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Old 11-28-2009   #21
jcustis
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Well Ken, even though the FM doesn't provide a visual reference, I was imagining that the grenadier, with prpoer hold-offs marked on his sling, could loosen it to X length, take a knee and with the weak leg's foot, step on the tape mark, elevate the barrel until the sling was 90 deg to the ground, mounted the buttstock to his shoulder, and fired the round.

I can see how that would best work for night firing only. Or am I getting it all clearly wrong with that imagery?
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Old 11-28-2009   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
From the book:

f. Marked-Sling Method. To use this method, the grenadier must--

(1) Loosen the sling, assume a kneeling position, and place the forward foot in the sling.

(2) Ensure the sling is taut and vertical between the front sling swivel and the boot. If not, the rounds will impact at a greater range than desired. To check this, tie one end of a string or thread to a weight, such as a cartridge case, and tie the other to the sling swivel. Let it hang freely, and align the edge of the sling with it to ensure the sling is vertical.

(3) Fire several rounds to determine the desired range.

(4) Where the sling is held to the ground by the foot, mark the sling with colored tape, paint, ink, or whatever is available. Mark the position of the buckles so that, if either is moved, the grenadier can return them to their original positions and be assured of constant range accuracy.

(5) If the sling gets wet, it may stretch or shrink, indirectly causing the rounds to impact closer or farther than desired.


LINK.
Shouldn't it mean shorter range, or do I get this wrong?

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Old 11-28-2009   #23
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Edit: Unless you are talking about really high angles, something like ++/+55. With such high angles some markers on the sling would make sense and the 40mm GL would be used like a very light mortar.

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Old 11-28-2009   #24
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I've not heard (or thought) of using a 40 mm in this manner but many commando mortars are indeed 'slung' like this 60 mm Hurtsomebugger.
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Old 11-28-2009   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwigrunt View Post
I've not heard (or thought) of using a 40 mm in this manner but many commando mortars are indeed 'slung' like this 60 mm Hurtsomebugger.
Yes that is what I thought too. The difference is that you rest the GL on your shoulder. With high arcing fire the description makes perfect sense. With a couple of markers you could also use the GL for deliberate, almost vertically plunging grenade fire on relative near enemy positions. I don't think you can use the original sights for that kind of work.


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Old 11-28-2009   #26
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Yes, that's it! The buttstock of the M16 would be placed on the ground then I suppose, even though firing it that way could be very hazardous if one wasn't fully switched on doing so.

Since we have barely enough ammo allocated to shoulder-mounted practice, I can't imagine this technique ever being taught, which is a true shame then. It would be truly badass to see that technique employed.

Last edited by jcustis; 11-28-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firn View Post
Yes that is what I thought too. The difference is that you rest the GL on your shoulder. With high arcing fire the description makes perfect sense. With a couple of markers you could also use the GL for deliberate, almost vertically plunging grenade fire on relative near enemy positions. I don't think you can use the original sights for that kind of work.
The UK had a 2-inch and 51mm mortar in the platoon for 70 years. Some great genius got rid of it, and they have now brought it back as 60mm C6-210!
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Old 11-28-2009   #28
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This discussion made me think of this:

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Old 11-28-2009   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
The UK had a 2-inch and 51mm mortar in the platoon for 70 years. Some great genius got rid of it, and they have now brought it back as 60mm C6-210!
I agree that this would be a rather interesting technique especially with the low-velocity 40x46 grenade. You could cover a range of 50 to 400m with with the classic low-arc indirect fire and plunging one. This could bridge some gaps left by the heavier and more efficient mortar fire support from further away.

As jcustis said there won't be much training time for this specific technique. But which GL would be suitable for this type of support?

a) A rifle with an underslung GL (M203, M320)

b) A stand alone GL (M320)

c) A multiple GL (M32) - could be interesting due to the bursts of grenades.

d) A GMG (grenade machine gun) - depends on the tripod. If MGs were used for long range indirect fire why shouldn't GMGs not be used for long range plunging "mortar" fire?


What about the M320. It has side-mounted sights and even a LRF. There should be a way to turn the sight around 90. In this case it should be easier to get the rounds on target. Or we use the good old slinging technique with alot of marks after having first lazed the target. Then give the GL a talented guy and let him shoot a lot of rounds. Then make him the squads/platoons first grenadier or light mortarier. He could operate from behind a wall with another guy reloading and an observer close by directing his fire. Does almost sound like a 51mm mortar

Heavy things like the M32 might be a good crew served weapon for a platoon mountain of infantry. But you can carry alot more rounds (12-15?) by bringing instead an M320 with you. If you have your vehicles nearby the situation changes quite a bit.

