Mike Pannone: Making an M4 Run like a Gazelle

This article has been around for years, but it’s still worth reading. Mike Pannone is a fellow 18B and someone with nearly immeasurable M4 experience. He was an instructor for, and one of the designers of, AWG’s combat shooting school, which prepared a lot of guys for successful combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. A friend who was the SJA at AWG raved about that course. Mike is pretty well known in the shooting and training community.

Worked for us.

Worked for us.

Mike has very extensive comments on the M4 at Defense Review, which stem initially from a discussion of fouling. We’ll just quote his conclusions from this piece below, and also recommend his article on reliability issues, and his follow-up on diagnosing the root cause. Conclusions from what we suppose you could call the “fouling piece“:

Fouling in the M4 is not the problem. The problem is weak springs (buffer and extractor), as well as light buffer weights (H vs. H2 or H3). With the abovementioned drop-in parts, the M4 is as reliable as any weapon I have ever fired, and I have fired probably every military-issue assault rifle fielded worldwide in the last 60 years as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant (18B). An additional benefit of the heavier spring/weight combo is that it transmits the energy impulse of the firing cycle to the shoulder over a longer duration, lowering the amount of foot pounds per second and dramatically reducing the perceived recoil. Follow-on shots are easier to make effectively, and much faster, especially at 50 meters and beyond.

I reliably fired 2400 rounds (80 magazines) on a bone dry gun, and I would bet that is a lot more than any soldier or other armed professional will ever come close to firing without any lubrication whatsoever. So, disregard the fouling myth and install a better buffer spring, H2 buffer, enhanced extractor spring and a Crane O-ring (all end user drop-in parts). With normal (read “not excessive”) lubrication and maintenance, properly-built AR-15/M4 type rifles with carbine gas systems will astound you with their reliability and shootability.

via The Big M4 Myth: ‘Fouling caused by the direct impingement gas system makes the M4/M4A1 Carbine unreliable.

There is a great deal more to the article than that; we just gave you a little bit. (For example, if you read the whole thing, he provides the sources for the upgraded parts he uses).

Mike’s articles are collected at the CTT Solutions website, although the articles link back to DR.

6 thoughts on “Mike Pannone: Making an M4 Run like a Gazelle

  1. Pingback: WeaponsMan: Making An M4 Run Like A Gazelle | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. Chris Wardell

    I don’t usually “read the whole thing”, but in this case it was definitely worth it! Highly recommended.

    Great job digging that up Hognose!

  3. Pingback: Making an M4 Run like a Gazelle | LibertasIntel

  4. MtTopPatriot

    Man your on a tear WM, posting some really great pieces. Really appreciate you for it. One can never get enough good stuff to read.

    Funny how the truth seems to stand out above the fray. Not for the first time I’ve heard or read from people who have been there say the same essential things about the AR rifle. There is a definite element of validity just in that alone. And if you think about it, serious operators as a whole never seem to have anything negative to say about the system which detracts from its overall value and function as an excellent weapon.
    That is saying a lot right there alone.

  5. Lt. Dan

    Do the same recommendations apply for a mid length or rifle length gas system? Or would an H2 or H3 slow them down too much and cause reliability issues?

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