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Old August 4, 2002, 02:45 PM   #1
TMfr
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The most deadly of handgun cartridges: You will never guess.

Before laughing please read this article in its entirety. It just may give you a desire for a new and very different handgun cartridge.

One of the most deadly pistol cartridges of all time and now largely either forgotten or ignored was of all things the .30 Luger.

In the infamous Thompson Test trials in the early part of this century it equaled the killing power of the famous .45ACP cartridge. This part of the test was largely ignored and swept under the table in many of the articles written by famous gun writers in years past. Why? Its lethality just did not fit their mold of thinking so they chose to ignore its deadly history.

The .30 Luger has long been known for its high velocity and super accuracy. It , unlike many modern handgun cartridges is easy on handgun frames and slides and does not suddenly blow up for unexplained reasons. It's low recoil and low muzzel blast enables most shooters to do their best shooting with it.

The .30 Luger can achieve velocities out of 6 in barrels as high as 1.500 FPS. 7 /12 grains of Blue dot with a 85 grain bullet acieved this velocity. Its accuracy on a bad day is often in the 1 inch to 1 1/2 in. range that puts many modern off the shelf combat pistols to shame.

In the hunting fields of both Europe and the U.S. the .30 luger when used in the deep woods at normal hunting ranges of 75 yards or less has killed all kinds of game including wild pig, European Red Deer and American Elk. Many who have hunted with the 12 inch Luger carbine have reported velocities up in the 1700 to 1800 fps range. In Idaho in the 1940's it became fashionable to hunt deer and elk with it especially with the long barrel luger carbines. No one complained about its lack of killing power at close hunting ranges. This was back when people hunted mostly for food instead of for trophies.

Its small size goes against the philosophy of the people who have been beating the big bore drums for years but its actual field results have proven all of them way off the mark so to speak.

Ammo and empty brass and even bullets have become scarce in recent years but the skilled handloader can reform Largo, 9x21,9x23 , Win. 9mm magnum or 9mm basic cases into 30 luger.
Sierra still makes a jacked bullet and Lyman still makes a cast bullet mold for this caliber. Military surplus and foreign ammo also pops up from time to time. I have seen Lapua, Norma, and other foreign brands make their appearce on and off through the years. Seems as though Winchester makes a short run of it every so many years.

Weapons can still be found in this caliber but it may be a challenging hunt at the local gun shows. The Sig P210, Browning High Power and German Luger were all made in .30 luger and many custom barrel makers can supply a .30 luger barrel for your high power pistol. Any magazine that holds 9mm Luger will also work with the 30 Luger cartridge so conversions are not a problem after rebarreling.

Perhaps a few of the more modern pistols if they were chambered for this caliber and given modern expandable bullets just might throw the handgun world and its philosophies into a tizzy once again. It does not fit their philosphy but refuses to die or go away or be any less lethal. Perhaps its time for history to once again repeat itself. We just might just rediscover what Great-Grandpa knew only to well. Maybe he had a handgun caliber that was every bit as good or better than what we have today?

Last edited by TMfr; August 4, 2002 at 07:06 PM.
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Old August 4, 2002, 02:57 PM   #2
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That's what the .223 Rem was all about, and it's what the RCBD and other Vunderbullets are all about. Fast and light. The drag (slowing down) surface area of a slug increases dramatically as the diameter increases, too.
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Old August 4, 2002, 03:03 PM   #3
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The 1907 Tests showed a bovine critter could absorb a full magazine of 30 Luger or 9mm in the boiler room without immediate apparent harm. Where the 30 Luger did well was the brain shot, but then so does a 22 Long Rifle.

By the way, where did you find a Luger with a 6" bbl? They usually come with 4", IIRC.

You are fostering an urban legend.
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Old August 4, 2002, 03:22 PM   #4
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I try not to make guesses that are laughable.

