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Air Force basic training question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by chris in va, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    Go ahead, snicker all you want. :rolleyes:

    We had to qualify with the M16 in basic. Many of us had never shot a rifle before, certainly not something like this. A couple guys had however and commented how light the recoil was on it.

    The RO pointed out they weren't REAL 5.56 rounds but 'training' ammo. :scrutiny:

    Now what exactly does THAT mean?
  2. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Interesting question... A 5.56mm cartridge generates very, very little recoil to begin with, so I am not sure what your instructor was getting at there.....
  3. Phantom Warrior

    Phantom Warrior Well-Known Member

    The only thing I could thing of would be blank ammunition. Blank ammunition has no bullet, so it has almost no recoil. But that would only be for MOUT training or exercises w/ MILES gear. If you were qualifying, you should have been using ball ammunition. And I've never seen or heard of any kind of downloaded ball ammo being used in the military. Or anywhere. Does such a creature exist?

    Suffice it to say, you were probably using regular 5.56 ball ammo. Your RO may have been misinformed or pulling your leg.
  4. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Well-Known Member

    I don't know how the USAF is doing it now, but we used .22 adapters and .22 LR ammo to qualify in basic in '79. Cheaper, and at the distances we were shooting, ballistically similar. The only other thing I can think of was that maybe it was plain 55 gr. hardball, M193, instead of the 62 gr. M855. This would make sense if they're still using the older rifles with a 1 in 12 twist, since they won't stabilize M855 causing accuracy to go out the window. Were the rifles you used for qual so loose that they kind of rattled? :D

    If the AF has stocks of M193, they'd be shooting that up for basic rather than using the "real" issue ammo, M855. Were the tips plain or green?
  5. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    I don't even remember seeing the rounds. We weren't told to take out the magazines, just handed the rifles.

    Entirely possible they were .22 conversions, but it cycled the action just fine and I could hear the SHINK of the buttstock spring.

    They really...REALLY did not trust us with those things. Some of us were still kids at 18-19 and had never seen a rifle before.
  6. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Well-Known Member

    It's gotten even worse than I thought. We were at least required to load our own magazines. Good grief! :scrutiny:
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
  7. FPrice

    FPrice Well-Known Member

    Before I got out in 2004 the AF was going/had gone to "green" ammo for training. I forget the composition of the bullet but it was supposed to reduce lead pollution on their ranges. It was for training, not for actual combat as I recall.

    I think they stopped using the .22lr adaptors a long time ago.
  8. Grunt

    Grunt Well-Known Member

    What they're talking about is the Mk-254 frangible ammunition rather than the M-855 FMJ ammo. Your ammo was issued to you in a 20 round cardboard box like what you'd buy at Wal-Mart, didn't come on a stripper clip and you were told not to adjust your front sight with these bullet tips, right? Yup, that's frangible ammo. It's not made for combat or anything other than training. The idea is that it's a lead-free ammo that is better for the environment (hmm, doesn't lead also come from the ground in the first place?:scrutiny: ) but personally, I avoid that crap like the plauge.
  9. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    Surely they did not hand you loaded rifles. :uhoh:
  10. Grunt

    Grunt Well-Known Member

    CATM instructors have to do enough for the shooters so I'll be damned if I'd get down there and load their magazines then load their weapons for them too!:cuss: Besides, if you do that, you won't have stories for the next class about the one guy that loaded his magazines one round forward, the next round backwards, another round forward, another round backwards for every one of his magazines!:banghead: I mean things like this are priceless and reinforces the new Air Force motto, "If you're not in the air, you probably shouldn't be there.":neener:
  11. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    I shot ARs quite a bit prior to USAF basic in Oct-99. I shot a bunch of surplus M193 and M855, and I can tell you the M16 in basic felt identical to what I had shot before. I don't quite get the "training round" either, unless it's something that came about in the last few years. Best thing I remember about that day was not only did we have M16A2s, but there were a couple of nice "vintage" slickside Colt 604s on the range too:D
  12. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    "the one guy that loaded his magazines one round forward, the next round backwards, another round forward, another round backwards for every one of his magazines!"

