Originally Posted by Angler
Part of the reason those bank robbers didn't kill any cops (though they did shoot and wound several) is because they were relying on "spray-n-pray" shooting. Shooting weapons on full-auto empties a mag within seconds (thus leaving the gunner vulnerable at a potentially inopportune time), and makes aiming after the first shot nearly impossible. Full-auto fire in shoulder-fired weapons is basically useless except at very close range. Rapid semi-auto fire is almost always deadlier. Here's what a US military manual says:
Don't kid yourself, full auto fire is devastating, and wouldn't be banned in civilian firearms if the government didn't think it an advantage. I'd give and arm and a leg for a full auto BAR or even a full auto Thompson submachine.
As for the infamous bank robbers, the reason they didn't inflict fatalities and actually escape is because they didn't move!
They remained stationary despite having a complete and total advantage, had they been in motion and advanced on the police they would have inflicted 100% fatalies, also had they got their asses in gear they could have escaped, the SWAT units took some time before arriving on scene. One was killed by a sniper shot from the overhead helicopter. The other succumbed to concentrated ground fire, by that time the police officers were using tactical rifles if memory serves me. There was a very minor controversy that the police let the 2nd perp bleed to death on the scene, which probably was the case...
In any event, the thugs had a decisive advantage which they squandered, but had they been in motion instead of remaining stationary until the very end, it could have gone very differently. The full auto fire made a difference, they just didn't have the smarts to capitalize.