More responses to Joel
Subject: RE: M16 rifle info
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 14:36:42 -0700
From: “Doggett, Rick” (CAP 2-7-2) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “‘Roch Thornton'”<email@example.com></firstname.lastname@example.org></email@example.com>
Amen Brother. My M-16 was like an extension of my right arm. Being a lazy corpsman, I didn’t spend much time keeping it clean or fussing over it and it never let me down. It never jammed, misfired, or failed to open a case of C-rations on the first try (mine had the old fashioned open flash supressor). It had tremendous velocity, accuracy, cyclic rate of fire, and destructive capability. Having shot earlier weapons, the M-1 and the M-14, I found the ’16 far superior. We may have better weapons now, but in its time it was a damn fine weapon. My experience is similar to yours, the only people who had problems with the M-16 were those with inadequate training and the majority of people who criticize them never lived with one the way we did. The fact that I had so little trouble with mine proves that they were idiot proof.
Subject: Re: M16 rifle info
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 21:03:49 -0500
From: Pat Morris <firstname.lastname@example.org>(CAP Delta 6)
To: Roch Thornton<email@example.com>
Hope you don’t mind if I add my two cents worth on the M-16. I was there when they took the M-14 and gave us the snow job on the M-16. You are right about them not showing us how to take care of them. They gave us some stuff called LST probably should have been LSD. It was a white thick grease and since the blowby went back into the chamber the rifle gummed up real bad. After my first fire fight with the thing I went back to the 30 weight motor oil that I used on the M-14. It worked better. Every time we stopped we would clean the rifle. Also there were firing pin problems. At first we could not take the bolt apart, but it needed care also. The first fire fight we had only 1 cleaning rod per squad and we threw it back and forth. Must have looked like a bunch of monkeys trying to fuck a football. I did lose some friends from the damn thing.
Subject: Re: M16 rifle info
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 10:27:50 -0400
From: “Al Ryan” (CAP 2-7-10)<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks for sharing this letter. I, too, have had some interesting conversations regarding the merits of the M-16. I’m sure you qualified at P.I. with the M-14, and later, either in ITR or Nam got the 16. I recall we used to call the 16 “Matty Mattel,” or something to that effect. I found it to be a superb infantry weapon, although I know they had problems with the hot load in the ammo issued with the earlier versions…the charge in the shell was too powerful and caused the casing to expand so it couldn’t be extracted from the chamber. Is this your take on this as well?
Robert Pisor, in his excellent book, “The Siege of Khe Sanh” documents the early problems with the 16 quite well. On hill 881 Alpha some Marines were found dead in their fighting positions, their M-16s broken down, with cleaning rods jammed down the barrel as they tried desperately to clear the jams. (I think also there was a natural distrust of the new weapon by men used to the reassuring and traditional wood-stock M-14’s.) This story always reminds of the WWII saga of the Mark III torpedos, that used to clunk harmlessly against the hulls of Japanese ships.
But I had no problem with the 16. Never had a jam. Don’t know anybody else who had trouble. The big fear I remember at the CAPs, was with the LAAWs…because of the horrific incident at 2-7-2 that you witnessed.