Author Topic: This Old Military Rifle  (Read 56452 times)

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2014, 04:28:26 PM »
Continued.............

In 1957, a copy of Gustafson's funding request from 1955 found its way into the hands of General Willard G. Wyman, commander of the U.S. Continental Army Command. He immediately put together a team to develop a .223 caliber (5.56 mm) weapon for testing. Their finalized request called for a select-fire weapon of 6 pounds (2.7 kg) when loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition. The bullet had to penetrate a standard U.S. steel helmet, body armor, or a steel plate of 0.135 inches (3.4 mm) and retain a velocity in excess of the speed of sound at 500 yards (460 m), while equaling or exceeding the "wounding" ability of the .30 Carbine.

Wyman had seen the AR-10 in an earlier demonstration, and impressed by its performance he personally suggested that ArmaLite enter a weapon for testing using a 5.56 mm cartridge designed by Winchester. Their first design, using conventional layout and wooden furniture, proved to be too light. When combined with a conventional stock, recoil was excessive in fully automatic fire. Their second design was simply a scaled-down AR-10, and immediately proved much more controllable. Winchester entered the LMR, a design based loosely on their M1 carbine, and Earle Harvey of Springfield attempted to enter a design, but was overruled by his superiors at Springfield, who refused to divert resources from the T44. In the end, ArmaLite AR-15 had no competition. The lighter round allowed the rifle to be scaled down, and was smaller and lighter than the previous AR-10. The AR-15 weighed only around 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) empty, and 6 pounds (2.7 kg) loaded (with a 20 round magazine).

During testing in March 1958, rainwater caused the barrels of both the ArmaLite and Winchester rifles to burst, causing the Army to once again press for a larger round, this time at 0.258 in (6.6 mm). Nevertheless, they suggested continued testing for cold-weather suitability in Alaska. Stoner was later asked to fly in to replace several parts, and when he arrived he found the rifles had been improperly reassembled. When he returned he was surprised to learn that they too had rejected the design even before he had arrived; their report also endorsed the 0.258 in (6.6 mm) round. After reading these reports, General Maxwell Taylor became dead-set against the design, and pressed for continued production of the M14.

Not all the reports were negative. In a series of mock-combat situations testing the AR-15, M14 and AK-47, the Army found that the AR-15's small size and light weight allowed it to be brought to bear much more quickly, just as CONARC had suggested. Their final conclusion was that an 8-man team equipped with the AR-15 would have the same firepower as a current 11-man team armed with the M14. U.S. troops were able to carry more than twice as much 5.56×45mm ammunition as 7.62x51mm for the same weight, which would allow them a greater advantage against a typical NVA unit armed with AK-47s.

At this point, Fairchild had spent $1.45 million in development expenses, and wished to divest itself of its small-arms business. Fairchild sold production rights for the AR-15 to Colt Firearms in December 1959, for only $75,000 cash and a 4.5% royalty on subsequent sales; Robert W. MacDonald of Cooper-MacDonald got a finder's fee of $250,000 and a 1% royalty for arranging the deal. In 1960, Armalite was reorganized, and Stoner left the company.

Curtis LeMay viewed a demonstration of the AR-15 in July 1960. In the summer of 1961, General LeMay had been promoted to the position of USAF Chief of Staff, and requested an order of 80,000 AR-15s for the U.S. Air Force. However, under the recommendation of General Maxwell D. Taylor, who advised the Commander in Chief that having two different calibers within the military system at the same time would be problematic, President Kennedy turned down the request.[33] However, Advanced Research Projects Agency, which had been created in 1958 in response to the Soviet Sputnik program, embarked on project AGILE in the spring of 1961. AGILE's priority mission was to devise inventive fixes to the communist problem in South Vietnam. In October 1961, William Godel, a senior man at ARPA, sent 10 AR-15s to South Vietnam to let the allies test them. The reception was enthusiastic, and in 1962 another 1,000 AR-15s were sent to South Vietnam. Special Operations units and advisers working with the South Vietnamese troops filed battlefield reports lavishly praising the AR-15 and the stopping effectiveness of the 5.56 mm cartridge, and pressed for its adoption. However, what no one knew, except the men directly using the AR-15s in Vietnam, were the devastating kills made by the new rifle, photographs of which, showing enemy casualties made by the .223 (5.56 mm) bullet remained classified into the 1980s.

The Army immediately began to issue the XM16E1 to infantry units. However, the rifle was initially delivered without adequate cleaning supplies or instructions and so, when the M16 reached Vietnam with U.S. troops in March 1965, reports of stoppages in combat began to surface. Often the rifle suffered from a stoppage known as “failure to extract”, which meant that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet flew out the muzzle. Although the M14 featured a chrome-lined barrel and chamber to resist corrosion in combat conditions, neither the bore nor the chamber of the M16/XM16E1 was chrome-lined. Several documented accounts of troops killed by enemy fire with inoperable rifles broken-down for cleaning eventually brought a Congressional investigation.

"We left with 72 men in our platoon and came back with 19, Believe it or not, you know what killed most of us? Our own rifle. Practically every one of our dead was found with his [M16] torn down next to him where he had been trying to fix it."

—Marine Corps Rifleman, Vietnam.

The root cause of the stoppages turned out to be a problem with the powder in the ammunition. In 1964, when the Army was informed that DuPont could not mass-produce the nitrocellulose-based IMR 4475 powder to the specifications demanded by the M16, the Olin Mathieson Company provided a high-performance ball propellant of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. While the Olin WC 846 powder was capable of firing an M16 5.56 mm round at the desired 3,300 ft (1,000 m) per second, the powder produced higher chamber and gas port pressures with the unintended consequence of increasing the automatic rate of fire from 850 to 1,000 rounds per minute.[41] That problem was resolved by fitting the M16 with a buffer system, reducing the rate of fire back to 850 rounds per minute, and outfitting all newly produced M16s with an anti-corrosive chrome-plated chamber. Dirty residue left by WC 846 made the M16 more likely to have a stoppage. Some WC 846 propellant lots clogged the M16 gas tube until concentrations of calcium carbonate stabilizers were reduced in 1970 as reformulated WC 844


The damage caused by the .223 (5.56 mm) "varmint" bullet was observed and originally believed to be caused by "tumbling" due to the slow 1 in 14-inch (360 mm) rifling twist rate. However, this twist rate only made the bullet less stable in air. Any pointed lead core bullet will turn base over point ("tumble") after penetration in flesh, because the center of gravity is aft of the center of pressure. The large wounds observed by soldiers in Vietnam were actually caused by projectile fragmentation, which was created by a combination of the projectile's velocity and construction.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara now had two conflicting views: the ARPA report favoring the AR-15 and the Pentagon's position on the M14. Even President John F. Kennedy expressed concern, so McNamara ordered Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance to test the M14, the AR-15 and the AK-47. The Army's test report stated that only the M14 was suitable for Army use, but Vance wondered about the impartiality of those conducting the tests. He ordered the Army Inspector General to investigate the testing methods used; the Inspector General confirmed that the testers showed favor to the M14.

Secretary Robert McNamara ordered a halt to M14 production in January 1963, after receiving reports that M14 production was insufficient to meet the needs of the armed forces. Secretary McNamara had long been a proponent of weapons program consolidation among the armed services. At the time, the AR-15 was the only rifle that could fulfill a requirement of a "universal" infantry weapon for issue to all services. McNamara ordered the weapon be adopted unmodified, in its current configuration, for immediate issue to all services, despite receiving reports noting several deficiencies with the M16 as a service rifle, including the lack of a chrome-lined bore and chamber, the 5.56 mm projectile's instability under arctic conditions, and the fact that large quantities of 5.56 mm ammunition required for immediate service were not available. In addition, the Army insisted on the inclusion of a forward assist to help push the bolt into battery in the event that a cartridge failed to seat in the chamber through fouling or corrosion. Colt had argued the rifle was a self-cleaning design, requiring little or no maintenance. Colt, Eugene Stoner, and the U.S. Air Force believed that a forward assist needlessly complicated the rifle, adding about $4.50 to its procurement cost with no real benefit. As a result, the design was split into two variants: the Air Force's M16 without the forward assist, and, for the other service branches, the XM16E1 with the forward assist.

In November 1963, McNamara approved the U.S. Army's order of 85,000 XM16E1s for jungle warfare operations; and to appease General LeMay, the Air Force was granted an order for another 19,000 M16s. Meanwhile, the Army carried out another project, the Small Arms Weapons Systems, on general infantry firearm needs in the immediate future. They recommended the immediate adoption of the weapon. Later that year the Air Force officially accepted their first batch as the United States Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16.

On February 28, 1967, the XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1. Major revisions to the design followed. The rifle was given a chrome-lined chamber (later, the entire bore) to eliminate corrosion and stuck cartridges, and the rifle's recoil mechanism was re-designed to accommodate Army-issued 5.56 mm ammunition. Rifle cleaning tools and powder solvents/lubricants were issued. Intensive training programs in weapons cleaning were instituted, and a comic book style manual was circulated among the troops to demonstrate proper maintenance. The reliability problems of the M16 diminished quickly, although the rifle's reputation continued to suffer.

According to a February 1968 Department of Defense report, the M16 rifle achieved widespread acceptance by U.S. troops in Vietnam. Only 38 of 2,100 individuals queried wanted to replace the M16 with another weapon. Of those 38, 35 wanted the CAR-15 (a shorter version of the M16) instead.

The M16 and the 5.56×45 mm cartridge were initially adopted by U.S. infantry forces as interim solutions to address the weight and control issues experienced with the 7.62×51mm round and M14 rifle. In the late 1950s, future small arms development was pursued through the Special Purpose Individual Weapon program. The SPIW effort sought to replace cased bullets with flechette projectiles fired from sabots. Rifles firing the sabots would have a muzzle velocity of 1,200 metres per second (3,900 ft/s) to 1,500 metres per second (4,900 ft/s) to give a short flight time and flat trajectory. At those speeds, factors like range, wind drift, and target movement would no longer affect performance. Several manufacturers offered many different gun designs, from traditional wooden models to ones made of lightweight "space age" materials similar to the M16, to bullpups, and even multi-barrel weapons with drum magazines. All used similar ammunition firing a 1.8 mm diameter dart with a plastic "puller" sabot filling the case mouth. While the flechette ammunition had excellent armor penetration, there were doubts about their terminal effectiveness against unprotected targets. Conventional cased ammunition was more accurate and the sabots were expensive to produce. The SPIW program never created an infantry rifle that would be combat effective, and development was fully abandoned in the early 1970s. With the end of the program, the "temporary" M16, with the 5.56×45mm round, was retained as the standard U.S. infantry rifle.

The M16 rifle series has had questionable reliability performance since its introduction. Intense criticism began in 1966, when soldiers and Marines in Vietnam reported that their rifles would jam during firefights. The worst malfunction was failure to extract, where a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a round was fired. The only way to dislodge the case was to push a metal rod down the muzzle to force the case out, which took valuable time away from returning fire. In 1967, a then-classified Army report showed that out of 1,585 troops questioned in a survey, 80 percent (1,268 troops) experienced a stoppage while firing. This occurred while the Army insisted to the public that the M16 was the best rifle available for fighting in Vietnam. A 1967 Congressional subcommittee investigation found the Army failed to ensure the weapon and ammunition worked well together, failed to train troops on the new weapon, and neglected to issue enough cleaning equipment, including a cleaning rod to clear jammed rifles. Most problems were remedied with the issuing of the M16A1.

In December 2006, the Center for Naval Analyses released a report on U.S. small arms in combat. The CNA conducted surveys on 2,608 troops returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 12 months. Only troops who fired their weapons at enemy targets were allowed to participate. 1,188 troops were armed with M16A2 or A4 rifles, making up 46 percent of the survey. 75 percent of M16 users (891 troops) reported they were satisfied with the weapon. 60 percent (713 troops) were satisfied with handling qualities such as handguards, size, and weight. Of the 40 percent dissatisfied, most were with its size. Only 19 percent of M16 users (226 troops) reported a stoppage, while 80 percent of those that experienced a stoppage said it had little impact on their ability to clear the stoppage and re-engage their target. Half of the M16 users never experienced failures of their magazines to feed. 83 percent (986 troops) did not need their rifles repaired while in theater. 71 percent (843 troops) were confident in the M16's reliability, defined as level of soldier confidence their weapon will fire without malfunction, and 72 percent (855 troops) were confident in its durability, defined as level of soldier confidence their weapon will not break or need repair. Both factors were attributed to high levels of soldiers performing their own maintenance. 60 percent of M16 users offered recommendations for improvements. Requests included greater bullet lethality, new-built rifles instead of rebuilt, better quality magazines, decreased weight, and a collapsible stock. Some users recommended shorter and lighter weapons similar to the M4 Carbine, or to simply be issued with the M4. Some issues have been addressed with the issuing of the Improved STANAG magazine in March 2009, and the M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round in June 2010.

In early 2010, two journalists from the New York Times spent three months with soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan. While there, they questioned around 100 infantrymen about the reliability of their M16 rifles, as well as the M4 Carbine. Surprisingly, troops did not report to be suffering reliability problems with their rifles. While only 100 troops were asked, they fought at least a dozen intense engagements in Helmand Province, where the ground is covered in fine powdered sand (called "moon dust" by troops) that can stick to firearms. Weapons were often dusty, wet, and covered in mud. Intense firefights lasted hours with several magazines being expended. Only one soldier reported a jam when his M16 was covered in mud after climbing out of a canal. The weapon was cleared and resumed firing with the next chambered round. Furthermore, a Marine Chief Warrant Officer reported that with his battalion's 350 M16s and 700 M4s, they've had no issues.

About 80 Countries now field the M16.



This is the only AR-15 I own, btw.......


















