Finest Sniper Rifle of WWII?

Darayavaus

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So a scoped sniper had an 80 percent of the time just under a 3MOA rifle if I did the conversion right?

Not spectacular by our present standards but good enough.

By "our" I mean a bunch of keyboard hobbyists that shoot off benches.

All right next time Ill just use "my".
I did considerably better with handloads in mine, but obviously that was never an option for those guys.

And, I've been looking for the quote all evening, cant find it, but towards the end of the war, a number of higher-ups were discussing what could be done to make their snipers more effective. It was apparent that even with their specially produced allocations of sniper ammunition that long range accuracy results left a lot to be desired. They flat out concluded it was unfortunate that Germany had chosen the wrong cartridge. They said that the 6.5x55 or even the 7x57 would have made a much better choice.
 
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Forgetful Coyote

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Ive heard Germany chose the 8mm because of the 8mm Lebel..?? The 7x57 wouldve certainly been a better choice tho, and obviously the 6.5 smokes it as well along with both being easier to shoot.
 
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pmclaine

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I did considerably better with handloads in mine, but obviously that was never an option for those guys.

And, I've been looking for the quote all evening, cant find it, but towards the end of the war, a number of higher-ups were discussing what could be done to make their snipers more effective. It was apparent that even with their specially produced allocations of sniper ammunition that long range accuracy results left a lot to be desired. They flat out concluded it was unfortunate that Germany had chosen the wrong cartridge. They said that the 6.5x55 or even the 7x57 would have made a much better choice.
Id like to get a look at those post war interviews with the german snipers by the allies any idea where the info can be found.

Was perusing through Ebay bored a few weeks ago and came across the German Sniper awards patches. Would like to get a repro one but for shits and giggles. Any familiarity with them?
 
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Darayavaus

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Ive heard Germany chose the 8mm because of the 8mm Lebel..?? The 7x57 wouldve certainly been a better choice tho, and obviously the 6.5 smokes it as well along with both being easier to shoot.
yes exactly. that decision was made long before. the same commission which designed the Gew.88 designed the patrone 88 (7.92x57)

As far as my previous post, I did find "secret mauserwerke internal document 3671", dated 8/14/44 which talks about the failures of the sniping program, and suggestions for adopting the 7x64 for subsequent sniper rifles. It mentions how the 7x57 was a successful competition round, performing far better than the 7.92. I Still cant find the other document which mentions 6.5x55. But they pretty much threw the 8mm and the K98k under the bus and said that even the Russians get better results out of their rifles.
 

Forgetful Coyote

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But they pretty much threw the 8mm and the K98k under the bus and said that even the Russians get better results out of their rifles.
Interesting. I'd take a Mauser over a Russian Mosin any day of the week and 2x on Sunday. But a M28 or M39 would likely get the nod if it was an option.
A 7x64 k98 tho.. that would've been awesome.
 

Darayavaus

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Id like to get a look at those post war interviews with the german snipers by the allies any idea where the info can be found.

Was perusing through Ebay bored a few weeks ago and came across the German Sniper awards patches. Would like to get a repro one but for shits and giggles. Any familiarity with them?
Senich's book on German sniper rifles and optics has some of the exerpts. 3 different snipers, but if I remember correctly they are not named. For specific info about the equipment itself, Law's book is very good. I had to purge my library several times over the years, so I dont have many of the books I once read on the subject.

For first hand accounts, there is some debate over the veracity of Allerberger's book. And of course, Zaitsev contradicts himself between his memoirs and his wartime statements.

nobody ever wore the bird patch. Just like ss camo, it was an instant death sentence if the commies captured you wearing it. Even the western allies were likely to pop a captured sniper.
 
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Darayavaus

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Interesting. I'd take a Mauser over a Russian Mosin any day of the week and 2x on Sunday. But a M28 or M39 would likely get the nod if it was an option.
A 7x64 k98 tho.. that would've been awesome.
they were going to design a new rifle from the ground up. selfloading. knowing the germans it would have been impossibly overcomplicated, hard to produce, and fatally tempermental.
 

sandwarrior

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Mauser designed the GEW 88. And it was over his wishes that the Commission went with 8mm Lebel. They chose it because the French had the Lebel. Mauser wanted the 7x57 as he found it to be the best balance in weight vs. aerodynamics of the bullet. If they weren't going to consider the 7x57, then he felt a better choice would be the 7.65. The Belgians adopted the 7.65 the following year on the Mauser 1889 design. Which was further modified to the Argentinian 1891 design. Yeah, Mauser had better ideas than the original 8mm. That doesn't mean he didn't improve on it.

