Business Insider’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad List of Weapons the Military “Should” Bring Back

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Earlier this week, Business Insider released an article written by Christian Lowe entitled 6 weapons the US military should bring back from the dead with a very self-evident, but interesting premise. However, the weapons (all firearms, oddly) that the article outlines are very poor choices, so today I want to talk about why these choices are so poor, and maybe suggest some better alternatives of my own. Let’s take it point by point, quoting his text and following that with my responses:

1. M1 Carbine

You might not know it, but more M1 Carbines were produced during World War II than M1 Garands — about 500,000 more — and it became the standard-issue long gun for paratroopers and support troops like mortarmen and artillerymen.

Beloved for its short, 36-inch length and 6-pound weight, the M1 fired a fairly accurate .30-caliber rimless round that zinged at about 2,000 feet per second at the muzzle — that’s getting close to the speed of a standard mil spec 5.56 round. The M1 feeds from a 15- or 30-round magazine, making it a killer in close quarters. So why not ditch the .300 Blackout and go retro?

And FYI, one of the M1’s original builders, Inland Manufacturing, has restarted the line and is selling these things like hotcakes.

It turns out that the United States military agrees with the point about a 6lb, 36″ long rifle being the cats pajamas, so much so that in fact that both the Army and Marine Corps are fielding as general issue M4 Carbines, which are three inches shorter, almost as light, and have twice the effective range.

Suggesting reissuance of the M1 Carbine is the equivalent of suggesting that the Army re-adopt the M4 Sherman tank, or the Air Force reintroduce the P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft: We already have weapons that fill those roles much, much better, which are more advanced, reliable, and effective. I’ve spent quite a lot of time defending the M1 Carbine, saying it shouldn’t be dismissed as simply a PDW ancestor and that it deserves some place in the historical timeline of the assault rifle, but that is not the same thing as saying it would be a competitive firearm today. During Korea, Brig. General S. L. A. Marshall studied the use of the weapons of the time – including the M1 Carbine – in combat operations, and his 1951 report damned the weapon so severely that the Army wouldn’t even come back to the concept of a general-issue carbine for another four decades, with the M4. Marshall’s methodology was flawed, but it’s notable that every single one of his criticisms of the M1 Carbine has proven valid in the proceeding sixty-five years – even the very well-made Inland reproductions are having reliability issues in the hands of reviewers like InRange TV.*

*These problems are endemic to the design of the rifle, and not the result of Inland Mfg’s manufacturing or quality control. They are pretty much doing the best they can with the design they are given.

The .30 Carbine caliber, which Lowe suggests could replace the .300 Blackout, is as equally an absurd choice as the carbine that fires it. The caliber in military Hague-compliant full-metal-jacket form is a notoriously poor wounder (although even that has been exaggerated over time), and has awful ballistic characteristics more akin to a small caliber magnum handgun round than a rifle round. For comparison, the Soviet 7.62x39mm M43 caliber fires a full-metal-jacket steel-cored pointed projectile at close to 400 feet per second faster than the M1 Carbine’s ball round. The finer ballistic shape of the Soviet projectile and heavier weight also allow it to carry energy better. It should be the superior performer, so what do we know of that round’s lethality? Here’s what respected doctor and ballistician Martin Fackler has to say about the M43:

The Soviet AK-47 Kalashnikov fires a full-metal-jacketed, boat-tail bullet that has a copper-plated steel jacket, a large steel core, and some lead between the two. In tissue, this bullet typically travels for about 26cm point-forward before beginning significant yaw. This author observed, on many occasions, the damage pattern shown in Fig 2 while treating battle casualties in Da Nang Vietnam (1968). The typical path through the abdomen caused minimal disruption; holes in organs were similar to those caused by a non-hollow-point handgun bullet. The average uncomplicated thigh wound was about what one would expect from a low-powered handgun: a small, punctate entrance and exit wound with minimal intervening muscle disruption.

So why on earth would the US military adopt a round that starts off 15% slower, and sheds its velocity 40% faster than even the lackluster 7.62×39 M43? Our armed forces are not in the business of giving the enemy a fighting chance!

What they should bring back instead: The Colt MARS 5.56x30mm Subcarbine/PDW

MarsG

Image source: municion.org

 

The Colt MARS was a shortened M16-derived carbine designed in 1997 for a small but highly efficient 5.56x30mm cartridge designed to be effective to 300 meters. Although introducing a new cartridge would present some logistical challenges, the small MARS carbine (less than two feet long with the stock collapsed!) could potentially replace most of the pistols in the military’s inventory.

2. Browning Automatic Rifle

Really, all you need to say about the BAR is “thirty-ought-six.”

End of discussion.

Designed by John Browning in 1917 for the trenches of Europe, the BAR sits in a netherworld in which it is not quite a machine gun but not quite a rifle. Fed from a 20-round magazine, the BAR’s .30-06 round packs nearly 3,000 feet per second at the muzzle and can reach out well over 1,000 yards.

Sure, it weighs a whopping 16 pounds, and never mind that the average life span of a BAR gunner in World War II combat was estimated by some to be about 30 minutes. But with the popularity of the MK-17 SCAR and its .308 round these days — not to mention the Marine Corps’ outfitting some of its SAW gunners with the Heckler & Koch 7.62×51 HK417 — maybe the BAR should be given another chance.

Let’s get three details out of the way right off the bat:

  1. 5.56mm also packs “nearly 3,000 feet per second” at the muzzle, while weighing less than half what .30-06 does.
  2. “The average life span of a BAR gunner in World War II combat was estimated by some to be about 30 minutes.” I’m sorry, what? I searched the Internet for references for this “fact”, and found a bunch of people repeating it, but no citations. This sounds like yet another one of those myths about World War II conjured up to make the conflict sound more extreme and badass, like how Shermans were so flammable they were nicknamed “Ronsons” (despite the fact that wet ammo rack equipped tanks were the safest of the war), or how every German soldier had an assault rifle by the end of the war. Best case scenario, this “30 minute” statistic is in reference to a specific incident or battle with particularly intense fighting, but at this point, who knows where it comes from.
  3. The USMC is issuing the 5.56mm M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, based on the HK416, not the 7.62x51mm HK417. Because, again, 7.62mm (or .30-06, they are very similar) ammo is heavy as sin.

The BAR was designed in 1917 as an offensive weapon for the trenches of World War I. It is a heavy, inconvenient weapon that exhausts its ammunition supply quickly and is difficult to reload, while sporting fantastically heavy magazines and ammunition. It was a terrifying weapon in the Great War, but so was a Mark I tank, and those suffocated their own crews with engine fumes.

What they should bring back instead: The German FG-42 Machine Rifle

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A fragile, expensive WWII-era machine rifle might seem like an odd choice for resurrection, but the concept of a side-mounted magazine-fed select-fire open/closed bolt support weapon still has promise today. Obviously, it would be silly for the US military to recreate the FG-42 exactly from original blueprints, but that doesn’t mean the Fallschirmjägergewehr can’t serve as the direct inspiration for a new weapon. In fact, it seems this might just happen, as a “Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle” appeared in a Fort Benning presentation at the 2015 NDIA conference.

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3. Stoner 63/M63

Sure, the Stoner 63 was a maintenance headache, but its groundbreaking modular technology paved the way for predecessors like the Sig Sauer MCX and the early concept of the FN SCAR family of special-operations rifles.

Chambered in 5.56 and designed primarily by Eugene Stoner, the father of the M16, the M63 was manufactured in a range of variants, including a light machine gun version with a 20-inch barrel fed from an open bolt to an assault rifle variant that fired from a closed bolt. Fed from either a standard 30-round magazine or a belt-fed drum, the Stoner 63 weighed about 8 to 12 pounds.

Manufactured in limited quantities in the 1960s, the Stoner 63 became a favorite of SEAL teams operating in Vietnam before it was removed from the inventory in the 1970s in favor of the M249 SAW.

The concept of a convertible rifle/machine gun combination weapon has been around for a long time, and it has never caught on. The primary advantage of this idea is that it reduces the cost of manufacturing light machine guns, as their components are made in much larger quantities to supply rifle contracts, as well as for machine guns. The problem with this idea is that if you design a weapon like this that is robust enough to function as a machine gun in general service, you end up with rifles that are nearly as heavy as the machine guns! At that point, it would be better to simply issue belt-fed light machine guns to every soldier, instead of messing around with the convertible concept, but there’s a reason that’s not done. Individual infantrymen need the mobility that a lightweight rifle can afford them, and even the SEAL recce teams Lowe mentions have transitioned to heavy-barreled fully automatic M4 variants instead of heavier belt-fed weapons!

What they should bring back instead: The KAC/Stoner LMG

lmg_main

A previous version of the KAC LMG. Image source: knightarmco.com

 

The limitations of the Stoner 63 concept became obvious to Eugene Stoner by the 1980s, and the design that eventually became the KAC LMG began essentially as an improved follow-on to the Stoner 63. Instead of having convertible receivers, the LMG was a fixed-configuration belt-fed-only weapon, which allowed it to be lighter, cheaper, and more reliable than its predecessor. Although it has taken 30 years, Knight’s Armament Company – which inherited the design from Stoner’s ARES, Inc – announced this year that an improved model of the LMG would finally be brought to market. Given the lackluster reliability and excessive weight of the US Army’s FN-made M249 LMGs, maybe it’s time to give the KAC LMG another look, even if only as the basis for a new weapon.

 

4. M79 grenade launcher

The M79 grenade launcher was America’s first attempt to meld the range of a mortar with the portability of a rifle grenade. The innovative “high-low propulsion system” kept recoil low while also reducing weight.

The single-shot, break-action M79 fired a 40 mm grenade with a variety of warheads, including a specially designed one for close-in combat (the regular 40 mm grenade needed at least 30 meters to arm) and was used extensively in Vietnam. It was used and modified by special-operations forces — including the SEALs and the Special Forces — since its development in the 1960s and was eventually replaced by the M203 and later the M320.

But the M79 still had fans in more recent conflicts, with some arguing it had better range (about 400 meters) than the newer Heckler & Koch-built M320. It was even featured in the arsenal of bin Laden raid SEAL Mark Owen, who dubbed it the “pirate gun.”

A standalone 40mm grenade launcher is not an awful idea actually, and it turns out that since 2008 the military agrees:

xm320glm.jpg

What they should bring back instead: Denel Neopup PAW-20 20mm Long-Range Grenade Launcher

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Image source: soldierweapons.ru

 

The fighting in Afghanistan has brought to light a need for capabilities to defeat entrenched enemy machine gunners at long distances (over 600m). There have been several proposed solutions to this, but one promising possibility is that of integrating long-range high explosive firepower into the infantry squad. The Denel Neopup PAW-20 grenade launcher is an example of a weapon that has or could be augmented to have capabilities of this kind, while being relatively lightweight and allowing the platoon or squad to carry more ammunition than might be possible with 40mm or larger weapons.

The PAW-20 has recently made a comeback, too: The company that produces it recently received their first orders for the weapon, which has been redubbed “Inkunzi”.

 

5. 1911 pistol

Ahhh, the M1911.

Literally one of the most revered guns in US military history, the M1911 is one of the most comfortable and powerful semiautomatic handguns ever developed. It’s a favorite among competitive shooters (particularly more modern double-stack versions) and is still fielded in limited quantities to Marine Corps special-operations troops — though that could change with greater adoption of the Glock 19 throughout SOCOM.

With his powerful .45 ACP round and a magazine-fed, seven-round capacity, the M1911 served as the standard American military sidearm for about 75 years. The M1911 was ditched in the 1980s in favor of the lighter, higher-capacity 9 mm Beretta M9, but with the Pentagon looking to replace that pistol, many are wondering whether the 1911 should make a comeback.

Aside from the fact that the military could literally issue string cheese packets in lieu of handguns and be hardly any worse off, the reason the 1911 is favored by competition shooters and elite tactical operators (or people who think they are elite tactical operators, perhaps) is because there is a large body of gunsmiths who can work on and fine tune the pattern, and because there are a large number of manufacturers of 1911 components (which can then subsequently be tuned by a gunsmith).

Even though there are enough 1911 gunsmiths to support a healthy competition circuit, issuing a weapon that needs to see a trained professional smith who costs $60/hr before it functions properly is probably not a good option for the US military.

