8mm Kurz: Best shoulder rifle cartridge of WWII


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Ian
June 24, 2012, 07:49 PM
I think so, anyway. If we consider the currently-accepted idea of what ranges most combat actually takes place at, the full-power cartridges commonly used (.30-06, 8x57, .303 Brit, 7.62x54R) were significantly overpowered, resulting in overly heavy weapons, smaller ammo loads, and slower accurate fire because of recoil. The 9mm and .45 submachine guns, on the other hand, were too light. In addition, the submachine guns using them were generally not equipped with sights useful for accurate fire.

The .30 carbine was a good attempt, but still too light. The 8x33 Kurz hit an excellent balance point. it fires a 124gr bullet at 2250fps, which is just shy of AK ballistics. This is totally adequate out to 200 yards, without much recoil.

I just shot an IPSC 3-gun match with a 8x33K rifle today (an StG45), and I'm totally enthused about it. I'm still a pretty mediocre shooter, but a good shooter could really blaze though a course of fire with this thing. The recoil is light and the muzzle climb is even less. It's a much better gun for this type shooting than an M1 (I hate to say that, because I dearly love my M1, but it's true) and I would even pick it over an AK. The ballistics look very close on paper, but the StG45 has noticeably less felt recoil and jump.

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Dr.Rob
June 24, 2012, 08:08 PM
Kudos to you for taking that rare bird to a match. If that's an original and not a semi auto copy that's seriously cool. Even if it's a copy it's cool.


Had the idea caught on between world wars I might agree on the cartridge. It might be the best catridge to come OUT of WW2 in that is was closely mimiced in the 7.62x39, which arguably became the most successful/popular military cartridge ever.

But except for a handful of collectors and small stockpiles of German surplus discovered in 3rd world arms depots... the 7.92x33's brief moment in the limelight faded with Germany's defeat.

mshootnit
June 24, 2012, 08:18 PM
I dunno
I had a relative who fought across France till the end of the war and never had a bad word to say about 30-06. And he made it home. Says it all for me.

rcmodel
June 24, 2012, 08:22 PM
Best?
Which rifle calibers won the war??

Ahh!
I thought so.

Perhaps if Hitler had made more StG45's, tanks, fighter planes, and fuel?
And far fewer dress daggers, redundant medals, and helmets in 16 sizes for everyone & his dog?

Who can say?

The fact is however, that the M1 Garand was considered the best battle rifle used in WII.
If you were hiding behind a tree or a blown up building?
Would you rather be shot back at with a 7 .92 Kurtz, or a 30-06.

rc

Ian
June 24, 2012, 08:28 PM
The Sherman won the war too, but it certainly wasn't the best tank on the field.

If you think the .30-06 is a better combat rifle round, would you elaborate on why?

mshootnit
June 24, 2012, 08:54 PM
I can't because I wasn't there but I am sure that any of the 600,000 infantry having won the Battle of the Bulge in Jauary 1945 could probly have clued you in.

I will tell you this. I was told by a close relative who was there that he let the first few go but after his buddy was killed every German in his sights went down. He was sighted in 4" high at 100 yds and could hit and kill everything to as far as that sight in allows. That's a long ways. What about 8mm Kurz? Good luck getting in close enough in open country against a USGI with expert working knowledge of his M1 Garand. He brought home SS knives, medals and one real mean looking ring to prove it's much easier said than done.

He probly stepped over and left more 8mm Kurz laying on the ground than you will ever see.

-v-
June 24, 2012, 08:56 PM
rcmodel: just because it was carried by our boys, doesn't mean it wasn't already obsolete. Sure everyone has a soft spot for the 30.06, but it doesnt change the fact that it was already an obsolete caliber by the start of WW2.

For that matter, the 7.62x54r very much won the war in Europe, and is still is in service to boot. Hell, that round has been issued during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries as a front line round this point. The 30.06? Only in use during one. So thus we can conclude that the 7.62x54r is the best rifle round made to date.

mshootnit
June 24, 2012, 09:06 PM
I ask if 30-06 was obsolete at the start of the war, where was the empirical evidence? It worked without problem all over the world from 1907-1953. No armed opponent successfully showed to be obsolete or inferior at the time.

rcmodel
June 24, 2012, 09:06 PM
Simple logistics made the 30-06 superior to the 7.92 Kurtz in WWII.
Not only in sheer numbers.

If you had 30-06 ammo on the front line, you could feed all of your rifles, your squad BAR, and all of your .30 cal machine guns, ground or armor mounted.

