507th (gun related)


April 14, 2003, 06:28 AM

For members of the 507th, the three-week ordeal began when the maintenance convoy rolled into a 15-minute firefight, where their automatic weapons jammed because of the sand. With bullets and explosions everywhere, Miller began shoving in bullets one by one and firing single shots.

"We were like Custer," recalled Sgt. James Riley, 31, Pennsauken, N.J. As the senior soldier present, it fell to him to surrender. "We were surrounded. We had no working weapons. We couldn't even make a bayonet charge we would have been mowed down."

This sounds much different than the standard report of the M16A2
being effective and reliable in desert conditions.

My father was on of the first to be issued an M16 in Vietnam
and he wrote his congressman that it was a glorified single shot
that was getting many of his buddies killed.

Isn't it time to drop political/corporate back door dealings and kickbacks and get our troops a decent rifle?

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April 14, 2003, 07:56 AM
"not working" could mean "out of ammo"

I work for the company that makes most of this stuff for the DOD. If they were hving problems, we would have heard about it by now. When .gov has a problem, they make a lot of noise.


I don't speak for FNMI, only myself.

April 14, 2003, 09:00 AM
Not working means not working.

They would have said out of ammo.

Go back and read the quote "jammed single shots"

Greg L
April 14, 2003, 09:11 AM
They were also a bunch of REMF's (myself being one a long time ago I can say that :D ) who weren't expecting the possibility of having to fight. Taking care of their weapons probably wasn't high on their priority list (keeping the tanks and other vehicles heading north would be more important to a maint company, food and sleep next). I would say that chances are good that they used a bunch of lubricant to "clean" their rifles which then promptly got sand blown into it gumming things up.

Reality can be a harsh teacher.


Oleg Volk
April 14, 2003, 10:16 AM
My guess is that sand in magazines will jam just about every gun out there. For that reason, marksmanship is important (make the most of the single shots you can fire). Would sand also disable belt-fed weapons like M249?

April 14, 2003, 10:45 AM
Greg nailed it.

Wind blown sand is about as insidious a substance as there is to disable a weapon. Its grains are not a consistent size like beach sand. The grain size varies from very fine powder to large grains. It gets everywhere possible and there are ONLY two solutions to it: (1) it must be kept out of any precision devices by completely protecting them, or (2) it must be manually cleaned out thoroughly before using the device.

AK-47s are reputed to be much more tolerant of sand fouling due to their looser tolerances, and anecdotes attesting to that are numerous.

If I had to choose between a dirty AK-47 or a dirty M-16 in an emergency, I'd pick the AK even though I much prefer the M-16.

Jeff White
April 14, 2003, 11:05 AM
This says more about the maintenance of the individual weapons then it does anything else. We haven't heard any reports of reliability problems with the small arms in the Infantry.

Most likely the weapons were in racks in HMMWVs or on the floor and behind the seats in the 5 ton trucks. These soldiers had other jobs to do and probably didn't have their weapons covered to keep the dirt out of them. They probably didn't get wiped down very often either.

Enough sand will lock up any weapon from a bolt action to an M2 machine gun. Even AKs jam when they get enough sand in them.

Of course there is a certain faction who will use this incident as proof positive that the M16 should never have been adopted :banghead: .


April 14, 2003, 11:39 AM
Hey, Owen, how'd you land a job with FNMI? More importantly, how do I?

As to the m16/ar15, we just don't know enough about how they were maintained to make any assessments. I've had failures with dirty magazines so I can understand one possible explanation.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that some aspects of training are not emphasized enough. It's great to be a wundermechanic, but everyone should put weapons maint. at the top of the to-do list. Every man a rifleman.

Should I take this as reason to buy that KA SR15? Shouldn't I conduct my own experiments, under controlled conditions, rather than take someone else's word for it?:D

April 14, 2003, 06:35 PM

First I worked at S&W for a few years. Then I was laid off when the company changed hands. Then I doodled around for a while looking for a job, working here and there. Then I answered an ad for "Handgun Designer, Columbia SC" on Monster.com

I knew that had to be FNMI, so I called a friend from college (and S&W) that works there. Turns out he was the guy doing the hiring :-)


I didn't read the article, my bad. I do sand drag tests on a fairly regular basis, and ya know what? NOTHING works well when it is full of sand. Dry, Oiled, Dirty, Clean, doesn't matter. Not even kalashnikovs

April 14, 2003, 07:38 PM
Owen, does FNMI have as good a security team as is rumored? If there was ever anything that would get me to move to Colu, that'd be it.

Any new pistol designs coming out soon? I'd like something along the lines of the Glock but with better styling and trigger.

April 14, 2003, 07:56 PM
Vaughn, I don't have a good way to compare our security to anyone else's.

As far as new pistols, have you seen the FNP-9/Pro-9 yet? We are pretty tied up with variants of that gun. Currently I am working on the 40 caliber version.

Wow, talk about thread drift


carp killer
April 15, 2003, 11:12 AM
AK-47s are reputed to be much more tolerant of sand fouling due to their looser tolerances, and anecdotes attesting to that are numerous.

I agree. If I was there, I would pick up an AK folder and keep the '16 around for looks. All ya have to do to an AK is take the top cover off once and a while and knock the worst of the dirt out and your good to go. With the M16, it's scrub with a tooth brush twice a day, that sucks!

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