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Link Posted: 11/14/2013 10:24:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/15/2013 4:10:04 AM EDT
Very interesting to hear the whole process Coldblue, thank you for posting this stuff!
Link Posted: 11/15/2013 6:18:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/15/2013 6:19:37 AM EDT by eodinert]
....
Link Posted: 11/15/2013 7:46:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/15/2013 12:08:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By coldblue:


The main advantage was the ability, that is if they cared to train for it, to accurately engage targets at greater ranges than they could before.
That was why we went with the 800/300 rear sight. Rifle fire at such ranges is directed by small unit leaders with a fire command to a group of firers, such as:
"Squad!
Rifleman only,
Direct front.
Abandoned house with enemy squad.
Range 550 meters.
Adjust sights.
On my command...Fire.

This is how a small unit could accurately lay down a base of fire while a second element conducted an envelopment.
My experience in Viet-Nam as an Infantry Platoon Leader was that we always needed to lug around M60 machine guns for such purposes, as our organic M16A1's lacked a longer than battle sight capability. I mean without the M60, we could get pinned down in the rice paddy area I worked in by a couple of SKS's from a tree line only 400 meters out. I wanted the M14's/M1's range adjustable sight capability back!

I bent over backwards on design improvements/changes to keep the Infantry School at Fort Benning at the M16A2 table. One example was maintaining a simple method for obtaining their 25 meter zero, which by the way the Marines were using then as well. That required one click of A2 rear sight elevation past the 300 meter mark; which allowed you to shoot "point of aim = point of impact" at 25 meters for your zero. Then rotate one click down to the 300 when finished. The POA=POI was much easier for everyone to understand versus the off-set impact method of the A1.
The previously mentioned Army report kind of deliberately ignores this accommodation in their criticism, as well as pointing out the A2's lack of 25 meter zero symbol (like a triangle) on the range adjustment wheel. Back then in my mind, as well as several at Ft. Benning at the time, that if a Soldier could remember what the little triangle was used for, then he/she could remember the one click up as easily. This was well covered in the TM's I revised as well as the 25 meter zeroing target I developed.
And like I said above, we did not change the tread pitch of the front sight post so an A1 post could be used, as well as their Low Light Level sight kit. And using an A1 front sight post maintained total interoperability with their existing targets and their zeroing targets metric grid adjustment values.

The much bigger issue was them switching from their well established 250 meter zero to our 300. But how I did that is another story...

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Originally Posted By coldblue:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Col. Lutz, how are the A2 sights advantageous to the Army? In Army use they are not adjusted from zero intentionally.


The main advantage was the ability, that is if they cared to train for it, to accurately engage targets at greater ranges than they could before.
That was why we went with the 800/300 rear sight. Rifle fire at such ranges is directed by small unit leaders with a fire command to a group of firers, such as:
"Squad!
Rifleman only,
Direct front.
Abandoned house with enemy squad.
Range 550 meters.
Adjust sights.
On my command...Fire.

This is how a small unit could accurately lay down a base of fire while a second element conducted an envelopment.
My experience in Viet-Nam as an Infantry Platoon Leader was that we always needed to lug around M60 machine guns for such purposes, as our organic M16A1's lacked a longer than battle sight capability. I mean without the M60, we could get pinned down in the rice paddy area I worked in by a couple of SKS's from a tree line only 400 meters out. I wanted the M14's/M1's range adjustable sight capability back!

I bent over backwards on design improvements/changes to keep the Infantry School at Fort Benning at the M16A2 table. One example was maintaining a simple method for obtaining their 25 meter zero, which by the way the Marines were using then as well. That required one click of A2 rear sight elevation past the 300 meter mark; which allowed you to shoot "point of aim = point of impact" at 25 meters for your zero. Then rotate one click down to the 300 when finished. The POA=POI was much easier for everyone to understand versus the off-set impact method of the A1.
The previously mentioned Army report kind of deliberately ignores this accommodation in their criticism, as well as pointing out the A2's lack of 25 meter zero symbol (like a triangle) on the range adjustment wheel. Back then in my mind, as well as several at Ft. Benning at the time, that if a Soldier could remember what the little triangle was used for, then he/she could remember the one click up as easily. This was well covered in the TM's I revised as well as the 25 meter zeroing target I developed.
And like I said above, we did not change the tread pitch of the front sight post so an A1 post could be used, as well as their Low Light Level sight kit. And using an A1 front sight post maintained total interoperability with their existing targets and their zeroing targets metric grid adjustment values.

