17 Responses to Why Machine Guns Are Less Lethal Than Semis. In Theory

  1. This guy had no control over his weapon. Machine guns are cool, but very difficult to handle accurately. A good marksperson would have killed this guy with his first shot.

  2. Short controlled bursts are the way to go with full-auto weapons.
    They look like bullet hoses on TV and the movies, but they’re anything but
    that.

  3. After working on an article with a rifle manufacturer out of VA, I mentioned to a friend that I shot full auto ARs in 5.56, 6.8 and .449. He asked me how I was able to control the .449. I replied “I told you that I shot it, I didn’t say that I controlled it.”

    Full auto pistols are pretty much nuts. 5.56 is not easy to control. Anything larger is near impossible.

    • I fired a lot of guns at the Knob Creek Machinegunshoot. I found the M-16 variants very controllable. The AK-47, not too bad.
      The FN-FAL and M-14 were beastly, much more difficult and less pleasant to fire full auto.

    • 5.56 is easy to control in full auto if you keep it to 2 or 3 shot bursts. Any full auto weapon is easy to control if you use it properly just like a car or any other tool. Full auto fire is most effective as a deterrent to enemy movement. Aimed semi auto fire is more effective at hitting individual targets. It’s an apples and oranges comparison

  4. Start at the knees and let the muzzle climb. Deadly. That’s the technique taught to the Werhmacht, and they were the best machine-gunners the world had ever known.

  5. The way it was explained to me in the service:

    Full auto – Put a lot of lead down range and hope some idiot runs into it.

    Semi-Auto – Kill the S.O.B. who ambushed you when he crawls out from behind that bush

      • Good point. A lot of people don’t understand why the U.S. Army is messing around with full-auto M4’s spitting out NATO rounds instead of a “proper” M14 shooting a genuine man-stopping 7.62 round (designed for hunting mid to large game). It’s all about suppressing fire: get the enemy to get their head down so you can out-maneuver them. The M4 increased the amount of lead a soldier could carry to fling downrange dramatically. (The mags sucked because they were designed to be pre-loaded with ammo and then discarded.)

  6. Of note is the fact that that is a converted Glock 20, not the standard 18. I wouldn’t want to be hanging onto a FA converted 10mm Glock either.

  7. My understanding is that the guards for the Chinese warlords, circa 1930, would hold their fully automatic broomhandles sideways while firing, gangsta style before it was cool. That way the recoil would cause the pistol to sweep across the room instead of firing the full load up in the ceiling. Still no control, but at least most of the bullets would be at people level and not angel level.

  8. Why do cops “need” this sort of weapon? Why do they buy fully auto Glocks?

    Why Machine Guns Are Less Lethal Than Semis. In Theory

    “Legal” BS aside, that’s a fully automatic pistol, not a machinegun. It ain’t even a machinepistol.

  9. Never had the slightest control issues with a Thomson, Sten or Mr. Stoner’s products. But I quite understand how one could almost lose control of and automatic pistol.

  10. Read an article in a gun mag about 25 years ago, by an Army SFC who did “in-country” refresher firearms training while he was stationed in Vietnam. He took a group of 60 soldiers who had been in Nam for 6 months, put a standard silhouette target at 50 yards, gave each one a 20-round magazine, and told 59 of them to shoot it any way they wanted. At the same time, another Sgt. took the acknowledged “worst shot in the company” aside for 5 minutes of basic marksmanship training.

    The 59 soldiers walked up to the line, put their M-16s on full auto, and sprayed away. (Used to take about 1.5 sec to empty a 20-rounder, if I recall.) 59 guys, 20 shots each at 50 yards = a TOTAL of 4 holes in the target. 1180 rounds, 4 hits.

    The guy who was the “worst shot” was then told to get into a prone position, and fire 20 rounds on semi-auto at the same target. He got 19 hits out of 20.

    Yeah, that’s your choice – keep their heads down or hit them.

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