I do think that a true mortar is a more efficient solution. But why shouldn't we make better use of weapon which has become practically a standard staple for every infantry squad across NATO? We just have to carry a marked sling, an opern mind and more training in you head to do just that.


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Last edited by Firn; 11-28-2009 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009   #30
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I think there could be some advantages to this technique with 40 mm, especially for lobbing some grenades over a high obstacle like a wall. I can see some negatives though, some of which have been mentioned:

• Requires lots of practice rounds. Good luck with that. There are typically 6 to 9 grenadiers to a platoon against only 1 (for armies that have’m) commando mortar. They would all need to be trained in this additional technique. They don't get enough playtime with 40 mm as it is.
• A 60 mm bomb makes a reasonably big bang and can therefore afford to be off target a bit and still be effective. A 40 mm grenade needs to be pretty much bang on (pun intended) or all it does is throw up a bit of dust. So lobbing 40 mm in an indirect fire mode may be somewhat disappointing in most cases.
• The ‘aim by sling’ method is not particularly scientific and accuracy will be easily affected, even just by not being on perfectly level ground (between baseplate/buttstock and locking foot). This will exacerbate the above point. Firn’s suggestion of using a better sight would make more sense.

So it would a useful technique to add to the toolbox but I think we need to be careful with assuming that we can easily and effectively use a light direct fire weapon in the indirect fire role. Armies that do not yet have them are IMO better off with adding a 60 mm commando mortar at platoon level ….. sure, more weight, but the tool has been specifically designed for this role.

While we’re drifting towards commando mortars, the South Africans use two different conversion sets for their M1 mortar. One uses the ‘aim by sling’ method. The other uses a clip-on handgrip with an incorporated laying table/levelling bubble thingy. Now a simplified version of that could work on a 40 mm. That would however add yet another sticky-out thing to the weapon, to add to the Christmas tree effect.
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Last edited by Kiwigrunt; 11-28-2009 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009   #31
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About OICW / XM29 / XM25:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtGpWnLi45U

The ROK has its own.
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Old 11-28-2009   #32
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Quote:
Now a simplified version of that could work on a 40 mm. That would however add yet another sticky-out thing to the weapon, to add to the Christmas tree effect.
You know, it need not...all it would take is a graduated level that could attach to the side of the mil-std 1913 Picatinny rail. Our current M224 60mm has that built into the firing assembly. It just needs to be small, lit by a tritium ampule, and could clip on via any number of attachment means that are already in use for side-mounted sling swivels.

A couple rounds to get the thing zeroed and locked down with Loctite, and there you have it. No need to fiddle with a sling marking system that would rely on the grenadier to pause and adjust it to the appropriate length for use. There would be slight variation due to the surface the buttstock rests on (sand, gravel, boot tip, etc.). The only thing limiting this setup would be the degree of accuracy required in the requirement document, as it related to mounting the sight to the rail, adjusting the rail in relation to the launcher receiver, etc.

We might never get there due to tight tolerances required by whomever would generate the specifications, but my light bulb just clicked on.
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Old 11-28-2009   #33
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We had IR aiming lights for our M203's as early as OIF III. A few of our enlisted Soldiers who were RFS'd from the Rangers said that they had them a couple years before that. So long as you estimate range within the ballpark (which you need to do anyway if using leaf or quadrant), it's very accurate. Even in training, guys who had never fired a 203 before (really, we had a bunch of people who had never fired one - unbelievable) they were scoring first-round hits on targets at 250 meters at night. It was kind of bulky, but lightweight. I think the latest generation are far less bulky and even lighter.

See the bottom of the page here: https://peosoldier.army.mil/FactShee...IW_M203DNS.pdf
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Old 11-29-2009   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firn View Post
I agree that this would be a rather interesting technique especially with the low-velocity 40x46 grenade. You could cover a range of 50 to 400m with with the classic low-arc indirect fire and plunging one. This could bridge some gaps left by the heavier and more efficient mortar fire support from further away.
No need. 40mmx46 medium velocity has been with us for 4 years now. Shoots to 800m, with 30% more blast, from an M-203 or M79 type. The reason it's not in service is purely one of bureaucracy, as far as I can tell. It's certainly no secret and the infantry fire support topic for some time.

Light Mortars are excellent. Not as inaccurate as commonly supposed, very fast into action, and very high rate of fire. Because they don't "fire blanks" on exercise, everyone underestimates their importance. All you need for sights is an "Inclinometer" and something to align the weapon with. There are even computer training packages for them.

