What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.
Plain Old Dave
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 23 Nov 2017 21:11

there was no indication it was any less reliable than any other German self loading weapon
That's not saying very much, as the Germans never figured out how to make a reliable and robust semiautomatic battle rifle in WW2.

And there's still the variable of a complete change in main shoulder weapon in wartime, which bedeviled both the Japanese and Italians; the Japanese and Italians only really changed calibers and stayed with the same basic weapon system and STILL had some degree of logistics trouble.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by CroGer » 23 Nov 2017 21:36

stg 44 wrote:
Plain Old Dave wrote: Germany had a smaller industrial base and the StG was considerably more intricate than the Garand, as were all the German selfloaders. Even IF development and production had been moved to the left, teething problems in this exceptionally complex design are an issue that needs consideration. The StG could have easily earned the same reputation with the Heer and SS the M16 has with US veterans of the Vietnam War; a needlessly complex rifle that is prone to failure in battle.
The StG44 was made with stamped metal parts and was ridiculously easy to make, which is why they wanted it over say the Vollmer M35. It as far less complex than the Garand to make and keep operating.
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In no way was it anywhere as unreliable as the M16 was initially in Vietnam. In fact the most complicated part of production was making enough ammo for it. In terms of mass production it was even easier to make than the AK-47, but not as reliable. I too have the book "Sturmgewehr!" and there was no indication it was any less reliable than any other German self loading weapon and in fact considerably more reliable than say the G41 and probably even G43.
The breech case was - according to the literature - the most complicated to manufacture part. Interestingly, while many consider the FG42 "overengineered", Handrich concludes in his book about the Fallschirmjägergewehr that the FG42/3 would have been as easy and cheap to produce as the Stg. The source is the company Sportsysteme Dittrich, who rebuild WW2 weapons.

The more you read about german WW2-developments, the more you come to the conclusion that they invented to much, not too little. The FG was Hitler's and Göring's favorite, because Hitler wanted a select fire weapon that would shoot the 7,92x57.
The decision between "what, when, how and to whom" made everything more complicated, especially since Germany was slowly descending into chaos anyway.
Both these two guns were tested intensly and extensively, before anything was put into production. In the end, it was "too little, too late".
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 24 Nov 2017 03:01

CroGer wrote:
The breech case was - according to the literature - the most complicated to manufacture part. Interestingly, while many consider the FG42 "overengineered", Handrich concludes in his book about the Fallschirmjägergewehr that the FG42/3 would have been as easy and cheap to produce as the Stg. The source is the company Sportsysteme Dittrich, who rebuild WW2 weapons.

The more you read about german WW2-developments, the more you come to the conclusion that they invented to much, not too little. The FG was Hitler's and Göring's favorite, because Hitler wanted a select fire weapon that would shoot the 7,92x57.
The decision between "what, when, how and to whom" made everything more complicated, especially since Germany was slowly descending into chaos anyway.
Both these two guns were tested intensly and extensively, before anything was put into production. In the end, it was "too little, too late".
I'm dubious that the FG42 would have been that cheap considering the materials necessary.
Of course the Germans tried to make too much, the FG42 was just the same as any battle rifle post-war, just more complicated with more issues due to the side magazine (just like the Johnson LMG). The StG44 was the only weapon that made sense for the rifle role, K98ks were fine for sniping and rifle grenades. The G41/43 should never have been made. Hitler screwed up badly on the StG, while Goering did too in many many areas including the FG42.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 24 Nov 2017 04:21

Plain Old Dave wrote:
there was no indication it was any less reliable than any other German self loading weapon
That's not saying very much, as the Germans never figured out how to make a reliable and robust semiautomatic battle rifle in WW2.

And there's still the variable of a complete change in main shoulder weapon in wartime, which bedeviled both the Japanese and Italians; the Japanese and Italians only really changed calibers and stayed with the same basic weapon system and STILL had some degree of logistics trouble.
G43 was reliable, it just wasn't really accurate beyond about 350m. Same problem the SVT-40 had, which it was based on. The only problem that the Japanese and Italians had was introducing an entirely new caliber, the Germans were using the same caliber, just a shortened bullet and case. So while there was problems making enough ammo, the issue there was starting too late long after the bombing made ramping it up difficult.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by CroGer » 24 Nov 2017 19:53

stg 44 wrote:
CroGer wrote:
The breech case was - according to the literature - the most complicated to manufacture part. Interestingly, while many consider the FG42 "overengineered", Handrich concludes in his book about the Fallschirmjägergewehr that the FG42/3 would have been as easy and cheap to produce as the Stg. The source is the company Sportsysteme Dittrich, who rebuild WW2 weapons.