What they should bring back instead: The Colt SCAMP .22 caliber Machine Pistol

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The machine pistol is one idea that hasn’t yet had its due. The constraint of having to use existing pistol ammunition increases the “bucking” motion of a fully automatic handheld weapon to the point where weapons like this aren’t very useful. What if that constraint were removed? Would the machine pistol finally become the personal defense weapon of choice for military personnel? Who knows, but it’s worth a shot!

 

6. Thompson submachine gun

Originally dubbed the “Annihilator” by its inventor, the Thompson is believed to be the first firearm to be formally designated a “submachine gun.” Operating a straight- or delayed-blowback action like a pistol, the Thompson fired the .45 ACP round like the M1911 and could be loaded with a 30-round “stick” magazine or a 100-round drum. Though it was developed as a trench sweeper for World War I, the Thompson saw most of its action in World War II.

In all, about 1.5 million Thompsons were reportedly manufactured during World War II, but the gun suffered from a hefty 11-pound weight and is notoriously difficult to control in rapid fire. The Thompson was all but scrubbed from the US inventory in the 1970s in favor of newer submachine gun designs firing 9 mm ammunition like the H&K MP5.

So, I guess we are just going to forget about the .45 caliber M3 Grease gun, which served with US tankers into the 1990s, in favor of a narrative about the evil Europellet 9mm overcoming the righteous man-killin’ .45 ACP, eh?

But sure, let’s reissue a weapon that, in his own words “suffered from a hefty 11-pound weight and is notoriously difficult to control in rapid fire”, and which in exchange for this fires pistol ammunition.

What they should bring back instead: Lanchester Mk. 1 Submachine Gun

 

Because if you’re going to revive a heavy, inaccurate, obsolete, and ludicrously expensive boat anchor, you might as well pick one with some class.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Tritro29

    I stopped at Business Insider.

    • iksnilol

      Wise choice.

    • Kyle

      This.

    • Richard

      I should have

      • Bierstadt54

        Me too.

  • mikewest007

    Wait, weren’t the MARS carbine and SCAMP pistol supposed to use the same round?

  • DW

    Ehh… KAC LMG and Neopup weren’t ever developed nor adopted by US army so it’s not “Bring back”.
    And about BAR replacement: My pick would be… the BAR (commercial), or the FNAR variant.

    • Major Tom

      HCAR man. The BAR modernized with a larger mag. Lighter than the original with modern accessories.

      • Edward Franklin

        Still a hunk of garbage even with weight reductions. They barely managed to make it weigh less than the Colt Monitor and I’m sure the military would love to reintroduce .30-06 back into the supply system to feed a single rifle that no one would want to lug into the field with them.
        The HCAR can stay in its own little fantasy world and be a range plaything.

        • ARCNA442

          But it wouldn’t it go great with the Marine’s M45?

      • You know how people overuse the phrase “a solution in search of a problem”?

        Well the HCAR is a solution in search of a problem.

        • DW

          No. HCAR is THE problem.

    • Richard

      I have an FNAR. I really like it, but there is no way in hell that thing is getting military service, it simply is too complicated when it comes to field stripping.

    • Zachary marrs

      Do you really think a semi auto hunting rifle would hold up well to the role of an automatic rifle?

      • DW

        No. But apparently people wanted BAR so I obliged. Was kinda sarcastic/jokingly when I said that too.

  • John

    Instead of the HK IAR they should replace it with the Ultimax LMG.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      I’ve heard good things about that gun, and it looks sweet!

  • LazyReader

    Call of Duty did revive the Thompson

    • Drew Coleman

      That’s an abomination. Sweet baby jesus.

    • Paul White

      I think you just violated obscenity laws.

    • iksnilol

      And I thought RJFs version of it was bad.

    • Avery

      I don’t know why they bothered. They should have used a Mark V or Demro XF7 Wasp or a more modernized tommygun copy as a base for their future gun.

  • iksnilol

    What they should rather go for:

    -Korobov TKB-022 (I mean, y’all wanted short and light).
    -Gm-6 Lynx, just make some 20 round mags for it and (use polymer due to weight savings) a selector switch.
    -KAC LMG… yeah, that does seem like a good idea. Maybe scale it up to .338 Lapua for that improved range? Or scale it down to 5.7×28 to save ammo weight.
    -Biga$$ flintlock or percussion pistol, I mean, it is a pirate gun after all. Make it use 25mm smart grenades.
    -Thompson Contender in .50 AK, you only need one shot anyways, + it would provide really good subsonic performance (y’all expected a Deagle here, didn’t ya?). Alternatively a Sawn-off Ruger No. 1 would work as well.
    -Thompson? Nah, some AR SBR in 9×39 (or some 9.3mm in 5.56 case hybrid) would be a better idea. I’m talking 6 inch barrel and 150 round double drum mag. Shortened buffer tube so you can have 13e7 MP5 style collapsing stock is a must.

    • PK

      “Maybe scale it up to .338 Lapua”

      Go look up the .338NM LWMMG…

      • iksnilol

        Seen it, I want lighter + surplus .338 Lapua.

        • PK

          Surplus .338 Lapua? Modern US surplus ammo doesn’t really get sold, only ammo that fails to meet specs. We end up with XM193, etc., when M193 (or whichever) gets rejected.

          That said, I’m not sure I’d want to try shooting .338 Lapua that failed to meet requirements…

          • nadnerbus

            You still get the benefit of massive economies of scale thanks to the military, and the occasional overruns like we had on M855 after the Iraq war draw down.

    • Anonymoose

      The AR cartridge you’re looking for is .358 Gremlin. It’s literally the AR15 version of 9×39.

      • iksnilol

        Can you use double drums with it?

        Let’s roll with this.

        • Anonymoose

          lolno.

          • iksnilol

            This was my idea, just with double drums instead of piddly normal mags. Yes, that is an Acog, and yes that is a shortened KX3.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/34dd662b102f36851eb781f931c14789a8dfed7e274d61ffbd3602669e965e4e.png

            C’mon, mad science time.

          • roguetechie

            Nathaniel actually included something similar to your baby beast gun in his what we should do instead…

            Interestingly the colt MARS did have both 9mm and 10mm versions. Mind you not puny 9×19 or the feeb wrist breaker 10mm, but real honest to god 9&10mm I want to kill you until you’re dead TWICE versions!

            As far as your shorty buffer tube and pdw stock, I completely agree. My vote would be to base it off of the very short and unique M231 buffer, hopefully also integrating it’s striker in a closed bolt fcg.

            Truth be told though, my vote for a “new” M1 carbine type gun would be the same shorty buffer, an under folding AK stock, and a newer version of the 5.56 FABRL round. Preferably my 5.56 minimum version that I want to see tested which should be able to squeak out M16A2 muzzle velocities from a 16 inch barrel while weighing 40-50% as much as M193 per round!

            While I like the Stoner LMG and am very excited to see the 7.62 version Knight has released a brochure for, I’d be even more happy seeing a gently modernized XM248 with the conversion kit to allow it to use 5.56 or 7.62. It was also a very light gun but a little more optimized for being used as a true LMG and GPMG.

            finally on the note of grenade launchers I’d really like to see the GP25/30 and it’s very nice standalone kit with bounding grenades and etc tested and considered for western use. I’d also really like to see the Russian tkb-0249 crossbow tested and maybe some specialist ammunition development done for it. The tkb-0249 crossbow is a drum fed man portable AGL firing standard Russian 30mm AGL rounds with very impressive range and capabilities already. Not that I don’t like inkunzi, I’d just really like to see this system tested by western forces especially if it means we could get rid of the milkor abominations.

            +1 on the tkb-022 and PS to the commenter saying that tkb-022 internals are still only speculation, there are actually two very good drawings out there that show a very workable internal configuration that I’m certain could be used to build a working gun.

          • iksnilol

            Point of my abomination was to use a 6 inch (!) barrel, instead of 16 inches.

            Regarding TKB, I do have the drawings for the internals. Very workable.

          • roguetechie

            Yeah I understood the point and liked it, which is why I mentioned the MARS and the 9&10mm rounds they tested in it. They’d be a seriously awesome match to your abomination concept. My buffer tube comments and the idea of striker fired open bolt operation was also in service to your abomination concept.

            Onto your questions about the double drum… Since the Colt Mars guns were literally built by cutting through the lower in the middle of the magazine well and taking out part of it then welding them back together, you’d kinda have to do the same with your double drum. (From what i understand they did cutting and rewelding on the USGI magazines they used for thetest guns)

          • roguetechie

            Honestly i think I may have been a member of the A team or a plastic surgeon in a past life…

            When i look at guns vehicles etc my thoughts immediately go from hey that’s cool to with a nip tuck some 55 gallon drums and an oxy acetylene torch I could make this so much cooler!!!

    • Avery

      Korobov TKB-022 or the Svechenko Smerch (which never left a mockup phase), definitely. Especially if you want to go to the smallest capable assault rifle. I spent last Saturday goofing around in Blender and somewhat impressed that Smerch’s locking mechanism could actually work (I’d work the Korobov but a lot of that is speculation), so it’s possible that you could actually get a serviceable weapon out of it with a 4 inch receiver.

      I also agree with the KAC LMG. .338 Norma would make it a pocket medium machinegun.

      I’d like someone to come back and make a TRW Low Maintenance Rifle. I’d even accept a return as a AR upper.

    • roguetechie

      I have another one that they should bring back, the right way not the half assery that is the current pretender, the Remington UMC model 51 & the model 53!

      I’m talking about a straight up 1:1 clone to start, and once they get those two right find a way to integrate first a browning hi power / pmm makarov style magazine. Then release a 9mm model 53 with a working hi power or true double stack magazine.

      In the smaller version I’d like to see the 51 clone get true double stack or hi power style magazines working in .380+p+ defense ammunition.

      Once you have that worked out, maybe just maybe see if you can get the Lil ones working in 7mm Penna & 7.92 VBR-B.

      Don’t F**K with the ergos or the looks!

      Don’t F**K with the manufacturing processes except for replacing the man hours with CNC to do the precision surface grinding etc rather than humans, but for the love of baby Jesus don’t change the process!

      Experiment with better surface finishes and coatings, offer both classic and modern sight options but don’t change the grip angle or any of the other things that just might be more important than we thought!

      I owned a .380 model 51 and honestly it’s the one gun I’ll never forgive myself for selling… It’s also yet another reason while the freedom group could fix all the issues they’ve caused and the products they’ve ruined and I’d still hate them until the day that they put out a REAL model 51 done right!

      Even then I’ll never ever trust them again after I sold my real 51 after they held the press day that generated real and genuine rave reviews of the new R51. I sold it anticipating buying one of the new ones after they became available and the first reviews came in!

      Bring back the real 51 and show us your repentance by finally giving us the 53 we’ve been wanting for a CENTURY!

  • Joel

    BAR? The author should carry one of those around in the woods for a few days and then get back to us. Modern troops have so much gear that people should really think two or three times before advocating heavier weaponry (BAR, M1911, etc). The key questions would be: how much more weight do you want them to carry? How much less ammo? Should they leave their radios at the base? Their med kits? Their armor?

    • Edeco

      Yeah, I mean, OK, the 30-06 is impressive but what is the author thinking to shoot with it that the difference from a 5.56 or 7.62 matters?

      • iksnilol

        30-06 is only really impressive if fired out of a bolt gun since then you can hotrod.

        • ostiariusalpha

          The .30-06 is impressive in any and all smallarms, you just have to be willing to work with its kick.

          • iksnilol

            Most of the surplus ammo isn’t that impressive due to being made not to ruin M1 Garands and whatnot. I just am not a fan of 30-06, it’s for me mostly a fudd round. Is good for wildcatting, neck it down to 6mm or something. Fun times ahead, if you got the bother to make your own ammo.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Surplus .30-06 is strictly for plinking, there are quite a few modern semi-autos that will handle modern pressure loads. I don’t think anyone should kid themselves that it makes a good round for modern combat, it’s capabilities were really most suited for an era from before easily man portable machine guns became common.

