View Full Version : M-16A1 vs M-16A2

Jake 98c/11b
February 5, 2000, 11:23 PM
I already have my own bias but I am looking for the input of others. I am quite likely overlooking some aspects of the weapons design/capabilitys and I want you folks to point them out to me. What I am interested in is military use not sporting or law enforcment. My question is wich is the better infantry weapon and why, primarily I'm interested in the why. Second question, what can be done to improve it, for general infantry use that is.

Sea Bass
February 5, 2000, 11:32 PM
Try www.ar15.com (http://www.ar15.com) to lead you on the road to answer some questions. Very good site for the AR enthusiasts. Good Luck

[This message has been edited by Sea Bass (edited February 05, 2000).]

February 5, 2000, 11:39 PM
So, don't M-16's cost $6000 and up??? I just can't see it!!!

February 6, 2000, 01:39 AM
The federal government paid about $300 for each M16A2 in 1995.

I don't really see a whole lot of difference between the A1 and A2, other than the rear sight.

February 6, 2000, 02:06 AM

Evolution of the AR-15 (http://www.ar15.com/history/evolution.asp)

"Ray guns don't vaporize Zorbonians, Zorbonians vaporize Zorbonians" The Far Side

February 6, 2000, 09:16 AM
i think the a1 had a shorter stock...being small i like that..otherwise i cant see why youd want an a1

February 6, 2000, 09:46 AM
The primary differences between the A1 and A2 models are as follows, the rear sight(and reciever), the barrel contour, the rifling twist, the handguards, the stock(and length of pull), the pistol grip, the fire control system, and the flash hider.

There are several lesser differences, the lower reciever has reinforcements in key areas now, and a few dimensions have been changed, but that's the gist of it. IMHO, most of these changes have been for the better.

However, I think that the M16A1 was the better infantry weapon for several reasons, the biggest one being the rifling twist. The 1/7 twist of the A2 is great if you buy the current military thinking that wounding an enemy is preferable to killing him, as the heavier 62gr FMJ when stabilized at this higher twist makes for better penetration and less bullet tumbling.

However, bullet tumbling in the 1/12 twist A1 was what gave it the great wounding capabilities noted in Vietnam, and I think that outweighs any advantages gained with the heavier ammo. The other big bitch I have with the A2 is in the fire control system. (rant mode on)

I don't know who the pencil pushing, bean-counting REMF was that came up with the idea of the 3-round burst, but one thing I do know, he wasn't infantry. If you need full auto fire, you NEED FULL AUTO FIRE, and that's all there is to it. Training is what keeps the bursts short, or keeps the grunts on semi and squeezing them off. There might be places for cost-cutting measures in the military, but the M16 is not the place for them. (rant mode off)

The barrel and sights are debatable, I like the lighter weight and simpler system of the A1, but many do like the steadier feel and improved sights of the A2. I do like the larger 0-2 aperture of the A2 sight for close work and low light, and it wouldn't have been much work to install an A2 aperture in an A1 reciever and save about half a pound. My AR, in fact, is set up this way.

The stock, handguards, and grip are all better, I think, as I'm pretty tall and they fit me better. These are pretty much personal preference, except for the handguard, which is two identical pieces instead of two different ones(simplifies support). I have a sentimental preference for the triangular A1 handguards.

I guess this pretty well covers it, my e-mail's on here if you want to talk direct. Hope this helps.

My brain's a hand grenade...catch. Ice-T, OG.

The M-16 is a damn fine weapon, but your best, your most lethal and effective weapon is between your ears. Ssgt Brown, Parris Island, 3rd Bn, H co. 1984.

February 6, 2000, 02:29 PM
artech, I agree with you on that tri-burst nonsense. When I was in Okinawa, I was stationed with some SeaBees (NMCB7) who said that they were issued the M16E2 that was semi/auto instead of the A2 semi/burst. What do you know about the E2 version?

Al Thompson
February 6, 2000, 04:12 PM
Started with A1's and ended with A2's. I do like the A1 sights better and the furniture on the A2's better.

My experiance with the wounding effect of either bullet is minimal. I am not happy with the effects tht I witnessed, regardless of the bullet weight. May be better with JHPs but (duh) we did not have any.

BTW, the three round burst can be, er, broken if needed. Nice thing about being the CO CDR, you can experiment with your rifles. Took me and my armorer about ten minutes to figure it out. (OK - he figured it out and I stood by with a blank maintenance request and a ball point pen.)

The USMC originally came up with the three round burst idea.


February 6, 2000, 09:15 PM
The A2 model is void of auto fire. Troops in Vietnam blasted away with automatic fire from their A1's with little success. If you ask me, the replacement (burst fire/three round burst) is also a waste.

Automatic fire is best served by a squad automatic weapon such as the M249 or M60. The M-16 comes into it's own when the user engages targets with discriminating accuracy, not full-auto "rock and rolling".

February 6, 2000, 10:03 PM
I used both in the military, and I have to say I was MUCH more accurate with the A2. The added weight didn't bother me and I liked the longer buttstock. Was much easier to adjust the sights on the A2 of course. The lack of full auto was meaningless to me as an infantryman because we never took our guns off semi. The idea was to make every shot count...we had SAWs and M60s to provide full auto fire.

