Hello, its really good to be back. This new blog is dedicated to demystifying the Defense Forces and all things military. I would love to discuss the common weapons that are found in the ranks their specifications, and in my opinion, pros and cons. I would also love to answer any and all questions any one might have (God knows I have some of my own!). In recent months, we have seen evidence of a new rifle……carbine really. This is the pretty little M4. A direct descendant of the M16 and by extension AR15, this gun was first spotted in public with the elite G.S.U recce unit during a visit by a foreign dignitary. For those used to seeing the aging G3, AKMs and AK47s it was quite a pleasant surprise.( I guess we couldn’t humiliate our special ops boys in front of the secret service, could we?). The M4 is part of a large family of weapons sharing a common ancestor, the colt AR15.

M4- left view

After the AR15 came the M16 and its variants A1,2 and 3. The M4 has similar characteristics as the M16 the only difference being size and the fact that the M4 has a telescoping butt.
Main specs are:
Caliber: 5.56mm NATO standard round
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire: 700 – 950 rounds per minute
Overall length: 838 mm (stock extended); 757 mm (stock fully collapsed)
Barrel length: 370 mm
Weight: 2.52 kg without magazine; 3.0 kg with magazine loaded with 30 rounds
Maximum effective range: 360 m
In my opinion, the M4 is a sound rifle. Maybe it’s slug does not pack the punch of a 7.62mm like the G3, but it still does a lot of damage. It also has several good points, with additions such as specialized sights like the ACOG 4X telescopic, ACOG Reflex red-dot, laser pointers (visible and infra-red), detachable sound suppressor (silencer), M203 40mm grenade launcher (can I hear an Amen!),detachable front grip and tactical light.
The cons are that it is primarily designed for non desert/arid combat. In recent tests, against three other rifles, the M4 came last. It actually jammed 3.5 times more than the 2nd runners up. Therefore, in my view this weapon should only be issued to the paras, rangers, spec forces and M.Ps. Issue of such a rifle to front line units especially with the Kisimayu assault looming might be a little too much.