InRange TV’s Heinous M1A Abuse

Nearly two months ago, I wrote a critique of the M1 Garand which pointed out a vulnerability in the design – the great degree of openness it has, exposing the moving parts and critical surfaces to sand, mud, dust, debris, and the elements at large.

Ian and Karl of InRange TV took this to heart recently when they tested an M1A – a rifle which shares its open action design with the M1 rifle – in both mud and sand. Against it were pitted the MAS 49/56, a contemporary French infantry selfloader, and a frankenstein AR-15, representing the rifle that replaced the M14 after only five short years of production.

In both tests, the M1A choked after the first round fired. Efforts to clean and clear the weapon only made the situation worse, and in test after test shooting was called off for safety concerns as the bolt would not go into battery. The sand test was especially brutal, as rifles were not simply dumped in sand and then fired, but rather sand was actively sprayed on the guns via an air hose during a course of shooting, simulating action in the middle of a sandstorm. In this and the sand test, The M1A fell victim to its 1920s receiver design, which prioritized shortness of length over exposure resistance.

The open receiver is a significant drawback of the M1 Garand and its relatives the M14, M1A, M1 Carbine, and Mini-14. Coupled with other design shortcomings like the dog-legged operating rod and lack of anti-pre-engagement mechanism, the M1A has something of a “perfect storm” of features that make it especially susceptible to failure from exposure.

Ian and Karl aren’t the first to catch this on video, of course: Guns & Ammo TV locked up an M1A of their own in a very similar test back in 2007:

InRange is set to continue this kind of testing in new conditions and with new rifles. For me, their tests were very refreshing against the restraint of other exposure tests I’ve seen, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Patriot Gunner

    But it shoots a 30 caliber projectile, making it far superior than anything else /sarc

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Oh better yet, these must not be legit tests because the M14 EBR is still clearly the most reliable and accurate gun ever devised. The stupid AR-15 and it’s poodle-shooter round are inferior in every way.

      In fact, if you take it and put it in a SAGE chassis it doesn’t weight 17lbs and would still be lucky to hit within 2MOA. No No, it’s clearly a gun that deserves it’s (mystery to me) praise.


      • Dracon1201

        Lol, agreed. The FAL was always better.

        • Blake

          Big fan of the H&K G3 myself…

          • Georgiaboy61

            Now that’s a tough, tough rifle – very difficult to break, even if you abuse the heck out of it.

          • Blake

            The drawback is that roller-locked weapons tend to mangle brass. So if you reload, This is Not the Rifle for You…

            Very interested in checking out the new PTR 32. This is a scaled-down G3 (made in the USA by PTR with real H&K tooling) chambered in 7.62×39 that uses AK47 mags. Scope rail is machined into the receiver.

          • Pretty sure the PTR-32 uses the regular full-size G3 receiver.

          • Vitsaus

            Not sure why they didn’t go for original specs on the HK32 for that. Seems like the could have made it with the correct receiver, then just modified the mag well. If they can buy tooling from Portugal supposedly, then why can’t they find some one who’s done with HK33 tooling?

          • Georgiaboy61

            Re: “The drawback is that roller-locked weapons tend to mangle brass. So if you reload, This is Not the Rifle for You…”

            Man, you can say that again! G3s have heavy recoil, too… not an easy or comfortable rifle to shoot in comparison to some others, but that design has its virtues, no question. Haven’t heard of the PTR32 – sounds interesting. Thanks for the update…

          • Blake

            Re: the recoil, any .308 is going to be pretty stout (I find the M1A to be tolerable, but near the upper limit of what I can keep shooting accurately & comfortably after a couple mags’ worth), but according to video reviews of the PTR 91 the recoil seems to be spread out over time like the M1A so it doesn’t “bite” as much as a bolt gun would.

          • Georgiaboy61

            I’m OK with an M1 or M1A and can use one for quite a while without being beaten up too-badly by the recoil, but I’ll never forget my first day of using a Springfield M1903 at the range. When I got home, I discovered a huge bruise on my firing-side shoulder and I was very sore the next day. The dough-boys and GIs who used those rifles back in the old days must have been some tough hombres to withstand that kick all the time… because those rifles kick like a mule.

