.276 Pedersen and the M1 Garand


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52grain
April 11, 2010, 08:02 PM
The M1 Garand was originally chambered for .276 Pedersen (7x51) but was switched to .30-06 before any significant quantity were produced. Does anyone have an opinion on what the standard issue service rifle would be today if the switch had not happened? Would infantry still be issued the AR-15 in 5.56 NATO or would it be something different? Would the M-14 have come sooner, later, or not at all?

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Maverick223
April 11, 2010, 09:17 PM
I believe the M-14 (using like ammunition) would have come just as soon...and still be used today. I believe the .276Pedersen would have made a fine infantry round, better than either the .30-06 or .308Win...or the 5.56NATO for that matter (not that any of the aforementioned cartridges are deficient...just not ideal IMO).

:)

jpwilly
April 11, 2010, 09:19 PM
I think a 7mm would have and still could serve the infantry quite well.

Al LaVodka
April 11, 2010, 10:14 PM
I think the .276 woulda continued through when the .308 was adopted. The .276 was ahead of its time but the .308 is probably better but not that much to have replaced the .276 until the .223.

The 6.8SPC is WHAT now? LOL A modernized, short, .276 sorta.

Al

cheygriz
April 11, 2010, 10:34 PM
When the Garand was ready to be deployed, WW2 was about to start.

The army had literally billions of rounds in war storage for the 1903, BAR and all of our general purpose machine guns. All ammo manufacturers were "tooled up" to mass produce .30-06.

If we had deployed the Garand in .276, the rifles, BARs and machine guns would have fired different rounds. The ammo makers would have had to split their production between two different rounds. Supply would have been a nightmare.

(Remember the adage, Looies study strategy, generals study logistics)

Our service round today just might have been the 7.7 Arisaka, or the 8X57 Mauser! :evil:

52grain
April 11, 2010, 10:37 PM
A bit off topic, but work on the M14 originally started during the last bit of World War II. The project was shelved until the 1950s and the M14 was not accepted as the standard service rifle until 1957. Then because of production delays, the first unit was not completely equipped with M14s until 1961. This is the real shame. Had the M14s been available in 1950 (and chambered in something other than 7.62 NATO), history may well have a different view of it.

nothing against 7.62 NATO or .308 win, just too much power for selective fire to be useful, in my opinion.

Maverick223
April 11, 2010, 10:42 PM
nothing against 7.62 NATO or .308 win, just too much power for selective fire to be useful, in my opinion.I feel the same way.

:)

52grain
April 11, 2010, 10:47 PM
The army had literally billions of rounds in war storage for the 1903, BAR and all of our general purpose machine guns. All ammo manufacturers were "tooled up" to mass produce .30-06.

If we had deployed the Garand in .276, the rifles, BARs and machine guns would have fired different rounds. The ammo makers would have had to split their production between two different rounds. Supply would have been a nightmare.

Good point, as with pretty much any engineering decision, practicalities (like cost and production) almost always prevent the technologically ideal path from being taken.

CZguy
April 11, 2010, 11:06 PM
I believe the .276Pedersen would have made a fine infantry round, better than either the .30-06

:what: Sacrilege....... you know there is such a thing as "gun karma"............you'll pay for that someday. :D

Maverick223
April 11, 2010, 11:35 PM
Sacrilege....... you know there is such a thing as "gun karma"............you'll pay for that someday.I know...I know...my .30-06 will probably get pissed off and KB on my tomorrow. :eek:

Nugilum
April 11, 2010, 11:43 PM
You guys realize that the .276 Pedersen was the original caliber for the M1 design. The .276 Pedersen M1 held 10 rounds in it's en-bloc clip.

Maverick223
April 11, 2010, 11:47 PM
You guys realize that the .276 Pedersen was the original caliber for the M1 design.Yep...
The M1 Garand was originally chambered for .276 Pedersen (7x51) but was switched to .30-06 before any significant quantity were produced.

Jim Watson
April 12, 2010, 10:25 AM
The ammo makers would have had to split their production between two different rounds.

