting the use of hollow points against criminal elements: for example, narcoterrorists or perpetrators of atrocities.
IIRC, there is at least one formal USG legal opinion on open tip rifle ammo, which is designed primarily for accuracy, rather than wounding effect, which was deemed merely incidental. I think there are also opinions approving frangible ammo, on the rationale that any enhanced wounding effect would be secondary to their ricochet/penetration limitations.
Like I said, illegality’s a sliding scale. You don’t want to let it slide too far, but there’s almost always a little wiggle room to maneuver.
If anybody out there’s got better info on this issue, by all means, sound off.

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Christian May 25, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Demophilus,
That was not a direct quote from the report, but a characterization of a statement made in the report. Maybe “illegal” isn’t the technically correct word. Though the USMil has “prohibited” their use.
You raise an interesting point. I’m no expert, but I seem to remember that shotguns are against the Hague laws of armed conflict. But there’s pleanty of those floating around the Box. And not just for busting the locks off doors…
An interesting discussion…

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Nicholas Weaver May 25, 2007 at 2:46 pm

30% have had their pistols jam in combat? Given how often the pistol should be used, this seems very VERY high, as what’s the ratio between pistol shots and rifle shots?
20% have had their rifles jam? And when they jam, 20% of the time the rifle is totally FUBARed?
Is there any numbers for previous generation weapons or what AK-47/AK-73 users have?
Doesn’t the Iraqi military use a lot of AK-73s? Why not survey them? That would probably answer the M4/M16 reliability debate.

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Demophilus May 25, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Christian:
My mistake; the statement on hollowpoints on p. 29 of the report is slightly different.
On shotguns, the history goes roughly as follows. Germany protested our use of shotguns in trench warfare during WWI on Hague Convention grounds — i.e., that they caused unnecessary suffering. The Allied victory pretty much put an end to the discussion.
Around 10 years ago JAG issued an opinion authorizing their use as Hague compliant. You can find it at this link:
http://www.tacticalshotgun.ca/content_sub/shotguns/da-pam_27-50-299.html
There might be other opinions to the same effect. IIRC, some legal work was done around the time of the Close Assault Weapons System (CAWS) program in the 80s, and there may have been other opinions on shotgun launched flechettes.

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Charles May 25, 2007 at 11:16 pm

I’ve heard we weren’t technically signatories to the Hague Accords, or at least the particulars relating to expanding rounds. I think the Accords mentioned that if one side doesn’t follow the Accords, the other doesn’t have to. And if we’re going against non-national entities that can’t necessarily sign for these kinds of accords…

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txzen May 26, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Anyone have any other information on the “accessories causing more jams” issue? Is that like people were duct taping or zip tying a scope onto their m249? Using cord to attach a bi pod or laser designators or flash light? And these attachments and riggings caused heat issues? I find it interesting because more and more you see m16 and m4s and m249s with scopes bipods lasers and flashlights on them. Are the problems still there when they are attached by the rail or is it just the rigged on systems causing problems?

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Brian H May 27, 2007 at 12:25 am

“can’t necessarily sign”. WTF? The AQ and other insurgents in Iraq, or Taliban in Afghanistan, not only wouldn’t but don’t even have an identifiable conceivable signing authority. And each routinely commits gross violations of every military code ever written. Not least of which is routinely wearing civilian dress. I recommend “Sanctuary” by Bill Whitten.

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John May 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm

I will hold comments until I read the whole report. But there are two things I am looking for.
First. Out of the Pool of those surveyed, how many were Combat Arms (11, 13, & 31 series) vs. Support units (87E’s & 92 series). I do know that all soldiers can be equally attacked, but Combat arms may have a higher instance of direct combat usage / experiance.
Secondly. Compared to what? It

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steve May 29, 2007 at 11:07 pm

i believe the comment above actually should have been ak-74, not 73. and no, i’m not confusing the 47 and 74. the ak-74 uses 5.45 mm rounds, which have a hollow pont round…. in the sense that they have a full metal jacket, but there is a hollow point in the tip under the jacket that allows them to act just like any other hollow point but in technical terms isn’t actually a hollow point. this allowed the russians to be geneva convention compliant. there are ways around everything right? well the 74 began it’s wide spread use in afghanistan against the muj. you see many pictures of the muj with captured ak-74′s and some with the bg-15 grenade launcher mounted. as far as the question our rifles and what they should be, i think it depends on the mission as well as what we need long term. we definately need a weapon that can do better in the desert. thank god the army decided to get rid of that damn “break free” which attractd more dirt and dust thhan anything else ever devised. but we need something with stopping power, high rates of fire and god damn, automatic! that 3 round burst sucks big time. they need to have actual infantry / combat arms testing this stuff as opposed to those natic or whatever troops doing it. pencil pushers and e-6 and e-7′s should be doing the testing. get some e-4′s and 5′s doing it. hell, even some e-3′s.

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Iron Ranger May 30, 2007 at 12:30 am

I talked to a fine young Marine that was serving in Iraq. He told me the issue 9mm was a “peice of crap” he said it “never stopped a rag head with one shot” Interesting to note that he was buying a HK 45 from me. By the way I gave the young man a heck of a deal on the 45. I used the 45 and M14 during my three years in the Army. They were both fine wepons.

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Paul Johnson May 30, 2007 at 1:06 am

When txzen questioned the problems associated with accessories attached to the weapons, it did not suprise me. The lighter we go with any round, the less recoil or gas pressure there is to operate the action. Anything attached to the weapon will affect the way the weapon recoils, and the lighter recoil will be more effected by the change in weight distribution than a heavier weapon system. Another argument for a heavier weapons system, both the cartidge and the weapon itself (7.62 to stay NATO standard)
In teaching marksmanship and firearms handling both to US Army personell and civilians of ALL ages for over 20 years, I have seen many of the problenms that can cause stoppages. But I have never seen a 1/5 rate of problems, under ANY conditions. If these reports are accurate, and I have no reason to doubth it, FIX IT NOW! How many of our boys and girls have been killed because of these problems? It is bad enough that our so-called free press supports the terrorists by pressing their agenda. Let’s not kill them by not giving the proper weapons to kill the enemy.
As to the issue of “illegal” and “legal” projectiles and cartridges, we have always tried to play “by the rules” and the terrorists have always ignored them. Under conventions and treatys we cannot use Hollow Point or expanding point projectiles because they “cause unneccesary damage” and are “inhumane”. While I understand wanting to do what they do, however I do not ever want to drop to their level.
It is too bad we cannot use the same ammunition in combat that our police use!
God bless our troops and Commander and Chief.

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PhilLeech May 30, 2007 at 1:41 am

.40s&w

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t. minor May 30, 2007 at 3:29 am

i’m shocked that someone would use the phrase “only 19%” when speaking of weapons not functioning properly in combat.

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Chi May 30, 2007 at 5:00 am

All models of gun jam now and than.
But 30% small arm pistols jam that to much.
The Army should retest the small arm pistols and
modifies them to work better in the desert.
Close combat troops and Commanding Officers rellies on small arm pistols alot.
M16 was phase out to have some thing better.
20% rifles jam that not any better.
Bring back the M16 re design make it work in the desert.The M16 wsa the call sign for the Army nearly 40 years.Save some money no need to get new rifle.

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mad dog May 30, 2007 at 6:16 am

Any grunt who served from Hue City to Sadr City knows bigger is better in a firefight. The M4 is what it is, a piece o’crap. The 9mm is a joke. The FBI has known this for years and agents get a .40. Why do we always let the boots down?

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George May 30, 2007 at 6:37 am

The 45 ACP is a stopper. There is no good reason not to return to the old work horse. If you are not allowed to have hollow points then a big bullet helps. Oh by the way even the FBI uses a hollow point in its 40 S&W
As far as the M4 goes I understand that H&K has a upgrade of the system that will fire after being buried in sand. Nuf said?
When will the penny pinchers get it that if even one life is saved it will be worth the cost.

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martea May 30, 2007 at 7:10 am

The operational mindset plus internationl law prevent use of hollowpoints in combat where the goal is to wound. The same international law dictates the treatments of prisoners and combatants are not expected to fight to the death. However in law enforcement it is assumed that the combatants are going to fight to the death, hollow points are use to totally incapaciate the enemy. In police style military engagements the lines get muddied. The .45 was first used in the Philippines pre WW1 during a similar style police action would, now, as then be highly effective.

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Ed Begley May 30, 2007 at 7:16 am

My experience goes back 50 years, and may be a tad out of date. I carried and used the following: M-1 Rifle, M3 Grease gun, 1911 Colt .45, S&W Victory Model .38, M-14 Rifle, BAR,
M-1817, M-19, (.30 cal.)mand M-2 (.50 cal.)Machine guns. All weapons systems are a compromise, and all have design flaws. The early 1911′s were called thumb Breakers for good reason, and until the Series 80 were prone to firing when dropped. The M-3 Grease gun had a very poorly designed safety, and there was no way to determine whether it was properly engaged. BTW, I still carry a hundred year old M-1905 .38 S&W Special for self defense when out on the road.

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older vet May 30, 2007 at 7:31 am

The 9mm pistol is not a stopper even if used with a 124 gr. bullet at 1250 fps. Leaves nice holes. Stops only if it hits either vital organ, brain or heart, or hits spinal. Otherewise, the tango may fuction for a while and bleed out later, after the immediate situation. Plenty of police reports of multiple 9mm hits (with HP’s)and bad guys still moving and deadly. The whole M16 family is perfectly engineered – but used in an imperfect world. Dust and powder residue make it prone to only moderate reliability. It is light, and an operator can carry a lot of rounds. If 4 stars had to plod routinely, both weapons would have been replaced years ago with something new. Lots of new tech should be tested. New ammo alone won’t solve the problem. Most handgun HP’s don’t reliably expand – lack of velocity. These are not offensive weapons for the 21st century. They are in the system. They are OK for law enforcement as defensive weapons used sparingly. Insurgents are not covered by Geneva Conventions. Don’t apply it to an unconventional enemy’s benefit. Be realistic: the best small arms are tank rounds and 500 pounders. The rest are last resort and the question should be tactical. Why fight an enemy on the least effective level when maximum force should be the norm? God bless our troops.

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Patrick Lannigan May 30, 2007 at 7:48 am

As a former Marine and having the pleasure in serving during the first Gulf conflict, i want to comment on our M-16A2 and our Beretta M9. The M16 is very accurate weapon, it has the capability of hitting pt. targets at 550meters. However, combine a very small caliber[.223], high velocity[over 3000fps] and a fully metal jacketed projectile. What do you get? Something that feels like an ice pick shot through your body. Not only is there no expansion of the projectile, the target will still be able to fight for a while. During this time he could fire his RPG and kill a whole fire-team of Marines from his position. The target will slowly bleed to death, suffering the whole time. Talk about inhumane! If i had my choice at this point, and i was that Marine, I would be armed with a modified M-14.The M-14 has the stopping power the guys need. If that target had been engaged with an M-14, he would not have been able to fire his RPG and kill that fire-team of Marines!! It’s just logic… Would i choose my .223 or my 7.62 to put an injured horse down? Get my point? In Panama, rounds would be ground down at the tip to expose the lead. This at least allowed for some expansion to create a little more tissue damage to help speed the termination of the enemy.
As for my side arm, it would absolutely be a .45 caliber ACP. This caliber was specifically designed for knock down power. We needed this during the Phillipine campaign. I remember when we first recieved the m-9 in 1990. We were afraid to shoot them at the range because the upper recievers were cracking at the ejection port. The back half of the reciever was seperating at recoil and killing some Marines! Besides being a weak caliber, this sidearm jams alot too. Some members of a fire-team were clearing bunkers one night, they engaged the enemy in CQB. One man shot his 9mm 8 times center mass and the guy kept coming, he shot the guy directly in the face and he dropped on top of him. That would have never happened if he had been using a .45 ACP. Anyway, i think that anyone who has been in a firefight will tell you that M-16′s jam and they jam alot. The M-9 jams and it jams alot, but we have to use what we have for now. Tell your sons and daughters to keep their weapons clean at all times!!! Who knows, Maybe we will get a few M-14′s and .45′s to our forces in Iraq….
SEMPER-FI
Patrick L. Lannigan
pllannigan@yahoo.com

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Brent May 30, 2007 at 7:53 am

OK, I never heard that in war we are only supposed to wound people, but in law enforcement we are supposed to kill? Sorry, but I have absolutely no illusions about war, in war you kill the enemy, forget that wounding stuff.
The M-4 and the M-16 are essentially the same weapon. The only difference really is the M-4 is shorter, better for CQB.
I could never understand the no hollow point thing. It always made little sense, especially when using the 9mm as a sidearm. How is that “illegal”, what moron made that rule?
During World War II to answer a question, the Germans and Brits both carried bolt action rifles as their primary weapon (the K-98 and Enfield .303 respectively), the US was using the Garand I believe.

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Jeff Matlin May 30, 2007 at 8:12 am

Using small caliber, jacketed ammunition is
insane. In war you kill the enemy before he kills you by whatever means necessary. Why have rules in war if we’re the only ones who follow
them.

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MIke May 30, 2007 at 8:25 am

The .45 is definately the way to go. Springfield Armory has a .45 ACP called the XD that is a great pistol. It’s lightweight and holds 13 in the clip and one up the pipe. It’s easy to shoot and by most accounts (law enforcement,etc…) it raises people’s shooting scores. It helped me shoot better which means it must be a modern marvel of engineering. I have small hands (which means I have chi hua hua syndrome) and even though it’s a .45 ACP I have no problems with the grip; so the ladies will be able to handle it also. AS far as reliability check out the torture test they did on one and decide for your self here is the link:http://springfield-armory.primediaoutdoors.com/SPstory11.php . Now as far as the M4 if cost is the problem the powers that be should just switch to the 6.8 HK makes one that’s supposed to be sand proof also.Or the one by Barrett. They say it’s a little more than the stopping power of a .270. That round will kill a nice Texas white tail so it would probably work on a tango.Or how about the Springfield Socom 2 in .308 that would definately get the job done (it’s the shortened version of the M1A) it holds less ammo, but one bullet to stop a tango compared to 5 or 6 well do the math. It has a longer range and more knock down power no matter what kind of bullet you are using. With recruiting issues and retainment issues of troops Uncle Sam should wake up and figure out that equiping the soldiers with the best, equipment no matter the cost, is the way to keep the troops we have and get the ones we want. Make them feel like they are worth more than the almighty dollar because they are. God Bless our troops!! Ride on Freedom Fighters we are praying for you!!!

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Zak May 30, 2007 at 8:35 am

i would say using the .45 ACP XD round would be the way to go, but on the other hand the M9 is slightly better, if it was my pick i’d have to say use the .45, it doesn’t way as much, and the accurecy is great.
e-mail me if you want to talk about about this
Flyhigh46@aol.com home to hear from someone =]

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bob May 30, 2007 at 8:52 am

I’m thinking an M-4 type weapon with a 6.5mm bullet and perhaps the .357 cal sig.

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Jose May 30, 2007 at 9:06 am

The M-4 for CQ is great; it’s a cut down of the M-16 and by having less recoil than higher caliber weapons you can concentrate more rounds in a tighter pattern. But; when it comes to your side arm I have to say the 1911 A-1 colt .45 was with all GI’s from WWI up until about 1985 when we went to the 9mm WHAT A MISTAKE. The whole reason for the .45 was stopping power especially at CQ’s; you want to create distance between you and the enemy not just drop him. With a 9mm a knife wielding aggressor can still make it to you and hurt you if not shot very terminally and accurately, in turn with the .45 you’ll sit his behind on the ground a couple of feet from were ever he was standing. Therefore; the threat was eliminated our GI is still in the fight and not being airlifted out, GOD bless all our troops

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Billy Williams May 30, 2007 at 9:06 am

I trained and qualified on the 1911A1 45 Cal and the M-14 in 7.62 x 39. Now there is stopping power and the more bad guys you kill, the more ammunition you have. Cuts cost and logistics. Makes sense to me.

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kahless May 30, 2007 at 9:12 am

All of the he said she said stuff is not doing anyone anygood. The military, no matter what branch, needs the .45ACP. It is a proven manstopper. Having 15 rounds of 9mm does you no good when you have to use three to put one person down. No wonder they give them 15 rounds. Secondly, the M4 is a lightweight piece of plastic that sometimes kills sometimes dosent. The AK47 always kills with a good body hit. Wake up Washington! How many boys will die till you bean counting pennie pinchers produce a lifesaving weapon for the troops. God bless AMERICA!

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Steven May 30, 2007 at 9:24 am

i do belive with most of the people here that we should go back to the colt .45 it is a good gun. it woked very well back in world war 2. my Granfather was saved on more then one occasion by the .45 i havent a clue as to why they chaned to samller pistol with much less stopping power. Another think is why can the military use hallo points, that doesent make sence to me. They can add a lot more stopping power to a low calibar round. hallo points will hit and kill a target but wont go through the body so you arent hitting things you dont want to. like children or civilians. so with the hallo points you kill the people you want to with out the possibilty of hitting someone else. Thank you armed forces
Recruit Morrissette
united States Navy

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Dia Mortensen (Sgt. USMC, Former) May 30, 2007 at 9:31 am

Speaking of legalities, in WWII, if you were caught by the Germans or the Brits, out of uniform, conducting war, you were tried (very quickly), and executed as a spy. It was known to special new formed units such as the SAS and Royal Commandos that this was a distinct possibility if captured. I think we should incorporate the same rules-of-engagement. Out of uniform? BANG BANG.
As far as what weapons to use….notice on TV how many Marines and Soldiers are using AK’s (Can’t ell if they’re 47′s or 74′s). Troops seem to know what works. I loved the M-16A2 at the range, where it was extremely accurate. But the combat our guys are seeing over there is short range combat, and a lot of CQC, for which I’d be more than happy to sacrifice accuracy for reliablility.
Pistol? Is there any question it shouldn’t be the .45? And Glock will never get the contract, even though it’s the perfect soldiers pistol, as they won’t give up what it’s made of (Hence they were looked at, but not invited to the first 9mm test years ago). Single stack 1911a1 is the way to go. Uncomplicated, everybody makes one, and we all know it works. nuff’said.
SEMPER FI, and keep those virgins comin’

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copdoc May 30, 2007 at 9:44 am

The stopping power of the 5.56mm has debated since it’s introduction during Vietnam. The military 40 years later, still hasn’t gotten it through there heads.
As far as the 9mm v .45, everyone knows that the .45 is a better round. Since hollow points are against the Geneva convention, the U.S. doesn’t seem to fight countries that signed it, the move back to the .45. An easy way to do that is to increase production of the HK USP45. Make it the double action only version for simplisity. Then you would have a round with a higher one shot kill ratio and a weapon that has a higher ammo capacity than the 1911. If HK isn’t the way to go, there several reliable double stack, 1911 style .45′s out there.

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richard clark May 30, 2007 at 9:45 am

the 9mm is a fine hand gun and very accurate. the 45 has a velocity of 850 fps. slower than the 9mm but very hard hitting. i love the old 45. it also was an accurate piece. or i never had any trouble with hitting a man sized target. bring back the 45. it will do the job.after almost 90 years it is still a very fine weapon. like to have one myself and get shed of my 380.

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FWM May 30, 2007 at 10:07 am

So the vast majority of troops express satisfaction with their weapon systems yet the headline is “Soldiers Want A Bigger Bang”.
Anything to get the armchair warriors all stirred up over the next piece of shiny kit being pushed.
*shrug*

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Taylor May 30, 2007 at 10:54 am

simple bring back the 45 workhorse and find soutions to developing a weapon thats simple to make hint AK-47. Its sad you have a wound first law when the enemy plays by no rules thats stupid rules of war. We need to use our technology to create a small but accuarate rifle with stoppin power cause out troops deserve the best. God bless all our troops.

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Dave May 30, 2007 at 11:30 am

Re: Shotguns. Didn’t SEALS use silenced shotguns in the Delta Region of Vietnam? Hmmm.

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Dan Tillman May 30, 2007 at 11:44 am

The solution exists and has been here for 50 years now. The venerable M14 that we slogged thru the grass with during the early days of Viet Nam. We cursed it because it was heavy but it was dependable and would send a 7.62 mm Nato downstream at 2800 fps. If it hit the enemy, the enemy STOPPED! Usually they were stopped cold. The ones we used in ’63 and ’64 had the selective autofire and a 20 round magazine filled with FMJ.
We were still the “old Army” then and were trained as Riflemen who selected and killed the target. If we went back to this basic Rifleman combat strategy and got away from the “assault attack” theory where we filled the air with lead, the troops would probably be more productive in their kill books. It is significant that when I see photo of a team sniper, be he Marine, Army, Navy or Air Force, most of the time he is toting an M14-A1 (and not necessarily the sniperized M21). ‘Nuff said!!

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Robert Baptiste May 30, 2007 at 11:57 am

As a Post Vietnam Vet serving during the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis Era, I carried the M60 Machine Gun. This is the conventional weapon I prefer to cut to the chase. The M-16 made by the Mattel (toy company) would jam and with the Butt of the Rifle hitting the surface if you had a projectile chambered would actually fire unintentionaly. The pistol of choice is the 45ACP not a trumped up 38 caliber a.k.a the 9mm. This is WAR and there is no margin for era. I would never had expected to see the terrorists over here on U.S.A. soil. We should have finished it 30 years ago in IRAN. The same hostage taker is now the President of IRAN and we as Americans should realize that the only defense we have is to be proactive vs reactive when dealing with the enemy. Prepare yourselves for the battle on our lands. It is here in the USA and although we continue to feel somewhat secure we must arm ourselves for our homeland security. All Americans of all ethnicity! When we are fighting the enemey we must remember our mission to defend our country to the death. These extremist who are trying to infiltrate us have landed on our soils and want to live the life of Democracy at the costs of our Soldiers lives that have been sacrificed and maimed. As a previous African-American Vet who served this country with honor I hope we all (Americans) can come together and fight as ONE to destroy the enemies who are trying to bring down this country of HONOR!
May God keep our soldiers out of harms way & may God Bless America.
United States Army
Charlie Company/503 Trans
Robert

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Shawn May 30, 2007 at 12:08 pm

There is nothing wrong with the 9mm, when using current loads. What we need is to stop using ball ammo. Issue our trigger-pullers good ammo and the whole 9mm “stopping power” debate ceases. Here are the loads they should be using:
Cor-Bon (DPX09115)
Winchester Partition Gold 124gr JHP (RA91P)
Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+ (RA9TA)
Winchester Ranger-T 147gr JHP (RA9T)
Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P (53617)
Speer Gold Dot 147gr JHP (53619)
Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP (GS9MMC)
Federal Tactical 124gr JHP (LE9T1)
Federal Tactical 135gr JHP +P (LE9T5)
Federal HST 147gr JHP (P9HST2)
I’d say the same for the 5.56mm. The M4/M16 need more than a 62 grain round. Use 70+ grain rounds and it makes a significant difference.
All this can be done without switching to an entirely new weapons platform.

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Cpl Esparza May 30, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Ammunition has nothing to do with anything and those who can actually shoot will tell you that. The 5.56 is fine, it already fits three of our weapon systems and doesn’t need to be replaced. The M9? If its clean it will work, its a bit picky but it works. I’ve used a M249 SAW in combat and it never jammed on me once. I had to clean the hell out of it but what else are you doing in your spare time? All our weapon systems are delicate, thats the way it is, its up to the individual to make it work. I’ve dropped guys at 30 meters and also at 600 meters, u just have to actually hit them. All this spraying and praying crap has got to go! One shot, one Kill, and yes firefights get confusing and everyone just shoots like crazy, but if you actually want to kill someone aim in, squeeze, and smile as his head becomes a pink mist and a memory. Train our boys to shoot and i’d issue them .22 LR, they’d still be able to kill.
Semper Fidelis

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murray bitterman May 30, 2007 at 1:15 pm

I think the 10mm should be considered. The Glock 20 with 15 rounds of winchester silvertips would literally shoot circles around any 9mm, or .45, for that matter (with GI Ball ammo), This round was made for the FBI after their 9mm’s experienced devastating failures to stop bad guys, even with well placed shots. If the 1911 format is desired, as opposed to Glock, Kimber makes a 1911 10mm. I am sure the other manufacturers could do it as well. Para Ordnance could make one similar to their 16 shot .40 cal.

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MSG Erik Nelson May 30, 2007 at 1:39 pm

The AK is a piece of crap. I’d take an M16 or M4 over that weapon any day. I never have had a problem with the 5.56 round. The trick is to keep the bolt relatively dry with just a bit of lube; too much and it picks up sand quick. If you can hit what you’re aiming at, 5.56 is a devastating round. But, I can see the point of Soldiers who’d like a heavier caliber weapon… maybe an M14 with a light weight composite stock. The SAW is a great assault weapon with a high rate of fire. The M60 fires at a slower rate that the M240B, is lighter and more user friendly (you can actually fire it from your shoulder). The 240B has a higher rate of fire but is unwieldy with it’s stock…it would be a better weapon if the shoulder plate was attached right to the butt plate (like on the M60). If you’re in a fight where you have to use your pistol, good luck. The .45 has a lot more stopping power than a 9mm but only holds half the ammo (normally). In a close fight like that, a shotgun is better. For sheer power and psychologiucal terror, nothing beats a .50 cal. One of my gunners nearly cut the roof off of a building during one firefight…the rounds went through the front wall and kept on going out the back, awesome.

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jerry sutton May 30, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Para ordinance makes a 15 round light double action 45.. also the Springfield xp with 14 rounds would be excellent possibly moving to the gap 45 if same grain bullet. Ultimate close quarters with some 50yard accuracy is the good old Tommy Gun. you got a shorty with punch to match th 1911 styles same ammo or go to with a 1911 with mags some loaded with explosive and some armor pericing and some lead mix and match ..I know if my ass was their i would be using bacon grease and let them know i was sending them to hell not to 40 virgins.

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Willie May 30, 2007 at 2:39 pm

My brother-in-law was in Kuwait last year and told me horror stories of how badly the .50 cal machine guns and magazines were kept up. There really isn’t good training on identifying deficiencies in the weapons. If your weapon doesn’t work and you really don’t understand ‘why’ then you work around the problem. And the Army has a poor attitude of ‘just live with it’. There should be a contractor on site that inspects weapons for proper operation. The magazines are the worst culprit for failures since they are fully loaded all the time destroying the spring tension. Some good in field “experts” could give our troops much needed advice on getting more life out of their weapons.

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Shawn May 30, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Cpl Esparza is right and wrong about what he stated. He says, “Ammunition has nothing to do with anything and those who can actually shoot will tell you that.” This is B.S. Take a look at the ballistics of 9mm ball. It sucks. Then compare the ballistics of the rounds I listed below with the .40S&W and .45ACP. Evens out the “stopping power” dilemma. Being able to shoot is one thing. Having good rounds and being able to shoot is another.
“Train our boys to shoot” is spot on! Training, especially in use of secondary weapons platforms, like the M9, needs to improve dramatically. Replacing the M9 with, take your pick of G21SF, SIG P220 Combat, XD-45, M&P 45, whatever, won’t make a difference if training doesn’t improve. Qualification with one’s weapon doesn’t make them a proficient user of that weapon.
Semper fidelis,
Shawn
USMC 1989-1993

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Barry May 30, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Those who say the US should go to the .40cal and that Law Enforcement swears by it, read too much Soldier of Fiction magazines.
Sure LE Departments may swear by it but most officers have never used that particular round (or any other)in the line of duty.
So when an officer is asked how he likes his new fangled .40 cal round he might be inclined to tell you how wonderful it is only because the fellas at the range told him so.
When it takes more than three rounds with HP .40 cal to neutralize a point blank threat, then your confidence level in this round may lean out a little bit.
Gun fights are never like the movies, there is no such thing as knock down power and when people are hit they continue to fight, it is like a nightmare.
There is absoulutely no substitute for .45, never will be…
Trust me..

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1911man May 30, 2007 at 5:18 pm

All this seems somewhat academic to me. Modern countries build what they think will work while the insurgents use what they know will work. They could get any weapon they want, but still use old faithfull, the AK-47. I own an AR-15 from Bushmaster and a Yugoslavian made AK-47. After burning up more rounds than I care to count, the one that I would take into combat would have to be the AK. Granted, it is not as accurate as my AR, it never failed me. The AR requries constant cleaning due to its direct gas operation and failed to chamber on numerous occations. The AK always ran like a top, no matter how dirty it was. My solution would be to combine the accuracy of the AR with the reliability and punch of the AK. Guess what? It’s been done. Knight’s Armament has a rifle called the AR-47. It uses the 7.62 x 39mm round as well as standard AK mags. Add a short stroke operating system and you would have my ideal weapon. As far as handguns go, just look at my username. I have no need for any other round than a .45. However, for military use, the Springfeild XD45 might be the way to go. It is accurate, light, hard hitting, and carries only 2 less rounds than the M9. It also has a small diameter grip that makes it easy for those, like me, who have small hands, to shoot. Keep your heads down and your powder dry.

