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off topic Vietnam
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:11 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

The comments on chroming reminded me, isn't the current barrel heavier than the initial production barrels?

You look at recent shots out of Iraq and it seems almost everybody's carrying the carbine instead of the long-barrelled M16! Its my impession the two weapons are functionally identical except for the different barrel, stock and any add-on doodads. Am I right, or are there actual differences?
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:51 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

- mike_Duplessis
The comments on chroming reminded me, isn't the current barrel heavier than the initial production barrels?

You look at recent shots out of Iraq and it seems almost everybody's carrying the carbine instead of the long-barrelled M16! Its my impession the two weapons are functionally identical except for the different barrel, stock and any add-on doodads. Am I right, or are there actual differences?


We need one of the younger guys to answer this, but are not most M4's also limited to semi-auto and 3-round "burst mode" cycles, or was that only the M-16A2?
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Joe_D
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:58 pm
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

Doug,
This is what I know, remember, tankers like me never were issued M16's when we came in, It was M3's and .45's. I carried an M16A1 for gaurd duty at Miessau and also when we gaurded the Abrams complex during the early 80's. Fired it once, seemed very flimsy to me. We had one bend when a soldier let a deuce and a half tire fall on one. I carried an A2 and M4 a few years back and both had the 3 round burst. I used an A4 at Hood while training up, also 3 round burst. A4 handle is removable and is machined with the picatinny type rail so you can mount an ACOG or M68 sight. All have heavy barrels and use a higher grain round (Green tip). I loved my A4. Very accurate. (40 for 40, yeah baby). We didn't get cleaning kits or much CLP for a while so I went about a week without cleaning it good. Just the chamber. Fired blanks and live, Never had a malfunction. Impressed me. I never paid much attention to the brass, but yes, it does have a blue tinge, I didn't know why until now.

Shawn,
The M4 and M16A2 on are all Heavy barrels, the M-4 isn't as accurate because of the shorter barrel. It's also zeroed a little differently. It is prefered because it is a lot easier to get in and out of a vehicle when wearing body armor and all the other goodies. We did have some M16A1's show up in theater late 2002 but they were quickly exchanged for M4's/M16A2's. Couldn't support the A1's with ammo or parts. Same thing happened with the old M60 MG, Though they hung around a little longer than planned, Since parts were it's only hang up.
Roy,
I sure know all about units getting screwed out of training time. Support platoons and FSB platoons usually get the short end of the stick. Usually their ammo allocations for crew serve weapons is given to the line guys for those un-supported live fire exercises. Individual weapons qualification is harder to blow off. Each soldier is allotted a set amount of ammo to zero/group/qualify their weapon. This is tracked monthly and reported up, heaven help a company commander who fails to keep their unit qualified. There is always a range going on. That said, 5 years ago it was not unusual to be running a range and have soldiers show up and not be able to qualify until their 5th or 6th attempt (if at all). These were usually soldiers that found out they had to be there that morning and had no prior marksmanship training, even though they had a memorandum signed saying they did. Made for a very long and frustrating day. It would also be the only time that year they actually fired that weapon. Not the soldiers fault, Leaders. As you said, 507th was at the mercy of their BDE. Somewhere in their chain of command a leader made the decision that maintaining/moving equipment was more important than training combat skills for these soldiers. Not uncommon back then. This war has definately changed how we train the CS/CSS units. Unfortunately it takes a situation like the 507th's to get it fixed.

I am stepping of my soap box now,
Joe D
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:10 pm
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

- Joe_D
Doug,
This is what I know, remember, tankers like me never were issued M16's when we came in, It was M3's and .45's. I carried an M16A1 for gaurd duty at Miessau and also when we gaurded the Abrams complex during the early 80's. Fired it once, seemed very flimsy to me. We had one bend when a soldier let a deuce and a half tire fall on one. I carried an A2 and M4 a few years back and both had the 3 round burst. I used an A4 at Hood while training up, also 3 round burst. A4 handle is removable and is machined with the picatinny type rail so you can mount an ACOG or M68 sight. All have heavy barrels and use a higher grain round (Green tip). I loved my A4. Very accurate. (40 for 40, yeah baby). We didn't get cleaning kits or much CLP for a while so I went about a week without cleaning it good. Just the chamber. Fired blanks and live, Never had a malfunction. Impressed me. I never paid much attention to the brass, but yes, it does have a blue tinge, I didn't know why until now.

Joe D


Hi Joe...
Ahhh, the M3 "greasegun". Yes, I was trained and qualified on that one, too...and I'm sure Roy was as well. Quaint little piece of kit, for the price...and reasonably effective within it's limited range. There were still marked stowage points on the walls of the M60A2 for those things....

In VN, when I finally got down to the 11th ACR, you were issued any weapon of your choice that they had. In my case, I had a personally-owned .45 so I took an M16 for my backup (they wouldn't issue both, anyway).