I used to carry the 51mm as a Platoon Sergeant.
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Old 11-29-2009   #35
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An interesting debate.

I envisioned not a true light mortar but a GL which could be used to aid the squad/element to fulfill their task. IMHO a true organic mortar support should always be available, best if coming from a location which can be easily supplied with ammunition and as heavy as sensible. Commando and light mortars are certainly excellent tools if more efficient mortar support can not be delivered. Kiwigrunt's points are pretty much spot on.

I also considered the low velocity of the classic 40mm grenade fitting because it would be ideal for short to medium plunging fire. But all things considered the medium velocity one seems to be the far better choice. A good inclinometer would be of course an ideal and even cheap and rather light solution. I do not know if the modern sights on the new GLs coming out are able to cover the whole reach of the faster grenades - so the inclinometer could also be valuable for the longer ranges. The IR lights Schmedlap mentioned could have one included.

To come back to the original topic. Part of the promise of the XM25 is that you can engage an enemy in a room or behind a wall thanks to ranged airbursting. Perhaps we will see the XM25 grenade's airbursting modes also in the 40mm grenades. But thanks to modern sights and aiming systems the not so fancy 40mm can already be very accurate.

To use this great accuracy and the great versatility offered by the large variety of rounds one needs also an experienced hand and a good supply of ammuntion. So sometimes one might have to sacrifice some other weight/firepower to carry more rounds for this weapon.


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Last edited by Firn; 11-29-2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 11-29-2009   #36
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I guess I just don't understand what need is being fulfilled by the XM25.

It would be neat to be able to hit a guy hiding behind a berm with an airburst. I can think of zero occasions when I needed to do this. Anyone else? Even if there were a handful of cases, is this narrow range of uses worth the extra weight, bulk, new lines of ammo and parts, and the re-training that would be necessary?

There were a few occasions when there was someone in a building who needed to be killed before the building could be assaulted. That's why we train to put 40mm through windows. It's surprisingly easy.
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Old 11-29-2009   #37
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Quote:
It would be neat to be able to hit a guy hiding behind a berm with an airburst. I can think of zero occasions when I needed to do this. Anyone else?
I can think of several times in Iraq where that would have been appropriate. In Afghanistan (headed there next), isn't that what wall-fighting is all about?
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Old 11-29-2009   #38
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I guess that only the battlefield can decide if the system XM25 is worth it. Perhaps it would be helpful to test it as a support weapon for the platoon and not as an substitution of one UGL at the squad level. I gave it a quick glance the target acquisition/fire control system coupled with 4x Thermals sounds quite impressive. If only that works it would be a nice addition to any platoon

Wikipedia gives it a rundown:

Target acquisition/fire control (XM104).

* Weight: 2.54 lbs
* 4x thermal sight with zoom.
* 2x direct view optical sight.
* Ballistic computer.
* Digital compass.
* Laser rangefinder.
* Ammunition fuze setter.
* Environmental sensors.

So you could use it to generate good target solutions for the other weapon systems (mortar, sharpshooter, artillery, GL...)

Other than that it might be used also as rifled shotgun on steroids. If the gun itself works one could give the gunner always some slugs.


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Old 11-30-2009   #39
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I gave the XM-25 now a closer look from my armchair. The decision to drop the rifle part seems to be very sensible. You have a far less heavy and cumbersome weapon without another 2kg + hanging under the center and front of the grenade launcher. It focuses the scope of the weapon on supporting the riflemen and does away with the rather naive vision that every grunt will have one.

The design and the choice of the caliber should allow the grenadier to use it as his sole long weapon - looking at it also as a bulky 5-gauge rifled shotgun with a huge sight. A light pistol as a sidearm might still be a wise choice, at least until one can be certain of its mettle. This GL will fire slugs just fine and perhaps one could make buckshot work in it. Rifled barrels spread buck much more than smooth ones, at 10m they will be all over a torso. To reduce the weight of the self defense ammuniton sabots could be used instead of full-size slugs. It should be easy to design a breeching round for it.

So it covers quite some needs. It might also intimidating than a M-4, and can make a visible and messy statement in the same way Schmedlap's guys used the 40mm. It should do it's work from closer (arming) and longer distances than the M203. The long barrel ought to give not only good range, but also a more moderate muzzle report. Relative quick semi-automatic shooting should be possible due to the lighter recoil and the rather heavy weapon.

Just some quick rambeling...


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Last edited by Firn; 11-30-2009 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firn View Post
It focuses the scope of the weapon on supporting the riflemen and does away with the rather naive vision that every grunt will have one.
One per fire team was the official plan for the OICW.
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