Q&A #37: FNs in Korea and Suomis in Denmark (and more)

0:00:21 – Do I only drink Scotch?
0:02:03 – Belgian semiauto rifle at Chosin Reservoir?
0:03:54 – Do patent laws improve firearms design?
0:05:49 – Who do I like when I read fiction?
0:06:14 – Would it have been easier to make a reproduction StG45 than StG44?
0:08:33 – FG-42 controllability and its stock buffer spring
0:11:08 – Finnish submachine gun with he Danish Resistance?
0:12:10 – How do collectors afford machine guns?
0:16:13 – If France had not fallen in 1940, would the French have developed an intermediate cartridge rifle?
0:19:26 – When did the US military have the biggest advantage and biggest disadvantage in small arms?
0:23:44 – Was the MG42 really so good?
0:26:54 – Was the SKS really a good idea for Russia?
0:30:53 – Opinion on the new cheap Chinese semiauto shotguns?
0:32:35 – Did Japan show an interest in the StG-44?
0:35:16 – Explain the C&R License.
0:39:39 – Can you lock two FG42s together like MAS 36 rifles?
0:40:49 – Why wasn’t the Maxim Pom-Pom used more in WW1?
0:43:39 – How do I get into different places to film?
0:46:43 – Are people biased in favor of their own nation’s service rifles?
0:49:43 – Most interesting “forgotten ammunition”
0:50:54 – K&M M17S Bullpup
0:53:15 – Should the US Government reopen Springfield Armory (or something like it)?
0:56:43 – Why are museums like the Royal Armouries not open to the public?
0:59:56 – Why did the French never get rid of the Chauchat magazine holes?
1:02:14 – Did the US simplify weapons like the Axis “last ditch” things?
1:04:16 – What does my wife think of Forgotten Weapons?
1:05:52 – Are my “Only 3 Guns” still the PKM, WWSD, and Hudson9?

52 Comments

    • Only Yugoslavia appears to have made wide use of rifle grenades with the M59/66 SKS.
      Poland developed grenade launchers for their variant of the Kalashnikov.
      I don’t know if it was because of the RPG-2 (B-40) and later the RPG-7, but it just seems that the Soviets were not really that keen on rifle grenades after WWII, while the French, Yugoslav JNA, Israeli IDF, post-WWII Japanese “self-defense forces” and a few other notable national armies really embraced the concept… at least for a time.

      Nowadays, it would seem that most have been supplanted by various 40mm under-barrel launchers, no?

      • True, but you can fit much more “juice” in rifle grenade, than 40mm.
        However both kinda fall into “poor mans artillery”, if used and fielded too much, I guess they are more suited for guerilla warfare.

      • I think part of the Soviet reluctance to embrace the rifle grenade stemmed from their abysmal quality control on munitions. It’s one thing to have a misfire with the warhead on an RPG-2 or 7, but the way you’d have to hand out rifle grenades in mass numbers to every soldier, who would then have to carry them around, then return them to stores when they’re not used…? Yikes. Contemplate the fact that Soviet ammo dumps regularly and spontaneously self-combust, and then ask yourself why you never hear of that happening in the West…?

        Soviet munitions quality control sucked. EOD really, really hates having to deal with their stuff, because it’s so iffy–From poorly designed firing trains to explosive fillers made out of the the cheapest stuff out there, which is prone to decay and random sensitization.

        My guess is that the Soviets did a cost/benefit analysis, and decided that rifle grenades were not for them. You’ll note that the Yugoslavs, with their somewhat less haphazard approach to munitions fabrication, were happily using their version of the SKS to launch grenades with. My suspicion would be that they paid more attention to quality control, did more training, and had better manufacture processes in place than the Soviets did. If I remember rightly, the Yugoslavs had Belgian and French help setting up some of the munitions plants in the post-WWII era.

        • I’d add a comical aspect; with russian army and their practices, it would not be uncommon scenario that perhaps many ignorant conscript soldiers forget and try to launch the grenades with bullet rounds and kill or maim themselves and/or other around them.
          I’m writing this just after seeing a video of a russian man voluntarily getting shot with shotgun in his buttocks (and surviving), filmed in his living room.

