Word at the rumor mill has been that the Army is putting suppressors on all M4. Some were excited with the news. Some were upset at the extra cleaning these require. Others questioned whether such an investment suggested the service isn’t serious about buying a new carbine.
As it turns out, the mill was churning in vain. Col. Doug Tamilio, project manager for soldier weapons, tells Army Times the service is not buying suppressors for all M4s. Such talk was likely drawn from a Navy Crane Center solicitation or from 10,000 flash hiders purchased by Rapid Equipping Force for use in Afghanistan.
However, the Army is working on a lighter machine gun barrel that does not need to be changed as often. Engineers at the ARDEC Weapons System Technology Directorate are testing high performance alloys to replace steel barrels that lose strength properties as heat increases, according to this story. That should be good news for anyone who has changed a barrel in the middle of a firefight. But here’s the icing on the cake: The alloy used is more than 50 percent cobalt, and is resistant to erosion and corrosion.