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Old December 31, 2000, 01:22 AM   #1
Jamie Young
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Hopefully we can stay on topic here with what I'm about to ask and not get at each others throats.........
I know we didn't fire too many M16's during Desert Storm but are there any Vets in here that know of any first hand experience with the M16 Saudi? We've all heard the stories about the M16 in the Jungle what about the M16 in the Desert?

The only other country that uses the M16 in combat that I know of is Israel. Every night I turn on the TV and see some Israeli with an M16. Saudi and Israel have similar environments but I have never heard one story about the Israeli's hating there M16's? They've been shooting plenty of 5.56 ammo at the Palestinians to have some kind of Reliability track record.
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Old December 31, 2000, 12:27 PM   #2
Johan762
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Sore thumbs always stick out the most...

OK, you've heard stories about M-16s jamming in SE Asians jungle and those stories came from veterans who had bad experience with M-16s in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. But what about TENS of THOUSANDS of other veterans (who fought in the SAME theatres) who have nothing but praises for their M-16s? Their stories have always been ignored by the opponents of the AR series weapons. You have to remember that various combatants have used M-16s, not just the Israelis. The Indonesians used M-16s for at least 15 years in East Timor and West Irian, not counting other smaller operations in other Islands. The Malaysians prefered even the earliest version of the M-16 over their FALs when fighting the Indonesians. The British and Australian SAS speak highly of the AR series weapons. And what about all of those countries in Central and South America, which used the M-16s to fight the commies in dense jungles during the cold war? In fact until now, they are STILL using all of those M-16s. Numerous countries are abandoning their FALs and G-3s in favor of AKs or ARs, and MORE country chose the latter rather than the earlier. Just ask Burma's government troops (issued the G-3s) who are fighting the Karens guerrilas armed with AKs and M-16s: "which one would you prefer, M-16s or HK G-3s?" The resounding answers are always M-16s!!!!!

The Israelis have been kicking their enemy's behind using the M-16s for many many years. Ever seen the M-16s carried by the Israelis? They are all well worned, veterans of many battles. "Well the Israelis don't like ARs that's why they manufactured the Galils", so retort many AR oponents. But these critiques had always conveniently leave out the fact that the Israelis tested various weapons OTHER than the ARs: they tested the FALs, G-3s, CETMEs, AKs, and M-16s. They decided to go with Galils because they found out that AKs are more reliable than other weapons that they tested. They DID NOT manufacture the Galils because the M-16s are unreliable, it's just they found out that AKs are MORE reliable than the ARs, G-3s and FALs they tested. Want to talk about weapons jamming in the sand? FALs were NOTORIOUS for that, much much worse than the ARs. How many Israeli police / soldiers you see running around with FALs? Practically NONE. How many of them still running around with ARs even though the Galils have been in production for more than two decades? MANY of them! In fact, you see MORE Israelis armed with AR series weapons than with the Galils. See all of those A-2s they are using now (in place of the CARs)? If you are a group of people fighting for your liberty, would you really use "jammomatic" weapons (as some people describe the ARs) when you have the choice to buy any other weapons from all over the world? I don't think so. The Israelis still trust their ARs because the fact is: M-16 is one of the premier military rifle on the whole planet.

Johannes
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Old December 31, 2000, 12:35 PM   #3
Shin-Tao
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You keep citing examples of small statured people prefering the 16 over various 7.62 battle rifles.
No mystery there. It's the weight.

Duplicate thread anyway.
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Old December 31, 2000, 12:43 PM   #4
cuerno de chivo
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Who wouldn't take a free M16?
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Old December 31, 2000, 01:00 PM   #5
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I won't get into AR bashing, but I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the Israelis went to a lot of trouble and expense to develop the Galil because they were unsatisfied with the M-16's reliability in the sand. Like them or not I think the Israelis are known for being effective combatents and not prone to waste money on fashionable items so I think there must be a reason you didn't see them adopt the cheaper M-16.

They are using a lot of 16's as a second line to the Galil just because they were handed out free to them (not free to us of course, we had to pay for them).