Remember too, that the joining of Mauser with ludwig &Lowe was in 1887. Mauser felt that people who had an "in" were better suited to the sale of firearms, while he did the designing. Unfortunately for Mauser, he was pretty much a financial target throughout his career until the very end. First, Norris from the U.S., then the German Commission that adopted his model 1871 and upgrades to it, then Ludwig & Lowe didn't pay him a whole lot. The latter took a lot of money from the Belgian and Spanish sales (1889, 1892).

While it was discussed that the Germans felt they were behind weapon-wise, they were. They were really up against way more numbers on the Allied side, and also to a large degree, the tactical side. What they overlooked were their successes. And, unfortunately, played into the anti-sniper mentality of top-level brass in a lot of nations.
The 198 gr. round they chose was because of Hitler's desire to machinegun everyone down then the riflemen would come along and clean up where necessary. That tactic was flawed, but the round itself was designed to remain stable out to 2500m. No other round of its day was intentionally designed to do that...except the 7.5x55 Swiss. Point is the round was not inferior as some suggest. For what it lacked in flatness of trajectory, it made up for in ability to resist wind change. So, that's a wash. Again, lack of numerical capability led to lack of training here. Commanders doing stupid things like having snipers tied up in bridges so they could ambush us below. Completely ineffective. That's not the fault of the rifle, it's the dipshits giving orders.
 

sirhrmechanic

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Pretty sure That was Hathcock and his spotter Burke. Though its likely plausible Mawhinney encountered a similar situation..
PM is right. Mawhinny had a contact over a river where he wiped out a dozen or more NVA who were set on attacking a camp. He had, almost by chance, taken his Night-vision (crude PVS-1) equipped M14 that night, instead of a bolt gun. He waited until the NVA were most of the way across the river, chest high. Almost point blank range. Nothing but blurry green blobs on his PVS-1. And then cut them down in a matter of minutes. They could not run in the water. Could not duck. Could not hide. He just smoked them like ducks in a shooting gallery. IIRC, he finished the last couple with a 1911.

I forgot the number, but apparently, they were fishing bodies out down river for hours afterwards.

Mawhinny said that if he had taken the bolt gun that night, he and his spotter would have been dead. Luck plays a role in operations... Murphy was working for Mawhinny that night! Not the NVA.


EDIT Here is an article. 16 head shots in 30 seconds in the dark at <100 yards. I was wrong about the 1911... But did not realize how fast he all-but wiped out a platoon...


Cheers,

Sirhr
 

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Does anyone have WW2 SMLE sniper rifles or replicas?
Do you mean the heavy barrel No1 MkIII that the Australians used or the No4 (T) thatbrest of the British and dominions used? I don’t have it in my possession now, but I have a repro being built currently. Bruce Dow did the conversion work and Brian Dick is currently doing the stock fitting.
 

roostercogburn98

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So can we include the Delisle Carbine since it technically engaged from a hidden or unseen position? Quiet and often undetected. Just wondering if it had to be from a distance to count as a true sniper rifle
 
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Forgetful Coyote

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PM is right. Mawhinny had a contact over a river where he wiped out a dozen or more NVA who were set on attacking a camp. He had, almost by chance, taken his Night-vision (crude PVS-1) equipped M14 that night, instead of a bolt gun. He waited until the NVA were most of the way across the river, chest high. Almost point blank range. Nothing but blurry green blobs on his PVS-1. And then cut them down in a matter of minutes. They could not run in the water. Could not duck. Could not hide. He just smoked them like ducks in a shooting gallery. IIRC, he finished the last couple with a 1911.

I forgot the number, but apparently, they were fishing bodies out down river for hours afterwards.

Mawhinny said that if he had taken the bolt gun that night, he and his spotter would have been dead. Luck plays a role in operations... Murphy was working for Mawhinny that night! Not the NVA.


EDIT Here is an article. 16 head shots in 30 seconds in the dark at <100 yards. I was wrong about the 1911... But did not realize how fast he all-but wiped out a platoon...


Cheers,

Sirhr
Ahh, I remember what yall are talking about now! Good catch @sirhrmechanic & @pmclaine

Thought he meant when Hathcock and Burke pinned a NVA company down by picking off the dudes at the edges..
 

Forgetful Coyote

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Mauser designed the GEW 88. And it was over his wishes that the Commission went with 8mm Lebel. They chose it because the French had the Lebel. Mauser wanted the 7x57 as he found it to be the best balance in weight vs. aerodynamics of the bullet. If they weren't going to consider the 7x57, then he felt a better choice would be the 7.65. The Belgians adopted the 7.65 the following year on the Mauser 1889 design. Which was further modified to the Argentinian 1891 design. Yeah, Mauser had better ideas than the original 8mm. That doesn't mean he didn't improve on it.

