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How far does a 50. cal bullet have to fly before it impacts with no effect?

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12 hours ago, Mobile_BBQ said:

If the 50.cal was so inadequate, I doubt that the F-86 would have been as effective at killing MiGs during the Korean War

 

Fun fact: They weren't.

 

12 hours ago, JG7_X-Man said:

Mathematically:

Lethality (F) can be calculated: F = W x V (where W = Weight of Fire in lbs/min and V = Muzzle Velocity in ft/sec)

The .50 cal M2 comes to 6.4 vs the 20mm M2 of 15.9.

Using numbers from Robert L. Shaws's Fighter Combat Tactics and Maneuvering (...someone here commented I don't do enough research - my wife got a laugh out of that by the way)

Thus:

The P-51D had a had a lethality of ≈38.4 (6x0.50 cal)

The Bf 109G (20mm) had a had a lethality of ≈28.7 (1x 20mm + 2x13mm)

 

What do these numbers mean to this conversation: In combat, If a P-51 has a Bf 109G-6 (20mm) in it's crosshairs within its correct convergence, the Bf 109G-6 should be damaged 1.3 times more than whatever the P-51D sustained the  Bf 109G-6. However, if Bf 109G-6 were to land a single hit of 20mm, it would cause 2.5 times more damage to the P-51D for every round that hit the Bf 109G-6. Note the main reason the Luftwaffe (Werner Mölders wanted a nose firing cannon to eliminate the need to worry about convergence for this exact reason).

 

So basicly talking momentum right at the muzzle - not taking energy (velocity) loss over distance and time of flight into account.

Also not taking into account that the german 20mm HE round can actually go *boom*, while the 50cal loses all it's "leathality" at velocity = 0.

Edited by Bremspropeller
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9 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

Fun fact: They weren't.

 

 

So basicly talking momentum right at the muzzle - not taking energy (velocity) loss over distance and time of flight into account.

Also not taking into account that the german 20mm HE round can actually go *boom*, while the 50cal loses all it's "leathality" at velocity = 0.

Absolutely. For the german Minengeschosse the low weight was no diadvantage, but an advantage, because they needed less propellant for them. You can see it very good in the pic posted above with the WW II ammunition, how small the part of the rounds was for the propellant. Also muzzle velocity was not important exept for the trajectory. As long as the projectile had enough velocity to penetrate the thin aluminum of the aircrafts surface, everything was perfect. The distruction was done by the explosive anyway.

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If you stop thinking real life ballistics and take this game in to account. 
A burst of 0.50 disable just about anything. Not enough to instant kill, but if you manage to stay away from the opponent for a while he will eventually go down. One do not need marksmanship to get a few bullets in a german engine

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20 hours ago, danielprates said:

 

Well the human body being the softest of targets, even a slowed down round is liable to make plenty damage. But as far as accuracy is concernd, pfewww, what a shot!

 

If it hits you on the ground and on the head, only propelled by gravity, a .50cal could be lethal.

Quite a few people were killed on the ground by AAA shrapnel during WW2.

 

https://www.quora.com/Did-anti-aircraft-flak-falling-from-the-sky-ever-kill-people-on-the-ground-in-World-War-II

 

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2 minutes ago, Trog1odyte said:

 

If it hits you on the ground and on the head, only propelled by gravity, a .50cal could be lethal.

Quite a few people were killed on the ground by AAA shrapnel during WW2.

 

https://www.quora.com/Did-anti-aircraft-flak-falling-from-the-sky-ever-kill-people-on-the-ground-in-World-War-II

 

 

I've been meaning to ask this.... the game does a good job visually modeling bullets that hit the ground and bounce up. It looks like the real thing we see in old guncam movies. 

 

How is the lethality modelled, though? If me and a mate are doing a straffing run, he is behind me shooting at the ground and I am just passing above his target, in real life I would be liable to get hit in the belly by ricocheting bullets. Never seen that in the game, does it happen?

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I have never noticed, I think the ricochets are just a graphic - immersive, but not representing a projectile. I could be wrong.

 

The way to test that would be to place an object where it can be fired at by a gun using ricochets - say a plane on the runway while you fire a turret gun at the ground in front of it from another plane on the runway. See if it gets damaged or not. 

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1 minute ago, unreasonable said:

I have never noticed, I think the ricochets are just a graphic - immersive, but not representing a projectile. I could be wrong.

 

The way to test that would be to place an object where it can be fired at by a gun using ricochets - say a plane on the runway while you fire a turret gun at the ground in front of it from another plane on the runway. See if it gets damaged or not. 

 

Yeah, like place a Tiger tank and try to take it out by bouncing .50 cal off the ground and into its belly... Sorry unreasonable, I couldn't help myself.

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1 hour ago, Trog1odyte said:

Quite a few people were killed on the ground by AAA shrapnel during WW2.

 

Some people still get killed by falling bullets here in the US. A child was seriously wounded a few years ago in a town not too far away from me, and the relatives began a campaign against celebratory gunfire.

Capture.thumb.JPG.a51ad810078be791e5736adf95830bed.JPG

 

Edited by cardboard_killer

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1 hour ago, cardboard_killer said:

 

Some people still get killed by falling bullets here in the US. A child was seriously wounded a few years ago in a town not too far away from me, and the relatives began a campaign against celebratory gunfire.

