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Can somebody explain to me how a 3 shot burst works, mechanically within the trigger mechanism?  I understand single shot and full auto, but how does a 3 shot work in an M4/M16 or whatever?

Cherokee Slim

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Interesting, I never really paid attention to the burst system since I did not like it.

If I needed auto fire I wanted auto fire. 

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That is exactly what I was looking for.  3 shot burst for dummies.  I've heard Marines were only issued M16/M4's with 3 shot/no full auto rifles in recent years.  In the Southeast Asia War Games newbies were issued an M14 with no selector switch, reissued one with a switch after a month or so in country. I've never understood the need for a single shot or 3shot rifle for any of the services.

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Application driven. If I had a choice I would leave mine on 3 round unless I had a need for full auto.

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27 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Application driven. If I had a choice I would leave mine on 3 round unless I had a need for full auto.

Pretty sure you'd be looking for another weapon then. ;)

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8 minutes ago, Garufa said:

Pretty sure you'd be looking for another weapon then. ;)

Why? The M4A1 does it all. Or...maybe not.

 

Edited by DaveTN

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10 minutes ago, Johnny Rotten said:

With practice you can shoot 3rd in FA mode, not hard at all.   

Trigger Control.

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The only thing full auto is good for is clearing rooms and a grenade does it better. Belt fed, crew served weapons are for suppressive fire but the individual weapon is pretty useless on full auto in most cases. If I had to choose between only full auto or only semi auto I would take semi auto because it is much easier to shoot accurately.

Our military has flirted with three round burst for decades. The problem is the rate of fire is too slow to improve hit probability. Speed up the rate of fire and the chance of hitting increases because the weapon moves less during the burst. One of the best burst guns on the planet is the AN94 because the first two rounds are fired at an astonishing 1,800 rounds per minute. After that it reduces the rate of fire to a more sedate 800 rounds per minute but it does suffer some reliability issues.

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My buddy has a FA MP5 with 3rd burst, I'll admit its super smooth in 3rd burst as well as FA but hey its a 9, I can configure my M16 into a pkg almost in size to the MP5 with more firepower, with a ROF of 650 unsuppressed IMO it is a very controllable weapon, suppressed no gas block somewhere 950+ (Crazy fast), I could turn the gas down and probably get it down in the 450ish range (stupid slow), i just like 650+/- purr's like a kitten...

 

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Multiple targets, especially in groups or seen in echelon, are full-auto meat.  The US does not do a good job of training machine gun use.  Good machine gunners and automatic rifle use can destroy an opposing force in seconds.

The 3-round burst was developed because of poor cartridge effectiveness.  The 5.56 and 9mm do not have a good reputation for putting targets down.  Newer ammunition is much more effective than the early ball ammo.

 

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On 2/13/2017 at 4:33 PM, Cherokee Slim said:

That is exactly what I was looking for.  3 shot burst for dummies.  I've heard Marines were only issued M16/M4's with 3 shot/no full auto rifles in recent years.  In the Southeast Asia War Games newbies were issued an M14 with no selector switch, reissued one with a switch after a month or so in country. I've never understood the need for a single shot or 3shot rifle for any of the services.

They had 3 round when I was in, but I think on the tank m4's they switched them back to FA.  Not sure for standard infantry weapons.  But hell, we understood on the tank if you had to rely on a personal weapon, you're pretty much done for so just open the ammo compartment door and pull the pin on a phosphorus grenade. Save yourself the trouble of dying tired. 

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Didn't like, or use, the 3 round burst.  If the cycle did not finish, the next trigger pull finished the set; so if two fired before, only one would fire the next time.  I stayed on semi until the FA ones were given to us, and that too I stayed on semi.

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On 2/13/2017 at 5:16 PM, DaveTN said:

Application driven. If I had a choice I would leave mine on 3 round unless I had a need for full auto.

As Garufa sez, not with an AR-15. You only got one auto position on the switch. It's either/or. Besides, the disconnectors are different between FA and burst.

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13 hours ago, Omega said:

Didn't like, or use, the 3 round burst.  If the cycle did not finish, the next trigger pull finished the set; so if two fired before, only one would fire the next time.  I stayed on semi until the FA ones were given to us, and that too I stayed on semi.

That is correct. The M16 3 round burst is not always a 3 rd burst. It could be 3, 2, or 1. The HK MP5 2 and 3 round burst trigger packs work differently and give you the correct number each time. 

