• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

general commentaries from a Marine just back from Iraq

"9)  The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle:  Thumbs way up.  Spectacular range and
accuracy and hits like a freight train.  Used frequently to take out vehicle
suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy.
Definitely here to stay."

I've read this before - that they stop suicide bombers in cars before they have a chance to detonate. I was wondering how they know which car is a suicide bomber and which is your average civilian as they are both approaching a roadblock. Is it just that the suicide bombers drive towards the roadblock ignoring orders to slow down or stop??
The M240B is made by FN out of South Carolina. It is the US modified version of a MAG 58. It has a unique flash suppressor, a heat shield to prevent burns to the hands, and a slightly different bipod. The use of marynl for the butt instead of wood, and a Picatinny rail on the feed cover. Aside from that no different the current MAG58. The gas system is adjusted like the C9, normal and adverse. Again simplified and soldier proof. I have worked on many of these. Check out some pics of the M240B in the weapons area of the galleries section on this site and see for yourself. I loaded some a while back.

Now, the M249 SAW. This too is made by FN out of the USA, and the latest version has got the traditional FNH reciever beat. Nice grey phosphated finnish, new robust welds along the cocking handle rail, plastic stock, and a modified cocking handle 'stop', plus a folding carrying handle, an oil filled buffer, one piece milled Picatinny rail on the feed cover, and a unique heat shield makes it the best version of this LSW I have wever seen, although too I am NOT a lover of this weapon. It puts our F89A1(P) and the C9 (that I knew in 1995) to shame in quality. The most important feature yet is the removal of the adjustable gas system! No more normal and adverse! Just a direct feed, similar to the US M60.

The M243 must be a typing error.

Australia will pick this new featured gas block up, along with the folding carrying handle on it's future F89 Minimi series of LSWs (so I have been told anyways).

Good on the Yanks for evolving these two MGs to meet their specs. Both versions are very nice weapons, with the exception of the M240B's bipod, It has the adjusting nut for 'bipod spread' ommitted from its design. This is the only thing I personally do not like.

As for the negative vibes on the M4, its the opposite here, the M4 and M16 FOW generally have had good reports coming out. It sounds like the author is a bit biased about the rifle anyways. Australia has used the M16 FOW for almost 40 years. I will agree there is the question of penetration, but I have seen Minimis chew thru besa blocks and concrete without a problem. Yes, 7.62 does give a better chew. As for its (5.56) effectivness on human targets, the rd is very effective it its present 62gr form, and the new Mk262 77gr bullet is also getting good reviews. US Army and USMC vets of the war (some only back for a matter of weeks and are here right now) I have spoke to have nothing but good things to say about the M16 FOW, and a mixed bag on the M249.

Give me 10 days, and I'll have pics of the new gas system on the US M249 on here, as I have worked on sereral here at AASAM.

Now about previous GPMGs, I had used the C1/C5 (Browning M1919A4s in 7.62mm format for those that came after these went out), and the US M60 to which I had fired and learned about a little in my expereince in the CF while with trg the US in the early 80's and early 90's. I had limited time on it, and it was new to me. It put our old '.30 wartimer' converts to shame. For those that dont know, Canada never adopted the M60. In one sentance, I hated the C1/C5 GPMG. Fine if you were reminicing on Utah Beach or Buna and Gona from a historical prospective :warstory: . This MG had long past its use by date, and when the FNH MAG 58 which we called the C6 arrived in the late 80's it was like going from Ford Model T to Chevy's Corvette! For the record, the ADF still uses the .30, upgraded to an open bolt firere called the L3A3/A4. Its used in the T50 turret on the M113 APC sharing the turret along side the .50 M2 HB. All .30s are wartimers. So well over 60yrs on, still chugging away the 4B1T. This and the .50, the Timex Marlins of MGs.

I really did not get to know the '60' until I came to Australia, as it was in wide spread service. I had carried the beast a few times (once on a 15 klicker when I was fresh off the boat), fired it in hot, dry and jungle conditions and worked on an extensive M60 rebuild program, firing 10's of thousands of rds thru them over a period of years. Rarely a stoppage. A combat proven MG one will still find today in use all over the world.

