Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Martin Bull, Jun 30, 2002.
Just call me Popeye
The M16M203 combo works nicely though, the xm-29 has some interest as well
Some nice controlled bursts there in the first vid I'm just jealous, love the kit though, not enough re-enactors of the french forces.
What a rarity, a man wearing a French uniform in the USA, bet he took some stick.
Just read here that the FM 24/29 inspired the Czech ZB30 which in turn lead to the Bren.
Shows how much I know about French weapons, I didn't know the FM 24/29 came first.
Considering that the Pacific was around half the war, it really isn't "just that".
Well, the bottom-mounted magazine for the BAR gives it better rifle/assault rifle/SMG characteristics than the Bren and other top-mounted LMGs...but the quick-change barrel on the Bren...
The BAR is an automatic rifle, and the Bren and other top-mounted magazine weapons are LMGs. Personally, I prefer the assault and customization that the BAR allows, but the Bren is most definitely the better in an LMG fight (the BAR, for one thing, isn't an LMG).
I saw a rather plump one at a reenactment who charged straight at an 88 flanked by 2 MG42s dressed as a Maquis or resistance fighter(ie too cheap to go buy a kit) and he had an enfield to boot.
That's ok what about the ZB-26? Brno 1923, wasn't the FM 24, 1924 or 29?
When comparing the Bren and BAR, there is a difference in tactics that must be considered. The Bren was a crew served weapon. It was more useful as a defensive weapon from a fixed position. In later years, the US Army used the M60 in this function. The M60 was similar in many application details to the Bren, with a belt feed and other improvements.
The BAR was an assault rifle. It was designed to be mobile, giving cover fire in squad movement, and then moving up into position with the troops. When the US Army looked at the aftermath of WWII, they decided to combine the features of the M1 and BAR. It became a great heavy rifle in the M14. Because the military did not believe in every troop having an automatic weapon at that time, only a few M14 were given automatic capability. It is an easy conversion, consisting of about three parts being replaced. However, shortly after adopting the M14, it became apparent that the next battlegrounds were going to demand a weapon with more ability to be carried long distances and be used tight quarters. The M16 as originally designed, was a good compromise design and has held up over time. Failures due to bureaucracy meddling and the usual working out of the bugs, took time to deal with.
Although the Bren was officially a two man crew served, what actually happened was that sections were usually given an second Bren gun and the assistant gunner position was changed to the second Bren gunner. Everyone in the section knew how to operate the Bren and each member took turns carrying the gun.
Although only the official Bren gunner got the Bren proficiency badge? Well that is what happend with the Lewis anyway, so I think this applies to the Bren.
I love the BAR. It was loved by troops and was very effective. Even with the 20-round mag, it still could tear a man in half.
The Bren only weighed a couple of pounds more than the BAR, and was most certainly not "most useful as a defensive weapon from a fixed position"; you must be confusing it with the Vickers. The Bren could easily be operated by one man, it's just that mag changes were faster if someone else did them.
Note that after the British Army adopted the FN MAG GPMG, they also modified the Bren to 7.62mm and kept it in service alongside the MAG for decades as the L4, until it was replaced (sort of) in the 1980s by the 5.56mm LSW (L86). Why? Because it was a lot handier, more portable, and better in the advance that the GPMG. A lot of British soldiers wish they still had them.
Not quite true. The genesis of the M14 actually lay in the postwar "Light Rifle Project", which was intended to be a lightweight automatic rifle to replace the M1 Garand, M2 Carbine, BAR and M3 SMG.
Unfortunately the Ordnance Department manage to mess up the whole idea by insisting that the cartridge must be of .30 calibre and must be powerful enough to replace the .30-06, with an effective range of at least 2,000 yards. So they ended up with the 7.62x51 cartridge, which to meet the range requirement was so powerful, and developed so much recoil, that the rifle was uncontrollable in automatic fire. That's why they disabled the auto selector; because they found out that only the first shot in a burst hit the target, the rest went waaay over the top...
