Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 09-02-2012, 09:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 327
Tommy guns - round vs. stick magazine

The tommies can handle either the 30round stick clip or 50round drum. In almost any picture of WW2 Allied soldiers brandishing them, they have the stick. The Russians had great success with their ppSh, almost always with their 70round drum magazine (which they copied from the Finnish Suomi, also a round drum). So, why would Americans, British, and other Allies who pack the tommie forgo an extra 20 rounds? Is it simply a matter of the extra weight? 3 drums of 50 could carry as many bullets as 5 sticks of 30 - I would think they'd take up the same space. Was it some obscure military 'we order it this way just because we say so' kind of thing? Or is there some practical reason why Ordnance wouldn't want an extra 20 bullets before reload?
#2
Old 09-02-2012, 10:02 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1,137
From the wiki:

Quote:
Magazine developments

Military users of the M1928A1 had complaints about the "L" fifty round drum magazine; the British Army officially criticised "their excessive weight, the rattling sound they made...." and shipped thousands back to the U.S. in exchange for box magazines. The Thompson had to be cocked, bolt retracted ready to fire, to attach the drum. It attached and detached by sliding sideways which made magazine changes slow and also created difficulty in clearing a cartridge malfunction ("jam"). Reloading an empty drum with cartridges was an involved process.

In contrast, the "XX" twenty round box magazine was light and compact, it tended not to rattle, and could be inserted with the bolt safely closed. It was quickly attached and detached, and was removed downward making clearing jams easier. The box tripped the bolt open lock when empty, facilitating magazine changes. An empty box was easily reloaded with loose rounds. However, users complained it was limited in capacity. In the field, users frequently taped two "XX" magazines together to speed magazine changes.
#3
Old 09-02-2012, 10:27 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 327
couldn't be clearer, thx.
#4
Old 09-02-2012, 10:41 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,044
Drum magazines are notoriously unreliable. I didn't look later for further details but I saw word that during the Aurora shooting his drum magazine jammed. I also saw reports that the ppSh magazine had jamming problems. Bottom line no military uses a drum magazine for good reason.
#5
Old 09-03-2012, 12:31 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 17,533
There is a classic photo of Churchill with a Tommy fitted with a drum, stogie in his mouth, looking grim.

If I had better internet, and knew how to make links, I'd provide it.

EDIT: http://ww2.wwarii.com/wwii-people/go...submachine-gun

I guess that wasn't so hard.

Last edited by Gatopescado; 09-03-2012 at 12:34 AM. Reason: I don't know my own strenth!
#6
Old 09-03-2012, 12:34 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 31,855
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
There is a classic photo of Churchill with a Tommy fitted with a drum, stogie in his mouth, looking grim.

If I had better internet, and knew how to make links, I'd provide it.

EDIT: http://ww2.wwarii.com/wwii-people/go...submachine-gun

I guess that wasn't so hard.

Here ya go.
#7
Old 09-03-2012, 08:18 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 8,153
As others have said, drum magazines are more more prone to failure, compared to regular box magazines. Consider that replacing a magazine takes only seconds, the difference of 30 rounds is fairly academic. Just put those 30 rounds in two more magazines. These aren't revolvers where you have to load one round at a time (at least, not until all of the magazines are empty, and you need to fill them)
#8
Old 09-03-2012, 03:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: England
Posts: 2,696
The British were considering whether to drop the drum as early as April 1941. Reasons given in the files I have been researching in the public archives here were:
(a) Mechanically delicate
(b) Heavy and unwieldy
(c) Difficult to judge when drum is nearly empty
#9
Old 09-03-2012, 05:06 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,402
Note that the PPS43 used box magazines.
#10
Old 09-03-2012, 06:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Posts: 6,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
There is a classic photo of Churchill with a Tommy fitted with a drum, stogie in his mouth, looking grim
Grim? Looking rather pleased with himself I think.
#11
Old 09-03-2012, 06:26 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 8,153
For Churchill, those were both the same thing, yes?

Supposedly the Germans made many copies of that photo and attempted to use them as propaganda, painting him as a mobster.

They gave up on that pretty quick when they realized it was having quite the opposite effect from what they were aiming for, making Churchill look instead like a gun-toting cigar-chomping badass
#12
Old 09-03-2012, 06:29 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Barsoom
Posts: 3,710
Drums are for cowboys.
#13
Old 11-19-2012, 09:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Drum vs Stick... never thought about it

Never even pondered it just assumed it was drum.

