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Best Battle Rifle??

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:37 am
Hi All:

I have a list in front of me of at least 40 'main Battle Rifles' from 1891 to the present. (M-1, M-14, Ak-47, M-1Carbine (not technically a battle rifle or even an assualt rifle, but I think we should leave it in the running)FAMAS, Steyr Aug., the various FN models, French Fusil M1907, etc.)

What I would like is for state your se;ection for best or most influential or worst of all time (as long as you give your reasons)and/or your choice(s) as the best for you in a particular conflict and/or the rifle you would like to have in a particular conflict or time frame.

Use some of the parameters as might be used on "The Military Channel":

Rate of Fire
Weight (if an issue for you)
length of service
Effectiveness of caliber

And any other parameters you wish to mention.

Please feel free to name the "Worst" in you opinions as well.

If you wish me to type the list out (agh) let me know.

I will be giving my thoughts when sufficient responses have been made. Not that MY opinion is intended to govern, I just want to see what you all have to say.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:47 pm
by RACastanet
M1 Garand. It totally outclassed anything the Germans and Japanese fielded as a main battle rifle.


The Garand

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:46 pm
Hi Rich:

you must be busy.

Great Choice. The only real fault the Garand had was its weight.

The only challengers in the timeframe might be the STG44 (on the basis of setting a new standard for battle rifles-and creating a new class of combat shoullder arm-the assualt rifle) and the G43--which I never cared for, personally.

Now if the FN-49 could have seen service???

What do you think?


PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:44 pm
by RACastanet
Yep. Pretty heavy. I'm not well versed on the rifles you mentioned so will not comment on them.

As for weight, if I needed to have a weapon with more punch and range than a sidearm but did not need a battle rifle I'd be very happy to carry the M1 Carbine. At around 5 pounds it is not a burden to carry and is quite capable out to 200 - 300 yards. Good indoor self defense rifle as it is short and the pistol cartridge it uses will be little threat to over-penetrate a target.

Busy? Yes. I'm a high school physics teacher these days plus going to night school at the U of R to meet my EDU requirements as a career switcher. Lots of papers to grade, plans to make...



PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:03 am
My friend:

Your plate is surely full and I made the comment only for support and verification and not to be critical.

The FN49 was manufactured in 2 calibers 8x57 for the Egyptians and &x57 for a South American country which momentarily escapes my mind (as do most things).

It was also heavy, had a gas operating system similar to the SKS and current FN SLR (preventing the burnt residue easy access to vital areas, had a 10 round magazine capacity. Unlike the FN>SLR, the gas system was not adjustable or, perhaps, not easy to adjust.

In the case of either FN, the sights are really not so good by our standards.

It's accuracy with 7x57 ammo (ball) was good, but it would not function well with other variations in the cartridge-again, perhaps just because I did not know how to operate the gas adjustment system, if indeed there was one, which I think there was,

I had the weapon when I was quite young when I owned one, long enough to forget the details, but not long enough ago to forget 'that FN I shouldn't have sold."

As for the carbine, I like my IMI version (GI except for the receiver) and completely agree with your assessment of the rifle, Except, I once saw a friend hit a jackrabbit with a .30 Carbine round, and he ended up having to cut its throat.

We are NOT however, obliged (anymore) to put our wounded enemies out of their misery (where we can't give aid or decide not to), but rather,if anything, to tie up two or three other of the other guy's forces carrying the Carbine shot man away for aid.

What a bad man John is say you all. Remember out hatred for the Japanese was so rabid that many units took pride in not taking prisoners.

The irony was the Japanese just didn't mind not being taken.

They tried issuing the Garand to Marvin the Arvin. He couldn't handle it. But he rather liked the Carbine, as would any slightly built trooper.

As you know, the carbine was devised to replace a field officer's sidearm and not to actually be a main battle rifle, although it is on the 'eligible' list because I fear discussions on this subject are likely to be much briefer that hoped and because, simply, it did serve in the described capacity.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:17 pm
by Van Canna ... 5413256152



I could take it apart as you see here and put it back together in the dark as taught to our Infantry Unit.


Heavy, but almost indestructible, and packing lots of ‘wallop’ loaded or unloaded with a fixed bayonet.

To many the M1 Rifle has a classic elegance and grace characteristic of a bygone era, when steel was forged in white heat and walnut was carefully shaped for both form and function. "There will never be again such a rifle, so brimming with the genius of an individual mind, so well constructed to outlive us all, so sculpted as to ask the hand to caress."

Criticisms of the M1 are its weight, limited ammunition supply, and that single rounds could not be pushed in (8 round clip, or nothing), although this is actually possible. Also, the spent clip was automatically ejected after the last round was fired, making a distinctive sound, which could be fatal in close quarter or sniper operations.

