Wrong Lubricant, Jammed Weapons, Dead Soldiers


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2dogs
July 22, 2003, 09:59 AM
http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=FTE%20Archive.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=21&rnd=19.888845171579405

Wrong Lubricant, Jammed Weapons, Dead Soldiers





By Ed Offley



Buried deep within the latest news report on the deadly ambush of the 507th Transportation Maintenance Co. in Iraq on March 23, 2003, was a chilling nugget of information. It now appears that the soldiers who were killed or taken prisoner in that now-infamous firefight shared a common misfortune.



Their rifles had all jammed.



Disavowing an earlier news report that had alleged Pvt. Jessica Lynch had fired multiple clips of ammunition at the attacking Iraqis before she was injured and taken prisoner, The Washington Post has now published a more detailed account. The newspaper described how she was seriously injured when the Humvee vehicle in which she was riding crashed at high speed into an overturned Army tractor-trailer. Then, the team of three Post reporters noted:



“Lynch tried to fire her weapon, but it jammed, according to military officials familiar with the Army investigation. She did not kill any Iraqis. She was neither shot nor stabbed, they said.”



Why is this important today? The answer is in the form of another question. Why did the rifle jam?



As the Pentagon proceeds with its official “after action reports” and “lessons learned” effort from Operation Iraqi Freedom, troubling information has begun to emerge from numerous sources that jammed weapons were a serious problem in Iraq. Worse, it appears that this happened because many American troops were equipped with a lubricant to clean their rifles and sidearms that was ineffective in the harsh desert environment.



It wasn’t just Pvt. Lynch in the 507th Maintenance Co. who fell victim to a jammed weapon. An earlier report in The Washington Post on Apr. 14, 2003, contained the first detailed accounts of the ambush from the just-rescued POWs:



“The bullets and explosions came from all sides. Some of the vehicles flipped over. Other drivers hit the gas hoping to outrun the danger, but ran into even heavier fire. In the swirling dust, soldiers’ rifles jammed. Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23, from suburban Wichita, began shoving rounds into his rifle one at a time, firing single shots at enemies swarming all around. … Finally, it fell to Sgt. James Riley, a 31-year-old bachelor from Pennsauken, N.J., and the senior soldier present, to surrender. ‘We were like Custer,’ he recalled today, still sounding shocked. ‘We were surrounded. We had no working weapons. We couldn’t even make a bayonet charge – we would have been mowed down (italics added).’ ”



The probable cause of this widespread weapons failure has been blamed on a government-issued lubricant known as “CLP” that has been provided to many – but not all – U.S. Army soldiers. A number of Army veterans and contractors have denounced CLP as totally ineffective in preventing sand and dust buildup in weapons in Iraq.



“The CLP and Breakfree brand oil the military purchases is worthless,” said Aaron Johnson, a 10-year veteran of the Army and Army Reserve, and author of a DefenseWatch guest column on the Army M9 sidearm (“How to Save the M9 Beretta,” June 16, 2003). “I'm sure large amounts are acquired [by the Army] at relatively low cost, but that’s why it should be done away with. That oil is too rich, and has little effectiveness at keeping weapons clean.”



“The troops will tell you, CLP attracts dirt and grit.” Johnson continued. “It is also so thick it can reduce recoil speed, resulting in stoppages. It thickens in the cold, and when in hot weather areas it is usually attracting dust and sand.”



In an e-mail forwarded to DefenseWatch, retired Lt. Col. Robert Kovacic, who works for a defense contractor in Kuwait that trains U.S. military units, echoed Johnson’s remarks. “I can say with complete assuredness, from many, many observations [of training exercises], that CLP does not work. I did not use it … at Fort Polk (cause it did not prevent rust, I don’t care what the government says), and it sure as hell does not work here.”



What is bewildering to veterans such as these is that there is a product that has proven effective in desert combat. MILITEC-1 Synthetic Metal Conditioner, manufactured by the company of the same name, has been approved for Army use and is already widely used by the U.S. Coast Guard, FBI and a host of other federal police agencies. But the Army apparently is still shipping CLP en masse to the troops and has resisted ordering the synthetic lubricant, forcing unit commanders to pay out of their own pockets to acquire it.



