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M-16 still a piece of crap??

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  • M-16 still a piece of crap??

    Just saw a quick thing on PBS last night about the M-16 riffle. We all know
    about its rough time in Nam, jamming, well according to this documentary
    its still a piece of crap. They were interviewing soldiers over in Iraq right
    now who were saying it jams all the time, even in good weather conditions.

    So why has the Gov. done nothing to fix this?, well they say its because its
    only a $600 piece of hardware, not worth the money or effort. They perfer to
    spend it on the more high tech expensive stuff.

    They were starting to show individuals who had ways of fixing this problem,
    but they were marketing it over seas cuz the gov wasn't interested.

    Thats about the time i had to leave and was unable to finish it. I was amazed
    at this story, did anyone catch the rest of it??
    Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans! Lennon - www.lufttiger.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by lufttiger View Post
    Just saw a quick thing on PBS last night about the M-16 riffle. We all know
    about its rough time in Nam, jamming, well according to this documentary
    its still a piece of crap. They were interviewing soldiers over in Iraq right
    now who were saying it jams all the time, even in good weather conditions.
    I would check other sources. I forget how the subject came up but a friend of mine who was in Iraq said to me that the Jamming issue is a thing of the past. He said this a couple of weeks ago at his Labor Day, "GI Joe" themed party. This comment would make me not want to take what PBS said for granted. PBS is no different than any other news organization. They make an impact by reporting the sensational. They may have an axe to grind.

    I have read a great deal about Vietnam and seen this talked about quite a bit. As far as Vietnam went, the jamming problem was caused by the use of the wrong powder in the Ammunition. The powder stoner intended for the ammunition was not used at first. Instead the military tried to use stocks of old power they had plenty of. This caused the jamming problem. When they switched to the proper gun powder (Nitro based I think, versus a form of older black gun powder) in the bullets the problem largely went away. Some still reported problems after that, but most reported that the problem went away. Boonierat probably knows the exact dates that the problem was corrected, but it was during the Vietnam war.
    Last edited by Miss Saigon; 25 Sep 07, 12:14.

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    • #3
      True don't take anything for granted, but i believe front line soldiers more
      than any news cast, news paper, or reporter. Thats why i tend to believe
      this story, also it wasn't just one sorce but several. As you say i believed
      this problem was solved back at Nam, so i'm surprised it would come up
      again.
      Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans! Lennon - www.lufttiger.com

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      • #4
        I've read anything and its opposite about the M16 jamming controversy, its hard to make a definitive idea on the question. One of our member landed in Vietnam with the 1st Cav in 1965 and fought at LZ XRAY and he once wrote in the VN forum that he never had a single problem with his 16 during his tour...

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        • #5
          A properly trained soldier who takes care of his M16 won't have a problem with it. I never have a jam with my M16 during my military service, including during live firing exercises in the field. The only jams I encountered were with cheapo black plastic blanks made locally.

          So, I think the M16 is no problem in the jungle. As for the desert, well... dunno.

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          • #6
            Somewhere along the line I read that the Navy version used by the Brown Water Navy in Vietnam didn't have any jamming problems. I forget why this was so. For some reason "chromed bolt" sticks in my head but I am not sure. For that matter I have only seen this claim once.

            As a side note, AFVN ran Public service announcements during the war on how to properly care for the M-16. The instructions varied depending on the location and condition in VIetnam.
            Last edited by Miss Saigon; 25 Sep 07, 12:11.

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            • #7
              My Dad said his jammed almost everytime at the range when he was in the Marines. He had the M16-A1 version though, I've never had a problem with the ARs. Guess its an on and off thing.
              I am a simple man. I am by no means smarter than the average man. I am average...yet genius.

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              • #8
                As for taking care of the rifle in Vietnam: Colt said the rifle was "self-cleaning" so no cleaning kits were sent to Vietnam when the first rifles were issued. The change in powder and addition of the forward assist reduced the number of jams.

                From personal experience with the A1, I had frequent jams on the firing range when dust would get into the action and multiple feeds were common also. The feed problem was probably a magazine issue. I never had a problem with the A2.
                If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                • #9
                  The issue I had with A1 was double-feed. I guess it's not due to the flaw in the rifle itself, but because of the old and worn-out magazines. Dust is also an issue, but I think that daily cleaning is an adequate solution. Besides, a rifle aint made to be thrown in the sand. The design was ground-breaking in terms of flexibility - combining different types of tops with the same bottom.