The more you read about german WW2-developments, the more you come to the conclusion that they invented to much, not too little. The FG was Hitler's and Göring's favorite, because Hitler wanted a select fire weapon that would shoot the 7,92x57.
The decision between "what, when, how and to whom" made everything more complicated, especially since Germany was slowly descending into chaos anyway.
Both these two guns were tested intensly and extensively, before anything was put into production. In the end, it was "too little, too late".
I'm dubious that the FG42 would have been that cheap considering the materials necessary.
Of course the Germans tried to make too much, the FG42 was just the same as any battle rifle post-war, just more complicated with more issues due to the side magazine (just like the Johnson LMG). The StG44 was the only weapon that made sense for the rifle role, K98ks were fine for sniping and rifle grenades. The G41/43 should never have been made. Hitler screwed up badly on the StG, while Goering did too in many many areas including the FG42.
wow. I just translated half a page from that book and then my f*** computer went black.

So, both the FG42/1 and the FG42/3 were tested in the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and were compared to the T20E2.

The intendant wrote about the FG42/1 that it was a weapon "where not a lot of thought was wasted on constructions straits and costs. Manufacuturing in the USA would be inappripriately high"

He judged the FG42/3 differently though and said that it was an "excellent weapons with many desirable features", and recommended further work, improvement and adaption on that gun.

Mass production of the FG42/3 only started in march 22 1945, and until the end of the war about 7000 could be produced.
Now Hitler and his goofs made a lot of bad decisions, but the problem with the ammo supply of 8x33 was real. If the FG42/3 was - since it was a very simplified version of the original FG42 - about as quick an cheap to produce as the Stg44 (which seems unrealistic), it would have been the better choice.
I haven't read the entire book yet, but the service life - because of the dire situation with ressources - was supposed to be very limited. They were smart enough to know that it mades no sense producing guns with a service live of 50.000 rounds.

But the FG42 could have replaced the MP, K98, and the most costly weapon, the LMG34/42.
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 25 Nov 2017 01:37

They were smart enough to know that it made no sense producing guns with a service live of 50.000 rounds.
Makes plenty of sense, when your Infantry weapon has the mission of point fire on line of sight targets; American infantry doctrine historically has considered the individual soldier to be the Army's primary weapon. An StG44 armed infantry platoon would be cut to pieces at ranges they couldn't return fire to when facing a US infantry platoon with M1s. GIs preferred and actively sought the 168gr AP ammo, as it was considered to hit harder; ballistically, it was almost identical to the old 173gr M1 Ball load which was very accurate to 600 yards. The StG, on the other hand, lost significant power and accuracy after 300 yards.

The whole assault weapon thing never made much tactical sense; at close range a machine pistol like the M3, Thompson or MP33 makes sense, while at longer ranges a full power battle rifle like the M1 can do things a reduced power "battle carbine" can't.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 25 Nov 2017 01:48

Plain Old Dave wrote:
They were smart enough to know that it made no sense producing guns with a service live of 50.000 rounds.
Makes plenty of sense, when your Infantry weapon has the mission of point fire on line of sight targets; American infantry doctrine historically has considered the individual soldier to be the Army's primary weapon. An StG44 armed infantry platoon would be cut to pieces at ranges they couldn't return fire to when facing a US infantry platoon with M1s. GIs preferred and actively sought the 168gr AP ammo, as it was considered to hit harder; ballistically, it was almost identical to the old 173gr M1 Ball load which was very accurate to 600 yards. The StG, on the other hand, lost significant power and accuracy after 300 yards.

The whole assault weapon thing never made much tactical sense; at close range a machine pistol like the M3, Thompson or MP33 makes sense, while at longer ranges a full power battle rifle like the M1 can do things a reduced power "battle carbine" can't.
Except most American riflemen couldn't reliably hit anything beyond 100m with the Garand.
http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRec ... =AD0000346
Operational Requirements for an Infantry Hand Weapon

Descriptive Note : Technical memo.

