Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How much ammo do soldiers carry?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Alan Fud, Oct 10, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,444
    Location:
    Sol-III
    Saw a show last week how quickly you can empty a 30-round mag on a M16 shooting full-auto. That got me to thinking :rolleyes:

    1) How much ammo (both rifle & pistol) do combat soldiers carry?

    2) Has this changed over the years?

    3) What about during WWII (both rifle & pistol) ?

    4) What about the other wars? 'Nam? Korea? Etc.?
     
  2. greyhound

    greyhound Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,665
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Not sure how many for each of those examples, but from what I read in interviews, its never enough.:D

    Quote from "Black Hawk Down":

    "Dude, you don't need that. Take more AMMO!"
     
  3. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,523
    Location:
    Where the one eyed man is king
    Depends. 180 rounds is a pretty standard combat load in the US. That's six magazines not counting the one in the weapon. Six mags fits into the 2 ammo pouches on your pistol belt or into the chest pouches on the load bearing vest. You can never carry enough ammo. Sometimes almost all you're humping is water and ammo. I could fit two extra ammo pouches on my pistol belt.

    This varies for base of fire weapons(249, 240G, etc.)

    Full auto fire is notoriously wasteful of ammo, though it can be mastered with enough practice. Semi auto is the way to go most of the time.
     
  4. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,632
    Location:
    Chino Valley, AZ., USA
    Light kit and mobile.
    .762....eight 20 round mags n one in weapon.
    M-16 (later)...ten 20 round mags n one in weapon.
    Thompson...four 30 round sticks n one in weapon.

    Heavy kit and workin out of fixed area....as much ammo as could draw, beg, borrow or steal.

    Sam
     
  5. Teufelhunden

    Teufelhunden Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Southern GA, US of A
    We are issued gear to carry 6 mags with 30 rnds/mag (180 rnds) plus one in the weapon for a total of 210 rounds.

    Having said that, it is also true that a buttpack or thigh cargo pockets hold an awful lot, so an individual's combat round count can easily double (if they're smart).

    -Teuf
     
  6. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,523
    Location:
    Where the one eyed man is king
    Forgot to add: with those old ALICE packs you could clip extra ammo pouches to your ruck for a truly hellacious firefight. With that newfangled MOLLE that costs 1000+ USD I'll bet you can carry all kinds of goodies . . .
     
  7. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,721
    Location:
    North Texas
    Farther back in time - - -

    Early WW-II newsreels depicted infantry personnel armed with the M1903 rifle wearing only the standard ten-pocket cartridge belt - - This would have been 100 rounds. When the M1 was in common issue, the same web gear held only 80 rounds. By this time, you began seeing photos and newsreels showing infantry at the front with one or more six-pocket bandoliers - -48 rounds with M1 clips, or 60 in '03 strippers.

    While the initial manuals for the 1911 pistol depicted cavalry with a three pocket mag pouch, these never reached full issue, and the web or leather two-pocket pouch was standard. Pistol armed personnel got a pistol, holster, web pouch wirh two extra mags, and a combination tool. It apparently wasn't difficult for front line officers and NCOs to procure spare pouches and mags. Manual said 21 rounds was standard load, but I don't know just how the ammo was issued. Boxes of 50 and 20 rounds were standard.

    Best,
    Johnny
     
  8. striker3

    striker3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Montana
    What I like to carry for an M-16 is 7mags. 1 in weapon, 6 in LBV. Plus at least one extra bandolier which is an extra 120 rnds.

    For SAWs at a minimum you need at least 3 drums. One on the weapon with 2 more in SAW pouches. Plus the A gunner needs to have at least 2 more drums. It is also best if the rifleman of the team carries a drum.

    BTW current issue M-16s do not shoot full auto. Also it is rare that we(USMC at least) fire bursts. Semi is much more acurate, easier to control and has a comparable rate of fire to burst because of the better recoil control.
     
  9. Chindo18Z

    Chindo18Z Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,354
    Location:
    CO
    SOP I have used for a while:

    300 rds 5.56 (9 mags ball/tracer 3-1; 1 mag solid tracer)
    45 rds 9mm (3 mags for M-9)
    2 M67 Frag Grenades
    1 PDM
    1 HC White Smoke Grenade
    If M203, then 12 rds HEDP, 2 white parachute flares

    Add any (NOT ALL) below according to mission & total hump weight):
    1 Incendiary Grenade
    1 HC White Smoke (additional to above)
    1-2 Red or Yellow Smoke
    1 Claymore Mine
    1 LAW
    2-3 Diversionary Device
    2-3 Breaching Charge
    180 rds 5.56 (6 additional mags)
    2 additional M67 Frags
    6 additional 40mm HEDP
     
  10. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,950
    Location:
    Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
    A-Gunner? Your SAW gunners get A-Gunners? I never get an A-Gunner... :uhoh:
     
  11. Teufelhunden

    Teufelhunden Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Southern GA, US of A
    My units SAW gunners don't get A-gunners either (USMC Combat Engineers, essentially grunts with C4).

    Yeah, you can also expect that newfangled MOLLE's plastic frame to crack the first time its chucked off of a 5-ton...

    -Teuf
     
  12. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,950
    Location:
    Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
    Hey, I'm a combat engineer too!

    I don't know that anybody's SAW gunners get assistant gunners. It's almost always issued as an individual weapon, isn't it?
     
