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Iraq/Afghan vets, report on the M16/M4.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by C-grunt, Mar 5, 2009.


How did your rifle perform

  1. Very well, never had a problem

    72 vote(s)
  2. Good, had some minor issues

    54 vote(s)
  3. Bad, had some big issues

    12 vote(s)
  4. Horrible, it nearly got me killed

    5 vote(s)
  1. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    Hey guys and gals. I wanted to get a poll and report going about your experiences with the M16 or M4 in Iraq or Afghanistan. I have always said that I have never met a veteran who has said their rifle failed them. But I hear a lot of stories in the gunshops and on the internet from people who have heard from others that it has.

    So, whatever your vote is, give a reason please.

    PS. This poll is only open to veterans who have used the modern M16 or M4. Please no Vietnam experiences from the poor guys who had the rifles that the military decided to vary from Mr. Stoners parameters.
  2. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    Ill go first. I said very good as it never let me down.
  3. husker

    husker Well-Known Member

    the vets i know all say the same 3 words. = its Americas gun, and they love and swear by it. just a Army brats 2 cents. im not a vet so i wont vote
  4. jobu07

    jobu07 Well-Known Member

    It serves me and my Platoon very well. We've had no issues this deployment. In fact, the IA units we work with are starting to fill their arms rooms rooms with, and issue to their soldiers, M16 and M4 rifles.
  5. eldiabloe1

    eldiabloe1 Well-Known Member

    Mine never failed me from 93-2003. Most issues were operator or magazine induced.
  6. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    not voting air force brat here

    i have been around military my entire life and if i join will be 10th generation(not likely due to some injuries) my cousin had 1 failure in 2 tours in iraq and 1 in afghanistan and it just happened to be at the worst time they were doing check point in i believe 06 he had an iraqi run at him with a machete and when he went to fire the m4 jammed(due to a damaged mag the follower was screwed up so he says) and he had to go for his side arm and emptied the mag into the guy who kept running luckily the man behind him put a load of 00 buck into him which finally stopped him

    he doesnt blame the gun or the mags he said it was his fault for using a mag he knew was damaged

    ive talked to 4 other vets from iraq and afghanistan and they all like the m16/m4 a fwe things they dont like but they all say that if you take care of it it will take care of you

    a good friend of mine is a marine vet with 3 tours in iraq and 2 in afghanistan 2 purple hearts, the navy cross and a bronze star he personally loves the m16 he said it has saved his life more times than he can recall

    ive only met vets from vietnam that dislike the m16/m4 ive met more than a couple that dont like the 5.56 they wish it was a larger round but all in all like the m16
  7. as37692

    as37692 Well-Known Member

    I've done two tours in IRAQ and carried both an M4A1 and a M16A4 and they never let me done once...
  8. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    Former USMC 0351 (assault-man), spent one tour in Al Anbar in 2004. I have mixed feelings on the M16 (carried/issued an M16A4). The last rifle I was issued was an FN contract M16A4, I had no reliability issues with it but in fairness I was systematic about frequent cleaning. I have had issues with the weapon system jamming when very dirty in training environments, so I made sure to clean the rifle like a nut every chance I got. Even if it was just breaking it down shotgun style and brushing off the bolt/carrier group and the inside of the upper. Quick down and dirty and takes maybe 45 seconds.

    I don't hold it against the rifle that it wont ingest huge amounts of mud or sand and not run right, not many rifles will and those that do are not exactly known for useful accuracy. I do think that a rifle more tolerant of crud and grime would be better, I would still clean it as mentioned when time allowed but higher tolerance for muck/dust would be nice.

    Although I did not have an issue with this (I had optics mounted) some Marines had to dummy cord their rear sights onto the flat tops as the securing knobs would get banged around and come loose. There has to be a better more secure way to mount the rear sight/carry handle than those stupid ass knobs that stick out 3/4" to catch on everything. Same for some of the optics mounts, for example the mount for the ACOG has the same issue. I think they would stay tight if they were not sticking out so far that they caught on everything.

    Then of course we get to talk about magazines, which although not the rifle itself are still part of the system. I will come right out and say that M16 magazines are too delicate for hard infantry use. Most feeding problems are magazine related and M16 magazines suck.

