A significant contribution to the soldier’s load is ammunition. One way to reduce this is to modify how ammunition is expended.
Full-auto fever. An assault rifle is not a machine gun. The effective range of an assault rifle with fully automatic fire is considerably less than that of a true machine gun. Full auto from a rifle can be used to sweep a trench or clear a room. It will only be cost-effective at longer ranges if the enemy is in a big dumb bunch. Some manuals state the effective range of a rifle on full-auto as 50 metres. About half of this distance is probably more realistic. If the enemy is more than 50 metres away keep your rifle on semi-automatic.
Suppressive fire doesn’t have to be full-auto. There will be times when rifles must provide suppressive fire. Think about the Westerns you have seen where a character gets pinned down in the rocks. The Winchesters and revolvers used did not need to go full-auto to do this! Suppress an enemy position with aimed, semi-automatic fire.
Many years ago I came across a statement from the SAS when they were reactivated for operations in Malaya:
“At first we carried too much ammo. We learnt to carry less. We learnt to shoot less and hit more often.”
To that we can add a statement from the Home Guard Fieldcraft manual by Maj. John Langdon-Davies. He observes that a Home guard solder will never have as much ammo as he might wish for and that twenty rifle rounds at 25 yards will be far more effective that fifty at 250 yards.
Know when to fire and when not to.If you have enjoyed this article or it has been helpful to you please feel free to show your appreciation. Thank you.