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Cartridge with the highest body count?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by spittle8, Mar 8, 2009.

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  1. spittle8

    spittle8 Member

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    A few months ago, someone said that the 7.62x54r Mosin-Nagant probably had many more kills attributable to it than the 8mm Mauser. This got me thinking...

    While there is no truly accurate way of estimating overall kills attributable to any one cartridge or rifle, has there been any research into the most "lethal" firearm/cartridge?

    I half-assed an estimation based on my knowledge of 19th and 20th century conflicts, and I figured on the 8mm Mauser having caused the most deaths. From there it seems hazy. .303 British undoubtedly caused millions of deaths, as did the 7.62x54r and more recently the 7.62x39 and 5.56. Anyone familiar with any studies into this issue? Feel free to share your guestimations.

    I don't mean to sound... overly morbid, just curious. It is a depressing subject though. Cheers

    Ross
     
  2. clemsonu0219

    clemsonu0219 Member

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    I would def say 7.62 x 39 has a HIGH count... think about Africa.
     
  3. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Very very very few caused death all by themselves, usually trigger fingers were involved. I would have to agree that people using AKs in foriegn countries have accounted for a huge pile of bodies over the years. Your post has some unfortunate overtones, spittle.
     
  4. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

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    AK47, 7.62. I look to Africa and other foreign countries with long, drawn out wars and genocide of their people.
     
  5. Bill2e

    Bill2e Member

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    This is a sick topic in some ways, but interesting in others.

    Are we forgetting the .50 cal Musket Ball. That may be the winner of highest battle field casulties.
     
  6. boredelmo

    boredelmo member

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    thought it was .22?

    lol.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think the .58 cal Minie-ball has to be up there towards the top somewhere.

    It has killed more Americans in one war then any other caliber in any other war, at least.

    rc
     
  8. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Cartridge? Considering all the imperial wars, WWI and WWII that would almost have to be the .303 Brit.

    Bullet? I would have to go with the British Brown Bess ball. I'm not that sure but I believe was a .54 caliber.
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Didn't something like 20 Million Russians die in WW II?

    Not sure what killed 'em.

    If it was rifle fire, it'd be the 8mm Mauser, though.

    Might have been the .30-06, if George S. Patton had had his way.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Someone with time on their hands could probably wade through this and break it down by the arms used by the army's involved.

    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstats.htm

    But the problem with modern wars is that, far more died of artillery, gas, bombs, torpedos, disease, and weather then died of small-arms fire.

    rc
     
  11. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    is machete a cartridge?

    iff not probably 8mm just because of how long it was used then the .303 and 7.62x54r then 7.62x39 .30-06 5.56
     
  12. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Yes, 20MM Russians died during WW2 but most of them were civilians who starved to death. Before, during and after the war Stalin had millions murdered, many by firing squad. I'm not sure what was used for this task but it would have to rank high on the list.
     
  13. spittle8

    spittle8 Member

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    Exactly, which makes an estimation all the more difficult.

    I don't want to get into that debate, people kill people not guns, but people using guns kill people. I'm not coming after your 2nd Amendment rights merely asking a question. It's a morbid topic but I don't see what unfortunate overtones I'm using.

    I imagine it would definitely be near the top, but with the exception of WW1, how many people did it really kill? Take for Boer war for instance, most deaths were attributable to the non-violent genocide rather than British rifle fire. Difficult to estimate anyways.
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Morbid subject, but I'll guesstimate.

    The '06 was used in WW I, WW II and Korea. In WW II, both the ETO and the PTO. The Mauser and the Enfield were limited to the ETO.

    If you add in civilians, the 9mm Parabellum must be considered, via the Luger, the P-38 and the Schmeisser. The SS and the Gestapo stayed pretty busy.

    For rifles, then, I'd guess the '06. For pistols, certainly the 9mm Parabellum.

    For just WW I, probably the Mauser cartridge, due to the amount of usage in machine guns as well as rifles. SFAIK, the Germans used more of them than the Allies. Many Allied soldiers were killed via machine guns in the fruitless charges from out of the trenches.

    As near as I can figure, the Japanese didn't do that much percentage of killing with rifle fire in our island invasions as they did with machine guns and explosives. I've no real clue as to their fighting in China.

    No way to really know. Only guess...
     
  15. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I'm in the 9mm camp. It was the preferred round for extermination before the gas chambers were built in Nazi Germany. Given its world-wide usage in SMG's as well as other guns, it has to be a contender.

    900F
     
  16. ThrottleJockey

    ThrottleJockey member

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  17. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Member

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    I still gotta go with the 7.62 just from the number of wars still going on.
     
  18. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Many of the Russians that died in the first half of the 20th century died from disease, famine, freezing or being hung by their own countrymen.

    I would vote for the 7.62 or maybe one of the popular machine gun rounds used in the two world wars.

    It's a good question though and would take some research.

    Among civilian deaths in the U.S. the .22 and .25 rank pretty high (I think).
     
  19. Hush

    Hush Member

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    At least in the US, the cartridge most commonly used in homocide is the .22lr.
     
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I think the 45ACP has put more bullets into the same body with the St Valentines Day massacre.
     
  21. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    Hands down, the 8mm Mauser. Not only was it used in rifles, it was used in the Maschinengewehr 08, the German heavy machine gun. In WWI, that machine gun butchered TENS OF THOUSANDS of Allied troops in a single day of a single battle- the battle of the Somme. That one battle lasted 5 months and claimed more than 1.2 million lives. The Allies lost 5.5 million dead in that war. Being trench warfare, a high percentage of the dead were killed by small arms and machine gun fire.
     
  22. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Well, Stalin killed 20 million of his own people, plus a LOT of Germans, so 7.62x54 or .30 Tok would be good candidates, probably.

    Course the German killed lots of Allies and lots and LOTS of Ruskies with 8x57mm, so I dunno.
     
  23. Fisherman_48768

    Fisherman_48768 Member

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    Cartridge with the highest body count I don't know the exact cartridge that retains that legacy but it would be one possessed by one of the tyranical governments of the world, take your pick: Stalin, Pol Pot,Mao,Hitler,Idi Amin, Saddam, Tojo, Peron,Pinochet,Franco and lastly Castro. Probably won't be long before we will be adding that nut case in Venezula when he runs out of oil.
     
  24. FM12

    FM12 Member

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    Fat Man and Little Boy, for "all at once" incidents.
     
  25. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    I certainly don't think it's an American caliber.

    I would guess 7.62x39 followed by .303 Brit, followed by 7.62x54r.

    Why? There are more AKs than any other gun ever created, and bad guys tend to be able to find them the world over.

    .303 British & the Enfield post numbers as high from African and Middle Eastern use as they do from British use, if not more.

    The Russian cartridge has simply been produced in huge numbers in millions of guns and used in two World Wars by some voracious soldiers.
     
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