Is Full-Auto Controllable?

  • Joey Upper

Featured Image courtesy of our friends at Hickok45

“Full Auto”, or “Fully Automatic” are terms that are thrown around with wanton abandon in this day and age.

Many folks are only familiar with full auto firearms through video games and movies. While some of those folks have fired a full auto firearm, most haven’t. I dare say the vast majority haven’t.

So, let’s dispel some myths and discuss how controllable and practical full auto really is. 

Linked in this article is a video that demonstrates one specific firearm being utilized in full auto from SDI’s long-time friends at Hickok45.

In this video, John fires his full auto M16 from several distances and shows how well that particular firearm can be controlled. His results were pretty impressive.

At close-range John was able to keep his group within probably a 12″ group with most of those shots being in a smaller 6″ cluster.

At about 20 yards John’s group opened up to about one-and-a-half to twice the size of the close range group.

Finally, at an estimated 40 yards, John shot at a cinder block wall which was thoroughly demolished leading to the conclusion that most if not all his shots hit the wall where he had been aiming.

In the end, John concluded that with the right firearm, shooter, and ammunition, a full auto firearm can be controllable. 

In this video we got to see a very small sample group. The firearm that was used is probably one of the more controllable full auto centerfire rifles out there.

The shooter was a tall, well-built male that has a rooted background in firearms and shooting. If you gave a less experienced shooter a shorter, stouter firearm, I would bet you the results would be different. 

I am not going to disagree with John’s conclusion that full auto can be controllable, but the key word there is “can.”

I have fired full auto firearms in both military and law enforcement applications and I can tell you every one of those guns were different. An MP5 will purr like a kitten and almost hold itself on target while a full auto Glock or Uzi will bounce around a lot more. 

I do agree that a full auto firearm can be controllable but it’s going to depend on all the factors listed above: shooter, firearm, and cartridge.

So what do you think? Have you had the pleasure of shooting some full auto, if so would you say it was controllable or more “spray-and-pray”?

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