Capture.thumb.JPG.a51ad810078be791e5736adf95830bed.JPG

 

No need for .50cal. A bullet from a pistol gets enough energy, when shot in the air, during falling down to the ground, to penetrate your head. If there is something vital in it, you might get serious issues.:biggrin:

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13 hours ago, JG7_X-Man said:

1).  Granted the 20mm/30mm rounds today are only similar in relative dimension to the one used in WWII, there is a reason a single cannon is used today.

which mean the German weapon engineers got it right!

 

Back to your story

 

 At this point all six guns were trained on the fighter for however long it was in your sights. Cool, nothing to dispute there. Here is where you get the max lethality for your guns 

 

 

2).  Here is where I politely disagree with you and suggest your expectations did not match the outcome because your expectations were flawed. The error lies with your understanding of what convergence means. 

 

Graph:

GRAPH #2 Shows what happens to the horizontal trajectory of your rounds. If we assume the guns below were set to 300M, the max lethal spot on the graph would be between 1000 and 1200 feet area. Further out, dispersion starts to occur, just like in close ranges. Notice at 2000 ft, there are no rounds hitting the target in your line of sight. GRAPH #1 is better read from right to left showing the arc of your rounds (vertical trajectory). GRAPH #3 is a visual of what's happening in the vertical and horizontal. 

So you see at 600M, which is where 2000ft is, you are getting sporating hits at the wing tip at best (i.e nothing to force a landing in my opinion).

 

Explanation:

The wing guns in fighters were typically not bore-sighted to point straight ahead; instead they were aimed slightly inward so that the projectiles met at one or more areas several hundred yards or metres in front of the fighter's nose. The intent was either to spread the fire of multiple weapons to increase the chance of a hit, called "pattern harmonisation", or to concentrate the fire to deliver greater damage at one point, called "point harmonisation".

A drawback of harmonisation was that guns worked effectively in a limited zone, so targets closer or farther away from the zone were not damaged as much, or were completely missed. The rounds would diverge further apart after passing through the convergence point.

 

Image result for gun convergence P-51D

 

 

 

 

1.) Yes, the 20 and 30mm are heavier rounds than the .50, but the fact that single cannons are in use in modern times isn't due 20mm shell development  It's due to the gun itself being able to push out over 2000 rounds per minute. Combine that with a decent leading sight system and 1/2 second bursts with take anything out of the sky.  AFAIK, Germans didn't work with Gatling guns or develop the Vulcan cannon.  

 

2). Let me clarify. at 600m I saw the bullets from my left wing hit the target's right wing from root to engine nacelle and vice versa. The impacts were visually the same distance apart as if I was shooting guns that were bore sighted/straight ahead - which is what happens a ~600m if your guns are harmonized to 300m. We were both straight and level at the time. I only had to compensate for bullet drop. 

I get that the bullets are flying though the air at the angle they came out of the gun. I get that it wasn't a "concentrated" shot.  I also get that at 600m of impact that the slight "angle-off" flight of the bullets isn't going to drain enough energy to cause the individual bullets to hit and not even register damage.  

 

I do understand what harmonization is and how it works but, thanks for assuming I don't.    

 

I still stand by my statement that the rounds from the second shot still should have caused damage and it should have been enough to force an RTB. I agree that the concentration of hits wasn't enough to get a kill, but the volume of hits should have been enough to force an RTB.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mobile_BBQ said:

It's due to the gun itself being able to push out over 2000 rounds per minute

 

Well, that and less weight and far more reliability. I mean 8x .50cal will get you over 4000 rounds per minute, and the vulcan is going to give you about  6,000 rounds a minute (of a much more effective caliber). But reliability is probably big on the list, too. Guns in WW2 very often jammed, especially in high G.

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19 hours ago, unreasonable said:

I have never noticed, I think the ricochets are just a graphic - immersive, but not representing a projectile. I could be wrong.

 

The way to test that would be to place an object where it can be fired at by a gun using ricochets - say a plane on the runway while you fire a turret gun at the ground in front of it from another plane on the runway. See if it gets damaged or not. 

 

Having tested that, the ricochets can indeed inflict damage: visible holes on a P-47 skin after firing a few bursts from an A-20's top gun on the ground in front of it.  But I was unable to kill a Tiger tank.  ;)  

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At the end of the day bigger bullets are always better damage wise, but remember that these planes really didn't have armor.  Even a hand gun caliper can poke holes in the plane.  It was all about damaging the internals such as the fuel tanks and engine.  The .50 cal is more than capable especially those brownings used in the mustang.  They can penetrate an engine block at over a 1000 meters which is a pretty long shot for WWII planes.  The engine or pilot was what was usually killed with the p-51.  However due to the smaller damage capabilities what was a lot less common was things such as blowing off parts.  The .50s didn't liberate the enemies aileron or cause damage enough for the wing to fold over  like the 20mm rounds did.  But so long as you were hitting vital targets that plane was going down.  I remember that the .50s were considered to be good enough.  The US could have upgraded to the 20mm with the saber, but they didn't.  It wasn't that the 20mm wasn't better as it was a better more damaging weapon, but the .50 caliper weapons were good enough and the browning machine gun was a familiar platform for most people so they used that.  I mean we still use the browning despite being super old.