Partially loaded or fully loaded clips could be ejected by pulling the operating rod handle all the way back and then pushing the clip latch on the left side of the receiver. In the heat of close action it was possible to do this accidentally, as by pressing the latch with the left hand while firing from the hip.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:21 pm
by Van Canna
"There will never be again such a rifle, so brimming with the genius of an individual mind, so well constructed to outlive us all, so sculpted as to ask the hand to caress."

I slept with it during training and loved the feel of steel at my command. :wink:

Rich...Where do you find good surplus '06 ammo reasonably priced these days?

M2 ball 150 grains?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:41 am
by RACastanet
Hello Van. The absolute best supply is now gone... The Civilian Marksmanship Program sold the last of the Lake City USGI surplus last spring. It came to about $.25 a round delivered. Not great but very good and reliable. Plus the brass is great for reloading.

That said, some of the Lake City, in CMP 20 round boxes is showing up on the internet at online dealers for about $.35 a round.

The CMP made a deal with a Greek company to take millions of rounds of surplus M2 Ball ammo and they are now selling it for about $26 a round. It is 'HXP' and very good. Some say it is more accurate than the USGI Lake City but a dirtier. CMP has it in sealed spam cans in either 20 rond boxes or in 8 round Garand Clips in bandoliers! Here is the CMP webpage for the estore: ... st&cat=AMC

This Greek ammo is also showing up at online ammo suppliers but at higher prices.

Fortunately a little bird warned me last spring that the Lake City was almost gone so I ordered a good supply from the CMP.

Federal has a round similar to the M2 Ball that is fine to use but expect to pay about $.50 a round if you can find some. Resist the urge to buy UMC with the 150 grain bullet as it is not Mil Spec and has soft primers... could cause slam fires or an out of battery firing. KABOOM!


PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:56 am
by Van Canna
Thanks Rich. To buy from CMP I need to join? And will they ship to Mass? And shipping is extra, correct?

I bought 500 rounds from 'Cheaper than dirt' mailed to a friend out of Mass. $7.97 per box of 20 plus shipping. :(

Then there was this....

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:23 am
by Van Canna

Had the chance to buy one once...but let it slip through my fingers...damn :(


PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:34 pm

Forgot to even mention the BM-59.

My Gunsmith, at one point, was gearing up to convert Garands to Accept the M-14 Magazine adn the 7.62mm Nato Cartridge.

Don't know too much about current surplus at the CMP-ammo wise.

I am sure it was covered on the thread that Rich posted, but, generally one has to be a member of the NRA and a state wide 'clone".

Obviously the CMP will no longer ship to one's home, so a dealer's license will be required.

I think I bought about 8 M-1's from them some years ago.

Presently I only have the Springfeild armory NM-most of my collectibles were lost 'in a storm'.

The M14 and M-1a are very close descendants of the M-1 and are generally superior to the BM-59 performance wise, but not as a collectible.

M-1a's are still available with some attention to the details loved in the M-1.

There are some source that DID offer them and AR-15's in "Pre Ban" configuration.

Since the ban is now gone (although it may return if HC is elected) i suppose that source has dried up.

There are plenty of Surplus m-14 mags in Mass., cheap, which is a good thing as no more can be sent into the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

I am informed that, with respect to the loud clang emitted upon the emptying of a clip-only one round was left in the rifle if one wished to remain unlocated in a quiet scenario, fire the round and jam in another 8 if needed.

doen't sound like a good idea to me.

Other tricks included pitching clips at preset rocks, dragging clips by a cord some distance from one's foxhole etc.

Always a good choice.

I suppose now i will have to recheck my status with CMP and order some surplus ammo while the getting is good.

Of course the ammo can no longer be shipped to one's home in the PRMass. any more.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:07 pm
by Hugh
Some observations on the M-1 Garand and on the M-1 Carbine:

1) The Garand was initially to be made in .270 caliber but the then Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur, directed that it be made in .30-06. It was a hard-hitting weapon with great range, perfect for combat in Europe, which was what it was designed for. Yes, it did weigh a good bit, but that weight tended to ameliorate the sharpness of the recoil and the extra protection that the wooden forestock provided for the barrel was much appreciated in paratroop drops (the M-14 had a tendancy to get its barrel bent in such operations according to my brother-in-law who was in the 82nd when they changed over to the M-14). Finally, during the Battle of the Bulge, the troops discovered that sleeping with your M-1 in your bag with you was the best way to ensure having it in working order when you woke, especially in the case of a surprise attack. Another was to pee on the bolt and then to work it several times. The actions tended to freeze up in the cold. The same thing happened at the Chosin Reservoir and the Marines were fortunate to have had some Army types who were veterans of the Ardennes to tell them about that trick.

