Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

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

Post by trapperP » 25 Oct 2011 15:51

If you reload for the 30-06 the correct bullet is .308" diameter, for the 8x57 the correct diameter is .318 - excepting of course that the "8x57mm" is actually three different cartridges - the pattern 88 rifle used the original and then came the "S" bore with the .323" bullet and followed by the "I" bore with the .318"
And before this goes any further, please read this sticky post from the Mannlicher Forum found at "Gunboards" carefully:

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...and-Ammunition

There is much inaccurate information on the 7.9X57mm cartridge and bullet and the bore sizes of the rifles it was used in, especially when it comes to the Gew88. This should clear things up a little. And in addition, we should realize this was the first attempt by Germany to develop a true small caliber military round, it was a work in process from the start and it was over a hundred years ago. Almost any statement that can be made in regards to the subject can probably be proven wrong.
We could go on and on on the subject and probably all might learn something. I hope so and must say I have learned much from this forum, especially given all the exposure ee have, worldwide. Wonderful, knowledgeable group we find here.
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Kocur
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Kocur » 25 Oct 2011 16:02

trapperP wrote:If you reload for the 30-06 the correct bullet is .308" diameter
Of course - as 0.308 x 25.4 is 7.82 mm.
trapperP wrote: , for the 8x57 the correct diameter is .318 - excepting of course that the "8x57mm" is actually three different cartridges - the pattern 88 rifle used the original and then came the "S" bore with the .323" bullet and followed by the "I" bore with the .318"
I'm afraid you got something wrong, as nominal diameter of bullet S (not S cartridge!) and sS and all specialized bullets (armour-piercing, tracer etc) was 8.23 mm. Let me suggest this link: http://www.lexpev.nl/downloads/ringbuchinfanterie.pdf .

Clive Mortimore
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Clive Mortimore » 27 Oct 2011 20:05

The theoretical rate of aimed fire, even if achieved on the range is not going to be the same as on the battlefield. Before looking at the rate of fire let us look at the potential time of viewing the target.

First situation, you are in a concealed position and see an enemy patrol in the distance, they are within range. You take aim, fire your first round, and reload as fast as possible (or in the case of semi-automatics it reloads for you). You would be lucky to fire that second round. Where has you target gone? Taken to cover on the sound of your first round, if they are properly trained. You are then waiting for him to reappear so you can shoot him again. You would not fire again until you saw him and were sure you would hit him, because firing the second round he would see you.

Second situation, you are in your trench, the enemy is launching a major attack. You know this because of the aircraft that have been bombing you, and the artillery fire you have come under. It stops, you are ordered to get out your hole and man the rampart. The enemy machine gun fire and mortar fire continues, and the fire from the enemy’s tanks rains down on you. So you keep your head down. It too stops, as you are ordered to fire on the enemy you can hear his officers telling him to charge. He is, if his plan has worked, about 100 meters from you. It will take him 20 to 30 seconds to reach you. How many aimed rounds are you going to fire in that time bearing in mind the fear based adrenaline has kicked in, and so has the diuretic effect of that fear.

What can be achieved on the range very rarely matches what happens on the battlefield. It is worth remembering most shots fired from small arms are not aimed but just pointed in the general direction.
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by trapperP » 29 Oct 2011 00:23

"What can be achieved on the range very rarely matches what happens on the battlefield. It is worth remembering most shots fired from small arms are not aimed but just pointed in the general direction."
And commonly referred to as "Spray & Pray!" Have a look at the documented number of rounds fired t obtain one single kill, then compare WWI, WWII, Korea and Viet Nam - quite startling.
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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Mark V » 10 Nov 2011 18:57

Kocur wrote:
I'm afraid you got something wrong, as nominal diameter of bullet S (not S cartridge!) and sS and all specialized bullets (armour-piercing, tracer etc) was 8.23 mm.
Yep.

I believe many are uncertain (and maybe afraid) of 7.92x57 (8mm Mauser) because all this bullet diameter talk in net.

Bad thing is that floating with the factually correct measures of days gone past may left some perfectly good guns left unused in safes of their owners. Owners that don't want to dwell time on Germanic measurements of "ze calibre".

8mm Mauser is simple actually.

There is situation: 1) that don't have to mind at all, and situation 2) that have to mind but are also mostly by profession/hobby/family knowleadgeable about thís "myriad", and it is not big deal.


1) If you have unsporterized WW2-era surplus rifle like kar98k, Yugo M48, G33/40, vz 24, etc.. = as long as it is come through basic check for shootability - shoot happily whatever military surplus ammo is available, or whatever commercial stuff is available, or mature handloads with normal working up = without second thought to all of this hassle.

