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How to be an airsoft support gunner

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Tactics, Techniques and Procedures

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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:57   #1
AngelusNex
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How to be an airsoft support gunner

Just got meself a saw and decided to search our great interwebz for knowledge from those who've been using them for years. I've been in the force so I knew better then most how to properly implement the LMG but I've seen SO many that do not, thus I am posting my findings in hope that they see it and learn.

For me it's all just a confirmation that the LMGs use in real combat is still pretty much the same in airsoft.


Every thing in this quote is a copy paste from another user on another airsoft forum Linky: http://www.airsoftforum.com/board/Su...#entry17996102

Enjoy.

Quote:
The soft sound of the wind and foliage moving seem to permeate the air as you step through the grass. Watching your footing, sweeping your weapon with your head, your doing everything right, slow breath, listen, scan, move slow breath, listen, scan, move, the rest of your squad do the same each one spread out about 5 to 10 meters. Snap… great.. the new guy stepped on a twig and it popped. The snapping twigs snap fills the air around your squad as you all freeze. Your heart pumps faster, your thoughts moving a hundred miles an hour and all you can think of is the chewing out your going to give the new guy. 5 seconds pass.. 10.. then the point man motions forward once more.

You slowly pass the new guys position as he gives you a look of apology and the air is ripped apart by the sound of a beast! Rounds are flying at you from the left! The sound by itself has you frozen in spot, a hundred angry bb’s flying at you in rapid fire has just pinned your squad in place, and you move to scream out AMBUSH! The only thing that comes out of your lips is “HIT!”

Later at the rally point and every one is sitting around chewing the fat you realize.. I just faced a SAW.. how I operate in Airsoft will never be the same again..


This is the scenario many of us as Airsoft operators have faced at least once in our career as an Airsoft Operator/Enthusiast.

The Coveted SAW or Squad Automatic Weapon at one point in time was an Airsoft Enthusiasts dream. To own and operate one on the field held many implications. First off it meant you had a rather large wallet. SAW’s at the time where made by Classic Army, TOP and other high end Airsoft Company’s and with those names came a hefty price, a thousand dollars or more. To field a SAW was a major step into the Airsoft world. Secondly the way you operated on the field with and against a SAW completely changed.

HOW! You ask? Its just a fully automatic Airsoft gun! My M4 can do that! Well of course your M4 can, or your G36 with a drum magazine, or any other weapons platform you decide to use, what makes the SAW so much different then the others? The simple fact it’s a SAW, a Squad Automatic Weapon. Wither your fielding a M249, M60, or an RPK the first sight of that weapon pulled out of your weapons case is going to strike fear and awe into people’s minds and hearts. You have in your hands the ability to realistically and tactically take out a whole squad by the pull of your trigger. Note.. I said Realistically. It’s a psychological advantage the SAW has over other weapons platforms in Airsoft. It’s an actual Fully Automatic weapon designed to fire with a Drum Magazine. Where as any other systems just aren’t.

Now lets look into the Strategic and Tactical use of the SAW. Having a SAW on your team is going to as already stated DRAMATICALLY change how your team and your as an Airsoft Operator move and respond on the Airsoft field. Many misconceptions abound as to how you should use the SAW and with the introduction of the Lower Cost SAWs on the market your going to start seeing a huge amount of tactically and strategically diverse attitudes on how to use a SAW. So.. with that How do you use the SAW?
By definition the Squad Automatic Weapon is to be used as a Direct Suppression weapons system. What is Direct Suppression? Simply put you put rounds on target to suppress the enemy while your squad or team moves to engage.

Firing the SAW.

Something for those of you who have ever fired a real steel fully automatic weapon, recoil and muzzle climb become a huge factor. In Airsoft its hardly an issue. With the SAW the best techniques for firing at a target is the same as the real steel variety 3 to 5 round bursts. Gaining the ability to control the trigger of a SAW will extremely enhance your ability to deploy the weapon. One of the largest factors that face SAW Gunners and those who play against them is the over whelming desire to squeeze that trigger hold it and spray and pray. Wrong ladies and gents, plan wrong. Your wasting rounds, your giving away your position and your not doing any good for you or your team. 3 to 5 round bursts allow you to adjust your fire on the fly moving from target to target. In Airsoft as already stated you don’t have the recoil issue to deal with, what this does is allow you to effectively and continuously place those 3 to 5 round bursts on target. The Largest mistake made by new SAW owners is to pull that trigger and hold it down. Tactically and Realistically this is wrong and you will find yourself often shunned on the field by other players as its also unsafe, but it also puts a lot of wear and tear on that SAW.

Rule of thumb – 3 to 5 round bursts.