    My other major gripe is with the 5.56mm round and it's poor performance. Not everyone will agree with me, but the 5.56mm ball round is not exactly a DRT (dead right there) kind of bullet, and it is also not terribly effective on mud brick, engine blocks, or things like that. I am not saying we should all start humping around 7.62NATO (although every squad should have an M240 and plenty of ammo) but we need something in between that has more power. Unfortunately a round that would meet the needs won't fit in the above mentioned crappy M16 magazines or M16 magazine well.
  9. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Well-Known Member

    A few failures to feed. Chalked it up to weak magazine springs. A whack on the bottom of the mag fixed it when it happened. Try to "accidentally" step on these while they're on the edge of a sidewalk while you're out. You get new mags when you bring one back that got bent into a right angle due to action. :evil:
  10. jman80

    jman80 New Member

    Just got back from Afghanistan last month, and was issued M4 for most of my "trip", and carried an AK-74 (polish variant) for the last month or so (working with OGA). Same response as Altitude_19... I think the few feed problems I had were due to the mags. I did have a couple mags that just would not stay seated also. The rifle itsself never gave me any issues (M4). I never had any issues with the M16 either though, so I may be a bit partial to them. AKs are nice, but I prefer the M16/M4.

    I also had no optics...just ironsights. The crappy Red Dot went out on me about a month in. It looked pretty tore up, and when I made it back to Bagram to refit I was told that I would have to wait on a new sight & was given a hand recipt. Basically had to wait because I was not Active Duty any more and the "Joes" needed them more than me as the influx into country from the guys in Iraq was just starting to kick off.

    BTW- this last trip over was as a civilian...Uncle Sam doesn't own me any more, he just hands us rifles & IBA and sends us where he needs us (usually s%$# holes with lots of trigger time & indirect). Come to think about it, he still does kinda own us. Oh well....
  11. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

    Carried various versions from 1977 until 2006. When my unit was issued FN made A2s we initially had problems because they had too much metal coating inside the receivers. So we had to wire wheel the insides and then have the whole unit shoot a flat bed of ammo before we deployed. We had a few magazine related issues after that but nothing that could not be fixed.

    Later when they issued us M4s they were again FN made. We had similar problems with the new carbines out of the box but worked our way through those with a good armory team. In general the qualification scores went down after the M4s were issued. The short barrels and electro-optic system was not a smooth transition for the more experienced troops.

    Magazine issues continued as in all M16 variants.
    As did the continued need for excessive compulsive cleaning.
    Plus we had the new issue of batteries for the aim points. 80 guys who keep leaving on or accidentally turning on their danged aim points go through a bunch of batteries. And of course some young guy would always have dead batteries or no batteries at the worst time...

    Nothing is GI proof.
  12. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Well-Known Member

    USMC combat engineer. I have one of the dirtiest jobs in the core and carried an A2 from feb to sep 2005 and 2006 while based out of Al Taquddam air base Iraq. No problems with my rifle But I took the time to clean it when it needed it. During training befor deployment I went through prob a dozen mags befor I was down to seven that worked well enough that I would carry them. Had to clean them to. The M16 platform aint perfect but its not hard to keep it in good working order.
    I agree with coal dragger the 5.56 just isn't all that impressive against targets bigger than coyotes. But a good 240 gunner can weed the bad guys out real quick.
  13. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    ^ Our battalion was headquartered out of Al Taqaddum in 2004. Small world huh?

    So do they still have guys living in tents over there with sandbags all around them, or have they gotten trailers set up?
  14. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    To all, thanks for your service and for my freedom it protects.

    I've always been curious about which manufacturers are being issued to you guys. Anyone care to share?
  15. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i have spent over 5 years in the army, and the infantry at that, in that time i have spent over 26 months in Iraq and i am scheduled to go again, and i have neevr had an issue with my rifle, and i have no complaints. when i needed it to run it did.
  16. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    CoRoMo... my unit had FN M16s and Colt M4s.
  17. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    I've carried the A1, A2, M4 and the HK G-3 during my time in the service and with the "proper maintenance" never experienced any problems that could not be attributed to operator head space. I did break a stock on the A2 during a jump. I blame that on gravity and Newton!
  18. servantofinari

    servantofinari Well-Known Member

    My dad says normal sand was never a problem; the clay filled sand in Somalia would actually keep the bolts from completely closing on a lot of weapons, not just the M-16.
  19. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Well-Known Member

    "never experienced any problems that could not be attributed to operator head space.":) I like that one. Will use it at the range and see how long it takes to sink in.
  20. APIT50

    APIT50 Well-Known Member

    Shot old GM Hydramatic refurbs, FN's, and Colts M16/A2/A4/M4
    Did one of my deployments as an armorer. Other than the occasional shot out or out of spec factory part the rifles themselves performed as advertised. Mags were 99% of the problems

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