PDA

View Full Version : Type of .50 caliber ammunition used on USAAF figther aircraft



Wildnoob
06-25-2009, 01:39 PM
hello!

I was thinking folks, would like to ask your help if possible to solve a doubt.

wat type of .50 cal rounds where used by USAAF figthers?

I already hear incendiary ones, even that by the end of the war all being used where incendiary. but before that the proportion was not totally but from part.

I know it may depends of the time, but normally for most of the war, wat was, normal rounds with incendiary ones mixed? (have almost sure for that, but would like to have a confirmation).

also armor piercing ones where used?

sorry for be asking this and taking your time with that folks, but if someone could inform this to me in a summary, I would be glad. already are extremetly glad for you had acess this topic, replying it or not. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

thank you very much!

SILVERFISH1992
06-25-2009, 01:45 PM
"The incendiary, armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) rounds were especially effective against aircraft."

Got it off of Wikipedia

CUJO_1970
06-25-2009, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Wildnoob:
wat type of .50 cal rounds where used by USAAF figthers?



They used the type that was way weaker than any 20mm cannon round.

Wildnoob
06-25-2009, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by SILVERFISH1992:
"The incendiary, armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) rounds were especially effective against aircraft."

Got it off of Wikipedia

wow, thank you very much mister SILVERFISH!

so, incendary and armor piercing ones where used.

really thanks!

BillSwagger
06-25-2009, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wildnoob:
wat type of .50 cal rounds where used by USAAF figthers?



They used the type that was way weaker than any 20mm cannon round. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

oh no...

SILVERFISH1992
06-25-2009, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Wildnoob:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SILVERFISH1992:
"The incendiary, armor-piercing (AP), armor-piercing incendiary (API), and armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) rounds were especially effective against aircraft."

Got it off of Wikipedia


wow, thank you very much mister SILVERFISH!

so, incendary and armor piercing ones where used.

really thanks! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No problem, I'm happy to help! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Kocur_
06-25-2009, 02:30 PM
http://www.inetres.com/gp/mili...ntry/mg/50_ammo.html (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mg/50_ammo.html) down to M20 API-T. M23 IIRC just missed WW2 and following types are post-WW2.

RAF_OldBuzzard
06-25-2009, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wildnoob:
wat type of .50 cal rounds where used by USAAF figthers?



They used the type that was way weaker than any 20mm cannon round. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You for got to add..."But strong unough to sweep the Luftwaffe from the skies." http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

ash1976
06-25-2009, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by RAF_OldBuzzard:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wildnoob:
wat type of .50 cal rounds where used by USAAF figthers?



They used the type that was way weaker than any 20mm cannon round. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You for got to add..."But strong unough to sweep the Luftwaffe from the skies." http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And also only once they'd fitted a proper British engine to the P51 . . . . . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Gibbage1
06-25-2009, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by Kocur_:
http://www.inetres.com/gp/mili...ntry/mg/50_ammo.html (http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mg/50_ammo.html) down to M20 API-T. M23 IIRC just missed WW2 and following types are post-WW2.

Great page! Were you been hiding this? We could of used it years ago!

Found a bit of interesting info on it.

"Cartridge, Caliber .50, Incendiary, M1

TM 9-1305-201-20&P: M1 Incendiary
Used by M2 and M85 machine guns. For incendiary effect, especially against aircraft.

Upon impact with a hardened or armored target, the incendiary composition bursts into flame and will ignite any flammable material.

Incendiary composition: 34 grains (2.2 g) IM 11

The cartridge is identified by a blue bullet tip.

Type Classification: OBS - MSR 11756003 "

Could that be Oleg's mysterious HE round?

VW-IceFire
06-25-2009, 04:27 PM
I can't remember exactly but there was a particular .50cal API ammo option that was apparently introduced sometime late in WWII (maybe late 1944 but could have been 1945 as well) that was supposed to be better at igniting jet fuel and turned out to be quite effective against everything so it came into general use. I remember reading this once but haven't come across it since.

TinyTim
06-25-2009, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wildnoob:
wat type of .50 cal rounds where used by USAAF figthers?



