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Thread: Do Armory Rack or Issued Weapons fare better?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man


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    Do Armory Rack or Issued Weapons fare better?

    This question came up at a local LGS yesterday, and I thought it should get asked here with the wide range of knowledge out there.
    My thoughts are that issued weapons get more personal care and treatment, whereas rack weapons get handed to anyone to get shot, tore down cleaned and reassembled then thrown back on the rack.
    Dave

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    The differences are the issue weapon is cared for, cleaned, lubed and handled by the person using them. I would like to think that a wepon for defending a life would be cared for properly by the person. The drawback is the amount of training in a large dept for training and the outlay for firearms for people that only occasionally need a firearm. On the rack grade cleaning and care is by a trained armorer or team and problems may be spotted on a cleaning and fixed. This is less training for a large dept. Also sometimes fewer firearms are need here since the people in the office that arnt always carrying don't have to be issued a firearm.
    I'm not sure how I would feel on either way. But also what about tasers, batons, cuffs, radios, and all the other gear a person may carry.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    In the Corps there was no difference (sort of - will explain in next paragraph) between "Rack Weapons" and "Issued Weapons". Except on Field Exercises, Deployments, and War Zones all weapons are maintained in a Unit Armory and have to be "drawn" each time a required use arises (Weapons Training, Drills, weekly/Monthly cleaning, etc..).

    Rifles and Pistols are "Issued" to individual Marine by most Unit Armories, with the serial number recorded of who it was issued to and when, with a "Rifle/Pistol Card" issued to the Marine (or Corpsman or other affiliated other Service Member attached to a Unit) that is used to "Draw" the weapon from the Armory, the card left in the Rack to ID who has physical custody of the Firearm Not in the Rack. Issued Weapons are required to be cleaned on a Unit Schedule (could be weekly, monthly, or... depending on the Unit and It's Mission/Policies).

    Armorers are required to periodically inspect all Weapons - both the Unit Non-Issued (Rack Weapons in this Discussion) and those Issued. They would be inspected for cleanliness, rust/corrosion, emerging failure of components (chambers, plastic parts, wear, or....), and any conditions higher HQ directs be inspected for, or Crane Indiana (Naval Support Activity Crane - also referred to as "Crane Report" on weapons) requires).

    In the USMC, "Caring for Weapons" always has a person attached to it. Either the currently assigned Marine "Issued" the particular weapon, or "Team" issued the weapon in case of Crew Served Weapons, or the Unit Armorer/s. An "Armory Officer" is an additional duty assigned to a Marine Officer in the Unit; who then becomes responsible to the Unit CO (Commanding Officer) to ensure all weapons are clean and maintained, using the Unit Armorer/s to accomplish this Task. The Armory will receive a DETAILED inspection of weapons and records by either/or both the CG (Commanding General) or IG (Inspector General) staff periodically; usually 12 to 18 month period. THIS IS A BIG DEAL in the USMC, a bad or failing report can get a Unit Commanding Officer relieved!

    Any way, that's the way I remember it in the Corps.
    Mustang

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    From the Army side, both active duty, 1971-72 CONUS and Korea, and til 2001, 98th Div, USAR. Arms Rooms stored both rifles and side arms in "racks", chained in place. Individual members of the unit were assigned a particular weapon which remained in the arms room until signed out for maintenance or training. The armorer was responsible for all the weapons, might request a detail to assist with routine maintenance of those not assigned to a particular individual.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    I suppose it depends on branch and individual situations...I had a M249 SAW that I worked like a rented mule but lovinly cared for as best I could...Fired a crazy amount of rounds through the two barrels and never had a single jam...Ever...Was always very accurate...

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTANG View Post
    In the Corps there was no difference (sort of - will explain in next paragraph) between "Rack Weapons" and "Issued Weapons". Except on Field Exercises, Deployments, and War Zones all weapons are maintained in a Unit Armory and have to be "drawn" each time a required use arises (Weapons Training, Drills, weekly/Monthly cleaning, etc..).