        • Yugoslavian AK copy, M70 series, as most probably know, could launch grenades, but with the cost of wearing the rifle down and destroying barrel accuracy, supposedly as quick as after only several grenades,
          all of which did not happen with their PAP M59/66.

          But one gotta admit its sounding very tempting for every military planner that you can have a detachment of soldiers with every one having for example 2 rifle grenades without needing special underbarrel grenade launcher attached on every rifle, or a soldier dedicated just with that task and weapon.

      • “(…)Soviets were not really that keen on rifle grenades after WWII(…)”
        There existed ВГ-44 for pattern 1944 carbine.
        There existed ВГ-45 for SKS.
        See photos:
        https://www.kalashnikov.ru/granatomyoty-vg-44-i-vg-45-dlya-karabinov-obr-1944-g-i-sks/
        There also existed Vitrina device for less-lethal actions:
        https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/08/12/vitrina-classified-soviet-kgb-grenade-launcher-for-aks74u/

        As for lacks of wider usage in post-WWII era, it might be partly due to bad experiences with VPGS-41, see 1st photo from top:
        https://www.reddit.com/r/wwiipics/comments/eqwptk/quality_control_of_the_assembled_vpgs41_antitank/
        which were generally disliked and additionally have fuse which tended to work prematurely.

    • “(…)SKS only advantage over AK is in much better job in launching rifle grenades.(…)”
      SKS was lighter than original AK (3,86 kg vs 4,3 kg) which is further boost by first not using detachable magazines.

  1. The US’s biggest advantage in small arms?
    I’d pick the Moro Rebellion, 1899 – 1913 .
    Krags and Gatlings vs. kampilans and kris.

    • Hmm. Persuasive! The Katipunan during the Philippine War did have some rolling block single-shots and Mauser 7mm repeaters.

      What about disadvantage? Seems to me that in most peer-conflicts, i.e. wars between states, that the U.S. has enjoyed at least parity: Mexican War flintlock smooth-bore muskets…WWI: various French MGs and U.S. bolt-action repeaters… For disadvantage, I’d think it would be the specific engagement of the Fetterman massacre, where most of the Indian warriors had clubs and a handful of firearms, but most of the slain blue coats had single-shot muzzle loading rifle muskets? Or, perhaps the Trap-door Springfield and non-charger-loading Krag repeater in the War of 1898 against the charger loaded Mauser of the Spaniards?

  2. The first of the Belgian-Luxembourg Corps only landed at Pusan South Korea on 31st January 1951, and they first went into action in April 1951 at the Imjin River.
    Having only seen on the range Yugoslave M42 in 7.62mm, but have actually fired small amounts through Italian MG42/59 and West German MG3 both in 7.62 NATO, and fitted with buffers reducing the cyclic fire rate, I found them very good, and the ability to mount the bipod further down the barrel I found a useful tool. But, I am biaised towards the L7A1 and the FN-H MAG.
    The Pom Pom in the Great War was used in the trenches by the British Army for a short time late in 1914-early 15, but, it stood too high on its mount to be used by its crew. The French, Belgium’s, Italian’s used it in their fortifications with success. But it used with success at sea, the Royal Navy alone had over, 7,000 during the war, with many other navies using them in a variety of roles.
    The Finnish Suomi KP/-31 (and Swedish and Danish manufactured weapons) were used from 1940, In Lampe, D. HITLER’S SAVAGE CANARY : A HISTORY OF THE DANISH RESISTANCE IN WORLD WAR II, it tells of them along with other weapons taken from Army stocks pre-NOV 1942, and secreted by the resistance. Who used them not as a SMG, but, as a section light support weapon using the bipod. With the 20 round magazine replaced by copies of the Swedish 71 round drum magazine manufactured in the Resistance underground workshops (which also manufactured direct copies of the Sten Mk III).
    Frontline: 2011

    • Chosin Reservoir Campaign is held to have ended 13 December 1950, and as you point out, the Belgians didn’t arrive until ’51.

      Anything that the Marines encountered that was semi-auto and Belgian is thus highly unlikely to have been a captured FN-49. Which would have been cutting-edge, very rare, and way more likely to be taken back to China for evaluation, if captured, rather than pressed into use.

