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Posted: 10/14/2002 3:41:40 PM EDT
Just got back from my 5th trip to Knob Creek.

I am always amazed over the high rate of malfunctions on the firing line. Seems like the majority of guns jam and break frequently. Additionally, I can't get over the massive amounts of tools and spare parts behind the line to keep MGs operating.

It seems to me that machine guns are a bitch to keep operating. For a military arm, I would not want to bet my life on their reliability.

Is this due to the age of the MGs in operation at the creek, or do they all take a mechanic and a truck load of stuff to keem them shooting?
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 3:56:31 PM EDT
In my Guard unit we had a SAW that launched the barrel off when we fired it (not too bad except it was mounted on a HUMVEE and we were driving around, it was a bitch to go thru the forest looking for it) but other than that, never had a problem except with blanks.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 4:12:37 PM EDT
I haven't been there this year but I have made the same observation in the past. It seems that few weapons made after 1950 work well.

I think a lot has to do with the care the weapons have received over the years and a posible lack of knowledge on how to properly maintain the weapons. Add in some bad surpluss ammo now and then and the posiblitly that many of the shooters don't get to shoot their expensive toys that often and are not proficiant in the use of them and you get weapon failures.

Link Posted: 10/14/2002 4:31:23 PM EDT
Machine guns don't work well untill they get old and then they brake and even with the number of rounds to come out of one I have seen only a few people ever hit anything with one.

I'll just hang on to my 5,000-500,000 these guys pay for that stuff.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 4:48:52 PM EDT
Since the cost of many spare parts are at a premium, many people probably don't replace parts as offend as they should. So, instead of replacing parts to prevent problems, people will usually replace parts only when they break.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 8:04:42 PM EDT
also remember that alot of these guns are atleast 16 years old (if a transerable) and have probly been shot ALOT.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 9:58:24 PM EDT
If you're talking about the main line, I know what you're talking about. As I see it there's a couple of reasons:

1) Their age. Most of those are WW2, or even better, age guns. Especially the German stuff. Of course the M-60s are Viet Nam era. They probably don't have the loving care thru the years most modern guns get.

2) Their owners. Since they have a large amount of $$ invested they would tend to be overly careful of adjustments & replacing this or that. Unlike most governments, individuals don't have bottomless budgets. >gg<


I've said it before & I'll say it again: until one has stood on the main line at Knob Creek when everything is going off at once, one hasn't lived!
Link Posted: 10/15/2002 10:52:27 AM EDT
I carried 23 pounds of big, black, and ugly
M-60 in 'Nam. Sweetest gun a guy could have considering the XM16E1's were jamming b----es at the time. Only problem I ever had was outside the Hobo Woods. NVA engaged us in a big firefight. Put a lot of rounds down range, and the trigger assembly retaining spring left during the fight. Both pins fell out, the trigger assembly came off, and we had to break the belt as the gun was on it's own.
No telling how well maintained some of these MG's are cared for now. Many folks want to own one, but don't want to maintain what they have.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 8:49:23 AM EDT
I've been there a few times myself and yes I have seen alot of malfunctions-but I go on the range regularly with military units and don't see near the malfunctions that are seen there-And the military guys pump more rounds through the weapons (at least the ones I work for do).

Most of it is in maintenance-I have an MG3 here that after fixing works like a charm. The M60 as far as I have seen was not altogether that good of a design (I worked on them form many years). If you have guys who know what they are supposed to look for the weapons function for the most part very well-but the level of care I see that goes on at KCR is funny to say the least for some of the shooters involved. Some of the guns are just tired though and need a complete overhaul.
One guy there is particularly interesting the 4 times I have been there he is always on the line trying to get his Browning .50 to work it'll fire 3-5 rounds and stop. I have not gone to any of the shoots this year but it would not surprise me to see that he is still trying to shoot his gun in it's malfunctioning condition. I have half thought to go there with my ordnance tools and gages, rent a table at the gun show and hang up my shingle.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 9:50:50 AM EDT
Sounds like a good idea, but are they too cheap to spend the money. Sure seems like it.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 9:56:43 AM EDT
I know I take care of my small number of Class 3 MGs as if they were my babies, which in fact they are. I think few guns will see as much TLC as mine.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 12:46:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:
In my Guard unit we had a SAW that launched the barrel off when we fired it (not too bad except it was mounted on a HUMVEE and we were driving around, it was a bitch to go thru the forest looking for it) but other than that, never had a problem except with blanks.


