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eugene13087

Best Rifle in Vietnam

Which of the following rifles was the best in Vietnam  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following rifles was the best in Vietnam

    • 1) M-14
      14
    • 2) M-16
      4
    • 3) AK-47
      19
    • 4) SKS
      3


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As a part two to the best ww2 guns poll, what was the best gun in Vietnam. I put the two main American and two main Enemy guns. These are your choices, stick to them.

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As a part two to the best ww2 guns poll, what was the best gun in Vietnam. I put the two main American and two main Enemy guns. These are your choices, stick to them.

Why??? Why do we have to "stick to them"???

Mosin nagants were used... as were MAS 36's... can we talk about those???

:rofl:

teasing you bud...

Seriously... M16.

Before everyone jumps up & down on the M-16... just remember... the russians were so scared of our new rifle... that they themselves jumped on the .22 bandwagon... and changed over to the 5.45x39mm.....

Reliability?? sure.... we all scream about the reliability of the M-16... yet none of us know, from NVA records, what sort of problems they faced with their arms.....

And the kill ratio sorta speaks for itself.

The M-16 was a good gun, which got a rocky start. Had we not gone to it... who knows how many cases we would have had, of finding dead platoons... who ran out of ammo... because they couldn't hump enough 7,62x51 to keep up in a sustained firefight.

The grass is always greener. All combat arms are compromises. The only true answer to all the problems, is combination arms on the squad level.... M-16's, M-14's... sub guns & shotguns... and squad autos.... all used in combination with one another.

Edited by BrowningBDA

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Id have to say the USMC's M14 was probably the best gun out there for what you allowed us to vote on. Though the AK, SKS, and Mosin all come in right behind that.

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I would have to say the AK-47. It had a better round than the 16, but light enough that you could carry a lot of ammo. It was ultra-reliable and it was easy to maintain. The M-16 is a good rifle. I just think that the AK was better. The M-14 was not the best gun for the war because it was a big old-fashioned gun not that well suited to jungle fighting where yiu might shoot the bad guy at 10 feet instead of 500. But it is still a fine rifle. The SKS is also a good rifle, basically a semi-auto fized 10 rounder AK in terms of actual use, but the AKs 30 round magazines beat the SKS's fixed ten rounds.

As a sidenote: the Soviets didn't adopt the 5.45 becuase they were so afraid of the 223. Well, actually they did, but the decision was made by the high up politicians. Kalashnikov himself said that he favored improving the existing 7.62 round and gun over the 5.45 and Soviet soldiers hated the round because it was inaccurate and WAY underpowered.

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M14 the best...but stop talking about it! I got FOUR days till I get my M-305 and I gotta stop thinking about it. Ever see the Simpson's Episode where Homer is waiting for his gun and he just sit's in a chair all week thinking about all the things he can shoot? Yea..... :-:

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My opinion was the m14, but I wasn't there so I'm not sure how much my opinion means to you!

:c)l:

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I would have to say the AK-47. It had a better round than the 16, but light enough that you could carry a lot of ammo. It was ultra-reliable and it was easy to maintain. The M-16 is a good rifle. I just think that the AK was better. The M-14 was not the best gun for the war because it was a big old-fashioned gun not that well suited to jungle fighting where yiu might shoot the bad guy at 10 feet instead of 500. But it is still a fine rifle. The SKS is also a good rifle, basically a semi-auto fized 10 rounder AK in terms of actual use, but the AKs 30 round magazines beat the SKS's fixed ten rounds.

As a sidenote: the Soviets didn't adopt the 5.45 becuase they were so afraid of the 223. Well, actually they did, but the decision was made by the high up politicians. Kalashnikov himself said that he favored improving the existing 7.62 round and gun over the 5.45 and Soviet soldiers hated the round because it was inaccurate and WAY underpowered.

Actually eugene... the 5.45x39 is highly prized as being accurate... more so than the 7,62, in AK's...

I guarantee you that SAR 5,45 clone rifle... as well as real AK-74's, can outshoot their 7,62 chambered counterparts. Thed would be a good one to chime in here... he's probably tested them extensively.

All combat arms, and their compromises, are "political" in nature... as was our switch to the M-16 rifle. BUT... believe me or not... hehehe... the soviet military was playing around with idea as soon as they found out the Americans were doing it.....