You can skip ALL that follows, as your weapon is .323, and so is in practise all available ammo, and if you happen to stumble to commercial or ancient military surplus ammo with smaller bullet diameter (you don't, if you are not in gunstore in some small town deep in German Bavaria where they ask which bore ammo you want before selling to you anything, or buy ammo for shooting (DUH!) from ammo collectors auctions...), so what...

2) If you have older military Mauser actioned rifle, like pre-WW1, or even quite newish commercial sporting rifle -> Go to your gunsmith, and let him slug the bore. It may be .323 or .318. If .323 switch to option 1) mentality and be absolutely care-free about ammo and everything. If .318 you actually have to look what ammo you buy, or what bullets as reloading components (or swage the bullets). If you have non-Mauser rifle, like Gew-88, or one of the pre-98 Mauser actions (rare case in this chambering, but must notify this for gunsmith works), in addition to results of bore measurements, also study about what your action can handle.

Option 1) covers the vast majority of people with 8mm Mauser guns (atleast in America), and it is the carefree lot, but many of them don't know that they don't have worries.

Option 2) involves more about those that collect pre-WW1 military weapons, European hunters that have inherited the granddaddys old hunting rifles, and collectors of sporting Mausers. For whatever reasons some German gunsmiths preferred the smaller bore as supposedly more accurate (old wives tales), and continued making/sporterizing Mausers with .318 decades after German military had switched over to .323 bore.

8mm Mauser is the first sane (8mm Lebel was the slightly nutty first born, died in young age) grand-daddy of them all. I mean modern high-power rifle chamberings. One of the best still today. All others are just (poor) copies... shoot them Mausers !!

Modern American commercial ammo is chicken-shit (for big-game hunting) because above hassle with bores and lawyers. If you reload, and want go hunting mule deer or elk - look for good recipes, they are around - 7.92X57 is ment to down charging cuirassier cavalry horses, not men, when properly loaded. Euro commercial ammo is full power, as .318 and .323 bore 8mm Mausers are actually altogether different chamberings, and it is expected that customer knows the difference. It is not fault of Norma, etc. if someone shoots modern full power (.323) 7.92X57(I/J)S ammo from his 19th Century Gew/-88 that has .318 bore. DO NOT. 8mm Mauser is to central European hunter what 30-06 is to American, and there is prime quality hunting ammo available.

For Americans 8mm Mauser is best to be thought kinda like 45-70. In modern times there is several kinds of 45-70s, from loadings to original/replica black powder antique rifles, to modern lever actions, to single shots, all with corresponding charge levels, and you don't mix them up, if you wan't to play it safe.


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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Bobb » 28 Jan 2016 23:08

Dang that's very slow rate of fire. Thought the m1 garand should be fired at around 45-60 rounds a minute

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by JTV » 29 Jan 2016 05:54

Bobb wrote:Dang that's very slow rate of fire. Thought the m1 garand should be fired at around 45-60 rounds a minute
Only with "Hollywood-magazine" (never-ending magazine which never needs to be reloaded)... :lol:

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Duncan_M » 23 Jan 2019 18:32

For posterity I'm resurrecting this thread to add some info:

I'm noticing a lot of confusion on terms. Cyclic rate refers to a theoretical limit on firing, how fast is the weapon capable of firing without stoppages or malfunctions. It does not take into factor heat build up, recoil, accuracy, skill of shooter, or ammunition load out. The only useful information that can be gained from the cyclic rate is how fast to limit bursts to. For instance, a burst fired while holding the trigger down to say outloud or in head the common modern US military machine gunner ditti of "Die Mother****er Die" produces 6-9 round burst for an M249 SAW or M240 MG but would produce a burst over 20 rounds for the much faster firing MG 42, which is generally unacceptable for most types of fire from a bipod operated light machine gun firing, which is why German gunners were taught to fire in one second bursts, essentially holding down the trigger long enough for their brain to register they're firing then let go of the trigger (or by pulling out every 6th round from the 50 round belt, purposely inducing a stoppage, creating a bolt action rifle that fires in five round bursts, a technique popularized in late war when machine gunners were less trained and less disciplined).

Some other theoretical rates include the rapid rate of fire, which is the level of fire that the weapon is capable of firing for short duration before it suffers from a heat related stoppage or malfunction. Sustained rate is the level of fire that the weapon system is capable of firing indefinitely in light of heat, or for longer periods without interruption of the cycle of operations.

Not to suggest these are actual rates used in combat against point targets, they are generally used as limits placed on the weapon system, be it a rifle, machine gun, mortar, or even artillery piece. Various small unit leaders, team, squad, section, gruppen leaders give fire commands to machine gunners and riflemen alike, giving them their firing rate as well as other instructions as part of a fire command (distance, direction, description, etc). This is most commonly given for covering/suppressive fires when area targets are engaged (a large collection of point targets where known, likely, and suspected enemy positions are shot at, such as around trees, through doors and windows, around corners, through bushes, etc), but not done against individual point targets (enemy who are actually see), who would be engaged at will by whatever fire is most effective at hitting them with whatever rate of fire is possible to attain. If enough targets are actually seen, like a human wave attack, attempting cyclic rate is acceptable as long as lots of hits are being made. In target rich environments, it doesn't matter if your piece stops working 10 minutes from now if you are able to perform a turkey shoot inside 5 minutes.

