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Old July 5, 2019, 01:22 AM   #29
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 20,988
Sometimes I wonder if we don't go too far in our quest for one that that does everything.

A regular camp hatchet has a flat side for driving nails, and usually a notch for pulling them. Works, but a claw hammer works better. On the other hand, the claw hammer sucks at chopping wood.....

One of the lessons learned by the front line guys in WWII was that a mix of weapons works in a mix of terrain and situations. Between M1 Garands M1 Carbines, Thompsons or the Grease Gun, and the BAR, somebody was packing something suited to what ever came along in infantry vs infantry combat. When more was needed, it was time for support weapons, belt fed, or arty or air. I think we still pretty much do that today.

After Korea, the military really focused on trying to reduce the needed arms to one (if possible) that did everything short of belt fed support. For some things that can work, for others, not so much.

With the M16 we got a light weight select fire weapon, SMG firepower and 300yds usable range, but there's no free lunch and long range performance was less than the larger rounds used previously.

IS this really that important, today?? dealing with various "terrorists" is a bit different from facing the Afrika Korps at Kasserine Pass. And its different from Khe San, Chosen, or Guadalcanal, or the Normandy bocage or ...or... or...

I don't know what it is in our system (other than perhaps greed) that causes us to re-invent the wheel every time someone notices we need something that rolls, but we do it, over and over.

Am I saying we should still be using WWII weapons and tactics? No. not ALL of them, at any rate. I just think that if we did use them, they would still work. We still use the M2 .50 BMG don't we??

One last point, if we equip everyone with the "wonder weapon that does it all" and they do get into a situation where its not the best tool for the job, then nobody handy has the best tool for the job.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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