February 7, 2000, 09:50 AM
I Agree with PETE80 and RIKWRITER,
I was issued a A-1 in basic training at Fort Bening( why I don't know, the A-2's were more common). When I got to my regular duty station at Fort Drum NY. I was issued an A-2.
I much prefered the accuracy of the A-2. As soon as I got used to my A-2 I was made a SAW gunner.( because I was new).Remember, the M-16 is a BATTLE RIFLE, not a ASSAULT RIFLE. When sh#@ hits the fan, the 60's and the saws lay down the fire, and the riflemen "shoot-n-scoot".If it gets really Shi#@y, your no more than a call away from "ARTY" or those cowboys in the AH-64 or AH-1 gunships.And belive me, those boys love to tear stuff up! The M-16 works just fine on semi. It's but a very small part of the whole picture!

February 7, 2000, 11:36 AM
I prefer the A1 version because of the shorter overall length, the lighter weight, and the simpler sights, however, I can live with the A2 version. So long as either one is a Colt! Agree that SAWs and M60s are better for FA, actually, I never had a SAW available, I was in the preSAW Army. But the '60 was a keeper!

o I raised my hand to eye level, like pointing a finger, and fired. Wild Bill Hickok
o If you have to shoot a man, shoot him in the guts... Wild Bill Hickok
o 45 ACP: Give 'em a new navel! BigG
o It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. Justice Robert H. Jackson
o It is error alone that needs government support; truth can stand by itself. Tom Jefferson
o When you attempt to rationalize two inconsistent positions, you risk drowning as your own sewage backs up. BigG

February 7, 2000, 12:58 PM
The SAW is a great weapon,But I'll agree with you,The 60 is better! I'm only 175LBS.
and I had a hard time carrying the 60.I lugged a pig on an 18 mile road march once and thought I was gonna croak! In that case it dosen't matter what M-16 you have, just be thankful you have one!But in a defence, there is no position I'd rather be in than dug in with a pig! oh yea, my SAW did have one problem, it almost always had a 30rd. M-16 magazine sticking out the side!!Man did I go through the ammo!!!!

February 7, 2000, 01:33 PM
I have some improvements.
Replace the silly gas tube with a piston system so propellant isn't blown into the action with every shot.
Replace the "T" charging handle with a simple recipracating handle protruding from the right side of the upper reciever. This eliminates the need for the seperate forward assist.
A1 or A2? A2, although I miss the regular full auto option.

Jeff White
February 7, 2000, 03:17 PM
The M16A1 is the better combat rifle. It is lighter, has better sights (I read that one of the features the Army liked about the A1 sights was that once they were battle sighted they were nearly impossible to get bumped or jarred out of adjustment), and is capable of full auto fire.

The M16A2 was designed to make it competetive at Camp Perry. Actual combat use wasn't really factored into the design. I guess we can say that the reinforcement in the lower receiver was a concession to combat use of the rifle.

The 1/12 twist of the M16A1 has nothing to do with the wounding capability of the M193 ball cartridge. Both the M193 (55 grain ball used in the M16 and M16A1) and M855 (62 grain ball used in the M16A2 and M4 and M4A1) have very similar wounding abilities at normal combat ranges. Dr. Martin L. Fackler of the International Wound Ballistics Association published a study of the Patterns of Military Rifle Bullets a few years back. This was based in large part on work he did for the Army in 1988. It's available online at http://www.fen.baynet.de/norberi.arnoldi/army/wound.html and also through the Firearms Tactical web site in the links section of TFL. These studies proved that both M193 and M855 produced almost identical wounds. The massive wounding effects are atrributed to the bullet breaking at the cannelure and the rear of the bullet fragmenting. These fragments then rupture the temporary wound channel creating a larger permanent wound cavity and a few smaller permanent wound channels. Both bullets perform this way at velocities of 2500 feet per second. They fragment more reliably at velocities above 2700 feet per second. The difference in twist rate is to stabilize the LONGER M855 bullet. The M855 was designed to increase penetration at longer ranges, but Dr. Facklers tests show that terminal performance for both rounds in flesh is nearly the same.

Proper training and SOPs eliminate the need for artifical methods of fire control such as burst devices. When i had a rifle platoon, I never had any problem with my soldiers running away on full auto. It's all in how they were trained. The burst device in the M16A2 is a cam type arrangement. When you first press the trigger when set on "Burst" you don't know if you're going to get 1, 2 or 3 rounds. It all depends on where the cam was when you place it on "Burst". You also get a different trigger pull with every press of the trigger depending on where the cam is. many military teams replace the A2 fire control parts with A1 on their competition weapons. Just so they get the same trigger pull every time.

The perfect M16 type battle rifle - the Canadian C7, A1 sights, A2 barrel and furniture and full auto selector.


February 7, 2000, 06:36 PM
I'm Swiss, so I'm not an authority on M-16s. But
I suspect a 0-1-3-auto selector lever wouldn't
hurt the M-16. We have that on our SIG 550s.

February 7, 2000, 08:06 PM
Mussi, as I understand it, the US Special Forces M4 has the 0-1-3-auto selector, at least on some models. The regular troops get the 0-1-3.

Jeff White
February 7, 2000, 11:35 PM
The US armed forces currently field the following versions of the M16 family:

M16 - This is the original rifle, no forward assist, safe-semi-auto selector, triangular handguards. Still a lot of them in the hands of the USAF.