Which is the present situation; we are using large volumes of both .308 for MG and DMR and .223 for AR and SAW.

The East Bloc has clung to the 7.62x54R for longer range applications than the AK.

Maybe a 6.5 or 7mm would be the true intermediate cartridge that would let us shoot everything the same between pistol and .50. Maybe. Just recall that the Japanese tried to convert from 6.5 to 7.7 after hostilities were under way and ended up with two rifle calibers. The Italians tried to convert from 6.5 to 7.35 but backed out.

Birddog1911
April 12, 2010, 10:41 AM
I'm only familiar with the .276 in name, not in ballistics. Let's just say that the 1903, BAR, and everything we had prior to the Garand was in that caliber. What is the recoil like with the Pedersen? Would it have been a decent select fire caliber?

Maverick223
April 12, 2010, 11:43 AM
What is the recoil like with the Pedersen? Would it have been a decent select fire caliber?Recoil should be significantly less than the .308Win. Despite it being dimensionally similar to the 7mm-08Rem. it was a slightly weaker round, so recoil should be closer to .243Win. Factor in the weight and semi-automatic function of the Garand and you bring that down to 7.62x39mm recoil levels. It would be a powderpuff by comparison, thereby making it much more effective WRT fully automatic designs such as the M14.

:)

Jaws
April 12, 2010, 01:06 PM
.276Pedersen was a fine combat cartridge. If it wasn't for the bean counters and "promoted beyond their competence" generals.....:rolleyes:

I have full confidence the US manufacturing would have had no problem switching to the new round.
I mean, this is the industry that built during ww2over 18,000 four engine B24 liberators, over 50,000 M4 shermans, over 300,000 aircraft.
A different cartridge would have been just a drop in the bucket....the same thing today.
A single factory (Salt Lake) is keeping up with the whole production of 5.56mm ammo for US today, and there are other closed factories that could be reopen any time if needed to suport a switch.

gondorian
April 12, 2010, 04:07 PM
The .276 Pedersen is great, but there was this little thing called to great depression that stopped the army from adopting a new cartridge.

52grain
April 12, 2010, 08:10 PM
Another interesting topic would be what the standard civilian calibers would be today if the government had adopted .276 as the standard infantry round instead of using the venerable .30-06 for another 20 years.

By the late 1930s there were probably enough rifles chambered in .30-06 around that it would certainly still be with us today, but would it still occupy the same place? .30 caliber is probably the most popular today (.30-06, .308 win, 300 Win Mag, .30-30, etc). Would this be different if a 7mm round had been chosen for the Garand?

Lovesbeer99
April 12, 2010, 08:39 PM
I don't think the .276 was the "original" M1 round, but rather an option during the trials. John Garand was building the M1 and Pederson was already known for the Pederson Device on the 03's so they asked Pederson to see what he could do with the M1. If you find any photos of the .276 Garand you'll notice that the bore in the barrel was off center. This is cause Pederson was in a rush to get the M1 to work with his cartridge and didn't have time to rework the entire action. Actually he did infact work the action somewhat. It was not a true Garand, I think it was a blowback of somekind.

Uncle Mike
April 12, 2010, 09:40 PM
If it would have been done right, we all would be shooting FAL's with a .284"(7mm) bore diameter!

It'll take some time for the old ideas to die off, and through attrition, we may see the most excellent AR chambered in a 7mm caliber that isn't a wimp....no disrespect to you 6.8SPC fans out there...if there is any! lol hehehehe

Ian
April 13, 2010, 01:31 AM
I've handled a Pedersen rifle. It's in no way a variant of the Garand. The Army wanted an autoloader, and both Garand and Pedersen submitted rifles for consideration. They were originally both submitted in .276 caliber, and then also in .30 cal when the Army decided it wanted to stick to the .30-06 cartridge. The Garand rifle won the trials, and for good reason. Garand's was the better design. Pedersen developed a good cartridge, though. The .276 was ballistically pretty similar to the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel.

