US adopts 6mm caliber in 1930s

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by wiking, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Per OP the MMG/HMG would use the .30-06. The T23E1 was not an LMG at 12kg. It was basically the 1930-40s FN MAG and shockingly similar in design.

    Problem is the cost of the ammo and keeping it in production and then modernizing it. Why keep the existing LN ammo in production if it needed to be modernized?
     
  2. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Does it need modernising for the Coast Guard? Sure once you start looking at issuing it to actual military rather than paramilitary forces you're going to want a Spitzer bullet rather than a round nose but that's not a particularly difficult change.
     
  3. wiking Well-Known Member

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    For using the old rifles not really beyond upgrading the barrels and potentially the powder. But the case will probably need to be modified if it is to be used in a magazine.
     
  4. Not James Stockdale Those Protestants... Up to no good, as usual

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    While the Colt-Browning (or Ruger-Browning) machine gun was quite heavy, it was no heavier than the MG-34 and MG-42 that the Germans were using at the squad level. Back then, the US had a definitive split between LMGs (BARs) and MMGs (M1919s) because even their lightest belt-fed was too heavy to be carried by one man. The Colt-Browning was supposed to be in the GPMG category, so it could act as a SAW/LMG with the squad or as an MMG in the weapons platoon/company or on vehicle mounts. In tactical effect, it would have been an M60 two decades earlier. Unlike the German universal machine gun, anti-aircraft roles were not seriously envisioned so the rate of fire was manageable. The testing problems the Colt-Browning had were almost certainly caused by the test staff opening the gas ports on clean guns, not by any problems with the gun or the ammunition. At 12 kg unloaded, it's about 3 kg more than a WW2-era M1918A2 or a late-model Bren gun. Although Springfield Armory's history says that the FN MAG was actually based on the Colt-Browning, they only really share the upside-down BAR action, which is the natural way to convert a bottom-loading magazine-fed gun to a top-loading belt-fed gun, like how the PKM is an upside-down AK action.
     
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  5. Zincwarrior Well-Known Member

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    Apr 4, 2019
    No. The war was won on production and logistics, not a different cartridge. At the infantry level it was won by machine guns and artillery observers. Studies post war noted rifle fire was minimal. The ability of a soldier to carry spare ammo for the platoon's machine guns was more important than the rifle they were carrying.

    If you want the Wallies to move more quickly you need more freighters and transport ships, not a 6mm.
     
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  6. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Jan 19, 2006
    In terms of production and logistics having a SCHV cartridge would give them a huge advantage in that category, one they were already ahead in. Especially if it resulted in lighter weight weapons and more ammo carried. Being able to carry twice the rounds/magazines would be a huge advantage.

    Perhaps the studies about rifle fire being ineffective was the result of having too powerful a cartridge for the average infantry man and limited amount of ammo. As the Brits noted it was a lot easier for the average infantryman to get hits with the 9mm Sten out to 300 yards than it was to do so with the SMLE. As noted by US OR in Korea a big limiting factor for encouraging men to fire was the lack of an automatic feature in the rifle; the BAR gunner was the most likely to fire and get hits thanks to the automatic feature of the weapon, which also heartened riflemen and encouraged them to fire. That problem wasn't there in Vietnam when they adopted the M16 and were able to fire on automatic. So the point was that semi-auto, large caliber rifles were holding back rifle fire from being effective or indeed happening at all and it took SCHV rounds to get riflemen to shoot effectively.
     
  7. stephen the barbarian Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2016
    yes
    switching cartridges and caliber has a host of add on costs like:
    building/converting a production line to provide the ammo,
    making new tools for barrels,

    that adds cost to an already expensive program that is fighting with the rest of us rearmament for money
    so?
    you keep acting like this matters for some reason
     
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  8. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Oct 18, 2009
    And this matters to the bureaucrats in 1933 or whenever the choice was made, who don't know or care about how the cartridge is loaded and have never seen the new rifles why?
     
  9. Zincwarrior Well-Known Member

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    It was more the issue that few shots were even fired. The average rifleman did not engage.
     
  10. Not James Stockdale Those Protestants... Up to no good, as usual

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    This was entirely a matter of training, not of having semi-auto versus automatic rifles, and it's been basically resolved since Vietnam. Riflemen had been trained to engage targets on the range, so realistic training that was introduced post-Vietnam gave them a much better sense of what marksmanship on the battlefield entailed.
     
