Author Topic: This Old Military Rifle  (Read 56448 times)

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2014, 05:22:24 PM »
The 1941 Johnson Rifle.....Did see action in WWII, but the M1 Garand won out...

The M1941 Johnson Rifle was an American short-recoil operated semi-automatic rifle designed by Melvin Johnson prior to World War II. The M1941 competed unsuccessfully with the U.S. M1 Rifle


Type: Semi-automatic rifle

Place of origin: United States

Service history:

In service; 1941–1945

Used by: See Users

Production history

Designer: Melvin Johnson

Designed: 1939

Manufacturer: Iver Johnson and  FMA

Number built: ~70 000

Variants: VF-1 (Argentine copy)

Specifications

Weight: 9.5 lb (4.31 kg)

Length: 45.87 in (1,165 mm)

Barrel length: 22 in (560 mm)
 


Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield-7x57mm Mauser (Chilean variant) .270 Winchester

Action: Short-recoil, rotating bolt

Muzzle velocity: 2,840 ft/s (866 m/s)

Feed system: 10 round rotary magazine

Sights: Adjustable Iron Sights

The M1941 rifle used the energy from recoil to operate the rifle. As the bullet and propellant gases moved down the barrel, they imparted a force on the bolt head that was locked to the barrel. The barrel, together with the bolt, moved a short distance rearward until the bullet left the barrel and pressure in the bore had dropped to safe levels. The barrel then stopped against a shoulder allowing the bolt carrier to continue rearward under the momentum imparted by the initial recoil stage. The rotating bolt, which had eight locking lugs, would then lock the bolt. Following, a cam arrangement then rotated and unlocked the bolt to continue the operating cycle. One disadvantage of this design was its impact on the use of a bayonet, as the complex movements of the barrel would be subject to unacceptable stress when a bayonet thrust was used. The Johnson rifle utilized a unique 10-round rotary magazine and a two-piece stock, the weapon using the same 5 round stripper clips used by the M1903 Rifle.

This system had some advantages over the M1 Rifle, including less perceived recoil and greater magazine capacity. Unfortunately, the Johnson's recoiling barrel mechanism resulted in excessive vertical shot dispersion that was never fully cured during its production life, and was prone to malfunction when a bayonet was attached to the reciprocating barrel. The Johnson also employed a number of small parts that were easily lost during field stripping. Partially because of lack of development, the M1941 was less rugged and reliable than the M1, though this was a matter of degree and was not universally opined amongst those that had used both weapons in combat.

As was Johnson's practice, he gave all of his weapons a "pet" nickname:
M1941 rifle Betsy
M1941 light machine gun Emma
M1947 auto carbine Daisy Mae

For example, Johnson chris­tened his semi-automatic rifle Betsy and the Light Machine Gun Emma. A massive 20 mm aircraft cannon he developed for the Navy was called Bertha. Johnson referred to the Auto-Carbine as Daisy Mae. None of Johnson's memoirs or other writings reveals his inspiration for these nicknames, although at least a couple would seem obvious.

Famed frontiersman Davy Crockett supposedly called his rifle Old Betsy, which may have led Mel­vin Johnson to give his first rifle the same moniker. The name "Emma" for the LMG was almost cer­tainly derived from the British military's use of the term Emma Gee during World War I to denote Machine Gun or "MG" (M=Emma; G=Gee). The 20 mm aircraft cannon was dubbed Bertha in a likely reference to Germany's massive howitzer of the First World War called Big Bertha (supposedly after Gustav Krupp's wife). One can speculate about the sleek, attractive Auto-Carbine's nickname of Daisy Mae, but the logical assumption is that it was inspired by the buxom girl of the same name fea­tured in the Li'l Abner comic strip popular at the time. One of the Auto-Carbine prototypes, presum­ably number S-3, had Daisy Mae the 3rd neatly stenciled on the right side of the buttstock.

History:

Melvin Johnson campaigned heavily for the adoption of the Johnson rifle by the U.S. Army and other service branches. However, after limited testing, the U.S. Army rejected Johnson's rifle in favor of the M1 rifle developed by Springfield Armory.[2] The M1941 was ordered by the Netherlands for issue to the KNIL in the Dutch East Indies, only a few rifles were shipped to the Dutch East Indies before the Japanese invaded. At this time, the U.S. Marine Corps found itself in need of a modern fast-firing infantry rifle, and acquired some rifles from the Dutch East Indies shipment for issue to its Paramarine battalions then preparing to deploy for action in the Pacific theatre. By all accounts, the M1941 performed acceptably in combat with the Marines in the early days of the Pacific fighting.

Despite repeated requests to adopt the rifle by the Marine Corps, the Johnson rifle also lacked the support of US Army Ordnance, which had already invested considerable sums in the development of the M1 and its revised gas operating system, then just going into full production. Johnson was successful in selling small quantities of the M1941 Johnson Light Machine Gun to the U.S. armed forces, and this weapon was later used by both Para-Marines and the Army's First Special Service Force.

In late 1946, Argentina expressed an interest in Johnson's arms, and Johnson fabricated a prototype, the Model 1947 auto carbine, a semi automatic rifle variant of the light machine gun with the 10 round cylindrical magazine. While specific details are sketchy, it apparently bore little resemblance, but shared some features with the Johnson M1941 light machine gun. Argentina apparently declined to purchase any, and the M1947 auto carbine never went into production. In any event, the post-war years were not kind to the Johnson organization. The entity filed for bankruptcy and was liquidated in early 1949.

A notable example is the FMA VF-1 manufactured in Argentina.

The Johnson rifle was also used in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion by the anti-Castro Brigade 2506.

Because it was produced in relatively small quantities the Johnson rifle has become a highly sought-after collectible by World War II collectors looking to complete their collections.

Military rifles were equipped with proprietary detachable lightweight spike-shaped bayonets, as the standard knife bayonets were too heavy and affected the reliability of a recoil-operated mechanism. These bayonets had no separate "handle" and were hardly useful and provided only to fulfill military requirements.














* most of the information from wikipedia



Dcav

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2014, 08:12:50 PM »
Very cool rifle.
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Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2014, 04:57:57 PM »
Okay, something a little different. The Uzi was designed and prototypes built in the late 40's, and issued to IDF troops in 1954, so lets add it to the thread.

Mine is not an original SMG, but is a fun gun to shoot. Mine is a Vector Arms.

Type: Submachine gun

Place of origin:  Israel

Service history:

In service: 1954–present

Wars
Suez Crisis
Six-Day War
Vietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Colombian internal conflict
Sri Lankan Civil War
Portuguese Colonial War
Falklands War
1982 Lebanon war
South African Border War
Rhodesian Bush War
Somali Civil War
Mexican Drug War

Production history


Designer: Uziel Gal

Designed: 1948

Manufacturer:
Israel Military Industries
Israel Weapon Industries
FN Herstal
Norinco
Lyttleton Engineering Works (under Vektor Arms)
 RH-ALAN

Produced: 1950–present

Number built: 10,000,000+

Specifications:
Weight: 3.5 kg (7.72 lb)

Length: 445 mm (17.5 in) stockless, 470 mm (18.5 in) folding stock collapsed, 640 mm (25 in) folding stock extended
 
Barrel length: 260 mm (10.2 in)
 
Cartridge: 9×19mm Parabellum, .22 LR, .45 ACP, .41 AE

Action: Blowback, open bolt

Rate of fire:600 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity: 400 m/s (9mm)

Effective firing range: 200 m

Feed system: 10 (.22 and .41 AE)  16 (.45 ACP)  20, 25, 32, 40, 50 (9 mm) magazines 

Sights: Iron sights

The Uzi (Hebrew: עוזי‎, officially cased as UZI) is a family of Israeli open-bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns. Smaller variants are considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon.

