Full power WWII Cartridges & Terminal effects


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cleetus03
December 21, 2010, 05:05 PM
Out of curiosity, are there any great differences in terminal/wounding effects when comparing the different WWII full power cartridges used?

The cartridges in question are the following;
1. .30-06 Springfield
2. 8mm Mauser
3. 7.62x54R
4. .303 British
5. 6.5x50mm Arisaka

All of the above calibers appear similar enough to have me believe they were all relative equal. Is this true, or do any of them stand out from the rest in terminal ballistics?

I appreciate any help or info yall can give me!

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rcmodel
December 21, 2010, 05:16 PM
No differance in practical terms.
If you got shot with any of them, you wouldn't be able to tell the differance.
Max effective range depends more on the skill of the rifleman then the power of the cartridge.
Any of them would kill you much further out then most solders could hit you.

The first five are much closer to the same power then the 6.5 Jap though.
30-06 = 150 @2,700, or 172 @ 2,640.
7.9x57 Mauser = 154 @ 2,835.
7.62x54R = 147 @ 2,886
.303 British = 175 @ 2,440.
7.7x58 Ariska = 175 @ 2,400.
6.5x50mm Arisaka = 139 @ 2,500.

rc

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 21, 2010, 05:20 PM
One thing that is not commonly known about the .303Brit. is that is also has a tendency to "tumble" on impact, much like the 5.56. In HUMAN impact, this creates a MASSIVE wound channel. If memory serves me, the 7.7x58 Ariska also had this tendency.

briansmithwins
December 21, 2010, 05:20 PM
The standard Brit .303 of WWII vintage had a light filler (wood pulp or aluminum) in the nose. That caused the bullet to tumble earlier when hitting flesh and transfer more energy.

Wound ballistics from a lot of the full power service cartridges are actually pretty poor. Most of them have thick jackets and are don't tumble in flesh. Lots of 'ice pick' wounding with small holes punched thru but little secondary damage, if the bullet misses bone.

BSW

Float Pilot
December 21, 2010, 05:52 PM
In many combat theaters the US troops were issued Armor Piercing ammo exclusively. The ball ammo being relegated to training.

The 30-06 AP round was oddly accurate an did very well at extended ranges, however it was very poor in making a very big wound channel.

But on the other hand, it was better at penetrating bunkers, ice, snow, light metal, trees,lumber and so on....Often bullets that have gone through a barrier of some sort take on a tumble. That makes for a big oohey...

Of course the thought amongst the planners (not combat troops) in the so-called civilized nations, was that putting a 30 caliber hole through a man meant that two of his battle buddies had to drag him off the field and then a couple of medical staff were tied up working on him.

When the US had to deal with the Islamic Moros in the Philippines,(where old 45-70 Gatling Guns proved to work rather well) and when the Brits had to deal with similar minded enemies in India, Afghanistan, the Sudan and so on... They often resorted to using more effective bullets.
The term Dum-Dum resulted from the name of the British Ammunition Factory in India located at Dumdum...(near Calcutta) Where soft point bullets were made for the 303s in hopes of being more effective at man-stopping.
The Brits later followed up with the hollow point MK-V bullets which really worked well. By that time the Brit military slang for any expending bullets was Dum Dum and that term leaked over to the US where is was popular until the 1970s.

dzelenka
December 21, 2010, 05:54 PM
No differance in practical terms.
If you got shot with any of them, you wouldn't be able to tell the differance.
Max effective range depends more on the skill of the rifleman then the power of the cartridge.
Any of them would kill you much further out then most solders could hit you.

The first five are much closer to the same power then the 6.5 Jap though.
30-06 = 150 @2,700, or 172 @ 2,640.
7.9x57 Mauser = 154 @ 2,835.
7.62x54R = 147 @ 2,886
.303 British = 175 @ 2,440.
7.7x58 Ariska = 175 @ 2,400.
6.5x50mm Arisaka = 139 @ 2,500.

rc
The 7.9 x 57 Mauser during WWII used a 198 gr BT projectile at 2500 fps. It was pretty streamlined with a .593 BC and remained supersonic at 1100 yards.

Jim Watson
December 21, 2010, 06:58 PM
A Vietnam era Army doctor said there was no way to tell the caliber of the infantry rifle from looking at the bullet wound. He said it didn't matter if it was a full power .30-06,.308, 7.62x54; or an AK or an AR. Wound track and severity were unpredictable.

Maverick223
December 21, 2010, 07:00 PM
All of the above calibers appear similar enough to have me believe they were all relative equal. Is this true, or do any of them stand out from the rest in terminal ballistics?For the intended use there isn't a discernible difference, and you have them pretty much in order of their relative power. On paper, the 6.5x50mm is a good bit weaker (which led to the 7.7x58mm), but it's still not something that i'd like to be shot with.

