Sand & Mud: Which Would Function Better - Garand or M16?


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SharpsDressedMan
July 11, 2010, 09:10 PM
It just occured to me that the M16 and Garand, a hot topic for a favorite, need to be compared with regards to some "battlefield" conditions. I think the Garand would be far superior to the M16 in harsh conditions. This is important in a fighting rifle, but not so much for people who never take a gun into Harm's Way (match shooters, casual shooters, etc). Anyone with hands on experiences with the M16 or M1 Garand in combat where severe conditions have affected the weapon?

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conhntr
July 11, 2010, 09:31 PM
I own both and in addition to the aspect sharps brought up the garand is WAY more solid.
Not only for bayonette and club usage but just if it is dropped or bumped the garand is just less prone to damage

Hangingrock
July 11, 2010, 09:40 PM
I can’t speak to the M1 or M16. My experience was with the M14 in Vietnam USMC 64-68. As for the M16 research 9th Marines 1967 Hill Fights 861 - 881N & 881S. The M16 of that period was problematic

Andrew Wyatt
July 11, 2010, 09:43 PM
an m-16 has never been rendered non functional by being rained on. The same cannot be said for the garand.

R.W.Dale
July 11, 2010, 09:45 PM
Garand

Only because it'll make a a better club when rendered non operable my sand, mud and other crap getting in the chamber and bolt raceways

conhntr
July 11, 2010, 09:47 PM
Andrew I'm sure that's not true. If an m-16 sits out In the rain for a month it will be nonfunctional. I'm sure somwhere in Vietnam one was left behind a battle and was eventually rendered nonfunctional from rain

Andrew Wyatt
July 11, 2010, 09:53 PM
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,884292-2,00.html

The board assumed "that troops have landed through light surf [as Marines must often do] and that rifles were dropped or dragged over wet sand in reaching cover on the beach." The rifles were exposed to saltwater spray (but not actually soaked in water), dropped in wet sand. Results: the Springfields fired "in the normal manner." But "the bolts on the two [Garands] could not be opened by hand after the first and second shots respectively. The firer had to stand up and use his foot against the operating handle in order to open the actions. Both [Garand] rifles ... failed this test."

Col. Plink
July 11, 2010, 09:58 PM
If I had to guess I'd say the direct impingement M16 would foul easier, and would far sooner from powder blast. The long op rod of the Garand keeps the action from fouling due to use (though not outside goop of course).

Joe Demko
July 11, 2010, 10:09 PM
Read history, do not base your conclusions on old movies and TV shows. The Garand, Thompson, BAR and other hallowed arms of yore ran into problems in both North Africa and the Pacific Theater due to sand. The gas operated Garand and BAR, during WWII, ran into further problems due to lots of ammunition that were mistakenly loaded with naval black powder. The recoil operated Browning MG's and the Johnson rifle and LMG could cycle this ammunition.
Later, in Korea, the Garand, BAR, Thompson, et. al. failed to function due to inhumanly low temperatures.
Now apologists will tell you that all this was the result of improper PM by troops in the field; which is true. The catch is that the same can be said of M-16 series failures.
It doesn't matter what the gun is. If you don't take care of it, it will choke.

SharpsDressedMan
July 11, 2010, 10:11 PM
The question was mud and sand. We can cover rain later.:rolleyes:

taliv
July 11, 2010, 10:16 PM
read this thread, then read it again.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=432922

R.W.Dale
July 11, 2010, 10:23 PM
The question was mud and sand. We can cover rain later.:rolleyes:
Don't know bout where you live but round here rain and mud typically go hand in hand:rolleyes:

iamkris
July 11, 2010, 10:29 PM
We had a "Lest We Forget" reenactment here last year. 2 beach landings simulating D Day and a Pacific landing. The reenactors ran out of landing craft, jumped into pre-dug shallow trenches for a beach battle. I saw several reenactors kicking the op handle of their Garand because they were fouled up.