The much bigger issue was them switching from their well established 250 meter zero to our 300. But how I did that is another story...

Sir, I'd like to hear that story if you have the time.
Link Posted: 11/15/2013 1:22:22 PM EDT
This has been an extremely informative thread. Thank you sir for your input into the reasons as to why the upgrades were made.

I have an Uncle that served during Vietnam as a medic in the special forces. He taught me how to shoot an AR on his A1 style colt. When I entered Basic training I quickly learned that I liked the A2 version much better. I preferred both the grip and the buttstock change. I am not a large guy but at 5'11 I felt the length of pull on the A1 buttstock just didn't feel as comfortable. I also liked the rear sight adjustment so much better especially when I qualified for the base shooting team and we started shooting out to 600 meters.

On all 4 of my ARs I have the A2 style pistol grip and prefer it to other grips out there. Maybe it's because what I had gotten used to while in the Army that makes me a bit biased.
Link Posted: 11/16/2013 10:08:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/16/2013 3:10:17 PM EDT
Thank you sir for the story. Could you tell us about how the Army ended up with a new zero range?

Link Posted: 11/17/2013 8:56:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/17/2013 8:58:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2013 9:09:53 AM EDT by coldblue]
Link Posted: 11/17/2013 10:04:18 AM EDT
Thank you so much for posting this. This has been some very informative reading.

(Note: this was before the case deflector was added to the upper receiver which leads to yet another chapter in this saga).

Since you brought it up, would love to hear the story on this as well.
Link Posted: 11/17/2013 10:11:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2013 10:39:23 AM EDT by GSL]
You know after all these years, I've finally learned the actual explanation for the rear sight. Thank you Sir.

This thread needs to be stickied and added to the faq's, it's a gold mine.
Link Posted: 11/17/2013 10:35:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/17/2013 12:27:08 PM EDT
What an awesome thread! Info like this is why I maintain my Arfcom memebership. Thanks very much LtCol Lutz for all this informative history!

S/F,
sseric02
Link Posted: 11/17/2013 3:07:49 PM EDT
This thread has blossomed into something great!

Thanks
Link Posted: 11/18/2013 11:28:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2013 11:34:22 PM EDT by Blain]
Some more information from "Coldblue" about the A2s development and the reasoning behind it!!

I sent him an email and asked:

“…How close was the A2 design to keeping the A2 stock the same length as the older A1 with just improved materials?
Did they perform any durability tests on the new adjustable rear A2 sights to see how they held up to rough use in the field vs. the old A1 rear fixed sights? The entire rear sight block on the A2 is steel, I figured this was to help compensate for the durability loss of an adjustable sight…?”
View Quote


His response!


The M16A1 buttstock length was unchanged as we switched to the more modern and many times stronger Du Pont Zytel material. It was subsequent input from the Army’s Human Engineering Laboratory (HEL) that prompted the length increase. HEL actually had data supporting almost a one inch increase, but the existing Arms Room M12 Rifle Racks would not accept more than the 5/8” increase we applied to the new stock. Incidentally, we also increased the depth of the cleaning kit void formed in its foam fill the 5/8” as well.


Durability of the A2 adjustable rear sight was deemed “equal to or better” than the M16A1’s. Standard Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) Test Center Standard Test Operating Procedures (STOP’s) were used for durability and rough handling comparison evaluations. These included drop testing on plywood covered concrete from a height of five feet at various muzzle up, muzzle down, on the side, etc., rifle attitudes.

And as you observe above, the A2’s steel rear sight base actually resisted permanent deformation better than the aluminum M16A1 carrying handle “ears” that protect the rear sight aperture. The only part of the A2 sight that “broke,” was one of six of the original aluminum windage knobs. It was simply a straight sided, serrated drum which “proudly” presented its outside corner, so as to make it easy to turn when wearing heavy gloves.

The fix was simple, I took one of the original knobs back to my shop at Picatinny, mounted it in my Black & Decker drill and took the corner way down with a mill file. This chamfer was about one-third the knob’s height, but retained enough of the original serrations for operation with gloves. I then used a small Swiss File to make “witness marks” on this new surface so shooters would have click reference marks for dope changes. I took this modified knob to Colt in Hartford and they changed the evolving technical data package drawings accordingly. The A2 windage knob I am sure you are familiar is its direct successor.

