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Troops who fought in Afghanistan list benefits, troubles of weapons
Pacific edition, Stars and Stripes ^ | Sunday, August 4, 2002 | Lisa Burgess

Posted on 08/04/2002 11:27:23 AM PDT by demlosers

Part one of two

ARLINGTON, Va. — Army infantry troops deployed to Afghanistan are struggling to keep weapons clean and in good working order, with soldiers particularly concerned about the maintainability and reliability of the M-4 carbine and the squad automatic weapon, according to an Army report on lessons learned in Afghanistan.


But soldiers also are more than pleased with the performance of other weapons, such as the M-240B machine gun, which won a 100 percent vote of confidence overall.

And troops often described a love-hate relationship with the same weapon, such as the soldier who called his squad automatic weapon the “perfect weapon for war” but added that it “does not work well in sand and dirt — it could be smaller and lighter.”

The assessments are part of a “lessons learned” report generated in April by Natick Soldier Systems Center, Natick, Mass.

A team from Natick’s Operational Forces Interface Group asked 200 Afghanistan combat veterans questions not only about weapons, but also clothing, food, boots and other standard-issue items at the suggestion of Command Sgt. Major Vincent Myers of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command, Southwest Asia.

In Afghanistan visiting troops who had fought in Operation Anaconda in March, Myers “had some observations about what soldiers were wearing and not wearing” in the cold-weather, high-altitude conditions, according to Lt. Col. Charlie Dean, director of operations and customer interface at Natick’s Soldier Systems Center.

Myers called Natick’s hot line (DSN 256-5341) with his comments, which Natick forwarded to U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., Dean said in a Thursday telephone interview.

In turn, CENTCOM asked Natick to send a team to Afghanistan to canvass deployed infantry soldiers regarding their equipment, including all platoon-level small arms, and report back with the findings.

Soldiers participating in the survey included Operation Anaconda participants from the 101st Airborne Division’s 1-187th Infantry, 3rd Brigade in Kandahar, as well as soldiers who had participated in the battle from the 10th Mountain Division’s 1-87th Infantry, who already had returned to Fort Drum, N.Y., when the Natick team talked to them, Dean said.

According to the report, “weapons basically performed well in Afghanistan, although there were some issues worth noting.”

The majority of weapons problems soldiers reported had to do with difficulties keeping their weapons clean and operating in Afghanistan’s austere environment — a problem some soldiers said was made worse because the Army’s standard-issue kits contain insufficient cleaning supplies.

In the Natick survey, soldiers routinely reported having to purchase their own weapons cleaning kit items (in many cases asking friends and family to send them from home). Thirty-five percent of soldiers surveyed added barber brushes and 24 percent added dental picks to the cleaning kits issued to support the M-4 carbine, which is the infantry’s compact version of the M-16 rifle.

Other weapons problems arose in Afghanistan because replacement parts weren’t readily available, soldiers said.

For example, nearly half of soldiers on M-240 Machine Gun teams indicated they had problems getting spare or replacement parts in Afghanistan, with shortages of extra barrels, springs, small roll pins, traverse and elevating pins, heat shields, sear pins, spare barrel bags and cleaning materials.

Meanwhile, nearly half of the machine gunners “also noted that they have problems carrying ammunition and that they need they need improved ammunition bags,” the report said. The soldiers who carry the M-240 also suggested an improved sling for the weapon that could be disconnected quickly.

Problems keeping weapons clean apparently prevented soldiers from feeling certain that the arms would work when called upon to do so. While 89 percent of soldiers polled said they had “confidence” in the M-4 carbine, only 77 percent felt it was reliable.

Soldier comments indicated that the discrepancy reflected how much time troops had to adequately clean and service their weapons.

“If I did not have so many opportunities to clean [my M-4] I’m not sure how reliable it would have been,” one soldier commented.

But of all the weapons surveyed, the squad automatic weapon — a gas-operated, man-portable automatic weapon that can deliver up to 750 rounds per minute at ranges up to 800 meters — was unique in its ability to inspire both praise and blame from the same soldier.

