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Old October 30, 2012, 08:30 AM   #26
jimbob86
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About as long as a man with an M-16.
Really? Considering that the m193 weighs half what a .45 ACP cartridge does, making a basic load of equal weight allow for twice as much ammo?
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Old October 30, 2012, 09:26 AM   #27
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Where are you getting your basic load figures and why are you assuming .45 ACP? And who goes into combat with just a basic load?
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Old October 30, 2012, 08:47 PM   #28
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I was using indirect fire as an example, but yes, volley fire was used that way. It was used in direct fire as well, but as for aimed fire against a specific individual soldier, I doubt any army ever used volley fire that way; it is about impossible to even see a man-size target at over 2500 yards, let alone score hits.

FWIW, the standard combat load for the Thompson was five 20 round magazines, two 50 round drums, or six 30 round magazines; for the M3/M3A1 SMG, it was six 30 round magazines. In practice, many SMG-armed soldiers carried as much ammo or as many extra magazines as they could manage.

American troops were not generally issued drums, in part because they won't fit the M1 and M1A1 Thompsons; the British used 50 round drums, but AFAIK, no 100 round drums were issued by any army in WWII (though certain Chicago "soldiers" were said to like them). BTW, the TSMG magazines are designated by rounds in Roman numerals, XX, XXX, L, and C.

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Old October 31, 2012, 05:58 AM   #29
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2500 yards sounds a little far even for volley fire. That's nearly a 1 1/2 miles. I've never read of an instance of where volley fire was actually used, that I can remember. But it was shown in the movie Zulu Dawn. You may remember them setting out the range markers.

Volley fire and wasting ammuntion aside, the period of the Krag was also a time when longer range aimed fire was an expected skill. It is another question as to how many soldiers were up to expectations but the Boers, using issued Mausers, mostly, taught the British a thing or two about shooting during that war, chiefly the value of marksmanship and rapid fire. American soldiers during that period had no such experiences in Cuba or the Phillipines but nevertheless adopted a clip-loading Mauser.

Everything I've read about basic loads suggest that a typical basic load for a submachine gun armed man was something over 200 rounds, or about the same as the basic load for an M16 armed man (seven 30-round magazines). Oddly enough, photos suggest that Soviet and Finnish soldiers armed with submachine guns did not carry more than one additional drum magazine. I don't even recall seeing a photo of a Soviet soldier armed with a submachine gun with a stick-type magazine who had anything for additional magazine, though undoubtedly they used something. Even now, Russian soldiers do not seem to carry the number of magazines carried by US or British soldiers.

The British took to heart the idea of rapid fire during the period leading up to WWI and the basic ammunition load using 1908 webbing was 150 rounds in the pouches, which was even greater than the 80 rounds in pouches for the M14 when I was in the army.
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Old November 1, 2012, 08:45 PM   #30
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2500 yards was my average, and is actually short. The Pattern 1914 long range sight ("volley sight" or "dial sight") went to 2600 yards; the second sight for the M1903 Springfield went to 2800. How often rifles were actually fired in combat at such ranges, in volleys or not, I don't know (movies don't count), but it seems that the military at least wanted long range capability.

The machinegun, of course, made volley fire obsolete. A few machineguns would put out more firepower faster than a body of infantry with rifles, and indirect fire was soon taken over by new field guns. By WWII, there was not much need or desire for long range rifle fire and new rifle sights were once again made for shooting at visible targets.

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Old November 4, 2012, 12:29 PM   #31
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Correction............first U.S. military smokeless.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:17 AM   #32
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Indirect fire by artillery had been around for a long time by the time machine guns became standard issue for the infantry. There were even mortars used in the revolution as well as howitizers, both intended for indirect fire, usually. I still doubt volley fire with rifles was ever used for indirect fire (target unseen) but machine guns were later used for indirect fire (in some armies), expending huge amounts of ammuntion.

While a howitizers are typically employed for indirect fire, training with direct fire on a moving target was still included when I went through artillery training in 1965 at Ft. Sill.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:41 AM   #33
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While a howitizers are typically employed for indirect fire, training with direct fire on a moving target was still included when I went through artillery training in 1965 at Ft. Sill.
While we were still calling them "Howitzers" in the 80's and 90's at Ft. Sill, the barrels of the M109a3/a4 amd M110a2 "howitzers" had been lengthened and the recoil systems upgraded to the point they were no longer low velocity/high angle howitzers at all, but field guns capable of long range low angle (min flight time) fires and direct fire. Direct fire was part of many of the LFX's I went on....... no moving targets, though.
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Old November 8, 2012, 02:01 AM   #34
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Both the Danish and Norwegian versions utilize dual locking lugs (though asymetrical);
Just checked my Norwegian Krag (6.5x55mm mfg 1895 ser# 3xx), and it has one locking lug at the head of the bolt, and a second, much smaller lug on the body at the rear, which bears on the rear reciever ring.

