Green Berets movie gun question


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AFhack
January 1, 2006, 08:32 PM
Just watching Green Berets on AMC - probably the 20th time I've seen this movie but first time I've noticed a weapon I couldn't ID. In the tail 3rd of the movie - shortly after the paradrop, there's an NCO that's out ahead of the main drop. He encounters several NVA - fights and dies valiantly, just before he dies he throws a knife into an NVA soldier and then tries to radio John Wayne and dies in the middle of transmission. Anyway, when John Wayne and the main body find him John Wayne picks up his weapon, which appears to be a normal M-16 except for the magazine. It's visible for a few seconds before John Wayne smashes it against a tree in frustration at the man's death, saying something like "He took all of them with him, they wouldn't have left this behind." The magazine looks way to large for 5.56, and possibly skelotinized. Looks at least .308, perhaps larger.

Is this just a movie prop gone wrong - or was it a different weapon?

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joab
January 1, 2006, 08:35 PM
The first version of the M16 was the AR10 in 308 maybe that's it.
http://world.guns.ru/assault/as16-e.htm
I've seen that movie about as many times as you and that is one of the most rememorable scenes, but I have never noticed it before

kentucky_smith
January 1, 2006, 08:36 PM
PER IMDB:

Revealing mistakes: When Kirby smashes the M-16 against a tree, you can see a speaker in the stock, indicating it is probably a toy gun.

Lebben-B
January 1, 2006, 08:42 PM
IIRC, The original M16 as first purchased by the USAF and Army SF came with plastic "waffle" magazines. The mags didn't work too well in the high heat of Viet Nam and were replaced by aluminium mags soon after. The scene in "The Green Berets" showed an M16 with the plastic mag.

Mike

joab
January 1, 2006, 08:47 PM
PER IMDB:

Revealing mistakes: When Kirby smashes the M-16 against a tree, you can see a speaker in the stock, indicating it is probably a toy gun.
That would explain a huge magazine
http://www.tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/toy%20ads/m-16_marauder_toy_gun.htm

kentucky_smith
January 1, 2006, 08:53 PM
Hey, at least he didn't destroy a real gun.



http://www.snopes.com/military/m16.htm


http://users.rcn.com/ed.ma.ultranet/MarauderRightPro.jpg

kentucky_smith
January 1, 2006, 08:55 PM
MORE:

Once a major part of any boy's toys, toy guns fell into disfavor as the Vietnam war dragged on, and America saw JFK, his brother Bobby, and Martin Luther King fall to assassins' bullets. Mattel for example had produced a nearly lifesize and very realistic M-16 rifle in 1966, apparently so kids could play "Vietnam" in the backyard.

Pictured is a Mattel M-16 Marauder machine gun. This gun was a full-size replica of a US Army M-16 rifle. It was incredible in its ability to be cocked up to 5 times, and then generate a long and very realistic sounding burst of machine gun fire. This particular box is unusual, being olive drab. The usual box colors were red, white and blue. This gun was probably only produced for 1-2 years. Originally priced at about $10, it now sells for about $250 in very good condition.

But as anti-war sentiment grew, it was quickly withdrawn from production. You could hardly by a toy gun by 1969. (Those large realistic Mattel M-16 toys are now very hard to find, and are quite valuable!).

Once the Vietnam war ended and we got through the 1970s, America seemed to forget the anti-gun sentiment of the late 1960s, and again fell in love with guns. Toy guns started appearing on the shelves again, and in many cases they were more realistic than ever. Today, you will still find toy guns for sale, but now they have orange caps on the barrels to help police notice they are toys and not real weapons (what good that does is clearly debateable).



learn something everyday

answerguy
January 1, 2006, 09:31 PM
Mattel making M-16s may have been an urban legend but during WWII lots of seemingly 'oddball' companies made guns and armaments. Sewing machine companies (Singer made 1911s), typewriter companies (Remington Rand)etc.

