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Old January 3, 2017, 09:34 AM   #1
g.willikers
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Full Auto - of any real use?

Full auto for most folks has seemed to me to be mostly for entertainment, and providing us reloaders with plenty of scavanged brass.
John Farnam has an opinion on this subject that's worth reading.
Check it out here:
http://defense-training.com/quips/
The article is entitled "Heat", about 2/3rds down the page.
As per usual he contributes a lot of common sense to what ever subject he writes about.
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Old January 3, 2017, 10:03 AM   #2
dahermit
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Quote:
Full Auto - of any real use?
It depends on which application you are referring to. In case of Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW) and in the .30, .50 machine guns, full auto seems to have a legitimate application. However, in the case with an infantryman's current individual weapon, which I believe is designated the M4, if I remember correctly, the army specified that a three-shot burst be the standard rather than full auto. It also may depend upon what the weapon is being used for...clearing a house where any opponent is going to be just steps away, or in open terrain.
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Old January 3, 2017, 01:44 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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It is probably worth noting that Farnam stipulates this is in a personal defense context, not in a general military context.
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Old January 3, 2017, 02:39 PM   #4
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In that case if it's just in the realm of personal defense, I would probably say full auto doesn't have much use unless you live on a large ranch and don't have to worry about hitting the neighbors houses.
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Old January 3, 2017, 04:04 PM   #5
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Its effectiveness is "greatly exaggerated" IMHO-like the shotgun, it encourages a "spray and pray" and "point and pull" attitude.
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Old January 3, 2017, 04:15 PM   #6
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Well, he did say it was his opinion.

Quote:
In my opinion, a full-auto capability is the last thing you want on your rifle!
But as he also notes...

Quote:
Precious few are the personal defense circumstances under which full-auto fire is genuinely useful.
I would rather have a capability and choose not to use it than to need a capability and not have it.

I also note that he seems to focus on the notion of "sustained" full automatic fire. LOL, who says it has to be sustained?
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Old January 3, 2017, 04:15 PM   #7
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This^^^^^^^^
In a hand held and carried light weapon (like an AR-15) it has almost no utility. A larger caliber weapon like a 50 bmg that can be carried short distances and set up in ramparts with large amounts of ammunition, then yes. Very useful. And any time one is mounted on a vehicle with large amounts of ammo, it has application.
But even in the military when you are set up to be mobile and walking around with a couple hundred 5.56 in the pack, it's not useful. Yes our military personnel should have weapons that have the capability in case of unusual circumstances, but it would be rare. Those who do use it more often in small weapons like that are trying to make up for lack of marksmanship.
In the civilian market, bumpfire sticks pretty much bridge the gap. At this point I don't see any real reason for select fire weapons in small arms set ups like the AR-15.
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Old January 3, 2017, 05:30 PM   #8
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Its been my experience (Ive owned a few, shot a bunch more, and have been shooting them regularly since the early 60's), most people have little if any experience with them, and even those who have shot them, were never really trained to properly use them.

With the way the laws are these days, and the cost of those available to the general public, I doubt things will get better in that respect. Unless things have changed dramatically in the military, I dont see much difference there either.

If anything, the ex military boys were the scariest and you really have to watch.


If you understand what their purpose is (think closer range/shotgun with buck for the most part), and learn the technique, which is really very simple, they can be quite effective (Im talking small caliber shoulder fired weapons here, not belt feds or full rifle caliber guns).

You can spray and pray with anything, and FA guns are no different, and just exacerbate the problem if you dont know to stay off the trigger when you should stay off the trigger.
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Old January 3, 2017, 10:35 PM   #9
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The advantage to the attacker in a case like that is surprise. I really doubt the result would have been much different if he had entered a building in a combat area, with everyone in the place armed to the teeth. We like to think that had we been there and armed with our favorite gun, we would have fired one shot into the attacker (bullet between the eyes, of course) before he opened fire. People who have been in similar situations, say it just doesn't happen that way.

(A club attack on New Year's Eve would have the additional advantage that the noise and screams would at first have been taken for part of the celebration, giving the attacker more time to carry out his "work" even had the customers been armed.

Jim
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Old January 3, 2017, 10:38 PM   #10
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It is useful for things like breaking ambushes and suppressive fire. Very useful for urban combat and military use etc.

