U.S. Military Rifle History

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

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    Pullman WA
    Posts: 1
    (3/4/03 6:32:29 pm)
    Reply U.S. Military Rifle History
    Good day gentlemen.

    I am trying to put together a small training presentation on U.S. Navy small arms for enlisted persons of various rates and experience. I wish to include some basic facts and timelines on the evolution of military rifles and their use in the U.S. Armed Forces. Does anyone know where to find some simple descriptions of what was used and when?

    Thanks. V/R, jnorthcutt33

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3860
    (3/6/03 10:35:01 am)
    Reply U.S. Military Rifle History
    Hi Jnorthcutt33.....welcome TFF.

    Well, I've been looking on the internet for a couple of days for a comprehensive site listing all of the small arms used by the US Navy from the Revolutionary War to today, and there doesn't seem to be such an animal.

    Most of that information seems to be contained in various books covering specific timelines.

    My best suggestion is to contact the Nimitz Library at the U.S. Naval Academy....perhaps they can give you what you need: www.usna.edu/Library/

    Sorry we couldn't be of more help....and Good Luck.

    Posts: 2
    (3/6/03 1:17:23 pm)
    Reply U.S. Military Rifle History
    Thank you Xracer. I too have found several sources that contain innumerous volumes of information about certain specific rifles or certain wars or conflicts, but have had very little luck in obtaining something simple that describes what was used and when. I'm not really looking for Navy small arms, but rather a simple timeline showing the evolution of firearms (that would have used on the battlefield) from early inventions (matchlocks, flintlocks) to what is used today (M16A2, M4 carbine, etc.). If anyone can come up with anything please let me know.

    Thanks. jnorthcutt33

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3863
    (3/6/03 6:52:57 pm)
    Reply Re: U.S. Military Rifle History
    Here's a kind of sketchy timeline: www.dyerlabs.com/guns_and...earms.html

    .....and another one: www.thealamofilm.com/arti...rearms.htm

    .....and another: www.info.com.ph/~mwgs/history.htm

    Basically, the small arms used by the U.S. Military in various wars were:

    Revolution: muzzle loading flintlocks

    1812: same as above

    Civil War: muzzel loading percussion. Pistols were percussion revolvers...mostly Colt Model 1860 Army and Colt Model 1851 Navy.

    Indian Wars: single shot breech loading cartridge rifles (and a few lever action Henrys & Winchesters). Pistols were the famous Colt 1873 Single Action Army revolver.

    Spanish-American: early: single shot breech loading cartridge rifles (.45-70 caliber).....later, Model 1898 Krag bolt action magazine rifle (.30-40 Krag caliber). Pistols were still mostly the Single Action Army (.45 Colt cartridge).

    WWI: Bolt action magazine rifles, the M1903 Springfield and M1917 Enfield (.30-06 caliber). Pistols, the wonderful Colt M1911 (.45ACP...Automatic Colt Pistol)

    WWII: Early, the 1903 Springfield, but shortly the M1 (Garand) clip-fed semi-automatic rifle (.30-06). Also, the M1 Carbine, a box magazine fed semi auto (.30 Carbine caliber). Pistol was the Colt M1911A1 (.45ACP).

    Korea: M1 Rifle, M1 & M2 Carbine (the M2 was select fire...semi & full automatic), and M1911A1 pistol.

    Between wars: M14 rifle....basically same action as the M1, but with a box magazine and select fire (caliber 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester, whichever you prefer). Pistol was still the M1911A1.

    Vietnam: M-16, select fire, box magazine fed jam-o-matic tinker toy (5.56 NATO or .223 Remington, whichever you prefer.....personally I prefer a real rifle cartridge). Pistol was still the ol' reliable M1911A1.

    Around 1985: The brainless wonders in the Pentagon completely lost their minds and dropped the M1911A1 in favor of some Italian piece of turd in the pipsqueak 9mm caliber which they designated the M9.

    And that, sir, is my totally objective capsule history of U.S. Military firearms.

    Edited by: Xracer at: 3/6/03 6:56:38 pm
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    I thought I had replied to this one, but...

    X did real well with his answers, except that the Navy used some pretty unique stuff post-Civil War right up until just before WWI, as well as standard issue Army stuff. Plus, the USMC got all their stuff from the Navy, so you have to remember them as well.

    Rolling block rifles AND pistols, various carbines, both muzzleloading and breech, and the Lee 6mm straight pull rifle come to mind, in fact the Lee saw pretty extensive service with the Navy and Marines in the Spanish American War and in China.

    And don't forget the Thompson. Yeah, it was first adopted during Prohibition by the Coast Guard, not REALLY Navy, but then the Marines wanted it so the Navy would have bought them next. And also remember all the Reisings rusting in the Mantanikau would have come through the Navy too.

    And of course, we can't forget USMC Shotguns...:cool: