Field Report from Iraq


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The Last Confederate
July 19, 2004, 11:09 PM
I know it's hard to believe, however, I just spoke with a freelance contractor who had just spent some time in Iraq doing security type work. He told me a lot about his combat experience and what he uses over there, etc. However, first I must tell you about some exciting news about the M14.

He told me, and I quote, that they have created new USGI 25 round mags for the M14 and that they are currently in use. He said that they are the same as the 20 rounders, just a tad longer. He also said that they are created to feed reliably from full auto fire.

He said that there are also 30 rounders in production, but they are not deployed in any great number yet. He said the 30 rounders are straight, but have a slight curve in them.

Anyway, he also says that the M14 is in great use over in Iraq and that a lot of troops are using them, esp the special forces. He mentioned about how a company is beginning to make M14 receivers with a scope mount built in for military use (LRB).

He told me that as a freelance contractor (mercenary) for the armed forces he has access to just about any weapon there is. However, he told me the two weapons he uses most over there is the M4 and the FAL. He mostly carries the M4 as that is his favorite weapon (used to shoot 3 gun matches, etc with it) and because most combat ranges are around 50-100 yards.

He has seen combat multiple times, but has never used his FAL in combat. For the M4 he primarily uses either green tip, or some of the heavy 70 grain bullets. He reports that the 70 grain bullets are effective at creating stops at the ranges combat typically breaks out at.

I asked him about how effective the green tipped bullets were are creating stops. I was wondering if he was afraid of over penetration to which he responded,

”Hell no, I don’t care what they do long as I ain’t down range”.

Then I clarified that I was curious if the green tip penetrator rounds produced good stopping power, or if they over penetrated? He said that he usually hit them with 3-4 rounds in quick secession due to the fast follow up shot ability of the M4. So even if that ammo doesn’t produce one shot stops, it doesn’t matter if you are tagged 3-4 times with it. No one has survived that bombardment.

When asked about how well his M4 was performing over there, if he had any problems with jamming or reliability in the desert environment, he said that it functioned fine and he experienced no problems with it. I’m sure he cleans his weapon often, though.

Another thing he told me, which interested me, was that no one there, including himself, used iron sights. Almost everyone was using optics of some type. He himself was using some red dot (wasn’t a red dot, but something similar, I forget the name) sight. I asked him if such scopes were really that much better than irons for combat? His response,

”Hell yeah!”

I then brought up the question of durability of optics versus iron sights, and how many people fear that optics are brittle and will break, or fail, or run out of batteries. His response,

”No, no, they work fine. That’s all lies”.

He also wears class 4 body armor over there.

He is going back very shortly for about 3 more months. Of course, I encouraged him to use the .308 rifles more often, especially the M14. I really hounded him to at least “try out” the M14 over there. Told him he’ll like it. He said he’d think about it. *(He really likes the M4, so who am I to tell him to not use it?)

That’s about all I have from him at the moment, sounds very interesting. I may get to speak with him one more time and ask some more questions, so if anyone has anything they would like me to ask for them let me know and I’ll rely them to him and post the responses here. That’s all for now.

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swingset
July 20, 2004, 12:12 AM
I liked it better on AR15.com

Where else can I read this post? It's fun to see it in 4 or 5 different forum formats, btw.

I have a friend who's on Mars, he says the SA-80 performs well in zero gravity. He's cool, he has a rocket and fights aliens.

I like pie.

WonderNine
July 20, 2004, 12:26 AM
Did his M-14 have a select fire switch? I wish I had an auto .308. People always talk about the muzzle climb, but how many have actually fired one and know. You can fire in bursts if necessary.

RKCheung
July 20, 2004, 12:42 AM
Dear Playboy,

I never thought it could happen to me, but there I was...

:D

JoeRapture
July 20, 2004, 04:35 AM
I've been here nearly a year and I haven't seen any M-14s (or M1As). I've been around the Dynacorp, Titan and Blackwater (and one other outfit, I can't rember their name) and saw nothing out of the ordinary except for one helicopter pilot who carried a Steyr Aug. Not saying they don't exist, but I haven't seen them. The private contractors I've seen typically use 9mm and 5.56. I would assume that enables them to use military ammunition if need be. Down at Najaf the Blackwater guys were giving ammunition to the US during the uprising, IIRC.

I have seen one FN/FAl that some SF guys captured. I have been around the 101st, 66th MP, 1/37 (1 AD) and some SF...no M14s. I did see an obviously photoshopped picture showing a squad with M14s. It was clearly a fake.

I'm not saying they're not over here, I just haven't seen any.

Steve Smith
July 20, 2004, 05:58 AM
I have been at an FOB for about three weeks now, and I've see one M14. I saw it today, and it was a beat up, non-scoped, cheapest of the USGI fiberglass stock rifle. it looked to me like the rear sight was ALL the way down which tells me it was likely not sighted in and was hardly used.

EVERYONE has some type of M4 or M16, save one SF guy I saw with a G3.

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