      My candidate for this weapon would be any of the FN products that they had sold the Chinese Nationalists, like the Model D BAR or the M1930. Alternatively, it could have been any number of Chinese counterfeit knock-offs, or something that was completely misinterpreted by the guys on the ground–Finding someone like Roy F. Dunlap in the ranks of front-line soldiers is incredibly rare, and to expect a Marine in the midst of the Chosin Reservoir campaign to accurately report what he saw, let alone have the esoteric knowledge to be able to say what it was he actually saw…? Not ‘effing likely, in my experience. You don’t want to know what people told me they saw and found in Iraq, and the insane things you’d find written up in the capture documents. I helped the 101st Airborne Divisional historian go through a 20’ container full of captured stuff from their first tour in Iraq that was still over there when we went back for their second deployment, and I’m here to tell you, the sheer amount of ignorance/stupidity in documenting things at capture…? Oh, dear God–The stupid, it hurt. They’d found a legit new-in-crate M1919A6, and the guys who captured it identified it as an “improvised home-made machine gun”, never having seen one before. It took an argument of epic proportions to convince various parties that that was actually once a standard-issue MG for US forces.

      So… I doubt an FN-49 could have been captured at Chosin. Out of all the possibilities, that’s probably the most low-order one out there.

  3. A friend who served on the Eastern Front in WWII told me that the MG.42 was superb in defense, however in an attack the ammunition supply was a serious problem.
    Many years ago I was told the Germans expected the Allies to use dive-bombers on a large scale and that they intended their infantry machine guns to be used extensively in an anti-aircraft role where the high rate of fire would be an advantage.

  4. “Finnish submachine gun with he Danish Resistance?”
    Denmark had some Suomi SMGs. Sweden trained and equipped certain non-communist resistance forces from Norway and Denmark. A portion of the armament included Swedish-made Husqvarna Suomi SMGs, and so-called “sanitized” versions. Unfortunately, the arms also included the kg m/40 automatic rifle, which was apparently disliked.

    0:16:13 – If France had not fallen in 1940, would the French have developed an intermediate cartridge rifle?
    No, I do not think that the French would have fielded an “intermediate cartridge.” The army would have fielded a snazzy charger-fed 5-shot semi-auto battle rifle in the MAS Mle. 1940. One gathers that a 9mm SMG may well have been adopted, or perhaps a cheaper-to-build 7.65 long version? The armed forces were already possessed of excellent tank designs and a good automatic rifle in the FM 1924/29. To my mind, French interest in intermediate cartridges was a brief fling post-WWII when the German kurz patrone was analyzed along with the M1 carbine cartridge, and a handful of French indigenously-developed intermediate cartridges.

    0:19:26 – When did the US military have the biggest advantage and biggest disadvantage in small arms?
    Advantage? Probably in Vietnam before it became the first major war where both sides had “assault rifles.” For a good long while the PAVN and NLF had some mighty old and/or outdated equipment, or in the case of the latter, captured ARVN weapons.

    0:23:44 – Was the MG42 really so good?
    British popular-historian James Holland argues that it was not. He urges people to consider the huge logistics train in ammunition and spare barrels required to service the gun, and suggests that while it was terrifying and very lethal, it may have been over-hyped. He suggests that much of what we “know” about WWII equipment is simply parroting and repeating one or another historian without thinking independently. One of the major reasons Ian’s site is such a hit, I’d wager: We can vicariously see him using particular weapons and decide for ourselves, or consider his hands-on evaluation…
    “0:26:54 – Was the SKS really a good idea for Russia?”
    I love the SKS, so my answer would be “yes.” I mean it is a military “planned obsolescence: Everyone knows the avtomat is on its way, and that’d be the new SMG… But no one really knew for sure that it would be slated for standard/universal adoption? In the meantime, there is an “off the shelf” design: a miniaturized self-loading anti-tank rifle reduced in size to carbine length using the 7.62x41mm cartridge–later tweaked to the 7.62x39mm. One goes from the 19th century bolt-action repeater–the Mosin-Nagant–and has ten shots instead of five, a magazine that cannot get lost, arguably greater reliability than the old bolt-action, lighter ammunition, etc. Later, when the avtomat Kalashnikov turned out to be suitable for universal adoption, the Soviets shelved the SKS, but distributed the engineering throughout the socialist bloc, including not just proxy states like the GDR/DDR, but also Romania, and future rival China, while the carbines themselves were fairly widely distributed in the Wars of National Liberation.

