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Old 03-30-2011, 06:41 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Location: East Tennessee, USA
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Machineguns aren't really meant to be accurate in the conventional sense so the sights don't have to be as good as an individual rifle, their purpose after all is to throw a whole lot of lead into an area in a short space of time.

As for tracers, with the chance that an area being gunned up is also kicking up a lot of dust, tracers can help you walk onto target. The Viet Cong and NVA used to have shooters with magazines of 1:1 tracer on either flank of an attack group and then shoot into the target so night attacks could be coordinated.

Tracer ammunition can also be made in your own toolshed if you have the right chemicals and tools. There's an article here about making your own tracers.
Keep in mind that I mention this strictly for educational purposes
Never really had that many problems with dust kicking up on the target, we always had it hammered into our semi-thick heads to fire short bursts of 2-3 seconds duration, then reacquire the target with the sights and let fly again. At the time I was in there were a lot of Vietnam vets still in service and almost to a man, they loathed tracers. "Sure they let you track in on the target, they also let the target track in on you." was a common comment on the ole firing range.

Boils down to what the gunner wanted to use, if there was time to prepare the belts, then tracers would be pulled. The real question is just how much time a unit reloading its own brass would spend in making tracers.
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
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