The problem, Kovacic said, is that the Defense Logistics Agency allegedly refused to ship MILITEC to a number of units heading for combat in Iraq, despite previous approval of the product for Army weapons. “So, if front-line commanders order this product,” he asked, “where does DLA have the authority to stop shipment? It is the brigade commander’s butt in battle and if he wants to use a different lubricant, because the government stuff does not work, he can.”



Militec-1 President Brian Giordino says he has warned both the Defense Department Inspector General and the Army Material Command for years about the ineffectiveness of CLP weapons lubricant, without success.



A preliminary Joint Forces Command “lessons learned” report on soldier weapons and equipment in Operation Iraqi Freedom confirmed what Giordino, Kovacics and Johnson, among others, have said.



“Lubricant: Soldiers provided consistent comments that CLP was not a good choice for weapons maintenance in this environment. The sand is as fine as talcum powder here. The CLP attracted the sand to the weapon. … Soldiers considered a product called MiliTec to be a much better solution for lubricating individual and crew-served weapons.”



My question: How many more U.S. Army soldiers are going to have to die before the service takes action to ensure that it stops issuing dangerously ineffective weapons lubricant?

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DigMe
July 22, 2003, 10:19 AM
Damnitt!! I just bought a can of Breakfree for the first time to try it out two days ago. Do you guys have good experience with this stuff outside of Iraq? I bought it after someone relayed good experiences as far as it's cleaning abilities go.

brad cook

emc
July 22, 2003, 10:27 AM
I've used BreakFree in the past, and haven't found it to be a good cleaner. It was passable as a lubricant, but the complaints noted in the news story are correct. It doesn't flow well, and can easily get gummy over a period of time. Since those have been my experiences in the Heartland, it would only be worse in areas with greater extremes of temperature. I since switched to Eezox, which doesn't accumulate dirt and lint.

FWIW,


emc

H Romberg
July 22, 2003, 10:46 AM
The problem is the "P" in the CLP. The protectant compound makes it get sticky if you have more than a thin film on the surface, and that's a recipe for disaster in a dust and sand situation. There are graphite lubes that would have been better suited for the environment, or the CLP could have been wiped completely dry after cleanings. Either way, and oil soaked weapon that would work great in a german forest won't be reliable in the desert. Guess they should've thought about that a little harder before deploying with just the CLP. Chalk up another lesson to be forgotten before the next war.

JohnBT
July 22, 2003, 11:05 AM
"I did not use it … at Fort Polk (cause it did not prevent rust..."

I guess I got different bottles or brands of BreakFree or something.

For dusty, sandy, and gritty environments my choice - based entirely on my admittedly limited experience - would be TW-25B.

John

gun-fucious
July 22, 2003, 11:39 AM
consider the above "news item" as a marketing release by the manufacturer of Miltec lubricant

already under THR discussion here:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32111

Carlos Cabeza
July 22, 2003, 12:01 PM
That's my take, But I like militec 1.

longeyes
July 22, 2003, 12:22 PM
That the military, with its priorities and resources, would not have
exhaustively tested lubricants for its essential weapons, under
all known conditions, strikes me as not only phenomenal but criminally
negligent. It will be interesting to see more on this subject.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 22, 2003, 12:31 PM
As noted, this is nothing more than a marketing release for Militec-1. and they have posted it to every firearms related forum on the Net, even though their charges are at best unjustified.

It has been posted and crossposted so many times that I can promise you one thing; I won't ever be sending any money Militec's way.

Do you guys have good experience with this stuff outside of Iraq?

