Best Round from the "Age Of Rifles"

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1432
    (8/12/01 10:14:22 pm)
    Reply Best Round from the "Age of Rifles."
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    OK, time for a new poll.

    The "Age of Rifles" spawned many cartridges when Infantry was king of the battlefield. Back then, the round represented the Nation fielding it as much as the weapon and soldier.

    Vote, but more importantly, give your opinion on the "best" round from that period, that had it's climax in WWI.

    8x57mm Mauser
    .303 British Enfield
    .30-06 Springfield
    7.62x54R Russian
    Other

    Show results

    Eibar Pimp. "Pssst! 'Ay Meester..."

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 8/12/01 11:15:19 pm

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1433
    (8/12/01 10:21:51 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Round from the
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    OK, I'll start it off.

    If you would have asked me a few years ago, without a doubt I would have said the 06, then a toss-up between the .303 and the 8x57 for second place, the Enfield was the best battle rifle in my opinion, the 8x57 was really the first successful rimless, that even the 06 was based on, BUT...

    Since I began collecting Mosin Nagants, and researching as much as I can, I have to give it the nod.

    First, it's the oldest of the bunch (1891), AND the only one still in front line military service with a major army. (It still is the main MMG round, as well as the sniper round, of the Russian Army, as well as most of the old Soviet satellites.)

    Second, as late as the 70s and 80s, the Soviet Army Rifle team cleaned everybody else's clocks in the world (Including the USMC team!) in international shoots, using that old round.

    Yeah, maybe I'm prejudiced, BUT....


    Eibar Pimp. "Pssst! 'Ay Meester..."

    WyomingSwede
    Moderator
    Posts: 85
    (8/12/01 11:17:57 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Round from the
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    You guys all know that I am a certified mauser fanatic, however My vote would be for the .303 brit. It is fielded in what is argueably the best battle rifle of the period. Had its blackpowder beginning well before the other contenders(got ya there polish...), and was well represented worldwide by the british empire...on which the sun never set???
    Admittedly the british empire began its death throes immediately after WWII. But it represented a pretty significant amount of the population. The .303 brit cartridge today is still popular in major parts of africa, the indian subcontinent, australia,and canada.
    I admit to having one myself, and within its limits it is still a fine cartridge, well capable of taking most game that you will run into on this continent, and most others.
    Regards swede
    Wyoming Swede

    LIKTOSHOOT
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1861
    (8/12/01 11:30:00 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Round from the
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    It would be a toss up to me. .303 or 7.62x54R, both old; one still in service. This Russian round is also having some new developing going on too. LTS
    "am not" R2

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 778
    (8/13/01 8:13:06 am)
    Reply Re: Best Round from the
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    I'll jump in here for the .30-06.....long range, accurate, hard hitting, and the most versatile round ever created.

    No other cartridge has been offered in as many loadings, bullet weights, bullet styles, different makes and models of rifles.

    No other cartridge has been the basis for as many wildcats, or derivative cartridges (.270, .25-06, etc.).

    Suitable for woodchucks (110 gr.) to Alaskan Brown Bear (220 gr.) and even (occasionally) been used successfully on elephants in Africa.....gotta be the best there ever was.

    obelix2
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 234
    (8/18/01 1:37:04 am)
    Reply I'm the only "other," as usual
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    But no one seems to appreciate French weapons. Simply because they're odd? My vote for the 8mm Lebel could be viewed as protest or as cussedness.

    WyomingSwede
    Moderator
    Posts: 88
    (8/18/01 7:17:19 am)
    Reply Re: I'm the only "other," as usual
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    Im sorry to disagree...but I dont appreciate french anything but french fries. As a rule they are most disagreeable individuals. As a nation..they are wanna-bes. As a C & R fan...nothing they have remotely interests me. I think that those 7.5 MAS rifles are junk. They market a french made version of the Walther PPK and act like they invented it. Sorry to seem so disagreeable...I better go get some more coffee into my system. regards swede
    Wyoming Swede

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 13
    (8/18/01 9:47:30 am)
    Reply WHich was used the most?
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    I would be curious, which round was used the most (total number of rounds produced/fired)? AT the end of WW I the 30.06 would clearly be far behind. The US was the only country using it and we only participated at the end of WW I.



