One of the things I like least about many movies, TV Shows and anime is that supposedly expert military or police forces will bring the wrong tools for the job they are expected to do. Here’s a case in point. This is from the anime Bubblegum Crisis, which was produced in the late 1980’s. The bad guys are humanoid robots loaded with advanced weaponry and armored with exotic materials. The heroes, or heroines in this case are four ladies with heavily armored power suits. Typical anime stuff. Here’s the opening sequence.
Now we have a bunch of SWAT police officers who supposedly know what they are dealing with. They have vans full of equipment and a truck carrying small helicopters. So what gun to they bring to the party. Light submachine guns. Now SMGs are great for clearing hallways or trenches of unarmored targets, but pretty useless against anything more than the lightest body armors. A LSG throws a lot of rounds out, but typically they 9mm or .45 ACP at best. And a lot of it isn’t going to hit the target unless the fire lane is tight. The LSG was invented for fighting in tight spaces like trenches and buildings at pistol ranges, not deal with armored targets. The police officers knew what they were dealing with. Yet they couldn’t bring anything heavier? A grenade launcher and HEAT rounds for instance. A heavy machine gun? The robot has no trouble just mowing the poor officers down, shooting down the helicopters and flying away to wreak more havoc simply because the SWAT team did not bring the right tools for the job. Of course if they had the anime would have been over, forensics would have been dealing with the mess and our armoured ladies would have had nothing to do.
This is a common TV or movie trope. The military or police types go into a situation underarmed for a situation even if they knew what they were dealing with and without weapons or equipment that you would think that would be easily available. We live in a time where heavy weapons are available to rag tag insurgencies, let alone professional police or military. Yet they keep bringing the wrong stuff.
And when they do bring something heavy, it’s usually for the coolness factor. Gatling guns seem to be popular, even though most of the time they aren’t exactly the kind of thing you just want to be just lugging around as squad support. In the real world Gatling guns are crew served, fixed mount weapons used for suppression fire, fire support and defensive fire. If they aren’t fixed, they are carried on vehicles and aircraft. This isn’t because a man couldn’t carry a small Gatling, but because a man couldn’t carry the Gatling and keep it’s voracious appetite for ammunition going for more than few seconds. Certainly you wouldn’t be this guy. For very long.
He’s spraying ammo all over the place. Only in the movies would you do that. When you have to pack every round, you don’t really want to waste very many. You fire short bursts and try to aim. Ideally if you are the machine gunner, your job is to just fire enough to keep the other guys heads down until the rest of your squad tosses grenades or fire support does it’s job.
Here’s real combat. This guy is firing short aimed bursts. He’s not spraying all over the place. He’s also targeting for the A10 that cruising around providing fire support.
What not doing is expending ammo pointlessly. Backpack ammo feeders may seem like a good idea, but if you need one, you’re probably doing it wrong. Remember, that a machine gun’s role is fire suppression and keeping the bad guys from shooting you buddies while they toss the grenades into the room.
As this video shows, throwing bucketloads of lead around doesn’t necessarily accomplish very much. Look how inaccurate the MG34 was. A hand held minigun would be even worse, even if somebody could actually standup to the recoil. And a minigun weighs one hell of a lot more than a MG 34. Let alone a BAR.
The real world isn’t like the movies. A real soldier doesn’t get to drop his load when a director yells, “cut!!” He’s carrying that load wherever he goes and he wants minimize that load because overloading leaves him exhausted and vulnerable. What a soldier carries is likely to focused on the task at hand. So if the troop expects something like a boomer, or an army of bears, he’s not going to bring peashooters that are going to be useless.
Art directors and directors like the peashooters. I can understand that. Most of the peashooters look cool and make lots of bangs. If they aren’t effective against the bad things, well that means that the movie goes on. And the poor hapless sods, given the wrong tools to do the job end up with blood all over their red shirts.