With information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M14_rifle:
The M14, while "developed from a long line of experimental weapons based upon the M1 rifle" (a semiautomatic rifle which certainly saw widespread use in WWII), did not enter production until 1959. Compared to the M1, the M14 was fully automatic rather than semi-, had a much larger magazine size, shot a different bullet, and was actually significantly lighter -- so even knowing nothing about how the actual mechanism and whatever other properties of a gun that impact its performance were changed, it's safe to say it's not the same gun, and this is a factual error.
The fact that, as someone who has never even seen an unholstered gun outside a museum much less shot one, and has no domain knowledge outside of movies and a single decade-old video game, I could spot this error from a mile away, makes me skeptical about this article. I know this seems like useless nitpicking, but it reminds me of reading mainstream articles about relatively esoteric high tech subjects: in domains I know better, these articles are often so nakedly full of holes and errors that they totally waste whatever argument the author is working towards. So whenever I spot easy errors on topics I know little about, it puts me on higher guard for what else might be bullshit that I don't recognize.
That said, this is a fascinating article, and even with skepticism it has adjusted my perspective on the debate.
The 2nd type is known as the "M1 Carbine" which fires a smaller, .30 cal. round.
The M14 fires the 7.62 mm NATO round, the same as the M! Garand.
However, the gun will fire any round with .30-06 or .308 dimensions if the pressure profile is a good match. I had my Garand refurbished and rebarreled in .308/7.62 NATO, and it was quite reliable. The Navy started doing that sort of thing the earliest that I know of, with a sleeve fitted into the chamber (!).
What's the farthest shot you've heard of from credible sources?
Normal Garand match ammo, at least the typical Federal .308 (don't know about .30-06) Sierra MatchKing match loads, are supposed to have real difficultly reaching 1,000 yards. If you want to stay in the envelope it's recommended to go down to, say, 6.5 mm bullets, a diameter where you can get much higher ballistic coefficients, e.g. the .260 Remington and its ilk.
Note this is all stuff I've just read, I've never been at a range that was longer than 300 yards, and almost always 200 or less.... :-(.
Illegal, yes, if you aren't an SOT or aren't using a registered lightning link.i
You can buy AR lowers with (IMHO) ill advised fake sear pins to mimic the look.
The lightning link is even easier. Check Quarterbore's website for details.
Of course even if that is the case (I'm not so sure it is), the guns are still wildly different things in practice and under the law.
You're telling me that the instant the hacker reassembles the gun, she'll be placed in prison?
Meanwhile, the tool appears identical to an unmodified tool from the exterior.
That's why idiot "mall ninjas" (google the term) like to brag about how easy it would be to convert their gun to full auto, but almost nobody actually does it.
I prefer the term "SSDG" or "Space Shuttle Door Gunner", though.
riiiiight. because all the other firearms are designed to open cans and turn off TVs.
Assault rifles are already banned and the AR-15's you can buy in gun stores don't fit into that category, unless legislators invent things to be considered military... like "military grips" which is basically a pistol grip. Which often doesn't make the gun any more lethal.
If you ask combat veterans of OIF/OEF how often they use anything other than semi auto on issued M4/M16 rifles, you'll find the frequency is almost zero.
(actually, I think something like 95% of troops never fired a weapon at all. There were 1% of troops responsible for most of the combat, and then a few more percent who got engaged by IEDs, etc.)
Most use was with people who didn't have SAW or heavier, from vehicles, though, which was the only time I saw it actually used myself.
Firing from vehicles was basically suppression, or very close at a large target from a supported firing position. Contractors were limited to rifles under most contracts, generally (although .30 cal machine guns were allowed in some cases, so the RPK was quite popular), so that's the main reason they used rifles that way rather than what the US Army would do (an M249, M240, or better, M2 or mk19).
The greater argument here that semi auto is adequate for almost all rifle/carbine use, I fully agree with, but there were both US military people and contractors (and most of the indigenous security forces) who used full auto or 3 round burst.
If true, it again tells us how little the Army cares about individual rifle marksmanship ... which I suppose is another causality of the McNamara DoD regime.
Also, let's just say Brownell's catalogs were pretty popular :)
This is slightly misleading. The military weapons fire the same ammunition: the same bullet, at the same velocity. In terms of kinetic energy of the bullet, the weapons have the same power. The fully-automatic capability of the military weapons simply allows many more shots to be fired in a given amount of time.
"The semi-automatic weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."
