54 Comments

  1. On the other thread regarding the scope, someone mentioned the twisting to the left that the heavy scope causes. The absolutely straight “English”-style stock must not have helped the user to counteract this twisting.

  2. The photograph of the camo of the 03 is something I want to recreate.
    German camo helmets rather brightly painted were intended to disappear at sixty yards. A lot of people think the colors were muted but the opposite was true. The high contrast was necessary to break up the outline.
    Us manufactured six ton tanks used different colors than the French but it appears that often any paint was available to be used. I would love to find us camo instructions but I am guessing they did not exist. Black and white interpretations are difficult with wwi photos.
    Of Corse camouflage an original stock with best guess paint is undesirable but maybe not a repro stock. What I am looking for is an already drilled or filled receiver in which I can build a rifle around it.

    • At first glance I thought the stock was just muddy. Yea you’ll be hard pressed to get a color match from that photo. Good luck on your project.

    • There really isn’t much data available on WW1 camouflage colors except for aircraft. In my spare time, I’m a model builder and believe me, we tear our hair out over this. (Well, those of us who have any to begin with.)

      From all indications, the basic color of the early British “landships” was Royal Navy “sea gray” or “ship gray”; this was a medium-dark gray, about equivalent to modern U.S. Air Force standard FS 36118 “Gunship Gray”. They later changed to a khaki drab color, close to U.S. Army “Olive Drab” (modern FS 34087) from 1918 and later.

      Disruptive patterns on tanks were mainly a French invention. Their tanks, like the St. Chamond, started out in an overall light olive green (close to FS 34151 SAC “Bomber Green”, the lighter of the two greens in the old SAC SIOP scheme on B-52s), but they soon went to multicolor schemes using that plus brown, yellowish ochre, and some black.

      U.S. AEF schemes, such as on the Renault FT.17, generally followed french practice simply because that was how the tanks were painted when the French handed them over. (The French-built Nieuport and Spad fighters used by the Army Air Service were in French camo for the same reason.)

      Camouflage paints in the trenches, intended for pillboxes, spotter shields, etc., were French as well. So we’re talking light olive green, yellowish ochre, brown, and black.

      The Germans painted their very few tanks, like the huge A7V, initially in overall dark gray simply because their first batches of operational tanks were captured British “rhomboidals”, and that was the color they were. So German “panzer gray” was really Royal Navy “sea gray” to start with. They later started painting them in French-style schemes, but the Armistice intervened.

      BTW, when “Olive Drab” became the standard U.S. vehicle color in early 1918, it was created by simply mixing ochre and black in a 2:1 ratio. After WW2 and up into the early 1960s, the “Dark Olive Drab” or “Green Drab” (FS 34086) was created by simply mixing the FS 34087 drab 2:1 with flat black paint.

      Note that the FS (Federal Standard) numbers are post-1950. Colors during WW2 and a bit earlier were categorized by the ANA (Army-Navy-Airforce) system, and while the colors might be the same they had different numbers.

      Here’s a good writeup on the subject of OD by Steven Zaloga, one of the best armor historians around;

      http://www.militarymodelling.com/news/article/olive-drab/4536/

      Hope this helps a bit.

      cheers

      eon

      • Speaking of camouflage, aircraft in the USAAF went with bare metal finish with black paint over areas that tended to glare at pilots. Said areas were engine cowlings. Why did they lose the paint? Paint was extra weight, and by 1944, the Luftwaffe was running out of capable pilots (the Imperial Japanese air services were also short on skilled pilots). Further more, American airfields were not subject to getting attacked from the air a lot, which meant that the planes didn’t need to hide themselves.

        Did I mess up?

        • “Did I mess up”
          Painted surface give also bigger air drag, therefore for all others equal bare-metal aeroplane will be faster than painted one. Omitting painting mean that aeroplane can be produced faster. It also offer positive friendly-foe identification, so should prevent friendly-fire from AA gunners.

          Allegedly in 1945 German soldiers says: “How to recognize aeroplane? If it is silver – American, if it is green – British, if it is invisible – our” which good described American dominance in air.

        • Nope, you’re right on course, as a friend of mine who flew P-51s with 8th AF (26 AtA victories over the ETO and three more with 20th AF over Japan) told me as a kid.