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. The prototype was finished in 1950. First introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The Uzi has found use as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces.

The Uzi has been exported to over 90 countries. Over its service lifetime, it has been manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers. From the 1960s through the 1980s, more Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military, law enforcement and security markets than any other submachine gun ever made.

The Uzi submachine gun was designed by Captain (later Major) Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The weapon was submitted to the Israeli Army for evaluation and won out over more conventional designs due to its simplicity and economy of manufacture. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him, but his request was ignored. The Uzi was officially adopted in 1951. First introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The first Uzis were equipped with a short, fixed wooden buttstock, and this is the version that initially saw combat during the 1956 Suez Campaign. Later models would be equipped with a folding metal stock.

The Uzi was used as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces. The Uzi's compact size and firepower proved instrumental in clearing Syrian bunkers and Jordanian defensive positions during the 1967 Six-Day War. Though the weapon was phased out of frontline IDF service in the 1980s, some Uzis and Uzi variants were still used by a few IDF units until December 2003, when the IDF announced that it was retiring the Uzi from all IDF forces. It was subsequently replaced by the fully automatic Micro Tavor.

In general, the Uzi was a reliable weapon in military service. However, even the Uzi fell victim to extreme conditions of sand and dust. During the Sinai Campaign of the Yom Kippur War, IDF Army units reaching the Suez Canal reported that of all their small arms, only the 7.62 mm FN MAG machine gun was still in operation.

The Uzi proved especially useful for mechanized infantry needing a compact weapon, and for infantry units clearing bunkers and other confined spaces. However, its limited range and accuracy in automatic fire (approximately 50 m) could be disconcerting when encountering enemy forces armed with longer-range small arms, and heavier support weapons could not always substitute for a longer-ranged individual weapon. These failings eventually caused the phase out of the Uzi from IDF front-line assault units .

The Uzi has been used in various conflicts outside Israel and the Middle East during the 1960s and 1970s. Quantities of 9 mm Uzi submachine guns were used by Portuguese cavalry, police, and security forces during the Portuguese Colonial Wars in Africa.

Uzi carbine

The Uzi carbine is similar in appearance to the Uzi submachine gun. The Uzi carbine is fitted with a 16-inch (410 mm) barrel (400mm), to meet the minimum rifle barrel length requirement for civilian sales in the United States. A small number of Uzi carbines were produced with the standard length barrel for special markets. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic mode only and uses a floating firing pin as opposed to a fixed firing pin.[12] The FS-style selector switch has two positions (the automatic setting was blocked): "F" for "fire" (semi-auto) and "S" for "safe". Uzi carbines are available in calibers .22LR, 9mm, .41 AE, and .45 ACP.

The Uzi carbine has two main variants, the Model A (imported from 1980 to 1983) and the Model B (imported from 1983 until 1989). These two variants were imported and distributed by Action Arms.

The American firm Group Industries made limited numbers of a copy of the Uzi "B" model semi auto carbine for sale in the US along with copies of the Uzi submachinegun for the US collectors' market. After registering several hundred submachineguns transferable to the general public through a special government regulated process, production was halted due to financial troubles at the company. Company assets (including partially made Uzi submachineguns, parts, and tooling) were purchased by an investment group later to become known as Vector Arms. Vector Arms built and marketed numerous versions of the Uzi carbine and the Mini-Uzi.

Mini-Uzi Carbine
The Mini-Uzi Carbine is similar in appearance to the Mini-Uzi machine pistol. The Mini-Uzi carbine is fitted with a 19.8 inch barrel, to meet the minimum rifle overall length requirement for civilian sales in the United States. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic mode only.

Uzi Pistol
The Uzi Pistol is a semi-automatic, closed bolt, and blowback-operated pistol variant. Its muzzle velocity is 345 m/s. It is a Micro-Uzi with no shoulder stock or full-automatic firing capability. The intended users for the pistol were various security agencies in need of a high-capacity semi-automatic pistol, or civilian shooters that wanted a gun with those qualities and the familiarity of the Uzi style. It was introduced in 1984 and produced until 1993.













President Reagan Shooting




*Wikipedia  and other sources

Dcav

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2014, 07:58:55 PM »
Very Cool big UZI fan myself.
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Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2014, 04:52:02 PM »
Lets post my favorite rifle...the M14/M1A...

My M1A is a Springfield and is configured w/3rd Gen Springfield scope mount and a 4X14X56 Springfield "Government" model scope. An original M2 bipod and M6 bayonet. Unfortunately it is not select fire....


M14 rifle, officially the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle that fires 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S. Army, Coast Guard and Marine Corps basic and advanced individual training, and was the standard issue infantry rifle for U.S. military personnel in the Contiguous United States, Europe, and South Korea, until it was replaced by the M16 rifle, in 1970. The rifle remains in limited front line service within all branches of the U.S. military. It is also used as a ceremonial weapon by honor guards, color guards, drill teams, ceremonial guards, and the like.

The M14 rifle was the last American "battle rifle" (weapons that fire full-power rifle ammunition, such as the 7.62×51mm) issued in quantity to U.S. military personnel. The M14 serves as the basis for the M21 and M25 sniper rifles. In 1969, tooling for the M14 was sold to Taiwan and later many rifles were exported to Balkan countries and Israel.


Type: Battle rifle, sniper rifle

Place of origin:  United States of America

Service history:

In service: 1959–1964 (as US standard service rifle)  1959-present (other countries including U.S.)

