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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 11/10/2003 1:39:43 PM EDT
Why US Rifles Jam So Often -
With Fatal Results
By George Belanus
georgeb@3states.net
11-10-3

Jeff - I noticed your editor's question on the story about PFC Patrick Miller, where it was asked why so many American weapons jam during heavy combat situations.

On a quick reading of the story, I noticed that Miller said that he had grabbed his rifle when they got stuck in a shoot-it-out type situation. This means to me that Miller grabbed the standard-issue M-16 that has been Army and otherAmerican military branch issue since the Vietnam War.

And that answered the question in just a couple minutes' time, since the M-16 has always had this reputation of crapping out through jams just when you need it to work in the very worst way. The stories of our guys being found dead in Vietnam after firefights with a hopelessly jammed M-16 are legion, and apparently the so-called fixes the military put in place early on have not remedied the basic problem -- what we have in the M-16 is a basically inferior design as far as inherent ability to function under adverse conditions.

The situation with the M-16 is that it operates on direct gas pressure on the action of the rifle to operate the bolt during ejection of the spent cartridge case and subsequent loading of a fresh round from the magazine. This at the time the M-16 was introduced to American troops was a major departure. The old M-1 Garand, the M-14, and the Ruger Mini-14 all work on an indirect gas action. This means that the gas piston under the foreend of the rifel works on a carrier which in turn is attached to the side of the rifle's bolt. The gas from the piston pushes the carrier to the rear, and the carrier in turn pushes the bolt to the rear to eject the round and get another fresh round out of the magazine on its return cycle. No gas works on the innards of the rifle directly on the older military rifles and the Mini-14, as is the case on the M-16. Consequently, you don't find gunpowder residue building up in the action's working parts on the older rifles as you do on the M-16. And this buildup does occur in 100 to 200 rounds, which is easily gone through either on a firing range during practice and even more so, I've heard, when you're returning fire during a firefight.

And the M-16, if my memory of some readings in past years is correct, is also prone to adverse effects from things like dirt and SAND collecting in the action also, which doesn't help but gum up the works also.

Early on there was an explanation forwarded that the type gunpowder used in the initial lots of 5.56 mm ammo the M-16 uses clogged the works up more than usual, and that particular type powder was replaced by another type. And more attention was put to more frequent cleaning of the M-16 by the troops who had to depend on them. Also there were some changes made on the M-16A1 model, including that forward-assist button that was supposed to help seat a round in the chamber if the gun started to gum up to the point of maybe jamming. The firearm also got one of those selective fire switches that you could dial up a new three shot burst feature with also instead of just single shot, on safe, or full automatic. This was supposed to help in reducing the innards getting crudded up.

Apparently all those fixes didn't help Miller out since there was that reference to his having to beat on the rifle to get rounds chambered. What that reference means to me is that he was having to resort in a rapid fashion to using the forward assist button to get that next round chambered so he would have that next shot to defend himself and his fellow troops with. Good thing for Miller and his buddies that he didn't lose sight of what to do in a bad situation with the firearm wanting to jam up with each shot.

On the other hand, I once had one of those Ruger Mini-14s in semi automatic mode, back in the days when 20 and 30 shot clips were readily available for that type and other types of rifles. You could go through maybe a hundred rounds on the firing range in a short time period in semi auto fire, heating the barrel and other parts up fairly well, and it never jammed up. As noted previously this rifle uses the indirect gas action arrangement to function the action for each shot.

And the old AK-47, as well as the SKS rifle that preceded the AK, have apparently never had any problems with jamming like the M-16 has apparently had right up to the present day. I was fortunate enough to see a TV interview during a documentary on the AK with Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Red Army man who developed the AK-47. He said that he built that Army rifle 'loose' on purpose to make it as dependable as possible. Apparently he succeeded since I've never heard of any AKs jamming in a pinch. And I've also heard that some Viet Cong personnel were in the habit of leaving those WW II vintage SKS rifles at the bottom of a local stream only to take it out when some of our troops came in range, then open fire on them without having to do anything to the SKS other than load some ammo into it so it would shoot. They'd pop off up to ten rounds, I guess, and then put the SKS back into the stream and disappear back into the nearest village or rice paddy.

I guess all this shows that elegance in design might be a good thing, but dependability is a lot more important when you're talking about a rifle or other firearm you might have to use to save your life with in a bad situation.

George Belanus


Got this off Jeff Reense web site.