There is no point to bothering with .30 Luger when there is the hotter 7.62x25 in plentiful supply. Assuming the idea is any good in the first place. Which it probably isn't.
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Old August 4, 2002, 04:17 PM   #5
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Man you REALLY need to go back and reread the Thompson-LaGarde tests. You completely mischaracterize these tests and their results.

Failing that (original copies are scarce and valuable), the 4th editon of Cartridges of the World had a very nice summary of the tests.

Other than head wounds, they found the .30 Luger to be SEVERELY lacking -- not even REMOTELY "equaling the killing power of the .45 ACP," unless you count ONLY the results of head shots and drop body shots from the equasion entirely.

The article summarizes the conclusions reached by Thompson-LaGarde:

"The major conclusions drawn from the Army lethality tests of 1904 are as follows:

1. Within the velocity range possible with handguns, there is no marked effect from velocity alone other than greater penetration.

2. At hnadgun velocities there is little difference in the effect of different bullet materials (leard or jacketed) when traversing flesh. However, lear of expanding bullets will inflict more damage when they strike bone.

3. In flesh there appears to be little difference between a sharp pointed or round nosed bullet. On the other hand, a flat or blunt point does substantially more damage to blood vessels and bone and has less tendency to be deflected by bone or cartilage.

4. The weight of the bullet does not appear to be critical, although it is to be noted that the most effective bullets were not only of large caliber, but also of the heaviest weight.

5. The diameter or caliber of the bullet is important because at handgun velocities expansion of soft point or other expanding bullets is not reliable. The larger diameter bullets simply destroy more tissue and blood vessels because they affect a larger cross sectional area."

Having read the Thompson-LaGarde study a number of times (a copy signed by both Thompson and LaGarde, interesting tidbit), those 5 points characterize the study very well.

In the 1920s the British undertook a series of tests of a similar nature. To quote the article:

"Their conclusion was that diameter of the projectile made very little difference. Weight and velocity were the most important factors and the velocity had to be low, not high."

Another interesting tidbit...

"A report was issued by the US Army after the Korean War entitled "Weapons Usage in Korea," by SLA Marshal. All of the general infantry weapons were evaluated by field studies both during and after combat. According to this report, the .45 Automatic was regarded by the combat troops as superior to the .30 caliber carbine (not the same as the .30 Luger, but ballistics are quite similar) for close range fighting becase of its superior stopping power."

While I'm sure the .30 Luger was used to successfully take game animals, I have to wonder how many animals were LOST simply because the .30 Luger is not up to the task? I'd bet good money that there were a lot of carcasses with itty bitty wound channels left to rot.
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Old August 4, 2002, 05:59 PM   #6
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I thought that Artillery Lugers were made with 6" or 8" barrels? IIRC it is the 8" barrel. I don't know that large amount were chambered in .30 Luger though.
I thought the ballistics from the Tokarev(sp?) were better? Even more velocity in a .30 cal handgun. Assuming that the round is properly loaded.
There is also a difference in rounds that will kill eventually, and what would stop an attack immediately.

For Mike Irwin's points, I would only question #5, in light of modern improvements in hollowpoint technology.

When it first debuted, the .357 magnum was used to hunt every game animal in North America. The idea was all marketing of course, but it worked. Power standards have changed, and now I think you would have a hard time finding a handgun hunter that would choose the .357 magnum for elk.
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Old August 4, 2002, 07:50 PM   #7
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Croyance,

Point 5 was addressing ammo available 100 years ago for military use.

The .30 Luger would be greatly improved by use with properly constructed hollow points.

But as the .30 Luger would improve, the other calibers mentioned HAVE improved.

Any way you cut it, though, the "tizzy" of excitement would likely actually be a yawn of boredom.

I'm not certain, but I think the .30 Lugers made for Switzerland had 6" barrels.