Another site with some interesting thompson info is: http://guncollectionsonline.com/tommygun.htm
#14
Old 11-19-2012, 11:33 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,411
Not a single lecture on "magazine" vs. "clip"?

Shameful
#15
Old 11-20-2012, 04:43 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
Not a single lecture on "magazine" vs. "clip"?

Shameful
Sighting down Naha ridge, I squeezed off the last 2 of my eight rounds at the bunker and was rewarded with the satisfying ping of the empty clip ejecting from my rifle...

Proper use for the descriptive era and mentioned rifle?
#16
Old 11-20-2012, 05:01 PM
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 54,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
I've always thought that ad to be cool.
#17
Old 11-20-2012, 05:28 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,889
The OP has been answered, but here is a little engineering info on magazines:

The job of a magazine is to deliver cartridges into the correct position for the bolt or slide of the firearm to chamber them.

In manually operated arms (bolt, lever, slide, etc) there is normally an appreciable fraction of a second from the time the bolt is opened, until it closes. This is not the case with automatic and semi-automatic arms. The cartridge must move from below or beside the bolt (top feed has also been used, but is rare) to in front of it in a few milliseconds. In what follows, I will assume the magazine fits into the bottom of the arm, and feeds upward...other directions are comparable.

This motion is accomplished by a spring acting from below on the column of cartridges in the box. When there are only a few rounds in a straight stack, this is simple to accomplish, and seldom causes trouble unless the magazine is damaged dirty, or worn.

When high capacity is desired, things start getting more problematic. If the feed is to be kept simple and powered only by the spring in the magazine, then the spring must accelerate all the rounds in order that the top one is raised to the correct position, and this must be accomplished within a few milliseconds. The increasing mass as capacity is increased means a stronger spring is needed.

In addition to more mass, more cartridges will have more friction, and if they are in a double stack, (so the high capacity magazine won't be unreasonably long) then the spring and inertial loads tend to force them outward against the walls of the magazine with as much, or even more force as is applied upward. This requires a yet stronger spring, which gives even more friction.

Eventually a point of diminishing returns is reached, and it is not possible to further increase the capacity of a box magazine further...typically this happens at around 30rds, give or take depending on a number of factors. Higher capacity box magazines are sometimes seen, but as a rule of thumb reliability decreases as capacity increases, and at some point reliability becomes so poor as to make an extreme capacity magazine useless.

Even if the magazine is able to raise a round into position in time, the top round may be pushed against the feed lips with such force, that the recoil spring is unable to overcome the friction to strip it from the magazine. Or the top round may bear on the closed bolt/slide with such force as to slow the cycling and reduce reliability.

A drum magazine eliminates most of the friction associated with the box design. Fingers within the magazine push individual rounds, or small groups of rounds, so that the force doesn't all add up and appear at the last round ahead of a single follower. All the rounds still have to be accelerated to feed each shot, though, so there is still a practical limit to capacity, though it is often at or near 100rds. If the drum replaces a box magazine, then the final section often resembles a box, and some of the issues of the box design may come into play.

Very high capacity weapons use cartridge feeding arraignments considerably more complex than just a spring pushing all the rounds upward. Belt feeding is one option. A mechanical assist may be added: mechanical fingers lift the top round of a spring fed magazine into position, so the spring will have considerably more time to raise the rest of the stack. Many arraignments are possible, but none are as simple as a spring fed magazine, which is fairly reliable when kept to modest capacity.
#18
Old 11-20-2012, 05:39 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 33,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyBob View Post
From the wiki:


More or less what my Dad said, who used one in WWII “The drum was too fiddly, hard to change and got in your way”.
#19
Old 11-21-2012, 09:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Somers Point, NJ
Posts: 5,764
I would think, with a straight magazine, a soldier would just store the full and empty clips in pockets or holsters on his chest or pants.

A bigger, round drum is a bit harder to store on your person.
#20
Old 11-22-2012, 11:35 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
LOL! I had this idea once for a SF movie where centuries in the future, some space marines are forced by an energy-weapon suppressing field to resort to 20th century technology. I envisioned this scene where one space marine picks up a Thompson and says "Hey, a Tommy gun! Like the cowboys of the old West used to use!"
#21
Old 11-22-2012, 11:48 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,313
Ah, Churchill, always marching to the beat of a different drum magazine.
#22
Old 11-22-2012, 01:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 13,936
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
Not a single lecture on "magazine" vs. "clip"?

