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M3 submachine gun

Discussion in 'Allied Light Weapons' started by warhistory, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    Please explain how the two statements are not mutually exclusive, if you can.

    The performance of the competitors weapons is irrelevant to this discussion because .......
    1.) They were never used in combat.
    2.) The fact that the M3 was the best in the competition is a different subject.
    3.) The topic I am addressing is the accidental discharge problems of the M3 grease gun, which was used in combat.

    You missed my post #50 above. It addresses your criticism regarding sample size.

    Please know the information derived a small sample size, four let's say, is sufficient to warrant the formation of a hypothesis which would then be tested by additional research as outlined in my post #50. Don't you agree?

    For some reason, you and others are satisfied with the "it served its' purpose" argument. If you are all so convinced of this why are you so insistent that I join your incurious group? It's almost as if I've touched a forum wide nerve by presenting sourced information that is contrary to certain, preconceived notions.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    ????
    "It served its purpose" and "it did what it was suppose to do" are saying essentially the same thing if you are looking at the overall performance of the weapon.
    That's you trying to force the conversation into a specific line. The rest of us aren't buying. The Army perceived a need for a weapon to perform a certain role. A bunch of candidates were purposed and tested. All of them presumably had pluses and minuses. When the Army weighted them and summed up the results the M3 was chosen and continued in service for quite a few years after the war. This strongly suggest that your evaluation criteria are significantly different than that of the army. In particular you have giving a lot of weight to the accidental discharge problem. It's also worth noting that said problem was present and arguably worse in similar weapons in the service of other countries. The clear implication is that the various militaries didn't consider it a deal breaker as you seem to. Most of us here give more weight to such a clear military consensus.
    Not really you just waved your hands at them.
    No. Especially when the proponent is obviously coming the records for such incidents.
    Who is insistent about you joining a group of any sort. Make a factual and well reasoned argument and you'll likely to convince many here. You haven't done so to date. By the way "it served its purpose" isn't an argument it's a pretty clear statement of fact.
    I'd suggest that nerve we've hit is the one where we've failed to accept your opinions as fact.
     
  3. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    I was quoting Rich. post # 35.

    He wrote: ""If I was talking about the effectiveness of the grease gun, we could or could not disagree, it makes little difference to me. And even less so regarding the carbine. "It served its purpose" is not an analysis of its effectiveness as a battlefield weapon.""

    Then he wrote: "The M3 Submachine Gun did what it was supposed to do. "

    Please tell me how these two statements are not mutually exclusive.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I have. Indeed they are almost exactly the same thing. And "It served its purpose" isn't the analysis but the conclusion and a well supported one.
     
  5. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    We need to find some way of determining the frequency of the accidental discharge problem before we can assess how the M3 compared in this respect to other wartime open-bolt guns with the same problem (MP40, Sten, Lanchester, PPsH 41) as well as to the M3's predecessor, the Thompson.

    During the Korean War, at least, the US Army kept statistics about weapons accidents. According to James Ebert's A Life in A Year, a total of 112 men were killed and 1,377 wounded in weapons accidents during that conflict. Ebert does cite a source for this, but alas Google Books didn't show me that page. Anyway, I hope/assume that comparable statistics were kept in World War II. If such statistics exist somewhere and if they are broken down by type of weapon then we may be able to move from opinion and generalities to something more definite. There has been quite a bit of discussion about the Sten on our sister forum and I will see if anybody there has put any numbers to the problems with that weapon.

    As I reported previously, the 74 version of FM23-41 DID warn users of the accidental discharge danger. I cannot find earlier versions of that manual (1943, 1949, 1957) anywhere on the internet so I will try to obtain one through my library or purchase.

    By the way, the US armed forces did try at least two other types of SMG in addition to the Thompson and the M3. The Reising was an OK police gun (it stayed in cop arsenals at least into the 1960s) but it was not robust enough for field service with the USMC and was withdrawn relatively quickly. The Marlin UD M42 was turned down because of its non-standard 9mm caliber and also I believe because there was a problem with the magazines. On the basis of this, I would not say that US ordnance was simply content to issue any old junk to the troops.
     
  6. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    The Korean War statistics you mention certainly gives hope that the data is somewhere in similar reports for both wars.

    Great find! :) I find it very interesting that 1974 FM23-41 warns about accidental discharges.

    You know if we can find the necessary data we can run regression analysis against a number of variable and come up with the information necessary to establish the frequency of accidental discharges.
     
  7. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    "Terry D, post: 838614, member: 29688"

    I found Ebert's book on Amazon. It appears it is about Vietnam not the Korean War. Anyway the source is "US Casualties in SE Asia: Statistics as of November 11, 1985" DoD.
     
  8. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Yes, it is about Vietnam. On p. 158 Ebert gives the figures for firearms accident casualties in Korea which I passed on in #65. Ebert does this seemingly to compare the accident statistics in Vietnam. Anyway, I am just hoping to find some numbers which would help us pin the problem down.
     
  9. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Yes. I have shot M3s (and Thompsons for that matter) both on a conventional range environment and from a Sherman tank, and I handle both inside a Sherman tank regularly.
     
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