The idea of the reduced caliber ammunition for military shoulder arms was played with for a very long time. Each time the technology leaped forward, the standard calibers were reduced - from the 0.45 - 0.50 inch (11.4 - 12.7mm) of the mid-1800 to the .30 of the mid-1900s. The idea of further reduction of the caliber down to 6.5 - 5.6 mm (.240 - .220 inch) was also considered in many countries since the beginning of the XX century, but it was not until the 1960s when the idea of the low impulse, small-caliber, high velocity round came up to something real. When US Army adopted the M16 rifle in the mid-1960s, everybody else eyed Americans with interest. And as soon as the idea of small caliber rifle was found worthwhile, the total rearming began. 

Soviet army started the development of its own small-caliber ammunition in the late 1960s. After some years of development, a new round was created. This round featured a bottlenecked, tapered case, slim bullet with nominal caliber of 5.45mm (actual bullet diameter is 5.62 mm). The bullet featured a combined steel and lead core with the hollow nose, muzzle velocity from the 415mm barrel was about 900 Ms. As soon as the new ammunition was available and accepted by the Soviet Military, it was decided to develop a new family of small arms around this cartridge. The fastest way to do so was to simply adapt the existing 7.62mm AKM assault rifle and the RPK light machine gun for new ammunition. This "new" arms would serve as an intermediate, temporary solution until the new, more effective and modern arms would be developed. The task of adaptation of the AKM/RPK family for the new round was relatively simple, since the new round was designed with this conversion in mind (case length and the overall length of both 7.62mm and 5.45mm cartridges are almost the same).

Basically, the small-caliber Kalashnikov assault rifle, officially adopted by the Soviet Army in 1974 as the "5.45mm Avtomat Kalashnikova, obraztsa 1974 goda (AK-74)", was no more than the older AKM, re-chambered for a new round, with very minor modifications. The most visible modification is the large and effective muzzle brake, which further reduces already moderate recoil of the new round, and improves the controllability of the rifle in the full automatic mode. Rear sight, while being of the same old design, was accordingly recalibrated for the new cartridge with much flatter trajectory. The wooden buttstock was slightly lightened by two oval cuts on both sides. The pistol grip was made from plastic, and the forend initially was made from wood. The stamped steel magazines were replaced by the plastic magazines of the very distinctive red-brown color. The airborne version of the new rifle, AKS-74, also introduced a new pattern of the folding butt. This was made from stamped steel, and folded to the left side of the receiver instead of being folded down on the 7.62mm AKMS, and was of more comfortable and robust construction. Otherwise the AK-74 retained all features and construction of the AKM/AKMS, and, surprisingly, the key deficiencies of the AKM were not cured in this improved version. For example, AK-74 retained the same less than ideal safety - selector lever, and the same crude sights. Like the AKM, the AK-74 can be fitted with special silencer (requires subsonic ammunition) or the 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher GP-25 or GP-30 (improved and lightened model).

During the production AK-74 was slightly improved. The mixed wooden and plastic furniture were replaced with the black plastic furniture, and the red-brown magazines were supplemented with the black plastic ones. The "Night" version AK-74N had been developed with the night IR scope rail added to the left side of the receiver. The latest variation of the AK-74 breed, that was introduced circa 1991 and consequently replaced in production both AK-74 and AKS-74, is the AK-74M. The AK-74M externally differs from the AK-74 of late 1980s production by the side-folding, solid black plastic buttstock and by the scope rail, mounted on the left receiver as as a standard. Some minor improvements also were made in the production process and external finish of the new rifle. AK-74M retained almost all advantages and disadvantages of the earlier Kalashnikov designs, including reliability, simplicity of operations and maintenance, and less than ideal "human engineering" and ergonomics. At the present time the AK-74M, along with earlier AK-74/AKS-74 is the standard shoulder arm of the Russian Army. The plans of replacing it with the widely advertised Nikonov AN-94 assault rifle were not carried out to any significant extent - the AN-94 is (and most probably will be) issued only to most elite units of the Russian Army, police and the Internal Affairs Ministry troops. The AK-74 type, 5.45mm assault rifles also were manufactured in the East German, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania. Most of these designs after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact were converted to the 5.56mm NATO ammunition.

For the detailed technical description of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, please refer to the AK-47 / AKM article on this site.