    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 798
    (8/18/01 9:16:43 pm)
    Reply Re: WHich was used the most?
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    Yeah, but we used a whole sh*tload during WWII and Korea.

    However, I would guess either 8mm or .303. The Brits used .303 during both WWI and WWII both on the ground and in the air, so .303 would be my first guess.

    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 936
    (8/18/01 9:19:25 pm)
    Reply Re: WHich was used the most?
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    7.62x54R. Hands down, nuff said.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    kdubaz
    Moderator
    Posts: 516
    (8/18/01 11:33:46 pm)
    Reply Re: WHich was used the most?
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    30-06...thumbs up!

    What Xracer said - 30-06 is the most successful cartridge of the 20th Century. The venerable ol' thutty-thutty isn't listed, as it was a very late 19th Century cartridge!
    Keep below the ridgeline!

    cointoss 2
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 33
    (8/19/01 11:31:16 am)
    Reply
    Re: WHich was used the most?
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    I would have to say 30-06 too, we have to remember that the 30-06 was used more than just in the Garrand in a battle type rifle. Maybe I am old school and American but I would grab an .06 any day over the others.
    cointoss2

    MO JENKINS
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 97
    (8/19/01 5:47:43 pm)
    Reply Best??
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    I have to say from the start that "the best" and "my favorite" are two different things! In my opinion the 8 Mauser gets the nod for the "Best". It's a much more ballistically efficient cartridge than the others and it is 32 CAL! Some pretty serious firepower if you ask me (I also have a very serious weakness for K98's, maybe I'm unable to be unbiased). However, the 7.62X54 is by far my favorite cartridge in the bunch! It's a pretty cartridge, maybe not as "SEXY" as the 8X56R. But it's a cartridge that makes alot of sense, heavy rim for functionality and just enough "UUUMFF!" to do what it needs to do! (I also have a very serious weakness for Moseeeen Nahgahhns, maybe I'm playing favorites here too!)
    Oh well, just my .02!
    MO

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1443
    (8/20/01 11:20:58 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    You know, I never really looked at it that way, but that 8x56RH really DOES have nice curves...

    I think it's crazy that Blaser and Browning make Straight Pull rifles that cost like $2000 and are supposed to be just the berries, but nobody can figure out how to make a decent cheap sporter out of an M95...

    I'd probably have to say more 8x57 rounds have been fired than any...then the .303.

    The MG34 and 42 put down a lot of lead fast. And all those Maxims...

    The Brits used the .303 for a LONG while, all over the world, and then all the Commonwealth too...along with those 8-12 Browning .303s in the wings of all those Spitfires...And there are tales of watercooled Vickers shooting 3-4000 rounds non-stop in WWI after they were locked in...

    Plus the Brits and Germans had two years head start in War II...they probably shot a few hundred more times the ammo than we had in INVENTORY in those two years...

    Then again, if every Czarist or Soviet soldier from 1891 until 1946 that carried an MN variant, or an SVT, fired just one magazine, that's a HELLUVA lot of x54 rounds! And the Russians are still using it...

    The 06 really wasn't in front line action all that much or that long compared to the others...I'd think it would be fourth at best...especially when you consider we really didn't use an MG in WWI that fired it...


    Eibar Pimp. "Pssst! 'Ay Meester..."

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 14
    (8/22/01 10:50:03 am)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    I was some what surprised that the U.S. produced many more .50 machine guns than .30. But the .50 was used on virtually every fighting air craft we had. The infantry units had lots of .30 machine guns, but the artillery, engineer, and other support units had mostly .50 guns.

    I think the "age of rifles" ended before World War I. In WW I the majority of casualties were caused by artillery. The use of machine guns made every one hunker down, where they were pounded for days and weeks at a time by the field guns of the enemy.

