LSW, LMG and 60mm to go

To expect a firearm of that design to be able to generate sustained fire is ridiculous.
That point was 'understood' by the Army during the procurement and design process. Given that they were looking to phase out GPMG as a section MG, the decision was made to equip sections with 2 x LSW, in the expectation that this would compensate for the loss of the sustained fire (all lower case, mark you) that can be delivered by a heavier, belt-fed, open-bolt machine gun.

It was a procurement desk officer 'solution', and doctrine was revised (for which you may read 'bent outta shape') to accommodate it.

That the weapon subsequently received the neglect and disrespect sketched on here indicates how little the doctrine was believed.

The whole story is symptomatic of an Army whose infantry arm had grown (and remains to this day, IMHO) profoundly ignorant of, and thoroughly complacent about, the nature and effective employment of its most basic toolset.

That ignorance and complacency has not been shifted one iota by the experience of TELIC and HERRICK, or so it would seem.
 
Not quite.

To be fair, the Army wasn't trying to replace a GPMG with an LSW - as I've pointed out before, it was trying to replace a single iron-sights GPMG with a pair of optic-sight LSW (the GPMG was then manned by a pair, and the No.2 on the gun is carrying binos to spot, while trying to keep it fed). In the days when the Gun Match at Bisley involved L4 pairs running alongside L7 pairs, you were barred from using single shot - because otherwise the L4 had an unfair advantage. Rapid single shots are more accurate than bursts. If you're delivering the same effect with two weapons, each of them heats up half as much.

....Snip....

So it's a bit cruel to lay the blame solely at the door of the SASC; School of Infantry has to take an awful lot of the blame - for apparently viewing the introduction of a new weapon system as just a weapon-handling problem for the skillies, added to a Pamphlet reissue. It's not really a surprise - I saw the whole Army f**k up the transition from "Group, Tasks, LOE, Reorg" into Mission Command; and from Appreciations to Estimates; and the frankly-incompetent handling of the transition to "7 Questions" / "Combat Estimate".

So, here's the question. If the introduction of a new weapon system was taken seriously, did teaching practice (i.e. LFTT exercises, associated planning and ranges letters) for the NCO courses actually change at Brecon? Or did they just use the same ranges, with the same tactics, in the same way, just with different kit?
Thanks for that.. I don't actually think we are disagreeing, just looking at the same issue from different perspectives..

OK, I was having a pop at SASC, I'll admit it, however I have had an abiding distrust of this mob for the past few decades, where I have witnessed a rapid decline in knowledge and understanding. Like you I decry the lack of professional understanding of weapon technology and practical experience in the officer corps and the inability to maximise capability and promulgate effective change.

As a weapons staff officer on the supply side I have been appalled at the general ignorance of many teeth arm officers as to the technology, performance and limitations of their weapon systems at both applied and strategic levels. The abdication of interest to "other folk" across the board by the officer corps for the past thirty years is IMHO the root cause of many of the problems we are now in. We have simply not developed individuals with the experience, knowledge and judgement to make the right decisions and understand the consequences...

The fact that the message "the LSW is not an LMG" and the logic for that was never promulgated much out of the narrow Warminster - Brecon axis. In most non inf units the replacements were simply one for one, with NO attempt to address tactics. It would have been nice to see some doctrine about how you use LSW in the protection of a rear area unit such as a workshop or ammo dump or how this technology was supposed to be applied to a convoy..! didn't happen! Just like the inability to train on anything else but static to static ranges for anyone but the Infantry... I tried to arrange a "top cover" shoot from the back of a landrover by parking it on an ETR.. "You can't do that! I was told, your'e not Warminster trained!
 
You're 'avin' a giraffe . . .
This I've never understood.
Pre operational training can't even begin to compensate for regular (at least monthly) exercising of skill at arms.
Heck, there's how much ammunition going to be used considering how small the number of actual trigger pullers we have these days?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Training to fight a war? How on earth can we fit that in with e&d training and whatever the CDS decides is the latest hobby horse in PC world.
 
This I've never understood.
Pre operational training can't even begin to compensate for regular (at least monthly) exercising of skill at arms.
Heck, there's how much ammunition going to be used considering how small the number of actual trigger pullers we have these days?
This underpins my earlier point: if the Infantry officer corps had even a faint collective understanding of that simple point, it just might begin to do somethning about it.

But it has become accepted over my lifetime that 'this is the way we do things'. Getting exercised over it as an issue is not career-enhancing, so it's left unadressed.

I'm pretty sure that folk who've done multiple TELIC/HERRICKs at platoon level will have understood it, but very few of that cohort are/were officers, of whom even fewer will likely climb to any elvated rank, while the turnover of faces in the rank-and-file (seen the Elephant - off out to civvy street, ta very much) means that it doesn't represent a significant part of the army's collective tacit learning, so there's no real prospect of the cycle ever being broken, short of a miracle.
 
@Gravelbelly has posted some very informed views on this in the past - 'this' being the effectiveness of aimed fire versus volume of fire. I'd invite him to point us to his sources again, my point being that studies have clearly been done.

(Grav, I think it was you - apologies if not).

...those studies were done with effect in mind, not cost-saving. However, I'd suggest that there's a pot-load of money to be saved by investing in marksmanship. I used to work with a guy whose father-in-law was a senior ordnance type back in the Telic days. He used to talk to me as he knew I had an interest, and told me repeatedly that his FIL just shook his head in wonder at the levels of expenditure (both rounds and cost).

Now, it's very easy for politicians to state that we won't have another shooting war for a decade/insert time period, but history and events tend to dictate otherwise.
 
