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View Full Version : BAR or STG-44, which was the first assault rifle?



Mazorquero
Thursday, October 12th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Well, first of all, we must define what an assault rifle:assaultr: is: a light easyly transportable firegun with the morphology of a rifle (mainly designed to lie on the shoulder) that can be shot in automatic mode and which uses rifle cartridges, thus having better range than submachineguns:smachineg , sharing with them some of their mechanisms. It's in general the main combat weapon of infantry.
Well, many people say that the STG-44:gsoldier (in service since 1944, hence it's name) was the first assault rifle, the Kalashnikov, M-16 and FAL are based in it. But the BAR (Browning Automathic Rifle) was developed earlier and according to my definition, is an assault rifle. Both of them used rifle ammo (30.06 for the BAR and a shorter version of the 8x57Mauser for the Sturmgewehr). Do you understand my doubt?
OK, many historians prefer to say that the STG was the first "modern" assault rifle, but they don't speak about its "ancestors". I personally think that the BAR is not considered an assault rifle because it was quite heavy and its big and powerful cartridge suggest that it can be classified as a light machinegun:50cal: . Modern assault rifles tend to shrink the size of the ammo, the STG was a pioneer; in fact, the only modern rifle with somewhat big ammo was the FAL (7,62x51 NATO).
All assault rifles can in many situations replace submachineguns, but that is difficult to achieve with the BAR, because of its size and high recoil.
I gave my opinion and doubts, debate now, please:2rifle

PS.: I love weaponry smilies, did you noticed that?

Berliners Remember
Thursday, October 12th, 2006, 08:43 PM
The BAR was orginaly just a light machine gun designed for infantry support in the first world war. It was heavier than the Mp44 as you stated. The MP44 was the first imo.

wöllsteiner
Friday, October 13th, 2006, 03:58 PM
The BAR was orginaly just a light machine gun designed for infantry support in the first world war. It was heavier than the Mp44 as you stated.

The Browning Automatic Rifle was designed by the famous American arms designer John Moses Browning late in the First World War, on the request from US Expeditionary corps in Europe. Initially it was just like that - the Automatic Rifle, a selective fire weapon, intended for use by infantry men to fire from the shoulder or from the hip when advancing onto the enemy positions, and to provide mobile firepower to every squad, since the standard machine guns were heavy and much less maneuverable. But the BAR M1918 was way too heavy for a shoulder fired weapon, being more that 2 times heavier than a bolt-action Springfield M1903 rifle and exactly 2 times heavier than a latter M1 Garand semiautomatic rifle. On the other hand, it was too light to be controllable in full automatic mode, especially when firing such a powerful round from a shouldered unsupported position.



The MP44 was the first imo.

:thumbup

Aeric
Saturday, October 14th, 2006, 01:39 AM
The MP44 was designed to be a true assault rifle from the start. It sacrificed extreme range and some ballistic refinements in favour of portability, good rate of fire and dependability. It can be fired whilst the user is in motion - from the shoulder or the hip. The designers realised that most firefights were not at extreme range, thus 'full-sized' ammunition that retained accuracy at rifle range was not necessary; the use of smaller, lighter ammunition made the weight and size of the weapon manageable and enabled the soldier to carry more bullets into the battle.

The BAR M1918 was designed to very different specifications. It was intended to provide relatively 'rapid and heavy' fire in the hands of one man (as opposed to the 2 or 3 man teams required to service other light machine guns effectively). However, the BAR proved to be a weapon that 'fell between two stools'. It was not really light enough to be used in motion, it was awkward to fire from either the shoulder or the hip (though U.S. Drill Instructors often told a different tale - just as British D.I.s initially spread the fiction that the Bren gun could be easily fired from the shoulder at passing aircraft) - in fact, firing it without using the bipod was more or less a waste of ammunition. On the other hand, the BAR was not heavy enough to be fired with high accuracy on the bipod - it jumped and bucked with the recoil and it was quite common to see an extra man holding the weapon down when it was used in a prepared position.