M16A1 - As adopted by the Army in the early 60s. Basically the same as the M16 with the addition of the forward assist. A few active Army units and a lot of the USAR and Army National Guard still use them.

XM177 - 10" barreled M16 carbine with integral noise and flash suppressor, collapsible stock. Safe-semi-auto selector, no forward assist. Officially called a submachine gun by the military. The Air Force still has a few of these in service with Security Police units. They call it the GAU-5 (I think I'm correct on the Air Force nomenclature.

M16A2 - 1/7 twist barrel heavy at the front end, 800 meter click adjustable sights, reinforcement at the rear of the lower receiver. 5/8" longer buttstock, round handguards, finger swell on pistol grip, square front sight post, safe-semi-burst selector.

M16A3 - Identical to the M16A2 except safe-semi-auto selector. Produced for the Navy.

M16A4 - Identical to the M16A2 except has flattop upper receiver with removable carry handle.

M4 - Carbine version of M16A2. 14.5 1/7 twist barrel, 4 position collapsible stock, both fixed carry handle and flattop versions have been fielded.

M4A1 - Identical to the M4 except has safe-semi-auto selector and is only fielded in the flattop version. Army issue to Special Forces and Ranger units.

Since production started on the M16A2 procurement of M16A1 furniture was halted. you will see M16A1s with round handguards, longer buttstocks and A2 pistol grips.


George Hill
February 8, 2000, 06:56 AM
Its lighter.
They are about as accurate out to 150 meters. The A2 is a little better past that - but I dont think thats a liability.
A Short barreled A1 I think would be a better option at least for Light Infantry than an A2 do to the weight and the easy of handling. However I dont like the AR's gas system and bolt/chamber design. If that was improved - it would be just fine.
Even in the field - I rarely used the rock and roll selection. None of the other Grunts in my units did either. We carried about 180 rounds of ammo and that was it. If that sounds like a lot of shots for you lurkers out there - trust me - its not. Thats about 5 minutes of heavy combat. We strived for ammo conservation as much as we could... Even with the selector switch flipped all the way over, we did short bursts. Sustained fire was best left for the fellows with the M-60 "Hog Gunners".

I think you could take a platoon of Light I and arm them all with Scout Rifles and you would have an effective platoon without a loss of firepower. In fact - they could probably do some things a normal platoon couldnt. (dont ask me what - use your imagination) My point is that with a little fire discipline, you could be more effective. That said - The heavy A2 barrel doesnt do nothing for you but weigh you down.
In the light I you want something you can make dance in your hands - light and nimble. Your going to run and hide, sneak and assault... Jump over stuff, climb stuff... You got to be quick. A heavy rifle makes that more difficult. I know there isnt a huge difference... but in the field - every ounce counts. Thats why we went .223 from .308. Now that I went .308 from .223 I can see why that was done. Weight is an issue.

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 8, 2000, 11:44 AM
The reason 6" Heavy barrel extension was placed on the weapon was grunts were using the barrels of their weapons as pry bars and were bending their weapons barrels.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

February 8, 2000, 08:29 PM
Okay folks, I gotta throw in my 2 cents worth. A2 or M-4 for me. Better balistics, more accurate, more dependable. Full auto is a great feature, but unless you're in SF or the Ranger Regiment, you're not gonna get the range time to become proficient in being able to selectively control your bursts. When you want full auto, the infantry squad uses its M249's and M240's (when you consider that a light infantry squad has 2xM249's and a LI PLT has 2 M240's that's quite a bit). In today's world, where we're doing more with less and deploying all over the world as "peacekeepers" read cops your average infantryman does not have the time and amoo set apart by his Bn to go to the range and shoot the rounds required to become proficient in controlled auto fire.
Now back to the original topic. The A2 is sturdier than the A1 is, and in my humble opinion is more accurate. However the M-4 is currently being fielded to all of the infantry divisions ie; 82nd, 101st, 10th MTN. With iron sights I PERSONALLY feel that it is just as accurate as the A2 with just a bit of range time, when you start adding all the toys that are available for it, it is an awesome system.
Oh yeah, I gotta say this too. The M240 is a hell of a lot better than the M60. Again personal opinion. And by the way. I'm on active duty and my last job was as a PSG in the 10th MTN (or hell as I like to call it)

George Hill
February 9, 2000, 06:11 AM
PJ11B3VF7 - welcome... And thanks for the input. You make some good observasions.
I had an A1 a lot longer than I did an A2.
The difference I think is that the A2 is easier to shoot well. The heavier barrel makes shooting more stable and thus you can score better.
But given a little more effort to all the basics of BRM and ARM - you can shoot just as good with the A1. Given the fact that the A1 in question isnt a beat up POS like you see in most units where they still remain.
As for full auto fire - your right - takes some practice...

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 9, 2000, 10:15 AM
George, I reject the notion that the A2 is only a better gun for competition. I have used the A1 and the A2 in tactical platoon movement lanes with popups and live ammo and it also performs better under those conditions. It's simply a better combat weapon all around, and certainly more of a marksman's rifle than the A1. At least when I was in the infantry, they were trying to instill in us the One Shot, One Kill philosophy and totally move away from the spray and pray tactics of Vietnam, which the A1 epitomized.