“I’m sure it’s great when new, but gets worse over time,” one soldier said.

Another SAW gunner called it “big and heavy, but this is the weapon to be behind in a combat situation.”

The SAW’s record in combat also was spotty: Three out of the seven soldiers who reported engaging enemy targets with the SAW said the weapon malfunctioned in combat.

As with other weapons surveyed, the misfires may have been related to the reports by half of the SAW gunners that they had trouble cleaning or maintaining the weapon.

The most common problems were rust, dust and dirt accumulation, and trouble getting into many spots to clean them adequately.

Meanwhile, of the 28 SAW gunners surveyed by the Natick staff, half were satisfied that the weapon was “reliable,” but even more, 64 percent, had “confidence” in the gun — just one of the puzzling mismatches that caught the attention of the Natick researchers.


Soldier comments on the SAW “are hard to categorize … because they truly are ambivalent,” the report noted.

For example, the weapon got fairly good marks for lethality (79 percent said it was lethal) and accuracy (82 percent said it was accurate), but miserable marks for both ease of handling (32 percent approved) and ease of maintenance (15 percent said yes).

Not everyone was wishy-washy about the weapon.

“It’s big, awkward, [and the] drums fall off,” one soldier said. “Replace it.”

The M-203, on the other hand, got excellent reviews. The M-203 is a single-shot, 40 mm grenade launcher with an effective range of 350 meters that is designed to fix directly to both the M-16 rifle and the M-4 carbine.

Half of the soldiers surveyed said they had used their M-203s to engage the enemy in Afghanistan, using it to attack personnel, buildings, bunkers and vehicles.

Some soldiers suggested improvements to the launcher, including adding buckshot rounds to its arsenal of munitions. Other soldiers asked for a better safety switch, a non-slip grip on the hand guard, and a 40 mm muzzle cap, which would help keep the launcher clean when not in use.

The M-4 carbine prompted less applause, with “a sizable percentage” of soldiers who said they either were unhappy with the weapon, or toting it without much thought one way or another.

“While the majority were satisfied with the M-4 carbine in terms of ease of maintenance, lethality and range, those characteristics [also] had a sizeable percentage who felt neutral or dissatisfied,” the report said.

Out of 54 soldiers surveyed on the M-4, 27 stated that their M-4 carbine has malfunctioned, although Dean noted that the question was not specific to Afghanistan.

The most common problems were double feeds, feeding jams, rounds that failed to chamber and misfeeds.

The M-4 “gets dirty fast for a self-cleaning weapon, also double feeds when rounds get wet,” one soldier said in the survey.

And about one-third, or 18 of the soldiers, reported that the hand guards rattle on the M-4, and six soldiers noted that the weapon’s hand guards get uncomfortably hot while firing.

Natick has sent the results of the report to more than two dozen offices, including Army headquarters at the Pentagon, the Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia, the Army’s new Program Executive Office Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Va., and the Army’s Program Management for Small Arms at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., which is responsible for research and development efforts for all the weapons listed in the study.

Army officials at the various centers now are reviewing the study, comparing reported problem areas with comments that already have been collected in other Natick studies, which number in the dozens each year, said David Nelson, deputy project manager for soldier equipment at PEO Soldier, in a telephone interview.

In the case of weapons, Army officials at PM Small Arms next will cross-check their lists of ongoing improvement projects — for example, an improved ammunition bag for the machine gun is almost completed — and then decide whether new studies should be funded, Nelson said.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: assessment; banglist; centcom; m203; m240b; m249; m4; m9; operationanaconda
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Good info.
Comming tomorrow in Stars and Stripe : Troops give M-9 Beretta pistol a vote of no confidence
1 posted on 08/04/2002 11:27:24 AM PDT by demlosers
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To: demlosers
Sniff. I miss my M-60.

B/3/325 INF ABN 82nd ABD

11B2PLGMH

2 posted on 08/04/2002 11:37:09 AM PDT by patton
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To: demlosers
Out of 54 soldiers surveyed on the M-4, 27 stated that their M-4 carbine has malfunctioned, although Dean noted that the question was not specific to Afghanistan.

