A recent article in the Washington Times and another in Soldier of Fortune Magazine call into question the quality of the military’s M4 carbine. The issues with the carbine have apparently been understood by the military for some time, but the articles claim not much has been done about it.
From the Washington Times:
Documents obtained by The Washington Times show the Pentagon was warned before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars that the iterations of the M4 carbine were flawed and might jam or fail, especially in the harsh desert conditions that both wars inflicted.
U.S. Special Operations Command in 2001 issued a damning private report that said the M4A1 was fundamentally flawed because the gun failed when called on to unleash rapid firing.
In 2002, an internal report from the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey said the M4A1 was prone to overheating and “catastrophic barrel failure,” according to a copy obtained by The Times.
From Solider of Fortune Magazine:
Could flaws in the M4 carbine have been corrected before American troops went into battle during the War on Terror? One retired general is claiming that the M4 is “virtually useless.”
In an article by the Washington Times, Robert Scales, a retired major general who received the Silver Star during the Vietnam War, slammed the carbine. “Frankly, this whole thing is scandalous,” he told the newspaper. “We send soldiers into close combat with lousy weapons and we’ve done it since World War II and nobody complains. It’s a national outrage.
“It has no penetrating power. It’s ineffective against vehicles, against bunkers. It’s ineffective against virtually anything except a man in the open. Put a flak jacket on the enemy and it’s virtually useless,” he went on to say.