          The paint was not only stripped off, the surface was rubbed down with fuller’s earth to get the absolute smoothest finish possible for absolute minimal drag. A policy that continued into the early 1960s.

          Fun fact; maintenance crewmen on the B-47 Stratojet bomber wore cotton covers over their shoes when working on the top of the wing and fuselage. A scuff mark on the wing could reduce her airspeed up to 7 knots at all throttle settings.

          WW2 aircraft weren’t quite that sensitive, but my friend’s P-51D was polished until you could literally see your reflection in the aluminum. The Packard Merlin could push it to 440 MPH in level flight above 20,000 (supercharger in second boost stage, that kicked in at 19,500 baro), and the D could reach 490 MPH in a fifteen-degree dive at that pressure altitude, putting it well into the transonic range. (Mach was about 540 MPH or 490 KTS at that pressure altitude and 20 deg. F, IIRC; I’d have to look it up to be sure.)

          If you don’t think every bit of that speed was necessary, you’ve never seen a Bf-109/G10 riding the “gravity express” down from 26,000 to 20,000 in a “twelve o’clock high” collision-course attack on a B-17 “box”.

          By the time “Gustav” was within cannon range of the Forts (about 250 meters) he’d be doing a good 475 MPH at least, which with the bombers’ TAS of about 210 made for a closing speed of right on 685.

          A pursuing Mustang had maybe four or five seconds to get him in the sights and shoot his a$$ without risking “blue-on-bluing” the bomber. .50 cals don’t care much what they hit, they’re going to perforate it even if it has American markings.

          Now you know why fighter pilots believe that “Speed Is Life”.

          And anything that slows their plane down has to go.

          BTW, a lot of the Mustangs (and Forts and Liberators and etc.) may have come from the factories with Flat Black antiglare panels, but when they went through maintenance cycle in England, a lot came back out with Olive Drab or even British RAF Dark Green antiglares. Simply put, there wasn’t all that much Flat Black paint available in England, so they used what was available.

          Yes, us model builders actually do keep track of all this stuff.

          cheers

          eon

          • ..keep track of all this stuff…I used to build models back in the dark ages before any after market products were available. Hours of pondering over paint shades and mixes. 3 years ago I met a Pearl Harbor veteran ( Army ) who still had 2 empty Japanese 7.7 cartridge cases picked up from the road outside Schofield barracks and a square of aluminum cut off a wreaked Japanese AC at Munda. I was delighted to note that the color of the anti corrosion paint on the backside matched the shade I had mixed 50 years ago.

  3. “3000 yards”
    Most pre-WW2 fire-arms have optimistic or very optimistic maximal sights setting. Examples:
    SIG MKMO (1930s Swiss sub-machine gun, 9×19 or 7.65×21 cartridge) has sights scaled to 1000 meters.
    Berdan No. 2 (1870s Russian single-shot bolt-action rifle, 4.2-line Berdan cartridge) has sights scaled to 1333 meters, however it can be fitted with special sight scaled to 2000 meters.

    • Optimistic maximum range was likely based on “shooting gallery” conditions (no wind, no mud, and nobody trying to kill you).

          • By volley fire in that context I think it had to d with a group of soldiers pouring in rounds into an area to harass the enemy, even if aiming at an individual soldier is impossible. These days I suppose that is what mortars are for, but back then some rifles were sighted for what was basically indirect fire. For that matter, I believe that some machine guns in WWI were also used for indirect fire as well.

            Sure, it is wasteful of ammunition, but if you have plenty, why not? It might push the supply, mess, etc., areas further behind the trenches, harass the enemy, and once every few thousand rounds it might take an enemy out of the fight.

    • Optimistic is right. I wonder what’s the energy level of the cartridge at that range. I suppose it would just give the intended target a nasty boo boo.

      • And nasty boo boo generally means bleeding and danger of infection, to say nothing of the fact that the bullet has gone subsonic by that point, causing paranoia for the victim when he realizes that someone is watching him from beyond his own attack range. Or am I wrong?

