|Originally Posted By Andouille:
Originally Posted By dewatters:
In May 1967, John Garand was interviewed about the problems the M16 was having in Vietnam. He noted that the M1 had also had problems in early combat. Production quotas had been ramped up so quickly that Springfield was forced to use parts that would have otherwise been rejected. He was quoted as saying "I questioned this and was told that it was better to have a gun jammed once in awhile than to have no gun at all. The answer shocked me."
Dewatters, I would be very interested to know the source of the Garand interview. That sounds like a very interesting read indeed.
Springfield Daily News, 22 May 1967
GARAND SAYS FAMOUS M-1 ALSO HAD JAMMING PROBLEMS
The inventor of the Army's famous M-1 rifle says it developed some jamming problems in the initial years of its use.
According to United Press International, John C. Garand, 79, whose rifle was the standard weapon from 1937 to 1957, said today that early production was rushed because of a great need, and occasionally discarded parts had to be used, causing the jamming.
"I questioned this and was told that it was better to have a gun jammed once in awhile than to have no gun at all. The answer shocked me."
Eventually Cleared Up -
But, according to the inventor, the problems ceased once the rush was over and production returned to a normal rate.
Recent reports from Vietnam told of complaints of jamming with the Army's new M-16 rifle. Military officials have generally defended the weapon. The rifle is not made at the Springfield Armory, but by a private manufacturer.
Although he is not familiar with the operation of the M-16, Mr. Garand said there are two possible factors that could cause the gun to jam: The blow-back action and general terrain conditions in Vietnam.
The 'blow-back' refers to the backward motion of exploding gases pushing toward the mechanism. This could force spent powders and other accumulated material from the rifle barrel into the firing mechanism, Mr. Garand noted.
Terrain Conditions -
He also feels that the general muck and slime in some places and large amounts of dust in others, is harmful to the gun's mechanisms.
"I can't condemn the M-16 because it is filling the bill in Vietnam. There might be some arguments to support the jamming complaints, but there might also be excuses if the manufacturers rushed. I don't know what the whole story is."
The main features of the M-16 are plastic fittings and use of a .22 caliber round, both of which make the weapon considerable lighter, and more efficient for jungle fighting.
Mr. Garand said that originally some considerations were given to making the M-1 a .22 caliber rifle, rather than .30 caliber, but "I was never very much in favor of a peashooter."
He does think, however, there are good reasons for the use of the smaller caliber in Vietnam. "Conditions over there demand a lot of firing at unseen targets. At short range, the .22 caliber is very effective," he said.
Began At Armory -
Mr. Garand came to this country at the age of 12 from his birthplace in St. Remi, Quebec, Canada. He first settled in Connecticut and, without having finished grade school, began working at the Springfield Armory in 1919.
He retired from the Armory in 1953 and now lives about two miles form the installation. Despite his lack of higher education, Mr. Garand holds an honorary doctorate of mechanical engineering degree, which he got form Lehigh University in 1949.
Please forgive any errors in transcription. I'm pulling this from another transcribed copy that has some misspellings.