 

Either way Based on the footage I have seen and on the accounts of people Who have multiple confirmed kills in the p-51 it seems like a pretty true to life damage model at the moment and they are very deadly.  Currently I have noticed a big ping issue on some of the servers leading to shots not registering which seems to affect the P-51 and p-47 disproportionately compared to the other planes

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On 12/31/2019 at 6:35 PM, Mobile_BBQ said:

 

1.) Yes, the 20 and 30mm are heavier rounds than the .50, but the fact that single cannons are in use in modern times isn't due 20mm shell development  It's due to the gun itself being able to push out over 2000 rounds per minute. Combine that with a decent leading sight system and 1/2 second bursts with take anything out of the sky.  AFAIK, Germans didn't work with Gatling guns or develop the Vulcan cannon. 

 

Mauser did develop the MG 213 revolver cannon with IIRC 1200 rpm and 1000 m/sec which was basis for the post war ADEN and DEFA guns, which are almost identical, firing 30mm mine shells that were also related to the 3cm Minengeschoss. Basically its the grandfather of modern non-Gatling principle guns used on fighter aircraft today.

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True enough, but anyone thinking that one 30mm hit = 1 kill might want to read this extract from here: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/Research/RAF-Historical-Society-Journals/Journal_45_Seminar_conventional_weapons.pdf

 

845258924_AdenIssues.thumb.JPG.1753c07b29251c5d72889a5bb7652dd5.JPG

 

So according to the RAF, they were getting only 20-25% of 30mm hits to penetrate and hence get their full overpressure effect.  That is with a cannon of a much greater MV than the 30mm MK108.

 

 

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3 hours ago, unreasonable said:

True enough, but anyone thinking that one 30mm hit = 1 kill might want to read this extract from here: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/Research/RAF-Historical-Society-Journals/Journal_45_Seminar_conventional_weapons.pdf

 

845258924_AdenIssues.thumb.JPG.1753c07b29251c5d72889a5bb7652dd5.JPG

 

So according to the RAF, they were getting only 20-25% of 30mm hits to penetrate and hence get their full overpressure effect.  That is with a cannon of a much greater MV than the 30mm MK108.

 

 

 

Probably a dumb question, but... here goes...    Is it possible the MK108 was "just the right velocity" and didn't break apart as easy due to the slower impact speeds?  

I know that the "Dune", "The slow blade passes through the shield.", concept seems unlikely to apply to ballistics, but is it possible? 

 

At least it seems on game they are modeled that way.  As long as it hits canopy, it's a PK. 

P-38s are hopeless when hit on the tail and twice as much if the cockpit is hit.  Granted the cockpit is one of the most exposed from all angles of any design. 

51's and 47's it seems the shell only has to touch the edge of the bubble glass to get a PK. 

I'm on TeamSpeak most nights and hear many 1-shot PK complaints.  Seen it first hand more than once myself.   

And also granted... multiplayer is a terrible place to make any observations about anything.

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3 minutes ago, Mobile_BBQ said:

 

Probably a dumb question, but... here goes...    Is it possible the MK108 was "just the right velocity" and didn't break apart as easy due to the slower impact speeds?  

I know that the "Dune", "The slow blade passes through the shield.", concept seems unlikely to apply to ballistics, but is it possible? 

 

At least it seems on game they are modeled that way. 

 

I do not think the RAF test shells were breaking apart, just that the fuze was not reliable enough to always (or usually) get the required lag in detonation, but I do not have the original source document, just the discussion in this article.  

 

The RAF post war tests were with a different gun, different round, presumably different fuze and perhaps even aircraft skins of different thickness, so I suppose your scenario could be possible,  but it seems to be a stretch. AFAIK slower rounds are more likely to ricochet, other things being equal.   If it were true, silly of the RAF to look for a faster gun/round combination rather than reverting to a slower one:  but everyone on the internet knows that British officers were/are all blithering idiots. ;) 

 

Our game does have ricochets, but I am not sure how systematically that applies, or if large cannon shells ricochet.  I have spent the last couple of weeks watching 20mm LAA hit planes in my Airfield Defence test mission and I do not recall seeing any ricochets there: perhaps they do not occur with cannons, or with HE rounds? 

 

The RNG of damage done after a hit should take into account the range of possibilities if you do get a successful hit. I have made the case before that the test pictures we have all seen of Spitfires disintegrating are of optimum results from the 30mm MS, and should not be taken as the only result, or even as the average result. This piece of data supports that view rather strongly IMHO, but maybe the Aden's rounds just had particularly bad fuzes. British workmanship.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mobile_BBQ said:

 

At least it seems on game they are modeled that way.  As long as it hits canopy, it's a PK. 

P-38s are hopeless when hit on the tail and twice as much if the cockpit is hit.  Granted the cockpit is one of the most exposed from all angles of any design. 

51's and 47's it seems the shell only has to touch the edge of the bubble glass to get a PK. 

