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M1A1TC

Weapons review from Iraq veteran

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Originally posted by FAI:

You're right that G36 IS expensive, something like 3 times the price tag of M4. And don't start comparing price tags with the AKs... ;)

A quote from Pulp Fiction:

"But when you shoot it, you know where that extra money went". :D

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FAI, I don't doubt that the G36 is more expensive. But is it more expensive in the long run?

The cost of the individual weapon (hardware) isn't as important as the total cost of ownership during its expected lifetime. A weapon that is more expensive to buy might be cheaper in the long run (maintenance, training etc). If the weapon is easier to use, the soldier might learn to shoot easier, saving some $ on ammo (which is (claimed as) another advantage of 5.56 vs 7.62).

Of course, the horribly expensive weapon might be even more expensive when you buy spare parts. Just like German sportscars. :D

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Took this from that Jane's article:

"However, US Army doctrine appears to be opposed to considering a bullpup rifle, which rules out that approach to improving effectiveness."

What doctrine is that? What about it is so incompatible with a bullpup rifle?

Just to make sure I'm not totally confusing myself, bullpup is where the magazine is loaded in the rear of the weapon (like the bad guys in Die Hard;), right?

Um, if you can't tell, my knowledge of guns is puny, and my military experience zilch :cool:

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Originally posted by With Clusters:

What doctrine is that?

The "NIH doctrine"? (Not Invented Here) ;)

one of disadvantages with bullpups is that you have to make changes to the weapon (not always possible) to be able to fire it from the left shoulder, otherwise you'll get hot cases in your face.

Maybe US doctrine emphazises the ability to fire the rifle from either shoulder?

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When I read the M14 was supposedly filtering back into service I had to check the web to make sure you meant "that" M14! Wow!

M16 stopping power was an issue way back during the Faulklands war (1980 or 82?). British special forces were assaulting a trench system. One soldier recalls exchanging near-point-blank fire with a 7.62FN-armed Argentine soldier. Despite being hit several times the Argie remained on his feet firing. It wasn't til his weapon was struck that he threw up his hands and surrendered. The British soldier was certain that if the Argie had tagged him with a 7.62 round the Brit would've been immediately put on the ground. I recall reading the issue was the gun was simply too powerful, the bullet would just pass through. just the opposite of a fat slow .45 slug, which hits like a sledgehammer.

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Originally posted by With Clusters:

Took this from that Jane's article:

"However, US Army doctrine appears to be opposed to considering a bullpup rifle, which rules out that approach to improving effectiveness."

What doctrine is that? What about it is so incompatible with a bullpup rifle?

Just to make sure I'm not totally confusing myself, bullpup is where the magazine is loaded in the rear of the weapon (like the bad guys in Die Hard;), right?

Um, if you can't tell, my knowledge of guns is puny, and my military experience zilch :cool:

Bullpup is with the breach behind the trigger. This moves the barrel back a few inches so you get a shorter design with the same length barrel and a better weight dsitribution.

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Originally posted by juan_gigante:

Also, despite how great the M4 is, remember that the G36K is lighter, more durable, and far, far more reliable (yes, even in a dusty desert). I can understand the Army not wanting to shell out to replace all of its M16-series rifles with G36Ks, but they are superior weapons. Far superior.

Edit:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally written in the SWAT report:

Soldiers voiced a need for an integrated sight. Although the accessories enabled soldiers to acquire and engage targets more effectively, weapon real estate was at a premium. Soldiers were limited to mounting a day or night sight and were required to boresight and/or zero the sights individually each time they were mounted. Soldiers strongly suggested a combinatorial day/night sight with an integrated laser aiming device and capable for close and long range engagements.

G36K (standard model) also has two integrated sights - a 1.5X for CQB, and a 3.5X for ranged combat. Plus, they have a standard night vision scope you can hook on there. </font>

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Originally posted by Colin:

Bullpup is with the breach behind the trigger. This moves the barrel back a few inches so you get a shorter design with the same length barrel and a better weight dsitribution.

OK, sounds great. So what's the US Army's beef then?

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Clusters

The US Army's beef with bullpup weapons is indeed the fact that you cannot fire it from either shoulder without at least field-stripping it.

The only weapon to manage this so far is the FN F2000 (with an innovative ejection system for spent casings) and the experimental Steyr ACR (wich used bottom ejection).

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Originally posted by With Clusters:

So what's the US Army's beef then?

I have seen several documentaries about the US military (Rambo I, Rambo II, Rambo III) and they only shoot their automatic weapons from the hip.

