RIA: T3E2 Trials .276-Caliber Garand

By 1932, the competition for the new US emiautomatic service rifle had been narrowed down to just two designs: John Pedersen’s delayed blowback toggle action and John Garand’s gas-operated action. Both rifles were chambered for Pedersen’s .276 caliber cartridge, and used 10-round en bloc clips. Twenty samples of each were made and sent out to infantry and cavalry units for field testing.

This rifle is one of those Garands – serial number 15, to be specific. The results of the trial was a preference for the Garand rifle, and the testing board got as far as writing a formal recommendation for its adoption before General MacArthur vetoed the whole .276 caliber idea for economic and logistical reasons (the US Army had a whole lot of .30-06 ammo and not a lot of spare cash). The result was ultimately a .30 caliber Garand rifle becoming the M1, but this T3E2 trials rifle in .276 sure is a sweet-handling piece of machinery!

67 Comments

  1. I always wondered what would have been this cartridge ‘ s effectiveness compared to the other battle rifle/GPMG cartridges

  2. One of my “win the lottery” fantasies (which would require paying voluntary taxes for the mathematically challenged, which I don’t) would be a custom National Match M1 (cherrywood stock, of course) in .25-06 which has always (since the days it was still a wildcat) been a favorite 500-yard watermelon killer of mine. Knew a semi-amateur gunsmith who had worked up a .270 Winchester M1 and after some tweaking it ran very smoothly the two or three times I ran into him at the range with it. But the “perfect” round for both rifle and MG has always been one of those elusive solutions that never seem to materialize… at one time there was going to be a 6-mm based on the 5.56, then the 6.8 Remington generated a lot of chatter… going back from the .280 British to the 6mm Navy in the Lee rifle/ 1895 Browning configuration.

      • I found that Hotchkiss M1914 variant in 7×57, was used during Spanish Civil War. Do know you any opinion about usage of this version? Was this cartridge considered “too weak” or “enough powerful” for medium machine gun?

        • It was an excellent round, with better effective range then 7.92x57mm (better cross-sectional density for bullet).

          • The British ran up against the 7x57mm in South Africa and responded by revamping the .303. The U.S. ran up against it in Cuba and responded with the .30-06. It’s always seemed to me that they both could have just said “Hey,the 7mm works. Let’s adopt it.” But I guess national pride at the time said we’ve got to have our own cartridge. Plus, it looks good on the chief of ordnance’s resume.

  3. Odd history of firearms, and who is to say that a lighter caliber where one lumps less weight won’t win more battles?

    • I’m guessing that in the wars of the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th (meaning the wars when virtually everybody used what we now call full-power rifle rounds), there was no actual difference in lethality between rifles firing 7mm or smaller bullets and those firing 7.62mm or larger bullets.

      But lots of people in positions of authority THOUGHT that bigger, heavier bullets (and as a consequence bigger, heavier rifles) were needed.

  4. Ian, wouldn’t the closest existing and still used cartridge to the .276 Pedersen actually be the 6.5×55mm Swedish, which was slightly more powerful than the 6.5×50mmSR Arisaka. It’s still very much alive and even quite popular as a target shooting and hunting cartridge in the Nordic countries with a fairly wide selection of factory ammo available. New hunting and target shooting rifles are in production as well.

    • Ian, Bravo! This is one of my most favorite brief videos you’ve done! Excellent!

      Imagine the .276 BAR? How about the 6.5x55mm m/37 Swedish version of the BAR… Then, about half-way into the Pacific campaign, it is noted that the magazine could be made detachable for the service rifle, and the en-bloc relegated increasingly to the rear echelon troops…

      Perhaps a “true carbine” rather than the intermediate/.32 WSR/.30 M1 carbine might have been developed instead?
      A very informative installment here.

  5. US ordnance conducted a series of tests in the 1920s on the lethality of service .30 M1906, .30 M1 and experimental .256″ and .276″ ctgs by shooting live pigs and goats, the so called pig and goat boards. The .256″ was found to be most lethal up to 600 yd IIRC followed by the .276″ and then the .30 ctgs. This left no doubt as to the effectiveness of the .276″ ctg.
    The .256″ ctg was similar ballistically to the 6.5 Arisaka ctg which was regarded by many “experts” pre WW2 as a “pipsqueak”.

