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Old January 17, 2021, 02:07 PM   #26
mehavey
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And what happened after My Lai ?
That, and war crimes in general, are not American doctrine -- much less bayonet doctrine.
Red Herring... big time

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I am sure that there were many wounded V.C. and NVA soldiers that were bayoneted
Interesting statement.
Please provide some background.



.

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Old January 17, 2021, 03:03 PM   #27
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The long bayonets of the SMLE and the M1903 were designed to allow the foot soldier to defend against a mounted opponent.
The bayonet is a stabbing weapon. It was designed for use against ALL opponents, and is an OFFENSIVE weapon as well as a defensive one. As mentioned, it is the modern replacement for the short pike, and the assegai (stabbing spear). And, it is also the modern remnant of the cult of cold steel.

When firearms generally replaced the lance as the primary cavalry arm, mounted troops weapons were shorter than infantry weapons. To partially compensate for the loss of "reach" note how long the cavalry retained the saber in combat use. Again, this begins in the days of single shot arms, and continued through the introduction of reliable repeaters and was retained by some until the firearms technology essentially rendered it ineffective. There were mounted cavalry charges with sabers as late as the Second World war. Not many, and not very effective but they did happen.

The long rifle and long bayonet was the standard for the infantry, because it gave the guy on the ground some reach against his opponent, and was a necessity when facing opponents similarly armed.

Consider this, when you have an SMLE or Springfield with a 25" or 24" barrel and a "short" bayonet (say 12") and you are facing a guy with a 29 or 30" barrel rifle and a long bayonet (18"?) who has the reach advantage? The guy with the long rifle and long bayonet has about a foot more reach than you do. Keeping the long bayonet on the "short" rifle helps reduce the disparity in reach.

After WW I tactics changed reducing the importance of the long bayonet overall, and shorter ones became more generally used though some nations kept their long bayonets through WW II.

Magazine cutoffs seem like a good idea, but they went away when WW I showed they had no practical utility in combat. They add a degree of complexity and cost to the rifle, and there is no significant benefit, assuming they were even used as intended. I don't know of any successful rifle designed after WW I that has a magazine cutoff.

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While it is not American military's policy to kill defenseless (A.K.A. wounded, etc.) American solders were know to have killed some of the civilians with bayonets at My Lai.
Bayonetting and killing defenseless people is not a US policy because the US considers it a WAR CRIME and MURDER. Were not those individuals at Mei Lai charged and prosecuted for just that??

EVERY nation has individuals who, in combat violate "the rules". Some nations allowed or even encouraged that, because it didn't violate THEIR rules though it did, ours. When our troops break our rules, we arrest, prosecute and imprison them as the criminals they are. When we caught enemies who violated our rules of war, we charge them with war crimes and punish them accordingly. We hung a number of Nazis and Japanese and imprisoned many more because they committed war crimes.

The bayonet has an advantage that the rifle does not. It can HURT people without killing them. Everyone knows this, and its why you find people who do not fear death fearing the bayonet. This is why sharp steel is so useful for prisoner and crowd control. People fear being cut more than being shot.

I think that suggesting the bayonet is retained because half of its utility is killing the wounded is a very poor suggestion. Yes, people have done it. Some people might do it in the future (and hopefully face the consequences) but to suggest that its the reason (or one of the two reasons) we keep the bayonet is abso-fracking-lutely WRONG!

Modern assault rifles are not designed for, nor well constructed for hand to hand combat. No where near as good as WWII and earlier infantry rifles were, for that. We retain the capability of using the bayonet but it's rarely used for combat these days. Very useful for prisoner control and intimidation, so we keep it. We don't keep it so we can stab the wounded to death. Some folks find that ...offensive..
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Old January 17, 2021, 03:07 PM   #28
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I would be skeptical of "the author" whomever it may have been. I have never read of a trained infantryman feeling "beat up" or "hurt" or "inflicted by an owie" and thus being hesitant to fire by the recoil of the Garand.

