Angering mistake by the US

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Airman 1st Class
Sep 10, 2005
The browning automatic rifle (BAR) was withheld from service with our men in the great war for fear that the germans would capture and copy the design, and make there own for use against us. So as an alternative, our doughboys recieved the Cho Cho, french machine gun. It had an open faced, half moon ammunition clip. Need i say more? Imagine the feeding mechanism in the trenches, filling with the mud, and then freezing if it was cold, drying in the heat, or just sitting in there wet, jamming the gun completely. The guns were said to be so poorly manufactured that you couldnt take the parts from one, and put them on another in the field, making repair damn near impossible. The gun jammed constantly from mud intake, from poor construction, and wear and tear that was innevitable in the trenches. Many americans died because this inadequate weapon wouldnt fire when it was needed most. Just pisses me off that our government would do something like that. Any one have thoughts or comments, or would like to express theyre outrage?
The Conditions were why the weapons didnt work, The French(Belgians-but they speak french too) are well known for making very good quality weapons, The BAR was made by Browning which alot of its methods of design take after(Now Have Merged with Fabrique Nationale) but so what? in those conditions The Lee Enfeild or the Mauser is about as reliable as you can get. The Ak-47 which is arguably the most reliable weapon ever built wouldnt last in the conditions experienced in WW1, And besides due to those conditions, it making it so there was no sanitary area to clean your weapon, so the US soldiers were carrying uncleaned rifles with really no proper way to clean them.

Whats an outrage is that US soldiers being sent to vietnam with their brand new plastic rifles, with no cleaning material at all, the rifle had an aluminum barrel so it was obviously going to corrode like a motherf*cker, the powder used with their new ammo was old cheap ball, which was designed for larger calibers such as the 7.62, so as a result of this their rifles fowled during combat while being charged by VC or NVA, that my friend is an outrage, but that doesnt even compare to The Ross Rifles the canadian army was issued during the first world war, that rifle was an excellent tool for marksman practice but, you might as well use it as a club if youre going to war because Well I think you get my point.
E Gad! Whatever gave you all these odd ideas?

Ever wonder why the designation for the BAR is M-1918? Do you suppose that the "1918" might mean something in particular? Kind of like the Colt .45 cal. Automatic, the M-1911A1, or the Springfield Rifle, the M-1903? Can you take a wild guess as to what those numbers mean? Further, the BAR was not developed by the US government or the US Army, it was developed by John Browning at the request of the Government to replace the French and British weapons being issued to US troops. And why were they being issued these weapons? Well, maybe because the US did not have an infantry squad machine gun in its inventory.

And what makes you think it was not used by US troops in WWI?

The problem, which you seem to want to address as some sort of sordid scheme to insure higher losses, was actually one of development, production, and availability.

The US entered WWI in April 1917 and troops started seeing combat that summer. Browning and Colt had been working on the design prior to the US entry, and the design was accepted in May 1917. Production contracts were awarded in September, under license, with Marlin Rockwell Corp and Winchester Repeating Arms Co. First delivery by Winchester came at the end of December and from Marlin in the beginning of January 1918. Evidently that was close enough for the 1918 designation, especially since Browning was already producing the M-1917 .30 cal water-cooled machine gun.

The BAR started making it's appearance in the summer of 1918 and first went into combat on 12 September. By the time of the Armistice, some 52,000 plus BARs had been delivered and another 50,000 were produced and delivered by late 1919. There was never a withholding for security purposes.

So, you have private industry developing a weapon, the weapon is accepted, it goes into production and the first units reach the troops all in about 14 months from acceptance, and into combat in 16 months. On the whole, weapons development wise, that's not too bad, especially for a weapon that remained in service into the 1960s.

On a personal note, I remember running through about 6 magazines in 1965. From a prone position it was a fairly easy weapon to control and keep on target if you kept your wits about you, very smooth and surprising little recoil. I was about 13 years old at the time.

About the only thing you got right was the lack of reliability under field conditions of the French weapon, except it was not a "Cho cho". The weapon was the 8mm Lebel chambered Fusil Mitrailleur Modele 1915 'CRSG' (Model 1915), generally referred to as the "Chauchat." "Cho-cho" or "Sho-sho" was the American corruption of the pronounciation of Chauchat. US troops also used the Lewis light machine gun which was much more reliable than the Chauchat.

No offense, but the BAR development and deployment history is pretty straight forward and easily researched. And doesn't come close to what you posted. Criticize the Chauchat as it well deserves (even the French didn't like it, but it was the only game in town), but please save the conspiracy stuff for the folks in the collander hats.

My brother did 2 tours in Nam starting in 67'. He was with the 82nd airborne and spent time in Hue and the Ashore Valley. He said the M-16 was a pain, but you learned to keep it clean, PERIOD! He felt the M-16 was a better weapon and contrary to belief, he said US soldiers AVOIDED using the AK for one reason... In a fire fight the AKs sound was different from the M-16 so by using it you run the risk of drawing friendly fire towards your position, although in a pinch sometimes folks in his platoon were foreced to use captured AK-47s. He actually perfered the M-14.....

In the last months he was in Nam, he was involved in a lot of close in combat - he actually got his hands on a shotgun - he said that was the best!!!!
Vassili Zaitzev said:
Wait, In Vietnam, why did we switch from the M14 to the M16?
The M-14 I believe was being phased out in 63 or 64.....Prior to that the Army decided they needed to replace the M-14 citing the weight of the weapon as a problem...
I trained on the M-14 and M-16 and used the M-16 in the field. The main concern was number of rounds of ammo. One could tote more rounds of 5.56 for the same weight in .308s. The M-16 did not have an aluminum barrel! The BAR was not some monster weapon to handle either. Recoil was no more than the M-14 on auto............
It all really boils down to the type of combat each vet goes through.... Mine was more close order, night insertion ops, so the weaps I prefer were dictated from the type of combat I saw....

I never liked the M-16, enjoyed the M-4A1, and loved the AK-47... It was better for me to be thought of as a local, than as an American running around with an M-16...
I love the AK-47. Having fire the weapon, and the M-16, i would take the AK any day. I like the M-4 for its light weight and small size, but if it boiled down to me making a choice, AK all the way.
Geez, the USMC issued .45s and those were lifesavers for us. Once the M-16 had the feed ramp and breech chromed the "jamming" problems were drastically reduced. We had no problems other than those associated with carelessness and filthy unkept weapons. Never cared for the way the cheap wiggle wooden stock mounted on the AK. Never pointed right to me. The reality of it was for many of our ops that we coulda used just the .45s.
The M-16 has been around for 40 years and has fought in many wars. In spite of gross mismangement on startup, it must be an effective and adaptable weapon. I have heard that there was some complaints on its stopping power in Iraq and an internet rumor of recalling the M-14. I also understand there is a new weapon coming on with a programmable 20mm round added.

I know the AK-47 is used by a lot of riff-raff because it is available, but does any major military unit (main forces, elite units, etc.) use the AK anymore?

Long live Ma Duece. The greatest gun ever developed. Of course this is not the subject of this thread. What is the subject of this thread.
One of the biggest surprises I've come across in weaponry was the fact that the US Marines used a small number of British WW2 vintage Boys anti-Tank rifles in Vietnam :shock:

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