Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

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

Post by panzerplatten » 20 Oct 2011 21:43

HI JAMESL,
interesting thread hearing about these weapons, i've fired the lee enfield ww1 issue 303, 7.62mm which i found a very accurate weapon. the irish army switched from using the fn to the the styer manlycr 5,56. in the 80s excuse my spelling! and the training

303 lee enfields were sold to the us army. reguarding some other weapons here i'm miles behind bud! i have used the ppk and bap.browning automatic pistol 9mm. as for gpmg's the british bren gun was my limit! I

Dunserving
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Dunserving » 20 Oct 2011 22:12

Kocur wrote:
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:
Huge misunderstanding there.

Many infantrymen DURING WW1 were not as proficient as those fully trained BEFORE the war, ie around 1910.
Many infantrymen DURING WW2 were not as proficient as those fully trained BEFORE the war, ie around 1935.

But, it is not right to compare someone called up into service during WW2 with a fully trained infantryman from before WW1.

It is also wrong to suggest that the experts died out in the first months of WW1. Many of them were still serving in 1918!

Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 20 Oct 2011 22:24

Those would be extremely lucky guys! How many of the infantrymen of initial BEF survived to 1918?
Anyway, I understand that we agree that WW2 conscripts were not trained as good as pre-WW1 infantrymen.

Dunserving
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Dunserving » 20 Oct 2011 22:37

JamesL wrote: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

Oh please.... It is not a case of "a LE could probably be fired at 30rpm" - it could most definitely.

BUT being able to fire at a rate of 30+ rounds per minute does not mean that you'd fire at that rate for a whole minute, let alone three minutes so that you ran out of ammunition! It might only be for a few seconds...

The command "RAPID FIRE!" would have been used then, as now, when required and would be countermanded as soon as possible because of the heavy consumption of ammunition.

Some of you might know of the BBC TV series called War Walks (or something like that) by the late Brigadier Richard Holmes. In one of them he demonstrated rapid fire with a Lee Enfield - very rapid and accurate.

YouTube has plenty of videos of people playing silly beggars with Lee Enfields - very rapid indeed but not accurate.

Dunserving
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Dunserving » 20 Oct 2011 22:47

Kocur wrote:Those would be extremely lucky guys! How many of the infantrymen of initial BEF survived to 1918?
Anyway, I understand that we agree that WW2 conscripts were not trained as good as pre-WW1 infantrymen.
Neither were WW1 conscripts!

But peacetime soldiers of the regular army were as good pre-WW2 as they were pre-WW1. You simply cannot compare the skills of fully trained infantry with those of conscripts who have only had very basic training before being sent to the front line.

lhughes41
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 21 Oct 2011 16:01

This has been a great conversation that is really helping me refine my understanding. Now I have a third pass on how to assess MG Volume of Fire (RPM) in context of game. A key issue is whether to use Cyclic, long term sustained (i.e. 'indefinitely' sustainable rate or "medium" according to some language above), or what I'll call Periodic (fire for a few minutes (1 to 3)).
-- Cyclic -- this seem clearly impractical as an estimate because of changing of belts, overheating, etc. Having said that, I am thinking that MGs with higher Cyclic rates should receive a bonus because presumably a "burst" will be more effective from putting more bullets in the target area in the brief time a target might be exposed.
-- Indefinite-- this came up recently in discussion of M1917A1. Given the points made about how much ammo was readily available generally anyway (say 5 minutes), and given it seems unlikely that MGs were going to be firing continuously for more than few minutes at a time I'm thinking this is also not the rate to use.
-- Periodic -- therefore I am going to use what can be done in under a few minutes but limited by belt changes (e.g. not using cyclic rates for this).

Comments on that approach for a game (turns probably represent abuot 5 minutes of time).
If I take that appraoch then I'm right now going with:
-- M1917A1 -- RPM of about 250 (steaming after a few minutes but still under my threshold)
-- MG34 Tripod -- 300-350 RPM .. more stiched together belts
-- MG42 Tripod -- 500 to 550 RPM
-- MG34 bipod -- 125 RPM -- belts typically in 50 shot segments...
--MG42 bipod --250 RPM .. not sure why this is actually.. just what one source said...hmmm
Most water cooled are going to come out like the M1917A1 above and most most LMGs (like bipod MG34) are going to come out in the 125 range.

So in game terms right now the famed german MGs don't come out with a dramatic ROF advantage even in tripod mode (though still 325 vs maybe 250). BUT from further reading I am think these MGs should get a few bonuses:
-- tripod --for the stability and quality of the german tripod.
-- cyclic bonus -- presumably this improves ToHit due to higher VOF within a burst for a fixed short period of time. This regardless of whether bipod or tripod
-- Sights -- I understand in tripod mode they had good optics.
-- training -- it has been argued that German Squads had more training about tactical use of MG. A bit on the fence on this one but will probably represent by their starting the war with more training|experience bonus. Later in the war (1943+) I am skeptical that they have a doctrinal advantage in use of MGs. But still open to discussion on this.

