Defense: Powder Pains

Despite repeated denials, the Pentagon reversed itself last week and admitted publicly that its new lightweight rifle, the M16, does indeed have jamming troubles beyond those caused by lack of proper maintenance by G.I.s (TIME, June 9). Though the jamming is less severe than some of the rifle's critics claimed, its malfunction is serious enough for the Defense Department to order modification of all of the services' rifles, including approximately 135,000 in Viet Nam, where it is the basic infantry weapon.

The root of the trouble is the powder for the M-16's...

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