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Old November 3, 2009, 11:15 AM   #1
Skans
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Article details many problems with AR15/M16....

I just read the most comprehensive article I've seen on exactly why the AR15/M16 is a poor military weapon. In my opinion, this is a MUST READ for anyone thinking of buying an AR15 http://www.madogre.com/interviews/Hate_the_AR15.htm

Just a few of the reasons explained by the writer as to why the AR15/M16 sucks are:

1. Direct gas Impingement system spews carbon and debris all over the many tiney parts that are difficult to clean.
2. too many small parts
3. must be ultra-clean to be reliable, and it's impossible to keep ultra clean in combat conditions
4. Small weak extractor
5. sprung ejector tends to fail
6. Flimsey charging handle
7. gas tube glows under full-auto fire and tend to burst under combat conditions
8. 5.56 round is too weak
9. magazines are very flimsey
10. It's very finicky about ammo

I just highlighted a few of the reasons mentioned by the writer why he didn't like the M16. There's much more in the article. Read the article, see what you think. I found his reasons rather compelling.

Last edited by Skans; November 3, 2009 at 01:49 PM.
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Old November 3, 2009, 11:17 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Reopened.

I will say this about my AR-15...

I fired nearly 2,500 rounds through it BEFORE I cleaned it for the first time.

And it never malfunctioned.

As for the gas tube glowing under full auto fire? Are there any fully automatic M-16/M-4s still in service? I thought they had all been withdrawn in favor of the 3-shot burst models. If I'm correct, it's not that much of an issue.

And, given that there are relatively few fully-automatic M-16 type rifles in civilian hands, I doubt that it's even remotely an issue for 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of all AR-15 owners in this country. So, I fail to see how that's really an issue.
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Old November 3, 2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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Lord I hate getting old. I could have sworn that I reopened this. Sigh.

It's open now.
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Old November 3, 2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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My son is NAVY Spec Ops and he has told me much of what you have printed.And yes the gas tubes do glow and melt under harsh firing conditions.That is why some have gone to the gas piston design and they are looking at some other wepon systems.Good Luck
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Old November 3, 2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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Since 2001 when I first became an end user it has never once failed be. Even under "combat conditions." Oh well. I still find it fun to shoot now that I am in the civilian world.
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Old November 3, 2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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Ah yes, I remember this article. Back in the day, it got me over my childhood ignorance in assuming AR was better than an AK (note the word "assuming". I make no claim as to one being better than the other).
I really have no opinion on the military use of the M16 because, well, I've never been in the military. From an engineering standpoint though, it has never really made me do anything other than cringe. But I know plenty of people who own and operate ARs and they work just fine for their needs.
That said, I own an AK... Trying to pick up a used Bushmaster lower soon so I can compare.

Quote:
7. gas tube glows under full-auto fire and tend to burst under combat conditions
Did it say the gas tube does burst, or may burst after getting glowing hot in the article? (I thought it was may).
The turbo in my car glows quite frequently () but I don't worry about it bursting in the least. Some things are meant to glow, and are designed that way. Not saying the AR gas tube wont burst, I'm only saying it glowing is not a satisfactory argument to say it will burst without providing additional information...
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Old November 3, 2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
I just read the most comprehensive article I've seen on exactly why the AR15/M16 is a poor military weapon. In my opinion, this is a MUST READ for anyone thinking of buying an AR15 http://www.madogre.com/interviews/Hate_the_AR15.htm

Just a few of the reasons explained by the writer as to why the AR15/M16 sucks are:

1. Direct gas Impingement system spews carbon and debris all over the many tiney parts that are difficult to clean.
2. too many small parts
3. must be ultra-clean to be reliable, and it's impossible to keep ultra clean in combat conditions
4. Small weak extractor
5. sprung ejector tends to fail
6. Flimsey charging handle
7. gas tube glows under full-auto fire and tend to burst under combat conditions
8. 5.56 round is too weak
9. magazines are very flimsey
10. It's very finicky about ammo

I just highlighted a few of the reasons mentioned by the writer why he didn't like the M16. There's much more in the article. Read the article, see what you think. I found his reasons rather compelling.
I think Pat Rogers fired like 15,000 rds. in each of his T&E Colt and BCM without cleaning and had no malfunctions, the article either exagerates or out right lies about many of the issues you list here.

