Japan’s new rifle.

Again, very interesting, thank you.

And again, the choice of rifle made no difference to the outcome of the war, the side with the crap rifle still won.

(Which leads us to a totally irrelevant and side issue, did any side armed with Mausers ever win a war?)
The Krag wasn’t a crap rifle, it’s just that the Mauser had the better loading system and magazine. But the US chose the Krag out of a number tested for selection which included Mauser.

I think your argument about the winning side and the rifle it has is not the point. It’s one of testing the rifles to assess whether they do what they say on the tin and with the features you want. Eg for the UK, SLR was selected but without the full auto, oh and should we have a scope fitted or these or those iron sights. Let’s test it and see, and by the way how much will it cost.

Having the best rifle doesn’t guarantee winning the war since there are other factors such as the levels of training, skill and doctrine of the opposing armies, but it helps.

In the Austro-Prussian war, Prussia had the better trained army and won. But it also had the breech loading needle gun whilst the Austrians still had muzzle loading rifles forcing them to still stand to load whilst the Prussians could kneel or whatever and had a higher rate of fire. The casualties on the Austrian side was very much higher because of this. Same for when the Prussians went up against the Danes who also had muzzle loaders.

In the Franco-Prussian war, the French had the better breech loading Chassepot but lost because, well, they were French.

In one of the many Russo Turkish wars, Russian infantry was mown down when they came in range and the Turks picked up their repeating Winchester rifles.

Having the better rifle, doesn’t mean you’ll win the war, but having one that is as good as or better than your opponents, meets your needs at the price you want certainly helps.

E2A: After the Krag, the US developed the Springfield 1903, based on the Mauser, for which they paid a licence, and with which they went to war against the Germans with, twice. And when in WW1 they couldn’t get enough Springfields made for their rapidly expanding army, they ramped up the factories that were going to make the P14 for the British but had them chambered for the US cartridge, which was also based on the Mauser action. So the Mauser did win wars. I’m sure there’s likely to be others.
 
Last edited:

tiv

LE
‘stretched’ as in the gas system needed to be completely redesigned to use the 5.56 cartridge, ended up with a de facto new rifle. The designers had thought it was just a matter of changing the barrel - but there again, they were the same designers with zero experience of stamping And pressing who thought sheet steel parts could be made crude and poorly toleranced as you like and the Gun would work fine.
Not so, they simply put a 5,56mm barrel on the existing gun and the cyclic rate took a nose dive. All I recall being changed at the time was that the gas holes were enlarged until the desired amount of buffering was obtained. I can't remember what N was but seem to recall E ended up as 2,5mm. The situation was not helped by RG's super duper 5,56mm ammunition which, while it apparently met the spec, always gave a slower cyclic rate. I was told it was because they were using up a huge batch of "chopped tube" propellant when the rest of the world was using ball powder. When production started, if a gun failed rate of fire it was got through by using FN SS109 when it invariably passed.
 
The Krag wasn’t a crap rifle, it’s just that the Mauser had the better loading system and magazine. But the US chose the Krag out of a number tested for selection which included Mauser.

I think your argument about the winning side and the rifle it has is not the point. It’s one of testing the rifles to assess whether they do what they say on the tin and with the features you want. Eg for the UK, SLR was selected but without the full auto, oh and should we have a scope fitted or these or those iron sights. Let’s test it and see, and by the way how much will it cost.

Having the best rifle doesn’t guarantee winning the war since there are other factors such as the levels of training, skill and doctrine of the opposing armies, but it helps.

In the Austro-Prussian war, Prussia had the better trained army and won. But it also had the breech loading needle gun whilst the Austrians still had muzzle loading rifles forcing them to still stand to load whilst the Prussians could kneel or whatever and had a higher rate of fire. The casualties on the Austrian side was very much higher because of this. Same for when the Prussians went up against the Danes who also had muzzle loaders.

In the Franco-Prussian war, the French had the better breech loading Chassepot but lost because, well, they were French.

In one of the many Russo Turkish wars, Russian infantry was mown down when they came in range and the Turks picked up their repeating Winchester rifles.