This is where you get problems with ejected brass.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Thomm

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[Hopping from high horse onto soap box]

[Removes Political Correctness Filter]

The 5.56mm NATO is a varmint round. No hunter in his right mind would use 5.56 (223) for anything larger than a Woodchuck / Fox or possibly a Coyote / Small Wolf. The very light bullet has very little stopping power - you need grains of mass in the bullet for shock and penetration and enough velocity to give the bullet adequate energy to transfer into the target.

When the Washington sniper jerk was popping people with 5.56, I declared to the universe that he wasn't a hunter and was probably some ex Army grunt. No frigging way a hunter would go after 150lb targets with such a small round.

Anyways, I digress...

7.62 NATO (308 Win) is one of the best all around rounds for North American big game. With the various loads it can be used for anything from Prairie Dogs to full sized Bull Moose.

OK - it is a little light for the big Alaskan swamp donkeys, but IMHO no other short action round can claim to be as versatile.

The only other round that comes close to de-throning 7.62NATO is the old .30-06 round that the US used in WWII. The Major problem with .30-06 is it is a long action round - meaning in an auto-loader the breach must travel farther to cycle, reducing RoF and increasing the chance of jam.

(I know - there's the great 7mm mags, the killer WSM's, 375H&H Mag etc.., but for an all around round it has to be 'easy' to shoot.)

Which brings us to the new and exciting 6.8 Rem SPC.

It's Short Action

It's 6.8mm

It's around 115 grains

It's very good, ballistically, out to 300 metres

I think it makes an ideal White Tail Deer round, which also (by default) makes it an ideal 'person' round. Of course the average deer hunter isn't carrying 80 rounds of ammo on them, or engaging targets behind cinder block walls, but 6.8 spc is an interesting alternative for military use.

To drop an unarmoured ;) White Tail Deer, you want to have over 1000 ft-lbs of energy to transfer into the target. If you follow this link, you can see that an average load of the 6.8 spc carries 1000 ft-lb of energy out to 300 yards.

(R68 = 6.8SPC, R308 = 7.62 Nato, R223 = 5.56)

Compare basic loads for 5.56 Rem (223) to 7.62 Nato (308 Win) to 6.8 Rem SPC

The other factor in energy transfer is the diameter of the round (mushrooming and deforming rounds are designed to maximise this). I think most military rounds are still FMJ, so it is simple to see that (for similarily constructed bullets) a 115 grain 6.8mm (.267") round will be more efficient in transferring energy to the target than a 55 grain 5.56mm (.22") round.

The complaints are that 7.62 Nato kicks too hard and is too heavy/bulky for the average foot-slogger - and 5.56 can't take down the targets - so 6.8SPC is the compromise. It's lighter/more manageable than 7.62 and more powerful than 5.56.

For 150-200 lb targets, S.P.C. is the round for me!

[Replaces Political Correctness Filter]

[Leaps from Soap Box onto high horse and rides off into the sunset]

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Originally posted by Stalin's Organist:

Being old and past it I was wonderign what all these weapons were, and lo and behold I find that the "M240" is nothing more than the "Gympy" I used 25 years ago - the FN MAG GPMG - but of course the Yanks had to give it another name!! ;)

That would have been about the same time as I was having fun with one at weekends with the TA, having finally decided that it really was preferable to the dear old L4 LMG.

A 1958 design, I believe, which makes me think that one could kit out a present-day infantry company with small arms and MGs pretty well if one restricted oneself to weapons no less than forty years old. AK-M, PK-M and RPG-7 if you fancy a Russian flavour, FN-FAL, FN-MAG and Charlie G if you fancy something more Scando-Belgian (as the British Army did); or G3, MG-3 and PF-44 Lanze for something German. The 40-year limit would just get you an early AR-15, too, and with IMR powder in the cartridges, before the Ordnance Board changed it to ball propellant and screwed up the weapon.

For an HMG, Dushka and Ma Deuce still seem to be pretty much the only choices.

Originally posted by Stalin's Organist:

Actually what was so wrong with the M60 anyway? we always used to think it was pretty much directly comparable with the MAG.

I've never fired an M-60, but AIUI from Ian Hogg and Jane's Book of Infantry Weapons, it was designed in a deeply cunning fashion to remove the main advantages of gas operation. Instead of having the gas act on the head of a piston, like any normal gas-operated weapon, the gas bleed fed into a hollow piston by means of ports in the piston side. This meant that once the piston started to move back, the ports went out of alignment with the bleed from the barrel, and no more oof would be imparted to the piston. This "constant-energy" gas regulator was a sealed unit, not maintainable by the user and offerring no means of adjustment. If the constant energy wasn't enough to cycle the gun, as for example in conditions of heavy fouling, then tough luck. The way it is done in the Bren and the FN-MAG seems clearly preferable.

Also, the bipod was attached to the barrel, and an asbestos glove was required to perform barrel changes.

