M16 Presentation Sheds Light On Black Rifle

posted on April 27, 2014
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American Rifleman magazine and television contributor Martin K.A. Morgan presented a compelling case for the M16 as he detailed its history from early teething problems related to improper propellant and un-lined chambers and barrels to its near-universal use across U.S. services even today-more than a half-century after its adoption. Through numerous period photographs, he recounted some of the gun's early troubles, explaining how cartridge cases had a nasty habit of fusing to its unlined chamber, which necessitated G.I.s having to use their cleaning rods, then in short supply, to ram them out of the camber from the muzzle end of the barrel.

Further, Morgan cited the efforts of Missouri Congressman Richard Ichord in investigating the M16's deficiencies and how those efforts led to its improvements with proper propellant and chrome-lined bores and chambers. Morgan also tried to drive one more nail in the coffin of the vampire-like fable of Mattel Toy Company-produced M16s. Interestingly he also showed how Mattel-produced toy copies of the gun were used in films and by some actual soldiers as stand-ins for the real thing.


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