Miscellany II. [conclusion]
This is coolbert:
From the wiki entry on Long Tan:
"The Australian soldiers were carrying a light load, approximately five magazines, and after nearly three hours of combat ran low on ammunition . . ."
Australian troops at the time carried the FN FAL rifle. Fired a 7.62 mm NATO round. A normal combat load would consist of five magazines, all loaded, one in the rifle and four carried in two ammo pouches.
[ammunition resupply was dropped on the embattled Aussie soldiers from helicopters passing overhead!!]
"The ammunition was still inside its packing crates. The tired soldiers had to break open these crates and load their magazines from boxes of ammunition. Magazines were considered part of soldiers’ weapons and issuing was strictly controlled . . . [after] Long Tan . . . combat personnel on operations started to carry more supplies, including more ammunition . . . Ammunition was later resupplied in magazines, and the issuing of magazines was relaxed"
It was then necessary to break open the crates containing fresh ammo, distribute the rounds, and then each individual troop had to reload his magazines by hand, one round at a time. Difficult - - NO - - very difficult to do when under severe pressure, hand and body shaking from the adrenaline rush, fine finger movements difficult under such circumstances. WHAT IS EASILY DONE ON THE FIRING RANGE DURING TRAINING IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE IN COMBAT!!!
[the FN FAL, as with the U.S. M14 rifle, used a twenty round magazine.]
Better solution is to issue a full magazine, loaded in advance, vastly improving the ammunition resupply problem.
There too, is peril in such a system? Full magazines [mags], loaded with twenty rounds in advance, being issued to the troops as an ammunition resupply, exchanging empty mags for full ones on the battlefield.
You would not want to leave a full mag, spring fully compressed, lying idle for an extended period of time. A "shelf-life" exists for such a mag? The elasticity of the spring is lost and deformity occurs with prolonged compression and could potentially be a serious source of jams? PRE-LOAD MAGAZINES JUST PRIOR TO ISSUANCE TO THE TROOPS IS THE WAY TO GO??
[a magazine IS a mechanical mechanism. Albeit a very rudimentary mechanism, but nonetheless, an integral part of an assault rifle when inserted into the magazine well. Magazines, when not properly cleaned, lubed, and EXERCISED at regular intervals, can be a source of jams??]
A simple solution to a problem, if not correctly implemented, can cause difficulties of a different nature not even originally contemplated!!