Thread: 9mm vs.45
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Old March 29th, 2005, 12:43 AM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,491
well that was a lengthy history lesson.
unfortunately it's the same one I've been reading since I was 12 so it's not any kind of news to me.

I have to say it seems you contradict yourself when you insist that

"Sturmgewehr" obviously means "assault rifle", but just because the word "rifle" is in the name does not means that a sturmgewehr is a true rifle."

and then later say

"The designers knew that the FG was a true rifle and designated it "Fallschirmjaer Gewehr" or "paratrooper rifle". ("Fallschirmjager" means, literally, "hunter from the sky" but it translates to "paratrooper".) Its name was not changed to hide its development or make it more appealing to a governing body. Its classification as a "rifle" is correct in every way."

the fact remains that in it's ultimate form the Germans identified the Stg44 as some kind of rifle. Just as they did the FG42. It's not a Sturmkarabiner44. Neither carbine nor machine pistol. Rifle. Clearly the Germans paid no heed to the guidelines for nomenclature that you have laid out. They classify the model 98 as both Gewehr and Karabiner based solely on barrel length when chambered in the same round. You also say that the 7.92 Kurz is between 8mm Mauser and 9mm parabellum. I'd say it's a hell of a lot closer to 8mm Mauser. You're the one who loves ballistics technicana so I trust you to dig up the numbers to do the math. What's the story there? Don't the 7.92 Kurz and the 8mm Mauser actually share the same bullet?

Also in my mind .308 also represents an intermediary cartridge when listed next to the other rounds you mention. The other traditional .30 caliber rounds you name are so similar to each other that the .308 seems to stand out among them. Clearly the introduction and use of the .308 in select fire battle rifles was an attempt to mitigate the shortcomings of the use of 8mm mauser in the FG42 and G43 and .30-06 in the BAR and Garand. It represents a reduction from what you have identified as full size, full power rifle rounds.

To me "carbine" is always a tricky word. To some it's simply a shortened version of a larger rifle such as the Sharps, K98, Carcano, Jungle no. 5, Mosin M44, Krag-Jorgensen, Winchester 1895 or Arisaka type 38. Sometimes in these instances the the longer variant is identified as the "musket" to distinguish between the two other times not. To other people "carbine" means a rifle configuration chambered in a pistol round such as the winchester 1896 in 44-40, 45LC, .357mag or the Ruger PC9 in 9mm or .40cal. The constant seems to be at a minimum that the weapon is shorter. To me the only unique "carbine" is the M1. It is chambered in a round not shared with any pistol (the enforcer doesn't count) or rifle and while it is much longer than most pistol rounds, the case is not necked down. At the same time it doesn't share it's 110 grain bullet with any full size rifle cartridge. It is a purpose built intemediate weapon which would never be used to replace either the pistol or full sized rifle in their entirety. While I recognize that the StG44 utilize a round that is unique in its application, that round is all too similar to the 8mm Mauser in my mind. It doesn't represent a significant enough departure from pistol or rifle cartridge trends as .30 carbine does. In one sense 7.92 Kurz is naturally more like 5.56. which is another smaller intermediary round based on rifle cartridge design principles. The only exception being that the success of 5.56 is now seeing it's use in light machine guns as well. Furthermore while the M1 carbine and subsequent M2 design serve to augment the small arms battery the StG44 serves to consolidate it. The StG44 is a replacement for everything else. That is certainly what it's descendants have continually proved to be. Look at the recent standardization of the M4 from the M16A2. At one time it was believed that the two should coexist as did the CAR-15 and M16A1, but experience has shown the two redundant and the US Army has opted for the smaller multi-role M4.

Again I insist that the StG44 was and is a "rifle" because it changed what a rifle has come to mean. Just as the M4 is now the standard "rifle" of the US infantry. The fact that the M4 shares its chambering with the now common light machine gun of the US infantry (M249 SAW) further speaks to association between the role of intermediate rifle rounds and fullsize rifle rounds. Just as the K98 and MG42 shared a common cartridge so do the M4 and M249. I would contend that had things continued on their might have been an MG42 type all purpose LMG chambered in 7.92 Kurz. Just as the German battle rifle got lighter I think the light machine gun might have as well. I will submit that while rifles have tended to homogenize in recent years MGs seem to diversify, but an overlap in cartidges between the main battle rifle and at least one MG remains a necessity. Whereas before at least the Germans only felt the need for one MG infantry chambering, most militaries now utilize 3. Regardless, nearly every standing army in the world now carries a standard long arm in a round far more similar to 7.92 Kurz than 8mm Mauser and it defines explicity the role of the infantry "rifle". These weapons cannot really be called carbines when compared to known examples and while they are distinctly different from the WWI and II era .30 chambered long guns, said long guns no longer play anything but a negligible role on the battlefield and do not qualify for comparison in any contemporary study.
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