TG
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 1:57:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2003 2:00:44 PM EDT by AgentFork]
I'm not going to shoot the messenger, as you are clearly bringing this to us as a "who the hell does this guy think he is" deal. Other than the 507th, I've heard no reports of the M16s malfing in combat. I have heard that they needed to be kept clean, but it seems that they have been so far. Also, this author fails to mention that it wasn't just the M16s that malfed. I've heard that the M2s on the Hummers, and one of the Hummer's itself, were so full of sand that they didn't work. Many servicemen I have talked to love the M16. Many have said it was very reliable. Few I've talked to actually hated it, and most of those servicemen came from the pre-A1 age. Why do the SAS prefer the M16 if it is so unreliable? Aside from him never being in combat with the M16, the fact that he called mags "clips", makes him lose even more credibility points in my book.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:04:06 PM EDT
Mr. George Belanus writes with bountiful ignorance. 5sub
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:05:10 PM EDT
I've shot 1000's of rounds through issued M-16s (even in the desert) with only 1 failure that I can remember, which was kind of a fluke. I think the biggest problem is lack of training, some of these soldiers haven't held a weapon since bootcamp, and it doesn't even occur to them that they need to be cleaned.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:14:52 PM EDT
Roger on the Agent's comment. I, too was never in the M16 armed forces. I was in the M1-M14 Army, and we damn well had our share of malfunctions. I've owned ARs for over 25 years, including a class 3 converted CAR15 cut back to an XM177 lookalike, and the only malfunctions I've ever had were when, after lord knows how many thousand rounds, the extractor spring on that CAR15 wore out and had to be replaced. Have had the other 4 from six months to ten years, and never had a malfunction in any of them. Granted, I don't slog 'em thru the mud or sandstorms, but I also don't go out of my way to clean them either. every one on my rack currently has betwwen 300 and 3000 rounds thru it w/o anything more than a Q Tip around the barrel collar and a wipe down of the bolt head. The bad rep of the AR/M16 will probably never totally go away, but the simple fact is that current versions are as reliable, and far more accurate, than just about any other military rifle in existence.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:27:37 PM EDT
Wow, I'm very impressed with the level of professionalism used by Mr. Belanus, including his strict attention to detail and fact checking skills. I bet he's one of the experts that compiles data for the Brady campaign and the VPC. [}:D]
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:36:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:49:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By oneshot1kill: Wow, I'm very impressed with the level of professionalism used by Mr. Belanus, including his strict attention to detail and fact checking skills. I bet he's one of the experts that compiles data for the Brady campaign and the VPC. [}:D]
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[:D]
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:52:56 PM EDT
http://www.rense.com/ is where I found this crap. Also this guy e-mail is georgeb@3states.net TG
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:53:21 PM EDT
Oh lets rehash this crock of shit ONE MORE TIME.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:56:16 PM EDT
'Tell that to the Marines!'
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:57:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TexasGunman: [url]http://www.rense.com/[/url] is where I found this crap. Also this guy e-mail is georgeb@3states.net TG
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Link Posted: 11/10/2003 2:59:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 3:08:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lumpy196: Oh lets rehash this crock of shit ONE MORE TIME.
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Well said. Thanks to Jessica Lynch and her pal's dirty rifles, this will be a "hot topic" for some time. he can keep his AK's and i will keep my AR's. My AR's don't jam.....just ask my girlfriend.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 3:09:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless: I googled "George Belanus" and it looks like he's some ufo/conspiracy guy [rolleyes]
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Probably totally irrelevent, but "Belarus" is the Russian word for that part of the country known as "White Russia" Think he's a spy?[:D]
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 3:27:14 PM EDT
I have fired thousands of rounds through my Colt and never had except one Jam- the very first round ever fired. I remember thinking great, very first round on a new M4 and it jams but it never has jammed since then. I use nothing but Russian Laquer cased 55gr ammo with Isreali Orlite mags. Also I don't baby it or clean it after every firing. So explain when I will expect a jam- the damn thing runs, bump fires five mags, sits for a while then runs again. Never any problems.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 3:37:29 PM EDT
There's one key piece of info he "accidently" left out of his little story...Private Miller had not touched an M-16 since basic training. He said so himself. I'm pretty sure the M-16 he grab had NO attention paid to it prior to it being tossed into the Hummer.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 3:44:34 PM EDT
Probably totally irrelevent, but "Belarus" is the Russian word for that part of the country known as "White Russia"