Just my thoughts, Blue Duck
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Old December 31, 2000, 03:22 PM   #6
RON in PA
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We need some info from a knowledgable Israeli on this, but several days ago I did see a picture of an Israeli trooper using a Galil. Seems to me that several years ago the Israelis announced that they would no longer acquire Galils as they were too expensive compared to M-16s. Don't know if they are still in production or not. Maybe they instituted better maintenance procedures to keep the M-16s going.
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Old December 31, 2000, 04:29 PM   #7
Shin-Tao
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I do wonder if the Isrealis have had their armorers modify the M16s action in anyway...Look what they did to the M60 tank after all.
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Old December 31, 2000, 05:04 PM   #8
Art Eatman
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I live in a desert. On a windy day, and even moreso if crawling around on the ground (as in working under a truck, for instance), I can tell you that sand gets into everything. (It's as abrasive under your shirt or in your shorts as it is inside an engine or gun.)

I guess one way to look at the reliability issue would be to ask, "What gun shoots the most accurately, when the metal-to-metal fit is loose?" You have to remember stuff like, "Wind plus oil = mud."

Always remember that the early full-auto Colt rifles in Vietnam did not have the forward assist bolt. The ammo was loaded with Ball powder instead of the IMR for which the rifle was designed (Olin Corp/Pentagon politics). Thus, the "extra" grunge plus the 1,100 rounds/minute rate of fire created severe problems. (It was designed for 900 rounds/minute.) It's a different world, now--it's 35 years later.

FWIW, Art
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Old December 31, 2000, 05:22 PM   #9
Ruben Nasser
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Go check what the israelis say...

http://www.isayeret.com/main/menu.htm
The israeli special forces site. The main reason they use the M16 (and meany other american weapons...) is because they get money from the USA to buy american weapons.
But the M16 is not a bad weapon at all.
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Old December 31, 2000, 06:20 PM   #10
Jamie Young
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Art- What do you mean the M16 was designed for IMR and not Ball isn't the Military using WC844 now? Thats Ball isn't it?
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Old December 31, 2000, 09:52 PM   #11
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The Israelis...

...aren't going to be using the Galil OR the AR for much longer. They've adopted the IMI Tavor, a kick-arse bullpup design, and will slowly phase out their older rifles, at least, that's the gist I got from IMI's website. http://www.imi-israel.com

Of course, the US Army isn't going to adopt a superior rifle, although the AR isn't a bad design, there are many better ones out there. No, the Army's going ot wait until something with "substantial increase" in technology comes along, which means you'll probably see the M16 in service well into the 2020s or beyond. The reason being, the only time you see countries adopting these new breeds of 5.56mm rifles is when they're still using old 7.62mm designs, with the exception of Israel and their Tavor bullpup. Germany is finally giving up the G3 in favor of the G36. Australia is trading the FAL for the Steyr AUG. And so on.

The United States, however, adopted a 5.56mm rifle in the 60s, and, despite the design being 50's vintage, the Army will not likely adopt another rifle for a long time, even though there have been significant steps in firearms design since Eugene Stoner's day, that make modern rifles like the G36 lighter, more reliable, and less maintenance intensive. I'm sure the military itself wouldn't mind a new rifle, save a few of the dipwads in the pentagon, but there's a lot of politics involved in adopting a military weapon, and the strategic geniuses in Washington would rather spend taxpayer dollars on beasts like the OICW, more Trident submarines, little cameras to attach to Army rangers' weapons and helmets, and billion dollar stealth bombers which were designed as nuclear penetration bombers and are no longer needed.

But no, we're not getting a new rifle.

