The Pentagon's Exploding Guns, By the Numbers
Graphic: Rodney Hazard/Sarah MacReading/Colin Snyder


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The Pentagon's Exploding Guns, By the Numbers

We crunched key data behind the US military shipping thousands of defective gun parts to troops for years, and knowing about it.

The US military sent thousands of deficient machine gun parts to soldiers and Marines at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Pentagon knew for years that defective parts, which can cause guns to explode, were being shipped to troops.

Investigative journalist Damien Spleeters spent a year obtaining previously unrevealed documents through the Freedom of Information Act, reviewing thousands of pages of Department of Defense audits, studies, quality deficiency reports, contracts and correspondence, and court records related to this issue. He also interviewed dozens of current and former military officials and manufacturers' employees, quality control and weapons experts, and veterans, including an Army soldier whose machine gun blew up on him on the Fourth of July 2010 while stationed in Afghanistan.

Here's a sketch of key facts and figures from the story.