It just smells stinky to me and misses the "Common Sense Bus". Start with a rifle that weighs just shy of 10lbs, and from a rested (foxhole, hedge row, prone, etc) position...recoil is lessened, add the operating system of the Garand, which in and of itself tends to soak up felt recoil (compare a bolt action hunting rifle in .06 with zero gas operation and reciprocation of an action to soak up some recoil).

I have run different models of FAL (including an SBR), my G3, and my M1A SOCOM in "Heavy Metal" Division in weekend long 3 Gun matches where far more than 50 rounds were fired on 4 to 5 stages (and don't forget one of the 3 Guns is a 12 gauge) as well in dust ups when I was doing the previous interdiction work in Panama...and never felt beat up. I think the more reasonable and more logical "reason" why this whole "hesitation to fire" is rather fully explained by Lt Col Dave Grossman in his book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.
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Old January 17, 2021, 11:46 PM   #29
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We had bayonet training when I went through BCT-"WHAT'S SPIRIT OF THE BAYONET !!!!!"
Battle rifles reflect national character, the Russians and Soviets stuck with the spike bayonet the longest, Suvorov is quoted as saying "The bullet is a fool, but the bayonet knows what it is doing!". The British trained their troops to,use the long bayonet of the SMLE/No. 1 Mark III to probe for mines, when they adopted the spike bayonet of the No. 4 Mark I their mattock had a fitting to use that bayonet as a probe. The rod bayonet of the M1888 45-70 was adopted because the supply of socket bayonets was running out, the Krag had a knife bayonet, they went back to the rod bayonet on the M1903, then TR showed how ridiculous that was, in WWII the 16" bayonet was found to be too inconvenient for troops riding in vehicles.
Then there's fad and fashions. Currently the bull pup is "in", the AR15 and M-16 showed a rifle didn't have to be all steel. And people are still looking for that magic round.
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Old January 18, 2021, 02:10 AM   #30
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in WWII the 16" bayonet was found to be too inconvenient for troops riding in vehicles.
And the trend for shorter has continued and accelerated to this very day. It makes sense in many ways, after all long is a disadvantage when riding in a vehicle. Up through WW I, the only vehicle most infantry got to ride in was a railroad car. Trucks and APCs didn't come into general use until WWII and some nations never did achieve full mechanization, there were some horse drawn wagons, horse drawn artillery and "leg" infantry marching to get where they were going as late as 1945 in some armies.

The US achieved an unprecedented level of mechanization during WWII primarily due to the deliberate decision not to send any horse drawn units overseas. Some places we fought did require the use of mules to transport supplies, as existing vehicles simply could not manage the terrain. When needed, horses and mules were generally found locally, though its possible we did send some from the states to add to the supply. I don't know.

With the advent of reliable transport helicopters even the mules pretty much went away.

When you need to be able to climb into and out of trucks or APCs (or helicopters) regularly short rifles (and shorter bayonets) is just sensible.
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Old January 18, 2021, 07:35 AM   #31
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"Magazine cutoffs seem like a good idea, but they went away when WW I showed they had no practical utility in combat. They add a degree of complexity and cost to the rifle, and there is no significant benefit, assuming they were even used as intended. I don't know of any successful rifle designed after WW I that has a magazine cutoff."

The last widely used military rifle that I can think of that employed a magazine cutoff was the US M1903-A3 as standardized for production in WW II.

Of course it was based on the M1903 Springfield, but it's interesting that the magazine cutoff was kept. It also serves as the bolt retaining latch, but to my way of thinking the whole assembly could have been greatly simplified with a fairly straightforward redesign.
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Old January 18, 2021, 01:27 PM   #32
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The 03-a3 is a slight modification of the 03 design, and I think, had the original plan been to keep the rifle long term, we could have modified the cutoff into just a bolt stop. But, why bother? It doesn't hurt anything the way it is, and we're going to replace the bolt action with this new Garand thing, so...

Then along comes WW II, and it rapidly becomes apparent that not only are we not going to have enough Garands soon enough, we don't even have enough Springfields to meet the anticipated demand. So, we've still got the jigs and the tooling, and a bunch of parts, start making them, like yesterday!!