Been using it both in the military and out of it for over 10 years now and have never had an issue with CLP. It has always done the job, though like any wet lube it will form a paste if you add dirt to a bunch of CLP. CLP will provide protection and lubrication without any visible film at all; but it won't function at ideal levels. Where blowing sand is an issue I used Remington Dri-Lube to supplement my cleaning and it worked fine for my uses. Militec requires a complicated application process for the first application. With Remington Dri-Lube you just point the aerosol can at what you want lubed and spray it down.

As far as Breakfree not preventing rust, I suggest you request a free sample of Militec and compare the two firsthand. My bet is that you'll find that whatever flaws Breakfree has in the area of corrosion protection, it will still beat Militec by a large margin.

There are graphite lubes that would have been better suited for the environment, or the CLP could have been wiped completely dry after cleanings.

Graphite lubes aren't recommended for the AR15/M16 family of weapons because graphite can react to form aluminium oxide (corrosion). You may get away with it for a while; but long-term use can harm the receivers.

444
July 22, 2003, 01:07 PM
I live in the desert and use Breakfree CLP exclusively in my AR15s. I have had them in some pretty dusty environments and didn't have a problem. My personal weapons don't get as dirty as those used by the military of course. Just driving around in a military vehicle will cover your weapon in dirt. I have taken a rifle course at Frontsight in high winds with desert sand covering my AR until it was brown, but it continued to function. You need to keep the dust cover closed and a mag in the gun to keep as much dust as possible out of the bolt. I also cleaned the interior of the weapon every night. Like any oil or grease CLP will accumulate dirt and dust that sticks to it. I don't think that is the fault of any one particular oil or grease. Common sense tells us that there is no oil or grease that repels dirt. Therefore, when using any piece of equipment in a dusty environment, you need to keep it clean. You have to remove the dirty oil and remove the dirt as frequently as nessessary. This might mean cleaning the bolt several times a day. One problem the military has that I don't is finding a place out of the wind that is clean enough to clean the weapon without getting more sand in it.
According to the report, they also had jams in the M249s and the M2 Brownings. IMO we just have to face the fact that in an environment like that, you just have to make weapons cleaning a top priority and even then expect some failures. It is an extreme condition.

brownie0486
July 22, 2003, 01:15 PM
Been using breakfree clp on all the weapons, including the knives for rust prevention and lubrication, for 15+ years.

Used it in competitions in the heat of summer where the guns got pretty hot in shooting rapidly all day, in the cold of NEngland winters where the guns were exposed in holsters to temp in the 20 degree range.

It has a tendancy to get gummy in the cold weather but never had a malfinction due to the clp in the 45 govs.

What people haven't considered and should is that the m-16 platform and all the variants are pieces of crap which have jammed on servicemen since Vietnam warriors were ruling their world.

I don't believe it is the clp at fault here, but the weapons platform they are stuck with. If it was strictly the clp and sand clinging to it, the m-14's in service over there would surely be difficult to keep up and running as they use grease as a lubricant, and if that doesn't grab sand nothing will.

Haven't heard nary a word about the m14 platforms malfunctioning over there have we? Thats because the weapons system is dependable to begin with.

Brownie

444
July 22, 2003, 01:21 PM
And the M2 Browning isn't ?

Cosmoline
July 22, 2003, 01:30 PM
You can use whatever you want on the AK-47. I bet it would work fine with vasoline! Or no lube at all.

Any weapon that requires a specific lube to avoid massive breakdowns is a FAILURE.

Delmar
July 22, 2003, 01:42 PM
I would suspect the reason we have not heard about M-14 weapons failures is because they are issued to select troops who are very much in tune with the job at hand. Notice there is no mention of people with combat arms duties having this kind of an issue. IMO, the blame goes on both the leadership of the unit and the unit members themselves. I would bet a dollar to a doughnut they were properly instructed in BCT to maintain their issue weapons.

444
July 22, 2003, 01:43 PM
WOW
We find out after all these years that the M2 BMG is a failure.

If only these other countries had known how inferior our weapons were, they might have beaten us.

brownie0486
July 22, 2003, 01:54 PM
444: of course the ma duece is reliable to a fault.

It's not just the lube was what I was geting at.

