Page:  / 4
Author
Message
TerryG3
Offline
Posts: 625
Feedback: 100% (31)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/22/2008 9:22:45 PM
Older cousin taped his cleaning rod to his weapon. I also recall him writing and asking for containers of anti-seize. I also recall seeing photos of dead GI's and many times if you looked close, their weapons were open. I believe it was a big problem. I turned 18 in '72 and even back in Jr.High and high school, I had subscriptions to gun magazines. Their consensus was the use of incorrect powder which caused a rise in cyclic rate beyond Stoner's recommendations, higher operating temps, and excess powder residue. Improvements were made which consistently improved the weapon. The powder was not changed but the charge was lowered to slow the cylic rate, first chrome chambers then full chrome bores. It's my opinion they should have designed a new cartridge - one with more taper to the case making extraction much less of a problem in less than clean environments. Just like JFK, we'll never know the whole story. Another fiasco, in a long list of fiasco's, in a piece of crap war, that should make those who served there that much more deserving of our gratitude.
Combat_Jack
Member
Offline
Posts: 40421
Feedback: 100% (16)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/22/2008 9:23:50 PM
Of what?
"It makes no difference what men think of war... War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting the ultimate practitioner." CM.
valhalla
Offline
Posts: 131
Feedback: 100% (13)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/22/2008 10:19:59 PM
The cleaning rods being taped to rifles that you indicate you still see.
Combat_Jack
Member
Offline
Posts: 40430
Feedback: 100% (16)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/22/2008 10:35:05 PM
Army Times article:

Like the rest of his men, Self always carried a cleaning rod zip-tied to the side of his weapon in case it failed to extract a round from the chamber.


He did this because a Sergeant of his taught him to do so.

Do I see it? Not with my own eyes. But it does still happen.
"It makes no difference what men think of war... War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting the ultimate practitioner." CM.
M4-Stag
Member
Offline
Posts: 965
Feedback: 100% (2)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/22/2008 10:55:11 PM
Originally Posted By Blanco_Diablo:
Originally Posted By EagleArmsHBAR:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The rifles were issued without cleaning kits. Rifles that were cleaned had no issues. Those that weren't got their users killed.

As a result, the chamber was chrome lined.



If you read the article, they state that about 50% of the XM16E1s did not work, even when clean in a sterile testing environment.


This guy is an idiot. If that were the case, the M16 would NEVER have been adopted.

ETA: Just so you know, I have a 601 upper w/ original barrel that has no chrome lining at all (chamber or bore) and it runs 100% of the time in any environment I've used it in...

That's what you think. Maybe not 50% but a lot. M-16's and jungles just did not play well I assure you. A lot of good men died. Just because someone was in a hurry to meet a deadline. Massive failure on a global level in my book.
The Army was well aware of the failures, Dont let them BS you. Nuf said.
Be polite,be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
valhalla
Offline
Posts: 132
Feedback: 100% (13)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/22/2008 11:02:27 PM
Those are M4 carbines, but it seems limited to them. I haven't heard the same trouble being reported on the M16A2 and M16A4 rifles. Even the Marine test showed a much higher failure rate on the M4's than on the rifles.
B44T
Member
Offline
Posts: 1137
Feedback: 100% (14)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 3:51:05 AM
I found what Mr. Stoner had to say to congress verry interesting. I found an excerpt here,,,,, http://www.bobcat.ws/rifle.htm
TerryG3
Offline
Posts: 626
Feedback: 100% (31)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 9:44:01 AM
Originally Posted By B44T:
I found what Mr. Stoner had to say to congress verry interesting. I found an excerpt here,,,,, http://www.bobcat.ws/rifle.htm


I guess my info was, more or less, correct. Higher operating temps and higher cycle rate caused by the use of incorrect powder. All caused by the military. I guess they thought they knew more about ammunition than the weapons designer. The old right way, wrong way, and the army way thing again.

BattleRife
Offline
Posts: 697
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 11:34:36 AM
[Last Edit: 11/23/2008 11:40:33 AM by BattleRife]
Originally Posted By TerryG3 Higher operating temps and higher cycle rate caused by the use of incorrect powder. All caused by the military. I guess they thought they knew more about ammunition than the weapons designer. The old right way, wrong way, and the army way thing again.



As I said, the Ichord report holds very little water. In the bit of testimony that I believe you are referring to, Stoner is talking about the effect of cyclic rate on extraction when a case is momentarily obturated to the chamber wall. He points out that this is a rare occurence he had only seen under limited conditions. It certainly was not the principal problem in Vietnam.