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devildog71 May 30, 2007 at 5:25 pm

the 9mm was at first liked for the additional ammunition capacity in the magazine but if it takes more ammo to destroy a deadly opponent then it is neutralized. the colt .45 usually fits the hand as good or better in its current form. perhaps using a stacked magazine to increase magazine capacity might make it an ideal pistol, if it still fights the hand of all armed services personnel. the new compact rifle the Israelis have developed is excellent and some of the new compact rifles are in 308 caliber

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Rick May 30, 2007 at 5:37 pm

If the military insists on staying with the 5.56mm they need to switch to a bullpup design weapon. The M4 gives up 800fps compared to the M16A2. The 5.56 effectiveness relies on velocity to do the job, choping 6 inches off the barrel is not the way to get an effective compact weapon.

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MadMan May 30, 2007 at 7:22 pm

The 9mm vs .45 debate is an obvious one. Ask any direct action team operator what is on his side. Done. Now the thing I don’t understand is why there isn’t more being said about Remington 6.8mm Special Purpose Cartridge? By all accounts that I have heard of in combat and my own personal experience with a M4 in 6.8, this round kicks butkus. It may not reach out as far as 308 but neither does 5.56mm. Short to medium ranges this round is supposed to disasterfy what it hits. The military is ordering an ungodly amount of M4s in 5.56mm? Call up Barrett or Stag Arms or Bushmaster or all three and split that contract out among them and get a rifle that does what it is supposed to. Kill people. The round/rifle combo that we field should be a “lights out” package. Not a “dimmer” switch. The ideal is ” One Shot, One Kill” right?
Semper,
MadMan

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Harold Bailey May 30, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Same arguement that has been going on since the US government adopted the mattel toy. The 5.56 caliber is too small (that’s .223 to the un-initiated). The range is too short, even the M16A2 with the new ammo that came along with it have only HALF the range of the AK-47.
I was a a field medic from ’82-’86 and I hated the M-16 the whole time. The tight machining that gives the 16 it’s accuracy is also the reason for it’s jamming problems. That is why Kalishnakov fought so hard to maintain comparitively looser machining standards. He also fought to maintain the 7.62 caliber when the kremlin tried to follow the wests example by reducing the caliber of their rifles.
Any weapon that will fail and jam from carbon fouling alone is an inferior weapon. This happened routinely even in basic training. God forbid that you should get the dang thing actually dirty.

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Benny Furgeson May 30, 2007 at 8:53 pm

As for the Hand Gun issue, there is nothing that can replace the Colt 1911 as a side arm for the Armed Forces. As long as we insist on using FMJ ammo anything smaller is just not good enough. The Colt has proven itself through years of actual combat.
The M-16(AR-15) as designed by Mr. Stoner was a good specialized weapon never meant to be a primary Battle Rifle. As it stands now, the best solution would be to go to the 6.8 round and Barret rifle. In my opinion this would be the best choice as all older M-16s and M-4s could be converted to the new caliber. The change over would not require a lot of training for a young Soldier and the 6.8 cal. would give the weapon the desired lethality. I think most “Old Soldiers” would agree.
Thank You,
Benny

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Rob May 30, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Not enough space to write about the 9mm vs .45 debate. I just don’t know why “they” won’t go to the .40 cal round and lose the M9. As far as the M60, that would be a very smart move.

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1st75th May 31, 2007 at 3:10 am

Awww isn’t that cute a bunch of armchair warriors discussing their head size…it is war, and the fact the american people want soldiers to go to war cheaply and not allow them to carry weapons that will actually help them wins shows how little any of you care HOW MANY DIE because we don’t have the right mindset.
We are there to KILL people, as many and as quickly as we can without getting killed, arm them with the best stop letting the lowest bidder make the weapons and really support the troops so they can get their job done and come home.
We are there killing men, not duck, deer or pheasant time to up that ante!!

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John P York May 31, 2007 at 4:55 am

Springfield XD45ACP seems to solve many of the reasons the army went to 9mm, it manages recoil very well, and has 13 + 1 capacity. I would like to see the army switch over to th hk 416 chambered for 6.8rem, or 7.62X51. get rid of straight gas blow back, and 5.56
my $.02
regards
John P York

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Gerald A Willsey May 31, 2007 at 5:38 am

The US military has been bouncing the handgun caliber thing around for over a century. This is nothing new, but it STILL hasn’t learned what it takes to knock sombody over so they don’t get up.
They replaced the Colt .45 six shooter after the plains wars with a .38 (essentially a 9mm) and found it ineffective against the Moros.
WWII, the Germans used the 9mm…we used the .45 Who won???
Wake up!
Jerry Willsey
US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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Pete May 31, 2007 at 5:44 am

I think the problem we face is an ever changing field of combat. when the m-16 came to be the primary weapon of the armed forces we were primarly in a “jungle/ woodland” field. As the battle field has changed we have stood our ground with this rifle. As we went into Kosivo and found a newer “urban/ woodland” terian the gun adapted farely well from what I have read. It’s ever groing popularity with american public is what driviing the price and the quality down. Now as we have entered a Desert/ urban area the sand is to much for them. I personally have seen the effect of the sand on these rifles and have seen why the jam and misfire.
In my opion there are to many voids and moving parts that require oiling. It is this that causes a place for sand to get into and stick to the componets. the oil act like a glue. in the same note if you don’t oil it enough it heats up and warps. Is there a rifle to replace the M-16? everyone is going to have thier own opinion. I think the question should be, What do we do now to prevent this from happening more. we need to spend some money in research and devolpment for grunts on the ground.
As far the 9MM .45ACP argument… Well I have always been a fan of the .45acp. though for this day and age I would highly recommend that the military stay away from the 1911. (even though I am a 1911 fan) Instead I would recommend the Glock. It has been proven to operate in the most adverse conditions. this might be an excelent choice. Yes, people will argue over personnal prefferances. But it is time to start looking at facts and figures to keep our troops alive on the ground.

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Don,X 82nd Abn May 31, 2007 at 6:31 am

As far as the 9mm,get rid of it and go back to the 45. Lets give our troops the firepower they need. As the old saying goes “Hardly a man alive who’s been hit with a 45″ By the way ,whats wrong with the M-14,now that was a fine weapon.

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John Friedson, LTC USAR (RET) May 31, 2007 at 6:43 am

Remember a gentleman named Hatcher? The dynamics of the human body and wound ballistics have not changed. We have plenty of .45 auto’s in warehouses… make their issue optional by major command and let the Army vote.

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P May 31, 2007 at 6:56 am

We didnt win WWII due to the .45 sorry.
1st75th is correct in his views,the bigger the hole the more blood will pour thru it hence they will die faster.
Just like knife fighting you want to bleed them out as quickly as you can,are you going to get that end results faster with a 9mm whole or a .45?
same thing with a rifle

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PG lukes May 31, 2007 at 7:25 am

We had the same problem with 38/9mm in the spanish american war and reissued the 45 long colt history repeat its self

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CHP May 31, 2007 at 7:33 am

Who do you believe, the troops who are using the weapons in the field and whose lives depend on them, or the bureaucrats sitting behind desks at the US Army Infantry Center?

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syberghost May 31, 2007 at 7:59 am

At the time we switched to the 5.56mm and 9mm rounds, it was probably the right thing to do; the wars we had been fighting were ones where killing the enemy wasn’t the ideal solution, wounding him so two of his buddies were out of the fight carrying him to the back was.
But that’s not what we’re fighting now, nor is it what we’re going to be fighting in the near future. The guys our troops are fighting are motivated differently, and if you wound one, all you’ve done is slow him down; he’s still firing, and his buddies will at best ignore him. At worst, they’ll use him for cover.
The problem is, it takes a long time to develop and adopt a new weapon, much less field it. Don’t hold your breath.
And don’t expect hollow points, either; they’re a violation of international law.
As for the M14; the other thing soldiers bitch about is how much all that crap weighs. The last thing they want is a heavier gun. They want a lighter gun that kills tangos. That’s what we need to develop. It’s just too bad we don’t yet have the technology to do caseless right.

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Seth Mills May 31, 2007 at 8:10 am

I haven’t read the report, but would be interested in knowing how many of the personnel that were questioned had any familiarity with other types of weapons. While the M-16 is a decent rifle, it does require an inordinate amount of maintenance to remain functional, and that doesn’t matter if it is the full size or carbine.
The requirement for our troops is accurate and high rates of fire on the enemy. We traded in the M-14 in order to have a lighter weapon that would allow the soldier to carry more ammunition. The original barrel didn’t provide accuracy to 300 m, so we made it heavier with the new barrel, The current M-16 weighs within 1/2 lb of the M-1. The lighter round is accurate, and the design of a military weapon is not necessarily to kill, but to wound in order to take more people out of the fight.
Anyone using a pistol in a firefight is or should be down to desperation time. The more fire he can accurately put on the enemy the better off he/she is. A 9mm round provides the shock needed. The Beretta is controlable by most of the troops that carry it. The 45 scares too many of them and causes them to miss. The M-14 requires a lot more teaching time to place accurate fire on the enemy, and that is another reason we went away from it.
The M-16 has many problems. It was politically taken instead of the Stoner, which would have allowed for interchangabilitiy.
A military weapon should not require a lot of maintenance in the field. The AK is enormously popular, because it functions better than the M-16. Anything that makes the weapon more reliable should be available to the troops. It is their lives, not ours.

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Tuff Lyons May 31, 2007 at 8:19 am

There is no need to develop a new weapon system. There are scores of assault rifles and sidearms that are far better suited for the current conflict than our current systems. All the Army would have to do is make a definitive decision and then buy a weapon off the shelf. Of course, we all know how good the Army is at makeing definitive decisions. As for the M-249, it was the Army who screwed it up in the first place. The FN Minimi is an outstanding design, but the Army wanted it to be able to fire from M16 mags if needed. That looks good on paper, but it’s next to useless in a firefight. All the added parts needed to make it work caused the 249 to become far more prone to jams. IMO, we need to ditch the 249 and go back to the standard Minimi the way it was originally designed.

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frost May 31, 2007 at 8:34 am

Ok lets not be stupid out of all the soldiers thay asked about their weapons how many were in a gunfight!!! I bet if you just asked the ones who used their weapons in war thay will tell you it sucks. Lets just say ie your out there and your weapon jams for the sand (as we all know M-16,M-4,M-9, are known for) and while your tring to fix it your getting shot at.Now what are you going to do your out of the fight.I say the biggest point that I can make is……Lets ask all the fallen soldiers if thay want stoping power or not!!!
Goodnight and God speed to you all

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baxguns May 31, 2007 at 8:47 am

The M-9 needs to go! The return of the tried and true .45 ACP round needs to returned to service. I think the DOD should stop worrying about saving money and start to think about saving more lives! The .45 ACP has a one stop shot efficiency of 92%, while the 9mm has an efficiency of only 87% the last time I conducted research.
Springfield Armory, Heckler and Koch, and Glock are popular companies using polymer models in .45 ACP. Springfield Armory has been a long time government supplier of weapons dating back to 1903 with the popular M1903 Springfield rifle and the M-1 Garand and Carbines. The XD pistol has won numerous awards and is a popular selling pistol in the civilian market. The HK pistols are already being used among the DOD’s special operations forces with great success and rave reviews. Glock is the preferred weapon among the United States government’s federal law enforcement agencies and has very few mishaps but is very reliable in all climates.
There are many choices already available and the switch needs to be done now. With 2 of the three models already available in the government supply system, I often wonder why the federal government uses a more superior pisotl than the military? Does the federal government have a higher priority than our military? If the M-9 service continues, we need to get rid of ball ammunition and start issuing 147 grain hollow point ammunition… at least this levels the playing field a little bit but not much.
We need to win this war, not sustain a police action! Let the commanders in the field do the deed so they can all come home home. The commanders should not be worrying about playing politicians so they can spend their time being the tactical strategists they have been trained to do. Let them kick-ass and take names because this enemy only understands death and nothing else.

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Birdsnake May 31, 2007 at 9:25 am

Of all the discussion I’ve read here, the most preposterously insane statement is that hollowpoint ammunition is “against international law”! Give our men what they need to protect themselves and fight the enemy… hollowpoint .45s in good old reliable GI-1911s.

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Craig May 31, 2007 at 9:31 am

I deffinately have issues with the current inventory of weapons, but they have nothing to do with the Caliber of the weapon, it’s the OPERATORS/ARMORERS! I can tell you about my experience with the Army and Naval Security Forces and how they don’t properly clean and maintain their weapons. The m9 issue that’s well know amongst our communities is the locking block breakdown with the M9. Beretta has since fixed this issue with a newer and stronger part, most amorers that I’ve run into, just aren’t aware that this problem has been fixed and how easy it is to replace the malfunctioning part. Wer’e going to have even more issues with .45′s, higher caliber’s mean more carbon build up. The other issue I have is that the same manufacturers that we’ve been using for years have come out with better designs (changeable handgrips, rail systems), it’s time to UPDATE our inventory to include these COMBAT style weapons, If SPECIAL FORCES can have them why can’t we? The average army grunt puts more ammo downrange that than the average SEAL, in my opinion. If we going to be expected to do the same job as a RANGER or a SEAL, let’s have similiar if not the same GEAR! Proper combat/law enforcement training, Proper training on maintenance procedures, and a few inexpensive upgrades to the weapons themselves, would save the lives of MANY soldiers. I’m a sailor but we can seriously learn a lot from the Marine Corps, and how they treat they’re weapons and how they outfit their people. I say stick with the 9mm, and 5.56 and TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN!

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SFDude May 31, 2007 at 9:57 am

Listen up! The weapon systems we have now are good designs. If you take proper care and clean your weapon daily, sometimes twice a day,that bad boy will work. They are machines. They will break down. That’s why you practice SPORTS and other immeadiate action drills. Not all “Special Forces” use the .45, actually most use the Beretta. Although I do concur that the .45 is a better round. I’d rather knock someones arm off with one round rather them get up and keep fighting. As far as the more carbon comment on the higher caliber, read my statement above. If you are engaged in combat operations you should be cleaning your weapon daily. For some reason I can’t recollect any firefight were I or any of my Team-mates have ever fired more than a couple of clips through a side-arm. I also agree with the comment about there being better systems out there to use. Unfortunately we are soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen, we don’t always get a choice. The big machines have to do what is ethically and morally sound and still get us the best equipment. I’m all for picking up different systems but one thing you need to remember, the more different systems you train with means more to retain and more training to become proficient. Oh, by the way, it really sucks when you do fire all of your .45 rounds and there is no supply system in place to replenish a different round that everyone else carries. So, to reiterate a previous comment, train and train and train some more.

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john May 31, 2007 at 11:00 am

I was amazed at the comment “what if you run out of .45 pistol ammunition and nobody else uses it?” If we are too poor to provide sufficient ammunition for our sidearms, what the heck are we doing in Iraq? We went through this same idiocy before 1900 by dropping the .45 in favor of a .38 and had to learn the hard way that .38/9mm was not effective when you have a fanatic trying to kill you. We fought two world wars plus several other ones with the .45 and had no difficulty supplying our troops,with pistol ammunition, so why should that be a problem now? When you have to use FMJ, bigger is better.
I suppose we are stuck with the M16 and cleaning it twice a day, but one wonders why the other side doesn’t seem to have a problem with what they are using, and, in fact have a level of maintenence that is a joke in comnparison.

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Jim May 31, 2007 at 11:16 am

Not only Sprinfield but Sig makes an excellent .45 that they originally designed for the military to replace the M9 Beretta not too long ago. I bought one, it’s the P220 Combat and weighs a mere 31oz without the magazine and shoots VERY nice. I concur with the above post that we must return to the tried and true .45acp round for our troops, ALL of them.

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AIRFORCE May 31, 2007 at 11:24 am

SOME OF THE PREVIOUS COMMENTS WERE ON POINT & SOME WAY OFF. WE HAVE FORMIDABLE WEAPONS, THIS IS TRUE. THESE WEAPONS HOWEVER ARENT BUILT FOR THE ENVIROMENT IN WHICH WE OPERATE. THE M-4 IS A VERY ACCURATE WEAPON SYSTEM THAT IS HIGHLY ADAPTABLE BUT IT’ S HORRIFIC IN THE SAND. CLEANING A WEAPON 2X’ S A DAY DOES NOTHIN FOR THE SAND LODGED IN THE CHAMBER WHILE IN A FIRE FIGHT. I SPEAK FOR THOSE IN THE FIGHT & THOSE BEHIND THE DESK BECAUSE EVERYONE EVENTUALLY MIGHT BE ON THE LINE. LETS FACE IT, THE M-9 IS OUTDATED & COMEPLETELY OBSOLETE. ITS HORRIBLE IN THE SAND. THE CALIBER IS TOO SMALL. BETTER THAN 90% OF STREET COPS AS WELL AS ABOUT ALL FEDERAL LAW AGENCIES USE 40 CAL. SIDEARMS. MOST OF THOSE GLOCK WHICH IS PROVEN TO LAST A LIFETIME & OPERATE IN ANY ENVIROMENT. IVE SEEN THE MODEL 22 HAVE A HAND FULL SAND THROWN INTO AN OPEN SLIDE & STILL FIRE A FULL MAGAZINE. DONT EVEN DARE DO THAT WITH A M-9, LETALONE HAVE SAND FLY IN THE CHAMBER WHILE FIRING & MANUVERING.
THE ONLY DRASTIC IMPROVEMENT MADE IN OUR FIREARMS IS GETTING RID OF THE M-60 FOR THE M-240 & IT HAS PROVEN TO NOT BE FLAWLESS BUT NO SYSTEM IS. TOO MANY PEOPLE LIKE TO RIDE THE IDEA OF TRADITION & STICK WITH WHAT THEY KNOW. WE HAD THIS PROBLEM WITH THE INITIAL INTERGRATION OF THE M-16. EVERYTHING IS IMPROVING BUT SIDEARMS. WE KNOW HAVE THE F-22, SMART BOMBS, ALCM’ S, BETTER NIGHT VIS, BODY ARMOR, ECT. U DONT SEE PEACE KEEPERS ANYMORE BECAUSE WE KNOW THE HUMMER IS BETTER. LETS DO THE SAME FOR THE SYSTEMS THAT DIRECTLY AFFECT THE FIGHT.
IM A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR THE GLOCK 22 OR SPRINGFIELD XD 40. AS AN OWNER OF BOTH AS WELL AS THE BERETTA 92 I KNOW THERE IS NO COMPARRISON

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David MacCormack May 31, 2007 at 11:24 am

Im a retired Sailor, ex-cop and weapons nut. I have studied Military weapons for over 20 years. The M-4, while a good weapon, for clandestine use, doesnt have the barrel length, and as such the ammo it fires doesnt travel as fast nor have as much authority when it strikes the target. Those are facts based on forensic ballistics, not wild conjecture/supposition.
The M-9 pistol is a great weapon, but it is hampered by the lack of proper ammunition, The US never signed the Hague accord limiting the use of ammunition, by treaty. So why the hell do we act as if we did. The 1911 pistol was powerful enough for over 70 years of use. It is practical and quite easily operated by even the smallest statured men and women, I know, because I taught my 9 year old sons and more than one young lady to fire the weapon, and make proper hits on target.
The most important aspect of either weapon is being able to put accurate aimed fire on a target at your first opportunity, which is hard as hell when engaged in a firefight. The idea of warfare is an old one, and the ability to hit the target is just as old, but the mission cannot be accomplished unless the target is neutralized. This idea is most important, unless your target doesnt fall until hit multiple times by your inadequate weapon/ammunition, and with modern ammo load-outs, for most soldiers/marines, this may not be possible if you only have one shot per badguy.
The problem faced by the modern soldier/marine/sailor in a firefight, isnt one of improper weapons/ammo, but no one had sense enough to think , “If you shorten the barrel, and cut speed, you need a bigger bullet,” with either handgun or rifle. If the weapons we wield in battle are so proper, then why do US military personnel pick up and utilize AK’s on the field of battle when the M-16/M-4 doesnt do the job?
God Bless our young men and women who go to battle, remembering those back home. Lets all remember them.

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Benny May 31, 2007 at 11:28 am

Here’s my input for these mistake it takes a WAR to fix our problems in the military the last real major war was vietnam. We learn alot from that war and still we haven’t learned our lesson. Todays focus is being light & mobile its a sacrfice that we went with the 5.56 & 9mm because todays personnel want less weight carrying around. You know that we should of stuck with the 45 & 308 as primary rounds in the military. Personnel that could not muster with those rounds should have never be in the military.
It’s to expensive for the military to supply different weapons for the regular forces.
SPECOPS have the best weapons for the job.

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Lance Rider May 31, 2007 at 11:29 am

I have a suggestion that I don

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Greg M May 31, 2007 at 11:40 am

Junk the 9mm. Springfield xd45 is an awesome gun 13+1 and a small grip.
Sig 220 is an awesome weapon as well.
I’ve seen too many Glocks fail on a range to put my life on the line with one.
I do have a fair amount of range time… former Marine and 26 years as a cop.

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Victor May 31, 2007 at 12:05 pm

I spent 20 years in the Navy and never found any problems with the 1911 .45 cal. I trained many men and women to shoot the 1911 and in all those years I experienced very few jams or part breakdown. That said, I know we have to evolve and try something new, so I now use an XD40 and find it as good or better than the 1911. I use this weapon when shooting in combat pistol matches (in the desert)and so far the only time the weapon failed to funtion was when I made an error in loading.
The military needs to recieve the best weapons that they can be supplied. Reliability, Accuracy and Speed of reloading should be the criteria used in picking the weapons that are issued.

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Craig May 31, 2007 at 12:14 pm

How do you build a weapon to work in sand? I’m in GTMO, all our ranges are sand, this side of the island is less tropical and more desert like, hence why everone trains here. We have M4/M9/M500/M240/M60/M203/Mk19/.45/M14/.50 Cal…they all work the same way, CLP and sand makes cement. Tell me what weapons can tackle sand that don’t need to be oiled? I seriously doubt the AK-47 can handle it without being cleaned once or twice a day. Trust me, seawater is just as bad as a sandstorm for making a weapon inoperable, and I have experience fixing weapons in both environments….you keep your bolt, barrel and chamber clean, and free of all debris and it will work as designed in ANY enviroment.

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Tom May 31, 2007 at 12:21 pm

Ditch teh Berretta and go with an FN Five-Seven. It has plenty of knockdown power plus the standard issue weapon holds 20 rounds! If that ain’t enough bring on the FN P90.

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Tom May 31, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Ditch the Berretta and go with an FN Five-Seven. It has plenty of knockdown power plus the standard issue weapon holds 20 rounds! If that ain’t enough bring on the FN P90.

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Ron May 31, 2007 at 12:32 pm

The notion that the 1911 side arm is old and out dated is just foolish thinking. If it is not broken do not fix it.
It is a proven side arm,it can be updated to compete with the finest guns on the market.
O gosh it may be one of the finest automatic side arm ever designed. Safe, accurate, stopping power, proven design, Easy to dissamble and clean,
works in the worst conditions and that is a proven fact.
Change just for change is silly. It was the first pistol I quilifed on. And still the best, The M9 is enimic. I think the 1911 is truly a legacy wepon and should be placed back into service.

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Jim Phillips May 31, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Here we go again! Back in the past the Army had the same complaint of carrying a sidearm that had no stopping power, and the M1911 was born. For many, many years it performed as prescribed, and if accurized slightly was an excellent weapon. I carried it for 20+ years and learned to fire expert with it. Then a new weapon comes down the pike, the Whiz Kids tell us that we need it, and once again we hear that the Army needs more stopping power in a sidearm. Man! Why don’t we ever learn and instead of having the Whiz Kids telling us what we need, listen to the end users and do it that way?

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Marie S. May 31, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Military ball ammo sucks compare to a police issued hollow point. Since it is against the Geneva Convention or whatever law that is stopping us from acquiring such weapon, let’s issue the best stopping military ball caliber to our troops. Would a softpoint sufficient to past the law that our enemies don’t even recognize? I understand that more power require more weight. Some special forces went back to .45 because of needing a better stopping power weapon. I personaly like the .40 cals in Glock and Sig, but with hollow point. For rifle, well the m14 is a little heavy. Maybe a compromise for a weapon in between. I like a short magnum rifle ammo with at least 80 grain of lead. Where are those genius gun makers? Probably gotten sued to the poor house by the left wing liberals and now they control Congress. And like to spend our tax money to their pet project, more welfare, education, health to the illegals or something silly like that.

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RGRDOC175 May 31, 2007 at 1:33 pm

There was a comment made about the average soldiers placing more rounds down range than a SPEC OPS individual. The reason for the increased rounds is lack of control, discipline and knowing what they are downing. There are no better shooters than Rangers and the men from Ft Bragg (not the 82nd). The shooting around corners without looking only happens in the movies. This is reality! It is the units commanders responsibility to make sure the soldiers are trained PRIOR to going into the 2 way shooting range. Obviously there is failure happening somewhere.

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Gary May 31, 2007 at 1:37 pm

The military should go back to the .45 caliber pistol. It has plenty of stopping power, within 50 yards, and I have never had one jam on me. You could stop a mule at 50 yards with this weapon. We don’t necessarily have to change for the sake of technology; sometimes the original idea is the best idea. I was in the Marines when they switched over to the 9mm and I always wondered why.

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Aaron Patterson May 31, 2007 at 1:56 pm

I am now in the U.S. Army and have always disliked the M9 cause the mags. always mis fed and the when the weapon got dirty it didn’t really work. The m16 is a good weapon but the Army needs a weapon and ammo that will have one shot one kill capability. The .308 is a bit large but the 6.8 SPC with the H&K 416 is the perfect weapon in my opinion.

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ben May 31, 2007 at 2:09 pm

personally i think if they want more stopping power, what better to give them than a desert eagle .50 AE. you want stopping power, there it is. lets see an insurgent get up after being hit with that. now im sure people will just say “thats too big or too heavy”, but i guarantee are boys wont be complaining. or why not even try the .44 or .357 magnum rounds. as for a rifle, i personaly think an HK G3 would do the trick.

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Henry Sanchez May 31, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Scrap the M-9 for a better pistol Kimber .45.And bring back the M-14

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T.A. Roberts May 31, 2007 at 2:29 pm

I think change is in the air…I was Gunners Mate in my ship’s armory when we ditched the .45 for the M9 and my GMC was scratching his head and saying to us “someone is going to break this toy” I know the ammo issue with us following U.N./NATO rules about hollow points but it’s about time we stop caring about what the international community thinks about us and gives us the tools to do the job. As far as the M16..great for base security, not so great for CQB, if the M4 could somehow be beefed up a little in caliber department that would be great. Stoner Arms was actually competing for a new contract, and had the Spec Ops community behind them, for a new 7.62 light weight rifle but as we all know lowest bidder gets the goods.

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Michael C. Scott May 31, 2007 at 2:29 pm

The problem with the M16/M4 is the bullets were originally intented to enter the target, hit a bone and tumble through the body, hitting as many internal organs as possible. However, those rounds couldn’t penetrate the lightest skinned vehicles. In someone’s infine wisdom they went to armor piercing rounds and negated the tumble of the bullet, which meant the bullet passes right through a target doing minimal damage. The HK 415 in a higher caliber is the best weapon, that thing is impressive and rarely jams.

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Doug May 31, 2007 at 2:37 pm

The modded-out Kimber .45 is a precision piece of equipment that is pretty and built for competition shooting. SF units that have fielded it in Iraq or Afghanistan often leave in the pelican case all deployment because it is so sensitive to adverse elements that it is at high risk of stoppage.
A large proportion of operators and regular soldiers alike would be happy with the relatively inexpensive and durable Glock series of pistols. I’d be concerned that DoD would still break down and buy the 9mm model just because it is a cheaper round, but if they listen to the complaints of soldiers in theater they’ll get the 21 or 22 (.45 or .40).

