Why no luck for M16 100rd Beta Drums in the military?


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doubleg
August 9, 2007, 07:46 PM
From what I have seen they are decently reliable. Other than being large and awkward to carry why don't we see these being used. Why not give every soldier one to carry in his gun loaded during a building sweep, or keep humvees stocked up with some in case of an ambush? It would give them an almost unfair advantage during firefights.

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rkh
August 9, 2007, 07:55 PM
The Army tested them, and determined that they weren't sturdy enough.

At the time, the rear panel of the magazine was made out of cheap plastic that was prone to cracking. Newer C-Mags may not have the plastic rear panel.

Henry Bowman
August 9, 2007, 08:18 PM
My guess is that they are awkward, heavy and more prone to failure (at least compared to 30 rnd box mags). If a box mag fails, drop and replace. Only lose use of a few rounds, not dozens.

Jdude
August 9, 2007, 08:29 PM
It is large and bulky, making it a pain to get in and out of vehicles with. I can carry 90 rds in a lot smaller space in my pack with less weight using 30 rd mags than a drum. Like the previous poster noted, if it fails you are out dozens of rounds instead of just a few. Personally, I'll stick with the 30 rounders; and if I get put in an oversight position again, the 20's. They fit under my harris bipod a bit better.

Fosbery
August 9, 2007, 08:45 PM
Another problem is weight distribution. Imagine having 150 rounds plus a big ol' feeding machanism hanging off a single webbing or vest attachment point. That's bad enough. Then imagine you have two hanging off either side, then you take one out to load it. You'd be walking in circles!

doubleg
August 9, 2007, 08:52 PM
Yes no doubt its awkward. But what would be wrong with using it like the soviets used drums for the PPSH in WW2. Only carry one and use it as the first magazine. After it runs out switch to normal 30 rounders.

Jdude
August 9, 2007, 09:04 PM
2 or 3 extra pounds isn't really that much, till you have to carry it. If the military issued them, I might 'lose' one to myself as a novelty item- but I will continue to use the 30s. I can stuff empty 30s in each pocket till I am built like robocop, but those drums just don't fit. That means when it is time to reload either it goes into my pack that I left behind in the truck, or on the ground where it will likely stay. If it is time to reload it is because somebody has been shooting and doesn't have time to pick flowers and tra la la back to the truck with all his toys.

trueblue1776
August 9, 2007, 09:22 PM
why make an agile M4 if you plan on tying a brick to it?

Nameless_Hobo
August 9, 2007, 10:00 PM
Heavy, awkward and fragile.

igpoobah
August 9, 2007, 11:18 PM
I have 2!:neener:

Bezoar
August 9, 2007, 11:20 PM
actually the squad automatic weapon /light machine gun variant of the m4 has a 120-150 round drum to use for suppressive fire. More for the security guards/check point charlie guys and not the frontline grunt.

waterhouse
August 10, 2007, 01:19 AM
Other than being large and awkward to carry why don't we see these being used.

Well, the fact that they are large and awkward seems like reason enough to me. And heavy. And expensive (this is the gov't we are talking about . . . in theory they work on a budget.)

It is one thing to carry a few extra pounds in your pockets or distributed over your hips, back, and shoulders. It is another to have it in your arms. I'd imagine the extra fatigue could become a factor in shooting.

I guess the flip side is, what do you gain by using one in return for being large, awkward, heavy, unbalanced, possibly less reliable, etc. All I can think of is the ability to not have to reload every 30 rounds. When you think about how quickly a reload can occur in trained hands, to me it seems pretty obvious why they are sticking with 30 rounders.

akodo
August 10, 2007, 01:19 AM
remember, most circumstances in the military you are with more than one person. so while guy A reloads his 30 rounder B and C are still actively able to engage targets.

Bigger magazines are heavier and clumbsier to reload. I suspect that giving a guy 600 rounds in 20 30 rounders and another one 6 100 rounders and ahve them burn through it as fast as possible while moving, the time would be about the same due to more frequent reloads being offset by quicker reloads, more convenient placement of spares, etc.

C96
August 10, 2007, 01:36 AM
doubleg ~ You ever really try to handle an AR with a 150 round drum attached ?

I'd be afraid of ripping something out of the lower. :eek:

As to the PPsh-41, seventy rounds of 7.63x25 weighs a whole lot less than 150 rounds of .223.

allan

Evil Monkey
August 10, 2007, 01:47 AM
There's talk of the Marines trying to switch the M249 with the Ultimax Mk4 LMG which uses mags instead of belts and therefore can use beta c drums. Why not use them then in a mag fed lmg? They're no different than those huge 200rd belt boxes for the M249. I've read somewhere that the 100rd pouches are more popular than the 200rd boxes anyway so while they feed differently, both carry the same amount of ammo.

Of course though, you can't defy physics. A belt box has no internal components. The drums like the beta c have cores and springs that take up space and add weight. So a belt box maybe smaller or just as large as a beta c drum but the belt box can carry FAR MORE ammo, double capacity in most cases.

While it may not be useful for a rifleman, a SAW gunner can have them. But still, the belt will always have more firepower.