          • dan citizen

            The G3 is the best combat rifle ever produced, anyone who says otherwise has either not carried the G3 in combat, or has and is just being contrary.

        • Georgiaboy61

          The British were really onto something with their FAL chambered for an intermediate .280-caliber cartridge; too bad their design didn’t get adopted as the NATO standard. An idea ahead of its time.

          • NikonMikon

            Do you know the story of why NATO isn’t using 280? It’s directly related to the m14 and us.

            We were going to adopt the FAL, as the Belgians offered it to all prospective NATO members as a thank you gift for liberating them in ww2. There was to be no licensing cost of the design to any NATO country. We agreed but under one condition, that we get to dictate the caliber instead. Our choice was 308 Winchester (7.62×51) and NATO reluctantly agreed.

            So it was all set, we were to adopt the FAL (for “free”) along with most everyone else AND we get our caliber. Right? Nah we decided that the FAL would be too costly and we would rather go with this hodgepodge of an incomplete rifle called the M14 instead.

            Then we abandoned it and cemented it in history as one of (if not THE) shortest rifles ever adopted by the U.S. military.

            Yay America.

          • will_ford

            Why did IDF drop the FAL??

          • Georgiaboy61

            Yeah, I’ve heard that story…. but thanks for telling it anyway. Definitely a case of “not invented here” syndrome….

  • Rob

    These videos may have finally cured my M1A lust. I’ve never liked the dog leg op-rod or the high price, but I always had it in my mind that it was more reliable in bad conditions than an AR. Guess not. I would like to see how an SKS or AK fair in the sand and mud.

    • itsmefool

      Don’t let the vids, which I didn’t even bother to watch, keep you from owning these fine, old rifles…I’m not so sure I’d operate very well in a sandstorm (not that I have to worry about it here in North Texas), so my ’56 IHC Garand, with it’s awesome LMR barrel, is staying put in my arsenal. Such a sweet piece of history, even if it didn’t spit out clip after clip in anger! Every safe should have at least one!

  • charlesrhamilton

    The reason to own an M1 is not because it is the most reliable battle rifle out there, it’s because it is a huge part of history. Plus it is a hoot to shoot.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      And there is nothing wrong with that. Until people come around claiming the M14 has some mythical accuracy that anyone that’s ever used on knows is nonsense.

      I have no issue with people that collect for historical sake. Modern firearm “collectors” get a lot less respect however.

      • Steve

        The open sight accuracy (or rather, precision) is a direct result of the sight radius advantage over similar battle rifles of the time.

      • CMP-er

        If the CMP matches I participate in are any indication (Garand Match Course B, but includes a mix Garands, M1As, ARs, Springfields and Vintage Military bolt guns all shooting together in different classes), both ARs, M1As & Garands can shoot in the 480 range (out of 500). Swiss K-31 too. I’ve seen twenty-round 2.5 MOA groups from all of these, sling supported prone w/open sights. These are “as issued” weapons, no accuracy mods allowed.

        CMP matches don’t include a sand torture test though…

    • Ian McCollum

      Agreed – I don’t own an M1A, but I have two Garands and like them very much despite their flaws.

      • rooftopvoter

        I agree. I have two Garands and love shooting both of them. These are battle rifles from a time gone bye and not Tag Heuer watches with quad rails and such on them.

        • I love them no doubt about it. I shoot a full size and a SOCOM 16 and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

          • rooftopvoter

            In ’68, we shot the Garand in Navy basic training out at a range near San Diego and I was the high shooter out of two companies. Never had shot one before that. The next year in Gtmo Bay Cuba, I was stationed at the armory and it held 256 garands which we maintained in ready condition.
            45+ years later, who knew I would be bitten by the Garand bug and that renewed my love of this rifle. Not high tech by today’s standards but the 30.06 still does the job.

    • ManBear

      Peanut butter and jealous… I want an M-1 🙁

  • El Pasoan

    It is a beautiful gun in its original walnut stock

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I like how they are still used for ceremony because it looks a lot better than swinging around M16/M4s 🙂

      • Blake

        Just as China/Russia/etc. still use polished SKSs as a parade/drill/ceremonial rifle as it looks much more, uhm, “refined” shall we say than an AK pattern rifle (not to mention not being associated with blood diamond wars & extremist terrorism).

