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You really know about weapons, William! As I looked at your profile, I saw you in a military uniform. I guess that is
why. That makes so much sense if the soldiers shot indescriminately and used up too much ammunition, then they
would have to carry more, and it would be added weight, and it would be a supply problem also.
Based on your age in the picture, 24, you must have been in the first Gulf War. Is that correct?
I was on active duty at the time of the first Gulf War, but I was not in the Middle East at the time.
don't forget to mention that the machine guns also got too hot when they fired too many rounds at a time. Examples include the German MG-42 in which they changed barrels whenever they loaded a new clip. This was a design that you could change the barrel in a matter of seconds.
The Maschinengewehr-42 (MG-42) was a belt-fed weapon, and changing the barrels was independent of feeding a new belt to the weapon. You are correct in how hot the weapon would get when used for heavy rates of fire and how fast it was to change the barrel. There were several spare barrels issued to the gun team for this reason.
That weapon was a marvel of German engineering; it could fire 1,200 rounds a minute. A similar rate of fire for a machine gun today would be considered excellent. That rate of fire seventy years ago was mind-boggling. (The scene in Saving Private Ryan where they rush the German position and the medic gets killed shows one of these.)