Small Arms in Iraq: What Worked, What Sucked What a Hoax?

I’m getting this e-mail, about how some small arms are working in Iraq, about fifth-hand. So I can’t vouch for its authenticity. But it sounds right to me.
Soldiers, Marines: Is this on-point, or not?
UPDATE 11/18/05: A whole heap of people have written in, saying that the letter’s author is either badly misiniformed, or that the whole thing is a hoax. (I’m guessing misinformed, since it’s not a first-person account.)
For example, the note says that the Interceptor Body Armor only weighs “6 lbs.” To which one reader says:

We only wish it weighed 6 pounds. The IBAs with SAPI plates weighs in at just under 16 pounds and when you add in the neck, shoulder and groin protection you’re back up over 20 pounds.

In response to the item on the “M243 SAW,” the same reader notes:

First off, it’s the M249 SAW, and it’s not drum fed. It’s belt fed. Granted, the plastic box magazines the 200 rd belts come in, could be mistaken for a drum magazine by someone who had never seen one before, but I would think that a Marine would know the nomenclature of this weapon.

Decide for yourself.
—–Original Message—–
XXXXX saw and did a lot and the following is what he told me about weapons, equipment, tactics and other miscellaneous info which may be of interest to you. Nothing is by any means classified. No politics here, just a Marine with a bird’s eye view’s opinions:
2guns_small.JPG1) The M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. XXXXX says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it’s lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also. They like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picattiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits cant be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.
2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon)
[I’m guessing he means this -ed.] : .223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of shit. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly. (that’s fun in the middle of a firefight).
3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm: Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.

Click here for more, including reviews of the Ma Deuce, and the new body armor.

4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for clearing houses to good effect.
5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun, developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!). Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts ’em down. Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round chews up the structure over there.
6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. “Ma deuce” is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time. The most coveted weapon in-theater.
7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put ’em down with a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it. The old government model .45’s are being re-issued en masse.
8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round.
9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.
10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300 win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700’s. Great performance. Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that a marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos Hathcock’s record for confirmed kills with OVER 100.
11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as shit to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the bullshit about the “old” body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED’s was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn’t make any difference at all in most cases.
12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We’ve all seen the videos.
13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are Surefire’s, and the troops love ’em. Invaluable for night urban operations. XXXX carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it.
I cant help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!!!!!!!!! With all our technology, it’s the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants!!!!

  • JSAllison

    Does it surprise me to hear that the McNamara-inspired acquisition methodologies are flawed and have provided us flawed product? Nope, they’ve pretty much been concerned with process over product. I suspect that the bottom line could be that in developing small arms we need fewer flag rank joint service chair warmers and more input from the folk that’ll actually use the items. JSSAP(?) could have chosen to stick with the M1911A1 but once you get all those high paychecks together, something has to change. No one gets kudos (promotions, gewgaws, choice assignments) for sticking with the status quo.

  • Edward Liu

    Are comments back?
    Whether the article is a hoax or not, I find it interesting to see where the info intersects with other info that came to light after Afghanistan operations.
    has images from a PowerPoint presentation that I recognize (scroll down about halfway down the page — stupid frames). I thought I saw it linked to here, but I can’t seem to find it now. It says a lot of the same stuff about the M-16/M-4 and 5.56mm round, and the M-9/9mm round. I believe this article in Stars & Stripes covers the M-9 results specifically, but refers to the same “Lessons Learned” report.
    I’m just an interested civilian with no military experience at all, so forgive the almost total ignorance in the following questions. Isn’t the real problem with the “green tip” 5.56mm round that it is designed to penetrate body armor rather than inflict straight-up soft-tissue damage? This is a great idea when you’re expecting your enemy to be a Soviet soldier who’s wearing a flak jacket, but a pretty rotten one when the enemy is an insurgent or a militiaman with little more than a rifle and the clothes on his back. And how do the current reports of the inadequacy of 5.56mm round work with the reports of “small bullet big hole” from the Vietnam-era M-16 (once they figured out that yes you need to clean your weapon and hammered out the issues they had with changing the gunpowder in the ammo)?
    I’m asking because I’m still not entirely convinced by the crowd clamoring for a return to 7.62mm rifles or a changeover to 6.8mm, as though changing ammo will solve all the problems we face. I’m not saying it won’t (see above about my own near-total ignorance), but I’d like to see more or better evidence that mass change is a Good Idea.