Now for civilians? No it's probably not needed or wanted in most situations.

But for an actual, full on battle... ask yourself this, would you want to be the only person in say Syria, Iraq or Donbass with a semi-auto only rifle when almost everyone else (unless a DMR or sniper) has a full-auto rifle?

I would say to that "no!"
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Old January 3, 2017, 10:43 PM   #11
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Anyone see the new Jack Reacher movie? Just saw it the other day and thought of this thread---

In one scene the bad guy chases Jack and the girl into a commercial kitchen, they're unarmed and he bursts in the door and sprays his Glock 18 all over hitting pots and pans etc...

Great fun I'm sure, but not useful even in the movies lol
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Old January 3, 2017, 10:55 PM   #12
Model12Win
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Once again we're getting fiction fixed up with reality.

Just like how James Bond carried a .25 auto... that must make the .25 auto a good carry gun.
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Old January 3, 2017, 11:26 PM   #13
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I had a technician who had fought through France with a Thompson. Always set on full auto but with daily use he could fire any number of shots for each touch of the trigger ! That took every day use with a huge amount ammo .Not many civilians would or could do !
In Viet Nam many would run out of ammo as the 5.56 had little recoil. They hit few enemy and this led to the three round system. Running out of ammo is not a good feeling ! ......Reality check !
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Old January 3, 2017, 11:30 PM   #14
Model12Win
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The 3-round burst is widely considered to not be good. That is why the army is going all M4A1. It's all about training, the vast majority of shots in combat are semi-auto but believe you me, sometimes full auto is a good thing to have.
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Old January 3, 2017, 11:34 PM   #15
tangolima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mete View Post
I had a technician who had fought through France with a Thompson. Always set on full auto but with daily use he could fire any number of shots for each touch of the trigger !
I thought Thompson was full auto only.

-TL
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Old January 4, 2017, 01:48 AM   #16
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Who cares? It's a waste of an article.

A transferable M16 costs at least as much as a new car. And a good quality new car at that.

That alone makes it completely impractical, regardless of effectiveness.
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Old January 4, 2017, 04:24 AM   #17
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I had this discussion with a friend regarding a theoretical SHTF situation. His take was that once anarchy reigned, a person could make a lot of money machining out auto sears for AR's....his idea was that they would increase an AR "tenfold" in value.
Once I pointed out that everyone with an AR15 and some files and a drill could make their own, he went on to extoll the virtue of "owning" a battlefield with a fully auto AR.
I had to point out that all he'd be doing is wasting precious ammunition and painting a big target on himself, and that in a SHTF scenario, if you are shooting at a group of people big enough, dense enough, dangerous enough, and close enough to need fully auto...then they are likely military and you are about to be killed.
He then went on to talk about urban combat and house clearing...
Then I had to point out that we live in a rural area, and asked why in gods name he'd be breaking into occupied houses during civil unrest.

The conversation didn't get too far in favor of fully auto AR's as practical for SHTF. The conclusion was that you'd want to avoid drawing undue attention to yourself in any situation by using full auto, and if you had to use full auto, you made the wrong decisions in being where you are and are about to pay dearly

SHTF is about avoiding trouble, surviving, and dodging unfriendly encounters when possible, not going into full on warfighter mode.
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Old January 4, 2017, 04:54 AM   #18
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Full auto is useful for laying down suppressive fire.
I cannot for the life of me think of any use for full auto outside the military.
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Old January 4, 2017, 05:28 AM   #19
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Agreed, no use for non-combatants.
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Old January 4, 2017, 06:09 AM   #20
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As part of my job I used to regularly walk up to vehicles in the dark in the middle east in order to check the id's of the occupants. Nothing "explosive" ever happened, but I would have loved to have a small SMG with a really high rate of fire loaded with ammo capable of penetrating an automobile and into a jihadi instead of the M4 I was issued that I would have had to step back in order to bring it up and on target and the 5.56mm round just is not a good performer after being shot through a car door. At least with isued ammo.

