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Bundeswehr soldiering on with overheating guns

The Local · 1 Apr 2012, 15:25

Published: 01 Apr 2012 15:25 GMT+02:00

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After several hundred rounds the G36 gun barrel gets so hot that the chances of hitting a target at 300 metres drops to around one third according to a survey of troops seen by the newspaper.

However, there have not as yet been any complaints by German troops based in Afghanistan, despite gun battles with enemy fighters often last for hours.

According to the report, the German Operations Command has issued advice on the proper use of the weapons for units deployed in the country, saying troops must allow the barrel to cool down enough to touch it before continuing to shoot.

The G36, made by weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch, and used by the Bundeswehr for the past 15 years, mostly consists of light plastic and was not intended for continuous fire, said the report.

The Local/jlb

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

22:45 April 1, 2012 by Frenemy
duh, its an inherent design flaw of the G36. And 5.56 rounds have virtually no stopping power. Don't know what H&K was thinking, they should've gone with a 7.62 slug (external ballistics are much better)...
00:31 April 2, 2012 by nemo999
Think the G36 gets hot, try the AK 47, it gets pretty hot, so hot that it will burn your hand thru the forward hand guard.

I will take the FN 5.7 X 28mm, will penetrate most body armor out to 200 meters.
00:55 April 2, 2012 by Frenemy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:12 April 2, 2012 by HerLinder
Several of the above comments are quite disgusting, particularly the ones by nemo999....will penetrate most body armor


Frenemy.....you can straight up zipper a guy....

these types of public dialogue by military persons should be reported to your superiors. they are disgusting and are exactly why the US military is held in such contempt by so many people of the world. You do NOT do a good job of representing your nation, boys!
09:13 April 2, 2012 by Yael924
Dear HerLinder,

I am quite confident that Frenemy and nemo999 got their weapons "knowledge" off the internet. They are poseurs. Genuine military would be concerned for their German comrades.

However, the US has been forced to lower its acceptance standards several times over the last ten years to keep its troop levels high. Many believe that this has contributed to the poor behavior of some US troops.

It is a very sad situation; poor military behavior hurts all Americans -- as well as the poor souls on the other side of our guns.....
09:37 April 2, 2012 by nemo999

The object of any combat weapon is to neutralize the enemy in an expedient, efficient, and economical manner and maintain the safety of the soldier.

The object of war is the reduce the enemies will and ability to fight, and to do this by the direct application of force on force, application of force on his support and supply structures, and the direct and physical occupation of the enemies territory. Do all of this with minimum of loss to your forces.

Body armor is a common fact for all NATO combat forces, and its gaining wide acceptance by all combat forces, the technology is out their and available.

Typical operational procedure is to isolate and contain the enemy combatant at a distant and call for depending on the situation for either direct, or indirect fire support to neutralize the combatant, minimizing the danger to you and the soldier under you command. If that is not possible and direct engagement is required then you want to have weapons at hand that minimize the risk to you and the soldier under your command. Additionally you would like to if possible minimized collateral damage to any noncombatants in the battle zone.

Are Rules of Engagement are pretty strict in that we are not allow to fire first unless certain specific conditions are present, typically these are an active demonstration of hostile intent. The most notable being that the unit is receiving incoming hostile fire and we can identify where this incoming hostile fire is coming from, and if possible who is the source of this incoming hostile fire.

At the end of the day you want you and yours not to be going home either in a body bag or on a litter, and if takes sending the other guy home in a body bag or on a litter then so be it.

That is just one soldier view.

But sleep tight tonight Herr Linder with your family, in your house or apartment knowing that you and yours are safe because, well you can fill in the rest.

I and many that I know do not take pride or joy in the killing. But I do take pride and joy in the fact that I came home alive.
11:05 April 2, 2012 by Frenemy
HerLinder: Quit being so sensitive. (and fyi: I'm neither American nor German according to my passport anyway)

Yael924: You're wrong.

TheLocal Editorial (read censoring) crew: I didn't say anything deserving of redaction. I'm merely stating facts that are openly available to anyone with an internet connection.
11:52 April 2, 2012 by raandy
Not having the knowledge some of you newer military vets have , it seems strange that a firefight would result in several hundred rounds of continuos fire from one weapon. No doubt it would become so hot, any rifle would.

Other than stop firing and waiting for the barrel to cool, what other options are there?
12:09 April 2, 2012 by Frenemy
you can always use your camelbak to cool off the barrel (or find cover and hope/prey they don't have counter-defilade weapons)
12:16 April 2, 2012 by Navigator_B
"After several hundred rounds the G36 gun barrel gets so hot .... ".

That's an awful lot of bullets flying all over the place at the same time and possibly ricocheting in all directions. Presumably the target is rarely a single spot if so many rounds are used around the same time. The drop in the chances of hitting a target in situations like that seems irrelevant. The fact that the gun gets so hot therefore seems more like a useful feature to warn trigger-happy Rambos against killing even more civilians and their own comrades.
14:42 April 2, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Wait a second... German troops are actually firing their guns in Afghanistan?

I thought they were purely in a support role, no?

What kind of kill ratio do the German troops have?
14:53 April 2, 2012 by Frenemy
barely. maybe 0:2 (if that)...

combat air controllers are too busy SOFLAM lasing air strikes for US air assets...
16:12 April 2, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Frenemy - Thanks for update.

I guess we should be thankful that the German Govt is actually committing troops rather than only playing the role of righteous advice giving (e.g., Libya, Syria, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia, etc.).

German politicians seem to have a remarkable tolerance to watch slaughter on a grand scale, and then disperse platitudes about peace.
19:00 April 2, 2012 by Frenemy
Germany's actually doing quite a bit (in more places than I'm aloud to say), Berlin just doesn't want to get seen contributing... ;-)
05:47 April 15, 2012 by Inquisitor
The use of 6 mags of ammunition in an individual combat weapon in basically continuous fire seems extraordinarily wasteful of a finite resource, reminiscent of 'Rambo". The reality is that most Individual combat weapons are used in either "single round" semi auto mode or "burst mode" of 2 - 3 rounds, and would never get to the heat generated by 100 - 200 round continuous fire. In all likelihood, a soldier would only be carrying 6 - 8 30rd magazines on a patrol (240 rounds) and expending that in one furious orgy of firing is at best, incompetent, wasteful and stupid. Soldiers are very aware that the supply of ammunition is not unlimited and much as we would love to be able to carry a couple of thousand rounds each, it is just not possible, due to the weight and the impact upon our ability to move. Each section has a couple of heavier "support weapons" which will support higher fire rates and for which additional ammunition is also carried and distributed amongst squad members - more weight! It seems that many of the people commenting would do well to do some military service in a combat theatre of operations, rather than on the internet where you can replace your ammo at the press of a key on a keyboard.
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