Semper Fi,
Dave


Wow, what great information!

My thoughts:

It is too bad that the A2 rear sight didn't incorporate steel for the elevation and windage wheels as well. Having the complete rear sight assembly made entirely out of steel (ala the M1 and M14) would have really made the rear sight assembly almost bulletproof.

That, along with the fact that the windage knob didn't have numbers on it to correspond with the hash marks (for quick zero check / confirmation) are the only main problems I have with the A2 rear sight.

Do you think the 0 - 200 meter aperture is too large? Do you like how it is not a same plane aperture?
Link Posted: 11/19/2013 8:41:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2013 8:46:18 AM EDT by coldblue]
Link Posted: 11/19/2013 11:09:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/19/2013 4:00:28 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By coldblue:
One thing I forgot to mention, re: the 5/8" buttstock length increase, was that HEL's input was based on how far "ideally" behind the rear sight peep your eye should be for the 95th percentile Soldier.
And as with all the changes, although many were subjective on my part, I had to present objective data on the improvement level, or equal to data, to not only my reporting senior at Quantico, but a board of senior officers at Headquarters Marine Corps on a periodic basis during that three year period when I was assigned to the project at Picatinny.
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Wasn't the 95th Percentile Male Soldier around 6'2" back then?
Link Posted: 11/19/2013 6:02:59 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dewatters:



Wasn't the 95th Percentile Male Soldier around 6'2" back then?
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Originally Posted By dewatters:
Originally Posted By coldblue:
One thing I forgot to mention, re: the 5/8" buttstock length increase, was that HEL's input was based on how far "ideally" behind the rear sight peep your eye should be for the 95th percentile Soldier.
And as with all the changes, although many were subjective on my part, I had to present objective data on the improvement level, or equal to data, to not only my reporting senior at Quantico, but a board of senior officers at Headquarters Marine Corps on a periodic basis during that three year period when I was assigned to the project at Picatinny.



Wasn't the 95th Percentile Male Soldier around 6'2" back then?


Amusingly I'm 6'2" and I find the A2 stock entirely too long.

I love this thread. Thank you for the information, coldblue.
Link Posted: 11/20/2013 8:17:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/20/2013 1:03:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By coldblue:
M16A1 Buttstock Option
<snip>
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Didn't the Canadians do exactly this, leading to the Colt "CS" marked stock with the C7 before moving to the C7A2 with the telescoping stock and "HH" buffer, suspiciously similar to the "new" sliding buttstock assembly now being issued by the Army for the M16A2 and A4?

IMHO, it would be fantastic to have "CS" stocks widely available, and not bring the insane premium they do now, it seems that the U.S. fell behind the Canadians in terms of adapting their weapons for variable LOP.

Then again, they got the TRIAD instead of the RAS (not to mention the C79) so I suppose it's a wash as far as overall adaptability goes.

~Augee
Link Posted: 11/20/2013 4:12:32 PM EDT
Super thread!!!

I guess as others commented, I will...

I like the A2 grip. I use the little nub all the time as I pretty much live with my Smith carbine in-hand many months of the year and often carry it one-handed muzzle down more or less and the little nub makes that carry very easy and secure.

I also do not understand the hate for the A2 length stock. I am 5'10" {after settling... LOL} and it is fine. I do naturally crawl the stock and maybe that is the reason I like the thing but it puts my left nostril right on the charger. I have trouble seeing how a guy taller than me would find the stock too short but that is the interesting thing about builds and such. Interesting how important this issue seems to be, tho, as other military forces, notably the British, have in past history issued various lengths of stock as standards. As for the US "stock option", I never did understand why spacers were not developed and issued. It seems like a brain-dead fix to a nagging problem. Set the stock at the "shortest" it can be within the contraints of the design and then simply have stacks of spacers and screws available to make good any shortfall.

As for the zeroing, coldblue's fascinating explanations really tie the loose ends from the piles of dtic reports and published materials I've read together nice and neat. Thanks very much!

I am not military and never have been. As such, for the work I do with the AR rifles, except for my target rifles, I find the military zero's basically worthless for most of my shooting of varmints and coyote bait whether with irons or glass, the latter adding an additional 1/2 inch of height over bore into the zeroing mix.