  6. I’d hesitate to spend $50,000 on something that’s probably the property of the U. S. government. Or are there documents on this rifle that show it wasn’t stolen?

  7. “the whole .276 caliber idea for economic and logistical reasons (the US Army had a whole lot of .30-06 ammo and not a lot of spare cash)”
    And anyway ended with 3 different cartridges: .30-06 for M1 Garand, .45 Auto for M1 Thompson and .30 Carbine for M1 Carbine. I bet that if .276 Pederson would be adopted then new reasonable heavy “short rifle” could be crafted and hence M1 Carbine wouldn’t be needed.

    • That is my thought after watching the (excellent) video and reading follow-up discussion. Looks that heavy-handed McArthur’s decision did not produce right result. Existing 30.06 stocks could have been relegated to M1919 Browning.

      In addition, as Ian pointed out, continuous development could have produced rifle superior to M14 which may have staved off need for M16. This all is speculative, isn’t it.

  8. The .276 and the Canadian .280 Ross were classic examples of re-inventing the wheel. So, for that matter, is the modern 6.8 SPC based on the 5.56 x 45mm.

    In service trim, all launch a 150 to 160 grain bullet at about 2600 to 2800 F/S. Making them ballistic duplicates of the 7 x 57 Mauser. Its “English” caliber? .284″. The actual bore spec of the “.276″s? 0.284″ to 0.285”. (No, I have no idea why they were called “.276”, “.280”, etc.)

    Only the British Pattern 13 Enfield “.276″ (another 0.284” bore) showed any real ballistic “advance” over the 7 x 57, being about 200 F/S “faster” with any equivalent bullet weight. And being a rimmed cartridge, it’s not likely that anybody looking for a round for a self-loader was going to be interested in it.

    If they’d all just said, “hey, let’s just use the 7 x 57” , not only would they have saved a lot of R&D time, effort, and money, they might have ended up with something actually being adopted, other than the M1 in .30 Gov’t ’06.

    I find it interesting that then and now, the up-to-date “thinking” about optimum battle rifle ballistics, cartridge size/weight, etc., works out to a sporting/military round first marketed in 1892 and still moderately popular even today.

    cheers

    eon

    • “Only the British Pattern 13 Enfield “.276″ (another 0.284” bore) showed any real ballistic “advance” over the 7 x 57, being about 200 F/S “faster” with any equivalent bullet weight. And being a rimmed cartridge”
      .276 Enfield is rimless
      http://www.municion.org/7mm/276Enfield.htm
      rim diameter is even slightly smaller than base diameter

        • adopted by hunters big time, apart from slightly smaller (about .005″ on diameter) base diameter and different head space, 7×64 is almost an identical twin to the .280 Rem, and both the 7X64 and .280 are within about 120 FPS of the 7mm Rem Mag with all weights of bullet out of a normal length barrel

          You need 30″ plus barrel length to see much difference between 03 and 06 based 7mm cases and the 7mm Rem mag.

          Indeed, the Ackley and ICL improved 7×57 rounds (less body taper, sharper shoulder and loaded up to around 65,000 psi) give almost the same performance as the 03 and 06 based 7mm cases.

    • The advantage that later 7mm cartridges had over 7mm Mauser aren’t in ballistics, but in being more compact and lighter. Thus allowing a soldier to carry more of them.

    • “I find it interesting that then and now, the up-to-date “thinking” about optimum battle rifle ballistics, cartridge size/weight, etc., works out to a sporting/military round first marketed in 1892 and still moderately popular even today.”
      I bet that it is because 7mm-08 Remington – it is shorter (in terms of length overall) so can be used in some rifle for which 7×57 would be too long.

    • They were called “.276” because that was the actual “bore” diameter, the diameter to the top of the lands. The .’284′ is the diameter to the bottom of the rifling’s grooves.

  9. …The 6.5 and other sub .30 caliber bullets couldn’t hold enough tracing material to make a decent tracer. That’s why the Japs went to the 7.7 for their machine guns. Going to .276 would not have eliminated the .45 or the .30 carbine round. The .30 carbine wasn’t crafted to be a short replacement for our battle rifle but to be an improved replacement for the .45 Colt pistol which most folks couldn’t hit anything with.