February 9, 2000, 03:53 PM
Anyone here remember the concept of the Assault Rifle?
This aimed accurate fire stuff is just fine for the range or two-man scout/sniper teams.
Your average grunt, 11B or 0311, should have a burst firing weapon. Firing while running and/or firing at a running target doesn't make classic marksmanship all that practical. Espescially when things are exploding or rounds are making little gysers all around you.
The Germans knew this. That's why the Assault Rifle was invented. The Vietnam spray and pray fiasco was a combination of poor training and poor motivation.
If all this classical marksmanship had such a high battlefield value, why don't we still have boltactions?
By the way. 0311 had much less problems with spray and pray than 11B. Better training.

February 9, 2000, 06:15 PM
Cann't agree more. In the second world war, at the biginning 61% of Russian casualties were caused by artillery fire. Near the end of the war it was up to over 70%. On the flip side it was at a constant 70-74 percent of German casualties were caused by artillery. In the US, no more authority than GS Patton said 1) You don't have to ask me who one the war, you know who one the war, the field artillery won the war. and 2) The poorer the quality of the troops the more they need artillery, and American troops need a lot of artillery. For the US around 70-75 of casualties were caused by our supporting arms. We in the US however have grown up around the myth of the riflemen. So those facts are never pointed out. And we talk about one shot one kill which is extremely rare.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

February 9, 2000, 07:17 PM
George, thanks for the welcome. Now, I'm going to drift away from the subject by saying that wars are won by a combined arms team, Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Air Force, Navy, all working together. HOWEVER, no matter how much you bomb a piece of ground with artillery, B-52, B-1 bombs, 16 inch Naval Gunfire, you DO NOT OWN that ground unless there is an infantryman standing on it. Which kinda leads me back to the original topic of M-16A2 VS M-16A1. IMHO, the A2 is the better weapon because of the heavier barrel, the M855 round and the fact that American troops in Vietnam, and all the conflicts since have spent thousands of rounds for one kill. The AVERAGE infantryman, and I say the AVERAGE infantryman does not get the trigger time to become proficient in firing controlled bursts, especially in a high stress situation. Unless you happen to belong to SF, are in the Ranger Regiment or are lucky enough to belong to a more "specialized" unit in a line infantry Bn, ie Scout platoon, Division LRSD/C (Long Range Surveilance Detachment/Company). Or are lucky enough to have a chain of command that cares more about fighting wars and winning them, than area beautification and making sure the lawn is perfectly cut around Bn HQ. Or are not constantly tasked out with funeral detail or a peace keeping mission. The average 11B (and I'll refrain from commenting on the USMC) will not get the afore mentioned time to train properly with his weapon to become expert enough to be able to control his trigger finger. Especially if a BG is firing at you and your pucker factor is up. 3-rd burst will and does allow greater control of your weapon when the addrenaline is rushing through your system. That's why I feel that the A2 is overall better than the A1.

Oh, and by the way, yes I am bitter about the lack of training time down in the line infantry. I'm currently a Ranger Instructor. I hope things will have changed when I go back to the line and I can train my soldiers instead of assigning them to police call the post etc.


February 9, 2000, 07:51 PM
total agreement with that sentiment. But I would rather take that ground after a good prep than without one. I just graduated a FAOBC class of 38, of my 23 army Lt's I think about a half-dozen are going to you for Ranger school, let me tell you you got your work cut out for you, what a bunch of jokers, and I don't mean that in a good way.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

Jake 98c/11b
February 10, 2000, 12:36 AM
Thanks for the input guys, at first I thought I was getting 37 posts of AR15.com. I havent the time to check two websights and since I still kinda concider George a friend of mine I was hoping to stay here and harass him a while.
I have always thought the military went the wrong direction with the A2. The infantry needs something lighter not heavier, and a boot to the ass should help with the bent barrels. I do think the A2 has some nice features, the reinforced receivers, square front sight post, brass deflector, larger pistol grip and large apeture rear sight. Unfortunately the rifle has some serious problems as well, the three round burst does some horrid things to the trigger, I worry that the 800m rear sight might be fragile, the longer stock is not the best idea in my opinion it is easier to shoot a rifle that is a bit short than one that is too long. I have decided the four position collapsable stock is good, at least for me, if you wear an issue flak jacket or cold weather clothing or bolth the A2 can be way too long and I can shoot better on the move with a short stock. My personal preference is the M4 but if I could have an A1 barrel profile, sight assembly (A2 apeture), Trijicon front sight, full auto or even semi only trigger and possibly a vortex flash supressor that, IMHO, would be the best combination. Sure the gas system dumps crap in the carrier but a piston would add weight to the system and I know a few light infantry who chop half the handle off their tooth brush to save weight/space. I don't accept the idea that the accuracy would be necessecarily worse under field conditions, something like 98% of all small arms injuries are from within 200 yards and about 75% are from within 70 yards. Makes me think an 800m rear sight if kinda silly. Don't get me wrong I think we should train our troops on KD ranges, it reinforces the fundamentals, but it is not real world training for combat.
Weight is very important, one pound carried in your hands is as bad as 5 pounds or more on your back, don't believe me? try it long term and see what you think. Someone mentioned carrying the 60 for a long road march, ask him how well he could shoot and maneuver after that. Ask him if he would have had more energy if he had the M-16 and a 20 lb rock in his ruck. The weight doesnt carry the same. George was right on the money when he said an infantry weapon must be light, maneuverable and handy.
As you can see I am firmly entrenched in my opinion, took me a long time to get here and I am attached to my opinion. I would love to hear any dissenting opinion, I certainly do not think I have all the answers. Truth is I may not fully understand the question, I am looking for a discussion or even a debate to help me find the answer to the question I asked.