In fact, not being limited by the Hague convention, we civilians and stateside police can use rounds that are loaded with much more effective expanding bullets.
That has always really bothered me. I get the point for hunting, having the animal die as fast as possible is good, but I don't buy the argument that they are important for police because they have less penetration power. If we want to reduce the number of people accidentally shot by police, I think we would be better served by training police to actually hit what they shoot at, not giving them bullets that hopefully won't go through as many walls or people.
Now, that's not likely to happen, i.e. ideally you can follow Rule 4 by changing your angle, but ... well, in the real world your alternative just isn't going to happen. Unless they take personal responsibility (and in anti-gun places like NYC that's very hard since there aren't many places to shoot), most police aren't good shots, don't have to shoot very often, and aren't well trained. At the Connecticut legislative hearing on this, the anti-gun police officer giving testimony had to admit training was on the order of a few hours a year. And then there's fire discipline, you have seen the picture of the pickup truck, wrong model, color and with two Hispanic ladies delivering papers, that was perforated by LAPD cops who were ... concerned that one of the own was hunting them?
However, that's not the main reason for using expanding ammo in self-defense. We, civilians and the police, are not allowed to kill per se, nor is that our objective. If in such a situation, we desperately want to stop someone, and for handguns "stopping power" scales with the diameter of the bullet, including expansion if that occurs, lethality with the number of holes you punch in someone.
For .223/5.56 NATO, Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) rounds have very iffy stopping power (details on request), so using them in self-defense if you have an alternative is a very bad idea.
I figure innocent bystanders who get shot are hit by fewer bullets than the people who are actually being aimed at. Pulling numbers out of my ass, say innocent bystanders that are hit are hit by 1 bullet on average, and crims that are hit are hit by 3 bullets on average.
The questions to me then become:
1) how many innocent bystanders are being killed by those single bullets, and how would that number change if they were FMJ instead?
2) Given the average number of times crims who are shot at are hit, how likely is it that they would still be killed if the police were using FMJ?
I suspect these two factors work out such that FMJ would be slightly more dangerous to police, but vastly safer for the general public despite the increased penetration power. Police are signing up for it, so I am okay with putting them in more danger to keep the public safer; I am sure police unions would throw a fit over that though.
(I think it would also be revealing to examine if perhaps the lower penetration power of fragmenting rounds make police have a more relaxed attitude towards accuracy.)
The raw facts I've just outlined don't disprove your thesis, but as I understand it the details do. It's also the fact that outside of situations where politics are in play, expanding bullets are the universal choice, all things considered.
Note this includes civilians who carry, there's 7.5 to 8 million as independently estimated last summer by scholar Clayton Cramer and the GAO respectively, plus those who can carry concealed without a license in the handful of states that allow that (Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming). Unlike the police, we don't have legal or political protection from accidents, we own every bullet we fire, and a loved one could easily be one of those too close bystanders (or on the other side of a wall or the house, whatever).
Maybe we're wrong, but using hollow point ammo is what almost all of us have decided to do.
First of all, accurately firing a weapon requires one to relax, breathe slowly, reduce the heart rate, hold still and concentrate. Almost all situations that justify shooting at people involve imminent danger of death to the shooter, the shooter's allies or innocent bystanders. That pressure produces a physical response exactly the opposite of what's required to shoot accurately. Good training can partially compensate, but it's impossible to replicate the psychological and physiological effects of the possibility of imminent death without a significant risk of actual imminent death.
Secondly, non-expanding ammunition will easily penetrate through a person and retain enough power to kill a second person. In most cases, a single bullet could kill three or four people if they were properly aligned. Ideally, the shooter will try to make sure the bullet will stop safely after penetrating the target, but circumstances that require shooting people are rarely ideal. Using bullets that are easier to stop is better for bystanders.
Finally, bullets do a surprisingly bad job of instantly physically incapacitating people. There are a number of cases on record of violent criminals continuing their attempts to murder police officers after being shot multiple times, even after receiving wounds that aren't survivable even with immediate medical treatment. Most people stop fighting when shot for psychological, not physiological reasons; they didn't like being shot and don't want it to happen again, the pain is too severe to continue resisting or they hope that giving up will lead to medical treatment and a better chance of survival. Barring that, there are three ways a bullet can incapacitate a person: damage the brain or spinal cord enough to prevent movement, cause enough blood loss that the brain shuts down, or damage the heart enough that it can't pump blood to the brain. Expanding bullets have a higher probability of causing these effects than non-expanding bullets.
