View Full Version : The Israeli and Desert Storm M16 Record

Jamie Young
December 31, 2000, 01:22 AM
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.

December 31, 2000, 12:27 PM
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.


December 31, 2000, 12:35 PM
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.

cuerno de chivo
December 31, 2000, 12:43 PM
Who wouldn't take a free M16?

Blue Duck357
December 31, 2000, 01:00 PM
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

December 31, 2000, 03:22 PM
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.

December 31, 2000, 04:29 PM
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.

Art Eatman
December 31, 2000, 05:04 PM
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.


Ruben Nasser
December 31, 2000, 05:22 PM
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.

Jamie Young
December 31, 2000, 06:20 PM
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?

December 31, 2000, 09:52 PM
...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.

Ruben Nasser
January 1, 2001, 07:56 AM
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".

January 1, 2001, 02:26 PM
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.

January 1, 2001, 04:07 PM
>>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.

Badger Arms
January 1, 2001, 04:31 PM
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.

Keith J
January 1, 2001, 06:29 PM
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.

January 1, 2001, 08:40 PM
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.

January 1, 2001, 08:53 PM
This has some good information on the M4, it's development and current use.



January 1, 2001, 09:16 PM
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.


Edmund Rowe
January 1, 2001, 10:08 PM

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.


Jamie Young
January 1, 2001, 10:49 PM
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]

January 1, 2001, 11:14 PM
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" :-)

Art Eatman
January 2, 2001, 12:45 AM
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,


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


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.


January 2, 2001, 10:46 AM
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.

January 2, 2001, 11:41 AM
This stuff about "well, it's not the best, but it works" is nonsense. People who put their lives on the line deserve the very best equipment money can buy. I don't care if some of the newer rifles aren't a quantum leap above the modern rifle. If something better comes along than what is issued, then out with the old and in with the new! That's the way I would have it, anyway. As I said, our warriors should have only the very very best. Nothing less.

January 2, 2001, 11:53 AM
which is the best treatise on the development/implementation of the AR15. It has all the gory details, but some of the big problems with the initial weapons were:

1. IMR powder could not produce the velocity specified within specified pressures, hence the Ball powder, which could.

2. However, ball powder increased the cyclic rate a couple hundred RPMs more than weapon was designed for and had more residue than IMR.

3. Army did not issue cleaning kits with rifle, said it did not need to be cleaned.

4. High humidity caused corrosion of chamber and bore.

Fixes were chrome bore and chamber, different buffer, and cleaning kits. Also, new manufactured ball powder did not need the calcium carbonate which was the major problem with original ball produced from surplus powders, IIRC. Then the weapon became super reliable.

Again, read "The Black Rifle." It has blow by blow documentation of all of these things. This book should be on every AR15 owners bookshelf as a must-read!

Scott Evans
January 2, 2001, 12:36 PM
I was in the Marine Corps from 1987 to the end of 1991. I found the M-16 A2 to be reliable and accurate everywhere. During my tour I spent nearly a year in Jungle type environments, as much time in arctic / cold weather and mountain type areas, and nearly as much time in desert climates. However, I think the 5.56 is best suited for CQB and personally feel that a main battle rifle should be chambered in 7.62 x 55 or equivalent. The 5.56 does not have the energy necessary for the most likely battle ranges (300-500m). In order to take advantage of the principal of “Stand-off” you need a main battle rifle that can more effectively engage the enemy at distance. Sure the 5.56 is accurate at 500m but lacks the punch necessary to take full advantage of that range.

IMO The lay out of the AR type rifle is very good if not the best yet. I think the Marine Corp should transition to the AR-10 as the main battle rifle while retaining the M-4 for CQB.

January 2, 2001, 01:18 PM

What kind of company were you in MOS? and did you take your M-16 that jammed to your company armorer to be fixed?

Concernig the AK. Do you know soldiers that are issued AK's? The only ones I ever knew were shooting at me.


January 2, 2001, 01:28 PM
I was infantry, 0311.

Troops I discussed AK series weapons with were Romanian and CIS.


If you like the 16, fine. But there are more reliable designs out there.

