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The Truth about the M-16

Edgar A. Goulet (sp00n)
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2nd Bn 1st Marines
Golf Company 66-67
How could Vietnam War stories be told without a story about the AR-15 or better known as the M-16, the rifle that changed the War, it really did. Our superior fire power seemed to have virtually disappeared right away after being forced to carry Mat-tee Mattel as it was like fighting someone with one hand tied behind your back, I was afraid to engage the fearing a malfunction. I did voice my opinion many times as one time I said, “ If we really want to win this war fill a cargo C130 with M-16’s and make sure that the plane gets hit and crashes in a rice paddy so that thousands of Charley’s friends and relatives all received one.
Now they would feel more powerful as more equal to their enemies. Besides giving them these rifles and that great ammo that was very shy on the brass content, is one other reason that rifle jammed, when the shell went off that casing expanded in the breach, blaming the powder for being to fast burning, or hot. Putting a radio frequency device in those weapons would alert those of us sleeping on watch, just seeing if your paying attention? But we would be warned when any of these weapons were in our area and we would know if this was a small or a large force. As they started their attack we knew that most of those rifles wouldn’t fire a whole magazine so we would get to kill more of them instead of the other way around. This would have worked but those running that war were not very keen on listing to someone below their rant, that would diminish their self esteem .

I know some of you think the sp00n is full of it but this change over was a real heart wrenching, stressful experience that who would of expected someone trying to win a war would intentionally do. I would bet that those Drill instructors and recruits never got to word on this situation over in Vietnam where they were headed to after their training.

It’s appropriate for me, the sp00n, who just happen to be there at the 2/1 Battalion area when Golf company was told this news about being issued some new rifles. I was in third platoon, first squad, David Moore was the squad leader. I’m not sure if an other one of the four Grunt companies were issued these rifles before we did, but it sounded as though we would be the first recipients unless they meant the Battalion, I don’t know but I do know is that the language I heard sounded like they were going to shove these rifles right down our throats, wether we like them or not, as this sounded more like we don’t have any say or choice in this matter.

This decision was already made probably back in the Pentagon where this war was being directed from by a group of Anonymous High ranking Generals that most likely graduated out of West Point or possibly some other silver spoon organization after the Korean War. By the time the Vietnam War started they had no War experience at all and the only clue about this War, they got from the Twenty Year Indo China War where the USA paid for eighty percent of that war just to watch the French Slavers get their asses kicked sort of the same reason we got our asses kicked to as they followed the blind.

As a former War Criminal by association, I was trained in Weapon’s that were made to for maximum efficiency as to take out an adversary and the M-16 was one of the only exception and this story tells of how this rifle was introduced to Second Battalion First Marines in about May of 1966.

I just turned 19 years old just a couple of Months ago about half way thru my tour. No one that I knew had a clue, what the Marine Corps was about to do to their loyal Marines who with the right leadership could have beaten just about any Army on this Planet. But unfortunately those at the Top of this Frat House Pecking order hadn’t been paying Attention during that other War, so finding someone to make some kind of decision of strategy that would work, was almost impossible. So they must have talked to older WW 2 and Korean War Veterans that were now lobbyist or political elected leaders as they are pretty much one in the same as no bid contracts like the one for the M-16 were born.

We had received orders from the Top as to make a drastic change in what the 0311 Grunt rifleman was now ordered to carry in the field of combat. This was quite a shock to everyone from the older Veterans to the new F Guys. The rumor back then was that the inventor had a secret partner who was a General who could not only get this Government contract but to accelerate the speed of which to get these weapons to Vietnam as fast as possible.

There was absolutely no reason for this change over other than, Profit with our blood This was the scuttlebutt that I heard back then but I had no idea on the Truth. I’m not sure of all those details but that did explained, what was the rush? It wasn’t like there was a need for this weapon as those M-14 were the best rifles that were the replacements for another great rifle the M-1 Garand.

