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Posted: 7/28/2003 11:53:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/29/2003 3:59:33 AM EDT by Lance1775]
Here's some personal bitching, moan, groans, & complaints;

*The Marine Corps didn't adopt the M-4 carbine based upon "reliability" problems, however it is the standard weapon of the Army 82nd Airborne, 101st, 1/75 Ranger Infantry, SF groups, Navy SEAL teams, the British SAS and many others.

*Rumor has it that other than supposed 'mechanical' problems things like close order drill and bayonet fighting were also part of the criteria. In either case; who cares-when was the last time we were ever in a bayonet fight?!!

*The G36/XM-08 series is a great rifle but no-it doesn't do anything the M-16 can not. It is however a 'cleaner' system which means better reliability and less maintenance time which means more time spent on mission planning, rehearsing, and other continuous actions.

*Most of the "salty" Marines and staff officers (those who carry pistols as their sole weapon)argue that the full length M-16A2/A4 is the way to go because you get the max 550 meter range. Though in today's combat environment (like Iraq)close quarters battle is dominant where the max visibile distance is more like a few hundred meters down to point blank.

*The Marine Corps as an institution is hesistant about a rifle with a folding or collapsable stock. We're a KISS service. However, the A2 fixed stock is too long for a lot of people and it doesn't help in CQB/MOUT. The A2 stock was designed if one was wearing just a thin top on, once you add your body armor and load bearing gear it is way too long. Hence the collapsable stock would be logical.

*The military seems to constantly look for that "magic bullet" for one shot stops but its already here-it's called the hollow point. But we can't use it because its against the Geneva Convention, however we can use thermonuclear weapons, grenade launchers, napalm, JADMs, etc. Ridiculous. If you've read Jim Circillo's book "Guns, Bullets, & Gunfights" he has seen all but two one shot stops-both head shots. Others have lived and ran with numerous shots to them. Hence the myth of a one shot stop. If we really wanted a more lethal caliber than simply go back to the 7.62 x 51mm. Use that in something like the DS arms SA-58, Stoner, or Armalite and your good to go!

*In an ideal military service the front line combat arms units should be armed with the fully decked out service rifle/carbine with optics and aiming aids like IR lasers. The automatic rifleman should be armed with a simililar service rifle of the same family but with automatic capability, bipod, drum mags, heavy barrel, etc. The officers and staff should get a "commando" version with a very short barrel and folding/collapsable stock because they will less likely be engaged. The designated rifleman/marksman should have another rifle in the same family but outfitted for long range shooting; long heavy barrel, bipod, telescopic scope, bipod. The grenadiers should have the same rifle but with a grenade launcher attached.

All of this is possible and some of it is used like the M-4, M-203, SPR. But as a service it is not implemented as I previously stated. The M-249 SAW is too heavy and requires a different stock of ammo (linked) to maintain. Officers and staff have 9mm Berettas which are next to useless in a real military fire fight. The weapon family concept is not new at all and both Colt and HK have weapons that conform to this idea. Will we ever see it that way-probably not.

*I read about the PFC Jessica Lynch story and heard that one of the soldiers died because his M-16 malfunctioned. Though I won't dishonor the dead, Soldiers and Marines are trained how to maintain their weapons and alleviate malfunctions. Do they all do it or do it correctly-no. No matter how you try to fix things you will always have your first string infantryman who know what they are doing. Then you will always have your support bubbas who fix trucks, cook chow, and write reports. Their jobs are important because we all need rides and chow to eat and they are constantly tasked to do these very things. Why, because its their jobs. Should they get the same training as infantryman? Yes, but it will never be that way. It comes down to personal prowess and discipline, no one is going to tap-rack-bang for you in combat, but you better sure know how!

