USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

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surprise_i'm_armed
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USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#1

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:47 pm

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... shot-down/

Up until now, AFAIK, US Air Force pilots, if they have to eject over enemy territory, have only had
a sidearm with some unknown limited amount of ammo.

Now, ejection seats will be equipped with a variant of the M4. Its barrel can be put together in 60
seconds without tools. Four 30 round magazines will be provided.

Having a long gun and 120 rounds means that flyers forced to eject over enemy territory will now have
a more long range ability to keep away threats until they can be recovered.

The weapons are being prepared at Lackland AFB, San Antonio.

Sounds like a good plan.

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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#2

Post by ScottDLS » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:53 pm

Navy says don’t forget shark repellent and life vest.
4/13/1996 Completed CHL Class, 4/16/1996 Fingerprints, Affidavits, and Application Mailed, 10/4/1996 Received CHL, renewed 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2016...). "ATF... Uhhh...heh...heh....Alcohol, tobacco, and GUNS!! Cool!!!!"

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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#3

Post by carlson1 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:10 pm

This sounds like a great improvement to me. Being on the enemies terrritory with a handgun just never sounded right to me.

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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#4

Post by G26ster » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:05 pm

Hmm. The rifle is in a kit attached to the ejection seat. So how does the pilot or pilots marry up with the kit(s) and rifle(s) after they separate from the seat after ejection? Any current or former USAF pilots or techs here that can explain?

As a side note, in RVN I wished I could carry my issued M16 in the cockpit, but the confined back seat in the Cobra gunship was way to tight to accommodate. On one mission near Khe Sanh (where many, many bad guys lived), I went down with an engine failure, and me an my front seat had only our trusty issued S&W Model 10's and 12 rounds between us. Fortunately within 30 minutes we were rescued.

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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#5

Post by Rhino1 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:22 pm

My response is dated as I flew F-4s but imagine the seat kits are similar to current aircraft. The seat kit was a hard pack that attached to the parachute harness (parachute itself was part of ejection seat). After ejection and the parachute opens, the seat kit opens, if set on automatic. (In SEA we typically flew in manual because wanted to reduce to chance of being hung up in jungle canopy between the parachute and life raft). When the kit opened, the life raft would inflate and was attached by a nylon cord to the left side of parachute harness. Inside the seat kit was a rubber bag with survival aids (radio, flares, etc). The GAU-5 would likely be stored in that bag as well.
We were issued the same S&W revolver in SEA. I had an instructor who was shot down on his first tour. I remember him saying a .38 is a pain to reload when being chased through rice paddies. I bought a personal Browning Hi-Power and took it with me. When I was getting ready to fly commercial from Houston to San Francisco and on to Travis AFB, I called the airline to ask how to transport a firearm. They just said to put it into my baggage. How times have changed!
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#6

Post by ScottDLS » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:59 pm

Navy put me in the back of a TA-4 trainer once in the early ‘80s to evaluate me as a potential candidate for flight training. I was qualified but didn’t have the desire. In our ejection training they told us there was a significant chance of leaving a body part in the aircraft during ejection. This was to emphasize the importance of following the correct procedure and tucking legs/arms and pulling the face curtain if possible. Since we were flying over Beeville, TX no need to carry a sidearm, unless I guess for feral hogs and angry cows if we bailed over King Ranch. :biggrinjester:

Glad the VC and NVA were before my time. And ole Ho Chi Minh didn’t really have a surface navy, so guess I woulda been safe. :patriot:
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#7

Post by Rhino1 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:43 pm

In SEA, and I assume current combat environments, we carried a Blood Chit in our survival vests. It was a silk cloth with US flag and verbiage in all the local indigenous languages to the effect that you were in distress and our country would reward you if you helped the downed airman. They harkened back to before WWII when the Flying Tigers were flying P-40s to help the Chinese against the Japs. They wore a Chinese flag on the back of their flight jackets.

