Iraq arms report.

Iraq arms report.

This is a discussion on Iraq arms report. within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I found this on a militaria website. I thought it interesting and realisitic enough that it is likely true. It seems accurate enough, but of ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Iraq arms report.

    I found this on a militaria website. I thought it interesting and realisitic enough that it is likely true. It seems accurate enough, but of course on the net, anyone an post anything, but it is never the less interesting reading.

    http://www.efour4ever.com/iraq.htm

    I: U.S. Weapons:

    The following is a 'hot wash' from a Marine just in from "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi- aka: Fort Apache.

    1) The M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. 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 crap. 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 over there.
    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-theater.
    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.
    11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as **** to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the stuff about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in most cases.
    12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by hunter-killer teams.
    13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night urban operations.

    Bad guy weapons:
    1) Mostly AK47's The entire country is an arsenal. Works better in the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots poorly. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again) Fun fact: Captured enemy have apparently marveled at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their lack of toughness. Let's just say they know better now.
    2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys. Simple, reliable and as common as dogshit. The enemy responded to our up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank range. Still killing a lot of our guys.
    3) The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot found in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact: Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.
    4) Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The soviet era 122mm rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of the marine's NCO's lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the wire". Marine's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue (It did). More of a psychological weapon than anything else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few rounds, and then haul ass in a matter of seconds.
    5) Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google earth" for overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.


  2. #2
    JD
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    Posted many, many times, but always makes you think....

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    My take on these "reviews."

    Sounds more or less like every "AAR" to come out of there in the last 4 years, and jives fairly well with my experiences. Some of my own observations, after 1 year in A-stan as a Recon/Sniper platoon leader and 4 months in Iraq working primarily with protective details in Baghdad:

    The M16/M4. Worked wonderfully in A-stan and in the (relatively) clean environs of Baghdad. Do troops complain? Of course, but that's the God-given right of every grunt, and who are we to take it away? The 5.56 is undoubtedly a marginal round for punching through cement block and for immediate incapacitation of bad guys (though in my admittedly limited experience, the guys we shot went down and stayed down).

    The M249 SAW (not the M243, as mentioned in the article). Mixed. It requires maintenance and upkeep, and a good operator to keep it running, but it lays down a lot of fire from a (again, relatively) small, light package. When it works, it works very well – it just takes TLC to keep them running. (Side note: Not to call this author out, but the M249 is not drum fed, it’s belt (or magazine, in a pinch) fed, it’s technically a 5.56N weapon, not a .223 weapon, and it’s not an M243…. Just sayin’.)

    M9. Generally a thumbs down. Our problems were mostly magazine related, and we had a heck of a time getting more mags. Other than that, it’s the same old complaints – not so much the pistol as the round. I only had to shoot dogs with mine, so I can’t relate any “I hit him 27 times in the face and that worthless 9mm didn’t put him down” stories, but all the dogs did what I wanted them to do when they were shot. I personally hate the safety set up on the M9, but that’s not a ding on the system itself. (Side note: Most Afghan and Iraqi civilians weren’t afraid of us when we pointed a M2 or M240 at them for getting too close to a convoy (or whatever), because they were fairly certain you weren’t going to shoot into a crowd with a weapon like that. Point a pistol at them, on the other hand, and they’re not so sure. I started equipping my turret gunners with pistols or shotguns in order to “repel boarders” when we were moving through crowds/traffic, and they worked well.

    Shotguns. Borrowed a few from the MPs we had at our FOB. Worked well as a crew-served back up weapon (see above) and on raids. Most doors and/or locks were so flimsy the “foot key” was more than sufficient, but we did do a lot of training in ballistic breaching just in case. Never shot anyone with one, but I think we all know what 00 buck does at close range…

    M240B/G. Excellent weapon. Heavier by a pound or so then the “Pig,” it earns that weight in reliability, ease of maintenance, accuracy, and durability. You also can’t put the gas piston in backwards, which was always a pet peeve of mine about the M60… I don’t know what the author was talking about as far as the M240 being designed as a vehicle mounted weapon (unless he’s talking about the C model which is a co-ax on the Abrams) as it’s basically an FN MAG, which has been a General Purpose Machine Gun basically since the get-go. The “soft point” mount for the tripod (etc.) is also superior to the older pintle mount, though it is much heavier and bulkier.

    M2HB. King of the battlefield. Requires care and feeding, but not too much, and will bring the hurt when you need it. If they can make it lighter without sacrificing everything that makes the weapon great, then so be it, but it is a fine implement of war just as it is.