Deployment of the SAW

Now that we have discussed firing of a SAW System lets look into its deployment. Now every one has seen the Hollywood movies.. Rambo, Predator, Swordfish etc. In these movies you have the hero or villain as it where pulling out a large SAW Weapon system, a Man Portable Gatling gun, M60, M249 and just opening up with it and mowing down the attackers! WOW its awesome entertainment but it’s just that, entertainment. Deploying a SAW system is more about brains then brawn. It’s a support system. Not a M16 Rifleman on point, or a grenadier, the whole reason is to for the SAW System is to suppress. Suppression is an art form of tactics, strategy, cover and concealment. SAW systems should be deployed in such a way that you have a very clean fire lane, a steady platform and good cover. Hip firing of the SAW system is often extremely frowned upon but its capable of being done. SAW Gunners in the almost every Military around the world, are taught three major positions to shoot their SAW system in, Standing, Kneeling, and Prone.

Standing
Deploying in the Standing Position, the SAW gunner will raise the weapon and place it securely into the shoulder, grasping the pistol grip in the firing hand while holding the hand guard firmly in the off hand. Sighting down the iron sights and firing a 3 to 5 round burst. This position is good for quick firing engagement then moving to a more stable position and better cover. The SAW systems are often so heavy that constant engagement in the Standing position will cause extreme fatigue. A secondary method of the Standing if you have to continuously engage in this position is to move the SAW from the firing position in the shoulder to the ready position, with the barrel pointed at the ground while still holding the weapon into your shoulder, bringing it to bear on target firing then returning the system to the ready position.

Kneeling.
Kneeling is often the most common method of firing the SAW system. Simply put you will assume the position of fire as in the Standing position but drop down on either knee supporting the weight of the weapon in your arms on your raised knee. This position is more stable then the Standing due to the more body to body contact of your arms to knee. It also provides a SAW Gunner the ability to fire from a lower profile then the standing position. The Kneeling position is often seen used in conjunction of areas that have low to the ground cover such as fences, walls, shrub lines etc.

Prone
The Prone position is by far the most stable position to fire a SAW System from. One of the major factors that sets a SAW System apart from any other weapon system with a drum magazine and the capability of firing at full auto is a built in bipod. To deploy a SAW system in a prone position, first you will deploy the bipod, on most M249 SAWs, it is as simple as reaching up to the forward hand guards pushing the metal bipod together then letting them flip out. The M60 is much the same way, as is the RPK. Each bipod is located pretty much in the same location. Once your bipod is deployed set the SAW system down on as close to level ground as possible. Lower your body behind the weapon system, placing the stock of your weapon into your shoulder, resting your cheek on the buttstock, grasps the pistol grip and pull back on the weapon so that it is seated tight into your shoulder. Your free hand will reach up and rest on the buttstock slightly forward of where your cheek is, ensuring not to block your sight picture/sight alignment. Once this is down make sure your body is low as possible to the ground, move your body slightly at a 45 degree angle from the weapon, spreading your legs for further stability laying the insole of your feet as flat to the ground as possible. This position as stated is the most stable position of the three. When used in conjunction of pre-fabricated defensive positions such as Bunkers, Fighting Holes, Portholes in walls etc. This is a devastatingly strong position and extremely safe and secure.

We’ve covered firing and deployment.. now to the meat and potatoes. Sure you can deploy your weapon in the proper position, and you can fire it.. but can you use it tactically and strategically

Tactics and Strategy for a SAW System.

Often I’ve seen some one pull out a SAW load it up and walk out onto the field and use it like a rifle! I sit there and watch shaking my head as the SAW gunner pulls the trigger spraying an area. Or the Point man going out in the lead with a M60.. sure you can put a lot of fire down range but are you going to be able to sustain point for a long time?

When using a SAW System the first and foremost thing you need to remember and realize is everything you’ve ever done as a Rifleman or Sniper or any other role you have played in, Toss it out the window. The Mentality of a SAW System gunner is one of Support. Your not the hard charging, fast gunning assault man, or the stealth oriented long range, Intel gathering sniper, or the close quarters, heart pounding adrenaline building Close Quarters Combat specialist. You’re a SAW Gunner.

The first strategy/tactic you need to learn and love is suppression. Suppressing the opponent in Airsoft often times can be a taxing and frustrating event. This is due to the fact that if your hit, 30 minutes or less and your back out on the field. People who participate in Airsoft are often found to take far more risks there then in a real world situation. Suppression with a SAW System is a true art form. Suppressing an enemy with a SAW System you need to continuously keep your eyes moving and scanning for potential targets. Targets, you mean people right?! Well not always. Suppressing an opponent can be done in many ways. Lets go over a few scenarios.

1. Your moving to contact and report comes from the point man that a squad is dug in forward of you. Your squad leader orders you to provide suppressive fire while they move to flank. You set up your position in a good location with a good firing lane, and good cover and concealment, and find that the enemy squad is dug in with good defense bunkers made of tree branches, limbs and hard wood. The Opponents have one way of exiting the trench and that is backwards. Many of the branches still have leaves. So how do you suppress them?