        Plus the bayonets are shiny &ltgrin&gt.

        (although admittedly some of the Saiga wood-stocked non-pistol-grip sporter rifles do look pretty decent e.g. IZ238).

    • Very true—-

  • tony

    Fear not, for I have the Battle Rifle, LOL

  • MikieK

    In all farness, it is a “Springfield” a company name, the same company that imports XDs, not the original Springfield that so many GIs love. Fulton Armory is the closest you can but to a EBR, not a “Loaded” M1A.

    • CommonSense23

      In all fairness, I have been issued both the M14 and MK14 EBR and they are not good guns.

      • MikieK

        I never was issued one, they were in our Platoon, good friend had one and LOVED it!! I just know that M1As are not near the quality of actual service rifles. I only have shot M1As and did enjoy them.

        • Service rifle quality is all over the place – TRW is much better than H&R, for instance.

        • I did get one for a short time. Why I have no idea but they were guns brought back from Vietnam. You had good ones and some not so good. Depends on who made them and how well they were taken care of.

      • What was it you didn’t like? Just curious.

        • CommonSense23

          Let’s see, heavy, long, jammed all the time. I expected one malfunction per 100 rounds. The only reason I carried one was cause I lost a coin toss for the MK11 that was turned over to us and I didn’t trust the SCAR at the time. While I felt the SCAR has become a decent rifle now, I went with the rifle I knew better.

      • n0truscotsman


        The EBR.

        I would have sworn that rumors would have propped that gun up as the magical hammer of thor.

        The reality is that it was a pain in the ass. Royally. I would take a LMT 308 any day of the week.

    • In all fairness, any GI M14 would choke the same way for the same reasons. Workmanship won’t keep mud out of the op rod slot, or the receiver.

      • dan citizen

        That has to be the most intelligent summation of the M14/Garand/M1 carbine/Mini 14 dirt vulnerability I have ever read.

      • MikieK

        There is a clear issue with the extractor, personally I feel it is a poorly made parts, not so much the design. I would need to have the riflie in my hands otherwise it is just speculation we have to base are arguments.

        • The clear issue with the extractor is that it can’t overcome all the dust that’s been allowed in every critical area because of the design.

          After they thoroughly clean the gun it works fine. So not a defective extractor.

  • Lance

    Doubt the AR-10 would have done better. Over all caking you rifle in mud would make jams happen no matter what type of make. I remember reading about Soviet vets in Afghanistan saying there AKMs and AK-74s jamming in the sand. There is no perfect rifle that will never malfunction.

    • They tested the AR-15, and it did much, much better.

      You are correct that there is no jam-proof rifle.

      • Lance

        Tell that to Vietnam vets. And im saying AR-10 not AR-15. M-110s go a bad review on its debut in Afghanistan.

        • AR-10s probably perform much the same in sand and mud.

          At least the M110 doesn’t lose zero when you field-strip it.

          • Lance

            No spoke to Vets the M-110 collected dust too much and jammed frequently, M-14 EBRs had much much higher praise.

          • Secondhand anecdotes unfortunately don’t provide compelling evidence.

          • Tom

            No reports from the UK of any problems with our DI guns in service. And I do not believe the IDF have ever had any complaints about theirs ether.

            I wonder sometimes if the ‘issues’ we keep hearing about with the AR family are not just a throwback to the early years in Vietnam combined with unrealistic expectations and poor maintenance. I would like to add with the later one that I am not aiming to disparaged in any way our men and women in uniform but a the nature of modern warfare is that a lot of people who are not ‘riflemen’ end up in combat. Might I dare suggest these folks are not always looking after their weapons correctly and this is causing a lot if the trouble?

        • CommonSense23

          Why do people when they bring up Vietnam always focus on its initial fielding. Why not the SOF opinion of the weapon during the whole war. Why not not the units that got taught how to use them initially and were given cleaning kits. Why not after the initial debacle when all the troops were given training on the weapon.

          • Joshua

            Because it is all they have and using anecdotal second hand information gets the media riled up.

          • Tom

            Also they discount the experiences of the British, Australian, New Zealand, Indonesian and Israeli militaries (to name a few) who never had problems with the AR15/M16 in use.