Having the better rifle, doesn’t mean you’ll win the war, but having one that is as good as or better than your opponents, meets your needs at the price you want certainly helps.
Yeah point taken. I raised a similar point on the "That Rifle" thread, which led me to be accused of heresy :eek:.

I suggested it really would have made no difference to any of the many conflicts the British Army had been involved in during the period if they had been armed with, say a G3, rather than the SLR. Heck, just to enjoy watching heads explode further I would suggest it wouldn't have made a difference if they had been armed with M14s or even SKS rifles.
 
More importantly ...if the huge bull pup monstrosity is so good why do the Special types not use it , even those who think they are special have been using AR type platforms.
Different SOR.
 
Yeah point taken. I raised a similar point on the "That Rifle" thread, which led me to be accused of heresy :eek:.

I suggested it really would have made no difference to any of the many conflicts the British Army had been involved in during the period if they had been armed with, say a G3, rather than the SLR. Heck, just to enjoy watching heads explode further I would suggest it wouldn't have made a difference if they had been armed with M14s or even SKS rifles.
No worries. There’ll always be differing views. It’s what makes discussions like this interesting.
 
This was a popular idea at one time, and the FN SCAR is another example of this sort of modularity.

However, it wasn't something that people actually did much in practice, so it was pointless for most users.
Well it's rather self-fulfilling, most end-users won't use the variety of barrel lengths because they're not budgeted so they just get the rifle-length barrel issued. And then the beancounters say "well no-one uses the barrel change option so..."

And then you end up with the US situation with the M4, M16, Mk 12, Mk 18(?) all in inventory at the same time to provide a variety of barrel lengths on the same platform. Bizarro.
 

TamH70

MIA
Well it's rather self-fulfilling, most end-users won't use the variety of barrel lengths because they're not budgeted so they just get the rifle-length barrel issued. And then the beancounters say "well no-one uses the barrel change option so..."

And then you end up with the US situation with the M4, M16, Mk 12, Mk 18(?) all in inventory at the same time to provide a variety of barrel lengths on the same platform. Bizarro.
It's sort of like that in Russia, not with a platform but with an ammunition nature - the 9x39mm subsonic round. Every arsenal and their pet dog has made a quiet bangy thing that fires it, and since the ammunition is not at all what one would call cheap, it's sort of baffling that the Russian state seems to buy them all.

You've got everything from the Vintorez (insert girly S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise-fanboy screaming here):


to the 9A-91, which ranks alongside the Reising as one of the most dog-sick ugly firearms ever to show its face.

 
Factoring the cost in to get to the current SA80 reliability level to where it is its not surprising it may or may not outperform the M16, however the SA80 isn't commercially viable and the M16 is, even the SA80A1 when it was first put on sale was multiple times the price per unit of an M16 because the costs got out of control. On top of that at least £92 million has been spent getting it to the A2 level , I expect the end cost per unit now would equal the most expensive hand built AR or the HK416 .
 
On top of that at least £92 million has been spent getting it to the A2 level , I expect the end cost per unit now would equal the most expensive hand built AR or the HK416

How many times have the M16 of the same age as the SA80 been replaced? At least once as the current issue weapon is the M4.
On that basis shouldn’t the cost comparison be the SA80 with upgrades vs M16 and M4?
 
however the SA80 isn't commercially viable and the M16 is, even the SA80A1
The UK doesn't have a Foreign Military Sales program where they effectively give away hundreds of thousands of L85 and spares for free. The US does that for the M16. Don't confuse "so cheap it would be stupid not to take them" with "we found it to be the best rifle on the market".

The UK doesn't have a 300-million-person domestic market for semi-automatic L85. The US not only has one for AR15, it has unhealthy doses of "buy lots of guns, or your family will be raped and eaten by feral hogs" propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, that level of production does tend to spread out any development costs, and inspire market competition. You'll see American enthusiasts mixing and matching components from different manufacturers, to achieve a desired price and performance; take @jumpinjarhead 's example build.
 