To spend serious amounts of cash for the military to give 100rd drums to riflemen is dumb. Marksman ship is very important in the US military and the drums weight can be a problem. But, for a mag fed SAW, it's viable. You can also have every soldier carrying a 100rd beta c for the SAW gunner if he exhausts his own supply.

striker3
August 10, 2007, 02:23 AM
SAWs can already accept Beta C mags. They are just horribly unreliable when using any kind of magazine. Personally, I would rather have a belt for an automatic weapon. It is so much easier to break out a ready to fire drum from the ammo crate than to have to keep reloading 100 round mags.

Oleg Volk
August 10, 2007, 02:28 AM
Ultimax drums can't be loaded without a tool, from what I've read. The limit on the rate of fire is the barrel temperature anyway.

Evil Monkey
August 10, 2007, 02:36 AM
Check this drum out.

150rds!!
http://www.armatac.com/products.html

video here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kPtfUtH8Ps

The thing looks MASSIVE!. Another +1 for belt feds.

Geronimo45
August 10, 2007, 03:09 AM
I'd be afraid of ripping something out of the lower.
My thoughts, too... wouldn't that heavy weight tend to loosen up/bend/break/warp the mag retention gadget?

Ragnar Danneskjold
August 10, 2007, 03:37 AM
"Decently reliable" takes on a whole new meaning in a combat zone.

Byron Quick
August 10, 2007, 03:44 AM
Weight issues.

Just working a carbine class eight hours a day for a couple of days in 85 degree weather will have you seriously reducing what you've hung on the rails.

It might give marginally increased effectiveness to the M16 platform but personally when it drops in the pot, I want the crew served weapons to open up while I take cover. Call in artillery and air support. That Beta C might slow me down as I perform that most difficult of military maneuvers-retreat.

Gifted
August 10, 2007, 05:36 AM
In addition to the above, I"ve been told you need a beefed up mag release--that little tab isn't really designed for the weight. A nice idea, but not practical.

wideym
August 10, 2007, 05:48 AM
I used a beta mag in bagdad. It was my primary mag in my m4 with 10 30 rounders in my pouches. Since most patrols were in humvees it did'nt cause any problems. As for beefing up the mag release none was needed. My only comlaint was that there is no bolt hold open when the last round is fired, but my last 20 rounds were tracers to let me know I was reaching the bottom of the mag. With a full auto m4, aimpoint and targets that were usually half a block away or less, it preformed supperbly.

Double Naught Spy
August 10, 2007, 10:02 AM
I have some Beta mags. I like them for the range and for shooting off a rest or bipod. I have found that they function quite well, but are heavy and the drums can get in the way depending on how you grip the gun. Also, the gun does not sling well with the mag in place. I can see where wideym says they were great for use out of a hummer. That sounds like it would be a great way to use them. So from a fixed position with some form of rest or from something like a vehicle, they would be good. For carrying around, they are a pain.

Gunsmoker
August 10, 2007, 12:45 PM
I used a beta mag in bagdad. It was my primary mag in my m4 with 10 30 rounders in my pouches. Since most patrols were in humvees it did'nt cause any problems. As for beefing up the mag release none was needed. My only comlaint was that there is no bolt hold open when the last round is fired, but my last 20 rounds were tracers to let me know I was reaching the bottom of the mag. With a full auto m4, aimpoint and targets that were usually half a block away or less, it preformed supperbly.


I would also do this. Just train with the beta mag and in no time you will be proficient with it.

RockyMtnTactical
August 10, 2007, 01:29 PM
Some troops in Afghanistan were found dead with jammed Beta mags. That couldn't have been a positive thing...

I would avoid them personally.

GRIZ22
August 10, 2007, 02:19 PM
From what I have seen they are decently reliable.

But a 20 or 30 rd mag is much more reliable. I've never seen on of these 100rd mags that really worked all the time. The rifle gets heavy enough with a 20 or 30 rd mag in it. You carry it more than shoot it.

wideym
August 10, 2007, 02:20 PM
Sorry RockyMtnTactical but I call BS on that. Infantry soldiers are trained to do immediate action for a weapon malfuntion. You just don't sit down carefully examine a mag and fiddle with it while taking fire. You drop it, try another mag, and if that doesn't work try remedial action. Plus an m4/m16 is your primary weapon. Your secondary weapons include pistols, MGs, grenade launchers, frags, AT-4s, etc. My platoon had weapons damaged or destroyed in combat, but you could always find another weapon on the battlefield.

MD_Willington
August 10, 2007, 02:45 PM
Would love to have a feed tower for my Saiga, yep they do work in a Saiga folks...

RockyMtnTactical
August 10, 2007, 04:32 PM
Sorry RockyMtnTactical but I call BS on that. Infantry soldiers are trained to do immediate action for a weapon malfuntion. You just don't sit down carefully examine a mag and fiddle with it while taking fire. You drop it, try another mag, and if that doesn't work try remedial action. Plus an m4/m16 is your primary weapon. Your secondary weapons include pistols, MGs, grenade launchers, frags, AT-4s, etc. My platoon had weapons damaged or destroyed in combat, but you could always find another weapon on the battlefield.

Can you call BS on something you have no awareness about??

Two soldiers from the 75th Rangers Battalion were found dead with jammed beta-c mags in Afghanistan.

