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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/20/2004 3:19:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 5:06:32 AM EST by Humminbird]
Hello!

In a recent and quite heated conversation on another board there were some allegations that M16's and M4's are easily rendered inoperational in paratrooper use. The allegations were based on the fact that the M16 and M4 rely on the buffer spring for operation, and if the receiver extension tube got bent somehow, the rifle would be rendered inoperable. According to the allegations, the buffertube would bent if a paratrooper accidentally landed or fell on his rifle, resulting in a "banana-shaped rifle". This was said to be a common occurence, i.e. "it happens all the time".

Needless to say, this would present a severe reliability issue. I'd like to hear from those who've served with the M16 or M4, or who otherwise know these things for fact. Have you seen or heard of such incidences? If so, how common is it? Has anyone here managed to bend a buffer tube by accident?

If indeed it is a common occurence, I find it curious that H&K doesn't use that as one of the main arguments for the HKM4. Forget that, confusion on my part.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:30:10 AM EST
The HK 416 still uses a buffer assembly to cycle the action. The spring above the barrel merely returns the piston and op rod.
HFG
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:33:27 AM EST
I think the most damage I have seen to a rifle during a jump was a bent barrel... but I have only seen one (not that my log book looks like a phone book at all).

Now I have seen buffer tubes bend from guys using the rifle as a booster step to get guys over a wall... buy everyone does this, legs, paratroopers, mech, remfs, all.

The HK would be just as vulnerable, as it uses the same buffer assy.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:51:02 AM EST
Ditto to the rest.

Only weapon problems I have had jumping were optic (C79 - go figure) issues
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:54:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By KevinB:
Ditto to the rest.

Only weapon problems I have had jumping were optic (C79 - go figure) issues



My "Armchair Commando" guess would be the weight of the optic causing inertia problems during "sudden decellerations?"

Kinda like "flying off" when the chute pops open?



Lonny
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:55:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Gunzilla:
The HK would be just as vulnerable, as it uses the same buffer assy.



I would think even moreso. The gas tube on a regular AR doesn't care if it's bent. The piston system on the HK most probably does.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 4:20:01 AM EST
Had over 115 jumps, no issues with M16.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 4:57:14 AM EST
My bad on the H&K M4, of course it's still the same buffer system. Silly me.

Anyway, thanks for your comments, that's pretty much what I thought.

Nick710, 115 jumps is impressive!
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 5:02:48 AM EST
I was in the 82nd for only 3 years, but witnessed thousands of jumps. I can only remember one bent weapon - a M60 machine gun that fell from about 200ft.

The only bent M16 that I saw was because a guy in my squad drove over the rifle with his vehicle.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 5:26:05 AM EST
Speaking of the HK M4, whatever happened to it? Are they gonna release it under another name or did they shelve it all together?
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 5:29:01 AM EST
Been on continous jump status since Feb 84. Only one time have I had a problem jumping the M16 series (A1,A2,M4). When we first got our A2s in 87 did a night combat equipment jump, jumped the weapon exposed (no M1950 weapons case). On my PLF (parachute landing fall) I rolled to my left side unto the new A2. I busted the handguards, then it was a 12 mile road march to the range to zero the new guns at dawn. I had to remove and qualify without the handguards that day for the handguards were cutting my hands up.

CD
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 6:30:45 AM EST
Humminbird, I dont know in which publication the info was given but as told here by the guys who have actually jumped the M16, i would not base a judgement of the M16 at one written observation, as some of the posters on that particular thread.

But like you know, the "guest" posters on that forum seem to be just trolls usually.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 6:32:19 AM EST
I set a HEMMET on top of an M16 when I was in the service. The rifle was still operable.

I also watched another guy run his M16 over with an SPLL (MLRS tracked vehicle, Bradley chasis), that rifle needed a new stock and new handguards.

Anyone who thinks the buffer tube will bend has lost their mind. It's aluminum, it would crack and shatter long before it bent.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 6:36:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 6:39:22 AM EST by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:
Speaking of the HK M4, whatever happened to it? Are they gonna release it under another name or did they shelve it all together?



Colt sued for trademark and patent violations

As for the oritinal poster, that info is armchair theory...

We've had plenty of examples of real-life M16 abuse posted here, and no problems with bent buffers...
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 7:01:51 AM EST
I wa on Jump status for over 3 yrs and never seen a pronlem with an M16 on a jump
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 7:26:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By Tuukka:
Humminbird, I dont know in which publication the info was given but as told here by the guys who have actually jumped the M16, i would not base a judgement of the M16 at one written observation, as some of the posters on that particular thread.


Not Hummingbird but I answer anyway. That asshat cannot provide any information because that is made up story, I believe. I have been asking for that couple of times on that thread but no answer...

MN
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:44:27 PM EST
Never seen a bent buffer tube although I did see a few cracked handguards every once in a great while. The worst damage I ever saw was a burned in M240B that had the buttstock broken in half.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:49:35 PM EST


Anyone who thinks the buffer tube will bend has lost their mind. It's aluminum, it would crack and shatter long before it bent.



As a product designer with lots of materials experience, I can assure you that the aluminum buffer tube will bend before it shatters.

Greg
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:00:36 PM EST
I was on jump status for 7 1/2 years in the 82nd. I have jumped the M-60, M-240B, M-249, M-16, M-4 with the M-68 / PAC-4 / or PAQ-2A and 203. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BENT / BROKEN / UNSURVIVABLE BUFFER SPRING OR RECEIVER EXTENSION TUBE on a M-16 or M-4. that does not happen!

P.S the weapon is muzzle down in the 1950 weapons case, and when lowered the 1950 weapons case lands on its side. (Witch is the weapons left side for all the above) So how can this Hurt the weapon?

Tell that person that has all this knowledge to talk to a Jump Master like my self and I can inform him or her, how the rigging of a Paratrooper and his equipment is done. RED
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:37:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Nick710:
Had over 115 jumps, no issues with M16.




mine should do fine... 0 jumps in the past or future.



mark
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 3:49:30 PM EST
RED68:

When I was in the 12th group, we sometimes put our M60's in a M1950, but most of the time we jumped our M-16's and M-14's or whatever strapped to our sides, muzzle down. The only thing I made sure of with my team was to have a muzzle cap on or tape up the muzzle to insure nothing got down the bore or stuck in the Flash Suppressor.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 8:32:41 PM EST
FWIW We Canadians dont jump our weapons bagged.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:35:41 PM EST
I have had my optics knocked off zero, but thats it.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 2:21:28 PM EST
Nick710

Sounds like fun Mostly now exposed weapon jumping is not done. With the M4 and its Picatinny rail, you can no longer wrought though the wast ban though the carrying handle like on a M-16A1 or A2. RED
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