Corporate Author : RESEARCH ANALYSIS CORP MCLEAN VA

Personal Author(s) : Hitchman, Norman A ; Forbush, Scott E ; Blakemore, Jr, George J

Report Date : 19 Jun 1952

The capabilities of the infantry rifle were explored. Data wer e obtained on the frequency and distance by which riflemen missed targets, and the distribution of hits at different ranges; the ranges of engagement in battle; and the physiological wound effects of shots with differing ballistic characteristics. A study of the data led to the following conclusions: (1) Hit effectiveness with the M-1 rifle is satisfactory only up to 100 yds. and declines rapidly to low order at 300 yds., the general limit for battlefield rifle engagements; (2) a pattern-dispersion principle in the hand weapon would tend to compensate for human aiming errors and increase hits at ranges up to 300 yds.; and (3) missiles with smaller caliber than standard could be used without loss in wounding effects and with logistical advantage; and (4) hit lethality could be greatly increased by using toxic missiles.
The StG is effective up to 500m.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 25 Nov 2017 04:21

"Except most American riflemen couldn't reliably hit anything beyond 100m with the Garand."

Every single Marine in the Corps can, and could. Marines, ALL Marines, are annually required to qualify as marksmen at ranges up to 500 yards.

As to a StG at 500 yards, Mr. Newton might tend to disagree.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by shamirnewell » 25 Nov 2017 05:13

You can/could miss all the shots at 500yds and still qualify.

Also firing on a range is completely different than firing in combat. The memo posted references data from combat firing.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 25 Nov 2017 15:28

Plain Old Dave wrote:"Except most American riflemen couldn't reliably hit anything beyond 100m with the Garand."

Every single Marine in the Corps can, and could. Marines, ALL Marines, are annually required to qualify as marksmen at ranges up to 500 yards.

As to a StG at 500 yards, Mr. Newton might tend to disagree.
Just had this argument with someone else; range qualifying and combat capabilities are something else entirely. In terms of the StG there are combat reports of it being effective out to that range courtesy of the book CorGer keeps citing from. The issue with the Garand was the recoil, which made it difficult for the average rifleman to keep on target properly. As to the combat realities of it's use, multiple reports by the US military proved the problems with it, which led to the M16 being adopted while the M14 was dropped (automatic version of the Garand basically).
http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display. ... icles=1032
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/377335.pdf
http://lmharchive.ca/wp-content/uploads ... a-1952.pdf
http://www.theblackvault.com/documents/ ... e1/126.pdf
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 25 Nov 2017 15:41

shamirnewell wrote:You can/could miss all the shots at 500yds and still qualify.

Also firing on a range is completely different than firing in combat. The memo posted references data from combat firing.
http://forums.thecmp.org/archive/index. ... 35497.html
According to the above it was based on a points system, so as long as you got them minimum score you passed. All hits counted equally it seems, so if you just hit all the 200y and some of the 300y targets you'd pass.

This confirms the above:
http://www.tecom.marines.mil/News/News- ... the-years/

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 26 Nov 2017 02:29

stg 44 wrote: Just had this argument with someone else; range qualifying and combat capabilities are something else entirely. In terms of the StG there are combat reports of it being effective out to that range courtesy of the book CorGer keeps citing from.
Problem there: Exterior ballistics.

The 7.92 Kurz pushes a 123gr bullet out at a muzzle velocity of 2250 f/s.
The 7.62x39 (reverse-engineered from the 7.92): 123gr bullet, 2400 f/s. And the AK is very well known for poor long range effect.
The issue with the Garand was the recoil, which made it difficult for the average rifleman to keep on target properly.
The M1 has virtually no recoil. I have had them, shot them in NRA, CMP and EIC matches. A 1903 with the early S stock, however, will beat you black and blue.
As to the combat realities of it's use, multiple reports by the US military proved the problems with it, which led to the M16 being adopted while the M14 was dropped (automatic version of the Garand basically).
There were no problems. The Ordinance Corps received no real complaints regarding the M1 during WW2 or Korea, and even less with the Product Improved M1 (M14) The mouse gun, though, was an entirely different issue, being the subject of several congressional investigations and numerous officially suppressed deficiency reports and its unreliability and poor stopping power is almost proverbial. It is the first shoulder arm ever issued to US forces to have a design feature specifically added to clear stoppages (forward assist), and the anemic M193 55gr ammo was documented to be unable to penetrate CARDBOARD at 500 yards.