As to the m14 platform, they have and are being issued to line troops who put up with the same sand, dirt, wind problems.

Brownie

Richardson
July 22, 2003, 02:05 PM
I use CLP. No problems with Rust, at all. I took a rusted steel plate, sand blasted it, and treated it with CLP. I put a wet paper towel on it and let it sit for a few days. Then I re-wet the plate. It did not rust. Then I took rusty water and dripped it on the plate. There was residual rust where it dried. CLP is great for rust prevention.

I had been using Hoppes to clean. Then I took CLP to one of my "clean" rifles, let it sit for 5 minutes, and I pushed out a black puddle of dirty oil. CLP is pretty good for cleaning!

CLP leaves a thin coat of teflon on treated metal, even when wiped dry. The coating builds slightly with repeated treatments. CLP is a great lubricant.

Perhaps this maintenance unit did not expect to be amidst the battle and didn't clean their rifles enough (same problem caused jams in Vietnam). This is what some people in the military are saying is the probable cause for the jamming. These rifles might not have been cleaned in days.

There may be better products than CLP, but is can be wiped dry and still perform, so "gumming up" is only due to improper usage.

Richardson

Zip06
July 22, 2003, 02:07 PM
There is nothing in this thread that knocks Break Free CLP that makes me want to not use it after 20 years of no problems with it. Regarding the problems in Iraq with lubes, Haven't heard much negative posted by the assault troops, their weapons seemed to function pretty well. My comment on the 507th is simply, what leadership?

cordex
July 22, 2003, 02:27 PM
brownie,
The M2 is reliable to a fault, but it failed in this exact scenario?
The vast majority of other soldiers in Iraq were able to keep their M2s, M249s, and - yes - even their 'crappy' M16s running without issue with the same lube. The issue was with maintainance, not materials. The lube and guns work fine when used properly. When ignored or used improperly, there will always be failures.

Yes, even an AK lubed with Militec will exhibit problems in that environment if it is not cleaned regularly.

El Tejon
July 22, 2003, 02:47 PM
Granted I live in a green and fertile world and not in the sand blown wastes, I've always found that it matters not what kind of gun lube you use, but that it is fresh. I've discovered that this holds true in all kinds of weather including thunderstorms or dry sandy heat of GWR or Tejas.

Smells of politics of the Army kind???:confused:

Partisan Ranger
July 22, 2003, 02:50 PM
I don't know jack about serving in the military, but I would take a wild guess that a bunch of rear-end engineers who normally never hear a shot fired wouldn't exactly keep their guns well-lubed and oiled. Am I wrong?

brownie0486
July 22, 2003, 02:54 PM
Partisan Ranger :

That would be a pretty good guess I think for a non military man.

El Tejon: Yes inded, thats one of the secrets to a dependable operational weapon. I used to squirt the 45 during matches in places and never had issues with failures due to lubricants as well.

My m1a's stay up and running all the time. Just keep em greased and they'll stand well onthe line.

Brownie

Bartholomew Roberts
July 22, 2003, 03:37 PM
Read "Combat Actions In Korea" from the Army Historical Series. Chapter 1: Withdrawal Action.

It describes the initial North Korean attack on US soldiers who were confident this would be a relatively low key "police action". During the first engagement, practically the only fire came from platoon leadership. After an initial withdrawal, one of the sergeants decides to see why his men weren't firing.

Of 31 men in the unit, 12 had weapons that were inoperable due to being assembled incorrectly, dirty, or broken. Remember that the issue rifle at that time was the vaunted M1 and that this was a front-line infantry unit in an area of high tensions - not a rear-echelon unit.

Many different countries have Special Operations Force that can choose to carry anything in the world and choose to carry the AR15 series of weapons even when their own general armed forces use something else (although admittedly most of them choose the Diemaco brand over Colt or FN)

Alan Smithiee
July 22, 2003, 06:22 PM
one "complaint" I have heard and had with CLP in the spray can is that it is very easy to get too much into/onto a firearm, and when you have to much and don't/can't get it all off and have fine dust, well, almost anything can turn into a jam'o'matic.

