Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Long Guns > Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion > AR-15 Discussion > Car Company had a Big Hand in Making the M-16

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-27-2012, 12:15 AM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Marthor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The Beach, USA
Posts: 447
Liked 39 Times on 32 Posts

Default Car Company had a Big Hand in Making the M-16

http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/career-advice/military-transition/gm-making-of-m-16.html?ESRC=airforce-a.nl


Car Company had a Big Hand in Making the M-16


When you think of General Motors you think of automobiles, not rifles. But the car maker's Hydra-Matic division played a big part in manufacturing the M-16 – the most widely used infantry weapon in the history of the U.S. military.
In 1948, after analyzing three war's worth of bullet hit data, the Army's Operations Research Office determined the service needed a rifle with low recoil that fired a small number of rounds. In 1957 the Army awarded contracts to Winchester and Armalite to design weapons that could penetrate both sides of a standard Army issue helmet at 500 meters with a magazine of 20 rounds that weighed around six pounds. The rifles also had to have both automatic and semi-automatic firing modes. Armalite's AR-15 won the competition, and the Pentagon rebranded it as the M-16.
In late 1959 Colt obtained manufacturing and marketing rights, and a few years later the company got the Pentagon's Advanced Research Project Agency to test 1,000 weapons as part of Project Agile – a DoD weapons initiative focused on potential fighting in southeast Asia, which was becoming more of a possibility at that point. The Army wasn't particularly impressed with the early version of the rifle, but the ever-controversial Defense Secretary Robert McNamara ignored their input and ordered 85,000 for the Army and 19,000 for the Air Force.

But the early versions of the rifle had significant reliability problems, mostly around the fact that they had a tendency to jam in the tough conditions that went with the battlefields of Vietnam. Word circulated across the rumor mill that many troops disliked the new weapon so much that they bypassed it in favor of the older and heavier M-14.
The bad press reached the Hill, and a congressional committee demanded answers. The lawmakers eventually forced the Army to do something about the situation – both real and perceived. The result was the U.S. Army Weapons Command's issuing of a new set of requirements beyond what the original M-16 design demanded. The new weapon – labeled "M16A1" – required a chrome-plated chamber to prevent rust, better powder, and an additional ten rounds in the magazine, bringing the total to 30.
Enter GM's Hydra-matic division, the organization that got the nod to answer DoD's emergent need.
The organization that would become Hydra-Matic Division was founded in May 1939 as Detroit Transmission Division. *It was created to continue the developmental work begun by Cadillac engineering and to manufacture the newly developed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. *In 1953, following a fire at its plant in Livonia, Michigan, Detroit Transmission Division moved into a leased facility near the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti that once housed a WWII bomber plant. *It was at this facility in Ypsilanti that the M16A1 was manufactured. *In 1962, DTD officially changed its name to Hydra-Matic Division. *The division would later be combined with GM Engine Division to form GM Powertrain.
In view of what the government called an "urgent need" Hydra-matic management instituted a "crash" program. Part of this effort required GM's team to go to various government storage depots around the country to find the necessary machine tools in order to get the rifles out the door in a hurry without compromising on the military's requirements. Ultimately they obtained more than 1,000 machines that Hydra-matic housed in a 348,000 square foot facility.
GM shipped the 100, 000th rifle to the Army in September of 1969, two months ahead of the required schedule. A year later the company had delivered another 140,000 rifles. The company was awarded a second contract and eventually the tally hit 469,217 M16A1s provided to the Pentagon.
The M-16 underwent additional mods in the years that followed, including the development of a shorter barreled version that has been extensively used by special operators in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But arguably, GM's model gave the weapon what it needed to become an icon of military hardware.
__________________
Marthor's Gun Page ...on Facebook
SHOTGUNS:
. Remington 870 Express 12g
. Mossberg 500 12g
. Stoeger Coach 12g
RIFLES:
. Remington 700 300 WinMag
. Bushmaster M-4 223
. Ruger Mini-14 223
. Ruger 10/22 22LR (x2)
. Rossi 1892 Lever 357
HANDGUNS:
. Remington R1 & R1S 1911 45 ACP (x2)
. Springfield Armory XDm 45 ACP
. Beretta Px4 Storm 45 ACP
. Beretta 92FS 9mm (x2)
. Ruger Vaquero 357 (x2)
. Ruger LCR 357
. Ruger LCP 380
. Ruger 22/45 22LR
. Walther P22 22LR
Marthor is offline  
Sniper03 Likes This 
Reply With Quote

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today! - Click Here


Old 09-27-2012, 12:30 AM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Quentin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,511
Liked 972 Times on 683 Posts
Likes Given: 972

Default

In periods of high demand when the primary contractor's capacity falls short it's not unusual for the government to award secondary contracts to other manufacturers, like GM in this case.