1 round within a 1m sq centred on the target with a 3-5 round burst ? I would get every round of a burst in that area. Piece of piss. IF you bother to train your GPMG gunners properly and that includes decent range time.
Two questions: At what range were you holding the burst within 1m? And what proportion of your unit's GPMG gunners were "properly trained, and in practice" to that standard?

The reason that I ask is because at our DIVSAAM, back in the days when we all still fired 7.62 and 9mm, I'd watch as regulars (occasionally) and territorials (frequently) failed to hit the triple-Fig.11 target at 600m (a 1.5m-square target) with ten rounds. By contrast, I saw UOTC OCdts (effectively, novice firers) hitting at 600m with the LSW at their first attempt.

It's the same as the L1A1; IMHO the average firer (not the self-confessed enthusiasts like me, and possibly you) found it far easier to achieve effective-enough marksmanship with the L85A1 compared to the L1A1 - the marksmanship standards rose dramatically (and we had SUIT on all the rifles in the Company, so it wasn't as simple as "optics over iron sights"). In terms of "effective gunnery", it was easier to generate "hits at 600m" with L86A1 than it was with L7A1 or L4A1.

It's all very well for a weapon to generate excellent results in expert hands. It's far more important to have a weapon that generates effective results in average hands.

PS I still remember the humiliation of a hazy early morning Gun Match at TASAM when we could "just" see the 600yd targetry with the naked eye, but which became almost invisible when you tried to aim with iron sights. If you realistically want to hit stuff at range, it's optics or forget it.
 
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1 round within a 1m sq centred on the target with a 3-5 round burst ? I would get every round of a burst in that area. Piece of piss. IF you bother to train your GPMG gunners properly and that includes decent range time.
And how many rounds a minute are you using to achieve that compared single rounds?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There is a time for dagga dagga unfortunately its not all the time and the way troops were using ammo is indicative of (sad to say) poor fire discipline. Firing at what? If you cant see the enemy what are you firing at and if you can then aimed shots or aimed controlled short bursts are more effective at killing the enemy than dagga x 10.
 
Jim Storr wrote a series of articles back in 2009; this is the one (link) that best describes what we're talking about, now that the RUSI site has taken down the original article...
I've read claims that at least regarding Afghanistan, the opposition pretty much ignored suppressive fire using 5.56 whereas 7.62 was effective in keeping their heads down.

Fact or fabrication?
 
I've read claims that at least regarding Afghanistan, the opposition pretty much ignored suppressive fire using 5.56 whereas 7.62 was effective in keeping their heads down.
Fact or fabrication?
Assuming it's not like 153% of all the assertions on t'Internet and down t'pub (and hence urban myth/bollocks)...

Was the 7.62 concerned taken to be an indication of "snipers and sharpshooters at work"? That alone would make me a lot more careful than Steve-the-Hero-Sleeved and his trusty bullet hose... 8)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I've read claims that at least regarding Afghanistan, the opposition pretty much ignored suppressive fire using 5.56 whereas 7.62 was effective in keeping their heads down.

Fact or fabrication?
I dont think the enemy were giving post ex critiques! Added to that I dont think too many DS were seen either!
 
I dont think the enemy were giving post ex critiques! Added to that I dont think too many DS were seen either!
IIRC it was the subjective views of the soldiers doing the shooting - can't recall their nationality but possibly Septic.
As has already been stated; aimed fire has a far more telling effect than keeping Northrop Grumman (ex ATK) in profit.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Difficult to say, how do you know you weren't being used and led into a come on that failed because as they legged it no one saw them as they were busy digging scrapes with eyelids or burning through belts of link?
I dont think the contacts got the same level of investigation in the sand pits as we were used to in NI where Int was always sniffing for feedback from the enemy!
 
IIRC it was the subjective views of the soldiers doing the shooting - can't recall their nationality but possibly Septic.
Ahhhh. Like the post-Mogadishu claims used as evidence that they should be using a "real" calibre - namely, that the Ethiopians were shrugging off multiple hits from 5.56NATO... ("I'm sure I kept hitting him, and he kept coming")

...conveniently ignoring any narrative that they might not, you know, be any good at actually hitting moving targets, or snap targets, or both, under stress?

(Because let's face it - the MMTT Range was, and probably still is, a rare event, and hardly a wonderfully efficient way to spend range time. Consider most soldiers' skill levels on first arrival at Lydd or Sennelager for their NITAT or OPTAG range workup.)
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Cheers for the gen.
I thought this was another series of incidents until Irlsgt mentioned it was fourteen years ago.

By the way the Vektor isn't the same wpn as the Patmor if there was any confusion there.
That depends on your view of target. A GPMG has a beaten zone. A sharpshooter doesn’t. If we accept the definition of suppression being 1rd in 1m every 5 seconds then you might find your gpmg does not meet it.
And I have a short piece of string and a cousin in the WRAC.
 
Ahhhh. Like the post-Mogadishu claims used as evidence that they should be using a "real" calibre - namely, that the Ethiopians were shrugging off multiple hits from 5.56NATO... ("I'm sure I kept hitting him, and he kept coming")

...conveniently ignoring any narrative that they might not, you know, be any good at actually hitting moving targets, or snap targets, or both, under stress?

(Because let's face it - the MMTT Range was, and probably still is, a rare event, and hardly a wonderfully efficient way to spend range time. Consider most soldiers' skill levels on first arrival at Lydd or Sennelager for their NITAT or OPTAG range workup.)
Having shot against a few serving Septic infantry types in 3 gun on occasion, I can only say that some certainly appeared to be well versed in missing the target very fast indeed. :mrgreen:
 

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