  • Edward Liu

    Erg…no HREF links apparently. The Stars & Stripes article I refer to above is at

  • Jim Rawles

    The same letter inspired a flurry of comments on my blog (, including a couple of detailed disections of the letter. The DefenseTech readers might enjoy seeing all of the comments posted there.

  • Jordan

    To answer Alex,
    Speaking with a friend in the marines recently back from Iraq, his exact words were:
    I hit the guy 3 times in the chest and he still wouldnt go down, if he hadnt crashed the motorcycle he would have gotten away. I told my guys to go for headshots after that.

  • CDAT

    A response to a few things Byron said in his reply:
    “The problems with the M-240B is that it fires to fast, doesn’t like dirty ammo and is to da** heavy. The old M-60 doesn’t have these problems and units like the 82ed. Abn. have gone back to it.”
    FALSE. 1) Because few if any of the Active Duty troops in Iraq have ever seen an M60, let alone carried one, the M240 is compared with the M249 (a case of apples and oranged if ever there was one). No gun likes dirty ammo. For most crew served weapons, this is not a problem because the ammo is kept in a can or crate and not exposed to the elements; the M249 even has a handy plastic carrier for its belts. The problem is that the vast numbers of grunts carrying the dismounted version (M240Bs for the Army and M240Gs for the Marines) do not have a good way to carry their ammo. They are forced to carry exposed belts, and those belts get dirty. As a side note, every vehicle mounted M240 I saw in Iraq worked like a champ, while the M60s I saw (all mounted, by the way) were often down for maintainence.
    The issue of weight between the M60 and M240 is also misleading. From the factory, the M240G is less than one pound heavier than the M60, and the M240B less than four pounds heavier. Weight becomes an issue because the M240 is being carried with thermal, low-light and/or telescopic sights and various types of lasers pointers attached. All told, these devices can add ten pounds or more. Because the M60 requires special modifications to mount such devices it will weigh less…but will also be significantly less capable.
    In the last 12 years I have never, EVER seen an Army or Marine unit (or an individual Soldier or Marine) willingly turn in an M240 in favor of an M60. Not once. I can personally attest to the fact the the 1/501st PIR, 82d Abn had ZERO M60s assigned to it while deployed to Iraq. I have seen units and individuals go from M240s to M249s with varying levels of willingness…but that’s another apples to oranges comparison.
    “As to the use of shotguns in combat, no thanks, reloading in a fire fight can be a real bitch.”
    Fine. Let me carry it. The guys on my team fought to carry our two Mossbergs, and every infantry squad as well as quite a few of the tanks operating in my area had one more of them as well. A lot of them had pistol gips only and were carried in addition to an M4; they were just used as breaching tools. Others, like the ones I had, were carried instead of a rifle. I would not rely on them as heavily if I was in Afghanistan, or in the far west of Iraq, but they served me well in both Fallujah and Ramadi (neither of which was quiet while I was there).
    “The WWI vintage M1911 .45ACP is being reissued but not the old worn out one in storatage but new purchase. The Marines have decided to go a different way and adopt the .45GAP handguns.”
    FALSE. Most of the issued USMC M1911A1s are old pistols that have been handpicked and rebuilt by the armorers at Quantico. The Army M1911A1s in use by line units also came from long term storage; only the SF teams and their support units have commercially purchased weapons.
    The Marines have not adopted .45 GAP, or .44 Magnum or .40 Smith & Wesson…or any other caliber for that matter. They are using 9mm, .45 ACP and a handful of .38 Special weapons just like every other DoD component. After all, the Marines don’t have the legal authority to choose the caliber of weapon systems on their own; those decisions are made by DoD lawyers and procurement personnel to ensure they are in compliance with the Geneva and Hague conventions, Federal acquisition laws and Joint Service testing procedures.