The Garand was a fine weapon but it wasn't invincible. I thing the M16 gets more bad press than it deserves and other former US military arms get less. It's easy to view the past with rose colored glasses.

SharpsDressedMan
July 11, 2010, 10:39 PM
Here in Ohio, we get rain, but we don't get mud in our rifles unless they get closer to the ground. :) I guess mud can go airborne, as sand sometimes does. Rain just seems to run off my rifles if I carry them right. The previous thread regarding service in Iraq and Afghanistan reassures me that our current crop of M16's seem to handle the sand issue well for our troops. Still looking for hands on comments from M1 users, and the few negative comments in the other thread from the M16 guys seem to say that mud is worse than sand, so this will be interesting if it gets some in-depth info from the real grunts.

taliv
July 11, 2010, 10:44 PM
afaik, the few negative comments in that other thread were due to improper maintenance. at least two mentioned running them dry because uncle sam failed to provide lube (edit: and magazines)

Tim the student
July 11, 2010, 10:59 PM
I don't recall any malfunctions with my M4 from mud - but that is something I avoided at all costs. I've had the exterior pretty muddy, but the guts were still fine. (Yes, sometimes it does rain like hell in Iraq, if you didn't know. Snows on occasion too.)

I did trip bad once, and bury my muzzle in mud that surely would have lead to more than a malfunction should I have fired it. (Yes guys, I did try to protect my rifle at all costs, but it still happened.) As an aside, you can fire fine with the plastic muzzle caps on - but they are one time use if you do. I forgot the reason, but I didn't have one on then, obviously.

I'll be real interested in hearing from guys that have used an M1 in nasty conditions. I'm sure as heck not taking mine out and rolling in the mud with them! I'd think the oprod may negatively affect the M1 in these conditions.

I have a book called something along the lines of "Infantry Weapons in Combat" that I'll have to look at tonight. Maybe there will be some beneficial stuff in there.

Cal-gun Fan
July 11, 2010, 11:08 PM
Joe Demko: It doesn't matter what the gun is. If you don't take care of it, it will choke.

Well...not an AK :P

R.W.Dale
July 11, 2010, 11:11 PM
Yes even the AK

An AK is a mechanical device made from steel and wood that has moving parts that must move freely to function. They aren't crafted by orcs and trolls laboring in the fires of Mt Doom. They will fail if abused and not cared for.

Ithaca37
July 11, 2010, 11:22 PM
Yes even the AK

An AK is a mechanical device made from steel and wood that has moving parts that must move freely to function. They aren't crafted by orcs and trolls laboring in the fires of Mt Doom. They will fail if abused and not cared for.

What? My life is based on lies?!?

I appears I have nothing more to live for.

TechBrute
July 12, 2010, 12:02 AM
I read on the Internet that every gun the military has previously used is infallible (as long as it was .30 or higher), the the current issue rifles jam on every third shot in every rifle, and the bullets bounce off thick clothing at any distance.

Tim the student
July 12, 2010, 12:19 AM
Just to clarify, is that winter clothing, or black jammies, and is the .30 carbine included in the infallible category? :D

FTSESQ
July 12, 2010, 12:40 AM
Even though I am a black rifle fan, my gut would say Garand because the 30-06 generates a lot more rearward force on the bolt, which would (I think) over come any debris in the action better than the .223. But that's just me figure'n

HorseSoldier
July 12, 2010, 02:11 AM
Lot easier to jam that open action on a Garand full of crap and gunk.

CathyGo
July 12, 2010, 02:25 AM
My M16 at basic performed just fine even after mud exposure as long as it was wiped down that night and kept relatively wet(LOTS of CLP) till then. It's when the mud was half dry/tacky that you might as well resign yourself to cleaning it cause it sure wasn't going to fire worth anything. Only thing you could do is shotgun it and give it a fast wipe down.