I'm on TeamSpeak most nights and hear many 1-shot PK complaints.  Seen it first hand more than once myself.   

And also granted... multiplayer is a terrible place to make any observations about anything.

 

I don't think one shot PKs are too unrealistic if you're plane is being showered with cannon. Remember that the late German fighters are carrying nothing but cannons, and in most cases, one of them is a 30mm. It may be a slow projectile, but every projectile is HE and it's pretty giant. If you are caught in a deflection shot during a flat turn or are flying straight and relatively level, you're going to get PKed. That's been my experience. I've modified my defensive manouvring so that I'm never making a flat turn, there is always some components of roll to it. The number of PKs that happen to me have significantly decreased now. Unless it's a Tempest on me. Then I'm pretty much guaranteed to be PKed or have both of my wings come clear off with ease.

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6 minutes ago, III./JG7-MarkWilhelmsson said:

 

I don't think one shot PKs are too unrealistic if you're plane is being showered with cannon. Remember that the late German fighters are carrying nothing but cannons, and in most cases, one of them is a 30mm. It may be a slow projectile, but every projectile is HE and it's pretty giant. If you are caught in a deflection shot during a flat turn or are flying straight and relatively level, you're going to get PKed. That's been my experience. I've modified my defensive manouvring so that I'm never making a flat turn, there is always some components of roll to it. The number of PKs that happen to me have significantly decreased now. Unless it's a Tempest on me. Then I'm pretty much guaranteed to be PKed or have both of my wings come clear off with ease.

 

My experience is that it hasn't mattered what the plane's orientation is. Hell, sometimes it's absolutely clear that the shooting plane didn't even have the correct angle to even hit, but it still does. Sometimes they fly past me and hit me 1/2 second after they are already passed.  Hence, why I said "granted, multiplayer is a terrible place to make observations about anything." 

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4 hours ago, Mobile_BBQ said:

 

My experience is that it hasn't mattered what the plane's orientation is. Hell, sometimes it's absolutely clear that the shooting plane didn't even have the correct angle to even hit, but it still does. Sometimes they fly past me and hit me 1/2 second after they are already passed.  Hence, why I said "granted, multiplayer is a terrible place to make observations about anything." 

 

You must have a really bad ping our packet loss issue. I have never experienced anything like that, even when I flew Wings of Liberty for 3 months on hotel WiFi with a 300ms ping hahahaha.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, III./JG7-MarkWilhelmsson said:

 

You must have a really bad ping our packet loss issue. I have never experienced anything like that, even when I flew Wings of Liberty for 3 months on hotel WiFi with a 300ms ping hahahaha.

 

Yeah it's weird. 

I get better ping to WoL with fewer problems at around 145 and even better to TAW around 115 but, the game list doesn't even show the ping of Combat Box (which is here in North America with me) and I currently have the worst problems on it. 

It seems that routing the signal a few hundred miles to the East Coast, then across the pond to Europe is more efficient than the overland network to a server that is much closer. 

Just remember folks, when it comes to American internet, you don't always get what you pay for.  Sometimes, it's quite shite. 

Edited by Mobile_BBQ

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That's all nice and theoretical on the guns designed for a Japanese war, but it doesn't match the actual history.  At no point prior to mid 44 was more than 20% of man power or material ever devoted to the war effort in the Pacific theater.  Roosevelt was first and foremost anti German, and Japan was nothing but a backwater, which they had little respect for. 

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, [CPT]Crunch said:

At no point prior to mid 44 was more than 20% of man power or material ever devoted to the war effort in the Pacific theater

 

And yet by mid-44 Japan was very obviously going to lose its war, so much so that the government was replaced. The 20% beat Japan, while the 80% crawled up the boot of Italy and trained in England for the invasion, as the 80% of the German armed forces were engaged fighting the USSR.

On 1/1/2020 at 4:06 PM, zdog0331 said:

The US could have upgraded to the 20mm with the saber, but they didn't. 

 

Well, they tried but failed until after the KW was mostly over, would be more accurate. Just as they tried to switch to 20mm during WW2 but failed to manufacture a reliable copy of the H-S.

Edited by cardboard_killer

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On 12/31/2019 at 4:23 PM, cardboard_killer said:

 

Some people still get killed by falling bullets here in the US. A child was seriously wounded a few years ago in a town not too far away from me, and the relatives began a campaign against celebratory gunfire.

Capture.thumb.JPG.a51ad810078be791e5736adf95830bed.JPG

 

 

 

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 11:28 PM, unreasonable said:

I think the US did understand the shortcomings of the 50 cal early, as they attempted to build Hispanos under licence, but they made such a pig's ear of it for so long (not invented here), so they had little choice.

 

Ugh, back to this whole "blarg we wont field anything with guns not invented here!" bull. The US was rather fine with fielding things equipped with guns derived from foreign-invented guns, or fielding aircraft with engines similarly. 

 

1). The main gun of the M4 Sherman (75mm M3) was derived from a french WWI artillery gun.

2). The 37mm M3 gun was derived from the german Pak 35.

3). The 57mm M1 gun was a licensed version of the QF 6-pounder gun. It became a standard AT-gun in 1943.

