Concerning rifle magazines and ammunition issued to Cold War era British Forces.

Afghanistan experience ended that debate, I believe, with weight of fire coming a distant second.
And we'll see how long that lesson lasts in the face of urban and jungle combat against disciplined foes like the VC and NVA at ranges under 100m where CAS and indirect fires are too risky. I imagine the weight of fire argument will quickly come back into its own. Hence the reason MoD kept thousands of Armalites on hand while that rifle was the official issue.
Once (again) in Afghanistan MoD procured (another) Armalite pattern rifle, this time in 7.62mm NATO to pick up the slack in the 5.56mm L85A2. The Soviets/Russians did the same thing by issuing SVD's to the squad. Both rounds have their place and compliment each other's strengths
 
It varied, according to the assessed threat.

On early tours, post-MOTORMAN, ammo consumption could be very high: like 30 contacts in a 3hour foot patrol of New Lodge (many of them single shots or 'cowboys') as a norm, but I know that A Coy 2RRF once mounted a Company sized operation against a school in West Belfast that was occupied by PIRA, in the course of which they got through two complete resupplies of 7.62mm, the unit of measure being 1 resupp = 80 rounds per man, which I think was the SOP 'out the gate' carry at that time.

In Andytown, early 1975, we carried 20rds per man, on the weapon, made safe. 4 years later, anywhere in the RUC Springfield Road AO, I think it was 40rounds, including the mag on the weapon, which was always made ready before leaving the patrol base. In S Armagh, 1991, armed with SA80, all our pouches were filled with fully charged mags, and all weapons were cocked - that was SOP.
I think our CO's 'assessed threat' was the possibility that someone shoots the wrong person, thereby ruining his ambitions of red tabs on his collar.
I think the general staff knew him for the brown nosing knob-end he was as he never made it, to my knowledge.
 
Presumably the "loadsa inaccurate bullets" tendency believe that at least some are bound to be on target & at the right time to be effective. Sufficient in fact to be more effective than having trained riflemen use far less shots (& thus need less of a logistical burden) in taking out the same target.

They're ******* idiots & on multiple levels, including morale; Who wants to go into a fire-fight knowing you've only fired a couple of hundred rounds in the past 6 months?
Heck; I go through ten times that twice a year & I'm never going to be in that kind of situation.
Failing to make soldiers into riflemen is stupid, short sighted & gets them killed.
Fair point, but it was the GPMG as much as the SLR that saved 6RAR at Long Tan.
 
So, was it pointed sticks or sharpened mangoes, for you lot?
I can neither confirm, nor deny, that the smart squaddie had a buckshee mags worth of rounds snaffled on the ranges during APWT and made a false "No rockets in me pockets..." declaration.
Illegal, I know, but better to be tried by twelve than be carried by eight, etc etc.
As it happens, aside from the odd brick and bottle, nothing harmful came my way, not even a guava half.
 
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I can neither confirm, nor deny, that the smart squaddie had a buckshee mags worth of rounds snaffled on the ranges during APWT and made a false "No rockets in me pockets..." declaration.
Illegal, I know, but better to be tried by twelve than be carried by eight, etc etc.
As it happened, aside from the odd brick and bottle, nothing deadly came my way, not even a guava half.
I'm glad I asked :)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Nig! I joined in 71 and never saw one, however that changed around 4 or 5 years ago when I bought one on egun and it was still in its original factory packing date 1958! The f**king things never saw light of day. Typical stackers must have kept them in a depot somewhere and not issued them in case somebody needed them.
Having said that I must say that I no longer use it, as it is a finger slicer disguised as a mag loader, I use a plassy loader that takes 10 rd stripper clips, much faster and no bleeding fingers.
Puffter, I was issued one for a Bn field firing at Sennelager.Ammo was issued in bandoliers which the cqms had broken down by a fatigue party so I then spent an hour putting back together. I had two badoliers for a night shoot which I didnt use!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Fairy stories, I think.

No Brits ever served in Vietnam
Australia sent troops, who - as far as I know - carried M16s, 5.56mm, not 7.62.

Unless they had SLR in their early days.
The Aussies had the heavy barreled L2 instead of the GPMG and took the thirty round straight mags, well at least the SAS did
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Fair point, but it was the GPMG as much as the SLR that saved 6RAR at Long Tan.
They had the M60, kiwi arty was as responsible, its a complex story
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I can neither confirm, nor deny, that the smart squaddie had a buckshee mags worth of rounds snaffled on the ranges during APWT and made a false "No rockets in me pockets..." declaration.
Illegal, I know, but better to be tried by twelve than be carried by eight, etc etc.
As it happens, aside from the odd brick and bottle, nothing harmful came my way, not even a guava half.
Stop me if I've told this before. Day Zero in Omagh, off the bus from the ferry about an hour, changed into combats, introduced to RSM, CO and OC in that order. Issued a rifle, mags, 40 rounds, webbing, bedding. Removing a very old, seemingly never been issued before SLR from deep preservation. Not noticing the jealous looks from the troop, who've had their rifles well over a year.

"Here," says Frankie, aka Jock, who'd transferred in from the Greys when they amalgamated with the Carabiniers. We had a good few. "You'll need one of these, first round in the magazine you'll be loading first." Hands me a 7.62 round with a yellow tip.

"What does this do?"

"It's an incendiary. First round down in a firefight is the most important. Make it count."

"Isn't there something about it in the Geneva Convention? "

"This doesn't come under rules for warfare. It's Internal Security. Meh."

" Oh okay."

Fast forward to End Of Tour and handing rounds back. "Frankie, what about the incendiary rounds?"

"The what?!?"