Man, oh man! Isn't it time that the military gave up on the M16 and its cousins? I've been hearing this stuff about it for decades. It seems as if it's just too tempermental for actual combat situations.

Any other views on this?

3 posted on 08/04/2002 11:38:03 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: demlosers
The M-9 Beretta is possibly the biggest POS in the U.S. arsenal, the shining example of lowest-bidder procurement.

That's been my experience anyway...
4 posted on 08/04/2002 11:40:46 AM PDT by NAV1
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To: demlosers
Excellent feedback done in an organized manner.
5 posted on 08/04/2002 11:41:04 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: demlosers
These troops?

LOL, I was just looking for a good pic of the M-240b (I want one!) and found this instead. One of the reasons I hated being in the Army was that firearm safety was a joke.

6 posted on 08/04/2002 11:45:07 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Jeff Chandler
The M-16 has been through three or four upgrades, it still isn't very good.

My own suggestion would be to go to an AK type weapon. With one M-14 per fire team, for long-distance work.

If that is too complicated, then just bring back the M-14.

7 posted on 08/04/2002 11:45:47 AM PDT by LibKill
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To: patton
Sniff. I miss my M-60.

Hey no worry
I think the military designated the M60 to (or upgrade variant)the M240 series. The M-240B machine gun won a 100 percent vote of confidence overall.

8 posted on 08/04/2002 11:46:03 AM PDT by demlosers
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To: LibWhacker
Who are those morons?
9 posted on 08/04/2002 11:46:38 AM PDT by LibKill
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To: NAV1
Didn't the old 45 work pretty well? If so, why did US switch? parsy.
10 posted on 08/04/2002 11:48:23 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: LibWhacker

Well, boys will be boys....
11 posted on 08/04/2002 11:49:00 AM PDT by demlosers
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To: LibKill
LOL, I don't know. Some dips**** in Hawaii. Go here.
12 posted on 08/04/2002 11:49:20 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: NAV1
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28212


I sent this article to my son. He told me that he just recently had to qualify with that 9mm. He said Quote "it truly is a shiity weapon". He even spelled it that way, LoL.
13 posted on 08/04/2002 11:55:04 AM PDT by Radix
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To: parsifal
Didn't the old 45 work pretty well?

Yes, very well indeed.

If so, why did US switch?

Cold War politics. 9mm is the standard NATO pistol round. And, by the time of the switch, the .45s in service were all 40+ years old and kind of worn out.

14 posted on 08/04/2002 11:55:22 AM PDT by LibKill
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To: LibKill
Then why not make new "45s" that chamber 9mm rounds. Its the mechanism that matters isn't it. parsy.
15 posted on 08/04/2002 12:00:23 PM PDT by parsifal
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To: parsifal
Then why not make new "45s" that chamber 9mm rounds. Its the mechanism that matters isn't it?

Well, you are using your head. The M1911A1 has been available in 9mm for many years.

The problem is that 9mm ball is not a very good round. If someone is excited and/or drugged, they can take a handful of 9mm ball and still have enough fight left in them to kill you before they die.

I say, bring back the .45. It is a proven fight-stopper. And .45 ball (non-expanding) works great.

16 posted on 08/04/2002 12:04:46 PM PDT by LibKill
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To: parsifal
No, parsy, it is the slug. If I shoot someone with a 9mm, he ignores it. If I shoot him with a .45, he lies down and plays dead. I rather like that.
17 posted on 08/04/2002 12:05:48 PM PDT by patton
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To: LibKill
the .45s in service were all 40+ years old and kind of worn out.

My father's generation (WWII) all brought home their M1911A1s, didn't you?

18 posted on 08/04/2002 12:25:03 PM PDT by Amerigomag
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To: Amerigomag
My father's generation (WWII) all brought home their M1911A1s, didn't you?

Unfortunately, no. Post-Vietnam the Corps keeps its weapons.

I do have a very nice stainless .45, but I bought it on the civillian market.

