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Old June 23, 2012, 07:44 PM   #76
Burner
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Unless you're talking about the automatic rifle or 240B, no. That being said, even those are fired in pretty short controlled bursts to keep a nice even compromise between lethality and pyschologically effect and the effectiveness of your fire.

As far as individual rifles, carbines and MP5s go, I've never seen one shot on full auto at a military range. Ever. I don't pin my bars until December so I have not exactly been to as many ranges as a current infantry E-8, but I have been to my fair share and I'm here to tell you if it happens I've never seen it.
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Old June 24, 2012, 11:18 PM   #77
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It depends. As with most things there are pros and cons. In addition, it takes additional training / skill to use effectively.

Machine gunnery is a whole 'nother subject.

It is fun though!
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Old June 28, 2012, 12:40 AM   #78
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completely pointless IMO for a Carbine.

suppressive fire is not about firing a whole bunch of rounds at a target.

I guarantee you I can suppress a target better on semi than you could holding the trigger.

2-4 accurate shots in semi is all it takes to properly suppress a target.
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Old June 28, 2012, 01:12 AM   #79
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Are you referring to my post?...I didn't say anything about suppressive fire.
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Old June 28, 2012, 04:46 AM   #80
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OP answer

sometimes and the option needs to remain open for some situations even if it isn't used or necessary

less wordy answer: yes(in my opinion)
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Old June 28, 2012, 07:47 AM   #81
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Here are some more random and miscellaneous thoughts on the topic at hand.

I brought up the question of whether or not a machine gun should be select fire. The MG34 was select fire. I don't think the MG42 was.

The 7.62 NATO was considered by some to be an intermediate cartridge when it was first introduced, although it certainly isn't anymore. The theory in some corners was that (in our case) the M14 could do almost everything. It was supposed to replace the carbine, the submachine gun and the previous rifle and even the automatic rifle. The carbine did in fact go away, the submachine gun didn't and it really did replace the BAR, after a fashion. It wasn't the original gun (the M15) but a highly modified M14 that did get used, at least for a while. The one thing the M14 was not so good at was full auto, so only some M14s came with selector switches (and those strange stocks). So if your experience was with an M14, you are likely to think full auto is not such a great thing for an ordinary infantry rifle.

Enter the 5.56mm. I would say, enter the M16 but the AR15 was in use in combat before the army got around to buying any. I do not really know if the original AR15s as purchased by the British were select fire or not. During their experiences in Malaysia, they used everything from Lee-Enfields to AR15s as well as SLRs. They never used heavy barrel full auto SLRs like both the Canadians and the Israelis, neither of whom still use them. One might say that attempting to make a squad automatic out of the regular idea never quite works out as well as it sounds. Indeed, for a while, the squad automatic man in an infantry squad (US) had the same rifle as everyone else.
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Old June 28, 2012, 10:37 AM   #82
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The FA feature is just another tool in the box available to the user.
No single tools is the solution to all problems. Every tool has their use.
Some people know when and how to use the tool... others will nerver learn or was never taught.
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Old July 10, 2012, 04:57 AM   #83
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I don't have experience with the AR in full auto, but with an AK47 its easy to shoot single, two- or three-shot bursts. AK's spread the rounds more due to to muzzle climb and shooting more than 3 rounds is a waste of ammo. But having the ability to dump 30 rounds at a target sometimes comes handy, especially up close and personal.
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Old July 10, 2012, 03:01 PM   #84
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It would appwaer to me, that since the introduction of the M16, the military has lost interest in teaching basic marksmanrship. The idea, that if you put enough rounds in the right direction,you'll hit something.
If I remember correctly, we had an M60 machine gun, an M79 grenade launcher, and the rest of us carried M14's. In basic we actually had to sight in and score hits with the M14. Therewere no full auto M14's issued to the basic infantryman.
Fire and manuver were the trade mark infantry tactics. The M60 kept em busy, while the rest manuvered to take out the target.
If the statistis are correct, each war we get involved in, the amount of small arms ammo expended for a kill rises.
I still believe, that a soldier with an M14, being a good shot, has the edge on a target. Take em out at 100 yards and the ak 47 becomes ineffective.
Another problem as I see it, is the need for all that bullet proof clothing.
We get involved in a war like Iraq, but the people of the US can't take the body bags coming home. So, the Army provides enough weight and protection to keep kia casualities down. How often do Americans complain of serious injury casualties.
We have an army of slow, weighted down, infantryman, who arent trained to shoot long distance. Weve lost the ability to fire and manuver.
There is no logic in constantly keepng troops from being exposed to enemy fire, or safe from it.
Then, we add rules of engagement, which ties their hands as to when to shoot.
In my opinion, the draft was the best thing this country ever had. If our government feels the is a national security risk, enough to go to war, send draftees and it will either be over quick, or the american people will demand an end.
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Old July 10, 2012, 07:02 PM   #85
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I'm going to have to disagree with you Old Smoker.

