Colt may lose M4 contract. (Merged)

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Thread: Colt may lose M4 contract. (Merged)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Colt and the M4 in the News

    Interesting to see a major news outlet do a story about the M4.

    FOXNews.com - Report: 'Fat' Government Gun Contractor Is Criticized for Exclusive War Deal - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

    Looks like Colt's contract is up in 2009. I hope our nation's military looks into switching to a low-maintenance piston driven rifle, even if it is chambered in .22 super magnum. If the article is correct, it seems that Special Operations Command has seen a need for a carbine or rifle that is a bit more than "just good enough." They are switching to more reliable piston driven rifles.

    Does anyone here see a valid reason why the selection process should not be opened up to competition in 2009? I know the logistics of switching out M4's for something else would be staggering, and we certainly couldn't do it all at once in the middle of a conflict. But if SOCOM has good results with the piston rifles in the field, shouldn't our troops be armed with the best equipment available? They all use the same mags and ammo....how about a "phase-in" of the new weapons, if (when, IMHO) they beat the M4 in trials. (They already have once)
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

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    Member Array dvickery's Avatar
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    I think it would be a great idea if they opened up for competition. Personally, most of the Colts that I've used are garbage. The ones that weren't garbage were par at best.

    I've heard good things about the piston driven rifle but haven't had any personal experience.

    What ever happened to the H&K XM8?

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I'm all for fielding a better weapon if all we need to do is switch out uppers then it would be less expensive than buying complete weapons
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    BAC
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    Forty years later and people still can't get over the fact that the AR is more than "good enough". Incredible.

    The SCAR turned out to be overrated and have its own set of issues. The XM8 had even more (but the program turned out a great optics system, so it wasn't a complete loss). The Bushmaster ACR could be an option, but hasn't seen any kind of hard testing yet, much less head-to-head testing. The short-stroke piston AR still hasn't been shown to be that much better than the existing rotary bolt piston ARs, and everyone's commented on the 416 being notably heavier.

    Anyway, the article is focusing on the cost of the M4. I like Senator Coburn, but he is definitively wrong with his pricing. The military spends just under $1200 per M4 rifle, each rifle configured with a carry handle, adaptable rail system, and six magazines. Not a bad deal, I'd say.

    Despite the mixing up of facts, Coburn is definitely correct when he comments about Colt having been made rich off this deal because it is the exclusive provider of M4s. LMT has been supplementing them, just like FN has the manufacturing of M16s, and I suspect that the process can be easily expanded by shrinking the contracts and issuing the TDP to a small handful of companies all equipped to handle a contract and letting them compete. Any amateur economist can tell you what happens to the price of something when it's only controlled by one source...


    -B

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    "The Army, the carbine's heaviest user, is outfitting all its front-line combat units with M4s. The Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and special operations forces also carry M4s. So do U.S. law enforcement agencies and militaries in many NATO countries."

    So does anybody use the M-16?

    I remember we tried to develop a small(er) arm for non-combat soldiers.

    I can see the benefit of the carbine in urban environments. I've seen them used, lots, on video. Are the M-4s now "standard" issue instead of a specialty item as in the past?

    Who makes the M-16. FN... etc?

    Maybe they'll give the contract to Beretta...
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    Member Array dvickery's Avatar
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    I need to refine my earlier post... I'm all for competition as long as the competitors are among American companies. All this country needs is to out source more of our military equipment to another country... jeeze, haven't we out sourced enough of our jobs already?