          • SPQR9

            The .30-06 was obsolete as a military cartridge at least seven decades ago. Even if you wanted a .30 caliber bullet at 2800 feet per second, a 63mm long case is requires too long of an action.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Certainly it is both long and heavy, in fact, I would say it was already starting into obsolescence by 1930. Even so, that 2800 ft/s is awesome when it hits something, and the recoil is very manageable (I think it is actually enjoyable) without resorting to a muzzle brake. There are more potent cartridges, like .300 WinMag, but the .30-06 stacks very nicely in any magazine, giving you considerable ammo capacity even for shallow internal magazines.

          • Ben Pottinger

            I’m not sure I see the point in 3006 either. I dug up my reloading records and I was safely getting 2730fps from a 22″ suppressed rifle with 175gr projectiles. Though I guess you could get similar gains with a 3006 handload. More powder is always handy!

          • ostiariusalpha

            With Superformance powder, you could get that 175 gr bullet up to 2900 ft/s easily with a .30-06 on the same barrel set-up. That’s an obvious improvement over what a smaller case is capable of.

        • FarmerB

          It’s impressive at long range with a big heavy bullet. Not the most efficient cartridge in the world, but a well-tuned 30’06 can be impressive. Putting 150gn projectiles in it is a waste.

    • CupAJoe

      The real question is how do we get the joes to fit a 105mm howitzer next to their snickers bars without squishing them.

    • n0truscotsman

      Not only should be lug it around in the woods for a few days, but he should be assigned to those that conducted depot level maintenance on the things.

    • David Harmon

      Food and socks are usually the first things to get tossed.

      • Food and socks? Where on Earth did you hear that?

        • David Harmon

          Hear it? I was doing it.

          • How many socks were you carrying? Are we talking about your Fighting Load, or Approach March Load?

          • David Harmon

            Full patrol loadout with 6 pairs, but would drop 2 just for the space.

            Was in Recon.

          • Ah, it was a volume thing. Gotcha.

          • David Harmon

            Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that. If you tried to drop weight, they would just make you carry more crap or ammo for.

          • Oh, it’s no big deal.

  • Wolfgar

    Excellent article except for this remarkably silly comment : the reason the 1911 is favored by competition shooters and elite tactical operators (or people who think
    they are elite tactical operators, perhaps) is because there is a large
    body of gunsmiths who can work on and fine tune the pattern, and because
    there are a large number of manufacturers of 1911 components (which can then subsequently be tuned by a gunsmith).
    The reason the STI and other high capacity 1911 high capacity pistols are favored by competition shooters is because there is no other handgun that can match it. Gun smiths work on Glocks as much or more as they do on 1911 designs. Glock competitors try to get that 1911 trigger feel because there is no better trigger. Are there more practical pistols for the military than the 1911, yes but lets give the old design it’s credit.

    • I carry one everyday and for a very long time.

    • There are plenty of other handguns that could in theory match it, but the specialized craftsmen who could turn those other pistols into something really special are far less common.

      For example, at the gunsmithing school I attended for a while, they offered a 1911 customization class. Not a CZ 75 class. Not a Beretta 92 class. Not a Browning Hi Power class. Not a S&W 59 series class. A 1911 class.

      Now. Glocks and their clones don’t make for very good foundations “nice” pistols, I grant you that. But there are plenty of other pistols out there that would, if anyone specialized in working on them.

      • Wolfgar

        Theory is not fact, the STI and other high capacity 1911 pistols rule in competition. I and many other competitors will use what ever works the best. If I were given a high salary to endorse a certain pistol I would but I have never used any pistol that will run as good as an STI or equivalent. Good shooters will make any firearm look good but right now the STI type 1911 high capacity pistols are the best in competition. Any knowledgeable competitor knows this.

        • Yeah, because are there any third party outfits making CZs/Berettas/etc that are comparable in features and price? No? The defense rests.

          I know for a fact that there are other guns that could be made just as nice as a 1911 can, because I’ve worked on them. But, the skillset isn’t there.

          • Wolfgar

            If the CZ’s, Berettas were capable of dethroning the 1911’s they would have done it all ready. The financial reward would be imminence for any gunsmith. The problem is the design of those other firearms wont cut it compared to the 1911. The defense rest only in your opinion. Fact is gunsmiths have tried for a long time to come up with a better handgun but so far the 1911 design rules in competition. In Europe the CZ is popular and has done very well but it doesn’t run as good as the 1911 design or shooters would be using it. There is no loyalty if winning is at stake.

          • I don’t think you’re right about that at all. Competition shooters will use the best gun that is available to them, and if there are a hundred smiths who will work on the 1911 for every 1 that will work on a CZ or a Beretta, well those competition shooters will be very likely to pick the 1911 based on availability alone.

            And then everyone sees that competition shooters are all using 1911s, and they think “wow, that must be the gun to have”, and the beautiful cycle of 1911 ownership carries on.

            The thing is, it’s not theory that a Beretta or CZ or Hi Power can be made as good as if not better than a 1911. People have done it before. But there’s no industry out there supporting it, like there is for the 1911.

            This is fine, by the way, but it’s indicative of what the 1911 is. A very old design that was good in its day but only really survives now through the labor of some very talented gunsmiths who can make it into something competitive (for a price).

            Which ties back into my original point: If you need to dump $400 in labor into a pistol to make it run and shoot right, it’s not a good option for a military force today.

          • Wolfgar

            Nathaniel your a great gun writer and I love your articles but your shooting at the moon on this subject. The STI pistol will run better than any of my CZ pistols I have. I have seen shooters with expensive CZ competition handguns that were executed beautifully but they will not run as good as my STI and they are very expensive handguns. I never said the STI was the best military handgun. I would prefer the Glock for military use. In competition the STI 1911 is king. The Beretta,CZ or Hi power are inferior to the modern high capacity 1911 pistols no matter what you think in competition. Competition always separates the wheat from the shaft. For the military I will agree with you with no reservations.

          • I dunno, man, I shot (casually) in competition with my CZ for a few years, put thousands of rounds through it, and only had a handful of malfunctions.

            I’ve shot some really nice CZs, too, which would be a match for any 1911 competition gun that I’ve handled or shot.

            Another area I’m familiar with is the gunsmithing world, and I have talked to a few smiths about this subject, and several times have heard that they think Pistol X is a great design and that it could be as good or better than a 1911, but that there’s no market for it.

            And, again, I’d point you to CZ sponsored competition shooters. If CZ pistols are so bad in competition, why do they use them? It’s not like CZ doesn’t own Dan Wesson, a 1911-maker. If the 1911 was so superior in this, wouldn’t they all be using Dan Wessons? But they don’t. Maybe they aren’t the best competitors in the world, but they sure as hell don’t suck at it.

            Now, of course, STIs are great guns. No argument from me there. I just think you’re over-attributing the success of the 1911 to the design, and ignoring the huge glut of skilled gunsmiths who are dedicated to working on that specific platform.

          • Wolfgar

            Nathaniel you are suborn if anything LOL I love CZ handguns and I own two of them. I love Glocks and own more than I care to admit. I have shot about every handgun made but no handgun matches my STI for performance. If they come up with a handgun that will run better than my STI Legend I’ll use it but please don’t tell me other handguns are as good as my STI because I know better as most competitors in the US know. The 1911 design is popular because it works and if the other designs worked better there would be the gunsmiths to support them. There is a reason the 1911 is popular in competition. That said I see more malfunctions with single stack 1911’s than any other pistol.

          • Well, I appreciate you being honest about your experiences, for sure.

            I think the assumption that “if other guns were better, there would be more gunsmiths supporting them” isn’t really a good one to make, however. I recall the M14/M1A’s history, where for a long time there were a huge number of smiths working on them for competition, but they were far from an ideal design for that purpose. I don’t think the 1911 is as extreme an example of that as the M1A, but I do think that theory doesn’t have much to support it.

          • Wolfgar

            I’m very practical and will use what ever works the best. I’m not berating CZ pistols at all. In fact I love their products. The fact is I can run my STI better than any other handgun made. There is a Chevy Ford mentality with many firearm owners but this isn’t the case with me. The 1911 does have a trigger and accuracy level that other handgun designs haven’t surpassed. Your M1A is a great example of people who didn’t want to admit the lowly AR dominated. Today the AR platform has much more support than the M1A. Like I stated before if the performance is there the support will follow.

          • Steve Harris

            99% of those malfunctions are most likely due to the magazine, not sure why but there are a lot of bad single stack 1911 mags bouncing around.

          • Wolfgar

            Nope, I have seen many high end single stack 1911 handguns malfunction compared to Glocks or other modern designs. I think they need more cleaning and lubing compared to other modern designs. Magazines in the 1911 can cause problems but these were all new with high end mags. This does not mean they suck for self defense just an observation I have had. A good 1911 is very accurate and easy to shoot accurately. I wouldn’t want a competent 1911 owner shooting at me.

          • Steve Harris

            I’ve seen brand new mags malfunction, that’s why we say get some good mags and test them, seen too many people try and do a 3 gun or other type course with new mags just to have the mag be bad out of the box…

          • Steve Harris

            Have you shot a Rock River Arms 1911? I suggest you do before you keep talking about how you hate the 1911 platform.

          • Where did I say I hated the 1911? My point has absolutely nothing to do with hating the gun.

          • Steve Harris

            Perhaps hate was too strong a word, however the of my statement still stands go shoot a RRA 1911, and not one of their polymer ones but their in house made 1911’s. Oh it’s like getting out of a Old VW Beetle and getting into a Bugatti Veyron…

          • I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say that you like the gun a lot, and you don’t like that I’m saying negative things about it. Well, too bad.

          • Steve Harris

            Listen the 1911 is not everyone’s cup of tee, however I’m not a 1911 fanboy by any means as you’ve implied, I’m very fond of my Welther PPS, and I do like how a Glock shoots, just kinda blocky for me.

          • FarmerB

            Define competition. In the competition events I do, I never see 1911. Never. Mostly what I see the top guys using is CZ clones like Tanfoglio. In fact in one competition series I attend, I see 99.5% SIG P210 🙂

          • Wolfgar

            In the US we have the single stack division which is for the 1911. I’m talking about competition in the US. There are many types of handguns in competition but the 1911 types and Glocks are the most prevalent handguns where I compete.

          • FarmerB

            Yes, I understand all that. My point was that just because you see a lot of “x” in a competition does not make it the best, or even good. It might be just that the competition gives a large incentive to use “x”, or even the rules were written for it. Various classes of IPSC are cases in point. Others have already mentioned the biases in competition, where everybody tends to end up running the same gear.

          • Wolfgar

            I will admit I have had biases in many of my former firearm purchases in the past. We are only human LOL. When it comes to competition I will use what ever works the best. Just about any handgun that can hold 10 rounds can compete in production class and Glock is the most ubiquitous. Newbies will always try to copy the better shooters equipment and gear but through trial and error not to mention success or failure tends to separate the best handguns and gear. Cost also will determine the commitment.

          • FarmerB

            For sure. I shoot IPSC Production and I’d never consider using a Glock, but I’m fortunate enough that price isn’t a major factor for me. Of course, for a lot of people, it is. I don’t own a 1911 🙂

          • Ben Pottinger

            Another important bit is that the 1911 is off patent while the CZ75 isn’t I don’t believe. So “1911” covers possibly hundreds of manufacturers while the CZ75 is CZ and what? Tangfolio? (And aren’t those just worked over CZ base guns?).

            Honestly the fact that Glock has such a large presence in competitive shooting sports even with it being a single manufacturer should say a whole lot about the gun(s).

          • CZs are one of the most copied firearms of all time, and given that they were developed under Communism, I am not sure they ever really had a patent, or at least enforcement.

          • Ben Pottinger

            CZ, Witness, Tangfolio, Baby Eagle, and the Sphinx (and I guess the FN HighPower?). I have to be missing some if its the “most copied firearm of all time”. I don’t see how it can possibly beat the 1911 for number of manufacturers or models currently on the market but I’d be interested in being proven wrong (your comment did make me look up “CZ 75 clone” but I only found the ones mentioned above). The wiki page lists a few manufacturers I’ve never heard of that seem to be government makers I assume for making a home grown version for the local armed forces.