    How much difference is there between these cartridges? Wouldn't a hit by any of them in the torso or head put an enemy down? If so I would pick the round that shoots the flattest over a reasonable combat range.

    Edited by: 17th FA Bn at: 8/23/01 8:02:42 am

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1457
    (8/24/01 10:15:30 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    Yeah, you're right 17th, The Age of Rifles preceeded, or else actually included only a part of WWI....

    That's why the 06 can't REALLY qualify as the best...too much of a "Johnny come lately..."

    It's kind of neat, the same time Nationalism was running rampant, EVERY Army and Nation had to have their own proprietary rifle round no matter how good or bad it was, it was a matter of Honor.

    Now, it's kind of sterile, the whole world for the most part either used NATO or ComBloc rounds...BORING!!!

    BTW, I saw something in SARCO's ad in a new SGN...Excellent condition "Potato Digger" barrels in 7.62x54, $495...

    I knew Colt made them in just about any caliber, we actually used some in 7x57 in Cuba in '98 believe it or not!

    Makes you wonder what contract wasn't filled, and HOW the heck did Sarco get them? Did the Czar order them?

    I just HAVE to own a "digger" someday, now!
    Eibar Pimp. "Pssst! 'Ay Meester..."

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1744
    (10/3/01 8:45:04 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    Now wait a sec...If I voted for the x54 and BOB voted for the x54...hows comes theys only ONE vote? What the hell is this, FLORIDA?

    Mayor Daly, come out from there, I know OwlGore's got you manipulatin' the count in there SOMEHOW..
    I'm so PROUD to be an AMERICAN...

    Doctor Xring
    Member
    Posts: 21
    (2/18/02 8:40:35 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    I had to vote for the '06 because of it's superior external
    ballistics and the obvious superiority of the rimless design. Closely behind that would be the 8x57, then the 7.62x54R,
    then the .303 British.

    IF the Russian round was rimless, I would have to have gone
    with it as number one. It seems the ballisticians have
    either re-discovered the efficiencies of the "short, fat, case"
    or the Russians just got lucky.


    DXR

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2907
    (2/20/02 9:17:42 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    I don't know, DocX, there is some merit to the idea that a RIMMED cartridge makes the best BA rifle round, especially military, with the almost inevitable mismatching of parts in arsenals and even in the field, TOUGH to screw up headspacing on a rimmed round if you grab the wrong bolt out of the cleaning barrel, which is how the Soviets at least cleaned weapons in the field, and put them back together with no regard for matching the numbers back up...

    ...the rimless round only comes into it's own in semiautos and MGs...

    But the Maxim/Vickers did a good job with the rimmed .303 and x54R...and even if the Russians never got the rimmed round to work right in a decent LMG, the BREN was a pretty decent one...




    Going WAY back to OBs crack about the 8mm Lebel, that cartridge REALLY was the one that started it all, first successful small bore smokeless round in a repeating rifle adopted by a major military power....if the French wouldn't have developed it, just MAYBE there is no Mauser needing to "beat" it...





    BUT I too hate French crap, except maybe the Char B1 bis, which MAY have been the best tank in the world for the first two years of the war....







    ...but then the typical French bullcrap, it only had a 95 mile range...which they didn't think was a problem...(Who needs more? How far can Infantry WALK in a day, Oui?)

    Most of them were just out-of-gas pillboxes when they finally DID see a crappier German Panzer I, II or III drive right on by at speed...
    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Doctor Xring
    Member
    Posts: 22
    (2/21/02 1:33:31 am)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    ...the rimless round only comes into it's own in semiautos and MGs...


    Some good points, but I was thinking about improved feeding
    with less complications. Especially in respect to bolt guns. All it takes is one rim out of order and you have a "stopped" rifle, that is going to take some time to clear. Especially true with single stacks like MN's. A little less of a problem with doubles like the Enfields. Just one less thing to have to consider in the heat of battle.

    velvetnsteel
    Member
    Posts: 45
    (2/22/02 4:52:23 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    So..............the best round is a .30-06 fired out of a large ring MAUSER ( as in M1954 Brazilizn Mauser ). I guess ya'all started this one long before I came on board or I most likely would have asked why the 6.5 X 55 wasn't considered. Long live the SWEDE!!

