This is some quite massive excerptimizing ( is that a word ?) Of a series of articles exactly where an Australian Army officer writes about comparing their service rifle( bullpup) to the M4 which absolutely everyone likes far better, even the Australian Army. I post it right here for discussion and interest for these who wonder what allies believe of their service rifle compared to ours. He provides a quite very good attempt at convincing his fellow Aussies that their service rifle is “just as good” but his causes are much less than convincing to any person who has basically applied an M4/Ar15. His reasoning and argument provides a quite very good chuckle. No offense to our esteemed readers and commenters from Down Unda who we adore.
The goal of this series of 5 articles is to offer a succinct and
accessible resource for members of the Australian Army engaging in
conversation about the relative merits of the EF88 and M4 in order to
strengthen the top quality of discussion on smaller arms. The technique of this
write-up is to outline the context of each rifles’ design and style improvement, to
dispel prevalent misconceptions in the region and to attempt to comprehend the
social phenomenon of some soldier’s preference for the M4 FOW more than the
F88 FOW. In carrying out this, various documents have been declassified or
collated and created publicly offered so as to assist to strengthen the
factual basis of discussion on the subject. In brief, all of the weapons
in discussion are quite very good and have a range of subtle strengths and
weaknesses that have a tendency to be overstated in basic discussion.
The Human Aspect Portion 1: The explanation these articles exist: Why there is a group of frequent soldiers who like the M4 and hate the F88
For far better or worse, there is a substantial and vocal minority of Australian Common Army soldiers and officers who fiercely advocate that the AUG is a horrible platform that should really be replaced as our service rifle with anything like the M4A1, yesterday. This is a complicated social phenomenon and consists of some folks who demonstrate a quite poor understanding of strengths and weaknesses of the different weapons and offer invalid or indiscernible justification for their view, as effectively as some who have a quite very good understanding and who have a tendency to legitimately quite very worth specific qualities in a weapon that the M4 possesses. This section will try to clarify the existence of the phenomenon and to validate the assertion in the preface that in a majority of use situations relevant to the Australian Army that M4 derived styles are not specifically far better than the EF88.
Completely valid causes the M4 is genuinely light, genuinely customisable and handles genuinely effectively. At the time attraction to the M4 started, the frequent Australian Army was engaged in predominantly low intensity counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and all components of the weapon program they employed had been practically identical to US forces and unique forces – a Trijicon TA31 sight, SS109 clone ammunition and the alternative of mounting an M203 grenade launcher – except the rifle itself, which weighed practically twice as a lot as some M4 primarily based rifles (the M4 in Australian service weighs as small as two.7kg unloaded and without having attachments). Soldiers in this period had been critically overloaded[i], and the higher weight of the rifle compounded this dilemma: loaded F88SA2 weighs pretty much precisely the exact same as the complete energy 7.62x51mm SLR that the F88 replaced, and even much more with attachments. The rifle was also not much more precise in practice than the higher-finish AR15s that had been starting to proliferate in military and civilian use. Even though the AUG had been substantially much more precise than the M16A2 through SARP, new AR15 styles had adopted totally free floated barrels that created these systems slightly much more precise than the F88 in theory, but these rifles had choices for the installation of far better triggers, adjustable stocks, bipods and adjustable foregrips that created them a lot much more handleable and precise in practice.[ii] In Afghanistan, engagement ranges and qualities tended to either be so brief that a brief barrelled M4 would be sufficient, or so extended that even a complete length barrel F88 was inadequate, with unusually small engagement in the intermediate distances for which assault rifles are intended[iii]. Soldiers carrying an F88 would also only be exposed to the enhanced stoppages (inherent to all smaller arms) in adverse, dusty and sandy circumstances for that rifle and would not necessarily be conscious of the (much more severe and much more frequent) stoppages of the exact same variety on M4 primarily based weapons. It appears specific to me that these absolutely reputable causes had been a significant element of the cultural capital that formed the foundation of the (ongoing) preference in some circles for the M4 more than the F88 FOW.