I was a saw gunner for 2 years and never seen or heard of this happening ever. How did this barrel fly off and how did it go so far of a distance? There isnt enough powder in an m855, m856 or blank cartridge to launch it off and even pulling the barrel off manually to change it out requires the bolt to be back and the latch right in front of the feed tray hinge to be depressed.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 2:34:22 PM EDT
So were are all the pictures, video and range report from the creek? After Bulletfest, there were pages with hundreds of photos posted, and even a video cd was produced and distributed to anyone that wanted a copy. I just dont see much being said about Knob Creek.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 2:36:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hoplite:

Originally Posted By guardian855:
In my Guard unit we had a SAW that launched the barrel off when we fired it (not too bad except it was mounted on a HUMVEE and we were driving around, it was a bitch to go thru the forest looking for it) but other than that, never had a problem except with blanks.


I was a saw gunner for 2 years and never seen or heard of this happening ever. How did this barrel fly off and how did it go so far of a distance? There isnt enough powder in an m855, m856 or blank cartridge to launch it off and even pulling the barrel off manually to change it out requires the bolt to be back and the latch right in front of the feed tray hinge to be depressed.



It didn't fly very far, probably about a foot, hit the roof of the HUMVEE and rolled off while we were going pretty fast on a dirt road thru a forest. It took us awhile to find where it had fallen off at. I didn't mean to make it sound like it flew a hundred yards or anything. I shouldn't have used the word launched in retrospect. The other wierd thing about it was when the gunner was taking it apart, he couldn't remove the buttstock to get the bolt out. Three guys looked at it, everything looked ok, bolt was forward (they double checked it) but when his squad leader finally got the buttstock off, the bolt flew out and smacked him right in the jaw. IT was the strangest and only problem we had with the SAW.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 8:18:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By Hoplite:

Originally Posted By guardian855:
In my Guard unit we had a SAW that launched the barrel off when we fired it (not too bad except it was mounted on a HUMVEE and we were driving around, it was a bitch to go thru the forest looking for it) but other than that, never had a problem except with blanks.


I was a saw gunner for 2 years and never seen or heard of this happening ever. How did this barrel fly off and how did it go so far of a distance? There isnt enough powder in an m855, m856 or blank cartridge to launch it off and even pulling the barrel off manually to change it out requires the bolt to be back and the latch right in front of the feed tray hinge to be depressed.



It didn't fly very far, probably about a foot, hit the roof of the HUMVEE and rolled off while we were going pretty fast on a dirt road thru a forest. It took us awhile to find where it had fallen off at. I didn't mean to make it sound like it flew a hundred yards or anything. I shouldn't have used the word launched in retrospect. The other wierd thing about it was when the gunner was taking it apart, he couldn't remove the buttstock to get the bolt out. Three guys looked at it, everything looked ok, bolt was forward (they double checked it) but when his squad leader finally got the buttstock off, the bolt flew out and smacked him right in the jaw. IT was the strangest and only problem we had with the SAW.



I hope they got rid of this weapon. The spring guide somehow popped forward and upwards while under pressure causing it to come out of its notch and pressing against the stock. If this is what happened (saying it was reassembled correctly) then I would hope it is scrapped before it costs some lives
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 8:36:11 PM EDT
These are the MGs I have personally operated:
1. M60E2. This was a tempermental girl. If I made sure to tighten the gas tube before firing every 100-200 rounds and kept her lubricated she would work like a charm, but only if I sang to her the night before. Think I am making this up? M60s have souls, and mine liked to hear me sing. Otherwise she would screw up.

2. M249. This was without a doubt my dream Mg. Light, easily maintained, high rate of firepower, accurate as all get out, and easily controlled. Never had a single problem with it except for blank fire, where all weapons malfunction. No singing required, M249s have no souls.

3. M240. Everything good about the M249 can be said of this gun except the 240 shoots through walls. My only complaint? You had to remove the barrel to alter the cyclic rate. Other than that, kick ass! Again, no soul.

