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Old Milsurps on Modern Battlefields

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Golden_006, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Well-Known Member

    Researching Mausers on wikipedia, I read they are still involved in present day armed conflicts, but does anyone know if they in fact held their own against an industrialized nation's army recently, or are we talking about a civil war in the Congo?

    I got to wondering this partly from the Garand thread that I started recently where I threw out a "just curious" question and asked how I would fare in a modern battlefield with a Garand. I do realize that training has a lot to do with it so I guess if you know what kind of training said milsurp soldiers are using/or what kind of training would be required that should also be included in your answer too.

    My guess is most of this Mauser/old milsurp activity is going on the mid-east? I figure most insurgents have AKs and OK training, while a few volunteers are fighting with whatever and however? Anyone know?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  2. John Parker

    John Parker Well-Known Member

    I read a few IIRs in Iraq where guys armed with Mausers, firing un-jacketed lead rounds, have purposefully aimed at the tail-rotors of helicopters. Suppossedly, a hit with the unjacketed round will cause the tail rotor to come out of balance and down the bird.
    In Afghanistan, weapons cache reports often still list Lee-Enfields and Mosin-Nagants. I debriefed a group of troops that fought a half-mile rolling ambush and their platoon sergeant swore he saw an Afghan with a Mosin. They'll still kill you, but generally the insurgents will drop them and get something better as soon as they're able.
  3. peyton

    peyton Well-Known Member

    I saw many Mausers and Mosins in the Brigade Headquarters that were displayed on the walls. I am sure the BAD GUYS use whatever is available.
  4. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    I have seen pics of piles or arms in Afghanistan that included Mo1 MkIIIs and others. I talked to an Army intell Capt and he was telling me that in raids in Iraq they always found Lewis Guns, old Enfield rifles to include some rather nice No1 Mk I and others. So yes old military rifles are being used on the modern battlefield but not very successfully.
  5. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Well-Known Member

    What do you mean not successfully? And how much of that is training?
  6. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    Not successfully, meaning that even a well trained person using a bolt action rifle will never be able to lay down the volume of fire that a well trained soldier will be able to with an M4 or M16. Even a squad sized element can lay down a volume of fire that is, to say the least, impressive. Then take into account that an normal infantry platoon has 4 M240B and a few SAWs as well as Grenadiers and Riflemen and even a well trained enemy force armed with bolt action rifles will not fair well. Does this mean that one would not be able to make accurate hits with a bolt action rifle? No. But your chances of doing so go down dramatically. Most shooters I have seen can not make a 300 yard iron sighted shot on a sunny day at the range, let alone when infantry unit has turned its wrath in your direction. All those bolt actions ended up in that captured weapons pile for a reason. The men behind them are poorly trained and are using rifles that are approaching 70 years old. Maybe older.
  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Sure, but why would they need to? They grab an old Mosin, snipe someone, drop the rifle and vanish. Suppressive fire isn't needed if your goal is simply to hit and run. They don't need to go toe-to-toe with our guys. If they kill or wound one or two of our side and cause us to expend a million bucks in fuel ordinance and ammo to fire at the position they just fled, they've essentially won the engagement. It's classic T.E. Lawrence insurgency tactics. And since we care a lot more about our guys than they care about their guys, a ten to one loss ratio is fine with them. All they have to do is keep up the snipes and the IED's for long enough to exhaust our ability to continue. In that warfare a cheap old surplus bolt gun is perfectly fine for them.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  8. wombat13

    wombat13 Well-Known Member

    I would guess that training has much more to do with it than the vintage of weapon. Let's try a little thought experiment. Take a group of insurgents and give them M16s. Take a Marine unit, arm them with Garands and have them train extensively with the Garands. Which side would come out on top? Untrained insurgents with modern weapons or highly trained Marines with Garands?

    My money is on the Marines.
  9. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    You are correct, a fire and forget shooter is next to impossible to stop let alone kill. From what I have been reading and what I have gathered from taking to folks that have done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan the engagements there are larger force on force type and less one lone guy with a Mosin. But having never been there I can only pass along what I have been told.
    Correct again. Like General Yeager said "It is the man, not the machine." A well trained unit or individual with an older rifle will be able to survive longer, in theory, than a poorly trained person with a new rifle. But a better tool can make the job easier. I guess that is what I have been trying to say in all these words. There is nothing wrong with the old tools, but newer better tools have been introduced that make the job that much easier. And I hope ya'll don't think I am against old rifles. My favorite rifle is my 1941 Lithgow No1 MkIII*... and my FAL.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  10. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Yep - I met Peyton in Iraq when he came over to my AO. I gave him a tour of our HQ.

