Most Roadfooders don’t read this section, but the ones who do may appreciate this:
A Good Day
I was about to graduate from The Basic School (TBS) in 1972. New Marine officers get more training than new officers in the other services, and we “all” went there to learn to be infantry officers, even the future pilots, prior enlisted, and future Motor Transport officers. In those days it was for 6 months, and now, I think it is about 4.
Some Congressmen came out to observe training, and the Captain was looking for volunteers to put on a “Dog and Pony Show” for them. Who wouldn’t volunteer for this deal???
I got all of the 5.56 that I could carry, plus all the mags that I wanted, and a few of us at a time got to walk down a range, and shoot at pop up targets. I’m a big guy. Now, I’m fat, but then I was strong and could carry A LOT. Most guys took 10 or 15 mags, and loaded ’em up, but I took the Captain at his word, and loaded up with way over 100 lbs. I remember him looking at me, laughing. (They don’t like me at “all you can eat” places)
I used full auto, with the goal of vaporizing the targets, without putting any rounds into the machinery. By the 3rd or 4th target, I was perfect. The M16 got really hot, and I could hold only the pistol grip, but was still able to keep it on target. Fun! After a while, I didn’t need to pull the trigger, because when I put a new mag in, and let the bolt go home, the whole mag cooked off. The barrel glowed, but the rifle kept working. I just let the old mags drop,,,,,,,,we picked them up later, so a mag change took only seconds.
When I was done, the Captain said that he hoped that I had fun, because cleaning my rifle would be would not be much fun. It wasn’t, but it was worth it. In those days, people were still complaining about “unreliable” M16s. I had not a single jam. A Congressman asked if I’d had a jam, or if I had a special rifle. He was pleased when I said,”No sir”.
After that, my M16 was junk, but I had already fired for qualification. I will always wonder who got it after me, and if he/she wondered why it didn’t shoot straight.
Like I said, it was a fun day.