View Full Version : Burst & Full Auto

4V50 Gary
February 21, 1999, 02:55 AM
In adopting the M16A2 with its three shot burst, the fully automatic capability of the M16A1 was discarded. I read that the rationale was to control ammunition expenditure. Personally, I dislike the burst feature and feel that it is overly complicated with too many parts. More training would pay greater dividends for our troops than mechanical features.

Likewise the HK MP5 submachineguns has a semi, 2 or 3 shot burst and full automatic in one trigger group. While I do like the ambidextrious feature of the Navy trigger group, I found that with practice it is easy to get a 2 or 3 shot burst from the HK MP5 while it is in the full automatic mode. I also found it to be a nuisance to move the selector the extra distance to get full auto. If you want full auto, you have to skip over the burst modes. Also, there's a lot more parts in the burst trigger groups than the simplier full auto trigger group (more parts for your armourer to stock, inspect and clean).
Discard the burst and go full auto. If you want burst, it's a matter of training and practice. JMHO.

Michael Carlin
February 21, 1999, 12:12 PM
There is merit in what you suggest. However the current training regimen in the Army, particularily in the CS and CSS troops is not sufficient to prevent useless expenditure of ammunition in a burst. Besides what instance requires more than three hits with 5.56 probably needs a burst from a 7.62mm!

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


Jeff White
February 21, 1999, 01:17 PM
I think with the burst feature, we are trying to solve a training problem with technology.

Soldiers are going to hold the trigger down when on the burst setting anyway. In a perfect world we would allocate the resources to train every soldier to properly us his rifle. I note that the M4A1 Carbine dispenses with the burst feature. However, only the Special Operations people are getting the M4A1.

I agree with Gary, that the burst device just complicates the weapon. It is interesting to note, that the American forces are the only ones in the world that specify a burst instead of a full auto capability.


Michael Carlin
February 21, 1999, 07:04 PM
I agree whole heartedly that once again a training problem is addressed with technology.

None the less, the reality of the Army is that most soldiers shoot a 58 round course of fire for qualification about once or twice a year. And this is the sum total of the marksmanship training for the majority of the Combat Support and Combat Service Support troops. It is not a h*ll of a lot better for the CA guys.

Hey, any of you currently Active Duty Combat Arms types (USA and USMC infantry) lurking care to tell the public how many rounds you fired in training in an average year of active duty?

I predict the practice regimen of any semi-dedicated USPSA IDPA shooter will be several times greater.

The bean counters always talk about the perishability of the skill and the costs.

I think in terms of reinforcement of skills to the point that they are your "comfort zone". Obviously I am not making many decisions for the Army! ;)

I am sorry to say, that given the state of training, the lack of dynamic training (training with movement and live fire against targets in variable positions and engagements any where with in the "lane") I think I would keep the burst device.

Finally, the fascination with full auto rifle fire eludes me. Generally it has been my experience that a good man with a semi-auto rifle will engage more targets effectively in less time with the semi-auto feature than either burst or full auto. In comparing the three, generally full auto finishes last.

I like full auto for many reasons, the main one is that it is BIG FUN!

But as I have said before, though always fun, not all full auto fire is tactically sound nor advisable.

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


February 22, 1999, 07:41 PM
Re: the 3-rnd burst for the M16-series.

Extensive operational testing of various full-auto fire capabilities for the M16-series revealed the optimum hit/kill probabilities to be a 3-round burst. This is due primarily to the oscillation that is set up between the cyclic recoil of the weapon and the firer. The analysis showed the 1st two aimed/directed rounds would impact very close to each other (relative to distance of course), with the third moving off but still within an acceptable kill/incapacitation zone (again, distance defined). This info came first hand from the Operational Research/Systems Analyst that was involved in the original test and evaluation. Should one desire to achieve a state of extreme narcosis, then the technical details of the entire T&E report should be available for reading through the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), or the OPTEC Technical Library in Alexandria, VA.

