View Full Version : SMG obsolete as a military weapon?

4V50 Gary
January 1, 1999, 10:18 PM
Just a thought. Witht the adoption of more compact rifles (M4 in US, Steyr-Aug in Austria & Australia, L85 in UK, FAMAS in France), is the pistol calibre SMG obsolete as a military weapon? Thoughts and comments please.

January 2, 1999, 10:09 AM
I believe so. remember there will always be support troops who know nothing about weapons and won't shoot one that recoils heavily.

[This message has been edited by fal308 (edited 01-02-99).]

Jeff White
January 2, 1999, 06:18 PM
I agree with FAL308. The pistol caliber submachine gun is obsolete as a general issue military weapon. One of the main reasons the M4 was initially looked at was to replace the .45 grease gun that is a basic issue item on every armored combat vehicle. With the MP5 already in the system and ammunition comptability with the M9 pistol, it would have been very easy for the US to stay with a sub gun if we desired. I think the submachine gun is all but dead. It's last holdout will be as a personal defensive weapon for aircrews, but I predict the M4 or similar weapon will replace it in that role too. Small quantities of submachineguns in special ops units will be all we see.

Rob Pincus
January 3, 1999, 12:39 AM
Allow me to stroll down the middle of this road, please:

I think that the SMG will be employed a great deal in the future, as Jeff stated, by special ops units.

I also agree with the premise that the "general military: will not see the SMG, with compatible shorter versions of Battle Rifles available.

I aslo think, however, that we will see (or, perhaps, not see ;)) more overall use of the SMG, in taht more and more operations wil be carried out by special ops units in the future. Not just "black" ops, but urban and other "non-conventional" skirmishes will dictate the suse of mroe specialized troops, which are very likely to be armed with SMGs.

That said, I think we will also see a marked increase in the SMGs use in domestic law enforcement. for better or worse.

Jeff White
January 3, 1999, 08:47 PM
The only thing I disagree with is that we'll continue to see civilian police departments using SMGs.

I see the same trend with police departments going to 5.56/.223 carbines to replace MP5s etc. I think some encounters with criminals wearing body armor is prompting this switch.

I recently read an article that stated that SWAT had gone full circle in weapons choice, from the AR15/M16 to the 9mm SMG and now back to the M4, HK 53 etc.


Rob Pincus
January 4, 1999, 09:10 PM

While that may true in your metropolitan areas, I think out in the country (where most PDs/SDs are... and where there are new SRTs springing up everyday) we will see an increase in SMGs. I am certianly seeing an increase in SMGs at rural departments that used to feel they were adequately tactical because they had an M16 or an AC556 locked in a cabinet at the HQ.

As a percentage, they may stay the same or even decrease, but I think the raw numbers of SMGs will rise.. at least for a while.

January 5, 1999, 12:46 PM

You skirt the issue of what a correct choice might be a little bit. (Although it was not explicit in the thread)

If you had to pick between the 2 would you have a M4 or a MP5?


Rob Pincus
January 5, 1999, 03:14 PM
If you mean domestically, I think you need both. Some Departments have carbines and shotguns in each patrol car. I think that is a great idea. Then have a few SMGs for the SRT.
I think that the pistol caliber SMG is the better choice for entry teams. Muzzle blast, penetration, controllability, etc. being the reasons.

For the military, I think the M4 or similar carbine is the best choice 99% of the time. Special Ops requiring something like the MP5SD will always be better served by SMGs.

Personally, if I had to choose between the two , for all possible situations, I would want the MP5 for my full auto weapon. It could be surpressed much easier and you almost don't notice it moving in a 3-shot-burst. I don't think I would need the extended range or penetration of the carbine. To be honest, I would want the G-18, for the extra concealability/portability.

Truth be told, I will probably be buying a MAC-11 next year with a suppressor. I can't justify spending the $$ for an MP and I can't get a G-18. Anyone have a better suggestion for under $1500, please share!


[This message has been edited by Rob (edited 01-05-99).]