Historic MG cartridges


#1

I have added an article to my website about historic machine gun cartridges: quarry.nildram.co.uk/Historic%20MGs.htm


#2

Wow,that is excellent


#3

I appreciate that you give passing mention to the fact that the Royal Navy retained their .45 GG Maxims until the end of WWI, but as your title includes “historic”, surely the .45 MH and .45 GG cartridges should be included. After all, these were the calibres of the first Maxim guns introduced to British service in 1889 and served for many years. The .45 Maxims were important in the Sudan campaign and did good work from the river boats at Omdurman. They were still being used in East Africa in WWI.

I am just being picky Tony, as the ,45 Maxim is one of my favourite weapons. I have never had the opportunity to fire one, althugh I have fired an 11mm Vickers.

An enjoyable article.

Regards
Tony


#4

Well, I did start by stating that “this article will be focusing on the small-calibre high-velocity rounds which entered service in recoil or gas-operated machine guns from the last decade or so of the 19th century.”

To stretch that to include the old large-calibre rounds would have made it somewhat longer, and also raised the question of the manually-cranked guns which also used such ammo…


#5

Tony W,

Loved the article!!

steve


#6

“In addition, in 1938 the Italians adopted the Breda M38 in their new 7.35x51 rifle cartridge (the 6.5x52 Carcano necked-up to accept a larger, spitzer, bullet), but before the change to the new calibre had made much progress, the Second World War broke out and caused the changeover to be stopped.”

Tony,
this is not correct, The Breda M38 was a M.G. developed for tanks and armoured cars use and like the similar infantry MG Breda 37 and Fiat 35 was in caliber 8x59 Breda.
The 7,35(Carcano) was developed as substitute caliber for rifles M 91 series and Lmg Breda 30.


#7

[quote=“vittorio”]“In addition, in 1938 the Italians adopted the Breda M38 in their new 7.35x51 rifle cartridge (the 6.5x52 Carcano necked-up to accept a larger, spitzer, bullet), but before the change to the new calibre had made much progress, the Second World War broke out and caused the changeover to be stopped.”

Tony,
this is not correct, The Breda M38 was a M.G. developed for tanks and armoured cars use and like the similar infantry MG Breda 37 and Fiat 35 was in caliber 8x59 Breda.
The 7,35(Carcano) was developed as substitute caliber for rifles M 91 series and Lmg Breda 30.[/quote]

According to Hogg & Weeks (Military Small Arms of the 20th Century - 7th edition) there were two Breda MGs designated M38: the “Breda, Calibre 8mm, Model 38” and the “Breda, Calibre 7.35mm, Model 38”. They state that the latter was a modification of the 6.5mm Model 30. Do you have evidence that this is incorrect?


#8

I wonder if Hogg was confusing it with the M38 RIFLE in 7.35mm?

Hogg was a Master Gunner and excellent when writing on artillery, but not so hot on small arms. His books (and those of John Weeks) on small arms and ammunition are riddled with errors.

Regards
TonyE


#9

What TonyEsaid about the late Mr. Hogg is absolutely true.

Nothing, or almost nothing to say about his well-documented studies on artillery, but his books about small arms and small arms ammo are poor and filled with errors and misconceptions.

More, he was an avid amateur of other people’s books, that he copied without any mind trouble, errors included (here I speak about my first hstp french book, edited in 1976, which was quite far from perfection!)

I had the privilege (?!) to meet the man in several European Arms exhibitions, some years before his death… and to ask him explanations, that he straightly refused to answer…This man would never dare to hear any critics or comments on his works, and he had (probably to to take him away from hard liquors?) an actually TERRIBLE wife! looking around to avoid perturbators !!!

R.I.P., dear Mr Hogg, but let’s you guys forget some of his books, which are actually filled with…fantasy, if not science fiction!!

Well, nobody is perfect!

Philippe


#10

I never met Ian Hogg, but when I was writing my first book (Rapid Fire - covering automatic guns and ammunition 12.7-57mm) I wrote to him to ask for help in finding photographs. I promptly received a huge package of material which was a great help to me in illustrating my book. When it was published I sent him a copy, and he wrote a very flattering letter to me praising the book. Some time later, I telephoned him only to find that he had just died. I had several conversations with his widow, and found her very helpful and charming.

Ian Hogg was one of the leading figures in writing about guns, and especially ammunition, for a popular audience. I don’t doubt that his books contain mistakes; so do all such wide-ranging studies. I don’t doubt also that he used secondary sources. Again, all authors writing books covering a wide international field pretty well have to, unless the author reads several languages and has the time and money to visit many countries and plough through their primary source material in museums and archives (in which case he would spend more money than he could ever earn from writing).

Ian Hogg’s legacy is an impressive one, and to be admired.


#11

Whilst it may be unfair to criticise Ian Hogg when he cannot defend himself, I have to agree with Phillipe’s comments. I also have met both Hogg and Weeks and there was no possibility they were wrong.

If you want an example of what I mean, look no further than Jane’s Directory of Military Small Arms Ammunition written by him in 1985. This is a truly awful book. The drawings are not drawn to scale and are frequently inaccurately represented, and many of his remarks are simply nonsense. I quote the British .280 cartridge;"A variant was developed in an endeavour to turn the EM2 rifle into a 7.62mm weapon; this is the round identified as the “.280/30” and so marked on its base. It consisted of the 7mm case opened up to take a 7.62mm bullet."

As I said previously, his work on artillery was excellent and the book he wrote with Les Thurston on British WWI artillery is a classic. Similarly his works on WW2 artillery and British coastal defence.

Unfortunately he did not stick to what he knew, and I cannot agree that he was either a leading writer on guns and ammunition or that his legacy was an impressive one where small arms are concerned.

I prefer to remember Ian for his great knowledge of the big stuff.

Regards
TonyE