Remember too, that the joining of Mauser with ludwig &Lowe was in 1887. Mauser felt that people who had an "in" were better suited to the sale of firearms, while he did the designing. Unfortunately for Mauser, he was pretty much a financial target throughout his career until the very end. First, Norris from the U.S., then the German Commission that adopted his model 1871 and upgrades to it, then Ludwig & Lowe didn't pay him a whole lot. The latter took a lot of money from the Belgian and Spanish sales (1889, 1892).

While it was discussed that the Germans felt they were behind weapon-wise, they were. They were really up against way more numbers on the Allied side, and also to a large degree, the tactical side. What they overlooked were their successes. And, unfortunately, played into the anti-sniper mentality of top-level brass in a lot of nations.
The 198 gr. round they chose was because of Hitler's desire to machinegun everyone down then the riflemen would come along and clean up where necessary. That tactic was flawed, but the round itself was designed to remain stable out to 2500m. No other round of its day was intentionally designed to do that...except the 7.5x55 Swiss. Point is the round was not inferior as some suggest. For what it lacked in flatness of trajectory, it made up for in ability to resist wind change. So, that's a wash. Again, lack of numerical capability led to lack of training here. Commanders doing stupid things like having snipers tied up in bridges so they could ambush us below. Completely ineffective. That's not the fault of the rifle, it's the dipshits giving orders.
I'd personally still take the 6.5 Swede over 8mm. 8x57 recoil is no joke, and without looking at a ballistic calc, I'm gonna wager the 6.5 is a better choice out to 1000 at least..
 

sandwarrior

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I'd personally still take the 6.5 Swede over 8mm. 8x57 recoil is no joke, and without looking at a ballistic calc, I'm gonna wager the 6.5 is a better choice out to 1000 at least..
Recoil is understandable. The point is German engineers worked with what they were given and made it work well.

The postwar armchair guessers came back after the war and opined on what was the best.

Only, nobody outshouted the Americans. Propaganda had us believing the 30-06 was, and to an extent still is, the greatest round ever invented. The frustrating thing is, it could’ve been better a long time ago( like 1920’s). But hardheaded self aggrandizing jackasses got in the way of that.

Same issue with it’s successor, the .308. It could’ve been better had we used the technology available 60 years ago.
 

Random Guy

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I again think the British Mk 4 "T" was the best overall sniper rifle of WWII for all the half-dozen reasons I mentioned in my earlier post, but since the last couple of posts related to ammo, I will offer my 2cts.

When it comes down to specific cartridges used in WWII, IMO, two really stand out as 'sniper rifle' quality ammo re ballistic performance. I think the first two on this list are cartridges that basically offered "match quality" but was the 'standard issue' ammo during WWII:

1. Swedish M/41 - 6.5x55m Swedish Mauser with a really nice 139 grain spitzer boat-tail bullet @ ~ 2,592 fps out of M96 rifle.
2. Swiss GP11 - 7.5x55mm Swiss with a really nice 174 grain spitzer boat-tail bullet @ ~ 2540 fps out of a K31 rifle.
3. (possibly) Finnish D46 - 7.62x53R with a 170 grain 'rebated' FMJ bullet @ ~ 2530 fps out a K39 rifle (Lapua based bullet design)
or Finnish D166 'heavy ball' - 7.62x53R with a 200 grain FMJ bullet @ ~ 2330 fps (this was designed as machine gun ammo)

I could be wrong, but I think in WWII the ammo used in most sniper rifles fielded by the US, USSR, UK, Japan, and Germany was basic issued ammo, and accuracy potential is limited until and unless one is using match quality ammo. In this regard, I think the Swiss and Swedes were pretty far ahead of most other counties in WWII. I honestly don't know enough about the performance of the Finnish D46 and D166 ammo in WWII, but I get the impression that it was a significant advancement over the standard Russian 7.62x54R ammo, etc.
 

sandwarrior

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I again think the British Mk 4 "T" was the best overall sniper rifle of WWII for all the half-dozen reasons I mentioned in my earlier post, but since the last couple of posts related to ammo, I will offer my 2cts.