Volley fire is a concept pre-dating machineguns. It was used two ways, defensively, as shown in the movie Zulu, the firing of squads by volley to repel an attacking charge, and by units (squad/platoon/company) against area targets at long range.

These targets were most often groups of enemy soldiers, cavalry, wagons, etc. Things in the open that could be seen. When you don't have machineguns, volley fire is your alternative for suppressive fire, at least until you can get artillery on target, assuming you can...

Never heard of rifle volley fire being used as indirect fire, but I suppose someone did it sometime, somewhere.

Many military concepts & tactics were retained long after improved technology rendered them obsolete. Volley fire is just one among many.

As to concerns about "wasting" ammunition, one can find this brought up (and often) in many militaries from the beginning of the repeating rifle era. Several nations retained single shot rifles much longer than necessary, simply due to the concerns about soldiers wasting ammunition, which, after all, cost money! And money is important, until you are actually fighting a war, and sadly, sometimes, even then.

The history of arms for the last century and a half or so is rife with examples of troops (of many nations, ours included) having less than the best, most effective weapons, because they were equipped in peacetime, and cost was a more significant factor than the lives of the troops.

Doctrines that seemed perfectly good during peacetime maneuvers often became instantly obsolete (and the weapons employed became less than the best possible) when combat showed the enemy wasn't operating by the same assumptions as our side.

WWII is a perfect example in hundreds, if not thousands of ways. With exceptions, the Axis pretty much stomped the Allies for a few years, before we caught up technically and tactically and finally won out.

back to the Krag...
a fine rifle for its day, and hugely superior to the rifle it replaced. Overtaken as a prime miliatry rifle by the Mauser design, the Krag still became a well loved and respected rifle, because of that. Large numbers of Krags were sold as surplus (at something like $1.50 from the DCM, and only a little more at retail) and the .30-40 round proved to be a big stick in the deer woods.

you could get a Krag and a LOT of ammo for what a Winchester or Marlin .30-30 cost, and the 180gr load for the Krag leaves the .30-30 well behind in lots of ways. One of the reasons so few "issue condition" Krags are around is because so many were sold to civilians, and "sporterized" by removing excess wood, and sometimes barrel as well.

The 220gr FMJ RN military load penetrates like you have to see to believe, and the 180 is no slouch in that either. Sedate by today's velocity standards, back in its day, it was fast, and powerful. The Krag killed dead everything that walks in North America (including the biggest record Grizzly) and did it as well if not better than anything else common at the time. Eclipsed eventually by the .30-06 in the sporting area as well, and never chambered in many rifles other than the Krag rifle (Win 95, and some single shots) the .30-40 Krag cartridge is still a favorite nostalgia round, and works as well today as it did way back then.

I've owned several Krags, and likely will get another .30-40 someday, but for now, my Krag rifle is a Norwegian 6.5mm, and my .30-40 is a Ruger No.3.
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Old November 8, 2012, 09:53 AM   #35
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Interesting that Ruger chambered the No. 3 in .30-40 (.30 Government) but mine was in .223.

My late father-in-law had an original full-stocked Krag that he had cut the barrel down some, intending to sporterize it but he never did. He lived in a humid area right by the Chesapeake Bay and by the time he died, it was rather rusty.

Volley fire does not necessarily imply long range shooting, of course, however you define "long range." But as the range becomes longer, it would suggest that volley fire would be more for area targets than for point targets, although that could be a mistaken impression. I still haven't found any old manuals that cover the subject. While the older rifles (and some pistols) had sights that went out to rather optimistic ranges, it doesn't follow that the average infantryman was able to make hits firing at individual targets at those long ranges, hence the gradual shift in the last fifty years to less powerful rifle cartridges. You may be aware that some Japanese bolt actions had sights that incorporated "wings" or extensions on the rear sight for use in firing at aircraft.
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Old November 9, 2012, 12:45 AM   #36
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IIRC volley fire was used to create a "beaten zone" at long range-I saw the same thing in manuals for the M-60 machine gun. Also with adoption of first the rifled musket then breech loaders and smokeless powder armies were obliged to adopt more open formations and greater emphasis was placed on individual marksmanship. I read that when Prussia adopted the Dreyse needle gun they started encouraging individual marksmanship and tactics that emphasized firepower to defeat massed attacks, and of course the Dreyse allowed the soldier to reload while kneeling, lying down and taking cover.
One of the anomalies of the US Krags is that for all the emphasis on marksmanship in the Army of that time, their rear sights had no windage adjustments.

