Several years ago the Army held a carbine test, and decided to stick with the M4 because NONE of the entrants competing with the M4 showed the massive increase in reliability that the Army was and is looking for in the next carbine. The M4 has increased in reliability 300% over its original acceptance baseline, and so asking for something double the current issue weapon in reliability only makes sense right? In that carbine trial H&K had two entries, the H&K416 and the XM8.
Nine years ago this was written: http://www.defensetech.org/2007/03/26/special-forces-say-no-to-m4-barrel/
US Special Forces battalion based in Okinawa announced that it is buying 84 barrels for the Heckler & Koch HK416 assault rifle.
Translation: the M4 barrel is so unreliable that special operations forces units need to swap it out with a barrel from a different gun — and one that actually works in real combat conditions. One solution is to simply swap out the barrel. But here’s another good answer: trash the M4s and just buy HK416s!
Because a forward deployed SF unit purchased some H&K parts, not even enough for the entire BN….
But contrast this to a full auto Las Vegas range experience from last year. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/09/08/ar-endurance-findings-at-a-rental-range/
– Some of our M4’s have well over 200,000 rounds down range. Barrels have been replaced, gas tubes have been replaced, BCG’s have been replaced but what sets it apart from the AK47’s is that upper and lower receivers continue to function.
– We no longer use ANY piston conversions or factory pistons guns with the exception of the HK-416 “knock-off” TDI upper. I purchased a FACTORY brand-new MR556 and it started keyholing after only 10,000 rounds. I was SO pissed because I spent all that money on the gun and it couldn’t last 10,000 rounds. I had barrels from before we even opened the range with 1,000’s of rounds on them from J&T Distributing (chrome-lined) that didn’t keyhole well into the 80,000-100,000 range. I don’t know who makes or made the J&T barrels but I was so pissed that actually wasted the money on a MR556 and that’s all I got from it. I purchased two of the 14.5″ TDI knock-offs approximately 6-8 weeks ago and they have been on the line daily with ZERO issues. I only purchased them because people will come in specifically request the “416” and even they’ve never handled a weapon their entire lives, they KNOW that the top half isn’t the “416 like in COD/MW”.
– The only piston system to last on the range so far is the HK416 and TD415 system. Every other systems we have tried has failed in one way or another.
So there you have it the H&K 416 is every bit as good as the AR platform. Notice I didn’t say “better” just “as good.” In terms of arming millions of personnel, swapping from widget A to widget B which costs more money, weighs more, and offers no increase in reliability isn’t a wise use of taxpayer dollars. After all, upgrading every rifle in the DOD inventory from M4 to something else might cost an F-35 or two.
The USMC did adopt the H&K 416 as the M27 IAR, and it is a designed to replace the SAW for missions where a true machine gun is not needed. It is praised for its accuracy and reliability and weighing in at a mere 9 pounds. But for 10,000 or so rifles spread across the entire USMC, that seems like the right move now that the USMC has also adopted the M4 as its primary issue rifle. https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/articles/20151128.aspx
So you can see why the SAW gunners love it. And you can see why the Army gave up on the H&K 416 by taking them away from the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) and moving everyone to the M4A1 standard. Heavier barrel, better trigger. It’s a win win. And the Army is looking to “continually improve” the M4 as time goes by in a “development spiral” of sorts.
Of course right now H&K needs a win, what with the Bundeswehr identifying the need to completely replace the G36 and the 416 is on the short list to be accepted. http://www.janes.com/article/54118/germany-to-replace-g36-service-rifle
As an interim solution for deployed forces, in late August the MoD ordered 600 G27P assault rifles, the Bundeswehr variant of HK’s HK417 (chambered in the larger NATO 7.62×51 mm calibre), as well as 600 MG4 light machine guns.
Suder concluded her briefing to parliament by noting the MoD would reserve all legal rights in the matter, repeating the implication the MoD could seek compensation from HK over the issues with the G36.
And since we started with a piece from 2007, we shall end with a piece from 2007.
H&K, because you suck, and we hate you. http://monsterhunternation.com/2007/10/09/hk-because-you-suck-and-we-hate-you/