I've also always wondered, simply from my own field experience which includes hunting all over the world but no military experience just how practical/impractical all that sight setting would be. Given time, well, sure, but time seems to be a commodity subject to high inflation in battle {as it is in the game fields}, so........assuming iron sights and assuming that somebody actually has a rangefinder to KNOW what the extended range is, a simple "holdover" printout stuck to the side of the stock would...I bet, serve nearly as well {or better even if it was quicker and also precluded forgetting to reset the sights after shooting...} as sight setting considering the real life difficulty that exists in SEEING a point target at 400 or 500 meters. No, critters don't stand up for the most part giving the shooter an "E" target to blaze away at. They naturally go to ground, just like I did when we used to get in stick fights as kids.

Another factor that comes into play is in fact statistics, which gets off topic but the headspinning mathematical calculations presented in the British Army's 1929 Textbook of Small Arms "proving" the superior effectiveness of random fire vs aimed fire even on point targets makes a guy scratch his head, hard. Sometimes I wonder why military rifles don't just come sporting fixed Battue sights.
Link Posted: 11/20/2013 8:53:30 PM EDT
This has been a great history lesson, coldblue. It looks a lot like Ordnance still didn't like the M16, but since it was working well, they wanted to take credit for improving it - or at least not let the "driving force" in updates be seen as something other than the Ordnance Corps.

The whole idea of "corporate fingerprints" in this sort of program reeks. Putting great weapons in our Soldiers' and Marines' (and Airmen's and Sailors') hands should be THE overriding basis for absolutely everything Ordnance does, and yet there's a long and storied track record of the Ordnance Corps being bull-headed, more proud than smart, and obstructionist (to put things mildly), especially when it comes to the M16 family of weapons.
Link Posted: 1/25/2014 2:31:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2014 3:13:25 PM EDT by Morg308]
Thank you for all the interesting information Colonel Lutz. I have one question - since the advent of the A2, several people have come out with 'Improved Battle Sight Zeros' such as the Santos BSZ. I was wondering what your take was on this, and if you had ever tried it. I've had one A2 set up like this and really liked it, and like the reasoning behind it. The sight is still capable of being adjusted for longer range suppression, but I favor the 'set it and forget it' theory behind it. Care to comment? Thank you again for your service and dedication to improving the platform. I have found this discussion fascinating.

ETA: I'm sure we'd love to hear more about the Brunton Bump as well. I understand the first ones were glued on? I can see a thin line of white around them in the pics we have available - what were they glued on with? Would love to know more.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 10:19:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 10:36:48 AM EDT
Fascinating. Thank you for the reply Sir - hearing the inside skinny on these things is really a privilege. I always enjoy your posts.
Link Posted: 1/28/2014 3:50:29 PM EDT
Was there ever any discussion in that period about going to a telestock instead? Or shortening the barrel?
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 1:06:53 PM EDT
Col. Lutz,

Thank you for the wonderful information. Also thank you for your service.

I was issued an M16A1 in the Army in the early 70s, and really preferred its feel (weight, etc) to the A2, though from a practical point of view do think the A2 is more suited to battle. In the late 70s, I was in an Air Force SP unit, and we mainly had GAU-5A/As with 11.5 barrels and GAU-05/Ps with 14.5" 1/12 barrels. I really noticed a difference in my longer range shooting capabilities switching to the shorter barreled platform. What are your thoughts on the switch to the short barreled M4 platforms? Do you think it is a step backwards? I know it has a use in armored mounted and urban combat, but recent experiences in distant lands shows it lacking in long range performance.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 6:03:08 PM EDT
This thread has been very interesting, especially the insider information from Col Lutz (is it Col or LtCol?)

I went from the C1A1 (FN SLR) and the C1 sub-machine gun (Sterling - which I loved and miss to this day) to the C7. I think Canada made the right choice sticking with the A1 sights - as I recall we went with the M16A1E2 configuration. Since he mentions the Canadian contribution of SS109 ammunition, I was wondering if the Canadian Small Arms Replacement Project (SARP) has much contact with Col Lutz and his organisation during the selection process?

Link Posted: 1/29/2014 6:57:09 PM EDT
Col. Lutz,

Thank you for the wonderful information and your service. This is an incredible thread, thanks Morg308 for letting me know about it.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 9:44:53 PM EDT
coldblue, what are your thoughts on the "gov't profile" barrel?
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 11:03:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2014 11:10:50 PM EDT by gunnut003]
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Originally Posted By henschman:
coldblue, what are your thoughts on the "gov't profile" barrel?
View Quote




Read the thread from the beginning....it is only 4 pages, and He goes over it. On page 2 I believe.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 11:34:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By gunnut003:




Read the thread from the beginning....it is only 4 pages, and He goes over it. On page 2 I believe.
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Originally Posted By gunnut003:
Originally Posted By henschman:
coldblue, what are your thoughts on the "gov't profile" barrel?




