M16 OR MINI 14 FOR FIGHTING IN VIETNAM?


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mbdolfin
February 26, 2007, 11:56 PM
I bought my first colt ar15 about 20 years ago from a guy that claimed to be a retired army armorer.
He made a comment to me that he would have rather seen our troops in Vietnam issued the mini 14 over the m16. He says it is a more reliable weapon all around.
I never shot the mini 14 and i don't even know if it was around in the early 60s.
Just wondering what everyones thoughts are on that.

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GreenFurniture
February 26, 2007, 11:58 PM
uh...............

Mini 14?

That wasn't an option so I'll stick with the M16.

Devonai
February 27, 2007, 12:00 AM
Given factory magazines, a chrome-lined barrel, a cleaning kit, and a diligent squad leader, I would consider the two equal for use in combat.

I do not see the Mini-14 gaining an advantage over the M16A1 in any respect.

cheygriz
February 27, 2007, 12:05 AM
The Mini 14 is not as accurate, not as reliable, not as ergonomic, not as easy to field strip, has a crappy wooden stock........ no way would any ordnance board give it a second look.

Gator
February 27, 2007, 12:07 AM
I don't think the Mini-14s wood stock is crappy, but the M16 is a far better rifle.
Are you sure he said Mini-14 and not M-14? Then his statement would make perfect sense.

Badger Arms
February 27, 2007, 12:10 AM
Sure he didn't mean the M-14?

M-14 is no more reliable than the M-16 these days, but early on the M16 had a well-earned bad reputation.

Mini-14 was not around during the Vietnam war, however they were and most still are decidedly less accurate, more fragile, and no more reliable than the M-16. They certainly can't take the full-auto fire for long either.

There WERE actually alternatives to the M16 that were real and tested. The Stoner 63 was an excellent example. The Marines wanted the gun, but cited the advanced state of production/adoption of the M16 by the other services and roughly equal performance in the field as reasons for sticking with the M16. (This was pre-production Stoner 63's vs. mature production model M16's, but I'm not second-guessing the Corps on this decision. It was sound.)

The AR-18 was also under-developed and unappreciated although many aspects of this Armalite gun were doubtless superior.

In the end, the M16 had the momentum, ergonomics, sex appeal, and it was just Good Enough to preclude the use of any other weapon.

BTW, I'd have preferred the M16 myself were I over there... Then again, I know how to clean the gun too. If you'd given me a Mini-14, i'd have tossed it for anything else the first chance I got. I'm talking M2 carbines, Grease Guns, Tommy guns, BAR's, M60's, Sterlings, Stens, MP40's. Whatever, so long as it fired quick and reliably.

The BS artist you got the gun from might have been an armorer to keep him out of the field!!!

mbdolfin
February 27, 2007, 12:10 AM
he said mini 14 not m-14

blackhawk2000
February 27, 2007, 12:14 AM
Ask some of the carbine trainers, if any minis make it through a class.

g5reality
February 27, 2007, 12:17 AM
The first M16's sucked. If he's speaking to the reilability of the mini-14 I agree. They're both chambered for the same round. If the Mini were fully auto it might be a consideration. A mini-14 can be dressed up like any AR or M-16, fires the same round, has about the the same range & accuracy. The AR is based on the M14, predecessor to the M-16. I personally would rather have a M-14 or M1A fully auto with a .308 round than a .223 round. Also early M16's jammed alot unless they were totally clean. This was the argument in favor of the M14/M1A. They were more reliable in vietnam.

This is of Course all based on early 60's rifles IN VIETNAM. The mini wasn't invented until 1974. Never had a chance to be proven in that scenereo

Kor
February 27, 2007, 12:23 AM
...as produced, I'd say NO. As a former Mini(standard, not Ranch Rifle) owner, I have to say that the rear sight was not sturdy enough for protracted combat use, and the wood stock would be subject to swelling in a high-humidity environment.

