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Old 11-08-2019, 10:37 AM
manimal87 manimal87 is offline
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Default Distinction between LMG MMG/GPMG and HMG



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Hey guys. I've read a lot about the machine gun terminology last days. Also watched the video from forgotten weapons. But it's since then as unclear for me as it was before. So how I interpretend it. A LMG or GPMG (which is basically a MMG) or HMG is not classified by its caliber but by its role/usage or how its mounted. Is that right? So weapons like the m249 is an LMG. It was build for beeing deployed at squad level and support them. a M60, M240, PKM are GPMG but can be considered as LMGs too when using their bipod or beeing fired from shoulder. Russia special forces using the Pkp as their LMG. But it's classified as an GPMG. That's what really confuses me. So could a m249 become also a gpmg or mmg when mounted on a tripod. I know that caliber differentation makes sense... Since all "GPMGs" are full rifle caliber.... Because they offer more range.

But older LMGs also fired full power caliber. So LMGs today could also be full power caliber aso they were in the past? The Negev NG7 for example also uses 7.62 nato and is classified by IWI as an LMG.

So this LMG or MMG/GPMG classification thing has nothing to to like for example the difference between an assault rifle and battle rifle? Assault rifle = intermediate cartridge
Battle rifle = full power cartridge?
And a LMG MMG/GPMG is not beeing classified by its caliber but by its usage and mounting like I said before? So a M60 E6 or M240L could be considered as an LMG too?

Sorry... Text may sound a little confusing... But I hope you get my point.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:14 AM
Nomad, 2nd Nomad, 2nd is online now
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LMG is a one man weapon. Yes TOC says you have a assistant gunner who carries your spare barrel bag, but I've been in units which ignore that guideline.

HMG is a crew served weapon.
M2 etc.

A GPMG is one that bridges the gap and can 'make do' to either extreme.
240

Understanding that this classification is a fluid thing:
It's more about tactics than caliber and weight.

ETA:just to either confuse the issue or answer your next question:
MG's like the 1919 which do not have a quick changing barrel and kinda can't be run by a single person (if not static) is a 'Medium Machine gun' and a Mk 19 is classified as an automatic grenade launcher.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:45 PM
Exarmyguy Exarmyguy is offline
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We had 2 man crewed 1919 MGs
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:32 PM
Astronomy Astronomy is offline
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Besides the previously mentioned criteria, I've always viewed the distinction between LMG & GPMG as being this:

With an LMG, the weapon can still be practically & routinely shoulder fired from a standing position while effectively employing the sights. Sling support of the gun's weight is not required during firing.

With a GPMG, the greater weight/recoil of the gun generally requires the average operator to fire from the hip (supported from a sling), adopt an underarm tuck and fire over the sights, or take the gun down to a bipod or barricade supported position. Or just have the gun team put the tripod w/ T&E mechanism into action.

By that definition, the M249, Bren Gun, RPD, Ultimax 100, BAR, Stoner 63, Mk48, PKM, etc. are LMGs...

While weightier guns like the MG42/MG3, M60, M240/MAG 58, MG34, M1919... are not.

Just my opinion.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manimal87 View Post
Hey guys. I've read a lot about the machine gun terminology last days. Also watched the video from forgotten weapons. But it's since then as unclear for me as it was before. So how I interpretend it. A LMG or GPMG (which is basically a MMG) or HMG is not classified by its caliber but by its role/usage or how its mounted. Is that right? So weapons like the m249 is an LMG. It was build for beeing deployed at squad level and support them. a M60, M240, PKM are GPMG but can be considered as LMGs too when using their bipod or beeing fired from shoulder. Russia special forces using the Pkp as their LMG. But it's classified as an GPMG. That's what really confuses me. So could a m249 become also a gpmg or mmg when mounted on a tripod. I know that caliber differentation makes sense... Since all "GPMGs" are full rifle caliber.... Because they offer more range.

But older LMGs also fired full power caliber. So LMGs today could also be full power caliber aso they were in the past? The Negev NG7 for example also uses 7.62 nato and is classified by IWI as an LMG.