4). The QF-17 pounder gun was not looked positively upon for replacing the 75mm M3 gun in the same way that the 76mm M1 gun was not looked positively upon. The 76mm M1 gun was in production during 1942 while the Firefly had not been invented until mid 1943. US ground commanders had no desire for any guns on M4 tanks aside from the 75mm M3 or the 105mm M4 howitzer. By the time these ground commanders started screaming for bigger guns the quickest thing to production was M4's with the 76mm M1 gun, rather than attempting to setup production lines for the Firefly. At the end of the day the performance of the 17-pounder wasnt that much greater than the 76mm M1, and rounds like APDS which really improved the performance had accuracy issues such that US Ordinance could not accept them into service. 

5). The P-51D fits a license-built merlin engine.

 

The US was very willing to put foreign equipment onto our vehicles as long as it proved to provide a benefit. One common issue though was that the foreign equipment could not be shipped over because there was not enough production for the UK to spare. In cases like the QF 6- pounder gun it was even licensed for production in the US where it was built and shipped over to the UK to be used by their forces. So if you want to say the US had problems with putting foreign equipment onto their war machines during WWII, that'd be true, but it wasnt a nationalistic issue, it was a logistical one. 

 

Now take all this and think about it for aircraft. You have a weapon, the M2 browning which is widely in production, logistics of ammo is already done and taken care of. You have stockpiles of ammo for it, everyone is already trained on how to use it/maintain it. The weapon is a solid, reliable weapon with the largest drawback being that it had less ability to punch through things. Alternatively you can uproot your logistics lines to rearm aircraft, disrupt production lines etc, all for a marginally better weapon which has rather glaring issues (freezing up, jamming frequently until crews learned how to use it) for employment in your aircraft (huh, this sounds a lot like what was going on with the 17-pounder). Dont take this as me bagging on the 20mm, aside from the freezing issues the M2 had (and still has) jamming issues when serviced improperly, but the re-training of the ground crew factors into considerations too. 

 

Sources: 

*Armored Thunderbolt* by Steven Zaloga

*Can Openers* by Nicholas Morian

*US Guns, German Armour* by Nicholas Morian

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23 minutes ago, Kataphrakt said:

 

with the largest drawback being that it had less ability to punch through things.

 

...and yet it's able to penetrate an engine block at significant ranges. I've looked into the external ballistics of that round, it's nothing to sneeze at.

Thus I don't buy the whole "shortcomings" thing...it did the job on the aircraft with 4 of them, let alone the aircraft with 8 or more. 

 

What a single .50 cal round will do in relation to a single 30mm or 20mm cannon round is of course neither here nor there, and I hate it when guys try to use that logic. I don't know of any guy sitting in a cockpit firing single .50 cal rounds at aircraft. The question is how well did the weapon work as implemented, and the answer to that question is "superbly"  that goes for 190's as well as it does Zeros. One got shredded more quickly, probably caught fire just about every time vs the other, but both went down...the end. 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Gambit21 said:

 

...and yet it's able to penetrate an engine block at significant ranges. I've looked into the external ballistics of that round, it's nothing to sneeze at.

Thus I don't buy the whole "shortcomings" thing...it did the job on the aircraft with 4 of them, let alone the aircraft with 8 or more. 

 

What a single .50 cal round will do in relation to a single 30mm or 20mm cannon round is of course neither here nor there, and I hate it when guys try to use that logic. I don't know of any guy sitting in a cockpit firing single .50 cal rounds at aircraft. The question is how well did the weapon work as implemented, and the answer to that question is "superbly"  that goes for 190's as well as it does Zeros. One got shredded more quickly, probably caught fire just about every time vs the other, but both went down...the end. 

 

Sorry i meant: ability to punch through things relative to the 20mm. Point being that everything has tradeoffs, not that the .50 cal was a wimpy round incapable of doing the job of air-to-air combat. It seems the opinion of many US pilots was that the .50's worked just fine, and while they might have liked the 20mm's firepower the issues it had were not worth while. 

 

This is why i wrote up the whole essay about the 75mm gun vs 76mm gun and 17-pounder. it's a great example of how something that might be objectively better on-paper can not be better-enough, and also have enough drawbacks to keep it out of service. 

Edited by Kataphrakt
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Posted (edited)

I think many people expect the .50 cal to be as good as the 20mm at doing damage in snapshots. That's because usually, if the enemy saw you coming, that's all you'll get most of the time, a few short snapshots.

 

In war, fights where a lot of maneuvering was involved were the exception rather than the rule. And as such, when the aircraft is not doing quick maneuvers, the .50 was (more?) than adequate.

 

It all boils down to time on target. Do as much damage to the target in as little time as possible, because you might not get another chance.

Edited by Raven109

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1 hour ago, Kataphrakt said:

 

This is why i wrote up the whole essay about the 75mm gun vs 76mm gun and 17-pounder. it's a great example of how something that might be objectively better on-paper can not be better-enough, and also have enough drawbacks to keep it out of service. 