January 2, 2001, 01:42 PM
I have discussed the AK with someonone who served with one.

On an exercise once he and his group (all mandatory conscript apes) were out in waist-deep snow. On this exercise, they were to shoot off a few mags full-auto.

Guns were dunked in the snow between magazines to cool them off.

Said apes WERE responsible for the care of their AKs - they had to pay for them if returned in different condition than issued. His went back in same condition as issued. He claimed they DID get all mudded up; but that they would dismantle and clean them after getting back to civilization for this reason.

The guy I was discussing this was NOT a gun nut or defending the Kalashnikov by any means. But he claimed that he had NEVER seen one jam or fail.


January 2, 2001, 03:38 PM
Huh...I have never served in an Eastbloc Army, have only fired a full-auto AK once, and have fired less than a quarter of the rounds through civilian semi AK models that I have through AR15s and M16s, yet somehow I have seen about a half dozen jams in different AKs.

Scott Evans
January 2, 2001, 03:43 PM
I was with I Co 3rd Bn 2nd Mar, 2nd MarDiv. 0311 also as well as 85?? Marine Security forces.

My first 18 months after Boot Camp, School of Infantry and then Marine Security Forces School (run then by Col. Bob Young now at Gunsite) I was attached To Marine Security Forces Battalion out of Norfolk VA. We trained to guard Special Weapons (i.e. nukes) Facilities and convoys. This job required clearance and an active status in PRP. Great training ! After that I went to 3/2 who at that time were training as a “Raid” Battalion. Heilo casting, fast rope, Rubber boats, and such. More cool training that involved a lot of time in the water and over the beach and more live fire then traditional Victor units. Our unit was also designated as a cold weather unit and we did the Bridgeport Ca, Wisconsin, Norway training cycle. Also did a “Rock” package in Bridgeport, Cax in 29 palms, 6 months in Okinawa, 5 weeks in Philippines, 4 weeks in Korea and 9 months in the Persian Gulf for Desert Shield and Storm.

I never saw a problem with our M-16 A2’s and I absolutely never had a failure of any type. The M-249’s on the other hand and the M-60 E’s were always down. Our unit did all it could do to reacquire M-60 D’s.
As far as the AK’s … sure they fire but what good are they past 300m.

Arizona Fusilier
January 3, 2001, 12:51 AM
Eight years in the Infantry, and I found the M16A2 superbly reliable. All the points mentioned so far (chrome chambers, IMR vs ball powder, more professional maintenance, etc.) make comparisons to earlier weapons and experiences somewhat, but not completely, unfair.

Many "experts" would suggest that modern combat, as far as the Infantry is concerned, occurs well within 200 meters. While I tend to agree, I still think the rifleman needs something to reliably hit at ranges out to 500 meters at least. While the .308 wins hands-down in this situation, the M16A2, in trained and confident hands, perfoms this feat more readily than any AK-variant.

Our concern over the primary battle rifle of our forces is almost unique, and reflects our heritage and organization around our traditional arm, the Infantry. The Russians have traditionally revolved their tactics around artillery, and thus they and their Warsaw Pact minions had a weapon adequate for exploiting the effects of indirect fire, as well as simple enough to be assimilated by the lowest common "mental" denominator in their now defunct empire.

Blue Duck357
January 3, 2001, 08:28 AM
I really think we need to start looking at the big picture on this. We have superbly qualified people who have spent time in the armed forces with the AR saying "Mine worked fine" and others just as qualified who say "Mine didn't". It usually then degrades in the typical "Well, you didn't clean it right" or "My whole companies rifles never worked" arguments.

IMHO, when you have highly qualified people on both sides (which we do), the issue must be listed as "questionable". I don't want a "questionable" rifle to stake my life on.

