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Posted: 10/10/2003 9:31:59 AM EDT
My ? is are any diff. between new a4 and a2 not stated here?

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- From the days of Marines wielding muskets, to the current day fully automatic machine guns, weapons in the Marine Corps continue to change to accommodate the needs of battle. The Marine Corps is now adding a new chapter to the history of its service rifles
For the first time since being chosen as the Marine Corps' future rifle, Marines assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment here were issued and fired their new M-16A4 service rifles recently.
The M-16A4, the fourth generation of the M-16 service rifle, has been in the testing phase for the Marine Corps along with the M-4 carbine rifle more than two years. In August 2002, former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones decided to stay with the "tried and true" M-16 verses the M-4.
"The Marines are looking forward to testing their new rifles out on the range and in the field," said 1st Lt. John M. Jones, executive officer for F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Getting new equipment can be great morale boosters for anyone, but for a military unit receiving new weapons, they need confidence in using them in combat. Gaining confidence begins with training and some times this process is very long.
"The rifle is a little bit heavier, but shoots the same as the M-16A2 we used in Iraq," said Sgt. Anthony J. Stewart, a platoon commander for F Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Every Marine must not only learn how to use the new features, but they also must fire the weapon enough so be confident with its abilities.
This new rifle is almost identical in appearance and firing using the same ammunition and existing attachments, like the M-203 grenade launcher. However, once removing the carrying handle the weapon is capable of providing a lot more potential.
Once the handle is removed, an integrated rail system is exposed. This system allows any optic, laser or night vision sight with a rail grabber to slide into place, said Cpl. Randy J. Dunkel Jr., noncommissioned officer in charge of the armory for Headquarters and Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines.
"The new rail system is great because you can just take off the handle and put any sight on it," said Jones.
With the new advancement comes change in the way the rifle is stored in the armory.
"Everything is going to have to change to accommodate the new rifles," said Dunkel. "We're going through some changes right now to make storing the rifles much easier."
As the new rifles are being delivered the older versions will receive an inspection and sent to Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga., where they will either be destroyed or redistributed as needed.
"The M-16A4 will be better to have in the long run, because in combat you can put on so many new pieces of equipment to make life easier," added Dunkel.

T.
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 9:44:25 AM EDT
Sounds like the only difference really, is the removable handle/picatinny rail like the M4. I'm sure the other specs are probably the same/similar to the A2, but with the top rail, it'll be more versatile like the M4 is. Just my 2¢. J
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 10:54:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2003 10:56:30 AM EDT by Klinger_04]
"As the new rifles are being delivered the older versions will receive an inspection and sent to Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga., where they will either be [b]destroyed[/b] or redistributed as needed." [:(]
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 11:36:37 AM EDT
I'm surprised it took this long for them to issue A3's and A4's. Such a simple changeover. If I remember right, the A3 is the full auto version and the A4 has the 3 round burst. Is that right? Is anyone begin issued the A3? CJ
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 11:59:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2003 11:59:45 AM EDT by DevL]
To my knowledge A4 has full length RAS and Trijicon TA31.
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 12:08:39 PM EDT
I'll take one of those old,obsolete A2's off their hand at NO CHARGE!What about you guys?
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 12:37:25 PM EDT
Just one??? I'll take 10. After all I DO own them.
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 12:49:27 PM EDT
An A3 is an A2 with FA instead of burst. An A4 is the flat-top (with FA, I think).
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 1:27:20 PM EDT
I wish they could speed up the testing our guy's need to have the best. Now!!!!! semper fi
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 2:45:54 PM EDT
The A4 is Full auto and has a removable carry handle. I think those are the only differnces
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 3:24:57 PM EDT
M16A3- Safe, semi and FA. IIRC it has a removable carry handle too. M16A4- Safe, semi, burst. Has removable carry handle and a full length RAS. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 3:32:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 3:52:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy:
Originally Posted By DevL: To my knowledge A4 has full length RAS and Trijicon TA31.
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To clarify; the Marines have chosen to configure them this way by default (excellent choice!), but this package is technically not a part of the base M16A4 standard. -Troy
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What Troy said. That package is generally referred to as the MWS - Modular Weapons System. FWIW - As far back as 1997, the USMC rifle team that was shooting at Cp. Robinson, AR had M16A3s - I couldn't tell you if they were full-auto, but they were definitely flat-tops.
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 6:08:38 PM EDT
As a 12 year Marine Corps Veteran (Rifleman, Scout-sniper, Unattended ground sensor operator, Intelligence analyst) I'm very glad to see the Corps stick with a regular M16 instead of the carbine. I think it's a much better combat rifle. Who is making the M16A4? I need to buy one for myself:)
Link Posted: 10/10/2003 8:10:57 PM EDT
FN makes the fullsize rifle colt the M4
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 6:16:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DevL: To my knowledge A4 has full length RAS and Trijicon TA31.
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Ding, ding, ding! I'm just waiting on the bucks for a TA31F to finish my version of a USMC A4gery.
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 6:38:21 PM EDT
FN makes the rifle??? FN as in Belgium?
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 6:44:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/11/2003 6:45:49 PM EDT by Lumpy196]
Originally Posted By tthiel: FN makes the rifle??? FN as in Belgium?
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FN has been filling M16A2 contracts since 1988 with rifles made here in the U.S. [URL]http://www.fnmfg.com/products/m16/M16.htm[/URL] Colt is the sole source provider for M4's to the military.
Link Posted: 10/11/2003 6:49:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tthiel: FN makes the rifle??? FN as in Belgium?
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Yep. FN USA, Columbia, SC. CRC
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