HorseSoldier
April 13, 2010, 03:13 AM
Had we adopted the .276 round with the Garand, it's an open question as to whether or not we'd have ever seen anything like the M14 adopted for US service. Assuming we got a hypothetical 276 caliber version of the T25 with its various ergonomic improvements over the Garand we'd more likely have wound up with that (it was the front runner US built rifle design for most of the post-war time frame).

Had we improved on 276 after WW2 with better powder and such, and then forced that on NATO . . . we'd all be shooting 6.8 Rem SPC, as has already been pointed out. Not having the caliber war to contend with would have probably meant the British EM-2 got fielded as well . . .

SlamFire1
April 13, 2010, 10:42 AM
The army had literally billions of rounds in war storage for the 1903, BAR and all of our general purpose machine guns. All ammo manufacturers were "tooled up" to mass produce .30-06.
This is the standard “do nothing” excuse. Ammunition has a shelf life. The Army scraps single based ammunition at 45 years, double based at 20 years. Whatever ammo was left over from WW1 was rapidly heading for the scrap heap.

The M1903 would have ended on the scrap heap sooner, as it should, if the 276 was adopted. The 276 Pederson was an excellent round and would have been an effective service round. Might still have been in inventory today.

Incidentally, we sure as heck had more 30-06 in inventory after WW2 and Korea then before WW2. And we had just built several million more Garands and BARs. But finally, we adopted the 308 and a product improved Garand. It took two decades after the 276 was dropped that the opponents of change were finally revealed as false prophets. Change has its proponents and opponents. The path forward is seldom clear cut, but the consequences of rejecting change when you should have accepted change will have unintended negative consequences. And that consequence is the 223. An inadequate round that will be with us for decades to come.

If we had deployed the Garand in .276, the rifles, BARs and machine guns would have fired different rounds. The ammo makers would have had to split their production between two different rounds. Supply would have been a nightmare.

Supply is always a nightmare. Just as standardization remains an utopian idea used to reject change, and ignored when change is finally made. Six million 30 caliber Carbines were made in WW2, that was the most popular long arm in that war, and we were also able to make and supply all the ammunition, magazines, to supply the war effort. Our industry was able to supply all the new planes, ships, cannons, tanks, boots, cans, our Armies needed. Standardization will not fix the problems of an inadequate manufacturing sector.

Which incidentally, we have today. We cannot sustain a major war because we have off shored our manufacturing. But in WW2, we could out supply anyone on anything.

Today we are a service sector economy. We service what the Chinese design and build.

Jim Watson
April 13, 2010, 12:18 PM
I substantially agree, although 1920s logistics probably favored sticking to the old caliber.

I think the BIG reason for retaining the '06 was the Great Depression. The decision was announced in 1932, which was the worst or second worst year of the Depression, depending on which statistics you go by. The War Department budget was small and they could not afford to set up for a new caliber.

Maverick223
April 13, 2010, 12:31 PM
I think the BIG reason for retaining the '06 was the Great Depression.Yep, I believe you are right. Budget wasn't there so they promoted the existing cartridge rather than admitting that the new chambering had merit and simply waiting to replace the '06.

:)

HorseSoldier
April 13, 2010, 07:22 PM
If we had deployed the Garand in .276, the rifles, BARs and machine guns would have fired different rounds. The ammo makers would have had to split their production between two different rounds. Supply would have been a nightmare.

During WW2, we had tons of M1 carbines in service along with 30-06 rifles and MGs (plus a good number of 45 ACP submachineguns in the mix, too) and things seem to have worked out okay.

My recollection is that at least part of the motive for the M1 carbine was that the Garand in 30-06 was heavier than the 276 version, and so not suitable for guys who needed a PDW. I'm not sure I buy that 100% -- surely an M1 carbine would still be a handier weapon than a somewhat lighter Garand, but the softer shooting 276 round would have worked better in a cut down carbine version shooting the same cartridge than 30-06 would.