Just my thoughts, Blue Duck

January 3, 2001, 08:40 AM
Blue, that would be a good point...except that frankly, I don't take anyone else's word at face value. I KNOW the circumstances under which I used my ARs and my issued M16s, and I know how they were maintained. I don't know the surrounding circumstances or even the veracity of anyone else's reported experience with ARs or M16s which are posted here.
Also, I know the experiences of my friends, fellow soldiers in training and the troops with whom I served and whom I commanded with their M16s. This experience leads me to believe that my experience is not singular or rare.
Also Blue, the AK and various other rifles held up as paragons of reliability have their reputation inflated due to unfamiliarity of most Americans with their use in field conditions. I know that I have seen a half dozen jams from various AKs in my experience with them so I frankly don't believe in the AK's vaunted flawless reliability.
The only military-style rifle I have owned/shot extensively that I believe to be superior in reliability to the AR/M16 is the HK91.

January 3, 2001, 10:08 AM
That's a good way to keep your veiw secure in your mind. Just tell yourself that anyone who disagrees with you is lying.

(I never really valued an officers' opinion on small arms anyway)

January 3, 2001, 10:36 AM
The only malfs I have ever had with a M16A2 where with blanks and BFAs. And although I am currently an officer, I was enlisted for a while I would bet my knowledge of weapons is on par with any of my enlisted Marines (but since I was the gun nut in my Battalion I would say in reality I knew more than most). I was always told by my Marines how great the AK was, but normally those guys had only heard that very few had fired them before. Those Marines that I took to the range with an AK generally agreed that they preferred the M16 afterward.
I would really like to know who your company commander was and when you where in? If everyone in a company is having similar problem, maybe we can learn what exactly they where doing wrong and exactly the circumstances that caused all the problems.

January 3, 2001, 10:54 AM
I didn't count jams that occured while screwing around with MILES.

As for what we were doing on the company level to somehow make an otherwise flawless weapon malfunction...come on. That's absurd.

Jams were common. Tap-rack-bang was a holy mantra.

Look kids. Nothing you guys say is going to make me believe that the repeated jams I had to deal with didn't happen.
And I'm not trying to tell you that you had jams that you choose not to remember.

Blue Duck357
January 3, 2001, 11:11 AM
See what I mean, regardless of whether a person has had good or bad experiance with the AR the other side just attacks by saying they must not be as knowledgeable or experinced as themselves. Yes Rik I have personal experince with the weapon, less than yours most likely but still my first hand expereince, which leads to the inevitable thread:

It goes on and on something like this,

1. I was in the Army they were crap.

2. Well, I was in the infantry they worked great if you know how to clean them.

3. Well, I was an Airborn Ranger and know how to clean a rifle and mine didn't work.

4. Well, I'm an amororer and know that if well maintained they work.

5. Well, I was a Navy seal and our weapons were properly maintained and didn't work!

6. Well I'm God and they used the wrong powder!!

7. Well I'm Hardin and they work great with Zinc bullets!!!

Etc. Etc. Ect.

I'm not saying it's a fine weapon and I'm not saying it's junk, but till this mess is cleared up I'll choose something there are less questions surrounding.

Sorry Soda, I'm sure this thread has degerated into just what you asked it not too, But asking about the AR without getting into this is like asking about real estate in the middle east while wanting no mention of religion.

Best wishes, Blue Duck

January 3, 2001, 11:58 AM
then 1) algore was a tremendously successful man who declined the presidency for reasons of honor, or, 2) it proves the proverbial ignorance of the Army, of which I am a proud vet, and am entitled to speak from first-hand experience.

I also do not believe his blathering, but that would be characteristic of an ossifer. ;)

George Hill
January 3, 2001, 12:18 PM
Lets all slow down a bit.
No more personal comments from anyone.
This debate will go down in history along with the 9MM vs .45 debate.

All of us have only one perspective. Personal experience.
When I was in the service - I admit - My M-16s WORKED. Well, after I got out of basic - they worked great. CAR-15s, M-16A2s all functioned dang near perfectly.
But then again, in my unit our Armourer walked on water. He polished internals as a hobby. He tuned extractors just for fun. He had a collection of personal tools that he used. I didn't know him personally - but I knew enough OF him to know when he handed me a weapon - I didnt need to worry about its functionality.

