Useful Automatic Fire


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LaEscopeta
September 18, 2008, 01:14 PM
There have been lots of comments here on THR about the effect of full automatic fire to generally be only creating noise and wasting ammo. I’ve been trying to collect a list of those few cases where full auto from an individual weapon is actually better then semi-auto. Not talking about crew served or vehicle mounted machineguns, only individually carried automatic rifles, assault rifles and submachine guns. Also only talking about military situations; I’m assuming there really aren’t any civilian applications.

1. Breaking contact and rear guard action.
2. Enfilading fire (along and into an enemy held trench, along the back side of long horizontal cover, along a line of advancing enemy, etc.)
3. Engaging vehicles.
4. Engaging area targets (crew served weapons, command & control centers, etc.)
5. Engaging individual enemies beyond the zero range of the weapon’s sights. (If sights are set at 200 meters and the target is some unknown range beyond that, aim at the target's feet and allow muzzle climb to “walk” rounds up the target.)
6. Ambush.

Corrections/additions, and reasoning behind them are welcome.

(And no I don’t have a reason for considering this; it is just one of those for-the-hell-of-it things.)

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Picard
September 18, 2008, 01:18 PM
Suppressive fire: To keep their heads down while your team gets a better position. From playing paintball, this tactic is extremely crucial.

For SMG's at close quarters, your confrontation may only last for 1/2 a second so need to shoot as many rounds as possible in that time. I'm assuming that much of the aiming is instinctive during these confrontations so accuracy is not as important as shooting in the general direction.

pfc.pennington
September 18, 2008, 01:23 PM
+1 on Suppressive fire, They cant shoot back if they are hideing behind a rock.

Mp7
September 18, 2008, 01:23 PM
Avoiding getting hit by just holding the rifle around a corner....
as in "pray & spray"?

jwr747
September 18, 2008, 01:29 PM
for "room sweeping", weapons such as the MP-5,that can actually be controlled in full auto,is a big plus. jwr

rcmodel
September 18, 2008, 01:32 PM
5. Engaging individual enemies beyond the zero range of the weapon’s sights.If you can't hit them with semi-auto fire and "Kentucky elevation" or holding over, you sure as heck ain't gonna hit them with full-auto spray & pray at long range.

Best save the ammo, cause you may need it later!

rcmodel

rc135
September 18, 2008, 01:37 PM
1. SUPPRESSIVE FIRE
It only serves a purpose in maneuver-type combat. Basically, when using full auto, it's not so much about actually hitting anything as it is keeping the other guy's heads down while you and/or your buddies are moving around, trying to out flank or out maneuver – or run the hell away. I was once told when I asked about the purpose of full auto that it was "expensive noise."

Full auto is for firing and maneuvering, suppressing or spraying a hidden target in hopes of getting hits.

You pretty much got it; suppressive fire is the phrase you are looking for. Same for three-round burst.

You can kill people with full auto fire, but pinning them down and keeping them under cover is what it's about. Then you get the big stuff on them, or sneak around back and let 'em have it.

In my platoons, the only time full auto fire was permitted was when making contact: either a chance unplanned contact, a meeting engagement or the initial moments of an ambush, breaking contact, final protective fires and when engaged in certain CQB tasks like clearing trenchline and buildings.

2. GREATER FIREPOWER
Raking enemy vehicles with rapid fire when single shots can't do the job.

Providing the "shotgun effect" of bullet scatter, at distances much greater than could be attained with actual shotguns.

Full-auto is also useful when being overwhelmed, for instance when reacting to a near ambush.

During MOUT, when the exact location of an enemy in a room is unknown and no friendlies or noncombatants are expected, you would enter firing full auto (after having tossed in frags first). Even 'machine guns' such as the 249, M2 or M60 are fired with bursts, and not on full auto except in certain instances. It conserves ammo, increases accuracy and extends barrel life.