One thing that is not commonly known about the .303Brit. is that is also has a tendency to "tumble" on impact, much like the 5.56. In HUMAN impact, this creates a MASSIVE wound channel. If memory serves me, the 7.7x58 Ariska also had this tendency.Never heard of this phenomenon, but I would assume that it would be the same with the Arisaka because the 7.7mm was almost a direct copy of the .303Brit (though they are not interchangeable).

:)

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 21, 2010, 07:03 PM
the .303Brit. was also used a lot in anti aircraft (low altitude of course) weapons as well because of this phenomenon. It ripped nice big holes in wings!

BrocLuno
December 21, 2010, 08:39 PM
Maybe that's why so much game has been taken with the 303 in Commonwealth Nations? The tumble works on bigger sections of flesh?

Shadow 7D
December 21, 2010, 08:48 PM
Lets remember that the brits had their most effective bullet the 'dum dum' (basically a semi jacketed or cut FMJ) banned shortly before the .303 was implemented.

joeh84
December 21, 2010, 09:00 PM
A Vietnam era Army doctor said there was no way to tell the caliber of the infantry rifle from looking at the bullet wound. He said it didn't matter if it was a full power .30-06,.308, 7.62x54; or an AK or an AR. Wound track and severity were unpredictable.


remains true today

SlamFire1
December 21, 2010, 09:11 PM
Louis LaGarde's book on Gun Shot Injuries would be the closest to what you want.

I do not recall any distinction in his book between the WW1 era cartridges in terms of wounding powder. They were all bad.

http://www.amazon.com/Gunshot-Injuries-Louis-Lagarde/dp/0935856129

DougW
December 21, 2010, 10:28 PM
Box-O-Truth did some tests on the .303. In the origional mil config, the .303 did yaw after impact.

Float Pilot
December 22, 2010, 02:44 AM
banned shortly before the .303 was implemented. Not quite so..

The 303 British was put into service in 1888.

The MKII soft point 303 British cartridge was loaded at the Dum Dum arsenal in India.
The MKIII " Cartridge S.A. Ball .303 inch Cordite Mark 3" and MKV 303 British cartridges used soft point and hollow point bullets which were issued to troops. Those rounds were made in England.
They were all called Dum Dum rounds and over 40 million rounds were made using soft or hollow point bullets.
They were used in combat up until the last days of 1899.

Because::::::
The Germans, who were military advisers to many of the Arab forces being fought by the Brits in a sort of late 1800s cold war, filed complaints that the bullets caused excessive wounding.

The Brits then actually proved that their new soft point 303 rounds did not make a wound any larger through a human body than their old .577caliber / 450 grain Martini-Henry rounds.
But the Germans won in the long run and the prohibition against soft point and hollow point ammunition became part of the Hague Convention of 1899.

The Dum Dum type rounds were still issued to units and they were told to only use them for training and qualification..... Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod...

I'll just bet that if a lone outpost in Afghanistan was being set upon by enraged bandits,,,, nobody would say a word about a few hundred rounds of Dum-Dum ammo accidentally being expended during the fight.

A Historian
December 22, 2010, 03:11 AM
The standard Brit .303 of WWII vintage had a light filler (wood pulp or aluminum) in the nose. That caused the bullet to tumble earlier when hitting flesh and transfer more energy.


Yep! It also supposedly helped in the accuracy of long ranged shots. (Isn't that why most match rounds are hollow-point boat tail? I'm actually not sure.)

Sadly, the new type of bullet construction made it a poor round for hunting big game, which began the decline of the .303's popularity in that field. Those who knew better, however, found supplies of the older 215 grain FMJs which would blow through an elephant skull.

Needless to say, the tendency for the .303 British to yaw with its new bullet construction was good enough to make up for the difference of effects with hydrostatic shock by the 8x57JS. But that was before The Great War. As someone pointed out, the Germans changed things up with WWII, though the actual power behind the bullet didn't change much, but I don't know of any tests that were done to compare the two for terminal performance.

Either way, I don't think there would be a huge difference. You wouldn't want to be shot by any of them, that's for sure.

HorseSoldier
December 22, 2010, 07:35 AM
All spitzer bullets will tumble on transitioning to tissue or other dense media, but the Brits were the first people to think outside the box in terms of tweaking a round to kill better while remaining inside international law and agreements. Nothing special about the caliber, though, just that specific bullet design. They did not carry the idea over when they switched to 7.62x51 and then 5.56x45 (if I remember right they deliberately use a 5.56mm bullet with a thicker jacket to discourage fragmentation and limit lethality).

stubbicatt
December 22, 2010, 09:34 AM
Yep the same principle integrated in the 5.45x39 round... borrowed from the Brits.

Perfidio Albion!

