US Army Goes Rifle Hunting

Wednesday, 02 Feb 2011 01:21 PM

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The U.S. Army is looking for a few good carbines to replace one of its go-to shoulder weapons, the M4, the Wall Street Journal reports. Recent concerns about the M4's reliability in Afghanistan have spurred competition for a next-generation soldier’s rifle.

An infantry standard, the M4 debuted in the ‘90s as a companion to and a lighter-weight update of the M16 that dates to the ‘60s. Both rifles are made jointly by Colt Defense LLC and FN Manufacturing LLC, and are known as workhorses for thousands of U.S. troops worldwide.

But reports of M4s jamming and overheating in combat, and furthermore lacking the range for long-distance firefights, are prompting a review that will culminate in a March 30 “industry day” for small-arms manufacturers to show the Army new prototypes.

But upgrades to the M4 continue in the meantime, and any replacement rifle is at least two years away.

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