I haven't found an appropriate thread where to put some interesting rare stuff related to WW2 development, be it industrial one or makeshift field modifications.
Let's start with two things. The first one is a relatively recently found rarity from Swedish archives - a drawing of ČKD/BMM V8H-Sv tank. The drawing and a letter was found by WoT enthusiasts in Swedish archives in 2014 (the original announcement and the drawing source is here). The drawing is from a message dated 8th September 1941. One of the reasons why this drawing was not known before may be that the Czech archives were partially destroyed by floods in 2002. Anyway it is an export modification of the V-8-H tank accepted into Czechoslovak service as ST vz.39 but never produced due to the cancelation of all orders after Münich 1938 (for the same reason negotiations about licence production in Britain failed). Also later attempt to sell the tank to Romania failed due to BMM being fully busy with Wehrmacht priority orders. The negotiations with Sweden about licence production of V8H-Sv lasted till 1942, at least in May 1942 Swedish commission was present in Prague for negotiations. The tank differed compared to the base ST vz.39 in thicker armor with different front hull shape (armor 60 mm @ 30° on the hull front and also 60 mm on the turret; all sides were 40 mm thick). The tank was heavier (20 tons) and had the LT vz.38 style suspension with probably even larger wheels. The engine was still the same Praga NR V8 (240-250 Hp per source). The armament was unchanged with 47 mm Škoda A11 gun and two vz.37 HMG. The commander's cupola was of the simple small rotating type similar to those used on AH-IV-Sv tankettes. It is known that the Swedes officially asked to arm the tank with 75 mm gun, replace the engine with Volvo V12 and adding third HMG to the back of the turret. In the end the Swedes decided to prefer their own Strv/m42.
Source of the drawing
The second is makeshift field modification found on Balkans. It appears Ustasha forces (and possibly some SS anti-partizan units) used several Italian M15/42 medium tanks with turrets from Pz.38(t). There are several photos of such hybrids but little more is known. On one photo it is possible to see Ustasha registration number U.O. 139.
Few more photos of such hybrid.
It appears that the source of all those photos to be found on the internet is this book, Armoured units of the Axis forces in southeastern Europe in WW2 by Dinko Predoevic.
So my mind wandered off the other day and I started thinking about bolt carriers, recoil springs and caliber conversions. I feel kind of ignorant for not getting this completely straight, but I'm wondering if I'm missing something.
Let's say you'd have an AR-style rifle chambered in .308, and you'd convert it to .223 with a swap of the bolt head and the upper receiver. Let's ignore the magazine issue for this discussion. I'd imagine that the optimal bolt carrier velocity is the same regardless of cartridge (within some reasonable limit). Thus it should be perfectly possible to compensate for the new cartridge only by changing the gas port location or size, and leaving the same bolt carrier mass, the same bolt head mass, the same recoil spring and buffer in there.
For some reason I've always had it in my head that a larger cartridge requires a heavier bolt carrier, but I just realized that that's not right. A larger cartridge requires more space on the bolt face, more space in the receiver, and a sturdier lockup. This tends to lead to a heavier bolt carrier group, but there is no need for a heavier bolt carrier per se. Is my understanding correct? Of course there is less volume to work with when running a gas system on a .223 versus having a larger cartridge, but it should be perfectly possible to fiddle with the gas port size and location to compensate. I could also imagine the larger surface area of the larger cartridges to increase friction during primary extraction, but the difference between different calibers should be negligible compared to the difference between dirty ammo and slightly oily ammo.
The Saiga rifles use the same bolt carrier and virtually the same bolt for all of the difference cartridges.
The Knights Armament SR-25 uses the same springs and buffer as the M16a2 (although they have a heavier carrier and had some issues)
The DPMS genII small frame .308 rifles use the same buffers and springs as the 5.56 rifles.
Bonus: Check out this thread from arfcom on bolt carrier velocity
This came up in a recent discussion I had with a friend over Discord, concerning a hypothetical near-peer conflict (particularly in an urban environment). My friend is of the belief that in such a conflict there isn't no reason to field any small arms (not just service rifles or light machine guns) in anything larger than something like 5.56 NATO, the rationale being that a.) you can carry more of it compared something like 6.5 Creedmoor or 7.62 NATO, b.) you're mostly going to be using it suppressing the enemy so that you can drop high explosives on their heads, and c.) since most combat takes place under 300 meters the extra range would be unnecessary. Is there any merit to this line of thinking? What cases can be made for using more powerful, longer ranged cartridges in SDMRs and (tripod or vehicle mounted) machine guns?
have question about 12.7x99 AP M2 cartridge WWII time books gives muzzle velocity for AP M2 - 895 m/s for 45in barrel, modern days firing tables and manuals gives 856 m/s for 45in barrel, which is correct, or both correct but 1st for WWII and 2nd for modern dayes cartridges ?