We were fighting the war on the front with common 30-06 while a bunch of the Germans were trying to sort out 7.92 ammo shipments of various calibers in the rear with the gear. :D

rc

Ian
June 24, 2012, 09:25 PM
Can we take this a bit less personally? I'm not trying to impugn anyone who used an M1 in combat. US troops rarely have the best gear, and the fact they have accomplished everything they have anyway says a tremendous amount about American fighting forces.

The US Army Ordnance Department knew the .30-06 cartridge was obsolete back in the 20s, when they did formal testing on .30, .256, and .276 caliber cartridges and found the .256 most lethal and the .276 to be the best balance of all necessarily ammo attributes. The .30-06 was kept anyway simply because there was a ton of it in storage already. The Garand was originally developed in a nice intermediate .276 cartridge.

Logistics really aren't an issue at this level - having a pistol round, rifle round, and machine gun round is no different than the US supply of .45, .30 Carbine, and .30-06.

But my point isn't that the US should have done something differently back then. It's that the 8x33 is an excellent and underappreciated round, largely because there are so few available guns using it. It's worth a bit of study for folks interested in cartridge development.

mshootnit
June 24, 2012, 09:28 PM
That Garand in 276 was lighter, shorter and a neat looking little rifle. Also held 2 more rounds. Do you think (edit) MacArthur was right in that decision?

rcmodel
June 24, 2012, 09:29 PM
Can we take this a bit less personally?
I'm not taking it personally.
You are the one who named this Thread
8mm Kurz: Best shoulder rifle cartridge of WWII

It doesn't appear to be a question.
It appears to be a statement of fact.

I disagree with the statement is all.

rc

MachIVshooter
June 24, 2012, 09:41 PM
Perhaps if Hitler had made more StG45's, tanks, fighter planes, and fuel?
And far fewer dress daggers, redundant medals, and helmets in 16 sizes for everyone & his dog?

It was actually his tanks and big guns that really cost him victory. The Panthers and Tigers were superior to the Sherman, but numbers matter, and IIRC, it was about 8:1 on the battlefield. I think each Tiger or Panther kill cost us 2-3 Shermans, but ultimately attrition was in our favor.

Same with the guns. Their 88's and the big mothers were ballistically superior in every way to most of the allied stuff, but were not as mobile and required more crew. Conversely, the 88mm took as much logistical support as our long tom, but the American 155 outclassed it substantially. And, of course, as impressive as they were, Dora and Gustav were about as impractical as artillery can be.

The only place where the Germans really had any superiority was in the air with the ME262, but they lost it due to poor tactics and it being too late in the game.

The 7.92x33 being the best round to come out of the war? I dunno, but the lack of weapons developed for it would indicate otherwise.

wlewisiii
June 24, 2012, 09:51 PM
I agree. But the US Army repeatedly refuses to learn the lesson of the kurz. Other militaries did - the Soviets & British especially. The Soviets moved forward with the 7.62x39 while the British got shafted with two different NATO rounds.

Thinking of your post the other day on the FAL prototype in .280 British, I am reminded how much I fully believe that had we bought it in that chambering then, we would still be using it, successfully, today. Probably in a Product Improved version (lighter, new materials) but fully compatable with the rifle that Should Have Been.

xerxesthecat
June 24, 2012, 09:52 PM
the 30-06 round is not chambered in any modern main battle rifle. The soviet-plagerized M43 round is. The 6.8 (designed to address the shortcomings of the 5.56) is more of a Kurtz round than a '06 descendent. So in terms of who survived, the intermediate round did. And the Garand didnt win WW2 any more than the STG44 lost it. Industrial production, fuel supplies, incompetent leadership, weight of numbers, these are the overarching factors that decided WW2.

MachIVshooter
June 24, 2012, 09:58 PM
the 30-06 round is not chambered in any modern main battle rifle. The soviet-plagerized [SIC] M43 round is.

What would that rifle be? The AK74 & variants, as well as the AN-94, are chambered in the 5.45x39mm round (you know, the one that plagiarized the 5.56mm).

browningguy
June 24, 2012, 10:03 PM
This is totally adequate out to 200 yards, without much recoil.

Which is fine if you make sure the other guys agree to limit engagements to 200 yards. But the one time someone cheats and engages at 500 yards you're going to be pissed.

R.W.Dale
June 24, 2012, 10:08 PM
the 30-06 round is not chambered in any modern main battle rifle. The soviet-plagerized M43 round is. The 6.8 (designed to address the shortcomings of the 5.56) is more of a Kurtz round than a '06 descendent. So in terms of who survived, the intermediate round did. And the Garand didnt win WW2 any more than the STG44 lost it. Industrial production, fuel supplies, incompetent leadership, weight of numbers, these are the overarching factors that decided WW2.