"The yellow-tipped round you said to use first."

"What are you blethering aboot? Oh THAT yellow-tipped round. GIve." Holds out hand. Takes incendiary round. Scrapes off paint. " Humbrol. Did you ken they've taken 'gullible ' oot the dictionary?"
 
They had the M60, kiwi arty was as responsible, its a complex story
Happy to be corrected, but it is still a belt fed medium machine gun, and a section weapon.

I read several accounts of Long Tan, (even borrowed the helicopter ammo replen for a novel) and exchanged emails with a guy who was there, although we talked about how he had been refused membership of the Returned & Services League of Australia as Vietnam was 'not a proper war, just baby killing', in their view.
 
You'll find that the Aussies and Kiwis useda mix of weapons - the SAS chaps had quite an eclectic selection judging by the photos.

In the ordinary infantry companies they used SLRs, SMGs, M-60s and M-79s. I don't recall anything about the SMG being used in rifle companies in the Lex McAuley books.
The M16 replaced the Owen SMG in Australian rifle coys in Vietnam around 1966. Some other soldiers who had previously been scaled for SLRs were also issued M16s but the SLR remained the most common rifle.

Edited to add- some links of interest

https://www.army.gov.au/sites/g/fil...ion_lessons_from_vietnam_1965-71_0.pdf#page90

As you can see in the document above , 265 M16s were issued per infantry battalion, a full-strength battalion then totaling 792 all ranks .

https://www.army.gov.au/sites/g/files/net1846/f/aaj_208_sep_1966.pdf

The Royal Australian Regiment in Viet Nam

Weapons and hardware used by the 'Tiger Battalion' Soldier during the Vietnam War
 
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They had the M60, kiwi arty was as responsible, its a complex story
Yes the Australians only replaced the M60 with the MAG in the late '80s as far as I know .

The FOO party with D Coy 6 RAR were indeed Kiwis but besides the RNZA 105mm battery firing in support of D Coy there were two Aussie 105 batteries , American 155s, USAF aircraft ( can't remember if they were F-4s or F-100s) dropping napalm and HE...
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
Ammo Expenditure
In the Ardoyne, some nights it was quite like being in the butts, we were in Fineston? school. The company Sergeant major put in a report after a street gun battle which he was involved in, The Brigadier showed interest in what was written and wished to see the CSM on an interview to be held at Bn HQ in Flax St Mill. It was assumed that far too much ammo had been expended. I went in with the CSM to face an 'icy' looking brigadier. He said nothing for a few moments then started to quietly bollock the CSM. Both became quietly irate, and then the CSM quite lost it, he was visibly shaking but trying to retain respect and raising his voice to a shout he said "Sir you weren't bloody there!!" A long silence followed while the brigadier thought it out, then he said quietly. " Your'e quite right Sarn't major, I wasn't... now fall out, but take it easy on the ammo."
 
Ammo Expenditure
In the Ardoyne, some nights it was quite like being in the butts, we were in Fineston? school. The company Sergeant major put in a report after a street gun battle which he was involved in, The Brigadier showed interest in what was written and wished to see the CSM on an interview to be held at Bn HQ in Flax St Mill. It was assumed that far too much ammo had been expended. I went in with the CSM to face an 'icy' looking brigadier. He said nothing for a few moments then started to quietly bollock the CSM. Both became quietly irate, and then the CSM quite lost it, he was visibly shaking but trying to retain respect and raising his voice to a shout he said "Sir you weren't bloody there!!" A long silence followed while the brigadier thought it out, then he said quietly. " Your'e quite right Sarn't major, I wasn't... now fall out, but take it easy on the ammo."

I always go on about the Rhodesian war but on one of the first contacts that was “ sorted” out by a helicopter gunner with a Mag.

He fired something like 50 rounds to take out the terr.

Post Op those in command waffled on about a waste of ammunition.
 
Posted this on the Search for an ally star...

Normal load was 4 20rd mags for the FN .

On ops it was a bit different.....


For the New Farm Chimoio raid , Op Dingo one SAS troop OC , Capt. Rob MacKenzie had his RPD gunners jump with 1500 round each and those with FNs have 600. As well as associated grenades, flares, radios, etc.
 
Ammo Expenditure
In the Ardoyne, some nights it was quite like being in the butts, we were in Fineston? school. The company Sergeant major put in a report after a street gun battle which he was involved in, The Brigadier showed interest in what was written and wished to see the CSM on an interview to be held at Bn HQ in Flax St Mill. It was assumed that far too much ammo had been expended. I went in with the CSM to face an 'icy' looking brigadier. He said nothing for a few moments then started to quietly bollock the CSM. Both became quietly irate, and then the CSM quite lost it, he was visibly shaking but trying to retain respect and raising his voice to a shout he said "Sir you weren't bloody there!!" A long silence followed while the brigadier thought it out, then he said quietly. " Your'e quite right Sarn't major, I wasn't... now fall out, but take it easy on the ammo."
At this point I'm reminded of a contact report that I saw when watchkeeping at 39 Bde, circa 1980. We musta been info addressee, 'cos it was 2(?) Para, in 3(?) Bde, and related to sangar sentries at one of the wriggly tin operating bases, mebbe in Co. Fermanagh, adjacent to a lake.

It went along the lines of:
0400 hrs

Contact

Male person [FNU SNU ANK] observed in vicinity of ****** with weapon

Engaged by sentries

1,000 rounds fired

No hits claimed

No fire returned

FUNTR.

Comment: Probable duck hunter.
 
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overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
It's probably the same Para Base where a notice on the gate stated: Patrols returning in darkness are to expose themselves to the Sanger Sentry: You can guess the rest"
 

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