The bigger issue is simply that shooting is rather binary....you can either do it well or not. You can either hit what you aim at or not. If round #1 does not hit then rounds 2 and 3 in that burst are unlikely to hit either. So maybe more time should be spent on actually having the troops out SHOOTING and less on multicultural studies and other such silliness. 

With a little bit of training time and concentration you can get 2 rd (and sometimes singles) off with the selector set on AUTO on an M16. I have video from a few years back at a match (VHS tape not digital)) of shooting an 11.5" barrel M16 and I empty a mag firing consecutive 2 rd bursts with the selector set on AUTO....so I know it can be done. On the other hand a lot of guys who know what they are doing just simply leave it on SEMI and fire quick pairs or triples in CQB and precise singles at distance. Not only does this increase the likelihood of more hits and less misses, it keeps folks from burning through ammo as fast (with little to no effect) .  

Edited by Cruel Hand Luke
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Thank ya'll for helping me with this.  I got to shoot one, it was fun, but so was shooting the Rising gun THP put in my trunk back in the early 70's.  Can anyone give a coherent reason without flames as to why Marines only had the 3 shots in use in recent years?  I know we always got the leftovers of just about everything but my Marines are constantly in was zones now and I don't understand why the Army needs full auto but Marines only need the 3 burst. I know, one shot one kill, but that doesn't apply here.  So much.

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Many army units still have 3rnd burst M4s, only select few, even within some units have the FA M4A1 ARs. They are slow to come around but will eventually. 

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53 minutes ago, Cherokee Slim said:

Thank ya'll for helping me with this.  I got to shoot one, it was fun, but so was shooting the Rising gun THP put in my trunk back in the early 70's.  Can anyone give a coherent reason without flames as to why Marines only had the 3 shots in use in recent years?  I know we always got the leftovers of just about everything but my Marines are constantly in was zones now and I don't understand why the Army needs full auto but Marines only need the 3 burst. I know, one shot one kill, but that doesn't apply here.  So much.

Not to fan the flames and lead this thread down a service vs service argument, But I will say that in regards to equipment the Marines tend to hurt themselves with the mentality of "we want to do everything the hard way" and with the dregs of equipment that the other services have left behind. While the "do it the hard way" mentality certainly produces some tough hombres, and the use of old equipment turns them into masters of improvisation, it hurts them in the long run because they continue to "do it the hard way" and with lower quality equipment going into combat where you are also going to have guys that want to kill you and Murphy added to the equation. For many of the highly effective units it has been shown beneficial to train the hard way but go into combat the smart way, therefore countereffecting some of the Murphy effect. The Marines mentality in this way also hindered them for years in stepping into the SOCOM arena, but that's a thread in itself for another day. To be clear, I have several buddies that are Marines, and the personnel as a whole are badass hombres, it's the overall harder not smarter mentality at the top that has them by the balls when it comes to keeping up with everyone else in equipment.

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I think the Marines do more with less primarily due to the fact that their budget is a fraction of the other branches.  Like a single digit percentage of the entire DOD budget.

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And it is largely due to what choices the particular branches make. The overwhelming majority (like pretty much all) of the military (Army and Marines) M16A2s were SAFE, SEMI and BURST. The original M4 carbine was the same setup with Burst . The M4A1 is SAFE SEMI and AUTO. There are some SOCOM M4A1s that have a 4 position selector with Safe Semi Burst and Auto.

The M4 carbines and then the M16A4 that the USMC adopted in the early 2000s is 3rd burst instead of full auto. Probably just a matter of keeping with the line of thinking that Marines are riflemen and the troops will waste less ammo with a burst setting than a full auto setting. But then again that is why the 1903 Springfield had a magazine cutoff also....couldn't have the troops "wasting" 5 whole rounds from the mag..... Frankly I wouldn't worry about it. Rifle caliber Full Auto fire is best delivered by belt fed guns. You use belt feds to keep the enemy heads down and the riflemen then maneuver and pick em off.  

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I think the Marines do more with less primarily due to the fact that their budget is a fraction of the other branches.  Like a single digit percentage of the entire DOD budget.


While all the USMC units I've seen have been frugal and make the most of what they get (sometimes past the point of common sense), the Corps as a service also greatly benefits from having the Army being the lead proponent for research and development costs for shared items like weapons, vehicles, artillery systems, and other big ticket items that get rolled into the Army budgets. The Marines also save big time on paper with their size of their force being a fraction of the Army...one thing that rarely gets discussed is how personnel and family support costs are almost 50% of the total DoD budget.

Regardless, we're certainly getting our money's worth from the Corps.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk just to give Oh Shoot something to be grumpy about.

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