German rifle production and rechambering of captured rifles

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Civettone, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    The Wehrmacht entered World War II with a total number of 2,769,533 K98k rifles. In total 14 million were produced, which means an average production of at least 2 million rifles per year. This I find very strange. I assume that most troops were equipped with this rifle from the start. More rifles were definitely needed as the German army kept expanding until early 1944, several rifles were lost and a lot were given to second-line troops and police forces. I find it hard to believe that so many rifles needed to be added or replaced. The number of frontline troops was around 2 million, while I doubt second-line units lost that many rifles. I also believe that the number of casualties will be higher than the rifle losses.

    So, to think that it would require 2 million per year is difficult to believe, especially because the Germans had captured millions of rifles in Poland, Norway, Belgium, Holland, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy and of course Russia. These were handed over to second-line units and police.

    Most of these were in a different calibre: the Dutch, Italians and Norwegians had their own 6,5 mm cartridge, the Belgians a 7,35, the French had either the 8 mm Lebel or the 7,5, the Russians a 7,62, etc. In some cases they also produced ammunition for these rifles. Some seem to have been rechambered. I wonder if someone could tell me if rechambering is a costly or time consuming process?? I assume it was considered to be more cost effective to simply produce the cartridges.

    And in general, the number of captured infantry weapons is simply astounding. In France and Russia they must have captured millions of pistols, rifles, machine guns and mortars, most as modern as their German equivalents. Yet, only a small part of the MAS 36s or Moisin--Nagant rifles were pressed into German service. Was it considered to be cheaper to produce a new Mauser, than to rechamber these foreign weapons?

    Kris
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    When rechambering a rifle from one round to another, there might be more than just rechanbering envolved.

    Just take for instance, rechambering a British .303 N0 4 Mk 1 ( or do I have that backwards ) to 7.62 Nato. Not just just rechambering the breech, maybe drilling the whole barrel and regroving it, because the .303 is rimmed, and the 7.62 is recessed rim, then you have to design another magazine, and cartridge extractor. Test them and make sure your mods are reliable. Then set up a production line to do this.

    It's maybe easier just to manufactor ammo in the rifles origional cartridge, since all you have to do is make new dies to stamp out new cartrides .
    But then you might run into supply problems with certain formations having different ammo than others.
    It's simpler maybe just to keep mass producing your own weapons.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    In the case of the No 4 MK I they needed new barrels. The 7.62mm bing a few thousandths smaller than the .303.

    For the rest of it you are basically correct. The Germans did pick up production facilities in Czechoslovakia and perhaps Poland for Mauser rifles. The Hungarians converted their rifles to 7.9x57mm. In many cases 2nd line troops got captured rifles.

    Re-chambering only works if the barrel diameter is correct for the bullet you want to use and is fairly quick and easy. It also helps a LOT if the new round in larger than than the old one in body diameter and length.

    For instance the Russian 7.62 X 54 R is actually larger in diameter down the body than either the 7.62 NATO or the German 7.9 X 57.

    762x54rdimensiondrawingbh8.jpg

    74_74_319.gif

    Re-boring the length of the barrel can be done but is a lot more work than just re-chambering.

    And then you have find out if the new cartridge will feed from the old magazine or if you are making single shot rifles. The length and taper of the new round have to match the angles of the feed lips of the old magazine or you get a lot of jams. (lips can be re-machined but that is more work).
     
  4. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Great info, thanks!

    So, it is easier to go from a Western 7.62 to a Soviet 7.62, than vice versa? Interesting !

    I would have to check the exact dimensions, but I suppose the French and Belgian 7.5 and 7.35 would be excellent candidates for rechambering to a German 7.92. I recall the Carcano being rechambered to the new 7.35 cartridge, but also to the 7.92. It would surprise me if going from a 6.5 to a 7.92 would not automatically require re-boring the barrel.

    Thanks again
    Kris
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It would.

    The Italians did rebore 6.5mm rifles to 7.35mm but I guess that all depends on labor and tooling costs. Re-boring private rifles went out of fashion in the 1950s/60s in the US. The Cost of a new barrel and the labor of the gunsmith to install it was cheaper than reboring the old barrel. But that is higher priced labor working on one rifle at a time and not a specially equipped factory or shop.