It should be obvious from above that a distance criterion must be established for the useful employment of burst fire. Further inferred from the recoil oscillation comment is the effect of cyclic rate. Obviously, a very high cyclic rate (e.g. HK vp70 or Jati) may have a higher number of rounds stay within the kill/incapacitate zone, depending on the manner in which recoil is transmitted to the firer. Conversely, a much slower cyclic rate (M3A1 “Greasegun”) may allow the firer to compensate and retain more rounds in the kill/incapacitate zone. Burst control (3-4 round “squirts”) requires a lot of live-fire training to develop the requisite firing discipline when under stress, and this is a training luxury that most line units have not enjoyed since the ‘70s.

I agree that deliberate and aimed fire is the most effective. There are very few situations that would require the average soldier to engage in full-auto fire for suppressive effects. As indicated above, it generally makes a lot of noise and wastes ammo very quickly with minimal results.

February 22, 1999, 08:12 PM
Please help. I can only think of 2 reasons for more than semi-auto rifle fire. 1: known atacker in an unknown location(i.e. sniper in a hedgrow), 2: mass attack. Can anyone tell me where a 3 round burst would fit into either of these? Am I missing a situation here? (I'm talking rifle, not sub-gun).

keep your options open &
never miss!

Jeff White
February 22, 1999, 11:32 PM

I agree that the number of rounds alloted even for Infantry units is insufficient for meaningful training. However I don't think the burst device is an acceptable solution to that problem. Besides that, it makes the trigger horrible.

There is very little tactical application for full auto fire. To initially seize fire superiority when executing the squad combat drill, or to break contact. Personnaly, I'd rather see semi autos, now that we have the SAW, then the burst device.

It is interesting to note, that the US Ordinance Department has resisted anything that "wastes ammunition" since it's inception. Just look at the history of the adotion of repeating rifles by the American Army, and the insistance of magazine cut offs on the 1903 Springfields.

I submit that the burst device is a solution looking for a problem.


Rob Pincus
February 23, 1999, 07:54 PM
Having been in the Military and being familar with the {lack of} training the Micheal is talking about, I can assure you that the burst only option is a viable solution to the problem of undertrained troops.

Micheal, as always, has addressed the technical side very well. I am more concerned with the mental process.

Not having the option to spray and pray at the first instance of a battle allwos troops to have a chance at overcoming the instantaneous anxiety of coming under or giving fire. Having to deliberately pull the trigger re-focuses the soldier on what he is doing, hopefully, he will instinctually go through the process of firing... analyze the situation, indentify target, get a sight picture.. everytime he squeezes the trigger.
I am a big fan of burst option, I see very few times when anyone would need full-auto in any military/LEO/Civilian situation. In fact, I see very few cases when it would even be advantagous, let alone necessary, to have full-auto.

I don't know what exactly you mean, Steve, There are other squad level weapons that are much better suited for the two missions you outlined than the individual soldier's battle rifle. Even so, you know how fast someone can empty a mag with semi-auto only... a burst gun can still law down a lot of lead in a short amount of time.

Michael Carlin
February 23, 1999, 11:19 PM

The correct way to address a known threat in an unknown location is to aim fire ( a three round burst) at each possible location (the base of the trees(both sides) the bottom of the hedgerow (every 12 inches or so).


That is exactly what I tried to train my soldiers to do, to slow down and engage a deliberate aimed burst at each possible location in their sector. The act of shooting in itself will relieve a great deal of anxiety if the soldiers are very real trained in the act. (They may not have a lot of live fire experience, but we always seemed to have blanks to train with. It was my contention that a blank should be expended with the same intent as a round of ball in a firefight.)

We seem to be in perfect agreement here. :D Now about this point shooting business...... ;)

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


[This message has been edited by Michael Carlin (edited February 23, 1999).]

February 25, 1999, 11:47 AM
From what I learned at my last M-16 training sesion with the Air Force(I know Air Force what would he know, please hear me out)three shot burst was designed to take away the need for second engagement of the same target. If you take one shot and the target goes down if it was not a disabling wound you may have to reengage that target. with a three shot burst you have effctively removed that target from the contingency. Does that make any sense?

Rob Pincus
February 26, 1999, 02:47 AM
That makes sense, when compared to SEmi-Auto fire.

The fact remains that one of the major contributing factors was the useless ammo expenditure that goes along with "Spray & Pray" auto fire with the low level of training that the average soldier has.

