Poll

Which is the best?

M1 Garand
Mosin-Nagant M91
Lee-Enfield SMLE mkIII/IV
Mauser Gewehr 98
Arisaka rifle

Author Topic: Best WWII infantry battle rifle  (Read 39984 times)

Kelly Neal

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2009, 02:50:10 PM »
The increase in firepower due to semi-automatic capabililty makes the Garand hard to beat by any boltguns. But perhaps more importantly, American fighting rifles always seem much more shootable and ergonomic than those from other countries.  Garands certainly have better sights than these other rifles and typically have a better trigger.  The safety is also easier to deactivate.

I appreciate the Mauser's importance (at least the receiver's importance) and own several nice sporterized Mauser hunting rifles.  That being said, many military Mausers are quite crude and they all have medicore sights at best.  No thanks.

I love the Enfield and believe it to be the best battlefield boltgun even though it's receiver is not as stout as a Mauser.  You can sure operate an Enfield quickly and many MkIVs have decent sights.

I have to agree with the previous comments about the Stg44 which was the "paradigm shifter." 

Finally, I can't help but weigh in on the debate about industrial capacity.  Certainly, American industrial, agricultural and economic might was an absolute necessity in defeating the Axis.  They never really had a chance once we starting producing for the war effort.  We not only kept our own troops supplied we provided for the logistics of all of the other Allies, including the Soviet Union (which may very well have fallen without our supplies).  But supplies in and of themselves don't win wars.  And while there were many terrible early mistakes, Americans had already starting showing battlefield prowess early on in the war at places like Midway and Guadacanal, far before our industrial might came into play.  The bravery, talent, and fortitude of American servicemen was an essential element in winning WWII not just American economic might.

The Germans proved themselves technologically savvy but they were never able to put that genius into action like the Americans. 

tombogan03884

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2009, 08:24:06 PM »
American and German firearms (except the crap they threw together for the "volksturm") have always had the best lines and balance, this is not really surprising since our gun making culture came from Germany to Pennsylvania.
Good troops, well led, armed with bolt action rifles, going against good troops, well led, armed with semi auto's will ALWAYS be at a HUGE disadvantage, this was proved as far back as the Civil War when Buford's cavalry brigade armed with repeating rifles held Seminary Ridge against Henry Heth's entire Division at the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg. So no matter how good the K 98 was it was 2nd best as soon as some one adopted a reliable semi auto.
Except for doubles all English guns are ugly. And all Soviet guns show so so workmanship, although they tend to be very reliable, it comes from the mindset.
I don't think the Soviets would have LOST without our aid, but the Germans would have penetrated much further before the production east of the Urals  allowed the Soviets to stop them. If Germany had taken Moscow and been able to penetrate to The Caspian sea Hitler probably would have tried negotiating a cease fire with Stalin as he would have had a clear shot at the Arabian oil fields and India.
Another MAJOR component of victory was leadership, The EXACT SAME troops who were defeated in the 1st battle of Kasserine Pass, the ones who ran away under fire, were the troops that their NEW commander, Patton, used to beat the vaunted Africa Corps in the 2nd battle only a few days later. Patton had Leadership ability, his predecessor didn't.
Another advantage enjoyed by America and the Soviets was that our factories did not get bombed the way Germany's did.



Badgersmilk

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2009, 07:37:33 PM »
Probably a lot more merit to the poll if all the guns were of the same action...  Throwing a semi-auto in there isnt much fair.  True they were on the same battlefield, but how much older are those other guns in design than the garand?  I know the Mosin's been around since at least 1930!!!  Sorta like racing a '57 bel air against a '70 camaro.  Their both nice, but not really fair to compare them to one another.

Thats just me though.  I voted for the Garand ONLY because its semi-auto which is IMO far superior in a field fight.  The Mauser is a far better weapon design for its age.  Heck, the Mosin Nagant was in service for over fourty years by Lord only know how many countrys!!!