            While here is an incomplete but representative list of 1911 manufacturers (not models, *manufacturers*):
            A.J. Savage (US gov’t contract 1919, made slides only)
            American Classic
            American Tactical
            A&R Sales
            AMT
            Armi Dallera Custom (ADC)
            Armscor
            Astra
            ATI
            Australian Precision Arms
            Auto Ordnance
            Briley
            Brixia
            Brolin Arms
            Browning (reduced-size .22 and .380 copies)
            Bunker Arms
            Cabot
            Carolina Arms
            Caspian (slides and frames only)
            Charles Daly
            Christensen Arms
            Cimarron
            Citadel
            CO Arms
            Colt (commercial and US/foreign gov’t contract from 1911 to present day)
            Chiappa (.22LR 1911 copy)
            Crown City
            Cylinder & Slide
            CZ USA
            Dan Wesson
            Detonics
            Devel
            Dlask Arms
            D&L Sports
            Double Star
            Ed Brown
            EMF
            Essex (slides and frames only)
            Federal Ordnance
            Falcon
            Firestorm
            Freedom Arms
            Fusion
            Gemini Custom
            Girsan
            Griffon Combat
            GSG (.22LR 1911 copy)
            Guncrafter Industries
            Gunsite
            Hero Guns
            High Standard
            Imbel
            Imperial Defense
            Infinity
            Inland Manufacturing
            Interstate Arms (Regent)
            Irwindale Arms Industries (IAI)
            Israeli Arms Industries (also called IAI)
            Ithaca (new business located in Sandusky, OH)
            Ithaca (old NY-based company, made pistols under US gov’t contract 1943-1945)
            Iver Johnson
            Karl Lippard
            Kimber
            Kongsberg (M/1914 pistol manufactured in Norway under Colt license)
            LAR
            Les Baer
            Llama
            Lone Star
            Magnum Research (Bul)
            Maximus Custom
            Metro Arms
            Michigan Armament
            Mitchell
            MP Express
            Nighthawk
            Norinco
            North American Arms Co. Ltd. (US gov’t contract in 1918, ~100 pistols assembled but not delivered)
            Nowlin
            Palmetto State Armory
            Para Ordnance/Para USA
            Pistol Dynamics
            Olympic Arms
            Omega Defense
            Oriskany Arms
            Peter Stahl
            Randall
            Ranger
            Reeder Custom
            Regent
            Remington Arms (current business)
            Remington Rand (made pistols under US gov’t contract 1942-1945, not affiliated with Remington Arms or Remington-UMC)
            Remington-UMC (US gov’t contract 1918-1919) NOTE: ~1000 replicas were made by Remington Arms and Turnbull in 2014)
            Republic Forge
            Roberts Defense
            Rock Island Armory
            Rock River Arms
            Ruger
            Safari Arms
            S.A.M
            Salient Arms
            Sarco
            Schroeder Bauman
            Shooters Arms (Philippines)
            Sig Sauer
            Singer (US gov’t contract, 500 pistols produced in 1941)
            Sistema (aka D.G.F.M.-F.M.A.P.) (M1927 pistol manufactured in Argentina under Colt license)
            Smith & Wesson
            South Fork Arms/Perkins Custom
            Springfield Armory (former military arsenal in MA, made M1911s from 1914-1917 under US gov’t contract)
            Springfield Armory (commercial business established in 1974, not associated with above)
            STI
            SVI
            Tanfoglio
            Taurus
            Taylor & Co.
            TİSAŞ
            Turnbull Mfg.
            Unertl
            Union Switch & Signal (US gov’t contract, 1943)
            Uselton Arms
            USFA
            Walther/Umarex (.22LR 1911 copy)
            Wilson Combat
            Vega (frames only)
            Valtro
            Victory Arms
            Volkman

          • The Hi Power predates the CZ-75 by forty years, so it’s not a copy.

            CZ-75s are produced internationally by a whole bunch of places (including several in Turkey alone, for example). In the United States, they go by a number of brands, many of them budget type guns. I believe TriStar is importing some of the Turkish guns right now.

            Which doesn’t mean that the 1911 isn’t also widely copied – I’d have to be insane or very poorly informed to claim that. Whether the 1911 was copied or not is entirely orthogonal to the subject, as we were talking about whether the CZ-75 is still covered under patent.

          • Ben Pottinger

            Not really. I Mentioned that I thought I “believe” (ie unsure) that the CZ was under patent and maybe that’s why there were less copies out there. I was wrong. But my second statement was that the 1911 clearly out numbers the CZ in number of manufacturers and models. Personally I prefer the cz 75 to the 1911 but I’m a big capacity 9mm fan. I wish they would make the suppressor ready CZ in black instead of gray. Not a big gray fan.

            I’d also agree with you that the STIs use at top levels in gun “games” isn’t really a good indicator of its usefulness as a Combat at weapon. At that level they become special purpose tools designed around the rules of the game (just like the magazine extensions that stop at specific mm lengths to meet “game” rules not for any engineering or combat reasons).

          • Steve Harris

            Seriously that crap about dumping money into it to make a 1911 shoot right is a huge load of crap. All anyone has to do to make it shoot right is shoot it and clean it a bit and it’s good to go after 500 to 1000 rounds. If you not shooting that amount during your normal practice your doing it wrong. 😜

          • I have to disagree based on my experience with the platform.

          • Steve Harris

            Then I disagree that you have any experience at all with the platform, it’s very well know that you break in a 1911 by shooting it with many cleanings through the first 500 to 1000 rounds or having someone clean up the feed ramps etc, you still have to shoot it for break in even an accursed 1911.

          • “YOU DON’T LIKE MY GUN BUT IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO NOT LIKE MY GUN HOW COULD YOU YOU ARE A MEANIE HEAD I DON’T LIKE YOU”

            Come on, are you serious? Yeah, you got me, I’ve never shot a 1911 before /sarc.

            But anyway, in the process of stating your displeasure, you’ve admitted to the very thing I was saying:

            “it’s very well know that you break in a 1911 by shooting it with many cleanings through the first 500 to 1000 rounds or having someone clean up the feed ramps etc, you still have to shoot it for break in even an accursed 1911.”

            It’s weird, none of my Glocks, CZs, SIGs, etc ever needed a break-in period or gunsmithing before they worked right. That must just be one more reason why they are inferior… Somehow…

          • Steve Harris

            I really don’t care if you like them or not, strictly speaking I was just trying to clear up something I believe you claimed in error. If you want to be an ass about it go ahead, there are people who actually like a well worked 1911 over other options. Nothing wrong with those other options either.

          • By the way, you claim that competitive CZs only exist in theory… Well, you’re wrong: http://cz-usa.com/community/czusashootingteam/

            Now, how can the CZ shooting team get away with this? Because they have the official backing of gunsmiths who know how to work on the platform. For a “normal” competitor, this is not an option, so the 1911 makes more sense, because you can find 1911 gunsmiths asking for food on the side of the road and hiding out under bridges posing riddles to passersby.

          • Wolfgar

            I never stated the CZ was competitive in theory, in fact I stated they were used in Europe very successfully. I have used CZ’s and enjoy them very much but the STI is superior. Put a top shooter behind any pistol like I stated before and they will make it look good. I would love to shoot with you and show the difference in time with different handguns to prove my point. Like I stated before competitors will use what ever works best and at this moment in time the STI type pistol dominates. The 1911 design may be old but it still is an ass kicker.

          • I think we’re still talking cross-wise. My point is about the quantity of skilled gunsmiths that are out there supporting the 1911 versus other platforms, not whether one specific make and model of 1911 is better or worse than one specific make and model of CZ.

            My point is also that sub-$800 1911s tend to not work very well.

          • Wolfgar

            I was never talking about low priced 1911’s. I was stating the fact that the high capacity STI type pistols dominated competition for a good reason. If other designs were equally adaptive to competition as the 1911 they would have done it. There is a reason there are not as many gunsmiths working on other handgun designs or they would be doing them.

          • Well, OK. I disagree on that.

          • Wolfgar

            OK, LOL

          • ostiariusalpha

            I disagree also, Wolf. Just the same as the AK aftermarket has started to take off only recently, other pistol designs are perfectly excellent candidates for custom smithing and boutique manufacturing, if they can overcome market inertia. Frankly, 1911s have a strong aftermarket because they needed one for decades to make the guns reliable. Now from that, there have blossomed numerous high-end manufacturers that make reliable, beautiful pieces of craftsmanship. The 1911’s lateral trigger does have certain inherent advantages over pivot triggers, but that’s about it, and even that can be matched with skilled work by a knowledgeable gunsmith.

          • Wolfgar

            AK’s are awesome but they get swept away by AR’s in competition. The Saiga MK-107 looks promising and I wish I had one to try. Till then I will stick by my custom AR and STI pistol. Competition will determine which firearms dominate. If there is an advantage it will take little time for others to follow.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The Mk 107 is a look at what the AK’s first real step into serious competition might be like, the AK as race gun is still in its infancy.

          • tiger

            It is no use. He prays to a Government model idol. Ala the Golden Calf.

          • Don Ward

            I think this point can’t be stressed enough. There is a certain amount of nostalgia one can associate with the 1911 despite the fact that it is saddles with the inferior .45 ACP round instead of its ultimate incarnation with the .38 Super. But as Nate says, nobody is going to take a $550 – $800 Rock Island Armory 1911 and expect it to compete with a Glock. Or a Beretta. Or even a Sig. Or various other modern handguns that you can purchase for the same price.
            For some of the prices some people pay for their 1911s, I could buy a Beretta 92 and 10,000 rounds of ammo to practice with and I’ll wind up being a better shooter.
            And I’ll still own a better gun.

          • tiger

            The 1911 has turned into cult religion. Any who challenge Saint JMB will burn as witches…

          • Wolf Baginski

            How about the Browning Hi-Power? Still has the GMB link, and the history. Oh, but it’s 9mm…

            There’s so much variation in ammunition and training. As soon as you start talking about military weapons you want something for an ordinary guy, who might miss sometimes. The training is limited, and everybody will be using a bog-standard ball round , All this talk about trained gunsmiths and competitions is irrelevant. And this is one instance of when it looks like the writer of the original article doesn’t know about armies, and doesn’t care to find out.

            (Some of these old weapon designs were very good, and some WW2 designs have stuck around, such as the MG42,)

          • RobertNorwood

            get the torches out… When you whip one out your holster get off a lousy shot and the bad guy still goes down you’ll understand. But look, there’s lots of good guns so indulge our eccentricities. I love my old PPK for example.

          • Steve Harris

            I have Rock island 1911’s and I have to say, that the one low price 1911 you might want to not insult with your bs, they may not look as nice as a kimber but they shoot better and more reliably, the more you shoot it the better it get too.

          • RobertNorwood

            Just ask us folks who used them – M-1911 any day and twice on Sunday. 9 mils will kill, sure, but there’s a reason folks double and even triple tap. Okay…spec ops folks are good enough to put a round in someone’s head every time but they ain’t every day shooters.

          • Wolfgar

            Were talking about competition guns. My STI is in 40 S$W with a 20 round magazine. The old 1911 design in 45ACP is still a great sidearm if made right. I is still carry an old Detonic Combat master in certain situations..

          • RobertNorwood

            Well I was talking about up close and personal and to me the only thing that counts. The rest is just fun. That said I saw a competition where an NG Major with a Natl. Match 1911 was knocking down metal targets at 125 yards. He was definitely good and a consistent winner. Same targets wouldn’t go down for a .357 ….then we came back with a S&W .44 Yup, they went down. Weird set up.

          • Wolfgar

            No argument from me, I love 1911 handguns and wouldn’t hesitate to carry one but if I’m to be honest I would have to recommend other handgun designs for the military.

    • n0truscotsman

      I think you’re *both* correct actually!

      I have my misgivings about the 1911 being people’s side arms or primary defense arm, although, for competition its really hard to beat. I haven’t found another customized handgun with the trigger or feel of a good 1911, perhaps maybe a CZ75 exists somewhere. And this is coming from a polymer frame fan.

      There is nothing equal to the feel of a hand-built 1911. Its an entirely unique animal.

  • somethingclever

    I’m offended. The Thompson is a very classy boat anchor.

    • The 1921 and 1928, sure. The M1? No thanks.

      • David Harmon

        Classy enough that the SF boys still had them in their lockers all the way up into the 90’s. I agree about the M1, unless it’s for a collection.

        • And in their lockers they stayed…

          • David Harmon

            They used them numerous times in the late 70’s and into the 80’s.

          • The only times I can think of during that period were in Vietnam, where they were using the same weapons as the Vietnamese forces they were advising. I don’t know of any use in the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. GBs use obsolete weapons when they feel it’s appropriate, as you know.