Wars: Vietnam War–present

Production history:

Designed: 1954

Produced: 1959–1964

Number built: 1.5 million

Variants: M14E1, M14E2/M14A1, M14K, M21, M25, Mk 14 EBR, M1A rifle

Specifications:

Weight: 9.2 lb (4.1 kg) empty  10.7 lb (5.2 kg) w/ loaded magazine

Length: 44.3 in (1,126 mm)

Barrel length: 22 in (559 mm)
 
Cartridge: 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester)

Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Rate of fire: 700–750 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity: 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s)

Effective firing range: 460 m (500 yd) 800+ m (875+ yd) (with optics)

Feed system: 20-round detachable box magazine

Sights: Aperture rear sight, "barleycorn" front sight

The M14 was developed from a long line of experimental weapons based upon the M1 rifle. Although the M1 was among the most advanced infantry rifles of the late 1930s, it was not a perfect weapon. Modifications were already beginning to be made to the basic M1 rifle's design during the last months of World War II. Changes included adding fully automatic firing capability and replacing the 8-round en bloc clips with a detachable box magazine holding 20 rounds. Winchester, Remington, and Springfield Armory's own John Garand offered different conversions. Garand's design, the T20, was the most popular, and T20 prototypes served as the basis for a number of Springfield test rifles from 1945 through the early 1950s.[8]

In 1945, Earle Harvey of Springfield Armory designed a completely different rifle, the T25, for the new T65 .30 Light Rifle cartridge at the direction of Col. Rene Studler, then serving in the Pentagon. In late 1945 the two men were transferred to Springfield Armory, where work on the T25 continued.[9] The T25 was designed to use the T65 service cartridge, a Frankford Arsenal design based upon .30-06 cartridge case used in the M1 service rifle, but shortened to the length of the .300 Savage case. Although shorter than the .30-06, with less powder capacity, the T65 cartridge retained the ballistics and energy of the .30-06 due to the use of a recently developed ball powder made by Olin Industries. After experimenting with several bullet designs, the T65 was finalized for adoption as the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. Olin Industries later marketed the cartridge on the commercial market as the commercial .308 Winchester round. After a series of revisions by Earle Harvey and other members of the .30 Light Rifle design group following the 1950 Ft. Benning tests, the T25 was renamed the T47.

In contrast, the T44 prototype service rifle was not principally designed by any single engineer at Springfield Armory, but rather was a conventional design developed on a shoestring budget as an alternative to the T47.[9] With only minimal funds available, the earliest T44 prototypes simply used T20E2 receivers fitted with magazine filler blocks and re-barreled for 7.62mm NATO, with the long operating rod/piston of the M1 replaced by the T47's gas cut-off system. Lloyd Corbett, an engineer in Earle Harvey's rifle design group, added various refinements to the T44 design, including a straight operating rod and a bolt roller to reduce friction.

Infantry Board Service Rifle trials

The T44 participated in a competitive service rifle competition conducted by the Infantry Board at Ft. Benning, Georgia against the Springfield T47 (a modified T25) and Fabrique Nationale's "Fusil Automatique Leger" (French for "Light Automatic Rifle"), designated T48. The T47, which did not have a bolt roller and performed worse in dust and cold weather tests than either the T44 or the T48 was dropped from consideration in 1953. During 1952–53, testing proved the T48 and the T44 roughly comparable in performance, with the T48 holding an advantage in ease of field stripping and dust resistance, as well as a longer product development lead time. A Newsweek article in July 1953 hinted that the T48/FAL might be selected over the T44. During the winter of 1953–54, both rifles competed in the winter rifle trials at U.S. Army facilities in the Arctic. Springfield Armory engineers, anxious to ensure the selection of the T44, had been specially preparing and modifying the test T44 rifles for weeks with the aid of the Armory's Cold Chamber, including redesign of the T44 gas regulator and custom modifications to magazines and other parts to reduce friction and seizing in extreme cold. The T48 rifles received no such special preparation, and in the continued cold weather testing began to experience sluggish gas system functioning, aggravated by the T48's close-fitting surfaces between bolt and carrier, and carrier and receiver. FN engineers opened the gas ports in an attempt to improve functioning, but this caused early/violent extraction and broken parts as a result of the increased pressures. As a result, the T44 was ranked superior in cold weather operation to the T48. The Arctic Test Board report made it clear that the T48 needed improvement and that the U.S. would not adopt the T48 until it had successfully completed another round of Arctic tests the following winter.

In June 1954, funding was finally made available to manufacture newly fabricated T44 receivers specially designed for the shorter T65 cartridge. This one change to the T44 design saved a pound in rifle weight over that of the M1 Garand. Tests at Ft. Benning with the T44 and T48 continued through the summer and fall of 1956. By this time, the T48/FAL rifles had been so improved that malfunction rates were almost as low as the T44.

In the end, the T44 was selected over the T48/FAL primarily because of weight (the T44 was a pound lighter than the T48), simplicity (the T44 had fewer parts), the T44's self-compensating gas system, and the argument that the T44 could be manufactured on existing machinery built for the M1 rifle (a concept that later turned out to be unworkable). In 1957, the U.S. formally adopted the T44 as the U.S. infantry service rifle, designated M14.

Production contracts:

Initial production contracts for the M14 were awarded to the Springfield Armory, Winchester, and Harrington & Richardson. Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge Inc. (TRW) would later be awarded a production contract for the rifle as well. 1,376,031 M-14 service rifles were produced from 1959 to 1964.

National Match M14

Springfield Armory produced 6,641 new M14 NM rifles in 1962 and 1963, while TRW produced 4,874 new M14 NM rifles in 1964. Springfield Armory later upgraded 2,094 M14 rifles in 1965 and 2,395 M14 rifles in 1966 to National Match specifications, while 2,462 M14 rifles were rebuilt to National Match standards in 1967 at the Rock Island Arsenal. A total of 11,130 National Match rifles were delivered by Springfield Armory, Rock Island Arsenal, and TRW during 1962-1967.

Production M14 rifles made by Springfield Armory and Winchester used forged receivers and bolts milled from AISI 8620 steel, a low-carbon molybdenum-chromium steel. Harrington & Richardson M-14 production used AISI 8620 steel as well, except for ten receivers milled from AISI 1330 low-carbon steel and a single receiver made from high-nickel-content alloy steel.

Deployment

Experimental T47 rifle

After the M14's adoption, Springfield Armory began tooling a new production line in 1958, delivering the first service rifles to the U.S. Army in July 1959. However, long production delays resulted in the 101st Airborne Division being the only unit in the Army fully equipped with the M14 by the end of 1961. The Fleet Marine Force finally completed the change from M1 to M14 in late 1962. Springfield Armory records reflect that M14 manufacture ended as TRW, fulfilling its second contract, delivered its final production increment in Fiscal Year 1965 (1 July '64 – 30 June '65). The Springfield archive also indicates the 1.38 million rifles were acquired for just over $143 million, for a unit cost of about $104.

The rifle served adequately during its brief tour of duty in Vietnam. Though it was unwieldy in the thick brush due to its length and weight, the power of the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge allowed it to penetrate cover quite well and reach out to extended range, developing 2,560 ft·lbf (3,463 J) of muzzle energy. However, there were several drawbacks to the M14. The traditional wood stock of the rifle had a tendency to swell and expand in the heavy moisture of the jungle, adversely affecting accuracy. Fiberglass stocks were produced to resolve this problem, but the rifle was discontinued before very many could be distributed for field use. Also, because of the M14's powerful 7.62×51 mm cartridge, the weapon was deemed virtually uncontrollable in fully automatic mode, so most M14s were permanently set to semi-automatic fire only to avoid wasting ammunition in combat.

The M14 was developed as a means of taking the place of four different weapons systems—the M1 rifle, the M1 Carbine, the M3 "Grease Gun" and the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). It was thought that in this manner the M14 could simplify the logistical requirements of the troops by limiting the types of ammunition and parts needed to be supplied. It proved to be an impossible task to replace all four, and the weapon was even deemed "completely inferior" to the World War II M1 in a September 1962 report by the comptroller of the Department of Defense. The cartridge was too powerful for the submachine gun role and the weapon was simply too light to serve as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR.

