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  #31  
Old 11-21-2019, 08:06 AM
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Wandering off into personal anecdotes again...
When I was doing that live fire shoot, a mob of roos decided to wander into the range area. When the first gun started firing, they scattered but given that our arc of fire was over their heads to hit a target zone behind them, I doubt we hit any of them - but it must'a scared the roo-poo outta them!
However, if they'd been an hour or so earlier, they would've been fragged by the mortars (by the time the roos showed up, mortars had switched to Illum for us on the SFMG course).
Could'a been a nice little barbie, what's a few bits of shrapnel here and there when your getting fresh meat instead of ratpacks hehehe
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  #32  
Old 11-21-2019, 09:10 AM
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As I've mentioned elsewhere, our battalion armourer was, well inept would be giving them too much credit. Almost all the guns in the battalion had faults, some with absolutely critical safety issues such as badly worn sears.
Didn't help that most of the JNCO's and officers didn't really understand the M60, it's capabilities and proper utilisation, so when it came to range time, most didn't even understand the need for zeroing them. Instead they put their inaccuracy down to them being a suppressive weapon rather than properly capable of actually inflicting casualties (yeah, idiots). Most "shoots" were nothing more than familiarisation with qualification a mere afterthought.

So, we're on the range with 10 of these worn out, unzeroed guns lined up on the mound when a herd of 30-40 roos casually hop between us and the targets 300 metres away. As one, every gun "accidentally" shifted fire from the targets to the herd.

Not one roo was dropped as the sights were so far out of zero you really only had tracer to aim with.

Pulling that back to T2K, it's absolutely VITAL to zero weapons the characters may stumble across. Without doing so, I'd probably assign a penalty to hit, at least until the character has had time to assess where their rounds are actually going and adjust accordingly.
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2019, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
As I've mentioned elsewhere, our battalion armourer was, well inept would be giving them too much credit. Almost all the guns in the battalion had faults, some with absolutely critical safety issues such as badly worn sears.
Didn't help that most of the JNCO's and officers didn't really understand the M60, it's capabilities and proper utilisation, so when it came to range time, most didn't even understand the need for zeroing them. Instead they put their inaccuracy down to them being a suppressive weapon rather than properly capable of actually inflicting casualties (yeah, idiots). Most "shoots" were nothing more than familiarisation with qualification a mere afterthought.

So, we're on the range with 10 of these worn out, unzeroed guns lined up on the mound when a herd of 30-40 roos casually hop between us and the targets 300 metres away. As one, every gun "accidentally" shifted fire from the targets to the herd.

Not one roo was dropped as the sights were so far out of zero you really only had tracer to aim with.

Pulling that back to T2K, it's absolutely VITAL to zero weapons the characters may stumble across. Without doing so, I'd probably assign a penalty to hit, at least until the character has had time to assess where their rounds are actually going and adjust accordingly.
Damned good point. In the T2k setting you're not often going to have the luxury of walking rounds on to the target, you just can't afford to waste the ammo.
Even going through a few more rounds than normal to zero a machine gun isn't likely to use as much ammo as walking fire would over a few engagements.

I gotta say, with those NCOs and Officers you had, what the hell happened to "the gun is the main firepower of the Section"?
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  #34  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:17 PM
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I believe the M60 had only been in Australian service for about five years by the time of Long Tan so they were still quite new in that sense. They're a pretty tough gun when they aren't old and worn out (like most GPMGs from that era) and I'd be willing to argue that sustained, direct fire from those guns made the difference between life and death at Long Tan.
To me, it makes plenty of sense that they ignored the 200-rd barrel change and only did it when they had the luxury of time. The gun could take the abuse and there were plenty of reasons (about 2,500 to 3,000 of them) to ignore the barrel change every 200-rds.
There's a semi-famous picture in one of the Jane's Infantry Weapons about 15-20 years back showing an American instructor coaching an Australian M60 gunner at the range.
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  #35  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:57 PM
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The rating of 1 would be for older M2HB guns like the one on my HEMTT that was built in 1942 and still being used in 1993. Those guns have a ROF of 4 and require the gun to be manually headspaced and timed with EACH barrel change. If you shoot more than a belt or two in rapid succession, the gun would begin to lose its timing as the barrel heated up. In my experience, you can usually get through a 100-round belt with no issues but after the second belt, things begin to get "interesting." The M2 is certainly not as bad as the MK19, but the older guns can be very unreliable.

The older AN/M2-M3 air-cooled aircraft-mounted guns have a ROF of 8 and a rating of 3. The airflow these guns receive greatly reduces their heat buildup (despite their rate of fire).