If you want to get really technical the slightly modified 30/06 is still in service worldwide. Its called 7.62x51mm NATO wich is much closer to to its predecessor than 7.62x39 is to 8mm Kurtz

I should also point out that there were two wwII cartridges that ballistally replicates the 6.8spc and 6.5 Grendel and its not the short German round. It was the Japanese 6.5x50mm arisaka and the Italian 6.5 carcano

xerxesthecat
June 24, 2012, 10:08 PM
Last time I was in the former USSR I saw as many 7.62 as 5.45 rifles. Same goes for central america. I believe we rearmed Iraq with predominantly 7.62 models, although that is just what I've been told, have not been there.

And the statistic you were searching for was an unofficial rule of thumb that it took 5 shermans to knock out 1 panther.

-v-
June 24, 2012, 10:18 PM
Well, on the subject of best cartridge developed during WW2, I'll have to say the 7.62x39 wins. The Carbine Siminov Mod.1945 was issued in the last days of WW2 and may even have seen some action during WW2, the rest of it, is as they say, history.

The flaw with the 30.06 was that it was over-powered of a round and thus unnecessarily heavy. The knowledge that an intermediate round was the best option for infantry was known since WW1 and the 1920's and the analyses of infantry combat of WW1.

As for someone shooting at you from 500 or 800 yards? Well, thats what crew served weapons and sniper/DMR rifles, and the radio were/are for. Most trials found that infantry combat rarely took place beyond 300 yards, and that lately it was noted that most casualty producing engagements took place under 100 yards. The limiting factor? Seeing who/what you are shooting at.

xerxesthecat
June 24, 2012, 10:22 PM
the Jap round, the Italian round, the swedish 6.5, etc, all were bolt action rifle rounds, not originally drawn up for a self-loader. Ballistic similarity is not the whole picture. The design built around the round is half the question here.
And the 7.62x51 is not a standard issue rifle chambering. LMG? yes. designated sniper or marksman rifle? yes. But not issued to every soldier.

fireman 9731
June 24, 2012, 10:50 PM
It was a combination of more resources, and better training and logistics that won WWII.

Would we of lost if the Garand was chambered in 8mm Mauser? No.

Would we of lost fewer GIs if the M1 Carbine was chambered in 8mm Kurz? Maybe.

Were the 8mm Kurz and StG45 the birth of the modern intermediate cartridge and assault rifle? Yes.

Float Pilot
June 24, 2012, 10:53 PM
Stuart M3 through M-5 variant Light Recon tank. @22,275
Lee, interim Lee / Grant tank M-3 variants, @ 6,250
Sherman production of M4 variants @ 50,000 tanks
Pershing m26 tank production, Supposedly only the initial 20 to 40 M26 (T26E3) tanks deployed to Europe in January 1945 saw combat in World War II.
M-10 Wolverine Tank Destroyer @ 6,700
M-18 Hellcat tank Destroyer @ 2,500
M-36 Slugger Tank destroyer @ 1,772

Total 89, 517.... US made tanks and Tank Destroyers.

Meanwhile:::

Panzer II light tank @ 1,860
Panzer III light / medium tank @ 5,780
Panzer IV; @ 8,800 total from 1936 to 1945
Panzer V Panther tank @ 6,000
TIGER I @ 1,350
TIGER II @ 495

Total of German 24,285 tanks

This does not count the British and Soviet tanks... The US alone made twice as many Shermans as the total German production for all types of tanks...


It was not the tanks, the rifles, the ships, nor the bullets.... It was the ability of US factories to bury the axis powers under a sea of US made steel products.

The rifles and bullets that an Army carries are a tiny fraction of the big picture and generally not a big deciding factor.

meanmrmustard
June 24, 2012, 10:59 PM
This is getting REALLY off topic. :banghead:

MachIVshooter
June 24, 2012, 11:00 PM
And the statistic you were searching for was an unofficial rule of thumb that it took 5 shermans to knock out 1 panther.

I never said anything about how many it took. I said 2-3 Shermans were lost to each tiger or panther in tank-on-tank battles. Nice try at a poke, though.

The "5" doctrine came to be common because that was how many Shermans were in a platoon, and a platoon was considered necessary to ensure success against the larger, more heavily armored and better ranged German tanks. There were, however, many times that a single Sherman took out a German AFV. There were a number of engagements involving numerous AFV's on both sides in which the Shermans inflicted huigh casualties with few losses.