*wikipedia
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 04:35:20 PM by Henry Bowman »

TrapperL

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2014, 10:23:18 AM »
Two things Henry, I think you're now the author of the best thread on the entire internet in regards to rifles, Thanks for all of the hard work. I've read this thread many times gleaning information from it.
Here's an addition to Henrys post concerning the AR-15/M16 in regards to the development of the 5.56 round. It a Wiki as written by Princeton Uni. The American Rifleman did an article on it a few years back but I couldn't find it in their library. The AR article went into more details about the specs and the issues they had with it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO

A much more detailed report on the small rifle development program. It is lengthy:
http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1538&context=etd

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2014, 02:53:04 PM »
The L1A1 self loading rifle. Mine is a Century Arms International import and is of Australian origin, I believe. Century called it an R1A1. The only changes I have made are: having the barrel shortened to 16 inches and threaded for the A2 flash suppressor. I changed the bolt release to one that would hold the bolt open after the last round. It was a Israeli part, iirc...it was many years ago. It is one of my favorite rifles for open sight shooting. It is reasonably accurate and never falters. Because of parts and accessory availability, I would really like a metric FAL. Someday one may walk through the door......



Type: Battle rifle (L1A1/C1A1)  Light machine gun (L2A1/C2A1)

Place of origin: Belgium,  United Kingdom,  Australia,  Canada

In service: 1954– Present

Used by: British Commonwealth

Wars: Suez Crisis, Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation, Aden Emergency, Vietnam War, Cambodian Civil War, Northern Ireland Troubles, Rhodesian Bush War, Falklands War, Gulf War, Nepalese Civil War, 2013 Lahad Datu standoff, Battle of Mirbat

Production history: 
Designer: Dieudonné Saive, Ernest Vervier

Designed: 1947–1953

Manufacturer: RSAF Enfield and BSA factories (UK), Lithgow Small Arms Factory (Australia),  Canadian Arsenals, Ltd. (Canada)

Produced: 1954–1980s

Variants: L1A1/C1/C1A1 (Rifles),  L2A1/C2/C2A1 (Squad automatic weapons)

Specifications:

Weight: 4.337 kg (9.56 lbs) empty

Length: 1,143 mm (45 in)

Barrel length: 554.4 mm (21.7 in)
 


Cartridge: 7.62x51mm NATO

Action: Gas-operated, tilting breechblock

Rate of fire: Semi automatic (L1A1, C1A1),   Full Automatic (L2A1, C2A1) 650-700RPM

Muzzle velocity: 823 m/s (2700 ft/s)

Effective firing range: 800 m (1968 ft) (Effective range)

Feed system: 20 or 30-round detachable box magazine

Sights: Aperture rear sight, post front sight

The L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle, also known as the SLR, by the Canadian Army designation C1 or in the USA as the "inch pattern" FAL, is a British Commonwealth derivative of the Belgian FN FAL battle rifle, produced under license. It has seen use in the armies of Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Rhodesia, and the United Kingdom.

In contrast to the "metric" FALs, the design dimensions of the inch-pattern are British imperial units, rather than the metric units used in Belgium. Despite this, many sub-assemblies are interchangeable between the two types, although components of those sub-assemblies may not be compatible. Another notable difference is magazines. Also, butt-stocks are not interchangeable, since the stocks on metric pattern and inch pattern guns attach in different ways.

Most Commonwealth pattern FALs are semi-automatic only. However, there is also an automatic rifle variant, the L2A1/C2A1, capable of automatic fire and meant to serve in a support role. Differences from the L1A1/C1 include a heavy barrel, a handguard that doubles as a foldable bipod, and a larger 30-round magazine although it could also use the normal 20-round magazines as well. Only Australia and Canada used this variant, as the UK and New Zealand used Bren light machine guns converted to fire the 7.62mm NATO cartridge. Some Canadian C1s issued to naval personnel were also capable of automatic fire.

The L1A1 and other inch-pattern derivatives trace their lineage back to the Allied Rifle Commission of the 1950s, whose intention was to introduce a single rifle and cartridge that would serve as standard issue for all NATO countries. After briefly adopting the Rifle No. 9 Mk 1 with a 7mm intermediate cartridge, the UK, believing that if they adopted the Belgian FAL and the American 7.62 NATO cartridge that the United States would do the same[citation needed], adopted the L1A1 as a standard issue rifle in 1954. The US, however, did not adopt any variant of the FAL, opting for its own M14 rifle instead.

The L1A1 subsequently served as the UK's first-line battle rifle through 1980s before being replaced by the 5.56mm L85A1. This was later updated due to operational faults in the early 2000s and re-designated the L85A2.

The L1A1 and variants have seen use in several conflicts, including as part of the Cold War. L1A1s have been used by the British Army in Malaysia, Northern Ireland, and in the Falklands War (in opposition to FN FAL-armed Argentine forces), the First Gulf War (where it was still on issue to some second line British Army units and RAF personnel not yet issued with the L85A1), by Australia and New Zealand in Vietnam, and by Rhodesia in the Rhodesian Bush War.

Starting in the mid-1980s, the UK started replacing its 30-year-old L1A1 rifles with the 5.56 NATO bullpup L85A1 assault rifle. Australia chose the Steyr AUG as a replacement in the form of the F88 Austeyr, with New Zealand following suit shortly after. Canada replaced its C1 rifles with AR-15 variants: the C7 assault rifle and C8 carbine. Both Australia and Canada replaced their L2A1/C2 heavy barrel support weapons with FN Minimi variants: the F89 and C9, respectively.

Australian

The Australian Army, as a late member of the Allied Rifle Committee along with the United Kingdom and Canada adopted the committee's improved version of the FAL rifle, designated the L1A1 rifle by Australia and Great Britain, and C1 by Canada. The Australian L1A1 is also known as the 'Self-Loading Rifle' (SLR), and in full-automatic form, the 'Automatic Rifle' (AR). The Australian L1A1 features are almost identical to the British L1A1 version of FAL, however the Australian L1A1 differs from its British counterpart in the design of the upper receiver lightening cuts. The lightening cuts of the Australian L1A1 most closely resembles the later Canadian C1 pattern, rather than the simplified and markedly unique British L1A1 cuts. The Australian L1A1 FAL rifle was in service with Australian forces until it was superseded by the F88 Austeyr (a license-built version of the Steyr AUG) in 1988, though some remained in service with Reserve units until late 1990. Some Australian Army units deployed overseas on UN peacekeeping operations in Namibia, the Western Sahara and Cambodia still used the L1A1 SLR and the M16A1 rifle throughout the early 1990s. The British and Australian L1A1s, and Canadian C1A1 SLRs were semi-automatic only, unless battlefield conditions mandated that modifications be made.

The Australians, in co-ordination with Canada, developed a heavy-barrel version of the L1A1 as an automatic rifle variant, designated L2A1. The Australian heavy-barrel L2A1 was also known as the 'Automatic Rifle' (AR). The L2A1 was similar to the FN FAL 50.41/42, but with a unique combined bipod/handguard and a receiver dust-cover mounted tangent rear sight from Canada. The L2A1 was intended to serve a role as a light automatic rifle or quasi-squad automatic weapon (SAW). The role of the L2A1 and other heavy barrel FAL variants is essentially the same in concept as the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) or Bren, but the Bren is far better suited to the role of a fire support base for a section, being designed for the role from the start. In practice many considered the L2A1 inferior to the Bren, as the Bren had a barrel that can be changed, so could deliver a better continuous rate of fire, and was more accurate in the role due to its greater weight and better stock configuration. For this reason the British used the 7.62mm-converted L4 series Bren. It is noteworthy that most countries that adopted the FAL rejected the heavy barrel FAL, presumably because it did not perform well in the machine gun role. Countries that did embrace the heavy barrel FAL included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, and Israel.

Unique 30-round magazines were developed for the L2A1 rifles. These 30-round magazines were essentially a lengthened version of the standard 20-round L1A1 magazines, perfectly straight in design. Curved 30-round magazines from the L4A1 7.62 NATO conversion of the Bren are interchangeable with the 30-round L2A1 magazines, however they reputedly gave feeding difficulties due to the additional friction from the curved design as they must be inserted "upside down" in the L2A1. The L4A1 Bren magazines were developed as a top-mounted gravity-assisted feed magazine, opposite of what is required for the L2A1 FAL. This was sometimes sorted out by stretching magazine springs.

The Australian L1A1/L2A1 rifles were produced by the Small Arms Factory - Lithgow, with approximately 220,000 L1A1 rifles produced between 1959 and 1986. L2A1 production was approximately 10,000 rifles produced between 1962 and 1982. Lithgow exported a large number of L1A1 rifles to many countries in the region. Notable users were New Zealand, Singapore, and Papua New Guinea.

During the Vietnam War, the SLR was the standard weapon issued to Australian infantrymen. Many Australian soldiers preferred the larger calibre weapon over the American M16 because they felt the SLR was more reliable and they could trust the NATO 7.62 round to kill an enemy soldier outright. Australian jungle warfare tactics used in Vietnam were informed by their experience in earlier jungle conflicts (e.g. the Malayan Emergency and the Konfrontasi campaign in Borneo) and were considered far more threatening by their Viet Cong opponents than those employed by U.S. forces. The Australians considered the strengths and limitations of the SLR and its heavy ammunition load to be better suited to their tactical methodology.

Another interesting product of Australian participation in the conflict in South-East Asia was the field modification of L1A1 and L2A1 rifles by the Australian Special Air Service Regiment SASR for better handling. Nicknamed "The biddy", these rifles were field modified, often from heavy barrel L2A1 automatic rifles, with their barrels cut off right in front of the gas block, and often with the L2A1 bipods removed to install a XM148 40 mm grenade launcher mounted below the barrel. The XM148 40 mm grenade launchers were obtained from U.S. forces. For the L1A1, the lack of fully automatic fire resulted in the unofficial conversion of the L1A1 to full-auto capability by using lower receivers from the L2A1, which works by restricting trigger movement.

Australia produced a shortened version of the L1A1 designated the L1A1-F1.[7] It was intended for easier use by soldiers of smaller stature in jungle combat, as the standard L1A1 is a long, heavy weapon. The reduction in length was achieved by installing the shortest butt length (there were 3 available, short, standard and long), and a flash suppressor that resembled the standard version except it projected a much smaller distance beyond the end of the rifling, and had correspondingly shorter flash eliminator slots. The effect was to reduce the length of the weapon by 2 1/4 inches. Trials revealed that, despite no reduction in barrel length, accuracy was slightly reduced. The L1A1-F1 was provided to Papua New Guinea, and a number were sold to the Royal Hong Kong Police in 1984. They were also issued to female Staff Cadets at the Royal Military College Duntroon and some other Australian personnel.

In 1970 a bullpup rifle known as the KAL1 General Purpose Infantry Rifle was built at the Small Arms Factory Lithgow using parts from the L1A1 rifle. Another version of the rifle was also built in 1973.

Canada

The Canadian Forces operated several versions, the most common being the C1A1, similar to the British L1A1 (which became more or less a Commonwealth standard), the main difference being that rotating disc rear sight graduated from 200 to 600 yards and a two piece firing pin. The trigger guard was able to be folded into the pistol grip, this allowed the user to wear mitts when using the weapon. The Canadian rifle also has a shorter receiver cover than other Commonwealth variants to allow for refilling the magazine by charging it with stripper clips. It was manufactured under license by the Canadian Arsenals Limited company.[9] Canada was the first country to use the FAL. It served as Canada's standard battle rifle from the early 1950s to 1984, when it began to be phased out in favor of the lighter Diemaco C7, a license-built version of the AR-15.

The Canadians also operated an automatic variant, the C2A1, as a section support weapon, which was very similar to the Australian L2A1. It was similar to the FN FAL 50.41/42, but with wooden attachments to the bipod legs that work as a handguard when the legs are folded. The C2A1 used a tangent rear sight attached to the receiver cover with ranges from 200 to 1000 meters. The C1 was equipped with a 20-round magazine and the C2 with a 30-round magazine, although the two were interchangeable. Variants of the initial C1 and the product improved C1A1 were also made for the Royal Canadian Navy, which were capable of automatic fire, under the designations C1D and C1A1D. These weapons are identifiable by a "A" for automatic, carved or stamped into the butt stock. Boarding parties for domestic and international searches used these models.

Continued.....
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 03:27:09 PM by Henry Bowman »

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2014, 03:04:11 PM »
L1A1 continued

India

The Rifle 7.62 mm 1A1 is a reverse engineering of the UK L1A1 self-loading rifle. It is produced at Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli of the Ordnance Factories Board. The Indian 1A1 differs from the UK SLR in that the wooden butt-stock uses the butt-plate from the Lee-Enfield with trap for oil bottle and cleaning pull-through. The 1A1 rifle has been supplemented in service with the Indian Army by the INSAS 5.56 mm assault rifle. The 1A1 rifle is still available for export sales. A fully automatic version of the rifle (known as the 1C) is also available.  Now L1A1 is still in use by Central Armed Police Forces, some law enforcement bodies and also used during parades by National Cadet Corps (India)

Jamaica

Jamaica, as part of the Commonwealth, adopted the SLR as the standard rifle of the Jamaica Defense Force. In the 1980s L85A1s were procured from the UK, but after evaluation they were issued to support troops and the SLR was retained as the standard infantry rifle.

Malaysia

The Malaysian Army adopted the L1A1 SLR rifle from the British Commonwealth c. 1969 to replace the bolt action Lee Enfield rifle and Sten sub-machinegun, while the Royal Malaysian Navy adopted the L1A1 SLR earlier than Malaysian Army, in 1965–66 alongside the Sterling SMG. It was also adopted by Royal Malaysia Police for its Paramilitary Field Force (Pasukan Polis Hutan/GOF). Communist Party of Malaya cadres had been found with the FN FAL as well, most of them looted from dead or wounded Malaysian soldiers. This rifle was used until the 1990s with the adoption of the HK 33, Beretta AR70 and M16A1 assault rifles before FALs were withdrawn from service and transferred to second line units (Rejimen Askar Wataniah). During the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff, both the Malaysian police and the opposing Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo were seen using the L1A1.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Army used the L1A1 as its standard service rifle for just under 30 years. The Labour government of Walter Nash approved the purchase of the L1A1 as a replacement for the No. 4 Mk 1 Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle in September 1958. An order for a total of 15,000 L1A1 rifles was subsequently placed with the Lithgow Arsenal in Australia which had been granted a license to produce the L1A1. However the first batch of 500 rifles from this order was not actually delivered to the New Zealand Army until 1960. Thereafter deliveries continued at an increasing pace until the order for all 15,000 rifles was completed in 1965. After its adoption by the Army, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Navy also eventually acquired it. Unlike L1A1s in Australian service, New Zealand L1A1s later used British black plastic furniture, and some rifles even had a mixture of the two. The carrying handles were frequently cut off. The British SUIT (Sight Unit Infantry Trilux) optical sight was issued to some users in infantry units. The L2A1 heavy barrel variant was also issued as a limited standard, but was not popular due to the problems also encountered by other users of heavy barrel FAL variants. The L4A1 7.62mm conversion of the Bren was much-preferred in New Zealand service. The New Zealand Defense Force began replacing the L1A1 with the Steyr AUG assault rifle in 1988. The Steyr AUG is currently in use across all three services of the New Zealand Defense Force. The Royal New Zealand Navy still uses the L1A1 for line throwing between ships.

