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Old June 19, 2013, 07:17 AM   #1
'88Scrat
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M1919 Ammo?

At the risk of asking a very stupid sounding question what caliber of round does a 1919A4 fire? It seems like whenever I see one either in the movies or at a display for a gun show that the rounds fall somewhere between a 30-06 and a .308 but not quite either.
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Old June 19, 2013, 07:40 AM   #2
Doyle
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Original caliaber was M1906 (30-06). Sometime around the Korean war or shortly thereafter, most of those still in use in the military were converted to 7.62x51 (7.62 Nato).
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Old June 20, 2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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According to one of my sources, while Winchester released the .308 Win as a sporting cartridge in Sep 52, the military didn's actually adopt the T-65 cartridge until 1954, and it was 1957 before M14 rifles became available for service.

Quote:
Sometime around the Korean war or shortly thereafter, most of those still in use in the military were converted to 7.62x51 (7.62 Nato).
So, any converted 1919s would have to have been done "shortly thereafter", with shortly thereafter being a half dozen years or so, maybe more.

After the adoption of the 7.62x51mm as the official NATO round, some nations using the 1919 converted them from .30-06 to the NATO round. The conversion was a relatively easy one, needing only a spacer in the feed system and a new barrel chambered for the new round. Other nations opted for getting a different gun, including the US.

I know for a fact that the Canandian army was still using converted Browning .30cals as late as 1978, as I did some work with a Canadian SP artillery company then, and they had them.

All the Browning .30s made for the US military were originally made in .30-06 (US cal .30). It is possible that some converted guns were used in US service, but if so, only in very small numbers for a short time.

It is possible to convert a Browning .30 to any round with the same head size and equal or shorter length than the 06 fairly easily, so you might someday even find one in 8mm Mauser, or some other round, but they would be extremely rare, oddballs or test guns. Conversion to .308 was the standard practice, and as far as I know, from conversations with troops who used them, they worked fine. I know that among the Canadians I worked with back then, the Browning was well loved and respected, while the M60 was not.
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Old June 20, 2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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As part of the testing that led up to the development of the 7.62x51, a number of guns, including BARs and M1919s, were converted to the various prototype cartridges to test their feeding ability.

Supposedly, a number were even converted to Ground Zero -- .300 Savage.


As far as M1919s in 8mm Mauser, I'm pretty sure that several hundred that were given to Israel during the early days of that State's existence were converted to 8x57 and used in various conflicts.


And hey, look at this!

A Utoob how to guide on converting an M1919A4 to 8mm Mauser.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzTSHhW9Wg0

Neat!
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Old June 20, 2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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The IDF did a wonderful job in converting thousands of US donated 1919s to 7.62 x 51 for their use. The Brits also had some in .303 British, primarily for aircraft use early in WW II. Since they have become popular with semi shooters, there have been conversions to .308 (7.62 x 51), 8mm, 7.62 x 54R, 7mm, and 7.65 Argentine. Any time you have an abundance of milsurp ammo-- make that inexpensive milsurp ammo-- someone will figure out a conversion for one of these beauties.

I own four of them: one FA in 7.62 X 51, one semi in .30-06, and two semis in .30-06. One of them is set up for blanks only and we use it on holidays to make noise. Fun!!
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Old July 7, 2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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As a side note, according to one of my "expert" friends, the Browning .303s that filled the wings of Spitfires and Hurricanes were made by Colt, for the British. They were considered superior to the Vickers guns (a Maxim design) for use in the cramped space in a fighter's wing.

Vickers guns were used in bombers and other places where the bulkier receiver was not a concern.

This might also have been a factor in the use of cannon in British fighters from 41 on. Besides the tactical performance of cannon, the US entering the war, and Colt's shift to production for the US might have had an influence. Can't prove anything, of course, but I would imagine that with Colt running full out to supply the US, .303 Brownings from Colt probably got harder to come by.
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Old July 8, 2013, 12:16 AM   #7
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There's a semi auto 8mm Mauser for sale in the "gun show" part of the forum right now.
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Old July 8, 2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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"This might also have been a factor in the use of cannon in British fighters from 41 on."

It had everything to do with performance.

The 20mm cannon could bring down an He 111, in many cases, with fewer than half a dozen hits while a .303 bullet simply couldn't do the damage needed to bring down the new metal framed, metal clad aircraft.

Here's a page with an interesting discussion of this.

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/cann...ntroversy.html


It's intersting that the British rejected the .50 caliber as not having sufficient advantage over the .303.

There's no doubt that the 20mm cannon caused more damage on a per hit basis, but there's also absolute no doubt about the .50's effectiveness against German, and especially Japanese, aircraft during the war.
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Old July 9, 2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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The main advantage of the cannon was not the projectile diameter, but that what was wanted was an explosive projectile, and 20mm was the smallest caliber that could hold an effective amount of explosive.

Jim
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:48 PM   #10
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Never said it was projectile diameter that did the damage.

The United States did attempt to move into cannons, but had lots of troubles developing ones that would work.

Early on the Lockheed Lightning was even developed around a 23mm Madsen cannon that proved to be an enormous POS.
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