There’s a bunch of little news bits going around the Army about maintenance issues and problems. We’ll cover them from most to least serious:

Item: Somebody Blew It


File photo of failed M9 slide. Not the mishap firearm.

In late 2015, a very high (but unknown) round count M9 pistol had a catastrophic failure of the slide. With the Army scrimping on O&M money, especially on the ripe-for-replacement Beretta handgun, failures are not unusual and usually turn out to be fatigue failures from parts that have been carelessly used long past their service life. So was this one. The pistol was older than the soldier shooting it, and, as it turned out, someone, somewhere had pencil-whipped the maintenance records.

Slides fail every week, somewhere in an Army with hundreds of thousands of pistols that were almost all bought 30 years ago. But what happened next wasn’t supposed to happen. When the pistol slide failed at the slide’s weakest point, the locking-block cuts, the rear half of the slide kept on motoring, striking the GI in the cheek and upper jaw area and causing non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation determined that a mandatory maintenance work order, MWO 9-1005-317–30-10-1, issued twenty-seven years ago in March, 1989, had never been complied with. They couldn’t track where the pistol was at the time it was not repaired; Army units and activities with M9s had until June, 1993 to comply.

Somebody reported that his M9s were in compliance, when they weren’t. This is what you get when a zero-defects, up-or-out culture undermines integrity while at the same time penny-pinching undermines maintenance. The soldier who drew that defective M9, and every soldier that’s been drawing and shooting it since 1989, is damned lucky to be alive. (Fortunately, when a slide fails on most pistols (or a bolt on a Mauser C96, etc.), gravity usually  ensures that the part hits below the eye, on cheek, jaw, chest or shoulder).

Meanwhile, the Army sent an urgent Safety-of-Use message mandating an Army-wide inspection of all M9s for completion of the MWO. Since the resources for completing the MWO no longer exist, the remedial action is to immediately deadline and turn in the offending M9 and draw a replacement.

How many units pencil-whipped their response to that ALARACT message?

Item: Safety? Sometimes it’s Evolution in Action

FOOM!Word is, some genius removed himself from the breeding population of Homo sapiens in 2014 by “improvising” M203 ammo (may have been 320) by cutting the links off of (higher-pressure) Mk19 belted ammo. The links were actually designed so they couldn’t snap off by hand, to prevent that.

Can we get a “FOOM!” from the assembled multitudes?

And oh, yeah, trying to belt up 203 ammo and fire it in an Mk 19 leads to FOOM also, of a different variety — out of battery ignition. Another opportunity for poka-yoke missed.

Item: Ambi Selectors Reaching Troops.. slowly

The Army has finally woken up to two facts:

  1. About 10% of the troops are left-handed, and
  2. There are lots of good ambi selectors available.

So the Army chose one and put it into the pipeline. So far so good, right? Not entirely. The selectors are only being replaced when the weapons are overhauled. And they don’t fit in the M12 racks many units still have. Work around is to cut a notch in the rack with a torch, or with a file and plenty of time, or to bend the part of the rack that hits the right-side selector out of shape so that the selector clears the rack.

Also, the slow migration of the ambi selectors means not all M4/M16 weapons in any given unit have them. Why don’t they just push the parts down to the unit armorers? Three reasons:

  1. The big one: they’re afraid of armorers stealing parts if they take rifles apart
  2. It doesn’t fit the concept of echeloned maintenance, even though that’s being streamlined;
  3. They don’t trust the armorers let alone the Joes, not to botch the installation.

On top of that, of course, it’s not penny wise and pound foolish in the great Army tradition.

Item: New Stuff Coming in, Old Stuff Going Out

A number of new arms are reaching the troops, and old arms are going away.  We’ll have more about that in the future, especially the M2A1 and the coming “rationalization” of an explosion of shotguns and sniper rifles. We just broke it out of this post to keep the length manageable.

ITEM: MG Maintenance Problems = Operator Headspace & Timing

m249-PIPThe biggest single problem the Army has with the current pair of machine guns (M240 and M249) is burned out barrels. That’s caused by not changing barrels, either in combat, or especially on the range. Often, units go out without the spare barrel so it’s not like they gave themselves any option.  (The M2 version of this is going out with only one set of gages for the M2s. The gages are not required for the M2A1). The Army is falling back into the peacetime mindset of “leave it in the arms room and we can’t lose it.” True enough, we’ll just destroy the one we take out instead.