    Rifles and Pistols are "Issued" to individual Marine by most Unit Armories, with the serial number recorded of who it was issued to and when, with a "Rifle/Pistol Card" issued to the Marine (or Corpsman or other affiliated other Service Member attached to a Unit) that is used to "Draw" the weapon from the Armory, the card left in the Rack to ID who has physical custody of the Firearm Not in the Rack. Issued Weapons are required to be cleaned on a Unit Schedule (could be weekly, monthly, or... depending on the Unit and It's Mission/Policies).

    Armorers are required to periodically inspect all Weapons - both the Unit Non-Issued (Rack Weapons in this Discussion) and those Issued. They would be inspected for cleanliness, rust/corrosion, emerging failure of components (chambers, plastic parts, wear, or....), and any conditions higher HQ directs be inspected for, or Crane Indiana (Naval Support Activity Crane - also referred to as "Crane Report" on weapons) requires).

    In the USMC, "Caring for Weapons" always has a person attached to it. Either the currently assigned Marine "Issued" the particular weapon, or "Team" issued the weapon in case of Crew Served Weapons, or the Unit Armorer/s. An "Armory Officer" is an additional duty assigned to a Marine Officer in the Unit; who then becomes responsible to the Unit CO (Commanding Officer) to ensure all weapons are clean and maintained, using the Unit Armorer/s to accomplish this Task. The Armory will receive a DETAILED inspection of weapons and records by either/or both the CG (Commanding General) or IG (Inspector General) staff periodically; usually 12 to 18 month period. THIS IS A BIG DEAL in the USMC, a bad or failing report can get a Unit Commanding Officer relieved!

    Any way, that's the way I remember it in the Corps.
    About sums up the way I recall it as well

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have a couple of military issed Remington Rolling Blocks and the bores are mint because the rifles normally were just used for parades or military drills with no firing of them
    Regards
    John

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I think it depends on the country and it's military. It boils down to motivation, support and situation. You see it alot. Some rifle are beat to a snot and internally are very good and some look slightly used and are baked beyond repair.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    The term "rack grade" simply implies the rifle is in "as issued" configuration. Any "match" or "enhancement" changes takes it out of "rack grade" status. A rebuild does not take the rifle out of "rack grade" status if all the part it was rebuilt with original parts. With new semi-auto commercial equivalent rifles such as ARs, M1As, etc. if it is the basic model configured to milspec configuration of the issue military version then it is considered "rack grade".
    Larry Gibson

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I believe the rack grade business is something that originated with CMP.During the twenty years I spent in the Army we had the number of weapons on hand to issue to the number of personnel authorized by TO&E.There no "rack" weapons.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    JRPVT:

    If you DEFINE your terms, we can chat. As for "Rack Grade", IF you are talking about the rifle range arms, which were shot everyday and WORN OUT junk, I would consign them to boat anchor duty!

    In my service days, I was detailed for 18 months to the base rifle range. Daily we had 80 to 100 people to qualify. We ALWAYS had the SAME rifles issued to the students, the Rack Numbers were painted on the stocks for easier inventory control. The guns were beyond economic repair in my opinion, Just WORN OUT. I asked my NCOIC why we did not get newer arms, and he told me to "shut up." He was an E-7 and I was an E-3, so we continued to use the worn out junk Rack Rifles.

    Adam

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTANG View Post
    In the Corps there was no difference (sort of - will explain in next paragraph) between "Rack Weapons" and "Issued Weapons". Except on Field Exercises, Deployments, and War Zones all weapons are maintained in a Unit Armory and have to be "drawn" each time a required use arises (Weapons Training, Drills, weekly/Monthly cleaning, etc..).