I read an interesting bit on the use of full-auto, especially with MGs, in Iraq. It seems the hajjis/stinkies, when involved in a direct fire fight (meaning they're exchanging gunfire with our boys, as opposed to planting bombs or other such nastiness) have a tendency to break contact when our guys brought machineguns, especially M-240s and M-2s, into the fight. This knowledge has been used two ways:

- for convoys, getting the machineguns into the fight means you can make the enemy run away and unass the AO.
- Marines looking to kill the enemy would keep the machineguns in reserve, simply trading rifle fire until they could get artillery or air support to send the bad guys to meet Allah.

A shotgun could accomplish this same purpose, as others have pointed out. So, when you're approaching uncertain factors when you may have little time to react, the ability to put out a larger field of fire is certainly of use.

3. ET CETERA
Don't discount all soldiers as not being able to hit anything with full auto. My father is an ex Green Beret and has a full auto AR-15. I've seen him put a magazine in a paper plate at about 75 yards full auto without letting up. A few flyers but most all were nicely grouped on the plate. So with enough practice, which he had more than a little over in Vietnam during his three tours, one can learn to control full auto, and how to single-fire when on full auto.

You need to evaluate your ammo supply. If you got it to burn, then burn it! But, in most cases, you will not; so it's semi.

Three round bursts basically help assure that the intended target will go down and go down faster

I'm not sure what the numbers are for this current war overall, but there was an incident recently in Afghanistan in which two of our snipers (the area was so target rich the spotter was shooting, too) took 76 targets with 79 rounds from SPRs. Lemme see, that's 1.034 rounds per dead Taliban. I'm sure that's not the norm, but I'm also sure it levels the numbers out a little.

If the bad guys are less than seasoned troops, they will often break and run, and you win for free; if they are seasoned soldiers, they will try to concentrate on your full-auto dudes and kill them.

They can turn the intimidation around and make your dudes afraid to fire full auto. The NVA were trained to do this.

SOG teams in Vietnam found that there was a downside to using silenced weapons in a firefight. Because they were silent, they were not scaring the bad guys into backing off.

In most military conflicts, soldiers have been limited to what they carry on their body, resupply has been uncertain, and may not happen before your team is overrun.

In Granada, the SEAL team that rescued the British ambassador was down to its last mag – and they were shooting single shot with scopes. Similarly, the SF team in Gulf War One that was extracted under fire after killing about 200 Iraqi militia, was down to its last mags.

Ammo conservation is a very important part of the job!

Remember the story of the Arizona Highway Patrol trooper who faced down a guy with an Uzi: the engagement was from the door to the rear bumper or maybe a few feet more. 32 rounds of 9mm lost to 4 rounds of .357 Mag from a revolver. As reported in USA Today in the early 1990s, complete with breathless ogawd comments about the BGs being "better armed" than the cops...really?

Torchman
September 18, 2008, 02:06 PM
Even 'machine guns' such as the 249, M2 or M60 are fired with bursts, and not on full auto except in certain instances. It conserves ammo, increases accuracy and extends barrel life.

Exactly. As I posted in another thread, my only full auto experience with full auto is qualifiying in boat on boat Use of Force. And (not breaking my arm with back pats) I am pretty good, but it does TAKE TECHNIQUE....and semi auto would just not cut it.

Picture yourself on a small boat in ocean swells...firing upon another boat in those same swells. The technique is to track on target...then fire a string as your boat rises THRU the target. They start low..and walk thru the target. Rinse and repeat as needed...timing the swells.
The "NON PC" mantra I would teach, and yell as I shot string of fire is " DIE MOTHERF&%R DIE". I know, but its a good 3-5 second burst :-D

Of course, you were so much cooler if you had the kevlar helmet some long gone wiseguy wrote "Born to Kill", with the peace signs on the sides...

jackdanson
September 18, 2008, 02:20 PM
Accuracy by volume. Works excellent in paintball, would be less useful in real life due to recoil and the fact that firearms are much more accurate.

Longer range vehicle clearing, shotgun may be more useful close up.

Hitting quick moving targets. (spray area the guy is running towards) We all talk tough game but hitting someone running at full speed with a single shot would be pretty darn difficult.

Suppression obviously.

I think full auto is highly underestimated. It is extremely useful as a tool/option when used properly.

