Good day everyone, hope you all are well and enjoying the first few weeks of the new year. So today we’ll spend some time getting familiarized with the M4 carbine, the four weapons conditions, weapon safety rules, and the types of ammunition for the M4.
A Marine/civilian must know the condition of his/her weapon at all times. When taking charge of a weapon in any situation, you must determine its condition. A weapon’s readiness is described by one of four conditions.
Condition Four: Magazine inserted, bolt forward, no round in chamber, ejection port cover closed, weapon on safe.
Condition Three: Magazine inserted, bolt forward, no round in chamber, ejection port cover closed, weapon on safe.
Condition Two: Not applicable for the M16/M4 does not apply.
Condition One: Magazine inserted, round in the chamber, bolt forward, ejection port cover closed, weapon on safe.
SAFETY RULES: The following rules apply to all weapon systems at all times without exception.
SAFETY RULE 1 Treat every weapon as if it were loaded…
Don’t trust your memory or make any assumptions about a weapon’s safety status. Always confirm condition of your weapon. Never hand a weapon to anyone without clearing it. Clearing is a procedure for ensuring there is no ammunition in the weapon. Never move in front of a weapon held by someone else. Never engage in or tolerate horseplay with or around weapons.
SAFETY RULE 2 Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot…
Always be aware of muzzle direction and your surroundings. This ensures you will not unintentionally point your weapon at anything other than an intended target. If you do not know what is beyond your vision in any unprotected direction, do not point your weapon in that direction. Never allow the muzzle of your weapon to point at any part of your body.
SAFETY RULE 3 Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire…
Never be guilty of a negligent discharge. A common reaction to a sudden shock or loss of balance while handling a weapon is an unintentional tightening of the grip. If your finger is off the trigger, you will eliminate the potential for firing accidentally.
SAFETY RULE 4 Keep the weapon on safe until you intend to fire…
The SAFE position on the selector lever is a built-in feature that has only one function. That function is to prevent inadvertent firing of the rifle. When patrolling or walking it is possible for the trigger to be unintentionally depressed by objects (e.g., branches, wire, gear) encountered en route. Keeping the weapon on safe ensures the weapon will not fire if the trigger is accidentally engaged.
M193 Ball: This ammunition is a 5.56mm center fire cartridge with a 55-grain gilded metal jacket, lead alloy core bullet. The primer and case are waterproofed. The M193 ball ammunition has no identifying marks.
M855 Ball: This ammunition is the primary ammunition for the M16A2 rifle. Identified with green tips, its 5.56mm center fire cartridge has better penetration than the M193. It has a 62- grain gilded-metal jacket bullet. The rear two-thirds of the core of the projectile is lead alloy and the front one-third is a solid steel penetrator. The primer and case are waterproofed.
M196 and M856 Tracer: This ammunition has the same basic characteristics as ball ammunition. Identified by a bright red tip, its primary uses include observation firing, incendiary effect, and signaling. Tracer ammunition should be intermixed with ball ammunition in a ratio no greater than 1:1. The preferred ratio is one tracer to four balls (1:4) to prevent metal fouling in the bore.
M199 Dummy: This ammunition has six grooves along the side of the case. It contains no propellants or primer. The primer well is open to prevent damage to the firing pin. The dummy cartridge is used during dry fire and other training purposes.
M-4 Carbine Specs
Weight (W/ 26 rnd mag) 6.9 lbs
Length: 29.75′ w/ butt-stock closed 33′ w/ butt-stock open
Cyclic Rate: 800 rounds per minute
Semiautomatic: 45 RPM
Burst: 90 RPM
Sustained Rate Of Fire: 12-15 RPM
Individual Targets: 500 meters
Area Targets: 600 meters
Maximum Targets: 3600 meters
I hope this helped familiarize you guys a bit, always remember to abide by these safety rules and weapon conditions.
Isaac J. Hall II