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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

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FN SCAR Mk 2 and Evolys   Small Arms <20mm

Started 14-Apr by Guardsman26; 7873 views.
stancrist

From: stancrist

27-May

Apsyda said:

The BAR was fairly maligned after Korea for its lack of utility in the SAW/LMG role.

The M1918A2 BAR has a non-QC barrel and is fed by 20-rd magazines.

The M14A1 -- the replacement for the BAR -- has a non-QC barrel and is fed by 20-rd magazines.

Apsyda said:

And the RPK was a failed experiment given the wide issue of the PKM in Soviet and later Russian militaries for better firepower.

Granted.  However -- as with the BAR -- the reason for the RPK's inadequate firepower was due to being mag-fed, not the non-QC barrel.

Like the RPK, the current squad automatic weapon -- the PKP -- has a non-QC barrel.  The difference is that the PKP is a belt-fed weapon.

Apsyda said:

The M27 is the next attempt at the concept, and personally I see very little evidence so far that its going to do any better than the many attempts to do a non-QC barrel SAW. A footnote in the books alongside the C2A1, the L86 LSW, the QJB-95, M15/M14E2, and probably a handful of others that have slipped my mind.

Something else that seems to have slipped your mind is that all of those weapons are magazine-fed.  That's the real problem, not the lack of QC barrel.

Apsyda said:

Automatic fire gets things hot, fast and the SAW gunner is relied upon pretty significantly for providing the squad's firepower. Accuracy can only do so much when the enemy also has a say.

Totally agree.

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Apsyda

From: Apsyda

27-May

Changing barrels isn't really because it will make the gun stop working when they overheat.

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As this gimmicky video shows. Its mainly to keep combat accuracy and prevent the barrels from being prematurely shot out from what I was taught.

You do have a very good point however -

Current US squad organizations are not conducive to a SAW/LMG focused system. With there being no specific assistant gunner there to keep things running for either of the M249. But I think that is more than partially a result of whom they're being deployed against. That being disorganized irregulars lacking large numbers typically nor making attempts at much great tactical maneuver efforts. In such conditions you don't need to have a rotating group of barrels to move between to deal with advancing targets or targets that you are advancing on. And an assistant gunner either becomes an extra member that doesn't do much, or is just given a new job/cut entirely for the sake of keeping squad sizes small and flexible.

I don't know how well that holds when factoring in facing a more established and conventional enemy force. Such as the PLA. That certainly does exist in large numbers and has aggressive tactical maneuver as a cornerstone of its doctrine. Even in Vietnam against the pseudo-conventional NVA, the M60 was issued to a gunner-assistant duo due to the fire power demands on a squad. And the NVA was far from the most peer level force on the planet even at the time.

stancrist

From: stancrist

28-May

Apsyda said:

Current US squad organizations are not conducive to a SAW/LMG focused system. With there being no specific assistant gunner there to keep things running for either of the M249.

I don't know what you mean by "a SAW/LMG focused system" but since the US Army rifle squad has been successfully operating with LMGs and no assistant gunners for decades, it seems illogical to claim that the squad organization is not conducive to LMG use.

Apsyda said:

I don't know how well that holds when factoring in facing a more established and conventional enemy force.

Fighting some of the most capable conventional enemy forces in history, US Army airborne squads used LMGs that lacked QC barrels.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

28-May

Apsyda said:

Accuracy can only do so much when the enemy also has a say. This new generation of light belt-fed guns are a godsend, but they should not make the mistake of overfocusing on lightening the action and construction at the cost of being able to sustain fire against an enemy force. I worry that too much experience fighting low intensity guerilla warfare against poorly equipped opponents could cloud judgement.

Agree 100 %

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

28-May

gatnerd said:

Apparently many / most M249 gunners did not carry a spare barrel in Iraq / Afghanistan, either due to weight or deeming it non-essential.

But this might be theatre specific. Actually there are stong indications that is was.

gatnerd said:

Especially as these guys dont have an 'assistant gunner' like a GPMG / M240 team does to change and carry a very hot barrel.

Why is this a problem. As a on the spot fix the squad leader can assign on of the rifleman as assitant gunner. Also the gunner himself can carry the spare barrel. Usually its best to let the gunner carry the spare barrel and the assistant extra ammo.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

28-May

stancrist said:

Granted. However -- as with the BAR -- the reason for the RPK's inadequate firepower was due to being mag-fed, not the non-QC barrel. Like the RPK, the current squad automatic weapon -- the PKP -- has a non-QC barrel. The difference is that the PKP is a belt-fed weapon.

