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40+ years of GI M16 mags detailed in about 17 minutes

Black rifle expert Chris Bartocci convenes class on the evolutionary process of GI 30-round M16 magazines from Vietnam to today.

Going back to the old black-follower mags and moving through the new blue-follower EP mag, touching on everything in between, Bartocci breaks down the reason for changes to the feed lip angles and the body itself, and points at the ammunition-based reasons for each.

It’s a scholarly look and you don’t get any wackiness or Tannerite explosions in the 17-minute clip, but if you are curious about the what, when and why there are so many GI mags and followers out there, this is worth your time.

Give and take: What the term ‘plasma rifle’ meant in 1943

Contributor Names Collins, Marjory, 1912-1985, photographer Created / Published 1943 Feb LC-DIG-fsa-8d25731

Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, WWII. Demonstration before army doctors and officer candidates at the U.S. Army medical field service school. Bottle of blood plasma is hung on a “wounded” man’s M1903 Springfield rifle while a transfusion is administered at a collecting station.

Some 86,000 surplus M1s could be coming to CMP from the PI

This is my favorite work of Rafael Desoto. The Garand is great

The Civilian Marksmanship Program advises the Army could soon hand over a large stock of historically significant M1 rifles.

A post on an M1 Garand collectors group on Friday mentioned a group of loaned rifles coming in from the Philippines was being processed by the U.S. Army for shipment back to the states. Mark Johnson, CMP’s chief operating officer, confirmed that a large group of rifles may indeed be headed home and wind up in the organization’s hands.

”There are 86,000 or so M1’s hopefully coming back to the Army,” said Johnson. “We hope to see them in the future.”

More in my column at

Of pistol belts and truncheons as carried by a four-nation army

Joint Australian, South Vietnamese and NZ Military Police patrol at Vung Tàu Vietnam in 1970.


Left to right, Cpl Brian Marfleet Australian MP, ARVN MP (Quân C?nh) unidentified, unidentified SP/4 member of A Company, 720th MP Battalion, and CPL Bruce Duncan, New Zealand MP.

Courtesy of CPL Bruce Duncan, New Zealand Military Police, 1 Australian Provost Corps, Vietnam, 1970. Via British & Commonwealth Forces

Somewhere over Southeast Kassel, Germany, 73 years ago today

Combat encounter report with German Me 109 completed and signed by pilot Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager dated 4 March 1944:

Click to big up

Combat ENCOUNTER REPORT with German Me 109 completed and signed by pilot Charles E. Yeager dated 4 March 1944

The beauty that is an M2 60mm mortar with reusable ammo

The hard working heavy weapons guys at broke out their sweet M2 60mm mortar and give an impressive performance showing off their Training Re-Usable Mortar Projectile (TRUMP) round.

Designed by mortar tube genius Edgar Brandt, the M2 was adopted by the U.S. military in 1940 as the country edged closer to World War II. The 42-pound company-level artillery piece was portable by a three-man crew and could lob hero sandwich-sized mortar bombs out to nearly 2,000 yards with the reasonably accurate (for a mortar) M4 collimator sight.

The M2 was so groovy that the Army and Marines kept it in use not only through WWII, but Korea and Vietnam as well, only replacing it in 1978 with the now-standard M225 LWCMS (Lightweight Company Mortar System) which, ironically, is heavier.

The above video by runs through the unpacking and set up of the M2, which is super informative if you aren’t a mortar guy, then proceeds to break out their new TRUMP shell, which uses a 20-ga full blank to give some boom to the impact down range. The shell is projected by a 20-ga half blank.

As far as legality, they advise that, “The 60mm mortar is classified as a ‘Destructive Device’ by the BATFE, and you must have an NFA approved Form 1 or Form 4 for legal possession. The 60mm TRUMP ammunition is not classified as a Destructive Device by the ATF, but it is a restricted sale item, and is only available to individuals that possess a valid/approved Form 1 or Form 4 for their 60mm mortar.”

The noise the mortar shell makes as it whistles back to the ground is enough to give you IBS.

Fire in the hole!

Making the Doughboy

Infantry Soldier with full equipment (proposed) was adopted as the Model 1910.


Compare the leggings, web gear and campaign hat differences.

The Infantry Equipment Board convened at Rock Island Arsenal, on April 28, 1909. The purpose of this board was to decide on the number, kind, and weight of articles to be carried by the Infantry Soldier. The board examined samples of infantry and cavalry equipment in use by the U.S. Army and fifteen foreign countries, as well as experimental models submitted to the Chief of Ordnance for consideration. The board made its final report to the Adjutant-General of the US Army on April 5, 1910. Two months later, in June 1910, manufacture of the newly designed equipment began at Rock Island Arsenal.

These images and text are from a copy of the Report of the Infantry Equipment Board in the collection of the Rock Island Arsenal Museum– who still maintain the T&E equipment shown in their collection.

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