Interestingly, the German military apparently didn't have a lot of faith in the .30 Luger, either, as they demanded that it be made availble with a larger diameter, heavier bullet before they would consider adopting the handgun.
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Old August 4, 2002, 08:08 PM   #8
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The most deadly of handgun cartridges
Are the ones that are controlable by the operator in question, allowing them excellent shot placement. The rest is mostly smoke and mirrors. Just ask anyone that was ever crippled/incapacitated by a well placed .22 short. Jonathan Edward may or may not be able to hook you up with one of those killed by said short.
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Old August 4, 2002, 08:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
1. Within the velocity range possible with handguns, there is no marked effect from velocity alone other than greater penetration.
I think this is precisely the point when discussing the .30 luger cartridge. Due to its high velocity it does penetrate enough to reach vital organs. One of the things the FBI was interested in after the failure of the 9mm load then in use was its inability to reach the heart of a felon when he was hit from the side. The 9mm bullet when through the arm and into the body cavity but failed to reach the heart.

The heart has been stopped by projectiles as small as .177 caliber when fired from modern powerful air rifles causing instant death in many actual shooting tragedies as available from police reports.

Back when the Thompson trials were conducted the soft point bullets available then were no where near as lethal as the modern soft point bullets of today. Many 9mm loadings are now rated in tests and actual shoot outs as the equal of many larger calibers including the .45ACP providing they have enough velocity and weight to penetrate to vital organs.

In my own tests 9mm lead bullets that weighed 121 grains and were traveling at a relativily slow speed of around 1,000 fps penetrated far more than the .45 acp lead 225 grain bullets traveling at 850 fps. Based on my tests I think that bullet weight as well as velocity play an important part as to wether the bullet will have enough penetration to reach vital organs.

Tests conducted by the U.S. Army also proved the 9mm military round to far outpenetrate the .45ACP when penetrating body armor. Again the 9mm army loading has less bullet weight and a smaller diameter but a much higher velocity.

I think that the .30 luger and .30 mauser cartridges with their very high velocity for the time in which they were invented were much more deadly than most people thought. Their small size as compared to the larger calibers made them look quite anemic but
hunting with these cartridges proved quite the opposite.

Today these two cartidges given a modern expandable bullet would be quite deadly. The frame and slide life of the weapon would be very long as compared to some modern cartridges and the low recoil would enable many people to shoot it very accurately. Not to mention the inherent accuracy of these cartridges, especially the .30 Luger.

To be successfull in the market place unfortunately they would have to overcome over 100 years of bad press as to their lethality.

I think the new FN 22. cal. handgun cartridge is an evolution of this principle. It is so deadly that it is outlawed in most countries. One reaon is that it easily penetrates bullet proof vests. It is even smaller and lighter in weight than the .30 pistol cartridges but in tests has proven it has the penetration and if you have the penetration the lethality is assured. The heart and lungs stop functioning when hit by it .

I would conclude that diameter is not a factor as long as you have penetration and if you have a high enough velocity, weight becomes less important also. One can look at the devestation caused by the 5.56 mm rifle round that originally had only a weight of only 55 grains but was very lethal in Viet-Nam.

The .30 Luger and the 30 Mauser (which by the way often achieves velocities of up to 1600 fps) have more than enough velocity and penetration to be very lethal despite their respective weights of 85 and 95 grains.

It is a well known fact that most people who fire handguns infrequently (which includes the large majority of hangun owners) often do not do well when trying to hit targets both in practice and and even worse under stess when the caliber has a large recoil and muzzle blast.

Perhaps this is one reason that in times past the smaller calibers were once very popular such as the .32 cal and .38 revolvers and pistols.
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Old August 4, 2002, 08:22 PM   #10
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First of all, the main reason the U.S. chose the 9mm had nothing to do with penetration. They chose it so there would be a standard caliber among NATO arms, and 9mm was the standard of the other countries.

Second, where do you get the idea that 9mm penetrates body armor better than .45ACP? NEITHER of them do, that's the idea of body armor. You have to have a projectile traveling at around 2000fps to do that.

Third, Mike Irwin is reposting the results of the trials you supposedly read. How can you even argue your point, when it's obvious you misread. It's blatantly obvious that even all of these decades ago, they thought the .30 Luger was inadequate. Hell, even the German army dumped it's standard loadings, demanding something better.