In the end, armored battles were generally decided by who fired first, with defenders having better stats than attackers.

Caliper_RWVA
June 24, 2012, 11:25 PM
Thinking of your post the other day on the FAL prototype in .280 British, I am reminded how much I fully believe that had we bought it in that chambering then, we would still be using it, successfully, today. Probably in a Product Improved version (lighter, new materials) but fully compatable with the rifle that Should Have Been.

I'm thinking that "The Rifle That Should Have Been" would be an AR-10 chambered in .276 Pedersen...

That's a nice looking Stg45 there though. Wish those were more available...

MachIVshooter
June 24, 2012, 11:50 PM
I'm thinking that "The Rifle That Should Have Been" would be an AR-10 chambered in .276 Pedersen...

Well, the current incarnation in .260 Rem. would be pretty close, but with the superior genre of 6.5mm bullets.

That said, I prefer the one I have in .308 :)

mshootnit
June 24, 2012, 11:53 PM
every now and again I hear somebody suggest if a 280 this or a 276 that would have been developed than we never would have had the 5.56 debate and that said 280-276 chambered rifle would still be with us today. This is absolute fantasy. Fact is that no general infantry rifle or carbine will be chambered again in anything much over 22, 23, or 24 caliber IF the projectile contains lead. Bottom line is logistics. And even 24 caliber is on the big end when you consider the weight of bullet needed to have decent ballistic coefficients and how heavy/large that round over all would be. You can just carry a lot more rounds of the small stuff for the same weight. I would like for somebody to wildcat the 6.8 case down to a new .234 diameter bullet. 80gr solid like a Barnes

hang fire
June 25, 2012, 12:21 AM
RE: rcmodel

Best?
Which rifle calibers won the war??

Ahh!
I thought so.



Truth be known, it was the 7.62x54 MN and Russian blood that won WW2 against the Nazis.

After the initial invasion and conquering of western Europe. At no point after that time and the invasion of Russia in 1941, did the Nazis ever put over 23% of their man power and weaponry against the western allies.

Stalingrad was bad for the Nazis, but it was small potatoes compared to the German Collapse of Army Group Center in 1944, 28 out of total of 38 German divisions were completely destroyed. Between 350,000-400,000 Germans were killed, wounded, or captured in the drawn out battle of Operation Bagration.

The Russian Nazi kill ratio far exceeds that of the western European allies.

Eastern Front , Axis killed – 5.2 million

Western Front, Axis killed- 0.8 million

-v-
June 25, 2012, 12:56 AM
Truth be known, it was the 7.62x54 MN and Russian blood that won WW2 against the Nazis.

After the initial invasion and conquering of western Europe. At no point after that time and the invasion of Russia in 1941, did the Nazis ever put over 23% of their man power and weaponry against the western allies.

Stalingrad was bad for the Nazis, but it was small potatoes compared to the German Collapse of Army Group Center in 1944, 28 out of total of 38 German divisions were completely destroyed. Between 350,000-400,000 Germans were killed, wounded, or captured in the drawn out battle of Operation Bagration.

The Russian Nazi kill ratio far exceeds that of the western European allies.

Eastern Front , Axis killed – 5.2 million
Western Front, Axis killed- 0.8 million
Statement of truth. The Normandy landings weren't as much about liberating Europe as they were to prevent a Red Europe, and the Allies did jump into Europe in the 7th round of an 11 round fight.

barneyrw
June 25, 2012, 12:56 AM
It's lucky for the Germans that the war in Europe ended in May of 1945, because come August we would have had a big surprise for them. Making the Sherman vs Tiger or the 30-06 vs whatever, a moot point.

hang fire
June 25, 2012, 04:15 AM
What coulda been don't count in the real world as it was and is.

WardenWolf
June 25, 2012, 05:09 AM
World War II was a different time. The long reach of the battle rifle was still a necessity in the fields, plains, and hills of Europe. It wasn't all just city fighting. They didn't have helicopters to make hiding in tall grass obsolete. In all fairness, the time for intermediate calibers wasn't yet. It was an idea that was about 5 or 6 years too early. Ten years if you're looking at lighter calibers like 5.56.

Gunnerboy
June 25, 2012, 05:42 AM
Well IAN being your thread was derailed by certain grumbling nay sayers..... i fully agree with your statement that the 7.92 kurz round is by far the best round of ww2 and without it we wouldnt have the 7.62x39, 6.5 grendel or 5.45x39 and other strange and bizarre cartridges that came about out of jealousy of the grand engineering of the Germans at the time.

