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Section infantry weapons

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
Poiuytrewq
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Poiuytrewq » 18 Sep 2018, 17:11

arfah wrote:The 7.62 LMG (BREN) was binned because it was too accurate.....

Seems the future requires an accurate GPMG?
Or a Bren with a worn barrel? :D

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby jimthelad » 18 Sep 2018, 18:15

No bugger ever puts his head up when on the receiving end of a gympy. The suppression effect of the beaten zone is frightening. If you have ever been in live fire with it in support you respect the fact that there is an ovoid of hell about 5m wide at 300m and increasing by 2 every 100m just in front of you. Everyone respects the M2 but the gympy is terrifying, if you have the misfortune to have seen it's after effects you will know what I mean.

Finally we have a fast moving hard hitting section with a real variety of option for a platoon commander to exploit. The long rifle allows early suppression and dominance in the firefight, the gympy allows suppression for manouver, and the UGL gives indirect smoke and fires followed by a close in direct fire to clear trenches.

Someone has made the right call, I wish we had had that when I was a 2lt.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Sep 2018, 08:22

jimthelad wrote:about 5m wide at 300m


Don't want to bore anyone, but the M240B training manual gives information about the beaten zone w/o the gunner's adjustments, which would let one calculate the area (but that does not have much to do with the probability of being hit as the gunners [initial] accuracy is the key to that): getting fatter with
dispersion increasing, at ranges of:
500 m 1x110m
1000m 2x75
1500m 3x55
with plunging fire (raining from above) giving the roundest shape

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Sep 2018, 20:47

arfah wrote:The 7.62 LMG (BREN) was binned because it was too accurate.


I know you're joking but thats one of the myths that refuses to die. All you have to do to widen the cone of fire is relax your grip..job done.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Sep 2018, 20:54

Lord Jim wrote:Mortars at Platoon level make sense if on the defensive more than the opposite. The single 51mm was useful but in a limited way, providing mainly illumination.


Wasn't the 51mm falling out of favour and being used for illum (very rarely) more due to the fact that the Army had stopped issuing HE rounds for practice and hardly ever letting anyone train on it? But then along came Iraq and suddenly everyone realised why it was so useful and it returned with a vengeance. The Hirtenberger 60mm was procured because there was no supply of 51mm anymore IIRC. I'd have thought that 60mm at platoon level was useful both for defence and attack. Keeping peoples heads down at range or screening with smoke let alone dealing with targets in cover would appear to be very useful. And for illum you can't beat a mortar. Pretty much every other serious military out there thinks the same...why are we so different?

I suspect we'll see the mortars being dug out of the stores in a hurry again at some point in the future...

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Sep 2018, 21:56

Thing is with cost coming down and batteries improving we could soon see Night vision/thermal optics being issued as standard kit. This would greatly reduce the need for illumination rounds and as has been pointed out the M4 can readily be used for this role with ease and there are videos of the M3 being used for this role and the simplicity of its use as such. As for mortars well the Mk32 does give substantial range capability for engaging targets behind cover. For additional rang there are the Battalions 81mm Mortars but like you said if the balloon goes up we will probably raiding every warehouse and museum to dig out weaponry to give to the troops. But as standard issue kit, having the M4 and Mk32 together with two 7.62x51 LMGs per section would be a good foundation.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Sep 2018, 22:10

Lord Jim wrote:Thing is with cost coming down and batteries improving we could soon see Night vision/thermal optics being issued as standard kit.


For the front line they pretty much are these days aren't they, but IR illum will still be important for a while. Even with modern night vision and small TI's they need that boost for a bit more range on vision.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Gabriele » 19 Sep 2018, 22:50

Don't hand-fired rocket rounds provide alternatives in illumination that are lighter than both mortar rounds and, god forbin, CG round?
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Caribbean » 19 Sep 2018, 22:54

arfah wrote:The 7.62 LMG (BREN) was binned because it was too accurate.

I rarely get involved in this thread, but I have used the original Bren (.303). It was definitely an accurate weapon - I would have said more accurate than the SLR. Somewhat hampered by the small magazine capacity and the need to change barrels frequently, but pretty simple and really easy to use. If the LMG was anything like it, it must have been a pleasure to use.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Sep 2018, 22:57

Gabriele wrote:Don't hand-fired rocket rounds provide alternatives in illumination that are lighter than both mortar rounds and, god forbin, CG round?