However, the basic design has much to recommend it, especially the tappet-piston operation vs. M16-direct-gas; IIRC Bill Ruger Sr. related in a book how he once showed a Mini-14 prototype to Col. Rene Studler of the Army Ordnance Board, who got bug-eyed and quiet, almost like he was going to slap his forehead and say, "I coulda had a V-8;" Ruger said that if he'd developed the Mini-14 ten years earlier, it might have become the Army issue rifle, as it was less of a "wrench" to the old-school officers and non-coms than the M-16's then-unconventional handling and field-stripping.

IF the Mini-14 design had been "ruggedized," it might have served well in combat - give it better sights, a synthetic stock, and make jillions of top-quality magazines, and who knows...

cheygriz
February 27, 2007, 12:28 AM
Bear in mind also that the M-16 was the very first American military rifle to go straight from the drawing board to the battlefield. No extensive field testng, no PIP (product improvement programs) etc.

The first M-16s were issued without cleaning kits, and without chrome lined bores and chambers. Eugene Stoner specified that EXTRUDED powder was to be used exclusively, and the Duphi (doophusses?) from the ordnance board INSISTED on ordering the ammo with dirty burning ball powder.

And if that wasn't enough, they issued water soluble LSA oil in the jungle!

There were folks in the command structure of both the army and marine corp that wanted to keep the M-14, and they were hell bent on sabotaging the M-16 program. And they got a bunch of troops killed in the process.

GRIZ22
February 27, 2007, 01:17 AM
The Mini 14 is not as accurate, not as reliable, not as ergonomic, not as easy to field strip, has a crappy wooden stock........ no way would any ordnance board give it a second look.


The Mini14 is:

1. About as accurate as your run of the mill M14.

2. I would rate the reliability of a Mini 14 along with a M14 or M16. The gas system in a Mini14 is basically an improvement of the M14's which was an improvement over the M1's.

3. Ergonomics are subjective. You had to tilt the mag when inserting in an M14, Controls are basically the same as a M14.

4. Fieldstrips the same as a M14. You don't have all the tiny parts like the firing pin, firing pin retainer, or cam pin like a M16.

5. The stock should be synthetic I'll agree along with a stronger rear sight and heavier barrel.

IF the Mini-14 design had been "ruggedized," it might have served well in combat - give it better sights, a synthetic stock, and make jillions of top-quality magazines, and who knows...

I agree.

I had a M14 when I first got to Vietnam. I later got a M16 which I carried most of my tour. The M14 would have been better for long range shooting but there wasn't a lot of that where I was. I cleaned my M16 as I was trained and had no problems. I considered that fact you could carry more ammo a plus. A claymore bag and bandolier gave you 21 mags more than 400 rds. There is no way I could have carried 400 rds of 7.62 NATO with everything else,

g5reality
February 27, 2007, 01:26 AM
GRIZ22,

Thanks for the first hand account and Thank you for your service.

AH-1
February 27, 2007, 01:47 AM
ditto.
"some" of these guys here have never had to "hump" in the field so they just don't know how much any extra weight can make a big difference.
pete

rayman
February 27, 2007, 02:39 AM
The GB model is a nice & very capable weapon. In the hands of a well trained California Correctional Officer, the Mini can do a lot of good in a short ammount of time with not a lot of cleaning. Any prison guards out there concur?;)

Gator
February 27, 2007, 03:48 AM
GRIZ22, I respectfully disagree on two points:

The Mini14 is:

1. About as accurate as your run of the mill M14.

Standard service grade accuracy for an M14 is 2-3 MOA, it is a very rare Mini-14 that can even come close to that. And,

The gas system in a Mini14 is basically an improvement of the M14's which was an improvement over the M1's.

The Mini-14's gas system was modeled after the M1 Carbine tappet system, which is totally different than the M1/M14.

I like the idea of the Mini-14, but as is it just isn't up to snuff as a service rifle. If Ruger ever gets it right I'll buy another one.

Thank you for your service.

Stretchman
February 27, 2007, 05:27 AM
The original design was for the .308 caliber, and the rifle was designed around it, from what I understand. Then the transition was made to the .223, and the rifle was rebarreled and re magged for it, I think. Could be wrong. But it may be why it took some time to work the bugs out of it. That's the stoner story I heard.

