5.56 Timeline

Some MACVSOG History

Here is a pretty neat bit of US Special Forces history. One of my friend’s on FB that is a MACVSOG vet shared this the other day. It is an encryption pad for use over the radio while on missions.

From what I understand, 3 letter combinations were substituted for words or phrases commonly used for daily communication. These changed daily or weekly or some pre determined schedule. I’m sure Hognose could have made better sense out of this for you. Time’s like this I’m sure we all remember how much we miss him.

Is the AR15/M16/M4 a Bigger Game Changer than the M1 Garand During Their Respective Issued Times?

I saw this topic on B-arfcom over the weekend and have thought about it ever since. It would seem an easy answer at first but the more I thought about it, the more interesting the question became. I am still organizing my thoughts on this but wanted to get some comments from readers about their opinion on the question.

It’s not fair to compare them directly, but rather within their own time periods.

Was the M1 Garand more of an unfair advantage during WW2 or is the Stoner design more impactful from the 60s to today?

While respecting the awesomeness of the Garand, I’d argue the Stoner rifle is the more impactful weapon. The intermediate cartridge is plenty, much larger capacity, INFINITELY more modular, more easily accurized, and furthermore has served our country much longer.

Furthermore, I’d argue the plethora of AR rifles on the market have made us a much better armed citizenry.

Finally, I believe servicing the rifle is easier for both citizen and soldier alike.

That’s my opening statement, and this thread is officially up for debate.

Below are some of the comments to the OP’s question in the thread.

Not for the US.

Bolt action to gas operated is one helluva jump in capability.

The AR was superior to the M14 in just about every way, but it was more a matter of quantity (weight, ammo capacity, etc) than a qualitative difference like the 1901 to the M1, and “modularity” wasn’t meaningful until the late 80s/early 90s when rail mount optics/lights/forends really came on the scene.

No. In its time the M1 was the first general issue autoloader. It opened a lot of doors for both sides. By the time we adopted the AR platform “everybody” had an autoloader of some type, many being select fire. The AR Was ” just another rifle” at that point. Aluminum and plastic instead of steel and wood but that’s it.

Ease of manufacturing is the biggest technological jump from the M1 to the AR. Otherwise, the M1 was more advanced than anything else for many years.

The AR/AK represents a fundamental shift away from old world style of production of master machinists, huge machinery, quality control and hand fitting.
It was extremely difficult to duplicate the production process for the M1. Now, almost anyone can build an AR/AK in their garage.
That’s a huge technological leap.

The M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine together were revolutionary in a way that the M16 never was. Almost all 1st Gen assault rifles were influenced by the M1 Carbine, (StG 44, AK 47, etc), and the M16 hammer/trigger group was developed from the M1 Garand. Also, the low-cost modular designs inherent in the Armalite were based on the methods developed to build sub-machine guns during WWII. The revolutionary nature of the AR was the adaption of aircraft-grade metal alloys and techniques to rifle construction, which changed small-arms production forever.

The M18 Claymore Mine – Updated

The M18 claymore mine is maybe not a household name but I would bet it’s close to it now a days thanks to Hollywood , books and people with hands on experience in the population. The M18 is a command detonated mine that is directional. You set it up and aim it in the zone you want to blast to cover. When fired it projects about seven hundred 18-inch-diameter (3.2 mm) steel balls into the kill zone at 3,937 ft/s . very nasty. The effect range is 50 yards with a max wounding range supposedly out to around 250 yards.

I would argue it came to fame during the war in Vietnam where it was very effective.

My Dad was a Vietnam war vet and told me a story about the Claymore that is pretty impressive. One night while on watch with another soldier watching outward, a NVA soldier had crawled close to the razor wire and was about to pick up one of the claymore and turn it around to face back into the American line. Dad was beside the other guy who had the detonator. Dad said once the communist grabbed the claymore with both hands and lifted from the ground, the other guy hit the clacker. The mine went off when about 5 inches from the communists face.