          • David Harmon

            Read “Inside Delta Force”, I think is the title.

            The botched rescue of the Iranian hostages in the ’70’s had them using the Thompson. It’s written by the guy that pioneered the Delta concept.

            In the 80’s they were used in Grenada and Panama for entry teams that preceded the Ranger’s invasion. Even some of the Pathfinder elements, whom were likely SF dudes had them as well.

            This is with regards to what is unclassified and publicly known. I am sure there are other instances that no one is talking about, because squirrels.

            I think the weapon, or something similar, still has it’s place in our armories. The .45 ACP is far more effective round in many instances, and if need be can be suppressed far better than mil-spec 9mm.

          • I disagree with you about the effectiveness, but that’s OK. I see no reason to tackle it further.

            Interesting reading recommendation, I’ll try to pick up a copy.

  • Apparently “Business Insider” is just another way of saying I get my gun knowledge from video games.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      “Bring back the Intervention so we can quick scope ISIS!”

    • BlackIce_RS

      I don’t think so; I get my gun knowledge from video games and I think the M1 Carbine is totally useless.
      The BAR is really awesome though.
      (See how that works? I don’t care how heavy things are, because I don’t have to carry them)

      • Southpaw89

        Most games I’ve played the M1 carbine is pretty awesome, not that that’s any basis for brining it back. But why stop a the BAR when you can sprint around a map with a 40lb anti tank rifle firing from the shoulder every chance you get?

      • n0truscotsman

        I swear that video games are the reason why the FN PS90 was sold.

        • tiger

          actually I wished they made it in .30 carbine. Easier to find ammo than 5.7mm

        • Tom Currie

          But Stargate SG-1 made the P90 so cool that anyone who could afford the civilian monstrosity had to run out to buy the one gun even sillier than the civilian “Uzi carbine”

          • n0truscotsman

            yep, it was definitely better than one of them things. the PS90 is actually pretty handy, IMO.

      • tiger

        I will take a M-1 carbine and be very happy. Light, compact, simple, accurate and powerful enuff for most personal defense use. Sold mine & want it back daily. As for the BAR? Ohio Ordinance has made a lighter more tactical version that has merit. As a DMR, it has serious reach.

        • A 13 pound gun with the same ballistics as an 8 pound AR-10 derivative? Pass.

          • iksnilol

            Don’t forget that it is chambered for the vastly superior 30-06. 😉

          • ostiariusalpha

            Muh CQB!

          • RobertNorwood

            M-1 Garand under appreciated. Never mattered much how much a gun weighed – if it was a real banger I adapted.

          • RobertNorwood

            Exactly, in the end if your target is behind something it’s good to know your round can get through to it. It may be clumsy house to house…at least until you start shooting through walls and doors.

          • iksnilol

            Well, no.

            Uh.

            AKs and MP5s(!) go through cover just fine. 5.56 is good at that whole dumping energy thing, overall safe cartridge, but I believe the AP rounds go through walls just fine, right?

        • RobertNorwood

          I’m not completely sure but I think the M-1 Carb got its bad rep from Korea where range and knock downs became a problem – not an ideal environment for it. Waiting for a suicide wave to get close enough for it to be effective was, well, suicide. I heard Korea vets say they hated it. Early on in Vietnam it was popular, again, environment? Reviews are mixed so my guess is combat role and environment is the factor because it’ll def kill you. Every weapon has its place – even the Dardick…imagine the laughs you can get bringing that to the range. Where does one get trounds?

          • Joseph Anthony

            It was the islands shooting japs in WWII… 6-8 hits not dropping them..

          • Chrome Dragon

            The M1 – and the .38 special – really got their reputation in the filipino campaigns. Individuals would mount suicide attacks, armed with khukris – fearsome fighting knives, but … knives. The real trick would be the use of tightly bandaging the extremities, dulling sensation as well as slowing blood loss and allowing them to continue fighting long after mortal wounds were sustained. Individual warriors killing thirty or more soldiers before being put down, with about 20 rounds of thirty ought six, plus a few magazines of Thomson ammunition, were reported. I’m too lazy to find citations after 3 AM, however.

          • jonp

            I have a Blackhawk in .30 carbine. Yes, its not a rifle but the round is the same. I am not impressed with it and believe there are any number of rounds better suited for up close. How about a Hi Point .40 or 9mm carbine?

          • RobertNorwood

            For the money and 100 yard shooting it stacks up well from what I hear but ain’t used one myself and have a bias against rifles using pistol ammo. I’d go .40 for other reason than I’m not a 9 mil fan – old school I guess.

          • iksnilol

            Nobody complains about .357 magnum, and .30 carbine has 30-40% more energy than it + better trajectory.

          • RobertNorwood

            Reviews on weapon so mixed, I just don’t know but, given that I’d avoid it…maybe. It is loud and what it did on a telephone pole was impressive.

    • Tritro29

      Hahaha, see this is funny. Garbage like BI are totally believable when they stutter their non-sense about very serious matters (like International Politics) because they play on people’s fears and usually fill their reports with half truths or true lies and that people can’t exactly see through it. But when it comes to subjects people are knowledgeable, folks see through that crap faster than a Miculek follow up shot.

      Pro-tip: the Press is getting worse, on everything, make ip your own mind.

      • Croak

        See: Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

    • noob

      Doesn’t the XM25 Punisher have a higher profile in GWoT themed video games than the Denel Neopup PAW-20?

  • Major Tom

    Better ideas for revivals/replacements:

    1) M2 Carbine. Forget this business of semi auto only carbines and experimental prototypes.
    2) Ohio Ordnance HCAR. That grubby German gun the FG42 had a laundry list of issues so long you could cover up a battleship with it. The BAR was the better gun and the HCAR is the modernized BAR.
    3) The LSAT machine gun. Automatic rifles pressed into the SAW role need very slow fire rates, good accuracy and range and relatively high firepower at range. They’d be something you would press down onto a bipod and squeeze out short accurate bursts at up to very long ranges. But the SAW role doesn’t need that, it needs volume of fire and sustained fire potential. A belt-fed like the LSAT is much better at that role than any wannabe RPK. A BAR type weapon would be the complimentary weapon for a 240 not a substitute for a 249 or M4A1.
    4) The China Lake pump action grenade launcher. Everything the M79 can do but with 4 shots instead of one.
    5) If we’re going to do machine pistols to replace service pistols then we might as well go whole hog with the Micro-Uzi.
    6) To complement number 5 we should fill our subguns role with the full size Uzi.

    • AC97

      M2 Carbine- it still has all of the problems that the M1 was known for, so, no.

      BAR/HCAR- No, the BAR wasn’t the better gun, it just wasn’t. If you disagree, explain, please, do tell how that heavy monstrosity is so much better than the FG-42, which is itself viable for modernization.

      Micro-Uzi- Why would we go with an open-bolt SMG?

      Uzi- Nope.

      • iksnilol

        But the FG-42 was so bad that they made a modernized version that even the Russians wanted to buy.

      • Anonymoose

        BN36>HCAR

        • CommonSense23

          So is the MP7. Has AAC not screwed up the .300BLKs the only real use of the MP7 would be trash runs.

      • SPQR9

        The FG 42 had some neat concepts but to make weight there were some sketchy things done design wise, including shaving safety margins quite a bit. It ended up pretty fragile. A modern redesign of it to take advantage of engineering, materials and manufacturing advances would be very interesting but still wouldn’t match modern infantry tactics.

    • FG-42 whupping a BAR in 2G ACM:

  • Evil13RT

    Considering roll, the M1911 is probably better than the scamp. Its common, effective, and time tested.
    There’s alot of problems with the thinking behind machine pistols and almost all of them are solved by making the weapon larger. To which you might as well just carry a proper sub-machine gun.

    For the role that pistols serve as personal defense weapons, and how rare they actually matter in modern war, the 1911 is plenty of gun for the money.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Commonality and time testedness are just boat anchors that holds back innovation, we would still be fielding muzzleloaders if those arguments had any relevance. Frankly, the SCAMP would have been the more effective weapon if it had been adopted. As it was, the M9 chambered in 9mm was selected instead; and was also more practically effective than the M1911A1.

      • Evil13RT

        The scamp, if I recall, is the equivalent of an all metal PMR30 with a rock and roll switch. It would have been innovative at the time, but the question is if would have properly filled the role of a pistol.
        People do like their innovation anchors when it represents a reliable fall back point. The 1911 is no less than a solid modern handgun design and quite capable in war, for as much as war has affected by pistol design in the last century.
        Many wouldn’t say the same about machine pistols.

        Personally I see the M9 that replaced the 1911 as a mostly political choice. The 226 was better all around offering for the money. Neither offered enough of a step beyond the 1911 to be worth the cost of a new contract.

        • ostiariusalpha

          There is nothing modern about the 1911, while it is one of the greatest firearm designs of the beginning of the last century, it also has century old vestigial elements that modern tilt barrel pistols have long since shed as archaic and unnecessary. Both the M9 and P226 were much more reliable and capable guns. The SCAMP was also very much a product of its time, though a quite advanced one, but unlike the 1911, it can still hold itself forward as a stepping stone to push toward new designs in the present. That’s why Nathaniel has brought it up in this and past articles; the innovations of its design show great potential for future smallarms that we are only now starting to appreciate.

          • BearSlayer338

            Bs the m9 and p226 are not more reliable than the 1911,in my experience my 1911’s have been just as reliable as any other well made design,in fact I’d say they have been just as reliable as my Glocks but without the ugly.

            That said I sold my 1911’s because I have lighter higher capacity guns that can get the job done while being more comfortable to carry all day,i currently carry a Glock 26,that and I figure if I’m going to carry something that holds less than 10 rounds then it will be in a magnum caliber.

          • Here’s a question, what was the MSRP on your 1911? Seems like all the guys who think the platform is “just as good” as other more modern designs have put 2-4x as much money into it.

            Nobody who waxes poetic about how reliable the 1911 is ever seems to be talking about $700 entry level* pistols. Weird, that.

            *”Entry level” for 1911s is closer to “high end” for other guns.

          • BearSlayer338

            You must not be familiar with RIA 1911s then each one cost me less than $500 and ran swc,and +p+ with no issues In over 5000 rounds.

          • The Filipino guns? OK…

          • BearSlayer338

            Not really the GI style 1911’s just work better(what do you know the gun works better as originally designed). That and most people run their 1911 too wet and don’t use good magazines,also most people having problems are using 8 rounds mags,I’ve found that the 7 round mags work much better with a variety of loads. Also replacing the recoil springs as directed by most gun makers at 2500 rounds helps greatly along with magazine maintenance.
            I’ve never really had any problems with any 1911’s other than a couple Kimbers.

          • roguetechie

            Nathaniel,

            My experience was the same with my RIA double stack 1911a1. It was a very good gun that didn’t throw stoppages or break in the several thousand rounds I shot. Did I get lucky? I don’t know, all I know is it worked well.

            I got rid of it because frankly I’m not convinced .45 acp is worth the massive size.

          • I am sure a $700 1911 can work well, but I’ve only ever met very few that did.

          • roguetechie

            What’s funny is at the time I got it I think I paid $500 transfer included. I’m not saying that my experience was common and I freely acknowledge it was a statistical outlier.

            I still miss the big hunk of steel on occasion, but then I remember the conversations on and off TFB and get back to focusing on 9×19 as a sort of upper bound on my further pistol forays.

            Your modern machine pistol article and other writings have very much helped to clarify and narrow my focus in beneficial ways.

          • n0truscotsman

            oh please. you sir haven’t ventured into the youtube comment section on practically every 1911 video there is.

            The anecdotes will convince any high speed, low drag shooter to go out and buy their own.

            -20,000 rounds cleared, NO MALFUNCTIONS!
            -40,000 rounds through their 1911, no cleaning, 1 stovepipe.
            -50,000 rounds through their 10mm colt elite. No parts changes, no maintenance, no malfunctions.

            RELIABILITY!

            (I kid, but the anecdotes are not a joke. Not at all. People really believe their own bulls–t)

          • Joshua

            every design regardless of time period has “century old vestigial elements” often humans won’t even consider something unless there is some century old vestigial elements to re-assure them that it’s going to work.
            Also can you lend me your crystal ball before the next lottery draw? While lots of people are looking at the SCAMP as the next stepping stone the reality is nobody knows where the next innovation will come from, that’s kind of the definition of innovation.

