Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
JamesL
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by JamesL » 20 Oct 2011 00:35

I would lump all the .30 cal. rifle rounds together with respect to effectiveness.

I suggest you look at the following link.

Operational Requirements for an Infantry Hand Weapon, U.S. Army 1952.
Lethality of the Rifle, Page 7.
http://www.cfspress.com/sharpshooters/p ... Weapon.pdf

It discusses lethality experience in WWII.

Basically, a .30 cal round would render a man ineffective 30% of the time. Three hits (from a Garand or LE or Mauser) were required to 'guarantee' the man was down. In the 1950's- 1960's the US Army wanted a rifle with a lighter round that would render the same service, hence the development of the M16 family and 5.56mm round. (It is an internet myth that the US Army wanted to wound enemy soldiers. They wanted to kill them dead!)

As an aside, the US Marine Corps just ordered several thousand H&K automatic rifles to be used in 4 man fire teams, 3 per squad. Box magazine. Sounds like they are reverting to a BAR 'Lite'.

Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 20 Oct 2011 07:18

JamesL wrote:I would lump all the .30 cal. rifle rounds together with respect to effectiveness.
I would add also Japanese 6.5 mm to that group. That projectile was specifically designed to yaw early and caused wounds of severity greater than caliber smaller than around 8 mm would suggest. OTOH Italian 6.5 mm with blunt nose was decidedly weaker in wounding than any spitzer bullet, as it was of smaller diameter and did not yaw.

lhughes41
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 20 Oct 2011 15:59

Thanks for correcting my mistakes, appreciated! I'm ignorant but learn fast :-) I will read the articles suggested. I wasn't sure which caliber measure I had was the right one. Now I know.

lhughes41
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 20 Oct 2011 18:14

OK I've made a first pass at digesting the various materials pointed to above. Again thanks, great stuff. Here is my next pass on damage and small arms. Please let me know your thoughts:
-- Rifles -- there is no interesting difference in damage for the various WWII rifles. Please correct me in terms of specific rifles if you disagree.
-- MGs -- normally damage will be more tied to multiple hits due to rate of fire. However the .50 Caliber is probably deserving of a higher damage rating.. though the counter argument would be its ROF is relatively low at 40 RPM effective fire (450 cyclic).. where as say the M1917A1 is 125 RPM. I will likely capture this by giving the .50 caliber a lower accuracy (relative to the mounted MGs (e.g. tripod MG34 etc)) but somewhat higher damage when hit (since again ROF impacts damage too).
New Damage Topics:
------------------------
--Shells -- I would appreciate being point to material that would allow me to assess the relative lethality of mortar, infantry gun, artillery, and tank shell fire (HE vs AP) vs infantry.
-- Grenades -- similarly for grenades.

Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 20 Oct 2011 18:50

lhughes41 wrote: -- MGs -- normally damage will be more tied to multiple hits due to rate of fire. However the .50 Caliber is probably deserving of a higher damage rating..
Of course it is. The .50 M2 and others hmgs were different animals than rifle-caliber machine guns. Firstly, they were not intended to be anti-personnel weapons, but as anti-aircraft and anti-armor weapons. But if they were used against humans, single hit anywhere in one's body would be most probably lethal.
lhughes41 wrote: though the counter argument would be its ROF is relatively low at 40 RPM effective fire (450 cyclic).. where as say the M1917A1 is 125 RPM.
Why would you assume such a low number for M1917A1? It was water-cooled, classic medium machine gun, capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute for many minutes. It was in the same class as Vickers machine gun or Soviet Maxim gun obr. 1910 and those should be assigned practical rof even higher that that of sMG 34 and sMG 42 in your game.
lhughes41 wrote: I will likely capture this by giving the .50 caliber a lower accuracy (relative to the mounted MGs (e.g. tripod MG34 etc)) but somewhat higher damage when hit (since again ROF impacts damage too).
There is no reason to do that. Low practical rof of air-cooled .50 M2HB (caused by light weight of "Heavy Barrel" - light in relation to power of the cartridge) is enough.
lhughes41 wrote: --Shells -- I would appreciate being point to material that would allow me to assess the relative lethality of mortar, infantry gun, artillery, and tank shell fire (HE vs AP) vs infantry.
-- Grenades -- similarly for grenades.
At risk that you will find yourself overwhelmed...:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/33384436/Term ... re-Rockets

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LWD
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by LWD » 20 Oct 2011 18:53

The M2 .50cal was well known for it's accuracy.
There was an old RPG game called Phoenix Command I believe that went into the detail of damage caused by numerous weapons. It was intially for the 1970 ish to 1980 ish period but there were extesnisons back into the 1800's as well as some SF type stuff. It might be worth checking out if you can find a copy. It was very detaild with turns running a few seconds from what I recall. I think they used a KE model for damage (as opposed to, momentum models, or wound channel models, or hydrostatic shock models, or temporary wound cavity models) but at least some of the time that appears to be a reasonable choice. I think they accounted for overpentration as well but am not sure.