Owen Sparks
September 18, 2008, 02:23 PM
The little experience I had with full auto was about 20 years back when a buddy ran the local police academy. From what I got to shoot, full auto only seemed practical in very limited circumstances. For example, if a weapon lacked sufficient stopping power like a 9mm loaded with FMJ military rounds. This allowed a quick 3 to 5 round burst at "across the room, can't miss distances". The only other way it is practical is when the piece is a big heavy bi-pod mounted machine gun that you lay down behind.
There was a local doctor who used to shoot at the police range and he had a bunch of class 3 toys. One was an original M-14 with the selector key. It was so uncontrollable when fired from the shoulder that we quit shooting it for fear that it might climb and launch bullets over the 20' high backstop. The first shot went where it was aimed but after that it was pretty much just a noise maker.

Loosedhorse
September 18, 2008, 02:33 PM
in military applications (suppression, reconnaissance by fire, etc.), and is the special domain of belt-fed, crew-served weapons.

Whether it has value that overcomes its inherent problems (collateral damage, ammo chewed up quickly without hitting bad guys) in magazine-fed arms, and in civilian scenarios, is the real question.

Personally, I can easily see a 3-shot-burst feature being valuable on a submachinegun: if you're putting pistol ammo on a bad guy, 3 shots is better than one, and why not stop there before you muzzle-rise off target and empty the mag?

As a civilian, don't see many scenarios where other apps for full-auto would be handy. Except for fending off large numbers of dawn-of-the-dead or resident-evil zombies, of course. ;)

buzz_knox
September 18, 2008, 02:37 PM
Even 'machine guns' such as the 249, M2 or M60 are fired with bursts, and not on full auto except in certain instances. It conserves ammo, increases accuracy and extends barrel life.

That's not always been the case. When MGs were developed, maintaining fully automatic fire to create a beaten zone was a standard tactic. Of course, this was when weight was less of an issue, and MGs were generally defensively mounted and watercooled. LMGs and GPMGs don't have this capability due to being air cooled to provide greater mobility.

jackdanson
September 18, 2008, 02:39 PM
As a civilian, don't see many scenarios where other apps for full-auto would be handy. Except for fending off large numbers of dawn-of-the-dead or resident-evil zombies, of course.

No way, you gotta hit em in the head, that is easier in semi-auto!!

xd45gaper
September 18, 2008, 02:45 PM
of course its usefull why else would the goverment ban it?!

Chipperman
September 18, 2008, 02:51 PM
As a civilian, don't see many scenarios where other apps for full-auto would be handy.

You forgot the biggest reason.... IT'S FUN!! :evil:

Smurfslayer
September 18, 2008, 03:03 PM
Buzz:
That's not always been the case. When MGs were developed, maintaining fully automatic fire to create a beaten zone was a standard tactic. Of course, this was when weight was less of an issue, and MGs were generally defensively mounted and watercooled. LMGs and GPMGs don't have this capability due to being air cooled to provide greater mobility.

Classic area denial. Man, beast & machine that cross the field of fire will have to pay the price. I would say the 1919 could partially fulfill this role. Air cooled, but a very heavy barrel and slow (relatively) ROF. I believe even this qualilifies as crew served however.

OP:
full auto from an individual weapon is actually better then semi-auto. Not talking about crew served or vehicle mounted machineguns, only individually carried automatic rifles, assault rifles and submachine guns. Also only talking about military situations; I’m assuming there really aren’t any civilian applications.

The military is made up of the citizens or using your terminology - 'civilians'. If you believe the 2A, and the pool of citizens who make up the military are the well regulated militia, why are there no "civilian applications"?

30 cal slob
September 18, 2008, 03:52 PM
i'm gonna get flamed for this.

Suppressive fire is bullshat. The most effective force multiplier is well-aimed, accurate fire. Nothing discourages an adversary more than seeing his buddy in front of him getting thumped by a single well-aimed shot. full-auto from a rifle has its place if you're shooting at a moving target like a helicopter and you need to see where your rounds are going.

Picard
September 18, 2008, 04:35 PM
When you're on the receiving end of suppressive fire, then you tell me it's bull. Suppressive fire is more of a scare-tactic, as the shots are not well aimed, but it works darn well.