I still use CLP for cleaning, but not for lube (I got introduced to Tetra Grease and fell in love)

HBK
July 22, 2003, 06:51 PM
Ars just seem too damn finicky to me. Seems it would be better to use a hardier weapon that can take lots of abuse. I personally think our military should use a weapon that can go without frequent cleaning, take lots of abuse, and still be effective. Kinda like a Glock, only the rifle version.

bountyhunter
July 22, 2003, 07:52 PM
There's been so much propoganda shoveled regarding the incident, how will we ever know what happened. It's also possible that some green soldiers panicked and left the safety on or didn't load the gun properly. Blaming the whole thing on guns jamming sounds like a story they would come up with after the fact. Sounded more like to me that the vehicle overturned (ever been in one that did?) By the time the soldiers who were not injured got up and re-oriented they were already swarmed by iraqi's. The weapons in question may never have even been picked up and aimed. At this point, I don't believe anything on this incident.

spartacus2002
July 22, 2003, 08:48 PM
I too had the experience of CLP cleaning much better than Hoppe's.
I use Militec on my FAL and love it.

obiwan1
July 22, 2003, 09:01 PM
Ditto on tetra grease.

Actually, I think with the way that sand gets into the "innards" that a dry lube would the best. Years ago a company - Hornady i think (I'm too lazy to go to the garage and look)- came out with a dry lube. I still have part of a spray can left that I use for door locks and other moving mechanisms that are weather exposed. It may be just the thing for that type of hostile enviroment.

On my duty gun I use Hoppes #7 to clean, a very light coating of FP10 or Tetra Lube on bare metal (wiped off) and a light coating of Tetra grease on the slide rails. That's it.

On my off duty gun I'm experimenting with a new product called "Gun Guard". It's a "CLP" that drys completely leaving a dry lube coat on the gun. Early results look extremly good. they have a website.

Combine improper lube with a gun that blows burn powder into the receiver (M-16)- what a combo! Sort of like 1969 when I was first exposed to the M-16. (I really wanted my old M14 back!)

Obiwan
July 22, 2003, 09:06 PM
I don't always see eye to eye with Colonel Hackworth...but he called this one right

Our soldiers need to be riflemen first...including their leaders

jdege
July 22, 2003, 09:38 PM
The army manuals say to leave a thing coating of CLP on the weapon.

But they don't say what a thing coating is.

It is, in fact, what's left after you try to wipe the gun dry.

I use Militec, and I like it, and I'm not going to say it isn't better in those conditions than CLP, but I am prepared to say that there are aspects of weapons maintenance that aren't properly reinforced in the Army (or weren't, back when I was a unit armorer, and nothing I've read here suggests that anything has changed).

The indicator is the M2HB. The Ma Deuce simply does not jam because of improper lube. It's an amazingly forgiving weapon. It's recoil operated - it doesn't have gas tubes to plug up, and it's got massive chunks of metal moving around that take more than a bit of grit to stop.

Remember - this is a Browning design. At the acceptance trials for the M1917 (the water-cooled .30 caliber little brother to the M2HB), John Moses linked up 40,000 rounds, and fired them all off without a single failure).

Most of the failures-to-fire I've seen in M2's were because the headspace and timing were set incorrectly.

Jeff White
July 23, 2003, 12:08 AM
Militech is no better then Sarah Brady!! They are trying to profit from the blood of the soldiers in the ill fated 507th Maintence Company. This is no different then the Bardy Bunch getting a lot of free press release time after a high profile shooting incident.

No lube in existance would have prevented what happened to the 507th. Militech will never see a penny of my money, no matter how good their product is.

Jeff

Bartholomew Roberts
July 23, 2003, 10:02 AM
I use Militec, and I like it, and I'm not going to say it isn't better in those conditions than CLP

Actually, according to the Crane Dust Environment Test (hosted by Militec on their website), Militec is actually worse than CLP in this environment.