No credible study or report has blamed ball powder for the extraction problems of 1965-67. The switch to ball powder was the right thing to do. I will also remind you that the switch to ball powder was not forced by the military, so it makes no sense laying the blame on them.
dewatters
Offline
Posts: 468
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 11:55:00 AM
Originally Posted By BattleRife:
Originally Posted By TerryG3 Higher operating temps and higher cycle rate caused by the use of incorrect powder. All caused by the military. I guess they thought they knew more about ammunition than the weapons designer. The old right way, wrong way, and the army way thing again.



As I said, the Ichord report holds very little water. In the bit of testimony that I believe you are referring to, Stoner is talking about the effect of cyclic rate on extraction when a case is momentarily obturated to the chamber wall. He points out that this is a rare occurence he had only seen under limited conditions. It certainly was not the principal problem in Vietnam.

No credible study or report has blamed ball powder for the extraction problems of 1965-67. The switch to ball powder was the right thing to do. I will also remind you that the switch to ball powder was not forced by the military, so it makes no sense laying the blame on them.


Did WC846 have issues? Sure. But there wasn't some huge Army conspiracy to force its use like the Ichord Subcommittee (and later authors) implied.

Frankly, too many people latch on to the name Improved Military Powder. "It is 'Improved'! It must be newer and better than the stuff that the Army was using." IMR is just a trade name. In 1914, it began to replace DuPont's turn of the century 'Military Rifle' (MR) line of powders. IMR 4475, the specific powder used by Remington for the early .223/5.56mm was introduced in 1936. The choice of a DuPont IMR type was pretty predictable given that DuPont owned Remington.

When Remington could cherry pick lots of IMR 4475 for loading small batches of .223, there wasn't a problem. However, when the USAF began ordering in bulk, the ammo began to show signs of excessive pressure such as dropping primers. The USAF was the first group to call for a change from IMR 4475 to an Olin Ball Powder (WC846), based on recommendations from Remington itself. When the primary ammo manufacturer, who helped develop the cartridge, tells you that they need to switch powders, folks tend to listen.

The USAF and later the Army had used Remington's commercial TDP when drawing up the military specs. Yet, when it came time for the Army to order its first batches of ammo, all of the commercial ammo companies, including Remington, turned around and refused to bid. They all claimed that they could not stay within the pressure limits with IMR 4475 to achieve the velocity specs. What to do? They could have lowered the velocity, but the OSD shot that idea down (reportedly at the instance of the USAF). They could have raised the pressure specs, but they were already showing signs of excessive pressures. Ultimately, the Army caved in and agreed to temporarily raise the pressure specs.

But then Remington threw another curve ball and refused to load any more 5.56mm ammo with IMR 4475. The only other choice was to look for other powders. Candidates included DuPont's CR 8136 (another IMR type), Hercules' HPC-10, and Olin's WC846. The Army ultimately picked CR 8136 and WC846. Predictably, Remington chose to use CR 8136, while everyone else stayed with WC846. However, CR 8136 also proved to be twitchy from lot to lot, and Remington eventually pulled it from use in their 5.56mm ammo.

This led to yet another search by Frankford Arsenal for an alternate powder. While Olin declined to participate, two other propellants were submitted: DuPont's EX 8208-4 (yet another IMR type) and Hercules' HPC-11. The Army chose to qualify EX 8208-4 (later renamed IMR 8208) alongside the existing WC846. Again, everyone but Remington stuck with WC846.
101ABN327
Offline
Posts: 256
Feedback: 100% (39)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 12:52:37 PM
And yes Tigers really did kill US personnel in Vietnam....fuck PETA


LOL!
Ekie
Turd
Offline
Posts: 7030
Feedback: 100% (97)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 1:06:28 PM
[Last Edit: 11/23/2008 1:41:35 PM by Ekie]
The problem was an empty case would stick in the chamber and the only way to get it out was to ram it with a cleaning rod.

There are two things that can lead to this problem, a bad chamber, or bad brass.

BTW, IMR powder is no longer authorized for use in M193, and has not been since extensive testing in 1968. Only ball powder is authorized.

Ichord was a politician, not a firearms expert. Someone had to take the blame. Pinning it on the Troops was not an option, and pointing at Colt could also cause a political backlash from Connecticut’s Representatives. The U.S. Army was a natural to take the fall, and they did make many mistakes, over, and over again. However, mistakes were made by all involved parties.
dewatters
Offline
Posts: 469
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 1:37:01 PM
Originally Posted By Ekie:
The problem was an empty case would stick in the chamber and the only way to get it out was to ram it with a cleaning rod.

There are two things that can lead to this problem, a bad chamber, or bad brass.


