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.22 US army rifles..why?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DaTrixie, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. DaTrixie

    DaTrixie New Member

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    Ok so I am a moron.

    But my understanding when it comes to large scale warfare is, uniform.

    Sure, you need things in the ww2 time period like smgs for sup fire and support to my teams. But one thing bugs me...

    I am a stupid mid west gal. I grew up shooting pop cans with a BB gun and my Grandpa soon had me shooting crows with a 22.

    So I gotta ask and its bugged me forever and Google is no help. Why break from the m1 or even the Thompson and mix in a new ammo batch in the .22? I understand for say a para, who needs light weight but my research shows the .22 rifle spread from air to land to even sea.

    Yes, the Garland was the main stay and the Thompson a sub rank for specialists or noncoms. So why have the .22? You have boys with BARS and 30 calls. Mix in the m1 and Thompson and NOW we need another crate of ammo type in a lower cal and weaker round in the .22?

    I'm not being a bitch here I am honestly wondering why?

    Please dont troll I'd love a honest historical answer why a squirrel gun is on the front lines?
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Never heard of the .22 in the front lines...(doesn't mean it didn't happen) ive heard that in training a 22 used to conserve strategic rounds for the war...
     
  3. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    What evidence do you have they were used on the front, Trixie, and not for training? I always thought .22s were a training round. Do you have evidence they were used in the front line?
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    AFAIK, they were only used for training as the rounds were cheaper & recoil not as great. However, some were used by the OSS for special operations.

    Never heard of them being use at the front, unless a soldier was particularly fond of such a rifle.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Hell, son, that there .22 is a varmint rifle. Now point out that Hitler feller and let me get my sights on him.
     
  6. DaTrixie

    DaTrixie New Member

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    Sigh..ok like I said I am a stupid minnesota steak and potato girl.

    But when I dis-lodge from history and watch things like band of brothers or saving private Ryan (hate me I'm american and not screaming about Generation war) I see 22 calibur squirrel rifles that I used at age 12 being shot off.

    Alongside a Thompson or a BAR in the hands of officers or radio men.

    I dont get it.

    Why field MORE ammo types?
     
  7. chibobber

    chibobber Member

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    The .22 cals were used for training,and for marksmanship competition in the Marksmanship units. Great Britain converted Enfield rifles into .22s for training.They also converted then to fire a .410 size shotgun round.These were single shot and had the magazine area blocked off with a wood plug.These were mainly used in India for prison guards.
    The CIA and Special Ops (SEALs,Green Berets,etc) used silenced .22 pistols during covert operations.I am sure that a small 22 rifle was probably used to take out street lights and car tail lights to help follow a vehicle at night.
    Regular forces use,not so much,covert,a standard piece of kit.
    Hollywood is not reality,never been,never will be. (They can not add the smell of war.)
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Missed this bit earlier. Now, I understand your problem. The Thompson was not .22caliber. The Thompson was .45 caliber and used the same .45 ammunition as the Colt M1911. So, it is not as if your lugging around an extra crate of ammunition.

    .45 caliber
    M1911 pistol
    M1 Thompson

    .30.06
    M1 Garand
    BAR
    M1917 & M1919 LMGs

    The oddball would be the M1 Carbine which fired .30 caliber carbine ammo.
     
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  9. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    .22 rifles and handguns were used almost exclusively for basic marksmanship training and target competitions. As you likely know, a .22 firearm has minimal recoil, easy to control, and the ammunition is very cheap. A .22 is an excellent platform to learn basic principles of marksmanship. To my knowledge every combatant in WW2 used .22 training rifles with the exception of Japan (which I believe used a proprietary cartridge in a scaled-down version of the Arisaka rifles), along with potentially Russia and Italy (which admittantly I do not know details of).

    The only US combat usage of .22 firearms was limited action by special operations and covert units such as the OSS. These were primarily for covert operations and included suppressed type weapons. Firearms chambered for .22LR were chosen for ease of handling and ease of supressing ("silencing"). The Hi-Standard HDM is an example of a weapon in this category.

    In addition to Takao's comprehensive list, the US military also would have had issued the following cartridges for combat small arms on a limited scale:

    .38 Special for S&W M&P revolvers (primarily naval/aircrew issue)

    12ga 2-3/4" 00 buckshot for various makes/models of trench shotguns

    In regards to movies -- perhaps you are mistaking the relatively low recoil and audible report of the firearms on camera for being chambered in .22. In reality, the low recoil/report is due to the firearms firing blanks. In many films if you look carefully at the ejected cartridge cases you'll see the case mouths have evidence of star pattern crimping -- clear evidence of blanks being used.
     
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  10. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Is not our new quest referring to the 5.6mm Nato round, it is a .22. I use to covert owning a 03 Springfield in 22LR but my interpretation of her first post is a reference to the current use of a 22 centerfire round. In the US we have gone from .79 muskets to .58 cap and ball, to 45-70' trap doors to 30-06 then 308(smaller case) and lots of military's are looking at .17 rounds) All about carrying more ammo and training going from being markmen to full automatic fire....interrupted by 3 shot burst. New interest hovering about more punch seems to be in the 6-6.5mm bracket.

    Please forgive me if I got the question wrong but it is a huge issue in world militaries. Even the Russians went from AK47's to AK 74's...in .22.
    What happened to their experiment with two projectiles leaving the barrel a nanosecond apart?

    BTW, welcome, DaTrixie, to our sterling forum!
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I shot a .22 long gun in boot camp, 1969. I often wonder what the gunnersmates did when they were supposed to be maintaining those pieces.
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The .22 is marvelous for training. I would go so far as to say that if you start a young person on a centerfire caliber, you're doing it wrong. You'll ingrain a recoil 'flinch' and they may never become competent shooters, though if they shoot enough they will likely overcome that. I'm not sure how the services utilized .22s in training. I suspect few soldiers ever saw a .22 at boot camp. They may have been used at National Guard camps and places where they didn't have long range shooting facilities, just to familiarize novice shooters.
    The OSS used some suppressed .22 pistols, but I suspect that's the only case where they were used in a "combat" role.

    .
     
  13. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Mossberg44US.JPG The Mossberg model 44US was used for training for all the reasons mentioned above. I was fortunate to get my start with one. Better yet, I still have it. :D The checkering probably wasn't the best idea but I was young, dumb and didn't know about the value of things 40 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019

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