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Old 01-13-2015, 10:30 AM
NanbanJim NanbanJim is offline
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Default M231 Port Firing Weapon

So I found this AK47.net thread/article on the M231 (aka Bradley Port Firing Weapon). This puppy was apparently much beloved by the T2k guys, so I figured I should post it here!

From the linked thread, it seems to be an abject bullet hose, firing too fast to malfunction (OK that's a bit tongue-in-cheek), and of limited utility. OP in that thread suggests it could perhaps be useful for armor crewmen, maybe, but that comparable if not better options exist.

My impression from reading the big yellow book was that they assumed there'd be tons of these in use all over the place for militia, second-line units, etc. Makes sense, they apparently weren't all that useful in their installed role; in Europe, there's quite a dearth of firearms; in the States, it's a full-auto weapon of reasonably familiar manual of arms.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:39 PM
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Only person I know who ever carried one (IRL) was my friend Dave.

He had one of the early one with a wire collapsing stock (like a grease gun)
and since the it has no sights he attached a cheap red dot scope to the hole in the carry handle (NC star i believe) he also had a beta magazine shipped to him from home and loaded ever 5th round tracer. If remember correctly he scavenged an old bungee cord and mad it into a one point sling looped through the carry handle.

They fire from an open bolt and lack sights, so without tracers its a bit harder to walk in your shot with one of these.

I think for an up close "trench broom" sort of firearm it could be useful.

Daves favorite set-up he acquired in the balkans. He had friends who where armorers and they had a redundant M16A2 upper that wasn't accounted for in there inventory. And they also managed to get all the parts together to build an M4A4 lower they where able to request parts for "repair". Anyway they mated the two together halfs together and he said it was the best setup he ever used while in the military. He also ran Isreali orlite 40 round magazines that he bought on the internet which he thought were great until he had a malfunction with one.

BIA
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:22 PM
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I've seen a few in Iraq during the initial push, but that was the only time.


As to the M16/M4 combo, know it well.

Was issued for a few months a M4/203, and one of the Mortarmen in the troop hated trying to fit a full sized M16 in the Mortartrack. So... we swapped lowers. The M4/203 with a fixed M16 stock is perhaps the best balanced rifle I ever carried in the Army.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:12 PM
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I've only seen one, in Iraq in the hands of a Bradley TC. It had no stock. The only place I've ever laid eyes on one is in the Infantry Museum at Benning; the year I was a Bradley soldier, they were never issued to us, and Roethel (the unit armorer and my roommate) didn't even have any in his arms room. Note, this was well before even Desert Storm.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:34 AM
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I have a friend who used to use one when MOUT training. It was according to him.
Quote:
The damn thing rocked for close quaters combat but anything past 10 meters was almost impossible to hit due to the lack of buttstock and the recoil.
Then again this is the same guy who got to test a G11K2.

For a different game I had a character take a M231 and after putting on a scope they modified a M249 collapsing buttstock to fit on the firearm. it looked something like the folllowing.

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Old 01-14-2015, 07:13 PM
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Sounds like everyone has the same basic concept for using the crazy things.

I like that they fire from an open bolt. Interestingly enough they were originally issued with all tracer magazines! Some of those mags would be fun if you got a "runner"
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwolf66 View Post

For a different game I had a character take a M231 and after putting on a scope they modified a M249 collapsing buttstock to fit on the firearm. it looked something like the folllowing.
Great photoshopping, but I don't see the point when there are AR-15s and AK-47 clones growing from every tree. It does have the "cool factor" though.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:37 AM
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The idea was to take a a gun that wasn't effective and some parts off a broken weapon and make an effective weapon.

