Author Topic: FN C2  (Read 6069 times)

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Offline Shrek1985

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2019, 15:09:15 »
What of reliability?

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2019, 13:28:02 »
I wasn't infantry, but did hump that humourless hunk of metal and mahogany for two years. I seem to remember pretty clearly having five mags, 150 rds total load out. On second thought, riflemen did only carry four mags of 20 rds.


The basic load, for war, was, back in the 1960s and '70s, 200 rounds per rifleman per day: 4 X 20 round mags and 1 X bandolier with 120 rounds.

The C2 man was, as I recall ~ and it's a long time ago ~ meant to have 4 X mags = 120 rounds plus 3 X bandoliers = 360 rounds which totalled up to 480 rounds per day. My recollection was that each rifle company CQMS had about 200 bandoliers in boxes, and the QM had another 175,000+ rounds in boxes, on wheels, in addition to a lot of 9mm.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2019, 15:58:31 »
What of reliability?

Good mags and a good gunner and it worked fine, a lot of our issues were worn out mags, but most soldiers did not understand the importance of magazine care or their role in the proper functioning of the gun. Using mags to open beer bottles looks cool, but is utterly stupid.

Offline FJAG

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2019, 17:27:30 »

The basic load, for war, was, back in the 1960s and '70s, 200 rounds per rifleman per day: 4 X 20 round mags and 1 X bandolier with 120 rounds.

The C2 man was, as I recall ~ and it's a long time ago ~ meant to have 4 X mags = 120 rounds plus 3 X bandoliers = 360 rounds which totalled up to 480 rounds per day. My recollection was that each rifle company CQMS had about 200 bandoliers in boxes, and the QM had another 175,000+ rounds in boxes, on wheels, in addition to a lot of 9mm.

Not infantry in those days except for one brief summer. My recollection was that there were two C2 gunners per section and that while your description of the "basic load" is close to what I recall there was also the fact that pretty much everybody was issued a "bra" magazine pouch that was worn across your chest and which was only useful for carrying the 30 rd C2 magazines. The explanation was that this was similar to the old Bren pouches for the Pattern 51 web gear which were issued to every man in an infantry section to carry additional Bren (or later C2) magazines by other folks in the section to give to the Bren/C2 gunners as they used up their ammunition. While everyone had the magazine pouches, I don't recall ever seeing enough 30 rd magazines in our stores to actually make that happen. Mostly the C2 pouches stayed at home because, unlike the old Bren pouch, they were really not useful for anything other than those 30 rd magazines.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2019, 19:19:58 »
It seems that the Grey Scouts were fond of the C2:

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Petard

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2019, 11:01:06 »
What of reliability?

This guy gives a pretty good summary of the weapon, overall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL1G5hlF8wc

It was a product of its time, and not much different in concept than say the M14A1, or RPK for that matter, with the idea of commonality of parts seeming to be paramount. In so far as tactics, I think the idea was engagements were expected to be short in mechanized warfare, and so a lighter more maneuverable weapon seem to be better than a heavier one designed for more sustained fire. This, of course, has long since changed

I'm no fan of it from my own experience, first as an infantryman with a Reserve unit then Reg Force arty, mostly because of the drawbacks mentioned earlier and in that video.
 On my CLC I had a stoppage while firing blanks, in carrying out my IA I retracted the bolt and a round went off in my face. I got powder burns and luckily my glasses prevented it from being worse (No BEW back then). It also caused temporary deafness, and ringing that lasted days. Later, I was told I had wrongly used a C1 breechblock instead of a C2 one (IIRC the C2 breech block had a slightly different extractor); 'course, it was the only one issued to me, but somehow the investigation concluded "operator fault"
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 14:33:39 by Petard »

Offline FJAG

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2019, 17:40:22 »
This guy gives a pretty good summary of the weapon, overall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL1G5hlF8wc

It was a product of its time, and not much different in concept than say the M14A1, or RPK for that matter, with the idea of commonality of parts seeming to be paramount. In so far as tactics, I think the idea was engagements were expected to be short in mechanized warfare, and so a lighter more maneuverable weapon seem to be better than a heavier one designed for more sustained fire. This, of course, has long since changed

I'm no fan of it from my own experience, first as an infantryman with a Reserve unit then Reg Force arty, mostly because of the drawbacks mentioned earlier and in that video.
...

I don't think that the opinions expressed in the article about the F2 vis a vis the Bren were universal.

I do agree that the bottom feeding mag was an issue as it severely handicapped the ability to "aim up" from the prone position because the magazine would bottom out in the dirt

One major thing to remember was that the C2 came in at just a pound or two over the 10 lb weight of the C1 while the Brens came in at 22 lbs or more. A significant weight difference. While the barrels couldn't be changed, the C2s were not medium machine guns requiring a capability for long sustained fire but light automatic rifles at the section level meant to put down rapid fire for a short duration. The fact that the section had two C2s meant that they had at least equal weight to deliver automatic fire to the section as was provided by the single Bren gun in the prior section organization.