HavelockLEO
June 25, 2012, 07:36 AM
I say to each his own (you all know what opinions are like)

To stay on topic, the original FN FALs were designed to be chambered in 7.92X33...........

Ian
June 25, 2012, 08:12 AM
Yeah, there was quite a bit of experimentation with both Kurz and .30 Carbine after WWII. The Belgians built some FALs in Kurz, the Swiss had a couple designs in 7.5x33 Kurz, the Brits played around with StG45 they had assembled form parts, and also made an EM2 in Kurz. The Italians and French both had a number of guns in .30 Carbine, and there were FALs in that caliber as well (a .30 Carbine FAL is an extremely cute gun). It was eventually all dropped because of US insistence on the T65, which became 7.62 NATO.

Gunnerboy
June 25, 2012, 08:16 AM
The possiblilitys are endless of what could have been had the Germans had more time to design and modify the assault rifle.

jem375
June 25, 2012, 09:19 AM
I think most of you fellas forget the Korean War and those mountains that were fought around, the Garand was much better than anything the enemy had at some of the ranges the battles were fought....
As far as the 8MM Kurz, big deal, our 30-30's were better than that caliber...

303tom
June 25, 2012, 09:30 AM
The 7.92 Kurz is a round that missed its calling.............Ian, kudos to you for giving the old girl a go !

SlamFire1
June 25, 2012, 10:03 AM
The Germans were very pragmatic and the Kurtz round was revolutionary.

They really went down the right path as history has shown.

Now I love the 308, it is accurate, it is powerful, but it takes practice, and a lot of practice, to use its accuracy at range.

This is something that has not, and will not happen in the military. The military is not going to spend the time or effort training its soldiers to be good shots. The British did, before 1914, and their little “Contemptible Army” was perhaps the best overall shots ever fielded, but within 9 months, Sir John French had wasted those marksman in stupid frontal attacks.

While pre WW2 services had a strong emphasis on marksmanship and training for civilians, by the time you get to 1944, the American Rifleman reporter says Officer’s were not allowing their men to shoot at anything 300 yards or more, because the shooter would not hit, and it would just rile the enemy.

Troops were not trained to a decent level of marksmanship in WW2. My Uncle told me he had 8 familiarization shots with his M1919 machine gun before being parachuted into Normandy. He was 101 Airborne. That was all the shooting training he got before dropping behind enemy lines. A club gray beard, he said he got 20 shot at targets, 10 shots one day, 10 shots another, and he went into combat with a carbine that he never had the chance to zero. He said he zeroed it in combat. This gentleman called his contemporaries "cannon fodder". He still has nightmares and won't talk about it.

Nothing really changes between wars, Private Jessica is almost forgotten, but she went into a combat zone so ignorant of her rifle, she did not know how to clear a jam. Had not cleaned the rifle since her arrival in Iraq, nor had anyone else in her group. Little wonder they got shot up.

Given the military is going to spend its money on big weapon system procurements and not marksmanship training, it makes sense to issue to the cannon fodder a cheap, reliable, low recoil rifle. It does not make sense to issue something that is powerful and accurate well beyond the capabilities of the troops.

mshootnit
June 25, 2012, 01:25 PM
Saying that the 30-06 is overpowered is not really accurate. The real issue is the recoil and logistics which of course are in favor of the kurz. But you have to realize that an M1 Garand reduces recoil of the 30-06 to the point where sustained rapid fire is possible. But the rifle does get hot after about 56 rounds rapid fire. Real hot.

hang fire
June 25, 2012, 03:40 PM
It matters not what might have been. The minute Nazis invaded the soviet union, their defeat was assured. The Nazis were good as no warning, first lick artists, initially achieving great success, but as time wore on in a war of attrition, their fate was sealed.

The Russians can suffer losing battle after battle, but the Russian soldier will continue to come forward, fight with dogged determination despite horrendous losses and will win out in the end.

America lost over 292,000 dead from combat, Russia lost over 10,000,000.

Dr.Rob
June 25, 2012, 05:09 PM
Tanks, artillery, codebreaking, trucks.. they are all interesting but this is the rifle forum.

Let's keep the topic on rifles and cartridges shall we?

meanmrmustard
June 25, 2012, 06:23 PM
Its refreshing to hear someone pick up and use an off the wall cartridge, especially one with historical value.

razorback2003
June 25, 2012, 06:53 PM
What kind of accuracy can you get out of this short 8mm german round?

