What were the best and worst bolt guns of WW2?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Exile, May 17, 2020.

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  1. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    You do know that Savage was one of the largest producers of the No4 Enfield rifles.
     
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  2. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    Wow, I had not realized what a huge advantage it is to NOT have a safety on your battle rifle.

    But I don't feel too bad about it since nobody except the French were smart enough to keep from using 'em.

    Heck, even the French started screwing up. They put a safety on every rifle they issued after the MAS 36.

    When they redesigned the MAS 36 into the FR F1 and FR F2 sniper rifles they even put a safety on them!

    I guess modern French snipers aren't well trained and disciplined enough to "keep their snot-hooks off the trigger" unlike all those Vietnamese, Algerian, Moroccan, Thai(?) and French grunts.

    Also, when did the Thais ever use MAS 36's? o_O

    Did they capture 'em in the Franco-Thai war?
     
  3. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The US Army did not use them. Which was the point. You don't get to choose what you get issued.
     
  4. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    Non sequitur. Where did I state that it was an advantage to not have a manual safety. You implied it was slow to chamber a round with a bolt action, which is not true.

    And, you do realize that most LEOs in this country carry a weapon with no manual safety, the only "safety" being the discipline of the person carrying.

    And last, maybe you should do a little studying of the peoples in the areas colonized by France - Thais of Vietnam, consisting of the ethnic subgroups of: Thái Đen, Thái Đỏ, Thái Trắng, Phu Thai, Tày Thanh and Thái Hàng Tổn. The Thais of the Mường Thanh Valley were initially an irregular force fighting the Vietnamese communist in the far western region of northern Vietnam. Later they were absorbed into the French Union forces, and give formal training a standard equipment.
     
  5. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    So, did you consider the Mosin?
    18AFBA68-CA9D-42F8-B2A1-2FDC8985ADE4.jpeg
    Doughboys from the U.S. Army’s 339th Infantry Regiment expected to be heading to the trenches of the Western Front in 1918. Instead they found themselves steaming for Russia.
    7EA35B52-15B3-4626-85BC-D233926E62EB.jpeg
     
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  6. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    You need to know a little more about the guns and profession you speak of, or be a little more clear in your text.
    The MAS 36 has no safety, manual or internal.
     
  7. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    If it were 1918, and that was what they handed me, also for that era the M1917, is a possibility, but since the title was "WW2" and "bolt action", that limits us to the M1903

    If you, or some other agency, pulls the trigger on a Glock or an M&p revolver and there is a bullet in the chamber the weapon goes "bang" (also just about every revolver), the same thing happens with a MAS...similarly, both are equally 'safe' with an empty chamber. Oh, and the MAS is drop safe due to where the mass is on the trigger and sear, so saying it has no internal safety is not quite correct.

    Also, the LEO world things can go from "normal" to "combat" unexpectedly, in the army world, there is more preamble, if you are going outside the wire on patrol, expect combat, if you are in the division rear, you can unload your weapon.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  8. The Exile

    The Exile Member

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    Well even take that off the consideration; if you have to just imagine this is being considered in part of some crazy world where you're part of some neo-gladiator match. Point is don't get overly hung up on what the best rifle is from the perspective of the guy figuring out how to get everyone ammo, nor should the decision be based on "well I don't want to pick Mauser because I wouldn't be able to share ammo with all the guys near me/wouldn't want to fight for the Whermacht". You're purely looking at the rifle from the perspective of an individual using the gun, not an army trying to figure out what they want to issue.
     
  9. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    And here's a video which popped up on YouTube just the other day. Interesting take. From the video summary:

    "During the 1920s, Italy was concerned about insufficient lethality with their 6.5x52mm cartridge, and began experimenting with larger bore diameters. By the late 1930s they settled on a new 7.35x51mm round, based closely on the existing 6.5mm cartridge case. They also planned to replace the original M91 rifles with a much more compact and more modern short rifle for the infantry. This design was adopted as the M38, and it featured side-mounted sling attachments, a folding bayonet more like a fighting knife than the old sword type, and did away entirely with the long-range adjustable sight, instead opting for a fixed 200m notch.