After sun up, Dad and a few other went out to inspect the remains and report back. The attempted trickster was a giant red smear. There was an unexpected bonus though. He had a partner a few yards beyond him who had been watching him from behind a fallen log. He must have just had his head up enough to see over the log when the mine went off. Dad said it looked like some one had taken a sword and sliced the top of his head off from the bridge of the nose up. One of the other soldiers puked when Dad mentioned the exposed brains looked like scrambled eggs with ketchup. Dad was a huge fan of the Claymore. So much so that he had to have his own. That’s what you are looking at in these photos.

Countless books written about Vietnam by veterans tell stories about how effective the m18 was. I don’t doubt there are more than a few stories about it from the ongoing forever wars.

The mine comes with everything you need in the handy M7 bandoleer “Claymore Bag.” You get the electrical hand held firing device, or as Dad called it, the” clacker”, which in Vietnam required 3 squeezes to get the desired result. You get the legs to stick the mine in the ground and point it. You get the electrical wire for the firing device to the mine and a device to test the firing device to make sure it works.

It all packs up into the bag nicely. The flap even has instruction on how to use the mine printed on water proof fabric. Because its the military.

“Don’t point it at yourself”

I have no experience with one other than this one which sadly doesn’t work. I’m sure Kevin ( Hognose) would have lots to say about them if he were still with us. Dad told a few stories about them and how some of the locals would steal the C4 out of them to use as a fire fuel but his interest in the more technical minutia of the mine was non-existent. Maybe Howard got to use one against the haji or fellow Marines and will chime in.

The design is very popular because of its effectiveness and being command detonated. I supposed it makes the hippies of the world feel better since it’s unlikely a kid could accidentally step on it like older pressure mines. As far as I can tell around 20 countries use or produce their own copy of it,. Including Vietnam. When guys you used to blow up with it are impressed enough to adopt it, you know you had a winner.

Update – Howard

Play more with Claymore

I got to detonate one in training, set them up once but never used them outside of training. In Iraq, I think we were worried about civilian causalities and collateral damage.

It was always stressed to us to press the claymore against our chest (before setting it up) to check if it matches the curve of our chest. That way we would know if it was facing the correct direction day or night. I always felt that you should be able to easily tell by feel when you held it. I never saw the point of that bit of the training, but it probably helped someone out there.

My favorite thing about the Claymore is that it has two locations to place a detonator. This allowed you to hook up multiple claymores to daisy chain them. Detonate one, and all the attached ones detonate also.

I was once at a Modern Marine Expo and a company demonstrated a newer Claymore design. About half the size, and was suppose to be more effective. I’ve never seen or heard of that design since then.

The claymore bags make for great man-purses. Carry stripped MRE, supplies, etc. Very handy. I still have the bag from the claymore I set off. I’m not kidding, it is a great size for general purpose use.

The legs have spiked bottoms, use the spikes. In training people would just set the claymore on the ground and it would easily fall over. Push the spikes into the ground to make sure the claymore stays pointing towards enemy.

When I got to set off a claymore I was so excited. We set up targets down range and got into a bunker and I set off the claymore. When we went out to check these echo targets I was soo very disappointed. These 20 inch by 40 inch cardboard targets only had something like 1 or 2 pellets hits on them. I had expected them to be completely shredded and destroyed.

But to be fair, 1 or 2 pellets at that velocity would likely render a hostile incapacitated.

I wouldn’t mind having a couple on hand for emergencies.

Belt Fed Colt CAR15 HBAR M2

Here is a neat piece of M16 history up for auction. Thanks to Alex over at the AR15 resource facebook page I can bring this to your attention in case you want to place a bid.

