This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.
Latest 9:45 by poliorcetes
Latest 9:26 by poliorcetes
Latest 8:48 by Mr. T (MrT4)
Latest 27/7/22 by Guardsman26
Latest 8:20 by schnuersi
Latest 3-Feb by gatnerd
Latest 3-Feb by graylion
Latest 3-Feb by poliorcetes
Latest 2-Feb by roguetechie
Latest 1-Feb by roguetechie
Latest 1-Feb by gatnerd
Latest 31-Jan by DavidPawley
Latest 30-Jan by gatnerd
Latest 30-Jan by Guardsman26
Latest 30-Jan by Farmplinker
Latest 30-Jan by Farmplinker
Latest 27-Jan by stancrist
Latest 27-Jan by Farmplinker
Latest 26-Jan by gatnerd
Latest 26-Jan by autogun
Latest 25-Jan by schnuersi
Latest 24-Jan by ZailC
Latest 24-Jan by stancrist
Latest 24-Jan by renatohm
Latest 23-Jan by Apsyda
Latest 21-Jan by graylion
Latest 21-Jan by Farmplinker
Latest 20-Jan by Mr. T (MrT4)
Latest 18-Jan by nincomp
Latest 17-Jan by gatnerd
Latest 14-Jan by roguetechie
Latest 14-Jan by Refleks
Latest 13-Jan by EmericD
Latest 12-Jan by APFSDST
Latest 12-Jan by APFSDST
Latest 11-Jan by RovingPedant
Latest 8-Jan by wiggy556
Latest 7-Jan by roguetechie
Latest 6-Jan by roguetechie
Latest 6-Jan by autogun
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.
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.
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 %
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Well, its adding another 5lbs to the already heavily burdened SAW gunners loadout,
This is why the ammo load is distributed over the squad.
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.
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.
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 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.
You just confirmed what I said.
Where did I gave the impression that I disagree?
I just put it into the broader context.
BTW apparently we have both been wrong since the PKP still has the QCB option and the force cooled is just a special type of barrel.
with noticeably bigger ammo load
How many spare mags does the gunner carry? How many spares for the RPG do the other squadmembers carry?
What is the standard load of 7,62x54R for a squad (if equiped with a LMG)?
If the RPK gunner carries 6 spares his loadout would be 7 x 45 = 315 rds. That doesn't seem impressive for me.
A single full size beltbox 7,62 is 250 rounds.
The clip on, one use plastic boxes, pre loaded with disintegrating belts come with 120 rds. One loaded and two spares on the gunner, one spare on each squad member, 8 men squad 3+7=10 boxes=1200 rds. Which is about a usefull minimum loadout for an LMG.
A more traditional loadout would give most squad members a 250 rd box instead.