At that point, I can easily see the "minor improvement" of dropping the cutoff was shelved in order to avoid even the minor delay that change would have required.

Might have been something else, I don't know. The US military did, has done, and almost certainly still is doing, or not doing a lot of things that don't seem to make sense, especially to those looking back with 20/20 hindsight.

One of the big "ommissions" to me was the 8 rnd enbloc clip of the Garand. I get MacArthurs decision to require the Garand in .30-06 rather than .276 Pedersen. THAt makes sense, logistics/cost...etc.

What never made sense to me was not going with the detachable box magazine. Prototypes had been made with that, it could have been done, but wasn't. What I've always read (true or not, I have no idea, but it is plausible) is that a group of Army officers strongly objected to the "protruding magazine" because it "prevented the proper manual of arms".
Seems barking stupid to me, particularly in light of the fact that the Army was already USING the BAR and the Tommygun, with that same "protruding magazine design.

I think the reason stated in so many of the histories is just a cover for the fact that it was internal Army power politics and personal ego that led to the choice of getting the Garand with an 8 rnd enbloc clip NOW, or not getting the Garand until some undetermined point of time in the future. The best is the enemy of the good, and the personal egos of the individuals involved at high levels has filled Arlington with a lot of our boys who didn't need to be there.
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Old January 18, 2021, 02:13 PM   #33
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IIRC the 03A3 was adopted after the DOW due to speed up production.
In BCT we learned the Manual of Arms with no magazines in our M-14s.
In the Civil War Union Ordnance Chief General Ripley was condemned for opposing the adoption of breech loaders and repeating arms, but given the proliferation of designs and ammunition, the fact many had little careful R&D, the metallic cartridge was very new and needed a lot of work. One of the reasons given for Custer's defeat was the jamming caused by the copper based cartridges in the 45-70s, though given the absence of after action reports by the losing side....
Given the tight budgets of the between the wars military and the isolationist mentality the fact that the Garand was even developed and adopted is remarkable. Also I have read that while he was working on the rifle he was designing the tooling for its manufacture.
There are factors which were important at the time which get forgotten. The specifications for the M-4 Sherman were first laid down in 1940 shortly after the Battle of France. One of the specifications was high speed and good cross country mobility, it was thought tanks were mainly for breakthroughs and use against soft targets, tank to tank combat was not its main mission.Another was that no matter what happened, we not not be fighting on our own soil, therefore the M-4 had to fit into existing shipping.

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Old January 18, 2021, 02:40 PM   #34
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That somebody here at TFL would suggest one of the best reasons for having a bayonet on a military rifle is to take out wounded prisoners (since deleted) made me laugh so hard I almost gave myself a brain aneurysm. Unbelievable.

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Old January 18, 2021, 04:03 PM   #35
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just a note that the bayonet is no longer in the US Army doctrine. At all.

My Grandson just completed infantry training and there was no bayonet training. They were told to shoot them, not try to stab them.

Look up 'combatives' if you want to see what modern hand to hand training is like
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Old January 18, 2021, 04:11 PM   #36
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"The 03-a3 is a slight modification of the 03 design, and I think, had the original plan been to keep the rifle long term, we could have modified the cutoff into just a bolt stop."

Uhm... yeah. That's what I said.

If you've ever taken a good look at one you'll see that a few simple changes in the design could have had a pretty decent impact on the machining required to produce both the cutoff/bolt stop and the receiver.

It's not as if they weren't making other design changes in the rifle at the time to ease production.



"
Seems barking stupid to me, particularly in light of the fact that the Army was already USING the BAR and the Tommygun, with that same "protruding magazine design. "

Except that the same type of manual of arms was not done with the BAR or Thompson.

The same sort of complaints were raised about the M16 when it was going through the adoption process -- "But we'll never be able to do the razzle dazzle whippy skippy manual of arms that shows are men are to be feared on the battlefield!"
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Old January 18, 2021, 05:02 PM   #37
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My Grandson just completed infantry training and there was no bayonet training. They were told to shoot them, not try to stab them.
There was almost no bayonet training when I went through Basic in 75. I'll never forget the extent of my bayonet "training".

