Thursday 7 November 2019

Small Arms Feedback

"HQ of the 27th Rifle Division
Dept 1
November 14th, 1945

To the commander of the 132nd Rifle Corps

I present my notes and conclusions on infantry weapons, ammunition, and preparation of infantry based on experience in the Patriotic War of 1941-45.
  1. Notes on design.
    1. TT model 1930 pistol: has design defects. The center of mass is bad (almost in the center of the pistol), it must be closer to the handle, like the Borchardt-Luger pistol. It is desirable to reduce the mass to 800-850 grams, change the shape of the pistol grip to make shooting more comfortable, and increase the angle between the barrel and handle.
    2. PPSh and PPS submachineguns: the PPSh ought to be removed from production. The PPS should receive a heavier barrel and the submachinegun needs to be made tougher, like the German one. It is desirable to have a very tough gun that does not deform when struck or dropped. Increase mass and toughness for use in hand to hand combat. Magazines should be made like the German type.
    3. Model 1891/30 rifle: a reliable and good weapon. It is desirable to have a non-removable bayonet that can flip out on a ball joint. Scouts, snipers, and observers should have a rifle with a suppressor for silent shooting.
    4. Model 1943 carbine: no complaints.
    5. DP machine gun: no complaints about the gun. Disk magazines should be replaced with a metallic belt and an adapter should be created.
    6. Maxim machine gun: no complaints about the gun. The belt needs to be replaced with a metallic disintegrating type. The mount needs to be made lighter.
    7. PTRS: retain in use temporarily, the PTRD should be removed. Replace the PTRS with an Ofenrohr or Faustpatrone type RPG with a range of 200-400 meters.
    8. Hand grenades: it is desirable to have the following:
      1. 300-400 gram offensive grenade with a jacket
      2. Defensive:
        1. F-1 type weighing 600-700 grams
        2. RG-42 type weighing 400-500 grams with a longer handle to throw up to 100 50 meters.
  2. Notes on ammunition:
    1. Rifle and machine gun cartridges need to be lightened to 16-19 grams to make it easier to deliver, transport, and most importantly for a soldier to carry. Pick a new type of gunpowder to preserve the killing power of the bullet at a lower weight. 2000-2500 meters of range is enough.
    2. When packing ammunition, each crate needs to have at least 25% tracer bullets. There is not enough of them in practice for zeroing in and marking targets. When firing at airborne targets it is necessary to use tracer bullets only, incendiary, and with improved penetration.
    3. Make signal flares for the flare gun in metallic casings with the following colours: red, green, white, black, yellow, blue, orange, violet, starbursts of all of these colours, and combinations: 1 red, 2 red, 3 red, 1 red and 1 green, 1 red and 1 blue, 2 red, 1-2 blue, etc.
      The flare gun should be made out of tough metal.
  3. Training of infantry:
    1. It is reasonable to train individual combat skills, skills in pairs, and firing in groups (squad to battalion). The individual and paired training should include rapid orienteering and quick-draw shooting, firing from a line and without it, in a trench, on the move, from a tree, firing at sounds, firing at lights, introduce combined exercises where the soldier can eliminate the target with fire, grenades, or a bayonet/knife. Firing from a line should be done in introductory exercises, for testing, for competitions, and for score. Most of the exercises should be done in such a way where the soldier himself finds a position to fire from and sets it up. Digging in is mandatory.
      Targets must blend in with their surroundings, not stand out, and their size should be similar to combat targets. Targets with scores should only be used in competitions. The rest of the targets should be silhouettes.
      It is desirable to have several types of competitions with various weapons, competitions for rifleman qualifications, special distinctions, decorations, and awards to stimulate the markmanship culture and skill of soldiers and officers.
Commander of the 27th Gdynya Red Banner Rifle Division, Colonel Sonnikov
Chief of Staff of the Division, Colonel Tsapenko"

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