That smg

#1
I was an admirer of the small metal gun. A simple question here for all the old gits. How was the SMG actually used in your unit?

My experience was that it was only ever fired at SAA contests, that is single shot, standing at 25 yards.

The sights were set for 100 or 200 yards, so did anyone actually get to fire it at 200 yards? Or even 100?

Did anyone fire it from any position other than standing, i.e., prone, kneeling, from a trench? Did anyone ever get to fire it on automatic? Did anyone ever do the energetic leaping around stuff between standing and kneeling, that we did with SLRs, while using the SMG, or shoot a falling plate contest with one? Now that would have been interesting.

Were there any standing orders against such activities involving SMGs and live rounds? It isn’t hard to anticipate some dullard tripping whilst having a full auto ND, taking out the entire range party.

The 25 yards range seems to have given rise to the myth that the 9mm bullet fell harmlessly to the ground at 30 yards and/or was incapable of penetrating wet tissue paper. Sterling’s first SMG, the Mk 1 Lanchester, had adjustable sights that apparently went up to (a madly optimistic) 600 yards; I’d suspect that the sight was nicked from some Lee Enfield, rather than being purpose made.

Similarly, the shooting team resented the open bolt design that meant there was a steel billet rattling down the tube between squeezing the trigger and firing. The thing was designed for the military equivalent of a bar fight, not for Bisley.

On exercises, since there was no 9mm blank issued, an SMG was as welcome as a concrete 66mm.

So, your recollections please. Anyone mentioning wet blankets will have sharp objects shoved into a wax voodoo image of their wrinkled bodies.
 
#2
It was shit. Sheer unmitigated shit and I hated it.

Look, shooting at someone is a pretty damned anti-social thing to do and if you're reason to shoot at them then you've reason to hit them. The idea of a weapon that seemed purpose built to do its own thing about that whole firing malarkey and was about as accurate as a Ministerial Statement to the Commons just defeats the point.

Utterly, utterly arrse.
 
#3
Only done one APWT with an SMG, we started at 100M and had to fire 2 rounds into 2 targets then move onto the 75M point and repeat, then 50M and down to 25M. On the order watch and shoot at the 100M point there was nothing but silence as every one had the same idea, namely to save the ammunition until the 50 and 25M point.. I think the shouting went " for fucks sake someone fire in case anyones watching" from the range staff......
 
#4
Seemed to work for this chap.

Yes, 9mm blank was issued for Ex. Yes, there was a SMG CQB, though it was.......errm......interesting, if you were a Safety Supervisor. And I never really trusted a weapon where the Battle IA to clear a weak charge (that is a round left in the barrel) was to fire a second one round, inviting you to trust in The Great Sky Pixie and ballistics in equal measure.
 

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#5
We (RCAF Groundcrew) used it as our personal weapon. Generally we were given two 10 round mags, and single shot was the way to go. When we were issued it as a part of the base defence force, we had two 30 (or was it 32, but we only loaded 30 rounds?) round mags. As I recall we fired prone, kneeling, standing, from the hip, both full and semi auto. Never did the gymnastics though. Mostly at the 25 yard range, although we did on occasion fire at 100 yards from the prone position. Also as I recall, I could empty a mag in semi auto almost as fast as in full auto, and a good deal more accurately.
 
#6
So, your recollections please. Anyone mentioning wet blankets will have sharp objects shoved into a wax voodoo image of their wrinkled bodies.

So the story I heard years ago about an SMG and a wet blanket wearing chink in the jungle was a myth?

The lying old bastard!
 
#7
Seemed to work for this chap.
Ah, but that's only because it took 5,000 Argies to take on 3 SLRs...

Anyway, once, just once, I got to play with a smudge gun, on the Vogelsang riverside live-fire battlewalk, back in '86 or '87 - when for some reason the 1157 included 2 SMG mags as well as 4 SLR mags. Being a CET Op, I had a smudge, so was running round scrounging as many mags as I could get my sticky mitts on. I think I had 18 all told, stuffed in ammo pouches, pockets, down the front of my smock. All targets on the other side of the river, so maybe 75-100, 150m max. And allowed to use "full auto" :) Glorious glorious fun, emptying a mag at a time, walking rounds over the river and up the bank to the target. I cant remember how old I was, 19 or 20, I was so excited I was shaking, no, shivering at the time. Couldn't keep a straight face. Remember the Inf DS at the time bollocking me for going through two mags in the first few targets, and his words slowly dropping off as he saw I was - literally - dripping mags... to the point where he was encouraging me to rock on, and held up the ex to let me blat everything off. Didnt hit much, but so what, who cared. For a young sapper, I was having a ball.

