Rifles of WW II


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black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 10:03 AM
Okay after the last thread that went on about other things than what was asked in the OP, I will try something different.

http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/Weapons/semiautomatic/semi_automatic.htm

check out this site and lets have a FRIENDLY debate about the differences and similarities of these three nations weapons.:)

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black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 10:06 AM
I will start in stating that I believe the Johnson should have been put into more Marines and Army hands. I love the Garand but it did have one big draw back, the inability to top off after a few shots. I would mention the loud ping of an empty gun but i kind of like that sound (there is just something about it).

Any one else have any thoughts?

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 10:10 AM
Marines often used the ping of the Garands' enbloc being ejected(by hand tossing an empty) to lure Japanese soldiers into the open(thinking the rifle was empty).

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 10:14 AM
That is true but it is still a flaw with the Rifle.

The Marines just overcame and adapted. I am sure though that they would have rather not had to resort to that type of tactic.

minutemen1776
August 3, 2009, 10:15 AM
The M1 Garand and M1 Carbine were the superior semi-auto rifles of WW2 for two basic reasons: reliability and sheer numbers. You can argue the merits of the Russian and German designs (and even the American Johnson rifle), but the fact is that none of these were ever produced in sufficient numbers to make much difference. The fact that the United States had produced the M1 Garand before the war and had also quickly produced a successful design for the M1 Carbine early in the war, and that the U.S. had the industrial base to churn out millions of both designs, meant that virtually every U.S. soldier went to war with a capable semi-auto rifle. In WW2, that was a VERY big deal.

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 10:27 AM
Numbers don't count in this discussion we are looking solely at the design of the rifle.
and yes the M1 G. and the M1 C. were reliable, from the few accounts in the pacific so was the Johnson.

I am still going with the ability to top off is a better design feature than the M1 Garand had.

TexasRifleman
August 3, 2009, 10:48 AM
That is true but it is still a flaw with the Rifle.

The Marines just overcame and adapted. I am sure though that they would have rather not had to resort to that type of tactic.

Go out with 20 of your closest friends to the range.

All of you bring your Garands, none of you wear hearing protection.

At the signal all of you start firing at the same time. Do this until each of you have shot up several clips full.

Then tell me how many pings you heard.....


Now imagine being on the other side, 50-100 yards away. You too are shooting bolt action rifles with 20 of your good friends, all with no hearing protection, while being shot at by 20 guys with Garands. How many pings from across the range would you hear from there?


Now just to make it realistic, get some friends with airplanes to fly around really low over your head, and have the local cops set off flash bangs during all of this.

Now count the pings you hear, from across the range, during gunfire, no hearing protection, with artillery and aircraft all around.

I just have a hard time believing this "ping" thing was some kind of major tactical disadvantage.....

In a one on one gunfight maybe, but it's just not enough to have had any real impact.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 11:10 AM
Well, Texasrifleman,may I suggest we ask any members of THR who were given the job of rooting out dug-in Japanese hold-outs on Iwo Jima or any of the other islands if they used or knew of anyone using this tactic. Those of us who were not there can't answer that question.

Art Eatman
August 3, 2009, 11:17 AM
I wasn't in combat in Korea, but the Garand was. I did occupation duty there in 1954/1955 and heard the "ping" story from guys who did see combat. The way it was told, it was a two-guys deal and generally where foxholes were somewhat spread out. When one guy ran dry and the ping happened, the other guy was ready to shoot IF an enemy stuck his head up to look/shoot.

But keep your salt shaker handy. Newbies hear lots of stories, and some of them might even be true.

But not all.

TexasRifleman
August 3, 2009, 11:17 AM
Well, Texasrifleman,may I suggest we ask any members of THR who were given the job of rooting out dug-in Japanese hold-outs on Iwo Jima or any of the other islands if they used or knew of anyone using this tactic. Those of us who were not there can't answer that question.

The tactic was certainly used in small engagements.

And so was the exact opposite. The Japanese early on were accustomed to being fired at by the Springfield rifle, which held only 5 shots.

So, the GI would fire 5 times then stop. The Japanese would move, thinking a reload was underway, and the GI would use the last 3 rounds in the Garand.

So whether or not the American GI was inventive in his tactics isn't really the point. Certainly the GI could overcome and adapt like no one before or since.

The claim is made that the "ping" was a tactical disadvantage and a serious design flaw of the Garand and I don't think you'll find any writings, from people that were actually there, to agree with that.

