So says Kit Up! friend and veteran war correspondent C.J. Chivers in his latest post on the M4/M16 family of rifles.
In a thorougly researched and well-constructed post on the New York Times' At War blog, Chivers does some great journalism by deconstructing the argument of the M4/M16's reliability track record.
With detailed notes from conversations with over 100 Marines and Soldiers in combat, Chivers shows that most of the gripes about the M4 and M16's reliability cannot be substantiated by on-the-ground research. Marine Gunners, Army weapons maintainers and others Chivers spoke with come back with little data to support reliability problems -- make sure you hear this loud and clear: RELIABILITY problems.
He even asked Kit Up! to help provide specific information on Soldiers' gripes about the M4 and we had to admit they were not backed up by actual hard data on failures or fouling in a fight.
Chivers doesn't go into the caliber/stopping power debate just yet, but he will. Suffice it to say there's no evidence from the field that the M4 has problems jamming, failing or going tits up in battle when used within its design limits. That's not to say there haven't been magazine problems -- which the Army has tried to fix with a new magazine and the Corps seems to be optioning the ever-popular Magpul P-Mag.
Read Chivers' excellent piece and be sure to help him out with data if he's on the wrong track (but let us know too please!)...