This one has been flying around the internet today. OMG! The Army is in a conspiracy to keep the M4 carbine and shut down tests of any other possible small arms!
A competing rifle outperformed the Army’s favored M4A1 carbine in key firings during a competition last year before the service abruptly called off the tests and stuck with its gun, according to a new confidential report.
Yeah, well, that’s not terribly surprising. There’s no official word which competing rifle outperformed the M4A1. Rumor Control says it was the FN SCAR series.
Of course, an FN SCAR tends to cost about twice as much as an M4A1. That’s not an insignificant issue.
Frankly, absent a really radical difference in performance (not reliability, but performance) investing money in an entirely new small arms platform is a very small return investment.
Consistently, surveys of US troops- Infantry troops- have found that they like the M4, are satisfied with the M4, and find it reliable. There simply isn’t a big demand signal from the field to replace the M4 platform.
I’ve fired the M4, but always carried either an M16A1 or M16A2. In a dozen years, I never had a single malfunction with a Colt M16 that wasn’t a magazine problem. Not one.
FN did have a contract to build M16A2s. They were awful. I had repeated problems with them. It wasn’t long before Colt won back the contract. One wonders if the poor quality control of FN rifles lingers in the minds of the Army when looking at future purchases.
If you want to look at a small arm that has consistently had issues with jamming and reliability, look at the M249 SAW family. They’ve been tinkering with it for 30 years, and it still loves to jam.