When it comes down to specific cartridges used in WWII, IMO, two really stand out as 'sniper rifle' quality ammo re ballistic performance. I think the first two on this list are cartridges that basically offered "match quality" but was the 'standard issue' ammo during WWII:

1. Swedish M/41 - 6.5x55m Swedish Mauser with a really nice 139 grain spitzer boat-tail bullet @ ~ 2,592 fps out of M96 rifle.
2. Swiss GP11 - 7.5x55mm Swiss with a really nice 174 grain spitzer boat-tail bullet @ ~ 2540 fps out of a K31 rifle.
3. (possibly) Finnish D46 - 7.62x53R with a 170 grain 'rebated' FMJ bullet @ ~ 2530 fps out a K39 rifle (Lapua based bullet design)
or Finnish D166 'heavy ball' - 7.62x53R with a 200 grain FMJ bullet @ ~ 2330 fps (this was designed as machine gun ammo)

I could be wrong, but I think in WWII the ammo used in most sniper rifles fielded by the US, USSR, UK, Japan, and Germany was basic issued ammo, and accuracy potential is limited until and unless one is using match quality ammo. In this regard, I think the Swiss and Swedes were pretty far ahead of most other counties in WWII. I honestly don't know enough about the performance of the Finnish D46 and D166 ammo in WWII, but I get the impression that it was a significant advancement over the standard Russian 7.62x54R ammo, etc.
I guess I would have to say that while I like the 6.5x55 and 7.5x55 a lot, I would limit the question to systems that went through campaigns. Which brings to bear the Finn campaign against the Russians. That was an intense campaign, and I was remiss in not mentioning it before.

While not as effective in reality, the 6.5 Japanese certainly had a motivational effect on U.S. troops in the South Pacific. Their tactics played against them, but still the "shot out of nowhere" was enough to un-nerve a lot of GI's. Pretty soon we learned their standarod modus operendi was to climb a tree and tie in. Easiest place in the world to take one out. Once you knew where they trained to go, they were much easier to kill and much less deadly to our troops.
 
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Sooter76

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So a scoped sniper had an 80 percent of the time just under a 3MOA rifle if I did the conversion right?

Not spectacular by our present standards but good enough.

By "our" I mean a bunch of keyboard hobbyists that shoot off benches.

All right next time Ill just use "my".
Kinda depends on the rifle and standards... The minimum acceptable standards for the Lee Enfield was approximately 2 MOA. (They used different judging criteria, but that's what it works out to.) This was before being shipped to H&H for further accurizing and being scoped. Most real (T) rifles shoot considerably better, somewhere around 1-1.5 MOA. And that's with well worn barrels that shot corrosive ammo.

My stock and almost virgin No4 Mk2 holds 2 MOA consistently with Hornady Vintage.
 

Sooter76

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yes exactly. that decision was made long before. the same commission which designed the Gew.88 designed the patrone 88 (7.92x57)

As far as my previous post, I did find "secret mauserwerke internal document 3671", dated 8/14/44 which talks about the failures of the sniping program, and suggestions for adopting the 7x64 for subsequent sniper rifles. It mentions how the 7x57 was a successful competition round, performing far better than the 7.92. I Still cant find the other document which mentions 6.5x55. But they pretty much threw the 8mm and the K98k under the bus and said that even the Russians get better results out of their rifles.

Yes and no... The Gew88 commission required the 8mm round, but with the development and adoption of the Gew98, Mauser also developed the 7x57. There was some debate about adopting the 7x57, but like MacArthur and the .276 Pedersen, the German Command decided they had too large a stockpile of 8mm ammo for it to make sense in adopting a new round.

That said, I think for general use the 8mm Mauser is a great round for the time. It was hard hitting, accurate, and in the heavier grain variety it can really reach out to distance. Yes, there are and were better cartridges available, but let's be honest, Germany didn't lose the war because they didn't adopt the 7mm round.
 

Sooter76

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I'd personally still take the 6.5 Swede over 8mm. 8x57 recoil is no joke, and without looking at a ballistic calc, I'm gonna wager the 6.5 is a better choice out to 1000 at least..
I've actually never really understood the argument against recoil. Sure it's harsher than the 6.5 Swede or 8mm Mauser, but the only time I've ever had an issue with recoil was the one time I shot 1,000 rounds of 8mm Mauser, .30-06, .303 British, and 7.62x54r in a single day.
 

Sooter76

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I could be wrong, but I think in WWII the ammo used in most sniper rifles fielded by the US, USSR, UK, Japan, and Germany was basic issued ammo, and accuracy potential is limited until and unless one is using match quality ammo. In this regard, I think the Swiss and Swedes were pretty far ahead of most other counties in WWII. I honestly don't know enough about the performance of the Finnish D46 and D166 ammo in WWII, but I get the impression that it was a significant advancement over the standard Russian 7.62x54R ammo, etc.
Most sniper's, if they could, used heavier grain machine gun ammo as they found it more accurate... This of course only really applies to the German and American snipers as the Brit's and Finn's used heavy grain bullets in their infantry issued ammo.

