Yup, steadier in at least two ways: weapon was less displaced angularly with every shot of a burst and was still on sighting line after burst.lhughes41 wrote:I wish I understood what the impact of a tripod versus bipod was on an MG34. Why does that make it more effective? Just steadier? Any insights?
Just remember that sMG 34 and sMG 42, that is those gpmgs with tripods, were not equipment of regular squads - those had their machine guns with bipods only. In Heer gpmgs with tripods - making them medium machine guns - were equipment of machine guns companies at battalion level and they operated on semi-independent basis from rifle squads and platoons (as did medium machine guns in other armies).lhughes41 wrote: I'm going to make a tripod mounted stronger but right now have no empirical basis on which to proceed like with VOF.
Did you add on the US side their M1919A4 or M1919A6? US Army was aware of inferiority of BAR as a lmg and in order to supplement infantry company firepower, they added company-own machine guns, being lighter, air-cooled variants of their mmg, which was M1917A1. The latter was equivalent of German sMG 34 and sMG 42. On company level and lower, US Army had two types of mgs (while other armies had just one): light machine gun (as M1919A4 on light tripod and M1919A6 on bipod were officially called) in company and automatic rifle M1918A2, i.e. BAR, in squads.lhughes41 wrote:Leaving aside grenades, if German firepower is measured by Volume of Fire (i.e., adding up the various rates of fire multiplied by number of weapons) I still come out with almost 3 to 2 advantage for Germans.
Higher cyclic rate of MG 42 over MG 34 would not o produce such a dramatic increase in practical rate of fire, with everything else equal. Actually, cyclic rate has little impact on practical rof. What has greatest impact is time required to change what delivers cartridges to the weapon. In case of machine guns that could be magazines or belts. In German lmgs belt could come from two basic types of containers: small one, attatched to the weapon, containing single 50 rds belt - or big belt box, that could contain belt with hundrets rounds (made by joining basic 50 rds belts). Now, if a German lmg was used with smaller containers, it would have to stop shooting after every 50 shots and it would take some time to remove empty container, attatch full one and place belt in the gun. That would make practical rof of MG 34 and MG 42 not much higher than what you would expect of Bren, I'd say 150 rounds per minute. But in a situation where no movement was expected for a while, German lmgs could be fed from belts coming from big boxes. That would make those light machine guns' practical rate of fire not much lower than that of medium machine guns, say 250 rounds per minute.lhughes41 wrote:Of course moments after I wrote that I found my first data on different rates of fire for MG34 (and 42) when LMG vs HMG. which is presumably about the mounting. The poster cites sources and says (to summarize):
MG34 as LMG [bipod presumably] -- 120 RPM
MG34 as HMG [tripod presumably] -- 250 RPM
MG42 as LMG -- 250
MG42 as HMG -- 500
http://www.feldgrau.net/forum/viewtopic ... 44&t=27088
You need to make a difference between BAR and Bren in practical rof. The latter had bigger magazine, so pauses in fire were less frequent. Moreover, Bren magazine could be easily changed by assistant gunner, which meant that those pauses could be shorter.lhughes41 wrote: Very interesting because this brings down the firepower of the German Squad now considerably (using an LMG version of MG34 typically). If this is true it drops the effective FP of the German Squad dramatically. Now the MG34 as LMG looks little different from the BAR or Bren (both rated at practical 120 RPM).
There is one more complication. Shooting heats up barrels and overheating them is to be prevented, for it could easily lead to quick destruction of barrel, not to mention cook-offs. German mgs and Bren enjoyed quick barrel change capability, so once a limit of shots was reached, crew could remove hot barrel and install cold one. Theoretically they could shoot forever maintaining typical practical rate of fire. That was not true for BAR and both M1919s. These would have to fire at lower rate after certain number of shots, to prevent barrels from overheating. So those US guns had two practical rofs in a way: higher for short fight and lower for sustained fire, lasting many minutes.
And of a general note: focusing on squads', platoons' or companies' smallarms is unrealistic, except for very specific circumstances. Squads and platoons would typically enjoy fire support of say light mortars and companies were supported by of battalion's mortars and medium machine guns. And then, there was artillery. US infantry may have been inferior in number of .30 projectiles it could fire, but it could almost always rely on very powerful, quick and accurate artillery support. It would take few minutes to bring volleys of shells, from at least a 105 mm howitzer battalion, usually dropping with no warning and air-bursting.