Texas Shooting Sports

Long Guns => General => Topic started by: Henry Bowman on September 10, 2013, 04:25:49 PM

Title: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 10, 2013, 04:25:49 PM
I thought it might be fun to start a thread in which we post photo's of old Military Rifles we own and some history and background on those rifles in addition to just photo's. Bolt or Semi Auto and pre 1960? or?

So please add history and background on the firearms history when posting in this thread. Please keep the theme of old Military Rifles if you would please. We all can learn something from each other concerning our older rifles and please add any significant or interesting additional information if we miss it or get something wrong..

1871/88 Dutch Beaumont-Vatali

The 1871 Dutch Beaumont was designed by Edouard De Beaumont and entered Dutch service in 1871 as a single shot. It used black powder cartridge and was chambered in 11.3X50, and used a 345gr lead projectile. In the 1880's an Italian General Vitali came up with the idea of a boxed magazine and the Dutch retrofitted around 60,000 of these rifles to a 4 round box magazine some time in the 1880's. It was re-chambered to 11.2X52 R also called 11mm Beaumont.

The barrel is 32.5 inches. The rear sight is somewhat unusual in that on the left side it is graduated in 100 meter marks and on the right side 50 meter graduation marks. It is rather optimistic however with graduation out to 1800 meters. This particular rifle appears with an 1875 stamp and an 1876 cartouche on the stock. The butt plate is stamped 1891 and could be when the rifle was retrofitted with the Vitali box magazine. While the rifle is not exactly rare, the cleaning rods for those in the U.S. are. Bayonets can be found (and I'm looking) but often at outrageous prices for a nice one $200.00- $300.00+
I am currently shooting loads of 2.5 Drams of Goex FG and 405 gr. lead projectile. I have also shot 360 gr. lead.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: LJH on September 10, 2013, 08:06:26 PM
Henry you have posted a truly interesting and wonderful kept rifle.  You also display outstanding camera skills as well.  In thanks I will try and figure out how to open the never used safe and see what I can drag out.  But I will warn you my prowess with a camera is lacking.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Major Kong on September 10, 2013, 08:27:27 PM
Very nice rifle, and a very cool thread topic.

While I don't have any old military rifles, I was a student of history during my college years.  I hope to one day have a collection of old military rifles, but resources are needed elsewhere in my life at this point.

Thanks for sharing.


Sent from somewhere.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Dcav on September 10, 2013, 09:10:16 PM
Very cool rifle.  I have a ultra rare Mosin..........lol  O:h
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Vaquero on September 10, 2013, 09:42:49 PM
I've got an sks.
I'll go back to my corner now.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on September 10, 2013, 09:45:36 PM
Reckon ah'll hafta drag the 2 Springfields out...one musket, the other a contract rifle built for the CSA an' carried by Schoolmarm's great-uncle during the War of Northern Aggression......
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 11, 2013, 03:17:11 AM
Henry you have posted a truly interesting and wonderful kept rifle.  You also display outstanding camera skills as well.  In thanks I will try and figure out how to open the never used safe and see what I can drag out.  But I will warn you my prowess with a camera is lacking.

A Mysterious addition! You have piqued my curiosity Sir........

Very nice rifle, and a very cool thread topic.

While I don't have any old military rifles, I was a student of history during my college years.  I hope to one day have a collection of old military rifles, but resources are needed elsewhere in my life at this point.

Thanks for sharing.


Sent from somewhere.

Then this thread is exactly for folks like you. You can see the firearm, read the history and learn. All of which will assist you in your future collecting, if you go the Military firearm route.

Very cool rifle.  I have a ultra rare Mosin..........lol  O:h

Which model? That would be a perfect gun to add to the thread......Most know what they are, but can't give any history on them. Hex Receiver?

I've got an sks.
I'll go back to my corner now.

Again, another perfect addition to the thread... Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian, Romanian, North Vietnamese, Yugo, Albanian, East German (did I miss any?) all have their unique history's. Let's see them!

Reckon ah'll hafta drag the 2 Springfields out...one musket, the other a contract rifle built for the CSA an' carried by Schoolmarm's great-uncle during the War of Northern Aggression......

Ahhh...two gun from periods I don't have... Don't tease us...let's see them with some back ground and history, please Sir.......I would love to have a Brown Bess or Charleville and anything from the War of Northern aggression to suppress Southern Independence is on my list of must haves........

No military firearm is inconsequential. Their histories are actually as cool as the rifle themselves.....So get busy Gentlemen!

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 14, 2013, 05:20:01 PM
At first breach loading mechanisms were fitted onto the Springfield muzzle loading rifle M1863. The so-called “Allen conversion” was made for the 50-70 cartridge.

In 1872 trials were held to determine a "modern" new production arm to replace the obsolescent .50 cal rifle then in use.  Repeaters had not yet been shown to be effective.
In 1873 a "new" rifle was produced.  Caliber was reduced to .45 and numerous small changes made, but the overall design concept remained that adopted in eight years earlier.  During the next 15 years, this standard service arm underwent many minor revisions culminating in the M1888.

1873 Springfield Trap door. 45-70 Caliber. = .45 caliber, 405-grain bullet propelled by 70 grains of black powder. It had a muzzle velocity of 1,350 feet per second.  I am still shooting this rifle with reduced loads of 405 gr. lead 60gr Goex FFG...

U.S Military Service

1873–1892 (some were still used during the Spanish–American War and Philippine–American War)

Designer Erskine S. Allin


Springfield Armory

Number built
approx. 700,000

Barrel length 32.625 in
Cavalry Carbine with 22 in (560 mm) barrel (What Custer's Troops had at Little Big Horn)
Cadet Rifle with 30 in barrel
Geronimo at right.

My Trapdoor....
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 17, 2013, 02:08:24 PM
KAR 88/Model 1888 Commission Rifle

I have never been so confused about bore diameters and history of any other rifle. The more you read on these rifles, the less you can rely on.

What I do know that the 1888 Commission rifle was the first rifle using smokeless powder in the German Empire. It was also used by the Czech's and Turks and were re chambered in those Countries after receiving them from Germany. There is some confusion on what the "S" stamp really means when it comes to the chamberings of these rifles. Suffice it to say it is recommended to have the chamber and bore checked before using any old 8mm Mauser (what we in the U.S. call it) ammo. The M88 ammo (original chambering) is different form the 8mm (8X57 as we call it). see photo.


The rifles were used up to and including WWI and were replaced by the K98 around 1915 during the war. Other Countries like Turkey used them into WWII. China also made an unlicensed Hanyang 88 copy.

These old rifle receivers are thinner and should not be used with military surplus ammo. This particular rifle was made in 1890 and is all matching. It was used by the Bavarian 1'st Chevauleger Regiment . 4th Troupe and was the 63rd rifle. This information comes from deciphering the codes stamped on the barrel band. Bavaria was the only State in the German Empire to have a Calvary. The KAR 88 did not have a bayonet lug because the Calvary used Sabers. It was replaced by the K98 The KAR 88 has a spoon shaped bent bolt handle

 The entire barrel is encased in a sheet metal tube for protection. This tube was intended to increase accuracy by preventing the barrel from directly contacting the stock, but in practice it increased the risk of rust by providing a space for water to be trapped if the rifle was exposed to harsh conditions.

The only condition problems with my rifle is some knucklehead added a sling swivel to the sling slot and did some ill advised carving there. There is small ding in the barrel shroud.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: SinisterNerd on September 17, 2013, 04:31:43 PM
Henry keep these coming.  This is probably my favorite thread.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 19, 2013, 01:12:05 PM
Springfield Model 1892-1899 Krag ( Krag-Jorgensen) Rifle.

Designed 1886 by O H J Krag and E Jørgensen

In service 1892-1903 (Regular Army)

Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Boxer Rebellion
World War I (limited)

Number built Approx. 500,000

The Carbine Variant was the last Carbine Issued when phased out in 1907 until WWII when the M1 Carbine was issued.

Manufactured Springfield Armory between 1892 and 1903. The U.S. Krag was replaced beginning in 1903 with the introduction of the M1903 Springfield rifle. One of the shortest life span of Military service of any other service rifle.

It was the first smokeless powder rifle cartridge adopted by the US. 

The 30-40 Krag had ballistics of 2,000 ft/s (610 m/s) (rifle) (220 grain bullet 1894-1898) and was known as the .30 Army

The Krag was completely phased out of service in the Regular Army by 1907, as M1903 Springfield's became available, however, the Krag was issued many years to the National Guard and the Army Reserve, including limited service in World War I with rear-echelon U.S. troops in France and as training arms at various Stateside bases. Later, many were issued to veterans' organizations such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars for use in military ceremonies. Still others were sold to civilians through the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the NRA for as little $1.50.

No wonder so many were sporterized! That and the glassy silky smooth action had hunters and shooters happy to get them.

The rifle had a feature known as a magazine cut-off. This is a switch on the left rear of the receiver. When flipped up (on the Norwegian Krag-J rifles and carbines), the cut-off does not allow cartridges in the internal magazine to be fed into the chamber by the advancing bolt. This was intended to be used for firing single rounds when soldiers were comfortably firing at distant targets, so the magazine could be quickly turned on in case of an incoming charge or issue to charge the enemy. This instantly gives five rounds to the shooter for quick firing

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 24, 2013, 04:15:22 PM
The Czech/German g.24 (t).....

The German Military had plans to produce rifles in the factories of the Nazi occupied countries as early as 1938. The German military considered Czech weapons to be as good as German weapons and accepted all Czech proof standards. Waffenwerke Brunn AG is the name the Germans gave the small arms factory at Bystrica Czechoslovakia

The first rifle this factory produced for the Germans was the G.24 (t). The G.24 (t) was, with minor modifications and proofing, identical to the pre-war Czechoslovakian VZ-24. The production of the G.24 (t) ceased with the “L” block in mid-year 1942 when all the VZ-24 parts had been assembled into complete rifles. The factory then switched over to the production of “dou.” coded K98k rifles in 1942.

The rifle had a straight bolt. The stock with the standard longer upper handguard, stock bands and sights also followed the vz24 standard. The sights are calibrated for 300 m minimum and only marked on one side. The rifle was then stamped G.24 (t) on the siderail--the G for Gewehr, 24 for the initial year of production and (t) for the first letter of the German spelling of Czechoslovakia. These rifles were coded “dou.” and dated 41 on top of the receiver ring. An estimated production run of 115,000 pieces were produced.

The “dou.” coded G.24 (t) rifles dated 42 were identical to the 41 production with the exception of the receiver date and that the “WaA607” proof was phased out during the year. An estimated production run of 140,000 dou. 42 rifles were produced.

Stocks were eventually K98 style stocks and some VZ24 stocks were modified for the K98 sling arrangement.

My rifle is a dou. 41

In keeping with the TOS, I'm trying to limit photo's.....

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 24, 2013, 06:19:19 PM
Folks, feel free to add to this thread.....not that I'm running out of rifles to post, but I don't want to come off as a post who.......well.....you know.....
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on September 26, 2013, 03:33:21 PM
Well ok, then...lol...

U.S. M1 Carbine.....

I acquired this rifle a little over 3 years ago. A fellow brought it into the shop and said he found it the wall of an old house they were tearing down. I bought it for $25.00, his asking price. My son went to work on cleaning it up and getting it back into shooting condition. The bore was still actually in good shape. I labored over whether to buy a period correct stock, or buy one from the CMP. I decided on the latter. It is what it is, I have a very good shooter, while not a collectors dream, so what?
My rifle was produced in 1944

Carbine M1

In service from July 1942–1973 (United States)

World War II
Hukbalahap Rebellion
Malayan Emergency
Suez Crisis
Korean War
Cuban Revolution
First Indochina War
Vietnam War
The Troubles
Cambodian Civil War
Angolan Civil War

Number built-Over 6.5 million

M1A1, M1A3, M2, M2A2, M3

Initial Unit cost$45 (WW2)

Produced September 1941–August 1945; commercial 1945–present

Variants-M1A1, M1A3, M2, M2A2, M3

5.2 lb (2.4 kg) empty
5.8 lb (2.6 kg) loaded w/ sling

Length 35.6 in (900 mm)

Barrel length 18 in (460 mm)

Cartridge .30 Carbine

Action-Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Rate of fire-Semi-automatic (M1/A1)  850–900 rounds/min (M2/M3)

Muzzle velocity 1,990 ft/s (607 m/s)

Feed system 15 or 30-round detachable box magazine

Sights Aperture L-type flip or adjustable rear sights, barleycorn-type front sight

Inland (General Motors) The largest producer
Underwood Typewriter
Rock Ola Juke Box Company
Irwin Pederson (least amount produced about 4 thousand rifles) (GM Owned)
Quality hardware
Saginaw (GM Owned)
National Postal Meter
Standard Products

The history of these rifles is very long and quite interesting but would take up way too much space here.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on October 10, 2013, 04:53:05 PM
Okay, been pretty busy around here, but finally have the time to post another.....as with the M1 Carbine, I have kept the history short and is no way complete.

The M1903 Springfield, formally the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, is a clip-loaded, 5-round magazine fed, bolt-action service rifle.

Adopted as a bolt-action rifle by the U.S. Military on June 19, 1903, then saw service in World War I up to and including WWII. It was officially replaced as the standard infantry rifle by the faster-firing semi-automatic 8 round M1 Garand starting in 1937.  Since the U.S. entered WWW II without sufficient M1 rifles to arm all troops, it remained an issued service rifle until the end of the war.  It remained in service as a sniper rifle during World War II, the Korean War, and even in the early stages of the Vietnam War. It replaced the Krag-Jorgenson rifle

Service History

In service  1903–1974 (still used in U.S. Marine shooting matches)


Banana Wars
Mexican Revolution
World War I
World War II
Second Sino-Japanese War
Chinese Civil War
Korean War
Cuban Revolution
Vietnam War (limited)

Production history

Designer Springfield Armory   (Springfield Armory's use of a two-piece firing pin and other slight design alterations, the 1903 was in fact a Mauser design, and after that company brought suit, the U.S. government paid $3,000,000 in royalties to Mauser Werke.)

Designed 1902

Number built 1,300,000+

Weight: 8.67 lb (3.9 kg) depending on wood density

Length 43.9 in (1,115 mm)

Barrel length: 24 in (610 mm)

Cartridge: .30-03; .30-06 Springfield

Action: Bolt action

Rate of fire: 10–15 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity: 2,800 ft/s (853 m/s)

Effective range: 1,000 yds (914 m)

Maximum range: 5,500 yds (5,029 m) with .30 M1 Ball cartridge

Feed system: 5-round stripper clip, 25-round (Air Service variant) internal box magazine

Sights: Flip-up rear sight graduated to 2,700 yds, barleycorn-type front sight
M1903A3: Aperture rear sight, barleycorn-type front sight

While being the main battle rifle for WWW I, WWW II saw new production of the Springfield at private manufacturers Remington Arms and Smith-Corona Typewriter. Remington began production of the M1903 in September 1941, at serial number 3,000,000, using old tooling from the Rock Island Arsenal which had been in storage since 1919. My rifle is in fact a Remington, made in 1942. It does have a Pederson device....

There are several variations of the M1903 that can be collected. The sniper models are coveted.....

The original bayonets were a complete failure and led to the adoption of the M1905 bayonet, which are collectable in and of themselves. My bayonet is dated 1912, uncut and was purchased from the CMP for $250.00. The majority of M1905's were cut down to 10 inches during WWW II and also fitted to the M1 Garand.

By January 1905 over 80,000 rifles had been produced at the Springfield Armory. However, President Theodore Roosevelt objected to the design of the sliding rod-type bayonet used as being too flimsy for combat. In a letter to the Secretary of War, he said:

"I must say that I think that ramrod bayonet is about as poor an invention as I ever saw. As you observed, it broke short off as soon as hit with even moderate violence. It would have no moral effect and mighty little physical effect."
Here is my rifle....the stock is actually quite beautiful with lots of figure...

I resized the photo's to better fit the Forum's format....











Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on October 10, 2013, 07:01:46 PM
Henry - always look forward to your posts/pics - keep 'em coming!!!
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TrapperL on October 10, 2013, 08:38:39 PM
It does have a Pederson device....

Uh, what? That's not a Mark I and if you have a Pedersen device, you have one of only 7 known to exist as all that were made were destroyed.
In addition to Henrys post, the Springfield was made in various forms and barrel lengths with a carbine model that was only issued once during the Philippine campaign of WWII. It had a barrel length of 16". There are many different barrels with as many grooves. I have a Marlin marked barrel on one of my 03A3s that has 5 grooves on a Remmy receiver. During the Korean War the 03a3 Springfield was tested with a 20 round clip. All that was required was the floor plate changed and the same clip that was used for the BAR would fit it. Despite a lot of rumors, a 2 groove barrel will shoot just as good as a 4, 5, or 6 groove barrel. Then you have the training rifles 03 Springfields, the 22 LR 03 Springfields known as the M2, and the T version which has a sporter type forearm that's rarely seen today. You'll also find variations in the match rifles from the International to the Model NB. The NB is the most rare and was intended for offhand shooting only. I still have one in cosmoline dated 1925. They only made 19 of these. Most any 03 Springfield found today is a rebuild at least once in it's lifetime. Some have as many as 8 rebuilds on the same receiver so going by the date on the barrel can be deceiving if you are looking at one. You can only go by the serial number and that is iffy as well as there are duplicate serial numbered Springfields out there. Most will have an A stamped at the serial number meaning it's supposed to replace that first rifles counterpart. But a lot of receivers were being rebuilt that were trashed , hence the duplicate numbers.
You'll also hear about the low serial numbered Springfields being not safe to shoot due to the heat treatment. Considering most of these rifles have been rebuilt many times, if they were unsafe, they would have already come apart. All of the rebuilds on the low serial numbered rifles have either been tested for hardness, or had the heat treatment done correctly. So don't back up from buying one if you are looking at one.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on October 10, 2013, 10:21:26 PM
Thanks for the information, that is exactly why I started this thread....

