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Sturgeon

The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

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Interesting that the acoustic properties of a projectile are kinda important if you want to suppress your enemy. IE you want them to know that y'all JUUUUST missed.

 

You would think they would be, but the document actually proves they make little difference. As long as your projectile is supersonic, it doesn't really matter.

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The two times I've been shot at were with a shotgun using birdshot which made an interesting "wooshing" sound like wind as the pellets went through the tall grass around me. The other was a 22 rifle and it was kind of harder to describe. Like a fizzlely thing going through the air. I don't know. The sound and sight of the rounds hitting and knocking snow off of dead blackberry bushes in front of me was what was more noticeable. Never have had centerfire rifle rounds fired at or over me.

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The two times I've been shot at were with a shotgun using birdshot which made an interesting "wooshing" sound like wind as the pellets went through the tall grass around me. The other was a 22 rifle and it was kind of harder to describe. Like a fizzlely thing going through the air. I don't know. The sound and sight of the rounds hitting and knocking snow off of dead blackberry bushes in front of me was what was more noticeable. Never have had centerfire rifle rounds fired at or over me.

 

Attack of the murderous poor? Or just murderously poor shots?

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First was a family affair and I'll leave it at that.

Second was more interesting. Around Eatonville WA where I lived there's a place called "Box Car" which is a neat box canyon traversed by an old railroad tressle with the Mashell River flowing through. It had some great scenic beauty. Sadly it was easily accessed by vehicle and was a favorite spot to party, ditch stolen cars and transact drug deals or poach wildlife. That never deterred me and since my mom had never been there, we drove up the logging access road on a whim in the snow because the scenery should have been spectacular despite the human rubbish.

We walked down the tracks from where we parked to the tressle. A hundred yards in, three shots were fired from above and to the left down in front of us, strike the snow covered blackberry bushes 10 feet in front of us. We both did the natural thing and hit the deck. After five or ten seconds of looking around we slowly got up and made a hunched run back to the car. For some reason I stopped, tried to look where the shots came from and backtracked a few feet when three more shots fired right in front of me persuaded me that this wasn't a good idea. So we got in the car and left.

I figured we were being warned off. For what reason, who knows?

Until then I only ever carried my Buck knife on my adventures. But that was the moment where I'd start carrying a handgun with me whenever I could.

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Thank you, Sturgeon, for your wonderful TFB article today. 

 

Like you, I've come to view light infantry as a primarily weight-constrained force. In general, trading firepower for lighter weight is advantageous with respect to the currently over-burdened U.S. infantryman. As you acknowledge in the article, generating suppressive fires via DMR rather than LMG is a weight-efficient means of achieving a suppressive effect in many of circumstances. I, however, do not believe that a belt-fed weapon is necessarily a dead end in the AR/DM role within the squad. There is at least one belt-fed weapon that can achieve very good accuracy: the HK21.

 

The HK21, of course, achieves this by having much more in common with a battle rifle than a traditional LMG or GPMG, namely the closed bolt operating system, hammer, and fixed, top-mounted scope mount of the G3 from which it is derived. While the roller-delayed operating system may itself be a dead end, the HK21 provides a template that could inform future designs in that a belt-fed weapon can retain many of the advantages a traditional magazine-fed weapon if the magazine well is merely replaced by a belt-feed mechanism. The downside is that reloading the HK21 is arguably even slower and more cumbersome than a traditional LMG/GPMG. In the tear-down portion of that video, Mr. Vickers notes that one work around is use a starter tab. I, for one, would not want to be fumbling around trying to find the starter tab when my fine motor skills go out the window as rounds are impacting around me, so reloading without ANY belt handling is desirable. While H&K tried to develop a linkless feed system for the HK21, it didn't go anywhere. I'm dubious that a linkless feed system could be made light enough and sufficiently reliable for infantry use.