Byron
February 27, 2007, 09:05 AM
Griz22, Well said. Welcome Home.
I had no problems with my 16,I kept it clean but all infantryman should keep their rifles clean.
The Mini 14 is a good rifle and may have done well in the jungles.The loads we carried were about 80+ pounds.We carried 200 rounds each for the 60. I shudder to think what the ruck would have weighed using the M14.
Byron 3/8th Inf,4th Inf Div 68-69

HorseSoldier
February 27, 2007, 09:28 AM
However, the basic design has much to recommend it, especially the tappet-piston operation vs. M16-direct-gas; IIRC Bill Ruger Sr. related in a book how he once showed a Mini-14 prototype to Col. Rene Studler of the Army Ordnance Board, who got bug-eyed and quiet, almost like he was going to slap his forehead and say, "I coulda had a V-8;" Ruger said that if he'd developed the Mini-14 ten years earlier, it might have become the Army issue rifle, as it was less of a "wrench" to the old-school officers and non-coms than the M-16's then-unconventional handling and field-stripping.


I'm not sure how likely this story sounds. My understanding is that Army Ordnance, somewhere in the M16 development fight, had their own competing design that was pretty much a Mini-14 for all intents and purposes (scaled down M14/Garand action, intermediate cartridge, traditional wooden stock, etc.). Their design didn't do well against the AR-15 in testing, and McNamara shut them down.

If anything, I'd be a bit surprised if Ruger did not have some knowledge of the Ordnance experimental design when designing the Mini-14 . . .

Badger Arms
February 27, 2007, 09:59 AM
Has anybody caught on that the Mini-14 was introduced in 1975? Now, by my calculation, that was after ground hostilities had officially ended. Yes, I'd have liked to have had a Vickers at Gettysberg, but it hadn't been invented yet.

Lone_Gunman
February 27, 2007, 10:23 AM
Ask some of the carbine trainers, if any minis make it through a class.


What happens in a carbine class that a Mini-14 would not be able to make it through?

USMC Tanker
February 27, 2007, 11:07 AM
I'm not sure what the M16A1 was capable of achieving in terms of accuracy, but if it performs anything like M16A2s or M16A4s, you can accurately and consistantly engage targets out to 500 meters.

I'm not so sure I'd trust my life on the performance of the Mini 14 at that range.

Even taking into consideration the fact that the majority of combat engagements occur under 300 meters, the Mini 14's "ruggedness" is unsatisfactory IMO. The thin, light barrel and low quality wood stock come to mind.

The M16A1 definitely had it's down-falls, no argument there.

Lone_Gunman
February 27, 2007, 11:34 AM
I am not a fan of the Mini14 really, and prefer the AR, but most Mini 14s now have synthetic stocks, and the barrel isn't any thinner than the original pencil barrels of the M16.

Ed Wagner
February 27, 2007, 12:10 PM
Off topic a little but my personal favorite in the river boats was a 870 remington with #4 buck. We had 16's and 14's most got traded away for Ithaca's, 870's, or if lucky an 1100 Rem.

cottonmouth
February 27, 2007, 03:12 PM
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/cottonmouth_/HPIM2002.jpg
Here are my two BG Mini-14s. I have never had one fail to function, never. I also have and have had Ar-15s that did well too. 99% of the time when a Mini-14 fails to feed or fire it is due to a low quality magazine, I only use factory Ruger magazines, mostly 20 rounders. Also, I think that if the Mini-14 was ment to be a combat/military rifle or carbine it would have had a better stock. I do agree that the Mini-14 is not as accurate as the AR-15 but it would be well suited for hitting man sized targets up to 250 or 300 yards. Just because a rifle won't shoot a one inch group does not meen it won't get the job done.

J.B
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b162/cottonmouth_/HPIM2209.jpg

Correia
February 27, 2007, 03:24 PM
Quote:
Ask some of the carbine trainers, if any minis make it through a class.

What happens in a carbine class that a Mini-14 would not be able to make it through?

Mini-14s tend to choke and break down during carbine classes. Same with trying to run one through a bunch of 3gun matches. When used like a basic ranch type rifle, they do fine, but when you get them smoking hot, they start to have problems.