The effects can be mimicked with well-aimed shots, but suppressive fire works too.

Again, my only "real life" experiences have been with paintball. I can only imagine how scary it must be when those paintballs are now bullets whizzing past you. Much of the tactics are the same, except that rifle rounds go many hundreds of yards vs. a few hundred feet for a paintball gun.

Loosedhorse
September 18, 2008, 06:04 PM
You forgot the biggest reason.... IT'S FUN!!

I stand corrected. I had my "self-defense" blinders on. :o

dogrunner
September 18, 2008, 07:01 PM
Beg to differ with all you nay sayers, but AIMED full auto application with extremely short bursts (two to three at the outside) is about as effective as you can get.

Agreed, the scared idiot that just hangs his piece overhead and 'dumps' the mag. is useless, but that fellow that is AIMING and touching 'em off slow will kill you!

Vern Humphrey
September 18, 2008, 07:16 PM
As a Company Commander in Viet Nam, I charged $50 for firing full auto from an M16, for a good reason. Full auto fire from hand-held weapons is ineffective. Full auto fire is the province of dedicated bipod and tripod-mounted machine guns.

First a few rules. With hand-held weapons:

1. Shots that miss do no damage.
2. If the first shot of a burst misses, succeeding shots are extremely unlikely to hit.
3. If the first shot of a burst hits, succeeding shots are extremely unlikely to hit.
4. The longer the burst, the longer it will take you to reaim and re-engage.
5. The longer the busts, the quicker you will empty your magazine.
6. Therefore, the optimum burst is one well-aimed shot.
1. Breaking contact and rear guard action.

See rules 1 and 5. You will have no effect, and will find yourself changing magazines at an embarassing moment.

2. Enfilading fire (along and into an enemy held trench, along the back side of long horizontal cover, along a line of advancing enemy, etc.)

This is the stock in trade of bipod and tripod mounted weapons. You can't produce an effective beaten zone with a hand held weapon. Fire semi-auto, and you will get more shots into the target more quickly.

3. Engaging vehicles.

See Rules 1, 2 and 3. Shots that miss have no effect on vehicles.

4. Engaging area targets (crew served weapons, command & control centers, etc.)

A crew-served weapon is not an "area target." Area targets are best engaged with area weapons (artillery, mortars, armed helicopters or air strikes.) If you have a rifle, use it like a rifle -- engage with aimed shots.

5. Engaging individual enemies beyond the zero range of the weapon’s sights. (If sights are set at 200 meters and the target is some unknown range beyond that, aim at the target's feet and allow muzzle climb to “walk” rounds up the target.)

See rules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. You don't have a soild tripod mount, and you don't have a large enough magazine capacity to do that. Shoot single rounds, spot, and re-aim.
6. Ambush.
The goal in an ambush is to inflict casualties as rapidly as possible. With claymores to cover the kill zone, and machine guns to infilade the enemy approach and likely cover, rifles are used to kill individual enemy soldiers. See rules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

MisterPX
September 18, 2008, 07:48 PM
Full auto fire from hand-held weapons is ineffective

Sorry Vern, gonna have to take you up on that. Sounds like you and the men in your command lacked proper training in utilizing FA. And as far as shots that miss, let me ask you this.. How many of your men, or even you, are going to stick your neck out when a fusilade of lead is incoming. Maybe all 30 rounds will miss you, but are you willing to take that chance?

Vern Humphrey
September 18, 2008, 08:02 PM
Sorry Vern, gonna have to take you up on that. Sounds like you and the men in your command lacked proper training in utilizing FA.
Proper training begins and ends with training to use aimed fire effectively.

And as far as shots that miss, let me ask you this.. How many of your men, or even you, are going to stick your neck out when a fusilade of lead is incoming.
There is an old saying, "Noise never startles the soldier."

Suppressive fire only works when people are being hit, and the others are forcibly convinced that if they return fire, they will be hit, too.