        • Yep you could also cut your hand opening a tin of bully beef and get a nasty infection. 3000 yards is a stretch for a 30-06 to make a kill shot. I would think it would be way out of its effective range. From what I have read about plunging fire should be kept to 1000 to 2000 yards.

      • Extreme long range fire, even with high-velocity rounds like .30-06, requires considerable elevation. As such, gravity becomes a major component of the equation, unlike normal direct fire.

        Put simply, as the bullet travels “up” the arc of its trajectory, it loses velocity not only to air drag but to the gravity pull of the Earth. At the top, it has relatively little kinetic energy left, but a lot of potential energy, aka “energy of position” due to its height in the “gravity well”. Think of it as a roller-coaster at the top of a rise in the track.

        Coming down the “far side”, like the roller coaster, it picks up velocity again, due to gravity. It’s still suffering from air friction drag, but when it gets back to ground level, it’s still going to be traveling close to 75-80% of initial muzzle velocity. That’s about 2000-2300 F/S with the .30-06 150-grain.

        IOW, close the muzzle velocity of the WW2 7.9 x 33 Kurz German assault rifle round’s 126-grain pill. And more than fast enough, with more than enough foot-pounds of kinetic energy, to go right through your helmet, your head, your torso, and right out your…derriere’.

        This is what has always made massed, long-range plunging fire so deadly, whether we’re talking English longbows at Agincourt, Bismarck firing on Hood in the Denmark Strait, or the famous case of the ten 0.303in Maxim machine guns firing into a patch of land for 12 hours nonstop to keep the Germans from crossing it.

        This is also why the “happy fire” typical in the MidEast tends to cause “accidental” deaths. And why every box of .22 Long Rifles is marked “Dangerous within one mile”. And why you never fire anything, even a slow watermelon of a round like the old 0.455in Webley, upward at a thirty-five degree angle. (It will reach out over 1,300 yards if you’re dumb enough to try it, according to official British Army test results.)

        You don’t mess with gravity, and you treat it with respect. It will generally kill you if you forget to do so.

        cheers

        eon

        • Sorry, Eon, but your physics is a bit off there – a bullet keeps decelerating from the moment it leaves the muzzle. Whack some high trajectory stuff in to this calculator if you don’t believe me: http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

          Since we’re not in a vacuum, it doesn’t matter how much potential energy a proj has at the peak of its trajectory since its rather low terminal velocity limits how much of this can be transformed into the vertical component of its kinetic energy. Mythbusters did this one, by the way, in their “bullets from the sky” experiments.

          • Okay, but in any case, what goes up must come down. The whole point is, don’t shoot in the sky if it isn’t necessary to do so. The bullet fired into the air is lethal if its velocity vector is not completely vertical (much more likely than not in combat, and certainly when we consider “happy fire”). Last time the Brits tried using the 37mm Maxim for zeppelin busting, the projectiles didn’t hit as intended and came down on private property. By the way, the shells weren’t fit with timer fuses, the presence of which would have negated the possibility of plunging friendly fire.

          • “Okay, but in any case, what goes up must come down.”
            Not. It is true as long as we assume that we don’t exceed escape velocity – assuming that we’re on earth it is around 11 km/s (11000 mps or ~36000fps), so it is true for artillery shells (most cannons, including long-range has muzzle velocity below 1000m/s)

            “37mm Maxim”
            For HE shells kinetic energy is totally irrelevant as HE shell harness power of explosion (energy of explosive compound, “chemical” energy) to inflict damage.

      • That optimism was prolly born out of the belief that smokeless powder would not change basic infantry formations or warfare tropps would fight exactly as they had for generations, except they’d be able to engage the enemy farther out….lines of troops would now be able to engage at HUNDREDS if not over a thousand yards/meters…good marksman ship would still win battles and the technology was available to each infantryman, not just specialized ‘jaeger’ or ‘chasseur[‘ units (albeit the former was infantry and the latter cavalry. The lessons of the ‘little wars’ preceding the Great war were either forgotten or simply ignored by the ‘gravel-bellies; who insisted on the old tactics used since the dawn on gunpowder and not much changed even then…still based on the old legionary tactics and the ‘shield wal; formations as they were…

  4. Weapon of choice scenario:

    [radio static]

