posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:42 AM
I am a brand-new member, and just signed on today, when I stumbled onto an old POST, dated 02-23-03, re: Say bye-bye to your old M16.
There was a heated discussion between two BANNED members, discussing the virtues of the M16A2 (in 5.56 mm) versus older weapons, like the M16A1
(5.56mm) , or larger caliber weapons like the M1-Garand (30-06) and the M14 in 7.62mm. The banned member, Mad Scientist, who I believe is the person
that initiated the thread, claimed the M16A2, with its' 3-round burst mode, and 5.56mm caliber ammunition, to be superior to the older weapons and
Another banned member, Dragonrider, argued directly against Mad Scientist's position on almost every point. I believe Dragonrider's position and
arguments, were right-on and more accurate.
I was curious as to why the banned member, Dagronrider, was banned from this website's forum. I hope it wasn't for anything he said during that
particular discussion. He was obviously more knowledgeable and experienced than his adversary in the discussion. Everything Dragonrider said was
essentially true and accurate. The other banned member, Mad Scientist, made several claims that were NOT correct or just plain inaccurate.
Most 30 caliber rounds developed for military purposes, such as the older Springfield 30-06 and the 7.62mm NATO calibers, are ballistically superior
to the 5.56mm ammunition of the M16, especially at ranges over 250 meters. I also agreed with Dragonrider's arguments that the M14/M1 Garand, or
their modern equivalents, like the Springfield SOCOM 16 (7.62mm), or the Russian AK-47, in 30 caliber, are superior to the latest models of the M16,
i.e. M16A2 in long-distance shooting. However, that doesn't mean the M16 is not an effective, reliable combat weapon.
Like Dragonrider, I don't much care for modern M16A2 or later models. I believe a knowledgeable, well-trained soldier, can be much more effective
with an M16A1 rifle vs a M16A2 model. As a soldier, whose life is on the line, I want to be the one who decides whether I need full-auto or
semi-automatic mode of fire. There is a time and place for everything, and soldier's don't need to be second-guessed by politicians and engineers,
with weapons like the M16A2, with its 3-round burst mode. Also, Dragonrider, is absolutely correct about the U.S. Army NOT properly training soldiers
in marksmanship. I know this first-hand. The marksmanship training during the Vietnam Era was far superior to what I saw in the mid-to-late 80s.
The U.S. Army got away from using realistic, man-sized silhouette targets that fell down when a shooter hit the target. The paper targets that were
introduced in later years, after the Vietname Era, are worthless for teaching good marksmanship! I also have to agree with Dragonrider that the
American soldier, of today, is not given an opportunity to be as good a marksman, because of inferior training materials and equipment. Compared to
soldiers of the Vietnam Era and the mid 1970s, the modern U.S. soldier, does not get to fire his or her weapon nearly as much--I saw this first-hand
too. I fired infinitely more rounds (form both pistols and rifles) and throwed many more live grenandes during training in the early-to-mid 1970s,
than I ever did as a soldier in the mid-to-late 1980s. This really bothered me! I hated those new paper targets too. I often wondered if some
DUMB-ASS OFFICER, trying to get commendated for a COST-SAVING IDEA, came up with the idea of those worthless paper targets vs. the wonderful,
electro-mechanical pop-up/shoot-down targets of the Vietnam Era. Our young men and women deserve the best equipment and training and I think they are
betrayed by the new doctrine and methods. Our troops need more target practice, and they need to go back to Vietnam Era ranges and equipment.
Computer simulations and multi-part paper targets are a step backwards in the arena of marksmanship training. It is not something to rush through or
Getting back to ammunition and weapons issue. The M16 is fine for close combat inside cities or in a thick jungle. The M16A1 version of the weapon
eliminated most the drawbacks of earlier versions. If it was properly maintained, it was reasonably reliable. However, for combat over wide
distances, like that in Iraq and Afghanistan, the M16 is not a suitable combat weapon, against weapons, using 30 caliber ammunition. American
soldiers, would be much better served with weapons in 30 caliber, that are vastly superior in the 300-1000 meter range. I wouldn't want to be in
combat with any 5.56mm based M16, in places like Iraq, Afghanistan or Korea, againist an enemy using 30 caliber based weapons--that would give the
enemy a distinct advantage. Even in Serbia, enemy snipers in the mountains or hi-rise buildings, using 30 caliber weapons and ammunition, made
hundreds of kills against soldiers and civilians at ranges from 400-1000 meters. An M16 with 5.56mm ammunition could never have accomplished that
I believe American soldiers and marines deserve to be supplied with 30 caliber weapons in long-distance combat environments. An Armalite AR-10 based
30 caliber weapon would be fine, or any of Springfield Armory's M14 based weapons like the M1A and its variants, like the SOCOM 16, SCOUT 16, or the
even the M14 itself, would be infinitely more suitable for combat in areas like Korea, Iraq or Afghanistan. This would give our young service
personnel a better fighting chance in those enviornments. Even an FN FAL based 30 caliber rifle, like the SA58, or any of its equivalents, would be
better than a 5.56mm based M16 at long distance shooting.
I am a patriot, and U.S. Army veteran of both the Vietnam Era, and the 1980s. I have used many types of firearms since the late 1950s--a period of
over 46 years. I try to be fair and objective on issues, and hope I was in this thread. I like the M16A1 rifle. I think it is a fine weapon,
However, I would prefer a 30-caliber weapon like Springfield Armory's SOCOM 16 over the M16 in a combat environment. Especially, if it was capable
of both semi and full auto firing modes. Of course, the SOCOM 16 does not have a full-auto firing mode, but I would still prefer it to an M16. I
would feel safer with a weapon that allows me to engage the enemy out to 1000 meters. Mostly, I wouldn't want to be at the mercy of an enemy, at
that range, who is using 30-caliber or larger based weapons. The old adage, it's better to be safe than sorry, applies.