Steve Wilcox
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Steve Wilcox » 20 Oct 2011 19:07

Kocur wrote:
lhughes41 wrote: though the counter argument would be its ROF is relatively low at 40 RPM effective fire (450 cyclic).. where as say the M1917A1 is 125 RPM.
Why would you assume such a low number for M1917A1? It was water-cooled, classic medium machine gun, capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute for many minutes. It was in the same class as Vickers machine gun or Soviet Maxim gun obr. 1910 and those should be assigned practical rof even higher that that of sMG 34 and sMG 42 in your game.
It's not an assumption, it's the medium rate of fire for the M1917A1. I posted a link on page 2 of this thread:
Steve Wilcox wrote:In Osprey's World War II Infantry Tactics, Company and Battalion by Dr Stephen Bull, it says regarding the s.MG34 that "The 1940 Handbook of the German Army suggests that a common rate of fire was about 300 to 350 rounds per minute." Page 20. This was apparently a 1940 publication by the British government.

On page 16 of that same Osprey work, regarding the M1917A1 it says:
"As the 1942 Heavy Weapons Company manual observed:
'The calibre .30 heavy machine gun is a crew served weapon capable of delivering a large volume of continuous fire. Medium rate of fire (125 rounds per minute) can be sustained indefinitely. Rapid fire (250 rounds per minute) can be fired for several minutes, but steaming will occur within two to three minutes."

lhughes41
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 20 Oct 2011 19:17

--Regarding the table of rates of fire -- Yes I am using Stephen Bull and Steve Wilcox too :-)
-- .50 Caliber --I spoke poorly about the .50 caliber. I was actually talking about chance to hit rather than "accuracy". I am tying the ToHit chance of an MG in part to it's rate of fire. That is, within limits the more bullets in the vicinity of the target the better chance of a hit (see also the excellent http://www.cfspress.com/sharpshooters/p ... Weapon.pdf ). I also look at accuracy modifiers like scopes or being a tripod. So what I meant to say about the .50 was that it's "ToHit" should be lower given a lower rate of fire. Not it's accuracy in the sense of its ability to aim and deliver in vicinity of target.
An interesting point was made about .50 not being used typically versus infantry. I was noticing that too in that seemed typically mounted on vehicles for AA etc. So my current thinking is that will only appear in that form.
Last edited by lhughes41 on 20 Oct 2011 19:25, edited 1 time in total.

Dunserving
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Dunserving » 20 Oct 2011 19:23

It is a few years since I've fired a Lee Enfield, like about seven, but about 40 since I've had my hands on the competition (Mauser).
Of the two I'd prefer the Lee Enfield.

This from another source, written by a soldier:

The relative speeds of the two action types have been tested under proper trial conditions - at Hythe in 1912. Under controlled conditions, the Mauser achieved 14 or 15 rounds per minute, whilst the SMLE achieved 28.

Thus the Enfield action is about TWICE as fast as a comparative Mauser military action.



28 was an "average" rate for the SMLE. The rapid fire rate is even greater - 30 to 31 rounds per minute "were routinely achieved" by trained soldiers, and these were aimed and scoring shots on the targetry of the day.

There are actually a large number of factors in this: better ergonomics (allowing certain rapid-fire techniques in the Enfield), shorter bolt action, cock-on-close striker, better magazine design - and larger magazine capacity.

The larger magazine gives the Enfield a speed advantage in that the Mauser can only be charger-loaded when all five rounds are expended - ie the shooter has no choice in the matter. The Enfield can be "topped up" with anything up to five rounds already in the magazine - hence the shooter can choose their own shooting "rhythm".

The British infantry fire superiority over the Germans was down to a combination of the fortuitous rifle design, but also of training. Whilst the Germans focussed on soldier marksmanship alone, the British training doctrine also included "rate of fire".