    The next complication is you have to replace the rear sight with one calibrated for the new cartridge. Sporting sights were ussually more adjustabe than military sights which used either fixed height steps or a curve to adjust the sight to the trajecectory of the cartridge. Italians got around this by simple putting a fixed rear sight (200 meters?) on a number of the re-bore jobs.

    $(KGrHqV,!nsE9fbco7gSBPkKK3r)uw~~60_35.JPG

    Throw in a few little national differences (French rifles do NOT have a mechanical safety) and converting some rifles is a lot more trouble than they are worth. FN in Belgium may have been produce Mauser 98s. Several other European countries had production lines for Mausers.
     
  6. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    #6 Civettone, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
    I noticed that is not that easy to say which is bigger. For instance, the German 7,92x57 had the biggest neck diameter, but the smallest shoulder diameter. As such, it would be very difficult to simply bore out the chamber without filling some other parts?

    The German 7.92x57 Mauser
    Bullet diameter 8.08 mm / .318 (I and IR)
    Neck diameter 9.08 mm (0.357 in)
    Shoulder diameter 10.95 mm (0.431 in)
    Base diameter 11.94 mm (0.470 in)
    Rim diameter 11.95 mm (0.470 in)
    Rim thickness 1.30 mm (0.051 in)
    Case length 57.00 mm (2.244 in)
    Overall length 82.00 mm (3.228 in)

    The French 7.5 x 54
    Bullet diameter 7.8 mm (0.31 in)
    Neck diameter 8.6 mm (0.34 in)
    Shoulder diameter 11.2 mm (0.44 in)
    Base diameter 12.2 mm (0.48 in)
    Rim diameter 12.2 mm (0.48 in)
    Rim thickness 1.4 mm (0.055 in)
    Case length 54 mm (2.1 in)
    Overall length 78 mm (3.1 in)

    The French 8 mm Lebel
    Bullet diameter 8.3 mm (0.33 in)
    Neck diameter 8.9 mm (0.35 in)
    Shoulder diameter 11.6 mm (0.46 in)
    Base diameter 13.8 mm (0.54 in)
    Rim diameter 16.0 mm (0.63 in)
    Rim thickness 51 mm (2.0 in)
    Case length 51 mm (2.0 in)
    Overall length 70 mm (2.8 in)

    The Russian 7.62x54R
    Bullet diameter 7.92 mm (0.312 in)
    Neck diameter 8.53 mm (0.336 in)
    Shoulder diameter 11.61 mm (0.457 in)
    Base diameter 12.37 mm (0.487 in)
    Rim diameter 14.40 mm (0.567 in)
    Rim thickness 1.6 mm (0.063 in)
    Case length 53.72 mm (2.115 in)
    Overall length 77.16 mm (3.038 in)

    But then again, I read that the Italian Breda HMGs could fire the German Mauser cartridge even though they normally fired the 8x59. These are the measurements for the Italian cartridge versus the German:

    Bullet diameter 8.36 mm (0.329 in) vs 8.08
    Neck diameter 9.14 mm (0.360 in) vs 9.08
    Shoulder diameter 10.80 mm (0.425 in) vs 10.95
    Base diameter 12.49 mm (0.492 in) vs 11.94 mm
    Rim diameter 11.92 mm (0.469 in) vs 11.95 mm
    Rim thickness 1.40 mm (0.055 in) vs 1.30
    Case length 58.84 mm (2.317 in) vs 57.00
    Overall length 80.44 mm (3.167 in) vs 82

    So the German cartridge is smaller, except for shoulder diameter, rim diameter and overall length. How is this possible?
    Kris
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Some things are possible. If they are wise is a different question.

    The fact that the German bullet is smaller in diameter helps as some gas will leak around it reducing the pressure. Rim diameter is so close as to not matter. Overall length doesn't matter in case. the length of the point on the bullet is not critical. As long as the extractor holds the cartridge against the bolt face for the firing pin to hit things should work ( but just), Shoulder dimension is the only hang up and if the 10.95mm is further towards the base it may not be as bad as it seems. Heavy bolt slamming the round into the chamber may partially crush fit.

    The big problem is the amount of space at the rear and the amount the case will stretch to fill it. With good brass it may not be a problem. With poor brass you may get splits in the side or head case separations.

