DESIGN FLAW M16A2 | AR15 Forums

DESIGN FLAW M16A2

Discussion in 'AR Talk' started by Hummer, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Hummer

    Hummer Guest

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    The M16A2 (M16A1E1) was tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 82 and report issued in l983 identifying a "catastrophic" design problem with the case ejection.

    http://www.highpowerforum.com/PDF/M16A1 ... 0APG-1.pdf

    The report has been published to the internet above. Takes a while to download but a worthwhile read.

    I have been told by reliable sources that several have been killed/wounded as a result of hot brass going down the neck of shooter next to them and in the involuntary reaction to being burned, lost control of muzzle and shot soldier on next firing point.

    I am also aware the test report was altered after the author signed off on it without his knowledge.

    Finally I am aware the Inspector General of the Marine Corps, and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Army have been advised by persons closely involved in that testing the document was altered and the problem covered up.

    If anyone is aware of anyone being accidently shot or killed as a result of hot brass they should contact Army CID Aberdeen Proving Ground or Inspector General Marine Corps.
     
  2. csmkersh

    csmkersh Guest

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    • You need to be able to back that assertion up or recant it.
     
  3. deltaheavy

    deltaheavy Guest

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    In the list of supposed faults of the M16 weapon system, case ejection path I find to be the most ridiculous. Do you suppose that no one has ever had hot brass drop down their shirt from a 1911, Garand, or M14? HK91? FAL? Attempting to single out the M16 weapons series in this manner would seem to indicate an agenda... I've been burned with hot brass from an M-9 on a military range. Whose fault would it have been if I'd swung through 90 degrees and tagged the man or woman next to me? Beretta's or my own? You decide... Oh, wait, you already did, apparently... :? :roll:
     
  4. milenski

    milenski Guest

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    One of my coworkers has a scar on her neck from a hot .223 round. While on the rifle range we have to wear bandanas to prevent burns. I got burnt once in basic but it wasn't too bad. Lefties seem to get burnt and whacked more often. During the first clip I fired through a Garand I got nailed in the forehead. I've also had an enblock land on the top of my head.
     
  5. deltaheavy

    deltaheavy Guest

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    I think my most joyous shooting experience was being one lane to the right of an AK. After taking two or three hot 7.62 cases to the side of the head, I took a break until the guy was done. Simple fact of life that most semi-autos will throw brass to the right, and the guy/gal to the right gets hit. Deal with it or find a new hobby/occupation. Interestingly enough, the report states that the M16A1E1 ejection path was an improvement over the A1.
     
  6. milenski

    milenski Guest

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    On the rifle range at work netting has been installed between the lanes to keep brass from hitting the person next to you. The last time I qulaified with my pistol I was getting hit with brass from both sides. At the end of the day I found brass in my pockets and stuck in my duty gear.
     
  7. csmkersh

    csmkersh Guest

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    • When I fired left handed and used a pop-in shell deflector, it was mandatory to pull the sleeves down on my BDUs. Otherwise I might wind up with a hot case in the crook of my right arm. Never noticed where the case went firing right handed.
     
  8. Snake45

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    Today my .22 P.38 laid a hot empty right on the web of my hand. .22 brass is hotter than you'd think, fresh from the oven! I decided to ignore it and drive on. At the next shot, the slide knocked it right into my face, just below my nose. Doh!

    I have a cool little welt on the web of my hand now, too. :)
     
  9. Travismaine

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    At the range in Maryland the guy next to me was shooting a .22 and a shell discharged from his rifle and stuck to my upper ear. I think that brass had some sort of defect as is was far hotter then one would think a .22 should be. Burned my ear but good.
     
  10. TaylorWSO

    TaylorWSO Guest

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    Let me get this right, if I shoot somebody because of poor muzzle discipline, then it's the guns fault :roll:
     
  11. Hummer

    Hummer Guest

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    I think most folks are missing the point of the exercise here.

    It is obvious by the quick responses that most folks have not read the report in its entirety and that no one is thinking in terms of overall system safety. You need to be reading the report as if you were an investigator, not a gun lover who thinks someone is out to attack their favorite past time.

    For you military types pull yourself a copy of MIL STD 882 SAFETY and read what it says. You will find that any piece of equipment during the design phase that is blessed with a potential CATASTROPHIC rating is a “DEFICIENCY” That is a poor word as the only other category is “ACCEPTABLE” So if it not acceptable what is the only other alternative?

    Now here we have a design change for the M16A2 and now later versions that was rated by Aberdeen Proving Ground as CATASTROPHIC / OCCASIONAL “deficiency” before going into production.



    I refer the readers to pages

    Page 1 says there is a potential safety problem.

    Page 10 says “no safety or health hazards were identified”

    Page 20 ( p) says there is a safety problem.

    OK which is it? The above three pages says there could be a problem but we didn’t find one but to cover our bases there is a problem.

