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Posted: 8/22/2003 12:18:23 AM EDT


U.S. forces of the scout platoon with the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, check their weapons by firing on scrub land near Baqouba, 80 km northern of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2003. U.S. troops in the area have been regularly ambushed by assailants detonating roadside bombs and firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. ( AP Photo/Sergei Grits).



U.S. forces of the scout platoon with the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, carry out a reconnaissance mission in an abandoned Iraqi military camp in Baqouba, 80 km northern of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2003. U.S. troops in the area have been regularly ambushed by assailants detonating roadside bombs and firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. ( AP Photo / Sergei Grits)
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 12:42:22 AM EDT
bout time!
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 3:21:35 AM EDT
Wonder how they get approval to use them? Are FALs common in Iraq, or are these coming from another source?
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 3:39:08 AM EDT
spoils of war maybe?
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 4:17:01 AM EDT
Battlefield pickup?
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 10:11:51 AM EDT
Hmmm, I spot one FAL in the top pic but can't see any in the second pic...at least not clearly. Anybody have an official word on what sort of capacity FALs are employed in the U.S. military if there is any official employment?
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 12:52:54 PM EDT
Same guy in both picture, both on the right. Not the skeletonized FAL Para stock.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 2:31:48 PM EDT
I'd be curious to know how he's allowed to carry one, unless he's dubbin' around with a 'found' rifle.
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 2:48:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Wonder how they get approval to use them? Are FALs common in Iraq, or are these coming from another source?



You can pick up whatever you want "off the books."
Link Posted: 8/22/2003 3:59:56 PM EDT
DSA has a contract for US special forces in Afghanistan. They've sent a fair number there. I am assuming this one made its way to Iraq somehow. Battlefield pick-ups are only for emergency use and I have heard that there are some stiff penalties for using unauthorized weapons. These pics were shown at the FALfiles with several guys commenting on the rules. If those guys are correct (and they seem to have a good amount of credibility), it is VERY unlikely this is a pick-up or personal rifle. It probably has a "Made is Barrington IL" stamp on it.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 6:03:11 AM EDT
In the second photo, the guy on the far left looks to be caring an AK.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 2:44:10 PM EDT
i cant really see the logic in sending a bunch of FALs to Afghanistan, when there is so many M14 rifles still in inventory.i would bet he picked it up. of course he could be SF who knows hard to tell
Lumpy196: you do see some FALs in iraq not as comin as the AK though.
Link Posted: 8/23/2003 9:36:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Milhouse:
In the second photo, the guy on the far left looks to be caring an AK.



Sharp eye! That is an AK.
Link Posted: 8/24/2003 10:08:16 AM EDT
I've read somewhere (can't remember where) that both DSArms and Armalite are having their .308 rifles field tested in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Link Posted: 8/25/2003 8:25:29 AM EDT
I read an article on yahoo that was saying that some us troops are using AK-47's in addition to there 9mm side arm... you can find the article on yahoo's main page.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 6:51:11 PM EDT
I've heard the same that Cliffy109 and SmProud reported. Basically that Armalite and DSA both had their products in theater. I further heard that the Armalites were jamming in the desert conditions. Reviews of the Armalite malfunctions came back with what else other than the first thing always quoted for weapons malfunctions - lack of proper maintenance, specifcally cleaning. Have not heard any negative reports on the FAL. I wonder if the DSA bolts had the sand cuts in them? I'll follow up with any additional information I can come across.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 7:29:12 PM EDT
Second that on the Armalites, they WERE over there.
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 12:01:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Wonder how they get approval to use them? Are FALs common in Iraq, or are these coming from another source?



Armor units do not have enough rifles to arm every soldier, so some units are allowing soldiers to use captured rifles. Just about any rifle is better than a 9mm pistol.

Imagine dismounting your tank to do vehicle inspections at a checkpoint, with only a 9mm.
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 12:08:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By metalrocks:
I wonder if the DSA bolts had the sand cuts in them? I'll follow up with any additional information I can come across.



I've heard mention of these sand cuts before. Are they common? How well do they work? Can you get them on FAL clones in the U.S.?