Maybe all 30 rounds will miss you, but are you willing to take that chance?
What do you plan to do when your magazine runs dry?:rolleyes:

CSA 357
September 18, 2008, 09:35 PM
Hell Yea It Sounds Good! But Hits Are What Counts, I Shot A F/a M16 This Past Weekend, I Loved It! But A Empty Gun Is No Good. Only A Few Seconds And Thats What You Got, Maybe Thats Why They Put The Bayonet Lug On Them? :d

Wes Janson
September 18, 2008, 09:53 PM
I can't remember where I read it recently, or the full details...but that MG section on the Western Front that fired continuously for an entire day during WWI comes to mind. Put enough lead in the air and no one's going anywhere.

BeltfedMG
September 18, 2008, 10:00 PM
I only find it useful when people are around who have never pulled the trigger on a F/A and want to dump some rnds in a berm and get their thrills. It may be a waste of ammo but only to those not participating in it. Of course, this is not in a war situation, you guys are right about when its useful and not but here in the hills of MO, we arent holdin suppresive fire on anyone.....yet.

Kind of Blued
September 19, 2008, 02:01 AM
There are plenty of civilian applications, the first two being:

1) Exercising your rights
2) Having fun

ctdonath
September 19, 2008, 10:39 AM
The P90 relies on full-auto for effectiveness.
When faced with the problem of (A) creating a compact platform designed to (B) penetrate soft armor, FN found that small light fast rounds penetrated where larger rounds either didn't or compromised goal A. While good at penetration, such rounds have inadequate terminal effects - individually - so the bullpup was designed to rely on full-auto operation. Being compact with minimal recoil, multiple rounds can be kept on-target with ease.

Methinks full-auto is the core of really effective future designs; pity 922(o) prohibits us from being part of the 21st Century.

Vern Humphrey
September 19, 2008, 12:56 PM
You can get more rounds on target using semi-automatic fire than you can with full automatic. Remember Rules 2 and 3.

LaEscopeta
September 19, 2008, 05:34 PM
I originally used the term “full-auto” in the OP to mean “not semi-auto.” I was thinking of bursts, either built into the weapon or done with a skillful shooter pressing the trigger.

Suppressive fire:
I believe I’ve read current US military doctrine on suppressive fire from rifles is use semi-auto. Is this correct? The newspaper stories on both Task Force Ranger (Blackhawk Down) in Somalia and Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan talked about US soldiers maintaining controlled, disciplined, semi-auto rifle fire at the edges of the cover they saw in front of them, to suppress enemy fire as their unit moved forward. My impression is not just have lead in the air, but going through the space where the enemy would have to stick their heads if they are going to effectivly fire at you. Also (as mention above) to make sure US soldiers can fire for the whole time it takes to pull off the maneuver, and not run out of ammo when they are in the middle of no-man’s land.

You can get more rounds on target using semi-automatic fire than you can with full automatic.What if the target is 20’ long by 6’ high moving vehicle, 100 yards away? If you can keep the muzzle from moving more than 1 degree, won’t all shots land in a 5’ circle? And if you swing the muzzle along the path a moving target takes, firing a burst as the muzzle clears in front of the target, (like shotguning a flying target.) Does this increase the chances one shot in the burst will be fired at the correct lead? (Assuming the target is bigger than the error circle induced by full-auto recoil.) If you are firing semi-auto, and pulling the wrong lead with each shot, aren’t you going to miss every time? (Assuming target size, range and speed is making lead critical.)

Area targets:
If you can get all shots in a burst to hit within 5 or 6 feet of a 2 man machine gun crew, or a 3 man mortar crew, will this increase the chances of a hit before the crew realizes from where they are being shot at and does something about it? Any chance ricochets or debris kicked up by the burst causing shrapnel wound or damaging equipment?

Aiming a burst at a distant target's feet and letting muzzle climb “walk” shots up the target:
I’ve read this several times, at least once in a novel. Also read it about this supposedly being used with M-14s, when the Army realized how uncontrollable it was on full-auto. No one with full auto experience seems to know about this so I am now discounting it.

And wasn’t one of the criteria the US Army set up for choosing the M-14 replacement that an average solider could fire a burst at a standard issue steel helmet 300m? (600m?) away, and have at least one round hit it and go through both sides? The M-16 did this in the trails and several other entries did not (including the M-14?) I seem to remember McNamara using this as part of the justification of choosing (some may say forcing) the M-16; it did what the Army said they wanted a rifle to do.