Anyway, upshot being that I don't think a 276 caliber service rifle and 30-06 machineguns would have overly complicated things above and beyond the real world complications we had with logistics.

gondorian
April 14, 2010, 12:26 PM
Except the BAR the machine guns used linked ammo anyway, so it had to come in different cans.

Ian
April 14, 2010, 08:56 PM
Different packaging, perhaps, but the ammo itself was identical. When necessary, you could take .30-06 ammo in any type of magazine or clip and transplant it into any other. The 1919 and 1917 belts could be reloaded by hand if you really had to, though I'm sure there were belt-loading machines generally available.

Al LaVodka
April 14, 2010, 09:14 PM
"The army had literally billions of rounds in war storage for the 1903, BAR and all of our general purpose machine guns. All ammo manufacturers were "tooled up" to mass produce .30-06."

"If we had deployed the Garand in .276, the rifles, BARs and machine guns would have fired different rounds. The ammo makers would have had to split their production between two different rounds. Supply would have been a nightmare."


"Good point, as with pretty much any engineering decision, practicalities (like cost and production) almost always prevent the technologically ideal path from being taken."



Good point... if it were true. IIRC the gun and decision was made in the mid '30's and no war was expected so the amount of ammo in stores and the budget were the deciding factors that I think MacArthur, your "General who was promoted beyond his capability," made the decison to keep .30-06 (and Garand himself wanted it, the loony). Had the US transitioned we woulda consumed all the .30-06 or obsoleted and sold it over the intervening years and had a better, more firepowerful, main battle rifle and quality light and medium machine guns in WWII.

Al

Al LaVodka
April 14, 2010, 09:19 PM
Which is the present situation; we are using large volumes of both .308 for MG and DMR and .223 for AR and SAW.

The East Bloc has clung to the 7.62x54R for longer range applications than the AK.

Maybe a 6.5 or 7mm would be the true intermediate cartridge that would let us shoot everything the same between pistol and .50. Maybe. Just recall that the Japanese tried to convert from 6.5 to 7.7 after hostilities were under way and ended up with two rifle calibers. The Italians tried to convert from 6.5 to 7.35 but backed out.
Um, isn't that the whole point of the 6.8 SPC? The .276 short!
Al

61chalk
April 14, 2010, 09:21 PM
As some have said, the Army fired both 30/06 an .276 an chose the
30/06....I believe the .276 round had to have a special coating on it to
make it funtion in the rifle right...too much hassle.

Al LaVodka
April 14, 2010, 09:35 PM
The coating on the .276 was, IIRC, due to the Pederson gun, not the ammo. However, if it was a minor angulation issue of the case then it was a simple fix too.
Al

Averageman
April 14, 2010, 09:57 PM
The .276 and the "Super" Sherman were both killed by budgets and retooling costs. As good as the .276 might be in comparison to 30.06, I can't imagine Commanding a Sherman against a Tiger. Watching your Main Gun rounds bounce off a Tiger had to be demoralizing.
It is a shame that your survival rests in the hands of someone thousands of miles away in a warm office crunching numbers to sum exactly what your life is worth.
I can see one real positive in the 30.06 Garand. No one could forsee The Battle of the Bulge and I would hesitate to think if we would have had one more caliber added in that situation.

USSR
April 14, 2010, 10:34 PM
Adopting the M1 Garand in .276 caliber would have been a logistical nightmare. Remember, early in the war, almost every squad had a 1903 Springfield that served in the rifle grenade launching role, to say nothing of the BAR and machineguns. So, you would have had to supply .276, .30 Carbine, .30-06, and .45ACP ammo. It's not fun to find out that the latest shipment of ammo to arrive does not include the ammo you need.

Don

Ian
April 14, 2010, 10:43 PM
It was the Pedersen rifle that required lubricated cartridges, in both .276 and .30 calibers. The result of the original trials was that .276 was found to be the more effective caliber, and .30 was chosen over it for logistical reasons.