In this situation, I would immediately start looking for portholes in the defensive position. Once you’ve located them map them out mentally. On the command to open fire if you are the only SAW System in the squad do not systematically fire at each hole, If you see movement at one open fire on it just above the hole, you may get a lucky shot and hit some one but its far more nerve racking to hear those rounds smacking into the tree branches over head, leaves falling down on top of you etc. Rotate through each hole as you see movement, rotate your shot placement, and move from shooting over the hole to shooting into the hole the back over. 3 to 5 round bursts 5 seconds at a time at each location. If you immediately start taking fire from a hole and they have your location pinned return fire. The key is to not worry about if you are actually making hits, but if the fire coming at you stops then that means your doing your job. Suppression.

2. You’re in a built up area, houses, and cars. Suburbs. The opponent is reported free roaming and around your patrol route. You spot movement to your left spin and kneel down behind a vehicle. You’ve made contact with a squad of approach opponents and immediately open fire sending them ducking for cover behind multiple vehicles. Unlike the first scenario this situation is not a contained as in one egress route for the Opponent. How do you suppress them?

This situation is a very difficult one and one that many SAW gunners will face no matter how or where you play. The battlefield is a liquid environment always flowing and always changing. Immediately upon engaging the opponent you need to call out contact and pass out information as soon as possible as to their disposition. I.E. location, how many etc. Once that is out, start your scanning and start firing as previously stated in the first scenario, 3 to 5 round bursts 5 second intervals. The largest change is now you have metal objects to shoot at as well as glass etc. Shoot them! Ping those bb’s off those objects, shoot then move targets, shoot move targets. Keep your bursts and continuously adjusts your targets, don’t worry about trying to make hits, keep their heads down. Rotate your rounds from hitting the vehicles or buildings to firing in open lanes, such as between the vehicles, under the vehicles, and over their heads. Doing this it allows your squad to move and get better firing angles as well as look for flanking positions. The key to suppression in a situation like this is removing as many avenues of movement as possible from the Opponent, while keeping your self in a secure covered location. Make it impossible for your Opponent to move any location that you do not want them to move.

3. Your set up to ambush a superiorly numerical force, you are in the center position as per your Squads standard operating procedure and set to open fire after your squad leader fires. The Opponents squad enters the clearing, good spacing, your squad leader fires, hitting one. The Opponents squad responds in good order immediately getting on line and attempting to assault through. How do you provide suppression in this situation?

This is a situation yet again you will often find yourself in as a SAW Gunner. The ambush is a tried and true tactic that SAW gunners are highly used in. In this situation you need to immediately start firing in 3 to 5 round bursts at targets that you see moving. Any Opponent that attempts to rush forward put rounds directly at them. Don’t worry about any one bunkered down. If they are flat on the ground that means they are less likely to fire at you and your other squad members can keep them pinned by accurate fire. Every time an Opponent moves fire at them, swing and scan. Keep your fire to 2 second intervals, especially right after the initial contact is made with the Opponents Squad. Increasing your rate of fire can cause the Opponents squad to seek better cover. Go off the orders of your Squad leader.

They key in all three of these situations with suppression is to continuously scan for targets of opportunity wither they be opponents or inanimate objects. Often times the mere sound of a SAW System firing at some one will cause them to hunker down to get better cover. The sounds of your bb’s banging off the wood and tin or buildings, or vehicles they are hunkered down behind often have the same effect. Continuously search for openings to fire into. A bb bouncing off a wall followed by three or four more seriously hampers a persons ability to not only get a good sight picture to fire at you, but slows their thinking process down. Increasing or decreasing your rate of fire also puts a person into a situation where they have to rapidly think and respond.

Lets touch on increasing or decreasing your rate of fire. Does it matter you ask? Why yes it does! Increasing your rate of fire causes two things in an Opponent.

1. Over confidence – If they hear you firing more rapidly they confuse this to some one who is inexperienced and easily taken out. Increasing your rate of fire masks the sound of 3 to 5 round bursts especially in Airsoft. So how do you increase your rate of fire? Decreases the time between bursts. This does not mean hold the trigger down for longer bursts but instead fire your 3 to 5 round burst every 2 seconds rather then 5. What this does is allow you to fire more often and increases the sound and rounds coming down range. Increasing your rate of fire should be done in a multiple of situations. Specifically in Ambushes, Full on frontal Charges by the enemy, or tactical withdrawals, basically any situation where you have multiple targets and clear fire lanes.

2. Confusion. Increasing your rate of fire decreases the amount of time your opponent has to respond to your fire. If your sending controlled accurate 3 to 5 round bursts towards your opponent those rounds are going to start causing them to think of a way to get out of the line of fire. Increasing that fire causes an automatic response for the body to get out of harms way. Thus increases your opponent’s confusion, to many opponents an increasing the rate of fire on a SAW System means an immediate attack on their position is to come. So be sure to adjust it keep them on their toes.

By simply extending time between your bursts you can decrease your rate of fire, just as easily as you can increase it. Decreasing your rate of fire is far less often used then increasing your rate of fire. Decreasing your rate of fire can be used when you want to keep a pinned down opponent in place for extended periods of time. Typically a siege type situation where your just swapping shots. Decreasing your rate of fire is also used when breaking from an Ambush after you’re sure the area has been completely suppressed and controlled you can slow your fire so as to conserve ammunition.

