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Could the GPMG be improved?

gafkiwi

War Hero
I’ve often wondered why there haven’t been different barrels for light and SF role guns, or even light role guns having a light barrel for patrolling and a backup (or two) for heavier use.

Unless of course there are and I’ve never noticed.
I guess the practicality of it would come into it play. Also having to manage different barrel types etc could have issues. And you just know that gunners are going to take the light barrels when they should have heavies. Having the one barrel type keeps it simple and means they should get reasonably even use rather than one lot getting a licking and the rest bugger all. Carrying 1 + 3 spares for SF role I think is fine, and in the light role I'd prefer a slightly heavier standard barrel to any pro's a lightweight would offer. The different mods shown above are very interesting though and would like to see how the perform. I struggle to understand the angle the US Army took with the M-240(L7/MAG), the go to the effort of adding a F/Spt section to light platoons with M-240's and lightweight tripods only to then have short barrels on some them.

We do it slightly differently (NZ Army), We binned our 5.56 C9's (FN Minimi with std barrel) for the 7.62 version as our section or fireteam LMG/LSW. Light, handy and is pretty much on par with the L7/MAG up to 600m. We still carry the MAG-58 when we need the extra range or additional firepower.
 
Looks like the project team have had a look on here, some 25 years after the IWS was withdrawn they've finally brought out a mod to get rid of the soppy mounting bracket for it. Give it another 25 years and they might bring out another one to get rid of the wanky bipod latch as well.......
 
I guess the practicality of it would come into it play. Also having to manage different barrel types etc could have issues. And you just know that gunners are going to take the light barrels when they should have heavies. Having the one barrel type keeps it simple and means they should get reasonably even use rather than one lot getting a licking and the rest bugger all. Carrying 1 + 3 spares for SF role I think is fine, and in the light role I'd prefer a slightly heavier standard barrel to any pro's a lightweight would offer. The different mods shown above are very interesting though and would like to see how the perform. I struggle to understand the angle the US Army took with the M-240(L7/MAG), the go to the effort of adding a F/Spt section to light platoons with M-240's and lightweight tripods only to then have short barrels on some them.

We do it slightly differently (NZ Army), We binned our 5.56 C9's (FN Minimi with std barrel) for the 7.62 version as our section or fireteam LMG/LSW. Light, handy and is pretty much on par with the L7/MAG up to 600m. We still carry the MAG-58 when we need the extra range or additional firepower.

what is 7.62mm Minimi like in comparison?
 

gafkiwi

War Hero
what is 7.62mm Minimi like in comparison?
Very good for what we need at section level. Lighter and more flexible than the Mag and better range and effect over the 5.56 version. It can take all the ancillary bits and bobs without needing mods or band aid fixes like bolt on rails. With NVE kit attached and a 50-75rd belt bag attached it is still a reasonable carry carry for a gunner. Similar to the UK we also have a 7.62 DMW/Sharpshooter in each section that compliments the gun well with a 3-18X optic and effective range up past 800m. We still retain the MAG for use where required for task specific roles as well as SFMG/DFSW.
 

HE117

LE
The LMG that has impressed me the most in recent years is the Singapore Ultimax 100, particularly the "constant recoil system" that irons out the jarring you get from the working parts slamming on the buffer at the end of its throw. It is by far the smoothest and most accurate LMG I have ever used...!

You can get a similar effect by properly balancing a GPMG, but most folk don't seem to know to do this..

However for a 100% reliable, tough, almost idiot proof LMG, you always have the PKM.. you could even run one on .303 with a quick chamber ream...!
 

gafkiwi

War Hero
The LMG that has impressed me the most in recent years is the Singapore Ultimax 100, particularly the "constant recoil system" that irons out the jarring you get from the working parts slamming on the buffer at the end of its throw. It is by far the smoothest and most accurate LMG I have ever used...!

You can get a similar effect by properly balancing a GPMG, but most folk don't seem to know to do this..

However for a 100% reliable, tough, almost idiot proof LMG, you always have the PKM.. you could even run one on .303 with a quick chamber ream...!
We trained in Fiji with the Fijian forces in the late 90's when the Ultimax was their LMG. We had a composite Kiwi/Fijian section so we carried them. They were a pretty good section level gun and the loading mechanism meant they stayed clean in the jungle. Even with the 100rd drum they were light and handy. My biggest gripe was with the drum design themselves. they were reliable but a bastard to load and they took at least a third more space to carry than the same amount of belt. The later Mk 8 model looks pretty good and if the drums could be made more soldier friendly in the field it would be a pretty solid LSW.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
The LMG that has impressed me the most in recent years is the Singapore Ultimax 100, particularly the "constant recoil system" that irons out the jarring you get from the working parts slamming on the buffer at the end of its throw. It is by far the smoothest and most accurate LMG I have ever used...!
Agreed, magic to shoot.
While newer than the GPMG it's hardly a new gun, but perhaps there are limits to the ways things can be done, especially when QC, or perhaps engineering itself, has lost its edge.

You can get a similar effect by properly balancing a GPMG, but most folk don't seem to know to do this..
Ooh, ask me, ask me !
We had the MAG in the SADF so balancing doesn't occur, but an ancient Squaddie showed me & everything made sense.

However for a 100% reliable, tough, almost idiot proof LMG, you always have the PKM.. you could even run one on .303 with a quick chamber ream...!
Yep, though the original rd has better range.

If you want to take things to extremes, look no further than the Teutonic definition of a light machine gun.
 

tiv

LE
You can get a similar effect by properly balancing a GPMG, but most folk don't seem to know to do this...

It was always done at Enfield if a GPMG was involved in a trial, the trial request usually came with a copy of the relevant page from the EMER and our slave gun had the required white line painted on.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
how about fitting a big F/O bayonet on the jimpy ?
 
The LMG that has impressed me the most in recent years is the Singapore Ultimax 100, particularly the "constant recoil system" that irons out the jarring you get from the working parts slamming on the buffer at the end of its throw. It is by far the smoothest and most accurate LMG I have ever used...!

You can get a similar effect by properly balancing a GPMG, but most folk don't seem to know to do this..

However for a 100% reliable, tough, almost idiot proof LMG, you always have the PKM.. you could even run one on .303 with a quick chamber ream...!


 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Can't record against each barrel as gas part setting will change with different altitude, barrel, ammo, firer, mount, barrel use, etc, etc.
At the factory no, otherwise they would come balanced, but it should be part of prep for battle.
In the light role it's balanced for the gunner and the no. 2, for SF, to the tripod.
 

CC_TA

LE
At the factory no, otherwise they would come balanced, but it should be part of prep for battle.
In the light role it's balanced for the gunner and the no. 2, for SF, to the tripod.
We still set up the L1A2 / L120A1 barrel gas parts to '0' before tabbing the washers then it's up to the gunners to balance the guns.

I still think we should use the L10A2 barrels from the ARD (L112A1) guns in the light and SF roles . Same gas parts as the L37. Nut, plug and spring. It would also save a fortune in logistics.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
We still set up the L1A2 / L120A1 barrel gas parts to '0' before tabbing the washers then it's up to the gunners to balance the guns.
Are you sure it shouldn't be the RLC cook ?

I still think we should use the L10A2 barrels from the ARD (L112A1) guns in the light and SF roles . Same gas parts as the L37. Nut, plug and spring. It would also save a fortune in logistics.
And do away with balancing altogether ?
Might as well buy MAG's, the bbl should last longer.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
From a matelot perspective I’d like to see a more hardwearing finish on the GPMG, especially the barrels.

I’ve seen Jimpys that look like they’ve been through sandblasters after a windy night at sea.
 

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