Some people will believe anything they want to believe, especially when they think they are on to something.
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Old August 4, 2002, 08:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
...although it is to be noted that the most effective bullets were not only of large caliber, but also of the heaviest weight.
Note the use of the phrase 'it is to be noted'.
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Old August 4, 2002, 09:40 PM   #12
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By taking, out of context, selected portions of another's research; sometimes one can prove most anything. In their own mind.

A not uncommon mistake tho and often no deceit is intended.

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Old August 4, 2002, 10:18 PM   #13
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6" Lugers

Were issued as the Navy Models. Not quite as common as the standard 4" guns, but they also had a neat elevation-adjustable sight at the rear of the toggle, instead of the standard v-notch. See the photo below for this variant, showing the 6" barrel and adjustable rear sight.

I'm a big fan of the .30 Luger's successor, which stayed on in military service for quite some time - the 7.62x25 Tokarev, especially the loading developed for the CZ-52 pistol. My Hornady XTP handloads with S&B brass clock well over 1600fps from the CZ-52. Giddyup!

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Old August 4, 2002, 11:55 PM   #14
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Apples and orangutangs, TMFr.

The 9mm round that caused all of the hoo-haw in the FBI situation was a jacketed hollow point.

You're comparing performance of a JHP with a fully jacketed bullet -- you really can't do that and arrive at anything meaningful.

Had that 9mm round been hardball, penetration likely would NOT have been an issue, as it would have been more than adequate.

But here's an interesting counter tidbit... The nature of the heart is that it is a "self-sealing" organ. People have lived a LONG time with .22, .30, .32, and even larger holes in their hearts caused by FMJ ammo, both rifle AND handgun.

Had Platt or Mattix (can't remember which one) taken a .30 Luger round through the heart, it is STILL possible that he could have remained mobile and functional long enough to do everything that happened after he was hit.

In short, hitting someone in the heart is NOT an instant laserbeam death. You'd also know this to be the case if you've ever hunted.

In 1982 or 1983 I drove a 150-gr. JSP from a .30-06 into a white tail deer's heart from about 70 yards. When I gutted the deer, the heart no longer remained as a recognizable organ (****** me off, because I LOVE baked stuffed deer heart). From the point where the deer was hit (large gout of blood on the ground) to the point where the deer FINALLY realized that it was dead and laid down, was slightly under two HUNDRED yards.

But, the fact remains that the TRUE failing of Miami wasn't the handgun ammo, it was the tactics used by those holding the handguns.

"Back when the Thompson trials were conducted the soft point bullets available then were no where near as lethal as the modern soft point bullets of today. Many 9mm loadings are now rated in tests and actual shoot outs as the equal of many larger calibers including the .45ACP providing they have enough velocity and weight to penetrate to vital organs."

Once again, you're comparing apples and oranges.

The "soft point bullets" of yesteryear were actually all lead. Half-jacketed bullets didn't make any sort of true appearance on the scene until well AFTER World War I.

When you talk about today's 9mm loadings being as effectve as larger calibers, you're talking about HOLLOW-POINT ammunition -- ammunition that, again, was barely known/available in 1904.

"Tests conducted by the U.S. Army also proved the 9mm military round to far outpenetrate the .45ACP when penetrating body armor."

That's been known since the Korean War, when US troops met Koreans with those funny quilted uniforms, which acted as a form of soft body armor. That doesn't mean a whole lot, though, as the Korean War ended nearly 50 years ago, and the US hasn't faced an adversary yet that sends its troops into battle with body armor.

You and I do agree on one thing -- penetration. I'm a constant advocate of penetration, even it if means trading expansion for it.

The ideal is, however, adequate penetration COMBINED with adequate expansion. This way you cut a large, deep wound channel into the target's vitals.

Today's hollowpoints, even large, relatively slow velocity rounds, largely prove that this combination is achievable.

Given that, which would you rather have?