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...but Bel-anus is French for "[i]Great Asshole![/i]
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 4:02:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TexasGunman: Early on there was an explanation forwarded that the type gunpowder used in the initial lots of 5.56 mm ammo the M-16 uses clogged the works up more than usual, and that particular type powder was replaced by another type.
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Another type???? Come on! This guy doesn't even know that was smokeless powder and he's writing an expose on the AR! Come on! I do agree that that a dirty AK is more reliable than a dirty AR; however as long as you have a cleaning kit this shouldn't be an issue.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 4:14:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MurdochsM4:
Originally Posted By TexasGunman: Early on there was an explanation forwarded that the type gunpowder used in the initial lots of 5.56 mm ammo the M-16 uses clogged the works up more than usual, and that particular type powder was replaced by another type.
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Another type???? Come on! This guy doesn't even know that was smokeless powder and he's writing an expose on the AR! Come on!
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Actually, the INITIAL powder used was the CORRECT (IMR) powder. The problems came when the Army switched to Ball powder without notifying either ArmaLite or Colt.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 4:20:54 PM EDT
WATCH FOR MORE OF THIS TYPE INACCURATE/SLANTED DEVOID OF TRUTHFULL FACTS STUFF IN THE FUTURE< FROM THE XM8 PROPAGANDISTS! JACKS
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 5:29:55 PM EDT
Shhhhhh, if my Colt M4 hears this she might start acting up. What a load of crap!
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 5:31:46 PM EDT
Any rifle can jam. It will jam. It will jam at the most inopertune time. I've seen plenty of AK's jam and I've heard a few stories of guys being killed while clearing their AK's. I've heard stories from WW2 vets of M1, M1 carbines, and BAR's all jamming. A jam can occur in any mechanical device. A trained person should know how to clear the jam and continue. Better training and decent maintenence should prevent this from ever being an issue. -Luther
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 5:49:02 PM EDT
After hearing about Jessica Lynch's rifle jamming, I told my wife "BS". I don't believe it. Why? I have shot thousands of rounds through an old SP1 that I purchased new many years ago, and it NEVER jammed (except once, with my lousy reloads). Not once with decent ammo. Military surplus 5.56 and regular factory .223 went through that thing perfectly. Yes, I kept that rifle cleaned and oiled, but what the hell! I wasn't even in a combat situation. If I was, my rifle would be carefully cleaned and oiled at every opportunity. If she did that and kept the ejection port cover closed, she could bet her life on that weapon. I have no idea about her experience with the rifle, or how well she maintained it. Let's just say I'm skeptical. Jim
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 6:03:37 PM EDT
I've fired well over 4,500 rounds on my primary carbine with U.S GI 30 round mags. Before that, it was jam-o-matic. However, since I have been using CLP and GI mags, I have had exactly one malfunction, which was primer problem. (not really AR15 problem in this case) Other than that, I kept my carbine moderately clean after 150-250 rounds each of firing session (I didn't even care about minor carbon build ups). It performed very well under 95+ F sunlight and over 18 inches of snow without single malfs.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 8:06:48 PM EDT
I could be wrong but she didnt fire her weapon at all did she? In the movie it showed her cleaning her rifle before the firefight but she didnt fire it. Am I right or wrong I did grab a soda during the movie so I could have missed it. anyone?? FREE
Originally Posted By mod29: After hearing about Jessica Lynch's rifle jamming, I told my wife "BS". I don't believe it. Why? I have shot thousands of rounds through an old SP1 that I purchased new many years ago, and it NEVER jammed (except once, with my lousy reloads). Not once with decent ammo. Military surplus 5.56 and regular factory .223 went through that thing perfectly. Yes, I kept that rifle cleaned and oiled, but what the hell! I wasn't even in a combat situation. If I was, my rifle would be carefully cleaned and oiled at every opportunity. If she did that and kept the ejection port cover closed, she could bet her life on that weapon. I have no idea about her experience with the rifle, or how well she maintained it. Let's just say I'm skeptical. Jim
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Link Posted: 11/10/2003 8:17:24 PM EDT
I'll tell you straight, the first two rifles I was issued in Viet Nam only fired single shot. I didn't find out until we were blowing off ammo before an extraction. Takes forever to fire off 400 rounds pulling the charging handle each time. Finally followed a guy ETS'ing and took his rifle before the armoror had a chance to touch it. That said, I never had another problem and neither did anyone else in my platoon. Now for a little secret. REMFs sometimes freeze up when the shooting starts. When asked why they didn't shoot, they always explain that their gun jammed. Half the time it was on safe and they forgot to take it off. The other half they thought they were putting it on auto and instead put it on safe. Nobody says anything, what would be the purpose?
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 9:40:52 PM EDT
