Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'm Callin' BS (Incorrectly, As It Turned Out)

     On this photo (in a generally-positive Wired piece on the AR-15 originally linked by Unk).

     Image, supposedly from 1967, shows a soldier in what could be 1960s Army uniform, laying in "jungle" (looks like North American woods to me), holding a rifle described as an AR-15 (!), which has an adjustable stock and a suspiciously ribbed and non-tapered foregrip.  I'm thinkin' Airsoft.  Seriously, you .mil folks and fans, terminology aside, when did the modern adjustable shoulder stock come into use?  

     It's an AP photo, so I'm not quoting it here (they have a little problem understanding "fair use"); that would account for the ignorant caption.  But the photo itself...?  Compare the rifle to others shown on this page of AP pictures of '67 Vietnam troops.

     Hoax or time travel?  Yeah, that's the question.

    ETA: PDB and Frank W. James bring the win in Comments: probably an XM-117E2 or E1, an astonishingly modern-looking full-auto variant. AP's caption description is still wrong, of course.

18 comments:

pdb said...

Looks like a legit XM-117E2 to me, BX. According to Wiki, CAR-15 types were in use by 1962.

Frank W. James said...

Roberta: I think the gun in the photo is the XM-177E2, but it could be the "E1" version.

It was the first attempt to shorten up the M-16. The give-away is the muzzle 'moderator' which the BATFE now rules is in fact a suppressor. (It may be, but it's not much of one.) The reason for the need for the moderator was to increase the gun's reliability. Early attempts at shortening the 20" barrel of the M-16 were not always met with great success.

Just my 2 cents...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Frank W. James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean D Sorrentino said...

I think it looks a lot like the rifle pdb points to.

og said...

I think if they were going to screw up, they'd screw up harder than that. One of my favorite scenes from Full Metal Jacket is when the guy being filmed says "I'll be general custer!" and holds up his obvious Red Ryder BB gun. Talk about bringing enough gun!

Anonymous said...

I have an AR15 I bought in in 1976. Serial number indicates it was made in 1976. It does NOT have a forward assist.

Tam said...

"I have an AR15 I bought in in 1976. Serial number indicates it was made in 1976. It does NOT have a forward assist."

Colt's .mil rifles had features like the forward assist and the "fence" around the mag release button long before commercial semiautos did.

Robert Fowler said...

Anonymous said...
I have an AR15 I bought in in 1976. Serial number indicates it was made in 1976. It does NOT have a forward assist.

The M-16 I carried in 73 had a forward assist.

docjim505 said...

So, thanks to the internet, it's possible to post a photograph and within a short time (perhaps minutes) have scads of information about it, allowing one to quickly determine whether it's a fake, real, what's in the photo, when / where the photo was likely taken, etc. It might be that, given a bit more time and dissemination, you could even find out the name of the soldier in the photo.

What a fascinating modern world we live in.

Now, if only MiniTru would catch up...

Anonymous said...

Note that, as pdb said, the XM177s were referred to as "CAR15s", leading to the "AR15" confusion.
Drang, on my not-so-smart phone.

Anonymous said...

ok...so it would be safe to say the rifle in the pic is NOT an AR 15??

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest for a history of the AR/M16 I recommend, The Black Rifle by Stevens and Ezell.

It's one of those Collector's Editions books available at the next Indy1500 in March.

Shootin' Buddy

Wade said...

The rifle might be correct for 1967, but were mag pouches with plastic fasteners available in 1967? The ones in the photo look exactly like the ALICE mag pouches that I had in ROTC in the 1990's. Someone with some actual service time in the 60's or who reenacts should know the answer at a glance. Other photos from the era show a mag pouch with a conventional metal roller buckle.

Old NFO said...

Looks like a straight stick 117, don't see a forward assist or the XM148 lug...

Drang said...

Note that one difference between the XM177s, AKA CAR15, and the M4, is that the earlier models did not have a removable carrying handle. This is NOT an M4.
Also, the buttstock is subtly different from the current M4 issue.

Nam vets I knew who used the CAR15 usually hated it, claimed it was a jam-o-matic, and the flash hider didn't work worth beans.

NFO, when I zoom the photo a lot it looks like it does have a forward assist.

Helmet graffiti on a steel pot helmet cover suggests Nam in the 60s, I never saw helmet graffiti in the 80s-2000.

Wade: Nylon TA50 was being introduced in the 60s, paratroopers were likely early adopters. Canvas gear did not stand up to the climate in Nam.

Also, his canteens do not have the adapter for use with the drinking tube on a protective mask, which all issue canteens did as early as the 80s.

Frank W. James said...

Drang; I would suggest that's the main reason for the "E2" version versus the "E1" model. The E1 didn't work worth a shit, while the E2 was better, not absolute, but better...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Tim D said...

In Alaska we didn't get the new canteen lids until about 92, of course most of the time we used the arctic canteens.

Roberta X said...

Oh, how I do love The Internet!