    Muddy conditions don’t make for very good shooting while prone, but right now I’m hiding from what appears to be an unusually large pack of werewolves (and sadly, silver bullets aren’t available unless you have them airdropped sometime soon!!!!!). Ruined houses, barns, shell craters, and fallen pine trees make for good camouflage, but I don’t think I can hide my scent from them much longer (I ran out of “red herrings” ten minutes ago). Please tell me you aren’t stuck with me in this mess…

    If you indeed are stuck in the ruins with me, get one of the toys I found:

    1. M1903 with Warner and Swasey scope (or get another scope)
    2. Gewehr 98 with trench magazine and low-power scope ahead of the receiver
    3. Scoped Ross Mk III (keep this clean)
    4. Finnish M39 with bayonet
    5. MP-34 (o)
    6. Thompson M1923
    7. PPSh-41
    8. ZK-383
    9. MG-18 TuF
    10. Water-cooled Browning M1921
    11. single-mount 25mm Type 96 AA
    12. Canon de 75 modèle 1897
    13. Vehicular homicide by means of the Vickers Light Tank MK II, M6 GMC, or the awful Type 94 Tankette

    If you’re coming to the rescue, please choose an approach that won’t leave you eaten or anything…

    1. M5A1 Stuart
    2. M4 Sherman
    3. Churchill Mk IV
    4. UH-1 Iroquois gunship with loudspeakers?!
    5. Or per the usual, screw the budget and add your favorite toys to this list!

    This activity is totally voluntary. You aren’t required to go into the horror-movie scene 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

    • “werewolves”
      Get poison from Aconitum (also known as Wolfsbane), it is effective against wolves so it is quite possible than werewolves are also vulnerable to it.

      “coming to the rescue”
      Get M2 Medium, machine gun in each corner provides 360° of defensive fire.

      If you consider that vampires will win with werewolves then get some vampires. de Havilland Vampires.

    • Lycanthropes are tough customers, and barring “bane” rounds you have to do as much sheer physical damage as possible to shut them down even temporarily. They heal pretty fast, but not instantly; serious trauma will deadline them for up to an hour at least.

      Assuming you’re in a fixed position, go with the water-cooled M1921 .50 and pray you have enough belted rounds. If you have tracer, especially APIT, so much the better; lycanthropes are almost as vulnerable to fire as vampyrs.

      Barring the “fifty”, go with the 25mm AA. Keep in mind that the “Chicago Piano” was never the most reliable piece of ordnance around, but the HE rounds will cause serious trauma with even a single hit. That clip-loading system is a problem in sustained fire, though.

      BTW, when I come to the rescue, I’ll be in a Sherman IV or Churchill “Crocodile”, both with flamethrowers. Lycanthropes burn exceptionally well when doused with flame fuel and torched.

      No, you do not want to know how I know all this stuff. Trust me.

      clear ether

      eon

      • ““Chicago Piano” was never the most reliable piece of ordnance around”
        http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/4993#.VmRRIcYWkmE states that 1.1″/75 worked properly when good maintained.

        “That clip-loading system is a problem in sustained fire, though.”
        Notice that some other Navies still used semi-auto (in artillery sense i.e. single shot) light AA cannons – Kriegsmarine has 3.7cm SK C/30 when RKKF has 45mm 21-K.
        Also notice that 1.1″/75 has high practical RoF to cyclic RoF ration (practical: 100rpm, cyclic: 150rpm); it has specific feeding – each gun has two magazine, when cartridges from one are fired, second magazine can be changed; the problem was that it was quad mount and changing magazines of internal guns was awkward

        “HE rounds”
        Fuses for 28mm shells were flawed – were too sensitive

        • Shooting at a flesh-and-blood target you need a high-sensitivity, superquick fuze. Otherwise it will go straight through without detonating.

          Se it happen once with an M79 round. Luckily, the AD didn’t result in the HE/Frag going off in the guy’s chest cavity.

          Things got real interesting in the ER, though. IIRC, there was a very similar incident in CA about that same time (late Seventies)- they made an episode of “Emergency” out of it, I think.