I believe (as in I don't know of anyone who was quicker) the record for the Lee Enfield was 38 rounds on target in one minute, by a Sgt Maj Snoxhall, but he was an instructor....

It is important to remember that there is a difference between maximum rate of fire and maximum rate of aimed accurate fire.

lhughes41
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 20 Oct 2011 19:28

Thanks on the Lee-Enfield. Right now based on some earlier discussions here I've been going with most rifles get Aimed rate of fire of about 10 RPM. The Lee-Enfield I was giving 12 RPM based on a WWI standard I found (yes I realize WWI). Interesting you would argue almost twice as high as the others. Also you point about British ROF training is interesting.
Might move it up to 15 RPM...

JamesL
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by JamesL » 20 Oct 2011 19:52

Some additional light reading. :)

US Army Medical Department
Office of Medical History
Wound Ballistics


http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs ... efault.htm

Casualty Survey-New Georgia and Burma Campaigns

Study on Wound Ballistics-Bougainville Campaign

Examination of 1,000 American Casualties Killed in Italy

Study of Fifth U.S. Army Hospital Battle Casualty Deaths

Casualty Survey, Cassino, Italy

FWIW, a few years ago the Lee Enfields were going for $87 at the local gun shows here in the USA.

Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 20 Oct 2011 19:56

Steve Wilcox wrote: It's not an assumption, it's the medium rate of fire for the M1917A1. I posted a link on page 2 of this thread:
Ok, so it is one of standard rates of fire, but meant for some lengthy sustained firing. I think that for purposes of the game the "rapid fire" would be more appropriate.
Steve Wilcox wrote:In Osprey's World War II Infantry Tactics, Company and Battalion by Dr Stephen Bull, it says regarding the s.MG34 that "The 1940 Handbook of the German Army suggests that a common rate of fire was about 300 to 350 rounds per minute." Page 20. This was apparently a 1940 publication by the British government.
One could fire a water-cooled mmg as fast or faster - for some time. And German gpmgs were no different, i.e. they couldn't keep firing that fast for long time, because two or three barrels in circulation eventually would get so hot, that they wouldn't cool down enough during their rest periods and fire would be interrupted by frequent barrel changes. Limiting factor for water-cooled was water itself. Radiator was connected with water can and as water in radiator boiled, steam would go to the can and after it condensed, it would be poured back to radiator. Problem was that some water, both liquid and steam, was lost, so for firing that was both intense and long, the gun would need deliveries of water (or a water-based liquid like urine...).
Dunserving wrote: The relative speeds of the two action types have been tested under proper trial conditions - at Hythe in 1912. Under controlled conditions, the Mauser achieved 14 or 15 rounds per minute, whilst the SMLE achieved 28.
Since it was in 1912, these result can't be directly applied to WW2, as infantrymen of that period were not nearly as proficient in using SMLEs in rapid fire as those from before WW1.
Dunserving wrote: Thus the Enfield action is about TWICE as fast as a comparative Mauser military action.
I'd say: it could be, if was used by an expert and those unfortunately died out in first months of WW1.
Dunserving wrote: The larger magazine gives the Enfield a speed advantage in that the Mauser can only be charger-loaded when all five rounds are expended - ie the shooter has no choice in the matter.
This is not true. Mauser rifle could be loaded with single cartridges or with stripper clip and it's magazine could be "topped up" any time.

lhughes41
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 20 Oct 2011 19:59

Kocur would you assign a higher rate of fire for the Enfield then in WW2? If standard other WWII rifle were assigned rate of 10 RPM what would you give the Enfield?

Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 20 Oct 2011 20:07

Having fired SMLEs, Mausers and Mosins I definitely would assign SMLE more than other bolt action rifles, but I can't say how much, surely not 100% more. But that could be easily determined, just have some amateurs shoot SMLE and say Mauser during some fixed time and compare results :wink:

JamesL
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by JamesL » 20 Oct 2011 20:44

Yes, a LE could probably be fired at 30 rpm. However, the soldier would run out of ammo after about 3 minutes. He could then pack up his old kit bag and head back to Blighty.

A 'trained soldier' was expected to be able to fire 16-24 rounds per minute using an M1 Garand. I can't see a bolt action rifle having a higher rate of fire than a Garand. See link.

http://www.biggerhammer.net/manuals/garand/intro.htm

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