03 Rifles an Illustrated History of Their Impact

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Military HistoryRifles an Illustrated History of Their Impact



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WEAPONS AND WA R FARE SERIESSpencer C. Tu c k e r, Series EditorAir Defense, Shannon A. Brown Aircraft Carriers, Hedley Wilmott Ancient Weapons, James T. Chambers Artillery, Jeff Kinard Ballistic Missiles, Kev Darling Battleships, Stanley Sandler Cruisers and Battle Cruisers, Eric W. Osborne Destroyers, Eric W. Osborne Helicopters, Stanley S. McGowen Machine Guns, James H. Willbanks Medieval Weapons, James T. Chambers Military Aircraft in the Jet Age, Justin D. Murphy Military Aircraft, 19191945, Justin D. Murphy Military Aircraft, Origins to 1918, Justin D. Murphy Pistols, Jeff Kinard Submarines, Hedley Paul Wilmott


David Westwood

Santa Barbara, California

Denver, Colorado

Oxford, England

Copyright 2005 by David Westwood All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Westwood, David, Dr. Rifles : an illustrated history of their impact / David Westwood. p. cm. (Weapons and warfare series) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-85109-401-6 (hardback : alk. paper) ISBN 1-85109-406-7 (eBook) 1. RiflesHistory. 2. Military weapons. I. Title. II. Series. TS536.4.W48 2005 683.4'22dc22 2004028931 05 06 07 08 / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is also available on the World Wide Web as an eBook. Visit abc-clio.com for details. ABC-CLIO, Inc. 130 Cremona Drive, P.O. Box 1911 Santa Barbara, California 93116-1911 This book is printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America

for a.c.w.In memory of my father, who taught me to take care of the countryside.



xi xiii


Introduction to Encyclopedias of Weapons and Warfare Series, Spencer C. Tucker xv

chapter one militaries in the fourteenth centuryWhat Is a Firearm? The Sixteenth Century The Snaphance The Flintlock 12 13 1 8


chapter two ball, bullet, powder, and cartridge: the development of the propellant and the projectile 19The Musket Ball The Mini Ball 19 26 27 31

The Composite Cartridge Major Treadwells Report

The Modern Military Cartridge 33




chapter three breech-loading rifles


The Breech Loader and the British ArmyThe Albini and Braendlin 50 The Burton Rifles 51 Major Fosberys Rifle 52 The Henry Rifle 52 The Joslyn/Newby Rifle 54 The Martini Rifle 54 The Peabody Rifle 55 The Remington Rifle 56

The Tests The Result

57 58 59

The Martini-Henry Service Rifle

chapter four the percussion system


The Percussion System in the British Army Lever-Action Repeating Rifles 71

chapter five rifles and ammunition in 1855The History of Rifling 84 87


The Rifle as a Military Weapon

chapter six the bolt-action rifleThe Repeating Bolt-Action Rifle Lee and the British The French Lebel Conclusion 113 95


The Mauser Rifle and Other German Makes 102 The United States and the Bolt-Action Rifle





chapter seven self-loading rifles


German SLR Development during World War II U.S. Self-Loading Rifles 123The M14 Rifle 131 New Rifle, New Caliber 132

Russian SLR Developments The British Army and the SLR Conclusion 146

133 141

Significant Rifles and Rifle Systems


Appendix A: The Schn Report Appendix B: Rifles and Rifle Makers Glossary Bibliography Index 457 470 433 445

261 287

About the Author


This book will show how the infantry rifle first appeared and why. It will trace the history of the rifle from its early, rather successful start, through a series of near-disasters and singular successes, into the bolt-action, magazine-fed, rifle of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There can be little doubt that in its formative years the military rifle was far less effective than the long bow, but that the long bow was impossible as a modern battlefield weapon due to the effect of artillery and the machine gun. There are many points in time where one can ask whether a particular weapon could have changed the course of history. In fact only one rifle with this potential springs to mind, and that is the very earliest of the successful designs: Colonel Fergusons rifle of 1775. Had British troops been armed with this weapon, the length of the Napoleonic Wars might well have been curtailed and the War of 1812 might have had a different conclusion. Manpower is one of the main criteria for armies in the field. More men in the battle line means more men firing. In the shortrange combat of the nineteenth century this was most important. If you had more men, then you had greater firepower. The corollary to this was that with massed ranks of men all they had to do was take a rudimentary aim and massed firepower would do the rest. The arrival of the empty battlefield of the twentieth century (caused by machine-gun and artillery fire) meant that men were now living below ground level, emerging only to attack or to move around in daily tasks. The rifle was of little real significance in such conditions, except for the trained sniper. Snipers have a reputation of being deadly men whose activities involve underhanded methods of warfare; in fact they merely use the terrain in which they are operating to their advantage and they exercise a skill in marksmanship of which the average soldier is incapable.xi



Modern rifles demonstrate a number of characteristics that are perhaps indicative of the nations issuing them to their troops. The British, having been somewhat disappointed not to have their bullpup design accepted in the 1950s, now have a bull-pup of their own, the history of which has not been happy. America has a dubious history in regard to the M16, especially its ammunition, and the efforts of some officials to bar this weapon from consideration are questionable. The Russians, however, came up with a really good design and then stuck to it: the AK47. The actions behind the scenes in weapons development, especially after the formation of NATO, sometimes are beyond belief, with nationalistic attitudes having more sway than common sense. But that is the way of the world, and the only people who seem to have suffered are the PBI, the Poor bloody infantry, who get all sorts of crazy ideas foisted on them, often in the hope that they might work really well. The history of the development of the rifle is peopled with many inventors who just wanted a military contract, but also with men of ideas whose inventive nature brought about significant improvements. Rather than name them here, the reader is invited to go into the book where their names (and the names of some of the others) are to be found.


I have a number of people to mention whose names cannot be recorded: to all of them (they know who they are) my sincere thanks. To those I can name goes the same dedication. The latter are Martin Pegler, Major John Conway, Philip Abbott, Richard Jones, Rob Sharrock, and their respective staffs, all of whom provided me with time and the opportunity to work in their collections. Royal Armouries are based in Leeds, and their collections are second to none in worldwide terms. The Weapons Collection of the Small Arms Corps, based at the School of Land Warfare in Warminster, Wiltshire, is equally important to the student of firearms, especially because there there is a working Ferguson rifle. Others who started me on the long trail to this book include Rodney Bond, John Cannon, Dr. David Chandler, Dr. John Pimlott, Dr. Simon Trew, Professor Alan Lloyd, and Mr. Mike Simpson. I should also mention a long-suffering and patient wife, Ros Westwood, and two springer spaniels, Glinka and Puta, who often only got to walk after I had finished a long day at the Apple Mac!



Weapons both fascinate and repel. They are used to kill and maim individuals and to destroy states and societies, and occasionally whole civilizations, and with these the greatest of mans cultural and artistic accomplishments. Throughout history tools of war have been the instruments of conquest, invasion, and enslavement, but they have also been used to check evil and to maintain peace. Weapons have evolved over time to become both more lethal and more complex. For the greater part of mans existence, combat was fought at the length of an arm or at such short range as to represent no real difference; battle was fought within line of sight and seldom lasted more than the hours of daylight of a single day. Thus individual weapons that began with the rock and the club proceeded through the sling and boomerang, bow and arrow, sword and axe, to gunpowder weapons of the rifle and machine gun of the late nineteenth century. Study of the evolution of these weapons tells us much about human ingenuity, the technology of the time, and the societies that produced them. The greater part of technological development of weaponry has taken part in the last two centuries, especially the twentieth century. In this process, plowshares have been beaten into swords; the tank, for example, evolved from the agricultural caterpillar tractor. Occasionally, the process is reversed and military technology has impacted society in a positive way. Thus modern civilian medicine has greatly benefitted from advances to save soldiers lives, and weapons technology has impacted such areas as civilian transportation or atomic power.




Weapons can have a profound impact on society. Gunpowder weapons, for example, were an important factor in ending the era of the armed knight and the Feudal Age. They installed a kind of rough democracy on the battlefield, making all men alike tall. We can only wonder what effect weapons of mass destruction (WMD) might have on our own time and civilization. This series will trace the evolution of a variety of key weapons systems, describe the major changes that occurred in each, and illustrate and identify the key types. Each volume begins with a description of the particular weapons system and traces its evolution, while discussing its historical, social, and political contexts. This is followed by a heavily illustrated section that is arranged more or less along chronological lines that provides more precise information on at least 80 key variants of that particular weapons system. Each volume contains a glossary of terms, a bibliography of leading books on that particular subject, and an index. Individual volumes in the series, each written by a specialist in that particular area of expertise, are as follows: Ancient Weapons Medieval Weapons Pistols Rifles Machine Guns Artillery Tanks Battleships Cruisers and Battle Cruisers Aircraft Carriers Submarines Military Aircraft, Origins to 1918 Military Aircraft, 19191945 Military Aircraft in the Jet Age Helicopters Ballistic Missiles Air Defense Destroyers We hope that this series will be of wide interest to specialists, researchers, and even general readers. Spencer C. Tucker Series Editor



Militaries in the Fourteenth Century

Foot soldiers during the Middle A g e s used pikes, bows, and crossbows. Industry took a great step forward with the appearance of the blast furnace; steel was now available for the manufacture of weapons as well as plowshares. Crossbows benefited with steel bows, giving them a range of about 400 yards.1 The firearm had already made an appearance in China, and the technology was slowly becoming known in the West. Added to this was the discovery of gunpowder, which made firearms a practical concept. Cannons were the first weapons made to use the new powder, and interestingly the arrival of cannons in arsenals led to the creation or consolidation of nation-states, because they were the only groups able to afford such highly expensive weapons. Add to this the fact that the firearm was eventually to lead to the demise of the knight on the battlefield in favor of the much cheaper-to-arm infantryman; thus military development is a much more important factor in social development than it is often credited for.

WHAT IS A FIREARM?It is not too difficult to define firearm, and one attractive version appears in a Harry Potter book, in a newspaper report that refers to a gun (a kind of metal wand which Muggles [i.e., nonmagicians]1



use to kill each other).2 There is a lot of truth in this definition, allowing of course for the imaginative use of the word wand. Firearms were impossible until the fire appeared; this was of course gunpowder, which seems to have originated in the thirteenth century. There are a number of discussions on the subject and it is valuable at the outset to understand what is meant within the framework of this work by the term firearm. A firearm is one that uses the power of a propellant to fire a projectile. To limit the definition further to the subject of this book, a rifle is a hand weapon that is used to arm infantry soldiers (and others) for use on the battlefield and that has a barrel, a method of reloading or a loading mechanism, a method of firing, and the means to aim and handle the weapon all assembled together in one unit. There are a number of very significant stages in the development of the infantry rifle, which begin in the days before rifling was invented, and again before the modern composite cartridge was conceived. This book will deal with the changes using both a chronological and a holistic approach, so sometimes the date will be important, but sometimes the theme will take over in preeminence. Gunpowder appears in many texts, and there was a suggestion that the Hindu (Gentoo) Laws of 300 B.C. mentioned it, but this has been discounted. The Chinese probably were the first to use gunpowder, but as a pyrotechnic (to frighten the horses) rather than as a propellant. The real origin seems to have been in the mid-1200s in Europe, as a result of Arabic alchemical experiments, books relating to which appeared, via Spain, at that time.3 However, once more the Arabs did not use the mixture as a propellant; it seems that this doubtful honor is due to the Europeans, who were almost certainly the inventors of the firearm. Gunpowder is a simple mixture of saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur. The proportions can vary, as can the fineness or otherwise in texture of the component materials. What was important was that when confined and fired, it almost instantaneously produced a large amount of gas, which was harnessed eventually in the barrels of weapons so that a projectile could be forced out of the barrel at the chosen target. Rather like the flashes and bangs caused by wands in the magical adventures of Harry Potter, when gunpowder was first seen, it too was regarded as a remarkable mixture that when ignited sound[ed] like thunder and flashes in the air can be made, indeed greater horrors than those produced naturally.4 However, here Roger Bacon is referring to a pyrotechnic, or a propellant for rockets, not a propel-



lant in a firearm to project a bullet out of a barrel. The invention of the firearm was, however, so closely allied to the appearance of gunpowder that the first firearms were being made less than 100 years after Bacon first referred to the properties of gunpowder. Although the powder itself was initially variable in performance, the invention of granulation in the 1420s made the powder both safer to handle and more reliable in the field.5 The history of firearms and gunpowder is full of apocryphal tales (reading still like the Harry Potter books), and one legend is that of Black Berthold, a monk of either German or Greek origin who is credited with the invention of the first gun and possibly with the discovery of gunpowder as well. In fact he never existed, although like many legends, there is an element of historical truth to the story. It seems clear that the first written evidence of guns is that of the edict of the Council of Florence of 11 February 1326. This ordered that two officials were to be appointed to make iron bullets (or arrows) and metal cannons for Republican defenses. As earlier weapons, from which the gun was to take over, fired arrows, the initial concept seems to have been to make weapons using gunpowder to fire arrows. This would achieve a twofold improvement in weaponry: the projectile would be propelled faster and further, and it would be accompanied by a morale-affecting flash and bang. This latter factor would have been particularly effective on the battlefield against cavalry, whose horses would have been spooked by the light and sound of the detonation. The development of the firearm6 follows on from that of cannons. Cannons were big and unwieldy, but they had the advantage that they could use the new propellant without too great a risk of rupture from the forces generated on detonation. But ingenuity soon led to handguns (guns that were handheld, not the modern pistol-type weapon) on the same principle, although the artistic representations left to us today stretch credulity when the weapons and men are shown together. There can be no doubt that firearms were used by infantry, for the simple reason that they could not (at the time) be fired effectively from horseback, and mounted knights were unlikely to take the personal risks involved in firing such new and apparently dangerous weapons. Further, such weapons were not covered by the code of chivalry and so were left to the lower orders. The written history of firearms grows in strength from about 1340; various artistic impressions are also to be found, but they are often questionable by virtue of the fact that artists create what they see, not necessarily what is there, and, unlike a modern video cam-



era, can reproduce only a moment of history rather than a sequence. By the end of this century the use of firearms had become general. One of the best sources concerning firearms is the accounts of the English Royal Chamber that controlled the royal armory and arsenal in England in the second half of the fourteenth century. The earliest records relate to the purchase of sulfur and saltpeter (1333/1334), but the significant entry from 1345 (the first of many) refers to repairs to guns with arrows and pellets.7 Guns held in the Tower of London in 1346 were ordered to be sent to France to support King Edward IIIs campaign against the French as part of the Hundred Years War; also to be sent were storage chests, large and small lead pellets, pieces of lead for making pellets, and barrels of powder, saltpetre and sulphur. Another order was for 912 pounds of saltpeter and 886 pounds of sulfur, so it is certain that cannons were part of the military armory at the time. Possibly handguns were also issued, and there is one reference to hand engines called guns.8 The manufacture of firearms appears to have been commonplace by the mid-1300s,9 and by 1373/1375 there is a record of a payment made for attaching handles to eight guns ad modum pycoys or in the style of pikeshandheld weapons. References to lead and pellets bring the conclusion that small arms were being manufactured, although there are still a number of references to arrows among the accounts, although the arrows were a far cry from the wood and feather long bow projectiles, now being metal with iron fletching. Whatever the obscurity of these early documents, certainty comes in the writ of 7 November 1388 that refers to three small cannon called handguns.10 At what exact moment in the fourteenth century the first firearms were made is of less importance than the fact that man had extended warfare from pitched, hand-to-hand fighting toward a concept of fighting at a distance: the range of the firearm now being the maximum fighting range on the battlefield. The archery arm had had great effect for centuries, but shooting was about to undergo a quantum change over the next few centuries until the present day, when a sniper can kill at over 1,000 yards with one shot. However, the practicality of this concept has been limited only by the ingenuity of man, infantry in particular, and even today the bayonet is still issued as a last-ditch weapon to turn the rifle back into a pike, when attackers, by skill at field craft, can come into body-contact range. Many of the earliest examples of firearms have been losteither just plain lost, destroyed, rusted away, forgotten, or otherwise disap-



These two drawings show foot and mounted firearms. The problems of aiming and recoil can be appreciated, and unless the horse was well trained, its reaction to the firing of a hand cannon must have been spectacular. From W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910, p.45 ff.

peared, and the firearms historian today is limited in physical examples and restricted by artistic depictions of the weapons. The Swedish National Historical Museum in Stockholm has an example of a very early weapon, the Loshult gun. This is similar in external appearance to the famous Milimete gun, illustrated in the treatise De Nobilitatibus, Sapientiis et Prudentiis Regum (On the Duties of a King), written by the eponymous Walter de Milimete for King Edward III in 1327.11 Both are bulbous at the breech and were intended to fire iron arrows rather than bullets. Fifteenth-century manuscripts show three ways in which the firearm was held for firing: resting the stock over the shoulder, tucking the gun under the arm, or resting the gun on the ground so that the muzzle pointed upward. In all cases woodwork had appeared that enabled the barrel to be controlled and a rudimentary attempt at aiming made. It should be remembered that the firearm at this earliest stage of its development was still something of a novelty, and was more useful in frightening horses than in killing men. One of the difficulties facing the operator of these very primitive handguns was firing it. The barrel was loaded with a set amount of black powder, and the projectile poured (if shot) or loaded on top of the propellant. A trail of gunpowder was then laid to lead from the



touch hole to the propellant charge. Finally, to fire the weapon a slow match (developed by artillerymen) was applied to the powder trail, which, some of the time, set off the main charge, and with a flash and a combustion of fires, and by the horror of sounds,12 the weapon discharged. But if it was raining, or if the powder was wet, or there was a high wind, and so on, there was a less than even chance of any explosion at all, and the gunman would be flattened by the opposition without mercy. Reliability is a theme we will return to time and again throughout this book. No matter how horrifying and devastating a weapon may prove to be in theory or in the demonstration, it is of no use whatsoever if it cannot perform regularly and effectively in the hands of the men who have to carry it in battle. History is full of weapons that just could not do their job when it came to the test of action, either because they were too weakly constructed, were not properly designed, were worn out or broken, or were far too complex in design to be continually functional in the one place where all these faults spell death to the user: the battlefield. Once the idea of handguns was seen to be of some value, the next task for the gunmakers and designers was to devise a way of firing the weapon mechanically, rather than with an easily lost or extinguished handheld slow match. The problem they faced was that they had to continue to employ the slow match, as no other ignition system had yet been invented. Thus the matchlock was born. The earliest form was a simple lever, pivoted on the stock of the weapon, which allowed the firer to use his forefinger to bring the lit end of the slow match to contact with the touch hole. He could now use both hands to control his weapon and maintain his aim, and only one finger was needed to fire. As Claude Blair points out, this was an economy of effort that has not been improved on to date.13 It was at this very moment that the modern firearm was created; although weapons of the period do not bear more than a passing resemblance to todays assault rifles, the firearm now had a barrel, weapon furniture (the wooden stock, and perhaps a fore end), and a firing mechanism. The sighting method was still rudimentary, with perhaps only a barleycorn foresight and no rear sight, but the basics of the firearm were laid down for further development. It took another 300 years or so before the rifle was born, and the main problems facing soldiers and weapon makers were to produce better and more reliable firing mechanisms, make effective sighting systems, and explore in what way reloading could be made quicker and easier. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries there was a definite social structure that was reflected in the military forces of the



period. There were no such things as standing armies, rather the gatherings of servants of kings and nobles who took the field either for conquest or defense.14 The higher the mans social standing, the better equipped he was. Knights, at the top of the tree, held sway on the battlefield for a long period, until the Welsh archers in English service at Crcy showed what a clothyard arrow could do to armed mounted men. The revolution in military affairs caused by this defeat of the French knights came about at the same time as the firearm was going through its earliest development. The infantryman (to use a loose term) was becoming the most effective element on the battlefield, and when his efforts were combined with effective artillery and coordinated cavalry, a new era of warfare would dawn. However, firearms were still extremely slow to load and reload, difficult to aim, prone to the effects of weather (unlike cutting weapons and arrows)in short, a lot needed to be done before the firearm was to become the only infantry weapon. The first important development had been the mechanical means of firing the weapon. A second development was the realization that the wooden stock, originally no more than an extension behind the firearm for convenience, could be adapted to allow the firer to place the rear end of the wood against his shoulder. This meant that the recoil of the weapon could be better controlled; previously there was no resistance to the recoil, and the firearm could and would move uncontrollably on discharge. The idea probably originated with the fitting of a hook fitted to weapons used for wall defense. To control recoil this hook was placed over a wall or other firm point, so that recoil did not throw the weapon about too much, which otherwise led to spoiling the aim and almost certainly to a degree of wariness among gunners who were using the piece. The development in the firearm field was to take the stock or butt of the weapon and not merely make it suitable for fitting into the firers shoulder but to bend the angle of the stock so that the barrel lay in the line of sight from firer to target. This idea led to the development of the arquebus (or harquebus), but this occurred a little later in the timeline. The invention of the matchlock led to refinements, and soon the sear lock appeared. In this system a spring was introduced to the lock; the spring was linked to the cock and was under pressure while the weapon was loaded and cocked, ready to fire. When the trigger was pressed the spring forced the cock and its slow match into contact with the touch hole and the weapon fired. The first matchlock illustration is in a German manuscript of 1411.15 The spring lock appears around 1470, and searlock mechanisms survived until the



The matchlock firing system. In this example there is a spring that forces the cock and match into the priming pan. Here the trigger lever compresses the spring when the weapon is fired. The movement of the cock depends upon the pressure applied by the firer. Courtesy of David Westwood.

early seventeenth century. In addition, some weapons were fitted with a pivoted, hand-operated pan cover in metal, which protected the priming powder, and had the added advantage that a gun could now be carried loaded and primed for use. The touch hole was also altered, in that it was drilled from the side of the barrel and not from the top, as had been the standard in the days of hand firing. So toward the end of the fifteenth century the firearm could be fired by one finger, could be carried loaded and ready to fire, and the stock was developing toward the modern form. The weapon could be sighted along the barrel and aimed with some degree of accuracy as rear sights were introduced, and recoil was contained by the firers body through his shoulder. There is documentary evidence of these new stocks,16 which were often called Landsknecht stocks (Landsknecht Kolbe) due to the frequency with which they are seen in illustrations of the Landsknechts, the mercenary infantry of the sixteenth century.

THE SIXTEENTH CENTURYUp to the sixteenth century the majority of firearms produced had been intended for use by the common man, the pressed infantry of the medieval period. The fact that this weapon had given him supe-



The Wheel Lock Principle. Courtesy of David Westwood.

riority over his social superiors had not gone unnoticed, especially among the social superiors who were threatened by this new arm and, by inference, those who wielded it. However, the sixteenth century brought the invention of the first really mechanical firing method, whereby simple pressure on the trigger set in motion a chain of events that caused the weapon to fire. This was the wheel lock. The introduction of the wheel lock brought with it an increase in the stature of the gunsmith. Previously he was regarded merely as someone who could forge metal and make tubes with it, to build the barrels of the earlier firearms. Now he began to attract the status of a clock maker, a far higher calling than heretofore. He became an engineer in miniature, not just the wielder of a large hammer. The wheel lock works in the same way as a Zippo lighter. A piece of iron pyrite (the flint) creates sparks by being in contact with a wheel that is forced to rotate mechanically. The sparks created take the place of the match in the matchlock, and the weapon is fired. The illustration above shows the principle by which it worked. To set up the wheel lock the firer had to wind up the lock with a key, which coiled the chain around the wheel. The free end of the chain was under tension from the spring so that when the trigger was pressed, the spring forced the chain to rotate the wheel. This in turn caused the serrated wheel to strike sparks from the flint to fire the weapon. The illustration shows a typical wheel lock and the following one shows it in some detail. The iron pyrite (the flint) was held between the jaws of the cock. The two bridles hold in the wheel from both sides of the lock and the inner bridle also supports the mainspring, which is a substantial V-shaped spring. The weapon is first loaded



with powder, wadding, and ball from the muzzle. Once this has been rammed down the weapon is ready to prime. To do this the lock chain has to be wound round the wheel with a key applied to the spindle of the wheel. Once the chain is tight the cock is moved to its cocked position as it is linked directly to the wheel. Then the pan is primed. To fire the weapon the trigger is pressed. The chain is pulled from the wheel spindle by the mainspring, which in turn rotates the wheel. This causes the serrated wheel to spark the flint, and the weapon discharges. This remarkable improvement in technology was invented at the end of the fifteenth century, probably by Leonardo da Vinci. Drawings in his manuscripts17 show a helical mainspring and a gun lock. A reconstruction of the Leonardo device worked (with some modifications), tending to prove that the drawing was a design, not an illustration of something he had seen. What also seems very certain is that although Leonardo may have invented the principle, putting it into practical working order was done by the Nuremberg clock maker Johann Kiefuss (or Khfuss). In any event, in 1507 an Italian cardinal was sent to Germany to obtain a gun of the type that ignites with stone.18 A more primitive example of the same principle is to be seen in the Monks gun, which has a pull slide to activate the metal-against-flint operating system. Perhaps the most important social repercussion of the invention of the wheel lock was due to its high cost. This meant that clients with money were needed to patronize and buy it from the gunsmiths who made it. This meant the growing middle class and the aristocracy were the only people with the money to buy such a device; in turn, they were more interested in hunting and shooting and would certainly not stand in a firing line in time of war. So it was that soldiers in the field were, for the most part, left with matchlocks, while their betters were engaged in the chase with far better equipment. Another social effect was that with the invention of the wheel lock, weapons could be carried about the person, concealed from the general view. In 1517 Emperor Maximilian I banned selfstriking handguns that ignite themselves and then banned all manufacture and use of such firearms within the empire.19 Weapons were not only improving, but the criminal classes were arming themselves, which the emperor was not prepared to allow. The same problem emerged in Italy, and the Duke of Ferrara issued an ordnance in 1522 banning the carrying of arms in the streets of his city, especially stone or dead fire guns.20



Details of the Wheel Lock. Courtesy of David Westwood.

The wheel lock survived throughout the period from 1540 to 1600, and during this time German gunmakers acquired a reputation that spread throughout Europe. Their fine quality and craftsmanship recommended them to all the courts and the gentry, whose wheel-lock sporting guns are still to be seen today in many European museums and collections. Interestingly, one improvement that did not catch on, despite its obvious value, was the self-spanning wheel lock. In this mechanism, the action of pulling back the cock also caused the chain to be pulled round the wheel, thus removing the need for the separate action of winding the wheel with a key. It seems that the complexity of the device was beyond most gunsmiths, and few examples were made, or indeed survive. There is an example of this action, made by M. Kubk, which was in the Vo j e nsk Historick Muzeum (the Military Museum) in Prague in 1956.21 Military use of weapons fitted with wheel-lock mechanisms was strictly limited. Cost was one factor, and the complexity of the mechanism was the other. Swedish infantry were issued wheel-lock muskets in 1620,22 and troops in the reign of Louis XIV of France



were also given such weapons. Infantry at that time were notoriously uneducated and badly trained, and this lock was far too complicated. In addition, there were dangers of accidental ignition if the weapon was dropped, and the weapon was actually prohibited for the Austrian Army. There was a great need for a simpler, more robust firing mechanism. The problem with simplification as far as the suppliers of military equipment is concerned is that they earn less, but the problem was overcome about the middle of the sixteenth century with the snaphance mechanism.

THE SNAPHANCEThis development appeared in 154723 and was certainly a firing mechanism using flint and steel, but one in which the flint strikes the steel and is not worked on by a rotating wheel. The origins of the system are not clear, but the principle of operation clearly opens the way for the flintlock to come. Various weapons survive fitted with snaphance (or snaphaunce) locks, which were so simple that mili-

The snaphance. This simplified mechanism was a great step forward in firearms design, yet gets little mention. Essentially, when the cock is pulled back, it compresses the mainspring, and when far enough back, the sear is locked into the lock plate to keep the cock in its cocked position. Pressure on the trigger releases the sear and the cock is thrown forward by the power of the compressed main spring, which causes the flint to strike the steel and make the sparks to fire the weapon. Also visible is the separately made sliding pan cover, which prevents wind and rain from disturbing the priming powder in the pan. Courtesy of David Westwood.



tary weapons could be fitted with the new system at a cost that was far lower than the equivalent wheel lock. The mechanism was so simple that it needed few, if any, repairs, which recommended it to both soldiers and their generals. This mechanism was to lead directly to the flintlock system of the seventeenth century, which remained in use until well into the nineteenth century.

THE FLINTLOCKThe principle of the flintlock is remarkably similar to that of the snaphance, and because it was such a successful design, a number of derivatives were evolved. However, it is important to look at the basic design to see how it worked. The essentials of the mechanism are the same as those for the snaphance, but there are a few refinements. The most important change is that the steel and the pan cover are made in one piece. When the cock flies forward under spring pressure the flint scrapes down the face of the steel to make the sparks, and at the same time the pressure of the flint against the steel forces the steel back enough to uncover the pan. This enables the spark to get to the priming powder and fire the weapon. The use of the term flintlock as synonymous for snaphance is not a real error, for both mechanisms use the same principle to fire a

The Flintlock. Courtesy of David Westwood.



weapon. Flint is scraped on steel to produce a spark. However, the standard term flintlock became current quickly and was in vogue by 1683,24 although strict adherence to the definition that a snaphance had separate steel and pan cover cannot be objected to. Nevertheless, the flintlock had arrived, and it was here to stay until well into the nineteenth century. Various forms of the flintlock existed,25 but they need not concern the narrative now, for it is time to look at other developments that had arrived during the history of the firearm up to the arrival of the flintlock. Gunmakers are inventive people, and even in the days of the wheel lock they had noticed that archers had a trick or two up their sleeves worth thinking about. One of these tricks was to fletch an arrow so that in the air it would rotate about its longitudinal axis and thereby gain stability in flight. It seems possible that rifling was first introduced to firearms at the end of the fifteenth century, and there is a questionable earlier example in colonial America: Emperor Maximilians rifle of between 1498 and 1508.26 Rifling consists of cutting away the interior of the barrel of a firearm so as to form spiral grooves upon its surface. The aim of this exercise is, as the bullet goes down the barrel under the impulse of the propellant, to put spin onto the bullet when it emerges into the air beyond the muzzle. The spin preserves the longitudinal axis of the bullet and thereby achieves more accurate fire. With a round musket ball, however, especially when deformed by ramming from the muzzle, the practicality of this is debatable. Later, when bullets were loaded at the breech and forced by gas pressure to expand at the rear and so engage with the rifling, rifling began to have a real effect, especially after the conoidal bullet was invented. In sporting and target weapons of the time the effect was felt, but minimally without doubt, for a round ball has little in the way of an axis in any direction when it is spinning about after emergence from the muzzle. Sights had developed, too, and now both a front sight and rear sight were fitted, but they were fixed sights that did no more than concentrate the attention of the musketeer toward his target. The fact that musketry targets in battle were probably no more than 50 yards away at this time really negates the value of these sights, but they may have had some morale-raising effect. The furniture of weapons, the woodwork surrounding the barrel and fitted to the rear of the lock and the end of the barrel, was now recognized as very important to the firer. Barrel furniture saved hands from getting burned, and the butt and small of the butt en-



abled recoil to be absorbed and the right hand to have a firm grip so that the forefinger could operate the trigger. By the time of arrival of the flintlock musket, firearms had assumed the general shape of twentieth-century rifles, although the very latest rifles are far removed from any conventional appearance. From the point of view of the man in the field, the arrival on the military scene of the flintlock meant that he was at last free of the matchlock forever and had a reasonably reliable lock with which to fire his weapon in battle. The cost of the flintlock in comparison with the wheel lock meant that armies could reequip en masse, and weapons could even be retrofitted with the flintlock, although this seems not to have been necessary. Quartermasters now had to provide flints in large quantities, after they had established where to buy them. The flints used27 were received from the quarries covered with a thick layer of lime clay, which had to be washed off. Once dry, the knapping process produced a flint for use, with its top edge a sharp point and the bottom edge shaped like a chisel. Flints were usable for about fifty shots, after which they were thrown away. The French got their flints from the Dpartement Cher in central France, and they were prized in both Europe and the United States. In England quarries near Brandon in Suffolk supplied flints, while in Austria flints were bought from Transylvania, the Tyrol, and Italy. The method of loading the weapon also developed in the lifetime of the firearm. The first method had been simple: pour powder into the muzzle, load a ball with a patch and ram it down, put a little powder into the pan, and the weapon was ready. Wheel-lock users in the English civil war of the 1650s had improved methods: wooden cartridges were preloaded with the right amount of powder, the plug was taken off the cartridge, the powder poured as before, the ball loaded, and all was ready. Then came the paper composite in the last thirty years of the seventeenth century. The ball and powder were contained in a paper twist, and the musketeer bit off the bottom of the cartridge (hence the well-known phrase bite the bullet). This exposed the powder, a small amount of which was poured into the pan, the rest into the barrel. The ball, wrapped roughly in the paper, was then rammed into the barrel. The paper thus served two purposes: it contained one round of ammunition ready for use (but with a very short shelf life), and it then acted as the wadding for the bullet. It had the further advantage of being self-consuming, in that it was burned along with the powder when the weapon was fired.28



One task for the infantryman with a smoothbore musket was that he had to make his own cartridges. King Louis XV in 1738 ordered that the cartridge paper had to be unsized paper and contain a charge of 9 grains (5 drams) of powder and a ball of 28 grains (just under 1 ounce). This procedure had been used for many decades to make up each cartridge and had been basically unaltered since the days of the matchlock. Interestingly, each man was limited in the number of rounds he was allowed to carry, despite the fact that he made his own. Fusiliers in the French Army during the Thirty Years War carried 18 rounds, the Prussian Imperial Infantry had 40 rounds in 1684, while the French infantry had 10. Prussian Imperial Dragoons had 24 rounds in 1740. This shortage of ammunition led to battle shortages, and at Mollwitz in 1741 the Prussian infantry had to get spare ammunition from the pouches of the dead and wounded. At the Battle of Torgau both sides ran out of ammunition, and even during the Napoleonic Wars there were still ammunition shortages. It has already been noted that as fouling built up in the barrels of the muskets, it became more difficult to reload. One way in which it was thought this could be alleviated was by cutting two grooves down the barrel in a straight line, so that fouling would be concentrated away from the main barrel, allowing better reloading; this was the principle of the Brunswick rifle. Unfortunately it was only partially successful.

ENDNOTES1. Frances Gies and Joseph Gies, Cathedral, Forge, and Water Wheel Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, pp. 204ff. 2. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban. London: Bloomsbury, 1999, p. 34. 3. It is possible that knowledge of Chinese firearms and gunpowder arrived in Europe via Russia. There is archaeological evidence to prove that the Chinese had cannons by the thirteenth century. See Arnold Pacey, Technology in World Civilization: A Thousand Year History. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990. 4. Roger Bacon, Epistolae de Secretis Operibus Artis et Naturae et de Nullitate Magiae, circa 1257. 5. Gies and Gies, Cathedral, p. 247. 6. The term firearm will be used in the text to signify handheld



weapons of all types up to the appearance of the rifled weapon, when rifle will be used. 7. See T. F. Tout, in Firearms in England in the Fourteenth Century. English Historical Review 26 (1911): 666702. 8. Ibid. 9. Petrarch notes: These instruments [firearms or cannon] were a few years ago very rare . . . but now they are become as common and familiar as any other kind of arms. So quick and ingenious are the minds of men in learning the most pernicious arts. De Remediis, Book I, dialogue 99. 10. Iij canones paruos vocatos handgunnes. 11. Now at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, England, as MS. Christ Church College, Oxford, 92, f.70v. 12. Roger Bacon, Opus Tertium, circa 1257. 13. Roger Blair, Early Firearms, in Pollards History of Firearms, ed. Claude Blair. New York: MacMillan, 1983. 14. The first standing armies appeared in the fifteenth century in France (1445), Burgundy (1471), and Venice (1479). See J. R. Hale, War and Society in Renaissance Europe 14501620. Leicester, England: Leicester University Press, 1985, p. 65. The situation 100 years later was the opposite due to tactics becoming far more complex. 15. MS 3069, Austrian National Museum, Vienna. 16. Diebold Schilling, Berne Chronicle (vars edns), 14741483. 17. Codex Atlanticus, Ambrosiana Library, Milan, fo.56 v.b. There is also some evidence of a similar device of French origin. See Zeitschrift fr Historische Waffenkunde 13 (19321934): 226227, which gives details of a wheel lock from about 1540 in the Real Armeria, Madrid. 18. C. Blair and J. F. Hayward, Die Rechnungs-bcher des Kardinals Ippolito dEste im Staatsarchiv Modena. Waffen-und Kostumkunde 19 (19621964): 187188. 19. Letter to the Emperor from the Ausschuss Landtag Innsbruck, recommending against such weapons as being helpful to criminals by virtue of their easy concealment about the person (mentioned in Arne Hoff, Feuerwaffen. Ein Waffenhistorisches Handbuch. Braunschweig: Brunswick, 1969, p. i.) 20. Dead, of course, means guns that need no live fuse or match to fire them. 21. References like this that carry the epithet was in . . . are caused by the many changes that have happened in Europe since the beginning of the twentieth century. Their significance is that the author has traced the existence of the examples to the specified place and time but has been unable to ascertain their present whereabouts. 22. Jaroslav Lugs, Firearms Past and Present. London: Grenville, 1973 (English reprint), p. 24. 23. From evidence in A. Angelucci, Catalogo della Armeria Reale, Turin 1890, p. 421, where the author quotes a Florentine ordinance of 1547



mentioning weapons fucile. There is also a Swedish reference in ke Meyerson, Stockholms Bssmakerei, Stockholm 1936, p. 10, n. 21, to snappls. 24. Sir James Turner. Pallas Armata. London: Pauls Church Yard, 1639. 25. Such as the Baltic lock, the Netherlands lock, the Spanish lock (or Miquelet lock), and the Italian lock. 26. This weapon is in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and has a single-headed eagle painted on the stock, coat of arms of Maximilian I between the dates noted. However, the 12 faint grooves at the muzzle cannot be proved to go the length of the barrel, leaving this piece as dubiously the first rifle. 27. The flint was silex pyromachus and was bought from quarries in round or oval pieces. They had to be left to dry out slowly, otherwise they became brittle, and they were then knapped to form them for fitting to flintlocks. The operation was so simple that an artisan could produce between 2,000 and 4,000 per day. 28. Combustion of charge and wadding was, however, never perfect, and barrel residues built up until weapons could not be loaded with ball because of these deposits. This problem has never been completely solved, although today barrel residue is of very little importance. In the day of the musket, however, it was significant, especially as there was no way of cleaning the barrel entirely, as it was closed at the breech and so inaccessible to a cleaning rod. The detailed procedure was: Fold a sheet of paper into a trapezium 6mm x 12mm x 15cm. Then take a round stick 19cm long and 16mm in diameter, one end of which has a cavity large enough to take one-third of the ball. Lay the stick with the ball on the end on the paper so that the ball rests 13cm from the main base. Then wrap the paper round the stick, holding the ball in place, and with the right hand finish wrapping the cartridge. Remove the stick and place the cartridge in a bronze cylinder in one of a row of hemispherical cavities. Pour the powder into the cases using a funnel, and shake to settle the powder. Close with a double twist. See Jean Boudriot, Armes Feu Franaises, Modles dOrdonnance, in the series Modles Reglementaires, 17171836, Paris, 19611963.