  13. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,523
    Location:
    Where the one eyed man is king
    When they had the 60 we used assistant gunners to carry ammo/tripod, but never used them with the SAW.
     
  14. Teufelhunden

    Teufelhunden Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Southern GA, US of A
    You can keep it--I'm a Field Radio Operator. I might be a bullet magnet, but it beats being a mine detector ;) Best mine detector in the world is leather boots: work in all weather, don't run out of batteries and every PFC's got a pair...

    My thought is that anything small and light enough to be fired on the move (well) probably doesn't need an a-gunner. The spare barrel and cleaning gear in the a-bag don't weigh enough to justify another mule, and if you ever fire long enough from a static position with a SAW to rate a barrel change, you probably don't have time to do it, much less need help with it.

    Back OT Alan, I think your answer is:
    Issued: 7 mags
    Practical: The 7 issued plus as many more as make you comfortable. You're the one humping the weight after all...

    -Teuf
     
  15. LCSNM

    LCSNM Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    NM
    Outdated I know, but in 75, had to carry M16 with 208 rounds and a S&W .38 combat masterpiece with 54 rounds.

    Required anytime left maintenance bldg to storage area.

    Deadly force was definitely authorized.
     
  16. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    Sam, I thought the Thompson pouch for the 30 rounders held 3 while the 20 round mag pouch held 5?
     
  17. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,331
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    My Dad in Vietnam carried:

    300 rounds for the M16 (10 - 30 round mags)
    1 Law
    2 belts of M60 ammo
    at least 4 grenades
    usually 1 claymore
    He said this was the heavy load for seek and destroy and long patrols.

    His light load was the M16 and the 300 rounds and grenades, which was for the short daily patrols near firebases.

    He also said he was the flame thrower guy for a couple months. Didn't like it...

    I'll have to ask him what his M14 load was, when he first shipped over, that was his issued rifle (USMC '66)
     
  18. Captain Scarlet

    Captain Scarlet Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    cloud base
    LRRPs and Mike Force carried a lot...

    I heard that the special units in Vietnam like the LRRPs and Mike Force guys
    carried all the ammo they could carry, sometimes 500 rds or more! they
    carried more ammo than the typical infantryman.
     
  19. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    Great question. In the olden days, my CF Combat uniform had 20 rd FN 7.62mm mag pouches in every pocket. While wearing a shirt(6) and jacket(6), a troopie could carry 12 mags. That's 240 rounds in his pockets. Plus bandoliers of either stripper clips or more mags. Fit those infantry guys. So they are.
    Mind you, every army is different. Most troopies don't carry any pistol. Up here, again, in the olden days, a rad op, most officers and anyone too busy to carry a rifle carried a Sterling SMG. Senior NCOS and other NCOS whose job required it got a pistol. At least the armour types did. Walking to a fight is daft.
     
  20. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,632
    Location:
    Chino Valley, AZ., USA
    Blues Bear...
    We had light nylon pouches that held two 30R sticks each.
    One pouch each side.

    Sam
     
  21. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,672
    Location:
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    :what:

    Cool Sam... I want some!

    Alice clips?



    slightly off topic... but...
    I have seen UZI grip frames that take M3 Grease Gun magazines but what I'd like to find is one that would take Thompson mags.
     
  22. striker3

    striker3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Montana
    I know that this is off topic but I thought that I should reply.
    STANDARD USMC FIRETEAM:
    Team Leader(M203)
    Automatic Rifleman(M249)
    Assistant-Automatic Rifleman(M16)
    Rifleman(M16)

    The SAWgunner carries his own weapon and A-bag with the spare Barrel. But the A-bag is usually cinched onto his back and hard to reach so it is best to have help with barrel changes. But what the A-gunner is really essential for is as an ammo mule as the SAW spits out a lot of lead, it being the main weapon that an infantry platoon has for base of fire.
     
  23. duckfoot

    duckfoot member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    558
    Location:
    behind you, NC
    Being an Arty scout/NGF spotter and being sent to an OP alone or sent in with a STA team, most scouts that I knew humped a lot of ammo. My personal load was 6 mags in the LBV, 6 more in two ammo pouches, and 6 more in the butt pack for 540 rounds max but always loaded down to 28 rounds a mag for a total of 504 rounds, plus 6 frags, VHF and HF radios, radar transponder, 6 spare batteries, personal kit, antenna kit, laser range finder, maps charts plotting material, gallon of water, and food. Flack, brain bucket, and gas mask were left at home:)

    Couldn't go back for more ammo, have to hump all I could.

    Had a Brit Royal Marine once tell me while watching at me loading up that they didn't treat their pack mules in such a manner.
     
  24. DorGunR

    DorGunR Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    Maryland
    How much ammo do soldiers carry?

    As much as they can.........this is not a smart answer, but a statement of fact.:)
     
  25. Byron

    Byron Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,027
    Location:
    TN
    I was in the 4th Infantry Div (3/8th INF) in Nam in 68. We were in the Central Highlands and stayed out for long periods of time. We had the 20 round magazine in which we loaded 18 rounds. I had one in the rifle, a bandalier of 7 mags around me, a claynore bag holding about 20 loaded mags and 400 loose rounds in my ruck. Each man carried 200 rounds for the M60. Also, was a claymore, flares,hand grenandes,about 3 days c rations and I carried 5 1 qt canteens. There was a bed role and my personal gear was a writing tablet, a few envelopes, a small camera and a New Testament.If an 81 mortar crew was with the company, we carried two 81 rounds. Byron
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page