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Infantry Weapons of WWII

Discussion in 'The Guns Galore Section' started by Mutant Poodle, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    I cant believe this hasn't popped up yet?

    All countries, Allied Axis, Neutral.

    Lets keep it down to rifles, pistols, SMG's, grenades oh what the heck no limits just spew :D
     
  2. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Not popped up before? We have discussed infantry weapons all over, we even have a quiz on them. :grin:
     
  3. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    I fail to see a "Topic Heading", that's truly my point.
     
  4. Roel

    Roel New Member

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  5. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    No Roel, not at all.

    Quickly reviewed the pages you gave and the last two had some good comments.

    However, there is no standard issue weapon with any army in WW2 that compares with the USA M1 30.06. It is an awesome weapon and even today, I do not understand why the US military went from the 30.06 then down to the .308 NATO, and still further down to the 5.56 calibre.

    None of the subsequent cartridges stand up to the capability of the 30.06.

    Contrary to one of the posts I read, the M1 is VERY easy to load. It is fed by an 8 shot clip (do not confuse clip with magazine) that ejects after the 8th shot. Then you simply push another clip in and "Lock & Load"!

    It is actually quicker and easier than removing a magazine, and inserting a new one. I possess one and would match it against any standard issue weapon in the field up to and including modern day weapons.

    One of the best rifles of all time.

    Second to the M1 I would say the M14 ( or civilian version M1A). It is the .308 NATO round and I have one as well. Great gun and quite accurate. 20 round magazine.

    The M16 does not hold a candle to either in my opinion except that the average soldier can carry more ammo.

    In my case, I prefer the larger round and "One Shot, One Kill".

    :smok:
     
  6. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Certainly, no doubt the M1 Garand was the best rifle of the war, but for most standard infantrymen an eight round clip isn't enough because the common draftee can't aim very well. I won't say anything against this weapon, but for Joe Average (or Otto Normalverbraucher) I would choose something with punch and speed, thus the StG44, as the best infantry weapon of WW2.

    The M14 wasn't used in WW2.
     
  7. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    The problem with the 8 round clip on the M1 was that you had to completly finish off the clip before you could insert a new one. So you could be left with one round in your gun when you could really need 8.

    I still would choose the M1 Garand as the best infantry weapon of WWII as a rifle is much more versitile than an SMG or any other infantry weapon.
     
  8. johann phpbb3

    johann phpbb3 New Member

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    Yes, M1 all the way. The clip was a problem, but the accuracy made it very attractive.
     
  9. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Roel,

    I realize the M14 is post WW2. You missed the comparison I was making.

    Zuhkov,

    As for having one round in the clip, the same goes for a magazine. In either case, it only takes a few seconds to reload the M1 clip or a magazine.

    :smok:
     
  10. Zhukov_2005

    Zhukov_2005 New Member

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    Yes but with a magazine you can change it quickly even if it still contains rounds while with the M1 clip you must finish off the rounds before you can reload it.
     
  11. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    I see it now. You were talking about the best infantry weapon of all time. Well, the AK47 is the obvious choice for a weapon dummy like me.
     
  12. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Zuhkov -

    I don't think you are correct on that but I'll check it out 1st hand. :)

    In practice, I feel it's a moot point as in the heat of combat one may not notice how many rounds he has fired and will keep firing until the ammo is gone and it's time to reload.

    :smok:
     
  13. Danyel Phelps

    Danyel Phelps Active Member

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    You can reload the M1 before the clip is empty. I do it all the time.
     
  14. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    I'd go for the StG 44. Much prized by the enemy.
     
  15. Moonchild

    Moonchild New Member

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    I think Sten was at least very interesting gun...
     
  16. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    M-1 Garand

    There are two weapons called the M-1. The M-1 Garand used a clip as described, and it was described as impractical to reload mid clip so soldiers in the field had to empty the entire eight round clip before reloading (The recent Medal of Honor games for the PC make a point of this), additionally the mechanism apparently made a very distinctive sound having fired the last round so an enemy fairly nearby could sometimes hear this and would realise that they had a few seconds before the Garand was reloaded. This was apparently enough of a problem that it cost a few lives and was a criticism of the weapon.

    The M-1 Carbine was a distinct and different weapon. Also semi-Automatic it used the .30 cal short cartridge and was fed by a detachable 30 round magazine which could be changed / reloaded mid-magazine.

    This could be the source for some confusion regarding reloading the M-1.

    In terms of accuracy for standard infantry rifle, the Lee Enfield was superior to every other infantry rifle (I say this having read a few years ago of a shoot-off using actual WWII full power infantry rifles, I believe the results were Lee Enfield, Kar98K, Garand, Tokarev, the Italian Rifle and last the Japanese rifle, of the last two I'm not too sure but the first three I distinctly remember).

    Overall if I was around then and had the choice, I would have chosen the Tokarev though, I'm not a good enough shot to make the most of the Lee Enfield's accuracy and would appreciate semi-automatic so for me I would pick the Tokarev which could also be reloaded mid magazine unlike the Garand.

    The Sten was an good gun too, and lived on till the early nineties in British Service in modified form as the Sterling (Claim to fame of the Sterling, watch Star Wars, the Storm Trooper's Blasters are Sterlings with the magazine removed!). Infact the Sten was so good that the Germans copied it for their Werewolf teams!
     