HorseSoldier
April 15, 2010, 04:20 AM
Adopting the M1 Garand in .276 caliber would have been a logistical nightmare. Remember, early in the war, almost every squad had a 1903 Springfield that served in the rifle grenade launching role, to say nothing of the BAR and machineguns. So, you would have had to supply .276, .30 Carbine, .30-06, and .45ACP ammo. It's not fun to find out that the latest shipment of ammo to arrive does not include the ammo you need.

As I noted above, it's not clear if there ever would have been an M1 Carbine and its ammo in the inventory if we'd switched to the 276 Pedersen when adopting the Garand. No carbine means the ammo situation is no more complicated than it was in the real world.

Um, isn't that the whole point of the 6.8 SPC? The .276 short!

Yeah, nothing new under the sun. 276 Pedersen, 280 British, and 6.8 Rem SPC are all pretty similar in terms of muzzle energy, though 6.8 uses lighter bullets faster due to the STANAG magazine/magwell limits on its dimensions.

USSR
April 15, 2010, 09:30 AM
As I noted above, it's not clear if there ever would have been an M1 Carbine and its ammo in the inventory if we'd switched to the 276 Pedersen when adopting the Garand. No carbine means the ammo situation is no more complicated than it was in the real world.

Nope, there would have been a .30 Carbine regardless of what caliber the M1 Garand was developed for. The reason: the M1 Carbine was developed to be given to soldiers who would have been given a M1911 .45ACP and not a service rifle anyways.

Don

BruceB
April 15, 2010, 11:30 AM
At the time Douglas MacArthur decided against the .276, there was a DEPRESSION in full bloom. The Army had to fight for every damned dollar from Congress, just to maintain the minimal forces we had at that time. The tonnage of ammunition on hand was an incredibly huge asset, and the difference between the cartridges was essentially unimportant AT THE TIME.

John Garand, on his own volition, had developed a .30-06 prototype as well as the favored .276, and this allowed rapid development of the .30-06 version to issue status.

Is the .276 a "better" cartridge for the purpose? Probably. Is the .30-06 a "good enough" cartridge for the purpose? Definitely! Historical evidence is emphatic on this.

This discussion has to take the circumstances of the time into careful consideration. MacArthur made the right decision, and the .30-06 served us admirably right into the Vietnam war.

HorseSoldier
April 15, 2010, 07:36 PM
Nope, there would have been a .30 Carbine regardless of what caliber the M1 Garand was developed for. The reason: the M1 Carbine was developed to be given to soldiers who would have been given a M1911 .45ACP and not a service rifle anyways.

I don't believe that's correct. My understanding is that the M1 carbine not only filled slots on various TO&E's that had been previously filled by M1911s, but also a good number of them that were filled by long guns. With the requirement for the carbine and its unique ammunition only coming into the picture after the decision to adopt the Garand but stick with the 30-06 round, it is a legitimate part of the whole "what if" scenario.

USSR
April 15, 2010, 09:22 PM
The original request for a compact and lightweight shoulder arm to replace service handguns for second-line (non-fighting) troops was first issued by US Army in 1938. The idea behind this request was that a shoulder arm, such as carbine, firing ammunition of moderate power, will have more effective range and will be much simpler to train the users to fire it accurately, than the standard .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol or revolver. This request was probably the first recognition of the need in the Personal Defense Weapon in the modern sense.

Here's a link to the above:
http://world.guns.ru/rifle/rfl08-e.htm

Don

HorseSoldier
April 15, 2010, 09:53 PM
Wikipedia goes into more detail on the motives for the carbine, but neither is a primary source. I would note that at least in some WW2 TO&Es the carbine is definitely standing in for a rifle -- in the hands of assistant gunners for MG teams and such.

And as I noted above, there's no reason to suppose that a 276 caliber Garand would not have been suitable for spinning of a full-caliber carbine version for the PDW role that was not feasible with 30-06. Recoil can't have been much more than a 6.8mm AR, and those are nice handling with 16" barrels.

