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The Small Arms Thread, Part 8: 2018; ICSR to be replaced by US Army with interim 15mm Revolver Cannon.

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Speaking of the Nazi pot metal laser carbine, here is an analysis of the magazine design of the STG-44 and subsequent 7.92x33mm designs.  It's super-technical, so if that's not your thing don't feel bad about not reading it.  Short version is that the STG-44 has some feeding reliability problems that are caused by loose production tolerances of the magazine, and these problems were exacerbated as the tolerances opened up later in the war, and also would have been worse in various last-ditch weapons designed at the very end of the war.

 

The author notes that the design of the AK-47's magazine completely solves these problems, albeit at the cost of making the magazine heavier and more expensive.  The author also suspects that German engineers were involved in the design of the AK-47's magazine because it so elegantly side-steps problems that they had tussled with in the STG-44.  I'm a little dubious that the AK-47's complete lack of certain flaws that the STG-44 suffered from is evidence that STG-44 engineers were involved in the design of the AK-47, but I suppose Schmeisser did have expertise in stamping, and AK-47 magazines are stamped, so this is one of the less ridiculous theories I've ever heard.  Can anyone with more knowledge of AK-ology chime in?

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It's even worse than that.  As I am sure you are aware (but other readers perhaps are not) according to Heereswaffenamt archival material, the Mkb 42(h) tilting bolt not only post-dates the ZB-26, it is explicitly copied from it.  The HWA actually told Haenel to copy the well-proven ZB-26 action.  Why they did not give a similar directive to Walther is a mystery.  Perhaps they trusted Walther, as established gun designers, to come up with a decent design, while Haenel, being completely new to the field of firearms manufacture, needed more guidance on their freshman design.

 

 

 

Edit:

 

I just double-checked the authoritative book on the matter, and it was the WaPrüf 2 department of the HWA that specifically requested that Haenel use a design similar to the Czech ZB24 rear-locking tilting bolt design in 1939.

 

So, you're telling me.....Germans DIDN'T invent everything?

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Speaking of the Nazi pot metal laser carbine, http://www.forgottenweapons.com/what-makes-a-magazine-work-by-john-cross/'>here is an analysis of the magazine design of the STG-44 and subsequent 7.92x33mm designs. It's super-technical, so if that's not your thing don't feel bad about not reading it. Short version is that the STG-44 has some feeding reliability problems that are caused by loose production tolerances of the magazine, and these problems were exacerbated as the tolerances opened up later in the war, and also would have been worse in various last-ditch weapons designed at the very end of the war.

The author notes that the design of the AK-47's magazine completely solves these problems, albeit at the cost of making the magazine heavier and more expensive. The author also suspects that German engineers were involved in the design of the AK-47's magazine because it so elegantly side-steps problems that they had tussled with in the STG-44. I'm a little dubious that the AK-47's complete lack of certain flaws that the STG-44 suffered from is evidence that STG-44 engineers were involved in the design of the AK-47, but I suppose Schmeisser did have expertise in stamping, and AK-47 magazines are stamped, so this is one of the less ridiculous theories I've ever heard. Can anyone with more knowledge of AK-ology chime in?

Really hard to know, but there's no reason to suspect German involvement. The Russians could have understood the problems of the StG mag pattern without their help, since they captured oodles of them.

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If I had to take his list and rearrange it, I guess I'd do something like.

 

5. 22 LR. It deserves a spot just for it's sheer ubiquity and the fact its what first time shooters have used for ages aswell as experienced ones alike for just plain old cheap plinking fun and popping varmints and rodents for various tasks.

 

4. Remove the .300 Blackout completely, I'd probably move the 12 gauge here, while it's mostly falling out of favor in warfare use, he is at least right in the sense It's still a long historied, versatile loading still used alot by police and civilian shooters including sportsman, bird hunting and clay shooting would be damn near impossible without shotguns so I'll keep it.

 

3. 8x50mmR Lebel, you can argue all day which is the best rifle cartridge used today, but the problem is, picking the top 5 cartridges is really vague in the first place and I have no idea why I'm even doing it, there's so many cartridges for so many different roles and situations it's stupid, but I'm doing it anyway for arguments sake so I digress, so, why the 8x50mmR Lebel despite the fact It's never used anymore? because it was really damn important for firearms development, It was the first military cartridge to use smokeless power aswell as the first cartridge ever to use a Spitzer point bullet with the Balle D revision of the cartridge. This round arguably did more to shape modern firearms rounds, at the very least for rifles then any other.

 

2. I'm also kicking off 9mm Luger, not because I'm some fanboy of other pistol cartridges, but, as many here will even tell you, pistols don't really do very much in the grand scheme of things, and SMG are seemingly reaching a twilight, The round I want to put here that's really arguable (and feel free to do so if you disagree) is 7.62x54mmR, for being the oldest cartridge in the world that's still in military service (aswell as with several combloc guns with civilian shooters, cheap surplus ammo loves you as much as you love it), but, if I had to place a bet on which small arms cartridge killed more fascists in WW2 then any other, arguably the most important conflict in the modern age, chances are this would be a safe bet to put your money at. (possibly 7.62x25mm, but I digress).

