TheDrive posted up a pretty cool article, that has photos of an Armory inside an Amphibious Assault Ship. More specifically the USS Wasp.
Looks like they left off the R in “Marines” when they wrote that title. Sadly, TheDrive must not be a site with perfect grammar and englishification like LooseRounds.com. Still take a look at their article.
There are several cool photos, and I’ll post up a couple of them. But one of them really caught my eye.
On the left, we see M4 MWS Carbines (May well be M4A1s). Some of these have M203A2 Grenade Launchers. They have TA31RCO ACOGs on Larue mounts and AN/PEQ-16 lasers and lights.
Over on the right, we see some M27 IAR with the TA11 ACOGs with piggyback RMRs.
Now, to the topic of destructive maintenance. Destructive maintenance was SOP while I was in. Look at that M203 barrel closest to the photographers. Note how it is grey. The plastic handguard on it is nice clean and shiny with little to no visible wear on it. Now look at the M203 barrels behind the hard charging Marine handling the M4 in the photo. Note how they are black. A little finish wear at the muzzles of them, but otherwise black.
This is a perfect example of destructive maintenance. M203 barrels are black anodized aluminum tubes with a plastic hand guard. Someone either used an abrasive like a scotch bright pad, or a chemical stripper like oven cleaner to remove the finish on that barrel.
It was not uncommon when I was in for us to use sand and gravel to clean parts. Take a handful, put it on a rag, and rub it hard against the firearm components. You would think that our higher ups would discourage this, but instead it was them who were demanding it.
This was especially bad with the M249 SAW. It was not uncommon for some NCO to point at a small remnant of the original finish on the weapon, claim that it is carbon, and order a junior Marine to clean it off. By removing all the finish on the alumnium and steel, the weapon would rust and corrode faster, get scratched and gouged faster. These dents, scratches, and like would then trap carbon and rust, leading to even more abrasives used on these surfaces. There would be deep scratches and gouges into the rails on the receiver, the feed tray, etc. An example with the M16 would be the muzzle. A NCO wanting to fail a junior enlisted weapon cleaning check, would often say that the crown of the barrel is dirty. So, the junior Marine would use the end of a steel cleaning rod to scrape the hell out of the crown so it would all be shiny.
Water spot on an optics lens? Scrape it.
I’d heard that when the first muskets delivered to the U.S. Military with a rust preventive coating (browning a precursor to bluing), that the unit commanders had their men sand it off.
An article here, has a few quotes. http://www.militaryheritage.com/browning.htm
“..Such being the importance of his Arms, no wonder that a soldier should shew his attachment to his Firelock, by keeping it as bright as the Sun, and looking upon it with a kind of veneration. A glittering Firelock is a prime ornament of a Soldier and gives to every movement an appearance of double Life and Spirit.”
The most common substances used in the 18th century to clean the barrel was brick dust or emery powder mixed with sweet oil. After cleaning, the soldier then buffed the barrel to a high polished state by burnishing it with his ramrod or rubbing it with a wooden buffing stick. The obsession with maintaining a mirror finish on the barrel did have a negative impact on its state. For example, in 1775, the 62nd Regiment’s arms were reported as being “so Abus’d to keep them bright, that there is not the least appearance of the Kings mark”.
Other regiments during the Napoleonic wars reported weak and worn barrels.
I am proud to see that these traditions have continued after hundreds of years and we and feel safe in kn owning that they will not go away any time soon. We will continue to see young enlisted destroying equipment so it looks good.
But enough of that. Here are a few other cool pictures from that article about the Armory on the Wasp.