USSR
April 15, 2010, 10:44 PM
I give up. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.:rolleyes:

Don

Al LaVodka
April 15, 2010, 11:46 PM
I tend to think MacArthur made the WRONG decision -- maybe he shouldn't have gone to West Point WITH HIS MOTHER! It was time for a new gun and the ammo to go with it. Phase out the old, phase in the new -- there would have been no real cost differential at the pace they were going, as we supplied our allies, and armed our expanding National Guard with older weapons. A war meant we probably consumed all the OTHERWISE left over ammo still in stock in weeks.

I agree we would have had a .276 carbine vs. the .30 M-1 Carbine and kept these until Vietnam.

This would have been better in every respect.

Al

Maverick223
April 15, 2010, 11:50 PM
Everyone knows those light, handy little carbines are worthless anyway...the 10lb Garand beats the tar out of it. PM me for an address to dump your worthless M1 Carbines. :D

Glock Glockler
April 17, 2010, 09:52 PM
At the time Douglas MacArthur decided against the .276, there was a DEPRESSION in full bloom. The Army had to fight for every damned dollar from Congress, just to maintain the minimal forces we had at that time. The tonnage of ammunition on hand was an incredibly huge asset, and the difference between the cartridges was essentially unimportant AT THE TIME.

John Garand, on his own volition, had developed a .30-06 prototype as well as the favored .276, and this allowed rapid development of the .30-06 version to issue status.

Is the .276 a "better" cartridge for the purpose? Probably. Is the .30-06 a "good enough" cartridge for the purpose? Definitely! Historical evidence is emphatic on this.

This discussion has to take the circumstances of the time into careful consideration. MacArthur made the right decision, and the .30-06 served us admirably right into the Vietnam war.

The ammo we had in stock was soon used up in training, so why is it not a good idea to use ammo that allows for a smaller rifle that uses less material and costs less, along with ammo that uses less material as well? That's aside from the fact that soldiers could have more rounds in the gun and have quicker follow-up shots, which is very useful in war, which is the entire point of the rifle.

Art Eatman
April 18, 2010, 10:18 AM
The time rate of change was accelerating in the military during the 1930s, for all that much of it was on-paper ideas. In the early 1930s, my father was breaking horses for the cavalry, and teaching soldiers how to ride. (Many cavalry horses wound up minus part of the left ear. Beginning cavalry troopers, learning the command, "Drawwww SABERS!" Oops.)

Gotta retool to make a new type of ammo. So, back to the Depression and budget--and the money for tooling. It was a time of $17/month for a Private, and people working for a dollar a day. They didn't even mint the 50 coin in my birth year of 1934. No demand.

Once the war started, far more money was available for R&D of all sorts, along with manufacture of new designs--be it tanks, planes or guns. Or A-bombs. The increase in the use of armor and trucks justified the Carbine over a full-size battle rifle for those who were not Infantry shooters.

unit91
April 18, 2010, 01:39 PM
Does anyone have an opinion on what the standard issue service rifle would be today if the switch had not happened?

This debate has raged for years in every niche of the military because people think that if certain key leaders only knew that X product was superior to Y (7.62 vs .276 vs 5.56, F-22 vs YF-23, you name it), we wouldn't be stuck with Y. The reality of it is, the military acquisitions process has "thresholds" (what they want) and "goals" (pie in the sky) for each "key performance parameter" (KPP). While you get a few extra points for hitting the goals in each category, the gov't wants the threshold product at the lowest possible cost. Period. The only time goals enter the picture is if two manufacturers both meet threshold at comparable cost, and you need a tie-breaker.

While that seems silly, you and I do the same thing at home. I drive a 2002 pickup because I want money left over for other toys. Is a 2010 "better?" Sure. But my '02 meets the threshold.

Bringing this back to the OP: If the threshold was kill at 500m, the .30-06 does the job, and -- at the time -- does so at the lowest possible cost. Would the military have spent extra money on a better bullet? No. Would they today? No. Will they ever? No.

Threshold is the name of the game.

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