    0:46:43 – Are people biased in favor of their own nation’s service rifles?
    Yes. Yes, they really are.
    0:49:43 – Most interesting “forgotten ammunition”
    Hmm. I’d probably answer the various German loeffelspitz bullets designed as a means of getting around the Hague/Geneva conventions by remaining FMJ non-mushrooming projectiles? These seem to have come up more than once. It appears that the 4.6mm experiments by H u. K. allowed the tiny bullet to “punch above its weight.”

    1:02:14 – Did the US simplify weapons like the Axis “last ditch” things?
    I argue in the affirmative: The French MAS Mle. 1936 was simple and cheap if unlovely. Very much along the lines of where German industry and the Japanese went under duress and shortages from the war. The U.S. and Canadians created simplified bolt-action rifles with two-groove barrels. The M3 SMG beat out the M2 purely for reasons of cost of manufacture. The British had lavish plans for making a simplified bolt-action 5-shot repeater that was very much a “last ditch” sort of rifle made from a modified Pattern 14/ Mauser design. There were plans to make fixed landing gear “last ditch” interceptor aircraft, all sorts of arms designed to be made in dispersed factories and workshops, like the “BESAL” LMG, and much else besides. The various weapons of the Home Guard are very much in the last ditch realm: The Northover projector, the Blacker bombard, the Smith gun–a wheeled 70mm direct-fire mortar of sorts, stripped-down Lewis guns, Beaverette “armored” cars, and various flame fougasse weapons. The Sten MkII, but most especially the MkIII are very much “last ditch” sorts of weapons. Later, as the Allies gained the upper hand, the Mk.V took a “last ditch” design, but lavished pre-war levels of finish and amenities like improved sights, wooden stock furniture, etc. As for the USSR: The 1942 production of the obsolete Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 is very much “of a piece” with the substitute standard “last ditch” Japanese Type 99 Arisakas, in my view. The factory workers at Tula made SMGs for the city’s defenders, as too did those in besieged and starving Leningrad. The raw, unfinished, unpainted tanks, PPSH SMGs and much else besides of the second and third iterations of the Red Army point that the “last ditch” came early in the war for the USSR–1941-43, followed by the army that crushed the Wehrmacht in 1944-45. For Germany, and Japan, the tough times of losing a war of attrition, most particularly from 1943-45 militated to the “last ditch” designs late in the war.

    • “(…)I love the SKS(…)”
      I want to point one sometimes ignored thing about SKS history.
      As Soviets decided that they will develop and use intermediate cartridge, they concluded that there have needs for trio of weapons – carbine (to replace most of Mosin rifles and carbines), avtomat (to replace PPSh and PPS – folding stock version) and machine gun /squad automatic weapon if you like/ (to replace DP machine gun in certain roles). All these carried certain solutions from weapons that they replaced – SKS built-in bayonet and fixed magazine with charger loading, AK lacks (initially) bayonet, early iteration of RPD has pan magazine. Thus I say stems from logically-reasonable development.

      • It must also be remembered that the milled-receiver AK-47 was not what the Army wanted; that remained in limited production while it spent years perfecting a stamped-receiver version, which may have been discussed on Forgotten Weapons. A stamped-receiver fits the submachine gun lineage better. But why bother unless the intent all along was to build the AK in numbers that dwarfed the SKS (which eventually happened with the AKM)?

    • “0:46:43 – Are people biased in favor of their own nation’s service rifles?” No, no I really am not. As a Brit; I don’t like the A2 L85, or the A3 in camel… Coyoyte… Forgot what its colour scheme is called. Something fancy… Flat earth, is it.

      Camel dung.

    • It has been said that circa 1962 the primary way the Vietminh/Vietcong increased their arsenals was to surround Diem’s isolated forts and force the terrified conscripts within to hand over their M1 carbines.

  5. People keep thinking that the MG34/42 family had their high rates of fire due to some unfortunate accident that the Germans had in designing them, and then they just went with it, ‘cos they couldn’t figure out a way around it.

    Which is dire stupidity. If the Germans had wanted a low-and-slow rate of fire like the M1919 or M1917, they’d have built that into the guns in the first damn place.

    The Germans had a different MG doctrine than the allies did. Remember that, please. They did not use their guns the same way we did, and they did not find the same characteristics desirable for them.