Ball, Bullet, Powder, and Cartridge:The Development of the Propellant and the Projectile

THE MUSKET BALLThe first reference to musket balls is to pellets in an English document.1 One can assume musket balls were meant. The original musket ball was a spherical lead ball in approximately the caliber of the weapon that fired it. Both metallurgy and mensuration were somewhat crude arts in the fourteenth century, but it seems that ball was usually made slightly smaller than weapon caliber to allow easy loading. The lead balls were made by melting lead (and its impurities) and then pouring the molten lead into molds. This process could be done almost anywhere there was a fire, because lead has a low melting point.2 Bullet molds are first mentioned in the English Wardrobe Accounts (records of state) in circa 1375, and the molds mentioned were made of brass. In 1497 a list of military stores sent to Scotland included six moldes of stone for castying of pellettes. These were for the casting of shot for the hakebusses of iron, which were another part of the inventory. By the reign of King Henry VIII every weapon was accompanied by a bullet mold (and powder flask), and in 1512 a merchant sup19



plied 420 handguns with 420 botelles [powder flasks] and moldes for the same. Recovered items from the wreck of the Mary Rose included a few bullet molds made of soapstone, a soft, easily carved stone that was resistant to heat. Each mold consisted of a block of soapstone that had been cut in half, with a spherical cavity cut inside. The top half of the mold had a channel cut to the top hemisphere of the mold, through which the lead was poured. When cool, the two halves of the mold were pulled apart and flashing removed from the shot produced. Later molds were made with two hinged arms, which closed to form the mold. In the seventeenth century molds were still normally made to cast one shot, but one example3 from France molded four shots at once. Sprue or flashing cutters also became standard on bullet molds to cut away extruded lead that formed at the joints of the two halves of the mold. In the nineteenth century, as engineering perfected its techniques, more accurate fitting of the two halves was provided in manufacture and the caliber of the ball more accurately represented. But by the middle of the nineteenth century a radical change in bullet form had taken place, and bullet molds were made to allow the production of cylindro-conoidal and Mini bullets. Further, as engineering standards rose, the calibers of weapons became standardized, and one mold would serve any number of weapons. The history of the lead ball is bedeviled by the fact that a round ball has no axis; when fired, it either spun or it did not, but whatever, the trajectory of the ball was affected by chance as well as wind, range, and propellant power: they were really nothing more than high-speed stones. The balls were loaded with a patch wrapped around them. This was to fill the gap between the barrel wall and the slightly undersized ball. The ball was undersized for one good reason: if made to barrel size, only the first round would load easily; thereafter, fouling would make the process more difficult, and after two or three shots the weapon would be unusable. Some attempts were made to reduce fouling by waxing bullets, or soaking patches in wax, but unless the whole patch was completely consumed on firing (and most of the time even paper wadding was not burned out either), fouling was certain to occur. Patches were designed to be squeezed between ball and barrel on loading, allowing the ball to pass down the barrel easily, and patches were often greased or lubricated to make this even easier. They also had the advantage that once the weapon was loaded, the ball would not roll out of the barrel if the weapon was pointed downward.



On firing the powder flash set fire to the patch as well as expelling the ball, and the burning patch was flung out of the muzzle. This augmented the already large amount of smoke generated when muzzle-loading black-powder (another generally accepted term for gunpowder) weapons were fired. Problems could arise, of course, if the patch was too large or of the wrong material, which could make it impossible to load the weapon. Loading in general often became a great problem, and one report noted that the force required to ram down the ball being so great as to render a mans hand too unsteady for accurate shooting.4 The flaming patch could in itself be a danger if weapons were fired at times of drought, as the patch would set fire to vegetation when it came out of the muzzle. One of the problems that faced the makers of muzzle-loading weapons was accuracy. The round bullet had to be made and loaded perfectly to ensure a true trajectory, but if the ball was in contact with the barrel on one side as it passed up to the muzzle, the shot would be affected in the same way as a golfer hooks or pulls his shot. It was understood that the fit of ball to barrel had to be exact if accuracy was to follow, but this was negated by the requirement that a military weapon had to be extremely easy to load and reload, even when there was fouling present in the barrel. The military muzzle-loading rifle initially suffered from the basic problem that even a rifled weapon could not fundamentally increase the accuracy of a round ball, although it could improve its range. Some weapons under testing actually exhibited less accuracy when rifled than the contemporary smoothbores they were intended to replace. Reloading was a much more difficult task with rifling adding to the resistance in the barrel. Hammers were issued to help the rifleman to reload his weapon, with the obvious result of damage to the barrel from the rammer when repeatedly hit by this tool, and to the rammer itself. One way to solve the problem was to issue ball that was subcaliber but to have the ball rammed hard so that it deformed to fit the rifling when fired. This cut down on windage5 initially but led to problems of accuracy with what was a deformed ball, which would behave erratically once it emerged from the muzzle. The answer was a cylindrical bullet, which would gain accuracy from the spin imparted by the rifling, and many designs of such bullets appeared. Before this various gunsmiths worked toward making the bullet expand to fit the rifling when the weapon was fired. Ezekiel Bakers rifle was the first issued to the British Army after tests in 1800 when his rifle beat all European and U.S. makes of-



Delvignes System. Although this allows expansion of the ball, it also distorts it a great deal at the expense of accuracy and range. Courtesy of David Westwood.

fered for testing. However, his rifle fired a round ball and was superseded in 1835 by the Brunswick rifle. The Brunswick attempted to overcome fouling problems by having only two grooves and a belted bullet.6 Even this design could not overcome the problem of fouling, and breech loading was seen to be the only answer. Another attempt to overcome windage, similar to hard ramming, was that of Gustave Delvigne,7 whose carabine tige appeared in 1842. The original design appeared in 1826.8 The barrel rear had a subcaliber chamber in which the propellant charge lay. The spherical ball was then rammed down onto the shoulders of the powder chamber. This deformed the bullet that cut windage but still left the problem of the external ballistics of a deformed projectile. The answer lay in a bullet that was easy to load but that expanded on firing so that it was gripped by the rifling not merely on a random part of its surface but on a cylinder of lead that would allow the rifling to impart spin; the form of the bullet would bring its own stability in the air. Gunmaker William W. Greener of Birmingham, England, solved at least part of this problem. The Greener bullet was an oval ball that was 1.5 times longer than the weapon caliber, with a flat end and a perforation nearly all the way through it. In the perforation was fitted a cast-metal plug with a head like a round-topped button. It could be loaded with the plug above or below the ball, because the pressure or acceleration were both sufficient to push the plug into the ball, expand it, and make it a sure fit in the rifling. Greeners trick had been to make an



oval bullet and to make sure it would expand, no matter which way it was loaded into the weapon. Accuracy was tested in August 1835 at Tynemouth in England. The report on the test confirmed the value of this invention and added that the bullet allowed rifles to be loaded as easily as muskets, yet range and accuracy were as for a rifle. When bullets were recovered after the test, they were seen to have rifling groove marks firmly engraved into their surfaces, proof that they had been successfully Greeners Expanding Bullet forced to fill the whole barrel, and Courtesy of David Westwood. not just to skate lightly over the rifling lands or expand completely into the grooves. However, this idea was rejected by the War Office on the grounds that the bullet was compound.9 However, the British government awarded Captain C. E. Mini of the French Army 20,000 for virtually the same invention, which was adopted.10 A number of other attempts to solve the windage problem appeared between the appearance of Greeners bullet and the Mini. In 1833 Lieutenant Colonel Poncharra of the French artillery proposed seating a standard bullet in a sabot, a wooden cylindrical plug, together with a greased patch. It was found that the wooden sabot was smashed by the rammer and the idea was rejected.11 In 1844 a Colonel Louis E. de Thouvenin published his invention, in which there was no subcaliber chamber like that of Delvigne, but instead a round steel plug was inserted at the breech end of the barrel, around which the powder charge could lie. This breech plug had its axis parallel to the bore and could be adjusted in length so that it created a chamber just big enough for the powder charge. The bullet was then rammed down onto this tige, or anvil, where it expanded. Once again, the problem was that although there was some engagement in the rifling, it was not enough, and the bullets flight in the air was erratic. Nevertheless, this system was proved to expand the bullet more effectively than Delvignes method, and the French Army adopted it in 1846.



By 1845 Lieutenant Colonel John Jacob of the Indian Army12 had built for himself a rifle range with targets at up to 2,000 yards. He was experimenting with rifles made by his London gunmakers to his own specifications, firing cylindro-conoidal bullets with four studs on the sides to fit a four-groove rifling system. His bullets were effective out to 2,000 yards, and he even designed an explosive bullet for the weapon. However, the East India government rejected his proposal,13 but he nevertheless went ahead and formed his own regiment equipped with his rifle. In 1853 Jacob began what were near official trials of his own rifle. He paid for everything himself and sent reports when he felt like it to the British government offices in Bombay. Jacob had spent many years getting to this stage, and his main aim was to do away with the belted ball and two-grooved barrel of the Brunswick rifle. He wanted easier loading in a four-grooved barThouvenins Tige. rel firing a double-belted ball. He Courtesy of David Westwood. found that the results of the first firings exceeded his expectations, and in 1846 he put his idea to the government of India. The predictable result was rejection, on the grounds that the British Army at home used the Brunswick, and what was good enough for the royal army14 was good enough for the Hon. East India Company.15 Jacob was not to be deterred, however, and went on to design a bullet with projections on the outside that were to fit the rifling. Jacob was working toward the cylindro-conoidal bullet by stages, and the eventual form of the bullet for his rifle is shown in the illustration.



A page from Daws Gun Patents showing the design of Jacobs cylindrical bullets. George H Daw, Gun Patents, G H Daw, London, 1864.

In April 1856 Jacobs was allowed to show his rifle to the commander in chief in Bombay, and then to the Indian government, and a contemporary report said that at ranges from 300 to 1,200 yards, the flight of the shell16 was always point foremost, and the elevation at extreme range inconsiderable.17 Jacobs continued with his experiments (no doubt his area of India was free of native uprising at the time), and he went on testing until he found that his bullets were effective up to 2,000 yards range, with a penetration of four inches in hard Indian brick, nearly like stone; and almost twelve inches at 1,000 yards. He now saw, beyond all question, that he had obtained both the scientific and the practical data for a first class military arm.18 What Jacobs had done was to produce a very special rifle, which fired a bullet that allowed no windage whatever. This was perhaps the finest weapon of its time but was little suited to military use in general because the era of the muzzle loader was almost over. Further, the rifle was so strongly built that it was extremely costly to manufacture, but the results in 1858 showed that it was accurate in the extreme, and, fired at 500 yards, of 36 rounds fired 32 were hits, 4 were bulls eyes, 2 on the edge of the bulls eye, and about a dozen clustered within six inches of it.19 In 1845 and thereafter, the British Army was still issuing the English Pattern 1842 musket. Testing at Chatham showed that this smoothbore musket failed to hit a target at all at 250 yards, and even at 150 yards only 50 percent hits were achieved. Even after this



test,20 however, such was the conservative nature of the British establishment (including the War Office) that the Select Committee of the House of Commons was assured that the maximum range of the musket was between 1,600 and 1,800 yards, although no mention was made of accuracy. Some of the military was aware of the need for change, and continental Europe and the United States were all testing rifles with a view to changing over completely from the smoothbore musket.

THE MINI BALLCaptain Claude-tienne Mini had reexamined Delvignes ideas for a self-expanding bullet. He took the original idea of a hollow-based bullet and inserted an iron cup. When the bullet was fired the force of the propellant would ram this cup into the rear of the bullet, forcing it outward symmetrically into the rifling grooves, or even into the barrel walls of a smoothbore weapon. The cup itself sometimes actually blew through the head of the bullet, however, but nevertheless the invention was hailed as The Mini Ball. a most important firearms breakthrough, Courtesy of David Westwood. which indeed it was. Despite the obvious advantages of the Mini bullet, the French reversed their 1849 decision to adopt the Mini in favor of another, rather ineffective, design. The Belgians opted for the Peeter ball, another odd concoction. Indeed, there were so many different ideas and designs floating around in Europe at the time that Hans Busk wrote in 1860:There is, amongst other things, much discrepancy of opinion on the question of calibre, librating, as it does, between the Swiss as the smallest (0.41in), and the Swedish or largest, which is .74-inch. In the number of grooves there is still great diversity; in Brunswick, Oldenburg, and Russia, the two-grooved rifle is yet in use; in Wurtemburg, on the other hand, we find one with 12 grooves. These numbers, 2 and 12, represent the extreme limits in military weapons; but the majority of those most in favour do not exceed three



or four grooves. The number most generally adopted is four; rifles with eight are the next most numerous. With respect to the shape of the grooves there is great want of uniformity. In some countries as in England, America and Switzerland, the rifles have neither tige nor chamber, and in others they are fitted, as has been seen, with both. This is the case in Prussia and Sardinia. Some rifles, as the Austrian, Belgian and the French have a plug breech fitted with a tige.21

One other style of rifling, even if not thought of as such by the inventor, was the oval type patented by John Beaver in England in 1825. Charles Lancaster also took some interest in this idea, and he was ordered to supply carbines with this style of rifling to the Royal Engineers in 1855. Hexagonal or pentagonal rifling, in which the barrel was of the selected cross section and twisted along its length, achieved a short period of interest in the 1850s. A rifle designed in this way by Sir Joseph Whitworth outshot the service weapon of the day and was still hitting targets at 2,000 yards, a range at which the Enfield could offer no competition; range was still the important factor in selecting weapons for almost all countries. The bullet was a hexagonal hard lead bullet designed to screw into the barrel when loaded. In the mid-1860s all these efforts were superseded by the appearance of the first military breech loaders. The next bullet problems arose for a different reason, and the way to the composite cartridge was open.

THE COMPOSITE CARTRIDGEThe idea of the all-in-one cartridge was not a new one, even in the 1850s, for Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, had already issued orders in the early 1600s that his army was to carry shot and powder wrapped together in a cartridge. Two hundred years later men were still biting off the paper to pour the powder, then ramming paper and ball into the barrel. One development, which originated in the United States and was later emulated by Heckler and Koch in the late twentieth century, was the self-consuming cartridge. A number of inventors, including Samuel Colt and Christian Sharps, laid claim to the idea, but no matter who had the idea first, it was a good one. If the whole of the powder envelope was consumed at firing, no residue would be left to add to the fouling of the barrel. The paper wrapper for the cartridge



Early Cartridge Cases. Courtesy of David Westwood.

was therefore soaked in nitrates, making it very combustible. The whole cartridge was dropped into the muzzle (or the chamber of breech loaders) and then rammed with rod (or finger). Only ignition was now needed for the whole item to be consumed. The one problem was the perennial one: paper cartridges were easily damaged. To solve this Sharps came up with the linen cartridge, fired from the Sharps breech-loading rifles and carbines. The cartridge was loaded whole into the breech, and on closing the breech block, it then cut into the rear of the cartridge, exposing the propellant powder. To avoid powder spillage the muzzle needed to be lowered, but this was not difficult. When so loaded, the Maynard tape primer provided instant ignition, and so the process of reloading was much simpler and



straightforward than it had been. Naturally, this Sharps system proved very popular among civilians and the military. The composite cartridge could not have appeared without two things: there was a need for a compact primer, and metallurgy and engineering needed to be able to produce an effective cartridge case. The first problem had been answered with the invention of the percussion cap, which was easily redesigned to form the primer in cartridges. The drawing of brass, perfected by the mid-nineteenth century, solved the other problem, although there were many stopgap products that performed adequately if not magnificently. This allowed manufacturers to make a cartridge of metal that combined igniter, propellant, and bullet in one unit; this in turn led to improved mechanical reloading systems.22 Combustible paper cartridges had been in use for some time and were first made as a complete item by Johannes Samuel Pauly, who invented the brass-headed cartridge. Unfortunately the primer in Paulys original design was too easily knocked out by handling, and the cartridge itself was too vulnerable to the elements, but the first step had been taken toward the composite metal cartridge. By 1829 Clement Pottet had invented his metallic cartridge, which had a base depression for a fulminate primer, but this was not perfected until 1855, when Pottet introduced threading into the primer pocket to allow the primer to be screwed into the cartridge. In the meantime, however, to eliminate problems in handling and from the effects of the weather, cartridge designers tried to put the primer within the body of the cartridge itself, and Casimir Lefauchaux23 patented his pin-fire cartridge in 1832. This cartridge was fired by means of the hammer striking a pin set into the cartridge at the base and was arranged on being struck to come into contact with the cap that was embedded within the body of the cartridge itself. The cap was set on the opposite side of the cartridge case to the pin, so that there was firm resistance from cartridge and breech when the pin was struck. Although this type of cartridge survived in use until quite late, it was superseded by that of Johann Nikolaus (von) Dreyse, who not only invented the needle gun but also the cartridge to go in it. This was the Dreyse cartridge, in which the primer was fixed at the base of the bullet, ahead of the propellant charge. The needle of the rifle was in fact the firing pin, which had to penetrate the propellant charge completely before it could fire the cartridge. At almost the opposite end of this concept was that of John Hanson and William Golden, who applied for a patent for a cartridge in 1841 with no



propellant charge. Their cartridge relied upon the fulminate primer to fire the cartridge and act as the propellant in itself. Due to the former cartridge having to be fully penetrated before ignition (soon attended by problems as needles bent, weakened, or broke) and the latter being too weak, they fell by the wayside. However, once more in France, a new idea surfaced, in which the primer covered the whole base. This was the Flobert cartridge of 1849 (from Nicholas Flobert of Paris) and was in fact the first rimfire. In no time the Americans appeared on the scene in this field, and Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson refined the cartridge so that there was a distinct rim around the base of the cartridge, within which was contained the primer. This was the first improvement, to which they then added a propellant charge, lacking in the Flobert design, which was, however, entirely suitable for civilian fair ground and so-called lounge rifles. This was an exceptional advance, but had the fault that the strength of the hammer hitting the rim had to be great enough to compress the cartridge case metal to explode the primer. For this reason military high-power cartridges could not be made this way,24 but the principle remains in many small bore .22inch rifles in use up to today. The way forward had been shown; the arrival of a paper cartridge with a brass head into which was fixed a central percussion cap, similar to Pottets patent of 1855, was the start of the final development phase. The cartridge was first introduced in England by George Henry Daw of London and became the type of cartridge used in the first British general service breech loader, the aptly named Snider rifle, invented by the American Jacob Snider and adopted by the British Army for a short period from 1867. The threads of cartridge design and rifle loading systems were drawing closer at this period, with all modern military thought being devoted to the breech-loading weapon and a suitable cartridge to fire in it. Cartridges of a sort were available, but the primer problem was twofold: it was not always securely fixed and it was a one-shotonly concept, in that primers could not be reloaded. Further, brass cases were expensive, which meant that government treasuries were happier with weapons that did not leave large amounts of wasted brass on ranges or battlefields. The final step was taken by Charles William Lancaster of England, who produced a drawn metal cartridge,25 followed by George W. Morse of the United States (who offered a breech loading carbine to the U.S. Army in 1857, which was underpowered by firing a primer-only cartridge), and then almost simultaneously by Colonel





Dreyse and Chassept Cartridges. Courtesy of David Westwood.

Hiram Berdan of the United States (who resigned his commission in 1846 to concentrate on firearms design) and Edward Mounier Boxer (commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1849, and forced to resign from the British Army in 1869 after legal wrangles over his patents). The latter pair of officers designed primers for center-fire cartridges with internal anvils and soft outer faces, between which was the fulminate igniter. The firing pin struck and dented the outer face of the primer, thus compressing the fulminate against the anvil, causing it to ignite the propellant charge via flash holes into the cartridge case.

THE MODERN MILITARY CARTRIDGEBy the time the British Snider conversion went into manufacture, everything that was needed, if not the method of achieving increased accuracy, was known to cartridge designers. The appearance of drawn metal cases and center-fire primers with reliability made the dream of the rifle designers a certainty: at last they could be sure that gases would not escape to the rear on firing, because the cartridge case would act as its own obturator. Further, soldiers could now be given complete cartridges to load into their rifles, removing forever the need for separate powder and ball, wadding, and ramming. Each individual cartridge just needed to be put into the weapon, and it was ready to use. Designs for composite metallic cartridges in the hundreds came to the patent offices of both Britain and the United States. All were based on this one principle, which was the containment within one unit of primer, propellant, and bullet, and it is at this stage that present-day cartridge design stands, with one exception: although aban-



doned on the ground of costs, Heckler and Koch designed a selfconsuming cartridge that had the bullet wrapped almost entirely by the powder, which was entirely consumed at firing, removing the need for extraction of the empty cartridge case and thereby also reducing all waste cases. The design of the bullet has received a great deal of attention in the last 200 years and has passed from round lead ball to much more complex designs that incorporate a metal jacket around a heavier core. The way to the modern bullet was as fraught as that to the cartridge and bears examination here. As noted, the original round ball was elongated in the first instance by Captain Gustave Delvigne, originally a captain in the French Army. In 1841 he announced his development of the cylindro-conoidal bullet with a hollow base, which was to be fired in his own design of rifle, the pillar-breech, publicized in 1842. After these inventions had been proved to work to an extent, Captain Claudetienne Mini took the bullet further, producing it in the ogival form for which he became famous. The Mini ball needed no tige; it was designed to expand under the pressure of the propellant gases on firing and to enlarge itself to fit into the grooves of the rifling very quickly. To aid expansion, Mini balls were often fitted with base plugs, which were forced into the base of the bullet on firing, thus aiding bullet expansion. Experiments in various countries proved that the separate plug often damaged the bullet in the process, and it was often done away with in favor of the simple hollow base, filled with grease to lubricate the bore. Yet another French officer, Captain Tamisier of the artillery, found out by experiment that the center of gravity of a projectile was better arranged at the front, making the bullet far more effective. To concentrate the weight forward he gave his design an ogival nose, and to stabilize the bullet better in flight, because the center of gravity was forward, he added three transverse grooves around the bullet waist. This increased drag on the bullet behind the center of gravity, removing its tendency to roll about its axis in flight. Various other experiments established the value of the cylindroconoidal bullet, but it was still made of lead, simply because lead is heavy and easily molded. The development that bullet and cartridge men were waiting for was the composite cartridge and the breechloading rifle. Essentially both dreams were fulfilled by the 1850s, even though many of the breech loaders were either weak in their actions or so complicated that they would never stand the test of ac-



tion in the field. Some designs, however, emerged that were sturdy and simple enough to be considered for military use. One of these was the Snider rifle-musket and its cartridge, one of the first composite cartridges ever successful in the field. The Snider cartridge was basically designed by George Henry Daw of London; it was a modification of the Schneider cartridge he had imported from France. (Daw bought the rights to the Schneider design.) However, it was Colonel Edward Mounier Boxer who created the actual cartridge, using his own primer design.26 Ten years earlier in the United States a fundamental advance in the manufacture of cartridges had occurred when Morses and Burnsides cartridges were produced for rifles of their own design. Burnsides cartridge was, as can be seen from the drawing on page 30, conical in shape and designed to be loaded from the front of a hinged breech; it was not a composite cartridge, however, in that it was fired by the flame from a percussion cap directed through the hole at its base into the propellant charge. The drawing of Morses cartridge shows it to have been a true composite cartridge, with a c e n t e r-fire primer and anvil. The cartridge was not a military design,27 it is assumed, but it was probably the first of the new generation.

MAJOR TREADWELLS REPORTFrankford Arsenal in Philadelphia tested a large number of cartridges between 1860 and 1873, and the commanding officer wrote a valuable report on the subject (as noted above). In the preamble to the report the author gives the reason why breech-loading weapons were not issued to the U.S. Army in the 1850s:Considerable attention was given to the subject and production of breech-loading small-arms in this country some twenty years ago,28 and their invention was stimulated by legislative enactment and appropriation. It was at that time designed [i.e., intended], however, and for some years later, to produce a suitable arm for mounted troops; one that was safe and more readily manipulated in the saddle than the muzzle loading rifle or musket with swivelled or separate ramrods, and provided with a cartridge not requiring so great a number of motions in loading and firing.29



Composite Cartridges from Treadwells Report. From Maj. T D Treadwell, Metallic Cartridges, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1973.

Treadwell continues by saying that the real problem of all breechloading weapons was the closure of the breech after loading, but paper and linen ammunition had been used and not until the adoption of expanding cartridges could the problem be properly solved. The Sharps rifle and carbine were most excellently wellmade weapons, and believed by many military authorities to be the



very best breech loader produced for the use of paper or linen cartridges. The original version of the Sharps 1848 had a knife edge that slid across the rear of the breech to cut into the cartridge, exposing the propellant to the fire from the percussion cap. Needless to say, the perfection of the cutoff afforded by the rear of the breech did not always prevent leakages of flame, especially when the weapon was carelessly handled, fouled, or just getting old. The report goes on:For a long time the idea of the general adoption of breech-loading arms for troops of all services met with almost no encouragement among military men, and it was not until as late as after the battle of Gettysburgh that it became popular and prevailed in the service. This prejudice once overcome, by what may be fairly termed an entire revolution of the character of the arms and ammunition, the new breech loaders became rapidly popular, and gained many advocates throughout the Army, where their great superiority to the old muzzle-loaders is now universally recognised and assured. The use of some effective breech loaders and magazine arms30 had, for some time, popularised them for the cavalry, but many of the best infantry and artillery officers were averse to their employment by foot soldiers. A marked contrast to the two systems was furnished by the Department [of Ordnance] by the recovery of upwards of 25,000 stands of muzzle-loading arms from the battlefield at Gettysburg . . . [which] were found to be nearly all loaded; some with one, two, three, four, six, and even as many as twenty rounds of cartridges in the barrel. (emphasis added)

This was good enough reason, it was felt, to provide the soldier with a weapon that could not be loaded twice or more without first firing the round in the breech. The solution was already available, and it seems that innate suspicion of the new, both within the U.S. Army and at Springfield Armory, kept the new rifles at bay. The Spencer had proved itself, with its rim-fire cartridge, and the Henry had a good reputation, too, and despite the report, little was done for nearly three decades. Ammunition, however, benefited from the need for breech-loading weapons, and the report contains details of many of the new cartridges developed up to 1873. The great step forward was the combination of the primer and the cartridge. This had been done in rim-fire cartridges (as with the Spencer), in pin-fire cartridges (the Lefauchaux), and then the center-fire cartridge, of which more designs were appearing seemingly



Boxer and Berdan Primer Systems. Courtesy of David Westwood.


by the week at that time. In England the Snider cartridge had given way to the smaller-caliber .45-inch (or .443-inch) Martini-Henry rifle cartridge, which in makeup was like the Snider cartridge. It was a wrapped-metal cartridge (see Significant Rifles and Rifle Systems section) with a solid brass base into which the primer was firmly fixed. The advantages of a cartridge in which the primer was firmly set in the center of the base, and which did not protrude below the flat surface of the base, would be of tremendous value to the military. Other advantages were sure explosion when struck by the point of the firing-pin; less fulminate and less strain on the head of the cartridge; greater security in handling and using under all exigencies of service.31 Naturally all cartridges considered for service were put through innumerable tests, which Treadwell described in some detail:These cartridges have been subjected to the severest tests to demonstrate their capability to resist all accidents, such as smashing up the boxes of ammunition, and even firing into them with bullets. Only the cartridges actually impinged upon exploded under such tests, their neighbours being only blackened and not otherwise damaged. The safety of handling and transporting this ammunition in comparison with that of the old-fashioned kind is vastly in its favour, and the risk attending its carriage is almost nothing. Its greatly superior qual-



ity to resist exposure of climate, moisture &c., has also been proven by such severe tests that it may be asserted to be practically waterproof. A central and direct blow on the point primed is an essential and highly important feature of the center-primed cartridge; its general adoption, and the adaptation of all breech-loading service small arms to its use, is the best proof of its acknowledged superiority. Simple modifications of the form of the head adapt it to safe use in magazine arms, even though the front of one bullet rests on the head of the preceding cartridge.32

The actual construction of U.S. service cartridges and of experimental cartridges offered for testing varied greatly, but the Americans, interestingly, settled on the British Boxer primer system, whereas the British chose the U.S. Berdan system. The differences between the two types of primer are not dissimilar at first glance, but the fundamental differences are that the Boxer anvil is inserted between cap and cartridge, whereas the Berdan primer is formed from the cartridge case metal itself. When struck, the flame from the primer flashes through the vents, igniting the main propellant charge. From this point on, very little has been done to improve the basic form of the cartridge. The rim has various forms, and up to the end of World War II, both rimmed (particularly the British .303-inch rifle and light machine gun ammunition) and rimless (the German 7.92mm and the U.S. .30-inch round especially) were in use. Since then, the advent of the assault rifle and self-loading weapons, rimless cartridges have shot into the lead, because any form of rim makes loading magazines correctly a matter of difficulty except in the quietest of situations. Rimmed rounds have a tendency to jam in the magazine, and are therefore no longer in vogue. One development that has been of significance has been the adoption by many countries of smaller caliber weapons and ammunition. During World War II the Germans developed the assault rifle, particularly the StG 44 (see Chapter 7), which was designed to

The Martini-Henry Cartridge. The case is actually compressed by twisting the soft casing so that the front part and the ball fit into the breech. Courtesy of David Westwood.



fire a 7.92mm cartridge with a lighter load of propellant. This was to allow controlled automatic fire from the weapons, which were intended to be harder-hitting arms than the submachine guns that appeared so prolifically during that war. The assault rifle was meant to be a short- to medium-range rifle, capable of burst-firing when needed, ideal for urban and battle-range combat, and never intended to be used beyond 300 yards. The cartridge the Germans designed was the 7.92mm kurz (short), which was identical in many respects to the original fullcaliber 7.92mm Mauser round, except that it was only 42.6mm long (compared with 79.7mm), the propellant was 1.58 grams (originally 3.5 grams), and the bullet weighed 8.1 grams (originally 12.8 grams). What this meant was that infantry had a rapid-firing weapon that fired a lighter cartridge (in all senses: weight, muzzle velocity, and muzzle energy) but for which each man could carry more ammunition, and at battle ranges (which were shortening for the rifle all the time) he could lay down a curtain of fire against the masses of the Russian infantry opposing him. This led the Russians, never ones to let a good idea go to waste, to design the AK range of assault rifles firing the 7.62mm x 39mm cartridge, the ideal cartridge for an assault weapon. This cartridge and its user weapon are still available, and recent film from Iraq has shown the AK47 is alive and well and being used there, as well as by many other nations throughout the world, which is unsurprising really, because it is probably the best assault infantry weapon ever made (see Chapter 7). For many years U.S. ordnance and military men considered that the only cartridge that they wanted (as opposed to what they needed) was the trusty .30-06,33 the caliber .30 full-bore long-range rifle cartridge. However, British designers were looking hard at the German idea and came up with the 7mm (0.280-inch) rifle. British military thought had realized that long-range shooting was a thing of the past on the modern battlefield, except for snipers and medium machine guns. The battlefield of the infantryman extended now only to about 300 yards around him. Further, the massed infantry of former battles had to be replaced by small, very mobile units that had little combined firepower except for the machine gun that each section (squad) carried with it. This meant that more ammunition needed to be available to every infantryman of the battlefield, and the ammunition needed to incapacitate the enemy, not necessarily kill him stone dead with one shot. Just as the Germans had led the way with shorter assault rifle am-



munition, so the British led the way with smaller-caliber cartridges. The British 7mm Enfield rifles were a direct result of German work and first appeared in 1947. The British Army tried cartridges in .25inch, .27-inch, .30-inch, and .33-inch sizes but eventually selected an Enfield design for a .270-inch (7mm x 46). This was then discarded in favor of the .280-inch (7mm) Enfield cartridge, around which the revolutionary bullpup design sometimes known as the EM1 and later EM2 were designed.34 In the United States, Eugene Stoner (as chief engineer of the Armalite Division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation) designed a number of weapons, including his survival rifle for the U.S. Air Force, the AR-5. This fired a .223-inch (5.56mm) cartridge and was intended for pilots who might need a rifle for survival after parachuting from a damaged aircraft. The cartridge was a development of a commercial sporting cartridge, the .222 Remington Special. This was redesigned and designated the .223 Armalite. The U.S. Air Force did not adopt the weapon, but the idea was born. Armalite and Stoner then offered their AR-10 rifle for evaluation by the Infantry Board of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 7.62mm. It was immediately recognized as a departure from standard, being made partly of aluminum alloy and fiberglass and weighing seven pounds. However, it failed to be accepted against what became the M14 rifle, although its promise was great. Stoner also had reservations about the 7.62mm x 51mm NATO round that, he claimed,35 was too powerful to be used in a rifle firing at full automatic. In comparatively little time Stoner then took a concentrated look at the .22-inch caliber and designed his own slightly enhanced version for his rifle. The recalibered rifle now became the AR-15, and when the U.S. Army adopted it as its issue service rifle, it took its place in the ordnance catalog at the next available number as the M16. The caliber was seen by many of the military as so small as to be of little value to the infantryman on the battlefield, just as many arguments had ranged against the .280-inch British weapons. The test, in Vietnam in particular, seems to prove that the cartridge performed well, although there are still some doubts about the stopping power of this bullet against determined, advancing men. However, the fact that the cartridge was adopted by NATO caused no small resentment in British circles, having had their own .280-inch cartridge rejected by the U.S. Infantry Board as too small a caliber for battle. This is the situation at the moment: NATO uses the 5.56mm cartridge (designed originally by Stoner, but modified by Fabrique



Nationale at Herstal in Belgium), the former Soviet states36 still use the AK47 with its shortened round, and the rest of the world uses either these cartridges or the old 7.62mm NATO round. Various other old calibers are to be seen in odd places, but the main weapons of the modern military are firing either Russian- or U.S.designed ammunition.

ENDNOTES1. English Wardrobe Accounts, circa 1375. These documents are essentially inventories of the possessions of the English (later British) Crown and are to be found in the British Museum and the British Public Record Office. 2. The melting point of lead in its pure form is 327C. Chambers Science and Technology Dictionary. Edinburgh and New York: Chambers, 1991, p. 511. 3. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, No. 14.25.1439. 4. Report of a Select Committee on Small Arms, (British) War Office, 1852. 5. Windage is the term for the gap between ball and barrel as the ball passed up the barrel. Obviously, deforming the ball meant that initially there would be little or no windage, but as the ball went toward the muzzle, if it altered its position, windage could occur, and the deformation of the ball affected its accuracy significantly. 6. A belted bullet has a circumferential ring of lead that fits into the two grooves on the Brunswick at the muzzle, and when it is rammed the belt stays in the grooves. 7. Delvigne was a former French Army officer who became a ballistics expert. His first weapon was a cap-lock carbine (1827), a cylindro-conoidal bullet (1841), and the Carabine Tige (1842). His work paved the way for Claude-tienne Mini. 8. W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development. Poole, UK: New Orchard, 1899, p. 629. 9. This was due to the fact that after firing, the plug sometimes became detached from the bullet. Report of Major Walcott who conducted the tests (and see note 6 above). Quoted in Blair. 10. Like many instances in the nineteenth century the matter became one in dispute, and members of Parliament took up Greeners case, eventually getting him 1,000, which was acknowledged as for the first public suggestion of the principle of expansion, commonly called the Mini principle, in 1836. 11. Other suggestions were also promoted, and a certain amount of dupli-



cation occurred. Baron Heurteloup applied for a British patent of his system, which was in fact a direct copy of the essence of the Delvigne invention. 12. At the time commanding the Scinde Horse, later known as Jacobs Horse. Jacob was later promoted to the rank of general. 13. On the fallacious ground that the Brunswick, being considered good enough for the British Army, was good enough for service in the Honourable East India Company. Greener, op. cit. 14. A term in use in India for the British regular army, which was separate from the Indian Army. 15. Quoted in G. H. Daw, Daws Gun Patents. London, 1864, p. 55. 16. This report concerns Jacobs rifle shell and exploding bullet, but the form of this bullet was the same as the inert rifle bullet, and so the report is valid for this study. 17. Quoted in Daws. 18. Ibid. 19. Ibid., p. 63. 20. Report of Experimental Musket Firing Carried on at the Royal Engineer Establishment Chatham Between 8 April & 8 May 1846. 21. Hans Busk, The Rifle: And How to Use It. 7th ed., London, 1860, p. 154, quoted in Blair, op. cit. 22. See Chapter 3. 23. Claude Blair, ed., Pollards History of Firearms. (reprint) New York: MacMillan, 1983, pp. 240ff. 24. But rim-fire cartridges were used in the very effective Spencer repeating rifle, which saw service in the U.S. Civil War. 25. Blair, op.cit., p. 241. 26. Jean Huon, in Military Rifle and Machine Gun Cartridges (Alexandria, VA: Jean Huon/Ironside International, 1986), p. 343, states that Col. Boxer brazenly copied the ideas of . . . George Daw, who had bought and improved on the French Pottet and Schneider patents for his design. Despite proof of his claims, Daws complaints were dismissed. 27. Introduced a short time before the war of the rebellion, but not thoroughly experimented with at the time or introduced into service. Its merits over paper or similar ammunition are apparent, the chief, perhaps, being that it was designed as a self-primed cartridge, had a flanged head for extracting the case, and that it reduced the operations of loading. T. J. Treadwell, Metallic Cartridges (Regulation and Experimental) as Manufactured and Tested at the Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, PA. Washington, DC: U.S. Government, 1873 (hereafter Treadwell Report). 28. In 1855 the U.S. Army was issued the new Springfield muzzleloading rifle. 29. Treadwell Report, p. 1. 30. For instance, the Spencer repeating rifle. 31. Treadwell Report, p. 5. 32. The magazines referred to were the tube magazines then in vogue in



the Henry, Winchester, and Spencer weapons, and the system in which the pointed head of a bullet resting against the primer of the next cartridge was the main reason for nonacceptance of such weapons by the European military and the cause of a number of accidents. The solution, a round-nosed bullet, was also not acceptable in military circles. 33. For an example of this cartridge, see the photo of the Garand M1 in the Significant Rifles and Rifle Systems section. 34. Also known as the XL 65 E5 Assault Rifle, now redesigned, and later developed as the SA80 series. 35. Stoner was not alone, because the Germans, Russians, Belgians, and British had all come to the same conclusion: a full-caliber round was too powerful to control in automatic firing. 36. Once the Soviet Union, but now the Confederation of Russian States.