    Filling in chambers was usually more trouble than it was worth. I have only heard of it being done by the US Navy on M-1 Grands to adapt them from 30-06 to 7.62 Nato. They used a really thick washer or short tube at the front of the chamber to move the shoulder back. Trying to add .015-.030 in to each side of the diameter for the length of a chamber would be almost impossible as a practical proposition. Yes you can electro 'plate' but then most of the metals used for electroplating (nickel or chrome) don't cut well and need to be ground.
    Most of the time a gunsmith would take off the barrel, cut off enough to get rid the large diameter chamber, re-chamber the barrel, re-thread it and screw it back into the action. Assuming there is enough "meat" (diameter) on the barrel at that point to hold the pressure. You may be able to get away with cutting 25-35mm off the back of the barrel although 40-45mm would probably be better.

    At some point you have to ask if converting the rifle really makes sense. Many Americans did "sporterise" any number of military rifles in the 1940s-50s-60s and convert them to other calibers but many times it was the owner doing the work ( or a large part of it) so the labor was "FREE".
     
  8. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Fixed that for you SR6 :)
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Germany supplied weapons to more then just the Wehrmacht. The various Polish, Russian and Ukrainian militias and police forces fighting against Stalin probably amounted to at least a million troops. Friendly forces in Croatia, Greece and the Baltic States need weapons too. And probably quite a few other nations such as Spain and Turkey.
     
  10. nincomp

    nincomp Member

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    That is a good summary. As far as I know, the Italians were the only ones who went about re-boring and re-chambering rifles that were already in service. Prior to WWII, the Italians had discovered that their loading of the the 6.5 Carcano (6.5x52mm) performed poorly in battle. They had decided to move to a larger diameter round (7.35x51) in the hope that their rifles would be like the "more deadly" .303 British.*
    The new cartridge shape and bullet diameter were deliberately chosen to permit easy rechambering and re-boring of the existing 6.5mm barrels. The diameter of the new bullet was large enough that all of the rifling of 6.5 barrels would be cut away and new rifling cut into the virgin metal. This process also allowed formerly shot-out 6.5mm barrels to become "new" 7.35 barrels.

    It is much more difficult to re-bore a barrel if all of the previous rifling has not been removed.
    Also note that although several nations had rifles that used approximately .30 caliber bullets, trying to cram a 3.18" or 3.12" diameter bullet down a barrel designed for .308" or smaller bullets is generally not a good idea. It is a doubly bad idea if the bullets are made of copper coated steel rather than copper covered lead.

    As has been said before, it is possible to rechamber a barrel to a another cartridge that uses the same diameter bullet. If the new cartridge is larger and longer than the old, the process is relatively easy (although the new cartridge may be too long to fit in the old magazine). If the new cartridge is slightly smaller or shorter than the old one, an inch or more may be cut from the back of the barrel so that the new chamber reamer can cut out all of the old chamber. The new, shorter barrel may no longer fit correctly in its rifle stock, meaning that the stock now needs modification. Again the new cartridge may not fit or feed well from the old magazine. Overall, a serious pain in the behind.

    If someone really wants to rechamber an existing barrel for another cartridge, it is possible to take the data you provided, enter it into a spreadsheet, run a few calculations and then compare the various cartridge shapes. I did that once when I was housebound after an injury and bored (very bored).

    There you go. Have you been able to read all this without falling asleep? If not, at least you now have a cure for insomnia.:)



    *It was later discovered that the long round-tipped 6.5mm bullet was a major problem. It tended to stay point-foreward and make a relatively small clean hole through the enemy. The spitzer (pointed) bullets used by the British and Germans tended to yaw and spend some time sideways inside the bodies of their victims, causing more severe damage. The yaw also created a larger "temporary cavity" inside the victim that could cause additional damage and, in some cases, stun them long enough that they would die before being able to get up and, however briefly, continue to fight. Hunters often call this the DRT or "Dead Right There" effect.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Interesting debate, and Im not going to pretend that I can add anything to the technical side of the discussion. Just a quick observation....front line strength of the German Armed forces was not ever around 3 million. According to the quarterly returns from the Ersatzheer, the total manpower went from 4.7 million in 1939 to a peak of 9.5 million in June 1943. Of greater significance are the number mobilsed annually. Germany took in new manpower in "waves....early in the war there were generally about four waves per year. This applied to new formations, but reconstituted divisions were rebuilt from cadres and the mirror formations in the Replacement Army. The German system was extremely effeicient, but as the war progresed it became overloaded and eventually broke under the strain. Divisions were linked to a miliary district, a "wehrkreis" so that divisions remained territorial and "tribal" with volk connections for the personnel (there were exceptions such as the technical or specialist units like the Panzer formations)

