M16/AR-15 in UK service early 1960's to Late 1980's

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Was there not a short SMG mag? 10 or 15 rounds?
Or did I dream that too.
As seen in that 1977 documentary "Star Wars" and sequels, where Imperial Stormtroopers have got SMGs with fake scopes, short magazines, and never-to-be-unfolded folding stocks.
 
Was there not a short SMG mag? 10 or 15 rounds?
Or did I dream that too.
We used to make short SMG mags, using the highly scientific method of cutting the mag box down to the required length, then guessing the length of the spring required and snipping little bits off until the mag would accept and retain rounds. Mag capacity was "variable".
 
Was there not a short SMG mag? 10 or 15 rounds?
Or did I dream that too.
Lots of them, and used in combat many times.
See Star Wars episodes 4,5 and 6 for details, as mentioned above.
It seems that the storm troopers were proper hardmen too and fired with folded stocks
;)

I nearly made a repro storm trooper gun a while back, but made a robocop pistol in the end.
Doing research on the early Star Wars weapons revealed an awful lot of bodging bits on to existing real life weapons.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
The Ruger ACC-556. Not the best rifle in the world, but certainly one of the least "offensive "
Its just dawned on me why that picture has been bothering me. The weapon is slung. I can't ever remember seeing an RUC man not carrying the weapon in his hands/arms in the areas I met them (which to be fair wasn't South Armagh). Presumably the Military presence means that holding the weapon ready is unnecessary.
 
My Dad was issued an Armalite whilst CharlieG gunner in 42Cdo in Aden covering the withdrawal. I have a decent scanned pic of it somewhere i'll try and find. There's also some footage of him online too (which is a bit weird seeing him both alive and looking ally at half the age I am now).

FWIW he didn't think much to its effectiveness compared to That Rifle.
Further to the above - my old man's gat, and a second pic of his troop working up in Singers (I think) ahead of deployment to Aden in 1967.

He did mention they also used them for CQB training on the jungle warfare course in Malaya, and that the working parts were made of chocolate wrappers.
 

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Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Further to the above - my old man's gat, and a second pic of his troop working up in Singers (I think) ahead of deployment to Aden in 1967.

He did mention they also used them for CQB training on the jungle warfare course in Malaya, and that the working parts were made of chocolate wrappers.
Jussus man !
You could have put a warning on the second pic !
Who's the ouen front and centre with the excess of teeth ?
 
Further to the above - my old man's gat, and a second pic of his troop working up in Singers (I think) ahead of deployment to Aden in 1967.

He did mention they also used them for CQB training on the jungle warfare course in Malaya, and that the working parts were made of chocolate wrappers.
Another early Colt model 604 without the forward assist.

Was there a central MoD stock of AR-15's that units would draw rifles from for ops in Belize and Malaya, or did every battalion just keep a few on hand?
Thanks for the great photos
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
any idea who would have got send instead?
No, in fact 3 Para wasn't in the orbat originally either. I would think that the spearhead Bn of the time would have gone and then the next two or three in the list. It certainly would have meant that 40 commando would have fought as a formed unit instead of attaching two companies to the Welsh Guards. I imagine you can check who was on spearhead at the time.
Another early Colt model 604 without the forward assist.

Was there a central MoD stock of AR-15's that units would draw rifles from for ops in Belize and Malaya, or did every battalion just keep a few on hand?
Thanks for the great photos
Some were held in theatre and some were issued for training units prior to deployment, these were usually only issued to the Bn just before the training started. Not usually held on the normal strength. A number were issued to 1LI in 1982 whilst in Airportable Role in Munster. The weapons were for use when trialling the 1st PLCE issued to the JNCO cadre that year. They were used on a few CFTs then returned to the armoury where they remained for a month until shipped back. No magazines were issued but the webbing was filled with 30 round magazine shaped weights.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
It seems that 3 Para were Spearhead Bn, that explains their involvement!
 
Jussus man !
You could have put a warning on the second pic !
Who's the ouen front and centre with the excess of teeth ?
No idea but thankfully it is not my old man, who is sat looking whimsical in the middle of the pack - probably wondering where his next egg banjo was coming from. Blimey, I miss that old b-gger.

To paraphrase his comparison between the AR-15 and the L1A1 "one drilled little holes through people and they ran off, the other knocked dinner plate-sized holes out the back of them".

No doubt exaggerating for effect slightly, but via other stories I have no doubt the experiences themselves were not invented.
 
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The Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre guys who took Top Malo House in the Falklands were less than complimentary about its performance by comparison with the opposition's FALs.
Likewise the Aussies my Dad in met in SIngapore on R&R from Vietnam who also used the SLR (FAL?) in contrast to their US allies. Apparently the opposition were slightly put out to discover medium-weight foliage didn't offer much protection against the 7.62.
 
Likewise the Aussies my Dad in met in SIngapore on R&R from Vietnam who also used the SLR (FAL?) in contrast to their US allies. Apparently the opposition were slightly put out to discover medium-weight foliage didn't offer much protection against the 7.62.
Yep. Rounds through tree buttresses.
 
@Busterdog , That is also THE complaint about the M16 in Vietnam. My father carried an M16A1 as a USMC rifleman in 'Nam back in 1969, he didn't have any complaints, but by the time he arrived in country the rifle had been thoroughly debugged. His line about the weapon was that while he loved shooting the M14 (9.2 lbs) he liked carrying the M16 (6.3 lbs) more.



I'd like to ask you to watch these videos and share your thoughts.









Be advised the video from Chris Bartocci is... rather in depth
They finally got the cleaning issue sorted out and also issued this nifty cleaning guide.

http://www.astrotx.com/M-16A1 Rifle.pdf
 
I carried the 203 in south armagh mid 80s. Not that genned up these days on version of M16 it was on. Do remember we never had any rounds for the 203 apart from the training ones so I was buggered if knew why we bothered.
 

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