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I concur with the opinion that the M16 is generally impractical when fired automatic. It is useful perhaps close up, but still a handful. It is also extremely wasteful - most people who have not fired a subgun or automatic rifle have no idea just how fast one will empty a 30-rd mag. Troopers without a continuous resupply are going to find themselves in trouble. And ammo, even 5.56 is *heavy* to lug around in quantity.

Even just several hundred rounds of 5.56 in continuous sustained fire will destroy a barrel in accuracy terms in short order. Suppressive fire ought to be left to MG's.

From accounts I have read of the Korean War, it bogged down into trench warfare stuff in many places. An M1 Garand wouldn't have been as handy as an M2 in such circumstances, and the commies did have more than a few of the WW2 Russian PPSH subguns. The Russian 7.62x25 cartidge wouldn't have had any more "stopping power" than the .30 Carbine round.

I have read much material around the M1 and M2 Carbines and the .30 Carbine catridge - including those who feel it is a "poor stopper", and those who say it is just fine.
A friend of mine who was a South Vietnamese Special Forces Officer tells me it was his weapon of choice over all the others in that fracas; and he had the pick of anything he wanted.

I have a hard time believing that the .30 Carbine won't punch holes in most any type of heavy clothing, as it will penetrate better than just about any other pistol cartridge.

This brings to mind the threads on ammo choices for pistols - if a .30 carbine from an M1/M2 won't penetrate heavy clothing, people that are carrying 1911's in areas that have a winter season better think again. This is a reason though that I believe a 9mm is a better choice than a .45 in certain circumstances; especially when loaded with NATO-spec ball.

On reliabilty - I will confess I have never owned an M1 Carbine (I may do something about that). I have owned a Garand, which has a similar design. Any semi-auto (and most others too) firearm that is lubed with the wrong stuff in very low temperatures or otherwise gets iced up, is likely to jam or seize. I suspect that this was/is a matter of proper cleaning and maintenance rather than design. The M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine are so similar in design that what will foul up one is very likely to do the same to the other.
 

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JRJ,

Indeed, heavy clothing clothing will affect a bullet's penetrating abilities, and hence my reference to those who would rely on a 1911 (in .45) in a cold climate. That if a .30 carbine, fired from a carbine, will not make it through particular heavy clothing a .45 pistol is not going to cut it either. Reduced ammo efficiency in low-temps would only amplify the disparity between the .30 carbine and the .45 pistol.

Army SOP for Garands (I have one of the Army Field Manuals *somewhere*), and I would presume the carbines, in very cold weather is *no lube* - dry -unless special low-temp lube was available.

In winter the ground might freeze to a certain depth, especially at higher elevations. The particular battle cited in the book aside; the communist forces were very well dug-in in places throughout the war, with extensive trenches and bunkers. They were then occupied by our guys after being taken, sometimes retaken by the North Koreans and later the Chicoms and so on.

Talking of books, "A Rifleman Went to War", by Herbert W. McBride (highly recommended by Col. "Jeff" Cooper -which is why I initially aquired it). Excellent work on many practical facets of small arms in warfare and of general practical merit as well.

Kevan,

The military certainly has a history of being supplied with gear more influenced by factors such as cost, contractual/political considerations than by practicality or effectiveness. That OICW ("Objective Individual Combat Weapon") springs to mind again - I have to wonder just what "Objective" they had in mind with that one.
 

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Kevan,

We are certainly getting fleeced on that one. More importantly, I think the troopers that are being saddled with it are not going to be very happy in the long run.

GI-45,

Naturally, anything a .30 Carbine won't penetrate is going to frustrate a 9mm. But a 9mm definately has an edge in this regard over a .45. I don't berate the .45 as a good, useful combat round; but in regard to penetration of clothing - and stuffing, wood, or any other tactical barrier NATO-spec 9mm ball has a significant edge. As will the 7.62x25 Tokarev at say 1500-1600 fps penetrate such material better than a 9mm.

On that line, referring to the initial post, first paragraph as far as "firepower"; I am led to believe the Chicoms had plenty of those Russian PPSh-41 subguns in 7.62x25 - with the 71-round Suomi-type drums. Much heavier than, and not as "handy" maybe as an M2, but apparently they used them to good effect.

[This message has been edited by LAK (edited 08-25-2001).]
 

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And on the subject of the M1 Carbine - Capt. C. Shore in his book "With British Snipers to the Reich" mentions the Carbine in several places, including his experiences with it, and other hunting (!) in occupied Germany after the war. As an aside, this is another book that has broad merit on the subject of small arms.

An interesting point in the first chapter he mentions is the answers he received from troopers regarding the "stress factor" and combat. He writes that the greatest fear/stress came with sniper/aimed rifle fire, then mortars, then artillery shells, then machinegun fire - in that order.
 

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Looking at the figures from S.E. Asia for the number of rounds fired per casualty, it runs as high as 200,000.

If you examine the spec-sheets for the OICW, they talk of "500% increase" in hit probability. Even assuming the addition of that 20mm apendage helps (and I doubt it will); given a previous hit ratio of one out of every 200,000, a 500% increase in hits is not going to amount to much.

Given the fact that many can not even manage a single trigger and safety - I have to wonder what a single trigger and selector, combining a rifle and a 20mm "cannon", with all the electric gizmos, are going to produce in the hands of the "New Army".

And batteries?
 

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I don't think hitting a target on a range is really that difficult using either - except maybe for women, and frail men. The latter two really ought to be in another trade anyway.

As for weight of ammo; with the lack of emphasis today on marksmanship and it's tactical incorporation, the average "combat load" is going to vanish very early in a fight. 5.56 or 7.62, regardless, there better be a motor transport resupply right behind you all the way to the bitter end.

Myself, I would rather have 100 rds of 7.62 and a suitable rifle than 200 rds of 5.56. The former is more effective against tactical barriers, and it will buck the wind better as well.

As for the effectiveness of those 20mm shells; it is worth noting that it is recorded as far back as the Boer war, then in two world wars, Korea, and Vietnam (and the rest) that even a thorough pounding with the heaviest artillery often will not have a significant effect on a well-dug enemy. Even less so in certain types of terrain. Some semi-exposed easily marked individual targets might be dealt with under ideal conditions.

Whichs leads to one of the achilles heels (and I think it has several) of the OICW. The "rangefinder". Laser rangfinders require a target with a certain level of reflection. A target hidden amongst what amounts to a visible expanse of foliage, unless it is in view itself (or there are other reflective features to mark it with), is not going to avail an accurate fix. Likewise over any expanse of forest, where your target might be located in depth, or very rocky terrain with no particular features conveniently at the target location. There are plenty of other factors that make the use of such gadgets impractical under many circumstances - like heavy rain or fog. And any optical sight is going to be affected in use with just water, ice, dirt, mud, dust on the outer lens surfaces. The specs say a 6X scope. I would be interested to know what field of view it renders at say 25, 50, 100, 200 and 300 yards.

And I hope they have considered light reflection. Any unshaded (any not *deeply* shaded) optical device with an objective lens will reflect light. There are some anti-reflection devices (like KillFlash), but they are add-ons, and cut the amount of usable light entering a scope. Without them, looking through a scope can be extremely risky business. Even if the sun is behind; take the head away from behind the scope, and (unless OICW has a shuttered eyepiece) a telltale signature visible for a long way will be produced.

I seriously doubt that the gadget factor will be enhanced in extreme heat or cold. Even the best batteries won't last in extreme cold. Often they are not even reliable under ideal conditions.
 
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