Without having been there, it would be impossible to know exactly what happened when they died. Sure, they are trained to do certain things... but how do you clear malfunctions when you're dead?

It was bad equipment that killed those men, not bad training...

Double Naught Spy
August 10, 2007, 07:22 PM
And from where do you get your information? Jammed mags? Care to explain? What killed the soldiers? Did the "mags jam" before the soldiers were killed or as a result?

As for calling BS, what do you expect? You make a claim and then back it up with a couple of details that offer no more proof of the event than the original claim. There have been a variety of claims of weapons problems from the field discussed in this forum and several, as it turns out, are complete garbage, fabricated and circulated as urban lore.

Somehow I doubt a couple of jams would doom their use. They are using M4s and other such weaponry.

MudPuppy
August 10, 2007, 07:39 PM
https://crc.army.mil/Messages/detail.asp?iData=19&iCat=530&iChannel=14&nChannel=Messages
GPM-02-017:
SUMMARY: THE C-MAG MAGAZINES WERE A FREE ISSUE TO FORT BRAGG,
FORT DRUM, FORT CAMPBELL, AND FORT HOOD FOR USE IN THE M249 SQUAD
AUTOMATIC WEAPON (SAW). THE C-MAG MAGAZINES ARE AN INTERIM,
ALTERNATIVE MEASURE TO MEET OUR NEEDS FOR TRAINING WHILE
CONSERVING LINKED 5.56 AMMUNITION. THE C-MAG HAS NOT BEEN ARMY TYPE


PAGE 08 RUEAWMA0035 UNCLAS
CLASSIFIED. THE NSN IS MANAGED BY DLA. DURING TESTING, ROUNDS WERE
SOMETIMES LEFT LOOSE IN THE C-MAG DRUMS. BLANK AMMUNITION SHOWED A VERY HIGH STOPPAGE RATE.
1. TECHNICAL. MR. DON KELLY, AMSTA-LC-CSIL, DSN 793-1897,
E-MAIL, KELLYD@RIA.ARMY.MIL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, UNITED STATES ARMY TANK-AUTOMOTIVE AND ARMAMENTS COMMAND, ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS 61299-7630.
2. SAFETY: MRS. JUDITH WINDHAM, AMSTA-LC-SF, DSN 793-6367,
E-MAIL, WINDHAMJ2@RIA.ARMY.MIL, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, UNITED STATES ARMY TANK-AUTOMOTIVE AND ARMAMENTS COMMAND, ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS 61299-7630.
I. MSG, 14 FEBRUARY 02, SUBJECT: MAINTENANCE ADVISORY MESSAGE (MAM) TACOM CONTROL NO. MAM-02-014, SHOP EQUIPMENT, CONTACT MAINTENANCE (SECM), ORDNANCE/ENGINEER, TRUCK MOUNTING, NSN 4940-01-133-8471, LIN S25681, SUPPLY CATALOG SC 4940-95-B29.

Monkeybear
August 10, 2007, 07:50 PM
Drum mags look cool but they are heavy and unwieldy. Add in reliability problems and its hard to find a reason to use them.

HorseSoldier
August 10, 2007, 07:58 PM
From what I have seen they are decently reliable. Other than being large and awkward to carry why don't we see these being used. Why not give every soldier one to carry in his gun loaded during a building sweep, or keep humvees stocked up with some in case of an ambush? It would give them an almost unfair advantage during firefights.

In most applications, it's a technological fix for something that is better addressed by training (kind of like the 3-round burst setting instead of full auto selector switch). Train guys to be proficient at doing mag changes at speed under stress and the C-Mag does not bring much real increase in firepower to the table in practical and typical combat shooting. I suppose if you're in some situation where the ROEs allow you to just hose full auto fire through an M4 or M16 (something we don't train people to do and something the weapon was not designed to do) it might come in occasionally handy, but the rifle/carbine is not a SAW/base of fire kind of weapon, which is the sort of application where that kind of capacity really shines.

thexrayboy
August 10, 2007, 11:45 PM
Hi cap drum mags are like all the other whistles and bells that are available for tha AR platform of weapons. Are they the cats meow end all replacement for traditional stick mags? Of course not. Do they have a niche to fill in the tactical environment. Certainly. They are just another exotic tool in the list of available options to consider. Would I want to hump a couple of Beta C's around all day? Probably not. If I was working building security and maintaining a static position I would sure consider them. In specific circumstances where only one person is guarding or controlling a specific area without immediate backup being able to send 100 rounds down range without reloading could be nice. Thats a 300% increase in the time you can fight before having to reload. Those extra seconds can allow your buds to show up while your still able to keep the BG's heads down. With 30 round sticks that time frame is shorter. Just another tool to be used appropriatley and liked or used inappropriately and damned. If I was in the sandbox and a vehicle was bearing down on me I sure wouldnt mind being able to put 100 rounds into that vehicle before reloading as opposed to 30. Sometimes those few seconds make a difference.

RockyMtnTactical
August 11, 2007, 12:27 AM
And from where do you get your information? Jammed mags? Care to explain? What killed the soldiers? Did the "mags jam" before the soldiers were killed or as a result?

