I’ve read elsewhere variations of the statement, “Tests have been done all the way back to before WWI and every time the 7mm has been shown to be the most effective caliber of bullet for a combat round.”
Does anybody know of any such tests? Over the years, I’ve done a little reading on the subject and I don’t recall ever seeing anything to back up that claim. Understand, I’m not saying it’s wrong, just that I don’t know of any info that would corroborate it.
AFAIK, 7mm Mauser was the only 7mm cartridge ever to be blooded in warfare, anywhere. But, in both the Spanish-American War and the Boer War, 7mm Mauser fired round-nose bullets, which couldn’t have shown any better terminal performance than the .30-caliber bullets of the day. It probably saw use with spitzer bullets during WWI and WWII, but what tests from those time periods say it was more effective than the .30-06, .303 British or 8mm Mauser?
The Brits became enamored of 7mm caliber (.284" bullet diameter) as a result of the combat against the Boers in South Africa, and decided then that 7mm was the “ideal” caliber. I can’t help but think they were biased by that experience, which led to a later (post-WWII) study declaring that 7mm was the “ideal” caliber. Of course, their pre-WWI 7mm (.276 Enfield) round was equivalent to some of today’s 7mm Magnums, while the post-WWII 7mm (.280 British) cartridge was more of an intermediate-power round. Did the UK do any terminal effects testing?
In the 1920s, John Pedersen opted for 7mm caliber (.284" bullet diameter) for the .276 Pedersen cartridge, but I’ve never come across his rationale for choosing that caliber. As for testing, here’s a quote attributed to Hatcher’s Book of the Garand, in regard to the “Pig Board” test results summary:
I also remember reading in History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Vol. I, that .276 Pedersen was inferior to .30-06 in Army tests of armor penetration.
So, going by what I have read, I haven’t yet found any reference source that backs up the idea of “tests going back 100 years” showing 7mm to be better than either smaller or larger calibers. If anyone can cite reference works that support the claim, I’d greatly appreciate learning of them.