    The high rate of fire is there specifically to enable saturation of the beaten zone at the maximum range of the gun to be accomplished in the shortest period of time practical. Why? Because the Germans observed a couple of salient facts: First and foremost, you fire a burst at a target downrange at around 1200-1800m, you’re firing an area weapon at a target that is meant to be the size of a dispersed squad element. You probably do not see all of them; you are firing at one guy who’s inadvertently revealed their position and movement. In order to take that squad down, you want to be able to hit them before they can take any sort of steps to get under cover, or even just get down below grazing fire by dropping to the ground. The 600rpm of the Browning guns allows those targeted troops to get to cover–You hear the first “wheeet” of the initial round, you drop, you stand a good chance of not getting hit by the rest of the burst. With the MG42, for sure, you’re going to hear that first “wheeet” as you’re taking a round in the chest, because you’re still standing, not having been allowed a chance to react.

    That’s why the Germans specified that rate of fire in their designs. The intent was, kill as many of the enemy as far from you as possible. The high rate of fire was a tool, and they knew precisely how they meant to use it, and then did. The casualty rates differences between German infantry and Allied infantry spell it out very clearly. The only reason we didn’t suffer the same loss rates that the Soviets did on the Eastern Front is down to two reasons: One, the Western Allies had much better supporting arms, and two, by the time we were dealing with them, the German infantry were severely depleted and worn-down. The few times where it was our infantry with just their own organic small arms vs. the Germans with theirs, we got our asses handed to us.

    The rates of fire were not some “unplanned accident”. They had a clear purpose, and were entirely intentional. While they did choose to go with a somewhat lower rate, later in the war and after, that was because they had reconsidered things, and decided to go for a somewhat more economical rate of fire–which was still well over the “ideal” we espoused of 600rpm.

    Because you don’t understand why someone did something with a weapon is not cause to dismiss that “something” as wrong or irrelevant–It’s cause to examine your understanding of things, and to contemplate the possibility that you don’t grasp what they were doing. This has, unfortunately, been the default position for nearly everyone looking at the German MG procurements and doctrine since WWII. Obviously, they weren’t doing what we were, so they must have been wrong…

  6. Agreed. There is, perhaps, an analogous situation in aircraft armament: there will be a brief period, perhaps less than a second, where an enemy aircraft will be in the “X” target zone… The sheer weight of firepower and numbers of rounds capable of destroying the aircraft are vitally important, and meticulously designed. Likewise, the Germans proposed that saturating a given “beaten zone” with the shortest of bursts against an ephemeral enemy using cover and concealment in modern infantry tactics necessitated a kindred approach?

    • That’s exactly how they looked at it, Dave.

      As well, the tactical idea was to maneuver firepower rather than men. Given what they saw as the paucity of trained manpower due to being limited to the 100,000 man Versailles Treaty force structure, they chose to maximize the trained/experienced manpower they had. The vast majority of interwar soldiers became either officers or enlisted leaders, and the idea was to use those to best effect by wrapping all the squads and platoons around the MG elements. Squad and platoon leaders were trained to use the MG teams as the maneuver elements, not the riflemen. The riflemen were there to serve as scouts, and to carry ammo or provide security for the guns.

      In the overall German view, the whole thing was an economy of force; instead of doing an assault concentrated on an enemy position by riflemen working their way forward by fire and maneuver, the preferred solution was to engage with one MG, and then have the others work in behind the enemy position by means of the “surfaces and gaps”, then take it under fire to make it untenable, forcing a withdrawal that would also be under fire from that position or others prepared to take the enemy forces under fire during their retreat. It’s basically the converse of their late-WWI defense planning, with no real front line, just strongpoints placed in mutually supporting positions.

      The whole thing is much more sophisticated and sparing of manpower than your typical Allied concept, especially the Soviets and Americans. The American idea of still using the discredited “marching fire” that’s in the early tactical handbooks for WWII is incredibly primitive and totally useless going against anything besides some Banana Republic guerrilla force.

      What’s maddening is how little comprehension there is from the Allied side about what the hell the Germans were doing, how they did it, and why they did what they did with weapon design and tactics. It’s almost humorous to observe, however, that the current lot of placeholders in the modern German Army have almost totally forgotten the entire concept they operated the MG under, because if there’s a weapon out there that’s totally and diametrically opposed to the MG42/3, that would be the HK MG5.