I once, on an assault in-line into the bush when contact had been established, saw the driver of a Sheridan advancing next to my vehicle actually popping off .45 rounds from his postion in the driver's seat as he steered one-handed into the bush....I'm not sure what that added to the hail of lead already hurtling into the shrubbery, but it seemed to make him feel better... Laughing
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:55 pm
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

- SHAWN


i just bought an AR-15 with the early upper and lower receivers...

shawn


Hey Shawn, Question for you. Does the bore and the chamber look like they have been chromed?

If they are, with current ammo, you shouldn't have to much of a problem if you are going to use it for target shooting.

Sgt, Scouts Out!

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C_Sherman
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:50 pm
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

Hi guys,

I guess I qualify as a current user, even if I don't really fit the definition of "younger guy".

Here's the deal. M16A1 was the model that corrected all the problems of the rushed fielding of the M16 (forked flash suppressor, no forward assist, etc.) The original M16 actually had the chromed bore introduced pretty quickly once the rifle was in service. (All subsequent models of the rifle had/have the chrome bore.) The basic problem was that the rifle was rushed into combat (politics, natch) before all the bugs were worked out. Problems with powder fouling and lack of cleaning kits were among the major problems that the rifle encountered and which were rapidly fixed...but not before the reputation of the weapon was irreversibly tarnished.

The M16A2 was a long-planned, late-funded update to the rifle. The stock was extended about 1" to better fit the modern American physique. The barrel was beefed up for part of it's length to resist heat problems and bending when young indelicate soldiers leaned into it while firing. A finger rest was added to the handgrip, the forward assist button was reshaped, and the sights were replaced with a more adjustable version. There were a few other changes, but the really major one was a change in the rifling from 1 twist in 8" to 1:6. This came as a result of an ammunition change, which came because of the requirements of the new M249 SAW.

(The range/accuracy requirements for the M249 SAW could not be met using existing NATO 5.56mm ammunition. The bullet was too light to carry accurately. So the bullet weight was increased, and the stabilizing spin on the bullet was increased by the rifling change. Standardization of ammunition dictated changing the rifling on the M16s. This is also the reason that the M16A1 is no longer used in combat, as the new ammunition cannot be fired safely through the old rifle. However, the old ammunition CAN be fired through the new model rifle, with some reduction in range and accuracy.)

The M4 is a cut-down version of the M16. I've been told that the type classification is actually for a rifle based on the M16A2, and previous M4-looking weapons were actually modifications using non-official parts within the SOF community.

There is no M16A3, as the delay in the M16A2 being fielded allowed the A3 mods to be applied to the A2.

The M16A4 is the version mentioned by Joe D, which has a detachable carrying handle ("flat-top") with Pic rails on the receiver and handgrips. The M4A1 is the short counterpart of the M16A4, with similar mods. The availability of aftermarket bits and bobs on the internet has led to a diversity of appearance in combat, with soldiers tricking out their weapons to suit their tastes. As long as they don't affect or modify the weapon in a permanent way, such customizing is generally tolerated by commanders...although chrome plating of safety catches and forward assists is frowned on.

The "green tip" bullets that Joe D refers to are literally "green" rounds in the environmental sense. Faced with terrific costs for cleaning up lead contamination at rifle ranges affected by base closures, the Army figured out that not-making-the-problem-worse was a smart idea. So, they developed a bullet made of zinc alloys that isn't an environmental hazard but which duplicates the penetration and ballistic properties of the lead bullets. This ammunition was initially viewed sceptically (as is everything involved with the rifle since the initial problems), but it is now the only bullet available in ball ammunition for both the M16 and the M249. (I used tracer ammo in Iraq (red-orange tip), but I never found out if it is the zinc ammo or if it is still lead.)

Overall, the statistical performance of the rifle and ammunition is hard to argue with, despite anecdotal arguments that persist around the internet. Even the SOF guys use it more often than not, only using heavier weapons in special circumstances. The 9mm pistol bullet doesn't enjoy the same acceptance, and a strong move is afoot to return to the .45 for US pistols (but probably not to the beloved M1911 pistol).


C

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oldtop
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:26 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