The fact is, and it’s a fact widely unknown to GIs, MGs have rate-of-sustained-fire limitations that are lower than they think. (Remember the MGs that failed at Wanat? They were being operated well outside their designed, tested envelope).

The M249 should never be fired more than 200 rounds rapid fire from a cold barrel. Then, change to a cold barrel, repeat. The Army being the Army, there are geniuses who think that they can burn a couple belts in a few seconds, change barrels, burn a couple belts in a couple more seconds, then put the original honkin’ hot barrel back in and burn — you get the idea. If you have a situation where you’re going to fire a lot of rounds from a single position, like a predeployment MG familiarization for support troops or a defensive position, you might want to lay in some extra barrels (and yes, Army supply makes that all but impossible, so you have to cannibalize your other MGs).

The M240 is a little more tolerant but should still be changed every 2 to 10 minutes of firing, and even more frequently if the firing tends towards real sustained fire. (The deets are in the FM, which is mostly only available on .pdf these days).

One last thought, your defensive MG positions need to have alternate, displace positions, and you need to displace after sustained fire from one position — unless you want to share your hole with an exploding RPG, ATGM or mortar round. “Where’s your secondary position?” or “-fallback position?” should not produce the Polish Salute.

As ordnance experts have observed ever since World War II, a barrel can be burnt out due to overheat and still mic and even air-gauge good. You only know it’s hosed when it can’t shoot straight.

Well-maintained MGs are more accurate than people seem to give them credit for. Some SOF elements have selective fire M240s and really, really like them. (The standard M240 has no semi setting). They’re capable of surprising accuracy from the tripod.

ITEM: For Want of a Cord, a Career was Lost

GIs frequently lose or throw away the idiot cord on the PVS-14 night vision monocular. If these sights were being properly inspected, which they usually aren’t until a team comes in just before deployment, they’d be tagged NMC (non mission capable) for missing  that stupid cord. You don’t want to be in the bursting radius of a unit CO who’s just been told 85% of his night vision is NMC… especially when that news is delivered in earshot of his rater and senior rater. It’s a bull$#!+ requirement but it’s in the book, and if the Army ever has to choose between following the book or winning the war, the book comes up trumps every time.

You’re not going to stop GIs from losing cords, but replacement cords are in the supply catalog.

This entry was posted in GunTech, Machine Guns, Pistols and Revolvers, Rifles and Carbines, Safety, Weapons Education on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

37 thoughts on “Small News Items on Army Small Arms


so, when my unit would have 50 cal night fire, and put rounds down range until you could see the bullet traveling down the bore, then let it cool to a dull orange, then lather rinse repeat, it was a bad thing? 😉

as for not following ALARACTs, back in the 80’s, a GI walked into a 292 radio antenna at night, eye first, and was killed. (it was down on the ground, for one reason or another)

there was an urgent safety warning put out that units were to order large plastic tips (NSN provided) and install them on every 292 in the Army.

fast forward to the late 90’s, going on 2000, at the end of my impressive career, and i saw another, similar, message: some GI, walking around at night, had found the end of a 292 antenna, eye first, and was just as dead as the first one.

and no, none of the units i was ever in, that had 292s, ever ordered or installed the protection…


totally OT Hognose, but i hope you didn’t put away your Gortex just yet… or anyone else up in New England, for that matter.

link in nick


I use rebar for survey stakes, and every one gets a cap, a drink can or bottle will do. I once saw a worker bend forward over one and get it in the eye.


Huh. Anywhere that I was had those tips installed on the antennas, or there was hell to pay. 292 or vehicular, the lack of a ball tip meant that you were NMC, period. Do not pass go, do not mount or erect antenna, period. Back in the ’80s, I witnessed our CSM literally tear down an antenna farm belonging to another unit, when he saw what they had done, putting up three or four of those things without the ball tips. He made a polite correction, got no action, and then when he came back through a couple of hours later… Out came the knife, and he cut down every single antenna, after having his driver warn everyone off. Then, he proceeded into the TOC, where a small thermo-nuclear explosion proceeded to take place…

I believe that he’d lost a troop or something, back in the ’70s, to a vehicle accident where the kid got speared on an antenna tip that didn’t have a ball on the end. He was a bit of a nut in the first place, and when he found something like that, he really, really let himself go.

