M14 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This email, from a Marine, who's in Iraq; his buddy Jordan provides many of the details. Some military adjectives have been changed to protect the innocent whom may read this...

Bill​

Combat Firearms "Report Card" from Iraq

US Weapons:

1) The M-16 rifle: Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan says 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 lack the ability to mount the various optical gun sights and weapons lights on the picatinny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment.

They all hate the 5.56 mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinder block structure common over there and even torso hits can't be reliably counted on to put the enemy down.

Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show 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 doo-doo. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial dis-assembly (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).

3) The M9 Beretta 9 mm: Mixed bag. Good gun performs well in desert environment; but they all hate the 9 mm cartridge. The use of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9 mm: 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. (Great weapon - I used these when transporting prisoners. Bud)

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 appendage in the dirt, every time. The most coveted weapon in-theater.

7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol around out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, one 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 way 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. It is 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 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 hell 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 bullstuff 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 our hunter-killer teams. We've all seen the videos.

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. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it. I can't help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old...! With all our technology, it's the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants...! The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown.

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 like doo-doo. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. ( Iran , again)

2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys. Simple, reliable and as common as dog doo-doo. 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 3 155 mm 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 cinder blocks 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 122 mm rockets (with an 18 km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of Jordan's NCO's lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the wire." Jordan'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.

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.

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 GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured..

Who are the bad guys? Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly "foreigners," non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadist's from all over the Muslim world (and Europe ). Most enter Iraq through Syria(with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt), and then travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months.

Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in various "sacrifice squads." Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc). These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off.

The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian) are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. They have been fighting the Russians for years. In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt's, the police forces and the Army. They have had a spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's. Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured, or gave up long ago.

Bad Guy Tactics: When they are engaged on an infantry level, they get their asses kicked every time! Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing AK's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time (see the M2 and M240 above). Jordan’s base was hit like this often. When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room's).

We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunship's and AC-130 Spectre Gunship's cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all.

Fun facts: The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber doo-doo. The new strategy is just simple attrition. The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and especially Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons, and ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for inflicting civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members, especially children, is common to influence people they are trying to influence but can't reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc...

The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured." They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet. Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't give a damn about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi. As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death. Surrender is not an option. The Iraqi's are a mixed bag. Some fight well; others aren't worth a damn. Most do okay with American support.

Finding leaders is hard, but they are getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police forces went right up, along with their motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good Intel because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against civilians. The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.

Morale: According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe that they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see doo-doo like "Are we losing in Iraq," on TV and the print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food, and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, is that there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).

Hope you found it interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
Thanks for posting this. It was very informative. Always good to hear how things are really going from guys who are/were actually there.


Motown out



ARMY1
 

·
Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
Stillwater?

I'm Just Curious Here...No 'Insult' Intended Whatsoever!

But...I Think I Have Read This Before...

Did THIS Really Come To YOU...from a Marine in Iraq that YOU Know?

CAVman in WYoming

EDIT: This Goes Back to 2007 and Before, 2005! And Was 'Dis-Credited' THEN...Now Re-Edited And Back Again!!!
(NOT BY 'Stillwater', I Am Sure!!!)

http://m14tfl.com/upload/showthread.php?t=36463&highlight=m243

GITEN
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,506 Posts
"But...I Think I Have Read This Before..."


Same here - a couple of yrs ago??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, this actually did come to me, through email from a Marine I know who just now returned stateside. If I can get ahold of this person, I will try to verify it how it came to my friend and if it is from a person still in Iraq, and if it is current.

This could be an email that has been making the rounds. The Internet is full of things like that. I took it on face value because of the source.

If it has been making the rounds, I wish I would have been told that.

I'll ask about where it came from, and if it is original to friends, of my friend.

I also know a woman, in the Army who has done three tours in Iraq. She has sent me several things. I have a crashed hard drive I would like to get the video files off of, that show some great combat footage (not her experiences, she shuffled papers) she was able to obtain and send to me.

