Heavy lubrication shown to improve M16, M4 effectiveness

This is a discussion on Heavy lubrication shown to improve M16, M4 effectiveness within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; http://www.militarytimes.com/news/20...cation_070716/ Heavy lubrication shown to improve M16, M4 effectiveness By Matthew Cox - Staff writer Posted : Monday Jul 16, 2007 Army weapons officials might ...

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Thread: Heavy lubrication shown to improve M16, M4 effectiveness

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    JT [OP]
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    Heavy lubrication shown to improve M16, M4 effectiveness

    http://www.militarytimes.com/news/20...cation_070716/

    Heavy lubrication shown to improve M16, M4 effectiveness

    By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
    Posted : Monday Jul 16, 2007

    Army weapons officials might have found a way to improve the M16 family’s performance in the desert.

    “Dust chamber” tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., last year show that M16 rifles and M4 carbines perform dramatically better when the weapon’s bolt assembly is heavily lubricated.

    During each phase of the two-part “system assessment” at Army test and Evaluation Command, testers fired 60,000 rounds through 10 weapon samples of each model.

    Treated with light lubrication, new M16A4s and M4s, performed poorly in the extreme dust and sand conditions of the test, according to a January report from ATEC.

    But when testers applied a heavy coat of lubrication to the weapons, the test results showed a “significant improvement.”

    Out of the 60,000 rounds fired in each phase, the M4 stoppage-rate dropped from 9,836 with light lubrication to 678 with heavy lubrication.

    The M16A4 stoppage-rate dropped from 2,124 with light lubrication to 507 with heavy lubrication, results show.

    For years, Army weapons officials have preached to soldiers to virtues of applying a light coat of lubrication during weapons maintenance.

    But the test results reinforce a recent change in weapons maintenance guidance Army units are practicing in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Col. Carl Lipsit, project manager for Soldier Weapons.

    At the request of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the Army will conduct a similar dust-chamber test in August, pitting the M4 against the Heckler and Koch 416, the H&K XM8 and FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle.

    All of the participating weapons will be treated with a heavy coat of lubrication during the test, Lipsit said.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    Hmmmm.... Wonder how "dry as a bone" would fare in those tests?
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I was wondering the exact same thing OPFOR.

    - Janq
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    Anybody know what 'heavy lubrication' is? Is this a large amount of grease, oil, or Break Free CLP?

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    "Grease" I wouldn't consider a typical lubrication for the M16 series rifles. Standard CLP or Militech (since they have given literally millions of little bottles away to the military) would be my first guesses. As for what constitutes "heavy," I can't say for certain. Based on my training, a "light" coat is basically a very thin film, or what is left over after you oil it and then wipe it with a cotton cloth. "Heavy" was reserved for the Pig (M60), and was a coat applied with a shaving brush to all metal-to-metal contact points - not dripping wet, but not wiped off, either. It'd be interesting to see their exact testing protocols... Aside from the ones already asked, questions like, "how dusty is the dust chamber?" "how many rounds are fired in a string?" "how often is the lubrication re-applied?" are all important to know if we are going to really draw any conclusions here.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Lots of lube also make the bullets go faster,right?

    (kidding, I am not as stupid as my wife tells everyone I am)
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    JD
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    Funny, I wonder if they actually simulate sand storms with big fans, that and an un latched sudt cover = mud in your bolt...

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    I kept my M4 dry as a bone when I was over there and never had a stoppage. While I didn't fire it too often, I didn't clean it too often either besides wiping the dust out of it every so often.

    We had an OP in a sand pit that we could shoot in whenever we were posted there every couple weeks or so. So I shot it once a month for the seven months we were there, maybe a couple more times here and there for when we had contact, which was rare, or when we zeroed our ACOGs on the KDR at Baharia.

    I've always heard that lube causes problems in dusty environments but maybe a lot of the good stuff (CLP) can overcome it. Dry gave the dust nothing to stick to but may have caused problems if fired for extended periods. I could put a magazine through rapid fire with no problems. Seemed like each weapon had it's own little idiosyncracies when it came to lube and the environment.

    Edit: Also, the ejection port cover would only keep so much dust out. It always managed to get in there with the cover closed and a mag inserted.
    Mike

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    Member Array unrequited's Avatar
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    I'd have thought that all that lube would make for caked mud and sand in the working bits... but 9000 to 600 is a BIG improvement.

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    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by SemperGumby View Post
    .

    Edit: Also, the ejection port cover would only keep so much dust out. It always managed to get in there with the cover closed and a mag inserted.
    Well of course...it's sand, I left in '03 and I still find sand in some of my gear....

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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    For a while, some units were using a graphite based lube. I didn't have any experience with it, but the Army later sent out in the monthly maintenance magazine that only CLP was to be used.

    Heavy lube has been known to create excess fouling. During firing vaporized CLP has been known to get into the firer's eyes and fog up glasses.

    The technical manual describes "Lightly Lubed" as "A film of CLP barely visible to the eye" and "Generously Lubed" as "Heavy enough so that it can be spread with the finger". Heavy lube is not defined.

    I'm extremely skeptical of anything published by the military times; it might as well have been the national inquirer (according to them, we should all have that land warrior stuff now; still waiting for an M-4). They've been pushing for a new rifle for years even when the Army has repeatedly found that those tested were either inferior to, or not a significant improvement over the M-16.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Funny, I wonder if they actually simulate sand storms with big fans, that and an un latched sudt cover = mud in your bolt...
    Well, if you get enough lapping compound in there (fine sand + oil), you'll make the BC completely free-floating, and grind those pesky lugs down to a nice smooth rounded surface...straight blowback .223, anyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SemperGumby View Post
    Edit: Also, the ejection port cover would only keep so much dust out. It always managed to get in there with the cover closed and a mag inserted.
    I'm not sure how relevant this is, but whenever I've gone for training or gotten ready to go over there we were told to put a strip of duct tape over the ejection port whenever possible. (I.E.-inside the base, transit to the training area)

    But I'm really curious to find out what they consider heavy lubrication.
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    one word: galil

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    they should put a sig 556 in those tests just for shits n giggles
    War is not the ugliest of things. Worse is the decayed state of moral feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which he cares for more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free. -J.S. Mill

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