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Thread: Reload practices in the field without slide lock

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  1. #11
    Member IanD's Avatar
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    The majority of modern rifles on the battlefield today have no hold open, because the majority of rifles on the modern battlefield, generally speaking, are Kalashnikovs. I would imagine that during WW2 the instruction would be kept simple - if it goes click, reload it as quickly as possible, while taking cover. There was much less adherence to managing precisely how things would be done then, then there is now. I'm not saying people were smarter then, just that folks generally didn't need a step by step procedure from an authority figure in order to get things done. I've run my Howa exactly as I would run an AK, and it works very well - not as fast as an AR, but it does work fine with a little practise.

    Last edited by IanD; 02-01-2021 at 01:17 PM.

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  4. #12
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    Even having been under fire before, there's no guarantee you will always keep your head
    That's the part that always bothered me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_X View Post
    The decision not to incorporate the hold open in the follower is a given
    They did later do rebuilds of 15 rd mags with the open back followers (hold open) installed. I still consider a hold open more like the FN or M14icon have, M16...so you replace the mag and snap the action shut. The one for the M1 carbine is more like a warning that you're out, so try something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    Of the recovered weapons, a staggering # were found to be loaded
    I'd heard this before. It shows men can't feel recoil, even heavy recoil of those muskets under stress. Guess they just forgot the alcan cap. imagine remembering after several ball/charges were loaded?
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member DaveHH's Avatar
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    Ref. Muzzle loading rifles in Civil War: The method of fighting in those days was line up and shoot, presenting volley fire until the situation went to independent fire or broke down to the point of losing unit integrity. I've owned and shot a lot with .58 cal replica arms of the civil war. You can easily load and shoot to the point that loading becomes difficult - to the point where you cannot load correctly because of powder fouling. Quality and availability of paper cartridges was an issue with some ammunition being used by the other side. Private Rebel or Private Yankee would be loading and shooting while surrounded by hundreds of other men doing the same thing. The smoke and racket was unbelievable. Around you people were being shot to pieces with rifled muskets, grape & cannister shot and exploding shells. It is easy to imagine people dropping musket caps, spilling powder, shoving paper and ball down without enough powder being exposed etc. Or loading from prone position? Try that. Not feeling recoil? No kidding, not feeling anything but terror being very possible. At Gettysburg Confederate artillery was equipped with poorly made fuses and both days, Lee shot off all of his ordnance with little or no effect. All of it was long. Imagine how they could not see where their shots were falling? In the revolutionary war the prime weapon and biggest killer was the bayonet. In the civil war it was EVERYTHING. Weapons found loaded? Of course. The soldier has just finished loading his musket and a 500gr pure lead slug the size of your thump catches him right in the engine room, over just like that. In the Nevada desert, I shot a 1954 Ford with a 58 ca Zouave. I purposely angled it through the longest portion of the car. It went completely through everything, trunk, seats dash, battery box, both sides of the front fender exiting through a hole the size of your fist and with a howl kept right on going.

    Point being there is no comparison between the Civil War and any of the modern conflicts.

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    Member lemaymiami's Avatar
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    Always fun reading folks in this era commenting on actions taken long before - their grandparents were around... All of those rifles recovered at Gettysburg that were still loaded (unfired) doesn't say as much about the terrible stress on the combatants as it does about the terrible effects of battle's queen.. the artillery that was killing advancing soldiers before they could ever get into range to fire their weapons.... Remember this about the Civil War - they used Napolean's tactics but the armies on both sides used much more lethal weaponry (and cannon fire...). Made for a terribly bloody affair from start to finish...

    As far as stress under fire making it impossible to count your rounds... That's why you train, practice, and train some more.... To be able to keep your head in very very bad situations is why training and repeated practice is so important for anyone actually going into an armed confrontation..... I worked with folks that really could tell you exactly how many rounds they'd fired at any given moment - and where each one of those rounds went - even in a lethal action where the other guy is shooting back. No, that's not something an ordinary soldier or casual armed citizen has any ability to do. The potential is there though as long as you have the dedication, skill, and practice over and over again...

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    Member Matt_X's Avatar
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    I have to disagree about no similarities in the typical range of human responses to a high stress situation. The example from Gettysburg is perfectly acceptable as an example of this. However determining the details of why requires a lot more information and I agree is a different subject.

    I do want to point out comments about volley fire and the use of Napoleonic tactics are simplifications because in both the 18th and 19th Centuries men in the military did think about weapons tactics and how to better train for actual combat situations. For example see George Grant's Highland Military Discipline (1757). Also note Gen. Gage's direction for practicing aimed fire, and the recently uncovered evidence of a target range at Valley Forge (1778) demonstrate interest at the highlest levels of command that the men develop experience and confidence in firing individually. The Britishicon army in North America in both the Frenchicon and Indian War and the American revolution adapted their tactical formations, but even in closed formation would train to only one rank or member in a file would fire at a time. Another method, emphasized in von Steubon's instructions, was firing en echelon both at platoon and company level within a battalion in line, advancing, retreating and when changing from column into line. Further there are enough examples to substaniate that these practices carried into combat.