            While I would not suggest the re-adoption of the M1911 I was kind of intrigued by the M45 because the reality is, we have not come so far from 1911 technology that it’s arms are not serviceable. if you took a trapdoor springfield into a modern three gun competition you would be sorely out-classed. but an M1911? assuming, as with any weapon, you can do your part, you’ll come out alright.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Depending on the course, that’s a lot of unnecessary mag changes. The MEU(SOC) is a nice hot rod, but hot rods are by definition old cars; they aren’t that competitive with modern super sports. Being serviceable and being optimal are two different things.

          • Joshua

            this is the US Army we’re talking about, I’m not convinced that “Optimal” is in their lexicon.
            Anyway, stupid people are stupid, whoever wrote the original article falls into that category.
            it is interesting to me though how vehement some people are about “how far we’ve come” and while I would prefer to be issued an M9, assuming it’s in good condition, I would not begrudge being issued an M1911, also if in good condition. Though honestly I’d take a Hi-Power over either.
            but then, I do have a soft spot for my history.

          • I think that’s pretty naive. Many mistakes have been made in the name of “optimization”, and the US Army is not bereft of smart people, either.

            It’s a huge, clunky organization that has many flaws, but there are a lot of people who believe that if they can just get the Army to wake up and realize what it needs to do, that it will do it. Actually, history seems to bear out that that approach is a great way to cause a clusterfluck.

          • Joshua

            the intended joke was that Armies are, usually intentionally a half a generation behind cutting edge and not fully optimized to give them some versatility and reliability. The old joke about equipping to fight the last war and so on.

  • Mmmtacos

    I know you didn’t just say the 1911 needs to be smithed before it’s even functional.

    No you didn’t, TFB…

  • William Nelson

    Article was laughable; yes, lets just ignore the whole, “technological innovation,” thing in favor of some fanwank over ww2 era weaponry. Only thing I kind of agree with is the M79 idea, but I’m still salty over carrying a 16/203 and all the ammo too, so I’m admittedly biased there.

    Hell, lets go back to the single action colt and high wall single shot .45-70 rifle and ditch the HMMVs in favor of horses while we are at it.

  • Mystick

    You keep speaking muzzle velocity, placing the 5.56 on a pedestal, but the 7.62, even at 20 percent less velocity has more impact energy – derived from both velocity and mass – than the 5.56 does nominally.

    • iksnilol

      Has also twice the weight.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like 308 but I see the merits of 5.56 for the majority of troops.

      • 40mmCattleDog

        Yep, and also twice the recoil, less capacity, heavier weapons etc etc. 5.56 is significantly better for the average infantryman and complements his skill level well.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    Dude, thank you for writing the rebuttal we were all screaming in our heads at our computer. That article is ludicrous.

  • Urker

    40mm will always trump 20mm in everything other than mag capacity!

    • iksnilol

      Trajectory.

      Range.

  • Wetcoaster

    What is this, signs you’ve been consuming too much media with a WW2 setting?

  • Rock or Something

    I sounds to me they nostalgically put in the Thompson, wrote a description on it, figured out in retrospect that it actually had more negatives than positives, but left it in the listing anyways.

  • TVOrZ6dw

    I already wrote to my congressman- We do need the BAR and M79 back!. I also added the US Model 1904 Light Cavalry Saber to the list.

    • codfilet

      Bring back the .30-40 Krag, too!

    • Beju

      The perfect excuse to bring back the Cavalry Stetson.

  • John

    If you’re going to bring back an obsolete, useless standard-issue submachine gun, you may as well make it the MP5.

    /runs

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      eyy

  • john huscio

    I was gonna say a semiauto DMR in 30.06 might be a good idea……but then I remembered 300 Win mag is currently in use……

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    I think the entire US army and all its branches should use Glocks. They are perfect after all. And they take Glock mags!

    • john huscio

      It probably has a good chance of actually happening.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        Hope they get some slide cuts

  • Swarf

    No, but see, the M4 is looks like a Deceptacon’s turd and the M1 is pretty, and therefore a better service weapon. Fact.

  • derfelcadarn

    Thirty aught six, aught meaning zero. Ought meaning used to indicate duty or correctness.

  • gunsandrockets

    Bring back the Thompson you say? Asked and answered!

  • ZF

    The BAR, M1 Carbine, and Thompson strike me as very odd choices… if not completely stupid. Yes, iconic weapons of World War II but how well would they remotely work in a current day environment? The author (not you, Nathaniel) doesn’t really point out any “pros” besides, and I quote, “Why not go retro”…. I’m just going to leave that there for a second. But just from a constructive criticism point of view, the article from Business Insider doesn’t cover any benefits or present a thought-out argument what so ever besides just listing some statics.

    I’m just surprised at no point does the author attempt to “convince” us we should replace the M16 with the Springfield.

    • SPQR9

      The BAR, M1 Carbine and Thompson did not work well in WWII actually. The German squad – organized around teams supporting the organic belt-fed light machine gun – outgunned the US squad with BAR’s lower effective rate of fire only partially offset by the Garands of the rest of the squad. The BAR was an obsolete weapon when issued in 1918 around an already obsolete trench assault tactic.

      The Thompson was seen as obsolete by the US Army at the outbreak of WWII – which is why they developed the M3 “grease gun”.

      • As far as the Thompson it was more a question of cost and time to make them than being obsolete. The M3 was easy and cheap to make.

        • SPQR9

          Well, if you ignore that they were too heavy, cost too much money to make, took too much highly skilled labor vs low skill labor, and used too much strategic materials to make ….

          Then they were not obsolete. But.

        • libertasdon

          Yeah, I though of that too, but I guess that is part of the definition of obsolete. Obsolescence of a weapon should include its method of manufacture, materials used, and the time needed to produce it.

      • Don Ward

        Which is why squads of American GIs kicked the hineys of their Kraut equivalents in practically every engagement they faced.

        • 40mmCattleDog

          WOh come on dude. Im a proud Ameican but even I know that if the Germans and Americans actually met in equal numbers the Americans would lose. Seriously America did alot of good in WW2 but we didnt jist cut through the Germans like a knife. America got its ass KICKED by Rommel in Tunisia and basically we got fought to a complete stalemate in Italy until the end of the war. Hell we even adopted the German tactic of rifleman supporting the MG after the war when it was proven more effective.

          • Um… No we didn’t? The post-war rifle squad didn’t even have any belt feds in it at all.

            Germany was forced back at a remarkably steady pace after D-Day. US rifles, tanks, aircraft, and other equipment were superior (oh how the fanboys will yell when they hear that!). The Germans wasted their time with wunderwaffe instead of making important incremental improvements like focusing on replacing the Bf.109 and Panzer IV.

            We stomped ’em pretty good. So did the Russians, just look at casualty numbers on the Eastern Front.

          • Don Ward

            LOL. Nope. Other than one poor showing at Kasserine, the overrated Afrika Korp got fully trounced by American troops on their end of the North African theater.
            As for meeting equal numbers, the United States consistently fought on the offensive – with all the disadvantages that entails – and inflicted more casualties and captured more troops than what they received.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            The Afrika Corps got trounced eventually yes, and so did the U.S. when we never broke the Gothic line in Italy and were fought to a stalemate. The U.S. was never fighting the Germans at full strength and we out numbered them everytime. Im not one of those people that think the Germans were superhumans of ww2, in fact i think American tech was far ahead and more advanced in practical use but the Germans were miles ahead in tactics. Plenty of historical authors have wrote that the American

          • Don Ward

            Italy turned into a fiasco and was hampered by the fact that it got relegated to sideshow status with a confusing multinational coalition Army and that the Germans were fighting on the defensive in some of the world’s best defensive terrain.

            Despite that the Germans still got pushed back.

            By 1942 the Germans had one good trick, they were able to take ash-and-trash units and Mickey Mouse them together into a reasonably effective defensive force while occasionally engaging in spoiling counterattacks that was able to delay the war.

            But when you actually look unit for unit, the Americans came out on top over and over again. Even green National Guard Divisions that never heard a shot fired in anger like – for example – the 30th Infantry Division was able to consistently face off against “elite” German units like the 1st SS Panzer Division Liebenstandarte SS Adolph Hitler (the Fuhrer’s personal body guard) and beat them twice while breaking out of Normandy and at The Bulge.

          • 40mmCattleDog

            Like i said i dont disagree at all that the Americans caused more casualties and that American units performed well, infact i think they did better than most give them credit for. But facing the SS in 1944 wasnt that same as facing them in 42. They werent full strength, neither was any german division as you admitted. That was why we could overwhelm them and win we had the numbers and the logistics in place to exploit them. That the number one reason America was successful. My whole point was the Americans didnt just “kick the jerries in the teeth” and roll in like a tidal wave. We had to fight alot of hard battles and we had to learn from our mistakes to overcome the Germans especially in the beginning. I dont know why every discussion i have on ww2 ends up with me telling some weherboo that german tanks were actually pretty crappy or some American thinking we just steamrolled our enemies by ourselves no problem.

          • Don Ward

            Fair enough my friend. We’ll leave the discussion at that. Now back to making fun of .45 ACP!

          • 40mmCattleDog

            Hahaha now thats something i know we can both get down with dude!

          • As far as north Africa that was our first time in combat with the Germans at Kasserine. They learned and things got better.
            Training at the start of the war was terrible.

        • SPQR9

          Don, frankly no. One for one, the German squad was more effective than the American squad. There is a great explanation for why in Joe Balkowski’s “Beyond the Beachhead”.

          To oversimplify, the German squad pushed light machine guns down the TOE to the squad level.

          American forces had other important advantages, including better and more plentiful artillery and other support weapons that often were decisive.

          • libertasdon

            First: A salute to all who contributed to this discussion on the effectiveness of US troops v. German in WWII. I have literally spent my life studying this issue, since I discovered at age 10 my uncle’s copy of Brave Men by Ernie Pyle. I suggest you examine Soldier Capability — Army Combat Effectiveness by Dupuy and Hammerman, 1980, a private study contracted for the US Army, particularly Appendix B, page 7. You will see that the authors rank the German army, on two different analytical bases, as the most effect combat forces over time.
            This corresponds with a computer study of casualties inflicted per soldier during WWII prepared by an author whose name I have forgotten, but for whom I have searched ever since I stupidly decided not to buy his book. The Germans simply caused more injuries per soldier than the Allies managed. We can spend the rest of our lives debated how and why that happened, if indeed it is true. The original article here is superficial, perhaps even trivial at best, but it focuses on a very important topic — the role weapons play in combat effectiveness.

  • nova3930

    WTF wouldn’t a P-40 be awesome if put back in service! The world needs more planes with shark mouths painting on dang it!

    • The A10 has shark mouths on them.

      • nova3930

        Not nearly enough though 😀
        And the AF is trying to kill the A-10. That’s not coincidence. They fear da shark!

        • I know and I still think they have lost their minds in getting rid of it.

          • Planes don’t last forever, even the best ones. The A-10 has had a good run.

          • ostiariusalpha

            They’ll probably build a drone to do the job eventually. Sturdy as they are, A-10s just get too shot up to keep sticking human pilots in that role. The role itself isn’t going to go away though.

          • Zachary marrs

            The a10 is reaching the end of its shelf life.

            The gun isn’t getting any better, and the airframe isn’t getting any tougher.

            But tanks are getting better armor, and anti-air is getting more lethal.

            Airplanes cannot survive on nostalgia, the a10 included.

          • Sgt. Stedenko

            Tell that to the B-52.

          • Zachary marrs

            What do i need to say to an outdated long range stratigic bomber?

            Just because it is still flying, doesn’t make it a sensible choice

          • libertasdon

            Well said, Zach. Send over a drone and fry the tank with a laser. Put the A-10 pilot in a command center out of range of any tank.

    • Gary Kirk

      A-10..

  • Don Ward

    List needs MOAR Model 1913 Cavalry Saber!!!

    • libertasdon

      This “saber” (more like an epee) was designed by George S. Patton when he was a junior officer. He was a sticker, not a slasher.

      • Don Ward

        Indeed. That’s why I selected it. A cavalryman armed with this is worth 2.4 times any cavalryman armed with a traditional saber.