They used the type that was way weaker than any 20mm cannon round. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you'd say "weaker than any MG-151/20 round" I'd ask you whether you are Hristo under different alias. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

ElAurens
06-25-2009, 04:41 PM
You are assuming that the MG 151/20 in game actually is 20mm in diameter...

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

HayateAce
06-25-2009, 04:41 PM
Ah LimpWristo, I miss that eavesdropping clown some times.....

BillSwagger
06-25-2009, 04:59 PM
my understanding was late war 50s had the improved ammo (APIs) but were quickly over shadowed by the Hispanos performance, because they matched firing time, and velocity.

Really, though, even with a 151/20 you only get 3 or 4 decent bursts then its time to go home.
I think they might have also taken ammo capacity into consideration, as flying longer missions might have demanded more fuel as well as more ammo.
In real life they would need to be with in 200m, and almost dead center to have a good shot. You throw in turning and g forces, and its suddenly a tougher thing to do, than what we perceive playing a video game.

HayateAce
06-25-2009, 05:34 PM
So you're saying it's too easy to hit with cannon shells in IL2?

BillSwagger
06-25-2009, 06:04 PM
I'm not sure "too easy" is a fair description. There are some shots, especially in some turns and the more awkward angles that i wonder could even be landed with a machine gun, much less a cannon, but people can and do because they aren't put through physical riggers of actual flight. (wonder women views help)
It is less a poke or stab at the game, and more of an understanding why 50 cal in its capacity, might have been preferred for long missions.

I think there was a post that described ammo loads of 50 cals having having 10 killable bursts, where cannons had more like 6. With some German planes its probably more like 4 with the 30mm and heavier 20mm cannons.

Just a thought,

M_Gunz
06-25-2009, 06:35 PM
It depends on how much ammo you waste. A full second on the trigger is a lot, more is hosing.
If you go by 2% actually hits kind of averaging you won't do as well as a 10% hitter.

WTE_Galway
06-25-2009, 08:49 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
It depends on how much ammo you waste. A full second on the trigger is a lot, more is hosing.
If you go by 2% actually hits kind of averaging you won't do as well as a 10% hitter.

Also depends on the harmonisation which changed around '43 ...

http://www.researcheratlarge.c...PatternBoresighting/ (http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Aircraft/1943PatternBoresighting/)

In theory pattern boresighting should give more kills for the same loadout.

Kocur_
06-25-2009, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
I can't remember exactly but there was a particular .50cal API ammo option that was apparently introduced sometime late in WWII (maybe late 1944 but could have been 1945 as well) that was supposed to be better at igniting jet fuel and turned out to be quite effective against everything so it came into general use. I remember reading this once but haven't come across it since.

APIs were used at least from mid-1943, as this report (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-care-26june43.jpg) proves (and so do other reports from June and July 1943; interestingly this one (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-cook-12june43.jpg), where "AP&I" is mentioned may be telling us when exactly ammo change happened in practical terms, as that sounds like mix of AP and I rounds, rather than unitary belting of API rounds; "AP&I" is mentioned in some other June 1943 reports, like this one (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-cook-12june43.jpg) or this one (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-johnson-13june43.jpg)).

What you mean is most probably the M23 Incendiary round. I think I recall it being dubbed "MiG killer", with it not having much to do with reality of Korean war.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
my understanding was late war 50s had the improved ammo (APIs) but were quickly over shadowed by the Hispanos performance, because they matched firing time, and velocity.

Not only French and British, but also US adopted 20 mm Hispano and did so way before .50 APIs, it was back in 1940. US 20 M2 cannon was bit short in ROF, firing at 600-700 rpm, while .50 M2 fired at 750-850 rpm.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
Really, though, even with a 151/20 you only get 3 or 4 decent bursts then its time to go home.

It depends heavily on what at and how accurate one shoots and of course how many MG 151/20 one has. Dozen fighter kills in Fw 190 calim would not sound improbable to me.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
I think they might have also taken ammo capacity into consideration, as flying longer missions might have demanded more fuel as well as more ammo.