As for calling BS, what do you expect? You make a claim and then back it up with a couple of details that offer no more proof of the event than the original claim. There have been a variety of claims of weapons problems from the field discussed in this forum and several, as it turns out, are complete garbage, fabricated and circulated as urban lore.

Somehow I doubt a couple of jams would doom their use. They are using M4s and other such weaponry.

Frankly, I don't care if you believe me or not. I know they don't work well for myself, and I know most people in the military don't care for them either.

Here's some info on the Beta mags from Wikipedia:

Reliability
The C-Mag is arguably unreliable in combat conditions, with frequent failures to feed. Problems are exacerbated in dusty and sandy environments. The C-Mag also stresses the magazine release, since a fully loaded C-Mag weighs more than three fully loaded 30 round magazines. [4] U.S. Army TACOM has issued a Ground Precautionary message, GPM-02-017, warning about its use in operations.[5] The GPM predates the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Beta C-Mag is not in wide-spread use by US military forces, and has not been type-classified.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_C-Mag

Drum mags just tend to be fairly unreliable in general...

Do a search for "Beta C-Mag afghanistan" if you want to find out some of the details which I eluded to...

dstorm1911
August 11, 2007, 01:08 AM
RMT, Are ya refferin to this other request to substantiate the same story? cause by pasting your search text into google this was All I got and its just a request to substantiate and un-substantiated story

http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=print_topic;f=66;t=000244

Maybe if ya actually provided some links yourself to the direct info rather than suggest members search for it then those above would be happy????

wideym
August 11, 2007, 03:10 AM
M4s and SAWs are two different beasts alltogether. I've never tried a beta mag in a saw but I have tried 30 round mags in a saw. 30 rounders do not work well in the saw, they jam so often that you might as well load single rounds. Its even worse with blanks. I've also never met a soldier who did'nt have at least one 30 round mag jam on them at least once in their carrer. Thats why you have immediate action and remedial action drills. Goverment weapons and equipment are made by the lowest bidder and they buy the best and most reliable stuff for the elite units. In the 90s the 101st had 80s era flak vest but the ranger batts had body armor with plates.

Sonic
August 11, 2007, 04:34 AM
Drum mags just tend to be fairly unreliable in general...

I have to disagree with the 'in general' part. A properly designed drum magazine will be as reliable as any box magazine. Consider the 75 round drum magazines the russians issued with their RPK light support weapon. The russian army has very high standards as to the reliability and durability they expect from their weapons, and they are not the sort of organization that would tolerate a magazine that was anything less than utterly reliable under combat conditions. The fact that they issued the 75 round drum magazine as part of the standard kit of the RPK, is about as strong a proof as you can get that a drum magazine can be as reliable and durable as a box magazine.

So of course the question becomes does the Beta-C mag have that level of reliability, but there is an even bigger question. Even if if a drum magazine is reliable, is its main advantage (additional ammunition capacity) sufficient to out weight its disadvantages (greater weight and bulk) for use on assault rifles and light support weapons that have no quick change barrel capability, like the RPK? The russians eventually decided that it wasn't, because when they introduced the RPK's successor, the RPK-74, they only issued it with extended capacity box magazines and no drums.

With the large drum magazines you effectively end up trying to turn an assault rifle or light support weapon into a sustained fire machine gun. But a better solution for that role of course already exists in the form of belt fed machine guns with quick-change barrels (i.e. M249 SAW), and using a big heavy magazine to a certain extent defeats one of the main features that an assault rifle/light support weapon is supposed to have, light weight, so a soldier will have more mobility. After all, if it was all just about firepower, armies would only issue belt fed machine guns to their infantry, not assault rifles.

It is like the issue with the machine pistol concept. In theory taking a semi-auto pistol and turning it into a full-auto machine pistol creates a weapon with as much firepower as a submachine gun, but in a much smaller and lighter weapon. But in practice the very things that make the machine pistol a more compact weapon to carry around (lighter weight, no fore-grip, and no butt-stock) also make it significantly more difficult to hit targets with on full auto when compared to a submachine gun. So a machine pistol ends up being less effective than a submachine gun, while also not offering much of an advantage over a standard semi-automatic pistol in most situations. As a result machine pistols ended up only being used in specialized roles (like as an entry weapon, or for VIP protection), and they never became a general issue weapon.

So are large drum magazines for assault rifles useless? I don't think so, but like machine pistols they are only really advantageous over more conventional solutions (like box magazines) in specialized roles. As for the Beta-C mag, whether it is reliable enough for combat is a judgement I will leave to those who have had firsthand experience with them, but even if it was completely reliable, for the previously mentioned reasons I just don't think it would ever become a widely issued 'standard' piece of equipment.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 11, 2007, 11:42 AM
Besides the reliability issues, it is just plain unwieldly. Look at the M249 - the soft bag is a lot more popular than the hard box for that weapon - and this is on a weapon designed for that role and meant to be used that way.