http://www.bobrohrer.com/sea_stories/sa ... part_2.pdf
The rather miserable penetrating power of the mouse gun was proven to me in spades during a rifle requalification firing session on Okinawa in 1973. CWO-4 Marine Gunner Dave Luke (a former U.S. Service Rifle Champion) was supervising the butt detail. The rifle range at Camp Hansen is built between two mountains along the long axis of what can only be termed a wind tunnel. The wind on the Rock would often come whistling down that cut in the mountains giving a headwind of 25 mph. So it was on the day in question. The Marine Corps, being frugal, does not use fresh targets for each day's firing, reserving the virgin targets for qualification day (usually Friday). As a result, we used multiple target faces (repair centers) on our targets during our practice sessions, held to the target with a rather disgusting paste of roughly the same consistency of flour and water. This stuff dries hard, and after several days, the thickness of repair centers becomes relatively thick. Since this was a Wednesday, we had a fair thickness of repair centers on the targets. I was stationed on the firing line when I got a call from Gunner Luke in the butts.

"Hey Major" said the Gunner, "I've got something down here you need to see!"
"What's that Gunner," I replied.
"Major, we've got bullets sticking in the target faces!" said Luke.
"The hell you say Gunner?" sez I, "wait one, I'll be right there!"


I called a cease fire and headed for the butts in the safety vehicle. When I got there I could hardly believe my eyes! Sure enough, there were a number of projectiles that hadn't completely penetrated the multiple target faces at 500 yards. For a moment, I considered that the Gunner might just be pulling my chain, and inserting spent projectiles in the bullet holes for a joke. Two things changed my mind. First, while Dave Luke has a sense of humor, it doesn't run to things like that, and secondly all the projectiles stuck in the target faces showed no evidence of having struck anything more solid than a thick piece of paper. Not only that, but Dave was a professional range officer and we were conducting practice for a Battalion requalification program. Any undue delays would have reflected unfavorably on Dave's ability and he was not one to have allowed anything to interfere with his duties unless he considered it extremely important.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 26 Nov 2017 04:36

Plain Old Dave wrote: Problem there: Exterior ballistics.

The 7.92 Kurz pushes a 123gr bullet out at a muzzle velocity of 2250 f/s.
The 7.62x39 (reverse-engineered from the 7.92): 123gr bullet, 2400 f/s. And the AK is very well known for poor long range effect.
The AK-47's range issue is more myth than reality. What issues there were can be more attributed to the platform than the round design and in some cases even the quality of the ammo. Operator error is ever present, especially when maintained and used by untrained peasants.

Plain Old Dave wrote:
The issue with the Garand was the recoil, which made it difficult for the average rifleman to keep on target properly.
The M1 has virtually no recoil. I have had them, shot them in NRA, CMP and EIC matches. A 1903 with the early S stock, however, will beat you black and blue.
I'll take your word for it, just seen it mentioned as an issue, though that may have been more in reference to automatic fire in M14s.

Plain Old Dave wrote:
As to the combat realities of it's use, multiple reports by the US military proved the problems with it, which led to the M16 being adopted while the M14 was dropped (automatic version of the Garand basically).
There were no problems. The Ordinance Corps received no real complaints regarding the M1 during WW2 or Korea, and even less with the Product Improved M1 (M14) The mouse gun, though, was an entirely different issue, being the subject of several congressional investigations and numerous officially suppressed deficiency reports and its unreliability and poor stopping power is almost proverbial. It is the first shoulder arm ever issued to US forces to have a design feature specifically added to clear stoppages (forward assist), and the anemic M193 55gr ammo was documented to be unable to penetrate CARDBOARD at 500 yards.
If the M1 was so fantastic it failed to prove that in Korea where it's ability to hit targets beyond 100m was limited in combat.

The M14 was first used in Vietnam and so great were the problems that the M16 was put into service instead:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M14_rifle#Deployment
The M14 was also deemed "completely inferior" to the World War II M1 Garand in a September 1962 report by the U.S. Department of Defense comptroller.[22] The cartridge was too powerful for the submachine gun role and the weapon was simply too light to serve as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR.[23]
As to the M193 round from the M16:

Plain Old Dave wrote: http://www.bobrohrer.com/sea_stories/sa ... part_2.pdf
The rather miserable penetrating power of the mouse gun was proven to me in spades during a rifle requalification firing session on Okinawa in 1973. CWO-4 Marine Gunner Dave Luke (a former U.S. Service Rifle Champion) was supervising the butt detail. The rifle range at Camp Hansen is built between two mountains along the long axis of what can only be termed a wind tunnel. The wind on the Rock would often come whistling down that cut in the mountains giving a headwind of 25 mph. So it was on the day in question. The Marine Corps, being frugal, does not use fresh targets for each day's firing, reserving the virgin targets for qualification day (usually Friday). As a result, we used multiple target faces (repair centers) on our targets during our practice sessions, held to the target with a rather disgusting paste of roughly the same consistency of flour and water. This stuff dries hard, and after several days, the thickness of repair centers becomes relatively thick. Since this was a Wednesday, we had a fair thickness of repair centers on the targets. I was stationed on the firing line when I got a call from Gunner Luke in the butts.

