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"Q. BoB AC MG selection" Topic

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755 hits since 1 Feb 2022
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Comments or corrections?

d88mm194001 Feb 2022 1:54 p.m. PST

Could Spitfire and Hurricane pilots select how many machine guns to fire? Could Bf109 and 110 pilots select to fire cannons only?
I read a long time ago that US Wildcat pilots could select to fire 2, 4 or all 6 machine guns and that a lot of them would fire 2 pairs (4) and keep one pair in reserve.
I kind of also remember reading somewhere that fighters that were cannon and mg armed could fire just the cannons at long range, to save mg ammo.
I've searched all of my material here (Ospreys and others) and looked on the net without results.
I'm hoping someone here has this information.

BattlerBritain01 Feb 2022 9:36 p.m. PST

Spits and Hurris: No, they got all 8

109s and 110s: Yes they could select MGs or cannon or both.

Not sure about Wildcats.

Ed Mohrmann02 Feb 2022 10:20 a.m. PST

Yes the W'cat pilots could select how many pairs of .50's
to fire. Usually a pair was held 'in reserve' in W'cats
armed with 8 .50's, but it really was up to the pilots,
not universal doctrine.

Same with the Zero could fire all guns or cannon only.

R Leonard02 Feb 2022 1:20 p.m. PST

No, not usually. Yes, a pilot could select how many guns would fire and one can on rare occasion find where this, that or the other pilot says he switched off a pair of guns, but it was not doctrine or standard practice. Considering the reduction in available ammunition comparing the F4F-4 to the F4F-3, one has to decide which is better, more rounds out on a target or less rounds out on the off chance you might need more later.

None of the F4F-4 drivers I knew, certainly more than one could count twice on both hands, and some whose names would be recognizable, roundly poo-poo'd the concept when asked by an inquisitive youngster.

Also the F4F-4 has 6 guns, not 8.

The A6M drivers tended, in fighter action, to range in with their machineguns and the cut in with their cannon when the range was right, mostly because their cannon, compared to everyone else were pretty crappy. Also they had the problem of poor ergonomics for deflection gunnery which only reinforced the practice.

On the upside for someone in an F4F, F6F, F4U or FM, the pitter-patter of machinegun rounds was an instant warning to do something to get out of Dodge . . sharp turn and dive to the right comes to mine, something at which the A6M was not particularly adept, especially at speeds above around 275 knots.

One does not hear of this shutting down part of the battery from the 6 gunned F6F and F4U pilots. Presuming more than one tour, would not one who already was willing to do this in an F4F-4 be willing to do so in those mounts or at least explain why not . . . don't recall ever seeing anything either way nor hearing of same.

emckinney02 Feb 2022 2:03 p.m. PST

Japanese aircraft were progressively getting more armor and self-sealing fuel tanks.

d88mm194002 Feb 2022 2:26 p.m. PST

Tanks for all of the input!
We're playing Check Your 6! and there is an annoying tendency to run out of ammo when rolling doubles.
When we were playing Pacific theatre, I was giving players the option to fire less than the full battery to be able to keep in the dogfight a little longer. Most players would opt to fire all of their guns.
Switching to the Battle of Britain, I was thinking of giving players the same options.
So, Germans can select MG's, cannons or both and British fire with everything.

d88mm194002 Feb 2022 2:28 p.m. PST

Hey, on a side note: could a gun camera be used to verify a kill?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2022 9:11 p.m. PST


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