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Old May 31, 2014, 10:15 AM   #26
gyvel
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They disposed of them on base, by burning them, with Army officers as witnesses. Then they buried the residue.
From at least one account I have read about the Pedersen devices, it was speculated that a very few of them were retrieved (surreptitiously, most likely) from the edges of the fires used to burn them, and later refurbished and refinished by some surplus dealer, possibly Bannerman's. Can't vouch for the veracity of the article, but I suppose it is possible.

Also, a number of years ago in a Gun Digest, there was an article which featured supposed prototypes of the Pedersen Device made for the 1917 Enfield and the Mosin Nagant.
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Old May 31, 2014, 08:16 PM   #27
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Brophy mentions the device for the Model 1917 rifle and says it was called the Mk II. There is a picture of an "Enfield" with the Mk II device installed. There have also been reports that devices were to be made for the Russian Nagant, presumably when the Russians were still our allies, but I know of no actual devices.

I did err in saying that the devices were still classified at the time of destruction, but the Confidential classification was removed in March of 1931. It didn't do much good, evidently. After WWII, a complete Mk I rifle with the device and ammunition was found in the RWS factory collection in Nurnberg; it had been there for over 25 years.

The device was patented, but not until October 1920, and it is likely that those patents would have been available to anyone searching the patent records.

In April 1931, 64,893 devices were destroyed, along with 60 million round of ammunition. The ammunition is often seen on the collector's market where, the last time I checked, it was bringing $8 a round.

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Old May 31, 2014, 11:07 PM   #28
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I have seen that comment before " rather than sell them to the public, they destroyed them ". Curious that, who would they have sold them too, at that time in history the US was going through a "the Great Depression ", people were much more interested in feeding their family's and them self than buy any type of surplus arms. people were lined up for blocks just to get a bowl of soup. I've heard a lot of stories from my parents and grand parents about that time, any firearm they had was used to poach just to live. That had no use for some type of low power pistol thingy. The government had a large pile of scrap metal that they were paying much needed cash to store, at that time and date it was the right decision, no conspiracy to deprive the public from the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. HE double L, after WWII they dumped new Jeeps, still in their crates over board, They also dumped millions of rounds of cartridges, all calibers into the sea, They even piled up new fighter aircraft and bull dozed them. No conspiracy involved, just cheaper than storing it or bringing the stuff back to the US. JMHO
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Old May 31, 2014, 11:48 PM   #29
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A friend of mine was in the USMC on their Rifle Team as a matter of fact. At one point he was stationed on Okinawa

He once mentioned that barge loads of National Match 30-06 ammunition were taken out to sea and dumped over the side.

The ways of government are,, to use a polite phrase, strange.
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Old June 1, 2014, 03:34 PM   #30
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Slamfire:

Re the facilities at Anniston, that would be, as I recall "Captain Crunch". The presence of Bill Clinton is still felt.
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Old June 1, 2014, 09:28 PM   #31
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It seems to me that the fact that no one in the Army could really think of a future application for the Model 1918 pistol casts some doubt on the need for or utility of the thing in the first place.

Wartime is a fertile period for ideas on weapons, many excellent but, sadly, most were either very limited in applicability or completely worthless. Three "wonder weapons" that come to mind are the famous SeaBee "glove pistol" (often erroneously thought to have been for the OSS), the "Liberator" pistol, and the Great Panjandrum, an explosive filled wheel that was going to roll up to German defenses in Normandy and destroy them.

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Old June 2, 2014, 06:01 AM   #32
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There have also been reports that devices were to be made for the Russian Nagant, presumably when the Russians were still our allies, but I know of no actual devices.
IIRC, the author of the Gun Digest article of many years back (though it doesn't seem that long ago) had photos of all three types of devices and their respective rifles. I could be wrong, but I'm just too old and lazy to go looking for that issue right now.
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Old June 2, 2014, 07:07 AM   #33
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The Pedersen device had two primary purposes, not one.

The first was to provide fire volume while advancing through no man's land. While we scoff at the concept today, that's 100% perfect hindsight allowing us to be all smug and sniggly, but without particular purpose or point.