The "myth" about the penetration power of the 9mm ammunition- god knows. We believed that the same ammo fired from a Browning had stopping power, yet fired from a smudge didn't. ISTR a 59 Sqn SAA instructor claiming that a wet combat jacket would stop it, and trying to demo that on a range day. I wouldn't want to be hit by one though.

That is what I really miss about the Forces - sheer unadulterated fun, in a childishly adult way, with something inherently lethal. And no one gave a ****.
 
#8
Did a range afternoon at Palace barracks one horrible wet November and had to use the SMG due to using up some excess ammo that had been found at the back of the Armory. Lad next to me fired a full mag on single shot at 50mtrs, went to inspect the target and found 5 of the heads stuck in the wood backdrop for the targets, just about broke the wood. Never did trust them after that, nor when the Duke of Boots regimental Sargent told us that the way to unload an SMG in the sand bay was to leave the magazine on and pull the loading handle back three times.
 
#9
I thought not having any blank was a right bonus, no gun to clean at end ex!

Thereis an excellent book called 'The Guns of Dagenham' written by Pete laidler, give it a read you might change your mind about SMGs
 
#10
Only done one APWT with an SMG, we started at 100M and had to fire 2 rounds into 2 targets then move onto the 75M point and repeat, then 50M and down to 25M. On the order watch and shoot at the 100M point there was nothing but silence as every one had the same idea, namely to save the ammunition until the 50 and 25M point.. I think the shouting went " for fucks sake someone fire in case anyones watching" from the range staff......
That fetched long forgotten memories to the fore!
 
#11
It was shit. Sheer unmitigated shit and I hated it.


Utterly, utterly arrse.
It was utterly superb, you blaspheming heretic. You never hit anything with it because you were arrse. You never did figure out that fiddly catch thing on the butt cap, did you?

Seemed to work for this chap.

Yes, 9mm blank was issued for Ex. Yes, there was a SMG CQB, though it was.......errm......interesting, if you were a Safety Supervisor. And I never really trusted a weapon where the Battle IA to clear a weak charge (that is a round left in the barrel) was to fire a second one round, inviting you to trust in The Great Sky Pixie and ballistics in equal measure.

Spic poseur. I don't think it was the Mk 5 Sterling (a Sterling with holes drilled in the barrel to make the bullet even slower) that worked so much as the Amtracs and Panhards somewhere out of shot.

I never saw a 9mm blank, ever.

PS Apparently the Argentines ensured that chap was evacuated from the islands when it became apparent that things weren't going according to their plans. It seems they didn't want pictures all over the front pagesof the world's press of him with his hands up and a buch of smirking Booties pointing his own Mk 5 SMG at him.
 
#12
An RUC patrol was ambushed on the Glen road, Belfast one cold and very wet night in "77" 10 rounds from an SMG (which was recovered in the follow up) hit the front and sides of the leading "Hotspur".
None penetrated, peelers reckoned the shooter was only 20-30 feet away, ran like ferck when an army foot patrol opened up on him from about 50 yards up the road, i was in the patrol but tropper ferking was not there, before he starts chipping in.
 
#13
So the story I heard years ago about an SMG and a wet blanket wearing chink in the jungle was a myth?
Almost certainly, unless he was wearing a slab of steel plate under the blanket. Clint Eastwood got that idea from somewhere.

The wet blanket thing will only work if it's free to move and the air resistance of moving a large area of material absorbs the kinetic energy of the bullet. Putting a body behind the blanket will ensure it doesn't work and blanket and body will be perforated.
 
#14
was useful being plt radio op or milan backpacking though did walk off home with one once fairly useless with live rounds though.
had to laugh their was a picture of us specail forces in iraq with some captured though they looked ally:)
 
#15
I was an admirer of the small metal gun. A simple question here for all the old gits. How was the SMG actually used in your unit? Issued to Heavy Weapons, signallers and drivers.

My experience was that it was only ever fired at SAA contests, that is single shot, standing at 25 yards. For some of us it was our personal weapon, so we also fired on APWT.

The sights were set for 100 or 200 yards, so did anyone actually get to fire it at 200 yards? Or even 100? Yes. Also fired on Section in Defence where the Sect Comd could have given the go ahead to fire at 600m, but I don't think anyone would be that optimistic. Might have hit targets at 300m, but there were others firing, so don't know.

