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

Old Milsurps on Modern Battlefields

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Golden_006

    Golden_006 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    679
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Messages:
    658
    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 Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,166
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    What do you mean not successfully? And how much of that is training?
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,166
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Messages:
    637
    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 Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,166
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    Cosmoline,
    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.
    wombat,
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,365
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Fort Richardson, AK
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,382
    Location:
    South of Hell....Michigan.
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,797
    Location:
    Over the hills and far, far away
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    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.

    Kevin
     
  15. Mandolin

    Mandolin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    271
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,193
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    679
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,193
    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    3,526
    Location:
    Ky
    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.
     
  21. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    18,681
    Gus makes a good point about volume of fire. You can't compete against a modern infantry squad. However, remember what panzer general Heinz Guderian said. Weapons affects tactics. So, with an older bolt action rifle or even the M-1 Garand, you don't fight the modern infantry squad on their terms. You must select the terms and condition of battle. Use the longer range of your gun to your advantage and engage them at distances which are not "normal" for modern assault rifle cartridges. You must also have your escape and evasion plan ready before the battle. One should not plan for a lengthy engagement as the weight of firepower will be in their favor (unless your side heavily outnumbers theirs and they are isolated - so jam their radio and cell phones). Basically, it's back to the old Indian tactics of ambush and scoot and lure into bigger ambushes.
     
  22. offthepaper

    offthepaper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    1,436
    I think Cosmo and Leadcounsel hit the nail on the head.

    Cosmo:
    Which is exactly the type of battle they want to fight. They take a few shots and get out of Dodge. They don't seem to relish the idea of a protracted fire fight aginst superior forces. Yet they remain an effective enemy using such tactics and weapons.

    Leadcounse:

    Couldn't agree more.
    When the colonist decide to take on the world superpower of the time (England), they collected and used whatever was at hand that could drop a British regular in his tracks. They scavanged whatever they could from their dead enemies as well. They knew from the outset that they stood no chance of engaging the Brits in a face to face, man for man, fought by the "civilized" rules of war of the day; where large forces marching in formation on the battlefield complete with drum corps during live fire would simply hold their position as opposing sides took turns exchanging volleys of fire. They adopted the "uncivilized" tactics of the indians who were very savy in adopting tactics to the terrain and also understood how effective gorrilla tactics can be against a larger force. Nor did they give a rats butt about what the rest of the civilized world thought of them.
    The goal of a gorrilla war is never to have a total defeat across the board of an enemies military, but to outlast and be such a thorn in their side, that they finally decide the cost of continuing is unacceptably high, from a political, economic or social standpoint. the opposing force decides to fold up their tent, make some type of half-hearted statment that their mission is done and give the responsibility to someone else.
    Sound familar?
    I do agree that because of our much reported success with smart weapons during Gulf One, that the expectation that only bad guys get killed in war has kind of come back to haunt us and seems to be the standard that we will hold ourselves to in future conflicts.
    Hard to defeat an enemy that has no respect for life whether it be the enemy, their own combatants, or innocent civilians including women and children.
     
  23. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    4,787
    ANYTHING is likely to turn up in a war zone. Particularly in unconventional conflicts like civil wars and such where folks use what they got or can find. I saw a photo in the paper in the 1990s taken during a street battle in Bosnia and one of the militiamen was banging away with a K98.
     
  24. Tenn870

    Tenn870 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Hagerstown, MD
    I think you all are underestimating the insurgents, now in Iraq I don't know, but in Afghanistan some of those little bas***ds do ALOT of intense training that can match what our boys do. Also, keep in mind those mujahideen have been fighting for hundreds, maybe thousands of years against the English, Indian, Russian, among others. They are well trained, aggressive, and motivated and that can be a dangerous combination, no matter what firearm they're using. They also don't have to worry about bleeding heart liberals who want to hang any soldier who kills the enemy of his country.
     
  25. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    6,523
    Location:
    Just two minutes from sanity.
    Cool, when you're the one choosing the time and place of the battle. Not so cool when you haven't that luxury.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page