  • vintec

    the problems with M9 is the military issue magazines that causes jams and many troopers used police issue magazines to solve the problem
    just curious, the 5.56 rounds have seen development from m855 to NATO SS109 but the 7.62 rounds are still using the same technology. are there any interests in improving the over-50-year-old rounds? but i know the recoil of 7.62 is a pain to handle compare to 5.56

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Morning CDAT,
    Thanks for your timely and well thought response to my post. Although it appears to me that we agree on most issues here I do have what may be a couple of update to the dicussion to add.
    The M-60 is back into production at a company called U.S. Ordnance in Reno. Nv. they are operating under licence from Saco Defence Industries of Saco Main which is a unit of General Dynamics. The current production is for the M-60E4 a GPMG and the M-60D which is uses on aircraft, re. UN-60 Blackhawks.
    Open orders have been placed by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard all in the area of $5.5 Million. It has also been speculated that orders have been place by Spec. Ops., but this is not public information.
    The M-60 as you suggest is not going to replace the M-240B/G’s or even the M-249’s but it does have a nitch place with in combat units as an assualt weapon that the other two can’t fill.
    As for the M1911 .45 ACP the Army has placed orders with Sprinffield and H&K (Beretta) for new weapons.
    On april 30, the U.S.Navy, re. U.S. Marines place an order with Glock for 10K Glock 37’s in the .45GAP. This order has been filled and a follow up is pending in the new 2005/2006 budget. It appears the the Marines have given up on the WWII vintage M1911’s finally.
    Of course the M9 9mm is still in use but by there actions the Army and Marines don’t consider it a combat weapon but more a symbol of authority to quote Ret. U.S.M.C. Jeff Cooper a “Guns and Ammo” colomunist.
    As a closing note I have taken into and used in combat in Vietnam both the M1911 and the M-60 GPMG. Neither are perfect and the M-60 especially required several user installed modifications in order to perform to expectations.
    Byron Skinner

  • Matt

    Oh, and by the way, what were the answers to the trick questions?
    I have heard in Vietnam, an m16 round shot at a brick would make a neat through hole in it, while an AK47 round would blast the brick apart.

  • Byron Skinner

    Good Evening Matt,
    Answers to trick questions: 30Rd. Mag, 28Rds new, 25 for an “older used” magazine.
    For the 20 Rounder 16Rds. period.
    In response, it all depends on the brick and range. At a 100 meters I doubt that eather rifle could hit the brick using only it’s iron sights.
    Byron Skinner

  • Matt

    So I’d assume the troops in vietnam were at a great disadvantage, as the enemy could have a gun with twice the rounds in it (unless you wouldnt put as many as advirtised into a 30 round AK magazine.
    Bren gun magazines will only hold 28/30 if you want them to not likely jam.

  • bob

    my m16 mags hold 30 rounds and my 20 round mags hold 20 rounds so i dont know what your talking about

  • vintec

    to bob,
    i’ve heard some comments on inserting full 30 rounds into a 30rd magazine causes jam. so i guess they are talking about solutions for that issue :)

  • Hans

    If only you Americans hadn’t bullied Britain into dropping its 7mm round for the EM-2 back in the 1950’s we’d all be happy now….

  • JSAllison

    18 for the 20, 28 for the 30, unless you like performing failure to feed drills.

  • andrew bozza

    im going into field artillery and i dont particularly like the m-16a1 carbin or the regulare m-16. i want to know if i could buy a difrent gun or if i would be able to trade it in or what because iv had some problems with jamming in the gun range and i would rather have a better gun. Plus the .223 round isnt going to bring sombody down unless you hit them above the torso. so write back and tell me if you know anything.
    futer marine,
    andrew bozza

  • Bob Hawkins

    The Israelis are adopting a replacement for the M-16. It also uses 5.56mm ammunition, so apparently they don’t have a problem with it.

