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 Is the M-4 still standard US Army issue, or is this being replaced by the M4A1?
huey_crew_chief  [Member]
3/3/2012 9:25:36 PM
I had heard that the Army is going to full auto, but I am not sure I believe that. Thanks!
M4A1  [Team Member]
3/4/2012 12:40:05 AM
Originally Posted By huey_crew_chief:
I had heard that the Army is going to full auto, but I am not sure I believe that. Thanks!


Not sure what the future holds, maybe Augee can answer that.
Right now there are tons of M4's (burst) in current use.
Predator  [Team Member]
3/4/2012 11:50:52 AM
Augee (our official/unofficial Colt Forum Historian) should be along shortly to answer your question and then some.
huey_crew_chief  [Member]
3/4/2012 12:39:46 PM
I just dont think full auto is a good idea for standard issue. I had an A1 in Basic and they taught us to do three round bursts. That is just my opinion.
JSGlock34  [Member]
3/4/2012 9:25:43 PM
Army Wants Full Auto For Accuracy - Not Rock'n Roll

Improved Carbines Heading Your Way

"In September 2010, Headquarters Department of the Army G3/5/7 authorized the M4A1 as the standard carbine for the U.S. Army. Compared to the M4, the M4A1 has a heavier barrel and is fully automatic, improvements that deliver greater sustained rates of fire. The Army intends to upgrade both the M4 and M4A1 configurations with an ambidextrous fire control assembly. SOCOM has been using the M4A1 configuration since 1994." PEO Soldier

Granted, MilitaryTimes isn't always the best source of information, but PEO Soldier is pretty much direct from the horse's mouth...
motolung  [Member]
3/4/2012 10:45:48 PM
Full auto accuracy is not only dependent on the shooter's ability, training, and fire discipline, but also the mechanical design of the platform from which the shooter is spraying bullets. Some machine guns are inherently more stable and able to stay on target when fired full auto due to the design of the bolt, moving parts, and overall weight distribution. Whatever the military decides to buy the folks fighting the real fight know when to “spray” vs. aim for effect regardless of the selector switch setting.
Combat_Jack  [Team Member]
3/4/2012 11:42:08 PM
Going from burst to auto improves the trigger and removes nine parts. That figure per an Army document arguing against the adoption of the A2.
simply_green  [Member]
3/4/2012 11:45:30 PM
I think that there are a vast majority of Soldiers that should not have full auto rifles.
WShifflett  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 12:07:08 AM
Screw the full auto its outta my league. But ambi parts are of interest to me....
M4A1  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 12:29:40 AM
Weren't they upgrading all M4's to R0921HB (heavy barrels)? Now they want to get rid of the M4 all together for M4A1's?
Will816  [Member]
3/5/2012 12:35:09 AM
Originally Posted By motolung:
Full auto accuracy is not only dependent on the shooter's ability, training, and fire discipline, but also the mechanical design of the platform from which the shooter is spraying bullets. Some machine guns are inherently more stable and able to stay on target when fired full auto due to the design of the bolt, moving parts, and overall weight distribution. Whatever the military decides to buy the folks fighting the real fight know when to “spray” vs. aim for effect regardless of the selector switch setting.


When they say a full auto is more accurate, they actually are referring to the semi-auto trigger pull. A full auto fire control group in the M16/M4 has the same trigger pull for each and every round. The 3-shot burst fire control group actually cycles through the 3 shots on the cam even when in semi... This means that each trigger pull will be different, which makes precise, aimed shots more difficult.
COLT  [Member]
3/5/2012 12:42:27 AM
Wanted: Full Auto for Accuracy, not Rock 'n Roll


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December 29, 2011
Military.com|by Matthew Cox

It might be years from now, but soldiers will one day go into battle armed with fully automatic carbines, a capability ground forces haven’t had in more than two decades.

As the Army moves ahead with its carbine-improvement effort, it will replace today’s three-round-burst option with a full-auto setting.

The shift will dramatically increase the rate of fire soldiers can send downrange, but it will also mean new challenges for small-unit leaders, who’ll be responsible for ensuring their soldiers maintain fire discipline even during the heaviest of gunfights.

“We don’t expect, nor will we tolerate, our soldiers just firing their weapons on full-automatic because they can,” said Dave Libersat, director of the Soldier Requirements Division at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.

