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Tech Qs about "Black Hawk Down"

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  • Tech Qs about "Black Hawk Down"

    Picked up "BHD" on DVD ... had some technical questions about it, though.

    Why do the Rangers have the butts of their M-16s taped with what looks like dark green duct tape?

    Why do the soldiers tap their magazines against their helmets before loading their weapons? (I've noticed this in a lot of movies -- never understood why its done -- figured I'd ask).

    One character, Twombly, is firing a weapon with a magazine drum ... what kind of weapon is it? Is it the same as Nelson is firing?

    Does the military still issue Colt-1911 .45 caliber handguns? Several of the Delta Force soldiers use them in the film -- for some reason, I'd thought the military would have upgraded to a higher capacity handgun by the '90s.

    Just a note: I saw a special about the incident on the History Channel last week. Aidid's son was sent to the US for an education, and joined the Marine Corps. He was one of the Marines initially sent to Somolia, and I think he's now returned and setting himself up in his father's place.

  • #2
    I can answer a couple of these.

    The reason for tapping the magazine against the helmet is to mkae sure all of the rounds are fully seated against the rear of the magazine. When doing all of that running, jumping, diving and stuff, the rounds will sometimes move foreward. Tapping them back helps prevent jams/malfunctions.

    As far as teh Delta guys, they can carry pretty much whatever they want. One of the Delta guys carried an M1.

    I think that the weapon with the drum magazine was a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).

    I have no idea about the green duct tape.

    If I'm wrong about any of this, I will readily stand corrected.
    "Integrity is like virginity. Once it's lost, you can't get it back." --drunkhunter

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Crazy in a Jeep:
      Does the military still issue Colt-1911 .45 caliber handguns? Several of the Delta Force soldiers use them in the film
      The standard sidearm issued by the US Military is now the 9mm Beretta 92 (Called the M9 by the military). Some members, such as CID agents, can opt for the 9mm Sig P228 (Called the M11). Many SpecOps teams deviate from this norm though. The SEALS have used the Sig P226 for a long time, but sometimes carry the HK MK23 SOCOM. I'm sure some SpecOps soldiers opt for custom 1911s, as they can be made extremely reliable and accurate.

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      • #4
        just picked up my copy of BHD a couple days ago... heres my question:

        why were all of the US flag patches on their uniforms sewn on backwards (union in the upper right instead of upper left). this includes flags sewn onto right arm sleeves and on the chest of one soldier. was this a mistake or am i not up to par on my flag ettiquette?

        [ 06-14-2002: Message edited by: 10-13 ]

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Crazy in a Jeep:
          Picked up "BHD" on DVD ... had some technical questions about it, though.
          Read the book. It goes into WAY more detail and it is much better at explaining everything. I read the book before watching the movie and I felt that the movie was a complete letdown compared to the book. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie, but it could have been better. The book actually helps to give you a better idea as to what these guys went through that the movie didn't show.
          A closed mouth gathers no foot. --Unknown

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          • #6
            10-13, the union is always forward on things that move. Soldiers are considered things that move.
            Bill R

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill R:
              10-13, the union is always forward on things that move. Soldiers are considered things that move.
              what about the flag on that soldier's chest? it had the union on upperright.

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              • #8
                Maybe that soldier doesn't move ...

                "Darn it, Private, move!"

                "I can't!"

                "Argh! Re-sew his patch!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Crazy in a Jeep:
                  Maybe that soldier doesn't move ...

                  "Darn it, Private, move!"

                  "I can't!"

                  "Argh! Re-sew his patch!"
                  LOL...maybe he runs sideways or something.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by drunkhunter:

                    I think that the weapon with the drum magazine was a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).

                    I have no idea about the green duct tape.

                    If I'm wrong about any of this, I will readily stand corrected.

                    Your right on all points. The duct tape in reality would be applied to the butt stock and then a weapons rack number would be written on the duct tape, to assure the weapon is stored in the right slot of a weapons storage rack. It can also be used to ID the unit, platoon and squad.

                    It can also be used for whatever else the unit commander desires to write upon it.

                    Jim Burnes

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                    • #11
                      Jim's answer is very possible....... was it taping down the sling by chance?

                      I haven't seen the movie yet, but there are drum mags available for the M16 too.

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                      • #12
                        www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m249.htm

                        The weapon in question is a Squad Automatic Weapon. The ammo is a 200 round belt that comes in a plastic box.

                        Nite and Jim, your probably right about the tape. I'll have to watch the movie again. But the green 100 M.P.H tape can be used for ID numbers or sometimes to keep the sling from making noise or shining in the dark.

                        Some of the more 'high speed' troopers will tape an extra field dressing to their weapon just to have it handy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Crazy in a Jeep:

                          Does the military still issue Colt-1911 .45 caliber handguns? Several of the Delta Force soldiers use them in the film -- for some reason, I'd thought the military would have upgraded to a higher capacity handgun by the '90s.

                          The 1911 is preferred by a lot of special operations people because it's single-action trigger is much more crisp and lighter than the Beretta's, allowing faster, more accurate followup shots. The 1911's they use are highly customized so that it is a far superior weapon to the issue Beretta.
                          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                          • #14
                            Flag ettiquite states that the Stars are always facing forward. As all the flag patches in the movie (with the exception of the chest ones, which if i recall from last night, were stars left) were on the right arm, the stars had to be on the left so that they face front. You will (should) notice this on any uniform that has a flag on the right shoulder.

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                            • #15
                              The weapon in question is a Squad Automatic Weapon. The ammo is a 200 round belt that comes in a plastic box.
                              Lone, thanks for the info -- a lot of the soldiers (Nelson - the one who loses his hearing) are using the box with belt fed ammo ... but one soldier uses a drum magazine.

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