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Thread: ARs didn't really need to have 1-7" Twist and how it was determined that they would.

  1. #11
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    Think of hot brass like this. Brass comes out of a AR at about 170F, third degree burns occur at 155F. You get one of those on your neck or down your shirt you are likely going to be doing something like a native dance and if you have a weapon in your hands where the design tends to keep the firing hand in constant contact with the grip and your finger is on the trigger naturally in a one hand carry position you are a prime candidate for something to go South quickly.


    When we are subjected to pain the normal reaction is to clinch your fists and if you have a weapon in your hand with your trigger finger in contact with a trigger the odds of a discharge goes way up. Ever saw a wreck coming, did you clinch your hands on the steering wheel? I was in a head on last June and I had a death grip on the wheel, got rolled as I was heading off the road to avoid a head on and I was just able to turn it into a glancing blow. Both of us were running 55 when she crossed the center line on a curve and got me.

    For instance you have a semi auto pistol in your hand while walking along and you trip.

    I have talked with several that have seen troops killed on the range. One was I think it was Ft. Sill they were shooting the reduced range qualification targets from the prone position and a guy got a hot case down his neck and he started screaming and writhing around on the ground and lost muzzle awareness and trigger got pulled and shot the guy next to him.


    I have a retired Lt. Col friend here who was at Ft. Jackson at the hospital getting his physical to go in the Army and a nurse runs in and tells the Doc they have a shooting vic inbound from the range and the Doc asked the nurse how that happened and the nurse told him a guy got a hot case down in neck and pulled the trigger shooting guy next to him.


    Army ranges used to have guys on a line shooting about six feet apart. Footage I see now is they now separate shooters much further apart on the pop up target ranges.


    The worst one I heard was a guy told me they were on a KD range and they were shooting standing and all of a sudden a cease fire was called and he heard screaming from down the line. He was the only one in his unit designated to go to medic school after basic and a DI grabbed him and took him down range where another guy in his unit was on the ground bleeding and the DI handed him a battle dressing and told him to apply it to the wound.


    As the story came together the shooter got a hot case down his neck and he shot the guy next to him. Both the shooter and the shootee grew up next door to each other since they were infants born days apart. The graduated HS together and joined the Army on the Buddy Plan. The shootee died right there and the shooter was last seen being put in a ambulance grieving, screaming and crying that he had shot his best friend.


    He told me the shooter was given a discharge and sent home a couple days later. You know there isn't a day passed since he does not think of that event half a dozen times a day
    .
    First time I got burned was I was on a range and it was hot and I was shooting by myself and I shot three shots from the hip left handed and all of a sudden I look down and all three cases were stuck to my stomach burning themselves in and I had to pull them off. Had the scars for many years. I can tell you I had no idea where the muzzle was pointed in those few seconds and I may have pulled the trigger, don't know as there were only three rounds left in mag to fire and the bolt was to the rear.

    On the High Road forum a guy reported a AD happened on the range at Ft. Benning.


    This was posted on the Army Safety Center website a few years back.

