Skip to comments.OUR TROOPS UNMET NEEDS or after 40 years the DoD Inspector General will look in to the crappy M-16.
Posted on 01/11/2006 7:09:45 PM PST by undocumentedrat
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Many in Congress and the Pentagon boast American troops have the best equipment in the world. But reports from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan say otherwise. The information about the failures is not new; solutions are long overdue. Some of the most worrying questions center on the efficacy and lethality of the firearms U.S. forces are using. Official reports show high levels of dissatisfaction with the M-4 carbine, M16 rifle magazines, and M249 machine gun. The small size of the 5.56mm bullet used in these weapons is also highly controversial among some troops. But problems with weaponry are just a subset of the larger issue: equipment that is not up to scratch. Reports from the Army`s Natick Soldier Center, its Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, and the Marine`s Systems Command Liaison Team in Iraq -- all from 2002 and 2003 -- tell us, for example, troops` 'dislikes.' Among those dislikes: uniforms that rip easily, eyewear that fogs up and fits poorly under helmets, and boots that blister, crack, and burst, and are 'poor for movement,' or as in one soldier`s e-mail are 'truly awful and also painful.' Troops buy some equipment with their own money, usually because government issue performs poorly. Such items include gloves, socks, flashlights, padding for backpacks, 'CamelBak' hydration systems, and weapons cleaning equipment. Banal items? Perhaps to us back home, but certainly not for soldiers fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert of Iraq, doing whatever it takes to keep their bodies and their weapons working. continue -> http://news.monstersandcritics.com/northamerica/article_1074708.php
(Excerpt) Read more at news.monstersandcritics.com ...
I never said he used that Krinkov, although in cities and towns, it's probably about as good as a shorty M-4.
Not with many of these guys. They drag off their dead and wounded, if they can, but don't really take care of the wounded. Most of their wounded, we end up taking care of. These guys, many of whom are out to get those 72 virgins anyway, need killing, not wounding. Just to grant their wishes if for no other reason. :)
Great post, very informative, matches what I hear from people who have been there. In particular "Iraqis are a mixed bag", I hear the same, but seems to be improving. It takes time to train, but more imprortantly, takes time to gain trust. One of the most impressive stories lately was off an NPR/BBC radio report on one of the suicide bombers attacking an Iraqi police recruiting station, dozens killed, more wounded. Even this source felt they had to add that after the dead and wounded had been evacuated, the survivors lined back up and signed up. The BBC reporter managed to imply idiocy on the part of the Iraqi volunteers, but such reporters don't understand that seeing this happen before their eyes strengthened the resolve of those volunteers. This individually insane propensity for humans to put an abstract concept of freedom above their regard for their own lives is the bloody bedrock on which civilization rests.
Yeah but it evens out when you consider it takes about three 5.56mm rounds to put down an average attacker compared to about ummmm one for the 7.62x51.
Besides, these days most troops are mounted so the bulk of the ammo is going to be left in the track or Stryker. The 7th ID was light and my old outfit the 9th ID was light, but even we went motorized eventually. I think the 7th and the 9th were decomissioned. I know the 9th was.
no... it really doesn't... cause a wounded guy can still sit up and toss a frag or pull a trigger...
I'm sure if you ask anybody in a fire fight, they're gonna say the same thing, " I like my targets dead.".
you really don't see a lot of "resources" in fire fights in Iraq...not a lot of muj medics.
big rounds, lots of them all going down range.... I prefer mine to be fired from an artillery piece or flying platform..that way I wouldn't have to actually pull a trigger and get dirty... I'm not greedy. Let all the artillery and air support guys kill as many as they need or want to. I'd happily waltz in and count them. Unfortunately, sometimes you got to point your weapon and push lead out the end of a weapon... I'm thinking rounds the sized of frying pans would be great....not the little ones either.. the big ones..
Exactly. When I was in Vietnam the biggest complaint of the grunts was about the M-16, especially saying it jammed too much. Some say, though, that's it's superior in close-combat situations.
"I believe in tests the M-16 with their ballistic pattern and "kill ratio" were similar to the 7.62m. Higher speed (FPS)of the M-16 round helped with the internal damage."
The text book theory's alwayhs sound good, but in actuallity the 5.56 is not what it is all cracked up to be. The military guys in Afganastan and Iraq are wanting M14's and the US is (unbenounced to many), frevorishly reconditioning and producing as many M14's as they possibly can. Just try to go buy a new M14/M1A from Fulton Armory or any other company ... you'll be waiting a good long time, but you can ge an AR15 at the drop of a hat.
The real problem boils down to marksmenship. In WWI the "Doughboys" could drop Germans with their 03's from 800 yrds!! One shot one kill was a consept long before the snipers took it over. The tradition of riflemen in America has been almost lost. If marksmenship was a major virtue, then weight would not be such a factor since it would take a soldier only 1 or 2 shots to dispatch an enemy combatent instade of spraying 30, 40, or 50 rounds of the small stuff.
The references to the 9 mm pistol round in this article as a "sizable round" are laughable. It sounds like they are comparing it to the 5.56 mm and 7.62 rifle rounds when it should be compared to the .45 ACP round, which is much larger, more effective and increasing desired by pistol carriers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
US troops demanding the M14? Israeli infantry packing the FN FAL?