Breech-Loading Rifles

One fundamental problem affected the muzzle-loading rifles: although the principle was sound, the deformation caused to the bullet in loading was sufficient to diminish accuracy to a great extent. An under-caliber ball (which was easy to load, being smaller than the bore) was tried, as has been seen, but this did not really improve accuracy, and the only solution had to be some method whereby the bullet could be fired without deformation on loading. The only way to ensure this was by breech loading the weapon. This in turn brought problems of safety; for any such weapon would have a means of gas escape at the rear of the barrel, where the user was holding the weapon close to his face and upper body. One of the first breech-loading weapons that saw military service was the Ferguson rifle. This was designed by Captain Patrick Ferguson of the 70th Regiment (Surrey Regiment).1 In March 1776 he took out a patent in London for a flintlock screw-plug breech-loading rifle.2 Ferguson acknowledged his debt to Chaumette but incorporated in his design certain modifications that were intended to overcome the fouling problem that had bedeviled the design up to that point. He introduced a smooth section cut across the threads that faced the chamber when the weapon was loaded and closed, he had vertical grooves cut into the threads, and he had a small reservoir behind the breech plug. The system operated in a very simple, soldier-proof fashion, in that one turn of the trigger guard opened the mechanism to the full extent. The soldier then put a ball into the hole on top of the rifle and let gravity feed it to the forward part of the chamber. He then poured powder in to charge the weapon and simply rewound the43



The Ferguson Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910.

trigger guard to close the weapon. He could then brush any surplus powder left on top of the breech directly into the pan or, if it was windy or there was no surplus, could charge the pan, cock, and fire. The Ferguson rifle was a remarkable piece of engineering in that the matched screw threads of the male (the rotating plug) and the female (the breech hole) were mated exceptionally well, making the action extremely smooth to operate. The example (by Durs Egg) held in the Weapons Collection of the Small Arms School Corps (at the School of Land Warfare on the outskirts of Warminster, Wi l tshire, England) is still operable, and even fireable, and the rotating lever action functions perfectly. The weapon was a riflemans dream at the time, being easy to load and fire and relatively easy to clean and maintain. It also has a pleasing balance. It was a weapon that would have made the British Army, had it adopted it wholesale, the leading force in rifle use and would have served the army far better than the rag-tag of weapons that were used in its stead. Of course, before any weapon could be adopted, it needed to be tested, and following a series of very favorable press reports,3 he arranged to show the weapon to senior officers of the British Army. Lord Townshend and members of the Board of Ordnance saw the rifle in action,4 and Lord Townshend was so impressed that he



arranged another, full-scale demonstration on 1 June 1776. This took place in rain and wind on the marshes of Woolwich Warren near London. The report of the event recorded that[Ferguson] performed the following four things, none of which had ever before been accomplished with any other small arms; 1st He fired during four or five minutes at a target, at 200 yards distant, at the rate of four shots each minute. 2dly He fired six shots in one minute. 3dly He fired four times per minute, advancing at the same time at the rate of four miles in the hour. 4thly, He poured a bottle of water into the pan and barrel of the piece when loaded so as to wet every grain of the powder, and in less than half a minute fired with her as well as ever, without extracting the ball. He also hit the bulls eye at 100 yards lying with his back on the ground; and, notwithstanding the unequalness of the wind and wetness of the weather, he only missed the target three times during the whole course of the experiments.5

With such results the Board of Ordnance felt confident in ordering that 100 Ferguson rifles be made, to arm a small detachment of men to test the rifle under war conditions in the American Revolutionary War. This detachment was raised in February 1777 with Ferguson in command. This, the Corps of Riflemen, arrived in the United States in May 1777 to join General Sir William Howes army, and they fought at the Battle of Brandywine, where they distinguished themselves and the rifle was put to good use. Fortunately for the Americans Ferguson was wounded, and during his convalescence the Corps of Riflemen was disbanded, the riflemen being distributed in small numbers among the light companies of other regiments. Ferguson was killed at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, and his rifle virtually died with him as an issue weapon of the British Army. No doubt Christopher M. Spencer (see below) would have smiled ruefully at this demise of a great weapon. A number of breech-loading designs had appeared before Fergusons breakthrough, some of which had separate chambers, loaded individually into the weapon, and some with pivoted chambers. The difference lay in that the former weapons needed a supply of chambers as well as cartridges to make them effective, whereas the latter weapons just needed cartridges. This simpler and less logistically dependent method was chosen by many armies,6 mainly because of



Halls Breech Loader. The weapon is loaded via the front of the breech block, and fired by means of the standard flintlock. The pivot of the block is at the rear, and the lock and chamber are integrated into the one-piece breech block. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910.

the advantage that the paper cartridge was an all-in-one method of conveying and loading the weapon. One of the earliest breech-loading service rifles to be issued was the Hall breechloader. John H. Hall and William Thornton7 took out a joint patent in 1811 with a tip-up breech chamber. The difference was that the Hall rifle had chamber and lock integrated in the breech block. Halls weapon did have its faults. Although the combined lock and chamber made it more efficient than other weapons, there had been no real effort to seal the junction between chamber and barrel, and the weapon was disliked for the gas leakage. The Hall was adopted in 1819 as the official U.S. Army rifle, and although the gas escape persisted, the thing that really upset the soldiers was the hook catch used to lock the chamber in position. This protruded below the stock, dug into shoulders, and got caught in equipment. The chamber of the Hall was made slightly larger in caliber than the barrel, which meant complete sealing of ball within the rifling on firing. Further, such a fit meant there was less cleaning involved, as the ball swept the barrel of fouling quite effectively with every shot. Another advantage was that the rifle could not be double loaded, as sometimes happened with muzzle-loading weapons. Originally the Hall was a flintlock weapon, but it was modified to percussion firing during the time it was in service. The feature of the Hall design that caught the eye of the military was Halls proposal that parts should be interchangeable, making



battlefield repair of weapons a reality. At the time, any weapon damaged in the field had to be returned to the armory for repair; this proposal of Halls meant less time to repair weaponsand therefore less cost. Nevertheless, various staff at Springfield Armory and others elsewhere made Halls life extremely difficult, and it was not until 1819 at Harpers Ferry that Hall started work on designing the tools needed to produce the interchangeable parts. Finally, in 1824 he finished the first 1,000 rifles, much later than expected.8 In trials the new rifle did come up to expectations, and the Army Board (a board set up by the British Army to evaluate entries in the competition) reported that in tests carried out in 1818 and 1819 one of the Hall rifles was fired 7,186 times and a musket 7,061 times; the Hall proved superior in rate of fire and accuracy. One reason for the improved accuracy was that the barrel caliber was .52 inch, whereas the chamber (or receiver, as it was called by Hall) was .545 inch. The rifling, which also contributed, was 16-grooved, with a pitch of one turn in 8 feet. As an aid to muzzle-loading, should the chamber-receiver be jammed, the barrel was reamed smooth back to the foresight. The validity of Halls claim that rifles could be made with interchangeable parts was totally vindicated in 1834 when Colonel Simeon North in Connecticut set up a factory that duplicated Halls tooling. The rifles he made had parts interchangeable with the H a r p e r s Ferry rifles. Nevertheless, despite this success and the growing use of breech loaders in Europe, in the United States opinion was turning against the Hall rifle, and Hall himself was in failing health. By 1842 the Hall rifle was effectively withdrawn, to be replaced by a muzzle-loading rifle, the Model 1841. The decision was due to prejudice against the somewhat ungainly appearance of the weapon and the conservatism of senior officers and officials. The fact still remains, however, that in the year that Prussia introduced the bolt-action needle rifle, the United States reverted to muzzleloading rifles.

THE BREECH LOADER AND THE BRITISH ARMYThe first-issue breech loader that served generally in the British Army was no more than a conversion of the famous Enfield musket. This was the Snider, a conversion system invented by Jacob Snider of Baltimore, and was adopted officially in 1865 by the British. Pre-



viously the British Army had been firing muzzle-loading rifles with the Mini bullet. Events in Europe, however, forced the British into the realization that they were falling behind the French in firearms development, and the Snider conversion was seen as a stopgap until breech-loading weapons could be examined in detail. The Snider action was a simple side-hinged block, which could be raised laterally to open the breech. A rearward pull on the block allowed the empty case to be ejected. The use of metallic cartridges was approved by this time in Britain, which the French had yet to adopt (the Chassept rifle fired a paper cartridge). The metallic cartridge case solved a problem that had bedeviled the designers of breech-loading weapons since the idea was first thought of, in that all the gases were contained now by the base of the case, and a blowback into the firers face was now an occasional accident (caused particularly if the cartridge base split) rather than an occupational hazard. Although the original accuracy of the weapon was not even up to the standard of the muzzle loader, the adoption of Colonel Boxers cartridge in 1867 removed this problem. However, it was realized from the outset that the Snider conversion was no more than an interim solution, and a committee was formed by the War Office to examine the breech-loading rifle. To ensure that all available gunmakers were enthused to enter, prizes were offered to the winning gun design and the best cartridge. Earlier, in 1864, a subcommittee charged with looking at breechloading systems had tested Sniders idea against eight other weapons.9 The report described Sniders design:The effective length of the barrel is reduced by about two inches, and this is occupied by a breech stopper, which works laterally on a hinge. The arm is adapted for a cartridge with a metal cup at the base, and carrying its own detonating arrangement in the centre; the blow from the hammer is communicated by means of a wire [sic] which passes through the breech stopper. There is an arrangement for withdrawing the old cartridge case.10

Once the tests had reduced the original entries to the nine weapons under consideration, each entrant was sent six Enfield rifles to work on, which, once modified, were to be returned to Woolwich, where further tests were to take place. Firing then took place and the Snider had the fastest time in one test and lay third overall. But the appeal to the examiners was that this is a new system, and dispenses with the nipple and percussion



cap, being adapted for a cartridge carrying its own ignition. Also, The method of conversion is very simple. About two inches of the upper part of the Enfield barrel are cut away at the breech, and a solid breech stopper working sideways on a hinge is placed in the opening thus made. A piston [the wire mentioned above] passes through this stopper, and when the breech is closed one end of it receives a blow from the hammer and the other communicates it to the center of the cartridge and fires it (emphasis added). The committee was also happy with the ejection arrangement, whereby the operator just pulled the whole breech block (or stopper) to the rear. Even though the cartridge case was not actually removed from the body of the weapon, it could easily be removed with the fingers or by rotating the weapon. When the final results were published, the Snider came in second to a weapon prepared by William Green of London. Although the Snider did not win the competition outright, it had one factor in its favor that outweighed its defects: it fired a composite cartridge. The committee commented:The ultimate armament of the infantry with breech-loading weapons is determined upon . . . [although] no converted arms can possess the precision which will be easily attained in a new breech loader of smaller gauge and quicker twist . . . [the Committee recommends] that Mr. Snider be encouraged to pursue his experiments by the promise that on the production of a pattern arm that will give satisfaction to the Committee, 1,000 muskets (or enough to arm one battalion) shall be placed in his hands for conversion.11

It is interesting to note that as soon as this was decided, work went ahead, and another committee was almost immediately appointed to look at better methods of breech-loading. The new committee eventually reported its finding only three years later. On 22 October 1856 the War Office issued an invitation to all Gunmakers and Others requesting that they make proposals . . . for breech-loading rifles, either repeating or not repeating, which may replace the present service rifles in future manufacture.12 There followed a list of basic service criteria, including a weight and length limit13 and a number of technical specifications on recoil, accuracy, fouling, and penetration. However, caliber and rifling were left to the individual who was submitting the rifle. Interestingly, there was also a note on magazine and repeating arms, showing that the committee was aware of the existence of such systems and was prepared to examine them.



On 11 June 1867 the committee issued its first report.14 No fewer than 104 rifles had been submitted for their consideration, with every inventor being invited to explain his design and then to fire the weapon. The committee then divided the weapons into two classes, classifying 37 as falling within the terms of the advertisement and therefore eligible for the money prize, and a further 67 weapons that failed to comply but that were still going to be looked at on their own merits. Further, from the first group some 21 weapons were rejected for a number of reasons.15 However, nine rifles were retained for further testing, those submitted by Augusto Albini and Francis Augustus Braendlin, Major G. V. Fosbery, Bethell Burton (two weapons), Benjamin Franklin Joslyn, Alexander Henry (his No. 2), Henry O. Peabody, Freidrich von Martini, and Samuel Remington. It is now worth looking at these nine rifles individually because they represent the best that was available in 18661867.

The Albini and Braendlin

The Albini and Braendlin Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910.

This was described by the report:The rifle is adapted for metallic centre-fire cartridges. The breech block, which closes the breech, works on a hinge. . . . A piston, with



spiral spring, passes through the axis of the breech block, and serves to communicate to the cartridge the blow which it receives from a bolt worked by the lock. This bolt, which thus fires the gun, at the same time prevents the breech block from being blown open by an accidentally unsound cartridge. The breech action is made on a shoe, which afterwards receives the breech end of the rifle.

Braendlin16 fired the rifle on two occasions and achieved a rate of fire the second time of 12 rounds in one minute, one second.17

The Burton Rifles

The Burton Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910.

Rifle No. 1.Has a cast steel barrel; it is adapted for the central-fire Boxer cartridge. The breech block works on a hinge under the barrel by means of a handle in front of the trigger guard. The cartridge is exploded by a piston in the breech block and ordinary lock. The cartridge is extracted by the act of opening the breech. The piston has no spring, but is withdrawn by the action of the breech. The breech can be opened without raising the hammer, but the hammer must be raised afterwards before it can be closed again.



The rifle cannot be fired unless the breech block is well home. Rifle No. 2.It is also adapted for the Boxer center-fire cartridge; the breech is closed by means of a sliding bolt worked by a lever handle; the cartridge is exploded by a piston within the breech bolt. The rifle cannot be fired unless the breech bolt is in its proper position.

Both rifles were fired by Burton and by a Royal Marine marksman. The rate of fire was consistent, and both managed to fire 12 rounds in about a minute.

Major Fosberys RifleThe rifle is adapted for central-fire metallic cartridge, but with a slight alteration, self-consuming cartridges might be used. The breech is closed by means of a block which works on a hinge at the breech end of the barrel, in the same manner as the chamber of the Mont Storm rifle. The breech is opened, and the empty cartridge case extracted by means of drawing back a rod attached to the right side of the barrel. The cartridge is exploded by means of two pistons, the one passing through the center of the breech block, and the other acting as a striker, which also serves to secure the breech block, and prevent it flying up in case of any escape of gas. There is a stud in the shoe that greatly facilitates the ejection of the empty cartridge case. The lock is in the center of the stock, and is of simple construction.

Twelve rounds of .568-inch Boxers were fired in 50 seconds, and the accuracy of the weapon was acceptable at 500 yards.

The Henry18 RifleThe rifle is adapted for the Boxer cartridge. The breech is opened by means of a breech block, which works vertically by the movement of a lever under the stock; this lever, when the rifle is loaded, is fastened by a catch under the trigger guard. The cartridge is exploded by a piston passing diagonally through the breech block, and driven by a common lock. The empty cartridge case is extracted by the same movement that opens the breech block.

The weapon was able to fire 12 rounds in 57 seconds with acceptable accuracy.



The Henry Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910.



The Joslyn/Newby RifleThe rifle is adapted for a copper rim-fire cartridge, but can be equally well adapted for central-fire. The rifle is closed by a breech block opening laterally on a hinge, which is hollowed out so as to fit over a collar at the end of the barrel; the recoil is thus taken on two bearings. A spring piston passes through the breech block and is driven by the hammer of an ordinary side lock. The extractor is worked by a screw thread on the hinge joint of the breech block.

Edwin Henry Newby, a gunmakers agent of London, was there, and Bird fired the weapon, firing 12 rounds in 47 seconds.

The Martini Rifle

The Martini Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910. The rifle is adapted for a copper rim-fire cartridge, but can be adapted equally for central-fire. The rifle is closed by a breech block, which falls and rises on a hinge, and is worked by a lever in the rear of the trigger guard. The method of opening and closing the breech is similar to that of the Peabody rifle (see below). The breech block contains a spiral spring and piston for striking the cartridge. The action of opening the



breech throws out the empty cartridge case, by means of a lever extractor, and at the same time cocks the rifle. The ordinary lock is entirely dispensed with. The gun is placed on half cock, or rather in a position of safety, by pushing forward the lever rather slowly, so as not to throw out the cartridge, and pulling the trigger while the breech is partly open. Another slow motion of the lever re-cocks the piece.

Twelve rounds were fired in 48 seconds by Marine Bristow, who, it was noted, was not well acquainted with the manipulation of the rifle.

The Peabody Rifle

The Peabody Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910. The rifle is adapted for a rim-fire metallic cartridge. An iron breech frame closed at the sides unites the barrel with the stock. In this is placed the breech block, working on a pivot fixed at the rear and moved by means of a lever which forms the trigger guard when the rifle is ready for firing. In the upper side of the breech block is a



groove, which coincides with the bore of the barrel when the breech is open. The extractor is in the form of a lever, which is moved by the breech block, and throws the cartridge case clear of the rifle when the breech is opened. The breech is secured by a lever affixed to the lower side of the block, and worked with a spring which presses it against a strong pin. The block carries a striker driven by the hammer of a common side lock, which explodes the cartridge.

Sergeant Bott of the Royal Marines, who was unacquainted with the rifle, and did not, therefore, attain the highest rate possible, fired 12 rounds in 53 seconds.

The Remington Rifle

The Remington Rifle. Illustration enhanced from W. W. Greener, The Gun and Its Development, Cassell & Co., London, 1910.



E. Remington & Sons of Herkimer and Ilion, New York, designed this particular action, which eventually saw worldwide military use. The committee reported:The rifle is adapted for copper cartridges, either central or rim-fire, there being a duplicate breech piece. The breech piece or block works on a transverse pivot below the barrel, and is secured by the hammer of a central lock, the hammer being also the tumbler of the lock. Mr. Remington claims as advantages of this system, simplicity of construction and of action, combined with great strength. The surfaces in contact are few and well protected. Mr. Kerr fired for Remington and managed a rate of 11 rounds in 40 seconds of .5-inch caliber cartridges.

THE TESTSAll these weapons were then subjected to a number of tests, perhaps the most telling of which was the exposure test. For this, 100 rounds were fired on four consecutive days, with the rifle being kept dirty and exposed to the weather throughout. They were then left uncleaned for a further 14 days and nights, then fired again. Finally, they were disassembled and examined. The results for the rifles were as follows:Albini and Braendlin: The breech mechanism of this rifle worked well throughout. On the last day much difficulty was found in placing the cartridge in the chamber, owing to an accumulation of rust. The interior of the lock and breech mechanism were in good working order. Burton No. 1: This rifle was in good working order. The interior of the lock and breech mechanism were unaffected by the exposure. Burton No. 2: In firing five rounds on the last day of the trials, there were four miss-fires, probably owing, either to the weakness of the spiral spring, or the wax which had accumulated at the end of the piston. Either, or both, of which causes would lessen the striking force. The breech mechanism was, otherwise, in good order; the spiral spring had been completely protected from the weather, and the sliding bolt worked perfectly well. Fosbery: The breech mechanism worked well throughout, and five shots were fired from the rifle after the fortnights exposure. On



dismounting the lock it was found that the eye of the tumbler and the swivel were broken. This breakage must have occurred when the last shot was fired. Henry: The breech mechanism worked well throughout. Joslyn: During the trial the breech block jammed, and required so much force to open that much difficulty was found in firing five rounds. This jamming was apparently due to the cartridges bulging after firing, consequent of their not fitting the chamber properly. The rifle was not affected by the exposure. On taking it to pieces the wood of the stock was found to be cracked near the breech tang. Martini: The cartridges of this system repeatedly burst near the rim, occasioning a great escape of gas. After the fortnights exposure, only one shot could be fired as the extractor would not work. On dismounting the rifle it was found that the breech mechanism had become greatly clogged by rust and fouling, (the latter) due to the escape of gas, consequent on the bursting of the cartridges. Before the breech mechanism could be taken to pieces it was found necessary to soak the parts in oil. Peabody: The cartridges of this system occasionally burst near the rim, causing a great escape of gas. During the trial several of the cartridges required to be pushed out by a ramrod, the claw of the extractor having passed over the rims. This was probably due to the improper fitting of the cartridges, and also to the claw of the extractor being exceptionally short. On dismounting the rifle the breech mechanism was found to be in good order. Remington: During the trial the breech block frequently jammed, and was so hard to open that five rounds were fired with great difficulty. This defect was owing to faulty cartridges, which allowed gas to escape at the breech. On dismounting the rifle a considerable amount of rust was found below the hammer. In other respects the breech mechanism was in good order.

THE RESULTThe board were unanimous in declaring the Henry rifle to be the best, although there were some accuracy problems (all the rifles were lacking in the accuracy specified in the original invitation), but the Henry rifle was only one of two that was capable of firing at 1,000 yards. So Alexander Henry received 600, but his rifle was not adopted for issue. His action, however, was so striking that it



was decided that a number of gunmakers were invited to present rifles with Henry actions with their own barrel designs. The firms involved were Henry himself, Whitworth, Westley Richards, Lancaster, and Rigby. Tests were conducted in 1869, and the final recommendation of the committee was adoption of a Martini-designed breech block (which was almost identical to that produced by Henry) and a .45inch barrel designed by Henry. Thus was the Martini-Henry rifle born. After troop trials and the issue of a bottle-necked cartridge, the weapon was considered suitable for issue to troops in the spring of 1871. One fault was present in the rifle in action, in that the ejection system was weak, which had actually been pointed out at the time of adoption. One thing is quite sure: this design did not represent the state of the art in rifle design, and the lead was still firmly in European hands.

THE MARTINI-HENRY SERVICE RIFLEThe Martini-Henry rifle in .45-inch caliber (actually .443-inch) was adopted for use by the British Army in 1871. At the same time another weapon was available. The importance of this weapon was not in its action but the fact that it really would shoot straight.19 This ability was a result of the work of William Ellis Metford, who was a great barrel designer. He won the 1,000-yard Duke of Cambridge shooting competition at Wimbledon with a rifle fitted with his own barrel design. The rifling, the most important barrel factor, made the prospect of delivering effective rifle fire at 1,000 yards a reality rather than a dream. Despite this success, his own rifle was not adopted in 1869 or 1871; the Martini-Henry was. Only later would Metford come into his own as a rifle designer. The Martini-Henry was a simple lever-action single-shot rifle. The trigger guard was the actuating lever, which, when depressed, caused the breech block, hinged at the rear, to drop down away from the breech face. At the same time an ejector forced the spent cartridge out of the breech, and the weapon was cocked. A new round was then hand loaded into the breech, and lifting the trigger guard closed the breech, when the weapon was ready to fire. The original rifle was rifled according to Henrys design, with seven shallow grooves. The rifle fired a bottle-neck rolled brass cartridge and a bullet of 480 grains (just over one ounce), with a shock-



ing recoil. Interestingly the weapon had no safety mechanism of any sort and was also prone to discharge if sand or grit got into the trigger mechanism. This made the rifle rather dangerous, and earlier versions, used by troops in Ireland, were ordered never to be carried loaded. The weapon, once adopted, was found to be singularly unsound in its design, and extraction and ejection were poor. The Westley Richards system had overcome this problem, but it was too late for the British. The idea of the Martini-Henry was sound and simple; it was only in the detail that it fails. To this must be added that the cartridge also suffered from one defect: it was originally a rolled brass case, which was fragile and very prone to pick up sand or dust. This, of course, increased the danger of accidental discharge, but it was only in 1885 that the solid case cartridge was issued. The Martini rifle was not really up to scratch according to weapons experts at the time, and a report20 said:The breech-loading arrangements in this combination21 were considered by practical men to be mechanically defective, although the bore of the barrel, the turn of the rifling, and the weight of the bullet gave the best results as regards accuracy, trajectory, penetration, and rapidity of fire. The principle of the falling block in the breech action, which was a previous American invention, was generally admitted to be the best that had been suggested, and so far as the arm justifies the decision of the committee. The faults said to exist in it were the spiral striking spring,22 the lock arrangements, the lever, the stocking, and the ammunition. All these were said to be defective in principle. . . . It was considered, however, that to adopt such a rifle would not be a mechanical credit to the country. Since the end of 1868 the committee has been endeavouring to perfect the arm, and several patterns of it have been made at Enfield, but it still retains its inherent defects and objectionable features.

The Westley Richards weapon, which was favored by many but had not been adopted, was the subject of another analysis:23In the Westley Richards arrangement some valuable advantages are gained. The lifting lever acting upon the free extremity of the breech block is a better arrangement than lifting the block near its centre of motion as in the Martini, since the wear will be less in consequence of the diminution of pressure, and will not so much affect the accurate lifting of the block. The position of the lever in front of the trigger guard, and fitting down close to it when closed, is more conve-



nient, and requires less change from the position of firing than is the case with the Martini lock, where the lever is situate behind the trigger guard. The position of this latter lever, too, is found to interfere with the proper grasp of the stock in bayonet exercise.

The rifle was nevertheless issued, despite the opinions of these practical men, and comments and reactions were requested from those regiments that were equipped with it. Two reports (12 July 1870 and 8 February 1871) were compiled of the responses, and the comments included some criticisms of the wrapped cartridge, which was prone to deformation. This problem was solved by issuing a full metal cartridge. Extraction and ejection were sometimes a problem, and one unit in Dublin wrote that when the cartridges missed fire the ramrod had to be used to get them out, the extractor not getting sufficient bite of the case of the cartridge to move the weight of the unfired cartridge. There was also the problem of grit or sand making the rifle prone to fire when the breech was closed, and a unit in Portsmouth reported thatall the rifles had been dismounted by the armourer-serjeant to the proper pull off. After remounting, rifle No. 5 went off twice without a finger near the trigger or the firer ready to fire. In the second instance when the breech was closed the lock was not at full cock, although indicated by both indicator and trigger. After several attempts the lock was put right, but on passing it over to the firer it went off in the air.

The official reply to the last criticism of the rifle was that in all probability . . . they had not been remounted correctly. The unwillingness of officialdom to recognize that a weapon can have inherent faults is not confined to small arms, but it is seen time and time again with reference to weapons that individuals had to carry in battle, and upon the reliability of which a mans life could depend. The Martini-Henry was a reasonable weapon and bridged the gap between the converted muzzle loaders (the Snider rifles) and the soonto-appear bolt-action rifles, which were to be so important in the first half of the twentieth century.

ENDNOTES1. W. W. Greener, in The Gun, Birmingham: W. W. Greener, 1910, states that Major Patrick Fergusson [sic] was an officer in the 71st. Highlanders, not the Surrey Regiment.



2. Almost identical to an earlier design by Isaac de la Chaumette, a French inventor. The La Chaumette had much success but was never issued to troops (although some sources suggest it saw service with Napoleons troops, but there is no documentary evidence of this). 3. Annual Register, The Gentlemans Magazine, and many British newspapers of June 1776. 4. Ferguson had Durs Egg, the London gunmaker, make two rifles to his specification. One of these may be the weapon now in the Small Arms School Corps Weapons Collection. 5. Quoted in Pollards History of Firearms, ed. Claude Blair. New York: MacMillan, 1983, p. 196. 6. Despite proof that breech-loading weapons could safely be operated by loading with separate powder and ball. 7. Interestingly, Hallahan notes that Thornton was the Superintendent of Patents. He forced Hall into sharing the patent by claiming to have already invented a similar mechanism. However, he may have improved upon Halls original design; see Philip B. Sharpe, The Rifle in America. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1947, p. 13. 8. Delays were caused by intransigence and the sheer inability of various Americans to bury their differences for the common cause. This is a story that is constantly repeated in ordnance circles, particularly with respect to weapons for the U.S. military. 9. These being the Mont Storm, Greens, Westley Richards, Joslyns , Shepards (2), Royal Arms Factories and Wilsons designs. 10. Second report of the Subcommittee of 11 October 1864, British War Office. 11. Subcommittee report of 14 March 1865. 12. This and subsequent quotations are from the Reports on BreechLoading Arms, published by the War Office in April 1868. 13. Weight not to exceed 9lbs 5oz without bayonet . . . LengthTo be 51 inches, with short stock . . . 14. Report of the Small Arms Committee, issued 14 March 1865, under the authority of Brigadier General J. H. Lefory, R.A., President, British War Office official publication. 15. Including incomplete, a decided want of accuracy, the breech block was blown violently open, and the breech could not be opened. 16. Francis Augustus Braendlin, probably Belgian, patented this design jointly with Augusto Albini as No. 2243/66 of 30 August 1866 and subsequently. 17. Although this was with a .577-inch rifle. He was slower with the original design caliber of .462 inch. 18. Alexander Henry, a well-known Edinburgh gunmaker, not to be confused with Benjamin Tyler Henry of Claremont, New Hampshire. 19. Blair, op. cit., p. 259. 20. In Engineering, 27 April 1871, by W. P. P. Marshall, entitled The



Comparative Merits of the Martini Rifle and the Westley Richards Rifle and Ammunition. 21. Of the Martini breech, a Henry rifle barrel and the Boxer cartridge. 22. Or the firing-pin spring. 23. By the same W. P. P. Marshall, entitled The Principal Constructions of Breech-Loading Mechanisms for Small Arms, and Their Relative Mechanical Advantages; Illustrated by Specimens of Breech-Loading Rifles, which appeared in Engineering on 5 May 1871.


The Percussion System

The Reverend Alexander John Fo r s y t h , minister of Belhevie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, published a very important article in July 1799 entitled On certain useful properties of the Oxygenated Muriatic Acid.1 Forsyth was typical of churchmen of the period, in that his days were spent between caring for his parishioners and enjoying himself. His particular sport was shooting; of an inquiring mind, he had looked at the problems of the flintlock. He saw that the flintlock depended upon the sometimes uncertain spark of flint and steel, the effect of dampness on powder and priming and of wind on priming, and the delay between pressing the trigger and the discharge of the shot (from a sporting muzzle-loading gun). Added to the delay was the jet of smoke and sometimes fire that emerged from the barrel vent on firing, which could startle both firer and target equally. These problems applied equally to troops in the field, and the clouds of smoke that gathered around a firing line were notorious for obscuring sight of the enemy on days when there was little or no wind to disperse the smoke. Further, in the heat of battle it was only too easy for a man to forget to prime his pan, or to have the priming powder made inert by rain or even blown away from the pan as he attempted to prime his weapon. Forsyth was not the first to look at the properties of fulminate of mercury, and an article in 18002 on the properties and preparation of this important salt led the way to further examination of its use as a propellant. The salt proved, however, too violent in its explosion for the original purpose, and the idea was discarded. Forsyth, however, saw the possibility of using fulminate of mercury as an initiator65



for the main propellant charge of gunpowder. He found that the speed of combustion of the fulminate was such that the propellant charge ignition was virtually simultaneous with pressing the trigger. In 1805 Forsyth had achieved his aim and had converted a flintlock to his new system. In the place of the frizzen lock, Forsyth fitted a small revolving magazine containing the detonating powder to the lockplate. To prime the Forsyth weapon the perfume bottleshaped magazine was rotated, by which means enough detonating powder for one shot was placed in the path of the hammer when the magazine was returned to its original position. The magazine held enough fulminate of mercury for between twenty and thirty shots. Later versions of the lock had an automated system for priming the weapon.3 The system was seen for what it was: a groundbreaking step in the design of firearms, but the perfume-bottle concept was perhaps too complicated for military use, although many such fitted weapons were sold to the commercial market. What was needed was a simple method of preserving the detonating powder in some way that it could easily be put between the hammer and the vent in the breech, so that the ignition process could occur. A number of inventors came up with solutions, one of whom was Johannes Samuel Pauly (of Paris),4 who made the detonator in small balls with waterproofing coatings. By 1812 he was putting these small balls into the rear end of cartridges to create the first c e n t e r-fire cartridges. (For this development, and subForsyth Scent Bottle. Illustration enhanced from Military Smallarms, HMSO, London, 1929.



The Pauly Breech-Loading System. Illustration enhanced from Military Smallarms, HMSO, London, 1929.

sequent variations on that theme, Pauly has gained universal fame.) Another, later method was to make paper tapes of percussion powder, rather like the cap gun tapes today, which were invented by Dr. Edward Maynard, but that was not until 1845. In 1818 another method was invented by English gunmaker Joseph Manton, who put the explosive into small tubes of thin sheet copper. The most effective method, however, was that to which no inventor can be confidently ascribed. The copper priming cap was created between 1814 and 1816, and a number of gunsmiths can be given a share in the credit, for the simple reason that no one man can be definitely said to have come up with the idea first. These were, in no order of merit, Joseph Manton, Joseph Egg, and Captain Joshua Shaw.5 Shaw certainly applied for a U.S. patent in 1814, but as he had not been resident in the United States for the previous two years, his application was refused. Originally made of iron and intended for reloading (which was rapidly discarded as an idea), the caps were made of pewter in 1815, and in 1816 the copper cap was developed. This led the way for percussion weapons for military use, although adoption of the new idea by armies was slow in the extreme. A further development in the percussion system was the invention of continuous fulminate primer strips. In 1834 Charles Louis



Stanislaus, Baron Heurteloup,6 patented his muzzle-loading gun fitted with a continuous tube of priming, cut by the hammer at the moment of firing. (This was a soft metal tube enclosed in the butt, and moved by the action of the hammer on cocking.) He then invented the under-hammer system, which had the advantage of protecting the firing mechanism from the elements, which he named the Koptipteur. This, too, was fitted with tape priming, and it was claimed there was enough in one strip of the tube to fire 70 rounds. The British Army was interested but rejected the system after trials in 1837 and again in 1842; some weapons were, however, purchased by the French, Belgian, and Russian armies, but there is no record of their service available. The idea of automatic priming systems would not go away, because it was one way of making reloading simpler: powder and shot had to be loaded as before, but at least the extra task of either priming the pan or placing a cap on the nipple was dispensed with if the system of priming was effective. The most effective of the systems evolved at the time was the Maynard tape primer, invented by Edward P. Maynard, a dentist from Washington, D.C. He had begun his career as a firearms designer with his mechanical primer feed fitted to a Jenks breech-loading carbine in the 1840s. What he had done was to enclose the priming compound in a continuous paper strip, which was held in a small magazine actuated by the hammer. As the hammer cocked, a fresh part of the primer strip was moved into position, to be struck by the hammer over the vent at the moment of firing. The Maynard tape primer (see photo in the Significant Rifles and Rifle Systems section) consisted of a roll of about 50 pellets between layers of paper. These were very nicely made and while they are very similar to the . . . rolled caps used in cap pistols . . . the material was constructed with a larger amount of priming materials perfectly formed into little round pills and sealed between two layers of varnished paper.7 A number of similar inventions appeared,8 but the principle was established and may well have contributed to several later inventions (for example, automatic feed mechanisms for rifles and belted ammunition for machine guns). By 1845 the United States began to make its own caps rather than obtain them from private manufacturers, and in the same year Maynard sold the U.S. government the right to use his tape primer. The first weapon so fitted was the Springfield Model 1842, which was smoothbore, immediately followed by a rifled version, the Model 1842 Percussion Rifle, made by rifling the barrel of earlier



smoothbore muskets. A large number of other weapons appeared in 1842, but the percussion rifle from Springfield Armory is of significance in the military field. This was the first-issue rifled weapon of the U.S. Army and was of .52-inch caliber. The rifling was set at a pitch of one turn in 6 feet, in a barrel length of 33 inches. It fired a round ball weighing .5 ounce, with a propellant weight of 4.9 grams of powder. The powder and ball were issued as a unit, wrapped in paper, which merely had to be torn by hand or, more often, by the teeth to release the powder into the bore. The ball was then forced into the barrel and rammed down to the powder. Within the paper packing intended to be discarded, but often used as wadding, the bullet was wrapped in a string-sealed square of waxed cloth that lubricated the barrel on firing. This ball was supplemented after 1849 with various cylindroconoidaltype bullets for experimental purposes, eventually leading to the issue of Mini-type bullets. The percussion system bridged the gap between the flint/powder system and the cartridge, and the percussion cap was the answer to the problem of how to put powder, ball, and primer into one unit. So the story continues with the development of the composite cartridge.

