Archive for October, 2008

M-4, M-16 and other rifles Part II.

Posted in army training, guns, HOOAH!, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , on 21, October 2008 by chockblock

The Army tired to replace the M-4/M-16 with the XM-8, the result was less than expected:

The XM8 was poised to become the Army’s next rifle family. Viewed as the successor to the M16 line of weapons, the XM8 was close to being officially adopted in 2005. Gunmaker Heckler & Koch stood to earn hundreds of millions of dollars on a weapon that would be the premier rifle for all American soldiers for a generation or more.

But the XM8 ignited conflict within the Army weapons community — a rift that acquisition experts say ultimately cost the service millions of dollars, with nothing to show for it.

Acquisition heads at the Army and Defense Department levels also clashed over the XM8, which became the focus of an October 2005 DoD Inspector General audit.

When the smoke cleared, the XM8 was dead, the general in charge of the program would retire and soldiers would continue to have to rely on the same weapons to fight a shooting war with no end in sight.

This story happened before with the
Advanced Combat Rifle
. Only the technology failed. The failed because it was too advanced. The technology was not there. Fueled by a requirement to best the M-16 by 50%, the gun makers tried. Epic fail.

So why all the fuss over the M-16 and M-4?

After WW II, the U.S. Army began research into body armor and better rifles. Ever since guns were invented, armies stood still to fire. However WW II was the first war where soldiers could fire on the move. New automatic weapons were being developed to bridge the gap between heavy air and water cooled machine guns and the rifle. Before the war machine guns required a crew, rifle were bolt action or “clip fed” shooting only a few times a minute. During the war the assault rifle was developed (in Nazi Germany and the USSR). The U.S. Armie’s brain trust took a look around the post-war world and found:

that most combat takes place at short range. In a highly mobile war, combat teams ran into each other largely by surprise; and the team with the higher firepower tended to win. They also found that the chance of being hit in combat was essentially random — that is, accurate “aiming” made little difference because the targets no longer sat still. The number one predictor of casualties was the total number of bullets fired.[6] Other studies of behavior in battle revealed that many U.S. infantrymen (as many as 2/3) never actually fired their rifles in combat. By contrast, soldiers armed with rapid fire weapons (such as submachine guns) were much more likely to have fired their weapons in battle.[7] These conclusions suggested that infantry should be equipped with a fully-automatic rifle of some sort in order to increase the actual firepower of regular soldiers. It was also clear, however, that such weapons dramatically increased ammunition use and in order for a rifleman to be able to carry enough ammunition for a firefight they would have to carry something much lighter.–Project SALVO, wikipedia

The U.S. tried the M-14, basicaly an M-1 Garand modified for full-auto fire. The 7.62 round had the power, but the load was to heavy to carry enough rounds (see above) and the recoil hurt. Enter Eugene Stoner. While the army resisted other rifles, settling on the M-14, Stoner designed a new rifle. His design used aluminum and fiberglass in addition to steel. But no wood. The AR-10 had another difference,The design,

Meanwhile the layout of the weapon itself was also somewhat different. Previous designs generally placed the sights directly on the barrel, using a bend in the stock to align the sights at eye level while transferring the recoil down to the shoulder. This meant that the weapon tended to rise when fired making it very difficult to control during fully-automatic fire. The ArmaLite team used a solution previously used on weapons such as the German FG42 and Johnson light machine gun; they located the barrel in line with the stock, well below eye level, and raised the sights to eye level. The rear sight was built into a carrying handle over the receiver.

The AR-10 was a very advanced design for its time. Despite being over 2 lb (0.9 kg) lighter than the competition, it offered significantly greater accuracy and recoil control.

General Willard G. Wyman, commander of the U.S. Continental Army Command (CONARC) received a report about the new 5.56mm round. CONARC had the AR-10 re-designed to the 5.56 (or .233) AR-15. When Kennedy was elected to the Oval office, Robert McNamara (former Ford Motor Company exec) became secretary of defense. During a series of tests with some rifles (altered over Stoners objections), the M-16 had some catastrophic failures. After some engineering tests, the Army pressed for a larger round.
However, mock combat exercises convinced some that the rifle had merit.
Again from Wikipedia:

Not all the reports were negative. In a series of mock-combat situations testing the AR-15, M14 and AK-47, the Army found that the AR-15’s small size and light weight allowed it to be brought to bear much more quickly, just as CONARC had suggested. Their final conclusion was that an 8-man team equipped with the AR-15 would have the same firepower as a current 11-man team armed with the M14. They also found that the AR-15, as tested, was more reliable than the M14, suffering fewer stoppages and jams in tests where thousands of rounds were fired.

