Small Arms Thread

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 13 Apr 2011 14:42

vic wrote:RE Shiv

9mm is practically effective only till 25-50m and not 200m. Ask any infantry guy and he wil tell you that the bullet is heavy and slow, starts falling/curving after 20-30m only. Shooting at a range is different.

AKs are good for point targets only till 100m though for area targets they will go till 400m. Now, it seems you are golfer, try aiming your theoratical rifle/golf club at 600m target and you will know the meaning of spray and pray.



Vic in my younger days I was a crack shot with air rifles and owned a couple of the most desirable sports rifles on the market those days - one of which is still worth over 25,000 INR. Hitting a target even at 50 meters is pretty difficult even if you are standing still and the target is standing still. If you are breathing heavily or the target is moving - hitting anything over 100 meters accurately involves Allah. Same as good golf. That is why I was skeptical about that NATO complaint that the Taliban were hitting at 600 meters plus. They must have been filling the air with lead and pinning the NATO soldiers down at those ranges.

I will try and link that video of Col Imam (or was it his pal?) being shot by Hakimullah Mehsud's men - I have deliberately downloaded the video and slowed it down. The killer shoots the man several times from a range of about 2 meters. And guess what? He clearly misses one of the shots. Shooting is more than having a gun with a claimed long range.

The point about the 9 mm is that it is compact in size and can be pointed at mango man from back seat of Ambassador car carrying a politician. Even if the bullet falls after 25 meters (at 500 meters per sec it will fall a centimeter or so) no one wants to be within 200 meters of that weapon - which my auntie Wiki says can empty its magazine in seconds

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 06:34

Speaking of small arms and hitting people - there was an unfortunate incident in Bangalore a few weeks after 26/11 when two young men were doing "wheelies" on a motorcycle on a road full of army establishments and residences. The police had a roadblock for precisely this kind of stuff - and these two men dropped their motorbike and ran off in two different directions. One guy (poor chap, he was tragically stupid) ran to a nearby residence that was the home of one of the senior most army officers in South India - a residence that has an armed guard normally (and this was within weeks of 26/11 - it was November 2008 IIRC). The young man climbed up on to the terrace and proceeded to call his mother, his friends and his brother on his cellphone - and this was past midnight.

The sentry asked the guy to come down and give himself up - but he guy kept talking for 45 minutes - by which time his brother arrived in a car outside the residence. The boy then slithered down and ran across the yard and was promptly shot by the sentry. He staggered to the car and got in and died in the car. He was taken to a nearby hospital and declared dead.

Weeks later I was in a club on a treadmill - and I while I fast walked on the treadmill I was treated to the spectacle of a few army/air force guys and not a few women who would be sprinting at full speed on the treadmill nest to mine. One day while I was huffing and puffing at 6 kmph - a young army officer - who used to sprint noisily at 14 kmph while casually making conversation with me in the next treadmill asked me if I would care to join him for a beer on the lawn. Between huffs and puffs I agreed. We spoke of various things and the topic of this guy who had been shot came up. The army guy laughed ironically and said - the boy was unlucky. They had posted a guy who could actually shoot on sentry duty that night.

The statement made by this guy struck me as odd initially - but later I realized that he was right. The sentry took one shot with an INSAS at a guy who was sprinting across a yard at night. And got him. Not easy. Shooting is easy. Shooting accurately is a problem. If you read descriptions of the hostages who were lined up but Kasab's friends on a landing at the Trident hotel and then shot from the staircase (essentially point blank range) with a Kalashnikov - you find that one guy survived uninjured. If you watch the video of the Baluch teenagers and young boys being shot dead by a bunch (about half a dozen) Paki soldiers with automatics, you find that at least two are alive after a flurry of shots - you can hear them gron after which one Paki angel goes and pumps further bullets into the groaning boys.

In a famous study, a man called SLA Marshal found that only 20% of men in World War II actually fired their weapons - I am reading that book and a series of books related to that right now. Psychologists said that humans have an inherent inability to shoot and kill other humans unless they are made to see the opposition as less than human. After Marshall's findings were known the US army made it a point to indoctrinate its soldiers to see the enemy as subhuman aliens. Which explains why the US army wins firefights - but found it difficult to perform peacekeeping operations among people such as in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a difficulty in dealing humanely with people who one has been taught to instinctively hate as "the enemy".