I think in the early days of the deployment to Sangin the Para's only had Schmerluy flares. They were a lot lighter but didn't produce anywhere near the illumination or duration of illumination that 51mm could. The illumination tended to be close to the firer as well so you ended up illuminating yourself as much as the enemy. As soon as possible 51mm then 60mm were used for the task alongside 81mm.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 Sep 2018, 04:50

Timmymagic wrote:I'd have thought that 60mm at platoon level was useful both for defence and attack.
The raison detre for the light versions is that they can keep up (and that's why 81 mm's are Bn weapons)
Lord Jim wrote:we could soon see Night vision/thermal optics being issued as standard kit

Just look at the numbers solidier systems have been ordered in.
Lord Jim wrote:having the M4 and Mk32 together with two 7.62x51 LMGs per section would be a good foundation

As I've opined before, the idea would bump up against section size; the 4 remaining riflemen would also turn into coolies ;) .
Timmymagic wrote: Even with modern night vision and small TI's they need that boost for a bit more range on vision.

Yes, range is the point
Gabriele wrote:Don't hand-fired rocket rounds provide alternatives in illumination

Range is the (negative) point - and there is also the general point about 'one trick' ponies.

I would have lot to say about 120mm breach-loaded mortars...oopps! This is a section thread :)

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 20 Sep 2018, 05:44

I am a fan of Wehrmacht infantry tactics and the mention of other members of a fire team becoming "Coolies" rang a bell. This is because their tactics were built around each fire teams MG-34/42 with each soldier also carrying additional rounds the monster, usually dropping these off with the LMG teams as they advanced and the former set up its base off fire. I know that the weight individual soldiers have to carry is an issue, but they also want the maximum fire power they can reasonably bring to bear. As I pointed out the M4 would act as the Sections direct fire support weapon supplemented by the M32 which also has an indirect role. I want an 7.62 MG in each fire team as I do not think the L-85A3s provide enough weight of fire and the single Sharpshooter cannot dominate an area like a MG. So yes the soldiers would be carrying supplementary ammo for the M4 and M32 but would be grateful to have them once the bullets start flying.

All of the above relies of course in the Army maintaining the eight man infantry section. I am not sure if I have suggested this already, but I think consideration should be in reorganising the Rifle Platoons into four Sections of six, increasing their size. Each of these would contain;
1x L7A2 7.62x61 GPMG.
1x L129A1 Sharpshooter Rifle.
1x M32 40mm GL
3x L85A3 5.56 Rifles.

I would then have three Rifle Platoons and a weapons Platoon in each Company, with the latter comprising;
4 3 man teams with M4 RCL.
2 3 man teams with L134A1 40mm AGL or L111A1 12.7mm HMG.
2 3 man teams with Javelin ATGW.
Each soldier in the above teams would also have a personal weapon, usually an L85A3.

The Battalion would be comprised of three such Rifle Companies, and support Company and a Recce Company. The additional manpower to allow the increase in Battalion's size would come from disbanding a number of the current "Light Role" Battalions and transferring the troops..

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Tinman » 28 Sep 2018, 00:40

jimthelad wrote:No bugger ever puts his head up when on the receiving end of a gympy. The suppression effect of the beaten zone is frightening. If you have ever been in live fire with it in support you respect the fact that there is an ovoid of hell about 5m wide at 300m and increasing by 2 every 100m just in front of you. Everyone respects the M2 but the gympy is terrifying, if you have the misfortune to have seen it's after effects you will know what I mean.

Finally we have a fast moving hard hitting section with a real variety of option for a platoon commander to exploit. The long rifle allows early suppression and dominance in the firefight, the gympy allows suppression for manouver, and the UGL gives indirect smoke and fires followed by a close in direct fire to clear trenches.

Someone has made the right call, I wish we had had that when I was a 2lt.