So McNamara had two conflicting reports, one where the Army wanted more M-14’s and another where it wanted the 5.56 AR-15. In truth, most in the pentagon wanted more M-14’s, even when the AR-15 passed, army officials rejected it in favor of the M-14.

Yet Stoner persisted. His first boss Fairchild Aircraft sold their Armalite division to Colt. Colt and Gen. Curtis LeMay closed a deal for M-16s to the air force. Their security forces would use the rifle. Colt inked a deal with the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), who bought 1,000 rifles for South Vietnamese forces.

Utilmately, McNamara would ram the M-16 down the Army’s throat. However Colt introduced a number of cost cutting measures. The bore and chamber were not chrome lined (causing corrosion). A forward assisted was not added (despite reports that the weapon had trouble operating when dirty) and the power was changed. See, Colt somehow convinced the Army that the rifle was “self cleaning”. This would be a bone of contention and the source of many urban legends about the M-16.

To make this short, the rifle has redesigned. Newer models had chromed bores and chambers. A forward assist was added. Numerous other improvements were made. In many Vietnam war movies, the rifles have this distinctive burrrp. Newer models redesigned the end of the barrel (the flash suppressor) from the 3-prong to the bird cage. Most modern M-16s sound just like any other rifle. The full auto mode was discontinued. Soldiers just waste ammo. instead the rifles have a three round bust (in addition to fire and safe). Thus the M-16 became the M-16A1, then M-16A2. The full auto variant is the M-16A3. The M-16A4 has rails and is modular taking many aftermarket scopes and accessories.

The rifle has seen countless versions. Many of our allies use it. However like the M-14, the M-16 was too long for special forces and urban ops. Colt responded with a shorter rifle, the Colt CAR-15. The buttstock collapsed, the barrel was shorter and then came the rails. Like the M-16, it latter had upgrades, becoming the M-4. Here we see just a sample of what a soldier can add to his or her M-4:

M-4 with M-203 grenade launcher and other stuff

M-4 with M-203 grenade launcher and other stuff

So once again why all the fuss?

As my mother would say mira:

  • 34% of soldiers reported that their M4’s handguards rattle and become excessively hot when firing.
  • 15% reported that they had trouble zeroing the M68 reflex sight.
  • 35% added barber brushes and 24% added dental picks to their cleaning kits.

Soldiers reported the following malfunctions:

  • 20% reported double-feeding.
  • 15% reported feeding jams.
  • 13% reported that feeding problems were due to magazines.
  • 89% of soldiers reported confidence in the weapon.
  • 20% were dissatisfied with its ease of maintenance.

And those soldiers wanted the following :

  1. 55% requested the firearm be made lighter
  2. 20% requested a larger magazine

Then the dust test came: (source wikipedia):

In the fall of 2007, the Army tested the M4 against three other carbines in “sandstorm conditions” at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland: the Heckler & Koch XM8 rifle, FNH USA’s SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) and the Heckler & Koch HK416. Ten of each type of rifle were used to fire 6,000 rounds each, for a total of 60,000 rounds per rifle type.[7] The M4 suffered far more stoppages than its competitors: 882 stoppages, 19 requiring an armorer to fix. The XM8 had the fewest stoppages, 116 minor stoppages and 11 major ones, followed by the FN SCAR with 226 stoppages and the HK416 with 233.[8][9] The Army now has plans to improve the M4 with a new cold-hammer-forged barrel to give longer life and more reliable magazines to reduce the stoppages. Magazine failures caused 239 of the M4’s 882 failures. Army officials said the new magazines could be combat-ready by spring if testing goes well.[10]

So the Army is at a quandary… replace the black rifle with another one, possibly re-training the entire army, use a modified M-16/M-4 type rifle and stick it to Colt or keep on keeping on.

What do you think?

Chew on this: Do you realize?

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , on 18, October 2008 by chockblock
  1. Someone has O.J.’s NFL ring, quick check your junk drawer.
  2. A nonresident Obama campaign worker, temporarily in Ohio illegally signs up to vote and then does so. yet it’s not important to make the news? h/t: Ace
  3. A reporter for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor , lies and manipulates a 16 year old girl to get the dirt on John McCain’s youngest daughter, Bridgette. What, was that Lori Drew woman unavailable?
  4. Bastards: Obama Cultist Takes Sign from McCain/Palin Supporter And Bashes Her In the Face With It; Media Not Interested, Too Busy Conjuring “Kill Him!” Shouts out of Thin Air

  5. So let me get this straight….Obama has a tax plan where:

    currently families get a $1,000 per child tax credit. Now, the CBO baseline assumes that credit drops to $500 per child in 2011. So if the Obama Administration keeps the credit at $1,000 – which means the family pays the same as they always have – it counts as a “tax cut.” I know you understand all this, but it drives me batty how intellectually dishonest the mainstream media has been in covering the tax issue in this election.