        ….

  • Joseph Goins

    I think I may be the only one, but I just don’t care about WWII guns. The nostalgia isn’t there for me.

    • Wetcoaster

      I think many of the survivors of the conflict would be right there with you

      • Joseph Goins

        True. I do understand though that many people have a “that’s what my granddaddy shot” philosophy.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    Bring back the Chareville!! I mean damn if it helped us beat the Brits we can beat the WORLD.

  • Kivaari

    Well, That’s not a very good list. The updated Stoner maybe.

  • Joe Schmo

    Business Insider… Why are they writing about small arms? Isn’t “business” their area of “expertise”?

    The M16/M4 family (including the HK416 and variants) has been adapted to fit many roles in the military. There are many other modern designs that are more effective than previous small arms that were in use with the military. Why would anyone bring back old, heavy, ineffective designs into a modern combat role?

    The fact that this guy suggested bring back the M1 Carbine and the .30 Carbine cartridge just proves that he knows nothing about modern small arms and ammunition. The military has the Mk. 18, which has proven to be very popular among special operations troops. The Mk. 18 is a 5.56x45mm rifle, so logistics are not an issue. Problem has been solved.

    The BAR is horrible idea for modern troops to use. First off, the A2 model of the BAR weighs about 19-20 pounds, that’s almost as much as the 249 SAW. The .30-06 is heavier than 5.56 and even 7.62x51mm. This guy mentions the Mk. 17 SCAR, why not just use that? He then claims the Marine Corps is issuing HK417s, which Nathaniel pointed out as incorrect. If this guy is looking for an automatic that fires a cartridge that has more “stopping power” (or whatever he was getting at with the .30-06) the 240 Lima is already being fielded in some capacity. In my opinion, the concept of a dedicated automatic rifle is a bad idea.

    The idea of a configurable rifle/carbine/LMG is neat, but not practical. The Stoner 63 is a cool gun, but not one I would pick to bring back. Having troops configuring their rifles into LMGs would be a logistical nightmare. Its best to keep maintenance easy for troops, its best to keep things simple as less can go wrong. In reality, configuring a rifle into an LMG would likely be done by an armorer, and then there’s no point in having this convertible rifle anymore.

    The M79 was used in the early days of the War in Afghanistan by US Army Special Forces and other special operations groups. It was useful, but now we have better options. The M320 can be a standalone unit or mounted to a rifle, so it fills the role of the M79 and M203. The need for a longer range grenade launcher is being addressed by the US Army with the XM25 program, but I’m not too familiar with the exact range or capabilities of the XM25 launcher. In short, the M320 is serving the Army well and I don’t see a good enough reason to bring back the M79.

    1911s are great guns, I will say that. But if there are simpler and cheaper options that do just as good a job, why would the military stick with the 1911? Handguns are not really that big of a deal when it comes to the conventional military. If the military needs to have a handgun that is simple, reliable, and is cheap to produce/purchase, they should not go with the 1911. It would be easier on logistics and armorers to have a reliable handgun that has fewer parts. There are many modern handguns that are lighter weight

    Any submachine gun is pretty much a niche gun for special operations now. In Afghanistan you could have a firefight at 600 meters or 15 meters, or anywhere in between. It would not be practical to give troops a pistol caliber submachine gun to go on patrol if they could be engaging targets beyond the effective range of a pistol caliber firearm. So the Thompson is out.

    TL;DR – Business Insider should stick to business related topics.

  • CommonSense23

    The M79 is still probably the most natural shooting standalone still. The HK launcher crushes it with its red dot rangefinder though.

  • gunsandrockets

    That velocity claimed for the 5.56x30mm cartridge looks very optimistic.

    • From the patent:

      “In the course of the development of the new system, the inventors were required to address several problems which arose related to the short 11-inch barrel used by the improved version of the firearm of the invention. The following were typical of the problems faced by the inventors; the novel cartridge required a faster burning propellant to insure complete combustion prior to projectile exit, thereby achieving maximum efficiency; the novel cartridge required ‘tuning’ the gas system to insure proper function, that is, ejection and feeding at the lowest possible cyclic rate, as the gas port is much closer to the chamber; muzzle blast and muzzle flash needed to be minimized as much as possible by selecting the most favorable propellant; the use of a shorter cartridge case necessitated using a more powerful, less bulky propellant.”

      • gunsandrockets

        from small arms review:

        “…There was a problem found with the pressure levels within the 5.56x30mm MARS cartridge as the case was prone to bulge or rupture.

        … It is loaded up with magnum pistol-type ball propellant, which is burned at rifle pressures to achieve higher velocity in its short 10.5 inch barrel…

        In hindsight, it appeared the use of the proprietary 5.56x30mm cartridge was an impediment to selling the weapon. Colt wanted to have a proprietary cartridge. Perhaps a more suitable solution would have been to go with the already currently available .221 Remington cartridge. With modern propellants, the .221 Remington cartridge may have been loaded to achieve the goals set out by Harris and Taylor for this proof of concept, and to do it without chamber pressure problems…”

        http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display.article.cfm?idarticles=1239

        • It was at a very early developmental stage. Keep in mind that 5.56mm also had pressure problems early on, which were eventually fixed through powder selection.

          I’m not saying the 5.56x30mm MARS could have in production achieved its stated velocity (I don’t know, especially with a cartridge that small and squat these sorts of things are difficult to predict), but pressure problems with developmental ammunition is a positively routine problem.

    • Avery

      2mm cartridge length difference but twice the muzzle energy of the 5.7x28mm? Or the similarly sized MINSAS cartridge. Glad someone else sniffed that out.

      • gunsandrockets

        I knew something was odd when that stubby cartridge was getting 200 fps more velocity from a 10 inch barrel than ordinary .223 generates from the 9.5 inch barrel of the PLR-16.

      • Case head diameter matters. 5.7x28mm has a case head diameter of 7.95mm, 5.56×30 MARS has a case head diameter of 9.6mm.

  • You’re not kidding. A sample:

    “M-1 Carbine is superior to the AR15/M-16 5.56mm(.223 cal). It worked when you got it dirty, And the bullet it fired was better at NOT deflecting off a twig.”

    You know who disagrees with that? Anyone who’s ever shot both an AR-15 and an M1 Carbine…

    • AC97

      Quote: “A veteran Texas Ranger was once asked why he carried a Colt .45.

      Replied the Ranger “Because Colt doesn’t make a .50, that’s why.”

      And if you have any doubts regarding the brutal stopping power of the .45 ACP round look up the exploits of Sergeant Alvin York.”

      Why do they make .22 and .30 caliber rifle rounds? Because it’s not .45 caliber.

      It’s too bad that the idiots who go on about “muh .45 stopping power” are still around to this day.

      • iksnilol

        But they make a .50, multiple actually.

        • AC97

          Like .50 GI.

    • Bucho4Prez

      Exactly. I will echo others here in their comments about firearms knowledge gleaned from video games/film/television rather than first hand experience. It’s like saying a late sixties muscle car is better than a new mustang/camaro/challenger. Technology has improved, and while each of those weapons systems are still serviceable, they have all been surpassed in all measurable ways.

  • Matrix3692

    Actually, the “Ronson Burner” got this nickname from it’s petrol engine, which had a tendency to easily caught fire after being hit.

    • There are absolutely zero primary sources that I have found supporting that, and it doesn’t even make sense, as the primary cause of tank fires was (and still is) the ammunition, and German tanks used gasoline engines, too.

      • DW

        In addition, Ronson burner is postwar. Ammorack ignition was admittedly a problem on early M4s which was corrected with the later “wet type ammorack” on the M4A3E8

        • Smith

          M4A3E8 wasn’t the only model to get wet stowage, M4A1 (76)W, M4A2 (76)W, the M4A3(75)W, The M4A3 (76)W tanks all had the improved wet ammo racks.

    • Don Ward

      Wrong. The Ronson libel is a demonstrable myth.

  • Darhar M.

    I stopped at the title.
    There is a reason those weapons were replaced no need to bring them
    back outside of collecting them.

  • marathag

    Lanchester Mk.1 Submachine Gun?

    Eh.

    Suomi M31

    It brings drum and coffin mags to the party

  • Southpaw89

    Bring back the MARS in .22 TCM or 5.7 to avoid the issues of a new caliber and you might have something, don’t know if it would have wide appeal, but it could be marketable.

  • Wetcoaster

    The WW2 guns with the ability to stay relevant (even if barely) have (MG42/MG3, Browning Hi-Power, M2HB, Bofors 40mm).

    Technology moves on, better designs come. Sometimes better by enough that even moribund bureaucracies can agree to replace them (eventually).

    Also, I’m disappointed that there was no hipster nod to the Johnson 1941 rifle

  • Audie Bakerson

    They should bring them back. Repeal the NFA, sell the huge stockpile of the “obsolete” guns we’re paying millions (if not a billion) a year to maintain and feed (and would realistically be destroyed in the first stages of any conflict big enough to warrant the National Guard actually using all this anyways) then everyone will be shooting Thompsons and BARs!

    • Fox Hunter

      Yeah!! cool idea!

  • Voice_of_Reason

    This article was dumber than the dumb article it was criticizing.

  • Tom Currie

    I had just highlighted and copied the sentence “Even though there are enough 1911 gunsmiths to support a healthy competition circuit, issuing a weapon that needs to see a trained professional smith who costs $60/hr before it functions properly is probably not a good option for the US military.” with the intent of coming here to comment that this was the single dumbest thing I had ever read at TFB (despite the fact that there is plenty of competition for that honor on a regular basis), but then I read the very next sentence which managed to edge this one out of worst place: “What they should bring back instead: The Colt SCAMP .22 caliber Machine Pistol”

    • ostiariusalpha

      Ladies and gentlemen, I present you… the American Sermon7.62! 👏

    • The 1911 only holds 7 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, with an instantaneous rate of fire of about 4 rounds per second. The SCAMP holds 27 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition with an instantaneous rate of fire of about 25 rounds per second.

      7 x 0.45 = 3.15″ in 1.75 seconds

      27 x 0.22 = 5.94″ in 1.08 seconds

      So the SCAMP is roughly three times as effective as a 1911.

      http://i.imgur.com/NfCUU8S.jpg

      • Tom Currie

        Nathaniel, you certainly do keep digging that hole deeper and deeper.

        But this time you managed to move your two previous comments out of the running for Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Read on TFB

        • What? I thought you cared about how many inches you were giving the other guy!

        • But I thought you 1911 guys loved talking about how many inches you’ve got!

  • Don Ward

    I would approve of reissuing the Colt 1911 only if the paltry .45 ACP round, which was obsolete by the 1920s, was dropped and the caliber replaced by the far superior .38 Super.

  • Tassiebush

    That MARS cartridge sounds awesome! totally like the idea of that in a trapper configuration levergun with a pederson style spiral tube mag and scout style scope.

    • Don Ward

      Oh God! Yes! Yes! Yes!

      • Tassiebush

        haha well i certainly feel that way about it but i hope you’re not faking it!? 😉

      • Tassiebush

        I just discovered the .221 remington fireball would more or less do the exact same thing.

  • demophilus

    Taking down BI is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    IMHO, if any pistol or SMG deserved another chance, it would be the Colt OHWS, HK P7 or 9, or Steyr GB, and the Ruger MP9, or the S&S Sidewinder.

  • T Rex

    Even someone with the simplest most basic working knowledge of modern and historical firearms can see that the author of the Business Insider article didn’t have a clue WTF they were talking about and obviously didn’t bother to do any substantive research or consult even one firearms expert. Sounds like their source was great grandpa or someone else oblivious to any improvements in firearm design that occurred after 1960.

  • Blake

    Thanks for putting together this article. I imagine you had a lot of fun writing it.

  • TB

    Wow, that tiny Colt MARS is sure heavy. 11,8 kg, that’s as much as an M240. Either it’s made from some very heavy materials, or someone very mathematically challenged must have made that picture.

    • The last, I’m afraid. They converted from English to metric incorrectly.

      • TB

        Yes, that was very obvious from looking at the stated weight in lbs. I should have put a smiley at the end, to make it more clear that I was just being sarcastic. 🙂

  • Fox Hunter

    Thompson smg and m1 carbine are way cool guns. That said, the hk ump 40 would be a good subgun, and it is cheaper than a Thompson. I’d take either one of the three for everyday use.

