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HK--416 to replace M-16/M-4 in Army?

This is a discussion on HK--416 to replace M-16/M-4 in Army? within the M16 AR15 forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; There seems to be a movement toward the HK-416 service wide. The marines have already replaced the M-4 with the HK-416 as their M-27 Infantry ...


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Old May 19th, 2017, 05:25 AM   #1
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HK--416 to replace M-16/M-4 in Army?

There seems to be a movement toward the HK-416 service wide. The marines have already replaced the M-4 with the HK-416 as their M-27 Infantry automatic Rifle.

Now I read that there is a movement within the Army to do the same. They canceled a competition for a new rifle in 2013, but they still want something new. They also seem to want t drop the 5.56, looking instead at the 6.5 Gremdle or the 6,8 SPR. . . .but no mention of either the .300 Blackout or the .458 SOCOM.

OK so setting all that aside for a moment: Assuming that at some point, all the M-16/M-4 rifles will be replaced in the next 10 years or so . . .what will happen to all those gun parts? Will any of the uppers become available through the CMP? Can the lowers be sold to civilians if the trigger group is stripped out?

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Old May 19th, 2017, 05:48 AM   #2
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Will any of the uppers become available through the CMP? Can the lowers be sold to civilians if the trigger group is stripped out?
1. Doubtful. Those rifles will go into war reserve, like all of the M16A2s are now.
2. The rifles will most likely be destroyed once they are no longer required for war reserve. Even if they were parted out, the lowers, stripped or otherwise, would not be sold off - once a machinegun, always a machinegun, per the ATF. Removing the internal parts has absolutely no influence upon that.

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Old May 19th, 2017, 06:04 AM   #3
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As stated above, the M27 IAR is based on the H&K 416 design. The Marines like the M27 IAR very much Among other characteristics, it has improved accuracy over a standard M4 and that is very important in a service rifle. The Marines are even planning on equipping an entire battalion with M27's in place of M4's. The problem with doing that service wide is cost. The M27 is pricey and it comes from a single source so there is little hope of any significant cost reductions. There is also the issue of poor bolt durability with the M27. Simply put, it is overgassed and the bolt takes a beating. It is also true that the Army is constantly searching for a "new" rifle. However, we see how well that sort of initiative has panned out in the past. It's sort of like a guy who is always talking about buying a new car but is still riding around in his old car years later. If folks want most of the advantages of the M27 at a lower cost, they can upgrade M4's with stainless steel match grade barrels, free floating handguards and an improved trigger.

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Old May 19th, 2017, 06:17 AM   #4
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Rickgman: Thanks for that concise summery.

I hadn't heard about the bolt durability issue. The M-4 upgrades you mentioned were looked at and not adopted by the Army as too expensive last year I think. Ihave read that another feature everyone is looking at from the 416 is the piston-driven cool chamber/clean bolt face.

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Old May 19th, 2017, 07:49 AM   #5
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The M-4 upgrades you mentioned were looked at and not adopted by the Army as too expensive last year I think. Ihave read that another feature everyone is looking at from the 416 is the piston-driven cool chamber/clean bolt face.
Yep, most of these upgrades were dismissed as being a poor value. In light of that mindset, a new rifle is definitely not likely. At one time, gas piston designs were supposedly the answer to all known issues with the M16/M4 weapons. That really hasn't proven to be the case. Granted, gas piston weapons experience lower bolt temps. However, a properly lubricated M16 or M4 really doesn't have issues. An under lubricated direct impingement weapon will most certainly have issues but that's easy to cure - add lube. Some of the commercial ranges that rent firearms report that they don't even routinely clean their AR type firearms until literally thousands of rounds are fired. They simply lube them often. I was taught to liberally lube the BCG on M16's and that practice is still the way to go today.

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Old May 19th, 2017, 08:11 AM   #6
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Well there is now a large scale experiment in progress with the Marines fielding battalion size units equipped with the M-27.

At some point all the differences will become evident and we can all talk about just how significant they are . . .at thousands of dollars each.

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Old May 19th, 2017, 03:41 PM   #7
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Old May 19th, 2017, 06:12 PM   #8
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Logistics say they will swap a brown pony for a spotted one.

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Old May 19th, 2017, 06:47 PM   #9
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Cost is always a factor for whatever the military acquires or attempts to acquire, but weapon cost versus soldier, marine, sailor, individual lives should be way down on the list of important factors. Surely there is some room in the gigantic budget to find funds to provide whatever is the best weapon available. Studies of how shrimp run on a treadmill experiments do not save military members lives or similar studies on the habitat of the spotted owl. Don't tell any of those shiny brass laden folks at the Pentagon, but I bet that if the individual combat serviceman had the option of donating 5% of his annual wages toward the purchase of a superior weapon system there would be little if any hesitation to do so, easy decision, but it should not come to that. With all of our economic woes we are still the richest Nation on the planet and the war we are engaged in today has no realistic time frame for duration, generational war is what some call it and get on with it, but give our war fighters the tools to do the job, not a hard decision to make.


Last edited by Instructor; May 19th, 2017 at 06:48 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old May 19th, 2017, 07:14 PM   #10
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Cost is always a factor for whatever the military acquires or attempts to acquire, but weapon cost versus soldier, marine, sailor, individual lives should be way down on the list of important factors. Surely there is some room in the gigantic budget to find funds to provide whatever is the best weapon available. Studies of how shrimp run on a treadmill experiments do not save military members lives or similar studies on the habitat of the spotted owl. Don't tell any of those shiny brass laden folks at the Pentagon, but I bet that if the individual combat serviceman had the option of donating 5% of his annual wages toward the purchase of a superior weapon system there would be little if any hesitation to do so, easy decision, but it should not come to that. With all of our economic woes we are still the richest Nation on the planet and the war we are engaged in today has no realistic time frame for duration, generational war is what some call it and get on with it, but give our war fighters the tools to do the job, not a hard decision to make.
We are the nation with the largest GDP but we are also the nation with the largest external debt. Given that situation, I'm not convinced that we are the richest nation. Our external debt as a function of GDP is 97% while China's is 13%.

Those economic facts aside, I do agree that we should spend more on small arms and small arms ammo. I do not feel that there is such a thing as "the best weapon". To pursue that goal is counterproductive. However, we can do better for relatively small overall expenditures as I noted earlier.

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