In todays more specialized, small unit wars, killing with one burst may be more important than it was in the 60's. During that time, one signioficant factor in the selection of the .223 round was its ability to "Multiply Strength Reduction". The idea being that with one shot, instead of killing someone like you likely would with a 30-06 or 308 round, you might wound him, which would cause 1 or 2 other soldiers to have to aid him and then lead to troops and equipment behind the lines being dedicated to his recovery. This was attractive to the US Military because of the sheer numbers of the communist armies. In Korea, "human Wave" attacks had been common.

Mike Spight
February 26, 1999, 12:39 PM
Michael/Rich, et al: It's been over 10 years since I commanded a Corps MP C0 in Germany. During my tenure, we shot a lot...M16A1s (w/full auto capability), M1911A1s (didn't have Berettas yet), M60s (we had about 45 of them in the company, 1 per gun jeep [didn't get to field the HMMV], and our one M2 .50 cal. As Michael pointed out, the real problem is (and was) the bean counters. I commanded during the Reagan era, quite close to the Czech border...my GDP was with the 2d ACR. As a result, I got more than the normal amount of ammo every year and we shot the h#** out of it. Those days, I'm afraid, are gone. After switching over to Spec Ops, I still shot a lot, but now the Army (and DOD in general) is placing more emphasis on technology and Information Operations. The role of the warrior and the warrior spirit and ethos are being marginalized...the computer geek (sorry) is now king. That's just one of the reasons I'm retiring in a couple of months even though I could hang around for another three years. It just isn't any fun, anymore. Full auto fire, however, is most useful in approximately four specific situations (IMHprofessionalO): In executing an ambush; in fighting your way out of an ambush (suppressive fire); in fighting from a fixed, defensive position (deliberate or hasty)...really only applicable to firing off a tripod and T&E mechanism or bipod in order to lay down FPL of grazing fire when things get really, really bad; and in suppressing enemy crewserved weapons and riflemen while conducting fire and maneuver. M60s and SAWs can handle this quite nicely...semi-auto or 3rd burst from M16A2s are fine...it's a question of training time and $$$. The mechanics of the 3rd burst device don't seem to be a real problem.

Jeff White
February 26, 1999, 01:24 PM
One of the big reasons the Army started writing requirements for a full auto capable replacement for the M1 was the battlefield studies done by SLA Marshall. Marshall's work has been somewhat tarnished since revelations of his faking some of his WW1 combat record have come to light, but much of what he did was based on interviews with comabt arms soldiers as soon after an engagement as he could get there. His reports revealed that a very low percentage of Infantrymen fired their rifles in a firefight. However soldiers armed with BARs, M3 Greaseguns, M1 Thompsons and Browning M1919 Machineguns almost always fired their weapons in an engagement. Much of this was published commercially in his book "Men Against Fire". He even "validated" this premise when he went to Vietnam during the 60's and repeated some of those studies. He reported that the full auto capability of the M16 had almost all soldiers participating in the fire fight. I won't comment on if this is true or not, but I think that this is the reason for the full auto requirement for the replacement for the Garand, not the need to face human wave attacks. Marshall's WWII studies also revealed that most Infantry engagements occurred at ranges of 300 yards or closer. Usually much closer. This gave the small caliber proponents more ammunition in their fight for adoption of the smaller caliber cartridge. We should also note that we would have had the Garand in a less then .30 caliber chambering (I don't remember which one, but I'll look it up) if it wasn't for a decision made by then Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, who looked at the amount of .30 caliber ammunition that was in war reserve at the time and directed that the M1 would be produced in .30 caliber.

The lethality of the 5.56x45 round was an added bonus. The primary cosideration was the weight reduction from the 7.62x51 ammunition allowing the soldier to carry a bigger basic load.

As has been discussed in other forums on this site, training is the key. Anyone, soldier, policeman, civilian will react the way he has trained when the stress is put on. Michael is correct when he says you have to use every opportunity to train your squad and platoon. You should teach your soldiers fire discipline, rates of fire, when to use them and then make that SOP. Then enforce that SOP every time you train. With blanks, even if you don't have MILES you should enforce the SOP rates of fire anyway. Do this enough and your soldiers will react the way you''ve trained them. They won't flip their selector switches to auto or burst and "spray and pray". This is why I think that the burst device is a bad idea. People will rely on the fact that it is there and neglect teaching and enforcing fire discipline to their soldiers. Training in rate and distribution of fire is given lip service in he doctrinal manuals. Perhaps because the writers rely on mechanical means (burst devices) to take care of this training problem. If we took some of the time that we spend having our troops take Equal Opportunity Climate surveys and spent it teaching rate and distribution of fire maybe we wouldn't need burst devices.