    Rifles and Pistols are "Issued" to individual Marine by most Unit Armories, with the serial number recorded of who it was issued to and when, with a "Rifle/Pistol Card" issued to the Marine (or Corpsman or other affiliated other Service Member attached to a Unit) that is used to "Draw" the weapon from the Armory, the card left in the Rack to ID who has physical custody of the Firearm Not in the Rack. Issued Weapons are required to be cleaned on a Unit Schedule (could be weekly, monthly, or... depending on the Unit and It's Mission/Policies).

    Armorers are required to periodically inspect all Weapons - both the Unit Non-Issued (Rack Weapons in this Discussion) and those Issued. They would be inspected for cleanliness, rust/corrosion, emerging failure of components (chambers, plastic parts, wear, or....), and any conditions higher HQ directs be inspected for, or Crane Indiana (Naval Support Activity Crane - also referred to as "Crane Report" on weapons) requires).

    In the USMC, "Caring for Weapons" always has a person attached to it. Either the currently assigned Marine "Issued" the particular weapon, or "Team" issued the weapon in case of Crew Served Weapons, or the Unit Armorer/s. An "Armory Officer" is an additional duty assigned to a Marine Officer in the Unit; who then becomes responsible to the Unit CO (Commanding Officer) to ensure all weapons are clean and maintained, using the Unit Armorer/s to accomplish this Task. The Armory will receive a DETAILED inspection of weapons and records by either/or both the CG (Commanding General) or IG (Inspector General) staff periodically; usually 12 to 18 month period. THIS IS A BIG DEAL in the USMC, a bad or failing report can get a Unit Commanding Officer relieved!

    Any way, that's the way I remember it in the Corps.
    That is about how I remember it. But now curiously, I wonder about the 1911 pistols I had carried when being the OOD (officer of the day), etc. I used to always get it from the previous guy that had the duty job. They had this job at battalion, regimental and for the base too. It was a 24 hour assignment as well. Being single meant I got stuck with it a lot on weekends and holidays. But weekdays too.There were some weekends or holidays where I would go from one to the other. Anyway, I would just get handled over the pistol and its belt and holster from the previous guy who was going off duty. Then I passed it along too. It would seem that the pistol would just stay in the holster the entire time. Who knows how old the cartridges in the magazine were. But the pistol and magazine were never rusty, just really holster worn. Maybe the insides were really new though as no one ever shot them. Everyone would check the pistol after getting it though. During this time period, we didn't keep a round in the magazine.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man


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    The weapon that started all this is a 1916 BSA SMLE No.1Mark III. It came into the LGS looking weathered and every bit of its' 100 years, though complete, even the magazine cut off.Upon examining the bore, it was a dull gloss, deep grooves with crisp lands, huh. So, that started the discussion of whether some one carried it and cared for it, or did it get worn externally from trips to the range for firing, then a good cleaning and oiling. Or as the case of OOD or Guard Duty where you were handed the weapon of whom you were relieving, the outside would be well handled, but inside, not so much. Please continue. Dave

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    JRPVT

    That 1916 BSA SMLE No.1Mark III. It came into the LGS looking weathered and every bit of its' 100 years, though complete, even the magazine cut off would be considered "rack grade" regardless of the care it received. The term "rack grade" is relevant to the assemblage of the weapon as it was originally produced. The term "rack grade" has nothing to do with the condition of the firearm or the use it has had.
    Larry Gibson

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  15. #15
    Boolit Man


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    After re reading the OP, I didn't notice the term" rack grade" anywhere in it. I apologize for misusing the term Armory rack, apparently it was misleading.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Helmer View Post
    JRPVT:

    If you DEFINE your terms, we can chat. As for "Rack Grade", IF you are talking about the rifle range arms, which were shot everyday and WORN OUT junk, I would consign them to boat anchor duty!

    In my service days, I was detailed for 18 months to the base rifle range. Daily we had 80 to 100 people to qualify. We ALWAYS had the SAME rifles issued to the students, the Rack Numbers were painted on the stocks for easier inventory control. The guns were beyond economic repair in my opinion, Just WORN OUT. I asked my NCOIC why we did not get newer arms, and he told me to "shut up." He was an E-7 and I was an E-3, so we continued to use the worn out junk Rack Rifles.

