M1A in Afghanistan and Iraq?


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ol' scratch
March 23, 2010, 07:18 PM
An no, I don't mean M-14's, I know those are over there:). I just read an article titled "Return of the Battle Rifle" by Richard Venola in G and A. In the article, Venola wrote, "individual battalions have been simply buying commercial M1As from local gun stores for their designated marksmen. Thanks to the Second Amendment, decentralized purchase authority and Springfield Armory, our more enlightened commands can still do that."

Is this true? Does anyone know if battalions are using the M1A?

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Birddog1911
March 24, 2010, 12:45 AM
This is the first that I've heard of it, and personally, I highly doubt it. I do know that a number of units have not only sent back to, but bought new, Crazy Horse rifles from Smith Enterprises. I think that the author has an agenda.

jobu07
March 24, 2010, 12:50 AM
Department of the Army has something called a TOE or MTOE (Table of Equipment).

It spells out, in no uncertain terms, what equipment every individual Company is authorized to have and will be issued. They don't purchase weapons on there own.

Birddog1911
March 24, 2010, 01:00 AM
Jobu, it sounds like you know more about how the TOE works, but I do know for a solid fact that there are units in the Army that have bought they're own Crazy Horse rifles. I'll see if I can get the unit's info.

By the way, how bad are you getting hit right now with the snow? Complete white out here in Peyton!

jobu07
March 24, 2010, 01:38 AM
It's died down for a minute, but we've got a good 6 to 8 inches on the ground right now. Looks like it's gonna continue through the night and into tomorrow!

Float Pilot
March 24, 2010, 02:44 AM
We had some Air Guard units (Security Forces, formerly called SPs) who were deployed for base ground defense,,, who obtained (borrowed) the bases markmanship unit M-14s and then decked them out with aftermarket parts bought from various vendors. To include new stocks, scope mounts and scopes. Usually using squadron funds.

possum
March 24, 2010, 03:32 AM
there is not a unit that i have been in or known of in the Big Army that would be allowed too or have the funds to purchase weapons from local gun shops. Maybe that is crazy sounding to me for the fact that i have been in for a while and that is one thing the army just wouldn't do, they have no need too. i guess it is one of those things if you have been around the military you get it, if not you probally don't. it is hard to explain!

CZguy
March 24, 2010, 06:22 AM
i guess it is one of those things if you have been around the military you get it, if not you probally don't. it is hard to explain!

I'm retired Air Force (30 years) Didn't you have a unit "Impact credit card" that's how we bought things that we needed, much faster and many times cheaper than the supply system would have allowed. This is usually administered by a SNCO, but periodically reviewed by the unit C.O.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 24, 2010, 06:24 AM
The use of non issue weapons is prohibited in both AOs, and for the Army as a whole. The article was incorrect.

cottonmouth
March 24, 2010, 08:11 AM
The 82nd team I was working with has two M14's, one with irons and one with a fatdaddy Leupold on it.

J.B.

Birddog1911
March 24, 2010, 08:45 AM
The use of non issue weapons is prohibited in both AOs, and for the Army as a whole. The article was incorrect.
That was what I was thinking, that the Crazy Horse rifles had to be properly procured, instead of just went out and bought.

GRIZ22
March 24, 2010, 09:57 AM
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/03/army_m14_032210w/

Here is a link to the Army's enhanced battle rifle program.

Units do not buy their own weapons. The service tells them what they will have.

There are limited acquisitions of non standard weapons for special operations personnel but it all goes through the system.

Tirod
March 25, 2010, 12:07 AM
A writer from Guns and Ammo?

There's a reliable source right there. Next will be the History Channel with a report on snipers, and how the 7.62x39 will go through a tank.

Yeah sure.

Coronach
March 25, 2010, 12:58 AM
There may be some truth to it, at least as far as the SEI rifles are concerned. I believe SEI's website documents some of the Crazy Horse rifles being refurbed and sent back out. Three things that stick out to me:

1. It was on the manufacturer's webpage, so one could level a charge of "tweaking" the facts a little. However, it is also a public document (as evidenced by the fact that I found it), and one would think that if it was false, SEI would get tweaked right back.

2. IIRC, the unit in question was one of the HS/LD types (NSW? I can't recall), and they do get a little more leeway with their equipment. Just a little, though.

3. IIRC, the guns in question were not new purchased, but refurbed. As in, SEI had some M14s shipped to them, then refurbed and accurized them and shipped them back. That's a huge step removed from a unit just moseying down to the gun shop and buying 1,000 rifles with petty cash.