    Anyway, Germany entered the war in 1939 with 4.7 million men already mobilized. 13.7 million further men (and boys and old men in the finish) were mobilized during the war, making a total of 18.3 million men mobilized. This does not include the non-military police and any other non-military units, but it does include the navy, SS, Air Force and Replacement Army. The Germans also needed to provide a small number of weapons to equip Vlasovs Free Russian Army, and some of the other satellite forces.

    Thats a lot of rifles needed, especially as it can reasonably be expected that many of the troops in the front line would go through moree than one rifle in their service career. A man that becomes a casualty cannot be expected to bring out his rifle, so the number of casualties suffered year by year is a good surrogate indicatopr of the wastage rate of German small arms......and they suffered a lot of casualties

    (in millions)
    1939: (<0.1)
    1940: (0.1)
    1941: (0.4)
    1942: (0.7)
    1943: (1.7)
    1944: (4.7)
    1945: (6.1)


    There were never enough small arms to go around, and frequently the Germans were reduced to issuing second string rifles to reserve and militia units.
     
  12. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Nincomp, that was very informative. Feel free to elaborate further. I am quite illiterate in these technical matters, I have never even fired a rifle in my life. I am trying to visualize what you and Shortround are saying but I guess I need to find out how exactly the chamber looks like and how it encapsulates a cartridge.

    Thanks Parsifal. I still have my doubts though. They did mobilize all those millions.

    But how many actually carried a rifle?? 3/4 of the men in a 1939 style German division carried a rifle. This decreased later in the war in return for more automatic weapons. What about all those men in administration, logistics, maintenance, communication, desk jobs, ... Many of them carried rifles, many did not.
    Some weapons went to the allied troops but rather few. All German allies had their own rifle production with their own calibre. Only Hungary switched to the 7.92. However, Hungary produced a number of Mauser style rifles for Germany. So did Belgium.

    More importantly however, there is not a sufficient increase from mid 1941 to mid 1944 to comprehend a production of many millions of rifles. In 1941, the Army had 5 million men, in 1943/44 it had 6.5 million. Plus half a million Waffen SS. So that is an increase of 2 million men over 3 years. But again, how many of these carried a rifle? I guess 1 million? And yet, in that same time they produced more than 4 million Mauser rifles.

    What's more, I have my doubts about the losses of rifles. I believe that the losses of rifles will actually be less than losses of lives. From mid 41 to mid 44 they lost 2-3 million men. But is a rifle as fragile as a man? Soldiers get killed easier than rifles get destroyed, at least that is how I see it.

    Finally, what to think of those millions of rifles they had captured in France and Russia? What happened to them? I find it hard to believe that they were distributed among second-line troops and police forces. You do not need millions of rifles for that.

    But maybe I am missing some points. Maybe rifles break down more easily than often said. Maybe malfunctions or wear will lead to immediate replacement. And maybe a lot of captured rifles are not redistributed, but are melted down and used for newly produced Mausers.

    Kris
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Your welcome. In terms of the numbers mobilised, Im drawing the figures from a source that says these figures were drawn from the Replaqement Army's quarterly returns.


    I dont really know how many carried rifles, but I would say that as a general rule of thumb there were more rifles than there were people. Many rifles would need to be repaire, you needed a reserve of rifles to cover emergencies and the like. In a tactical sense, hown many times does a division get called upon to throw its cooks, clerks and orderlies into the front line.. this basically meant giving these men a rifle (and somethimes some other weapon as well) which had to be on hand for them to be issued.

    Nearly all frontline troops carried a persoanl weapon of some sort. even radio operators, gunners, truck drivers and the like carried rifles.

    I agree, but some forces like the Free Russian Army did not have their own stocks. Other nations like Spain took dlivery of German arms as payment for supplies of one sort or another. But I agree substantially with what you are saying


    .