    I submit that this configuration was the ideal one for World War Two, and Italy was the only nation to really adopt a reality-based rifle design. The use of rifles beyond 300m was almost unheard of during the war, and the fixed sight both reduced production overhead and also made the rifles more durable and soldier-proof. It retained the 6-round Mannlicher clip that was fast to load, and both the 7.35mm and 6.5mm cartridges were closer to intermediate cartridges than other contemporaries like the 8x57 and .30-06. The M38 is handy, inexpensive to make, and comfortable to shoot. I think it is a massively under-appreciated rifle."



     
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  10. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    Per the OP, this thread isn't about what was cheapest to manufacture or "ideal", it's about what you as an individual would actually want to carry into battle.

    Do you actually feel that the M38 is "ideal" compared to the Garand, STG-44, FG-42, M1 Carbine or pretty much any other WWII rifle?

    Would you actually choose to carry one instead of a rifle where the designers wasted money on things like decent adjustable sights and a receiver made of weapons grade steel?

    Hell, even the ITALIANS didn't want to carry the M38 into battle! When "reality" hit, they foisted 'em off on the poor Finns who were facing a massive attack from the Soviet Union and were thus willing to buy damn near anything remotely weaponlike.

    Finnish soldiers hated the M38's (particularly the non adjustable sights & crappy Italian ammo) and tended to toss them as soon as they could pick up a Mosin Nagant off a dead Russian (luckily dead Russians were very easy to find during the early days of The Winter War).

    The Finns ended up issuing whatever M38's they had left over to their Navy (where they figured they'd do the least harm). As soon as the war was over they sold 'em all off to gullible American sportsmen.
     
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  11. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    There may be some that have based their decision on what they feel is the best Bolt Action rifle of WWII without first hand knowledge of many of the rifles that were used.
    I have several Carcanos in my collection. Here are two that I recently traded off.
    The 7.35 is Finn marked and the 6.5 was built in 1940 after the production of the 7.35 was ended.
    82BDA3EE-A302-4AD3-A8B8-8ACC54E575BC.jpeg 47862EB1-2393-44C5-9702-E9F8C0209DA8.jpeg 125CEF31-8814-4B60-A270-D3FFB22EE550.jpeg 2B75295B-877D-422C-A478-E29E39BE60EF.jpeg E3C906C6-2343-463A-891D-AB57A96ABF4B.jpeg

    It always best to have the guns in hand to get a better comparison. Here’s just a few of my rifles.
    7976FC9C-28BA-4332-9866-57F5EC36D6D8.jpeg
     
  12. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    ^^^
    Emphasis on the word "Few"... ;)
    :thumbup:
     
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  13. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Well... Per the OP, this thread is about bolt actions not Garands, STG-44s, FG-42s, or M1 Carbines either...

    So, Gunny, did you not like the Italian rifles' sights? Or did you appreciate the sights? If you were a bottom-of-the-totem-pole grunt, would you like the simplicity of the fixed sights or despise the non-customizable aiming point?

    For reference, I put the Carcanos near the top of my list, because of their simplicity (to the user), lack of weight, lower recoil, and en bloc clips. But I'm perfectly happy with fixed sights, and I know not everyone is.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  14. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    The truth is, I’m not a fan of the M38 carbine. They are just plan Jane, a pig without lipstick. Pretty much nothing to write home about to.
    I much prefer the Enfields.
    Now if I were arming an army and cost was a big factor, the M38 would be a good choice, but not the best.
     
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  15. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    I saw that video and just rolled......we all know a great many of these people get the total sum of their knowledge of these subjects from 12minute youtube videos. And we all know the turn around in French arms is the result of one man. Then that same man comes out with this video......I just fell out of my chair laughing.

    As to carcano, this is a first gen smokeless rifle that was being made in a country that not 10 years before was not a country.....I know it is going to be hard for some to think that through, but try. This was a rifle that the new Italy could make themselves...that sports fans is a biggie....and it just was not that bad next to everything else that came out in the 1890's.....everything else you like better is newer. Why did they not change, same reasons, it is/was not a large wealthy country....other issues took money and these guns worked just fine.