  • Mike Williamson

    The problems the Army created for the M16 in 1965 with mismatched propellant and no cleaning kits are 40 years old. The weapon is superb. If you are having problems with it, either you or your armorer are doing something wrong.
    In 22 years, I’ve shot the M16, M16A1, M16A2, GAU, M4, Cav Arms, Olympic Arms, H&R, Colt, Armalite, Bushmaster, PWA and a dozen others. I’ve shot it buried in sand, in arctic conditions, in dusty grass. I’ve shot it three days dirty. I’ve shot 1500 rounds through in a day, the front sight hot enough to cause burns, so it took three days of acetone to clean. Virtually no problems. I have 20 years of expert ratings and several trophies WITH A BONE STOCK H&R CONTRACT M16A1. A poor craftsman always blames his tools. I agree with the Marine armorer above. And 5.56 mm has as much energy at 500m as a .45 does at the muzzle. So if a .45 is good enough, so is 5.56. But I’m willing to put it to a test. So take your weapon of choice 500 m downrange and we’ll swap rounds. Oh, yeah—I get to shoot first. Fair?
    More energy is not necessarily better. ANY hit with ANYTHING in a critical area is lethal (Heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, central nervous system). Otherwise, you’re depending on trauma or blood loss. A hole is a hole. For most engagements, US 5.56mm has better traumatic effects than US 7.62. (German and Swede 7.62 are far better, but we don’t get issued those.)
    Many of the “he didn’t go down” complaints are because no grunt will EVER admit that he didn’t make a perfect one-shot center of mass every time. Also, 10-15 seconds to die is a LONG time, but happens with any weapon. Bob Dole took 8 hits of German 8mm in WWII. I guess it’s a failure, because he’s still around. Let’s go back to .69 smoothbore! THERE was a manstopper!
    Surgeons from Vietnam report that wounds from 7.62X39 Russian could be treated and have the troop up in a matter of days, but 5.56mm wounds could cause two weeks or more incapacitance, for similar hits. Make of that what you will.
    In sand, the gas system of the AR can, in fact, blow the weapon clean in some cases, where a piston operation will jam.
    The M14s the Green Beanies and snipers are using are VERY CUSTOMIZED and shot by experts. Apples and oranges to compare them to stock M16s. Let me bring _MY_ custom AR and we’ll talk. (And the AR is currently stomping the M14 and Garand in Service Rifle competition at Camp Perry.)
    The Barrett has a 1500 round barrel life and 3 moa accuracy. It’s an anti-materiel weapon primarily.
    I’ve never seen an “M243 Squad Assault Weapon” fed from drums. I’ve seen an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon fed from belts or boxes. You CAN put a Beta C-mag on it, but the Cmag has problems.
    Look, the AR has been in service longer than ANY OTHER RIFLE in the US. The M14 had the SHORTEST lifespan, because per its own design criteria, it was a piece of crap. It’s a fine rifle. It cost 3X as much as the previous fine rifle (The Garand) and did nothing the Garand wouldn’t already do. It failed to replace the BAR or M3, both of which it was supposed to do, and was, and still is, hard to produce. The AR was picked up ALMOST AT ONCE by the Special Forces, the SEALs, the SAS, etc. Many are now switching to a G36 variant, which is a mod of the AR18, also by Eugene Stoner, and basically an improved version of the AR15.
    From reading this, you’d think we were fighting with stone axes. Sheesh.

  • Mike Williamsop

    Hm…for 22 years, I’ve been assuming 30 round mags held 30 rounds, and 20 round mags held 20, and that’s what I’ve done and shot. Do I fail?
    Stoner’s been dead for some time, but guess what? A great many rifles out there, including the XM8 (now dead) are variations of his designs. The G36 is, the L85 (ptuh!) is.
    Dunno, I guess everyone in the units I’ve been in, and I talk to, are all doing something wrong…our weapons work.
    Former Marine who just came back from a stint with Blackwater told me he blew his M4 out with an airhose once a week and never had a single malfunction. My father in law was a grunt in ‘nam. No problem. A friend was arty CO with an XM177, no problem. Dave Drake had no problems.
    Please! Someone tell me what we’re doing wrong! Our weapons are WORKING!

  • TOGunslinger

    It seems that what I have read here this evening is not good news. Or else it is pure Bushwah. I did my stretch during Viet Nam and we went through some changes then, in fact some of the changes are still with you guys now. When I went through basic at Ft Ord Calif. we carried M1 Garands, it weighed a ton and shot like a dream but it was slow by todays standards and so they began to look for a round that produced more kinetic energy which equals more cyclic speed. Also less weight. The M14 was the apparent answer, but when they handed them out, I was shocked by the flimsy feel of the top hand guard and the over all look of the rifle. You could break off the flash hider with your hands. (After carrying the M1 anything would feel flimsy) It took a couple of years before I decided the M14 was ok. But then they switched to the AR16 the Stoner system was good, but I believe they hurried it into production before all the bugs were out which means the rifle has em. (BUGS) The military is touchy about such things as modification to their weapons but I think that if you are given a rifle to protect your life and it needs work, someone isn’t doing their job and it’s the grunt who gets screwed.
    But for you guys who want to upgrade your Colt/Armalite whatever, there is a barrel available with fast twist rifling that helps stabilize that little bullet and makes it a lot more accurate. It may even become a tack driver with care and practise. Look for the match barrels by Colt I think they are all bull barrels, that is, they are straight cut barrels and not wider and thinner in spots like the issue barrels. I reckon there are other people out there who can help more than I can, but they don’t care more. Be careful brothers and sons, and watch out for each other. Be a team.
    God be with you. Gunslinger

