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Wounded Ronin
3/12/2008 5:21pm,
After many years of tinkeing with them in video games, today I went to a range and rented some automatic weapons and used them. I operated a Thompson M1A1, a M2 carbine, and a HK G3.

My thoughts:

Thompson M1A1:

The Thompson M1A1 has sights that are pretty imprecise compared to what I'm used to, i.e. modern factory default pistol sights. The rear sight was a huge ring and it seems like it was designed just for quick sight pictures using the front sights. What's more is that it recoiled quite a lot. The range staff member advised me to aim low and even while I had my sights pointed at the bottom of my target paper the actual bullet holes climbed upwards all over the paper. And that's just with me squeezing off bursts of 2-4 rounds and leaning forward to compensate for recoil. I should point out that I'm not a tiny guy; I weight between 190 and 200 pounds, I'm 5'11", and I've been hitting the gym every other day on average.

This is actually pretty different than the impression I'd gained from playing lots of video games. In the first place, I can't imagine anything useful coming from spraying in full auto with the M1A1 for anything more than a 2-4 round burst. I feel that the barrel would just get too off target and you'd end up spraying at everything and nothing in particular at the same time. Secondly, the sights look pretty useless for anything besides for close range shooting. Without tight rear sights to help me align the weapon, I don't feel like I'd be able to hit the black on a 50 foot competition target like I'm able to do with a contemporary pistol with factory default sights if I aim carefully and take like 5+ seconds per shot. In other words, if I were trying to shoot very accurately at a longer distance at this time I'd feel more comfortable with a pistol on account of the sights than I would with the M1A1 even with its longer barrel.



M2 Carbine:

Initially I'd really wanted to try a M1 carbine for a long time so as to get my Vietnam groove on, but the M2 available for rental had full auto fire so I guess that's just a bit of extra value to my shooting experience. The M2 was a lot easier to control than the M1A1 and the sights were better too. I still went all over the paper, though, but to a lesser extent than with the M1A1, and of course the .30 carbine cartridges have smaller bullets than .45 ACP cartridges.

So, basically, even though on the whole written history usually is dealing with how people didn't like carbines in .30, my hunch is that I'd personally feel more capable of hitting something far away with it than I would if I had a M1A1.



HKG3:

My first assault rifle in 7.62 NATO! I fired the first few rounds in semi automatic mode just to get the full experience (that reminded me of one time years ago when I got to fire a M1 Garand in terms of felt recoil), and switched to full auto later. My comment was, "Holy moly!" The recoil was a lot worse than the M1A1. It was just insane trying to control it in burst mode. I can now understand why when you read history and war memoirs full auto with the M14 is so maligned. At least from a standing position I can't imagine how full auto in 7.62 can stay remotely on target after the first 3 rounds or so.

Of course, being a HK product this was probably the "best" weapon I handled today. It was the most comfortable to handle, the most erogonomic, had the best sights, and was probably the most accurate.

I'm actually really happy that I finally was able to experience the infamous 7.62-NATO-full-auto-while-standing. :)

bushi_no_ki
3/12/2008 11:09pm,
WR, you haven't experienced **** until you've fired a 240B. Although, firing a fully auto 7.62 is a lot of fun, either way. Carrying one is a bitch though.

Wounded Ronin
3/12/2008 11:13pm,
Well, the best I can do at the place I went to would be a 1919 Browning rechambered in 7.62 NATO. Not sure how that'd stack up against the 240.

bushi_no_ki
3/13/2008 5:42pm,
Well, with a sustained rate of 200 rounds per minute, it's hard to beat the 240 for firing fun.

Colby
3/14/2008 8:34am,
Oh man, I really miss shooting stuff. I agree with Bushi, carrying anything that is chambered for 7.62 is a bitch. Really, there is way to to comfortably carry a 60. SAW's are a little better (being 5.56 and a tad lighter), but still unweildy.

The funnest thing I think I ever shot was a LAW. It was like being in the A Team for a bright, shiny moment in time. I got to shoot a few Dragon rounds, and they are also pretty fun, but they'll burn off all your arm hair. The SMAW is like a step up from an AT4 (I think...because you can resue them), plus it has a spotting rifle (9mm tracer crimped to a 7.62). The practice rounds are aluminum so when they hit the target you can see that white, shimmering impact shockwave....sooooo cool.

Almost nothing beats playing with a MK-19 though IMO. I still have fond memories of playing with one. Crack Crack Crack.........Boom Boom Boom.

Rock Ape
3/14/2008 9:11am,
After many years of tinkeing with them in video games, today I went to a range and rented some automatic weapons and used them. I operated a Thompson M1A1, a M2 carbine, and a HK G3.Kewl, Now go to your nearest Army Careers Office and sign up !

See you in the sandbox very soon !

Wounded Ronin
3/14/2008 11:18am,
Kewl, Now go to your nearest Army Careers Office and sign up !

See you in the sandbox very soon !

But...but...they said I'd go to South Korea! :merror: :lame: :eusa_doh: :icon_sad: :ninjadanc

Rock Ape
3/14/2008 11:23am,
If you get in real quick, you'll start your training for the next big push - IRAN !

Wounded Ronin
3/14/2008 11:27am,
That way I'd be away from the US when the nukes hit.

Lord Skeletor
3/15/2008 1:45pm,
Well, with a sustained rate of 200 rounds per minute, it's hard to beat the 240 for firing fun.

I thought that the M240 had a fire rate of like 700-900 rpm?

attakmint
3/15/2008 8:19pm,
i think sustained means after you factor in changing belts and barrels, etc.

bushi_no_ki
3/16/2008 4:21am,
Skeletor, 800 rpm is the firing rate for cyclic, meaning you'd melt the barrel for the fun of it. At 5-9 round bursts it's 200 per minute.

Cassius
3/16/2008 2:38pm,
Ironically, you can't get a security clearance via the military if you've been in the Peace Corps.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: The 240B is more fun to shoot than anything else. MK-19 is a close second.

Don Gwinn
3/16/2008 5:23pm,
This is actually pretty different than the impression I'd gained from playing lots of video games.

Hee hee.

Wounded Ronin
3/16/2008 11:13pm,
Ironically, you can't get a security clearance via the military if you've been in the Peace Corps.

You've piqued my curiosity. What exactly does this mean, and why did they decide this?

Lord Skeletor
3/17/2008 12:20am,
Skeletor, 800 rpm is the firing rate for cyclic, meaning you'd melt the barrel for the fun of it. At 5-9 round bursts it's 200 per minute.

Well...when you talk about shooting automatic guns and the "fire rate" is mentioned; most people think of "cyclic rate" or rounds per minute. As for burning out the barrel....those weapons have "quick change" barrels, don't they? Of course me...being the ammo whore that I am; the actual "sustained" rate of fire would be 800rpm, because I'd burn the hell out of the belt/box/magazine that they gave me. Shooting SAWs is just plain fun! :new_snipe