Yes, chamber corrosion was a big problem for the unplated barrels, and Frankford Arsenal had not been allowed to dictate case hardness standards. For the first, Stoner and the OSD are to blame. Stoner didn't think chroming the chamber was necessary given the good grade of steel he had selected, The Army wanted chrome chambers anyway, but taking Stoner's cousel, the OSD was too cheap to spend the extra ~$1 per rifle. As for case hardness, the original military ammo TDP was based on Remington's commercial specifications. Odds are that Remington used the same case hardness specs that would be appropriate for hunting or target ammo for a single shot or bolt action, but not for military ammo for an automatic weapon. Combine corroded chambers with soft brass, and you get failures to extract.
dewatters
Offline
Posts: 470
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 1:53:19 PM
Originally Posted By TerryG3:
It's my opinion they should have designed a new cartridge - one with more taper to the case making extraction much less of a problem in less than clean environments.


If I'm not mistaken, 5.56x45mm has more case taper than a 7.62x51mm. No one complains about extraction with 7.62x51mm military rifles and machineguns.

FWIW: FN experimented with a heavily tapered 5.56x45mm case back around 1968. It you can see, it didn't go anywhere.

Increasing case taper will increase bolt thrust. Combined with a high enough chamber pressure, this will make the bolt harder to open. Easy extraction doesn't mean much if you can't get the bolt open in the first place.

Ekie
Turd
Offline
Posts: 7034
Feedback: 100% (97)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 1:59:24 PM
Combat_Jack
Member
Offline
Posts: 40447
Feedback: 100% (16)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 2:06:55 PM
I've read that you actually get better extraction from straighter cases.
"It makes no difference what men think of war... War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting the ultimate practitioner." CM.
rjay
Offline
Posts: 1451
Feedback: 100% (4)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 2:40:06 PM
High intensity, small caliber automatic weapons were a new frontier. There was a lot to learn. All the problems are nothing more than what you would expect when breaking new ground. The problem is that the weapons system was adopted too hastily.

The testing was done in VN. The cartridge and rifle were rammed down the Army's throat. The top brass didn't want it therefore their 'testing' of the rifle was not done with an eye toward adoption. Just the opposite, their 'testing' was done with an eye towards making sure the rifle was not adopted. When it was rammed down their throats by McNamara I think the Army brass said 'F**k it' and didn't give a damn what happened after that. If it failed it would be McNamara's ass not theirs.

It was the soldiers' asses that were on the line and they are the ones that paid the price for the country's civilian and military leadership not doing their job.
Stahlgewehr762
Offline
Posts: 750
Feedback: 100% (13)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 2:53:22 PM
The US military learned the value of chrome-plated chambers during the Pacific campaign of WW2. The Japanese Arisaka rifles have chrome lined chambers and bores, which resisted rusting much better than the unlined barrels of the US weapons in the humid jungle environment. Due to this experience, it became an ordnance requirement for all new US military rifles to have a chrome lined bore and chamber.

The next US military rifle was, of course, the M-14, which has had a chrome-lined chamber and bore from day one. The result of this design feature was the M-14 has never had functional problems associated with rusty chambers. No matter how good the grade of steel, if exposed to constant water and humidity, steel will rust. Rough, rusty, pitted chambers will "grip" onto a cartridge case while under pressure, and will hold the case in the chamber, rather than let the extractor do its job. This is what happened with the XM-16E1, when exposed to the severe climate in Vietnam, with no cleaning kits, and no hardness-spec. for the brass cartridge cases as added issues to compound the problem of "stuck" cases.

The M-14 and AK-47 both have chrome-lined bores and chambers and had no problems with extraction/stuck cases in the humid jungles of S.E. Asia. The M-16A1 and newer M-16 variants also do not have these problems, due to the fact that chrome lining is now standard on these rifles as well. It should've been that way right from the start.
Ekie
Turd
Offline
Posts: 7037
Feedback: 100% (97)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 4:36:16 PM
[Last Edit: 11/23/2008 4:36:43 PM by Ekie]
If rusty chamber were the cause then why did this start in late 1966? How did it happen to newly issued rifles (as described by Culver). In addition we had fought the Japs in the Pacific without benefit of chrome chambers.
Combat_Jack
Member
Offline
Posts: 40454
Feedback: 100% (16)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 5:10:55 PM
Originally Posted By rjay:
High intensity, small caliber automatic weapons were a new frontier. There was a lot to learn. All the problems are nothing more than what you would expect when breaking new ground. The problem is that the weapons system was adopted too hastily.


By 1966 the weapon had almost ten years of testing completed, the majority of it showing that it was a better weapon than the M14 that it replaced.

As I said before, cleaning was the major issue. Chrome lining the bores was an improvement.

To my mid, there have been around 20 changes between the M16 and the A2 version, only about five of which were real improvements.

The rest has been fixing something till it is broken.