*I've served the Marine Corps for almost 12 years as both an enlisted man and an officer. I love this service but it is embedded with a lot of "old school" ideology and doctrine. I'll come up with more as we continue.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 11:57:02 PM EDT
too bad you can't buy G-36 as a civilian....
Link Posted: 7/29/2003 8:29:36 AM EDT
You touched on something here that has been bothering me also. That being the incident of the soldier dying because of a weapon malfunction. As NCO's it is our duty to ensure that weapons maintenance is happening daily. In the infantry this is a given. But I did have the unfortunate opportunity to serve in a couple non combat arms units and I noticed that weapons maintenance was very low on the list of priorities if it was even considered at all. Did that soldiers rifle malfunction or was it not maintained properly? I don't know, and I'm not trying to dishonor anyone either but I do know that there is a problem with the "combat" readiness of many of our support soldiers. I have, on more than one occasion had to teach a group of young support soldiers at a range how to load, aim and fire an M-16. And I'm not talking at basic training, I'm talking about soldiers who had been in for over a year. Why don't these soldiers know these things? Because their NCO's are not teaching them and are not enforcing standards. It makes no difference what your MOS is, Infantry or clerk, you have to know how to maintain and employ your assigned weapon. And if you are a leader of soldiers it is your responsibility to make sure they are trained. I know I'm preaching to the choir here and I've gone off on a rant but when I heard of the PFC Lynch story the first thing that came to my mind was those cooks on the range who didn't even know how to load an M-16. I would hate to know that one of my soldiers died because I failed to do my job and enforce standards. Take care all, Jmpr90
Link Posted: 7/29/2003 9:18:39 AM EDT
Hague Convention, not Geneva.
Link Posted: 7/29/2003 9:34:44 AM EDT
I think the Marines insisting on M16A2/A4 was not a stupid idea. For general purpose use, it has about 70~100 yards more on fragmentation envelope, which is critical in 5.56mm terminal ballistics. If the 77gr Mk262 Mod1 was the standard issue ammunition of U.S military, adopting M4 Carbine with 16" barrel would be the best combination for CQB and field use. However, if they are restricted to true M4 14.5" barrel, I'd say 20" would be better overall unless the Marines do CQB frequently.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 5:24:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lance1775: Here's some personal bitching, moan, groans, & complaints; *The Marine Corps didn't adopt the M-4 carbine based upon "reliability" problems, however it is the standard weapon of the Army 82nd Airborne, 101st, 1/75 Ranger Infantry, SF groups, Navy SEAL teams, the British SAS and many others. *Rumor has it that other than supposed 'mechanical' problems things like close order drill and bayonet fighting were also part of the criteria. In either case; who cares-when was the last time we were ever in a bayonet fight?!!
The early days of the M-4 were filled with the same teething problems any new system has. I think the USMC decision not to adopt was based on budget restraints as much as anything else.
*The Marine Corps as an institution is hesistant about a rifle with a folding or collapsable stock. We're a KISS service.
Having served in the Army, KISS isn't such a bad thing. The Marines have kepty to the same basic expeditionary mission since the end of WWI. The Army has made major changes in it's basic configuration at least every 10 years. Square, triangular, pentomic, airborne, air mobile, light fighter, motorized, mech, etc., etc. This makes it hard to keep up with what the current mission buzzword is.
The M-249 SAW is too heavy and requires a different stock of ammo (linked) to maintain. Officers and staff have 9mm Berettas which are next to useless in a real military fire fight. The weapon family concept is not new at all and both Colt and HK have weapons that conform to this idea. Will we ever see it that way-probably not.
The Army is quite happy with the M-249, and so are the troops. Much lighter than the standard M-60 and M-240 series GPMG and heavy enough to function in the true MG role, not another glorified auto rifle. The modular concept never seems to work out as well as it looks on paper. H&K has tried it numerous times and it's customers keep comming back for the GPMG, not a heavy barrel G-3 with a bipod.
