Section Infantry Weapons

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
NickC
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

Post by NickC »

What do understand by a GPMG. from what have read think the MG-42 with its very high ROF was the one of the best MG of WWII, fired in short bursts of only 5 to 7 rounds needed to keep it under control, approx. 22 bursts a minute, 154 rounds, MG-42 could deliver a volume of firepower equivalent to 20 riflemen and each was manned by 6 man squad, leader, primary MG gunner, assistant MG gunner, and 3 ammunition men who carried 1,800 rounds of ammunition and 2 spare barrels.

PS Fired the 1933 s S Patrone 7.92 x 57mm cartridge with its 198 gr spitzer and boattail bullet for the longest range of any WWII infantry full powered round, recently the longer and heavier flatter shooting high ballistic coefficient bullets making a come back as those used in the 6.5 Creedmoor.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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NickC wrote: 23 Mar 2024, 17:10 What do understand by a GPMG. from what have read think the MG-42
The MG42 and its predecessor, the MG34, are certainly the first iteration of what we now call a general purpose machine gun. This by dint of its use in the section as a LMG and as a crew served support weapon on a mount, which was at the time called a heavy machine gun and currently would be classed as a medium machine gun. In addition it was used on various vehicle mounts.
The M60, PK and MAG 58 are later generation GPMGs, but share the same flexibility of use. The M60 is probably biased a little more to being a LMG than the other two.
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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RM277 being played about with by Garand Thumb. For me, way more interesting than the Sig M7... Hope it doesn't just get put on a shelf somewhere.


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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

Post by mr.fred »

The RM277 looks interesting, but I fear that the effort put into full-auto controllability with a too-large round kind of compromises the rest of the rifle.
It would be interesting to see what level of precision/accuracy can be achieved with a rifle that isn't shot out.
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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The US Army Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program, initiated in 2004 as the the Lightweight Machine Gun and Ammunition program, with the aim of a major reduction in soldiers' carrying loads, thereby allowing new and more equipment, drones etc reducing logistical strain, and increasing soldiers' mobility, lethality and survivability. The program set itself a weight reduction goal over the M249 5.56 mm and its ammo of 35% for the weapon and 40% for the ammunition, looked at both cased telescoped and caseless ammo plus polymer cased ammo.

Fort Benning trials in 2011 concluded that all participating Soldiers immediately noticed the reduced weight and recoil of the prototype light machine gun and most preferred it to the current squad M249.

What don't understand is why In 2017 US Army started the NGSW program with the questionable aim of defeating improved body armour and did a 180 degree U-turn from the LSAT goals and selected heavier assault rifles, light machine guns with its heavier 6.8mm/.277 ammo, so heavier, bulkier weapons with greater felt recoil and soldiers able to carry less ammo or additional kit, e.g. a drone (even in the Ukrainian steppe, the majority of engagements reported to happen within 200m). Another disadvantage is its high cost, the 6.8mm M7 is expensive at approx $18,000 each.

My understanding modern thinking is the standard rifle is largely for a self defense weapon in case things go wrong while the heavy hitters are the crew served weapons, GPMGs for its sustained rate of fire to pin the enemy down, Carl Gustav M4s, L16 81mm mortars and FO/RTO for the artillery targeting etc.

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mrclark303
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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NickC wrote: 01 Apr 2024, 12:18 The US Army Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program, initiated in 2004 as the the Lightweight Machine Gun and Ammunition program, with the aim of a major reduction in soldiers' carrying loads, thereby allowing new and more equipment, drones etc reducing logistical strain, and increasing soldiers' mobility, lethality and survivability. The program set itself a weight reduction goal over the M249 5.56 mm and its ammo of 35% for the weapon and 40% for the ammunition, looked at both cased telescoped and caseless ammo plus polymer cased ammo.

Fort Benning trials in 2011 concluded that all participating Soldiers immediately noticed the reduced weight and recoil of the prototype light machine gun and most preferred it to the current squad M249.

