The American Combat Rifle

Discussion in 'Military' started by PoliticalChic, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The following is from a detailed history of the M 16.

    I found it telling in that it identifies the military as one more special interest that requires the oversight to keep it on the straight and narrow.

    A defect in the combat rifle would have been allowed to continue, resulting in American combat deaths, had not the Congress done its job.



    1. "Despite being described as “the best individual infantry weapon ever made” in 1965, the XM16E1 began to exhibit catastrophic problems in 1966. Reports from the field indicated that U.S. troops in Vietnam were experiencing chronic failures to extract. In the malfunctions, a cartridge’s brass case would seize fast in the chamber and the extractor would tear through the rim.

    2. ...into 1967 these malfunctions reached chronic levels and resulted in lives lost on the battlefield. After one especially violent battle, a Marine wrote home to his mother saying “Before we left Okinawa, we were all issued this new rifle, the M16 … practically every one of our dead was found with his rifle torn down next to him where he had been trying to fix it.”



    3. On Feb. 28, 1967, the XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1 rifle at the height of the jamming epidemic when troop confidence in the rifle had reached an all-time low. Amid widespread rumors, word of the problems endemic to the M16A1 soon reached U.S. Congressional leaders.

    4. In May, the House Armed Services Committee of the 90th Congress established the Special Subcommittee on the M16 Rifle with Representative Richard Ichord (D-Mo.) as chairman. The three-member “Ichord Committee” immediately went to work during the summer of 1967 investigating the causes of the malfunctions.

    5. Although the military attempted to blame the malfunctions on improper cleaning and maintenance, the committee quickly determined that the root cause was ammunition—specifically, gunpowder.




    6. When the .223 M193 cartridge was first adopted by the military in September 1963, only DuPont’s IMR 4475 nitrocellulose gunpowder was approved for loading it. As a result of a series of technical challenges that manufacturing the new round presented, a fateful decision was made on April 28, 1964, to allow M193 ammunition to be loaded with Olin Mathieson’s WC 846 ball powder.

    7. A double-base nitrocellulose/nitroglycerine propellant, the ball powder exerted higher chamber and gas port pressures and also left behind carbon fouling. The higher gas port pressure resulted in increased cyclic rate—

    8. ...high port pressure, high chamber pressure and carbon corrosion were ultimately to blame for the outbreak of XM16E1 extraction failures in Vietnam.



    9. When the Ichord Committee submitted its 51-page final report in October, it recommended the withdrawal of Olin Mathieson’s WC 846 ball powder and the immediate introduction of chrome chambers on all production rifles.


    10. Thus, at about the same time as the Tet Offensive in early 1968, the often-tragic field malfunctions experienced with the XM16E1 began to fade away."
    U.S. M16
     
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  2. JWBooth
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    JWBooth Gold Member

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    I have always preferred the M-14
     
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  3. 9thIDdoc
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    9thIDdoc Gold Member

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    The M-14 is probably the best battle rifle the US has had.
    The M-16A1 is an excellen assault rifle.
     
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  4. High_Gravity
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    High_Gravity Belligerent Drunk Supporting Member

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    I don't like the M16, jams too much.
     
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  5. Rambunctious
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    Rambunctious Gold Member

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    never had a M-16 jam. Love the rifle
     
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  6. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    Never had an M-16, but I like jam.
     
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  7. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Clinton destroyed most if not all our M14's as President.
     
  8. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Never fired one in combat but never had one jam either. I fired both the M16a1 and the M16a2. The A2 is a better weapon.
     
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  9. TakeAStepBack
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    TakeAStepBack Gold Member

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    The minute they have any "unfluid" part, they jam. If they are correct, the A2 is the better weapon.
     
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  10. ginscpy
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    ginscpy Senior Member

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    The Germans made the best weapons in WW2 - too many parts.

    The Amis and Soviets Mass=produced - with theT34 tank and theShermans (thelatter ridiculed in Patton)

    guesswho won the war?????????????????????????????????????/
     
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