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Rifles of WW II

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by black_powder_Rob, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

  2. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

    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?
  3. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    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).
  4. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
  8. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  10. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    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.
  11. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    I thought the disadvantage spoken of was the inability to "top off" a partially loaded Garand.
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    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:

    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.
  13. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Mandolin

    Mandolin Well-Known Member

    +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.
  15. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    I have never heard "the ping will reveal your position stuff" only that the ping indicates an empty rifle.
  17. ijosef

    ijosef Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Mandolin

    Mandolin Well-Known Member

    Sorry, i meant to say that it revealed when you where empty, to give away your position. My bad.
  20. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009

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