    • Right. Why then, did the U.S. keep cranking out Thompsons and eventually M3s? Imagine the M1 carbine, and an earlier adoption of something like the M2 without the SMGs?

      • The major reason for .45 SMGs was, simply put, there was a huge gap between demand for weapons other than the service rifle (M1 Garand) and plant capable of delivering Carbines and pistols.

        The U.S. manufactured about one million M1 Garands from 1939 to 1946 (the last year’s production mainly went overseas via MAP within a decade). From 1942 to 1946, we cranked out six million Carbines, mostly M1s plus a small number of folding-stock M1A1s, with the last lots being selective-fire M2s and a very small quantity of M3s, semi-auto only with the infra-red “sniperscope”.

        (The IR scope was mounted on the carbine for the same reason the Germans put their “Vampir” IR scope on the StG-44; neither scope could “see” much beyond 150 meters, so there was little point in putting either one on top of a full-powered rifle.)

        This still wasn’t enough to arm all the troops we had which needed longarms, let alone allied armies and guerrilla groups operating behind enemy lines.

        The latter considered the M1 Carbine nearly the ideal guerrilla weapon. Light, easy to handle even for untrained personnel, capable of useful accuracy to 300 yards (accounting for about 99% of “rifle fights” as per Keith), still well able to cripple or kill an enemy at that range, and its ammunition was light and compact so a lot could be carried by one man, and a huge amount could be delivered by covert means ranging from airdrop (into occupied Europe) to Gato or Balao-class fleet-type submarines (the Philippines).

        Paratroops liked the Carbine, the Tommy gun, and the Grease Gun because while a full-grown rifle like the M1 had to come down in a drop canister, they could just dummy-cord the carbine or SMG in a canvas carrier to their own parachute harnesses and land shooting.

        Support troops like transport, supply, engineers, artillery, etc., really couldn’t use the M1 rifle; it simply got in the way of their usual duties which did not involve infantry combat. But when they did need a gun, they needed it right now and they needed it bad. And it usually involved close-assault by the enemy, so long-range accuracy wasn’t as critical as firepower and hitting power at near point-blank.

        For all of the above, if a carbine could not be had, the .45 SMG was the next best thing. Especially due to the near-mythic status of the .45 round as a “manstopper” in the minds of Americans. (In actual fact, it and the German 9 x 19mm are about even in effect overall. Either one hits harder than the Japanese 8 x 22mm Nambu.)

        So the SMGs were made and issued because they were needed. It’s that simple.

        And they certainly saw a lot of use.

        cheers

        eon

        • OK: But if the carbine was to replace the pistol, rather than supplement it, why keep cranking out the handguns alongside the 6 million carbines? More guns are needed? Well, of course, so… The M3 Grease Gun by Hyde of Bendix-Hyde and GM becomes a full-auto .30 carbine cartridge shooter/bullet launcher rather than a .45? There were plans for full-auto .30 carbine caliber Thompsons, unless I’m mistaken, and even a prototype with an MG42 style barrel change…

          Douglas MacArthur, at least in my view, was “wrong” to scrap the .276 cartridge, but he was certainly right when he said the U.S. recipe for success lay in the Liberty ship (logistics!), the jeep (mechanization!)and the M1 rifle (firepower/ superior weapons).

          • The real recipe for US success in WW2 of course had almost nothing to do with small arms… The M1 Garand was a good rifle that compensated for the lack of a proper LMG, but nevertheless the US Army could have very well soldiered through WW2 with the 1903 Springfield as the standard infantry rifle. Logistics and mechanization were of course very important strategically and operationally, but tactically the biggest advantage of the US forces over the Germans and Japanese were well-developed support weapon systems; primarily artillery but from 1944 onward also air support became significant, both in close air support and interdiction roles.

          • “The M1 Garand was a good rifle that compensated for the lack of a proper LMG, but nevertheless the US Army could have very well soldiered through WW2 with the 1903 Springfield as the standard infantry rifle. Logistics and mechanization were of course very important strategically and operationally…” Yes, I think you are correct in that appraisal. Perhaps it was emblematic of industrial efficiency and the application of science and technology within U.S. industry to which the General referred.

