Don Williams said…
1) Note that most armies have moved to an assault rifle using a cartridge with intermediate power (M16, AK-47,etc) instead of the full power battle rifles like the FN FAL and HK 91.
2) Reasons are:
a) Most shots on battlefield against trained troops are at less than 200 yards. Under stress and physical exertion of combat, it’s hard to hit a helmet partially concealed behind a rock at 200 yards while panting for breath –or to hit a target rushing from cover to cover.
b) By weight, You can carry three 5.56 Nato or AK-74 rounds for every 7.62 Nato round. You can carry three AK-47 rounds for every two 7.62 rounds.
c) Military Assault rifles can fire automatic. Automatic fire with the 7.62 battle rifles was never practical –rifle too light to control recoil, barrel heats up too rapidly and can’t be switched out.
3) Rapid swings needed for quick kill shots at short range targets are hard to do with heavy battle rifles. Hard to carry them at ready position for minutes at a time.
4) It is poor tactical planning to rely on firing at human wave attacks from behind a fortified wall while under siege. What do you do come nightfall — or against approaching trenches? You
have given up the initiative and are trapped.
Better to patrol and ambush threats far from your base — and the assault rifles are better weapons for patrols than are the battle rifles.
5) Sniper doctrine calls for one shot -one kill and then moving to a new position. The reason is that several shots allow the enemy to precisely locate your position: they can get a bearing and by counting the seconds of time lag between the crack of the bullet passing by them and the report from your rifle muzzle, the enemy can determine the distance to you. (Because bullet travels several times faster than speed of sound, the supersonic crack of it passing by will occur several seconds before the report from a firer’s rifle is heard.)
Whereas one shot out of the blue rarely betrays your position.
A bolt rifle can be fired almost as rapidly as a battle rifle for the first 4 or 5 shots.
The US Marines and Army found that it was much easier to maintain an accurate zero on a simple bolt action rifle being dragged through the field than it was for the mechanically complex battle rifles.
And without a dependable zero, one shot-one kill doesn’t work.
Funny, I’m writing a Military Mindset vs Survival Mindset post and just read your reply, which is sort of related to that.
I’ve got to disagree with you here man, at least partially so.
That the military issues an AR type selective fire rifle doesn’t mean that it’s the ideal solution for survivalists as well.
Easy to shoot, accurate, both light ammo and weapon, (at least without all the junk added later) those are reasons for the military to choose it. Heck, how much 5.56 fits into a cargo plane compared to 7.62. Twice as much? Those are very attractive things from a logistic point of view. It may win a war, but is it in your best interest as an individual? A survivalist has other options, and if you train enough then you don’t have to stick with the light .22 carbine with little recoil.
The AK47 is at least more rugged, fires a .30 round comparable to 30-30 and with good soft points you have an acceptable hunting gun.
Now for a one and only long arm and for someone that knows how to use it to its full potential, I’m partial to the FAL, preferably 16” barrel with PARA folding stock and good optics, maybe a trijicon. You have a terrific rifle, it may not be light but its compact enough and you’re shooting 7.62 NATO.
About bolt action speed beign comparable to semi auto, I guarantee you its not. Specially under stress, its not even close.
You also shouldn’t mix sniper weapons with average shooters. As something in between you have designated shooters (who have a 7.62 semi auto. DMR is a scoped M14) and those are the guys actually scorign the most hits.
Even for snipers, the military now replaced the bolt action M24 Sniper Weapon System with a semi auto 7.62 AR, the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System.
What does this tell you? Semi auto capability is important, even for designated marksmen. For a lone rifleman (survivalist or other armed citizen) with no backup and no one watching you back, its not only important, its crucial.
The sniper role is very technical, very specific, and as cool as snipers are portrayed they are VERY vulnerable when caught outside their offensive role. The sniper is like a scalpel, works for delicate surgery but you can destroy him with an axe. If a sniper armed with a bolt rifle gets caught in a building and has to turn to defensive role, he’s pretty much dead. That’s why the spotter is usually armed with a PDW or other semi auto rifle, and of course why there’s a 2nd guy to begin with. The spotter provides the security. Its taken as a given that the sniper can’t defend himself properly at close quarters, not while focusing on a long range target and armed with a blot rifle.
A scoped FAL will be accurate enough for all your needs, will do almost anything a bolt action 7.62 can do in terms of accuracy and with the added bonus of having semi auto speed with a 20 round mag, putting it in an entire different ball game the bolt rifle can even compete in. Granted, a one mile rifle it is not, but you also have to be realistic of the ranges you’ll be using the weapon as well. If you’re doing 800 yard shots you are not a survivalist, you’re not a lone citizen defending himself, and if I have to pick one, I’ll pick the hard hitting semi auto that can make the 300 yard shot, and not go for the 800 yard rifle that is almost of limited use within the more common 50 yard range or less, where 99% of the self defense situations occur.
Don Williams said…
1) Most countries who adopted the FN FAL liked it, aside from the weight. However, Israel dropped it and moved to develop the Galil (and AK-47 type design) because the IDF felt the FAL was prone to jamming in desert conditions (fine sand,etc.)
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_FAL#Production_and_use and
scroll down to Israel.
Its true that they dropped the FAL but the reports of problems with sand are just an excuse (Afghans bought Argentine FALs a while back, very happy with them… they have sand of all sorts too) Truth is Israel dropped the FAL because they were getting the M16 for free from USA. If you think the M16 is tougher than the FAL you have to stop using drugs. But of course it sounds better to those that dont know any better if you say you are using something else because its better and not because its cheaper, or as in this case, downright free!