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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lifetime ago in a place called 'Nam' we had M16s that had two settings, semi auto and 'rock n roll'. I just was told the current model (M4 I believe) is only capable of 3 round bursts and not full auto, is that correct? Kind'a would leave ya sort of embarassed up close and personal if all ya could do was pa pa pow and the other guy's going pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa, you get the picture.
 

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I believe that's correct - 3 rnd burst. Designed to conserve ammo. Back in the day a M14/16 with selector would empty the mag in a few seconds. Not usually necessary, and for guys who didn't get fire control, could be detrimental. I don't think the 3rnd burst is a necessarily bad thing, since you can fire multiple 3rnd bursts fairly quickly.
 

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In Vietnam I had a XM177E1 CAR-15 that when set to "sprikle" would empty a 20-rnd mag. in a blink of an eye. Granted, it was a little faster than most standard M-16's, but I think they determined that many soldiers in a firefight would panic on the trigger just long enough in the first "mad minute" to empty their gun without much effectiveness against the enemy, or would have one dead bad guy with 20 holes in him.

By going to the burst-fire weapons, the most a trooper is going to expend is 3-rounds if he panics and forgets to release the trigger. Then when he catches up to what is happening he can use the remaining capacity of his weapon to place fire effectively. The burst fire isn't all that bad of an idea really. I never would use my CAR on anything but "semi because it fired too fast to be effective. Maybe if I was under siege by a horde of thousands, but only then would I consider going to auto..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do you really think it is the occassional "panic" reaction that took away the full auto option? Do you know that both the Krag and Springfield '03 had mag. shut off switches so the soldiers could just load and fire one shot at a time while the other side had free use of their magazines. The Army gave its troops single shot Springfields in Custer's time even though numerous fine repeaters were available (the Indians knew that)! I think its the 'bean counters' i.e. money is more important than soldiers. There is not a single modern military that doesn't utilize full auto weaponry, wonder why?? Yes, it takes good training and unfortunately experience to control that "panic" but if they gave me a 3 round burst piece, I'd throw it away and pick up an AK, that is just a mean machine that don't give a damn about 'bean counters'.
 

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Bulk of ground units have 3 round burst but there are lots of full auto M4's and M16's out there also. I could not fathom burst, kinda pointless.

But then again, full auto is pointless with a few exceptions; breaking contact or conducting an ambush. Otherwise, it's semi auto 99.9% of the time, something the general populace can't seem to grasp; semi is so much more effective than auto, I could care less about auto. I've never used auto on a rifle except in training, it's just not necessary.

full auto (or burst for that matter to a lesser extent) wastes ammo, overheats the gun, more likely to jam (maybe) and is relatively innacurate. You will spend most of your time reloading mags, not shooting. When you have to take a quick shot, I don't want to be reloading!

it's the A1, A2, A3 designation, I don't remember which is what but those will tell whether it is burst or standard full auto. I wanna say A2 is full auto, burst is A3 ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bulk of ground units have 3 round burst but there are lots of full auto M4's and M16's out there also. I could not fathom burst, kinda pointless.

But then again, full auto is pointless with a few exceptions; breaking contact or conducting an ambush. Otherwise, it's semi auto 99.9% of the time, something the general populace can't seem to grasp; semi is so much more effective than auto, I could care less about auto. I've never used auto on a rifle except in training, it's just not necessary.

full auto (or burst for that matter to a lesser extent) wastes ammo, overheats the gun, more likely to jam (maybe) and is relatively innacurate. You will spend most of your time reloading mags, not shooting. When you have to take a quick shot, I don't want to be reloading!

it's the A1, A2, A3 designation, I don't remember which is what but those will tell whether it is burst or standard full auto. I wanna say A2 is full auto, burst is A3 ??
This is an honest question, please don't take offense - but - have you ever been there and done that, did you see the elephant?? I would fully agree if you can pick a target and aim semi is far more accurate - but - even you said "few exceptions", dude; when those "few exceptions" look you in the face,you better have auto or you die. Too many 'events' in the deep jungle happened at rock throwing distance - IN YOUR FACE, NOW, NOW, NOW! The M14 was a fine rifle, but most being locked on semi, were pitifully outgunned by the AK. Custer could'a had some gattlings, and he certainly would'a wasted a lot of ammo and had hot guns etc. but maybe, maybe he'd have come back?? I do fully understand your Point, but it sounds so very much like the Gvmnt. beancounters of the 1870s that armed troops with single shots while the Indians had repeaters, or at least as many as they could get. How come Indians and VC understand what beancounters don't??
 

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This is an honest question, please don't take offense - but - have you ever been there and done that, did you see the elephant?? I would fully agree if you can pick a target and aim semi is far more accurate - but - even you said "few exceptions", dude; when those "few exceptions" look you in the face,you better have auto or you die. Too many 'events' in the deep jungle happened at rock throwing distance - IN YOUR FACE, NOW, NOW, NOW! The M14 was a fine rifle, but most being locked on semi, were pitifully outgunned by the AK. Custer could'a had some gattlings, and he certainly would'a wasted a lot of ammo and had hot guns etc. but maybe, maybe he'd have come back?? I do fully understand your Point, but it sounds so very much like the Gvmnt. beancounters of the 1870s that armed troops with single shots while the Indians had repeaters, or at least as many as they could get. How come Indians and VC understand what beancounters don't??
I agree regarding the M-14 vs. AK gunfight situation. We didn't have M-16's available when I was in country, so it was common to pack a Model 12, Thompson, Grease gun, or a captured AK for those that could get 'em. Rules about what you could carry were pretty loose in the early days. Squad leaders liked to have at least one full auto and/or shotgun in each fireteam.
 