Mike

PS Found part of the reference, I think: http://www.smithenterprise.com/support05.html Scroll down a bit, and you'll see reference to SEI reworking 24 M14s for the 101st Airborne.

MarineOne
March 25, 2010, 03:44 AM
There may be some truth to it, at least as far as the SEI rifles are concerned. I believe SEI's website documents some of the Crazy Horse rifles being refurbed and sent back out. Three things that stick out to me:

1. It was on the manufacturer's webpage, so one could level a charge of "tweaking" the facts a little. However, it is also a public document (as evidenced by the fact that I found it), and one would think that if it was false, SEI would get tweaked right back.

2. IIRC, the unit in question was one of the HS/LD types (NSW? I can't recall), and they do get a little more leeway with their equipment. Just a little, though.

3. IIRC, the guns in question were not new purchased, but refurbed. As in, SEI had some M14s shipped to them, then refurbed and accurized them and shipped them back. That's a huge step removed from a unit just moseying down to the gun shop and buying 1,000 rifles with petty cash.


This is what the Marine Corps did at Quantico. They pulled all the Level A packed weapons from storage and had them refurbed/worked on to get them back up to what would be considered a "DMR".

I would supposed the Army (and probably the Navy as well) did the same thing.


Kris

Hacker15E
March 25, 2010, 06:33 AM
Didn't you have a unit "Impact credit card"

FWIW, the term is "IMPAC" -- it's an acronym:

International Merchant Purchase Authorization Card.

John Parker
March 25, 2010, 11:57 AM
The use of non issue weapons is prohibited in both AOs, and for the Army as a whole.

There are exceptions. I used both an Iranian clone MP5 and an Egyptian AK while in Iraq, and used an AKS-74U in Afghanistan. All were purchased locally by the unit that we replaced.

hatchetbearer
March 25, 2010, 12:31 PM
There are exceptions. I used both an Iranian clone MP5 and an Egyptian AK while in Iraq, and used an AKS-74U in Afghanistan. All were purchased locally by the unit that we replaced.

having spent a good deal of time in armory working parties, i know some if not all battalions have a cache of non standard weapons, meant for training scenarios, Fam fires and so on. one in particular (being vague for a reason) had some MN snipers, a Dragunov, Makarov pistols, an RPG-7, AK's and these awesome breakdown scoped galil's that fit into a Tennis racquet's case.

now that I'm done being off topic, I know marine's arent going to be allowed to go and buy civilian M1A's for use (*disclaimer not in a grunt unit*) as I've seen a 1stSgt Rip a Corporal a new one for putting a magpul grip on his m4.

Greyzone
March 25, 2010, 12:55 PM
There are exceptions. I used both an Iranian clone MP5 and an Egyptian AK while in Iraq, and used an AKS-74U in Afghanistan. All were purchased locally by the unit that we replaced.

I got out a long time ago by some of you young folks standards (1985) and there are two aspects of this that some of you seem to be missing.

1. In a combat zone, individuals can and will carry personal firearms in addition to issued firearms.

2. In a combat zone, units will do things that violate the rule book. Just like removing the governors on diesel engines that limited speed in peacetime. Those governors were the first things to go if a unit deployed.

Because the regulations state something doesn't mean it is done that way. The Army had regulations that were routinely violated by enlisted and officers alike in Vietnam because the regulations were stupid and counter-survival. I don't know what the state of the bureaucratic clustermuck in the Pentagon is these days but I doubt it's any clearer than it was in my day, especially given the ass kissing I see from certain officers to climb the totem pole.

So yeah, there's a TOE and then there's everything else we carried because the TOE was not out of date or did not give us the edge we wanted. As another example, I was a field artillery surveyor. We started carrying our own TI-58/TI-59 calculators to speed up surveys for artillery units. About 3 years later those became standard issue but we used them for 3 years before that happened.

And finally, lots depends on the CO of a given unit. I had one CO who had been an NCO himself and was field promoted to lieutenant in Vietnam, then attended OCS later in the states. The guy was great to serve under. Fully cognizant of what the unit could and could not do, and very forgiving when his NCOs wanted to do things to make the unit better but which did not fit the normal TOE or regulations. And I also served under an anal retentive ROTC grad who tried to run things so much "by the book" that he was reassigned to another post within 90 days of him arriving to take command of our firing battery.

TLDR: There are times to follow rules and times to not follow rules. A good CO knows the difference and works with his troops to win the battle and the war, not to be a stiff necked enforcer of useless regs. So while acquisition of M1As may not be "official" I don't think you can simply dismiss it as impossible.

jobu07
March 25, 2010, 01:23 PM
Greyzone,

A couple of things. Times change as we all know. What was happening in country last year is different from what is happening right now. Just the same as what the military was doing during peace time is different than wartime.

