Ideal rifle for ww2?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by tomo pauk, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What kind of rifle could we consider as ideal for ww2 (major) combatants? A rifle based on what type/size/power of cartridge? Would a fully automatic rifle be too early for the ww2, doctrine-wise?
    You are allowed to start from scratch :)
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  3. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    M1 Garand is pretty much perfect as a main combat rifle.

    Would take that over anything much else.

    Of course, an assault rifle would have been nice but I is thinking to early for the WW2 in terms of mass use.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    M1 and follow-on M14 were most expensive mass production combat rifles in history. Only U.S. Army was willing to pay almost as much for a rifle as Germany paid for MG42 machinegun.

    M1 is a fine infantry rifle if money is no object.
     
  5. Jack_Hill

    Jack_Hill Member

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    Rifles, would vote Garand M1, love this powerfull big piece of steel and wood, regreting M14 coming bit late.
    Gewher 43 shoots fine, is as powerfull, reliable and accurate.
    Regret the poor, irregular German military loadings.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    People, just a kind reminder: not what rifle was the best, but what design could be considered as ideal for ww2, manageable with ww2 technology. Eg. the Russians have had the fully automatic rifle in ww1 (not a typo) - maybe one for the ww2 would notbe displaced?
     
  7. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    One that doesn't shoot Back!
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    From what I've read Fedorov Avtomat had some problems.

    German StG44 was probably the first successful assault rifle and StG45 was better yet. Like all good infantry rifles (except M1 / M14) the German assault rifles were inexpensive to mass produce. In fact they cost about the same as a bolt action Mauser 98.
     
  9. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    If, as Garand had wanted, the M-1 had been produced with a lighter cartridge then the 30.06 and with a detachable Mag (10-20 rds?) instead of the clip it would have been more effective.
    What if the US as adopted to Brit. .303? Would have made things a lot easier.
     
  10. dobbie

    dobbie Member

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    Id go with the M-14 as the ideal battle rifle. Reliable, hits hard enough, magazine fed, accurate, good sights. Easily built on WWII machinery. The only drawback might have been jungle/short ranged engagements.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Using the .303 introduces problems, not solves them. The rim causes problems in feeding.

    Full auto rifles using full power cartridges are almost worthless, they are uncontrollable in full auto fire.

    You have a tactical and logistic problem. Something like 98% of rifle fire is done at ranges under 400 meters. However 50% of MG fire is done at over 400 meters. The ideal cartridge for a rifle is far from the ideal cartridge for a machine gun.

    The Germans (and some other countries) decided that the light MG was the source of fire power for the squad. The rifles were to support the the MG. The use of a common ammo eased supply and meant that the riflemen could use their ammo to keep the MG going in theory, different clips, magazines, belts hindered the actual ability of a squad under fire to actual "swap" ammo although lulls in the fighting might allow for a transfer of ammo from "rifle" clips/magazines to the MG feed units.

    Other countries planned that the rifle provided the firepower of the squad and either allocated fewer MGs per squad/platoon/company or a vary light MG/auto rifle to "support" the riflemen.

    The US with the M1 had a much, much higher rifle base of fire and the use of the BAR as a support weapon didn't hurt them as much as a few other armies that used the BAR as the squad automatic with bolt action rifles.

    Using 2 different cartridges in the squad (7.9 X 33 for the assault rifles and 7.9 X 57 for the MG) makes sense from a tactical firepower standpoint but falls down a bit in logistics.


    As far as an IDEAL WW II rifle goes there was nothing introduced in either materials or design until the mid/late 50s that could not have been manufactured in WW II.

    Many armies didn't train their soldiers to use the rifles they had effectively, 3 to 6 days on the range with 20-60 shots fired per day isn't enough.

    Crap sights don't help. That is to say sights that work OK ( and just OK) on good weather days a couple of hours after sun rise to an hour or more before sundown.

    Aside from the US only the British had a rifle sight that was worth anything.

    Remember, fire power is hitting the enemy, one hundred misses in the general direction of the enemy is not firepower, a lesson often forgotten.
     
  12. dobbie

    dobbie Member

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    Id have to agree on NOT using a rimmed cartridge for an autoloading or select fire weapon. I chose the M14 not only for the reasons stated earlier, but also for the cartridge it was designed around. The 7.62 NATO is 90% of a 30-06 in a shorter package, hits hard, has the range for nearly every conceivable engagement scenario, and a BAR or other squad automatic weapon would also be effective with the same cartridge.
    Im not a big fan of intermediate cartridges. While the "average engagement" range is 300 meters, give or take, it really depends on the terrain youre fighting on. A mountainous area is going to require longer shots on average, for example. A jungle enviornment puts you nearly face to face with your enemy. The advantage of a full power cartridge in dense growth is the ability to go thru the vegetation rather than being stopped by it.
    Full automatic fire for every infantryman's rifle is an ammo load you dont want to have to carry. Might not mean much for a mechanized infantry unit, but to a leg or airborne infantry outfit, every pound counts.
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Lee Enfield No.4 mk.I any day... fantastic rifle - great to fire and very reliable.
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #14 tomo pauk, Mar 5, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
    Giving the ammo from K98 to MG34/42 in the lull would not alleviate any ammo the MG crew might experience. The ammo allowance for the K98 was some 50 rounds, and prior the lull the rifleman might be down to maybe 20-30 rounds. If the riflemen gives each 10 rds, that makes 100 rds for the MG, but the riflemen are down to 10-20 rds each - not a good prospect once the fighting resumes?