When I left active duty, I flew with the Texas ANG in Houston. There was a period of time when we wore a large Texas flag on the back of our flight suits. (In interest of giving due credit, it started with San Antonio ANG squadron). Anyway, we called it our South Texas Blood Chit. Wanted everyone to know that we weren’t some Yankee if we ever had to punch out.
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#8

Post by Liberty » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:20 am

This thing has a quick release barrel, is available only for semi-auto.

I wonder how long we have will have to wait before we mere civilians can get our hands on one.
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#9

Post by ScottDLS » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:43 am

Liberty wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:20 am
This thing has a quick release barrel, is available only for semi-auto.

I wonder how long we have will have to wait before we mere civilians can get our hands on one.
Very likely a SBR, but wouldn't preclude you from getting or building one if you pay the NFA tax.
4/13/1996 Completed CHL Class, 4/16/1996 Fingerprints, Affidavits, and Application Mailed, 10/4/1996 Received CHL, renewed 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2016...). "ATF... Uhhh...heh...heh....Alcohol, tobacco, and GUNS!! Cool!!!!"

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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#10

Post by Paladin » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:55 am

M4 sounds like a great idea.

I heard a lot of the wheelguns issued to aircrew in Vietnam were in such bad shape they were worthless.
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#11

Post by bblhd672 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 am

Liberty wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:20 am
This thing has a quick release barrel, is available only for semi-auto.

I wonder how long we have will have to wait before we mere civilians can get our hands on one.
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#12

Post by AF-Odin » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:27 am

Pretty much what Rhino1 said. The life raft and survival kit were attached to you and the chute harness by a long lanyard and could either deploy automatically if selected or manually. As you came down in the chute, the raft and survival kit would dangle some distance below you. As Rhino1 said, you did not want that stuff to get tangled in the trees. For a water landing, once in the water, the procedure was to pull yourself to the raft via the lanyard (you had your life preserver on). You would then pull in the survival kit. In the 50's and 60's, SAC (and possibly others) had a survival rifle in the kit, it was a folding .22/.410 over and under single shot, primarily for hunting. I never saw one on active duty, but have seen examples.

In SEA, with PACAF, we were issued S&W Model 10s with a total of 18 rounds. The ones we had were in decent shape. Later, when I went to SAC we had S&W Model 15s that were in great shape (Carried and cleaned a lot and fired very little). For alert, we had 50 rounds per crew member aboard the aircraft (six 50 round boxes). When deploying for Desert Shield/Storm, since I was not in a primary flying position, they tried to issue me a S&W Model 10 that the cylinder was so loose that it wobbled back and forth on the longitudinal axis. Luckily I was working directly for a boss that had the authority to waive the "no personal weapons" policy and allowed me to carry my personal .45 as long as I drew my ammo from the JTF armory (our JTF had AF, Army, and Navy so they had .38, 9mm, and .45 available). Primary aircrew in our JTF were issued M-9s, but others had the hodge podge.
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#13

Post by BBYC » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:16 pm

bblhd672 wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 am
Liberty wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:20 am
This thing has a quick release barrel, is available only for semi-auto.

I wonder how long we have will have to wait before we mere civilians can get our hands on one.
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#14

Post by n5wd » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:34 am

Paladin wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:55 am
I heard a lot of the wheelguns issued to aircrew in Vietnam were in such bad shape they were worthless.
For most of my tour in Vietnam, I was assigned to the 35TFW (Tac Fighter Wing - the "owner" of Phan Rang AB where we had three air combat wings plus a squadron of Australian B-58's) and for a few months while the HQ building was being renovated, we drew weapons from the armory of one of the fighter squadrons. While most of the weapons we had access to (Comat Masterpiece .38's, M-16's, CAR-15's, an occassional .45) were well used, they were kept in pretty good shape by the armorers. After all, that weapon functioning could mean the difference in someone's life!
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Re: USAF pilots' ejection seats to have M4 variant & 120 rounds.

#15

Post by jb2012 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:26 pm

I really don’t see that much of an advantage over splitting the upper and lower? What are you gaining 4 inches? In all reality you don’t gain or lose any length just splits more evenly.

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