Green Jungle, Black Rifle; The M16 in Vietnam

It is public knowledge that the tropical jungles of Vietnam turned the M16 from space-age assault rifle to unreliable junk which got good men killed. The specter of dead servicemen clutching jammed rifles looms large in the cultural consciousness. It is certainly true that the rifle’s issues in Vietnam are taken to hyperbole, even to the extent that they are thought to affect the M16/M4 family almost 50 years later. Seeking to address these deficits, it is beneficial for us to address each issue which plagued the rifle in turn, and its corresponding solution. In so doing, we shall both see that each issue has been resolved in turn, and understand the underlying factors of procurement irrespective of the AR-15 itself which led to its failures.

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