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Old April 28, 2012, 09:25 AM   #26
SPEMack618
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In regards to U.S. Soldiers being more lightly loaded in WWII; one should also consider the massive amounts of artillery, armor, and air support available to them for most of the war. It was nothing for a unit to come under fire, go to ground, and call in various forms of death from above. Which is great if your in the plains of Europe and the only other people around are wearing different uniforms than you, but kinda self-defeating if your walking through downtown Mosul.
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Old April 28, 2012, 05:46 PM   #27
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Old April 28, 2012, 08:59 PM   #28
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The ability to select for full auto or burst fire is absolutely something that is useful and needed. There are multiple scenarios where a burst or a string of fire is just what the doctor ordered.
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Old April 29, 2012, 01:45 AM   #29
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Full auto fire is as necessary as owning a car that can go faster than the speed limit.
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Old April 29, 2012, 06:06 AM   #30
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Oh, the posts are getting better (except for mine).

To answer the question, a rifle squad or section (Groupe de combat d'infanterie) will have, on paper, from eight to twelve men, depending on the army. It may or may not be further organized into a fire group and a maneuver group with any number of names. There seems to have always been some kind of heavier automatic weapon within the squad or at least at the platoon level (three or four squads). These days there is typically someone with a rifle with a higher magnification optics, again in most armies.

I say, on paper, because once the fighting starts and there are casualities, it becomes an ad-hoc organization.

There has been a lot of experimentation in squad automatics over the last 50 or 60 years, going from a magazine fed full caliber gun to a intermediate caliber belt-fed gun. The FN 5.56 machine gun seems to be one of the more widely used guns in the West. I don't know if it says more about the gun and what soldiers want or about FN's marketing.

No army lives and fights in a perfect world, as if war could be a perfect thing, so while civilian gun enthusiasts are discussing the fine points of weapons, they go off and do their thing with whatever they have been given, which will be, if what you hear is to be believed, old and worn out, inaccurate, too heavy with a cartridge that is too light, unreliable and in need of replacement.
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Old April 29, 2012, 08:05 AM   #31
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Psychologically full auto wrecks havoc with your mind knowing that a gun firing hundreds of rounds increases the probability of you getting hit thus forcing you to into survival mode. and it works against the enemy as well. No one wants to take the chance of getting killed. The advantage of a whole squad having this means the enemy now instead of having one crew with a automatic to take out now has to worry about a whole squad.
In combat you carry so much so you want that supply of ammo to hold you over from the time you leave the wire to the time you get back into it. Logistics is very limited. So you tend to conserve what you have. And even though full auto is more wasteful and can make you combat ineffective. Most of us tended not to use spray and pray. (at least that was my perception) But rather take well aimed shots so you can save the next round for the next enemy that may come up.
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Old April 29, 2012, 08:45 AM   #32
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Leckie's ambush

Seems to me there is a time and place for everything. It is better to have and not need than to need and not have. When Bob ambushed the Japanese patrol coming up his back trail they (The enemy) were at close range and enfiladed on a narrow trail. An extended burst of high volume fire was just the thing that was needed in that situation. That was in the jungles of Guadalcanal in 1943 with a Thompson. I am sure that the same scenario could be (and probably has been) repeated in a dusty alley in Iraq or a narrow mountain trail in Afghanistan with an M-4.
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Old April 29, 2012, 09:31 AM   #33
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I remember talking to my Grandpa about his service, he was a BAR man in Europe and he said that he was suppose to have a designated "assistant BAR gunner" who would carry a bandolier of BAR magazines and that each person in the squad was supposed to carry an additional BAR mag as well.

He said in practice, however, his assistant gunner was non-existant, he humped all the ammo himself, disregarded the bi-pod first thing, and never carried his issue pistol.
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Old April 29, 2012, 09:43 AM   #34
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After going through several books on the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars, Somalia, Grenada, Panama, and the ongoing operations, I would have to say that full auto is a definte necessity. It isn't a full time use necessity, but one that keeps getting used over and over again when needed.

Quote:
In combat, the M4 is pretty much exclusively fired in semi-auto mode.
Except when it isn't, such as at Takur Ghar.

Quote:
Full auto is rarely used in combat because it's inaccurate and a waste of valuable ammunition. Laying down cover yes, everything else no.
It is only inaccurate if used inaccurately.
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Old April 29, 2012, 11:16 AM   #35
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It's an option that I feel is good to have available for an infantry soldier. About as useful as the aforementioned condom in the rucksack but a good option to have.
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Old April 29, 2012, 12:31 PM   #36
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more is better

Looking from a historical point of view man started with a single shot front loading firearm. It was time consuming to reload, much less lay down fire. The man in the field was overjoyed to get a firearm that held a magazine, or was tube fed. Then came the semi auto, even better yet. Next the full auto, which often would be inaccurate, as the following shots would rise with the barrel. Now we have full auto weapons which can stay on target when fired.
Which brings me to this quote from an unknown source.