And yes, the D46 and especially the D166 is so much more accurate than the standard Russian ammo as to almost be an entirely different cartridge.
 

Sooter76

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I guess I would have to say that while I like the 6.5x55 and 7.5x55 a lot, I would limit the question to systems that went through campaigns. Which brings to bear the Finn campaign against the Russians. That was an intense campaign, and I was remiss in not mentioning it before.
Some 77,000 M96 Mausers were bought by Finland from Sweden in in 1940. They were mostly used by second line units, but some did see action.
 

Darayavaus

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Some 77,000 M96 Mausers were bought by Finland from Sweden in in 1940. They were mostly used by second line units, but some did see action.
but none of those were the M41 sniper rifle.
 

Darayavaus

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Yes and no... The Gew88 commission required the 8mm round, but with the development and adoption of the Gew98, Mauser also developed the 7x57. There was some debate about adopting the 7x57, but like MacArthur and the .276 Pedersen, the German Command decided they had too large a stockpile of 8mm ammo for it to make sense in adopting a new round.

That said, I think for general use the 8mm Mauser is a great round for the time. It was hard hitting, accurate, and in the heavier grain variety it can really reach out to distance. Yes, there are and were better cartridges available, but let's be honest, Germany didn't lose the war because they didn't adopt the 7mm round.
Prior to the 1944 documentation I showed about the 7x64, (and the bemoaning of the capabilities if the 7.9x57 compared to other existant rounds) which was ultimately rejected out of concern for standardization, I have never seen any evidence that the armed forces of Imperial Germany, the post-war Reichswehr, nor the military branches of the third reich were considering switching over to the 7x57. That was always an export round, used in Germany for hunting or target shooting. In fact, when Gewehr-Prüfungskommission modified the patrone 88 to the higher pressure S Patrone round, the diameter went up, not down, and older rifles were reworked with a longer leade to handle the higher pressures involved. ( regardless of who the Mauser brothers were in terms of innovation, they were not the G.P.K. ) So if you have documentation, I'd be very interested in seeing it. The entire gist of the official documents which I was discussing was that the k98k platform was not delivering the accuracy necessary even for "a guaranteed headshot at 300 meters, which the Soviet Mosin rifle is capable of" nor was the sS 7.9x57 delivering the long range ballistic performance needed to engage distant targets. As I stated previously, the longest confirmed kill was a little over 1000 meters - in a target rich environment over a period of years.
 
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sandwarrior

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Prior to the 1944 documentation I showed about the 7x64, (and the bemoaning of the capabilities if the 7.9x57 compared to other existant rounds) which was ultimately rejected out of concern for standardization, I have never seen any evidence that the armed forces of Imperial Germany, the post-war Reichswehr, nor the military branches of the third reich were considering switching over to the 7x57. That was always an export round, used in Germany for hunting or target shooting. In fact, when Gewehr-Prüfungskommission modified the patrone 88 to the higher pressure S Patrone round, the diameter went up, not down, and older rifles were reworked with a longer leade to handle the higher pressures involved. ( regardless of who the Mauser brothers were in terms of innovation, they were not the G.P.K. ) So if you have documentation, I'd like to see it. The entire gist of the official documents which I was discussing was that the k98k platform was not delivering the accuracy necessary even for "a guaranteed headshot at 300 meters, which the Soviet Mosin rifle is capable of" nor was the sS 7.9x57 delivering the long range ballistic performance needed to engage distant targets. As I stated previously, the longest confirmed kill was a little over 1000 meters - in a target rich environment over a period of years.
What documentation are you referring to? What you are saying sounds more luke an armchair historical re-write.

The sniper campaign the Germans unleashed after the allied invasion at Normandy (aka Battle of the Bocage) was extremely successful. Saying its not says you don’t really know. I can say Soviet sniping was better than we gave it credit for, but in large part that was due to successful deployment of snipers, not necessarily the rifle. It is a better rifle than we thought. I don’t think it beats a Mauser.
 
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Darayavaus

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What documentation are you referring to? What you are saying sounds more luke an armchair historical re-write.

The sniper campaign the Germans unleashed after the allied invasion at Normandy (aka Battle of the Bocage) was extremely successful. Saying its not says you don’t really know. I can say Soviet sniping was better than we gave it credit for, but in large part that was due to successful deployment of snipers, not necessarily the rifle. It is a better rifle than we thought. I don’t think it beats a Mauser.
I cited my post.
Mauser Werke Internal Document 3671, 14 August 1944
written in response to the concerns received from Wa Pruf 2 regarding the development of a new rifle for snipers
signed Gehmann (DWM) and Altenberger (Mauser)
distribution
DWM research, Lubeck
(i) Research reports Dept
(ii)Senior Engineer Six- Liason with special commission for infantry weapons
(iii) Cartridge Research Dept
DWM Karlsruhe
Mauser Werke Depts: 1, 3, 35, 37, & 39

so I am giving you documentation. hard, factual documentation from the very source.

secondly, I did not say one word about Normandy, anywhere in this thread. Either you are not reading what I did say, or you are confusing me with someone else.
 