Ambush:
What if you don’t have claymores or machine guns? Do you fill the kill zone with full-auto or semi rifle and sub-gun fire? Especially if the targets have obliged you by walking in a cluster through the fatal funnel you found? (Crossing a bridge, coming through a door, down a hall, etc.)

Finally, I didn’t say civilians should not have full auto weapons, or that they are not fun. Just there are no civilian applications where full auto is more effective than non-full auto. I’m including police applications in this.

Anyway, with all of the above I don’t know, I‘m just asking.

Vern Humphrey
September 19, 2008, 05:44 PM
What if the target is 20’ long by 6’ high moving vehicle, 100 yards away? If you can keep the muzzle from moving more than 1 degree, won’t all shots land in a 5’ circle?

If a frog had a square exhaust pipe and a muddy appetite, he could produce bricks.

"If" covers a lot of sins. Generally, full auto weapons recoil up and to the right, depending on how held. The pattern is not circular, nor even on target. See Rules 2 and 3.

current US military doctrine on suppressive fire from rifles is use semi-auto. Is this correct?

Correct. Divide the likely target area into zones and shoot semi-auto into those zones. For example, if you're getting fire from a building, shoot at the windows rthymically and systematically. If the enemy is at the base of a tree, "search" that area with methodical fire.

Locate the enemy as closely as you can, then keep that area covered with aimed fire for as long as you can.

MisterPX
September 20, 2008, 08:40 AM
What do you plan to do when your magazine runs dry?

Reload. ;)

jonmerritt
September 20, 2008, 10:37 PM
Unless you have used full auto, and use it for suppresive fire, You will just have to depend on theories.

Vern Humphrey
September 21, 2008, 07:48 AM
Quote:
What do you plan to do when your magazine runs dry?

Reload.
I've known more than one man to die while reloading. In fact, I know of a case (A-4/12 CAV) where a whole unit opened up, full auto, all went dry at the same time, and they got their butts kicked while reloading.

The trouble with theory is that theorists tend to believe the enemy will cooperate with them. That he'll be terrified under circumstances that wouldn't scare the theorists, that he'll react in ways they wouldn't react, and that their performance will always be perfect, while his will be fumble-fingered.

21H40
September 21, 2008, 10:47 AM
Vern,

My training has always used 3-round bursts for night fire exercises. I'm not saying that it's ever been a good concept, but I guess the goal was more of the spray and pray optimism of theorists. Completely unnecessary so far in my career -- outside of using up ammo so you don't have to escort it back and fill out turn in paperwork :D

Although, a coworker of mine that spent a couple of tours in Vietnam talked about using a "mad minute" when their lines would get breached at night. Roughly, it worked like a 3 step process:
1. Enemy sets off trip flares/claymores
2. Friendly sets off more claymores
3. Friendly uses high volume of fire in almost 360 degrees for 60 seconds

I wasn't there to witness or document, but it came up in discussion about changes in tactics between our most recent deployments and his first several. I'm always looking to learn from real experience -- preferably someone else's before the OPFOR becomes real!

rfurtkamp
September 21, 2008, 11:32 AM
Personally, I can easily see a 3-shot-burst feature being valuable on a submachinegun: if you're putting pistol ammo on a bad guy, 3 shots is better than one, and why not stop there before you muzzle-rise off target and empty the mag?

The SMGs I've fired have no such muzzle rise problem in the hands of anyone who can lift them (M10/9, 10/45, Thompson, MP5 and -k, Uzi and Mini, and SW76).

Hardest to use effectively are the extremely high ROF ones, but even they don't have muzzle rise issues like you're describing. It's not a M14.

In terms of civilian use, well, anything that's good for the military is good for the unorganized militia in that regard. If I had to clear a building or defend a doorway, I want my auto switch and slow controlled bursts on demand.

As far as worrying about running dry, that's why you don't go in Rambo alone and call out for reload/covering cycles from the friends I hope you have with you.