I just got done shooting about 600 rounds through a 6520 today with no malfunctions, with no added lube or cleaning during the session. All of my expeirences with the platform have been similar to this.
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Old November 3, 2009, 02:01 PM   #8
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Nope. Haven't seen this same laundry list of gripes posted repeatedly before. Nope. Not ever.
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Old November 3, 2009, 02:18 PM   #9
Skans
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Quote:
Did it say the gas tube does burst, or may burst after getting glowing hot in the article?
I didn't mean to misquote. The article lead me to believe that this was something known to happen in full-auto fire. What it said was:

When the gas tube glows brightly at night to the point it’s lighting your immediate area – this is not good it could go “pop” any moment here. If your gas tube had any weakness in it before – it’s only going to be worse now. If it doesn’t break now – it will have a greater likelihood of breaking in the future.


Quote:
And, given that there are relatively few fully-automatic M-16 type rifles in civilian hands, I doubt that it's even remotely an issue for 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of all AR-15 owners in this country. So, I fail to see how that's really an issue.
It's an issue for me If I'm purchasing a rifle that is basically a combat rifle, except for the fact that it is limited to semi-auto rate of fire, I do want to know that it's full-auto counterpart is up to the task of sustained full-auto fire without breaking or FTF/FTE problems. It goes to the robustness and longevity of such a gun especially if parts become unavailable. I tend to like guns that are over engineered and dislike guns that are under engineered.

I have an FNC. At one time these guns cost about the same as an AR15. Their price is overly inflated now because people like to put registered sears in them. But, in my opinion, this is a really robust semi-auto .223. It's very difficult to get parts for these guns now, but you rarely ever hear of anything breaking on them, other than the occassional firing pin. Even the ones that have been converted to full auto legally tend to perform flawlessly, from what I've heard.
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Old November 3, 2009, 02:37 PM   #10
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i was in the army from 86-94 and in my time there they improved a great deal.i can only hope they have continued to do so.gas piston is what i would prefer if i had to have another one.direct gas does cause problems,i know from experience.either way i dont think too many here in civilian world will be glowing any time soon from maxed out use.there are some new rounds out there the military should look at in my opinion. like the 6.8 spc,and the 30 ar. those seem to have the most promise.
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Old November 3, 2009, 02:39 PM   #11
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Gee, it's been at least thirty seconds since I saw a thread about all the failures of the M-16 design...
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Old November 3, 2009, 02:41 PM   #12
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MadOgre also has a podcast where he describes why he likes the platform.

People have griped about their weapons since the invention of the spear. They have also played weapon fanboy ever since the first person griped about that spear.

Do people really, honestly, believe that there's something pro/con regarding the AR-15/AK-47/Glock/1911/pointy rock that they can say that hasn't already been beat to death? 90% of these kinds of articles are only brought up to show how intelligent/stupid the author is since he/she agrees with your particular point of view.
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Old November 3, 2009, 02:47 PM   #13
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I understand what some are saying: "the AR15 / M16 is what it is; we know its faults and good points, now leave it be..."

Sure, some folks do, some don't. I see many posts on here weekly where Joe Smith is planning on buying his first AR15 and wants to know "what to buy" and why. I thought the article was informative and could be helpful to those who think that the AR15 is the cat's meow and that there are no better 5.56 rifles to possibly consider.
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Old November 3, 2009, 03:19 PM   #14
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That's actually why we recomment judicious use of the Search button, Skans.
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Old November 3, 2009, 04:01 PM   #15
Skans
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Quote:
That's actually why we recomment judicious use of the Search button, Skans.
I look at this forum quite a bit. I've seen bits and pieces that touch on a specific problem in a specific AR15....or simply compare it to an AK. However, I've never seen a thread that takes a comprehensive look at all of the inherent problems of the AR15 / M16. The article I read was a pretty thorough piece on not just one, but all of the problems experienced in this perticular type of gun.