Shameful
What's the point? By now anybody who interchanges them is being willfully ignorant, and I have better things to do than teach a pig to sing.
#23
Old 11-22-2012, 05:36 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Cloud Cuckoo Land
Posts: 28,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdrpiffle View Post
Sighting down Naha ridge, I squeezed off the last 2 of my eight rounds at the bunker and was rewarded with the satisfying ping of the empty clip ejecting from my rifle...
...telling everybody in earshot where you are and that your rifle is empty. If they can still hear, since a .30-06 is LOUD.

ETA: And if they aren't dead.

Last edited by dropzone; 11-22-2012 at 05:37 PM.
#24
Old 11-22-2012, 05:57 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 17,865
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
Not a single lecture on "magazine" vs. "clip"?

Shameful
Here ya go.

http://thegunzone.com/clips-mags.html
#25
Old 11-22-2012, 09:01 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 8,153
I don't get all the confusion between clips and magazines. A clip is what you put the bullets into the gun with, and the magazine is what you read in the lobby at the dentist's office!
#26
Old 11-22-2012, 10:45 PM
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 54,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raguleader View Post
I don't get all the confusion between clips and magazines. A clip is what you put the bullets into the gun with, and the magazine is what you read in the lobby at the dentist's office!
Well, there you go.
It's like the .45 9mm argument.
Being hit by a 9 mm round will piss you off.
Being hit by a .45 will blow off an extremity or kill you.
What's to argue about?
#27
Old 11-23-2012, 01:49 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 8,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
Well, there you go.
It's like the .45 9mm argument.
Being hit by a 9 mm round will piss you off.
Being hit by a .45 will blow off an extremity or kill you.
What's to argue about?
Well, to be fair, it's also true if you switch those around. I don't care WHAT I get shot with, I'm not gonna be happy about it!
#28
Old 11-23-2012, 05:33 PM
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 54,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raguleader View Post
Well, to be fair, it's also true if you switch those around. I don't care WHAT I get shot with, I'm not gonna be happy about it!
True enough.
#29
Old 11-24-2012, 02:04 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
Posts: 6,590
Off topic, were soldiers of any period expected to hang onto their spent magazines and refill them, or were they just issued with more full magazines.

I just can't remember seeing in film any soldier do anything but grab one from a pocket to replace an empty one, save for the start of Lord of War.
#30
Old 11-24-2012, 02:07 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 3,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushkin View Post
Off topic, were soldiers of any period expected to hang onto their spent magazines and refill them, or were they just issued with more full magazines.

I just can't remember seeing in film any soldier do anything but grab one from a pocket to replace an empty one, save for the start of Lord of War.
You always need to load new ones.
#31
Old 11-24-2012, 02:39 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 33,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushkin View Post
Off topic, were soldiers of any period expected to hang onto their spent magazines and refill them, or were they just issued with more full magazines.

I just can't remember seeing in film any soldier do anything but grab one from a pocket to replace an empty one, save for the start of Lord of War.
Sure, but you wait until the shooting stops to pick them up.
#32
Old 11-24-2012, 03:29 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota US
Posts: 15,580
Issuing ammo in magazines would be expensive, wasteful and an added logistical burden. Typically ammo is issued in boxes and the soldiers load their own magazines.
#33
Old 11-24-2012, 04:57 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 22,343
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Sure, but you wait until the shooting stops to pick them up.
1. Draw a full mag.

2. Hold it up against the mag in your weapon, so that you're holding both in the same hand.

3. Thumb the catch.

4. Pull the empty mag out, move your wrist an inch to the left, push the full mag in.

5. Put the empty mag in your ammo pouch.

It takes some practice, but after a while it becomes second nature.
#34
Old 11-24-2012, 08:51 PM
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 54,136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
1. Draw a full mag.

2. Hold it up against the mag in your weapon, so that you're holding both in the same hand.

3. Thumb the catch.

4. Pull the empty mag out, move your wrist an inch to the left, push the full mag in.

5. Put the empty mag in your ammo pouch.

It takes some practice, but after a while it becomes second nature.
Lee Marvin had two taped together in The Dirty Dozen.
#35
Old 11-25-2012, 12:11 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 8,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
1. Draw a full mag.