19 posted on 08/04/2002 12:33:28 PM PDT by LibKill
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To: patton
I was referring to mechanical reliability. If a 45 works well, I do not see why the same design and materials cannot be reused for a long time. If the 9mm slug doesn't work well, I would think that is a separate problem, independent of the make of the weapon. parsy.
20 posted on 08/04/2002 12:34:56 PM PDT by parsifal
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To: Jeff Chandler
Isn't it time that the military gave up on the M16 and its cousins

I carried the 14 for half of my first tour, 65/67, never had a prblem with it, a little dusting fire every time. We were issued the 16, the damned thing would jam if you looked at it.

For the remainder of my first tour and all of my second, after they solved the jamming problem, LOL, five minute break clean bolt and chamber, at night dig in, clean ammo and rifle.

21 posted on 08/04/2002 12:36:11 PM PDT by Little Bill
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To: LibKill
Right on. My latest issue of SOF is telling us that sniper versions of the .223 (5.6MM) have been delivering MOA accuracy out to 800 meters, but that the round is just not very lethal over 300 meters.

Surprise, surprise. The .220 Swift, and the milder .222, of my youth (the former almost identical to the .223) were wonderful on varmints and worthless on large game (not even allowed in many jurisdictions). When I was in the AF and we heard that the Army was going to get a smaller caliber weapon than the M-14, stupid me, I thought they were going to get something like the 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser, or my personal fav, the .257 Roberts, either of which is extremely accurate, easy to shoot, and can knock down a whitetail buck at very long range. But no, they got the M-16, an apparently lesser version the AR-15 in use by the AF at the time for Police and Security work. If I were in Afghanistan (or Iraq), where long range shooting is required, I think I would join you and opt for the M-14: something like a scoped version of the Springfield Armory Civilian Version or one of those Police Sniper rigs they sell. The .308 can kill at 500 meters for sure, and in a sniper's hands, is lethal out at a 1,000.

In their bureaucratic quest to perfect the M-16, the Army have taken away automatic fire in favor of 3-shot burst capability ( a good idea), and they have made it increasingly heavier. Right now, it comes in at 9.5 pounds ... same as an M-1. The problem is there is no way to make a 70-grain bullet reliably lethal at 500 yards. Naturally, the SAW has the same problem. (BTW, this round is also easily deflected by brush or grass)

Lessons learned? Bring back real guns and ammo. The M-16 in .223 is a street sweeper, simply not a weapon for wide open spaces. Use it to equip REMFs and women.

22 posted on 08/04/2002 12:38:00 PM PDT by Francohio
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To: LibKill
You said it! If that is too complicated, then just bring back the M-14.

Then the troops would KNOW satisfaction.

23 posted on 08/04/2002 12:45:37 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Jeff Chandler; *bang_list
You're the first person that I ever heard of that liked the M-60. I'm happy to hear that they changed all of the mistakes they made with it. Those mistakes were the bipod attached to the barrel so if you changed the barrel the bipod had to be changed also. There was one part that could be installed backwards. The belt was loose without any bag or drum to keep the rounds out of the mud. There was no asbestos glove that was issued to replace the barrel. This is what I had read and I don't have any experience with one.
24 posted on 08/04/2002 12:47:26 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5
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To: parsifal
I'm not sure if this works in all cases but I'm going to pass on this bit of advice that was given to me years ago.
If you buy a gun, buy it in the original caliber that the gun was designed.
I don't know if this will help you in any buying decisions but it has helped me once or twice.
25 posted on 08/04/2002 12:52:36 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5
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To: LibWhacker
That makes me think about something else with the 9MM. We were sitting around in our tent in Bosnia one winter evening and had nothing better to do so we practiced "drawing at close range vs drawn upon person taking the weapon away" (unloaded of course). All you have to do to keep the 9mm from firing is put the palm of your hand against the barrel and push. As long as you can keep pressure against it, the guy with the 9mm can't shoot you. We both (the guy I was practicing with) got it to where we could manage 9 times out of 10 to get our hand on the barrel (disabling it) before the shooter could pull the trigger- you had to be really quick and not half assed about it, but once you got your hand on the end of the barrel you could then turn the weapon away from yourself and deliver a blow to the face with the other hand. What we found when we practiced this manuever later with soldiers who had no clue what we were going to do was they were so stunned that they couldn't pull the trigger they failed to block the overhand right to the nose when it came.

