Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: The M-4 carbine is the Army's primary individual combat weapon for infantry units. The M-4 uses a direct gas impingement system that blows carbon from the fired cartridge back into the weapon's receiver, which can lead to weapon malfunctions. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is replacing its M-4s with the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR), a modular weapon with a short-stroke piston system that eliminates carbon blow back, which theoretically improves reliability. Some have questioned why the Army has not adopted the SCAR or another similarly designed weapon. A series of studies and tests of the M-4 and potential competitors have added to this debate, and the Army has taken steps to begin evaluating other weapons to replace the M-4.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department