 

The drawbacks were a consequence of US procurement procedures, not of the gun.  The US started the process of licencing the 20mm Hispano under licence from 1940, and wasted a lot of time before they could make it work. They should have had no trouble having it ready for mid/late war planes such as the P-51.  You will find a very detailed account of the episode in   "The Machine Gun: History, Evolution and Development by G.M.Chinn (USMC) which you can download here:

 

https://books.google.co.th/books?id=V6yoH6LeSNkC&pg=PA575&lpg=PA575&dq=US+licensing+of+hispano+cannon&source=bl&ots=dqn9GOwodF&sig=ACfU3U15XXGEbtVi5b_f0Ft0VIQ6qallmw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiD5N-x2_LmAhUCbisKHe-tBoIQ6AEwAnoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=US licensing of hispano cannon&f=false

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3 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

The drawbacks were a consequence of US procurement procedures, not of the gun.

 

But a drawback is a drawback. If the hispano is better in every respect but complicates logistics too much, it's not worth it. That's the same sentiment and scenario that happened with the 75 vs 76mm gun. the .50's worked well-enough and no one was screaming for the guns enough for them to be put into service. The UK made it work a lot faster because they jumped from .303 machineguns after their pilots screamed over how ineffective they were. In that case it's a massive upgrade over the .50. 

 

For any given thing you cant just look at paper specs -- after all it is the logistic that really wins wars. 

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1 hour ago, Kataphrakt said:


But a drawback is a drawback. If the hispano is better in every respect but complicates logistics too much, it's not worth it.

 

Read Chinn's book, or at least the relevant chapter. His take on it is that the rational choice was to switch from 50 cals to 20mm cannon. The US tried to do that before and during WW2 and mostly failed, for reasons to do with their own procurement system, not the Hispano.  Which is why in 1944 they had 35,955 guns in storage classified as unserviceable because they had been built with the wrong chamber length. 

 

On the logistics justification: I cannot take this at all seriously.  The British used 50 cals and 20mm concurrently for years without having logistical problems just because they started using cannons. Given that the US logistics chain transported tens (hundreds?) of thousands of types items all over the globe, having another weapon system would not cause any difficulty at all.  In fact the US forces did use 20mm cannons in some aircraft (some P-38s and other models), so this issue obviously did not put them off.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

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10 hours ago, unreasonable said:

for reasons to do with their own procurement system, not the Hispano.

 

So we agree that this wasnt the US going "Wahhh my non-US invented guns will never go onto my shit!" 

 

Again, i'm not blaming the Hispano, I'm agreeing that US procurement had issues. But again, a drawback is a drawback even if it's not inherent to the weapon system. Even though the M16 was a fine rifle in testing, when procurement issued shitty ammo it caused problems. Everything points to the Hispano being a right good weapon, but again that's only on-paper. I've learned through my study of WWII tanks that "good on-paper" is drastically different from "war-winning". I went through great lengths to talk about how several other weapons faced similar issues to the Hispano when going through the US procurement process, many being disregarded as not better-enough to justify the logistical hassles of issuing it. This is completely an issue with US ordinance as they refused to "foist" anything onto soldiers without a "battle need" -- a policy that meant a superior 76mm gun sat unissued to tanks until the tankers decided they suddenly needed more punch. As we can see calmly looking back at history, by the time soldiers in the field complain enough about their weapons for this "battle need" to arise it's often too late. With the ETO this would mean months from "battle need" being confirmed to the first parts making it into the field. 

 

10 hours ago, unreasonable said:

Given that the US logistics chain transported tens (hundreds?) of thousands of types items all over the globe,

 

You're really neglecting the entirety of the complexity of adding an additional weapon system that takes another type of ammunition to the US logistics. Anything sent would have to be put on a ship and take months to arrive in the ETO. If rounds ran out in theater you're SOL while production ramps up (Literally what happened with issuing new HVAP ammo for the 76mm M1 gun). And again, the .50 was being put onto just about everything in the US's arsenal. Ammo, spare parts, spare weapons were all in good supply for the M2, and if no one was screaming that they needed a bigger gun then everything is fine right? 

 

The three sources I cited previously show great examples of how the US procurement system worked, and how it failed to issue new equipment in anticipation of the need for it. This same instance occured with the 76mm M1 gun on the M4 tank, as well as the 57mm, and 75mm anti-tank guns. 

 

We can draw comparisons to the issues that the VVS had with lend-lease aircraft. The reliance of them on higher-grade fuel meant the fuel had a complex logistics line as it was shipped in from the US. If a sudden spike in fuel consumption occurred, or a fuel depot was destroyed it would mean these aircraft were often relegate to secondary roles. This doesnt mean that those aircraft have inherent issues, it just means they have drawbacks in that attempted use. 

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33 minutes ago, Kataphrakt said:

You're really neglecting the entirety of the complexity of adding an additional weapon system that takes another type of ammunition to the US logistics.

