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Why no luck for M16 100rd Beta Drums in the military?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by doubleg, Aug 9, 2007.

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  1. doubleg

    doubleg Member

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    From what I have seen they are decently reliable. Other than being large and awkward to carry why don't we see these being used. Why not give every soldier one to carry in his gun loaded during a building sweep, or keep humvees stocked up with some in case of an ambush? It would give them an almost unfair advantage during firefights.
     
  2. rkh

    rkh member

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    The Army tested them, and determined that they weren't sturdy enough.

    At the time, the rear panel of the magazine was made out of cheap plastic that was prone to cracking. Newer C-Mags may not have the plastic rear panel.
     
  3. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    My guess is that they are awkward, heavy and more prone to failure (at least compared to 30 rnd box mags). If a box mag fails, drop and replace. Only lose use of a few rounds, not dozens.
     
  4. Jdude

    Jdude Member

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    It is large and bulky, making it a pain to get in and out of vehicles with. I can carry 90 rds in a lot smaller space in my pack with less weight using 30 rd mags than a drum. Like the previous poster noted, if it fails you are out dozens of rounds instead of just a few. Personally, I'll stick with the 30 rounders; and if I get put in an oversight position again, the 20's. They fit under my harris bipod a bit better.
     
  5. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    Another problem is weight distribution. Imagine having 150 rounds plus a big ol' feeding machanism hanging off a single webbing or vest attachment point. That's bad enough. Then imagine you have two hanging off either side, then you take one out to load it. You'd be walking in circles!
     
  6. doubleg

    doubleg Member

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    Yes no doubt its awkward. But what would be wrong with using it like the soviets used drums for the PPSH in WW2. Only carry one and use it as the first magazine. After it runs out switch to normal 30 rounders.
     
  7. Jdude

    Jdude Member

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    2 or 3 extra pounds isn't really that much, till you have to carry it. If the military issued them, I might 'lose' one to myself as a novelty item- but I will continue to use the 30s. I can stuff empty 30s in each pocket till I am built like robocop, but those drums just don't fit. That means when it is time to reload either it goes into my pack that I left behind in the truck, or on the ground where it will likely stay. If it is time to reload it is because somebody has been shooting and doesn't have time to pick flowers and tra la la back to the truck with all his toys.
     
  8. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    why make an agile M4 if you plan on tying a brick to it?
     
  9. Nameless_Hobo

    Nameless_Hobo Member

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    Heavy, awkward and fragile.
     
  10. igpoobah

    igpoobah Member

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    I have 2!:neener:
     
  11. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    actually the squad automatic weapon /light machine gun variant of the m4 has a 120-150 round drum to use for suppressive fire. More for the security guards/check point charlie guys and not the frontline grunt.
     
  12. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Well, the fact that they are large and awkward seems like reason enough to me. And heavy. And expensive (this is the gov't we are talking about . . . in theory they work on a budget.)

    It is one thing to carry a few extra pounds in your pockets or distributed over your hips, back, and shoulders. It is another to have it in your arms. I'd imagine the extra fatigue could become a factor in shooting.

    I guess the flip side is, what do you gain by using one in return for being large, awkward, heavy, unbalanced, possibly less reliable, etc. All I can think of is the ability to not have to reload every 30 rounds. When you think about how quickly a reload can occur in trained hands, to me it seems pretty obvious why they are sticking with 30 rounders.
     
  13. akodo

    akodo Member

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    remember, most circumstances in the military you are with more than one person. so while guy A reloads his 30 rounder B and C are still actively able to engage targets.

    Bigger magazines are heavier and clumbsier to reload. I suspect that giving a guy 600 rounds in 20 30 rounders and another one 6 100 rounders and ahve them burn through it as fast as possible while moving, the time would be about the same due to more frequent reloads being offset by quicker reloads, more convenient placement of spares, etc.
     
  14. C96

    C96 Member

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    doubleg ~ You ever really try to handle an AR with a 150 round drum attached ?

    I'd be afraid of ripping something out of the lower. :eek:

    As to the PPsh-41, seventy rounds of 7.63x25 weighs a whole lot less than 150 rounds of .223.

    allan
     
  15. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    There's talk of the Marines trying to switch the M249 with the Ultimax Mk4 LMG which uses mags instead of belts and therefore can use beta c drums. Why not use them then in a mag fed lmg? They're no different than those huge 200rd belt boxes for the M249. I've read somewhere that the 100rd pouches are more popular than the 200rd boxes anyway so while they feed differently, both carry the same amount of ammo.

    Of course though, you can't defy physics. A belt box has no internal components. The drums like the beta c have cores and springs that take up space and add weight. So a belt box maybe smaller or just as large as a beta c drum but the belt box can carry FAR MORE ammo, double capacity in most cases.

    While it may not be useful for a rifleman, a SAW gunner can have them. But still, the belt will always have more firepower.

    To spend serious amounts of cash for the military to give 100rd drums to riflemen is dumb. Marksman ship is very important in the US military and the drums weight can be a problem. But, for a mag fed SAW, it's viable. You can also have every soldier carrying a 100rd beta c for the SAW gunner if he exhausts his own supply.
     
  16. striker3

    striker3 Member

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    SAWs can already accept Beta C mags. They are just horribly unreliable when using any kind of magazine. Personally, I would rather have a belt for an automatic weapon. It is so much easier to break out a ready to fire drum from the ammo crate than to have to keep reloading 100 round mags.
     
  17. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    Ultimax drums can't be loaded without a tool, from what I've read. The limit on the rate of fire is the barrel temperature anyway.
     
  18. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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  19. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    My thoughts, too... wouldn't that heavy weight tend to loosen up/bend/break/warp the mag retention gadget?
     
  20. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    "Decently reliable" takes on a whole new meaning in a combat zone.
     
  21. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Weight issues.

    Just working a carbine class eight hours a day for a couple of days in 85 degree weather will have you seriously reducing what you've hung on the rails.

    It might give marginally increased effectiveness to the M16 platform but personally when it drops in the pot, I want the crew served weapons to open up while I take cover. Call in artillery and air support. That Beta C might slow me down as I perform that most difficult of military maneuvers-retreat.
     
  22. Gifted

    Gifted Member

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    In addition to the above, I"ve been told you need a beefed up mag release--that little tab isn't really designed for the weight. A nice idea, but not practical.
     
  23. wideym

    wideym Member

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    I used a beta mag in bagdad. It was my primary mag in my m4 with 10 30 rounders in my pouches. Since most patrols were in humvees it did'nt cause any problems. As for beefing up the mag release none was needed. My only comlaint was that there is no bolt hold open when the last round is fired, but my last 20 rounds were tracers to let me know I was reaching the bottom of the mag. With a full auto m4, aimpoint and targets that were usually half a block away or less, it preformed supperbly.
     
  24. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I have some Beta mags. I like them for the range and for shooting off a rest or bipod. I have found that they function quite well, but are heavy and the drums can get in the way depending on how you grip the gun. Also, the gun does not sling well with the mag in place. I can see where wideym says they were great for use out of a hummer. That sounds like it would be a great way to use them. So from a fixed position with some form of rest or from something like a vehicle, they would be good. For carrying around, they are a pain.
     
  25. Gunsmoker

    Gunsmoker Member

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    I would also do this. Just train with the beta mag and in no time you will be proficient with it.
     
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