Replacement

The M14 remained the primary infantry weapon in Vietnam until it was replaced by the M16 in 1966–1967, though combat engineer units kept them several years longer. Further procurement of the M14 was abruptly halted in late 1963 due to the above mentioned Department of Defense report which had also stated that the AR-15 (soon to be M16) was superior to the M14 (DOD did not cancel FY 1963 orders not yet delivered). After the report, a series of tests and reports by the United States Department of the Army followed that resulted in the decision to cancel the M14. The M16 was then ordered as a replacement for the M14 by direction of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1964, over the objection of those Army officers who had backed the M14 (other factions within the Army research and development community had opposed the M14 and the 7.62×51 mm round from the start). Though production of the M14 was officially discontinued, some disgruntled troops managed to hang on to them while deriding the early model M16 as a frail and under-powered "Mattel toy" that was prone to jam. In late 1967, the U.S. Army designated the M16 as the "Standard A" rifle, and the M14 became a "Limited Standard" weapon. The M14 rifle remained the standard rifle for U.S. Army Basic Training and troops stationed in Europe until 1970.

The U.S. Army also converted several thousand M14s into the M21 sniper rifle, which remained standard issue for this purpose until the adoption of the M24 SWS in 1988

Post-1970 U.S. military service

 An Army marksman in Fallujah, Iraq, using an M14 with a Leupold LR/T 10×40 mm M3.
In the mid-1990s, the Marine Corps chose a new rifle for Designated Marksman (sniper) use, an M14 modified by the Precision Weapons Shop in Marine Corps Base Quantico called the Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). It is intended for use by security teams (SRTs, FAST companies), and Marine Scout Snipers in the cases where a semi-automatic rifle would be more appropriate than the standard bolt-action M40A1/A3 rifle. The USMC Rifle Team uses the M14 in shooting competitions. Although the M14 was phased out as the standard-issue rifle by 1970, M14 variants are still used by various branches of the U.S. Military as well as other armed forces, especially as a sniper rifle and as a designated marksman rifle, due to its excellent accuracy and effectiveness at long range. Special active units such as the OPFOR units of the Joint Readiness Training Center use M14s. Few M14s were in use in the Army until the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Since the start of these conflicts, many M14s have been employed as designated marksman and sniper rifles. These are not M21 rifles, but original production M14s. Common modifications include scopes, fiberglass stocks, and other accessories. A 2009 study conducted by the U.S. Army claimed that half of the engagements in Afghanistan occurred from beyond 300 meters (330 yd). America’s 5.56x45 mm NATO service rifles are ineffective at these ranges; this has prompted the reissue of thousands of M14s.

 A USMC Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) in use

 A Gunner's Mate using an M14 rifle to fire a shot line from the USS Carter Hall to USNS Lewis and Clark.
The 1st Battalion of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard") in the Military District of Washington is the sole remaining regular United States Army combat field unit where the M14 is still issued as the standard rifle, along with a chromed bayonet and an extra wooden stock with white sling for military funerals, parades, and other ceremonies. The United States Air Force Honor Guard uses a version of the M14. The United States Navy Ceremonial Guard and Base Honor Guards also use the M14 for 3-volley salutes in military funerals. It is also the drill and parade rifle of the United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Norwich University, Virginia Military Institute, and North Georgia College and State University. U.S. Navy ships carry several M14s in their armories. They are issued to sailors going on watch out on deck in port, and to Backup Alert Forces. The M14 is also used to shoot a large rubber projectile to another ship when underway to start the lines over for alongside refueling and replenishment.


 A SEAL operator with an M14 rifle participating in maritime interdiction enforcement during Operation Desert Storm.
Various sniper variants have been used by the United States Navy SEALs, often mistaken with M21 in the overt literature, only one of them has received a standard name in the U.S. military designations system: the M25, developed by the Special Forces. These sniper variants have probably been replaced by the Mk 11 Mod 0, selected in 2000. SEALs also use the Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle) for close-quarters battle and in a designated marksman role. "Delta Force" units are known to have used M14 sniper variants. According to Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, the well-known account of the Battle of Mogadishu, at least one of the "D-Boys", Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, used an M14 for sniping from helicopters to provide support fire to ground troops.

The U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") have made some use of the M25 "spotter rifle". The M25 was developed in the late 1980s within the 10th Special Forces Group, which was charged to support Special Forces sniper weapons as well as the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC). The M25 was first planned as a replacement for the old M21, but after the Army adoption of the M24 SWS as its standard sniper rifle, the M25 was intended to be used by spotters of the sniper teams, while the snipers would use the bolt-action M24.

Though the M14 has remained in service longer than any U.S. infantry rifle with the exception of the Springfield M1903 rifle, it also holds the distinction of serving as the standard infantry rifle of the U.S. Army for a shorter span of time than almost any other service rifle.

Service with non-U.S. nations

The Philippine government issues M14 rifles, as well as M1 carbines, M1 rifles and M16 rifles, to their civilian defense forces and to various cadet corps in their service academies. The Greek Navy also uses the M14.

M14 production Springfield tooling and assembly line was sold in 1967 to the Republic of China (Taiwan), who in 1968 began producing their Type 57 Rifle. The State Arsenal of the Republic of China produced over 1 million of these rifles from 1969 to the present under model numbers of M305 and M14S. Other than the surface finish difference it is essentially a US rifle. It is still used by the reserves and as a backup defense weapon and used for airport guards.

In China, Norinco and Poly Technologies have produced M14 variants in the past for export, which were sold in the United States prior to the enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. They are currently being sold in Canada, Italy and New Zealand only. They have been marketed under the M14S and M305 names

Receiver markings

Stamped into receiver heel:
U.S. Rifle
7.62-MM M14
Springfield Armory (or commercial contractor name)
Serial number


















« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 05:01:04 PM by Henry Bowman »

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2014, 05:50:58 PM »
Well, with all the replies, I hope I'm not just entertaining myself with these posts...lol..

The Carcano rifle is an inexpensive and interesting addition to any old military rifle collection. Variants can be had and not break the bank. While my rifle is in 7.35 most were 6.5 and some other calibers too. The Japanese Arisaka variant is one for my wish list when I come across the right one...

My rifle was sent to the Finns per the SA cartouche on the receiver....the Finnish troops were not fond of the little carbines and would chunk them as quick as the could for a battlefield pick up...fixed rear sight for a rather optimistic 300 meters and a folding bayonet ( I am looking for the folding one) that were re arsenaled into fixed blades due to the flawed design...true fixed blades were also made for the M38. The underside of the forearm of the rifle is slotted for the blade similar to the SKS. My rifle is a 1939 and no imports marks.

I will not get into the whole LHO rifle and Kennedy......