It impresses me the level of accuracy service rifles can get from 30-06, 308, and 223. Just the cartridges are great. Rifles that are not accurate are not that interesting for me.

Ian
June 25, 2012, 07:05 PM
My understanding is that the accuracy potential of any given cartridge is far greater than the majority of guns that might use it. But if you really want to look at the cartridge itself in those terms, the 8x33 ought to actually be pretty good. The trend in benchrest wildcats is short and fat cases, which describes 8x33 pretty well.

303tom
June 25, 2012, 11:30 PM
http://claus.espeholt.dk/spa_kurz.html

henschman
June 26, 2012, 01:35 AM
I think the 6.5x55 Swede was the best WWII-era cartridge. Light recoiling, flat shooting, with a near-perfect BC, and plenty of energy and penetration. What's not to like?

hang fire
June 26, 2012, 02:48 AM
I think only combat the 6.5x55 saw in that era, was in the hands of Norwegian volunteers during the 1939-40 Winter War in Finland.

hang fire
June 26, 2012, 02:57 AM
This is something that has not, and will not happen in the military. The military is not going to spend the time or effort training its soldiers to be good shots. The British did, before 1914, and their little “Contemptible Army” was perhaps the best overall shots ever fielded,...


The Brits learned their hard earned lesson about rifle accuracy from the Boers in 1898-1900.

Sam Cade
June 26, 2012, 12:52 PM
Kurz.
Kurz.
Kurz.
Kurz
The word is KURZ

http://dictionary.reverso.net/german-english/kurz

FIVETWOSEVEN
June 26, 2012, 03:21 PM
rcmodel: just because it was carried by our boys, doesn't mean it wasn't already obsolete. Sure everyone has a soft spot for the 30.06, but it doesnt change the fact that it was already an obsolete caliber by the start of WW2.

As I recall, .276 Pederson was what the M1 Garand was orignally chambered for. General MacArthur wanted to keep the .30-06 because it was a square caliber and he liked it. I think that .276 Perderson was considered a better round too. I don't remember the specifics about that though.

HoosierQ
June 26, 2012, 05:07 PM
Under the circumstances of the OPs post, based on his parameters, one could argue that the 7.92 Kurz was certainly, maybe the best round to come out of WWII. To my knowledge, with maybe the exception of the .30 Carbine, very few rounds actually came out of WWII. Lot's or rounds went in to WWII (30-06, 8mm, 9mm, .45, 7.62x54R) and came out the other end but the Kurz was, I believe, developed during the war, for the war based on the experiences of those fighting that war...and it was indeed a pretty good round even though for whatever reason, it didn't stick around long. Seems like the Russians learned from it but we did not...not until 1960 or whatever when Stoner and Remington came up with the 5.56 which is really rather different than the Kurz.

I think the OP has made a perfectly reasonable statement about a really good round. "The best" is always going to be subjective anyway so as long as it's reasonable...and in the case of the 7.92 Kurz, it is. I think I am on pretty solid ground saying the Chaux Chaux was the "worst" gun fielded on a 20th century battlefield. Lots would agree, and since "worst gun" has no objective criteria, I cannot be proven wrong.

I say, three cheers for the 7.92 Kurz and too bad we can't get ARs chambered in it!

Billy Shears
June 26, 2012, 06:02 PM
Funny thing is, the 7.92mm kurz was a compromise, and not just in that it was compromise between a full power rifle round and a pistol round; it was a compromise in terms of its caliber. It was produced to answer the perceived need for an intermediate round that would still be lethal at the <300m ranges the Germans had found most combat now took place in, thus allowing a lighter weapon, and allowing the soldier to carry more ammo. I remember reading somewhere that the Germans actually wanted to reduce the caliber, as well as case length, so as to get a more ballistically efficient projectile, than the shortened, stubby 8mm round was. However it was decided that, for production expediency, the 8mm caliber would be retained, so as to allow some of the machinery already in use to make cases and barrels and so forth to be utilized.

Ian
June 26, 2012, 07:13 PM
Yep, one of the problems with 8mm Kurz is that the large case diameter makes magazines awkwardly long. Shooting prone with a 30-rounder is not a very low-profile affair.

Also, it's worth noting that the StG magazine well needs to be just slightly curved. Magazines will fit in a straight and square magwell, but their weight and length makes them bounce back and forth under recoil, and they will develop a crease at the bottom of the magwell if it's not a little curved.

wojownik
June 28, 2012, 10:00 AM
8mm Kurz: Best shoulder rifle cartridge of WWII

Guess the depends on how one defines "best". Perhaps as potentially a most forward looking development (as a precurser to modern intermediate range cartridges).

