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Useful Automatic Fire

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

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  1. BeltfedMG

    BeltfedMG member

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    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.
     
  2. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    There are plenty of civilian applications, the first two being:

    1) Exercising your rights
    2) Having fun
     
  3. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    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.
     
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You can get more rounds on target using semi-automatic fire than you can with full automatic. Remember Rules 2 and 3.
     
  5. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Member

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    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.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  7. MisterPX

    MisterPX Member

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    Reload. ;)
     
  8. jonmerritt

    jonmerritt Member.

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    Unless you have used full auto, and use it for suppresive fire, You will just have to depend on theories.
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
     
  10. 21H40

    21H40 Member

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    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!
     
  11. rfurtkamp

    rfurtkamp Member

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    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.
     
  12. jlbraun

    jlbraun Member

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    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.
     
  13. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Member

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    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.
     
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
     
  15. Splodge Of Doom

    Splodge Of Doom Member

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    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.
     
  16. Splodge Of Doom

    Splodge Of Doom Member

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    Ahem... that should be 7.62...:banghead:
     
  17. 21H40

    21H40 Member

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    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.
     
  18. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
    The right direction is into the target, not into the air or ground.

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

    Macpherson Member

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    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.
     
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  21. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    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.
     
  22. Orthonym

    Orthonym Member

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    Well, there's the obvious reductio ad absurdum:

    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.

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

    Splodge Of Doom Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  25. Orthonym

    Orthonym Member

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    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.
     
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