What don't understand is why In 2017 US Army started the NGSW program with the questionable aim of defeating improved body armour and did a 180 degree U-turn from the LSAT goals and selected heavier assault rifles, light machine guns with its heavier 6.8mm/.277 ammo, so heavier, bulkier weapons with greater felt recoil and soldiers able to carry less ammo or additional kit, e.g. a drone (even in the Ukrainian steppe, the majority of engagements reported to happen within 200m). Another disadvantage is its high cost, the 6.8mm M7 is expensive at approx $18,000 each.

My understanding modern thinking is the standard rifle is largely for a self defense weapon in case things go wrong while the heavy hitters are the crew served weapons, GPMGs for its sustained rate of fire to pin the enemy down, Carl Gustav M4s, L16 81mm mortars and FO/RTO for the artillery targeting etc.
I think in reality, most direct engagements (as opposed to harassing fire or fire for effect), in any war are within 200 yards, with a good number being within 100 yards.

Re the recoil of 6.8mm, the muzzle brake apparently negates felt recoil to slightly more than 5.56mm.

Personally, I've never found 7.62mm recoil to be an issue anyway, neither did generations of soldiers, or for that matter .303 before that.

In reality it's all irrelevant, as the US is keeping 5.56mm to serve alongside 6.8mm.

The UK appears to be retaining 5.56mm and shifting to AR platforms.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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mrclark303 wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 09:18
NickC wrote: 01 Apr 2024, 12:18 The US Army Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program, initiated in 2004 as the the Lightweight Machine Gun and Ammunition program, with the aim of a major reduction in soldiers' carrying loads, thereby allowing new and more equipment, drones etc reducing logistical strain, and increasing soldiers' mobility, lethality and survivability. The program set itself a weight reduction goal over the M249 5.56 mm and its ammo of 35% for the weapon and 40% for the ammunition, looked at both cased telescoped and caseless ammo plus polymer cased ammo.

Fort Benning trials in 2011 concluded that all participating Soldiers immediately noticed the reduced weight and recoil of the prototype light machine gun and most preferred it to the current squad M249.

What don't understand is why In 2017 US Army started the NGSW program with the questionable aim of defeating improved body armour and did a 180 degree U-turn from the LSAT goals and selected heavier assault rifles, light machine guns with its heavier 6.8mm/.277 ammo, so heavier, bulkier weapons with greater felt recoil and soldiers able to carry less ammo or additional kit, e.g. a drone (even in the Ukrainian steppe, the majority of engagements reported to happen within 200m). Another disadvantage is its high cost, the 6.8mm M7 is expensive at approx $18,000 each.

My understanding modern thinking is the standard rifle is largely for a self defense weapon in case things go wrong while the heavy hitters are the crew served weapons, GPMGs for its sustained rate of fire to pin the enemy down, Carl Gustav M4s, L16 81mm mortars and FO/RTO for the artillery targeting etc.
I think in reality, most direct engagements (as opposed to harassing fire or fire for effect), in any war are within 200 yards, with a good number being within 100 yards.

Re the recoil of 6.8mm, the muzzle brake apparently negates felt recoil to slightly more than 5.56mm.

Personally, I've never found 7.62mm recoil to be an issue anyway, neither did generations of soldiers, or for that matter .303 before that.

In reality it's all irrelevant, as the US is keeping 5.56mm to serve alongside 6.8mm.

The UK appears to be retaining 5.56mm and shifting to AR platforms.


The US Army has placed contract with ceiling of $4.7 billion for up to 250,000 M7s for its frontline soldiers, but will keep the M4 for its supporting soldiers

Would note M7 has no muzzle brake but a suppressor designed for sound and flash reduction to avoid targeting by enemy return fire, though per se suppressor might partially mitigate some recoil, to be noted for training the US Army does not use the high power round with its SS head ~ 80,000 psi, but the less powerful standard brass cased ~60,000 psi 6.8mm round, which think says it all. Recoil, is physics, the long range 6.8mm has four to five times energy/joules vs the 5.56mm, though the higher weight of the M7 compared to the M4 will partially offset the higher recoil. You mention you never found a problem with 7.62 recoil, may I ask did you ever fire the FAL 7.62 in one of the full auto mode variants, understand the Army never adopted variant due the recoil issues.