Ammo is cheap, life is precious.

countered with;

hits count, misses don't.

countered with;

many misses in rapid fire do contribute to a huge pucker factor.

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Old April 29, 2012, 02:59 PM   #37
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It is an interesting thing how much all of those things overlapped one another. For instance, the M1 rifle was introduced in the later 1930s, yet Great Britain was still manufacturing Lee-Enfield bolt actions 20 years later--just after we quit manufacturing the M1. India was still making Lee-Enfields ten years after that.

Even more interesting is the resistance the M1 met when it came along. Inaccurate was the most common complaint.
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Old April 29, 2012, 03:29 PM   #38
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I've always found it funny that the 1931 Officer Handbook lists in great detail the best method to employ the BAR, the Springfield '03, and even the Platoon Leader's 1911A1, and yet at the time M-1 Garand was being stonewalled.

Every thing listed in said Officer's Guide, with the exception of the rifle was semi-automatic, but giving average Private Dogface a semi-automatic rifle will suddenly lead to a tremendous expenditure of ammunition?
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Old April 30, 2012, 06:30 AM   #39
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There was also resistance to the submachine gun, too, and not just in our army. The Marines were a little more progressive in that regard. As for the .45 auto, if you had one, you were only supposed to have 21 rounds of ammunition and probably you did. It occurred to me that while it was believed that accurate rifle fire (from a bolt action, of course) was more effective, there were still submachine guns to help out in tight places.

Anyone ever hear of reconnaisance by fire?
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Old April 30, 2012, 07:27 AM   #40
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Quote:
Anyone ever hear of reconnaisance by fire?
Patton wasnt it?
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Old May 26, 2012, 01:56 AM   #41
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I don't know about oatmeal but I could probably subsist on a diet of beans for a long time. That's what I grew up eating.
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:55 AM   #42
bk688
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YES

Yes, full auto is necessary.

Does the line grunt get the necessary training for a full auto rifle? Heck No. Any full auto rifle handled properly is more or less a burst fire weapon. From experience (USMC Infantry 0341/ Iraq 2007) the military does not have the grunts shoot enough in training. Don’t get me wrong, form a marksmanship standpoint, they’re on the ball, but in a combative shooting situation, we're lacking. Think of it this way; It takes 1000 perfect movements before an action becomes muscle memory. It takes far more than that for muscle memory to preform perfictly under severe stress (Like having Akmed aiming a PKM at you and then seeing that insidious grin that says "I GOT A BIGGER GUN!"). Can you imagine the amount of ammunition you'd have to purchase to get that kind of training down? Spec ops guys are known for burning out barrels of their rifles in TRAINING! I have never, nor have I ever met another Marine (Bar Force Recon and Seals) who has ever burnt out a barrel. This says a lot considering it only takes about 5000-10000 rounds to burn out a barrel. Proper training can cause you to go through 50,000 rounds easily.

This leads to burst fire weapons. The M16/M4 series weapon is burst fire for two simple reasons: 1. Not enough training hence the military is going to control the grunts trigger finger for him. 2. Better ballistic wounds. All three of those bullets in a burst are going to land in a palm sized area on the target, even at moderate distances. This leads to better ballistic wounds. While if you shoot me in the leg with a single 5.56, I may be able to walk away, a burst of them in a relatively close area is going to destroy my leg. the same thing goes with internal organs.
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:58 AM   #43
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It's great for indoor CQC. Not so great for long distances unless your laying down covering fire!
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Old May 26, 2012, 12:30 PM   #44
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The people should have the same rights to full auto as the military that defends them. The government shall fear the people.....strange....where have I heard that before..... Hmmm
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Old May 26, 2012, 02:03 PM   #45
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I am not sure how reliable the current SAW is but for some reason I would like to have one.
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Old May 26, 2012, 08:19 PM   #46
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Simple answer. No real practical need for a full auto rifle.

They are a lot of fun if you can afford the ammo.
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Old May 26, 2012, 10:35 PM   #47
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Thanks Bluetrain, cleared up some of the fog for me.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:41 AM   #48
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Is full auto necessary?

Not for me what so ever!
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Old May 27, 2012, 02:41 AM   #49
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Full auto on the old M16A1 was not needed. On a belt fed machine gun like the M60, full auto gives great capabilities. I could take out groups of guys 1,100 meters away with ease. If you ever used a machine gun, it will impress you a lot. I did not pay for ammo.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:54 PM   #50
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My motto: Accuracy through volume.
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