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Thread: M16s Nam. Now Iraq. ??

  1. #21
    Gunco Rookie LtBlue425's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4thIDvet View Post
    Word I got from the Somalia vets is the Somalia troops were whacked out on some kind of stimulant that a .44 mag could not stop them.
    The substance is khat. Popular in eastern Africa. It's like a bush or tree they cut into sections and chew on. Hard to describe but its effect is like a stimulant and hallucinogen.

    They start chewing on the twigs in the morning and by afternoon they're really agitated and looking for trouble, usually popping off their AK's or whacking each other with machettes.

    That's one of the problems with the Blackhawk Down deal. It occurred when the A-wipes were at the height of their agitated state. Don't know about the 44 mag angle but people that are A-wipes by disposition plus whacked out do not respond to pain stimulus like "normal" people.

    Last night I was watching one of those police video shows. A very enraged and stocky build guy with a shotgun took a hit in the shoulder from a 308 at 110 yards. The bullet glanced off the shotgun barrel and obviously hit him in the right shoulder. The guy fell down but bounced right back up. He surrendered a day later.

    When people are psyched out and/or full of adrenaline all bets are off.

  2. #22
    Gunco Member iNuhBaD's Avatar
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    A good friend of mine is a USMC Veteran of OIF I and OIF III. He also fought in the intensive battle for Fallujah.

    He said the fighting in Fallujah was the worst he's ever encountered, and possibly some of the worst fighting in Iraq throughout this whole war! We've been good friends for almost 2 years now, and he talks about his tours in Iraq all the time.

    He told me their entry 'Stack' was typically composed of a 4 man entry team - followed by others. The first 4 men in were armed with:
    1.) M-16, Remington 870 Pistol Grip (Breeching), and M-9.
    2.) M-16, & M-9. (My buddy)
    3.) M-249, & M-9.
    4.) M-16, & M-9.

    In his ENTIRE TIME over there, he's only had ***ONE*** malfunction with his M-16. He said they were in Fallujah, fighting through the city, door to door, street to street, killing just about everybody with a gun. He said he had fired between 400 to 500 rounds in a ~20 hour gun battle. He carried 14 M16 mags, plus 1 in the rifle (And 5 M-9 mags). After those ~20 hours of fighting, it was daylight again, the insurgents 'settled down' a while, so they all hunkered down in some shade behind two M1A1 Abrams tanks. He said everyone just quickly decided to resupply their ammo & water, quick chow down an MRE entre & take a quick nap. That was the ONE TIME that he didn't clean his rifle between firefights!

    Shortly after noon, later that day, he said they were awoken by mortars walking in on them, so they all scrambled up, and moved out FAST. They spotted the mortar guys, they ran under a fence into a housing block. They surrounded the block, and started going door to door. He mentioned when they kicked a door in, he was 2nd through the door, a man on the far side of the room walked through the doorway with an AK. My buddy fired a burst, **BANG BANG** -CLICK- He had to transition to his M-9 pistol, and both he, and another guy in his squad (with an M-249) finished off the insurgent.

    He had to take a spot further back in the 'stack' (switched w/ #4 in line) since they didn't have time to stop and fix his rifle - so he kept clearing rooms with his M-9. He said he'd never had a more naked 'oh shit' feeling like that in his entire life - and likely won't ever since!

    He said it seemed like there was at least 1 insurgent or more per building they entered on that block. And he didn't have a working rifle! He said the only guns that went down (due to dirt / lack of maintenance) MORE than the M-16 was the M-249 SAW! He said the 249 in his squad repeatedly jammed, and wouldn't cycle... Called it a total P.O.S.! Most of the Civilians fled Fallujah before the Marines entered - so most of the 'insurgents' in the city were actually Syrians - not Iraqis.

    After clearing those buildings on that block, some other guys provided security while they took a quick 20 minutes for everyone to strip down their guns, and clean them in the field. Both the M-249, and his M-16 jammed that day. Ever since then, the FIRST THING he did during down time was clean his rifle! THEN resupply ammo & water, and THEN eat something before getting rest! He NEVER had a single problem with his M-16 after he re-prioritized, but likewise, he NEVER trusted it 100% ever again, and was always weary of having another 'oh shit' moment! He also started carrying a minimum of 7 pistol mags plus one in the gun because you never know HOW LONG you might wind up relying on your secondary.

    The poor bastard with the M-249 SAW kept having intermittent problems through the whole deployment though. For a while the SAW gunner also picked up and slung/carried a PPSH-41 Submachinegun and a few drums as a backup incase his SAW went down. After the battle of Fallujah, he was ordered to turn in the PPSH so they could crush it under the tracks of an Abrams.