FWIW, I did try the search engine to see if i could quickly come up with anything similar: I searched "AR15 problems" "AR15 issues" "AR15 broken" "AR15 failures".

What else would you have me search that would yield the same thing that I posted? If someone can provide me with a link in this forum where this article, or another one just like it is discussed, then I guess we all can agree that my search skills need a lot more work.
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Old November 3, 2009, 04:15 PM   #16
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You know, I don't think even the original author of that article agrees with all the points listed there now... which isn't suprising given how old it is...

Quote:
1. Direct gas Impingement system spews carbon and debris all over the many tiney parts that are difficult to clean.
True, and yet the rifle runs for thousands and thousands of rounds like that.

Quote:
2. too many small parts
Compared to? What trade offs did they make to have fewer small parts (more weight?) because you don't get something for nothing.

Quote:
3. must be ultra-clean to be reliable, and it's impossible to keep ultra clean in combat conditions
Just plain BS.

Quote:
4. Small weak extractor
Adequate extractor for the M16, too small for the M4 which extracts under a heavier load. I agree this is a weakness; but this is unlikely to change since the existing barrel extension and bolt limit how much the extractor can be modified.

Quote:
5. sprung ejector tends to fail
Brass or debris can bind the ejector - just like it can in other notoriously unreliable sprung ejector designs like the M1 Garand, M14, etc.

FWIW, the only ejector I've ever had fail on me is a Browning Hi-Power ejector (which is fixed). It broke in half - though to it's credit, it continued to eject shells more often than not. Fixed ejectors fail too (as a quick read of the XCR problems will reveal).

Quote:
6. Flimsey charging handle
I'd note that the charging handle is often flimsier in civilian AR15s because many manufacturers cut corners by using 6061 Aluminium or castings (or both) instead of the 7075T6 forged aluminium that is specified. rob_s has posted some nice pictures of a DPMS charging handle compared to factory Colt that illuminate the difference nicely.

However, one nice thing about the AR is that due to its modularity, you can pick from about two dozen different charging handle designs for it. Something like a BCM Gunfighter will definitely cure any "flimsy" concerns you may have with your AR, civilian or military.

Quote:
7. gas tube glows under full-auto fire and tend to burst under combat conditions
Again, parts are not parts. There are several examples of M16 and M4 barrels bursting before the gas tube did. However, you can argue whether having an $8 part fail before you destroy the $250 part is a bad feature. I wouldn't pretend to know what "combat conditions" the author was referring too; but I do know that you can dump a soldier's entire basic load as fast as you can load the magazines on full-auto and both the M4 and M16 will handle it.

Quote:
8. 5.56 round is too weak
It is a compromise designed to give you the power you need at the distances combat is most often encountered while minimizing weight, heat and bulk to allow higher rates of fire and more ammo (both overall and in the magazine). Personally, I'd like a round that hits like a .338, is the size of a .22LR and generates no heat at all; but pesky physics is mean about compromise. For what it is worth, the new 62gr SOST round promises 6.8 110gr ballistics out of a 62gr 5.56mm cartridge in a land warfare legal package that doesn't require any conversion.

O yeah.... and if you think the gas tube on an AR heating up is a problem, try running the same number of rounds it takes to burst an M4 gas tube through ANY 7.62x51 rifle at the same rate. Let me know if you make it to he M4 number.

Quote:
9. magazines are very flimsey
Compared to what? I'm successfully running 20 year old + magazines with black followers and golf-ball sized dents. They aren't PMAGs to be sure; but they will do the job given a periodical inspection and replacement.

Quote:
10. It's very finicky about ammo
Again, compared to what?
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Old November 3, 2009, 05:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Again, compared to what?
I'm just summarizing what I read in the article attached to the link I posted. These are not necessarily all my own opinions - just my synopsis of an article that I felt was quite compelling explaining some of the inherent problems of the AR15/M16 rifles.

My only problem with an AR15 is that in a semi-auto rifle, the 5.56 round doesn't make a whole lot of sense for defensive/offensive purposes. I agree with you that in full-auto, it's a rather potent round, considering the high rate of fire and larger amount of ammo that you can carry. I've also questioned from time to time how robust the AR15/M16 rifles really are.

