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Infantry Weapons of WWII

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

  1. Simonr1978

    Simonr1978 New Member

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    The Grease-gun apparently exhibited quite poor stoppage characteristics due to its single colum magazine, however it was easily mass-produced and apparently GI-proof to use so was popular. Personally I'd say that possibly the best SMG of the war was the Australian Owens, but unfortunately it tends to be overlooked.
     
  2. johann phpbb3

    johann phpbb3 New Member

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    In the "Black Hawk Down" book, the soldiers complain about the 5.56 AP rounds, which were the norm. They say that you could hit a guy three times, and all three bullets will go right through him, and he could still fight and run away.
     
  3. SgtBob

    SgtBob New Member

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    It's my understanding that the problem that occurred in the Blackhawk Down battle was made worse by a decision to stop using lead tipped bullets and change to steel-tipped bullets in order to prevent environmental damage. I'm not sure if this idiotic idea (Clinton Administration) is still in effect or not. Environmental damage? I guess non-exploding bombs would help there too!
     
  4. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    Some confusion here:

    The original US ball loading for the 5.56mm was the M193, which weighed 55 grains. In the competition for the new NATO cartridge held in the late 1970s, the winner was the Belgian SS109 loading of the 5.56mm, which was heavier (62 grains) and featured a steel tip to improve long-range penetration (but was still mostly filled with lead). A version of this was designated M855 by the USA and has remained their standard ball round ever since. Technically, it could be described as semi-AP, I suppose. The M855 is distinguished by having the bullet tip painted green, and this was the one used in Somalia.

    There is a proper AP round in this calibre, with a tungsten-carbide core, but that doesn't seem to be used much as far as I can tell.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
    forum
     
  5. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    All spitzer (sharply pointed) bullets tumble on entering flesh, for the simple reason that they are unstable - most of the weight is in the back half of the bullet so its stable attitude is base-first. While flying through the air, being spun by the rifling is enough to keep them pointing nose-first, but flesh is so much more dense that spinning isn't enough. So, the bullets will tend to turn over within the body before travelling base-first - which is known as 'tumbling'. Bullets do vary in the speed with which they tumble, which is partly to do with size (the smaller, the faster) but also with bullet construction.

    The 5.56mm bullets tumble quickly, but they gain a lot of their wounding power from another factor - that the stresses on the bullet when tumbling are such that they break up, send fragments spraying through the body. This only happens when they hit at high velocity, i.e. at short range, which measn that short-barrelled carbines have very short effective ranges.

    Incidentally, the German 7.62mm ball bullet also fragments when tumbling, but the US one doesn't.

    There is a lot of bull talked about hydrostatic shock etc. There are plenty of accounts of soldiers receiving multiple hits from 5.56mm yet staying on their feet, still fighting. The only sure way to drop a man instantly is to hit the brain or central nervous system. Otherwise, the speed with which a wounded man is disabled depends on the size of the wound and the extent of the damage.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
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  6. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    That is why the USA is going back to some of the infantry light support weapon M-60. That 7.62 NATO or for some the 308 is a good nock down round.

    In the forces we were always taught to shoot for the centre of mass, that is where the criitcal organs are. 7.62 NATO rounds make impressive holes and stop the heart. There is a lot of supersonic wave damage done as well.
    However if the head is the "pop up" target you take what is given to you.

    I really wonder if the weapons from the "Land Warrior" program where Cnada, UK nad the USA are developing some serious upgrades to infantry weapons and light support weapon systems.
    With some of these demonstrated weapons there will be no place to hide, or run.

    Heat seeking 9mm rockets fired from the forearm that will track targets around corners or down sewer manholes.

    Hell even the Brits are developing an articulating bullet with a microprocessor in it, to guide it's path.

    If anyone wants the magazine that came out after the documentary video, which I also have taped, let me know. Perhaps we can work some thing out.

    Talk to any army surgeon about the supersonic shockwave damage to the internal structures of organs, they'll set you straight.
    Perhaps the 5.62 doesn't carry as much mass and therefore alters the damsage to organs. However I watched a doc on the Swiss who invented and devloped the army 5.62 bullet and even they now now that this bullet tumbles inside the human body more than the 7.62 NATO.

    You are right though even the 7.62 does tumble and you are correct in the reasoning why.