Taking all of this into account in the game means that German and Western squads (even early war) are not going to look that different in overall firepower (in LMG mode the various MGs don't look that different to me right now). BUT German HMG (tripod mounting) would enjoy a significant advantage due to RPM (better if not dramatically better), cyclic bonus, optics.

Questions:
-- please give me your comments on above
-- Tripod -- I'm presuming right now that German and U.S. tripods are pretty equivalent but I don't know. But looking at soviet mounts for like the Maxim.. the wheeled little carriages.. they don't *look* as stable. Is that true? Are the SOviet MG mounts worse? i.e. in game terms should I not give them a tripod bonus?
-- Optics -- presuming this is a german only advantage? not quite sure
--

Comments please.

Dunserving
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Dunserving » 21 Oct 2011 17:06

"Game"
"Tripod mode"
"Bonus"
"in game terms should I not give them a tripod bonus?"


Wearing your nations uniform and carrying/using your nations weapons is not a game. It is real and deadly serious.

In the real world there are so many other factors such as range, visibility, accuracy of the weapon, tactical situation, quantity of ammunition available and reliability of resupply etc etc, that your gaming scenarios are hardly worth considering.

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LWD
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by LWD » 21 Oct 2011 19:42

lhughes41 wrote:-- 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.
That was it's nominal role but from what I've read they didn't not use it if they saw opposing infantry. I'm not all that widely read on the topic but have run across acounts of it's use against infantry.

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Dunserving » 22 Oct 2011 11:31

Kocur wrote:Those would be extremely lucky guys! How many of the infantrymen of initial BEF survived to 1918?

This is a question that is impossible to answer accurately as records as such were never kept.

It is possible to analyse to some extent the medal rolls, casualty lists etc etc, and this has been discussed on the Great War Forum.

Based on data from some infantry regiments it seems reasonable to suggest that of those who went over to France with the BEF right at the start of the war about 20% were still serving in the front line at the end in 1918. About 30% had been discharged from service due to wounds or illness, about 10% had been commissioned and had gone on to serve elsewhere, and about 40% had been killed.

It should also be remembered that the better trained soldiers would, throughout the war, have been passing on the benefit of their knowledge and experience to the new and less well trained conscripts as they joined their regiments.

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by JTV » 22 Oct 2011 17:22

lhughes41 wrote:Questions:
-- please give me your comments on above
-- Tripod -- I'm presuming right now that German and U.S. tripods are pretty equivalent but I don't know. But looking at soviet mounts for like the Maxim.. the wheeled little carriages.. they don't *look* as stable. Is that true? Are the SOviet MG mounts worse? i.e. in game terms should I not give them a tripod bonus?
-- Optics -- presuming this is a german only advantage? not quite sure
The most common Soviet machinegun-mount for Maxim was Sololov-mount. I have some experience about and it and it's stable, but it has some other issues. Unlike most tripods it has no way of adjusting how high from ground level the machinegun is, so at least I found it difficult to find any good shooting position which would have allowed me to both shoot with the weapon and also used its sights at the same time. Another thing is that vibration of the weapon (caused by shooting with it) may effect elevation adjustment screw making to it rotate - which results barrel slowly climbing higher and higher. The Soviets used also Vladimirov Universal mount in lesser extent with their Maxim-machineguns, but I have no personal experience about that one.

BTW: When Finnish military was planned starting locally manufacturing of MG-42 in 7.62 x 54R caliber, it found original MG-42 tripod to be too unstable and designed new machinegun-mount which combined pintle from MG-42 tripod with tripod of Soviet DS-39.

BTW #2: Soviet Sokolov-mounts manufactured for Maxim-machineguns in 1932 - 1941 had attachment point for optical sight introduced year 1932 and small opening in gun shield used with this mount. However since apparently the production of optical sights never reached anywhere near the level of Maxim-machinegun production, they dropped off these details in 1941 and most of their Maxim's served in war without optical sights.

Jarkko

Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 22 Oct 2011 20:56

JTV wrote: The most common Soviet machinegun-mount for Maxim was Sololov-mount. I have some experience about and it and it's stable, but it has some other issues. Unlike most tripods it has no way of adjusting how high from ground level the machinegun is, so at least I found it difficult to find any good shooting position which would have allowed me to both shoot with the weapon and also used its sights at the same time.
Having fired Maxim gun on Sokolov mount I agree that it's less than perfect. I think that most of users had to put something behind the gun, like rolled blanket, to have their elbows higher in order to comfortably reach spade grips when firing in prone position.