I'm not a big handgun expert, so I don't know if other automatics are the same way. I found it disturbing in a way to know that the weapon was that easily disabled. We had another SGT who could do the same thing but actually was pretty good at taking the slide off the top of the weapon as well. He could do this in like one second and leave you holding only half your weapon- it was a funny trick but I didn't think I'd have tried that one. Personally, I'd want a handgun that fired even if it was totally jammed into someone's belly (like they were laying on top of me with all their weight). I've never figured out why they can't just make a revolver type handgun with a larger cylinder or maybe with two cylinders so that you could quickly swivel a full one up into place when the top one was empty- that'd give you ten to twelve shots with a low malfunction risk. I'm no expert or nothing- I'm sure one of you handgun nuts will tell me it's a hokey idea ;-)

26 posted on 08/04/2002 12:53:13 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: demlosers
“It’s big, awkward, [and the] drums fall off,” one soldier said. “Replace it.”

Yep!

27 posted on 08/04/2002 12:54:29 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Shooter 2.5
You're the first person that I ever heard of that liked the M-60.

Make that two. I like the hog all right. My favorite weapon was the Ma Deuce 50 CAL Machine Gun but the 60 was a nice one too. I liked it better than the SAW.

28 posted on 08/04/2002 12:57:19 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Shooter 2.5
There was no asbestos glove that was issued to replace the barrel. This is what I had read and I don't have any experience with one.

There was a glove in every barrel bag, at least in my experience. The ammo was packed with two 100 round card board feed boxes. Because of the weight and the down sizing of the platoon the boxes and the ammo can were tossed, no ammo humpers everyone carried 200 rounds, my gunner was a mad man, humper two extra barrles, loved the'60.

29 posted on 08/04/2002 1:02:23 PM PDT by Little Bill
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To: Radix
I shot it in Marine Division shooting matches, while you can get decent groups with it, the trigger action is just ungodly. The thing would literally fly apart with the easist manipulation, as in Lethal Weapon 4 when Jet Li puts Gibson's beratta into pieces. That's not being a ninja, the beretta will happily fall apart for anyone with opposable thumbs. The sights are crap, it's way too heavy, and again, the trigger action is unacceptable.
30 posted on 08/04/2002 1:25:33 PM PDT by NAV1
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To: Prodigal Son
Never tried that, lol. But it does sound like it would be a good defensive thing to know about. However, if it doesn't work for all semi-autos and you misidentified the gun . . . Watch out!

One thing I don't understand from your description: If a round is in the chamber and the hammer is cocked, what good does it do to grab the barrel? I believe if the hammer hits the firing pin and the firing pin hits the primer, it wouldn't matter if you were applying pressure to the barrel or not. The gun will fire, no?

Now if you can block the hammer with your thumb, either preventing it from moving backward into the cocked position or preventing it from striking the firing pin after the trigger is pulled, then you could conceivably ruin some gunman's day. However, I don't think I'd want to try this trick as too much would depend not only on your own reflexes but also on his.

I've seen something similar with revolvers . . . If you can grab the cylinder, preventing it from rotating, the person holding the gun can't pull the trigger . . . However, if the gun is fully loaded and already cocked . . . Watch out!

PS, I'll also watch this thread with interest now to see what others more knowledgable about modern handguns than me have to say about all this! :-)

31 posted on 08/04/2002 1:32:47 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Prodigal Son
...All you have to do to keep the 9mm from firing is put the palm of your hand against the barrel and push. As long as you can keep pressure against it, the guy with the 9mm can't shoot you. We both (the guy I was practicing with) got it to where we could manage 9 times out of 10 to get our hand on the barrel (disabling it) before the shooter could pull the trigger...