Robert
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 8:35:53 PM EDT
Robert2011, I rarely see the sand cuts any more and my experience is that they only show up on the older FALs. Basically, the bolt carrier has a pattern that would look similar to this, "VVV" (That's the best I can do typing it to provide a visual idea - I'll say they are all connected so it is one continuous line)To my knowledge DSA does not offer sand cuts on their rilfes nor does Enterprise. I just checked both of their websites and neither showed them as an option. I have an older FAL that has the cuts, but I do not live in a sandy environment to attest that they actually work. However, with the FAL having been used in over 90 countries I sure someone else on the board may have some real data on the effectiveness of the cuts. Theoretically, the idea seems sound because the cuts are meant to discharge grains of sand as the assembly cycles. If I get additional information on the ones in use I'llpass it along.
Link Posted: 8/29/2003 8:59:22 PM EDT
My bolt carrier has the sand cuts in them...

Obviously, I don't live in a sandy area (NY? Sand? Not unless you're on a beach), but I can see why you'd want them, Just In Case(tm)...

Link Posted: 9/3/2003 7:17:24 AM EDT
I have a very good friend over there now-he too has a pra-FAL, it's Belgian made. There are a bunch of them in Baghdad from some old contract before Saddam took over.

Guys in line units (not JSOC) are carrying battlefield pickup FALs (and other weapons). Any DSA or Armalite rifles will be used by JSOC units-Special Forces, CAG ("Delta"), SEALs, or Rangers, although there may be some AR-10's with snipers in line units. The line units, like the one those guys pictured in this and other posts are in, don't even have enough M-16's for their men, they're not going to issue something as expensive as DSA para Fals.


Tim
Link Posted: 9/8/2003 6:50:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2003 6:54:01 PM EDT by GackMan]
Those are not being sent over there. They were already there. If the army was going to send more rifles then they would send more M4s.

The guys in the picture are in an armor unit.

MTOE is only 2 M4s and 4 M9s per tank. so the army units have be locally procuring small arms since they have been doing a lot of urban/dis-mounted operations.

i'll try to dig up the news article on it... got it somewhere.

Link Posted: 9/8/2003 8:16:33 PM EDT
Found it. No mentions of FALs.



US Troops Using AKs
U.S. troops using confiscated Iraqi AK-47s
By Andrew England, Associated Press, 8/24/2003 14:00

BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) An American soldier stands at the side of an Iraqi highway, puts his AK-47 on fully automatic and pulls the trigger.

Within seconds the assault rifle has blasted out 30 rounds. Puffs of dust dance in the air as the bullets smack into the scrubland dirt. Test fire complete.

U.S. troops in Iraq may not have found weapons of mass destruction, but they're certainly getting their hands on the country's stock of Kalashnikovs and, they say, they need them.

The soldiers based around Baqouba are from an armor battalion, which means they have tanks, Humvees and armored personnel carriers. But they are short on rifles.

A four-man tank crew is issued two M4 assault rifles and four 9mm pistols, relying mostly on the tank's firepower for protection.

But now they are engaged in guerrilla warfare, patrolling narrow roads and goat trails where tanks are less effective. Troops often find themselves dismounting to patrol in smaller vehicles, making rifles essential.

''We just do not have enough rifles to equip all of our soldiers. So in certain circumstances we allow soldiers to have an AK-47. They have to demonstrate some proficiency with the weapon ... demonstrate an ability to use it,'' said Lt. Col. Mark Young, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

''Normally an armor battalion is fighting from its tanks. Well, we are not fighting from our tanks right now,'' Young said. ''We are certainly capable of performing the missions that we have been assigned, there's no issue with that, but we do find ourselves somewhat challenged.''

In Humvees, on tanks but never openly on base U.S. soldiers are carrying the Cold War-era weapon, first developed in the Soviet Union but now mass produced around the world.

The AK is favored by many of the world's fighters, from child soldiers in Africa to rebel movements around the world, because it is light, durable and known to jam less frequently.

Now U.S. troops who have picked up AKs on raids or confiscated them at checkpoints are putting the rifles to use and they like what they see.

Some complain that standard U.S. military M16 and M4 rifles jam too easily in Iraq's dusty environment. Many say the AK has better ''knockdown'' power and can kill with fewer shots.

''The kind of war we are in now ... you want to be able to stop the enemy quick,'' said Sgt. 1st Class Tracy S. McCarson of Newport News, Va., an army scout, who carries an AK in his Humvee.

