Why don't ppl use Semi Auto Rifles like bolts? Semi accuracy?

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BeserkWraithlor

FNG / Fresh Meat
Sep 3, 2006
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Arizona
I was reading a WW2 Magazine in a Book Store, and they were interviewing a Former German Soldier of WW2. The Veteran said that the Kar98 was the best weapon they had and was reliable and accurate, and the G43 semi auto rifle was not so good. They said for 35 shots, only 5 would hit a person. Is the G43 inaccurate, or did German Soldiers spray with the G43 because they could, and they had ammo to waste, and KAr98 had no ammo to spray or waste, therefore making it more accurate? If the G43 was inaccurate, because Soldiers thought, "this gun has tons of ammo, lets spray with it!" woudn't they learn to conserve and use ammo wisely in Training?
 

{YBBS}Sage

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Apr 15, 2006
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At the distances you'd be shooting half-accurately with open-sights, a really really accurate rifle and a so-so rifle aren't going to make a noticeable difference. For a regular soldier, the nth degree of accuracy isn't going to make a bit of difference. Old battle rifle accuracy is regularly referred to as "Minute of Man" for a reason. :p

There is a psychological benefit, accuracy-wise, to using a bolt action rifle vs a semi-auto. There's even a benefit to a single shot vs bolt action repeater. When you're at the range, pretend each shot is your ONLY shot, and see how much better you do.

On the physical side of things, the G43 has a bit of a reputation for being slightly fragile. As a rule, soldiers don't especially love heavy rifles (see: M14 before the advent of the M16) or unreliable rifles (see: M16A1). Not a lot can go wrong with a bolt-action rifle, or with a design that's been in service for 40+ years. They've usually got the bugs ironed out by then. :p

I do remember seeing sources saying that the Germans absolutely loved captured SVT40s. Turns out when you take time to train troops in how to properly maintain it, and if you use the proper ammo (captured Soviet), it's a fairly reliable brick.
 

necropimp

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 27, 2006
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my neighbor hated the M16... he said he preferred and used the M14 because it felt like a gun instead of a toy (both in weight and recoil)

and i'd be willing to bet that when magazine fed rifles were first issued soldiers probably didn't experience the best accuracy... which is probably why a number of early magazine fed bolt actions had cutoffs

i fired a G43 once... i put a good solid 3.5" group in at 100 yards (definately sub-minute of headshot)... of course this is under quiet range conditions as opposed to battlefield conditions
 
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[RWTD]Burn[GKR]

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 21, 2006
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Sure at 800 yards that bolt action rifle is going to have the advantage of being more accurate, but at 200 yards or less, the differences are minor and the higher rate of fire is going to be far more useful. Also remember that hitting one target and your hit/miss ratio isn't always the priority when you are facing numbers. The more bullets you throw at your enemy, the more effective your surpressive fire will be. If your enemy can't move and you can, you are likely to have the tactical advantage.

If the K98 was the best weapon the German's had, it was due to improper training and tactics with the K43, not enough of them on the battlefield, and the K43 being a rather poor design compaired to the SVT40 and the M1 Garand (as {YBBS}Sage mention, they were known to be fragile). Properly trained soldiers with a good semi-auto are going to have an advantage on the battlefield. Look at what the Americans did with the M1 Garand. Take away the M1 Garand and the road to Berlin would have been a heck of a lot harder. Americans also had the advantage of going through training using the Garand, which I'm guessing wasn't the case with most of the German soldiers.
 
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[CiA]Stiletto

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Nov 22, 2005
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G43 was an SVT40 knockoff. How they managed to muck it up (c'mon, no bayonet lug???) is beyond me—the concept of a short-stroke piston-op rifle is NOT DIFFICULT . Then again, most of production was later in the war, by which time their industrial infrastructure was in pretty bad shape.
 

angelangel

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May 31, 2006
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The German mind was this:-

Why make so many bad quality products when you can make a hand full of above-good products?

This shows in Germany's tanks during WWII and the cars like the BMW and Volkswagen.
 

bas

FNG / Fresh Meat
Dec 4, 2005
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www.gunpics.net
Look at what the Americans did with the M1 Garand. Take away the M1 Garand and the road to Berlin would have been a heck of a lot harder.