Being a JTAC I always, always carried 200 Rds, for the general, it saved more lives than the CaS I could call.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Oct 2018, 02:31

How the Germans have operated regarding section and fire team tactic are simple the bible that every nation should follow. Each four man team has a LMG/GPMG and this is the fire base around which they operate. It have worked for decades, is battle proven and cannot be bettered. Removing a heavy hitting suppression weapon from the British Army's infantry sections may make sense in peace time but as soon as the balloon goes up every GPMG available will be issues forward again. Yes it means the other members of the fire team have to lug around belts for the MG but its fore power is more than compensation. We need to spend time, effort and resources looking at ways to reduce the weight of the L7 and ammunition handling methods and replace the 5.56 Minimi with a 7.62 weapon, be it a lightened L7 or a 7.62 version of the Minimi. The current plans reek of a classroom exercise.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Oct 2018, 14:54

An example of wierd and wonderful contracting methods gaining a foothold is this one, where the delivered lethality (projectile) is a given and integrating it all the way backwards to a family (of two) weapons is made the suppliers problem (and this only for prototypes, to be tested/ competed)... the thanks for reading and analysing of this PON go to firearmsblog.com. And an appropriate first prgrm milestone date: 7 Dec ;)

"the draft PON appears to dictate the weapon’s ammunition by stipulating a specific projectile. The PON states that the government’s new ‘6.8MM GENERAL PURPOSE (GP)’ projectile, designated the XM1186, must be used to develop a round that will provide “all-purpose solutions for combat, limited training, and basic qualification.” In a change from the previous PON the Government also states that submitting vendors may work with the Government-owned Contractor-operated Lake City Army Ammunition Plant may be used as a subcontractor to work on ammunition development.
Successful vendors will have to supply “50 NGSW-R weapons, 50 NGSW-AR weapons, 850,000 rounds of ammunition, spare parts, test barrels, tools/gauges/accessories, and engineering support” in the space of 27 months"["]

So battle rifles, SAWs ... all that a section is built around having interchangeable rounds, no stupidly restricting limits on weight/ length/ barrel length. The replacements lumped together, into one programme.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Oct 2018, 15:33

Maybe another reason for introducing the Carl Gustav M4?
https://www.janes.com/article/83598/ray ... evelopment

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Oct 2018, 08:12

ArmChairCivvy wrote:"the draft PON appears to dictate the weapon’s ammunition by stipulating a specific projectile. The PON states that the government’s new ‘6.8MM GENERAL PURPOSE (GP)’ projectile, designated the XM1186 vendors will have to supply “50 NGSW-R weapons, 50 NGSW-AR weapons,


To continue on this
"SIG Sauer also displayed their new hybrid ammunition, a three-piece metallic, not polymer design, with a brass body and what appears to be an alloy base. Solider Systems report that this new ammunition offers a 20% reduction in weight – this was a stipulation of the 2017 SOCOM Medium Machine Gun solicitation. The hybrid ammunition was displayed in a number of calibres including .338 Norma Magnum and 6.5mm.

SIG also unveiled their MCX-MR (Medium Range) prototype, a shortened version of their Compact Semi Auto Sniper System (CSASS) submission re-purposed for the Next Generation Squad Weapon programme."

So SIG already has the answer to the 2017 programme to display: lightweight, but "medium" as for now it is for Norma Magnum.
But they also have (though has not been displayed as yet) the "new-SAW" coming up soon, for that new competition between prototypes (as per the above, from https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/201 ... Newsletter)
AND
both these "LMGs" will be able to take the new ‘6.8MM GENERAL PURPOSE (GP)’ projectile.

The push for an "all-round" round at section/ squad level seems to be gathering momentum.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Oct 2018, 03:48

As it is AUSA time, we also got to hear why the US Army has made the u-turn, from upping the calibre, to
" Military.com 8 Oct 2018 By Matthew Cox

The U.S. Army's chief of staff said Monday that its 6.8mm, next-generation weapons, slated to replace the M249 squad automatic weapon and the M4A1 carbine, will be able to penetrate any body armor on the battlefield.