Uncle sam sucks at providing us with lube at all, let alone the proper types. CLP is a death sentence to a weapon in sand. Run it dry or with a dry lube.

Al Thompson
July 12, 2010, 10:55 AM
Run it dry or with a dry lube.

Actually, the extreme dust tests conducted by the .mil indicated that lots of lube is better - allows the dust to run off. I don't care for CLP either. Rather use Mobil synthetic or Slip 2000. :)

OP, there is a book by Martin Russ about his service in Korea. He was an armorer in the USMC. He despised the Garand - liked the BAR.

Justin
July 12, 2010, 11:58 AM
It just occured to me that the M16 and Garand, a hot topic for a favorite, need to be compared with regards to some "battlefield" conditions. I think the Garand would be far superior to the M16 in harsh conditions. This is important in a fighting rifle, but not so much for people who never take a gun into Harm's Way (match shooters, casual shooters, etc). Anyone with hands on experiences with the M16 or M1 Garand in combat where severe conditions have affected the weapon?

I'm not a soldier. I've never been in a firefight. I've never been deployed to another country, nor have I had to fire shots at an enemy who is also trying to kill me.

Since I have no experience with such things, it would be fairly stupid of me to even attempt to give an opinion on what rifle would be the best choice for combat.

Since I have nothing substantial to say on the topic of a combat rifle for conducting war in the 21st century, I'm going to have to defer to the experts at the Defense Department and assume that they know more about testing and evaluating combat rifles than I do, and that their expertise probably outweighs mine on the subject.

Robert
July 12, 2010, 12:04 PM
Justin for the win!

Al Thompson
July 12, 2010, 12:10 PM
SDM, as regards mud, I tromped around Germany in the '80's. Mud was a constant as was rain. We never had any major issues keeping our rifle functioning. If you rifle/SAW/M60 got muddy, water was actually the quickest way to get it up and running.

wombat13
July 12, 2010, 12:14 PM
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...4292-2,00.html

The board assumed "that troops have landed through light surf [as Marines must often do] and that rifles were dropped or dragged over wet sand in reaching cover on the beach." The rifles were exposed to saltwater spray (but not actually soaked in water), dropped in wet sand. Results: the Springfields fired "in the normal manner." But "the bolts on the two [Garands] could not be opened by hand after the first and second shots respectively. The firer had to stand up and use his foot against the operating handle in order to open the actions. Both [Garand] rifles ... failed this test."

Interesting. It proves that under severe conditions a bolt rifle is more reliable than a semi-auto. Was that ever in dispute in this thread?

7.62mm.ak47
July 12, 2010, 12:16 PM
I was an 0311 in the Marines so naturally I toted my A4 through some hellish conditions. I always was amazed at how it performed. I went into the MC thinking it was going to be crap but was surprised at its reliability. Just keep it clean like any other weapon and it'll be a good friend to you.

Maverick223
July 12, 2010, 12:24 PM
Just speculation, but I feel that the M16 (and variants thereof) would perform better with a quick drop because the dust cover will keep most debris out, but the Garand would do better once debris actually enters the action because of the open action, clearance, and greater spring pressure. Additionally the M16's DI system will tend to attract more debris, because it is typically "run wet" (vs. the Garand that needs less/thicker lubricant), causing additional problems.

:)

Andrew Wyatt
July 12, 2010, 12:27 PM
Just speculation, but I feel that the M16 (and variants thereof) would perform better with a quick drop because the dust cover will keep most debris out, but the Garand would do better once debris actually enters the action because of the open action, clearance, and greater spring pressure. Additionally the M16's DI system will tend to attract more debris, because it is typically "run wet" (vs. the Garand that needs less/thicker lubricant), causing additional problems.

:)


That's not how it works with the garand. once you wash the grease out of the oprod cam slot, or get dirt or junk in it, you risk bending the oprod and rendering the rifle nonfunctional untill you replace it.