 

If one goal of a future M249 replacement is that it share ammo with squads ARs, I agree that something along the lines of the M27 makes a lot of sense. I also believe that a GPC is a dead end, and that a two-caliber system for the infantry is probably the way to go. Ideally, my proposal is that the military replace 5.56x45mm with a cartridge optimized for a vld-epr bullet in the 50-77 grain range (i.e., an optimized SCHV round) and replace 7.62x51mm with a cartridge optimized for a vld-epr bullet in the 90-120 grain range, all concepts that I believe Sturgeon, among others, has touched on over the years. Ideally a composite case having a traditional extractor groove would be used. To summarize Sturgeon's work, the 7.62 replacement is, in essence, a composite-cased .264 USA (or possibly closer to 6.5mm Creedmoor) firing a 6.5mm vld-epr bullet. Let's call it a medium caliber, high velocity (MCHV) round. While I do not advocate equipping all members of the squad with a MCHV weapon, I do believe that having one or two MCHV DMRs within the squad would be desirable and that replacing the M249s with these makes the most sense.

 

From a logistics point of view, it would be desirable to distribute all SCHV rounds in magazines and all MCHV rounds in belts, other than perhaps accurized MCHV loadings. For this reason, I think it would be worthwhile to investigate a conceptual successor to the HK21 as a SAW/DMR. One change that I advocate is moving to a gas-operated system with a fixed barrel, preferably a LW-profile barrel with a carbon fiber overwrap to increase rigidity,  surface area, and thermal conductivity. The SCAR 17 with a  lengthened upper receiver to accommodate a constant-recoil system might be a good starting point. The grunts would primarily use the weapon in semi-auto, but a limited full-auto capability would be available for engaging maneuvering infantry at a distance and in close ambushes. Reloading would still be an issue. This is where we borrow from the best SAW that never was, the XM248

 

The XM248, among its many innovations, used a cam-driven sprocket to advance the belt. While WeaponsMan unfortunately passed away recently, his great discussion of the feed mechanism lives on. While the XM248 promised belt-handling-free reloading, the ammo boxes did have potentially fragile exposed "plastic grippers" that held the first round in the feed position. Additionally, there is the potential for misalignment of the belt and feed sprocket during reloading. While, I don't consider these to be deal breakers, we might do better in terms of reliability by integrating the feed sprocket with the ammo box. The ammo box would hold a round in the feed position via an anti-backup pawl, as in the XM248 design. While carrying around a feed sprocket in each "magazine" would add weight, I doubt there would be any penalty in terms of weight or bulk versus drum magazines, and it would enable truly care-free reloading. I imagine they'd actually be significantly less bulky than drum magazines and no heavier, if not slightly lighter, if a plastic belt is used. I propose 60-75 round drums as being standard. A backup, loose-belt adapter could be carried and inserted into the "magwell" if only loose belts for the GPMGs were available. The cam assembly, however, does prevent the use of a traditional hammer and trigger mechanism. We might get around this by using a linear hammer, as in the QBZ-97, or use the slightly more complicated cam system of the HK21. 

 

What do y'all think?

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I feel like divesting themselves of the M249 would provide a good opportunity to incorporate more explosive throwers, especially with the concerns of level 4 armor proliferation. It’s a shame the XM25 died.

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Scrolling through the TFB articles while sipping coffee.

 

Hunting ammo and shotgun slugs, meh. Some expensive watch/flashlight gimmick. TFB "review" on S&W's "new" Shield. Snore. Nathaniel F. dumpster fire and race riot about the SAW... pause... hovers cursor over the three digit comment count... do I enter...sweat beads on forehead... heart rate increases...

 

Slowly steps away.

 

Scrolls down.

 

Some Glock barrel.

 

Oh, a procurement article about the 249... or I guess "minimi"... with five comments...

 

 

 

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The comments of that article bout made me want to jump off a bridge.

I knew it would rustle some jimmies, but the funny thing is the whole IAR vs. SAW debate is pretty much settled for both services moving forward, and they ain't looking at next gen SAWs, that's for sure.

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11 minutes ago, Willy Brandt said:

Read the comments after a good night of sleep and boi 380 and everytime i look there is a new one.
Also this Valorius person needs to relax a bit. It feels like 50% of the comments are from him.