Description: This is an exceptionally rare piece of Colt history, with less than 20 having been made. Colt developed these rifles during their experimentation with the new CAR-15 system, during which they focused on seven different versions. Ultimately, the HBAR M2 was discarded, but before production was discontinued, less than twenty were produced. This gun is pictured on pages 175 and 176 of “The Black Rifle” by Stevens Ezell, and close examination of both the photos and the gun confirms that this is the actual item pictured in the book, despite not being listed by serial number. This example has the early second type three prong flash suppressor, heavy barrel, modified M2 bipod, fitted with one of the early round interchangeable handguards from Colt’s first offering, carryhandle sights, early A1 style pistol grip, and buttstock with rotatable sling swivel and cupped rubber buttplate. Colt then added a very clever belt feed mechanism, that sits in the magazine well when the rifle is opened and locks in when the rifle is closed. The vertical actuator attaches to a special cut in the bolt carrier group to actuate, and a slot was added on the right side, where a feed chute would feed spent links into a separate compartment of the feed box. This rifle is accompanied by three drum magazines and a link of 25 dummy cartridges. One drum magazine has the removable top attaching section, other two do not have this piece and are filled with links. There is also an additional pin equipped with a pull ring. CONDITION: Very fine overall, retaining the vast majority of its finish with some markings from usage. Bolt face is excellent, bore is excellent, mechanics are crisp. As to be expected of an early experimental gun, some of the work is a little crude, but still well executed. This lot is also accompanied by a copy of “The Black Rifle” by Stevens and Ezell, as well as a printout of the Bob Miller Estate sale, where this gun was number 32. PROVENANCE: Bob Miller Estate. If you are a collector of rare firearms, belt fed machine guns, or even Colts, this is a collector’s prize. THIS IS A NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT ITEM AND REQUIRES BATF APPROVAL PRIOR TO TRANSFER. THIS ITEM IS FULLY TRANSFERABLE ON AN ATF FORM 3 OR FORM 4. EWAccessories: Ammo links, three total magazinesBarrel Length: 21 – 3/4″Caliber/Bore: 5.56mm NATOFFL Status: NFAManufacturer: Colt FireamsModel: AR-15Paperwork: Copy of “The Black Rifle” and a copy of Bob Miller Estate sale paperwork.Serial Number: 018954

You can bid on it now if you have thousands of dollars burning a hole in your wallet.


Bonnie & Clyde Guns And Items

I saw a news story yesterday talking about some Bonnie and Clyde items being auctioned off, In this auction is a shotgun used by the duo.

The pump-action shotgun was recovered by police following a gun fight with the outlaws in 1933 in which two officers were killed and is now tipped to sell for £60,000.

The collection, expected to make a total of £120,000, also includes a gold wristwatch recovered from Clyde’s body following his death a year later in another shoot-out.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow met in Texas in 1930 and are believed to have committed 13 murders and several robberies and burglaries by the time they died in 1934.

The public were enamored with the pair during the Public Enemies era of the Great Depression, as they gained headlines for evading the authorities in shoot-outs and making daring getaways.

Probably one of the USA’s more famous outlaw stories that is of interest to millions of people. The recent Netflix film, The Highwaymen is the story told from the side of the two TX Rangers who chased them down and made them into good criminals. They did this by putting about 2 tons of lead into both of them.

Clyde was famous for his love of the BAR
Even for today that is a damned impressive amount

After the shootout police found the following weapons in Clyde’s car:

Three .30-caliber BARs

One 20-gauge Model 11 shotgun (Bonnie’s)

One 10-gauge Winchester Model 1901 lever-action shotgun

One .32-caliber M1903 Colt automatic pistol

One .38 Colt Detective Special revolver (Bonnie’s)

One .25-caliber Colt automatic

One .45-caliber Colt M1909 revolver

Seven .45-caliber M1911 automatic pistols

100 loaded BAR magazines

3000 rounds of assorted ammunition

15 sets of license tags from various states

Bonnie and Clyde’s notorious gang had a shootout near Dexter, Iowa, in 1933

Marvin Barrow is surrounded by officers and deputies as he lay on ground at edge of Dexfield park, just after the capture. Barrow was shot through the head with a machine gun. This photo was originally published on July 24, 1933.

Capture of Blanche Barrow 1933

July 7, 1933: Clyde and Buck Barrow steal weapons from an armory in Enid, Oklahoma.

July 20, 1933: Buck Barrow is fatally shot when lawmen raid the gang’s hideout at the Red Crown Tavern near Platte City, Missouri. The gang manages to escape, but Buck’s days are numbered. Three lawmen are wounded, none seriously. For more on the Red Crown hideout.

July 24, 1933: Buck Barrow is wounded again in a shootout near an abandoned amusement park outside Dexter, Iowa. Buck Barrow and his wife, Blanche, are captured. A photograph of Blanche (above) becomes famous. Bonnie Parker, nursing burns from the June 10 auto accident, has to be carried by Jones during a torturous escape.

More B&C related items at the link