A .30 caliber slug that expands to .35 and penetrates into the vitals, or a .45 caliber slug that expands to .60 and penetrates into the vitals?

Even if that .45 caliber slug doesn't expand, it's still cutting a far larger wound channel than the expanded smaller slug.

"I would conclude that diameter is not a factor as long as you have penetration and if you have a high enough velocity, weight becomes less important also. One can look at the devestation caused by the 5.56 mm rifle round that originally had only a weight of only 55 grains but was very lethal in Viet-Nam.

Another case of apples and oranges.

You can't achieve the kind of damage out of a handgun that you can with a 5.56 rifle simply because you can't get the bullet going fast enough. The point at which the temporary stretch cavity caused by a bullet entering tissue becomes a permanent wound cavity due to tearing of the tissue in in the cavity is around 2,200 fps.

The .30 Luger round doen't get benefit of those factors, either.

Even on a REALLY good day you can't get .30 Luger going that fast. I don't think you can even get 7.62 Tok going that fast.

You've also got the tendency of the 5.56 bullet to tumble and, at certain velocity thresholds, fragment.

The new FN 5-7 or whatever it's called is, in my opinion, SERIOUS smoke and mirrors. When it actually gets out into combat, I think we're going to see some serious failings of a personal weapons system.

But, the reason that the 5-7 is unavilable in so many nations isn't because it's "so deadly," it's either because it's A) a handgun, B) it's a military caliber, or C) both A and B.


"It is a well known fact that most people who fire handguns infrequently (which includes the large majority of hangun owners) often do not do well when trying to hit targets both in practice and and even worse under stess when the caliber has a large recoil and muzzle blast.

Yes, that's a known fact. It's also a known fact that the .30 Luger isn't exactly the quietest handgun round around, either.

Perhaps this is one reason that in times past the smaller calibers were once very popular such as the .32 cal and .38 revolvers and pistols."

Actually, you're going to find that it's because the guns chambering those rounds were small, light, and fit easily into a gentleman's coat pocket.

You're also going to find that guns chambered for .30 Luger, or any of the other hyper velocity minirounds, do NOT have that small, light, quality about them.

They're full-size service pistols. If you're going to be saddled with a full-sized service pistol, why not make it something effective, like a 9mm, a .40, or a .45?
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Old August 5, 2002, 04:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Due to its high velocity it does penetrate enough to reach vital organs.
Penetration depends more on weight (mass) not velocity in the real world. Using the line of thinking that if you drive a bullet fast enough it can penetrate is where your probably getting side tracked. Do a search on the term "sectional density". A bullets sectional density is the primary factor in penetration. Using a light (85 gr) small slug looks real good on paper until you stop to think about what happens after impact. Once the hollow point starts to open up, the bullets sectional density changes. Take the .30 cal 85 gr slug listed in the above example using the sectional density calculator found here www.realguns.com/calc/sectionaldensity you can see that the original slug starts out with a reasonable SD of .135 (bear in mind .3 and above is considered very good ie. 220 gr .308(30/06)). As the hollowpoint expands, even to a modest .35 cal, the SD drops to a dismal .099. As the expansion of the slug goes up, the penetration goes down. Considering that you drive it at the velocity listed (1800 fps), expansion is likey to be very quick and very violent. IE: The faster you drive it, the faster it expands and with a lighter slug, the more the expansion works against you.
Please note that SD is just one piece of the puzzle, just like velocity is. Using SD as the sole basis of what the most deadly handgun round is would yield equally erroneous results.
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Old August 5, 2002, 08:47 AM   #16
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If you believe in your theory get a CZ52 and use Seller&Delloit 7.62X25mm ammunition. The lot I am currently shooting averages 1,640 feet per second. Anything a .30 Luger will do it will do better!
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Old August 5, 2002, 09:07 AM   #17
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Hellow MIke, You seemed to be very well informed so I wish to ask you several questions in all sincerity.

