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"The Last 'Big Lie' of Vietnam"

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  • "The Last 'Big Lie' of Vietnam"

    On the 50th anniversary of losing my best friend in Vietnam, I'd like to get comments from people on this site, who actually served in Vietnam, about this article:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/arti...ietnam_ki.html

    Why do the powers that be, continue to needlessly sacrifice the best young men that the USA produces by not providing them with adequate weaponry?

  • #2
    I've always admired the designers of the AR platform for its wonderfully modular design, but have always thought FMJ .223/5.56 ammo was good for nothing more than plinking. Must be why all my ARs are chambered in such rounds as 6.8 SPC and 350 Legend.

    Wil be watching this thread for answers to Bob_s question
    SE MI, USA

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    • #3
      I have two friends that served in Vietnam, and both have told they had AK47's that they carried in the field. Not because of the M16's lack of punch but because the AK was way more forgiving in the muck and sand they encountered!

      THANX RICH
      People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!

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      • #4
        After reading the article, I can see why the M-16 was not the best choice for our troops. I was not an 0311 who had to have the most reliable weapon. We had plenty of captured weapons, I had a RPD Type56 that I wanted to take home, but all were quickly taken away and given to the Cambodians.
        My weapon of choice was the M-79 with buckshot, next was just the shotgun, I was also given an M-16 and .45 1911.
        Larry

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        • #5
          deleted
          Last edited by Mcgyver; 06-25-2021, 09:09 AM.
          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bob_s View Post
            Why do the powers that be, continue to needlessly sacrifice the best young men that the USA produces by not providing them with adequate weaponry?
            Lowest bidder, defense contractors greasing the right palms with the right amount of silver, bringing jobs to their districts....
            Morals go out the window long before the first shot is ever fired. I am reminded of Creedence Clearwater, "I ain't no Senator's son, no no no"

            I was 5 yrs old at the time, living in the Midwest, and I still remember Walt Cronkite on the TV, and the feeling in the air. And it was not good.
            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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            • #7
              The only way a 223 could deliver explosive results is with hollow points that are not allowed in combat!

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              • #8
                I've read in many places that the reason for using the 5.56 round was that we wanted to injure the enemy, not kill them. It takes a lot more manpower to rescue an injured troop than to deal with a dead body.

                A friend of mine is a big guy that served in combat in Nam. He carried a M-79 grenade launcher. He said it was the weapon to have because he could kill troops that were hiding behind trees. He also said that sometimes the tanks would mow down swaths of jungle with their cannons.
                OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                THINK HARDER

                BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                • #9
                  I can't speak to any of that having been born during the conflict. I would ask my uncle (army radio man) but he passed last year. My dad served in that time, but as far as he knows was never in country. (He has a story about spending two weeks on a jungle field repairing aircraft, and then being flown out in the same blacked out aircraft as was used to fly them in.) Probably the most decorated marine I knew who served (multiple tours) also passed last year, but there is a picture of him in a book with two belts of ammo over his shoulders (Sgt Rock style). It sure as heck wasn't 556 ammo. It may have been posed, but he never struck me as a poser. I know two other guys fairly closely who served. Bother were door gunners in different helicopters. Their primary weapon was not a 556. I have to admit the only guy I know who claimed to have carried an M16 in Vietnam was a Coast Guard guy (yeah I know) on one brief foray for purposes I don't recall. He has a scar on his leg he claims was from a tree top sniper he killed. His time in country if true was so short as to not have any value in evaluating the firearm in service, but if I run across him I'll ask. I knew another guy who claimed a full on hatred f the M16 and said he carried an AK, but he told a lot of stories including that he was a deserter living back in the USA under an assumed name. He also claimed to have served on a type of boat who's name I think was made up because it sounded cool. I suspect its just going to get harder and harder verify claims of that time.

                  *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                  • #10
                    I suppose I should add that the M16 was made by several companies and some were definitely better than others. My father in law (also deceased) was in charge of setting up the production line at General Motors Hydramatic and he claims their guns had the best approval ratings.