Read the thread from the beginning....it is only 4 pages, and He goes over it. On page 2 I believe.


Right on... I somehow missed it. The gov't profile barrel is the only major drawback to the A2 IMO. It adds weight in the worst possible place for handling. I have to wonder just how prevalent bending of the barrel was in bayo drills to begin with. I don't think it was worth screwing up the handling characteristics of every rifle to prevent something that only happens to a small fraction of them, and which can be fixed by an armorer easily enough by re-barreling.
Link Posted: 1/29/2014 11:37:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/29/2014 11:37:53 PM EDT by Combat_Jack]
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Originally Posted By henschman:


Right on... I somehow missed it. The gov't profile barrel is the only major drawback to the A2 IMO. It adds weight in the worst possible place for handling. I have to wonder just how prevalent bending of the barrel was in bayo drills to begin with. I don't think it was worth screwing up the handling characteristics of every rifle to prevent something that only happens to a small fraction of them, and which can be fixed by an armorer easily enough by re-barreling.
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Originally Posted By henschman:
Originally Posted By gunnut003:
Originally Posted By henschman:
coldblue, what are your thoughts on the "gov't profile" barrel?




Read the thread from the beginning....it is only 4 pages, and He goes over it. On page 2 I believe.


Right on... I somehow missed it. The gov't profile barrel is the only major drawback to the A2 IMO. It adds weight in the worst possible place for handling. I have to wonder just how prevalent bending of the barrel was in bayo drills to begin with. I don't think it was worth screwing up the handling characteristics of every rifle to prevent something that only happens to a small fraction of them, and which can be fixed by an armorer easily enough by re-barreling.



The A2 should have been the A1 with the addition of a two size peep aperture, a round front handguard and the furniture made of the same materials as the A2 we know now.

Had the Army designed it that would have been the likely result I believe.
Link Posted: 1/30/2014 12:57:10 AM EDT
Interesting history. From childhood, I followed the developments of the AR15/M16 family as best as I could. When the M16A2 came about, and was touted as being better in this way and that, I believed what I read, and immediately wanted one. My fist AR15 was an AR15A2 Sporter II, but it was really not an A2 in any way but the furniture.

In basic training, we had FN M16A2's that were beat to hell, not very accurate, bad magazines, and mediocre training except for the Advanced Rifle Marksmanship course. The atmosphere was "check in the block".

In my first unit, we had M16A1's with A2 furniture, which was a great little rifle actually.



M16A2
When we got M16A2's in late 1995, I felt cheated. My biggest gripe right off the bat was weight. With the M16A1, I had a much more maneuverable rifle that balanced well, and just felt right in the hands. The M16A2 was no such thing, and I am 6', was in units that didn't care if you maxed out on PT, as performance was always in the moment. We conducted tough, regular PT, ruck marches with 65lbs+, field exercise ruck weights were 50-85lbs in the summer, and up to 120lbs in the winter. Rate of march standard was always 4mph or better.

M16A2 Zero/Qual
When it came to zero/qual, that horrid 3-round burst clustersuck reared its head right away. It was much easier to zero and qual with an M16A1 and M193. When we got M4's in late 1997, I found it even easier to qual with the carbine, but of course we were shooting on 300m qual ranges under the Train Fire system, which replaced a much better rifle marksmanship program that the Army had in the post-WWII era, that would prove superior to both the Army and 1980's-2000's era Marine Marksmanship programs if you dust it off and look at it.



I never had or recall seeing an M16A1 front sight post bent, but I imagine it has happened. I saw several M16A2 front site posts bent, which causes issues when trying to zero a weapon. As to aggressive use of weapons in training, any Light Infantry, Airmobile, or Airborne Infantry unit is going to be hard on their weapons regardless of service. I think both services are competing for who can abuse weapons more during maintenance than training, because of systemic leadership failures when it comes to understanding how to maintain the AR15 family, versus white glove insanity driven by garrison-oriented desk drivers who don't have 2 brain cells to rub together.