  • Joe Hewlett

    Has anybody determined where this piece originated?

  • Andy

    Hi im a SGT in the british army and am trying to find a picture of a m16A2 and came aross this site i think that your M16’s especialy the newer models are great having had to go on operations with the SA80 A1 and more recently with the SA80 A2 i and others felt a little aprehensive. the A1 was prone to stoppages all the time and was a peice of shit the A2 however was a lot better but weighs twice what the demarco weighs so just wanted to say that you are very lucky for the weaponry you have

  • Jay

    No one mentions the new? multi blend bullets thathave not so far been approved the procurment folks. It is a shame they are not in production as they appear to be the answer to a maidens prayer.Several articles available on the net,and yet no yelling. Would drastically inprove the take down ratios and are designed for tissue distruction,especially for th 5.56 natos.Several configurations including non lethal.Does any one care about the guys in the pointy part ofthis war or is it once more politics and bucks first?

  • Douglas

    Ya i will have to say I kinda like the m-16 and from what I can find it isnt the best but it is still up there on the top of the pack. And i thought the saw was spoosed to be reliably to a good degree. Those first 2 in the list are way out there, however i would like to see the next rifle we use to be in the 7.62 cal.



  • RJ

    It’s NOT how big your dick, weapon or bullet is. But rather, it’s what the enemy DOESN’T have that should scare you.
    Unfortunately, the enemy is mostly poor and don’t have (as much) as we westerners have? But, they are crafty and resourceful and they’ll wait to kill you when you’d least expect it ?
    Such as, on the way to the “football field” (or battlefield). You should be more worried about a roadside bomb or ambush (IED?) blowing up your chariot or, an RPG blowing up your helicopter’s ass, than winning or losing an artillery battle.
    Therefore, the best way to survive in Iraq or Afganistan is to leave the Humvee, Lav-2 or G-wagon at home and drive a Winnibago (RV?) to your next camping or hunting spot.
    Mounting a Gatlin gun on the roof of your “RV” is the ultimate equalizer and will make up for any difficiencies in range, shooting accuracy of user, sand, or whatever.

  • charles

    Based on my experience in Iraq this is my opinions on some of the weapons used:
    M2: Worth it’s weight in gold
    M249: Great potential, however the M249E were a lot more practical in the urbun enviroments
    M-4:Great Weapon, the versitilaty that it allows lets you tailor the weapon to the mission.As to the claims that it jams easily, well true, However mine never jammed, and won’t if your religous about maintenance. As to the claims I read about someone “putting 30 rounds into a person and them falling back slowly” I cry BULLS#!t. You really need to work on your shooting skills. I never used burst, fired in controlled pairs and NEVER had to re-engage a target.The 5.56mm rounds will put a person down quick, you have to have good shot placement though.
    M9: Same thing, keep clean, fire in controlled pairs.First 2 rounds to the chest, if there still standing next 2 to the pelvic girdle. Does the job every time.
    SHOTGUNS: Golden.Would have one avalible for every team. Especially usefull for the 1 man on entry.
    And this last little bit is personal and aimed at Ex 19delta. Your full of it. You said you were a sniper and don’t know what the cal on a druganov is, BS! Your talking about dodging rounds fron a druganov if you hear the first round hit, BS!30 rounds into a target, PLEASE! Give me a break, 7.62 is a .30 cal weapon, Nobody can dodge a bullet.If the sniper is anygood they don’t get a chance to try.And this I know.I had to learn about the druganov and I used one in Iraq. The M24 is hands down a better weapon, but with 11 kills with a Druganov, I can attest to it’s effectiveness.Same with the M4,I’ve seen how effective it can be. When you quite playing as a soldier, and get some real world knowledge come back and post an intelligent debate based on first hand experience.