 

1. 5.56x45mm NATO, hate the jamomatic poodleshooter cartridge all you want, but the SCHV lightweight ammunition concept completely changed the paradigm of modern infantry rifle design aswell as made an explosion on the civilian market with it aswell at it's .223 Remington "civilian" version who have also seen it's benefits and very high versatility (I know that 5.56/.223 comparison is not technically correct, but I'm in a bit of a hurry to fully explain it, just go with it for now and I'll fix it later), people give it shit all the time thinking they can do better, no one has, and ever since the 60's no one has dethroned this from taking over everything from the US armed forces, to NATO, to 2 other major countries who have made their own version based on the concept with different indigenous cartridges. (The Soviet Union/Russia in 1974, and China in 1987 respectively.), both ditching the old heavier and slower, but "supposedly" better manstopper (I hate that term) of the 7.62x39mm round to do so, to the angry teeth grinding of military reformists everywhere. Bow down.

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A better list would have been "Top 5 Modern Military Rounds". Instead of caliber-chambering systems, it would have focused on specific loads that changed history. Such a list might look like:

 

5. 8x57mm S Patrone

 

4. 5.56mm CT

 

3. 7.92x33 Kz.Ptr.43 SmE

 

2. 5.56x45mm M193

 

1. 8x50mmR Balle D

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Minor quibble

There have been at least two such cartridges which have in fact been bested at least twice over it's nearly 6 decade reign...

This does not, however diminish it's magnificence

The pair of them which I see as plainly and firmly better are 5.45x39 & 5.56x38 FABRL

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Minor quibble

There have been at least two such cartridges which have in fact been bested at least twice over it's nearly 6 decade reign...

This does not, however diminish it's magnificence

The pair of them which I see as plainly and firmly better are 5.45x39 & 5.56x38 FABRL

 

Even if 5.45x39mm is arguably better (it is in some ways like recoil and weight, but not in other ways), 5.56x45mm was ultimately more important in reference to the fact that, while it wasn't the first SCHV cartridge (by modern standards at least) by any means, it was the first to truly take concept and take the military world by storm, and while the 5.45x39mm is by no means a direcy copy of it, It was more then likely at least highly inspired by it, the rounds that caused the USSR to drop the much vaunted slower and heavier predecessor "intermediate cartridge" (a term of much debate here) we all know 7.62x39mm of the AK-47/AKM for among other weapons.

 

it's possible the USSR would've come up with something similar in some alternate history scenario (though, most of us kind of hate alternate history scenarios) where the the US didn't adopt 5.56x45mm along with NATO, but would it even look remotely the same? then we go to the 5.8x42mm for the PLA which, while it could've also potentially come to be without it, probably not as we know it since their own switch from 7.62x39mm and tests for how to design their new cartridge did have some direct inspirations and some trial and error from their own personal testing and experimenting with 5.56mm rifles using M193 and M855 loadings. (and to a much lesser extent, the 7N6 and 7N6M).

 

People can argue all day which is the best, but as for which was the most important? the 5.56x45mm for actually being the trend setter.

 

Also, the "people think they can always do better yet never do" comment was more directed at military reformist types like 6.8x43mm SPC or .270/280 British fanboys or people who legitimately think the US simply not adopting the AK in 7.62x39mm (yes, these people exist) over the "AR-15 jamomatic poodle shooter!" is a mistake, or that the USSR/Russia and China also switching to their own versions of the concept is some huge mistake. (I guess the 2nd (arguably tied for 1st in the USSR days) and 3rd largest powers in the world clearly most be wrong just like the 1st largest power along with it's NATO allies and will learn the errors of their ways.... any decade now!)

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A better list would have been "Top 5 Modern Military Rounds". Instead of caliber-chambering systems, it would have focused on specific loads that changed history. Such a list might look like:

 

5. 8x57mm S Patrone

 

4. 5.56mm CT

 

3. 7.92x33 Kz.Ptr.43 SmE

 

2. 5.56x45mm M193

 

1. 8x50mmR Balle D

 

Well, that list is actually informative and a good idea, we can't have that on TFB, we need more top 5 lists for viewer comments.

 

Or just to fuck around with because why not?

 

 

Top 5 military cartridges according to Tony Williams.

 

5. 7.62x39mm

 

4. 6.8x43mm SPC

 

3. .280 British

 

2. .270 British

 

1. 6.5x39mm Grendel

 

Top 5 Cartridges Meplat is most likely to kill you with.

 

5.  7.65x20mm Lounge

 

4. .455 Webley

 

3. .45 ACP +P

 

2. 7.5x54mm French MAS

 

1. .303 British

 

1a. Meplats 1907 sword bayonet for his Lee Enfield when he gets so angry he throws it into your skull at the velocity of Mk. VIII .303 British.