“We have to maintain fire discipline for lots of reasons,” he said. “One is when you go out on patrol, you’ve only got X amount of ammo; if you shoot it all up, and you’ve still got a firefight going on, it’s not a good day for you.”

The primary reason for the return to the full-auto setting, infantry officials say, is that it will give soldiers a more accurate weapon when firing on semiautomatic.


WHAT THE F––––!

The Army began using three-round burst setting in 1986, when it adopted the Marine Corps-developed M16A2 as a replacement for its fleet of M16A1s. The A2 fired the M249 squad automatic weapon’s M855 round and featured a number of modifications over the A1, such as improved sights, a rounded handguard and, of course, three-round burst instead of a full-auto capability.


The Marines developed the burst setting to help riflemen conserve ammunition instead of wasting it during long bursts of full-auto fire. But the Marines and the Army later realized that the mechanics of the three-round burst setting caused an inconsistent trigger pull in the semi-auto mode. This means that the trigger doesn’t feel the same every time a shooter fires, making it harder to shoot with the same degree of accuracy from one shot to the next.

“The trigger is the soldier’s primary interface with the weapon for delivering the round,” said Lt. Col. Tom Henthorn, chief of the Small Arms Branch at Benning’s Soldier Requirements Division.

This is one of the reasons U.S. Special Operations Command equipped its M4A1 carbines with full-auto triggers in the mid-1990s.

The Army’s senior leadership decided to start issuing M4A1s last year as an interim step as it moves ahead with the M4 Product Improvement Program and its improved carbine competition, which could ultimately replace the M4.

“We had some M4A1s on the range … and even the guys from the Army Marksmanship Unit had thought we had [improved] the trigger somehow,” Henthorn said. “The AMU guys were fairly impressed with the trigger.”

The Marine Corps has no plans to replace its M4s and M16A4s, but will also return to a full-auto setting, said Charlie Clark III, Infantry Weapons Capabilities Integration Officer for the Marine Corps Fires and Maneuver Integration Division.

“We want the improved trigger,” Clark said, but was unsure when such a change will occur.

So if semi-automatic fire is more effective, then why not just get rid of full auto altogether? Army officials say that full automatic could be a useful battlefield tool in some cases.

“There are times when you’ll see several soldiers with a requirement to fire on full automatic, but it’s not going to be a free-for-all out there. It has got to be squad leaders and team leaders giving fire-direction commands,” Libersat said.

As the Army transitions to a full-auto trigger, training will have to change, but not in a dramatic fashion, Libersat said. Initial Entry Training will still focus on qualification using semiautomatic fire, and will likely include instruction to familiarize soldiers with full-auto fire, he said.

It will be up to leaders in the operational Army to decide how to train soldiers to employ full-automatic fire, Libersat said.

Disciplined, well-aimed fire will always be a priority, but a small-unit leader has to have the flexibility to decide when his unit needs to ramp up its volume of fire, combat veterans say.

Henthorn summed it up this way:

“When you need the capability, full auto is the right capability to have,” he said. “When you do a break-contract drill … you want to pull the trigger, dump a mag and move.”
© Copyright 2012 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Stottman  [Member]
3/5/2012 7:41:05 AM
As a Radio support guy in the Army, in the past I have been issued an M4, as well as an M4A1 depending on who I was assigned to;

Besides messing around and wasting ammo at the end of the day, the only time we were ever taught to put the carbine on full aut/burst was during break contact drills...And a few times just to show us how horrible Full auto is for practical purposes.

Augee  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 10:20:06 AM
The rumor is that everything is going to M4A1s with ambi-safeties, but I'm sure it will take a while to filter through service wide, especially with OPTEMPO decreasing these days.

I certainly would mind one myself since it's my preferred semi-auto configuration anyways.

Many existing M4s probably would not be replaced, but simply sent to the armorer shops along with stamp kits to remark them as M4A1s, much like the old M16A1s that became A2s. I would suspect that the M4 will persist for quite a while, however, especially in reserve component units, many of which recently (within the last five or so years) have shelled out huge sums of money to procure M4s and have little left to re-build them so soon.

As others have mentioned, the auto trigger group is beneficial for semi-automatic firing because of the consistent trigger pull, not the three trigger pulls you have to learn with the M4 and M16A2/4 as the burst cam rachets along.