February 28, 1999, 07:41 PM
what if they offered it with the safe,semi,burst,& full auto mode?

Safe-for carrying
Semi-for sniping
Burst-for CQB/for addressing known threat/unknown location (M.Carlin)
Auto-for suppresive fire

Rob Pincus
February 28, 1999, 08:07 PM
I agree with your last point 110%. LEss crap, more combat should be the new motto of TRADOC.

As far as the adoption of the M-14, I really don't know that much about it. I have studied a great deal about the adoption of the M-16 though. The referrence to the experiences of the US against communist armies that vastly outnumbered them is meant in that context. During the lat 50'6 and early 60's, studies done by the department of defense and outside entities suggested that more "damage" could be done to an enemy force by wounding than could be done be actaully killing an enemy soldier. The chance of a soldier with an M-16 to wound an enemy within 300 meters was exponentially higher than the chance of that same soldier wounding an enemy under the same circumstances with an M-14.

Jeff White
March 1, 1999, 10:06 PM
I'll have to look furthur into those studies in the '50s. For an interesting read on how small arms have been adopted for our army since we first had an arsenal, I'd recommend Misfire The History of How Americas Small Arms Have Failed Our Military by William H Hallahan. Published by Charles Scribners and Sons 1994.

The author writes a pretty good history of how our small arms procurement has worked. I personally do't think our small arms hae failed us, but the politics and corruption especially in the early days was very interesting. Add the to the Collector Grade Series on the M1, M14 and FN FAL, The Black Rifle, and The Great Rifle Controversy and you can get a prett good idea on how we've procured small arms through the years.

March 15, 1999, 02:00 PM
I think we're all in agreement that in todays "modern" army (and marines, air force, navy) the big issue is training, or the lack thereof. It takes training to make effective use of automatic fire. Since our current current military leaders seem incapible of understanding this, maybe the answer is to return to the days of the semi-auto rifle. I'll admit that having an automatic weapon while on patrol or setting an ambush gave one a feeling of comfort. But, I would almost guarantee that the kill ratio (or wound ratio) would be as good with semi-autos, if not better, than it is now with the burst, full auto weapons.


Benton Quest
March 19, 1999, 10:17 PM
Colt's three shot burst is the work of Satan. I personally have no problem controlling the trigger to tap out as many or as few rounds as are desired (the most common being the 2 shot burst) If it aint broke, don't fix it.....or add on more gadgetry.

4V50 Gary
March 22, 1999, 12:35 AM
Work of Satan? I like that.

Benton Quest
March 23, 1999, 02:30 AM
Thank you...and its true....

Art Eatman
March 23, 1999, 11:52 PM
Back when Beretta first came out with the Model 92, I read of a version for police/military use having a three-shot burst capability.

Has anybody here ever shot one? What was your impression?

Regards, Art

Benton Quest
March 24, 1999, 01:43 AM
I think that it was called the Model 93 (?) It was a slightly beefed up version of the 92. It had a forward handle that folded down to help control muzzle flip with the support hand....and if I remember right, you could hook up a shoulder stock to it.....To answer your question...have I fired one? Well....no.....but I once saw one in a magazine. Does that count?

March 24, 1999, 10:09 AM
The Beretta 93 is a machine pistol. SGN has had two listed for sale for a couple of months. Post sample - $8500; fully transferable - $13,500.

Michael Carlin
March 24, 1999, 10:36 PM
Well spoken points all!

SLA Marshall's work I feel has been misused by those who feel it supports the make every soldier a machinegunner. Rather the lesson I get from the SLAM is that the gunners must be members of the 20% who will fire effectively.

I did not become an infantryman until after the brouhaha in RVN. When I did make the switch, I found that the gunner was usually a
"stuckee", this business is a very poor way to make assignments.

The assertion that greater lethality is not as desirable as greater probability of wounding is one I have heard many times but never actually read as a goal of the weapons change until well after the fact.