Rhodesia
Like most British colonies and Commonwealth Nations of the time, the colony of Southern Rhodesia's military forces were issued the British L1A1 SLR. After the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the UK in 1965, Rhodesia was unable to obtain further supplies of L1A1 SLRs. As many as 30,000 South African R1 rifles were procured from South Africa. These two rifles would be the primary infantry small arms of the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Rhodesian Bush War of 1965–80.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom produced its own variant of the FN FAL incorporating the modifications developed by the Allied Rifle Committee, designating it the L1A1 Self Loading Rifle (SLR). The weapons were manufactured by the Royal Small Arms Factory Enfield, Birmingham Small Arms, Royal Ordnance Factory and ROF Fazakerley. After the production run ceased, replacement components were made by Parker Hale Limited. The SLR served the British Armed Forces from 1954 until approximately 1994, being replaced by the L85A1 from 1985 onwards.

The SLR was designed using Imperial measurements and included several changes from the standard FN FAL. A significant change from the original FAL was that the L1A1 operates in semi-automatic mode only. Other changes include: the introduction of a folding cocking handle; an enclosed slotted flash suppressor; folding rear sight; sand-clearing modifications to the upper receiver, bolt and bolt carrier; folding trigger guard to allow use with Arctic mitts; strengthened butt; enlarged change lever and magazine release catch; vertical stripping catch to prevent unintended activation; deletion of the automatic hold-open device and the addition of retaining tabs at the rear of the top cover to prevent forward movement of the top cover (and resulting loss of zero) when the L2A1 SUIT was fitted. The flash suppressor is fitted with a lug which allows the fitting of an L1-series bayonet, an L1A1/A2 or L6A1 blank firing attachment or an L1A1/A2 ENERGA rifle grenade launcher.

Initial production rifles were fitted with walnut furniture, consisting of the pistol grip, forward handguard, carrying handle and butt. The wood was treated with oil to protect against moisture, but not varnished or polished. Later production weapons were produced with synthetic furniture, The material used was Maranyl, a nylon 6-6 and fiberglass composite. The Maranyl parts have a "pebbled" anti-slip texture along with a butt has a separate butt-pad, available in four lengths to allow the rifle to be fitted to individual users. There was also a special short butt designed for use with Arctic clothing or body armor, which incorporated fixing points for an Arctic chest sling system. After the introduction of the Maranyl furniture, as extra supplies became available it was retrofitted to older rifles as they underwent scheduled maintenance. However this resulted in a mixture of wooden and Maranyl furniture within units and often on the same rifle. Wooden furniture was still in use in some Territorial Army units until at least 1989.

The SLR selector has two settings (rather than the 3 that most metric FALs have), safety and semi-automatic, which are marked S (Safe) and R (Repetition.) The magazine from the 7.62 mm L4 light machine gun will fit the SLR; however, the L4 magazine was designed for gravity assisted downwards feeding, and can be unreliable with the upwards feeding system of the SLR. Commonwealth magazines were produced with a lug brazed onto the front to engage the recess in the receiver, in place of a smaller pressed dimple on the metric FAL magazine. As a consequence of this, metric FAL magazines can be used with the Commonwealth SLR, but SLR magazines will not fit the metric FAL.

Despite the British, Australian and Canadian versions of the FAL being manufactured using machine tools which utilized the Imperial measurement system, they are all of the same basic dimensions. Parts incompatibilities between the original FAL and the L1A1 are due to pattern differences, not due to the different dimensions as incorrectly thought. Confusions over the differences has given rise to the terminology of "metric" and "inch" FAL rifles, which originated as a reference to the machine tools which produced them. Despite this, virtually all FAL rifles are of the same basic dimensions, true to the original Belgian FN FAL. In the USA, the term "metric FAL" refers to guns of the Belgian FAL pattern, whereas "inch FAL" refers to one produced to the Commonwealth L1A1/C1 pattern.

SLRs could be modified at unit level to take two additional sighting systems. The first was the "Hythe Sight," formally known as the "Conversion Kit, 7.62mm Rifle Sight, Trilux, L5A1" (L5A2 and L5A3 variants with different foresight inserts also existed) and intended for use in close range and in poor lighting conditions. The sight incorporated two rear sight aperture leaves and a permanently glowing tritium foresight insert for improved night visibility, which had to be replaced after a period of time due to radioactive decay. The first rear sight leaf had a 7 mm aperture which could be used alone for night shooting or the second leaf could be raised in front of it, superimposing a 2 mm aperture for day shooting. The second sight was the L2A1 "Sight Unit, Infantry, Trilux" (SUIT), a 4x optical sight which mounted on a rail welded to a top cover. The SUIT featured a prismatic offset design, which reduced the length of the sight and improved clearance around the action. Also, the SUIT helped to reduce parallax errors and heat mirage from the barrel as it heated up during firing. The aiming mark was an inverted, tapered perspex pillar ending in a point which could be illuminated by a tritium element for use in low light conditions. The inverted sight post allowed rapid target re-acquisition after the recoil of the firearm raised the muzzle. The scope was somewhat heavy, but due to its solid construction was durable and robust.

The SLR was officially replaced in 1985 by the bullpup design L85A1 service rifle, firing the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge. The armed forces were re-equipped by 1994 and during this period the L1A1 rifles were gradually phased out. Most were either destroyed or sold, with some going to Sierra Leone. Several thousand were sent to the USA and sold as parts kits, and others were refurbished by LuxDefTec in Luxembourg and are still on sale to the European market.














* Wilkipedia
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 03:14:02 PM by Henry Bowman »

Dcav

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2014, 06:04:43 PM »
Very cool,  the FAL series rifles are great shooters.  DSA makes some very good quality models currently.
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Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2014, 01:30:15 PM »
The AK-47 and AKM...

I don't consider myself a fan, but I do own some of them. Fun to shoot, simple and reliable, but not my favorite...

The ACE side folder and the under folder are Norinco's. Full stocked, a Romak and the thumbhole stocked AK is a Maadi purchased in 1995 and never fired. Still covered in cosmoline and has been a safe queen. It still has the red "Safety Notice" attached.




Type: Assault rifle

Place of origin: Soviet Union

Service history:

In service: 1949–present

Production history

Designer: Mikhail Kalashnikov

Designed: 1946–1948

Manufacturer: Izhmash and various others including Norinco

Produced: 1949–current

Number built: ≈ 75 million AK-47s, 100 million Kalashnikov-family weapons

Specifications:

Weight Without magazine:  3.47 kg (7.7 lb) AK  2.93 kg (6.5 lb) AKM  Magazine, empty:  0.43 kg (0.95 lb) (early issue)   0.33 kg (0.73 lb) (steel)  0.25 kg (0.55 lb) (plastic)  0.17 kg (0.37 lb) (light alloy)  Ammo weight: 16.3 g × 30 = 0.49 kg (1.1 lb)

Length: 880 mm (35 in) fixed wooden stock  875 mm (34.4 in) folding stock extended   645 mm (25.4 in) stock folded

Barrel length: 415 mm (16.3 in) total  369 mm (14.5 in) rifled
 
Cartridge: 7.62×39mm M43/M67

Action : Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Rate of fire: Cyclic 600 rounds/min, practical  40 rounds/min semi-automatic  100 rounds/min fully automatic

Muzzle velocity:  715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)

Effective firing range: 400 metres (440 yd) semi-auto  300 metres (330 yd) full auto

Feed system
Standard magazine capacity is 30 rounds;[5] there are also 5- 10-, 20- and 40-round box and 75- and 100-round drum magazines

Sights: Adjustable iron sights with a 378 mm (14.9 in) sight radius:  100–800 m adjustments (AK)  100–1000 m adjustments (AKM)


The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova (Russian: Автомат Калашникова). It is also known as Kalashnikov, AK, or in Russian slang, Kalash.

Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year of World War II (1945). After the war in 1946, the AK-46 was presented for official military trials. In 1948 the fixed-stock version was introduced into active service with selected units of the Soviet Army. An early development of the design was the AKS (S—Skladnoy or "folding"), which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock. In 1949, the AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces and used by the majority of the member states of the Warsaw Pact. The weapon was supplied to Nicaraguan Sandinistas, Viet Cong as well as Middle Eastern and Asian revolutionaries. More recently they have been seen in the hands of Islamic groups such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The original AK-47 was one of the first assault rifles of 2nd generation, after the German StG 44. Even after six decades the model and its variants remain the most widely used and popular assault rifles in the world because of their durability, low production cost, availability, and ease of use. It has been manufactured in many countries and has seen service with armed forces as well as irregular forces worldwide. The AK-47 was the basis for developing many other types of individual and crew-served firearms. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined.

In the field of firearms, the Russian word "avtomat" was introduced around 1919 to describe an automatic rifle designed in 1916 by Vladimir Fyodorov as an emergency adaptation of his semi-automatic rifle designs, with the intent of providing a firearm capable of automatic fire that was more portable than the light machine guns then in service.  The Fedorov Avtomat saw very limited action in World War I, but was used in larger numbers during the Russian Civil War, with about 3,200 having been built, the vast majority of them after 1919. The Fedorov Avtomat was chambered in 6.5×50mmSR Arisaka, one of the more common cartridges at the time. Some historians argue that in consequence, the Fedorov Avtomat was the first assault rifle to see combat; others have argued however that "this was more a case of accident than intention".

The Fedorov Avtomat was withdrawn from service between 1925 and 1928 owing to its use of foreign ammunition, which the Soviet Union could not easily procure, although the stockpiled Fedorov Avtomats would be rushed back into service during the 1939-1940 war with Finland because of the general penury of individual automatic weapons in the Red Army. During World War II, it was replaced in Soviet service mostly by sub-machine guns, like the ubiquitous PPSh-41. Soviet attempts at creating a fully automatic rifle chambered in their powerful 7.62×54mmR rifle cartridge, like the AVS-36 or AVT-40 were basically unsuccessful.

During World War II, the Germans introduced the StG 44 (Sturmgewehr) in large numbers—about half a million were built. This gun, from which the English terminology "assault rifle" originates, was chambered in a new intermediate cartridge, the 7.92×33mm Kurz. The Soviets captured an early prototype of the StG 44, a Mkb 42, and they were also given samples of the U.S. M1 Carbine, which was also developed for a less powerful round. Based on these developments, on 15 July 1943, the People's Commissariat for Armaments decided to introduce a Soviet intermediate cartridge. A team led by NM Elizarov (Н.М. Елизаров) was charged with the development of what eventually became the 7.62×39mm M43; the new cartridge went into mass production in March 1944. At the same meeting that adopted the new cartridge, the Soviet planners decided that a whole range of new small arms should use it, including a semi-automatic carbine, a fully automatic rifle, and a light machine gun. Design contests for these new weapons began in earnest in 1944.

Mikhail Kalashnikov began his career as a weapon designer while in a hospital after he was shot in the shoulder during the Battle of Bryansk. After tinkering with a submachine gun design in 1942 and with a light machine gun in 1943, in 1944 he entered a competition for a new weapon that would chamber the 7.62×41mm cartridge developed by Yelizarov and Syomin in 1943 (the 7.62×41mm cartridge predated the current 7.62×39mm M1943).  In the 1944 competition for intermediate cartridge weapons, Kalashnikov submitted a semi-automatic, gas-operated carbine, strongly influenced by the American M1 Garand, but that lost out to a Simonov design, which was adopted as the SKS-45.

In the fully automatic weapon category, the specifications (тактико-технические требования - TTT) number 2456-43 passed down by the GAU in November 1943 were rather ambitious: the weapon was to have a 500–520 mm long barrel and had to weigh no more than 5 kg, including a folding bipod. Despite this, many Soviet designers participated in this category, Tokarev, Korovin, Degtyarev, Shpagin, Simonov, and Prilutsky are some of the more prominent names who submitted designs; Kalashnikov did not submit an entry for this contest.[30] A gun presented by Sudayev, the AS-44 (weight: 5.6 kg, barrel length 505 mm), came up ahead in the mid-1944 trials.

However subsequent field trials conducted in 1945 found it to be too heavy for the average soldier and Sudayev was asked to lighten his gun; his lightened variant (5.35 kg, 485 mm barrel) turned out to be less reliable and less accurate. In October 1945, the GAU was convinced to dispense with the built-in bipod requirement; Sudayev's gun in this variant, called OAS (облегченный автомат Судаева - ОАС), weighed only 4.8 kg. Sudayev however fell ill and died in 1946, preventing further development.

The experience gained from the reliability issues of the lightened Sudayev design convinced the GAU that a brand new competition had to be held, and for this round the requirements were explicitly stated: a wholesale replacement of the PPSh-41 and PPS-43 sub-machine guns was what they were after. The new competition was initiated in 1946 under GAU TTT number 3131-45. Ten designs had been submitted by August 1946.