I think it is definitely worth considering if reliance on expanding rounds that are not perceived to penetrate has an effect on the tendency to take risks in situations where there are people behind the target. As I see it, considering the number of shots often fired by police and their poor accuracy, it doesn't really matter that the rounds won't go through multiple people. The more accurate police are, the more fragmenting rounds start to seem sensible to me.
Being concerned about bullets going through badguys and hitting innocents or hitting multiple innocents in a row instead of just one seems like... premature optimization.
From Wikipedia on the FBI shootout, matching my memory of various accounts:
"As Platt climbed out of the passenger side car window, one of Dove's 9 mm rounds hit his right upper arm and went on to penetrate his chest, stopping an inch away from his heart. The autopsy found Platt’s right lung was collapsed and his chest cavity contained 1.3 liters of blood, suggesting damage to the main blood vessels of the right lung. Of his many gunshot wounds, this first was the primary injury responsible for Platt’s eventual death."
He was functional for quite some time after that, including killing the two agents who died in the shootout. Here's some illuminating details from the end of that section:
"[...] The bullet penetrated Platt's chest and bruised the spinal cord, ending the gunfight.
The shootout involved ten people: two suspects and eight FBI agents. Of the ten, only one, Special Agent Manauzzi, did not fire any shots (firearm thrown from car in initial collision), while only one, Special Agent Risner, was able to emerge from the battle without a wound. The incident lasted under five minutes yet approximately 145 shots were exchanged.
Toxicology tests showed that the abilities of Platt and Matix to fight through multiple traumatic gunshot wounds and continue to battle and attempt to escape were not achieved through any chemical means. Both of their bodies were drug-free at the time of their deaths."
Yikes. And there are more incidents like this one.
The only thing that makes an AR15 and similar weapons “assault weapons” is that the general public believes that semi-automatic weapons are the same thing as fully automatic weapons, and they look scary.
Aside from that, and as I've stated, in that moment of panic and terror when your life is about to end, operating a weapon that requires a pump or a bolt action is not ideal. You'll jam it up, forget to pump it back, etc.
I also don't quite understand how other people can dictate to me that I shouldn't own a one trigger pull / one shot weapon because it looks scary - while being somewhat functionaly identical to a non-scary looking simi rifle or handgun.
I have to prove I can safely operate a car to drive one.
Any analogy with merely owning a car fails hard, in all but really revenue hungry jurisdictions car ownership has no restrictions of this kind. It's only when you want to put it on the road that you have to get plates and a licensed driver. And there's a vast distance between the skill and experience needed to safely drive a car and use a gun; in just accidental deaths, this shows in the ratio of 58:1 from memory when I last calculated (> 30,000 vs. a bit over 600 annually; I can look that up if you want).
And other gun designs are taking more and more advantage of this. The dimensions of the rails are standard so I can e.g. put sights like the holographic EOTech you can see in the first photo on my originally designed in Switzerland, parts from Europe and the US and assembled here "semi-automatic assault rifle".
The Author, C.J. Chivers, writes an interesting blog for the NY Times where they attempt to ID munitions from the battlefield in Africa, Syria, etc. http://cjchivers.com/
Then I learned about the Slide Fire , a stock that legally gives the AR-15 full auto capability. The loophole is that the stock uses the gun's recoil to pull the trigger again, instead of the gun's internal mechanism doing it.
A good analogy to computers would be an interface that does not allow clicking a button to send multiple requests, but allows a script to click the button much faster than a human would.
Oh, and most rifles with removable magazines can accept 30 round magazines, it's not a magical AR-15 capability.
Why is having full-auto mode so much more dangerous? Seems that in a mass-shooting situation, the person's more likely to blow the whole clip and be out of ammo.
Look at the case of criminal negligence where a young boy was handed a Micro-UZI to shoot and the path it traversed ended up shooting him in the head.... Or the various combat veterans in this discussion attesting to the limited utility of full auto in an AR-15 pattern rifle. Or the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode where one of the kibitzers was shouting "Short, controlled bursts!" ^_^.
A gunman with an automatic weapon will not necessarily waste all of his ammunition with continuous, inaccurate fire. With very little training, he can learn to burst fire. This capability blurs the line between a military and civilian rifle.
There is a video of the stock in action here . It seems to me that someone with limited training would still completely outgun a regular police officer armed only with a pistol.
Yep. I'm gonna feel so much safer when I'm murdered with ten 9mm bullets instead of seventeen.
Oh wait, not so much.