The Drill Sgt held it up for us to see. "This is the M7 bayonet! Take a good look, you will not use it!" Thunks bayonet into the ground....

When asked why, his reply was,
"the Army, in its infinite wisdom has determined that, should you meet an enemy at hand to hand range, the odds are very high that one of you will have ammunition. If that's you, SHOOT THEM! if its not, well, then sucks to be you...so we are not wasting our time teaching you the bayonet"


Considering that every one of us had a light machinegun (M16A1), that did make some sense...
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Old January 18, 2021, 05:04 PM   #38
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My Grandson just completed infantry training and there was no bayonet training. They were told to shoot them, not try to stab them.
There was almost no bayonet training when I went through Basic in 75. I'll never forget the extent of my bayonet "training".

The Drill Sgt held it up for us to see. "This is the M7 bayonet! Take a good look, you will not use it!" Thunks bayonet into the ground....

When asked why, his reply was,
"the Army, in its infinite wisdom has determined that, should you meet an enemy at hand to hand range, the odds are very high that one of you will have ammunition. If that's you, SHOOT THEM! if its not, well, then sucks to be you...so we are not wasting our time teaching you the bayonet"
:
D

Considering that every one of us had a light machinegun (M16A1), that did make some sense...

if there is any Army bayonet training today, I imagine its done in advanced Infantry training, not Basic.
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Old January 18, 2021, 05:28 PM   #39
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I hope the Corps is at least still training with pugil sticks.