Simple tactics that will make you a better Gunner.

Communication is a key ingredient to being an excellent SAW Gunner. You have to have continuous communication abilities with your squad/platoon and Squad Leader/Platoon Commander. Most often then not the SAW Gunner will be directed by your squad leader or platoon commander and you will be operating with more then one SAW Gunner. Whistles, body taps, hand signals, radio communication are all typical methods of communicating between SAW Gunners and your Squad/Platoon Leader. Ensure that you learn each and every method is not only familiar but also clearly understood per your Teams Standard Operating Procedure and if you don’t have a communications plan get one!

When operating as a SAW Gunner you are often going to be one of at least two Gunners in the field. This allows you to do a technique called “Talking Guns.” Not only is this a fun method of suppressive fire but when done properly is just plan.. Impressive.

For he “Talking Gun” method two or more SAW Gunners are needed. Starting either from center and moving left to right or right to left, or from left to right down a line or right to left, one gun will shoot a sustained 3 to 5 round burst, as soon as that gunner is finished the next in line opens up with a 3 to 5 round burst in response this continues from one gunner to the next providing a sustained amount of fire and a sustained amount of noise. If done properly even with two SAW Systems this method can cause an attacking opponent to think they are facing far more weapons/Troops then they actually are. The direction of fire I.E. moving from right to left down the line or starting center and moving out etc. is pre-determined and multiple ways are established with different signals to switch.

Lets talk about reloading a moment. In Airsoft with a SAW System most SAW drum magazines hold any where from 2000 to 5000 bb’s. A good SAW Gunner can go almost an 8 hour period with a 2400 drum magazine. Even in a heavy fire fight situation you should still have plenty of ammunition left over. For those situations where you do run out of ammunition, communication comes back into play. Tell your team that you are out of ammo. Two things should happen. 1. You start reloading, and 2. your team immediately increases their rate of fire to compensate for the loose of your SAW until your able to reload.

Now we have covered a lot of information in a short period of time. But there is something we must do. Lets look at the Don’ts of Airsoft SAW Gunners.

1. Do NOT Run and gun. You loose the suppression factor and accuracy, stop get a position and fire.
2. Do not treat the SAW system as a M16, Sniper rifle etc. It’s a suppression Machine Gun. Nothing more nothing less.
3. Do not be Rambo. Shooting from the hip can be done, but only when you cant get a good stable position and not for long extended periods of time.
4. Full auto does not mean, “hold the trigger till you run out of bb’s!” 3 to 5 round bursts!
5. Do not ever stop communicating! Communication will keep you on target!
6. Just because you are a SAW gunner does not make you a one-man army. You are there to support your team, not lead it.
7. The SAW is not about hits. Its about support and teamwork.

In closing ladies and gentleman, this simple sentence holds true with all SAW Gunners.

“I will support my team, with superior accurate suppressive fire, and make a lot of noise doing it!”

The SAW System is not only about high rate of fire, but psychological, visual, and auditory impact. It’s a weapon system that when deployed and utilized properly can often cause a Opponent to think twice before even engaging a unit.

What we have gone over here is just the tip of the iceberg in conducting yourself as a SAW Gunner. Having a SAW System in your squad or team will dramatically change your style of play and those who face you on the other side of the field will be in the same situation. For more information on being a capable and effective SAW gunner get your hands on any US Military Infantry Manuals to gain a better understanding of the deployment and duty responsibilities of an SAW Gunner. Or drop me a line any time!

Remember Keep that finger straight and off the trigger till you intend to send rounds down range, Eye protection on, and get to suppressing!
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Old February 18th, 2011, 11:46   #2
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Good stuff.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 11:51   #3
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That's a nice post right there. Other thoughts;

Bring more ammo! You'll be burning through BBs pretty fast even if you're not hosing.

Don't discount the psychological effect. Just showing yourself, or your gun can be enough to cause the enemy to change tactics.

If you're in a built up type environment & suppressing look for some plywood or reveting, or tin etc. to shoot at near your targets. Make that rattle while your team flanks.

Have a way to communicate with your team since you'll be on your own. Radio, whistle blasts etc. They can tell you when to shift fire, and you can call in to them if you see a need to adjust the attack.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:02   #4
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Only partially agree. That might work well as part of a very large group, but there are other (arguably more effective, from my experience) way of deploying SAWs.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:33   #5
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THE AIRSOFT AUTOMATIC WEAPON OPERATOR'S GUIDE
http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forum...owtopic=190412
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Old February 18th, 2011, 19:18   #6
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It all comes down to who you play with and where. Everyone's tactics adapt to where they play and who they play with.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 21:04   #7
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A SAW gunner in a squad will respond to contacts with a large volume of supressing fire alowing your team to move. Even if the gunner don't see anything, he should fire in the general direction of the ennemy, at likely positions.