In general, you are much more likely to survive multiple pistol wounds than you are multiple rifle wounds.
Sidenote: Rifles used in the Civil War and modern rifles fire bullets with roughly the same kinetic energy. Improvements to gunpowder have allowed smaller bullets to be fired with larger velocity.
I'm sure some organs are subject to serious damage that way, but he believes that in general tissue is fairly willing to be pushed and squeezed and snap back, without significant damage compared to what is crushed.
He's also the guy who figured out the significant wounding mechanism of the original AR-14/M16 FMJ bullet: if it hits at enough velocity, as it tumbles the bullet breaks at the cannelure. The higher the velocity, the more the back half disintegrates.
Now, he was doing this in calibrated ballistic gelatin, but it seems to match the observed in the field results, which is how he got started in all this as a battlefield surgeon.
One of the difficulties of research in this field is that acceptable tests materials (gelatin blocks) have different densities and structures then battlefield targets.
Out of curiosity, what would be the characteristics would be for ammunition that is designed to inflict damage on non-organic targets of almost uniform density? In other words, ammunition that is designed to destroy the steel or aluminum of airplanes or buildings.
It has a role in e.g. GAU-8 (A-10's) PGU-14/B ammo, cast around a depleted uranium perpetrator, acting somewhat like a sabot in allowing the bullet to be lighter in weight and therefore faster, but outside of that sort of thing I don't see it having a role in ammunition.
Bullets that are designed to fragment upon impact because this causes damage to living things. My question is whether frangibility is desired when the purpose is to cause the most structural damage, e.g when the target is an airplane or tank.
I suppose depleted uranium or tungsten carbide bullets match this description, because they are designed to go through armor before they start to disintegrate. But these types of bullets are still meant to eventually hit humans.
It's "useful" because all that, the breaking in half and possibly fragmenting, provides much more stopping power to an otherwise not very effective round. If that doesn't happen, the effect is more like getting stuck with a pencil, except that the bullet will turn 180 degrees and likely exit back first; the M16 is infamous for inconsistent stopping power.
Note that according to the Hague Convention, our military isn't allowed to design bullets to do this....
Fragmentation is very much not a desired feature for creating any type of structural damage; there you want all energy possible to be transmitted to the target. Even expansion is undesired, because the physical work done to deform the bullet is not available to penetrate the structure and then do further damage once past it.
This often gets into the realm of armor piercing (AP) ammo, which has steel or harder metals inside the bullet, sometimes comprising almost all of it, sometimes as a smaller penetrator, like the steel rod inside the .30-06 ammo that I've read became the standard for the US towards the end of WWII (although that was in part because steel was cheaper than lead), or the steel pellet that's in the 5.56 NATO SS109, M855 green tip for the US, design bullet (which is really machine gun ammo/designed to satisfy a silly requirement of piercing a metal helmet at a very long distance, it's not really good ammo for rifles for a whole bunch of reasons).
With the exception of 5.56 NATO AP, there should be no differences in wounding capability, larger caliber bullets don't depend on deformation for wounding. Our M995 black tip ammo ... well, look at this picture: http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=56...
I assume the bullet is not as likely to break at the cannelure, that the aluminum boot in which it sits is no more likely to cause damage ... but that would have to be tested. Certainly gunners would try to avoid wasting ammo by using AP on humans....
Then we get to exotic stuff that includes an explosive payload, normally 20 mm ammo and above, generally intended for aircraft until we get into serious anti-armored vehicle ammo. You're really not supposed to use that on humans, but of course that's not so well observed in wars. And there's this exotic and inherently expensive .50 BMG round that's intended to provide the destructive power of a 20 mm shell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raufoss_Mk_211 ; see the Legality section on expected effects on humans.
McNamara and company forced the AR-15 on the Army (the Air Force was already buying them for guarding planes and the like, a much less demanding duty) because the small arms procurement part of the Army at the time was utterly corrupt, preferring inferior US designs like the M14 (too much operating stuff out in the open, otherwise a great improvement on the M1 Garand) and the M60 machine gun (details on request). They biased tests by e.g. replacing screws holding a rifle together with springs while they had custody of them before the official tests (or at least I've read that about the trials that selected the M14, the AR-10, original big brother of the AR-15, was said to be sabotaged that way).
The NRA never, ever, supported the "assault weapons" ban, with the sole exception of one off-script or trial balloon radio interview with Carleton Heston (take your pick, he and other Western actors cut commercials to support the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968). This was much noticed in the community because Clinton's AW ban was the first piece of Federal anti-gun legislation that passed without the NRA's approval, however grudging.