    I heard that China might soon be making parts for our war ships. That's just great.. have the country that we might go to war with making our war ship parts.
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    Senior Member Array bobcat35's Avatar
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    outsourcing equipment that american lives depend on to foreign companies with foreign investers? an idea that makes the charge of the light brigade seem sensible. me i'll take a stoner 63 over a saw and an M60 over a M240 any day.
    its just good sense to have gear made by your countrymen when off in a distant lnd getting shot at. but then again when does anyone in DC use common sense?
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    I'll say this about the M16/AR platform:

    • It is the most versatile one out there, period. To see what designs are the most successful, look to the competition/combat circles. I dont see many AKs or HKs winning 3 gun matches, they are all ARs or a close variant. The design lends itself to combat very easily. Yes, the gas piston system adds necessary reliability in dusty sandy conditions, which is something that a company could easily design a field-capable retrofit for.
    • I live in an area which is basically sand with grass over it. I challenge anyone to show me a mechanical device that will function maintenance-free in a sandy environment; it is simply impossible. I live on a 2 acre lot, have been here for 16 years and have worn out 4 lawn tractor/mowers. Yes, thats right, 4. One of them was even the mighty Kubota (what a mistake that was) diesel model. The pure fact of the matter is that machines, all of them will require extra maintenance and attention in these environments.
    • As far as caliber is concerned, I will agree that the .223 is probably not the best choice for facing an opium-fueled Taliban terrorist. However, the cartridge works because I haven't heard a whole lot of stories about us being outgunned in straight up firefights lately. If I were to switch, I would check out the 6.8 SPC round.


    All of these concerns I listed here are very fixable and easily within the AR/M16 design platform to be had at minimum cost. If there is "an exclusive contract" with Colt, I would follow the money trail and find out who the politician was who helped things along. It was probably a senator or somebody local. And as far as Colt is concerned, they can be brought to heel pretty easily. There are plenty of M16/AR manufacturers in the United States like Rock River, S&W, DPMS to name a few. I think as a compromise, they can open up the competition to these vendors and let the best design win.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    I think as a compromise, they can open up the competition to these vendors and let the best design win.
    That's what I'm thinking!
    Competition keeps them honest,and we end up with the best product in our soldiers hands!

    You can find somewhere to cut the budget, I wouldn't start with the battle rifle.
    Keep the platform, Keep the 5.56 maybe 6.8 in some units, But make them earn it!
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

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  12. #11
    Member Array Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    Yeah, Colt may lose the contract in 2009 if it is underbid, but that would be the case regardless of this news account. It is part of the SOP for vendors.

    Note that there isn't any indication that another brand would perform any differently.

    I don't know why Coburn is whining about the money Colt is making. The RFBs was put out and Colt and others submitted bids and the bid was accepted. There is no reason to complain about Colt making money for a contract the US Gov. accepted from a bidding program. It was the government, not Colt, that set up the rules of the process. If Coburn is upset about Colt making money, then he needs to work with Congress on fixing the process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    "The Army, the carbine's heaviest user, is outfitting all its front-line combat units with M4s. The Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and special operations forces also carry M4s. So do U.S. law enforcement agencies and militaries in many NATO countries."

    So does anybody use the M-16?

    I remember we tried to develop a small(er) arm for non-combat soldiers.

    I can see the benefit of the carbine in urban environments. I've seen them used, lots, on video. Are the M-4s now "standard" issue instead of a specialty item as in the past?

    Who makes the M-16. FN... etc?

    Maybe they'll give the contract to Beretta...

    Little late to the party, sorry, took a little while to was all the field stink off. The Marine Corps still primarily issues the M16A4. In fact there are very few among the companies here, and we are line infantry platoons.

    It seems the majority of 16's these days are made by FN, in fact all 3 I've been issued so far have been FNs.

    Aside from that the logistics involved in a changeover are pretty staggering, then everyone has to be retrained. In short, the rest of this enlistment I'd put money on still having an M-16.
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  14. #13
    BAC
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    Colt's version of the TDP is, to be the of my knowledge, limited to the M4. FN Herstal has the TDP for the M16. After doing some reading, it sounds like it isn't (or isn't just) the contract ending that Colt has to worry about, but rather its "ownership" of the TDP. For those who don't know, that's what sets the standards for the equipment (in this case, M4 rifles) to be built to, and has been the primary reason that Colt is seen by most as "top tier".

    This will be an interesting development, but so help me if I see the XM8 project brought back...


    -B

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