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What Would You Choose? - WWII Weapons

WWII Weapons

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#1 Oldtrooper

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 10:46 AM

This is strictly an opinion piece (my opinion) It isn't scientific, and is bases solely on my experiences with my own weapons.

 
I am going to compare the "big 5" of the US infantry during WWII. Their ease of carry vs impact  ... I did not include the M3 submachine gun as I do not have access to regular shooting of one.
 
 
First up is the 1903 Springfield. The weight isn't bad, but the bolt action and limited magazine capacity makes it my least favorite battle weapon. The sights, while fine for pinpoint accuracy are not the best for combat. The impact of the 30-06 cartridge is the best attribute of the 03. I might also mention I do like the built in magazine of the bolt action ... Nothing to lose.  To me the rifle seems to have an over-all feel of fragility to it The 1903 would be my least favorite choice.
 
Next is the Thompson submachine gun ... While this is my personal favorite iconic piece, it would, in my opinion be a poor choice for battle. The weight of the Thompson, coupled with the guns short range, and its rate of consuming ammunition are the weapons draw backs. Packing enough magazines to run the gun in battle without constant resupply limit its effectiveness. My uncle carried a Thompson in the ETO and he told me that he mostly shot the gun in semi-auto mode to conserve ammo. The upside of the gun is the impact of the .45 ACP at close range and it does have a psychological impact when firing. The Tommy guns cool factor is off the chart, but I would.t want to carry one in battle. The Thompson would excel as a room cleaner in house to house fighting.
 
Third is the BAR ... The only negatives to the BAR is the weight,  the consumption of ammunition, and the accuracy while being fire in full automatic. The return for rounds expended would be relatively small for such a massive weapon. Carrying a full BAR belt is also a tough proposition ... My BAR belt with 12 full magazines weighs well in excess of 20 pounds. On the upside, the BAR is devastating in impact and the sound of the rifle when rocking would keep any enemies head down.
 
Now we have the basic rifle of the US Infantry ... The M1 Garand. The rifles has few negatives. The only one I can think of is the clip loading system. Without a constant, abundant supply of the clips the M1 could be limited in efficiency. This occurred on Bataan when elements of the 31st Infantry, and the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts were armed with M1's. The men would have to police up their expended clips in the heat of battle so that they could reload them to use again. They also complained that while on the march the M1 clips had a tendency to fall out of the cloth bandoleers ... Other that this I can think of no down side to carrying an M1 rifle.
 
Now we come to what would be my personal favorite ... The M1 carbine. The downside of the M1 carbine is the .30 carbine round. No where near as effective as the 30-06 and has a limited effective range. This negative is countered by the ease of carry of the weapon, and a soldier could carry a lot of magazines of .30 carbine ammunition. Most firefights in WWII were under 100 yards which is comfortably in the 30 carbine's effective range. While anemic when compared to the 30-06, the .30 carbine round is nothing I would want to be hit with ... It's a legal deer cartridge in my state. The M1 Carbine could also be accurately fired one shot at a time, and when unleashed could send 15 rounds towards the axis forces with both physical and psychological effect. Maybe it's my favorite because of my age and it doesn't weigh much ... But the M1 Carbine would be my choice of a weapon in the field during WWII.
 
That's my list of favorites from least favorite to what I would have wanted to carry ... As I stated, it's totally non-scientific and based on nothing but my range and hunting time.
 
Feel free to discuss ...
 
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#2 StrangeRanger

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:02 AM

I'd rank the BAR last, I only weigh 135 and it's simply way too heavy for me to consider

The 03A3 had much better battle sights than the 03 so if I can include it I'd certainly move it up a notch in the rankings

I agree with everything you said about the TSMG but I still love mine.  FWIW the M3 mitigated the ammo consumption issue by cutting the ROF in half

Ditto for everything you said about the Garand although I'd like mine more if it weighed less

The lack of stopping power would make it a poor choice in most situations, something that was solved by the M2 but then we get into the ammo consumption issue

 

Can I vote for the StG44?

The right gun in the wrong hands


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#3 jim c 351

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:20 AM

I think you had better tell us if we are fighting in the jungle where 50 yards would be a long shot or the desert where 300 yards would be a close shot.

Jim C


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#4 Oldtrooper

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:29 AM

I think you had better tell us if we are fighting in the jungle where 50 yards would be a long shot or the desert where 300 yards would be a close shot.

Jim C

I guess I was mostly thinking in terms of the ETO ... A lot of soldiers landed in North Africa with 1903's which would have been a plus at 300 yards,


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#5 Adg105200

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:35 AM

Oldtrooper- great collection of ww2 firearms!