You are absolutely correct about the Pederson device. I apologize for the error..
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on December 04, 2013, 07:33:40 PM
That is one fantastic collection Mr. Bowman.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on December 09, 2013, 04:37:39 PM
Been pretty darn busy lately. Sorry for taking so long to post another rifle....

My rifle is a CAI import and so marked. It is in the original chambering of 7.5X54. The accuracy is acceptable. Kind of an odd way for the magazines to attach (see photo of mags) with the side clip. Some of the bolt handles are metal some like mine is nylon. It does have the grenade launching capability and grenade sight. Prices currently range form $350-550.00.

French MAS 49/56

Nationality-French Republic

In service
1951–1979 (as French service rifle)

First Indochina War
Algerian War
Suez Crisis
Vietnam War
Shaba II (Africa)

Manufacture d'armes de Saint-Étienne


Number built:  20,600 (MAS-49)  275,240 (MAS-49/56)

MAS-49 Syrian contract

Weight:  4.7 kg (10 lb 6 oz) (MAS-49); 4.1 kg (9 lb) (MAS-49/56)

Length:  1100 mm (43.3 in) (MAS-49); 1020 mm (40.2 in) (MAS-49/56)

Barrel length:  580 mm (22.8 in) (MAS-49); 525mm (20.7 in) (MAS-49/56)
Cartridge: 7.5×54mm French

Caliber: 7.5 mm

Action: Direct impingement gas operation

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic

Muzzle velocity: 820 m/s (2,690 fps)

Effective range: 400 m    800 m (with telescopic sight)

Feed system: 10-round detachable box magazine

Sights:  Iron sights adjustable from 200 to 1200 meters  Removable APX(SOM) telescopic sights

The MAS-49 arrived after a series of small, distinct design improvements. Today, this might be termed spiral development, where small elements are changed with successive models, rather than large significant changes. This French semi-automatic rifle evolved from the prototype MAS-38/39, from the MAS-40 which entered limited service in March 1940, and lastly from the post-war MAS-44 and its minor variants 44A, 44B and 44C. Although 50,000 MAS-44 rifles were ordered in January 1945, only 6,200 were delivered to the French Navy. The MAS-49 was formally adopted by the French Army in July 1949. As a service rifle, it replaced the diverse collection of aging bolt-action rifles (MAS-36, Lee Enfield No4, U.S. M1917 and K98k) that were in French service after the end of World War II. It saw significant service with French troops in the latter stages of the First Indochina War, as well as during the Algerian War and the Suez Crisis.

An improved version called the MAS-49/56 was introduced in 1957 and incorporated lessons learned from service in Algeria, Indochina, and the Suez Crisis. The rifle was shortened and lightened to improve mobility for mechanized and airborne troops, and a knife bayonet was added. The MAS-49 built-in rifle grenade launcher was replaced by a combination compensator/rifle grenade launcher that fired NATO-standard 22mm rifle grenades.

Attempts were made to replace the MAS-49, in the form of the MAS-54 and the FA-MAS Type 62, both 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifles, but neither were successful. The MAS-49/56 ended production in 1978 and was replaced with the 5.56×45mm NATO caliber FAMAS bullpup assault rifle. The MAS-49/56 was withdrawn from service in 1990. Whereas only 20,600 MAS-49 were manufactured, the MAS-49/56 was mass-produced, attaining a total of 275,240 rifles issued between 1957 and 1978.

Many MAS-49/56 rifles imported as surplus into the USA were rechambered locally by Century Arms International to fire the 7.62×51mm NATO round. However several user reports have noted that these particular conversions were often unsatisfactory (resulting in numerous action stoppages and misfires) due to imperfect workmanship. Furthermore, the shortening of the barrel to allow rechambering brings the gas vent closer to the chamber hence creating a higher stress on the bolt carrier. In addition to these Century Arms conversions, approximately 250 MAS-49/56 rifles were converted in France to 7.62 NATO for use by the French National Police. These rifles are not known to have the reliability issues that plague the later Century Arms conversions.

Commercial 7.5×54mm "French" ammunition made in countries other than France for current distribution have been known to produce burst fire (2 or 3 rounds at a time) because of more sensitive primers.[3] The original heavy steel firing pins on the MAS-49 and 49/56 can be replaced by commercial titanium firing pins which are much lighter and generally cure the problem of burst fire on these weapons. It is also possible to prevent these slamfires by shortening the firing pin by approximately 0.5 mm, or by modifying the bolt to accommodate a firing pin return spring

*(Most of the above information is from wikipedia)


Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on December 09, 2013, 06:07:15 PM
You're right - that mag catch IS different, but it's a good-looking gun!
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on December 11, 2013, 05:21:53 PM
The Venerable Enfield SMLE No.1 MK III*

In service
SMLE: 1907–present

Second Boer War
World War I
Various Colonial conflicts
Irish War of Independence
Irish Civil War
World War II
Indonesian National Revolution
Indo-Pakistani Wars
Greek Civil War
Malayan Emergency
French Indochina War
Korean War
Arab-Israeli War
Suez Crisis
Mau Mau Uprising
Sino-Indian War
Bangladesh Liberation War
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Nepalese Civil War
Afghanistan conflict

Designer-James Paris Lee, RSAF Enfield

MLE: 1895–1907
SMLE: 1907–present

Number built-17,000,000+

Weight 4 kg (8.8 lb)

Length SMLE: 44 in (1,118 mm)

Barrel length MLE: 30.2 in (767 mm) SMLE: 25.2 in (640 mm)
Cartridge - .303 Mk VII SAA Ball

Action: Bolt-action

Muzzle velocity: 744 m/s (2,441 ft/s)

Effective range: 550 yd (503 m)[2]

Maximum range: 3,000 yd (2,743 m)[2]

Feed system: 10-round magazine, loaded with 5-round charger clips

Sights: Sliding ramp rear sights, fixed-post front sights, "dial" long-range volley sights; telescopic sights on sniper models

The iconic Lee-Enfield rifle, the SMLE Mk III, was introduced on 26 January 1907, along with a Pattern 1907 (P'07) Sword bayonet and featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed, rather than a bolt-head-mounted sliding, charger guide. The design of the handguards and the magazine were also improved, and the chamber was adapted to fire the new Mk VII High Velocity spitzer .303 ammunition. Many early model rifles, of Magazine Lee Enfield (MLE), Magazine Lee Metford (MLM), and SMLE type, were upgraded to the Mk III standard. These are designated Mk IV Cond., with various asterisks denoting subtypes.

During the First World War, the standard SMLE Mk III was found to be too complicated to manufacture (an SMLE Mk III rifle cost the British Government £3/15/-), and demand was outstripping supply, so in late 1915 the Mk III* was introduced, which incorporated several changes, the most prominent of which were the deletion of the magazine cut-off, and the long range volley sights. The windage adjustment capability of the rear sight was also dispensed with, and the cocking piece was changed from a round knob to a serrated slab. Rifles with some or all of these features present are found, as the changes were implemented at different times in different factories and as stocks of existing parts were used. The magazine cut-off was reinstated after the First World War ended, and not entirely dispensed with until 1942.

The inability of the principal manufacturers (RSAF Enfield, The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited, and London Small Arms Co. Ltd) to meet military production demands led to the development of the "peddled scheme", which contracted out the production of whole rifles and rifle components to several shell companies.

The SMLE Mk III* (redesignated Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926) saw extensive service throughout the Second World War as well, especially in the North African, Italian, Pacific and Burmese theatres in the hands of British and Commonwealth forces. Australia and India retained and manufactured the SMLE Mk III* as their standard-issue rifle during the conflict, and the rifle remained in Australian military service through the Korean War, until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR in the late 1950s. The Lithgow Small Arms Factory finally ceased production of the SMLE Mk III* in 1953.

The fast-operating Lee bolt-action and large magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the "mad minute" firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the Lee-Enfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British Army—Sergeant Instructor Snoxall—who placed 38 rounds into a 12-inch-wide (300 mm) target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute.[10] Some straight-pull bolt-action rifles were thought faster, but lacked the simplicity, reliability, and generous magazine capacity of the Lee-Enfield. Several First World War accounts tell of British troops repelling German attackers who subsequently reported that they had encountered machine guns, when in fact it was simply a group of well-trained riflemen armed with SMLE Mk III rifles.
(Most of the information above is taken from Wikipedia)
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on December 11, 2013, 09:55:48 PM
Y'know, looking at those beasts.....makes you appreciate the lightness of an AR - but they sure packed a punch!
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on December 12, 2013, 12:10:10 PM
.303 Brit is a good cartridge..too bad like 8mm and other calibers the surplus ammo has dried up......nothing else smells like cordite....
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on December 26, 2013, 04:54:41 PM
Spanish CETME.....

The CETME rifle was designed primarily by the German engineer Ludwig Vorgrimler, who based his design on the experimental German StG 45(M) and the French-made AME 49. The StG45 used a roller-delayed blowback mechanism somewhat similar to the roller-locking system patented by Edward Stecke in the 1930s in Poland and used in the MG42. The MG42 locking system actually locks completely and requires a short stroke barrel that travels backwards to unlock, compared to the StG45(M) system that never completely locks and does not require a moving barrel. The CETME design inherits the StG45(M)'s fixed-barrel. The first prototype rifles fired the same 7.92x33mm Kurz round as the StG45, and a variety of experimental 7.92 and 7.62mm cartridges were tested before settling on the 7.62×51mm CETME. This round was dimensionally identical to 7.62×51mm NATO, but with a lighter bullet and powder charge to reduce recoil, making fully automatic fire more controllable. Due to feedback from Heckler & Koch, the production rifle was chambered for the more powerful 7.62mm NATO. The Model B went on to be the foundation of the widely-deployed Heckler & Koch G3 battle rifle.

The CETME Model A began manufacture in Spain in 1957. The CETME series of battle rifles was manufactured in five models, the A, B, C, L, LC and LV models. The primary difference in the three first models is the absence of bipod and the lightweight C model, and the fact that the L, LC and LV models fire the smaller 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge.


Model A and A1

Developmental prototypes.

Model B

Production model, with a perforated steel handguard and chambered for the 7.62 x 51 mm CETME round. The 7.62 mm CETME differed from the standard 7.62 mm NATO round by having a lighter-weight bullet and a smaller propellant charge. The parts for these for the most part interchange with the later "C" model rifles.

The Spanish Army adopted a variant of the Model B rechambered for the more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO round as the Model 58 Assault Rifle in 1958. The Model B could be converted to fire the 7.62mm NATO round if the bolt group and return spring are replaced with that of the Model 58.

Model C

The "C" model was a lightweight version that was chambered for the 7.62x51m NATO round.

It was adopted by the Spanish Army, Air Force, and Navy in 1964.

Model E

The CETME Model E replaced the wooden parts of the stock with plastic and the steel components with aluminum. After a short period on the production line, it was discovered that they were weaker than the previous models and that continuous fire deformed the firearms rapidly, and due to this, relatively few were produced and they were quickly discontinued.


The CETME Model L was a downsized variant of the CETME system, chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. It was adopted by the Spanish Army in 1984 and was in service until it was replaced by the Heckler and Koch G36 rifle in 1999.

Civilian Versions

In the late 90's Century Arms International (CAI) began offering semiautomatic only civilian versions known as the CETME Sporter, which are manufactured from assembled military surplus and US made parts. Although largely built from Model "C" parts, there have been reports of model "B" parts in the Model "C" Century built rifles.

Due to the restrictions against importing receivers of select fire weapons, all receivers for these civilian versions are made in the US. Earlier receivers were of cast stainless steel, while later receivers were made from stamped and welded steel. Earlier rifles retained the wood furniture of the originals while later examples were available with Heckler & Koch style composite stocks. Due to state and local laws restricting weapons with assault weapon features, the CETME Sporter is also available with a permanently pinned muzzle brake rather than the original flash hider. Both civilian .308 Winchester and NATO 7.62x51mm ammunition may safely be used in the CETME sporter.

Reviews of the reliability and accuracy of these civilian versions have been mixed, with earlier versions generally being considered more reliable and accurate than later examples.

* Source: Wikipedia

My CETME is an early SS receiver and has been exceptionally reliable and accurate over the years that I have owned it.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Earl on December 26, 2013, 06:48:28 PM
A great collection. Very Very informative. :)

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TXARGUY on December 27, 2013, 12:31:05 AM
Loving this thread. This is a perfect post for the new C&R forum.

I'll be posting some pics in the morning.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on December 30, 2013, 12:52:08 PM
Chinese Type 56 or otherwise know as the SKS

Type: Semi-automatic rifle

Place of origin: Soviet Union

Production history:

Designer: Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov

Designed: 1944

Number built: 15,000,000

Variants: Chinese Type 56; Yugoslavian PAP; Romanian SKS; Albanian SKS; East German SKS; (North) Vietnamese SKS; North Korean SKS


Weight: 3.85 kg (8 lb 8 oz)

Length: 1,020 millimeters (40 in),.[2] M59/66 length 1,117 millimeters (44.0 in)

Barrel length: 520 millimeters (20 in),.[2] M59/66 558.8 millimeters (22.00 in).

Cartridge: 7.62×39mm

Action: Short stroke gas piston, tilting bolt, self-loading

Rate of fire: Semi-automatic 35–40 (rd/min)

Muzzle velocity: 2,411 ft/s

Effective range: 440 yd

Feed system: 10 round stripper clip-fed

Sights: Hooded post front sight, tangent notch rear sight graduated from 100 to 1,000 meters.

The SKS has a conventional layout, with a wooden stock and no pistol grip. The SKS is a gas-operated weapon that has a spring-loaded bolt carrier and a gas piston rod that work the action via gas pressure pushing against them. Also, it has a "tilting bolt" action locking system. The SKS is shorter and less powerful than the semi-automatic rifles that preceded it, such as the Soviet SVT-40. However, the SKS has a 4-inch longer barrel than AK-series rifles, which replaced it; as a result, it has a slightly higher muzzle velocity.

Contrary to popular belief, the SKS is not an assault rifle, because the basic design lacks both a selective fire capability and a detachable magazine. The SKS's ten-round box magazine is fed from a stripper clip and rounds stored in the magazine can be removed by depressing a magazine catch located forward of the trigger guard (thus opening the "floor" of the magazine and allowing the rounds to fall out). In typical military use the stripper clips are disposable. If necessary they can be reloaded multiple times and reused.

While early Soviet models had spring-loaded firing pins, most variants of the SKS have a free floating firing pin within the bolt. Because of this design, care must be taken during cleaning (especially after long storage) to ensure that the firing pin does not stick in the forward position within the bolt. SKS firing pins that are stuck in the forward position have been known to cause accidental "slamfires" (uncontrolled automatic fire that empties the magazine, starting when the bolt is released). This behavior is less likely with the hard primer military-spec ammo for which the SKS was designed, but as with any rifle users should properly maintain their firearms. For collectors, slamfires are more likely when the bolt still has remnants of cosmoline embedded in it. The firing pin is triangular in cross section, and slamfires can also result if the firing pin is inserted upside down.

In most variants (Yugoslav models being the most notable exception), the barrel is chrome-lined for increased wear and heat tolerance from sustained fire and to resist corrosion from chlorate-primed corrosive ammunition, as well as to facilitate cleaning. Chrome bore lining is common in military rifles. Although it can diminish actual accuracy, this is not a real limit on practical accuracy in a weapon of this type.

The front sight has a hooded post. "The rear sight is an open notch type which is adjustable for elevation from 100 to 1,000 meters (110 to 1,100 yd). There is also an all purpose "battle" setting on the sight ladder (marked "П"), set for 300 meters (330 yards). This is attained by moving the elevation slide to the rear of the ladder as far as it will go. "The Yugoslav M59/66A1 has fold down luminous sights for use when firing under poor light conditions, while the older M59 and M59/66 do not.

All military SKSs have a bayonet attached to the underside of the barrel, which is extended and retracted via a spring-loaded hinge. Both blade and spike bayonets were produced. Some versions, such as the Yugoslavian-made M59/66 variant, are also equipped with a grenade launching attachment.

The SKS is easily field stripped and reassembled without any tools other than an unfired cartridge. The rifle has a cleaning kit stored in a trapdoor in the butt stock, with a cleaning rod running under the barrel, in the same style as the AK-47. In common with some other Soviet-era designs, it trades some accuracy for ruggedness, reliability, ease of maintenance, ease of use, and low manufacturing cost.

The Soviet Union type qualified a new intermediate round in 1943, at the same time it began to field the Mosin–Nagant M44 carbine as a general issue small arm. However, the M44, which had a side-folding bayonet and shorter overall length, still fired the full-powered round of its predecessors. A small number of SKS rifles were tested on the front line in early 1945 against the Germans in World War II.[4]

In 1949, the SKS was officially adopted into the Soviet Army, manufactured at the Tula Armory from 1949 until 1955 and the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant in 1953 and 1954. Although the quality of Soviet carbines manufactured at these state-run arsenals was quite high, its design was already obsolete compared to the Kalashnikov which was selective-fire, lighter, had three times the magazine capacity, and had the potential to be less labor-intensive to manufacture. Gradually over the next few years, AK-47 production increased until the extant SKS carbines in service were relegated primarily to non-infantry and to second-line troops. They remained in service in this fashion even as late as the 1980s, and possibly the early 1990s. To this day, the SKS carbine is used by some ceremonial Russian honor guards, much the same way the M1 Garand is within the United States; it is far less ubiquitous than the AK-47 but both original Soviet SKS rifles and copies can still be found today in civilian hands as well as in the hands of third-world militias and insurgent groups.