The new Army M2A1 and Navy mod1(?) .50 Caliber Machineguns built by Ohio Ordinance with the non-reciprocating barrel (the action and barrel actually reciprocate together) with fixed headspace and timing and the Quick-Change Barrel (QCB) would have a rating of 5 and their ROF increases to 6.

Also, remember that the Dependability rating only tells you WHEN to check for a performance reduction during a firefight. The weapon's WEAR VALUE actually determines what the outcome of that check is, AND changing the barrel resets the rating back to "0."
OK, I was just making sure. I find it interesting how different experiences people have. In all my deployments (03-4, 07-8, and 09-10) the old M2 (only the first deployment did I check the date stamp on it and it was a WWII era gun) was the most dependable with the M16/M4 a very close second. The Mk19 was the worst by far, it never got even a half a belt before it jammed up on us. Now I do have to say that keeping the M2 running was much more complex, and if you did not know what you were doing it could cause lots of issues, but having spent most of the first have of my time in armor before transferring to EOD I had a good grasp of the M2, but lots did not (there were lots of reports of issues, and in almost every case that I saw it was operator error).
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  #36  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:17 PM
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I gotta say, with those NCOs and Officers you had, what the hell happened to "the gun is the main firepower of the Section"?
The problem was that most were riflemen first and foremost. They understood the theory of the machinegun, but they had never actually carried one and operated as the section gunner. They had been trained (like all infantry) in it's operation, but beyond 50 rounds a year to "familiarise" them, they barely touched it.
Even most of the gunners didn't really want to carry it due in most part to it's weight. Me on the other hand, I saw from the very first day the benefits in being the section gunner - better piquet shifts, rarely called upon for extra duties, got to ride with your head out of the APC, not to mention all that belt fed, heavy firepower, juicy goodness! At the time I was the smallest in the platoon (maybe even company) and weighed about 65kgs (140 lbs) dripping wet. I ALWAYS put my hand up to carry it.

The zeroing issue wasn't addressed until an older ex-gunner was promoted to WO2 and put in charge of running the machinegun qualification shoot. By the end of the day (and thousands of rounds later) all the guns were zeroed and consistently hitting targets for probably the first time in at least a decade and a half. Most had also been pulled and properly serviced by a competent armourer from another unit, so they ran almost as well and brand new guns.

A shame really. They were withdrawn from service just a couple of years later and replaced with Minimi's and MAG-58's.
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  #37  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
The problem was that most were riflemen first and foremost. They understood the theory of the machinegun, but they had never actually carried one and operated as the section gunner. They had been trained (like all infantry) in it's operation, but beyond 50 rounds a year to "familiarise" them, they barely touched it.
Even most of the gunners didn't really want to carry it due in most part to it's weight. Me on the other hand, I saw from the very first day the benefits in being the section gunner - better piquet shifts, rarely called upon for extra duties, got to ride with your head out of the APC, not to mention all that belt fed, heavy firepower, juicy goodness! At the time I was the smallest in the platoon (maybe even company) and weighed about 65kgs (140 lbs) dripping wet. I ALWAYS put my hand up to carry it.

The zeroing issue wasn't addressed until an older ex-gunner was promoted to WO2 and put in charge of running the machinegun qualification shoot. By the end of the day (and thousands of rounds later) all the guns were zeroed and consistently hitting targets for probably the first time in at least a decade and a half. Most had also been pulled and properly serviced by a competent armourer from another unit, so they ran almost as well and brand new guns.

A shame really. They were withdrawn from service just a couple of years later and replaced with Minimi's and MAG-58's.
This brings up another potential game hurdle that the Referee can put in place to make life more "interesting" for the Players - the different levels of knowledge and training between different units of the same type in the same army.

Your experience is in definite contrast to mine where the Infantry Company I was in stressed the importance of the gun within the Section. Every soldier in the Section was expected to know how to use the gun and was also expected to help clean, maintain etc. etc. it because it was a Section weapon and not an individual weapon (like the rifle). Everyone got some range time with it (whenever we had a live shoot which by that time due to the government cutting defence spending, was becoming rare - down from four or five when I first joined to just one live shoot a year).

Even at Battalion level they placed importance on the gun. During those times when the whole Battalion was on exercise, they usually tested knowledge & skills of any & all equipment in use. Anyone who was a gunner was expected to know more about the gun than the average grunt to the point where the NCOs should be able to hand over training on the gun to the gunner himself.
Even the SFMG course I went on was promoted within the Battalion, not because they were going to add SFMG but because they wanted the gunners to get more time, training and knowledge on the -60.
I reckon even now, 25+ years later, I could still load & unload and strip & assemble the M60 blindfolded!
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  #38  
Old 11-21-2019, 08:11 PM
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M60, L1A1, M16 (which I hate with a passion), F88 - can still strip, etc in my sleep with one hand tied behind me. F1 might be a bit more problematic given it was withdrawn within weeks of me enlisting, but I'm sure I'd manage...