Other than head wounds, they found the .30 Luger to be SEVERELY lacking -- not even REMOTELY "equaling the killing power of the .45 ACP," unless you count ONLY the results of head shots and drop body shots from the equasion entirely.

I no longer have the article that I read nor can I find the other article that I read some years ago on the Thompson tests but the author of the first article I read stated that he also reviewed the Thompson tests and that in the tests there were steers that dropped from on shot when hit with the .30 luger. Not all of them did however. He also stated that not all the steers dropped from one shot from the .45 either. Since I now longer have either article I cannot say if the author was accurate in his assesment of the tests. I will attempt to find the summation of the tests that you refered to in Cartridges of the World 4 th additon, providing I can locate a copy of such.

"A report was issued by the US Army after the Korean War entitled "Weapons Usage in Korea," by SLA Marshal. All of the general infantry weapons were evaluated by field studies both during and after combat. According to this report, the .45 Automatic was regarded by the combat troops as superior to the .30 caliber carbine (not the same as the .30 Luger, but ballistics are quite similar) for close range fighting becase of its superior stopping power."

Question Two I would very much like to read this report and study how it was conducted. The only reason I mention this is that I too interviewed WWII veterens about the use of various weapons and one must be very careful and probe very deep to get an accurate picture of what weapons will do or will not do in combat.

Case in point: I knew from past investigations that the wild tales of the .45ACP knocking people down and spinning them around kept getting told and retold from the days of the Phillipean insurrection right up to and through WWII. When questioning actual combat veterens that I knew personally none ever saw this happen. When questioning them further in regards to the lethality of the 9mm luger and the .45acp, those that saw both used in the execution of captured prisoners in order to get their colleagues to give information quickly said that they saw no difference at all in the lethality between them. Here again we are talking of shooting men that are physically a lot smaller and easier to kill than huge steers would be. Perhaps in the case of huge animals like steers the .45 is better but not as much when the target gets smaller as in the case of men.

When questioning them about the .30 carbine as compared to the .45ACP they often compared the lethality of the .45 at point blank range to the lethality of the .30 carbine at rifle ranges of 100 yards or more. In other words it was not a fair comparison at all. This experiece makes me quite leary of the report that you quote in regards to the Korean war conflict. I also wonder if the interviewer had even any way of proving if the men that he talked to had actually used or had witnessed the weapons in question. In other words just because you are in a combat situation does not mean that you yourself have even fired your weapon or hit anything with it or had the presence of mind to remain calm enough to coldly and scientifically observe everything that is going on around you.

For example. A poorly placed 30 carbine shot would not stop someone while a perfectly placed .45 shot would. Does the conclusion then dictate that the .30 carbine is inferior. Well, yes in the mind of the people who saw both incidents happen. I think there is a lot of room for extreme error and even exaggeration which would be very difficult to either prove or disprove.

WE could also give the opposite example. A person witnessing a man hit with a .45 at 100 yards and then witnessing a man hit with the 30 carbine at 100 yards. In the first instance the man reacts not at all because at 100 yards the velocity and penetration of the .45 is very low indeed while on the other hand the .30 carbine is still zipping along at 100 yards and if the man fell down does this then prove that the .45 pistol round is inferior to the Carbine round. Well, once again Yes, in the mind of the observer. But here again it is not a fair comparison.

I give the example once again of the scientific impossiblity of the .45 knocking people off their feet even if hit only in the arm. This story and many like it came from the battlefield but has been proven not be true because of the scientific impossiblity of such a feat of arms.

Without studying the test myself to determine how scientifically it was conducted I cannot say how valid it really was. The government has very seldom been known to conduct the valid tests that scientists often conduct.

To be fair I would be very interested in reading over this Korean war test of weapons. Perhaps you could give me some further information as to how to access these tests.

I would also like to hear what are your thoughts about all of this. I find your comments very interesting which gives one much food for thought.
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Old August 5, 2002, 09:19 AM   #18
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hello Rae.

