RAR Nominal Roll
Some of what
follows probably confirms what many thought about the 5.56mm cartridges'
hitting power all those years ago, different theatre same results.
I think it was Ernest Hemingway who said, well over sixty years ago, "Use
enough gun to do the job right first time" He was right then and the same
applies even in today's high tech world. This is quite a good read.......ed
Date: Fri, 11 Nov
all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and interested guys. A
couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my son Jordan, who was on
his first leave since returning from Iraq. He is well (a little thin), and
already bored. He will be returning to Iraq for a second tour in early '06
and has already re-enlisted early for 4 more years. He loves the Marine
Corps and is actually looking forward to returning to Iraq.
Jordan spent 7 months at "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi. Aka: Fort Apache. He
saw and did a lot and the following is what he told me about weapons,
equipment, tactics and other miscellaneous info which may be of interest to
you. Nothing is by any means classified. No politics here, just a Marine
with a bird's eye view's opinions:
1) The M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum
powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan says you feel
filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4 carbine version is
more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems
also. They like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and
weapons lights on the picattiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in
a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor
penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso
hits cant be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. Fun fact: Random
autopsies on dead insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.
2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light machine
gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of shit. Chronic
jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly.
(that's fun in the middle of a firefight).
3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert
environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns for
self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm: Bad guys
hit multiple times and still in the fight.
4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for clearing
houses to good effect.
5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun,
developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!).
Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts 'em down. Originally
developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted
and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round chews up the structure
6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. "Ma deuce" is still
worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper, puts
their dicks in the dirt every time. The most coveted weapon in-theatre.
7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there.
Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one.
With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down with a torso
hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK
military model and supposedly love it. The old government model .45's are
being re-issued en masse.
8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a
modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight
Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the
sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round.
9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular range and
accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle
suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy.
Definitely here to stay.
10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300 win mag.
Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance. Snipers have been used
heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that a marine sniper on his third tour
in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos Hathcock's record for
confirmed kills with OVER 100.
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