The military (specifically the Marines and Army) are still taught to shoot at long ranges. The Marines qualify each year at 500m and the Army's unknown distance course is up 300m I believe. So the premise that our military focuses on automatic fire and not on distance shots is wrong. In my 6 years with the Marines, I fired my M-16 maybe 3 times on burst. 1 was an ammo dump and the other 2 were while using sim rounds in the kill house.

Basic infantry and (I can only speak for the Marines) combat arm units (artillery) still full well conduct 'fire and maneuver' tactics. It is much more difficult fighting in a MOUT situation than moving and shooting in an open area. It is a different type of warfare that requires some changes in advance tactics while still maintaining the military doctrine.

I will agree with your body armor statement, that its heavy and cumbersome and sucks... but at the same time it saves lives and there are countless stories verifying the success of armor.

It sounds like you are one of the old vets that are just trying to say that the old days were better and everything is crap now. sorry, its not.

Automatic fire is absolutely needed, if for nothing else just the capability of having it. Better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. Same reason people conceal carry, just in case you need it.
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Old July 10, 2012, 07:55 PM   #86
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In my opinion the only great full auto function is the 3 round burst for a light recoiling round such as the .223/556mm. Dad once said a decent shot at 25 yards with this function should be able to put all 3 rounds in the 10 ring before the first casing hits the ground. Other than that Full auto fire is only good for suppressing or cover fire.
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Old July 11, 2012, 10:52 AM   #87
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Cannonfire, yes, I'm old school.
I believe the marines do learn to shoot at long range.
I don't know, maybe its just me, but I would have a hard time engaging an enemy, with 40 pounds of body armor hanging on me. Especially an enemy, that wears just clothing. I guess maybe the only way to compensate for lack of quality shooting is, to throw lots of lead in the general direction.
When I go to my nearby range, I see guys getting a rush out of firing bursts of semi-auto fire, just for the thrill of it. Each to their own.
In any case, if it comes down to it, I'll take a semi-auto M14 over an ak or an M16.
My army training, ie 1967,sticks in my brain and I can still make hits at 400 meters with open sights.
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Old July 11, 2012, 11:04 AM   #88
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What was the hit ratio in '67? How about WWI and Korea?

I would say our troops do petty well at killing the enemy...at least that's the rumor.
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Old July 11, 2012, 03:22 PM   #89
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Quote:
Cannonfire, yes, I'm old school.
I believe the marines do learn to shoot at long range.
I want to believe they do as well, but I keep going back to this video where the Marines get their knickers in a wad because one of the enemy is managing to have shots that pass closely by from which they conclude that the enemy must be a "sniper" because they are receiving "accurate fire." This is contrary to the norm, apparently, where the enemy can't hit a thing.

The Marines all have scoped (AGOGs) guns, fire from various positions, and have quite a time of leisurely setting up, walking around in the open despite rounds being heard pass by, but seem to hit absolutely nothing. Then the cries of 'accurate fire' and 'sniper' are made and they start to take cover a bit better, but still apparently hit nothing. Their supportive Marine buddies don't even manage to hit the correct compound with a missile that missed its target by several hundred yards.

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/...s-in-marja/?hp
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Old July 11, 2012, 03:37 PM   #90
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Double Naught Spy,

I'm sorry but I fail to see the relevance of your last post? How does marines concluding that they are taking from a sniper and another marine missing with a rocket have anything to do with being trained to engage longer shots or the use of automatic fire?

