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View Full Version : Standard Carrying load in the field (military)


Radiki
February 8, 2006, 03:25 PM
Since I have never been in the military or deployed oversees I had a question about what was brought with you. Anytime I watch History or Discovery and they are showing some shootout between some small group of marines or something being ambushed by BG's they say how the battle lasted for hours with out any support. Now, when I go to the range, I can shoot through hundreds of rounds in not a lot of time at all. How much ammo does the average soldier carry on a patrol or something like that? When you are out numbered 4 or 5 to one it seems like you could shoot through quite a few magazines and I imagine that you can only carry so much. Even at 6 rounds a minute thats 720 rounds in two hours. How do eleven or twelve men defend a position for hours upon hours with only what they carry against 50 or more assailants?

ISP2605
February 8, 2006, 03:57 PM
You're making my head hurt now forcing me to think back. Best that I can recall the regs called a combat load as 240 rds for the M-16. Realistically tho, you carried as much water and ammo as you could carry. Can't have too much of either.
Not everyone will be firing 6 rds a minute for X hours on end.

Mikeyboy
February 8, 2006, 04:23 PM
ISP is more or less right. Let's say 10 mags for the M-16 and (if assigned) 4 mags for the sidearm. That is 300 .223 and 60 9mm. You can do a lot of damage with that much ammo. A WWII M1 ammo belt carried only 80 rounds.It not like you will be fight alone, you will have multiple soldiers, planes, vehicles, hunting and killing the enemy. It isn't always a constant firefight, there is manuveuring, recon, communicating and other stuff involved. Unless it is a full blown assault, I think you would run out of targets before you run out of ammo.

OneInTheChamber
February 8, 2006, 05:06 PM
How about the machine gunner's with the SAW's? How much do they carry?
Do they still do the thing where each guy carries an extra belt for the MG??

Weeg
February 8, 2006, 05:17 PM
Depends on unit, mission profile, unit SOP, and what weapon is being carried (factored into the first three items)


.

bruchi
February 8, 2006, 05:42 PM
That the average grunt can carry at most 500 rounds of 223 ammo. When you see a firefight in most cases it is a bunch of guys shooting at each other not just the one, doubt that they would shoot at each other stratght for hours, more like whenever the opposrtunity presented. I guess it can be a waiting game big time.

Weeg
February 8, 2006, 06:26 PM
Bruchi:

Way too many variables...Like I stated earlier...Unit, mission profile, SOPs, weapon carried, etc

The average non-infantry trooper using the old LBE used to carry 210 rounds in 7 mags...six in the belt pouches, one in the rifle...But now, with LBV's and MOLLE etc, many more rounds can be carried, but other issues may be at work:

Examples:

Many who ride mainly in a vehicle may have a butt-load of rounds carried high on their chest to where they can get at it...But if they have to get prone when their ride gets smoked, it can be a bummer...

Many who are dismounts have different configurations...

If you have to be very "mobile" on your feet, different configurations...

The list goes on...Not too cut-and-dry a subject...Many different units use many different loadouts...I know this subject well

;)


Hope this helps,

RW

Eghad
February 8, 2006, 07:00 PM
The basic load for us was 210 rounds.. 6 30 rounders in the 4 slanted pockets on the LBE and one for the magazine is what we carried on trips to Afghanistan with the regulation LBE. However the Special Forces guys had some LBE that could carry a bunch.

I am sure the troops on patrol probably carried more.

model 25
February 8, 2006, 10:38 PM
When I was in Iraq it was a rare soldier that didn't have a mag on the butt of his gun for extra ammo. Most of the fighting on convoy was heavy weapons from the vehicles and the guys dressed pretty light so they could move in a hurry if their ride got shot up.

Overloaded with gear meant you may miss the the last truck and the BGs kill you. Plus it is hot as hell or cold as hell depending on job and time of day. Gunners on the night run in the rain get froze good as fast as the convoys go. In the day time the rigs have airconditioning (most but not all) but in august the temp is 137 degrees (felt temp) and the dust is unbelievable. There is a reason they call em "Ragheads"

Everyone dresses for the mission they are on. Threat level is always high and I always thought that the most important thing we all had going for us was the body armour, saves lots of good men.

25

CobrayCommando
February 8, 2006, 11:58 PM
Since I have never been in the military or deployed oversees I had a question about what was brought with you. Anytime I watch History or Discovery and they are showing some shootout between some small group of marines or something being ambushed by BG's they say how the battle lasted for hours with out any support. Now, when I go to the range, I can shoot through hundreds of rounds in not a lot of time at all. How much ammo does the average soldier carry on a patrol or something like that? When you are out numbered 4 or 5 to one it seems like you could shoot through quite a few magazines and I imagine that you can only carry so much. Even at 6 rounds a minute thats 720 rounds in two hours. How do eleven or twelve men defend a position for hours upon hours with only what they carry against 50 or more assailants?

Explosives my friend explosives. And the fact that while an assault may last for hours the time the enemy is exposed to an individual infantryman's bullets can be measured in seconds. There are exceptions to that rule such as the allied human wave attacks we call D-Day.

Honestly most ammunition expenditure in modern militaries appears to be shooting into random nothingness where they hope an enemy might be. Consider that it takes our military 250,000 rounds on average to kill a single enemy. Realistically without counting machineguns and vehicular weapons its probably more like 5-20,000, still an immense amount.

In Vietnam you had jungle to shoot into, in Iraq you have long abandoned buildings and rubble.