    .45 ACP pistols. Saw a few, never used them. People seem to like them, and I can’t fault them for that, but there are better pistols out there for warfighting, IMO.

    M14. Mixed. I procured three of these for my spotters, and they served in this role very well. We did have crappy aftermarket magazines that were horrible, and the M14 is no picnic to get in and out of a vehicle with all day, but it does have the reach and punch that the M16 series just doesn’t. Tough to maneuver through the narrow halls and doorways of typical Afghan dwellings, loud, and lacking mounting options without an aftermarket stock (which we didn’t have, except for one troop who bought his own), but still a good rifle in the right roles.

    M109 .50 cal LRSL. Mixed. BIG and HEAVY, and not as accurate as the M24s we had. Granted, we received some of the first “production” M109s, and they may have gotten better, but ours just weren’t accurate enough to be considered a true “sniper” rifle. They are also ponderously large and heavy, especially coupled with all their support equipment and ammo. All that being said, they reach out and touch like nothing else man-portable, and they serve very well when disrupting an IED or disabling a vehicle from hundreds of meters away. With better ammo (the Raufoss has the best reputation, but we didn’t have any…the best we found was API-T de-linked from M2 belts) maybe I would have been more comfortable with them, but hey, you fight with what you’ve got, right?

    M24. Big thumbs up. It is what it is – an accurate, reliable, durable, rifle based on a tried and true platform, with all the bells and whistles necessary to do 99% of all anti-personnel sniping work. The move to replace it with a semi-auto has its plusses and minuses, but the M24 is a workhorse of a precision rifle, and it’s hard to find too much to fault. (Of course, the long action is wasted in a 7.62N weapon, but it’s not that big of a deal…)

    Body Armor. Heavy, hot, and worth every bit of discomfort. Saves lives every single day. Good stuff – until they come up with the personal force field, I’m wearing it every time I leave the wire…

    Lights and Night Vision. Of course thumbs up. Both are invaluable, and both see a lot of use…

    AK. I kept a few folding stock versions as “firing port” weapons for drivers and the like. Even the old beat up Afghan ones we had worked well, with few failures. Wouldn’t trade my M4 for one, but wouldn’t cry if that’s what I ended up with in a pinch. (Side note: Again, not to slam the author, but there’s no such thing as .308 Russian, and I’ve seen folks survive some serious hits from the 7.62S that you would have thought were unsurvivable. The 7.62S is not a death ray, any more then the 5.56N is incapable of killing…

    RPGs. Bad news all around. Plentiful, powerful (enough, anyway), and accurate enough for insurgent purposes. RPG smoke trails would ruin your day…

    IEDs. In A-stan, they were primarily double-stacked anti-tank mines (TM-46s and TC-6s, quite often) buried in the dirt roads. Devastating to unarmored/lightly armored vehicles. Activated by pressure plate or remotely detonated, these were bad news, and universally feared. Caused all the KIAs in my company. Other types were 107mm and 122mm rockets (the Soviets favored rockets over artillery when they invaded, and they left enough rockets laying around to fight a few more wars) with plastic explosive shoved in the fuse well and rigged with a detonator; rigged up mortar rounds; and just about anything else you can think of. In Baghdad, they can’t bury them in most roads, so they hide them in road-side detritus. Still bad news, especially the Explosively Formed Projectile versions that – while fairly rare – can defeat just about any armor if they are designed and emplaced properly.

    We also encountered BGs wielding home-made shotguns, RPKs, PKMs, and found one operational GSU 23-2 AA gun emplaced as “compound defense.” We also captured a pristine WWII era Enfield, in wonderful shape, with 100 rounds or so of .303 ammo…unfortunately, we had to turn it over the Afghan NDS (intel service) guys we were operating with. Of course, on the next op, there was an NDS agent toting that bad boy around…
    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    IIRC, the M-60 was 23 pounds. 240B is 27, 240G is 24.
    The 240 is used on tanks, the 240C is on Bradleys (different because it feeds from the right)

    Only problem I ever encountered with the 240 series is a tendency for the 240B to run away (continue to fire after the trigger is released). I think this may have been due to improper operation. We never had that problem with the coax.

    The SAW is best employed as an automatic rifle. The range and power of the 5.56mm round are not well suited for the machine gun role.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

    DaddyWarcrimes.com

  5. #5
    Member Array vernonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Posted many, many times, but always makes you think....
    Its my understanding (and can be understood seeing the inaccuracies in the original letter) that this is a false e-mail. I have tried to find any info on it at Snopes.com but can't seem to.....anyone else know?

  6. #6
    JD
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    I've heard and thought the same thing, but in reality it does mirror alot of opinions from the field.