I assume the horizontal butt stroke is still acceptable against unruly wounded prisoners, right?
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Old January 18, 2021, 05:48 PM   #40
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5Xv3x45Tlk
Marine Bayonet training 2019

~~~~~ BREAK ~~~~~~
Alleged [Army?] Drill Sgt Statement:
>
> "...the Army, in its infinite wisdom has determined that, should you meet an
> enemy at hand to hand range, the odds are very high that one of you will have
> ammunition. If that's you, SHOOT THEM! if its not, well, then sucks to be you...
> so we are not wasting our time teaching you the bayonet."
>


Which -- if true -- I regard as dumber than dirt.
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Old January 18, 2021, 08:18 PM   #41
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if there is any Army bayonet training today, I imagine its done in advanced Infantry training, not Basic.
My grandson completed what is known as OSUT (One station unit training). The same company went through basic and then on to Infantry AIT in one straight run through. So, he has already completed his advanced individual training and it was infantry.

The bayonet is not part of Army doctrine anymore. They teach 'combatives' which is essentially fighting over control of a rifle. Basically, someone is fighting with you over control of your rifle, and they are taught moves to allow you to bring the weapon to bear and fire it.

I'll be honest that I am pretty unhappy with the state of the training. For example: they were not taught assaults or ambushes. Everything they were taught was defensive in nature. I guess the assumption nowadays is that you will be operating under an ROE that only allows you to respond to a threat, not to initiate a threat.

Seems like a terrible way to train an army, but no one asked me.
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Old January 18, 2021, 10:13 PM   #42
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Part of the idea behind bayonet training in my day was to encourage aggressiveness. We were told in BCT, if you break the stock of your rifle on the swing arm dummies, don't worry about it. The gradual shortening of US bayonets is a recognition that a 6-7" inch blade is all you need to inflict a disabling wound. And it doubles nicely as a knife.
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Old January 18, 2021, 11:43 PM   #43
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And it doubles nicely as a knife.
Only if you break regulations..

Seriously, while I can't speak to what is done today, I know without doubt what we did in the 70s, and in addition to being a Small Arms Repairman, I was the assistant Armorer or company armorer in two different units. So I was in charge of the company arms room and one of the regulations we were required to follow was (believe it or not) Bayonets were NOT to be sharpened. If an inspector found a bayonet that had been sharpened (like a knife) it was a gig, and we were required to turn it in for replacement. Bayonets were required to be (sharply) pointed, but could not have the blades sharpened.

SO, they didn't work well as knives, because while they could stab, they couldn't CUT worth a damn.

Another example of the Army's "infiinite wisdom" I suppose...

Quote:
Alleged [Army?] Drill Sgt Statement:
>
> "...the Army, in its infinite wisdom has determined that, should you meet an
> enemy at hand to hand range, the odds are very high that one of you will have
> ammunition. If that's you, SHOOT THEM! if its not, well, then sucks to be you...
> so we are not wasting our time teaching you the bayonet."
>

Which -- if true -- I regard as dumber than dirt.
not alleged, I heard it with my own ears Army drill sgt A-2-3 training co Ft Leonard Wood Oct 1975
might be dumber than dirt but it absolutely DID happen...
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Old January 19, 2021, 01:32 AM   #44
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I said "alleged" [in quotes] to keep up with the times ... wherein indisputable,
absolute, eye-witnessed, video-taped fact ...is no longer in vogue.







Fortunately, I was trained in the old school.
(Real "old" school)
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Old January 19, 2021, 11:50 AM   #45
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1967-Basic Combat Training. 8 weeks
1975-Basic Training. 6 weeks.
They cut out a lot, shortened it-"you'll get in your unit!"
There were complaints about the "summer camp" atmosphere, too many recruits were the "three hots and a cot" types, all the married losers who needed the family benefits, etc.
Getting back to the battle rifle, with so much combat having gone from clearly drawn lines and identifiable enemies to guerilla and especially urban combat, the old "rifle" idea has been replaced by a shorter "police" style carbine and having a "one size fits all" weapon greatly simplifies manufacture, training, maintenance, ammunition supply, etc.
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Old January 19, 2021, 02:48 PM   #46
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1967- draftees
1975 -end of the draft and beginning of the ALL volunteer Army.

I didn't run into many "married losers who needed the benefits" but i did have to deal with final service draftees and a number of young men who's "youthful indiscretions" caused a judge to offer them the choice of enlisting or going to JAIL...

My Dad supported a family of four on what I later learned was about $12 a month more than what I got paid as a private E-1 in 75. A married E-1 "loser" made considerably more than my Dad did working for the NY state Conservation Dept. Never considered him a "Loser" because of our income level.

I always felt the best mix for combat was what the Army wound up with by late WWII. A mix of short and short ranged weapons with longer, longer ranged rifles all "on hand" in the usual squad. However, we're not fighting WWII any more...

Quote:
a shorter "police" style carbine and having a "one size fits all" weapon greatly simplifies manufacture, training, maintenance, ammunition supply, etc.
Aside from the real world fact that "one size fits all" means that it fits almost nobody perfectly, it does simplify a number of things, most notably training and logistics. It doesn't simplify manufacture (the military doesn't manufacture their arms) but it does simplify purchasing.

Are there any short carbine Battle Rifles being fielded today? Anywhere??
(I'm talking about general service arms, not "special group" weapons)