It seems like it's bad, and it may have been, but most of the writing I've seen on the subject says it simply faded into the din of battle and was not a factor. I'd love to read something to the contrary, but this topic comes up often on Garand collector forums and no one ever really has come up with anything concrete from a historical perspective.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 11:21 AM
I thought the disadvantage spoken of was the inability to "top off" a partially loaded Garand.

TexasRifleman
August 3, 2009, 11:27 AM
I thought we were discussing the ping. You didn't bring it up, the Or said when you told of tossing the empty clip to trick the enemy:

That is true but it is still a flaw with the Rifle.

The inability to top off the rifle was a horrible disadvantage, probably the biggest the rifle had, no question.

The ping thing though just doesn't seem to be a real issue.

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 11:35 AM
I would think it might, okay maybe not the noise in full combat, bu look at it this way... say you are a Jap soldier and are being fired on from a position, then maybe you don't hear the ping but you can see. the clip flying through the air and now know that your opponents gun is empty

I imagine that this could have happened a few times. Art you ever hear anything like that? I only mention it because the site i listed above mentions something like that.

Mandolin
August 3, 2009, 11:39 AM
+1 on what Texas Rifleman said. I've always hated the " that ping well reveal your position" stuff. If 8 rounds of .30-06 don't reveal your position, NOTHING short of a 8" gun will.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 11:40 AM
I don't think it would matter or even be heard in a fully engaged battle(as TRM said). In a search and destroy scenario though it could very well come in to play for either side. Did it? I don't know and can't say.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 11:41 AM
I have never heard "the ping will reveal your position stuff" only that the ping indicates an empty rifle.

ijosef
August 3, 2009, 11:55 AM
The Japanese had some substandard weapons during the second World War. One of my favorite "Tales of the Gun" episodes on The History Channel is "Japanese Small Arms of WWII."

The type 38 Arisaka infantry rifle (bolt action, 6.5mm x 50mm) was about five-and-a-half feet long with the bayonet attached, while the average Japanese soldier at the time was about 5'3" tall.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 12:00 PM
That (length)didn't make the Arisaka sub-standard. The Japanese certainly had some sub-standard weapons (re: Nambu), but the Arisaka wasn't one of them.

Mandolin
August 3, 2009, 12:06 PM
Sorry, i meant to say that it revealed when you where empty, to give away your position. My bad.

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 12:12 PM
the type 38 did have a weaker cartridge than other nations at the time, that is one of the reasons the Japs went to the type 99.

P.S. this must have been a logistics nightmare to pull off during War time.

WardenWolf
August 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
The Arisaka was most certainly not sub-standard compared to other bolt action rifles. The original Type 38 and Type 99 rifles were both very fine weapons, manufactured to high standards. Their only real drawback was in comparison to the semi-automatic rifles the US fielded. The early Arisakas were easily the equal to the German Mauser and the British Enfield.

Honestly, all sides' bolt action rifles were roughly equal in performance. Out to effective iron sight engagement range, they could all do their jobs at about the same level. It was the Garand that was the game changer. A mass-produced semi-automatic rifle in a heavy caliber simply overwhelmed both the Arisaka and the Mauser in terms of rate of fire. The later Russian SVT-38 and SVT-40 also had some very strong advantages over the German Mausers, although these were never fielded in great numbers. Ultimately, WW2 was the transition between bolt action and autoloading rifles, and the sides that were stuck with bolt-action rifles felt the pain significantly worse.

minutemen1776
August 3, 2009, 12:40 PM
Numbers don't count in this discussion we are looking solely at the design of the rifle.

Numbers don't count? I'm so sorry to stray from the predetermined parameters of your "friendly debate." My last comment on the matter will simply be to point out that a particular rifle's ability to be mass produced is itself due in no small measure to its design. I think the point is highly relevant, but the rest of you can discuss pings and topping off magazines.