Old Smoker made the statement that (I'm paraphrasing) the current military does not train proper long distance shooting and are taught to go full auto and hope for a hit. I commented that is not true and that ground forces do train in marksmanship and rarely even train to use auto or burst on their rifles but it is nice to have the option. You post something about how marines act under fire and miss with a rocket and that brings doubts of rifle marksmanship how?

With all due respect but I find your last post completely irrelevant without further explanation.
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:37 PM   #91
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I'm a civilian - don't care if full-autos are good for military or not. But, google the "Bekwith incident" - old Harry Beckwith didn't have any problem using a machinegun on would-be burglars.
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:47 PM   #92
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Mr. Old Smoker and Mr. Cannonfire, with all due respect, time marches on. I'm surprised no one suggested bringing back bolt actions. After all, everyone knows they are more accurate and they don't waste actions. But we are overtaken by events. Here I think of two things. One, the lavish use of optical sights for apparently anyone that wants them in the army. My son was a tanker in Iraq for about 15 months and his little carbine had something fancy. Oh, and as tankers, they all had pistols but they turned them in. Everyone got either a carbine (only two had been standard) or a rifle. Of course a tank is festooned with machine guns anyway.

The other is the designated marksman program and again, equipment was lavishly distributed in support of that program and selected personnel were sent off for training. However, my son likewise reported that concept was not a useful fit for a tank unit but they had all the stuff, some of which was passed on to other units. They in particular thought the .50 caliber rifles were, well, not of great value to them.

I do agree with the assessment that the infantry operates with a heavy load but flak vests were in use in Vietnam, too. You might recall that helmets were introduced in WWI because they reduced head injuries. But there might be a place for "light bobs" in the 18th century sense who were select men that were able to operate independently and were very active. At the time they were considered elite troops but they disappeared as militarily distinct troops by the time of the Crimean war except in name, same as "riflemen."

I spent most of my time in the army in Europe and infantry there at the time had full auto M14s, but only some of them and they were the ones with the special stocks. M14A1E1 or something like that.

You like kill ratios? Here's one for you: The total casualties of WWI (both sides) was about 39 million, killed, wounded, missing, according to one source. The most numerous British artillery weapon of that war was the 18-pounder, which had been replaced by WWII with the 25-pounder. There was a grand total of about about 10,000 produced, about 9/10ths being produced in Great Britain. On the Western Front, there were about 99.3 million rounds fired during the war. That makes any talk of small arms ammunition exended per enemy trivial in comparison.
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Old July 12, 2012, 01:55 PM   #93
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Ok im seeing alot of hoohah about if I had this if I had that. I've actually been there done that and all I got was the dinky 1 cent piece of cloth to show for it.As an Infantryman also machine gunner. Trained as both, comes with the job. Yes the military stresses the old stranded of basic rifle marksmanship and builds on it. Army 300m, when I went through basic they were issuing m4s with redots. We went from basic marksmanship to advanced which included barriers, then obsitcal course as well as buddy and squad fire all with live ammo, still using the basic fundamentals of marksmanship. I personally loved my body armor, Its more comfy then a bullet. I had to do the carrying the M240 the replacement for the Pig (m60). I love the machine gun for laying down cover fire, the say is nice but I prefer to being behind the m240 with its heavy 7.62. The SOP for machine gunners is to engage the furthest targets first mainly to suppress in short bursts as to conserve ammo and to keep the barrel from getting hot as much as possible, the infantry man is trained to engage the nearest target first.
Now back to the OP topic. Is automatic fire needed for the standard infantryman (paraphrasing). Yes it is needed. it may not be used all the often or at all and not the accurate but its great for things like recon by fire. Or you have an overwhelming force coming at you and you need to move or get casualties out. you may fire 3 or 30 but only maybe 2 if your really lucky will hit.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:41 PM   #94
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Ah, Rock and Roll or A Go Go,,,how I love thee! Is full automatic necessary for the individual infantry grunt's rifle??? Good Lord YES! My old M16 would pull up and to the left on full auto and I tried to control it with bursts,,,but walking point, firing up a visible target, firing into cover where you thought the incoming was coming from, putting down covering fire or suppressive fire, recon by fire to try to draw fire from an unseen enemy all are good ways to use full auto by burst fire. The LRRP'S I have read when compromised would break off enemy contact by the point man firing off a mag on full auto and running back through the squad then the slack man would do the same thing then the next man in line would do the same thing until the whole squad had broke off contact. In an ambush you bet I want full auto.