But, to be a contrarian to many posts here, if "best" means fighting and winning in the end, one has to consider the 7.62x54R and the 7.62x25.

Owen Sparks
June 28, 2012, 11:11 AM
"Best" is a subjective term and WWII was fought in all sorts of places. If you were involved in house to house fighting or jungle combat sure, it might have been the best. If you were engaging an enemy on the open plains of North Africa it would have been totally inadequate as the 8MM Kurz bullet drops like a rock out past 300 yards. A unit armed with conventional full powered rifles would have a tremendous advantage on the open plains. This is why the Marines put retired M-14 rifles back in service in Afghanistan.

atblis
June 28, 2012, 11:38 AM
The .30 carbine was a good attempt, but still too light. The 8x33 Kurz hit an excellent balance point. it fires a 124gr bullet at 2250fps, which is just shy of AK ballistics. This is totally adequate out to 200 yards, without much recoil.
7.62x39 was used in WWII, so technically it is a contender.

Mauser lover
June 28, 2012, 11:56 AM
7.92x33, best cartridge to come out of WWII...... Hmm, best cartridge to come out of WWII ALIVE, or best cartridge that was designed and produced first during WWII. If your statement was intended to be the latter, I would say, "yes, absolutely". If it was intended for the former version, I would have to say, "no". I like the 6.5x55.

WWII was won by Russian blood, but what would have happened if the USA didn't lend-lease equipment to them? Would the Russians have been able to beat the Germans at Stalingrad? The decision to invade Russia MIGHT just have been a possibly, almost, sort of good idea.

Is everyone forgetting the Japanese part of WWII!? Russian blood didn't really do anything there!

.30-'06 was obsolete by the time WWII broke out..... grrrr
.30-'06 was NOT obsolete during WWII. Look at every battle rifle, Mauser(s), G43/K43, Mosin, Tokarev, Garand, Springfield, Enfield(s) even the MAS 36 if you want to. All of them have pretty much the same "over powered" qualities. Lots of power, recoil, range, etc... G43 and Tokarev (spelling?) didn't come until REALLY late in the war. We had, not necessarily in the very beginning, but pretty much for the whole war, the M1 Garand. Semi-auto, very accurate, best sights (my opinion) of the semi-autos. A cartridge is only as obsolete as the rifle that you can find to harness its strengths and diminish the effects of its weakness. The M1 does that quite well, by weakening the felt recoil, providing quick follow up shots, and being an accurate rifle, reasonably reliable (etc). How do you judge obsolescence? Shouldn't it be judged by how advanced the thing you have (cartridge, rifle, tank, etc) is compared to what the competition is? Nobody had assault rifles at the beginning of WWII. Everyone was still in the bolt gun/SMG era, except the USA, who had a semi-auto/SMG equipped force (yeah, yeah, I know, not quite at the VERY beginning, but pretty close). The .30-'06 was NOT obsolete at the beginning of WWII, but it could be effectively argued that it was obsolete at the end of the war.

RevGeo
June 28, 2012, 12:18 PM
Exactly what attributes (or lack thereof) constitute obsolesence in a military cartridge?

Mauser lover
June 28, 2012, 01:26 PM
I think that the original post was referring to excess recoil as what made the .30-'06 obsolete in his eyes... It is heavy and bulky as well, can't carry as much of it as you can a shorter, lighter cartridge; 7.92x33, .223 Rem/5.56x45, 7.62x39,5.45x39, etcetera.

Cosmoline
June 28, 2012, 02:15 PM
It was absolutely superior for WWII era combat than the battle rifle rounds. The big ones weigh a ton and give you more long range power than you need in most circumstances, while limiting your firepower. I dearly love those old beasts, but I also know how much they weigh!

I think the real question is whether it was superior to the SKS-45's 7.62x39--which DID see service at the very tail end of the war in Berlin IIRC. They're close in ballistics so I'm not sure which has better terminal performance. But the smaller cartridge of the x39 gives it advantages in the magazine. And time has proven it one of the all-time greatest in history. My experience with the Kurz and its platform are much more limited, but it struck me as a bit clunky when I got to shoot one. Like a proto-AK. 90% there, but not quite there.