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 12:47 PM
It was not mass produced over night. the rifle was in production since 1932 and not to mention that manufacturing complicated designs was not a problem for the US.

minutemen1776
August 3, 2009, 01:05 PM
Springfield Armory started mass-producing Garands in 1937, but there were just 400,000 Garands made at the time Pearl Harbor was bombed. Of those, all but 25,000 or so were made in 1940-1941. The U.S. made another 3.5 million or so by the war's end. The U.S. also made over 6 million M1 Carbines between 1942 and 1945. So, the suggestion that the number of American semi-autos available in WW2 can be attributed to a decade's worth of production rings hollow. Meanwhile, the Germans (who were also pretty good at manufacturing complicated designs) produced just 400,000 Gewehr 43 rifles and 425,000 Sturmgewehr 44 rifles. Though a lot of this difference is due to the U.S.'s industrial capacity, I submit that the design of the rifles (including the Garand's unfortunate ping) played a role as well.

R.W.Dale
August 3, 2009, 01:25 PM
Back to the original post

The diminutive m1 and m2 carbine gets lambasted as a mediocre rifle and to an extent I agree with this. HOWEVER if you take a good look as the platforms size and capability and compare it to the most similar weapons other countries had I think the little carbine stands out as the best SMG of the entire war, particularly the FA m2

M2 carbine weight 5.2lbs
MP40 weight 8.7lbs
Thompson weight 10lbs

The 30carbine may have been an anemic rifle round but it still kicks the snot out of both 45acp and 9x19 in terms of range and dare I say terminal ballistics with ball ammo. I've had the pleasure of owning a 30carbine handgun and this just becomes even more evident

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 01:36 PM
Yes they were mass produced, what I am saying is that the means for their production was allready in place. The factories all ready existed they just ramped up the production. They did not have the same problems either with material shortages that the Germans did and the germans began production of their semi rifles later in the war. There for you can not compare the US's production to the Germans production, they are not equal. My aim was to compare the two rifles, I am just saying the numbers are not relavent here because the US could have easily mass produced the Johnson as well (given a little revamping of some factories).

SlamFire1
August 3, 2009, 02:54 PM
The idea that Japanese jumped out of their pill boxes and caves based on a "ping" is ludicrous.

stchman
August 3, 2009, 03:07 PM
I tend to agree with TexasRifleman. If I was a Japanese soldier in the Pacific during WWII and was in a big firefight with US soldiers I would not start walking towards them if I heard one PING go off.

Now if I was in a one on one fight with a US soldier and I heard a ping I might be inclined to stick my head up and see if I could catch him reloading.

Remember most of the bolt action rifles of WWII had 5 shot magazines with the Garand had an 8 shot clip.

I cannot see the 8 shot then a ping be such a horrible thing. I imagine a properly trained US soldier could reload his Garand VERY quickly.

If I were a Japanese or German soldier in WWII I would not bet my life on a ping.

throdgrain
August 3, 2009, 03:17 PM
The idea that Japanese jumped out of their pill boxes and caves based on a "ping" is ludicrous.


WHAT?!?!?

That's like saying bad guys dont fall to thier knees and cry when they hear a pump action cycling! Internet heresy!!


Oh, and just to be serious, don't forget the Lee Enfield had a 10 round clip, and there were a hell of a lot of them around in WW2.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 03:20 PM
"The idea that Japanese jumped out of their pill boxes and caves based on a "ping" is ludicrous." > slamfire1. Can I prove it did happen? No, Can you prove it didn't happen? also no.

NC-Mike
August 3, 2009, 03:40 PM
All I know is I will buy a Johnson rifle sometime in the next five years and I will shoot it hard as well. :)

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 03:45 PM
"The idea that Japanese jumped out of their pill boxes and caves based on a "ping" is ludicrous."

why is that hard to believe they made bonsai charges into the lines of Marines equipped with 30 cal machine guns and rapid fire rifles.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 03:49 PM
I have (a print of) a photo of a Japanese officer on Iwo charging a flamethrower with a Samurai sword. He did not stop until he was dead.

Ian
August 3, 2009, 04:39 PM
Considering how quickly one can reload a Garand, an enemy soldier would hardly be out of their foxhole by the time the M1 was ready to fire again.

In addition, contrary to the seemingly all-pervasive internet myth, an M1 can be "topped off" just fine. Pull the bolt back, catch or ignore the chambered cartridge, and proceed to stuff individual rounds into the clip as it sits in the rifle. When the clip is full again, drop the bolt. Or alternatively, open the bolt, hit the clip release, and load a new full clip.

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 05:35 PM
Hmm, sounds plausable.

Are you speaking from experience or from hear say?

rcmodel
August 3, 2009, 05:44 PM
He is exactly right, and I'm speaking from experience.

I humped one for Unkle Suger for a couple of years before we got M-14's.

