Joined: 13 Apr 2007 Posts: 2017
Location: Washington DC
Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 6:09 pm Post subject:
Definitely sounds like somoene in Colt knows someone in the Office of Procurement.
Here is an article from Defense Industry Daily
The US Army has run into controversy over its plan to replace its existing rifles with M4 carbines, without competition, and despite recent test results that show significant improvements from other 5.56mm weapons and even an M4 variant in use by US special forces. The US Marines and Navy have been known to use M4s, but it is not their primary battle rifle. The M16A3 is a fully automatic version of the M16A2, and is used by the US Navy. The M16A4 is the standard rifle of the US Marine Corps. Its biggest innovation is replacement of the M-16 family's the well known carrying handle/sight with the MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail that lets troops mount and remove a carrying handle, sights, and other useful attachments without specialized tools. Other MIL-STD-1913 rails can be found on the front grips et. al. of the A3s and A4s, where they mount useful items like flashlights, laser pointers, grip pods, et. al.
Unlike the M4 Carbine, which is procured as a sole-source item proprietary to Colt, M-16 production is competed. Contracts are issued based on bid prices from qualifying vendors, with better pricing resulting in proportionately more contracts. This kind of competition may also be part of the reason that the longer, heavier replacement barrels for the M16 cost $100, while spare M4 carbine barrels cost $240.
Colt is ripping them off. Civilians pay less for retail barrels for AR-15's.
However the "Improvements in 5.56mm weapons systems is just fluff. There has been none in reality, there are some out there that are better than the M4, but do not warrant an entire replacement of it. The M4 and M16 could be upgraded to Gas Piston Systems easily. The main problem with 5.56 weapons is that they are 5.56 weapons, the military has been bellyaching because it is not an effective man stopper.
Joined: 27 Mar 2007 Posts: 988
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:28 pm Post subject:
Heres where the conspiracy comes in, the M4 is a trademark Colt product, which means that it cannot be produced by any other manufacture.
Your argument is compelling, except for the fact that it is not factually accurate. On December 8th, 2005, Colt LOST a lawsuit regarding their claimed trademark on the M4 designation and design. A District court judge in Maine granted a summary judgment in favor of Bushmaster Firearms (whom Colt had sued), dismissing all of Colt's claims except for false advertising. On the latter claim, Colt could not recover monetary damages. More importantly, the court ruled that "M4" was now a generic name, and that Colt's trademark should be revoked.
That written, there does seem to be a compelling--and growing--argument against the M4, due to its apparent intolerance to even moderate exposure to dirt and sand. My guess is that it will be replaced, possibly by the HK416, but not soon enough to help our men in the ME.