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Posted: 8/15/2001 5:53:51 PM EST
......and why did the special forces adopt it? Was it because of versatility and weight? And I've heard two different versions on the history, and am wondering what the real scoop is. One stated something about them being tested in Saudi Arabia, and another version was that it was originally desinged for Tank crews. Anybody got any input to either of these questions?
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:02:02 PM EST
While I am not sure about the Saudi Arabia story, I do know a little about the tank crew weapon. The name of the rifle eludes me right now but it looks just like a M16 style weapon at a glance. The rifle fires from an open bolt and has a wire style collapsible stock on it. Further only about 65%-70% of the parts are interchangeable with the AR15/M16 style weapon. These are the only major differences the rifle has from the M16 weapon system. Hope this helps. The Azalin
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:04:23 PM EST
If I remeber correctly, the first M4's were commercial Colts made to contract specs for Abu Dhabi. It sort of took off from there.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:33:53 PM EST
Azalin: You're kidding, right? IIRC the M3 Greasegun was the tank gun of choice before the carbine M16 genre. The M3 replaced the Thompson submachine gun. The military split the difference and went with a new battle rifle (the M1 Garand, correct me if I'm wrong please) and the M3 replacing the Thompson. I'm trying to recall what I read off of a Thompson site, relating the history and development of the Thompson (the M3 was much cheaper than the Thompson). The M3 greasegun is an open bolt gun and does have a foldable wire stock. There are NO parts interchangable with the AR15/M16 family of weapons that I know of. Are you thinking of some M16 variant that I've never heard of? If so, please post more information on the rifle as I've never heard of it. To answer the question, there have been shorty M16's around since Vietnam. Under the general label CAR-15's, they've had 10.5 inch barrels and 5.5 inch flash suppressors. Then there are the Commando type M16's with 10.5 inch barrels and standard A1 or A2 flash suppressors. The 16" AR15 carbine may have been an attempt to comply with the NFA for citizens, as any rifle barrel under 16" requires Class III paperwork. I believe the actual 14.5 inch barrel and A2 flash suppressor of the M4 came out of a contract for a mideast nation. I believe US later adopted it and added the barrel step to mount the M203. This is my spur of the moment recollection can bring to the table without any more archives research. Please jump in and correct any errors in my post. I think it's correct for the most part.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:39:47 PM EST
I know in certain areas like Central America in the 80s we would carry our M60s and ammo stowed under the seats. Since it was virtually impossible to mount, load and return fire with the hog quickly if you were engaged they started having us carry CAR15s. This would sort of be like the armor crew thing I suppose. Aviator [img]www.dredgeearthfirst.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:42:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Azalin: ...it looks just like a M16 style weapon at a glance.
View Quote
It IS an M-16 style weapon
The rifle fires from an open bolt and has a wire style collapsible stock on it.
View Quote
It fires from a closed bolt and has a telescoping type collapsible stock
Further only about 65%-70% of the parts are interchangeable with the AR15/M16 style weapon.