The BAR was accepted by the U.S. Marine Corps, but the regular Army was not enthusiastic about it. However, when World War II began every weapon that could be produced was valuable.

Aeric

Southern Jarl
Saturday, October 14th, 2006, 10:56 PM
I agree with what has been said, the BAR is far from being an assault rifle and the first effective weapon to be classed as such was the STG 44. However, I would have drawn comparisons between an earlier German product, the FG-42, and the STG. I believe that the idea of an assault rifle was first grasped in the making of this weapon, and while it lacked an essential concept -the intermediate cartridge- this rifle was relatively small, lightweight and had the option for full or semi auto fire. The Fallschirmjägergewehr was made with the purpose of satisfying the demands of an essentially assault force, the paratroopers. The full idea of the assault rifle was finally reached with the STG 44. It is interesting to see how most modern infantry weapons were developed from WW2 German innovations. The assault rifle is the most versatile and widespread weapon these days; later machineguns, such as the M60, were developed from German MGs (the M60 was a result of the combination between the frame of the FG-42 and the MG 42's mechanism), and modern SMGs have taken much more from the MP 40 than from the Thompson, the Grease gun and the Sten.
As for th BAR, I don't think it was such an ineffective weapon as some of the previous posters have stated. While it was originally intended for the trench wars, it still had its uses in the more varied WW2 scenarios and was a good support weapon for an infantry squad. It had its flaws, but overall it performed well throughout the war.

Mazorquero
Sunday, October 15th, 2006, 02:55 AM
I agree with what has been said, the BAR is far from being an assault rifle and the first effective weapon to be classed as such was the STG 44. However, I would have drawn comparisons between an earlier German product, the FG-42, and the STG. I believe that the idea of an assault rifle was first grasped in the making of this weapon, and while it lacked an essential concept -the intermediate cartridge- this rifle was relatively small, lightweight and had the option for full or semi auto fire. The Fallschirmjägergewehr was made with the purpose of satisfying the demands of an essentially assault force, the paratroopers. The full idea of the assault rifle was finally reached with the STG 44. It is interesting to see how most modern infantry weapons were developed from WW2 German innovations. The assault rifle is the most versatile and widespread weapon these days; later machineguns, such as the M60, were developed from German MGs (the M60 was a result of the combination between the frame of the FG-42 and the MG 42's mechanism), and modern SMGs have taken much more from the MP 40 than from the Thompson, the Grease gun and the Sten.
As for th BAR, I don't think it was such an ineffective weapon as some of the previous posters have stated. While it was originally intended for the trench wars, it still had its uses in the more varied WW2 scenarios and was a good support weapon for an infantry squad. It had its flaws, but overall it performed well throughout the war.

Those are really interesting comments Southern, I didn't know. I just wanna say that about the evolution of SMGs, many was taken from the MP-38/40, in fact the Grease Gun (known in South America as PAM) was a german design: a german gun designer who was living in USA was asked by the gov to develop a cheap, tough and GI-resistant SMG, used first with .45 and then rechambered in some countries with 9mm Parabellum. However, the most of modern SMG own it's design to a finnish prototype, which lead to the UZI some years then and started the 2nd generation of SMG (the third generation is that of the MP5 and similars). About the BAR, it was highly appreciated among gangsters and federals in the '30s.

Guest
Tuesday, October 17th, 2006, 08:18 PM
There is only one answer the Sturmgewehr 44 was the very first assault rifle, as i read long time ago the Ak assault rifle was copyed of the Stg 44

Immortal Warrior
Sunday, January 14th, 2007, 05:20 AM
There is only one answer the Sturmgewehr 44 was the very first assault rifle, as i read long time ago the Ak assault rifle was copyed of the Stg 44

A myth.The Ak-47 and Stg-44 only share outside similarities.This is the only familiarity they have but it stops here.The internals of each assault rifle are totally different.