I don't agree with people that say the SAW gunner will be left along at the rear to shoot and cover. When your squad has bounded and is assuming adequat supressive or effective fire of their own, it's your turn to bound. It happen very quickly, in a sustained fashion. There should be no interuption of fire during the manuver, keeping the ennemy pinned down and unable to return fire.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 21:21   #8
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SAW gunners tend to make the most noise, giving me a direction to shoot at.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 21:30   #9
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Agreed. Machine gun operators are priority targets for snipers.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 22:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOX_111 View Post
Agreed. Machine gun operators are priority targets for snipers.
Then again all of you are priority targets for my SAWs...... and I have the ammo, range, accuracy and rate of fire to deal with it...

A gunner covers his squads movement then it's the squads turn to cover the gunners movement...
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Old February 18th, 2011, 23:36   #11
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I used to have a fireteam partner that was ex-CF, c9 gunner
We were unstoppable, bounding forward with two M249's is a pretty hard thing to deal with lol

But from the sniper's perspective, I deal with this often, we always play in our little CQB area on our airsoft field during the winter, and most people have AEG's. I do better with my sniper rifle in there than my AEG. You can snap shoot with a sniper rifle and if your good that BB goes exactly where you want it every time. Whereas AEG's have some inaccuracy by nature. Not to mention, if someone think's their safe behind cover, or shooting at me from a 3" crack, they're definitely not safe.
Most people tend to panic when they get shot at, so they either cower behind cover or shoot frantically trying to hit the target.
All you have to do is stay calm, aim, shoot, targets down. Most people tend to become more frantic the more time they see the barrel trained on them and the more time goes by without hitting you.
Stalker knows what I'm talking about lol
LMG's are awesome and what not, but the sniper rifle accomplishes with one BB what the LMG does with 200. And if your talking about suppression, did you know you can suppress a target with accurate fire from a sniper rifle?
You get guys shooting from small cracks in cover, you shoot enough people at that crack, and they stop using it. Soon enough they stop popping up to look for targets. Then they stop going to that location

But don't get me wrong, 20 people are charging you, the LMG is most definitely the way to go!
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:34   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderCactus View Post
I used to have a fireteam partner that was ex-CF, c9 gunner
We were unstoppable, bounding forward with two M249's is a pretty hard thing to deal with lol

But from the sniper's perspective, I deal with this often, we always play in our little CQB area on our airsoft field during the winter, and most people have AEG's. I do better with my sniper rifle in there than my AEG. You can snap shoot with a sniper rifle and if your good that BB goes exactly where you want it every time. Whereas AEG's have some inaccuracy by nature. Not to mention, if someone think's their safe behind cover, or shooting at me from a 3" crack, they're definitely not safe.
Most people tend to panic when they get shot at, so they either cower behind cover or shoot frantically trying to hit the target.
All you have to do is stay calm, aim, shoot, targets down. Most people tend to become more frantic the more time they see the barrel trained on them and the more time goes by without hitting you.
Stalker knows what I'm talking about lol
LMG's are awesome and what not, but the sniper rifle accomplishes with one BB what the LMG does with 200. And if your talking about suppression, did you know you can suppress a target with accurate fire from a sniper rifle?
You get guys shooting from small cracks in cover, you shoot enough people at that crack, and they stop using it. Soon enough they stop popping up to look for targets. Then they stop going to that location

But don't get me wrong, 20 people are charging you, the LMG is most definitely the way to go!
Quoted for truth! Lol

Ya, I have zero support gunner experience and know full well the effect they have on the field, but the gunners are also the best target to take out first, not because of their role, but because of the psychological effect it has on the rest of the squad. Just like getting swarmed, you take out the biggest baddest mofo and the rest get less confident because they were counting on the strength of the gunner.

I got pinned down by a gunner at one point, I was behind a tower, he was in the tree shadows on a hill, I couldn't get too many shots off with my rifle due to the pressure of BBs, but I was able to locate him from the bursts coming at me, and I almost got him a couple times, but I was stuck there for a good 5mins before I got hit. Gunners don't do much to me from the fear factor, DMs and snipers are the real pain in the ass. Kinda like "Noisy and easy to find, bang, he's out" compared to "Fuck, that came out of no where, crap!" and try to get as small as possible and find the bugger. Luckily I haven't had too many times coming under fire from a sniper, but that does stress me out. Almost as much as being near my squad's support gunner. Lol
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Old February 19th, 2011, 16:07   #13
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agree with Stalker and FOX
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Old February 20th, 2011, 18:09   #14
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Ther is some good info discussed on Arnies, in the Foxhole.
The following is taken from two lads over there:

Key -
R- Rifleman
S- SAW
G- 203 Gunner
F- Fireteam Leader
SL - Squad Leader

Basic Squad and Fireteam Formations

Wedge



The wedge formation is the basic formation for most fireteams in open terrain. It will not remain a perfect wedge, as the team must manuever around objects. Terrain will dictate how tight the wedge will be, or the distance in which the fireteam leader feels he has the most control of his team.


