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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/7/2006 5:50:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 5:54:57 AM EDT by ABNAK]
Back in the 60's when the first attempts at selling the AR15 were being made it was at times billed as "self cleaning". IIRC the book "The Black Rifle" makes mention of this. Of course with this line of thinking cleaning kits weren't even issued with the first M16's used in the early days of Vietnam, which obviously led to infamous problems.

Okay, so how did one of the dirtiest systems ever get referred to as "self cleaning"? Was the original stick powder specified by Stoner himself that much cleaner? Could it be that the gas rings scraping carbon off was the point in question? Maybe the combination of the 2 was what caused advertisement as such.


ETA---the original M16/AR15's were 20" barreled guns. The full size ones are a little less messy than the current crop of shorter barreled carbines.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:12:34 AM EDT
Stoner built the prototypes for ammunition loaded with IMR powder, which burns significantly cleaner than ball powder. In fact, one of the initial problems with the rifle was that the soot and gunk from the Army's ball powder ammunition built up quickly and required frequent cleaning. Further, the Army did not let Stoner and his team know about the use of ball powder until well after problems had cropped up in actual use.

Ball powder has other side effects, particularly the powder being used in the early loadings. These loads produced higher gas pressures, which caused faster cycling and higher cyclic rates of fire. This was addressed with a much heavier buffer than the original.

In the latest edition of E.C. Ezell's "Small Arms of the World" that I have (it's about 10 or 12 years old, and no I don't have the edition number handy-I don't have all my books out right now) there's a nice long discussion about the development problems with the M16, including the chamber corrosion issue and of course the lack of coordination between all the different parties in what was going on and when.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:34:08 AM EDT
lots of good stuff here
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 10:43:59 AM EDT
What powder is being used in the modern XM193?
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 11:03:57 AM EDT
Self cleaning in the sense that the gas tube will never need to be cleaned . Sadly, that isnt where the issue is. It's the BCG that gets sprayed with black shit after every shot. Some people call it "venting", I call it filthy
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 11:07:55 AM EDT
I noticed back when I loaded my own ammo, some powders I believe it was varget and a few others, there was almost no carbon in the area behind the bolt and cleaning was a very short choir.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 12:12:14 PM EDT
I don't remember anything about the RIFLE being self cleaning...

Only that the carbon buildup in the back of the bolt carrier and tail of the bolt was "self cleaning" in that it would only build up so much, then blow out.
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 12:36:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 12:39:17 PM EDT by twl]
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 11:39:04 AM EDT
I remember in boot camp in '68 being told at the range that the M16 was self-cleaning. The instructor went on to say that this was the official Army version of the training. He then explained his version, having done a tour. If you don't clean your weapon carefully you're going to have failures and wind up dead. Since my plan was to leave the Army vertically if possible, I heeded that advice.
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