Not to nitpick, but my statement was more useful. Any crew served weapon with replaceable barrel is going to be more orientated for defensive positions by doctrine. I have carried the M60 into combat situations and it can be used as an assault weapon too. It is a little awkward, but with a little practice, the gunner can 'John Wayne' a good cover fire for assault or retreat as needed. Granted it was not as handy to maneuver as an M16, but it had its advantages.
My information that was taught me by the military, was that due to the weight of the ammo and weapon, they decided to stick with the M14 as a single shot for the average soldier. From experience, when fired in 3-round bursts, it can be as accurate as the M16 in automatic fire. It does have a bit more kick, but not any more than can be handled by most soldiers.
There are different virtues to different design of weapons. A light caliber like the 5.56 is easily deflected, has less stopping power, and the weapons are going to have a tendency to require more care. A heavy caliber like the 7.62 is going to have a lot more weight, be more awkward to carry in a confined area, and be more physically demanding on the soldier.
A light caliber is more likely to wound and do tearing damage to the victim. Its benefit is the ability to cover more area and making the enemy choose between eliminating a wounded comrade, or the difficulties of wounded men. Heavier calibers are good when range and impact are prime desires. They can hit targets at much further range and a solid hit means very little chance of them getting back up. A sharpshooter in open terrain, and not having to go long distances, will be happier with something like the M14. The average soldier, without strong weapons skills, and doing a lot of walking, is going to prefer the M16.
You do know what the insurgents in Afghanistan did to US forces (and, before, USSR forces)?
In essence, they would simply fire Garands and other vintage World War Two rifles at enemy troops at ranges of around 300 meters. At those ranges, any returning assault rifle fire is going to be very, very inaccurate.
Well that reflects on how the USSR and the US train their forces. One of my corporals was in a firefight just before christmas, and they defeated the insurgents by fighting them at great distance.
It should be noted that some of our doctrine is based on our training during the cold war, when we were gearing up to defend against the USSR.
As for inaccurate assault rifles. Well I'd say that the man behind the weapon draw the limit before the assault rifle. A poor shot is going to have difficulities at 400 yards if he is shooting a Lee Enfield or an M16.
Call it a hunch, but I'd say that a "short" rifle round, at ranges at 300 meters, is going to have quite a bit of bullet drop. Aiming an assault rifle at those ranges is harder than aiming a rifle at those ranges.
Which is why the US has a DMR in a squad.
Actually the trajectory of the 5.56mm (and the 5.45mm) is flatter than that of the 7.62x51 out to beyond 400m. The AK's 7.62x39 has over double the bullet drop of these, though.
Flatter? OK. More accurate? Not on a windy day or it it hits virtually anything more than a blade of grass from what I've seen shooting several thousand rounds from M 16s.
IIRC the venerable old M14 is being used again in Trashcanistan .
Different problem. The US military is finding that the .223 round won't go through cinderblock and concrete buildings common to most of the world but the 7.62 round will.
Ahh....enter the SFs Barrett M82, the Beowulf and the XM-29 which is a combo 5.56 and 20mm smart round and XM25....all these quite an advancement over the BAR or Bren.
What are we on about here?
Bullet drop has little to do with accurancy. When you fire at 1400 meters with the Barret the bullet is 30 meters above ground at 1000 meters. You still hit... IF you're a good shot. It is harder to hit at longer ranges, so start training.
As for the calibre war, ask any veteran from the North Ireland, the Balkans or Iraq. And they will say that the .223 round is nice to carry, but not so nice when the baddies have enough sence to take cover.
Could it be that the sheephearders using 'vintage WW2' weapons ARE proficient shots?
During the attack on Norway in 1940 the Germans found it tough going against the Alta Battalion. The battalion consisted on Raindeer hearders and farmers. All of them were proficient hunters, and this was reflected during the fighting. They held the advantage during the initial phase of battle using their superiour marksmanship. But as the distance shortened the Germans got the advantage from their MP's