    Hot Brass
    in the Summertime


    “Put the weapon down and step away!” You usually only hear that phrase on television cop shows late at night, and if you hear it in real life, you’re probably in big trouble. But these words don’t apply only to criminal situations. Many a negligent discharge might’ve been prevented if someone had spoken up when they saw a comrade acting in an unexpected or less-than-safe manner. Such was the case in a recent negligent discharge accident.
    After 30-odd pages of analysis, the local and centralized accident investigation boards came up with a recommendation for live fire ranges. When something unsafe or unexpected happens on the range, the person(s) involved should put the weapon down and step back before doing anything else. The chance for error and a negligent discharge is greatly reduced when the most dangerous object around is removed from human hands.
    Before this particular accident, some Soldiers and Air Force members were training perimeter defense techniques. Two Airmen situated side by side fired their M16s over a wall at moving targets downrange. Hot brass from the left Airman’s weapon landed on the other Airman’s neck and rolled down his back. The burned Airman jerked his left hand up and pivoted his body to the left as he tried to brush away the scorching metal. However, his rifle was still in his right hand, and he didn’t remove his finger from the trigger as he turned toward the other Airman. The M16 slipped off the table support, and its falling weight applied pressure to the burned Airman’s trigger finger, causing the weapon to fire and hit the Airman to the left. He suffered extensive abdominal injuries but fortunately survived the incident.
    Could this type accident happen on your range? The odds of this exact incident happening again are phenomenally small, but there’s always a chance when live ammunition is involved. Hot brass is a fact of life on live fire ranges, and it’s also a common problem in close combat and military operations in urban terrain environments. But anything from a bee sting to a lightning strike or just a good scare could cause any Soldier to react in the same manner as the Airman in this accident, regardless their operational location.
    Leaders and individual Soldiers applying Composite Risk Management (CRM) to their live fire training should automatically identify negligent discharges as a primary hazard on the range. But it’s important not to discount the other events and circumstances that might result in an accident. A good resource for leaders preparing for a live fire exercise is the lessons learned from other units that have either recently completed similar training or conduct it on a regular basis. Identify what their problems were, assess your unit’s risk, and mitigate accordingly.
    The unit in this accident had the required officer in charge (OIC) and range safety officer (RSO) on the range that day, as well as additional safety officers who were acting as observers/controllers (O/Cs) during the exercise. Although not a contributing factor, it’s possible the O/Cs could’ve missed an unsafe act because they were preoccupied with their controlling responsibilities. When training Soldiers or Airmen who aren’t accustomed to live fire ranges, leaders must assess their safety officers’ duties to ensure they aren’t overtasked. For units that regularly train on these ranges, leaders should assess the need for safety mechanisms above and beyond what’s usually required.
    Before they take over the range, OICs and RSOs are required to attend training with their local range control, and there are several vital questions that must be asked during this interaction. What are the steps for medical evacuation? What is the fastest and safest route to the nearest treatment facility? How will range control assist the unit with evacuation operations? These are important issues that must be discussed and planned for before the first shot is fired. When an accident or other injury occurs isn’t the time to figure out the actual execution of a medical evacuation.
    It’s as simple as this: Put some thought into planning your next training event. CRM isn’t just a paper drill for the operations order. Rather, it’s a tool to help leaders identify how their Soldiers are at risk and how they plan to mitigate it. Visit the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center’s Web site at https://crc.army.mil to find out more about CRM and how you can Own the Edge both on and off the range.
    Comments regarding this article may be directed to the USACRC Help Desk at (334) 255-1390, DSN 558-1390, or by e-mail at helpdesk@crc.army.mil. The Accident Investigation Division may be reached through USACRC Operations at (334) 255-3410, DSN 558-3410, or by e-mail at operationssupport@crc.army.mil.

    A guy told me about another incident that happened on a Army Range in Korea and a number of people were shot but he did not know the details.

    In competition where you have guys with lots of experience you see folks burned but not shot. Then you get guys who their entire time with a weapon has been gaming on a TV who grew up in a city and never held a gun and has had a sheltered life and something happens you don't know how they will react.

    I had a former Marine tell me he was on embassy duty in one of the sand box countries and he was in the SGM office and there was a magazine on a table showing a Marine holding a M4 pointed kind of toward the camera and there was a article inside that detailed a hot case going down inside clothing and the result was a AD and Marine next to him got hit. It was not Leatherneck Magazine as I called them and they never had a pic of such. That was about 2007 time frame when he told me that but he saw the mag in the 90s IIRC.

    Just remembered a accidental discharge I saw at Camp Perry maybe 35 years back. I was watching a 45 match and they were getting ready for a rapid fire string and this guy was loaded, in position and 45 in his hand was resting on the table right before firing and it went off and blew a hole in the shooting bench. Guys on both sides of him jumped away of course but amazingly their guns were left laying on the bench.

    There has been a reg for many years that while firing on military ranges a medic must be present and in their bags they carry wound dressings. If they are not expecting folks to get shot why are they carrying wound dressings?

    I remember a study was conducted at the Fed Law Eng Tng Ctr in 80s and trainees were asked how many had ever fired a handgun before and 70% had not. I was shocked when I was told the number.

    The day I checked into Picatinny Arsenal I noted another guy had been given a ID with the same info so I struck up a conversation with him and I learned he had never fired a gun in his life. Two months later he was coming around reviewing what we were doing in our section and he didn't have a clue about what we were doing or why.

    Bottom line is you give a gun to someone with no experience whatsoever you can't expect them to think like you do or rather I guess a better term is not think.
    Last edited by Humpy70; 01-03-20 at 06:25.

  2. #12
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    I donít have gas as extensive experience, but I was on a line once, standing, and my brass repeatedly kept hitting the guy next to me in the neck. I tried moving a step forward or back, but no room side to side. One finally turned end over end and ended up standing ďuprightĒ on his neck burning until it was ďstuckĒ there. I felt bad, but frankly, was glad it wasnít me.