Hangingrock
July 12, 2010, 01:42 PM
Justin:Since I have nothing substantial to say on the topic of a combat rifle for conducting war in the 21st century, I'm going to have to defer to the people at the Defense Department and assume that the tests they put rifles through, and the situations for which they're developed are reasonable, as is the choice they've made for the rifle that is currently issued to combat troops.

That’s an assumption which may or may not be correct. The first M16 rifles and ammunition lots issued for field testing and limited combat usage meant expectations. (The first M16 rifles I saw were in the hands of the 173rd AB on Okinawa in 1965. I did not have the opportunity to handle or fire the M16 then.)

As Vietnam intensified the M16 rifle and ammunition suffered teething problems. Unfortunately those problems cost service personnel lives. The excuse was troops weren’t properly trained in usage and maintence. Two, possibly more Marine infantry officers by passed the chain of command putting their careers on the line which resulted in congressional hearings.

Testing doesn’t uncover all problems but extended field service usually does.
After forty plus years of usage you’d think all problems have been resolved but then maybe not.

Justin
July 12, 2010, 02:04 PM
It was my understanding that the M16 rifle design as tested was not the one that was issued due to the issued rifles using a different powder and the bores not being chrome-lined.

Regardless, I never said that the military Testing and Evaluation system was error-free, just that those who make a living doing this for the Defense Department probably know a few things about combat rifles and how to test them than the average gun owner.

Again, I'm not an expert, I don't do this for a living, and it's rather presumptuous to assume that I, or anyone else who hasn't made a career out of development and testing military rifles has anything more than the vaguest of clues about the work that goes into it.

Hatterasguy
July 12, 2010, 02:47 PM
I think pretty much the only rifle that won't jam in such conditions is the Mosin.:D

I havn't shot a Garand, but I have a lot of trigger time on M1A's and M1 carbines...while very good rifles I have had them hicup on me while shooting more than any modern well sorted AR I have shot.

Thats says something because I am not an AR fan.:D


You can't really compare a Vietnam era M16 to a modern say LWRC M6, totaly different animals.

TechBrute
July 12, 2010, 03:05 PM
You can't really compare a Vietnam era M16 to a modern say LWRC M6, totaly different animals.
This is true, but it won't stop people from trying...

SharpsDressedMan
July 12, 2010, 03:40 PM
Since most of the guys that used the Garand in WWII and Korea (while the guns were brand spanking new....we often get comments about well worn rifles, refurbed or imported rifles, and the quality of those might be at the tail end of their life) are no longer with us, and the remaining may not be THR contributors (or computer users, et al), we may ultimately get a little tilted representation here on this one, but I want to thank everyone, becuase really great info has been presented in a most polite and respectful way. I am really glad that the newer crop of M16, m4, etc, is performing well, and respected by the people who have used them in the field. Keep it coming!

Tim the student
July 12, 2010, 04:41 PM
...just that those who make a living doing this for the Defense Department probably know a few things about combat rifles and how to test them than the average gun owner.

One would hope, but I have been issued some fancy dancy new gear that was pure trash. Granted, it wasn't a rifle, but still - it was like it had never, ever, been tested, and designed with absolutely no input from the end user.

Andrew Wyatt
July 12, 2010, 04:42 PM
The design defects the garand has don't suddenly appear with age. it's not like there's an ejection port cover that whithers and falls off, or a bolt roller that is reabsorbed into the bolt lug.

rcmodel
July 12, 2010, 04:47 PM
because the dust cover will keep most debris out,But only if you use it.

I continue to see news footage of solders in Iraq running around with open dust covers on their M16's & M4's.

Wonder if they are the same guys whining to the news media about the M16 not working in sand??

rc

Maverick223
July 12, 2010, 04:50 PM
But only if you use it.

I continue to see news footage of solders in Iraq running around with open dust covers on their M16's & M4's.

Wonder if they are the same guys whining to the news media about the M16 not working in sand??True, but if used as designed (and that is what it was designed for), it does a pretty decent job.

