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Old June 29, 2013, 10:59 AM   #10
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Join Date: May 27, 2007
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Dr Joseph L. Lyon, M.D., M.P.H is just another ideologue justifying the use of single heat treat receivers through a very flawed analysis. His analysis is based solely on the list of single heat treat blowups recorded in Hatcher’s Notebook.

What makes anyone think that Hatchers list is complete? It is a listing of 03 blows ups from 16 July 1917 to 1929. The first receivers listed as blown up were a 1907 vintage receiver and a 1917 receiver. These receivers blew at National Brass & Copper Tube factory, a factory making ammunition for the US military during WW1. The 1907 receiver fragmented and blew a piece of shrapnel piercing the lung of the operator.

It is preposterous to believe that receivers had not blown before. What is more likely was that many receivers had blown, but to then Springfield Armory and its supporters were able to misdirect and muffle this issue, after all, who within the Army had the resources and records to argue with an Army Arsenal about its defective products, and what foolish Officer was going to ruin his career doing that? What made the event at National Brass and Copper Tube different and something that the Army had to acknowledge, were these blowups occurred outside of the Army chain of command. Springfield Armory did make up convincing sounding, but fallacious arguments: “cartridges cases not up to standard and secondarily, to receivers somewhat below the standard” but National Brass & Copper had qualified metallurgists, who could counter all of the self serving BS coming out of Springfield Armory. Plus, National Brass & Copper could go outside of the Army chain of command and complain to their Congressmen . This was not an entity that the Army could bury and ignore, as it obviously had done to date with all of the blown rifles that occurred before the creation of this database.

There are known blows afterward, proving that the laws of physics did not end in 1929, and also proving that any failure rates based on Hatcher’s Notebook are false, and any contentions that rifles did not blow up later are equally false.

It is remarkable that Hatcher had any reports at all. I don’t know how he got them, but he was Head of Army Ordnance during WW2. It is Army policy, nay, DoD policy, not to release Safety Accident Reports to anyone except Military Law Enforcement, and then, only if the law enforcement request is legitimate. I don’t know what you could get with a freedom of information act request, probably nothing of value since all you can do with a FOI is to ask, the agency gets to decide if the information “compromises” national security.

People expecting complete and accurate databases in the public domain from the Army for events that happened sixty years ago are unrealistic. Try to find similar information now. I am curious, where in the public domain the databases for all medical accidents, deaths, and malpractice cases? Where are the public domain databases of all lawsuits and convictions? . You can find sex offenders in your area, what about the list of all felons, all misdemeanors? What about the list of all fatal private airplane crashes in Alaska?, first I heard of 15 fatal per year.

In 1927 an appointed Army board examined all data and wrote a report recommending that all low number rifles be withdrawn from service. This is recorded starting page 221 of Hatcher's Notebook. The board was over ruled by a Brigadier General who put out an incredibly irresponsible policy with the following logic “ Our ammunition is getting worse and accidents may be somewhat more frequent. On the other hand, some of these early rifles have been in used for many years and undoubtedly some of them have worn out several barrels. I do not think the occasion merits the withdrawal of the rifles of low umber in the hands of troops until the rifle is otherwise unserviceable

That BG decided that in between such time that the rifle wore out and was returned to depot, if that rifle blew up taking the hand or head of a Trooper, well that was just too damn bad. He decided that no Trooper is worth the cost of scrapping the complete inventory of rifles, in fact, no Trooper was worth the cost of a single rifle.

This decision can be viewed from an budgetary viewpoint. An injured Soldier did not cost the Army anything beyond immediate medical expenses. If a Soldier, Sailor or Marine was injured and unable to continue service, he was given a medical discharge, paid off to date, and after that any injured Soldier/Sailor/Marine had to fight the precursors to the VA to get benefits. The funding for Rehabilitation did not come out of the Army Budget. Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1918 authorized the establishment of an independent agency, the Federal Board for Vocational Education. Under the new law, any honorably discharged disabled veteran of World War I was eligible for vocational rehabilitation training. Those incapable of carrying on a gainful occupation were also eligible for special maintenance allowances. The Bureau of War Risk Insurance was responsible for screening veterans for eligibility. A 1919 law fixed responsibility for medical care of veterans with Public Health Service, transferred a number of military hospitals to Public Health Service.”

Regardless of who pays, I consider that Army decision to retain single heat treat rifles in service, which were known to have systemic defects, and were known to injure servicemen, as immoral.

What is missing from Hatcher’s Notebook is “the number”. It is obvious that Hatcher had the complete written reports in front of him as he wrote his book “Hatcher’s Notebook”.

Let me describe what any chartered board should produce for a decision maker : Do we have a problem and if we have a problem , what is the lowest cost solution.

Hatcher describes a charted board. Being on a board that makes a stupid recommendation would be a career ender. Let’s say the board recommended scrapping the 6Th fleet because the ships are painted the wrong color of gray. All the high grade people reading that report would realize that every member of that board were pygmy morons and those board members would find that their senior rater got some irate calls from his Boss’s Boss about the quality of their conclusions. Next review period, these guys would be voted off the island.

The board that reviewed the single heat treat receivers were looking at a $40,000,000 problem in 1927 money. (Based on a cost of $40.00 per M1903, over 1 million low number receivers, this amount adjusted for inflation is $523,000,000 ) If they made any recommendation that showed negligence , that is a significant number of receivers were defective, there were a number of Generals, who were previously Colonels in charge of Springfield Armory and Rock Island Armory, that were going to be embarrassed by the revelation. Any recommendation made by the board had to backed by strong, well researched, well documented facts, to be credible.

We do know this board tested low number receivers, had low number receivers re heat treated, chemically analyzed, probably a bunch of other tests. The actual report was probably hundreds of pages long and all we have is a short summary from Hatcher.

And what is missing from Hatcher is “the number”. The board had to come up a estimate of the number of defective receivers. This number could have been stated : “Out of the population of low number receivers, statistical estimates show that 80 % are structurally deficient and do not meet service requirements. Of the 80% that are structurally deficient 45% are so structurally deficient that they represent a clear safety hazard to the user”

Now a number like this would clearly tell the decision makers that they really have a problem and justify the board’s recommendation to scrap one half billion dollars worth of rifles.

But Hatcher did not put that number out in the public domain, did he? And that is what this entire debate is about, what is the number. I am confident the number is big, because to recommend scrapping a half billion dollars worth of equipment in 1927 is a huge recommendation, something that would be stupid to recommend if the facts did not justify it.

It is true that not all single heat receivers are bad but the only way to find out which are good or which are bad is by destructive methods. Hugh Douglas hit six SHT receivers on the right rail with nylon faced hammer, about a 12" strike, and all of the rails broke and some of the receivers cracked through the rear receiver ring. May-Jun 1985 Rifle Magazine, article " About low numbered Springfields, Sedgleys, and others..." Hugh Douglas

Having been warned, that the entire population is suspect, that the failure is catastrophic, go look at the pictures here:, if the SHT you are firing blows, the costs are all on you!
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
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