Besides, what really tore it was when this old infantry type found out how much 13kg is in pounds. Fuck luggin' that thing around! Besides, it ain't got a bayonet lug...
So...what to do? What to do?
I've never really trusted those little Mattel thingies they give the GIs these days. In the early days they killed as many Americans as they did NVA, mostly due to some fool fuckin' up the ammo for corporate cost-cutting purposes. It was quite a scandal when it finally came out. A little too late for a lot of dead American boys, but, hey, who cares? That's the bottom line thing at work that has made America what it is today. Their parents should be proud their boys died to save two cents a round. Or less.
The Army also realizes that the M16 has been the issue service rifle for forty years (which must set some kind of record [?]) so they're looking to upgrade to something new, better, and with more stopping power. For some reason, the modern military doesn't think having the enemy soldier impaled on a bayonet just past the muzzle is much of an option anymore. Wimps.
The same company (go see the opening video!) that makes the .50 also makes the M468, which is available as an M16 conversion or a complete weapon. It uses a 6.8mm cartridge that is larger than the current 5.56mm. Looks to me like it'll do the trick. I hope they get it to the troops in Iraq soon, say in the next 15-20 years.
That's fine for the troops, but the damn thing costs $1600 for the conversion and I don't have an M16 to convert. For the $2700 the whole rifle costs I could get a good used old pickup, an old BSA motorcycle, and an old hooker and go to Canada.
When I was a lad, I toted an M14. Absolutely Fabulous! (Speaking of old hookers, heh!) They were only $175 back in my day, but no surplus ones have ever been offered and the modern M1A variant is, again, too expensive. Also, they're finished way too nice to do what grunt use would do to 'em.
The M1A1's a whole different deal. I'd take one of these in a heartbeat, but they're damn hard to come by. Illegal, too.
Considered by many to be the finest infantry weapon in history is the Browning Automatic Rifle. Clyde Barrow, of 'Bonnie & Clyde' fame, used one of these with two magazines welded together for more ammo capacity. He knew about the good stuff: he always stole Ford V8s too, and even wrote a letter to Henry Ford saying so. Heh. Oh yeah, the cops knew about BARs too. All the holes in his death car were made with them. Hoist by his own .30-06, so to speak. But I digress. Availability, weight, and cost put this one out of reach as well.
So what do us po' boys do? All we want is to get our country back. Shouldn't need fancy stuff just to do a little thing like that. We'll get more modern stuff as we go: the old owners won't need 'em anymore.
Stick with the old tried 'n true, I say. Two pretty fair options as I see it.
First, the .30 caliber M1 carbine. Light, thus easy to carry, cheap enough at around $200 or so, commercially available and ammo at any sporting goods store. The drawback is a slight lack of stopping power, but if you put about ten fast ones into center of mass, even with a bulletproof vest the target will get the wind knocked out of him and you can just go up close and personal and club the shit out of him like a baby seal.
My favorite is the M1 Garand. All us old guys like this one. High-powered 'Big Iron', like a 650 Triumph dirt bike. Cheap enough at $300-$500. They had these at Longs Drugs a coupla years back, and there was no waiting period since it's an 'antique'. An antique Chinese-refurbished 'Good' to 'Very Good' shooter. .30-06 as well, probably the most common hunting round in the U.S. so ammo is everywhere. If there's a bulletproof vest that can stop this round, the shock of impact will probably liquefy all the internal organs anyway.
This rifle also won a World War for Democracy. Maybe it can do it again, like an old cavalry horse when it hears the bugle. Part of a tribute to the M1:
I would give a month's salary to know where this rifle has been, and to know the men who carried it into battle. I often sit in the chair and drift back in time, and ponder what this particular weapon could have been through. I dream of how it may have endured the sand and heat at the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia. This rifle may have fought its way up through Sicily and Italy, or maybe across that English Channel and through those French hedgerows in the summer of 1944. It may have frozen in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge, or maybe even witnessed General Patton urinate in Germany's Rhine River as he crossed it, showing the Hunn, (as he called them) what he thought of their natural border.
As I stroke it, I feel the dents in the stock and wonder what caused them. Was it concertina wire somewhere on the Siegfried Line, or was it a tank-trap at Omaha Beach? I wonder if an American GI fell dead over it, or if it spilled Nazi blood.
I think you can take that a little too far...
I fondle this weapon so much I had to give it a girls name!
Dude! "This is my rifle, THIS is my gun..."
I'll leave ya with a final thought:
"We shot the Krag at San Juan Hill*,
The Ought-three at Verdun,
The M1 when there was killing to do,
The Carbine just for fun..."
Have fun with all the links. This post was tongue-in-cheek and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing and researching it.