THE PERCUSSION SYSTEM IN THE BRITISH ARMYGeorge Henry Daw reported on the percussion system and its development in Great Britain; after a note on the history of its development, he continues:In 1831 the Board of Ordnance, approving of Dr. Ures experiments in gunpowder, requested him to make such researches as would enable the authorities to introduce the percussion system into the army. It was found that the quantity of gunpowder ignited by a percussion cap was 8 to that of 10 ignited by the flint, to produce the same projectile force. To this saving was to be added that of priming the pan of the flint lock, and the advantages were self-evident. Then the safety of the caps for military purposes had next to be considered. Upon this point Mr. Lovell, late of the Royal Arms Factory, Enfield, set about ascertaining what liberties could be taken with them.



Here again some singular results were shown. Some of the composition for the caps was exploded in various ways, covered over with and surrounded by gunpowder, without exploding the latter, although blowing it away in all directions; had the explosion taken place through the nipple into the breech of a gun, it would have been a very different affair. A tin box containing 500 caps had a hole made in the top, and one of the caps was exploded by a hammer and punch through the hole, when only two others went off although the explosion took place inside the box, the remainder were discoloured. This experiment was repeatedly tried, but never more than three or four caps fired. A steel hammer was next made red hot, and plunged into the box, right among the caps, but it only flashed those where the iron actually touched the fulminate composition. A few grains of gunpowder were next introduced into the box and ignited, when the flame of the latter blew off every cap instantly. The same experiments have been gone through at Woolwich with similar results, large quantities of capsseveral thousandshave been fired into with bullets from fire-arms, when it has been found that only those actually hit by the shot have exploded. These experiments were, therefore, considered conclusive with respect to the portable safety of percussion caps. The first government that adopted the percussion cap for the use of the army was that of Austria. A man named Console, in the Arsenal of Milan, discovered the mode of making and charging the caps in one uniform style for soldiers weapons. Experiment succeeded experiment, and in 1840 the cap had entered the army. France followed in 1842, and Great Britain in 1843. Thus it will be seen that it took thirty-six years from the first practical application of the principle before it was handed over to the use of the soldier; an entire generation had passed away in that time. The reason why I have taken so much time to explain these matters is that I mean this little pamphlet to be something more than a mere descriptive Trade Circular; to give points of information in connexion with fire-arms that may be deemed useful and interesting at a distance. After the explosive forces being ascertained, we are next directed to their control and application to fire-arms, the resistance which the projectile has to overcome in its flight, such resistance acting against the propelling force. This naturally brings us to the laws of motion, a course which the reader will see bears directly upon the nature of the weapon to be used.9



LEVER-ACTION REPEATING RIFLESThe lever-action rifle never had any real military support in Europe, where the breech-loading musket and rifle were reloaded by means of hinged breech blocks or similar devices. However, in the United States the lever-action repeating rifle was very popular among sporting riflemen, and one particular lever action was adopted by the U.S. Army. This was the Spencer rifle. However, the history of the lever action is worthwhile telling, as is the saga of the Spencer itself, which fell into the Springfield Armory trap. Repeating lever-action weapons first appeared in the early eighteenth century, and one version was the Lagatz weapon of circa 1700. This was in turn preceded by the Lorenzoni and Berselli systems of Italy. Michael Lorenzoni of Florence and Domenico Berselli of Bologna are both credited with the invention of a system10 that had two magazines, one for shot, the other for powder, each accessed in turn by means of a rotary breech operated by an external lever (see photo in Significant Rifles and Rifles Systems section). The ball was picked up by the ball chamber and transferred to the breech by gravity. Further rotation of the lever allowed powder into the powder chamber that was once more brought to the breech by gravity. The lever was then returned to the forward position, the pan primed, and the weapon was ready to fire. Other manufacturers and gunmakers followed this principle, but the military was not interested because of the possible safety issue caused by the chance of double-loading powder, which could cause an explosion and injury to the user. The Lagatz weapon was more complex than the Lorenzoni-Berselli, and for this reason alone it was not considered by the armed forces to whom it was presented. The real problem facing gunmakers was that separate actions needed exact completion before the weapon was ready to fire. What was needed was the composite cartridge, in which ball and powder were self-contained. The paper cartridge was incapable of being mechanically fed into the breech of any weapon because it was not uniform in shape or size and was easily torn. The invention of the composite cartridge allowed gunmakers to design systems that could contain magazines in which a number of cartridges could be loaded; it also allowed them to create reloading systems based on a mechanical rather than a physical method. This led to Christopher M. Spencer designing the Spencer repeating rifle (and carbine), and Tyler Henry, who had been involved in the design



The Spencer Action. Illustration enhanced from Jaroslav Lugs, Firearms Past and Present, Grenville, London, 1956.

and production of the earlier Volcanic rifle, designing his own leveraction repeater. The Spencer is rightly regarded as one of the most important developments in the history of the repeating rifle. Spencers patent was issued in 1860,11 and he described his design in the patent papers as follows:My invention consists of an improved mode of locking the movable breech of a breech-loading firearm whereby it is easily opened and closed and very firmly secured in place during the explosion of the charge. It also consists of certain contrivances for operating in combination with a movable breech for the purpose of withdrawing the cases of the exploded cartridges from the chamber of the barrel and for conducting new cartridges thereinto from a magazine located in the stock.

The Spencer had a tubular magazine in the butt, which was easily removed for reloading. The trigger guard, as with the later famous Winchester rifles, was the actuating lever. A semicircular breech block was used. Once the cartridge in the chamber had been fired, the trigger guard was pushed straight down, rotating the breech block, at the same time extracting the spent cartridge case, which was ejected as the trigger guard reached the end of its travel. This action also cocked the rifle ready for reloading. When the trigger guard was at its lowest position, the breech block engaged with the rear of a cartridge from the magazine, and as the trigger guard was pulled up to its original position, the cartridge was forced into the breech of the weapon. With the rifle already cocked, all the user had to do was aim and fire, then repeat the action until the magazine was empty.



The weapon was issued in small numbers and was spectacularly successful. At Hoovers Gap on 24 June 1863 during the U.S. Civil War, a mounted brigade of Union infantry was moving toward the gap to clear the area of advanced Confederate pickets. That these infantry were mounted was one fundamental change in tactics; that they were armed with Spencers rifle was another. The weapons, however, had been bought by the soldiers themselves, because General James Wolfe Ripley (who has been met before in the saga of the breech-loading rifle; see above) refused to supply Spencer rifles. The troops had each spent $35 on their own rifles,12 and the effect of this was terrible as far as the Confederate soldiers were concerned. So the troops mentioned above, Wilders First Mounted Rifles, were exceptionally mobile and extremely well armedif the Spencer lived up to its promise. In fact, although Wilders men were attacked by Confederate rifled cannon, causing in all the loss of 51 killed and wounded in the action, the Union troops caused the Confederates to lose 156 men. Later, on 1 July 1863, a cavalry unit of 2,500 men armed with Spencer carbines held up a Confederate force of 7,500 men for over an hour. The following day General George Custer and his Fifth Michigan Cavalry halted General Jeb Stuarts advance at the Battle of Gettysburg with the fire of just 479 Spencer rifles. Eventually the government bought 12,471 Spencer rifles, at an average cost of $37.50. Tests showed that the rifle could fire 99 cartridges in 8 minutes, 20 seconds, with the magazine being reloaded manually during this time. The weapon could fire a 60-grain cartridge and a 380-grain bullet without damage. Spencer himself attended the tests and fired nine rounds in one minute, with seven hits on target. The Spencer carbine was a similar weapon, and the government bought 94,196 of them, at an average cost of $25.50. The carbine fired a special .56/56 cartridge. In all, during the Civil War the U.S. government bought 58,238,924 Spencer cartridges, at an average cost of 2.5 cents each. Despite the reputation they gained, the Spencer rifles and carbines were never issued in large numbers to Union troops.13 Had they been, the outcome of the war would probably never have been in doubt. The rate of fire was such that singleshot weapons had no reply, and the weight of fire that small units could put down on the battlefield was out of all proportion to their complement. Interestingly, in June 1868 records show that 4,875 Spencer rifles and carbines were on issue to troops, while no fewer than 35,176 were in racks in the various arsenals. The rifle was then replaced, amazingly, by the single-shot .50/70 Sharps carbine.



The best known of the lever-action rifles has to be the Winchester, immortalized in film14 and known to every schoolboy as well as the Colt revolver. However, the action was designed by B. Tyler Henry, who appeared at about the time the Volcanic Arms Company ceased to exist. The Henry rifle is best described in a report by the commanding officer of Washington Navy Yard to the chief of ordnance. He wrote:Henrys Repeating Rifle, presented by Mr. Winchester . . . has been submitted to the usual examination and test. The principal novelty in this gun is the magazine, and the manner of loading from it. It consists of a tube, under the barrel, extending its entire length, of sufficient diameter to admit the cartridges freely. A section of this tube, near the muzzle, contains a spiral spring, to throw the cartridges upon a carrier block in the rear. When the spring is pressed into this section, it turns upon the axis of the bore, leaving the magazine open for the introduction of cartridges, of which it holds fifteen. Upon closing it, after filling, the spring throws a cartridge upon the carrier block, which, by a movement of the trigger guard, is raised to a level with the chamber, the hammer by the same movement being carried to a full cock. A reverse movement of the guard, bringing it into place again, forces the cartridge into the chamber and the gun is ready to fire. The ammunition is fixed, metal cased, with fulminate or cap in the rear. The hammer, upon falling, strikes a rod, or breech pin, upon the front of which are two sharp points, which are driven into the rear of the cartridge, thus exploding it . . . 187 shots were fired in 3 minutes, 36 seconds . . . 120 shots were fired at 328 feet; 270 shots were fired at . . . 728 feet. It is fair to say to the inventor that these shots are not a fair test of accuracy. . . . Fifteen shots were fired for accuracy at a target 18 inches square, at 348 feet distance. Fourteen hit direct. . . . The firing was then continued to test endurance, and so forth, up to 1040 shots, the gun not having been cleaned or repaired from the first shot. The piece was then carefully examined, and found considerably leaded and very foul, the lands and grooves not being visible. In other respects it was found in perfect order. It is manifest from the above experiment that this gun may be fired with great rapidity, and is not liable to get out of order.15

The reply to this encomium was summarized by Brigadier General James Ripley, who wrote that the Henry rifle was defective in principle16 and added some personal objections to the weapon,



including the weight and the fact that special ammunition was required. The special ammunition was the composite cartridge, as opposed to powder and ball. He noted specifically in respect to the ammunition that it [is] impossible to use the arms with ordinary cartridge or with powder and ball.17 The famous Winchester action is shown below:

Winchester Rifle Action. Illustration enhanced from Jaroslav Lugs, Firearms Past and Present, Grenville, London, 1956.

The need for special ammunition was where the problem lay in developing breech-loading rifles. Only fifty years before, powder and ball were still being loaded separately; less than ten years later the composite cartridge was generally accepted for military service. Ammunition supply was fundamental to military operations and especially to the rifleman in the field. The composite cartridge originally merely combined powder and ball to make reloading simpler; the arrival of the fully composite metallic cartridge would lead the way to mechanical operation of riflessomething impossible with paper or cardboard cartridges.



ENDNOTES1. Nicholsons Journal of Natural Philosophy, July 1799. 2. By Edward Howard, F.R.S., who published his article in the P h i l osophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1800, Part 1, pp. 204233. 3. Jaroslav Lugs, Firearms Past and Present. London: Grenville, 1973 (English reprint), pp. 58f. 4. His idea was groundbreaking, but not suited to military needs, as the primer was prone to falling off the cartridge, and the paper cartridge was very liable to suffer from moisture and heat. 5. The first two were British gunmakers, the third an American from Philadelphia. Shaw was certainly the originator of the percussion cap in the United States, and he received written acknowledgement in the letter from Lieutenant Colonel G. Talcott to William Wilkins, Secretary of War, 11 June 1844, in support of Shaws claim for personal injury while in government employment, working on the primer caps, in 1831. 6. By profession a urologist. He was something of an adventurer and had the habit of borrowing ideas from others, particularly those of Leboeuf de Valdehon, inventor of a percussion magazine lock weapon patented in London in 1821. 7. Philip B. Sharpe, The Rifle in America. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1947, p. 19. 8. Including those of Lieutenant J. N. Ward of the U.S. Army (1856), Sharps patent (1852) and Lawrences (1857), but credit is still due to Maynard as originator. 9. G. H. Daw, Daws Gun Patents. London, 1964, pp. 50ff. 10. Lugs, op. cit., p. 138. 11. U.S. Patent 27,393 of 6 March 1860. 12. William H. Hallahan, Misfire. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1994. Later the U.S. War Department reimbursed the cost of the weapons to the men. Ibid., p. 176. 13. Both sides in the U.S. Civil War were armed overwhelmingly with breech-loading single-shot muskets or rifles. The refusal by General Ripley to consider Spencer and other similar-action rifles was utterly negligent, causing the deaths of thousands of men whose lives would have been spared by the issue of the decisive repeating rifles. There can be little doubt that if the North had had Spencer rifles and carbines, the South would have surrendered far earlier than it did. 14. The film Winchester 73, directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Tony Curtis, and Rock Hudson, appeared in 1970 and told the story of a Winchester Model 1873 that passed through various hands before the showdown, when the hero regained possession of the rifle he had won at the beginning of the film. 15. Ripley was chief of ordnance, based at Springfield Armory, where his



conservatism and reactionary nature resulted in the U.S. Army being denied repeating rifles on the grounds that they consumed needless amounts of ammunition. Ripley was of the long-range single-aimed-shot school, who had no notion of fire and movement tactics or of the morale effect of heavy rifle fire on the enemy. 16. Letter from Ripley to Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, dated 9 December 1861, and quoted in Philip B. Sharpe, The Rifle in America, 2nd ed. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1947. 17. Ripley, although he believed he had the service at heart, was so unwilling to examine new ideas that his mind-set was fossilized.


Rifles and Ammunition in 1855

On 30 March 1858, Major Alfred Mordecai1 of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department wrote to John B. Floyd, the secretary of war of the United States. He had been charged by Floyds predecessor, Jefferson Davis, with traveling to the Crimea and observing operations there in the course of the Crimean War between Great Britain and Russia. He noted that he had been unable to reach Sebastopol until after the Russians had abandoned the city, but he submitted his report2 on the state of European armies and equipment. The report is of singular importance because it gives details of, among many other matters, infantry weapons in service in Europe, particularly in Russia, Prussia, Austria, France, and Great Britain, at the time of the Crimean War. His report is important because of its impartiality and the desire to present all known or available facts about the countries concerned. He also, as will be seen later, reported on any other countries about which he could get information; in this connection his report on the Swiss infantry arm shows that even then the Swiss were preoccupied with secrecy. The Russians, reported Mordecai,3 seemed to have been copying weapons made in other countries, and The great body of infantry is armed with the smooth-bore musket, being either a new percussion musket or a flint-lock altered to percussion, according to the method used in France and Belgium. . . . The usual ammunition for the smooth-bore musket is the round ball; but of late much use has been made of the Belgian projectile known as the Nessler ball.




Part of Plate 21 included in the Mordecai Report. From Alfred Mordecai, Report of the Military Commission to Europe, US House of Representatives, 1856, Plate 21.

The Nessler ball was a short cylindro-conoidal ball, hollow at the base as was the Mini pattern ball. The ball was said to be accurate at 300 or even 400 yards and is made in the usual way as for round balls, and the ball part of it is dipped into melted tallow, the ball being inserted into the gun with the paper with which it is wrapped. Waxing the ball was to waterproof and preserve the cartridge. The powder charge was loaded first, then ball and paper were loaded, the paper being used as wadding to cut windage.



Some progress had been made toward more modern weapons, however, and Mordecai reported that many of the percussion muskets have been rifled, by cutting in them four wide grooves. . . . The ball used for these altered arms is of cylindro-conoidal form; also on the Belgian system, with a projecting point in the cavity at the base.4 However, some units were armed with French carbines tige, while others had Brunswick rifles (made in Lige in Belgium), which fired, however, an ogival ball. Examination of the battlefield of Inkerman revealed all of the types mentioned. As far as range was concerned, We heard, in the English camp, of a man having been killed (an accidental shot, no doubt) by a rifle ball at 1,500 yards. The effectiveness of the Minitype projectile was in no doubt, and this fatality shows how effective the bullet was when compared with the minimal range of a rounded ball of the same caliber. Prussian line infantry (two battalions in each regiment) and the Landwehr (Prussian border guards) were armed with smoothbore muskets, altered to percussion firing. However, the new percussion musket was a redesigned weapon, in which there was a conical chambered breech and the firing nipple was displaced to the right so that there need be little bending of the hammer, similar to the U.S. musket as adapted for Maynards tape primer (see Chapter 4). The needle gun (Z u n d n d e l g e w e h r) was also described, despite the efforts of the Prussians to keep the new technology secret. In fact, said Mordecai, it is described in several published books, and specimens are to be had in Lige [sic], New York, and in many other places. Having had some contact with Prussian officers in his travels, he noted that the arm is highly approved by the Prussian officers with whom we conversed respecting it, and it is understood that the use of it will be extended in their army; but they have had no opportunity of trying it out in actual service, except on a small scale in the Schleswig-Holstein War.5 However, Its complicated structure . . . seems to have prevented it from finding favour in any other country. Thouvenin tige rifles were issued to Jger regiments, equivalent to the British rifle brigade, in that their duties including scouting in front of the main body of troops and skirmishing, when their skills as marksmen were founded upon accurate rifles. The weapons were sighted to 600 yards, had a hair trigger, and the barrel had eight grooves with a twist of one turn in 36 inches. Austrian troops were armed with converted smoothbore muskets, but they were fired by means of



percussion powder placed in a copper tube of such size that it can be introduced into the vent of the flint musket.6 Thus inserted, the primer lies in the groove of an iron seat which is substituted for the pan of the old musket; it is there protected by a cover which corresponds to the lower part of the flint battery, and is held down by the battery spring; the percussion hammer, substituted for the flint cock, strikes on the top of this cover, and causes a point that projects from the cover of the pan to strike the tube of the percussion powder, and thus fires the charge.

Some men, however,7 were armed with rifles of the same caliber as the musket but built on the Delvigne principle, having a chamber of less diameter than the bore, upon the rim of which the ball rested, to be expanded by a blow from a heavy hammer.8 The Austrians were rearming at this time, however, and the report notes that rammers were concave at the head to fit the form of the ball, which was obviously to try to avoid the deformation theretofore. Interestingly, only noncommissioned officers and rear-rank men were to be equipped with tige weapons, the other two ranks being equipped with a standard weapon. The weapons were essentially percussion muzzle-loading rifles, however, which many armies were attempting to replace in the near future (see Breech-Loading Rifles). There was little difference in French weapons; the great body of the infantry of the line are still armed with the simple percussion musket, (new or altered from flint-lock,) and use the spherical ball. Some weapons, however, had been rifled, but the caliber was large, at just over .7 inch. Again, some weapons were fitted with the tige system. Of important note, however, was the fact thatthe practical objection to the use of the tige (the difficulty of cleaning the chamber, and the uncertainty of effect resulting from its being foul, &c.) have caused experiments to be made in France . . . for substituting some other method of expanding the ball. . . . For this purpose experiments are now in progress on a large scale at Vincennes, at the school of infantry practice, under the direction of Mr. [sic] Mini, instructor of the school, to ascertain the best form of ball to be used . . . without the tige.9

The U.S. team had visited Vincennes and was shown three types of balls (see illustration of Plate 21, figures 2, 7, and 8), one the Mini ball proper, one an Imperial Guard ball, and the last by



Colonel Timmerhans. The best results seemed to be with the Mini ball proper, and one added advantage was that the powder charge could also be increased with this bullet, giving greater range. The Nessler ball mentioned above was inferior in that it was too short in length and did not expand as effectively in the rifling; further, it was too like a rounded ball and could roll in the barrel. Interestingly, the Emperors Palace Guard10 was equipped with a breech-loading rifle-carbine, with the seemingly small caliber of .36 inch. The breech system was similar to that of Sharps carbine. Reaction to the system and the small caliber was that it was too small to be effective, but the French had plans to adopt this caliber, which, because of the greater length of the bullet, had very effective ballistics. The French claimed an effective range for the weapon, with a 180-grain bullet in an elongated form, of 600 yards, and a maximum of no less than 2,000 yards. Mordecai then turned to the British Army, of which he wrote:In 1840, the only rifled arm used in that service was the two-grooved gun, known as the Brunswick rifle, from which a round, belted ball was fired. In 1851 a rifled musket was adopted and a considerable number (28,000) of the arms were ordered for issue to the troops. This musket was of the old caliber .702 inch; the barrel was rifled with four grooves, having half a turn in the barrel. The ball adopted was the Mini system, (Plate 21, Fig. 9,) having an iron cup in the cavity of the base, but without the exterior groovesweight 680 grainscharge of powder sixty-eight grains.

He went on to remark thaton account of the great weight of this arm and ammunition, and the consequent difficulty of the soldiers carrying the requisite number of sixty rounds, further experiments were made, with a view to adopting a lighter caliber. For this purpose a commission of officers met at the government manufactory of arms, at Enfield, in 1852, for the comparative trials of many kinds of rifled arms, offered by different manufacturers, which are described in the published report. These experiments resulted in the adoption of the Enfield Musket. This musket [sic] had a 39 inch barrel, caliber .577-inch. Rifling was three grooves set at half a turn in the barrel.

The weapon was issued with a cartridge in which was a ball similar to the Pritchet Ball (see illustration of Plate 21, figure 10),



which had a cavity at the base, but no expanding cup or wedge. The report continues:A considerable number of the arms and cartridges were . . . issued to the troops just before the assault on Sebastopol. . . . Partly, perhaps, for want of proper instruction of the men in their use; partly, also, for want of accurate adaptation in the size of the ball to that of the bore, the trial of these muskets in service was attended with some embarrassment; it was found that when the barrel became foul after a few rounds, great difficulty occurred in loading.

As a result of this a new ball was issued, which was a Mini-type ball but had a wooden plug in the base of the bullet instead of the cup of sheet iron (see illustration of Plate 21, figure 11). Trials at the British School of Infantry Practice at Hythe were said to be highly satisfactory, but the troops in the field had not yet received any of the new ammunition. Mordecai also comments briefly on the Lancaster system, which was an elliptical bore with an increasing rifling rate as the barrel progressed to the muzzle. The system was invented by Charles William Lancaster of London,11 and the barrel contained two grooves that were smoothed out so that there were no edges between groove and land. Later developments overtook this idea, but it was seriously examined at the time and considered an innovation of value. What was of prime importance to the development of rifles had occurred in Germany: Dreyse rifles had been issued to the Prussian infantry, and these rifles fired a form of composite cartridge and were closed at the breech by means of a bolt action. The subsequent invention of the complete metallic cartridge would allow more development of mechanical loading by means of bolt actions, something already available in the Dreyse system.

THE HISTORY OF RIFLINGIt seems a logical deduction to assume that the principle of rotating a projectile in flight to improve accuracy was learned from the archers, whose arrows were fletched in such a way as to impart spin to the clothyard arrow. This was done by setting the flights at an angle so that when the arrow flew, air pressure forced the shaft to rotate. There is some doubt about exactly when rifling first appeared12



and whether it was straight13 or spiral rifling. However 1520 is one date upon which some authorities are agreed. This was the year in which Augustus Kotter of Nuremberg first produced a spiral-rifled barrel. Other authorities suggest that it was the invention of Gaspard Kollner of Vienna in the fifteenth century. Whatever the outcome of this argument, it is clear that by the sixteenth century rifling was a part of the gunmakers art. The invention was, no matter when it is dated, Continental rather than English. The earliest reference in an English text is dated to 159414 in which there is the following passage relating to rifling:How to make a pistol whose barrel is two feet in length to deliver a bullet point blank at eight score [i.e. 160 yards]. A pistoll of the aforesaid length and being of petronel bore,15 or a bore higher, hauing eight gutters (grooves) somewhat deepe in the inside of the barrell, and the bullet a thought bigger than the bore, and is rammed in at the first three or four inches at the least, and after driuen downe with the skowring stick, will deliver his bullet at such a distance.

The only question of the text is whether the rifling was spiral or straight, but the striking results obtained would suggest spiral rifling. The problem that went with rifling is also hinted at: getting the bullet seated firmly at the breech of the weapon, which had to be achieved through brute force with muzzle-loading weapons. More detailed discussion on rifling occurs in a text of 1644, which mentions that there are other arquebuses rifled within with grooves which generally make in the length of the barrel half a turn, or one turn, or a turn and a half.16 This now raises another matter for the gunsmith, whose craft was becoming more and more scientifically based, which was the rate of turn of rifling and whether or not it related to the bullet or the barrel. The solution was only arrived at considerably later. De Espinar comments on the problem that the grooves can be shallow or deep, and numerous or not, as follows: These last [deep grooves with wide bands, or lands, separating the grooves] are best; and to have a greater or less number is a matter of taste . . . and similarly the question of the gun containing a large or a small ball. . . . In using a large bullet one can put more grooves for it, for in this there is no fixed rule. He goes on to note that loading a rifled weapon was more exact than with a smoothbore because of the barrel resistance in the former weapon. The ball was to be rammed down as hard as possible onto the charge, the result of which was more barrel pres-



sure, which would overcome the resistance of the rifling and put more power behind the bullet. He also wrote in some detail of the type of wadding or patching required, saying that a good wad or patch improved the ease of loading, because the wads were waxed. De Espinar also mentions the problem of fouling and comments that with a rifle one may get only two shots before having to wash the barrel. This passage actually mentions many of the problems to be overcome in shooting a rifled weapon, problems that have not entirely been eradicated even today, although they are a lot less severe than in the seventeenth century. The earliest rifles seem to have had six to eight rifling grooves, according to whim. One of the ways in which the turns were described was to calculate the number of calibers of the weapon in which a full single turn of the bullet would occur, and many early rifles have a slow twist, some fifty to ninety calibers. Later rifles exhibit even more gradual turns, and ones from the seventeenth century go up to 200 calibers. The form of rifling varied as well; depending on the hardness and accuracy of the tools used, it could vary from a shallow hemispherical groove to rectangular deep grooves, and all was at the time according to taste.17 The rifle was slow to be adopted in England, particularly by the armed forces, which is not surprising in view of the traditional conservatism of the establishment with reference to new equipment for infantry. It was known by 1740 but rarely used even in civilian sporting weapons.18 However, Ezekiel Baker in 1800 talked knowledgeably about rifled weapons, arguing that the one-turn-in-four-feet principle, adopted by English rifle makers, was not correct. He also noted that if the powder charge was increased to overcome the resistance of the rifling more readily, there was a tendency for the bullet to strip, or pass over the rifling altogether. His experiments convinced him that the best barrel length was 2 feet, 6 inches, rifled with one quarter of a turn along its length. Soon after Bakers book appeared, a Colonel Beaufoy19 argued for more rapid turns, saying that a three-quarter turn in the barrel was far better, and that accuracy at longer ranges was better with this increased twist. He gave as his evidence the fact that guns have been . . . constructed on this plan, they were first of all (we believe) adopted in the Duke of Cumberlands Sharpshooters where they were found to answer so well that all their crack shots, and such as were fond of the sport, abandoned their old barrels, and procured others on the new plan, which was that of three-fourths. This system was soon improved on, and one full turn showed even better results, but, as can be seen, it was still very much a mat-



ter of guesswork, for there had been no serious scientific treatment of the problem. Further development was carried out in the United States, and one rifle made there had a 39-inch barrel with one full turn of rifling, which was very successful.20 There was one instance of straight rifling, which became an advantage when it was twisted, and this was in the Brunswick rifle. This weapon succeeded the Baker rifle in British service in 1839 (issued to the Rifle Brigade of the British Army). The two-groove system firing a banded round ball was fitted at a twist rate of one turn in 30 inches, four times as fast as the Baker rifle it had replaced. The main point is that the pitch or rate of rifling is linked to the velocity required of the bullet being fired; with a round ball fast rifling and high velocity result in stripping.21 The answer lay in the form of the bullet, and the cylindro-conoidal form solved this problem almost completely. Sir Joseph Whitworth, one of Englands great engineers, conducted a number of experiments around 1860, and showed that in the Enfield 0.577-inch rifle, the rate of twist (one turn in 78 inches) was enough for the bullet being fired, but would not steady a longer bullet. He further discovered that if the caliber was reduced, the rate of twist could be considerably increased, even to as much as one turn in one inch. To allow him to fire such bullets, however, he had to fire them from his hexagonal bore rifle with hardened, hexagonal bullets. The next man on the scene was William Ellis Metford, whose interest in rifling arose from the competition scene. An avid and extremely knowledgeable shot, he estimated that using the normalpattern rifle, if the rifling were increased to one turn in 34 calibers toward the muzzle, the loss in muzzle velocity would be negligible. The principle he was working on was that the bullet should have its rotation increased in proportion to the increase in velocity as it traveled up the barrel. As the gases behind the bullet expanded so the bullet accelerated. By plotting the acceleration in relation to time, distinct time segments denoted where the bullet rotation could be increased. However, manufacturing processes make this more a dream than reality, and it can only apply to soft bullets, not long, jacketed projectiles.22

THE RIFLE AS A MILITARY WEAPONThe rifled arm as a military weapon did not truly come into use until the eighteenth century. However, the Landgraf of Hesse had a troop



of riflemen in 1631, and ten years later Maximilian of Bavaria had several troops armed with rifled arquebuses. Louis XIII armed his bodyguard with rifles, and later ordered that two men from every light cavalry regiment should be so armed. These men were later formed into a regiment of carbineers, but the first issue carbine did not appear until 1793. The English learned the value of the rifle when it was used against them in the American War of Independence; they hired Continental Jger to take on the American backwoodsmen, whose accuracy was streets ahead of the musket armed infantry of the line. There are other examples of small rifle armed units in the eighteenth century, such as the Austrian chasseurs, sharpshooters, and skirmishers23 who were issued with a rifle in 1759. Austrian border guard sharpshooters were issued with special over-and-under rifles in 1768, with a smoothbore lower barrel and a rifled upper barrel for firing patched ball. The rifle was fired resting on the hook of a long pike, which served as a protection if the riflemen were attacked. The Russians issued a similar weapon between 1776 and 1796. As far as the British Army was concerned, it received its first firearms in 1471, when the hand cannon was introduced. This was followed by the matchlock, which remained in use (only a few wheel locks were ever issued on the grounds of cost and complication) until the reign of James I (16031626), when some flintlocks were issued to the leading regiments. Muskets came into general use in the reign of William III; from these muskets developed the Brown Bess weapon, which served the British Army for over 100 years. Brown Bess fired a ball two sizes smaller than its caliber,24 to allow for easy loading, but range and accuracy were laughable. Greener commented that the immense escape of explosive matter past the ball prevented the possibility of any velocity worthy of the name being given to the ball, and the range is the most contemptible of any gun I know: 120 yards is the average distance at which the balls strike the ground when fired horizontally at five feet above the level.25 Rifles were issued to the British Army as early as 1800, but in such small numbers as to be ineffective. The 95th Foot, the Rifle Brigade, was the first regiment to have this new weapon, which it used, it seems, without being officially noticed by the British War Office, until the Brunswick rifle was introduced in 1835.



ENDNOTES1. See Appendix A for a more detailed description of the contents of Schns report, which was appended to Mordecai (see note 2 below) and which is fundamental to an understanding of the more mechanical aspects of rifles at this time. 2. Military Commission to Europe in 1855 and 1856, Report of Major Alfred Mordecai. Washington, DC: George W. Bowman, 1861. 3. Ibid., pp. 157ff. 4. See the partial reproduction of this plate. 5. By 1870 the needle gun had had its war, being used to great effect in the Franco-Prussian War. 6. This was the consol ignition system and was very much a stop-gap method of ignition, in that the slightest imperfection in the tube put weapons out of action. 7. The noncommissioned officers and some of the men in each company; Military Commission to Europe in 1855 and 1856, op. cit., p. 160. 8. One of the reasons for the invention of the Mini principle was this loading system, which caused so much deformation in the bullet that accuracy was severely affected, as was energy at target. 9. Military Commission to Europe in 1855 and 1856, op. cit., p. 163. 10. Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon I, was at this time president of France and known as Emperor Napoleon III. 11. English Patent No. 13,161 of 1850. 12. For instance, Fremantle notes (p. 4) that Major Angelo Angelucci refers to an inventory of 1476 that mentions the sclopetus unus ferri factus a lumaga, and also says that one Hungarian rifled barrel from 1848 was then (1901) in the Museum at Woolwich. Hon T F Fremantle, The Book of the Rifle. London and New York: Longmans Green, 1901. 13. Straight rifling was thought to be an antidote to fouling. That it was not was soon realized. 14. In Sir Hugh Plat, Jewell House of Art and Nature, 1594. 15. The petronel was a weapon designed to be attached by its rear to a breastplate or similar body armour. The caliber would be between 0.5 and 1.5 inches. 16. Alonso Martinez de Espinar, Arte de Ballesteria y Monteria. Madrid, 1644; reprinted 1761. 17. Fremantle, op. cit., p. 8. 18. Benjamin Robins, Mathematical Tracts of the Late Benjamin Robins, Esq., Containing His New Principles of Gunnery &c. London, 1761. 19. Col. Beaufoy, Scloppetaria: Or Considerations on the Nature and Use of Rifled Barrel Guns. London, 1808. 20. General George Hangar, To All Sportsmen, Farmers and Gamekeepers: Above Thirty Years Practice on Horses and Dogs. London, 1816.



21. See Lt. James Forsyth, The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles. London, 1863. 22. See Fremantle, op. cit., p. 21. 23. Who were obliged to buy their own weapons until 1759. See Lugs, op. cit., p. 35. 24. Based on the shotgun caliber measurement system, so a 10-bore weapon (10 balls to the pound weight) fired a 12-bore bullet. 25. William Greener, The Science of Gunnery. London, 1846.


The Bolt-Action Rifle

The first bolt-action weapons were invented in the nineteenth century and were initially an alternate method of closing the breech and firing a breech-loaded, rifled, single-shot weapon. The first successful weapon of this type was the Dreyse needle rifle, invented by Johann Nikolaus Dreyse near Erfurt, Germany. His work started in 1827 and concentrated on standard smoothbore muzzle loaders, but he progressed to breech-loading weapons, and by 1835 he had perfected the needle rifle. The weapon required a special, all-in-one cartridge, in which bullet, charge, and primer were contained together in one item. The Dreyse cartridge had a paper case with the bullet at one end, opposite the charge. In the middle of the cartridge was the primer. The needle rifle used a long firing pin to penetrate the rear of the cartridge and pass through the powder charge, firing the cartridge when it struck the primer immediately behind the bullet. The action of this weapon is so important in relation to the development of the military rifle that it is worth detailing how it works. The drawing of the Dreyse action shows (top) the weapon and its trigger mechanism. The weapon in this drawing is not loaded. The breech was designed in the following way: The breech, comprising the bolt and its operation knob, slides into the receiver, which is cylindrically machined to fit it. The bolt head has a plate into which the needle bush is screwed. This guides the needle as it passes forward on firing. The sear nose passes through a recess in the underside of the receiver and is mounted on the trigger spring, on one end of which is the two-arm lever. The bolt contains a lock including a bush, the needle guide, and a spring with a leather inlay. A brass rod91



The Dreyse Needle Rifle. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

with the needle attached is screwed into the bolt needle guide. The receiver has a recess for the double-toothed spring pawl, of which the underpart locks the bolt in the receiver. As the cartridge was charged with black powder, the face of the bolt had an air chamber machined into it to accept powder residue. This needed careful attention and cleaning on a regular basis. The needle and its mounting rod could be field stripped, as could the complete bolt. To load the weapon the soldier needed to perform the following actions: 1. Push the head of the spring pawl (to release the rear notch) and then pull the cocking piece out to the second notch. 2. Unlock the bolt and open it by rotating it to the left and then pull it to the rear. 3. Place the cartridge in the breech. 4. Push the bolt forward and then rotate it to the right. 5. Push the bolt rear forward into the bolt proper so that the rear notch of the spring pawl engages the bolt sear. The trigger sear prevented the needle and rod from moving forward and compressed the main spring. To fire the weapon pressure was applied to the trigger that disengaged the sear, allowing the needle, under pressure from the main spring, to move forward. The needle went through the rear of the paper cartridge and through the powder charge to the primer. On



The Chassept Rifle. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

striking the primer, the shot was fired, and the soldier now needed to reload. The success of this rifle was marked by rapid acceptance into the Prussian Army as the issue weapon on 4 December 1840. The weapon saw a lot of action due to the political situation of Prussia at the time. Expansion under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was taking place, and the rifle had great success in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, even though it was already obsolete. The cartridge of the Dreyse was quickly superseded by a better design, in which the primer was at the base of the cartridge and therefore of the charge as well. One of the problems with the needle rifle was the corrosion caused to the needle by being in the heart of the chamber on firing. The heat and the gases produced by the black powder soon caused damage to the needles, which limited the working life of these weapons. The French Chassept rifle was very similar to the Dreyse except that the cartridge was base primed, eliminating the need for the ex-



ceptionally long and fragile needle of the latter. It was, however, obturated with a cork ring that soon deteriorated and became useless.

