BATTLE RIFLE BOOK 7cont.
War Surplus Chapter Continued.
The infantry weapons of WWII were notably different than in the first war, to reflect mobility over fixed defenses, the widespread addition of tanks and airpower, and improved chemical powders. The basic long arm did stay the same, however. The only power that wasn’t economically ruined by the previous conflict ( who in contrast actually came out of the war a superpower economically and “only” at the cost of a few hundred thousand peasant corpses ), the US, was the only one to truly upgrade its basic infantry long arm ( the Brits upgraded the Lee-Enfield, but however much improved it was still a bolt action rifle, just a perfection of fifty year old technology ). The rest kept what they had.
This didn’t mean what they had was perfect, it meant that no country was any longer rich ( the fight over colonies had evaporated most of the wealth said possessions had delivered, impoverishing all rather than enriching some ) enough to both modernize to modern maneuver warfare AND upgrade to another rifle system. What they had worked good enough, especially since the infantryman’s role didn’t require mass volume fire. The US, being the worst fossilized, bureaucratic mindless beast of an organization outside perhaps the Soviet military, switched to semi-automatic because it could, wallowing in an ocean of resources ( there was a straight line of logic from the War Between The States to Vietnam, logistically and strategically ), and even then they gave little thought to caliber ( other than, changing that would have cost money. Generous with the weapon, but not the ammunition ).
During the war, the Germans introduced the Assault Rifle concept. If you are unfamiliar with the 4th Generation Warfare concept, go look it up sometime. Forth generation is guerrilla war ( to grossly simplify for our discussion here ). The third was practiced by the Germans, importantly maneuver warfare but far more importantly individual incentive on the battlefield. Second generation was a French innovation from the first war, where the subordinate infantry helps the primary arm of the artillery. Organizationally, they follow a rigid top down structure. Individuals are mere cogs in the machine, and as the saying still goes, we would issue you a brain if we wanted you thinking.
What gets lost in the shuffle was that the Germans invented a weapon that worked for their system of warfare. The infantry now had far more firepower, but that worked because they had autonomy on the battlefield. They followed directives rather than orders. In the German army, you were told your objective. Go get ‘em. In all other armies, you waited for orders. The difference is, all other armies had to wait to be told HOW to go get the enemy. The Germans trained for soldiers to decide HOW, in the field, as dictated by circumstances. They still followed orders, but they decided how to get to that goal.
This probably doesn’t make sense to you, having only ever been exposed to robotic military automatons. The difference is that a one size fits all is a terrible way to respond to changes. And battle is nothing if not rapid change. Our army thinks it has that problem licked, by making everyone into an NCO. Not realizing that there will always be plenty of soldiers not suitable for that role, nor the fact that then the bootlickers and unimaginative are in charge of your troops. No wonder it is so easy to force political correctness down everyone’s throats. The assault rifle is a great Every Thing Gun, even though it does everything poorly instead of doing one thing very well. It is suited for changing tactical considerations ( note that this is my conjecture, not based on doctrinal research of the period ).
A full power thirty caliber rifle does one thing great. It knocks over horses from far away. As a consequence of that, it can also do a rather bang-up job of knocking over a mere human being. The biggest, or in some cases ONLY argument made in favor of full power battle rifles is their range and knockdown power. But they don’t do other things well. In a more rapid fire situation, the round is TOO powerful. The recoil makes full or rapid fire wasteful. Of course, we speak of practical mobility here. Heavier guns can deliver the needed volume of fire effortlessly and without recoil. But remember, we are speaking of mobile and maneuverability here. Not fixed positions and not necessarily mechanized.
The German army was far from mechanized. All through the war it was mainly foot and hoof transport, or by rail. It was not primarily using internal combustion auto’s or derivatives. In this context, a single infantryman carrying twice the ammunition made sense, not to waste twice as much because it was able to, but because the German logistics were not as advanced. Remember that the Germans were taught marksmenship, not how to waste ammunition. That was an American specialty, carried through to today. It colors our perception, not understanding scarcity.
