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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given: You are in a combat situation on home soil where the ranges are from "bad breath" to 200 meters.

The military has passed out early M16's to those who have shown themselves competent along with five, 20 round magazines of ball ammo and the promise of weekly resupply of the lighter ammo which will work with the twist rate.

You provide your own sidearm and ammo should you choose to do so. There will be no resupply for private firearms.

Question: What do you use the most and why?

*This question is inspired by the movie We Were Soldiers where the Sgt(?) tells Gibson that he will stick with his sidearm because he doesn't have faith in the M16, and that it feels "like a damn BB gun." I have no combat experience with M16s. I only know that when I shot an early one I got a black eye (I'm a lefty, the danged thing had no brass deflector, and a case went the wrong way when I shortened the collapsable stock and fired it "sub-gun style.") I'd like to know what the more experienced people here think. Thank you all.

<><,

Josh
 

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Josh, the first thing you need to remember is that the Sgt. Major in "We were Soldiers" in real life was a WWII and Korean War Vet. He cut his combat teeth so to speak with an M-1 Garand. Prejudiced against a light .22 calibre rifle? Of Course.
Was/ is an M-16 family rifle and the .556 cartridge a good combat choice? Yes.
Is it better than anything else out there? No, but then neither is ANYTHING ELSE.
All weapons are compromises. Each of them is better, or worse in some situations or for some uses than another. That applies whether we are talking about rifles v. rifles, rifles v. handguns, or whatever.

Secondly, remember a Sgt. Major in a combat situation is not there to do the down and dirty fighting, but to provide leadership support to his battalion commander. He spends more time "directing traffic" than anything else. His role is unique in that he speaks on behalf of, and with the authority of the commander, and that he attends to all sorts of matters whilst the commander is busy issuing orders and directing the course of the battle.
With that, the Sgt. Major's weapons needs are different from the common infrantryman. Even as late as the beginning of WWII (and in some cases long afterward) it was common for officers and senior NCOs to carry only a handgun specifically because their role in combat was to lead not fight.

Given the scenarion you present, the weapon most used would naturally be the rifle.
 

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Hello. I have not been in the military, but I THINK I would opt for the .223 AR with the reloads being provided over a handgun. In the situation where I couldn't use JHP's in a handgun, my choice would be a 1911 in .45 ACP, simply because I'm most familar with that platform in that caliber than others available. If using 9mm, even with ball, I'd certainly opt for the Hi Power.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.

abninftr,

I had no idea that the Sgt. Major was actually a vet! Explains a lot...

Mr. Camp and all,

I think I would use a 9mm something for most purposes. I figure, even without regular resupply of 9mm, I could get the stuff from soldiers (trade for it or whatever). Also much more common with the police.

A Beretta 92/M9 magazine can be readily modified to fit a Taurus with a couple strokes of a file.

When it comes to the rifle, I think I would let my fiance use it. She'd need something and shoots right handed. I'd be flinching for fear of flying casings.

I'd try to get my hands on a Mini-14 if I really felt the need to fire .223...

I feel that in this scenario I'd be better off with a handgun and edged weapons.

<><,

Josh
 

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Hello,

I read quite a bit more into Josh's question, than just which weapon would I choose.

Heres what I would do, I would gladly accept the M16 even thow I don't really care for the weapon that much (no flame intended) but I would want as many guns in my possession as possible, and I would also gladly furnish my own pistol...I would feel naked with out it!

Now, for the what would I do part, I'm sure the rifle would be put to good use, because some/most of the fighting would probally be done from a distance, but, I would use the pistol for the CQB encounters to save on rifle ammo, because a 100 rounds a week ain't much! I would also at every given opportunity, recover anything of use or value that I could from the dead (friend or foe) because it would be "severely" needed to survive, "yes anything of use or value would be needed", remember were at war, the stores, banks, gas stations, ect. would probally either be closed, blowed-up, enemy controlled or out of goods, so yes, we/I would need anything & everything of any use & value that we/I could get our/my hands on ie. money, guns & ammo, ordnance, food, first-aid kits, ect., plus this would enable me to help other people in need, and arm more folks that I deemed compentent to help fight, and even help arm the ones "that finally deceided to take a stand".

NOTE: I mention money & valueables for "three reasons", #1. You & I would need them inorder to obtain "The Essentials" from the places that was still open & operating, #2. and to obtain "The Essentials" from the unsavory souls that would sell or trade, "But Not Give to You & I", #3. to be able to obtain "The Essentials" after the war was over, but while waiting for things to return back to normal.