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Old January 1, 2001, 07:56 AM   #12
Ruben Nasser
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i don't think the israelis are going to phase out older rifles in the near future(as a matter of fact, they are turning old CAR15 into M4-like weapons when the time comes for an overhaul, and they have trouble standarizing on one design for just about any kind of equipment).
IMI is just trying to sell their Tavor by saying it will be "the official assault rifle of Israel".
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Old January 1, 2001, 02:26 PM   #13
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You may also want to include Somailia in the M16's track record, though the operations were mostly confined to more urban areas. I recall reading in Mark Bowman's book 'Blackhawk Down' of one Delta operator's frustration in his M16A2M4 carbine not dropping his enemies with one or two rounds, but 4-5. He attributed this to the M855 rounds and their non-deforming tungsten armor piercing cores that did not skew and cause more internal damage than a lead core round, but rather passed through the enemies bodys.
However, the people being shot at by Delta, SEALs, Rangers and members of the 10th Mountain division were also quite thin and did not have a lot of mass that the bullets could skew around in and cause internal damge to.
The complaint also arose in one of the M-60 gunners who was unhappy about his sabotted rounds not having much in ability to incapacitate or kill his opponents.
But then, one of the Delta operators killed in the mission in Mogadishu (Shughart) had a customized M14 that the previously mentioned Delta operator thought well of when he realized that every person that Shughart hit would stay down. But then, Delta operators were likely to be using non-AP, custom rounds made for shooting at personnel and not hard targets.
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Old January 1, 2001, 04:07 PM   #14
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>>But then, one of the Delta operators killed in the mission in Mogadishu (Shughart) had a customized M14 that the previously mentioned Delta operator thought well of when he realized that every person that Shughart hit would stay down.<<

I have my doubts about the authenticity of the quote about Shughart's rifle. In the book, the author mentions that Shughart's fellow ops sometimes mocked him for choosing the older M14 instead of the newer, higher-tech M16 system...but this makes no sense at all. If Shughart was a designated sniper (as it seemed he was from the book) he would be carrying some kind of 30-cal or larger, not an M16. It seems doubtful that he would be mocked for not carrying a 223 if he was a sniper.
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Old January 1, 2001, 04:31 PM   #15
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Anecdote here: Had an Israeli exchange student walk into my recruiting office trying to sell his paintings. Like any good recruiter, I engaged him in conversation. Turns out he had been in the Army for the past four years and had just gotten out. His take on the Galil was that, "Lots of guys used them but I carried around the M-16." He told me the reason why was strictly the weight. He said if he kept it clean, the M-16 worked fine. Since he never had to use it, the weight was a major concern. He said it was mostly veterans using the Galil. Hmmmm. Wonder why?

As for Desert Storm... It worked just fine. No enemy soldiers got onto my air base during the war. We were, after all, doing the bulk of the killing (I was a B-52 mechanic stationed in Louisiana at the time).

Conclusion: the M-16 is a great weapon if you never have to use it.
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Old January 1, 2001, 06:29 PM   #16
Keith J
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It was Ball powder that proved unreliable

Ball powder was made from reclaimed stock and had to be treated with calcium carbonate to increase the pH as decomposing nitrocelluose is quite acidic. IMR was made from virgin stock and needed no acid inhibitor like calcium carbonate.

The M16 can be a picky weapon if you drag it through mud and sand but its also an accurate and durable weapon when properly treated. I fired nearly 1000 rounds in basic training and did not have a single failure. There were Joe's who got their rifles dirty, esp. on Paragon trail, and had malfunctions but that was with BLANKS.

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Old January 1, 2001, 08:40 PM   #17
Shin-Tao
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Being dragged through mud and sand is exactly what happens to infantry weapons. They should be designed to operate in these conditions, ala AK-47, Galil, Mini-14.
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Old January 1, 2001, 08:53 PM   #18
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you might find this link interesting

This has some good information on the M4, it's development and current use.

enjoy

http://www.specialoperations.com/Wea...4/Default.html
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Old January 1, 2001, 09:16 PM   #19
Turk
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The debate never ends.

I carried a 16 for 8 months in RVN. Dry season, monsoon season and even worked beach area (sand dunes) for a couple of weeks. While on the beach we hand only one fire fight my platoon got ambushed in a ville, the Plt. Leader, 2nd and 3rd squad leader and a 79 gunner were wounded. But quess what??? everyones 16 fired when the triggers were pulled. You guys can debate the subject all you want but I've seen what the M-16 and the M-193 ball can do. During this ambush the emeny lost two and one wounded.