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Rahul M » 14 Apr 2011 06:57

this might be OT but carrying on from this last point about de-humanising the enemy, I remember making a mental note that american soldiers invariably refer to enemy combatants as 'bad guys' and themselves as 'good guys'. soldiers from every other army I have watched being interviewed on TV (f.e IA and even brit army) stick to 'enemy'.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby negi » 14 Apr 2011 07:33

^ Americans have to every time emphasise upon 'them' being the 'bad guys' because deep inside they know many of the wars which they have fought were not theirs to fight in first place; in fact they have imposed wars on others and hence the need this need to repeatedly assure oneself about being the 'good guy'. :wink:

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vic » 14 Apr 2011 08:20

Re Shiv

Taliban normally uses PKM for long range spray. It is 7.62x54 Medium Machine Gun. One need a well and "regulary" trained soldier to hit anything with it beyond 300m. If Taliban is spraying at a line of trucks from 600m then it might hit a truck or two with one or 2 bullets from hundreds that are fired. But it will just create a "scare" and mark presence more than anything.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 10:22

vic wrote:Taliban normally uses PKM for long range spray. It is 7.62x54 Medium Machine Gun. One need a well and "regulary" trained soldier to hit anything with it beyond 300m. If Taliban is spraying at a line of trucks from 600m then it might hit a truck or two with one or 2 bullets from hundreds that are fired. But it will just create a "scare" and mark presence more than anything.

In fact it needs a well trained soldier (well trained Taliban) to use PKM for long range spray. Otherwise they will spray with whatever they have. Like so many videos we see of Hamas or Libyan rebel or someone spraying off something in some direction.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 10:53

dont the taliban have ancient long barrel 'jezails' as seen in star wars pod racer scene (desert bandits) which can shoot a heavy slug out to 600m?

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 10:59

is this correct ?

the version of Fn-FAL we used for IA, had only single shot mode. no semi-auto and no full auto. british army or other european armies who used it retained the semi/full option.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Gaur » 14 Apr 2011 11:26

Singha wrote:is this correct ?

the version of Fn-FAL we used for IA, had only single shot mode. no semi-auto and no full auto. british army or other european armies who used it retained the semi/full option.

You are confusing the issue. Single shot mode = Semi Auto (except for when the rifle is of Bolt Action type, which FN FAL is not)

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 12:07

ok - my mental idea was:
single shot - 1 shot (IA FN_FAL had this and nothing else?)
semi auto - 3 or 4 shots for every sustained pull of trigger (INSAS has the single shot mode and this mode - if u call it that..maybe "3 shot mode" is a better name?)
full auto - keep the trigger pressed to empty the whole mag. (AK series has it, so does MP series and Sterling)

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ArmenT » 14 Apr 2011 12:09

Singha wrote:is this correct ?

the version of Fn-FAL we used for IA, had only single shot mode. no semi-auto and no full auto. british army or other european armies who used it retained the semi/full option.

Partly correct. Original FN-FAL, as designed by Belgium, had full auto option. The British adopted it a little later, but made a number of significant changes to it, including *removing* the full-auto option and only allowing semi-automatic mode (i.e. each trigger pull only fires one shot). The Brits called their version L1A1 and because of the number of mods they'd made to the design, many L1A1 parts would not fit FN-FAL and vice versa. Also at that time, Belgium was on SI standard already, but the UK was still on imperial measurements system, so they also modified the dimensions slightly to fit tooling based on inch measurement system.

Now, when SDRE injuns decided to adopt the FAL, they decided that the British modified version was actually better for Indian conditions, so they started with L1A1 as the base instead of original FAL. This is why India's version (1A1) also fires in semi-automatic mode only. Now India was on SI system already, so they modified the British design slightly to fit metric tooling. As a result, many parts of 1A1 don't fit the L1A1 or the original FAL!

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 12:18

was the 3 shot mode put into INSAS due to COIN feedback or simply because the 1-shot mode proved ineffective in wars like 1971 and siachen?

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ArmenT » 14 Apr 2011 12:20

Singha wrote:ok - my mental idea was:
single shot - 1 shot (IA FN_FAL had this and nothing else?)
semi auto - 3 or 4 shots for every sustained pull of trigger (INSAS has the single shot mode and this mode - if u call it that..maybe "3 shot mode" is a better name?)
full auto - keep the trigger pressed to empty the whole mag. (AK series has it, so does MP series and Sterling)

Your definition is slightly incorrect.

Single shot means it goes bang when you pull the trigger, but you need to manipulate levers manually to load the next shot in.