Move to Contact

Moving to contact is an extremely simple thing, and virtually everything the infantryman does revolves around moving to contact. When moving to contact the squad/fireteam will move forward until fired upon. Once the squad/team makes contact, several things will take place.
1.) The squad/fireteam takes cover(going prone, or getting as low as possible behind hard cover), and yelling the 3 Ds. The three Ds are Direction, Discription, Distance(in no particular order).

Ex. "12 O'Clock, 2 men, 150 meters!"

This will be repeated by everyone as it moves down the line, so everyone has a general idea of what is taking place.
2.) The team who makes contact will get on line, and attempt to gain fire superiority by going into a cyclic rate of fire, and putting as many rounds downrange as possible.
3.) The squad leader will move foward and assess the situation.
4.) Once the squad leader has moved forward he will make one of several decisions:
A.) Initiate squad attack
B.) Break Contact
C.) Get his entire squad on line, and call for reinforcements


Squad Attack
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1.) The squad will move to contact
2.) Once the squad makes contact, the lead fireteam will attempt to gain fire superiority. When the squad leader feels this has been accomplished, he will move forward to the lead fireteam's leader. The rear team will pull 360 degree security. The lead team will drop to a sustained rate of fire. When the squad leader gets to the team leader, he will assess the situation based on what the fireteam leader has reported, and determine if he is going to flank left, or right.
3.) After this decision has been made, the squad leader will move to the rear fireteam, and tell them what is taking place ahead, and what direction they will be flanking. In the above illustration, the squad leader has decided to flank right.
4.) The team will make an exaggerated manuever to the right, getting out of sight of the enemy, approximately 150 to 200 meters away from the enemy position. As the flanking team gets closer to that flank, the support by fire team(the lead fireteam) will pick up its rate of fire to a cyclic rate. The squad leader will center the team as best he can on the enemy position. Once he has done so, he will give the signal for "shift fire"(represented by the blue lines). When this signal is given the support by fire team will fire to the right of the enemy position as not to hit friendly troops if they get onto the enemy position.
5.) The flanking team will now begin to IMT(Individual Movement Techniques, or buddy team bounding) to the objective. The team will not open fire until the last possible moment, whether it be that they are discovered, or until the squad leader gives the order. They will continue to IMT through the "objective"(the enemy position) killing the enemy, and kicking the weapons of the enemy to the side. The team will keep moving until the reach the LOA(Limit of Advance), which is usually 35 meters(out of hand grenade range) from the objective. The signal for the LOA will be given by the squad leader, and will be repeated by everyone in the assaulting team. Once the LOA has been reached, the squad leader will give the "lift fire" command, which is firing on targets of opportunity if they arrise(Ex: an enemy combatant picks up a weapon). The assaulting team will pull security.
6.) The support by fire team will now pickup their weapons and equipment, and bound through the objective, until they reach their LOA. If a threat arrises, they will eliminate it. Once they reach their LOA, they will also pull security.
7.) The squad leader will now move to the apex of the "triangle" formed by the two teams at their LOA. He will then yell for an ACE report(Ammo, Casualties, Equipment), which will contain how much ammo each man has, if they are wounded(the team leader will physically check) and how much water each man has. The team leader will gather the required info, and report back to the squad leader. The squad leader will then report to his highers. Each team will redistribute ammunition, then pickup, and carry on with the mission.

LINEAR AMBUSH(could also be considered a hasty ambush)
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1.) The squad leader will set up an ORP(Operational Rally Point). This will be done approximately 200 to 300 meters away from the ambush point. Here, the squad will assign special teams, and distribute special equipment(claymores, anti-tank weapons for special equipment, EPW and Demolition teams) if it hasn't been done before the operation. This point will be the point in which the team will return to after the ambush. After this is completed the squad leader will take the security teams fireteam leader, and SAW, and conduct leader's recon. What the squad leader is looking for is the point in which he wants to conduct the ambush, and he is getting a general idea of where he wants to place all this men. Now, the squad leader will return to the ORP.
2.) The squad will now leave their ORP(and be counted out by the squad leader). When they arrive on site, the security teams will be sent between 50 to 75 meters from the rest of the squad on the left, and right of the ambushing fireteam. Their job is to ensure that the ambushing fireteam isn't discovered by enemy patrols or scout elements. As the enemy approaches the position they will also make sure that there are no rear elements that might be able to counter attack, or re-enforce the ambushed units. The ambushing fireteam will be hand placed by the squad leader. Claymore will also be placed by the squad leader where he feels they will be most effective.
3.) When the enemy squad approaches, the first element to sight them will send a count of enemy troops. As they approach the ambushing fireteams position, the squad leader will wait until they get into the kill zones of the claymore mines. When the squad leader is ready, the claymores will be set off. This initiates the ambush. The fireteam will open up with everything they have. They will fire until one minute has passed, and if they enemy is still moving, will continue to fire for another 30 seconds.
4.) Now the enemy has been eliminated. The ambushing fireteam will begin movement at a high rate of speed to the ORP, along with the squad leader. The squad leader will count his men coming in.
5.) After the ambushing team has arrived at the ORP, the security teams will be pulled in, and counted by the squad leader. Ammunition will now be redistributed, and the squad will carry on with the mission.

