When something breaks on the battlefield, soldiers’ lives can be at risk. Finding help is essential. So why not call tech support? That seems like the logical option for a computer glitch, but what about when the problem is occurring with a rifle that you have to have to stay in the fight?
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You could get it to an armorer. Or, if you needed a faster option, you might call the manufacturer. That’s exactly what happened when a Marine in Afghanistan had a problem with his Barrett .50 caliber M-107.
The M-107 takes a beating from recoil, and it is put to use across the globe. Salt water, deserts, even arctic conditions can shorten the service life of a rifle. So Barrett provides customer service for those who need to keep the guns working.
Don Cook, a Marine Corps vet, is one of the people who answers the customer service line when it rings. In the video below, he talks about the time when he got a call from Marines who needed help. They were in the middle of a fire-fight, and their rifle wasn’t working.
“It’s probably one of the biggest highlights in my life to be able to help a Marine unit in a firefight,” Cook said in his National Geographic interview.
As it turns out, the Marines had bent the lower receiver the last time they were performing maintenance, and the gun wasn’t firing.
The problem had to do with a delicate piece in the receiver that had been bent up. Without seeing the rifle, Cook was able to talk the Marine through how to bend them back into place.
They didn’t have the tools needed for the repair, so Cook talked them through how to do it with the bottom of the bolt carrier. It was an improvisational fix and it worked.
It took all of 30 seconds to fix the problem and the rifle was working again. They were back in the fight.Cook describes the phone call in the video below. He begins at the 9:12 with the story.