All the best,

John.

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Originally posted by Stalin's Organist:

Being old and past it I was wonderign what all these weapons were, and lo and behold I find that the "M240" is nothing more than the "Gympy" I used 25 years ago - the FN MAG GPMG - but of course the Yanks had to give it another name!! ;)

We call it the C6. I suspect you used it as an LMG within a section whereas most armies are using it now as a GPMG in weapons dets, and using the Minimi (aka C9, M249 SAW etc.) as the section automatic.

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J Ruddy: You are talking about situations where you want the target to die as quick as possible, which is not was the 5.56 is designed to do.

As I mentioned earlier, in a conventional war it's preferable to wound the enemy, not kill him instantly. The theory is that a wounded soldier needs two other soldiers to take care of him.

With one round you have incapacitated three men.

In addition to this, rifles probably aren't expected to cause many casualties at all in a major conflict (WW3).

After artillery and traffic accidents, rifle fire probably comes a bit down the list of casualty reasons. More of a comfort factor than an actual fighting tool. :D

Snipers, who generally want an instant kill and longer engagement ranges use 7.62 or larger calibres.

And we only hear about the situations where the target doesn't drop after being hit. We seldom hear about the situations where the enemy is killed or incapacitated after one hit - because this is what we expect from someone who has been shot.

After all this is considered, I still have no idea which round is the bestest. :D

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Originally posted by Kurtz:

J Ruddy: You are talking about situations where you want the target to die as quick as possible, which is not was the 5.56 is designed to do.

As I mentioned earlier, in a conventional war it's preferable to wound the enemy, not kill him instantly. The theory is that a wounded soldier needs two other soldiers to take care of him.

No army sends troops into the field with the objective of only wounding other soldiers so stop repeating a bunch of urban legends. Any infantryman I've ever talked to has been trained to kill, full stop. It is never preferable to simply "wound" people. If you can post a single shred of evidence that armies actually train to wound instead of kill, please do so now.

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Guest Mike
Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Stalin's Organist:

Being old and past it I was wonderign what all these weapons were, and lo and behold I find that the "M240" is nothing more than the "Gympy" I used 25 years ago - the FN MAG GPMG - but of course the Yanks had to give it another name!! ;)

We call it the C6. I suspect you used it as an LMG within a section whereas most armies are using it now as a GPMG in weapons dets, and using the Minimi (aka C9, M249 SAW etc.) as the section automatic. </font>

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I've never done any claims about the training of the soldiers. Don't put words in my mouth, please. I was discussing the ammunition.

The reduced lethality of the smaller rounds wasn't a problem at the time because wounded enemy were better than dead ones. As I said, this applies to major conflicts where the enemy has to take care of its own wounded.

In the actual fight, it's better to kill people because you're guaranteed they won't shoot back. In the war, it's preferable to wound them.

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And here's the deal. If my enemy is only 10 meteres away, I want there to be absolutely no question that he will go down to one bullet, to just about anywhere in the body. Now, I know that a soldier who practices good marksmanship, puts two in the chest, one in the head, and all that shouldn't have to worry too much. 99% of the time, they shouldn't have problems. But that 1%...

And somebody made the point that while you can carry more 5.56mm, if it takes 3 5.56mm rounds to bring a guy down, it kind of balances things out.

I do think it's rather strange that there are no competitive 7.62 rifles being made by Western nations that aren't sniper rifles. I mean, how many are there that were really popular? M14, G3, FN FAL, and that's all I can think of. It seems to me that with all this debate over 5.56mm versus 7.62mm, somebody would be stepping up and producing a modern 7.62mm assualt rifle.

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Originally posted by Kurtz:

[QB] The reduced lethality of the smaller rounds wasn't a problem at the time because wounded enemy were better than dead ones.

According to whom? If you have any evidence that this was a consideration by any army adopting the 5.56mm round as standard, then by all means, post that and I will happily stand corrected. Otherwise you are just perpetuating a dumb sounding urban myth.

In the war, it's preferable to wound them.
Again, I have to ask, according to whom? Even if anyone actually thought that way, I want to see evidence that this was seriously taken into consideration as a primary reason for adopting lighter ammunition.

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No sources for you.

My military-related literature (which mostly is in Swedish anyway) is stored away and I have no intention if digging it up for this argument. And I'm way too lazy to trawl the internet and trying to assess the credibility of various sources.

You think I'm perpetuating an "dumb sounding urban myth". Fine, I think I'll be able to sleep tonight despite that. :D

And I donĀ“t think it sounds dumb at all. From a logistic point of view it makes sense.

However, I don't think reduced lethality was the main argument (you're putting words in my mouth again) for the switch to 5.56.

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