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Rifles of WW II

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

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  1. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Member

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  2. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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

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    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 Member

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

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    +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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    ijosef Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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
  21. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    The Arisaka was most certainly not sub-standard compared to other bolt action rifles. The original Type 38 and Type 99 rifles were both very fine weapons, manufactured to high standards. Their only real drawback was in comparison to the semi-automatic rifles the US fielded. The early Arisakas were easily the equal to the German Mauser and the British Enfield.

    Honestly, all sides' bolt action rifles were roughly equal in performance. Out to effective iron sight engagement range, they could all do their jobs at about the same level. It was the Garand that was the game changer. A mass-produced semi-automatic rifle in a heavy caliber simply overwhelmed both the Arisaka and the Mauser in terms of rate of fire. The later Russian SVT-38 and SVT-40 also had some very strong advantages over the German Mausers, although these were never fielded in great numbers. Ultimately, WW2 was the transition between bolt action and autoloading rifles, and the sides that were stuck with bolt-action rifles felt the pain significantly worse.
     
  22. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Member

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    Numbers don't count? I'm so sorry to stray from the predetermined parameters of your "friendly debate." My last comment on the matter will simply be to point out that a particular rifle's ability to be mass produced is itself due in no small measure to its design. I think the point is highly relevant, but the rest of you can discuss pings and topping off magazines.
     
  23. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Member

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    It was not mass produced over night. the rifle was in production since 1932 and not to mention that manufacturing complicated designs was not a problem for the US.
     
  24. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Member

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    Springfield Armory started mass-producing Garands in 1937, but there were just 400,000 Garands made at the time Pearl Harbor was bombed. Of those, all but 25,000 or so were made in 1940-1941. The U.S. made another 3.5 million or so by the war's end. The U.S. also made over 6 million M1 Carbines between 1942 and 1945. So, the suggestion that the number of American semi-autos available in WW2 can be attributed to a decade's worth of production rings hollow. Meanwhile, the Germans (who were also pretty good at manufacturing complicated designs) produced just 400,000 Gewehr 43 rifles and 425,000 Sturmgewehr 44 rifles. Though a lot of this difference is due to the U.S.'s industrial capacity, I submit that the design of the rifles (including the Garand's unfortunate ping) played a role as well.
     
  25. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Back to the original post

    The diminutive m1 and m2 carbine gets lambasted as a mediocre rifle and to an extent I agree with this. HOWEVER if you take a good look as the platforms size and capability and compare it to the most similar weapons other countries had I think the little carbine stands out as the best SMG of the entire war, particularly the FA m2

    M2 carbine weight 5.2lbs
    MP40 weight 8.7lbs
    Thompson weight 10lbs

    The 30carbine may have been an anemic rifle round but it still kicks the snot out of both 45acp and 9x19 in terms of range and dare I say terminal ballistics with ball ammo. I've had the pleasure of owning a 30carbine handgun and this just becomes even more evident
     
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