Also, as things change, you were able to get away with more during peace time than this army is during war time. Reason being is the increased media presence with us. You can't turn around in country without having to take an imbed out with you on patrol. The increased presence from them means an increased awareness by the population. And if the population has the opportunity to see more, the CoC will scrutinize more on what is and what is not going to be allowed.

For instance, your point of governors. I served as a Company XO in an Infantry Company for over a year. Our Battalion Commander said he was enforcing the standards - so removing the governor on the Bradleys was a safety deadline and the vehicle wasn't allowed to be operated until repaired. And the mechanics are obligated to follow thier commander's orders.

Like I, as a Platoon Leader, had to follow all of my commander's orders. We didn't like them all, but we did. And you're right about knowing when to bend the rules and when to follow them. Units have cracked down captured weapons now. Policy is to destroy them. I know some guys keep them in there vehicles, just in case. But this is a violation of the rules and you can into some serious trouble. Units will also bring some demilled weapons back for training purposed with proper paperwork.

It's all going to come down to your own CoC and what they'll tolerate. However, I never took the unit purchase card down to my local FFL and said lets order some guns. We do take the unit purchase out to local FFL's, amongst other stores, and order gear. Some gentlemen here have already commented on the supply system and how it sucks. The issue stuff is really one size fits all so we'd purchase unit equipment that was a bit more specialized for our Joes. Just one that I pulled off the top of my head, MOLLE SAW pouches. They don't issue'em so we buy'em.

Anyway, i'm getting off topic now. So it all depends on your unit, I guess, and how willing they are to adhere to thier assigned MTOE. FWIW, YMMV, just my $0.02.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 25, 2010, 01:41 PM
Well to be fair, picking up one of the less crappy AKs and keeping it in your truck is a far cry from your unit actually buying civilian rifles and having the lot of the shipped to you overseas. And while the first one can and does happen, that doesn't mean it's within regs. You do what you can get away with and what will stay under the radar. Having civilian rifles shipped to you most certainly will catch the eye of some senior enlisted/officers.

LeverGunJunkie
March 25, 2010, 01:44 PM
Nothing like a bitter NCO to add his cynical "professional" analysis to an otherwise intelligent discussion.

Snakum
March 25, 2010, 01:58 PM
Nothing like a bitter NCO to add his cynical "professional" analysis to an otherwise intelligent discussion.

Ouch! :D

And as mentioned ... Big Army is refurbing old M-14s and M-21s thru SEI for DMs. The thought of a DM carrying a bone stock, base model Springfield M1A on ops is more than a little bit laughable imho. Not the OPs fault though. Gun rags will print almost any kind of crap. Like bragging on the FN-based SASS weapon that will barely break 2 MOA. Gotta get those ad dollars in somehow. :D

jobu07
March 25, 2010, 02:00 PM
I'm not sure there are any bitter NCO's in this discussion.

Snakum
March 25, 2010, 02:02 PM
Hey, I have the serial number for the M21 I used in school in my log book somewhere. I wonder if some poor grunt is slogging thru the sand with it, in updated form? :D

jobu07
March 25, 2010, 02:12 PM
It's entirely possible. We received a shipment of refurbed Winchesters right before we deployed in '08. These things were worked over six ways from Sunday. Neat rifles and very accurate.

Birddog1911
March 25, 2010, 03:17 PM
The thought of a DM carrying a bone stock, base model Springfield M1A on ops is more than a little bit laughable imho.

You might want to tell that to a few guys in the photo album here:
http://imageseek.com/m1a/

essayons21
March 25, 2010, 03:42 PM
You might want to tell that to a few guys in the photo album here:
http://imageseek.com/m1a/
Here ya go

http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/gallery/albums/service/February_2006_US_Army_in_Iraq_US_Army_photo_by_Matthew_Wester.sized.jpg

All sorts of non-TOE equipment, including weapons, gets into the hands of soldiers in a combat zone. While probably not legit, it would be entirely possible that some enterprising unit did obtain weapons through a FFL and manage to get them in country. We had only 3 ACOGs for an entire company, and the supply chain wasn't getting any to us, so they came off the shelf. Same for quite a bit of other equipment. AAFES even sells NVGs, thermal scopes, and weapon mods in the PXs in country.

Birddog1911
March 25, 2010, 03:49 PM
There are a bunch more too. I recall one of a 1stSgt, I think, who prefers his M14 without the fancy stock and scope. I like that guy! ;)

Edited to add: This could be that particular soldier.