So as said M7 is a heavier, bulkier weapon with greater felt recoil and soldiers able to carry less ammo (6.8mm 140 rounds in the standard loadout of seven 20 round mags vs in 5.56mm with its 210 rounds in seven 30 roud mags (even in the Ukrainian steppe, the majority of engagements reported to happen within 200m). Another disadvantage is its high cost, the 6.8mm M7 is expensive at approx $18,000 each with its costly sophisticated sight for long range targets.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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NickC wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 12:35
mrclark303 wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 09:18
NickC wrote: 01 Apr 2024, 12:18 The US Army Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program, initiated in 2004 as the the Lightweight Machine Gun and Ammunition program, with the aim of a major reduction in soldiers' carrying loads, thereby allowing new and more equipment, drones etc reducing logistical strain, and increasing soldiers' mobility, lethality and survivability. The program set itself a weight reduction goal over the M249 5.56 mm and its ammo of 35% for the weapon and 40% for the ammunition, looked at both cased telescoped and caseless ammo plus polymer cased ammo.

Fort Benning trials in 2011 concluded that all participating Soldiers immediately noticed the reduced weight and recoil of the prototype light machine gun and most preferred it to the current squad M249.

What don't understand is why In 2017 US Army started the NGSW program with the questionable aim of defeating improved body armour and did a 180 degree U-turn from the LSAT goals and selected heavier assault rifles, light machine guns with its heavier 6.8mm/.277 ammo, so heavier, bulkier weapons with greater felt recoil and soldiers able to carry less ammo or additional kit, e.g. a drone (even in the Ukrainian steppe, the majority of engagements reported to happen within 200m). Another disadvantage is its high cost, the 6.8mm M7 is expensive at approx $18,000 each.

My understanding modern thinking is the standard rifle is largely for a self defense weapon in case things go wrong while the heavy hitters are the crew served weapons, GPMGs for its sustained rate of fire to pin the enemy down, Carl Gustav M4s, L16 81mm mortars and FO/RTO for the artillery targeting etc.
I think in reality, most direct engagements (as opposed to harassing fire or fire for effect), in any war are within 200 yards, with a good number being within 100 yards.

Re the recoil of 6.8mm, the muzzle brake apparently negates felt recoil to slightly more than 5.56mm.

Personally, I've never found 7.62mm recoil to be an issue anyway, neither did generations of soldiers, or for that matter .303 before that.

In reality it's all irrelevant, as the US is keeping 5.56mm to serve alongside 6.8mm.

The UK appears to be retaining 5.56mm and shifting to AR platforms.


The US Army has placed contract with ceiling of $4.7 billion for up to 250,000 M7s for its frontline soldiers, but will keep the M4 for its supporting soldiers

Would note M7 has no muzzle brake but a suppressor designed for sound and flash reduction to avoid targeting by enemy return fire, though per se suppressor might partially mitigate some recoil, to be noted for training the US Army does not use the high power round with its SS head ~ 80,000 psi, but the less powerful standard brass cased ~60,000 psi 6.8mm round, which think says it all. Recoil, is physics, the long range 6.8mm has four to five times energy/joules vs the 5.56mm, though the higher weight of the M7 compared to the M4 will partially offset the higher recoil. You mention you never found a problem with 7.62 recoil, may I ask did you ever fire the FAL 7.62 in one of the full auto mode variants, understand the Army never adopted variant due the recoil issues.

So as said M7 is a heavier, bulkier weapon with greater felt recoil and soldiers able to carry less ammo (6.8mm 140 rounds in the standard loadout of seven 20 round mags vs in 5.56mm with its 210 rounds in seven 30 roud mags (even in the Ukrainian steppe, the majority of engagements reported to happen within 200m). Another disadvantage is its high cost, the 6.8mm M7 is expensive at approx $18,000 each with its costly sophisticated sight for long range targets.