THE REPEATING BOLT-ACTION RIFLEThe invention of the composite cartridge allowed breech-loading weapons to be developed, and the increasing skills of engineers facilitated making weapons and cartridges that were within close tolerances, close enough that the weapons and ammunition could be said to be identical for practical purposes. This meant that every rifle could fire a standard cartridge, and although interchangeability of weapon parts was never intended, weapons and mass-produced cartridges would be dependable. The bolt action itself was not enough, for with the earliest rifle reloading was done by hand, with every cartridge introduced individually by the firer. Various attached cartridge holders were tried to ease the situation, but what was needed was a means of holding a number of cartridges within the weapon itself. Earlier repeating weapons had held ammunition in tubes below the barrel, or within the butt of the weapon, but the breakthrough came with the invention of the vertical magazine. This held five or 10 cartridges (on average) below the bolt so that, on operating the bolt, the spent case was extracted and ejected, and, on pushing the bolt forward again, a new cartridge was taken from the magazine and pushed into the breech. At the same time, the bolt was recocked so that all the firer had to do after that was squeeze the trigger. The first successful magazine design was that of Walker, Money, and Little, which was patented in 1867.1 This was a vertical box magazine beneath the bolt that held six cartridges that were fed into the path of the bolt on reloading by a false bottom pressed upward by a spiral spring.2 A rotary magazine was also designed, the Spitalsky, and both the Mauser and Mannlicher companies were examining the idea closely. The breakthrough in practical terms came, however, with the design of James P. Lee of Ilion, New York. His design was a bolt-action repeating rifle with the magazine under the bolt. The magazine held five cartridges, which were pushed up to the feet position by a Zshaped spring beneath them. This system was patented on 4 November 1879 as the Lee detachable magazine gun. An improved version was patented on 3 March 1882, and the U.S. Ordnance Commission tested the weapon, pronouncing it serviceable.3



The Lee Bolt-Action Magazine Rifle of 1879. This is the first example of Lees designs, and brought in a clean, easy-to-operate bolt-action system that served the British Army for well over 60 years. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

LEE AND THE BRITISHThe British Army in 1860 was equipped with the Martini-Henry, lever-action, single-shot rifle in .443-inch caliber, but events in the firearms field in Europe led to the establishment of the British Small Arms Committee under General Philip Smith in 1863. Its task was to examine the new bolt-action and other rifles with a view to reequipping British infantry with a bolt-operated magazine rifle. The committee remit stated that it was to consider the desirability or otherwise of introducing a magazine rifle for naval or military use, or both.4 A large number of rifles were presented for examination, some of them from abroad, but only three weapons were chosen for extensive trials. The three were the Lee magazine rifle, an improved Lee with a Bethel Burton magazine, and the Owen Jones magazine rifle. The Bethel Burton magazine varied from the magazine system of the other two by being mounted high on the upper right side of the receiver. All rifles were in caliber .45 in the 1855 trials, and the Owen Jones fell at this hurdle. By the time the 1887 trials took place the Lee rifles were both recalibered to .402 inch, in barrels designed by William E. Metford, who had invented the polygonal rifling method. The result was the choice of Lees rifle with his own magazine. On the Continent, however, the Swiss had just reduced the caliber of their service rifle to .295 inch, and suddenly the British caliber looked too big for modern weapons. This led to the decision to



reduce the caliber to .303 inch, which was a momentous decision. The problem persisted, however, in the powder used, for the British had no smokeless powder available for the new caliber. Metford came to the rescue and drew up a specification for the rifling and the chamber of the new weapon. This rifle was to be known as the Lee Metford, and 350 examples were made in 1888 and issued for troop trials. At this time Joseph J. Speed was working at the Royal Small Arms Factory, and he designed some magazine refinements that were incorporated into this rifle. (His designs were also marketed commercially as Lee-Speed rifles, made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company.) The trial weapons had a muzzle velocity of 1,850 feet per second (fps), produced by a cartridge charge of 70 grains of compressed black powder, developing a chamber pressure of 18 tons per square inch. In anticipation perhaps of developments soon to come, the rifle was sighted to 2,000 yards, but with the cartridge powder initially used the accuracy of the weapon was unsatisfactory. Despite this problem the rifle underwent various modifications and after 1891 had a 10-round magazine (approved by the new Small Arms Committee in December 1891); other, less significant changes were made until, in 1899, the Lee-Enfield Mark I appeared. There was little of significant change except for the removal of the cleaning rod, which had been fitted under the barrel in the ramrod style up to that time. The cartridge propellant problem had persisted for a short time, but by 1891 Hiram S. Maxim, Sir Frederick Abel, and the Nobel firm all and separately arrived at the solution, which was cordite (a compound of 58 percent nitroglycerine, 37 percent guncotton, and 5 percent mineral jelly). The resulting compound was smokeless and left almost no fouling deposits in the weapons firing the new cartridges. The important factor for the soldier was that with the increased power of the cartridge the trajectory of the bullet was flatter, meaning that lower standards of marksmanship would still produce better results than in the black-powder days. Further, increased ranges could be covered, and the concept of rifle fire used against groups of men, horses, and, later, vehicles, was born. One more improvement was made to produce what was now called the Cartridge SA Ball Magazine Rifle Mark I. In the blackpowder era, lead was quite sufficient for ball ammunition, as it was not subjected to stresses that it was incapable of handling. Lead when fired with cordite propellant, however, was subject to pressures in the rifling that it was incapable of withstanding, and rounds were either stripping (going through the barrel without being gripped by the rifling) or deforming when gripped by the rifling.



Lees Rifle Designs. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

In 1875 Major Bode of the Swiss Army had invented a design for a jacketed bullet that could cope with the higher pressures, and this was supplemented by another Swiss, Major Eduard Rubin, who designed a copper-jacketed bullet that could not only cope with the pressures in the new rifles but also could withstand the effect of the torque produced in the barrel by the rifling. As noted above, the British and the Swiss had made drastic reductions in the caliber of their service weapons. As a result of this caliber reduction, to ensure that the round had military efficiency (that is, it would be capable of wounding or killing the target), the



This drawing shows the British bolt that was fitted to all service rifles from the appearance of the Number 1 rifle to the Number 5 rifle (a lightened jungle version of the Number 4 rifle). Note that SMLE stands for Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

bullet had to take on a long profile, with the jacket surrounding a core of lead or other similar heavy filling. Further, bullets had to have ballistic weight, otherwise the long-range performance would be adversely affected by the fact that the velocity of a light bullet falls off very rapidly due to air resistance. So between 1889 and 1891 the British changed from black powder to cordite in their new .303-inch service rifle. It was with



slightly modified versions of the 1899 rifle that the British went to war in 1914, when, during the retreat to the Marne, German troops assumed the British had a lot of machine guns because British infantry rifle fire was so rapid and accurate. The British Army continued to use bolt-action rifles until the late 1950s, when the self-loading rifle (SLR) was issued. British bolt actions were extremely smooth to operate and, despite the fact that they were often criticized for being rear-locking, maintained a reliability for service second to none. In World War I the Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 1 and its variants did sterling service, not being superseded until the latter half of World War II by the Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 4. The bolt, which was the heart of the system, was, with very minor modifications, the same throughout.

THE MAUSER RIFLE AND OTHER GERMAN MAKESPeter Paul Mauser must stand by the side of Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov in the annals of rifle designers. Just as Kalashnikov and his famous rifle are known to everyone today, so, too, was Mauser in the period 19001945. He was born in Oberndorf, Germany, in 1838, the son of a gunsmith who worked in the Wurtemberg State Arsenal.5 The younger Mauser served his apprenticeship in the same factory, and by 1866 he had produced an experimental self-cocking Dreyse needle gun. By 1867, however, he had moved to Lige, Belgium, where a modified Chassept rifle was produced. At the time, Mauser was associated with an American, Samuel Norris of Springfield, Massachusetts, but this partnership was dissolved when Remington and Sons, Norriss employers, found out what he was up to. By 1870 his C/70 rifle design was seen to be vastly superior to the Dreyse design and to the Beck modified versions of the needle rifle. (Johannes Beck redesigned the bolt head to improve the original needle rifle mechanism.) This resulted in the production of an initial 2,500 versions for field trials, and the Infanterie-Gewehr (Infantry Rifle) Model 1871 was officially adopted by the Prussian Army on 22 March 1872. This rifle underwent modification, and the revolution in magazine design was soon incorporated, the designation becoming the Infanterie-Gewehr M1871/84. The arrival of new cordite technology stopped Mauser for a while,



The Mauser Rifle, 1895. Enhanced illustration from an original series of catalogues, 1898.

but he soon fought back with designs that were sold abroad, although some of his designs were not bought by the German government. By combining the need for more chamber strength (to cope with cordite) and by incorporating a five-round box magazine, Mauser brought his rifle up to world standards, and via various modifications he finally brought out the Gewehr 98, a rifle that rivals the Lee-Enfield in the affections of gun collectors and crack shots all over the world. The rifle also confronted the Lee-Enfield in the serious business of war on two major occasions, with Britain and German fielding their own versions of the rifles against one another from 1914 to 1918, and again from 1939 to 1945. The rifle was a bolt-action box magazine weapon. Acting on various reports received about previous weapons he had designed, Mauser set out to make the perfect infantry rifle, and in many minds he succeeded. The design itself concentrated on safety and ease of use in the field. The weapon was strong and had more than adequate safety features to ensure that the user was not injured by the firing pin penetrating through the primer into the cartridge body; the receiver was strengthened as well, against the event of an overloaded cartridge being fired. The action of the bolt is considered rather sloppy, but this is because Mauser allowed generous tolerances for his working parts, which made sure that the rifle was able to function in the most adverse conditions of mud or ice. The standard version was 4 feet, 1 inch long and weighed 9 pounds, 4 ounces. The magazine held five c h a r g e r-loaded cartridges.6 The barrel was 29.1 inches long, with



The Mannlicher Rotary Magazine System. Mannlichers rotating magazine system was one method whereby the single-tube magazine was improved by putting three parallel tubes together. However, the system proved too complex for field use. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

four clockwise rifling grooves with a pitch of one turn in 9.39 inches. The weapon was chambered for the 7.92mm Mauser cartridge.7 This cartridge originally held 40.75 grains of nitrocellulose powder behind a 227-grain cupro-nickelcoated, steel-jacketed bullet. Muzzle velocity was a remarkable 2,093 fps. Acceptance of the rifle by the German Army was instantaneous.8 Interestingly, after World War I, Mauser sued the U.S. government successfully for infringement of his patents, because the U.S. Army adopted the Springfield M1903 rifle, a Mauser in all but name (see below, America and the Bolt-Action Rifle). Another German designer who made a significant mark on rifle design, even though his weapons were never adopted in Germany, was Ferdinand von Mannlicher. He was born in 1848 in Bohemia and was educated in Vienna at the technical college. In 1876 he went to the World Exhibition in Philadelphia, where, instead of concentrating on the railway exhibits since he worked for Austrian railways, he became sidetracked by the Winchester and Hotchkiss weapons exhibits. Mannlicher went into rifle design from that moment and received honors for his work, including a Gold Medal at the 1900 International Exposition in Paris. Although many of his designs were failures, his place in rifle history is assured because of his inventive genius. One significant design was a semiautomatic rifle patented in 1895, improved by 1900, which was operated by gas tapped from



the barrel that forced a piston to actuate the mechanism. This principle is at the heart of most SLRs today. One area in which his weapons still survive is that of stalking, for Mannlicher sporting rifles made around 1900 can still be seen doing excellent work in the Scottish Highlands.

THE FRENCH LEBELFrance has a history of producing weapons that are slightly out of synchronicity with the rest of European design, and the Lebel of the nineteenth century and the later FAMAS are examples of this trend. The Lebel rifle was fed by a tube magazine fitted below the barrel in the same way that the Winchester was fed, but with a bolt action. The rife adopted for military service stayed on issue from 1886 until

The Lebel Rifle. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.



1936. What makes the rifle important is that it fired the first smokeless propellant cartridge that was in the smaller 8x50 Lebel cartridge.

THE UNITED STATES AND THE BOLT-ACTION RIFLEIt is interesting to note that in its history, the U.S. Army has issued only two bolt-action rifles to U.S. troops, the Krag-Jorgenson 8mm and the Springfield Model 1903 caliber .30. The first was an abject failure, the second being a copy of another famous weaponthe German Mauser Gew 98. It is also interesting to note that whereas in Europe the bolt action appeared in the 1840s, the United States persisted in the use of single-shot breech loaders such as the Springfield and the Sharps carbine. Why Spencers repeating rifle was essentially sidelined has been mentioned above, but the mind-set toward procurement and that at the Springfield Armory seem to have been almost traitorous as far as the well-being of U.S. infantry was concerned. One can only wonder what would have been the effect had Custers troops been armed with the Spencer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The decision was made, albeit delayed, to examine the European fascination with bolt-action rifles, and in 1891 General Daniel W. Flagler was appointed the new chief of ordnance for the U.S. government. Although considered by the conservative General Stephen V. Bent (his predecessor) to be even more conservative, Flagler was looking to the future and to the replacement of the old trapdoor black-powder single-shot rifle then on issue to the U.S. Army. In his first annual report he wrote unequivocally that the United States was years behind the rest of the developed world in that it had not adopted a modern, small-caliber, high-velocity magazine-type rifle, and he added that what remained of the army was seen as underarmed. General Bent had been obdurate in his refusal to consider rearming the infantry, even though the Hotchkiss, Lee, and Mauser designs were all superior to the trapdoor Springfield in every respect. General Flagler was determined to change this, but he had two problems. One was a Springfield Armory staff totally unwilling to consider new ideas; the other was that he had none of the new smokeless powder, which was only available outside the U.S., to



make cartridges for any new weapon. Luckily the second problem was solved by Hiram Maxim, who made his own, and 500 pounds of Wetteren powder was obtained from Belgium. The designers at Frankford Arsenal were now equipped to design the new caliber .30 cartridge as soon as the rifle and its magazine were decided upon. General Flagler now reassembled the Rifle Board, under Captain Stanhope E. Blunt, to examine all submitted weapons. Fifty-three weapons were submitted, including some of the very best from Europe. There were no U.S. designs for the simple reason that U.S. rifle makers were unable to cope with the new powder. The board and General Flagler decided it was important that U.S. inventors participate and to this end issued a supply of the new cartridge and some new caliber .30 barrels. By doing this, less financially well-off manufacturers could also participate, and no one could manufacture nonstandard barrels or ammunition for the tests. Having said that the general was a man who looked to the future, it is important to realize the philosophy driving the search for a magazine rifle. The magazine was seen not as a supply of replaceable ammunition but as a safety device, only for use in extremes, when single loading was dangerous. In other words, the army was looking for a rifle that had a reserve of ammunition in the magazine, but this was not to be used while there was time to load each cartridge singly, just as the old Springfield had been operated. The magazine contents were to be used only in the last stages of an operation, when loading single rounds would be too slow. The old principle of accurate long-range shooting was still alive. The Mauser rifle was the first to run afoul of this particularly arcane train of thought, because it could not be loaded with single cartridges. The German Army wanted rapid-fire weapons, so the weapon was loaded with five rounds in a clip, and German soldiers were issued all their ammunition prepacked in clips. At the time much opinion was against the magazine rifle in principle, and the New York Times reported that an unidentified source claimed that he hadrepeatedly put twenty-three shots in one minute from a Springfield rifle into a target two feet square at 200 yards . . . the only gain in labour one obtains with a magazine gun over a single-loader is the handling of cartridges and the time gained in the handling is practically far more than offset by the time lost in shifting magazines and misfires when magazines are emptied.9



The Krag Rifle. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

Despite efforts to encourage U.S. inventors, no weapons were forthcoming, and the board reported in September 1892 that it had made its choice: the Krag-Jorgenson. This rifle was the brainchild of Norwegians Captain Ole Krag and Erik Jorgenson. (Krag was a captain in the Norwegian artillery and superintendent of the Konigsberg Armory; Jorgenson was an engineer.) The rifle was already in service with the Danish Army. The weapons were designed for U.S. use to fire the .30/40 rimmed cartridge, and the first issue was made to troops in October 1894. The weapon weighed 9.35 pounds, was 49.14 inches long, with a 30-inch barrel. Subsequent modifications were introduced as the Models 1896 and 1898, but all suffered in comparison with European magazine rifles from one glaring defect: they were intended to be loaded singly, with the magazine serving as an emergency reservoir only. U.S. reaction to the choice was predictably one of outrage, and the board was accused of predetermining the outcome. Certainly the Krag failed the Rifle Board tests on a number of occasions, and the weapon was nevertheless reworked at Springfield Armory, sometimes by the inventor himself. Efforts to have U.S. designs considered after the event were determined, but no U.S. design managed to get consideration, in part due to the fact that the same board members sat in judgment of these late entries. Not only was the Krag doubtful as far as its magazine and loading system was concerned; in comparison with other infantry rifles of the time, it was the longest and heaviest. Interestingly, although the feed mechanism was not really suited to the modern maneuver style of warfare, it did turn out to be quite accurate. The Danish Army used it for some years, and a modified version was bought by the Norwegian Army. The U.S. Army thus had its first magazine rifle, and it soon appeared that it was not an altogether felicitous choice from the point of view of the troops. Despite some claims to the contrary, the accuracy of the weapon was found wanting and was not as accurate at



600 yards as the old Springfield. Experience in general pointed to the fact that the weapon was not performing well, and accuracy altered as the weapon heated up. Again, parts were prone to fall off (particularly the magazine cutoff, which when in operation forced the rifleman to load single cartridges), weaknesses in metallurgy produced a bolt that jammed, the ramrod head was too big to fit the barrel, and there had been some cartridge accidents as well. The problems were confronted to an extent, but a real test was soon to face the rifle in Cuba. Spanish rule in Cuba had been a sore point with the U.S. Congress for some time, and in 1898, following a revolt by revolutionaries, Congress recognized the independence of Cuba; an army was raised, to be commanded by U.S. General Nelson A. Miles. Spain then declared war on the United States, and General Miles asked that his troops be armed with Winchester rifles, which had been turned down by the Rifle Board in favour of the Krag. Although Miles got approval to test the Winchester, General Flagler failed the rifle for not meeting the (unspecified) standards of performance of the army, and the United States went to war. The National Guardsmen who formed the main body of General Miless army were armed not with the Krag-Jorgenson but with the old black-powder trapdoor Springfield. The number of Krag-Jorgenson rifles available was insufficient for an army of 200,000 men, and production at Springfield Armory could never hope to equip all the men with the new rifle. The army that finally went to Cuba was a sorry sight; some 150,000 men were still wearing heavy wool uniforms, armed with antiquated rifles, and supported by artillery that also used blackpowder propellant. Furthermore, these ill-equipped troops were to come face-to-face with the Spanish service rifle: the Mauser. One description of the first encounter with this rifle and its effect is very telling. William Hallahan writes in Misfire:On July 1, 1898, at the Battle of San Juan Hill, ordnance people expected to get their questions about the Krag answered. True, there were too few Krags, only enough for the Regular Army and Roosevelts Rough Riders, but enough to give measure. As they proceeded through the Cuban countryside, U.S. troops soon encountered a terrifying sounda terrible buzz that turned into a high shriek as it went whizzing past their heads into tree trunks and branches. A man hit in the arm by the force of it would spin on his heels and be slammed



down on the ground. . . . The deadly accuracy of the Mauser stopped the Americans advance more than once with a seemingly incredible volume of fire from such a small force of Spaniards.

The Krag could not hack the fighting; its muzzle velocity was too low and thus its range was limited, and the problems of loading single cartridges into a rifle while on the move do not need to be stressed. The Mauser, by contrast, was providing what the Spanish defenders needed against superior numbers: firepower. Although Teddy Roosevelts famous Rough Rider charge against the Spanish position on San Juan Hill ended in victory, it was at the cost of 1,300 U.S. casualties out of an attacking force of 5,000. The KragJorgenson was tested against the Mauser after the war ended, and the Mauser penetrated 9 inches farther into a wood block than did the Krag. It was obvious that the Krag rifle was not up to European standards and would have to be rapidly replaced. General Flagler died in 1899, not the most popular of men with those riflemen who had gone to Cuba armed with the Krag. After his death, certain other disturbing facts emerged about the tests in 1892, one of which was that the Krag had been tested to 30,000 pounds of breech pressure, whereas all other entries were subjected to tests of 40,000 pounds. This indicated once more that the Rifle Board had not been entirely professional in its deliberations. A new appointment was needed, and the chosen officer was General Adelbert Buffington. This was another passed-over officer for whom the post at Springfield was simply a bookmark until his retirement. He ordered that the Krag be redesigned to take the higherpower powder and cartridge that were needed, and it seems that performance was enhanced so that the rifle was capable of safely firing a 200-grain bullet at 2,300 fps. However, General Buffington was soon to retire, and in his place was appointed Captain William Crozier, inventor of the Springfield M1901 rifle. It seems rather strange that the inventor of a rifle that was to be considered for service should be put in charge of the very institution that would further his prospects, but that is the system that appointed Crozier. Like many others whose jobs have been the result of favor or even fraud, Crozier stayed put. However, his term of office would only be four years, so like U.S. presidents, his deeds would be limited to a certain extent. General Crozier, as he had instantly become, had a very senior backer. This was President Teddy Roosevelt, who had succeeded



The Springfield 03 Rifle. Enhanced illustration from The Engineer, various dates.

President William McKinley after the latters assassination in September 1901. So on 7 April 1902 Crozier authorized the first production of the new Springfield 1901 rifles. By 16 February 1903 the work was finished and the rifles were ready for testing. In no time at all the rifles were tested and reported to have been successful, and the rifle became the Springfield Model M1903 rifle. Once the rifle was issued, a few modifications were needed. The cartridge clip was faulty, and so a changed version was issued. The rod bayonet of the original was, at the presidents request, changed to a knife bayonet. The cartridge was also altered and the rifle rechambered to fire it. The new DuPont powder, a cooler-burning mix, was used as propellant in the cartridge, and, once altered to fire this cartridge, the weapon was regarded as nearly perfect. The .3006 round was to see service for a long time and eventually caused singular problems for weapons designers. There were those at the time, however, who thought that the Springfield M1903 was very similar to the German Mauser design. On 15 March 1904 the first rumors surfaced that Springfield was in breach of a Mauser patent on the ammunition clip. Then other similarities began to surface, and in no time Crozier was forced into of-



fering royalties to Mauser for two patent infringements on the clip and a further five on the rifle. Then came news that the U.S.-made Krag also infringed Mauser patents. The matter was one of utter embarrassment for the United States, which had no alternative but to pay Mauser what it was owed. This totaled some $200,000 by the time it was all over. General Crozier was duly appointed by President Roosevelt to a second term, and as soon as this was done, another round of patent infringement talks had to take place. The injured party on this occasion was the Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik (DWM) firm in Berlin. It announced that its patent covered the U.S. .30-06 cartridge and sought recompense. This matter dragged on until 1920, when DWM brought suit for royalties owed. The U.S. government arrogantly told DWM it had no case, as the patent had been seized in 1917 as enemy alien property during World War I. The government failed to convince the judge and was ordered to pay DWM $300,000. It appealed but was finally required in December 1928 to pay the original sum plus interest, a total of over $412,000.10 It is interesting to note that when the United States entered World War I, in 1917, there was a severe shortage of rifles for the American Expeditionary Force. A history of the 37th Division of the U.S. Army describes the problem in some detail:The Springfield rifle had superseded in our army the Krag, which we had used in the Spanish American War. In that conflict, the Spanish Army had a rifle of German design, the Mauser. Our ordnance officers at that time considered the Krag to be a more accurate weapon than the Mauser. Still, we were not satisfied with the Krag, and after years of development in 1903 we brought out the Springfield, the most accurate and quickest firing rifle that had ever come from an arsenal. . . . But as war became inevitable for us and we began to have a realisation of the scale on which we must prosecute it, our ordnance officers studying the rifle problem became persuaded that our army could not hope to carry this magnificent weapon to Europe as its chief small-arms reliance. A brief examination of the industrial problem presented by the rifle situation in 1917 should make it clear even to a man unacquainted with machinery and manufacturing why it would be humanly impossible to equip our troops with the rifle in developing which our ordnance experts had spent so many years. The Model 1903 rifle had been built in two factories and only twothe Springfield Armoury, Springfield, Mass., and the Rock Island Arsenal at Rock Island, Ill. Our Government for several years



prior to 1917 had cut down its expenditures for the manufacture of small arms and ammunition. The result was that the Rock Island Arsenal had ceased its production of Springfields altogether, while the output of rifles from the Springfield Armoury had been greatly reduced. This meant that the skilled artisans once employed in the manufacture of Springfield rifles had been scattered to the four winds. When in early 1917 it became necessary to speed up the production of rifles to the limit in these two establishments those in charge of the undertaking found that they could recover only a few of the old, trained employees. Yet even when we had restaffed these two factories with skilled men their combined production at top speed could not begin to supply the quantity of rifles which our impending army would need. Therefore, it was obviously necessary that we procure rifles from private factories. Why, then, was not the manufacture of Springfields extended to the private plants? Some ante helium effort, indeed, had been made looking to the production of Springfields in commercial plants, but lack of funds had prevented more than the outlining of the scheme. Any high-powered rifle is an intricate production. The 1917 Enfield is relatively simple in construction, yet the soldier can dismount his Enfield into 86 parts, and some of these parts are made up of several component pieces. Many of these parts must be made with great precision, gauged with microscopic nicety, and finished with unusual accuracy. To produce Springfields on a grand scale in private plants would imply the use of thousands of gauges, jigs, dies, and other small tools necessary for such a manufacture, as well as that of great quantities of special machines. None of this equipment for Springfield rifle manufacture had been provided, yet all of it must be supplied to the commercial plants before they could turn out rifles. We should have had to spend preliminary months or even years in building up an adequate manufacturing equipment for Springfields, the while our boys in France were using what odds and ends of rifle equipment the Government might be able to purchase for them, except for a condition in our small-arms industry in early 1917 that now seems to have been well-nigh providential. Among others, both the British and the Russian Governments in the emergency of 1914 and 1915 had turned to the United States to supplement their sources of rifle supply while they, particularly the British, were building up their home manufacturing capacity. There were five American concerns engaged in the production of rifles on these large foreign orders when we entered the war. Three of them



were the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., of New Haven, Conn.; the Remington ArmsUnion Metallic Cartridge Co., of Ilion, N. Y.; and the Remington Arms Co. of Delaware at its enormous war-contract factory at Eddystone, Pa., later a part of the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Co. These concerns had developed their manufacturing facilities on a huge scale to turn out rifles for the British Government. By the spring of 1917 England had built up her own manufacturing facilities at home, and the last of her American contracts were nearing completion. Here, then, was at hand a huge capacity which, added to our government arsenals, could turn out every rifle the American Army would require, regardless of how many troops we were to put in the field. As soon as war became a certainty for us, the Ordnance department sent its best rifle experts to study the British Enfield in detail. They returned to headquarters without enthusiasm for it; in fact, regarding it as a weapon not good enough for an American soldier. A glance at the history of the British Enfield will make clear some of our objections to it. Until the advent of the 1903 Springfield the German Mauser had occupied the summit of military rifle supremacy. From 1903 until the advent of the great war, these two rifles, the Mauser and the Springfield, were easily the two leaders. The British Army had been equipped with the Lee-Enfield for some years prior to the outbreak of the great war, hut the British ordnance authorities had been making vigourous efforts to improve this weapon. The Enfield was at a disadvantage principally in its ammunition. It fired a .303 calibre cartridge with a rimmed head. From a ballistic standpoint this cartridge was virtually obsolete. In 1914, a new, improved Enfield, known as the Pattern 14 was brought out in England and the British government was on the point of adopting it when the great war broke out. This was to be a gun of .276 calibre and was to shoot rimless, or cannelured, cartridges similar to the standard United States ammunition. The war threw the whole British improved Enfield on the scrap heap. England was no more equipped to build the improved Enfields than we were to produce Springfields in our private plants. The British arsenals and industrial plants and her ammunition factories were equipped to turn out the old short Enfield and its antiquated .303 rimmed cartridges. Now England was obliged to turn to outside sources for an additional rifle supply and in the United States she found the three firms . . . willing to undertake large rifle contracts. Having to build up factory equipment anew in the United States for this work, England found



that she might as well have the American plants manufacture the improved Enfield. . . . Accordingly, the British selected the improved Enfield for the American manufacturer, but modified it to receive the .303 rimmed cartridges. This was the gun that we found being produced at New Haven, Ilion and Eddystone in the spring of 1917. The rifle had many of the characteristics of the 1903 Springfield but it was not so good as the Springfield in its proportions and its sights lacked some of the refinements to which Americans were accustomed. . . . The ammunition it fired was out of the question for us. Not only was it inferior but since we expected to continue to build the Springfields at the Government arsenals we should, if we adopted the Enfield as it was, be forced to produce two sizes of rifle ammunition The rifle had been designed originally for rimless ammunition and later modified; so it could be modified readily back again to shoot our standard .30 calibre Springfield cartridges. It may be seen that the Ordnance Department had before it three courses open, any one of which it might take. It could spend the time to equip private plants to manufacture Springfields, in which case the American rifle program would be hopelessly delayed. It could get guns immediately by contracting for the production of British .303 Enfields, in which case the American troops would carry inferior rifles with them to France. Or, it could take a relatively brief time, accept the criticism bound to come from any delay, however brief such delay might be and however justified by the practical conditions, and modify the Enfield to take our ammunition, in which case the American troops would be adequately equipped with a good weapon. The decision to modify the Enfield was one of the great decisions of the executive prosecution of the warall honour to the men who made it. The three concerns which had been manufacturing the British weapons conceded that it should be changed to take the American ammunition. The Eddystone plant finished its British contracts on June 1, Winchester produced its last British rifle on June 28, and Ilion on July 21, 1917. Winchester delivered the first modified Enfields to us on August 18, Eddystone on September 10 and Ilion about October 28. The progress in the manufacture was thereafter steadily upward. During the week ending February 2, 1918, the daily production of military rifles in the United States was 9,247 of which 7,805 were modified Enfields produced in the three private plants and 1,442 were Springfields built in the two arsenals. The total production for



that week was 50,873 guns of both types, or nearly enough for three army divisions. . . . All troops leaving the United States were armed with American weapons at the ports of embarkation. Ten months after we declared war against Germany we were producing in a week four times as many rifles as Great Britain had turned out in a similar period after 10 months of war, and our production was then twice as large in volume as Great Britain had attained in the war up to that time. By the middle of June, 1918, we had passed the million and one-half mark in the production of rifles of all sorts, this figure including over 250,000 rifles which had been built upon original contracts placed by the former Russian government. The production of Enfields and Springfields during the war up to November 9, 1918, amounted to a total of 2,506,307 guns. The Enfield thus became the dominant rifle of our military effort. With its modified firing mechanism it could use the superior Springfield cartridges with their great accuracy. The Enfield sights, by having the peep sight close to the eye of the firer, gave even greater quickness of aim than the Springfield sights afforded. In this respect the weapon was far superior to the Mauser, which was the main dependence of the German Army. All in all to a weapon that made scant appeal to our ordnance officers in a few weeks we added improvements and modifications that made the 1917 Enfield a gun that for the short-range fighting in Europe compared favourably with the Springfield and was to the allied cause a distinct contribution which America substantially could claim to be her own.11

CONCLUSIONBolt-action rifles were standard during the whole period of World War I, and some served until after World War II, particularly the Lee-Enfield; the Springfield 1903, which was first issued as an infantry rifle and then later as a sniper rifle; the Mauser, although shortened from the Gew 98 to the Kar 98k; and others. Bolt-action magazine rifles were an important type of weapon and represented the high point of manually operated arms, but the effort required to use them over long periods of action was tiring and often meant that after every shot, while reloading, the rifleman came out of the aim, resulting in a reduction of firepower for nations using these rifles. The United States led the way in introducing the first general-issue



SLR, the Garand M1, and after World War II all other nations followed the trend, especially as Germany had also introduced the concept of the assault rifle.

ENDNOTES1. British Patent No. 483 of 1867. 2. Quoted in Roger Blair, Early Firearms, in Pollards History of Firearms, ed. Claude Blair. New York: MacMillan, 1983. 3. Jaroslav Lugs, Firearms Past and Present. London: Grenville, 1973 (English reprint). 4. Blair, op. cit., p. 268. 5. See entry for Peter Paul Mauser in John Walter, The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers. London: Greenhill Books, 2001. 6. Charger loading means that the cartridges were loaded into the weapon in groups of five, and pressed into the magazine with the thumb. As soon as the cartridges were in the magazine the charger could be thrown away. In operation the charger normally falls away from the weapon as soon as it is empty. 7. This cartridge was originally the 88/S, otherwise known as the 88/8 or 8mm x 57 J. In 1905 another cartridge was issued, and in World War I the standard cartridge was the S.S. [or sS] Patrone, which fired a heavier, boat-tailed bullet. 8. Mauser Waffenfabrik, as Mausers company was known, also made millions of export versions of the weapon, which saw service in most of the worlds armies at one time or another. 9. William H. Hallahan, Misfire. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1994. 10. The details of the infringements and the various cases are fully recounted in Hallahan, Misfire. 11. From Americas Munitions, 19171918, the report of Benedict Crowell, Assistant Secretary of War, Director of Munitions, pp. 177184, reported in Ralph D. Cole and W. C. Howells, The Thirty-Seventh Division in the World War 19171918. Columbus, OH: Thirty-Seventh Division Veterans Association, 1926, fn. pp. 371ff.


Self-Loading Rifles

The development of firearms in the nineteenth century led rifle designers and inventors to conclude that once they had a reliable composite cartridge and a magazine system that worked, the next logical step was to harness the recoil of the weapon, or the gases produced by the fired cartridge, to enable the weapon to reload itself. This step was needed for at least two reasons: automatic reloading saved the user from the continuous physical effort of manual reloading, and it enabled infantry to fire more rapidly, which was of great importance at shorter ranges. Resistance to the unwarranted expenditure of ammunition was still felt, particularly in the United States and Great Britain, where musket experts and instructors maintained that well-aimed single shots were needed at longer ranges and at battle ranges. U.S. and European rifles were fitted with sights that went up to (on average) over 1,000 yards, and some went out to as far as 2,400 yards. The individual rifleman, it was argued, could be effective up to about 600 yards or even 800 yards, and the rifle group (section, platoon, even company) could, under control and with specific fire orders, lay massed fire out to ranges now considered totally wasteful of ammunition. The arrival of heavy and medium machine guns took over the supporting and interdictory fire roles previously assumed by the riflemen, for machine guns could range out to even 3,000 yards and deliver concentrated fire with effect. Rifles were now to be used for the ranges at which sight of the enemy was possible. The situation still suffered, however, from the desire of all musketry instructors to save ammunition. The opposite of this argument was, of course,115



that saving ammunition for its own sake meant that trained riflemen were loathe to fire at fleeting targets, thus allowing the enemy the opportunity to close, at which point the assault final occurred. There is little doubt that in the United States ammunition expenditure was a prime factor in deciding what type of rifle to issue to troops. The powers at Springfield Armory were still strong, and the issue of the Mauser copy, the Model 1903, happened at the same time as Mexican gun designer Manuel Mondragon was preparing his self-loading rifle for use by the Mexican Army. Claims for the first SLR go back a long way before this, and in the British official Textbook of Small Arms 19291 there is a note that the principle of the automatic weapon appears to have been a British invention, a claim that is based on an entry in the records of the British Royal Society.2 It was informed that there had come to Prince Rupert a rare mechanician who pretended . . . to make a pistol shooting as fast as could be presented and yet to be stopped at pleasure; and wherein the motion of the fire and bullet within was made to charge the piece with powder and bullet, to prime it and bend the cock. Either the report was true or the most amazing confidence trick was being perpetrated. There are other reports of early self-loading devices,3 and it is clear that the principle, if not the method, of making weapons that reloaded themselves was known. However, until the invention of the composite cartridge and the magazine, little or no progress could be made to realize this dream. Hiram Maxim made a good try at it with his mechanical recoil system, and others had patented designs twenty years before him.4 Maxim used the recoil of the whole weapon to operate the Winchester lever action by means of a butt plate against which the rifle recoiled, attached by a lever system to the rifles actuating lever. The problem with this weapon was that the user had to be very careful of where his fingers were at the moment of firing. Although almost totally ignored in the United States, the device had considerable success in Europe, and the Turkish Army issued such modified Winchester rifles. Then, in 1884 Maxim patented his locked-breech recoil system. This was an application for machine guns, but the concept was quickly taken on board by other weapons designers, and in 1885 the Mannlicher short-recoil SLR appeared. This was nothing more than an experimental piece, but it laid down the principles upon which such weapons were to be developed. The period 18851900 saw a great deal of work and a number of rifles that were truly self-loading, even though the majority were too



unreliable to be issued to troops or even tested by the military. The Mondragon, however, had a different history. Mannlicher had no success in selling his semiautomatics to the military, but the Mondragon came from Mexico, where it had already been tested. Porfirio Daz (18301915), the Mexican dictator (president of Mexico from 1876 to 1880 and again from 1884 to 1911), decided that the Mexican Army would be entirely armed with automatic rifles. The rifle chosen was that designed by Mondragon (18581922). Progress in developing the weapon was slow, and eventually the rifle was manufactured in Switzerland by Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (SIG). Only 400 of the rifles were delivered, too late to save Daz, who was ousted in the revolution of 1911. The new Mexican government reneged on the contract, and SIG stored the 1,000 rifles it had produced but not delivered. At the start of World War I, SIG decided to cut its losses by offering the Mondragons to any taker. A few went to the United States, but the majority were sold to the Germans for use in aircraft. The weapons only went into action in 1917, with most going to the German Air Force, the rest to the navy. By this time the weapon was known as the FSK-15 (Flieger Selbstladerkarabiner: Airmens SelfLoading Carbine, Model 1915). The weapon was not a great success even though the Germans issued it with a 30-round drum magazine. It suffered from stoppages and malfunctions, and most were withdrawn from service before the war ended, due not only to the rifles unreliability but also to the fact that fixed machine guns were totally effective following the invention of interrupter gears, which stopped the machine guns from firing when the propeller blades were liable to be hit by the machine gun bullets. The Germans did not rely solely on the Mondragon, however; Mauser designed an SLR (Flieger-Ballon-und Zeppelin Truppe Model 16), of which 1,000 were made. They had to be kept scrupulously clean, but demand far exceeded supply. Further manufacture was a problem not addressed by Mauser, and the weapons that survive are extremely rare. The idea had caught on, however, and the Germans never stopped experimenting with SLRs. The first of Mausers postwar SLRs was the G35, designed as a result of the success of the Czech ZH-29 SLR (designed by Vladimir Holek; hundreds were sold, including at least 500 to Manchuria). The G35 was a short-barrel recoil weapon and was out of favor compared with the gas-operated systems appearing elsewhere, which were more conventional in barrel length. Walther (the firm of Carl Walther in Zella-Mehlis had been making firearms since 1886, and its reputa-



tion grew enormously in the twentieth century) designed the A115, which was a gas-operated weapon relying for manufacture on sheetmetal stampings, and from that came the later developments in German weapons manufacture (particularly the MG42, the MP40, and the MP44/StG range of weapons). Once more technical and operational problems arose while the weapon was being tested, and German SLR development faltered in 1938, only to be revived a few years later.