        • Good idea really as even ze older reactionary forces in early Nazi Germany tried to tell Hitler fighting Russia was a bad idea. Make training guns, and use diplomacy.

          • If any other german attacked european country suffered losses as Soviet union in first year(s) of war, it would collapse instantly.
            But even more important, their big societal boost was having inhumane “communism” that spared no one in their fight against invasion – remember what happened in ww1 when people where apparently not so much on a leash that they eventually rebelled against the Czar after some serious battlefield defeats.
            If Russia ended as democratic republic after ww1, I suspect it would not be as prepared for such a gruesome war, similar to what happened with demoralized France.
            There was a horrible price to pay, but afterwards Soviet union emerged as a world superpower and held that status for almost 50 years.
            So, it seems that sometimes violence actually does solve everything ?

          • Been reading a book the rise and fall of great powers, read it before but awhile ago. Bi polar world all that; caused alot of it I.e. Postioning by Germany, Japan etc in Ww1.

            Violence with nukes would certainly end power postioning if nation states.

          • @ Storm,

            Thing to remember with regards to Russia, which extended out to the rest of the Soviet Union? Their history is a litany of suffering and horror; the primary watchphrase for their historians is “…and, then, it got worse.”.

            By the time of Barbarossa, the peoples of the Soviet Union were inured to suffering and slaughter–And, that was just from the Communists. When you’ve been conditioned by decades of slaughter by the secret police, knowing that all your family will suffer the consequences if you fall prey to them? As Stalin put it, supposedly, “It takes a brave man to be a coward in the Soviet Union…”.

            Frankly, I think the Russians have probably selected for fatalism and self-punishment–It would explain so much about their political choices, down the generations. It’s like “Uh… Guys? Are you sure you want to recap Lenin or Stalin…? You know, you don’t have to do this… You could try something else, maybe…”. But, there they go–Putin, who is thank God, a relatively benign example of a Russian despot, is the man of the decade. Thing is, and this is the biggie… Who comes after? What happens when he dies? What’s the succession going to be?

          • @Kirk

            Thats unfortunately true, there was not just ww1, but civil war soon afterwards and lot of killings, famine and gulags in 30s, so its certain that country is conditioned for (state) brutality. Before in czarist russian empire, almost all of population were serfs.

            As for the (ras)Putin sucessor, thats a good question.

      • Furthermore, when the Sturmgewehrs became available, the Wehrmacht concocted an entirely new type of rifle squad to use them; where everyone in the squad had one and there were no MG42s. This obviously addressed the ammo-supply issue, but it also was a new doctrine. So doctrine and technology have to be coordinated. I don’t know how the old-style and new-style squads were to work together in the field.

  7. 0:16:13 – If France had not fallen in 1940, would the French have developed practical version of the nuclear bomb since they registered the first patent?

  8. Wartime emergency simplified American small arms? How about the M1903A3?

    https://www.shootingillustrated.com/articles/2012/2/8/springfield-m1903a3/

    I was lucky to have owned one and to have fired a few hundred rounds through it. The magazine was a blind magazine (no removable floorplate to expedite dumping the magazine) and the rear sight didn’t appear durable, but it worked, it was quicker and easier and CHEAPER to manufacture than the M1903, and it was there when America had a serious rifle shortage.

    If you’re wondering why the magazine cut-off was retained, that tab was also the bolt stop. There were three positions–single shot, magazine feed, and between those two positions was disassembly. Put the magazine cut off switch in the middle position and pull the bolt from the receiver. Redesigning that part would have incurred additional expense and new tooling–so for an emergency gun, an “unnecessary complication” was retained out of expedience and economy.

  9. Regarding the MG5 as a concept that is totally opposed to the German thinking of effective MG fire, Kirk is absolutely right.
    Those writing the requirements were absolutely clueless in this matter. In the requirements there was no rate of fire mentioned.
    The new generation of designers at Heckler & Koch, most capable at playing with their Computer Aided Design software, but totally inexperienced in designing reliable automatic weapons, chose a slow firing solution, because the stress on the parts is obviously smaller. Even so the receivers started cracking after 5000 to 6000 shots.
    Just look at the very light and at the same time very robust design of the MG3 bolt and compare it to the finicky and unwieldy MG5 counterpart. You see the work of very smart engineers compared to that of very inexperienced beginners.
    Not to mention that cleaning an MG5 is a nightmare compared to the -in this respect unpopular- MG3.