This is a common fallicy. At no time did the American infantry squad have fire superemcy over the German infantry squad. Proliferation of the MG.34 and MG.42 made sure of that.

American battlefield fire superemcy came from air and artillery power not small arms! Ignore Patton, the M1 Garand was not the rifle that won the war. WWII was won with logistics and a lot of blood on the Eastern Front.

On the G.43 my experience is that my G.43 is a lot more pleasant to shoot than either of my SVT-40's and more accurate too. It's been too long since I've shot my Kar98k to compare accuracy. But my order of preference would be Kar98k -> SVT40 -> G.43

I don't really think that the opinion of one veterin should be taken as gospel truth.
 

Yoshiro

In Soviet Russia, Yoshiro is a cake
Staff member
Oct 10, 2005
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One thing I don't think anybody has mentioned. Bolt action rifles have less moving parts, which means when you shoot it, there is less chance of anything happening to the gun to throw it even the slightest bit off target.

The Semi autos had many moving parts, and these sort of things rattle and shake and move when a gun is firing which might effect the accuracy of said weapon.
 

User Name

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jan 12, 2006
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I think people are less accurate with semi-autos. As posted above, minute of man is good enough for a battle rifle. Sure a semi will be less accurate than a bolt gun. It's usually the differance between a 2.5" to 3" group for military bolts, and a 3.5" to 4" group for a military semi. Either is fine for battlefield accuracy.

I believe the reason people are less accurate with them is because follow up shots can come quicker. When you fire a bolt rifle. It's a minimum of 1 sec. between shots (K31s and Enfields, based on experiance) However that one second is spent moving the rifle around. With a semi, your ready to go a split second after you fire. So people tend to worry less about shot placement, and more on getting another shot down range.
 

BuddyLee

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 12, 2006
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This is a common fallicy. At no time did the American infantry squad have fire superemcy over the German infantry squad. Proliferation of the MG.34 and MG.42 made sure of that.

American battlefield fire superemcy came from air and artillery power not small arms! Ignore Patton, the M1 Garand was not the rifle that won the war. WWII was won with logistics and a lot of blood on the Eastern Front.

On the G.43 my experience is that my G.43 is a lot more pleasant to shoot than either of my SVT-40's and more accurate too. It's been too long since I've shot my Kar98k to compare accuracy. But my order of preference would be Kar98k -> SVT40 -> G.43

I don't really think that the opinion of one veterin should be taken as gospel truth.
Hmm, every American having accurate semi-auto's > a few squads of over-rated German MG's. :rolleyes:

USA had great MG's too including the Browning M2 .50, and the LMG BAR for the entire duration of the war. ;)

Patton didn't say the Garand Won The War, He said It was the Greatest battle implement ever devised. FYI.
 

[RWTD]Burn[GKR]

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 21, 2006
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This is a common fallicy. At no time did the American infantry squad have fire superemcy over the German infantry squad. Proliferation of the MG.34 and MG.42 made sure of that.

American battlefield fire superemcy came from air and artillery power not small arms! Ignore Patton, the M1 Garand was not the rifle that won the war. WWII was won with logistics and a lot of blood on the Eastern Front.

I can't argue that logistics, air and artillery power were major determining factors of the war, but the value of the Garand and what it meant to the US GI's cannot be measured in statistics or logistics. I'm spent a lot of time with WWII vets, even planned my honeymoon so that I could be at Pearl Harbor during the 60th anniversary ceremony (which was an amazing event BTW) and EVERY single one of the them will tell you that the Garand won the war. Did it really? Well.. no, probably not directly. But this confidence in their weapon and that they had the advantage against their enemy was huge for moral. Till this day any WWII or Korean War vet that sees my Garand says the same thing. That's the best gun ever made. That statement can be argued until the cows come home by us and by gun and WWII exports, but for them it's fact.

So what's a better method of determining the value of small arms? Statistics? Logistics? The testimony of the men in the trenches who lived and died by them?
 

{YBBS}Sage

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Apr 15, 2006
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One thing I don't think anybody has mentioned. Bolt action rifles have less moving parts, which means when you shoot it, there is less chance of anything happening to the gun to throw it even the slightest bit off target.