The Krag wasn’t a crap rifle, it’s just that the Mauser had the better loading system and magazine. But the US chose the Krag out of a number tested for selection which included Mauser. (...)
The US fiddled with their version of the Krag–Jørgensen endlessly, changing the locking system and sights repeatedly. Many of the changes tended to make things worse, not better. If you want to evaluate how good the Krag–Jørgensen was you're probably better off looking at one of the Scandinavian originals rather than the US version after all the "improvements" done to it.

I think what sold the US on the Mauser was charger loading, which was one of the biggest game changers in rifle design of that era, alongside magazines and smokeless powder. The Krag–Jørgensen magazine design wasn't suitable to conversion to charger loading, while the Mauser offered an off the shelf solution to this.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
You'd think, with their short stubby arms, they'd have gone for a compact bullpup design.

I played volleyball against the JMSDF in Kure during a ship visit ( a l-o-o-ong time ago )

Most of their guys were over six foot - short stubby arms not really much in evidence.
 
The Nowegian Krag was strong enough to take the 6.5x55 Swedish round, which was quite easily a match for 7x57mm Mauser. However for the US, the way forward was stripper clips and a round designed to better anything in Europe regarding range as wot @terminal said.
 
The UK doesn't have a Foreign Military Sales program where they effectively give away hundreds of thousands of L85 and spares for free. The US does that for the M16. Don't confuse "so cheap it would be stupid not to take them" with "we found it to be the best rifle on the market".

The UK doesn't have a 300-million-person domestic market for semi-automatic L85. The US not only has one for AR15, it has unhealthy doses of "buy lots of guns, or your family will be raped and eaten by feral hogs" propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, that level of production does tend to spread out any development costs, and inspire market competition. You'll see American enthusiasts mixing and matching components from different manufacturers, to achieve a desired price and performance; take @jumpinjarhead 's example build.
Very true.

I've never claimed the M16 was the best rifle on the market only that its a myth its unreliable under normal conditions which some people claim.
 
Different SOR.
The UK doesn't have a Foreign Military Sales program where they effectively give away hundreds of thousands of L85 and spares for free. The US does that for the M16. Don't confuse "so cheap it would be stupid not to take them" with "we found it to be the best rifle on the market".

The UK doesn't have a 300-million-person domestic market for semi-automatic L85. The US not only has one for AR15, it has unhealthy doses of "buy lots of guns, or your family will be raped and eaten by feral hogs" propaganda.

Unsurprisingly, that level of production does tend to spread out any development costs, and inspire market competition. You'll see American enthusiasts mixing and matching components from different manufacturers, to achieve a desired price and performance; take @jumpinjarhead 's example build.
Because the UKSF/SOF door kickers that actually might be running through buildings and down hallways definitely don't need a shorter configuration than a L119A2/C7/M16/M4?

How about snipers/dedicated marksmen that need something with a little more accuracy and reach than a fatarsed bullpup AR18 derivative? What do they use then? L129A1? Whot's that then? Oh... another M16/M4 variant made in Iowa?
 

TamH70

MIA
L119A2?

This thing, I take it?

Yes... I didn't want to get long winded, so didn't mention UK Pathfinders, etc. using M16/203 set ups, or lots of UKSF replacing those boxhead sub guns (that also aren't "home grown") with the new M6A2 UCIW which is also a short barreled M16/M4.
 
I've never claimed the M16 was the best rifle on the market only that its a myth its unreliable under normal conditions which some people claim.
It's not unreliable under normal temperate conditions. But it's measurably less reliable under dry/dusty conditions, as found in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has been reproduced in UK tests, and in US tests. And given the number of operational tours there, selecting a rifle that actually works best in the desert* might be a good idea.

* as in "when 30% of users report stoppages in combat, it isn't as reliable as you want"
 

TamH70

MIA
...with a piston, rather than direct impingement. Why is that, do you think? AR-15 design not... reliable enough, perhaps? See also M27...
The Kiwis use the LMT direct impingement rifle in select-fire 5.56mm NATO form. Your argument is?
 

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