        • eon, not to be argumentative, but WWII production of the M1 rifle topped out at approximately 3.5 million rifles manufactured at Springfield Armory and Winchester contributed about another half million more.

          But you are entirely right that there were not enough M1 rifles to equip everyone needing a rifle.

      • Considering manufacture technology M3 Grease Gun should be cheaper than M1 Carbine. Have you price for both from same time?

        • According to warhistoryonline.com the M3 cost $22 in 1942 and was down to $15 by 1945. The M1 Carbine cost $45 in 1942.

    • Seeing as a Garand in .276 Pedersen is already lighter than the Garand that was actually adopted, who’s to say they wouldn’t have just made a shorter version of it for issue to rear-line troops instead of designing the M1 Carbine? A shortened Garand in .276 would’ve probably weighed something like 6.5-7 pounds, that’s not as light as the M1 Carbine but it’s light enough.

      • And a shortened .276 Garand might have been designed with a pistol grip and folding stock, perhaps patterned after the M1A1 Carbine but beefed up. With an 18 inch barrel you might have been able to get an overall length, stock folded, of 27-28 inches.

  10. Okay, considering all the prototypes presented this week, I may have something…

    Weapon of choice scenario:

    Upon destroying the Evil Overlord’s nuclear superweapon by Daweo’s idea of collapsing a railway bridge with the explosives while the train carrying the weapon was crossing, we got ourselves a victory and a well deserved vacation… Actually, we didn’t get that vacation (aw nuts!). It just turned out that we were called to investigate another facility possibly linked to “Metal Gear’s” development. And just as I was about to call for backup, I got nabbed. After the guards took all my stuff and threw me into a detention cell, they said that if I didn’t spill the beans about the operation, they’d electrocute you (assuming you were also captured).

    I escaped through a conveniently located opening in the ventilation shaft (boy the guards must be stupid). Now I’m in some sort of small arms development work room. I suggest equipping for close-quarters fights, but who knows what can happen? All I managed to get so far is my Baikal Margo.

    If you escaped from a cell yourself, please get something from the list.

    1. T3E2 Garand with gas port instead of gas trap action
    2. Type 4 Rifle with bayonet, interchangeable magazines, and poison-filled bullets
    3. Hyde Carbine (first model)
    4. SIG SK46 with night-vision scope
    5. Type 64 silent SMG modified to fire tranquilizers
    6. Mk. 22 Hush Puppy with tranquilizer rounds and a CQC compatible knife (in case someone gets too personal)
    7. Oh goody, a box full of stocked M712’s and lots of ammo
    8. SPAS-12 loaded with tear gas or air shock slug rounds
    9. KS-23 loaded with grenade slugs that explode after penetrating the victim
    10. Tons of Schu-mine 42’s!!!
    11. Get the 15mm BESA and camp the door until help arrives
    12. Get something else!!

    If you’re a rescuer, please name your method of entry (but not by air, there are automated flak batteries around the facility). In any case, this mission, should you chose to accept it, is strictly voluntary. You are not required to participate if you do not wish to do so. Please keep any and all criticism of this post humane and free of foul language.

    Thank you,

    Cherndog

    • If I want to get out, I’m taking a suppressed weapon. The idea is (as Monty Python put it) Not To Be Seen.

      As for rescue, if I were there, I wouldn’t wait. The people I’d be working with would be the type who take the place out with a cruise missile delivered bunker-buster. Or a Deep Throat-type penetrator.

      If you’re still on site when either one arrives, you’re SOL, and your NoK get an insurance payout and a polite but uninformative letter on the White House letterhead.

      cheers

      eon

      • Well, those missiles might get blasted by the air defense systems I saw. Maybe I should steal that MG armed BMW R75 and make a run for it after picking up everyone… Or perhaps the Kfz 15 would be a better choice, as it’s towing a light flak mount someone can use to fend off the other team…

    • “method of entry (but not by air, there are automated flak batteries around the facility)”
      Not from top? Then from bottom. Time for «Боевой крот» or “Combat Mole”
      http://vk.com/video7835774_170499058
      is machine for traveling underground (Подземная лодка or геоход), technical data:
      speed: 7km/h
      length: 35
      crew: 5 (+15 desantnik)
      cargo capacity: 1000kg

    • For close quarters fighting I would take the m 712s disabling any that I could not carry for any friends that I meet. They are definitely not what I would want to be facing in such a situation. If I was looking to do any fighting over 300 meters, I would take the type 4 and wonder why someone made poison filled bullets for it, or the Garand in position #1 and for any heavy duty fighting against anything with armor up to 27mm, I would take that 15x104mm BESA.
      But mostly, I would wonder why I keep getting into these situations where I have to make do with whatever is available.

