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Old 10-08-2016, 05:54 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Snake45 View Post
Do you have an "authoritative source" that any part of M16 WAS made by Mattell?
Just my experiences from the period and it was the stock Mattel supposedly made.

FYI my BPED was 29 Oct 1956, DOR as CSM/E9 26 Oct 1982.

We weren't a line unit so we got 16s without the forward assist. Fortunately about 3 months later we got the A1s. During my career my TO&E weapon was a Garand, carbine, M14, M16 and .45ACP. They were just bringing in the M9 Beretta when I retired and I was still carrying a 1911 in a shoulder rig at the end. Yes, I've got a 1941 WWII vintage belt holster I was issued somewhere but avoided using it as it was right handed.

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Old 10-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #22
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Just my experiences from the period and it was the stock Mattel supposedly made.
Do you have any evidence of that? Markings of any kind?

The type of "plastic" on M16s is not the type that Mattell had experience with producing.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Snake45 View Post
Do you have any evidence of that? Markings of any kind?
I never said I did have evidence/proof. I said my experiences from the time. I was aware of the rumor but never saw M16s marked Mattel. I acknowledge I had the early model without the forward assist but they did not have Mattel markings.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:42 PM   #24
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actually it wasn't 760 powder but some cannon powder that ww had left over from ww2, to which the so-called experts over at olin added calcium carbonate to calm it down- ie it burned too hot and too much pressure- it was 20 mm powder- that's what caused the locking lugs to shear off the bolt and welded the barrel shut- in other words nothing the gi in the field did with a cleaning rod would have done any good anyway- word was that some armourer down at I corp took a piece of 30 cal cleaning rod , put a brass jag on the end, and put some emery cloth in that, and polished the hell out of the chamber- no m16 that had that mod done to it ever jammed after that whether you run red, blue, commercial, whatever- and you had 2 rifles- one was your "parade rifle- that was the unmodified- jic the brigade armourer came looking- and your "field " rifle- which conveniently disappeared at inspection
just b/c you call yourself an a gunsmith /armorer doesn't mean you're not as fos as everybody else- unless you were 3rd echelon you didn't know more that how to run the gauges,and replace parts, or the whole rifle- most of the time it was the whole rifle for refurb= chances are your "friend" heard it from some other friend, and so on- btw ,the real story is posted here on the net for all to see or at least it was

Last edited by t-star; 10-08-2016 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 10-08-2016, 02:21 PM   #25
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it went like this- the gi would have a 20 round mag- ie the "shorty mag" which he would expend at the enemy in full auto-and change mags without either cleaning or giving it time to cool down- well, at around the 820 round mark( remember the troops were issued full cans at this time and filled those mags from the can- the chamber would get absolutely filthy (remember the bit about not having to clean it?)the pressure would rip the locking lugs off the bolt and you'd get a "runaway" at the end of which the bolt would weld itself to the chamber- all b/c the m16 chits where it eats- the not cleaning bit came from a study where the chamber was examined after 20/100 rounds and finding NEGIGIBLE dirt in the chamber- PRESENT BUT NOT CLEAN

Last edited by t-star; 10-08-2016 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:03 PM   #26
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From what I was told by a Army Field Veteran (the aforementioned gunsmith) was that the "bad lot" of W-W 760 ball propellant was burning poorly (incompletely). As a result, the front gas tube bend would routinely clog, thus preventing ejection/feeding. This coupled with a non-chrome lined chamber caused jamming. Out men wouldn't leave a round in the chamber overnight to prevent the round from swelling in the chamber preventing extraction after firing the first round.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:16 PM   #27
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The story about the powder came from the Ichord report, but since that was led by congress, we shouldn’t be too surprised that the Ichord report mostly got it wrong.

The original powder was IMR4475 which worked just fine through trials dating all the way back to 1958. The problem is, during all that time, cartridges loaded with IMR 4476 didn’t meet the military specification for velocity and chamber pressure. When the Army set the performance specifications for the .223, Remington saw that IMR4475 would not be able to meet the velocity requirements without exceeding the chamber pressures, and as such Remington withdrew IMR4475 powder from military ammunition for their contract. Winchesters WC846 met every specification laid out, so the military approved the use of WC846, not fully understanding its effect on the M16. For a long time fouling really wasn’t an issue, but port pressure and a high cyclic rate was an issue. Neither Stoner, ArmaLite, or Colt ever designated a port pressure spec, and the Air Force cyclic rate top end was 900RPM, which was met by WC846.

When all heck broke loose one of the issues found was fouling in the gas tube, for which there were no tools to clean the gas tube. This was traced back to lot of WC846 where they found calcium chloride levels 2.5 times higher than “normal” which led to the powder being very dirty and the gas tubes were fouling. There wasn’t a “spec” for allowable levels of calcium chloride at the time, so technically the powder was still “in spec” to what the military required which is 1%. They later settled on a WC846 with a .25% calcium chloride content, and as far as I know that was the standard load for the remainder of the war. Meaning, they still used essentially the same powder, because the problem really wasn’t the powder.

The most disturbing of all the malfunctions were fired cases stuck in the chambers. This was traced to:

Rusted chambers from lack of maintenance and lack of a chromed chamber
No specification on the harness of cases in 5.56 ammunition

The lack of training and cleaning equipment is well documented. What’s amazing is that soldiers were just not making any effort to maintain their M16’s, something they would never dream of with any other weapon. This can be traced back to a promotional catalogue from Colt sometime around 1964 that said the weapon required the least maintenance of any known rifle, and for some crazy reason, the Army took that seriously.