  • Charles Wise

    futer naval ships, like the LSV-1X

  • newz2me28792

    Uh. Right. Let’s see..
    The Dragunov is 7.62x 54, rimmed Russian round, commonly used for the Mosin Nagant 91/30 sniper bolt guns that you find with the white trash class of down and out jihadists who can’t afford a really good piece of throwaway Combloc Junk ordnance, although any gun will kill you if you stand still and no, you can’t out run a 7.62 Dragunov any more than a 7.62 M14/M1A/ M21 Sniper rifle. .American/NATO .308 is 3 (three) MM shorter in the overall casing length than the rimmed Dragunov rifle round, and both are approximately 7.62 caliber. Nuff said.
    M9 Beretta, okay gun, big and the 9mm sucks wang next to a .45 but it’s a darned sight better than nothing at all. Nuff said. .45 is better.
    M249 SAW…high rpm rate .223, but the newest version of the old m60, with a reversible gas plug you can’t put in backwards and screw up, and without that stupid plug wiring garbage to deal with beats the m240 in trials and weighs ten pounds less. The SEALS are gearing up for new model 60s and not the 240, go figure.
    Anyway, I got out years ago, worked as an armorer, and I like the .45 pistol, the m1/m14, the m60 in its newest from and think the Beretta m9 is just to big for any round smaller than the .45. Cram 12 .45 rounds into that same big junker and hand that to atrooper and see if he doesn’t say thanks and it’s a big improvement…bigger bullets are better bullets, regardless of the caliber…ragheads on opium? Hard to believe, next thing you’ll be telling me is they’d rather kill their neighbors and blow up children than rebuild their friggin country…I just wouldn’t know how to take the news…NOT.

  • Chuk

    I was based in Iraq 2005 as a civvy contractor. And as an avid reader and shooter I have heard all of these arguments since I was a kid spending my lunch money buying SOF,G&A,Gung Ho, you name it I have read most of these comments before. This is what I will share from the soldiers I had contact with last year.
    A)The M-16 was appreciated as was the 5.56 as a fighting tool. I heard no derogatory comments about the M-16 or the M-4. Even the M-4, with Aimpoint,Laser Disignator,Surefire AND 203 isn’t as heavy as it looks.
    B) The .12 guage is LOVED as a door\lock\jihad buster. Its also appreciated to carry to the D-Fac as the pistol gripped Mossbergs weigh almost nothing.
    C) The only troops I heard griping about the M-9 were the folks who couldn’t lay hands on one.
    D) The 249, 240’s and the .50’s are all loved by the users I spoke with.
    E) I saw a total of 3 M-60’s in Iraq all mounted.
    I also spotted 1 Hummer with a Mini-Gun mounted topside. I bet Johnny Jihad wasn’t expecting that !!!
    I was based on LSA Anaconda and Camp Victory. I worked on many camps including Anaconda, North and South Victory, Slather, Striker, Pioneer, Cropper and the RCP.
    The most professional troops I had contact with other than SOCOM\SF were the Hawaiian Reserves. ALOHA guys !!

  • burt

    experts in wound ballistics, i.e. doctors, have proven the superiority of the .223 vs the .308 cal. rounds. over and over it has been shown to be markedly more effective due to enhanced “yaw” characteristics soon after impact with flesh and bone. of equal value is the proficiency in markmanship and pieces of lead down range that come from using the .223 round. these are all easily demonstrated superior properties as contrasted with the .308……

  • Spencer Hendron

    .223 & M16-developed in the early ’60’s in anticipation of women in the Armed Forces.It wouldn’t do to expect them to carry M 14’s would it? Not to put women down, but this is a helluva way to defend the country. This under the “beloved” JFK and his imbecelic SecDef McNamera. Disatrous in Viet Nam, and ditto over all the years through Iraq/Afghanistan. 9mm & M9-nice, moderate recoiling round and reasonably decent handgun. But what was wrong with the M1911? When a .45 ACP hits someone, they actually go down. Somehow I don’t think the troops have gotten wimpier…what about the government??

