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I would have thought by now that the M4/M4A1 would be the weapon of choice of the US military and it's overseas allies, but evidently some one still wants M16's. Up to 215,000 of them. I'm guessing that this must be an FMS procurement, but who would prefer the rifle over the carbine?

 

NSN: 1005-01-383-2872, noun: M16A4 5.56mm rifle with the following configurations:

A. The Standard configuration is the M16A4 Rifle with Backup Iron Sight (BUIS) and Adapter Rail System (ARS) (No carrying handle and no handguard).

B. Alternate One configuration is the M16A4 Rifle with Carrying Handle Attached and ARS (No BUIS and no handguard).

C. Alternate Two Configuration is the M16A4 Rifle with Carrying Handle Attached and Standard Handguard. (No BUIS and no ARS).

Minimum quantity: 12 each (FAT Requirement); maximum quantity: 215,000 each. If two awards are made, each successful awardee will receive a guaranteed minimum order for NSN: 1005-01-383-2872. Future orders will be competed amongst the two awardees in accordance with the terms outlined in the solicitation and resulting contract.

 

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=198597e763352d8ff6a1c7a7a6b9246d&tab=core&_cview=1

Edited by Dawes
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The M16 is longer and slightly heavier. The M4 is the more comfortable firearm especially if your job isn't much about shooting it (and a bit more handy indoors).

 

The M16 has a 508 mm barrel, much longer than M4's 370 mm. The U.S.Army introduced a particularly high pressure cartridge that finally delivered good soft tissue terminal ballistics from a 370 mm barrel at useful ranges. Previous cartridges produced little primary cavities in soft tissue because the bullet only began to tumble late (or never against skinny opponents' torsos, or in extremities without bone contact) and with the M4's short barrel tended to not break up beyond 75 mm IIRC. The new bullet begins to tumble almost instantly.

Most M16 users did not introduce such a cartridge (and there are problems with it, especially weapon durability and scratching of internal parts by the bullet tip).

 

The M16A4 was already a tacticool Gucci firearm with rails everywhere, so that's not the important difference.

 

http://www.rkba.org/research/fackler/wrong.pdf

compare the graphics with this:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/12/16/incredible-high-speed-footage-armys-new-round-gel/

 

 

edit: Forgot to mention that the shorter barrel also helps reducing the front-heaviness of the firearm with underbarrel grenade launcher installed.

Edited by lastdingo
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From an "American Rifleman" article on the M855A1:

 

 

 

Barrier Penetration

This is where the M855A1 excels. Unlike the older bullet, the M855A1’s penetrator is exposed, with a sharper tip, and it weighs 19 grains, nearly twice the weight of the M855’s penetrator. And the new bullet is also pushed at a higher velocity.

Fired from the M4’s 14.5-inch barrel, the penetrator can pierce 3/8 inches hardened steel at 350 meters, “based on the range at which 50 percent of the rounds will pass through the barrier.” That’s more than twice as far as the earlier green-tipped cartridge’s bullet and that distance is extended even farther when it is fired from the M16A2’s 20-inch barrel. To test those claims, both were first fired into a hardened, 3/8-inch steel plate at 100 yards; the old M855’s penetrator did not penetrate, leaving only a silver crater. The new bronze-tipped penetrator punched completely through. Next, the green-tip and bronze-tip bullets were fired at 3/8-inch soft steel at 300 yards. Again, the new bullet punched cleanly through, while the green-tipped M855 merely left a surface smear.

According to the Army, the new bullet also penetrates concrete blocks at 90 yards when fired from an M16A2’s 20-inch barrel, and at 40 yards when fired from an M4’s shorter barrel. A single green-tip projectile could not breach a concrete block at any distance.

Because there were reported instances in Iraq of the older bullet failing to penetrate car doors or inflict serious wounds when fired into windshields, the new bullet was also tested according to FBI criteria against those prescribed barriers, including sheet steel and automobile glass. Not only did the M855A1 breach them, but it continued on into ballistic gelatin with sufficient weight and velocity to have inflicted serious or lethal wounds.

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NIJ level IV is supposed to keep out 5.56 mm munitions of all full calibre kinds and I have not yet seen any claims that M855A1 EPR does penetrate it at any distance.

 

M855A1 was reported to punch through some NIJ level III plates, which were meant to resist 5.56NATO FMJ (ball) and 7.62NATO FMJ (ball).

Both M855A1 and the previous green tips have a hard penetrator, but are not full armour-piercing designs. I still think that "ball" is a misnomer for them considering the penetrator.

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Yeah, what LD said about M16A4's longer barrel.

 

Using the older M855 ammunition, the M16A4 offers a muzzle velocity of 3150 feet/sec, while it leaves the M4's shorter barrel at only 2920 feet/sec. They lose velocity in flight per their ballistic coefficient, which means they drop below velocities critical for fragmentation at different distances.

 

This is Fackler's illustration of how the M193 fragments at different velocities:

 

Thus, the M16A4 will deliver the 2650 feet/sec level of fragmentation at 180 yards, while the M4 only delivers it out to 100 yards.

 

The M16A4 will deliver the 3107 feet/sec level of fragmentation at 15 yards, while the M4 never will, because it's already only 2920 feet/sec at the muzzle.

 

Maybe the people wanting to buy 215,000 M16A4 don't care about this at all, though. Maybe they're just replacing what they already have, or like how the longer barrels look on parade, or something.

Edited by TTK Ciar
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Maybe the people wanting to buy 215,000 M16A4 don't care about this at all, though. Maybe they're just replacing what they already have, or like how the longer barrels look on parade, or something.

 

Most probabaly this. just a regular replacement of old inventory. AFAIK a few units still get issued M16 rifles.

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M995 is the 5.56mm armour piercing round with a tungsten carbide penetrator. Compared with M855 and M855A1, its performance is very good. Expensive, though. Would like to compare M856 with M856A1, though.

Sounds like a DMR round.

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DMR and snipers often get some of the more exotic AP rounds that do not get issued to riflemen, grenadiers et cetera.

Those rounds are very expensive and limited stocks are available, so they are being given to those least expected to waste them.

7.62NATO SLAP was never general issue anywhere AFAIK, for example.

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It's not for sniping. It's for penetration. Think of it as turning a DMR into an AT rifle.

But you cannot hand it out to everyone.

Like I said, it depends on the user. The ones Ive worked with have it as a general issue (handed to everyone) if the threat requires it.

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It's not for sniping. It's for penetration. Think of it as turning a DMR into an AT rifle.

But you cannot hand it out to everyone.

Like I said, it depends on the user. The ones Ive worked with have it as a general issue (handed to everyone) if the threat requires it.

 

 

You wrote about M995, Chris and I wrote about SLAP (M948).

Edited by lastdingo
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