Billy Shears
June 28, 2012, 03:03 PM
But, to be a contrarian to many posts here, if "best" means fighting and winning in the end, one has to consider the 7.62x54R and the 7.62x25.
I don't think that's a reasonable definition of best in this case. After all, as someone already pointed out, the M4 Sherman was on the winning side, that doesn't mean it was the absolute best. Quite the contrary, if you were a crewman in one and you came up against a German Panther or Tiger tank, then God help you. And if the Sherman still had its individual advantages, such as greater range, reliability, produceability, etc., that was still cold comfort to the poor bastard in a Sherman who saw a Tiger swinging its turret round to take a shot at him, and knowing his remaining lifespan could almost certainly be measured in seconds.

I think the most reasonable definition is which cartridge gave the individual solder the overall best balance of characteristics. And if you were a rifleman in Europe in 1944, what would you rather have had, a rifle with an 8 round capacity, and the ability to carry 200 rounds of ammo on you, or one with a 30 round capacity that let you carry twice as many cartridges, and gave you the option of full auto fire for house to house or other close range fighting, especially if that 30-rounder gave you the same ability to engage the enemy at any range you actually likely to need it?

wojownik
June 28, 2012, 04:58 PM
7.62x39 was used in WWII, so technically it is a contender.

A lot a caveats around that ... the 7.62x39 round was developed during WWII, but was married to the RPD machine gun, which itself was introduced in 1945 in very low numbers, and only mass produced in 1953...

atblis
June 28, 2012, 06:14 PM
SKS

wojownik
June 28, 2012, 07:19 PM
SKS

Just like the RPD, a tiny amount were tried out in 1945, at the tail end of the war. The SKS was SKS was officially adopted in 1949, produced by Tula from 1949-55 and then at Izhevsk from 1953-54.

But, to be a contrarian to many posts here, if "best" means fighting and winning in the end, one has to consider the 7.62x54R and the 7.62x25.
I don't think that's a reasonable definition of best in this case.

I don't necessarily disagree. But the comment was contrarian viz commentary that "the .30-06 won the war".

I agree that "best" is contextual.

Art Eatman
June 29, 2012, 01:13 AM
Back not quite fifty years ago, I worked with a guy who'd been a USMC medic in the Pacific. Guadalcanal, Iwo, other fun places.

He commented one time that on Guadal when guys saw a Jap squad out at a good distance, that squad wouldn't even break stride if they heard carbines open up. But if a Garand started coughing, they'd scatter like quail.

No such thing as "best". There is no "One size fits all."

GRIZ22
June 29, 2012, 02:23 AM
You can argue the 8mm Kurz was the best battle round of WWII. It didn't do the Germans much good.

The Germans undoubtedly had the best technology of WWII in most areas. However it didn't do them much good as they lost the war.

No war was won or lost because one country had a better this or better that. Probably the main factor the Allies won WWII was the capabilities and adaptability of American industry. Companies went from building cars to combat aircraft and tanks. Companies that built typewriters and jukeboxes made rifles and carbines. They had the ability to supply us and all our Allies.

Most casualities in ground combat are inflicted by artillery. The battle rifle just doesn't play that big of a part in winning a war. The Germans would have lost the war if they had the MP44 and 8x33 from 1939.

Billy Shears
June 29, 2012, 07:54 AM
No war was won or lost because one country had a better this or better that. Probably the main factor the Allies won WWII was the capabilities and adaptability of American industry. Companies went from building cars to combat aircraft and tanks. Companies that built typewriters and jukeboxes made rifles and carbines. They had the ability to supply us and all our Allies.
Oddly enough, the Germans really shot themselves in the foot in two ways in this area. First, they didn't put their economy on a war footing until rather late in 1942, which was loooong after they should have. The second problem they had was their tendency to overengineer everything. Allied engineers and military officers evaluating captured German equipment -- especially their tanks -- often found needless attention to finish and refinement, all of which slowed production down. They just couldn't resist their desire to make a tank perfect, as opposed to just good enough to last the six months or a year it would probably be in action.

Cosmoline
June 29, 2012, 01:03 PM
First, they didn't put their economy on a war footing until rather late in 1942,

That's an excellent point, and one a lot of folks miss. People imagine this all-powerful German Army with Tiger tanks in 1940, but in reality they started with a pretty limited force with small arms and tanks no better than the French or English. They had to play a panicked game of catch-up to fight the war they started! Both in terms of technology and to obtain the needed oil and raw materials. While their battlefield tactics were often brilliant and decisive, the overall strategic plan was mired in racist nonsense and erratic thinking from the top.

And as you note, both small arms and tanks suffered from over-engineering. Great for rocket science, not so good for tank treads or bolt tolerances.

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