http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,123028,00.html?ESRC=marine.nl How Marines Feel About Their Gear Military.com | January 23, 2007 (Editor’s note: This piece was forwarded to the Military.com staff without attribution, which is usually a show-stopper for us, but it has such good detail that we wanted to share it with readers of Warfighter’s Forum.) 1) The M-16 rifle: Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder-like sand over there. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also. Marines like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picattiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round because of its poor penetration on the cinderblock structures common over there. Even torso hits can't be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. 2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon), .223 cal. Drum-fed light machine gun: Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of junk. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly (not fun in the middle of a firefight). 6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. "Ma deuce" is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper, and the most coveted weapon in theater. 7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there. Everybody who is authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get his hands on one. With few exceptions, this weapon can reliably be expected to drop the enemy with a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it. The old government model .45's are being re-issued en masse. 8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment, and grunts love the 7.62 round. 11) The newer body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs.and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as hell to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the B.S. about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in most cases.