      • Maybe the poison bullets enforce the Far Eastern superstition “4 is death.” If you’ve broken out of a detention cell in some rogue nuclear weapons facility, you may have to strip a guard down to his goofy print underwear just to get a decent gun and to prevent said guard from sounding the alarm unless he really doesn’t care about his undressed state and the possibility that shooting you would fill his clothes full of holes and blood stains (assuming you did take his clothes as a disguise). Often escapees never find the optimum toys for any tactical job when procuring stuff on site unless they steal their gear back from the captors… Or am I wrong?

  11. People have been talking about an optimum cartridge to do the jobs of general issue rifle, light MG at squad/fireteam level, designated marksman, and GPMG for decades.

    Currently any change would require the US to scrap enormous stockpiles of 5.56x45mm, which tells me it probably ain’t happening any time soon. And when it does happen my money is on the government going with some kind of exotic design like caseless ammunition, or the Hughes Lockless system, or the Grandy Folded Path Cartridge, because these designs allow ammunition to be lighter and more compact, and also because they would be inherently non-reloadable, which our government would regard as a feature and not a bug.

    But if I were asked to design a cartridge, I’d start with the extremely high ballistic coefficient and sectional density we see with 6.5mm bullets. “Good enough” for all these uses, to my way of thinking, lies somewhere between 6.5mm Grendel and 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser, closer to the former. I would use a high-ballistic-coefficient bullet around 124gr at 2550 or so ft/sec muzzle velocity. Supposedly a 124gr bullet 0.264″ in diameter can have a G7 ballistic coefficient up to around 0.255, which with a 2550 ft/sec muzzle velocity will stay supersonic out to around 920m at standard temperature and pressure.

    The ammo would be about as heavy and bulky as 7.62x39mm and the rifle design would probably require a full length, 7.62x51mm NATO length receiver. In full auto it would be almost as controllable as 7.62x39mm, and maybe an advanced muzzle brake design like the one the Russians put on the AK74 can help with that. It would simultaneously stay supersonic further downrange than 7.62x51mm M80 Ball from light machine guns, 5.56mm Mk 262 from a DMR, or 7.62x51mm M852 Match from any sniper rifle in invantory, and surpass both of them in penetration and retained kinetic energy out past 1000m. There.

    Oh, do we want a platform for it too? I would go with a roller-locked design for the rifle, due to simplicity of manufacture and inherent reliability. Basically it would be a G3 with a different-looking magazine sticking out of it and an AK74 type muzzle brake. This would be the platform for infantry rifle and DMR, and the FN MAG/M240 could be easily enough adapted to this cartridge, which might be just a little long to work in the FN Minimi/M249. Or if you preferred the “systems approach” with multiple designs sharing a maximum number of parts, the HK21 LMG could likewise probably be adapted to the new round pretty trivially. There.

    • One addition: the required performance has to be deliver from a 14-16″ inch carbine length barrel. One of the problems 5.56x45mm had in Afghanistan was supposedly that the US Army had switched to the M4 with its significantly shorter barrel, which reduced the effective suppression range from 600 meters (with a 20″ barrel) to about 400 meters. By effective suppression range I mean range the the average rifleman is able to deliver fire close enough to the enemy to have a suppression effect; your average soldier (or even a Marine) is not going to consistently hit individual realistic battlefield targets at 600 meters with a rifle (assault or battle) even using a low power scope.

      The US Army is in general, I would say, very fond of “tweaking” and optimizing calibers and cartridges. The new 5.56mm cartridges with better long range performance from 14.5″ barrels is a good example. Some other army would have just issued full length assault rifles (already in storage for the most part) to troops operating in open terrain. The possible move away from 9x19mm as a pistol cartridge is another example. I can only deduce that these tendencies are a result of having the largest defense budget in the world. Optimizing ad nauseam becomes easy if you have an actual possibility to have it funded by the politicians.