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I once read an article that said that a LOT of soldiers, in combat situations, never even fired their weapons. The study was from WW2 and Korea. The Army found that with the M-16 more troops were likely to fire the rifle if it had a "go fast" switch. The old spray and pray theory, I guess. Apparently since they were'nt aiming at a particular target it took some of the guilt away of having shot someone.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Back in the '80s when I could finally afford one, I got me an M16A1; yeah, legal and stamped etc. Its an Olympic/P.A.W.S. but except for those markings, exactly correct. Usually if I take her out, its with a 4X scope and we put little holes in paper - but - every once and a while, maybe just once a year; I'll pack up a couple bandoleers, go to my buddies huge junk yard, pick out a nasty looking suspicious older Toyota or Datsun and just tear that sucka' up! Even at 3 score and 'umph' years, for those moments I am once again 21 and bad ass! Course, given current events; I guess that will get less and less as I'm sure ammo is gonna get scarce or expensive, or both, we all know it's the evil gun and terrible ammo that is the worlds problem. Ah, so!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I once read an article that said that a LOT of soldiers, in combat situations, never even fired their weapons. The study was from WW2 and Korea. The Army found that with the M-16 more troops were likely to fire the rifle if it had a "go fast" switch. The old spray and pray theory, I guess. Apparently since they were'nt aiming at a particular target it took some of the guilt away of having shot someone.:confused:
Man, you don't know how correct you are.....with all of it!
 

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that is what we have SAWs for now and other belt feds; if you're relying on your M4 for full auto, you're eating a S--- sandwich. I was more referring to the gun grabbers thinking that full auto is some magical death squirting machine when in the average hands it is pretty much worthless unless you're in a very crowded space. Even in trained hands, it's a waste of ammo in most cases.

Very effective for near ambush or breaking contact initially where you need to put down massive amounts of lead in a hurry but even that is mostly effective because of the suppresion, not that it is actually killing more enemy. Keeps their heads down while you manuever on them or take off.

I've traded my fair share of excitement and not once have I ever even thought of kicking over to auto. Guess I've just been lucky.
 

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Dartswinger/Jaydub, spot on with the historical evidence/data of soldiers purposely either not firing or firing high on purpose, killing is not a natural thing for most.

Grossman's book "On Killing" covers this topic extremely well and talks about the same things like shooting high or finding other tasks to do like giving ammo to those doing the shooting.
 

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I never did like full auto; it's very hard on the barrel. Three round burst is fine. After the third round, you're off target anyway. No need to waste bullets.
 

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SIL is standing right here and says that they use the M4 and they only have 3 round burst. No one uses a full auto anymore. He says that some of the infantry are switching over to an IAR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am here today because of overwhelming firepower....overwhelming firepower overwhelms, period. Ah the arguement of waste will always be there -so- why bother with wasteful semi auto, surely the bolt action would save much waste and is certainly more accurate -but- then why not extend it back to the beloved single shot, now there is a waste saver and I'm sure our Army would kick butt, economically! The point earlier about soldiers not firing their weapons was quite good, those going 'over the top' in the trenches of WW1 almost never got a single shot off and even the few rounds that flew were not enough to get the machine gunners (full auto) attention. What would have happened if the appoaching line, even firing from the hip; was spewing out a hornets nest of lead? Wasteful, yes; but remember the term 'suppressing fire'. Overwhelming firepower overwhelms, it always does; even in olden times when the archers with a quiver of arrows overwhelmed the guys with a single spear.
 

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I'm not knocking full auto by any means and I certainly appreciate having it! It's just not as 'scary' as it's hyped up to be by the media and others I don't think, and only useful in a handful of scenarios out of a rifle. Sustained fire from a belt fed is unbelievable and incredible; one 240 is 1/4 of an infantry platoon's firepower due to it's capability. M4? not so much. 20 guys with an M4? oh yeah, gonna be a bad day for whoever is on the other end. Near ambush? rock and roll, dump your mag, toss a frag. shooting someone that's 500m out shooting at ya with a PKM? semi it is for me.

By no means am I doubting anything you're saying Dartswinger, and ammo conservation is way down on my list of things I worry about.. especially when they're free! (well, not free, they make ya work for them) As with most things, I should put in the disclaimer that this is just my personal observations/experience, 'your results may vary' !
 

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looking around the internet, looks like the M16 models are A1 = full auto, A2 = 3 round burst, A3 = A1, A4 = A1 full auto also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I in no way intended to go into "scary", and useful in a handful of scenerios - absolutely, but best to have and not need than to need and 'oops'! Now, even tho I have one and have always been a staunch 2nd Admnt. supporter I am sorrifully gravitating to the Liberal point of view that these things just be banned, too many crazies; the last school shooter would have passed a background check easily. And, really of concern; any of you hear of AK Files forum? Some of those loonies and apocolypse spouting lunatics really scare me, most could probably pass a check; but most shouldn't be allowed to play with sissors. There's a lot of'em!
 

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I agree there; better to have the option, I would feel naked without full auto on my work gun!
 

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... And, really of concern; any of you hear of AK Files forum? Some of those loonies and apocolypse spouting lunatics really scare me, most could probably pass a check; but most shouldn't be allowed to play with sissors. There's a lot of'em!
And that's the kind of crowd that gives the rest of us a bad name and lots of new laws..

Full auto for a belt fed Ma-Duce? Lots of fun and a beautiful piece of weaponry, but not necessarily for civilian consumption.. :D
 
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