So this LMG or MMG/GPMG classification thing has nothing to to like for example the difference between an assault rifle and battle rifle? Assault rifle = intermediate cartridge
Battle rifle = full power cartridge?
And a LMG MMG/GPMG is not beeing classified by its caliber but by its usage and mounting like I said before? So a M60 E6 or M240L could be considered as an LMG too?

Sorry... Text may sound a little confusing... But I hope you get my point.
To add further instruction...confusion to the mix...........

Currently serving in the United States Army Infantry here and have been for a bit over 2 decades now.....

Some current distinctions big green uses.....

HMG: M2A1 machine gun chambered in 50 BMG / 12.7x99mm. Typically utilized at the company level. Not considered a general purpose weapon because it must be mounted on a tripod or vehicle mount

GPMG: This weapon can be utilized by one Joe via a stock of some sort. It can also be utilized as a crew served weapon via tripod, vehicle mount, and as a coaxial machine gun in various vehicles such as the M2 and M1.

Note: There are also " kits", that can be utilized for a coaxial machine gun to be converted to be used by one Joe in the dirt if required. ( Dispersal of firepower in the defense by an armored or mechanized unit for example).

The GPMG: M240B/ L machine gun is utilized at the platoon level via the heavy weapons squad. They can be pushed down to the rifle squads on order, or retained by the PSG/ PL for direct control depending on the tactical situation at any given time.

Note: The 240L can not sustain fire as the B can

Note: This also applies to the term MMG.

LMG: The M249 currently . This weapon is actually organic to each fireteam within the rifle squads. ( 1 per fire team/ 2 per quad)

Note: The term SAW has been " retired" in relation to the M249 because the current M4A1 Carbine is full auto capable. With that said......slip on a short bbl via M249 and you end up with a " para saw".....although it is still technically a LMG.

Too further muddy the waters.......Any of the 3 can be utilized in the GPMG role when mated with the M101/ M153 CROWS system. However, the M2A1 must utilize it's tripod if the plan calls to remove it from the CROWS.

And then there is the Mk19 and M242 to consider.

Pics below:

My current issued M4A1 carbine next to one of my platoon M249 LMGs. ( Both sport BFAs as I took this pic during an FTX a few months ago.)

Note: M4A1 is classified as a carbine and not a rifle. The only rifles in a typical LIP are the M110 and to some extent.....the M14. The M24 is another.

Note: Element of Estonian Army utilized the MG3 GPMG at " team" level. Thier rifles were full auto capable R4s ( Galil) , as well as 2 M14s.

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Old 11-09-2019, 05:52 PM
DWwolf DWwolf is online now
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The germans used their GPMG in the HMG role as well : just add a tripod.
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:54 PM
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Don't get wrapped around caliber. It's more application and tactical usage.

Down at the squad/team level, we've had the BAR, Bren, RPD, RPK, M249, etc. They can be carried and used by one man, but often have an assistant gunner with spare barrel and extra ammo.

There are some that bridge the gap as the lower tactical levels up to the platoon and company levels, such as the M60/M240, MG42, PKM, etc. They can still be used at the squad level and one-man operated, but are more often used as part of a team.

For Heavy MG's I've always associated them with the M2 and DShK; often in the .50-caliber range. However, I've seen M240's used in that capacity as well.

Again, application is what will dictate the terminology, not so much the caliber. Sure, there is the nice feature of having the same caliber as the team/squad rifles, but with belted LMG's, that's really not much of a concern.

ROCK6
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:12 PM
hardcalibres hardcalibres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROCK6 View Post
Don't get wrapped around caliber. It's more application and tactical usage.

......

For Heavy MG's I've always associated them with the M2 and DShK; often in the .50-caliber range. However, I've seen M240's used in that capacity as well.

Again, application is what will dictate the terminology,.......

ROCK6
Agreed and when we look at the origins of the term heavy machine gun (about a century ago), that term was mostly used for water cooled, tripod mounted belt feds like the Maxim, Vickers, Colts and Brownings - all of which just fired plain old rifle rounds of the day (.303, 7.92x57, 30/06, etc).

All were used in sustained fire and often to cover a "fixed line" or even dead ground.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:32 PM
TENNGRIZZ TENNGRIZZ is offline
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HAW , MAW , LAW , range to target and target itself. JMHO and S/FI!
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