The M16 is what we call a rush job. Dec 7, 2019 9:37:58 GMT
Post by whitehorse on Dec 7, 2019 9:37:58 GMT
The M16 is what we call a rush job. The US only had the full auto M2 carbine to counter the firepower of the AK. They were hopelessly outgunned.
This versus that? No way!
Plus the Vietnamese could not handle the recoil of the M1 Garand & M14. Armalite had developed the AR15 from the 7.62mm NATO AR10 developed by Eugene Stone. It was in response to a 1957 request by Gen. Wyman Continental Army Command. They sold the AR15 to Colt. They demonstrated it against enemy watermelons to Gen. Curtis Lemay of the US Air Force in 1960. He ordered 80k.
Just to show you how slow bureaucracy is. It wasn't until 1962 that the first 1k rifles were sent to Vietnam. They were issued to Vietnamese guards in USAF bases and US Special Forces. They performed spectacularly. L. Jim Sullivan designed the weapon to have a 1 in 14 inches twist. The .223 Remington bullet spun just enough to fly through air and then tumble upon hitting a watery substance like watermelons for Lemay and human flesh in Vietnam.
So the US Army rejoiced in finding a weapon to match the AK. The bureaucracy got put in its place.
In 1963 the US Army got the XM16E1 with the forward assist. It had the open prong flash suppressor.
The USAF got the M16 without the forward assist.
Then in 1964 the US Army switched from Dupont powder to Olin Mathieson later Olin-Winchester powder. Which was more powerful but left more residue.
In 1965 US Army & USMC infantry arrived in Vietnam with the XM16E1. They weren't issued with cleaning kits. The humid jungle also corroded the unchromed chamber of the rifle. Many troops died because they didn't clean their rifles. A comic book style manual was issued to troops. With a sexually attractive female narrator.
In 1967 the M16A1 was adopted. The chamber was lined with chrome. The flash hider was changed to a closed “birdcage” type. In 1970 the military switched to a cleaner burning powder.
Addendum: Here's the M14 on full-auto.