Full Auto: Not the Way to Go


I've been thinking lately about how many Nine Balls ("Nine Ball" or "Niner": not quite a window licker or fuzz eater, but an enthusiastic military liking civilian person that is uninformed) I have run into lately who don't understand that fully automatic small caliber weapons arent' that cool or effective in a gun fight -- only in movies like the Predator.

It seems like every time I'm on the range some niner is excitedly telling me about their full auto experience -- "full auto" this and "full auto" that... Enough already niner!

Let's set the record straight:

While I'm an advocate of heavy machine gun fire, unit rifleman (non-machine gunners) know that switching the selector to full automatic in a firefight is a losing proposition -- a sure way to run out of ammo quickly -- and it will increase the odds that you will end up bringing your knife to a gun fight.

Accurate single shot fire on the enemy is the way to go.

It does the following:

  1. It keeps up overall unit sustained rate of fire upon the enemy.

  2. Conserves overall SOF unit and individual ammo

  3. Enables more effective fire (i.g. killing or keeping the enemy on the defensive)

  4. It is Ultimately the best way (assuming no air support) to get out of or win a firefight--I prefer calling in close air support myself.

Another important point is to pay attention to unit lulls in fire and to pick up your fire during these lulls.  The climax to Clint Eastwood's movie "The Unforgiven" is a great example of accurate single shot fire.  So keep your selector to switch to semi and pass the word...

Kit Up! contributor Brandon Webb is a former SEAL sniper, author of the Red Circle.

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