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USMC Stinger MG: Improvise, adapt and overcome

Discussion in 'Allied Light Weapons' started by KodiakBeer, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    This is a new one to me. The Marines had access to Browning AN/M2 (or M2 AN) 1919 machine guns from destroyed aircraft. That version of the 1919 fired at a rate of 1200 to 1500 rounds per minute, as opposed to the standard infantry 1919 which fired at a rate 400 to 600 rounds per minute. Moreover, the AN/M2 aircraft version was about 1/3rd lighter than the infantry version. Some gearhead Marines got together and asked the question; why not adapt these scrap guns for our compnay? I'm pretty sure this idea must have been germinated by what they knew of the German MG42 and its high rate of fire.
    A company of Marines slated for Iwo Jima got together and built a half dozen of them to use against the Japanese pillboxes and entrenchments they knew they'd face on Iwo.

    Part of the story is told in this vid. I'd like to hear more from our experts here.

     
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  2. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    That is really interesting. Fantastically innovative.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..excellent video/subject....thanks
    1. usually you are wasting rounds with that high of a rate of fire--even with a solid base ..this affects resupply ...
    -a- the narrator says he runs out of ammo 8 times
    2. these are usually 'designed as 'long range'' weapons--not needed or designed for ambushes in the Pacific which were usually ''close'' range
    -a. per number 1, these are very difficult to handle in a close range ambush as compared to like a Thomspon/etc
    ---USMC training calls for attacking a deadly/close range ambush:
    ---. again this looks difficult to handle [ even just putting rounds close ]---and ''not easy'' to move fast with
    -b the narrator talks about putting rounds inside a pillbox:
    ---again, what's the accuracy of the Stinger vs others? sounds like ammo wastage --especially with a bipod weapon
    ---he says the Stinger created ''more damage'' inside the pillboxes [ ? ] than a standard M1919---??? why? I'm not seeing more rounds inside the pillbox with the Stinger than with the standard MG because of inaccuracy possiblities/gunner experience
    ---I was in a weapons company and I've fired MGs...
    3. I don't see this being a weapon that was critical on Iwo = the standard MGs can put rounds on/in the pillbox just as much as the Stinger
    --I thought a lot of the Japanese were underground on Iwo
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I have the same questions as you, Bronk. One thing the vid points out is that these were 1/3rd lighter than the standard 1919. So, at least in the beginning they might well have served better than a standard 1919 in getting at those concrete fortifications near the beach. More shots on the embrasures, more damage inside for the slugs that got through that slit. I suspect there are no surviving examples because as they got away from the beach, they did not have the system in place to keep them fed (as the Germans did with their MG42). The company itself probably tossed them aside as ammo resupply became a strain.
    Still, it's a cool little piece of USMC history. Improvise, adapt and overcome. Ya' gotta love the Marines!

    .
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I'm not seeing a critical more amount of rounds inside the pillbox..
     
  6. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Good points, bronk7.

    I've used a modern 'SAW' M249 and M240, both of which have a relatively high rate of fire, but not 1400 rpm! The key to aimed fire was short bursts, which becomes harder with higher rate of fire. The other issue with high rates of fire is rapid overheating and barrel wear. Obviously the 5.56mm SAW round is easier to control when firing of-hand, and I have to wonder what the muzzle climb from a .30 cal Stinger would have been like.

    Still, the M240 and M249 (and M60 and Stoner 63) have some similarities to the Stinger concept: man-portable MG, box fed, high rate of fire, bipod, capable of being fired from the shoulder or hip or accurate fire supported. My point being that the machine gun has evolved from a fixed crew-served weapon to a highly-mobile, single-operator weapon. One capable of providing effective suppressing fire. The Stinger seems like a reasonable experiment in that progression. My concern with the Stinger would be the terrible ergonomics. Obviously I haven't fired one, but just looking at it makes me think it would be awkward to use and limit it's practical accuracy. I might be completely wrong there--that's just my instinct. And it doesn't look very durable. Especially in the hands of a Marine.

    Still, I imagine that a SAW would have been very popular on Iwo Jima. Oral histories from the Vietnam era lead me to believe that the Stoner was hugely popular with Navy SEALs on patrol. Similarly the M60 'Pig' was used during close combat on patrol in Vietnam with great effect. I would have felt naked without an M240 close by in the sandbox. The concept of a man-portable machine gun, even in close combat situations, is still alive and well. It may be those grunts were on to something....

    Regardless, I bet the Stinger seemed like a good idea to guys who were leaving Bougainville on their way to Iwo Jima.
     
  7. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I've fired the M60 offhand/hip shooting --it was more for fun and not training.....and the .50 cal mounted
    ..you are correct = if you are bipod firing a .30, that thing is ''jumping'' all over
    ..we had a Marine burn up the barrel of a M16A1 using blanks--but these were very old rifles used a lot before
    ??
    they use only one action for proof?....
    ..Firepower in the Pacific: The “Stinger” Machine Gun
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    If the guy was using aimed burst fire (and these are trained Marines, so they knew that), and the gun shoots double or triple the rate of fire then you have more slugs through that embrasure. There is also a psychological effect on the men enduring that high rate of fire. The US army made a number of training films about the MG42 to try and overcome that. It's one thing to get used to the pop,pop,pop of the 1919 MGs they heard in training, but quite another to hear that BRRRRRT of the MG42. They made training films to prepare GIs for that. It very likely came as a shock to those Japanese in the fixed fortifications on the beach. And it very likely emboldened those marines that were near one of those beasts.
    I agree entirely though, that without a system in place to keep that ammo moving up, the utility of such a gun quickly evaporates. It's a cool piece of USMC history, nonetheless.

    .
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I thought we also used sandbags to reinforce tripods because even tripods would ''jump''
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    To add to your point, I once read an assessment that it was the army that made the most noise that won the battle. Interesting analysis and I was disinclined to agree. However, the author made a compelling case. (I'm sorry I can't cite the article.)

    But over history armies used things like chants, war cries (think 'Rebel Yell'), drums, and horns to intimidate and overwhelm the enemy. I have to think that muskets were actually pretty crap weapons, however, they were valued on the battlefield for their intimidation factor, if nothing else.

    The author of the analysis I read, then went on to point out various battles and how the winning armies invariably made more noise. There is part of me that resists agreeing with that unreservedly, but I'll concede the idea has merit.

    I can't help but wonder if part of the Stinger's appeal would be that tremendous noise it could create. "Thor is on our side!"
     
  11. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    My M60 instructor could handle an M60 amazingly well, hitting 1 gallon water jugs at 50-100 meters with 1-3 round bursts while shooting off-hand. Impressed wide-eyed me, anyway.
     
  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ...a stable MG will put more rounds on target than an unstable one ....that's why I asked what the accuracy of the Stinger was compared to a standard .....I can tell you, that you will not put many rounds through a small embrasure with an ''accurate'' MG per burst --especially at ''long'' distance
    ...that means the Stinger has to be more stable firing at a high rate of fire compared to an MG with a lower rate--which is usually not the case
    here's an intersting short video of bipod/tripod MG 42 vs bipod/tripod .03 ..at 300 yds....says the higher rate MG42 less hits
    ..appears the hits are all over the place....does not spearate bipod from tripod
    ..also it says ''uses up ammunition''
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....the US had much greater firepower than the Japanese or ''sometimes'' the Germans because the M1 vs the bolt action of the Axis..this is even more critical in a close/jungle/nightime/etc scenario...in the jungle you want firepower not long range bolt action
     
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  14. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    There is probably a reason most modern MG's are running around 600-900 rpm.
     

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