    My point here being that even in the 18th century officers and soldiers planned for and developed weapons procedures for a variety of combat situations.
    Last edited by Matt_X; 02-02-2021 at 11:25 AM.

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Agreed. However, WWI showed the thinking of massed attack formations still hadn't changed.

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    Really Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHH View Post
    Ref. Muzzle loading rifles in Civil War: The method of fighting in those days was line up and shoot, presenting volley fire until the situation went to independent fire or broke down to the point of losing unit integrity. I've owned and shot a lot with .58 cal replica arms of the civil war. You can easily load and shoot to the point that loading becomes difficult - to the point where you cannot load correctly because of powder fouling. Quality and availability of paper cartridges was an issue with some ammunition being used by the other side...
    The Britishicon cartridge for the P-53 musket was much prized by both sides. In the early 1850s, the laboratory at the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich solved the fouling problem. With correctly-constructed Enfield cartridges, fouling is controlled and the generously-undersized Pritchett bullets are easy to load, regardless of how long you've been shooting. It is night and day difference when compared to shooting American-style Minies. The only time I revert to Burton style Minies is because of the rules against paper cartridges on some ranges and in NSSA and NMLRA sanctioned competition.

    Brett Gibbons' books are most recommended.
    The Destroying Angel: The Rifle-Musket as the First Modern Infantry Weapon

    The English Cartridge Pattern 1853 Rifle-Musket Ammunition

  13. #18
    Really Senior Member DaveHH's Avatar
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    "The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle" by Ned Roberts goes way into the technology of the weapons. This guy lived it.
    Training does mean a lot but how does one explain the fact that " The Thin Red Line " Britishicon infantry, the best trained infantry in the world at the time, consistently fired over their intended targets. Or how the Infantry Square was developed to resist attack from Cavalry, but to work required Sergeants armed with swords constantly either slapping , stabbing or killing anyone who tried to run from the formation. At Waterloo, the Frenchicon skirmishers would haul small artillery pieces to within 100' of the British square, dismount and fire directly into the square, like bowling with human pins. It was wholesale slaughter on a scale beyond belief. At Waterloo, Napoleon's personal guards the Garde Impériale, refused to attack in a final suicidal lunge to save the day. The best the French had quitting on the field. A target range at Valley Forge? More likely a field for execution by firing squad. The Continental Army was so short of powder and lead that anyone firing needlessly were flogged or worse. Read "The British Are Coming" by Rick Atkinson for a genuine account of what really happened at Concord. My great great great grandfather Moses Bruce was one of the Minutemen. My great great grandfather Pvt Lucian Bruce 1st Vermont, was shot and disabled at the battle called The Wilderness. My other Great great grandfather Major Jeremiah Hackett was a Union Cavalry commander in Arkansas.

  14. #19
    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    In regards to "hold open," many SWAT teams and special operations teams in the late 80's and early 90's utilized H&K weapons systems such as the MP5. They were "cool," they were "tactical," and they were in every movie and TV show. At that time, AR platforms were considered inferior because of the negative publicity they had received from Vietnam era stories of the M-16. ARs were not "cool", they were "old fashioned" and you didn't really see them too much in the movies or on TV unless it was a Vietnam related story. It wasn't until the late 90's that SWAT teams and law enforcement agencies started to return to the AR platform. This was due to a variety of reasons including cost, availability of military surplus for police agencies, versatility and an increased reputation for dependability. When I traded in my H&K for my Colt SMG, I was very happy with the Colt "hold open" feature that my H&K didn't have. Every weapon system has its pros and cons and I for one really like the "hold open" feature as it reduced the reloading process by at least one step and a couple of seconds.

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    Member Matt_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHH View Post
    A target range at Valley Forge? More likely a field for execution by firing squad.
    Not even close. You're speculating without having even read the report or the published article. Nor does it follow practices of time or the Cont. Army. Further, all executions were in the G.O.

    ---------- Post added at 02:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Singer B View Post
    Every weapon system has its pros and cons and I for one really like the "hold open" feature as it reduced the reloading process by at least one step and a couple of seconds.
    Thankyou. This comes back to a comment posted earlier. The hold open on the M1icon carbine's mag followers hold the slide directly. When the magazine is changed the slide is released so it doesn't save any steps in reload.
    Last edited by Matt_X; 02-02-2021 at 02:49 PM.

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