There is no reason at all keeping someone from "topping off" a Garand with loose ammo.

Option #1 is easy to do, if a little awkward & slow.

Option #2 takes less time then sneezing.
Just eject the partial clip and stuff a full one back in it.

Then you can reload the empty clip with loose rounds at your leisure.
If you can find any loose rounds.
M-1 ammo was issued already in clips.
Loose ammo would have to be pried out of machine gun belts.

rc

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 05:48 PM
How much leisure time did the Marines have on Iwo or Okinawa or Guadacanal? (This is a rhetorical question not intended to be answered)

FlyinBryan
August 3, 2009, 06:17 PM
rcmodels 2nd option in no less convenient that topping off a service pistol or an ar.

topping off an m4 or m16 is not dropping the partially depleted mag and stuffing rounds down into it.

its discarding a few so you can have more than that, and the garand does that as well as any standard issue weapon system

PandaBearBG
August 3, 2009, 06:36 PM
having your enemy know you are out of ammunition and reloading is a huge disadvantage and design flaw and not every engagement was a large scale firefight so artillery and falling bombs isn't gonna mask the fact you are currently empty or reloading.

as to the SMG's of WW2, all three were very effective and for range? Short range is the realistic practical application here, and when you factor in the weight vs amount of ammunition you can carry I would go with the Thompson, a well balance of the M2 and MP40. Carry more than M2, but with more punch than MP40. IMO

SlamFire1
August 3, 2009, 07:29 PM
I have (a print of) a photo of a Japanese officer on Iwo charging a flamethrower with a Samurai sword. He did not stop until he was dead.

Did the flamethrower make a "ping" noise?

A boss of mine remembered seeing a Japanese Officer attack a tank with a Samurai sword. Unfortunately for the Officer, the tanker on the turret was not tossing M1 Garand clips for sound effects. Instead , the tanker used a 50 caliber M2. My Boss recalled seeing body chunks coming off the Officer as the Officer futilely beat the tank with his sword.

Tanker One, Samurai sword zero.

I just finished a book called "Semper Fi, Mac", by Henry Berry. http://books.google.com/books?id=3KW35jiuI8MC&dq=semper+fi+mac&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=f55R8XvBpe&sig=rg93xPqBJTAsqmNGBJO3JQblKzM&hl=en&ei=UWt3SpzdKYKktgf7mtmWCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#v=onepage&q=&f=false

The entire text is personal accounts of combat. Not one account of someone tossing M1 clips to flush Japanese.

Noise discipline was enforced by experienced units. Making a noise at night would get everyone killed.

Yes, the Japanese conducted Bonzai Charges. When military failure was eminent, many Japanese suicided in mass, or individually, as heroically as possible. They did not wait for a “ping” to start the fun.

Smart unit commanders, anticipating Bonzai charges, made preparations. Under mass machine gun fire, barb wire slowed the Japanese enough that many times they were unable to break the line.

The Japanese had lots of ways to kill GI’s. If someone was stupid enough to reveal their position by tossing empty clips, if the Japanese did not drop a mortar on their head, they always had grenades, and of course they could sweep your position with Nambu lights or heavy machine guns.

Then there were the Japanese snipers. They killed a lot of GI's.

Don't forget that the Japanese had forward Artillery observers. Lots of GI's died due to artillery.

I have been in the pill boxes on Roi Namur. Once inside, the Japanese had no intention of leaving. You could toss all the M1 clips you want against one of those concrete structures, but it took flamethrowers to clear out the inside.

Remember the picture of the guy with a flame thrower?

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 07:39 PM
"Then there were the Japanese snipers. They killed a lot of GI's." Indeed they did! On Makin Atoll in late 1942 my cousin SSgt Clyde Thomason, a member of Carlson's 2nd Marine Raiders took out a Japanese sniper that had terrorized his men. That fact was enumerated with other deeds on his CMOH citation,awarded postumously. He died on Makin and his body recovered in 1999. Slamfire1,I enjoyed your post in spite of the sarcastic referrences to en-bloc pings.

Ian
August 3, 2009, 07:55 PM
Are you speaking from experience or from hear say?

From experience. In fact, I got so tired of hearing people claim it couldn't be done that I made a short video of myself doing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8C0KdP6BdI

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 08:14 PM
Cool vid, before I was just making sure that you were not going off of something you heard.
Well now I know and knowing is half the battle....