Why they built firearms that were nearly useless off of a vehicle is beyond me. Did people never think that the crew of a disabled vehicle may need every bit of firepower they can lay their hands on?
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:18 PM
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I guess if they Bradley was broke down (threw a track or whatever) was forced to become a pill box having guns on the side could keep guys without RPG's from planting satchel charges on it....I dunno I think it failed in practice but was a decent concept.
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:25 PM
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they were originaly designed to be useful disounted. hence why they still have the equipment carrying handle for mounting optics. they also were meant to have a collapsing buttstock. this was removed from the final design because army brass were afraid soldiers would actually dare using the weapons outside of the vehicle.
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcat View Post
they were originaly designed to be useful disounted. hence why they still have the equipment carrying handle for mounting optics. they also were meant to have a collapsing buttstock. this was removed from the final design because army brass were afraid soldiers would actually dare using the weapons outside of the vehicle.
Which actually happened in practice. My friend above and the members of his unit prefered the M231 in CQB to the M16. Not only was it a shorter weapon, it's rate of fire was impressive.

http://youtu.be/hjVE6bocSNk
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Old 01-16-2015, 05:45 PM
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I think the parts are available to do a closed bolt, semi reproduction. A unique survivor weapon for an NPC.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:01 PM
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Hmmm, I may have to build one just to see.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:02 PM
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Resurrecting this thread because Ian covered the M231 on Forgotten Weapons this week.

https://www.forgottenweapons.com/rea...firing-weapon/

Unfortunately, not an episode where he gets to fire the gun
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:05 PM
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Has anyone here ever had a PC use an M231 as his/her primary weapon? If so, please do tell.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab View Post
Resurrecting this thread because Ian covered the M231 on Forgotten Weapons this week.

https://www.forgottenweapons.com/rea...firing-weapon/

Unfortunately, not an episode where he gets to fire the gun
First thing that came to mind when I saw the video was you guys...
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Has anyone here ever had a PC use an M231 as his/her primary weapon? If so, please do tell.
This is not exactly what you're asking for, but the M231 issued with the M2 has a sliding stock to allow the shooter to adjust the weapon more fully himself. The rest of the Bradley series had no such stock, but the brackets for the stock are still there and could be used to attach a stock, In addition, there are many aftermarket stocks (even in all Twilight 2000 timelines) that would allow a stock to be attached to an M231. Unfortunately, their availability in Europe in the V1 and V2.2 timelines is questionable.

I've never have had to dismount with the M231, but I have noticed in pictures from Iraq that some Bradley BCs have the M231 (without stock) held by the BC.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:04 AM
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I've had militia and marauders using M231s. Some horse cavalry as well.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:26 AM
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Same here. I'm just wondering if anyone's ever had a PC or significant NPC use one. It'd be an appropriate weapon for a former track driver/crewman/mechanic- turned-infantry character to be equipped with.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:34 AM
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ROF 5 seems a bit low for a weapon with a cyclic rate on par with the MG42 ...
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
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ROF 5 seems a bit low for a weapon with a cyclic rate on par with the MG42 ...
Yes, it is. The M231 should be at least 10 if not 15. Per IWW, 5 is for weapons with up to 700 rpm, 10 for 701-1000 rpm, and above that it's just sort of eyeballed. The M231 is around 1200 rpm. The XM231 was only around 200 due to differences in the buffer assembly, which would be ROF 5.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:46 PM
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A point not mentioned is that the rationale for the M231 is that it would not compromise the NBC system of the vehicle by putting a great big hole in the vehicle for people to poke guns out of!

A nice solution in need of a problem....
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwolf66 View Post
The idea was to take a a gun that wasn't effective and some parts off a broken weapon and make an effective weapon.

Why they built firearms that were nearly useless off of a vehicle is beyond me. Did people never think that the crew of a disabled vehicle may need every bit of firepower they can lay their hands on?
As far as Army doctrine goes, the answer is no.

I date back to the transition time between M48/M60 and M1, my experiences may shed some light. Tankers were always considered to be weapon system operators, self defense took a very far second place. Primary weapon for a tanker was a pistol, on the 48/60 series, you had two M3 series SMGs, and it was not unusual to see the older WWII M3, that was it. Others weapons was the M-2HB or M85 .50 HMG or a M73/M219 coax with no ground mount. Yes tankers had training on the M16 during our Basic/AIT, but the only personnel assigned rifles were some of the mechanics and the headquarters platoon personnel.