When it comes time to pile on the M16, the sky's the limit on BS.
It's astounding that the most successful western infantry weapon ever produced, a rifle that DOMINATES practical shooting competition, Camp Perry rifle championships, the law enforcement carbine market, and has been in US military service for FORTY YEARS continues to draw so much criticism.
FN's SCAR is using 556mm! But what do those special ops guys know about lethality - my cousins sisters uncles kid said it took him 32 rounds of 556 to kill an 80 year old Taliban, write your congressman TODAY!
I hate these threads.
Actually (according to the US Army), the current M-16 runs 8.8 pounds, including a sling and a loaded 30-rd magazine. And while the M-16 has been putting on the pounds over the years, the FAL has been dropping them. My favorite FAL (and it's one I built myself, not an exotic toy ;>) weighs in at about 10 pounds even (including the sling & a loaded 20-rd mag).
For a difference of about 19 ounces, I would personally take the 7.62 FAL over the 5.56 M-16 any day (but that's just my opinion)...
Thanks for the update - I have been out of the Army for a while and forgot that they switched to a heavier barrel on the M-16 since I carried one.
BTW, my personal favorite weapon is a 12 ga. Remington 870 with a composite stock and foregrip and an extended magazine tube. I may not get a lot of range, but 00 buck works very well for up close and personal ;-)
(...including this: "Without a single exception, functional problems with the FAL were, in [the Israeli military contact's] opinion, the result of either substandard or non-existent maintenance on the part of Israeli personnel. In other words, the gun worked fine as long as routine maintenance was performed.....")
(Sounds just a bit like the M-16, doesn't it? ;>)
For a more applicable (and better documented) reference, just check out "Ol' Dirty - A Texas Legend:"
As per a recent update, "Ol' Dirty" (a home-built West German G-1 FAL) had 10,000 rounds (plus 'swamp tosses' ;>) under it's belt - without cleaning - and was still running strong. Try that with your favorite AR...
(Speaking of which - suggesting that the Israelis replaced the FAL with the M-16 due to undocumented reliability problems would be akin to suggesting that the US replaced the M-14 with the M-16 because the M-14 was unreliable... ;>)
I agree with you - except that, by your basic criteria, the "most successful western infantry weapon ever produced" was the American-designed Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle. It served SIXTY PLUS YEARS (not a mere "FORTY" ;>) as the primary infantry weapon of a major western power, and 'DOMINATED' the target-shooting and law-enforcement markets of the British Commonwealth (and IIRC, the population of the Commonwealth exceeded that of the US during that period ;>).
And lest we forget that this is primarily a discussion of ammunition (rather than firearms - many of the folks here would apparently love the M-16 if it just chambered a round with a little more 'authority' ;>), one respected ammunition reference has noted that "it is doubtful that any other military cartridge has been used in so many hostile encounters as the 303 [British]." So much for "the most successful western infantry weapon ever produced"...
By the way, I love these threads - comparing firearms apples with ammunition oranges is always entertaining (and frequently informative)...
ASSAULT RIFLES AND THEIR AMMUNITION: HISTORY AND PROSPECTS
THE .256" BRITISH: A LOST OPPORTUNITY
Ammunition Improvements for 21st Century Mil/LE Urban Operations
.308 = 7.62 = dead enemy
I cannot believe we cannot make the best infantry weapon in the world.
The beauty of the XM8 was the interchangable barrel, allowing the upgrading of the weapon to reasonably larger and improved calibers as ammunition became available, yet immediately usable with the existing stocks of 5,56x45mm ammunition.
The XM8 I fired two years back was indeed in the *old* 5.56mm chambering, but was also instantly upgradable to the 6.8 SPC round developed by the bright lads at 5th Special Forces Group and detested by the *professionals* in the Ordnance establishment as a result- just as the M16 was resisted by Army Ordnance in favour of the older Garand-based M14. But if either the 6,8mm cartridge or the XM8 rifle finds favour, it's likely that the other will eventually follow.
But the XM8 or its FN equivalent is not quite yet a dead issue, and problems resulting from Stoner's design of the AR15/M16 magazine well will continue to plague the system for its lifetime. Meantime, the Australians have developed a 6,8mm barrel/bolt/magazine package for their F88 AusSteyr, though they're still sticking with the 5,56mm ammunition for now.
The real place where improvement would be most appreciated would be in a 6,8mm barrel/bolt/linkbelt fot the M249 SAW. But it appears that the Navy is happier going to a 7,62x51 NATO version, the Mk. 48 Mod 0, instead.
BTW: if you stop by the Pentagon, you'll note that the guards there are using XM8-family G36 rifles, not M16 or M4 carbines... I guess the top brass feels safer knowing that their guards have weapons that'll work.
I'd prefer the 6.8 or 6.5 myself. The M16, IMO, isn't a bad REMF toy, but for combat arms soliders and Marines, they need something with some knockdown power.
The helmets suck. Suck. suck. suck. Consdidering how much they weight, they don't even stop a 9mm round. Wearing one for long periods blows. My unit did get decent boots when we were in Kuwait. The Belleville waffle-tread ones are terrible. The Marines who came back from Iraq, some of them would have paper-thin soles on their boots. The official goggles suck too. Suck. suck. suck. Also, instead of BCGs, the military should just issue prescription Wiley's. Those are great.
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