    +1

    The benefits outweighting the shortcomings? The USA was also using the low power cartridge for their M1 Carbines, granted not in the same squads/platoons.

    Again good points.

    Deserving a thread on it's own?

    IIRC the Germans were relying on their MGs to lay down the suppressive power, so the infantry is able to get closer to the enemy in order to destroy it?
     
  15. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Thinking of the ideal rifle in the context of the infantry as a team: I would take away all the rifles except for snipers and replace them with a good 9mm SMG (I nominate a Patchett but would carry a Lanchester myself) and 2 BREN guns per platoon with lots of BREN ammunition distributed around the SMG peasantry. If the BREN could be altered to some rimless cartridge of less power than the US .30-06 so much the better (they were made in 7.92mm rimless for the Chinese.)

    Mind you, with experienced soldiers like my grandfather in 1914, a Lee-Enfield would do me fine. The stock also makes it a first class half pike with a proper bayonet.
     
  16. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The M1 Carbine firing the British .280 round. Light, accurate and easier to mass produce than the Garand. I know the .280 was postwar but it was nothing special just a well thought out cartridge that could have been produced anytime from about 1900.
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Well, it was the pre-war theory in a lot of armies. As can be seen by the Japanese type 11 MG which used a hopper taking 5 round rifle clips. In actual practice a lot of troops just had one more squad member carry extra ammo for the MG over and above the the "standard" issue if they could get it.






    The benefits can outweight the shortcomings. While the US was using the the M1 Carbines in the same squads/platoons, that was not the original intention. It was to replace the pistol for most service men who were not riflemen like heavy MG crew, mortar crew, radio men, artillery and the like. It's use spread, due to light weight and the 15 round magazine but it's lack of power was a bit of a problem. A cautionary tale to those who advocate equiping ALL squad members with SMGs :)

    US probably had less problems with logistics than most other countries.

    I would note that after the Soviets went to the AK 47 they used the RPD MG in the squad and then the RPK ( auto rifle?), Czechs used the Vz.52/57 MGin order to use the same ammo at squad/platoon level.



    That is part of the theory, British supposedly also used Bren gun fire to allow the riflemen to get into bayonet and hand grenade range :shock:

    But to be suppressed troops have to KNOW that they are the ones being shot at. Near misses or the crack as the bullet goes by, "Spray and Pray" doesn't do the job as well and requires a tremendous amount of ammunition.


    IF you have the time/money the ideal solution is a new cartridge of about 6.5-7mm caliber firing a 120-130 grain streamline bullet at about 2600fps. The recoil is much less than the standard rifle rounds making full auto fire in a 9-11lb rifle at least practical if not fully effective and such a round is still effective at 600 meters or more which means the squad/platoon doesn't need a bigger caliber MG traveling with it (you might want them at company level though?)
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The expansion of the theory beig some modern LMGs, able to accept the assault rifle magazines?
    The ex-Yu army was operating their LMGs (mostly copies of MG42 and PK) by two soldiers, one carrying MG and ammo, another carrying tripod and extra ammo. Don't remember who was carrying the spare barrel.

    +1
    The Sviets were equipping whole divisions with PPSh, due to dire circumstances, rather than due to having a choice.

    Agreed. They were not using foreign stuff, contrary to European armies. The British, for example, were using 3 LMG cartriges (.303; .30-06 and 7,92 (for Besa) in tanks), along with 2 SMG cartridges. Soviets were also mnaging with 3 LMG cartridges. Germans - who knows how many, and yet they went for a completely new cartridge.

    RPK is a bigger sibling of the AK-47, it's copy being a prized item back in our war of 1991-95, due to far better accuracy than the AK. FWIW, the ex-YU army infantry company was relocating it's LMGs, along with recoilles rifles and 82mm mortars in 'support platoons', once the RPK become available.

    Well, it took guts to be a worthy infantryman :)

    There is good suppression work, and then there is lousy suppression work?

    Doh.
    Seems like Russians were on the money with caliber choice, back in ww1, when they choose Arisaka 6,5mm round for their assault rifle.
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the whole strip rounds out of magazines and try to refill belts thing didn't work out very well. :lol:

    If needed 3rd and 4th men could be added as ammo carriers if belts were available and distances were great or hills/mountains high.



    True.

    They had learned that full auto 11-12lb rifles with 7.9X57 rounds were uncontrollable in full auto fire. Also 16in barrels and full power rounds don't get along well, LOTS of muzzle flash and blast and lost velocity. If you chop 24mm from the length of the cartridge you also get smaller, lighter receivers and magazines and more rounds for the same weight.



    Apparently the RPD had some feed problems despite going though 4 variations? And you are back to the belt vs magazine thing. Same ammo as the AK-47 but somebody isn't shooting if he is head down trying to refill a used belt. :)


    True and there is plenty of newsreel footage of the US in SE Asia doing Pi** Poor suppression work.


    One could do a lot worse.

    Barrier penetration might not be up to the .30-06, .303, 7.62X54 and 7.9X57 but it would be a whole lot better than the 7.9X33, 7.62X39 and ANY sub-machine gun round.
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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