          People used to have the weirdest “war souvenirs” around here.I could understand a “blooper”, but a live 40mm round?

          cheers

          eon

          • So would the Japanese Type 96 AA (a Hotchkiss clone, by the way) actually violate the Petersburg Convention if used on people (or the lycanthropes in this case)? Assuming we had a two-gun mount or even a three-gun mount shooting into a crowd of infantry instead of planes, how would lawyers react? Or assuming the rounds didn’t detonate and just went through the crowd a la “Last Crusade,” would the law matter?

          • That was the premise behind the 1.1″. It was intended to fire a round with an impact fuse sensitive enough to detonate on the fabric covered wings and fuselages of the most likely enemy aircraft when the gun was designed. A secondary design goal was to produce a gun with the minimum of recoil forces on its mount and the deck underneath.

            The 1.1″ was basically obsolete when fielded, because it’s principal premise had evaporated by then. Still it was better than anything the Japanese fielded, which were either underpowered, inadequate in sustained firepower or tragically slow to engage.

          • CD;

            Actually, the .50 is considered illegal under GA for anti-personnel use. As it was explained to me by somebody who was JAG in the Army, the .50 is defined as an anti-materiel weapon for use against vehicles and etc. But when you shoot somebody with it, the argument is that the actual target was the equipment they had in their possession, and that hitting them in the process of destroying it was just an unfortunate side-effect.

            No, really. As Cooper once said, “silly laws promote transparent evasions”.

            cheers

            eon

          • I think folks here might find this article worthwhile:

            https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/killing-myth

            Current U.S. doctrine providing for the use of the .50 caliber machinegun as an antipersonnel weapon is consistent with the law of war obligations of the United States. No treaty language exists (either generally or specifically) to support a limitation on its use against personnel, and its widespread, longstanding use in this role suggests that such antipersonnel employment is the customary practice of nations. – See more at: https://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/killing-myth#sthash.xC4EHWsb.dpuf

      • However, note that vampyrs are not “warm”, hence do not show up well on infra-red.

        Lycanthropes are easy to spot, by comparison. High metabolic rate causes them to basically “run a fever” in wereform. Thus they show up as a “hotter” or “brighter” source on IR, compared to “normal” humans or even most warm-blooded animals.

        Again, you don’t want to know how I know this.

        cheers

        eon

    • Well, they are round like pet dog tags are round. I had a Dalmatian. He died last year. I keep his tag on my flash-drive lanyard so I won’t forget him.

  5. we no need to fear werewolves and zombies, they want too eat us because they are hungry, but if you give them a cheese pizza, no problem.

    why zombies, mummys, werewolves, lake monsters and shoggoths can not live together withs humans in peace ?! WHY ?!

      • From aircraft camo to werewolves…. I love this site! I’m a firm believer that there should be a law prohibiting people who haven’t red Max “Son of Mel” Brooks shouldn’t talk about the zombie apocalypse until they have read “Zombie Survival Guide” and “WWZ” (The movie sucked – the book is a tribute to Studs Terkel and is outstanding.) Here’s a fun interview with Max…. if you don’t want to watch the whole thing go to the 11-minute point for “What was it like having Mel Brooks for a father?” question. Hilarious. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rz_Qq6VuVc

  6. Shooting at 300yrds with .30″ caliber? This guy struggles with 1/3 of that distance with similar round https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2M1hC4c0tc

    I would have a general question for those who feel to be competent in answering it. If in artillery is considered movement of Earth in period of time between shot release from muzzle and its impact, is it not pertinent the same to be considered with relatively small bores such as rifles? We would be talking of ranges over ‘practical’ 1000yrds.

    I believe this is not addressed even at some advanced and customised scopes/ballistic calculators such as Barrett BORS.

      • Didn’t the Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz have to deal with the Coriolis Effect along with wear and tear? The long range wasn’t that practical when one thinks of development costs. And weather can get in the way.

        • “Kaiser Wilhelm Geschutz”
          What is interesting Paris Geschütz gain biggest range at elevation = 55° because free air pressure varies to altitude.

          “wasn’t that practical”
          For me Paris Geschütz is similar to WW2 V-2 rocket. Both were Terrorwaffe as it mainly lower enemy morale. Both in terms of cost-effect ratio were poor.