HorseSoldier
March 25, 2010, 03:54 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but what makes anyone think that guy is holding an M1A and not a real M14?

Birddog1911
March 25, 2010, 03:56 PM
Horse, I think you're missing the point. Sankum made the comment that carrying a standard M14 was laughable, in his opinion. We're showing him that there are a few who would disagree.

Warbow
March 25, 2010, 10:15 PM
Horse, I think you're missing the point. Sankum made the comment that carrying a standard M14 was laughable, in his opinion. We're showing him that there are a few who would disagree.

Well, not really -- Sankum said Springfield M1A. I don't think there's any doubt that an all USGI part M14 is going to be a better choice than an M1A.

Also, the rifle in the photo above is an M14. It has a selector shaft lock installed which Springfield M1As don't have a place for.

PFCLEE11B
March 26, 2010, 03:22 PM
Now while I was overseas I never saw any M1As being carried I did see a lot of NCOs as well as officers that were carrying GLOCKS or 1911's that they had shipped over in the unit weapons pack. So I would not doubt if a unit commander (especially in the army) knows that his infantry unit is going to afghanistan a land of longer distance shots, looks at his TOE and sees a bunch of M4s with AIMPOINTS and decides to do something about it. It is all about the chain of command and how much leeway they have or are willing to catch crap for their troops

Birddog1911
March 26, 2010, 07:47 PM
This is true; Sankum did state the M1A; wasn't trying to disparage Sankum in any way. My thinking was that he meant the M14, my mistake.

C-grunt
March 27, 2010, 06:57 AM
During my two tours in Iraq guys in my unit did have weapons that we picked up while there. But no one was able to bring their own guns. One guy tried smuggling a Glock 22 in his bag, and almost did it, but was article 15'd and maybe court martialled when command found it.

Plus when I shipped out and home, we had customs all up in our stuff.

CZguy
March 27, 2010, 07:43 AM
Plus when I shipped out and home, we had customs all up in our stuff.

:confused:

jobu07
March 27, 2010, 10:54 AM
USN Customs inspects all cargo before you clear Kuwait and fly home with it (personal bags) or ship it back to the states (containerized equipment).

Zerodefect
March 27, 2010, 10:58 AM
Whats wrong with a Springfield M14?

John Parker
March 27, 2010, 12:19 PM
USN Customs inspects all cargo before you clear Kuwait and fly home with it (personal bags) or ship it back to the states (containerized equipment).

Except for classified pallets escorted by armed couriers. :D

Coronach
March 27, 2010, 02:43 PM
Whats wrong with a Springfield M14?They're referring to the modern commercial offerings of Springfield Armory, Incorporated. They're not M14s, they're M1As. Springfield M14s were made in the 1960s by the government armory, not the modern commercial venture. The modern commercial version uses a cast receiver, which is sometimes improperly dimensioned and is allegedly less durable than a properly forged receiver, and also uses non-milspec parts which are also of lesser quality than a true milspec part. Older M1As had a very high percentage of milspec parts, but owing to decline in availability of the parts, they've moved to commercial parts.

Full disclosure, I own an M1A with an unknown number of commercial parts, and it shoots just fine. Stuff will eventually break (milspec or not), but nothing has yet.

Mike

Winston_Smith
March 27, 2010, 07:14 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but what makes anyone think that guy is holding an M1A and not a real M14?

I think you are correct, I spy a selector switch

Snakum
March 27, 2010, 10:43 PM
Sankum made the comment that carrying a standard M14 was laughable,

The US Army issue M14/M21 SWS including the SEI upgrades are a completely different animal from an M1A. I went to school on the M21 and I am telling ya, it ain't the same. Not even close.

I'd love to have an M21 (you can keep the ART scope :D ) or even the new Springfield version of it, but I ain't got $3500.

chauncey
March 28, 2010, 12:48 AM
imo a commercial M1A in active duty service is highly improbable, and i think not happening, but nothing is impossible.

in addition to my 0311 MOS in the USMC my college background earned me a lot of secondary bs duties, several of them administrative. one was MIMMS clerk for our boat platoon. we were running zodiacs with non-factory approved rigid deckplates, and twin 35hp Evinrude-Johnson outboard motors with pump jets. long and short of it was, i had to order (or try to order) A LOT of non-NSN gear.

iirc, here's the procurement procedure for non-NSN gear. if i get it wrong someone will have to correct me, it's been over 10 years.

