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This has to be one of the earliest photos I've seen of the CAR-15 in the battle field. From what I've read the carbine was developed in 1965 and this photo is dated 1967.

 

post-70-1260646369.jpg

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there are a few pictures in Paul Miraldis first book showing a CAR-15 in use in 1967, even showing a 30rd mag. I won't publish here for copyright purposes.

 

Powerful photograph though sir

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My brother-in-law carried one in VN as an artillery officer, FAO, (1/8th) with the 25th Div. He arrived after the Tet offensive, I think, and was wounded some months later.

 

G

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2,815 Colt Model 609s (XM177E1s) were bought by the Army in June 1966. Order was completed in March 1967.

 

Thats a nice clear photo showing an XM177E1.

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In my experience, as late as 1970 the CAR-15 was mostly held by the USAF Security Police, especially dog handlers. USN SEALS had a fair number too. In Army hands, they would be seen with SOG, some in ordinary SF, some with dog handlers. Otherwise the demand far exceeded the supply. Ones ISSUED in the 5th SF were stringently hand-receipted, which is why one that was off-the-books was prized.

 

Is there any record of how many went to each service? Or is the figure cited for DOD, rather than ARMY?

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I was issued one in El Salvador, 1990-1991. They took away "my" MP-5 to give me the CAR, and I was not happy. The CAR was a more practical weapon for my mission, though.

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Is there any record of how many went to each service? Or is the figure cited for DOD, rather than ARMY?

 

The Air Foce had their own versions which were very similar to the Armys. I can just find the numbers for the Army CARs. 2815 XM177E1s and 510 XM177E2s bought in April 1967 (order completed in September) for use by MACV-SOG. Im assuming the numbers are just for what the Army bought since the XM177E1 and XM177E2 was "their" carbine.

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We still have a few of the original air force GUU's (air force car -15) kicking around in the inventory. The main differences seem to be that ours have the longer m-4 style barrel without the long flash hider, and a few of them are missing (never made with) the forward assist. Well I am not sure if these were rebarreld later on in their service life or if these were the original barrels, the wear on them is consistent with the rest of the weapon. Could be from an old rebuild.

Our units last issue of one of these went to a chief master sgt. that went to bilad for an inspection tour in 2005. The antique drew some odd looks... But the odds of him firing it was little to none, so it was approved for deployment.

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  • 1 month later...

I just bought this press photo and thought it was interesting enough to post here. Looks like the carbine hes using may be a XM177E2 with the moderator switched out for a M16A1 flash hider. Either way it looks like a 11.5" barrel to me and it has a forward assist.

post-9906-0-77117500-1422936303.jpg

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I just bought this press photo and thought it was interesting enough to post here. Looks like the carbine hes using may be a XM177E2 with the moderator switched out for a M16A1 flash hider. Either way it looks like a 11.5" barrel to me and it has a forward assist.

Interesting pic. Also note the nylon M67 canteen cover carried by the man on the left, and the knife attached with the grappel hook at the man on the right. Both also have SKS rigs.

 

 

Greetz ;)

 

David

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Interesting pic. Also note the nylon M67 canteen cover carried by the man on the left, and the knife attached with the grappel hook at the man on the right. Both also have SKS rigs.

 

 

Greetz ;)

 

David

 

It also looks like the man on the right attached M56 suspenders to his SKS rig which is pretty unusual.

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I was a Small Arms Repairman, 45B20 and later a 45B30. While in Viet Nam (67-68) I attended 2 or 3 classes given by Colt. One of these covered the M177 series of weapons. Colt was not happy about the 177 as it was being issued, they felt that it had some problems that needed more work. They strongly suggested that the M177 not be operated in full auto. The Colt people I spoke with were not happy with the DoD and especially McNamara.

 

We received a number of kits, to covert a M16 style rifle to the M177, these were to be issued to troops whose TO&E called for this weapons. However, most of the 16s we converted were for senior officers who did not have any real operational need for the M177.

