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Johnny Cash & The SAW

When I was still in "The Bidnez" (see below), I used to come across many new boom-boom toys before they were adopted by our customers.  Some were very neat and visionary.  Others were outright duds.  Still others were work in progress, that carried with them much promise for the future.  Below is one of them

My concern on this new toy are various:

- What if there is an ammo jam deep inside the pack.  How do you get inside the pack and unfurl that ammo belt when The Sh*t Hits The Fan?
- If you are lugging 1,000 rounds of 5.56mm ammo on your back, that alone is close to 40 Pounds worth of Cartridges and M27 Links alone.

But in any case,  it's neat to see creativity at work.



My experience with feeding long belts of ammo out of boxes/cans is all inside a Bradley turret, but I think much of the workings are similar.  And honestely, I don't ever remember any jams due to failure of the belt to feed properly out of the box.

If/when a jam happens inside the pack (because the belt gets stuck on something,) that jam/snag will be at the top of wherever within the pack the ammo pile is at that time.  All of the ammo above that would be unaffected.  Granted, once you hit that spot, you'd have to shuck the pack to get things unstuck, which would be a pain.

The main thing though, that caused jams in the Brad wasn't in the ready box, it was when a round wouldn't be seated quite right in the links.  Just a ilttle bit forward or back, and it would jam when reached the gun.  This pack should work much the same.  You learn to examine your belts thoroughly before you put them in the ready box.

And I've seen things similar on toys and in comic books years ago, and I believe the Jesse Ventura character in Predator had a similar setup to feed his minigun.

And on the weight issue - that's got to be the real sticking point.  1000 rounds of 7.62 weighs over 50 pounds, plus another 25 or so pounds of machinegun.  And notice that their demonstrator wasn't wearing any body armor - add another 30-35 pounds.  Your poor machinegunner is now carrying well north of 100 pounds of ammo and equipment.

That's the big reason machinegunning is best done as a team sport.
Once upon a time, at a CAX in 29 Palms years ago, my M60 team tried to pull a "Jesse Ventura - Predator" by loading as much ammunition for the gun as we could into a standard ALICE pack.

The gunner couldn't even lift the ruck off of the ground.

I agree with HL - it's a team sport...
That flex feed chute is as long as the one we used for the minigun in the turret of the G and S mods of the Cobra. And it's the primary reason we *didn't* slew the turret too far off centerline during firing runs.

It's a jam waiting to happen.
I believe the Jesse Ventura character in Predator had a similar setup to feed his minigun.

Yup. But the electric feed pawls on the mini provide a stronger tug than the mechanism on the 249, and Ventura still had to keep the gun in a more-or-less centerline position for firing.

Heh. They didn't show the Rube Goldberg electrical hookup they needed to keep the gun firing in Predator -- that's the reason he didn't move much during the firing sequences.

Seems like a solution waiting for a problem to me.....



 whats wrong with a 100 round minimag (or something, part of that singaporean long recoil mg)?
What ever happened to the weapons that were supposed to use liquid propellant and do away with the catridge case? I remember reading something about them a couple of years ago but haven't seen anything in quite a while. If I remember correctly they were mostly for large vehicle mounted weapons but small arms were mentioned too. They were supposed to reduce the weight considerably.
It was being developed for the Crusader howitzer and naval applications.

It got shelved because they couldn't get accurate metering of the liquid, essential for accuracy, and the system developed leaks, as well, which produces some safety issues...

Might revisit it down the road.
The Lightweight Small Arms Technology (LSAT) program is working on cased and caseless telescoped ammunition, along with new weapons to fire them.

They're looking at reducing the ammo weight by 30-50%.
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 as for the amount of ammo. thats the same as your typical saw/M240 gunner carries now days anyway.(at least in the "light" infantry, i'd hate to see what the heavy guys gotta ruck with) and even with all the extra crap we gotta carry we still manage. heck if my garn pappy could swing a 90 lbs rucksack, a 12 lbs weapon, and 20 lbs of ammo up a cliff back in the 40's i can swing a total of 100 lbs of crap that ain't me.
The question is, is that good ammo, at a reasonable price?  I mean, does it go off every time the primer is struck, does it all arrive at the point of aim, etc.?  Oh, and does it function well in the piece, and not require one to clean the piece more often than usual?
I'd say SAW gunners probably carry 900-1100 rounds (100 rounds on the gun in a 'nut sack', 2x 400 round boxes on their MOLLE gear, and 1 or 2 more 200 round boxes in their assault packs)

240 gunners don't carry near as much - partly because their MG is heavier, along with the ammo, and partly because they're supposed to have an assistant gunner and maybe an ammo bearer.  Plus, the 240s are the heavy support weapons in a light platoon (mech has Brads with 25mm cannons PLUS the 240 section), so you may well see the whole platoon carrying ammo for those boys.

There's also the doctrinal difference in how they've intended to be employed.  The M249 is intended as a Squad Assault Weapon - fired from the bipod and the shoulder in the assault.  The 240, even in the assault, is meant to be fired from a tripod in a support by fire position, even in the attack.  (The fact that it is very often hauled out on patrol, and fired from the bipod, in places like A-stan is the reason behind the feilding of the Mk 48 to infantry units headed there.)
 I read this elsewhere and the quote was, "this is perfect for the powered exoskeleton".
According to the uploader at the youtube site, this is a 7.62 mm version that holds 500 rounds in the ammo pack.  He says  the 5.56 version is coming out next year.  And of course, there is the inevitable comment about the upcoming zombie invasion.  Indeed, I'm worried.
Looking at it from a grunt's eye view, I don't like it at all. Not even a little bit.

Packs take dmg. Hostile rounds, shrap, get fallen on, etc. Packs have to be taken off to accomplish x, y, or z at times. Packs linked to a wep are not good.

A gunner goes down, the replacement then has to not only take up the gun but remove and then place upon himself, the ammo pack?

How do you hand off the gun on a long hump? How do you hand off the gun if the gunner needs to hoist his arse over a wall?
Good points, Grimmy.  Argues for Jon's observation - the exoskeleton version.

I don't even like the idea of support weps being tied to exos. Carried by exos? Sure. Tied directly to exos? Nope.

What happens when the platoon support exo blows a servo? Takes a round in the leg? If the exo is busted, the gun is lost too.

Now, if in an exo, the gun is simply carried like a normal human carries a gun, and the ammo is in an accessible storage container, much like your standard issue pack, then fine. But build it in? Bad bad bad bad bad idea.

NOTHING works in the field like it does in the factory tests or on the proving grounds. And all that crap that's supposed to make things all neat and such just ends up fubar.

Keep it simple and as quickly and efficiently adaptable as humanly possible.
They also slowed the rate of fire for Ventura's minigun, to make each shot distinguishable.  Anyone who's seen or heard a real minigun fire knows that the "zipper" sound just isn't mean enough for Hollywood.
Steve Skubinna 
I always thought the real reason they slowed the rate of fire was so a human could actually hold it.