In theory our unit was the same, but in reality, well, see above. After the guns were zeroed/serviced and NCOs, etc saw with their own eyes just what they were capable off, things changed a bit for the better. Being assigned as gunner was still seen as a bit of a punishment by many though, which I still find strange for all the reasons I loved it listed above. Yes, it was heavy and tiring, but it balanced my pack quite well. Could usually walk almost upright instead of bent over from the weight on my back. Of course all that weight didn't do my knees much good...

Range time was reduced for us too. Not only due to less ammo being made available (although rumour had it there were tens of thousands of 9mm rounds tucked away - battalion still received the allocation even after the F1s were withdrawn, so there were only a handful of pistols to use it), but also because the rules were changed so we couldn't fire the SLRs at civilian ranges any more. From then on we were forced to travel to either Greenbank in Queensland, or Singleton in NSW for live fire. Six hours one way, or eight the other, all in the back of a Unimog.
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  #39  
Old 11-21-2019, 08:31 PM
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OK, I was just making sure. I find it interesting how different experiences people have. In all my deployments (03-4, 07-8, and 09-10) the old M2 (only the first deployment did I check the date stamp on it and it was a WWII era gun) was the most dependable with the M16/M4 a very close second. The Mk19 was the worst by far, it never got even a half a belt before it jammed up on us. Now I do have to say that keeping the M2 running was much more complex, and if you did not know what you were doing it could cause lots of issues, but having spent most of the first have of my time in armor before transferring to EOD I had a good grasp of the M2, but lots did not (there were lots of reports of issues, and in almost every case that I saw it was operator error).
A number of years back I was responsible for the contract side of the care and feeding of M4s, M60s, and a lone M2 so that we could shock test some rail-mounted gribblies that my employer made. At one point I was responsible for sending the M2 back to Ohio Ordnance for repairs. One of their guys called me up and asked if they could send someone observe one of our shoots, because they had never seen a gun fail that way before. I still don't know what caused it or what the actual damage was, but when the OEM has never seen someone break an M2 the way your guys did, it must have been impressive.
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  #40  
Old 12-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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I always found it hard to fire off the required 5-10 round bursts from the '60. Just felt like I was burning through too much ammo at a time. Personally I MUCH preferred 3-5 round bursts at a more rapid rate even though that's not what the official policy was at the time.
Interesting to see that a few years later the Minimi bursts were supposed to be the smaller 2-3 rounds I believe....
I know a couple places where I can rent a M60 in a couple different variants. I find myself double tapping the target and having to think about longer bursts.

Mind you that I was used to much faster firing guns.
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  #41  
Old 12-04-2019, 07:52 PM
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OK, I was just making sure. I find it interesting how different experiences people have. In all my deployments (03-4, 07-8, and 09-10) the old M2 (only the first deployment did I check the date stamp on it and it was a WWII era gun) was the most dependable with the M16/M4 a very close second. The Mk19 was the worst by far, it never got even a half a belt before it jammed up on us. Now I do have to say that keeping the M2 running was much more complex, and if you did not know what you were doing it could cause lots of issues, but having spent most of the first have of my time in armor before transferring to EOD I had a good grasp of the M2, but lots did not (there were lots of reports of issues, and in almost every case that I saw it was operator error).
Most of our issues were with a lack of needed equipment to do proper maintenance. We were using MOTOR OIL as lubricant because there was no CLP to be found in Theater.
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  #42  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:06 PM
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Pulling that back to T2K, it's absolutely VITAL to zero weapons the characters may stumble across. Without doing so, I'd probably assign a penalty to hit, at least until the character has had time to assess where their rounds are actually going and adjust accordingly.
I require that every weapon be properly zeroed or the shooter suffers a one Level Difficulty Shift in addition to any other modifiers for the attack.

To battlesight zero a weapon requires an EASY test of the appropriate Small Arms skill and the expenditure of 6 + 2D6 rounds of ammunition. If the characters have access to a laser boresighter (S/S $30 in my MERC campaign), they may zero in 2 to 6 (2D3) rounds expended.
The characters may also use the laser boresight to "mechanically zero" a rifle (which will bring the weapon's sights in line with the bore) WITHOUT firing any rounds. A rifle set to mechanical zero will have a penalty on To Hit rolls of from 0 to -2 (1D3 -1) for a given shooter. Each shooter rolls for their own individual penalty since they will all have different "battlesight zeros."
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