"Accustomed to taking down trophy bucks with a hefty .30-caliber round, they ridiculed the AR-15 as a “mouse gun” and feared that its smaller .223-caliber bullet would only wound an animal, instead of taking it down with a single, clean shot."
A bit of an exaggeration, higher energy narrower than .30 caliber (7.62 mm) rounds have long been used to take deer sized animals. Prior to recent tremendous developments in bullet technology .223 was iffy except for smaller critters, it was in fact derived from the .222 Remington, a target and varmint shooting cartridge, at least in the US.
Any correlation with the expiration of the 2004 "assault weapons" ban and the civilian market's response is bogus. It was sufficiently weak that the only effect was an increase in the cost of magazines, and since it had been our issue rifle for a quarter century there were plenty used ones to be had. Otherwise you could buy one as long as you were willing to forgo e.g. a bayonet lug.... I think the big event was 9/11, and the feckless domestic response, e.g. Bush telling us to go out and buy stuff to support the economy. Many people realized they were on our own, at least in terms of initial response, and plenty of subsequent events like hurricanes emphasized that. E.g. there's the saying that "When seconds count, the police are minutes away". After a hurricane for many it will be more like weeks.
That Hello Kitty rifle is real, there are some very nice modern gun finishes that come in many different colors, like DuraCoat which was used for that one and which the article has a photograph of a SHOT Show advertising display for it.
I can't speak to the author's emphasis of all this coming from the gaming "and others who had fallen into the post-9/11, SpecOps-inspired 'tactical lifestyle'" ... but I'll note there wouldn't have been a 1994 "assault weapons" ban if these weren't already popular guns. I personally know they were popular in the '70s, and as Cam Edwards put it, "The AR was designed in 1957 and sold to the public beginning in 1964. Perhaps we should go ahead and ban that newfangled rock and roll too."
Obviously, the "NRA’s dire warnings of an Democratic gun grab should Obama win the presidency" were accurate, if the timing was a bit off. And Sen. Joe Manchin is a poser who doesn't know the difference between a magazine and a clip, unless his shooting experience up to now has been with single shot rifles and double barreled shotguns.
I don't see how this is true, unless we massively redefine "gun grab" from "confiscating private firearms that are currently legally owned" to "limiting the production and/or commercial sale of some types of firearms and firearm accessories".
And "gun grab", at least in the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) community, includes lessor things that confiscation. NY state's "no new 10 round magazines, and it's a crime to load more than 7 rounds in the ones you have, worse if you're outside your house", might not precisely match the words "gun grab", but English isn't a precision language. For example, NY state residents wanting to buy new guns face very constrained choices right now.
ADDED: Constrained in that most semi-auto guns come with > 7 round magazines. Manufacturers or 3rd parties will have make new ones limited to 7 rounds, and if you want to buy one, you'll have to get that SKU, or find a cooperative out-of-state dealer who will swap magazines. Read Emily Miller's adventures in getting her preferred gun model into D.C. for an example of this; there the limit is 10 rounds.
That's worse than a 'gun grab' in my opinion.
This is the only thing that can get "the ACLU" (the national HQ and most but not all state units of it) against "gun grabbing", the realization that it can't be accomplished without gross 4th Amendment violations.
These barrels get so hot that, with night vision and at night, you can actually catch a glimpse of rounds traveling out the barrel. In retrospect is seems crazy to say that you can 'see' a round. Perhaps the night vision goggles are producing artifacts (not sure now).
OK, I've looked up the source (http://www.amazon.com/Testing-The-War-Weapons-Machine/dp/087...); this was a problem with early ones. "A friend of mine burned his hands to the bone pulling out the barrel of an M60 with his bare hands when the North Vietnamese infantry attempted to overrun his position in South Vietnam. He did not feel it at the time, but after the battle was over, he discovered the condition of his hands." They did add a handle later, and it sounds like by the time you tried one (and probably when I would have, if eyesight hadn't kept me out of the military).
Other points: Early ones had fixed front sights on the barrel.... Then he gets into reliability, and notes machine guns fire a lot more rounds than pistols and rifles. Some crazy guy put 10,000 rounds through a MG3 in 7.5 minutes, and 500,000 (!) through a FN MAG in one sitting. Obviously the soft sear is an issue there. He also says "a number of parts" can be put in backwards. Then he gets into ergonomics, the weight of the tripod (more than the less complicated one for the MG3, which also isn't made out of lightweight metal), the original bipod being barrel mounted (!!!) ... yep, your summation of it being a dog sounds spot on.