Completely invalid causes: absolute furphies. Obtaining acknowledged the reputable causes, it have to be pointed out that military personnel can be extremely adept at formulating causes to complain if no valid ones are apparent to them. Digging into the Centre for Army Lessons database yields a great spread of main sources from soldiers and officers on, or lately returned from, operations in the period that raise a range of criticisms of the F88 compared to the M4 that have no basis in reality. Soldiers have claimed the M4A1 is variously: much more strong[iv] (the opposite is accurate), much more precise (the opposite is accurate), much more trustworthy[vi] (the opposite is accurate) and a quarter the value of an F88[vii]. The final is an understandable guess primarily based on Wikipedia, some non-milspec M4 clone rates, and some terrible currency conversions, but it is largely incorrect. In reality we could acquire anything closer to 21 MILSPEC M4A1s for the value of 20 F88s of a provided variant (but we’d also have to invest several tens of millions of dollars retraining and replacing magazines, tooling and repair components, producing an M4 acquisition pretty much surely much more highly-priced general)[viii]. Furphies and rumours such as these have remained largely uncontested and have spread broadly all through the diggernet, popping up in Facebook memes, comments and ordinary discussion frequently.
The human aspect element two: SF Cast A Lengthy Shadow
The M4 is a super-rifle due to the fact SF use them and SF are super-soldiers. More than the exact same period valid causes to favor the M4 to the F88 FOW emerged, Australian Particular Forces obtained a mystique they had by no means ahead of enjoyed amongst frequent forces. In wars prior to Afghanistan, frequent Australian troops had been the main forces applied to seek out and destroy enemy combatants and positions[i][ii], and even logistics soldiers would conduct clearing patrols, standing patrols and ambushes as a matter of routine[iii]. In Afghanistan, for Australia, these functions had been pretty much exclusively fulfilled by Particular Forces[iv], and the gear, garments, weapons and habits of Particular Forces became trendy and desirable in frequent forces who largely lacked their personal sense of credibility, goal and achievement[vi]. The disparity of combat knowledge and instruction sources in between frequent and Particular Forces also manifested in instruction, exactly where unique forces had been observed as the undisputed authorities of all types of infantry techniques and shooting, with their procedures progressively but certainly becoming adopted by wider Army by means of the superb All Corps Urban Operations packages and the later Combat Shooting Continuum. The M4, along with other SF artefacts and concepts, as a result came to be symbols of status, authenticity and combat prowess, not totally undeservedly. The quite straightforward argument, that Particular Forces use it and so it have to be far better, is most likely the most prevalent argument applied even currently – but it is not a quite very good 1.
The causes that SF use the M4 are not specifically relevant to the debate. Australian SF have a tremendous ingrained dislike of the F88 loved ones of weapons that goes back all the way to teething difficulties SASR knowledgeable with the rifle in the early 1990s[vii]. Particular Forces are not so unique that they can not produce subjective cultural biases for and against issues like any ordinary group of people today may possibly, but there are quite very good causes why an M4 primarily based rifle tends to make sense for them in approaches that it does not for the frequent Army.
The use of STANAG compliant magazines and a prevalent manual of arms is potentially significant for organisations that integrate with M4 equipped coalition Particular Forces beneath the section level and who may well be deployed without having a substantial Australian logistics footprint. Access to the vast AR15 and M4 aftermarket market in the US is similarly compelling for organisations which obtain gear in smaller sized numbers for much more specialised tasks. The capability to rebuild rifles for much more specialised functions making use of interchangeable components currently in inventory or on the industry also presents potentially helpful possibilities to forces who operate smaller fleets of specialised gear[viii]. The forward placement of the magazine permits the inclusion of magazine release functionality, a effectively-placed bolt release catch, a conveniently placed fire selector switch and a tame case ejection pattern far from the shooter’s face when shooting off-hand. The weapon has the alternative for adjustable stocks and adjustable triggers for distinct roles and distinct protective/load carriage gear. These capabilities combine to generate a weapon program with a quite higher talent cap that will reward shooters who are going to practice handling it for hours each day and shoot thousands of rounds each month with far better sensible accuracy in a wider range of situations beneath stress and faster reloads whilst retaining far better situational awareness than several other styles.