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Old November 9, 2012, 02:01 AM   #37
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Interesting that Ruger chambered the No. 3 in .30-40 (.30 Government) but mine was in .223.
The first few years of No.3 production was in "nostalgia" cartridges, .45-70, .22 Hornet, and .30-40 Krag. .45-70 was most common. I have heard (but cannot verify) that for every 10 .45-70s they made one Hornet, and for every 10 Hornets, one Krag.

later, they added the .223, and the .375 Win chamberings, and I have heard (but never seen one) a .44 Magnum chambering as well. I have a .45-70, a Hornet, and a Krag. The Krag is marked "200th year of American Liberty" (1976).
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:39 AM   #38
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There is available on-line in the complete version, the Infantry Drill Regulations of 1892 (and other editions, too) that do mention volley fire. It is covered in about a page and a half of text. It doesn't use the expression "beaten zone," although I believe that term probably originated during WWI. The instructions, though brief by modern standards, are still quite interesting.

It said in so many words that volley fire would be used at 800 yards at a line of a squad, 1000 yards for a platoon, and 1200 for a company, referring in all cases to the target. The instructions were for the squad as a firing unit. It went on to say that if ammunition were ample and the men not too tired, then volley firing could be used at "extreme ranges," defined as between 1400 and 2000 yards, if the enemy were numerous. It also said that no more than three volleys be fired without a rest to prevent ammuntion wastage.

Less than 300 yards was considered short range.

One could say that virtually everything about the infantry was different but after all, that was 120 years ago.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:39 AM   #39
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“Army made its version with a single locking lug and a non-bearing safety lug is not, as far as I know, known at this point in time”

Springfield built the Crag with one lug because they did not know how to build it with two lugs, Springfield built single shots, they could have had a Mauser. Remember, Springfield built 800.000 plus rifles after the Crag that are and were suspect, so it could be said Springfield was working WWHUA for 20 years +/- a few. The British were sent to the Orange Free states with the 303 Enfield, the farmers of the Orange Free states had the Mauser, the British suffered. We went to Cuba with the Crag, the Spanish had the Muaser, we suffered.

Springfield was not accountable, they answered to no one, Browning as in John was just down the Interstate from Springfield, even then it was just a buggy ride, Browning would not allow the Model 94 to be released, the 94 was to be used with smokeless powder, for Winchester it was a matter of changing powder and instant success, Browning disagreed, smokeless powder wore the Model 94 out, Browning was not a home boy, he traveled, he got out of town and unlike Springfield, Browning had no problem finding the patent office. In his research he found a patent for sealing case iron, preventing case iron was important for refrigeration. Instead of WWHUA Browning used the same process for preventing case iron from leaking on the Model 94 parts that showed failure caused by smokless powder, the Model 94 was released in 1895. The process Browning used was discovered by Springfield 30 years +/- a few in their NS version of the 03. That was 10 years +/- very few after the manufactures of the M1917 found the process.

I am not complaining, if it not been for the British and their design of the P14 and their equipment we would have gone to WW1 with an 03 served by a 10 man crew, or we could have purchased Mausers. In my opinion we would have been better off had the US fired Springfield and hired John Browning.

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Old November 9, 2012, 09:46 AM   #40
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After Springfield, the manufacturer of single hot shooters found the only way they could build the Crag with 2 lugs was to hand fit the receiver to the bolt, then! they came up with a better ideal. They declared the Crag did not need two lugs. And during that time Browning was telling Winchester the Model 94 would go into production when he said it was ready.

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Old November 14, 2012, 07:59 AM   #41
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I just wanted to add the my earlier comments some additional notes from the day of the Krag, in the 1890s.

In the same place in the Infantry Drill Regulations of 1891 (and 1892) where instructions regarding volley firing is found, there was mention of sharpshooters also. They could fire at extended ranges if permitted by an officer. No mention, at least there, of what a sharpshooter was but I gather from other pages that the term merely referred to the better shots. In another place in the book, it says that officers may specifiy individual men to continue firing on the enemy when the others have been ordered to cease.

The Infantry Drill Regulations at the time (from the Civil War to the early part of the 20th century) were more than just parade ground instructions for marching but were for pretty much everything the infantry did. The regulations themselves (the 1891 edition) were largely written by the same man who wrote the 1867 edition, although he had died by 1891. They were officially the work of a board of officers, not all of whom were infantry. A quick reading shows that not a great deal had been changed in the previous 30 years but the breechloading repeaters did allow (and require) the infantry to make greater use of cover but battlefield movement was still essentially marching from one place to another.

Horses were still the prime movers during that time, too, and instructions were that for artillery during movement, the horses should be the target.
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