1. Has anyone ever put a stainless (416R or other) barrel on a full auto M16 or M4 and tested it to see how it would hold up under sustained automatic fire?
2. Would stainless steel have mitigated the corrosion issues that the early M16 rifles encountered in Vietnam?
Unrelated item: I almost think a matte stainless heavily glass peened GRAY barrel is less conspicuous under most conditions than a black one. What say you?
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February 16, 2010, 10:11 PM
I've never blew up a stainless barrel (or any other barrel) on an M4 for destructive testing, but I have turned a polished stainless barrel straw gray from heat. It wandered a little when it was hot, but shot the same after it cooled.
February 16, 2010, 10:38 PM
the barrel on my full-auto AR15 is carbon fiber on a stainless rock creek blank. i've done mag dumps, but not what i'd call "sustained" fire. never had any issues. i think it would hold up fine for what the AR was intended (which is not what the military considers a 'machine gun')
February 16, 2010, 11:46 PM
The M-16 was designed to have a chrome lined barrel and to use a specific
powder by Stoner but Mcnamara or other Washington idiot changed the specs and ordered them without the chrome and with different powder. That and the really dumb move of not providing cleaning kits and instructions resulted in guys getting killed. They thought the rifle was self cleaning.
The same idiots decided that jet planes did not need guns.
Stainless may have helped some but but I don't think it was a complete answer.
February 17, 2010, 12:34 AM
As D2wing posted, it wasn't the barrel nor the gun that was at fault with the early M-16s. Once they went back to the design specifications the black gun worked as it was designed to.
February 17, 2010, 08:23 PM
Check out these videos - it's a new barrel design for the M4 that Colt tested by putting mag after mag through it until the barrel burst. Amazing.