Many of the other problems mentioned by the article were completely unknown to me - thus I found it an interesting read. I do appreciate your expanation of each of the things I outlined though - it does add perspective.
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Old November 3, 2009, 05:31 PM   #18
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I worked for a gunsmithing shop that certified a couple of dozen M-16's for duty each year for PD's. Suffice to say I've never seen a gas tube glow, despite my best efforts.

Engineering *choices* are just that- choices. Was the M-14 perfect? Was the Garand? No, but they were decent for the era. The M-16 platform does a decent job considering its age.

Point by point- just like Bartholomew:

1) Yep. And it works.
2) If you had to design one from a clean sheet of apaer, what do you suppose the parts count would be?
3) Agreed. BS.
4) That people mill into bolts of rifles to replace other small, weak extractors.
5) That about a couple of hundred other guns use as well...
6) Never saw one or heard of one failing. Ever.
7) Riiiight.
8) The local SWAT guys seemed to make it work.
9) Maybe. Maybe. Perhaps the point ought to be "(insert .mil branch ere) doesn't replace damaged magazines"
10) Feeding? Accuracy? The full auto one I fired never missed a beat.
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Old November 3, 2009, 05:45 PM   #19
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Oh, noooooooooooooooo! A (supposedly) person who has (supposedly) been in the Army (supposedly) has information about the M16 platform that no one else knows about! Read through his list and it is just a rant full of outdated information and folklore. But his other pages are pretty cool. Oh, look! Our (supposedly) expert on m16s is also telling us about Star Wars and several other games! Good thing he knows about plasma rifles, becasue when the dragon-riders come to hunt us down as food for their gnolls, he will need the plasma rifle to defend himself against dwarves! Hahahahahahahahahahaha! What a loser.

Mike- explain to me again why this was reopened.

OK, I'll be nice. My experience is:

1. Thousands of rounds with no malfunctions through M16A1 in varying conditions.
2. has fewer parts than an AK or an UZI
3. 5-10 minutes in the jungle kept it clean
4. the extractor is as wide as the case head. How much wider could they have made it?
5. the plunger ejector is very reliable, found in many military and civilian arms
6. the charging handle is for feeding another round into the chamber, it is not load bearing
7. glow, yes, burst maybe, but 3-round bursts are the norm anyway, so it is a non-issue
8. wow, have I ever heard that one before? It kills people just fine.
9. if it dents, throw it away and grab another from the pouch
10. never seen that. Ever.
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Old November 3, 2009, 05:52 PM   #20
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That article is a bad joke:

I would be very surprised if the author ever went to the show.
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:09 PM   #21
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I'm sure glad I didnt read this BS while I was an infantryman and the M16 was saving my ass in Vietnam.

Somebody forgot to tell our rifles they were junk.
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
I'm sure glad I didnt read this BS while I was an infantryman and the M16 was saving my ass in Vietnam.
You mean you didn't throw your rifle into a river and start carrying an AK-47 like everyone else? Jeesh, I am surprised you even made it home.
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:26 PM   #23
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I have a bit of a problem with the idea that M-16 flaws have much to do with us civilians and our AR-15s. I've had four of the silly things, and I keep finding people who'll give me a profit and there I go messing with something else. But I've never had any sort of failure with an AR. Reasonably clean, rationally lubed and they all seem to work just fine. So, I'm meddling around now with #5...

As far as the .223 cartridge, that's in the eye of the beholder. The "DC Sniper" seemed to do okay. Wily Coyote doesn't like the cartridge at all. Some folks even eat a bunch of Bambi from the .223. Damfino.

One thing for sure: If you don't like them, don't buy them. Seems simple enough.
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Old November 3, 2009, 06:52 PM   #24
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Ah yes, the infamous "Madogre" article. Didn't George Hill used to be a member here? It's worth what you paid for it....
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Old November 4, 2009, 12:58 AM   #25
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weak

Most people who say the .223/5.56 round is weak have never been shot by one.
I would bet madogre is one of those persons.
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