Am I adovcating full 20 round bursts to shoot at a moving target 100m away? Hell no.

But for defensive urban/wooded use I'd much rather have the switch as an option than not.

jlbraun
September 21, 2008, 12:23 PM
There is, however, a place in civilian applications for the 1800rpm two-round bursts out of a rifle like the Nikonov assault rifle. Two 5.45 bullets go through practically the same hole at 100m.

sacp81170a
September 21, 2008, 12:41 PM
If a frog had a square exhaust pipe and a muddy appetite, he could produce bricks.

LOL! Hadn't heard that one in a long time, but when I did the terminology used was a bit cruder... ;)

Our doctrine in nuke security was to have designated automatic riflemen whose job when firing full auto was to produce last-ditch defensive fires. I won't go any further on operational doctrine due to security concerns, but that was the way we trained.

Vern Humphrey
September 21, 2008, 03:17 PM
Although, a coworker of mine that spent a couple of tours in Vietnam talked about using a "mad minute" when their lines would get breached at night. Roughly, it worked like a 3 step process:
1. Enemy sets off trip flares/claymores
2. Friendly sets off more claymores
3. Friendly uses high volume of fire in almost 360 degrees for 60 seconds

The "mad minute" was a pre-planned fire, not one triggered by enemy activity. The theory was that once in a while, you would catch the enemy about to attack when you opened fire at early dawn. I don't know that it ever actually caught them, and never used it myself.

The Army had a lot of bad ideas -- full auto from the M14 being only one of many. Another one was that the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier was only a "battle taxi," and shouldn't be used as a fighting vehicle, and that the vehicle commander should man the .50 Cal. We scrapped most of those ideas when combat proved them wrong.

Splodge Of Doom
September 22, 2008, 08:37 AM
Something that also needs to be taken into account is adrenaline, and fear.

Can you shoot straight while sh****ng a brick?

Close quarters, especially under assault, the more rounds in the right direction, the better. A hell of a lot of modern warfare is FISH (Fighting In Somebody's House).

I'm not saying you shouldn't aim, far from it, but according to a couple of Falklands Vets I know, there were times where they had to dump half a mag into a guy before he dropped. It's worth noting that they were using 7x62s...

They were issued with semi-auto-only FALs. As soon as they got the chance, they pinched the Argentinian ones, because they were full auto and the stock wouldn't snap if you hit someone with it.

Splodge Of Doom
September 22, 2008, 09:27 AM
Ahem... that should be 7.62...:banghead:

21H40
September 22, 2008, 10:09 AM
The Army had a lot of bad ideas

I don't know if I'm authorized to agree with that (until I get my 214 and retirement papers!) :D

I've always had some difficulty with training that used a high volume of fire without an actual target. There's a balance between learning doctrine or common practice, and using what really works.

Vern Humphrey
September 22, 2008, 11:32 AM
Can you shoot straight while sh****ng a brick?
Often the reason for sh****ng a brick is full auto fire. If you behave like you are panic stricken, you will be panic stricken.

Or as a psychologist once pointed out, you do not run away because you are afraid, you are afraid because you run away. Panicky behavior feeds panic.
Close quarters, especially under assault, the more rounds in the right direction, the better.
The right direction is into the target, not into the air or ground.

I've always had some difficulty with training that used a high volume of fire without an actual target. There's a balance between learning doctrine or common practice, and using what really works.

Exactly. If you train to panic, you will panic. If you train to shoot methodically, you will shoot methodically.

Macpherson
September 22, 2008, 05:05 PM
The right direction is into the target, not into the air or ground.

It seems to be your position that no one is capable of firing a non-crew served full auto or burst weapon and hitting their target, but I've seen plenty of examples otherwise.

The first time I ever laid hands on an MP5 I was able to keep the vast majority of my rounds in a 6-8" area using full auto and burst fire, so tell me how putting 3-5 rounds on target in the same time as putting 1 round in semi auto is a bad thing? Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice ;)

Using full auto fire at long distances is an area where a case against could be made, but at close ranges and especially in urban warfare it's a very effective option to have. Not for "spray and pray" but to make sure the target goes down the first time and stays down.