Take Care,
THE SOCKMAN
 
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Josh,

I'd have to say, were your scenario to play out while I was still at an age where active service was plausable, I'd throw the BDUs and full battle rattle on in a heartbeat. That said, I've developed a fair degree of confidence in the M16, at least in it's early A2 and newer A4 configurations. I know I can make my mark both at distance, and in CQB at a fast pace. Were I unable to actively serve, I'd definately take a free '16, and steady but limited ammo supply.

As for the self provided sidearm. I'd still roll with my Colt Combat Commander with the Ed Brown barrel and Dlask Arms trigger that I've tinkered with for the last few years. It has proven reliable, and for something I'm going to be providing for on my own, it is what I feel most comfortable with.

Anthony
 

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It was Sgt. Major Plumley I think, vetran of every major drop in WWII and the only drop in Korea.

More to the point there is a good bit about the failure of the M-16 in the book, movies get notroiously inaccurate (BTW - they left out a great incident where a guy used two 1911s to win the Silver Star!).

A student of mine was at Albany, the battle which followed LZ-Xray and in which we took a lot of casualties. He said that the heavy grass acted like a "check valve". The enemies bullets passed right through and our .223s just blew up. He credits the presense of the M-60s with saving us from total disaster.

This is not to say I think the M-16 or the 5.56 is totally a bad weapon or idea. I agree with Steve, I would prefer one to a pistol for action that might reach 200 yards, if for no other reason that it is easier to hit with.

Onward,
Jim
 

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Plumley it was. I've met one old fellow who made all of the WWII combat jumps with the 82nd Airborne. They and their buddies were real men.

Other than stating that the rifle would be the weapon of choice for Josh's scenario, I only really addressed the issue of why CSM Plumley prefered the M1911 in my earlier post.

I'm also left-handed. I've used quite a number of different rilfes and handguns over the year. While in the military I had the occasion to use a vast array of weapons ranging from some rather exotic foreign (Warsaw Pact, etc.) stuff to issue L1A1s, M-16s, and F1 SMGs along with M-14s, M1 Carbines and some leftovers from the French, either on active service (RVN '68-'72) or in training.

Speaking of the M-16 and M-16A1, I can say that if you are getting your own brass in your face your shooting position needs some work. It's normal for it to go down the back of your neck whilst you are in the prone position. M-14s will drop brass down the back of your neck too. The M-16A2 and follow-ons have the shell deflector, so if you're getting hit by your own brass it is definitely a position problem.

The SLR or L1A1, and it's FN-FAL variants throw the brass to the right front. Very leftie friendly that! But the controls are a little harder for lefties to use than those of the M-16.

Ballistically, I much prefer the heavier 7.62x51 NATO round with its longer effective range. In combat, we really preferred to hurt them BEFORE they even knew we were there. Not always possible given terrain, etc.

Our scouts, or pointmen, usually were equipped with F1 SMGs (9x19mm) or M16s since they were handier and faster to use at very close range than the SLR. They would essentially point shoot a quick burst if they made contact.

So what does all this mean? Simply, any weapon will do if the need arises, but there are better choices for given situations. A long gun - rifle, is always better than a handgun for general combat. The M-16 or M-16A1 is a very servicable weapon, with generally good ergonomics, and the added pluses of light weight, quick handling and auto/semi-auto selective fire.

Finally, use the advantages of a particular weapon and the advantages it offers to negate other disadvantages. That is exactly what the Afghan freedom fighters did with their "antique" bolt action Lee-Enfields when the fought the Russians armed with AKs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
abninftr,

Thank you for the further clarification.

That said, and I'll make this as brief as possible as I'm walking dead on my feet right now- here's how it occurred: The original that I shot had a collapsable stock. I was doing fine with it out and in normal rifle position.

The problem arose when I went short stock and turned to present a frontal body posture, SMG/vest style. Ya' know how, when you have a vest with no side panels, you try to present a frontal view so you don't get hit in the side? This is what I was doing. Close target and a stance that presented my body as an icosoles would with a handgun. This was my first and last experience with the M16; pistols and shotguns are more my style.

I hope I qualified that. I have wide shoulders. The short stock and the frontal stance didn't help. Once bitten, twice shy.

I shot the M16A2 with no problems however. I kinda' liked it except for the 760 Pumpmaster feel of the buttstock.

I'd still take the 7.62 though.

Thanks again, and I hope this made sense.

Josh <><
 

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THe Sgt Major, was typical of his ilk,very tuff and straight forward,andas he said,"If I need one, some will be laying around".