1. prove you need the item. in my case, the system had to be on the TOE, with degraded or no ability to shoot/move/communicate. in other words, the DOD would have to deem the unit needed an M14, and the one they had didn't work or was about to stop working
2. prove you can't get the item in the system. generally, you punch into the MIMMS system and if it shows up over 180 days or something for a deadlined item then you are allowed to go outside the NSN system
3. find the item from a commercial, DOD-approved vendor. who is approved? is Springfield Armory approved?
4. talk someone with more rank than you into the fact that you have done 1-3
5. request the item.
6. wait 10 forevers until something really bad happens and a bunch of **** comes down and you say "but i did 1-5 and nothing ever happened"

now i never worked in the armory so i don't know if it was different for them. also, the only M14's i ever even saw on active duty were drill rifles. a good friend in Security Forces had some, also.

the one point that i will make is that Recon and Special Ops people that i knew never seemed to have any problem getting whatever they wanted. i don't know how it worked, but they seemed to be able to buy whatever they wanted from whoever they wanted. example was that everyone i knew in SOTG (Special Operations Training Group) got Oakley's and a camelback, which at that time were not even considered acceptable to wear in uniform in most units. so for every rule there is an exception.

again, i return to my original point: possible, but highly unlikely

Ignition Override
March 28, 2010, 01:14 AM
greyzone:

Excellent.

A guy with my company who retired after 20 active AF years (F-16s, B-1s) is an academy graduate. Although this has no connection to troops on the ground, a short chat was interesting.

He said that there is no real connection between the academy and the real world. "We had to lie, cheat, steal" were his words, to do their missions.

essayons21
March 28, 2010, 01:26 AM
Not all the M14s in country are the tricked out M21 SWS or the SEI modified M14s. Many DMs, especially NG, are issued old stock, un-accurized M14s, often without optics or mounting systems. With the exception of the selector switch, these are functionally no different from a civilian M1A.

Our SDMs had M16A4s with Aimpoints. They would have swapped for bone-stock iron-sighted m14s/m1as in a heartbeat.

Chauncey:

yep, that pretty much describes the system. However, when a deployment is pending it is often simpler and quicker to use unit funds or solicit donations. We acquired a metric buttload of non-TOE and non-NSN gear this way. The lie, cheat, and steal method figures prominently as well, especially in country.

mshootnit
March 28, 2010, 02:31 AM
I know my M1a may not be milspec, but I have calculated that it is minute of man accurate to over 1000 yards. It would serve someone well.

C-grunt
March 28, 2010, 06:07 AM
USN Customs inspects all cargo before you clear Kuwait and fly home with it (personal bags) or ship it back to the states (containerized equipment).
Hell when we deployed out in january 06, the Navy guys came to our FOB and did the inspections before we ever left country.

Snakum
March 28, 2010, 10:45 AM
With the exception of the selector switch, these are functionally no different from a civilian M1A.

Unless by "functionally" you mean they look alike and have similar actions and they both have a trigger that one must pull back with the barrel pointed towards what you want to shoot ... even if you tried very very hard everyday for a thousand years, you could not possibly be more wrong.

Any soldier currently in theater in a unit that might allow him to actually take a Springfield M1A into combat is not going to be stupid enough to do so, because he will know the difference between and M14/M21 and an M1A. Period. Over and out (they love that in basic). Get over it.

Seriously ... I'm shaking my head on this one. Geeez.

Hangingrock
March 28, 2010, 12:45 PM
Under let us simply agree to disagree and maintain civility; the M1A is no M14. From personal experience with the M14 and the quasi Springfield Armory M1A there is a difference. I’ve owned two M1A rifles one in basic configuration and the other a “Super Match” rendition. Their ok for their intended purpose punching holes in paper and that’s the extent of it.

During my tenure in the Marine Corps at various stages I was issued (1) M1 and (4) M14 rifles. (The manufactures: M1 International Harvester for the M14 (1) Winchester and (3) Harrington & Richardson) At Parris Island I qualified as a Marksman after my tour in Vietnam I qualified Expert with both rifle and pistol annually. At my last duty station GITMO part of my duties assigned as a marksmanship instructor for naval personnel assigned to the defense battalion equipped with M1 rifles converted to 7.62mm-NATO.

In my opinion the M14 @ 500yds (457 meters??) and beyond is best served in a synthetic stock, lugged, special attention paid to the gas system, reamed & aligned flash suppressor.

Snakum
March 28, 2010, 01:16 PM
Under let us simply agree to disagree and maintain civility; the M1A is no M14. From personal experience with the M14 and the quasi Springfield Armory M1A there is a difference.

Agreed. :)

And btw ... I like your park. I used to go hiking there a lot when I lived in Winston. :D

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