Interesting. It's not hard to disarm a person who has a handgun on you within arms length. one hand grabs the barrel and twist up or away and the gun will come out of his hands, the other hand controls his wrist. You could break his trigger finger in the process. The person with the gun has to react to your quick movements, which will be too slow for him to pull the trigger in time. While twisting the gun barrel up you could use the freed pistol butt and pop him in head all in one motion. Or use your other hand, like you said to deliver a blow possibly in combination.

32 posted on 08/04/2002 1:41:05 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: LibWhacker
Specifically with the M9, it's a "safety feature". The barrel moves back a little as part of the firing process, and is free to move back at any time. This includes someone pushing it backwards from the front. The way this stops the gun from firing is pushing the barrel back also pushes the slide back a little, which blocks the hammer from reaching the firing pin. It's all about angles in the back.

Another disarmament technique learned was to twist the barrel to the shooters outside, while forcefully releasing the holders grip. The gun spins around on the shooter's trigger finger, eventually ending up facing him, and going off when the finger finally forces the trigger back.

I don't think I'd ever use that one personally, but a cop showed me it one day.
33 posted on 08/04/2002 2:20:32 PM PDT by NAV1
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To: NAV1
The M-9 Beretta is possibly the biggest POS in the U.S. arsenal, the shining example of lowest-bidder procurement.

That's been my experience anyway...

I take it you never used the M73 or M219 co-axial machinegun, happily replaced in tanks by the much better M240C, and also quite usable by ground troops, though a couple of pounds heavier than the M60 MG. I was first blessed with the 3 of the things as a headquarters company tank section gunner in the mid-1960s, and by stripping two of the guns for their newest parts, could usually keep the third running for a few 30 round bursts, at least. During gunnery exercises, we'd swap that working gun between the 3 tanks, but that might have been a little difficult in the real world. Though compact and fitted with a nice quick-change barrel setup, the things were junk.

I'm no fan of the M9, either, but at least they work if kept spotlessly clean, and so long as they aren't dropped on the left side grip, which tank crewmen tell me happens often. [It's the left-side grip that's exposed in a tanker's shoulder holster] But it seems their aluminum frames hold up to a diet of 9mm rounds no better that the German's aluminum-framed P1 pistols of the 1960s did, having been *improved* with a steel reinforcing bolt behind the barrel locking flap late in the design's life, before being replaced by the H&K USP 9mm handgun. The Austrians, of course, changed from the P1 to the plastic Glock 17 when the shortcomings of their aluminum-framed handguns became apparent.


34 posted on 08/04/2002 2:31:14 PM PDT by archy
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To: Jeff Chandler
The failure to feed are caused by bent/worn out magazines. Aluminum feeding lips do not hold up well over time. Drop a full magazine and 90% of the time it land on its feed lips. Our lack of training and lack of funds do not stress replacing the magazines.
EX Master Gunner. School trained Gunsmith.
35 posted on 08/04/2002 2:33:35 PM PDT by earplug
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To: Jeff Chandler
Man, oh man! Isn't it time that the military gave up on the M16 and its cousins? I've been hearing this stuff about it for decades. It seems as if it's just too tempermental for actual combat situations.

Any other views on this?

It'll likely do so lonng as we continue to use brass or other metallic-cased cartridge ammunition. When things finally go to a caseless or plastic caed, internally-primed ammunition, maybe better suited to coaxial/helical feed systems like the 50 and 100-round Calico magazines, we can neatly evade the remaining problems from the M16 design like a bad hangover best forgotten....

We're not near there yet, though the near-adoption of the unproven H&K caseless G11 system by the combined East-West German forces was a once-bright possibility. But it's coming, and until then, the M16 and Kalishnikov leftovers of the XX Century will do.


36 posted on 08/04/2002 2:39:26 PM PDT by archy
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To: B4Ranch
You said it! If that is too complicated, then just bring back the M-14.

Then the troops would KNOW satisfaction.