REACT TO NEAR AMBUSH
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First, lets discuss the difference between a near, and far ambush. A near ambush is an ambush that takes place within hand grenade distance(35 meters). A far ambush is an ambush that takes palce outside of hand grenade range. Now, we will discuss what to do in case of a near ambush. Reacting to a near ambush can be done in several ways.

1.) While moving in a wedge formation, the squad recieves fire from their left flank. Someone in the team will yell the 2Ds(Distance, Direction).
2.) The squad will now attempt to get on line. In this case, the rear fireteam has been able to set up what will become a flanking manuever, and will now begin to pour on the fire. The first fireteam will now begin to assault through the ambush, and a shift fire signal will be given.
3.) The first fireteam will move to their LOA, and the signal for LOA will be given. The rear fireteam will move through the enemy position to their LOA.
4. Once all the teams have moved into position, the squad leader will move to the apex of the teams, and get the ACE report. The squad leader will report actions to the higher, ammo will be redistributed, and the team will keep moving.

Keep in mind that if the ambush was properly executed, everyone will be dead. A far ambush can be less catastrophic on the squad than a near ambush, and reacting can be the same. In a far ambush, instead of assaulting through, the team may want to break contact, and bombard the enemy with artillery.



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Glockguy's tactics are good if you have a squad you can actually practice with prior to events. Me I tend to fall into the pickup squads, so I always try to take 30secs with my usually newfound friends and tell them how best to use me. I tell them basically: keep me in visual sight, and when you want me to suppress an area, point with full four fingers (to distinguish from just pointing something out) and thats it. I also then stress when I'm laying suppression its not just for drama - as you won't tend to get kills during it - the enemy bunkers down. So when I'm suppressing I tell my squad to MOVE and get angles on them. THEY get the kills not me. I find if you don't take the time to tell them that what most players do when you let loose with a long volley is just to sit and watch the show. Which is ultimately a waste of your bbs and everyone's time.

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Remember in airsoft concealment and cover are the same thing. Exactly as they are not in real life. Hide in tall grass in real life and the enemy may not be able to see you but when they let loose a volley in to the reeds you'll be just as dead as if you'd been standing in an open field. Hide in tall grass in airsoft and you might as well be in a concrete bunker. Grass stops airsoft bbs like chobham armor stops tankshells. So don't get mad if you send 1,000 bbs downrange into leaves and such and don't hit anything. Sure you can cut thru leaves with a long volley, but even so pretty much everything in the path to your target area will deflect a bb down to the lightest of leaves and bugs. Don't spaz because someone who's lieing behind a pile of twigs is not calling their hits: its perfectly possible they are NOT getting hit. But don't worry - what they ARE hearing is your hail of fire pinking off everything around them and they are pinned - meanwhile your riflemen are lining up the killshot. Feel good. Fear is as fun to inflict as kills.

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The other thing you need to watch out for is tunnel vision. If you're suppressing an area, you WILL become a primary target. Any and all flankers WILL be going for angles on YOU. Keep your head on a swivel, or fire from positions with cover on both sides of you.

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Always stay behind the main line. Never get sucked into going point. and you will always get asked to go first. I somehow always seem to end up in front of my teammates. A SAW gunner on Point is an oxymoron... You are pretty worthless up there: even with the STAR's light plastic weight you will never bring a MkII up to engage position faster than an opponent rifleman. Well, if you can carry your saw around in perpetual ready-carry position all day, go for it. You are stronger than I ever will be, and I'm no shrinking violet...

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Having said all that - as a SAW gunner you have the unique ability to CREATE moving cover. That is, never underestimate the SAWs ability to make an otherwise concealed and covered enemy feel like they are naked in a spotlight on center stage. If you need to cross an opening, do not be afraid to just stand up and let a CONTINUOUS burst rake the known enemy position and do a walking advance. Watch how fast your squad moves out when they see you doing this. Massive moral boost. BUT - be SURE you know where your enemy is - you'll be the fool when you walk into the opening suppressing the enemy in front of you and the guy you didn't know about nails you in the side...

Still, every SAW gunner has to do the walking cover fire once in their life. Few things better in airsoft.


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Next is not tactics but technical bits.

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Lubing - I lube the ###### out of my gearbox. Every event I shoot some lube into the gearbox. If I can't pull that off before an event I at least fire some into the qujick change spring release hole. There is no such thing as too much grease in a gearbox.