With the new muzzle brakes I have seen videos on You Tube of full auto M14's being shot in 308 and dumping a full 20 round magazine with control.

I do not like the idea of the three round burst mode, the rifleman can control the burst by trigger control or can dump out the full magazine if needed.

We loaded our 20 round mags in Nam with 18 rounds and the VC and NVA had 30 round magazines that always made me mad, except for the fact the 20 round magazines let you get closer to the ground, with bullets flying just overhead and inch or two lower can mean life or death.

Anyone who has been in a firefight with incoming full auto fire from rifles and machine guns knows how terrifying it is and to have just a semi auto for outgoing fire would make you feel at a disadvantage and if you think while being fired at by one or a squad or a platoon or a company of soldiers with full auto weapons that you are going to coolly pick them off one by one on semi auto fire you are a better man than I am.

As far as body armor I am all for it, we did not have any we did not have flak jackets and it was torture to make the hump in the jungle and mountains of the Central Highlands of Viet Nam carrying ridiculously heavy loads as a grunt living out of a ruck for weeks at a time,,,our soldiers who do that today with the additional burden of body armor which is hot and heavy and hard to fire and manuever in are some of the toughest men we have ever produced. The Body Armor saves lives.

To go back to a semi auto rifle from a select fire rifle with semi auto and full auto capability would be a step backwards and a disservice to our troops.

But no matter what,,,don't even think about taking away my radio,,,FIRE MISSION!
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Old July 12, 2012, 11:46 PM   #95
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Bring back bolt action rifles ?-there might be something to be said for that, Carlos Hathcock used one. Patton's praise of the M-1 Garand notwithstanding, the success of US infantrymen in WWII and Korea was more due to superior logistical support, greater use of artillery, better use of airpower, and tactical and strategic doctrines that, as Patton said , made the other fellow die for his country. There is a role for, but it is best kept under control of the leadership and not over relied on till it becomes a crutch.
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Old July 13, 2012, 06:22 AM   #96
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I should hope everything is kept under control of leadership.

Good post Mr. PH/CIB. Like the rock and roll part (Wir rocken auf rollen!). It reminds me of a photo caption in the regimental journal of the Queen's Own Highlanders from about 25 years ago. It showed a young private on the range with a submachine gun. The caption read, "Pte. MacIntosh about to break into reel time." You sort of have to understand Scottish things to understand the joke. It might have said jig time but it definately wasn't strathspey time.

People seem to have forgotten that submachine guns used to be liberally distributed among the infantry, as well as others, at one time. In fact, you may know that the Soviets really got their love of such things from being on the receiving end of Finnish submachine guns during the wars of the neighbors in the early 1940s, although the Finns had an equally high reputation for accurate rifle shooting.
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Old July 13, 2012, 10:51 PM   #97
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It isn't like adding that selector switch is expensive outside NFA rules.
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Old July 14, 2012, 02:42 AM   #98
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Full auto is desirable in a military individual weapon, but should only be used very rarely, in specific scenarios such as a close ambush or room clearing, for example. Short bursts, in conjunction with fire and maneuver, are another appropriate use, but one can argue that aimed rapid fire is more effective.

Generally, though, if someone is firing full auto, especially longer bursts, it's an indicator that they're not well-trained.

If I had to go to war (again...), I'd want full-auto capability, but wouldn't sweat it too much, even though it would be giving up some advantage in certain situations.

I would definitely want a light machine gun in the team, though!

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Old July 14, 2012, 08:30 AM   #99
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Didn't Carlos Hathcock return from Vietnam 43 years ago? Like I say, time marches on.
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Old July 17, 2012, 03:00 PM   #100
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Yes Hathcock did and he died in 99. Very sad i just read his book for the first time the other day.
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