 

You are vastly overrating the logistical issue if you think the US military used that calculation in deciding what to arm their planes with. As already pointed out, the P-38, which was intended to be the main US fighter of the war, was armed with a mix. The B-29, again anticipated to be the main bomber when designed, used 20mm and .50cal.. The P-39 used three different calibers; the P-40A/B used two different calibers. Almost all the light-medium bombers used at least two calibers. Even the early B-17 carried two calibers.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cardboard_killer said:

As already pointed out, the P-38, which was intended to be the main US fighter of the war, was armed with a mix. The B-29

The P-38 wasnt even deployed to the ETO until 1942, years after the US initially had tried to put the hispano into combat. It utilized .50 cal from the M2, and the 20mm hispano. The B-29 was fielded in 1942 well-after the 20mm became part of logistics, likewise fitting the .50 M2 and 20mm hispano. 

 

1 hour ago, cardboard_killer said:

The P-39 used three different calibers;

Yes, .30 cal from the M1919, .50 cal from the M2, and 37mm from the T9 gun, which shared projectiles with the M3A1, M5A1, and M6 tank and antitank guns. All ammo was already in logistical supply by the time the aircraft entered service, but the T9 gun did not share full ammo with the previous guns -- it used shorter shells. The P-39 is an oddity in that it was an aircraft built around its gun, much how the A-10 today was. The lend-lease variants were often sold without armaments to other countries. In the UK they were often fitted with hispanos in favor of the 37mm. The P-39 did not see widespread use because of its many issues. 

 

1 hour ago, cardboard_killer said:

the P-40A/B used two different calibers. Even the early B-17 carried two calibers.

both used the .30 cal M1919 and the .50 cal M2. Both guns and their ammo were widely in-service by the time these aircraft were fielded. The B-17F even fitted entirely M1919s before switching to the B-17G which used all .50 cal M2s

 

Notice a trend yet? During the interwar period US aircraft started out fitting primarily .30 cal M1919 guns. Eventually they took the undertaking to shift to the .50 cal M2 because it was shown that the .30 cals would be ineffective against future aircraft. Everything you listed had multiple calibers because they were already in logistics at the time -- IE after the "logistics issues" were solved. 

 

EDIT to make things clear:

 

We're getting into points about logistics far off the original topic brought up. Whether or not US procurement made the right decisions about what to throw the 20mm onto and when is neither here nor there to the original point, and is a topic i'm not looking to debate in this thread. 

 

On 12/30/2019 at 11:28 PM, unreasonable said:

I think the US did understand the shortcomings of the 50 cal early, as they attempted to build Hispanos under licence, but they made such a pig's ear of it for so long (not invented here), so they had little choice.

 

18 hours ago, Kataphrakt said:

The US was rather fine with fielding things equipped with guns derived from foreign-invented guns, or fielding aircraft with engines similarly. 

 

There are no primary sources to support this notion that the US refused to put foreign-invented equipment onto our war machines because it was foreign, and there are quite a few instances where the US was happy to do just that. In-general the US lagged in putting any upgraded weaponry onto war machines with their own argument about logistics and the requirement for "battle need". This approach resulted in much equipment being delayed for deployment.

Edited by Kataphrakt

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Posted (edited)
On 12/30/2019 at 6:11 PM, JG7_X-Man said:

Just like how on average it took three M4 Sherman tanks to kill one German Panzer III/IV tank - the solution, just produce more Sherman until a replacement came.

Jesus christ, this crap again? Just show me the primary source. You do know the Panzer IV H had only 80mm of frontal armor with no slope while the M4 had 101mm of effective frontal armor, right? The 75mm gun was capable of  punching through that at over 1250m. The 7.5 kwk gun on the Pz IV H would have been able to punch through the frontal armor of an M4 at around 1500m -- only a 250m advantage. On top of all of this most of the tank combat in WWII's ETO took place within 500m. Then there's the fact that the Pz IV variants produced in 1942 only had a max of 50mm of frontal armor, while the M4 debuted in combat with the same 75mm gun and 101mm of frontal armor. 

Edited by Kataphrakt

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kataphrakt said:

 

So we agree that this wasnt the US going "Wahhh my non-US invented guns will never go onto my shit!" 

 

Again, i'm not blaming the Hispano, I'm agreeing that US procurement had issues. But again, a drawback is a drawback even if it's not inherent to the weapon system. Even though the M16 was a fine rifle in testing, when procurement issued shitty ammo it caused problems. Everything points to the Hispano being a right good weapon, but again that's only on-paper. I've learned through my study of WWII tanks that "good on-paper" is drastically different from "war-winning". I went through great lengths to talk about how several other weapons faced similar issues to the Hispano when going through the US procurement process, many being disregarded as not better-enough to justify the logistical hassles of issuing it. This is completely an issue with US ordinance as they refused to "foist" anything onto soldiers without a "battle need" -- a policy that meant a superior 76mm gun sat unissued to tanks until the tankers decided they suddenly needed more punch. As we can see calmly looking back at history, by the time soldiers in the field complain enough about their weapons for this "battle need" to arise it's often too late. With the ETO this would mean months from "battle need" being confirmed to the first parts making it into the field. 

 

 

You're really neglecting the entirety of the complexity of adding an additional weapon system that takes another type of ammunition to the US logistics. Anything sent would have to be put on a ship and take months to arrive in the ETO. If rounds ran out in theater you're SOL while production ramps up (Literally what happened with issuing new HVAP ammo for the 76mm M1 gun). And again, the .50 was being put onto just about everything in the US's arsenal. Ammo, spare parts, spare weapons were all in good supply for the M2, and if no one was screaming that they needed a bigger gun then everything is fine right? 