  17. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    The M-1 Carbine is a fun gun but standard GI ammo was a 110 grain FMJ bullet. It was considered underpowered (which I have mixed emotions on) but a favorite of officers and paratroopers. Actually, the M-1 Carbine produces 700 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle which is about the same as a 44 magnum pistol, for comparison. The problem is it only shoots a 110 grain bullet.

    Today, the M16 shoots only a 55 grain bullet but at a much faster velocity. Doctrine in the US Army has changed. Once it was killing power. Now, and there is merit to the philosophy, that wounding an enemy can be better as many times by wounding a soldier, you actually take 2 to 3 out of the fight because the wounded soldier's buddies will tend to him whereas were he dead they would have no need to.

    On the M-1 Garand, true, the clip does eject after the 8th round. I don't know too many battlefields that are quiet enough to make this an issue.

    If we are fighting at 100+ yards it is definately a non issue as one, you won't hear the clip fall or eject and two, I will reload before you can get to me.

    Lee Enfield is a fine weapon. As for accuracy, this will vary from rifle to rifle, and most importantly, the user. If you can put all your shots in a pie plate at 100 yards, it doesn't make a difference what you are shooting.

    US Marines train to engage at 600 yards, I am told. Now I can't see a target at 600 yards so I feel this is an area fire tactic. With open sights, I feel 300 yards is a much more realistic engagement range.

    If you are shooting a 7.62 X 39 calibre weapon (AK47 or SKS - both are good, inexpensive weapons) you are hard pressed to engage over 300 yards in my opinion.

    The 7.62 X 39 calibre is to my generation what the M1 Carbine was to my fathers. We use them to "plink". Inexpensive to shoot. The M1 Carbine ammunition these days is more expensive and it is more difficult to reload ammunition as it has a tapered cartridge and headspace is therefore critical. If you load the M1 Carbine with 110 grain soft point bullets, it is a much better weapon for live targets than the FMJ bullet mentioned earlier.

    My father used to load up special 160 grain cast bullets for the Carbine which were awesome. It was what we call a "tumbler". The bullet actually tumbles because of its low velocity and poor ballistic coefficient but is a real man stopper at close range.

    I have reloaded the 7.62 X 39 calibre with 110 grain soft points. When shot at a full can of coca cola, one sees the power as when hit, the can just implodes and spews its contents some 20 to 30 ft in the air.

    :smok:
     
  18. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    Whilst I agree that for most instances it wouldn't be a problem, I can only recount what I read in Military Small Arms of the Twentieth Century, and this did state that it was problem and was criticised by soldiers. Fighting In a Built Up Area (FIBUA) and dense forests or Jungles spring to mind as areas where the enemy could be close enough to hear the distinctive sound of the clip ejecting and take advantage of it.

    The British army too trains to engage at 600 metres, however your assertion is certainly true for the British that this is as a Section engaging an enemy section or squad, individual fire starts at about 300 metres.

    Effective range for the AK-74 (Not a typo, trust me!) is about 200 metres, and even at that range from a bench it will scatter the rounds all over a man sized target (Good or bad thing?), I believe the AK47 and AKM was about 250 metres. The 7.62mmS, 5.45mm, and I believe 5.56mm (Both NATO and US) rounds have built in "tumbler" effects too BTW.

    "Now, and there is merit to the philosophy, that wounding an enemy can be better as many times by wounding a soldier, you actually take 2 to 3 out of the fight because the wounded soldier's buddies will tend to him whereas were he dead they would have no need to."

    Not just that either. With a dead man you only need a burial party to deal with him, a wounded man requires Casevacing, medical, probably surgical treatment, aftercare, etc, etc. Plus psychologically it is very harmful to morale to hear that your friend has had to have his leg amputated and will never walk unaided again (For example), probably more so than him just being killed.

    I can't remember the specifics of the shoot-off, all I can remember is that the Lee Enfield was much more accurate than the others. Now I agree with you about putting shots into a pie-plate at 100 yards, however if the enemy can put his shots into a pie-plate at 500 yards and you have to wait till 400 then he's clearly at a significant advantage. Yes accuracy varies from weapon to weapon, and shooter. In the shoot-off the weapons were all fired by the same group of marksmen under the same conditions, so overall I think this was a reasonably fair test. You'll notice I hope that I did state that I was not a good enough shot myself to make the most of the Lee Enfield's accuracy!

    It's worth stating that none of the weapons was criticised for it's accuracy, or qualities and all were thought to be good weapons, it was an interesting excercise pure and simple, I merely recounted it because it seemed relevant.
     
  19. Gatsby phpbb3

    Gatsby phpbb3 New Member

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    Modern-day weapons aren't more powerful than their WW2 counterparts. In fact, they're weaker, but have a larger clip, are easier to handle, have better sights, and are more effective for most close-combat situations due to their greater volume of fire.

    BTW SMGs seem to be pretty unpopular here. But weren't they more common than rifles in WW2? (They were easier to manufacture and were well-suited for conscripts who couldn't aim well. Sometines, entire Soviet units were equipped with PPH-41 SMGs)
     
  20. SgtBob

    SgtBob New Member

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    On the pistol front, does anything beat the .45? It gets my vote, which brings to question why the U.S. military went to the 9mm Baretta. A beautiful gun, but 9mm just doesn't get the job done, especially with ball ammo.
     

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