Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by tark, Apr 7, 2015.
Have to go with the .303
. 303 gets my vote followed closely by the 7.62x39. Reasons as stated by so many other respondents. The .303 is a very old cartridge and saw action in both world wars and all around the world from the 1800s till 1960.. Post WW2, the 7.62 has been used pretty much world wide in virtually every conflict and certainly has to be a strong contender.its continued use strengthens the numbers too.
Maybe I missed it but I don't think I saw any mention of the British Bren Gun it was capable of 600 rounds a minute with a good clip changer! Fast and accurate sure did a lot of damage. I was lucky enough to be able to use a Bren and loved it. Fortunately I used the Bren in training and in combat maneuvers.
We fired wood blanks (needed to operate the gas return)and had a slicer in the front of the barrel that sliced the bullet in to matchstick.
Is that a possible way to look at it?
True but the OP asked about soldiers killed.
Small arms are almost inconsequential. I doubt any small arm cartridge has killed more then the millions killed by artillery fire.
I think we have all agreed with that. I posted statistics showing 75% of battlefield deaths in WWII were caused by artillery or bombs. Only 10% died from bullets which is the same number that died from booby traps and mines. But strangely enough the stats I saw included anti-tank mines in with bullets so the real total from bullets is even lower than 10%. Don't ask me why they put most mines in one category and a limited number of mines in with bullets. Go figure.
But the OP's question was about rifle cartridges. It's certainly true that artillery has been a devastating weapon though. And it predates the use of cartridges for a very long time.
Statistics like that just weren't kept. Everyone is guessing.
My guess would be it's probably something from the wars fought from about 1650 to 1870 or 1880 when massed musket and rifle fire was a major source of combat power. I would say cartridges from that era accounted for more casualties then the modern metallic cartridges in use after the big advances made in artillery, mortars and other supporting arms after the 1880s.
Yes we're all guessing. But again you're talking about muskets and that isn't what the OP asked about either. He was asking about complete cartridges specifically leaving out muskets and long rifles. Specifically the OP said, " It must be a self contained metallic cartridge, no muzzle loading paper cartridges allowed."
All evidence on Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches to the contrary. As a point defense antipersonnel weapon, a machine gun is in its own element. Artillery would be the icing on the cake, but would hardly be the primary weapon, especially on open ground with little to no cover available. Artillery would be handy for instances of heavy cover, to remove said cover and those hiding in or behind it.
My point about it wasting ammo is that it is difficult to aim and control and works best used in a wide pattern. MG's with much slower rates of fire were just as effective at infantry suppression using half the ammo.
I would still say 7.62X39, but it is close I think.
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