These positive aspects are just not straight relevant to the frequent Army. Due to its scale, it is unlikely to ever be in a position exactly where it could accept the configuration management challenges that accessing the US aftermarket to customise rifles would bring, or even to want to give soldiers the capability to customise their firearms. It is unlikely to ever be effectively sufficient resourced to train frequent soldiers to anyplace close to the talent cap of either the EF88 or the M4 (which is an exceptionally resource intensive and very perishable talent[ix]) and even if it had been there would be far much more urgent approaches to invest these sources, whilst it is not at all clear that the larger talent cap translates to a larger talent floor. It will seldom integrate its soldiers with a coalition companion (or vice versa) to such a low level that a prevalent manual of arms and prevalent magazines would be significant, and it would be forced to deploy a logistics tail for a traditional deployment such that access to coalition repair components and magazines would be largely irrelevant. In other words, there are several causes that the M4 is a weapon exceptionally effectively suited to Australian unique forces, but these causes have a tendency to apply quite poorly to the Australian Common Army.
A single weird trick insurgents do not want you to know: the distinct concern of the difficulty of firing an F88 from the non-master side, a shooting approach inherited from Particular Forces, is brought up with remarkable frequency but is of unconvincing merit on balanced consideration. It remains unclear how helpful this approach is in practice for frequent forces (the Israeli Defence Force, who quite effectively operates in pretty much habitual urban warfare does not train in non-master hand firing and allegedly think about it an inefficient use of instruction sources to try to do so, whilst conversation with unique forces operators with various higher intensity tours typically reveals that they’ve by no means basically adopted a non-master side stance on operations). It also remains unclear just how impractical it is to do with a bullpup (components of the British Army train a approach for carrying out so with their L85, which even has a reciprocating bolt-deal with, by tilting the ejection port of the weapon downwards when firing from the non-master side[xi], and case deflectors are totally a viable alternative to largely negate the require for such a approach[xii]). The initial existence and spread of this objection appears to be a manifestation of the truth that our combat shooting practices are derived from our Particular Forces (which is a very good point, but comes with baggage that we require to retain in thoughts) who do not employ any bullpups in combat and so do not have any combat approaches certain to the use of bullpups. This tends to imply that additional frequent forces improvement and innovation may well be expected. The manner in which this concern is presented, as a warstopper and with its narrow scope and prospective options conspicuously omitted, provides the powerful impression of post-hoc reasoning primarily based on an current premise that we should really adopt the M4.
A Final Aside – Civilian Use. The AR15 is overwhelmingly the most well-liked modern day sporting rifle platform in the biggest shooting neighborhood in the globe (the USA) and there are a lot of quite very good causes for that which I largely will not go into. ( due to the fact it would defeat his whole argument) In discussing bullpups on the civilian industry in America, 1 of the queries usually brought up is why competitors shooters (“power users”) essentially by no means use bullpups. The answer appears particularly straightforward to me – the guidelines generate no very good explanation to use a barrel any longer than you require to, and that is essentially the complete explanation for the existence of bullpups. If absolutely everyone making use of a carbine length barrel got half the points for targets at 100-200m compared to these making use of complete length barrels, I strongly suspect that there would be a lot much more two and three gun competitors making use of bullpups regardless of the fixed lengths of pull, poorer triggers and slightly slower manuals of arms. So yeah, he just talks out his ass.
Solomon Birch is a RACT officer presently posted to the Road Transport Wing, Army College of Transport. Previous postings consist of 1 Sig Regt, 1 CSSB and 1 CER.
The views expressed in this write-up are these of the author and
do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the
Division of Defence or the Australian Government.
Clearly a smaller arms expurt