In all of my time in service, the only time I ever burnt my hand on a hot barrel was during OSUT, when a dickhead Drill Corporal had us all stand at attention after we'd formed up after being cleared from the firing line. It taught me a valuable lesson about how hot a weapon could get.
I have also seen an M60 barrel warp & bend after firing 1500 rounds non-stop.
As for putting the gun together incorrectly, I can see doing so in the heat of battle, or the fog (20+ hours a day on your feet, except while in the "front-lean-&-rest") of Ranger School, but have never seen such occur in normal training.
All in all, the M60 is still a venerable gun, and when proper tactics are employed (inter-locking fire) it is a more than capable weapon.
So much that, in one of my assignments, our platoon had 3 gun crews instead of the usual 2, because our PL had served multiple tours in Vietnam, and he knew the effectiveness of these guns - especially with 3 crews while doing a bounding overwatch.
"Fire a burst of six to nine."
The point is I should be able to pick up any weapon, take it apart and put it back together without knowing much about it. I, of course, was well trained. There's no telling how much training the next person has and we should expect that they will have little to none.
I also spent time in a platoon with three gun teams.
Unless compared to its competition. In many ways its infamy is that while everyone else got it right (the Germans in 1942!) or at least a lot better, we didn't.... And I'd like to see what you say about the even longer list of problems in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M60_machine_gun#Design_flaws ; I not that it doesn't mention the barrel handle and bipod fixes, or the assembly problem.
The worst part was filling out range cards. (lol)
(I certainly appreciated the government supplied ~3,000 rounds/year of .22LR I shot on my JROTC rifle team.)
It was early November, 1982 when I graduated OSUT at Ft Benning, GA, USA (1st Platoon, Echo Company, 7th Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Brigade, AKA "Sand Hill,") and I distinctly remember being quite disappointed that the rifle I first checked out of the Armory had a "Mattel" logo on it. We quickly compared our rifles, and there were some with the Mattel logo, and some with other markings, but we all had a good laugh about "toy" rifles.
Back in '82, in OSUT (One Station Unit Training)all weapons were kept in the Armory, under lock and key, and we'd check a rifle out of the Armory for target practice, do some shooting, then clean our assigned weapons before checking them back into the Armorers, who would raise holy-hell if you had not thoroughly cleaned the aforementioned rifle.
For those who doubt my (and other's) assertion(s) regarding the "Mattel" logo, I had no camera while going through boot camp, and doubt that any of the other recruits had carried a camera while training.
Our company Commander was Captain G. Tronsrue, a West Point graduate, as well as an Airborne Ranger.
He's on Facebook, and I've conversed with him there. He said that he remembers my name, and that only a few other "Echo Outlaws" had contacted him via FB.
What a walk down memory lane!
I'm not familiar with working on finished (anodized?) aluminum; did the stamp appear to have been applied after the original finish? Were these perhaps refurbished lowers, allowing an armorer perhaps unenamored of the design and/or round to apply the stamp and then properly refinish it? (Were M16s refurbished in such a way?)
From what I've been researching, Mattel had a short contract during the late 70's to manufacture M16 rifles for the US military. Unfortunately, I have no credible verification of said contract.
Perhaps someone will dig a bit deeper to get to the bottom of this aspect.
As for the Mattel Marauder, replica, I had never even heard of it until today.
Although there are admittedly a lot of neckbeard libertarian types that this argument would appeal to, I think most "hackers" are interested in building things that are productive and beneficial to society, and do not impose massive societal costs. The marginal social cost of household gun ownership is in the range of $100 to $1800 per year. http://home.uchicago.edu/~ludwigj/papers/JPubE_guns_2006FINA...
Secondly you attempted to support your stance by research that was done on only 200 counties over 14 years ago. This paper is nothing more then corollary drivel dressed up as research. Their findings are easily debunked, gun ownership has been steady or increasing the last 10 years and homicides have been in decline. Feel free to peruse http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats.
The AR-15 is a cool gadget. If you don't think guns are cool pieces of mechanical engineering, I suggest going to the range and firing a few.
I honestly have never known anyone who didn't tone down their anti-gun hate after having gone to the range with a knowledgeable, capable, and safe chaperone. I have taken several and everyone always had an enjoyable time, just stress the safety aspects consistently!