Vern Humphrey
September 22, 2008, 05:19 PM
It seems to be your position that no one is capable of firing a non-crew served full auto or burst weapon and hitting their target, but I've seen plenty of examples otherwise.
It seems to be your position that firing a non-crew served full auto or burst weapon will result in more effective hits than semi-auto., but I've seen hundreds of examples otherwise. Including people who were shooting at me.

Not for "spray and pray" but to make sure the target goes down the first time and stays down.
The way to make sure the target goes down is to hit the target. The way to make sure the target stays down is to hit it again. That's best done semi-auto.

ctdonath
September 22, 2008, 06:22 PM
I've passed the DEA subgun qualifier (with an MP5). Full auto really isn't a big deal, folks - if you're going to fire a round into a perp then 2-5 rounds will probably be preferable, and keeping them all on target isn't that hard.

Only real issue with automatic fire is not running out of ammo.

Orthonym
September 22, 2008, 06:24 PM
OMG they're coming over the parapet shoulder to shoulder and 10 ranks deep!

I mean, if it takes, say, 5 seconds to run out the mag, and there's serious doubt that you'll live that long...

No need to worry about the fine in that case.

Vern Humphrey
September 22, 2008, 06:34 PM
Only real issue with automatic fire is not running out of ammo.
In combat, that is a real risk.

But let me point out you were using a weapon that the Army rarely uses in combat, a submachine gun. It's a pistol-caliber weapon, not a rifle.

And I'd be curious to know if they let you run the same course of fire semi-auto. I'd bet you wouldn't do worse with semi-auto fire.

I mean, if it takes, say, 5 seconds to run out the mag, and there's serious doubt that you'll live that long...

No need to worry about the fine in that case.

Many's the man died with an empty rifle -- and hit nothing while emptying it.

Splodge Of Doom
September 22, 2008, 06:36 PM
There is a very clear case both for and against full auto. I think it's pretty clear that it's a feature to hold onto, even if not used often in straight combat. Mid to long range, be my guest. Room clearing, you can keep your semi...

@Vern: I never said anything about panic. I meant fear. 'Tis different. Also, you'll note I never said anything about not aiming, and I had no intention of implying random fire as an intelligent tactic.

Two gentlemen with ample experience of soldiery whom I deeply respect have both regaled me with tales of trading their semi autos for full autos. Worth mentioning that one of them was a sniper at the time.

Orthonym
September 22, 2008, 06:45 PM
Vern, I wrote "shoulder to shoulder and ten ranks deep." Ok, I'll postulate that this happens indoors, under a ceiling so low they all have to duck. I toldya it was absurd.

Vern Humphrey
September 22, 2008, 06:48 PM
And the friendlies are all blind.;)

Splodge Of Doom
September 22, 2008, 06:53 PM
Ach, under such circumstances, screw full auto... I want grenades, a ballistic shield and flame thrower...:neener:

Shung
September 22, 2008, 06:57 PM
I don't know if it usefull, but I am in love with my new M4 !!!

Vern Humphrey
September 22, 2008, 06:58 PM
It was for this reason that God said, "Let there also be Claymores.":p

Splodge Of Doom
September 22, 2008, 07:08 PM
I have been struggling to come up with a reply of equal wit, and have failed miserably.... As it is, I'll stick with "Hahahahahaha.... hell yes..." :D

JImbothefiveth
September 22, 2008, 07:30 PM
As a civilian, don't see many scenarios where other apps for full-auto would be handy
Well, seeing as how many people buy in bulk to save money, and may have no need to worry about running out of ammo (at least according to some of the posts I've seen), and should have the police on the way, suppresive fire could be useful in a home defense scenario. Of course, how hard is it to hit someone at home defense ranges? It could probably also be done with semi autos or even pump-action weapons with sufficient magazine capactiy, though.

Now back to reality.

Tacbandit
September 22, 2008, 07:32 PM
"If you can't hit them with semi-auto fire and "Kentucky elevation" or holding over, you sure as heck ain't gonna hit them with full-auto spray & pray at long range.

Best save the ammo, cause you may need it later!"

rcmodel




Well put.........!!!

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