The American myth does still parrot the old marksmen ideal, but in practice does no such thing. It is all about volume of fire, and why the M-16 is mostly wasted as a weapons system, being relegated to a submachinegun, an improvement over the M-1 Carbine. This is the exact same doctrine of the Russians with the AK-47, even though the M-16 is capable of assuming many different roles ( which it occasionally does, but that is NOT doctrine as practiced ). As a good assault weapon should.
One can realistically hit a man size target at an extreme range of 300 yards with an assault rifle. Anything past that point is relegated to snipers or reliant on mass blind volley fire anyway, so for all practical purposes the carbine round is powerful enough. Even though the AK is far less accurate than the M-16, it is still accurate enough in its designed range. A six inch group can still do the job as a three inch one, and that is on the outside of its design capacity. At more realistic ranges the difference is minimal. The M-16 was brilliant in its design and hence can double its effective range with adequate optics, but of course at the expense of durability. Yet, like any good assault rifle it can also act in other roles such as light machinegun.
Viewed from the context of poor logistics and maximizing tactical versatility, the assault rifle does more things well than more specialty rifles. It gets a bad rap from G3/FN-FAL/M-14 Fan Boys because it doesn’t conform to their ideals of a battlefield rifle, but it wasn’t designed to play one role, but several. While conserving resources. That part gets very short play by spoiled Americans, and they tend to focus on ignoring that design feature completely. To them, the assault rifle is really just a spray and pray submachinegun. The AR/M16 can be a very good submachinegun, just as the AK can be. Shorten the barrel to the point of complete accuracy loss and controllability and you have a Concealed-Under-The-Coat weapon.
Not that this is a bad thing. The Uzi was far more robust, but the ammunition was an issue in all but certain engagements. In 9mm ranges, the 5.56 or the 7.62x39 kicks serious ass. So who needs accuracy? Then, you lengthen the barrel and you have a different weapon. The German concept allowed for a cheaper weapon, with twice the ammo load, which could be a submachinegun, a carbine, a rifle ( to realistic range ), a light machinegun or even in certain individuals hands a mid-range sniper rifle. For the most part, the Americans and Russians squandered most of the versatility, but that was a byproduct of their fighting Second Generation warfare rather than Third. And having an embarrassment of resource surplus.
Now, you might think that adapting tactics back to a more primitive warfare, without resource surplus, as in a post-apocalypse scenario, might bode well for the more primitive full powered rifles over the assault carbines. But you need to remember that the Americans were the ones who remained primarily hung up on the continuation of the M1 Garand in more modern form. They were the ones pretending-rather than actually practicing-marksmanship trumped any other tactic. They were the ones with the resources they could spare to piss away.
All a battle rifle is, is a rifle firing far more cavalry killing rounds, faster. An assault rifle was designed to replace most other weapons, including that horse killer ( actually recognizing its obsolescence ). When I used to call the AK-47 THE best assault rifle, I was actually using that criteria in the context of the two resource rich superpowers of the day. The best mass volley firing dispenser. The original design by the Germans had far different parameters. Mass fire ONLY in the proper context, marksmanship as normally practiced to alleviate poor logistics, and able to replace other weapons systems so as to improve the infantry’s performance, cheaper.
Americans just use the design to get rid of bullets quicker, equating skill with equipment. That is, certainly, a critique. But even that must be viewed in its proper context. Americans individually might have known deprivation, but society wide and hence culturally, they have only known material abundance. Over abundance. Resources for the wasting. Sadly, they will soon realize that history will not be kind to those ignoring abnormalities.
( .Y. )
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Disagree on a couple of points regarding .30 (7.62x51 or larger cartridge) battle rifle: it's not a light machine gun (barrel is too light, not belt or big-box fed, closed-bolt overheats ammo to dangerous "cook-off" A-D), range past 300M is critical for small unit retreat-defense if/when soldiers/militia are firing for accurate hits and ammo preservation. A semi-auto can be regarded as a "self-loader" allowing several quick accurate shots to be made resulting in hits on multiple distant targets before they can take cover. A semi-auto can have less recoil to the user than a bolt action, if that is a design priority (with the same or less weapon mass), by using the bolt+piston+spring+redirected muzzleblast to absorb and re-cycle the recoil into re-loading. Yes, same-quality (accuracy/usability) semi is more complex and probably more expensive (as a system), esp. when considering the soldier training/armorer requirements. Well-made, maintained, semi-auto rifles are not less reliable than a bolt action until gross neglect and damage occurs that should be obvious to the user (get a different weapon, adjust your tactics to not depend on broken weapon).ReplyDelete
Agree on bulk-stupid that happens when group-think encounters "unlimited wealth" without peer adversaries.