I think feelings were mixed in the Bren v C2 debate. There clearly were people who were nostalgically attached to the Bren (but they probably never had to hump one for too long) If I remember correctly, around the time we adopted the C2 in the late 1950s, the Brits rebored the Brens to 7.62 and kept them in the infantry section at the rate of one per section but this didn't last very long. By 1960 they were replacing the section Bren with the belt fed L7 GPMG (based on the FN MAG and weighing in at around the same weight as the Bren give or take a pound) It's noteworthy that at this time the Americans were putting the M60 GPMG (which used the WW2 German MG 42 as a model) into their sections as replacements for the Browning Automatic Rifle.

I think the real question wasn't so much one as to whether the C2 was inferior to the Bren but whether effectiveness of a rifle section built around two C2s was inferior to the concept of a section built around a GPMG as used by the Brits, Yanks and many other countries.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2019, 23:42:46 »
The Brits rebored the Brens to 7.62 and kept them in the infantry section at the rate of one per section but this didn't last very long.

 :cheers:

I used this Bren in both the Paras and Royal Marines, in the UK, and Northern Ireland, and in Arctic Norway in winter. It was excellent, if a bit heavy. Totally reliable in all conditions. The 7.62mm AP round was much valued in NI where the IRA frequently used armoured vans in gun attacks. The main problem was that it was old, and the parts were fairly worn out. For example, the barrels had a disturbing tendency to remove themselves on inconvenient occasions, like when jumping a fence.

The C6, on a scale of two per section is the way to go, IMHO, if you really want to win any firefights these days. In the Falklands they did this where possible. They also deployed the Brens, and issued them out so that some sections had 1 x Bren and 1 x C6/ GPMG.

For those who argue that it's 'too heavy', get fitter because being dead is not great either :)
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Offline FJAG

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2019, 00:52:20 »
Came across this bit while looking for Bren info that is interesting. It concerns the role of the Bren v the rifle in the section early in WW2:

Quote
Next PAM No 4, the LMG training lessons where the most compelling evidence resides. Here we see in Section 5 the following text: “The light machine gun is the principle weapon of the infantry and every man will therefore be trained to use it”. It goes on, “the rifle is the personal protective weapon of the individual, it may be needed, in an emergency to augment the fire of the section…”. Thus it is here we find solid evidence for the thinking behind the employment of the LMG in the British infantry Platoon, in a pre war version of the PAM.

We find that British thinking was precisely that of the German Army: that the Platoon was based around the LMGs and not the rifleman. Also, incidentally, in the same section we find text that shows that “infiltration tactics”, another supposed German staple, was also present in British Army thinking at the time: “this phase demands skill in the use of ground and a correct appreciation of how to apply all the available fire-power to penetrate between localities held by the enemy…”.

Also in PAM No 4 is the model ammunition scaling of an infantry section. What we see is that each rifleman was to carry only 50 rnds for his rifle – thus fitting in with the idea of the rifle being a personal self defence weapon. The 25 magazines allocated to each LMG was to be distributed between the section with each man carrying notionally, 90 rnds for the LMG in 3x magazines (although the model allocation changed over time and no doubt in practise).

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/05/platoon-and-bren-gun-myths/

The fact that the single Bren in the section had 25 magazines scaled to it is very interesting and in line with the role of the two ammunition pouches each man in the section carried with the older webbing.



A question for anyone who was in the Reg F infantry back in the 60s/early 70s: Were there more than 4 x 30 rd magazines scaled to each C2 and did in fact all the section riflemen wear the "bras" and carry extra magazines for the C2s?



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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2019, 00:59:51 »
A question for anyone who was in the Reg F infantry back in the 60s/early 70s: Were there more than 4 x 30 rd magazines scaled to each C2 and did in fact all the section riflemen wear the "bras" and carry extra magazines for the C2s?



 :cheers:

As I recall, each C2 gunner carried 5 mags, one on the weapon and 4 in the chest rig. To my knowledge no one else, apart from the C2 gunners, wore the chest rig, or carried C2 mags, as the C2 could use spare mags from the FNC1s in the section as required.
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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2019, 05:58:23 »
I recall my father enjoyed being the C2 gunner (Reserve Infantry back in the day) because as he put it, he wasn't always issued the C2 but he did always have the magazine bra and 30rd magazines. He apparently enjoyed being able to use the 30rd mags with the C1.

Offline Colin P

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2019, 09:19:52 »
My Reserve artillery unit, had I think two C2's, each with 4 mags and a bra each.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2019, 12:08:11 »
As I recall, each C2 gunner carried 5 mags, one on the weapon and 4 in the chest rig. To my knowledge no one else, apart from the C2 gunners, wore the chest rig, or carried C2 mags, as the C2 could use spare mags from the FNC1s in the section as required.

My recollection of basic loads, from Phase 2 Gagetown 82 was:

2x C2 per section each gunner with a bra carrying 4x 30rd mags.
8x C1 per section (no bras) with 4x 20 rd mags carried in the holders in the pockets of the combat shirts.