  11. Zincwarrior Well-Known Member

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    Arguable. Regardless it was wasn't done then. In WWII artillery and machine guns were the casualty causers. They still are. US already had semi-autos. Unless the 6mm is a mag fed select fire, its not going to materially impact vs. what the US already had: semi auto battle rifles, semi auto carbines, machine guns and submachine guns. And tanks. And artillery. And aircraft. And a logistics chain that has never been seen before or after.
     
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  12. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Right, though this was in large part, per US and even German OR, a function of lack of confidence in use of the weapon and where automatic or light recoiling fast semi-automatic fire gave shooters confidence to fire. A lot of those full power battle rifles induce shooter fatigue quickly and in the case of the bolt actions they really wear out the shooter quickly. Small caliber weapons with light recoil can be fired all day without wearing down shooters, which is why guys with short ranged SMGs were even noted to fire quite a bit more than riflemen.
     
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  13. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

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    Mar 6, 2017
    Just put any notion of a 1km general issue infantryman cartridge out of your mind please. It just isn't happening and it again reveals how little you know of general infantry marksmanship. You seem to have a grossly overinflated view of what the general infantryman is capable of hitting in general combat conditions. With irons it's basically 400m max effective range no matter what weapon or cartridge you put in anyone's hand when it comes to rifles and especially with general accuracy of 1930s rifles, they simply weren't nearly up to the standard of today and even today its recognized that engagements beyond 400m with regular issued infantry small arms (that are built to much better tolerances and accuracy) is to put it mildly not going to be awfully effective. Trust me, I've seen this firsthand myself under training conditions aiming to be realistic that were much less stressful than combat conditions. I myself did a combat course that involved me running around from post with my 416 and an aimpoint to post and engaging popup targets at unknown ranges, at one occasion I did get a hit at 400m and that was remarked as an unusually good shot.

    We had experienced soldiers who with combat experience from afghanistan and Bosnia, HK 417s and scopes who spent a few days trying to land hits on quiet ranges on stationary targets out to 1200m basically for boasting and bragging rights. Let me tell you it took a loong while before they hit anything.
     
  14. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Jan 19, 2006
    I know that 1000m accuracy is not viable for an infantry rifle, I'm saying that since that is the standard the infantry board wanted it could be achieved with a 6mm cartridge while still maintaining many of the advantages of a small caliber cartridge. Practically speaking with hindsight the microcalibers were about what would have been most effective for the general infantryman in WW2, but there is no way the US infantry board would adopt that in the 1930s.
    Your post is strawmanning my thoughts and misconstruing what I'm actually arguing.
     
  15. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    It does.
    Near all that M1928 and M1sat in warehouses till after WWII, when it was sold cheap by the footlocker load in the civilian surplus market.

    Could have been sent to the Philippines, along with the low serial M1903s. A dodgy gun with lots of surplus ammo would have done something, rather than those poor bastards making due with hand loaded BP shotgun shells and bits of water pipe.

    As it was, it just sat around.

    So new M1.276 ball could have been made, or as otl M2 .30 ball would needed for new rifles.

    New cartridges would have to be made for the new Garand, no matter the Caliber.

    At least with the Navy scam of 'repair' of Civil War Monitors, the Navy got new Steel Monitors that happened to share the same Bell as the ACW namesakes, and got use of those modern 1880s ships for a.couple decades.

    That old 30 call stuff? Armed forces got nothing on that, besides Pennies on the Dollar.
     
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  16. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    But it wasn't up to the bureaucrats, but Dugout Doug, fresh from burning out Bonus Marchers.
     
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  17. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    May 14, 2017
    You're using hindsight for literally this entire post. To a bueracrat in the time frame that a new caliber would be adopted, all those millions of rounds were an excellent reason for why they shouldn't switch calibers.
     
  18. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Who's argument was "We've got warehouses full of 30-06 that will cost a fortune to replace", the same as any other bureaucrat. The only difference was he wore a uniform and not a suit.
     
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  19. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Jan 19, 2006
    Wonder how the .276 Pedersen even got that far. They were ready to adopt it until at the last minute Doug sprung that argument...what gives?
     
  20. Not James Stockdale Those Protestants... Up to no good, as usual

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    May 3, 2016
    I, for one, am glad that .276 Pedersen didn't go anywhere. It may be a theoretically more appropriate for an infantry rifle, but the case taper and lubrication problem are only the most immediate issues. Because .276 Pedersen was ballistically similar to .280 British, it would fair similarly poorly in anything larger than an LMG, but it would still be considered too big by modern standards informed by the success of SCHV. I also don't want to see a BAR with an AK mag.