The SKS was to be a gap-filling firearm manufactured using the proven operating mechanism design of the 14.5×114mm PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle and using proven milled forging manufacturing techniques. This was to provide a fall back for the radically new and experimental design of the AK-47, in the event that the AK proved to be a failure. In fact, the original stamped receiver AK-47 had to be quickly redesigned to use a milled receiver which delayed production, and extended the SKS carbine's service life.

Almost as soon as the SKS was brought into service, it was made obsolete for Soviet purposes by the new AK-47. However, it found a long second life in the service of the Chinese army, who found it well suited to their own style of warfare, the "People's War" whose main actors were highly mobile, self-reliant guerrilla bands and rural militias protecting their own villages. In People's War the emphasis was on long-range sniping, spoiling attacks, and ambushes, and for this the Chinese army preferred its version of the SKS (the Type 56 carbine) to the AK pattern.

From its introduction in 1956, the Type 56/SKS remained the workhorse of the People's Liberation Army for 30 years. In 1968, the army was briefly re-equipped with the unsuccessful Type 63 automatic rifle, which had been intended to combine the sustained firepower of China's first AK variant (confusingly called the "Type 56 assault rifle") with the precise semi-automatic fire of the SKS/Type 56 carbine and replace both of those separate weapons. However, by the mid-1970s, all manner of problems were plaguing the type 63 rifle. Troops clamored to be given back their carbines, which had been redistributed to local militia units, and the army staff abandoned the Type 63 and returned the Type 56 carbine (SKS) and Type 56 assault rifle (AK) to service. The standard practice was for squad leaders and assistant squad leaders to carry an assault rifle and for most other soldiers to carry a carbine, so that a front-line infantry squad fielded two assault rifles, two light machine guns, and seven carbines. However, after the beginning of China's 1979 border war with Vietnam, combat units found that the carbine's capacity for long-range precision fire was wasted in the mountain jungles of the border region and units were hastily re-equipped with assault rifles. Guns of the AK family (including both the Chinese army’s Type 56 auto and the Vietnamese army’s AK-47s and AKM) are for structural reasons relatively inaccurate, and because the Chinese army has historically favored precision fire (despite always having weapons ill-suited to that task), the Sino-Vietnamese war directly hastened development of the PLA’s Type 81 automatic rifle. By the time border conflict broke out again between China and Vietnam in 1983, the Chinese military had already been completely re-equipped with their more accurate, precise Type 81 auto.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union shared the design and manufacturing details with its allies, and as a result, many variants of the SKS exist. Some variants use a 30-round AK-47 style magazine (Chinese Type 63), gas port controls, flip-up night sights, and prominent, muzzle-mounted grenade launchers (Yugoslav M59/66, possibly North Korean Type 63). In total, SKS rifles were manufactured by the Soviet Union, China, Yugoslavia, Albania, North Korea, Vietnam, and East Germany (Kar. S) with limited pilot production (Model 56) in Romania and Poland (Wz49). Physically, all are very similar, although the NATO-specification 22mm grenade launcher of the Yugoslav version, and the more encompassing stock of the Albanian version are visually distinctive. Early versions of Chinese Type 56s (produced 1956–1971) used a vertically aligned blade, whereas the majority of Chinese carbines made after 1971 used a spike bayonet. Many smaller parts, most notably the sights and charging handles, were unique to different national production runs. A small quantity of SKS carbines manufactured in 1955–56 were produced in China with Russian parts, presumably as part of a technology sharing arrangement. Many Yugoslav M59/66 series rifles were exported to Uruguay and Mozambique[citation needed]; the Mozambique versions having teakwood stocks, the wood supplied by that nation. The vast majority of Yugoslav M59 and M59/66s have elm, walnut and beech stocks. Russian SKS's had stocks of Arctic Birch (or "Russian Birch"), and the Chinese were of Catalpa wood ("Chu wood"). SKS carbines have also made appearances in recent conflicts in Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Today, the SKS is in service with Cambodia, Laos, China, North Korea and Vietnam, as well as many other countries in Africa.

Nations that utilized the SKS but did not receive manufacturing rights included Afghanistan, Congo, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Mongolia, Morocco, the United Arab Republic (Egypt), and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.

After World War II, the SKS design was licensed or sold to a number of the Soviet Union's allies, including the China, the SFR Yugoslavia, Albania, North Korea, Vietnam, the German Democratic Republic, Romania and Poland. Most of these nations produced nearly identical variants, with the most common modifications being differing styles of bayonets and the 22 mm rifle grenade launcher commonly seen on Yugoslavian models.

Differences from the "baseline" late Russian Tula Armory/Izhevsk Armory SKS:
Soviet (1949–1956): Early Spike-style bayonet (1949) instead of blade-style. Spring-return firing pin was present on early models (1949-early 1951). The gas block had three changes: The first production stage gas block, used from 1949 through early 1950, was squared-off at a 90-degree angle. The second gas block production stage was instead cut at a 45-degree angle, seen on late 1950 to 1951 rifles. The third and final gas block stage, from 1952 through to 1956, was curved inward slightly toward the action.
Soviet Honor Guard: All-chrome metal parts, with a lighter-colored wood stock.

 Chinese Type 56 semi-automatic carbine (Chinese SKS).Chinese Type 56 (1956–): Numerous minor tweaks, including lack of milling on the bolt carrier, partially or fully stamped (as opposed to milled) receivers, and differing types of thumb rest on the take down lever. The Chinese continually revised the SKS manufacturing process, so variation can be seen even between two examples from the same factory. All of the Type 56 carbine rifles have been removed from military service, except a few being used for ceremonial purposes and by local Chinese Militias. Type 56 carbines with serial numbers below 9,000,000 have the Russian-style blade-type folding bayonet, while those 9,000,000 and higher have a "spike" type folding bayonet. Some early examples are known as "Sino-Soviet", meaning they were produced by China, but with cooperation from Russian "advisers" who helped regulate the factories and provided the design specifications.
Chinese experimental stamped receiver: Very rare. A small number of Type 56 SKS rifles were manufactured with experimental stamped sheet metal receivers as a cost and weight saving measure but did not enter large scale production.
Chinese Honor Guard: Mostly, but not all, chromed metal parts. Does not generally have the lighter-colored stock as the Soviet Honor Guard variant.
Chinese Type 63, 68, 73, 81, 84: Only a close relative to the SKS, these rifles shared features from several east-bloc rifles (SKS, AK-47, Dragunov). AK-47 style rotary bolt and detachable magazine. The Type 68 featured a stamped sheet-steel receiver. The 81 is an upgraded Type 68 with a three-round burst capability, some of which (Type 81-1) have a folding stock. The Type 84 (known as an SKK) returns to semi-auto fire only, is modified to accept AK-47 magazines, and has a shorter 16" paratrooper barrel.

 An SKS-Chinese commercial production: Blonde wood ("Chu wood"/"Qiu wood" = Catalpa wood)[12] stock instead of dark wood, spike bayonet instead of blade, bayonet retaining bolt replaced with a rivet. Sub-variants include the M21, "Cowboy's Companion", Hunter, Models D/M, Paratrooper, Sharpshooter, and Sporter. Model D rifles used military style stocks and had bayonet lugs (although some were imported eliminated bayonet, and some examples eliminated the lug in order to meet changing US import restrictions). Model M rifles had no bayonet lug and used either a thumb hole or Monte Carlo–style stock. Both model D and M used AK-47 magazines and as a result had no bolt hold open feature on the rifle.
Romanian M56: Typically nearly identical to the late Soviet model.
Polish SKS: Refurbished Soviet rifles. Polish laminated stocks lack storage area in back of stock for cleaning kit. A few hundred SKS's were given to Poland by the Soviet Union around 1954. While never adopted for use by combat units, the SKS is still in use in ceremonial units of the Polish Army, Air Force, Navy where they replaced AWT rifles. Honor guards of the Polish Police and Border Guard also use SKS carbines. Yugoslavian PAP M59: Barrel is not chrome-lined. Otherwise this rifle is nearly identical to the Soviet version.

 Yugoslavian M59/66 with the muzzle formed into a spigot-type grenade launcher and a folding ladder grenade sight behind the front sight. Yugoslavian PAP M59/66: Added 22 mm grenade launcher which appears visually like a flash suppressor or muzzle brake on the end of the barrel. Front sight has a fold-up "ladder" for use in grenade sighting (main sights on the A1 version have flip up phosphorus or tritium night sights). When the grenade sight is raised, the gas system is automatically blocked and the action must be manually cycled—rifle grenades must be fired with blank cartridges for safety, and this feature helps ensure that a live round is not loaded from the magazine. The gas system is not automatically unblocked when the sight is folded, however, and must be manually opened to again allow semi-automatic operation. Barrel was not chrome-lined. Both the grenade launcher and grenade sight are NATO spec. Stock is typically made from beech wood.
Albanian "July 10 Rifle": Longer stock and handguard on the gas tube, and AK style charging handle. The magazine is slightly different in the shape visible from the outside. The stock has two compartments with two corresponding holes in the butt plate for cleaning implements instead of the single cleaning kit pocket. Like the Chinese Type 56 carbine, the Albanian version also features a spike bayonet fixed beneath the muzzle.
East German Karabiner-S: Extremely rare. Slot cut into back of stock for pull-through sling, similar to the slot in a Karabiner 98k. No storage area in back of stock or storage for cleaning rod under barrel.
North Korean Type 63: Extremely rare. At least three separate models were made. One "standard" model with blade bayonet, and a second with a gas shutoff and a grenade launcher, similar to the M59/66. The North Korean grenade launcher was detachable from the muzzle and the gas shutoff was different from the Yugoslavian model, however. A third model appears to have side-swinging bayonet.
Vietnamese Type 1: Extremely rare. Nearly identical to both the Soviet and Sino-Soviet SKS. These are identified by a small star on the receiver with a 1 in the center. The barrel is chromed, as are many of the internal parts. It is unknown currently whether there are spiked bayonets or only bladed. The stock work is identical to more common SKS variants such as the Soviet and Chinese. These appear to have been either converted Soviet or Sino-Soviet models, or simply cloned from these rifles.

There is some debate as to the relative manufacturing quality of each nation's SKS production. The Chinese SKSs varied significantly even among new rifles with some having screwed in barrels, milled trigger groups and bolt carriers with lightening reliefs cut into them being at the top end and cheaper rifles having pinned barrels, stamped trigger groups and slab-sided bolt carriers – though overall quality and serviceability remained high. Yugoslav types are generally considered to be better made than Chinese, yet the Chinese types typically have chrome-lined barrels while the Yugoslav versions do not, resulting in some Yugoslavian carbines having bores in considerably worse condition than even the cheapest Chinese SKSs. While often encountered in well-used condition, Romanian carbines were as well-built as the Soviet versions. In general, carbines from any of the preceding nations are considered high-quality, durable, and reliable arms despite manufacturing differences.

East German and Albanian SKSs bring a higher price than those of other countries. Soviet and Romanian carbines have largely reached price parity, with Chinese carbines somewhat lower in price. The stock on the Albanian versions being of a slightly different manufacture and being rarer due to low production numbers. There were approximately 18,000 Albanian SKSs manufactured during the late 1960s until 1978, and of those, approximately half were destroyed. Most of the remaining East German SKSs had been sold/transferred to Croatia in the early 1990s.


* Most of the information is from Wikipedia
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on January 02, 2014, 12:43:15 PM
The M1 Garand....This one is a CMP rifle manufactured by H&R. The bayonet is also from the CMP. The ammo is standard military black tip AP 30-06.

Type; Semi-automatic rifle

Place of origin:  United States

Service history

In service: 1936–57 (as the standard U.S. service rifle)

World War II
Korean War
1948 Arab–Israeli War
Hukbalahap Rebellion
First Indochina War
Suez Crisis
Cuban Revolution
Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War
Angolan Civil War
Northern Ireland Troubles.[1]
 Numerous other conflicts

Production history

Designer: John C. Garand

Designed: 1928

Springfield Armory
Harrington & Richardson
International Harvester
Springfield Armory, Inc. (civilian)

Unit cost
$85 (during World War II)

1936–57, early 1980s

Number built
Approx. 6.25 million[3]

M1C, M1D


Weight: 9.5 lb (4.31 kg) to 11.6 lb (5.3 kg)

Length: 43.5 in (1,100 mm)

Barrel length: 24 in (609.6 mm)
Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield (7.62×63mm)
7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) (Used by the U.S. Navy and some commercial companies to modernize the M1 and increase performance)

Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Rate of fire: 40−50 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity: 2,800 ft/s (853 m/s)

Effective firing range: 500 yd (457 m)[4]

Feed system: 8-round "en bloc" clip, internal magazine

Sights: Rear sight: adjustable aperture front sight: wing protected post

Though the U.S. Army became interested in self-loading rifles with the Bang and Murphy-Manning of 1911, and there were pre-production models in 1916, the M1's origin properly dates to 1919, when armies around the world were realizing standard rifle cartridges were more powerful than necessary for typical engagement ranges, leading to heavier rifles than really required. The Army trials in the 1920s had a .256-inch minimum caliber requirement, compared to the .30-06 then standard.

Canadian-born Garand went to work at the United States Army's Springfield Armory and began working on a .30 caliber primer-operated breech. In the summer of 1924, twenty-four rifles, identified as "M1922", were built at Springfield. At Fort Benning during the summer of 1925, they were tested against models by Berthier, Hatcher-Bang, Thompson, and Pedersen, the latter two being delayed blowback types. This led to a further trial of an improved "M1924" Garand against the Thompson, ultimately producing an inconclusive report.[10] As a result, the Ordnance Board ordered a .30-'06 Garand variant. In March 1927, the Cavalry Board reported trials between the Thompson, Garand, and '03 Springfield had not led to a clear winner. This led to a gas-operated .276 model (patented by Garand on 12 April 1930).

During the spring of 1928, both Infantry and Cavalry Boards ran trials with the .276 Pedersen T1 rifle, calling it "highly promising" (despite its use of waxed ammunition, shared by the Thompson). On 13 August 1928, a Semiautomatic Rifle Board carried out joint Army, Navy, and Marine Corps trials between the .30 Thompson, both cavalry and infantry versions of the T1 Pedersen, "M1924" Garand, and .256 Bang, and on 21 September, the Board reported no clear winner. The .30 Garand, however, was dropped in favor of the .276.

Further tests by the SRB in July 1929, which included rifle designs by Browning, Colt-Browning, Garand, Holek, Pedersen, Rheinmetall, Thompson, and an incomplete one by White, led to a recommendation that work on the (dropped) .30 gas-operated Garand be resumed, and a T1E1 was ordered 14 November 1929.

Twenty gas-operated .276 T3E2s Garands were made and competed with T1 Pedersen rifles in Spring 1931. The .276 Garand was the clear winner of these trials. The .30 caliber Garand was also tested, in the form of a single T1E1, but was withdrawn with a cracked bolt on 9 October 1931. A 4 January 1932 meeting recommended adoption of the .276 caliber and production of approximately 125 T3E2s. Meanwhile, Garand redesigned his bolt and his improved T1E2 rifle was retested. The day after the successful conclusion of this test, Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur personally disapproved any caliber change, in part because there were extensive existing stocks of .30 M1 ball ammunition. On 25 February 1932, Adjutant General John B. Shuman, speaking for the Secretary of War, ordered work on the rifles and ammunition in .276 caliber cease immediately and completely and all resources be directed toward identification and correction of deficiencies in the Garand .30 caliber.

On 3 August 1933, the T1E2 became the Semi-Automatic Rifle, Caliber 30, M1. In May 1934, 75 M1s went to field trials; 50 were to infantry, 25 to cavalry units. Numerous problems were reported, forcing the rifle to be modified, yet again, before it could be recommended for service and cleared for procurement on 7 November 1935, then standardized 9 January 1936. The first production model was successfully proof-fired, function-fired, and fired for accuracy on July 21, 1937.

Production difficulties delayed deliveries to the Army until September 1937. Machine production began at Springfield Armory that month at a rate of ten rifles per day, and reached an output of 100 per day within two years. Despite going into production status, design issues were not at an end. The barrel, gas cylinder, and front sight assembly were redesigned and entered production in early 1940. Existing "gas-trap" rifles were recalled and retrofitted, mirroring problems with the earlier M1903 Springfield rifle that also had to be recalled and reworked approximately three years into production and foreshadowing rework of the M16 rifle at a similar point in its development. Production of the Garand increased in 1940 despite these difficulties, reaching 600 a day by 10 January 1941, and the Army was fully equipped by the end of 1941.

Service use
 John Garand points out features of the M1 to Army Generals.
Following the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Winchester was awarded an "educational" production contract for 65,000 rifles, with deliveries beginning in 1943. The British Army looked at the M1 as a possible replacement for its bolt-action Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk III, but it was rejected when rigorous testing suggested that it was an unreliable weapon in muddy conditions.

The M1's semiautomatic operation gave United States forces a significant advantage in firepower and shot-to-shot recovery time over individual enemy infantrymen in battle (German, Italian, and Japanese soldiers were usually armed with bolt-action rifles). General George S. Patton called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised. The impact of faster-firing infantry small arms in general soon stimulated both Allied and Axis forces to greatly augment issue of semi- and fully automatic firearms then in production, as well as to develop new types of infantry firearms.

Much of the M1 inventory in the post-World War II period underwent arsenal repair or rebuilding. While U.S. forces were still engaged in the Korean War, the Department of Defense determined a need for additional production of the Garand, and two new contracts were awarded. During 1953–56, M1s were produced by International Harvester and Harrington & Richardson. A final, very small lot of M1s was produced by Springfield Armory in early 1957, using finished components already on hand. Beretta also produced Garands using Winchester tooling.

