Skip to comments.The Nature of the M16 Rifle
Posted on 01/22/2013 12:24:43 PM PST by varmintman
The real stupidity of this entire business starts to sink in when people start to grasp the realities of the basic M4/M16/AR15 rile.
The M16 is a simpler weapon than an M14 or a FAL rifle. The ONLY thing about an M16 which is even a tiny bit difficult to manufacture is the barrel. Unlike a FAL rifle whose upper receiver has to take the stress of firing and which has to be hard forged and whose barrel is fitted to the receiver with something like 130 ft-lbs of torque, the only thing which takes any stress in an M16 is the barrel, the bolt carrier locks into the breach of the barrel and not into the receiver.
Also unlike the case with a FAL, the lower receiver of an M16 which, for all intents and purposes could be made of plastic, is the legal part of the gun i.e. carries the serial number. Ordering a complete upper receiver and barrel for an M16 is legally the same as buying a sack of potatoes, don't take my word for it check it yourself:
Anybody with any sort of a machine shop could manufacture M16 bolts, bolt carriers, triggers and springs and what not. No joke. My next door neighbor builds race-cars and he ends up needing parts which don't exist in the world here and there... No problem, he draws what he needs up on AutoCad, takes the AC file to a shop with computer controlled machines and voila, and it doesn't even cost much.
Very shortly, people will be making M16 lower receivers, butt-stocks, and magazines (the evil 20 and 30 round types) with inexpensive 3D printers and the only way you could get past all of these problems would be to ban and outlaw the M16 altogether, which would leave our military standing around with, in the immortal words of Santino Corleone, just their.... (in a sort of an unarmed condition).
With a standard gas impingement system, this is correct. 1500 rounds is the most that made it through an acquaintance’s RRA before it started to hang (occasional addition of lube). The piston guns run cleaner and can go longer with less attention.....they are also a bit heavier in the front.
i wonder how difficult it is to make a sear trigger with a 3-d printer...
That they went from nothing to 80 rounds in a few months of part time puttering should be rather sobering.
Won’t be long before those chinchy little 3D printers are churning out solid metal parts ready for tempering.
M16 craps where it eats. The only military rifle with direct gas operation.
“The M-16 is a weapon that must be cleaned, very often!”
Disagree. There have been numerous torture tests where many thousands of rounds were fired without cleaning and without malfunctions. The key to reliablility is to keep them well lubed. I will admit they do get filthier than any rifle I have ever seen but it doesnt seem to effect functioning.
Learning Curve ~ they’re just starting ~
Sometimes you'd get a really experienced lecturer who could tell you why the Chinese weapon had a piece of wood in it under the bolt, and the Russian weapon didn't, and why they did that.
Everybody who designs firearms for use in the field worries a lot about how to keep them clean and working under very adverse conditions. Designers have all sorts of solutions ~ and during the Nam they were all found wanting, discarded, and replaced with other solutions.
The new generation of home built firearms will need to be designed for looser tolerances ~
The extension threads onto the chamber end of the barrel and becomes essentially part of the barrel. Never heard of anyone removing the extension, though I am sure it has happened.
Therein lies most of the accuracy inherent in the AR platforms, the bolt and barrel assembly are darn near independent of the rest of the parts.
Good write up.
“When we werent shooting the DIs”
Shooting DIs? They didn’t give to you a dishonorable discharge for that? Why aren’t you in prison? :-)
At a gun show, I once saw an M1 carbine that was stamped "International Business Machines". I should have bought it, just to show it to my software developer friends.
With the M16 and variants, over the years one thing has changed a lot. That is lubricants. The slickest one I have found is “Tec-Shield CLP”. It is water based and lubricates at a molecular level. It seems to overcome many of the weakness of the M16 system.
M1 Carbines were made by a bunch of unlikely contractors, including Rock-Ola, Underwood, National Postal Meter, and several divisions of General Motors.
I wasn’t being critical when I stated that 80 rounds before failure has been the record so far. I’m sure the kinks will be worked out over time.
When we reach the point that entire firearms can be cranked out by any Joe in his garage, the whole gun control issue will be a moot point.
The M-16 is a weapon that must be cleaned, very often!
During my six years of service in the Air Force I found the M-16 and its shorter variant,What we in the K-9 field called the GAU to be very good rifles.
The problems were not the rifles the problems were the cheap Ammunition the government procured during the Vietnam war and the period just after that.
If they bought smokeless powder for that Ammo,The M16 would have been a dream.
With the Cheap Ammo that rifle would gum up and become a filthy mess.So it was really important to clean right after use.
The funny thing is you can’t buy an AR15.
They are sold out nationwide. Just not available. I’ve tried.
“So it was really important to clean right after use.”
Thank you for that clarification.
With that cheap Ammo from the Vietnam war,YES.it needed serious cleaning.
With modern Smokeless powder Probably not as much since Smokeless powder burns much cleaner.
“You admit as much yourself whenyou say:
“The key to reliablility is to keep them well lubed.
I will admit they do get filthier than any rifle I have ever seen but it doesn’t seem to effect functioning.”
Just because it gets dirty doesnt mean it HAS to be cleaned very often. You might find the article below interesting.
My Cousin was in The Hill Fights in 1967 with the Marines, the Marines with drew the M-16 until Mods were made. It was still unreliable.
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