Semi-auto mode means that it fires one shot with every trigger pull. However, it automatically loads the next round for you and you only need to release and pull the trigger again to fire again. Indian FAL clone (1A1) had this mode only. Since it only had this firing mode, it is technically called an SLR (self loading rifle)

Burst mode: This is where it fires X rounds with each trigger pull (where X is usually 2-4 rounds or so). M16A2 model has this feature, along with semi-automatic mode.

Full-auto: It will keep firing as long as you hold the trigger down and there is ammunition available in the magazine. M16A1 model has this feature, but they changed it in M16A2 to have a burst mode instead, because soldiers kept wasting too much ammo.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Sandeep_ghosh » 14 Apr 2011 13:32

shiv wrote:In fact it needs a well trained soldier (well trained Taliban) to use PKM for long range spray. Otherwise they will spray with whatever they have. Like so many videos we see of Hamas or Libyan rebel or someone spraying off something in some direction.



Afghans have a very strong Rifleman culture, I assume they are a good shot with the Ak as well. Ahmed shah masoods men were known to be extremely good marksmen

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 13:44

what would be the range and accuracy of these jezail weapons?

http://www.nzaaawgtn.org.nz/images/a09/it09_100.jpg

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Viv S » 14 Apr 2011 13:46

Sandeep_ghosh wrote:
shiv wrote:In fact it needs a well trained soldier (well trained Taliban) to use PKM for long range spray. Otherwise they will spray with whatever they have. Like so many videos we see of Hamas or Libyan rebel or someone spraying off something in some direction.



Afghans have a very strong Rifleman culture, I assume they are a good shot with the Ak as well. Ahmed shah masoods men were known to be extremely good marksmen


Vis-a-vis other similar militias yes. But a martial tradition cannot substitute professional training. One cannot become a good shot with a captured/country'-made AK that isn't accurate over 50m, and be decent marksman without learning the ancillary skills to go along with steady hands.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby merlin » 14 Apr 2011 15:08

Singha wrote:was the 3 shot mode put into INSAS due to COIN feedback or simply because the 1-shot mode proved ineffective in wars like 1971 and siachen?


IIRC, it was feeback from IPKF more than anything else. Also being a smaller caliber, recoil from a 3 round burst won't be as much as from the Ishapore SLR 1A1. Plus they didn't want to go full auto as it militates against the "ek goli, ek dushman" credo.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 15:13

It is nearly impossible for a human to spray powerful machine-gun fire "accurately". Many videos exist of men almost losing their balance from the recoil. Accuracy does not happen.

Watch the boy in this video trying full auto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcoBknLEbxM


For a machine gun to lay down "accurate" full auto fire it has to be fixed in some way. Or else burst fire mode of 2 or 3 rounds per burst is best.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 15:18

Singha wrote:what would be the range and accuracy of these jezail weapons?

http://www.nzaaawgtn.org.nz/images/a09/it09_100.jpg


Singha - I am sure they used "gunpowder" that can hardly compare with the efficiency and power of today's propellants. They also used shot or balls I guess - with no rifling - and must have been pretty inaccurate.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 17:47

copied off a blog:

With regards to Afghan accuracy, the plateau regions there (namely Iran and Afghanistan) have amazing traditions of sharpshooting.

I’ve seen a movie filmed in 1925 of a Lorestani man (in Iran) firing a flintlock at what looked like a bare mountainside…but lo and behold, a small speck the size of a pea on the theater-sized movie screen falls off a crag in the distance. The camera runs up, easily hundreds and hundreds of yards, and finds the mountain goat shot clean through the spine. According to the American film crew, the old Lorestani man was capable of doing this every time–it was how he fed his family.

The Jezail musket was different from European muskets in that the calibers tended to be larger, and the distance of firing greater. This was largely geography. Afghanistan and Iran have massive valleys and mountains, or alternately wide open steppes–the landscape feels more expansive, and things can be seen from greater distances than much of Europe. Think the Dakotas vs. Florida, for example. .30-30 serves in Florida, but a .308 would be more suitable in Dakota.

There are some great case studies in arms technology regarding the use of the Jezail against European powers in Afghanistan and especially the Caucuses as well. It was well suited to long-range ambushes against conventional formations of the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_%281925_film%29

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 18:52

@2:13 watch what happens to the man firing an AK-47 in full auto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6holdOJTdY

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 19:06

Singha wrote:
With regards to Afghan accuracy, the plateau regions there (namely Iran and Afghanistan) have amazing traditions of sharpshooting.

I’ve seen a movie filmed in 1925 of a Lorestani man (in Iran) firing a flintlock at what looked like a bare mountainside…but lo and behold, a small speck the size of a pea on the theater-sized movie screen falls off a crag in the distance. The camera runs up, easily hundreds and hundreds of yards, and finds the mountain goat shot clean through the spine. According to the American film crew, the old Lorestani man was capable of doing this every time–it was how he fed his family.

