Yeah, but they would have had pistol grips. We all know that makes them more deadly...
And bayonets! Actually I recall having seen a show awhile back that claimed that Custer was outgunned, as many of the Sioux had Spencer, Henry and Winchester repeating rifles while Custer's men had single shot rifles. Add the fact that the rifles had extractor issues, not unlike an AR after shooting Russian ammo.
Not so sure, however, that a modern AR would have changed the outcome, Custer employed poor tactics and had a regiment of tired, sick and malnourished troopers.
"The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals.... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789)
"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington
Arrogance, stupidity and past actions by Custer is what got him and his men killed. If a military man today knowingly ordered women and children to be killed they would be Court Marshaled and imprisoned. The book I Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is the best chronicle of what actually transpired at The Little Big Horn. Custer got exactly what he deserved. The sad part of it is that he got all his men killed by his poor leadership and gross ignorance. Custer wasn't a hero, just a pompous fool sent west to get rid of him.
A gun is like a wife. If you can't love the one you have get a divorce from it and go find one you can lovel
Some of the criticism assumes that Custer's lines would have broke in the same fashion regardless of the weapons his men had. I doubt that would have been the case at all.
IF the troopers had M16's, we must assume they would have been trained with them. This would have given them a very substantial advantage over the Sioux. If I recall correctly, the battlefield archeology shows the troopers were arrayed in a line formation at the beginning of the battle. This line broke and the troopers began a running battle as the Sioux began the chase. At that point, the troopers lost all formation effectiveness. Before they were overrun, the troopers had a defensible position if equipped with the right weapons.
While Custer's poor decision making was the deciding factor in the battle, you have to taken in account that many of the Sioux has superior firepower compared to the troopers. The trap door Springfields did have greater range and stopping power, but the terrain and horse mobility allowed the Sioux to close range with the troopers from the start of the battle. This negated the Springfield's longer range and made the repeaters of the Sioux far more devastating.
The trap door Springfield had a rate of fire of approximately 10 rounds per minute. An M16 can lay down fire at a rate of what? 100 rounds per minute with fair accuracy?
Would it have made a difference? I think it certainly would have. Maybe if the troopers had a weapon comparable to their opponent, some kind of repeater, MAYBE there wouldn't have been a Wounded Knee. Maybe the US Army wouldn't have been out for blood vengeance for the next several years. Maybe there would be a difference in Indian relations. Maybe there would be more integration of the Sioux and other Indian nations into the nation as a whole.
Maybe... maybe... maybe
If you're not representing Jesus in a way that makes people want to hang out with you, you're doing it wrong.
Those who refuse to participate in politics shall be governed by their inferiors. -Plato
I forgot to add, the troopers had an endless supply of ammo, with nuclear tipped bullets.
The rest of the world gets it,why can't we?
"The United States can survive a Barack Obama,who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president".
Out of the Czech Republic