4. M2HB. All M2s have souls. They are also like cranky old men with enlarged prostates and new onset Alzeheimer's. You have to treat them with respect and decent care, or they will give you a very hard time. The guy mentioned above who could only get 3-5 rounds at a time may not know how to properly set headspace and timing. When I left my unit there were maybe 4 guys there who knew how to do it properly. As long as you know and love the .50 and always do a 9-15 round burst like John Moses Browning and the manual call for you won't have a problem. Just make sure to do a barrel change every 200 rounds of rapid fire.
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 10:28:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hoplite:

Originally Posted By guardian855:

Originally Posted By Hoplite:

Originally Posted By guardian855:
In my Guard unit we had a SAW that launched the barrel off when we fired it (not too bad except it was mounted on a HUMVEE and we were driving around, it was a bitch to go thru the forest looking for it) but other than that, never had a problem except with blanks.


I was a saw gunner for 2 years and never seen or heard of this happening ever. How did this barrel fly off and how did it go so far of a distance? There isnt enough powder in an m855, m856 or blank cartridge to launch it off and even pulling the barrel off manually to change it out requires the bolt to be back and the latch right in front of the feed tray hinge to be depressed.



It didn't fly very far, probably about a foot, hit the roof of the HUMVEE and rolled off while we were going pretty fast on a dirt road thru a forest. It took us awhile to find where it had fallen off at. I didn't mean to make it sound like it flew a hundred yards or anything. I shouldn't have used the word launched in retrospect. The other wierd thing about it was when the gunner was taking it apart, he couldn't remove the buttstock to get the bolt out. Three guys looked at it, everything looked ok, bolt was forward (they double checked it) but when his squad leader finally got the buttstock off, the bolt flew out and smacked him right in the jaw. IT was the strangest and only problem we had with the SAW.



I hope they got rid of this weapon. The spring guide somehow popped forward and upwards while under pressure causing it to come out of its notch and pressing against the stock. If this is what happened (saying it was reassembled correctly) then I would hope it is scrapped before it costs some lives



I believe they did scrap it, but the gunner was in another squad so I do not know what happened to it.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 4:08:11 AM EDT
Yup, maintenance. I work as a gunsmith at a class 3 shop. Most of the problems I see are with post sample rewelds, DIAS, etc. Some of the most reliable guns I've used are our 1919 and of course our AK47. We can start a 250 round belt in the 1919 and just hold down the trigger until it's empty. Rarely a malfunction. The AK is a running bastard! We call it "The Bitch". No real maint. required for it.


Balming
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 6:32:00 AM EDT
I've been an MG gunner (the German MG-3 (or MG-42/59), and I don't ever remember a serious malfunction, nor were breakdown or jams very common with the other gunners. Later, when I became a platoon sergeant and (much later) a platoon commander, I had 3 of them in the platoon, and they also very rarely had any problems at all. We put the MG-3 through all kinds of crap, and fired huge amounts of rounds through them, and there was almost never a problem.

Don't know much about the M-60 except seeing it when we practiced with US units - but never got a really good impression of it.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 7:41:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2002 7:43:38 AM EDT by TimJ]

Originally Posted By soylent_green:
These are the MGs I have personally operated:
1. M60E2. This was a tempermental girl. If I made sure to tighten the gas tube before firing every 100-200 rounds and kept her lubricated she would work like a charm, but only if I sang to her the night before. Think I am making this up? M60s have souls, and mine liked to hear me sing. Otherwise she would screw up.



M-60's have souls.....truer words I've never heard. Her name was Henrietta, a six digit (188252) serial numbered Maremont lady. She ran and ran and ran, but I had to treat her with respect and talk sweetly to her. BUT if I ever cursed or bad mouthed her FORGET IT. She'd get all testy and pout. M-16's are interchangeable, you bond with '60's.


Tim
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 10:26:19 AM EDT
Hmmmmmm. Almost forgot Maw Deuce. 3 clicks out and she was set. Come get some Charlie!! Only problem was extended firing could rupture your ear drums.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 1:57:09 PM EDT
Here is my input on this. For the most part we didn't have many problems.

M16-A1 When I first went into the army we were issued m16-A1s believe it or not. Shot really well. One in the armery was actually stamped xm.

m249 I got it new from the armery when it first came out and it was a blast. Loved it.

.50 cals Our .50s where all manufactured in the 50s and the only problem we had was the fireing pins being broken. I think it was due to the idiots not knowing how to check the head space.

mk 19 biggest hard on ever. It would rattle the humv turret. loved it all.
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