    • You nailed it. The guys who dictated the MG5’s specifications clearly didn’t understand the deployment/maintenance doctrine of their predecessors. I highly suspect that someone will have to point that out AFTER HUNDREDS OF DEAD GERMAN MACHINE GUNNERS AND BROKEN MG5’s are found in current theatres of action, along with thousands more dead riflemen owing to commanders being complete IDIOTS. I could be wrong.

      • Oops, forgot to add that when I said “complete IDIOTS” I meant “IDIOTS using the Hollywood doctrine of waiting for enemy to charge and then ordering the MG’s to SPRAY UNTIL AMMO RUNS OUT OR UNTIL GUNS JAM DUE TO HEAT-STRESS.”

        • What if they just stick to NATO provided tactics?
          Why the previous gen. would have let German decide and organize themselves during the Cold War and fear to lose control on them?

          • Well, let’s hope NATO doesn’t follow Hollywood trends. The doctrines of “walking fire” and “indiscriminate un-aimed spray” are dead as a door nail. Let’s also hope that the next generation will not resort to “video game logic.” Believe me, what passes as combat-ready thinking in the civilian area can be horrible. I heard from a friend that some idiot in his neighborhood tried to win an air-soft fight by charging out without proper body-armor (to “save weight”), spraying projectiles everywhere without aiming (he didn’t even heed his team’s warnings about friendly fire), and screaming at the top of his lungs (hoping to scare the other team into surrendering). Needless to say, he did not last too long. Just kidding!

          • Long ago I read a comment by a German tank officer who served both in the Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr; he said that in the old days, the regiment commander and his 2nd in command would sit in an armored car at night and hammer out their unit’s battle plans with maps and flashlights with no one else listening. But as part of NATO, everything became a gigantic bureaucratic exercise, which meant nothing was done quickly.

            Make of that what you will.

    • “(…)In the requirements there was no rate of fire mentioned.(…)”
      Hmm… if you have ill-written requirements then even who which fits perfectly might prove to be lackluster, in fact it would be surprising if such requirements would result in successful machine gun.

  10. C&R Type 03 FFL clarification: licensees don’t have to log all C&R firearms owned, only those acquired or disposed of while licensed. If you dispose of a C&R that you owned before being licensed, you log it into your bound book as “acquired before licensed”, and then log it out to the transferee.

    Also, ALL acquisitions and dispositions of C&R firearms must be logged, whether or not the licensee “used” the license.

    CRFFLs, unlike other FFLs, don’t send in their records when the license expires, and they don’t have to retain the records. It’s pretty common to let the license lapse, destroy the bound book, and then get a new license. That’s all perfectly legal.

    The other reason to have a CRFFL, even if you’re not interested in C&R wares, is that many major retailers of parts and accessories and ammunition give a dealer discount to all FFLs.

  11. Ian, I recently came across a russian-speaking researcher who has posted some documents from the Japanese archives which show that the Germans and Japanese had discussed purchasing STG-44s. You can find a link to his note along with photocopies of the original Japanese-German agreement here:

    https://lautlesen.livejournal.com/32459.html

  12. Re: unusual ammo and a sample of poisoned ammo in South Africa.

    The Rhodesians were big into this. They impregnated clothing with organ-phosphates and planted them in rural stores likely to be looted by guerillas. They also used thallium and ricin for various assassination purposes.

    In my library I have a copy of a book called See You in November which was the memoirs of an ex British SAS soldier who ended up working for the Rhodesian version of the CIA as an intelligence agent and assassin. He met the rather eccentric man who was the Rhodesian expert on poisons.

    He was involved in various assassination plots (mostly against Robert Mugabe), none of which were actually carried out, but they included the use of ricin poisoned air rifle pellets and hollow-point rifle bullets. He tested the airgun pellets against dogs,and they did work as advertised.

  13. It is pretty hard to own a rifle in the UK, and full bore semi-auto rifles are banned. Thus it is hard for any British soldier to have any experience with such a rifle apart from the SA80. Maybe they thought all rifles were that bad!

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