  • SnakeEater-0317

    The M79 Is still in use. Next, stoner 63. Not a bad idea at all. Modular, light weight automatic rifle that I can configure for a da raid or a belt machine gun for a blocking position.

    How about we bring back the Swedish k. One of the coolest, lowest recoiling, 9mm smgs on the market. Make it modular.

  • Karl Vanhooten

    Thank you, Nathanial, for finally going on record as exposing the “Tactical Timmy’s” who strut around with their 8-round $2,000-$3,000 (otherwise obsolete) 1911s as if they were gods. I’ll take a S&W M&P, Glock, Beretta, H&K, or Walther ANY day. The so-call worthless M1 Carbine was designed to replace the worthless 1911s.

  • Steven

    Glad I wasn’t the only one that thought that was one stupid article. Bring back the BAR? I 100% guarantee the writer never fired, carried or cleaned one in combat. The tv show “Combat” in the 60’s made me think the BAR was the ultimate infantry weapon. But then I got a chance to actually use one in sunny Viet Nam. That was the end of that love affair. Even a M14 on semi is a better weapon than that. Bring back the Carbine and Thompson? I don’t even know where to start.

  • SerArthurDayne

    I LOLed at the whole “Every 1911 needs to see a professional gunsmith @ $60/hr before it performs properly” … I just got me a sweet Rock Island — and while i FULLY AND TOTALLY support buying USA-made/etc. , when you have a firearm company making firearms a full 1/3 less than their nearest competitor (for example, Rock Island Tacticals ~$500 vs. Springfield Armory Loaded ~$800) and made by competent and EXTREMELY PROUD Filipino gunsmiths, who take their work seriously, and often put more effort into crafting production, $500 Rock Islands than Springfield et. al can put into anything less than $1500, you can easily buy a 1911 you can love and trust for the price of a Plastic Fantastic. You can hate it now, but you can’t stop it now, cause it won’t stop now.

    • T Rex

      If you’ve got a Rock Island that you like and really is as reliable as you’re convinced it is that’s great, but those of us who know better are well aware why Filipino offerings in the 1911 market are much less expensive. Even a minimally trained eye can see the difference when a RIA 1911 is field stripped and the degrees of finish work on the interior parts and surfaces are laid bare, which may vary in degree from moderately less finished to crude in one RIA pistol to the next. Same goes for a RIA revolver, it’s much less expensive and there’s a reason for that, you’re getting what you pay for and it’s foolish to believe otherwise. If you insist on carrying a much heavier, lower capacity, and potentially finicky pistol designed over a century ago, spend a little more on a Ruger SR1911 and know that there’s nothing less or crude about your U.S. made yet reliable and economical 1911 pistol.

      • iksnilol

        Eh, I find y’all stress too much in regards to tool marks and whatnot. Super tight and polished guns are more risk to be finicky than RIAs.

  • Michael Guerin

    Stirrer! By the way, I know a Filipino working here (Wellington, New Zealand) who owns his father’s Winchester-built M1 Carbine from WWII. It is reportedly very accurate, largely due, I suppose, to still having all its original factory parts!

  • James Kiser

    The Shermans were called Ronsons by the crews for a reason and it wasn’t the ammo. It was the gasoline that they used as fuel. Watch the film where a Lt Cooper with the 3rd Armored Div. explains the shortfalls of the Sherman. Also I have talked to WW2 and Korean vets who loved the BAR especially when using AP ammo. Said it was heavy as sin but it did the job.

    • I have seen absolutely no primary source evidence that Shermans were called “Ronsons”, and that explanation about the petrol makes very little sense, as German tanks were gasoline-powered vehicles, too.

      Belton Cooper, unfortunately, is not a reliable primary source. He began writing and speaking on the topic decades after the events occurred, and – especially in his book – claims knowledge not only of things that he was not even remotely involved in, but that demonstrably did not happen.

      Plus, his narrative has been cultivated by Stephen Ambrose (who wrote a foreword for his book) who’s a pop-history quack if I’ve ever seen one.

  • mazkact

    Swedish K, that is all.

  • idahoguy101

    Issuing new 7.62 NATO Bren Guns could be a useful addition

  • Anon. E Maus

    The BAR was horribly dated by WW2 (at which the current model was at 20lbs),

  • Wolfgar

    The p210 is a great pistol with a tremendous trigger but it sure as hell doesn’t surpass my STI trigger. I’m a fan boy of what works the best. Try again !

    • Wolfgar

      After much consideration, if someone could make a P210 with a lighter high capacity polymer STI type lower and not cost 4 to 5 digits you might have something.

  • Zobeid

    Good article, seems like it’s a few decades late, though. I remember back in the 1980s, the articles and comments in SoF about how we should bring back the BAR, bring back the Thompson, bring back the M14, etc, etc. Most of that, I assume, was from vets who felt like “It worked for us, it’ll work today!” The arguments they made at that time didn’t sound completely crazy. However, the world has moved on since then, small arms have continued to advance, and it’s been quite some years since I’ve even heard those calls being made.

  • efred1

    My dad liked shooting the M1 Carbine during the Korean War (he was lucky enough to be sent to Europe during the war instead of combat, so he only shot a paper, and nothing shooting back). His BIL, however, did not like it. He arrived in Europe after D-Day, but then saw heated action during the Bulge, the Bridge at Remagen and was one of the soldiers to repatriate a concentration camp, during his tour he earned two Bronze Stars with a Silver V. Being a sergeant, he was issued a carbine. One of the few combat stories he ever mentioned was one time during the Bulge, a German soldier charged him with a fixed bayonet (apparently he was out of ammunition). My uncle emptied his magazine into center mass, which had no effect (this was at well under 100 yards, mind you, right in the designed implementation objective of the little .30 cal), but at roughly 10 yards, he tripped on something in the snow, and remained motionless, dead. He told me that he got rid of it and “requisitioned” a Thomson SMG, which he only said, worked MUCH better. He never mentioned a thing about muzzle climb or uncontrollability, however.

  • codenamedave

    The referenced article isn’t from a Business Insider writer, it’s a repost from We Are The Mighty. The author, while having been embedded in units in the sandbox, isn’t a vet. Then again I can’t find anything about Mr. Fitch’s combat experience either.

  • Norm Glitz

    “Obviously, it would be silly for the US military to recreate the FG-42 exactly from original blueprints … ”

    Blueprints are not originals. They are cheap, disposable copies for use in the shop or on a construction site. The originals are called drawings, even with today’s technologies.

    • So if you and a buddy were thumbing through an archive, and he found an original 1942 FG-42 blueprint, and got excited, started yelling “Norm! Norm! I found it! It’s an original, look it’s got all the correct markings, and I think this is the right kind of paper for the era-”

      You would cut him off and go “Man, you know, blueprints aren’t originals. They are by definition copies.”?

  • Steve Harris

    I have to disagree with the 22 machine pistol, as it would be way cool to own one as a civilian for combat I would always take a 1911. And my Sigs are buttery smooth right out of the box no break in or machining required.

  • Joseph Anthony

    M1 Carbines are ok. My dad keeps one by his bedside.. Too old to use the M1A for defense… I have a few original ones..

  • jonp

    “The 1911 needs to see a trained professional gunsmith before it functions properly”????? What junk do you buy and doesnt the military have armorers?

    • ostiariusalpha

      Not bashing, but military armorers are nothing like genuine gunsmiths. At all. Anyone that’s done professional smithing could tell you that any gun can be finicky, it’s just that there are a high percentage of 1911s that end up needing some work, especially the high end ones with tighter clearances.

  • Warren Ellis

    Regarding the SCAMP, would it be easy to make with today’s technology? Is there a reason why no one has thought of producing it you’d say?

    • Not enough demand for new small arms, is my first thought.

      The SCAMP was a pretty early prototype, but I can’t think of any reason you couldn’t make something like that today for a competitive price.

  • valorius

    With a properly engineered 30rd magazine, run of the mill soft point ammunition and a good red dot i would have no problem at all carrying an M1 carbine into combat.

    The FG42 is as good as any weapon our forces use today. And probably better than most.

  • valorius

    Replacing belt fed SAWs with mag fed weapons of any kind would be an enormous step backwards.

  • valorius

    “Even though there are enough 1911 gunsmiths to support a healthy
    competition circuit, issuing a weapon that needs to see a trained
    professional smith who costs $60/hr before it functions properly is
    probably not a good option for the US military.”

    military stock 1911A1’s work perfectly fine with 230 gr FMJ ammo, which is what they were designed to fire.

  • Doom

    Pretty sure they were called “ronsons” or “tommy cookers” because they used normal gasoline instead of Diesel which is much easier to light up.

  • AirborneSoldier

    An old prop driven aircraft with lots of loiter time and time on station would be great. The usaf has no good cas aircraft cept the a10, a great plane but the usaf generals keep trying to kill it.

  • disqus_f62emCdwDh

    You hardly need a gunsmith-built 1911 anymore. Most of them these days are built on CNC centers, that ensures consistency. Program the stated dimensions, choose the alloy, have at it (simple version!).
    Prime example are the Metro Arms versions from the P.I. All of them work fine I’ve ever shot (three), feed JHP no problem, generally have good triggers, and are inexpensive.
    Agree the Thompson is an overweight turd these days, too much muzzle rise for such a slow cyclic rate and so little recoil.
    Agree the M1 Carbine is an abortion, made to be cheap to build in mass quantities, American-style. Made originally for senior NCOs and 2nd Lt’s, tankers, artillerymen, but carrying one made you a target.
    The BAR “lives” on with the SAW, so what we need is a better SAW. Call HK…or resurrect the AUG heavy barrel version as the squad base of fire support (easy, flick the button, turn and extract, install new barrel).
    Surprised no one wrote that we need the M14 again…

  • Anon E. Maus

    Machinepistols don’t need to be in special cartridges to be viable, all they need is a burst-cam (two or three rounds), a muzzle-brake and a folding VFG, looking at the Beretta 93r, it does this, you won’t lose control of it, and modern 20rd magazines are compact enough while offering plenty of firepower, 30rd magazines aren’t that huge either.

    The machinepistol might be a very niche kind of weapon, but they can have their place. Just making an updated variant of the 93r, say, 93A1r, and it could be the best machine pistol, reinforce the locking areas of the slide (like on a 92 Brigadier) making it stronger, make the folding VFG a little thicker and sturdier, maybe cut an indent in the top of the slide for fitting an optional low profile red dot sight, (like on the FNX Tactical). There’s probably room for brake that’s better than the original compensating cuts.

    I’m toying with the idea of designing some manner of holster to also function as a stock, but I’m questioning how useful this could actually be (though it’s easy to point at the C96 or VP70 as examples of why not, in truth, those pistols aren’t that good to begin with, I’m thinking the concept can still be good). I figure the existing collapsing stock is what it is, it’s optional at any rate.

  • cisco kid

    Although the 1911 was a reliable pistol contrary to popular modern belief it was actually hated by the average WWII G.I. It was too big for the average soldiers hand, it kicked too much which made training difficult, Its accuracy sucked because of poor workmanship and its cartridge was one of the worst pistol cartridges of WWII. Now the last statement is going to raise some eyebrows but the real truth was that when the U.S. Military Neanderthals finally got around to actually testing the cartridge in 1945, 34 years after it was adopted they found much to their horror it actually bounced off of a WWII helmet at a scant 35 yards while the 9×19 penetrated the helmet at an astonishing 125 yards ( see the book “The Ingles Diamond”).
    Today everything in the way of small arms must be light in weight and cheap to manufacture and that leaves the 1911 out permanently. A modern cheap junk stamped sheet metal and plasticky pistol will only be considered and considering the fact that many of these pistols have a much less steep feed ramp they can handle ammo that the 1911 only handles marginally without having a lot of hand work done to it. Such thinks as a safe decocker, double action and single action trigger, loaded chamber indicator, cocking indicator, and various width back strap inserts to fit women as well as men’s hands all point to the trash modern plasticky pistol.
    And last but not least live pig tests in Mexico by Pistolero Magazine once and for all proved the 45 acp killed no better even with modern expanding bullets than did the 9×19. The man stopping deadliness of the .45 acp compared to other military pistol cartridges was and is a total myth.