    H/T: Confederate Yankee

  6. A 12 year old Sara Palin fan is racist because she wore apro-Sarah Palin t-shirt.
    WE MUST EXPOSE THIS THOUGHT CRIMINAL AND SAVE BIG BROTHER,,errr Barack Obama… h/t:Confederate Yankee
  7. The leftist vultures and sharks circle around Joe the Plumber. Wow, this many must be very powerful if all those people hate him, he must be running for office or something right?
  8. Joe Biden says that we are “one country”, tell that to these people.
  9. Enjoy these toon’s by Michael Ramirez

and now some Flaming Lips:

The difference between Red and Blue:

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , on 18, October 2008 by chockblock

ever since 2004, we have been hearing about “red vs. blue” (leave Halo out of this!). Some try to cast it in fight between uneducated country bumpkins, bitterly clinging to “guns and religion” vs. the urban city dwellers who are more “educated”, more liberal etc.

The reality is that in the “flyover country”, those small towns, people are very conservative.

A township that digs its own wells and plows its own roads is less susceptible to the beguiling notion that everything necessary in life is a mysterious “government service” to be provided by faceless bureaucrats far away.
Cocoon: The Return Mark Steyn

When I lived in New Mexico, I saw many examples of government waste. Schools would want for basic repairs by some sate legislator would push through “pork barrel” projects to benefit the businesses that paid for his election. And yet in 1994 Gary Johnson was elected as governor. Democrats and many liberals thought that he was a fat cat trying to enrich his company Big J. Others feared that he would slash education.

In fact the state lottery blossomed during his terms, sending hundreds of students to sate colleges and universities. As the child of county and government employees, I was waiting for the ax to fall, it never did. Instead Santa Fe focused on the business of running the state.

The exception however was counties, school districts and cities run by democrats. Huge cuts in education, city services and slashed budgets occurred when they tried to practice liberail policies just like their East or Left, er West coast counterparts. Even funnier, several
counties, school districts and cities get steady paycheck from the Department of Defense. White Sands leases land just north of the missile range, enabling ranchers and the local school to get by financially each year. DOD, Dept. of energy, Sandia, Los Alamos each lease or rent land and services all over New Mexico. The thanks they get? Environmentalist wackos and anti-war nuts protesting at their gates. Politicians taking about cutting the defense budget or closing nuke plants. But with out that money, their towns would be bankrupt. They aren’t elite, their idiots.

Cocooned indeed.

H/T: Ace o’ Spades

M-4, M-16 and other rifles Part I.

Posted in army training, guns, HOOAH!, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , on 18, October 2008 by chockblock

“God made man, Colt made him equal” famous quote about Colt firearms.

However much ink has been spilled, many electrons have been murdered to make the case against the M-4 and M-16 (plus the 5.56).

but before we pick apart America’s rifle, let’s take a look at what the other guys are shooting:

  • China: QBZ series (5.8x42mm DBP87 )
  • Russia/rest of the non-western world:Automatic rifle Kalashnikov model of 1947, AK-477.62 Soviet

  • NATO, US Allies: 5.56 too many rifles to mention
  • Yes there are other calibers out there
  • But let’s stop there for now.

    Penetration: the 5.56 gets kicked around a lot because of it’s supposed “pipsqueak” diameter. Yes its small but it has a high velocity.


    The 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge with the standard military ball bullet (NATO: SS109; U.S.: M855) will penetrate approximately 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 cm) into soft tissue in ideal circumstances. As with all spitzer shaped projectiles it is prone to yaw in soft tissue. However, at impact velocities above roughly 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s), it may yaw and then fragment at the cannelure (the groove around the cylinder of the bullet). These fragments can disperse through flesh and bone, inflicting additional internal injuries.[1] Fragmentation, if and when it occurs, seems to impart much greater damage to tissue than bullet dimensions and velocities would suggest. This fragmentation effect is highly dependent on velocity, and therefore barrel length: short-barreled rifles generate less muzzle velocity and therefore rounds lose effectiveness at much shorter ranges than longer-barreled rifles.

