Now for the individual or defensive minded shooter, matching your rifle set-up to the terrain and expected threat makes perfect sense. Why would you not want your rifle set-up to give you the best chance at dealing with threats? Well, to answer as to why short-barreled rifles are so popular with the troops, as with all gear choices, you first have to take into account the tradeoffs, or pros and cons, of using that particular piece of kit (in this case a shorty). And, secondly–and this is key–you have to look at how the U.S. soldier is trained to fight.
If you had asked me a year and half ago my preferred M4 set up, I would have said a 14.5″ barrel model with at least a mid-length hand guard, with a red dot combat optic like an Aimpoint. While SBR’s are more maneuverable for situations like CQB/CQC (Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat) and are easier to carry in and around vehicles, I felt the tradeoff of more muzzle blast (flash and noise) typically associated with SBR’s was not worth it. Bottom line, I could run a standard length M4 faster in terms of split times per shot because the felt recoil was softer.
Full Story @ [DefenseReview]