If I were forced to take a bullit from a Mosin, Mauser, or a Garand...  I'd choose the Garand for that poll as well.  Hopefully there a BB gun in that poll though! :)

m25operator

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2009, 08:28:51 PM »
The M1 has accuracy and dependability, the sights are far superior to anything any other country had to offer, all other designs however good, did not allow the shooter to adjust to the ability the M1 had, the 1903 A3 had very adjustable sights as well, the US, decided the shooter needed to be able to adjust the sights, where other countries just gave elevation adjustment with crude ladder type rear sights. Most of these other rifles were sighted in at the factory and the troops just used what they were given, The US, made a point of making soldiers RIFLEMEN. I think this makes the biggest difference, if you gave a US rifleman a foreign rifle and asked him to shoot it, it would print where it did, and then he would ask " how do I make shoot where I want?" The Mk4 Smle, did have decently adjustable sights, not really all that accurate, but sturdy, and usable.

And the .303 is not a bad round, it hits as hard as any other round used, 173 grn bullet at 30/06 velocity. That's not hay.
" The Pact, to defend, if not TO AVENGE '  Tarna the Tarachian.

tombogan03884

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2009, 12:18:21 AM »
 I have to agree with both of you on this, the others combined could not match the Garand for accuracyM25 can correct me if I'm wrong but I thought they used the M-1 to shoot the 1000 yard Wimbledon Match at Camp Perry, I know that it was used to win the service rifle match against 03 Springfield's in the late 30's. Where I will differ with M25 is that because of our shooting heritage and the influence of the NRA and CMP The Recruits the services got were generally better rifleman than trained soldiers in  European Armies, where often a recruit had never handled a rifle before, we think of Europeans losing their gun rights but that isn't necessarily the case. While it's true of England and they are under attack in Switzerland,in most other European countries commoners have not been allowed weapons since the dark ages and have only started gaining gun rights since WWI, While many countries had hunting traditions it was only for royalty, "the sport of Kings".

I will agree with Badgersmilk that the poll IS NOT fair, The Garand was designed in the late 20's early 30's,
The basic Mauser design was introduced in the 1880's and the epitome of that, the K-98 was accepted for service in 1898, The Lee Enfeild replaced the Lee Metford around the same time.The Mosin Nagant was RELATIVELY unchanged since 1891.where I will differ with Badgersmilk is on bullets all 4 used bullets designed around the same time using the same technology and design theory, the newest was ours designed in 1906( an improvement on the 1903 design that was our first smokeless round).
Truthfully this is a trick thread because the only  WWII battle rifle was the Garand, all the others were built for the needs anticipated for the previous war.

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #35 on: Today at 04:57:02 AM »

m25operator

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2009, 01:43:16 AM »
The M1 has accuracy and dependability, the sights are far superior to anything any other country had to offer, all other designs however good, did not allow the shooter to adjust to the ability the M1 had, the 1903 A3 had very adjustable sights as well, the US, decided the shooter needed to be able to adjust the sights, where other countries just gave elevation adjustment with crude ladder type rear sights. Most of these other rifles were sighted in at the factory and the troops just used what they were given, The US, made a point of making soldiers RIFLEMEN. I think this makes the biggest difference, if you gave a US rifleman a foreign rifle and asked him to shoot it, it would print where it did, and then he would ask " how do I make shoot where I want?" The Mk4 Smle, did have decently adjustable sights, not really all that accurate, but sturdy, and usable.

And the .303 is not a bad round, it hits as hard as any other round used, 173 grn bullet at 30/06 velocity. That's not hay.

Tom, read what I wrote, before, a Rifleman is just that, understands his equipment and how to use  it, and that is my point, you cannot hit at distance, without training,  the M1 can do it, but suffers at 1000 yards, in  stock configuration, as my spotter and judge pointed out to me, " that's a long way out  there, it is the limit, of a  .30   caliber cartridge, " But out to 900 yards I was fine and even cocky.
" The Pact, to defend, if not TO AVENGE '  Tarna the Tarachian.