There are those who insist that the .30 caliber is superior to the .223. I will not engage in that debate here.

I will state with out equivocation that the M16A2 rifle IS the best rifle we have ever been armed with. Best period. Most accurate, most reliable, best!

The burst device is unimportant to me, three round burst will accomplish everything I need in automatic fire. Full auto fire, as Mike Spight aptly indicates is best suited to weapons with tripods/bipods. Better yet if they have a T and E!

The doctrine has never done anything but give lip service to the control of fires. We are not well trained in the use of the weapons you tax payers provide us with. Doctirne is almost always behind the weapons systems development. See Civil War, WWI and WWII and etc. Tactics and doctrine reflect what the ponderous mechanism of a large organization can bring itself to accept about its experiences. More.....

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


Michael Carlin
March 24, 1999, 10:52 PM
The change in tactics dictated by the machinegun had to be learned several times before armies of the world discarded the "tried and true" tactics of frontal assault.

The current reliance on hardware and software reminds me of a story my good friend Tom Vickermann tells of the fielding of the Dragon.

Tom was in the first class trained with the new weapon system in the US. He went then to Europe to a unit that was one the first fielded.

In training run by the contractor he had used the tracking board and the LETS (launch effects trainer) and had scored all hits with this system as he graduated from AIT.

Couple months later he is in Germany, where the new weapon is going to allow the US to stop the Russian hordes. Training is not the highest speed nor even the highest priority, and tracking and LETS are not done anywhere near what he had just trained in the US.

Long story short only he scored hits, everybody in the Bn missed except him. CSM looks into this, goes through the proforma interview process, interviews all the soldiers. Vick tells the CSM, (remember this a guy who shot 100% talking to a CSM about the training)exactly how the training was deficient in comparson to the manufacturers' training he had just gotten stateside.

The CSM was not familiar with the training, did not research the SP4's complaint and evenutally said in his reports that the training was adequate, but the soldiers needed haircuts!

Mike Spight, I too have about 30 months till I can retire, I could stay several years beyond that. I can not, I am sick to death of bean counters, gee whiz weapons systems in lieu of real training.

Shortly, if we follow todays bombs with troops we will find out that every bullet we saved the tax payers will cost in BLOOD!

This is a harsh statement. If ground action follows the bombing we will soon learn that a man with a rifle, machinegun, and mortar, who can use them, is a formidable for indeed when we can not drive a 63 ton behemoth over his gnarly butt!

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


November 20, 2005, 03:48 AM
I heard the 3 shot burst instead of full auto helps to keep the barrel cooler too. But yeah U R right. Better training for our troops is the need of the hour. Perhaps the NRA should take their shooting classes on base.

November 26, 2005, 03:21 AM
I met an old lady once who had been with the SOE in France in 1944. She had experience with the Sten and the MP40. She said that though the MP40 was clearly better made she preferred the Sten simply because of the semi automatic capability. I remember clearly what she said next.

"Rapid fire is tremendous fun on the range, but it does encourage you to squander an entire magazine on every opponent you deal with and when you are in contact with the enemy, nothing is as precious as ammunition. On Repetion you simply present the sights to the eye and solve the problem with two or three rounds."

December 2, 2005, 01:51 PM
While I bow my head with the general knowledge being thrown around this thread I got to ask, would 3 round burst be helpful in round counting. you have 10, 3 round burst in a 30 round magazine. 6 trigger squeezes on burst mode, you know you got 12 rounds left. Spraying and praying you know how many bullets you got left. Full auto should be for machine guns (SAW, M60, etc) and not for rifles.

model 25
December 2, 2005, 02:30 PM
I favor the abilty to go full auto as need comes. Having shot in full auto matches at ranges up to 200 yards it is very obvious that the second shot out of the barrel is wasted on one target. So of course semi is best.

A close encounter with people comming through the door would seem to warrent full auto just for the firepower to keep em at bay.

Just my 2 cents


too many choices!?
December 7, 2005, 01:07 PM
3 round burst doohickey, as soldiers CAN"T pull the trigger HARD enough to start the cycle and ALSO release the trigger fast enough to interupt it again, to get less than 5 shot bursts with an M4A1...Gets even worse the shorter the gas tube gets, as the distance the gas travels to unlock the bolt and start the cycling of the bolt carrier is less, increasing the speed of the cycle...Just MHO and o.o2 cents...