We can argue all day long whether the concept of walking fire is valid or not (personally I think, for trench warfare, the only walking fire that was ever proven to be remotely valid was the walking artillery barrage), but remember that's exactly how the BAR was envisioned to be used.

The second, and perhaps more, useful role envisioned for the Pedersen device was to provide a decisive edge in firepower once US troops got into the German trenches.

In that role I think it would likely have been a lot more successful.


As for the "Army not being particularly impressed with the device or the ammo", remember that this is the same Army command structure that had its head so far up its keister that it was unable and unwilling to see the very clear lessons of World War I regarding small arms.

In fact, these dolts were so unable to see those lessons that when the Garand was originally developed for a cartridge of lower power than the .30-06, there were some grumblings that a cartridge MORE powerful than the .30-06 should be adopted.

After all, with that puny .276 Pedersen, how can every American soldier be what he by nature really is, a hyper deadly long-range sniping machine?

Which we all know is perhaps the biggest military lie ever told about the American soldier.
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Old June 2, 2014, 07:59 AM   #34
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...this is the same Army command structure that had its head so far up its keister that it was unable and unwilling to see the very clear lessons of World War I regarding small arms.
Funny thing, I expect that those lessons are so very clear to you because of that 100% perfect hind sight you were sneering about earlier.
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Old June 2, 2014, 08:00 AM   #35
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Hey, Hey, when I was young and in my prime ( oh, so long ago ) and first started wearing the army green, I used to tell the gals that I was a " Hired Killer ".
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Old June 2, 2014, 08:30 AM   #36
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"Funny thing, I expect that those lessons are so very clear to you because of that 100% perfect hind sight you were sneering about earlier."

Nice try.

There were visionaries (read that as people who actually had a bit of experience in the current war, as opposed to "I last took the field fighting Geronimo!) who saw that full powered battle rifles were largely useless in trench warfare, and who clearly understood that the concept of each individual soldier being the long-range dealer of death was fantasy.

They were, when they brought their experiences and ideas to the forefront in the 1920s, ignored or, worse, shouted down.

"No! The American soldier are by birth natural snipers (even though we don't train them, and basic training during WW I showed that less than 5% of soldiers could consistently hit a 600 yard target), so we must have the proper weapon to allow him to practice his deadly arts!"

Even after World War II American brass refused to recognize the changed nature of warfare and went right out and designed and adopted the next (last) generation of full power, long-range capable battle rifles, a concept which worked out dismally in Vietnam.
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Old June 2, 2014, 08:58 AM   #37
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There were visionaries (read that as people who actually had a bit of experience in the current war, as opposed to "I last took the field fighting Geronimo!) who saw that full powered battle rifles were largely useless in trench warfare, and who clearly understood that the concept of each individual soldier being the long-range dealer of death was fantasy.
Cool! Then you should be able to tell me who some of these visionaries were and what new intermediate cartridge weapons systems they proposed following on their WWI battlefield experiences.
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Old June 2, 2014, 09:14 AM   #38
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Another nice try, another swing and a miss.

I've already given you the example of the .276 Pedersen, which while not an intermediate power cartridge was still a step in the correct direction, and certainly a far cry from those (admittedly few) who proposed even more powerful cartridges.

The concept was attacked on a number of levels before, being abandoned on strictly economic grounds in the middle of the Depression.

One only needs to look at the examples of Billy Mitchell and George Patton to see how those who rattle the "old line" can be treated.
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Old June 2, 2014, 09:26 AM   #39
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The .276 Pedersen is a non-starter. Unless you have primary source verification that Pedersen had the same ideas in mind as the designers of the 7.92mm Kurz later did, I'm going to have to go with this being a retcon.

The articles I have read point towards the light cartridge, along with lubricated cases, being more about trying to get his rifle to work reasonably well without beating itself to death.
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Old June 2, 2014, 03:45 PM   #40
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After WWII, the Brits developed a pretty decent .280 cartridge that was nixed in favor of the .308, by the U.S., then the big "wheel" in NATO.
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Old June 2, 2014, 07:21 PM   #41
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Mike Irwin,and others:

Respecting "military leaders" who had their heads stuck up .., Ordinance folk included,I was always curious as to the following.The '98 Mauser functioned quite well WITHOUT a magazine cut-off. How come our Springfield had to have one?

