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Thread: The early days of the M16 rifle in Vietnam

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  1. #21
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input chaps which is very interesting. It's a good idea of Jim's to get the book "The Black Rifle", thanks. I notice that there are 2 books with this title but I need the one that has "Retrospective" on the cover.



    I seem to recall hearing or seeing somewhere it suggested that the barrel was shortened on the "standard rifle" (not one of the derivatives) at some point? Would this be correct?

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    I have been shooting the AR15 platform since Army in 1974-77, the Air Force in 1979-81, and a s a shooter and LEO ever since. I have never had to use the forward assist, with the exception as part of an immediate action drill, where it wasn't really necessary. Like my M1icon carbines, I could count the malfunctions I have had in all those years and tens of thousands of rounds on one, or maybe at the very most two hands. While I never used it in combat, I did use it in field exercises, crawling in the dirt, dust and mud, and it still functioned.

    I prefer the "slick side" upper AR15s (601. 602, 604, SP1, and assorted USAF incarnations of the GAU-5 A/A and GAU5/P).

    As to the very early years, Advisers for MAC-V used AR15s (601s and 602s) in 1961-1964 as part of ARPA's project AGILE. I know several of those guys. They took better care of their weapons than the average grunt. The AR15 performed very well for them, and there is a lot about it in "The Black Rifle" including transcripts of early engagements. Stoner's team reccomended chrome plating the bore and chamber, but Macnamara and the Whiz Kids thought it was a waste of money...instead they wasted lives. Just like using the wrong powder, they wanted to save a buck.

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  6. #23
    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    Thanks for all the input chaps which is very interesting. It's a good idea of Jim's to get the book "The Black Rifle", thanks. I notice that there are 2 books with this title but I need the one that has "Retrospective" on the cover.

    I seem to recall hearing or seeing somewhere it suggested that the barrel was shortened on the "standard rifle" (not one of the derivatives) at some point? Would this be correct?
    The Black Rifler book is my bible! Another great resource is Retro Black Rifle.com Retro Black Rifle www.retroblackrifle.com
    and ar15.com retro forum AR-15 / M-16 Retro Forum - AR15.COM

    As for the shortened one, it was a model 605, with a 15.5" barrel, cut off just in front of the front sight base, and threaded for a three prong flash hider. They had to open the gas port quite a bit, because there was little bullet dwell in the barrel after the gas port. Modern replicas often use a carbine length gas system with a low profile gas block, and the FSB is only for the sight. Also most people do a 16" barrel to keep from needed a tax stamp for an SBR.



    ---------- Post added at 08:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    I have used the forward assist to close the bolt after riding it forward while trying to chamber a round as quietly as possible.

    In most other circumstances, if the bolt traveling normally fails to close completely, the round is bent or some thing is interfering. If you are lucky, hitting the forward assist well let it chamber and normal firing will resume. If you are unlucky you will have jammed things to the point you can't get the round to fire nor can you get it out of the chamber. Worse, the bolt carrier will be out just enough, you will have trouble because it is partly in the buffer tube.

    By July of 1969, the Army was getting the word out to the troops...

    DA_Pamphlet_750-30
    Great Comic Book manual. I still have an original I got from the arms room in 1979. Pretty worn now, but very cool.
    Last edited by imarangemaster; 10-12-2017 at 09:53 PM.

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  8. #24
    Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
    Great Comic Book manual. I still have an original I got from the arms room in 1979. Pretty worn now, but very cool.
    In July of 1969 I was here:


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  10. #25
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    I notice that there are 2 books with this title but I need the one that has "Retrospective" on the cover.
    You NEED both. Don't cheap it out and just get the one. Also if you can find an updated or improved later copy take it. The first is basic and the second will embellish the first. I have both. Get them both and consume them. Then read them again...

    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    In July of 1969 I was here:
    AND you made it BACK. Well done that. I'd love to sit and chat with you about tank action in that f*ckin' place...
    Regards, Jim

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  12. #26
    Contributing Member fjruple's Avatar
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    Folks--

    If you go to this link you will find just about every manual an book on the AR platform. Many are in a .pdf format and can be downloaded.

    RETRO MANUAL FOLDER - Google Drive

    Enjoy

    --fjruple

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