Discussion in 'History' started by Commocarl, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. orangello

    orangello New Member

    Thanks for posting that.

    edit* I got to read these over lunch; it is a GREAT first-hand report of the early difficulties with the M16 rifle.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012

  2. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

    The M16 is one of the best rifles ever fielded. Just look at how long its been in service. :rolleyes:

    Always keep in mind that "history is written by the winner", and the folks that wanted the M16 won.

    This article is really interesting because it highlights three different issues:

    1. What happens when bean counters make decisions. Almost all industries are now run my bankers and by default bean counters. That's not good.
    2. What happens when the most knowledgeable people aren't making the decisions. America is being led in all sectors by people that don't know anything about actual things. Having an MBA or law degree from Harvard or any other ivy league school doesn't make you an expert in anything other than how to screw people over. Yet people with those degrees from those schools are running the country (and have been since the 60's), figuratively and literally. :eek:
    3. The importance of first impressions. The M16 is a pretty good rifle but the first impression was really bad due to poor decisions by those at the top rather than the rifle itself. What was first fielded was a disaster and that first impression has followed the M16 for a long time.

    I hope history remembers that whole issue as a breakdown in leadership rather than a problem with the M16?
  3. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

    The first rifles did not have forward assist. McNamara intervened several times in the M16 fiasco. The Army made its boo-boos too. The Army decided to substitute ball powder for the IMR powder used in testing the rifle. That ball powder increased the cyclic rate of the weapon by about 200 rounds per minute; causing accelerated wear. The ball powder burned dirtier than IMR powder; quickly crudding up the rifle. In about 1966-67 the Army went IMR powder and some of the problems with the M16 went away.


    My brother deployed with the 2/7 CAv, 1st Cav Division to RVN in 1965. Soon after reaching Viet Nam; the 2/7 Cav was issued M16 rifles. No cleaning equipment was issued with the rifle.

    McNamara personally intervened when the Army tried to issue cleaning equipment with the M16 rifle. Stoner claimed the M16 was "self cleaning" and that was good enough for McNamara. i sent my brother a cleaning rod, brush, solvent and patches. My brother was killed at Ia Drang on 17 November, 1965.

    For decades my burning desire was to piss on the grave of Robert Strange McNamara. Then the sonofabitch was cremated. i'll settle for pissing on the grave of Rumsfeld.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  4. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

    Interesting if not perfect book; Misfire: The History of How America's Smallarms Have Failed the Military.

    Sorry about your brother. Know that he is not forgotten. And not just by you. I know the Ia Drang only as history and presume he was lost in the march out of the valley that never made it into Mel Gibson's movie. I honor him. Kennedy's Best And Brightest are all dead now and Rummy is retired. Pax.
  5. TLuker

    TLuker New Member


    I believe the ball powder also swelled in the humidity and cause chambered rounds to jam, really bad? That was one big screw up on many different levels.

    History often seems purely academic. It's easy to forget that at the end of the day history is about people, and made by people. Sorry for your loss.
  6. ricepaddydaddy

    ricepaddydaddy New Member

    My first issue rifle in the Army was an M14. In Vietnam I was issued an M16A1. Today, 42+years later I own a Springfield M1A, but don't care to own an AR.
    Just my opinion as an old soldier.
  7. rhyno13

    rhyno13 New Member

    Why not own both. Hell, I have quite a collection of different weapons. My opinion is you can't have too many.
  8. Donn

    Donn Active Member

    Me too. 14 came first, liked it fine, but glad I didn't have to hump it in Vietnam. By the time I deployed in Sept. of '69, the initial troubles with the M-16's had been sorted out. Mine had a chromed bolt and receiver, proper LSA and cleaning kits. The only issue we had were the magazines. We were told to load 16-18rds, (20rd mags). A full load would cause feeding problems. Never had a problem with my 16.
  9. ricepaddydaddy

    ricepaddydaddy New Member

    I too have quite a few firearms, I have no wants nor needs for an AR. In .223 I already have a Mini 14 which will do whetever I need done in that caliber. Since we have a small farm in a rural area it stays loaded with Hornady V-Max varmint rounds.

    I'm not knocking AR's, they are OK.
    I just prefer at least 30 caliber or bigger in rifles, and 44 magnum or 45 Colt in handguns.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012