    My best shot was at 600 metres, what was yours? :)
     
  7. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Actually, a spitzer boat-tail is one of the most stable rounds there is. Ballistic coefficient of around 423. Whether a bullet will "tumble" once it hits its target , is a function of velocity, not aero-dynamic shape.

    Soft point vs FMJ is important, as well as what the bullet hits when entering. If it hits bone, it may go all over the place just depending on a lot of issues like mass and velocity.

    A large calibre high velocity bullet such as the 30.06 150 grn FMJ will likely go through both sides of its target and never miss a beat. It will not tumble unless other factors apply.

    "Tumbling" is more often associated with lower velocity bullets.

    Then again, we may have a matter of semantics, and just what we are considering "tumbling".

    As for a 600 yard shot, that is quite good! I've personally never had to take a shot over 300 yards.

    :smok:
     
  8. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    I'm sorry to have to disagree, but you are completely wrong on both counts. I suggest that you read the articles by Dr Fackler (who as a US surgeon has specialised in bullet wounds, both in battle and in laboratory testing). You can find them at:
    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=16&t=164814

    I suggest you start with article number 7.

    The problem with 'supersonic shock wave damage' in a body is that the speed of sound in flesh is around 1,400-1,500 m/s rather than just over 300 m/s in air. No military bullets reach such velocities, unless you count tank gun APFSDS rounds!

    Incidentally, the furthest I have fired a rifle was at Bisley's Stickledown range, many years ago, at 1,000 yards (about 900m). I wasn't much good at wind-doping, so I alternated between hitting the bull and entirely missing the target :)

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum
     
  9. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Tony,

    Oh my God! Another web site person! :D

    I tried to register and check the site out but it is down. I am curious to find out what this "doctor" knows about ballistics.

    Now you are going to make me pull out my books on ballistics again as I assure you I am quite correct.

    Be that as it may, you can believe your web site, that's OK.

    :smok:
     
  10. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Also Tony,

    I enjoyed your article on Basic Ballistics. You appear to be fairly knowledgable:

    "The benefit of boat-tailing at very long range can be demonstrated by two .30-06 bullets, both weighing 180 grains (11.7g) and fired at 2,700 fps (823 m/s). At sea level, the flat-based bullet will travel a maximum of 3,800m, the boat-tail 5,200m."

    I then begin to think you may have misunderstood what I was saying after reading your article on the boat tail bullet as it falls in line whith my point. I can only feel that you misunderstood my point.

    I would enjoy emailing back and forthe with you privately on a numer of issues and points on ballistics.

    - Greg

    :smok:
     
  11. johann phpbb3

    johann phpbb3 New Member

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    I think Mr. Pitts has met his match! :D
     
  12. Greg Pitts

    Greg Pitts New Member

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    Johann,

    I believe that Tony and I are are the same page, if expressed somewhat differently.

    My comments:

    "Actually, a spitzer boat-tail is one of the most stable rounds there is. Ballistic coefficient of around 423. Whether a bullet will "tumble" once it hits its target , is a function of velocity, not aero-dynamic shape.

    Soft point vs FMJ is important, as well as what the bullet hits when entering. If it hits bone, it may go all over the place just depending on a lot of issues like mass and velocity.

    In Tony's article on Basic Ballistics:

    "The first problem is that the FF is different at subsonic and supersonic velocities, because shapes which work best at subsonic speeds are not the best at supersonic velocities. At subsonic speeds, the drag caused by the low-pressure area created at the back or base of the projectile is significant, and major reductions in drag can be made by tapering this to some extent (boat-tailing). At supersonic speeds, it is the nose shape that is critical; finely pointed noses are needed, but the back end doesn't matter so much. Some taper towards the base is useful, but the optimum taper angle is different from that at subsonic velocities. The benefit of boat-tailing at very long range can be demonstrated by two .30-06 bullets, both weighing 180 grains (11.7g) and fired at 2,700 fps (823 m/s). At sea level, the flat-based bullet will travel a maximum of 3,800m, the boat-tail 5,200m"

    My preference in the weapon mentioned is a 150 grn spitzer boatail as it carries better ballistic performance over all for most game. The 180 grain bullet falls off much more in performance, more rapidly.

    My comments:

    "A large calibre high velocity bullet such as the 30.06 150 grn FMJ will likely go through both sides of its target and never miss a beat. It will not tumble unless other factors apply".

