Zipline Conservative

October 11, 2009

U.S. Troops Need The Best Firearms (US Spec. Ops. Don’t Carry the M4 Carbine?)

I may not understand the scale of costs and the reality of the problem. However, if I do the math, it appears that even if we had an enormous number of troops in action, the cost to provide each and every soldier the most efficient firearms is a reasonable cost. It is all by scale isn’t it? A billion $$$ for a highway project, light rail project, insurance company bailout…. The soldier deserves the best weapons possible from anywhere in the world to defend and assault. What % of failure is acceptable if your son or nephew or neighbor is hunkered down or running across a village carrying 50-100 pounds of gear in stifling heat or morning cold? What is the reliability factor of a M4 Carbine v. an AK47 v. a Euro weapon? I don’t know the answers. But, the questions appear to have been around for several years and with mass casualties, being outgunned is unacceptable. Knowing the government…training, support, resources, planning at the ground level are not always adequate. Once deaths arise from such foolishness…to use a Muslim phrase….heads should roll…so to speak.

“In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips’ M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn’t work either.”

M4 Carbine

M4 Carbine

M4 Carbine Specs

“And the relationship between the Army and Colt has been frosty at times. Concerned over the steadily rising cost of the M4, the Army forced Colt to lower its prices two years ago by threatening to buy rifles from another supplier. Prior to the warning, Colt “had not demonstrated any incentive to consider a price reduction,” then-Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, an Army acquisition official, wrote in a November 2006 report.

Coburn is the M4’s harshest and most vocal critic. But his concern is shared by others, who point to the “SCAR,” made by Belgian armorer FN Herstal, and the HK416, produced by Germany’s Heckler & Koch, as possible contenders. Both weapons cost about the same as the M4, their manufacturers say.

The SCAR is being purchased by U.S. special operations forces, who have their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can’t.”

Irag Perspective/Weapons Lowdown



  1. Just letting you know that the cost of an m4 semi-auto only is around $1000-$1200 while an FN SCAR is closer to the $2600-$3000 range…huge difference when you need around 1 million

    Comment by John Parish — February 4, 2010 @ 10:16 PM | Reply

    • Understood John…and the way we now currently throw around trillions and still have hundreds of billions sitting in a political slush fund called Tarp… those weapons are immediately purchasable..even if production would lag. No troop should step foot out of this country without the best….from boots to weaponry. I am sure you agree what’s another billion?

      Comment by SwittersB — February 5, 2010 @ 6:55 AM | Reply

      • suck a dick and die bitch

        Comment by your mom — July 30, 2010 @ 4:57 PM

      • Perhaps were confused re which blog you are commenting on? Maybe you should be over on HuffPo or Joy Bejar?

        Comment by SwittersB — July 30, 2010 @ 6:11 PM

  2. Outgunned…hardly.

    I am a veteran of Iraq, and have first hand knowledge of the efficiancy and superiority of the M4. I understand that looking at the specs, it is easy to judge the M4 as a mediocre weapon, but nothing could be further from the truth. For starters, the M4 is battle proven, I had my M4 for over a year, and it only jammed once after 3 full days of target shooting with no cleaning. The notion that the Special Forces no longer use the M4 is a falicy. If the SF uses another weapon, it is because it is required for the successful completion of a mission. For instance, if a SF unit was moving on a target in a hostile area (no not every area is hostile) they would use AK-47’s in lue of M4’s, because the discharge of an AK-47 would not be unusual in that area. Further more the 5.56mm NATO round and the M4 magazine is interchangable with most European Union weapons, including the British L85, the Belgain FN2000, and the TAV-21. Outgunned…no, in addition to the M4, every squad has at least one M249, the 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), the M240-the 7.62mm crew served weapon, derived from the M60, and the .50 cal Mod 2. Bewteen those weapons and the M203 and Mk 19 grenade launchers, or the LAW, our troops are more then capable of mixing it up with just about anyone.

    I understand the need for good equipment, we could not do our job without the best equipment available. But to blame the loss of life on our weapons is foolishness, there is more to the battle than arms. The M4 will eventually go the way of the all weapons, but it will go out like the F-15, unbeaten, untied and unmatched.

    Well theres my 2cents.

    Comment by Substructio Verum — February 11, 2010 @ 9:49 PM | Reply

    • Well SV…always the most important 2 cents for sure. Thank you.

      Comment by SwittersB — February 12, 2010 @ 6:41 AM | Reply

    • Well said!!!

      Comment by James — April 1, 2010 @ 9:56 AM | Reply

  3. M4 is a hitech and most efficient.if it goes in wrong hand like talibans than ………so b careful.

    Comment by Rupesh — June 18, 2010 @ 8:37 PM | Reply

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