MISFIRE: THE TRAGIC FAILURE OF THE M16 IN VIETNAM
320pp., 25 illus. 2019. The jungle humidity corroded the rifle’s inner components; the cheap gunpowder in the rounds fouled the chamber. The M16 often failed to eject spent cartridges, often jammed, making the rifle “about as effective as a muzzleloader,” in the words of one officer. Men began to be killed in combat because they couldn’t return fire or because they had paused to fix their rifles.