Air Force Ejection seat M4

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by Haldor, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    If this is a Jambog then sorry, but I am only referring to this as the beginning of a related discussion.

    The Air Force has created a break down version of the M4 that fits in the cargo section of an ejection seat.

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/amp30987343/gau-5a-assault-rifle/

    This is better than a pistol., but seems like a missed opportunity by the AF. 5.56x45mm sucks ballistically out of a 12" barrel and if every there was a need for a covert weapon it would be to equip a pilot down behind enemy lines.

    My first thought is this is a perfect application for 300 BLK. Start with the same exact carbine except with a 300 BLK chambered barrel. Add a supressor to complete the package.

    This weapon with have more effective terminal ballistics plus it could be used without alerting everone within a mile of you.

    Ammo incompatibility is irrelevant for this special purpose application in my opinion.

    Comments anyone? This seems to be an obviously superior solution that would be easy to do for this particular application. Am I missing something?
     
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  2. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

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    well if the extraction team comes under fire and he is another gun Ammo compatibility may allow him to protect someone a bit longer.
     

  3. rock_castle

    rock_castle All Lives Matter

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    Agreed. Ammo compatibility is a consideration.
     
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  4. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    Possible, they do supply four 30 round mags with it. In semi-auto that is a lot of shooting. If you use more than a mag you are probably doing the evade part wrong.
     
  5. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Just thinking out loud, give it an AK47 magwell, chamber in 7.62x39, give them subsonic ammo. At least they could use the ammo of our enemies, if necessary, even if it won’t benefit as much from the suppressor.
     
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  6. ThomasM4

    ThomasM4

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    Not going to comment on the 300 blk out part right now.
    Looking at the size of the pack that it's being put in couldn't they have just used a mk18 with it simply taken down instead of putting a $$$ qd barrel attachment? Because it sure does look like one would fit.
     
  7. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    Why did they use to equip pilots with .38 caliber revolvers if ammo compatibility was really a thing.

    So you would rather have the equivalent of a 22 mag pistol that you can't shoot for fear of giving away your presense over the equivalent of a 30 carbine that is quiet?
     
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  8. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    7.62 x 39 subsonic is virtually identical to 300 BLK.

    Why not use commercially available ammo. I see subsonic 300 BLK at my local gun shop. I have never seen subsonic 7.62x39mm.
     
  9. GP4L

    GP4L

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    In an aircraft, weight is a top priority. 300BLK is not only less-common (which IS relevant) than 5.56 NATO, it's also heavier. Sounds like semantics, but it's not. Also space constraints - a suppressed 9" 300blk is significantly longer than what they're fielding.

    If you're a military pilot, and eject behind enemy lines, the nuances of ballistic performance and sound suppression are the least of your problems, literally.

    And fwiw: 10.3" 5.56 barrels have been dropping bad guys in combat for quite some time.
     
  10. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    I still think this was a good idea.


    arm.jpg


    My Bushmaster Arm Pistol in 5.56
     
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  11. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    Please explain. A 10" 300 BLK upper combined with a screw on suppressor is longer than a 12" 5.56 upper?

    Length only matters in the stowed position.
     
  12. rock_castle

    rock_castle All Lives Matter

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    A 12" barrel has fine ballistics with .223/5.56, and they probably could have gone even shorter. Anyway, its a great gun and a huge upgrade over a handgun.
     
  13. GP4L

    GP4L

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    If you're stowing the suppressor separately, sure, you're right. Counter my other points and I'll think your idea is good.
     
  14. jayglocker

    jayglocker

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    The Air Force has created a break down version of the M4 that fits in the cargo section of an ejection seat.
    Seat-man separation occur a few second after the drogue
    chute deploy. The aircrew don't land still strapped on the seat. After separation, the seat could be miles away.

    Length only matters in the stowed position.
     
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  15. TNG26

    TNG26

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    As others have said ammo compatibility is huge, and also the ballistics of 5.56 out of a 12.5” barrel is just fine. 10.3” MK18s work well with proper ammunition and IMHO if I could only pick one AR a 12.5” would most likely be my go to. They are balanced great and are good for CQB to medium distance and don’t seem to have dwell issues etc.

    But don’t get me wrong there are always better options, I’m sure this was the cheapest/easiest.
     
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  16. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    I think the most important aspect is the covert one. If you are being hunted then firing an unsuppresed, short barrelled 5.56x45 rifle would be a problem. They are likely to notice that a plane has gone down over their territory, so there will be troops out looking for you.

    The sound carries for over a mile and is very distinctive from 7.62x39.
     
  17. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    In that case the weapon choice is irrelevant. Might as well be in a caliber they can't use.
     
  18. AF-Odin

    AF-Odin

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    Having quite a few hours sitting in an ejection seat with a S&W .38 in a shoulder holster, think I can comment. As for commonality of ammo, going back as far as WW-II most aviators and aircrew were issued various forms of .38s. Up until the early 90s, most USAF aircrew, missile crew, rescue, and security personnel were still issued .38s. In fact, deploying to Desert Shield/Storm Dec 90 through Spring 91 and back again for Provide Comfort Spring/Summer of 91, was still issued a S&W Model 15 in .38 (units I was in finally switched to Beretta M-9 circa 1993). Would have loved the idea of having a carbine in the seat kit, but there was only so much room. Having commonality of carbine ammo with USAF Pararescue or Army/Navy Special Ops guys who would come to pick me up is a big plus. Rather than worrying about only having a .38 with 18 rounds, my greatest fear was not having enough WATER. Think we had two cans (about 12 oz each) in the seat kit. I always carried at least 2 plastic baby bottles of water in my flight suit leg pocket.
     
  19. rock_castle

    rock_castle All Lives Matter

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    Thanks for your service.
     
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  20. Haldor

    Haldor Formerly retired EE.

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    You may have experience with very short rifles like that, I do not. The shortest I have ever fired had a 14.5" barrel and the flash and blast were a lot worse than from my 20" AR so I had no desire to go shorter.

    With military ball ammo, velocity is critical for wounding effectiveness. At least with M193 and M855 ball ammo, fragmentation is the most effective wounding mechanism. A 14.5" barrel reduces the range over which fragmentation effects can be counted on to about 1/3rd of what a 20" barrel provides. I have no idea what a 10.5" barrel length would do to this. The muzzle velocity could be below the minimum velocity required for framentation to take place at all which is where my .22 Mag pistol reference comes from.

    I know that there are heavier bullet weight loads that don't depend on fragmentation for effectiveness. Are these loads standard military issue? Or are the troops still being issued M193 and M855.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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