I went to those P-47 reports, took about a dozen from top and divided number of rounds fired by number of kills that sounded sure and 8 x 13,(3), that is P-47 combined ROF per second. Results may not make .50s fans happy, I got following firing times: 5,7 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-anderson-28july43.jpg), 4,75 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-beeson-20feb44.jpg), 3,76 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-biel-14jan44.jpg), 10 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-boyles-28july43.jpg), 4,6 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-care-21feb44.jpg), 5,62 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-carpenter-22feb44.jpg), 7,6 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-chatterley-29jan44.jpg), 4,13 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-clark-16aug43.jpg), 7,36 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-clotfelter-31jan44.jpg), 5,48 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-ellington-31jan44.jpg), 3,65 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-evans-16aug43.jpg), 6,19 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-evans-8oct43.jpg), 5,76 (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-fink-16aug43.jpg)... And we are talking here about eight .50 guns. In other words it seems that .50s had to have a lot of ammo per gun not because of long escort flight and expecting many targets, but because each of them usually required a lot of firing at until it was a kill. "Usually" because surely in many cases just a short burst even with 4 guns was enought - if first hits landed luckily in right places. But statistically speaking... Naturally it involves individual factors, like skill of pilot doing shooting and the other one, distance, harmonisation and such.

JtD
06-26-2009, 03:16 AM
Originally posted by Gibbage1:

"Cartridge, Caliber .50, Incendiary, M1

Could that be Oleg's mysterious HE round?

Unlikely, as the HE in game sends splinters around that can actually kill a pilot. Doubt that was possible with the I rounds. But I figure the HE round are supposed to be the I rounds, since they are most effective when it comes to setting things on fire (far better than API).

BillSwagger
06-26-2009, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Kocur_:


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BillSwagger:
my understanding was late war 50s had the improved ammo (APIs) but were quickly over shadowed by the Hispanos performance, because they matched firing time, and velocity.

Not only French and British, but also US adopted 20 mm Hispano and did so way before .50 APIs, it was back in 1940. US 20 M2 cannon was bit short in ROF, firing at 600-700 rpm, while .50 M2 fired at 750-850 rpm.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
Really, though, even with a 151/20 you only get 3 or 4 decent bursts then its time to go home.

It depends heavily on what at and how accurate one shoots and of course how many MG 151/20 one has. Dozen fighter kills in Fw 190 calim would not sound improbable to me.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In game sure, in RL i could only speculate.
Perhaps there are German encounter reports buried somewhere.
I've read allied encounter reports that suggest they opened up their (German) cannons in a similar way they allies used 50 cals. First firing to get a bead, then focusing it if necessary.



Originally posted by BillSwagger:
I think they might have also taken ammo capacity into consideration, as flying longer missions might have demanded more fuel as well as more ammo.


I went to those P-47 reports, took about a dozen from top and divided number of rounds fired by number of kills that sounded sure and 8 x 13,(3), that is P-47 combined ROF per second. Results may not make .50s fans happy, I got following firing times: 5,7 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-anderson-28july43.jpg), 4,75 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-beeson-20feb44.jpg), 3,76 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-biel-14jan44.jpg), 10 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-boyles-28july43.jpg), 4,6 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-care-21feb44.jpg), 5,62 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-carpenter-22feb44.jpg), 7,6 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-chatterley-29jan44.jpg), 4,13 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-clark-16aug43.jpg), 7,36 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-clotfelter-31jan44.jpg), 5,48 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-ellington-31jan44.jpg), 3,65 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-evans-16aug43.jpg), 6,19 s (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-evans-8oct43.jpg), 5,76 (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-fink-16aug43.jpg)... And we are talking here about eight .50 guns. In other words it seems that .50s had to have a lot of ammo per gun not because of long escort flight and expecting many targets, but because each of them usually required a lot of firing at until it was a kill. "Usually" because surely in many cases just a short burst even with 4 guns was enought - if first hits landed luckily in right places. But statistically speaking... Naturally it involves individual factors, like skill of pilot doing shooting and the other one, distance, harmonisation and such.