The M1 proved an excellent rifle throughout its service in World War II and the Korean War. Surplus M1 rifles also armed many nations allied to the United States postwar, including West Germany, Italy, Japan, Denmark, Greece, Turkey and the Imperial State of Iran. Following the Korean War, Garands were loaned to South Korea. Some Garands were still being used in the Vietnam War in 1963; despite the M14's official adoption in 1957, it was not until 1965 the changeover from the M1 Garand was completed in the active-duty component of the Army (with the exception of the sniper variants, which were introduced in World War II and saw action in Korea and Vietnam). In other components of the armed forces, such as the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and the Navy, Garands continued to serve into the 1970s or longer.

The M1 rifle is a gas-operated, semi-automatic, clip-fed rifle.[29] By modern standards, the M1's feeding system is archaic, relying on clips to feed ammunition, and is the principal source of criticism of the rifle. Officials in Army Ordnance circles demanded a fixed, non-protruding magazine for the new service rifle. At the time, it was believed that a detachable magazine on a general-issue service rifle would be easily lost by U.S. soldiers (a criticism made of British soldiers and the Lee-Enfield 50 years previously), would render the weapon too susceptible to clogging from dirt and debris (a belief that proved unfounded with the adoption of the M1 Carbine), and that a protruding magazine would complicate existing manual-of-arms drills. As a result, inventor John Garand developed an "en bloc" clip system that allowed ammunition to be inserted from above, clip included, into the fixed magazine. While this design provided the requisite flush-mount magazine, the clip system increased the rifle's weight and complexity, and made only single loading ammunition possible without a clip.

Garand's rifle was originally chambered for the .276 Pedersen cartridge,[30] charged by means of 10-round clips. Later, it was chambered for the then-standard .30-06 Springfield. With this new cartridge, the M1 had a maximum effective range of 440 yards (400 m), with the capability of inflicting a casualty with armor-piercing ammunition well beyond 875 yards (800 m). Because of the larger diameter of the .30-06 cartridge, the modified clip held only eight rounds.

Garand's original design for the M1 used a complicated gas system involving a special muzzle extension gas trap, later dropped in favor of a simpler drilled gas port. Because most of the older rifles were retrofitted, pre-1939 gas-trap M1s are very rare today and are prized collector's items.[29] In both systems, expanding gases from a fired cartridge are diverted into the gas cylinder. Here, the gases met a long-stroke piston attached to the operating rod. The operating rod was therefore pushed rearward by the force of this high-pressure gas. Then, the operating rod engaged a rotating bolt inside the receiver. The bolt was attached to the receiver via two locking lugs, which rotated, unlocked, and initiated the ejection of the spent cartridge and the reloading cycle when the rifle was discharged. The operating rod (and subsequently the bolt) then returned to its original position.

The rifle's ability to rapidly fire powerful .30-06 rifle ammunition also proved to be of considerable advantage in combat. In China, Japanese banzai charges had previously met with frequent success against poorly trained Chinese soldiers armed with bolt-action rifles. Armed with the M1, U.S. infantrymen were able to sustain a much higher rate of fire than their Chinese counterparts. In the short-range jungle fighting, where opposing forces sometimes met each other in column formation on a narrow path, the penetration of the powerful .30-06 M2 cartridge enabled a single U.S. infantryman to kill up to three Japanese soldiers with a single round. The Garand's fire rate in the hands of a trained soldier, averaged out to 40–50 accurate shots per minute at a range of 300 yards, made it the single fastest-firing service rifle during World War II, until the StG 44 was adopted as the German service rifle in 1944 (in practice, the bolt-action K98k remained the German service rifle).

Ejection of an empty clip created a distinctive metallic "pinging" sound. In World War II, reports arose in which German and Japanese infantry were making use of this noise in combat to alert them to an empty M1 rifle in order to 'get the drop' on their American enemies. The information was taken seriously enough that U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground began experiments with clips made of various plastics in order to soften the sound, though no improved clips were ever adopted. According to former German soldiers, the sound was inaudible during engagements and not particularly useful when heard, as other squad members might have been nearby ready to fire.

* Most of the information is from Wikipedia

I'm trying to keep the posts shorter and less photo's....but it is difficult....

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TrapperL on January 02, 2014, 08:08:17 PM
I'm trying to keep the posts shorter and less photo's....but it is difficult...

Please quit and post more info and more pics. I think all will agree your posts are some of the most informative on any gun forum. Thanks for putting these together. Having done similar posts else where, it takes a tremendous amount of work and passion to do your posts. Thank you.

For extended reading concerning the Garand and how it became THE military weapon of choice, here's the American Riflemans article on the Garand V Pedersen. The Garand was never a sure thing and Col Hatcher didn't want it at all. He liked the Pedersen Rifle much better.
http://www.americanrifleman.org/wp-content/uploads/Webcontent/pdf/2009-6/200961711142-garandpedersen.pdf (http://www.americanrifleman.org/wp-content/uploads/Webcontent/pdf/2009-6/200961711142-garandpedersen.pdf)
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on January 28, 2014, 05:22:24 PM
The 1941 Johnson Rifle.....Did see action in WWII, but the M1 Garand won out...

The M1941 Johnson Rifle was an American short-recoil operated semi-automatic rifle designed by Melvin Johnson prior to World War II. The M1941 competed unsuccessfully with the U.S. M1 Rifle

Type: Semi-automatic rifle

Place of origin: United States

Service history:

In service; 1941–1945

Used by: See Users

Production history

Designer: Melvin Johnson

Designed: 1939

Manufacturer: Iver Johnson and  FMA

Number built: ~70 000

Variants: VF-1 (Argentine copy)


Weight: 9.5 lb (4.31 kg)

Length: 45.87 in (1,165 mm)

Barrel length: 22 in (560 mm)

Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield-7x57mm Mauser (Chilean variant) .270 Winchester

Action: Short-recoil, rotating bolt

Muzzle velocity: 2,840 ft/s (866 m/s)

Feed system: 10 round rotary magazine

Sights: Adjustable Iron Sights

The M1941 rifle used the energy from recoil to operate the rifle. As the bullet and propellant gases moved down the barrel, they imparted a force on the bolt head that was locked to the barrel. The barrel, together with the bolt, moved a short distance rearward until the bullet left the barrel and pressure in the bore had dropped to safe levels. The barrel then stopped against a shoulder allowing the bolt carrier to continue rearward under the momentum imparted by the initial recoil stage. The rotating bolt, which had eight locking lugs, would then lock the bolt. Following, a cam arrangement then rotated and unlocked the bolt to continue the operating cycle. One disadvantage of this design was its impact on the use of a bayonet, as the complex movements of the barrel would be subject to unacceptable stress when a bayonet thrust was used. The Johnson rifle utilized a unique 10-round rotary magazine and a two-piece stock, the weapon using the same 5 round stripper clips used by the M1903 Rifle.

This system had some advantages over the M1 Rifle, including less perceived recoil and greater magazine capacity. Unfortunately, the Johnson's recoiling barrel mechanism resulted in excessive vertical shot dispersion that was never fully cured during its production life, and was prone to malfunction when a bayonet was attached to the reciprocating barrel. The Johnson also employed a number of small parts that were easily lost during field stripping. Partially because of lack of development, the M1941 was less rugged and reliable than the M1, though this was a matter of degree and was not universally opined amongst those that had used both weapons in combat.

As was Johnson's practice, he gave all of his weapons a "pet" nickname:
M1941 rifle Betsy
M1941 light machine gun Emma
M1947 auto carbine Daisy Mae

For example, Johnson chris­tened his semi-automatic rifle Betsy and the Light Machine Gun Emma. A massive 20 mm aircraft cannon he developed for the Navy was called Bertha. Johnson referred to the Auto-Carbine as Daisy Mae. None of Johnson's memoirs or other writings reveals his inspiration for these nicknames, although at least a couple would seem obvious.

Famed frontiersman Davy Crockett supposedly called his rifle Old Betsy, which may have led Mel­vin Johnson to give his first rifle the same moniker. The name "Emma" for the LMG was almost cer­tainly derived from the British military's use of the term Emma Gee during World War I to denote Machine Gun or "MG" (M=Emma; G=Gee). The 20 mm aircraft cannon was dubbed Bertha in a likely reference to Germany's massive howitzer of the First World War called Big Bertha (supposedly after Gustav Krupp's wife). One can speculate about the sleek, attractive Auto-Carbine's nickname of Daisy Mae, but the logical assumption is that it was inspired by the buxom girl of the same name fea­tured in the Li'l Abner comic strip popular at the time. One of the Auto-Carbine prototypes, presum­ably number S-3, had Daisy Mae the 3rd neatly stenciled on the right side of the buttstock.


Melvin Johnson campaigned heavily for the adoption of the Johnson rifle by the U.S. Army and other service branches. However, after limited testing, the U.S. Army rejected Johnson's rifle in favor of the M1 rifle developed by Springfield Armory.[2] The M1941 was ordered by the Netherlands for issue to the KNIL in the Dutch East Indies, only a few rifles were shipped to the Dutch East Indies before the Japanese invaded. At this time, the U.S. Marine Corps found itself in need of a modern fast-firing infantry rifle, and acquired some rifles from the Dutch East Indies shipment for issue to its Paramarine battalions then preparing to deploy for action in the Pacific theatre. By all accounts, the M1941 performed acceptably in combat with the Marines in the early days of the Pacific fighting.

Despite repeated requests to adopt the rifle by the Marine Corps, the Johnson rifle also lacked the support of US Army Ordnance, which had already invested considerable sums in the development of the M1 and its revised gas operating system, then just going into full production. Johnson was successful in selling small quantities of the M1941 Johnson Light Machine Gun to the U.S. armed forces, and this weapon was later used by both Para-Marines and the Army's First Special Service Force.

In late 1946, Argentina expressed an interest in Johnson's arms, and Johnson fabricated a prototype, the Model 1947 auto carbine, a semi automatic rifle variant of the light machine gun with the 10 round cylindrical magazine. While specific details are sketchy, it apparently bore little resemblance, but shared some features with the Johnson M1941 light machine gun. Argentina apparently declined to purchase any, and the M1947 auto carbine never went into production. In any event, the post-war years were not kind to the Johnson organization. The entity filed for bankruptcy and was liquidated in early 1949.

A notable example is the FMA VF-1 manufactured in Argentina.

The Johnson rifle was also used in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion by the anti-Castro Brigade 2506.

Because it was produced in relatively small quantities the Johnson rifle has become a highly sought-after collectible by World War II collectors looking to complete their collections.

Military rifles were equipped with proprietary detachable lightweight spike-shaped bayonets, as the standard knife bayonets were too heavy and affected the reliability of a recoil-operated mechanism. These bayonets had no separate "handle" and were hardly useful and provided only to fulfill military requirements.
* most of the information from wikipedia

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Dcav on January 28, 2014, 08:12:50 PM
Very cool rifle.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on February 07, 2014, 04:57:57 PM
Okay, something a little different. The Uzi was designed and prototypes built in the late 40's, and issued to IDF troops in 1954, so lets add it to the thread.

Mine is not an original SMG, but is a fun gun to shoot. Mine is a Vector Arms.

Type: Submachine gun

Place of origin:  Israel

Service history:

In service: 1954–present

Suez Crisis
Six-Day War
Vietnam War
Yom Kippur War
Colombian internal conflict
Sri Lankan Civil War
Portuguese Colonial War
Falklands War
1982 Lebanon war
South African Border War
Rhodesian Bush War
Somali Civil War
Mexican Drug War

Production history

Designer: Uziel Gal

Designed: 1948

Israel Military Industries
Israel Weapon Industries
FN Herstal
Lyttleton Engineering Works (under Vektor Arms)

Produced: 1950–present

Number built: 10,000,000+

Weight: 3.5 kg (7.72 lb)

Length: 445 mm (17.5 in) stockless, 470 mm (18.5 in) folding stock collapsed, 640 mm (25 in) folding stock extended
Barrel length: 260 mm (10.2 in)
Cartridge: 9×19mm Parabellum, .22 LR, .45 ACP, .41 AE

Action: Blowback, open bolt

Rate of fire:600 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity: 400 m/s (9mm)

Effective firing range: 200 m

Feed system: 10 (.22 and .41 AE)  16 (.45 ACP)  20, 25, 32, 40, 50 (9 mm) magazines 

Sights: Iron sights

The Uzi (Hebrew: עוזי‎, officially cased as UZI) is a family of Israeli open-bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns. Smaller variants are considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon.

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed by Major Uziel Gal in the late 1940s. The prototype was finished in 1950. First introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The Uzi has found use as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces.

The Uzi has been exported to over 90 countries. Over its service lifetime, it has been manufactured by Israel Military Industries, FN Herstal, and other manufacturers. From the 1960s through the 1980s, more Uzi submachine guns were sold to more military, law enforcement and security markets than any other submachine gun ever made.

The Uzi submachine gun was designed by Captain (later Major) Uziel Gal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The weapon was submitted to the Israeli Army for evaluation and won out over more conventional designs due to its simplicity and economy of manufacture. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him, but his request was ignored. The Uzi was officially adopted in 1951. First introduced to IDF special forces in 1954, the weapon was placed into general issue two years later. The first Uzis were equipped with a short, fixed wooden buttstock, and this is the version that initially saw combat during the 1956 Suez Campaign. Later models would be equipped with a folding metal stock.

The Uzi was used as a personal defense weapon by rear-echelon troops, officers, artillery troops and tankers, as well as a frontline weapon by elite light infantry assault forces. The Uzi's compact size and firepower proved instrumental in clearing Syrian bunkers and Jordanian defensive positions during the 1967 Six-Day War. Though the weapon was phased out of frontline IDF service in the 1980s, some Uzis and Uzi variants were still used by a few IDF units until December 2003, when the IDF announced that it was retiring the Uzi from all IDF forces. It was subsequently replaced by the fully automatic Micro Tavor.

In general, the Uzi was a reliable weapon in military service. However, even the Uzi fell victim to extreme conditions of sand and dust. During the Sinai Campaign of the Yom Kippur War, IDF Army units reaching the Suez Canal reported that of all their small arms, only the 7.62 mm FN MAG machine gun was still in operation.

The Uzi proved especially useful for mechanized infantry needing a compact weapon, and for infantry units clearing bunkers and other confined spaces. However, its limited range and accuracy in automatic fire (approximately 50 m) could be disconcerting when encountering enemy forces armed with longer-range small arms, and heavier support weapons could not always substitute for a longer-ranged individual weapon. These failings eventually caused the phase out of the Uzi from IDF front-line assault units .

The Uzi has been used in various conflicts outside Israel and the Middle East during the 1960s and 1970s. Quantities of 9 mm Uzi submachine guns were used by Portuguese cavalry, police, and security forces during the Portuguese Colonial Wars in Africa.

Uzi carbine

The Uzi carbine is similar in appearance to the Uzi submachine gun. The Uzi carbine is fitted with a 16-inch (410 mm) barrel (400mm), to meet the minimum rifle barrel length requirement for civilian sales in the United States. A small number of Uzi carbines were produced with the standard length barrel for special markets. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic mode only and uses a floating firing pin as opposed to a fixed firing pin.[12] The FS-style selector switch has two positions (the automatic setting was blocked): "F" for "fire" (semi-auto) and "S" for "safe". Uzi carbines are available in calibers .22LR, 9mm, .41 AE, and .45 ACP.

The Uzi carbine has two main variants, the Model A (imported from 1980 to 1983) and the Model B (imported from 1983 until 1989). These two variants were imported and distributed by Action Arms.

The American firm Group Industries made limited numbers of a copy of the Uzi "B" model semi auto carbine for sale in the US along with copies of the Uzi submachinegun for the US collectors' market. After registering several hundred submachineguns transferable to the general public through a special government regulated process, production was halted due to financial troubles at the company. Company assets (including partially made Uzi submachineguns, parts, and tooling) were purchased by an investment group later to become known as Vector Arms. Vector Arms built and marketed numerous versions of the Uzi carbine and the Mini-Uzi.

Mini-Uzi Carbine
The Mini-Uzi Carbine is similar in appearance to the Mini-Uzi machine pistol. The Mini-Uzi carbine is fitted with a 19.8 inch barrel, to meet the minimum rifle overall length requirement for civilian sales in the United States. It fires from a closed-bolt position in semi-automatic mode only.

Uzi Pistol
The Uzi Pistol is a semi-automatic, closed bolt, and blowback-operated pistol variant. Its muzzle velocity is 345 m/s. It is a Micro-Uzi with no shoulder stock or full-automatic firing capability. The intended users for the pistol were various security agencies in need of a high-capacity semi-automatic pistol, or civilian shooters that wanted a gun with those qualities and the familiarity of the Uzi style. It was introduced in 1984 and produced until 1993.


President Reagan Shooting
*Wikipedia  and other sources
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Dcav on February 07, 2014, 07:58:55 PM
Very Cool big UZI fan myself.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on February 22, 2014, 04:52:02 PM
Lets post my favorite rifle...the M14/M1A...

My M1A is a Springfield and is configured w/3rd Gen Springfield scope mount and a 4X14X56 Springfield "Government" model scope. An original M2 bipod and M6 bayonet. Unfortunately it is not select fire....

M14 rifle, officially the United States Rifle, 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective fire automatic rifle that fires 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) ammunition. It was the standard issue U.S. rifle from 1959 to 1970. The M14 was used for U.S. Army, Coast Guard and Marine Corps basic and advanced individual training, and was the standard issue infantry rifle for U.S. military personnel in the Contiguous United States, Europe, and South Korea, until it was replaced by the M16 rifle, in 1970. The rifle remains in limited front line service within all branches of the U.S. military. It is also used as a ceremonial weapon by honor guards, color guards, drill teams, ceremonial guards, and the like.