 

The M177s had one serious problem, when on auto they would jam on the 2nd or 3rd round. This was caused by the bolt over riding the top round (cartridge) in the magazine. Colt showed us a high speed film of this happening. It was caused by the bolt going to the rear at too high a speed and then bouncing forward before the magazine spring had time to push the next round up. Very interesting to watch on the film. I assume most of you know this was caused by the amount of gas pressure delivered to the bolt Carrier (gas cylinder) because of the type of powder (Ball/Spherical) the DoD wanted to be used in the issue ammo. Making the cyclic rate approx 1000rd/min. This problem existed in all of the M16 series at the time but was exasperated by the M177’s short barrel. The M16 and XM16E1’s problem was reduced quite a bit by the one piece buffer. Despite the DoD/Army claims, we never did receive enough of the one piece buffer to retro fit all or even most of the XM16E1 in 2 Corp. I did get to meet Col. Crossman during his M16 inspection tour. He ask me hard nose questions for more than 2 hours while we were in my van and I worked on various 16s, I took off several barrels so he could look at their chambers. One of his questions was, where had I obtained the .22 cal cleaning rods I was using. I told him I wrote my wife and had her send me some, the Col. laughed and said I should keep her, so I have, orders, after all, are orders.

 

My experiences (covering late 67 thru mid 68) with the 177s was that they were very unreliable in full auto. If I remember correctly, most of the M177’s problems were correct by the one piece buffer and a slightly longer barrel, the E2 I think. I have Hughes, Poyer and Stevens/Ezell 1ed, books, but there has been several other good book published since those. That those of you that have an interest in the M16 series should have, but my interest in US military weapons mostly ended with the M16.

 

One of these Colt classes covered the XM148 GL. The Colt people were also very unhappy with the DoD about this one. They considered it a concept ( they called it the GL4) needing an order for a few hundred for limited troop trials, instead the DoD ordered around 10,000 of the things. Luckily the 203 became available in a few years.

 

I also attended a presentation/demonstration for the Stoner Weapon System. This was basically a receiver (stamped) to which you added components to make a carbine, a rifle, an AR or a belt feed LMG. This presentation was held in DaNang, I think my Warrant and I, were the only Doggies there. My Warrant wanted to get together with a young lady there and talked our Bn. CO into sending me and of course he would go along to supervise, he disappeared shortly after the pres/demo began. Any way, interesting weapon and could have made life easier for us gun plumbers. As I understand it, the ‘Powers That Be’, decided it would give us riffraff too many options and said “NO”, sim loy.

 

45B20

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We still had a bunch of the XM177's and Xm177E2's along with the newer 653's when I was in the 2nd Ranger Battalion in the early 80's. All of the moderators had been replaced with standard A1 flashiders. I was issued an XM177 for the Grenada jump and it work fine. Of course I didn't use it on full auto.

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The photograher of that first pic was Dana Stone. He was with Sean Flynn when they both disappeared,and were later presumed killed by the Khmer Rouge.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was a Small Arms Repairman, 45B20 and later a 45B30. While in Viet Nam (67-68) I attended 2 or 3 classes given by Colt. One of these covered the M177 series of weapons. Colt was not happy about the 177 as it was being issued, they felt that it had some problems that needed more work. They strongly suggested that the M177 not be operated in full auto. The Colt people I spoke with were not happy with the DoD and especially McNamara.

 

We received a number of kits, to covert a M16 style rifle to the M177, these were to be issued to troops whose TO&E called for this weapons. However, most of the 16s we converted were for senior officers who did not have any real operational need for the M177.

 

The M177s had one serious problem, when on auto they would jam on the 2nd or 3rd round. This was caused by the bolt over riding the top round (cartridge) in the magazine. Colt showed us a high speed film of this happening. It was caused by the bolt going to the rear at too high a speed and then bouncing forward before the magazine spring had time to push the next round up. Very interesting to watch on the film. I assume most of you know this was caused by the amount of gas pressure delivered to the bolt Carrier (gas cylinder) because of the type of powder (Ball/Spherical) the DoD wanted to be used in the issue ammo. Making the cyclic rate approx 1000rd/min. This problem existed in all of the M16 series at the time but was exasperated by the M177’s short barrel. The M16 and XM16E1’s problem was reduced quite a bit by the one piece buffer. Despite the DoD/Army claims, we never did receive enough of the one piece buffer to retro fit all or even most of the XM16E1 in 2 Corp. I did get to meet Col. Crossman during his M16 inspection tour. He ask me hard nose questions for more than 2 hours while we were in my van and I worked on various 16s, I took off several barrels so he could look at their chambers. One of his questions was, where had I obtained the .22 cal cleaning rods I was using. I told him I wrote my wife and had her send me some, the Col. laughed and said I should keep her, so I have, orders, after all, are orders.