Additionally, our current Service Rifle Cartridge is the 5.56 x 45 MM, rather smaller in caliber, and I suspect less powerful than the .276 round would have been. Looks like we learn, eventually.

And by the way, "rocking the boast"is a dangerous pastime.
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Old June 2, 2014, 09:16 PM   #42
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Given some of the "lessons learned" in Afghanistan, are we sure going to the 5.56 was the "right direction." The gun and cartridge were sold to the mililtary on hype, lies and bullhockey. Colt and Cooper-Mcdonald lied and exaggerated the capabililty of the cartridge from day one; a repeated claim was that one hit anywhere on the body, even a finger, would kill instantly from shock. No knowledgeable person accepted such drivel, and Army Ordnance knew better, but Congress didn't, and promoted what became the M16, as did JFK.

The fact is that the 5.56 is a pretty good varmint cartridge, and can be very accurate out of a good rifle, but it has been outclassed by the 7.62x39 and outranged by the old 7.62x54R. But at the time, the AR-15/M16 was the only thing we had readily available that was controllable in full auto fire, so it was that or make do with the M14 and semi-auto.

As for the .276 Pedersen, there is no doubt that it would have been lethal against personnel in the open, but the enemy was rarely so co-operative, and action in WWII often required a round that could penetrate cover and, as important, outrange the enemy cartridges.

Maybe the average GI was not a long range sniper, but he would have been a fool not to realize that German machineguns could reach him while his .276 bullets were dropping short of the enemy position. Maybe today's theorists can't see any problem with that, but I bet a GI at "the Bulge" would have.

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Old June 2, 2014, 09:50 PM   #43
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Mike Irwin:

If memory serves, and if what I read was correct, re "walking fire and the BAR", there was a special fixture to be used. The butt of the BAR would fit into a cup like device, suspended from a shoulder harness. The BAR would be held horizontal, the infantrymen so armed would "walk while firing".

How this would work against emplaced machine guns, I have no idea, but I believe that that was the theory. There is, of course, sometimes a large difference between theory and practice.
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Old June 2, 2014, 10:31 PM   #44
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The fact is that the 5.56 is a pretty good varmint cartridge, and can be very accurate out of a good rifle, but it has been outclassed by the 7.62x39 and outranged by the old 7.62x54R.
Ironically, the country who fielded both the cartridges you mention as being superior to the 5.56 has abandoned them and is now using a cartridge which is very similar to the 5.56.

It's always been amusing to me that at the same time we in the U.S. were badmouthing the 5.56, those on the receiving end gained so much respect for it that they paid it the sincerest complement possible. They copied it.
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Old June 2, 2014, 11:43 PM   #45
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Having used the 5.56 in combat, I for one , did not find it wanting. I found that when a person is shot with a 5.56, they pretty well stayed shot. Just my experience and HO.
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Old June 3, 2014, 05:24 AM   #46
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I, for one,l think the Brits were on the right track with their .280 cartridge. Too bad the mule-heads of our own ordnance boards didn't see that.
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:49 AM   #47
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Hi, guys,

"There is, of course, sometimes a large difference between theory and practice."

My point on the Pedersen device.

"... when a person is shot with a 5.56, they pretty well stayed shot."

I have no combat experience (my service was in peacetime), but I agree that the 5.56 is perfectly adequate against personnel in the open. Still, IIRC there were many complaints from Iraq and Afghanistan that the 7.62x39 would penetrate cover that the 5.56 could not. And of course, the U.S. did field a lot of M14's to provide range and penetration that the 5.56 didn't.

Long-range snipers used other cartridges in that specialized role where the M16/M4 would have been totally inadequate and the 7.62 NATO marginal at best.

Jim
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Old June 3, 2014, 11:57 AM   #48
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The 5.56 is a quite decent cartridge within the 400 or so yard "modern combat" range that came out of the studies of World War I and II.

Within that envelop the round does well.

Outside, not so much, which is why the military has started employing designated markesmen armed with 7.62x51 rifles.

The simple truth is... No one personal weapon employed by infantry can be all things at all times in all situations.