Full auto or burst is very rarely used, and training of auto / burst fire discipline is much better than it was in Vietnam. Also, the combination of the relatively close range engagement space with extremely limited visibility exacerbated ammunition wastage during that conflict.

The burst mechanism has long since been recognized as an inferior fire control group for semi-automatic fire. That is to say - most semi-automatic rifles probably have better triggers than a stock M4 - because there's only one trigger pull and it can be "worn in" three times faster than a military trigger.

It would be nice if they'd simply replace everyone's trigger with an SSF, but I doubt that'll ever happen.

~Augee
Predator  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 11:57:31 AM
Originally Posted By Augee:
The rumor is that everything is going to M4A1s with ambi-safeties, but I'm sure it will take a while to filter through service wide, especially with OPTEMPO decreasing these days.

I certainly would mind one myself since it's my preferred semi-auto configuration anyways.

Many existing M4s probably would not be replaced, but simply sent to the armorer shops along with stamp kits to remark them as M4A1s, much like the old M16A1s that became A2s. I would suspect that the M4 will persist for quite a while, however, especially in reserve component units, many of which recently (within the last five or so years) have shelled out huge sums of money to procure M4s and have little left to re-build them so soon.

As others have mentioned, the auto trigger group is beneficial for semi-automatic firing because of the consistent trigger pull, not the three trigger pulls you have to learn with the M4 and M16A2/4 as the burst cam rachets along.

Full auto or burst is very rarely used, and training of auto / burst fire discipline is much better than it was in Vietnam. Also, the combination of the relatively close range engagement space with extremely limited visibility exacerbated ammunition wastage during that conflict.

The burst mechanism has long since been recognized as an inferior fire control group for semi-automatic fire. That is to say - most semi-automatic rifles probably have better triggers than a stock M4 - because there's only one trigger pull and it can be "worn in" three times faster than a military trigger.

It would be nice if they'd simply replace everyone's trigger with an SSF, but I doubt that'll ever happen.

~Augee


What would happen if a soldier simply pulled the cam or disconnetors out? Probably get in deep shit?
Augee  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 12:56:58 PM
Originally Posted By Predator:

What would happen if a soldier simply pulled the cam or disconnetors out? Probably get in deep shit?


"Per regs" nothing about the FCG is -10 level (operator level).

Even switching out the pistol grip is unauthorized. No part of -10 level maintenance involves the use of a tool.

There are varying degrees of enforcement and violation of this policy.

In my official capacity, I of course would never recommend the violation or subversion of any policy; nor suggest, condone, or approve of any unauthorized maintenance to a military weapon.

Most troops probably have no idea how the FCG even works anyhow.

~Augee



R0N  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 1:04:28 PM
Personally like burst, it is a mechanical solution to a physiological problem .
Predator  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 1:31:53 PM
Originally Posted By R0N:
Personally like burst, it is a mechanical solution to a physiological problem .


I like the theory of burst, but the M16/M4 bust FCG is not very good IMO. I like how HK built the MP5 FCG where you can set a burst, fire a quick round or two, and then the next pull get a true 3 round burst. The burst resets on those guns every trigger pull, regarless of if you shot a full burst on the previous pull.

M4/M16 burst FCG's do not reset. If I do a quick pull while on burst and only fire 2 rounds, my next pull is going to be one round, not three.

So on top of being a poor semi-auto trigger pull, the burst mechanism itself is flawed IMO.

I used to have a 4 mode selector FCG in my M16 and ended up pulling it out and putting a regular full auto FCG back in, mostly for the simplicity of it. Plus I prefer controlled bursts of fire under full auto than a 3 round burst FCG, regardless of the reset issue.
R0N  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 1:38:36 PM
When I use to be a shooting instructor, I use to have my students fire a few mags off on bursts per whistle blast to get use to it, learn the proper stance to help control the recoil effects and more to learn the trigger issues of the non-resetting system.
Shawnmt6601  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 7:41:06 PM
Originally Posted By Predator:
Originally Posted By R0N:
Personally like burst, it is a mechanical solution to a physiological problem .


I like the theory of burst, but the M16/M4 bust FCG is not very good IMO. I like how HK built the MP5 FCG where you can set a burst, fire a quick round or two, and then the next pull get a true 3 round burst. The burst resets on those guns every trigger pull, regarless of if you shot a full burst on the previous pull.