2) My Dad was a Lieutenant Colonel commanding a squadron of reconnaisance cavalry during the attempt to break out of the Normandy Hedgerows. He said that his troops were generally issued M-1 Carbines and that they hated them for their lack of range and their lack of knock-down power. He also said that any time they came across an abandoned M-1 rifle, usually the result of a dead or wounded American GI, they would take his Garand and ammo and run a track over the M-1 Carbine to render it unusable to any German who happened along. Dad said that it was amazing how the troops could find space in their Jeeps, armored cars, and half-tracks for Garands instead of the Carbines. That said, the Carbine, especially in its M-2 form, was a superb choice for jungle warfare, much better than that stupid British Enfield No. 5 Mk1 Jungle Carbine. The one drawback to the M-2 according to troops who fought in Korea was that it sounded exactly like a Soviet PPSh submachine gun so that, at night, you could easily be mistaken for the enemy.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:17 pm
by Dale Houser
Regarding the original post, it would be perhaps more appropriate to sort these first by time-frame, and then an overall list. Afterall, technology and quality has changed- up, down, even like a rollercoaster-over the years.

Another parameter might be proliferation or amount made/sold since inception.

It's like software, you can build the greatest application in the world, but if the users don't like it or it's too complicated, it becomes trivia with a few devoted users.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:27 pm
by Dale Houser

Military Channel's "Top Ten Military Rifles:
10. M14:
Accuracy: Excellent
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: Average
Handling: Average
Service length: Very Low

9. Stg44:
Accuracy: Poor
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: Very High
Handling: Average
Service length: Very Low

8. 1903 Springfield:
Accuracy: Excellent
Combat effectiveness: Low
Innovation: Low
Handling: Low
Service length: Very high

7. Steyr AUG:
Accuracy: Average
Combat effectiveness: Very good
Innovation: Very High
Handling: Excellent
Service length: Low

6. Mauser 98K:
Accuracy: Excellent
Combat effectiveness: Average
Innovation: Very High
Handling: Average
Service length: Very High

5. FN FAL:
Accuracy: Average
Combat effectiveness: Average
Innovation: High
Handling: Average
Service length: Very High

4. M1 Garand:
Accuracy: Good
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: High
Handling: Good
Service length: Average

3. SMLE:
Accuracy: High
Combat effectiveness: High
Innovation: Average
Handling: High
Service length: Very Long

2. M16:
Accuracy: High
Combat effectiveness: High
Innovation: High
Handling: High
Service length: Long

1. AK-47:
Accuracy: Average
Combat effectiveness: Excellent
Innovation: Excellent
Handling: Excellent
Service length: Very Long

Discovery Channel Top Ten Combat Rifles:
1. AK
2. M16
3. Lee-Enfield SMLE
4. M1 Garand
6. Mauser M98
7. Steyr AUG
8. 1903 Springfield
9. Sturmgewehr 44
10. M14

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:05 pm
by Van Canna
I remember the 'urinating trick' well. But felt funny thinking about having to pee on a faithful friend sleeping with me in the bag or in the bunk as we were required to_ from time to time. :lol:

To unload a round from the chamber, support the rifle butt on the thigh or on the ground; with the right hand grasp the operating rod handle and pull the operating rod slowly to the rear.

At the same time, place the left hand, palm down, over the receiver to catch the round as it is ejected. This keeps the round from falling into the dirt or away from your position. To unload a filled or partially filled clip, unload the round that is in the chamber as described above.

When the operating rod reaches its rearmost position, hold it there. Place the palm of the left hand over the receiver and depress the clip latch with the left thumb, allowing the clip to be ejected up into the hand, Do not relax the rearward pressure on the operating rod handle until after the clip has been removed.

In battle, the manual of arms called for the rifle to be fi.. until empty then recharged quickly. Modern users of the M1 Garand criticize the rifle for its inability to handle rounds like more traditional rifles.

This stems mostly from a lack of understanding of the system. It is possible to load single cartridges into a partially loaded clip while the clip is still in the magazine. It requi.. both hands and a bit of practice. This is rarely done, however.

Special clips are available which hold two or five rounds as well as a single-loading device which stays in the rifle when the bolt locks back. A modification of the clip latch is also available which disables the clip ejection function allowing loading like a traditional top-loading rifle.

Despite its intricacies, the clip-fed, semi-automatic, gas-operated system of the M1 Garand was more advantageous than the manually operated bolt-action systems used on the main battle rifles of nearly every other country during the era and compa.. to other magazine-fed rifles of the war, the Garand was probably the fastest to reload. [this is because of ..... :wink:]

One of the most widespread myths concerning the Garand battle rifle is that the "en-bloc" clips could not be ejected by any other means except shooting them out this is simply not true. As stated above, partially or completely loaded clips could be relatively easily ejected from the rifle.