Carcano M38

Type: Rifle

Place of origin: Kingdom of Italy

Service history

In service: 1891–1981 (Italy)  1981–present (other)

Wars:
Mahdist War
First Italo-Ethiopian War
Boxer Rebellion
Italo-Turkish War
World War I
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
Winter War
World War II
Libyan civil war

Production history:

Designed: 1890

Produced: 1891–1945

Number built: 2,063,750–3,000,000 of all variants

Variants: Long rifles, short rifle, cavalry carbine, special troops' carbine in diverse sub-variants

Specifications:
 
Weight: 3.4 kg (7.5 lb.)

Length: 1015 mm (3 ft 4 in)

Barrel length: 540mm (21.3 in)
 
Cartridge: 6.5×52mm Mannlicher-Carcano, 7.35×51mm Carcano, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 6.5×50mm Arisaka (Type I)

Action: Bolt action

Muzzle velocity :755 m/s (2,477 ft/s)

Effective firing range: 656 yards (600 m)

Feed system: 6 round integral magazine, loaded with an en-bloc clip


The Carcano is the frequently used name for a series of Italian bolt-action military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for the rimless 6.5×52mm Mannlicher-Carcano cartridge (Cartuccia Modello 1895). It was developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin Army Arsenal in 1890 and called the Model 91 (M91). Successively replacing the previous Vetterli-Vitali rifles and carbines in 10.35×47mmR, it was produced from 1892 to 1945. The M91 was used in both rifle (fucile, sing.; fucili, pl.) and carbine (moschetto, sing.; moschetti, pl.) form by most Italian troops during the First World War and by Italian and some German forces during the Second World War. The rifle was also used during the Winter War by Finland, and again by regular and irregular forces in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria during various postwar conflicts in those countries.

The Type I Carcano rifle was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937. The Type I is based on the Type 38 rifle and uses a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round box magazine. The Type I was used primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces and was chambered for the Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. Approximately 60,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan.

Although this rifle is often called "Mannlicher-Carcano", especially in American parlance, neither that designation nor the name "Mauser-Parravicino" is correct. Its official designation in Italian is simply Modello 1891, or M91 ("il novantuno"). The magazine system uses en bloc charger clips which were originally developed and patented by Ferdinand Mannlicher, but the actual shape and design of the Carcano clip is derived from the German Model 1888 Commission Rifle.

Until 1938, all M91 rifles and carbines were chambered for the rimless 6.5×52mm Modello 1895 cartridge, using a round-nose metal case bullet of 160 grains weight at approximately 2,000-2,400 ft/s muzzle velocity, depending upon barrel length. At least one small arms authority noted inconsistencies in powder types in arsenal-loaded 6.5×52mm military ammunition, often with different powder types and ammunition lots intermixed within a single clip of ammunition.[1] The practice of intermixing powder types and ammunition lots in clipped rifle ammunition was generally avoided by arsenals of other nations, as it generally resulted in varying bullet velocities and excessive bullet dispersion on the target.

After reports of inadequate performance at both short and long ranges during the campaigns in Italian North Africa (1924-1934), and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (1934), the Italian army introduced a new short rifle in 1938, the Modello 1938, together with a new cartridge in 7.35×51mm caliber. In addition to the slightly larger caliber, Italian ordnance designers introduced a spitzer-type bullet for the new cartridge, with the tip filled with aluminum to produce an unstable (tumbling) projectile upon impact in soft tissue (a design most likely copied from the .303 British Mk VII bullet).

However, the Italian government was unable to successfully mass-produce the new arms in adequate quantities before the onset of war, and in 1940, all rifle and ammunition production reverted to 6.5 mm, but no 7.35 mm Mod. 38 rifles nor carbines were ever re-barreled to the old 6.5×52mm caliber. Some Italian troops serving on the Russian front were armed with 7.35 mm Mod. 1938 rifles, but exchanged them in 1942 for 6.5×52 mm arms.

Approximately 94,500 7.35 mm Modello 1938 rifles were shipped to Finland, where they were known as Terni carbines. They were primarily used by security and line-of-communications troops during the Winter War of 1939–1940, though some frontline troops were issued the weapon. According to reports, the Finns disliked the rifle. With its non-standard 7.35 mm caliber, it was problematic to keep frontline troops supplied with ammunition, and its non-adjustable rear sight (fixed for 300 m) made it ill-suited for use in precision shooting at the varied ranges encountered by Finnish soldiers during the conflict. Soldiers also complained that the ammunition demonstrated excessive bullet dispersion on the target. Whenever possible, Finnish soldiers discarded the weapon in favor of rifles acquired on the battlefield, including standard models of captured Soviet-made Mosin–Nagant rifles. The latter at least had the advantage of using commonly available 7.62×54mmR ammunition. By the outbreak of the Continuation War, Finnish Army headquarters had got the message. The remaining Mod. 1938 7.35 mm rifles were issued to the Finnish Navy, as well as anti-aircraft, coastal defense, and other second-line (home front) troops.

In 1941, the Italian military returned to a long-barreled infantry rifle once again (slightly shorter than the original M91), the Carcano M91/41. True sniper versions never existed, but in World War I a few rifles were fitted with telescopic lenses and issued for service use (World War II scoped rifles were strictly prototypes).

Since the 1980s, several lots of Moschetti M91/38 TS (special troops' carbines) chambered for the German 8×57mm Mauser SS heavy ball round, have appeared on the surplus markets. Two small batches of Moschetti M91/38 TS carbines shows barrels marked 1938 and 1941, but they were not used at these times with any Italian forces, and their peculiar serial numbering suggests that these might just be rebored unused surplus barrels that were converted with other ones after 1945. Many 7.92 mm Carcano carbines were apparently exported to Egypt after World War II, where they served as drill and training carbines. Several also bear Israeli armed forces markings. The occasionally used model moniker "Model 1943 (M43)" for these converted 7.92mm rifles is wrong, as they were never so designated by the Italian military.

German forces captured large quantities of Carcanos after Italy's capitulation in September 1943. It was the most commonly issued rifle to the German Volkssturm ("People's Militia") units in late 1944 and 1945.

After World War II, Italy replaced its Carcano rifles first with British Lee-Enfields and then with the US .30 caliber (7.62 mm) M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle which the Italians labeled the 'Model 1952 (M52). Finland sold all of its approximately 74,000 remaining 7.35 mm M91/38 Carcano rifles on the surplus market. As a consequence, large quantities of surplus Carcanos were sold in the USA and Canada beginning in the 1950s. In Italy, the Polizia di Stato retained the rifle, retiring it from service in 1981. Captured 6.5mm Carcano rifles were used by Greek forces post-war, with ammunition supplied by U.S. Western Cartridge Co. Some were also converted to 6.5×54mm Mannlicher-Schönauer, one of the standard cartridges of the Greek military at the time.

The original Carcano Modello 1895 cartridge (6.5×52mm), was also used in World War I-era machine guns in the Modello 30 light machine gun; the latter was employed in Abyssinia and in World War II by Italian troops until the Armistice. In 1935 the 8×59mm Breda cartridge was adopted for some Italian heavy machine guns (rechambered Fiat-Revelli, Breda M37, Breda M38); its longer range and heavier projectile proved much more effective in combat, particularly against motorized troops.