                    One thing to note is that the alloy for receivers was also an issue. The first ones seem to be a 6000 alloy which while very corrosion resistant and "strong enough" were not up to the constant WET of some service areas. Later ones were made with a stronger and more corrosion resistant 7000 series alloy.

                    Another thing to consider if you follow any historical wartime weapons manufacturing is that historically it looks like troops have been sent into combat with new guns that were further developed as flaws or shortcomings were found in all of firearms combat history until the the AR platform and the AK platform entered their 2nd, 3rd, 4th... conflicts.
                    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                    • #11
                      Finally took the time to read the article posted. Wow! I was rather surprised. I use 223 for varmint hunting/calling and its been pretty effective, but I use a relatively high velocity 55 grain hollow point. That being said, I've read a few hunting comments from those who can hunt deer in their areas with sub .30 cal rounds and the comments often were that with higher velocity rounds there was significant organ damage even on what appears to be a pass through. I guess the only way to know is to ask vets who have seen action with M16 rifles directly. Given action in Iraq, Somilia, and Afganistan using those rifles there must be a few you could get first hand information from.
                      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                      • #12
                        There were two major problems with the M16 rifle when brought in to service in vietnam that they didn't have in development. 1. the rifle was designed for IMR gunpowder and as a cost cutting measure Defense secretary McNamara changed the gunpowder to "Ball" powder. ball powder has a faster burning rate, increased the cyclic rate on the weapons, and fouled more than IMR. This also beat the weapons up due to the faster cycling of the bolts. also the small gas tube that operated the action carboned more. The second problem was that the bores were not hard chromed. This was OK in a jungle environment with a .30 cal rifle and IMR powder but with a .22 caliber and ball powder it didn't work. Once a buffer was developed and added to the spring, hard chromed bores were introduced and special lubricating oil was developed for them the problems abated. As to the power of the round...the 55 Grain ball bullet supplied [ball is not referring to the powder this time] was unstable in flight and upon hitting anything tumbled. The wounds caused were way in excess of what one would normally expect, more like what would be expected from a hollow point. So much so that the weight of the bullet was eventually changed to 63 Grains so that there was less chance of an international outcry. the 63 grain load is what I believe we use today.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Stevan View Post
                          the 63 grain load is what I believe we use today.
                          Yup. Standard NATO load is m855a1 ball, 62 grain lead-free round with a solid copper core. The non-a1 is lead with a steel core, same weight

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                          • #14
                            Ironicly, the Russian 5.45 round is designed to tumble in soft tissue. I don't hear any outcry about them. The original m16 had a 1-14 twist, which had the reputation for bullets losing stability when striking anything. It did cause horrific wounds. Changing to the 1-12 twist, eliminated this fault or atribute, depending on which side of the issue you are on. The 62 gr green tips, were for enhanced barrier penetration. The do-gooders claimed it was for environmental concerns. Rifling twists are much faster now, some 1-9 and some 1-7, for these heavier bullets.

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                            • #15
                              As a police officer in an urban setting Ive seen lots of GSW over the last 25 years. Ive seen a guy shot 6 times with a 45 acp including a head shot standing in his front yard the next day flipping us off while drinking a beer, and a co worker hit at 100yds with a 25 acp that shattered his arm putting him out of work for 6 months and required multiple surgeries.
                              I rarely see anyone hit with a .223 or 7.62x39 survive if hit in the torso or head, well I know of one hit in the head that for all intents is now a vegetable. Moving a piece of metal that fast into flesh will cause tremendous shock to the body.
                              Im pretty involved in the Service Rifle community and have talked to people and read books they were mentioned in about the development of the m16 and the 62 gr ammo.
                              Basically the problem with the AR was it was put into action too soon, with insufficient testing. The powder that was used in the first issue ammo was not the powder tested and ballistics of .224 bullets were not what they are today. Had the M16 gone through proper development and testing that the Garand and M14 had gone though much of this may have been solved beforehand.
                              Also anyone that thinks that AK's and SKS are the "works 100% of the Time" gun has never built or worked on them at all. Go to the AK files and read up on them. Yes you still have to clean them and oil them and crappy ammo and mags will make them mess up.

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