Hi Nick, I'm fortunate to own and shoot L1A1's, as part of a collection and the recoil is totally manageable, only being an issue for very slightly built folks.

That said, you are absolutely right, select fire was removed from the inch pattern Fal, as it simply can't be controlled in automatic fire with any accuracy.

I think the proof of the pudding will come when US troops field the M7 and it's equally important optics, the attainable accuracy will come as as a most unpleasant surprise to their opposition, extremely accurate fire and rounds that will blast straight through most body armour.

I certainly wouldn't want to be downrange of that fireworks show!

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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The USA has always seemed to have a bit of a thing about precision and individual participation. Marksmanship rather than Musketry.
In some areas, such as guided ordnance, it has proven very effective. Others, like the 7.62mm NATO cartridge for rifles like the M14, or the Norden Bombsight, not so much.
The 6.8 seems like the 7.62mm NATO for the 21st century and the M7 could end up being half the rifle the M14 was.

In terms of recoil, I've found 12ga manageable enough, varying between semi-automatics and single-shots (i.e heavy with a mechanical damping action to very light with no recoil mitigation), but less recoil is better for rapid second shots (not on the single barrel, obviously).

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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mrclark303 wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 16:04 I think the proof of the pudding will come when US troops field the M7 and it's equally important optics, the attainable accuracy will come as as a most unpleasant surprise to their opposition, extremely accurate fire and rounds that will blast straight through most body armour.

I certainly wouldn't want to be downrange of that fireworks show!
I suspect the proof of the pudding will come 1-2 years down the line, when they work out just how many (Or how few) M7's they have in a standard squad... I still don't believe it'll be that many.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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Little J wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 18:49
mrclark303 wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 16:04 I think the proof of the pudding will come when US troops field the M7 and it's equally important optics, the attainable accuracy will come as as a most unpleasant surprise to their opposition, extremely accurate fire and rounds that will blast straight through most body armour.

I certainly wouldn't want to be downrange of that fireworks show!
250,000 will be enough to equip the front line teeth of the US Army, certainly enough to re-equip front line infantry.

I suspect the proof of the pudding will come 1-2 years down the line, when they work out just how many (Or how few) M7's they have in a standard squad... I still don't believe it'll be that many.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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If they get all 250,000... Or if they don't cancel the contract...

Remember, they are quite good at changing their minds...
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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Little J wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 11:16 If they get all 250,000... Or if they don't cancel the contract...

Remember, they are quite good at changing their minds...
They are, but they haven't got this far with a replacement rifle programme since the procurement of the original M16 in the 1960's.

I suspect there will be an order for 250,000 more to re-equip the USMC and the National Guard infantry elements in time.

The M4A1 remaining standard issue for everyone else.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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mrclark303 wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 16:04
I think the proof of the pudding will come when US troops field the M7 and it's equally important optics, the attainable accuracy will come as as a most unpleasant surprise to their opposition, extremely accurate fire and rounds that will blast straight through most body armour.

I certainly wouldn't want to be downrange of that fireworks show!

In a fire fight at 100 to 200 metres as in Ukraine most rounds will be fired to pin the enemy down or to stop the enemy advancing, the great advantage of the lightweight M4/5.56 over the heavier M7/6.8 is it comes with 50% more rounds for the same weight with its lightweight 5.56 ammo that gives higher volume of fire that can be put down range and at these short ranges makes the M7 all singing and dancing sight an unnecessary very costly luxury (though great for a sniper rifle), would note even with the best trained soldiers can be subject to reactionary panic fire and if using the M7/6.8 will sooner run out of ammo.

We can also see that advantage of higher volume of fire embraced by Ukraine today where they have reinstated the use of the entrenched WWI Maxims to defend their front line trenches, they use the Russian M1910 Pulemyot Maxima heavy machine gun, which can fire all day due their reliability and water cooled barrels. In WWII the MG-42 with its very high volume rate of fire could arguably classed the best GPMG.
mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 00:39
I suspect the proof of the pudding will come 1-2 years down the line, when they work out just how many (Or how few) M7's they have in a standard squad... I still don't believe it'll be that many.