The chrome chamber is an asset.
"It makes no difference what men think of war... War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting the ultimate practitioner." CM.
Morg308
Member
Offline
Posts: 1678
Feedback: 100% (140)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 6:24:15 PM
[Last Edit: 11/23/2008 6:25:57 PM by Morg308]
Originally Posted By Ekie:
If rusty chamber were the cause then why did this start in late 1966? How did it happen to newly issued rifles (as described by Culver). In addition we had fought the Japs in the Pacific without benefit of chrome chambers.


I personally think a lot of it was the out of spec chambers. Culver speaks of weapons issued in '65 IIRC. I thought Culver's remembrance of checking various specs on various ammo from different providers later on was very telling. Basically, I don't think the weapon was quite ready for use on the two-way range when it was issued. I also agree the Army brass wanted it to fail. Until the last few years I was never an AR guy - I have really learned respect for them. FWIW I have an early XM16E1 upper - very few rounds by the look of it. Wish I had the tools to gauge the chamber and compare it to my other ARs...

"Who are you people, and where's my horse?" - George Carlin
dewatters
Offline
Posts: 471
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 6:32:51 PM
Originally Posted By Ekie:
If rusty chamber were the cause then why did this start in late 1966? How did it happen to newly issued rifles (as described by Culver). In addition we had fought the Japs in the Pacific without benefit of chrome chambers.


The early troop issues were to Special Forces and Airborne units, many of whom had a chance to train with their rifles prior to deployment to Vietnam. By 1966, regular Infantry units were receiving them, many making the transition in country.

Rust doesn't take long to start in humid climates if you aren't taking care of it. One of the archive items you sent me had a 12/3/67 article from the Baltimore Sun. It stated that from one USMC battalion, 286 of 445 rifles inspected were going to need their barrels replaced due to corrosion in the chamber. It also claims that when they were issued their new rifles in the Spring, Marines were told not to oil their weapons after cleaning. This order was not rescinded until June.

We'll never know how many small arms were wrecked in the Pacific due to corrosion, or if troops died as a result. In his book "Ordnance Went Up Front," Roy Dunlap indicated that when he served in the Pacific, he saw plenty of rifles that were turned in to Ordnance teams due to rusted bores. In one of the official Ordnance Department histories of WW2, there were comments that many rifles were wrecked in the Papua New Guinea campaign. Green US troops had tossed away their cleaning kits and oil bottles to save weight during their long march through the jungle. Once they finally made contact with the enemy, problems arose with their weapons due to the lack of maintenance. These troops were then forced to scrounge cleaning materiel from the corpses of Japanese troops killed in battle.

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
Offline
Posts: 472
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 6:46:39 PM
[Last Edit: 11/23/2008 6:47:53 PM by dewatters]
Originally Posted By Morg308:
Basically, I don't think the weapon was quite ready for use on the two-way range when it was issued. I also agree the Army brass wanted it to fail.


Certainly the Army General Staff wanted nothing to do with the rifle. However, judging from "The Black Rifle," AMC commander General Besson seemed very interested in Project Manager Colonel Yount's progress. Moreover, some of the folks on the Technical Coordinating Committee, like Frankford Arsenal's Bill Davis, appeared to be selected specifically because of their previous SCHV work. One of the biggest impediments to the rifle's development seem to have been the Secretary of Defense and his staff. They had drunk the Kool-Aid that the AR-15 and its ammo were a fully developed, perfectly perfect, Commercial Off the Shelf product that needed no additional work prior to issue. They wanted the rifle issued, and they wanted it done NOW.

dewatters
Offline
Posts: 473
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 7:47:34 PM
Dunlap's comments are on Pg 215 in my copy:

The M1's were going to ruin for lack of cleaning in the holes up front-the poor guys did not have anything to take care of them with, and often were not in a position to shoot them often enough to keep the barrels clear of corrosion (grass won't grow on a busy street-regardless of the corroding primer compound, if a .30-06 barrel gets a bullet through it every six or eight hours it will stay in pretty good shape). As a result of the fouling of gas cylinders and pistons, a large percentage of our semi-automatics were becoming singleshots.
dewatters
Offline
Posts: 474
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/23/2008 7:57:59 PM
"The Ordnance Department: On Beachhead and Battlefront", Pg 81:

Materials to clean and oil the small arms were much in demand. Cleaning and preserving (C&P) materials had been in short supply to begin with. Many of the M1 rifles had been issued without oil and thong cases. Often when the men had the cases they simply threw them away to lighten the load they were carrying. By 3 December the shortage of gun oil, small individual containers for oil, brushes, cleaning rods, and other C&P items was serious enough to effect operations. One combat officer, observing that the first thing the men stripped from the Japanese dead or wounded was the neat bakelite oil case they carried, reported that gun oil was "very precious and always short." Urgent messages characterized the condition of small arms at the front as "deplorable" and "terrible."
Page:  / 4