Texas DPS used to use Mini-14s, however none of the rifles would actually make it through their carbine classes without breaking some parts.

I see people bring them out to 3gun, for a match or two, but then they come back with something else.

Your particular Mini may be awesome, and do not take this as an insult, but people who see a lot of rounds go downrange in short amounts of time, don't have a lot of faith in the Mini. They just aren't as tough as the from the ground up military guns.

blackhawk2000
February 27, 2007, 04:49 PM
What Correia said.

agony
February 27, 2007, 05:27 PM
Texas DPS used to use Mini-14s, however none of the rifles would actually make it through their carbine classes without breaking some parts

You think this has to do with the cast parts in the mini-14?

Lone_Gunman
February 27, 2007, 06:41 PM
I don't really care one way or the other about the Mini 14. I have one, but don't shoot it much, and like shooting AR's better. I am just trying to understand exactly what is going wrong with ARs during carbine classes or matches.

What parts are breaking?

I always thought the mini was pretty tough, kind of a scaled down m-14.

Correia
February 28, 2007, 10:07 AM
My understanding is that pretty much everything that can break, does. Trigger parts, pins, springs, etc.

However this is all second hand information from doing a lot of LE sales, and training. I've not used a Mini in a class, nor gone through a more than one day class with somebody using one. Keep that in mind.

I have however seen them tank pretty badly in 3gun. The biggest reason people quit using them there though is that we get the guns very hot. The minis string shots badly when they get hot. 3gunners are often doing 4 aimed shots a second, so you can see why the guns start to cook.

kBob
March 5, 2007, 12:10 PM
For some reason another long rambling post of mine did not post so here is a another long rambling post much like the lost one of yesterday.

Took a 3 day and one night Carbine course from Bill Jeans. Lady in my flight on my left used an early model Mini-14 through the whole class. Not one hiccup or stutter and no broken parts. She shot OK. This was a class geared toward managing the carbine and the shooting situations tened to be more realistic for LEO or Civilian HD than for military actions or game playing.

Bill said Mini-14s do alright in his class but did sometimes break down (I noted that two ARs were pulled off the line the first day though). I brought two back up guns in case my 30 year old AR-180 did not do well and shot them both for a run or two, an M-1 Carbine and a Mini-14. As I fumbled with the completely different controls of each gun Bill turned it into a teaching moment for the class as a good reason to train with one type of gun and depend on it rather than automatically trying to work controls that aren't there and miss those that are.

BTW not one day went by with out one or more AR-15s (everything from A1 style 16 inch carbines to real M4A1s) having a problem. I had problems the first morning trying to use some ancient discolored clear plastic mags that did work 20 years ago and some modified AR-15 magazines. When I switched over to purpose made metalic AR-180 magazines I had no more problems other than my gun light failing late in the evening and I had to finish with a hand held light.

One of the things I loathed about M-16A1s when I was in the service was the number of things Joe Snuffy could do to make them not function and their own weaknesses. Teenie tiny parts would get lost, and rather than facing the wraith of a Squad leader, platoon Sargeant or COmpany armorer Joes would try fixes with such things as pipe cleaners and match sticks. Then the pooch got a through going over.

I've seen hammer springs put in backwards and the spring on the Auto Sear allowed to unwind one loop and not funtion to hold the device in place making the Weapon a manual repeater when placed on Auto. Nothing like leaving out the firing pin retention pin (cotter pin) or even inserting it in front of the stop on the firing pin to make one's day.

I have seen a couple of extractors break, a bolt shatter, locking lugs break off, recoil spring tubes crack and even allow the stock and itself be ejected from the gun. Of course I've seen a lot of GIs and M-16A1s, but those are not civilian ARs being lovingly cared for by sportsmen though.

Don't get me started on malfunctions arrising from the use of pre 1980 lubricants in the M-16A1.

So its not like the AR is invincable or any thing.

Still Mini-14s are not as accurate as even an A1 , they did have warpable wooden stocks and the sights were laking in protection and had no provision for shifting the zero like the M-16s rear L shaped sight. Though the sight on the prototypes was basically a shrunken M-1 Garand rear sight, that wasn't on the production guns. And I have little doubt that they will not stand up to a lot of rapid fire as some suggest, it just was not built for it.