Thanks again, keep it coming.

February 10, 2000, 04:01 AM
Less KD ranges, more kill houses and MILES time.
Abandon the AR design alltogether and adopt a bullpup configeration AK chambered for 5.56mm. Use a lot of carbon fibre for weight saving, give it a raised shotgun rib to sight with for burst firing. Foregrips help a great deal in weapon control, so add one.

It would also be a good idea to commission two more Marine Divisions. Then the Army could concentrate on supply, arty, rear area security, things like that.

George Hill
February 10, 2000, 06:18 AM
Shin-Tao - you sound just like one of my brothers.

Jake - That sounds like a sweet M-16 configuration. I like it. That would be a grand Light-I arm. If they just had to keep the M-16 that is...

There is no One combat mind set to follow. A good soldier needs to be flexable and needs to be able to adjust his fighting to meet the METT. Because METT always dictates.

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 10, 2000, 07:18 AM
It never going to happen the National Security act of 1947 established three active division. Since that we are now down to 2 reduced divisions and 1 division that only owns 1 regt and borrows one fron the other divisions. And if you did you think congress is going to authorize 2 additional 18,000 Marine divisions and all their equipment, you need to go see a doctor. You got to remember that this is the congress got a lot of press for a 4.8% raise this year (and was dragged kicking and screaming into it), but they forgot to tell everyone they lowered everyone non-taxable housing allowances if they moved. So if anyone is PCSing they take up to a 1-7 percent decrease in pay. The bean counters will always win in peace time.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

February 10, 2000, 10:36 AM
Shin, I would be totally against adapting a bullpup weapon...bullpup designs have inherent tactical weaknesses that make them unsuitable for general military use in my opinion, especially the inability to reload with one hand and difficulty firing around cover without exposing too much of the firer's body.

February 10, 2000, 01:37 PM
Yes. It will never happen. But two more MDivs would be a glorious sight.
The bullpup config is my personle favorite. A lot of operators don't like it. So I guess we need to call our Isreali friends and contract for some lightened Galils.

Jake 98c/11b
February 10, 2000, 11:08 PM
Shin, Can't say I care for the bullpup, good special purpose weapon, poor general purpose weapon. Rik was right, unless you go to caseless ammo you have a problem with the ejected brass and I don't see how the weapon manipulation can be as fast and easy as wit a conventional design. More trigger time is needed but don't cut KD ranges just add MOUT and MILES force on force, it's not perfect but it's the best thing we have right now. As to the Galil, the Israelis are dropping it in favor of the M-16.

George, how many brothers do you have? How many more of you are there? We should neuter your kind before it is too late. However, since you like my concept I suppose that idea MIGHT be a bit premature.

To our other 11B, you are absolutely correct in that no other branch can accomplish the mission of the military. You cannot take and hold ground without the man on the ground. All others support the infantry (tankers hate to hear that). Not to offend our redleg friend, its true they do the bulk of the work, but if we could raise the level of our soldiers a bit we would not be so dependant on them. It can be done but we, in this country, always seem to choose technology over training. We think of overwelming force (fire support) as the easy answer, it's easier than all that sweat on the training field. I worry that with all the downsizing we will not be able to bring that kind of fire to our next fight. We need to have the best trained troops available, we need to work on the basic soldier skills and small unit stuff. The only way an individual can influence the battlefield is with his rifle. If the average soldier could dominate his surroundings with rifle fire, accurate, fast fire and retain the ability to move easily we could easily do more with less. Unfortunately our idea of doing more with less is more money spent on high tech (that fails) less money spent on the (fewer) troops.

Jake 98c/11b
February 10, 2000, 11:22 PM
Sorry guys, had to stop that while I could.

Seriously though, what do you think of the concept weapon that I described? Specifically what do you like and/or dislike about it and why? What have I overlooked and what do you take issue with?

I would be willing to discuss any aspect, general or specific. If you have an idea on the flash supressor say so. Comments on soldiers load, have at it. I plan to build up a rifle soon and I might change some plans based on what is discussed but more importantly I have been tasked with develouping a marksmanship training program and this discussion may help me with that task as well. It will likely help with other classes as well, I give weapon classes and classes on the soldiers load regularly at my unit. Thanks for the help.