I guess I'm an "ole guy", having landed in Nam in April of 65 (Marines), we didn't see the M16s till late 66 I believe. as for myself being a track-mec/ scout in a Ontos (hi dontos) plt. I kept my M14. The M16 I first saw going into service didn't have chromed bores or chambers. The first problem with the the rifle was there wasn't ANY cleaning equippment, no cleaning rods, bore brushes or lubercants. To help with the problem the troops were given a printed page put out by Colt Fire Arms stating that this was the first "self-cleaning" rifle! Next was the idiotic flash hider (so much for field testing) it was like taking a pitckfork into the woods, everthing jammed into and hung-up in those prongs. Some were along the line they came up with changing to the good ole stand by "Ball powder" because it gave a little more pust to the bullets, as pointed out the gas operating system in the M16 doesn't have an operating piston or rod, the gases vent right into the reciver, the the Ball powder produced far more carbon build-up than the flake type powder. When a round is chambered the extractor catches in the extraction groove, this raises the extractor in the bolt, when the gases vent the carbon begain to build up between the extractor and the bolt, at the same time the carbon was building up in the chamber so it became harder to extracted the spent cartridge case till the extractor slipped off the case extractor groove and left the spent case in the chamber, in the mean time the bolt has gone back and picked up a fresh round and jammed it into the spent case. Now the trooper has a missfire and pulls the charging handle to the rear and the live round falls lose in the reciver because the extractor wasn't gripping the groove on the fresh round...Now you must remove the magzine and shake the lose round out and then run a cleaning rod down the bore to knock the spent case out of the chamber..only one problem, No cleaning rod! And you now have a single shot rifle, beside each dead Marine on hill 881 was a jammed M16...Oh ya, I was on the M16 test program ran by the Marine Corps in 1977.
What made it even sadder was troops didn't at the time know what was wrong with the ammo, they knew it was the ammo but not which was bad and which was good. so there ended up two groups of thought, the blue primer and the red primer, at this time both a red and blue colored primer sealer was being used on the base of the cartridges. Because of this some troops thought the red primer sealer was the bad ammo, at the same time there was "blue primer" is the bad ammo group and the road sides were litered with 5.56mm rounds with both primer colors.
One more thing, at one time 5.56mm NATO was the same cartridge as 223 Rem and most of your AR-15s are chambered for 223 Rem, you can order the AR-15 chambered for 5.56mm NATO or 223Rem, My AR-15 is chambered for 223 Rem and I do not fire 5.56mm NATO in it, there is also a chambering that is for both cartridges. The standard 5.56mm NATO of today produses much higher pressure and should not be fired in a rifle chambered for 223 Rem.
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:25 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

WELCOME 'OLE TOP'.....!!! :jump:

Glad you could make it over.


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oldtop
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:52 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

Dontos.....you get that pig up and running yet?
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Dontos
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:46 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

Running? yup.... completed? Close......REAL CLOSE!!

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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:53 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

Hi Old Top!

Good to see you have findly PCS'ed over to the new site.

When you have some time, check out the "Stryker weapons system picture..." item.

Starting about half down is some discussion about moving the M2 HB on the M48 outside of the cupola and why that was done. I'm beting you have some good insight into why the Marines did that.

Sgt, Scouts Out!

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Cloudy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:53 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

- oldtop
To help with the problem the troops were given a printed page put out by Colt Fire Arms stating that this was the first "self-cleaning" rifle!


Amazing. This would be an interesting read and a great curio because I don't believe that there is such a thing 40 years later. What an incredibly cheeky thing to claim! Smile
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:14 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

- Cloudy
- oldtop
To help with the problem the troops were given a printed page put out by Colt Fire Arms stating that this was the first "self-cleaning" rifle!


Amazing. This would be an interesting read and a great curio because I don't believe that there is such a thing 40 years later. What an incredibly cheeky thing to claim! )
After dealing with a 'continuious cleaning oven' a few years back I think even my wife would see through the claim of a 'self cleaning rifle'

Give the troops a printed page. Yea right. I still remember getting backorder receipts instead of long johns, gloves and a field jacket liner my first winter on the flightline. The paper receipts did me a lot of good that winter.

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SHAWN
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:53 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

hey bob, those receipts were at least softer than the issue t.p.

okay, one of you fellas tell me-- i am not able to link to pics in this quick reply?
well, anyway,

roy, i have pics of the AR15 in a gallery i posted at this site here.
the bore and chamber are chromed. the bolt is a bolt that will work with the forward assist (non technical term-- has the machined slash/rachet marks on the starboard side). it has the early upper and lower receivers, and a birdcage flash suppressor (early f.s. was the 3-prong f.s.) what folks consider the pitch fork for getting tangled in everything!
i believe it has the 1:10 (or is it the 1:12?) twist barrel. oh, i dont think i will have a problem with the rifle, i am not using it under the same conditions as the when the weapon had been introduced.

i will keep looking for more early combat reports for the AR15. i found hal moore's aar from lz x-ray.

interesting to note that many of the problems had been acknowledged and remedies were being made to correct the issues as the rifles were being fielded (1964, 1965). as someone else mentioned, knowledge of malfunctions, etc. haunted the weapon even after the problems were corrected.
many features which would go into the M16A1 were being added to the rifle... if you look at the pics from the 7th cav (1st air cav) when they initially deployed in late 1965, they have the 16's with "mixed" receivers, early lowers, with an upper that has the forward assist...

anyway, ah, i have found this new site to be really nice. once i get in here and start navigating and using this site it is no problem...

shawn
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oldtop
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:37 am
Post subject: Re: off topic Vietnam

Back in 68 (2nd trip to Nam) I inherited my self-propelled gun Arty Baty's armory, there were stacks of M16s on the floor ( if you put wepons in racks the shell splinter from in-coming would chew them in a heartbeat, we had 2 to 3 M16s a week damaged by shell fire...there wasn't a thing in the Baty area that didn't have a shell fragment hole in it including the Admin clerk's in and out basket..the splinters seemed to seek of sleepingbags so when you went to your hardback after a shelling the air was full of feathers ) . Some M16s had the flashhidders mods (birdcage type) some with the prog type. about mid June we turned all M16s in for M16A1s.
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