Of course they also were not around in the VN era, they were on the market shortly after the National Defense Medal was no longer issued to troops after basic and GI bill rights changed and past the date the VA considers the end of the VN era.

The AR-15 went through devlopment from 1957 until it was adopted by the Army As the M-16 A1. It did go through some troop testing before being standized in 1967. Some of the earlist rifles tested in the field were by US special forces and others who were working with Veitnamese forces and the USAF had several years of experience before the M-16A1 was adopted by the Army and Marines. Interestingly I went through basic with a rifle marked "XM-16E1" showing it was an experimental rifle used in testing before 1967 with the first set of modifications demeed necessary by the Army for adoption.

The myth that the M-16 went from the drawing board to combat is infact a myth.

I have to wonder if the Mini-14 had had ten years of US and Foreign military tests on it and limited feild issue and if Bill RUgar had intened it for anything other than a LEO backup rifle if it might not have been a feildable combat rifle, but it was not. Besides which when the Mini-came along the US Army and USMC had eight years of investment in the AR-15 system and were already starting to look at the changes that would make the M-16A2 series.

So dispite all the warts and hidden flaws of the M-16A1, NO the Mini-14,if it had been available ,would not have been better than the M-16A1 for combat use in VN. The Mini -14 does make a fine LEO back up rifle and Citizens HD gun.

Just my Dollar and Forty-seven cents worth.

-Bob Hollingsworth

Thin Black Line
March 5, 2007, 05:06 PM
Texas DPS used to use Mini-14s, however none of the rifles would actually make it through their carbine classes without breaking some parts.

I had one of the factory folders years back, used ruger 20 rd mags, and
name brand ammo. Within the first couple hundred rounds or so, I had a
broken extractor --went off to the factory and returned. Sometime the
following winter, the gas tap fell out (no, I had not tried to disassemle the
housing under the barrel). The mini spent quite a bit of time in the closet
after its second return from the factory. A while later, I made the mistake
of transporting the mini in a soft padded case in my trunk and one of the
two lugs that holds the rear site on snapped off. I get rid of the rifle after
that.

I've noticed that friends who have "never had a problem" with their minis do
something different than I do --they leave them in the closet, on the rack,
or in the safe more than anything else.

BTW, I've used the same gun case to transport many other rifles without
any parts snapping off on the way to the range, field or whatever. Nope,
can't blame the loose bowling ball rolling around in the trunk either.

I love Ruger's bolt actions and handguns, but they need to re-assess their
parts on the minis. Is "junk" a metallurgical term?

g5reality
March 5, 2007, 05:22 PM
Are the mini's you all refer to pre 580 serial numbers? If so then it's a major reason teh production line was shut down and retooled for 18 months. The NEW mini's are accurate and well put together.

Thin Black Line
March 5, 2007, 05:30 PM
Mine was bought new in 1987or8 and definitely gone by 91. My only regret
was not holding onto the factory mags --I would have sold them after 94
when truly desperate folks were paying high $ for them. Real ones are still
$40.

My NEW 223 mini-rifle is Bushmaster, RRA, etc. ;)

DWARREN123
March 5, 2007, 05:38 PM
Put 1/10th the money in a combat Mini 14 that the M-16 series has had and you would have had the American AK.

Ala Dan
March 5, 2007, 05:40 PM
While I like the Ruger Mini-14, I can't see a practical need for it during the
Viet-Nam war~! The first M-16 were rushed into production by orders from
then Secretary Of Defense Robert McNamara, and did have a few issues
with high maintenance required. But, after these bugs were worked out
the M-16 proved to be one of the best fighting weapons of the war. As
a matter of fact, the phased out M-14 (7.62 NATO) was the best long
range weapon of the war; and it was the weapon that I was issued in
November of '65~! :scrutiny: ;) :D

g5reality
March 5, 2007, 05:45 PM
+1 for the M-14/M1A

FMJMIKE
March 5, 2007, 08:21 PM
kbob.......How did the M1 Carbine do in your class ???