Practical rates of rifle fire, especially with WW2 era bolt action rifles, are limited primarily to accuracy. Because they fire single shots, in slow succession with a bolt action throw, with limited magazine capacity, the likelihood of a hit on visible targets is low, considering realistic battlefield conditions where the targets in combat are hard to find, hard to see after being found, hard to take aim on (contrasting diminishes sight picture), often partially or mostly obscured, often moving quickly, often only seen for very limited exposure. Meanwhile the shooter is often tired, frightened, heavily winded/breathing heavily, not firing from a steady rest, weapon isn't zeroed properly, etc.

In WW2, covering/suppressive fire was often seen, by doctrine and training, as the responsibility of the squad's light machine gun/automatic rifle, which meant riflemen often waited until seeing an actual target before firing, which was discouraged and later altered on the job in combat, when riflemen were encouraged to also fire at known, likely, or suspected enemy positions with covering/suppressive fire. This of course would greatly increase the practical rate of fire of bolt action or semi auto full power rifles.

Meanwhile there is some confusion about the British "Mad Minute" qualification standards of pre-WW1 training, made famous of course by the gun lore and the internet. This was a test where riflemen fired from a sling supported prone position at a single exposed target at 300 yards as fast as they could accurately for a period of 60 seconds, I believe they were allocated 15 rounds. The standard test was not to fire as many rounds as they could, they were limited in numbers of shots, done to test of speed and accuracy of firing and reloading. However, for competition purposes only, numerous long service NCOs employed as marksmanship instructors often competed against one another to see how many rounds they could fire total in that same tests at the same target. So whereas the typical rifleman was straining to fire 15 rounds accurately, these shooters could fire over 30 rounds, showing their skill in accuracy and speed.

However, those high scores were not indicative of British musketry as a whole, those were professional marksman, which is like comparing an pro-bowl NFL football player to a high school player. And the it was not a test to simulate combat, nobody would fire 15-40 shots at a single target as fast as possible in a minute, the target would either dead after the first couple shots or missed entirely. A case can be made that it could simulate rifle conducted suppressive fire, but even then 15-30 rounds against one specific known, likely, or suspected target in a minute is a bit much.

A more realistic test would be having to adjust to a new target every 2-3 shots, shifting the entire body position, changing the natural point of aim and sight picture between targets, which would GREATLY slow the practical rate of fire downwards. Done with pop up targets of some kind that surprise the shooter, forcing them to scan and find, then position themselves, then engage, is even more realistic.

In theory the SMLE/Lee Enfield would have an edge on other five round magazine bolt action rifles of the WW2 era, while the M1 Garand, G43, or SVT 40 would have an edge on any bolt action rifle, as faster follow up shots and larger magazine capacities allow for faster follow up shots, especially useful on moving targets.

Overall, for video game purposes, rates of fire are less important than tactics. If an attacking force of infantry is in the open, inside the engagement area of a defender's sector of fire, for rifle, machine gun, rifle grenades, and hand grenades, and did not adequately suppress the defensive positions using their squad, platoon, company, battalion, regimental, divisional, corps or army level supporting arms, then many of the attackers are going to be mowed down in the initial engagement, the survivors grounded by suppressive fire, further leaders rendered as casualties as they stand up and attempt to get subordinates moving again, as the whole unit gets chewed up by indirect mortars, artillery, and/or rockets called in by the defenders after identifying the main enemy attack. And that doesn't factor in mines or other obstacles like barbed/c-wire that would also need to be crossed, and that would also be under observation by defenders and covered by direct and indirect fire. Nor tanks or other armored vehicles, nor AT guns in support. Nor close air support from fighter bombers.

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Cult Icon » 23 Jan 2019 19:59

M1 Garand: 30 rounds per minute

Enfield: 15 rounds per minute

K98, Mosin: 10 rounds per minute

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Re: Practical Rate of Fire for WWII RIfles

Post by Duncan_M » 23 Jan 2019 20:27

Cult Icon wrote:
23 Jan 2019 19:59
M1 Garand: 30 rounds per minute

Enfield: 15 rounds per minute

K98, Mosin: 10 rounds per minute
Where do those rates come from? It doubt it was by-the-book sustained fire, the M1 rifle, 30 cal barrel wasn't very thick, and it fired from a closed bolt, neither of which is very conducive for dealing with heat generated from lengthy firing sessions. Rapid rate maybe, probably capable of 30 rounds/min for a couple minutes. Handguards will be smoking afterwards though.

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