Thread: 9mm vs.45
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Old March 29th, 2005, 10:35 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,160
Originally Posted by JSQ
Of course I knew the history of the StG44. It's no big accomplishment. Pick up a single Ian Hogg book and you can hardly avoid it. Watch the History Channel three times and you probably learned it.
Common knowledge.

Aaah, so the truth comes out. Ian Hogg and the History Channel? So, that's where you obtained your knowledge about assault rifle development. This explains a lot.

I don't mean this as an insult, but I don't think I'm far off the mark in saying that you have at best a very cursory knowledge of assault rifle development and rifles in general. You know just enough to be wrong on almost everything. For example, you claim to know the development history of the assault rifle and why it came about. But this statement is very revealing:

Originally Posted by JSQ
now as for 9 vs. 45 it's sort of a pointless debate, but I won't let that deter me.


think of all the great 9mm pistols throughout history in comparison to .45s

Other firearms, pistol and submachinegun alike could not be improved by a switch from 9mm to something else or were best left as they were or were never changed.

especially subs:

The assault rifle concept came about because the Wehrmacht found its 9mm machine pistols severely wanting. These weapons delivered very high rates of fire, but they were limited in range and terminal effect. This became patently apparent very early in the war. I believe work on the 7.92 kurz cartridge began in 1939. It's development was not like, "hmm, maybe we should try something new just for shits and giggles?". Rather, it was more like, "this shit isn't working; we need something else and we need it now." Had the 9mm machine pistol been sufficient for its task as you claim, then the 7.92 kurz would not have been developed at all.

It's easy to look at a catalog of arms and see the numerous machine pistols chambered for 9mm Parabellum and conclude that the 9mm is a satisfactory cartridge, for if it were unsatisfactory, then why are so many weapons chambered for it? The serious student of small arms knows why. The serious student of small arms also knows the numerous examples of new cartridge design that arose out of the insufficiency of the 9mm as both a pistol and a machine pistol cartridge.

Incidentally, this other statement from that same post is also very revealing:

Originally Posted by JSQ
Certainly the thompson was an effective weapon, but if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery why wasn't it widely copied like great 9mm designs? The reality is that it can be a heavy akward weapon for a sub and it's extremely difficulty to produce. A lot of these problems stem from the .45 chambering and open bolt design. War era thompsons cost $350 to produce in comparison to the $15 for a M3. Not that I like the M3, I hate it, but it does illustrate the price gap.

I fail to see how the .45 ACP chambering of the Thompson had any effect on its cost to produce. You state in one sentence later that the M3 grease gun was able to be made for $15. Isn't the grease gun chambered in .45 ACP, just like the Thompson? And how is open-bolt operation more expensive to produce than closed bolt? If anything, closed-bolt operation is more expensive because more components are required.

Just for the record, the Thompson was very expensive to produce, but not because of its .45 ACP chambering. Rather, the Thompson was very expensive to produce because of its method of manufacture, extras it was originally fitted with, and the very high quality standards to which it was originally made. The Thompson originally was made with a machined receiver. The rear sight alone required intricate machining and probably cost more to make than the entire grease gun. The barrel had cooling fins on it. The compensator required intricate machining. The Thompson's bolt also incorporated a Blish Lock, even though it was not required at all for the .45 ACP chambering.

Later in WW2, the US Military greatly simplified the Thompson's method of manufacture and greatly lowered its production time and cost. And still the chambering stayed in .45 ACP.

Again, I see a very cursory knowledge of weapons. True, the early Thompsons were very expensive to make. But it was not because these weapons were chambered in .45 ACP. It was a reason entirely different.

OK, now we get to the fun stuff.

Originally Posted by JSQ
How can you compare a modernized .308 round to the first iteration? What are the ballistics of the .308 in the 50s? Comparable or inferior to .30-06 from the same period.

LOL. I can see that this one truly caught you off guard. Your reaction says it all. Was the .308's intermediate nature part of your History Channel understanding of the assault rifle's development? Or perhaps you read this one in some Ian Hogg coffee table book on the bargain books rack at Barnes & Noble? Well, it ain't so. I'll cover each of your points, one at a time.

How can I compare a modernized .308 round to the first iteration? Well, I'm not. See below.

Originally Posted by JSQ
I'm talking about why the .308 was introduced. Not how it ultimately was adapted. I'm not even sure we're talking about the same round.

If you truly understood rifle development and rifle history, you would know that the .308 Winchester is merely a commercial version of the 7.62mm x 51 NATO round. The military version came first. The original load for the 7.62mm x 51 NATO round, the load that started it all, the load that is still used today, is the M80 ball load. This load fires a .308" diameter FMJBT projectile at 2700 f/s. These ballistics are identical to the ballistics of the US Military M2 load for the .30-06 Springfield, the load that was standardized in 1906 and employed in the Springfield, Garand, Browning medium machineguns, and the BAR. If you doubt me, look it up. I'm quite positive on this point. I'm not sure you'll find this on the History Channel or in Ian Hogg books, but the information is out there if you want to find it.