 

He likes to write one line replies to every comment on an article, yep.

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@Sturgeon

Maybe you should have been clearer that you think the M249 is bad as a individual`s weapon and not that it is the worst LMG in general and that every M249 should be a M27 IAR instead.
I agree that you dont want a LMG without support.

The weight alone is killing the poor guy, but its still important as a base of fire in a classic peer to peer war. But not on a light foot patrol where you dont expect enemies.

Also the M249 seems far heavier than the Minimi.

Maybe compare it to other armies` LMGs? How heavy are their LMGs? How are they using it? Alone? As a crew served weapon?

Also why did the US decide that the M249 should be a individual weapon now?

 

 

The Youtube show "Mali" (daily sort of video diary of the germany army) shows some of the kit there.

I think i never saw any MG3s or similar used by the infantry, only in remote weapon stations.
Everyone had G36s, G28s or G27s.

No MG4s or the new MG5s.

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I don't know what the procurement rate is with the SAW and can only recount the 2nd hand story from my lil bro whose Stryker unit went to play with Haji in 2004-05, and even though they were a brand new sparkly unit and the pride of Pentagon procurement, all of their SAWs were fairly long in the tooth.

 

I recall a statement he made that they always knew the saw gunner was getting into the battle when they'd hear one round go off, followed by the gunner swearing, and clearing a jam/malfunction, presumably from the dust. 

 

*Bang*

"FUCK!"

*Ka-chunk*

*Bang*

"FUCK!"

*Ka-chunk*

 

So it seems to me ammo wastage wasn't that big of an issue :)

 

Scrolling through the 400 comments, I saw reliability/age of the weapons brought in a few times but not as often as I'd have thought.

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9 hours ago, Willy Brandt said:

Maybe you should have been clearer that you think the M249 is bad as a individual`s weapon and not that it is the worst LMG in general and that every M249 should be a M27 IAR instead.
I agree that you dont want a LMG without support.

 

Maybe I could have, but I sincerely doubt it would have made any difference. All anyone heard was "M249 bad!", so anyone with an attachment to that weapon got out their pitchforks. Happens every time.

 

9 hours ago, Willy Brandt said:

Also why did the US decide that the M249 should be a individual weapon now?

 

Same reason they want "overmatch" now. They wanted to leapfrog everyone else in squad firepower. Nevermind that there's a reason belt feds are crew-served...

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10 hours ago, Donward said:

 

Scrolling through the 400 comments, I saw reliability/age of the weapons brought in a few times but not as often as I'd have thought.

 

It's a pretty big problem.  The rate of fire and volume of fire that the SAW is expected to put out means that they get a lot of wear and tear.  If the army wants to stay with the SAW concept, they should at least buy new ones.

 

This also means that a SAW can only get so light.  Steel has a fatigue limit, which means that load/unload cycles below a certain amplitude don't wear it out.  Aluminum isn't like that.  Any load/unload will shorten the fatigue life of an aluminum part.  So aluminum SAWs are a bad idea, unless the logistical system can handle them being a disposable item.

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So something based on the standard rifle is desirable? With a heavier barrel, and maybe a longer barrel (higher V0 giving higher hit probability, and more effectiveness at long range when standing in for a DMR)?

 

Gee, that sounds familiar! I wonder who's done that already?

 

Preview.fwx?rt=1&f=EFCC51FEE65DA414D1808

 

WE WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

So something based on the standard rifle is desirable? With a heavier barrel, and maybe a longer barrel (higher V0 giving higher hit probability, and more effectiveness at long range when standing in for a DMR)?

 

Gee, that sounds familiar! I wonder who's done that already?

 

Preview.fwx?rt=1&f=EFCC51FEE65DA414D1808

 

WE WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG

 

 

 

Had a few guys in the comments say shit like "oh yeah, but L86" and even one guy who said I wanted to bring back the Chauchat. I particularly liked the one guy who insisted that it was impossible to get so low to the ground that the bullpup's magazine clonked into the floor.

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