The Jezail musket was different from European muskets in that the calibers tended to be larger, and the distance of firing greater. This was largely geography. Afghanistan and Iran have massive valleys and mountains, or alternately wide open steppes–the landscape feels more expansive, and things can be seen from greater distances than much of Europe. Think the Dakotas vs. Florida, for example. .30-30 serves in Florida, but a .308 would be more suitable in Dakota.

There are some great case studies in arms technology regarding the use of the Jezail against European powers in Afghanistan and especially the Caucuses as well. It was well suited to long-range ambushes against conventional formations of the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_%281925_film%29


Singha - I find this romanticized story a little hard to swallow. Muskets have too many things going against them. First the absence of a perfect fitting round causes leakage of gas around the ball reducing efficiency and causing variable effectiveness.

Secondly, although some later muskets had rifling - it is not clear if these were rifled and non rifled muskets start becoming inaccurate very quickly.

The third thing is that propellants are a science that goes beyond stuffing some powder in the end of a barrel. Propellants burn slowly enough to expand and impart a uniform acceleration to the bullet every time and the amount of propellant is accurate to the milligram for uniformity.

My auntie Wiki tells me that muskets have a muzzle velocity in the region of 400 meters per second. In my view that would make them powerful and accurate up to 100-150 meters. Beyond that Allah has to guide the ball.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby vic » 14 Apr 2011 19:09

Trained soldiers use the rise of machine gun barrel to hit the target. They will aim a little low and to the left and let the barrel rise with 5-10 short burst which should bring the burst near the target. For targets beyond 300m, one needs a super duper expert to hit targets reasonably reliably. One has to fire a burst only once to understand what I am saying.

Anyway I repeat 9mm carbine purchase was not needed

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 14 Apr 2011 19:13

vic wrote:Trained soldiers use the rise of machine gun barrel to hit the target. They will aim a little low and to the left and let the barrel rise with 5-10 short burst which should bring the burst near the target.


Lovely. Sounds right to me.

Anyway I repeat 9mm carbine purchase was not needed

You are saying this for the first time. So it's not a repeat. Why do you say so?

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Singha » 14 Apr 2011 19:21

mountain goats and sheep are big creatures - almost as big as desi cows. should be possible to hit a stationary one at 200m with any type of rifle - and these tribesmen get lot of practice hunting.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ParGha » 14 Apr 2011 19:54

Agree with shiv, a lot of romanticization of both past and present. Here is a contemporary, on-the-ground report from Ghazni Province, A'stan: http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/ ... ovince/?hp

Yes, the author also romanticizes a bit (hey, its a blog)... but the battalions's haul speaks for itself: Vast majority Kalashnikovs and PKs. The tactics, similar to what I put up in the last page.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Aditya G » 15 Apr 2011 01:49

Singha wrote:copied off a blog:

With regards to Afghan accuracy, the plateau regions there (namely Iran and Afghanistan) have amazing traditions of sharpshooting.

...


Singha, there was a whole series in the Long War Journal on this very topic last year -

Conclusion: Afghans/Talibs in the field are very poor shots. There have been occassions where snipers have surprised them, and thats when they came into the news.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ramana » 15 Apr 2011 02:01

There was this story of a girl sniper who shot some one while he was trying to fuse an IED and was in squatting position. from very long range.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 15 Apr 2011 05:28

Aditya G wrote: There have been occassions where snipers have surprised them, and thats when they came into the news.

There have been some amazing sniper stories - but a sniper is good marksman plus fantastic weapon. Same marksman plus ordinary weapon will give ordinary results - maybe better than average - but still ordinary. Good marksman and lousy weapon is same as lousy marksman.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Sandeep_ghosh » 15 Apr 2011 08:32

I wonder what happened to the OFB anti-material gun, the vidwhansak, it supported 12.7 mm, 14.5 mm and 20 mm calibers which i thought was pretty impressive, never heard of anymore orders from BSF or Army beyond the 100 sets delivered to the BSF initially

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 15 Apr 2011 09:44

Sandeep_ghosh wrote:I wonder what happened to the OFB anti-material gun, the vidwhansak, it supported 12.7 mm, 14.5 mm and 20 mm calibers which i thought was pretty impressive, never heard of anymore orders from BSF or Army beyond the 100 sets delivered to the BSF initially


That's the one mounte on those Coast Guard boats I think

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 15 Apr 2011 09:48

The hallowed Afghan marksmen legend started mostly after the Brits got their musharraf handed to them during Afghan misadventures of their Empire days and needed to preserve enchandee and hide their incompetent tactics. In reality most of the Afghan jeehardis are piss poor shots who spray and pray - some will be lethal snipers but most are no match for disciplined soldiery.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Anujan » 15 Apr 2011 10:02

There was a detailed analysis of the fight in Majra. I will try to dig it up. It was pretty instructive -- based on wound patterns, captured arms and interviews of soldiers.