    Your not taking into account the losses. Between June 1942 and June 1944, the armed forces suffered about 7.1 million casualties. And i think your estimate of just 1 in 5 carrying a rifle is way too low. By 1944, the germans were putting less and less into the rear echelons and calling on field formations to meet emergency after emergency. That meant handing a rifle to a normal "non-combatant" and sending them into fight. An Infantry Division in 1944 had a theoretical manpower level of about 12000 men, of which about 3000 were combat riflemen. But the days of that sort of neat demarcation in the formations was long gone. most of the combat riflemen were dead or wounded, and increasingly the divisions were called upon to find substitutes from their other specialisation. Typically on the eastern front a division would have close to normal strength on paper, but in reality was fighting with about 40% of its manpower. The rest were usually either dead, captured, or more usually convaslecing, but the point is, virtually all of the division had to be able to fight at any time, and that in turn meant just about every many had to be equipped with a rifle.

    .

    I think the instances of lost weapons over lost men would be far greater.....for example those numerous instance when depots were captured or destroyed. And your casualty rates are way too low. All casualties (ie not just dead, but including all men incapitated and not retuerned to service ....might be captured, MIA, wounded and discharged, whatever) from 1941 until 1944 was a whopping 7.5 million men, again using the Germans own records.

    .


    I dont know either, but dont forget the VG formations....virtually every man in Germany was called upon to carry a weapon at the end of the war. Those weapopns had to come from somewhere.

    My stepfather after he was wounded at stalingrad eventualy was rehabilitated. Because he was both a machine gunner and a toolmaker, he was assigned to a battalion sized unit to service and repair Army Machine guns. The unit was based in the west (Holland) but even for the west, was servicing and repairing more than a1000 MGs per week. If you assume roughly 60 Divs under OB West control at that time, that a theoretical total of about 5000 MGs (I think). How many rifles would need similar repairs. Maybe similar......
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The chamber is just slightly larger than the cartridge as per the drawings shown above. Smallest production tolerance chamber has to accept the largest production tolerance cartridge. Cartridges are mostly brass with being some soft steel. They cannot withstand the firing pressure without the support of the chamber. The case will stretch to fill the chamber and then shrink slightly when the pressure drops which allows extraction. The case does form a gas tight seal between the "barrel" where the bullet is and the rear of the chamber where the bolt face is. Without this seal you get a blast of high pressure gas coming back into the action which, if large enough, can wreck the action and sometimes injure the firer.
    The larger the chamber is over the size of the cartridge the greater the danger of the case splitting up the side and leaking gas back into the action.

    DSCN0247.jpg

    If the chamber is bigger in diameter than the cartridge you want to use you can take the barrel out of the action (see threads in picture) cut off the large diameter chamber section, re-chamber and re-thread the barrel and screw it back in. Only works if the bore diameter is the same size. If the chamber is smaller than the cartridge you want to use just run a chambering reamer into the breech end of the barrel and this may be quite possible without removing the barrel from the receiver. Again it only works if bore sizes ( bullets) are the same diameter.
    Both jobs are much easier than boring out the entire length of the barrel and and re-rifling it or installing a rifled liner.

    Smokeless powder is strange stuff. The more pressure it is under the faster it burns. Most rifle cartridges hit peak pressure with the bullet about 2-4 inches from the chamber. High power rifles operate at 50-60,000 psi peak pressure. Trying to fire .312 bullets though a .308 bore will raise the pressure, you may get away for a while, you may not. It depends on the brass or soft steel case sealing the chamber. Fire too big a bullet through a small barrel and you can get way over 100,000psi.

    Many times a man helping his buddy back to the aid station will drop his rifle, stocks get broken getting out of trucks. Rifles that are not cleaned properly after firing will get rust in the barrels, the primers in use at the time used salts that attracted water from the air and were highly corrosive. German doctrine was if the machine gunner got hit another squad member picked up the machine gun and they continued on, usually losing the rifle in the process.
    Many armies had teams that went over battle fields looking for abandoned weapons (from both sides), number of rifles picked up usually exceeded the causalities.

    Issuing non-standard rifles to second line troops/police helps simplify the ammunition supply. And again you have a reserve of rifles for re-issue when/if the second line troops/police manage to break the rifles they are issued. (look at the guards on the front sights of some combat rifles to get an idea of what some officers thought troops could do to rifles.

    carbine-sight.jpg
     
  15. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Oh, I meant out of the 2 million men increase from 1941 to 1942, only half would be issued a rifle.