I can be critical of the bipod as each leg must be opened one at a time, and the absence of a carrying handle on the barrel (its on the reciever), which makes it difficult to remove when hot. The bolt also chewed out alot, but it was in many ways soldier proof, with the exception one could put the gas piston in reversed, and it then fired only single shot ;D.

I liked the idea of no gas settings, adn the beast was very much 'armourer' friendly too. Very easy to strip, maintain, and fault find. Today we still have the D series door gun still in the system, but its days are numbered. The fleet of GPMGs met its fate when the lot shy of a small qty were destroyed in 2003/04. These MGs were on a lend/lease term with Australia, and we either had to rtn them to the US or burn them when we wre done with them. The US did NT want them back. So ends a GPMG era with the ADF. The M60 saw the Australians thru Viet Nam, and it has earned its place of honour for its service. I prefer it to the MAG 58, but that just me. The MAG is not maintenance friendly.
This from an armourer's prospective.

Anyways its after 0700 here on Monday, and I gotta get to breakfast. We have the lday of today, my 1st in 21 days! Its has been welcomed with a big smile.


The post came from a source that I considered reliable.... but as is presented, was delivered 2nd or 3rd hand and not by the Marine in question.

"from a LCol I know. It's from a former Marine first sergeant -
thought you might be interested in his son's assessment "

made for an interesting read anyway.

if the former marine was from Vietnam days, he might very well have a grudge against the M16 and a love affair going with the M60s 7.62 ammo... oh well ?!?!
It is sad when the M-16 (C-7) did not live up to  it's hype during the Vietnam war,  and still does not today.    Do not get me wrong it is a very good weapon as long as you don't have to expose it to water or get it dirty.  AK-47's are a really  great weapon as that you can do almost anything to it, and it will not die,  just don't try and do any accuracy shooting with it.
the AK in itself is not a bad weapon.
Leaving the AK in the hands of people not trained to look after them is part of the problem... then again, they take a lickin and keep on kickin. Fighting in close quarters, you don't really need the foresight - when your doctrine is more like "pray and spray" pretty much anything you can lay your hands on is good enough.

The C7/8/9s should / are great weapon systems in the hands of trained soldiers with the resources to maintain them. (imagine those optical sights going on the fritz).

Some AKs have found their way into our NATO arsenals. Some of our soldiers have found them to be quite effective AND they make up some deficiencies that our gov'ts have been slow to correct.
About the comment on the C6 being German. As stated its Belgian BUT the Mag 58 is very similar in design to the MG42, the world's first modern GPMG. Won't get into German machine gun tactics, but I'll leave it at this.
Cpl Massecar said:
About the comment on the C6 being German. As stated its Belgian BUT the Mag 58 is very similar in design to the MG42, the world's first modern GPMG. Won't get into German machine gun tactics, but I'll leave it at this.

How do you figure that they are similer?
Cpl Massecar said:
Won't get into German machine gun tactics, but I'll leave it at this.

Please.....with your 2.5 years as a reservist, enleighten us about machine gun tactics...... ::)

Slim said:
How do you figure that they are similer?

Damned, you beat me to it
Slim said:
How do you figure that they are similer?

They both start with M    ;D

Internally there have NO resemblance.

Take a U turn, and get back in your lane Cpl Mascara.

Dont get me started on a AK rant.
  For CQB they suck -- try reloading quickly...
try doing the drills will attempting to keep your hand on the pistol grip

How about the MAG 58 having the gas system of the BAR (you know how John Moses was tight with the Belgians) and the feed and trigger gps of the (insert names here).

TCBF said:
How about the MAG 58 having the gas system of the BAR (you know how John Moses was tight with the Belgians) and the feed and trigger gps of the (insert names here).


In terms of its employment, the MAG58 and the MG42 are very similar; can be used as either light, medium or heavy MGs, with high rate of fire, and fed from a belt - and both have historically been used as both a section automatic as well as employed in separate weapons detachments.  In that respect the initial comment about similiarity is correct - without reference to the actual guts of either gun.