I'm still looking for an UZI carbine in 9mm or .45acp, which is "just right" for close-range fun (same range as .22lr) but not useful against modern militarized forces wearing soft armor and carrying rifles. The self-loading system the UZI uses is very reliable and repairable, if a bit clunky. I haven't used an UZI carbine in icing/cycling cold weather, and if the Tavor is any indication, the Israeli's do not care about this. I'll just warm/dry it in the truck, as long as there is fuel.
My thoughts on "light machine gun" are per the BAR. Also, Stoner system:Delete
Jim, good piece work here. As an 0311 marine infantry and gun store/range officer-non square course instructor, you have covered good ground. I really want to stress a point to your vast Minion community that what they bring to the "day" can be made to work in it's own way. The end usage of a Minion will not be issued guns and text book doctorine. A lot of the Lord's work will be performed quite well by the very IR-REGULAR types making it up ad they see fit in their A.O. Minions will advance or conduct themselves accordingly as they see fit, highly mobile, flexible, adaptable, and will only send back messages for more ammo and oh-yeah some hot chow too. HA!ReplyDelete
Yes Sir! Their is way, way, too much minutia about the guns of the "Sluts" of that entire marketplace and community. You are friggin' spot on about disecting the types, designage, and "ACTUAL" non-organized, non- global power, usage on lay people terms. The biggie take away for the Minion Army is to settle into fire team, squad, elements of like kind equipment and deploy for "TOOL" usage missions. It will still suck a HY-BRID donkey's balls to be shot, hard, in the thoracic cavity, by a 17 year old trained by gramps on a Springfield 1903 with a leaf type sight, and worn quite hard from a near century of deer bagging. BEWARE ACCORDINGLY.ReplyDelete
FWIW, a quarter inch (1/4") variance at the end of a 16" barrel equates to a distance of over 12'-0" at 300 yards. So multiple quick shots at that distance even with the best semi money can buy is useless unless you are firing into a dense crowd. My AR with adjustable gas block and custom buffer/spring still gets off target for the 2nd shot, though much less than a stock AR, and it's even worse with a bipod on a solid table. Every gun is going to bounce and the bipod magnify's that problem. The absolute best way to fire fast at 300 yards is in a controlled prone position with propper sand bags. Keeping the gun stationary through the follow through is imperative.ReplyDelete
I have 2 Remington 700's in .308 that are heavily modified and have been proven accurate out to over 1000 yards with hand made custom ammo and the recoil is still such that 2nd shots quickly are worthless, maybe even damaging. The farther the distance of the target the more important the little things.
Our long range (2000 yard) range was sold out from under us 2 years ago so my 700's don't get used any more until we can find some land. I have 3 and may sell 2. All focus now is on my AR's and making them dependable universal guns with extreme back up supplies. I have a new AR build started based on .308 ammo and not set up for tactical applications. It will visually resemble the old school M16 and have a 24" spiral fluted stainless barrel. I have most of the parts but I'm still waiting on the barrel as it is custom made.
Well, thank you. You just talked me out of worrying about having a bi-pod!Delete
I would suggest you some how try one out if you can, under a variety of conditions. I've only used mine on a hard surface and as I said, it bounces when the gun is fired. Prone in the dirt may not be so bad. There are also various types of bipods so it depends on how you want to shoot. So if you are thinking about getting one should do some serious research and find out whats available and what other people's opinions are. Also, they add weight to the gun.Delete
I haven't been very serious about it, so little research. After my terrible experiences pimping out the SKS, I became more of a believer in leaving it factory.Delete