The platoon-sized unit of U.S. soldiers and about two dozen Afghan troops was shooting back with such intensity the barrels on their weapons turned white hot. The high rate of fire appears to have put a number of weapons out of commission, even though the guns are tested and built to operate in extreme conditions.
Cpl. Jonathan Ayers and Spc. Chris McKaig were firing their M4s from a position the soldiers called the “Crow’s Nest.” The pair would pop up together from cover, fire half a dozen rounds and then drop back down.
On one of these trips up, Ayers was killed instantly by an enemy round. McKaig soon had problems with his M4, which carries a 30-round magazine.
“My weapon was overheating,” McKaig said, according to Cubbison’s report. “I had shot about 12 magazines by this point already and it had only been about a half hour or so into the fight. I couldn’t charge my weapon and put another round in because it was too hot, so I got mad and threw my weapon down.”
I acknowledge the AR platform has its problems and drawbacks, but I think this commenter over at Michael’s is correct:
These guys were firing sustained fire which no “assault Rifle” is designed for. The problem of jamming comes from overheated weapons because the Army troops resorted to spray and pray.Â The cause of the problem is a lack of fire discipline among the troops. Not a problem with the weapon.Â During 3 years in the Marines and 3 years as a unit armorer in the National Guard I saw 1 case of a bent sight post, and 1 M 60 that got run over by a truck, every other problem I saw or experienced was due to the nut behind the trigger.
No assault rifle is going to stand up to sustained automatic fire. They aren’t machine guns, and even a machine gun needs to have its barrel changed out if it’s been firing a lot.