Quote:
Considering that you drive it at the velocity listed (1800 fps), expansion is likey to be very quick and very violent. IE: The faster you drive it, the faster it expands and with a lighter slug, the more the expansion works against you.
I do agree with you partially on this. This is a problem that has plagued bullet designers for years but as of late they have been getting much better at solving this problem. There are many good controlled expansion bullets on the market and although the concept started out in rifle bullets the same consept can equally be applied to the design of pistol bullets.

It is well known for example that the Winchester .32 acp silvertip expands much more quickly and violently than the Hornady XTP .32 caliber bullet. Many people wanted a .32 that expanded like the silver tip but offered more penetration. So was born a competitor to the sliver tip that at one time was the only ammo that could be used in the Seecamp .32 auto. The point being is that softpoints and hollow points can be made to expand a little and penetrate deeply. This is why I mentioned previously that a solid copper bullet with expanding petals might be a real break through in pistol ammo but unfortunately it would probably have to much penetration and velocity to be made legal.
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Old August 5, 2002, 10:47 AM   #19
BigG
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NOTE: The Philippine Insurection used the 38 Long Colt and the 45 Long Colt, not the 45 ACP. The Browning designed 45 was based on the results of the practical experience of the PI and the Thompson/LaGarde tests.


The Thompson/LaGarde tests have been published in excerpts and in their entirety in several books. One is Textbook of Automatic Pistols by R. K. Wilson and Ian Hogg. Another as Mike said is Cartridges of the World. Both are worthwhile additons to your gun library.

Textbook of Automatic Pistols
http://www.epinions.com/book-review-...39887557-prod4

Cartridges of the World
http://www.epinions.com/content_24045522564
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Old August 5, 2002, 10:58 AM   #20
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Good morning, TM.

"I read stated that he also reviewed the Thompson tests and that in the tests there were steers that dropped from on shot when hit with the .30 luger."

Of course there were, just as there were steers that didn't drop with the .45. That's to be expected, and that's why Thompson-LaGarde didn't shoot just one or two steer, nor did they shoot just one or two cadavers (which they suspended by the wrists to measure oscilation and later disected to measure tissue disruption. Very gross photographs!). As with any body of data, the T-LG tests used multiple test subjects with the results averaged across the whole of the test. I forget how many steer were shot with each round, but I think it was well over a dozen for each round.

T-LG also noted much greater physiological (sp?) effects from the larger rounds that were absent even from multiple strikes with the smaller rounds.

Marshal's work has been republished, but not for a long time. I've no clue where you could get a copy these days. Both this work and T-LG's work were in American Rifleman's internal reference library when I was on staff there. The study was based on interviews with those who had used these weapons in combat situations.

You're absolutely correct that there's a lot of hype out there, firearms urban legends, as it were.

But there's also a lot of observable truth based on first-hand experience and observations.

First hand observation in the Philippines showed that the .38 Long Colt was not very effective in stopping Huc and Moros tribesmen. (A little known aside is that the .30-40 Krag rifle, with its 220-gr. round nose bullet) was also found to be a rather poor stopper of the tribal warriors.)

That experience prompted the US Army to pull .45 Colts out of reserve and send them to the Philippines. While there were still incidents of soldiers being killed by tribesmen who were hit with multiple large-caliber slugs, front-line troop concensus was that the .45 was MUCH more effective in stopping the warriors. (The .45 ACP never saw service in the Philippines during this time, it was adopted too late).

This experience with the rather moderately powered, lead round nose .357 bullet was mirrored in police departments across the United States over the next nearly 60 years as the .38 Spl., a slightly uppowered version of the .38 Long Colt, developed a truly MISERABLE reputation as a stopper of determined criminals. The final death knell for the LRN bullet, and the big push for effective hollowpoints, came with the increase in drug use in the 1960s, especially PCP. There were numerous cases around the country of people high on PCP absorbing 6, 12, or more LRN .38s without much visible harm. Interestingly, some police departments went with .38 +P, or even .357 Mag., yet kept the LRN, hoping to solve the performance problems. Didn't work.

