A U.S. Marine fires an M16A4 rifle.
The M16A4. This rifle is used by the Army as a designated marksman rifle (DMR) and as a general issue rifle by the Marines. It really represents an M16A2 type rifle with M4 Carbine modularity. This is a logical move for both the Army and Marines. Infantry squads need a sniper or advanced marksman capability. This was proven during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the excellence of the M4 Carbine as an assault rifle is not diminished by the adoption of DMRs.
At combat ranges up to 300 meters, and even at longer ranges, the M4 Carbine out performs every other assault rifle including the legendary AK-47 type rifles. The M4 is far more controllable in burst and full auto fire. It can handle a wide variety of accessories. Later versions of the M4 Carbine restore the full auto capability which was abandoned after the adoption of the M16A2. America now produces the best assault rifle in the world, the M4 Carbine. Trials for replacement rifles such as the H&K XM8 and the FN SCAR, have failed to produce a weapon superior in performance to the M4. If the U.S. Military dumps the M4 for a match rifle type weapon such as the M16A4, many of the advantages of the true assault rifle will again be lost.
The decision to product improve the M1 Garand into the M14 which is the best battle rifle in the world, damaged the effort to develop the assault rifle concept after WWII. The U.S. insistence on standardization of the 7.62x51 NATO cartridge seriously delayed the introduction of assault rifles by Western European military establishments. In terms of assault rifle performance, the old WWII German STG 44 was a superior performer to the new Western European and American 7.62x51 NATO battle rifles. On the other hand the Soviets learned the lessons of World War II and applied them to the development of their assault rifle, the AK-47.