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

Useful Automatic Fire

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by LaEscopeta, Sep 18, 2008.

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

    LaEscopeta Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    983
    Location:
    Los Estados Unidos
    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.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  2. Picard

    Picard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    974
    Location:
    Illinois
    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.
     
  3. pfc.pennington

    pfc.pennington Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    +1 on Suppressive fire, They cant shoot back if they are hideing behind a rock.
     
  4. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,148
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Avoiding getting hit by just holding the rifle around a corner....
    as in "pray & spray"?
     
  5. jwr747

    jwr747 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    north alabama
    for "room sweeping", weapons such as the MP-5,that can actually be controlled in full auto,is a big plus. jwr
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    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
     
  7. rc135

    rc135 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Near the Rockies
    From my Readings:

    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?
     
  8. Torchman

    Torchman Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    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...
     
  9. jackdanson

    jackdanson Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    859
    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.
     
  10. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    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.
     
  11. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    eastern Massachusetts
    There's no question that full-auto is valuable...

    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. ;)
     
  12. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,849
    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.
     
  13. jackdanson

    jackdanson Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    859
    No way, you gotta hit em in the head, that is easier in semi-auto!!
     
  14. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    752
    of course its usefull why else would the goverment ban it?!
     
  15. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,572
    Location:
    Essex Co, MA
    You forgot the biggest reason.... IT'S FUN!! :evil:
     
  16. Smurfslayer

    Smurfslayer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,296
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Buzz:
    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:
    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"?
     
  17. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,092
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    i'm gonna get flamed for this.

     
  18. Picard

    Picard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    974
    Location:
    Illinois
    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.
     
  19. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    eastern Massachusetts
    I stand corrected. I had my "self-defense" blinders on. :eek:
     
  20. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    E/Cntrl Fla.
    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!
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,374
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

    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.
    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.
     
  22. MisterPX

    MisterPX Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    759
    Location:
    Amerika's Doyleland
    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?
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,374
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    .
    Proper training begins and ends with training to use aimed fire effectively.

    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.

    What do you plan to do when your magazine runs dry?:rolleyes:
     
  24. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,400
    Location:
    North Alabama
    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
     
  25. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,962
    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.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page