Kalashnikov and his design team from factory number two in Kovrov submitted an entry. It was a gas-operated rifle which had a breech-block mechanism similar to his 1944 carbine, and a curved 30-round magazine. Kalashnikov's rifles (codenamed AK-1 and −2, the former with a milled receiver and the latter with a stamped one) proved to be reliable and the weapon was accepted to second round of competition along with designs by A. A. Dementyev (KB-P-520) and A. A. Bulkin (TKB-415). In late 1946, as the rifles were being tested, one of Kalashnikov's assistants, Aleksandr Zaitsev, suggested a major redesign of AK-1, particularly to improve reliability. At first, Kalashnikov was reluctant, given that their rifle had already fared better than its competitors. Eventually, however, Zaitsev managed to persuade Kalashnikov. The new rifle (factory name KB-P-580) proved to be simple and reliable under a wide range of conditions with convenient handling characteristics; prototypes with serial numbers one to three were completed in November 1947. Production of the first army trial series began in early 1948 at the Izhevsk factory number 524, and in 1949 it was adopted by the Soviet Army as "7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK)".

The AK-47 is best described as a hybrid of previous rifle technology innovations: the trigger mechanism, double locking lugs and unlocking raceway of the M1 Garand/M1 carbine, the safety mechanism of the John Browning designed Remington Model 8 rifle, and the gas system of the Sturmgewehr 44.

Kalashnikov's team had access to all of these weapons and had no need to "reinvent the wheel",  though he denied that his design was based on the German Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle. Kalashnikov himself observed: "A lot of Russian Army soldiers ask me how one can become a constructor, and how new weaponry is designed. These are very difficult questions. Each designer seems to have his own paths, his own successes and failures. But one thing is clear: before attempting to create something new, it is vital to have a good appreciation of everything that already exists in this field. I myself have had many experiences confirming this to be so.

There are claims about Kalashnikov copying other designs, like Bulkin's TKB-415 or Simonov's AVS-31.

There were many difficulties during the initial phase of production. The first production models had stamped sheet metal receivers. Difficulties were encountered in welding the guide and ejector rails, causing high rejection rates.[41] Instead of halting production, a heavy machined receiver was substituted for the sheet metal receiver. This was a more costly process, but the use of machined receivers accelerated production as tooling and labor for the earlier Mosin–Nagant rifle's machined receiver were easily adapted. Partly because of these problems, the Soviets were not able to distribute large numbers of the new rifle to soldiers until 1956. During this time, production of the interim SKS rifle continued.

Once manufacturing difficulties had been overcome, a redesigned version designated the AKM M for "modernized" or "upgraded" (in Russian: Автомат Калашникова Модернизированный [Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy]) was introduced in 1959. This new model used a stamped sheet metal receiver and featured a slanted muzzle brake on the end of the barrel to compensate for muzzle rise under recoil. In addition, a hammer retarder was added to prevent the weapon from firing out of battery (without the bolt being fully closed), during rapid or automatic fire. This is also sometimes referred to as a "cyclic rate reducer", or simply "rate reducer", as it also has the effect of reducing the number of rounds fired per minute during automatic fire. It was also roughly one-third lighter than the previous model.

Both licensed and unlicensed production of the Kalashnikov weapons abroad were almost exclusively of the AKM variant, partially due to the much easier production of the stamped receiver. This model is the most commonly encountered, having been produced in much greater quantities. All rifles based on the Kalashnikov design are frequently referred to as AK-47s in the West, although this is only correct when applied to rifles based on the original three receiver types. In most former Eastern Bloc countries, the weapon is known simply as the "Kalashnikov" or "AK". The photo above at right illustrates the differences between the Type 2 milled receiver and the Type 4 stamped, including the use of rivets rather than welds on the stamped receiver, as well as the placement of a small dimple above the magazine well for stabilization of the magazine.


Receiver types

Description:


Type 1A/B: Original stamped receiver for AK-47. -1B modified for underfolding stock. A large hole is present on each side to accommodate the hardware for the underfolding stock. (this naming convention continues with all types)
 

Type 2A/B: Milled from steel forging.

Type 3A/B: "Final" version of the milled receiver, from steel bar stock. The most ubiquitous example of the milled-receiver AK-47.

Type 4A/B: Stamped AKM receiver. Overall, the most-used design in the construction of the AK-series rifles.

In 1974, the Soviets began replacing their AK-47 and AKM rifles with a newer design, the AK-74, which uses 5.45×39mm ammunition. This new rifle and cartridge had only started to be manufactured in Eastern European nations when the Soviet Union collapsed, drastically slowing production of the AK-74 and other weapons of the former Soviet bloc.

The main advantages of the Kalashnikov rifle are its simple design, fairly compact size, and adaptation to mass production. It is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to clean and maintain. Its ruggedness and reliability are legendary. The AK-47 was initially designed for ease of operation and repair by glove-wearing Soviet soldiers in Arctic conditions. The large gas piston, generous clearances between moving parts, and tapered cartridge case design allow the gun to endure large amounts of foreign matter and fouling without failing to cycle. This reliability comes at a slight cost of accuracy, as the looser tolerances do not allow for precision and consistency.

The bore and chamber, as well as the gas piston and the interior of the gas cylinder, are generally chromium-plated. This plating dramatically increases the life of these parts by resisting corrosion and wear. This is particularly important, as most military-production ammunition (and virtually all ammunition produced by the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations) during the 20th century contained potassium chlorate in the primers. On firing, this was converted to corrosive and hygroscopic potassium chloride which mandated frequent and thorough cleaning in order to prevent damage. Chrome plating of critical parts is now common on many modern military weapons.

In addition to the USSR, the AK-47 and its variants were/are made in dozens of countries, with "quality ranging from finely engineered weapons to pieces of questionable workmanship.

Continued.......




Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2014, 01:58:51 PM »
Continued...........

To fire, the operator inserts a loaded magazine, pulls back and releases the charging handle, and then pulls the trigger. In semi-automatic, the firearm fires only once, requiring the trigger to be released and depressed again for the next shot. In full-automatic, the rifle continues to fire automatically cycling fresh rounds into the chamber, until the magazine is exhausted or pressure is released from the trigger. As each bullet travels through the barrel, a portion of the gases expanding behind it is diverted into the gas tube above the barrel, where it impacts the gas piston. The piston, in turn, is driven backward, pushing the bolt carrier, which causes the bolt to move backwards, ejecting the spent round, and chambering a new round when the recoil spring pushes it forward.

The gas operation uses what is known as a long-stroke, that is the piston moves back into the receiver a long way, pushing the bolt carrier along. This contrasts with most other gas operated rifles of the 20th century which used a short-stroke piston. Those designs have a piston that gives a single sharp blow to get the bolt group moving through transfer of momentum rather than pushing it all the way back. Rifles using that system are the commonly used FN FAL and AR-18, along with others such as the SA-80. The comparison is of importance because the FAL, and later the M16 have been the rifles which faced the Kalashnikov in battle throughout the 2nd half of the 20th century. In contrast to the AK, the gas system of the M16 does not use a piston at all.

The prototype of the AK-47, the AK-46, had a separate fire selector and safety. These were later combined in the production version to simplify the design. The fire selector is a large lever located on the right side of the rifle, it acts as a dust-cover and prevents the charging handle from being pulled fully to the rear when it is on safe. It is operated by the shooter's right fore-fingers and it has 3 settings: safe (up), full-auto (center), and semi-auto (down). The reason for this is, under stress a soldier will push the selector lever down with considerable force bypassing the full-auto stage and setting the rifle to semi-auto. To set the AK-47 to full-auto requires the deliberate action of centering the selector lever. Some AK-type rifles also have a small vertical selector lever on the left side of the receiver just above the pistol grip. This lever is operated by the shooter's right thumb and has three settings: safe (forward), full-auto (center), and semi-auto (backward).

The AK-47 has a 378 mm (14.9 in) sight radius.[7] The AK-47 uses a notched rear tangent iron sight, it is adjustable and is calibrated in hundreds from 100 to 800 metres (100 to 1000 metres for AKM models). The front sight is a post adjustable for elevation in the field. Horizontal adjustment is done by the armory before issue. The "fixed" battle setting can be used for all ranges up to 300 metres. This "point-blank range" setting marked "П", allows the shooter to fire at close range targets without adjusting the sights. These settings mirror the Mosin–Nagant and SKS rifles which the AK-47 replaced. Some AK-type rifles have a front sight with a flip-up luminous dot that is calibrated at 50 metres, for improved night fighting

All current AK-47s (100 series), have a side rail for mounting a variety of scopes and sighting devices, such as the PSO-1 Optical Sniper Sight. One feature, the side rail, allows removal and remounting of optical accessories without interfering with the zeroing of the optic.

A drawback, however, is that their side folding stocks cannot be folded with the optics mounted

The standard AK-47 or AKM fires the 7.62×39mm cartridge with a muzzle velocity of 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s).[7] The cartridge weight is 16.3 g (0.6 oz), the projectile weight is 7.9 g (122 gr). The cartridge produces significant wounding effects if the projectile tumbles in tissue; but it produces relatively minor wounds when the projectile exits the body before beginning to yaw.

Accuracy:

The AK-47's accuracy has always been considered to be "good enough". The milled AK-47s are capable of shooting 19.4–12.7 cm (7.62–5 in) groups at 90 m (100 yd), whereas the stamped AKM's are capable of shooting 10–15 cm (4–6 in) groups at 90 m (100 yd). "There are advantages and disadvantages in both forged/milled receivers and stamped receivers. Forged/milled receivers are much more rigid, flexing less as the rifle is fired, thus not hindering accuracy as much as stamped receivers. Stamped receivers are a bit more rugged, since they have some resilience and are less likely to fail due to fatigue under heavy usage. As a result, the newer stamped steel receiver AKM models are less accurate than their predecessors. The AKM, with the 7.62×39mm cartridge, has a battle range of around 350 metres (1,150 ft). The best shooters are able to hit a man-sized target at 800 metres with five shots (firing from prone position or a trench) or ten shots (standing).

Magazines:

A major but often overlooked factor in a firearm's reliability is the design of its magazine. The AK-47's magazine has a pronounced curve which allows it to smoothly feed ammunition into the chamber. Its heavy steel construction combined with "feed-lips" (the surfaces at the top of the magazine that control the angle at which the cartridge enters the chamber) machined from a single steel billet makes it highly resistant to damage. This makes the AK-47 magazine more reliable, although heavier than U.S. and NATO magazines. The standard magazine capacity is 30 rounds.

The steel AK-47 magazine weighs 334 g (0.736 lb) empty. There were also 164 g (0.362 lb) aluminum alloy magazines which appeared in 1961. They were too sensitive to damage and were soon replaced by plastic ones (20 g (0.71 oz) heavier). The plastic magazines were modernized in 1967 by the addition of steel magazine hooks and reinforcing plates to the feed lips – these improvements have increased the (plastic) magazine's life expectancy by four times. The current-issue plastic magazine weighs 250 g (0.55 lb) empty.

Most Yugoslavian and some East German AK magazines were made with cartridge followers that hold the bolt open when empty; however, most AK magazine followers allow the bolt to close when the magazine is empty.

The AK-47 magazines are interchangeable with the 40-round box and 75-round drum RPK magazines. There are also 10- and 20-round box and 100-round drum magazines.

All current model AK-47 rifles can mount under-barrel 40 mm grenade launchers such as the GP-25, GP-30 & GP-34, which can fire up to 20 rounds per minute and have an effective range of up to 400 metres. The main grenade is the VOG-25 (VOG-25M) fragmentation grenade which has a 6 m (9 m) (20 ft (30 ft)) lethality radius. The VOG-25P/VOG-25PM ("jumping") variant explodes 0.5–1 metre (1.6–3.3 ft) above the ground.

The Zastava M70s (AK-type rifle) also have a grenade-launching sight and gas cut-off on the gas block, and are capable of launching rifle grenades. To launch them a 22 mm diameter grenade launching adapter is screwed on in place of the slant brake or other muzzle device.[64] Other AK-47 variants tuned for launching rifle grenades are the Polish Kbkg wz. 1960/72 and the Hungarian AMP-69.

The AK-47 can also mount a (rarely used) cup-type grenade launcher that fires standard RGD-5 Soviet hand-grenades.

Throughout the world, the AK and its variants are among the most commonly smuggled small arms sold to governments, rebels, criminals, and civilians alike, with little international oversight. In some countries, prices for AKs are very low; in Somalia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Congo and Tanzania prices are between $30 and $125 per weapon, and prices have fallen in the last few decades due to mass counterfeiting. Moisés Naím observed that in a small town in Kenya in 1986, an AK-47 cost fifteen cows but that in 2005, the price was down to four cows indicating that supply was "immense". The weapon has appeared in a number of conflicts including clashes in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

The Taliban and the Northern Alliance fought each other with Soviet AKs; some of these were exported to Pakistan. The gun is now also made in Pakistan's semi-autonomous areas (see Khyber Pass Copy). "'The Distribution of Iranian Ammunition in Africa', by the private British arms-tracking group Conflict Armament Research (CAR), shows how Iran broke trade embargos and infiltrated African markets with massive amounts of illegal, unmarked 7.62 mm rounds for the Kalashnikov-style AK-47 rifles.

Estimated numbers of AK-type weapons vary. The Small Arms Survey suggest that "between 70 and 100 million of these weapons have been produced since 1947." The World Bank estimates that out of the 500 million total firearms available worldwide, 100 million are of the Kalashnikov family, and 75 million are AK-47s. Because AK-type weapons have been made in other countries, often illicitly, it is impossible to know how many really exist


































Dcav

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2014, 07:45:43 PM »
Nice!
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308nato

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2014, 07:49:07 PM »
Mr. Bowman , love this thread and thank you for all the work putting it together.

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2014, 05:51:24 PM »
Alright....let's move on to a rifle not normally thought of a military rifle in this particular variant of the rifle. Many were used in WWII as the M1928A1, M1 and M1A1. As you will see by the photo's this one is marked "U.S. Navy". The Navy was interested in the Thompson, but weren't fond of its high rate of fire. Quite a few 1921 model Colt Thompson were modified to shoot a lower rate of fire around 850 rounds per minute, iirc. This rifle does have the Blish block.  They were over stamped as 1928 over the 1921 (see photo). The rifles are known as the 1921/28 over stamp Thompsons. The Navy did not buy them, in the end and they were sold on the Civilian market. This particular rifle ended up being sold to the Denver Police Department and thus property marked on the stock (see photos). It was eventually sold by the DPD to a private Citizen and entered the NFA Registry.