 

I'm not trying to be argumentative..... but the Russians were very "aware" of our M-16.... and used vietnam as their "testing ground"... to see how american equipment stacked up against theirs (our airpower versus their Sam's.... Our rifle versus their rifle...., ect...).... and because of what they found out... they left behind their AKM... and its 7,62x39 cartridge..... and adopted a cartridge similar to our own.

That says something.

Also... there used to be a joke of sorts in Nam... when NVA & VC would take long range pot shots at our troops... "Stand still... if you move, you're more likely to get hit... if you stand still, they can't hit you..."

:rofl:

Edited by BrowningBDA

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I was talking about the AK-74 from what my dad told me. See we moved from Russia back in 92 so I was only 5 but he was in his 30s and as ever male in Russia he was drafted, though he got a very short time in because he was in college. He says that the real soldiers as in the combat soldiers, the volunteers, and the old pros hated the AK-74s because the thing was inaccurate and underpowered. Mainly it had to do with the cavity in the 5.45s nose. Supposedly it wasn't really made that even so the bullet was unbalanced, but if it hit you it would tear a lot of flesh, and that was the only thing that made up for the weak round.

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I hear you... but in reality... I've fired both versions extensively... and found the 5,45 more accurate than the 7,62 versions..... that was my experience.

As for "weak" rounds... I dunno about that. Its not really fair to compare a full battle rifle cartridge like the .308 to a .223... or even a 5,45 or 762x39... as they are all "weak" intermediate cartridges.

The 7,62x39 is not that powerful.... and has ballistics very similar to the .30-30....

Both are good at killing & wounding, as intended, within realistic combat ranges..... but both lose an awful lot of steam out past 300+ yards.

And no offense intended... but everytime the M-16 & the .223 has come up against the AK and its 7,62x39 caliber..... the kill ratios for the M-16 were always much, much higher...

Granted.... we have great training.... but, "reliability" in combat is not everything. A rifle that is reliable... but inaccurate.. is just a noise maker.

The somalies had "reliable" rifles... and still had about 85 men killed in battle, for every US soldier who died... and the somalies were hardened street fighters.. used to city fighting... and their weapons.

Again... something to think about.... ok>

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I think that we would have won against the somalies if our boys had M1 Garands and 03 Springfields. We probably would have lost more guys, but the reason the Rangers and Delta Force guys kicked so much somalia ass wasn't because of the M-16. They have training, support, communication, combat experience, team-work, intelligence, and a goal. The Somalies were hardened street-thugs who had no real training, no support from behind, no communication other than rudimentary phone lines, they didn't work with each other, and all they did was sit on their ass hoping to shoot at someone.

The civilian 5.45 is probably accurate, but the stuff used by the Russian mil wasn't. They decided that since most conscript soldiers couldn't shoot anyway they would purposefully unbalance the bullet. Basically if you take a football and throw it wrong its going to wobble and not fly where you want. Same thing with their ammo. It was effective in creating serious wounds on the enemy, but it was very inaccurate. That's why all the terrorists in Afghanistan prefered the AK-47s to the AK-74s even though they could have captured eithier.

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I guarantee you that  SAR 5,45 clone rifle... as well as real AK-74's, can outshoot their 7,62 chambered counterparts. Thed would be a good one to chime in here... he's probably tested them extensively.

7.62x39mm Kalashnikovs yes.

Of the 5.45x39.5mm variety I have owned the SAR-2, and have fired the Bulgarian/US Hesse Clone (Courtesy of Animator ok> ) and the Global Trades SSR-74. The Global trades being the best of these with 1" groups at 50 yards, using steel cased surplus. My 20" barreled VEPR can do that with some steel cased surplus.

The reduced recoil of the 5.45mm is a huge advantage for rapid aimed fire. The controlability of the round I imagine would be a huge advantage in short controlled bursts.

I think this is the fundamental reason why the Soviets transfered to the 5.45mm other than the light weight/more ammo reasons. Cost. With the production tolerances Soviet industry was capable of, the AK-74 utilizing a higher velocity oversized .22 projectile was able to deliver much higher accuracy than the 7.62x39mm. It did not cost that much more, yet increased the "paper" performance of the individual soldier. This is where Military Procurement starts. Then there are tests.