In a dust chamber, using silica flour to simulate an eight hour duststorm, CLP finished first out of about 25 tested lubricants (one failure in five tests - the second shot failed to feed during the eight hour test).

A totally bone dry M16 had six failures in five tests.

The Militec-lubed M16 had eight failures in five tests.

Note also that even Militec admits in its correspondence with the Army that Militec offers little or no protective benefit and doesn't clean anything either.

cap'n ron
October 28, 2003, 02:01 AM
I sell and use militec-1. Not really available commercially but if you are interested, contact me. cap'n ron:

WvaBill
October 28, 2003, 02:50 AM
Blaming the whole thing on guns jamming sounds like a story they would come up with after the fact

Did their compassses/GPS unit have the wrong lube also?


Edited by Bill

I had no right to criticize their navigation. Even a Special Forces unit fumbled the GPS in Afghanistan and called a strike on their own position. Greater miscommunications have been made in war: USS Indianapolis comes immediately to my mind.

revlar
October 28, 2003, 03:42 AM
I have been using CLP for about 20 years now with no problems of any kind.
The cleaning/lubrication/protective properties are what make it most appealing and useful to me.
Some years back I performed my own little corrosion preventative test. I took several (non-galvanized) nails and coated each with a different gun oil/"protectant". I placed each of the nails in a small bottle of salt water - enough to partially submerge each one. Only the CLP nail remained corrosion free - after more than a YEAR in the salt water.
For the most effective bore cleaning, I have found Shooter's Choice to be the most effective.
I use Super Lube (and another specialty "grease" lubricant specifically designed for stainless steel) very sparing on the slide rails of my auto pistols.

ANY liquid lube will attract dust and grit - especially if used to excess. And I echo what has been said above - given their marketing tactics, Militec will never see one red cent from me.

Aikibiker
October 28, 2003, 04:42 AM
RE: M1 Garand in Korea.

I know a gentleman who served as a medic with the 2nd Infantry division in Korea. He fought at Pork Chop hill, Heartbreak Ridge, and (I think) Hamburger Hill (was that even Korea? He doesn't mention specific battles to often so I may be off, I'm no historian). His praise of the M1 Garand is glowing. When I asked him specifics on how the weapon performed under wartime conditions and what sort of maintenance he did, he replied that he never cleaned his M1. After a battle he would remove the bolt and gas cylinder and rub them in the dirt to get the fowling off. The dirt would be wiped of on a sleeve or what ever was handy. If his rifle was submerged for a prolonged period, like during the monsoon season when the fighting holes and bunkers were all flooded and you had to sleep sitting up using your rifle to prop your head out of the water he would clean the surface rust off with oil and the weapon functioned fine. One thing he mentioned was that whenever a big push was about to begin the unit would receive new rifles as replacements. He would go through the new rifles to find parts for his. The purpose was to get the tightest fitting parts possible to improve accuracy. Through out all of this his M1 Garand provided yeoman service.

I doubt even an AK-47 could put up with that level of abuse.

RE cleaning:

I just spray my guns down with brake cleaner (scrub stubborn grime with a toothbrush) after shooting, run a bore snake through the barrel, and wipe down all the metal parts using a paper towel soaked in rem-oil. They all seem to work fine. Am I doing all right?

RE the M-16 in Iraq:

I am planning on joining the army once I graduate in December. We are at war and I have no illusions. I will most likely wind up in Iraq or some other desert with an issued M-16 series rifle. I have absolutely no experience with this type other then fondling at a gunshop. Do you have any tip on how to keep one running under the conditions mentioned in this thread? I was thinking of trying to keep mine loaded with a condom over the muzzle held in place by a rubber band, and a bead of axle grease sealing the dust cover and magazine well. My thinking is that the axle grease would seal dust out of the gun but not hinder the action of the weapon while firing as the cover could open easily and the magazine could be easily removed. Any blowing sand would be trapped on the outside of the weapon not inside. How does this sound? I have absolutely no idea if this will work or not. I have never used a M-16 or been in that kind of environment, but it looks like I will get a chance to do both in the near future so any advice would be welcome.

