View Full Version : Is full auto overrated

March 7, 2005, 10:47 AM
I don't mean to irk anybody here. I just want to ask (especialy people who own them) if full auto is an overrated feature of a gun. The anti-gun people seem to think that it makes a gun a weapon of mass distruction. But it's still a regular gun that needs to be aimed. SMG's it's a usefull feature, but for regular rifles is it really that much of an advantage to have a full-auto weapon vs a semi-auto weapon? The only places I can see it being needed is in M240 and M2 type weapons and for close quarters situations. A bad guy with a full-auto M16 spraying away is no match for me (Or virtualy any of us on this board), a semi-auto gun, and aimed fire. Am I wrong in my logic. :confused:

March 7, 2005, 12:05 PM
Highly over rated as a dangerous civilian killing tool, but great on the batllefield if it's in a weapon of sufficient size and weight for the average soldier to use. There is a reason why the M16 is no longer full auto, 1st two rounds are ok, the rest are up in the sky. The SAW is a different animal altogether, enough wieght to be controlable firepower that stays on target. Even SMGs require considerable training to be really effective. A combat shotgun is more devastating than an SMG in most urban or jungle situations. SF and Swat use SMGs because thay have the training to put rounds on target, thus limitiing collateral damage.

I would much rather face a gang banger with a full auto AK than a 12 guage loaded with 00 buck.

Now for sheer fun, everyone loves to rock n roll on full auto!

March 7, 2005, 12:18 PM
For civilian use, you are correct for about 99% of FA uses. The primary reason to own them is fun and bragging rights. Few BGs carry them and even fewer are skilled in their use. The North Hollywood shootout a few years ago was an example of BGs that had some skill in using their machineguns, yet they failed to kill anyone. The only thing they really accomplished was to keep the LEOs stuck behind cover. They had little chance of escaping. Compare that to the '86 FBI Miami Shootout where two BGs, one with a semi-auto Mini-14, killed 3 FBI agents and wounded 4 more. When the 2 BGs were killed, there had climbed into an FBI car and were trying to drive away. Both BGs had sustained fatal wounds during the gunfight and would have died soon anyway, but they still came close to actually escaping the scene.

There is a reason why the M16 is no longer full auto, 1st two rounds are ok, the rest are up in the sky.

An M16 on full auto is very easy to control and maintain on target. The reason the military went with the 3-round burst is because they didn't want new guys to waste bullets in combat and a mechanical fix on the gun is cheaper than teaching GIs trigger control.

March 7, 2005, 12:45 PM
First of all, let me say that I am NOT good with a machine gun and have never been trained in the use of handheld full auto weapons. That being said, I own a submachine gun.
I agree with what you say. I always felt this way, but the point was really driven home to me during a local machine gun match I was participating in. The match director tries to come up with something a little different to keep it interesting. One match you had to start off with a rifle, knock down something like five or seven steel reactive targets, then put the rifle down and pick up your subgun and continue on with two other target arrays. I decided to use one of my AR15s with an Aimpoint. The rifle targets were around 50 yards away and I knocked them all down with one shot each in a few seconds. When I went to sit the rifle down, I realized how much i wanted to keep it. I knew I could complete the other two courses of fire much faster with a semi-auto AR15 and an optic than I could with my sub-gun. I also could complete the COF with a fraction of the ammo, and would be firing a much more effective cartridge. If the situation had been real and I had the choice of the semi-auto AR15 or ANY subgun, It wouldn't even thing about taking the subgun.
I recently got caught up in the idea of buying another machine gun. Specifically I was going to buy an M16. In discussing it with a couple friends who also own full auto stuff, I realized that there were a couple reasons I wanted to buy one. First of all, it is the forbidden fruit thing. They are not real common and take a little effort to own so I guess it makes it attractive to me for some reason. Another reason is the Gee Whiz factor. I have no real interest in firing the thing full auto. If I buy one, I will have to give it a try but that will probably be the one and only time I ever fire it on full auto. It just doesn't do anything for me.

March 7, 2005, 01:14 PM
Not overrated... just overpriced.

March 7, 2005, 01:15 PM
I think FA is very overrated and priced. Personally I don't see why civilians need NFA firearms since they really do nothing more than burn a serious hole in you pocket and you either have to have a place of your own to shoot them or a special range to join. I don't have a problem with people owning them. I do admit, they are very fun!

March 7, 2005, 01:22 PM
Speak for yourself.

Here in the land of the free, there are no restrictions on full auto weaopns. I can shoot one anywhere it is legal to shoot any other gun. And, they cost less than other very common toys like boats, sports cars, vacation homes, or a really nice vacation. Hell, I know people that paid three times as much for their TV than I paid for my machine gun. I work with a guy that paid more for his TV than a new M16 costs. Which would I rather have ?
I am not all that much into re-runs of Laverne and Shirley or Speed Racer.

March 7, 2005, 01:31 PM
The real answer is it depends on the application and the abilities of the shooter. An untrained yahoo with an M16 who only knows how to 'spray & pray' is most certinly dangerous, but not nearly as effective as a good trained rifleman armed with a semiauto AR15. Of course if you take that rifleman and hand him an M16, he is probably going to be even more effective. Short controlled and aimed 2rd or 3rd bursts can help put a little extra fire on you target, do a bit more damage, and keep their heads down. Additionally, since most full auto guns are actually selective fire (safe-semi-full/burst) it just provides an option for F/A that does not always have to be used.