    Dang it! That explains why my AR-15 FTF's every other round! Someone told me that loading the magazines that way would even out the wear pattern on something called the magazine follower and it would last longer that way. He claimed that since he started loading that way he hasn't had to replace a magazine follower in decades.... :neener:

    Of course, if you handload, you can load half the rounds with the pointy end of the bullet inside the case to account for this...
  13. SigfanUSAF

    SigfanUSAF Well-Known Member

    NO! That only works to help the follower in the straight body M16 mags. The early ones had a feed mechanism to flip every other round, the newer A2s don't have this feature, so they curved the mag slightly:neener:
  14. jkingrph

    jkingrph Well-Known Member

    When I was in basic end of '68 early '69 it was standard issue ammo. A few months later in OTS it was standard 38sp. ammo in the revolver used by the AF for officers then, probably some of the most anemic 38 ammo I have ever used. I still have a stash somewhere. It makes good plinking ammo and good brass source.
  15. Grunt

    Grunt Well-Known Member

    Well, they DID stack rather nicely in the magazine like that tough. :D Of course, the first instinct of the Care Force Cat. C shooter was to raise his hand because the first round he tried to chamber didn't go. I walk over and look down at the ejection port...looked a little closer....a little closer still to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing and asked this kid what in Hanna's holy hell are you doing? I pull the magazine out thinking he put all the rounds in backwards and it was then I seen the next one was pointing forward and the one under that was backwards again. Now I could have been descrete about it and tell him to fix it but that one was just too good to not show the rest of our instructors on the line. :evil: Yes, we laughed at him for that one and even to this day, that story comes up in a lot of the classes we teach. "OK folks, note how the follower is shaped like a cartridge? That's a clue. Do NOT load them backwards or like one kid did, alternating the cartridges backwards and forwards!" We expect mistakes but the ones that stand out like this one, putting the rifle together so the rear takedown pin hole on the upper is assembled to the front pivot pin on the lower, having a piece of hto brass land on your next and asking us if this is going to effect your jugular...and then asking the folks at the emergency room this same question, managing to shoot a score of one (1) out of 50 freakin' chances...yeah, we're going to talk about that for a while.:evil:
    Now a couple guys I work with spent time at the Medina range at Lackland and they have even better stories. Kids peeing their pants, walking downrange as firing is still going on, one kid that just took off running down the road after the first shot went off, convincing the most lost of the lost that they have one explosive tipped round (actually a regular M-855 round with the tip colored by a black sharpie marker) that they have to get rid of and they want the kid to fire it but to be careful because it might explode handling it (yeah, CATM troops coming from the cop career field can be some real sadists out there! LOL), you name it, they've probably seen it.
  16. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    Besides the frangible option it might have been blue tip (AA68 DODIC) training ammunition. Shoots a plastic bullet that ballistically matches real 5.56mm ammunition out to 25 meters or so. Does have a reduced powder charge (still enough to cycle the weapon), but requires the use of a special bolt as the cartridge rim is rebated so people can't accidentally mix and match ball ammo and blue tip.
  17. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Good instincts. The Army range where the "green" ammo was developed is in the middle of a massive environmental lawsuit because the "green" ammo is alleged to be even more harmful to the environment/humans than lead.
  18. Telperion

    Telperion Well-Known Member

    On what basis? Any details?
  19. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Details can be found searching THR. The link to the stories has been posted twice here. I'd give you the link again; but I just don't have the time right now.
  20. Essex County

    Essex County Well-Known Member

    USAF Basic training....Think of it as a country club that lets you plink! I remember in 1966 you used regular ball ammo in M-16's that wouldn't have made the cut in Southeast Asia........Essex

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