    I agree with the things you are saying. All good points. But my main point is that I see the German army doing all those things you say and losing all those men as early as 1941-1942. Yet losses remained somewhat stable until Bagration and D-Day in the Summer of 1944. It is only then that they started losing millions of men, that they started to arm the Volkssturm and the ROA. Apparently they were able to arm their men in 1941-1942, but production of another 4 million rifles until mid 1944 should have been plentiful.

    But I agree about your comments on losses of rifles. War leads to loss of large amounts of weapons and equipment.


    SR, thanks for the cutaway! What is that insertion under the chamber? Looks like it holds a little metal object.
    Kris
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Many bolt action rifles had a cleaning rod stored under the barrel although in some cases it took two units screwed together to be long enough. Even with the rod the soldier needed cleaning fluid ( or hot water) and patches AND time/energy to clean the rifle after use.

    Mosin+Nagant+Variants.jpg

    See end of rod sticking out below the barrel.
     
  17. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Another way to explain the great number of Mausers produced in comparision with the men under arms is every armory has spare weapons.
    Whenever I was in a US Army company armory there was always more weapons stored there than men in the company, and more M60 than we needed for the aircraft we had, etc.
    If you had a weapon malfunction bad enough to require a armorer's time, you didn't take it to the armory and wait for it to be repaired. You left it and got another.
    I have no idea how many extra weapons the TO&E authorized, but i'd bet all military armories would operate on the same principle.
     
  18. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    220px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_116-168-618,_Russland,_Kampf_um_Stalingrad,_Soldat_mit_MPi.jpg From Wikipedia:
    After the German Army captured large numbers of the PPSh-41 during World War II, a program was instituted to convert the weapon to the standard German submachine gun cartridge - 9mm Parabellum. The Wehrmacht officially adopted the converted PPSh-41 as the MP41(r); unconverted PPSh-41s were designated MP717(r) and supplied with 7.63x25mm Mauser ammunition (which is dimensionally identical to 7.62x25mm, but somewhat less powerful). German-language manuals for the use of captured PPShs were printed and distributed in the Wehrmacht.[6]
     
  19. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    Wow, what a great topic, Becareful though about rechambering the Italian 6.5mm It would be easy to drop a new barrel and chamber on to make it an 8mm but the action would be pushed to it's absolute limit. They tried selling these years ago and they were pulled off the market for blowing up!!! (they wanted to make a deadlier gun, they did). Most of the rifles used in WW2 had their roots in the first world war. The Semi auto's being an exception. The 4 best bolt actions in my humble opinoin would have been the Britsih Enfield, the German Mauser, the American Springfield and the Russian Nagant. I have owned and shot all of them. I find the Mauser sights the least friendly. The Springfield was a joy but the stock design was too straight and it kicked like a mule. I loved the Enfield, but the stock was a touch short. The Nagant had good power and good sights but it was crude in comparison to the others, but it worked, I've also had the 7.7 Jap, the 6.5 carcaino, a French 8mm Lebel, These guns were just not in the same class. For the effort it would take to rework a lesser gun into an "also ran" weapon in 8mm mauser, it would be easier to just build the new Mauser. But if you had a source of captured weapons they could still be used by police, or as training tools, as well as equiping your allies. If German sent the Italians 100,000 Enfields it would have been a big upgrade for their infantry. The Vichy french were in need of weapons Even the Japanese could have made use of a captured supply of high quality frontline infantry rifles. keeping the right ammo with the right units would be a logistical headache, but it could be done.
    I also have had a chance to own and fire the M1 Garrand and the G 43. I have to give the edge to the Garrand. Better sights, quicker reload offsets the 2 round disadvantage. The 30-06 edges out the 8mm Mauser. I know that stir up some folks. ENJOY!!!!
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Germans also had access to the WWI stockpiles which had been stored away after the armistice. My 7x57 Mauser of WWI vintage was pressed into service during the early stages of WWII.

    We also have a Mauser that is chambered for .22 that was used as a practice rifle in the 1930's.

    There is also the case of the Austrian straight-pull Steyrs that were re-issued to police units during the occupation of Austria and you'll still find ammunition that bore the Imperial crest on the casing and a year later, bore the Reichsadler.
     
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