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db_zero

The Main Battle Rifle for the US Army

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For the sake of argument, consider an infantry squad where the individual weapon is a 7.62 with scope and so on, and the SAW equivalent is even smaller than 5.56 and designed to put out a truly large number of rounds out too 200-300 meters. An M-25 figures in somewhere as well. Your short range suppression is very dependent on the one full auto element for one thing. But you setting yours guys up to be conservative with the heavy rounds, and free with the light ones.

... and there you have a squad that will completely suck at MOUT. Clearing buildings and back-alleys is arguably one of infantry's most important jobs these days. The long-range, open terrain fight tends to be dominated by AFVs and FOs, but once the enemy gets in "under the floorboards" in a populated area, the only thing that can completely clear them out is infantry.

For building clearing and other fights in constrained terrain, you want most of your infantry equipped with a short, lightweight, fully automatic weapon; something that's easy to quickly change engagement axis with and works well in close quarters. You also want a weapon that doesn't kick too hard so as to be easy to shoot from unbraced body positions. And want the basic infantry weapon to be small and light so soldiers can carry lots of grenades, RPGs, mouseholing charges, etc. M4 is ideal; M16 is a little too long, but good enough. M14 or anything similar is way too big.

For MOUT, you do want a few shooters with higher caliber weapons (Scoped 7.62mm and 7.62mm GPMGs, even a few 12.7mm or similar or siper rifles) for penetration into cover and controlling the long-range axes of fire (down straight streets, for example). But you don't want these as your basic rifleman weapon; just a few of these higher caliber weapons per platoon is considered to be a good mix.

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In the mid-1960s in the early days of the Vietnam War, the US Marine Corps changed (or was forced to change) its paradigm that long range aimed fire with a weapon like the M-14 and its heavy 7.62 Nato round would continue through the decade.

It was superceded by the theory that spraying as much fire as possible at the enemy in the shorter range, close confines of the Vietnam battlefield was a better way to go. Plus the lighter weapon and the smaller size of the 5.56 round would enable an infantryman to carry far more ammo than he could with the M-14. This theory seems to have prevailed into the 21st century, based on the weapons being issued these days. It may be may be one of the reasons why the M-16 and its current variants have lasted in service for so long.

Plus amost every rifleman today carries an M-4 or something like it with an ACOG or a even a laser sight or rangefinder. Firing over iron sights is a thing of the past I think, especially with a rifle. This gives a combat infantryman in a US unit quite an edge in a firefight against an enemy firing with the rifle sights alone, and it might limit the amount of ammunition usage by increasing accuracy.

I carried both the M-14 and the M-16 in Vietnam, the M-14 felt comfortable because I had trained with it more extensively and had been to the range with one twice before going to Nam. When we got the M-16s later on, we had limited training, not enough cleaning equipment, and we suffered jamming incidents in the middle of firefights which cost lives.

The M-16 variants of today in current service seem far more reliable, and will probably serve the infantry for decades to come.

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... and there you have a squad that will completely suck at MOUT. Clearing buildings and back-alleys is arguably one of infantry's most important jobs these days. The long-range, open terrain fight tends to be dominated by AFVs and FOs, but once the enemy gets in "under the floorboards" in a populated area, the only thing that can completely clear them out is infantry.

For building clearing and other fights in constrained terrain, you want most of your infantry equipped with a short, lightweight, fully automatic weapon; something that's easy to quickly change engagement axis with and works well in close quarters. You also want a weapon that doesn't kick too hard so as to be easy to shoot from unbraced body positions. And want the basic infantry weapon to be small and light so soldiers can carry lots of grenades, RPGs, mouseholing charges, etc. M4 is ideal; M16 is a little too long, but good enough. M14 or anything similar is way too big.

For MOUT, you do want a few shooters with higher caliber weapons (Scoped 7.62mm and 7.62mm GPMGs, even a few 12.7mm or similar or siper rifles) for penetration into cover and controlling the long-range axes of fire (down straight streets, for example). But you don't want these as your basic rifleman weapon; just a few of these higher caliber weapons per platoon is considered to be a good mix.

Which is why the army won't re-engineer the whole force for an Afghan war we are on the way out of. Because most places don't look ANYTHING like Afghanistan. However the idea has certain merits for a brigade or two that are optimized to operate in outermost nowhere.

By the way, we all had exactly the same discussion in the Shock Force forum in 2009. We need a new bone. please?

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In point of fact MOUT in a truly large city is so different from the kind of more or less open country fight in the current AAR that you would build a completely different force if you had the option. No first world military has done more than vaguely think about the problems that a place like Karachi, Jakarta, Mumbai, or Mexico City would represent. How would you even attempt to deal with multiple skyscrapers that were rigged to fall as inconveniently as possible.

