Why didn't the American military simply make copies of guns when it saw the gun was better?

The Sturmgewehr is OBVIOUSLY better than the Garand -we should have just copied it. The MP-40 is OBVIOUSLY better than the Thompson or the Grease Gun. We should have just copied it. The BREN gun is OBVIOUSLY better than the BAR.  We should have just copied it. The MG-42 is OBVIOUSLY better than the air cooled or water cooled Browning M1919. We should have just copied it. 


The Browning Hi-Power is OBVIOUSLY a better gun than the 1911A1. We should have just copied it.  We basically used second rate guns for NATIONAL PRIDE?  That makes no sense to me.  Imagine the Chinese are charging up the hills at Americans in Korea in human waves, and the Americans are mowing them down with 1200 RPM MG-42's and 30 shot magazine StG-44's.   

Update 2:

No one WANTED the M3 Grease Gun. Everyone avoided it. Everyone LIKED the MP-40 and thought it was excellent. So saying they were exactly the same is simply wrong. 

Update 3:

If handguns don't matter in war, why are they issued?

Update 4:

"Incidentally, the Garand came out before the Sturmgewehr."  Yes Albert Einstein, that's why it was called the Sturmgeweher 1944.  

Update 5:

StG 44 was the direct father of the AK-47.  Best Battle Rifle ever made. The Garand was a great rifle FOR SHOOTING THINGS AT 800 yards.  Too bad in real combat you can't actually see anything past 200 yards. 

Update 6:

"The British were critical of the weapon"  Yeah.  They fought the Korean War with the Lee Enfield.  This ended up with the British having their entire command CAPTURED in the Korean War.  Jolly good show old sport.

Update 7:

Garand versus StG 44- 1) Recoil for a draftee army -StG 44  2) Full auto capability - StG 44 3) Stamped construction means cheaper to make Stg 44  4) Able to carry double the ammo  StG 44   5)  30 shots versus 8 shots StG 44.   

Update 8:

Thompson versus MP-40 1) .45 is the wrong caliber for a sub machine gun.  2) Price of manufacture  3) 11 pound Thompson misses the whole idea of what a SMG is supposed to be 4) No folding stock. 5) Thirty round magazine FELL OUT of Thompson. 6) Can carry twice as much ammunition. 

Update 9:

Browning Hi-Power versus 1911!  1) Recoil for a draftee Army  2)  .45 is the wrong caliber for a handgun  3) Can twice as much ammo  4) Has twice as man shots. 5) Weighs six ounces less. 

Update 10:

BAR versus BREN gun.  1) BAR magazine goes in the bottom, so you can only have 20 rounds.  2)  The BAR does not have a quick change barrel.  In fact the barrel doesn't change AT ALL.  Therefore it is not a SERIOUS gun for a fight. you cannot keep sustained fire. 

5 Answers

  • 2 weeks ago

    The US military never made a gun, they had them made for the military.

    If you are going to compare guns, you need to keep time frames in match.

    1936, DOD found John Garand design for the 30-06 semi-automatic rifle the best in the world and became standard issue for combat through WW2 and Korean war, into Vietnam war. You don't supply data that shows where the Sturmgewehr was a better rifle, any specifics ?

    For full auto trench gun, the Thompson was the the best by a multitude. What makes the MP-40 any better.

    Top gripe with the BAR was heavy and so was ammo.

    Funny, I had a Browning hi-power and I will take my M-1911A1 over that any day.

    Same with the majority of combat soldiers, and how is ir the 1911 design became the standard in global pretense.

    OK, individuals had their likes and dislikes about the weapons they were issued but that doesn't make their opinions of 'better' any standard. Look at their reputation, how many made and how long they were made

  • 3 weeks ago

    Like any other US institution, the US military is not there to, "... provide for the common defense". It's there to provide contracts to the defense contractor; in this case weapons contractors. Efficiency is very much besides, and well to the right of the point. 

  • BBean
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I cannot see logical comparison between the  StG 44 and M1 garand. Like comparing a square shovel with an oval shovel...both are shovels but have different uses.

    The Garand had an effective range of 500 yards...the StG 44 300 yards. Trench to trench the 44 was virtually useless except to spray and pray. House to house invasions the Garand would be somewhat cumbersome with 8 round clips and bulky bandoliers to flop around.

    The StG ammo was special 7.92x33 Kurz which was forbidden for anyone in Germany to possess except troops. On the battlefield it was all about firepower but just like any machine gun...it uses and wastes a lot of ammo. A soldier often carries about 300 rounds max of ammo. The StG had a max rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute which would require (10) loaded 30 round detachable magazines for a single soldier to have a potential of 30 seconds of firepower. Yes, I know they`re not fired consecutively without intermission, however, used up pretty fast. The magazines have to be hand reloaded for future use while on the other hand with the Garand factory pre-loaded enbloc clips are discarded on last shot and weapon is ready for a full day`s work at sustained, more effective, longer distance fire. I had rather see how many bandoliers I could carry which tie around the waist or wherever than 10 loaded 30 rd. magazines. The weight of 300 rounds 15lbs+ which on top of everything else required in battle adds up. 

    Back to the shovels; The design of either has a purpose and not much room for improvement except for stronger metals. The stamped StG receivers were fragile compared to M1 Garand`s forged receiver which could survive being run over by a light to medium sized vehicle.

