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"MISFIRE" by William H. Hallahan

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Just finished reading "Misfire: The History of how America's Small Arms have Failed our Military" by William H. Hallahan. There are a couple of issues that I thought might be worth discussing:

1. Hallahan writes that during the Korean War, our troops were often outgunned by the North Korean Army, which supposedly possessed greater firepower (in terms of infantry weapons). I found this very hard to believe. To my knowledge, the N. Koreans never used the AK-47, only WWII-era Soviet small arms. On the other hand, our troops were armed with the M1 Garand, M2 Carbine, and BAR, among others. Can anyone dispute this claim that our troops lacked firepower, or was he correct? If there are any Korean War vets that could give an opinion, that would be great.

2. Hallahan seems to have nothing but disdain for the M14. Now, I don't wish to start an "M14 vs. M16" debate, but if anyone was (is) in the military, I'd like to hear their opinion about this rifle (the M14).

3. In his conclusion, Hallahan obviously laments the fact that today's M16 is equipped with a 3-shot burst instead of a full-auto capability. I do not profess to be an expert on infantry tactics, but this seems like a rather trivial issue. A platoon of soldiers armed with M16A2s supplemented with SAWs or M60s could put up quite a wall of lead. What do you guys think: is the 3-shot burst really a handicap?

Also, I'd like to hear what you think of this book overall.
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I can only answer #3 since I'm not old enough to have experienced #1 or #2.

The M-16A2 is almost impossible to control on full auto. Even on burst, the third round can be a flyaway. Moreover, the weapon was NOT designed as a machinegun and thus has no real need for f/a fire. You are correct - the SAW, M-60 (phased out in the Corps), and 240G are used to lay down a heavy volume of fire. Plus the MK19, mortars, and M203 can be used for indirect fire. Remember, artillery/indirect fire causes the greatest number of casaulties to infantry.

I personally, rarely will put the weapon on burst, preferring to take slow well aimed shots when possible. Even in close quarters, the burst function isn't utilized. There are thoughts of replacing the SAW with a heavy barrelled M-16 but so far nothing's materialized yet (still testing I believe). Finally, if the M-16A2 was frequently fired on F/a I believe the barrels would wear out rather quickly. I hear the SEALs have this problem with M-4's that have this capability.
 
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