When the M1 came out, the SMGs were removed, in some units, and replaced by a single M16. The amusing thing was there was no additional training on the rifle and it was treated as a pain in the arse. You now had two M240s, and there was talk about discounting one, but both were the coax versions and could only be used dismounted with a great deal of trouble.

There was always a lot of talk about a ground mount kit for the loaders mg, but I only saw one kit in the six years I spent on the M1.
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Last edited by dragoon500ly; 10-18-2017 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:25 AM
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A point not mentioned is that the rationale for the M231 is that it would not compromise the NBC system of the vehicle by putting a great big hole in the vehicle for people to poke guns out of!
No firing ports would be even better

Given the relatively poor armor of AFVs, infantry huddling inside a stationary or slow-moving AFV as a mob swarms at them is not a terribly safe idea.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
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No firing ports would be even better

Given the relatively poor armor of AFVs, infantry huddling inside a stationary or slow-moving AFV as a mob swarms at them is not a terribly safe idea.
Don't forget those firing ports were also shot traps. Which is why the M231s were pulled, the firing ports blanked over and the later covered with armor plate.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:40 AM
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Personally I would think the old grease gun would be a better weapon than the M231 if I had to dismount and fight with it
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
As far as Army doctrine goes, the answer is no.

I date back to the transition time between M48/M60 and M1, my experiences may shed some light. Tankers were always considered to be weapon system operators, self defense took a very far second place. Primary weapon for a tanker was a pistol, on the 48/60 series, you had two M3 series SMGs, and it was not unusual to see the older WWII M3, that was it. Others weapons was the M-2HB or M85 .50 HMG or a M73/M219 coax with no ground mount. Yes tankers had training on the M16 during our Basic/AIT, but the only personnel assigned rifles were some of the mechanics and the headquarters platoon personnel.

When the M1 came out, the SMGs were removed, in some units, and replaced by a single M16. The amusing thing was there was no additional training on the rifle and it was treated as a pain in the arse. You now had two M240s, and there was talk about discounting one, but both were the coax versions and could only be used dismounted with a great deal of trouble.

There was always a lot of talk about a ground mount kit for the loaders mg, but I only saw one kit in the six years I spent on the M1.
You are correct that it is not Military Doctrine but for some commands it is. I started with tanks (spent about ten years, all with M-1/IPM-1/M1-A1's) after they had officially made the switch (about eight years after) but we still had the M1911A1, and M3's, we also had two dismount kits for each tank (one for loaders and second for Coaxial). They fought and delayed as long as they could the switch to the M9/M16. Now I am not saying that the M16 is a bad weapon, but it is a bad weapon for tanks. My brother was in the same unit years later and they switched from the M16 to the M4 as quick as they could (at a one M16 for two M4).
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
Personally I would think the old grease gun would be a better weapon than the M231 if I had to dismount and fight with it
Possibly, but by the time of the competition, the M3's in service were around 30 years old and would have needed serious refurbishing. Also, the rate of fire is a bit low for a last-ditch defense weapon.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:24 PM
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Any idea if the Army ever looked at the Uzi for a tanker weapon? It puts out a good rate of fire and it would be a better crewman/tanker weapon than an M16 for sure
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
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Personally I would think the old grease gun would be a better weapon than the M231 if I had to dismount and fight with it
I've fired both, given the choice, then M3 would be my choice as well, nice heavy slow moving cartridge, reasonable recoil and clunky enough that you could feather off single shots all day long.

BUT

M3/M3A1 were last manufactured in 1946-47 and only refurbished since then, worn out does not Bevin to describe almost all of the grease guns that I saw or handled. By 1980 or so, you were having problems with worn Sears leading to run always, misfired due to worn firing pins, magazines that wouldn't load, the list was long and growing longer.

When M1 came into service a lot of units were glad to trade grease guns for M16s. And we were promised ground kits for at least the leader's weapon.
And a lot of units kept the grease guns, but after 1982, the decision was made for no more depot rebuilds.
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