military application of .22LR or similar sized calibres?

#1
Has any arm of any nation ever used small calibres in the field?

I am very surprised that .22 has never found its way into a suppressive fire role. Especially before the days of body armour and in urban warfare. Would you poke your head round the corner if hundreds of .22 rounds were splatting against walls and windowsills. .22 can kill or seriously hurt you for the fraction of the cost/weight/size requirements of .303/7.62/5.56 ammo. Although it would be no good as a main assault weapon or over long distances, a few automatic 500 round belt fed .22 per company in urban warfare environments would be a pain in the ass for suppressed enemy infantry.

I would not be surprised if this had already tried this in the past? If not why not?
 
#2
Considering the issue with the logitics of getting 5.56, 7.62, .5, .38 etc into theatre, you are taking the piss aren't you?.

That's not even mentioning the poor sod that has to carry the extra gat on the ground, you mong.
 
#3
Considering the issue with the logitics of getting 5.56, 7.62, .5, .38 etc into theatre, you are taking the piss aren't you?.

That's not even mentioning the poor sod that has to carry the extra gat on the ground, you mong.
Elaborate for me as I dont get it. What difference in logisitics would be dependant on calibre? And I was thinking that maybe it would be a case of a support role dedicated to that weapon. Probably backed up with a sidearm.

In any case I am not trying to argue for such a weapon, I just wondered if it had actually been tried in the past or ruled out for any reason. I had heard that armies had even experimented with airguns in the past.
 
#4
Has any arm of any nation ever used small calibres in the field?
Through desperation, perhaps. ISTR something about the Chechens using it in FIBUA, scoped semi-auto 0.22 at close range. They were trading off target effect for ability to suppress firing sginature (improvised moderators). Or maybe it was the only gun the firer had. Who knows...

Put it this way - at 100m, you should be able to group to the size of a throat. As ever, this is an unreliable memory of a completely unknown source, so feel free to ignore it.

armies have even experimented with airguns
The Austrians had one in service for 35 years (the Girandoni - a 0.51 cal bullet at 1000fps is going to hurt) , if Wikipedia is to be believed... rather impressive, it had a 20-shot magazine and was accurate to 150 paces. In 1780. Cool...
 
#5
the isrealis have used it in crowd control situations

if you see a stone throwing youth suddenly go down holding his leg then theres a chance hes been hit
 
#6
Heard of .22 being used as survival tool for downed aircrew,
 

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#7
Put it this way - at 100m, you should be able to group to the size of a throat. As ever, this is an unreliable memory of a completely unknown source, so feel free to ignore it.
Well from cadet shooting we put out 5-pence-peice groupings at 25m, but I should imagine that in combat at 100m your group size goes out of the window - imagine the size of those figure 12s and how many times you've missed them... 100m away from the enemy is not my idea of a fun place to be.

I'd be surprised if there's never been an SMG chambered like that. With almost no recoil, a massive clip and very short ranges, that could be quite lethal.
 
#10
Has any arm of any nation ever used small calibres in the field?

I am very surprised that .22 has never found its way into a suppressive fire role. Especially before the days of body armour and in urban warfare. Would you poke your head round the corner if hundreds of .22 rounds were splatting against walls and windowsills. .22 can kill or seriously hurt you for the fraction of the cost/weight/size requirements of .303/7.62/5.56 ammo. Although it would be no good as a main assault weapon or over long distances, a few automatic 500 round belt fed .22 per company in urban warfare environments would be a pain in the ass for suppressed enemy infantry.

I would not be surprised if this had already tried this in the past? If not why not?
The only military use I can remember for it was for the British DeLise silent carbine, although the IRA have used the rounds in weapons used against us.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
The American-180 anyone? Modern Firearms - American-180

'Significant numbers of American-180SMG's were purchased by police departments and prisons, mostly for riot control situations.'
 
#12
The only military use I can remember for it was for the British DeLise silent carbine, although the IRA have used the rounds in weapons used against us.
The De Lisle was actually produced in 45ACP. It used a modified Colt 1911 magazine. A few years ago there were some modern reproductions made, and I had the opportunity to try one - it certainly lived up to it's reputation of being one of the quietest weapons made.
 
#14
Heard of .22 being used as survival tool for downed aircrew,
Looks like the M-6 survival rifle. Actually an over-under .22/410 bore.



Has any arm of any nation ever used small calibres in the field?
I believe it was during the Viet Nam War "Carbine" Williams, designer of the .30 M-1 carbine, made a prototype .22 WMR electrically powered multi-barrelled mini-gun. I saw a film clip of this thing in action; it certain did cut tall grass and brush with ease but keeping it in ammo had to have been a bastard.
 
#15
During my service I saw several different .22RF weapons all with Silencers fitted.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
The interesting thing about that article is it says that the round was too lethal. This suggests that the round might have uses where you want to kill someone.
IMI Samson make a hollow point .22 Stinger round, that would make your eyes water
 
#17
Members of Auxiliary Units were issued with .22 rifles for assassination purposes.