George Hill
February 11, 2000, 01:45 AM
Jake, I have One brother still living in Virginia, Two here in Utah, and Two down in Mexico. (the two in Utah are In-Laws but we get along well. Just not as well as you in-bred West Virginia nancy-boys!)
Oh - and over 4,000 here online. :D

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 11, 2000, 09:07 AM
Jake that is the concept the Marine Corps uses. From what the current army doctrine reads, it is unit or division dependant. In the Armor division, since they are the manuever element, they are the one that recieve the support. In the heavy infantry, although the infantrymen are the center piece of the show, they provide support to their BFV and don't often move far from them on dismounting. In the LID and Airborne/Air Assualt Division the infantry is the king and everything is suppose to revolve around him.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

February 12, 2000, 05:19 AM
Well, it sounds like you people all want a select-fire Carbon15.
Jake11bush:I don't think Israel is even close to trading in their Galils for anything, certanly not for M16s. Right this minute, their M16s are all in the hands of their security police and support personal. The frontliners and SF carry Galils.
Back to the Carbon15. So. What would you Army boys do to make the C15 the ideal Infantry tool? No LandWarrior Systems please.

I shoot back
February 12, 2000, 05:21 AM
I think artech covered everything but I have one consideration to add. He mentioned the burst limitation on the A2 which can be corrected by any competent weapons guy. I know when we conducted CSAR missions in SW Asia our weapons guys would remove the sear and replace it with a washer-I'm not exactly sure of the process (I was a commo guy) but it basically made the A2 capable of full auto. Now you couldn't get away with this in the U.S. but in a combat situation I don't think too much would be said. Besides if things went to crap and you had to use it I would rather take my chances with legal punishment after the rounds stop flying. I think if you make this correction you would be much better off with the A2.

[This message has been edited by I shoot back (edited February 12, 2000).]

February 12, 2000, 10:12 AM
Last Med float I went on, granted it was a couple of years ago. Every one I saw, infantry, artillery, airborne all carried M16s or Uzis. But that is not saying that Galil were not be found elsewhere.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

February 12, 2000, 10:18 AM
I have also heard from a friend that visited Israel recently that they want to get rid of their Galils and go to M16s.

February 12, 2000, 12:58 PM

It isn't true!!

February 12, 2000, 09:45 PM
The "best" M16 for 95% of military use would be this combination of the M16A1 and the M16A2:

Top Half

- C7 Upper (A1 Upper w/FA and BD)
- A2 Barrel
- A2 Front Sight (and Rear Aperture)
- A2 Handguards
- A2 Twist (1:7)
- A2 Flash Suppressor

Bottom Half

- A2 Lower
- A2 Pistol Grip
- A1 Stock
- A1 Fire Control (Auto)

Did I mention that this how the Canadians configured their M16, the C7? (Though I think they use the A2 stock).

Oops, Jeff did. :)


February 13, 2000, 12:26 AM
I know this is getting to be a long post to read, but I gotta add my 2 bits.
IMHO the M16 is not a good combat weapon (Let the flames begin...) it is not reliable enough. That being said, I think 3 round burst is complete horse-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-. The idea behind auto/burst fire is not to actually kill anyone. If it kills someone, that's extra. it's used for suppressive fire. ie guy a shoots while guy b moves closer and then a shoots b moves, and so on until the target may be eliminated by semi auto aimed fire. by removing full auto and putting 3 round burst in it's place you also eliminate the suppressive capabilites of the rifle. What is the point of even having 3 rd burst I don't understand. You can not use it effectively to hold the enemy in a position, and if there are alot of BGs you cannot use it to cover a large sector of fire. I absolutly think burst is one of the worst ideas ever deployed by any military.
Execpt for the burst, I think A2s are better than A1s. I like the barrel, sights, and stock of the A2 better. (Still think they are jam-o-matics though)

February 13, 2000, 12:48 AM
KY, you can call it a jamamatic all you want, but the real experience of myself and many others I have known doesn't bear that out. Plus, in actuality you're 180 degrees wrong about the three round burst, it was designed to PREVENT people from using full auto to "keep their heads down."

Jeff White
February 13, 2000, 07:00 PM
KY - ALL automatic weapons jam. I've seen AKs, M1s, Galils, just about every military semi or select fire rifle jam in 25 years in the Army. I don't know what makes you think M16s are jam -o- matics. I think I've probably observed every type of stoppage you can think of in the M16. Most of them are attributable to bad magazines or poor maintenance. The M16 is much more reliable then the other predominant American weapon at the platoon level, the M60. (sorry PJ11B3VF7, the M240B hasn't been distributed through the Army yet only the light units have them, that I'm aware of. I am impressed with the selection of it though). I hope you're not basing you opinion on reading of reports of the fielding of the M16 in the '60s. What rifle do you think our soldiers should have, that's not a jam -O- matic?

PJ11B3VF7 - Do you have any experience with the A1 and full auto fire? It is quite easy to learn to squeeze off 2 and 3 round bursts. I have to take issue with the thought that you never get enough time to train to fire bursts unless you are in SOF. Back in the days before the Army made me an artilleryman (I was 11B for 21 years) I trained my soldiers to control their rate of fire using blanks and even taught my platoon machine gunners to make their guns "talk" by having them set up their guns on the lawn, side by side. I gave the fire commands and they counted off the bursts by saying "bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!" when one gunner stopped the other picked it up. No ammunition required and the next live fire attack worked great, they had their rhythm down and maintained continuous fire across the obj. The same for writing fire control into your platoon SOP and enforcing it at all times. If you take what you are given and think of ways to train effectively with it, you don't have to depend on mechanical devices like burst controls to make up the difference. None of what I said was meant as a flame, just thought you might like to hear some other ideas. When you train reserve component soldiers for a living, you really learn to make do.

