Monday, August 03, 2015

Gun Plumbing

If you want to see a gunsmith laugh, watch what they do when someone puffs up and informs them that they were an armorer in the Army.

I knew that the armorer situation at the unit level was pretty grim, but apparently it's even worse than I thought.
" It does not help that the standard M12 rack does not accept a rifle with optics*. In the Arms Room, it’s still 1988.

Moreover, the Army’s weapons records are a chaotic mess of rack numbers, serial numbers, weapons cards, hand receipts, pencil sheets, green-and-white property book printouts (that may not put all your unit’s rifles, for example, together on the same pages), and unofficial Excel-spreadsheets and Access databases, which interface more or less (mostly, less) with one another and with the unit’s personnel assignments. This means that every time you cross-level personnel from 2nd platoon to 3rd platoon, if your arms room is nicely organized by platoons, Joe Rifleman is going to get a new rifle and be off zero until next range trip, and so is Bill Bulletician who’s coming from somewhere else… that’s another reason why no Army unit beyond the Ranger battalions and the 82nd Division Ready Battalion actually dares to ship out to combat without a trip to the zero range."
There's a followup post that examines the problem in more detail.

*One of the good points about modern Aimpoints is that the battery life is so good you can store them with the optic turned on and replace batteries biannually or annually merely as a prophylactic. Meanwhile, the Army dismounts M68 CCOs and removes the batteries on racked rifles. It's disheartening to think how much the taxpayers paid to put all those sexy optics on all those weapons only to have y'all Doing It Wrong.