On a rifle that is supposed to be mobile and handy, I don't really see the point myself. Maybe if you could do some of the Russian-style quad stack magazines it would be somewhat more useful; but at the end of the day, the rifle is a rifle - not a light machine gun. You can feed it 100rd drums; but you can't feed it too many of them and still have it work.

bkjeffrey
August 12, 2007, 02:47 AM
I owned one a while back, bought it from the local gun shop. I spent nearly $45 to fill it up and headed to the woods. So im tromping around with a cinder block attached to the bottom of my bushmaster and almost immediatly began experiencing failure to feed. Upon initial inspection I saw that spring inside was not positivley feeding rounds all the way up for the bolt carrier to grab. I turned it upside down and shook it a lil bit and about 8 rounds just fell out of the thing. It was broken! Brand spankin new, and broke! And yes I did use the messy dry graphite lube that it came with. So the gunshop refunded my money for the mag, But they kept the 70 or so rounds left in it. My Beta c mag experience cost me $40 the way i see it. Just my 2 cents.

Evil Monkey
August 12, 2007, 02:58 AM
For a rifle, I'd rather just tape mags together. That's what I do with my AK mags. I get 60rds with one reload in between, and the reload is extremely fast.

With polymer mags and such, you can tape 3 mags together for 120rds and still be lighter or equal in weight with a drum.

MisterPX
August 12, 2007, 03:14 AM
My experience has been the opposite of wideym. Betas took a crap whenever they felt like it, and mags worked fine in out 249's.

Keep in mind I wasn't a big fan of using the Beta as a reliable mag before my deployment, as myself and some others had had issues using them in ideal climates.

Lucky
August 12, 2007, 03:21 AM
Just pointing out that there's a niche between rifle and SAW, known as the 'automatic rifle', which is a role the SAW is being forced to fulfill. That's why they like 100 rounds and soft bags that don't rattle. It doesn't mean the SAW is right for the job - especially ironic when the same person says a beta mag is too heavy but a loaded 249 is better (it's not lighter).

U.S.SFC_RET
August 12, 2007, 09:37 AM
It's called controlled fire. You don't need a 100 round magazine. The M4 is select fire three round burst. The Army has Squad Automatic Weapons that fire the 5.56 rounds when they need them so what's the use of having the 100 rounder for?

Lucky
August 12, 2007, 01:19 PM
Aiui a guy lugging a SAW sometimes has a hell of a time keeping up with the rest of the squad, where if he had an AR (slightly heavier and modified rifle) he'd be in the same weight class, just as mobile. There are several automatic rifle designs reaching or having reached fruition, and it's just a matter of time until the US adopts one.

HorseSoldier
August 12, 2007, 01:31 PM
But without a quick change barrel and (more arguably) belt fed ammo supply, he's not nearly as effective at suppressing bad guys and serving as a base of fire. I'm not saying that mobility should take a back seat to firepower (sometimes it should, sometimes it shouldn't), but it's one of those cases where it's hard to have the cake and eat it too. The British tried the mag fed automatic rifle idea and the LSW basically failed its way to DMR status, and HK has had little luck selling its G36 based automatic rifle idea -- both the Germans and British now use SAWs or SAW-clones instead of a true auto-rifle.

Lucky
August 12, 2007, 11:52 PM
In peace time it seemed superfluous. Now that US is in combat they're re-thinking old ideas, I'll find the link, I believe a tender is out already.

Evil Monkey
August 13, 2007, 02:10 AM
First of all, auto riflemen in the US military are known NOT to carry spare barrels because it is used as a individual weapon. Second, they are trained to shoot NO MORE than 85rds in a minute. I don't know if soldiers break that rule in the excitement of combat but 85rds is capable from mag feds too. Anything above 85rds in a minute is considered sustained fire which even the M249 is NOT capable of since it is being used an automatic rifle and not a crew served light machine gun.

Right know the ultimax 100 mk4 is the only proper machine gun out there that fires from an open bolt but uses mags and drums.

Yet still, as I've said many times, you can't defy physics. A belt fed weapon will always be able to carry more ammo than a drum and have less weight and size. So drums are not all that great.....but the Marine Corps is thinking otherwise. :confused:

.45Guy
August 13, 2007, 02:53 AM
but the Marine Corps is thinking otherwise.


They're just looking for what most like to call a "niche" weapon here. A 249 and A bag would be great if I were dug in on the DMZ facing waves of the "Red Menace." However what I encountered during my year e.g. a couple of Fedayeen Saddam blazing away randomly didn't necessitate the need for the excess weight and spare barrel.

wideym
August 13, 2007, 03:14 AM
In 04-05 there was a shortage of MGs and linked ammo in country. When a saw or a 240 is deadlined or destroyed it took months to replace. Having a fullauto m4 with a drum was a combat multiplier. My chain of command saw it, tried it out and liked it. It took out insurgents and thats what counts. If the barrel was worn more than usual, who cares, uncle sam can replace barrels easer that soldiers.

Here are the facts: 1) I used a beta mag.
2) It did not jam.
3) I'm still alive.

MisterPX
August 13, 2007, 03:39 AM
Wideym, what kind of maintenance did you do to the beta? Use the graphite all the time, etc.

wideym
August 13, 2007, 03:44 AM
When not in use I put it back in the pouch. As far as cleaning, every two weeks I would unload it inspect,dust off, lightly lube with graphite. Its not as dusty in Bagdad than the rual parts of Iraq.