    On the positive side, he said the guy in his platoon lugging the FN M-240 7.62 MMG hardly EVER cleaned his gun (just squirt some oil in once in a while), and that sucker kept running through the whole deployment like a champ through countless rounds. Said it was a heavy bastard to carry, but it was one of the most dependable guns they used besides the mounted Browning M-2.

  3. #23
    Hooligan upgrayedd's Avatar
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    Yup, Khat was like raw opium and would turn your teeth brown after using. These guys would sit around and chew it at dusk and go crazy.
    Read "blachawk Down" by Mark Bowden. AN EXCELLENT book!

    I suppose it makes sense to arm the iraqi's with A2's. I mean, we've always give countries our older or soon to be phased out arms. tiawan got a BUNCH of our destroyers in the 1990's, in an effort to keep China away(that didnt work)
    Iraq got alot of our f15/f16 fighters in the 1980's(proved worthless during the 1st Gulf war).
    so why not let them have an older rifle, when out soldiers will have a more modern, more reliable and possibly, more lethal weapon than the A2 or M4?

  4. #24
    White Cracker 4thIDvet's Avatar
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    The M-16s in Nam were passed down from man to man as they were rotated home. At least that is how my unit worked. You did not bring your weapon back to the states with you.
    Most of them were, well, not exactly new looking if you know what I mean.
    We were not even issued cleaning kits.
    Now you have me wondering if, from use and abuse, if the tolerances loosened up and made them function better.
    Mine never jammed. Put a clip in and the old beater would rock and roll every time.
    Was it accurate. Hell I don't know. You could very seldom see what the hell you were shooting at. But the old boy worked everytime.
    My buddies nephew was over there and he carried an AK. Kept his 16 but his seargent let him use the AK. He collects them here in the states and wanted to use that instead of his 16.
    The M-60s, from my experience of watching them in action, worked pretty darn good.
    On my recent trip to the Orient. I saw a lot of the old style M-16s the military was still using.
    I guess where I am going with this. Does wear and use make them better??
    If so, why don't they factor that in when there building the damn things.
    Like the time proven AKs we collect.
    These are great stories from you guys, on the pros and cons of the weapons.
    Keep the stories coming. Thank You.
    "Man needs but two things to survive alone in the woods. A blow up female doll and his trusty old AK-47" - Thomas Jefferson 1781


  5. #25
    Gunco Member iNuhBaD's Avatar
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    I forgot to add... My buddy also said that his squad used almost EXCLUSIVELY Militec Oil in their guns.

    They'd clean their guns 'White Glove' spotless with a Nitro Solvent of some type, and THEN they'd lube the heck out of their bolt carrier, upper, and even a drop on the trigger assembly.

    Then they'd usually (carefully) heat up the oiled parts with a paint remover gun or else just fire three mags through the gun as fast as they could (then re-clean the gun again). They'd do that at least once a week to keep the Militec 'dry lube' thoroughly bonded to the metal. Then they never had to worry about the oil attracting dust/sand when going door to door, or when trailing Aamtracks in a convoy. Some for added 'protection' some put Tan/OD duct tape around the Delta-Ring area of their uppers to keep dust from getting in through the '+' Cross shaped gas tube opening in the upper and some didn't because they thought that would increase the likelihood of dirt getting in there (sticking to the tape).

    Basically all of our soldiers have their own individual 'superstitions' regarding the maintenance of their weapons, but typically they all kept in line with what was being done & recommended by everyone else at their platoon/squad levels.

    Wear & Use doesn't necessarily make them 'better' though. It does loosen up the tolerances, and eventually the headspacing. What is often ignored by most people are regularly recommened / scheduled 'Maintenance Intervals' where springs, extractors, cam pins, firing pins, gas tubes, and gas rings, and other 'Wear' parts are replaced every so many thousands of rounds.

    Armorers usually do a good job of replacing those parts every time a rifle comes in for service (just as a precaution), and they often will re-stake bolt carrier gas keys 'just to be sure' as well.

    I know two current .mil Armorers (1 Army / 1 Nat Guard) and they said the most common issues are with these parts:
    Gas Tubes & Gas Rings (Wearing Out)
    Bolt Cam Pin (Wearing/Cracking)
    Extractors & Springs (Wearing/Breaking/Caked in Dirt)
    Firing Pins (Wearing Out)
    Springs (Wearing Out)

    Those are things that can be noticed / caught by soldiers during normal cleaning & inspecting.

    The parts are INEXPENSIVE to keep spares on hand, so it is suggested most gun owners keep a set on hand at all times in a 'repair kit' of some sort. I've had to replace a gas tube, and gas rings, as well as a cam pin that started cracking.

    If you're one of those guys who makes claims "I've NEVER cleaned my gun fer 8000 rounds!!!" Well, I suggest cleaning it, because it's not ONLY done to keep carbon from building up, but it's also done to allow you a chance to inspect parts for signs of unusual wear, cracking, or breakage points - so you can replace the parts PROACTIVELY before a problem does develop. Thereby keeping your gun running 100% of the time.

