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Air Force Ejection seat M4

  1. 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.


    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?
  2. 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. Agreed. Ammo compatibility is a consideration.
  4. 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. 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.
  6. 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. 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?
  8. 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. 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. I still think this was a good idea.


    My Bushmaster Arm Pistol in 5.56
  11. 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. 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. If you're stowing the suppressor separately, sure, you're right. Counter my other points and I'll think your idea is good.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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. In that case the weapon choice is irrelevant. Might as well be in a caliber they can't use.
  18. 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. Thanks for your service.
  20. 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.
  21. In what alternate universe would a .300 BO , low velocity pumpkin roller have better terminal ballistics than A 5/56??

  22. Mk262 does pretty good from a mk18.
  23. Um. You do realize the 300 BO outperforms 5.56 out of a short barrel right?

    That was kind of the whole drive for the 6.5, 6.8, 300 BO cartridges is they can do something the 5.56 doesn’t do well. Namely offer increased performance in short barrel packages. Especially if you shoot supersonics.

    It’s also quieter.
  24. I would have thought getting a small case that could hold both half’s of a MK-18 would have been much easier and cheaper than building an all new QD barrel gun.

    But it is the AF...
  25. Yeah lets mix some 300blk ammo in the supply chain that can chamber in 5.56 chambers and blow rifles up around a bunch of soldiers and airmen. That is a smart idea. LOL
  26. Yes, so you are already hunted, and they know roughly where you are... You need an immediate rescue. Not a debate between a borderline novelty load - which subsonic .300BLK arguably are due to their extremely limited practical and realistic uses - and one of the top 5 most common ammunition types on earth.

    That said, I do love my 10" .300BLK. I feed it Barnes 110gr TTx and shoot coyotes with it when I don't feel like using my 18" 5.56 rifle.
  27. If 7.62x39 is so similar, it should be no problem to develop subsonic ammo. I only suggested it because that caliber can be found all over the world (in the mags I suggested, too)
  28. Supers do.. .300 subs do not.
  29. Suppress a short version of this and you use ammo that is in the system.
    Or they could update this.:banana:
  30. If you compare subsonic to subsonic the 300 also delivers better performance as well as being quieter.....

    The only real comparison the 5.56 comes out on top is if you compare supersonic 5.56 to subsonic 300 BO.
  31. They might come down a long way from the seat but the survival kit will be secured to a line attached to the parachute harness.
  32. Being a downed airman is kind of a novelty situation too.

    And since 300 BO is in the arsenal of SF groups, while it may be a novelty, it is available to people who would need it. Just not for line use.
  33. They do know about building airplanes around guns.



  34. Well Republic did atleast.
  35. The survival kit is attached to the pilot. The survival kit is what they are calling the " storage compartment" they are a ton of crap in it. Radio beacon, radio, water, medical supplies, life raft ( depending on location), food and other stuff. Not sure where they are gonna find the room for this in the survival kit. I hated installing a new kit in the seat. They never fit. We used to put about 100lbs of weight on top of em for about 12 hours. We had a spare seat in the shop that we would test fit em in. The lid that closes over the kit was only held on by two 1/8" screws at the hinge and the latch was attached to the fiberglass lid with two 1/16" rivets. If the lid broke we had to pull the whole seat to swap it out. The survival kits had to be inspected/repacked every 6 months. Most of my experience is on the aces ii seat. A10, f15, f16 and f22. The t38 and u2 have similar set ups but on the u2 the kit is a bit bigger and has a hard case and the pilot sits directly on it. Can't remember much about the t38 tho.
  36. Republic or Fairchild ?

  37. Below 2500 FPS the 5.56 is basically equivalent to a solid (not a hollow point) .22 magnum.

    A subsonic 300 BLK is comparable to a .45 ACP (230g bullet traveling at 1000 FPS). Supersonic 300 BLK is comparable to a typical 30-30 or 7.62x39mm load at normal velocity.

    Standard military ball ammo (M193 and M855) both get their primary wounding potential from the fact that when they hit a target above 2700 FPS the bullet tends to come apart creating a cloud of lead fragment traveling through the target. Below 2700 FPS, this fragmentation becomes less likely, below 2500 FPS it basically doesn't happen. I am not making this up.


    This is for .223, but performance of 5.56x45 and .223 are pretty comparable at least from a velocity standpoint.


  38. Republic built the first two, Fairchild just copied em.
  39. My issued weapon was a S&W .38 special revolver with a two inch barrel. Come to think of it, we qualified every year with 4 inch specimens from the armory. Hmmm...
  40. This..right...here..

    No sense to have a different caliber than the rest of the troops
  41. Sure, but you're cherry-picking in attempts to win our debate.

    This fantasy about a pilot that's already ejected from their aircraft, remaining undetected while shooting at a bunch of enemies searching for them isn't even close to reality. The caliber their rifle is chambered in, is literally the least of their problems, in this scenario. And if they needed to use their rifle, things have already gone even more horribly wrong. /end

  42. Shhhhhh! Don’t tell all the guys on here that insist an 8”, 10” or 12” AR is the ultimate HD tool!


    As far as this idea... no because ammo compatibility... sort of...

    You are 100% correct that ammo compatibility is not an issue for this specific application in terms of the guy on the ground. No argument there at all. 300 Blk is the superior choice for that guy.

    But as the saying goes, “....Professionals talk logistics”. Adding another ammo type that has to be shipped and routed to the right specific units, etc adds significant complexity to the logistics operation. If there are just two types of small arms ammo 5.56, and 9mm that can go to any unit, logistics is much cheaper and easier.

    Special forces is a separate issue, but they are expensive to equip and maintain in the field for that reason. This is just an isolated application in a backup function, in limited numbers. It’s just not worth it to issue special equipment.

    The military doesn’t give everyone the best possible equipment, it gives everyone equipment that is adequate for the mission, provided by the lowest bidder.

    Not every application can get the kid glove handling of special forces. It would be completely unaffordable.

  43. How is it cherry picking to suggest a comparison of either supersonic to supersonic or sub to sub instead of your actually cherry picked comparison?

    If you get forced to ditch/eject/PL/EL you’ve already had a bad day.

    And, it’s worth noting there are quite a few examples of aircrews getting into running gunfights while trying to evade capture during VN. Which is part of why the Army elected to keep a rifle for each crew member in all of our rotary wing aircraft. It’s also why the AF is electing to include a rifle in the survival kit.

    It’s last choice to shoot, but sometimes you have to.

    Lastly, as a almost 20 year aircrewman who toted a crash bag for many a flight hour, and PL’d in Iraq, I can safely say I would have been very happy to have a suppressed option for my rifle, incase I had to use it. :cheers:
  44. A pilot isn't worth special treatment?

  45. It’s interesting that the SF helicopter guys went back to rifles from MP5’s. Almost like they knew something.
  46. it’s a backup system for an unlikely event that provides a minimal marginal benefit. If the pilot is getting into a lot of firefights, he’s screwed, period.

    No. Its not worth special treatment. You’ve got to think like an accountant.
  47. Well if it keeps that multimillion dollar investment alive through one firefight it’s probably worth it.

    and since the AF don’t seem to agree with you, perhaps that line of thinking is flawed.
  48. your thought process is flawed
  49. The military, whose job it is to think about these things, seems to agree with me.
  50. Yep...eject into a desert with 110-120 degree daytime temps and 24 ounces of water and your life expectancy is measured in hours--especially if you are hurt or need to move anywhere quickly during the day. I'd take more water over that stupid carbine any day of the week...