Double Naught Spy
August 13, 2007, 08:15 AM
It's called controlled fire. You don't need a 100 round magazine. The M4 is select fire three round burst. The Army has Squad Automatic Weapons that fire the 5.56 rounds when they need them so what's the use of having the 100 rounder for?

Wow, somebody in the military saying soldiers in the field don't need so much firepower. That is strange. Well, it is simple really, as to why soldiers potentially could use 100 round mags. There isn't always a guy with a SAW around. Why? Because the guy with the saw may be down. The SAW may be down. The squad may have split up. The guy with the SAW may have to be firing in a direction opposite from where somebody else also needs the firepower. A SAW is a bigger and heavier gun, so getting more firepower out of a smaller platform that is more easily transported is a good thing. On top of that, a 100 round mag means not having to reload as often during a fight. You get 33 3 round bursts instead of 10.

benEzra
August 13, 2007, 12:17 PM
For a rifle, I'd rather just tape mags together. That's what I do with my AK mags. I get 60rds with one reload in between, and the reload is extremely fast.

With polymer mags and such, you can tape 3 mags together for 120rds and still be lighter or equal in weight with a drum.
Keep in mind that the feed lips of AR mags are way thinner than those of AK mags; look at an AR mag and an AK mag side by side sometime (there is just no comparison). AK mags are tough enough to take a few knocks and not get bent, but carrying an AR with a second mag jungle-clipped upside down to the first one is just asking for bent feed lips and an unusable mag when you need it, IMO.

FWIW, for me and the AK platform, I can reload about 3x faster from a magazine holder on my person than I could using any sort of "jungle clip" setup. If a reload is required, my personal preference is to have it on my belt rather than hanging upside-down on the rifle.

Lucky
August 13, 2007, 03:21 PM
This is good, no irrational hatreds just more facts, great read this thread.

I've also heard that the problem with belts and packs is what happens after your 100 rounds are fired. You first have to load a belt into the pack, then load the belt. And if you have a bunch of packs, it's still slower than a magazine change.

U.S.SFC_RET
August 19, 2007, 08:25 AM
DoubleNaughtSpy Quoted:Wow, somebody in the military saying soldiers in the field don't need so much firepower. That is strange. Well, it is simple really, as to why soldiers potentially could use 100 round mags. There isn't always a guy with a SAW around. Why? Because the guy with the saw may be down. The SAW may be down. The squad may have split up. The guy with the SAW may have to be firing in a direction opposite from where somebody else also needs the firepower. A SAW is a bigger and heavier gun, so getting more firepower out of a smaller platform that is more easily transported is a good thing. On top of that, a 100 round mag means not having to reload as often during a fight. You get 33 3 round bursts instead of 10.
You have plenty of firepower. Switch the magazine in 2 seconds. Soldiers carry 210 rounds of ammunition, that's 7 30 round magazines. If you are rambo and go at it alone then it is a different story. The M4 Platform with the magazine catch can't stand the rigors of daily abuse (if it were to be used deserves to be tested first).
Controlled fire is accurate fire. Controlled fire is firepower. Shooting to be shooting is not necessary firepower.
Armchair quarterbacking from the internet never fails to amaze me. DNS Thanks for the raise this January.

Jeremy2171
August 19, 2007, 08:38 AM
Double Naught Spy Quote:It's called controlled fire. You don't need a 100 round magazine. The M4 is select fire three round burst. The Army has Squad Automatic Weapons that fire the 5.56 rounds when they need them so what's the use of having the 100 rounder for?

Wow, somebody in the military saying soldiers in the field don't need so much firepower. That is strange. Well, it is simple really, as to why soldiers potentially could use 100 round mags. There isn't always a guy with a SAW around. Why? Because the guy with the saw may be down. The SAW may be down. The squad may have split up. The guy with the SAW may have to be firing in a direction opposite from where somebody else also needs the firepower. A SAW is a bigger and heavier gun, so getting more firepower out of a smaller platform that is more easily transported is a good thing. On top of that, a 100 round mag means not having to reload as often during a fight. You get 33 3 round bursts instead of 10.

You haven't ran around too much out here with full combat load and 25lbs of armor plate in your flak in 125+ degree weather have you? Most engagements out here nowadays you can get by on 1 30 rnd mag. If you are going to need a bunch of ammo you will know ahead of time plus you have plenty in your truck. I only carry 2 spare 30s when I'm out of the truck, with a 20 rnd mag loaded. My pistol has 3 spare mags and I usually have a frag just "incase".

Lucky This is good, no irrational hatreds just more facts, great read this thread.

I've also heard that the problem with belts and packs is what happens after your 100 rounds are fired. You first have to load a belt into the pack, then load the belt. And if you have a bunch of packs, it's still slower than a magazine change.

Wrong. Ammo comes in 200rnd drums. We also have the 100rd "assault packs". What you do is you break down a 200rnd drum into 2 assualt packs, mount one on the gun stick one in your pocket and then you normally carry 2x200rnd drums in your pouches. Like I posted above....thats a full combat load...most guys just carry a spare 100rnd pack when dismounted.

trueblue1776
August 19, 2007, 11:58 AM
25lbs of armor plate in your flak

:what:

That's only when I'm jousting by horseback.

Buy some 2 lb weighted gloves from a fitness store, wear them for 8 hours and see how tired you get.