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BUT... there IS such a thing as too much grease in the cylinder, hopup, magazines, etc. Cant' speak to the TOP and STAR (though I imagine they're the same) but on the CA if you greae up the the magazines and/or the cylinder/nozzle it will take you a good half day to get your hopup dried out enough that its actually working well. Hundreds even thousands of rounds. BE CAREFUL! if you do have to grease your mags and barrel and whatnot and are running with a wet hopup for hte morning keep an eye on your bb flightpaths. At some point in the day (say around lunchtime more or less depending on the # of rounds you fire) you'll notice your bb's start to rise dramatically. Thats the hopup starting to grip correctly. IMMEDIATELY dial back hopup. As in right now, even if you're in a firefight. The amount of hopup you had dialed in in the morning that worked for your wet hopup chamber and barrel and bbs is WAY TOO MUCH once the rubber really starts gripping. You run the risk of a jam. So take the 30 seconds and dial down that hop.

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As for lubing the mags, I do that maybe once a season. The barrel... if you can clean it without wetting the hopup do so before each event - pure silicon oil works, but if you have the time to dissassemble and such, nothing touches brass cleaner for an ultra smooth clean barrel. It DOES make a fps and accuracy difference. But, remembering you're a SAW gunner... accuracy is, well, not top priority. Reliability and volume are your targets.

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Winding - I always wind the box mag until I hear the internal spring in it pop pop popping. Meaning I've got a full wind of the spring. On my gun this is good for 100 or so rds before I have to start winding. If you don't wind that much you might dryfire a good % of your starting volley. I like the combo of spring+motor to feed bbs as opposed to just relying on the motor because no boxmags, not the STAR's not TOP's, not MAG's not CA's can keep up just on boxmag motor with a saw with a fast enough rof. BUT - winding always to spring tension will put more strain on your boxmag as you walk around waiting for an engagement with it wound up. If you do maintenance on your boxmag pay attention to the windaxlewhere the spring attaches to the axle. Thats where it'll let loose first. (All the box mags are the same design on this). Its not a big deal if the spring comes unattached to the axle or even snaps there, just guide some more spring into the axle grooves - its alot like feeding weedwhacker wire).

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Also, occasionally give the feeder tube a wiggle as you're walking about.

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Boxmags make great improvised bipods. Catridge pouches do not.

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Spring guide - on the STARs when you use position 2 as its been called (basically shoving the spring guide into the box mag further so the catch catches on the springguide's back instead of its notch - btw you can do the very same thing on the CA and the PCG for the TOP, but there's no need to since they shoot the correct fps in the stoc position, heh - if you do do that, or even if you're in stock position... check to see if when you fold your rear stock up if it touches the spring guide. If not, you can stuff some clothe or such in there. Does a couple things - lowers the "Banging" of the springguide on decompression cycles - you carry more of the back reaction to the receiver and your shoulder, which will move less, meaning more of the decompression momentum energy of the spring is transferred to the cylinder's velocity = morefps. Its minute, so its up to you. I personally like the idea of the gun's body structurally supporting the springguide on it's center axis. Some may feel this is not a big deal or worth it. I've yet to have my gun fail in a single event over three hundred thousand rounds, however. Either way, take it for the anecdotal advice it is.

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Inner barrel - this is a CA thing. Specifically a MkII thing. I wind some electrical tape around my innerbarrel at the end for a snug fit inside the outbarrel. Yes there are some spacers in the in a couple places down the length of the barrel to locate it, but after I locked my saw onto a shooting bench and checked it out I got much tighter groupings with that little bit of tape providing extra rigidity. Also - it helps keep water and dirt and mud out of the outer barrel's interior. Clean = good.

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Allen wrench - Keep an allen wrench taped to the inside of the pistol grip inside the compartment there if your gun has it. That way you can change batteries bia the buttplate in the field without having to go back to your car for the tool. Use good tape, don't rely on the compartment door to hold it...
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Old February 21st, 2011, 12:52   #15
Tommygun_ted
 
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Shelburne Ontario
All in all, I wouldn't argue that either support role is more effective than the other. I am the only SAW gunner at the field I play at, and there are a few snipers. I've found, assuming both roles are being properly executed, it all comes down to the mentality of the target. Some people are more afraid of taking one hit from an unknown location, some people are more afraid of volume of fire. We play in fairly dense woods, so there are plenty of places for a good marksman to hide. I know from personal experience how much it can rattle you, hearing nothing but one BB smacking off of a tree, the split second you get to wonder if it was a twig being stepped on before your fired on again. That being said, I've found that seeing that SAW can cause the shooter to get more frantic. If the first shot misses, the second shot usually does too. Seeing a full length 249 swing around towards you can be pretty rattling as well. I had one instance where the sniper just put his head down and covered his neck after his first shot to prepare for my volley of plastic. I will be the first to admit though, that there are players out there who would react completely differently. As i said, depends who your playing with. As a side note, I would like to say I have a lot of respect for snipers in airsoft. It's a difficult role to play, and requires a lot of patience and dedication, and it is something i know i wouldn't be able to pull off, at least not without a lot of practice and researching.
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