    So, I think the question that needs to be asked is, Were these injuries happening before the bump was added? Were lefties burning themselves? Was the brass still hitting others?
    Itís fine to say the bump was added and affects the angle enough that people are harmed. But, is it also true that the same number of people were being harmed without the bump, but the bump did still accomplish something positive with its design.

  3. #13
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    As indicated in original post the Army Safety Center confirmed injuries already having occurred in M16/M16A1 and this "enhancement" stopped cases from hitting lefties in right cheek but the new reduced angle was going to deliver even more hot cases in a smaller area between 2:00 and 4:00 to the right so the original design flaw curing one problem and was is a design flaw even though it stopped us lefties from getting hit in cheek. I told the Army Safety Center guy I was going to recommend case ejection angle comply with the DoD requirements already in place sending brass to 1:00-2:00 angle and he agreed that would be ideal and it is in the report but nobody moved to make sure it happened.

    The Marine Corps got 31 copies of the report which comes under the heading of "You can lead a horse to water but you can't hold his head down to drink it."

    I have a friend who was a NCIS Agent I told him about this and he surmised it was going to take a lawsuit by a victim or his family whose son was killed and that would force an investigation to determine why the recommendations in the report and the Dod standards were not followed. He understood exactly why it happened as he has a permanent scar on his neck from hot brass. I asked him how he would investigate such and he said he would take a team and go to HQ USMC and determine every officer that was stationed there when the report was delivered in Feb 83. Next he would determine who the 31 reports were distributed to upon arrival. When he got all those names they would be sent orders to report for active duty and as soon as they reported in would be taken to the brig and interrogated individually as to why the published recommendations were not incorporated and determine who was responsible officer who failed. Bet that would cause a lot of indigestion.

    I had another friend (passed now) that was a GM15 lawyer with the gov't and I asked him , "If the gov't fielded a weapon system with a identified design flaw and somebody got hurt would the gov't be liable?" and he wanted the "rest of the story" so I told him the entire background and the recommendations in the report that the Marine Corps was advised of that were not followed and it was his legal opinion the gov't had just opened itself up to a major lawsuit and he said he would love to have such a case.

    The crazy part is it is a simple fix. Competition shooters do it all the time, you just change the bump from a backward angle (towards 4:00) to a right angle at 3:00 and that will not only redirect cases forward, it will drop them right down next to rifle just like the case deflectors for the M16A1 did.

    All you do is buy Velcro kit, got mine at Home Depot



    You degrease the bump with solvent to remove grease/oil etc and place a hook piece of velcro on the front ramp.

    Then you get a piece of firm foam and cut a small triangle about 3/4" per side and on the side the rear put the fuzzy velcro there and place it on the rifle.




    And the cases pivot out, hit the foam, cases go forward a bit and your fired cases from standing on in a small area about 18 to 24 inches forward. This is the neatest thing to do. In the prone position half your cases will be in arms reach. Note in this pic on extreme left is another wedge velcroed under the carry hand fo a spare triangle that I have never had to use as the first one has not come off.

    A little more crude is get a pack of two part epoxy putty at, degrease the bump as above, knead the epoxy putty together and mold it to the bump leaving a contact surface 90 degrees from the bore line and you get the same effect. The one I made is actually way to big and if I did another I would only use half the putty. Then you paint it black as the putty is white.

    All in all I like the triangle foam better and I figure if you have a source for black semi stiff foam the whole conversion will cost about 50 cents.

    One guy I used to shoot with used a much bigger piece of foam and brass came out and fell down right beside his rifle in prone position.
    Last edited by Humpy70; 01-03-20 at 09:54.

  4. #14
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    Iíve noticed that M16A2, M16A4, and M4A1 weapons tend to eject around 2-3 oíclock. Its not perfectly consistent, of course. However, Iíve only recently taken any interest in observing this, and never really thought about it until the past summer. Iíve only paid attention to it in very hot weather, and with M855A1. Most of it lands just forward of, or on the firing line. I would guess it is more likely to land behind the line in cooler weather. Iíll try to notice someday. I wanna say that the M4 launches brass a little more forward than the M16, but I donít remember for sure. Like I said, I donít really pay much attention to it with military weapons.

    Some of it does end up behind the line, and Soldiers do occasionally get burned, usually a 1st degree burn. Sometimes on the neck, sometimes on the arm (up the sleeve, usually a coach, who has no weapon at the time). Most of the time its just a minor annoyance, as we all know, or a gentle reminder that the guy with the shot timer is not in the right position.