More than true, but i still think extra ammo was a factor, at least until allied cannons had the capacity and reliability of the 50 cal M2.
A 50 cal burst of 2 to 3 seconds = a kill.
Max ammo capacity allows for 30 seconds of firing time. (425 x 8 = 3400rnds at roughly 100 rounds per second)
10 kills would be a conservative assumption, leaving 4 seconds of ammo for error.
There are also instances where a 1 to 2 second burst if localized, could easily bring a small plane like a 109 down.
It would a broad speculation, but its easy to see how 8 .50s could have the potential to score 10-20 kills.
in constrast:
109G
ammo capacity
151/20 = 200rpg at 750 rpm = 16 seconds of fire.

600 13mm / 2 = 300rpg at 900 rpm = 20 seconds of fire.

If relying on cannon alone, the 109 could get easily get 6 kills, with 4 seconds of error.
Assuming a 1-2 second burst = 1 kill.
More localized shots would reduce that to under one second depending on the aircraft.
so another broad assumption, is that a 109G could score 6-12 kills with just its cannon.

Lets take a look at the F4u-1c and F4U-1D

4 x 20mm at 231 rpg firing at 600 rpm = 23 seconds of firing time.

6 x 50 cal (M2) (4x 400, 2 x 375) at 800rpm = 30 seconds of fire.
(I've read they used the Browning M3 in the 1D which fired at 1200 rpm. Making it more favorable for air to air combat than the cannons.)

Kocur_
06-26-2009, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
In game sure, in RL i could only speculate.

I meant in-game dozen kills of course.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
More than true, but i still think extra ammo was a factor, at least until allied cannons had the capacity and reliability of the 50 cal M2.

They never had reliability equal to .50 M2 and I mean not US junk Hispanos, but British ones, as good as it gets. But their reliability was more than enough.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
A 50 cal burst of 2 to 3 seconds = a kill.

In light of those P-47 pilots reports data on ammunition spent per kill, that assumption sounds very, very optimistic... That is if you meant RL, but you probably mean in-game.
Btw. it seems to me that average virtual pilots accuracy, those more seasoned at least, surpases that of real WW2 pilots by lenghts.


Originally posted by BillSwagger:
(I've read they used the Browning M3 in the 1D which fired at 1200 rpm. Making it more favorable for air to air combat than the cannons.)

No, they didn't. I'm not sure if F4U-1D was even produced when .50 M3 was adopted (April or May 1945), let alone produced in quantity and used practically.

BillSwagger
06-26-2009, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Kocur_:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BillSwagger:
A 50 cal burst of 2 to 3 seconds = a kill.

In light of those P-47 pilots reports data on ammunition spent per kill, that assumption sounds very, very optimistic... That is if you meant RL, but you probably mean in-game.
Btw. it seems to me that average virtual pilots accuracy, those more seasoned at least, surpases that of real WW2 pilots by lenghts.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I should clarify that it pertains to actual shots on target. So i meant real life, but the likely hood of being able to do so falls on pilot skills and chances of encounter.

Some of those reports give better accounts because the pilot gives us an idea how long he fired for. That alone is more revealing than what the ammunition use says.
(under excitement the human mind also perceives things slower than real time, but its to speculative to make that adjustment here, so i'll just use what they said)

The ammunition use gets inflated from improper deflection, and error while shooting.
That's why i factored in a 4 second error over the use of the ammo.
There was one where a guy describes firing a 9 second burst until his tracers met the 190 and he saw it come to pieces.
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...-boyles-28july43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-boyles-28july43.jpg)
He wasn't firing directly on the 190 for 9 seconds.

This guy got two 190s with a number of short bursts that lead to the use of 880 rounds.
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform.../4-clark-16aug43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-clark-16aug43.jpg)
factor in 2-3 seconds per kill, and the error described, that's in line with what i displayed.

http://www.wwiiaircraftperform.../4-evans-16aug43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/4-evans-16aug43.jpg)
Here you can see he hit him with a 2 to 3 second burst. Using only 390 rounds, after his first burst missed the tail.

The ammunition spent in those reports could be interpreted a variety of ways. It could be inflated because of deflection shooting, which would've also been beneficial to have higher ammo loads.

Its also important to recognize that more localized shots, (ones that are closer than 300M, and require no deflection) would reduce trigger time to 1 to 2 seconds at most, and are certainly capable of inflicting heavy damage with trigger pulls of 0.5 - 1 second provided the shot was on target.