44AMP
March 6, 2007, 02:03 AM
The eternal (seemingly) comparisons between the Mini 14 and the AR. Both rifles have had their problems in the past, and to some extent, still do. All guns have some problems, even those designed by the great Browning have their faults (the severity of which entirely depends on the point of view of the reviewer).

I would like to propose that beyond the obvious that they are autoloading, magazine fed rifles firing the same round, that they are not, and never were intended to do the same jobs. And therefore, a comparison of which is the better "combat" rifle is both unfair and inappropriate.

Also, many people seem to insist on comparing the Mini 14 to the AR/M16 rifles of the latest variants, with nearly a half a century of finding and working out the bugs, done by large numbers of users around the world, making an unfair comparison even more lopsided.

The Mini 14 is a fun plinker, and pest rifle. It is not and never was intended to be a service rifle. It just uses civilian version of the same round. After a couple of decades of everybody finally working together to make the AR the best rifle it could be, it is a far cry from the supposedly "perfect" rifle rammed down the military throat by the whiz kids of the MacNamara Defense Dept.

If one gentleman's opinion is that the Mini 14 would have been a better rifle in Vietnam than the M16, (because the Mini at least works), in that, he may be right. But, the Mini 14 was never intended for that role, even today. To disparage the gun because it is what the designer intended and not what you think it should be is....unenlightened.

Frog48
March 6, 2007, 03:25 AM
The eternal (seemingly) comparisons between the Mini 14 and the AR.

Blame it on "The A-Team".

If it wasnt for those clowns, nobody would think of the Mini-14 as a "combat" rifle.:neener:

106rr
March 6, 2007, 04:08 AM
We were issued .22 cal cleaning rods in January 1968. The 196th Light Infantry Brigade went over in April or May of 1966 with M16s. They only issued the cleaning equipment because we wrote to our congressman and it triggered an IG (Inspector General) inspection. This inspection was the first time an officer ever set foot in my heavy weapons bunker. I got there in May 67 and left in May 68. One of the guys had been issued a rifle that only fired a single shot before jamming and it had always been that way. That rifle was given to any new guy!
They told us that the buffer groups were bad, then they said the bolts were bad. We replaced both and the guns still jammed. Finally thay said the ammo was bad but we had to use up existing stock which was tens of millions of rounds. Then they gave us new rifles. We also got comic books of a buxom blonde cleaning her M16. The comic books were sent to overcome the illiteracy in the ranks. Many guys would not willingly read anything but a comic book.
We used 30 weight oil out of the trucks before we got LSA. The light gun oil issued for M14s didn't work in M16s. LSA was actually better than 30 weight because the 30 weight left so much burned residue in the rifles. We found that gasoline is not a substitute for powder solvent!
The corruption and oppression that existed in the US Army/defense contractors of the 60's allowed the M16 fiasco to go unfixed for at least one and a half years of brutal combat. How many American families lost their sons, brother, nephews, fathers just because the rifles wouldn't work with the ammo issued. What we needed was an honest command structure not a Mini 14. Sorry about the long post.

dfaugh
March 6, 2007, 09:34 AM
Original M-16-:barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:
Mini-14-:barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:

M-14 --Good to go---I don't care HOW heavy its was to hump ammo, as they were not practical on full auto any way. Butas someone else once said:

"If I'm up to my waist in a rice paddy, and taking fire, I want something that'll go THROUGH the trees, THROUGH the bad guy, and hit the a$$**** behind him."

xd45gaper
March 6, 2007, 09:46 AM
for people that say the mini wasnt out back then are you completly sure? when did it come out i thought it was the 60s but maybe it was the 70s?

Edit* did some research the Mini came out in 1974 vietnam war ended in 1975.(correct me if im wrong not a huge history buff when it comes to actual dates lol)

IMHO i would say the mini would have held up better as far as being rugged. and ive herd that the orginal M16 was a huge POS. but the Mini's barrel heats up really bad which would be a bad thing if you are shooting bursts or full auto. i guess there are goods and bads but the M16/AR style firearm is a far superior rifle now days. the mini doesnt even hold a chance against one in accuracy (not sure about the new ones) maybe in ruggability! (is thateven a word lol)

Bartholomew Roberts
March 6, 2007, 09:53 AM
Put 1/10th the money in a combat Mini 14 that the M-16 series has had and you would have had the American AK.

