Skip to comments.US rifles not suited to warfare in Afghan hills
Posted on 05/22/2010 11:58:33 AM PDT by too_cool_for_skool
KABUL, Afghanistan The U.S. military's workhorse rifle used in battle for the last 40 years is proving less effective in Afghanistan against the Taliban's more primitive but longer range weapons.
As a result, the U.S. is reevaluating the performance of its standard M-4 rifle and considering a switch to weapons that fire a larger round largely discarded in the 1960s.
The M-4 is an updated version of the M-16, which was designed for close quarters combat in Vietnam. It worked well in Iraq, where much of the fighting was in cities such as Baghdad, Ramadi and Fallujah.
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Call in an air strike.
My favorite too (if I were in charge of what rifle for the U.S. military to use).
Also works really well with optics attached.
I carried an M14 in basic, then we fired the M16 in the last week. The consensus was the M16 felt and handled like a toy. Any military weapon that needs an extra assist mechanism to chamber a round is seriously flawed.
I like the sound of a .30 caliber weapon. A frickin’ gussied up .22 is not a suitable battle weapon. In my un-soldier-trained opinion. Them boys need firepower.
Again, it was never my honor to serve so I only have theoretical knowledge of this, I’m just flapping my lips.
You can pour sand in the receiver of the Galil (an AK-47 variant) and it’ll still fire. The Israelis do carry M-16s but they weren’t really designed for that environment.
My understanding is that since WWII, marksmanship was considered less important than firepower. Standard military doctrine for small-units revolves around suppressing the enemy with high firepower while a second team maneuvers in close for the kill. If further out, then you call in air strikes or artillery. But generally you try to avoid a marksmanship contest.
Of course, according to the NYTimes, Afghan (and Taliban) marksmanship is terrible:
Yeah but AK variants achieve their reliability by having really loosy-goosy tolerances - which wrecks their accuracy. I see AR variants routinely hitting 300+ yard targets at my local range - never seen it with an AK.
I trained on the M-14 and a few years later was given a course on an M-16 as I had my over the pond orders albeit never went. From my limited knowledge the M-14 was designed as a longer range weapon to defend fixed positions in Europe. The M-16 came along as a more rapid fire closer in weapon which allowed a soldier to carry more rounds. I own ARs in both 308 and 556 and would say the calibers of each fit their billing exactly. So, given our need for a longer range rifle with great knock down power at long range needed in Afghanistan, I would opt for the M-14 or any other 308 rifle deemed OK.
As a side note, there was a story this week that due to ROE in Afghanistan, soldiers in some areas patrol with empty firearms. Now, whether one has a 556 or 308, such rules are beyond the bounds of logic. The nitwit responsible for promulgating them should be fired.
It’s a big improvement over the AK-47. It’s a 2 MOA rifle. There’s even a sniper variant of the Galil which is good for 1 MOA. Would that work for ya?
The L-shaped rear sight has two apertures preset for firing at 0300 m and 300500 m respectively (the rear sight can only be adjusted for elevation). The front post is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation zero and is enclosed in a protective hood. Low-light flip-up front blade and rear sight elements have three self-luminous tritium capsules (betalights) which are calibrated for 100 m when deployed. When the rear night sight is flipped up for use, the rear aperture sights must be placed in an offset position intermediate between the two apertures. Certain variants have a receiver-mounted dovetail adapter that is used to mount various optical sights.
One expensive accident. I’ve got an Aimpoint knockoff on mine.
A sniper convinced me that the time it took to lock the magazine slowed the M14. The M14 did come out full auto but it was almost uncontrollable. Open sighs in a fast match type shootout the M1 Garand wins.
LOL...I like the sound too. I have a Garand, and two friends who do as well, and when we went together to the range a few months back, a lot of people were poking their heads over to look. Lotsa Kaboom!
I read a very good book a while back, Robert Kaplan’s “Imperial Grunts”, a very well written book and flattering to our military.
In it, an officer deployed in some Godforsaken part of the Horn of Africa was describing to the author the difference between an AK47 and an M16. A lot of stuff about the way they are manufactured and how that affects their accuracy. I kind of figured on that, but he made a point-even the way the magazines are constructed is very different and telling. An AK magazine must be removed with the hand by grasping it and pulling it so it doesn’t fall on the ground and get lost, while and M16 mag can be dropped out and a fresh one inserted without touching it. The officer (I think he was a USMC Major) opined that it highlighted the Soviet approach to soldiering...the magazine was more valuable than the life of the person firing the weapon...it was more important not to lose the magazine than it was to enable the soldier to reload faster.
I don’t know if this is true, but it was what the guy said...:)
I believe you can count the Talibans still using Enfields on the fingers of one hand. During the Russian war it made much more sense to equip your side with a rifle that could use the magazines and ammunition of the enemy.
In Steve Coll’s “Ghost Wars” he writes that in the eighties the Chicoms were making money hand-over-fist manufacturing their Type 56 AK clone to be purchased with CIA money and shipped to the Muj.
You’ve obviously have never tried your magic M14 inside a building or a vehicle, or tried to get it to hold zero after jumping it.
It's a lot of fun to shoot, much tamer recoil than a 30-06 Garand.
If the M-16 family was so bad with it’s 5.56 round, how come the Kalashnikov eventually went down to a similarly small round? I think Eugene Stoner knew a thing or 3 about ballistics and the terminal effects of the 5.56. The early M-16’s were plagued by changes wrought by Army Ordnance Bureau.