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Ron May 31, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Although the M16/4 and M9 are good platforms they certianly leave much room for improvement.
There are multiple systems in place that would provide better reliability and terminal balistics.
With everything there is a trade off be it weight, capacity, reliability, accuracy, stopping power, etc.
With currently available ammunition supplys it would make sense to go with a .45ACP as opposed to a 9×19.
The 9×19 in JHP does provide good performance, however, due to the inability to feild JHP ammunition to our soldiers we should switch to something that provides a larger cross section and thus more ablity to cause blood loss……45ACP. Even the .40S&W would be a good choice.
I have a few suggesstions.
1. S&W MP45
2. XD 45
3. 1911
Any of those will due very well, however they have their individual strengths and detrations.
For the rifel….well, 5.56×45 is lacking in many ways. Accuracy is not one of them however.
I think we need something in the .30 cal range as a minimum. I’m not talking about going straight to a .308, however, something along the lines of the 7.62×39 would be a great round.
I am not a beleiver in the direct inpingment system of the AR style rifles. piston operated rifles are far more reliable and I think thats what we need.
I would be happy with a heavier, more accurate version of the AK.
Anyway, I’m sure the Army will manage to mess this all up anyway, so let’s just hope our men get something better than they have now.

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Michael May 31, 2007 at 2:49 pm

I apologize to all the old timers in advance. The dumbest thing I have heard so far is bring back the M14. The M14 was a good weapon in its time, however it lacks the adaptability for modern combat. Whatever weapon is used it has to be able to mount infra-red aiming lights and improved optics. I know the study said accesories made the weapons jam more frequently, but they increase the lethality even more. Modernizing the M14 would be a good idea, but it wouldn’t be the M14 anymore.

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GunnyR May 31, 2007 at 3:00 pm

From 2004 thru 2005 I was in Ramadi, Iraq with 1MEF. I used the M16A2, M4, M1014, M249SAW, M240G, and M9. Here are my opinions. Our weapon platforms are good and accurate and will function properly when maintained. The problem is when you expose the weapon to dust kicked up by convoys and vehicle traffic. Are you really going to clean your weapon during the middle of a patrol that can last all day? Are you going to keep your weapon inside a plastic bag to maintain it’s pristine condition? How do you balance keeping it clean with keeping it available for immediate use? The answer is you can’t. The best we could do was to use part of the carry bag for the M240G as a cover when mounted on a vehicle. That way you could shoot through the bag if needed and helped to keep the sand kicked up by the front vehicles from entering the barrel. The receiver was still exposed. You cannot imagine how much dust a small 4 vehicle convoy will kick up even with proper dispersion.
Now compare this with an ak. These weapons can be buried in the dirt floor of an Iraqi home, dug up, and put to immediate use. They are not as accurate because they are machined to looser tolerances. But it is precisely this aspect that allows them to function under all conditions. The 7.62×39 round is accurate enough and lethal enough for the distances in most of our firefights. You can carry more 5.56 rounds but you’re going to need every round in your magazine pouches. The weakened spring under compression thing is an urban myth. Springs do not weaken when put under load, it is repeated compression and expansion cycles that weaken them. Go ahead and top off with 30 because you will need every round you have. Mag changes may be a little more difficult so practice often.
I’m out now and I’ve recently reworked my personal armory. It consists of a 12 gauge shotgun (3″ shells), an imported semi-auto ak variant chambered in .308 Win (7.62×51) and a .45.
If I had a choice these would be my primary calibers for combat, but not in an M16 or AR platform. I’ve heard the Army and Marines are fielding an AR chambered in .308 for designated marksmen. The ak or H&KG3 would be my first choice because of the reliability factor.
Oh and I’d also be wearing dragonskin.

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JMMCRet May 31, 2007 at 3:16 pm

I am an antique but, I am interested in our people haveing the gear they need. It is a hard enough job to be tied to “RULES OF ENGAGEMENT” with weapons that are at least equal to the insurgents. Body armor and helmets need to be tested using AK47′s not 5.56 M16′s. If we are going to have politicians dictating rules, they need to be required to spend some time embebed with the troops. The alternative is let the field commander dictate the rules. Side arms need to be at least 40cal, least cost would be reissue the M1911. Rifles need to be minimum 7.62 original NATO. Some people seem to object to the weight of the M14 however, they are like their kin, the old M1 that you knew was going to work. Rain, mud, sand, snow and ice, both of those work have such a low failure rate it isn’t even measured. In a fight you can count on it until you run out of amunition and can’t find anymore. With the track record of what we have out now, I would say open to everyone or, if you like doing modifications, modify the M14 for weight. I don’t recall the M14 as being so heavy, I’d sure prefer it in close quarters. It doesn’t break, and the butt or bayonet along with that weight makes it leathal.

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chris May 31, 2007 at 3:22 pm

bring back the Colt .45. I was not able to use a pistol because the REMF’s in my BN wanted them not the guys who went on missions. I used an M4 and never had any serious problems. the ones I did have were on the range and corrected prior to any mission(s). the dust was not that bad in my AO but I know there are others whose were just dusty as hell. The Army needs a new weapons system and soon. I remember the 6.8 being suggested but no heard anything about it being procured for use.

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SFC COMER May 31, 2007 at 3:30 pm

During my tour in the box I carried the M4 the 9mm I also had occasion to use the 249 and shotgun. The M4 is what it was designed for a close combat weapon. It is a varient of the classic jungle weapon the m-16. It provides what is needed. The 9mm is a joke and has been proven as such by almost all law enforcement agencies in this country. We need to replace it now a 40 SW or 45 cal are the best options the 45 should not have been replaced in the first place it is releiable and dependable. I would look at a Glock as a possible replacement it is almost idoit proof and will fie under extreme conditions. The saw should be replaced with 240′s 7.62 or a 50 cal as your back-up is a very comforting postion to be in.

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PFC Winfrey May 31, 2007 at 4:00 pm

I belive the problem here is more the weapon and not the ammo. The M-4 Carbine and M-16 Assault Rifle while exelent light use weapons, are just not desighned for the rigors of military use, especialy a military operating in such diverse conditions as the U.S. The problems plauging the M-16 series like reduced acuracy with the M-4s barel or the jamming with the lines Star bolt system make it just a waste of time and money. I think its time for the U.S. to change the emphisis from ease and mass of production to getting troops a weapons system that you dont have to replace in the first place. The othe problem brought up is the problem of compactness, which leads me to my final point, I dont see why in the latest weapons tests the top brass didnt look more twards the bull-pup design weapons. Several countries have made the switch for the better to bull-pup design weapons, like Austria with the AUG, Britan with the L85, France with the FMAS, and Isreal with the new TAR-21. The benifits of Bull-pup design weapons like far better reliability, longer barel length, and reduced recoil far out weigh any prefrences to a regular rifle style design.

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Brian May 31, 2007 at 4:06 pm

I carry a severly modified m-4 to increase reliability. But it is what it is a replacement for a ww2 30 carbine a short range light rifle. Not a true fighting rifle . I have humped A1′s , A2′s , Aks in both calibers and heavy 7.62 m-14′s . I now carry a 6.8 M-4 now which is hard to get ammo/ expensive but it works very well. The new rifle should be in either a 6.5 grendal for range and vesitility of different round choices or a 6.8spc which works good out to 400 meters. But a quick answer is a socom 16 for knock down and use same ammo as the lmg’s. They also work very well in all conditions something a m4 does not always do. Comming soon off the shelf seems to be the massada rifle available in either caliber and no gas inpingment system to foul reliability . It will be a perfect replacement.
As for sidearms I am forced to carry a 9mm sig an excellent weapon but caliber is minimal even with good placement of rounds or hp’s . I have seen to many people or animals take 40+ rounds and still go on fighting. A 40s/w glock or sig with good ammo works well. So does 357 sig but back to small/med round with high velocity rounds goes thru winshields driver back seat and out back. So unless hit cns bleed out later back to same problem as currently have. 40 sw is probably best of choices capacity and size for users. A large round has enough energy to do damage and knock you down . But remember to use a good hp round . Job is to stop /kill someone your shooting at not wound or play games. A sig 220 or glock are the go to weapons for reliability or field use. Hks fine but problems with magazines. and costs 3 x a glock. But then again the pentagon says its good enough a m4 that is sitting 3000 miles away I might say the same unless I depended on it. And they wonder why we pick up ak’s ? reliable and knock down power . Add good sights and your done.

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LOWSPEED4U May 31, 2007 at 4:38 pm

I’ve been reading through all the comments and everyone is missing the real picture with the weapons systems. The M-16 A2, A4, or even the M4 are very good weapons if kept clean and I’m not talking about spotless if you put CLP in 2 spicific spots the weapons fire and fire I’ve seen 3,000 rounds through a weapon and never cleaned. Also the comments about “Knockdown” power something more heard with the handgun side like the 9mm and the 45 ACP, well I hate to break peoples’ hearts Knockdown power isn’t anything is a measure of how much power something has to penetrate an object not how much the target feels when the weapon hits it. example the 45 has “Knockdown power” actually kenetic energy of like 400(made up number) the actual event that the target feels is like getting hit in the chest with a softball, the same as all rounds. the bigger calaburs don’t mean better either I’ve seen people take 50BMG in the guts and run away. yes they died. Round size has nothing to do really not with rifle rounds or high volicity. the M855 62 grain is a great man stopper if you shoot someone in the right spot “ie” the brain stem or the madula(sp) there is no magic bullet so insted of complaining on what you have learn how to really fight with your gun and the rounds you are given will work just fine. sorry for the miss-spellings im just a grunt in the marine corps, but i do know guns and shooting. also i saw something on the bull pups good weapon till you want to reload it fast, and i have something against the chamber area being at my cheek anyone ever seen a gun go KB its a great sight.

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PFC Andrew Wilbur May 31, 2007 at 4:51 pm

During my tour in Iraq, I had quite a few problems with the M-4 that almost cost me my life.
The 5.56mm round is extremely accurate, but just can’t get the job done like the 7.62. I would prefer to carry an A-K than the m-4. It has a lot of stopping power, and will fire practically with a handful of dirt in it. As far as the m-9,… you might as well give our troops a bb gun. There was nothing wrong with the colt 45, why not bring it back?

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LOWSPEED4U May 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm

every one keeps asking for the M14 back there was a reason it was only in service for 13 years its not as good as some might think. and the 45 great gear but when i have a 7 round mag the problem comes with haveing to reload all the time, the 45 isnt the man stoper everyone thinks either round placement is more important than the size or make up of the round. even when shot in the chest heart destroyed it take 10-15 seconds for you to die ( I’ve seen it, and done it) the only sure way to drop someone is to put a round through their face if frontal facing so that the brain stem is destroyed. the M4 is an awesome CQB weapons that is why lots of law enforcment agencies went to it and got away from the MP5, the 62 grain M855 from a 20″ barrel the A2,A4 will come out going about 3040 FPS so that puts it at about a 200 yard gun because once the M855 round drops below 2700 FPS it will not break its self apart as well in side tissue the rapid fragmentation will destroy lots of area and kill you very well if put in the right place. the M4 with its 14.5″ barrel comes out at about 2750 FPS something like that so if you change the round construction to like ummm oh yea the MK262 mod 1 a 77 grain open tip match round it fragments at slower speeds and does a great job at causing a large permanant wound cavity (which is what does the killing). Also about the 9mm it does a good job at killing as well (again ive seen and done it) the 45 would do better yea but not becuase of any knockdown power or anything its because its a low speed round so it will not fragment and break its self apart in tissue so the bigger 45 round makes bigger hole so yea alittle better, again if struck in the right part of the body.

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Aaron May 31, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Dust off the M1 garand and all the problems will be solved ! They want bang use what we have in the arsenal and every shot will count and be deadly ! It is a very simple solution . No more weak weapons and small calibers give up that wound-em tactic and get back to old fashion take them out for good.

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Col. DeLaRosa May 31, 2007 at 6:41 pm

ISSUE THE TROOPS THE THE H&K USP .45 NICE LIGHT WITH STOPPING POWER. ANOTHER CHOICE IS THE .40CAL COLT S&W AND GLOCK MAKE HI-CAP MAGS. AS FOR A REPLACEMENT FOR THE M-4 THE .30 CAL A CUSTOM M1A1 MODIFIED WITH A FOLDING/COLASABLE STOCK. AS FOR A SQUAD WEAPON PERHAPS AN UPDATED B.A.R. DESIGNED FOR THE 21 CENTURY… CUT THE CRAP AND GET THE BOYS WHAT THEY NEED TO WIN… AS FOR HOLLOW POINTS…HUMMMM… THE RULES SAY ONE THING HOWEVER IS THE ENEMY DOING THE SAME?

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Howard May 31, 2007 at 6:44 pm

The fix for the M9 is too simple. Change the slide and barrel to the .40 S&W. Viola, you have the M96, a pistol that meets the USMC guidelines for gunfighting, i.e., the caliber starts with the number “4″.
For the M4, change the upper to a gas-piston. there are several on the market now….

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A Katulski May 31, 2007 at 8:08 pm

You want a hand gun with stopping power and no malfunctions,THE GLOCK!!!! It is the most reliable hand gun,PERIOD!!!!

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Nick May 31, 2007 at 8:36 pm

The Colt 1911 comes in a newer model still chambering the .45 Auto round as the Colt 1991 model. reliable shooting combined with decent accuracy and larger caliber stopping power than the 9mm gives this weapon an edge over the standard M9. as for rifles, the M4 may be fine and dandy, but, its only .003 larger in diameter than a standard .22 rifle which transmits into a small hole and less stopping power than what we need. any type of body armor at all on an enemy and you better hit them in the head cause a chest shot may or may not do anything but bruise their ribs. we need to get a US issued 7.62mm rifle that is not as complicated to work as the M4 but maintains the accuracy and many of the good characteristics of the weapon. if we can accomplish those things i think that we have a better chance in combat. I for one if deployed to combat, will be sneaking my Colt along with me with plenty of ammunition to last me a tour. a good stopping power pistol is a medics best friend.

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Goose May 31, 2007 at 8:43 pm

I own three of the Springfield Armory XD pistols, a 9mm, 40.cal, and a 45. cal. I have never had a problem with any of them and personally like the feel of them over a glock. As for the replacement to the m9, the new 45.cal XD’s come with 13 round clips, eliminating the constant reloading problem of the 1911.

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Gillespie May 31, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Lot’s of troop’s died in VN because of M16 .223 round,while the bad guy’s had .308 cal’s or larger.bring back the M-14,and the BAR so our so our troop’s can have a chance.I loved the M-1 during my military time (20 year’s).We had the M-14 when VN started,then some “know it all” changed to the “pee shooter”.Enough said.

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jmk May 31, 2007 at 9:56 pm

The 1911 is Time proven. John Moses Browning got it right the first time. The pistol was designed to comply with the requirements of the U.S. Army, which, during its campaign against the Moros in Philippines, had seen its trusty .38 revolver to be incapable of stopping attackers.

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David Burton May 31, 2007 at 10:09 pm

The 1911 had one modification after being fielded, to improve the safety. The 1911 A1 is still the best military handgun in the world.
The Glock is popular, but I have found the Sig Saur to be a far superior weapon if you must stick with 9MM.
Give the soldiers back the .45 and realize that combat pistol targets are normally within 10 meters. Acuracy out to 25 or 50 meters is not required, although proper training with the big slug thrower can give that. Help soldiers survive and stop messing with success.

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TQ June 1, 2007 at 12:21 am

I have also recently returned from Iraq and was not pleased with the performance of my M4. The environment was not friendly to this weapon, realiability depended on cleanliness. If your on a patrol for 12-24 hours, good luck. The other problem is the caliber. 6.8 would be the min caliber of choice, 7.62 best. There is a reason why a sniper weapon is chambered with 7.62 and above.
As for the M9. It makes one hell of a good hammer or paper weight. Take a lesson from Law Enforcement across the U.S. and abroad. Nobody uses a 9mm anything anymore. You need min of 8-10 inches of penetration to reach CNS/vital organs. 9mm just wont do that consistantly. I keep hearing people screaming to bring back the 45 cal. I would not be to hip on a 1911 and only 21 rnds (3 mags). 40 cal is happy medium and preferred globally. It has the depth for CNS and high capacity for ammo. I like having 3 mags containing 46 rnds when my M4 jams.
JHP: What the heck is the big issue. Are they implying that it is inhuman to shoot someone with a JHP vs ball ammo? All JHP does is expand in soft tissue. So you shoot someone with a 40 cal JHP and it expands to the size of a 45 cal ball ammo. What the heck is the difference? But done always count on expansion. I have tested by shooting through several mediums from coats to dry wall. Sometimes the JHP gets “plugged” and you end up with ball ammo anyway.

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Mike June 1, 2007 at 12:34 am

In my opinion the M16 weapon family is the best in the world, but it’s not perfect
The biggest problem i’ve seen with M4s and M16s is of course jams. About 90% of all jams can be cleared however in less then a second by a well trained operator using the “rack tap bang” technique where the operator slaps the magazine to be sure it is seated properly, racks the bold thus ejecting the bullet (it probably is the problem anyway), then attemps to fire the weapon. Most other issues with the weapon jamming deal with the gas tube which is a pain to keep clean, simple solution; replace the gas tube with a gas rod operating system, H&K and Barett both have nice gas rod systems on the market.
I’m all for going to a newer 6.5mm round for the M16 and M4 if it will be more effective, i haven’t seen it yet.
As for the M9, in my opinion it sucks. We should have gone with the Sig 226 which beat everything else in accuracy, reliablity, and durability but it was deemed too expensive. You can even get it in 9mm, .357, and .40, my choice would be the .40 as it is more accurate and has better range then the .45 yet retains the power with out the recoil.
Personally i carry a M4A1 with AimPoint sight, vertical grip, 2 surefire lights (one is a full sized rifle light the other is a backup and smaller pistol light) and a PEQ. My sidearm is a Sig 226DAK in .40cal with a surefire light under the barrel and no hammer (single action only). I also carry an ASP and at least 2 knives in the field just in case.

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AREJOLA June 1, 2007 at 12:48 am

.45 Caliber Pistol that has high capacity magazine is a good choice with an option for hollow point or armored piercing ammunition (No doubt now regarding Knocking Power). The M4 if only the upper receiver will be re-designed to handle a 7.62mm ammo will give the total boost. The enemy are throwing “boulders” toward our soldiers while in return, ours, are spittin’ sands.

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Joshua H. Bell June 1, 2007 at 1:30 am

As a Marine currently in Iraq I can see both pros and cons of the M4 and M9. Both are simple to opperate, easy to clean and fairly reliable.
People who blame the dust and dirt for weapons jams should not be blaming the elements, they should be blaming theirselves. Time and time again I have seen Marines and Soldiers alike, toss weapons around and or lay them in the dirt. And then they dont clean them afterwards. It is good pratice to clean your weapon before every mission. There are easy ways to keep sand out of your M16/M4. With a fire through muzzle cap and a magazine inserted, there is virtually no way for sand to get inside. The M9 is the same way. I have a muzzel cap on my M4 and a piece of electrical tape on my Pistol.
When it comes to knockdown power the larger caliber weapons do have an advantage. The reason we refrain from moving up, aside from the cost of the new weapons, is the cost of the rounds. Bigger bullets equals bigger bucks. Also the larger calibers do more damage in the case of a non-leathal hit. As the Articles of War state “we must care for the wounded, friend or foe”. This means if we severly maim the enemy, more medical expenses and time must be given to treat them.
I personally love my weapons. They have served me well, and never failed me in a time of need.

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Hilario June 1, 2007 at 2:41 am

I work for a Law Enforcement Agency and I am also retired military. Everyone would like to go back to a .45, it is a great weapon, no doubt! I have used 9mm, .45, .40, and has tried the newer round in a pistol, but is used in the P90. Money is the concern and maintenance, I know maintain your equipment and it will serve you well. Well, as a former soldier, after a fire fight I am totally exhausted and then I have to clean my weapon, PLEASE! Can I rest a little to be able to keep fighting the next round . . . Get the point?!, what soldier can fight if he is too tired? I guess the enemy has the better idea, more reliable weapon and a rested enemy is a harder enemy to fight against. If money is the problem, then stay with the same rifle, just change the gas operation and calibrate it to the 7.62X39. I know not far enough . . . It still gets to 400 meters. House to house fighting now, urban warfare . . . That is less than 400m. If you want distance, use the tank or air power, we have enough of that. Ammo and money wise, we can save on money and ammo. We can use the enemies ammo too, just in case one runs out of ammo in a fire fight and a dead enemy is beside you and has his ammo still. I know, I know, we do not want the enemy to use our weapons that is why we have a different one, who cares, any weapon can be used by anybody, they use ours and we can’t use theirs. BS! Then use our weaponry and use their caliber or rounds . . . Practical. Hey! If there is money, why not go use the P90 rounds in a pistol with armor piercing rounds. Forget the Geneva, does the enemy follow them? Or do we have to endure the daily death toll of our countrymen? We can also go back to the Mini 14 in a bullpup version . . . Why not. All in all . . . I myself would not like to be cleaning my weapon every time constantly, I would like some rest and be fresh the next day to fight a better fire fight. I could always clean the weapon on the third day when I do get some R&R. Have a great day.

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Warhawke June 1, 2007 at 4:08 am

The problem is that the military refuses to recognize that the rifleman is the primary arm of battle. Yes tanks and guns and aircraft have their place, but today they are considered the end-all, be-all of military operations. No enemy can face the might of the American military in a head to head competition, which is why our troops now face the low-tech sniper/IED/hit-and-run attacks we see today in Southwest Asia. Attempting to fight the war as we have with heavy firepower is simply destroying both the infrastructure and good will we need to accomplish our mission.
The weapons we need are skilled infantrymen with weapons that kill the enemy at a variety or ranges and under all conditions and in any terrain, not high-tech geegaws and overwhelming destructive force. The M-9, M-16/M-4 and M-249′s were never designed as general purpose weapons designed to close with and kill the enemy, they are weapons designed to defend air bases and eliminate the dazed reminants of military forces already crushed by overwelming mass firepower. They are weapons designed by technicians not soldiers, and weapons like the OICW are more of the same, designed to replace training and skill with high-explosives.
The military needs to recognize that a good solid reliable rifle fireing an adiquate round (like the 6.5 Grendel, or even the 7-08), even if it does not possess match grade accuracy, will be far more effective than a high-tech mousegun. Pistols too must be seen as what they are, close range defense weapons. A pistol is used at ranges where an enemy with a knife is a serious threat and must be stopped immediately, and unless the US abandons the Geneva Accords it must be done with FMJ ammunition, and that means a large heavy bullet, and the .45ACP is still the best around in that category. That does not mean a 1911 (though it is still a good weapon) I do believe we could do better with the Sig P-220, or even a Glock 21SF. Reguardless, a modern .45 would be far better than the new high-pressure .40 calibers or attempting to stretch the .35 calibers beyond their limits to make up for their shortcomings.
Bottom line, until the military pulls it’s collective out of the WWII/Cold War past and starts looking at the wars of the present, and adjusts it’s training and doctrine to meet current needs, our men and women will continue dying while the brass fails to see the problem.

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Todd June 1, 2007 at 4:23 am

For those currently in harms way; “Stay safe and watch your six.” For those who are now serving and for the veterans who have served; “Thank you.” Interesting thoughts and comments from everyone concerning our current issued firearms. It reminds me of a comment I would hear from time to time while I was on active duty; “We have been doing so much with so little for so long they now expect us to accomplish the impossible with nothing.” America’s fighting men and woman have been going off to war for decades with the tools of their trade as issued by Uncle Sam at the time. Mine were the phase out era of the M14 and transition to the M16, M16A1, and A2, the M1911A1 45 Caliber Pistol and the 38 Caliber Revolver. Through my 22 years of service from Vietnam to the 1st Gulf War we adapted and did the best we could with the equipment that was available to us at the time. We didn’t always like it, we did what we had to do to tip the scales in our favor. I’ve been shot at and shot back and in that type of environment you tend to learn quickly what your weapons capabilities are, what you can depend on and what you can’t falls by the wayside. I liked the 45 Pistol and carried one whenever I could. I was not, however, very fond of the M16 even though I shot it well. I liked the M14 better, I had more faith in the bigger bullet theroy. The rifle I like the best was the M21 Sniper Rifle, because I always like the idea of being able to reach out and touch someone. God Bless America.

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Chris June 1, 2007 at 4:12 pm

In response to The Chief, who commented at 0930 June 1:
Sir, I think you have the M4 featured in the article confused for the M14 that you carried back in 1968. The M4 is a recently-issued compact version of the M16. I did not find any mention of an M14 in the article.
Thanks for your service.

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BlckOps666 June 1, 2007 at 7:32 pm

Stop whining my little bitches, and start tapping two between the eyes.

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Ronn S June 1, 2007 at 7:26 pm

I am a big fan of the M-14. So much in fact I have a beautiful Winchester built in 1961. It shoots like a lazer beam and can, with practice of course be able to hit a four inch circle at a hunred yards on rapid semi-auto fire. I do it without a hitch. All of those who are telling you that the M-14 being uncontrllable is full of you know what. For the nanny-panny who complain about a little recoil, it isn’t that bad and is nothing like my 50 cal heavy field rifle. Like I said those who disgard the good attributes of the 14 are probably guys who have never shoot one as long as I, and maybe put two or three boxes of ammo through it in their lives. I believe the M-14 was the finest battle rifle to date. It is (was) beautifuuly made and simple to operate. It will work in all conditions and has great accuracy, and reliability you come to expect in a well made military rifle. Sure it gets hot, but all rifles do if you shoot them a lot and in a short time. The Army and joint cheifs should reconsider tooling up and start producing this masterpiece of military art again and start giving the troops what they need and quit thinking like a bunch of rabid ghetto boys who only know the word ‘Bling”. This thing works brothers and is right for our time. All you pundits out there who boohoo the M-14 are shortsighted and dumb as a box of rocks to think a 22 cal. bullet will put down a man as easily as a 30 caliber round and at range. I carried one in Nam and swore by it than and I still swear by it now. Anything else is just crap not even considering. That goes for the G-3, The FAL, and the rest of em. The 14 was the best built battle rifle in the history of the world. Just ask any Special Forces soldier like me, they’ll educate you. Enuf said. God bless this country and may she stay free forever. Never relent.

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Jamo June 1, 2007 at 8:52 pm

Over the years I have used the M16A2, 45acp, M4 and 9m in combat actions. The M16 is easy to shoot with a good mid range. For close combat I found the M4 was easier to handle than the 16. I was glad that the 9m had a large clip because when a madman was charging it took all of that clip to bring him to a stop. I would rather carry a 45 as a pistol for it’s stopping power, (one hit one kill)and for close combat maybe a Thomson Submachine Gun shooting 45 cal. Mid and long ranges could still be handled with the M16 or an M14 that had been magnaported to reduce recoil and inprove accuracy.

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h. r. wofford June 1, 2007 at 9:31 pm

AK’S WORK WELL. THE M-14 SHOULD BE MODIFIED FOR TODAY’S USE. A 40 CAL HYDRO SHOCK WILL STOP A MAN QUICK.

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Brett June 1, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Well, I’m no weapons expert, but if a user told me their critical hardware failed 19% of the time during the period of most critical use I’D SAY THAT’S BAD ENGINEERING. That’t entirely inexcusable when the user’s life is on the line.

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P. Allen June 1, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I am not a combat veteran but I have observed in the news videos from Iraq that M14 rifles have shown a real presence. This is interesting concerning a weapon that has been withdrawn from service. Maybe that is why M14′s have not been released to the Civilian Marksmanship Program as older M1903, carbine, Garand rifles have been released.

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explorius101 June 1, 2007 at 11:11 pm

The weapons used in world war 2 were much more powerful , such as the BAR, and the thompson sub machine gun, and the colt .45. The weapons used by our military are too politically correct.
P.S. what ever happened to the flame thrower…..

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john June 1, 2007 at 11:33 pm

M16′s/4′s that are perfectly clean and maintained can jam at any time. I’ve seen the rustiest of AK-47′s fire a lot of rounds with no stopages. I know it’s not as accurate, but has a 7.62 round. If the military can come up with something with that callibur, but more accurate that would be great.

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Zach June 2, 2007 at 12:00 am

I agree that more stopping power would be nice. As would every Sunday off and light duty for all enlisted and NCO’s.
WTF has happened to the American military? Accessories? These are not F’ing purses ladies!!! If you want a “better” gun, buck up for the price yourself, along with the ammo.
My last tour I took my own AR-15 Carbide with a Eo Tech sight and my HK .45. My rounds were shipped to me by my family and friends.
In other words; get off your ass and do for yourself and stop the F’ing whining.

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Colt June 2, 2007 at 12:21 am

Since when we’re we allowed to get our own weapons shipped over to Iraq? Last time I was there, in 2003, we couldn’t have anything. Only what we were issued. Also, they let your family send weapons through the mail these days?