GERMAN SLR DEVELOPMENT DURING WORLD WAR IIThe ammunition question refused to die, however, and the lead in ammunition technology the Germans established during World War II brought the matter to the fore after the end of that war. The Germans began the war with the Mauser Gew 98k in 7.92mm caliber. This was a shortened version of Mausers famous Gew 98. However, experiences in Russia during OPERATION BARBAROSSA convinced the Germans that they needed an SLR to combat the masses of Russian soldiers counterattacking them and that they also needed a controllable assault rifle capable of automatic or, at least, rapid semiautomatic fire. An early attempt to provide such a weapon resulted in failure. The Mauser G41(M) was judged too heavy (it weighed over 11 pounds), it was muzzle-heavy and too long, and the action was awkward. The weapon was scrapped in favor of the Walther G41, which soon became the target of Waffen SS demands to supply the SS units standing on the front [with] an automatic carbine.5 Eventually the SS was allocated 3,000 of these rifles. The Walther rifle operated with a free-floating barrel and a piston rod that actuated the mechanism. The weapon was adopted for issue in December 1942, and a captured version, tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground, concluded that this German semiautomatic rifle is a gas-operated, clipfed, air-cooled weapon that performs approximately the same tactical mission as the United States, M1 (Garand).6 So the Germans had arrived at the same solution as the Americans and were firing the standard Wehrmacht (German Armed Forces) rifle cartridge (the 7.92 x 57mm sS round). Needless to say, the problem of accuracy when fired on automatic arose, and it proved impossible to hold the weapon on target when so fired. The



rifle underwent some changes, and its G43 version was also used as a sniper rifle, despite the fact that usable telescopic sights were unavailable until May 1944. The real developments of importance were taking place while this rifle was being issued, and in accordance with the best principles, the cartridge came before the weapon. The 7.92mm x 57mm round was a development of the earlier Mauser 7.9mm x 57mm I and IS rounds and was a high-power military cartridge that was suited to the bolt-action rifles of the early war years. The Germans realized that infantry actions took place, in the vast majority of cases, within the 400-yard range. Further, they had learned from experience that automatic fire, even if not killing the enemy aimed at, if concentrated reasonably accurately on his position, forced him to keep his head down, making the approach and assault much easier for the men involved. When this was added to the fact that the Russians were opting for cheap, stamped machine pistols (submachine guns), they came to the obvious conclusion that any new assault rifle would not need a range in excess of 400 yards but would need to be controllable when firing on automatic. German interest in an intermediate cartridge first expressed itself in the 1930s. Much work on new cartridges was unofficial,7 and of these, the 7.75mm x 40mm from Genschow (German firearms and ammunition manufacturers) seemed the most promising from the military point of view. Eventually discarded, however, it was replaced by the 7mm x 39mm developed for the Luftwaffe, Germanys new and powerful air arm (the German Air Force). The important factor was that the cartridge had to be powerful enough to deliver a kill or wound up to 400 yards and yet allow the user to control his weapon when firing on full automatic. A number of not dissimilar cartridges appeared during the prewar years in Germany, but the Polte firm in Magdeburg came up with a shortened version of the standard 7.9mm x 57mm military cartridge (in much the same way as the AR15 cartridge evolved; see U.S. SelfLoading Rifles). This became the 7.9mm x 33mm cartridge (later the 7.92mm x 33mm kurz).8 The next problem was what weapon was to fire the new cartridge, and for this the Waffenamt (the Weapons Office of the German High Command) turned to the Haenel firm of Suhl, whose director of design was the famous Hugo Schmeisser, who was the son of the gunmaker Louis Schmeisser, also of Suhl. The weapon was to be called a machine carbine, to distinguish it from the rifle. The weapon was designed to replace the standard rifle, the submachine gun (erroneously named after Schmeisser), and



possibly the light machine gun. It was to be a light weapon, with selective fire, to be fired from the shoulder. Its manufacture was to be from pressings whenever possible, and any machining had to be no more complex than for the standard rifle. The Waffenamt also specified that it had to be an all-weather weapon, operating well in everything from severe cold to desert conditions; it had to be operable in dusty, dirty, and muddy conditions; and it had to have a simple mechanism. It had to weigh no more than the standard rifle, yet be shorter. Ballistically it had to have a trajectory very similar to the standard rifle out to 600 yards and had to be accurate when fired as a semiautomatic out to 400 yards. It had to be effective firing bursts up to 400 yards with a moderate rate of automatic fire. It had to be controllable when fired fully automatically. Naturally, as with all weapon specifications, a rider was added specifying that it had to be capable of accommodating a grenade launcher. The design was a fact by 1940, but Haenel had little experience in actual sheet-metal weapons production. It approached the Merz company in Frankfurt, which did have experience in metal forming, and the first Maschinenkarabiner (machine carbine, German abbreviation MKb) appeared in late 1941. At the same time as Haenel was working on this rifle, the firm of Carl Walther of Zella-Mehlis was also working on the new type of weapon and got an official contract for continuing its developmental work in January 1941. Both firms produced what were very similar designs, the Haenel version being the MK42(H) and the Walther version the MK42(W). By 1942 the Haenel design drawings were complete (and the addition of a bayonet lug had been made in response to a request from the Waffenamt). Manufacture of the rifle (to be provided with a 30round magazine) was to begin in late 1942, with production scheduled to be at 10,000 weapons per month by March 1943. This target was not achieved because of production problems at Haenel. Troop trials reflected the users attitude to the new ammunition: As long as there is an adequate supply, the troops are unconcerned,9 but they also reported that the sight line was very high, and that muzzle flash at night was too great. However, the general conclusion was that the weapons are especially suited for patrol, raiding and a ttack (emphasis added). The groundwork had been done, and the troops seemed satisfied in the main, although the muzzle-flash problem had two disadvantages: excessive muzzle flash blinds the firer at night, and it also makes him very visible to the opposition. The weapon was accept-



able as the starting point for subsequent development, which included flash-hiders, and the MP4310 was the result. The Walther version had not proved to be a success, and when Haenel was awarded the development contract for the MP43, Walther withdrew from this short cartridge field. Walther had been involved in the field from 1937 when it had submitted its short cartridge Maschinenkarabiner for approval. Its involvement in the later competition with Haenel had resulted in the production of the MK42(W), which had a turning bolt-locking system, one of the factors that told against the design in the eyes of the officials from the German Weapons Testing Office (the Waffenprfungs Amt). As mentioned above, Walther had already been in the SLR field with the G41 rifle, and production planning for the MK42(W) seemingly suffered, with only two prototype weapons produced in late 1942, when production was scheduled to be high by March of the next year. Added to this were the doubts about the turning bolt system, closed bolt firing, and the internal hammer. Both weapons were produced by a method hitherto unheard of in weapons manufacture, which had been a highly specialized, precision process. Now, as with the MK42 machine gun, the weapons were to be made with the absolute minimum of machining and the maximum amount of speedy, almost tolerance-free stampings and pressings.11 Nevertheless, with their ability to produce a firearm that looks like a weapon, the Germans were producing some of the most effective and exciting designs in infantry weapons ever seen. The MP43 series of weapons was also designed by the brilliant Hugo Schmeisser, and some of the characteristics of the Walther MK42 appeared in this version of the rifle. The open breech system became a closed bolt one, a hammer was fitted internally, and the safety was improved. At this time the name of the type changed to machine pistol, the word carbine being dropped. The new abbreviation MP would cause some confusion, as it had previously applied to 9mm submachine guns rather than to assault rifles, which is what these weapons were. However, it may be, as Senich argues, that [Adolf] Hitler was said to have expressed particular disdain at the prospect of introducing an entirely new weapon and cartridge.12 Hitler did, however, authorize a special series to be assembled from the parts already made in March 1943. A number of the MP43 (also known more widely as the StG 44) weapons were tested on the Eastern Front, with good reports coming from the troops. This was passed to Hitler, who, beginning to realize just what manpower levels he was facing from the Russian



Army, finally changed his mind and gave official approval to the project. This meant that Haenel could go ahead with production, and these rifles continued to be made to the end of the war. The great benefit of the short cartridge was that it had the ballistic characteristics of its longer brother out to 400 yards, but each man could carry more rounds for the same weight of ammunition in comparison with the long cartridge. The rifleman was also able to use the weapon on full automatic and to control his fire. This meant that in the assault the enemy could be sprayed with bursts of fire to keep his head down, and in the defense attacking troops could be covered with a much increased weight of fire at short and intermediate ranges. The weapon itself found approval not just from the German soldiers; Russian captures of arms naturally included these weapons, and captured weapons were highly prized and eagerly turned against the Germans, particularly during the long withdrawal. 13 The weapon and its cartridge also came to the notice of Russian small arms designers and engineers, and there can be little doubt that both had some influence upon N. M. Elizarov and B. V. Semin, who designed the Russian 7.62mm x 39mm Soviet M43 cartridge, and possibly also on Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, the designer of the well-known and fabled AK47.14 The weapon became the MP43/1 and then the StG 44. Name changes were almost cosmetic, for the basic principle of the weapon was not altered, although various small modifications and improvements were made during the last two years of the war. One of the best descriptions of the weapon comes in an article by Major (ret.) A. L. Thompson:The StG 44 rifle was of futuristic and novel design and one that, 50 years later,15 still appears contemporary. The weapon was a technological achievement of the highest order, embracing the principle that a reduced-power cartridge would allow a shorter rifle to produce both single shots and automatic bursts. The gas-operated rifle employed a rotating bolt. It worked on the blow-back system in which some of the gases created when a bullet [sic] ignited were used to push back the mechanism after each shot. The weapon was reliable, robust, accurate and provided selective fire. . . . Despite designer efforts the weapon was rather heavy in relation to the muzzle energy generated by the 7.92mm cartridge. However it handled well and withstood combat use. It was simple, cheap and fast to produceessential wartime prerequisites for weapon manufacture. The shorter, lower-



power cartridge naturally created savings in cartridge, bullet and propellant material costs. Furthermore, the German ability to use steel pressings also contributed to reductions in costs and production time.

With an increasing number of favorable reports coming from the various fronts in 1944 and the need to standardize nomenclature, Hitler ordered that the very effective MG42 was to retain the same designation, the self-loading G43 was to become the Karabiner 43, and the MP43 was to become the MP44. The MP44, no matter what Hitler called it, remained essentially the same weapon. A further renaming in December 1944 meant that the weapon was now called the StG 44, and many earlier weapons were also referred to in the same way in documents, even if they began their lives as MP43s or MP44s. The importance of this weapon series cannot be overlooked. They stand as the first of the assault rifles, which are today commonplace. From the MK42(H) have developed all the modern SLRs and assault rifles, be they standard designs or bullpups. The main principle is simple: the assault rifle must be simple to make and operate; it must fire a cartridge that allows control when the weapon is fired automatically; and the rifle must be shorter than previous designs to allow ease of storage and use in armored fighting vehicles.

U.S. SELF-LOADING RIFLESThe U.S. Army was issued its first SLR during World War II. This was the Garand M1 rifle, in caliber .30-06. (This was the full-load military cartridge that had been issued for use with the bolt-action M1903 rifle, described above.) Jean C. Garand was actually born in Saint-Rmi in Quebec, Canada, but moved to the United States in 1912 to found a small engineering business. On receiving U.S. citizenship in 1914 he changed his name to John. When World War I broke out he began looking at firearms in detail, and a machine gun design of his was looked at by the U.S. Army in 1916. He was offered a job in the Springfield Armory design office in 1919, where he stayed (eventually rising to the position of principal ordnance designer) until he retired in 1953 (Garand died in 1974). His greatest work was undoubtedly the Garand M1 SLR, but his first inventions had been of interest to the U.S. military. His ma-



chine gun had been considered an excellent weapon but was not different enough to be recommended for testing. However, he also came up with a development of the primer-actuated mechanism16 for self-loading weapons. The inventions themselves were backed up by the ease with which Garand worked with others, and he came to the Springfield Armory as a valued member of staff. Another weapons designer at the time was John D. Pedersen, who had achieved success with his device to allow the Springfield 1903 rifle to fire .38-inch pistol cartridges semiautomatically from a 40round magazine. This device was intended to be issued to the whole U.S. Army in France in preparation for an attack in 1919 that would, because of the firepower generated by these adapted rifles, sweep the German Army from the field and end the war. Orders were issued for 500,000 Pedersen devices, but by the time 65,000 had been made,17 the war had ended. However, the idea of arming the U.S. Army with an SLR did not go away. Pedersen then approached the U.S. War Department with an idea for a .27-inch caliber rifle. He argued that the .30-inch cartridge was too strong for an SLR and that his .27-inch cartridge would operate at a lower temperature and with less recoil.18 The ballistics of the bullet were such that it had a flatter trajectory, making aiming much simpler; it was cheaper to manufacture; and the individual soldier could carry more ammunition. Pedersen presented the U.S. ordnance people with a problem: the cartridge was all that he said it was, but it had less armor-piercing capability and a shorter range. This was at a time when many in the U.S. military were still convinced of the need for infantry to engage targets with single aimed shots at ranges up to 600 yards or more. Despite the fact that the Pedersen bullet was proved to be more effective at the terminal of its flightwhen it hit a manthe longrange shooters held sway, and the new rifle, almost certain to be an SLR, would use the tried and tested .30-06 cartridge. Nevertheless, while Garand was making his way up the promotion ladder at Springfield Armory, Pedersen was given room in the new Experimental Department Building at Springfield, not far from where Garand was working. The two men were utterly different in character: Garand was a company man, whereas Pedersen was not only a great weapons designer but a superb salesman. There was now a race between the two to produce an SLR that the U.S. Army would issue as its next service rifle, and initially it seemed that Pedersen had won: his delayed-action blowback toggle rifle appeared in the autumn of 1925. It was complete and weighed



only 8 pounds, 2 ounces. There were questions about the ammunition,19 but when the weapon was tested it performed admirably. The question of the cartridge would not, however, disappear, and whereas Pedersens rifle required retooling, not only for his rifle but also for its ammunition. Garands design required tooling only for the weapon. Then things changed. The .30-06 cartridge was reconfigured and was now to fire a new type of propellant and a new crimped primer, both of which factors rendered Garands primeractuated mechanism unable to function. Many men would, at this point, have gone on to other things. Garand, however, was convinced that he could design an SLR that would fire the new .30-caliber round. He scrapped the 1924 primeractuated rifle, which did fire the old .30-06 round. All he had to do was develop a new rifle, which he promptly did. This was a gas-operated turning bolt20 weapon that was to fire the new .30-caliber cartridge. Pedersen persisted in his belief that the .27-caliber cartridge was a better cartridge, but he was not as aware of the political background as was Garand. The problem Garand did face was that the new round was more powerful than its predecessor, and he also faced the problem that Pedersens rifle was getting rave reviews21 from all quarters. The Infantry Board reported, in 1928, that this rifle is suitable and should now be adopted for Infantry use as a complete replacement for the service rifle and the Browning automatic rifle.22 The Pedersen went on to perform admirably in the Pig Board tests,23 and the War Department decided to conduct more tests, but this time with rifles in caliber .276. The Pedersen was an obvious contender, but by this time Garand had put together his first gas-operated rifles, and in caliber .276. This weapon emerged from the tests as the only other contender, and the race now had two horses: the Pedersen and the Garand. Indecision seems to have been the flavor of the day at the time, and the Semiautomatic Rifle Board ordered that 20 Garand caliber .30 rifles be supplied for the next series of tests. At last Garand was gaining ground, for the original design for his new rifle was in that caliber. Then, out of the blue, the caliber .30 rifles were canceled; the .276 round was back in favor. The cult of the sharpshooter had long been a hallowed tradition in the United States. The sharpshooter advocates saw the rifle in an infantrymans hands as a weapon to attack the enemy at 600 yards, rather than only engage him when he was much closer. The argument ran that a single aimed shot could remove a man from the bat-



tlefield and that the farther away he was, the more men could be removed. Further, this method saved ammunition, which endeared the concept to Springfield Armory and others. The Ordnance Corps of the U.S. Army was all in favor of slow, deliberate fire versus rapidfire sharpshooting at close ranges. All this vacillation had to come to an end. Nothing was being done to make the final decision, which was simple: which caliber was to be chosen for the next U.S. service rifle. In November 1929 the Infantry Board went through the Semiautomatic Rifle Tests at Fort Benning, Georgia. The Garand .276 came out way ahead of all the other contestants, which were the Pedersen .276, the Springfield 03, and, very interestingly, the Browning Automatic Rifle. The report said that it considered the Garand to be the best automatic rifle we have tested to date and added that a rifle of caliber .276 is preferable to one of caliber .30 for use as the basic infantry weapon. A further test was carried out in 1931, and once more the Garand .276 won, even against the caliber .30 version, which had suffered a cracked bolt, effectively removing it from contention. The report of these tests was issued in 1932, and it concluded that a caliber .30 weapon was too big in all senses, especially for automatic fire, and caused too much fatigue for the soldier. The .276 Garand T3E2 was the chosen weapon. The report said, the Garand was superior in rate of fire, in hits per minute, and hits per pound of ammunition expended . . . the light shock of recoil of the caliber .276 rifle does not derange [sic] the line of sight as does a caliber .30 rifle and is less fatiguing to the firer.24 The Garand also benefited from having fewer parts than the other weapons. (The Pedersen had 99 parts, the Springfield 93, and the BAR 154.) Part of the Infantry Report on the T3E2 (Garand) included the following comment: the Pedersen requires the use of lubricated ammunition which is an extremely undesirable feature, and the breech action will possibly interfere with the helmet. Has a tendency to strike the hat of the user. Sometimes makes holes in the hat. It also mentioned as undesirable that interchangeability of parts would be a problem, and that when the last shot is fired from the magazine, the breech locks in the open position and . . . the joint and mechanism of the breech block are exposed to . . . sand, dirt or mud.25 The Garand was highly praised, and although the gas operating system with muzzle attachment and piston under the barrel will always be something of a disadvantage, it was not considered serious enough to adversely affect the practical operation of the piece.26



There were comments about the eight-round Garand clip, mentioning that reloading involved a complete clip, rather than adding enough rounds to fill the magazine again, but the services prefer the block clip because of the difficulty experienced in training recruits in the use of the present Springfield clip and also in order to take full advantage of the semiautomatic rifle principle and allow the maximum time for aiming and trigger squeeze.27 It was at this point, in the early 1930s, that General Douglas MacArthur entered the picture. He was, at the time, chief of staff of the U.S. Army and, as such, was responsible for the purse strings. The Army was very short of money and had millions of rounds of caliber .30 ammunition in its stores and depots. MacArthur was of the opinion that there was little likelihood of the United States being drawn into a European war in the near future, if ever. To add to this was the soldiers reasoning that the army wanted a single caliber for both rifle and machine gun, whereas the decision to opt for caliber .276 for rifles and retaining caliber .30 for machine guns was uneconomic, both in fiscal and military terms. He vetoed the caliber .276 Garand and proved John Garand right. The country would not go for a change of caliber for the new service rifle. In 1936 the Garand caliber .30 M1 rifle was officially adopted by the United States as its new service rifle, and this meant that the United States was in the lead in firearms design, for it was the first country in the world to issue an SLR to all infantry troops. There were some small problems with the weapon, the main one of which was that the ammunition, fed in eight-round clips, had to be fired off before the weapon could be reloaded. It was possible to reload a full clip by ejecting a partially fired clip, but this meant that the old clip needed refilling before it could be used again. Further, it was noticed that the enemy learned to wait to hear the distinctive sound of an empty clip being thrown out of the rifle before moving, then having a second or two of grace before the rifleman could reload a new clip and recommence firing. There is little doubt, however, that the M1 proved itself to be a first-class weapon in the hands of the trained U.S. soldier and marine. It functioned everywhere to the complete satisfaction of its users, something that cannot be said of all SLRs. The fact that the weapon needed reloading only every eight shots ensured that soldiers could concentrate on their jobhitting targets on the battlefieldand meant that the M1 was a great improvement on the bolt actions with which so many of the other nations involved went into World War II. It was praised for its hard-hitting effect as well as for



its ability to function in all terrain and climatic conditions. In all, it was the infantrymans perfect weapon.28 By 1950 in Europe, the first steps toward a change of weapon were taking place as a result of experiences in World War II, particularly due to the success of U.S., Russian, and German SLRs. In Britain the EM rifle was causing a stir, and the new Belgian FAL (Fusil Automatique Leger) had also turned some military heads. Project No. 223129 was an evaluation of the merits of the new lightweight rifle with the purpose to determine the comparative suitability of the test rifles and their ammunition for use by the countries participating in the test. The rifles under consideration were the British EM2, for the Belgians the FN (from Fabrique Nationale dArmes de Guerre, based in Herstal). Interestingly, the control weapon was the T-25, a tilting-block design with a rather odd butt and a pistol grip. The EM2 fired the new .280-inch cartridge, as did the FN, but the U.S. rifle continued to fire the standard .30-inch round that had been in service since the turn of the twentieth century. The report states that one aim of the tests was joint standardization of small arms and ammunition. This laudable aim was one that had been on the minds of many forward-looking military thinkers for a long time, for experience had shown that the United States and Britain often fought side by side, and commonality would be to the benefit of all, including the soldier in the field. However, the results of the process were to be quite divisive, and the role of Colonel Ren Studler (army chief of ordnance) was suspect in the extreme. The decision to test the weapons was the result of meetings in Washington, D.C., in 1949, when it was proposed that standard weapons of both countries would be converted to fire the new ammunition and would be fired at Fort Benning to demonstrate the feasibility of conversion. The Fort Benning trials began on 3 May 1950, and wound ballistics tests were carried out at the U.S. Army Chemical Center in Maryland. At the time, a number of specifications and criteria applied to the tests, among them trajectory, penetration, and the ability to use incendiary and armor-piercing ammunition. There were also practical user tests that included firing the weapons on full automatic, a requirement that was imposed on all weapons in the aftermath of World War II and the German and Russian weapon developments during the campaign in Russia. It soon appeared, in the report on the tests, that the lighter .280inch round, despite opposition (particularly from the U.S. military), was ballistically better than . . . the .30 caliber round. Ominously,



however, a rider was added to the report that stated, the .30 caliber round has flatter trajectory. The gravel bellies (the older, longrange rifle protagonists) were still alive and kicking and willing to spoil any development if it interfered with their case for the caliber .30 ammunition. As far as power was concerned, the .280-inch round is well above the marginal power required [to wound or kill the target], and, of course, the smaller caliber ammunition weighed less, allowing riflemen to carry more ammunition on operations. Interestingly, although the opposite would have seemed logical, observing and tracer rounds in .280 caliber are [sic] superior to the T-65 .30 caliber. The .280 tracer produces a longer and more visible trace. The report then looks at the rifles, and they were submitted to a wide range of tests in the following weeks. Initial tests showed that the basic accuracy of the rifles are [s i c] comparable. . . . In any case, their accuracy while not meeting military characteristics are [sic] not less than that of the M-1 rifle firing M-2 ball ammunition. Because all the rifles were, in fact, almost experimental versions (despite the original requirement that they be standard service weapons rechambered to fire the new ammunition), it is not surprising that there were numerous breakages of parts as well as problems with functioning. All rifles became too hot to handle at the forearm [the fore end furniture] after about 1280 rounds, says the report, which also concludes that the FN is definitely superior to the other two rifles. This comment is further reinforced by the note that only the FN could be maintained in the field without the use of a special tool. . . . The FNs simplicity of design and ease of stripping and assembling makes it possible to replace parts much quicker than for either of the other two rifles. The praise for the FN is constant throughout the tests, and the final U.S. decision defies understanding, except for the role of Springfield Armory and the old guard. The final conclusions were that the T-65 round was unsatisfactory because of excessive blast, flash, and smoke. Further, although the .280-inch round had an unsatisfactory trajectory, it was the preferred ammunition. The final recommendations were that further work had to be done on the .280 round and, in the case of emergency, that the FN rifle and the .280 round be modified to suit U.S. military requirements. The international pot was about to boil over: to make the .280 round acceptable to the U.S. military, the base was identical with that of the [U.S.] 1906 .30 cartridge so that it would have been easy for existing weapons to be converted.30 Talks on standardization



had been going on for a considerable time, especially in view of the establishment of NATO, for whom standard weapons and equipment were an economic as well as a military necessity. Interestingly, Clinton Ezell31 comments that it seemed at the time that nationalism could and would be overcome in the standardization of all categories of materiel save in the case of infantry weapons. . . . One of the earliest and lasting disappointments was the failure to make the desire for standardization a reality.32 It seems, says Ezell, that the partial cause of this was the unwillingness of the rest of NATO to cave in to U.S. mandates. As with the EM rifles, the British were to reject their homegrown product, the EM2, in favor of the FN FAL rifle (modified to British requirements and deprived of its automatic fire option) and chambered for the new caliber .30 NATO round, which had been proposed forcibly by the United States. The argument in favor of the NATO round was led by (not surprisingly) Colonel Studler, who said that the cost of retooling to a .280 was too high, that the .280 cartridge (despite the results of the Fort Benning tests) was not as powerful as the M2 round, and that the need for armor-piercing incendiary ammunition meant that the .280 was not capable of fulfilling this task (again, despite results from Fort Benning). The final argument was that Congress would not approve such a change (apparently, despite the fact that Congress was virtually unaware of the proposal), and so the U.S. Ordnance Department would not seriously consider any changes of such a fundamental nature. The British members of the missions to the United States claimed, not without cause, that they had been Studlered again. In 1951 there seems to have been another attempt to rationalize this affair, and the FN was tested against the EM2 again, and against the old T25 (or T47) and the new T44 (actually no more than a jazzed-up Garand). The British chose to adopt the Belgian FN FAL, which became the SLR, and the United States elected for Studlers choice the soon-to-be M14.33 It seems that the choice for the United States was made by Colonel Studler, who was implacably against a diminution in caliber and against bullpup rifles and foreign designs. The rift between the two countries, caused to an extent by Colonel Studler, got so bad that Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Harry Truman discussed the matter during a summit in January 1952. They issued a communiqu expressing a belief in future standardization, but things would, in the meantime, revert to the status quo. Finally, in 1953 agreement was reached among Britain, France, and the United States that the standard cal-



iber cartridge was to be the 7.62mm x 51mm cartridge, actually the U.S. cartridge for which Studler had campaigned so ardently. This meant that the United States was now stuck with a cartridge that was extremely powerful but also highly discomforting to both the firer and others around him, and with the further requirement that the new military rifle be able to fire fully automatically. The hybrid weapon chosen to handle the cartridge was the remodeled Garandthe M14.

The M14 RifleThe story of the M14 is not a happy one. Perhaps the best way of detailing its truly checkered history is to look initially at the way manufacture got under way, or rather did not. John Stennis of the Preparedness Investigating Committee of the U.S. Senate wrote a paper34 in which he reported his findings on what was, in any other words, a scandal. He quoted Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, who said, I think it is a disgrace the way the project was handled. . . . This is a relatively simple job, to build a rifle . . . and yet this project has languished for monthsyears, actually. And I see no excuse for allowing that to continue. The report noted that although approved in 1957, no orders were placed for the rifle until 1958 and that production had been meager. This tale of woe was supported by the facts that the first 19 rifles were produced in September 1959, by the end of June 1960 only 9,741 further rifles had been delivered, and by 30 June 1961 production rose to 133,386. By this time Springfield Armory, Harrington-Richardson, and Winchester were all producing the rifle. The buildup to full production had taken far too long, and in 1960 U.S. reinforcements to Berlin had still been armed with M1 Garand rifles. The report also mentioned that in 1961 there were more M1 Garands in stores than there were riflemen in the U.S. Army. Springfield Armory standards were still being maintained. One interesting point made by the report was that the quantities purchased [of the M14] should in no way be a deterrent to the development and production of a more modern and ultimate replacement for the M-14 at some future time. This portent was eventually to usher in the developments that led to the M16 rifle, in an even smaller caliber than the British .280 (7mm) cartridge that had been so criticized by Colonel Studler and his cronies. In service, the M14 soon gained a dubious reputation. It kicked like a mule, was uncontrollable when fired on automatic, and was



not a lighter weapon at all. The M14 was too long and too heavy to be carried all day long in hot and wet climates (as shown by the experiences of U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam War). The 7.62mm NATO ammunition was too heavy, limiting the amount of ammunition carried by soldiers on patrols. The selectivefire capability was mostly useless, since the M14 was way too light for the very powerful cartridge it fired, and it climbed excessively when fired in bursts. In fact, most of the M14s were issued to troops with fire selectors locked to semiautomatic mode to avoid useless waste of ammunition in automatic fire. In other words, the M14 was a failure as a service weapon; what is really surprising is that its adherents continued to argue forcibly for its retention in the face of the appearance of the Armalite rifles.

New Rifle, New CaliberAs had been foretold in the Russell report, the way was open in Congresss mind to a replacement for the M14. The rifle that was to eventually perform this task had a rough ride, however, before it finally achieved stardom. Production of the M14 continued for only five years after inception, for the simple reason that the M14 was a stopgap at best and an expensive failure at worst. The emphasis upon the values of the caliber .30 round had fuddled the issue enormously, and the old-timers who adhered to the caliber were harking back to an age when men were men . . . and could handle a big round without flinching. However, two U.S. studies had pointed out (in 1950 and 1952) certain facts that were not pleasant reading to the full-bore enthusiasts. The first of these was the Hall report,35 which proposed that a much smaller bullet could do far more damage to a man than the caliber .30 round. Although theoretical (and admitted as such by the author), this report had a ring of common sense about it. Soon thereafter appeared the Hitchman report,36 which added to the weight of the Hall report by noting that the standard battle range did not exceed 300 yards, which was in agreement with S. L. A. Marshalls comments.37 Marksmanship declined considerably after 100 yards range. His main point was that to improve accuracy at ranges greater than 100 yards, missiles of smaller calibre than the present .30 cal. can be used without loss in wounding effects and with substantial logistical and overall military gains.38 The smaller round was achievable, but until the mid-1950s there seemed to be no such round in existence. However, Eugene Stoner



(who was responsible for many small arms designs, the most famous of which is the AR range of weapons) had been experimenting with an extremely small caliberthe .223. The eventual result was the M16. What is most interesting about the development of the M16 from the Armalite range of weapons has to be the volte face of the U.S. military: previously there had been an obstinate defense of the .3006 round, backed by the constantly restated maxim that military riflemen needed to be able to shoot out to 600 yards, despite battle reports confirming that 300 yards was the maximum engagement range for the average rifle squad and that 100200 yards was the real fire zone for standard infantry rifles. This shibboleth had held firm against the British EM2 rifle caliber and resulted in the M14, a rifle that failed to advance rifle design one iota. Much has been written of the M16 design and development and the failure to produce a reliable tool for infantry. There is little doubt that the issue of the first rifles caused major problems because cleaning was neglected. This was surprisingly due not to soldiers laziness but to confusing instructionsmanuals confirmed that cleaning was needed only after firing about 1,000 rounds, but the standard rifle propellant caused such carbon deposit buildup that this was not the case. Further, the barrel was impossible to clean unless a cleaning rod was issued, which was not. This is similar to the British cleaning rod fiasco whereby the rod for the SA80 was not long enough for the barrel it was to clean. The M16 has now come of age and, despite interference from agencies who should have been kept away, has proved itself to be of value. However, the question as to caliber still surfaces frequently, and it has to be asked here: the caliber is too small for effective fire out to 300 yards and would be better increased to about 7mm (around .275 inchPe d e r s e n s caliber and that of the EM2). To have a rifle for U.S. Army infantry originally adopted by an Air Force officer for airfield guards does imply a certain willingness to take anything in exchange for the M14, and perhaps one can see a victory for the new guard against the Studler fixation.

RUSSIAN SLR DEVELOPMENTSThe earliest attempts to make a Russian SLR were similar to those elsewhere: a standard bolt-action rifle was modified to enable gas pressure to operate the bolt. Like other designs, the Roshchepei39 ri-



fle used many parts of the original, and the gas operating system was grafted onto the weapon. A somewhat questionable source described his rifle as follows:The rifle of Roshchepei reportedly excelled in its simplicity and compactness, and in this sense evoked great interest. But the incompetent Tsarist officials, bending low before the West without faith in the ability of the Russian people, did not appreciate the talented originality of this simple soldier who worked as a regimental blacksmith. The Russian warriors were not fated to hold the rifle invented by Roshchepei in their hands.40

In actual fact, if the weapon had any commonality with other designs of the time, it was heavy, awkward to operate, and probably prone to breakages, all of which would probably have ruled out service use in any event, with or without the intervention of the incompetent Tsarist officials who were the scapegoats for the Communists for many years. The real originator of the SLR in Russia has to be Vladimir Grigorevich Federov (18741966), who, unlike many gun designers and gunmakers, had significant military training. He was initially trained at the Mikhailovsky Artillery School, then served as a platoon commander in the First Guards Artillery Brigade (18951897), at the end of which he was selected for training at the Mikhailovsky Artillery Academy. Part of the course was concerned with ballistics. Following graduation he went on to join the Weapons Section of the Main Artillery Commission, where new weapons were both designed and examined. He also had the opportunity of working with S. I. Mosin, director of the Sestroretsk Weapons Factory in St. Petersburg, and it seems that it was then that Simonov converted a Mosin-Nagant rifle to semiautomatic operation. Publication of his book on SLR theory and design appeared in 1907.41 Initial work concentrated on activating a bolt, but he then progressed to a design with a recoiling barrel with two locks that engaged in lugs in the breech block. This was the 1907 model, which had some serious faults. 42 Despite this, there was enough in the design for the authorities to recommend that Federov and his coworker, Vasily Alekseyevich Degtyarev (18791949), later a famous weapon designer in his own right and creator of the Degtyarev range of machine guns, move permanently to Sestroretsk, where much improved working conditions were available.



By 1911 Russia was well in advance of the rest of the world in the development of the SLR, and a competition was arranged in which the Federov rifle was to be tested against the Tokarev43 rifle and against designs from FN of Lige (the Karl A. Brauning weapon) and from AB Svenska Vapen och Ammunitionsfabriken of Stockholm (the Carl Axel Theodor Sjogren design). The Federov prevailed, based upon the fact that the weapon had fired thousands of rounds with only minimal problems. Like many others after him, Federov did not rest on his laurels, and by 1912 he had made up his mind that the 7.62mm x 54mm R Model 1891 cartridge was far too powerful for use in an SLR. He opted for a less potent load, to reduce recoil (and improve operation from the point of view of the user), increase barrel life, improve feeding, and most importantly improve fire control. Rather than design a cartridge specifically for the purpose, he looked around until he chose the Japanese 6.5mm x 51SR round, a reduced charge round. The new weapon, which was issued from 1916 onward, was known as the Model 1916 Avtomat, and it was used for troop trials by the 189 Izmailskiy Infantry Regiment. The weapon weighed 9.7 pounds, was 40.9 inches long, and fired the Japanese cartridge at 2,664 fps, a package that was remarkable for its time. The rifle was fed from a 25-round magazine and operated on the short recoil system. The locking system was very similar to the original 1911 design. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Federov was still in favor, and the Soviet leadership wanted no fewer than 9,000 of his new Avtomat rifles. Production was impossible, but he made every effort, as did Degtyarev, to get the order fulfilled. The two finally decided that the only way to get the job done was to partly machine, partly hand finish the weapons; the powers that be authorized this method and reduced the initial demand to 150 weapons. Once a total of 200 had been reached, a further order for 300 more was issued. By almost superhuman effort, Federov and Degtyarev managed to get production flowing, and by the end of 1920, production was running reliably at 50 rifles per month. Production was finally stopped on 1 October 1925 after 3,200 Federov Avtomats had been produced. The Federov was well in advance of its time, being easily handled, reliable, and effective as a military weapon. Unfortunately it was also too delicate for military operations in the long term, as dirt soon caused jams, and fully automatic fire accuracy was poor. Nevertheless the weapon was reissued in the Russo-Finnish War of 19391940, so it proved to be the father of all subsequent military assault rifles.