During the Libyan civil war in 2011, many rebels went into battle with their personally-owned weapons, including old bolt-action rifles and shotguns. Of these, Carcano-style rifles and carbines have been the most frequently observed style of bolt-action rifle. They were predominantly used by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains. These old weapons saw combat once again due to the rebels' limited access to modern firearms. Additionally, some Libyan rebels preferred to use their familiar hunting weapons over the more modern, yet unfamiliar, assault rifles available. According to Al-Fitouri Muftah, a member of the rebel military council overseeing the western mountain front, as many as 1 in 10 rebels in the region were armed with World War II-era weapons.















SinisterNerd

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2014, 09:16:02 PM »
Henry, don't take our lack of replies as us ignoring these.  You have the best posts of the website, keep them coming.  Your photos and descriptions are outstanding. 

TrapperL

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2014, 10:21:34 PM »
Yeah, what Sinster said. I missed the post on the M14. I have an M1A that Elmer Balance worked on. Mine is a Armscorp brand with billet receiver and all military parts. Shoots decent enough. The history of the Texas M1A is pretty interesting in itself. Old Elmer is still alive last I heard and still selling parts but can't sell or build a weapon due to his "infraction".
Love the piece on the Johnson. At one time, like the 03s, they were dirt cheap but I didn't really know what they were. They were fairly common at gunshows. When I did a little research on them I decide I wanted one and then couldn't find one. Kinda gave up on the purchase. But then there are a lot of things over the years I've seen that I didn't buy but wish I did....like a 22LR Springfield, a bottom plate for an 03 that took a Browning clip, Ruger Bearcat, Ruger Hawkeye in 256, and the list goes on...

SinisterNerd

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2014, 11:03:45 PM »
Give us the Elmer backstory when you get a chance Trapper.  Henry's post and your knowledge are the kinds of things that can set this site apart from the rest. 

Too many "gun boards" exists that don't talk about guns (politics, pricing, shopping, etc).  The knowledge and history is priceless.

I'm learning the buying lesson fast.  Silly SKS's were 100-200 a few years back.  They're not the most sophisticated weapons.  But they have a place in History and they're going for 500+ now (on FB,  I'm sure if I really wanted one I could scrounge and still find a -$300 price).

I picked up a CZ-82 recently.  It's a great little pistol for the price.  Not nearly as interesting as Henry's rifles, but I'm going to post something similar to his posts in the pistol section.  It has a somewhat interesting history

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2014, 11:54:13 PM »
Give us the Elmer backstory when you get a chance Trapper.

+1...Please... O:tu

and Thanks to all, for the comments. All these rifles hang in my office...I enjoy them everyday..
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 12:01:05 AM by Henry Bowman »

TrapperL

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2014, 09:12:14 AM »
Rather than write the case here, I'm posting a link to the actual court proceedings. Elmer was involved in a conspiracy case where he and others were to sell full automatic M16s to a Mexican buyer. Elmer still claims that the case is pure horse bagels. He was going to get into the AR15 business and hence the parts that he had on hand. Per him, none of which were full automatics. Hard to say since all evidence was picked up by the Feds and conveniently disappeared. They completely emptied his shop in Natalia. After found guilty, he reopened making gun parts but can not build any complete weapons per law. I believe he's also not allowed to make receivers. The entire thing was out of character for Elmer but I've never seen any purpose for the Gov'ts actions either. Elmer ended up selling the name Springfield Armory to the Reese family. You'll find 2 different camps on the "Devine" M1as. One who thinks there is none finer and those that claim they are full of flaws. If you ever get to shoot one, you'll know pretty quick that they are the finest ever made. There are a lot of fakes out there so if considering one make sure to check with the Devine M1a website. There were less than 3000 made and command pretty big money.
http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/628/901/58950/
http://www.warbirdscustomguns.com/Texas%20M1A%27s.htm

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2014, 02:11:31 PM »
Thank you for the information and links. Very interesting!

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2014, 02:29:11 PM »
Another inexpensive addition to your military rifle collection...the M1895 or M95 Steyr and later the M95/30 like mine. My rifle was manufactured in 1917 and is chambered in 8X56R. Interesting (at least to me) is that when it was rechambered from the original 8X50R it has the "S" stamp on the barrel which is correct for the Steyr plant but the Hungarian plant was marked with an "H". My rifle is from the Budapest plant (FEG I believe). My rifle is missing the slide on the rear sight, but I have found one at Numrich. One thing I think is a peculiar feature is the rear sling swivel placement and is one of those wtf? things, imho.

The Steyr Mannlicher M95 bolt has a separate head with two frontal locking lugs. The bolt head rotates on the pull of the bolt body, locking and unlocking the action. The box magazine holds five rounds using en bloc clips. When emptied, the clips were ejected from the bottom of the magazine. Clips can be removed from the top with the bolt open, by the clip catch inside the trigger guard. One specific feature of this system was that the clip has a "top" and "bottom", and can not be loaded into the rifle upside down. The safety is located at the rear left side of the bolt. Large ear-shaped cocking handle at the rear of the bolt served as a manual cocking handle, to re-cock the action without operating the bolt. M95 rifles were issued with detachable knife bayonets. The M95 is a short rifle or carbine, with bayonet lug, and a slightly shorter cavalry carbine (without bayonet lug) was also issued.

The Steyr M1895 rifle, also known as Steyr-Mannlicher M95 straight pull rifle, was developed by Ferdinand Ritter Von Mannlicher. It was based on his previous M1890 design.  M95 was manufactured in Austro-Hungarian Empire at state arms factories in Steyr (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary). Originally produced in 8x50R caliber, around 1924 some of M95 rifles were converted to the German 7.92x57 Mauser cartridge. These converted rifles featured shorter barrels and were designated as M95/24 and used in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. This conversion replaced the en bloc clip, and replaced it with Mauser stripper clips. Since 1930 Austria converted most of their M95 rifles to the 8x56R cartridge, using the same Mannlicher en bloc clips. These rifles were designated as M95/30, and marked with the letter "S" on the receiver ring. Hungary converted their rifles to the same 8x56R cartridge in 1931, and the upgraded rifles were marked with the letter "H" on the receiver ring. Many of the M95 rifles were used during the Word War 2 by the Hungarian, Bulgarian and Italian armies, as well as by some German forces.

M95 rifles are generally considered reasonably strong and accurate, but can be sensitive to mud and dirt, as with most other military straight pull bolt action rifles. There were downsides, inherent to straight pull rifles. The straight pull bolt lacked the powerful initial extraction, provided by most rotating bolt actions. The opening at the bottom of the magazine easily collected the dirt and dust into the magazine. The en block clip loading system does not allow the partially full magazine to be refilled without removing the non-empty clip. The use of rimmed ammunition resulted in the non-symmetric clip which could be inserted into the action only with one side down; upper side of the clip has stamped serrations to hold it while loading (this particular problem was cured in Italian Carcano rifles, which uses rimless cartridges and symmetric clips that have no specific top or bottom.