The M14 rifle was the last American "battle rifle" (weapons that fire full-power rifle ammunition, such as the 7.62×51mm) issued in quantity to U.S. military personnel. The M14 serves as the basis for the M21 and M25 sniper rifles. In 1969, tooling for the M14 was sold to Taiwan and later many rifles were exported to Balkan countries and Israel.

Type: Battle rifle, sniper rifle

Place of origin:  United States of America

Service history:

In service: 1959–1964 (as US standard service rifle)  1959-present (other countries including U.S.)

Wars: Vietnam War–present

Production history:

Designed: 1954

Produced: 1959–1964

Number built: 1.5 million

Variants: M14E1, M14E2/M14A1, M14K, M21, M25, Mk 14 EBR, M1A rifle


Weight: 9.2 lb (4.1 kg) empty  10.7 lb (5.2 kg) w/ loaded magazine

Length: 44.3 in (1,126 mm)

Barrel length: 22 in (559 mm)
Cartridge: 7.62×51mm NATO (.308 Winchester)

Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt

Rate of fire: 700–750 rounds/min

Muzzle velocity: 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s)

Effective firing range: 460 m (500 yd) 800+ m (875+ yd) (with optics)

Feed system: 20-round detachable box magazine

Sights: Aperture rear sight, "barleycorn" front sight

The M14 was developed from a long line of experimental weapons based upon the M1 rifle. Although the M1 was among the most advanced infantry rifles of the late 1930s, it was not a perfect weapon. Modifications were already beginning to be made to the basic M1 rifle's design during the last months of World War II. Changes included adding fully automatic firing capability and replacing the 8-round en bloc clips with a detachable box magazine holding 20 rounds. Winchester, Remington, and Springfield Armory's own John Garand offered different conversions. Garand's design, the T20, was the most popular, and T20 prototypes served as the basis for a number of Springfield test rifles from 1945 through the early 1950s.[8]

In 1945, Earle Harvey of Springfield Armory designed a completely different rifle, the T25, for the new T65 .30 Light Rifle cartridge at the direction of Col. Rene Studler, then serving in the Pentagon. In late 1945 the two men were transferred to Springfield Armory, where work on the T25 continued.[9] The T25 was designed to use the T65 service cartridge, a Frankford Arsenal design based upon .30-06 cartridge case used in the M1 service rifle, but shortened to the length of the .300 Savage case. Although shorter than the .30-06, with less powder capacity, the T65 cartridge retained the ballistics and energy of the .30-06 due to the use of a recently developed ball powder made by Olin Industries. After experimenting with several bullet designs, the T65 was finalized for adoption as the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. Olin Industries later marketed the cartridge on the commercial market as the commercial .308 Winchester round. After a series of revisions by Earle Harvey and other members of the .30 Light Rifle design group following the 1950 Ft. Benning tests, the T25 was renamed the T47.

In contrast, the T44 prototype service rifle was not principally designed by any single engineer at Springfield Armory, but rather was a conventional design developed on a shoestring budget as an alternative to the T47.[9] With only minimal funds available, the earliest T44 prototypes simply used T20E2 receivers fitted with magazine filler blocks and re-barreled for 7.62mm NATO, with the long operating rod/piston of the M1 replaced by the T47's gas cut-off system. Lloyd Corbett, an engineer in Earle Harvey's rifle design group, added various refinements to the T44 design, including a straight operating rod and a bolt roller to reduce friction.

Infantry Board Service Rifle trials

The T44 participated in a competitive service rifle competition conducted by the Infantry Board at Ft. Benning, Georgia against the Springfield T47 (a modified T25) and Fabrique Nationale's "Fusil Automatique Leger" (French for "Light Automatic Rifle"), designated T48. The T47, which did not have a bolt roller and performed worse in dust and cold weather tests than either the T44 or the T48 was dropped from consideration in 1953. During 1952–53, testing proved the T48 and the T44 roughly comparable in performance, with the T48 holding an advantage in ease of field stripping and dust resistance, as well as a longer product development lead time. A Newsweek article in July 1953 hinted that the T48/FAL might be selected over the T44. During the winter of 1953–54, both rifles competed in the winter rifle trials at U.S. Army facilities in the Arctic. Springfield Armory engineers, anxious to ensure the selection of the T44, had been specially preparing and modifying the test T44 rifles for weeks with the aid of the Armory's Cold Chamber, including redesign of the T44 gas regulator and custom modifications to magazines and other parts to reduce friction and seizing in extreme cold. The T48 rifles received no such special preparation, and in the continued cold weather testing began to experience sluggish gas system functioning, aggravated by the T48's close-fitting surfaces between bolt and carrier, and carrier and receiver. FN engineers opened the gas ports in an attempt to improve functioning, but this caused early/violent extraction and broken parts as a result of the increased pressures. As a result, the T44 was ranked superior in cold weather operation to the T48. The Arctic Test Board report made it clear that the T48 needed improvement and that the U.S. would not adopt the T48 until it had successfully completed another round of Arctic tests the following winter.

In June 1954, funding was finally made available to manufacture newly fabricated T44 receivers specially designed for the shorter T65 cartridge. This one change to the T44 design saved a pound in rifle weight over that of the M1 Garand. Tests at Ft. Benning with the T44 and T48 continued through the summer and fall of 1956. By this time, the T48/FAL rifles had been so improved that malfunction rates were almost as low as the T44.

In the end, the T44 was selected over the T48/FAL primarily because of weight (the T44 was a pound lighter than the T48), simplicity (the T44 had fewer parts), the T44's self-compensating gas system, and the argument that the T44 could be manufactured on existing machinery built for the M1 rifle (a concept that later turned out to be unworkable). In 1957, the U.S. formally adopted the T44 as the U.S. infantry service rifle, designated M14.

Production contracts:

Initial production contracts for the M14 were awarded to the Springfield Armory, Winchester, and Harrington & Richardson. Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge Inc. (TRW) would later be awarded a production contract for the rifle as well. 1,376,031 M-14 service rifles were produced from 1959 to 1964.

National Match M14

Springfield Armory produced 6,641 new M14 NM rifles in 1962 and 1963, while TRW produced 4,874 new M14 NM rifles in 1964. Springfield Armory later upgraded 2,094 M14 rifles in 1965 and 2,395 M14 rifles in 1966 to National Match specifications, while 2,462 M14 rifles were rebuilt to National Match standards in 1967 at the Rock Island Arsenal. A total of 11,130 National Match rifles were delivered by Springfield Armory, Rock Island Arsenal, and TRW during 1962-1967.

Production M14 rifles made by Springfield Armory and Winchester used forged receivers and bolts milled from AISI 8620 steel, a low-carbon molybdenum-chromium steel. Harrington & Richardson M-14 production used AISI 8620 steel as well, except for ten receivers milled from AISI 1330 low-carbon steel and a single receiver made from high-nickel-content alloy steel.


Experimental T47 rifle

After the M14's adoption, Springfield Armory began tooling a new production line in 1958, delivering the first service rifles to the U.S. Army in July 1959. However, long production delays resulted in the 101st Airborne Division being the only unit in the Army fully equipped with the M14 by the end of 1961. The Fleet Marine Force finally completed the change from M1 to M14 in late 1962. Springfield Armory records reflect that M14 manufacture ended as TRW, fulfilling its second contract, delivered its final production increment in Fiscal Year 1965 (1 July '64 – 30 June '65). The Springfield archive also indicates the 1.38 million rifles were acquired for just over $143 million, for a unit cost of about $104.

The rifle served adequately during its brief tour of duty in Vietnam. Though it was unwieldy in the thick brush due to its length and weight, the power of the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge allowed it to penetrate cover quite well and reach out to extended range, developing 2,560 ft·lbf (3,463 J) of muzzle energy. However, there were several drawbacks to the M14. The traditional wood stock of the rifle had a tendency to swell and expand in the heavy moisture of the jungle, adversely affecting accuracy. Fiberglass stocks were produced to resolve this problem, but the rifle was discontinued before very many could be distributed for field use. Also, because of the M14's powerful 7.62×51 mm cartridge, the weapon was deemed virtually uncontrollable in fully automatic mode, so most M14s were permanently set to semi-automatic fire only to avoid wasting ammunition in combat.

The M14 was developed as a means of taking the place of four different weapons systems—the M1 rifle, the M1 Carbine, the M3 "Grease Gun" and the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR). It was thought that in this manner the M14 could simplify the logistical requirements of the troops by limiting the types of ammunition and parts needed to be supplied. It proved to be an impossible task to replace all four, and the weapon was even deemed "completely inferior" to the World War II M1 in a September 1962 report by the comptroller of the Department of Defense. The cartridge was too powerful for the submachine gun role and the weapon was simply too light to serve as a light machine gun replacement for the BAR.


The M14 remained the primary infantry weapon in Vietnam until it was replaced by the M16 in 1966–1967, though combat engineer units kept them several years longer. Further procurement of the M14 was abruptly halted in late 1963 due to the above mentioned Department of Defense report which had also stated that the AR-15 (soon to be M16) was superior to the M14 (DOD did not cancel FY 1963 orders not yet delivered). After the report, a series of tests and reports by the United States Department of the Army followed that resulted in the decision to cancel the M14. The M16 was then ordered as a replacement for the M14 by direction of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1964, over the objection of those Army officers who had backed the M14 (other factions within the Army research and development community had opposed the M14 and the 7.62×51 mm round from the start). Though production of the M14 was officially discontinued, some disgruntled troops managed to hang on to them while deriding the early model M16 as a frail and under-powered "Mattel toy" that was prone to jam. In late 1967, the U.S. Army designated the M16 as the "Standard A" rifle, and the M14 became a "Limited Standard" weapon. The M14 rifle remained the standard rifle for U.S. Army Basic Training and troops stationed in Europe until 1970.

The U.S. Army also converted several thousand M14s into the M21 sniper rifle, which remained standard issue for this purpose until the adoption of the M24 SWS in 1988

Post-1970 U.S. military service

 An Army marksman in Fallujah, Iraq, using an M14 with a Leupold LR/T 10×40 mm M3.
In the mid-1990s, the Marine Corps chose a new rifle for Designated Marksman (sniper) use, an M14 modified by the Precision Weapons Shop in Marine Corps Base Quantico called the Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR). It is intended for use by security teams (SRTs, FAST companies), and Marine Scout Snipers in the cases where a semi-automatic rifle would be more appropriate than the standard bolt-action M40A1/A3 rifle. The USMC Rifle Team uses the M14 in shooting competitions. Although the M14 was phased out as the standard-issue rifle by 1970, M14 variants are still used by various branches of the U.S. Military as well as other armed forces, especially as a sniper rifle and as a designated marksman rifle, due to its excellent accuracy and effectiveness at long range. Special active units such as the OPFOR units of the Joint Readiness Training Center use M14s. Few M14s were in use in the Army until the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Since the start of these conflicts, many M14s have been employed as designated marksman and sniper rifles. These are not M21 rifles, but original production M14s. Common modifications include scopes, fiberglass stocks, and other accessories. A 2009 study conducted by the U.S. Army claimed that half of the engagements in Afghanistan occurred from beyond 300 meters (330 yd). America’s 5.56x45 mm NATO service rifles are ineffective at these ranges; this has prompted the reissue of thousands of M14s.

 A USMC Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) in use

 A Gunner's Mate using an M14 rifle to fire a shot line from the USS Carter Hall to USNS Lewis and Clark.
The 1st Battalion of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard") in the Military District of Washington is the sole remaining regular United States Army combat field unit where the M14 is still issued as the standard rifle, along with a chromed bayonet and an extra wooden stock with white sling for military funerals, parades, and other ceremonies. The United States Air Force Honor Guard uses a version of the M14. The United States Navy Ceremonial Guard and Base Honor Guards also use the M14 for 3-volley salutes in military funerals. It is also the drill and parade rifle of the United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Norwich University, Virginia Military Institute, and North Georgia College and State University. U.S. Navy ships carry several M14s in their armories. They are issued to sailors going on watch out on deck in port, and to Backup Alert Forces. The M14 is also used to shoot a large rubber projectile to another ship when underway to start the lines over for alongside refueling and replenishment.

 A SEAL operator with an M14 rifle participating in maritime interdiction enforcement during Operation Desert Storm.
Various sniper variants have been used by the United States Navy SEALs, often mistaken with M21 in the overt literature, only one of them has received a standard name in the U.S. military designations system: the M25, developed by the Special Forces. These sniper variants have probably been replaced by the Mk 11 Mod 0, selected in 2000. SEALs also use the Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle) for close-quarters battle and in a designated marksman role. "Delta Force" units are known to have used M14 sniper variants. According to Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, the well-known account of the Battle of Mogadishu, at least one of the "D-Boys", Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, used an M14 for sniping from helicopters to provide support fire to ground troops.

The U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") have made some use of the M25 "spotter rifle". The M25 was developed in the late 1980s within the 10th Special Forces Group, which was charged to support Special Forces sniper weapons as well as the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC). The M25 was first planned as a replacement for the old M21, but after the Army adoption of the M24 SWS as its standard sniper rifle, the M25 was intended to be used by spotters of the sniper teams, while the snipers would use the bolt-action M24.

Though the M14 has remained in service longer than any U.S. infantry rifle with the exception of the Springfield M1903 rifle, it also holds the distinction of serving as the standard infantry rifle of the U.S. Army for a shorter span of time than almost any other service rifle.

Service with non-U.S. nations

The Philippine government issues M14 rifles, as well as M1 carbines, M1 rifles and M16 rifles, to their civilian defense forces and to various cadet corps in their service academies. The Greek Navy also uses the M14.

M14 production Springfield tooling and assembly line was sold in 1967 to the Republic of China (Taiwan), who in 1968 began producing their Type 57 Rifle. The State Arsenal of the Republic of China produced over 1 million of these rifles from 1969 to the present under model numbers of M305 and M14S. Other than the surface finish difference it is essentially a US rifle. It is still used by the reserves and as a backup defense weapon and used for airport guards.

In China, Norinco and Poly Technologies have produced M14 variants in the past for export, which were sold in the United States prior to the enactment of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. They are currently being sold in Canada, Italy and New Zealand only. They have been marketed under the M14S and M305 names

Receiver markings

Stamped into receiver heel:
U.S. Rifle
7.62-MM M14
Springfield Armory (or commercial contractor name)
Serial number


Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on March 24, 2014, 05:50:58 PM
Well, with all the replies, I hope I'm not just entertaining myself with these posts...lol..

The Carcano rifle is an inexpensive and interesting addition to any old military rifle collection. Variants can be had and not break the bank. While my rifle is in 7.35 most were 6.5 and some other calibers too. The Japanese Arisaka variant is one for my wish list when I come across the right one...

My rifle was sent to the Finns per the SA cartouche on the receiver....the Finnish troops were not fond of the little carbines and would chunk them as quick as the could for a battlefield pick up...fixed rear sight for a rather optimistic 300 meters and a folding bayonet ( I am looking for the folding one) that were re arsenaled into fixed blades due to the flawed design...true fixed blades were also made for the M38. The underside of the forearm of the rifle is slotted for the blade similar to the SKS. My rifle is a 1939 and no imports marks.

I will not get into the whole LHO rifle and Kennedy......

Carcano M38

Type: Rifle

Place of origin: Kingdom of Italy

Service history

In service: 1891–1981 (Italy)  1981–present (other)

Mahdist War
First Italo-Ethiopian War
Boxer Rebellion
Italo-Turkish War
World War I
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
Winter War
World War II
Libyan civil war

Production history:

Designed: 1890

Produced: 1891–1945

Number built: 2,063,750–3,000,000 of all variants

Variants: Long rifles, short rifle, cavalry carbine, special troops' carbine in diverse sub-variants

Weight: 3.4 kg (7.5 lb.)

Length: 1015 mm (3 ft 4 in)

Barrel length: 540mm (21.3 in)
Cartridge: 6.5×52mm Mannlicher-Carcano, 7.35×51mm Carcano, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 6.5×50mm Arisaka (Type I)

Action: Bolt action

Muzzle velocity :755 m/s (2,477 ft/s)

Effective firing range: 656 yards (600 m)

Feed system: 6 round integral magazine, loaded with an en-bloc clip

The Carcano is the frequently used name for a series of Italian bolt-action military rifles and carbines. Introduced in 1891, this rifle was chambered for the rimless 6.5×52mm Mannlicher-Carcano cartridge (Cartuccia Modello 1895). It was developed by the chief technician Salvatore Carcano at the Turin Army Arsenal in 1890 and called the Model 91 (M91). Successively replacing the previous Vetterli-Vitali rifles and carbines in 10.35×47mmR, it was produced from 1892 to 1945. The M91 was used in both rifle (fucile, sing.; fucili, pl.) and carbine (moschetto, sing.; moschetti, pl.) form by most Italian troops during the First World War and by Italian and some German forces during the Second World War. The rifle was also used during the Winter War by Finland, and again by regular and irregular forces in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria during various postwar conflicts in those countries.

The Type I Carcano rifle was produced by Italy for the Japanese Empire prior to World War II. After the invasion of China, all Arisaka production was required for use of the Imperial Army, so the Imperial Navy contracted with Italy for this weapon in 1937. The Type I is based on the Type 38 rifle and uses a Carcano action, but retains the Arisaka/Mauser type 5-round box magazine. The Type I was used primarily by Japanese Imperial Naval Forces and was chambered for the Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge. Approximately 60,000 Type I rifles were produced by Italian arsenals for Japan.

Although this rifle is often called "Mannlicher-Carcano", especially in American parlance, neither that designation nor the name "Mauser-Parravicino" is correct. Its official designation in Italian is simply Modello 1891, or M91 ("il novantuno"). The magazine system uses en bloc charger clips which were originally developed and patented by Ferdinand Mannlicher, but the actual shape and design of the Carcano clip is derived from the German Model 1888 Commission Rifle.