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3095
    (3/19/02 6:19:52 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    Because 6.5s were a FAILURE in every country that ever used it in actual battle, Vsteel...just didn't match up to a .30 caliber in range, and penetration at range...

    The big issue with the 6.5s came in that no one developed a good MG for them, and all LMGs were at some times used in the anti aircraft or anti vehicle role, or in aircraft as primary weapons...the 6.5 simply did not have the terminal ballistics or the range to do the job, so if you were forced to have a larger bore LMG, why not a rifle to shoot the same ammo?

    Don't get me wrong, I like the 6.5 Swede and 6.5 Jap (Maybe not the Carcan0... ) and they make GREAT target or Deer rifles...but the record shows they suck as a BA battle rifle caliber...

    And DocX...your observation about rimmed cartridges causing feed problems is correct...except you either forget or are unaware that Nagant solved that problem in the Mosin Nagant in 1891...the feed system is more ingenious than Mausers...the ejector spring has an simple extension that puts pressure on the NEXT cartridge below the one feeding, holding it down, so the weapon simply can't malfunction re rims on cycling...when the bolt comes back and the fired case is ejected the next round is released, and when it starts forward the extension pushes the next round down, ad infinitum...thus the Nagant is the only rimmed round that is NOT "directional" i.e., doesn't matter how you load the stripper, or the magazine with respect to rims...other Mannlicher designs solved it just as well in different ways, like the M95 en bloc directional angled clip that cannot be loaded wrong.

    And like you said, the Enfield double stack, but it was probably the LEAST effective method of the three, but still didn't malfunction all that much...

    So the Rimless versus Rimmed "Advantage" at least in Bolt Actions is more theoretical than actual...

    Unless of course we are talking FRENCH guns. I know it was an automatic design, but that Chauchat LMG with the half moon clip sure looked goofy, and supposedly double fed ALL the time...


    "Don't hear him call you an @sshole, hear WHY he's calling you an @sshole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 3/22/02 8:03:56 pm

    striderteen
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (4/16/02 11:13:42 pm)
    Reply My Vote Goes...
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    ...to the .30-06 Springfield.

    Even today, it's probably the best general-purpose rifle round available. If I had to get just one rifle, it would definitely be a .30-06, probably either a Garand or a Remington 700 -- it's light enough to be handy (not like one of my big-game rifles -- the .460 Weatherby Magnum could ONLY be described as a portable cannon, and the .577 Tyrannosaur will knock most people silly if they fire it standing), is accurate out to very long range, and is powerful enough to kill anything short of African safari game.

    Doctor Xring
    Member
    Posts: 24
    (4/17/02 8:58:46 am)
    Reply Re: My Vote Goes...
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    Karamojo Bell killed over 1000 elephant with a
    7x57 Mauser. Brain shots with FMJ. The 30-06 will kill
    any game on the planet if in the right hands and with
    the right ammunition. Maybe not the "best" cartridge for
    everything but it would do it. Probably the most versatile
    cartridge available for the propellants avaiable today.

    Mauser45
    Member
    Posts: 3
    (10/10/02 12:54:13 pm)
    Reply Best Military Rifle
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    Sorry to disagree with all of you . The BEST rifle is the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. No military rifle beats it for accuracy, it has the proven mauser action, light recoil (which helps marksmanship) and is flat shooting with that long 140gr. spitzer! Also has a lot better workmanship than all the rest!

    Celt
    Member
    Posts: 8
    (12/29/02 5:44:38 pm)
    Reply Re: Best??
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    308 or 7.62X51 Nato.
    Very accurate and will do virtually anything a 3006 will do.
    Celt
    H.D. Rifles
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2003
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