View Quote
It IS an AR-15/M-16 stle weapon Azalin, it is obvious that you have never even seen an M-4. If you want to know what one looks like, look at the AR15.com logo in the upper left side of this page.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 6:56:35 PM EST
Jeez you guys (Jac and Payne) oughtta knock off Azalin. Because he knows more than you. Smith's Small Arms of the World depicts the weapon of which he speaks and he is exactly right. He is talking about the M231 firing port weapon. It is depicted on page 761. It is *not* the M4. It *is* based on the AR15 design.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 7:04:01 PM EST
The M4 idea was around during the late 1980s. Special Operations Command wanted a carbine version of the M16A2. The project got killed about 1992 or so for budgetary reasons, but that did not prevent some elements of the Special Ops community from having various cut down Commando type M16s in service. The idea resurfaced with the growing influence that Special Operations Command found itself with. They pushed for and got the M4 carbine which was an M16A2 with a 4-position collapsible stock and a 14.5 inch barrel with a step-down for attachment of the M203. The design did originate from a contract order Colt made for a middle eastern country in the late 80s early 90s (the name escapes me). The special ops community went a step further and went with the M4A1, which has full auto (no 3 round burst) a removable carrying handle and a bunch of other customizable features. The M4 is going to Ranger Units, the 82 Airborne, the 101st Air Assualt and the light Divisions. It will also replace the M3A1 submachinegun as a weapon for armored vehicle crewmen, and some pistols in other units in the armed forces. The M4A1 is going to Special Operations units ( SF and so forth). The other tanker weapon mentioned was the M231 port firing weapon. It was not designed for armored vehicle crew, but was designed to give the grunts riding in the M2 Bradleys something to do (namely lighting up Ivan the Terrible with inaccurate full auto fire). It had a short barrel, no sights and fired from an open bolt. It was intended to be used with tracer rounds. There were two firing ports on either side of the Bradley and two on the rear ramp. It is passing out service as the M2 Bradley is updated to the M2A1 and M2A2 configurations; the newer models of the Bradley have more armor and eliminated the firing point because they were weak points.
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 4:58:24 PM EST
About the M231...natez nailed it except the part about the phase out. The newer Bradleys don't have side firing ports any more, but still have the two in the ramp (back). They are really pretty damn useless when mounted in the vehicle. So much so that they were removed from the BFV qualification table early in the Bradley's career. BUT....they made damn good bunker clearing weopons during and shortly after Desert Storm! Tape a damn mag light to the handguards and your in business. We never did have the cool little wire stocks though. And one last thing...it eats ammo like hell. If memory serves, it has 900 rpm cyclic rate of fire! So much for a 30 round mag.
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 5:49:19 PM EST
Azalin: I stand corrected. Sorry. Hope you didn't think I was jumping on you. I *really* did want to know if you were serious. I appears you were.... I do recall hearing about the M231. Don't know if I've ever seen a picture of it though. Could anyone direct me to one with a link? But as far as "tank guns" go along with the general description, I still think I was right with the M3. [;)] Learn something new every day. That's why I'm here! (Though I hope I was at least nice enough in letting everyone know they could correct me if I was wrong.)
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 7:32:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2001 7:28:37 PM EST by yobo]
JacRyan: Her is a pic of M231 [IMG]http://wsphotofews.excite.com/031/cZ/Wq/tE/ag87127.jpg [/IMG] Sorry for the poor quality of pic but it's just a scan off the Small Arms Of The World.
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 11:18:08 PM EST
Yobo, that is an older proto version, the M231 is this: [img]http://www.securityarms.com/20010315/pics/0900/916.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 8/16/2001 11:42:12 PM EST
I think Knights Manufacturing makes it for the military. Seem to remember a short article in SOF about it anyways. Not just for tank crews, for anybody riding in any military transport where space is restricted. Not as long as a rifle or carbine, not much longer than a pistol, but packs the punch of a .223. The .223 is still better than a pistol even out of a very short barrel and pistols were than main personal armament in military vehicles.
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 12:46:10 AM EST
I stand corrected; I did not realize they kept the other two firing ports on the ramp of the Bradley.
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 1:33:06 AM EST
Take a look at this site ! [url]http://www.specialoperations.com/Weapons/Features/M4/Default.html[/url]
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 8:47:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2001 8:53:16 AM EST by JacRyan]
Hey all. Here's what I *thought* seamusmcoi was referring to, the M3: [url]http://www.securityarms.com/20010315/galleryfiles/orig/m3a1.htm[/url] Thanks for the info! EDITED 'cause I always forget the link code....
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 9:36:58 AM EST
Poor Azalin... The M231 FPW has a modified gas system that vents the gas outside the vehicle, as well. It runs 900-1100rpm, and is commonly used with all tracers due to the inability to sight down the barrel. It does fire open-bolt. I ran one in a Bradley back in the late 80s at Grafenwoehr...it was pretty useless, really. QS
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