Until 1938, all M91 rifles and carbines were chambered for the rimless 6.5×52mm Modello 1895 cartridge, using a round-nose metal case bullet of 160 grains weight at approximately 2,000-2,400 ft/s muzzle velocity, depending upon barrel length. At least one small arms authority noted inconsistencies in powder types in arsenal-loaded 6.5×52mm military ammunition, often with different powder types and ammunition lots intermixed within a single clip of ammunition.[1] The practice of intermixing powder types and ammunition lots in clipped rifle ammunition was generally avoided by arsenals of other nations, as it generally resulted in varying bullet velocities and excessive bullet dispersion on the target.

After reports of inadequate performance at both short and long ranges during the campaigns in Italian North Africa (1924-1934), and the Second Italo-Abyssinian War (1934), the Italian army introduced a new short rifle in 1938, the Modello 1938, together with a new cartridge in 7.35×51mm caliber. In addition to the slightly larger caliber, Italian ordnance designers introduced a spitzer-type bullet for the new cartridge, with the tip filled with aluminum to produce an unstable (tumbling) projectile upon impact in soft tissue (a design most likely copied from the .303 British Mk VII bullet).

However, the Italian government was unable to successfully mass-produce the new arms in adequate quantities before the onset of war, and in 1940, all rifle and ammunition production reverted to 6.5 mm, but no 7.35 mm Mod. 38 rifles nor carbines were ever re-barreled to the old 6.5×52mm caliber. Some Italian troops serving on the Russian front were armed with 7.35 mm Mod. 1938 rifles, but exchanged them in 1942 for 6.5×52 mm arms.

Approximately 94,500 7.35 mm Modello 1938 rifles were shipped to Finland, where they were known as Terni carbines. They were primarily used by security and line-of-communications troops during the Winter War of 1939–1940, though some frontline troops were issued the weapon. According to reports, the Finns disliked the rifle. With its non-standard 7.35 mm caliber, it was problematic to keep frontline troops supplied with ammunition, and its non-adjustable rear sight (fixed for 300 m) made it ill-suited for use in precision shooting at the varied ranges encountered by Finnish soldiers during the conflict. Soldiers also complained that the ammunition demonstrated excessive bullet dispersion on the target. Whenever possible, Finnish soldiers discarded the weapon in favor of rifles acquired on the battlefield, including standard models of captured Soviet-made Mosin–Nagant rifles. The latter at least had the advantage of using commonly available 7.62×54mmR ammunition. By the outbreak of the Continuation War, Finnish Army headquarters had got the message. The remaining Mod. 1938 7.35 mm rifles were issued to the Finnish Navy, as well as anti-aircraft, coastal defense, and other second-line (home front) troops.

In 1941, the Italian military returned to a long-barreled infantry rifle once again (slightly shorter than the original M91), the Carcano M91/41. True sniper versions never existed, but in World War I a few rifles were fitted with telescopic lenses and issued for service use (World War II scoped rifles were strictly prototypes).

Since the 1980s, several lots of Moschetti M91/38 TS (special troops' carbines) chambered for the German 8×57mm Mauser SS heavy ball round, have appeared on the surplus markets. Two small batches of Moschetti M91/38 TS carbines shows barrels marked 1938 and 1941, but they were not used at these times with any Italian forces, and their peculiar serial numbering suggests that these might just be rebored unused surplus barrels that were converted with other ones after 1945. Many 7.92 mm Carcano carbines were apparently exported to Egypt after World War II, where they served as drill and training carbines. Several also bear Israeli armed forces markings. The occasionally used model moniker "Model 1943 (M43)" for these converted 7.92mm rifles is wrong, as they were never so designated by the Italian military.

German forces captured large quantities of Carcanos after Italy's capitulation in September 1943. It was the most commonly issued rifle to the German Volkssturm ("People's Militia") units in late 1944 and 1945.

After World War II, Italy replaced its Carcano rifles first with British Lee-Enfields and then with the US .30 caliber (7.62 mm) M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle which the Italians labeled the 'Model 1952 (M52). Finland sold all of its approximately 74,000 remaining 7.35 mm M91/38 Carcano rifles on the surplus market. As a consequence, large quantities of surplus Carcanos were sold in the USA and Canada beginning in the 1950s. In Italy, the Polizia di Stato retained the rifle, retiring it from service in 1981. Captured 6.5mm Carcano rifles were used by Greek forces post-war, with ammunition supplied by U.S. Western Cartridge Co. Some were also converted to 6.5×54mm Mannlicher-Schönauer, one of the standard cartridges of the Greek military at the time.

The original Carcano Modello 1895 cartridge (6.5×52mm), was also used in World War I-era machine guns in the Modello 30 light machine gun; the latter was employed in Abyssinia and in World War II by Italian troops until the Armistice. In 1935 the 8×59mm Breda cartridge was adopted for some Italian heavy machine guns (rechambered Fiat-Revelli, Breda M37, Breda M38); its longer range and heavier projectile proved much more effective in combat, particularly against motorized troops.

During the Libyan civil war in 2011, many rebels went into battle with their personally-owned weapons, including old bolt-action rifles and shotguns. Of these, Carcano-style rifles and carbines have been the most frequently observed style of bolt-action rifle. They were predominantly used by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains. These old weapons saw combat once again due to the rebels' limited access to modern firearms. Additionally, some Libyan rebels preferred to use their familiar hunting weapons over the more modern, yet unfamiliar, assault rifles available. According to Al-Fitouri Muftah, a member of the rebel military council overseeing the western mountain front, as many as 1 in 10 rebels in the region were armed with World War II-era weapons.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: SinisterNerd on March 24, 2014, 09:16:02 PM
Henry, don't take our lack of replies as us ignoring these.  You have the best posts of the website, keep them coming.  Your photos and descriptions are outstanding. 
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TrapperL on March 24, 2014, 10:21:34 PM
Yeah, what Sinster said. I missed the post on the M14. I have an M1A that Elmer Balance worked on. Mine is a Armscorp brand with billet receiver and all military parts. Shoots decent enough. The history of the Texas M1A is pretty interesting in itself. Old Elmer is still alive last I heard and still selling parts but can't sell or build a weapon due to his "infraction".
Love the piece on the Johnson. At one time, like the 03s, they were dirt cheap but I didn't really know what they were. They were fairly common at gunshows. When I did a little research on them I decide I wanted one and then couldn't find one. Kinda gave up on the purchase. But then there are a lot of things over the years I've seen that I didn't buy but wish I did....like a 22LR Springfield, a bottom plate for an 03 that took a Browning clip, Ruger Bearcat, Ruger Hawkeye in 256, and the list goes on...
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: SinisterNerd on March 24, 2014, 11:03:45 PM
Give us the Elmer backstory when you get a chance Trapper.  Henry's post and your knowledge are the kinds of things that can set this site apart from the rest. 

Too many "gun boards" exists that don't talk about guns (politics, pricing, shopping, etc).  The knowledge and history is priceless.

I'm learning the buying lesson fast.  Silly SKS's were 100-200 a few years back.  They're not the most sophisticated weapons.  But they have a place in History and they're going for 500+ now (on FB,  I'm sure if I really wanted one I could scrounge and still find a -$300 price).

I picked up a CZ-82 recently.  It's a great little pistol for the price.  Not nearly as interesting as Henry's rifles, but I'm going to post something similar to his posts in the pistol section.  It has a somewhat interesting history
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on March 24, 2014, 11:54:13 PM
Give us the Elmer backstory when you get a chance Trapper.

+1...Please... O:tu

and Thanks to all, for the comments. All these rifles hang in my office...I enjoy them everyday..
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TrapperL on March 25, 2014, 09:12:14 AM
Rather than write the case here, I'm posting a link to the actual court proceedings. Elmer was involved in a conspiracy case where he and others were to sell full automatic M16s to a Mexican buyer. Elmer still claims that the case is pure horse bagels. He was going to get into the AR15 business and hence the parts that he had on hand. Per him, none of which were full automatics. Hard to say since all evidence was picked up by the Feds and conveniently disappeared. They completely emptied his shop in Natalia. After found guilty, he reopened making gun parts but can not build any complete weapons per law. I believe he's also not allowed to make receivers. The entire thing was out of character for Elmer but I've never seen any purpose for the Gov'ts actions either. Elmer ended up selling the name Springfield Armory to the Reese family. You'll find 2 different camps on the "Devine" M1as. One who thinks there is none finer and those that claim they are full of flaws. If you ever get to shoot one, you'll know pretty quick that they are the finest ever made. There are a lot of fakes out there so if considering one make sure to check with the Devine M1a website. There were less than 3000 made and command pretty big money.
http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/628/901/58950/ (http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/628/901/58950/)
http://www.warbirdscustomguns.com/Texas%20M1A%27s.htm (http://www.warbirdscustomguns.com/Texas%20M1A%27s.htm)
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on March 25, 2014, 02:11:31 PM
Thank you for the information and links. Very interesting!
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on April 23, 2014, 02:29:11 PM
Another inexpensive addition to your military rifle collection...the M1895 or M95 Steyr and later the M95/30 like mine. My rifle was manufactured in 1917 and is chambered in 8X56R. Interesting (at least to me) is that when it was rechambered from the original 8X50R it has the "S" stamp on the barrel which is correct for the Steyr plant but the Hungarian plant was marked with an "H". My rifle is from the Budapest plant (FEG I believe). My rifle is missing the slide on the rear sight, but I have found one at Numrich. One thing I think is a peculiar feature is the rear sling swivel placement and is one of those wtf? things, imho.

The Steyr Mannlicher M95 bolt has a separate head with two frontal locking lugs. The bolt head rotates on the pull of the bolt body, locking and unlocking the action. The box magazine holds five rounds using en bloc clips. When emptied, the clips were ejected from the bottom of the magazine. Clips can be removed from the top with the bolt open, by the clip catch inside the trigger guard. One specific feature of this system was that the clip has a "top" and "bottom", and can not be loaded into the rifle upside down. The safety is located at the rear left side of the bolt. Large ear-shaped cocking handle at the rear of the bolt served as a manual cocking handle, to re-cock the action without operating the bolt. M95 rifles were issued with detachable knife bayonets. The M95 is a short rifle or carbine, with bayonet lug, and a slightly shorter cavalry carbine (without bayonet lug) was also issued.

The Steyr M1895 rifle, also known as Steyr-Mannlicher M95 straight pull rifle, was developed by Ferdinand Ritter Von Mannlicher. It was based on his previous M1890 design.  M95 was manufactured in Austro-Hungarian Empire at state arms factories in Steyr (Austria) and Budapest (Hungary). Originally produced in 8x50R caliber, around 1924 some of M95 rifles were converted to the German 7.92x57 Mauser cartridge. These converted rifles featured shorter barrels and were designated as M95/24 and used in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. This conversion replaced the en bloc clip, and replaced it with Mauser stripper clips. Since 1930 Austria converted most of their M95 rifles to the 8x56R cartridge, using the same Mannlicher en bloc clips. These rifles were designated as M95/30, and marked with the letter "S" on the receiver ring. Hungary converted their rifles to the same 8x56R cartridge in 1931, and the upgraded rifles were marked with the letter "H" on the receiver ring. Many of the M95 rifles were used during the Word War 2 by the Hungarian, Bulgarian and Italian armies, as well as by some German forces.

M95 rifles are generally considered reasonably strong and accurate, but can be sensitive to mud and dirt, as with most other military straight pull bolt action rifles. There were downsides, inherent to straight pull rifles. The straight pull bolt lacked the powerful initial extraction, provided by most rotating bolt actions. The opening at the bottom of the magazine easily collected the dirt and dust into the magazine. The en block clip loading system does not allow the partially full magazine to be refilled without removing the non-empty clip. The use of rimmed ammunition resulted in the non-symmetric clip which could be inserted into the action only with one side down; upper side of the clip has stamped serrations to hold it while loading (this particular problem was cured in Italian Carcano rifles, which uses rimless cartridges and symmetric clips that have no specific top or bottom.

Type: Service rifle, Bolt-action rifle

Place of origin:  Austria-Hungary

In service 1895–1945

Used by: Austria-Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Ottoman Empire, Poland,[1] Portugal, Romania, Turkey, Yugoslavia


Boxer Rebellion,
Balkan Wars,
World War I,
World War II

Designer: Ferdinand von Mannlicher

Designed: 1895

Manufacturer: Steyr-Mannlicher

Produced: 1895–1921

Number built: 3,000,000+

Variants: M95 long rifle, M95/24 rifle, M95M rifle, M95/30 short rifle

Weight:  M95 long rifle: 3.8 kilograms (8.4 lb) empty
 M95/30 rifle: 3.36 kilograms (7.4 lb) empty

Length: M95: 1,272 millimeters (50.1 in)
 M95/30: 1,000 millimeters (39 in)

Barrel length: M95: 765 millimetres (30.1 in)
 M95/30: 480 millimetres (19 in)
Cartridge: 8×50mmR, 8×56mmR, 7.92×57mm Mauser

Caliber: 8mm caliber

Action: Straight-pull bolt action

Feed system: 5-round en bloc clip (stripper clip in M95/24 and M95M rifles), internal box magazine

Sights: Iron sights

Sources include Wikipedia and various other sites

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Major Kong on April 23, 2014, 03:24:19 PM
You have some very cool things.  I always enjoy your posts.  Thank you.

Sent from an undisclosed location.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on April 28, 2014, 04:08:56 PM
You have some very cool things.  I always enjoy your posts.  Thank you.

Sent from an undisclosed location.

Thank you Sir!

In the beginning of the thread, I said I would like to keep the thread on track with rifles produced before 1960. Although the M16/AR15 were adopted in the early 60's, the rifle itself was developed in the 50's. So please excuse the liberties of posting the AR15. Although it has exponentially had changes over the decades to improve reliability and accuracy, the basic design still reigns as one of the most successful rifles ever produced in world history. The popularity continues to grow and who can deny that is America's Rifle.

This will be a long post and well may take two posts to get in because of the 1000 word limit of the forum per post.  I have been doing cut and paste from Wikipedia and other sites when mentioned. I do occasionally change punctuation and the structure of some sentences for clarity and completeness.  Sometimes some of the information is my own words by research and personal experience.


Type: Assault rifle

Place of origin: United States

Service history: In service 1962–present

Vietnam War
Laotian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
1982 Lebanon War
Invasion of Grenada
Invasion of Panama
Gulf War
Somali Civil War
Operation Deny Flight
Operation Joint Endeavor
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Other conflicts

Production history:

Designer: Eugene Stoner and L. James Sullivan

Designed: 1956

United States Colt Defense
South Korea Daewoo Precision Industries
Belgium FN Herstal
United States H & R Firearms
United States General Motors Hydramatic Division
Philippines Elisco
United States U.S. Ordnance

Produced: 1959–present

Number built: ~8 million

Specifications (M16)

Weight: 7.18 lb (3.26 kg) (unloaded)  8.79 lb (4.0 kg) (loaded)

Length: 39.5 in (1,000 mm)

Barrel length: 20 in (508 mm)
Cartridge: 5.56×45mm NATO

Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt (direct impingement)

Rate of fire: 12–15 rounds/min sustained,   45–60 rounds/min semi-automatic, 700–950 rounds/min cyclic

Muzzle velocity: 3,110 ft/s (948 m/s)

Effective firing range: 550 meters (point target),  800 meters (area target)

Feed system:  20-round box magazine:  (0.211 lb [95 grams] empty / 0.738 lb [335 g] full)
30-round box magazine:  (0.257 lb [117 g] empty / 1.06 lb [483 g] full)
Beta C-Mag 100-round double-lobed drum:  (2.2 lb [1 kg] empty / 4.81 lb [2.19 kg] full)

The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is the United States military select-fire adaptation of the AR-15 rifle. The rifle was adapted for semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from Armalite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. In 1983 with the adoption of the M16A2, the M16 rifle was modified for three round bursts, with some later variants having all modes of fire and has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces.

The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its caliber. As of 2010, the U.S. Army is supplementing the M16 in combat units with the M4 carbine, which is itself a shortened derivative of the M16A2.

The M16 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle, with a rotating bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation. The rifle is made of steel, 7075 aluminum alloy, composite plastics and polymer materials.

Armalite sold its rights to the AR-15 to Colt in 1959. The AR-15 was first adopted in 1962 by the United States Air Force, ultimately receiving the designation M16. The U.S. Army began to field the XM16E1 en masse in 1965 with most of them going to the Republic of Vietnam, and the newly organized and experimental Airmobile Divisions, the 1st Air Cavalry Division in particular. The U.S. Marine Corps in South Vietnam also experimented with the M16 rifle in combat during this period. This occurred in the early 1960s, with the Army issuing it in late 1964. Commercial AR-15s were first issued to Special Forces troops in spring of 1964.

The first issues of the rifle generated considerable controversy because the gun suffered from a jamming flaw known as “failure to extract,” which meant that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet was fired. According to a congressional report, the jamming was caused primarily by a change in gunpowder that was done without adequate testing and reflected a decision for which the safety of soldiers was a secondary consideration, away from what the designer specified, as well as telling troops the rifle was 'self cleaning' and at times failing to issue cleaning kits. Due to the issue, reports of soldiers being wounded were directly linked to the M16, which many soldiers felt was unreliable compared to its precursor, the M14, which used stick powder, varying from the M16's utilization of ball powder.

The Army standardized an upgrade of the XM16E1 as the M16A1 in 1967. All of the early versions were chambered to fire the M193/M196 cartridges in the semi-automatic and the automatic firing modes. The M16A1 version remained the primary infantry rifle of U.S. forces in South Vietnam until the end of direct U.S. ground involvement in 1973, and remained with all U.S. military ground forces after it had replaced the M14 service rifle in 1970 in CONUS, Europe (Germany), and South Korea; when it was supplemented by the M16A2. During the early 1980s, a roughly standardized load for this ammunition was adopted throughout NATO.

The M16A2 rifle entered service in the 1980s, being ordered in large scale by 1987, chambered to fire the standard NATO cartridge, the Belgian-designed M855/M856. The M16A2 is a select-fire rifle (semi-automatic fire, three-round-burst fire) incorporating design elements requested by the Marine Corps: an adjustable, windage rear-sight; a stock 5⁄8 inch (15.9 mm) longer; heavier barrel; case deflector for left-hand shooters; and cylindrical handguards. The fire mode selector is on the receiver's left side. M16A2s are still in stock with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, but are used primarily by reserve and National Guard units as well as by the U.S. Air Force.

The M16A3 rifle is an M16A2 rifle with an M16A1's fire control group (semi-automatic fire, automatic fire) that is used only by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard replaced their upper receivers with A2 receivers in the mid 90's, but retained the full auto capability by mounting the new A2 upper receiver on the old full auto lower receiver.

The M16A4 rifle was standard issue for the United States Marine Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom after 2004 and replaced the M16A2 in front line units. In the U.S. Army, the M16A2 rifle is being supplemented with two rifle models, the M16A4 and the M4 carbine, as the standard issue assault rifle. The M16A4 has a flat-top receiver developed for the M4 carbine, a handguard with four Picatinny rails for mounting a sight, laser, night vision device, forward handgrip, M203 grenade launcher, removable handle, or a flashlight.

The M16 rifle is principally manufactured by Colt and Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (under a U.S. military contract since 1988 by FNH-USA; currently in production since 1991, primarily M16A2, A3, and A4), with variants made elsewhere in the world. Versions for the U.S. military have also been made by H & R Firearms[19] General Motors Hydramatic Division and most recently by Sabre Defense. Semi-automatic versions of the AR-15 are popular recreational shooting rifles, with versions manufactured by other small and large manufacturers in the U.S.[22] The M16 rifle design, including variant or modified version of it such as the Armalite/Colt AR-15 series, AAI M15 rifle; AP74; EAC J-15; SGW XM15A; any 22-caliber rimfire variant, including the Mitchell M16A-1/22, Mitchell M16/22, Mitchell CAR-15/22, and AP74 Auto Rifle, is a prohibited and restricted weapon in Canada.

In 1948, the U.S. Army organized the civilian Operations Research Office, mirroring similar operations research organizations in the United Kingdom. One of their first efforts, Project ALCLAD, studied body armor and the conclusion was that they would need to know more about battlefield injuries in order to make reasonable suggestions. Over 3 million battlefield reports from World War I and World War II were analyzed and over the next few years they released a series of reports on their findings.

The conclusion was that most combat takes place at short range. In a highly mobile war, combat teams ran into each other largely by surprise; and the team with the greater firepower tended to win. They also found that the chance of being hit in combat was essentially random; accurate "aiming" made little difference because the targets no longer sat still. The number one predictor of casualties was the total number of bullets fired.[25] Other studies of behavior in battle revealed that many U.S. infantrymen (as many as two-thirds) never actually fired their rifles in combat. By contrast, soldiers armed with rapid fire weapons were much more likely to have fired their weapons in battle.These conclusions suggested that infantry should be equipped with a fully automatic rifle of some sort in order to increase the actual firepower of regular soldiers. It was also clear, however, that such weapons dramatically increased ammunition use and in order for a rifleman to be able to carry enough ammunition for a firefight he would have to carry something much lighter.

Existing rifles met none of these criteria. Although it appeared the new 7.62 mm T44 (precursor to the M14) would increase the rate of fire, its heavy 7.62 mm NATO cartridge made carrying significant quantities of ammunition difficult. Moreover, the length and weight of the weapon made it unsuitable for short range combat situations often found in jungle and urban combat or mechanized warfare, where a smaller and lighter weapon could be brought to bear faster.

These efforts were noticed by Colonel René Studler, U.S. Army Ordnance's Chief of Small Arms Research and Development. Col. Studler asked the Aberdeen Proving Ground to submit a report on the smaller caliber weapons. A team led by Donald Hall, director of program development at Aberdeen, reported that a .22 inch (5.56 mm) round fired at a higher velocity would have performance equal to larger rounds in most combat. With the higher rate of fire possible due to lower recoil it was likely such a weapon would inflict more casualties on the enemy. His team members, notably William C. Davis, Jr. and Gerald A. Gustafson, started development of a series of experimental .22 (5.56 mm) cartridges. In 1955, their request for further funding was denied.

A new study, Project SALVO, was set up to try to find a weapon design suited to real-world combat. Running between 1953 and 1957 in two phases, SALVO eventually suggested that a weapon firing four rounds into a 20-inch (508 mm) area would double the hit probability of existing semi-automatic weapons.

In the second phase, SALVO II, several experimental weapons concepts were tested. Irwin Barr of AAI Corporation introduced a series of flechette weapons, starting with a shotgun shell containing 32 darts and ending with single-round flechette "rifles". Winchester and Springfield Armory offered multiple barrel weapons, while ORO's own design used two .22, .25 or .27 caliber bullets loaded into a single .308 Winchester or .30-06 cartridge.

Meanwhile testing of the 7.62 mm T44 continued, and Fabrique Nationale also submitted their new FN FAL via the American firm Harrington & Richardson as the T48. The T44 was selected as the new battle rifle for the U.S. Army (rechristened the M14) despite a strong showing by the T48.

In 1954, Eugene Stoner of the newly formed Armalite helped develop the 7.62 mm AR-10. Springfield's T44 and similar entries were conventional rifles using wood for the "furniture" and otherwise built entirely of steel using mostly forged and machined parts. Armalite was founded specifically to bring the latest in designs and alloys to firearms design, and Stoner felt he could easily beat the other offerings.

The AR-10's receiver was made of forged and milled aluminum alloy instead of steel. The barrel was mated to the receiver by a separate hardened steel extension to which the bolt locked. This allowed a lightweight aluminum receiver to be used while still maintaining a steel-on-steel lockup. The bolt was operated by high-pressure combustion gases taken from a hole in the middle of the barrel directly through a tube above the barrel to a cylinder created in the bolt carrier with the bolt itself acting as a piston. Traditional rifles located this cylinder and piston close to the gas vent. The stock and grips were made of a glass-reinforced plastic shell over a rigid foam plastic core. The muzzle brake was fabricated from titanium. Over Stoner's objections, various experimental composite and 'Sullaloy' aluminum barrels were fitted to some AR-10 prototypes by Armalite president, George Sullivan. The Sullaloy barrel was made entirely of heat-treated aluminum, while the composite barrels used aluminum extruded over a thin stainless steel liner.

Meanwhile, the layout of the weapon itself was also somewhat different. Previous designs generally placed the sights directly on the barrel, using a bend in the stock to align the sights at eye level while transferring the recoil down to the shoulder. This meant that the weapon tended to rise when fired, making it very difficult to control during fully automatic fire. The Armalite team used a solution previously used on weapons such as the German FG 42 and Johnson light machine gun; they located the barrel in line with the stock, well below eye level, and raised the sights to eye level. The rear sight was built into a carrying handle over the receiver.

Despite being over 2 lb (0.91 kg) lighter than the competition, the AR-10 offered significantly greater accuracy and recoil control. Two prototype rifles were delivered to the U.S. Army's Springfield Armory for testing late in 1956. At this time, the U.S. armed forces were already two years into a service rifle evaluation program, and the AR-10 was a newcomer with respect to older, more fully developed designs. Over Stoner's continued objections, George Sullivan had insisted that both prototypes be fitted with composite aluminum/steel barrels. Shortly after a composite barrel burst on one prototype in 1957, the AR-10 was rejected. The AR-10 was later produced by a Dutch firm, Artillerie Inrichtingen, and saw limited but successful military service with several foreign nations such as Sudan, Guatemala, and Portugal. Portugal deployed a number of AR-10s for use by its airborne (Caçadores Pára-quedista) battalions, and the rifle saw considerable combat service in Portugal's counter-insurgency campaigns in Angola and Mozambique. Some AR-10 rifles were still in service with airborne forces serving during the withdrawal from Portuguese Timor in 1975.


Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on April 28, 2014, 04:28:26 PM

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.......

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TrapperL 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 (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 (http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1538&context=etd)
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman 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)


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.


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.


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.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on May 05, 2014, 03:04:11 PM
L1A1 continued


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, 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.


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.

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
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Dcav 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.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman 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


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


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.


Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on May 28, 2014, 01:58:51 PM

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.


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).


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















Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Dcav on May 28, 2014, 07:45:43 PM
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on May 28, 2014, 07:49:07 PM
Mr. Bowman , love this thread and thank you for all the work putting it together.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman 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)

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
Savage Arms
RPB Industries

Produced: 1921–present

Number built: 2,700,000 approx.


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.


 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.


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.


Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on June 21, 2014, 06:14:58 PM

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.


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.


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.


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


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").


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".


* Wikipedia
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on June 21, 2014, 06:23:55 PM
Photos Continued......

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman 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

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


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


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.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on July 12, 2014, 05:01:51 PM

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.


  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.



 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.


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.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on July 12, 2014, 05:33:33 PM
lost my internet connection.....darn time warner...will finish post when it comes back up...
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on July 12, 2014, 05:55:03 PM
Continued.....Internet couldn't have gone out at a worse time.......


 Finnish Army Mosin–Nagant Model 91.

 Civil Guard Mosin–Nagant Model 24.

 Finnish Army Mosin–Nagant Model 27.

 Finnish Army Mosin–Nagant Model 27rv.

 Civil Guard Mosin–Nagant Model 28.

Most Finnish Rifles were assembled by SAKO, Tikkakoski Oy, or VKT (Valtion Kivääritehdas, States Rifle factory, after wars part of Valtion Metallitehtaat (Valmet), State Metal works). The Finnish cartridge 7.62x53R is a slightly modified variation of the Russian 7.62x54R, and is considered interchangeable with 54R; however, there is a difference between Finnish military ammunition manufactured before and after 1939, cartridges from before 1939 use .308 in bullet while those manufactured later use .310 in bullet, change was made due to introduction of M/39 "Ukko-Pekka" barreled to use .310 in Soviet ammunition. Handloaded cartridges for Finnish rifles should however use a 0.308 inches (7.8 mm) bullet for use with other Finnish Mosin–Nagant variants instead of the 0.310 inches (7.9 mm) one which gives best results in M39, Soviet and most of other Mosin–Nagant rifles. M39s with the "D" barrel stamping are further indicative of the .310 of Finland's indigenous D166 7.62x53mmR round.

M/91: When Finland achieved independence from Russia, large numbers of Model 1891 infantry rifles were already stockpiled in the ex-Russian military depots within Finland. As a result, the rifle was adopted as the standard Finnish Army weapon, and surplus Mosin–Nagants were purchased from other European nations which had captured them during World War I. These rifles were overhauled to meet Finnish Army standards and designated M/91. Beginning in 1940, Tikkakoski and VKT began production of new M/91 rifles. VKT production ceased in 1942 in favor of the newer M/39 rifle, but Tikkakoski production continued through 1944. The M/91 was the most widely issued Finnish rifle in both the Winter War and the Continuation War.
M/91rv: A cavalry rifle built from former Russian Model 1891 Dragoon rifles, modified with a sling slot based on the German Karabiner 98a. The original Russian sling slots were also retained.

M/24: The "Lotta Rifle," the Model 24 or Model 1891/24 was the first large-scale Mosin–Nagant upgrade project undertaken by the Finnish Suojeluskunta (Civil Guard), and there were, in fact three separate variations of the rifle. Barrels were produced by SIG (Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft) and by a German consortium. Swiss-produced barrels could be found in both standard Mosin–Nagant 1891 contour and in a heavier contour designed for improved accuracy, while all German-produced barrels were heavy weight barrels. The initial contract for the SIG-produced barrels was let on April 10, 1923, and was for 3,000 new barrels produced with the original Model 1891 barrel contour. A subsequent contract for 5,000 additional heavier barrels, stepped at the muzzle end to accept the standard Mosin Nagant bayonet, was let the next year. The German contracts, starting in 1924 and running to 1926, were all for the heavier, stepped barrels with two contracts: one for 5,000 barrels and a second for 8,000 barrels. The German-made barrels are marked "Bohler-Stahl" on the under side of the chamber. All Model 24s are marked with the Civil Guard logo of three fir tree sprigs over a capital "S." All Model 24s are equipped with a coil spring around the trigger pin to improve the trigger pull and thus the accuracy of the rifle. The Model 24 was called the Lotta's Rifle ("Lottakivääri") after the women's auxiliary of the Civil Guard, known as the "Lotta Svärd" which was instrumental in raising funds to purchase and repair or refurbish some 10,000 rifles.

M/27: The Model 27 was the Finnish Army's first almost complete reworking of the Model 1891, it was nicknamed Pystykorva (literally "spitz") due to the foresight guards. The receiver and magazine of the 1891 were retained, but a new shorter-length heavy-weight barrel was fitted. The sights were modified. The receivers and bolts were modified with "wings" being fitted to the bolt connecting bars that fit into slots machined into the receivers. The stocks were initially produced by cutting down 1891 stocks and opening up the barrel channels to accommodate the heavier barrel. New barrel bands and nose caps were fitted and a new bayonet was issued. The modified stocks proved to be weak, breaking when soldiers practiced bayonet fighting or firing with the bayonet fitted. These and other problems resulted in a slow-down of production in the mid-1930s while solutions to problems were engineered and existing stocks of rifles were modified. Produced from mid-1927 to 1940, the Model 27 was the Finnish Army's main battle rifle in the Winter War.

M/27rv: A cavalry carbine version of the M27, rv is short for ratsuväki (literally mounted force). 2217 were made, and were assigned to the most elite Finnish cavalry units. As a result of their heavy use, nearly half were lost over the course of the Winter and Continuation Wars. Most of the surviving examples were deemed beyond repair and scrapped, with slightly over 300 still existing. This makes it the rarest of all Finnish Mosin–Nagant models.
M/28: A variant designed by the White Guard. The M/28 differs from the Army's M/27 primarily in the barrel band design, which is a single piece compared to the M/27's hinged band, and an improved trigger design. Barrels for the M/28 were initially purchased from SIG, and later from Tikkakoski and SAKO.

M/28-30: An upgraded version of the M/28. The most noticeable modification is the new rear sight design. Same sight was used in following M39 rifle only exception being "1.5" marking for closest range to clarify it for users. According to micrometer measurements and comparison to modern Lapua D46/47 bullet radar trajectory data, markings are matched to Finnish Lapua D46/D46 bullet surprisingly accurately through whole adjustment range between 150 m and 2000 m.

The trigger was also improved by adding coil spring to minimize very long pre-travel. Following M39 does not have this improvement. The magazine was also modified to prevent jamming. Magazines were stamped with "HV" (Häiriö Vapaa = Jam Free) letters in right side of rifle. Later M39 uses identical design, but without "HV" -stamp. M/28-30 also have metal sleeve in fore-end of handguard, to reduce barrel harmonics change and to make barrel-stock contact more constant between shots and/or during environmental changes such as moisture and temperature. Later M39 does not have this upgrade.

In addition to its military usage, approximately 440 M/28-30 rifles were manufactured by SAKO for use in the 1937 World Shooting Championships in Helsinki.

M/28-30 model, serial number 60974, was also used by Simo Häyhä, a well-known Finnish sniper. M28/30 was used as Civil Guards competition rifle before World War II, as was case with Simo Häyhä's personal rifle too. Therefore rifles were built very well, with highest grade barrels available and carefully matched headspace. Häyhä's rifle was still at PKarPr (Northern Karelia Brigade) museum in 2002, then moved to an unknown place by the Finnish Army.
M/91-35: A model proposed by the Finnish Army to replace both its M/27 and the White Guard's M/28 and M/28-30 rifles. The White Guard strongly objected to this plan, considering the M91/35 to have poor accuracy and excessive muzzle flash. It was never adopted, instead being supplanted by the M/39.
M/39: nicknamed "Ukko-Pekka" after the former President Pehr Evind Svinhufvud,  a compromise between the Army and White Guard, adopted so as to standardize Mosin–Nagant production. The M/39 was derived largely from the M28-30, but included some alterations proposed by the Army. The M/39 also incorporated a semi-pistol grip into the stock, though some early examples used typical Mosin–Nagant straight stocks. Only 10 rifles were completed by the end of the Winter War, but 96,800 were produced after the Winter War and used in the Continuation War. Small numbers were assembled from leftover parts in the late 1960s through 1970, bringing the total production to approximately 102,000.

M/30: Tikkakoski produced improved, high-quality Model 1891/30 rifles in 1943 and 1944, designated M/30, using new barrels and parts from some of the almost 125,000 1891/30s captured in the Winter and Continuation Wars as well as 57,000 rifles bought from the Germans in 1944 (most of which were only suitable for use as parts donors). They were produced with both one- and two-piece stocks and either Soviet globe or Finnish blade foresights.[27]

M/56: An experimental 7.62x39 version.

M/28-57: A biathlon 7.62x54R version.

M/28-76: A special marksmanship and target rifle for continuation training and competition, produced in two different versions by the Finnish Army. They were built from modified M/28-30 and M/39 rifles.

7.62 Tkiv 85: A modern designated marksman/sniper rifle designed around original Mosin–Nagant receivers modified and assembled by Valmet and Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) Asevarikko 1 (Arsenal 1) in Kuopio.