    Hague Conventions of 1899
    banned “bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body”. So the 5.56mm was created as a workaround. It ricochets when it hits anything solid. Like trees, rocks, or bone. My Drill Sgt at For Jackson related the following: During a life fire exercise a soldier had his weapon pointed at the ground. He was at the low-ready position (weapon in hand, buttstock on chest weapon pointed down) but his weapon was not on safe. His finger was not supposed to be on the trigger but it was. He accidentally shot at the ground. The bullet ricocheted off the ground, a tree and a log to wizz past the Drill Sgt’s head. He told us this so that we would respect the weapon and the bullets it fired.

    Small caliber, low recoil, good penetration. That is the 5.56mm. However due to the M-4 (14 inches) having a shorter barrel than the M-16 (20 inches) muzzle velocity is lost. When that goes down penetration goes with it.

    Let’s look at the operational performance:
    The Little Black Carbine By David Fortier, :

    Regarding terminal performance, there is no doubt the M855 ball round is quite lethal out of the M4 carbine. However, many of the 3-7th Cav’s veteran NCOs with heavy combat experience in Iraq wished it packed more punch. Fighting room to room, engagement distances are up close. In such an environment, where the insurgents they face may be doped up on narcotics, they wanted a threat to drop instantly–not stay on his feet for a couple seconds still capable of triggering off another burst.

    “I shot an insurgent in the stomach with a 7.62mm M14, and it buckled him over,” Sgt. John Gibson commented. “Another one I shot with the 5.56 M4 took three rounds to put him down. Sure, he died, but I wished he’d gone down faster.”

    In the Special interest mag “Book Of the AR-15” (out now), Mr. Fortier raises a good argument against replacing the M-4. We are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Replacing rifles and ammo during a confilct would be a mistake. Sure there is the 6.8mm SPC or the 6.5 Grendel. But you have to mass produce the rifles and bullets. During the Cold War, having the 7.62 M-60 machine gun and 5.56 M-16’s was a nightmare, logistically. With National Guard and Reserve units, bringing in a new caliber would be a worse nightmare.

    However, arguments can be made about replacing the rifle itself.

    The HK 416.

    and again in German:

    It looks like the Army just might be serious about replacing the M-4. And this time all eyes are on the Army to see what they pick.


    Obama’s fine debate preformance (Miser ex potente fiat ex misero potens)

    Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 17, October 2008 by chockblock

    Don’t talk like one of them, you’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak–like me! They need you right now. When they don’t…they’ll cast you out. Like a leper! See, their morals, their code: it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these, uh…civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster; I’m just ahead of the curve.

    – The Joker, The Dark Knight.

    Why are you Obama supporters so serious? You should put a smile on your face just like Joe the Plumber. The thugs and hatemongers nice people published his home address after he challenged Obama’s Plans for your money. Obama is strong in the face of attacks even when the attacks do not exist. I mean who believes the right wing sight Little Green Footballs or the United States Secret Service anyway? Besides the Main Stream Media is busy dealing with that pesky plumber as we speak.

    Obama Supporter you can rest assured that Obama will change it. As the U.S. Air Force is forced to cut its fleet of aircraft, money for more radical indoctrination education will be available. Do more innocent Taliban and al-Qaedabeing hit by American firepower. The Democrats know how to bring these people to the peace table.

    Don’t despair. As our schools fail, the military grinds on in Afganistan, the markets crumble under the weight of inept government regulation and red tape government reform, and our government spends your money, you can rest assured that you voted for change that you needed, believed in and hoped for.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.
    John Kenneth Galbraith
    US (Canadian-born) administrator & economist (1908 – 2006)

    Chew On This: Post-Columbus Day O RLY? Edition (updated)

    Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , on 15, October 2008 by chockblock


    From around the internets:

    1. From Zombie: (H/T: Little Green Footballs)

      A substantial portion of the Left’s strategy during this campaign is to create the perception that as many people as possible are supporting Obama. They strive to not simply show that he has a lot of supporters (which, obviously, he has), but to purposely inflate or exaggerate the numbers in order to make his support seem larger than it really is.

      Go read the whole essay.