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 08:21 PM
I need to test that out myself. Now if someone will just send me a Garand!

NC-Mike
August 3, 2009, 09:22 PM
One thing I've heard a bunch of times when this subject comes up is yes you can top off a M1 but it was almost never done.

It seemed enbloc clips were far more often stripped of rounds to feed hungry BAR's, rather than have loose rounds available for topping off Garands.

black_powder_Rob
August 3, 2009, 09:29 PM
Lol jimmy ray, I think I'd like to test that out too... any takers? J/k

Okay I will conced the reloading or "topping off", (man some of my gun books were wrong about that one.) But here is one thing that the Jhonson had going for it was that the barrel could be easily removed or replaced. This made it a great choice for paratroopers. Not sure how many were used for this though... trying to look it up now.

HorseSoldier
August 3, 2009, 09:34 PM
having your enemy know you are out of ammunition and reloading is a huge disadvantage and design flaw and not every engagement was a large scale firefight so artillery and falling bombs isn't gonna mask the fact you are currently empty or reloading.

In practice it didn't seem to be much of an impediment to the guys in the real world using the Garand. You don't have to be in much of a firefight at all to have your ears numb if you're using any sort of firearm without ear pro.

jimmyraythomason
August 3, 2009, 09:52 PM
This from Riverbank Armory's History of the M1 Garand: "Criticisms of the M1 are its weight, limited ammunition supply, the fact that single rounds could not be pushed in (8 round clip, or nothing). Also, the spent clip was automatically ejected after the last round was fired, making a distinctive sound, which could be fatal in close quarter or sniper operations." So those of us who have no practical experience on a subject will continue to get flamed until research materials corrects it's misinformation.

Library Guy
August 3, 2009, 10:27 PM
American rifles were better because:

1) No one was bombing Springfield, Mass.
2) Detroit made enough trucks and jeeps to carry all the ammo needed.


The year is 1937...
Gen. MacArthur: Mr Garand, we love the rifle. But what can you do about the ping?
John C. Garand: Well, General, I figure we can have the ping eliminated by Monday December 8, 1941.

And the rest is history.

Limeyfellow
August 3, 2009, 10:53 PM
The ping of the Garand is highly overrated in my opinion. If I line up 20 people with M1 Garands, throw in a BAR and so on all firing at once, while you are also firing, grenades are exploding, people are screaming at the top of their voice and possibly a bit of artillery going off too. All this was without any hearing protection producing about 100-125db of sound roaring through your ears. Then through all that you are supposed to hear a much quieter ping 50-100 yards away going of at around 80db? I'm not too convince you can.

With all due respect to the Riverbank Armory's History of the M1 Garand it gives a very limited range of where it was a risk. I yet to see how the sniper didn't hear the eight shots that came before the ping to be able to zero in on their target. They are considerably louder. If they weren't firing there would be no ping. It not like the snipers required it to find targets. My own uncle avoided death by one, because it hit his e-tool strapped to his back. Good job they Marines still had the old M1910 entrenching tool back then or he be quite dead today. It wasn't the ping that gave him away. Really I think it be impossible to tell what exactly triggered the sniper to their target, especially with the participants being mostly dead nowadays and much of what we hear now is the fantasy and myth of war.

As for the earlier Arisaka rifle discussion, the rifles from prewar and early war are in great condition and fine Mausers. The only ones you need to watch out for is very late war dated 1945, when they put together anything they could as quickly as possible for an expected invasion by US and Russian forces on the Japanese mainland. I got some excellent quality ones that are fine examples. I seen some 1945 ones I would not fire in a million years however.

HorseSoldier
August 4, 2009, 12:16 AM
A good point on the ping. You always hear the story/stories about guys "faking the ping" to lure the bad guys out for the kill, but I've yet to see a story about someone actually getting killed because the ping led to their being overrun or whatever. Comparing this to the situation with the early M16s and stoppages suggests the ping can't have been that big a deal.

gunsandreligion
August 4, 2009, 07:56 AM
If you can hear a little ping above artillery being fired, air planes strafing with 50's and a hundred or so thousand guns being fired not to mention bombs being dropped continuesly you have mighty good hearing.

SaxonPig
August 4, 2009, 09:20 AM
War's over.

We won.

jimmyraythomason
August 4, 2009, 09:22 AM
^^ yeah,good thing we had the ping!

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