    To Gunny's point, when am I building my army, and where, would you take an 1890's Krag over a Carcano? and keep in mind the Krag is MUCH more expensive and requires MUCH more machine work.
     
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  16. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    The thing about Carcanos is, they’re not Crap. If people (myself included) name them as the “worst,” it’s only because some rifle has to be, and the Carcanos are, without doubt, the least inspiring of all the various combatants’ small arms. You pick one up and they feel “cheap and nasty.” Objectively, they work well enough, but they don’t have a very satisfying feel, they aren’t notable for accuracy, exceptional sturdiness, rate of fire, or great build quality. They also don’t, subjectively, hail from a country known for military prowess in any 20th century war, which might encourage someone picking one up to really appreciate the good points of the gun.

    From a budget and logistics point of view the Carcano is entirely adequate. But I doubt a single person on the planet, given the opportunity to fondle, shoot, and examine Arisakas, Mausers, Enfields, Springfields, Mosins, MAS36s, Berthiers, Lebels, Mannlichers, Krags, and other rifles of the war, alongside Carcanos, would ever choose an M38, if asked to pick one to carry to the militia muster this afternoon.
     
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  17. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    One thing you have to keep in mind is we judge by today. How they feel, shoot, and hold together in this country today.....and by the general examples found today.

    I said this before in a mosin thread....pick up a "good" mosin, not one that was packed away by Olga 80 years ago to be handed to cannon fodder in some 1980's war that never came. I have one good mosin, and it is a very different animal over the others that I have. I have one good Carcano, same deal it is very different over the others.....worlds of order better in every way you can think of. If I handed these rifles to you it would with out any shadow of doubt change your view on them.

    All that said what is it with the attn Carcano is getting now....hickock45 did a video on one not long ago as well. By looking at it mine LOOKS about like his does. It is just good looking, and elegant.

    What people can't understand is soldiers get a good feeling about their personal weapon, if they feel they are being handed junk that will fail.....well that is a very bad thing all the way around. No country is going to want to hand out something that they know is going to fail. Some may argue the M16 deal on this one.....but I really think this is what happens when you get some idiot that thinks you can train anyone to be anything with a video tape.
     
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  18. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    Thank you for the info regarding French ships serving as escorts for US convoys. I had not heard of that before. Too bad you then ruined an otherwise constructive post with this insulting and condescending comment.
     
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  19. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I agree with you about the Mosins. I have three, and they’re all “pretty good.” That being said, I’ve handled and shot a few dozen and most are ok-to-pretty good. There’s definitely a range in quality. I’ve handled a half dozen Carcanos and shot one on two occasions (never owned one though) and I’ve never seen one that had metalwork or stampings as good as the worst Mosin. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad rifle, they shoot fine if you can find ammo and clips. (Which is a whole other issue and doubtless contributes to their relative unpopularity. It’s harder to really run a rifle through its paces when it won’t function without clips that were originally disposable and are now $25 apiece.)

    Historically, the Italians didn’t handle their logistics as well as some of the other combatants. There are at least several historical accounts about Mannlicher clips loaded indifferently with whatever different types of ammo might be available. This doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that the rifles themselves were that much better in 1940 than they are found, today.

    But even so, they shoot. And they shoot acceptably well for military use. If the Italians were ever defeated in battle, it had nothing to do with their small arms.
     
  20. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    My dad has had a Carcano for years, we've fired it a couple times.

    Nothing about would make me want it more than a mosin or Enfield
     
  21. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    Great excuse for being a jerk. You really don't get concept of "high road" do you?
     
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  22. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    This.

    Other than the Ross Rifle, I can't think of a single world war-era bolt action that flat out doesn't work. The Carcano works, it's just junky.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  23. MJ

    MJ Member

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    I have my opinion and my reasons.

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  24. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    One of the guns on my short list, they just are not around here in middle missouri, and if you see one they think it is made out of gold. Likely going to find one at Morphy or Rock Island. But not spending any real money till this stupid blows over.....I am guessing it will end about Nov 5.
     
  25. MJ

    MJ Member

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    ............:cool:..........
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