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

#22
In NI four mags of 20 rounds seems reasonable for counter insurgency but for anything more spicy it seems criminally negligent to send men into battle with 80 rounds...
It would depend where you were in NI. In Belfast, one magazine with 20 rounds was the usual scale.

Hit XMG and the rest of South Armagh and rifleman commonly carried four magazines in each pouch and several bandoliers were scattered around the section. GPMG gunners stuffed their pouches with link as well as having 50 rounds carried by each other body in the section.

Just for the ally look, some gunners also wore link bandoliers but allyness apart, it would have come in handy in a serious contact.

It was probably seeing the amount of ammunition we carried that made them usually stick to car and culvert bombing. :)
 
#23
It would depend where you were in NI. In Belfast, one magazine with 20 rounds was the usual scale.

Hit XMG and the rest of South Armagh and rifleman commonly carried four magazines in each pouch and several bandoliers were scattered around the section. GPMG gunners stuffed their pouches with link as well as having 50 rounds carried by each other body in the section.

Just for the ally look, some gunners also wore link bandoliers but allyness apart, it would have come in handy in a serious contact.

It was probably seeing the amount of ammunition we carried that made them usually stick to car and culvert bombing. :)
Toss in the M79 and all was hunky dory!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#24
It would depend where you were in NI. In Belfast, one magazine with 20 rounds was the usual scale.

Hit XMG and the rest of South Armagh and rifleman commonly carried four magazines in each pouch and several bandoliers were scattered around the section. GPMG gunners stuffed their pouches with link as well as having 50 rounds carried by each other body in the section.

Just for the ally look, some gunners also wore link bandoliers but allyness apart, it would have come in handy in a serious contact.

It was probably seeing the amount of ammunition we carried that made them usually stick to car and culvert bombing. :)
In West Tyrone and Fermanagh we carried 2*20 round mags.
 
#26
When one remembers the prospective war situation if the balloon had gone up on the inner German border. Or what those poor bastards in West Berlin would've been in for.

It's sobering to think British soldiers would've gone against the Warsaw Pact with 100 rifle rounds at the ready.
From memory it was four mags of 20 and a bandolier of 50 as the ‘issued scales’. It’s probably in a PAM somewhere from the 70’s/80’s.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#29
Oh and there was 7.62mm 1B1T link for the coax. Most I ever carried was 20*200.
 
#30
The M79 was introduced to us halfway through the tour when we were in XMG in 74/75.

We were rather pleased to have them.
Didn't like the rules of engagement written in with them, but hey nice to have in an awkward situation.
Never got the opportunity to use them over there, but in Brunei we did a couple of CQB exercises using the M203 which finished with an HE round into a tree house - great fun and quite a satisfying boom!
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#31
I seem to recall reading at some point that the original requirement for the SA80- rifle was an expectation it would fire up to 120 rounds only ina 24 hour period? Probably based on NI levels of contact?
Comparisons with WW2 weapons probably not the best though as these were generally bolt action rifles, not magazine fed.
 
#32
Telic 3 we carried 4 magazines of 28 rounds that were counted round for round every week and a ball ache. Later Telics they eventually realised it was mental and most guys started carrying 10-12 magazines. That was for us anyway, seemed to be every man for himself.
I had six mags in Iraq,the extra sixty rounds were off the books.
I always carried every mag out on the ground,same as in NI and Boz.Some lads,though,carried only one mag,especially in NI.
When one remembers the prospective war situation if the balloon had gone up on the inner German border. Or what those poor bastards in West Berlin would've been in for.

It's sobering to think British soldiers would've gone against the Warsaw Pact with 100 rifle rounds at the ready.
An old mate of mine was in Berlin,he was under no illusions about his very short life expectancy.
When the FFL jumped into Kolwezi in 1978,each rifle armed man had FOUR,TEN round mags.Only FORTY rounds.If you look at photos you will see a lot of them carrying AK's.
 
#33
.....yep, it's universal. It's great to be told bomb up, take what you want but there is only so much that you can carry and as in the Falklands and other conflicts, kit is dumped to allow for more rounds....and the rounds get heavier the longer you carry them :oops:
 
#34
I seem to recall reading at some point that the original requirement for the SA80- rifle was an expectation it would fire up to 120 rounds only ina 24 hour period? Probably based on NI levels of contact?
Comparisons with WW2 weapons probably not the best though as these were generally bolt action rifles, not magazine fed.
Yes, but if you're looking at deliberate, aimed fire is the rate of fire going to be any much different between a weapon capable of automatic, semi-automatic or bolt-action operation?
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#35
Yes, but if you're looking at deliberate, aimed fire is the rate of fire going to be any much different between a weapon capable of automatic, semi-automatic or bolt-action operation?
Not wrong, but i dont think its the same when one of the weapons in the test is not capable of much more than deliberate aimed fire.
 
#37
From memory it was four mags of 20 and a bandolier of 50 as the ‘issued scales’. It’s probably in a PAM somewhere from the 70’s/80’s.
Your memory is correct!
 
#38
:eek: 80 rounds seems rather... stingy. Please tell me that the British army handed out more mags for active operations.
We didn't expect to be outnumbered by more than 79 to 1 so 80 rounds was plenty.

My unit (would have) carried 5 magazines of 18 rounds (all that would fit in the ammo pouches as your cleaning kit was in the right-hand one), 100 rounds in cartons and 50 rounds in link for the GPMG. Plus a few loose tracers.

I suspect that the Soviet troops would have been stepping over bodies with much of their ammo allocation intact given that they had APCs while we resorted to DMS.
 
#39
ISTR 5 magazines (1 on the rifle 4 in the pouch), a minimum of 120 rounds in a bandolier.
2 x 36 grenades + 1 WP.
Radfan veterans will recall.
 
#40
It may seem like it, but German infantry during WW2 carried 90 for their Kar98k, which fired a similar sized round. Likewise the British with their .303s. It was all to do with the optimum weight for the soldier to carry and fight.

Extra ammo could be carried in bandoliers and pouches, for ‘bombing up’ if required. Also prior to the L85, we had no automatic capability on the weapon, so it was single shots all the way.
Wrong on both counts.

WW2 German infantry had pouches for 60 rounds. Bandoliers were not common and are mostly seen with Fallschirmjäger and other "speshul" types.

British infantry riflemen scales varied a bit during the war, but you can basically divide it up into early and late:

Early: 50 rds bandolier for the rifle, 2 BREN mags of 30 (at least one early pam had 3 BREN mags for some bods in the section, but the early war "platoon attack" training film has everyone with 2 aside from the section 1IC cos of his Thompson).

Late: 50 rds bandolier for the rifle. 2 BREN mags of 28, and another 50 rd bandolier for refilling BREN mags. In an emergency, BREN mags were also to be refilled from the 50 rds intended for the rifle.
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top