Axel357
February 9, 2006, 02:01 AM
Standard loadout in my unit is 210 for M-16/M-4: One mag in weapon and 3 in each ammo pouch. Someone asked about the SAW as well. Not sure if it's standard, but here I carry 800 rounds. One drum in weapon, one on hip, and two in alice pack.

AirForceShooter
February 9, 2006, 04:25 PM
and let's keep in mind men under attack do have fire control discpline.
They just don't throw out rounds like you can on a range.

AFS

Radiki
February 9, 2006, 07:01 PM
They just don't throw out rounds like you can on a range.

Yeah, I guess I watch too many movies with those nifty unlimited ammo machine guns.:D Thanks guys for the quick answers:)

pickpocket
February 9, 2006, 09:07 PM
Situation, Mission, and Time are always going to dictate.

In Iraq I carried anywhere between 250-300 rounds (10 thirty-round mags) in a non-regulation rig. Depending on the mission, I either carried another bandolier of 5.56 or had it close by. I carried a pop-up flare, two frags, a smoke, and some non-lethal grenades for the rock-throwing kiddies.

My SAW Gunners carried either 2-3 200 rd. drums on them and there were 5-6 extra drums floating around the squad.

aspen1964
February 11, 2006, 04:41 PM
..my guess is that soldiers, despite being caught up in the seriouness of a battle still have to consciously pace themselves with their spending up their ammo supply..in WW2 I read of many fighter pilots who would switch off 2 guns to keep some ammo in reserve in case of a prolonged fight....if there isn't an immeadiate supply available then ground troops don't just spray shots continously..then they would run dry in a lengthened fight...

pickpocket
February 11, 2006, 09:19 PM
It's called fire discipline. There are other threads here that touch on it...
You don't shoot if you don't have a target.

63Belair
February 16, 2006, 01:43 PM
why would our troops carry extra mags when they could just all have 1 m-60 each with a belt of 20 or so rounds that never ends?

:D

AirForceShooter
February 16, 2006, 04:08 PM
have you ever humped some of those endless belts.
they can get very heavy, very.

AFS

Sulaco2
February 16, 2006, 04:22 PM
The M60 is not exactaly light either!!!

model 25
February 16, 2006, 04:48 PM
Interesting how war is, the standard load of ammo is 180 rnds and if everyone hit one man with each round the war would be over quickly. Nice to see they put good optics on the guns now as the hit potential went way up. Now if they could figure out how to get you to not crap your pants when the shooting starts:D

25

DBski
February 16, 2006, 06:46 PM
When I was with the Big Red One in VietNam we carried 20 magazines (20 rounds) 100 rounds for the M-60, 2 hand frags, smoke grenades, a claymore, plus all the food and water to last for 3 days. We usualy stayed out in the bush for 10 to12 days and were resupplied every third day with food and water and ammo.

CobrayCommando
February 16, 2006, 06:54 PM
How much did that load weigh?

U.S.SFC_RET
February 17, 2006, 09:22 PM
Standard operating Procedure calls for a soldier to carry 210 basic load of 5.56 M16A2 amunition. 1 30 round magazine locked in the magazine well of the weapon and 6 30 round magazines carried in two pouches. Typically a soldier will carry more if the mission dictates. You are also loaded down with kevlar helmet, body armor at least 2 quarts of water, gas mask plus anything else your commander deems necessary to load you with. Not Fun,Not Fun.

riverrat66
February 17, 2006, 10:50 PM
Radiki,

This is a great question and took quite a bit of thought. As I try to remember back 40 years ago and from what I can recall DBski is correct. That early in the war though I carried an M-14 and all the usual compliments.

BTW, I have a video of the new M-60E4 that is capable of firing 15,000 rds before requiring a barrel change. During testing they clipped together eight and one half belts of ammo, that's 850 rds and fired them all non-stop with one pull of the trigger, that took 1:45 seconds! Very impressive. Talk about fire power.:eek:

Also, is it true that todays M-16's have a selector switch for burst instead of full auto because so much ammo was wasted in Vietnam?

Another little known fact that I posted in another thread. Did you know that Lady Bird Johnson, our First Lady during part of the war, owned a munitions factory and received one half penny for every bullet fired in Vietnam?

CobrayCommando sez:
How much did that load weigh?
As much as 90# or more and you should try jumping out of a airplane with that!

CobrayCommando
February 18, 2006, 01:49 AM
Damn thats heavy. The heaviest load today for the Marines is 130 pounds, thats for when they don't know when they are going to be resupplied. But they obviously don't carry that every day.

BTW the second time they tried that stunt with the M60 the barrel burst a few rounds short of their previous record.

Skeletor
February 18, 2006, 07:12 AM
Officially, a Marine rifleman carries 180 rounds and a SAW gunner carries a 200 round drum while his A-gunner has 400 rounds for the SAW plus a spare barrel and his own weapons and ammo. Realistically, everyone carries more ammo and the SAW gunner carries all of his own crap.

ResidentEvilFan
February 20, 2006, 12:51 AM
IF a soldier has a M2O3 attached to his gun, how many shells do they have on them? And do they carry frag grenades or no?

BreacherUp!
February 20, 2006, 01:32 AM
everything is METT-T
To the original poster, since you asked and probably do not know:
M= Mission, E= Enemy, T= Terrain & weather, T= Troops & fire sppt avail and -T= Time.
As Erick said, these ALL factor into your loadout. Besides, you may also be carrying unit gear, i.e.: litters, ladders, breaching equip., 60mm mortar rounds, and any other shoulder and back breaking gear in order to finish the job.