That guy scared the shit out of one-star generals and their staffs, because he simply did not care who he pissed off. Stories had him coming down to our battalion from a brigade staff slot because someone up at brigade did something stupid at a staff level on a Friday, wouldn’t fix it, and Monday morning he’s sitting up at USAEUR headquarters with a Memorandum for Record and a resignation/retirement letter in hand, having gotten no satisfaction by going up the chain of command over the weekend. The responsible LTC was on an aircraft bound stateside in a state of shock by Wednesday, and we had a new BN CSM after our old one had his third DUI.

Dude would not budge on something he believed in. Ever. On the other hand, he was a raving psycho in a lot of other respects-When word got out we were getting him, every single SFC and above in the battalion who’d known of him and actually worked around him in the past dropped paperwork to extend their tours and get the fuck out of the unit. When he arrived, there was a stack of transfer requests on his desk that was about an inch thick. Funniest shit I ever saw was these guys realizing that a.) he was arriving at the unit several weeks early, in that he wasn’t taking the leave we’d been told he was, and that b.) he was going to see all the transfer requests. You could have heard a pin drop, and watch all the senior NCOs swallow reaaaaally hard, when he brought that up at his first Battalion-level formation. Fun times.

This was a guy who’d go running with a rucksack on, out in the local training area/forest where we all walked in between Kasernes, and would duck into the woods to do a quick presto-chango routine from his PT uniform into BDUs, and then lunge out of the forest to chew ass on people who weren’t doing their shit right. I watched that happen, not long after he arrived-I’m out doing some training with my squad, and I see the new CSM go running by in the old yellow bumble-bee PT outfit, think “Wow, that guy is dedicated…”. About five minutes after that, I hear a low roar, because he’s now in full BDUs and raging at a sister squad who’d he’d caught taking a smoke break during training… My guys had been bitching because I wasn’t letting them do the same thing, and after witnessing the smoke session the CSM laid on the other squad… My people shut the hell up.

Ah, the old days, when men were men, and lower enlisted lived in fear like small animals of the forest…

Tim, ’80s Mech Guy

TOCs and antenna farms, bringing back the good old days. I got bored one day and counted the 292s at the Main, twenty-three, not one was ever set up even close to the propper cut unless I was the one putting it up. Even then it was only close because getting the thing up in the air in a hurry and getting ONE contact, preferably, but not usually, the retrans, was the important part. When I got to the TAC someone scrounged up a new fangled OE254 I think it was, and the larger than a breadbox-heavier than a Volkswagon splitting gizmo that allowed you to run six radios off one antenna. It was a major coup, we were not authorized such things. The Infantry platoon providing our security had a 254 though, hooked to a 77 so they could, at least in theory talk to thier higher that was 75k away on a POS 77.

We would run exercises within exercises like a COMEX while overseeing a brigade artep. The major would pick a peice of high ground with a theoretical “road” leading to the top, we would grab us up a 31c and haul ass only to find that the cherry 31c had never put up a 292 because he was a high speed satcom guy. So Timmy puts on his instructor face and gives a Explanation, Demonstration and Practical Application on erecting a 292-in the dark, in the rain on some insignificant (significant ones had a real road and some sort of AA site) hilltop-oh yeah it was usually at the junction of four map sheets too.

Never, ever did I see the antenna ball gizmos on anything but a vehicle mounted whip. If I hadn’t been a little anal about cleaning my ride I wouldn’t have figured out you could tune the mount on those either. OJT, sign for this and move out.

Line company just as effed, don’t change the barrel on the Duce we want to keep the spare nice and clean, BTW we got a metric ass ton of straight APIT we need you guys to burn up fast or we won’t get our allotment for next year. Never, Ever got the 60 spare barrel off the track, if we even took it to the field. Not a big deal though those turds couldn’t actually shoot enough rounds between stoppages to burn up a barrel.

what does ALARACT mean?

Hognose Post author

“ALl ARmy ACTivities.” Basically an all-hands message from the Army. It’s what they’ve been using as a substitute for having working maintenance channels for about the last ten years.

ETA — heh. For once I beat Dan to it! By seconds, but I did. Once. Write this down, kids, it might never happen again!


Burnt out barrels I think will always be a problem for most units. I tried to stress it on our qual days and just used it for more gunner training. I’d make them do a barrel change when they emptied the belt.

And heck yeah those M240s are accurate. When we got the M145 optics we took a few out to zero and dink around with. They’re bulkier than I’d want to carry around for any length of time but they were nice.

