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"Each Sherman Tank had a spare machine gun?" Topic


16 Posts

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850 hits since 24 Oct 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2018 3:29 p.m. PST

I was not aware of that… but seeing this…


YouTube link


Only one?…. or more?


Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Amicalement
Armand

Major Mike25 Oct 2018 3:48 p.m. PST

Issued, no.
Spare barrel, very possible.
Scrounged up weapon to have extras, possible.
Hollywood, whatever you want

Mark 125 Oct 2018 5:06 p.m. PST

Don't think the M1919A4 or A5 had a any useful way to change a barrel, except by field stripping the gun, or going even farther in the disassembly process (which would not be high on my list of activities when the barrel was glowing hot).

No extra MG issued. Most likely somewhere between "Scrounged up" and "Hollywood, whatever".

That's my take.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2018 5:47 p.m. PST

Well a good and proper veteran crew/NCO will just to happen to find one lying around.

Having been in combat since North Africa you learn to have more than one of certain things.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 3:19 a.m. PST

You can switch out the barrel of an M1919. A reenactor friend has one and he's showed me how it's done. Not nearly as quick and easy as with an MG42, but it can be done without disassembling the whole gun.

As for picking up a spare, with all the Shermans that got wrecked in the war, there would certainly be plenty lying around after a fight.

Andy ONeill26 Oct 2018 3:43 a.m. PST

A few kind of related things.
One source for scrounged 50 cals was from downed planes.

The 50 cal was intended to be used by someone stood on the rear deck, for aa defence. It was less useful for shooting ground targets than the ones mounted on modern tanks.
For that reason, some commanders had a 30 cal mounted forward of the commanders hatch. The smaller vun fitted better.

Legion 426 Oct 2018 6:41 a.m. PST

Well a good and proper veteran crew/NCO will just to happen to find one lying around.

As for picking up a spare, with all the Shermans that got wrecked in the war, there would certainly be plenty lying around after a fight.
That would be no surprise at all. evil grin

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 6:47 a.m. PST

In Vietnam, my father reports an M60 was only yours if well guarded. They had a tendency to grow legs around savvy NCOs

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2018 10:11 a.m. PST

Thanks!.


Amicalement
Armand

RudyNelson26 Oct 2018 6:44 p.m. PST

While my lagoon veterans included guys on M551 and M60, both crews reported having excess weapons in their AFV. Because of close quarters the M1 carbine was a popular extra weapon. Extra barrels for both the .30 cal and the .50 cal. Was a mustdropping the coax and changing the barrel could be done quickly. We did it several times during gunnery while leaving the tank on the firing line. The big deal with the coax was relighting the coax along the main gun for line for the gunner to fire.

In WW2 the Sherman had both a hull gun and a coax of the same caliber, so extra barrels was possible.
I actually had a30+ year veteran in my platoon for several months. Alas he was in the German army in WW2. A loader and later a grunt.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2018 10:35 a.m. PST

When they were drilling us on 50 cals at Benning, spare barrels and changing barrels was assumed, and MG crews were issued special mitts for the purpose. Later, of course, but the same weapon. I'd assume an issued spare barrel in a Sherman--but as pointed out, you'd have to figure a veteran crew would find one lying around.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2018 2:32 p.m. PST

Thanks also….


Amicalement
Armand

Lion in the Stars28 Oct 2018 3:29 p.m. PST

You can switch out the barrel of an M1919. A reenactor friend has one and he's showed me how it's done. Not nearly as quick and easy as with an MG42, but it can be done without disassembling the whole gun.

That's not a very fair comparison, the MG42 is the absolute fastest and easiest barrel swap!

IIRC, the downside to barrel swaps in the M1919 and M2 is the possible need to re-time (never qualified on Ma Deuce, so I'm speculating a bit).

Though I really think that the L94 7.62NATO chain gun is the best tank MG. almost impossible to jam, though it can still overheat.

But I can totally see each Sherman crew 'acquiring' a spare barrel and bolt assembly for each MG, as a minimum.

One downside to scrounging aircraft M2s is that they have a much lighter barrel (and therefore higher cyclic rate of fire). You're very likely to burn up the light aircraft barrels on the ground.

Wolfhag28 Oct 2018 11:05 p.m. PST

Lion,

IIRC, the downside to barrel swaps in the M1919 and M2 is the possible need to re-time (never qualified on Ma Deuce, so I'm speculating a bit)

You needed to adjust the timing and adjust the head spacing when changing the barrel. Ma Deuce needed the same thing. The M60 didn't have that feature.
link

It seems as if it would be better to slip a spare gun in like in the movie but I'm not sure how easy that was. Fortunately (?), the bow machine gun did not have a sight you needed to align.

Down about halfway explains this: link

Wolfhag

Lion in the Stars29 Oct 2018 1:50 a.m. PST

Oh, good, I was remembering that correctly!

Rather slows down the barrel change when you need to pull out go/no-go gauges. Though the M2A1 .50cals finally got rid of the timing adjustment.

Legion 431 Oct 2018 6:44 a.m. PST

Yes, setting headspace & timing on the old .50 cal was a PIA ! Glad they finally fixed that, albeit long after I was gone. frown

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