(PS OEF-Vet already mentioned throwing myself on the mercy of my NCOs for wisdom and experience)

Joe Demko
October 28, 2003, 02:35 PM
he replied that he never cleaned his M1. After a battle he would remove the bolt and gas cylinder and rub them in the dirt to get the fowling off. The dirt would be wiped of on a sleeve or what ever was handy.

What an amazing story. Considering that he was most likely using corrosive ammo (http://www.cartridgecollectors.org/30-06intro/ammo-nctable.htm) in Korea (sometime between 1950 and 1953), it is that much more amazing that his rifle survived, nay thrived on, such neglect.

MicroBalrog
October 28, 2003, 03:18 PM
Reminds me of an M-16/Galil comparison video they showed me in my course.

The enlightening moment was when they opened up the Galil, showed a load of sand into the action, closed it, put in a magazine and blasted on.

MicroBalrog
October 28, 2003, 03:19 PM
Aikibiker- the ejection port of an M-16 stays open after shooting/cocking the thing. CLOSE IT.

Joe Demko
October 28, 2003, 03:31 PM
Close the dust cover. Keep a magazine seated. Use one of the shoot-away muzzle caps. There are also assorted field-expedient and issue weapon bags/covers into which the weapon can be sealed if you really want to do so.

wingman
October 28, 2003, 04:54 PM
after approx. 40 years of shooting I find fp-10 works on everything I own,
of course i haventy tried it in desert conditions.

Harold Mayo
October 28, 2003, 05:35 PM
Is it the lubricant or is it the maintenance of the arms in question?

Contrary to what some believe, the M16/AR15 is an excellent weapon and is not inherently unreliable at all. Like any machine, one must do preventative maintenance. If you don't do it, or don't do it correctly, then you're going to get a failure.

Contrary to what many civilians believe, the military does not make you a weapons expert. Just because you are in the military and carry a gun doesn't mean that you konw the first thing about how to use it or how to maintain it. That's unfortunate but true.

Not meaning to detract from anyone who is a "hero" or "heroine" of any sort, but how much practice and training do you think that the troops of a transportation maintenance company goes through?

MicroBalrog
October 28, 2003, 05:38 PM
Contrary to what some believe, the M16/AR15 is an excellent weapon and is not inherently unreliable at all.

So NOT what any of my NCO's says around these parts...:)

Harold Mayo
October 28, 2003, 08:27 PM
Dunno what your NCO's say or what their level of knowledge or experience might be, but every man that I know with much experience AND knowledge (i.e. guys with the proper training who are or have been operators in some capacity in LE or military circles) has no problem with the M4/M16 platform. I know many who are actually transitioning from the MP5 to M4's even though they've been die-hard H&K fans (and, in a couple of cases, employed by H&K) for many years.

Like I said...what is the level of training and experience in terms of use and maintenance? I have a very good friend who is a master-class shooter in sporting circles and who is part of a SWAT team who has no problem with the USE of weapons at all but who will not maintain stuff properly. He would probably be a grandmaster level shooter if he kept his gear clean enough to avoid malfunctions. Similarly, his duty gear has been in questionable condition at times and I have cringed to see it. I have little doubt that, if the whole team didn't spend time after practice to sit down and clean their gear and check it over that he would never maintain it. I would imagine that most of the people who have problems with the M16 platform are in a similar situation.

cdbeaver
October 28, 2003, 09:55 PM
Golgo-13:

I don't think our M1 ammo in Korea was corrosive. I carried one for a couple of months and had little trouble keeping it clean (when I thought of it). And I was in a lot of combat areas during that period. The worst thing was to keep it dry during the summer monsoon season. We used condoms over the muzzles to keep the bores dry.

When I got out of the Army in 1953 I "acquired" a large amount of LC 53 .30-06 ammo for my civilian rifle (I knew some troops who conducted live-fire exercises at Fort Benning). None of it was corrosive.