The military thought that they had that in the 5.56. They figured they could replace the main battle rifle, submachine gun, and carbine with one multipurpose weapon.

See my comments about the designated marksman.



"The gun and cartridge were sold to the mililtary on hype, lies and bullhockey."

Wait, are you talking about the M 14 and the 7.62x51? Certainly a lot of hypocrap and lies that went into the creation of that particular weapons system... only much of it came from inside the military vs. outside.

That is true of virtually every new weapons system ever employed by any military anywhere around the world.

When "smokeless" powder first came out, everyone was told that it was 100% smokeless and would allow troops to be invisible on the battlefield if they were in good cover.

Oops... Nope.

When the British adopted the .380 revolver cartridge they reasoned that its performance was just as good as the .455 Webley it was replacing.

Oops... Nope.

And so forth and so on.


"a repeated claim was that one hit anywhere on the body, even a finger, would kill instantly from shock."

Wait, are you talking about the .45 ACP?

The hyperblasterific American Icon Combination of Godliness + Thor's Hammer that GUARANTEES absolute and instant incapacitation with a hit anywhere on the body?

Yeah, no hype at all has ever been spun up about the mystical and mythical capabilities of the .45 ACP.



Alan, yes. The Walking Fire belt for the BAR.

How would it have worked against emplaced machine guns?

About as well as any small arm would have worked against emplaced machine guns.

It wouldn't have.

Everyone needs to remember the climate in 1914-1918. This was warfare of a type that had never ever been seen before, and they were desperately casting around for ideas of how to break the stalemate.

It took technological advances fueled by the war itself in the form of tanks, air craft, improved communications, improved artillery targeting, etc., to provide even the glimmer of a workable solution against emplaced machine guns and entrenched enemies.

But all of that was in its infancy, the tactical manuals were literally being written as they went along, and by the latter half of the war, just about everyone was willing to try just about anything, no matter how absurd it sounds today, to break the stalemate.
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Old June 3, 2014, 12:01 PM   #49
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"I, for one,l think the Brits were on the right track with their .280 cartridge. Too bad the mule-heads of our own ordnance boards didn't see that."

Which, when you look at the military loadings, gave power levels only slightly less than the (at that time) more than 50-year-old 7x57 Mauser cartridge.

The .280/30 British used a lighter bullet, thought, so it had better short range trajectory, but that decayed more quickly and it shed power faster.
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Last edited by Mike Irwin; June 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM.
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Old June 3, 2014, 12:25 PM   #50
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"Maybe the average GI was not a long range sniper, but he would have been a fool not to realize that German machineguns could reach him while his .276 bullets were dropping short of the enemy position. Maybe today's theorists can't see any problem with that, but I bet a GI at "the Bulge" would have."


Yeah...

If only the US had adopted their own machine guns and automatic weapons, and employed them in combat, like those smart, smart, Krauts did.

And everyone knows that the .276 Pedersen only had an effective range of 40 yards, and an absolute range of 40.01 yards.

And that a sauerkraut ball had better range....

Fact:

The German 7.92x57 had a longer absolute range than the .30-06. The 7.92 bullet was heavier, had a better ballistic coefficient, and was loaded to a similar velocity, but with a boat-tailed bullet.

Fact:

About 99.9999995% of the time, absolute range doesn't mean Richard.

At the vast majority of combat ranges encountered in Europe, the .276 would have been more than ballistically adequate because it would have also been inside the ballistic envelope of both the 7.92 and the .30-06.

Fact:

Did the .276 have the same penetrating power as the .30-06? That's actually questionable. I've never seen any penetration numbers for the .276, but its ultimate ability to penetrate barriers and the like would have been affected by jacket thickness, bullet weight (when the .276 project was dropped, the final bullet weight still hadn't been set in stone), and velocity.

I suspect, however, that penetration numbers would have been so similar as to be virtually indistinguishable, so I'm calling non starter on this particular aspect.

And final fact:

At the Battle of the Bulge, given the fluid nature of combat, the topography, and the development of the land (buildings, trees, etc.), combat distances didn't come even remotely close to breaking through the effective range of any of these cartriges, much less the absolute range.


Sigh.
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