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John Hudak June 2, 2007 at 12:31 am

Three companies make a piston operated m-4 eliminating carbon and heat in the bolt group, pull out the old M14′s, They kill a long way away, and keep working, just use in semi auto, Or get the FN FAl, also 7.62 x 51.It Was the competition for choice at the time of 14′s intro.
Side arm .45 Socom by H&K Works for the SEALS, Mine works fine. But i am just an old jarhead that owns all of these, What would I know. Don’t know the machine guns other than the old m6o. Heavy, but it killed.

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David June 2, 2007 at 12:32 am

Why should any soldier need to provide his own weapons or ammo? That is implying a lack of needed support, by the bodies that are given this responsibility! Maybe everyone should have to bring there own water and pack a lunch, too, right? WRONG! Funds should not be waisted on mediocre weapons. Last I heard the U.S is the best trained, and best equipped, but I think we all know different, on the ladder part of that statement.

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Will June 2, 2007 at 12:46 am

One other thing. I am all for the .45, but as said above as a stop gap issue a good HP round for the 9, and failing that move up from the 124 grain, to the 147 grain 9mm. I was involved w/ my local PD while working security ina low income housing project. they were serving a warrent when two guys armed w/ tec9′s came out firing. It was around 1 am in february and all involved were wearing heavy jackets. 3 PO’s armed w/ 92fs fired on one of the perpetrators while 1 more, my partner, carrying a taurus .38, and me w/ a Browning HiPower in 9 fired on the other one. at the inquest later that day, they found that the first perp soaked up 22 rounds of 124 grain silvertips, while the other had 6 rounds of the same silver tips that had barely penertrated his torso, 2 147gr RangerSXT’s from my HiPower in the left ventricle of his heart and the other 3 sxt’s in his left lung, and 4 .38 gold dots in his right lung and 2 wound channels w/ unrecovered bullets through his spine. The rang was about 30 feet, and the pathologist was unable to determine if it had been the .38′s through the spine, or the 2 in the heart that had killed the perp. so long story short, the 9 is NOT inherently bad, but it can be ALOT better

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realmagick72 June 2, 2007 at 12:46 am

As a person who has had the opportunity to use the M-16, M-4, M-249, and 9mm in a Combat situation; I think our soldiers need more stopping power. The M-16/4 is prone to stoppages (even if well maintained) in a combat situation, especially in a dusty environment. It is also a high velocity, low caliber round. Which means that unless you hit something solid, it will enter the body and keep on truckin’. If the round hits bone then it will bounce around like a ping pong ball. I have seen the enemy take 5 and 6 hits from an M-4 (which shoots the same ammo as an M-16) before collapsing. In the civilian sector, a 7.62 version of the M-4 is available, identical in all facets accept caliber.
The M-249 is prone to double feeds as well as misc. pins breaking within the bolt assembly under the best of situations little lone in a fire-fight. Forget it if you have to resort to using the M-16/4 magizines because of running out of belt fed ammo. Most SAW gunners do not train enough with the magazines, should they have to resort ot using them in combat.
The 9mm is also prone to stoppages as well as having to much velocity and to little expansion on impact. The standard Ball ammo is designed to stay together. Couple that with the velocity inherent to that round and you have to shoot a target 2-3 times to get it to stop. I agree the the .45 is the way to go. 1 shot anywhere you hit a target, takes that target down (Ball Ammo or not).
Take a que from SOC (Special Operation Command)–SEALs, SF, PARA-RESCUE, even RECON. They all have access to 7.62 weapons. The SEALs even use the Heckler and Koch MK23 in a .45 caliber.
Yes it would cost a great deal of money to re-equip our soldiers with larger caliber weapons. But, it probably wouldn’t cost as much as all of the funerals and insurance payoffs because a soldier was killed by a person they had shot 4 and 5 times.
Keep our troops alive. Give them the equipment they need to keep them alive.

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Aaron Nowling June 2, 2007 at 12:54 am

Having servied in Viet Nam when the M-16 first came out, I thought it was a good weapon up to 300 yuards. Beyond that range, I would take the M-14 any day knowing I could hit something and stop it easily up to 1,000 yards without a scope. With a selector on it, one could go to full auto with a click of the selector. It also had stopping power and adding the AP rounds, it could create a world of hurt for the enemy in a fortified position. I often wonder why this fine weopon was decommisiioned when only in service for several years. Current modifications by Springfied have greatly enhanced this weapon by producing several versions of it.
Aaron Nowling
CWO-4 USMC

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David Reid June 2, 2007 at 1:23 am

As a 1990-1991 combat vet and leo user and owner of The m-16/4 and m9. They are great weapons especially to look at when they are sitting on my weapons rack all juiced up with goodies. my real life experance is they really suck.As far as indoor range use there great. But personally in combat or outdoor in sandy conditions they have constant jambs. Its fustrating especially when your getting you ass kick by the enemy with old school AK-47. I know we have better. I personally feel its time to upgrade to what is currently being used by special operation forces > Why not pass it down to the everydays forces. I wonder why SOF dont use them? That should be a clue there junk! Initially, Yes it will be expensive but they last for a lifetime as those m-16 have for generations. It time folks to get rid of the junk in the trunk !

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LastFaceUC June 2, 2007 at 1:38 am

I see comments regarding distances. The fact of the matter is the vast majority of combat engagements take place at under 100yards. The larger battle rifle adds weight with no real benefit whatsoever. If all you want is the ability to shoot far then why dont we issue Barrett 50′s to everyone Let me say I am not an advocate for the M-16. I think it is overly complex and too high maintenance for a general issue weapon. You give people the right tool for the job. Could the M-16/M-4 round be improved? Yes. Issue it as an expanding round so all the energy is transferred to the target. At closer ranges the 5.56 round does often penetrate a soft target with little immediate effect. The AK-47 is a much more reliable weapon, and has better stoppin power due to the heavy lower velocity round. It is the equivalent of stabbing someone with an ice pick or hitting them in the face with a sledghammer. Both will kill them, but one drops them. It is not the size or speed of the round that kills it is the transfer of energy from the round into the target that does it. In reality more energy is delivered from a smaller faster round, but less of it is transferred to the target because of the cross section. Kinetic energy equals mass x velocity squared. Increases in velocity are more effective than increases in mass Eg Sabot tank rounds, Rail gun research, SLAP rounds for 50cal. A true review of battlefield engagements by foot soldiers will reveal most soldiers would be better off with a shotgun than a better rifle.
As for 9mm I think we all are generally in agreement. The caliber itself is not inherintly bad, it is the form in which we choose to employ it that needs correction, and the M-9 is a paperweight.

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CeeKay June 2, 2007 at 1:40 am

the United States Military branches had it right when they had the Colt M1911 as the standard issue firearm. A .45 is a good round for stopping power, and the M1911 delivered it quite accurately. The clerk at a local firearms store (and a good friend) said it best when referring to the M9… “Just because it’s military-issue doesn’t mean it’s the best these days…”
As far as main battle rifles go, I’d suggest the AK-47, or the FN FAL… With a little help from AKConcepts.com, The FN FAL (.308) rifles can be about as accurate as the .223 M-16 on full-auto, twice as reliable in combat, and still retain definitely enough stopping power to conquer battlefields. ;)
- CK

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nick June 2, 2007 at 2:08 am

my personal opinion, why didnt they stick with colts 1911? it has all the stopping power you need. it has proved itself time and time again through almost every war, police action, and conflict the US has been in, isnt that proof enough to say its reliable? i do realize it only holds 7 rounds and isnt the most accurate pistol out there, but it has been able to get the job done every time. but on the other hand, if the military wanted the best .45 ACP weapon they could get, the HK USP or MK23 as already used by special operations would be without a doubt the best ones to get. they hold 12 rounds, are the most accurate .45 pistols built, and wouldnt be issued to special operations if they werent top of the line. the only down fall of this weapon is its price, they are rather expencive, but worth every last cent! ive been researching guns for about 8 years and and the HK’s are definatly at the top of my best 5 list, and if i had to go into combat, they would be my first choice. (if i had one)
one of the problems with the M-16′s/ M-4′s is the bullet is small and had little knockdown power, but its rather fast and will atleast wound your target. but it is better to drop you target with one shot. again, my opinion, issue alot more .50 caliber guns like the barretts and brownings. but the barretts and brownings are to heavy to operate all day but will pop your targets chest like a balloon. it would still help out alot to issue more .308 caliber weapons like the HK13, HK21, HK23, bring a few M60′s out of retirement, M134D gatling guns. putting more of the medium caliber weapons like that are going to make an impact. only if the government wasnt so cheap. i think thats the reason why they keep the M-16′s/ M-4′s is they are cheap to buy, maintain, and load! if they even put one or two guys in a squad with a G3A3, or something of the sort that is a .308 would dramatically help an impact of enemy kills.
but like i said, only my opinion!!!!!!

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clown2theleft June 2, 2007 at 2:37 am

Pistol lethality, reliability? That’s easy: M1911a1.
Rifle’s a bit trickier because some soldiers have convinced themselves that the 5.56 round is appropriate for usage against man-sized goblins. WTF?
I don’t know about you all, but around these parts, we call that round the .223 Remington. It isn’t as accurate as the .222 or the .22-250, but it serves the same purpose: killing gophers. So it’s a third rate gopher round. Yeah, I’d want MY little brother using it against Haji. Um… no.
If I had my way, he’d be carrying something–ANYTHING–in thirty caliber–be it 7.62×39, –x51, or the venerable (and viable) .30-06. Let’s face it: a .30-40′s a few steps above that de-tuned .22 the poor SOB’s carrying (talking round only, not method of delivery).
And I don’t want to hear a thing about recoil. My God–if a soldier can’t be trained to overcome the (mostly psychological) aspects of recoil, then the question must be asked: is the training adequate? Give ‘em more trigger time with larger diameter barrels.

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GoldCup June 2, 2007 at 2:39 am

Stopping Power? In my own opinion,I prefer the Springfield’s M1A SCOUT SQUAD in Fiberglass Stock,chambered with 7.62x51mm(.308win). And for the sidearm, I would recommend the HK USP in .45ACP,Light-weight,pure stopping power with more enough bullets than any standard 1911 pistol.

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Dorn Green June 2, 2007 at 3:25 am

My opinion is the Glock 40 caliber hand gun, with hollow point, yeh I know hollow points are forbidden, but so is getting killed. Regardless of the uploaded rounds for the .223/M16 the total mass of the round is just to small for knock down.

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CDH Iraq June 2, 2007 at 3:45 am

I would suggest coverting the M4s the military already has to the 6.8 SPC!!!! You keep the M4 platform and change out the upper receiver. Much more cost effective and you get that knock down power you need.
As far as pistols are concerned, YOU CABT BEAT A 1911.

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Woody June 2, 2007 at 4:04 am

I would prefer the 1911A1 or similar pistol in 45 ACP to just about anything out there. Go to: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/jcp.htm and read the requirements for the new Joint Combat Pistol (JCP). If high capacity magazines and DA are requirements, perhaps a Para-Ordnance LDA. I would seriously conside a Taurus 24/7 Pro if it can pass the tests.
As far as the rifle, I would have no problem with a return to the M-14 which I trained with in the early 70′s. the AR-10 (in .308), set up similar to the M16-A2 would be my choice.
But, with budget considerations, perhaps the 6.8 SPC upgrade would be best.

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jerrod June 2, 2007 at 5:24 am

I would recomend somthing with a piston/gas return tube vs just a gas a return tube, less space for dust and grit to get into and talk to anybody who has had a AK of any form and they will talk about how they left it in the sand for 2 weeks and then dug it up and had it work flawlessly. H&K has a grea t one out called hte G36 i belive.

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Buck June 2, 2007 at 6:09 am

The Army needs the very best rifle available. If a $73 junk AK type weapon is more lethal and reliable than our “high tech”, then maybe we should rethink what we bring to the fight. Compared to all the other equipment that the Army fields, the rifle is just about the cheapest. Surely we can afford better. My vote is the HK416. Just buy the upper. I think sidearms are personal choice, and those authorized should bring their personal ones. Also, it is time for something in .40 caliber or larger, so lets get over the puny 9mm compatibility thing. It is past time to take the gloves off and use hp ammo in pistols. That way, when you shoot some creep, he stays shot. Enough of the doublethink about the rules of war.

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N. Counts June 2, 2007 at 6:43 am

People need to remember firearms are made for one main reason, to kill. Sure there are secondary purposes but if you got someone shooting at you, your best bet is to kill them. Why not authorize hollowpoints? Why not authorize a larger calibre? One simple reason a pistol should only be used in close quaters combat. If you are at close quaters with the enemy and he isnt down you run an extremely high risk of taking casualties. I am personally sick and tired of hearing and seeing our boys coming back from the desert due to injuries that a better ammunition would probably help avoid.

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Levi White June 2, 2007 at 6:45 am

What happened to the H&K M-8 that was coming out? It is supposedly far superior withno gas tube at all. It is a redesign of the g36 I think. It brags about being able to shoot over 10000 rounds before needing to be cleaned versus a few hundred on the M-4

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N. Counts MA3/USN June 2, 2007 at 6:48 am

I think the 35 Glock .40 is one of the best handguns on the market. Bury it in sand and it will still shoot, have it under water and it will still shoot. It is very accurate as a sidearm with excellent range and knockdown. Is lightweight and durable.

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Richard Doughty June 2, 2007 at 6:53 am

Skip the .45 Tauris. A new Tauris .45 sent back to mfg. for a LIST of things to be fixed. Not at all good for a combat piece.
Go for a US company for .45 with a large clip capacity and TOUGH specs.
Rifle: Do an AK47 type with upgraded specs and larger bore. 30-06 comes to mind.

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sbar June 2, 2007 at 7:12 am

How about getting the TAR-21
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQpUw5Burl0
The Israelis have built a serious weapon that is built for urban combat.

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Nicholas June 2, 2007 at 7:12 am

There has never been a substitute for the M-14 — period. As far as handguns go, there’s a few options that come to mind…let the soldiers bring what they want.

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John Clark June 2, 2007 at 7:30 am

Go back to a .45 caliber hand gun, possibly 1911s or Glocks. We need a 7.62×39 type round to replace the 5.56 and a more reliable weapon to fire it. IMHO.

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tony June 2, 2007 at 8:04 am

The military should consult with combat handgun experts such as Masad Ayoob, who trains civilian special agents and has years of law enforcement experience. My preference is for the Glock or Sig in .40 or .45 caliber. New frames can be produced for larger capacity magazines and smaller grips for females. The Israeli Galil is the best assault weapon I’ve ever tried. Sorry, Colt.Give our guys and gals a better edge.

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george cole June 2, 2007 at 8:06 am

the prob with letting all us soldiers carring they’re own type of hand weapons ;is that the service will have a logistic nightmare re-suppling them.I myself prefer a glock 22[40cal]with a 16 shot clip.in my “urban “lifestyle ,with a “shoulderholster&under arm clip pouch,I have 1clip in weapon and [4]back-ups -each with 16 rounds.this is a GOOD thing,at either the “range,or in the field”.as for the rifle,the war in vietnam should have taught us ,about “multi-function”weapon platforms.The GOV,plan “KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID”plan,for weapons intergration will work,as long as you can decide on amulti purpose caliber[.45 is great,and has already been through the "program".I like the .40 cal,and have,over 2,000+rounds through mine,it is not heavy loaded ,fits up under the shoulder comfortably and has a "good"[hand balance]with my green laser pointer.it is almost impossible to NOT,ejectand re-load ,a fresh clip in under a 1/2 a second-repeatedly.I have used it[as a system]in both “mout&swat ]conditions,as well as “hunting,and have been ,impressed with ,it’s simplicity.in short ,I like it and would feel “comfortable ,in a “combat situation,or under adverse conditions.later george cole mebane nc usa 27302

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Jason Charles Reichenbach, Esq. June 2, 2007 at 8:17 am

Given that hollow-point bullets will not be issued to soldiers in the USA, our military should respond to field reports by replacing the insufficient 9mm M9 pistol with a new pistol chambered for the powerful .45 ACP cartridge in a modernized 1911A1 system.

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BK June 2, 2007 at 8:20 am

The reason for the 1911 Colt has not changed one iota since the gun was conceived; we have just tried to pretend that we are smarter. In 1900, the motivation was Moro tribesmen with cane knives and a tendency to attack US soldiers. The .38 long Colt pistols of the time were quite lethal, just not quickly, just not with certainty, just not against opponents who attacked knowing that they were going to die. The .45 round whether by design or just plain dumb luck deposits a great deal of its energy on the first thing it hits, not the wall behind the target. AND the target drops from just about any hit in the torso. The 9mm is the modern equivalent of that .38 long Colt. Accurate, high velocity, great penetrating power, and just not the right fodder for a combat handgun that will be actually used in close quarters combat.
All of the political arguments one might make don’t overrule the simple physics or the unquestionable, combat-proven utility and reliability of the Colt 1911, no matter how smart we think we are.

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Scott E. Campbell June 2, 2007 at 8:36 am

The problem with our present small arms systems is the same one we are presently experiencing with our larger weapons systems. They’re too smart for our own good. The 5.56mm round was designed to tumble on impact with the intention of maming it’s target as opposed to simply killing it. Where the legality of hollow point rounds is concerned; there is a case that needs to be tried! Admittedly I can’t fund the entire hearing, but I’m more than willing to chip in. We have assets at our disposal, which we are not using and it’s tragic. The small arms we carry into battle should be lethal without question.
The ammunition we fire should be lethal and accurate. 7.62, .308, .357, .45 That should cover it.
The weapons that fire that ammunition should be just as dependable as duct tape. The AK47 has been tested in more theaters than I care to count at the moment. The M14 is in a similar boat. Let’s start the debate there.
Where handguns are concerned: SIG works. The P220R is designed to carry a tatical light/laser system. The round count isn’t the greatest on Earth, but if you only need one round to stop the threat the trade off would be acceptable.

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Greg June 2, 2007 at 8:40 am

What the soldiers are asking for is stopping power
Australians who fight in Vietnam weapon of choice was the 7.62 SLR
It was a semi-automatic when the Americans where blazing away with the M-16
They wanted the rifle because of its stopping power
Not firepower
If you got hit with this round it would seriouly do damge
Used in jungle city open country it packed a punch
Same with the slow trend now towards 45 cal instead of 9 mil pistol

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CW3:JOSEPH MAROTTA June 2, 2007 at 8:49 am

THE 9MM IS ABOUT AS EFFECTIVE AS A 38 SPECIAL.ITS JUST NOT AS EFFECTIVE FOR SHOCK RESULTING IN ONE SHOT STOPPING POWER.THE 45 ON THE OTHER HAND HAS PLENTY OF ONE SHOT STOPPING POWER.AND RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE IS THE 40 SMITH AND WESSON CARTIDGE.IT HAS PLENTY OF MUZZLE ENERGY AND IS VERY CAPABLE OF ONE SHOT STOPPING POWER.HOLLOW POINTS IN 40 S&W ARE DEVASTATING AND THERES +P AMMO MADE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MILITARY APPLICATIONS.

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B ULL June 2, 2007 at 8:52 am

The 45 ACP has proven itself, for a long time being the king of defense rounds.
Military regs which require ball ammo are intendes for WAR.
We are not in a declaired war at this time. therefore HP ammo should be in order.
If I were there I would have my nine packed with Corbon Powerball , it is not hollow point but better. Look it up http://www.corbon.com.
I would take my risk at getting busted for the ammo.
As for the 5.56 round it was designed with a different bullett weight and rate of twist. this was changed to increase stability and penetration. Which overstabilized it lessening the tumbeling effect on a target.
The 12 gauge and buckshot is still a good choice also.
I am sure we have a good stock of M 14s in a warehouse too.
Ammo weight is not a concern in this urban action as it was in Nam in the bush.
The Thompson is a wonderful weapon on the field as well as psychological tool. The reputation is well known. Use what we have.

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Rod June 2, 2007 at 8:55 am

Want a NEW Weapon and Better Ammo! Let

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P C June 2, 2007 at 9:01 am

I understand the idea behind the “no hollow point” thinking. We are the United States of America. Probably the only country in the world who actually abides by the rules in the Geneva Convention. However, we need to do everything in our “legal” power to help the men and women out on the field of battle. If they are begging for something with more stopping power, why not listen? Go back as far as Vietnam, and the echos are similar. The enemy could take several hits from a 5.56 and still advance, still engage. However, those using the .45ACP or a 12 guage shotgun fired with the confidence of knowing that the enemy would go down.
In the millitary, our training starts out with the mindset of “one shot, one kill.” This doesn’t work in the real world of combat using the M16. I hope the government gives this some serious thought. Glock, Sig, Smith&Wesson all make a great weapon. Let’s put it out there in the soldier’s hand and see what happens!

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Spencer June 2, 2007 at 9:11 am

Quote from Bull:
We are not in a declaired war at this time. therefore HP ammo should be in order.
If I were there I would have my nine packed with Corbon Powerball , it is not hollow point but better.
Tho I do agree with Bull in principal I can’t agree with his reasoning in that we are “not in a declared war”. May I submit we have troops getting maimed and killed in this non war so I see no reason to hold back any thing to help in their tasks.

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CW3:JOSEPH MAROTTA June 2, 2007 at 9:21 am

THE 223 CALIBER BULLETS ARE A JOKE COMPARED TO THE LARGER ROUNDS THE ENEMY IS KILLING US WITH.THE 223 IS A GREAT WOODCHUCK AND COYOTE LONG RANGE ROUND.HOWEVER IT WASNT DESIGNED FOR BIGGER VARMINTS I.E. TERRORIST,ALQUIEDA,HAMAS ETC…I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE MIND SET OF IF THE BULLET CAN REACH AND 800 METER TARGET DURING MARKSMANSHIP QUALIFICATION THAT IT MEANS IT HAS STOPPING POWER.GUESS WHAT I WAS RIGHT THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER.THE 762-X-39 CALIBER BULLET THAT THE ENEMY IS KILLING OUR MEN WITH RIGHT NOW IS MEANT FOR KILLING HUMANS -HUMANELY.=1 SHOT =1 KILL.WE NEED A MORE EFFICIENT CARTRIDGE.YOU WOULDNT USE A NERF FOOTBALL IN A SUPER BOWL GAME.WOULD YOU?THEN WHY WOULD YOU USE A RIFLE CHAMBERED FOR A MEDIUM SIZED VARMINT TO TAKE TO WAR AND ENTRUST YOUR LIFE WITH?IF THE GOVT HAS MONEY TO WAISTE ON WATCHING HOW FAST OR SLOW KETCHUP DROPS IT HAS MONEY TO SPEND ON FINDING AN ADEQUATE CARTRIDGE FOR OUR SOLDIERS SO THAT ONE MORE DROP OF AMERICAN BLOOD ISNT SPILLED.AND IM NOT TALKING KETCHUP!!!

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umbliah June 2, 2007 at 9:26 am

Supply every man with a flame thrower and we will have this business over very quickly.

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garin June 2, 2007 at 9:29 am

Where is the 6.8 SPC round? Why not just switch out the M4/M16s for a HK 416 and replace the 9mm round with the good old 45 ACP? But then again money is always the issue.

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hiwarmgun June 2, 2007 at 9:31 am

The thing about handguns in combat is simply this: No one should ever be issued a handgun who is actually expected to use it! Except for a silenced weapon for dispatching sentries and such, A hangun should be a “just in case” weapon only. A machinegunner’s backup “just in case” he’s separated from his MG. A vehicle or aircraft crewman’s weapon “just in case” he has to bail out- that sort of thing. Anyone going into combat expecting to fight should have a shotgun, SMG or M16/M4. Let’s see the bad guys run off or return fire with a chest full of 00 buck!

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umbliah June 2, 2007 at 9:38 am

Supply every man with a flame thrower and a sawed off 10 gage double barrel shot gun. We will have this business over very quickly. They don’t jam either.
Vivi La Military Industrial Complex!!!

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RUBEN June 2, 2007 at 9:41 am

I AGREE WITH THESE PREVIOUS COMMENTS. WE DO NEED MORE STOPPING POWER. I’M CURRENTLY DEPLOYED AND I ALSO WATCH THE AFN CHANNEL. SOME OF OUR ENEMIES ARE ON SOME KIND OF DRUG TO AID IN THE FIREFIGHTING. SO THE 5.56/9MM THAT WE USE JUST ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. BRING BACK THE .45, AND CODE OUT THE 5.56 AND REPLACE THEM WITH EITHER THE 7.62 OR HIGHER CALIBER WEAPONS. ALSO, THE GENEVA CONVENTION NEEDS TO BE ALTERED TO LET THE ENEMY REALIZE WE ARE NOT AS SOFT AS THEY CURRENTLY SEE US. THEY CAN CUT OUR HEADS OFF ON CAMERA AND YET WE DON’T DO A THING. HIGHER CALIBER WEAPONS AND A SLIGHT CHANGE IN THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS IS WHAT OUR FORCES NEED.

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Matt June 2, 2007 at 9:44 am

My father was a Marine Corps Armorer in Vietnam. He was surrounded by weapons and when he went into combat he had his choice. He carried a Thompson .45 sub machine gun. He could carry lots of ammo with good stopping power. He didn’t think much of the M16 and always wished the military had kept the M14 as standard issue. He speeks very highly of that weapon.

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c.stuart June 2, 2007 at 9:47 am

talking about bringing back weapons of larger cal such as .45 1911, .30 cal M-14 how about bringing back the old quad 50 track? that was a real pee-bringer. any comments?

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DeWayne Currier June 2, 2007 at 9:49 am

Remington Arms Company and our special forces operators have recently developed a new round which can be used in the M4/M16 system. The 6.8x43mm was designed by actual combat/training personnel who wanted more stopping power for the M16 and its variants. Currently, the new cartridge is battling red tape. Let the soldiers decide what they want! Not the Pentagon dwelling generals who do nothing than warm chairs with their butts! It (6.8mm) launches a a 115-grain bullet from a short barrel at around 2500-2600 feet per second (a longer barrel will net 2700 to 2800 feet per second). Contrast that with the AK-47 round (7.62x39mm) with a 123-grain bullet at 2300 feet per second. The new 6.8x43mm round is as effective as deer hunting caliber rounds of the .250 Savage, 257 Roberts, or .243 Winchester class of deer hunting cartridges. Better punch at close range than the AK-47 round, and reaching out like the 7.63 NATO to 400 or 500 meters, plus the great inherent accuracy of the 6.8mm round makes it superior in all aspects to both the 5.56mm and and the 7.62x39mm rounds for combat. I’d use a 6.8x43mm for deer hunting with no qualms. I’d never use the 5.56mm for hunting deer – too small in my opinion for reliable one-shot kills – no punch. If I were being over run by prairie dogs, gophers, ground squirrels, or woodchucks, I’d be happy with the 5.56mm. But people, for the most part have a body mass similar to most deer. So a bigger cartridge with more punch is in order. In testing the 6.8mm has dropped 300 pound hogs at 300 yards with one shot. Just try dropping a hog at that distance with a 5.56mm with the same results – won’t happen – you’ll just have a pretty mad hog! The 6.8x43mm hits harder than the 5.56mm at all combat distances, is more accurate and hits harder at close range and at a distance than the 7.62x39mm AK-47 round, and shoots with the 7.62 NATO out to 600 meters. Not to mention it fits in the M4/M16 system with minimal modification. As for handguns – Long live the M1911 and the .45 ACP! There are none better. Although the .40 S&W would be good modern choice for the M1911 if the M9 pistol is wisely ever retired. The 9mm is nothing more than a rimless .38-special – neither of which have any punch.
See the sights listed below:
http://www.rifleshootermag.com/ammunition/remington_0303/
http://www.gunblast.com/Barrett-M468.htm
http://www.chuckhawks.com/6-8mm_SPC.htm
http://www.barrettrifles.com/rifle_468.aspx

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Les willliamson June 2, 2007 at 9:54 am

As I recall the Viet Cong hated OO buck shot and shotguns

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MIKE June 2, 2007 at 10:06 am

NEVER BEEN IN COMBAT, IN NAVY BUT NEVER ABOARD SHIP. LOVE HANDGUNS AND LONG GUNS. SONS WERE GIVEN COLT DELTA 10MM, BROWNING 9, OTHER SON WANTED BROWNING BDM (ORIGINAL WITH 5 EXTRA CLIPS) AND BROWNING PRACTICAL (40 SW). BUILT AR-15 VARIANT WITH SHILEN SS SELECT MATCH BBL. AND BUILT MY OWN 22LR. AR-15 BEFORE THEY WERE COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE WITH SHILEN SS MATCH BBL. HUNTING RIFLES.. REM 700 IN 308, VSSF. ALSO HAVE SAME IN .223 AND 22-250. NEXT PRESENT TO SONS S&W SS. 44MAG. BELIEVE IN TRIGGER CONTROL THEREFORE SINGLE ACTION. SONS FRIENDS IN WA. TRIED AND NOW WANT SINGLE ACTION SIDE ARMS…

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Tom Smith June 2, 2007 at 10:13 am

The bad guys are using AK-47′s and we’re still messing with a .22 caliber round… a freaking squirell gun. If we can’t adopt the AK 47, then bring back the M-14.
Nam Grunt Platoon Commander I Corps

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Jimseabee June 2, 2007 at 10:25 am

Speaking of the FBI, They have gone back to the .45 cal pistol. why???? Stopping power.
Back in the 1990′s I was attached to a command that the Commanding Officer Swore up and down that a m14 round could not penetrate 2in of wood. My leading CPO and I went and set up a concrete block wall, 3/8 plate steel and a piece of bullet resistant glass to demonstrate the power of different rounds. 22 cal, 9mm .45 cal .223(5.56)7.62 x39 and 308(7.62).
The end result was the 7.62 x 39 and .308 rounds drilled holes in the plate steel, destroyed the block wall, and the bullet resistant glass was penetrated by the .308 ball round at 5, 10, 15 yards.
Fire power is what counts. The 9mm and the M-16 was the brain child of the President Kennedy adminstration was a political decision NOT a military one. Why do you think SOG uses different weapons than the regular military?
FIRE POWER.
thanks
Jim retired Seabee USN

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Larry J. Cate Sr. June 2, 2007 at 10:28 am

At one time in my life in the U S Navy I had fired every Gun that we had except the 5″ 25 Cal. Gun.
I was the first man to fire the 5″ 54 Cal. Mk 45 Gun which is the newest Gun that the Navy has. i was in charge of the Structual Firings aboard the USS Norton Sound AVM 1.
In Small Arms Weaponry th 1911 45 Cal. APC is the best gun that any of the Services ever had for hand held combat weapons.