I'd swear Government Motors wrote the copy for this article. It makes it sound like GM solved all the problems Colt couldn't do!

__________________

______
The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together. You'll remember the quality of a gun long after you forget how much you paid for it.
________________________________________
US Army 1966-69, VFW Life Member, Retired Geek

Quentin is offline  
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 01:37 AM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
purehavoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Not where I wanna be
Posts: 4,737
Liked 1126 Times on 731 Posts
Likes Given: 2014

Default

They dont call them Government Motors for nothing

__________________
purehavoc is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 01:49 AM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Quentin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,511
Liked 972 Times on 683 Posts
Likes Given: 972

Default

Yeah, support your gov't, buy a Chevy Volt. Please, pretty please!

And the sad thing, they want to sell them for $49K yet they cost the gov't $89K to make. And it's a piece of crap compared to a Prius. No wonder we owe $16 trillion.

__________________

______
The biggest issue with assembling an AR isn't so much getting the parts together right - it's getting the right parts together. You'll remember the quality of a gun long after you forget how much you paid for it.
________________________________________
US Army 1966-69, VFW Life Member, Retired Geek

Quentin is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 02:19 AM   #5
Moderator
FTF_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JonM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester WI,Rochester WI
Posts: 17,368
Liked 5464 Times on 2854 Posts
Likes Given: 354

Default

the hydra-matic M16 were the worst of the ones being produced.

GM's saginaw plant made some of the better M1 Carbines however

__________________

"Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound." — L. Neil Smith

The problem with being stupid is you cannot simply decide to stop doing dumb things...

JonM is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 02:20 AM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: I see you, and you will not know when I will strike
Posts: 24,301
Liked 3478 Times on 1609 Posts
Likes Given: 3590

Default

What?!?!

A problem that the MIGHTY COLT could NOT overcome?!?!?

Say it isn't so, Cane, say it isn't so.....
__________________
Dillinger is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 02:27 AM   #7
Moderator
FTF_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
robocop10mm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Austin,Texas, by God!!
Posts: 10,005
Liked 2688 Times on 1405 Posts
Likes Given: 216

Default

I have shot a GM M-16. It worked, but I did not have to carry it in a combat zone. GM also made M-3 SMG's

__________________

In life, strive to take the high road....It offers a better field of fire.
"Robo is right" Fuzzball

robocop10mm is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 03:41 AM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: The Edge of Darkness
Posts: 6,495
Liked 4790 Times on 2679 Posts
Likes Given: 1736

Default

GMs Saganaw Steering Gear, Inland Div. of GM, Guide Lamp Div. GM produced M-1 Carbs and the .45 Liberator Pistols. The only M1 Carb folders were made by GM Inland Div.

__________________
nitestalker is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
fsted2a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,074
Liked 214 Times on 168 Posts
Likes Given: 286

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin View Post
In periods of high demand when the primary contractor's capacity falls short it's not unusual for the government to award secondary contracts to other manufacturers, like GM in this case.

I'd swear Government Motors wrote the copy for this article. It makes it sound like GM solved all the problems Colt couldn't do!
And a lot of jokers swore I was just passing an urban legend when I posted about having GM M16's in some of the arms rooms I had been in.
__________________

"Democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is the well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin

fsted2a is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
L hand shooter, R hand rifle? Vincine General Rifle Discussion 8 07-18-2012 10:21 PM
Obama tells threatens ‘hand-to-hand combat’ if Repub's win AWDeanSr Politics, Religion and Controversy 12 01-04-2012 09:45 PM
Making a Cast Bullet Company? Trez The Club House 4 10-02-2011 09:44 PM
when to try one hand or weak hand? Mack Bolan General Handgun Discussion 10 06-19-2010 08:36 AM
Hand to Hand Combat? survivalnut Survival & Sustenance Living Forum 23 04-20-2008 05:06 PM