22 August 2011

Full-Auto vs Semi-Auto

Weer'd is talking about the legality.

Be sure to watch the video!

He quotes the VPC about it too.

Semi-auto fire is more lethal than auto.

An aside, we have "full auto" because of the Browning Automatic Rifle.  Some versions have a "Slow-Auto" position on the selector; so you had "Full" and "Slow".

What does full-auto do that semi doesn't?

It keeps heads down.

The North Hollywood bank robbery is a decent example.  How long were those guys shooting?  How many people were killed?  In 44 minutes the robbers only managed to kill one person (one of themselves).  The only other person killed was the other robber and the cops shot him.  Eighteen people were wounded by the robbers, but not killed.

What they did manage was to hold up the police from arresting them for almost an hour!

This is what full-auto is good at in the real world.  The military would have had someone flanking the cops while they were being pinned down.

In the video, Mr Hickok fires 30 rounds to take out three targets in auto and 4 rounds for four targets in semi.

Belt-fed type machine guns aren't even designed to be all that accurate in a rifle sense.  They have dispersion built into them because a machine gun is an area weapon, like artillery and grenades, not a point weapon like a pistol or rifle.  It's undesirable to have all of your rounds go through a small area at range, you want them spread out more than with a rifle.  The good news about designing this in is an open bolt gun is shaking around a lot throwing off the aim pretty good and widening the pattern.


  1. Ooh, now that's a VERY good point about the flanking (see also, close air support, or artillery/drones/missiles)

    Makes a bit more sense to me as the idea of pinning a large group down while you wait for the additional force to wipe them out.

    Still think that you can do it more efficiently with a semi-auto in a heavier caliber.

    But I'm kinda fanatical about larger cartridges and heavier bullets...

  2. I am a firm believer in heavier projectiles too.

    You can keep your wussy little .50 BMG, I call that a "secondary" weapon. M256, on the way.

    You can't do it more efficiently with semi-auto fire, if so we'd not have an MG at the squad level. There'd be no need for a coaxial MG on armored vehicles. This really is something that's been tested under real conditions.

    It's kind of a theory vs practice thing. In theory, they are the same; but in practice they aren't.


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