Have seen US Army numbers for a infantry battalion 565 M4A1 assualt rifles and 54 M249 lightweight machine guns, presuming will replace on a one for one basis with the M7 and M250?
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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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NickC wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 11:47
mrclark303 wrote: 02 Apr 2024, 16:04
I think the proof of the pudding will come when US troops field the M7 and it's equally important optics, the attainable accuracy will come as as a most unpleasant surprise to their opposition, extremely accurate fire and rounds that will blast straight through most body armour.

I certainly wouldn't want to be downrange of that fireworks show!

In a fire fight at 100 to 200 metres as in Ukraine most rounds will be fired to pin the enemy down or to stop the enemy advancing, the great advantage of the lightweight M4/5.56 over the heavier M7/6.8 is it comes with 50% more rounds for the same weight with its lightweight 5.56 ammo that gives higher volume of fire that can be put down range and at these short ranges makes the M7 all singing and dancing sight an unnecessary very costly luxury (though great for a sniper rifle), would note even with the best trained soldiers can be subject to reactionary panic fire and if using the M7/6.8 will sooner run out of ammo.

We can also see that advantage of higher volume of fire embraced by Ukraine today where they have reinstated the use of the entrenched WWI Maxims to defend their front line trenches, they use the Russian M1910 Pulemyot Maxima heavy machine gun, which can fire all day due their reliability and water cooled barrels. In WWII the MG-42 with its very high volume rate of fire could arguably classed the best GPMG.
mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 00:39
I suspect the proof of the pudding will come 1-2 years down the line, when they work out just how many (Or how few) M7's they have in a standard squad... I still don't believe it'll be that many.

Have seen US Army numbers for a infantry battalion 565 M4A1 assualt rifles and 54 M249 lightweight machine guns, presuming will replace on a one for one basis with the M7 and M250?
I would suppose so Nick, certainly a US infantry battalion is about to get a lot more lethal!

I think the UK will stick to 5.55mm and it's future battle rifle will likely be a direct gas impingement AR, provided by KA or perhaps of UK manufacture.

A contact for 150,000 probably announced in the 2025 Defence review.

The M7 and it's optics are beyond our ability to pay for....

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 11:31 They are, but they haven't got this far with a replacement rifle programme since the procurement of the original M16 in the 1960's.
Not strictly true, the SCAR - L did get issued to the Rangers (before getting dumped), it's still got a bit of a lead over the M7

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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Little J wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 13:53
mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 11:31 They are, but they haven't got this far with a replacement rifle programme since the procurement of the original M16 in the 1960's.
Not strictly true, the SCAR - L did get issued to the Rangers (before getting dumped), it's still got a bit of a lead over the M7
True, but not ordered in serious quantity, it was always a limited buy/ issue rifle. The M7 is ordered in quantity for general service and it will only be tranche one.

As said tranche 2 will equip the USMC and reserve infantry elements.

I dare say the USMC will object, but standardised issue of firearms will be necessary across all frontline operators.

I'm sure they will grump about giving up their 416's.

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Re: Section Infantry Weapons

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True Velocity (purchased Lone Star Future Weapons Nov '21 for $84M and who partnered with GD-OTS developing the LMMG) is suing Sig Sauer for " brazenly and wrongfully misappropriated Plaintiff’s trade secrets to obtain an unfair competitive advantage.”

As understand at the heart of this is the SRIA tech used with the very high powered 6.8mm and .338 rounds used to mitigate the recoil in the M250 and the Sig SLMAG machine guns with its “revolutionary mitigation system called Short Recoil Impulse Averaging (SRIA),” according to the complaint. “Historically, mitigating recoil forces of machine guns require either adding mass to a weapon systems or length to a receiver,” the document explains. “The SRIA technology advanced by GD-OTS and Plaintiff reduces recoil without increasing the weapon’s mass or receiver length.”

No explanation of the design of SRIA and how it achieves low recoil.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2024/0 ... ign=tw_dfn

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