Missing lanyard? I’m sure someone has a spool of 550 around somewhere. Problem solved and probably cheaper than the NSN part.


BTW: what is an M-204?

i’m guessing it’s some sort of sekrit squirrel weapon not advertised to regular units…


From context, I’m going to go with “fat-finger typo for M203″… 🙂

Hognose Post author

Uh, it’s a typo. Now, a fixed typo… along with “bring” for “being”… thanks, guys.

Boat Guy

I’ll apologize in advance for some conventional-Army bashing; I was just having the conversation with my cube-mate , a newly minted 2LT (who had been a SSG with a CIB in his previous life). In the Army (in my experience) Armorers are assigned to supply. In the USMC (at least in my day) we were part of maintenance. Thus the orientation – and most importantly mindset – was different. “Gundeck” a required maintenance work order? We committed many sins in those days (usually of the carnal kind) but such a thing would be inconceivable to us.

I’m not sure how someone got a Mk 19 round into a 203; I know you could fit one into an M79 but I thought the gap in the 203’s action was too short. I spose you could take the tube off the 203, put the round in and then reassemble; but that’s industrial-grade stupid. Then again tat seems the subject under discussion.

I won’t get started on MG barrels…


Could have been one of the new M320’s, they hinge open to the side.


I worked as an Cav troop armorer for a year and yes they are assigned to supply. The biggest issue I saw while there is how long it takes to get parts and the attendant paperwork in triplicate of course.

A lot of times people who had no aptitude for or desire to do the job right were made the armorer just because the slot needed filled.

Myself and another Bradley gunner took it upon ourselves to tighten up our coax mounts after seeing how accurate the 240B could be off of a tripod. With about 1/2 hour worth of turning wrenches we were rewarded with most of a 6-9 round burst on a 600M E-type the next gunnery.


The whole SARP fiasco back during the Clinton era was a travesty. And, the BS started from something that was entirely fictional, to begin with-The actual cases where parts were “leaking” on to the civilian market weren’t from unit armorers selling stuff, but from DA civilians dipping into stocks at the post level, and reselling them. One of the assholes down at Fort Hood was actually going into where they used to consolidate excess SARP turn-in, and taking what the units brought in as being excess and leaving for others to use, and selling it out at a local gun show. Bunch of stuff made its way out there from that, but the solution they came up with, which was to do away with units being able to keep bench stock parts? Asinine.

When I was an armorer back in the ’80s, I could keep a tacklebox of pins, springs, and other parts with me at the ranges or in the field, and fix about 90% of the problems with the weapons right there on the spot, allowing training to continue. After the SARP bullshit? Lovely… Six fucking weeks to get in something stupid-simple like a lost extractor spring. It became a waste of time to even have the armorer out on the ranges, because he couldn’t fix shit, anyway. I took to going out on the economy, and buying what spare parts I could find to keep things in stock in my “cleaning kit”, and nine times out of ten, the guys with down weapons would come up to me and say “Hey, Sergeant K… You got one of these?”. Utterly asinine, and, as usual, the “fix” didn’t fix shit-The actual people who were pulling the “sell on the civilian market” bullshit were still doing it, but just a lot more sneakily, like declaring stuff to be “excess” and turning it in to DRMO, where they’d sell it at knock-down prices to the buddies of those guys at the Logistics Center. Nothing like having weapons be down for parts, and going over to find boxes of those parts at the DRMO where they’d been turned in as excess, and then being unable to even get at them, ‘cos “reasons”. Assholes. From about ’94 on, I think I spent close to a thousand dollars on parts for my unit’s weapons, trying to keep them running. And, on really stupid shit, like paying $5.00 for what should have been a damn .05 cent spring…


When I took over the armsroom in 98 I inherited a big box of “never to discussed with anyone parts” which helped with the “needs repair right now” problems an armorer runs into.

I hated that job with a passion while doing it, but it helped me during my SF career as I learned a lot about the Army supply system while doing it.


I couldn’t imagine not having a parts bench stock to fix our weapons. The only weapons down more than a few days were the red tagged sort with terminal frame or receiver failures. Unfathomable.

On deployments we’d service weapons from anyone that asked. That was our job as we saw it and the parts bins in our pallet containers were pretty well stocked. What else were they supposed to be used for? After working with some of the Army units and understanding the “echelons of maintenance” it started to make sense.