            The US military in Vietnam was a poorly trained and badly led conscripted force it is no wonder that many soldiers ate up the self cleaning nonsense. Combine this with poor quality ammo and no chrome chambers and its no wonder the rifles performed so badly*. The US Army is now a million miles from what it was in Vietnam and the majority now seem to have a lit if faith in their rifles.

            * I know that’s a massive generalisation and over simplification but my understanding is the well trained and disciplined units had far fewer problems with their rifles than the draftees.

          • n0truscotsman

            “Why not the SOF opinion of the weapon during the whole war.”

            Because that would form a favorable opinion of the M16 of course. Cant have any of that.

            Because gun shop experts say it jams a lot and is a poor weapon, therefore, it must be true.


    • tts

      InRange did a test not too long ago where the caked the AR15, MAS, and M1A in mud and the AR15 still out performed the other 2 by a large margin. They did this with the dust cover open BTW. The AR15 action itself never jammed either. Dirt was getting stuck behind the trigger and was that was cleared out the gun worked fine.

      Given that the AR15 is essentially a scaled down AR10 I’d be surprised if there was much difference in reliability.

      Yes any gun will jam eventually but some are better than others, sometimes to a large degree, so these sorts of tests are quite useful and interesting to see performed.

    • Zac

      Responding to any of Lance’s posts is akin to engaging in casual conversation with the animated naked man at the corner light with streaks of gold paint across his face ranting, “they’re in my mind and they won’t shut up!” In other words, the outcome will not be productive.

  • Blake
    • Leroy Jergins

      Blake, you and Jumplf should start your own blog together. That would be so cool.

      • Blake

        Thanks. Not enough hours in the day…

        BTW that image is linked to a TFB article from 2012 🙂

    • Yellow Devil

      Not as good as these covers:

  • I have seen those who didn’t know any better and used oil to lube them. You never use oil. A light grease is all that should be ever used to lube an M1A or M14.

    I found this to work well

    • Phil, that is the exact lube I use in my Colt 6920! I have found it is excellent for AR-15s and guns of all kinds, as it has good temperature stability (I have used it as low as -20 degrees, and as high as 110), and is neither runny nor gummy. It stays with a gun for well over 1,500 rounds, which is great.

      Having said that, I’ve found new-production M1As to be pretty frictiony/sticky guns, especially those from Springfield Armory. I feel this is in part due to their finish, but also because the M1A/M14 has no anti-pre-engagement mechanism.

    • Ian McCollum

      Actually, oil works fine. In testing of the M1, it was found that oil would wash off the exposed areas of the gun in heavy rain, but grease would not. Grease was specified as the lubricant for that reason, but oil works if you’re not out in the rain.

    • whskee

      TW-25b is great stuff. We use it in our Mk44 Miniguns (GAU-17/M134d to others) and in the 25mm Bushmaster as well. It’s not mil authorized for use in the other standard weapons (M4A1, M2HB, M240, etc) but in my experience it has been superb in them. Anytime a gun is going to be run hot and hard, it does a great job.

  • Will

    Seriously folks, my M1 and M1A are both a real pleasure to shoot and always make me smile.
    How many of us are going to take our rifles into these type conditions??
    If we are going to be rolling in the mud, dust goo and grime I’m sure we would be carrying AKs.

  • RealitiCzech

    I was pretty astonished by those results. I expected a few mags before they’d start to choke.

    • Those are very tough conditions, especially for a gun with an open receiver like an M1A.

      • RealitiCzech

        I suppose so, never really paid a lot of attention to the M1/M1A family (I’m too much of a gun hipster to be so mainstream). I guess I’m more used to the AR, with its gas system blowing things out of the way.

  • nadnerbus

    As a bonus, my Springfield jammed right out of the box. I never had to crawl through mud to get it to malf, suckers.

    I like the Garand action for what it is, and when you have one that runs reliably, they are a “hoot to shoot,” and nice, old school walnut and steel rifles, with the added bonus of semi auto and detachable box mags. But it would not be the rifle I would grab if I thought I was going to be shot at.

  • noguncontrol

    i prefer the open receiver design, especially it uses a roller locked system like the g43, easier to clean than a closed receiver design.