What many do not know is that the selection of the 5.45mm size comes not exactly from an egineered diameter, but availablity of the tooling at the time. The Novosibirsk Low Voltage Equipment Plant, a factory which produced extruded wire products and machinery, already had the dies to rool and produce the 5mm steel cores of the projectile. The remaining 0.45mm is made from the jaket diameter. Hmmm. 0.45mm. Divide that by 2 for each side of the diameter ring, and you get a wall thickness of 0.225mm +/- a bit for industrial production tolerances. This thickness is aproximately the same as what is used for "Cored" industrial welding wires. The Russians strength has always been make reliable low tolerance items from common materials.

If the name of the game is the ability to fire and shoot with an iron sight rifle, with elevated heart rate, moving, and shooting in positions other than a bench.. the smaller bore rifles had a major advantage if the requirement is to simply hit the target.

The wound stories I have read about from the 5.45mm service in Afganistan makes me beleive that it would have been a grotesque wounding machine. Its my understanding that the 5.45mm does not fragment like the 5.56/.223

Gun Writer David Fortier had this to say about the round:

The military 7N6 ball load consists of a 52 grain steel jacketed projectile with an airspace in the nose, and steel core at (off the top of my head so dont hate mail me guys) 2986 fps. The projectile was designed specifically to tumble unlike the 7.62x39mm. Dispersion on full auto was decreased and controllability improved. Trajectory was flattened and another 100 meters or so of range was gained. More ammo could be carried due to its lighter weight. In combat in Afghanistan the 5.45 earned an enviable reputation of causing nasty wounds not heard of since the old MKVII .303 British (which was also designed to tumble). Reports stated that even periphial wounds in the arms were proving to be leathal and the round was quickly nicknamed the "POISON BULLET". DUe to the projectiles very long overall length it has also been nicknamed the Wasp.

The Kalasnikov rifle is going to have one serious disadvantage regardless of caliber that has not been mentioned here. And it has ALOT to do with accuracy.

Short sight radius with notch and post sights. The Sight radius is the distance between front and rear sight. On the regular service rifle styled Kalashnikov variants, the distance is so short that a few hundreths of an inch misalignment translates into alot of lost accuracy.

One of the greatest reasons why WWI and early WWII era military rifles are so inherantly accurate, especially with newer shooters, is the long sight radius of the rifles. being a hair off on your sight picture will have less effect than it would with an AK variant.

In endless discussion in regards to AK vs AR/M-16 discussions, the disadvantage of the short sight radius is not mentioned very often. This has so much to due with iron sight accuracy beyond 100 meters. The front sight post on most of the AK variants I have, cover 6-8moa from edge to edge. Often to refine my sight picture on these rifles, I replace the stock front post with one I have filed and tapered to a much finer point. But this does not take all the problems away.

Its not a suprise that when the Finns and the Israelis decided to refine an AK for their rifle, they moved the rear sight as far back as they could.

This is also why I prefer the semi-RPK variants for shooting. The heavier and longer barrels translate to a bit more muzzle velocity and a longer sight radius.

I could on more about this subject... but I have too much stuff on the backlog.

-Thed

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I went with the M16 for the standard reasons. If you gotta' hump it, you want the most rounds for the weight.

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IMO - they all can kill if you hit someone in the right places....

But

The AK-47 is so reliable, kick open a rusted bolt and use it without problems... The best for the humid, nasty rice patties....

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I wouldn't want to be hit with a pellet gun TBH. Yeah the M-14 is tough and reliable too, seeing as it comes from the M1 Garand and its actual battle record.

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Dude. The M-16 was the most technologically advanced weapon in Vietnam. It also had superior accuracy over the AK-47. Plus, it's still in service today. And which one of you crazy bast*rds voted for the SKS? &} lol. I'm just teasing. But don't forget.....M-16 was the gun that won the East! lol.

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Actually, I did. Glad you mentioned it.

The SKS was the best rifle in Vietnam, because it was highly coveted by US troops. It could be brought back as a war trophy.

The Poll was "Which of the following rifles was the best in Vietnam?"

Best at what?

-Thed

Edited by Thed

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I'm just teasing. But don't forget.....M-16 was the gun that won the East! lol.

Won the East? Didn't you guy's loose in Vietnam?

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Shut up! lol. You guys didn't help.

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