Being a bit of gun nut, I know from historical records that EVERY time we have changed military weapons, people bitched about the new gun. Marines didn't like the M1 Garand when it was first issued, wanted to keep their bolt action rifles. The M1 Carbine was said to be so underpowered the bullets wouldn't go through winter clothes in Korea and didn't have the stopping power of the Garand (even though it was supposed to replace the issue sidearm, not rifle). The M14 was supposed to replace both the Garand and BAR. Turns out it was not controllable in full auto, so all it could replace was the Garand. Which it weighed almost as much. The M16's were issued without cleaning kits, with the wrong ammo, without chrome lined chambers and the troops weren't initially trained on the gun they were going to be using. Huge mistakes.
I'm equally sure the next issue rifle will be hated by the troops.
I have an AR-15 that is at least as reliable as a shooting friends M1A. Both need to be cleaned after a few thousand rounds. I have shot my AR in a variety of climates (snow, temperate, sand, tropical) and never had a real problem. Of course, it isn't full auto, either.
What I'm guessing from an engineering view, is that there are more rounds fired through a full auto M16 than a M14, no matter what the mission, because the M14 doesn't cycle as fast, will climb like a mother, and you can't carry as many rounds, so you don't spray as much. So you need to clean the M16 more often, because you shoot more rounds through it. The other issues are there is more gas available to cycle an M14, and it is a gas piston, so inherently cleaner.
But if you really want a rifle that will function without cleaning, get a SKS or AK47 pattern rifle. It is my understanding some can be made accurate, as well.
You want carbine length?
I prefer this one that fires a battlerifle caliber myself.:tumbleweed:
Looks like I'll be sticking with Colt. I've had better luck with it compared to any other brand and that includes the FN built M-16A2 I was issued in basic.
BTW- FWIW, I own a NM M1A and a Colt M-4 Sporter(6400c). The M-4 has had no jams and the M1A 2 both of which were due to operator error(previous owner in not screwing gas plug tight enough and me breaking an extractor firing off 440rds of Norinco steel case .308:tired: ).
Case in point. I attended a rifle course where two DEA agents were using their new RRA rifles, while everyone else was running Colt M-4's (not Ar-15's). The round count was about 2,500 rounds. Everyone used quality ammunition and good magazines. Guess which two people had issues with their rifles? The experience did not change my opinion of the M-4, but I did change my outlook a bit with regard to RRA.
Directly the oppostie of the experiances I have had and observed locally. Never had a problem with a RRA built rifle, with the exception of some cheap surplus ammo.(South African)
However, I cannot recall the last time I have seen a M1a or M-14 have a non-operator caused stoppage.
I have seen both AR's and M1A's fail. Anything mechanical is bound to sooner or later. I like my AR for the weight savings and ease of use.
If they were all that bad in battle now, we would be hearing alot more about it. With the internet and all the communication in the world , battle rifles failing enmass would be reported.
And as for new weapons failing, many have, look at the Springfield trapdoor rifles. There are no absolutes to what is the best , or what works without fail.