British experience was much the same in the Sudan and in Africa. While the standard British round was already a large bore (earlier the .476 Enfield, and then the .455 Webley in several marks), many officers carried smaller-caliber handguns that they purchased themselves, and especially in the Sudan some paid with their lives.

One of the most popular of the personal weapons was the C96 Mauser in 7.63 Mauser, a power step up from the .30 Luger. Winston Churchill thought very highly of his C96 and its effectiveness at stopping the Sudanese.

General concensus was, though, that Sudanese tribesmen could be so hard to stop that the Royal Ordnance Factory at Enfield developed a special round to deal with the problem - the Webley Manstopper. Essentially, it was a soft lead bullet with a MASSIVE hollowpoint nose (more like a Grand Canyon nose. Think not Speer Flying Ashtrays, but flying dinner plates.) I've got one of these in my personal collection (a reproduction, unfortunatly) -- I'll take a picture and post it this evening.

While apparently not used much, these rounds did develop a very positive reputation.


When questioning them about the .30 carbine as compared to the .45ACP they often compared the lethality of the .45 at point blank range to the lethality of the .30 carbine at rifle ranges of 100 yards or more.

Fair point and one that deserves considerable thought. Unfortunatly, I can't address it as it pertains to Marshal's study, though, as I can't recall whether ranges were taken into consideration or not.

I do know, however, that in short range fighting in the Pacific during WW II, the .45 was considered to be superior to the carbine at close range, and in the Thompson or M3 was considered by many preferable to the carbine because of the better effectiveness of the .45 round.

As an aside, my Uncle was with the 82nd Airborn during WW II, and made all of their major combat drops without being wounded. He was initially issued an M1 carbine, but told me that after a very short time with it that it was time to find something more effective. So, even though it added significantly to his weight load, he found an groundpounder who had an M 1 Garand and traded him. Both were extremely happy. I have a picture of my Uncle (Great-Uncle, really) taken somewhere in France or Germany near the end of the war. He's got his Garand.
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Old August 5, 2002, 11:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
...initially issued an M1 carbine, but told me that after a very short time with it that it was time to find something more effective.
There's a reason G. S. Patton called the M1 "the greatest fighting implement ever invented."
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o "In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain

o "They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?" Paul Harvey

o TODAY WE CARVE OUT OUR OWN OMENS! Leonidas, Thermopylae, 480 BC
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Old August 5, 2002, 12:54 PM   #22
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An important point needs to be made about the M1 carbine.

It was never developed with the expectation that it would be a front-line combat weapon.

Original thought was that the M1 would replace the .45 in most applications with people who generally wouldn't see line combat, such as truck drivers, couriers, artillery, etc.

The idea was to give those troops a weapon that would be easier to shoot accurately but which would be lighter than the standard rifle.

The necessities of war time, though, quickly saw the carbine move to the front line, where troops valued its light weight and lack of kick, but groused about its lack of stopping power, even at close range, as compared to other firearms in the military arsenal at the time.

There's a lot of speculation over why the military and Winchester chose to develop and adopt a round based on the obsolete, underpowered Winchester .32 Self Loading round, and why it didn't base the round on the much more effective .351 or even .401 SL rounds.

I think it's a couple of reasons, including that the military wanted to stick with a .30 caliber round for continuity of production and that it wasn't foreseen that the carbine would be used as extensively as it was.
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Old August 5, 2002, 01:02 PM   #23
Mike Irwin
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"There's a reason G. S. Patton called the M1 "the greatest fighting implement ever invented."


Yep, turbo reliable, extremely accurate, relatively easy to shoot, and firing a proven combat round.
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Old August 5, 2002, 02:17 PM   #24
C.R.Sam
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Some who had a choice chose the older Thompson over the .30 carbine for close work against padded bad guys.

Sam
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Old August 5, 2002, 04:38 PM   #25
the duck of death
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Your right I didn't guess I thought it might be along the lines of the 500 Linbaugh.
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