Kachok
December 22, 2010, 12:45 PM
Bullets that yaw quickly after impact are great, but many were designed to keep tracking strieght, why? Because a bullet that would yaw in soft tissue would also yaw in sandbags and other barriers. Our current 7.62x51 is focused primarly on panatration rather then shock kills.....well that is all but the 175gr SMKs that make huge NASTY fragmented wound canals, but that is a sniper round not really designed for genral use.

351 WINCHESTER
December 22, 2010, 01:05 PM
I read somewhere where the Brits. actually sterelized the wood that they put in the tip of their mk7 bullets. It doesn't make any sence, but that's what the man said.

Shadow 7D
December 22, 2010, 03:09 PM
a wounded soldier takes up over 4 times more resources than a live one, and many more that a dead one.

Sadly the same principle doesn't work on large game.....

Float Pilot
December 22, 2010, 08:11 PM
Odd how the Hague treaty's of 1899 and 1907 were all worried about bullet wounds, but nobody came up with a treaty item regarding poison gas until the mid 1920s.

What WWI soldiers saw as the average wound created by rifle fire, really set the stage for them to be very afraid of 12 gauge shotgun wounds. Thus you did not want to be an allied soldier who was captured by the Germans while in possession of a 12 gauge Trench Broom.

Sunray
December 22, 2010, 08:49 PM
"...also has a tendency to "tumble"...standard Brit .303 of WWII vintage had a light filler..." Nonsense. Mk VIII(Accepted 1938) ammo used a lead cored, 175 grain, FMJBT. Mk VII(Accepted 1910), ammo used a lead cored, 174 grain, flat based FMJ. No fillers or tumbling with either.
"...used a lot in anti aircraft..." Yep. MG's. So did everybody else.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 22, 2010, 09:00 PM
Sunray, there have been a few to actually put it to the test and found that the original .303brit designed loads did in fact tumble on impact much like the 5.56 does. If I recall correctly, the reason was, it was rear heavy so upon impact the rear would "come around". The median they used was ballistic jell with bone like material inside as well as a few tests on materials there were in use during the period on aircraft wings and saw this phenomenon on them as well.

mshootnit
December 22, 2010, 09:03 PM
my great uncle said they really liked the 30-06 because if they were lined up right it would go through two or three and kill em all. he was in the battle of bulge. he told us to sight in our 30-06 four inches high at 100 yards. he came back from the war able to kill deer at 500 yards.

briansmithwins
December 22, 2010, 09:40 PM
"...also has a tendency to "tumble"...standard Brit .303 of WWII vintage had a light filler..." Nonsense. Mk VIII(Accepted 1938) ammo used a lead cored, 175 grain, FMJBT. Mk VII(Accepted 1910), ammo used a lead cored, 174 grain, flat based FMJ. No fillers or tumbling with either.

So, who loaded these .303 with either aluminum or wood cores?

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot37.htm

BSW

buttrap
December 23, 2010, 02:51 AM
All MkIIV used a alum. tip along with the lead core.

XxWINxX94
December 23, 2010, 01:54 PM
my great uncle said they really liked the 30-06 because if they were lined up right it would go through two or three and kill em all. he was in the battle of bulge. he told us to sight in our 30-06 four inches high at 100 yards. he came back from the war able to kill deer at 500 yards.

Very interesting!

Hatterasguy
December 23, 2010, 09:08 PM
Any .30 caliber rifle round will do the job. But they are to heavy, hence their replacement with first intermediate rounds, than .20 caliber rounds.

Jeff F
December 24, 2010, 11:13 AM
"...also has a tendency to "tumble"...standard Brit .303 of WWII vintage had a light filler..." Nonsense. Mk VIII(Accepted 1938) ammo used a lead cored, 175 grain, FMJBT. Mk VII(Accepted 1910), ammo used a lead cored, 174 grain, flat based FMJ. No fillers or tumbling with either.
"...used a lot in anti aircraft..." Yep. MG's. So did everybody else.

That's wrong. I have RG surplus ball cordite loaded 40's dated that I have pulled a couple of the bullets and sectioned with a file and they do have a filler in the tip. Some kind of fiber, probably wood. The bullets are silver in color- maybe a nickel jacket.

351 WINCHESTER
December 24, 2010, 02:22 PM
The Mk VII used alum. or wood to make the tip less stable when it entered flesh. MkVIII was maching gun ammo which used a different bullet at higher velocity. In a pinch it could be used in a lee enfield rifle. The British went as far as to sterilize the wood used in their bullets.

Maverick223
December 24, 2010, 06:35 PM
That's wrong. I have RG surplus ball cordite loaded 40's dated that I have pulled a couple of the bullets and sectioned with a file and they do have a filler in the tip. Some kind of fiber, probably wood. The bullets are silver in color- maybe a nickel jacket.Yep, wood or Al. in the tip and cupronickel jackets (which tend to be a bit hard on barrels BTW), but not all had cordite charges some Mk. VII was loaded with nitrocellulose (indicated by a "z" on the headstamp).

:)

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