Lima 3/2 challenges the M4 in a range environment

26 Mar 2001 | Sgt. Arthur Stone

United States Marines and marksmanship - the two are synonymous the world-over to some, and the Corps is constantly testing new weaponry to ensure Marines are on the cutting edge of technology.Marines from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment took to the range recently to assess the M4 weapons system as a replacement for the M16A2. The weapons used by 3/2 were different from the M4 fielded by other units, according to Cpl. Kyle B. Leahy of Denver, police sergeant for the unit. "The difference with ours is there are modular systems all over the weapon, so we can add or remove gear and accessories," said Leahy.Overall, the Marines were impressed with the accuracy of the weapon, according to Staff Sgt. Richard L. Gammon of Bluefield, W.V., and 1st platoon commander. His Marines experimented with the M4 weapon system for three days in wet, cold, rainy conditions. They battle-sight zeroed the weapons first with iron sights, and then evaluated a plethora of possible sighting systems that may be implemented in the near future.A total of four different sighting systems, such as Leupold, Trijicon, EOTech and Hensoldt, were experimented with as viable optic systems for the M4 carbine. Reviews were mixed according to Gammon."The Hensoldt BZOed the fastest," said Leahy, "but the Leupold was more accurate once it got on target. The EOTech is definitely a MOUT-designed (military operations in urban terrain) sight. Once it's zeroed, it's dead-on as long as the red dot is on the target."Many of the Marines had positive comments about the weapon system, like Lance Cpl. Chris F. Gehosky of Johnstown, Pa., India Co., 3/2, who assisted his fellow Marines. Gehosky said he spent several weeks training with the M4."I like it," said Gehosky. "I think it is a good weapon. There is a lot more we can do with this weapon we can't do with the M16-A2, and we've had no breakages.""The weapons are shooting very well," said Gammon. "I haven't seen how it performs muddy and soaked, but most of the problems we have had is gear falling off. Once you shoot, you have to check to see that the sights are screwed on tight. I think once we (3/2) provide feedback, it will work out well. It's Marine-proof and pretty easy to use."The weapon came with many issued accessories, Gammon added. He said most of his Marines were not used to that, but they would grow accustomed to it with use and training."The Marines like it (the M4)," said Capt. John H. Douglas of Waynesville, N.C., Lima Co. commander. "It may not do everything we want it to do, but it's worth trying out. A lot of stuff we've tested won't be fielded, but it's a trial run for all the gear. There are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out, but that's what we're here for - to see what needs to be corrected."