 

My experiences (covering late 67 thru mid 68) with the 177s was that they were very unreliable in full auto. If I remember correctly, most of the M177’s problems were correct by the one piece buffer and a slightly longer barrel, the E2 I think. I have Hughes, Poyer and Stevens/Ezell 1ed, books, but there has been several other good book published since those. That those of you that have an interest in the M16 series should have, but my interest in US military weapons mostly ended with the M16.

 

One of these Colt classes covered the XM148 GL. The Colt people were also very unhappy with the DoD about this one. They considered it a concept ( they called it the GL4) needing an order for a few hundred for limited troop trials, instead the DoD ordered around 10,000 of the things. Luckily the 203 became available in a few years.

 

I also attended a presentation/demonstration for the Stoner Weapon System. This was basically a receiver (stamped) to which you added components to make a carbine, a rifle, an AR or a belt feed LMG. This presentation was held in DaNang, I think my Warrant and I, were the only Doggies there. My Warrant wanted to get together with a young lady there and talked our Bn. CO into sending me and of course he would go along to supervise, he disappeared shortly after the pres/demo began. Any way, interesting weapon and could have made life easier for us gun plumbers. As I understand it, the ‘Powers That Be’, decided it would give us riffraff too many options and said “NO”, sim loy.

 

45B20

 

Thanks for sharing! Interesting comments, I didn't know there was a carbine kit mod for the M16 rifles. I have seen the 2 piece Edgewater buffer before, it is incredibly light compared to the final 1 piece buffer. Makes you wonder what were they thinking???

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My son is deploying to Afghanistan in a week and he was issued one to take. Still in the AirForce Inventory.

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My son is deploying to Afghanistan in a week and he was issued one to take. Still in the AirForce Inventory.

 

If you get a chance could you please ask him if the sound moderator is still attached or replaced by a flash hider?

 

THANKS

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Weather permitting I'm going to visit him At Ft McCoy Wisc before he flies out the 11th. Will try and get pictures. Robert

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Thanks for sharing! Interesting comments, I didn't know there was a carbine kit mod for the M16 rifles. I have seen the 2 piece Edgewater buffer before, it is incredibly light compared to the final 1 piece buffer. Makes you wonder what were they thinking???

 

FNG

 

Even at the time I was surprised at the availability of the M177 Kit. We would have every ‘wanta be’ wanting one. However with the controls that were placed on the use of the Kit, I figured it would be OK. But I still had not yet realized the power of the class system in the US Military. For every M16 series rifle that meet the criteria, I assembled three for some Field Grade Officer who was ‘exempt’ from the rules. Maybe this is why their use was discontinued.

 

 

The Kits came packet in a cardboard box, approx 4x12x18”, I was told by our Tech. Supply guy, that we had a hundred on hand, he was really surprised at the number. He knew the Small Arms Section had not ordered them (we did not even know they existed) and he asked what was going on. I asked our Platoon Leader and the SA Warrant, they skirted answering directly, they just said “some idiot’s idea”. If I remember correctly the authority to order this ’Kit’, came from a “PS Magazine”. But, I have become very cynical in my old age, and I would not be surprised if these Kits were not assembled ’In Country’ for just the use we put most them to. I do not remember the Colt reps saying anything about these Kits.

 

Take care

 

45B20

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  • 2 weeks later...

post-551-1266015982.jpg

If you get a chance could you please ask him if the sound moderator is still attached or replaced by a flash hider?

 

THANKS

Its been rebarreled. Second from the bottom

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  • 3 years later...

Have for sale a Bushmaster XM177E1 Colt Commando. Has original Colt collapsible stock, [metal collapsible stock in black plastic coating] Colt Commando round hand-guards, and pistol grip. It has a 11 inch barrel and a 5 inch flash suppressor pinned to the barrel and grenade ring (original Colt parts). It is in XM Gray color and is in mint shape, no scratches, no blemishes, no dings, has original Colt bolt and bolt carrier group, original buffer and spring. It is a Pre Ban Bushmaster lower which has a few 20 round magazines and one 20 round waffle magazine all in mint shape.

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