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    BAC
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    Eh, lot of false intel too.

    Marines use the M40, not the M24, for instance.

    Benelli got the contract for the Marines and only the Army uses Mossberg 500's and Remingtons 870's (which they are supposedly fading out due to the way it feeds compared to the Mossberg). Only used for breaching, according to Army SF.

    The M9 is generally despised and isn't worth a damn if dirty and whatnot. Glock was approached long ago by the US Armed Forces but refused a contract because they would have to sell patents and other such rights to get that contract. Most anyone using a pistol on a regular basis is Spec. Ops anyway, for what I understand, and they don't use the M9. No older .45's are being "re-issued."

    Same with the M-14; they're being selectively used, not re-issued in bulk.

    Sounds like a job for Snopes, but I've seen enough different versions of this story to last me a lifetime. Seems to lose its credibility the more its read and passed on, too.


    -B

  8. #8
    JD
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    Exactly, except for one thing, when this e-mail first started about two years or more ago, it was either just before or just after Benelli got the contract (when was that?) and there were still a good numer of Remingtons in the Marine Corps. I don't know about Mossbergs, never came across those.

    I will agree that it didn't come from a Marine, if it did it was probably a REMF that was talking smack.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I saw it on the website I linked to, but this site says it's bogus.

    http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001951.html

    Everybody has a website these days, so who knows?

    As JD said, it does agree with a lot of opinions from the field.

    I got out in '94 so I'm not up to date. We had a few leftover 1911s, believe it or not, but mostly M9s. By the time of the 1st Gulf War, I can't recall any 1911s in use. I do remember running into an Army Staff NCO with a 1911 in theater, but no Marines.

    We did have Mossberg shotguns in the armory, and I never found the SAW reliable, while the 60 was an awesome weapon IMO.

    One other thing that I wondered about is the M2. I thought those were out of use now. Anyone know?
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  10. #10
    JD
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    The only Marines with 1911s are Force Recon Elements, and the Recon guys attached to SOC.

    Our Combined Anti Armor Team guys had Remington 870s, I never saw one M14, I think our MEU's STA guys had a one or two, but they were mainly using the Barrets or the M40A1

    LOL the M2 will be in use for a while, there's no heavy machine gun to match it, well it was in service as of 1 year ago.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    The only Marines with 1911s are Force Recon Elements, and the Recon guys attached to SOC.

    Our Combined Anti Armor Team guys had Remington 870s, I never saw one M14, I think our MEU's STA guys had a one or two, but they were mainly using the Barrets or the M40A1

    LOL the M2 will be in use for a while, there's no heavy machine gun to match it, well it was in service as of 1 year ago.
    I never saw an M-14 when I was in, never, not anywhere. Which includes several large CAX that I was involved with at 29 Plams twice and LeJeune once. We had multiple units present with all MOS represented, but this was training not combat. In theatre before and after the ground war in GW1, I provided security for a warehouse and many convoys moving to supply Marines, some Army Units, and Navy Hospital Units, and was also in contact with a lot of Brit units on a regular basis and had a pretty good idea of what was in allied hands, but that was a long time ago.

    I'm glad that Ma' Duece is still serving. I remember when I was in basic in '88 they told us that it was the longest serving weapon in the aresenal. God bless John Browning.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  12. #12
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    I saw a few "re-issued" 1911s on the hips of some SF support/supply guys...guess they had first dibs on what came through.

    Shotguns were 870P models w/ folding stocks.

    Our M14s were a rarity, and drew lots of strange looks when we were in a "rear" area.

    As for the original article - it did sound a little fishy, but most of the opinions have been bandied about enough to sound reasonable.
    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.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Yeah this is over 2 yrs. old IIRC and I'd thought it was proven/found to be false.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  14. #14
    BAC
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    The M14 is still in use by designated marksmen in the Marines and Army. I have never met a soldier who served alongside one or who used one, in either branch, but gossip is gossip, and some pictures are hard to argue with.

    The M2 is still in use and still mounted on about anything they can securely mount it on. Probably one of the most consistent battle winners in the U.S. arsenal.

    I haven't heard 1911's still being used, but it wouldn't surprise me simply because there were so many.


    -B

  15. #15
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    of the most consistent battle winners in the U.S. arsenal.

    I haven't heard 1911's still being used, but it wouldn't surprise me simply because there were so many.


    -B
    USMC still uses them DET 1 attached to SOC was using Kimber warriors, Force Recon use modified Colts, and MEUSOC is looking into a new 1911, last I heard it looked like Springfield was going to be the winner, but who knows.

    I'll cry if they get rid of the M2

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