Makes sense though, don't it...3 rnd burst=:barf:

ranger dave
December 7, 2005, 02:18 PM
In 2000 We (hhc 1/75 Inf) Got Around 2000 Rounds Per Man To Train With In 2002 That Number Jumped To 4000 Things Are Getting Better The Army Is Realy Stressing Sport Shooting Now . The Idea Is The More You Shoot The Better. And If They Can Get You To Pay For It The Bean Counters Are Happy:d The Burst On Most M 16 Is Going By By With All The M4a1 Running Around. The Remfs Were Using To Much Ammo Its A Good Idea I The Stress Of A Fire Fight Saveing Ammo May Just Save Your Butt

January 3, 2006, 06:58 PM
Being currently in the Army I have talked to Iraqi Freedom vets and they attest to the semi option, even in 5.56. We need a round 5.56 or otherwise that will put down with certainty the enemy. Automatic fire should be handled by the SAW. Automatic fire is great for suppressive fire. There should always be a SAW around is well as some sort of grenade or rocket launcher. Don't get me started on the 203.

The British Soldier
January 7, 2006, 06:16 PM
The thing about automatic fire is that...it looks good, sounds good but doesn't hit a lot!

That said, it does have its place and our UK doctrine is that close quarters battle is done on automatic; which really means inside the building! We are trained to put in grenades then make entry hard and fast using high volumes of automatic fire to clear the room - naturally anyone in there is history, so one must make this distinction between clearing rooms and hostage rescue. The latter is the preserve of Special Forces who are trained for it.

The M16A2s we bought from the US for the British Army all had automatic rather than burst; even on the MP5 or anyother HK variant with the burst option on the trigger mechanism, we would skip it and go straight to automatic. If you have the discipline to use it properly, one can get a very controlled two or three round burst to a thirty round burst [which is a lot of fun!].

I hope the burst trend dies away.

January 7, 2006, 10:48 PM
Well I am going to toss in my two cents worth here.
I agree as to the rationale behind the burst fire. The mechanics did add more parts that can fail. also if you stop in mid burst you may have only 1 shot on the next go round as the cam may be on the last lobe.
Training is the answer but under the stress of combat the techno answer is about all thats going to work with certainty.
When I build one of our 502 Thunder Sabre's in select fire we usually go with simple Safe-Fire-Auto parts kit. on some we have done a 4 position kit but the customer (Dept) writes the order.
The Thunder Sabre is an AR type rifle in a short 50 cal like the Beowulf.

I agree 100% with the British Soldier. Definately the pervue of the highly trained pro.

Something for everyone Check out this little bad boy http://www.bigborecanyon.com/tbossmp1.jpg
This is a 7-1/2" barrel 50 cal Thunder Boss.
Short entry gun with awesome firepower.
335 grain slugs at 1450 FPS comes with Eotech and CMT Laser

January 8, 2006, 08:03 AM
IMO full auto/burst is great in certain circumstances, but personally, i would take semi any day.

Being a civ and not in the military i can say that the circumstances, besides at the range, of me needing full auto or burst are nil.

Also, one well placed round, will beat 30 poorly placed rounds.

The answer? Training and practice.

A soldier/leo/civ that can place each and every round on target is worth his/her weight in gold.

January 23, 2006, 11:55 AM
The burst fire mechanism was put in the M16 family of weapons simply to save ammo being wasted by the spray and pray mentality. I agree 100% that training is the only answer but that is not going to happen in the US Army with the numbers that go through. I battle hardened spec ops soldier is going to be able to do all these wonderful calculations under stress but the average grunt is going to grab a hand full of trigger and rock. Brains is always preferable to a mechanical device doing the thinking but sometimes you just have to work around some issues.
I personally hate the burst fire system on the M16 family the extra parts are just more stuff to fail and the 4 position fire control is even worse. They are all fine for some applications but for combat I would prefer on and off and more training.