Berliners Remember
Sunday, January 14th, 2007, 08:35 AM
A myth.The Ak-47 and Stg-44 only share outside similarities.This is the only familiarity they have but it stops here.The internals of each assault rifle are totally different.


Right, you could say they have a similar design for which helped influence Kalashnikov’s weapon (aka: the banana clip)...The weapons have completely different moving parts. In fact, I remember reading about how gun fanatics actually test fired the 2 weapons for comparison. They found that the Mp43/44 was actually more accurate over long distances than the AK, while the AK is a sturdier gun.

Mazorquero
Sunday, January 14th, 2007, 09:32 PM
Even Mikhail Kalashnikov sayd they are not a copy; he admited studying some details of the Stg-44 while recovering from some injuries, but he based his design on the need of toughness and simplicity, as well as being inspired by the Stg.
They are physically similar, but there's a certain difference that could explain the accuracy over long distances: look at the stocks, that one of the Stg is straight, almost alighned with the barrel, whereas the Ak's is inclined. When you shoot, Newton's 3d law tells us that a force acts in two bodies with the same magnitude but different sense, so while a force accelerates the bullet in the barrel, we experience its "counterpart", the recoil. Forces can act alone or also with torque, defined as Force x Distance, causing a tendence to rotate. Measuring the vertical distance between the barrel and the shoulder, you will find that in the Stg that distance is smaller than in the Ak, meaning that in the Ak the muzzle will elevate after each shot more than in the Stg. That's at least my opinion about the most probable cause. Anyway, a rifle that can be shot even after being ran over by a truck, must be indeed a terrific one.
I haven't heard, but it seems that Kalashnikov also based his design in the Sks 46 carabin, which was intentionally based in the Stg-44, being the first gun in using the 7.62x39, strongly based in the 7.92 Kurz and designed specially for that carabin.

Immortal Warrior
Sunday, January 14th, 2007, 10:53 PM
Right, you could say they have a similar design for which helped influence Kalashnikov’s weapon (aka: the banana clip)...The weapons have completely different moving parts. In fact, I remember reading about how gun fanatics actually test fired the 2 weapons for comparison. They found that the Mp43/44 was actually more accurate over long distances than the AK, while the AK is a sturdier gun.

I shot an Ak-47 before the round starts dropping like a stone over 300 yards.In a windy day the round will also start dropping like piss in the wind.But it's reliability is par none.A assault rifle I would take to any theater for it's simplicity reliability and parts.A Ak-47 made in the 1960's you can change the same parts for any newer ones made in the 21st century.I believe it the Mp43/44 was a remarkable piece of German engineering.The Ak-47 is a crude weapon that can be made in a railway depot.But it gets the job done.

SmokyGod
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007, 02:53 AM
Neither, actually.

The BAR is a Light Machinegun or, if you are being generous, a "Machine Rifle". The Sturmgewehr is a true assault rifle, because the Kurz cartridge is what is called an "intermediate" round, being between a pistol cartridge (ie 9mm Parabellum) and a full-sized rifle cartridge (ie 7.92x57mm) in length and power. Fallshirmjaeger MG's were Light Machineguns also, although more compact then the BAR.

I don't even know if the AK's 7.62mm cartridge was based on the 7.92 Kurz, the Soviets had needed a gap between Shpagin SMG's and Mosin-Nagant rifles and had created a cartridge prior to the 7.62x39, called the 7.62x41mm.

The FIRST assault rifle, to be totally correct, was a Russian 1920's design by Federov, commonly referred to as the "Avtomat" (Avtomat being the "A" in AK-47) The Avtomat used rifle ammo (6mm Arisaka, if memory serves) but it had a vertical foregrip and compact size. It was replaced by the AVT and SVT rifles, though, and made almost no impact on arms design. It is more of a footnote in firearms history, much like the Italian Pilar Verosa is to Submachinegun designs.

PS: The Simonov-designed SKS was based on the STG 44, at least internally. The Kalashnikov adopted the look, but not the guts, of the STG.