                  I wouldn't call M16 a piece of crap. It's pretty accurate for an assault rifle, and is more ergonomic than its arch-rival AK. Of course, newer designs may be more reliable, like SIG SG-550 for instance, but for some reason SAS uses M16 although they can get any weapons they wish.
                  'Si vis pacem, para bellum' - Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CrazyArcher View Post
                    but for some reason SAS uses M16 although they can get any weapons they wish.
                    They Use the Demico C7, which has a higher build quality than the M-16 (or so I've been told).

                    Another reason why the most common weapons they use are AK's or C7's is due to the weapons market being flooded with them. And the blokes carrying them don't immediately away that they are a SF trooper.
                    Winnie says
                    ---------------------------------
                    "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

                    It was an Accident."
                    Herr Flick.

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                    • #11
                      Plus, for certain covert ops, I guess an AK makes more sense.

                      Originally posted by CrazyArcher
                      The issue I had with A1 was double-feed. I guess it's not due to the flaw in the rifle itself, but because of the old and worn-out magazines. Dust is also an issue, but I think that daily cleaning is an adequate solution. Besides, a rifle aint made to be thrown in the sand. The design was ground-breaking in terms of flexibility - combining different types of tops with the same bottom.

                      I wouldn't call M16 a piece of crap. It's pretty accurate for an assault rifle, and is more ergonomic than its arch-rival AK. Of course, newer designs may be more reliable, like SIG SG-550 for instance, but for some reason SAS uses M16 although they can get any weapons they wish.
                      BTW, have you guys started using the Tavor yet? How do you find it?

                      Over here, the M16's have mostly been replaced by the locally made SAR-21 on line units. Personally, I prefer the old M16 for its ergonomics and light weight. I also don't like the modern bull-pup design, putting controls in strange places.

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                      • #12
                        Could it be happening to FNGs newly arrived in theatre?

                        The weapon must be 'oiled' to the conditions it is to fight in. In hot dry condition you need to ensure that almost no oil is remaining on the round, unlike in more temperate climates. The round, chamber, receiver and the magazine must be almost dry or it will attract sand/dirt particles and cause stoppages.
                        The Purist

                        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                          Could it be happening to FNGs newly arrived in theatre?

                          The weapon must be 'oiled' to the conditions it is to fight in. In hot dry condition you need to ensure that almost no oil is remaining on the round, unlike in more temperate climates. The round, chamber, receiver and the magazine must be almost dry or it will attract sand/dirt particles and cause stoppages.
                          True. It has been some time since I last do this, but if I remember correctly, our SOP here is to just apply a very thin layer of oil to the bolt parts, but nothing to the chamber and barrel.

                          Most of those cases when I have seen a stoppage in an M16, it was magazine related. Usually, the problem was that the magazine was an old one with a weak spring or a sticky follower. Freshly minted magazines work without a hitch.

                          My main complaint about the M16 is the magazine catch. It is all too easy to lose a fully loaded magazine. We ended up using rubber bands to secure the magazines to the weapon. OK is peace time, but I wonder if it's the smart thing to do in war.

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                          • #14
                            @Ogukuo: Some units recieved Tavors, but the field experience showed the same flaw: it's vulnerable to the desert dust. As a result, the first batches were sent to the manufacturer for upgrading, after which it should be more resistant to the sand. As for myself, I'm not fond of this weapon for the same reason you said: mostly because of putting controls in strange places. Although I don't consider the bull-pup design inherently bad and see its advantages in limited space, for me it's too weird.

                            As for problems with magazine catch in M16 - never had them. It becomes loose as the spring there gets worn out. Well, no wonder that a weapon starts to make problems if it's not properly maintained...
                            'Si vis pacem, para bellum' - Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari

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                            • #15
                              I fired M16A2 & A3 for fifteen years. Well over 2000 rounds on the target range and a couple thousand more for grins, and had exactly one round jamb in the chamber. Probablly a sand particle. A couple of bad magazine misfeeds also. The A3 also had decent range. We could get nice groups on the Known Distance range at 500 meters and a satifactory beaten zone at 800 meters.

                              Ironically the one & only time I fired a AK47 (Rumainian model) it jambed a round in the chamber. The armorer beat on the thing for several minutes to get it cleared.

                              However the feedback for the soldiers & Marines in combat in Iraq is not good. Underpowered ammo is a common complaint.

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