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sandwarrior

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I cited my post.
Mauser Werke Internal Document 3671, 14 August 1944
written in response to the concerns received from Wa Pruf 2 regarding the development of a new rifle for snipers
signed Gehmann (DWM) and Altenberger (Mauser)
distribution
DWM research, Lubeck
(i) Research reports Dept
(ii)Senior Engineer Six- Liason with special commission for infantry weapons
(iii) Cartridge Research Dept
DWM Karlsruhe
Mauser Werke Depts: 1, 3, 35, 37, & 39

so basically, I am giving you documentation and you are responding with what you thought you heard somewhere, once.

secondly, I have no idea WTF you are talking about with the invasion of Normandy. I did not say one word about Normandy, anywhere in this thread. Either you are not reading what I did say, or you are confusing me with someone else.
Alright, we may be talking about two sides of the conflict from Germany’s standpoint. In the Eastern front, Germany was getting her ass handed to her by snipers.

As I stated, that is due in large part to the entire Russian doctrine (training and tactics) as opposed to the German side.

On the Western front Germany clearly dominated the sniping realm. The U.S. barely qualified. But we learned we needed to learn.

Bottom line is the rifle and the ammunition are capable. The documentation you speak of had less than a month to download from Normandy. It had one year from the hole they dug in Russia to figure out it was the round/rifle as opposed to the tactics.

Added: I meant to say the Russian tactics were superior. The round didn't make much difference.
 
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KAIFS

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Swedish M/41b in 6.5x55 is, in my opinion, the most capable sniper weapon of WW2 (while Sweden remained neutral, it is of that period). I also own a terrific shooting Mosin sniper with a PU scope and a SVT-40 (yes, with an original correct mount and scope) in 7.62x54r. I can NOT outshoot swede with Soviet variants. Also, I am not a, per say, a sniper collector so I do not own other variants of WW2 sniper rigs, but have shot a few, including Swiss (which is close 2nd to swede in accuracy) and German snipers.
 
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Random Guy

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Swedish M/41b in 6.5x55 is, in my opinion, the most capable sniper weapon of WW2 (while Sweden remained neutral, it is of that period).
Well, I have an M41B that I really like - but I will state that this rifle had one serious drawback - the scope did not have any windage adjustment capability. You can only adjust it via two set-screws at the scope’s base, which is impossible under combat conditions. Most of these German-based optic/mount systems had the same drawback. I really like this rifle, but it is not perfect when compared to it peers...


M41B_scope_can.jpg

There was some sort of experimental scope that allowed windage adjustments to overcome this major shortcoming, but it was never adopted. I have seen a few pics of what I think is the only few in existence. Here's the prototype scope:

M41B_experimental_scope.jpg
my 2cts.
 
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sandwarrior

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Well, I have an M41B that I really like - but I will state that this rifle had one serious drawback - the scope did not have any windage adjustment capability. You can only adjust it via two set-screws at the scope’s base, which is impossible under combat conditions. Most of these German-based optic/mount systems had the same drawback. I really like this rifle, but it is not perfect when compared to it peers...


View attachment 7179233

There was some sort of experimental scope that allowed windage adjustments to overcome this major shortcoming, but it was never adopted. I have seen a few pics of what I think is the only in existence. Here's the prototype scope:

View attachment 7179236
my 2cts.
I will say the German WWII sniper scope did not have windage either. The German scope that the Russians modified (the PE) had windage, but they dropped it in favor of the PEM scope.
 

vascular

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PEMs have windage as well. Much more common scope to find and cheaper too. The PEM is One hell of a shooting machine. I have shot all of these weapons except for the Finnish M39/43 and the most consistent are the Russian pu or pe/pem, the 03A4, and the Swedish m/41-B. No particular order. Our vintage sniper matches typically have one of these in the winners circle. The biggest variables here are the ammo which are handloads vs milsurp. Also the target is just that... not moving soldiers.
 
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Forgetful Coyote

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Can't speak firsthand.. but from looking at pics and per @kraigWY - the Springfields are by far the most popular, along with as you said, Swedes, Mosins.. and from pics Ive seen Garands as well..with K98's, Enfields and such showing up as well but not as much as the before-mentioned. AFAIK, the Nat'l Match versions of '03s/Garands ARE allowed in Vintage Sniper(ie using NM Garand & M1903 NM to make faux- 03A4/USMC Unertl/M1C/M1D, etc.. unlike the regular matches).