Some troops say the AK is easier to maintain and a better close-quarters weapon. Also, it has ''some psychological affect on the enemy when you fire back on them with their own weapons,'' McCarson said.

Most U.S. soldiers agree the M16 and the M4 a newer, shorter version of the M16 that has been used by American troops since the 1960s is better for long distance, precision shooting.

But around Baqouba, troops are finding themselves attacked by assailants hidden deep in date palm groves. Or they are raiding houses, taking on enemies at close-quarters.

Two weeks ago, Sgt. Sam Bailey of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was in a Humvee when a patrol came under rocket-propelled grenade and heavy machine gun fire. It was dark, the road narrow. On one side, there was a mud wall and palms trees, on the other a canal surrounded by tall grass.

Bailey, who couldn't see who was firing, had an AK-47 on his lap and his M4 up front. The choice was simple.

''I put the AK on auto and started spraying,'' Bailey said.

Some soldiers also say it's easier to get ammo for the AK they can pick it up on any raid or from any confiscated weapon.

''It's plentiful,'' said Sgt. Eric Harmon, a tanker who has a full 75-round drum, five 30-round magazines, plus 200-300 rounds in boxes for his AK. He has about 120 rounds for his M16.

Young doesn't carry an AK but has fired one. He's considered banning his troops from carrying AKs, but hasn't yet because ''if I take the AK away from some of the soldiers, then they will not have a rifle to carry with them.''

Staff Sgt. Michael Perez, a tanker, said he would take anything over his standard issue 9mm pistol when he's out of his tank.

And the AK's durability has impressed him.

''They say you can probably drop this in the water and leave it overnight, pull it out in the morning, put in a magazine and it will work,'' Perez said.

Link Posted: 9/9/2003 3:00:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Robert2011:

Originally Posted By metalrocks:
I wonder if the DSA bolts had the sand cuts in them? I'll follow up with any additional information I can come across.



I've heard mention of these sand cuts before. Are they common? How well do they work? Can you get them on FAL clones in the U.S.?

Robert



There are two types of sand cuts. The first is the inch type, which all Canadian C1A1, Brit L1A1 and Aussie L1A1s have. That's the large "VV" cuts on the side of the carrier. There are also matching cuts in the reciever. Brit tests in the Aden, when they first started using them showed a big improvement with sand cuts than without. This is also the reason that Brit L1A1s don't lock open on the last round. It improves reliability in sand.

The other type is the FN metric type. All it is is the rail on the bolt carrier is milled down so there is less bering surface. The Israelis did it first (and combined it with a fwd assist), and FN offered it as an option to countries. While mainly it reduced the surface area, there was a pretty big area for gunk to accumulate before you would have problems. I don't know of any tests, but you figure the Israelis did it for a reason, and it's probable that they tested the idea before hand.

I'd say that sand cuts work. The Brits put them in everything they bought at that time, like the Sterling SMG. They learned early on about sand and autos.

Ross
Link Posted: 9/12/2003 11:02:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GackMan:
Found it. No mentions of FALs.



US Troops Using AKs
U.S. troops using confiscated Iraqi AK-47s
By Andrew England, Associated Press, 8/24/2003 14:00

BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) An American soldier stands at the side of an Iraqi highway, puts his AK-47 on fully automatic and pulls the trigger.
.
.
They say you can probably drop this in the water and leave it overnight, pull it out in the morning, put in a magazine and it will work,'' Perez said.



This story is from the general mass news media, and all those reporters knows are AR15s/M16s and AKs, period. Keep in mind these reporters think that the AKs we have in the USA are fully automatic weapons.
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 4:52:08 AM EDT
its a battle field pickup. After 6 months here I have seen lots of convoys driving around ith all typs of stuff. Most common is the ak-47. (Seems to be a few around) Some one wrote that their units do not have enough m16 or m-4s. Since the fastest way to get popped around here is be in a convoy. The more fire power the better. I pull gate gaurd a few hours a day to give my guys some time off and see a lot. You would be suprised. when I get back I hope to post a few pics of this place. Untill next time. From Tikrit, out.
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 5:23:53 AM EDT
right on, stay safe soldier
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