The BAR had more in common, with regards to employment, with the Bren Gun, being a magazine fed gun really only useful in the section automatic role.  Bren Gun did have a tripod set up and could be used in either a sustained fire or anti-aircraft role (especially with a proper AA sight and drum magazine) but wasn't the weapon of choice for either.  The BAR was decidedly substandard even just comparing the section automatic role, but bear in mind BAR was designed in 1918 to be fired advancing from the hip (US cartridge belts had a special socket for the butt of the BAR to stabilize it as the gunner crossed No Man's Land) while the Bren was more of a "modern" design coming out in the mid 1930s via the Czechs.

I sincerely hope we won't be stooping to ridiculing people because of their last names or length of service.  A mistake was made, why not let it go at that.
At least the BAR fired from an open bolt. Remember our C2? Now that was impractical!

The MG42 and MAG58 have really nothing in common mechanically and design wise, but the M60 had taken some ideas from both the Lewis and MG42. Another urban myth busted.

So, unless you had carried it, used it, abused it, swore at it, been bitten by it, and cleaned it way too many tiimes to mention, don't comment on it if you are just an armchair critic.

Cheers (and beers),

geo said:
Mostly AK47's    The entire country is an arsenal.   Works better in the
desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably.   PKM belt fed
light machine guns are also common and effective.   Luckily, the enemy mostly
shoots like crap.  

This runs counter to all ballistics test and anecdotal evidence from the US Army Medical Corp. 7.62X39 will not penetrate Level III armour reliably. Its wounds ballistics are minimal compared to 5.56 NATO.

Additionally, a wounded soldier/marine can be evac'd, treated and air-evac'd to a hospital in Germany less than 8 hours. The Americans have reduced their death rate of wounded to less than 10%. Compared to 20% for Desert Storm and around 30% for Vietnam. Learned all this on Ex with the Yanks CONUS.

PKM shoots different rounds.....7.62X54R, not 7.62X39. A veteran would know this.

All the comments about the unreliability of the M16, M4, M249 and the reliability of the M9, run counter to all the intel has been e-mailed to me. From pers experience the AK is not a great primary.....not my first choice.

Methinks thou doth protest too much!
All I did was post a document to the forum .
The source has been , up till now, been extremely reliable and I took this document at face value. If some have a problem with the document.... you're welcome to your opinion.... at least it generated some interest and discussion.
"PKM shoots different rounds.....7.62X54R, not 7.62X39. A veteran would know this."

- He probably does.  He did not say they fired the same ammo.

"In terms of its employment.."

- I wasn't talking about it's employment.  I was talking about it's technical lineage.  So, from:

http://remtek.com/arms/fn/mag/  , we get:

".....  The bolt's rearward travel is thus retarded and primary extraction is initiated. This system, taken from the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), "  and

"forward and lift it off. Replace in the opposite manner. This method is taken from the Belgian FN Model D Browning Automatic Rifle, except the direction of rotation has been reversed." and

"Thus each set of pawls acts, in turn, as feed and stop pawls as the cartridge slides half way across with each forward and rearward motion of the bolt. This method, adopted from the MG42, produces a smooth belt flow instead of a series of herky-jerky movements." and

"The trigger mechanism is exactly that of the MG42 and a fine one it is."

In support of the gun plummer's comments above:

"And now the fun begins. The FN MAG 58, especially the gas system, is more complex and difficult to maintain than the M60." and

"There is a trade off. The MAG will operate far longer under adverse conditions without maintenance than the M60."

As my dear departed mother always said, "There is nothing new under the sun."


In any case, it seems to me that most of the technical disputes some have with the article in question may in fact be POLITICAL disputes on a sub-concious plane.  The author's MAIN premise, is that Iraq is a war againt Iran for the future freedom (from Iranian Imperialism) of Iraq, and that contrary to our Marxist-indoctrinated educated elite, the West - on the backs of the US military - is winning it.

Accepting this would lead to the unacceptable conclusion that "A just war is being fought in Iraq by the USA, and by not doing our part to help, WE ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY."


How many more young US Marines have to die because of our gutless inability to come to their aid?

I guess our WWII generation truly was our greatest generation.

In any case, it seems to me that most of the technical disputes some have with the article in question may in fact be POLITICAL disputes on a sub-concious plane.

Uhh, really? I think we are picking out the technical mistakes to prove that the author is a fraud, and that his commentary on weapon systems are a pile of crap,  regardless of his political subtext.