    Adam
    Dang, what year(s) and service? Army Basic in the late 50s/early 60s had a weapon issued to each trainee, recycled to the next training cycle after the 8 weeks of Basic. As an AIT Instructor in the late 60s we had Battalion Armory M-60s and the new LAW to familiarize trainees. Didn't much matter what shape the M-60s were in (they were actually well maintained) because the kids all shot at the trucks, tanks, etc. The range NCO hated to see the Instructors burn up the rest of the issued ammo (no live ammo returned) because we shot the heck out of the targets, which cause his troops work in replacing them.
    Ed

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by KenT7021 View Post
    I believe the rack grade business is something that originated with CMP.During the twenty years I spent in the Army we had the number of weapons on hand to issue to the number of personnel authorized by TO&E.There no "rack" weapons.
    The term was in use long before the advent of CMP. It was in use when I was in basic training in '64 as our rifles were in racks (unlocked) in the middle of the floor of the WWII barracks. When at the range for BMI the instructor explained the difference between the "rack grade" M14s we had and the "match grade" M1 and M14s we might get to use if we shot really well in the infantry units we would be assigned to.
    Larry Gibson

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    The term was in use long before the advent of CMP. It was in use when I was in basic training in '64 as our rifles were in racks (unlocked) in the middle of the floor of the WWII barracks. When at the range for BMI the instructor explained the difference between the "rack grade" M14s we had and the "match grade" M1 and M14s we might get to use if we shot really well in the infantry units we would be assigned to.
    I went thru Army Basic in 1961.I spent 20 years in the Army and never heard the term rack grade.As far a basic training M1's most were worn out.I became an expert in applying immediate action after a malfunction.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by KenT7021 View Post
    I went thru Army Basic in 1961.I spent 20 years in the Army and never heard the term rack grade.As far a basic training M1's most were worn out.I became an expert in applying immediate action after a malfunction.
    Obviously, from many of the guesses a lot never heard the term before. Probably has more to do with who the instructors/drill sergeants were and what their experience was, where you had the training and then what further experience with such weapons you had in the Army. Have to say it was not a commonly used term as most Soldiers/Marines didn't then know nor now know the difference between standard issue rifles and match grade rifles.

    You shoot high power at Puyallup rifle range or Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Range?
    Larry Gibson

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  20. #20
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Obviously, from many of the guesses a lot never heard the term before. Probably has more to do with who the instructors/drill sergeants were and what their experience was, where you had the training and then what further experience with such weapons you had in the Army. Have to say it was not a commonly used term as most Soldiers/Marines didn't then know nor now know the difference between standard issue rifles and match grade rifles.

    You shoot high power at Puyallup rifle range or Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Range?
    Ahhhh Yes. The hidden away and never seen by most Marines unless they made it to the Base and Division matches or Quantico Virginia - the elusive "Match Grade" rifles and pistols.


    I actually have a "Near Match Grade" M1A that was previously "Rack Grade". Years ago my number 2 son came visiting the Wife and I when we were in Quantico Va. while I was going to a school. I had registered and paid to shoot in a Club High Power Match at the Quantico Ranges; and was notified a couple of days before the match I had to attend a Mandatory Event. So, I sent the son and wife off to the match while I went to the "Mandatory Event". Well, the son got to talking to a couple of Marines and told them he had shot the M14 while he was at VMI. The Marines took him under their wing and escorted him to the MOBILE ARMORY VAN atop a 5 ton Truck. They spent about an hour going through the M1A (it had been epoxy bedded a couple of years before and the bedding was still good). They were able to wring a pretty good improvement out of the Rifle. The Marines and my son had a ball that day. He didn't win the match, but placed pretty well.
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 12-18-2017 at 09:27 PM.
    Mustang

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