Type: Service rifle, Bolt-action rifle

Place of origin:  Austria-Hungary

In service 1895–1945

Used by: Austria-Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Ottoman Empire, Poland,[1] Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Yugoslavia

Wars:

Boxer Rebellion,
Balkan Wars,
World War I,
World War II

Designer: Ferdinand von Mannlicher

Designed: 1895

Manufacturer: Steyr-Mannlicher

Produced: 1895–1921

Number built: 3,000,000+

Variants: M95 long rifle, M95/24 rifle, M95M rifle, M95/30 short rifle

Weight:  M95 long rifle: 3.8 kilograms (8.4 lb) empty
 M95/30 rifle: 3.36 kilograms (7.4 lb) empty

Length: M95: 1,272 millimeters (50.1 in)
 M95/30: 1,000 millimeters (39 in)

Barrel length: M95: 765 millimetres (30.1 in)
 M95/30: 480 millimetres (19 in)
 
Cartridge: 8×50mmR, 8×56mmR, 7.92×57mm Mauser

Caliber: 8mm caliber

Action: Straight-pull bolt action

Feed system: 5-round en bloc clip (stripper clip in M95/24 and M95M rifles), internal box magazine

Sights: Iron sights


















Sources include Wikipedia and various other sites

« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 03:44:18 PM by Henry Bowman »

Major Kong

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2014, 03:24:19 PM »
You have some very cool things.  I always enjoy your posts.  Thank you.

Sent from an undisclosed location.


Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2014, 04:08:56 PM »
You have some very cool things.  I always enjoy your posts.  Thank you.

Sent from an undisclosed location.

Thank you Sir!


In the beginning of the thread, I said I would like to keep the thread on track with rifles produced before 1960. Although the M16/AR15 were adopted in the early 60's, the rifle itself was developed in the 50's. So please excuse the liberties of posting the AR15. Although it has exponentially had changes over the decades to improve reliability and accuracy, the basic design still reigns as one of the most successful rifles ever produced in world history. The popularity continues to grow and who can deny that is America's Rifle.

This will be a long post and well may take two posts to get in because of the 1000 word limit of the forum per post.  I have been doing cut and paste from Wikipedia and other sites when mentioned. I do occasionally change punctuation and the structure of some sentences for clarity and completeness.  Sometimes some of the information is my own words by research and personal experience.

M16/AR-15
 

Type: Assault rifle

Place of origin: United States

Service history: In service 1962–present

Wars:
Vietnam War
Laotian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
1982 Lebanon War
Invasion of Grenada
Invasion of Panama
Gulf War
Somali Civil War
Operation Deny Flight
Operation Joint Endeavor
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Other conflicts

Production history:


Designer: Eugene Stoner and L. James Sullivan

Designed: 1956

Manufacturers:
United States Colt Defense
South Korea Daewoo Precision Industries
Belgium FN Herstal
United States H & R Firearms
United States General Motors Hydramatic Division
Philippines Elisco
United States U.S. Ordnance
 

Produced: 1959–present

Number built: ~8 million

Specifications (M16)


Weight: 7.18 lb (3.26 kg) (unloaded)  8.79 lb (4.0 kg) (loaded)

Length: 39.5 in (1,000 mm)

Barrel length: 20 in (508 mm)
 
Cartridge: 5.56×45mm NATO

Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt (direct impingement)

Rate of fire: 12–15 rounds/min sustained,   45–60 rounds/min semi-automatic, 700–950 rounds/min cyclic

Muzzle velocity: 3,110 ft/s (948 m/s)

Effective firing range: 550 meters (point target),  800 meters (area target)

Feed system:  20-round box magazine:  (0.211 lb [95 grams] empty / 0.738 lb [335 g] full)
30-round box magazine:  (0.257 lb [117 g] empty / 1.06 lb [483 g] full)
Beta C-Mag 100-round double-lobed drum:  (2.2 lb [1 kg] empty / 4.81 lb [2.19 kg] full)

The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is the United States military select-fire adaptation of the AR-15 rifle. The rifle was adapted for semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from Armalite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. In 1983 with the adoption of the M16A2, the M16 rifle was modified for three round bursts, with some later variants having all modes of fire and has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces.

The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its caliber. As of 2010, the U.S. Army is supplementing the M16 in combat units with the M4 carbine, which is itself a shortened derivative of the M16A2.

The M16 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle, with a rotating bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation. The rifle is made of steel, 7075 aluminum alloy, composite plastics and polymer materials.

Armalite sold its rights to the AR-15 to Colt in 1959. The AR-15 was first adopted in 1962 by the United States Air Force, ultimately receiving the designation M16. The U.S. Army began to field the XM16E1 en masse in 1965 with most of them going to the Republic of Vietnam, and the newly organized and experimental Airmobile Divisions, the 1st Air Cavalry Division in particular. The U.S. Marine Corps in South Vietnam also experimented with the M16 rifle in combat during this period. This occurred in the early 1960s, with the Army issuing it in late 1964. Commercial AR-15s were first issued to Special Forces troops in spring of 1964.

The first issues of the rifle generated considerable controversy because the gun suffered from a jamming flaw known as “failure to extract,” which meant that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet was fired. According to a congressional report, the jamming was caused primarily by a change in gunpowder that was done without adequate testing and reflected a decision for which the safety of soldiers was a secondary consideration, away from what the designer specified, as well as telling troops the rifle was 'self cleaning' and at times failing to issue cleaning kits. Due to the issue, reports of soldiers being wounded were directly linked to the M16, which many soldiers felt was unreliable compared to its precursor, the M14, which used stick powder, varying from the M16's utilization of ball powder.

The Army standardized an upgrade of the XM16E1 as the M16A1 in 1967. All of the early versions were chambered to fire the M193/M196 cartridges in the semi-automatic and the automatic firing modes. The M16A1 version remained the primary infantry rifle of U.S. forces in South Vietnam until the end of direct U.S. ground involvement in 1973, and remained with all U.S. military ground forces after it had replaced the M14 service rifle in 1970 in CONUS, Europe (Germany), and South Korea; when it was supplemented by the M16A2. During the early 1980s, a roughly standardized load for this ammunition was adopted throughout NATO.

The M16A2 rifle entered service in the 1980s, being ordered in large scale by 1987, chambered to fire the standard NATO cartridge, the Belgian-designed M855/M856. The M16A2 is a select-fire rifle (semi-automatic fire, three-round-burst fire) incorporating design elements requested by the Marine Corps: an adjustable, windage rear-sight; a stock 5⁄8 inch (15.9 mm) longer; heavier barrel; case deflector for left-hand shooters; and cylindrical handguards. The fire mode selector is on the receiver's left side. M16A2s are still in stock with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, but are used primarily by reserve and National Guard units as well as by the U.S. Air Force.

The M16A3 rifle is an M16A2 rifle with an M16A1's fire control group (semi-automatic fire, automatic fire) that is used only by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard replaced their upper receivers with A2 receivers in the mid 90's, but retained the full auto capability by mounting the new A2 upper receiver on the old full auto lower receiver.