    • I did a similar calculation a couple years back starting with the 6mm and 7mm bench rest rounds, the .280 British, and the .30×1.5 wild cat round. One thing that I figured was important, was the same base diameter as the .30-06 as just about every nation that makes ammunition for rifles has that basic pattern in their inventory. And I believe it is one reason that MacArthur was against the .276 Peterson round, which was a smaller head diameter. Who knows what might have happened if the Peterson round had the same dimensions as the .280 British, perhaps we would have had a “Tanker” style carbine version of the Garand in the smaller caliber. Though, I haven’t understood why they couldn’t have made one in .300 Savage instead of coming up with a new round.
      But isn’t it funny how the ballistics for the .276, .280 British and the 6.8 SPC all are very similar?

      • Also quite similar to 6.5x55mm Swedish M/41 military load (with a spitzer bullet). The 6.5x55mm does have an unnecessarily long cartridge case for modern military use, although for the same reason it remains a popular hunting cartridge (modern hunting loads can be hotter than the M/41 military load).

  12. Ian, if you ever use cue cards or the such it is never noticeable, I suspect everything is done from memory. As always very impressive, thank you Sir.

  13. Thanks Ian
    I had to look up the .276 Pedersen case dimensions.

    Very interesting!
    A 0.450″ head and rim size, so within tolerences, the same head size as the Mannlicher rimless rounds (6.5X54 MS Greek and 6.5X52 Carcano) and the 7.62×39 Russian and its progeny (.220 Russian and the Pindall-Palmisano Cartridges)

    or, with their rims turned off, the the same head diameter as .303 British and .30 Krag (and a pile of rimmed Mannlicher rounds like the 6.5mm Dutch).

    so it’s sort of mid way between the .470″ head diameter of the 8X57mm’s progeny and the .420″ of the .30-30 winchester and .30″ Remington derived 6.8mm SPC.

    With advantages in mag capacity for a given mag depth, and slightly reduced bolt backthrust and barrel shank diameter for a given pressure compared to the 0.470 head size cases.

    It’s interesting on that .276 that Garand had split the left locking lug to gain greater bearing area. I’ll have to watch again to see whether the 06 version went to a bigger lug for its un split left lug and a corresponding deeper cut out in the left wall of the receiver.

    The twist in the operating rod is a complication inherent in positioning the gas assembly under the Barrel. Kalashnikov’s (?and Schmiesser’s?) re-jig or the Garand style action is far more elegant from an engineering point of view.

    I’m not sure of the manufacturing set up for the early M1, whether some tooling engineer had simply eliminated the radius to simplify the manufacture and sharpening of the milling cutters, by simply having a square edge, rather than a form relieved radius on the cutter, or whether the part was made on a shaper, where again, cutting a radius would require a more expensive fixture.

    One minor quibble. A “mainspring” drives the hammer or striker. that was a return spring (and magazine follower spring).

    Regarding the logistics of multiple rounds, The British manufactured 7.92x57mm throughout WWii, as it had proved infeasible to adapt the Czech designed BESA tank mounted machinegun to the rimmed .303 round.
    Presumably the bureaucracy believed that the benefits of the BESA, outweighed the logistical problems of manufacturing and supplying 7.92mm Ammunition to the armoured guys.

    • Armored troops have a separate logistics channel in any case for supplying ammunition to the big guns. Sometimes in the same caliber as towed AT guns in WW2, but equally often in some unique caliber. So as long as you can actually manufacture the required ammunition, having a different caliber for the tanks is not a big deal logistically.

      • That’s pretty much the idea. I don’t think British tank crews ever complained about not getting rifle ammunition from the supply trucks. They likely took captured German 8×57 IS crates to load the Besa and left it at that.