Inspections found barrels badly rusted, chambers rusted out, and weapons in horrible condition. Also troops didn’t understand that they couldn’t open a beer with the feed lips of an M16 magazine, so some education was needed there.

So some changes were made to the rifle and the ammo. Hardness specifications were added for the brass and the powder was re-formulated to burn cleaner (and they may have done something to reduce port pressure)

On the rifle, they changed the buffer to help slow the opening of the weapon (mostly needed for full auto fire), and to try to slow the cyclic rate which it did a little.

By 1967 they had it all worked out, and if a solider maintained his weapon, took care of his magazines, then he likely didn’t have much trouble with his M16. I know of one gent who did two tours and absolutely loved the M16. He said he never once had a malfunction in combat, but he did say that he never used his M16 in full auto in any firefight. He and others had observed that most problems were encountered in full auto fire.
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Old 10-10-2016, 02:51 PM   #28
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Kev & Co., that brings up a question, since few shops are building accurate "Vietnam Facsimiles".

Bearing in mind that I'm asking this as an aspiring History professor who would *only* use a rifle so jiggered for teaching purposes to replicate the Vietnam War experience for my students... how would you go about deliberately making an early-config pre-A1 replica (semi-only of course) into a Jam-O-Matic today without having it become short-lived scrap-bait?
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:47 PM   #29
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Upper receivers without forward assists can be bought and used to build a period accurate MN16/AR15. Google is your friend.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:08 PM   #30
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Top, knew about the components--IIRC NoDakSpud does retro parts, but I was thinking more of how to make it Deliberately Malfunction Prone to replicate the experience you had In The Field. Building a cosmetic replica isn't the challenge, it's making it a functional--or should I say "period-correct NON-functional"?--recreation other than losing Rock N Roll capability.

I know, no serious shooter deliberately builds a gun that's *meant* to fail--but this is a special case.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:45 AM   #31
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Diamondback, you're playing with fire there...just about anything (including very light loads) can contribute to a catastrophic failure. The least risky thing I can think of would be lightening the buffer spring so that it won't cycle the action reliably--but even then I can imagine a round possibly being fired out-of-battery.
Perhaps file or cut down the bolt hold-open on some mag followers, so the rifle goes 'click!' after the last round rather than locking open--then tell some good stories...
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:23 AM   #32
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Thanks, Shep. Maybe a combination of sabotaging the BHO's on some mags and snap-caps randomly loaded in place of live ammo on others... goal was to recreate the hair-tearing-out frustration experience of the Nam GI in a safe, legal, can-use-the-rifle-again way--though that may not be possible, so the tribulations of the early M16 may have to be a Lecture item. (Better yet, if I can claw my way into tenure while there are still some around, have somebody who Was There tell the story himself.)

Hmmm... or maybe an adjustable gas block and every so often change the setting to under-gas the rifle? Or as an alternate I know that true Dissipators (rifle length gas system, as opposed to the concealed midlength with dummy FSB gas block of most replicas) were jam-prone... then again, while that was a common config it wasn't Standard Issue.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:40 AM   #33
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Hey! An excuse to get a piston AR, with adapted A1 furniture.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:20 PM   #34
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Good story on early ARs--specifically, the XM-177 variant--in the brand-new issue of Firearms News (formerly Shotgun News). Powders, chroming, and the forward ass-ist are discussed.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:06 AM   #35
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I carry the M-16,in Vietnam,I use to call her " Willie Mae,"she got me back to the world. USMC 0311 grunt.68/69! I had to share that.lol
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:12 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
Kev & Co., that brings up a question, since few shops are building accurate "Vietnam Facsimiles".

Bearing in mind that I'm asking this as an aspiring History professor who would *only* use a rifle so jiggered for teaching purposes to replicate the Vietnam War experience for my students... how would you go about deliberately making an early-config pre-A1 replica (semi-only of course) into a Jam-O-Matic today without having it become short-lived scrap-bait?
If you wanted to build the rifle in such a way that you could essentially "flip a switch" and have it go from working to semi-working, or non-working. I would say the way to do that would be to build a full length rifle, but with a carbine length gas system. Then use an adjustable gas block over the gas port, for which you can open/close as you see fit to get the desired results.
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:34 AM   #37
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Someone makes adjustable gas blocks for DI rifles? Interesting!
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:06 AM   #38
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Someone makes adjustable gas blocks for DI rifles? Interesting!
I think the intention was for AR pistols mostly, but a few put them on their carbines & rifles. You knew it was just a matter of time before someone did it...they make everything else under the sun for an AR. I'm still waiting on a set of factory Colt curb feelers for mine.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:10 PM   #39
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I'm still waiting on a set of factory Colt curb feelers for mine.
I've had one of those for decades. They call it a spring-loaded clamp-on "bipod," but "curb feelers" would be a better description for the cheesy thing.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:20 AM   #40
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I've had one of those for decades. They call it a spring-loaded clamp-on "bipod," but "curb feelers" would be a better description for the cheesy thing.
Okay that elicited a big belly laugh from me, because you're SO right...that's what that bipod really is.
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