    • Much more susceptible to ingress in the first place, however.

    • Karl-InRangeTV

      The G43 is a flap locking system, not roller locked. Maybe you meant G3?

      The G3, however, is not roller locked either but roller delayed blowback.

  • Georgiaboy61

    Re: “The open receiver is a significant drawback of the M1 Garand and its relatives the M14, M1A, M1 Carbine, and Mini-14. Coupled with other design shortcomings like the dog-legged operating rod and lack of anti-pre-engagement mechanism, the M1A has something of a “perfect storm” of features that make it especially susceptible to failure from exposure.”
    The author has done his homework, but he is drawing conclusions which are, to be charitable, arguable. Complex mechanical devices of all kinds – not only firearms, but engines, for example – tend to function much less reliably in highly dusty, sandy conditions.
    During the Second World War, the RAF used its front-line Spitfire and Hurricane fighters during the Battle of Britain with success; both designs performed reliably and helped save the U.K. from invasion by the Germans. However, when they fielded these designers in North Africa, both suffered sky-rocketing rates of mechanical failure, accelerated wear, and sub-optimal performance. Both designs required sand filters to be installed on their cowl air intakes, as well as special maintenance procedures, different types/amounts of lubricants and so forth.
    The same is true for rifles. There are few rifle designs which will function indefinitely and without routine maintenance in a sandstorm. The AR family of weapons perhaps does relatively well because of its enclosed action with dust cover, but its horrific record at the time of its introduction in S.E. Asia during the Vietnam conflict is a matter of historical record. A lot of good GIs and Marines died with their dirty, jammed M16s disassembled at their feet before public outcry – and Congressional hearings – back home forced the military to take action to remedy the problems. And oh by the way, that dust cover is open when the weapon is in use. The dust will get in there, sooner or later.
    The late Colonel David Hackworth, one of America’s most-decorated combat soldiers ever – and an acknowledged master of counter-guerilla operations in Vietnam, held the AR15/M16 in very low regard. I’ve read half a dozen of Hackworth’s books – including his life story – and recall that he spoke very highly of the M1 and M14 family of weapons. Regardless of where one stands on the relative merits of rifle designs in question, Hackworth’s opinions deserve to be taken very seriously, if for no other reason than his record in combat, both as a follower and a leader.
    The author implies that the family of weapons based on the M1 Garand action is unreliable in the desert, but history tells a different story. The American G.I. fielded millions of M1s and M1 carbines across North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Far East and the CBI theater of war – some of hottest, driest and dustiest places on earth – and it compiled an enviable record of reliability.
    Not only that, but the Garand worked during the Battle of the Bulge – in the mud, snow and cold of Northern Europe – and in many other places besides.
    Yes, there were failures due to various causes – no system is perfect – but if a G.I. kept the action reasonably free from debris and dirt and cleaned and lubricated the rifle properly, it wouldn’t let him down. Garands are very tough to break; they’ll take a ton of abuse and still keep right on working. ARs, on the other hand, are superb precision instruments, but aren’t suited to extended use in the field without access to spare parts and repair facilities.
    In my career as a historian of WWII-Korea (now more than forty years), I have had the privilege of talking with hundreds of men who carried the M1 and M1 carbine into combat in every imaginable condition – and I cannot recall even a single one who spoke badly of it. In contrast, I have heard plenty of guys complain about the M16/AR15 design; in fairness; I have also heard plenty of people who have great things to say about it and who say they’d gladly take one again if issued it.

    Lab tests which simulate field conditions are useful, but they cannot duplicate actual real-world use, nor can they predict how a design will function in combat.

    • A friend of mine asked me if the collapsible stock of the AR-15 carbine was resilient in impacts. I didn’t know, so I got a towel, went outside, set it on the concrete, and whalloped the butt of my Colt 6920 into it as hard as I could. I did this a few times. It did not affect the gun, so far as I know.

      So the AR-15 is perhaps not so fragile when used as an impact weapon as its reputation would suggest. Certainly, wood stocks have splintered and broken before under hard use.