    Tony's article:

    "A well-stabilised bullet may pass straight through the target; however, this does not mean that a 7mm bullet will drill a 7mm hole."

    As I see it, Tony and I are on the same page and his input and knowledge are much appreciated by me as I wish to ask him for some input, tapping his ballistics knowledge for the book I am writing: "Battlefield Survival - The Mechanics of Tank Design".

    And after a 10 year lapse in writing, I have this BB to thank for prompting me to do so. The interaction I have found here has been very good for me, and I was going to write a simple article. After I completed my 1st rough draft of part one, and it was some 9 Meg's in size, I realized that this project was no longer an article.

    I look forward to a lot of communication with Tony and I feel both of us will be able to benefit from the interaction. If that means I have "met my match" as you put it then that is fine. I will learn something and benefit from it.

    - Greg Pitts

    :smok:
     
  13. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    All I can say is thank God that the leaders of the world eliminated the ( oh crap I forgot how to spell it) Flachette Needle rounds that actually curl up inside the flesh.
    Watched a group of army surgeons discuss x-rays of the wounds, nasty nasty!
     
  14. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    I have no argument about the stability of a boat-tailed bullet in air, provided that it has been spun at the necessary rate by the rifling; if it has not been spun fast enough, it will tumble and lose all range and accuracy performance. Fire the best-shaped pointed bullet you like from a smoothbored barrel and it will tumble in air, because it is inherently unstable; that is why tank gun and flechette rounds fired from smoothbores have fins on the back - it's to keep them flying point-first in a straight line.

    The issue is what happens when a bullet enters flesh. The density of flesh is so much greater than air that spinning is not enough to keep it going point-first. You will see in Dr Fackler's articles (incidentally, they are photocopies of articles previously published in various professional journals concerned with wound ballistics) photos of cross-sections of bullet tracks in ballistic gel, which demonstrate the various speeds with which they ALL tumble.

    Having said that, ballistic gel, although designed to mimic the performance of human flesh as closely as possible, is homogenous whereas the human body is not. So individual bullets may behave in odd ways depending on the path they take through the body, what they hit en route etc. The 5.56mm M855 ball rounds were cricised in Somalia for going 'straight through' their targets, although the gel tests show that they tumble quite quickly. However, it is usually difficult to determine whether the problem was bullet performance or nervous riflemen missing their targets!

    The 'bending flechette' story may be another myth, caused by the fact that the only flechette weapons to see service have been 'Beehive' type artillery rounds in which thousands of them are packed closely together. It is thought that the stress of firing might bend some of these; in other words, they were already bent before hitting their targets.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum
     
  15. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    In my opinion, going down from 30-06 to .308 was a bit pointless but going down to 5.56 made sense because they were (like many other armies too) trying to make an ammunition and a gun which has most good sides of SMG and a full-sized rifle and none of their downsides.
    Therefore they couldn't use full-sized rifle ammunition like 30-06 because its too heavy and recoils far too much.
    Of course full-sized rifle like that M1 with its ammunition is more accurate at longer ranges but as they learned in WW2, most of fighting happens at SMG-ranges, below 200 metres. And for that ranges, 5.56 and like are accurate enough.

    Sorry my english, its a bit hard to make my point clear when not using my native language.
     
  16. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    Yes, SMG's doesn't get much attention. But they weren't more common that rifles in WW2, atleast in early part of war. But they were considered one of most successful guns in that war. Even Hitler ordered in latter part of war that no more rifles should be designed (or produced, don't remember which is correct), thats why Stg.44 was originally produced with name name MP (MachinenPistole) -43.
    But what was the best SMG in that war? In Finland we had excellent "Suomi m/31" or Suomi-kp. It was well made, accurate and robust weapon. But it was expensive and slow to make, not very suitable for war-time production. And it was a bit heavy too. 1939 there was about one weapon for every platoon (40 men). Later parts of war there were more of them but still bolt action rifles were most numerous weapons.
    Some Finnish reconnaissance groups were totally armed with that SMG, especially at summer. During winter they had atleast one bolt action rifle with them, because of longer shooting distances at frozen lakes etc. Like my former sergeant-major told us: "When you shoot advancing russian soldiers with their long overcoats at winter with your SMG from ranges around 300 meters, they will die. At laughter." After 50-60 years these SMG's are accurate enough for close combat but lack of maintenance and age are showing up. They aren't as reliable as they used to be, atleast from my own experience.