Tennessee Budd

Yep, Supply. When I was going to re-enter the military, I thought I might like to be an armorer. I have machine-shop experience & love firearms, so it seemed like a no-brainer. I found out it was part of Supply & promptly rethought that choice (sorry, old Supply types).

Hognose Post author

“Supply? A much underappreciated field of endeavor.”


Part of the problem with the Army culture surrounding small arms is that there is no official recognition for the importance of unit armorers. It should be a dedicated, full-time job, and what they do is slough it off as an additional duty for the supply clerk. That may have half-ass worked, back in the days of yore, when there were three kinds of weapons and a couple of mounts in the arms room, but with all the electronics and other gimcrackery we’re mounting on these things? Yah… Recipe for fucking disaster. It’s something the Army needs to change, and badly. I think that Armorer needs to be an actual ASI, generated by attendance at a full-scale school, and that the armorer should be selected from whatever primary MOS makes up the company-level unit. Further, there ought to be a small-arms Master Gunner program, one that the Armorer ASI would feed in to. I like the way the Brits do their Physical Training NCOs, which are guys who go off to do real training in the field before coming back to be unit-level trainers, and I think we ought to be handling a lot more of our training that same way. The Master Fitness Trainer thing wasn’t a bad idea, and it should have been developed further, as in “send the Master Fitness guys off to college-level training for a year or more, coupled with practical work down at the unit level”. The lick-and-a-promise bullshit we’re fooling ourselves with in the NCO academies is just that-Bullshit. I’d be sending those Master Fitness trainers off to get exercise physiology degrees, and then actually putting them in charge of shit like doing profile PT and rehab work with the troops out in the units. It’s a stone bitch when you’re trying to do your job, and keep track of working up profile PT as an additional duty for your guys-Especially when you don’t have time to go work with the folks over doing the physical therapy for those troops. There needs to be closer integration on all this stuff, between the support agencies and the units.

Boat Guy

Well there’s a difference. My primary MOS was 2111 “Infantry Weapons Repairman” (now the title is apparently “Small Arms Repair Technician” how fabulously gender-neutral!!!). School was joint Army-USMC at Aberdeen Proving Grounds MD for about 12 weeks IIRC. We were trained up to limited 5th Echelon (complete Depot-level rebuild). Other than some different weapons (we had the S&W .38 Victory and the 870 while the dogs got the Winchester shotgun) and different paperwork the training was the same for us as for the Army.

I think the Army MOS was 45B20; probably somewhere on my class certificate or something.

Different culture certainly – guess this is an Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children appreciation exercise, least for me.


Yeah, those guys work solely at Third Shop, in the Army.

Mega-stooooopidity, in my opinion. And, something that cannot last, given the complexity of the systems we’re starting to add to the weapons. Christ on a crutch, just integrating all the sights and zeroing them onto someone’s M4…?

That’s one reason why the M12 rack issue with ambidextrous sights is a moot one-The majority of the units are now using these:

The nature of the beast is changing, and they’re going to have to recognize it by getting actual technicians down to the company level.

Hognose Post author

Supposedly they’re going to two echelons of maint (user and depot) with nothing in between but contract and much of the depot contracted out also. That’s why they’re trying to collect and scrap all the nonstandard stuff. They also fear that a future Republican administration (looking unlikely at the moment) would not require the things like Winchester 1200 and Remington 870 shotguns to be destroyed, but let them be sold. The Deep State part of the Pentagon and the DA hates that idea.


The 2 level maintenance concept was implemented a few years ago. So it breaks down to Field Level & Depot Level, but under field level it breaks down twice more to operator(-10 manual) & Field Maintenance (23&P). Field maintenance MOS is 91F small arms repairer, formerly 45B. The unit “armorer” is nothing more than an arms room clerk tasked with inventory & security task. They are not authorized to perform anything beyond what is outlined in the -10.


One of the things I absolutely hate about the SCAR is its safety as a lefty. While it’s ambi, the safety is physically smaller on the right side than the left. Its just big enough to feel with your thumb, but you have to break your grip to use it unless you have monster hands. It blows my mind you wouldn’t make the safety the same size on both sides.