That is a very limited view.
The first in line has been the RPD which is belt fed but without QCB. Resulting in common overheating. The replacement was the RPD, mag fed without QCB. No overheating but lackluster performance. So they went back full circle to the PKM, belt fed, QCB and full power cartidge. Which evolved into the PKP wich dispenses with the QCB and replaces it by a forced cooling apperature. This apperature increses the weight of the gun allmost to the point where it weights as much as a PKM plus one spare.
So its not true that the Russian just dispensed with the QCB in the same way as the automatic rifles did. They modified the design of the LMG so that the gun can handle the additonal heat. Which is not the case with the RPD, PKM or M24. Its also not the case with a M249 whos gunner decided to leave the QCB behind.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

28-May

schnuersi said:

Why is this a problem.

Well, its adding another 5lbs to the already heavily burdened SAW gunners loadout, and then the basic mechanics of a 16-20" metal tube that needs to be carried in some type of pouch, plus asbestos oven mitt. 

Its not a huge surprise that not carrying a spare barrel would prove popular. 

Whether thats sustainable across the board, I dont know. We'd have to look at the expected ammo loudout of the saw gunner and his squad, and then see how quickly that load could be expended without overheating the gun catastrophically. 

In the case of the M249 gunner, we saw in the Afghan vid him firing ~800rd in ~10 minutes with no ill effect, essentially the squads entire load of belted 5.56 in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette. In that example, it's easy to see why the M249 gunner doesnt feel the need for a spare barrel. 

However the question will be how heavy duty the barrel is on the EVOLYS, and whether its comparably heat resistant / tolerant as the M249. 

If the barrel is the same ~5lbs as the M249/MK48, then it should be fine. However if its more in the 2.5-3.5lb range like a heavy rifle barrel, then...

  • Edited 28 May 2022 9:11  by  gatnerd
schnuersi

From: schnuersi

28-May

gatnerd said:

that needs to be carried in some type of pouch, plus asbestos oven mitt.

I am not sure about the barrel change procedure of the M249 but isn't the carrying handle use to handle the barrel so gloves are not needed?

We used to change the hot MG3 barrels just with the standard issue leather gloves. You need to be quick yes but it can be done. Also there is a standard issue container for spare barrels. The hot barrels also go in there and can cool down. The container can be carried with a hot barrel inside without risk of burning.

gatnerd said:

Well, its adding another 5lbs to the already heavily burdened SAW gunners loadout,

This is why the ammo load is distributed over the squad.

gatnerd said:

In the case of the M249 gunner, we saw in the Afghan vid him firing ~800rd in ~10 minutes with no ill effect,

Well i am very sceptical. Just because the gun doesn't jam or blew up in his face doesn't mean there are no ill effects. Accuracy could be degraded. Actually the barrel could be worn out. Which propably isn't a problem when it can be easily replaced in short notice but if not the gun is now useless.
800 rds in 10 min is just 80 rds per minute on average. That is a rather tame ROF for a machine gun.

gatnerd said:

essentially the squads entire load of belted 5.56 in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette

A rather long or slow smoked cigarette ;)
800 rds is the entire loadoad... that sounds very few to me.
 

mpopenker

From: mpopenker

28-May

PKM got down to the squad level only relatively recently, after Afghan and Chechen campaigns were mountainous terrain dictated longer ranges. Originally it was used at platoon and company levels.

before that RPK-74 was the SAW, and in fact it was in many ways superior to PKM at short to medium ranges, being much lighter, with noticeably bigger ammo load and better accuracy

the PKP still retains QCB feature (after all, it's just a PKM receiver fitted with new barrel), only it is issued with one barrel and no readily available spares

However, some complain that it's too heavy for the SAW role and it's rarely required for the SAW to fire 500-600 rds in a sustained fire mode

stancrist

From: stancrist

28-May

schnuersi said:

       stancrist said: Granted. However -- as with the BAR -- the reason for the RPK's inadequate firepower was due to being mag-fed, not the non-QC barrel. Like the RPK, the current squad automatic weapon -- the PKP -- has a non-QC barrel. The difference is that the PKP is a belt-fed weapon.

That is a very limited view. The first in line has been the RPD which is belt fed but without QCB. Resulting in common overheating. The replacement was the RPK, mag fed without QCB. No overheating but lackluster performance.

So they went back full circle to the PKM, belt fed, QCB and full power cartidge. Which evolved into the PKP wich dispenses with the QCB...

So its not true that the Russian just dispensed with the QCB in the same way as the automatic rifles did.

You just confirmed what I said.

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