This is from a fellow I know who is in small arms testing and acquisition for the US who has read the still classified after action report from Wanat: The M-4 has become the designated weapon of choice for the United States Army since combat operations have demanded a modular carbine in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Much of the focus and shift has been on the full functionality of the M-4 as a platform for added on items such as a thermal weapons sight, reflexive fire optics, laser designator and others. A study released this weekend by the Army Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, stated multiple failures of the M-4 during the firefight at Wanat, Afghanistan in which 9 soldiers were killed. The study which has not yet been publicly released cited battlefield after action reviews in which soldiers having fired more than a basic load on their individual M-4 were found searching for functioning M-4s of fellow fallen Platoon members. Those too apparently were not functioning. While soldiers in both theatres have spoken for and against the M-4 the study shows a grim side to the weapon in which it may or may have not been a factor in the deaths of some soldiers. The Army has entertained testing against a few other weapons including the M-4, HK416, SCAR and HK XM8. The testing in July of 2007 had an end result of the SCAR suffering 226 stoppages ranking second to the XM8 with 127 stoppages, but less compared to the M4 with 882 stoppages and the HK 416 with 233. Having personally fired the M-4 quitea a few times Iâve found the function and fit comfortable to my size and though I have suffered stoppages I canât speak for units Army wide. And while the M-4 when well cared for and maintained has proven itself in Iraq and Afghanistan only time will tell if we have the best weapon money can buyâ¦which is what it comes down toâ¦ Taxpayer dollars.