I carried and used the early 16,and it was a piece of junk,but it improved fairly quick with the feed back, the ole commando was a better rig and I liked it better.

If the goverment was handing it out , I would go with it,not sure what I would go with any more if its my nickle, loved the Fnfal, but after taking with some ofthe IDF troops, I'm sure theres better out there..

Handguns, well as much as I dislike glocks I would go with either the 17 or 21 , both would be a back up to the rifle
 
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would opt for the m16 plus ammo from the goverment.would back up with a .45 1911 colt as i trust them .as previous stated i would also scrounge for anything extra from the fallen.mostly would like to find me a 12 ga. shot gun for close to med. work and stoke it with 00 buck shot or #6 shot.(would prefer a pump)



catfishsr
 
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I don't like the M16 family of rifles or the 5.56 as the main frontline battle rifle. Please note the qualifier in that statement as I do think both have a place combat/tactical world. I just think that the design is too complicated and the round is not sufficient enough.

I would prefer something much more simplistic in design in either 6.8mm or .308. I want it to work each and every time and have enough oomph to put the enemy down and keep them down on whatever battlefield conditions I face.

As for the sidearm, I'm a huge fan of the Ruger P95 with Winchester 127gr +P+ ammo.
 
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My choice of sidearm would be entirely dependent in this hypothetical situation on the availability of ammunition for it.

For example, if the local supply chain was slowing down but the enemy was holding a large supply of 9x18, and issued it, I would be tempted to use a makarov.

If the local supply chain was shaky, or if the enemy used 9mm, a 9mm, given the choice of anything in that caliber , I will point out that the HK Sp89 (sawed off MP5) is technically a handgun :)

I would also consider a sawed off shotgun (somewhat off the intended response, but they do work)

If in this situation, my local gunshop was recieving a full stock of ammo every day for me to go shopping every day, I would take any reliable 45, 40 or 357 sig. If no hollowpoints were available, a 45.
 
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Here is my 2 cents... In this "urban" combat situation I's prefer my own P-95 and my PC-9 the mags are inter changeable and i have a 30 rnd.mag for the carbine. So I'd use the carbine till things got close then I'd rely on the pistol thereafter. The military can give me all the ammo they want then, and I'll put it in whatever gun i deem necessary

Shutterbug
 
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Here is my 2 cents... In this "urban" combat situation I's prefer my own P-95 and my PC-9 the mags are inter changeable and i have a 30 rnd.mag for the carbine. So I'd use the carbine till things got close then I'd rely on the pistol thereafter. The military can give me all the ammo they want then, and I'll put it in whatever gun i deem necessary

Shutterbug

A man after my own heart. I have a PC9 with an Uncle Mike's butt cuff that holds two mags. That gives me 45 rounds (don't keep one chambered in the carbine) ready to rock at a moments notice. I also have an emergency belt setup with four 15 rounders for my P95 and a Fobus holster. The belt is an Uncle Mike's duty belt with click together buckle that goes on very quickly.

In my opinion the only thing wrong with the PC9 is that there is no easy means of mounting a light to it.

One also has to remember that the PC9 is still shooting a pistol round. Just don't try to do things with it that it can't do.
 

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By the strangest of coincidences I found myself training a group of Spec ops soldiers on Sept. 4 2001.

They were armed with a custom version of the Colt Commando with 12.5" barrels and with the M9 Beretta.

We fired 500 rounds through each gun in the 3-day class. The malfunction rate was horrendous! It actuallyslowed us down so much that the classes took hours more each day than we had planned.

The biggest shock was that the soldeirs acted like it was normal - they were not happy about it but were resigned to it.

After that week, we have sort of been booked up with S.F. classes and the M4s have not worked too much better. But I stress this is more a matter of maintenance and lube (the guns are always clean but not only are they pretty dry the new "CLP" - which is *not* Breakfree - is not a good lube).

It got so bad with the M-9 in one rainy class that I put a Colonel to counting malufunctions and it averaged one for every 54 rounds fired!!!! Same problem, compounded by mud in the mags, same fix.

In subsequent classes we implemented a maintenance program in the morning before the range and we suplied the lube...that helped tremendously.

Onward,
Jim
 

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No surprise there, Jim. The Marines knocked back the M-4 specifically because of its deminished reliability.

As for the Beretta, I've never been a fan of any semi-auto that has an open slide and/or exposed (external) trigger bar for a military/field service side arm. That's why I've never owned a Beretta, Taurus PT-99 or Walther P88.
 
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