STLRN - you've got one of my new LTs down there now, hope he doesn't fit into the category that you described earlier.

February 14, 2000, 12:22 AM
The 16 is indeed a jammalot. In my experience, I've witnessed jams at an unacceptable frequency in my squad despite the weapons having been cleaned the same morning.
I've fired other autorifles of various types, clean and dirty, and had far less jams per mag. M16s are certanly not the most reliable service rifle in the world.
One thing I like about getting out is that I don't have to rely on such an unrealiable weapon.
I'd rather hit the beach with an SKS. It'll go bang each time I pull the trigger.

George Hill
February 14, 2000, 06:06 AM
Take the action from an FAL, The short barrel of an M-4, the trigger group flexability of an MP5 and the optics package of the G36.
Oh - hell - just go with a G36K and you got all you will need.

February 14, 2000, 09:29 AM
No flame, just an observation.

Some have noted the three-round burst as a POS. I know you can tease off single and double shots out of full auto without much trouble. Isn't it demeaning to have the gum't decide you're too stupid to be taught trigger control and try to substitute technology for your judgment?

Just a thought. :D

o I raised my hand to eye level, like pointing a finger, and fired. Wild Bill Hickok
o If you have to shoot a man, shoot him in the guts... Wild Bill Hickok
o 45 ACP: Give 'em a new navel! BigG
o It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. Justice Robert H. Jackson
o It is error alone that needs government support; truth can stand by itself. Tom Jefferson
o When you attempt to rationalize two inconsistent positions, you risk drowning as your own sewage backs up. BigG

February 14, 2000, 09:43 AM
BigG, the problem is, look at Vietnam---it seems the average 19-year-old grunt IS incapable of using trigger control under stress. Personally I think they should have made the M16A2 semiauto only.
Shin, my experience runs counter to yours as far as reliability goes. Guess we will have to agree to disagree on that subject.

George Hill
February 14, 2000, 09:52 AM
BigG - a good observation...
What the Gumit is doing is saving money by avoiding the additional training needed to get good with the trigger... What are they saving? About 4 or 5 magazines worth of ammo. I know many a grunt that even on FA could easily fire singles. Myself included and I was no Iron Mike.
By putting in a 3 round burst they are saving some cash in ammo and they think that they forcing the soldiers to fire more carfully.
I dont care for the 3 round burst feature - and with the A2 I always kept it on single anyways.
The FAL is intended to be a Semi Auto weapon by design - and shooting it, I dont mind that at all. You want to fire your rounds more accurately... you only have 20 in the box and your not packing as many either. Yet I dont feel undergunned at all with that in my hands.
Thats what the Army needs to do - make a that fires .308 again and keep the weight down to keep it handy. But I Dream here... In this modern foppish army they will probably go to .17 Remington and be semi autos that weigh in about 3 pounds most cause 1/2 the troops cant even do 20 pushups. Asking them to do so might get them to raise there Stress Cards!

February 14, 2000, 10:47 AM
Here we go. A 36K with a foregrip, raised shotgun rib, 0-1-30 trigger group, fairly short stock.

Jeff White
February 14, 2000, 01:26 PM
George - The Army Ordnance Department has an institutional bias against the troops being able to fire large amounts of ammunition that goes back alomost to it's inception.

Breech loaders, repeaters, and semi autos were all fought by the establishment. Our early repeaters all had magazine cut offs so that the troops could single load ammo. The intention was that the magazine should be used in a combat emergency only.

I think it's ironic that we forced the 7.62x51 round on NATO, when all of the Europeans wanted to go to a smaller midsize cartridge. The FN FAL was originally developed for a midsized round. Then a few years after we forced everyone to adopt 7.62x51, we changed our standard round to 5.56x45. NATO didn't catch up until about 85 when the SS109/M855 was designated the NATO standard round.

The adoption of the burst device doesn't surprise me in the least, given the history of American military small arms development.

Given that the wounding effects of M855 are optimized at velocities of 2700 fps and higher, I think we are giving up a lot of capability by going to the M4 in Infantry units. This cuts our effective range to a little more then 100 meters. (I don't mean effective range that we can hit a target, but effective range we can depend on the massive wounds that 5.56x45 is known for). Even the 20" barrels on the A1 and A2 only maintain this velocity out to about 180 meters. One could argue that most engagements are close range anyway, but I still like to be able to effectively hit out as far as I can.

There has been some talk of going to a 6mm cartridge, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. You have to remember that we don't even have enough money in the budget to give the entire force one rifle that uses one round of ammunition and that is at a cost of about $460.00 each. This would allow us to produce just one type of 5.56mm ammuntion. Although they may be keeping the A1s in the system to use up stocks of M193. The M1 Garand was originally supposed to be .276 caliber, but was changed to .30 caliber because of the large stocks of .30 Calber ammo that were left over from WWI. You can shoot M193 through the M16A2 without much loss of effectiveness if you do need to burn up the stocks of M193.

I would issue the Canadian C7 to most troops, save the M4 for special units and PLs, PSGs, RTOs etc.

I'm not familarwith the G-36 so I won't comment on it. But I don't see us making any big changes in small arms any time soon.