    2. Via Ace: Mad jack Murtha to his constituents :F**k You!
    3. Plumber takes on the Chosen One, guess who wins?
    4. Gee, A Taliban leader was a Pakistani military officer, who whoulda thunk it? (h/t JAWA and ROA)
    5. Jesse Jackson‘s support of Obama:

      Jackson believes that, although “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

      (SOURCE, NY Post)
      H/T: Little Green Footballs

    6. Former Spook notices a similarity between Jackson’s remarks and those of former Air Force Gen. Merrill “Tony” McPeak. Wow, can’t they give Israel a rest for once?
    7. A CNN editor advises U.S. Senators to act more European, while a CBS morning host scoffs when former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggests that the media may be biased. What plaent do these people live on, it sure anit the Earth.
    8. From Gateway Pundit: Obama Co-Sponsored Legislation to Shield ACORN From Lawsuits and Sara Palin tells the Obama to rein’em in, only to have the chosen one snark back.
    9. Via Patterico: Tax cuts! The Chosen One has spoken! But before Obama can cut your taxes:

      “The Tax Foundation estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis estimates that by 2011, under the Obama plan, an additional 10 million filers would pay zero taxes while cashing checks from the IRS.

      The total annual expenditures on refundable “tax credits” would rise over the next 10 years by $647 billion to $1.054 trillion, according to the Tax Policy Center. This means that the tax-credit welfare state would soon cost four times actual cash welfare. By redefining such income payments as “tax credits,” the Obama campaign also redefines them away as a tax share of GDP. Presto, the federal tax burden looks much smaller than it really is.

      The political left defends “refundability” on grounds that these payments help to offset the payroll tax. And that was at least plausible when the only major refundable credit was the earned-income tax credit. Taken together, however, these tax credit payments would exceed payroll levies for most low-income workers.“

    10. Foregin money in the Obama Campagin? Say it aint so!:

      “Obama’s overseas (foreign) contributors are making multiple small donations, ostensibly in their own names, over a period of a few days, some under maximum donation allowances, but others are aggregating in excess of the maximums when all added up. The countries and major cities from which contributions have been received France, Virgin Islands, Planegg, Vienna, Hague, Madrid, London, AE, IR, Geneva,Tokyo, Bangkok, Turin, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Roma, Zurich, Netherlands, Moscow, Ireland, Milan, Singapore, Bejing, Switzerland, Toronto, Vancouver, La Creche, Pak Chong, Dublin, Panama, Krabi, Berlin, Geneva, Buenos Aires, Prague, Nagoya, Budapest, Barcelona, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Zurich, Ragusa, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Uganda, Mumbia, Nagoya, Tunis, Zacatecas, St, Croix, Mississauga, Laval, Nadi, Behchoko, Ragusa, DUBIA, Lima, Copenhagen, Quaama, Jeddah, Kabul, Cairo, Nassau(not the county on Long Island,lol), Luxembourg (Auchi’s stomping grounds), etc,etc,etc,

      (h/t:Patterico )

    11. Credit Card Fraud: $hange we need. (h/t/:Ace o’ Spades
    12. Obama voted “present” on Fannie/Freddie reform
    13. O RLY?

    It’s the 1960’s all over again.

    Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 12, October 2008 by chockblock

    Hope? Change? The Summer of Love? Nope, just some deranged leftists out to crush law, order and decency.

    Didn’t we go through this already? Didn’t they try to “bring the war home”, “start revolution” etc.etc…

    Why can’t the left get over the sixties? They believe it was their shining hour. Draft cards burning. A song form the 90’s claimed that hippies stopped the Vietnam war. Hippes were “cool” and everyone tuned in, tuned on and dropped out. Sure…..

    I hate the Baby Boomers. They’re the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-
    interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in
    American history. As they enter late middle age, the Boomers still can’t grow
    up. Guys who once dropped acid are now downing Viagra; women who once eschewed
    lipstick are now getting liposuction.

    “The Worst Generation” by Paul Begala, ESQUIRE, April 2000. See more in this post here.

    What did the Sixties bring us? Drugs. Violence. Riots. Charles Manson. Whom Bill Ayers wife Bernardine Dohrn admires. As with all things in the sixties, their incompetence doomed them:

    “The only reason they were not guilty of mass murder is mere incompetence. I don’t know what sort of defense that is.”— Harvey Klehr, the Emory University

    The draft and mismanagement doomed the Vietnam war effort. We lost because we were fighting in someone else’s war (and one side was backed by the Soviet Union, they never would have lasted as long without their help). Beneath the facade of sex, drugs and happiness is the heart of darkness. They lived in the lap of luxury. Bill Ayers and Barack Obama are rich. Sinking rich. Yet they want us to sink to the level of the thug. Those links above show the true face of the Leftist youth movement. Shut up or they will shut up up by force.

    If they can’t get over the 60’s, will just have to chase’em, like all the other bad guys.

    btw: to those 60’s radicals who say that they are working inside the system, voter fraud does not count.
    (from LGF)