*I read about the PFC Jessica Lynch story and heard that one of the soldiers died because his M-16 malfunctioned. Though I won't dishonor the dead, Soldiers and Marines are trained how to maintain their weapons and alleviate malfunctions. Do they all do it or do it correctly-no. No matter how you try to fix things you will always have your first string infantryman who know what they are doing. Then you will always have your support bubbas who fix trucks, cook chow, and write reports. Their jobs are important because we all need rides and chow to eat and they are constantly tasked to do these very things. Why, because its their jobs. Should they get the same training as infantryman? Yes, but it will never be that way. It comes down to personal prowess and discipline, no one is going to tap-rack-bang for you in combat, but you better sure know how!
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You're only about 150% correct here. There are no bad troops, only bad officers and NCO's. In combat, the ambush may be unavoidable, the state of the 507's weapons was a criminal offence. The fact that the senior officers and NCO's were killed in the firefight saved the Army from alot of investigations and yet more bad press due to their 'dual identity' training.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 2:17:43 AM EDT
The Marine Corps decision to adopt the M-16A4 versus the M-4 Carbine was published last year and "reliability" was the primary issue, my argument is that other military institutions like the Army's S/F groups, Delta, Navy SEAL teams, and the British SAS use the M-4 by CHOICE despite the availibility of other weapons. The conduct of the selection experiment has yet to be released... The M-249 SAW is a terrific light machine gun but its weight and bulk detract it from being used in the assault and in urban warfare-primarily room clearing. Those in the infantry communities commonly share the opinion that an automatic rifle would serve its role in the fire team. I must make the correction that the SAW cannot be used in the machine gun role because it is not issued with a tripod and traverse/elevation mechanism. The SAW need not be eliminated just delegated to a different role. Leadership is a double-edged sword. The statement that there are no bad troops is an arguable one. A lot of NCOs and Officers can debate that one all day. You can supervise and inspect day and night but you can't always be there. It is bewildering that things like weapons maintenance, loading magazines to just 28 rounds, etc must be spoon fed somtimes. Believe it or not, not every Marine/Soldier is a gun nut. If you were to mention the SPR, RAS, RIS, etc. most of them wouldn't know what you are talking about. It takes keen interest to be profient in weapons handling. I have led Marines/Soldiers from fire team to platoon and it bewilders me how some need to be spoon fed. The bottom line is you can not be held by the hand in combat, it comes down to personal interest/action to do the right things when the shit hits the fan.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:37:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Lance1775: ..... The conduct of the selection experiment has yet to be released... ------------- Can you elaborate at all about this "experiment"? Are you referring to Colt's attempt to solve the USMC's M4A1 problems that were presented to MARCORSYSCOM early in the year? I know of one other system that was looked at by that organization in light of the Corp's reliability problems. The system performed superbly, according to test personnel there I later spoke with. However, I was candidly told that due to the legal arrangements with Colt(not to mention the fiscal impact of the 32K M16A4 fielding plan), only Colt could supply M-4A1s or derivative designs. Hence, the better mousetrap died with the Corps...for the time being. RE: Training, Officers, NCO's, enlisted, etc: concur with your comments on not everyone in uniform being a gun nut like us. Hell, when I was the G-2 of the Berlin Brigade, I had to literally twist arms to get the 11B leadership think outside the box in CQB. God, how they hated being told how to shoot by CS & CSS weenies. The funny, or perhaps sad part of the story is that it took the local Rod & Gun Club membership, composed largely of clerks, spooks (remember -- it was Berlin), POL specialists, medics, etc., to get these grunts to think a little differently about training. So we then arranged with the G-3 to set up some shooting clinics for unit trainers and commanders. The fact that SP4s from the Field Station or the Motor Pool excelled in CQB skills beyond any conventional Army standards spoke volumes for the (then) current state of training and command emphasis. Every unit I was in for well over twenty years I had to take this same approach. Most often it worked in getting the -3 types to revise their approach to combatives; sometimes...not. Lastly, my advice to you is that as a combat leader you must infect your troops with a sincere enthusiasm to excel in all aspects of applied marksmanship -- and be creative -- in the field but more importantly, when you get back to home station. It pays off -- it did for me so long ago.
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