The real secret lay in the correct choice of cartridge.44 The secret of controlled automatic fire lay in the weight of the weapon: too light, and there would be no control of where the second and subsequent rounds went (see U.S. Self-Loading Rifles and the M14); too heavy, and the weapon could not be readily carried and used by the soldier whose weapon it was intended to be. However, very few people really appreciated what role the weapon had in battle. Infantry officers were accustomed to firing at ranges up to 1,200 yards (a range at which even snipers are inaccurate and at which the bolt actions of the time could only deliver vaguely aimed mass fire), which led to the same situation in Russia as happened in the United States nearly half a century later. The true value of the small-caliber weapon was not really appreciated in Russia until experience in World War II taught the Russians that assault rifles were intended to provide covering fire at medium ranges (up to 300 or 400 yards at most) and killing fire only at short range. The day of the long-range, individually sighted shot was to pass, but it took a long time in coming. Federov and Degtyarev combined their efforts in the years 1921 and 1926 and produced a number of automatic weapons, none of which were adopted for service, but this effort laid down the principle of a family of weapons that the Russians would embrace wholeheartedly in ensuing years. The man who benefited from this idea was Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (1919), whose family of weapons has gone down in history. Russia has produced a number of exceptional rifle designers, and following Federov came Tokarev,45 who was master armorer of the 12 Don Cossack Regiment in the late 1880s. By 1907 he was training at the Officers Rifle School in Oranienbaum and then in 1908 went to Sestroretsk, where he must have come into contact with Federov and Degtyarev. His first rifle design was tested against the Federov rifle in 1911. By 1921 his rifle design had been modified, and it came to the attention of the Main Artillery Commission, which was of the opinion that the proposed Tokarev system and its further development for the small calibre cartridge is desirable.46 However, despite the mention of the small-caliber round, Tokarev was looking at full-caliber (chambered for the 7.62mm x 54mm R cartridge) SLR designs at the time. The Artillery Commission set up a competitive testing of the available SLR designs, of which the survivors after the first cut47 were Federovs 7.62mm version of his 1916 rifle, Degtyarevs modified 1916 design, and the Tokarev recoiling-barrel design. All three



weapons could be loaded directly into their magazines by the standard five-round Mosin-Nagant cartridge clip. The result of the test was that all of the rifles were too complicated and were lacking in strength and reliability for military consideration. Six months was allowed to the three designers to improve their offerings and to make up two identical weapons for testing. The next series of tests was held in June 1928. Federov led a group of designers known as the Inventors Collective (consisting of F. V. Federov, V. A. Degtyarev, D. V. Uraznov, A. I. Kuznetsov, and I. I. Berukov) to present an improved recoil-operated Federov rifle and two other rifles with the Degtyarev gas-operated system. Tokarev persisted in offering his recoil-operated weapon. The test results were considered, and all four weapons withstood the main phase of the tests. However, no order for production could be given, as none of the rifles was in finished form. The collective also brought into question Tokarevs action, suspecting that it might be vulnerable to barrel bending during combat operations. By the time the third set of tests took place the competitors were reduced to the Degtyarev and Tokarev rifles. Degtyarev offered a design with a fixed five-round magazine. Tokarevs rifle came with detachable five- and 10-round magazines. As both weapons were still demonstrating previous faults, they were rejected. Furthermore, it was then ordered that recoiling-barrel weapons were unsuitable for the military, and so Tokarev was forced to start work on the design of a gas-operated rifle that included a new bolt and bolt carrier system. The collective decided that the Degtyarev model was to be put into production, and eventually 500 rifles were ordered. This was to be known as the 7.62mm SLR Model 1930, and troop testing was done in 1933 by the Moscow Proletarian Rifle Division. At the same time Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov (1894) appears on the scene. Simonov had presented his first SLR design for the 1926 trials and was rejected. He had made a significant error in mounting the gas-operating system on the side of his rifle, resulting in a wide weapon that was difficult to strip in operational conditions. He redesigned the weapon and in 1931 offered a gas-operated system with a bolt locked by a vertical sliding wedge. In no time this weapon became the favorite to replace the Model 1891 MosinNagant rifle for the Russian Army. It was adopted on 22 March 1934 as the 7.62mm Simonov Automatic Rifle Model 1936 (or the AVS36). By 1938 the weapon was in mass production, and in 1938 and 1939 a total of 34,681 of these rifles were made.



The ways of bureaucrats are always hard to fathom, and nowhere more so than in the decision of the Soviet Peoples Commissar for Defense to announce another SLR competition. The reasoning behind it seems to have been that the Simonov was overly complicated, easily jammed by dirt and powder residue, and prone to mishandling by soldier users. There may have been some persuasive lobbying by Tokarev, because when the latest tests were over, although none of the weapons submitted were ready for adoption, the Tokarev might be reworked quickly enough to make it a viable proposition. Tested again (against the Simonov and a weapon designed by one Rukasishnikov), the Tokarev was declared the winner, and the rifle was adopted in early 1939 as the Model 1938 Tokarev SLR (SVT38). There can be little doubt that Stalin was acting behind the scenes in this matter, for he was a devotee of the SLR.48 The SimonovTokarev conflict has all the hallmarks of political infighting, and the production comparison between the two weapons is quite striking. The Tokarev needed much more workplace area for its manufacture, many more machines, more manufacturing time and increased costs; was heavier and needed more raw materials for its production; and had 25 more parts than the Simonov. Vannikov wrote thatSimonov had created a lighter model with the nest automatic mechanism. But, as a consequence of carelessness by the designer himself in manufacturing the rifle, it showed somewhat poorer results than Tokarevs design. Being a member of the commission, I was in charge of accepting new designs into the arsenal of infantry weaponsan exacting and responsible matter. For example, as opposed to other types of equipment, a rifle is usually accepted for use over many years, since subsequent changes in its design unavoidably require both complicated measures in organising combat training in the army . . . and also long and expensive technological reequipping of industry. This is especially true as it relates to the self loading rifle, and it was therefore clear to me that the best of the models was Simonovs. It had not failed because of design failures, but for production reasons . . . which could be eliminated completely.49

So despite its obvious manufacturing shortcomings, the SVT38 was accepted by the Russians, with the approval of Stalin himself. In the field there were problems, partly due to dust and sand, especially with new weapons from the factory heavy with protective grease. These problems occurred at high and low temperatures, which meant most of the year in central Russia. There were also re-



ports of gas regulation, and the magazine was not well locked into the rifle and could fall out. Although a redesign was planned, the sudden invasion by the Germans meant that the SVT40 was on issue for the rest of the war. Nearly 1.4 million SVT40s were produced (of which 51,000 were the sniper rifle version), and it was only in 1945 that production was discontinued. The problems with the rifle and the cartridge led to a number of studies of alternatives, one of which looked at a rifle firing the 7.62mm x 25mm Tokarev pistol cartridge, and another looked at the possibilities with the 7.62mm x 39mm M43 cartridge. The prospects with the latter cartridge looked good, but the question of its origin has puzzled many historians and weapons experts for years. The first argument is that the Russian cartridge developed from the German 7.62mm x 39mm kurz cartridge, which was fired by the StG44 range of weapons. Russian sources, however, argue that they had started design work on the new cartridge as early as 1939. Whatever the truth of the matter, they had certainly looked at a 5.45mm cartridge in 1939, a project that was shelved for the duration of World War II. The problem facing all designers of small-caliber cartridges is that of balancing caliber and propellant charge to produce a cartridge with better ballistics than a pistol cartridge but with less recoil than a full-blown rifle cartridge. Further, in 1939, and even in 1945, the value of the smaller calibers was not yet known, with most armies being fond of the cartridges at about .3 inch in caliber. Further, most armies were still wedded to the concept of aimed shooting out to 600 or even 800 yards, which seemingly demanded a big cartridge. These full-load cartridges were utterly unsuitable for the assault rifle concept, being uncontrollable on automatic. Once the decision had been made to go ahead with the 7.62mm x 39mm cartridge, Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov (18941986), who had designed a weapon to fire the 7.62mm x 25mm cartridge, now designed and produced his SKS45 carbine. Earlier versions had been produced but were not field-tested until about 1944. The new cartridge, however, was perfect for the basic design, which was to be used at ranges of up to 400 yards. Some of the new rifles were sent to the front, and reports were favorable. This resulted in adoption as the SKS45. The one problem was that the magazine capacity was only five or 10 rounds, so the SKS45 was not an assault rifle, merely an SLR. At the same time that the SKS was being field-tested, Kalashnikov appeared on the scene as well. After an apprenticeship during



which he must have been in contact with Degtyarev, Simonov, and Sudayev, or at least their weapon designs, he produced a 7.62mm self-loading carbine that was tested in 1944. The SKS45, however, won the contest, and Kalashnikovs design was rejected. At the time Kalashnikov was only 25 years old, and as is the case with all good engineers, he went back to his drawing board to rethink his idea.50 The result was the AK47, a weapon that is still in service, albeit somewhat modified today. It has spawned a family of arms based on the original design,51 and the success of the basic design is due to a number of factors. Perhaps the first is the ease of use, which appeals to all soldiers who are armed with the weapon. It handles well, is easy to strip and assemble, and is (assuming there is a basic regime of cleaning applied) very reliable. There is criticism of the noise made by the safety catch/change lever, but this is offset by the heavy bolt, which goes a long way to ensuring that every round is properly seated in the chamber. Further, the fitted cleaning rod and a strict regime of cleaning that was standard in the Soviet Army ensure that jams are a rarity.52 Various modifications were made to the original AK47, including a folding stick version, but the main changes were in the manufacturing process. The Russians experimented with machined receivers but went back to the original sheet metal receiver quickly, and the new design was known as the AKM. In the early 1970s a new cartridge was developed (the 5.45mm x 39.5mm M74), which may have been due to studies made of the U.S. 5.56mm x 45mm round (otherwise the U.S. .223 Remington). So the AKM was redesigned to fire this cartridge, and the new weapon became the AK74. If anything, this rifle is more reliable than the AKM, because the cartridge rim of the M74 round is thickened to allow the even heavier bolt of the AK74 to extract the round without tearing through the rim, another problem with the M16. The Russians had thus arrived at the same conclusion as the European and U.S. military: the smaller caliber round did more damage out to its optimum range of about 300 or 400 yards and allowed assault rifles to be built that could fire the round on full automatic. By the late 1960s all modern armies were equipping, or planning to equip, with small-caliber rifles, and the Russians had taken the lead in producing a rifle that today is still regarded by combat soldiers as the most reliable weapon available. It is this reliability that causes many soldiers to comment that they would rather have an AK74 or even an AK47 or AKM in preference to their issue riflebe it a variant of the M16, the Israeli Galil, the German G3, or the British SA80.



THE BRITISH ARMY AND THE SLRThe story of the British Army and the SLR is not an entirely happy one. There have been British SLR designs since the turn of the twentieth century, with such weapons as the Gabbet-Fairfax of 1896 and the Farquhar-Hill of 1909, but the British military mind was not ready for such newfangled ideas. It is of interest, however, that caliber .276 was under serious study just before World War I, but the outbreak of hostilities put the work on hold. So the British soldier fought World Wars I and II with a boltaction rifle, variations on the Lee-Enfield theme, and it was not until after World War II that serious thought turned again to the possibilities of an SLR for British troops. In 1945 it was decided that British troops were to have an SLR, and the ideal caliber was thought to be .276 inch (7mm). Interestingly, this is the same caliber as had been chosen in 1913 and also in the early 1930s for the U.S. Pedersen rifle. Two cartridges were designed, one at .270, the other at .276 (known as the .280 in typically perverse British fashion). The .270 cartridge soon turned out to be too underpowered and was abandoned; work concentrated on the minimally larger cartridge, with an eventual muzzle velocity of 2,530 fps with a 140grain bullet. This became known as the 7mm Mark 1Z,53 and the Belgians used it in their designs for the FN short rifle (a bullpup) and long rifle (eventually the FN FAL). To go with the cartridge was a new rifle, developed at the Royal Small Arms Factory under the control of Noel Kent-Lemon, who decided on the bullpup concept as the basis for his work. One design team was led by Stanley Thorpe and came up with a gas-operated rifle with a locking system based on that of the German StG 44, with a number of steel pressings in its manufacture. The steel pressings proved impossible to obtain reliably, and this design was scrapped. The other team, under Stefan Janson (and Stalowa Wola on weapons design), came up with a successful design that was to be the center of an international storm. The EM2, as the new rifle was known, was also a bullpup design and suffered from being somewhat complex in the field. Nevertheless it was a good design, and the developers had high hopes for the weapon in comparative tests that were due to take place in 1950. Standardization of weapons and ammunition, especially in NATO and between the United States and the United Kingdom, had been a dream for years, but little had come of it, with the two world wars intervening to delay the process. In 1950, however, the dream might have come true if it had not been for the efforts of Colonel Ren



Studler (director of ordnance for the U.S. Army, based at Springfield Armory) and others. Colonel Studler already had a pet project, the T25 (later the M14), and it seems that he was unwilling to allow any other weapon to stand in the way of his ambition to provide the next generation of service rifles for the U.S. Army. The fact that NATO was now in existence, and standardization the watchword, mattered little in his approach to the problem. The tests began in February 1950, and Janson and Kent-Lemon led the British designers together with A. W. Dunclift from the .280 Ideal Caliber Panel, a group set up to examine the whole concept of caliber change in the British Army.54 The brief for the tests laid down thatthere is a requirement for a rifle having a lighter weight and incorporating several features not found on present standard arms. It is desired to develop a rifle and cartridge meeting this requirement and then to standardise these items for use in Armies of Allied countries. . . . It is desired to obtain a comparison of the features and performance of these models when subjected to a test agreed on by the representatives of the countries submitting the test items. It appears likely that a rifle meeting the above requirements will replace several present shoulder weapons.55

The British EM2 performed well and actually proved more than a match for the U.S. T25 and the FN .280 caliber rifle, the other competitors. However, this was not entirely to the liking of the U.S. observers, and Lucian Cary, the American firearms writer, wrote a most revealing article on the subject.The new British military rifle is the subject of sharp controversy, verging on the bitter. Our Army Ordnance disapproves. . . . You would think . . . that the British had no business developing a new rifle. Our people take the line that in introducing a new rifle the British are not helping to standardise the military equipment of the armies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. . . . The British might retort that we are also planning a new rifle and a new cartridge. Of course from our point of view thats different.56

Cary comments that ammunition standardization had got nowhere, which was true, and that all were agreed that a new, lighter SLR was needed. The Americans, however, would not admit the value of the EM2, still relying heavily on the old one-shot, one-



kill principle, which had actually almost disappeared from view during World War II. Firepower was what mattered in the face of massed enemies, as the United States was soon to learn in Korea. Further anti-British arguments centered on the cartridge, and it was here that the EM2 was to fail. The United States was set on .30 caliber, and even Prime Minister Winston Churchill recognized that this was a stumbling block of insurmountable proportions. The Americans argued that the .280-caliber bullet did not work well over 600 yards and would not penetrate a steel helmet at 1,000 yards. They had forgotten that the average infantry fight occurred at about 50150 yards, and such long ranges were the stuff of dreams. So the EM2 died a political death, and the Americans promised that if the British would accept their new cartridge, the 7.62mm x 51mm (.30-caliber short) round, as the standard to be imposed upon NATO, they in turn would accept the FN FAL in that caliber as their service rifle. The British agreed, the Americans went ahead with the eventual M14, and there was a deep frost over the Atlantic. Britain turned to FN for its new SLR, and the British Army, after a period of weapon development and fine-tuning, was issued with its new service rifle, the L1A1 SLR. This rifle was in caliber 7.62mm x 51mm, the new NATO caliber, and the caliber of the U.S. M14. The original test report on the FN .280 rifle mentioned that it was the only rifle in the test capable of being maintained in the field without the use of a special tool, and when the SLR was issued to British troops in the larger caliber, the same was true. The cleaning kit included a combination tool that was used to adjust the sights to zero, but field maintenance was about as simple as any SLR could be. All parts that were field-stripped were of a size that would not easily be lost, and the hammer and internal mechanism of the rifle were readily accessible once the top cover had been removed and the bolt carrier and bolt were withdrawn. The action was extremely simplea tilting block within a bolt carrier, actuated by a gas trap about halfway along the barrel. The gas energy was transmitted through a piston that hit the face of the bolt carrier to start the rearward movement of the carrier and the bolt. Extraction and ejection followed, with the bolt feeding another round into the chamber as the action returned to the forward position where, with the rifle cocked, all the user had to do to fire the next shot was to squeeze the trigger. Sighting was simple, with a leaf sight mounted on a range slide from 200 to 400 yards. Loading and unloading the magazine were easy, and the magazine latch was very firm. The safety on the British version allowed firing single shots as



well, but the full automatic option was removed to prevent ammunition wastage. The weapon was easy to carry, and although a carrying handle was fitted, it was rarely used, and some units had it cut off altogether. The SLR remained in British service until the mid-1980s, when the fateful decision to adopt the SA80 was slowly implemented. The legacy of the EM2 was a belief in British decision makers that the bullpup-style weapon was the way to go. Certainly, the shorter length of the weapon made it easier to handle in confined spaces (such as in vehicles or when house-clearing), and it was easier to handle in arduous terrain, especially when wading in water. However, it was chambered for the new U.S. round, the 5.56mm x 45mm NATO round. To improve accuracy it was to be equipped with the optical Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux (SUSAT) sight, and the choice of this sight has certainly improved the performance of British marksmanship. The real problem of the SA80 was that it was not thought through, and in the haste to adopt the NATO cartridge the rifle was made to fit. A report57 chronicles the initially disastrous history of this rifle from first design stage to its adoption and issue. The rifle went into service with the British Army in 1986 and almost immediately came under criticism that was justified. Pieces fell off the rifle, the trigger would not return to the fire position, firing pins broke, the safety catch could break, the cleaning kit was inadequate, and magazines were badly made. The British soldier began to have serious doubts about the weapon.58 Things came to a head when British troops were engaged in the 19901991 Gulf War during OPERATION GRANBY. Following a great deal of criticism in the newspapers, the House of Commons assembled the Defence Committee to look into the problems and find out if any solutions were, or would be, implemented. It issued a report in 1993, and despite efforts from the British Army to cover the many failings of the weapon, the report contains much that is admonitory. The committee notes that it was astonished that the Ministry [of Defence] should accept into service, and pay for, equipment such as the cleaning kit that appears to us to verge on the shoddy. There were no fewer than 32 faults with the two weapons, only five of which were unique to the LSW (Light Support Weaponcapable of firing fully automatically from a bipod, and issued to each infantry section as a light machinegun). The remainder were firmly of the SA80. Serious faults (breaking firing pin, magazine catch failure, wrong-sized bolt carriers) and minor irritations (brittle butt



plates and safety plungers) are all described in the report, and it is interesting to note that it took no less than eight years to start solving the trigger retention problem, ten years to sort out the faulty firing pins, and eight years to replace the deficient cleaning kit. The story of the faults and their repair is a sorry one and is a serious governmental and military failure: soldiers were being sent out to fight with weapons that were unreliable and that the soldiers knew were untrustworthy. In common with the M16 and its variants, the SA80 also had a dislike of dust and sand. The SA80 is described as being a precision weapon. The SLR, the report says, in a sandy environment did not require a great quantity of oil and the reason for that quite simply was that it was a weapon of much greater tolerances. There is little doubt that if it had been a toss-up for the soldiers between greater tolerances and less technology or the SA80, the choice would have been simple. Indeed, the sand and dust problem continues to bedevil the SA80, and in recent operations in the Persian Gulf (O P E R AT I O N T E L I C ) many British units still suffered problems. A recent article59 claims that the faults are a thing of the past, but one begins to wonder why the rifle needs such a boost if it is as reliable as it is claimed to be. Certainly some troops returning from the Iraq War have said that the weapon would fire the first round and then jam. Others, however, reported that if the SA80 was kept absolutely dry until actually going into action and then oiled liberally, it worked well. The doubts still remain, however, and rumors are being heard of a change of caliber to the .276 inch (7mm) of the Pedersen and the EM2. It seems that the main criticism of the small-caliber round is that it does not always deliver its energy, especially at short ranges, where it tends to go straight through the target without dumping the energy needed to wound or kill. Complaints have been made that even three rounds at 10 or 15 yards are insufficient to knock the target down, which is, after all, the primary aim of any infantry cartridge. Certainly the return to a slightly larger bullet would satisfy the longer range aficionados (although their argument is tenuous, in that most infantrymen are unable to hit targets beyond 300 yards, and the ranges beyond 300 yards probably belong to the medium machine gun); most important, even with less penetrative ability the bullet would cause wounds at the close ranges now used for battle. House- and trench-clearing operations would certainly benefit, especially as the troops involved would have more confidence that



their rifle was delivering a substantial amount of energy where it was needed.

CONCLUSIONThe rifle as an infantry weapon is over 200 years old. It has gone through various important stages in development, reaching maturity in the late nineteenth century as a bolt-action, integral magazinefed weapon of high accuracy, reasonable rate of fire, and adequate killing power. It reached its apogee in this form in the Mauser Gew 98, the Lee-Enfield No. I, and the Springfield M1903 (although the last was really a copy of the first). Soldiers, to whom performance and reliability were paramount, liked these rifles and found little in them of which to complain. The semi-automatic or self-loading rifles of the twentieth century are no more than technological developments, often prone to faults that never affected the simple boltaction weapons. Before these rifles appeared many efforts had been made to bring the rifle onto a par with its forerunner, the long bow. The long bow had been rightly famous for its range, firepower, and effect; these factors were not exceeded by rifles until the very last years of the nineteenth century, and it is reasonable to suppose that had one of the armies at Waterloo or even Sebastopol fought with the long bow the effect upon the enemy would have been equal if not greater. The long bow, in the hands of massed trained archers, could deliver devastating firepower at 300 yards, sufficient to deal with massed cavalry or infantry. Perhaps the equivalent effect was seen in the Retreat from Mons in 1914, when trained British infantry quite convinced the Germans that they were being fired on by massed machine guns. The machinegun overshadowed the rifle in effect. From the moment that Hiram Maxim and his co-inventors showed that the composite metallic cartridge could be fed continuously to a repeating weapon, it was this weapon that caused far more death than the rifle ever would. From World War I there are statistics to show that the machinegun was far more a killing machine than the rifle, and that artillery far outperformed the machinegun in dealing death out on the battlefield. However, the individual infantryman cannot be expected to go into battle without a personal weapon, so the rifle has survived as a



local warfare weapon, even though it is not particularly effective in comparison with the machinegun and the artillery piece. But infantrymen have, time and time again, been issued weapons that were suspect in their reliability and/or performance even before they got into their hands. The M14, M16, and SA80 rifles are perhaps the best known of these weapons because of the speed with which news travels around the world these days. But the Martini-Henry was prone to jam, and the Prussian needle rifle and the Fr e n c h Chassept had their faults too; the story is ever the same. It is of fundamental importance to all nations that will send their men into battle to send their men armed with a weapon that will function in all conditions, does not require excessive maintenance in the field, and will stop the enemy when the user wants it to. Further it must be capable of delivering accurate fire, and the user must be trained to aim his weapon at the target he wishes to hit. Far too often television shows infantry firing their weapons blindly over or around cover in the belief that noise alone will deter the enemy from approaching. This fallacy is not restricted to the armed militias and insurgents of Third World countries. However, the emphasis must lie in providing reliable battlefield rifles that will inflict sufficient damage on the target so that it is removed from the possibility of causing harm to the user of the weapon. To have the very latest in technology does not ensure that the individual will be able to use it, or that it will always work; it is far better to use rifles (and other weapons) that have had some testing to prove that they are reliable, and that testing be in the hands of those who will depend upon them for their lives. The technologies may change, but there is no substitute for giving new weapons to troops away from the battlefield initially and letting them try to destroy them. Testers must think along the lines of those who will use the weapon for real: will it go on firing, can it be fired without too much distress, can it hit the target, and if so, does the target stay down or come back for more?

ENDNOTES1. Published by His Majestys Stationery Office, 1929. 2. 2 March 1863. Sir Robert Moray FRS was reporting this matter to the Society; see Proceedings of the Royal Society, 1863. 3. Including a reference in Pepyss Diary for 4 March 1664, which probably refers to the same weapon as noted immediately above.



4. Of Mr. Regulus Pilon, a patent for recocking the hammer by barrel recoil (U.S. Patent 2998 of 1863), Mr. W Curtiss gas operated system (U.S. Patent 1810 of 1866), and many European designs of the 1870s. 5. Letter written by Heinrich Grtner of 23 December 1943 shown in facsimile on p. 36 in W. Darrin Weaver, Hitlers Garands. Cobourg, Canada: Collector Grade Publications, 2001. 6. Ibid., p. 46. 7. By such firms as Gustave Genschow of Durlach and RhenishWestphalische Sprengstoff of Nurnberg, as well as the 8mm x 42.5mm cartridge developed for the Heinemann SLR, designed at Rheinmetall. 8. The cartridge was known officially in 1941 as the 7.9 infanterie kurz Patrone, in 1942 as the Maschinenkarabiner Patrone S, in 1943 and 1944 as the Pistolen Patrone 43 m.E, and in 1945 as the kurz Patrone 43 m.E; see Peter S. Senich, The German Assault Rifle 19351945. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 1987. 9. Quoted in Senich, The German Assault Rifle, p. 23. 10. A slight change of emphasis in the German to reflect that the weapon was now thought of as a Maschinenpistole or submachine gun rather than as a carbine. 11. The Germans found that this method lent itself easily to new designs, but older weapons could not be adapted so well, as interchangeability was not always possible between machined and stamped parts. See Edward Clinton Ezell, The AK47 Story. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1986. 12. Senich, The German Assault Rifle, p. 52. One might add that General Douglas MacArthur was of a similar mind, and so were many senior men at Springfield Armory. The argument is nevertheless valid that to supply two ammunition calibers to infantry overcomplicates matters. The British Army has, however, gone this way without serious problems, using the 5.56 SA80 and the 7.62 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) together, even at section (squad) level. 13. Senich, The German Assault Rifle, p. 62. 14. Duncan Long, AK47: The Complete Kalashnikov Family of Assault Rifles. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 1988. 15. The article was published in the September 1992 Military Review, pp. 8486, under the title The Sturmgewehr 44 Assault Rifle. 16. In which the primer at the base of the cartridge was fired by a concave striker. The gas pressure inside the cartridge, when fired, forced the primer to bulge against the striker, giving sufficient energy to push the striker back some .02/.03 inch, which was enough movement to operate the lock. As the breech opened there was still enough gas pressure in the barrel to force the working parts back for the full operating stroke to take place, ejecting the spent cartridge case and then reloading and recocking the weapon ready for the next shot. 17. Together with 101,000 modified 03 rifles and 69 million rounds of ammunition. Almost all were sent for scrap. See Hallahan, op. cit., pp. 369ff.



18. This argument was repeated in the postWorld War II period when the British were arguing in favor of a similar caliber round for the EM2 SLR, while Colonel Studler and the U.S. Ordnance Board prevailed in their choice of the 7.62mm x 52mm cartridge, which became the NATO standard. 19. The ammunition had to be lightly coated with a hard wax to minimize friction, had to be loaded from 10-round clips, and was in .276-inch caliber. This last was a stumbling block to approval by Congress, which, as Garand rightly concluded, would be more likely to approve funds for a change of rifle or a change of ammunition, but not both. 20. A turning bolt is one that locks into barrel recesses at the moment of firing, ensuring a complete seal around the cartridge until the gas pressure has dropped to a safe level. At this point the turning bolt is already rotating to the free position so that extraction and reloading can take place. 21. As, for instance, when tested by the Cavalry Board in 1928. Hallahan notes, in a four minute non-stop firing session, the manual bolt-action Springfield rifle M1903 had exhausted four riflemen. Conversely, in a four minute session with the Pedersen, they experienced no appreciable fatigue or ill effects. Furthermore, while the Springfield rifle barrels became so hot they scorched their wooden stocks [sic], none of the Pedersens overheated. Hallahan, op. cit., p. 377. 22. Ibid. 23. Firings of the weapon at anesthetized pigs, to examine the effect of the bullet on living flesh. Totally politically incorrect nowadays, in the late 1920s no such squeamishness affected the Ordnance Board and the U.S. Army. 24. Infantry Report on the T3E2 (Garand), quoted in Julian S. Hatcher, The Book of the Garand. Highland Park, NJ: Gun Room Press, 1948, pp. 99ff. 25. Hatcher, The Book of the Garand, p. 104. 26. Ibid., p. 105. 27. Ibid., p. 106. 28. Quoted in Hallahan, p. 391. 29. Report of the Army Field Forces Board No. 3, dated 4 October 1950, and issued from Fort Benning. 30. A. W. Duneclift of the British Armaments Design Establishment, quoted in Clinton Ezell, The Great Rifle Controversy. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 1984, p. 89. 31. See note 11 above. 32. Ezell, The Great Rifle Controversy, p. 91. 33. In the interim the M1 would continue to be made to ensure that there were enough rifles for United Nations troops then engaged in the Korean War. Ezell, The Great Rifle Controversy, p. 103. 34. Development, Procurement, and Distribution of the M-14 Rifle, 2 October 1961, when it was presented to the Hon. Richard B. Russell, Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services.



35. Donald L. Hall, in Effectiveness Study of the infantry Rifle, Ballistic Experience in Korea, contained in the wound ballistic survey by the U.S. Medical Research and Development Board, published 1951. 36. Operations Research Office Report of June 1952 (see Bibliography). 37. Particularly S. L. A. Marshall, Men against Fire (reprint), Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1978, and his later report Commentary on Infantry Operations and Weapons Usage in Korea, Winter of 19501951, U.S. Government, 1952. 38. Quoted in R. Blake Stevens and Edward C. Ezell, The Black Rifle. Cobourg, Ontario: Collector Grade Publications, 1994, p. 9. 39. Yakov Ustinovich Roshchepei (18791958) modified the Model 1891 rifles. 40. D. N. Bolotin, Development of Soviet Automatic Weapons, Krasnaya Zvezda, 21 May 1950, quoted in Edward Clinton Ezell, The AK47 Story. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1986, p. 69. 41. His writing did not finish there, for in 1939 he published the successor to his original work, The Evolution of Small Arms, reportedly used by Simonov and Kalashnikov as a primer in SLR theory and technology. Other books include a treatise on the influence of infantry fire on artillery preparation (1903), ordnance of the Russian Army in the Crimean War (1904), problems of rifle and machine gun design (1925), the principles of automatic weapon mechanisms (1931), and many books on the history and development of small arms. 42. The rifle failed to extract spent cases when hot, and if fired when the muzzle was elevated, the recoil springs were not powerful enough to push the breech block forward enough for it to lock. 43. Fedor Vasilevich Tokarev (18711968). He also designed machine guns and his famous pistol. 44. The cartridge was chosen at least in part because of Russian experiences in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Further, many Japanese Arisaka rifles and millions of 6.5mm x 51SR cartridges had been bought by Russia for use in World War I. 45. See note 43 above. 46. Quoted in Ezell, The AK47 Story, p. 82. 47. The Kolesnikov and Konalov weapons were rejected on the ground that they were incomplete as supplied for testing. 48. Boris Lvovich Vannikov wrote that I. V. Stalin . . . loved to repeat that the firepower of a self loading rifle was the equivalent of ten ordinary rifles. Quoted in Ezell, The AK47 Story, p. 89. 49. Ibid. 50. In fact, a number of people worked on the new design, including Colonel V. S. Demin, who designed the trigger mechanism, plus V. A. Kharkov, V. V. Krupin, and A. D. Kryakushkin. Testing was done by V. N. Pushin and N. N. Afanasyev. Nevertheless the complete project was conceived and supervised by Kalashnikov.



51. The Dragunov SVD, which is based on the Kalashnikov design, the AKM, the PKM machine gun, the AK74, the PK, PKS and PKT machine guns, the RPKS74, and the AKSU. For details of these weapons see Ezell, The AK47 Story, pp. 212ff. 52. This is in direct comparison with early versions of the M16. The U.S. Army insisted upon a bolt-closing device, and no cleaning equipment was issued with the rifle. The bolt-closing device was a throwback to the Garand M1, which sometimes needed the cocking lever rammed home when firing blank, because the cartridge, being shorter than the ball round, did not always seat properly. The lack of cleaning equipment for early M16s is a criminal error, as was the lack of a ramrod. 53. The Belgians called it the British Intermediate Cartridge, but it was known generally as the .280 cartridge. 54. It seems that the Springfield Armory personnel were totally surprised to find that the British had turned up for the tests complete with firing versions of their weapons and a section of trained infantry to use them. See Thomas B. Dugelby, EM-2 Concept and Design. Cobourg, Ontario: Collector Grade Publications, 1980, pp. 141ff. 55. The new weapon was to replace the pistol, the submachine gun, the current service rifles, and light machine guns. 56. Lucian Cary, That New British Rifle, True (December 1951). 57. Defense Committee, Third Report, The SA80 and Light Support Weapon. HMSO, 1993. 58. And, as a friend of the author said, even the Brigade of Guards could not do good drill with it. 59. A. W. Thornburn, MBE, SO1(W)/Commandant ITDU, Warminster, England, SA80The Weapon of Choice as the General Service Weapon for Use by UK Armed Forces. Army Doctrine and Training News, 18 (Winter 2002/2003): 2ff.

Significant Rifles and Rifle Systems





A rudimentary but effective method of firing muskets, the matchlock allowed the firer to control the match and aim at the same time. In previous musketfiring systems the firer had to aim and then apply the match that he held in his hand, thus causing delay and increasing inaccuracy. This simple mechanism produced the first mechanical means of firing in weapons and subsequently cre-

ated the trigger. The illustration shows the pan, in which the primary charge was inserted, with its weather cover that allows movement when the weapon is loaded. By pressing the trigger the link pulls on the lever at the rear, bringing the lit match into contact with the primary powder in the pan, thus firing the weapon.




This is an example of the standard of engineering and metalworking that emerged during the days of plate armour. The standards were exceptionally high, as shown by this fine example of a wheel lock from the Royal Armouries

collection. (See the text for a detailed explanation of the working of the wheel lock.) As noted in Chapter 1, wheel locks were extremely expensive, and were never in general military issue.




The flintlock was the invention that allowed the issuing of firearms to mass armies. Although flints might only last for 20 or 30 rounds, their capacity for volley firing was equivalent to that of the long bow, and their performance on the battlefield showed that firepower could effectively penetrate body and

horse armour. The only problem was range, which was limited to an effective 30 to 50 yards. Indeed, it is quite possible that until rifling and bolt actions were invented, armies would have had better firepower and range had they kept the long bow in service.




This multishot musket from the Royal Armouries shows that attempts were made to increase the rate of fire even with the flintlock system. This weapon has no fewer than six charges, which are loaded sequentially into the barrel. The lock is then positioned at charge six, and the first round fired. Positions

five to one are then engaged and the charge fired. It is doubtful if this was ever a battlefield weapon, however, because it would take a long time to reload and a brave man to fire what could be six rounds at once if the loading had been at all careless.






Another method of reloading was the Lorenzoni system. A. This pistol, shown with the round hole at the top for loading the ball magazine, and the rectangular hole below for charging the powder magazine, illustrates the much safer method of the Lorenzoni system than the reloading system of the multishot musket. B. The actuating lever on the side of the pistol is used to rotate the central loading mechanism that is shown here ready to load the ball, which goes into

the chamber first. Further rotation of the lever leads to position B where the powder is loaded. The bar across the chamber stops a second ball from being loaded, which would be highly dangerous. The lever is then returned to the start position at the side of the pistol, the pan charged, and the weapon is ready to fire the next round. This system was a great step forward in technology, but was very expensive and consequently not used in battle.



FERGUSON SYSTEMWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The Ferguson system is dealt with at some length in the text, and this is the weapon that should have revolutionized British firearms and given the British Army a lead that it would have kept during the Napoleonic Wars. The result of

using this weapon would have changed the speed at which Napoleon was defeated. The top view shows the rifle with the chamber open for loading, and the combination trigger guard and actuat-



ing lever is shown pointing nearly forward. The center picture shows the action fully closed and the cock at half cock. The lower picture shows the actuating lever, which also acted as the trigger guard. This particular weapon is on show at the Weapons Collection of the Small Arms School Corps Depot at the

School of Land Warfare in Warminster in Wiltshire, England, and is still in working condition. It was made for Colonel Ferguson by the renowned sporting-gunmaker Durs Egg in London. The engineering skills used to match the male and female parts still elicit admiration for the skill with which they were made.



FERGUSON SYSTEM, DETAILWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

Further details of the Ferguson rifle, showing (in the top picture) the trigger guard/actuating lever and the important male plug of the mechanism. The lower picture shows the female counterpart inside the rifle itself, and the breech can also be seen. Loading was simple: the rifle was held muzzle down and a

ball was dropped in, falling by gravity into the breech. Powder was then loaded into the chamber, the screw closing was then operated, and surplus powder on top of the breech was brushed into the pan for firing. (Details of Colonel Fe r g u s o n s performance with his rifle are given in the text.)



RIFLING AT MUZZLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

This photograph shows early rifling at the muzzle of a rifled musket. The crudity of the rifling method is clear, and the improvement in accuracy was not

truly apparent until breech-loading rifles and cylindro-conoidal bullets were invented.



BAKER AND SNIDER BALLSWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The Baker belted ball and a standard cylindro-conoidal ball. The Baker rifle, adopted by the British Army in 1800, fired a ball designed to fit into grooves cut into the barrel. It was a muzzleloader (despite the earlier and more advanced example of Fe r g u s o n s system)

and after only a few rounds was virtually unloadable due to fouling. The Snider ball is simply a lump of lead but with a better ballistic shape, and two compression grooves that allowed the ball to be squeezed into the rifling barrel under pressure from the propellant.



PERCUSSION CAPS AND MINI BALLWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The percussion system brought a simpler method of firing as well as an end to the worry that powder in the pan would get wet or blow away. Percussion caps were made by stamping the cap out from sheet copper, pouring in a liquid explosive primer, and then applying lacquer to waterproof the whole object. The Mini ball was the invention of Captain Claude-Etienne Mini, which appeared in 1840. It was essentially a

base-expanding bullet that contained a plug in its base to assist in the expansion. It suited muzzle-loading weapons in that it was loaded as a subcalibre round, which only expanded to the full calibre under the pressure of the propellant gases when the weapon was fired. This ball caused many of the horrible wounds inflicted on both sides during the U.S. Civil War.



MAYNARD TAPE PRIMERWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The Maynard tape primer, first invented and patented in 1854. This system is employed in many childrens six-shooters that use a roll of tape containing a sealed capsule of detonat-

ing compound. The mechanism eliminated the need to recap after every shot with a percussion cap by providing a magazine of priming compound that advanced with every shot. It was a sim-



ple idea, worked well, and was above all cheap and easy to make. This photograph shows the mechanism with the

magazine door open. The hammer of the weapon simply pushed a new primer into place.



SHARPS-FITTED MAYNARD TAPE PRIMERWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

This photograph shows the Maynard tape primer fitted to a Sharps leveraction carbine. The Sharps had to be manually loaded for every shot, but users no longer had to carry loose

primers that were easily lost; instead, they carried a paper roll of Maynards capsules with which to fire their rifles. It was a great step forward on the road to automatic fire.



SPENCER SYSTEMWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

Perhaps the most momentous step in weaponry during the American Civil War was the Spencer system, as referred to in the text. This weapon was a tube magazine lever action repeater, firing a composite cartridge with an integral primer. It had taken some fifty years to get from the flintlock to this rifle, and it was an advancement of great significance. The tube magazine held

seven rounds of rimfire ammunition, which was loaded into the chamber by means of the lever action (shown in the photograph). The hammer needed to be cocked manually for every shot, but the increase in the rate of fire was phenomenal. Reloading was simple, and the tube magazine is very easy to extract and replace.