It is simple why it was thought of as a good idea. Most users are rightys

and when you have a full length safety on the right side, it drags against the firing hand when you deactivate it and can slow you down or cause sort of a “short stroke” of the safety for lack of a better term

sure its a training issue and with practice and conscience thought it can be avoided. but thats the reason. it is what it is


I got no issue with making the majority of firearms set up for righties. As long as you can switch shoulders quickly and effectively. Understand it, been use to dealing with equipment designed for the 90 percent my whole life. But as a lefty if you are going to market something as ambidextrous, specially a safety. Make it actually ambi. The SCAR and my M4 I had a ambi safety put on, was easier to engage using the left side. Another complaint I have about the SCAR is again, trying to say hey we made the mag release ambi, screwed a lot of righties. (which as lefty wasn’t even something I would have wanted). It was quite entertaining after years of dealing with dropped mags from hitting the mag release on my plates. Watching righties during a IAD dropping mags left and right.

Hognose Post author

I saw what you did there: “…dropping mags left and right.”

I never thought about the secondary status of the offside switch on the SCAR (right privilege and all that).

You want to see a half-assed implementation of ‘ambidextrous,’ check out a Galil ARM some time. It was like they did something that would check the box without actually making a useful switch on the right side of the receiver.

Ambidextrous is not just useful to lefties, either (or they could just make 9.8% or whatever it is mirror-image rifles and cross-level them across units as needed. Or just give companies a 90-10% mix and give battalions a 10% right, 10% left operational float they could hand receipt to the companies). One version of Hell is being in combat with only one working hand, and it being the wrong one to conveniently work your firearm.

Trone Abeetin

“The Polish salute”, if you’re of a certain age you can remember people slagging on the “polacks” as dumb. Lmao, how wrong we were. I wonder if Madame Curie ever had to put up with Polish jokes?


so why not get some 200k+ brigadier slides, and be done with that?

no need go uk style and down the glock road, i’d be happy to provide some phone#s in oberndorf.


typo, methinks:

If these sights were bring properly inspected,


Kind of off topic but do machine guns have a tighter head-space tolerance to account for heat expansion that could cause a barrel to fail the field gauge when hot, but pass when cold?

Hognose Post author

That’s a good one, and I’ll have to drag out my FMs and copy of Chinn (or maybe one of the small arms repairmen who frequent the site will pitch in). An operator (in the sense of “the dude that operates the gun,” not, “the dude in the perfect beard and Oakleys”) doesn’t use (or isn’t supposed to) standard headspace gages. There is a special gage used with the legacy BMGs (1917, 1919, M2/3 aerial and M2HB .50) but it’s not like a gunsmith’s headspace gages (neither go/no-go nor field).

Slow Joe Crow

Does the introduction of ambidextrous selector levers on M16s in service mean they will be allowed in CMP and NRA service rifle competition? As a lefty having the safety under my thumb would be nice.

Hognose Post author

That’s a really good question. And I didn’t know the answer, so I checked. CMP, for their part, is opening service rifle wide.

More Options For M16/AR15-Type Rifles. Since accurized Service Rifles first came into popular use in the 1950s and 1960s, those rifles, whether M1s, M14s or M16s and their commercial equivalents, have been rigidly defined. Legal M16-type service rifles had to retain the external profile of an M16A2 or M16A4 rifle and could only have modifications that were explicitly permitted in the rules. All this will change in 2016. The 2016 service rifle rules will state that M16/AR15-type Rifles must be “an M16 U. S. Service Rifle or a similar AR15 type commercial rifle that is derived from the M16 service rifle design” and there will be far fewer specific restrictions. 2016 restrictions will simply require M16/AR15-type rifles that: (details at the link, but even pistons are permitted).

Oddly enough, neither my Afghan Rifle clone nor my 416 seems to fly because of its exactly-as-issued 14.7″ and 14.5″ barrels.

Here are the NRA Rulebooks.

This is a cheat sheet to 2016 changes. In general, they are a little more strict than CMP. They are going to permit optics, but not pistons.

Wait, I may have misread that, because the actual 2016 rulebook explicitly allows pistons:

I’ll try to determine what ambi safety they are using. The firms that won the contracts include one machine shop and one optical-measurement-instrument shop (?) which goes to show that all is not as it seems in the world of defense contracting.

The rules do say the weapon must be externally identical to a service rifle, and mods may be only internal, not external. That may be what’s excluding ambi safeties.

It’s interesting that CMP notes that most of their competitors are over 60. My general impression is that CMP rules are more relaxed and on the honor system, and NRA rules are the consequence of pushy people pushing the rules to win at all costs.


All I can say is thank you for your service to all the vets that posted here.