Phantom Warrior
August 19, 2007, 12:38 PM
You haven't ran around too much out here with full combat load and 25lbs of armor plate in your flak in 125+ degree weather have you? Most engagements out here nowadays you can get by on 1 30 rnd mag. If you are going to need a bunch of ammo you will know ahead of time plus you have plenty in your truck. I only carry 2 spare 30s when I'm out of the truck, with a 20 rnd mag loaded. My pistol has 3 spare mags and I usually have a frag just "incase".


This post very accurately describes what it's like over here right now. I think w/ the new side plates our IBAs are around 40 or 50 pounds right now. And it's crazy hot. Plus, most of the shooting is done by 240s or 50 cals off the trucks, not w/ personal weapons. And 25mm off the Bradleys, if you are lucky enough to be in mech unit. :D

Like a number of people have already pointed out there really is no need for more rounds in the M4 at a given time. If you need to shoot something, 30 rounders plus the support from SAWs, etc and your vehicle mounted weapons are perfectly capable of getting the job done. Frankly, I've only seen one guy in our battalion even bother to clip two mags together.

For a bulky, heavy casualty producing weapon we have SAWs, plus heavier stuff. The M4 w/ 30 rounders provides rifleman w/ an accurate weapon w/ plenty of firepower. Sure a weapon w/ 100 rounds would be great, but the increase in weight and awkwardness really isn't justified by the increased capacity. There just isn't any need for it given how effective 30 rounders already are.

Double Naught Spy
August 19, 2007, 03:21 PM
You have plenty of firepower. Switch the magazine in 2 seconds. Soldiers carry 210 rounds of ammunition, that's 7 30 round magazines. If you are rambo and go at it alone then it is a different story. The M4 Platform with the magazine catch can't stand the rigors of daily abuse (if it were to be used deserves to be tested first).
Controlled fire is accurate fire. Controlled fire is firepower. Shooting to be shooting is not necessary firepower.
Armchair quarterbacking from the internet never fails to amaze me. DNS Thanks for the raise this January.

Okay, well I have yet to see those 2 second mag changes you are talking about. The soldiers I have watched take much longer, especially if they are keeping their empty mags. As for quarterbacking, as I recall, you haven't been in battle either. You were a mechanic. So that makes you a quarterback as well. :D And that is just what you were doing when you claimed the guy with the SAW would always be right there.

You haven't ran around too much out here with full combat load and 25lbs of armor plate in your flak in 125+ degree weather have you? Most engagements out here nowadays you can get by on 1 30 rnd mag. If you are going to need a bunch of ammo you will know ahead of time plus you have plenty in your truck. I only carry 2 spare 30s when I'm out of the truck, with a 20 rnd mag loaded.

Right, I am not there. I am glad to know your engagements are much shorter now. I have watched several soldier's clips on You Tube and such where I guess earlier on you guys were in more prolonged fights and soldiers were not in the truck, doing the whole off hand searching pockets routine trying to find any more mags still on their person.

RobTzu
August 19, 2007, 06:50 PM
Like most things in the military, I just wish it was an option. They are times and places where I would have wanted one of those. There are also times and places where I would not have wanted my body armor. Most of these descions are made higher up. The company level on down really has no authority to make descions, and I want that to change. Everything is a trade off. Those drums have advantages and dis-advantages that should be wieghed by the platoon sargeant at worst and individual soldier at best.

HorseSoldier
August 19, 2007, 10:37 PM
Okay, well I have yet to see those 2 second mag changes you are talking about. The soldiers I have watched take much longer, especially if they are keeping their empty mags.

Really fast mag changes are a bit overly optimistic if using bone stock army pouches and doing some of the things the Powers the Be in the Big Army push real hard (like putting empty mags back in mag pouches). I think the standard Big Army is pushing with their new Short Range Marksmanship course is four second mag changes (including putting mag back in mag pouch).

Get over the conventionalist thinking and mag changes can be much faster. Start with better set up kit. An open topped ready mag pouch (I like the Tactical Tailor models with shock cord retainers) or kydex clip on your gun belt improves on basic kit hugely. Either forget about the empty mag (mags are cheap, troops' lives less so) or get a big dump pouch on your belt.

And then drill doing mag changes exactly the way you plan to do them, standing, kneeling, crouched, prone, whatever. That's really the key. Practice the drill and two seconds is easy.

U.S.SFC_RET
August 21, 2007, 07:26 PM
I've had rounds shot at me into my compound. I have slept in a mine field in the first day of deploying into Bosnia. I have been (what I thought)laser traced at night at a convoy stop by a sniper at night and prayed to God at that instant to please let me go home and raise my two children. I have seen more wounded and suffering than you will ever know. War torn and ravaged areas. I have seen people one day only to know that they were dead the next. I have watched soldiers go crazy. I have heard explosions across the wire, more Death. I have seen more human tragedy then you would ever want to ever see. I have turned wrenches getting vehicles running in 15 degree weather on frozen solid ground with my fingers turing black. I have also worked in 130 degree heat doing the same thing 24/7 to exhaustion. Worked in the Rain. Turned wrenches with my back laying in the mud so those other soldiers could do their mission. I have been in a compound with undetected mines in that compound for the better part of a year only to find out much later that there were mines dicsovered on that compound. I thank God it didn't get ugly. I put myself in that situation by joining the Army, I signed the dotted line. Uncle Sam owned me for 20 years to do his bidding.

trueblue1776
August 21, 2007, 10:24 PM
Uncle Sam owned me for 20 years to do his bidding.

