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8mm Kurz: Best shoulder rifle cartridge of WWII

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ian, Jun 24, 2012.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  3. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  5. Ian

    Ian Member

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    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?
     
  6. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    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.
     
  7. -v-

    -v- Member

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    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.
     
  8. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    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.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  10. Ian

    Ian Member

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    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.
     
  11. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'm not taking it personally.
    You are the one who named this Thread
    It doesn't appear to be a question.
    It appears to be a statement of fact.

    I disagree with the statement is all.

    rc
     
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    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.
     
  14. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    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.
     
  15. xerxesthecat

    xerxesthecat member

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    8mm kurtz

    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.
     
  16. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    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).
     
  17. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    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.
     
  18. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    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
     
  19. xerxesthecat

    xerxesthecat member

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    kurtz

    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.
     
  20. -v-

    -v- Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  21. xerxesthecat

    xerxesthecat member

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    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.
     
  22. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    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.
     
  23. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    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.
     
  24. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    This is getting REALLY off topic. :banghead:
     
  25. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    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.
     
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