      The Garand isn’t a perfect weapon, and it rises to a lower standard of reliability than modern selfloading weapons, in my experience. I am certainly not dismissing out of hand the opinions of those who have something to contribute, but at the same time I have to evaluate the evidence on its own terms. Now, the Garand is a design of the 1920s, and it was designed to solve a hard problem: How to mass produce a lightweight selfloading rifle that worked. It accomplished this, but solutions to that problem have been perfected since.

      It’s further worth noting that the M14 has some distinct features from the M1. Besides its gas system, which is a bit different, it also has a roller that operates the bolt when it is acted on the cam lug. This roller does nothing to reduce the friction between the receiver and the bolt, and it eliminates the anti-pre-engagement mechanism of the original M1, thus increasing friction and increasing the amount of power needed in the mainspring and on the forward stroke. This can cause a serious problem for reliable function, if the gun is dirty and friction increases. The roller was introduced to alleviate the problem of the M1 Garand of galling between the bolt and operating rod, which could happen if the gun’s lubricant in the cam track either ran dry or if it were not lubed. In my opinion, this is trading one problem for three: Friction is increased, due to the elimination of anti-pre-engagement, underlug is significantly reduced, causing the gun to extract when pressures are higher, and the roller itself is a point of weakness

      The AR-15 has shortcomings of its own. The early rifles were thrust into the fire in Vietnam without a significant development program; contrast this with the nineteen years of development of the M14 before escalation in Vietnam. Even on the modern M4, if grit or sand makes its way into the fire control group, it may well stop functioning properly. The AR-15 itself does not have anti-pre-engagement, or much underlug, though the shielded operating group, along with the highly even forces during cycling help mitigate this significantly.

      As a war relic, as an antique, and as a service weapon that kept troops alive and has a very real place in history, I have no problem with the M14. I do, though, seek to dispel and quash the myths that have arisen through the hero-worship of the rifle and its users, among younger fans of the rifle. It is a flawed design, to a greater degree than most, and this should be understood on a technical level, if not an emotional one. Probably, these things should be kept separate, anyway.

      • Tom

        That’s the essence if it. The m1 was a great design for its day but we can do better now.

      • Georgiaboy61

        Re: “As a war relic, as an antique, and as a service weapon that kept troops alive and has a very real place in history, I have no problem with the M14. I do, though, seek to dispel and quash the myths that have arisen through the hero-worship of the rifle and its users, among younger fans of the rifle.”
        A reality check is always a good thing, and no mechanical system is perfect or can be all things to all people at all times.
        My beef with the M1-M14 family of weapons – in particular the M14/M1A – lies in the fact that field-stripping an M1A/M14 and taking it completely down isn’t easy without having a few specialized tools on hand – especially when servicing the bolt. Can it be done without the special bolt service tool GIs used to be issued or the new-and-improved one now sold by the likes of Fulton Armory? Yes, but it isn’t easy or fast.
        The over-all weight of the rifle is a bit much and to some tastes, it doesn’t balance well and feels front-heavy. If the original design hadn’t called for a select-fire capacity, the M14 could have been a lighter and better service weapon. The original specifications set forth called for it to replace a whole array of weapons – not only the M1, but the BAR, Browning .30-caliber MG, and Thompson SMG and M3 Grease Gun. Talk about overly optimistic!
        The gas tappet system of the M14/M1A is self-regulating to an extent, but does not provide as much flexibility as weapons with a truly adjustable gas system. That, too, is another shortcoming of the design.
        Of course, the M14 shouldn’t have made it into service in the first place – if the U.S. Army Ordnance Dept. and the Pentagon had honored their promises to the British and our other NATO allies in the early 1950s. We’d basically promised the British that if they’d redesign their FAL to take the .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm cartridge, that we’d adopt the FAL. They dropped their promising .280-caliber FAL – and the U.S. promptly reneged on its promise to adopt the FAL and went with the M14 instead. The FAL did go on to attain success as the “right arm of the free world,” but think of what it would have been with a true intermediate cartridge!