    The British opinion of StG44 according to Wiki:

    The British were critical of the weapon, saying that the receiver could be bent and the bolt locked up by the mere act of knocking a leaning rifle onto a hard floor.[12] A late-war U.S. assessment derided the StG-44 as "mediocre", "bulky" and "unhandy", declaring it incapable of sustained automatic fire and prone to jamming, though the report accepted that its accuracy was "excellent for a weapon of its type".[13]  

    Summation IMHO. Maybe Germany could have time better spent converting the Mauser K98 between WWI and WWII (Germany started both and lost both)  to gas/piston operated semi-auto and reasonably competed with the Garand. The StG 44 was like closing the gate after all the livestock had gotten out.

  • 3 weeks ago

    We did that once, with the M1903 Springfield rifle.  That was a close eniugh copy of the 1898 Mauser that the US Supreme Court ordered that the US pay royalties to Mauserwerke AG for patent infringement.  Of ourse, that arrangement ended aster World War 1 began.

    Also, look at the M249 and M240 machine guns. These are both FN (Belgian) designs.

    Incidentally, the Garand came out before the Sturmgewehr.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    There are two main things thing you're missing. One is that reverse engineering is actually surprisingly more complicated and timely affair then people realise. The second is tooling. In order to mass produce something you need to build all new tooling machine to make them. These machine are not cheap nor are they quick to build. Converting even one factory takes time. So the questions is asked: is this weapon so good that it is worth this expensive, timely endeavour? Also keep in mind when you're retooling a factory it's not making anything so you have to consider the industrial output that is being lost in the process.

    Was the MP44 far better than the M1? Absolutely, but the M1 was still the 2nd best service rifle of the entire war. It was a truly excellent weapon especially given that most of it's opponents were using bolt actions. Not to mention you either have to completely design your own cartridge for it or reverse engineer the 8mm and then retool your mass ammunition factories. Was the Mp44 worth that? No. 

    The MP40 was not OBVIOUSLY better than the M3. I'll give you the Thompson due to the latter weight and cost but the M3 and MP40 were completely comparable.  One does not outshine the other. What everyone learned in WW2 is that a SMG doesn't have to be excellent, it needs to be cheap, easy to mass produce and good enough. The M3 is exactly that just like MP40 was. Again, not worth the industrial conversion process. 

    Yes, the BREN was a far better LMG than the BAR but that didn't quite matter due to doctrine. Most nations emphasised machine guns to make up for the inefficiencies of bolt action rifle. Slow rate of fire, can't follow up on missed, small capacities and so forth. This is why German infantry doctrine was rifles supporting the machine gun because the machine gun was going to get the job done better than the K98 ever would. America did not have the same issue because of the M1. The amount of fire power even one soldier with a semi-automatic could bring to the battle field made up that difference in firepower and capability compared to other nations soldiers. So in the end there wasn't that much need for an excellent LMG. Would the US have been better off with the Bren? Absolutely but remember, the BAR is already in inventory, the tooling is there so is the M1. Was it worth it?

    M1919 was good enough. It wasn't the best medium/general purpose MG out there but it was good enough o get the job done. And the US realised this. They realised it was heavy and cumbersome but which is why the M1919A6 came out in 1943. It was lighter, had a stock and a quick change barrel. They could have built a new better MG but it can take years from going to the drawing board to testing much less mass production so the M1919A6 was a good compromise for needing MGs NOW. 

    Yes, the Hi-power was  better than the M1919 but you have to understand that pistols are next to irrelevant in war. They don't matter. The vast majority of infantry aren't issued one. Those who are don't fight with them unless they are out of ammunition and there isn't an enemy weapon to pick up because even if it's crappy it's better than a pistol. They're shot ranged and you need a lot of practise to be very good at one beyond 30m. Pistols. Do. Not. Matter. So getting a new pistol when the one you have in inventory and tooled up, whilst not as good, does the job just fine is not worth it. Out of everything in the question, it is the least worth it.


    I didn't say the M4 and Mp40 were the same. I said they were comparable. They both did the job of a smg whilst been cheap and quick to produce with not one outshining the other. You wouldn't be at a notable disadvantage if you were using one and your enemy was using the other. You keep saying the MP40 is obviously better but you have yet to assert why in any way shape or form.

    Pistols are issued because people need to be armed but they don't need to a rifle. A rifle is big and heavy. If you're a pilot you need to be armed in case you're shot down but you have no space for a rifle. If you're a tanker and you need to bail you need something to defend yourself but you have no room for a five rifles in a tank, if you're a mortar/artilleryman you don't want to lug a rifle along with your heavy guns but you need something on the horrible chance that an enemy starts shooting at you. In these cases the pistol isn't even to be used to win the engagement. The pistol is used to get a away. If you're a tanker you use the pistil to keep the enemies head down while you run back to the depot and get a new tank. A pilot uses it to get back to friendly line.  Same goes for non-combat roles. You don't need a rifle if you're a cook/doc but you need something if your position is attacked.

    The ineffectiveness of pistol is why the M1 carbine was designed. It's better than a pistol in every way in combat but is far lighter, smaller and handier than a full rifle.

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