After I got out of the service I acquired a Bushmaster, which was regarded as the finest civilian AR you can get.
It worked great at first.
Then problems came up.
Now, I am not an armourer - but I know the AR. I know EXACTLY how to clean and maintain it. My life had depended on it. I wasnt an Officer... just a grunt. 11B, Light I.
We walked EVERYWHERE carrying our weapons. We lived with our rifles. (And boots & socks... always swapping socks!)
Anyways - after spending time with the Bushmasters and Oly Arms and DMPS... My opinion has changed.
.223 is something I can live with if I have to - but an AR?
Not betting my life on it.
I'll take just about ANYTHING over the AR... Prefrence is thus:
HK SL8-1

I MUST have my auto rifle fire EVERY TIME I pull the trigger.
I've had enough of it.

January 3, 2001, 12:34 PM
JUST a grunt?

Now we're being modest. Average poor 'ole Army pukes don't fast-rope out of Blackhawks onto South American villas.

Your super-tuned proto-M4s weren't exactly general-issue M16A2s, now were they?

I've seen a little of your record, remember?

George Hill
January 3, 2001, 12:49 PM
I never liked the Fast-Rope method, but it beat being dropped out of the bird much higher up.

January 3, 2001, 12:59 PM
RVN 68-69 173rd ABN Bdge (Sep)

My M-16 was as issued. Every 30 days the company came in for a 3 day stand down. The 16's and other weapons didn't get turned in we kept them and when we went back to the field they were the same not worked over by the company armorer. But quess what guys?? they went bang when the trigger was pulled.


January 3, 2001, 01:00 PM
But it sounds like very few of us posting here had experience either in Israel or in Desert Storm, as requested.

Points of fact:
Most horror stories are from the M16, not A1, pre-forward assist, pre-chrome-lined barrel, issued w/o cleaning kits and before the riduculous (but arguably effective) comic-book cleaning instructions.

My daddy told me they spent about a $million on the product improvements to get us the M16A1. A chamber gunked with powder residue and/or surface rust is a BAD thing to have if the only way you have to cram the round in the chamber is to yank the charging handle and hope the spring shoves it hard enough!

The calcium carbonate was to control flash, especially problematic with the old 3-prong flash hider. Olin kept adding the stuff until flash was controlled, without regard for its effect on a direct gas-impingement operating system. This move proved great for the manufacturers of pipe cleaners!

I've *heard* that the A1s and A2s (with correct powder in the ammo) are actually a bit more reliable than the M1 and even the M14 system.

I've also *heard* that the bolt carrier would be lest prone to both powder residue and sand/mud if it rode on twin steel rails (like the AUG's) instead of directly on the inside surfaces of the receiver.

Between the direct-gas system and the way the bolt carrier rides, I see a _potential_ for problems. Even the AK series has the bolt ride on skinny old rails inside that roomy mud-eating receiver.

_BUT_, the one-malf-per-mag report is the only credible story I've heard of problems with the A2. I'd still like to hear more first- and second-hand reports of the Desert Storm experience, so we can verify/quantify whether the forward assist was enough to cure the dust problem, if any problem was common. Once the first round was fully chambered, did the system function properly?

BTW, didn't the Saudis field the Steyr AUG? I'd like to know how that plastic fantastic held up!

My tentative conclusion is that the A1 and A2 systems work well enough in the sand (as long as not drenched in oil!).

Anyone have more clues on the frequency and types of malfs in sandy conditions?

January 3, 2001, 01:23 PM
The M16s in my Btry seemed to work in SWA, however most guys in my section cleaned their rifles with MOGAS and lubed them with some dry lube in an orange can that someone father had sent them vice using CLP. After the ground war we also found AK in collapsed bunkers that were so filled with sand that they wouldn't function. But than again there was not a lot of shooting done with small arms since most targets were serviced at distances beyond small arms ranges.

And what up with the officer bashing, So let me get this strait the several weeks of AIT or SOI is so much better training than the 4 months of IOBC or 9 months of TBS/IOC that officers go through. I guess all the additional training doesn't give us a clue on how a weapon functions. Where in the FMF are you playing with MILES all that much. TAVS-C for both divisions had problems equipping a BLT (-) sized element with working MILES last time I tried to check some out.

