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Just for kicks, here are a few pages from the original M16A1 comic book operating manual, too.

suppressed m16
Front cover

From our very own NicTaylor00, this is a truly high-quality slow-motion video that demonstrates the power and speed of the M16, while suppressed.

Fully loaded with 30 rounds (but without the silencer), the M16A1 weighs just 7.9 pounds. At the time of its development, this was a pretty fantastic feat. So, it seems like the government-employed creators of the operating manual decided they really wanted everyone to get as excited as they were. What better way to raise morale, right?

suppressed m16
Cues from guys who know!

We’re still not entirely sure how those graphics got approved, but it does make for some interesting pictures to look at after the fact. Here’s a government-approved lesson on “how to strip your baby”:

suppressed m16
How to strip your baby

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  1. The brass realy wanted the grunts to read it and someone probably figured this was the best way to make sure they will.

  2. nice graphics. makes me wonder what shelton, lynch, moscoso, wilson or crumb might have submitted. even without their versions i’m thinkin’ many of these marched off to the latrine, repeatedly.
    glad to see the auto play behind the curtain where it belongs. i seemed to have noticed a big drop in comments on the pop up vids.

    • enlarging the front cover reveals “will eisners” signature.

      “Eisner also illustrated an official Army pamphlet in 1968 and 1969 called The M16A1 Rifle specifically for troops in Vietnam to help minimize the M-16 rifle’s notorious early reliability problems with proper maintenance.”

      from ’42 thru ’45 he served in the army and pioneered the use of the “comics” format as a training aid.

  3. When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember.
    Gen. George S. Patton

  4. pfft. tried to sell mine in 100% condition for 5 bucks, nobody wanted it. I suppose you can get it for free online somewhere.

    • I just figured this out a few days ago while trying to do a spot of quick cleaning. The other tricky portions can be easily accomplished with a loose round, namely removing the firing pin retainer and rotating the cam pin into the removal position.

  5. I’m currently reading “The Gun” by C.J. Chivers. If the book is to be believed, this comic book coincides exactly with the time period when reliability issues of the early M16A1 were most widely known and its reputation the most damaged. The Army brass was in full damage control mode. Notice the almost absurd emphasis on cleaning? That’s because the first production runs of the M16 were made with substandard materials and protective finishes. The unchromed, carbon steel barrel bores corroded and pitted so badly in the jungle environment that the casings stuck tight, requiring them to be rammed out with a cleaning rod, often in the midst of a full-on firefight. This also broke extractors and extractor pins. Additionally, some samples had such poor anodizing that the aluminum receivers themselves corroded, and various small parts like the selector levers reportedly rusted to the point of affecting function. After about two full years of cover-up, the armed forces were forced to go into full damage control, both in terms of materials and morale. This comic book is likely part of that effort.

    • The use of ‘space age’ materials in the M16 created a false legend within the U.S. military that the rifle did not need to be cleaned. The M1s (both rifle and carbine) and the M14 did not have chromed bores but never developed the reputation for chamber and bore corrosion that the M16 did.

      The exfoliation corrosion (ExCo) of M16 AA 7075 aluminum components had little to do with anodizing quality. It was mostly due to heat treatment parameters and forging feedstock processing. A good summary of ExCo in the M16 receiver here:

      The U.S. Navy had been fighting a lonely battle against ExCo for years, but were excluded from both the M16 program and its deployment. Eventually, the Navy’s body of knowledge was accessed and ExCo in M16 AA 7075 aluminum components was eliminated.

  6. In “How to Strip Your Baby,” are they pulling panty hose off that “S”??? That is too awesome. How the times have changed.

    • I remember this comic and another one. The other had something in it about not checking the oil in a deuce and a half causing your whole platoon to get killed.

  7. Art by Will Eisner, creator of the 1940s/50s series, “The Spirit”. One of the great comic book artists of the Golden Age.

  8. Note to current military brass:
    This is more effective than 150+ Powerpoint slides!

    Brought to you by the Committee To Prevent Powerpoint Poisoning.

  9. If I remember correctly the character was called PAM which stood for something, Someone here must remember.

  10. They still had PM comic style magazines for maintaining all kinds of equipment when I was in 2014, but the artist could never get away with that amount of cheesecake nowadays. Too politically incorrect.

  11. So now instead of having the auto play video be before the jump so that you can avoid clicking you have it directly after the jump so that it is unexpected. Fucking ridiculous

    • Thank you! I was trying to find it but all I had found so far were people selling it or clips of the pages.

  12. Let’s not forget the bean counters at the Pentagon insisting on using ball powder instead of the stick powder Stoner specified for the rifle. The faster-burning ball powder resulted in extraction so violent that it ripped the base off the expended round, leaving the baseless cartridge stuck in the chamber and rendering the rifle useless until you used a cleaning rod to punch the stuck case out. Kind of hard to do when cleaning rods weren’t originally issued with the rifle, hunh? If you want to read a heart-breaker, pick up a copy of “Operation Buffalo” by Keith William Nolan. It’s about Marines in the DMZ in 1967, right after the two regiments involved got the unreliable M-16’s. A tragic number of the Marine dead were found with their rifles broken down and rods stuffed down the bores. In fact, it was a Marine who complained to his congressman who got an investigation started into the problem.

    One of my high school friends was involved in that operation as a member of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, which took so many casualties they have been known ever since as “The Walking Dead”. He said he’d have never gotten home alive had he not managed to pick up a Smith & Wesson revolver when he first got in-country because it saved his ass when his M-16 failed.

    • None of us trusted the m16. We did everything we could to get back up weapons. My first was a Tokarev. When it proved difficult to get ammo for I swapped it for a Colt .38.

      After I came home I never owned an AR of any type. Still don’t. In the last 40+ years I think I’ve only laid hands on an AR type maybe 3 times. No desire at all.

      • jwm – I was in the battalion S-3 (Operations and Training) and involved in our introduction to the M-16 by “fam-firing” it in Vietnam. We went to the range on Hill 327 near Danang with 20 brand spanking new M-16’s, so we put 20 Marines on the firing line in each relay with a magazine each to fire them in semi-auto only. Virtually every relay ended with at least a dozen Marines with their hands in the air with stoppages of one kind or another.

        There were some Special Forces guys at the range who were shooting some ChiCom weapons which they had captured, literally dug up out of the ground. They had an SKS, a couple of AK’s, and an RPD machinegun. They were absolutely filthy and the ammo even more so, with plenty of rust on it. Yet every one of those weapons would sling that ammo downrange with an acceptable degree of accuracy. After seeing the “Jam-O-Matic” in action, I reflected that the other side had something that worked and we were going to get something which didn’t. It made me mighty glad that I was going back to “the World” soon.

  13. I took one of these comics with me to Nam in 1970. I was supposed to have qualified
    with an M-16 before I took my 30 day leave before shipping out. I falsified my 201 (personnel) file to indicate that I had received RVN TNG (Republic of Vietnam) Training before I left Ft. Belvoir, Va., where I was stationed; this would have included qualifying with an M-16. It was easy to do back then, the clerks often used pencil to make notations about things like that, they didn’t type everything onto your 201. After getting there and being issued an M-16, after firing it (that first time on automatic (“rock and roll”) was awesome, I took the weapon back to my hootch, opened up the comic and learned how to strip and clean it. Even practiced putting it back together with my eyes closed a few times, just in case.

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