    Question: The M16A1E1 had demonstrated safety problems documented in 2.14.4 and 2.14.5 and classified as “catastrophic occasional” documented several times in this paragraph, and properly classified under MIL STD 882A (1977), and given a “system deficiency” rating by APG in 2.14.5.c per how is the Criterion 2.14.2 “considered met”? The terminology “will not be degraded” is mandatory language leaving no room for deviation.


    See page 108 for how such is graded.

    Next go to Appendix C and read the entire page. Now ask yourself why the front of this report refers to potential problems and there are NO RECOMMENDATIONS ! ! ! !

    Guys this is not an attack of your favorite toy! ! ! ! ! I own three AR’s. CAR,HBAR(pre ban) and RRA Varmint.

    The “AGENDA” here is:
    1. Why was the report altered? It obviously was.
    2. Why didn’t the Army Safety Center step in to require changes? They hold the death/injury reports confirming such. How do I know this? They told me they did!.
    3. Why wasn’t the suggestion made to change the ejection angle and retest not done? We all know it is a simple procedure to change the ejection angle to 1:00 to 2:00 o’clock. I have done it. The easiest way is to change the “bump” to closer to 3:00 o’clock and the brass will go forward. A little harder because it takes tools and time is to trim the ejector spring a turn at a time until it gets where you want it.


    Several responders have said barricades/netting etc have been erected which is nice but they are not always available. The question is why were these erected? Simple to cut down on the possibility of injuries. Injuries often result in legal problems and to protect the department, range safety officers etc they erected protection.

    NRA highpower rules say you will not interfere with firers on adjacent firing points. If you are a range officer and you allow a shooter to remain on the line and you know that the brass ejection of a particular weapon is directing brass onto an adjacent firing point time after time and you do nothing you are setting yourself up for the big one.

    Yes we have all been burned, it happens (occasionally) but when you know your weapon is continually ejecting in a dangerous condition and you do nothing to correct it then you are setting yourself up as well.

    I will not carry a weapon to a match that I know ejects brass in such a pattern out of respect for other shooter’s safety. Now I know there are some that feel it is your “right” to shoot your weapon in any manner you deem appropriate and f’em if others don’t like it.

    Like one responder said a female type received a burn. I can very likely see a suit were a nice looking young lady gets a 3rd degree burn on her face/neck and a suit follows. Don’t believe it? Eject brass from AR onto PVC garbage bag. It will almost melt a hole though the bag. I will let you do your own research into what temp PVC melts and at what temps 3rd degree burns occur.

    I can also see the John Wayne types getting on the stand and telling a jury that has been previously screened to exclude NRA members (happens all the time) that “I been burned, I’m tough, life is tough, I am an expert cause I shoot all the time.” Yeah that is gonna fly well.

    More likely than not the questioning is going to go like, did you know this could happen?, has there been previous injuries/deaths?, why didn’t you take action to correct the condition?

    Now if I was an attorney going to court I would want to know everything possible about case ejections and ANY PROBLEMS identified with such. With the Aberdeen report on line for the world to see/review which is an official government document clearly showing a known problem before production it is going to get dicey real quick.

    I would also go to Aberdeen Proving Ground and ask for an official copy of same and find out who the author was and present location and I would be going to visit him/her to have a long chat followed by a subpoena. Even if the author was dead, the info is on line for the world to see.

    Now let’s just suppose you get the Test Director on the stand and first thing he says is “that is not what I wrote, the report was changed after I signed off on it to go to printing…………”
     
  12. deltaheavy

    deltaheavy Guest

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    Thanks for the clarification on that point. Clarification may not have been needed if the title of your first post hadn't been in telegraphic all-caps and hadn't included insinuations of a conspiracy... or if your follow-up post had been incorporated in the first. Word to the wise and all that. :wink:

    Yes, it would be nice if the rounds ejected forward and to the side, but the bottom line is that it is the shooter's responsibility to maintain muzzle discipline no matter what happens. As to a conspiracy to modify the test report, well... I have no dog in that fight. I'll just sit back here with my popcorn and enjoy. :D
     
  13. Travismaine

    Travismaine Guest

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    Given the choice between friendly hot brass and the enemy's hot lead I think I could live with the hot brass.
     
  14. deltaheavy

    deltaheavy Guest

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    Note to self: no internet posting in the AM before the first cup of coffee. Above should obviously read "brass ejected." :oops:
     
  15. Fargo

    Fargo Guest

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    I think this may be a slightly simplistic way of looking at the whole thing. Of course muzzle control is the shooter's responsibility, but is also goes beyond that. I have had an ejected 223 case (coming out of a mini-14) go down the back of my shirt and lodge on top of my undies. Let me tell you that your response is in no way voluntary when a several-hundred degree piece of metal unexpectedly lodges in the small of your back. I kept the muzzle downrange, but only by the grace of God. There is nothing conscious about how you react.