I preferred to think of it as a "lease". ;)

jpwilly
August 23, 2007, 01:46 AM
Here's a good video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhtTHAv0HSc) of those beta mags in action

Andrewsky
August 23, 2007, 02:19 AM
I had the opportunity to go shooting with a SWAT team member last week. I even got to fire a magazine from his M4A1 on full auto.

I held his tactical vest that had 2 pouches on it and a ceramic front plate. It was extremely heavy (and I'm 6'2", 175 lbs)

Excuse me, I'm going to totally armchair QB this next part. I have no fighting or military or police experience, but I imagine if I was in Iraq, my load-out would be something like this:

Rifle
4 extra rifle magazines
Pistol
2 extra pistol magazines
Handheld Radio
1 Frag grenade
1 fixed-blade knife
1 set of flex cuffs
1 flashlight
1 1 quart canteen
Night Vision Goggles
Other stuff like clothing, flak vest, helmet, goggles, chapstick, kleenex, etc, specialty equipment like a rocket or shotgun

I can't imagine carrying more than that.

BTW, seems to me that a 30 round magazine from an M4 lasts forever. Plus you'd have teammates to cover you during mag changes.

Jeremy2171
August 23, 2007, 04:52 AM
Excuse me, I'm going to totally armchair QB this next part. I have no fighting or military or police experience, but I imagine if I was in Iraq, my load-out would be something like this:

Rifle
6extra rifle magazines
Pistol
3 extra pistol magazines
Handheld Radio
1 Frag grenadeplus a smoke or two
1 fixed-blade knife
1 set of flex cuffs
1 flashlight
1 1 quart canteen3l camel back, that 1qt will be gone the first 30 minutes
Night Vision Goggles
Other stuff like clothing, flak vest, helmet, goggles, chapstick, kleenex, etc, specialty equipment like a rocket or shotgun
The Flak Jacket will have four SAPI plates front,back& sides (about25lbs in JUST the plates
I can't imagine carrying more than that.

BTW, seems to me that a 30 round magazine from an M4 lasts forever. Plus you'd have teammates to cover you during mag changes.

I used REDto give you a more accurate idea of whats carried out here.

trueblue1776
August 23, 2007, 09:14 AM
Jeremy-
Thanks for reminding me why I never went army!;) I didn't serve with a standard infantry unit, I carried less than half of the things on that list.

Just for the record, I never saw anything close to heavy combat, just observation/interdiction. If we saw a concentration of meanies, we just called in the birds to check it out.

I still can't see any purpose for it other than a stationary gunner (AKA "death wish") or a drive by shooter in a Humvee. Cheers to the guys that use them in real life, they are just to humongous for me, or anybody I ever served with.

Phantom Warrior
August 27, 2007, 04:07 PM
Jeremy2171,

Don't forget the Improved First Aid Kit (IFAK). For those of you who haven't seen them, the IFAK is a pouch about the size of two thick paperbacks. It has a bunch of immediate use kind of medical supplies. Tourniquet, pressure dressing, gauze, etc.

Jeremy2171
August 27, 2007, 04:11 PM
Yup, thats about the only thing I have on my Flak. Much easier to get out of the vehicle without all the crap hanging off of it.

U.S.SFC_RET
August 27, 2007, 11:21 PM
Man I hated getting in and out of a Hummwv wearing..
Kevlar
Gas mask
Flak Vest
Load Bearing Equipment
2 Quart Canteens
M16 + 210 rounds
Me Over 6' and weighing in at 225.
You can't feel the seat belt when you try to get out and you forget every time.:banghead:

Andrewsky
August 27, 2007, 11:27 PM
Jeremy, thank you very much. That was very informative.

sacp81170a
August 27, 2007, 11:38 PM
Man I hated getting in and out of a Hummwv wearing..
Kevlar
Gas mask
Flak Vest
Load Bearing Equipment
2 Quart Canteens
M16 + 210 rounds
Me Over 6' and weighing in at 225.

I hear that. It's even worse at 40 below with a 50 mph wind, parka, bunny pants, mukluks, long underwear and your radio. You won't run out of water, it'll just freeze before you can drink it! :uhoh:

U.S.SFC_RET
August 28, 2007, 07:30 PM
I sometimes wonder about those light infantry guys. Seen em walking loaded down, I mean loaded.:confused: There was nothing light about those poor saps.

Shootrj2003
August 29, 2007, 01:09 PM
I spent 6 years as a Marine grunt ,an 0331 ,I humped an M-60 around [23 lbs] with 2 -4 paks of ammo and one belt in the gun but I had morer than my share of time humping the M-16a1 when I wasn't the gunner I don't think I would have savored the balance and size of that drum set hanging off that rifle.just thinking back and remembering,it would have been a FUBAR item and maybe I might have used it as a piece of booby trap bait but otherwise I would lose it -quick-for a few more 30 rounders that you can stuff any where.

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