"Hey Major" said the Gunner, "I've got something down here you need to see!"
"What's that Gunner," I replied.
"Major, we've got bullets sticking in the target faces!" said Luke.
"The hell you say Gunner?" sez I, "wait one, I'll be right there!"


I called a cease fire and headed for the butts in the safety vehicle. When I got there I could hardly believe my eyes! Sure enough, there were a number of projectiles that hadn't completely penetrated the multiple target faces at 500 yards. For a moment, I considered that the Gunner might just be pulling my chain, and inserting spent projectiles in the bullet holes for a joke. Two things changed my mind. First, while Dave Luke has a sense of humor, it doesn't run to things like that, and secondly all the projectiles stuck in the target faces showed no evidence of having struck anything more solid than a thick piece of paper. Not only that, but Dave was a professional range officer and we were conducting practice for a Battalion requalification program. Any undue delays would have reflected unfavorably on Dave's ability and he was not one to have allowed anything to interfere with his duties unless he considered it extremely important.
The M193 M16 round of Vietnam wasn't designed to perform well beyond 300m. It was designed to fragment below 200m and remain effective out to 300m the normal maximum combat engagement ranges of pretty much all 20th century wars. That said an anecdote from memory isn't exactly evidence or data.
http://donaldmsensing.blogspot.com/2003 ... ances.html
http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/range.html
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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 26 Nov 2017 14:18

Poor accuracy of the M1 in Korea can probably be attributed to poor training in the interwar era. This is a problem the Marines didn't have as they are almost continuously deployed somewhere. Even the Reservists at the Choisin Reservoir were well reported; the Chief of Marine Reserves immediately postwar was the legendary General Lewis "Chesty" Puller and his tenure was noted for emphasis on combat training.

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articl ... p-matters/

The volume at short range vs long range accuracy (or sturmgewehr vs battle rifle if you will) argument has swung back the other way.

Pulls:
The Army has seldom placed a high priority on small-arms proficiency. In Vietnam, figures sometimes ran 50,000 rounds per enemy killed, but the nature of that war often precluded precise aiming and firing.
The problem is systemic, as noted by Maj. Thomas Ehrhart’s 2009 study, “Taking Back the Infantry’s Half Kilometer.” Ehrhart wrote that the U.S. Army dropped long-range riflery as a primary skill in 1958, deep into the Cold War. Engagement out to 600 meters was replaced by “trainfire,” which emphasized 50 to 300 meters.
This was concurrent with the adoption of the M14. A superb weapon, but it's not hard to conclude the extra 12 shots were added to address dropping precision marksmanship as a military skill.
In 2010, California National Guard S/Sgt. Jeffrey Wall wrote an influential paper for Small Wars Journal. “A Rifleman’s War” immediately caught the attention of marksmen everywhere. A Distinguished pistol shot and former Marine officer, Wall is intimately involved in Army marksmanship training. He notes that 52 percent of Afghan firefights begin at 500 meters or more, placing a premium on skilled riflemen—especially when supporting arms are limited by rules of engagement.
The only problem with using info from the hallowed halls of academia (almost all battles happen within 300 meters), is when the bad guys don't.

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Re: What if Hitler sped up development and production of the STG-44 assault rife?

Post by stg 44 » 26 Nov 2017 15:07

Plain Old Dave wrote:Poor accuracy of the M1 in Korea can probably be attributed to poor training in the interwar era. This is a problem the Marines didn't have as they are almost continuously deployed somewhere. Even the Reservists at the Choisin Reservoir were well reported; the Chief of Marine Reserves immediately postwar was the legendary General Lewis "Chesty" Puller and his tenure was noted for emphasis on combat training.