As a overall best US weapon of ww2, my vote goes to the Garand. Love mine! The internal capacity isn't the greatest, but it's not bad. It's easy to carry plenty of ammo, and it has plenty of knock down power. All that, and they can be VERY accurate.

I haven't had the pleasure of shooting a BAR, Thompson, M1 Carbine, or '03 so I can't comment on them other than I would probably pick the Thompson next just out of personal preference.

I will buy a '03 Springfield eventually, but I'll have to wait on a carbine until I'm out of NJ!

Andrew
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#6 anticus

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:38 AM

The Garand in the ETO. Effective weapon, and I'm surrounded by buddies with ammo we can share. But if I was fighting in the jungle -Thompson all the way. Most of the fighting is up close and personal and CQB is where the Tommygun shines.
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#7 Speeddemon02

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:07 PM

Thompson for me.  ETO, early on will be the worst for it, but as time goes on and the closer to Berlin you get the better it will be.


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#8 Chief762

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

My choice would be the M1 Garand. Full auto fire is great to keep the bad guys heads down and deny freedom of movement. But, accurate rifle fire kills the enemy, shortening the war.


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#9 HB of CJ

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 04:04 PM

USGI M1-M2 Carbine. A strap.  With 5 mags, a pouch, a cleaning kit and a small spares kit and the light rifle with about 150 rounds, about 12.5 pounds plus or minus.


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#10 Normal1959

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:03 PM

By a mile. The M-1 Garand. The high power. The long distance and the cool "clink" sound when it goes empty.

Eric


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#11 snipershot1944

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:25 PM

Garand.
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#12 RoscoeTurner

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:30 PM

My uncle was in an I&R platoon on Saipan and Okinawa during WWII, he told me many years ago his personal choice was a 03 Springfield.  His reasons - (1) our job was not to be in extended fire fights but to obtain intelligence information and bring it back, (2) he saw too many dead GIs and Marines on the beaches holding sand jammed M1 Garands, 03 was not as prone to have that problem.


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#13 Petroleum 1

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:50 AM

My father carried the M2 carbine and thought it was easier to carry and more effective at clearing houses and buildings as they advanced thru Germany mostly all semi auto firing.
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#14 shadycon

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:39 AM

In my opinion all of the above are great firearms in situations they were designed for! If in a situation that the weapon was not designed for they did the best they could! Stop crying because a M1 Garand has greater range and power than an M1 carbine, just look at the size of the round! As for the TSMG it was not a long range weapon, as said 'up close and personal'! If I had a hundred enemy solders coming at me I would want to spray them like bugs, at a distance I would like to shoot them like flies, Jed Clampett style! GK


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#15 Oldtrooper

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:52 AM

In my opinion all of the above are great firearms in situations they were designed for! If in a situation that the weapon was not designed for they did the best they could! Stop crying because a M1 Garand has greater range and power than an M1 carbine, just look at the size of the round! As for the TSMG it was not a long range weapon, as said 'up close and personal'! If I had a hundred enemy solders coming at me I would want to spray them like bugs, at a distance I would like to shoot them like flies, Jed Clampett style! GK

I didn't see anyone "crying" ... This post was not meant to upset anyone ... I just listed my favorite weapons in the order I would have wanted them ... They all had their uses.


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#16 TSMGguy

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 12:27 PM

Why is it we can't delete posts?


Edited by TSMGguy, 12 October 2018 - 10:03 AM.

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#17 TSMGguy

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 12:35 PM

American Rifleman article about the M1 Garand at Bataan:

 

https://www.american...aptism-by-fire/


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#18 StooperZero

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 02:50 PM

 I'd take an M1 carbine. 

 

 

OR have an armorer turn a BAR into select fire VS 2 modes of fire only. 


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#19 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 07:45 PM

Course I'd pick the Johnson LMG.  Slightly heavier than the Garand, less recoil than the Garand, more capacity than the BAR and probably 8# or so lighter, semi ...quick change barrel, etc.

 

If I needed accuracy I'd do the 1903 and I have the extended airman's magazine on one of mine so I'd take that over a Garand.  The guns are very accurate.

 

Maybe next the M2 Carbine if I needed better impact than a subgun.

 

Then the M3 grease gun.

 

If I couldn't get any of the above I'd probably take the Garand, Thompson, and if I wanted to torture myself I'd carry a BAR.......

 

I hope I didn't cheat? LOL


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#20 Normal1959

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:20 AM

I think you guys are all forgetting something very important. When Steve McQueen had to stay behind to fight the Chinese in "The Sand Pebbles."  He chose the BAR

I'm going with Steve. :)

Eric


Edited by Normal1959, 11 October 2018 - 08:20 AM.

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