“It might be years from now,” reports Matthew Cox at Military.com, “but soldiers will one day go into battle armed with fully automatic carbines, a capability ground forces haven’t had in more than two decades. As the Army moves ahead with its carbine-improvement effort, it will replace today’s three-round-burst option with a full-auto setting.”
That’s in addition to the semiautomatic setting. Ostensibly the main reason is to improve accuracy
The Marines developed the burst setting to help riflemen conserve ammunition instead of wasting it during long bursts of full-auto fire. But the Marines and the Army later realized that the mechanics of the three-round burst setting caused an inconsistent trigger pull in the semi-auto mode. This means that the trigger doesn’t feel the same every time a shooter fires, making it harder to shoot with the same degree of accuracy from one shot to the next.
Of course it “will dramatically increase the rate of fire soldiers can send downrange [which] will also mean new challenges for small-unit leaders, who’ll be responsible for ensuring their soldiers maintain fire discipline even during the heaviest of gunfights.” (The post’s title — Wanted: Full Auto for Accuracy, not Rock ‘n Roll — alludes to this.)
Which beggars the question, especially in light of Iraq where citizens were routinely sprayed by the bullets of nervous U.S. troops, does the Army really need an even quicker trigger finger?