Afghans apparently are piss poor marksmen with no discipline about conserving ammo. Apparently there were a few snipers in the mix -- suspected to be Paki instructors.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ArmenT » 15 Apr 2011 10:29

Raja Bose wrote:The hallowed Afghan marksmen legend started mostly after the Brits got their musharraf handed to them during Afghan misadventures of their Empire days and needed to preserve enchandee and hide their incompetent tactics. In reality most of the Afghan jeehardis are piss poor shots who spray and pray - some will be lethal snipers but most are no match for disciplined soldiery.

Very true. The British Brown Bess musket had low effective range compared to the Jezail and the British troops had the habit of walking in long tight columns through valleys. So an Afghani chap could setup on top of a cliff overlooking the valley and take a shot at the middle of the column. Even though the Jezail didn't have accuracy, the fact that it was aimed at such a tight mass of people meant it had a fair chance of hitting someone, even if it was not the person aimed at.

On the flip size, the Jezail musket was much heavier and longer compared to other muskets, which made it more unwieldy. That's why many of them came with a bipod stand and took time to set up and reload. Therefore, even though the jezail outranged the Brown Bess, on more-or-less flat terrain, the British troops were generally able to close in and beat the Afghans.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ramana » 15 Apr 2011 22:19

To add to the mix we had Arthur Conan Doyle have Dr Watson walk with a limp from a jezail bullet which apparently he got in one of the Second Afghan War!

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ArmenT » 16 Apr 2011 11:33

^^^
Except Sir A.C. Doyle couldn't remember where he placed Dr. Watson's war wound. In the first Sherlock Holmes story (A Study in Scarlet), Watson says that he was struck in the shoulder by a jezail bullet, which broke his bone. In the second Sherlock Holmes story (The Sign of the Four), he says that he had an old war wound in the leg from a jezail bullet and it was aching due to a change in the weather. Then, in another adventure (The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor), he says, "the Jezail bullet which I had brought back in one of my limbs as a relic of my Afghan campaign throbbed with dull persistence."

Incidentally, for those who are wondering about the reliability and accuracy of weapons made in Khyber Durra, consider the following point: the Pak military could save lots of precious foreign exchange if they purchased local made weapons, but they have chosen not to. Do you know the reason why :)

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 16 Apr 2011 11:43

^^^Because the direction in which the weapon fires its bullet is randomly distributed - it need not necessarily be towards the enemy even if the gun barrel is pointed that way.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby Aditya G » 16 Apr 2011 22:06

shiv wrote:
Sandeep_ghosh wrote:I wonder what happened to the OFB anti-material gun, the vidwhansak, it supported 12.7 mm, 14.5 mm and 20 mm calibers which i thought was pretty impressive, never heard of anymore orders from BSF or Army beyond the 100 sets delivered to the BSF initially


That's the one mounte on those Coast Guard boats I think


You mean Prahari HMG? Thats different from the Vidwhanshak which is a anti material rifle

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby ParGha » 17 Apr 2011 07:16

ArmenT wrote:Incidentally, for those who are wondering about the reliability and accuracy of weapons made in Khyber Durra, consider the following point: the Pak military could save lots of precious foreign exchange if they purchased local made weapons, but they have chosen not to. Do you know the reason why :)


The PA does produce its small-arms locally at the POFs. Plus they have other factories to produce the same arms that the DAK workshops produce; they don't even have to improvise or use dangerous substandard material like the workshops do -- they have got the old production lines from NORINCO setup and running for decades now.

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Re: Small Arms Thread

Postby shiv » 17 Apr 2011 07:52

Pakistan has a perfectly good and capable arms industry that does not need Darra Adamkhel manufactured weapons. But Pakistani gun laws (insofar as laws are implemented in Pakistan) are somewhat like US gun laws - they are relatively lax. Anyone who wants to buy a cut-rate weapon can get a Darra Adamkhel weapon that will do the job. The Paki army does not need it - but 15 million other Pakis find those arms useful.


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