Squad Layout: SAW vs Crew-Served Machine Gun?

Aug 2016
977
US&A
#1
There has been a debate in the world's militaries since at least World War 2 about whether to outfit squads with several slightly heavier than average hitting SAWs like the BAR or M27 or a single crew-served machine gun like the MG42 or MG5.

Which, in your opinion, is the better option? What situations would one style outperform the other?
 
Mar 2019
1,244
Kansas
#2
There has been a debate in the world's militaries since at least World War 2 about whether to outfit squads with several slightly heavier than average hitting SAWs like the BAR or M27 or a single crew-served machine gun like the MG42 or MG5.

Which, in your opinion, is the better option? What situations would one style outperform the other?
Really depends what we are doing. Offensive or defensive operations?
 
Jul 2016
9,323
USA
#8
Which would you prefer and why?
The biggest problem with a legit crew served GPMG is weight, the amount of personnel needing to employ it, and its hampering of squad/section mobility. Not counting training. Any type of machine gun is much more complicated to learn than a basic service rifle. Not only are there far more parts, the cycle of operations is much more complicated, there are far more types of stoppages/malfunctions that must be identified in order to clear them, employment is much more confusing as machine gun tactics involve not only firing at point targets but also area fire and advanced concepts of fire for suppression.

If I had to use a LMG in the squad/section, I'd want one designed to be use individually, one in 5.56 or using the new hybrid cased 7.62 NATO. The gunner would have a limited ammunition loadout, to ensure they can keep up with the rest of his squad/section. There would be limited/no crossloading of ammo in the rest of the squad/section unless the mission called for an extended base of fire. And the weapon system, unloaded and without accessories, would not weigh any more than 12 lbs.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,507
Sydney
#10
squad light support weapons now tend to be pretty identical to assault rifle ,
but with a larger magazine to maintain supporting or suppressing fire and a bi-pod
they are build to more sturdy construction since they are tasked with a high volume of fire

the squad has two teams , the fire team and the assault team

the fire team lay down suppressing fire while the assault team work its way toward the objective
light machine gun tend to be replaced since most armies have switched to smaller caliber ammunition
better carry more bullets and save the weight of the light machine gun
I can assure you that they are NOT light at all , they are beastly things to drag around
many assault rifles are now fitted with bi-pod so there is even less difference
 
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