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Thread: Best military rifle of WW2???

  1. The heart of the matter is that if you are in action the fewer things that you have to do the more effective you are. If you are in a close range firefight you really don't want to be fooling around with a bolt after every shot, all you want to do is aim and pull the trigger. That's why the Garand is the best of the standard rifles of WW2. The British Commonwealth was always behind the USA with weapon development. The .303 LE was replaced by the semi auto FN SLR but then the USA went fully auto with the M16. Eventually the FN was replaced by a fully auto rifle. The FN SLR was touted as being a superb weapon especially by those that carried it in action. The fact is that it is a shocker - too heavy, too long, you had to carry all of those empty magazines around until you could fill them and when being used to provide sustained fire in hot conditions it would experience stoppages due to being carboned up. There was a tool provided to expand the gas jet but from observations once it began to mis-fire there was nothing that you could do to correct this, other than to fully strip it down and clean it. And why did those who carried it swear by it - the average soldier has to convince himself that his personal weapon is best otherwise he begins to doubt himself as being effective.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Blog Entries

    Arrow The tabulations are in...

    Well, after reading 8 pages of arguments, it looks like the M1 GARAND is the winner, with the 2nd place still up for grabs between the Germans and the Russians... and that will probably take another 8 pages to resolve!


  3. #73
    Unregistered Guest

    Exclamation Svt 40 ussr

    You all forgot the soviet SVT 40 just as powerful as the M1 Garand better feed system just as reliable

  4. #74
    Unregistered Guest


    I think that The best rifle was the PPS-43

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Tombstone, Arizona as of Jan. 2011

    Smile Svt 40 ussr

    Unregistered, the SVT 40 was not forgotten. It was mentioned on page 7 by Raven Gold.

  6. #76
    Unregistered Guest
    Great posts! I inherited my dads gun collection and have the M1 , 1903, and the .303. I havn't shot them all, but am going to make a point of it. I am also on a quest for the (best) rifle and caliber. I just finished a book by Jeff Cooper "To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak the Truth. He has some very strong arguments that all a lone man needs is a accurate bolt action rifle. He says a rifle is an offensive gun and is used at a distance. If you are shooting at a man or a group, you usually don't get more than two shots off from a location before you start to receive fire back. Any more than two will give away your position. I just bought a Sig 556 to start my own quest for the (best) rifle and cant help feeling foolish that I already had the best. I could have bought alot of .3006 and .303 ammo for what I spent on my Sig. I was kind of hoping that the 1903 would be better, because .3006 ball ammo is so available but I am going to have to give some real thought to the .303.

  7. #77
    Unregistered Guest
    Hello, sorry if I am bringing up an old thread here, but while cruising by I found this very interesting.

    My name is Tye, I was a member of the Australian Army for a while serving in infantry, I served in A'stan for a couple years In Uruzgan province.

    Notable weapons I have fired are the F88 steyr (the main service rifle of the Australian Army), the M16A1 and A2, the SLR (British and Australian variant of the FN FAL), and also an Enfield, although the only rifle I have fired in combat is the F88. I must admit that the Enfield for me felt very clunky and was an annoying thing to reload, as it requires 2 stripper clips to be loaded into the weapon, which takes time and I assume is far harder than the garands system, plus it also fires what I think is a ballistically inferior round to what the Americans and Germans were using.

    There are a few things that a few people are getting wrong on assumptions in the first place, firstly, it is primarily up to the machinegunner (or possibly bar or Bren gunner back then) to lay down the suppressive fire, although riflemen will be firing too, they do not have enough ammunition usually to keep a high rate of fire, compared to the MG which spread across him and he ammo bearers is most likely carrying more than 1000 rounds, as opposed to about a standard issue of 100 for an Enfield user, and 88-128 for a garand user. Also another important point is during wars with modern day combat weapons (as in after muskets) combat ranges are essentially quite random, so at the start of a firefight both sides will compete for fire supremacy, this short period would involve (it did in my case) a lot of ammo consumption, so, a garand has an enormous advantage over the Enfield there, and the Enfield although can be cycled quickly, still requires the user to bring Down the sights while working the action, Which means if they are shooting as quick as possible they are most likely firing more inaccurately than the Garand.

    Although the garland could not be topped up, in most combat there is no point doing a "tactical reload", dry reloads would almost always be done, especially on low capacity rifles, and the ping produced would certainly not be noticeable at standard combat ranges, which is usually over 50 meters, if not at 200 to 300, add into that all the combat noise and it is virtually unnoticeable.

    Last thing I would like to mention is that in combat the technical accuracy of the rifles used is not very important, unless operating as a Designated marksman or sniper, just being able to bring up and sight your weapon and fire as accurately as possible while under fire is hard enough, and the super long range effectiveness of the rounds used is not entirely sensible as the standard rifleman with ironsights is effective up to maybe 300 meters while in combat conditions, when I served basically any targets past 300-400 meters was engaged by machinegunners, Designated riflemen, LAV's or air support, and that is when all rifleman are using optics, either a shoddy 1.5 like mine, or the lucky people having 4x ACOG's or 3.5 Elcans, the extra men were better used keeping cover and scanning elsewhere rather than engaging what the heavy weapons are gonna kill anyways.

    So if you cannot tell by now I would say that the M1 garland was the best infantry weapon of WW2, because in my opinion it is more flexible than anything else, yet simple and reliable enough for the soldier to depend on it, which is the reason I would not choose the G43 or SVT-40, and I would not choose the STG44 because of It not being really tested enough in combat to judge it swell as the others, and from what it had actually seen it still didn't seem to offer a significant advantage over the Garand, considering there was almost no point to firing it on full-auto anyway.

    Just wanted to voice that

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