The rifle is in excellent condition and is surprisingly controllable on full auto and if doesn't bring a smile to your face, your either dead or stupid, imho of course.....


Type: Submachine gun

Place of origin: United States

Service history:

In service: 1938–1971 (officially, U.S. military)

Wars:
Banana Wars
Irish Civil War
World War II
Chinese Civil War
Greek Civil War
Korean War
Vietnam War
The Troubles
Bosnian War  and numerous others

Production history:

Designer: John T. Thompson

Designed: 1917–1920

Manufacturer: Auto-Ordnance Company (originally)
The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited
Colt
Savage Arms
RPB Industries

Produced: 1921–present

Number built: 2,700,000 approx.

Specifications:

Weight: 10.8 lb (4.9 kg) empty (M1928A1)  10.6 lb (4.8 kg) empty (M1A1)

Length: 33.5 in (850 mm) (M1928A1)  32 in (810 mm) (M1/M1A1)

Barrel length: 10.5 in (270 mm)  12 in (300 mm) (with cutts compensator)
 
Cartridge: .45 ACP (11.43×23mm)

Action: Blowback, Blish Lock

Rate of fire:600–1500+ rpm, depending upon model

Muzzle velocity: 935 ft/s (285 m/s)

Effective firing range: 160 feet (50 m)

Feed system
20-round stick/box magazine
30-round stick/box magazine
50-round drum magazine (L-Drum)
100-round drum magazine (C-Drum)
(M1 and M1A1 models do not accept drum magazines)

The Thompson submachine gun (nicknamed the Thompson or Tommy Gun) is an American submachine gun, invented by John T. Thompson in 1918, that became infamous during the Prohibition era. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals. The Thompson was also known informally as: the "Tommy Gun", "Trench Broom", "Trench Sweeper", "Chicago Typewriter", "Chicago Piano", "Chicago Style", "Chicago Organ Grinder", and "The Chopper".

The Thompson was favored by soldiers, criminals, police and civilians alike for its ergonomics, compactness, large .45 ACP cartridge, reliability, and high volume of automatic fire. It has since gained popularity among civilian collectors for its historical significance.

Development:

 General John T. Thompson holding an M1921
The Thompson Submachine Gun was developed by General John T. Thompson who originally envisioned an auto rifle (semi-automatic rifle) to replace the bolt action service rifles then in use. While searching for a way to allow such a weapon to operate safely without the complexity of a recoil or gas operated mechanism, Thompson came across a patent issued to John Bell Blish in 1915 based on adhesion of inclined metal surfaces under pressure.  Thompson found a financial backer, Thomas F. Ryan, and started the Auto-Ordnance Company in 1916 for the purpose of developing his auto rifle. It was primarily developed in Newport, Kentucky. The principal designers were Theodore H. Eickhoff, Oscar V. Payne, and George E. Goll. By late 1917, the limits of the Blish Principle were discovered: rather than working as a locked breech, it functioned as a friction-delayed blowback action. It was found that the only cartridge currently in U.S. service suitable for use with the lock was the .45 ACP round. Thompson then envisioned a "one-man, hand-held machine gun" in .45 ACP as a "trench broom" for use in the on-going trench warfare of World War I. Payne designed the gun itself and its stick and drum magazines. The project was then titled "Annihilator I", and by 1918, most of the design issues had been resolved. However, the war ended before prototypes could be shipped to Europe.

At an Auto-Ordnance board meeting in 1919 to discuss the marketing of the "Annihilator", with the war over, the weapon was officially renamed the "Thompson Submachine Gun". While other weapons had been developed shortly prior with similar objectives in mind, the Thompson was the first weapon to be labeled and marketed as a "submachine gun".  Thompson intended the weapon as an automatic 'trench-broom' to sweep enemy troops from the trenches, filling a role for which the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) had been proven ill-suited. This concept had already been developed by German troops using their own Bergmann MP18, the world's first submachine gun, in concert with sturmtruppen tactics.

The Thompson first entered production as the M1921. It was available to civilians, although poor sales resulted from the expense of the weapon: the Thompson gun, with one Type XX 20 shot "stick" magazine, was priced at $200.00 in 1921 (at that time, a Ford automobile sold for $400.00). M1921 Thompsons were sold in small quantities to the United States Postal Inspection Service (to protect the mail from a spate of robberies) and to the United States Marine Corps. Federal sales were followed by sales to several police departments in the US and minor international sales to various armies and constabulary forces, chiefly in Central and South America. The Marines used their Thompsons in the Banana Wars and in China. It was popular with the Marines as a point-defense weapon for countering ambush by Nicaraguan guerrillas, and led to the organization of four-man fire teams with as much firepower as a nine-man rifle squad. The major complaints against the Thompson were its weight, inaccuracy at ranges over 50 yards (46 m), and the lack of penetrating power of the .45 ACP pistol cartridge.

Some of the first batches of Thompsons were bought in America by agents of the Irish Republic, notably Harry Boland. The first test of a Thompson in Ireland was performed by West Cork Brigade commander Tom Barry in presence of IRA leader Michael Collins. A total of 653 were purchased, but 495 were seized by US customs authorities in New York in June 1921. The remainder made their way to the Irish Republican Army by way of Liverpool and were used in the last month of the Irish War of Independence (1919–21).  After a truce with the British in July 1921, the IRA imported more Thompsons and they were used in the subsequent Irish Civil War (1922–23). They were not found to be very effective in Ireland; in only 32% of actions where it was used did the Thompson cause serious casualties (death or serious injury) to those attacked.

The Thompson achieved most of its early notoriety in the hands of Prohibition and Depression-era gangsters, motorized bandits and the lawmen who pursued them, and in Hollywood films about their exploits, most notably in the St Valentine's Day Massacre. It has been referred to by one researcher as the "gun that made the twenties roar."

In 1926, the Cutts Compensator (a recoil brake) was offered as an option for the M1921; Thompsons with the compensator were cataloged as No. 21AC at the original price of $200.00, with the plain M1921 designated No. 21A at a reduced price of $175.00.

In 1928, Federal Laboratories took over distribution of the weapon from Thompson's Auto Ordnance Corporation.[25] The cost at this time was US$225 per weapon, with $5 per 50-round drum and $3 for 20-round magazine.

Nationalist China acquired a quantity for use against Japanese land forces, and eventually began producing copies of the Thompson in small quantities for use by its armies and militias. In the 1930s, Taiyuan Arsenal produced copies of the Thompson for Yan Xishan, the warlord of Shanxi province.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation first acquired Thompsons in 1933 following the Kansas City Massacre.

World War II

 In 1938, the Thompson submachine gun was adopted by the U.S. military, serving during World War II and beyond.

There were two military types of Thompson SMG.
The M1928A1 had provisions for box and drum magazines. It had a Cutts compensator, cooling fins on the barrel, employed a delayed blowback action and its charging handle was on the top of the receiver.
The M1 and M1A1 had a barrel without cooling fins, a simplified rear sight, provisions only for box magazines, employed a straight blowback action and the charging handle was on the side of the receiver. Over 1.5 million military Thompson submachine guns were produced during World War II.

Military users of the M1928A1 had complaints about the "L" fifty round drum magazine; the British Army officially criticized "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.

Two alternatives to the "L" drum and "XX" box magazines were tested December 6, 1941 at Fort Knox: an extended thirty round box magazine and a forty round magazine made by welding two 20-round magazines face to face, jungle style. Testers considered both superior to either the "XX" box or "L" drum. The 30-round box was approved as standard in December 1941 to replace the "XX" and "L" magazines. (The concept of welding two box magazines face-to-face was carried over with the UD 42 submachine gun.)

M1 development

The staff of Savage Arms looked for ways to simplify the M1928A1, producing a prototype in Feb 1942 which was tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground in March 1942; Army Ordnance approved adoption as the M1 in April 1942. M1s were made by Savage Arms and by Auto-Ordnance. M1s were issued with the 30-round box magazine and would accept the earlier 20-round box, but would not accept the drum magazine.

Usage

The Thompson was used in World War II in the hands of Allied troops as a weapon for scouts, non-commissioned officers (corporal, sergeant and higher ranking), and patrol leaders as well as commissioned officers, tank crewmen and soldiers performing raids on German positions. In the European theater, the gun was widely utilized in British and Canadian Commando units, as well as in the U.S. Army paratrooper and Ranger battalions, where it was issued more frequently than in line infantry units because of its high rate of fire and its stopping power, which made it very effective in the kinds of close combat these special operations troops were expected to undertake. Military Police were fond of the weapon as well as paratroopers. The gun was prized by those lucky enough to get one and proved itself in the close street fighting that was encountered frequently during the invasion of France. Former Paratrooper David Kenyon Webster in his book Parachute Infantry spoke of the guns being "borrowed" by riflemen from members of the mortar squad for use on patrols behind enemy lines. A Swedish variant of the M1928A1, called Kulsprutepistol m/40 (meaning "submachine gun model 40"), served in the Swedish Army between 1940 and 1951. Through Lend-Lease, the Soviet Union also received the Thompson, but due to a shortage of appropriate ammunition in the Soviet Union, usage was not widespread.

In the Malayan Campaign, the Burma Campaign and the Pacific Theater, the Indian Army, Australian Army infantry and other Commonwealth forces used the Thompson extensively in jungle patrols and ambushes, where it was prized for its firepower, though its hefty weight of over 10 pounds and difficulties in supply eventually led to its replacement in Australian units by other submachine guns such as the Owen and Austen. The U.S. Marines also used the Thompson as a limited-issue weapon, especially during their later island assaults. The Thompson was soon found to have limited effect in heavy jungle cover, where the low-velocity .45 bullet would not penetrate most small-diameter trees, or protective armor vests. (In 1923, the Army had rejected the .45 Remington-Thompson, which had twice the energy of the .45 ACP).[30] In the U.S. Army, many Pacific War jungle patrols were originally equipped with Thompsons in the early phases of the New Guinea and Guadalcanal campaigns, but soon began employing the BAR in its place, especially at front (point) and rear (trail) positions, as a point defense weapon.

The Army introduced the U.S. M3 and M3A1 submachine guns in 1943 with plans to produce the latter in numbers sufficient to cancel future orders for the Thompson, while gradually withdrawing it from first-line service. However, due to unforeseen production delays and requests for modifications, the M3/M3A1 never replaced the Thompson, and purchases continued until February 1944. At the end of World War II, the Thompson, with a total wartime production of over 1.5 million, outnumbered the M3/M3A1 submachine guns in service by nearly three to one.

Continued...........



Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2014, 06:14:58 PM »
Continued................

After World War II

Thompson submachine guns were used by both sides during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Following the war, Thompsons were issued to members of Israel’s elite Unit 101, upon the formation of that unit in 1953.

During the Greek Civil War, the Thompson submachine gun was used by both sides. The Hellenic Armed Forces, gendarmerie and police units were equipped with Thompson submachine guns supplied by the British and later in the war by the United States. The opposing Communist fighters of the Democratic Army of Greece were also using Thompson submachine guns, either captured from government forces or inherited from ELAS. ELAS was the strongest of the resistance forces during the period of Greek Resistance against the Germans and Italians, and were supplied with arms from both the British and the United States. After the demobilization of ELAS, an unspecified number of arms were not surrendered to the government but kept hidden, and were later used by the Democratic Army of Greece.

By the time of the Korean War, the Thompson had seen much use by the U.S. and South Korean military, even though Thompson had been replaced as standard issue by the M3/M3A1. With huge numbers of guns available in army ordnance arsenals, the Thompson remained classed as Limited Standard or Substitute Standard long after the standardization of the M3/M3A1. Many Thompsons were distributed to Chinese armed forces as military aid before the fall of Chiang Kai-Shek's government to Mao Zedong's Communist forces in 1949 during the Chinese Civil War. During the Korean War, American troops were surprised to encounter Chinese Communist troops heavily armed with Thompsons, especially during surprise night assaults. The gun's ability to deliver large quantities of short-range automatic assault fire proved very useful in both defense and assault during the early part of the conflict. Many of these weapons were captured and placed into service with American soldiers and Marines for the balance of the war.

During the Cuban Revolution, the Thompson submachine gun was used by some of Fidel Castro's guerrillas.

During the Vietnam War, some South Vietnamese army units and defense militia were armed with Thompson submachine guns, and a few of these weapons were used by reconnaissance units, advisors, and other American troops. It was later replaced by the M16 assault rifle. Not only did some U.S. soldiers have use of them in Vietnam, but they encountered them as well. The Viet Cong liked the weapon, and used both captured models as well as manufacturing their own copies in small jungle workshops.

In the conflict in Northern Ireland, known as 'The Troubles' (1969–1998), the Thompson was again used by the Irish Republican paramilitiaries. According to historian Peter Hart, "The Thompson remained a key part of both the Official IRA and Provisional IRA arsenals until well into the 1970s when it was superseded by the Armalite and the AK-47."

The Thompson was also used by U.S. and overseas law enforcement and police forces, most prominently by the FBI. The FBI used Thompsons until they were declared obsolete and ordered destroyed in the early 1970s.

The Thompson, or copies of the gun, are still seen from time to time in modern day conflicts, such as the Bosnian War.

Collector interest

Because of their quality and craftsmanship, as well as their gangster-era and WWII connections, Thompsons are sought as collector's items. There were fewer than 40 pre-production prototypes. The Colt Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in Hartford, Connecticut was contracted by the Auto-Ordnance Corporation to manufacture the initial mass production of 15,000 Thompson Submachine Guns in 1920. An original Colt Model 1921 A or AC, Model 1927 A or AC, Model 1928 Navy A or AC, properly registered in working condition with original components can easily fetch from US$25,000 to $45,000+ depending on condition and accessories. For WWII, approximately 1,700,000 Thompson Submachine Guns were produced by Auto-Ordnance and Savage Arms, with 1,387,134 being the simplified World War II M1 and M1A1 variants (without the Blish lock and oiling system[38]).