M855 vs. M193, Accuracy
I like M855 for certain things, and M193 for others. Because of limited manufacturing capabilities, there is no way they can affordably mass produce the steel penetrator perfectly centered in the projectile, so it will induce gyroscopic instability and resulting bad accuracy. As a SOTIC MTT sniper trained shooter, where I could easily group under 4" at 400m with Palma sights on the M24 as part of the POI at that time, it was all I could do to keep M855 somewhere on a bullseye on the KD range at 300m. I think I had a 12-15" group at 300m with my M4 and M855 on the rare event that we actually shot a KD range right before OIF1, and I was using magazine monopod position in the prone to eliminate any input onto the RAS and barrel.

If I saw two weapons before me, and one was an M16A1, the other an M16A2, there is no doubt or hesitation which one I would choose for a fighting rifle: M16A1

Uphill Battle
One of the biggest problems with weapons development by any of the services is that the military is a bureaucracy, which doesn't do anything well other than perpetuate itself. Proper weapons solicitation, development, test, evaluation, and fielding is usually outside of the capabilities of the military, because so many people without a clue as to their use are involved in the process. With the M16A2, the only features that were utilized by the Army to any degree were:

* 1/7 twist for M855 compatibility (which makes logistics sense)
* Brunton bump
* Compensator (disrupts ground debris less than birdcage)

In infantry units, we never fire on AUTO or BURST anyway as riflemen, with some rare exceptions in reconnaissance units conducting the break contact immediate action drill (where AUTO is ideal), or when a SAW goes down and a key leader can pick up the rate of fire if suppressing as the base of fire (again AUTO is needed there). The only update to the M16A1 that would have made sense for the Army would have been a C7-type rifle, with M16A1 length stock using the newer glass-filled polymers, the C7 upper receiver with Brunton bump, maybe 1/8 twist rifling, and adoption of the carbines much earlier, like an updated Model 605 with a CLGS under the guards.

If the Army had pulled its head out of its butt and ditched the Train Fire system, then re-adopted the 1947 Rifle Qualification Course, we would have use for the M16A2 rear sight assembly, but the nuclear-era Fulda Gap doctrine still drives the Army Marksmanship training to this day with Train Fire, which is meant for conscripts in a draft after ramping up for war in Europe, not a professional soldier.
Link Posted: 1/30/2014 11:26:07 AM EDT
Lots of great information in here!

I happen to be a fan of most of the A2 improvements. I'm tall, so the longer stock fits me better than the A1 stock. I like the A2 grip, and I like the A2 sights so much that all of my AR-15s, including the ones that I made as clones of the M16/M16A1 have A2 posts and apertures. On the A1s I give up my range adjustment, but like Col. Lutz mentioned, the larger aperture is superior for short range targets.

I realize the A2 hand-guards are superior for actual use due to their durability and ease of replacement, but I do happen to like the feel of the old A1 design. About the only thing I honestly dislike about the A2 is the heavier barrel profile. The A2 barreled rifles I have just don't feel as nice as the A1s.


If I might ask, Col, what are your thoughts on the 1x9 twist barrels used on many of the AR-15s that are available? I understand that the 1x7 twist is actually faster than required unless you want to shoot the 64gr tracer in cold weather?
Link Posted: 1/30/2014 3:50:30 PM EDT
Like GSL, I went to basic training with an M16A1, used an M16A2 on my first deployment and an M4 on my second. Personally, I hate the nub on the A2 handgrip. It causes me finger pain after about 30 minutes of shooting. Fortunately, I'm a pretty decent shot and can zero in 9-12 rounds, so I don't run through 3-4 qualification rounds like 70% of my company needs to do.

When I finally get around to putting an AR together, I'm going to go with the Magpul MOE furniture.
Link Posted: 1/30/2014 4:18:26 PM EDT
The grip is irrelevant. A2 stock for the long arm win.
Link Posted: 1/31/2014 1:25:31 PM EDT
U. S. military rifle barrels are designed for bayonet use. In 1982, Aberdeen Proving Ground did a lot of testing on the M16A1 and M16A2 (then M16A1E1). One of the tests was the barrel bending test. The goal was to see how much weight it would take to give the barrel a permanent set so that a bore straightness gage would not pass freely through the bore. The bayonet lug was the fulcrum point and various loads were applied at three different points between the bayonet lug and the muzzle. It takes 483 pounds applied in a perpendicular direction to the barrel at a point 1.625 " from the muzzle (base of the flash hider) to permanently damage a M16A1 barrel. It took 759 pounds to do the same on the M16A2 barrel.


