Captain’s Journal: Army Seeks Gun Industry Help On M4 Carbine


Herschel explains.

Now’s the time to upgrade your rifle parts as discussed.

Tempus fugit.

29 responses to “Captain’s Journal: Army Seeks Gun Industry Help On M4 Carbine

  1. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.

  2. pretty good chimpout, which even caused the White hive-dwellers some little inconvenience. Just a preliminary exercise though. Hoping for a long, hot summer…

  3. AR issues give me a headache. I’ll stick with simple reliable AK system to 300 yards thank you.

  4. I think Herschel Smith’s opinion of and explanation for the M16/M4 is right on the money. I consider it the finest squad level weapon ever produced.

    • He describes my rifle to a T, although I still use mil mags. 30+ years and no problems. Just clean ’em.

      Having said that there is one exception: If you have any Cooper mags, ditch them. The Army id’d problems with them many years ago and killed them with a safety of use message.

  5. You can get replacement springs anywhere, but who makes the best buffer spring?

  6. Nice little book from Mike Pannone on the AR platform to keep in your kit. The maintenance section starting pg 41 discusses upgrading the buffer, buffer spring, extractor O-ring, and gas rings. Key is regular PM. I’ve had it on good advice to replace them every 3,000 rounds if you have the time and supply chain to do it.

    • Detroit the True 3%

      With AK s you don’t need those “upgrades”.

      • D the T %….tell that to the Russians. According to, the Russian RATNIK soldier modernization program is “upgrading” their AK-74s to the AK-12 in 5.45x39mm and the AK-103-4 in 7.62x39mm.

        Maybe Vladimir should have checked with you first, eh ?

      • You just have to worry about your sole source of ammo being subjected to import bans and it’s not reloadable.

        A lot of AR ammo is imported now but there is still significant domestic production and its reloadable. I know the crown can fuck that up too but it’s a safer bet since components are everywhere.

        I used to be a serious ak guy but have switched focus over the past few years given the behavior of the crown and each paNic that resulted and the subsequent reaction by the throngs of little panic stricken girls who occupy the vast ranks of the world of gun owners.

        Also my colt has had zero upgrades internally since I took it out of the box and it has run flawlessly for over 2 years with minimal cleaning.

  7. There was a time (45 years ago) I was issued one of the older A1 triangular fore grip model M-16 rifles. Carried that for over a year, put thousands of rounds through it and never had a problem. Saw guys with problems and I don’t think I saw one case were the problem wasn’t self inflicted. Mine, according to the stamp on the barrel, was manufactured by General Motors Turbo-hydromatic division.

    I’ve got an S&W MP m4 now and it shoots like a million bucks. Eats all types of ammo I’ve tried, accurate way out there, and a joy to shoot.

    I think most of the criticisms come from people trying to sell a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist or they are still parroting the early criticisms from the 60s after the rifle went into service and there were fouling problems. Those problems were traced to the Army using the wrong powder that was determined to have a slower burn rate than called for. The slow burn rate meant that the powder was still burning as the bolt opened and as the gas hit the cooler air, it condensed onto the bolt carrier. Carbon type material would build up and cause fouling problems. I don’t know if it was ever determined that the decision to use the different powder was the result of stupidity or a deliberate attempt at sabotaging a design that was pushed on the Army from the outside. In any event, with a new powder, the problems all but disappeared but the complaints have gone on forever.

    • Digging through my mind’s archives, I think the problem with the powder was caused by the Army (it’s infinitely wise you know) specifying IMR stick powder (DuPont) which had been used for years in the Garand and the M14. Stoner had specified ball powder (Olin-Matheson) which had a very low residue upon firing, and a much less bright muzzle flash, too.

      Eventually, the ball powder was used for the ammo and that problem went away. In USAF basic training, we had the original non-forward assist rifles for qualification. They were cleaned after use in a total immersion, ultra-sonic tank, then lubed and put on the rack for the next group.

  8. Detroit the True 3%

    All you Jam-o – matic fans boys are great.

    • I don’t think AKs jam all that much, but they do some times.

        • One of the more frustrating malfunctions I have had with my trainer AK was getting a case wedged between the bolt assembly and the dust cover. Had to take off the whole dust cover to get the damned casing out.

          The cause was determined to be the Buffertech buffer I had installed along the recoil rod. I should have left well enough alone and kept the damn rifle as it was. Oh well, some lessons are better learned through direct experience.

    • I’ve owned enough Ak’s to tell you that they do jam and do malfunction. They’re not flawless as so many think.

  9. Colt LE6920 is one of my go-tos. I’ve kept it stock so far, but haven’t had the time to shoot it as much as I wish I could. Should I go the distance and replace the OEM parts with the Sprinco spring and an H2 buffer?

    I haven’t experienced any problems with the rifle as it stands, but I haven’t had a chance to run it real hard either.

    • Kurtz, leave it alone. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.

      • That’s what I was figuring. I’ll put the rifle through its paces and see if I get any noticeable hiccups.

      • I think most of the point is it hasn’t been under enough stress to know if it will break.
        Under stress.
        As others have discovered, thereby precipitating these sorts of discussions.
        Sounds like “an ounce of prevention” to me.
        Personally, I have replacements for things which typically break or wear out, but not the high end name brand items.

        • A complete Bolt Carrier Group isn’t that expensive. Consider keeping one of those handy.

    • I’d acquire the parts and have them as repair spares. Two sets in fact.

  10. Don’t forget the AR pistol, very handy to have in your vehicle when those special occasions demand a bit more than a handgun.

  11. AK, AR, ’14, AR-10, 1903A3….I really don’t care what platform someone next to me uses or how they set them up or how much they think their piece is the ‘ultimate choice’. That’s outside of my control or influence.

    I only care that A: He can hit what he’s aiming at to the practical maximum range of his chosen weapon, and B: He can clear any malfunctions as they occur and get back into the fight most ricky tick.

    All else is irrelevant.

    It is, however, prudent to learn your chosen piece inside out and make the best improvements possible, especially those for the AR that the original post points out. The cost is minimal; the ROI is maximum.

  12. Check out Sprinco for springs & o-rings. Also Spikes for the H2 buffer.

  13. This appears to be an excellent resource.