Machine guns are guns that continue to fire as long as the trigger is held down or until the ammunition runs out. They fall into a few categories:
Machine Pistol - Hand held full auto pistol. UZI for example.
Sub-machine gun - Full auto, shoulder fired gun that shoots pistol ammunition. Tommy gun for example.
Automatic Rifle - Full auto, shoulder fired gun that shoots rifle ammunition. M16 for example.
Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) - Light one-man machine gun, typically with a bipod, often fires the same ammo as the rifles of the other squad members. M249 for example.
Medium Machine gun - A crew served, belt fed, tripod or vehicle mounted weapon. Not as robust as a heavy machine gun. M60 for example.
Heavy Machine gun - A crew served, belt fed, tripod or vehicle mounted weapon. Fires large caliber ammo. Capable of extended use. M2 Browning for example.
Note: Sub-machine guns, medium machine guns, and heavy machine guns typically fire from an open bolt. In other words the bolt remains open until the trigger is pulled. This aids in cooling the barrel between bursts. Automatic rifles and SAWs on the other hand typically fire from a closed bolt.
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