Regardless, even in regular matches where the NM versions AIN'T allowed, the '03 competes in its own class by itself, and the cutoff scores are higher. Obviously this is done for a reason, and its hard to imagine that reason is anything besides 03's being on average more accurate. Sights obviously play a part.. but Garands have better sights than 03's IMO and their cutoff scores are lower. M1917 sights are quite good as well IMO along with No. 4 Enfield sights.

It'd be nice to see CMP add a couple more classes; eg a "Limited Vintage - Irons" class in the same vein as Vintage Sniper where you must use old mil-surps with everything about the rifle in stock configuration EXCEPT the sights, with only period-correct non-magnified target sights allowed. Kinda like a "Vintage Sniper - non-magnified" deal(ie to make use of a lot of those Swedes and K31's with diopters).

And then do like a "Unlimited Vintage - Irons" class(to make use of some of those of old '03 target sporterized builds, CG-63 Swedes, old school K98 target sporters, etc) for old school style Match rifles ie must be a mil-surp action but along with vintage style wood stocks, heavier free floated Chrome-Moly barrels(to stay w/in the vintage spirit), and the same period-correct target diopter/aperture sights as used the "Limited" class above. And then of course, an "Unlimited Vintage - Magnified".. basically same rules as the Unlim. Vintage - Irons mentioned before but with period correct optics.. an Vintage Sniper Unlimited so to speak.

Basically, a few classes to allow for all those old ~1920's-> ~1960's pre/non-R700 & non-M70 milsurp sporterized USA Nat'l Match/Euro target builds(and purpose built stuff ala CG63, Kongsberg M59/M67, etc) to compete in cause theres a TON of rifles out there that're exactly what I'm talkin bout. They already got the Unlimited Garand class, but its a TON of work($$$) to do a serious all out Unlimited Garand target rifle so AFAIK ya don't see many Unlimited Garands at CMP matches and AFAIK Garands are the only ones allowed in it. IMO you'd see ALOT better turn out(or at least more opportunities for folks to compete while keeping with the vintage/mil-surp idea and culture of CMP) in the aforementioned classes. Eg: yank off your Unertl from your '03/Ajack from your 41b and grab some diopters.. viola you can now compete in standard GSM matches, Vintage Sniper, and the "Limited Vintage - Irons" class. A ton of CG63's are out there.. yank off the irons and throw on a Lyman 12x.. viola you can now compete in Unlimited Vintage - Irons and Unlimited Vintage - Magnified...etc And as said before, keep the rules somewhat loose to allow as many folks opportunity as possible - long as its kept to mil-surps or in the Unlim. classes, modded mil-surps; and kept to period correct sights and for the magnified class: period-correct optics.

But maybe iits a hair brain idea and I just done had a brewski too many tonight..?
 
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Forgetful Coyote

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Also meant to say.. if I could have any "Vintage Sniper"(but with not-very-strict rules far as being absolute clones,etc), it'd for sure, in no particular order, be a '03 Unertl USMC sniper, a PEM-equipped large ring Mauser 98 BUT in 7x57(@sandwarrior there was a 7x57 large ring Mexican Mauser 98, correct?), PEM-equipped 1909 7.65x53 Argentine, an M41b, PEM M39, PEM M28 [.. or whichever one had .308(or was it .309??) groove diameter]. And obviously the K31 snipers as well. But this list is based on me having access to all modern current available ammo/projos.. and for that reason the K31 wouldn't be my first choice or even my second choice.. tho GP11 is outstanding(!!!), theres obviously better projo options nowadays especially if one rolls their own with modern powders, reaching the actual potential pressures/MV's these rounds/rifles are capable of.
 

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@Bender - pay particular attention to Mr Alex Wheeler's posts.. he is a renowned 1000 yd Benchrest gunsmith and shooter who is constantly experimenting.. and HE KNOWS HIS SHIT!
 

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Nice collection of Swedish sniper rifles (and some Russian stuff too). I'm guessing you live in Europe based on that collection.

Can't speak firsthand.. but from looking at pics and per @kraigWY - the Springfields are by far the most popular, along with as you said, Swedes, Mosins.. and from pics Ive seen Garands as well..with K98's, Enfields and such showing up as well but not as much as the before-mentioned.
As for CMP vintage sniper matches, yep, the vast majority of shooters in the top 10% use M1903 Springfields with 8X Leatherwood or Unertl scopes. Back in 2016 one guy tied at Camp Perry with a Finnish M39/43 (PEM scope), and in the first year, 2011?, I think the top shooter used an M41B, but thereafter he switched to the M1903 w/ 8x scope. I've been using this rifle in the CMP Eastern Games since 2012, and all of my shooting buddies use the same set-up.