    • “Kalashnikov’s (?and Schmiesser’s?)”
      Schmeisser (not Schmiesser), also he didn’t work with Kalashnikov in AK designing (it is popular hoax)

  14. If we are playing ” what if ?” Then how about if we had adopted the 6.5×55 round along with the Krag Jorgensen rifle in 1892/3 or so? No need to ever develope the .30-06. The BAR would have been even more effective and certainly lighter. The Garand would have been adopted in 1932 with this rifle. Heck , there would be no reason we would not still be using it as the NATO cartridge! FALs in 6.5 are neat to contemplate too! And instead of 5.56 we. Od have just reduced the case length to 35 mm for an assault rifle cartridge. What do you guys think?

    • You’d still have to get past the bureaucracy that previously was the ordnance board of the US Army. At least today they’re a little more sensible…

    • After the Boer War and WW1, the adage that the generals are still fighting the previous war, really took hold.

      Pre WW1, Britain played with the .276 round hoping to ape the flat shooting but otherwise excrably designed .280 Ross. the Ross had far too large a case head and far too much body taper, the big case head gives excessive bolt back thrust and the backthrust and excess taper contribute to crappy extraction. The experimental .276 gave excessive bore fouling and barrel heating. Not a problem for a stalking rifle that gets fired four times a year, but a big problem for a service rifle.

      After WW1 the British bureaucracy went even more apeshit crazy and there are experimental 7mm rifles, aiming to get 3,700fps! and iirc with something like a 140grain bullet

      That is way, way hotter than a 7mm Shooting Times Westerner (full length .375 H&H mag case blown out beyond where the 8mm Rem Mag blows it out to, and necked down to 7mm) it’s right up into Lazzeroni territory, and possibly then some.

      Move forward to Post WWii. and the American top brass were still not going to settle for anything less than full .30’06 performance, that was now obtainable from a 2″ long case.

      come to think of it, the first versions of the post WWii .280 British were on a smaller headsize than the .470″ that was moved to later.

      • “After WW1 the British bureaucracy went even more apeshit crazy and there are experimental 7mm rifles, aiming to get 3,700fps! and iirc with something like a 140grain bullet”
        That mean cartridge even bigger than 7×66 SE vom Hofe!

        • I’ll try to remember to find the Pattern Room collection number for at least one of the rifles, and re-check the velocity and what bullet weight the researchers were trying to achieve it with.

          In barrels of less than 30″ and with working pressures up around 65k PSI, there’s very, very little to be gained by using a case with more capacity than a .30-06.

          Despite it’s much larger capacity (about 30% larger) the 7mm Remington Mag adds very little velocity (at most about 100 f/s) compared to the approximately ’06 capacity .280 Remington, when they’re loaded to the same pressures and with the same weight bullets, out of the same length barrel.

          (.280 is usually factory loaded to slightly lower pressures than 7mm mag, to allow easier extraction as it is chambered in some semi autos and pump actions)

          So unless the British were going for barrel lengths of well over 30″ and were willing to tolerate barrel life of only about 500 rounds before accuracy and velocity dropped significantly. They were chasing the impossible.

          I think that the 7mm STW and some of the 7mm Lazzeroni loadings will achieve about 3,800 F/S with bullets of about 100 grains, in some rifles, but anything gained in flatness of trajectory out to 500m, is almost certainly lost in greater wind drift due to the poorer aerodynamics of the shorter bullet (wind drift is proportional to drag), and, the accurate life of the barrel is very short.

  15. One thing that always impresses me about the development and adoption of the M1 Garand is that the US Economy at the time was in complete shambles, yet still managed to develop the most modern, effect rifle of the period.

  16. Can you imagine a good reproduction T3E2 Garand in .276 being available today???

    The supply would be chewed off at the manufacturers arms…just before the ghosts of Patton and MacArthur told the .30-06 crowd to burn the factory down.

  17. friends:
    you can get a fair approximation of the t3e2 this day, to be found in the ruger mini-14 chambered in 6.8mm remington spc. this rifle is perhaps not quite as powerful as the t3 in .276 pedersen, but, it has quite a bit of “oomph” in its own right. it is, for instance, a small notch above the soviet 7.62x39mm (model 43), if loaded w/ 130 grain bullets. and, the model 43 is the yardstick by which all others are measured. so, do not lament, just go out and get a mini-14 or an ar-15 in 6.8mm rem spc, and consider yourself well armed: if you can hit what you are aiming at, in the vitals. if you cannot, well, not much will avail you, no matter what you shoot.
    john jay
    wintersoldier2008

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