 

The three sources I cited previously show great examples of how the US procurement system worked, and how it failed to issue new equipment in anticipation of the need for it. This same instance occured with the 76mm M1 gun on the M4 tank, as well as the 57mm, and 75mm anti-tank guns. 

 

We can draw comparisons to the issues that the VVS had with lend-lease aircraft. The reliance of them on higher-grade fuel meant the fuel had a complex logistics line as it was shipped in from the US. If a sudden spike in fuel consumption occurred, or a fuel depot was destroyed it would mean these aircraft were often relegate to secondary roles. This doesnt mean that those aircraft have inherent issues, it just means they have drawbacks in that attempted use. 

 

Honestly, this is all nonsense. You went to great lengths to avoid the point and you are still doing it.

 

The logistics argument is a complete red herring, I cannot believe that you are persisting with this. The US introduced any number of alterations to their weapon systems, and entirely new weapon systems, during WW2.  If the RAF could manage it with an equally wide global deployment and far fewer resources, it would not have been at all a problem for the US.

 

The fact is that they wanted to do this, because, the Hispano was not just good "on paper" - it was good "in practice", in RAF fighter aeroplanes. The RAF could have chosen to use the 50 cal exclusively on it's later marks: it chose not to because the Hispano was objectively better when manufactured properly.  The US understood this and tried to manufacture it for widespread use: and failed.  It would have been good in practice in US fighters too if they had not made a mess of it.

 

It is the attitude that refuses to listen to people who have already got a working gun and insist that their own version should be produced to lower specifications that I referred to as NIH.

 

But if you will not be convinced by a USMC officer who was closely involved in WW2 weapons procurement issues, you obviously will not be convinced by me.

 

But to cap it all you are attributing to me quotes made by someone else.  Please correct and desist.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by unreasonable

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2 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

Honestly, this is all nonsense. You went to great lengths to avoid the point and you are still doing it.

 

The logistics argument is a complete red herring, I cannot believe that you are persisting with this. The US introduced any number of alterations to their weapon systems, and entirely new weapon systems, during WW2.  If the RAF could manage it with an equally wide global deployment and far fewer resources, it would not have been at all a problem for the US.

I agree that i articulated my points rather terribly previously, but it seems we're in agreement that US Army procurement was bad when it comes to the Hispano, and i'm adding that it was generally just bad. 

 

I went through great lengths to discuss how the US Army adopted other weapons -- foreign and domestic -- equally as slow as the hispano because US Army procurement was generally terrible in WWII. I completely agree I got side-tracked trying to argue US Army procurement's logistics arguments they often cite for holding a perfectly fine weapon from service. We see from your own source that the Navy managed to bypass the issues it had adopting the weapon almost immediately. Likewise we can see how the US Army really dragged its feet with the weapon even though the Navy had put it into service. We see this over-and-over in that source how the Navy would adopt the weapon almost immediately, like when it became possible to mount it in the wings. Even when the Hispano was available for wide use, the US Army procurement lagged at deploying it to aircraft (for the previous logistics kinds of excuses)

 

3 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

It would have been good in practice in US fighters too if they had not made a mess of it.

 

6 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

It is the attitude that refuses to listen to people who have already got a working gun and insist that their own version should be produced to lower specifications that I referred to as NIH.

 

I dont see anything in that source saying that changes were made intentionally to make the new version to lower specs, it seems many things were overlooked. Again, i had drawn parallels to the issues that US Army Ordinance had with adopting other foreign guns, and the stalling issues that US Army procurement had with even their own guns. 

 

Everything i've read about the Hispano has said it was a fine weapon in US Navy service as soon as A) The ground crews figured out how to service it properly (didnt seem to take too long for the Navy) and B) they were fitted with heaters for higher altitudes. Pilots seemed to love them and there's hardly anything bad to say about them after. US Army Procurement; however, generally made a shit-show out of everything they attempted to do. 

 

 

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On 12/31/2019 at 1:47 PM, danielprates said:

 

I've been meaning to ask this.... the game does a good job visually modeling bullets that hit the ground and bounce up. It looks like the real thing we see in old guncam movies. 

 

How is the lethality modelled, though? If me and a mate are doing a straffing run, he is behind me shooting at the ground and I am just passing above his target, in real life I would be liable to get hit in the belly by ricocheting bullets. Never seen that in the game, does it happen?

Yupp, been there done that. 
Did a strafing run on some ground targets in a BF110, with a mate just doing pass on the same target just a few seconds before me. Managed to put a salvo into him damaging one of his engine, all ricoches.


And to add to the topic. 
I was recently flying a Macchi and had the drop on a P40 (same scenario in two different sorties). Came up real close on its dead 6, around 300m out. Had a convergence of 250m, with 7.7s in the wings. Managed to score a nice solid burst of around 50 hits in its tail and left wing root (Mostly the 7.7s I guess). But all I managed was to scratch the paint. 

Now the p40 is a rugged plane but I expected at least a fuel leak or something from the bredas. 

Edited by [RBRI]Khaela

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