Is it overrated? Probably to some extent. Just because a gun is full auto, does not instantaneously transform it into a perfect killing machine. It still needs an operator and the skills of the operator will ultimately dictate how effective a weapon is (full auto or otherwise).

As an example, I used to compete in a monthly SMG match. I would often use my first M11 SMG rather than some of the better guns I had to use (Uzi, M16/9mm, etc.). Engagement distances were 10-20 yards on average, with a timed multi-stage course of fire, time penalties for hitting 'no-shoots', etc. With my basic M11, I would occasionally outshoot some other guys with much better weapons (MP5's, Swede K's, M16's, etc.). Is an MP5 a better, more controllable, and more effective wepon in full auto than a cheap SWD M11? Absolutely, but the reason I outshot them had less to do with the weapon and more to do with practice, reflexes, and fast thinking.

That said, in my opinion it is pure fun too. It may be overrated as a toy or fun thing, but as 444 mentioned, what isn't? Some people pay thousands and thousands of dollars for a TV or a boat. Is that overrated? In my opinion it is, but I'd rather have a machinegun than a boat or a gigantic TV.

March 7, 2005, 02:09 PM
No standard range I've heard of allows NFA Firearms. Just like no standard range I know allows 50BMG rifles. Like I've stated if it's legal to own them go ahead I don't have a problem with that.

March 7, 2005, 02:25 PM
No standard range I've heard of allows NFA Firearms. Just like no standard range I know allows 50BMG rifles.

Ranges that allow F/A are few and far between, but they are out there. I often go to a place north of Philadelphia (www.classicpistol.com) which is an indoor range that allows not only full auto, but full auto in rifle calibers. When I have the time, however, I like to travel a few hours longer to get to a friend's farm where my friends and I can shoot ANYTHING. M2HB's, MG42's, M60's, 20mm Lahti's, 40mm M79's & 203's, PK/PKM's, 1919's, and even a minigun are standard fare on the farm. We are free to also use multiple charges of tannerite.


More pics at my friend's website of our shoot as well as some other MG line shoots...


March 7, 2005, 03:52 PM
A minigun as in the GE M-134A Model? :eek: How to heck do you rate! :confused: If I wanted a minigun, the only one I would be able to buy is the bb version that Paul Piper builds!

March 7, 2005, 04:11 PM
Yep - an M134 minigun. Not mine though - that one belongs to a friend of mine who is a C3 dealer/manufacturer and its a post sample gun (only available to dealers/manufacturers). As a post-sample, however, its still about a $50k weapon (which is a bargain compared to approximately $300k for a transferable one).

March 7, 2005, 04:20 PM
Full auto is a military (combat) needed option. In certain incidents our troops are being fired at by a location but no BG is seen. Seems the best thing to do is warm up the barrel and put some lead all over the general area down in BG's location. I would say in limited incidents local law enforcement might have this same instance. So to say is it over rated? Not sure how to answer that? The legal issues of going full auto get a little hot.... In a so called perfect (if such thing could exist) fire fight we try to put sights on bad guys and stop them. We have to know or try our darndest to know where each bullet is going. Full auto in the civilian world means to me a bunch of crap went wrong OR an entry team of lawmen have made close contact with a BG whom is showing he wants to dance (give deadly force a go). Even in Iraq rules of engagement aren't what the rules were in WWII. So to sort of answer if full auto is over rated......... NO - not if used in one of the context above or in a demonstration or training manner.

Just my .02 :D

March 7, 2005, 07:00 PM
Again, that may be true in Indiana, but it is certainly not true here. We have numerous indoor ranges here that all not only allow full auto weapons, but rent them. The only private gun club in town has monthly machine gun matches. I can think of a half dozen NFA dealers in this area right off the top of my head without even thinking hard.
The only reason I point this out, is because many people make broad sweeping generalizations on-line and mislead people who don't know any better. This stuff varies depending on where you live. What might be true where you live, very well might NOT be true somewhere else.

March 7, 2005, 07:47 PM
Personaly, I think controalability is all in the user.

I can control and have had occosion to fire some heavy weapons that were fully automatic: An MP5/10, a HK G3, and even a GLOCK 18. (One of those places were you pay a rent on the gun and ammo and they let you have fun).

Now, if you were to hold the trigger untill the weapon went 'click', controalability would be insane, even for a big guy like me. But short bursts and taps aernt that bad...

As for needing one, I dont see why Joe Smith would, but its his right to own one, and he can if he so wishes, and has the money, of course...

March 7, 2005, 08:46 PM
Thats true in Michigan as well.

March 7, 2005, 09:10 PM
You folks are forgetting one of the best parts of full auto....

The FUN factor.

March 7, 2005, 09:55 PM
If I want full-auto then I'll turn to airsoft! :D

March 7, 2005, 10:05 PM
If you're not too far from Ohio, you should c'mon out and give it a try this year...



March 8, 2005, 08:11 AM
I'll think about it shaggy If I'm not too busy!

March 8, 2005, 11:03 AM
No standard range I've heard of allows NFA Firearms.

I know of several. As a matter of fact, I'm running late in getting to one. Gotta jet... :o