Rifles had 80 rds of 7.62mm ball in the mags, 60 rds of 7.62mm ball in a bandolier of stripping clips and 10 rds 7.62mm tracer, loose, for target indication.
C2s had 120 rds of 7.62mm ball in the mags and a 60 rd bandolier.  The C2 gunners also carried the cleaning kits required for both the C1s and C2s.  A point reinforced when our whole platoon ended up using my personal cleaning kit (unofficial) after the gunners failed to report to classes with their cleaning kits and the instructors decided it would be fun to have us crawl in the mud between classes.

And nobody wore the bra except the C2 gunners and they only wore them if they had to.  Ribs and nipples still sore. ;D
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Offline FJAG

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2019, 13:21:15 »
That's pretty much the way I remember it to in both my Reg F arty unit and Res F infantry one.

It strikes me that the Brit system with 25 mags for the Bren spread around the section makes eminent sense while giving the C2s just five mags each and then expecting to take spare 20 rd mags from riflemen who already have only four and a bunch of bandoliers makes very little sense. Especially when we issue each rifleman a 30rd mag bra which never seems to leave camp.

Makes me wonder what the scale of purchase/issue for 30 rd mags was in the first place.

When one looks at the current B-GL-309-003 -- Infantry Section and Platoon in Battle--one can see that the basic load for a rifleman is 5 X 30 rd mags and a 100 rd bandolier while the two C9 gunners carry two 200 rd belts. (Although I would think that changed a lot in Afghanistan)

That's indicative of a long standing major difference in section tactics between the Brits/US -- where the Bren/GPMG is the core of the firepower of the section -- and the Cdn system is based on a more equal role between the riflemen and the automatic weapon.

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Offline whiskey601

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2019, 13:33:04 »
I guess all of the above just goes to reinforce that there is no such thing as too much ammo when you train and fight, and there's always too much ammo when you have to carry it. 
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2019, 13:33:54 »
WRT the Brits

I am now going to revert to "Tales My Father Told Me" - Mileage May Vary.

Circa 1947 the standard was 3 Bren Mags in one pouch.  One 2" Mortar Bomb in the second pouch.  Those were put in the tops of the pouches so that they could be hauled out quickly and deposited on the section Bren position or platoon Mortar position while at the run to take up personal positions.  Rifle rounds and grenades were in the bottoms of the pouches.

Also, stuffed ammo pouches and haversacks were key to the assault.  First man at the barbed wire entanglement jumped on the barbed wire.  Section mates stepped on his haversack and used him as a stepping stone to jump over the wire.


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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2019, 13:34:46 »
According to the precis handout (dated Jun 83) from Phase III, in the Inf School SOP for fighting order, the ammo load for C2 gunners was five (5) loaded 30 rd mags and a bandolier of 60 rds.

Though in typical fashion, the numbers (in attached copy) don't always add up.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2019, 14:00:28 »
According to the precis handout (dated Jun 83) from Phase III, in the Inf School SOP for fighting order, the ammo load for C2 gunners was five (5) loaded 30 rd mags and a bandolier of 60 rds.

Though in typical fashion, the numbers (in attached copy) don't always add up.

You're right.  I remember that precis.  On the other hand I "remembered" my previous post. Just goes to show how reliable memory is.

Cheers.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #43 on: October 15, 2019, 14:15:43 »
You're right.  I remember that precis.  On the other hand I "remembered" my previous post. Just goes to show how reliable memory is.

Cheers.

I don't see any inconsistency between your two posts. The precis is for Cdn C2 equipped section while your recollection of your dad's experience is clearly in line with what I found earlier about the Brit section where there were 25 magazines for the Bren distributed throughout the section.

Here's an article about WW2 Brit org which shows ammo distribution slightly down (and slightly different from the Pam 4 quote above and your dad's recollection but still supportive of the fact that virtually everyone in the section carried around a hundred rounds for the Bren in magazines and clips).

https://www.battleorder.org/uk-rifle-co-1944

 :cheers:
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #44 on: October 15, 2019, 14:23:58 »
I don't see any inconsistency between your two posts. The precis is for Cdn C2 equipped section while your recollection of your dad's experience is clearly in line with what I found earlier about the Brit section where there were 25 magazines for the Bren distributed throughout the section.

Here's an article about WW2 Brit org which shows ammo distribution slightly down (and slightly different from the Pam 4 quote above and your dad's recollection but still supportive of the fact that virtually everyone in the section carried around a hundred rounds for the Bren in magazines and clips).

https://www.battleorder.org/uk-rifle-co-1944

 :cheers:

Thanks FJAG, but I forgot about the mag on the gun with the C2
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2019, 22:26:15 »
Slight tanget.... Bren Gun vs. BAR c/o R. Lee Ermey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKj1W91cB9M
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: FN C2
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2019, 12:57:27 »
Something to remember in the firepower comparison of the C2 vs Bren; when the FNs were adopted by the Canadian Army, it wasn't a one for one replacement of the Bren in the infantry platoon organization.  Previously, there was one Bren per section while afterward there were two C2s per section as well as a GPMG (see attached photo) in the pl wpns det.

Attached is suggested platoon organization from "CAMT 7-45, Canadian Army Manual of Training: Infantry Section Leading and Platoon Tactics, 1954"
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