TAB

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2009, 03:07:50 AM »
Honestly, whats the chance of you making a 1000 yd shot in combat?( out side of being a sniper)  hell whats the chance you can even seeing your target at 1000 yds?

I always break all the clay pigeons,  some times its even with lead.

Badgersmilk

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2009, 08:04:05 AM »
"Honestly, whats the chance of you making a 1000 yd shot in combat?( out side of being a sniper)  hell whats the chance you can even seeing your target at 1000 yds?"

May lights shine on, and angles sing upon those words!!!  BRILIANT!!!  Erogance, stupidity, and just plane watching to many movies and doing to little shooting has 99 out of a hundred people reading this thinking they can not only hit a man, but make a lethal hit at that range.  Dont police snipers consider lethal hit area to be the size of a post card (3x5)?

Somebody should start a poll asking who on this site can consistantly, and reliably hit a 3x5 card at 1000 yards.  I'd guess at least 6 in 10 will say they've done it once.  2 in 10 will say they can pick up an M1 they've never touched before and do it.

I like Tom's point on the bolt rifles being intended for the previous war.  If you read anything about their history you see a lot said about "trench", and "front line" fighting.  I dont think you see a lot mentioned of either in WWII history.  It's become more and more common for the fighting to be random encounters.


fullautovalmet76

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2009, 01:08:21 PM »

Somebody should start a poll asking who on this site can consistantly, and reliably hit a 3x5 card at 1000 yards.  I'd guess at least 6 in 10 will say they've done it once.  2 in 10 will say they can pick up an M1 they've never touched before and do it.


You mean those sniper shots from Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon probably weren't possible?

PegLeg45

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Re: Best WWII infantry battle rifle
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2009, 02:45:02 PM »
"Honestly, whats the chance of you making a 1000 yd shot in combat?( out side of being a sniper)  hell whats the chance you can even seeing your target at 1000 yds?"

May lights shine on, and angles sing upon those words!!!  BRILIANT!!!  Erogance, stupidity, and just plane watching to many movies and doing to little shooting has 99 out of a hundred people reading this thinking they can not only hit a man, but make a lethal hit at that range.  Dont police snipers consider lethal hit area to be the size of a post card (3x5)?

Somebody should start a poll asking who on this site can consistantly, and reliably hit a 3x5 card at 1000 yards.  I'd guess at least 6 in 10 will say they've done it once.  2 in 10 will say they can pick up an M1 they've never touched before and do it.

I like Tom's point on the bolt rifles being intended for the previous war.  If you read anything about their history you see a lot said about "trench", and "front line" fighting.  I dont think you see a lot mentioned of either in WWII history.  It's become more and more common for the fighting to be random encounters.


Yep...things change at long range....a lot.

I knew a 'guy' who years ago, with some friends, thought they would stand a sheet of plywood up with a 9" paper plate in the center and back off to around 800 yards or so and commence to nailing the hell out of that plate. Out of four shooters, each firing five shots apiece, exactly two round actually hit low on the plywood, about a foot below the plate. The only reason those hits happened was because the 'guy' had watched the others bounce rounds off the dirt, and proceeded to 'walk' his shots up to the plywood until he managed to get a couple 'on board' (couldn't resist).

Hitting at long range consistently is not easy for the untrained or unpracticed. I can say that with some remote amount of confidence because the 'guy' mentioned above was ME.
If I started shooting 'cold' at any range over about 400 yards right now, I just be burning a pile of money.

My hat's off to the guys that can do it.........it takes work.
"I expect perdition, I always have. I keep this building at my back, and several guns handy, in case perdition arrives in a form that's susceptible to bullets. I expect it will come in the disease form, though. I'm susceptible to diseases, and you can't shoot a damned disease." ~ Judge Roy Bean, Streets of Laredo

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