Which pretty much sums up my problem with the Mini-14 as currently offered... for about $50-100 less than an AR15 you can have a rifle with substantially less research and development invested in it that was never designed to do the things an AR15 can do.

The Mini-14 is a fine rifle for the niche it is designed to fill; but I think it has priced itself out of that niche and into a market where it is not very competitive.

Byron
March 6, 2007, 09:53 AM
106rr, First Welcome Home. I was an 11B and came after you(Oct 68-Oct 69) and was in the 3/8th Inf,4th Inf Div. When I got to the field,we had the new ammo with Dupont Powder(I recall opening a crate of ammo and on each box wa stamped Dupont Powder).We had the cleaning rods and the LSA.It grieves me how my earlier Brothers were treated. If only the earlier grunts were given what we had. Byron

Titan6
March 6, 2007, 10:07 AM
That mini just dosen't do the trick of the AR. It is an okay weapon but won't get it done like the AR. I have both and def prefer the AR.

One of my previous bosses was a regular patrol leader during Vietnam for two tours. About half way through his first tour he got 'tired' of his AR and the results he was getting with it and 'found' a M14 that he carried with him for the rest of his first tour. When he went back he couldn't 'find' one. He said he really missed that M14.

xd45gaper
March 6, 2007, 10:19 AM
you guys are crazy the mini 14 is just a mini M14! so its defently superior to the M16 ;)

kBob
March 6, 2007, 10:37 AM
106rr

Thanks for your service. Thanks for your post. I am sorry you had to be part of the field test that showed the need of befor full standization. Believe it or not the M-16 had served in VN befor it was issued to you, as I said to to Special Forces and MAAP program hangers on and some ARVN. Some one should have expected the sort of problems you had as by then and yet those bastards still issued it to you for final testing under fire. Same-Same for the first of the USMC units to be issued the guns.

In 1975 a small number of us in my unit were interviewed about how we best thought the M-16A1 could be improved. This was apparently done through out the Army for ideas. When I stated the best improvement would to be replace it with an M-14 (especially there in Europe) the interviewers laughed and stated that was their most common first response. Among the things we asked for if we had to keep the same basic platform and caliber where a longer stock, better sights with a decent ranging system, Some way to make it less painful to fire left handed, a heavier barrel and round foregrips, a flash suppressor that would have its bottom closed. Kirk Meyer (the only gun nut bigger than me in the company) suggested better ammo with better shaped and heavier bullet and appropriate barrel twist but was told that was not keeping it the same caliber at that time. None of us suggested a wart on the pistol grip. Seems like our suggestions must have been pretty common As that pretty much descibes the A2.

I still think the biggest improvement to the M-16A1 was making better lubricants available.

Oh yeah the Comics! I still have one somewhere. PM magazine's Old Sarge and Connie were always welcome as was the later Bonnie the Black version of Connie. They were I believe originally drawn by Will Eisner.

I bleive some clown is claiming to hold a copy right on the M-16A1/XM 177E2 comic book which was a GPO (non copywrite common usage rules) document.

The PM magazine that we did not have a complete copy of in our supply or motor pool was one in which Connie demonstrated the care of the M1967 body armor by wearing it in the shower.

Go figure.

-Bob Hollingsworth

kBob
March 6, 2007, 11:22 AM
FMJMike,

No one used an M-1 Carbine through my whole class. The class here the year before mine had a fellow that did run a .30 Carbine all three days and used a handheld light for the night shoot. He did acceptably well and his 50+ year old gun came through all right. Bill said this was not the first carbine he had had in a class and had told me it would be fine if I had wanted to use one for the class. I only fired an M-1 Carbine through a couple of drills at under 50 meters to see how it felt. Felt fine and the lessons being tought geared towards ARs seemed to work fine with a traditionally stocked gun.

I believe Thunder ranch had a carbine class for gurlz and M-1 carbines featured in one of the gun rags in the last two years.