Joe Demko
October 28, 2003, 10:13 PM
cdbeaver,
View the chart my post links. Lake City production from 1953 onward was noncorrosive.

ny32182
October 28, 2003, 10:40 PM
To this day, I have not heard a single report from a modern combat troop about how terrible the M16 is. Not even one. Its ALWAYS someone who isn't likely to be taking care of their weapon anyway, and everyone I know who joined the military in the last 10 years agrees. The AR is voluntarily carried by the best combat troops in the world, bar none, and has been for decades. Notice the only complaint you ever hear from the 3RD ID is that the 14.5" barrel doesn't generate enough velocity. Which is true.

To me, trying to claim that EVERY SINGLE WEAPON in the entire convoy jammed, all at once, sounds absolutely absurd, no matter how poorly maintained they were. And from all reports, these weren't the type of troops that would be likely to do proper maintenance on their weapons anyhow.

Like someone stated earlier, there have been so many conflicting reports about the incident that I don't think we or anyone else will ever really know what happened. From my own armchair perspective though, it sounds like inadequate combat training, and inadequate maintenance, in the wrong place at the wrong time, all came together.

Ed Brunner
October 28, 2003, 10:41 PM
I expect that fine sand and a lot of it would cause problems with any
lubricant on any weapon. The way the bolt rotates and locks makes the M-16 family subject to jamming on just about anything that collects there.

Lancel
October 28, 2003, 11:06 PM
The M-16A2, and M4 family had proven itself time and time again. Requires no defense to those stuck in the past.

CLP also has proven itself in a variety of environments. The key to any lubricant is the proper amount. In talcum sand a little goes a long way.

I wouldn't and don't trust my life to Militec-1. Reading past threads here, The Firing Line, and web research cause me to conclude it's a lotta hype and could possibly cause damage in the long run.

Larry

Lancel
October 28, 2003, 11:34 PM
It's a point of fact that support troops such as those in a maintenance company spend so much time taking care of other folks equipment, they don't take the time to care for their own.

At all ranks, those hard working soldiers sacrifice sleeping, eating and their own gear to ensure the tows, tanks, radios, and combat systems keep functioning, get repaired and get back into the fight.

The 507th Maintenance sacrificed to the extreme.

Larry
First Sergeant, USA (ret.)
Air Assault!

WvaBill
October 29, 2003, 12:48 AM
To me, trying to claim that EVERY SINGLE WEAPON in the entire convoy jammed, all at once, sounds absolutely absurd,

Ain't it the truth. The most plausible account of the 507th's ambush I have heard found them lost, in Indian Country, attempting to reorient line of advance, experiencing multiple MVA's, and taking heavy fire simultaneously. Murphy stomped them whether they had fully functioning weapons or black plastic single shot clubs.

geekWithA.45
October 29, 2003, 01:22 AM
Tetra Grease to lube an AR-15/M-16?

I've had bad, bad experience with that.

It turned my formerly 100% reliable Dissie into a short stroking jam-o-matic 2000.

After 2 cleanings with Hoppes not rectifying the situation, I had to hold my nose and haul out gun scrub to sort it all out.

MicroBalrog
October 29, 2003, 01:31 AM
Some points.

A guy in my course used to be an armourer for Shayetet-13. Due to some official problems, he wasn't technically certified, so he got the course to get the papers. It is 100% true he was in S-13, I checked it. At any rate, this is what he had to say (inexact quote): "Yeah, we've got -16's. The fighters don't really like them much, and neither do I. We also have lots of AK's. When the fighters seize AK's during an operation, they don't destroy them, they bring them back to me. And the AK's never break."

True Story.

My instructors: "Guys, I hope you get somewhere with lots of Galils, because if you do - you'll never have to work a lot."

True Story

Lancel
October 29, 2003, 01:48 AM
There are some interesting comments on the M-16, AK-47, and Galil at the isayaret web site here. (http://www.isayeret.com/weapons/assault/m16vsak47.htm)


Larry

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