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Old July 25th, 2012, 05:20 PM
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Sustained fire rate for an M-16 is limited by several factors -
it's 5 sec or more to change mags, and it's 700Rd/Min ful auto rate for a maximum of 30 rounds. (Certain individual rifles can be up to 900Rd/Min, due to variations in model, lube and wear.) 2.5 sec to fire off the clip, then 5-15 to reload, for a prepared sustained fire of 120-180 rounds per minute through full basic load... of about 120-210 rounds.

If, perchance, someone keeps feeding you clips, after a couple minutes of this, you've got a barrel that will boil water. Anecdotals online indicate 5 clips on full auto is glowing red. That's 100-120 rounds, in under 60 sec.


An M60 can bend the barrel with several minutes sustained maximum rate, too. 1000 sustained rounds is sufficient to damage the barrel. Given the 500-600Rd/Min rate...
Given 1500-2000 rounds, you should expect droop. Yep, 2-5 minutes of solid fire can result in a bent barrel. Depends upon current quality of the barrel. Also note: 1000 rounds is 10 standard 100 round belts.
Also note: on aircraft mounts, heating was MUCH less an issue - the flow of air resulted in MUCH more rapid cooling.

The Vickers MG was water cooled for a reason... keeping the barrel from heat softening.

Note also: a barrel at droop temp might continue firing without issue - until you stop. The rounds and gasses themselves can prevent the droop. Once you stop in that range, however, it's toast city.

Also, the chamber and action can overheat, resulting in premature detonation and/or "runaway fire"... if the chamber is hot enough, the round in the chamber will go off. I've seen this happen once - with an 9mm autopistol. The exposed barrel cooled nicely - the chamber didn't. And we put a couple thousand rounds downrange that day.

At the low rates traveller combat offers, you're not likely to melt barrels outside of vacuum. (Vacuum results in a lack of conductive/convective cooling.)
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