A Model 1921A believed to have been owned by Bonnie and Clyde, but without historical documentation to substantiate this provenance, sold at auction on January 21, 2012 in Kansas City for $130,000.00.

Operating characteristics

Early versions of the Thompson had a fairly high cyclic rate of fire, as high as 1,200 rounds per minute (rpm), with most police Model 1921 at 850 rpm and military Model 1928 at 720 rpm. Later M1 and M1A1 Thompsons averaged 600 rpm.[40] This rate of fire, combined with a rather heavy trigger pull and a stock with an excessive drop, increases the tendency for the barrel to climb off target in automatic fire. Compared to modern 9mm submachine guns, the .45 Thompson is quite heavy—weighing roughly the same as the contemporary M1 Garand battle rifle. This was one of the major complaints against the weapon made by service members of militaries that issued the Thompson.

Although the drum magazine provided significant firepower, in military service it was found to be overly heavy and bulky, especially when slung on patrol or on the march. It was also rather fragile, and cartridges tended to rattle inside it, producing unwanted noise. For these reasons, the 20-round and later 30-round box magazines soon proved most popular with military users of the M1928A1, and drum compatibility was not included in the design of the wartime M1 and M1A1 models. The Thompson was one of the earliest submachine guns to incorporate a double-column, double-feed box magazine design, which undoubtedly contributed to the gun's reputation for reliability. In addition, the gun performed better than most after exposure to rain, dirt, and mud.

The select fire (semi- or full automatic) Thompson fires from the "open bolt" position, in which the bolt is held fully to rearward by the sear when cocked. When the trigger is depressed, the bolt is released, traveling forward to chamber and simultaneously fire the first and subsequent rounds until either the trigger is released or the ammunition is exhausted. This eliminates the risk of "cook-off", which can sometimes occur in closed-bolt automatic weapons when the barrel becomes so hot that chambered rounds auto-ignite, causing the weapon to fire uncontrollably.

Prototypes

Persuader and Annihilator

There were two main experimental models of the Thompson. The Persuader was a belt-fed version developed in 1918, and the Annihilator was fed from a 20- or 30-round box magazine, which was an improved model developed in 1918 and 1919. Additionally, the 50- and 100-round drum magazines were developed.

The first shipment of Persuaders arrived in New York to be shipped overseas on November 11, 1918, the day the Armistice went into effect.

Model 1919

The Model 1919 was limited to about 40 units, the first units built did not use the drums, as it was too difficult to fire. With many variations noted throughout. The weapons had very high cyclic rates around 1,500 rpm.[43] This was the weapon Brigadier General Thompson demonstrated at Camp Perry in 1920. Almost all Model of 1919s were made without buttstocks and front sights, and the final version closely resembled the later Model of 1921. The New York City Police Department was the largest purchaser of the Model of 1919. This model was designed as an automatic Colt .45 to "sweep" trenches with bullets. Some experimental calibers were .45 ACP (11.4x23mm), .22LR, .32 ACP, .38 ACP, and 9mm.

Thompson .30 Carbine

The layout and ergonomics of the Thompson submachine gun was also considered for the role of a Light Rifle before the adoption of the M1 Carbine. This platform was based on the M1921/27 variants and worked well but due to the war effort was found expensive for mass production and defied the concept of a Light Rifle. However, it did form the basis of the Thompson Light Rifle, a development of this variant with a barrel shroud which housed a quick barrel change device similar to the MG42 but was refused in favor of the aforementioned M1 Carbine.

Production

Model 1921

 Colt address on Thompson 1921 SMG

The Model 1921 (M1921) was the first major production model. Fifteen thousand were produced by Colt for Auto-Ordnance. In its original design, it was finished more like a sporting weapon, with an adjustable rear sight, a blued, finned barrel and vertical foregrip (or pistol grip) and the Blish lock. The M1921 was quite expensive to manufacture, with the original retail price around $200, because of its high-quality wood furniture and finely machined parts. The M1921 was famous throughout its career with police and criminals and in motion pictures. This model gained fame from its use by criminals during Prohibition, and was nicknamed "tommy gun" by the media.

Model 1923

The Model 1923 was a heavy submachine gun introduced to potentially expand the Auto-Ordnance product line and was demonstrated for the U.S. Army.[44] It fired the more powerful .45 Remington-Thompson cartridge which fired a heavier 250-grain (16.2 gram) bullet at higher muzzle velocities of about 1,450 fps (440 m/s), with greater range than the .45 ACP. It introduced a horizontal forearm, improved inline stock for accuracy, 14-inch barrel, bipod and bayonet lug. The M1923 was intended to rival the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) with which the Army was already satisfied. The Army did not give the Model of 1923 much consideration, so it was not adopted.

Model 1921AC (1926)

While not a new model in the usual sense of incorporating major changes, in 1926 the Cutts Compensator (a recoil brake) was offered as an option for the M1921; Thompsons with the compensator were cataloged as No. 21AC at the original price of $200.00, with the plain M1921 designated No. 21A at a reduced price of $175.00.[24] The Model 1921 was thereafter referred to as Model 1921A or Model 1921AC, though some collectors still refer to it as the Model 1921.

Model 1928

The Model 1928 was the first type widely used by military forces, with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as major buyers through the 1930s. The original Model 1928s were Model 1921s with weight added to the actuator, which slowed down the cyclic rate of fire, a USA Navy requirement. On these guns, the model number '1921' on the receiver was updated by stamping an '8' over the last '1'. The Navy Model 1928 has several names among collectors: the 'Colt Overstamp', 'The 1921 Overstamp', '28 Navy', or just '28N'.

The 1928 Thompson would be the last small arm adopted by the U.S. Army that used a year designation in the official nomenclature. With the start of World War II, major contracts from several countries saved the manufacturer from bankruptcy. A notable variant of the Model 1928 with an aluminum receiver and tenite grip, buttstock, and forend, was made by Savage.

M1928A1

The M1928A1 variant entered mass production before the attack on Pearl Harbor, as on-hand stocks ran out. Changes included a horizontal forend, in place of the distinctive vertical foregrip ("pistol grip"), and a provision for a military sling. Despite new U.S. contracts for Lend-Lease shipments abroad to China, France, and the United Kingdom, as well as the needs of American armed forces, only two factories supplied M1928A1 Thompsons during the early years of World War II. Though it could use both the 50-round drum and the 20- or 30-round box magazines, active service showed the drums were more prone to jamming, rattled when moving, and were too heavy and bulky on long patrols. 562,511 were made. Wartime production variants had a fixed rear sight without the triangular sight guard wings and a non-ribbed barrel, both like those found on the M1/M1A1.

In addition, the Soviet Union received M1928A1s, included as standard equipment with the M3 light tanks obtained through Lend-Lease. The weapons were never issued to the Red Army because of a lack of .45 ACP ammunition on the Eastern Front; they were simply put in storage, although a picture exists of what appears to be Thompsons being used by Russian M3 Stuart crews in the Caucasus. As of September 2006, limited numbers of these weapons have been re-imported from Russia to the United States as disassembled "spare parts kits", comprising the entire weapon less the receiver (as required by Federal law).

An M1928A1 which also came with an unusual inline stock, modified with elevated sights to increase accuracy also existed.

Service variants

M1

Responding to a request for further simplification, the M1 was standardized in April 1942 as the United States Submachine Gun, Cal. .45, M1. Rate of fire was reduced to approximately 600-700 rpm.

First issued in 1943, the M1 uses a simple blowback operation, with the charging handle moved to the side. The flip-up adjustable Lyman rear sight was replaced with a fixed L sight. Late M1s had triangular guard wings added to the rear L sight, which were standardized on the M1A1. The slots adjoining the magazine well allowing use of a drum magazine were removed. A new magazine catch with the provision for retaining drum magazines removed, was produced, but most M1s and later M1A1s retained the original. The less expensive and more-easily manufactured "stick" magazines were used exclusively in the M1, with a new 30-round version joining the familiar 20-round type. The Cutts compensator, barrel cooling fins, and Blish lock were omitted while the buttstock was permanently affixed. Late production M1 stocks were fitted with reinforcing bolts and washers to prevent splitting of the stock where it attached to the receiver. The British had used improvised bolts or wood screws to reinforce M1928 stocks. The M1 reinforcing bolt and washer were carried over to the M1A1 and retrofitted to many of the M1928A1s in U.S. and British service. Late M1s also had simplified fire control switches, also carried over to the M1A1.

The M1A1, standardized in October 1942 as the United States Submachine Gun, Cal. .45, M1A1, could be produced in half the time of the M1928A1, and at a much lower cost. The main difference between the M1 and M1A1 was the bolt. The M1 bolt had a floating firing pin and hammer, the bolt of the M1A1 had the firing pin machined to the face of the bolt, eliminating unnecessary parts. The reinforced stock and protective sight wings were standard. The 30-round magazine became more common. In 1939, Thompsons cost the government $209 apiece. By the spring of 1942, cost reduction design changes had brought this down to $70. In February 1944, the M1A1 reached a low price of $45 each, including accessories and spare parts, although the difference in price between the M1 and M1A1 was only $0.06. By the end of the war, the M1A1 was replaced with the even lower-cost M3 (commonly called the "Grease Gun").

Semi-automatic

Model 1927

The Model 1927 was the open bolt semi-automatic-only version of the M1921. It was made by modifying an existing Model 1921, including replacing certain parts. The "Thompson Submachine Gun" inscription was machined over to replace it with "Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine", and the "Model 1921" inscription was also machined over to replace it with "Model 1927." Although the Model 1927 was semi-automatic only, it was easily converted to fully automatic by installing a full-auto Model 1921 fire control group (internal parts). Most Model 1927s owned by police have been converted back to full-auto. The original Model 1927 is classified as a machine gun under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (a) by being "readily convertible" by swapping parts and (b) by a 1982 BATF ruling making all open bolt semi-automatic firearms manufactured after the date of this ruling classified as machine guns.

Model 1927A1

The Model 1927A1 is a semi-automatic only replica version of the Thompson, originally produced by Auto-Ordnance of West Hurley, New York for the civilian collector's market from 1974-1999. It has been produced since 1999 by Kahr Arms of Worcester, Massachusetts. It is officially known as the "Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine, Model of 1927A1." The internal design is completely different to operate from the closed bolt and the carbine has barrel length of 16.5 inches (versus open bolt operation and barrel length of 10.5 inches (270 mm) for the full automatic versions). Under federal regulations, these changes make the Model 1927A1 legally a rifle and remove it from the federal registry requirements of the National Firearms Act. These modern versions should not be confused with the original semi-automatic Model of 1927 which was a slightly modified Model of 1921 produced by Colt for Auto-Ordnance.

The Model 1927A1 is the semi-automatic replica of the Thompson Models of 1921 and 1927. The "Thompson Commando" is a semi-automatic replica of the M1928A1. The Auto-Ordnance replica of the Thompson M1 and M1A1 is known as the TM1, and may be found marked "Thompson Semi-Automatic Carbine, Caliber .45M1".

Model 1927A3

The Model 1927A3 is a semi-automatic, .22 caliber version of the Thompson produced by Auto-Ordnance in West Hurley.

Model 1927A5

The Model 1927A5 is a semi-automatic pistol version, .45 ACP version of the Thompson originally produced by Auto-Ordnance in West Hurley. It featured an aluminum receiver to reduce weight. It has been produced since 2008 by Kahr Arms of Worcester, Massachusetts as the "M1927A1 TA5".



















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Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2014, 06:23:55 PM »
Photos Continued......










Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2014, 04:46:51 PM »
The Mosin 91/30 and a Chinese Type 53....Nothing fancy, but lots of fun to shoot and an interesting place and story in world history. For those who are on the fence about owning one, go ahead and get one while they are still somewhat plentiful and quite affordable. Ammo is still reasonable and available. Buy some tins of ammo for a rainy day and some to shoot now. While it looks like the supply will never dry up, it will someday and prices will of course rise over time, so get one or two......Both my imported versions are not safe queens, are well worn and shoot reasonably accurately. Some as most  folks know can be very accurate and some....well.....you can still hit the broad side of the barn.....

The Mosin–Nagant (Russian: Винтовка Мосина, ISO 9: Vintovka Mosina) is a bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle, developed by the Imperial Russian Army in 1882–1891, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations.



Type: Bolt action rifle

Place of origin": Russian Empire, Soviet Union


In service: 1891–Present

Used by: See Users

Wars:
Boxer Rebellion
Russo-Japanese War
World War I
Finnish Civil War
Russian Revolution
Russian Civil War
Polish–Soviet War
Turkish War of Independence
Chinese Civil War
Spanish Civil War
Second Sino-Japanese War
Soviet–Japanese border conflicts
Winter War
Continuation War
World War II
First Indochina War
Korean War
Yemeni Civil War
Sino-Indian War
Laotian Civil War
Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Thai–Laotian Border War
Afghan Civil War
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Yugoslav Wars
First and Second Chechen Wars
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Syrian Civil War,
2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine


Designer: Captain Sergei Mosin, Léon Nagant.[1]

Designed: 1891

Manufacturer: Tula, Izhevsk, Sestroryetsk, Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault, Remington, New England Westinghouse, many others

Produced: 1891–1965

Number built: ~37,000,000 (Russia/Soviet Union)

Variants: see Variants

Specifications:

Weight: 4 kg (8.8 lb) (M91/30)
            3.4 kg (7.5 lb) (M38)
            4.1 kg (9.0 lb) (M44)

Length: 1,232 mm (48.5 in) (M91/30)  1,013 mm (39.9 in) (carbines)

Barrel length:  730 mm (29 in) (M91/30)  514 mm (20.2 in) (carbines)
 


Cartridge: 7.62×54mmR
               7.62×53mmR (Finnish variants only)
               7.92×57mm Mauser (Polish variants & German Captures)
               8×50mmR Mannlicher (Austrian Capture)

Action: Bolt action

Rate of fire: 10 rounds per minute

Muzzle velocity: Light ball, ~ 865 m/s (2,838 ft/s) rifle  ~ 800 m/s (2,625 ft/s) carbine.