    Some other weapons which were numerous at WW2 but not mentioned yet are Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifles. These rifles were counterparts to M1903 Springfield, Lee-Enfield and Mauser 98 etc. Very numerous in Russian military at early parts of war and still in use at latter parts of war too. It uses 5 round stripper clip. Maybe not the best of all bolt action rifles but maybe most numerous and gets the job done.

    And there is one weapon group that no-one has even mentioned yet. Full automatic long rifles. In Finland we have own name for them, Pikakivääri, which translates something like fastrifle. Some examples of these are Browning M1918, Russian Degtyarev DP-27 and Finnish LS-26. These guns are magazine-fed, full automatic rifles, weighting around 10 kg with full magazine. Nowadays they are considered as magazine-fed light machineguns. Finnish troops thought DP-27 was better than LS-26 and it was clearly the most sought warprize. And they used a lot of DP-27's during war.
    If we consider these weapons as LMG's then we have to think which LMG was best during WW2? MG42 anyone?
     
  17. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    A quote from 'Assault Rifle: the Development of the Modern Military Rifle and its Ammunition' by Max Popnker and myself (due to be published later this year):

    "However, as described in Chapter 4, the intermediate cartridge concept was rejected by the USA who insisted on NATO adopting a common round which had to be of .30 inch (7.62 mm) calibre and powerful enough to replace the .30-06 in MGs - which despite the American starting point of requiring selective fire meant by definition that it would be too powerful to be controllable in fully automatic fire from a shoulder-fired rifle. The British, Belgians and Canadians made great efforts to meet the objections of the US Army, who thought the .280 wasn't powerful enough, by developing more powerful cartridges, one of which – the 7 x 49 – actually saw service with Venezuela in the FN FAL rifle. It was all in vain; although the prototype .30 calibre rifles demonstrated very poor hit probability in fully-automatic fire, the 7.62 x 51 was duly selected. Apart from being half an inch shorter than the .30-06 cartridge, it represented no progress whatsoever over this fifty-year old design. The British were forced to reverse their decision to adopt the EM-2 and subsequently (along with most other NATO countries) chose the FN FAL in 7.62 NATO, but the USA again went its own way, eventually adopting a rifle based on the existing M1 Garand, the M14."

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum
     
  18. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    The reason the military changed from the .45 to the 9mm is simple: many female soldiers cannot use the .45 automatic. I am not making this up, either. The .45 pistol is, for many females, too heavy for them to use comfortably, if at all. So the US Armed Forces changed over to the Baretta in order to make things easier for the women. Was this a good decision? Time will tell.
     
  19. mr.bluenote

    mr.bluenote New Member

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    Oh, sorry! I thought that when the term "tumble" was used it indicated that the bullet tumbled in flight!

    I don't know if it's just one of those stories, but some newer kinds of ammunition apparently does so to give some kind of dum-dum effect upon impact! Is that true?

    Hmm, I really don't know that much about hydrostatic shock (which is the correct phrase, I gather?), but I've read about it a few places so... But it is basically not true then?

    Regarding the people-on-their-feet-after-being-shot... eh, yes, well, I just don't think so, sorry! Shot a man with a M16 or any kind of similar weapon (perhaps the AK74 is an exemption - they have a somewhat bad name regarding stopping power) and he wil go go down - unless he has adrenal glands the size of a ship... I think most of the stories relating men that keep moving after being hit is simply the shooter not hitting in the first place...

    I can't remenber who wrote it, but hitting something at 600 meters?! I'm impressed (I'm lucky if I can hit a target at 400... or even 300 :-? ), but under combat conditions I'd say that would be close to impossible.

    Good thread btw - nice and informative!

    Best regards!

    - Mr.Bluenote.
     
  20. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    The standard 5.56mm military bullets do break into pieces as a result of the stresses when they tumble, and that does add to the wounding effect.

    There is a well-attested account of an action in Iraq during which Green Berets engaged an Iraqi at about 25 yards range. He didn't go down and, when they pursued him, he killed two of them. He was then shot dead with a .45 pistol. When his body was examined afterwards no less than SEVEN solid body hits from 5.56mm rifles were found (the latest - and allegedly most effective - Mk 262 loading). This is of course an extreme case, but there is NO rifle that will guarantee to put a man down immediately with one shot, unless you hit the CNS.

    Tony Williams
     

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