Other then that the only uses I ever saw for full auto was when using heavy crew served weapons to disable vehicles, turn cover into concealment, or to keep the enemy's head's down to allow an element to maneuver.
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Old January 4, 2017, 07:07 AM   #21
AK103K
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I had a technician who had fought through France with a Thompson. Always set on full auto but with daily use he could fire any number of shots for each touch of the trigger ! That took every day use with a huge amount ammo .Not many civilians would or could do !
Many of the pistol caliber guns are full auto only, and most of those will give single shots with little effort and just a little practice. Most of those guns have cyclic rate of around 500 rpm and getting single shots is not difficult. Guns with a higher cyclic like the MAC's, are a little tougher, but it can be done.

Quote:
Anyone see the new Jack Reacher movie? Just saw it the other day and thought of this thread---

In one scene the bad guy chases Jack and the girl into a commercial kitchen, they're unarmed and he bursts in the door and sprays his Glock 18 all over hitting pots and pans etc...

Great fun I'm sure, but not useful even in the movies lol
That's just typical movie stuff. Look around on YouTube, there are videos of people who know how to shoot them shooting them. The results are "different".

Quote:
I thought Thompson was full auto only
I believe all are select fire.

Quote:
but I would have loved to have a small SMG with a really high rate of fire loaded with ammo capable of penetrating an automobile
Something like the MAC's would fit that bill, but are not generally well thought of, especially by those who haven't shot them much. That high cyclic rate can be intimidating.
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Old January 4, 2017, 12:36 PM   #22
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The three-shot burst is more controllable than FA. After three rounds, most battle rifle's muzzles have risen way past any target. Stops the PBI holding the rifle over their heads and spraying from cover too. In any case, it's not something that works well in untrained hands.
"...movie?..." Nothing in movies is real. Including the sound of the shots.
"...machining out auto sears for AR's..." No machining is required to make any semi-auto rock and roll. An FAL can be made to with a wooden match. There are also a whole bunch of places(24 I think it was. Might have been 12 though.) on one that can be used as a bottle opener. Your buddy should think more about being an ammo source as well if he's going to do that. snicker.
"...could fire any number of shots for..." Knew a guy who could fire single shots with the SMG(forget which one. M3, I think) one FA. Dunno if it was luck it skill though.
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Old January 4, 2017, 02:06 PM   #23
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Its not luck (except maybe with a MAC), and not really skill, as its really pretty simple once you get used to the gun.

As far as the "run up and away" theory, thats where the technique comes in. If you fight the gun, and "try" to hold the gun on target, it will tend to run up and off to the side of the strong hand, IE, up and right for a right handed shooter.

If you relax, and think of the gun more as a fire hose, and think about how you would try to keep that water on target, IE, just keep bringing it back on target, you can easily keep full mag dumps on target with little effort.

Its more about "riding" the gun and going with the flow, than it is trying to hold it on target.

As an example, one of our "contests" when we were all shooting together regularly and would get together to shoot, was to see who could put a full mag from a pistol caliber gun into a paper plate at 10 yards, with one pull on the trigger. It was usually a pretty tight contest for those with MP5's, MP40's etc, and those who shot them regularly.

This was the last target I shot with my SWD M11/9mm "MAC" right before I got rid of it. It was shot at 10 yards. Two separate mags, each with 25 rounds, one pull on the trigger with each mag, and a total time of about 3 seconds. I wouldnt have won the plate prize, but either mag would have been more than sufficient.

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Old January 4, 2017, 02:15 PM   #24
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Control is an issue, no doubt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqmWEWgxL9c
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Old January 5, 2017, 10:02 AM   #25
Glenn Dee
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Once again, just my opinion

The fully auto sub-Machine gun or the actual machine gun has no practical use for most civilians in a self defense situation. Absolutely in an urban or suburban setting. In an absolute rural setting a distant maybe.

While they look cool and are totally intimidating, they are offensive weapons. I'm sure that someone could come up with a scenario that may make the use of one reasonable, I'm sure it
Won't be realistic.

The military uses them as offensive weapons, the police use them as offensive weapons, the gangs use them as offensive weapons.

It would be a way hard task to explain the how and why someone used a fully auto machine pistol to dispatch a mugger that accosted you in a gas station. Keeping in mind as well the requisite (MEN'S REA) or state of mind of the shooter when he fired. This would be the fear for ones life. The use of a fully auto would easily be explained as a depraved indifference, or reckless. Not saying that's what would happen, but.....
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