During the Vietnam War, the Studies And Observations Group (SOG) created an ingenious top-secret program called Project Eldest Son to wreak general mayhem and cause the Viet Cong and NVA to doubt the safety of their guns and ammunition.
Amid a firefight near the Cambodian border on June 6, 1968, a North Vietnamese Army soldier spotted an American G.I. raising his rifle, and the NVA infantryman pulled his trigger, anticipating a muzzle blast. He got a blast, alright, but not quite what he'd expected.
United States 1st Infantry Division troops later found the enemy soldier, sprawled beside his Chinese Type 56 AK, quite dead - but not from small-arms fire. Peculiarly, they could see, his rifle had exploded, its shattered receiver killing him instantly. It seemed a great mystery that his AK had blown up since nothing was blocking the bore. Bad metallurgy, the G.I.s concluded, or possibly de
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