    We capture literally thousands of Mosins, Enfields, and Mausers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our HQ was decorated with some very sweet C&R rifles (along with some sweet modern firepower). Oh how I wish I could have brought back just ONE of them...

    It's not about laying down suppressive fire. Without divulging information that isn't commonly known, we're not fighting a stand up army obviously. It's a war of attrition. As we learned in Vietnam and is continually reinforced, 1 KIA in our ranks on a regular basis alters the course of our commitment. An any MN or Mauser is plenty good enough for a snipe shot for 1 KIA. It's guerilla warfare that Americans engaged the Brits in hundreds of years ago. Now the tables are turned and we're the ones standing around in redcoats... (metaphorically speaking of course, not a dig against US forces which I happen to be a proud member of).

    If they are allowed to operate to WIN, then yes. However US forces are hamstrung by playing by RULES that insurgents won't/don't follow. How long can the insurgents drag this out? Can they access media to show US forces making a mistake (or appear to make a mistake) and kill innocents due to bad intel or frustration or mistake, thus waning public/world support? How many body bags will the US populace think is too many to finish the job?

    The goal of an insurgency isn't to win a stand up fight. It's to draw it out until the will of the enemy is broken and no longer able to fight and withdraw. It's what ultimately happened in Vietnam. And our relative success at war (Gulf war, quick victory, few American losses) and our precision technology is our own worst enemy because it's become expected. No longer are civilian or US casualties tolerated (for better or worse) and too many = withdraw of forces.

    Getting back on track, insurgents are well aware that casualties = loss of troop morale and US public support and it's reiterated on CNN every day.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  11. Killermonkey21

    Killermonkey21 Well-Known Member

    Just my .02 cents, but my fellow soldiers were shot at from 260 meters the other day, and we can only guess what exactly he was using, but it was definitely a bolt action, and he was a very bad shot. They are still seen and used fairly often from what I hear. Not all "insurgents" have AK's.
  12. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Well-Known Member

    Just recently read an article in a magazine about M1's. In the center of the page is a picture of a US soldier who found an M1 Garand in Iraq. It was found in a suspected insurgent's home.
  13. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that this discussion is talking mostly about sniping with old Mausers, Enfields and Mosins, not straight up running gun battles against a force using assault rifles.

    Keep in mind that our own military snipers still use bolt action rifles that are basically accurized versions of the old Mausers. A sniper does not generally need a high capacity full automatic weapon.
  14. Kevin5098

    Kevin5098 Well-Known Member

    Being an M1 owner I couldn't help wondering what his ammo source is and if the CMP could tap into it. Sorry, just an uncontrollable thought.

  15. Mandolin

    Mandolin Well-Known Member

    I've sen a picture of some captured weapon in Iraqu, there were some bolt guns, a lever-action(?) and a grab bag of assorted AK variants from the far corners of the globe.
  16. yokel

    yokel Well-Known Member

    Proficiency with a bolt-action repeater rifle with telescopic sight that can engage and destroy your target past 300 yards, well past most troops marksmanship training and well past the effective range of fully automatic assault rifle fire. You have the small arms advantage, so keep your enemy beyond your battle sight zero.
  17. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Well-Known Member

    Nope not sure about just sniping. I would think some are even using them in urban warfare; although not exactly out of choice obviously
  18. John Parker

    John Parker Well-Known Member

    Bingo. Almost every Muj during the Soviet era kicked up his heels in glee when suddenly a bunch of Egyptian and Chinese AKs began to show up in the bazaars of Peshawar. Same holds true today. They fight with what they can get their hands on, and when they can get something better, they do, passing their old rifle on to someone else.
  19. yokel

    yokel Well-Known Member

    Beyond sniping, the only other plausible scenario that I can envision would be to lay down effective volley fire, which would naturally require the effort of the Rifle Group as a whole.
  20. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Well-Known Member

    Thankfully, I have never been involved in combat, so I can only offer opinions.The same situation occured during the American Civil War. Confederate soldiers armed with single shot muzzle loaders faced Union soldiers armed with repeating Henry's and Sharp's rifles. The Confederates did well due to discipline, training, and unbeleiveable courage (which the Union forces also displayed).Germans in WW I often thought they were facing British machine guns due to the amount of fire coming from the bolt action Enfields. I beleive the soldier, not the weapon, is what makes a deadly enemy. Just my unedcated, inexperienced $0.02 worth.

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