posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 03:46 PM
My father said that he didn't know a single soldier that would chose an M16 over an M1/M2 Carbine during the Vietnam War. Those who were given
standard issue M16s later in the war would drop them for an M1/M2 seized from the enemy.
The reason being that the M16 is a fearsome looking weapon. It sounds fearsome. It is able to rapidly lay down a suppressing fire that will make
anyone take cover. However, it is not as accurate as the M1/M2 (at close ranges anyway, as the M1/M2 has too much muzzle drop for longer ranges). The
M16 wastes ammunition which is a luxury during War-times (apparently it was not uncommon for US Troops in Vietnam to be forced to carry empty clips in
their M16...and even those with an M1/M2 were lucky if they scrounged up 6 rounds of ammunition). Most of all, it chokes and misfires under heat,
dirt, dust, and stress, even if you do clean and maintain it after every firing (it is perhaps one of the most "needy", high-maintenance firearms we
have ever had in our arsenal).
The M16 has never been revised to deal with these issues. When the M4 was chosen from numerous other bids, it carried the same issues even though many
of the competing bids for an M16 replacement specifically were designed to be accurate, reliable, and low maintenance. It was chosen because of its
similarities to the M16, as well as using interchangeable modular parts. It is a fact that both the M16 and the M4 suffer far more stoppages than any
other battlefield carbine.
However, at least they do function under some conditions. The same can't be said of other equipment we have given our Troops to do their duty and
protect them while they are in harm's way. Our DoD is renown for spending billions developing weapons that look fearsome on paper, but don't
actually function as advertised. M1A1 Abrams anyone?