AZ Jeff
January 1, 2006, 10:04 PM
IIRC, The original M16 as first purchased by the USAF and Army SF came with plastic "waffle" magazines. The mags didn't work too well in the high heat of Viet Nam and were replaced by aluminium mags soon after.
The early "waffle" magazines for the M16 were patterned after the ones used on the AR-10. Both were made from aluminum.

Plastic magazines for the M-16 did not appear until MANY years after the VN war.

georgeduz
January 1, 2006, 10:05 PM
that was a prop gun,not a real gun.

Hawkmoon
January 1, 2006, 10:28 PM
I was in Vietnam in 1968, with the original M16s (no 'A' anything following). Magazines were metal.

And, yes, the guns were unreliable as all get out, and yes we joked that the ones Mattel was selling at home probably worked better. We did NOT ever suggest that the guns we had were made by Mattel. That would have been unfair to Mattel.

Nathanael_Greene
January 1, 2006, 10:40 PM
We did NOT ever suggest that the guns we had were made by Mattel. That would have been unfair to Mattel.

The rumor I remember is that Mattel made the stocks for the rifles, but not the rifles themselves...an urban legend, no doubt.

kentucky_smith
January 1, 2006, 10:46 PM
From Snopes:

Claim: M-16 rifles used by American soldiers in Vietnam were manufactured by the Mattel toy company.

Status: False.

Example: [Morgan and Tucker, 1987]


The handgrip of the M16 rifle was made by Mattel. When the gun was first introduced in Vietnam, soldiers noticed the toy company's logo embossed on the handgrip and complained. Later shipments arrived without the imprint, but the grips were still manufactured by Mattel.

Origins: The
M-16, a rapid-fire, 5.56 mm assault rifle carried by thousands of American soldiers during the Vietnam War, grew out of efforts to develop a replacement for the standard M-1 Carbine used during World War II. The M-16, constructed using plastics and alloys, was a much smaller and lighter weapon than its predecessors, one that fit in with the developing Vietnam-era strategy of sacrificing accuracy in favor of more easily-carried weapons with rapid rates of fire. Hundreds of thousands of M-16s were supplied to US troops in the mid-1960s as US Army made the M-16 their standard rifle.

However, the M-16, manufactured by the Colt Firearms Corporation, soon developed a reputation for unreliability, frequently jamming and fouling (especially when not kept clean, a next-to-impossible task in the dust and mud of Vietnam battlefields). Problems with the M-16 eventually achieved such prominence that a congressional inquiry was ordered, resulting in design changes, additional troop training, and other modifications that ameliorated many of the reliability issues soldiers were experiencing with the weapon.

To the troops in the field, the original M-16 was new, it was small, it was light, it was made of plastic rather than wood, and it often performed poorly to boot. It was no surprise that many of them started expressing their dissatisfaction by referring to it derisively as a cheaply-made "toy," and that they associated it with the most prominent toy company of the time: Mattel, the Hawthorne, California, toy manufacturer famous for introducing the Barbie doll to the world:

One of the sayings soldiers had about the M16 was, "You can tell it's Mattel" which was a toy company's slogan at the time -- the gun had a lot of plastic parts, which can't stand up to the vibrations like wood can but it is cheap.

The Mattel legend was undoubtedly fed by the fact that Mattel really did sell an M-16 Marauder toy gun in the mid-1960s, a quite good reproduction of the actual weapon, complete with "realistic" sound effects:

M-16 (real)

M-16 Marauder (toy)

The sardonic joke about problem-plagued M-16s being toys morphed into a legend about their really having been produced by a toy company, with "proof" offered in the additional detail of soldier's spotting M-16 handgrips embossed with the Mattel logo. The redesign that improved the M-16's reliability was then attributed to a switch in manufacturers (to a "real" gun company) prompted by soldier complaints.

joab
January 1, 2006, 11:04 PM
I actually believed the Mattel myth until fairly recently.
I can even visualize the mattel logo etched into my M16

molonlabe
January 1, 2006, 11:39 PM
congrads, Isn't false memories wierd?

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