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by lhughes41 » 23 Oct 2011 20:16

Very interesting about the Soviet MHs. Thank you. so far I am concludings Germans do have an optical sights advantage...presuming tripod MGs typically had them? The Finnish remark implies German tripods had some issues but were they still relatively better than other Nation's tripods?

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JTV
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by JTV » 23 Oct 2011 21:22

lhughes41 wrote:The Finnish remark implies German tripods had some issues but were they still relatively better than other Nation's tripods?
What I remember reading Finnish suspicion was tripod for MG-42 had been intentionally designed to introduce certain amount of instability for the weapon. This was supposedly to increase dispersion of bullets on targer to certain level(*), which was considered beneficial while shooting area fire. Hence I would not call MG-42 tripod necessarily better, especially if one does to specify first exactly makes one tripod better than other - like:
- How stabile it is?
- How easy it to is to use?
- How well does to adjust to different situations?
- How large and heavy it is?
When it comes to shooting accuracy of machineguns on tripods on wargame, personally I would just grade the tripods and similar machinegun-mounts in similar manner and leave it to that.

(*) Finnish findings were that when fired from a shooting bench MG-42 itself gave minimal dispersion of bullets on target.

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trapperP
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by trapperP » 25 Oct 2011 15:22

LWD wrote:There has been considerable debate as to whether momentum or kinetic energy is the primary cause of trauma (IMO it's some mix). How the rounds expand or fragment and just what they hit may have more impact on damage than what rifle they come from. Certainly the combata rifles differ little in diameter
The 30-06 is 7.82mm.
The .303 is 7.70mm
The German 8mm is actually 7.92mm
A good reference is:
http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Historic%20MGs.htm
barrel length is going to be more of a factor IMO than whether it's and mg or a rifle. I.e. a carbine may have significantly less velocity than a rifle or mg using the same cartridge.
You may find the table at the bottom of that page of interest. Lots of other good info at the home page: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/miltech.htm
Indeed this may go a long way to refineing your questions if not answering them: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/terminal.htm
Not to be argumentative or to be 'picking' on you but I think you need to check your figures here;
In actuality, the 30-06 bullet is 7.62 or .308. the 303 Brit bullet is generally .311 or .312 and the German 8x57 was 7.92 or .318. I have seen and miked .303 military surplus rifles with bores ranging from .309-inch (7.8mm) up to .318-inch (8.1mm) and everything in between those numbers – the widest variety of any rifles I have ever worked with.
And since I have entered the fray, I'll ask a couple other questions. Firstly, why the differentials between ROF and Max Eff range, etc between the MG34 and the MG42? The should be virtually identical as they fired the exact same ammo, albeit the MG42 fired it much faster. Secondly, I think we have a great deal of confusion over the rate of fire of the SMLE vs the other arms referenced. The Brits did not change out the magazines on these rifles in combat but rather topped off the magazine from five round stripper clips, exactly the same as the Springfield, the Moisin-Nagant, etc, etc. I don't think the SMLE would be more than marginally faster than any of the others after burning through the first ten in the magazine vs 5 rounds in the others - the only real difference is it cocks on closing the bolt versus the K98, Springfield, etc cock on opening.
As a matter of conversation, I own and fire virtually all of the weapons we speak of here with the exceptions of the MGs of course and no Carcano or Lebel. I also own a GI carbine and a Japanese Arisaki and I would very much like to meet and see the guy that wrote the data take the SMLE and match me or anyone else using the Garand with aimed fire. The Garand fires 8 rounds without reloading and you then load up another 8 rounds in I believe less time than you can strip 5 rounds into the SMLE or the K98. Additionally, you can ride out the recoil and aim again without having to move the hand from the grip to roll the bolt. Would make for an interesting shoot-off, no? Personally, and I emphasis the "personally", I much prefer the sights on the Garand to the 'Smelly' or the K-98 but again, that is personal preferance and has no bearing on the subject to which we speak.
Just some thoughts to add to an interesting thread and I would like to see your comments.
Best regards,
trapperP

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 25 Oct 2011 15:38

trapperP wrote: Not to be argumentative or to be 'picking' on you but I think you need to check your figures here;
In actuality, the 30-06 bullet is 7.62 or .308.
I'm afraid it is you who is wrong in this case. 7.62 mm is diameter of the bore between lands so actual diameter of the .30-06 bullet is natually greater and it is 7.82 mm. German 7.92 mm is diameter between lands and bullets actual diameter is 8,2 mm.
Then again you are right about .303, which bullet actual diameter is about .311 or about 7.9 mm.

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