George Hill
February 15, 2000, 03:00 AM
I would give a SAW (M-249) to all infantry members and tell them to just deal with it.
The SAW was light and handy and plenty accurate, and fired at a very controlled rate that was easy as hell to fire singles and doubles with. Seriously.
They would have to go though a lot of ammo all the time but to compinsate I would fire and sell off the Ordinance Department and replace it with a more understanding system... Like the Marine Corps.

Hey - there is a Squad Automatic Weapon version of the G36, right? Dang - HK does good stuff - Didnt it? Watch out for Colt trying to make them produce the Colt 2000!

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

February 15, 2000, 07:10 AM
Talk about heavy, the M249 PIP with the 200 round battle pack is around 24 pounds, well it is lighter than the M240G, but every riflemen with a SAW, wow that would provide hellatous firepower to the unit. The PIP SAWs have a 750-850 RPM rate of fire, and troops are told to fire 5-7 round bursts, because it under that rate sometimes compromises relability. The old SAW had a 1000 RPM (I know normal gave you around 750RPM, but who ever left the regulator in normal)

February 15, 2000, 11:23 AM
Or use the G36K with the weirdo double drum. Then you don't have to deal with the obnoxious box and bipod.
But I'd just stick with the 30rd mags. You know what's best about the G36? It's not an M16.

February 15, 2000, 12:39 PM
Jeff, I have a decent amount of experience with the A1 on full auto and you are correct that it is easy to learn how to control your bursts with a little bit of practice. However, the poit I was trying to make was that most infantry units will not have the time to not only develop the skill, but remain proficient in doing so. The ability to control your weapon to fire precise burst needs to be ingrained into muscle memory because when the brown stuff hits the fan most people will not retain the presence of mind to control their rate of fire. Yeah, if you're a team leader or a squad leader you have time behind the stock and you can do it, but your average private does not get the training to do so. I agree, blanks are a great training tool, and there is nothing sweeter than having your guns "talking" as the assault element moves up to your objective, but once again. It is a difficult skill to master if your unit does not have the funds and time to go to the range or even to get you the blanks you want to train with. My last job was as a PSG in the 10th Mtn. And I hate to admit it, but we were always short of ammo for training. Hell, I was lucky if my riflemen would get 120 blank rounds to train for a platoon assault with prior to going down range. I agree with all of your training techniques, have used many of them. BUT you can't train if you don't get the money or time because your troops are always on post police or funeral detail or West Point "Support" or deployed to Bosnia or the Sinai. That's why I say that you don't get time to get proficient unless you're in the SOF community. Remember, Its the zero defect army and we're "doing more with less" now. What an oxymoron huh?

So to stop myself from going on and on and on I'll just say that with training, time and funds any unit can become truly proficent and capable, it's just that not all/most units get those things.

Good luck with the reserve component


Walk softly and carry a big stick (Yeah I know I stole it)

February 15, 2000, 01:24 PM
But the LandWarriorSysytem will give the Privets and PFCs space age computers so they can...Uh, use cutting edge technology to...Ah...It's a force multiplier allowing the average grunt to...Um...Compute...

Jeff White
February 15, 2000, 07:19 PM
STLRN - I thought the Marines didn't adopt the PIP M249. I don't see much use for the modifications they did on it. The one thing the could have done (beef up the bipod) they ignored, go figure.

Pete - I know what you mean about doing more with less. Some days I swear I'll put in my retirement papers the next time a field grade uses that phrase in a motivational speech :) I still think we should dump the burst device and go back to training our soldiers to be soldiers. I sense a repeat of the Task Force Smith debacle in our future. As soon as we deploy these troops who have spent all their time on post police, funeral and peacekeeping details into a real conflict. I guess we will just never learn. As a nation we seem to have to relearn these lessons over and over again.


February 15, 2000, 10:23 PM
I think, much like the A2 were the driving force behind the upgrades. I don't have any Lt's from your Battery in my OBC platoon, I believe they are all in 4th Plt. And it might surprise you but NG Lt normally do better here at OBC than a lot of the regulars, unlike the Lt that are here to pay back a educational commitment the NG guy want to be here.

God truly fights on the side with the best artillery

Jeff White
February 16, 2000, 09:53 PM
Actually it doesn't surprise me. The Guard has always been a little underrated. But there are things it doesn't do well too. Send me your e-mail as I don't get an e-mail link from your posts here for some reason. Just found out today we're getting 3 IFSAS systems in the Battalion. No NET on them or anything, just lateral transfer from another unit. I may have some questions.


Hard Ball
February 21, 2000, 11:39 AM
Have faith! Just hang on until 2005 and the OICW will replace M16s and solve all problems. Just don't hold your breath!

Hard Ball
February 21, 2000, 11:43 AM
Have faith! Just hang on until 2005 and the OICW will replace M16s and solve all problems. Just don't hold your breath!

I just succubed to ACROVYMITIS> Sorry about that! OICW means the Objective IndividualCombat Weapon

February 21, 2000, 01:41 PM
I just saw your post, I will E-mail yoo from the office in the AM. Hopefully we can help with your battery's probelm

February 21, 2000, 04:05 PM
Due to being Dongleless for the past week I've just now had a chance to check out this topic.

It has exceeded the authorized upper byte limit by a small bit.

Thread is now closed and may be continued in part II at


Thank you all for your support.

GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"