Again this class is not geared towards gun games or exteneded combat, but to LEO and HD needs. Certainly everything in his classes has applications for use in a land combat situation, but the drills are not centered around firing 360 rounds at the approaching 43rd Mongolian horde, having the bolt lock back on the last mag and then fixing bayonet and charging forward, although we did do a drill that sarted at 100 yards with the prone and performed rushes to rice patty prone, sitting, kneeling and stand with a few shots fired at each position against the clock. Nothing that left smoking barrels and burning lubes and a foot high pile of brass though.

I recently saw and article in one of the gun rags with a title like "Gun Training or Entertainment" I do not think the number of rapid fire rounds placed down range in a minute or two has a lot to do with learning the skills to effectively use a Carbine or HD Shotgun or Handgun. Learning how to handle the gun safely and in a manner that allows it to be quickly and efffectively brought to bear for a fast few effective shots.

I especially like the emphisis Morrigan Consulting places on Failure Drills and Transition to handgun. I especially like the required "Check Target, Check right and rear, check left, breathe" drills following a target engagement. Again for a LEO or HD situations this makes more sense than hurling oneself to the ground between engagements. Learning individual skills and learning the improtance of prior planning seems far more reasonable than considering round count verses time as a major factor in choosing a training school.

Now excuse me, I need to go check the ODCMP site for any new news on the Italian returns of M-1 Carbines.

-Bob Hollingsworth

kcmarine
March 14, 2007, 11:31 PM
They are different rifles produced for different uses. Sure, a Mini may be good in the jungle with modifications, but we're talking about your basic rifle here. The military has never quite found its "dream rifle". The M- 14's size, weight, recoil and ammunition carry weight could be a hassle in the jungle. While the M-16/ M-4 has done well, it still has some things left to be desired. Heck, we just canceled the XM8 rifle. We aren't doing so well with pistols, either. A 9mm in combat? Did we not learn the lesson from Miami? Give the troops either .40 S&W or .45 ACPs. Something with some real knock down power.

Zullo74
March 15, 2007, 09:25 AM
Byron wrote...
I had no problems with my 16, I kept it clean but all infantryman should keep their rifles clean.
The Mini 14 is a good rifle and may have done well in the jungles. The loads we carried were about 80+ pounds. We carried 200 rounds each for the 60. I shudder to think what the ruck would have weighed using the M14.


Byron,
I believe that the infantry man's load has been 80 pounds since the Civil War.
One reason the US went with the 5.56mm round was that an individual could carry more rounds in that 80# load than if it were 7.62mm.

HorseSoldier
March 15, 2007, 09:39 AM
A 9mm in combat? Did we not learn the lesson from Miami? Give the troops either .40 S&W or .45 ACPs. Something with some real knock down power.

The lesson of Miami seems to be that an unprofessional mindset (inadequate preparation, failure to plan for contingencies, etc.) going into combat, combined with inability to execute basic combat marksmanship drills, gets you killed. 9mm was a more convenient scapegoat for the FBI rather than addressing poor TTPs and inadequate weapons training, as bullets are an easy/cheap fix (and don't threaten careers).

I'd say we've learned that lesson very well along the way, long before the FBI fiasco in Miami.

jim d
March 15, 2007, 12:54 PM
Having read this thread it has come to me that most people do not understand the reasons that the M-16 was developed. The M-14 was issued as a semi-auto in most cases and only modified with a selector switch to be issued on a limited basis in a infantry platoon. The M-14 was designed to fire only 3to5 round bursts on full auto not a full 20 round burst. The military brass came up with the idea that you could lay down a better field of fire if you had a weapon that could fire full auto most of the time thus the M-16 with it's smaller round and less recoil. Having spent over 9yrs. in the Marines and 2 tours in Nam and being both a weapons instructor and a armorer and a combat platoon sgt. I was able to see both sides of the issue of the M-14 vrs.the M-16. Yes we had problems with the M-16s but that issue was solved with the chromed barrels yet I still prefered to carry the M-14 and during the time I did ,not once did I ever put the weapon on full auto. Both weapons are good for what they were designed to be used for.

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