Postcards from Tradocia

tyrannical armorers!

ArmaLite has a comprehensive set of articles about the operation and care of the M16 family of rifles. Go here for the whole list. Of particular interest are “The Cycle of Operation as a Guide to Troubleshooting,” which is an exhaustive description of the operation of the M16/M4/AR15, and “Rifle Cleaning“, which includes this gem:

Some of the worst cleaning practices are found among those expected to know best how to maintain rifles: the military. Military procedures are too often focused not on cleaning properly, but on cleaning totally. It


  1. kelly

    How ironic! The discipline gone wild- I guess doing less of a job would disrupt the entire military- so what if your gun wont shoot! Again- you find such interesting strange facts- you need to be an investigator.

  2. SGT "Doc" Thompson

    A couple of notes on this issue:

    I remember when I got to my unit in Germany, everyone snuck up to their rooms to put their M-16s in their showers with scaulding hot water to clean them out. This worked pretty well… Until the SMG found out.

    I’ve overheard of people literally putting their M-16s into a washing machine trying to clean them. Now I don’t know about you, but hot water and a spin cycle sound like a bad combination for a weapon that is supposed to have a perfectly straight barrel and gas tube (more chance of the gas tube being bent or damaged than barrel, but I’ve never tried it so I guess I really couldn’t say).

    As a tyrant armorer, I remember being threatened pretty heavily if our battery failed a command inspection (that occured bi-annually) of our arms room. The best part of the inspection for me was that the BSB Commander and Command Sergeant Major almost always selected the First Sergeant’s weapon to look at. The part that made me the most nervous was that they looked at mine right after.

    The note is a good example of a good intention made by a company or agency but completely ignored by the Army (can’t really speak for any other branch). Look at the tag on our BDUs that states that you should not starch your uniforms yet it was a verbal order that all uniforms were to be starched and pressed for formation every morning. Look at our winter boots which are not supposed to be shined with anything that will block the porous surface, yet my PLT SGT required all of us to have a shiny heel and toe. Which, by itself, is a initiative that defies the regulation which states an “even shine”.

    One thing about the rifle cleaning note seemed pretty funny to me. Notice that Marines are apparently not soldiers since they need to be mentioned in addition to soldiers… If I was a Marine, I don’t know if i’d be insulted or feel complimented.

  3. SGT "Doc " Thompson

    Usually I cannot stand Fox News and avoid their soapbox interviews but for once I am happy to see them tear this piece of crap (from “Forsake the Troops”) apart.

  4. pv2 (formerly know as Quist)

    my weapon should be perfect then. i have cleaned it twice since ariving in iraq. i live by the rule that my m16 doesnt need to be cleaned untill the bolt doesnt go forward when i try to chamber a round. also if a cloud of dust rises from your weapon when you dry fire it, you might want to clean it.

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