 

Top 5 military Cartridges Gary Roberts is most likely to shill for.

 

5. ???

 

4. Other Cartridges?

 

3. 7.62x51mm NATO

 

2. 6.8x43mm Special dentist loading

 

1. 6.8x43mm SPC

 

 

The possibilities are endless you see.

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Couldn't possibly agree any more with your reasoning behind the 5.56 being the proper round to use in the list...

I'm definitely not one of the people who hates 5.56 in the slightest. I own multiple guns chambered in 5.56 and stock larger supplies of 5.56 at all times than any other round I keep on hand for feeding my personal firearms collection.

That being said though, I also don't even pretend that it's perfect in any way.

As a design it really does have some inherent flaws and bad compromises.

I really wish that the right people would do what it takes to get a better SCHV round designed, adopted, and able to be used by the gun owning public....

That would be a very happy day for me.

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Couldn't possibly agree any more with your reasoning behind the 5.56 being the proper round to use in the list...

I'm definitely not one of the people who hates 5.56 in the slightest. I own multiple guns chambered in 5.56 and stock larger supplies of 5.56 at all times than any other round I keep on hand for feeding my personal firearms collection.

That being said though, I also don't even pretend that it's perfect in any way.

As a design it really does have some inherent flaws and bad compromises.

I really wish that the right people would do what it takes to get a better SCHV round designed, adopted, and able to be used by the gun owning public....

That would be a very happy day for me.

 

Can hardly say it's the right solution by any means, but on my next AR-15 I want to get a .204 Ruger barrel for it, in theory you wouldn't even have to change magazines or any other parts aside from the barrel as it has the same OAL and case head diameter as .223/5.56mm (A new feed ramp may be needed, but I digress.). I wouldn't intend this as a combat weapon, but just something I'd use with a longer upper because it would be a really fun SCHV weapon for blowing up varmints or targets with.

 

Just some thoughts I had a while ago.

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Really hard to know, but there's no reason to suspect German involvement. The Russians could have understood the problems of the StG mag pattern without their help, since they captured oodles of them.

Meh, I used to have a shit-ton of early slabside AK mags, they were not at all like Mp44 mags.

You could basically use an early AK mag as a hammer.  the '44 mags were much lighter, and shared few of the early AK's features shy of the reinforce at the top.

 

If the Germans did contribute it was minimal.  The AK mag shares more with the DT pan than it does with the Mp44.

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Can hardly say it's the right solution by any means, but on my next AR-15 I want to get a .204 Ruger barrel for it, in theory you wouldn't even have to change magazines or any other parts aside from the barrel as it has the same OAL and case head diameter as .223/5.56mm (A new feed ramp may be needed, but I digress.). I wouldn't intend this as a combat weapon, but just something I'd use with a longer upper because it would be a really fun SCHV weapon for blowing up varmints or targets with.

 

Just some thoughts I had a while ago.

The shoulder position on the .204's case is slightly further forward than the .223 Rem.  It might pose an issue with certain magazines and their forward reinforcement rib.

I've actually heard of someone creating a .22/.204 Ruger wildcat, resulting in a slight case capacity increase over the parent .222 Rem Mag.

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Yeah, the ESD unit supposedly weighs about the same as a 249. There's no role for such a weapon (consumes ammo far too quickly), but it's still awesome.

I dunno. Maybe as a mini R2D2 point defense weapon? Would 5.56 steel core be enough to take down a mortar shell?

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Yeah, the ESD unit supposedly weighs about the same as a 249. There's no role for such a weapon (consumes ammo far too quickly), but it's still awesome.

 

I actually did read a proposal from GD who bought the rights to the XM214 about upping the rate of fire to 12,000 RPM and using it as a mini CIWS for for medium to larger land vehicles against RPGs and ATGMs.

 

a quarter second burst would be enough to do enough damage to a missile to send it haywire.

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This is supposedly a significant improvement on the microgun, smaller and lighter.

 

Yet still limited to the practical ROF cap of ~4800 RPM, barring some radical advances in priming and propellants.

There is a reason why the other Gatling pattern weapons, even ones using far more consistent electrical priming tend to cap at that ROF, other than the obvious financial/economic ones.

 

Yeah, the ESD unit supposedly weighs about the same as a 249. There's no role for such a weapon (consumes ammo far too quickly), but it's still awesome.

 It's interesting, but only in it being an impractical oddity that tends to bump the limits of usefulness. 

Akin to a micro-uzi in many ways.

 

I actually did read a proposal from GD who bought the rights to the XM214 about upping the rate of fire to 12,000 RPM and using it as a mini CIWS for for medium to larger land vehicles against RPGs and ATGMs.

 

a quarter second burst would be enough to do enough damage to a missile to send it haywire.

 

 

The largest issue, as also faced by the original, is the ammo. Assuming one could develop a sufficiently reliable stab primer, the low mass of the projectile reduces it's potential applications. 

The old concept of linear charges or "shotgun" style point defense makes more sense..

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