VZ91/38 Carbine: Very similar to the M91/59, it is an M38-style carbine produced by cutting down Model 1891 Infantry, Dragoon, and Cossack rifles. Few of these carbines exist, and the reason for their creation remains unclear. Like the M44, they have a bayonet groove cut into the right side of the stock, despite there being no evidence that the VZ91/38 design ever included a bayonet.
VZ54 Sniper Rifle: Based on the M1891/30, although it has the appearance of a modern sporting firearm. The VZ54 utilizes a Czech-made 2.5x magnification scope, as well as a unique rear sight. It also borrows some features from the Mauser design, such as locking screws and a K98k-style front sight hood.


Type 53: A license-built version of the post-war Soviet M1944 carbine. As many of the carbines imported to the USA are constructed of both local Chinese parts and surplus Soviet parts, there is much debate as to when this mixture occurred. Type 53s are found both with and without the permanently attached folding bayonet, though the former is far more common. The Chinese Type 53 carbine saw extensive service with the People's Liberation Army from 1953 until the late 1950s/early 1960s when the PLA went over to the Chinese Type 56 carbine and the Chinese Type 56 assault rifle. Many Type 53 carbines were given to the People's Militia in China (The People's Militia used the Type 53 until 1982 when they were replaced with modern weapons) and to North Vietnam (with many carbines ending up in the hands of the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam) and to the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1960s and 1970s.


Mosin Nagant Model 1948 Infantry Rifle Gyalogsági Puska, 48.M (48.Minta) Produced by the FEG (Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár) plant in Budapest, these high-quality versions of the Soviet Model 1891/30 were produced from 1949 to possibly as late as 1955. They are characterized by a high-quality finish and the marking of all parts with the "02" stamp.

M/52: a direct copy of the original Soviet Model 1891/30 sniper rifle. Identifying features include:.

M44 Pattern: Domestically produced version of post war pattern Soviet M44 Carbine marked "02"


Triangular shaped markings, some with an arrow inside, on many components of the rifle. Normally three "R"'s surrounded by crossed stalks with leaves pointing outwards are on the top of the breech. Year stamps are quite visible. The trigger assembly is unique in the Romanian 91/30 and is adjustable. It is not interchangeable with other Mosins.
M44 Pattern: Domestically produced version of post war pattern Soviet M44 Carbine during the years 1953 to 1955. Variances to the Soviet pattern produced minor differences.

M91/30 Pattern: Domestically produced version Soviet pattern M91 during the year 1955. Some of the guns are marked "INSTRUCTIE" and held in reserve for a secondary line of defense in case of invasion. The Instructie mark is typically, but not always, accompanied by a broad red band on the buttstock. Some collectors do not consider these safe to fire, but most appear to be in good working order although well worn and somewhat neglected. The "EXERCITIU" mark is found on rifles that seem to have been used specifically for training purposes only. The "EXERCITIU" rifles are easily recognized by the black paint on the entire butt of the stock. They are not intended to be fired since the firing pin is clipped and many times parts critical to their proper function are missing.


wz. 91/98/23: conversion to the 7.92mmx57 Mauser cartridge, with a magazine modified to feed rimless cartridges. Utilized original Russian spike bayonet.
wz. 91/98/25: conversion to the 7.92mmx57 Mauser cartridge, with a magazine modified to feed rimless cartridges and a bayonet mounting bar to allow the use of Mauser 1898 bayonets.
wz. 91/98/26: conversion to the 7.92mmx57 Mauser cartridge, with a magazine modified to feed rimless cartridges and a bayonet mounting bar to allow the use of Mauser 1898 bayonets. Modified two-piece ejector/interrupter similar to Mauser pattern rifles.
wz. 44: Domestically produced version of post war pattern Soviet M44 Carbine, Marked with the Polish "circle 11."

United States

U.S. Rifle, 7.62 mm, Model of 1916: 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 in the United States. Some of these rifles were not delivered before the outbreak of the October Revolution and the subsequent signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk which ended hostilities between the Central Powers and Russia. When the Bolsheviks took over the Russian government, they defaulted on the Imperial Russian contracts with the American arsenals, with the result that New England Westinghouse and Remington were stuck with hundreds of thousands of Mosin–Nagants. The US government bought up the remaining stocks, saving Remington and Westinghouse from bankruptcy. The rifles in Great Britain armed the US and British expeditionary forces sent to North Russia in 1918 and 1919. The rifles still in the US ended up being primarily used as training firearms for the US Army. Some were used to equip US National Guard, SATC and ROTC units. Designated "U.S. Rifle, 7.62mm, Model of 1916", these are among the most obscure U.S. service arms. In 1917, 50,000 of these rifles were sent via Vladivostok to equip the Czechoslovak Legions in Siberia to aid in their attempt to secure passage to France.

During the interwar period, the rifles which had been taken over by the US military were sold to private citizens in the United States by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, the predecessor agency to the current Civilian Marksmanship Program. They were sold for the sum of $3.00 each. If unaltered to chamber the US standard .30-06 Springfield rimless cartridge, these rifles are prized by collectors because they do not have the import marks required by law to be stamped or engraved on military surplus firearms brought into the United States from other countries.

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on July 12, 2014, 06:03:04 PM

Civilian use

Mosin–Nagants have been exported from Finland since the 1960s as its military modernized and decommissioned the rifles. Most of these have ended up as inexpensive surplus for Western nations.

In Russia the Mosin–Nagant action has been used to produce a limited number of commercial rifles, the most famous are the Vostok brand target rifles exported in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s chambered in the standard 7.62x54mmR round and in 6.5x54mmR, a necked down version of the original cartridge designed for long range target shooting. Rifles in 6.5x54R use a necked-down 7.62x54R cartridge and were the standard rifle of the USSR's Olympic biathlon team until the International Olympic Committee revised the rules of the event to reduce the range to 50 meters and required all competitors to use rifles chambered in .22LR.

A number of the Model 1891s produced by New England Westinghouse and Remington were sold to private citizens in the United States by the U.S. government through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship program between the two World Wars. Rifles from this program are valuable collectibles. Many of these American-made Mosin–Nagants were rechambered by wholesalers to the ubiquitous American .30-06 Springfield cartridge; some were done crudely, and others were professionally converted. Regardless of the conversion, a qualified gunsmith should examine the rifle before firing, and owners should use caution before firing commercial ammunition.

With the fall of the Iron Curtain, a large quantity of Mosin–Nagants have found their way onto markets outside of Russia as collectibles and hunting rifles. Due to the large surplus created by the Soviet small arms industry during World War II and the tendency of the former Soviet Union to retain and store large quantities of old but well-preserved surplus (long after other nations' militaries divested themselves of similar vintage materials), these rifles (mostly M1891/30 rifles and M1944 carbines) are inexpensive compared to other surplus arms of the same era.

There is serious collector interest in the Mosin–Nagant family of rifles, and they are popular with target shooters and hunters, with their durability and reliability being legendary, though a downfall of these rifles in their new hunting and target shooting roles are the coarse Soviet military-style sights. The notched rear tangent iron sight is adjustable for elevation, and is calibrated in hundreds of meters (Arshins on earlier models). The front sight is a post that is not adjustable for elevation. Windage adjustment is done by the armory before issue, but a dovetail mount allows for corrections in the field. The battle setting places the round within +/-33 cm from the point of aim out to 350 m (380 yd). This "point-blank range" setting allows the shooter to fire the gun at any close target without adjusting the sights. The field adjustment procedure for the AK-47, AKM and AK-74 family requires 4 rounds to be placed in a 15 cm group at a distance of 100 meters. Longer settings are intended for area suppression. These settings mirror the Mosin–Nagant and SKS-45 rifles which the AK-47 replaced. This eased transition and simplified training.

The "point-blank range" setting of the Mosin–Nagant is due to the necessity of quick instruction of conscripted soldiers. However, the lack of fine adjustment leaves some hunters with the desire to add a scope and, as of this writing, two companies make adjustable sights for the Russian version of this rifle, Mojo and Smith-Sights. Generally viewed as highly accurate, these rifles show a capability of two-inch groups or better at 100 yards/meters when used with good ammunition and are capable of taking all game on the North American Continent when correct ammunition is used.[30] If the barrel is free-floated or bedded and has a sound bore, and if the trigger is worked on to lighten it and improve let-off, accuracy of minute of arc is possible with scoped Model 91/30s. Several companies make scope rings that can be mounted to the dovetail under the rear sight of the Model 91/30, sight bases that can be mounted to the dovetail, and scope mounts that can be fixed to the rifle without drilling or tapping.

In addition, at least three American companies manufacture aftermarket rifle stocks that come inletted so a Mosin can be dropped directly into the stock without additional modification, for shooters who would prefer their ex-military rifles look more like civilian-made hunting rifles.



Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on July 14, 2014, 05:22:37 PM
Great info on the Mosins as I have 2 right now and I'am looking for a Finnish model.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on July 27, 2014, 04:35:23 PM
Spanish FR8 in 7.62 Nato......Nice little rifles that have been going up in price lately.... A fun rifle to own whether you have a Cetme....or not.....

btw......Not that anyone has asked, but the hide I use for the background is a Sika hide....

Type: Service Carbine

Place of origin: Spain

Service history:

In service: 1950s-1970s

Production history:

Manufacturer: bolt system: Mauser, barrel: CETME or H&K, refitting: Fabrica De Armas La Coruña

Variants: FR 7, FR 8


Weight:  3,700 grams (8.2 lb)

Length: 960 millimeters (38 in)

Barrel length: 470 millimeters (19 in)
Cartridge: 7.62x51

Barrels: 1

Action: Bolt action

Feed system: 5-round internal magazine

Sights: 3 diopters or notch (selectable) and front sight

The FR7 and FR8 were introduced in the 1950s when the Spanish military was already implementing the CETME automatic rifle, but did not yet have sufficient inventory to equip and train all troops. The rifles were made from existing stockpiles of Mauser bolt-action rifles. The FR-7 was a modification of the Model 1916 short rifle, which in turn was based on the Mauser Model 1893. These three rifles are often referred to as being "small ring" Mausers, as the receiver ring is smaller in diameter than the latter Model 1898 by .110-inch (1.410 inches vs. 1.300 inches).[4] The FR-8 was developed from the Model 1943 short rifle, which was based on "large ring" Model 1898 Mauser action. Both rifles were modified to fire the 7.62×51mm CETME. The FR 8 was used well into the 1970s by mounted Guardia Civil units in the Sierra Nevada.

Scout Rifle Influence:

The FR-7/FR-8 is an example of the type of carbine recommended by Jeff Cooper as a Scout rifle in the early 1970's, and bears a strong resemblance to the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle introduced in 2010.

The flash hider was designed to be compatible with NATO-standard rifle grenades. The under-barrel tube, which resembles the gas cylinder found on automatic weapons, actually serves as the bayonet mount and as storage for cleaning gear. The rear sight is an elevation-adjustable rotary type with apertures for 200 m (220 yd), 300 m (330 yd) and 400 m (440 yd), as well as an open "V" notch for 100 meters (110 yd). The front sight is elevation-adjustable via a special tool. Operation is identical to the standard Mauser design.
* Wikipedia
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TXDARKHORSE361 on August 28, 2014, 11:30:41 PM
Love everything about this thread, haven't posted in response before because it locks up my phone when on tapatalk (probably because of the pictures and info being too amazing). I have seen a lot of these in person and am truly humbled to have been able to shoot a few (Henry Bowman you're the man seriously). I highly recommend if you're in the area swing by and check out the shop and introduce yourself, if he likes ya you might get to lay eyes on this amazing collection.

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.....

Having shot this exact one pictured that is my opinion as well

http://youtu.be/gSm2UkpjyoI (http://youtu.be/gSm2UkpjyoI)
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on October 31, 2018, 10:16:16 PM
Is there any interest in continuing this thread? I have added to the collection and am willing to continue if there is interest..... O:tu
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on November 01, 2018, 06:06:05 PM
I don"t always post  much but do a lot of reading and always enjoyed this thread.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on November 06, 2018, 08:11:23 AM
Same here - I read a lot, say little....who knew retired life could keep ya so busy??
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on November 06, 2018, 04:17:12 PM
Yeah been retired since 2002 and it seems I have been doing more work than when employed. lol
The wife and her obsession with redoing the yard to have less maintenance over all has been a long haul.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on November 06, 2018, 09:24:49 PM
Yeah been retired since 2002 and it seems I have been doing more work than when employed. lol
The wife and her obsession with redoing the yard to have less maintenance over all has been a long haul.

Well, between the old side business that I stepped up, the gun shop and my TSRA stuff....I need a job so I can relax!  O:h
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on March 03, 2019, 05:59:09 PM
The Hakim Rifle..........

Egyptian made variation of the Swedish Ag M/42 Ljungman rifle (6.5X55 caliber). Egypt had a large amount of 8mm surplus lying around and when they wanted to upgrade to semi automatic rifles, bought the tooling and rights for the rifle from Sweden. About 70 thousand rifles were produced along with smaller numbers of a shorter carbine version the Rasheed in 7.62X39. Because of the inconsistency of their various manufactured 8mm surplus ammo, they designed the rifle with an adjustable gas system (impingement) the Swedish rifle did not have. American buyers of the surplus Hakim rifles quickly discovered that improper adjustment of this gas system could have catastrophic consequences upon firing the rifle. Often misdiagnosed as out of battery firing. The gas system is adjustable without taking the rifle apart. The tipping bolt design is also similar in design to the SKS, the FN49 and the French MAS 49. They  were produced in the 50's and 60's. Hakim thumb is as painful if not more so than Garand thumb for those not familiar with the design. The Hakim was eventually replaced by the MAADI Rifle (AK-47) in the mid 60's. Replacement parts are somewhat hard to come by now. I am missing the front stock band on my rifle. It was replaced by a non original band so that the bayonet lug could be removed. I found the lug eventually, and am currently still looking for the front band.

The 10 round mag is standard and originals command a premium for collectors. MG13 25 round mags can be modified to fit and I have two original and two MG13 mags for my rifle. Changing the mag is not very quick as designed, imho...the muzzle brake (non removable) is effective and yes.....loud. The bayonet attachment is a little weird too......Prices have been rising recently with the best example fetching 1k or better...other Countries the Hakim have been used is South Yemen and Tunisia.......

The Hakim is classified as C&R and makes a fine addition to any military collection.

My apologies for the cell phone pics and background. I did this one from home and did not have access to my usual camera and background...


Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on March 03, 2019, 06:53:23 PM
That is a very interesting looking rifle as I have never seen one before.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on March 05, 2019, 02:02:16 PM
US Model 1917..........

 In April 1917....the U.S. Government was realizing the the U.S was going to get actively involved in WWI. While the M1903 was standard issue of the time for U.S. forces, there wasn't enough of them for the coming call to war. Only about 600,000 were available......woefully short of the numbers going to be needed. While Springfield ramped up production, they would not be able to fill the needed rifles in time. Rock Island, who had all but stopped M1903 production attempted to rebound production but were hampered by inexperienced personnel and raw materials. The 30/40 Krag was taken out of storage and used primarily for training. While the U.S. could start new production facilities for the M1903, there just wasn't wasn't time.

Winchester, Remington and Eddystone (an affiliate of Remington) were producing the Enfield Pattern 1914 British model in .303 British in large numbers for the British Government. So it made sense to U.S. officials for them to continue the rifle production with some changes. One of the most stark changes in the rifle would be the adoption of the 30-06 cartridge instead of the .303 British cartridge. Many thought the 30-06 was superior to the .303 and it would simplify not having two different cartridges in the field.

The adopted rifle would have the nomenclature: U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1917. Some still today refer to it as the P17 or Pattern 17. That is undeniably incorrect. The Pattern 1914 bayonet was also adopted by the United States as the Bayonet, Model of 1917. The bayonets were manufactured by Winchester and Remington, but, none were made by Eddystone. No one knows why. Some of the Pattern 1914 bayonets made for the British were procured by the U.S. military and over-stamped with American ordnance markings.

Both the Model 1917 and Model 1903 rifles were bolt-actions, but there were differences in the design and operation of each. Most apparent was the Model 1917’s aperture rear sight, which was mounted above the receiver and located closer to the eye than the ’03’s barrel-mounted, folding-leaf Model 1905 sight. The crooked bolt handle was another and the rifle was cocked on closing the bolt instead of opening as with the M1903. No magazine cut off on the M1917 like the M1903 either. The Model 1917 remained in production until mid-1919, by which time a total of 2,422,529 rifles had been manufactured.

During World War II, the Model 1917s were called back into service and used by theU.S. for training purposes and limited use as supplementary service rifles. Also, large quantities were distributed to some the allied nations under various military aid programs. Some were offered through the DCM program. Due to the large amount of rifles given to allied nations and the practice of sporterizing by hunters, resulted in unmolested Model 1917 rifles being somewhat scarce compared to the actual number of rifles manufactured.

My rifle was rearsenaled in the San Antonio Army Depot. Interesting that I bought the rifle in New Hampshire.

There is a lot of interesting history on this rifle.......

Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on March 06, 2019, 07:25:15 AM
Thanks for that!  We got a bunch of 'em in at the shop from an estate - folks just aren't as interested in the old war-horses as they once were - it's a shame.
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: 308nato on March 06, 2019, 08:21:32 PM
Thanks for that!  We got a bunch of 'em in at the shop from an estate - folks just aren't as interested in the old war-horses as they once were - it's a shame.

What is the average price on those now ?
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on March 06, 2019, 10:09:40 PM
What is the average price on those now ?

I'll check and let you know.....
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: Henry Bowman on March 06, 2019, 10:30:14 PM
I paid $750.00 for mine a couple of years ago......was happy to pay for an unmolested non-import....without the bayonet...
Title: Re: This Old Military Rifle
Post by: TexasRedneck on March 11, 2019, 07:29:15 PM
The Eddystone's are all gone....sorry!