  • Shellback

    I was a first an M1A1 Abrams crewman for 4 years Then moved to the Navy side. I have been an armorer for quite sometime now. I have worked at Crane Naval Weapons Center. We produce and maitain the weapons for the Navy’s Seals and SWCC units. What we consider the gunshop doesn’t have one 240 or 249 in the house. We do have alot of the M60E4s. Somebody must still like the 60 in some fashion. My big question is about changing the 5.56 for a 7.62. Stupid. Not one person has talked about the recoil and control of a full auto 7.62 rifle. The M14 is a beast to control in full auto. If you want to suppress you bad guys you are better off with your 5.56 for more than one reason. Carry capability for one. Control is a second. Third if you want a compact weapon in 7.62 like the M4 you are more than an idiot. The one gun I love is the HK51. The Monster Truck of machine guns. It does have an 8″ barrel the same as an MP5 now that is a difference from the M4 barrel. But good enough for a comparison (Google a video of one). The muzzle blast is ferocious and the recoil is not combat worthy at all. Last of all it is one of the loudest guns you are going to hear. Now put your self in a building you may just rethink your choices. Sound is very important think of why SWAT units and SEAL teams like suppresors (entry teams and house clearers) cause your hearing is important. Not just yours but your buddies and their buddies hearing. A confined full out indore battle will destroy your teams eardrums. The 223 is loud but a 308 at in the same short barrel is going to hurt. I had a 308 with an 18″ barrel and it was load as hell. If you think this has no effect on a normal size battle rifle cause I am comparing it to an HK51 well what ever 7.62 platform you are asking for to replace the 5.56 will be made in 3 different sizes Commando, M4, M16 call it what you will. We do make a newer type of M14 there but it has a new stock on it but lets still remember who uses it and its limited purpose for them. The M14 is out there and those who use it probly do love it but it sure is not for everyone. Lets just realize the .223 has a purpose and its not going anywhere. Just be thankful that in these last two wars that we finally came to our senses that the sniper is a wonderful asset and not just some man with mental problems looking through a scope at one man that he wants to just kill. I agree that more grunt teams need a marksman not a sniper qualed member but a marksman with an M14. Let you team member create havock and the M14 can do the rest. Remember AIM,AIM,AIM. Hopefully in your worst case their is an Abrams with in yelling distance. Their is no bigger DOG in the yard. I love what CDAT mentioned, those to words that eveyone forgets or just wants to forget Geneva and Hague. You can armchair us a new caliber all you want but these two words are going to kill your dreams still they get changed.

  • Michael

    THank you Charles for one of the few comments made by someone who knows ANYTHING. I spent 8 years active duty and more as a civilian contractor these include west africa and the middle east. I have never had an m16 jam with ball ammunition. this myth is based on people like the “pow’s” from the beginning of this conflict who threw up their arms when confronted and used the “i tried but my gun jammed” excuse for being captured. a problem weve had in many wars in the past. the m9 a piece of crap? please! carry one in combat action for a while, yes when on the teams I chose a .45 but it wasnt just for the caliber hk just makes a damn nice gun (mk23). Dragunov a piece of crap? shoot one! never had the chance to use one in action but did spend time with one at a range and liked what i saw. you people should do a little research IN THE FIELD before trashing our equipment.

  • Sven

    I habe always taken great care in cleaning and maintaining my weapon. The M-16 I had was cleaned better than a hospital floor. It jammed the first two times I fired it in actual combat. I was lucky I could get and still carry that old, heavy, obsolete (unless it is your life on the line) M-14E2. We also have gotten back .45’s.
    I would suggest that any one who really wants to talk about the great m-16 come out here and use one in combat. In addition I see where we are going to equip the Iraqi’s with M-16’s. That is terrrific because these guys never clean anything so they will more jams than we do.

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    Here is a interesting article, CZ-52 (CZ vz.52) pistol and Hi-Point 9mm pistol VS concrete rebarred wall.

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  • Kevin Howe

    Why, when it comes to the AR15 and its descendants, does one constantly hear people harp on the need for constantly cleaning the weapon? A real military arm should function dirty, since soldiers slog through mud, dust, rain, ice, snow, etc. Also, compare the takedown of an SKS, AKM or other Soviet-bloc weapon to the M-16 with its teensy cotter pins and other parts that can get lost in the dirt or brush while its operator frantically tries to clear a stoppage during a firefight.