"It will fire at speeds that far exceed the velocity of bullets today, and it will penetrate any existing or known ... body armor that's out there," Gen. Mark Milley told Military.com at the 2018 Association of the United States Army's Annual Meeting and Exposition. "What I have seen so far from the engineers and the folks that put these things together, this is entirely technologically possible. ... It's a very good weapon."["]

Also, the shoot-out between selected prototypes (5 invited, up to three manufacturers will get the award) is expected in late summer
- not specified if the "3" will be on the basis of having submitted in both categories
- the main thing is the round, and one would think it to be good to embrace several manufacturers, so that also future improvements will be driven by competition

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Little J » 11 Oct 2018, 07:36

fire at speeds that far exceed the velocity of bullets today

Is he referring to the 6.8 specifically or all bullets in general? Because that sounds like it's going to have recoil problems...

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Oct 2018, 08:55

Little J wrote:referring to the 6.8 specifically


He is referring to test results with the new round... and can't wait (until next summer) to see how the manufacturers will have handled "any problems"
- he also acknowledges that the two new weapons will be more expensive and will only be distributed to front-line combat units

Tony Williams summarised already in 2010 the problems with the direction the US Army had until the "u-turn":

5.56mm for urban fighting, 7.62mm for open terrain?
PROBLEMS:
1.Combat ranges may change rapidly
2.Mixed calibres in a squad reduces firepower
3.Doesn’t help 5.56mm effectiveness & barrier penetration
4.Doesn’t reduce weight & recoil of 7.62mm ammunition
So, in that same order
- it is not the velocity at the muzzle that matters (exc. for recoil :) ) but the BULLET ENERGY LOSS with range
- one calibre at squad level ( at the time, in 2010, 6.5 was the recommendation. Now it seems that 6.8 has been settled on)
- the advances in body armour (since) seem to have lifted the priority for (such) penetration... without going "Russian" with steel-tipped becoming "standard"
- as for ammo weight, the best (for weight) seems to have been the enemy of "good enough" and even here we may see a change of direction
"SIG Sauer also displayed their new hybrid ammunition, a three-piece metallic, not polymer design, with a brass body and what appears to be an alloy base. Solider Systems report that this new ammunition offers a 20% reduction in weight – this was a stipulation of the 2017 SOCOM Medium Machine Gun solicitation. The hybrid ammunition was displayed in a number of calibres ...

Of course this is only a SIG solution - has not been selected yet - but more radical attempts seem to have gone nowhere, over quite a long period of trying.

Google seems to behind times as my simple question "weight of 6.8 mm XM1186 round vs 7.62 m80" did not return an answer.
- may be the weight (nor velocity) has been released yet?
In January this year Gen Milley was talking in generic terms
" reach out at much greater ranges than currently exist, with much greater impact and lethality, and with much greater accuracy. I don’t want to go into too many of the details on it, but it has to do with the type of ammunition, the chamber pressure of the rifle, and the optics that are being used on the rifle.”
... and the speculation (then) got it slightly wrong, as e.g. in
"Military.com posits that the system Milley was talking about could be Textron Systems’ new Intermediate Case-Telescoped Carbine chambered in 6.5mm. The ammo weighs 35 percent less and is 30 percent more lethal than 7.62mmx51mm ammo and is a marked improvement over the M4’s 5.56mm ammo"
so, even though the comparison is not quite the same, the 20% reduction by way manufacturing hybrid ammo is not factored in

To me this explains why the weapon prototype request had none of the normal "must weigh less than" or be "no longer than" as it is the system weight (was it with 255 rounds carried?), and there are tech challenges to be mastered... might add weight. But the leeway offered by the above approximated 35% and 20%... make the sum total , as who at this point has the detail for all the permutations of alternatives,40% for now :D. That margin is there, some of it to be used up at the total system level, for winning the competition.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Poiuytrewq » 11 Oct 2018, 11:41

Little J wrote:
fire at speeds that far exceed the velocity of bullets today

Is he referring to the 6.8 specifically or all bullets in general? Because that sounds like it's going to have recoil problems...
How long will the barrels last?

Even if chamber pressures can be controlled to acceptable levels all that velocity will create a lot of heat due to increased friction within the barrel. Chrome lining the bore might help but eventually that will start wearing through and chipping off and accuracy will rapidly plummet.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Poiuytrewq » 11 Oct 2018, 12:24

ArmChairCivvy wrote:- it is not the velocity at the muzzle that matters (exc. for recoil ) but the BULLET ENERGY LOSS with range
As ever nothing is free. You can drive heavier bullets faster and the rate of bullet energy loss will decrease over a set distance but recoil will increase. Recoil is the enemy of accuracy and suppressors and muzzle brakes can tame it but suppressors on automatic weapons firing supersonic high velocity ammunition are a bad idea. They rapidly heat up and very quickly you won't be able to see what you are shooting at regardless of the quality of the optics. Muzzle brakes will rapidly damage the hearing of the user, especially if used on fully automatic weapons.

