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Anzac Use Of The M16 In Vietnam


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Watching the trailer for the upcoming film "Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan", the troops seem to be armed with a mixture of M16's and L1A1's. In 1966 the M16 rifle was still a relatively new weapon with US forces. I take it that the ANZAC units made an early buy of some of these, possibly as a field trial?

 

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Well the New South Wales state police had managed to get some by 1968

 

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/how-it-happened-the-glenfield-siege-50-years-on-20180710-p4zqmn.html

 

A very strange situation

 

But it was obvious that 'Armalites' were filtering through the system.

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This claims they first arrived in 1966 from US Stocks.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-conflicts-periods/vietnam/rar-vietnam.htm

 

F1, was that based on the Sterling SMG?

Independant development, but IIRC used Sterling mags.

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Cheers, I did wonder.

 

The Owen similarly seemed related to the Sten, except when you read up on it it developed wholly independently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_Gun

 

Some Stens were manufactured in Australia as the Austen.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austen_submachine_gun

 

One of the things not mentioned in the Forgotten Weapons and at least one other vid is that the Owen's vertical magazine was useful in dense rainforest as it didn't stick out to the side to catch on other vertical obstacles.

 

The other interesting thing is that the F1, whilst retaining the vertical magazine, also retained the sights on the right side of the weapon.

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Ive read that one of the compensations of the SLR is that any tree shot by it, looked like someone had attached a small piece of C4 to it and detonated it. Against that, you only have single shot. My father loved it, but then it was coming from a Lee Enfield, so...

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Thats interesting about the Austen, I never heard about that one either.

 

Did they ever do a silenced barrel version of either the Austen or the Owen, like the Sten Mk2S?

 

from that wiki

 

There was a suppressed version made for use by Z Special Force.

 

An improved version, the Mark II Austen, which had an accompanying dagger type bayonet that was designed to fit over the muzzle compensator was designed, expanding on the use of diecasting, of which 200 were built.[citation needed]

The Austen never achieved the level of popularity that the Owen gun achieved.[2] This was largely because the Owen was a very reliable weapon and although the Austen was an improvement on the basic Sten, it was never able to achieve the Owen's reliability.[2] Additionally, it has been asserted that the Owen was much more suited to jungle warfare. No doubt the Austen's side mounted magazine and bolt proved a hindrance to soldiers in the jungle, as this aspect necessarily meant that the working parts were more exposed to dirt and therefore prone to fouling due to the cocking slot's position on the right hand side of the body.

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One of the knocks against the M14 in Southeast Asia was that it was too long and bulky for use in dense jungle/vegetation. Haven't heard the same about the FAL.

I had noticed that as well. Maybe it became a selling point for the M16. Kind of like how the M16 'musket' (actually close to the M1 carbine in size) is now considered unwieldy compared to the M4.

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One of the knocks against the M14 in Southeast Asia was that it was too long and bulky for use in dense jungle/vegetation. Haven't heard the same about the FAL.

Given that the FAL in most guises is slightly longer and heavier than the M14 I suspect it was more of a justification for the M16 than any real deficiency in the M14.

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Ive read that one of the compensations of the SLR is that any tree shot by it, looked like someone had attached a small piece of C4 to it and detonated it. Against that, you only have single shot. My father loved it, but then it was coming from a Lee Enfield, so...

 

I had an early L1A1 and X8 manual and it explained that, at 150 metres or less, the bullet would not have fully stabilised and would tend to yaw and tumble giving up its energy in wood. Therefore it would penetrate trees at longer distances than it would at shorter ones.

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Ive read that one of the compensations of the SLR is that any tree shot by it, looked like someone had attached a small piece of C4 to it and detonated it. Against that, you only have single shot. My father loved it, but then it was coming from a Lee Enfield, so...

 

I had an early L1A1 and X8 manual and it explained that, at 150 metres or less, the bullet would not have fully stabilised and would tend to yaw and tumble giving up its energy in wood. Therefore it would penetrate trees at longer distances than it would at shorter ones.

 

 

Yeah, that seem to match exactly how the Australians described it.

 

There was an account I read of the training team at Mirbat trying to get the local Arabs to use the SLR, and they hated it because it had no Automatic fire. So they took them out on the ranges, and demonstrated how accurate it was. They all threw their AKM's away at that point.

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In practice SLR is no more accurate than AKM firing single shots, so story is typical BS.

Edited by bojan
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Ive read that one of the compensations of the SLR is that any tree shot by it, looked like someone had attached a small piece of C4 to it and detonated it. Against that, you only have single shot. My father loved it, but then it was coming from a Lee Enfield, so...

 

I had an early L1A1 and X8 manual and it explained that, at 150 metres or less, the bullet would not have fully stabilised and would tend to yaw and tumble giving up its energy in wood. Therefore it would penetrate trees at longer distances than it would at shorter ones.

 

I don't remember any funny shaped holes in targets at that range or under while working the butts at Connaught.

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