Re: M16 Revisited..... ( 1 )
Dittos on goldenwings, tranter, and sabashimons comments. I arrived in Vietnam in Aug 67 and as my first unit was an engineer outfit we were issued M14's.
About 2 months later we were issued M16's. They actually gave us a choice in the beginning to keep the M14 if we wanted. It didn't take many patrols for most to go with the M16. The reason: The M16 was more maneuverable in dense folliage AND the ability to hump a much greater number of magazines in the field due to lighter weight.
I never personally encountered a problem with my M16. I don't recall any others having problems. It did need to be kept cleaned and properly lubed.
I'm not dismissing all of this article but I do disagree with the time line. There were indeed problems with the M16 early on. In '65-'66. As I stated in another thread the problem as I understand it was that the powder formula used caused the action to cycle faster than the expended round could be ejected, resulting in stovepipes. I never heard about a failure to extract but I don't know everything.
I'll stand by what I've said repeatedly on posts here. My M16's never let me down...EVER. There were times when I wished I had an M14 for longer range shots, but I would never have traded the M16 for one to carry all the time.
To be perfectly fair I never fired more than 3-4 magazines in a firefight even after I transferred to an infantry unit because I was a field radio operator and I usually had other things to do. Maybe if I had emptied all of the approximately 25 magazines I carried I might have encountered a problem...I don't know. But others I was with certainly did and they had no problems, at least enough to remember.
Again as I have stated on a number of posts..if i needed to choose a weapon and did not know what climate, terrain, and vegetation I would be encountering, I would choose an M14 but not because of any issue with the reliability of the M16. The simple reason is range.