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Tyler June 2, 2007 at 10:28 am

I personally beleive that we either need to bring in a new gun, or modify the M-4s and M-16s to fire something more like a 7.62, instead of the 5.56 round. The 5.56s, while faster flying, lack the knockdown power of the 7.62s that the AKs fire. I also think that if I had the choice, I’d carry and older-style 1911 .45-ACP instead of a 9mm. I don’t really care for 9mm’s, especially the M9 Beratta’s, nothing about their relability, I just don’t care for the M9s, I’d rather have a 1911 on my side. And, if it were me, I’d want to have a 12-gauge with 00-Buckshot for close range, and maye something firing the .30-06 or .308 round for a rifle.

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Ed June 2, 2007 at 10:28 am

I still think my model 1911 Colt 45 sidearm best.

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SSG Minor June 2, 2007 at 10:32 am

All I have to say is the HK G36 rifle that is issued to our German friends is the best rifle I have fired. If I was running down the battlefield, and I saw an HK G36 laying on the ground, I would chuck my M16/M4 and grab the HK. I believe that it uses a 5.56mm round which would need to be upgraded of course but the sighting system is fantastic. It requires no zeroing like the M16/M4 which would save money and I bet that soldiers could hit thier targets more frequently too. I’ve been down range and I say we need a new rifle. Personally, I would go with the .45 ACP for a new hand gun.

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LT Kiersten Whitacre June 2, 2007 at 10:35 am

I’d like to see research on a better 5.56 load. If fullscale weapon replacement/upgrade is not realistic, maybe we can quit issuing m855(62gr) ammo (with reported ice-pick like performance) and return to m193 or field a new 75-77 grain offering with better fragmentation qualities in the M-4/M-16 family.
Many don’t realize it’s not the “.22″ hole that stops attackers…its the stretch and fragmentation of that fast little bullet inside them. Design a better fragging bullet and you can put a band aid on current ammo problems. (no comment on the M9)

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PFC Henze June 2, 2007 at 10:41 am

Soldiers are very familiar with the M16/M4 series weapons and they are very easy to clean. I suggest finding a weapon that has a very similar, if not the same, bolt and parts. I also suggest going from 5.56mm to the 6.8mm, if not even a 7.62mm. Barret makes a rifle called the M468 which I think is very good from what I’ve heard. Future Weapons on Discovery channel has shown a couple weapons that have been stuck directly in sand, water, and mud and never jam. Let’s get that shit to the front.

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CPT G June 2, 2007 at 10:50 am

The stopping power of the .38cal revolver, whose ballistics are pretty equivalent to the 9mm, is the reason that we switched to the .45cal about a hundred years ago. How soon we forget! As far as the 5.56 round goes, I think it’s illegal to shoot deer with it in a lot of states. Why would I want to shoot a person with it that needs killing? We need to be shooting at minimum, a 110-130gr bullet in 6 or 6.5mm. I have personally witnessed people shot by 5.56 62gr bullets that had very little effect on when not hitting a vital area.

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Jacob June 2, 2007 at 10:55 am

technically, hollow point rounds are not illegal. The law that everybody thinks of when they think “illegal hollow point” actually states “any type of ammunition designed to cause undo suffering”. Since hollow point ammunition has been “proven” to cause undo suffering, most people associate “undo suffering” with “hollow point”. There is actually a type of ammunition that is a sort of hollow point that is leagal for battlefield use. It was developed by Hornady and is called Open Tip Match (OTM). as far as I know, The first caliber they developed it for was the 6.8 SPC round for future military use. as for pistols, .45 all the way.

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Nicklas Odh June 2, 2007 at 11:00 am

How about calling the Swedish Army HQ and buy the about half a million (500 000) H&K G3 (called AK4 in Sweden) that is lying unused (in factory wrapper) in stores here and there. They could even throw in billions of bullets as well, stored since the cold war.
Then you would have an extremely reliable weapon, easily maintained and with a great punch.
It is quite long, but there are short versions as well.
They would probably throw the guns at Pentagon for free since Sweden is selling off its defence in a huge garage sale.
Then you get the GC M45 SMG as well, for free. 9mm FMJ with boost load with a good punch. Ask some retired spook about the M45, they had it in Nam.
Its like a pipe with a spring. Two moving parts and works always.

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Joe June 2, 2007 at 11:00 am

I carried the 1911 compact version and the M9 Beretta. For close combat engagement…th .45 has the lethality needed to stop anything. The M9 has the distance, but very little punch. We carried hollow points in certain conditions, but I realize that Geneva Convention Rules do not allow hollow point ammunition. It took years for al services to goto the M9 and it’s never lived up t it’s promises. SOLUTION: 1. Provide a higher grain round for the M9; however, upper rail tends to prematurely crack after about 1200 rounds; 2) Like federal law enforcement agencies….go to the .40 caliber..excellent choice are Sig Sauer and GLOCK….GLOCK has an excellent track record and reliability the Beretta could never reach and; 3) Return to the .45 ACP issue staggered magazines and more for troops to carry. This is an unconventional war…we need to carry a variety of weapons. The M-16 is overdue for retirement…we need to arm the combat troops with a bettr assualt weapon….se what the Israelis have developed….AWESOME replacement for the M-16/M-4

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PFC Henze June 2, 2007 at 11:06 am

Heckler and Koch makes a rifle called the HK416. Instead of having the gas blow back tube that blows carbon right into the chamber it releases the gas out the front and away from the weapon. This results in have a cleaner and cooler weapon that jams less. The caliber/ammunition problem would still have to be dealt with though.

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Larry Nutter June 2, 2007 at 11:17 am

The U.S. Army has apparently fielded 5.56 ammo loaded with the 77 grain Nosler match bullet in limited quantity. This bullet provides the “minimal frontal stability” which is the desired effect of military ammo. This round will tumble immediately upon impact causing immediate incapacity. The bullet was designed to be fired with a 1 in 7 or in 8 twist rifling. The 1 in 9 twist rate of the M4/M16 causes “minimal frontal stability” while maintaining acceptable accuracy. Minimal frontal stability is “yaw” at the front of the moving projectile causing instability. The other option is to adopt the 6.8 mm SPC round (.270″). This cartrige can be adapted to all current M4 and M16 rifles with only the change of the barrel and magazine follower. This change could be accomplished at the unit armorer level.

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Greg Rentchler June 2, 2007 at 11:21 am

Hey Folks,
Let’s use what works! Given todays globalpolitical threat,someone tell me why, really why we still adhere to the Geneva Convention Arms Conditions. Give our fighters .40 Glocks, Sigs or H&Ks. We went to 5.56 to carry more ammo and provide less training because of less recoil. We went to 9mm because it would require less training due to less recoil. Our DaDs used to do it with 8 rounds of 30-06. Get back to training with what works!
Greg- former Marine, Law Enforcement trainer

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John June 2, 2007 at 11:23 am

There was an excellent videostream on the Israeli Tavor short-barreled, highly accurate, and reliable rifl recently on military.com.
Why not procure from other nations who have already invented the wheel, rather than spending millions of dollars reinventing what is already there for use?

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Bill June 2, 2007 at 11:41 am

When we fought the Phillipine Insurgents we went from the .38 to the .45, because the .38 had no stopping power. Then the morons decided to go from the .45 to the 9mm because it would cost less. Now we find the wondernine is crap in a combat situation. Hey ARMY, learn from the Marines, they never gave up their 1911s. What goes around, comes around. Also, as the the M$, check out the new stuff in 6.8 Grendel. Oh, and the Tavor? It’s a bullpup style, we will never go that route.

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Michael R Smith June 2, 2007 at 12:03 pm

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!!!
I say the hell with the Geneva convention.Are we (U.S.)bringing a knife to a gun fight? Does the GC address the insurgents use of IED’s,or what they can and cannot do in time of war. I think not.
We can’t use hollow points??? What is the purpose of firing on the enemy? To scare them and make them go away? Not gonna happen. Give our men what they need,period.
I say,give all the answer guys an m-16 and a 9mm and send them into battle,get some first hand experience and then see what they think, if they still can.
A bunch of beauracratic bozo’s sitting in an office,thousands of miles away,have the answers???Listen to the grunts,they face it daily.

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CW3 McDonald June 2, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Too many stories of bad guys getting hit by .223 rounds and getting up and running.Our spec ops guys use weapons that work and have had a rifle designed for them that is not a gas blowback sys.I am a fed agent that carrys a.40 and no agency I know of except Customs carrys a 9MM for obvious reasons(no knock down). Why are our guys still using inferior weapons? Money and politics is the only reason…I would rather carry an AK-47 and a 1911 any day in combat versus what we issue our guys today.

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Wayne June 2, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Being from the old school, I believe we use to carry the best weapons for knock-down power. When you hit your target, it was either gone or down. You didn’t have to worry about whether you had to hit it again. If the same people that procure our weapons had to use them in combat with the rest of the soldiers, I’ll bet they wouldn’t cut costs or scrimp on knock-down power. They would want to make sure that you only had to hit your target once to incapacitate it.

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Paul H June 2, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Great disussion. I am retiring 7/1/07 but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a dog in the fight any more. The 9mm is a waste of time. I have mixed emotions about the m16 based weapons. If you want something that will work google AA12 and take a look at what my friend Jerry B has put together, then start calling your congessman/senator. Tell them that you want some input into the tool selection. Paul H

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Andrew Fedora June 2, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Hey, has the DoD looked into the Barrett M468? I’ve been doing some reading on it and I think it’s the best bet for the Armed Forces.
The core component of the Barrett M468 is Remington’s new 6.8mm SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge). Indeed, the rifle’s name comes from the combination of M4 and 6.8mm. Introduced by Remington Arms in 2004, the 6.8mm (.270 caliber) SPC is more lethal than the 5.56mm cartridge, without a significant increase in overall bullet dimensions. Though slightly larger than the standard M-16 cartridge (6.8x43mm as opposed to 5.56x45mm), current issue M-16 magazines can easily be reconfigured to accept the new cartridge. In addition, while the SPC has a slightly lower muzzle velocity than the 5.56mm cartridge, its larger mass makes it ballistically similar to the lighter 5.56mm round (in terms of accuracy and bullet drop), and it delivers half again as much kinetic energy. In real terms, this means that the 6.8mm SPC has the same relative trajectory as the 5.56mm (which allows for the M468 to be fired and treated essentially like a 5.56mm M-16), but with 50% more stopping power, and a bullet speed of 2650 feet per second from a sixteen and one-half inch barrel, delivering 1715 foot-pounds of energy, with a six hundred meter effective range.
Flexibility is also the watchword with the M468, as it employs the ARMS Inc. S.I.R. (Selective Integration Rail) hand guard, which allows all existing military night vision devices, combat optics, and weapon accessories (such as bipods) to be mounted on it. The SIR system not only reduces the integration costs of the weapon (there is no need to purchase new optics specifically tailored to the weapon), but also gives the military the ability to selectively field the weapon and its systems. For example, every Heckler & Koch XM-8 requires an integrated electro-optical combat sight, whereas the Barrett M468 can be issued as a stand-alone weapon (the SIR system comes with integrated “flip up” style iron sights), with optional items such as the M68 CCO, PAC-4 and PEQ-2.
The SIR system allows for the rapid integration of the core system (the M468) into all levels of the military, while distribution of auxiliary systems (such as optics and night vision devices) could be based on unit need and budgetary considerations. In addition, the M468 should be completely adaptable (through the use of modified hand guards) for use with existing secondary weapons, such as the M203 40mm grenade launcher (which has been a standard issue, squad level weapon for the last 20 years) and the 12 gauge LSS under-barrel shotgun. The ability to mount these pre-existing weapons means that new weapons (such as the 40mm launcher that would be used with the XM-8) wouldn’t need to be purchased as additional items.
Simply put, the greatest advantage the Barrett M468 has over contenders such as the H&K XM-8 is improved lethality. By going to the more powerful Remington 6.8mm SPC, Barrett has produced a rifle that is more lethal than any other battle rifle chambered for 5.56mm NATO, yet does not suffer from a significant loss in magazine capacity (as would have been the case if the rifle had been chambered for the much larger 7.62mm NATO cartridge). By going to a heavier bolt carrier group and stiffer recoil spring, Barrett has also addressed the one unresolved legacy issue regarding the M-16s reliability under combat conditions. These two factors, coupled with its compatibility with existing M-16 accessories and attachments, would seem to make it the hands-down favorite to replace the M-16.

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CPT Crunch June 2, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Now is the time to rectify the almost 50 year old mistake of adopting 5.56mm. Yes it will be a pain to replace but is overdue and just as we change other equipment we need to put the bean counters and standardization nuts in their place. NATO will follow our lead, just as they did in the 5.56mm thing when the British had ideas from the 7mm EM2 to the 4.85mm weapon. Fedorov and others realized that the optimum caliber and bullet weight is around 6.5mm and 120gr with about 2500fps as early as 1916 and that has the best combination of power, controllability and ammunition load. The 6.8mm SPC is the answer and that is why SF teamed with Remington to create it to solve a problem. Go with a 6.8mm HK 416 style system. Wonder why there is a SCAR light and heavy and both are piston systems?

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Robert (doc) Judd June 2, 2007 at 12:24 pm

I,m a VN vet corpsman attached to the Marines 68-76. when a corpsman is down with a patient, his best friend is his colt 45 (M1911A) in close situations it ultimately comes down to stopping power. Just one thing though, please ad additional rounds to the mags! any other docs out there agree?

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Philip June 2, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Why are we using Weopns from over 40 years ago.
We can give BILLIONS to other countries in need but not give our soldiers what we need?
I am an Iraqi Vet. SOmething is not right in our country when we have the tecnology but wont use it to aid our soldier a war where our enimes use
unconvential tactics.
Ak47 fire under almost any conditions water sand snow whatever and where using ones that jam?
Ask yourself how would you feel if you were in a fire fight and your gun jammed. Or your son or daughter. Then its a diffrent story.
GOD bless our troops.

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Neal June 2, 2007 at 12:41 pm

That is why the AK47 is the weapon of the times.You can use the enemies ammo. aginst them. Need to put the politions over there with the crap they approve.

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bob giola June 2, 2007 at 12:49 pm

I have to agree with Mike Smith…we’re not shooting at these guys to scare them away. When you engage a target, you shoot to kill. Is it somehow more humane (or PC) to shoot them 3 or 4 times with a smaller caliber round than it is to hit them once with a more lethal bullet?
It’s ridiculous to outlaw certain types of ammunition when the only reason to fire on the enemy is to kill them. A lethal wound is a lethal wound…does it really matter if it came from a 9mm, .223, shotgun or a hollow point? Dead is dead.
The 9mm was a poor replacement for the .45, and the .223 round showed as far back as Vietnam to have a lot of velocity but not enough stopping power.
Give these troops what they need to put the bad guys down, and keep them down.

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don don June 2, 2007 at 12:50 pm

my opinion is call for fire

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sfc.r.cain June 2, 2007 at 1:07 pm

IF YOU DONT GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO FIGHT WITH
BRING THEM HOME.REPLACE THE M9 WITH THE TAURUS OSS IT,S .45ACP 12+1 AND HAS ALREADY BEEN TESTED WITH 60,000 ROUNDS. NOW TAKE THE M-4 CHANGE THEM OVER TO 6.8 WITH SEMI JACKET AMMO SINCE HOLLOW POINTS ARE NOT ALLOWED. THESE SOLDIERS ARE PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM. THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO USE ANY AND ALL MEANS NECESSARY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. SFC.ROBERT O. CAIN JR.

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MountainMarine June 2, 2007 at 1:09 pm

It’s a no-brainer that 9mm rounds are not man stoppers. The choices are the .40 and the .45. The hit on venerable .45 is the lack of capacity, size and weight. All these issues are addressed in the .40 caliber. Add that it has at least as good stopping power and better accuracy. It holds as many shells as the 9mm and is built on a smaller frame than the .40 so smaller hands fit also.
For a rifle go with .270 rounds. You don’t need 30 caliber ammo. It actually has less range than the 270 (6.8 mm). More range and 170 to 180 grain bullets to kill the enemy.
Short term fix: Replace the barrels and slides in the Barrettas with .40 cal ones. Pull all 9mm ammo out of theatre. Replace upper receiver in the m-4/m-16 with the 6.8mm.
Long term: Buy Glock .40 caliber pistols- indestructible.
Go to a bullpup .270 (6.8mm) configuration with a cleaner non-fouling recoil/gas operating system. No more 5.56 crap! Then train troops to clean weapons, someone said they were too tired to clean their weapon after a mission. What an idiot! Not much of a fighter there. Semper Fi.

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Lovelace June 2, 2007 at 1:12 pm

The bigest mistake ever made was when they chose the 9mm over the 45cal.1911
When you hit sombody with a 45cal.slug. It’s all over. It’s accurate,lot’s of knock down power.

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manuel lara June 2, 2007 at 1:15 pm

dammit just give the fellas what they need who knows better than them what is needed, when i was in ‘nam i humped a m-79 (blooper) now that had stopping potential why not develop an m-78 slightly smaller killing round could be used as direct fire and if need be it copuld also be used as a small mortar but i feel that an m-78 should be developed with the orientation towards direct fire it seems like to me that the fellas want to stop these enemy soldiers “DEADER THAN DEAD” before their next step hits the ground. i used to hump extra ammo in my ruck and i was fitted out with a vest chock full of 7niner rounds i also carried willy petes, fleshettes,and sundry gas and smoke rounds each grunt could be fitted out with magazines of a different sort (wp’s, fleshettes, gas, do you guys get my drift? just saddle ‘em up wit an m-78 and/or m-77 the idea is to keep it small and lethal maybe all the way down to an m-50 maybe keep it at an m-78 and the requirement for a soldier to hump it is that he would have to be as strong as a bulldozer they could also be known as ebu’s (elite bulldozer units) i rest my case, they got our backs we should also have their backs. i was a pfc blooper grunt with the first of the eighth 4th infantry division our colonels nickname was “bullet” so we were the “bullet brigade” 1969 to 1970 sirs huah!

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Lt Cammander Steve Silva June 2, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I have a hard time wondering why they do not go with the P-90 and FN 5.7 28… Same ammo armor percing 50 round mag and 21 in the pistol…
Nato and some SWATT use it.

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Zambony June 2, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Hollow point illegal in war? Who made that rule?
Can’t believe our guys are issued 9mm’s with plinker ammo. Dump the M9 and issue Glock 23s or 22s. Indestructible and reliable.

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Darron June 2, 2007 at 1:26 pm

I was in the Marine Corp. for 8 years and have shot some of the weapons they have. I never had any problems with the M16 or the 9mm. But, I will have too say the 9mm does not have the stopping power of the .45. In my opinion the military needs weponry too stop the enemy in their tracks with one shot not 9 shots. They need too bring back the 45 cal pistol and give them hollow point rounds as well. I have shot many AR-15 since I have been out of the military and I believe the ammo you buy in the civilian world has more stopping power than the military version.
Give the military personnel on the front lines what they need not what the politicians think they need, politicians don’t know their not the ones doing the fighting.
OOOH RAW SEMPER FI !

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tim929 June 2, 2007 at 1:32 pm

The stopping power debate has raged on and on for many,many years and isnt likely to go away just because we spend billions of dollars on so called “upgrades.”Granted,the 5.56 mm was originaly intended as a varmint rifle cartrige,it has seen alot of service with people either loving it,or hating it.As for the 9 mm,in WWII both German and British troops both reported that even when used in volume (as from a sub-machine gun) it frequently failed to put down a determined enemy.
Law enforcement folks found the 9 mm to be perfectly acceptable as a man stopper once reliable hollow point ammunition became commonly available and in point of fact,its still an excelent choice as a duty side arm with hollow points.The FBI selected the 10 mm and later the .40 S&W as a knee jerk response to a SINGLE falure of a 9 mm hollowpoint in a shooting incident in Florida in which a suspect who had been shot was still able to return fire and kill a Federal agent in spite of his wound.
This type of “failure to stop” has been noted with ALL handgun rounds,not just the smaller caliber ones.Even the mighty .45 ACP has had its less than perfect moments,but in a millitary application,its very clear that bigger is better.And as such,the .45 should have never been retired.
I would also like to note that the ammunition that has been developed for the 5.56 rifle was intended to reach its best performance in a RIFLE,not a short barreled carbine like the M-4.The short barrel on the M-4 sucks away a large chunk of whats supposed to make the round effective.Barrel length has a very pronounced impact on velocity and stopping power.If the wave of the future for our troops is going to be a short barreled carbine,then it stands to reason that a new cartrige needs to be adopted to account for the loss of power that a short barrel produces.
Others have mentioned in this thread that the “.38″ was replaced after the Philipine insurection,but I find it important to note that the .38 round that was replaced was NOT the .38 special.It was the .38 colt cartrige.The .38 colt launched a considerably lighter bullet(124 grains) at a whopping 600 feet per second.It quickly proved unable to stop a 12 year old high on Hershy bars.
It should be interesting to see what the future holds for our millitary and law enforcement people in terms of small arms choices.I wonder if some day,the debate will turn full circle to find cops being issued revolvers and soldiers being issued bolt action rifles.

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gene vallee June 2, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Its a shame that the best designs in weapons ,even the weapons designs of our enemies are not seriously considered for our own adoption and production.
Three of those that have stood the test of time come to mind in seconds.
The first being the Ak in 7.62×39 caliber.
The second being the Best Light Machine gun ever created, The WWII German MG42, That is still fielded by countries in a modern production and 7.62×51 NATO caliber.
And of course ,the .45acp in some form or another.
From past “improvements” such as our M60 light
machine gun,that used some features of the MG42 and then went on to screw it up,sticking closely
to the original design might be real good idea!
Regards,G. Vallee

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Mark June 2, 2007 at 1:40 pm

The 9mm had a good reputation at its time and I carry hollow points in mine. But I recently went to the Beretta 40. Cal. hollow point. Same holsters and ammo carriers but more power and you do not have to waste a s*** load of ammo to get the job done.
As for the rifles, try the Barretts NEW rifle. It has more stopping power and the round has a bigger round in the same package as the AK-47 but better. More damage on the enemy with less rounds spent. The rifle has the M-16/AR-15 lower receiver and the upper receiver also come apart just like the issued M-16/AR-15. Love the rifle, You can do more for less!

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rijo June 2, 2007 at 1:42 pm

The M9 should be replaced immdediately. Go with the Springfield Armory XD-45. 13+1 and the grip fits almost any size hand. The reliability rivals that of a Glock but made better in my opinion.
The M4 is a great weapon. But the 5.56 round should be replaced with the .308.
These guys are on the “front lines”…..HELL, give them what they want!!!

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kodecar June 2, 2007 at 1:46 pm

There is no such thing as “knock down power” with pistol ammunition. It is 100% shot placement.
Given the ammo selections that our military is forced to deal with (ball only), you can make a case for the .45 vs. 9mm since it will disrupt more tissue.
It really is too bad. There have been some amazing advancements in ammunition technology that law enforcement has been able to take adventage of. There are current offerings in 9mm that will out perform most .45 ammo, including other hollowpoints. The same thing can be said about .233 ammo.
While I am not a fan of the M9, it is not an issue of caliber, just personal preference. A Sig 226 or Glock 17 or 19 would be the ticket. Nothing at all wrong with the M4 either. We just need to rid ourselves of these ridiculous “rules” that we play by and issue better performing ammunition.

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Paul Donohue June 2, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Even in Vietnam, the 5.56mm cartridge was only marginally effective. In that conflict, distances were shorter and the targets were smaller people.
There are now, and have been for 50 years, better rifle and carbine cartridges. The British .280 of 1950 and the current 6.8mm SPC and 6.5×39 Grendel are all superior in effectiveness and will fit within the size constraints of the M-16, AK-47, Galil and other modern assault rifles.
Better choices of US troop armament might be made if all ordinance decision makers to have recent personal combat experience. P.E.D. 1971 RVN

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Rick Goelzer June 2, 2007 at 2:06 pm

It appears that the M-16/M4 class of 5.56 small arms was designed primarily for supressive fire. The ‘old’ M14 7.62×51 was an excellent killer and quite reliable. And, of course, a trained individual can do enormous damage with a 900gr .50 BMG rifle.
For personal defense, I stick with a 230gr .45 ACP JHP (Colt 1911), although my son prefers the 9mm w/JHP’s (Beretta).

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rijo June 2, 2007 at 2:07 pm
C. H. "Slats" Wolfe June 2, 2007 at 2:10 pm

As a long time competative Pistol Shooter, I would have to agree with the first comment that it is placement not the calibre that counts. It takes much practice, particularly with a pistol to become competent. Military expert scores requirement, just make marksman in NRA competition. I love my 45′s and can maintain a 3″ pattern at 50 yds. but, that is not under combat conditions. The Xd-45 sounds like the logical choice, but much more training/practice is required. Retired USN

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Jeff Medina June 2, 2007 at 2:32 pm

I am a competition shooter,and a private security professional. I have shot all types of small arms,from the 9mm to the 45. Bring back the 45!!! It proved its own stopping power since the great war.Why ever get rid of something that was proven to work? The 45 is very reliable,and it gets the job done.I am also an active handgun hunter. I have shot numerous deer with a modified 45. Bring a proven warrior with stopping power back!!!

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huddleston June 2, 2007 at 2:44 pm

I think the M/16 is a fair weapon, the only thing is they have been around for a long time. I think the M/4 could be pretty good. although the M14 is a superb weapon. I have owned one for several years and am very comfortable with it. From the day I got it I have had no problems, it still shoots good and holds a quarter size pattern at 125/150 yards. now on the issue of a hand gun I think the 40 caliber is an all around better weapon than the 9mm or the 45.
It feels a lot better, not as heavy, and fits my hand better than the others. the 40 also has better knock down power. and you don’t have to worry about things behind your target from being hit . I,ve noticed that the 9mm and the 45 have a tendancy to go though your target and keep going into what ever is behind it. the 40 may go though but it looses all of its thrust by that time and stops. so it does not tend to damage any thing behind the target your are shooting at.
So if the military was to choose some new weapons for our military combat uses I would propose the
40 caliber hand gun and reissue the M14 and get rid of the M/16 and use the M4 as a back up for none combat posissions .