Every one I can think of is not a Battle Rifle but an Assault Rifle. They all use an intermediate power cartridge, combined with a select fire capability, (which is what defines them as Assault Rifles) not the full power "infantry" round of the Battle rifle.

I make a distinction between the two. Some folks don't, but should.

The era of the battle rifle ended in the US when we retired the M14. Some NATO nations held on to theirs a bit longer, but all have switched over to Assault rifles some decades ago.
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Old January 20, 2021, 06:17 AM   #47
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The Army I enlisted in was about 2/3 RAs, 1/3 draftees, on another board someone pointed out that it was when they stopped drafting blacks, Hispanics and white trash-judge and sheriff recommended enlistments-and started drafting middle class and college boys and using them as cannon fodder-and janitors-that many of the problems started. I served with a lot of Cat I and Cat II soldiers and we had little respect for our superiors.
Getting back to the battle rifle, I note making the M-14 selective fire was a mistake, there was the heavy barreled M-15, the BAR replacement, announced but never produced, those veterans I talked to who fired the M14E2 gave it a thumbs down.
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Old January 21, 2021, 02:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
The M1 Garand although beloved by those who were issued it in Basic Training and as an infantry weapon, had some faults. Firstly, the rounds in the internal magazine could not be "topped up" handily during a lull in combat. Secondly, the ammunition was so heavy that it limited the amount an individual could carry in combat. Thirdly, the recoil was unpleasant enough that the military concluded that some soldiers would neglect to fire even in a "target rich" environment (e.g., Korean War, mass attack.) or so I have read. Fourthly, the open slot behind the operating handle allowed debris to enter and interfere with the hammer strike against the firing pin (I personally experienced that in the Basic Training infiltration course). Fifthly, the M1 Garand was just too heavy.

The adaption of the M14 solved one of those problems, but not all. Namely, the detachable box magazine allowed topping-up (with a fully loaded magazine), a partially empty magazine during lulls in battle while increasing the loaded round-count from eight to twenty. The M14 was still a heavy weapon, used heavy rounds which limited the ability of the average soldier's capacity, it still had a punishing recoil, and still had the open slot into which debris could enter the firing mechanism.

The adaption of the M16 seeming solved more of the remaining problematic features inherent to the combat rifle. It was lighter than the M14, recoiled less, ammo was much lighter allowing more rounds to be carried by the individual solder. It also was designed with fewer points of entry of battle debris (dirt, sticks, gravel, etc.). The down side was that the 5.56 bullet lacks the better penetration of the heavier 7.62 round...something that would seem advantageous if the enemy were behind some light barriers.

Despite my affection for the M1 Garand, if young again and stupid enough to become involved in an armed conflict, I would rather be issued a modern 5.56 battle rifle than my beloved 1603418 (the serial number on the Garand issued to me, 1962 Basic Training, Fort Knox KY).
An M1 Garand and it's progeny M14 as well as WWI and WWII Bolt guns are "Battle Rifles"

The M16, AK47, etc., are "Assault Rifles".... apples and oranges Battle and Assault

They satisfy different tactical requirements without me getting into a long rendition about why. Same for the bayonet.

...IMO the M1 has no recoil to speak of being gas operated and relatively heavy but I can see how a conscripted recruit might shy away from it if unfamiliar with rifle shooting.
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Old January 21, 2021, 06:36 PM   #49
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In current use, the M4 and it's variants are "Battle Rifles."
That they can also serve in 'assault' mode is a distinction w/o a difference.
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Old January 21, 2021, 07:44 PM   #50
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In current use, the M4 and it's variants are "Battle Rifles."
That they can also serve in 'assault' mode is a distinction w/o a difference.
If you define things by their use you get one (rather broad) set of definitions.

If you define things by their characteristics (as usually done) you get another.

English is a very versatile language and allow for either, but when one person is on one "page" and another is on a different page, it makes for difficulties in understanding.

SO, you can say every rifle used by a sniper is a sniper rifle and every rifle used in battle is a battle rifle and every rifle used in an assault is an assault rifle, and grammatically, you're not wrong. But you're not right to the people who use the definition based on clearly defined physical features.

Looking at the MP-44, Adolf Hitler coined the term "Sturmgewhr" which is translated at "assault rifle" (or "Storm Rifle) Based on the primary features of the Sturmgewhr which are select fire capability combined with using an "intermedate" power cartridge, we created the definition of Assault Rifle.

Intermediate power cartridge is based on WWII standards, being more powerful than the standard pistol rounds and less powerful than the standard infantry rifle round.

Battle Rifle refers to rifles using the full size, full power infantry rifle round of WWII or its slightly shorter cased modern equivalent the 7.62x51mm NATO.

Some are semi auto, some are select fire, but a bolt action in the proper calibers would also qualify. The primary requirement is military rifle in the full power infantry cartridge. WW I and most WWII Battle rifles were bolt actions. The M1 Garand, the SVT 40, and the German G43 are semi auto battle rifles, as are the more modern M14, HK G3, and the British FAL.

The M1 carbine isn't an assault rifle, while the cartridge qualifies, the M1 Carbine lacks select fire. The M2 qualifies as an Assault rifle both due to its cartridge and it is select fire.

The M4 Carbine (and variants) are Assault Rifles by virtue of the cartridge and their select fire capability. The are not Battle rifles, they don't shoot the right round to qualify for that definition.
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