RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Battle Implement <

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Battle Implement

In my opinion, the M1 rifle is
the greatest battle implement ever devised
--General Georgw Patton

Let us assume that General Patton's belief is true. If so, you should know that the United States government has been selling the M1 as war surplus to legal, law-abiding citizens since the 1960's.

In addition, although a weapon of war these weapons were also sold for a minimal price to the Civilian Marksmanship Programl (CMP) for its purpose of training citizens in correct and safe shooting skills -- all prefectly legal and sanctioned by the U.S. government. Today, the M1 rifle is still used as a National Match rifle.

Some background

All of our armies since 1776 have used the rifle as their basic weapon. The rifle squad of the rifle platoon of the rifle company are the basic combat elements of any successful army. (Ranger, like all who wore crossed rifles as their branch designator, is trained as a basic riflemen.)

In 1871 it was clear that rifle marksmanship in the Civil War was deficient, so the governmet and private citizenry later formed the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an effort to ensure a basic level of rifle competency among all male citizens. To this end, the government also supported a Directorate of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM).

When Ranger was a young Boy Scout, any group such as the Boy Scouts, that had ten or more members received free ammunition and rifles from the DCM as a means of promoting civilian rifle marksmanship. This was in accordance with national policy.

The DCM supported all aspects of competitive marksmanship to include safety classes. Civilians and the government shared this function and the CMP still exists today.

Every civilian range that Ranger has visited has dual functions, serving both civilian and government entities. Federal and state entities cannot afford to run ranges that can be easily contracted from civilian sources.

In addition, police and sheriff's officers use these civilian ranges on contract, as do the Reserve Forces of all service branches. Ranges serve a social and recreational function as well as mission orientation one for the government forces. (On major military posts there is always a gun and skeet club that provides recreation to the soldiers.)

Government and civilian shooters compliment each other. Often times, civilian instructors provide instructions to military personnel. In my day, the military was tasked with supporting civilian marksmanship.

Because of his DCM training, Ranger entered the Army as a trained rifleman, later participating as a shooter in National Matches after qualifying in the DCM/NRA Small Arms firing school. This is shared to show that gaining rifle expertise was available to all citizens with the government's imprimatur, and the training often served as an entryway to later shooting projects in the Armed Forces.

Rifle expertise was not a thing to be feared. Somehow, this fact has been lost, as rifles have become a suspect and maligned.

As an aside, all of my childhood friends bought M1 carbines and 1911 A1 .45 calibre pisols from the DCM for $20 each, postage extra, shipped via U.S. mail. All of these men later served in the armed services; they are still proud owners of their DCM purchases.

Ranges are not places that breed trouble.

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Blogger Ael said...

Unless, of course, they are indoor ranges with poor ventilation.

Lead poisoning can be a real problem, especially for young folks.

Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 5:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i was never doused with agent orange while in a indoor range.
i get it=u r anti gun.
the army stopped using indoor ranges in the middle 70's.
civilian ranges that are indoors have serious evacuation metrics to stay in business.
additionally i doubt that u read gun magazines, but practice ammo is available that sheds no lead. this is a safety bonus.
jacketed bullets have no lead exposed.

Monday, October 23, 2017 at 9:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, it is amazing that the guns at ranges don't make the shooters kill each other.


Monday, October 23, 2017 at 1:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many bad shooting techniques can you identify in this clip?


my fav....the guy with the hang fire and the hat.


Monday, October 23, 2017 at 2:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

I'm only about a minute in, but if it's the same guy you're talking about, I can't believe he is still alive.

The people holding them worry me far more than the guns themselves do.

Monday, October 23, 2017 at 10:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. These same people are allowed to drive, use power tools, start up charcoal grills, procreate.......maybe one of them is an airline mechanic.....

I have never understood how a hang fire happens, but it's when the firing pin strikes the primer on the bullet and doesn't explode to ignite the powder instantaneously. It can sit there for a minute or so and then, BOOM! A rare event, but does apparently happen (never to me). Why anyone would look down the barrel to see what is happening is beyond me.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 8:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Patton was right! Greatest military rifle ever made. We kept ours years longer than the Army did, until Pentagon pressure finally prevailed to adopt the shorter NATO cartridge and the M14. I shot high expert with it every year at requal and at intra-divisional matches, consistently scoring 248 or 249 out of 250. Everybody in our platoon shot well with it. This was with the standard version M1, some of them WW2 issue, not the cherries used at the nationals.

Scores dropped four to eight points on average when the M14 came in.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 11:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The M1 Garand really is all you say it is. You're dating yourself, though ;-). When was the last time a member of the US mil had to qualify w/ the M1 garand?

Two things I don't like about it: 1. that very audible "Ping!" when the 8 round clip is ejected after the last round. 2. The weight of the rifle and ammo. I'd hate to hump through a jungle with it all day every day. However, hunkered down in a good defensive position?...hell yes.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 8:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i own the 1969 national championship rifle(m1 nm) won by elmer mundon.
i won it in a poker game that i documented on ranger.Aces and Eights.
btw mundon won the rifle , he was army not marine.
the m14 broke every record ever made by the m1 /o3.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 10:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new model M16 with the heavier barrel and heavy match bullet (77 grains?) does pretty well too in the accuracy department. Not as good as 30/7.62 at 1,000 yards, but right there, IMO, out to 500.

Theoretically, the M16 should be more accurate (being a direct impingement system) b/c it doesn't have the a piston moving back and forth like the garand and M14. Also, the M16 will keep its zero forever. No wood to swell and contract with the climate and change barrel harmonics and, again, no operating rod that needs cleaning and alters zero a bit when reassembled.