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Robert Staton Jr. June 2, 2007 at 3:19 pm

As someone who has shot for the past 30+ years, I would have to say that it is time for the ol’M16 and it’s varients be replaced. I have read a wide variety of reports on H&K’s weapons systems and beleive they would be a perfect replacement for our current issue rifles. They don’t have the malfunction history,(espeacially in dirty or sandy enviroments), that the 16 has and it fires the same ammo. And while a heavier round allways is nice, IF the military was bent on keeping the 5.56, it has served us well. But I would recommend the 7.62,(.308 Civilian). Bigger, accurate, and it will ruin your day should you catch one. H&K has serveral varients that chamber both rounds very effectively. As for Handguns. It has allways amazed me why the military just HAD to be like all those NATO countries. The .45 has been an outstanding round. It’s stopping power is unsurpassed in a service handgun. That’s why they went to it way back when. The idea of Billy Clinton wanting to make us more like the rest of the world and take away our beloved .45′s was insane. But then, he was never an admirer of the military anyway. So by all means, give our guys back their .45′s. Those Special Forces guys use them for a reason. They work.
Finally. When are we,(America), going to stop wussing around and start issuing ammo that works. Every Law Enforcement Agency in the country uses some kind of Hollow Point Ammunition. When are we going to stop worrying about hurting the enemy and their supporters, and start concentrating on killing them? Thats how wars are won. You kill the enemy and those who support them. And you do it by the most expedient means possible. Through and through wounds? Ok. What’s the problem? Odds are, the round has removed something vital to that enemy soldiar and it followed the round out the exit hole. That’s a good thing. In a fire fight, you shouldn’t have to be worried about whats behind your target,(you know, the guy that’s trying to kill you). God knows he’s not concerned about it. How bout if we get back to the business of killing the enemy and stop caring about whos feeling we hurt in the process.

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jason June 2, 2007 at 3:27 pm

why not use the M4 chassis and chamber it to fire the 7.62 rounds like the M14. then you have compact size the troops are used to having as well as the stopping power of the 30cal rifle. just like the old guys from WWII talk about their M1 garands and the stopping power. chamber the M4 to use 7.62 and i bet alot of complaining will cease and change to praise. i also agree with the .40 cal handgun ammo. good stopping power without over penetration and you can still carry a decent number of rounds with you. the 1911 .45 that the old timers love and adore could only hold like 7 or 8 rounds. most .40cal pistold are in the 10-12 round range. although springfield makes a .45XD that has a 15 round capacity.

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jason June 2, 2007 at 3:31 pm

No disrespect gentlemen, but
1. If you have not been in a gunfight shove-off
2. If you have, and actually shot someone at close enough range to know where you hit them, then you would know that most times a 5.56 round will only make them look at you funny while they bleed to death or run away or shoot back or pull the pin on that nifty grenade.
3. dito for the 9mm, M-9s are more reliable as paperweights
4. I am sick of hearing people say that there is no such thing as stopping power.
5. And as for shot placement…sure if you hit them in the brain, brain stem, or heart with ANY round it will be effective. but the simple fact is our troops don’t get the time and resources to be that proficient. But a grab-assing terrorist can spray and pray with his AK-47 and all it takes is one 7.62 anywhere and you have a priority medivac. I was lucky enough to have lots of trigger time on paper and steel targets, and I still missed “the brain box” or the heart at VERY close range with a hammering pulse rate. It ain’t a f!@#ing competition course punching paper. They shoot back, and throw grenades, and die hard. Give us something that will kill ‘em as fast as possible. Any deer hunters out there? would you hunt with an M-16 if you had a choice? what if you were hunting bear?
6. Sadly what we discuss here won’t matter ’cause it is all about money and politics. Semper Fi

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Tom Scott June 2, 2007 at 3:45 pm

It’s a shame we need a military at all. But as long as we live in the world we do, I for one want the men and women in our armed forces to have the biggest, baddest armament available. And if that means I got to kick in a few more bucks every year, so be it.
Tom Scott

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Keith June 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm

As a former infantryman in OIF I can attest to the fact that the 9mm and the 5.56mm rounds have no stopping power in comparison to other rounds. Additionally I was a victim of the reliability issue with the M249 in the sand. Let us not forget that the main job of the machine gun is to place a large amount rounds down range. The light weight of the M249 makes it great for this when it doesn’t jam. Weight is always an issue in a MOUT environment when you have to move fast. If you are sending more than one round down range at a time having to put more rounds in a “target” isn’t a problem. The problem I experienced was the lube attracting dirt. No lube = jam. Dirt = jam.

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Mike Gee June 2, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Sad and scary. My current understanding is that its against both the Geneva convention and NATO regs to use Hollow point ammo in rifles and combat pistols.But this current era of combat has shown that the very aggressors the Western forces are dealing with AREN’T Geneva convention followers anyway.Being in Law enforcement, we are regularly issued low powered hollow point rds which do more to “incapacitate” than actually kill(statistically,a significant portion of people shot by U.S. police officers tend to survive).If e are fighting a “humane war” against terrorists and their ilk,why not provide soldiers,marines,and other ground service forces with ammo that can “incapacitate”.Most Ball ammo overpenetrates or doesn’t stop the “threat”,leaving those fighting forces in a position with an aggressor that can continue to be a “threat” .(mm/.45/.40 cal/.357 sig rds in hollow point are much more effective in close range engagements, and replacement of the M-16 family of rifles back to even the semi auto M-14 family of weapons (the current M-4 and M-16A2/3 aren’t fully auto anyway) make sense…

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James Hill June 2, 2007 at 4:04 pm

It might scare the terrorists if we dipped all our munitions in Pigs Blood

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Randy June 2, 2007 at 4:14 pm

It is inconceivable that I am hearing about weapon caliber again in my lifetime. Do the weapon manufacturers really have that much clout? Do rounds large enough to get the job done still cost ‘too much’?
1 in 5 rifles jam in combat? I hope they come with a bayonette mount. And I’d like to see every executive who works for the company selling a rifle with a 1 in 5 failure rate posted to the front line of an active firefight, with only the weapons they make money selling to defend themselves. Alongside the people who arranged to buy those weapons in the first place.

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Steve June 2, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Personally I’d say go for a Glock 21 or Glock style weapon in .45 ACP or mabey 10mm. I personally run the Springfield XD Tactical because I like the grip better, but for rough conditions I’d go with the G21 because it is more durable and resistant to malfunction. The strong point of a weapons system is that it’s got very few parts with loose tolerances so it can run reliably while dirty and there’s a minimal number of points of failure.
I, for example have a friend who had the takedown on his G19 break and completely fall out. Well, the gun was still usable and in fact kept going for hundreds of rounds before the parts could be purchased to fix it.
I definatley agree with going with a better caliber, 10mm or .45 ACP is the only way to fly for handgun. Unfortunatley hollow points, well any expanding rounds are banned by the Hague Convention of 1899, but you can always use frangible or powdered metallurgy bullets.
As far as lethality of the M4 system, I think just switching to a bigger heavier round would solve the problem. Say 6.5 Grendel. I personally make my own Mk262 ammo and I can say without hesitation that it’s a great round for dropping wild hog.

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Randy June 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Final thoughts:
1. We are involved in 2 conflicts, the first we should have finished by now, the second should never have happened.
2. Whatever the reason, when men and women in my nation’s uniform are in harms way, they deserve the best weapons the wealthiest nation on the planet can provide.
3. Hollow point rounds? Either we follow and respect our own laws, or those laws are a pathetic sick joke. Like covering 2 nations in cluster bombs and a fine dust of depleted uranium but forbidding the use of hollow points by the infantry.
4. Who is making money selling inadequate weapons to my brothers in arms? Why aren’t they in jail?

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Matt G. June 2, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Not allowing hollow points is sad. Not only does it grant more stopping power, but it could greatly reduce the amount of collateral damage due to over-penetration. The number one reason they are used for defense rounds is they dissipate all their energy into your target and not into the house and 3 people behind it. In WWII, it was clear the .45 ACP was far superior to the 9mm luger. I compete with a 9mm, but I only trust my life to a .45 hollow point (you’ll never take away my Colt 1911!).

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Dan Boyd June 2, 2007 at 5:11 pm

first off I believe it was the hague convention which banned expanding bullets in millitary use. second the 9mm is not known as a good man stopper. The .45acp while being my choice is difficult for some to master.The .40 s&W is the way to go.third the M16/AR15/M4 are good weapons under ideal conditions and your purpose is not warfare.This has been a fact from the very first ones issued to troops as far back as vietnam.They are not extremely reliable.and do not have the stopping power of the weapons they replaced.and lastly the makers of todays weapons are not the ones responsable for these problems it is the fault of our lawmakers and the people in our government who purchace the same old junk decade after decade.

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michael e. fink, jr. June 2, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Instead of kneeling to the lowest bidder to save money, we need to do what is best for our soldiers and ultimatly, what is best for our country. People get with the program, this is war, give them what ever they want to get the job done.

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Scot June 2, 2007 at 5:18 pm

100 years ago we were fighting Muslim fanactics with 9mm (.38 long) caliber handguns and 30-40 Krags in the Phillipines. Those weapons didn’t stop the Moros then, either, even though the Krag was more cartridge than the .223.
Why don’t they reduce the rifling rate on the M16 & M4 back to the original 1 in 12″ and use the original load? Our guys might have a chance if those little pills started tumbling.

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Tony June 2, 2007 at 5:33 pm

If 80% of Soldiers want more stopping power then it should be DONE!!! We are forced to be in Iraq and Afghanistan so get off your asses and get us the equipment we ask for. Some units are saying they dont have what they need to deploy, pretty pathetic. Not one I have talked to complain about doing their jobs but we have every right to complain if we are the ones in the trenches with junk and have to wait for committees and tests and political nonsense to get a better side arm. WAKE UP!!!!

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Robert Robertson June 2, 2007 at 5:34 pm

I have never liked the M-16′s in any form. I the 60′s we found that the round was under powered . The weapons system has only one good point and that was it’s weight and that is not good enough to offset the bad points.
I also feel that going back to the .308 win. caliber would be good as a general weapon . Special weapons could fill any need at any range but nothing under a .25 cal and bullet weight under 100gr. A good light assault MG would be the .308 X 1.5, it has the weight and power to do the job.
The M-9 should never been approved 9mm is to light and the .41AE would be the best of power to recoil over the old .45 , which I will never give up , witch some people have a hard time controlling.
WE NEED BETTER ARMS AND AMMUNITHIN!
Just the way I feel.
Robert Robertson (Gunsmith and Vet)

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Andrew June 2, 2007 at 5:54 pm

As I understand it, neither the Geneva conventions nor the Hague Protocols apply to insurgencies. They apply only to war between legitimate belligerents, and only when both belligerents are signatories to the Conventions and Protocols.
Seeing as how neither the Iraq insurgents or the Taliban fighters are legitimate soldiers in the employ of the government of either country, the Protocols and Conventions should not be applied to our troops in conflict with them. The insurgents are sure as hell not following them, (see treatment of prisoners and rights of neutral civilians). This is a similar exercise as when military special forces are allowed to use hollowpoint ammunitions in counter-terrorism actions. For example, the Israelis used them at Entebbe, the Germans in Munich, the British at the Iranian Embassy, etc.
As for the actual weapons our troops use, I think the 9mm cartridge is woefully inadequate, and even if it weren’t, the Beretta M9 is a bad platform for it. For ease of operation and low maintenace, I would go with the Glock 22, in .40 S&W. It is easy to use, no fuss, accurate, high capacity, and when equipped with rails, it can quickly and easily accomodate accesories such as flashlights and laser sights, (which aren’t really neccesary for line troops.)
As for longarms, the M4 is not a bad platform, but as has been mentioned, it is not the best choice out there. H&K’s offerings are better in my opinion if the .223 cartridge were to remain the primary cartridge. We’ve stuck with that cartridge for a long time, as it was the standard NATO cartridge, and interchangability with our NATO allies was once an important part of our anti-soviet warplans. Now that our NATO allies aren’t as likely to be of any assistance in almost anything, I believe that we should be looking at different options. The .223 is accurate, plentiful the world over, and light, (which provides the ability to carry more ammunition) but its stopping power is somewhat inadequate. The challenge for the DOD will be to look for a readily available, cheap, and easily manufactured cartridge.
Andrew

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Robert Hillman June 2, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Saturday June 2, 2007
To whom it may concern:
As a Navy Veteran of the Viet Nam War,our
military needs the best possible weapon or face
the worse case senario.
Robert Hillman

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Paul H June 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Let me chime in again. The AA12 low recoil 12 ga shotgun is something to be seen. I have footage on a dvd from the developer and it is truly unbelieveable. I one of one guys can walk me through how to post it/make it available for viewing I would be happy to ASAP. This is what our guys need. It will also fire a 12 gauge frag round out to 150 meters plus. Like I said earlier I am retiring 7/1 but am throughly discussed with the conduct of this war. The troops need the best and need it now. Paul H, Capt (O6 type. hunstige@alaska.net

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Paul H June 2, 2007 at 6:44 pm

What a horrible spelling job on my last post. If one of you posters can assist me I’ll get the footage out. Paul H

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SSGT SEVERS June 2, 2007 at 6:49 pm

I believe that the .243 would be a better round. It has plenty of knock down power, and the recoil is easly controled by a compensator. There are more bullet options out there also. the .223 just doesn’t have the smack. If the .223 is;t legal for big game in most states then why would we use it in combat to save soldiers lives, and defend freedom.

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Tyler June 2, 2007 at 6:50 pm

I’ve noticed many comments talking about upgrading to some new this that or something else handgun. I’d have to say the best bet would be to take a step BACKWARDS to the good ole 1911 A1, it served for over 70 YEARS people!! That says something for it’s service. If they did have to use NEW, I’d suggest a Taurus 24/7 OSS in .45. They’re new pistols designed for military and law enforcement and come in 9mm, .40 S&W, and the good ole .45-ACP. I say the ACP is the best way to go. Pretty much no matter what happens, one hit and the guy’s gonna be down and in a world of hurt!

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william bishop June 2, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I have always thought it made more sense to use a 7.62 cartridge. Its got more power and as the prefered round of most hostiles who carry variants of the AK a soldier can use the ammo taken from enemy pow’s and kia’s. Also back when I was in the military whenever my unit was opfor in field excersises we used AK’s and it was always easy to pinpoint the opposition in a firefight due to the distinctive sound of the M16/M4.

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Chandra June 2, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Give them what they want. They deserve it.

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Dick June 2, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Why did we ever abandon the 45 cal automatic and the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)? They were heavy but deadly.Never heard a comment about their effectiveness.

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Craig Ziegler June 2, 2007 at 7:27 pm

I am a former Marine SGT, MOS 2111, armorer. I was a peacetime Marine, and I never saw combat, but like everybody else, I have a strong opinion on this question. In the l970′s when I was active duty, the Corps and the Army were armed with the M16A1. It fired the same 55-grain M193 bullet used by troops in Vietnam. I was of the opinion then, as now, that the M16 is way underpowered. My fellow Marines and I called the M16A1 “the poodle shooter.” It is far too delicate for anything even close to hand-to-hand combat, and is not nearly accurate enough to suit me. The M14, on the other hand, while a fine rifle, is too long, too heavy and too unwieldy for the sort of up-close urban combat our troops seem to be asked to fight lately.
I would prefer some sort of compromise design. For starters, whatever rifle the U.S. carries to war should be robust enough to survive striking the enemy with the butt or bayonet fighting. (I know, I know, the Puzzle Palace says that bayonet fighting is passe’. They are “full of it.” Ask any jarhead if he wants a rifle that can withstand the rigors of bayonet fighting, and he will look at you incredulously and say “OF COURSE! What, are you stupid or something?”) The 7.62mm NATO round is too big and too heavy to hump. The 7.62x39mm round that the AK shoots does not penetrate body armor well. The new, experimental 6.8 SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge) round seems like a good compromise. I say they should try it. The 5.56mm cartridge is not powerful enough, even with a 62-grain bullet.
WHATEVER rifle they pick, it should be INDESTRUCTIBLE in combat, and it should be able to fire wet, dirty, uncleaned, rusty, covered in sand or whatever. The M16 always struck me as a weapon designed to fight a war inside of a testing lab. Unfortunately, the conditions in most real wars aren’t that tidy.

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CW2 Sutton June 2, 2007 at 7:48 pm

As soldier currently serving in Iraq, I would have to agree that the Berreta M9 is far inadequate. For a pistol it is heavy, inaccurate and awkward to shoot. I would recommend the Glock 22 .40 cal. It is compact, light weight, dependable and as accurate as the person shooting it. As for the M4, the stopping power and durability of the 7.62mm AK47 that our enemy uses would be nice. But, we are limited in space in our aircraft and the M4 tucks away nicely and can be deployed quickly. A larger calibre rifle with the same overall size would be perfect. The Army needs to tailor it’s weapons choices to the jobs the soldiers are performing, though, rather than making it one standard weapon for everyone. If you are an infantry soldier then you should have a 7.62mm weapon that is light weight and compact but can handle the sandy environement and still fire accurately. If the only thing you use your weapon for is to show the guards at the chow hall so you can get in, then the M9 would be perfect.

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Joshua Rhoden June 2, 2007 at 8:06 pm

(Currently Army National Guard-31B (MP), Prior active duty during the first gulf war.)
We should use a M-16 variant that does not use the “blow back” ejection that it currently has, it needs to be a piston version like the AK’s, this would prevent the burnt powder inside the action gumming up the bolt.
As far as the round is concerned I like the 6.5mm Grendel. It will fit in the current lower receiver and has similar ballistics as the 7.62 NATO round. Up close (less than 100m) it is not as powerful as the 7.62 but Much more powerful than the 5.56, and is more powerful than the 7.62 past 500m or 600m (I forget which).
Links
http://www.6mmbr.citymaker.com/65Grendel.html
http://www.alexanderarms.com/grendel.htm
Handguns, that

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Ernesto June 2, 2007 at 8:10 pm

Give our soldiers whatever weapons they need.They are the bravest men and women in the world. May god continue to bless them all.

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Arctic7 June 2, 2007 at 9:10 pm

we need to go back to the m-14 design and give the troops the m1911 back. personally i like the feel of the m-9 grips but its performance sucks compared to
the springfield 1911

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Jon June 2, 2007 at 9:23 pm

give the boys in arms the .45 back. you cant beat the 1911 that has proven itself more then capable for over 90 years in both reliability and sure stopping power.

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mark June 2, 2007 at 9:31 pm

Well I’m on deployedment in support of Operation
Iraqi Freedom. This is my thrid time over in the region. I dont mind we got extented. I do mind not be albe to get funding for quality equipment and red tape all the time. The govenment wants to save money,here is an idea
cut back on all the contractor’s in this theather. I love being in and feel like i’m making a differance. It really upsets me when they rub it in your face how much money they are making over you. I dont care how much they make or what they use to be. I do care not being able to get new weapons or body armor or others needed itesm not want needed itesm. Each american contractor makes about 100,000 dollars a year or more. You have 20 of them that like 2 million dollars no wonder we cant get stuff. The army and marines need these new armor trucks that came out,instead of being told there no money. In some bases they are more constactors then soliders and marines

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romeo 66 - 5/60 Recon June 2, 2007 at 9:37 pm

For in city fighting and sweeps a 45 Cal machine gun would have the stopping power up close and out to about 200 yards. In the open areas an M-14 or M-1 type would do very well. The M-14 with an auto selector switch and a 30 round magazine plus bi-pod would be very good to beyond 300 yards. With the Scandanavian armor pericering 7.62 cal ammo the bullet would go through about six feet of sand bags. That would be an attention getter. Still for massed troop attacks the 12 gauge shotgun street sweeper with number 4 buck shot would be a great support weapon along with the 45 cal Thompson backed up by the old reliable M-60 7.62. However all the above suggestions would require sever fire discipline in that the multiple types of ammo may be hard to resupply if needed rapidly. The best way to handle this is to use a ranger unit armed as such to initiate the attack and after a short time they hold and another unit would pass through them to continue the attack and keep pressure on the enemy. This concept could be applied in depth and rotated so the front attacking group can re-arm and rest. The Romans did this a long time ago with their tightly packed legion advances.
ROMEO 66

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Breven Addington June 2, 2007 at 10:01 pm

this is just as i see it….i have not been a soldier yet but i plan on it …..i say because of the recent way the enemy is fighting we should addpt our weapons to match. the M14 is a long range weapon and is most likly not suitable for close in urban warfare. personaly i think we should pull out the Colt .45s again and go with that. Also i know the military has a warehouse at an undisclosed location that is filled with us army small arms left over from World War 1 though present day. they pulled the Thompson submachine guns out in vietnam once again …why not do it now? it would fit most current engagments i think. of course issue it with something like an m16 or m4 but have it around to just see how it stacks up. Thats just my personaly oppion if you agree or no God bless

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Jake June 2, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Personally, I don’t know why the M9 became standard in place of the .45 caliber Colt 1911. When a soldier is using his side-arm in stead of his combat rifle it’s usually in one of two occasions. 1) The area is too small and enclosed, making the use of a carbine awkward or impossible. 2) The carbine has ran out of ammunition. In BOTH cases it seems that the soldier would need a large amount of stopping power. And all studies have showed that the .45 ACP delivers! I say break open the crates of old 1911s laying around in military supply warehouses and start giving them out to our troops. I think they can use all the firepower they can get!

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DKeatley June 2, 2007 at 11:42 pm

I agree that the M9 needs to go away, I even recall a time when they were recalled due to the slides being weak and shattering. Certain special ops groups are going to Kimber .45 ACP’s which I think is a reliable weapon. The M60 though old, was reliable; of course anything would be better than that French made junk called the MiMi, or known to us as the M249 SAW. I also agree the troops need better armor and weapons to do their job. I am prior military. I was stationed in Bosnia during IFOR, so I know how it goes when you can’t get the parts or equipment you need because their isn’t any money, those that were there remember it being during a draw down of forces, unlike now, where the military is trying to build up. I think that the problem lies with Congress, now they want a pay raise, and haven’t been on the job a full term (most at least). The President should take their fringe benefits and some of their salary and put it towards the troops. Taxpayers would save a lot by not paying for a $200 haircut for a congressman, or congress woman. Hopefully, the people at the top will get a clue, forget their careers and focus on the troops that are dodging the bullets.

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gundaddy_45 June 3, 2007 at 12:39 am

I feel our troops on the the ground have a better idea of what they need, more so than any of the folks in D.C. ever will.. if they want and need more firepower, then by all means lets give it to them.. Wether it be the time proven .45 pistol,a newer, improved bigger caliber rifle, or a more dependable machinegun.. they after all are the one’s in harms way. They deserve only the very best equipment that can be had, to fight , win and survive and preserve our way of life.. We should be ashamed to equip them with anything less.

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J. Davidson June 3, 2007 at 12:56 am

I agree, the troops should get whatever they need to do their job, Why in the world are they carrying the 9×19 M9 in the first place? Our Gov’t needs to break all those M1911 .45′s out of storage and arm our troops properly! Secondly, why in the world is Hollow point ammunition illegal for millitary use ?!?!? It’s plenty legal for a civillian to use, hell you can buy it at wal-mart!! America needs to get over it’s bullcrap bleeding heart sob-story, this is war, the enemy isn’t playing by the rules, because there aren’t any … why are we ?

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SGT Galvan June 3, 2007 at 12:57 am

Those soldiers getting malfunctions with their weopons(M4) Is becaus they arent cleaning them or using proper lube Im a Ranger and know the importance of LUBE

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John Koontz June 3, 2007 at 1:11 am

Folk, we’ve been here before. There are a lot of great weapons on the market but we should go back to the standard 45 caliber pistol. It has proved itself in many fights as a reliable weapon.

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M. Alber June 3, 2007 at 1:43 am

Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. Bigger is not always better if you can not get a good second follow up shot. Our troops need to be armed with what makes them comfortable, if you don’t believe in your weapons system, you are already at a disadvantage. The same reason I opted to carry the M-79 and a .45 vs. the M-16, 30 years ago in Viet Nam. M. Alber, Alpha Co. 3d Recon, 3d MarDiv USMC

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M. Alber June 3, 2007 at 1:57 am

My wife just reminded me it was 40 years ago in Viet Nam. I guess the problem has been with us longer than I care to remember.

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Rick June 3, 2007 at 2:06 am

The US military went to the .45 cal because the .38 that was in use until 1911 was not up to stopping an attacker. During the Spanish American war in 1898 the Army learned a hard lesson and went to the .45 Now a 9 mm is just a short .38. Hmmmmm, history is repeating itself. The US military caved into pressure from the rest of NATO to go to a 9mm, maybe some pressure from techno wiz kids type here too. Now lets Get it together Uncle Sugar..

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Stan June 3, 2007 at 2:11 am

The latest controversy regarding American weaponry
is not a new thing. Those of us who remember WWII recall Sherman tanks with low velocity 75mm guns The tanks were called “Ronson Lighters” because of the inadequate armour and were routinely destroyed by German battle tanks. In spite of that, they were continued in production in great numbers because of the influence of their msnufacturers (GM)? there were also aircraft powered by underpowered Allison engines. They were slower and less nimble than our enemies’and were not improved until late in the war. Despite
our propaganda about our superiority, we produced these things in great numbers (profitable?), to the detriment of our fighting men, who died by the thousands unnecessarily. We have the absolute capabilities in this country of producing the best of everything compared to the rest of the world, but fail to do so because of corporate influence and the greed of individuals in government.

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Sam June 3, 2007 at 2:22 am

I heard a lot of the complaints about 5.56mm is it wont penetrate through walls & cielings like 7.62 will.
Soldiers and Marines in Iraq have been fired at through cielings/floors by enemy on different levels but not been able to effectively return fire.

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Rick June 3, 2007 at 3:54 am

I’ll make this brief:
M14
M1911A1
enough said?

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ET June 3, 2007 at 4:00 am

According to an fbi report back in 1987 they concluded that stopping power is a myth. when the bullet hits you it goes thru you. in the navy we have M9′s and M14′s I love em both. I have to talk to a single vet or cop who has a story about his .45 knocking someone on thier ass with one shot.

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Jason J. Bahr June 3, 2007 at 4:19 am

In light of the data on the M4 I see no reason to change from the M16A2 to a M4. The M4 has a jamming issue in critical situations. The M16A2 has more than proved it’s worth for years. It AINT broke, dont try to fix it. Im going to basic and, should I be sent to IRAQ I want the M16A2 service rifle as my primary. To kick in a door and think I may have a jamming issue with my M4 is the very reason im rethinking my role in joining the ARMY. I will protect my life, my country but, I cant come home to my wife and kids if Daddy’s gun is broken. The M4 has problems. STOP the bullshit with the M4. The M4 may cost less but, whats the cost of Daddy’s life?

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Charles June 3, 2007 at 4:44 am

I own an a colt .45 that I inherited from my Marine grandfather who fought in WWII. While the one I own he purchased sometime in the 70s is not his M1911A1, he did purchase the interchangable 9mm barrel assembly for his new civi versions. The potential problem I see with changing back to the .45 is that the ammunition is much heavier, the weapon cannot hold as many rounds, and it is much more difficult to fire the .45 as quickly and accurately as the 9mm version is.
Soldiers/Marines would do well to reflect on what would be more important, getting off more rounds more accurately or getting off fewer that carry a more deadly impact (if they find their target). It is not an easy question to answer if you have not been in fire fights, and have not had the burden of trudging around gear in hostile living environments. For example, one of my buddies returned from a tour in Iraqi about a year ago, and immediately purchased a Desert Eagle .50 simply because he wanted one. He also says there is no way he would want to have it has his side arm in combat. It is too large, heavy and difficult to fire from precarious positions.

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sgtmac June 3, 2007 at 5:16 am

The answers to the problem already exists.
First, for the pistol….either a GLOCK or 1911 style firearm in .45acp, .40, or 10mm, any of those three are more than sufficient manstoppers, even with ball ammunition. Part of the problem with pistols like the Beretta, Sig, etc, is the long pull heavy double action first shot, and subsequent single action shots. The GLOCK and 1911 are consistent first shot to last, ensuring an accurate first shot hit. Moreover, the GLOCK is one of the most reliable pistols every designed, requiring almost no maintenance and extremely rarely malfunctioning. The 1911 is one of the greatest pistol designs of all time.
Now, for the rifle….we already have those as well….we need to crap can the carbines for mainline troops, and give those to support troops as defensive carbines. Combat troops should be armed with Battle Rifles…..which fire the 7.62×51/.308 Nato round. There are three excellent examples already produced….the M-14, Fn-Fal, and the G3. Springfield produces an excellent short-barrelled semi-auto M-14 variant, known as the SOCOM 16….i’ve fired it, and it’s relatively light and easy to handle with a surprisingly light recoil. DSA has produced some excellent and accurant Fn-Fal variants, and the Fn-Fal has been known as the ‘Right arm of the free world’ for good reason….it’s spent the last 50 years in the armories of virtually every democratic nation on the planet EXCEPT the US. As for the G3, it’s an excellent rifle that has seen action alongside the Fn-Fal the worldover. Between these three rifles or variants, we can easily find a rifle that will do the job…..then it’s a task of spending more training time teaching out troops how to use the Battle Rifle to it’s full potential.