    • CommonSense23

      First give up using Hackworth as a record, anytime someone is recorded making up lies to further their own agenda as he did, it puts every thing they have said that can only be taken from their word as questionable.
      Second can people please stop bringing up trying to butt stroke someone with a rifle. Its a outdated technique that will get your ass beat by any competent opponent. I use to do a lot of role playing in the red man suit for CQD and nothing was better than some idiot literally handing me his gun to own him with, if he tried to butt stroke. We have a learned a lot of stuff since the WW2 and Korean era and the close range stuff of that era was atrocious.
      As for the M16 being unpopular to begin with. Let’s see. US SOF had been using the AR15 well before the official adoption of the M16 and gave it outstanding reviews. Both in its reliability and lethality over the M14. Units that fielded the weapon and actually were taught how to properly maintain the weapon stateside gave it extremely high reviews over the M14. The M16s biggest sin was handing them to units with no training or cleaning supplies what so ever.
      The blog Weaponsman goes into great detail why the myth of the M16 being universally despised is simply untrue. Yes it had some major issues initially. But I wish I could find the link to the study saying the M16 had a 98% approval rating over the M14. And the dissenting 2% were asking for the CAR-15.
      One of the things I learned from my career in the military that was small arms intensive is trusting people’s first hand reports at the time, much less years later is a really bad idea.

      • n0truscotsman

        When I was praising the SP1 in the late 80s, I was sure my rantings would have bought me a fast ticket to the funny farm, being labeled as a “public nuisance”. 😉

  • JCL

    Indonesian army also adopted M1 and its magazine fed version (BM59) as standard service rifle until 1980s. They often complained that the rifle often jammed in jungle condition, and would prefer AK47, G3, and M16. It’s only in 1980s they adopted FN FNC as new standard service rifle.

  • Alex Nicolin

    The other two performed much better. So the direct gas impingement is not the problem. Myth: busted.

  • dan citizen

    Really great read. I love watching torture tests.

  • Zebra Dun

    Most problems on a forum start with an innocent “I like ________________”
    I like the M-1/M-14 I’d take one over any other rifle.
    I do not foresee a time where I will be defending my life in a sandstorm, triple canopy jungle, high altitude mountains, Arctic type conditions or on the surface of some alien planet.
    I do not see myself shooting it out with a human wave attack of aliens, zombies or just plain pissed off humans.
    I do see myself shooting a good reliable rifle with a powerful and accurate long range cartridge capable of taking down every game animal in North America I might encounter.
    I can keep it clean, functioning and enjoy doing it.
    I would not feel less or more well armed with any other rifle of a short list, you all know the ones on that list.
    My personal go to rifle is a Winchester M-94 made in 1973 in .30 WCF/30/30.
    No, I don’t expect to fight zombie hordes in a sand storm with it either.

  • Steve Case

    Just wanted to point out that they didn’t demonstrate the rifle worked to begin with in the video clip.

    • Karl-InRangeTV

      You must not have watched the video. We cleaned it multiple times and showed it freshly cleaned and firing multiple rounds successfully before trying the dust test one last time.

  • Kivaari

    Oh, Oh, you stepped into a mine field by pointing out design failures in the M1 and M14. A couple of decades ago I had an in depth military report on the M1 rifles performance in Korea. In the sub-freezing temperatures one of the failures involved the right side of the receiver fractured. And a host of other dramatic failures. Like the M1911A1, the cult refuses to understand the many failures of the venerable pistol. Few people accept the weaknesses as it is contrary to the hype.
    The M14 was plagued with manufacturing problems. When it was used in real combat conditions the poor quality control (by the various makers) led to so many failures that it was easy to see why the DoD wanted a new rifle. The word from the Pentagon to the builders was either fix the issues or we will go to another rifle. The M16 had its teething problems, but the builders solved the issues, whereas they couldn’t get the M14 fixed.
    Weapons buffs get real indignant when the faults of the systems are directed at the historic weapons. You can show them the tests results and complaints from the field, and the folks just wont accept that their favorite firearms had significant issues.
    Americans always want to think they have the best of everything. The cult of the M1903 rifle
    doesn’t like it when people say the M98 Mausers are superior to the M1903. When we point out the two piece firing pin, coned breech, and terrible rear sight (accurate but fragile) it’s like we just stuck the sacred cow with a knife.

  • Michael Guerin

    This is why Yank soldiers in Vietnam were offering our guys (NZ soldiers) $200.00 US for an SLR. I suggest that you read up on the Aussie experience at Long Tan, if you want to know more about the battleworthiness of the SLR L1A1.