Not that this article is the end-all, be-all of history, but even a quick Google search found this article on the .308's development:

Here's a pic of the 7.62mm's wound profile, as measured by Martin Fackler, the head of the US Army's wound ballistics lab.

Note the projectile weight and velocity figures.

There's far far more out there. Just open your eyes.

Originally Posted by JSQ
I sincerely think that when the .308 was introduced, it's designers sought to occupy a middle ground with the smaller cartridge. Not to match the ballistics of the .30-06 in a smaller package. I know all of the dimensional figures for these rounds because they are part of their very designations, but I don't know the fps and ft/lbs for all of them. That's why I'm asking.

Well, just because you're under the impression that the .308 was an intermediate round does not make it so. It's a full-power rifle round, every bit the equal of the M2 military load for the .30-06. Both the M80 and M2 ball loads propel a .308" diameter FMJBT projectile at 2700 f/s. Same bullet diameter. Same bullet weight. Same bullet shape. Same bullet construction. Same velocity. Same everything. The .308 is simply shorter in length.

I'm still cracking up about this one. I can imagine you when you're 12 and studying assault rifle development and looking at the two rounds and concluding the .308 is a reduced round because it's shorter in length. Or, perhaps you were reading an Ian Hogg book and saw the .30-06, .308, and 7.62 x 39 rounds standing side by side and that's when Ian Hogg said that the three rounds represented a spectrum of three different power levels. It would be just like Ian Hogg to say something like that.

Originally Posted by JSQ
7.92 Kurz and .30 carbine differ most significantly in the profile of the bullet itself. As you know .30 carbine has rounded pistol type bullet while 7.92Kurz is a conical spitz. I have to believe that penetration is superior in the 7.92 Kurz if the two bullets of a similar weight and velocity differ only in this regard.

Sure, the 7.92 kurz projectile is a spitzer design and the .30 carbine's is round-nosed. Yes, there is a difference. But is the difference substantial? Does the difference make one cartridge demonstrably superior to the other? Hardly.

Originally Posted by JSQ
.280? what about 6mm Lee Navy? Is this a rifle round?

The 6mm Lee Navy a rifle round? Sure, I think it is.

I can see what's going through your head now. "John says the 7.92 kurz isn't a rifle round but the smaller-diameter Lee Navy is a rifle round? Ding ding ding. Contradiction!" LOL.

Originally Posted by JSQ
I didn't call the G98 a "musket". You should know better. I thought you were more familiar with military small arms than that. I said that in some instances the larger of the two variants was called a musket while the other was dubbed a carbine. Mostly in America. Specifically the Krag-Jorgensen and the Winchester 1895. The longer guns are officially "musket" despite having rifled barrels and other features which differentiate them from the musket standard.

No, you didn't use the words, "The G98 is a musket." However, you did say:

Originally Posted by JSQ
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.

You mentioned the k98 and said that in some instances the longer variant of the carbine (the G98 in this case) is often identified as a musket. I used the G98 as an example, but we can use any rifle you want. Arisaka? 1895? Krag? All of these are rifled weapons. The longer versions are not and never were muskets. Again, some people may mistakenly refer to them as muskets, but that does not make them muskets. A musket cannot have a rifled bore. If it did, it would cease to be a musket, as a musket by definition does not have a rifled bore.

Originally Posted by JSQ
I ask if the M16A2 and M4 are not rifles, then what weapon occupies the rifle roll on today's battlefield?

No weapon does. Rifles are not used today. Sure, there are specialty weapons such as sniper rifles and whatnot, but I'm talking more about widespread use and I believe you are too. There is no true rifle in widespread use today. The armies of the former combloc are armed with a battle carbine. The armies of west are armed with several different battle carbines. The various other armies of the world basically follow the combloc and western armies and use battle carbines.

Wars today are no longer won with personal small arms. Most casualties today are inflicted with high explosive and support weapons, not rifle fire. The role of small arms in modern warfare has changed dramatically. Also, the personnel making up today's armies are different from those of past armies. Soldiers today grew up in cities and are not the marksmen their forefathers were, and thus it is very difficult to train them to shoot the rifle well because of its greater power. It is much easier to train them to shoot the battle carbine, because the battle carbine is chambered for a weaker round and thus is easier to master or at least shoot decently. The true rifle is uselessly powerful and unnecessarily accurate for use by these masses. Since what they can do with the rifle is very little and they cannot capitalize on the rifle's tremendous reach and power anyway, the battle carbine will probably serve them just as well. For these and other reasons, the major armies of the world have gone to the battle carbine. I can hardly say they're wrong.

Originally Posted by JSQ
I can hardly accept that because various military officials, Hitler included, resisted the introduction of an intermediate round that the weapons that utilized these rounds are not rifles. They claimed that these guns could not sufficiently occupy the rifle role in combat. History has overwhelmingly proved them wrong. Certainly there are always people who believe bigger is better without fail but the worlds armies come to fight with intermediate rounds. Is the American military unprepared to face a .308 equipped enemy? Hardly.