Bill
 

·
Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
When read side-by-side with the one I linked to from 5 years ago...It clearly is the same, with just minor, minor word changes.
So not only is it not 'current'...much of the information about the fighting in Iraq was wrong then, and is even more wrong now...
I don't fault you at all, 'Stillwater'...I know you believed it to be what it claimed to be when you received it...
But that's what bugs me about the 'Error-net'...so much of what we see is wrong...
So we do need to insist on seeing a Source, or a Link to the Original, and Dates, etc...
Information Is Power...
And Dis-Information Saps Our Credibility and makes us Distrustful of even those We Should Believe In!

CAVman in WYoming
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When read side-by-side with the one I linked to from 5 years ago...It clearly is the same, with just minor, minor word changes.
So not only is it not 'current'...much of the information about the fighting in Iraq was wrong then, and is even more wrong now...
I don't fault you at all, 'Stillwater'...I know you believed it to be what it claimed to be when you received it...
But that's what bugs me about the 'Error-net'...so much of what we see is wrong...
So we do need to insist on seeing a Source, or a Link to the Original, and Dates, etc...
Information Is Power...
And Dis-Information Saps Our Credibility and makes us Distrustful of even those We Should Believe In!
I was able to get a hold of my friend, that sent this to me, and he says he is embarassed about this.

However, under scruitiny, I am starting to doubt his his veracity on any subject. He has lost all of his credibility in my view.

What makes it so bad, is that his parents and I are close friends, and have been since shortly after he was born. I can see this friendship turning sour and going away.

As the information was stated in the begining of the email, he could not have received it from another Marine in Iraq, that is supposedly his friend, because of the age of the email. I should have picked up on that... Maybe I am just getting too old.

Once burned by someone, twice afraid of that person from now on...!

However, the responsibility rests on my shoulders, because of years of friendship, I was so damned gullible...

I don't get burned very often, but I did this time.

I have seen web sites, such as the now defunct "Stolen Valor," about former service men who are telling wild "War Stories," about their combat accomplishments in Viet Nam. Stolen Valor, the web site, used to trace these mens service records and expose them for what they were.

Stolen Valor exposed one such man, he was investigated and because of his criminal conduct, was arrested and put in prison, for his activities.

Now, it looks like a web site like Stolen Valor, is needed again, to debunk a lot of this.

Bill
 

·
Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
Stillwater..."In The Far West" ?

Obviously, YOU are a Man of Great Integrity!

YOU Just Let Your Guard Down For A Moment!

Who Was It That Said: "Trust, But Verify!"

(ok, I know who it was...)

We Need More Guys Like YOU!

CAVman in WYOMING(In The Far West)

GI6
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stillwater..."In The Far West" ?

Obviously, YOU are a Man of Great Integrity!

YOU Just Let Your Guard Down For A Moment!

Who Was It That Said: "Trust, But Verify!"

(ok, I know who it was...)

We Need More Guys Like YOU!

CAVman in WYOMING(In The Far West)

GI6
Thank you very much for the kind words, that does make me feel a lot better. But, still embarassed.

I am a native son of the west, I was born in Montana, many years ago. I have relatives I have never met in Wyoming, especially in the Meeteetse area.

Anyone with the surname of Beckwith or Brown, may be related to me.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down... Universally considered a piece of doo-doo. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial dis-assembly (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).
I for one loved the SAW. Might have just been luck of the draw, but mine functioned flawlessly with blanks and M16 mags even! GI2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,541 Posts
thumbs way up for this thread! i have not read this before and i enjoyed the read. thanks brother.
 

·
Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
thumbs way up for this thread! i have not read this before and i enjoyed the read. thanks brother.
This Post(no doubt Unintentionally!)Has Validated My Point...