I have seen some excerpts from jess lynchs book and she says they were told to clean their weapons every chance they got and she said they were so busy they hadnt gotten the chance for 3 days before this happened.So for 3 days rifles the M249 and the .50 browning on the humvee were left to collect sand for 72 hours and lets not forget all the weapons they had failed even the .50 cal.
Link Posted: 11/10/2003 10:02:29 PM EDT
"The firearm also got one of those selective fire switches that you could dial up a new three shot burst feature with also instead of just single shot, on safe, or full automatic. This was supposed to help in reducing the innards getting crudded up. " Eh? That's a first.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 5:39:03 AM EDT
Notice how every "fact" in the article is prefaced with "if my memory serves" and "the story is". It's like he's writing an article with info he picked up hanging out at a bar.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 6:40:38 AM EDT
When I heard that crap on TV...I blerted out "Well clean the damn thing once and a while you stoopid bi**h"...Not the best thing to say after sunday dinner at the "inlaws"...UNDERDOG
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 7:06:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jimb100: Now for a little secret. REMFs sometimes freeze up when the shooting starts. When asked why they didn't shoot, they always explain that their gun jammed. Half the time it was on safe and they forgot to take it off. The other half they thought they were putting it on auto and instead put it on safe. Nobody says anything, what would be the purpose?
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This is a very interesting observation, and have seen this in during training excercises also. To further beat the horse. I would gladly except a little more maintenance to get the benefit of the accuracy of the M16. AKs can be frustrating trying to get any kind of group out of them.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 7:24:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By model927: I have seen some excerpts from jess lynchs book and she says they were told to clean their weapons every chance they got and she said they were so busy they hadnt gotten the chance for 3 days before this happened.So for 3 days rifles the M249 and the .50 browning on the humvee were left to collect sand for 72 hours and lets not forget all the weapons they had failed even the .50 cal.
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Hmmm ...we were told all there crew served weapons were not employed,,,ie werent even mounted...who knows
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 7:28:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ridge:
Originally Posted By jimb100: Now for a little secret. REMFs sometimes freeze up when the shooting starts. When asked why they didn't shoot, they always explain that their gun jammed. Half the time it was on safe and they forgot to take it off. The other half they thought they were putting it on auto and instead put it on safe. Nobody says anything, what would be the purpose?
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This is a very interesting observation, and have seen this in during training excercises also. To further beat the horse. I would gladly except a little more maintenance to get the benefit of the accuracy of the M16. AKs can be frustrating trying to get any kind of group out of them.
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With the AK-47, the Soviets had a weapon that fit their common soldier. Many did not even speak Russian and the officer corps was mostly Russian. They needed a rifle that didn't need much maintenance and that fact alone dictated a design with loose tolerances. Loose tolerances brings a rifle that works most of the time but is inherently not particularly accurate. The US soldier was better tained, better educated and we all (mostly) spoke the same language (English). Our military wanted an accurate weapon and that means tighter tolerances and the need to clean more frequently. There just ain't no free lunch. It is worth noting here that the Soviets changed from the AK-47 to the AK-74 in 1974. Thee AK-74 has tighter tolerances than the AK-47 and is more accurate. 5sub 5sub
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 8:22:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FREEFALLE6: I could be wrong but she didnt fire her weapon at all did she? In the movie it showed her cleaning her rifle before the firefight but she didnt fire it. Am I right or wrong I did grab a soda during the movie so I could have missed it. anyone??
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I watched the movie also, I don't recall her firing her weapon, showed her handing magazines to the guys riding in the back. Yes she cleaned her weapon while in the hummve, but thats because she placed her rifle against the hummve and her rifle fell in the sand.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 8:37:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FREEFALLE6: I could be wrong but she didnt fire her weapon at all did she? In the movie it showed her cleaning her rifle before the firefight but she didnt fire it. Am I right or wrong I did grab a soda during the movie so I could have missed it. anyone??
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From the 60 min. interview w/ Baker and the rest of the crew, Lynch was SOL, stuck in her Hummer.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 8:59:08 AM EDT
Rense, nuff said. [rolleyes] Soon as that assclown said "clips" I stopped reading.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 11:31:46 AM EDT
You can't spell Belanus without anus.
Link Posted: 11/11/2003 12:12:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2003 12:13:40 PM EDT by model927]
To centermass69 your right they werent employed because they were jammed the same as the rifles.1 hummer had a .50.
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