Effective firing range: 500 m (550 yards), 800+ m (731+ yards) (with optics)

Feed system: 5-round non-detachable magazine, loaded individually or with five-round stripper clips.

Sights: Rear: ladder, graduated from 100 m to 2,000 m (M91/30) and from 100 m to 2,000 m (M38 and M44); Front: hooded fixed post (drift adjustable) PU 3.5 and PEM scope also mounted

History

During the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877–1878, Russian troops armed mostly with Berdan single-shot rifles suffered heavy casualties against Turkish troops equipped with Winchester repeating rifles, notably at the bloody Siege of Plevna. This showed Russian commanders the need to modernize the Imperial Army.

In 1889, three rifles were submitted for evaluation: Captain Sergei Ivanovich Mosin of the Imperial Army submitted his "3-line" caliber (.30 cal, 7.62mm) rifle; Belgian designer Léon Nagant submitted a "3.5-line" design; and a Captain Zinoviev submitted another "3-line" design. (One "line" = 1/10".)

When trials concluded in 1891, the evaluators were split in their assessment. The main disadvantages of Nagant's rifle were a more complicated mechanism and a long and tiresome procedure of disassembling (which required special instruments – it was necessary to unscrew two screws). Mosin's rifle was mainly criticized for its lower quality of manufacture and materials, resulting in a slightly larger number of stoppages. The Commission voted 14 to 10 to approve Nagant's rifle. However, the head of the Commission, General Chagin, ordered subsequent tests held under the Commission's supervision during which Mosin's rifle showed its advantages, leading to its selection over the Nagant.

Technical detail

Compared to the 1898 Mauser rifle, which defined the modern bolt action, the 1891 Mosin has a commonality in that it uses two front-locking lugs to lock up the action. However, the Mosin's lugs lock in the horizontal position, whereas the Mauser locks vertically. The Mosin bolt assembly is multi-piece whereas the Mauser is one piece. The Mosin uses interchangeable bolt heads like the Lee-Enfield. Unlike the Mauser, which uses a "controlled feed" bolt head in which the cartridge base snaps up under the fixed extractor as the cartridge is fed from the magazine, the Nagant has a "push feed" recessed bolt head in which the spring-loaded extractor snaps over the cartridge base as the bolt is finally closed. Like the Mauser, the Mosin uses a blade ejector mounted in the receiver. The Mosin bolt is removed by simply pulling it fully to the rear of the receiver and squeezing the trigger, while the Mauser has a bolt stop lever separate from the trigger.

Like the Mauser, the bolt lift arc on the Mosin–Nagant is 90 degrees, versus 60 degrees on the Lee-Enfield. The Mauser bolt handle is at the rear of the bolt body and locks behind the solid rear receiver ring. The Mosin bolt handle is similar to the Mannlicher: It is attached to a protrusion on the middle of the bolt body, which serves as a bolt guide, and it locks protruding out of the ejection/loading port in front of a split rear receiver ring, also serving a similar function to Mauser's "third" or "safety" lug.

The rifling of the Mosin barrel is right turning (clockwise looking down the rifle) 4-groove with a twist of 1:9.5" or 1:10".

Refinement and production:

The 3-line rifle, Model 1891, its original official designation, was adopted by the Russian military in 1891. There have been several variations from the original rifle, the most common being the M1891/30 (commonly referred to as "the 91/30" by shooters), which was a modernized design introduced in 1930. Some details were borrowed from Nagant's design. One such detail is the attachment of the magazine spring to the magazine base plate. In Mosin's original design the spring was not attached to the base plate and, according to the Commission, could be lost during cleaning. Another detail is the form of the clip that could hold five cartridges to be loaded simultaneously into the magazine.

Another detail is the form of the "interrupter", a specially designed part within the receiver, which helps prevent double feeding. The initial rifle proposed by Nagant lacked an interrupter, leading to numerous failures to feed. This detail was introduced in the rifle borrowing from Mosin's rifle. Although the form of the interrupter was slightly changed, this alteration was subsequently borrowed back by the Commission for the Model 1891 Mosin–Nagant. During the modernization of 1930, the form of the interrupter was further changed, from a single piece to a two-piece design, as the part had turned out to be one of the least reliable parts of the action. Only the clip loading cartridges and the attachment of the magazine spring to the magazine base plate in subsequent models were designed by Nagant. Considering the rifle could be easily loaded without using a clip, one cartridge after another, the magazine spring attached to the magazine base plate is the only contribution of Nagant to all rifles after 1930

Nagant's legal dispute

Despite the failure of Nagant's rifle, he filed a patent suit, claiming he was entitled to the sum the winner was to receive. It appeared that Nagant was the first to apply for the international patent protection over the "interrupter", although he borrowed it from Mosin's design initially. Mosin could not apply for a patent since he was an officer of the Russian army, and the design of the rifle was owned by the Government and had the status of a military secret. A scandal was about to burst out, with Nagant threatening he would not participate in trials held in Russia ever again and some officials proposing to expel Nagant from any further trials as he borrowed the design of the "interrupter" after it was covered by the "secrecy" status given in Russia of that time to military inventions and therefore violated Russian law.

Taking into consideration that Nagant was one of the few producers not engaged by competitive governments and generally eager to cooperate and share experience and technologies, the Commission paid him a sum of 200,000 Russian rubles, equal to the premium that Mosin received as the winner. The rifle did not receive the name of Mosin in order not to provoke further debates with Nagant. This turned out to be a wise decision, as in 1895, Nagant's revolver was adopted by the Russian army as the main sidearm. However for the same reason and because of Nagant's attempts to use the situation for publicity, the "Mosin–Nagant" name appeared in the western literature (the rifle was never called this in Russia). The name is a misnomer from the legal point of view (taking into consideration the legal provisions of Russian law at that time, i.e. the law of the country to adopt the rifle) and from technical point of view, as none of the details borrowed from Nagant's design, even if removed, would prevent the rifle from firing. Moreover, from the technical point of view the rifle that came to be called "Mosin–Nagant" (or "Nagant–Mosin") is the design proposed by Mosin, as further amended by Mosin with some details being borrowed from Nagant's design.

Production of the Model 1891 began in 1892 at the ordnance factories of Tula Arsenal, Izhevsk Arsenal and at Sestroryetsk Arsenal. An order for 500,000 rifles was placed with the French arms factory, Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Châtellerault.

By the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, approximately 3.8 million rifles had been delivered to the Russian army, and it had become the standard weapon for both front-line and reserve units, replacing the earlier Berdan rifle. Initial reactions were mixed, partly due to the fixed bayonet, which hindered accurate shooting.

Between the adoption of the final design in 1891 and the year 1910, several variants and modifications to the existing rifles were made.

With the start of World War I, production was restricted to the M1891 dragoon and infantry models for the sake of simplicity. Due to the desperate shortage of arms and the shortcomings of a still-developing domestic industry, the Russian government ordered 1.5 million M1891 infantry rifles from Remington Arms and another 1.8 million from New England Westinghouse Company in the United States in 1915.[2] Remington produced 750,000 rifles before production was halted by the 1917 October Revolution. Deliveries to Russia had amounted to 469,951 rifles when the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ended hostilities between the Central Powers and Russia. Henceforth, the new Bolshevik regime of Vladimir Lenin cancelled payments to the American companies manufacturing the Mosin–Nagant (Russia had not paid for the order at any time throughout the Great War). With Remington and Westinghouse on the precipice of bankruptcy from the Communists' decision, the remaining 280,000 rifles were purchased by the United States Army.

American and British expeditionary forces of the North Russia Campaign were armed with these rifles and sent to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in the late summer of 1918 to prevent the large quantities of munitions delivered for Czarist forces from being captured by the Central Powers. Remaining rifles were used for the training of U.S. Army troops. Some were used to equip U.S. National Guard, SATC, and ROTC units. Designated "U.S. Rifle, 7.62mm, Model of 1916", these are among the rarest of American service arms. In 1917, 50,000 rifles were sent via Vladivostok to the Czechoslovak Legions in Siberia to aid in their attempt to secure passage to France.

Many of the New England Westinghouse and Remington Mosin–Nagants were sold to private citizens in the United States before World War II through the office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, the predecessor to the federal government's current Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Large numbers of Mosin–Nagants were captured by German and Austro-Hungarian forces and saw service with the rear-echelon forces of both armies, and also with the Imperial German Navy. Many of these weapons were sold to Finland in the 1920s.

Civil War, modernization, and wars with Finland

During the Russian Civil War, infantry and dragoon versions were still in production, though in dramatically reduced numbers. The rifle was widely used by Bolsheviks, Black Guards and their enemies, the White Russians (counter-revolutionary forces). In 1924, following the victory of the Red Army, a committee was established to modernize the rifle, which had by then been in service for over three decades. This effort led to the development of the Model 91/30 rifle, which was based on the design of the original dragoon version. The barrel length was shortened by 3½ inches. The sight measurements were converted from arshins to meters; and the front sight blade was replaced by a hooded post front sight less susceptible to being knocked out of alignment. There were also minor modifications to the bolt, but not enough to prevent interchangeability with the earlier Model 1891 and the so-called "Cossack dragoon" rifles.

Finland was a Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire until 1917, so Finns had long used the Mosin–Nagant in service with the Tsarist military. The rifle was used in the short civil war there and adopted as the service rifle of the new republic's army. Finland produced several variants of the Mosin–Nagant, all of them manufactured using the receivers of Russian-made or (later) Soviet-made rifles. Finland also utilized a number of captured M91 and M91/30 rifles with minimal modifications. As a result, the rifle was used on both sides of the Winter War and the Continuation War during World War II. Finnish Mosin–Nagants were produced by SAKO, Tikkakoski, and VKT, with some using barrels imported from Switzerland and Germany. In assembling M39 rifles, Finnish armorers re-used octagonal receivers that dated back as far as 1894. Finnish rifles are characterized by Russian, French or American-made receivers stamped with a boxed SA, as well as many other parts produced in those countries and barrels produced in Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Germany. The Finns also manufactured three-piece "finger splice" stocks for their Mosin–Nagant rifles.

In addition, the rifle was distributed as aid to Republican anti-Franco forces in the Spanish Civil War.[7] Spanish Civil War Mosins can be readily identified by the wire sling hangers inserted in the slots in the forearm and buttstock meant to take the Russian "dog collars" for Russian-style slings, so the rifles could accept Western European-style rifle slings.


Continued..........

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2014, 05:01:51 PM »
Continued......

World War II

At the beginning of the war, the Mosin–Nagant 91/30 was the standard issue weapon of Soviet troops and millions of the rifles were produced and used in World War II by the largest mobilized army in history.

The Mosin–Nagant Model 1891/30 was modified and adapted as a sniper rifle from 1932 onwards with mounts and scopes from Germany at first and subsequently with domestic designs (PE, PEM) and from 1942 was issued with 3.5-power PU fixed focus scopes to Soviet snipers. It served quite prominently in the brutal urban battles on the Eastern Front, such as the Battle of Stalingrad, which made heroes of snipers like Vasili Zaitsev and Ivan Sidorenko. These sniper rifles were highly respected for being very rugged, reliable, accurate, and easy to maintain.[citation needed]. In fact, some German Snipers reportedly used captured Mosin Nagants over their own Karabiner 98 rifles. Finland also employed the Mosin–Nagant as a sniper rifle, with similar success with their own designs and captured Soviet rifles. For example, Simo Häyhä is credited with killing 505 Soviet soldiers, many falling victim to his Finnish M/28-30 Mosin–Nagant rifle. Häyhä did not use a scope on his Mosin. In interviews Häyhä gave before his death, he said that the scope and mount designed by the Soviets required the shooter to expose himself too much and raise his head too high, increasing the chances of being spotted by the enemy.

In 1935–1936, the 91/30 was again modified, this time to lower production time. The octagonal receiver was changed to a round receiver. When war with Germany broke out, the need to produce Mosin–Nagants in vast quantities led to a further simplification of machining and a falling-off in finish of the rifles. The wartime Mosins are easily identified by the presence of tool marks and rough finishing that never would have passed the inspectors in peacetime. However, despite a lack of both aesthetic focus and uniformity, the basic functionality of the Mosins was unimpaired.

In addition, in 1938, a carbine version of the Mosin Nagant, the M38, was issued. The carbine used the same cartridge and action as other Mosins, but the barrel was shortened by eight inches to bring the weapon down to an overall length of 40 inches, with the forearm shortened in proportion. The idea was to issue the M38 to troops such as combat engineers, signal corps, and artillerymen, who could conceivably need to defend themselves from sudden enemy advances, but whose primary duties lay behind the front lines. Significantly, the front sight of the M38 was positioned in such a way that the Model 91/30's cruciform bayonet could not be mounted to the muzzle even if a soldier obtained one.

The slaughter of the rear area troops, and increase in urban combat, led directly to the development of the Model M44 Mosin. In essence, the M44 is an M38 with a slightly modified forearm and with a permanently mounted cruciform bayonet that folds to the right when it is not needed. In terms of handiness, the M44 was an improvement on the Model 91/30, particularly for urban warfare; but few M44s saw combat on the Eastern Front.

By the end of the war, approximately 17.4 million M91/30 rifles had been produced.

The gun is thought[by whom?] to be referenced in Hirsh Glick's "Zog Nit Keyn Mol", the well-known song of the World War II Jewish partisans, which includes the words "This song a people sang amid collapsing walls / With Nagants in the hand" (Yiddish: מיט נאַגאַנעס אין די הענט, mit naganes in di hent); though this refers to the Nagant revolver, not the Mosin rifle. In the USSR and Russia, the rifle always was called just "Mosin" not "Mosin–Nagant".

Increased world-wide use:

In the years after World War II, the Soviet Union ceased production of all Mosin–Nagants and withdrew them from service in favor of the SKS series carbines and eventually the AK series rifles. Despite its growing obsolescence, the Mosin–Nagant saw continued service throughout the Eastern bloc and the rest of the world for many decades to come. Mosin–Nagant rifles and carbines saw service on many fronts of the Cold War, from Korea and Vietnam to Afghanistan and along the Iron Curtain in Europe. They were kept not only as reserve stockpiles, but front-line infantry weapons as well.