You old timers tend to dis the M16 more than it deserves, IMO.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 11:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh...and Jim, you once said that you didn't know how to play poker.....OK. That is exactly what a real player would say. Never played the game myself. I'll have to learn a little in case I'm ever in Florida.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 11:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one more...what was Elmer holding? I hope he was trying a bluff. Man, he must have been sore about losing that piece.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 1:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i consider the m16/m4 /car 15 etc...all to be girlie guns.
same for the 9 pistol.
we have mattel guns to allow women to carry them and pretend that they are soldiers.
if you can't beat an enemy to death with your rifle then you have the wrong rifle.

as for the poker thing- i was just learnin' and got lucky.
mundon was a good loser.
the airborne use of the m14 was rough. the weapon got bent etc... in rough terrain landings.
the m1 was a better jumping tool.
the m14 was intrinsically more able to be modified into a match weapon. out of this grew the xm21 system that is a sniper tool. the new scope mounting systems make the 14/m1a a very reputable piece.
the black rifles do shoot great groups, but the inpingement gas system puts too much heat into the receiver group. most surveys indicate 11-15 % of soldiers have had stoppages in combat. NOT GOOD. i've never had a stoppage with a m1 or m14. never.
the roller bearing on the 14 is the weak point as its hard to properly lube it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

"as for the poker thing- i was just learnin' and got lucky."

This sounds like more of a setup all the time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

1 more cmt.
i see a lot of 7.62 rifles on the evening news. the iranians use the g3 german and also some other main line rifles.this indicates to me that a lot of iranians are present in the iraqi ranks. the indian army and pakistanis use 7.62 individual rifles.
it makes me cringe to see iraqi militia flags flying on hummers in the present shoot em up.
we pay for this stuff, and we don't even have credible health care or insurance.
we are so stupid.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree that the M16 is not going deliver as effective of a vertical butt stroke as the m14/garand. I also thought it to be a weak platform for the bayonet. The theory, I believe, was that with 30 rounds and lots of spare mags, no need to club or stick the enemy. Trade-offs. In my experience, the M16 A2 series is pretty reliable and if there are jams it is due to problems with the mags, like bent lips; as long as the dust cover is used properly and the star chamber is properly cleaned from time to time. That or someone was ordered to break down the mag and re-assembled it incorrectly (that piece that the bullets sit on and that goes on top of the spring...which I can't think of the name for....getting put back in backwards). As an aside, IMO the military is overly obsessed with breaking down weapons. A simple field strip is sufficient most of the time. Total breakdown increases wear, the little ejector springs and pins get lost, etc.

I like the M16, girlie gun or not. I have no appreciation for 9mm military side arms though. .45 acp all the way. I saw an article in the Gazette that the USMC will be returning to the .45 shortly. They are trying out different models right now.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 5:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Jim -

If the Mi4 broke M1 records as you say, then I smell a rat. Perhaps they were using match ammo instead of the common NATO round.

Regarding the 'ping', that was a benefit of the M1, not a bug.

Reminds me of 1963 in cold weather training camp at Camp Fuji Japan. A retread pvt in our platoon was an eternal 8-ball. I will refer to him as pvt G. And the Company Gunny believed in collective punishment so cancelled all liberty when this guy screwed up. The Gunny was a real character. He would fall us out every morning at daybreak and hold a rifle inspection. One of our comedians decided to pull a practical joke on both the Gunny and our platoon goldbricker. So he loaded up pvt G's receiver with cigarette butts, spiderwebs, and other detritus. G never checked it before falling out at the last minute as usual. As the Gunny stepped down the line there was some smirking in the third rank. When the Gunny finally got in front of pvt G the smirking turned into a loud snickering. And then when pvt G did inspection arms and all the flotsam jumped out the Gunny roared and our platoon clown was convulsed with laughter. We lost liberty passes for a week, but someone managed to engineer it so that both pvt G and our wannabee joker were stuck on mess duty in the potshack for the remainder of the tour.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 5:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ael said...

I do not read gun magazines.

One of my son's friends worked at an indoor range a couple years ago.
Later, he was tested and high lead levels were detected.

He was advised to quit (which he did).

This surprised me as I had never thought about the implications.

As a cadet in the seventies, we used to shoot 22s in the armoury range downstairs.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 10:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

we used m1's in rotc.
i'd watch idiots fall out without clearing their rifle.
i'd then place an empty en block clip in their rifle. i did this when the arms room was empty.
when we'd do inspection arms they'd get the ping.
i did this often.
yes, i'm a ......
have u ever thumbed an m1 or 14? when the inspecting o would reach for the weapon you would put thumb pressure to flip the weapon out of his hands. it was a fun game. they never laughed.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

there was match ammo for the m1.
also had palma winchester ammo for palma long range. this stuff is collectable.
all nra matches used match, or even hand loads.
all mil matches used ammo issued on the firing line.
this is why we got 2 spotter rounds to zero rifle at the start of the match.
i've seen great army shooters zero on the 1st record round, and still win the match.
i was just a middling shooter.
the m14 was easier to free float the barrel than was the 1903. the m1 weakness was the long op rod which set up too much of barrel harmonics.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

to my knowledge the army rotc uses air rifles for marksmanship training.
at ft. benning all the indoor ranges were stripped back in the 1973 time frame.
i can't imagine that breathing gunpowder in a closed area was conducive to healthy lungs.
i've often had the same thought about breathing air with smoke grenades fowling the air.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:40:00 AM GMT-5  

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