February 5, 2006, 03:30 PM
Some excellent points for and aggainst,but for use by all sorts of troops especially those who are not as well trained as they should be the 3 rd burst makes alot of sense.Those tthat are well trained should have enough trigger control to shoot 2-3 rd bursts w/trigger control alone.i was trained w/the A1
and as you all know it is Safe,Semi,and FA.Some soldiers didnt get it and may never,for them the 3rd burst makes agreat deal of sense,the 16 is not a SAW after all and the burst feature allows some sort of fire discipline.I agree w/the idea there is far to little emphasis on riflery at least when i was an infantryman and i doubt that has changed. Full auto or burst an infantrymans
primary weapon is his rifle and he should be trained to use it with as much emphasis as is placed on crew served weapons.I do believe that short bursts(3rds) are effective on point targets ,if aimed low center mass w/the bipod and tight hold of the sling all 3 rds will impact the target if the soldier ios well trained out to 300 meters,area targets the burst feature would be effective as well,but again assuming you have a rifleman well trained w/his weapon.
Fact is a mauser can be much more effective than the ,most modern assault rifle or MBR in the right hands. Hello All,My first post on what appears to be a fun ,well informed sight! grndpndr:D

February 10, 2006, 02:44 AM
Coming from experience (US Army, Ft. Bragg, 1993-2000), here are the reasons why fully automatic M16's are impractical:

1.) Anyone that has done any live fire exercise knows that you fly through the magazines with just 3 round burst. As much as you try to conserve ammo, it doesn't happen. Adrenaline, whatever, if my M16A2 was had full auto instead of burst, I would have run out of ammo quickly.

2.) The true purpose of full-auto - suppressive fire. This is why some unlucky sap (usually the shortest guy :) ) gets to hump the M60 (or M240G). There are other squad weapons designed to lay suppressive fire. As a matter of fact, in my last year I had soldiers get assigned a M249 SAW as their personal weapon instead of the M16A2. On a side note, I disagreed with this policy as I thought it was more difficult to qualify SS or expert with the SAW instead of the M16 or M4. This hurt several E-4's trying to rack up the promotion points.

3.) Weight - Weight is your enemy when rucking anywhere. More weight = slower, more weight = fatigue. Humping extra ammo on movements or jumping is not fun. For those that have shot fully automatic weapons (see point 1), you know that it's difficult to keep your rate of fire down. It's easy to rock that trigger and smoke everything in your lane of fire. This also wastes ammo. A lot of ammo. Shoot all of your ammo and you're a$$ed out. Maybe your buddy will hook you up, maybe not. Firing efficiently and accurately is difficult when firing on automatic. Efficiency and accuracy is paramount (even when laying suppressive fire).

There were some good points about weapons malfuntions. Malfunctions are par for the course with older automatic weapons (read: M60). Nothing better then a double feed when in the middle of a fire fight or in a live fire exercise. Game over unless your AG brought the extra barrel. I think full auto capabilities increase the chance for malfunction. I would rather have a few crew serve weapons go down in the platoon, then half of the personal M16's or M4's. No weapon = combat ineffective.

This is my .02

March 15, 2006, 02:13 AM
I'm a Navy Gunner's Mate, currently working as an Armorer onboard USS Tarawa. When issuing M16s, I make it very clear that the watchstander is NOT to go to full auto for any reason if SHTF - thanks to the Navy, these guys get little enough opportunity to shoot and I'd rather they didn't waste half their ammo in one 30 round burst and hit nothing. The same applies when I find myself having to issue M14s equipped with selector switches (actually moreso, since the mags on 14s hold ten fewer rounds and the felt recoil is no joke - if you've never experienced a full auto 14, you probably don't want to do it for the first time while SHTF).

The lack of training we are experencing is completely and utterly insane. Granted, there is plenty that can be done without actually firing live rounds - you can practice breath and trigger control, for instance - but we encounter quite a bit of difficulty in actually getting people to show up to training. Making it "mandatory" doesn't make Leading Petty Officers get their people to go, unfortunately.

However, our biggest problem is that most of the military's ammo is being sent to the middle east for use in combat, so those of us in the Gator Navy aren't receiving much to shoot (for training purposes, anyway), and once we burn through our "training" ammo we're not given anymore for the rest of the fiscal year. Because of this, we're limited to only a handful of live fire gun shoots a year - five or six, tops. :\