The M16A4 rifle was standard issue for the United States Marine Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom after 2004 and replaced the M16A2 in front line units. In the U.S. Army, the M16A2 rifle is being supplemented with two rifle models, the M16A4 and the M4 carbine, as the standard issue assault rifle. The M16A4 has a flat-top receiver developed for the M4 carbine, a handguard with four Picatinny rails for mounting a sight, laser, night vision device, forward handgrip, M203 grenade launcher, removable handle, or a flashlight.

The M16 rifle is principally manufactured by Colt and Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (under a U.S. military contract since 1988 by FNH-USA; currently in production since 1991, primarily M16A2, A3, and A4), with variants made elsewhere in the world. Versions for the U.S. military have also been made by H & R Firearms[19] General Motors Hydramatic Division and most recently by Sabre Defense. Semi-automatic versions of the AR-15 are popular recreational shooting rifles, with versions manufactured by other small and large manufacturers in the U.S.[22] The M16 rifle design, including variant or modified version of it such as the Armalite/Colt AR-15 series, AAI M15 rifle; AP74; EAC J-15; SGW XM15A; any 22-caliber rimfire variant, including the Mitchell M16A-1/22, Mitchell M16/22, Mitchell CAR-15/22, and AP74 Auto Rifle, is a prohibited and restricted weapon in Canada.

In 1948, the U.S. Army organized the civilian Operations Research Office, mirroring similar operations research organizations in the United Kingdom. One of their first efforts, Project ALCLAD, studied body armor and the conclusion was that they would need to know more about battlefield injuries in order to make reasonable suggestions. Over 3 million battlefield reports from World War I and World War II were analyzed and over the next few years they released a series of reports on their findings.

The conclusion was that most combat takes place at short range. In a highly mobile war, combat teams ran into each other largely by surprise; and the team with the greater firepower tended to win. They also found that the chance of being hit in combat was essentially random; accurate "aiming" made little difference because the targets no longer sat still. The number one predictor of casualties was the total number of bullets fired.[25] Other studies of behavior in battle revealed that many U.S. infantrymen (as many as two-thirds) never actually fired their rifles in combat. By contrast, soldiers armed with rapid fire weapons were much more likely to have fired their weapons in battle.These conclusions suggested that infantry should be equipped with a fully automatic rifle of some sort in order to increase the actual firepower of regular soldiers. It was also clear, however, that such weapons dramatically increased ammunition use and in order for a rifleman to be able to carry enough ammunition for a firefight he would have to carry something much lighter.

Existing rifles met none of these criteria. Although it appeared the new 7.62 mm T44 (precursor to the M14) would increase the rate of fire, its heavy 7.62 mm NATO cartridge made carrying significant quantities of ammunition difficult. Moreover, the length and weight of the weapon made it unsuitable for short range combat situations often found in jungle and urban combat or mechanized warfare, where a smaller and lighter weapon could be brought to bear faster.

These efforts were noticed by Colonel René Studler, U.S. Army Ordnance's Chief of Small Arms Research and Development. Col. Studler asked the Aberdeen Proving Ground to submit a report on the smaller caliber weapons. A team led by Donald Hall, director of program development at Aberdeen, reported that a .22 inch (5.56 mm) round fired at a higher velocity would have performance equal to larger rounds in most combat. With the higher rate of fire possible due to lower recoil it was likely such a weapon would inflict more casualties on the enemy. His team members, notably William C. Davis, Jr. and Gerald A. Gustafson, started development of a series of experimental .22 (5.56 mm) cartridges. In 1955, their request for further funding was denied.

A new study, Project SALVO, was set up to try to find a weapon design suited to real-world combat. Running between 1953 and 1957 in two phases, SALVO eventually suggested that a weapon firing four rounds into a 20-inch (508 mm) area would double the hit probability of existing semi-automatic weapons.

In the second phase, SALVO II, several experimental weapons concepts were tested. Irwin Barr of AAI Corporation introduced a series of flechette weapons, starting with a shotgun shell containing 32 darts and ending with single-round flechette "rifles". Winchester and Springfield Armory offered multiple barrel weapons, while ORO's own design used two .22, .25 or .27 caliber bullets loaded into a single .308 Winchester or .30-06 cartridge.

Meanwhile testing of the 7.62 mm T44 continued, and Fabrique Nationale also submitted their new FN FAL via the American firm Harrington & Richardson as the T48. The T44 was selected as the new battle rifle for the U.S. Army (rechristened the M14) despite a strong showing by the T48.

In 1954, Eugene Stoner of the newly formed Armalite helped develop the 7.62 mm AR-10. Springfield's T44 and similar entries were conventional rifles using wood for the "furniture" and otherwise built entirely of steel using mostly forged and machined parts. Armalite was founded specifically to bring the latest in designs and alloys to firearms design, and Stoner felt he could easily beat the other offerings.

The AR-10's receiver was made of forged and milled aluminum alloy instead of steel. The barrel was mated to the receiver by a separate hardened steel extension to which the bolt locked. This allowed a lightweight aluminum receiver to be used while still maintaining a steel-on-steel lockup. The bolt was operated by high-pressure combustion gases taken from a hole in the middle of the barrel directly through a tube above the barrel to a cylinder created in the bolt carrier with the bolt itself acting as a piston. Traditional rifles located this cylinder and piston close to the gas vent. The stock and grips were made of a glass-reinforced plastic shell over a rigid foam plastic core. The muzzle brake was fabricated from titanium. Over Stoner's objections, various experimental composite and 'Sullaloy' aluminum barrels were fitted to some AR-10 prototypes by Armalite president, George Sullivan. The Sullaloy barrel was made entirely of heat-treated aluminum, while the composite barrels used aluminum extruded over a thin stainless steel liner.

Meanwhile, the layout of the weapon itself was also somewhat different. Previous designs generally placed the sights directly on the barrel, using a bend in the stock to align the sights at eye level while transferring the recoil down to the shoulder. This meant that the weapon tended to rise when fired, making it very difficult to control during fully automatic fire. The Armalite team used a solution previously used on weapons such as the German FG 42 and Johnson light machine gun; they located the barrel in line with the stock, well below eye level, and raised the sights to eye level. The rear sight was built into a carrying handle over the receiver.

Despite being over 2 lb (0.91 kg) lighter than the competition, the AR-10 offered significantly greater accuracy and recoil control. Two prototype rifles were delivered to the U.S. Army's Springfield Armory for testing late in 1956. At this time, the U.S. armed forces were already two years into a service rifle evaluation program, and the AR-10 was a newcomer with respect to older, more fully developed designs. Over Stoner's continued objections, George Sullivan had insisted that both prototypes be fitted with composite aluminum/steel barrels. Shortly after a composite barrel burst on one prototype in 1957, the AR-10 was rejected. The AR-10 was later produced by a Dutch firm, Artillerie Inrichtingen, and saw limited but successful military service with several foreign nations such as Sudan, Guatemala, and Portugal. Portugal deployed a number of AR-10s for use by its airborne (Caçadores Pára-quedista) battalions, and the rifle saw considerable combat service in Portugal's counter-insurgency campaigns in Angola and Mozambique. Some AR-10 rifles were still in service with airborne forces serving during the withdrawal from Portuguese Timor in 1975.

Continued...............

« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 04:34:13 PM by Henry Bowman »