For the first 4 months incountry I carried a 60 so I also know what 7.62 round can do.

If I had to go back into combat being an overweight 54 year old my choice would be the 16.

Turk

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Old January 1, 2001, 10:08 PM   #20
Edmund Rowe
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Question for Turk

Turk:

For those of us who weren't there, please describe what the wet season is like in Viet Nam. I have heard it rains nearly constantly for a few months and seen some pictures where the mud was over everything.

Edmund
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Old January 1, 2001, 10:49 PM   #21
Jamie Young
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I still haven't gotten an answer about this???? Isn't WC844 Ball powder? I'm almost postitive it is.

[Edited by SodaPop on 01-01-2001 at 11:20 PM]
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Old January 1, 2001, 11:14 PM   #22
Hardin
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PRETTY sure it is ball powder

but it is significantly different from that used in nam. also the guns now have chromed chambers, heavier spring buffers, and are no longer full auto. The 3 shot burst is merely psychological advantage, and hurts the trigger pull. It should be abandoned in favor of the AR, saving extra parts and cost of securing full auto pcs. Main thing wrong with m16 was the full auto. Pancicked troops hosed off all their ammo in 1-2 minutes, overheated the pc. Read THE TUNNELS OF CU CHI, the vc rarely had over 3 30 rd mags for their ak's! Many of the gooks doubted that their ak's could actually kill "those big Americans" :-)
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Old January 2, 2001, 12:45 AM   #23
Art Eatman
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Hey, SodaPop! It is Football Day, ya know!

The early Colt full autos (weren't they originally called AR-15s before becoming known as M-16s?) were designed for cartridges loaded with IMR powder. The design rate of fire on full auto was roughly 900 rounds/minute.

The Olin Corporation lobbied the Pentagon, to be the supplier of ammo. Their ammo used Ball powder. Its burning characteristics produced a rate of fire of some 1,100 rounds per minute.

Regardless of exact "why" arguments, they did jam in combat situations. As in any argument, fingers were pointed in all directions, including upward with the rigid digit. It was truly a Chinese Cluster Mess.

I have to assume the gas port was reduced in size, in order to reduce the rate of fire. (Today's Ball powder is probably not the same as that of 1965.) Also, the forward assist bolt was developed. As I said before, it's 35 years later, and a lot of development work has been done.

There is a lengthy, detailed article (two parts?) in Soldier Of Fortune magazine, some five-ish or so years back. Names were named, details were given...

While it is not uncommon for people to die in "field testing", I think it's accurate to say that this rifle was put into the field before truly rigorous testing was completed--thus the problems in Vietnam which led to unnecessary deaths. The politics of lobbying didn't help matters.

Hope this helps,

Art
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Old January 2, 2001, 09:39 AM   #24
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Dick Culver has somethings to say about the M16 in Vietnam. He was there and experienced the initial problems first hand:

http://www.jouster.com/articles30m1/links.html

General conclusion seems to be that the initial jamming problems were due to several screw ups and have now been fixed by changes in ammo, chrome plating of bores, etc.

M1911
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Old January 2, 2001, 10:46 AM   #25
Shin-Tao
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On the early ARs, I won't coment. I only fired one old example that an MP carried because of it's true full auto ability.

On the pampered and tuned civi ARs, I won't coment. I have little experiance with them, I don't know what internal changes, if any, have been carried out on them.

Of powder types, I'll say this. It shouldn't matter what type of powder variant is used. A service rifle shouldn't be so sensitive. Look at the Kalashnikov series.

On the M16A2. This is the rifle I carried. It jammed quite a bit. I'm not talking with the MILES, that doesn't count.
Most of the A2s in my company were jamamatics.
Honestly, I was averaging at least one jam per magazine.

Many had a differant experiance with their rifle. Bravo for them. But how many people complain about AKs jamming? Service issue AKs.

That's my point. The AR can't be called the most robust or reliable service rifle in the world. So it should be replaced.

A rifle based on the AK action, chambered in 5.56NATO and built with suitable quality would be ideal.

That's my entire argument in a nutshell.


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