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In point of fact MOUT in a truly large city is so different from the kind of more or less open country fight in the current AAR that you would build a completely different force if you had the option. No first world military has done more than vaguely think about the problems that a place like Karachi, Jakarta, Mumbai, or Mexico City would represent. How would you even attempt to deal with multiple skyscrapers that were rigged to fall as inconveniently as possible.

If you are a religious person you would have to pray to God that full scale hostilities between armed forces would never erupt in cities of that size.

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If you are a religious person you would have to pray to God that full scale hostilities between armed forces would never erupt in cities of that size.

I am NOT a religious person, and I am more or less praying for that, and an outbreak of sanity by Putin as well. But the line about the enemy gets a vote goes way back for a reason.

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I am NOT a religious person, and I am more or less praying for that, and an outbreak of sanity by Putin as well. But the line about the enemy gets a vote goes way back for a reason.

I wasnt referring to you singularly, but as a general comment on the horror of what a sustained urban fight would look like in very large populated cities that you mentioned.

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Optics: back in the day, I was best in my group of 2 dozen on the M16 range. Using iron sights and a full-length barrel , I knocked down all the pop-up torsos out to 300 yards. Fast forward to today: using a 16" barrel, 2 moa aimpoint red dot and 3.5x mag, I placed 10 rounds at 300 yards in a group tight enough to be covered by my hand.

Optics make a big difference with aimed fire.

Using nvg's and properly zeroed ir lasers, it's even easier.

Aiming is hard when adrenaline is pumping. Optics don't matter in room clearing.

.300 Blackout has adherents who believe in its utility for cqb.

Target shooting is not combat shooting. Dinging a gong is not the same as killing someone who is shooting at you from 15'.

Rounds that are lethal in 2 minutes are not the same as rounds which are lethal in 1 minute. Rounds that you don't have don't help.

Different tools are optimized for different uses. The problem is finding the right compromise.

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Expanding the discussion a but what does the British Army who use the SA80 think? I see reports they don't trust it. I also see other horror stories about the whole affair behind it.

The Germans have the G36. They also have the MP7 for second line troops and officers. They seem to be going back to a model somewhat like WW2. Is there any merit in that?

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Aiming is hard when adrenaline is pumping. Optics don't matter in room clearing.

Different tools are optimized for different uses. The problem is finding the right compromise.

Adrenaline and fear impact cannot be overstated. Simple things like remembering to up the range on sights, and watch for the dust fall of rounds while pumped is what marks the transition from 'green' to experienced, even for highly trained soldiers.

Definitely different tools of different jobs is the right approach across a squad and platoon.

Which is why the Brits added 7.62 L129A1 Sharpshooter rifle to the mix with the longer range fire fights in Afghan.

http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/23221.aspx

db_zero: The SA80 had some teething problems. They fell apart easily at first, and had a couple of ergonomic issues. They were pushed through HK who improved it. My own opinion is that it's now a good and very ergonomic weapon, but like above at longer ranges 7.62 is the way to go.

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Fear and adrenaline is something that cannot be overstated. Training and repetition can help overcome some of that. You will fall back on your training when all else fails, but it is interesting to see how you can tell someone over and over how to do something simple and yet once you put them into a stressful situation how they fail to do what you've told them over again.

I would also suggest that distance also makes a huge difference. Facing an opponent at 1 to 10 feet or 100 to 300+ feet are completely different.

Also having support in the terms of having team mates on your side or being in a 1 on 1 or 1 vs many is also a factor.

Pistols, shotguns, rifles, long distance shooting are completely different types of shooting that require a different skill set, mindset and discipline.

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Fear and adrenaline is something that cannot be overstated. Training and repetition can help overcome some of that. You will fall back on your training when all else fails, but it is interesting to see how you can tell someone over and over how to do something simple and yet once you put them into a stressful situation how they fail to do what you've told them over again.

I would also suggest that distance also makes a huge difference. Facing an opponent at 1 to 10 feet or 100 to 300+ feet are completely different.

Also having support in the terms of having team mates on your side or being in a 1 on 1 or 1 vs many is also a factor.

Anxiety is for most people an autonomous and natural response to stress. Training can help hugely but is rarely done enough and with enough realism and focus on this to mitigate it at first.

A little stress and adrenaline pump is good, it focuses and motivates to action. But anything over the sweet spot and it inhibits thinking, creativity, action, and even motor skills and visual field. This is why 90% of black belts would get there ass kicked in a street fight.

Agreed, the team is crucial too, 2 or more warrior personality types or vets calm and lead the rest.

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