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james jenkins June 3, 2007 at 5:41 am

I owe my life to my M911A1. I was changing magazines on my M16 in a firefight when an NVA soldier srepped up to my hole. He hesitated , I did not. I dropped the magazine and grabbed my M1911A1. I fired 1 shot. The .45 round picked him up and threw him back 10 or 12 feet. He was dead before he hit the ground. The M191A1 IS the best handgun ever made for combat.

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Shaka911 June 3, 2007 at 8:16 am

I carried the FN-Fal for 10 years. It is an accurate weapon in the hands of those who are trained to use it. It will outrange, outshoot, at ranges the .223 can only guess at. It can get heavy after a while, and is not the most beautiful firearm on the block, but I have used it and I can tell you form experience, whatever you hit with its .308 round goes down, if your shot is accurate.

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Chris June 3, 2007 at 8:52 am

the rifles are fine,cared for right and not oiled to much to catch the dirt that is over there. and as far as stopping power, the fact that we can not use hollow points is so stupid, if we would use hollow points that would make a big difference for stopping what we hit rather then just going tru it.

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jackson June 3, 2007 at 9:33 am

Lets face it, if your a professional at anything, you always want the best equipment not the least expensive or most convienent choice, you want the best because in the end the best is gonna pay off by not malfunctioning/breaking. I think that its bullshit we are not equiping our troops with THE BEST weapons systems/equipment. I would hate to be in the troops boots kickin in a door and wondering if my M4 is gonna fire when im confronted with insurgents armed with AK’s. We are the United States of America, home of smith and wesson, springfield armory,etc..we should be able to arm our troops with THE BEST! the political red tape over everyones eyes literally is killing people. the hollow point issue is another bullshit pile. dont even get me started on gun control….

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Chase June 3, 2007 at 10:35 am

I completely agree with most comments above. I’ve done two tours in Iraq and am coming up on a tour in Afghanistan. We’re faced with 7.62×39 and 7.62×54 rounds every time we go out, either from ak’s or draganovs. If our soldiers get hit, they drop. We’re told to keep firing until the target goes down which usually takes 5-10 rounds. When we complain about this, we’re told to shoot at the hips because it’ll make the round’s energy more kinetic because of the large bone it’s striking. In other words, shoot them in a non lethal area so you can knock the guy down and then shoot him in the head. That’s horse shit. At a minimum we should be able to use hollow points and in a perfect world we should use 7.62 rounds.
For the M9. Sell our stock to the police. Just to let you know, most of them are not even using the 9mm anymore and they rarely use their weapons to begin with. Load me up with a 1911 from kimber or springfield; or better yet, let me carry my own weapon. I’d be glad to bring my kimber with me. Special operations units don’t use them to look cool. They use them because they work. If you have a star on your shoulder then you should pay attention to the guys who have muddy boots and hot barrels because you are losing the support of the soldiers.

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Jazz June 3, 2007 at 10:41 am

Personal and Professional preferences aside, the real problem is the ability to procure the right weapon for the right purpose, and GET IT INTO THE HANDS of our troops. Too many times the military makes concessions for a weapon because “Jeb has a Bud who can deliver ALMOST what you need on the weapon, but he can really provide the political pull that Jeb’s other political Buds REALLY NEED”. The weapon becomes the last concern, and the military gets stuck. This is not an issue of the lowest bid, because if you look at the prices of the weapons we procure, they carry a hefty penny!! Take that same money and buy the RIGHT weapons, the RIGHT ammunition, and sit “BUD” down on his ass for trying to make a buck with our lives in the balance! Yeah, I said it! Stop limp-dickin around politically, and get into the mix on this issue so we can save some American tail in this piece of shtuff war!
Jazz

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BS June 3, 2007 at 11:11 am

Yea i do agree the M4 is breaking down, its starting to suck on the battlefield, yes it is very verstile in the feild but the sacrifice is ammo caliber. We need to get off the M4 and start using a higher caliber, more deadly ammo, look at the XM8 project, it was scarpped, it had 5.56 round too, but not hollow point ammo. The M9 sucks big ones unless your two feet away. We need the MK23 pistol or the M1911A1 .45 with tons of stopping power.

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Bruce June 3, 2007 at 11:19 am

Good day. As it goes for the M9, I’ve fired it and can safely say that it DOES NOT have the stopping power it should have. It is nothing more than a glorified .38 Special. Ever wondered why the law enforcement community manuvered away from them and went for the 10 mm or .40 caliber? STOPPING POWER! I carried a M1911A1 for years and the only way you are going to get it from me is if you pry it from my cold dead hand. As is goes for the M4, nice weapon if you look to have to use 3 to 10 rounds to drop a human. I’d like to see a version of the M4 using the 7.62 round. More effective, more versitile.

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David June 3, 2007 at 11:20 am

the 5.56 may have sufficed in the jungles of S.E.Asia…may have. But ..Our Men that are putting themselves between us and harm”s way need better weapons and Ammunition. It’s time to get our heads out of 4th point of contact. Hell dont we have some old .30 cal M-2 carbines left over somewhere. these would be better for urban combat. the bullet is almost twice the weight of what is currently used….now.. if you wanna save money and get a bigger bang? besides..the make a lot better club than the M-16..I was in the 82nd Abn and we broke them all the time just by landing on them.

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dylan June 3, 2007 at 11:27 am

I totally agree we need to replace the M-16. Time to update to more lethal and more power.

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dylan June 3, 2007 at 11:28 am

I totally agree we need to replace the M-16. Time to update to more lethal and more power.

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Steve Gidarakos June 3, 2007 at 11:42 am

I always thought the switch from a .45 cal pistol to a 9mm was a damn dumb idea. The military trained me with a Colt .45 over 30 years ago and the weapon was so good, I’ve owned my own since. This generation has had to learn the hard way that bigger rounds are better than a greater number of smaller rounds. Get rid of the Baretta and maybe save some American lives.

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DT June 3, 2007 at 12:08 pm

I am about to join the USMC. this summer and i would love to fire some new weapons. As for the m16, i was never a fan of those crap. M4 is much better then a m16 because its got more attachment to it. If there a better Rifle than a M4,well bring it on and give it to our Brothers and Sisters in the War. The M9 is very fashionable, but i dont know its a good weapon for war. probably effective for Police officers around the city. Who ever is making a new and inprove weaponary should make a Bullet that can go through wall and crap And make sure the new rifle dont get JAMM becuz i am not fixing it while the enemy is shooting at me..!!!

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Richard June 3, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Why we ever left the 45 auto and 30 caliber weapons is beyond me. There still isn’t anything that does the job like those two!

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Paul June 3, 2007 at 12:18 pm

I would have to say the same. Time to have the M4 as a 7.62 and as for a side arm the 1911 is still the better. As well put more powerd in the 7.62 round like 180 grain than you can stop someone.

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Albert Owens June 3, 2007 at 12:48 pm

I’m like everyone else. When the brains in Washington changed to the 9mm. I knew we were in trouble. Anyone knows that a big hole verus a little hole does a much better stoppers. Me a Vietnam Vet. the 45 is the only pistol for the services. I did carry a 38 but it was just to destory my radio and rader on are Partol Boats.

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Kyle Smith June 3, 2007 at 1:41 pm

I have to disagree with the changing from the 5.56 round to the 7.62 round, the 5.56 round is built for accuracy, if the soldier wanted I think a better solution would be getting new muzzles and pins to fire the 7.62 round.
But with the side arms a 45. Acp Or .40 Acp should do the trick.

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robert a leonard June 3, 2007 at 1:52 pm

this is for the men in harms way who cares how much it cost give them the most stratest shoting the hardest hitting with the best performence in a woupon we have and if thats not good enough make one that is and to the senete people thats makeing the choses if you dont like it maybe we should round all you up and send you into harms way with a dasiy bb gun and see how long it takes you to change your mind to all you men in harms way thank you and god bless an be with you bob

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robert a leonard June 3, 2007 at 1:54 pm

this is for the men in harms way who cares how much it cost give them the most stratest shoting the hardest hitting with the best performence in a woupon we have and if thats not good enough make one that is and to the senete people thats makeing the choses if you dont like it maybe we should round all you up and send you into harms way with a dasiy bb gun and see how long it takes you to change your mind to all you men in harms way thank you and god bless an be with you bob

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Paul P June 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm

A return to th .45 is definite need. However to return to the 1911 is going back in time. The HK USP’s in .45 are excellent pistols and the MK 23 SOCOM is already used by special opeations. Even the Springfield Armory XD .45 seems to be a great pistol.
As to the 5.56 I’ve read some civillians converting to a 6.8 but I have no first hand knowledge

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CM2 (SCW) Daryl Johnson USN June 3, 2007 at 2:09 pm

While I’ve read many of the comments posted, few appear to be truly researched. The M4 carbine service rifle is a good choice for combat. It does, however, have inherent issues that should be addressed. First, the gas operated aspect of the rifle is certainly hampering. There are mechanical systems available (example: POF) that eliminate the gas tube and offer significant increases in reliability and lower amounts of maintainence. Secondly, the 30 round magazines that are issued have problems with the ‘lock in’ to the magazine well. H&K offers a magazine that remedies that problem. Further, the spring in the current US issued magazine is easily weakened, and requires periodic dissassembly to allow the spring to ‘relax’. As for the M9, the magazine spring (once again) is the primary problem. Ammunition issues can be addressed as well. While all service members are well aware that ‘hollow points’ are illegal, there are blended metal, limited penetration rounds that offer a substantial increase in stopping power and lethality. These rounds should certainly be reconsidered for service. Reliablity of our tools is paramount, and should be given the absolute top consideration. Washington needs to pull together and realize that there are lives on the line while deployed, and we need to know that our tools are not going to fail us in any aspect.

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Marine0324 June 3, 2007 at 3:16 pm

::In responce realmagick72 at June 2, 2007::
If you know any SEALs they hate the MK23 or if you’ve ever seen or shot it you would know why it’s worse than that Glock 21 a big 2×4 you have to hold and then try and shot accurtly not really going to happen. that is why they use the sig 9mm now. also yea they have the ability to customize their load out, most of the time they travel with the M4′s or the MK18 (5.56 10.5in upper) the 7.62×39 round suck when shooting someone with it, it is just like a pistol round low velosity which means it goes in yaws and comes out a$$ first, it over penatrates and suck horriably at longer ranges 300 being long range for those rounds. the 5.56 while small yea traveling at 3040FPS doesnt over penetrate it actually rips its self apart in side the body out to about 200m constently. Also not you but someone on here said the rounds after hitting bone, ummmm NO you need to go do another study on teminal ballistics. I’ve also been to Iraq and Afgan and some other places with the my m4,m16-A4,MK18,M9,AK and some other weapons the m4 never failed me the problem with them isnt the weapon its normally the mags, keep the feed lips stright and the problems dont really happen. also the more stopping power comments are killing me stopping power does nothing becuase its not what people think it is the stopping power is the kentic power the power that actually does the work with a round is the momuntium power which is about the same for all rounds around .8 flbs or like getting hit in the chest with a softball and thats all rounds from the 7.62 to a 22 cal.

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Chase June 3, 2007 at 3:20 pm

I would have to agree with most of you basically saying we need to do what ever it takes. If things worked out different i would be out there right now and even still i have friends that are, in fact my best friend that i went to boot camp with is about to go and his little brother is there now marine inf. what these paper pushers don’t get is that it is very personal and there was a saying i liked and made since. if yo9u can’t stand behind our troops try standing in front of them. What all this is to me and maybe it is over simplified but they are not standing behind our troops because if they were they would do what ever it takes to give them the tools to do the job and do it right. oh and that little thing called saving lives. Maybe i’m a simpleton but it seems the ends justifies the means. we take one life we can save countless lives. We need what it takes to do the job to take that one life to save many. i would rather be court marshaled and use what it takes than die because some prick wants to save a dollar. mind you one that has never seen the pieces of war. May angels fallow all of you in to what ever situation you are in and fallow you home. Safely.

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Jim Thompson June 3, 2007 at 3:28 pm

When discussing the topics of small arm weaponry, ammunition, tactics, and aquisitions, it is important to disect each of the topics into separate catogories. Beginning with what truly governs all critical decisions when reviewing the mass purchase of equipment, you must first look at the dirty word, “BUDGET”. If the readers research the decisions behind using the 3 banded muzzle loader from Springfield Armory during the Civil War, it was because that the amount of ammunition stockpiled was too great to simply discard. That, in itself equates to “MONEY”. And politicians primarily look at money then, as well as now.
When the M-14 Rifle was designed, some of the contributing factors were a result of hard-line generals who supported and advocated that the 30.06 round was the only choice…therefore the .308 caliber round was conceived. As well, when one looks at the engineering of the rifle (M-14), we see characteristics of the ominous
M-1 Garand,(Not a coincident). When Eugene Stoner first engineered the AR-15, he followed certain principles exclusive to “Assault Rifles”. These principles were coined by Germans, and there technology set the standard.
As for the M-16A2, M-4A2 or A3, it is important to first identify the weakest link in the system….is it the sighting components?… The ergonomics of the selector switch to the pistol grip?… The mechanical operation of the charging handle when conducting and immediate or remedial action drill?… The weakest link is the gas operating system….time and time again. And, there are several variables in the system which can lead to a stoppage. So, is there a solution? I believe that Mr. Kalishnakov forsaw this problem and basically addressed the issue as early as 1947….Now, H&K has modified and integrated this concept with an already “Proven” Assault Rifle that should now be tested, just as Mr. Stoner’s concept was tested in the 1960′s.
As for ammunition: Review Dr. Fachler’s (Spelling?) “WOUND BALLISTIC REVIEW” which continues to emphasize “Mass and Diameter”, when discussing Permanent Wound Channel effect. Next, review the information which discusses Temorary Wound Channel effect and realize that what the soldiers are addressing is the Hydrostatic shock induced onto the body that creates a disruption of the electrical system, abruptly shutting down the heart…(Stopping or Knockdown Power).
The bullet configuration which can effect several variables to include: external and terminal ballistics has a tremendous decision as to whether the soldier first hits the subject, and then can incapacitate the subject before the subject incapacitates our soldiers!
BALLISTIC COEFICIENTS (how flat and effecient the bullet travels) should be a major consideration, but not the only thing. Remember, we are not punching holes in paper! So, loading ammunition for combat with Boattail Matchking bullits that have low terminal wound ratings is insane! Who decided that it was cruel to kill men with certain bullets anyway? Killing is killing, and there are no short cuts to this matter! Do it right the first time and you can reduce the deaths of our men in combat! Ballistic and Hunting experts can provide more insight into ammunition selection than a handfull of politicians and close minded Pentagon bean counters can when it comes to killing effectively! Do the homework, and make the decision! It saves our lives, and elliminates the enemy from the battlefield.
Finally, the matter of tactics, and how they are selected continue to plauge combat operators. USSOCOM, USSOC, and other commands have in their database, exspansive material which supports why certain target aquisition techniques are preferred over others. As well, techniques vary in the operation and manipulation of weapons because more and more gadgets (bells and whistles) are integrated into a weapon. Consequently, certain tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP’s) are developed. As it has been said from days of old; “You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball!”
Multiple external safeties and addtional functions can in fact, conflict with sound doctrinal TTP’s which negetively effect muscle memory training concepts. And, then there are the “old Flat Range Competition Shooters from days gone by”……..The word is, COMBAT, not COMPETITION. TTP’s to include the facilties for training should support sound, combat proven doctrine as opposed to some system built around the matches at Camp Perry or Qunatico! Look it up….And ask people like Paul Howe or other combat tested men.

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Rafy June 3, 2007 at 4:04 pm

I recommend the M468; Do a search in the web or youtube and you can see the performance…

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Jason June 3, 2007 at 5:43 pm

ok look, number one having hollow point rounds illegal is stupid. in comparsion to the M9 the 1911 colt is better in almost every way tactical and firing power. Number two Soldiers having to ask for more lethal weapons is just said. it is almost a oxymoron. I would recommand and afforable, light, well made German weapon. the H and K G36. 30 round clip used by mainstream German Army and Police. rated one of the best in the world. its the best way to go

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Zach June 3, 2007 at 5:53 pm

Quoted: “Since when we’re we allowed to get our own weapons shipped over to Iraq? Last time I was there, in 2003, we couldn’t have anything. Only what we were issued. Also, they let your family send weapons through the mail these days?”
Yes, I took (brought myself) my own weapons, and no, my family did not send me weapons. They sent me ammo (supplies to be more precise). I used very little of what was issued, because what was issued was second-rate crap. Service time and rank have its privledges.

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L Smith June 3, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Being a prior service soldier, I think the soldiers should get the best technology out there. So if they want a weapon with more stopping power and a weapon that is less likely to jam up in a fire fight give it to them.

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John Stinson June 3, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Hollow Point is not illegal for military use. Thanks to the Navy there is a DODT. Hollow Points are authorized for Military Police Use CONUS. Its just not widely known.

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George June 3, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Uncle Sugar is doing what he usually does. He sends troops to an area in the world with the wrong equipment and expects the soldier to do the impossible w/ nothing. It’s always safer in Washington, DC than in a foxhole somewhere. The only presidents who truly understood that were soldiers before they were presidents. But America elected him to run this great republic. Let’s hope the next president can do a better job since the current can’t seem to figure it out

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angelo d roberson June 3, 2007 at 7:54 pm

I believe the military made a voefully inadequate decision to adopt the 9mm to begin with. The 45 is the only round that has the necessary stoping power when using ball ammunition. It has a reasonable weight, excellent accuracy, safe house to house velocity and so on. While a 40 cal would be good the 45 is and always will be the ultimate “all around” caliber for close range work. For many years now everyone has been trying to match the effective qualities of the 45 auto and no one has. The limitation that it has is of course magazine capacity. I consider this a moot point when I can bring down almost any human with a properly placed 45 auto round. This is versus an average of three rounds from ball 9mm. Do the math and you will find that taking these facts into consideration the 45 auto has 3 more effective rounds than a 12/13 round 9mm. Of course these stats are based on no body armour. If body armour is figured in then a high velocity round of special construction will have to be used
making the 9mm completely worthless. At least the 45 auto has a disabling shock value when used against most current body armour.
Just one mans opinion.

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Ryan Jones June 3, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Ask R. Lee. Ermey e knows the field facts of life and the technical side of thign

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marcia June 3, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Our combat personnel deserve every advantage needed to stop the enemy in his tracks. Sending them into combat with weapons that leave our personnel vulnerabe is unsat. Give them what they need to succeed.

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marcia June 3, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Our combat personnel deserve every advantage needed to stop the enemy in his tracks. Sending them into combat with weapons that leave our personnel vulnerabe is unsat. Give them what they need to succeed.

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Scott June 3, 2007 at 10:55 pm

The .30 06 in the Garand and the Colt .45 worked well in the european theater.
The .308 in the M14, and the Colt .45 worked worked well in Korea and the early Nam.
The .223 and the 9mm are a compromise that place soldiers in harms way.
Lets teach our forces how to shoot, and give them the proper equipment.

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W M Gibbons June 4, 2007 at 1:48 am

Fresh out of college, I joined the Marine Corps because if i signed up for an “03″ infantry I could go through an abbreviated trng program and went straight to SE Asia to lead a pack of grunts who were more green then I was. After 7 mos of ankle deep water and leeches I was offered the reward of replacing my M14 with a light weight rapid firing M16 which was viewed by some as a prize. I refused, to their dismay. I wanted to live long enough to get home. I did come home though not in one piece. A bouncing betty had my name on it.I still think the M16 – M4 series are crap when it comes to being a battle rifle. Our Dept of Defense have expressed their idiocy passing up on the HK416 and the FN-ScAR-Light which are far superior to the BB Guns our men are forced to carry.And I would never surrender my Colt 1911A1 without a battle.

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dough June 4, 2007 at 2:49 am

Glock 10mm simply perfect -
or
Heckler Koch USP .40 Expert/Tactical
- the o-ring assisted barrel is fantasticly accurate and long lasting
- the jet-funnel magwell helps load those translucent 16 round .40 mags reliably
- add the green on orange night sights and our boys and girls would be holding the best sidearms in the world for this job -
And isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?
Not to keep supporting one company – but the HK MSG90 would be great because it’s easy to use, great ergos, lighter weight than a G3, and one of the more accurate and reliable semis in the world – let’s starting handing these out in carbines as well.
Budget be damned – hire Oberndorf and smack Allah silly

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Gallagher June 4, 2007 at 3:38 am

I would like to say that when I was doing warm up training for Northern Ireland we had a Pen-Dem and the 5.56 round was actually better at getting through brick walls than the 7.62 which has obvious advantages in FIBUA (Fighting in built up areas). Obviously it doesn’t knock people flat in the same way the 7.62 does but then the average infantryman can’t carry as many of the rounds. Now in Iraq where re-sup is easy then this is not a problem but in Afghanistan there is a definate problem in humping these loads.
The discussion on whether to adopt the HK G36 is an interesting one but fails to take into account the majority of fighting the US and British forces are carrying out. The G-36 is an excellent weapon but too long for FIBUA/OBUA. In FIBUA you need a bullpup weapon which makes it easier to fire round corners, not catch it on door/window frames an mouse holes blown in the sides of walls to effect entry into the building. That means at the moment you have the French FAMAS, the British SA-80 A-2 (which is the most accurate of all NATO infantry rifles but has had reliability problems in the past and on personal experience is heavy) or the Austrian Steyr AUG. The FN P-90 looks pretty but cannot fire anything heavier than the 9mm. What is needed is a Bullpup weapon that can fire the 7.62 (which was phased out of NATO stock by the US as an individual weapon round which forced most NATO armies to drop the FN FAL/SLR). The problem with this is that would mean that the US infantryman would possibly have two rifles to use depending on whether he was fighting in open country (Afghanistan) or in towns (Iraq). The solution as far as I am concerned is to change the fire team so that one man carries the 7,62 (possibly with a Bipod to give each section 2 designated marksmen) and the rest carry a 5.56 M-4 or Minimi. Since the heavier weapons in a platoon fire 7.62 then you will not have any real difficulties in the logistics chain.
The US army has finally picked up the excellent M240G which the British army has been using for decades, phasing out the unreliable M-60. But the GPMG is heavy and as many conventional wars have taught NATO forces the value of a Machine gun per section at least (ideally per fire team), I believe the Minimi/M249 is the best compromise between rate of fire and weight.
Pistols are a last ditch weapon so I don’t really believe it matters what the pistol is as long as it flattens the guy in range. I don’t know pistols that well but I know SF teams carry the Sig P-226 which is a 9mm, and since they choose their own weapons that can’t be all bad. The last ditch weapon for your average soldier should be acurate and big so I see no problem with a modern weapon chambered to fire the .45.
In the words of Dennis Miller. “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong”.

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Jim Reese June 4, 2007 at 7:25 am

The bullet used in the M16/M4 won’t fragment at the cannelure at velocities below 2,800 fps, and thereby won’t produce multiple wound tracks in the victim as did the older rounds. Those multiple wound tracks are what contributed to the older rounds lethality.
We need to go to a bigger caliber if we’re going to keep shortening barrels!

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Steelhauser June 4, 2007 at 8:19 am

Hey guys, if the enemy can carry around their 7.62X39 ammo for their AK-47s, why can’t our guys lug around their 7.62 ammo and get back to a reliable shoulder weapon system.
Just an old sailor’s opininon…
And as a 35 year law enforcement veteran,when it comes to a pistol, I trust the .45 ACP, especially using the hydro-shock bullet issued by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team.

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Dusty Rivers June 4, 2007 at 11:33 am

From my young friend, a 4-tour Marine officer soon to be deployed again:
During our recent two week shooting package, a few flaws in the M-9 and the M-4 carbine once again raised their ugly heads.
The M-9 has a tendency to shatter locking blocks during prolonged (CQB/CQC) courses of fire. Five locking blocks out of 12 weapons shattered. During the two weeks we also had one barrel completely rupture in a circular radius around the chamber portion, three trigger springs broke, and two slides cracked. In the past I have watched several forward portions of M-9 slides launch down range. Not exactly a major safety factor. This weapon is not a stellar performer. On the range, this was not a major issue, but in combat, dirt and sand and irregular maintenance make for a serious problem. If the U.S. Government was going to buy what basically is a knock-off of the WWII German P-38, why did they get the cheap, aluminum version?
I came in the service when the M1911A1 was being phased out and I have felt a frustration that has continued to grow every time I go to a range with this weapon. Typically, an armorer is required to go to the pistol range to work on weapons that go down when the M-9 is being fired. The M-9 functions fine when it is a “rack queen” sitting in the armory until it is pulled out for a once a year familiarization fire or limited round qualification course. It does not hold up under the rigors of combat or during a realistically run CQC course of fire. To add injury to insult, many of the magazines my Marines were issued have serious issues with the springs and followers. There are now three variations of magazines that the Marine Corps issues that range from the oldest to the newest. The guys who are getting ready to deploy normally scramble around to get the original Beretta “Made in Italy” mags or some of the newest mags that the Corps is issuing. Everyone agrees that the new mags are the best.
I often wondered why a fine service pistol like the M1911A1 was not altered to the 9mm round. It seems to me that if Uncle Sam REALLY
needed to go to 9mm that it would be a LOT cheaper to give the old M1911A1 an upgrade with a 9mm barrel, extended extractor, and new magazine to accommodate the 9mm ammo. There are hundreds of thousands of M1911A1s sitting in storage in Government warehouses that could be very cheaply modified. It’s a pity.
The M-4 is plagued with the same old complaint that has followed it’s type of operating system since the days of Vietnam when you were in the
Corps. As far as I know, it is the only weapon fielded by any country

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garin June 4, 2007 at 11:47 am

we are in the 21st century why not just drop a thermonuclear weapon on them….and end this crusade.

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Andy June 4, 2007 at 12:04 pm

I was an Army MP just as the M-1911 was beginning to be replaced by the M9. The .45 ACP round has more stopping power than the 9mm, but the army’s batch of M1911 pistols needed replacing.
The M-1911 I carried was one of the last batch manufactured for the government, sometime between the Korean & Vietnam wars. It had fired some many rounds over the decades that it literally rattled when your hand moved. In addition, the rifling in the barrel was nearly worn down to the point that I called it my “Palm Musket”.
It’s a miracle I ever qualified with the thing because it wouldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at 20 yards. I was in a decent, active duty unit too, so it was not a case of a backwater unit receiving hand-me-downs, and I was very, very proficient with the S&W 4506 I carried as a law enforcement officer after my discharge.
So, maybe the 9mm was a bad choice for a close quarter combat weapon, but if Uncle Sam intended to stay with the .45, he needed a whole big batch of new ones.

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manuel jesse lara June 4, 2007 at 2:02 pm

i posted 2/3 days ago i am the one that suggested a revised version of my blooper (m-79). i served with alpha co.1/8 inf.bde.4th ID then delta co. needed a gunner on a mortar and i was transferred my mos’s were 11b/11c. if any body wants to check me out feel free to contact military archives,college park,maryland. anyway excuse my suspicious nature residuals a la ‘nam. i rethunk this whole thing about the snivelers needing heftier ammo. in my time in ‘nam 55,000 gi’s kia vs. gazillions vc/nva kia.what is the ratio in iraq? you need heavier ammo call in the fastmovers,sundry gunships,155/175 arty’s, have you seen what a flatbed truck mounted quad 50 can do? call in one of them bad boys. you big crybaby’s ought to be redfaced right now. what your saying is that you do not want to do the job your good pres. GW is ordering you to do. you snivelers knew from day one that the jobs you signed up for could be very dangerous at times right so why you crying now? stop crying do more DXing.DIRECT EXCHANGE SENT THE INSURGENCY BACK TO THEIR GOD/VIRGINS? HOORAH!!!