These units, initiated by Winston Churchill in 1940 as a response to the impending threat of German invasion, were part of the 'British Resistance Organisation'. The Auxiliary Units answered to GHQ Home Forces, but were organised as if part of the local Home Guard under the direction of Major C.E Gubbins who insisted on the very latest kit for his operatives.

There's plenty more about them here http://www.arrse.co.uk/military-history-militaria/129276-auxilliary-units.html.

Auxillaries were expected to operate as small independent units, once the German's had implemented Operation Sea-lion, attacking German supply lines, key Installations and disposing of potentially dangerous collaborators. It was for this purpose that the rifles were expected to be used. One of the 'targets' of this assassination campaign was a Chief Constable whose knowledge of the locations and personnel of some of Units operating bases was considered too dangerous to be revealed under German interrogation.

I'm trying to find a photograph of the bloody thing - I'm sure there are references to these 'sniper rifles' in "Churchill's Underground Army: A History of the Auxiliary Units in World War II by John Warwicke.
 
#18
Members of Auxiliary Units were issued with .22 rifles for assassination purposes.
This was the book I read on the subject: The Last Ditch by David Lampe.

It's an amazing story of 'left behind' after the German invasion and goes into detail about their Commando training and kitting-out.

And they were beyond "good," too. One local Auxiliary commander was reported to have warned the commander of the RAF station they were going to penetrate station security and there was nothing he could do about it. "Hah hah!"

The following morning the station commander arrived in his office to find a small rack of rubber stamps had been nicked from his desk . . . and no one saw or heard anything.

---------

On a different subject; about thirty years ago a former Commando turned gunsmith in his later years told me for a time he'd been posted to The Tower of London. Summoned by an officer to get a firing party together, they executed a German spy using .22 rifles because they didn't want the sound of gunfire to attract attention from without.
 
#19
Members of Auxiliary Units were issued with .22 rifles for assassination purposes.

These units, initiated by Winston Churchill in 1940 as a response to the impending threat of German invasion, were part of the 'British Resistance Organisation'. The Auxiliary Units answered to GHQ Home Forces, but were organised as if part of the local Home Guard under the direction of Major C.E Gubbins who insisted on the very latest kit for his operatives.

There's plenty more about them here http://www.arrse.co.uk/military-history-militaria/129276-auxilliary-units.html.

Auxillaries were expected to operate as small independent units, once the German's had implemented Operation Sea-lion, attacking German supply lines, key Installations and disposing of potentially dangerous collaborators. It was for this purpose that the rifles were expected to be used. One of the 'targets' of this assassination campaign was a Chief Constable whose knowledge of the locations and personnel of some of Units operating bases was considered too dangerous to be revealed under German interrogation.

I'm trying to find a photograph of the bloody thing - I'm sure there are references to these 'sniper rifles' in "Churchill's Underground Army: A History of the Auxiliary Units in World War II by John Warwicke.
These .22"RF "Auxilliary" sniper rifles are widely thought to be myth, perpetuated in order to add "sniper" value to actually very common .22RF rifles (often Winchester) fitted post-war with cheap surplus No42 and No53 telescopes (these particular scopes, unlike the No32 sniper scopes, are non-adjustable, but Parker Hale and AJ Parker produced adjustable mounts).

There is some evidence that some .22 scoped rifles and .22 sleeved versions of the No4(T) sniper rifle were used for sniper training - as miniature close-range landscape targets also exist. Its hard to believe that a .22"RF sniper rifle would have any practical advantage over a full bore calibre - too weak and too inaccurate for all but very short range. Short range and stealth needs were handled by .45ACP DeLisle (good short-range power, and suitable silenced performance) and the likes of suppressed .22"RF Welrod pistols for point-blank use.
 
#20
These .22"RF "Auxilliary" sniper rifles are widely thought to be myth, perpetuated in order to add "sniper" value to actually very common .22RF rifles (often Winchester) fitted post-war with cheap surplus No42 and No53 telescopes (these particular scopes, unlike the No32 sniper scopes, are non-adjustable, but Parker Hale and AJ Parker produced adjustable mounts).

There is some evidence that some .22 scoped rifles and .22 sleeved versions of the No4(T) sniper rifle were used for sniper training - as miniature close-range landscape targets also exist. Its hard to believe that a .22"RF sniper rifle would have any practical advantage over a full bore calibre - too weak and too inaccurate for all but very short range. Short range and stealth needs were handled by .45ACP DeLisle (good short-range power, and suitable silenced performance) and the likes of suppressed .22"RF Welrod pistols for point-blank use.

Interesting: I here what you say regarding power and range. Furthermore the Auxiliaries did not have to 'make do' when it came to equipment, as it's pretty well known that they were the first units to be issued with the Thompson SMG, ahead of even the Commandos.

I'm still trying to find the photograph of the rifle identified as a .22 Sniper rifle - I have to say from memory it did look like a Winchester model 61 'pump' action or similar.

I'm currently helping with the research for a pilot programme on the Aux Units and one of the aspects of the programme will be the 'list' of victims for assassination and the methods used. Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it.
 

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