Did anyone fire it from any position other than standing, i.e., prone, kneeling, from a trench? Yes. All of them and squatting, supported and unsupported. Did anyone ever get to fire it on automatic? Ooh, yes. From the shoulder and from the gut. Did anyone ever do the energetic leaping around stuff between standing and kneeling, that we did with SLRs, while using the SMG, or shoot a falling plate contest with one? Now that would have been interesting. Yes. Falling plate at the end of the 10 mile bash. IBSR and CQBR (in pairs) as well.

Were there any standing orders against such activities involving SMGs and live rounds? Hope not... It isn’t hard to anticipate some dullard tripping whilst having a full auto ND, taking out the entire range party. Done in pairs with DS hot breath on the back of your neck (and usually a hand on your yoke).

The 25 yards range seems to have given rise to the myth that the 9mm bullet fell harmlessly to the ground at 30 yards and/or was incapable of penetrating wet tissue paper. Sterling’s first SMG, the Mk 1 Lanchester, had adjustable sights that apparently went up to (a madly optimistic) 700 yards; I’d suspect that the sight was nicked from some Lee Enfield, rather than being purpose made.

Similarly, the shooting team resented the open bolt design that meant there was a steel billet rattling down the tube between squeezing the trigger and firing. There were some bloody good shots with the SMG. Getting the best out of it was an art form that required discipline and practice, lots of. The thing was designed for the military equivalent of a bar fight, not for Bisley. On this point, I'd tend to agree. As a shoot and scoot weapon for getting out of trouble, fine. As an assault rifle, no thanks. And who the **** dreamed up the idea of sticking a bayonet on the end of it?

On exercises, since there was no 9mm blank issued, an SMG was as welcome as a concrete 66mm. But infinitely more welcome than a GPMG or Charlie G. And since there were no blanks, much less ammo weight to carry, just a chit in lieu.

So, your recollections please. Anyone mentioning wet blankets will have sharp objects shoved into a wax voodoo image of their wrinkled bodies.
I liked my perforated friend - except when that bloody cocking handle found its way between my ribs. And it could shoot pencils.
 
#16
Aldergrove 25m range 1981 trying to get rid of boxes and boxes of Indian 9mm through smudge and browning. A bit disappointing when the rounds would only travel 15m and the extracted cases were still fizzing.
 
#17
Ex Trutziger Zacsher (or whatever it is spelt) in summer 1985. 1TP Dirty 30 vs the elite 82nd Airborne. We won.. until the Dutch DS decided that grungy engineers do not beat '"elite" airborn warriors. Anyway, we are all dead for 6hours, so as you do we all stick to our own until someone breaks the ice. In our case, a young sceptic sees me cleaning my smudge, wanders over and offers me money for it...
... and then more money
... $2000 dollars cash
... and his M16!
"hey Sarge, what do you reckon? me with this under my trenchcoat and a case of magazines, I'd be king of the block!". Thought the loon was joking, was gobsmacked when he pulled the cash out. I did wonder whether the charge plus loss of wages would be less than $2000 ;-) and owning an M16 to boot.
 
#18
We did all the stuff on ranges with an SMG that you would do with an SLR but only out to about 100 metres if my memory is still right after all these years, maybe two hundred, I'm not sure now. That included firing it on single shot and fully automatic, right handed, left handed, standing up, lying down, behind walls and on corners etc etc.

That apart, the only people who actually carried it on operations were MT drivers and the signallers in the signals platoon. Everybody in the rifle companies from the OC down to the newest rifleman carried SLR's except of course in South Armagh where GPMG's, LMG's and M79 grenade launchers were issued and the M79 carriers still had their SLR's.

There was the old story going around that a 9mm wouldn't penetrate a wet blanket at 100 metres. The wet blanket equating to human skin in some way. Well one day down at Hythe, we stuck a wet blanket up and tried shooting 9mm through it from an SMG. Guess what? The blanket failed the test and the 9mm won the day. That blanket ended up with lot's of holes in it.

Anyway, I liked my SLR and if they had suggested to me that I carry an SMG, I would have said "no thanks", I'm ok as I am.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
31 Aes , i think we got 10 rounds per year to fire the smudger to qualify. iT was fired at 25 yards on single shot. Our staffie one Tommy Atkins said that he had fire the smg full auto during the mad minutes in Aden or someplace hot and gritty. I must say once i was demobbed I did rather miss the feel of it banging against the hip as you walked down the road.
Never saw one but I hear that they even had bayonets for 'em .
 
#20
Turfed up in Berlin in 1990 to be greeted by the host SQMS - "Some dozy ****** at your unit sent an indent for X thousand rounds of 9mm. Don't worry, though. I changed it to 5.56 and it's all ready in the Ammo Store."

"Is it the sort of 5.56mm that fits in an SMG?"
 

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