Reference: Department of the Army, Test & Evaluation Command. APG Report No. APG-MT-5746 Final Report Technical Feasibility Test of M16A1E1 Rifle. Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: February 1983.
Link Posted: 1/31/2014 3:12:10 PM EDT
It is funny how barrel bending isn't really a concern with the M-14, FAL, G-3, SKS, AK-47, or any of the other rifles that have a light profile barrel with a bayonet mount on it. I suppose it is rare that anyone puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on the muzzle, directly perpendicular to the barrel, even with a bayonet. Sounds like a solution in search of a problem to me... without seeing any kind of numbers on how prevalent this supposed problem really was.

I wonder... did anyone ever suggest a free floated handguard on the M-16 back in those days? Seems like that would be the best solution to the wandering POI with sling versus bipod versus unsupported positions.
Link Posted: 2/2/2014 8:05:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2014 8:07:09 PM EDT by LRRPF52]
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Originally Posted By henschman:
It is funny how barrel bending isn't really a concern with the M-14, FAL, G-3, SKS, AK-47, or any of the other rifles that have a light profile barrel with a bayonet mount on it. I suppose it is rare that anyone puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on the muzzle, directly perpendicular to the barrel, even with a bayonet. Sounds like a solution in search of a problem to me... without seeing any kind of numbers on how prevalent this supposed problem really was.

I wonder... did anyone ever suggest a free floated handguard on the M-16 back in those days? Seems like that would be the best solution to the wandering POI with sling versus bipod versus unsupported positions.
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The only case of barrel bending I've heard of with the series is an M4A1 on an airfield jump. It bent right at the 203 step on a hard landing. My philosophy on bayonets is if I have room to carry a bayonet, I can instead carry an additional 30rd magazine.

A floated handguard is what the gun really needed from the start, and SOMPOD Block II has finally brought that to a significant number of weapons, though not on the big green Army side yet.

We've basically come full swing from the very first carbine made, to the SOPMOD Block II, when you look at the Colt Model 605 in relative form:



Link Posted: 2/2/2014 9:14:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By vicious_cb:
Because the USMC wanted to turn a perfectly suitable combat rifle into a KD target rifle.
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I understand ARMY people thinking this.

Of course... ARMY folks also thought the M16AX was only accurate out to 300 yards on man-sized targets (while us Marines annually hit man sized targets out to 500 yards).



Link Posted: 2/2/2014 9:21:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2014 9:22:23 PM EDT by Combat_Jack]
It's 300 meters compared to 500 yards.

That's 450 meters.
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 9:38:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/3/2014 9:42:59 AM EDT by EVR]
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Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
It's 300 meters compared to 500 yards.

That's 450 meters.
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Wrong.

300 meters is NOT 450 yards or meters and 450 meters is not 300 yards, or any combination thereof....

Off the top of my head, 300 meters is about 329 yards.
Link Posted: 2/3/2014 10:19:01 AM EDT
No, 500 yards is 450 meters.

In other words, the difference isn't as big as people suspect it is.
Link Posted: 2/4/2014 9:21:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By EVR:


Wrong.

300 meters is NOT 450 yards or meters and 450 meters is not 300 yards, or any combination thereof....

Off the top of my head, 300 meters is about 329 yards.
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Originally Posted By EVR:
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
It's 300 meters compared to 500 yards.

That's 450 meters.


Wrong.

300 meters is NOT 450 yards or meters and 450 meters is not 300 yards, or any combination thereof....

Off the top of my head, 300 meters is about 329 yards.

A meter is 39.370". You can round that to 40 and multiply that by the number of meters, then divide by 36 to get yards. With that estimate, 500 yards is exactly 450 meters. Using the more accurate 39.370", you find that 450 meters is 492.125 yards. Using a 40" estimate, 300 meters is about 333 1/3 yards, while with the more precise numbers, 300 meters comes out to 328.083 yards (328 yards plus 3 inches).
Link Posted: 2/4/2014 9:51:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2014 10:10:00 PM EDT by EVR]
yup...
Link Posted: 2/15/2014 10:59:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/15/2014 11:01:09 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By coldblue:
....
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On a side note, I read the study you did for Radian. Very well done
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