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manuel jesse lara June 4, 2007 at 4:48 pm

dam you guys make me feel like i wanna hurl. in my namsky time i never heard of any of our guys complaining about needing stouter ammo, and i do not even remember any body in the bush complaining about there rifles (m16) jamming, i know my blooper never jammed on me well then how could it it only had 2 moving parts (trig&hammer) next thing you guy’s will be wanting weapons ala star trek,phasers? just follow your sop’s they are there to save your lives.big GW is not your chaplin, psychiatrist,counselor,dammit he is your superior officer!!start acting like you know what you have been trained to do (kill or be killed) you want to stop them in their tracks then call in the dam arclights (buff’s bravo 52′s) (b.ig u.gly f.at f.rigger)call in the snoopster or the puffster i’m tired of explaining what these terms mean you are all adults you figure it out adios sons of america just do your job. and you guy’s probably are doing your jobs this is probably one of those media/democrat bait and switch stunts they are famous for if that is the case then i apologize to all of my brothers in arms for calling you snivelers,whiners,insubordinates, etc. and i stand up and shout from the rooftops the media/democrats are on pipe. i don’t have to explain pipe now do i? & i don’t mean crackpipe i mean the fat tube that swings down beetween our legs & they probably are also indulging in that glass pipe!!! semper fi! hooah! lets roll! commence two dxing those insurgents, hoooah!

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Jag June 4, 2007 at 6:48 pm

I was a soldier from 1982 – 1989. I agree with the comment just before mine that the existing stock of M1911 .45s were in deplorable condition. Many of those I carried were from before World War I. Most rattled louder than sabres when shook. The M9 sidearm is not an equivelent or even suitable replacement. I have owned many of my own variants of the Berretta M9 sidearm. The 9mm just does NOT have the stopping capabilities of a .45 round.
Recommend we replace the M9 with a .45 cal Colt or Colt like sidearm that is totally outfitted from new stocks, none of the existing M1911 parts are adequate.

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Michael.T.Conner June 4, 2007 at 8:07 pm

The .223 is a smaller caliber so why not switched to a m16a3 or something and for the M9 why not just get our soldiers new 1911′s there great kick ass guns that will do the job! As for the .223 i dunno maybe some of these leading gun techs and gun smiths can create something that will work. But the main promblem is we have all this technolagy and we arnt doing anything with it i mean catn we do better for our troops there only giving up there lives to keep ours safe. No offense intended to anyone here i just want our troops to have everything we can give them to keep them safe ya know what im saying.

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Sgt P from 3rd ID June 4, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Once again stop complaining cause it won’t happen anytime soon. Someone mentioned they needed a larger round because they had to shoot 10 to 15 times before the enemy dropped. That is bull. It’s called AIM!! Try it and it will work, plus you should be aiming for there center mass not the head you dumb a@#es.
Suck it up and drive on.

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Dustin Dericks June 4, 2007 at 10:59 pm

I think we all need to let the soldiers decide what the best weapon is for themself. M4 is notorious for jamming. Still a very effective gun. Military proffesionals are trained to fix there tools in case the situation occurs. A better weapon of choice might be a .50 calibur. Perhaps it is time to design better ammo then what is available for our troops now.

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Armybrat June 5, 2007 at 12:25 am

The M16 jams really easy. I know from experiance. No, I have never been in combat and I’m still in my 1st year in the military, but as much as I’ve had to carry and use an M16 I definately don’t want to have one while fighting. It doesn’t have to be a dirty weapon, it could be a worn or dirty magazine that can cause it to jam. I’m all for something more reliable and compact.

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G.W.C. June 5, 2007 at 3:53 am

Wha about the 6.8SPC, that’d be a good switch if they want more power. As for the .45s, everyone knows most of them are 50+ years old. I’d suggest switching to the Smith & Wesson M&P in .40S&W, more control than most .45s and good knockdown, I’m a gunsmith, and it’s what I carry every day. If I’m wearing pants, I have my M&P.

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Miguel June 5, 2007 at 7:52 am

I agree with issuing a new side arm. I’m retired ARMY and I hated the 9mm. I now work in Law Enforcement and have fired numerous small arms weapons. By far the best and most reliable is the Glock 22C (.40 Cal). We had actually put the pistol through the ringer by dropping it from heights 20 floor building, threw it in a creek bed in mud, sand and water and was able to engage my target without a problem…try it, you’ll like it!

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karl June 5, 2007 at 8:30 am

Give the men the best the H&K 416 in 208cal. and a 45cal.or a 10mm but don’t give them a gun thats going to jam like the m16 or m4 …..

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karl June 5, 2007 at 8:32 am

Give the men the best the H&K 416 in 308cal. and a 45cal.or a 10mm but don’t give them a gun thats going to jam like the m16 or m4 …..

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R. Fernandez June 5, 2007 at 9:03 am

we should have the best firepower available in my book thats the hk416 and both Glock 21 & 22 are reliabilty at their finest.

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Ben Buono June 5, 2007 at 9:38 am

Look jokers, there is only one caliber for a combat handgun .45acp/45.super! There is no substitute for what this round does, everything else is a compromise that reduces the effectiveness of the intended cartridge. .308 is the best all around rifle round for what the Army needs. HK has the “ergonomics” worked out pretty well, load from the left, no silly charging handles and whatnot. Our military has been issuing inferior weapons and the like since it’s conception, when will they listen to the civillian experts?

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USARMY-VP11B June 5, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Why not chamber the M-16 or M-4, for the .308 round….?

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MILBOB June 5, 2007 at 2:52 pm

The military is not interested in the best, most accurate, or the most reliable for small arms. The US Military is interested in smart technology. Smart technology like vehicles and communication and stuff that joe is never going to touch. If joe can get by on the stuff that we have… colt M-16 parts… then the US Military can continue to fund JRTC, and can continue to research new combat technologies. The HK-416 is twice the cost of the colt systems and it would not be compatible with any of the current small arms that are currently in the field. The hk416 may be a better weapon but it would be very unwise for the US Military leaders to change much when we are committed to battle. However I would love to see it get field tested in some more remote arenas. Our unit is in line to play with something new next year.

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Loran June 5, 2007 at 6:05 pm

I am responding to a few earlier comments.
I agree that standard infantry in the U.S. Military need to have higher caliber weapons, no doubt about it.
But the M16/M4 is GREAT weapon. It does not Jam all the time nor are the latest models prone to it. if you read the article, it said only 19 % of soldiers in combat experienced a jam and OF THOSE 19%, 20% were taken out of the fight completely. so, out of 100 that is only 4 (if you do the math correctly). That also says that 81% of solders in combat NEVER experience a jam. That is pretty damn good if you ask me. And this is in wome of the worst conditions for any firearm I might add.
Are there better guns out there? yes, there are. I keep reading about H&K’s version of an M4 the 416. Thats appears to be a great gun but it has not been tested yet so don’t get too excited. I am sure it is awesome (H&K’s always are) but dont just jump on the bandwagon about it until we KNOW its the best.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say.

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Bob Schultz June 5, 2007 at 6:16 pm

M16 or M4? No! You can get an H&K upper receiver to fix the gas tube jamming problem so why issue a rifle that takes two rifles to make it work?
M9? It’s really a fine weapon, just the wrong caliber. 45 caliber is the ONLY way to go.
People, it’s the 21st century. There are many gun manufactures out there and newer inventions all the time. It seems to me that we should do what we did in the past, that worked for almost 100 years. That is put a bid out for what you want and invite all the different gun manufacturers to submit their inventions and then build a weapon off of what they bring in.

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CPT Z June 5, 2007 at 9:09 pm

The M16/M4 chambered for .308/7.62mm is called the AR10. One could be fielded per squad as a heavy rifleman, but I don’t see that happening.

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Phil June 5, 2007 at 9:36 pm

It is not funny that the Military Brass keeps re-inventing the wheel. They learned about one hundred years ago the best man stopper was the .45 ACP. Golly that old Colt design sure worked good.
They could chamber the AR-15/M16 for the 7.62 NATO
round. Oh wait a minute, that was done already along time ago it was called the AR-10. Call me crazy, one round for the service rifle and the crew served weapon. Put some of that armor piercing ammo in your
service rife and you can shoot through block walls. Insurgents hiding in buildings would not be a problem.To my sorrow the bean counters and special interest groups within the Military always get their way. Please call your Congressmen.
To the Grunts, God Bless and do the best you can with what they give you or CHEAT.

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Lyle June 6, 2007 at 7:03 am

Why not improve the M4/M16 by increasing both the caliber and the gas tube? Kind of like making it better than the AK-47, which has lousy sights. Increasing the diameter of the gas tube will reduce fouling and going to a 7.62 round will increase stoppping power.
As for pistols, I never understood why the military went to the 9mm. Even cold weather gear reduces penetration. Soldiers need at least a .40, or better yet, a .357 magnum (Desert Eagle is a good semi-auto). Hopefully, some bean-counter won’t go for a shorty .357 semi-auto, thinking it’s the same as the real thing…

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sommer June 6, 2007 at 7:30 am

The H&K 416 has been tested and is fielded w/ SOCOM units according to army times. The operating rod system is much stronger, less prone to malfunction and keeps the weapons cleaner. Competition shooters have been using this design for years why can’t we get it oh yeah the almighty dollar and desk riding bean counters who probably have never had to use a weapon.

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Olva91 June 6, 2007 at 8:20 am

Has anyone thought about mixing old and new. The Barrett M468 fires a 6.8mm round. Bigger than the 5.56 but smaller then the 7.62. The 6.8 has the range of the 5.56 but has the stopping power of the 7.62 at long distance. The 5.56 has the distance but not the power, where the 7.62 has the power, but not the distance. I say take the now shelved XM-8 and rechamber it to the 6.8mm round and take assembly of the reliable HK M416 and put it in the XM-8. Also put rails on the
XM-8. But I know that military brass would think thats too new. It would at least bring the rifle somewhere into the modern ages.I’m also sure NATO would approve to the new round. Our boys deserve the best. URRAH

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Tim June 6, 2007 at 1:17 pm

COL Glen, you might just have a great idea, even though I’m sure you meant it tongue in cheek. A Mini 30 isn’t a bad thought. Pluses..American made,way less expensive than an M16 variant,in a pinch,can shoot Haji’s ammo, Ruger magazines are excellent,can be had with just about any stock configuration from wood to space age bull pup,barreled action available in stainless steel, can be had in full or semi auto, etc.Minuses..MOA accuracy, sights,but nothing that couldn’t be cured easily. I believe that our Canadian friends, the RCMP, use the Mini 14 or Mini 30, as do many corrections departments and some state police. I currently have a Ranch Rifle in .223 with magazines ranging from 5 rounders to 40 rounders as a deterrent to coyotes of both four-legged and two-legged variety. While I feel well armed with this, I am going to get a Mini 30 soon. To all our defenders, may God bless you all, and thanks from a gratefull American.

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breven June 6, 2007 at 4:35 pm

this is just as i see it….i have not been a soldier yet but i plan on it …..i say because of the recent way the enemy is fighting we should addpt our weapons to match. the M14 is a long range weapon and is most likly not suitable for close in urban warfare. personaly i think we should pull out the Colt .45s again and go with that. Also i know the military has a warehouse at an undisclosed location that is filled with us army small arms left over from World War 1 though present day. they pulled the Thompson submachine guns out in vietnam once again …why not do it now? it would fit most current engagments i think. of course issue it with something like an m16 or m4 but have it around to just see how it stacks up. Thats just my personaly oppion if you agree or no God bless

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B. Smith June 6, 2007 at 8:46 pm

I am not a soldier, but plan to be and am familiar enough with firearms to know that hollow point ammunition has much more stoppage power and cannot believe that it is “illegal for military use.” If anyone would be so kind as to enlighten me on the reasons behind this, it would be greatly appreciated.
e-mail is preferable: nidantwelve@aol.com
thank you in advance,
Ben

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Derrick June 6, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Im not a slodier either, but soon plan to join the Marines. Going into to combat with a .223 doesnt seem very “smart” in my opinion, that small of a caliber is just not sufficiant to take down a person, unless your able to get a headshot in the middle of a firefight. A would fell much better in a firefight if i and my entire team were issued a weapon of either a 30\06 or a .308 both very reliable rounds and enough knock down power to take out anyone. As for a model make i dont really know. There arent very many semi-auto or full atuo large caliber weapons that i know of that are suitable for urban combat, and many 30\06 rifles that are in semi-auto are hard to control if you have to fire multiple shots in a matter of seconds. Not only do the standard rifles need an overhaul but so do the sub-machineguns. The MP5 also is just a 9mm, somthing chmbered in a .45 colt or maybe even larger like a .357 or .44. You could get much more knock down with a bigger bullet and maybe even some range.
Thats all ive got to say, happy hunting!

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Samuel McGarvey June 6, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Fantastic article first and foremost. It is encouraging to see solid data on this issue that is both current and relevant. I gott rid of my personally owned Berretta while I was still in the AirForce and have had positve experiences on the range with the .357sig Sig Saur and a .45 Kimber TLE RL II. As per the Rifle comments I love the AR platform but am very unsattisfied with 5.56 NATO(.223Rem, a round designed to kill foxes and other small furry things. Let it be clear that although I have never seen combat as a Security Forces member I have carried the M-16, M-4, M-249, M-60, and the M-9 with frequency. My two favorites being the M-60 and M-16. I would conclude (like so many of you) that stronger caliber rifle and return to 1911 pistol platform seem to be the best course of action.

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Ted Martinez June 7, 2007 at 11:10 am

I hope the powers that be will make their minds up soon on what they are going to do. If our soldiers need better stopping power, then by all means we need to get the proper equipment to them asap. I think the M14 and the AR-10 could give todays soldier what they need in a rifle. As to handguns, a 40 cal can deliver the same stopping power as a 45, but at a greater distance with better accuracy. Hay but what do I know, I’m only a cop.

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GARY BISHOP June 7, 2007 at 12:06 pm

I have lived a life of an avid gun & ammunition lover.
The link below will take you to an article that expresses how I and millions of others feel that we need to seriously consider.
http://www.gunblast.com/Eagle_AR10.htm

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dojo-bob June 7, 2007 at 1:50 pm

I have consistently read through this blog and my issues are these:
- To those of you who defend the pitiful weapons we currently use – take your pride and pistol range techniques to Iraq and use them. Quit telling us how good your weapon is, how deadly you accuracy is and how we’re supposed to keep our firearms clean so they will function properly.
- You guys really insult those of us in the field having to defend our freedom and most importantly our comrades, allies and us. You don’t realize when driving by on patrol when an insurgent decides to appear “all-of-a-sudden”, takes a few shots, and launches an RPG or worse a newly improvised thermal explosive – how critical it is to lay him down with a heavy caliber weapon. That is when we rarely do get a chance to fire back, rather than react and hope we have enough time to get out of the way of any further attacks, into a “safer” spot and a chance to help our wounded. When we do get a chance and from a moving vehicle (imagine road with holes in them

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Priest June 7, 2007 at 4:15 pm

The new H&K assault rifle needs to be considered, and it’s that simple. If we have technology such as this and don’t equip our military with it, we’re essentially giving them slingshots and a pat on the ass with a half-hearted “Good luck!”. Bring the colt .45 back, or another .45 caliber pistol ( not the Raptor), and let our boys do their jobs. I’d hate to think we’re spending all this money in training teaching them how to stay alive, when all we’re doing is sending them off to war with pots on their heads and a pocket full of rocks.
True enough that a well placed round does the job, even from a BB gun…but combat is a little different. Try shooting that paper target while it’s shooting back.
Go Army!

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Sgt.Will June 7, 2007 at 10:26 pm

I do believe that our soldiers should have a stronger ammo type, like the 40 caliber s&w, or maybe the sig sauer 357. They are on the front lines, and should be better able to stop any threat that comes across our borders be they here or afar.

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Ranger 1 June 8, 2007 at 8:22 am

Rifel- M1A or AR10
Pistol- HK usp (40.cal) holds 16 rounds, Beretta px4 (40.cal) has 17 rounds, even a freaking glock 23 (40.cal), 1911 colt (45 Cal.) 8 rounds, HK usp (45) 12 rounds, Springfield Armory XD (45) 13 rounds, Para Ordanance hi cap 1911 (45) 14 rounds, I here the argument alot that soldiers want more bullets in there gun thats why we have 9mm, I dont believe it.

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Brandin June 8, 2007 at 10:01 am

I believe the militarty needs to bring the Colt 45 back into service or even distribute the Mark 23 that US SOCOM uses to our combat troops. I also believe the military needs to eigther bring back an up dated compact version M14 rifle for urban combat other than the sniper version our stop messing around and put the the new 6.8 mm round into service that not only has good stopping power but amazing velocity to. The 6.8 round is a cross between the 7.62 and the 5.56 mm round.

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adam June 8, 2007 at 12:58 pm

i think we need to get back to more fire power here. the 9mm hold more rounds yes that is true but the bullet flies so fast that the person will not know they were hit till later. now you bring back the colt 45 1911A1 you will know you were hit with the first shot and the repair is so much easier and cheaper for the military.
also i think we need to bring back the m60 7.62mm machine gun just the sound of it will make the insurgents think twice about it. not only the fire but also knock down power.
also the military needs more of the fire power and go to the ak-47 we are the only army in the world that does not use this weapon. because of geneva convention we are to wound people not kill them. but we do need a weapon with more power going from a 5.56 to a 7.62.

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Henry Thomas June 8, 2007 at 3:04 pm

As far as the 9 mill/45acp issue goes The Taurus OSS is the best out there single/double
action ambidextrious safety and 13 rounds of 45 acp.Enough said.

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anthony zech June 9, 2007 at 12:09 pm

since issue in 1965 the m-16 has had problem. was not desigfn foir killing, stopping, just injury to both the user and the enemy. but it is nato ammo. why they went from a 30 cal mangler, to a 22 want to injur is ?????????? remember the 1911 45 cal. it put you down wre ever you were hit. not the 9mm 10 round hit they kill you.

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Simple June 9, 2007 at 2:02 pm

It should be like this. We signed the conventions and treaties to follow those practices with other countries that have signed it. If the members of armed conflict have not signed or are unwilling to then we do not have to follow all rules and stipulations. Why follow a contract if the person you’re fighting never signed. We can’t lower ourselves to an insurgent level due to the fact that they have no level and never will.

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Keith Jones June 9, 2007 at 9:55 pm

I was an airborne infantryman with the 1-325 AIR, 82nd and served in Iraq during OIF. I left the states 14Feb2003 and returned 22Jan2004. The only major piece of equipment that was is serious need of total replacement is the small arms (ie the M4 and the M9), the helmet (which is n the process of being replaced now) and the como. The 5.56mm and the 9mm rounds are just too small for the job of these two firearms. If the military wants to use a flat shooting light round try the .243 as oppossed to the .223(5.56mm). A 30cal round would be better however a .243 would suffice. The design of the M4 is great just needs a larger caliber. As for a pistol go with a .40 or even .45. The body armor saved me life so I can say that it works just fine. The ONLY downfall is the lack of armor on the ribs however armor here would decrease mobility. If your mobility is taken away no armor will save you. The hand held como just wasn’t reliable. The three basics: SHOOT, MOVE, COMMUNICATE! We didn’t mind having not armor on the trucks because the up-armored trucks are cramped on the inside.

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Jack Spicer June 10, 2007 at 11:44 pm

Lets be honest US armed forces small arms selection has always been a political one. From the problem plagued AR-15/M-16 family, to the selection of the ammunition we used.
And when others tried to improve on the initial design. Lobbyst from gun manufacturers prevailed.. especially from Colt. As they own the design for M-16 family, even though many other manufacturers have offered alternatives. Like the XM8, granted it wasnt much to look at. Again Colt and other US manufacturers cried foul, in the endevour of choosing the next generation of small arms.
They say its not fair or competative, but you dont see them engaging in development in next generation of small arms. All you see is gagets attached to weapons to make them “effective”. In the end its no better than what we have now.. just more weight and more complex. A simple effective battle/assault weapon family is sorely needed. The M-16 rifle was a excellent weapon.. but seriously i dont think too many of our small arms lasted this long of a tour.
But does provide us a good starting platform, despite its weaknesses it has a lot going for it. Perhaps a change of ammunition, internal design changes to make it more effective, and reliable. But that said.. M4 series is no more than a cut down m16 with gaggets and wiggits.. to make it more fancier. But internally .. lets admit.. its prolly not much different from its parent the M-16A1/A2.
To sum things up, we need a reliable front line weapon. Even m. kalashnikov derived his AK-47 family from our very own M1 garand.. We can make good weapons we just too damn stuck up to really sit down and realy work hard on it.
Ammunition side lets.. be frank.. its really up to the use. There is no such thing as one magic caliber to attend to all possible scenarios. Taking the 5.56 out of its usual parameters and requirements of 21 inch barrel you really screwing yourself that way. Want a carbine, develop a better round for it. 5.56 NATO was designed with penetration in mind, SS109 steel cored projectile. And expecting a knockdown power out of it is downright silly. Perhaps a CQB improvement on the 5.56 NATO round would be a better fix to address the standardazation issues.

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Jack Spicer June 10, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Ahh yes the 9mm issue, well we cant get around that one. We are forced to accept a smaller 9x19mm ammunition, due to NATO commitments. But a better switch better yet is improvements on the projectile we use in it. The 124 gr. standard is fine… i guess to general use. Self defense loads of 147 have show plenty of promise and actual showing of better knockdown power. See how much a little change.. makes a big difference in the way we fight. as for the M9 issue, Golden rule weapons fire when you keep them clean and fixed. Though personally i thought the change to that weapon was silly. Especialy the army requirements they put inot place for that trials. It was a half baked decision to adopt it, hence you get a half baked result. Better options were available, If they want relability. The Austrians have a good answer, most of the european union countries have to complaint with the firearms they chosen.

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Dave June 11, 2007 at 4:38 am

I think the army should replace its handguns with ones made by Smith and Wesson. They are far superior. When it comes to rifles, they should check out the H&K models. They are state of the art.

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Cesar Gutierrez June 12, 2007 at 7:17 pm

yeah, the m-4 should be replaced with the Barret 416, which uses a 6.8mm round, a combo of the 7.62 and the 5.56, plus, its more reliable, has more stopping power. Or at least the Heckler and Kock 416, which still uses the 5.56, but is more resistant to jams, especially because of sand, and is esier to costumize, without the worry of the customized part being the problem of your jams.

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George June 21, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Give them the .45 with hollow points.

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George June 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Give them the .45 with hollow points.

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manuel jesse lara June 27, 2007 at 11:01 pm

i want to get my bro’s-in-arms to get the victories that they deserve in those minutes in actual contact (the word “contact” brings back a memory of ‘nam after we had to medevac three guy’s from our platoon “doc” our medic said “you know these high falutin mf’s talk about “war is hell” n hit by a phosphorecent willy pete shrapnel you need to get grenadiers that can put 5 to 8 rounds in the air before the first one impacts you need fast and accurate “bloopergrunts”.good luck to you broham’s and may you all come back saf ely adios muchachos hoorah!!!!!!!!!!

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manuel jesse lara June 27, 2007 at 11:49 pm

what you all need is some fast and accurate bloopergrunts for your times in actual contact 4 per unit to be safe 1 for left flank work towards center 1 for the right flank work towards the center 1 for immediate rear work towards the center and block abdullahs escape 1 for the front work towards the center because i do not care how suicidal abdullah is he would rather run to his front and catch .556 in his eye than to be burned down to his very soul by willypetes i fergot to spec’ that you need to saturate the enemy in willypetes because i do not care how bad of a soldier abdullah thinks he is he will not even know where his ak is at when willypetes are fragmenting all around his culo.what you need is some actual natural bloopergrunts not some dumb f-k that uses the sighting apparatus. what you need is some good old school b’ball shooters,some old school outfielders,old school q’backs i mean natural ass havin’ arc shooters they need to be so accurate and so fast that they can lob 7 to 10 rounds in the air before the first one even impacts.”war is hell but actual contact is a m-f’ah” “doc” medic west of ankhe 69′now when i say the flank i mean where you cansee the abdullahs and the amins to the right or left or rear or front.well adios muchachos and may you all come back safely, hoorah!!!!!!!!!!

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manuel jesse lara June 28, 2007 at 9:45 am

i want to get my bro’s-in-arms to get the victories that they deserve in those minutes in actual contact (the word “contact” brings back a memory of ‘nam after we had to medevac three guy’s from our platoon “doc” our medic said “you know these high falutin mf’s talk about “war is hell” n hit by a phosphorecent willy pete shrapnel you need to get grenadiers that can put 7 to 10 rounds in the air before the first one impacts you need fast and accurate “bloopergrunts”.good luck to you broham’s and may you all come back saf ely adios muchachos hoorah!!!!!!!!!!

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Demophilus July 9, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Yo, mjl:
People are still on the board; they just don’t have anything to add after 405 posts.
If you want to continue the discussion, you might go over to the Military.com board. You’ll find it at http://forums.military.com/eve.
Apart from that, there are weapons boards pretty much everywhere. Cast your bread upon the water.
You might try the Center for Army Lessons Learned; they’re at http://call.army.mil/. You can contact LEATHERNECK magazine or the MARINE CORPS GAZETTE over at http://www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck/.
Some of the stuff you’re saying about the blooper makes sense. Don’t know how useful those tactics are with a lot of civilians around. I do know the USMC is working with a 6 shot 40mm launcher that seems tailor made for what you’re talking about. You can find a story on that at http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,SoldierTech_060323_mgl140,,00.html
Then again, there’s always the Mk19. That too was pretty much made for what you’re talking about.
Good luck.

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manuel jesse lara July 13, 2007 at 7:48 pm

we were in ‘contact’ we quickly gained superiority over them as they were running we were picking them off like flies on a cantaloupe, there4 was this insurgenr that was not running i checked with my fire team leader he gave me the go ahead so i peppered this disciplined hard core veet cong with some willy pete. later on that dayi asked about the veet cong this soldier told me you did that animal a favor he was probably sacrifacing hisself for his god so i went on along with my tour with that in my mind and615888orah“

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m.smith October 6, 2007 at 6:58 pm

as a marine i think we do need more stopping power. However we also need a weapon that is easy to maintane. The glock .45 or .40 is the way to go. Forget the rules! Hollow points, and head shots!!

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m.smith October 6, 2007 at 6:59 pm

as a marine i think we do need more stopping power. However we also need a weapon that is easy to maintane. The glock .45 or .40 is the way to go. Forget the rules! Hollow points, and head shots!!

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Jackie Perry October 16, 2007 at 7:12 am

The enemy has no rules why in the world would we put our men and women over there or anywhere without the best and most stopping power there is? That is a crime. Put the congress and senate over there on the street with our military surrounding them to protect them then see what type of weapons and ammo they approve for use!!Wait leave them here and take their families so that they can be here to vote on what they can use. Some families have already had to send the vests for their loved ones to wear I guess we need to send guns and ammo also.

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tim March 22, 2008 at 1:27 am

Good day to all my fellow soldiers marines air force and navy .Im a ex navy gunner and i agree we need better firepower and should be allow to carry what every each person want so if you want a lame ass 9mm cool but dont tell us to feel sorry for you when after 3 mag you still cant kill anyone simple put until every person is a crack shot mean you can take head shot at 25yr 9out10 time you need a .45 to do the job and rifle i say the 6.8mmm look sweet saw the test fire of it

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triffid98 April 10, 2008 at 6:39 am

The current 5.56/9mm ammo is a joke. The ubiquitous 7.62 mm AK47 trumps it in both reliability, stopping power and (in rough conditions) accuracy.
Either bring back the classics (Colt45/Browning 50) or replace them with something better. If they were good enough for the Nazis they’re good enough for terrorist sects. Shooting people and watching them get back up is the last thing we need in the face of 4000+ casualties and roadside shaped charges courtesy of Iran.

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rappelz gold August 13, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I recognized her is an occasional, When I was just upgrade and earn rappelz gold. She also just through, and she is a new player, she saw me my number is high. So she asked me how to play. And I said I was a bad people, I asked if did you not heard in this game. She said she heard, but she did not believe. I smiled. So I took her to play, I told her how to play, how to upgrade.

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Rich August 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

I’m looking for a reasonably good picture of a quad 50 that was mounted on the back of a truck in Viet Nam. Preferred without the truck picture.
Thank you.

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Retired RNGR January 7, 2013 at 12:27 am

21yr retired ranger who has had numerous experiences in combat from somalia to numerous tours in Iraq/Afghanistan. I totally agree knockdown power need's to be addressed ASAP and by those who most often will be in those circumstances, start with the combat line Joe's and work it up the chain to the PSG/Gunney level. As for the M249 stoppages being addressed, these are self inflicted….these weapon's were not tested with BS dummy cord's,zip ties etc……work on it and design a small wire cable locking system, keep it light and heat resistant with quick release. M-4/M-16 issues have their problems like all weapons poised in that harsh environment, accuracy/CQB both are conventional for their purpose yet as stated before I'f feel much better knowing when my round penetrates…….he's falling with a dazed look in his eye's looking at the hole wondering WTF was that???? M9 vs 45ACP gotta go with the 45ACP and or the .40 glock21 series both have what our soldiers need and damn it they deserve it!!!!

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