Virtually every country that received military aid from the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe during the Cold War used Mosin–Nagants at various times. Middle Eastern countries within the sphere of Soviet influence — Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestinian fighters — have received them in addition to other more modern arms. Mosin–Nagants have also seen action in the hands of both Soviet and Mujahadeen forces in Afghanistan during the Soviet Union's occupation of the country during the 1970s and the 1980s. Their use in Afghanistan continued on well into the 1990s and the early 21st century by Northern Alliance forces. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mosin–Nagants are still commonly found on modern battlefields around the world. They were used by insurgent forces in the Iraq War and the current war in Afghanistan. Mosin Nagant rifles have even been seen in the present conflict of the Syrian Civil War, in the hands of rebels. Separatists have also used the rifles alongside more modern Russian firearms in the Second war in Chechnya, and, even today, it seems that some 91/30 PU sniper rifles remain in service and are used on the field by Russian police, Spetsnaz, paramilitary factions in Chechnya, and other Caucasus republics, like Dagestan and Ingushetia. In addition, scoped Mosins continue to serve as issue sniper rifles with the Afghan Army, the Iraqi Army, the Finnish Army, and with a micrometer sight as a sniper training and precision target rifle with the Finns.

Russia/USSR

  Mosin–Nagant Model 1891 Infantry Rifle Model 1891 Infantry Rifle (Russian: пехотная винтовка образца 1891-гo года): The primary weapon of Russian and Red Army infantry from 1891 to 1930. Between 1891 and 1910 the following modifications were made to the design of the rifle: Changed sights.
Inclusion of a reinforcing bolt through the finger groove (due to the adoption of a 147-grain pointed 'spitzer' round).
Elimination of the steel finger rest behind the trigger guard.
New barrel bands.
Installation of slot-type sling mounts to replace the more traditional swivels.

 Mosin–Nagant Model 1891 Dragoon Rifle. Note that the bolt is in the unlocked position in the photo. Dragoon Rifle (Russian: драгунская): Intended for use by Dragoons (mounted infantry). 64 mm (2.5 in) shorter and 0.4 kg (0.9 lb) lighter than the M1891. The Dragoon rifle's dimensions are identical to the later M1891/30 rifle, and most Dragoon rifles were eventually reworked into M1891/30s. Most such rifles, known to collectors as "ex-Dragoons", can be identified by their pre-1930 date stampings, but small numbers of Dragoon rifles were produced from 1930 to 1932 and after reworking became impossible to distinguish from purpose-built M1891/30s.
Cossack Rifle (казачья): Introduced for Cossack horsemen, it is almost identical to the Dragoon rifle but is sighted for use without a bayonet. These rifles were also issued without a bayonet.

Mosin Nagant Model 1907 Carbine Model 1907 Carbine: At 289 mm (11.4 in) shorter and 0.95 kg (2.1 lb) lighter than the M1891, this model was excellent for cavalry, engineers, signalers, and artillerymen. It was stocked nearly to the front sight and therefore did not take a bayonet. It was produced until at least 1917 in small numbers.

 Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30Model 1891/30 (винтовка образца 1891/30-го года, винтовка Мосина): The most prolific version of the Mosin–Nagant. It was produced for standard issue to all Soviet infantry from 1930 to 1945. Most Dragoon rifles were also converted to the M1891/30 standard. It was commonly used as a sniper rifle in World War II. Early sniper versions had a 4x PE or PEM scope, a Soviet-made copy of a Zeiss design, while later rifles used smaller, simpler, and easier-to-produce 3.5x PU scopes. Because the scope was mounted above the chamber, the bolt handle was replaced with a longer handled, bent version on sniper rifles (known to Mosin collectors and shooters as a "bent bolt") so the shooter could work the bolt without the scope interfering with it. Its design was based on the Dragoon rifle with the following modifications: Flat rear sights and restamping of sights in meters, instead of arshinii.
A cylindrical receiver, replacing the octagonal (commonly called "hex") receiver. Early production 91/30s (from 1930 to 1936) and converted Dragoon rifles retained the octagonal receiver. These rifles are less common and regarded as generally more desirable by collectors.
A hooded post front sight, replacing the blade on previous weapons.

 Mosin–Nagant Model 1938 Carbine Model 1938 Carbine: A carbine based on the M1891/30 design that was produced from 1939 to 1945 at the Izhevsk arsenal and in 1940 and 1944 at Tula. They were intended for use by second-echelon and noncombatant troops. Very few M38 carbines were made in 1945 and are highly sought after by collectors. Essentially a M1891/30 with a shortened barrel and shortened stock (the M38 is 40 inches (1,000 mm) in overall length versus 48 inches overall length for the Model 91/30), this carbine did not accept a bayonet and was in fact designed so that the standard Model 91/30 bayonet would not fit it. However many M38 carbines were fitted into M44 stocks by the Soviets as a wartime expedient. M38s in the correct M38 stock command a premium over M38s in M44 pattern stocks. The M38 was replaced by the M44 carbine in 1944.

 Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine Model 1944 Carbine: This carbine was introduced into service in late 1944 (with 50,000 service-test examples produced in 1943) and remained in production until 1948. They were produced from 1943 to 1948 at the Izhevsk arsenal and only 1944 at Tula. Its specifications are very similar to the M1938, with the unique addition of a permanently affixed, side-folding cruciform-spike bayonet. A groove for the folded bayonet is inlet into the right side of the stock. These were in use not only by the Soviet Union, but also its various satellite nations. Many of these were counterbored post-war.

 Mosin Nagant M59 Carbine Model 1891/59 Carbine: Commonly called "91/59s," the M1891/59s were created by shortening M1891/30 rifles to carbine length, with rear sight numbers partially ground off to reflect reduced range. These rifles are almost clones of the M38 except for the ground off M91/30 rear sight. The "1891/59" marking on the receiver suggests the carbines were created in or after 1959. It was initially thought that Bulgaria or another Soviet satellite country performed the conversions in preparation for a Western invasion that never came. Recent evidence suggests that the M91/59 was indeed produced in Bulgaria from Soviet-supplied wartime production M91/30s. Total production of the 91/59 is uncertain; figures as low as one million and as high as three million have appeared in the firearms magazines.

  Mosin Nagant 1891 Obrez sawed-off version Obrez: The sawed-off rifle. During the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil war, revolutionaries, various irregular forces and common criminals cut down the Mosin Nagant rifles to pistol size for easy concealment. Most of these rifle-caliber pistols did not have sights, being crudely made. After the Revolution, the numbers of Obrez bolt action pistols decreased as the Bolsheviks took over the imperial arsenals and gained access to stocks of Model 1895 Nagant revolvers. This unofficial Mosin variant is perhaps the rarest Mosin of them all. Obrez pistols are highly prized by collectors.

OTs-48/OTs-48K: The OTs-48/OTs-48K (ОЦ-48К) sniper rifle was designed around 2000 in an attempt to make use of many surplus Mosin M1891/30 rifles which were still held in storage in Russia. Developed and manufactured "on order" by Central Design Bureau for Sporting and Hunting Arms (TSKIB SOO) in the city of Tula, this rifle is still in limited use by some Russian law enforcement agencies today.

It may be said with justice if one considers sniper rifles as part of a national army's weapons, that the Mosin Nagant is the longest continuously serving firearm in history, at more than 120 years and counting.

Variants:

Russia/USSR

 Mosin–Nagant Model 1891 Infantry Rifle Model 1891 Infantry Rifle (Russian: пехотная винтовка образца 1891-гo года): The primary weapon of Russian and Red Army infantry from 1891 to 1930. Between 1891 and 1910 the following modifications were made to the design of the rifle: Changed sights.
Inclusion of a reinforcing bolt through the finger groove (due to the adoption of a 147-grain pointed 'spitzer' round).
Elimination of the steel finger rest behind the trigger guard.
New barrel bands.
Installation of slot-type sling mounts to replace the more traditional swivels

 Mosin–Nagant Model 1891 Dragoon Rifle. Note that the bolt is in the unlocked position in the photo. Dragoon Rifle (Russian: драгунская): Intended for use by Dragoons (mounted infantry). 64 mm (2.5 in) shorter and 0.4 kg (0.9 lb) lighter than the M1891. The Dragoon rifle's dimensions are identical to the later M1891/30 rifle, and most Dragoon rifles were eventually reworked into M1891/30s. Most such rifles, known to collectors as "ex-Dragoons", can be identified by their pre-1930 date stampings, but small numbers of Dragoon rifles were produced from 1930 to 1932 and after reworking became impossible to distinguish from purpose-built M1891/30s.

Cossack Rifle (казачья): Introduced for Cossack horsemen, it is almost identical to the Dragoon rifle but is sighted for use without a bayonet. These rifles were also issued without a bayonet.

 Mosin Nagant Model 1907 Carbine Model 1907 Carbine: At 289 mm (11.4 in) shorter and 0.95 kg (2.1 lb) lighter than the M1891, this model was excellent for cavalry, engineers, signalers, and artillerymen. It was stocked nearly to the front sight and therefore did not take a bayonet. It was produced until at least 1917 in small numbers.

 Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30Model 1891/30 (винтовка образца 1891/30-го года, винтовка Мосина): The most prolific version of the Mosin–Nagant. It was produced for standard issue to all Soviet infantry from 1930 to 1945. Most Dragoon rifles were also converted to the M1891/30 standard. It was commonly used as a sniper rifle in World War II. Early sniper versions had a 4x PE or PEM scope, a Soviet-made copy of a Zeiss design, while later rifles used smaller, simpler, and easier-to-produce 3.5x PU scopes. Because the scope was mounted above the chamber, the bolt handle was replaced with a longer handled, bent version on sniper rifles (known to Mosin collectors and shooters as a "bent bolt") so the shooter could work the bolt without the scope interfering with it. Its design was based on the Dragoon rifle with the following modifications: Flat rear sights and restamping of sights in metres, instead of arshinii.
A cylindrical receiver, replacing the octagonal (commonly called "hex") receiver. Early production 91/30s (from 1930 to 1936) and converted Dragoon rifles retained the octagonal receiver. These rifles are less common and regarded as generally more desirable by collectors.
A hooded post front sight, replacing the blade on previous weapons.

 Mosin–Nagant Model 1938 Carbine Model 1938 Carbine: A carbine based on the M1891/30 design that was produced from 1939 to 1945 at the Izhevsk arsenal and in 1940 and 1944 at Tula. They were intended for use by second-echelon and noncombatant troops. Very few M38 carbines were made in 1945 and are highly sought after by collectors. Essentially a M1891/30 with a shortened barrel and shortened stock (the M38 is 40 inches (1,000 mm) in overall length versus 48 inches overall length for the Model 91/30), this carbine did not accept a bayonet and was in fact designed so that the standard Model 91/30 bayonet would not fit it. However many M38 carbines were fitted into M44 stocks by the Soviets as a wartime expedient. M38s in the correct M38 stock command a premium over M38s in M44 pattern stocks. The M38 was replaced by the M44 carbine in 1944.

 Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine Model 1944 Carbine: This carbine was introduced into service in late 1944 (with 50,000 service-test examples produced in 1943) and remained in production until 1948. They were produced from 1943 to 1948 at the Izhevsk arsenal and only 1944 at Tula. Its specifications are very similar to the M1938, with the unique addition of a permanently affixed, side-folding cruciform-spike bayonet. A groove for the folded bayonet is inlet into the right side of the stock. These were in use not only by the Soviet Union, but also its various satellite nations. Many of these were counterbored post-war.

 Mosin Nagant M59 Carbine Model 1891/59 Carbine: Commonly called "91/59s," the M1891/59s were created by shortening M1891/30 rifles to carbine length, with rear sight numbers partially ground off to reflect reduced range. These rifles are almost clones of the M38 except for the ground off M91/30 rear sight.  The "1891/59" marking on the receiver suggests the carbines were created in or after 1959. It was initially thought that Bulgaria or another Soviet satellite country performed the conversions in preparation for a Western invasion that never came. Recent evidence suggests that the M91/59 was indeed produced in Bulgaria from Soviet-supplied wartime production M91/30s. Total production of the 91/59 is uncertain; figures as low as one million and as high as three million have appeared in the firearms magazines.

 Mosin Nagant 1891 Obrez sawed-off version Obrez: The sawed-off rifle. During the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil war, revolutionaries, various irregular forces and common criminals cut down the Mosin Nagant rifles to pistol size for easy concealment. Most of these rifle-caliber pistols did not have sights, being crudely made. After the Revolution, the numbers of Obrez bolt action pistols decreased as the Bolsheviks took over the imperial arsenals and gained access to stocks of Model 1895 Nagant revolvers. This unofficial Mosin variant is perhaps the rarest Mosin of them all. Obrez pistols are highly prized by collectors.

OTs-48/OTs-48K: The OTs-48/OTs-48K (ОЦ-48К) sniper rifle was designed around 2000 in an attempt to make use of many surplus Mosin M1891/30 rifles which were still held in storage in Russia. Developed and manufactured "on order" by Central Design Bureau for Sporting and Hunting Arms (TSKIB SOO) in the city of Tula, this rifle is still in limited use by some Russian law enforcement agencies today.

Estonia

After the Estonian War of Independence, Estonia had around 120,000 M/1891s in stock, later the Kaitseliit, the Estonian national guard, received some Finnish M28/30 rifles, a few modernized variants were also made by the Estonian Armory;
M1933 or 1891/33 was standard rifle of Estonian armed forces.
M1938: a further variant of M1933, 12,000 rifles.
KL300: a variant for Kaitseliit, 4,025 were made.
M1935 "Lühendatud sõjapüss M1935": "shortened rifle M1935" was a shortened variant of M1933 with 600mm barrel, 6,770 rifles.

Continued.........

Henry Bowman

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Re: This Old Military Rifle
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2014, 05:33:33 PM »
lost my internet connection.....darn time warner...will finish post when it comes back up...