Until the roller on the bolt breaks or cracks, as was common on rifles used in full-auto fire, less a problem if kept well-lubricated. Match shooters even have a little cup made for forcing grease in and around the roller to keep them working through a 60-round match rifle course; something a bit more bulletproof is to be hoped for for more lethal pursuits.

More of a problem though, during 24/7 monsoon rains that washed away any lubricant in a few hours time and demanded continued maintenance for rust and swelled wooden stocks to a fare-the-well. And more of a problem in sandy and dusty conditions, unless the rifle is kept wrapped in plastic [mom: send another roll of Saran Wrap!]

-archy-/-

37 posted on 08/04/2002 2:48:45 PM PDT by archy
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To: B4Ranch
You said it! If that is too complicated, then just bring back the M-14.

Then the troops would KNOW satisfaction.

Until the roller on the bolt breaks or cracks, as was common on rifles used in full-auto fire, less a problem if kept well-lubricated. Match shooters even have a little cup made for forcing grease in and around the roller to keep them working through a 60-round match rifle course; something a bit more bulletproof is to be hoped for for more lethal pursuits.

More of a problem though, during 24/7 monsoon rains that washed away any lubricant in a few hours time and demanded continued maintenance for rust and swelled wooden stocks to a fare-the-well. And more of a problem in sandy and dusty conditions, unless the rifle is kept wrapped in plastic [mom: send another roll of Saran Wrap!]

-archy-/-

38 posted on 08/04/2002 2:49:06 PM PDT by archy
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To: demlosers
I miss my M-119A1 howitzer...
But I DO NOT miss my M-16. It was accurate (for me) and all that high speed GB.. But it was too heavy, too long for shorter guys (Short guys, short arms..) and jammed way too darned often.

I'd take a CAR-21 bullpup anyday. Doesn't need to be zero'd, and it's bolt was based off of the AK....

39 posted on 08/04/2002 3:01:50 PM PDT by Darksheare
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To: Prodigal Son
"That makes me think about something else with the 9MM. We were sitting around in our tent in Bosnia one winter evening and had nothing better to do so we practiced "drawing at close range vs drawn upon person taking the weapon away" (unloaded of course)."

I don't know what combat school you were trained in...but you would never have gotten that close without me double-tapping you and moving on.

40 posted on 08/04/2002 3:30:39 PM PDT by Dark Watch
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To: LibWhacker; demlosers
One thing I don't understand from your description: If a round is in the chamber and the hammer is cocked, what good does it do to grab the barrel?

You're not grabbing it- you're pushing against it. And keep in mind, I don't have any idea if it works with other automatics.

Pushing straight against the barrel of the 9mm Military sidearm, pushes the barrel backwards- towards the hammer. Somehow, it moves the slide just enough so the trigger- hammer mechanism doesn't function. If you have a 9mm like the one the military uses, give it a try (unloaded of course). If you push against the business end of the barrel- that is, if the gun were pointed at you and you stuck out your palm (in a "halt" posture), placed your palm straight against the barrel and pushed directly against it- you can actually see it interferes with it. It pushes the hammer back a little bit further than it's supposed to be- whatever it does, it prevents the weapon from discharging (no matter how hard the guy squeezes the trigger) as long as you have it pushed back.

If you were quick enough, I suppose you could unlatch his magazine and then if you could force him to discharge his one remaining round, he'd be screwed. I found just using that method to push the barrel away from my torso/head and then using my free hand to strike seemed to be a pretty good tactic- assuming the guy was going to kill you anyway, having a hole in the hand is definitely better than one in the gut and the worst that happens is you're not quick enough and he plugs you anyway.

If you can, try it out safely. If you don't have one (9mm), go to a pawn shop or a gun show and see if you can find that model and give it a try. The magazine doesn't have to be in it. Try it either way, hammer cocked or hammer down. I don't know how to describe why the hammer can't be released, but it's like it's pinching it/putting it in a position where the trigger doesn't work. But you're right, if you didn't ID the gun correctly, you'd be screwed. We figured it would actually only be useful against another US Soldier because the probability would be highly in your favor that it would be a 9mm (against the MPs maybe?)

