The standard M4 variant of the carbine fires at a maximum of 950 rounds per minute. The first number, which is the denominator, tells us how fast we should expect to see our rate of fire increase. We’ll derive one type of measure by dividing the total number of rounds fired by the amount of time it takes to fire them.
This is somewhat useful because if you divide your total rounds fired by the length of your gun range, you can get an idea for how many magazines you might be able to burn through at this rate without needing to stop and reload. As long as our denominator isn’t too large, we can use the range length to approximate how much time needs to go by before we need to reload.
How many rounds do you think an AR-15 rifle can fire per minute?
This can be a bit misleading because it will make your rate of fire appear faster than it actually is once you factor in jamming and other mechanical issues where rounds don’t necessarily get fired as fast as possible. For example, some AR-15 rifles jam at around 600 rounds per minute. This means that if we divide the total number of rounds we fired by 60 seconds, we’ll get a result that’s 20 rounds higher than it should be because we forgot to account for the fact that our gun jammed and didn’t fire as fast as possible for 10 seconds.
To account for this, we can divide the total number of rounds fired by the length of time that it actually took us to fire them. This will give us a more accurate idea on how fast our gun really fires at any given moment. But what happens when things go wrong? Guns jam, they run out of ammo, misfeeds occur. If you’re using a semi-automatic firearm, this will happen eventually. It’s not exactly realistic to expect that everything will go as planned and no jams or misfeeds will occur during the exercise.
So, we need another factor that can account for these events. This factor is the number of rounds fired per minute while accounting for jams and misfeeds. The jam rate is the number of jams that occur every minute. The misfeed rate is the number of misfeeds that occur every minute.
Let’s say our gun has a jam rate of 20% and a misfeed rate of 5%. If we divide the total rounds fired by 1 minus these rates, we’ll get the number of rounds that are fired per minute while accounting for jams and misfeeds. For this example, it is 0.8. This means that if we divide our total rounds fired by 0.8, we’ll get a more realistic idea of how fast our AR-15 actually fires at any given moment when things go wrong or there is a break in the action.
If we divide our total rounds fired by 0.8 while also taking away the 10 seconds of time when we didn’t fire, we’ll get an even more accurate rate of fire that accounts for all malfunctions and other things that might prevent us from firing as quickly as possible. This is more helpful than using the length of the gun range because this rate accounts for all of our potential problems.
Now that we understand how to derive these rates, let’s take a look at them in more detail. The first one up is the standard 950 rounds per minute rate which is also referred to as the cyclic rate. Keep in mind that this only applies to automatic firearms and not semi-automatic firearms.
The next two rates account for jams, misfeeds, and other mechanical issues that might prevent the gun from firing as fast as it’s capable of firing. The first rate is 610 with a jam rate of 15%. This means that every six seconds, the gun will jam or have some sort of malfunction and not be able to fire all 6 rounds that it’s capable of firing within a second.
Next jam rate
The next rate is 472 with a jam rate of 20%. This means that every four seconds, the gun will have some kind of malfunction or jam and not be able to fire all 5 rounds in a single second. The misfeed rate doesn’t get too much different from the jam rate because if you have a high enough misfeed rate, it will cause your jam rate to increase.
But what about taking all of this information and putting it together? Well, sometimes people get confused when they try to do this on their own so I’ll spell it out for them. The correct way to calculate the rounds per minute rate while accounting for jams and misfeeds is to take your total number of rounds fired, divide it by 1 minus the jam and misfeed rates. This will give you a more accurate portrayal of just how fast a gun can actually fire when malfunctions occur.
However, if we really want to get an idea of just how fast our gun is capable of firing when everything is working correctly, we’ll have to divide this number by the number of seconds that actually passed during the exercise. While 10 minutes might seem like an eternity if you’re shooting at a slow pace, it really isn’t when you’re firing as fast as possible for 10 seconds. This will give us a more accurate idea of the gun’s “top speed” when firing nonstop.
To derive these rates, we’ll take our total rounds fired and divide it by the number of jams and misfeeds that occurred during the exercise. If there were no jams or misfeeds, we simply use 1 as the number in place of the jam and misfeed rate.
If we want to take it a step further, we can divide the total rounds fired by 1 minus the jam and misfeed rates and then divide this number by the number of seconds that actually passed during the exercise. This will give us a truly accurate portrayal of how fast our gun can fire when everything is working fine.