          BTW: How large was city of Paris in 1918? Then assuming range = 130 km how good in accuracy (how many MOA) is required to hit?

          “long range”
          Considering WW2 and earlier technology:
          If bombers can penetrate enemy space it are much more feasible, it can hit targets with better precision. V-2 warhead was 975 kg/2150 lbs-heavy (with 910 kg/2010 lbs of explosive) it is smaller than payload of for example B-25 Mitchell bomber (can bring 3000 lbs) not to mention that bomber aircraft are not disposable.

          • Also, the Fi-103 (“V-1 buzz bomb”) had the same explosive payload as the V-2 but cost a lot less than the V-2 or a bomber;

            V-1; 5,060 RM/ea.

            V-2; 126,000 RM/ea;

            He-111H; 253,000 RM/ea.

            You could deliver 48.75 metric tons of HE to London with 50 V-1s for the flyaway cost of one He-111H, which at best had only about a 50/50 chance of surviving one mission over London to deliver 1.4 metric tons.

            Not only was the V-1 more cost-effective than the V-2, it was more cost-effective than any manned bomber in anyone’s inventory at the time.

            Sources; Hitler’s Rockets by Norman Longmate, Germany’s Secret Weapons of World War Two by Roger Ford.

            cheers

            eon

    • Ohka and Reichenberg both are sad stories. Reichenberg was spared actual use, but the Ohka got used. And sadly, you know how it goes. As per the short anime story “Sonic Boom Squadron,” once the Ohka’s rocket motors started, the suicide plane was nearly impossible to stop.

      • Few Ohkas ever got that far. Most were destroyed when the G4M3 “Betty” bombers that carried them were shot down before they could be launched.

        Reichenberg IV was intended as a “rammer” for use against bombers, hence the pilot. Although Flugkapitan Hanna Rietsch, Hitler’s favorite tiny girl of a test pilot, argued in her book Flying for the Fuhrer that it was a pipe-dream of Himmler’s that developed when he saw the piloted Fi-103s they were using in the development program to find out why the missiles kept nosing over and crashing about a minute after launch.

        It was determined that the pulse-jet’s “putt-putt-putt” effect was hitting a harmonic frequency that set up vibrations in the rear fuselage and tailplane, quickly causing the elevators to “flop” like a Weber “bang-bang” elevator going up and down. (Such elevators were used on the FX1400 aka “Fritz X” glide bomb.)

        Changing the ignition frequency of the spark plug solved the problem. It also gave them a little better “gas mileage” as well.

        If you ever get to see the 1965 movie Operation Crossbow with George Peppard and Sophia Loren, it shows this part of the V-1 R&D program. In fact, if you ignore most of the spy-movie bits with Peppard and Loren, the rest of the movie is an excellent “docudrama” about the V-weapon program and the “Robot Blitz”.

        cheers

        eon

  7. I find this photo quite poignant, it looks surprisingly recent. I mean a lot of WW1 photos look 100 years ago, this kinda doesn’t. Reminding us the Great war wasn’t that long ago, so it is important to remember it.

  8. Ok, I have the 03 I need for the project (already have a complete W & S scope and repro rail), a friend gathered it together, and built it and pretty much gave it to me for his cost with a lot of parts he had as he wanted this project to happen. Don’t find many 03 snipers to play with. It is a Frankenstein built up with a once fire damaged stock, one area got charred but the stock cleaned up rather nice, it also pieced together as it was cut under the band, added to a well worn 1910-11 vintage receiver and parts the barrel date is illegible but no pitting. In short, I cannot hurt the collectability of this one as there is not any. But it does have the appearance of the WWI rifle. I might fire some blanks through it only.
    That said, its still a tough decision to paint the rifle. The Americans had access to a lot more variety in paint than what the Germans were issued. Light green, yellow ochre, but also what looks like an orange ochre, a strawberry red, etc. Probably less is more with this project and I assume from the pic that the wood was also left exposed as one of the colors.
    Of course need to drill and tap the scope mounts. Thought about expoxy for the rail but I don’t want my intact original scope to fall off…depending on time might be making a compromise there. Any additional pics or descriptions, illustrations, etc, would be helpful.

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