I trained with both of these two rifles and they are both very dependable and indestructible as the big difference is the M-14 is much easier to carry and a 20 round magazine had almost triple the capacity rather than eight shot clips in the M-1. Both these rifles were very accurate giving the edge to the 30.06, the heavier rifle. The auto selector switch on the M-14 was rarely used as it wasted more ammunition but in thick cover holding that rifle sideways firing low could be effective as far as fire suppression as it sounded like a machine gun with very little accuracy.

On a sight called“ The Ten Best Combat Rifles Ever Made,”and I know time and technology has changed but who ever rated these rifles must have owned stocks in Colt or they had permission to continually use Propaganda as that M-16’s shit never stunk, ever since it’s birth when it was first introduced as The AR-15 made by Armor Light sucked, and selling the rights to that rifle to Colt made it suck just as bad. They rated this rifle at number Two, which is ridiculous unless they meant the other number two? Because that rifle shouldn’t have even been on that list, at all. I know, it took them fifty years to improve it so now that they finally have supposedly the number two best combat rifle ever made, their going to replace it, now that makes sense?

I’m very familiar with five of those rifles out of those ten. I got a kick out of the number ten rifle on that list was the M-14 which is my weapon of choice as that article contradicts that same article by saying that the M-14 was called the come back kid as it is the weapon of choice for special forces puts the M-14 in the top five at least, I would think, not in the number ten spot as the weapon of choice, that makes no sense to me as the weapon most preferred is at the rear? There’s no reason to call it the come back kid because it never left. Only because of a Government contract it was stolen out of service, just like all those lives who died with a jammed M-16 still in their hand with almost a full magazine .

Now when range is a factor those slower heavy bolt action rifles killed more enemy soldier on every side as Hitler’s favorite rifle the 98 which he used in the First World War when he served on the Eastern front lines as a Corporal where he got that experience about that rifle, and at long distance targets, that 98 or another bolt rifle most likely would be my choice to. The AK 47 is another favorite of mine but not my choice over 400 yards as under that range it would definitely my weapon of choice as less recoil with a 30 round clip it’s a large sub machine gun, but very durable and dependable wet or dry.

You can put all these weapons in one group but they should be separated as even an M-14 over one thousand meters is not in the same league as the Springfield, or the other bolt action rifles is why serious sniper rifles are all bolt action for a reason.

For over fifty years this M-16 was being pushed as the best rifle while being improved because they knew it wasn’t the best but they kept the stock up for those investors
Even that British Enfield doesn’t belong in that group either but it’s only there because it was made in the good old much better than all of you, USA, that’s right you heard it right here from the sp00n who would have been a good Umpire.

As political Wars are fought, political contracts were also created by lobbyist who were insiders that had an agenda to foe fill as to satisfy their investors bottom line no matter if their product was seriously flawed or defective. As long as those weapons were put to use in the Vietnam War the fact that they knew about giving our troops something that was not properly field test could cost many more live’s of our sons and daughters, but obviously, they didn’t care. When they disregarded the fact that money was more important than the live of their children and they damn well knew what they were doing, was dead, Wrong.

I knew that back then about May of 1966 when I was told that we were being issued new weapons in a couple of three weeks or so and you can plan on turning in your old M - 14 because we are not giving you or anyone else any choice on what you can use to protect yourself when engaging the enemy. Wether your on patrol, a night time ambush or a search and destroy mission the M-16 or AR-15 will be the weapon that everyone will be ordered to carry with no exceptions, did I make myself clear on this? Sp00n, yes sir

I know many of you have trained over one year with your M-14 and are very satisfied of how efficient and accurate of a dependable this weapon is but new orders from the Top want to make this change over to take place without any interruptions with your daily duties. Any questions, yes sir, sp00n has a couple questions. Sir, What is the reason for such a rush on this change over? We're not having any problems with our M-14 so why not give us a choice as were the one’s who know what is best for us in the Bush..

I’m not sure as this was a surprise for me also as I take orders and pass them down. Sir, what if we start taking more casualties could we get our M-14 back and who is going to get them anyway? Well I can’t tell you that but from what I’ve read about this new weapon is that it’s much lighter because it’s made out of some synthetic plastic and you can carry more ammunition , so that’s a plus but it doesn’t have the range the M-14 has but it’s suppose to have good knock down power? sp00n said this rifle is a bad joke and an insult to all these men forced to carry one, it sounds like this rifle is a toy and it looks like a toy, and Matty Mattel was Born.