The Semi autos had many moving parts, and these sort of things rattle and shake and move when a gun is firing which might effect the accuracy of said weapon.

But at the ranges that an open-sight rifle is going to be useful at (out to maybe 600 yards, usually quite a bit less than that if you want a first-shot hit), the semi-auto "shimmy" isn't going to affect anything.

Open-sights, I wouldn't bet on hitting a person at much over 400 yards, unless they're standing stock still in the open.

Semi-autos are also less punishing to shoot, since the action soaks up a surprisingly considerable amount of recoil.

RE: Garand vs all other WWII rifles - The Garand is only inferior in one area, IMO, and that's in its lack of being able to tactically reload. You can "top off" with stripper clips. Detachable magazines are definitely better for topping up. Reloading when empty, though, I'd say the en bloc clip is about as fast as dropping/inserting a WWII-era mag.

Where the Garand shines: The sights are 10x better than the German or Soviet rifles. Disagree all you want, but go out and shoot a notch/blade or notch/post sighted rifle, then pick up a Garand, M1 Carbine or AR15 with the tried and true diopter sight on it, and see how much easier it is. The sight radius is also considerably longer.

Why the former Soviet Union and it's (former) allies have stuck with putting pistol sights on their rifles so long is beyond me.

@ Stiletto: I think German engineers could over-do their work on anything. "Oooh, look, it's 80% of perfection, we'll just work it over a LOT." And it turns out worse. On that note:

@angelangel: I work on cars for a living. BMW and Volkswagen have nothing but an un-earned reputation. They break more than other brands, excepting stuff like Volvos (the newer ones, anyway) and Mercedes-Benz. Nothing can out-break a MBZ. Why they break so much is simple: the engineers take something that SHOULD be simple, say a power window system, and instead of putting a couple of switches with a motor and a current-detecting torque cut-off, they wire it up to the CAN with a full-on electronic control module for EACH WINDOW.
 

Denwad

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Nov 21, 2005
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Why the former Soviet Union and it's (former) allies have stuck with putting pistol sights on their rifles so long is beyond me.

pistol sights?

tangent leaf sights have been on rifles since the late 19th century

btw magazine cut-offs were not to increase accuracy, but early doctrine called for single-shot then reload, and the magazine was an "emergency reserve"
 

Zoring

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
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From personal experience i can't hit a bloody thing (compartivly) with a big vague circle and post arrangment over any v notch sight. I know this is just due to practice but i don't think that one system is inherently more accurate than the other.

With 90% of German strength on the Eastern Front the importance of the Garand is entirely moot, sure it made the American infantry more confident but with only 10% of the German army (less given the other theatres and 'combat effectivness' of these units) to fight against it's pretty irrelevent how confident they were.

Also as bas said artillery was the real killer, in the desert that number rose to even over 80% of casulties
 

thedonster

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Jul 27, 2006
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The German mind was this:-

Why make so many bad quality products when you can make a hand full of above-good products?

This shows in Germany's tanks during WWII and the cars like the BMW and Volkswagen.

Right, and in the G41, the Elefant, and the BMW.
Don't get me started on BMW's: right now the 7 series tops Consumer Reports hit list of worst cars for reliability VW is in there too. I was the unfortunate owner of a 12 cylinder BMW lemon- worst thing I've ever owned.
A lot of German stuff is badly engineered or over engineered- even the good stuff. It's too expensive to produce or maintain- like German WWII tanks.
The Russian mind set was like this: why make an expensive and hard to maintain piece of engineering when you can make 10 servicable and durable ones that simply get the job done?
 

[CiA]Stiletto

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
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From personal experience i can't hit a bloody thing (compartivly) with a big vague circle and post arrangment over any v notch sight. I know this is just due to practice but i don't think that one system is inherently more accurate than the other.
If you move outside of low-level competitions, you stop seeing tangent sights. As you move higher, you stop seeing aperture-post setups and you start seeing aperture-aperture (globe) setups. At the top, everyone's using globes. Speed of acquisition is part of it; however, it's also easier to properly index your sights when you don't actually need to have stuff in focus. (Tangent sights, the blurryness of the rear sight will adversely affect accuracy, especially as you go to longer and longer ranges.)

Palma Match rifles are ****ing badass.