You can lead a horse to water... http://forums.nitroexpress.com/images/graemlins/smilies/general/dunno.gif

SharpsDressedMan
July 12, 2010, 06:00 PM
Andrew, I think the bolt roller belongs to the M14. Pardon my asking, but have you had experience (good or bad) with the Garand?

Bartholomew Roberts
July 12, 2010, 06:04 PM
There is a defunct link in the Rifle Forum Reading Library to a 1960s era study comparing the M16 with the Garand-based M14. There is also a thread by me summarizing the results of the 416-page study somewhere in the archives of THR. I believe the study is stil available on STINET if you want to dig through there (links to that and how to dig also in the Rifle Forum Reading Library).

IIRC, the M14 fared better in some environments (including over the beach) and the M16 was more reliable in others (rain forest, temperate forest). Given how much knowledge has evolved about the M16 FOW, especially in the last ten years, it would be interesting to see if those results still held true today.

I've got both a Garand and a few ARs. I like the Garand quite a bit; but it is an outdated design.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if sand gets in the chamber/bolt area, it is going to cause damage and problems. Look at the recent dust test - very fine, silica powder sand almost like talcum power and 40 modern rifles using recent engineering and materials, yet after only 6,000 rounds, every one of the 40 rifles, regardless of design or brand, was unsafe to fire due to wear. Sand is just hard on firearms (and other machines).

Andrew Wyatt
July 12, 2010, 06:39 PM
Andrew, I think the bolt roller belongs to the M14. Pardon my asking, but have you had experience (good or bad) with the Garand?


The bolt roller was added to the m-14 specifically to address the reliability issues the garand has with the oprod/boltlug interface, and my post was intended to suggest that the garand's design problems are inherent with its design.

I shot a CMP greek service grade garand in local field rifle matches almost exclusively untill i picked up an IBA built remington 700LTR. The garand is still at the front of the safe, but it's not my first choice for anything anymore.

kragluver
July 13, 2010, 05:27 PM
All semi-auto/automatic rifles can and will jam. Veterans who used both the M1/M14 variant and M16 variant rifles told me the difference is the M1/M14 bolt can be kicked open with your boot. The M16 could not and was more difficult to clear a jam (at least the earlier models). Accounts of the battle for Porkchop Hill recount numerous rifle jams for the M1 series of rifles.

stchman
July 13, 2010, 06:33 PM
Remember, the M1 Garand was said to be the best battle implement ever made. It might be the most reliable rifle action ever made.

That being said the M1 Garand does have fairly specific ammo requirements. Deviation from those requirements can have disastrous results.

Justin
July 13, 2010, 06:37 PM
Remember, the M1 Garand was said to be the best battle implement ever made.

Yes.

By a man who died in 1945.

Andrew Wyatt
July 13, 2010, 06:49 PM
Remember, the M1 Garand was said to be the best battle implement ever made. It might be the most reliable rifle action ever made.

That being said the M1 Garand does have fairly specific ammo requirements. Deviation from those requirements can have disastrous results.



You just said the most reliable rifle action ever made was unreliable.

Maverick223
July 13, 2010, 07:49 PM
It might be the most reliable rifle action ever made.FWIW, I am pretty sure that the good ole' Sharps Model 1874 (amongst other falling block designs) was the most reliable rifle action ever made; those new fangled lever guns will never match it. :p

SharpsDressedMan
July 13, 2010, 08:54 PM
Want reliability? My dad carried, and used, an M1 Garand for over two and a half years in the South Pacific (Borneo, Luzon, Leyte, Occupational Japan.) He initially had been issued an M1 Carbine, but had no faith in it (he was a big man, 6'4" farm boy) and quickly picked up a Garand. He never once mentioned any failures, which I'm sure would have come up, as I got every war story there was out of him. Even our Gulf and 'stan boys don't live in the field (spell that monsoon) for two and half years. He DID take care of his rifle, and he DID say the finish was gone when he turned it in......................of course, that was just one guy, with one rifle. I'm sure someone will have to discredit that somehow.............