    Getting pressed against the skin by clothing is a little less common, and results in a worse burn. This is much more likely to happen in the prone, but paradoxically doesnít happen often on stateside military ranges that are being run correctly because there is ample space between firers, and the weapon is close to the ground in prone, obviously. So the brass doesnít go as far, and most stateside military ranges are grass, dirt, sand, or that chewed up rubber mulch stuff, so brass does not roll or bounce like on concrete. Getting pelted by brass happens much more frequently shooting prone, on a crowded firing line.

    Iíve never observed an unsafe act occurring, but I can certainly see how it could happen.

    A couple days ago, I got this nasty burn: https://imgur.com/a/1Lu4gRH
    I was shooting a rifle at an indoor range, kneeling position. This particular rifle ejects consistently to 4 oíclock with 55 gr .223, which is what I was shooting. My shirt had ridden up over my CCW holster. The case hit the wall next to me, bounced into my back, and got stock inside my beltline against my skin. Freaky luck, right? I kept my muzzle downrange and grabbed the brass with my support hand, and tossed it forward.
    RLTW

    ďThose pins are the wrong length. They are also unfinished and will rust faster than markm's tactical entry into an LWRC thread.Ē MarkG/MK18PILOT

  5. #15
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    I saw a different version at some point a while back, but at least one person has approached this difficulty and marked a solution.

    https://www.deflectorbrake.com/

    I dismissed this as a silly aesthetic concern previously, but I appreciate your input on incidents from the past.

    Someone from the USMC side is occasionally on this forum. Iím genuinely curious what the counter argument was.

  6. #16
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    Humpy70, keep it coming, this is some important and fascinating historical info. Thanks for taking the time to put it down!

  7. #17
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    Hereís another option, more top coverage and much more expensive:

    https://www.johnsoncustomsllc.com/ar-15-shell-deflector

    Then, a different approach entirely, and super expensive:

    https://www.brassbully.com/

    Iím curious if there is any evidence that these sorts of things, or even a realigned ďbumpĒ somehow is shown to induce malfunctions by sending brass back towards the chamber. It would seem very unlikely considering a closed bolt.

  8. #18
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    M16A1E1 Test Report from Aberdeen Proving Ground

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...ZVY3hISS1DNUxz

    I put this on other forums and just remembered it might be of interest here.

    This is right from the Tech Report Section at Aberdeen.

    If you can't sleep start reading this and you will be out quick ! ! ! !

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humpy70 View Post
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...ZVY3hISS1DNUxz

    I put this on other forums and just remembered it might be of interest here.

    This is right from the Tech Report Section at Aberdeen.

    If you can't sleep start reading this and you will be out quick ! ! ! !
    It reads more interesting than you think, but some pages are missing. 8,9,21,22,23,24 - thatís as far as I got.
    Thanks for posting this! As an engineer I think itís fascinating.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by B52U View Post
    That is really interesting about the brass ejection pattern being considered a lethal liability considering the modern cultural obsession with obtaining a "proper" 4 o'clock pattern by fixing overgassing issues on modern commercial carbines with oversized gas ports. Also found the requirement of a longer stock interesting now that collapsible stocked carbines are the standard for body armor wearing troops and the small statured.

    I trained on A2's back in 1995 OSUT so this history is a fascinating trip back in time for me.
    There was a well-documented history with the JSSP and similar trials that led to the selection of the Beretta and the M16A2 changes. Remember this was malease era Army. In many aspects Cold war thinking still dominated as well. Troops in m113s rattling around germany in reforger exercises.

    General themes on the M16A2 development concerns is that service rifle competition type accuracy and ballistic issues dominated more than they should given the modern army's requirements. And specifically lead to some questionable decisions. (HBAR, twist, longer stock, etc).

    From fuzzy memory I also recall the Marines had a big hand in influencing the developments.

    The main measure of merit seemed to be 200m penetration of a steel pot helmet which required ammo, barrel, and other changes. Which aligned neatly with service rifle competition requirements, especially heavier bullets. But was not really tied to any clear new or revised tactical requirements.

    Since they arguably made the M16 heavier, larger, and less lethal relative to the A1, it set the stage for the development of the M4 and similar.

    Much of this was covered extensively (and appears to be pretty accurately) in Soldier of Fortune at the time. I believe I still have the old copies, I may try to dig them out and scan some. Some of the stuff approached whistleblower status, especially in the pistols. They didn't have the whistleblower protection then, and it would have been career suicide to stand in the way of these programs.

    It is very interesting to hear some of that old reporting confirmed by first hand accounts here.

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