  6. #26
    Gunco Rookie LtBlue425's Avatar
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    My oldest brother-in-law was in the 25th ID in the Iron Triangle. He loved the M16 so much that he fulfilled a dream a couple years ago and bought one. He said his company cleaned their 16's every evening ... get this....without being told!! Not the stereotype some people have of draftees in VN. But then some units lacked discipline and a good example of one is in General Schwarzkopf's book.
    Any rate my B-i-B says neither they (his company) did not experience the "failures" of the M16 but they had proper cleaning supplies PLUS daily cleaning was stressed in training.

  7. #27
    Hooligan upgrayedd's Avatar
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    i read somewhere that inthe early rollout of the m16 rifle, the rifle was rumored to be so futuristic, that it did not require cleaning. thus, nobody cleaned them and they would fail in combat.
    M Kalashnikov was a genius, but so was E Stoner. he designed a multitude of weapons in cluding the m16 and the first truly modular weapons system that the US arsenal saw back in the 60's.
    The man essentially did what kalashnikov did for the AK.

    his weapon design has projexted the power and image of the for the past several generations
    US military-the m16a2 and the M-4

  8. #28
    White Cracker 4thIDvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LtBlue425 View Post
    My oldest brother-in-law was in the 25th ID in the Iron Triangle. He loved the M16 so much that he fulfilled a dream a couple years ago and bought one. He said his company cleaned their 16's every evening ... get this....without being told!! Not the stereotype some people have of draftees in VN. But then some units lacked discipline and a good example of one is in General Schwarzkopf's book.
    Any rate my B-i-B says neither they (his company) did not experience the "failures" of the M16 but they had proper cleaning supplies PLUS daily cleaning was stressed in training.
    Tell your oldest brother-in law I said welcome home. The darn problem was we were not issued cleaning supplies. It goes without question that a clean weapon is going to work better than a dirty one.
    Some units had the chance to be in a position to clean there weapons, others did not. You sure did not want to break down your weapon and start cleaning it out in Injun country.
    Did not read Schwarzkopf's book, but the unit you are speaking of is the "Americal" hope I spelled that correct. Yes when the Gen. took over the unit, moral was not too good.
    The enemy had entrenched themselves in an area protected by mine fields. When he took over they told him this. "Why hell, we will just charge in and kick there ass." O.K.
    To the Gens. credit. He went in with the guys. Correct me if I am wrong but that is where he was awarded the Silver Star for running into the mine field under fire to save a wounded trooper.
    Wish we had more leaders like him.
    "Man needs but two things to survive alone in the woods. A blow up female doll and his trusty old AK-47" - Thomas Jefferson 1781


  9. #29
    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    i have run the m-16 series for most of my time. it is a bit "tweeky" but good ammo, good mags and proper care make it reliable.

    the AK is more reliable, its ammo a bit more powerful--but it is a very old design. certain things the soviets did with it to save pennies can be fatal in combat.

    the overly long & curved mags make it clunkey and make it hard to get dirt-sucking low in the prone.

    the safety & semi-auto selector is a bad idea--you can hit semi-trying to put it in auto and can also hit auto when your trying to go semi--

    no provisions for optics except the side rail--which mounts optics like night-vision scopes way up in the breeze--like shrapnel catching breeze--

    lastly 7.62x39 ammo besides being dirty makes for a hellish muzzle flash --not on every shot--but every so often. this flash is tolerable during day time ops--but can be fatal to the user at night--where we were the most active.

    since i got out i have a small collection of semi-auto AKM's that i have built along with some semi-auto m-4 clones, xm-177 clones ect.

    any design has to have a few problems.

    anytime a new design comes out--it will have some serious growing pains. whatever replaces the m-16 & AKM will have its share.--

  10. #30
    Gunco Regular Blazerbender's Avatar
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    I recently asked a friend of who returned from the combat zone(Iraq) his thoughts on the M16/M4 and the Iraqi's. He's an MP and his unit runs convoy escort and roadblocks and such,I'll have to ask him where they were, anyhow he didn't have any failures with his M16 but his roomate did. He'd been out in the dust all day. Then they were taking fire. He shouldered up and bang, bang, malfunction. Then according to the roomate he squirted some CLP and went back to firing. I'll have to ask him if his roomate elaborated on the nature of the malfunction.
    I also asked him about his thoughts on the Iraqi's and the M16's. He was very plain that he felt the Iraqi's couldn't keep one running for long, the Iraqis' he observed would only occasionally clean their AK's by dunking them in gasoline. As far as the M9 he's not a fan, but the funny thing he told me was the Iraqi police were trying to trade him their Glocks for his M9. He told me they obviously didn't know about the "lowest bidder" concept, and assumed if the Americans were carrying it it must be the "shit".

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