2. Hold it up against the mag in your weapon, so that you're holding both in the same hand.

3. Thumb the catch.

4. Pull the empty mag out, move your wrist an inch to the left, push the full mag in.

5. Put the empty mag in your ammo pouch.

It takes some practice, but after a while it becomes second nature.
In the Air Force, they teach us to reach for our new mag as we hit the release, then pull the new mag up and put it directly into the mag well. The old mag pretty much just lands in the dirt and stays there until the fighting is done. Then again, my job is a support job, rather than a combat arms job, so maybe they teach the security forces guys something different.

But yeah, usually you get the ammo either in a case or in smaller boxes. If they come in the little boxes, they might be bound together in ten round clips. Fit a speed loader onto the lip of the empty magazine, fit the clip into the speed loader, and push the rounds off the clip into the magazine. You can load a magazine relatively quickly this way. The few times I've dealt with the smaller boxes with the clipped ammo, they came packed in a cheap bandoleer, so perhaps the idea was for the soldier to sling the ammo clips across his chest in the bandoleer, and use them to reload his magazines during a fight.
#36
Old 11-25-2012, 12:20 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 22,343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raguleader View Post
In the Air Force, they teach us to reach for our new mag as we hit the release, then pull the new mag up and put it directly into the mag well. The old mag pretty much just lands in the dirt and stays there until the fighting is done. Then again, my job is a support job, rather than a combat arms job, so maybe they teach the security forces guys something different.
The training given infantry focuses on offense, rather than defense; the assumption is that you won't end the fight in the same place they started it. You can't just leave stuff lying on the ground with the hope you'll pick it up later.
#37
Old 11-25-2012, 03:03 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 8,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
The training given infantry focuses on offense, rather than defense; the assumption is that you won't end the fight in the same place they started it. You can't just leave stuff lying on the ground with the hope you'll pick it up later.
Makes sense. In our case, the general advice given is "Keep your head down, keep their heads down with supressive fire, and make sure that someone has called for the cavalry as soon as possible."
#38
Old 11-25-2012, 03:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 10,292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Straight View Post
I would think, with a straight magazine, a soldier would just store the full and empty clips in pockets or holsters on his chest or pants.

A bigger, round drum is a bit harder to store on your person.
Not sure about the US, but Commonwealth forces had special pouches for them that went with the Pattern 1937 webbing gear issued to troops - but since the pouches were basically like a satchel, there was a practical limit to how many that could be carried, especially once the weight was factored in. Three or four (including the one in the gun) would seem to be about it.

One other aspect I don't believe has been touched on beyond the Wiki quote: A stick mag is a lot easier to load than a drum mag. Reloading a Thompson SMG drum mag involved taking the front off, loading all the cartridges into it (in a particular sequence), replacing the front cover, then winding a clockwork mechanism on the front (to work the follower and spring necessary to keep feeding the rounds into the breech).

Also - and this would have been just as important from the military's perspective - stick magazines are a lot cheaper and easier to make than drum magazines.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:22 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: roman look steven stephen pronunciation edinburgh ld50 tylenol bulldogs sex superball bounce 53 18 glasses nurse engineering buying coal online religious exclamations zoolander ringtone huge ass japanese 3.5 psionics flame broiled tourneau trade in fah lo suee watchtower magazine archives les schwab payment thundercats sheera d girl sopranos ddlg names american accent attractive prescription anabolic steroids kava euphoria oven insulation flaming golf balls combustion exothermic family guy lost tourettes swearing lesbians pants omaha steaks quality replace airbag cost sprite and gin police interceptor badge penis cyst oral fixation symptoms tricycle for adults with child seats dexter vs jimmy neutron waking up with stomach pains every morning what can i mix with tequila what does swag stand for gay sin 3 theta = 1 att uverse security suite genie garage door opener works intermittently can sea otters be pets fallout 4 message board should i shave my arms men is it bad to scratch mosquito bites does target ship to po boxes chrono cross black dragon asleep how to put up shutters reviews on pt cruiser firefly hands of blue what does ibn mean in arabic names hunger pains or pangs can hickies give you cancer how big is 20 oz bottle lump in my balls sack funny names for testicles milo and otis death how many miles do you run in a basketball game where to buy a vaporizer in nyc why is my penis so dark vending machines be like what dollar how to pronounce cicada odometer reading no tenths flew in from miami beach boac white robes with hood