41 posted on 08/04/2002 3:37:31 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Dark Watch
This wasn't a combat school- this was a tent- as in, a bunch of guys in their longjohns sitting around shooting the sh!t and not having anything better to do- three feet of snow on the ground and hours and hours of nothing in front of you.

This SGT friend of mine says "you know, if you push against the barrel of the 9mm, it won't fire". I say, "No sh!t?" So we PLAYED around with it. It was for sh!ts and giggles- to pass the time you know?

I only brought it up to point out that the military 9mm, won't fire in this situation. I've got better things to do with my time than go to a combat school or karate class. Jeez, lighten up.

42 posted on 08/04/2002 3:41:47 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: LibKill
The M-16 has been through three or four upgrades, it still isn't very good.

My own suggestion would be to go to an AK type weapon. With one M-14 per fire team, for long-distance work.

If that is too complicated, then just bring back the M-14.

Sigh.......

The M16 probably needs to Move On... But, it's just too bad Stoner and Kalashnikov aren't around any more, now that the Cold War is over. We could just give the two of them a billion-dollar budget and tell them to agree on a solution to all our problems.

43 posted on 08/04/2002 3:43:55 PM PDT by fire_eye
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To: Prodigal Son
It's called a "barrel safety", and it is one of the seven safeties on GI pistols.

Grip, barrel, switch -

44 posted on 08/04/2002 5:21:14 PM PDT by patton
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To: patton
What's the purpose of it? I mean, it wouldn't seem like you'd want the person you were pointing the weapon at to be able to cause it not to fire. Now that you mention that term- "barrel safety" I have some distant rumblings of recognition deep down in the memory vault of same. Anyway, could you explain what the purpose of it is? And is it like that on all automatics or just this model or does it applied to all military issue pistols?

It's just curiousity mainly. It was a fun way to spend a few hours in Bosnia but it's not really knowledge I can apply nowadays but I found it to be a bit of a novelty at the time.

45 posted on 08/04/2002 6:23:31 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
Personnaly, I believe the purpose of the barrel safety is to give DI's a way to prevent the recruits from shooting them.

But that's just MHO.

46 posted on 08/04/2002 6:26:25 PM PDT by patton
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To: patton
Sounds good to me ;-)
47 posted on 08/04/2002 6:35:25 PM PDT by Prodigal Son
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To: Shooter 2.5
The M-60.

Most people don't know but the Army team that designed it, were trying to copy the mechanism of the German FG42 paratroop rifle with a modified version of the MG42 feed cover.

They didn't know that the mechanism of the FG42 was based on the WWI Lewis Gun. I am quite serious -- the Lewis on a 1916 Nieuport is the granddaddy of the 60.

One change they made from the MG42feed mechanism made it so you can only close the feed tray cover if the bolt is to the rear (on the '42, it works either way). No idea why they did that.

The MAG 58 outperformed the 60 in tests, but it was Not Invented Here. AFAIK the only foreign nation that bought it was Australia (and they have since binned it, I think). The M240 is the US version of the MAG 58.

The MAG 58 is essentially the locking mechanism of the BAR turned upside down so it can work with belt feed. John M. Browning would recognise the internal parts as his own work.

You can definitely talk to a crowd with an M240.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F
48 posted on 08/04/2002 8:15:35 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: Prodigal Son
The safest technique for disarming a handgun-wielding opponent, assuming he is close enough to reach, is to grab the forearm (of the weapon-hand) of the assailiant with the same-side hand, while simultaneously pivoting on the balls of the feet, so that your body is perpendicular to his. That way, if the gum discharges, you will only receive a glancing blow. Then slide your hand down to his wrist, bring your outside foot around so that you are side-to-side with him, and effect a kote gaeshi. It's your choice whether to merely control the assailant, break his joints, or "accidentally" shoot him with his own gun in his own hand.
49 posted on 08/05/2002 12:08:31 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: Jeff Chandler
gum = gun, although a gum discharge would be pretty messy.
50 posted on 08/05/2002 12:13:21 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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