January 3, 2001, 02:06 PM
Officers need all that training to beat the college out of them:) BTW I've been to Quantico and would have felt sorry for the poor guys at TBS if I didn't have my own problems at the time. Forget about IOC.
I've never had any major problems with the M16A2, or any of the AR's I've owned or used.(right now I have four(4)) I have made them jam, when we abused them, as in firing well over 300 rounds in less than 10 minutes. Hosing a gun down with CLP to cool it off is not a good thing IMO. But in all honesty, a 7.62x51mm weapon probably would have melted. I imagine that the problem is not with the M16A2 itself, it's just that the guns people got were old and/or FUBAR in some way. Lowest bidder, remember? A F'd up ubergun(your choice) is going to be just as bad as a F'd up AR varient. As for field level use, I never had a gun that worked go Tango Uniform. I've seen guns that have never worked(not mine) continue to not work, even with proper cleaning(my squad, they damn sure were functionly clean!) That leads me to beleive that it was not right in the first place.
This wonderful range advantage that everyone brags about for the 7.62x51(IMO overrated) doesn't mean jack unless you can hit a target. Without optical sights, you're not even going to see a target past 250m unless the BG's are plain stupid and standing up in the open(which is sometimes the case) So until we get optical sights, I don't want to hear sniveling about any potential range advantage possessed by the 7.62x51. I use one(M40A1) it's great for long range with select ammo(M118LR, M852,or M118SB, in my order of preference), but I carry and patrol with a M16A2 because it works best for most engagements that I foresee. You don't need 7.62x51 at 50yds. Semper Fidelis...Ken M

January 3, 2001, 02:34 PM
Many, many of the M16s the Army gets are NOT made by a premium manufacturer, like Colt, Bushmaster, or Armalite. My 'A2 in basic/AIT was converted from an A1 (could see the A2 stamped over the A1 on the markings) and was made by some company I've never heard of. It only failed me once or twice on the range, though, although I don't believe I fired a single blank through it the whole time I was there. (that was deliberate; nothing is more of a pain in the a$$ to clean than an M16 with blank residue in it). Sold on the civilian market, and AR-15 of comperable condition wouldnt' be worth three hundred bucks, if I might say. The basic training rifles had probably had hundreds of thousands of rounds put through them, and weren't the best. My A1 that I use in the Guards, though, is in great conditon. We only get to fire them live once a year, and we only go on FTX's where you'd use blanks two or three times a year, so, although it's old, it's pretty pristine.

Many people seem to think "mil-spec" means it's the pinnacle of efficency and is battle proven. WRONG-O! Mil-spec means it was built by a government contractor at the lowest available price. Quality oftentimes suffers in favor of quantity, especially with something as needed in mass numbers as a rifle. It's just the way it is. It's that way with any manufactured good in the world. You get good ones and you get bad ones. Eugene Stoner's AR is not a bad design, BUT, there are better ones out there, and I think it's time for the US Armed Forces to tighten their belts, buy one less thirty billion dollar aircraft carrier or one less billion dollar stealth bomber and supply us grunts with some new rifles.

January 3, 2001, 02:59 PM
Shin Tao, you can try to twist my words however you like, but the fact is, beyond a few people who I know by reputation or have met face to face, everyone here is a collection of pixels on a computer screen who could be lying through their teeth or simply writing things from a slanted POV. If you don't keep that possibility in mind when reading these and other gun boards, well...frankly, you're the one with the problem. Hell yes, I value my own personal experience and that of people I know in person over faceless screen names on an internet message board.
Oh, and by the way, before I was an Infantry platoon leader, I was also a regular infantry soldier with a national guard unit while in college.

BigG, if you'd like, I can scan my DD214 into the computer and email it to you...if that would settle your doubts. Course it makes no matter to me whether you believe me or not, as *I* know what the truth of the situation is, and your opinion is, at best, tertiary.

January 3, 2001, 03:10 PM

George Hill
January 3, 2001, 05:19 PM
Okay - This is OVER.
Rik, buddy, go count to 10 and relax... Shin, you go into time out too...
Everyone else... Its quite time on this subject.
Thread Closed.