Is that what I said? Funny, I thought I said that the weapons utilizing intermediate rounds are not rifles because they utilize intermediate rounds and not rifle rounds. I thought I said that the weapons utilizing intermediate rounds are not rifles because they are incapable of reach, and reach is one of the primary virtues of the rifle. I thought I said that the weapons utilizing intermediate rounds are not rifles because they do not deliver a terminal blow, and power is one of the primary virtues of the rifle. I have said this numerous times, but all you hear is "Hitler said so." I never said said, "Hitler says it or Studler says it so it must be true." I leave that to you and your Ian Hogg arguments.

Did I say that the development of the assault rifle and its universal adoption by the modern armies of the world was a mistake? That's odd. I don't remember saying that. Did I say that the modern solider would be better served with a battle rifle than a battle carbine? I don't remember saying that either.

I do, however, distinctly remember saying, " Note that I'm not against the assault rifle concept for military use. I'm merely saying assault rifles are not true rifles and that the term "battle carbine" is more technically correct."

Originally Posted by JSQ
What bore and velocity determines what a rifle is if it is based on cartridge alone? Is the Sharps 45-70 a rifle? Is the Martini-Henry a rifle? Is the Brown Bess a rifle? The projectile, delivery and ballistics of these weapons have nothing in common with the .30 caliber weapons you have offered as examples of true rifles. Certainly 7.92 Kurz is superior in every weigh to a .60 caliber black powder bullet? Can you possibly say that these earlier infantry long arms were not rifles?

If you're looking for an exact definition of a "rifle cartridge" or a "rifle", there isn't one, just as there is no exact definition of a "carbine". I do remember saying previously, that "any system of classification is going to have exceptions".

Sure, there are many characteristics to what makes a rifle. For certain, a rifle must have a rifled bore. A smooth-bore weapon is not and cannot be a rifle. A rifle is shoulder-fired, with both hands. A rifle fires a powerful round and has great reach. These are general indications of what makes a rifle and are not exact.

You mention the Sharps and Martini. These are both rifles, they're just not "modern rifles". The around-.30 caliber cartridges mentioned previously are merely examples of modern rifle cartridges. Again, they are merely examples. They are not an exhaustive list of all rifle cartridges. The .270 Winchester is undoubtedly a modern rifle cartridge, but I did not list it previously. The .45-70 and Martini .577/.450 cartridges do not have the reach of the modern rifle, that is to be sure. But that does not mean they are not rifles, since they were invented before the introduction of the modern rifle round with its smokeless propellant that drives its long/thin, heavy-for-caliber bullet of streamlined shape and high sectional density to very high velocities. At the time those weapons were invented, they had the reach of standard rifle rounds of their day.

Note that this is distinctly different from the 7.92 kurz, 5.56, etc., which are both modern developments and have, by design, a reach and terminal effect substantially lower than their full-power siblings like the 7.92 Mauser and .308.

You also mention the Brown Bess. I'm not sure if this weapon was a rifle or not, as I don't know if it had a rifled bore. I was under the impression that this weapon had a non-rifled bore, but I'm far from certain about this as my interest in weaponry starts with the metallic cartridge and I don't enjoy learning about these types of weapons. So I know very little about them.

Also, the classification of a weapon as a "rifle" does not depend on cartridge alone. For example, a varminter chambered in .223 is still more properly described as a rifle than a carbine. This is so because the varminter doesn't substantially fit the definition of a carbine. Sure, it fires a cartridge of reduced power in the absolute sense, but its primary target is varmints and not human beings. Cartridge power is not something to viewed in the abstract. Rather, it's to be viewed in light of its intended target. Viewed in that light, the .223 varminter's cartridge is very powerful. Tag a groundhog with a .223 and the results are decisive. Also, the varminter usually is fitted with a heavy barrel and large telescope that make the weapon long, heavy, and not generally handy to carry. So the varminter chambered in .223 is more properly classified as a rifle than a carbine. Again, cartridge alone is not dispositive.

You mention the Enforcer pistol and say it's not a carbine. You say it's a pistol, even though it's chambered for .30 carbine. I completely agree. This is yet another example of cartridge anomaly. Just because this example exists does not negate the fact that the .30 carbine is most properly described as a carbine round, and not a rifle round or not a pistol round.

It's very easy to find exceptions to weapon classifications. Greg's .600 Nitro Express revolver is one of a thousand examples of oddball weapons that some person invented just for shits and giggles. Does the fact that there is a .600 pistol out there make the .600 Nitro Express not a rifle round? Hardly. There are many pistols chambered for .308. That does not make the .308 a pistol cartridge? No.

When classifying weapons and cartridges, the best way is to exercise one's judgment rather than black and white rules. We are dealing with differing shades of gray, and not black and white. So I recommend abandoning your attempt at finding an exact bore diameter or velocity to determine what constitutes a rifle cartridge. It's futile. One cannot reasonably say, for example, that 2400 f/s is the minimum velocity required to be a modern rifle round, because all of the Nitro Express calibers would be eliminated. What would they be then? Carbine rounds? Hardly. They would have to be the most powerful carbine rounds ever created.

Just accept that the 7.92 kurz is not a rifle cartridge and the StG44 is not a true rifle. That much is clear. It's reality. Just accept it.
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