The e-mail is no doubt now being re-re-re-forwarded around the 'Errornet' as the Newest and Latest and Best Info Out There On What Our Troops Are Doing In Iraq And How Well Their Weapons Work...
Except That Of Course The E-mail Is REALLY 5+ Years Old And Is Full of Mis-Information...not to mention the fact that it was posted Here on the M14 Forum previously, and dis-credited...
(Which Would Have Been Obvious If The ENTIRE Thread, And LINKS, Would Have Been Read!)
Again, If Something You Get Forwarded On E-Mail Or Something You Just Happen To Read On A Web-site Has No Date, No Source, No Link-----BEWARE!!!

CAVman in WYoming
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,238 Posts
I was in desert storm/shield it was noted then that the M16 was not good for the environment. I think though that they were worried more about the helicopters falling out of the sky due to the dust.

Good post, thanks
 

·
Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
Ok, I KNOW I Have 'PTSD'...

GITEN

BUT---IT Just Drives Me Crazy When Soldier of Fortune/Wannabes Start Talking Crap...and Guys Buy Into It!

The E-Mail Is FULL of Errors...

Next Someone Is Going To Say---
Doesn't Matter...John Wayne COULD HAVE Written It To Charleton Heston !!!

GITEN

Let's Go Back To 20-Freaking-05 !!!

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=67;t=002000;p=0

CAVman in WYoming
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,541 Posts
Cavman,

sorry, i didnt read the entire thread before posting my comment(my bad). thanks for being on top of this thing. all i meant to say is that i was entertained by the post...... but what is more informative and insightful is your regulation on the subject.

truth is what counts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
There is a really great AND current article in this month's Guns and Ammo magazine about the weapons being used by our troops in the sandbox and the troops view of them. I thought it was very good and worth checking out.


Motown out



ARMY1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Wow

I think we should blame Al Gore the "inventor" of the internet! DI5

Do the actual weapons matter so much as the men and women who put themselves in the line of fire daily? I for one don't think so.
 

·
Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
Joined
·
10,663 Posts
I think we should blame Al Gore the "inventor" of the internet! DI5

Honestly...I Think The "Internet" Just Makes More Of Mankind's 'Sins' More Obvious And More Quickly And More Widespread Than 'Before'...GI6

Do the actual weapons matter so much as the men and women who put themselves in the line of fire daily? I for one don't think so

I Absolutely Agree...
But My Issue Was Not Arguing About 'Weapons', But Instead About Honesty and Integrity...Not Pretending WE or Something...Is Something We or It Are Not!
But Virtually Not A Night Goes By Where I Don't Say To My Long-Suffering Wife, As We Sit On The Couch(with only The Dog Between Us...GITEN)Watching the Nightly News After Work and Supper...
I Listen To The CRAP On The News...What 'They' Apparently Think Is Important! And Even Though I Know Better, I Usually Cannot Help Talking Back to The TV...
'Don't These A**holes Know We Have Men And Women In Harms Way in Iraq and Afghanistan Today! That Almost Without Question, 'One' Of Them Died Serving Our Country TODAY!?' 'Where is THEIR Story? Where Is The News From The Battlefields?'
---My Wife Gives Me 'The Look', Heck, Even The Dog...Gives Me 'The Look'...
But There It Is...


CAVman in WYoming
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,559 Posts
I find that its mostly people who dont know what they are talking about are the ones that say "the M4 is a peice of _____ fill in the blank." I never had problems with my peice, even in the sand. Gets dirty? Clean it. Broken? Fix it.

M249? Great weapon as well. Clean it.

M9? Clean it and it will work. Take care of those mags too.

M2 .50 cal? If we could find an armoror who knew how to fix them, Id bite. Im a 240 man myself.

M14? Priceless.

Always, especially as a machine gunner, keep that gun rag in your cargo pocket with a little bottle of CLP and all will be well.

I will add though, that reports of substandard terminal "performance" of 5.56 M855 are somewhat true. Shot placement is key, but even well placed 5.56 rounds dont always produce immediate results.

Nothing hits like an M80 ball or M118LR though... but even then...

Guess thats why its called "ballistics".

Nothing pisses me off more than a dirty weapon........DI4 DI4
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top