    Since the human reaction to being suddenly burned is largely involuntary, and usually involves tensing and twisting away from the stimulus, I would argue that reducing this problem down to mere "muzzle control of the burnee" misses much of the point. Just as we avoid alcohol before shooting so as to maintain muzzle control and stupid accidents; we also need to avoid, to the extent reasonable, suprise-burning people holding loaded guns so as to avoid involuntary loss of muzzle control and needless accidents.

    The nature of both ranges and many military engagements requires that shooters often be in a parallel line. I agree with Hummer that if the issue weapon of the U.S. military will consistently throw hot brass onto the next guy in line, it is in need of a "product improvement".

    All the best,


    Joe
     
  16. Hummer

    Hummer Guest

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    Fargo/Joe
    Could not have said it better myself. You obviously recognize the bottom line.

    To add a bit next time to those that do not believe involuntary things can happen when the body is presented with trauma watch peoples hands when they are subjected to intense pain when they least expect it. The hands clinch up tightly and if one hand is burned both hands will become a fist immediately.

    Now lets just pretend we have gun in our hands and you are aiming in the standing position and about ready to break a shot and your concentration is where it should be and you have no idea you are about to get branded with a 200+F case on your neck/cheek, stuck over your ear, or down your shirt, the involuntary reaction cannot be predicted.

    There is a term in the South called "Goochey". You go up to some folks and just touch them in the back and you will see a violent reaction. I worked in a drive in during high school and the boss made sandwiches and his back was to the counter. Customers would come in and walk up behind him and touch him in the back and the wildest gyration you ever saw followed. I saw that happen to him several times. I can assure you no one that saw what he did with a butcher knife in his hand NEVER DID IT AGAIN.

    When we got near him we involuntarily said, "BEHIND YOU JOE" cause we didn't want to get a butcher knife slash on out side as he would take the knife and slash it to the rear and down when touched.

    Most guys here are seasoned shooters, we have all been burned.
    Now picture a 18 year old kid who never saw a real gun in his/her life in person before he joined the service and he knows he is going to combat, he is handed this black gun which kicks every time he fires it.

    Yeah kick. I have seen the kids complain about the kick of the M16. And he comes from a family that never let him shoot anything and he has had those mean sergeants screaming at him from 0500 to 2200 every day for every little infraction and then this searing pain is delivered to a extremely sensitive part of the body, something more likely than not is going to happen.

    Ever fell in a pool by accident. Bet you you automatically took a breath and held it before you hit the water. Yes you can train yourself not to take a breath if you plan for it but bet you when accidently confronted you took a breath and held it.

    Another classic reaction is wreck avoidance. Guy changes lanes adruptly in front of you and you are gonna jerk the wheel to miss him. I did that once and to avoid him I ran right out of the road into a parking lot and barely missed a power pole at the curb. I guess that could be my fault because I did not anticipate the other driver's intention to change lanes to the right.

    Another case in point, I was shooting on range one day and friends came up from behind shed and I had no idea anyone else was on the planet. They knew I was shooting, had ear muffs on and one decides he is going to be cute and jump out and yell booh. His cousin told him before he did so that I had a gun, I was shooting and he was likely to get shot. He did it and caught me just after a reload and I was doing IDPA type training with my R U Ready timer. Next thing he knows he is looking down the muzzle of a Gov't 45, safety off aimed at his head. I had not recollection of drawing, aiming or anything.

    I can guarantee you he will never do that to anyone again because he had just received a PHD in involuntary response actions. Now I can tell you I was going to shoot and there is no doubt in my mind the Lord was looking out for him.


    I was on the way to sending him to his reward.

    Had a cop in my hometown who discovered a break in on third shift. Four of my old shift guys were searching the building, it was a drug store and the lights had not been found to turn them on so hand lights was the search method. This guy jumps up from the floor from under a display right in front of a guy's face (within three feet) and yells "Don't shoot!" The bullet was already in him before the exclamation point arrived as he said it. Stone dead, unarmed, surrendered. Now by some readers rulings on this post the cop should have been charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter or something because he didn't have his weapon pointed in a safe direction at all times.

    Had a hearing and that was that. Suicide of stupidity.

    To pass judgement on what everyone should do in every situation is your right. That is why in shootings etc they always ask jurors if they are NRA members. The federal questionaire asks that as a routine for every jury trial as potential jurors have told me they were asked that and the case had nothing to do with a gun.

    Next time something is directed at your face and misses you, examine your reactions. Did you blink, shut your eyes? There was no reason to shut your eyes if it missed you by that logic is there? But still you will. That is why it is called involuntary.
     