The setup of the internal gas mechanism of the weapon is the most realistic way of reducing recoil for supersonic fully automatic weapons.

Recoil is mainly influenced by three things, the weight of the weapon, the amount of propellant in the cartridge and the weight of the bullet.

It's basic physics, unless the projectile is boosted somehow after leaving the barrel the recoil will be felt or will have to be managed in some way.
- one calibre at squad level ( at the time, in 2010, 6.5 was the recommendation. Now it seems that 6.8 has been settled on)
The 6.8mm is a strange choice as it's balistically inferior to the two calibres either side of it 6.5mm/7mm.

Projectile penetration is directly attributable to the impact velocity of the projectile as long as the projectiles construction is sound and doesn't deform excessively on impact. The best way to ensure the structural integrity of the projectile is to increase its sectional density. This provides the longitudinal mass to force the projectile through the target. The sectional density of a 6.8 will always be inferior to the 6.5 equivalent.

What the 6.8 gains over the 6.5 is an increase in impact energy due to increased projectile frontal surface. This will transfer impact energy faster and therefore the impact felt by the target will be greater. When the range passes 300m to 400m this increased impact energy will pass back to the 6.5mm projectile as its superior ballistic coefficient will start to shine through.

Exterior ballistics is always a compromise.

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby Caribbean » 12 Oct 2018, 21:20

Not really sure if this is the correct thread, but it's fairly relevant. Might it be a good idea to have a few of these available at section level, particularly when you consider the need for an anti-drone weapons system?

https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters/digital-show-daily/2018/10/09/this-new-rifle-optic-basically-guarantees-one-shot-one-kill/

Israeli defense firm Smart Shooter showcased a new optical device for assault rifles that the company said virtually guarantees rounds on target.

SMASH 2000 Plus is a ruggedized optical device that can be placed on a wide range of legacy small arms, including the M4 Carbine.

The system works by tracking potential ground and aerial drone targets using a day or night mode with a traditional red dot sight picture. Once found, it works out a firing solution even as a soldier’s natural breathing and fatigue draws his aim off target. All a soldier has to do is hold the trigger down.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Oct 2018, 07:03

Poiuytrewq wrote:The 6.8mm is a strange choice as it's balistically inferior to the two calibres either side of it 6.5mm/7mm.

I have not seen statistics that would support the above, even Gen Milley did not have the engineering reports in Feb, when he last talked about this in detail (before now in AUSA, quoting from those reports).
- just like warships can be made long and narrow, so can bullets. Staking a claim on ballistics on caliber alone?
Poiuytrewq wrote:When the range passes 300m to 400m this increased impact energy will pass back to the 6.5mm projectile as its superior ballistic coefficient will start to shine through

Again, can't quote from stats that have not seen, but the point is valid
- more specifically, taking the 6.5 Grendel (which been around for long enough, for the test results to have made it into public domain), the break-even point between it and the 7.62 M80, in the quoted sense, is at 500m. What loading did the Grendel have (M80 having been standardised for production)? Oh, well, lies, damn lies and ...statistics :D

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Re: Section infantry weapons

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Oct 2018, 07:20

Caribbean wrote:works by tracking potential ground and aerial drone targets using a day or night mode with a traditional red dot sight picture


Now the drone makers have to programme this "counter" into their products:
"Fruit flies explore their environment using a series of straight flight paths punctuated by rapid 90° body-saccades. Some of these manoeuvres avoid obstacles in their path. But many others seem to appear spontaneously.

Armed with a computer video tracking system and an array of mathematical techniques the two researchers have revealed how the flight patterns[...resemble] the fractal patterns of a snowflake, a fly flight path appears similar whether viewed up close, or from a distance. "

For different type of targets (soldiers) such random rapidity is a bit difficult to achieve.
- in the drone case there will be a heavy penalty :( on endurance


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