Deadliest cartridge in history

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by tark, Apr 7, 2015.

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  1. Brass2grass

    Brass2grass Member

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    Lead. Lead is the deadliest ammunition. (Satirical)
     
  2. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    Another nod for the 7.62x39...
     
  3. exbrit49

    exbrit49 Member

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    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.
     
  4. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    You didn't mention that the Bren Gun originally fired the .303 up until WWII when it was altered in China to use a different round and after WWII it was altered to use the 7.62×51mm NATO (.308) round.
     
  5. ScottsBad

    ScottsBad Member

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    7.62x39 is a people killer. Killing civilian, military, or other. As opposed to other rounds which might have been put to use in more traditional conflicts?

    Is that a possible way to look at it?
     
  6. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    True but the OP asked about soldiers killed.
     
  7. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd have to say 105mm. Artillery is the biggest killer on the battlefield.

    Small arms are almost inconsequential. I doubt any small arm cartridge has killed more then the millions killed by artillery fire.
     
  8. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    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.
     
  9. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know how one could ever settle the debate over which rifle cartridge killed the most people in combat.

    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.
     
  10. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    a 1910 browning in .380 was used to start wwI
     
  11. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    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."
     
  12. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    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.
     
  13. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    The beaches at Normandy were taken by overwhelming numbers of soldiers. That is maybe the one battle where our artillery didn't do it's job so well seeing how many of the rounds fired by naval guns missed their primary targets. But still the percentages are constant throughout WWII and other wars. Artillery is the big killer. You have a small crew firing rounds that cause big destruction and they do it from miles away much of the time or in the case of mortars in postions of cover. These numbers can be found in many places. Rifle fire accounts for only a small percentage of kills in battle and that has always been true.
     
  14. Plinkin' Logs

    Plinkin' Logs Member

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    Excluding artillery, I would have to agree with the 7.62x54r crowd followed by the 7.62x39. The 54r saw action in Russian revolution, WWI, the Winter War (and here the 54r was being used by both sides), WWII, and still in use today. I would say the 7.62x39 is rapidly gaining on it though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  15. george burns

    george burns Member

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    Just a guess, but logic says it's the AK, only because whenever a 3d world country has any kind of conflict, they seem to be supplied with AK47's. Only because of their ease of use and ability to be easily maintained. They may not have killed the most people, but probably fire the most ammo.
     
  16. ScottsBad

    ScottsBad Member

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    I would still say 7.62X39, but it is close I think.
     
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