A reader sent me this link about reliability problems with the M4 carbine:
Experts said the weapon has a light modular design and the military considers it a great weapon.
However, in March 2002, Natik, the Army’s main laboratory for developing weapons, found 15 percent of U.S. troops surveyed reported the M-4 jammed.
Also, 20 percent reported double feeding — which is when two rounds of ammunition go in at the same time and cause a jam, the report said.
Though this is not new, the television station is pulling out all the stops to turn this into a full-blown investigative report. Check out the video on the Local6.com site.
Regarding the percentage of troops who told of problems in the survey, those numbers don’t mean anything without knowing exactly what they mean. 15% of the troops say that the M4 jams? Ever? Or that it jams 15% of the time every time they try to fire it?
That’s a big difference.
That being said, the M16/M4 gas system that vents directly into the action just doesn’t seem to be terribly smart. A number of newer weapons with piston systems are available, and it would be nice to see them get some consideration.
However, even if the reliability issues are resolved to everyones satisfaction, next up will be complaints about the 5.56 ammunition (particularly when fired from the M4’s shorter barrel).
It seems unlikely, but does anyone out there have any opinions on these issues?