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articl ... p-matters/

The volume at short range vs long range accuracy (or sturmgewehr vs battle rifle if you will) argument has swung back the other way.
I have already posted the OR reports from Korea, they prove otherwise. In the context of WW2, having mass conscript armies and heavy losses precludes the ability to train effectively. Long range accuracy isn't really the issue with the modern M16/SAW round, lethality arguably is. In terms of the StG it's accuracy was enhanced due to it's ability to make quick follow up shots to compensate for aiming mistakes, which was aided by the large magazine relative to the Garand and ability to go full auto controllably within 300m and score hits.

Also the NRA is probably not unbiased on the subject of heavy rifle long range marksmanship.
Plain Old Dave wrote: Pulls:
The Army has seldom placed a high priority on small-arms proficiency. In Vietnam, figures sometimes ran 50,000 rounds per enemy killed, but the nature of that war often precluded precise aiming and firing.
The problem is systemic, as noted by Maj. Thomas Ehrhart’s 2009 study, “Taking Back the Infantry’s Half Kilometer.” Ehrhart wrote that the U.S. Army dropped long-range riflery as a primary skill in 1958, deep into the Cold War. Engagement out to 600 meters was replaced by “trainfire,” which emphasized 50 to 300 meters.
That's missing the point of what the M16 in Vietnam was striving for; due to the ability to carry 3 times the ammo suppressive fire to gain fire superiority as well as automatic fire to 'spray and pray' to get hits was emphasized; only McNamara was worried about the round to kill ratio, as he was out of loop of what the military was actually trying to achieve with using so much ammo. There is so much more than round per kill ratios in small arms use.

Trainfire was adopted because combat experience taught that getting hits beyond 300m was nearly impossible anyway even with the weapons capable of it due to aiming errors, while most men only engaged below 300m anyway to ensure hits apparently instinctively. Training was adapted to fit the realities of combat rather than the other way around.
The 'taking back the half kilometer' article is one I've read previously and is mostly in reference to the issues discovered in Afghanistan, which is a serious anomaly in modern combat due to the terrain. The issue is solved by carrying a few DMRs on patrol when it's necessary. Currently the army is also looking into adopting 6.5mm weapons with telescoping ammo to keep weight down and make it a far superior platform to the M14 and 7.62 round.

Plain Old Dave wrote: This was concurrent with the adoption of the M14. A superb weapon, but it's not hard to conclude the extra 12 shots were added to address dropping precision marksmanship as a military skill.
In 2010, California National Guard S/Sgt. Jeffrey Wall wrote an influential paper for Small Wars Journal. “A Rifleman’s War” immediately caught the attention of marksmen everywhere. A Distinguished pistol shot and former Marine officer, Wall is intimately involved in Army marksmanship training. He notes that 52 percent of Afghan firefights begin at 500 meters or more, placing a premium on skilled riflemen—especially when supporting arms are limited by rules of engagement.
The only problem with using info from the hallowed halls of academia (almost all battles happen within 300 meters), is when the bad guys don't.
The reports I've seen are that the Afghans open fire at long range with old MGs and rifles, but seldom hit anything; they are purposely trying to stay out of range to avoid being murdered at the standard combat ranges and so they can run away when needed; it's harassment fire and hoping they get lucky.

Again the only reason the M16 was even given a chance to be adopted was the huge failure of the M14 in combat in Vietnam. The M16 was the only weapon available in the meantime as Project Salvo was still yet to fail and was being banked on by the military, so it got a chance and proved the far superior weapon.
http://looserounds.com/2015/01/30/the-m ... 14-legend/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M16_rifle#Adoption
However, despite overwhelming evidence that the AR-15 could bring more firepower to bear than the M14, the Army opposed the adoption of the new rifle.[12][44] U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara now had two conflicting views: the ARPA report[56] favoring the AR-15 and the Army's position favoring the M14.[44] Even President Kennedy expressed concern, so McNamara ordered Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance to test the M14, the AR-15 and the AK-47. The Army reported that only the M14 was suitable for service, but Vance wondered about the impartiality of those conducting the tests. He ordered the Army Inspector General to investigate the testing methods used; the Inspector General confirmed that the testers were biased towards the M14.

In January 1963, Secretary McNamara received reports that M14 production was insufficient to meet the needs of the armed forces and ordered a halt to M14 production.[44] At the time, the AR-15 was the only rifle that could fulfill a requirement of a "universal" infantry weapon for issue to all services. McNamara ordered its adoption, despite receiving reports of several deficiencies, most notably the lack of a chrome-plated chamber.[57][1]

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