The sp00n’s intuition was having some type of episode, with his self continence. We thought the sp00n was having a seizure as he was talking to himself as if he was in an argument with no one, but himself, that anyone else could see. Maybe he was trying for a section eight which in Vietnam most everyone would qualify, but no one could go home unless they were KIA or WiA, with no exceptions for the enlisted personal. About a week later we started firing these rifles and they were awful as the rifles were malfunctioning so bad and the reason that was given was that they needed to be broken in as the more times that you fired one of these pieces of crap supposedly that they would improve with time, also the cleaning process was a daily chore.

The M-14 was constantly wet and dirty as more oil was all that was needed as long as no rocks or sticks got stuck in the breach I could tell that I was going to have a real big problem with this weapon and I was getting stressed out over this stupid change over that made no sense at all. I started making my complaints known to everyone within shouting distant. I stated that I’m refusing this weapon and will go to the Brig if it comes to that. One good thing about having no rank is that they don’t have much to take. Most of the guys knew that I was right but I was on my own when it came down to push or shove, but all agreed that this move of a change over was just shy of suicide.

You know when you start feeling like your the enemy, well I’m telling you all, that was the beginning and If I could have taken a bus home, I would have left in a heart beat. The Pacific Ocean is the biggest Ocean in the World but it did made the channel at Paris Island look easy, no way. Picture your out in the bush and anything out there can happen if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time your screwed, and when you desperately need to have an accurate dependable rifle that will fire every time and it won’t jamb, that’s the difference between coming home in a box verses having a seat on the plane.

Those people who didn’t have to go out to search for this guy Charlie, don’t even have a clue what we grunts do out there in never, never land, but they still call themselves Vietnam combat Veterans regardless, and do multiple tours, why is that? Well I was halfway thru my tour and I hadn’t miss one Ambush or Patrol yet or a Search and Destroy, but I was being mentally destroyed by my own people. I was pissed, I couldn’t believe they were enforcing this Bull Shit. I would say take this sharp walking stick and you take point, if your stick doesn’t fire it’s because it’s dirty so you have no excuse, I was actually in shock that most Marines were going along as to get along as if they were like sheep, like the rest of the flock back in the World. I’m sorry but you trained me with an M -14 and lied just about everything else like Agent Orange, only kills foliage, when you have 30 days left on your tour you get taken out of the combat Zone, that was true for the lucky few when I arrived.

Well those in charge could see that the sp00n was having a melt down after refusing to carry Mat-tee Mattel so they knew I would volunteer to go to the Brig. Then I was told, and this proves that they knew those weapons were no good. They said, “next Month you will receive a new Crome bolt, hopefully that should make the rifle fire much better? How do you make over one hundred thousand bolts in one Month unless you had these bolts ordered a long time ago because they knew this rifle was garbage. They knew it all along and we did not matter, and I still don’t know where my M-14 went, does anyone know the answer before I die as this Haunts me everyday. The sp00n’s up dated version of The Ten Best Combat Rifles Ever Made.

Not being bias as the Umpire calling them as I see them as my choice an opinion Number one because it’s light and they listed the effective range of 900 Meters.

One, The Sreyr, made in Austria it was listed as number three.
Two, The M-14 they listed at number ten?
Three, The FN FAL is also a 308 like the M-14 this is a tie for second and third.
Four, The Ak 47 you’ve got to love it.
Five, The Stumgewehr 44 it looks like the AK copied this 44 from the Germans.
Those are my top five

Six, the Ak-74.
Seven the M-1 Garand.
Eight the Karabiner 98 K Hitler’s favorite.
Nine the 1903 Springfield.
Ten, the Mini 14 Ruger.
Eleven, the M-2 Carbine.
Twelve, the SKS.

God bless all of you, and God bless America!
Edgar Goulet (sp00n)