IMG_3915.JPG

My understanding is that in WWII the scope was considered a bit fragile, and water would enter the scope and snipers had condensation issues. So it was not robust enough for hard combat use in the pacific, but for non-combat environments - its quite an excellent target rifle... Here's a pet load for my M1903 at 100 yards.

1903A1_56gr_H4350_175TMK_target_100yds.JPG
 

KAIFS

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Nice collection of Swedish sniper rifles (and some Russian stuff too). I'm guessing you live in Europe based on that collection.



As for CMP vintage sniper matches, yep, the vast majority of shooters in the top 10% use M1903 Springfields with 8X Leatherwood or Unertl scopes. Back in 2016 one guy tied at Camp Perry with a Finnish M39/43 (PEM scope), and in the first year, 2011?, I think the top shooter used an M41B, but thereafter he switched to the M1903 w/ 8x scope. I've been using this rifle in the CMP Eastern Games since 2012, and all of my shooting buddies use the same set-up.

View attachment 7179511

My understanding is that in WWII the scope was considered a bit fragile, and water would enter the scope and snipers had condensation issues. So it was not robust enough for hard combat use in the pacific, but for non-combat environments - its quite an excellent target rifle... Here's a pet load for my M1903 at 100 yards.

View attachment 7179513
Actually I am in Midwest:) so USA. My wife and I mostly collect Swedish Mausers, however, we do venture out from time to time...
 

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Nice collection of Swedish sniper rifles (and some Russian stuff too). I'm guessing you live in Europe based on that collection.



As for CMP vintage sniper matches, yep, the vast majority of shooters in the top 10% use M1903 Springfields with 8X Leatherwood or Unertl scopes. Back in 2016 one guy tied at Camp Perry with a Finnish M39/43 (PEM scope), and in the first year, 2011?, I think the top shooter used an M41B, but thereafter he switched to the M1903 w/ 8x scope. I've been using this rifle in the CMP Eastern Games since 2012, and all of my shooting buddies use the same set-up.

View attachment 7179511

My understanding is that in WWII the scope was considered a bit fragile, and water would enter the scope and snipers had condensation issues. So it was not robust enough for hard combat use in the pacific, but for non-combat environments - its quite an excellent target rifle... Here's a pet load for my M1903 at 100 yards.

View attachment 7179513
That’s what frustrates me about the CMP vintage sniper matches. It’s not that there are not other rifles capable of competing with the 1903, but magnification makes a big difference and I think that there should be separate classes based on scope power. Honestly, it’s always felt like the CMP heavily favors US made rifles and goes out of their way to do so.
 
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KAIFS

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That’s what frustrates me about the CMP vintage sniper matches. It’s not that there are not other rifles capable of competing with the 1903, but magnification makes a big difference and I think that there should be separate classes based on scope power. Honestly, it’s always felt like the CMP heavily favors US made rifles and goes out of their way to do so.
One can make an argument that 6.5x55 or 7.5x55 round is much more superior round compared to 30-06 - I guess that “handicap” is compensated with more advanced glass :)
 

sandwarrior

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One can make an argument that 6.5x55 or 7.5x55 round is much more superior round compared to 30-06 - I guess that “handicap” is compensated with more advanced glass :)
It doesn't matter how good the bullet is if you can't get a more precision view of the target, I agree, the 6.5 and 7.5 Swiss are better bullets than the U.S. .30 cal. options. But when they are good enough to get you there accurately and you can see the finer points, it will work better. If the Swede and Swiss rifles had the same capability in their optics, I think they would rule over the '03's

As far as open sights, I think the '03's have a better sight in that it is a peep sight. The blade sights of the Swede M96, and Swiss 1911 & K31 won't be able to match the 1903A3's capability. Then again, that's a little bit of the issue with the M96 and K31 in that the '03A3 wasn't really a combat weapon. They were converted to sniper rifles, but the sights were removed and replaced with scopes. If the scopes installed on most 1903 sniper rifles were used, they would NOT compare well to the Swiss and Swede rifles.
 
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Forgetful Coyote

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Aint you allowed to use handloads in Vintage Sniper tho? AFAIK you are.. and while Id choose 6.5 due to recoil over the 7.5 or .30 if everyone could use the Unertl.. you can roll up some some hot loads in .30-06 with 185 Juggernauts, 200-20X, or 215s that should rival anything the 7.5 or 6.5 can do ballistics wise...