M4/M16 burst FCG's do not reset. If I do a quick pull while on burst and only fire 2 rounds, my next pull is going to be one round, not three.

So on top of being a poor semi-auto trigger pull, the burst mechanism itself is flawed IMO.

I used to have a 4 mode selector FCG in my M16 and ended up pulling it out and putting a regular full auto FCG back in, mostly for the simplicity of it. Plus I prefer controlled bursts of fire under full auto than a 3 round burst FCG, regardless of the reset issue.



what does semi feel like with the Enhanced 4 position FCG?


I saw and got to hold a M4 enhanced Class III with the enhanced FCG at a gun show a few weeks ago but it was secured so I couldnt dry fire
Predator  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 8:03:17 PM
Originally Posted By Shawnmt6601:
Originally Posted By Predator:
Originally Posted By R0N:
Personally like burst, it is a mechanical solution to a physiological problem .


I like the theory of burst, but the M16/M4 bust FCG is not very good IMO. I like how HK built the MP5 FCG where you can set a burst, fire a quick round or two, and then the next pull get a true 3 round burst. The burst resets on those guns every trigger pull, regarless of if you shot a full burst on the previous pull.

M4/M16 burst FCG's do not reset. If I do a quick pull while on burst and only fire 2 rounds, my next pull is going to be one round, not three.

So on top of being a poor semi-auto trigger pull, the burst mechanism itself is flawed IMO.

I used to have a 4 mode selector FCG in my M16 and ended up pulling it out and putting a regular full auto FCG back in, mostly for the simplicity of it. Plus I prefer controlled bursts of fire under full auto than a 3 round burst FCG, regardless of the reset issue.



what does semi feel like with the Enhanced 4 position FCG?


I saw and got to hold a M4 enhanced Class III with the enhanced FCG at a gun show a few weeks ago but it was secured so I couldnt dry fire


Honestly.. I don't recall shooting it in semi-auto at all. That seems to happen to a lot of guys with M16's.

Also, I only had the 4 mode selector in there for about a week before I was over it.

For those of you who own M16's or spend any time in the M16 forum, this image is probably nothing new to you, but it paints the picture perfectly.

leid  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 11:53:35 PM
Originally Posted By Augee:
.

It would be nice if they'd simply replace everyone's trigger with an SSF, but I doubt that'll ever happen.

~Augee


The S4F trigger would be my first choice. But I do have a 2 stage select fire Geissele SSF trigger group that works VERY well.
xoldsmugglerx  [Member]
3/7/2012 4:55:05 PM
It's about damn time! The burst mechanism is the single worst thing the military has done to the m16. They could have easily kept the full auto mechanism and just trained soldiers how to use it properly.
DSArms_FAL  [Member]
3/7/2012 5:10:54 PM
We are manufacturing a full auto non 3rd burst ambi selector for the new M4A1. Colt is also installing this same selector they manufacture themselves on new DoD carbine orders. We will not be able to sell this selector to the commercial market though because its made for the Army under a TDP. We have now received 2 contract orders for this part so its seems the DoD is moving forward fast with this new M4A1.

We do offer anouther ambi selector but its not the same in looks or Gov't certs to the one we sell the Army.


Thanks
R0N  [Team Member]
3/7/2012 5:24:25 PM
Originally Posted By xoldsmugglerx:
It's about damn time! The burst mechanism is the single worst thing the military has done to the m16. They could have easily kept the full auto mechanism and just trained soldiers how to use it properly.


Haven seen some real well trained troops fire much longer burst than they are trained to fire while in contact, I think most people who say this are over estimating the ability to train out physiological responses.
Combat_Jack  [Team Member]
3/7/2012 5:31:09 PM
I wouldn't mind using semi service rifles.
M4A1  [Member]
3/17/2012 4:10:24 PM
If the military went all M4A1, what would they do with the current M4's? Would the put them in storage, or change out the fire control group? If they change out the FCG, we would see burst marked M4A1's. They wouldn't do that right?
Shawnmt6601  [Team Member]
3/17/2012 4:53:26 PM
Originally Posted By M4A1:
If the military went all M4A1, what would they do with the current M4's? Would the put them in storage, or change out the fire control group? If they change out the FCG, we would see burst marked M4A1's. They wouldn't do that right?


probably same thing they did with the A1 when they rebuilt the lowers to be A2s, stamp A1 after the M4 and redo the FCG markings