Hangingrock
July 13, 2010, 09:48 PM
We had family in the ETO in WW2 as members of the 28th, 78th, and 79th USA Divisions. They complained about every thing as I recall listening to them in my formative years. One item they never complained about was the M1 Garand.

Fast forward to this day and these wars we’re involved in now. I am a firm believer in is the biggest war is the one your currently in. The M16/M4 series has had four plus decades to evolve into what it is. There has been a learning curve along with extended usage. Those that use it I hope it serves you well.

Andrew Wyatt
July 14, 2010, 10:57 AM
Want reliability? My dad carried, and used, an M1 Garand for over two and a half years in the South Pacific (Borneo, Luzon, Leyte, Occupational Japan.) He initially had been issued an M1 Carbine, but had no faith in it (he was a big man, 6'4" farm boy) and quickly picked up a Garand. He never once mentioned any failures, which I'm sure would have come up, as I got every war story there was out of him. Even our Gulf and 'stan boys don't live in the field (spell that monsoon) for two and half years. He DID take care of his rifle, and he DID say the finish was gone when he turned it in......................of course, that was just one guy, with one rifle. I'm sure someone will have to discredit that somehow.............

I'm not saying that the M-1 was not a fine weapon for the purpose of shooting Japs, 70 years ago. That was 70 years ago.

TechBrute
July 14, 2010, 10:59 AM
I'll give it to him, he did manage to wait two whole days after he started the thread to tell the story about his dad.

eastbank
July 14, 2010, 11:52 AM
if you are in the bush humping it, a m-16 makes alot of sense light,full auto if you need it,30 round magazines and light ammo(more rounds per pound), as a country boy i already knew about keeping a firearm clean and running, and when it came to helping to keeping me alive it was prority ONE, before eating ,drinking or taking a cig-piss break. i was around alot of jeeps who were never around firearms untill uncle sam got them and they had to play catch up and if they didn,t, they may have not made it. in other theaters of conflict other firearms may be better,but where i was the m-16 was just fine. eastbank.

SharpsDressedMan
July 14, 2010, 07:09 PM
So shooting crazed, "Die for the Emperor" suicide soldiers 70 years ago is somehow different that shooting crazed, "Die for Allah" suicide soldiers today? You'll have to explain that one.:rolleyes:

Ithaca37
July 14, 2010, 08:17 PM
Hmmm........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0-3OQsnR-w

Andrew Wyatt
July 14, 2010, 11:23 PM
So shooting crazed, "Die for the Emperor" suicide soldiers 70 years ago is somehow different that shooting crazed, "Die for Allah" suicide soldiers today? You'll have to explain that one.:rolleyes:

there's better ways to do it now.

Ignition Override
July 15, 2010, 12:39 AM
It makes no difference to me whether or not the Garand is supposed to be more reliable in the stated conditions.
Looking forward to my first Garand in early August.

HorseSoldier
July 15, 2010, 12:44 AM
True, but if used as designed (and that is what it was designed for), it does a pretty decent job.

Training issue. In the school house I came up in, you closed the dust cover if/when ever you had the chance to, as part of the programmed muscle memory you built on the range. Because you do forget things under stress.

So shooting crazed, "Die for the Emperor" suicide soldiers 70 years ago is somehow different that shooting crazed, "Die for Allah" suicide soldiers today? You'll have to explain that one.

We're trained better, and better equipped these days. That seems to translate to hitting the bad guys more these days.

Bartholomew Roberts
July 15, 2010, 12:53 PM
I'd love to go back in time with a bunch of M16s and M4s (and the training and logistics to support them) and see how the guys in both the Pacific and Europe chose.

Art Eatman
July 15, 2010, 01:39 PM
Three pages of pointless speculation is more than enough...

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