  17. deltaheavy

    deltaheavy Guest

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    Don't think that we all disagree with you. We see your point. The knee-jerk reaction was to a provocative post from a recently-joined potential FNG with a low post count. Now that you've sufficiently explained yourself, I see where you're coming from. I won't agree with you on all points, but I do have respect for your position. I still stand by my assertion that muzzle discipline is the key factor, not the ejection path of the weapon. If you wish to disagree with me, that is certainly your prerogative. Keep it safe...
     
  18. Hummer

    Hummer Guest

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    OH I totally agree, muzzle direction is your responsibility the vast majority of the time, like opening the bolt when you leave the firing line and leaving it open.

    Used to be in highpower in rapid fire we were told to STAND, LOAD and we did loading up everything and closing the bolts. Then the rule was changed requiring the bolt to remain open until the firer sat down and laid down for sitting rapid and there were some gripes. I made some inquiries and never could get it nailed down but the only logical thing I heard was there was a highpower match in Florida and a bolt gun shooter set down for a rapid string (muzzles point everywhere when people sit down, a awesome site) but no one had been killed.

    At any rate so the story goes/went this guy with a 40X with a dead light trigger went down and when he did he either bumped the rifle or a piece of gear swiped the trigger and it went off and shot the hat off the shooter next to him.

    I was told when the NRA Highpower Committee heard about that they immediatley changed the rules. No one had been shot, no one had been killed but they recognized the danger and changed the rules on the side of safety.

    Can anyone provide any other rationale or background on this?

    I used to have a buddy with a 40X and I saw him go down in rapid once and when he went to his knees and then fell forward to assume the prone position and the butt touched the ground off it went, straight up. He was not touching the trigger at all. I was his scorer and was watching his every move.

    Who knows my buddy may have sold that gun to the guy that shot the hat off.

    When the involuntary card is played and Murphy comes to bat the rules go out the window.

    A cop in Brunswick, Ga. back in 83 was arresting a guy and he went to buttstroke the bad guy with a pumpgun and as the butt made contact with chin it went off and the 00 went across the street and killed a guy on his front steps watching it. No problem, the guy that got killed had a rap sheet three pages long. Ruled an accident.

    I once did an investigation wherein this guy was charged with shooting a gov't patrol car with a shotgun from the inside. He had gun ready for party time with one in chamber and it just went off so he said. I got the gun in and I tried everyway I could by bumping, banging, etc to get it to go and it would not go. I racked it one last time and laid the gun across my thighs and was just reaching for the phone to call his supervisor and tell him to get the payment in cash and the Winchester Mod 12 went click. I froze immediately and looked at the gun. There was absolutely nothing touching the gun but my thighs and the trigger area was off to one side in the air. A gunsmith was standing there watching the investigation and he had already checked it. When it went click he just stood there and shook his head and said he would not have believed it if he had not seen it.

    So I called the Supervisor and told him to requisition a new car for the officer. For that and other similar happenings I am aware of I I never carry a round in chamber or leave a round in the chamber unless it is a hammer gun or I know a party is imminent.

    On guns with double set triggers if I am hunting I don't bother setting the trigger as I know if the shot is not made there is no way I am going to try and open the bolt as I know a real hilarious story of a guy with a double set trigger.

    If anyone is interested in reading that one let me know and I will make another post about set triggers. I got the story from the guy in the car and to hear him tell it himself would bring tears to your eyes laughing. Both of them are dead now and both were good ole boys.

    So bottom line you have "should control muzzle" then you have involuntary responses to stimulus and hopefully your angel is not off taking a whizz, there are pure accidents and there are those times when the Lord is looking out for you.
     
  19. Hawgtroop

    Hawgtroop Guest

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    We had a guy killed in my basic battalion in '75 when hot brass went down his collar and he shot the guy next to him in the head on the M16A1 zero range at Ft. Knox. He was shooting left handed and there were not enough clip on brass deflector's to go around.
    I don't know about the A2, but I can verify the A1. I know, I was there and we were shut down because of it.
     
  20. Hummer

    Hummer Guest

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    Another guy told me of a very similar incident happening in his basic company except his was a bit different. The shooter was also a leftie and got hit by his own brass and killed the guy next to him who happened to be his best friend he joined the Army with.

    The guy that reported it told me he had to kneel over him and apply a battle dressing on a "sucking chest wound" until the medics arrived.

    Obviously this is a different incident for the same problem. I am a leftie and I have had a couple of them eject so close that hunks of meat have been taken out of my right cheek so I can identify with that ejection.

    I know of another a shooting at Ft. Jackson in 74 from a retired Lt. Col who was at the hospital when he was there for a physical as a 2nd LT. The nurse came in and told the doctor they had a shooting on range and kid was on the way in. The doctor asked the nurse what happened and she replied the range personnel had told her the kid next to him got hot brass down his neck and shot the kid. They finished his physical quickly and ran him out and he did not have any more details.
     
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