The Jennings Volcanic Rifle fired a composite cartridge, but unfortunately the mechanism was complex and expensive to produce. The original cartridge was invented by Walter Hunt as

the Volition Ball, and the rifles were made by the Volcanic Repeating Firearms Company of New Haven, Connecticut.




The Martini-Henry system adopted by the British Army. Despite trials of many breech-loading systems, the British Army was still looking for a reliable system when the Martini-Henry was introduced. The system has a falling block secured by a pivot pin, and is operated by the lever shown at the rear of the

trigger guard in the lower picture. Pressing down on this lever dropped the breech, cocked the action, and also activated the extractors at either side of the breech. The extractors, in turn, pulled the spent case from the chamber with enough force to eject it. A new cartridge was then loaded and pushed into



the breech. The lever was then returned to the closed position, closing the breech, and the rifle was ready to fire. The system was vulnerable to sand and other foreign bodies and was not a complete success. It was adopted at a time when the French and Prussian

Armies were already issued with rudimentary bolt action single-shot rifles. Innovations to attach magazines to bolt-action rifles were available at the time, but the British Army of the nineteenth century was not renowned for its forward-looking attitude with respect to firearms for the troops.




American Benjamin Tyler Henry invented the lever action system, which was incorporated into the first Winchester system in 1866. The photographs here show the original lever action prototype. The rifle shown is a single-shot

breech loader. The top photo shows the action closed, and in the bottom photo it is open to receive a new cartridge. The cartridge was a composite, and the firing pin is seen just behind the hammer in the upper photograph.




In America the Winchester rifle gained a fervent and approving following because it was reasonably accurate and lightweight, and it could fire more than one shot, unlike the rifle muskets and Sharps rifles used during the U.S. Civil War. The Spencer had led the way, but had fallen by the wayside. The Winchester manufacturers took up the challenge and made their famous series of rifles, which continue to be produced to this day.

The upper photograph shows the action with the lever down, the hammer cocked, and the charging/loading plate at 45 degrees. The plate carries a cartridge from the tube magazine below the barrel to the loading position; when the lever is returned to the up position a cartridge is pushed into the chamber. The toggles, which link the lever to the mechanism, are shown; compare the position in the two photographs.



They are linked to the external lever through the lever extension. The tube magazine is exactly the same as the Spencer but is integral.

Cartridges are loaded through a gate on the right side of the body and are under pressure from a spring located at the muzzle end of the magazine tube.




Bethel Burton of Brooklyn, New York, patented two rifle systems, which are shown here. The first was a simple lever action single-shot with a falling block and percussion firing (Rifle No. 1). His bolt action was more in keeping with European designs (Rifle No. 2). It was very similar to the Chassept and

Dreyse bolt actions from France and Germany. A single-shot, manually loaded rifle, it fired a composite cartridge and the firing pin was contained within the bolt. Rifle No. 2 is a very crude weapon, but the principle of the bolt action is shown clearly.



DREYSE SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

The Dreyse needle rifle is referred to in the text. The photographs show the weapon with the action closed and open. The angle of the bolt arm is 45 degrees from vertical when the action is closed.

The bolt was a simple device, with two main components: the bolt housing and the firing pin assembly. The actual needle (shown in the bottom photograph) was the problem with this sys-



tem: it was prone to distortion or breaking as well as corrosion, because it was within the chamber when the rifle was fired, surrounded by the burning propellant.

The bolt action arrived in Europe (see the photo of the Bethel Burton System for the American version), and it continues to be produced there today.




The Westley Richards breech system. The nineteenth century saw a multitude of breech-loading systems appear, most of them vying for valuable military contracts. This system shows how simple a hand-operated breech-closing system could be. A lever allows the rifle

user to open the breech with a single hand movement, and to reload directly into the breech. By returning the lever to the rear position the weapon is ready to fire. Note that this is a percussion system.



HENRY SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

Henry breech system. The lever on the right of the rolling breech block opens and closes the action, and the weapon is a percussion arm. The action is very similar to the Snider conversion (q.v.). The problem facing all patentees in the

United Kingdom at this time (c. 1850 1870) was that every patent was registered, and so new weapons had to avoid other patents, which became a significant obstacle.




The Bartley and Sillom system of breech closing. When the Ordnance Committee advertised its proposed tests of new rifle-loading and breech-closing systems in the United Kingdom in the

early 1860s, many designers put forward their own ideas, and this is an example. The action is controlled by the lever shown in the center photograph, and the converted weapon is the rifle



musket that was standard issue to the British Army at the time. One of the conditions of the early trials was that

the thousands of rifle muskets then in existence had to be convertible, so new designs were pit to one side.




The Bayliss breech-loading system. Another of the many designs appearing in the United Kingdom intended to replace the rifle musket with a breechloading system. This example is more complex than some. The lever below

the trigger guard releases the breech block, but there is little room for reloading or for extracting the remnants of the paper case after firing. This design was quickly rejected by examiners.




The Benson and Pappenburg system demonstrates a slightly different approach to the problem by having a sliding breech block, locked by inertia. The firing pin is integral to the block, and

the weapon fired a composite cartridge. As in the Bayliss system, however, the space available for extraction and reloading is extremely limited, and the rifle did not appeal to military users.



BERDAN SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

Hiram Berdan was well known in the nineteenth century, and he held many U.S. patents. This example is his design for the conversion of British rifle mus-

kets, and the lifting breech block is similar to the Sharps system and others. Berdan is also remembered for his primer system for composite cartridges.




This lifting block system is almost identical to the Berdan system except that it has a centrally located firing pin as opposed to the eccentric firing pin of the previous design. The hammer has an extension fitted to allow central striking. The design is included to illustrate

the extractors, which are very clearly shown around the breech in the lower photograph. They were activated by the movement of the breech block when the breech was opened and threw the cartridge case back into the receiver, from where it was simply shaken out.




This breech loader is a step backward in development apart from one feature. It is a tilting chamber weapon, which is loaded with powder and ball, but the rammer is attached to the front of the

chamber rather than being a whole barrel rammer carried under the barrel. The design would have been a good one seventy-five years before the patent was issued in 1856.






Another Snider-type locking rolling breech system, this was notable because the operating lever is secured of firing by the rifle hammer that closed

over the lever as it descended the strike on the percussion cap. Otherwise it is a standard rolling block system.



DINE SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

Dines patent breech system was a change from the rolling and lifting blocks in that it was a straight pull system locked at the rear. It fired a composite cartridge. The small knob on the

right of the action was the locking pin that held the breech block in place and had to be pulled out to allow backward movement of the breech block.




Another straight pull system, this was designed by the Green Brothers of England between 1859 and 1860. The lever at the rear (awkwardly positioned for a left-handed user) acted as the bolt lever. The percussion cap was protected

by the chained cap, allowing the rifleman to be sure that the often ill-fitting cap stayed put while he moved. The breech seal (obturator) is clearly seen at the rear of the receiver in the lower photograph.






This is an example of a rifle design of James Durrell Greene of Cambridge, Massachusetts, patented in the United States in 1854. It is a percussion rifle with a rotating barrel. The center photograph (A) shows the rifle ready for loading and (B) shows the fire hole and the recesses in the rifle body into which

the barrel locked. To close the weapon after loading, the barrel was raised to the vertical and pulled back. The lugs engaged behind the recesses, and the barrel was then rotated again to lock it. It was not successful either in the United States or in Europe.



COOPER SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

A tilting breech system with an integral rammer (see the system of Captain G. A. Harrison). Here the breech block rotates forward and the cartridge has its own cap. The rammer merely seats the

cartridge, but extraction probably proved difficult. The thumb piece at the rear acts as a breech lock and also contains the firing pin.




Another example of the straight through lever action, this one acting from front to rear (compare to the Westley Richards system). The photograph illustrates the components well, showing the high level of skill involved in making this rifle. The 1856 date refers to the year of the weapons manufacture. On many rifle musket conversions, the date is the year the original

version was manufactured, rather than the year the conversion was produced. The important aspect of the design is the copper disc (seen in the lower photograph at the head of the action in the receiver) that was compressed on firing to provide the necessary obturation. This design was by James H. Merrill of Baltimore, Ohio.



KERR SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

A turning bolt, single-shot rifle from James and John Kerr, gunmakers in London, England, in the 1850s. This is an Enfield rifle musket conversion that fired a composite cartridge. The bolt

locks forward at the same angle as the Dreyse (and the Dreyse System), an indication that safety might have been a problem upon firing.




A rather complex system, it was patented in Great Britain in 1866. It has a rotating section behind the breech containing the firing mecha-

nism. Loading involved inserting single cartridges by hand, an aspect that did not appeal to the military for combat.



LEETCH SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

The Leetch system is very similar to that of the Snider; the lever is a simple one that releases the rolling breech block and opens it for reloading. The weapon is a civilian pattern, and not for use in the military. When sub-

mitted to the Ordnance Committee in England in 1864, the Committee noted that it was inferior . . . the arrangement for closing the breech is very defective, and no arrangement is made for extracting the old metallic cartridge.



SEARS SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

The Sears bolt action seems to have been a direct copy of the Dreyse system right down to the needle firing pin, with only the rather crude operating sleeve mechanism. It is part of the collection

at Royal Armouries, Leeds, England, but little information is available about it. The Sears name does not appear as a gunmaker in the records.




At first glance this rifle looks like the Benson and Pappenburg (see the Benson and Pappenburg System) until one notices the purpose of the handle on the right side of the receiver. This is a release lever that, when pulled to the rear, allows the lifting breech block to be moved out of the receiver to allow reloading. It also activates the extractor once the breech block is out of the way. The design was by Major (later Colo-

nel) G. V. Fosbery of the Indian Staff Corps, who intended it to operate well in conditions where there was little room (i.e., in closed ranks). He, at least, gave some thought to the rifleman who was to use his weapon; many of the other 109 who submitted designs at this time (prior to the competition in 1867) seemed more interested in money than men.




At first glance this looks like a boltaction rifle. However, when the action is opened, it transforms into another lifting breech block. The important point about this weapon is that it is a

center-fire rifle, with a concealed firing pin and spring. However, it has no effective extractor, and the 1864 committee reported that the mechanism was insecure.



PRINCE SYSTEMRoyal Armouries



The Prince system is another in which the barrel is moved forward to reload. The lever in front of the trigger guard operates the system, which fires a skin

or paper cartridge by percussion. Fr e derick Prince worked in London, England, and the weapon was tested by the British Army, but never adopted for use.



V. H. BURTON SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

V. H. Burtons patent of 1866. This rifle was tested as part of the 1867 Breech Loading Rifle Competition held in Great Britain. Although it performed well, it, like all others submitted (in-

cluding the Henry), was rejected in the end and the Martini-Henry was adopted by the British Army to succeed the Snider conversion.



SCOTT SYSTEMRoyal Armouries

This rifle is included for the sole reason of its design. It is a horizontal sliding breech block produced by Walter Scott of Birmingham, England, and shows another type of breech block with an

integral firing pin. It is operated by pulling the block to the side, an action that was difficult in cold weather and that increased susceptibility to dust and rust.




The Carter and Edwards bolt action is of interest because it has a concealed bolt with internal firing pin and spring. The weapon was patented in England

in 1866 by Henry Carter and George W. Edwards of London. It was tested by the British Army in 1868 but was eventually rejected.




This rifle design combines the early promise of the Ferguson rifle during the 1860s, although the Royal Armouries have no paperwork on the weapon. It has a Ferguson-type loading recess (but without the screw threads and lever of

that weapon), and is operated by means of the straight-pull lever shown in the lower photograph. It was not considered for use by the British Army or other militaries.




Another unknown design included to show the unusual lengths gun designers go to when trying to avoid infringement of patent law in the British courts. The action has a cover plate that has

to be unlocked and moved to the left before the breech block can be accessed. This is then rotated forward to give access to the breech. There is no extraction system.



BURTON SYSTEMRoyal Armouries



The Burton lever-action rifle. An example of the genre with a vertical, leveractuated breech block. The weapon is a fine example of this system. Safety upon firing is guaranteed by the breech

block, which is very firmly set within the action. Note that the percussion firing system is independent of the breech action.




This Mauser Gew 98k fitted with a telescopic sight also has a so-called winter trigger attached around the trigger guard. The weather conditions in Russia were so extreme that operating a weapon became dangerous; metal could become so cold that it would strip the

flesh from a finger in seconds. The Germans designed the expedient shown here, which permitted firing even with mittens on. Needless to say, the accuracy of the weapon would have fallen far below expectations even with the telescopic sight.




The Russian Mosin-Nagant with a telescopic sight. The sight mounting is rather rudimentary and the firer would be likely to flinch because the sight is so close to the eye. However, Russian snipers were extremely successful dur-

ing World War II, and Ivan Sidorenko accumulated over 500 kills to his credit by the end of the war. Interestingly, the record holder is Finlands Simo Hayha with 542 kills, but it is not known which weapon he was using.




The Springfield 03 bolt-action rifle. This weapon was the mainstay of the U.S. Army from its first issue to about 1942, when it was replaced finally by the M1 Garand. It was a direct copy of

the Mauser Gew 98, for which the U.S. government paid belated royalties after World War I. It could also be fitted with a telescopic sight for sniper work, and was well regarded in that role.



LEE-ENFIELD RIFLE NO. 4 (T)With Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

Long regarded as one of the most pleasing rifles in appearance in military service, it was fitted with a telescopic sight

for sniping, and was highly regarded as a killing weapon up to 600 yards on the battlefield.






The British Army had to enter the arena of the sniper during World War I, but, in true British fashion, was not willing to make any radical changes to standard service rifles. The British LeeEnfield No. 1 rifle was chosen as the armys standard issue, onto which the telescopic sight was to be grafted. However, to preserve the loading method adopted by the Britishthe clip or charger of five rounds was inserted from the top of the breechwaythe sight had to be set away from the natural line of sight to the left, as is shown here. This actually affected the zeroing of the sight quite significantly and meant that the rifle was not as accurate as it should have been. The reasoning behind this decision was probably based on two considerations: (1) the rifle needed to be operated as a normal rifle in some circumstances; and (2) snipers were not totally acceptable types, in that they tended to operate alone and sneak around, rather than standing up in regimental fashion and presenting themselves as easy targets.

All sniper scopes are designed to magnify the view of the target, which is an effective method for shortening the apparent range of view. Snipers can therefore engage targets from much greater distances than the average infantryman, who is only equipped with iron sights. Snipers operate mainly in teams of two: one sniper observes while the other operates the weapon. Each performs his specific task for about two hours (at most) before changing tasks, as staring through a telescopic sight becomes difficult after a long period. All snipers are trained to a high standard in fieldcraft and other techniques so they can approach a firing position, take a shot or series of shots, and then exit the firing position without being observed by the enemy. They are regarded by other infantrymen as rather strange individuals who have far more freedom on the battlefield than the ordinary soldier; in reality, they are firstrate shooters who contribute greatly to damaging enemy morale by killing officers and other pivotal personnel at long range.



FARQUHAR-HILL SELF-LOADING RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

In the same class as the Mondragon and similar early-twentieth-century experimental self-loading rifles (SLRs) stands the Farquhar-Hill, which fired the standard British service cartridge of that period. A lot of trial work was carried out by the British Army with self-loading rifles. A large number of designs were tested between 1900 and the outbreak of World War I. Very few were of British design, but this is one of the few. It was first tested in May 1908 but had many failures. Designed by Major H. J. Far-

q u h a r-Hill, who produced several designs, the rifle was tried in the United States late in World War I using a drum-type magazine, but was never accepted, probably in part because of the success of the Pedersen device, which seemed to offer so much in terms of firepower and ease of use. Note the forward handgrip, designed to improve stability when firing; it is still used on many contemporary selfloading weapons. Cartridge: .303 British




The Federov Avtomat rifle was a shortrecoil selective fire rifle. The 1916 version (of which only about 3,500 were made) featured the rather awkward forward handgrip. It is an important weapon in the development of the semiautomatic rifle.

Cartridge: 6.5 x 51SR Arisaka ( J a p a-

nese cartridge)Length: 38.38 in Weight: 9 lb 13 oz Barrel: 20.47 in (6 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 25-round box (detachable) MV: 2313 fps




This rifle was made at Springfield Armoury and was also known as the T2E1 rifle. It was a delayed blow-back, toggle system semiautomatic weapon. It was also made in the United Kingdom by Vickers as the Vickers Automatic Rifle. The toggle action is clearly seen in the illustration. The weapon was complicated and not acceptable for military purposes because the toggle action caused the user to severely flinch. Cartridge: .276 in Pedersen. The calibre of this cartridge was enough to

bar the weapon from serious U.S. consideration because of the strength of the .30-06 cartridge lobby at the time. In fact it was a very good cartridge and would have been of great value in itself. Length: 45 in Weight: 9 lb 0 oz Barrel: 24 in (6 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 10-round box MV: 2,500 fps




The Pedersen device was intended to provide advancing U.S. infantry with very high firepower during assault. It was designed during World War I as a modification of the Springfield 1903 rifle. A special bolt fed .30-calibre pistol cartridges from the magazine into the barrel. The magazine projected up and to the right of the breech. The device was designed in 1915 and was tested in 1917. Over 130,000 were ordered by the U.S. Army to be used in the spring offensive of 1919. Later in the war, the orders totalled 500,000 when Pedersen was also asked to modify the M1917 Enfield rifle.

The device was interchangeable with the standard rifle bolt, and when in position it gave each rifleman a 40-round semiautomatic weapon. The end of World War I arrived too early for it to go into action, but about 65,000 devices had already been made. Interestingly, Springfield Armoury continued modifying Springfield rifles until March 1920, producing some 145,000 M1903 modifications. One wonders why they were not informed of the change in plans, but perhaps news of the end of the war had little effect on General Crozier (then chief of ordnance).




Fedor Vasiliyevich Tokarev (1871 1968) and his son, Nikolai Fedorovich (18991972), were both weapons designers in Russia. Tokarev the elder was responsible for the creation of the range of rifles that bear his name, and which were issued to the Soviet Army during World War II. There were three of these rifles: the SVT 38, the SVT 40, and the SKT 40 carbine. The illustration shows the SVT 40, perhaps the most commonly used version. The SVT 40 was a strengthened version of the SVT 38, but still

suffered from a heavy recoil and frequent stoppages. It was issued in small numbers in an attempt to increase section (squad) firepower, but was not a popular weapon. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54 mm R (Russian design) Length: 48.1 in Weight: 9 lb 8 oz Barrel: 25 in Magazine: 10-round detachable box MV: 2,520 fps Rate of fire: 30 rpm



GARAND M1 RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

As mentioned in the text, the Garand was an effective service rifle. It was semiautomatic, relatively easy to operate and maintain, and served throughout World War II and in the Korean War. Loading was an easy procedure in that a clip of only eight rounds was inserted into the weapon. However, clips could not easily be reloaded, and a weapon with only one or two rounds remaining had to be fired out before reloading could take place. Some riflemen also complained that the sound of the clip ejecting (an automatic proce-

dure) enabled the enemy to know when rifles were empty. The weapon first appeared in 1932, but U.S. Army units had to wait a long time before issue, with some receiving the rifle only after the start of World War II. A number of improvements were later incorporated into the design, some of which were unsuccessful, such as the M1E5, which was too short and delivered excessive muzzle blast. A snipers version was also designed, but most snipers preferred the Springfield



bolt-action 1903 rifle over the M1 sniper rifle, which experienced problems with reloading. The photograph shows the complete weapon as well as a view of the open breech, into which the cartridge clip (also shown) was inserted. The cartridge follower, which sequentially forced cartridges up into the loading position, can be seen inside the breech.

Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield Length: 43.5 in Weight: 9 lb 8 oz Barrel: 24 in (with 4 right-hand

grooves)Magazine: 8-round integral MV: 2,740 fps



WINCHESTER .30 CALIBRE CARBINEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The need for a weapon that was shorter and lighter than the M1 Garand evolved from the use of the motor vehicle in battle. Drivers and radio operators (for example) as well as junior officers needed a weapon that was easily kept in a vehicle and also easily deployed from the vehicle. The carbine was for personal protection at short range, rather than for general battlefield use. The semiautomatic principle was popular with the U.S. military by the start of World War II, and it was en-

tirely logical that this weapon was designed and issued. That it was made by Winchester is a happy coincidence, because it continued the long association of the Winchester company with the U.S. Army and perpetuated the companys association with rifles for war. Cartridge: .30 U.S. Carbine (this cartridge was low power) Length: 35.58 in Weight: 5 lb 3 oz Barrel: 18 in Magazine: 15- or 30-round box MV: 1,970 fps



WINCHESTER M1A1 CARBINEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The value of the Winchester .30-calibre carbine was immediately appreciated, especially by airborne troops, upon its manufacture. There was a need to shorten the weapon even further when it was not in use, and so a wire folding stock was used. The photograph shows this development. The carbine in this

form was used by U.S. rangers and airborne troops, and was also dropped into France for use by the Resistance. Characteristics of the M1A1 are identical to those of the M1 carbine, except that the weight was increased by 6 ounces.



GERMAN G41 SLRRoyal Armouries

During World War II, German weapons designers were told by the German Army that more firepower was needed on the battlefield to face the hordes of Russian troops in the east. The MG42 provided some relief, due to its phenomenal firepower and relative freedom from stoppages, but the number of troops was decreasing, which meant fewer riflemen, so the army hoped to increase their effectiveness with semiautomatic rifles. One of the earliest and most successful designs was the G41 rifle, designed

by the arms manufacturers Mauser and Walther. The Mauser version proved unpopular, because the action was awkward. The Walther version was much more successful, because the weapon was easy to operate. These rifles fired the standard rifle cartridge instead of the short version. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser Length: 44.5 in Weight: 11 lb Barrel: 21.45 in (4 right-hand grooves) Magazine:10-round detachable box MV: 2,365 fps




Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov designed this conventional self-loading rifle just after World War II. It fires the standard short 7.62 mm round and is gas operated. Because of the popularity of the AK47, the SKS was not issued generally as a service rifle. Instead it appeared more often as a ceremonial weapon be-

cause it was easier to use in a drill than the AK47 with its overly long magazine. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39 mm Length: 40.2 in Weight: 8 lb 8 oz Barrel: 4 right-hand grooves MV: 2,410 fps Rate of fire: 20 rpm




The standard German sniper rifle was the Kar 98k fitted with a telescopic sight. When SLR weapons were issued for combat it was inevitable that some would be considered for sniper use, and this G41 has been fitted with a tele-

scope. However, snipers do not rely on rapid fire but rather on the single, aimed killing shot, and semiautomatic rifles have little significance in this area of work on the battlefield.




The German airborne forces were an elite arm called the Luftwaffe, or German Air Force. Their weapons requirement for a selective fire weapon had the immediate backing of Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, who commissioned the firm of Rheinmetall to design and build this rifle in a very short time. The weapon has an integral bipod and bayonet. It fires from a closed bolt in semiautomatic fire but from an open bolt on automatic. The design is similar to the M16 in that it is a straight line rifle, built with the intent to reduce muzzle movement through better recoil control. The bipod is a flimsy one, and is set to provide a high profile when used with the weapon.

The main defect of the weapon is that it fires the originally loaded infantry rifle cartridge, which is too powerful in the fully automatic mode. It would have been a far better weapon if it had fired the 7.92 kurz cartridge developed for the assault rifle range (see also the MP44). Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 mm Mauser Length: 37 in Weight: 9 lb 15 oz Barrel: 20 in (4 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 20-round box (mounted on the left side, another design fault, as this unbalances the weapon) MV: 2,500 fps Rate of fire: 750 rpm (at the top end of the effective rate)




Development work on rifles to fire the new 7.92 mm (kurz) cartridge was done by Haenel and Walther, two top-level weapons designers in Germany during the Third Reich. The Haenel design was tested on the Russian front and became the MP43, and later the MP44 and STG44. This Walther weapon (some 8,000 were made) did not enjoy the same success.

Cartridge: 7.92 x 39 mm kurz Length: 36.65 in Weight: 9 lb 11 oz Barrel: 16 in (4 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 30-round detachable box MV: 2,120 fps Rate of fire: 600 rpm



MP44 ASSAULT RIFLERoyal Armouries

Although many assault and semiautomatic rifles had been designed prior to 1944, they all had one drawback, which was that the magazines fitted to them contained only ten rounds. This was sufficient for bolt action weapons, but not for the higher rate of fire needed from an assault rifle. This feature was also inefficient in that it required the user to reload during the critical assault phase of an attack. The MP44 solved this problem with the 30-round box magazine. This (like the magazine on the AK47) caused

problems in firing in the prone position, but these weapons were designed to be fired while standing up and on the move. The data below apply to the MP43, MP44, and StG44. Cartridge: 7.92 x 33 mm (kurz) Length: 37 in Weight: 11.51 lb Barrel: 16.5 in Magazine: 30-round detachable box MV: 3,132 fps Rate of fire: 500 rpm



GERMAN STG44 RIFLERoyal Armouries

The StG44 (Sturmgewehr44 s s a u l t A Rifle Model 1944) was the first of many effective assault rifles. Some experts argue that the Kalashnikov AK47 was a copy of this weapon, but this was not so. The Russians conducted independent, parallel experiments with the Ger-

mans using lower power rounds, working on the principle that (1) infantry needed more battle range firepower, and (2) the firepower had to be issued from a controllable weapon. The Russian 7.62 x 39mm round was designed in the late 1930s; the German



7.92 x 33mm kurz appeared in 1941 (originally designed for the MKB42). The German round was modified to some extent before it became the issue round for the StG44. The drawings in this illustration are all taken from the original instruction manual on the weapon, and show: A. The weapon from the left-hand side B. The weapon from the right-hand side C. Parts of the weapon: C1. The detachable butt stock C2. The piston C3. The breech block (including firing pin and extractor) C4. The return spring C5. The gun body, showing the bodylocking pin

C6. The 30-round distinctive box magazine. It is probably the similarity between this magazine and that of the AK47 that leads to some confusion as to whether the two weapons are related in concept. D. 5-round clip of 7.62 x 33mm rounds. These were loaded individually into the magazine. The rifle was a success, but manufacturing capacity in Germany was so diversified, and also restricted by the Allied bombing campaign, that very few rifles (comparatively) were produced, and the majority of the weapons were consigned to Waffen SS units rather than regular army units.




This is the last-ditch expedient designed by the Germans at the end of World War II, and is intended for use by men drafted into action for the Volkssturm of the final defense strategy of Hitlers Third Reich. It is a crude

weapon, firing the 7.92 x 33mm kurz cartridges. It was a semiautomatic, delayed blow-back weapon of crude construction, and very few were actually produced.




Probably the most recognized and certainly the most common assault rifle of the twentieth century. It first appeared in 1949, originally with wood for the furniture, but later it was made of plastic. The simplicity and durability of the weapon have made it the favorite of armies and militias across the world, and many Western soldiers have often expressed the wish that all of their weapons be as simple and reliable as an AK47. Since its first issue, the rifle has been made in many countries (not always under license) and in many forms. It has been lightened, shortened, fitted with telescopic sights, and generally has served as the standard for the infantry of many countries.

The most distinctive feature of the weapon is its curved magazine, originally designed for 30 7.62 x 39 mm M1943 rounds, the Russian short cartridge designed during World War II. The photograph shows the AK47 field stripped. Its simplicity is clear, but an additional design feature is that the body has a great deal of clearance, meaning that the working parts and the spring have gaps around them so that dust, sand, and mud can fall away from the working parts as they move, and can also fall away from the body through the gaps in the bottom. This weapon is rightfully one of the most reliable rifles: true stories exist of soldiers burying the weapon in sand or mud and digging it up months later, still capable of firing.



Cartridge: 7.62 x 39 mm M1943 (and

5.45 x 39.5 mm and 5.56 x 45 mm NATO) Length: 34.2 in Weight: 9 lb 7 oz

Barrel: 16.3 in Magazine: 30-round box MV: 2,329 fps Rate of fire: 775 rpm



CZECH VZ 52 RIFLERoyal Armouries

Before Czechoslovakia was forcefully integrated into the satellite buffer zone of the former USSR, weapons designers developed the Vz 52, which fired a unique cartridge. The weapon was quite heavy, which made it pleasant to use in that the effect of recoil was lessened, but the cartridge design was inefficient.

The illustration shows the rifle compared to the Russian SKS (q.v.) Cartridge: 7.62 x 45 mm (Czech M52) Length: 39.5 in Weight: 9.8 lb (with a loaded magazine) Barrel: 20.6 in (4 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 10-round detachable box MV: 2,440 fps




This assault rifle, with its slightly different bullpup design, was issued to the French Army in 1980 (and its successor, the G-2, was produced for export in 1994). The large carrying handle is its most distinctive feature, as well as its bullpup design. It has a bipod standard fitting, suggesting that once more the automatic fire lobby has succeeded in producing another hybrid weapon: light machinegun/assault rifle. The rifle exhibits characteristics that

seem to suggest that the French designers were determined to produce a weapon that bore no resemblance to any other. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 mm French Length: 29.8 in Weight: 8 lb 3 oz Barrel: 19.2 in (4 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 25-round box MV: 3,150 fps Rate of fire: 950 rpm



COMPARISON OF THE GARAND AND M14 BREECHESWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The illustration shows the similarities between the Garand M1 and the M14 rifles. With the exception of the magazine and the selective fire lever, there is little to distinguish the two. The M14 was nothing more than a last attempt by the Springfield lobby to perpetuate the overly powerful Springfield .30-06/7.62 x 51 mm NATO tradition, which was being challenged by the smaller 5.56 mm cartridge used in the contemporary Armalite AR15 and U.S. M16 rifles. The old guard insisted that riflemen in battle needed to be able to shoot out to 600 and more yards with a telling shot for every trigger pull. The new guard showed conclusively that:

1. Infantrymen in general could not fire accurately at a range over 300 yards. 2. Battle ranges over 300 to 400 yards were rarely engaged with handheld weapons. 3. The ballistics of the 5.56 mm round compared very favorably with the 7.62 mm NATO round. 4. Riflemen could carry more 5.56 mm ammunition than 7.62 mm, justifying the issue of a weapon capable of firing bursts or even fully automatic fire.



U.S. M14 RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The M14 was a hybrid; it was neither the effective Garand M1 nor the assault rifle needed by the U.S. Army. The design and manufacture of the rifle caused the demise of Springfield Armoury, and the service career of the weapon lasted only four years. The real problem arose from the cartridge, the 7.62 mm NATO, which was too powerful for use in fully automatic fire. The

solution lay in the smaller 5.56 mm round, used in the Armalite AR15 and the M16. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 mm NATO Length: 44.14 in Weight: 8 lb 9 oz Barrel: 22 in (4 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 20-round detachable box MV: 2,800 fps Rate of fire: 750 rpm



ARMALITE AR10 RIFLEArmalite Corporation

This was one of the earliest Armalite rifles to have the now familiar layout and look of the present M16 rifle, although the calibre was the original NATO 7.62 x 51 mm round. It was gas-operated, with selective fire. The drawing (from an original manual) shows the weapon with its bipod, necessary for imposing some control on the weapon when firing bursts. The NATO 7.62 cartridge was, like the .30-06 round, too powerful when combined with the light weight of the rifle so that it ultimately produced an uncontrollable weapon. Needless to say, this begs the question of why the infantry rifle needs to also be a light

machine gun, especially when the M60 belt-fed 7.62mm-calibre machine gun was on issue at the same time. The furniture was plastic; note the very high sight line, necessitated by the straight-line design. The weapon in this form was only produced in limited numbers because the 5.56 cartridge was produced shortly after its release. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 mm NATO Length: 40.51 in Weight: 9 lb 1 oz Barrel: 20 in Magazine: 20-round box MV: 2,772 fps Rate of fire: 700 rpm



ENFIELD 7MM SLR RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

This extremely rare version of one of the first bullpup designs to emerge in Britain was known as the Rifle No. 9, Mark 1. It was originally known as the EM2, but this name was later transferred (see the relevant plate). It appeared in 1949, and by 1951 was no longer in production. It was an experimental design that led eventually to the SA80, but it managed to spawn another experimental cartridge: the En-

field .280, which, like the Enfield .276, fell afoul of the politics of the early 1950s and the U.S. Ordnance Board. Cartridge: 280 UK (Enfield) Length: 35 in Weight: 7 lb 13 oz Barrel: 24.48 in Magazine: 20-round detachable box MV: 2,530 fps Rate of fire: 650 rpm



BRITISH INDIVIDUAL WEAPONWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

When it came to standardization of rifles and cartridges after World War II, arguments between the British and U.S. Ordnance authorities were commonplace. In the early 1950s the common argument centered on the bullpup rifle and the .276 calibre cartridge. The result was the adoption by the British and Americans of 7.62 x 51 mm NATO ammunition and the appearance in America of the dreadful M14 and in Britain of the much more respected SLR (L1A1) modification of the Belgian FAL with 7.62 x 51 mm NATO ammunition.

In the 1970s the question of calibre arose once more, but by this time the U.S. forces were already adopting the 5.56 round for their new M16 rifles. Britain put forward a bullpup design to compete against the M16 and the 5.56mm round. The winning design was made by the U.S. weapons industry. The 4.85 mm round fired by this rifle was not adopted, but the 5.56 mm NATO was and the SA80 weapon system was developed from the XL 64 E5 in the latter calibre.



BRITISH EM2 .280 CALIBRE RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

In the search for a practical new service rifle to fire the new style cartridge, numerous experimental designs were presented. The EM2 was one of these, designed by the Enfield team and led by Stefan Janson, who had originally worked in Poland. The bullpup design was quite complex, but trials at the end of 1948 showed it was a practical weapon. However, when the same design was presented for the trials in the United States in 1950, it was rejected by the U.S. Ordnance Board. Despite its reputation as more accurate and less prone to stoppages than the Garand M1, the cartridge (at .276 inch) was

considered to be lacking in power and having too low a muzzle velocity. The British made valiant efforts for approval of the weapon and its cartridge, but they were never adopted. When the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridge was adopted in 1957, the EM2 became obsolete. Cartridge: 7 x 60 mm Enfield Length: 35 in Weight: 9 lb 8 oz Barrel: 24.5 in (5 left-hand grooves) Magazine: 30-round box (detachable) MV: 2,530 fps Rate of fire: 600650 rpm



ENFIELD RIFLE L85A1 (THE SA80)With Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

This rifle has had a dubious career and many British military users were convinced that it had, like the camel, been designed by a committee. Certainly the United States failure to keep a promise to buy the Belgian FAL, the 5.56mm cartridge, and the M16 rifle had given the United States a bad reputation in the international arena, and the rejection of the EM2 weapons system by the U.S. Ordnance Board added to this sentiment. There seems to have been a residual and deep desire among the British designers and military that Britain should have a bullpup rifle, no matter what the calibre. The L1A1 SLR was considered too powerful for the new battlefield, where infantry-aimed fire was only needed out to 400 meters (after which point sniper and machine gun fire would take over, combined with mortars and artillery). The arrival of the 5.56 x 45 mm NATO as the sole cartridge did not tie the British to a modified SLR or any European weapon, so the design teams went to work.

The resulting weapon was considered by many to be a design of compromise, but it was indeed a bullpup design, so Britain was satisfied at last. For many years, however, problems arose: parts fell off, it would not operate in adverse conditions (particularly rain, sand, mud, and dust), and many felt the cartridge in itself was too light to be effective at all battle ranges (even only out to 400 yards). Heckler and Koch, the famous German armament manufacturers, were bought by British Aerospace and then sold back to the Germans. As soon as they were sold they took over the modifications to this relatively unsatisfactory rifle, and they have now produced the A2 version, which, from accounts by those who have used it in combat, performs wellsomething it should have done almost twenty years previously. Unfortunately, multinational companies do not always produce items equal to their self-proclaimed standards of excellence. The original weapon went into ser-



vice in the mid-1980s, and although it works well at present, there are many requests for a re-examination of the calibre and cartridge, as well as calls advocating 7 mm as the future ideal battlefield calibre. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 mm NATO

Length: 30.9 in Weight: 8 lb 6 oz Barrel: 20.4 in (6 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 30-round box MV: 3,084 fps Rate of fire: 650800 rpm



SLR ACTIONWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK



This photo shows how a gas-and-piston self-loading rifle operates. A. The action after firing. The gases from the barrel are tapped off and have forced the piston back, in turn pushing the bolt carrier backward. This unlocks the action and extracts the empty case from the breech. The breech mechanism of bolt carrier and breech block (contained within the bolt carrier) continue to the rear. As the extracted cartridge case clears the breech, it is ejected in contact with the ejector stud, which is fixed on the left side of the rifle body.

B. The bolt carrier assembly continues to the base of the live cartridge held in the magazine. At the same time, the hammer is cocked by this backward movement. C. Under the pressure of the return spring (in the butt), the bolt carrier now starts moving forward, and the new cartridge, pushed into position by the magazine spring, is picked up by the bottom of the bolt and pushed firmly into the chamber. The rifle is now reloaded and ready to fire.



M16 RIFLERoyal Armouries

The instantly recognizable M16 (almost as well known as the AK47) is the standard-issue service rifle of the U.S. Army and many other forces. In its original form the weapon was the lightest assault rifle on general issue, and proved its worth so long as the following instructions were followed: The M16 is the finest military rifle ever made. Its lightweight, easy to handle, and will put out a lot of lead. If you know it, respect it, and treat it right, it will be ready when you need it. The following tips are from combat veterans who wanted to pass on to you their ideas on weapon care. Learn em, use em, and youll not be caught short! a. Keep your ammo and magazine as clean and dry as possible. Lightly lube the magazine spring only. Oil it up, and youre headed for trouble. b. Inspect your ammo when you load the magazines. Dont load dented

or dirty ammo. Remember, load only 18 or 19 rounds. c. Clean your rifle every chance you get. 35 times a day will not be too often in some cases. Cleanliness is next to godliness, boy, and it may save your life. d. Be sure to clean carbon and dirt from those barrel-locking lugs. Pipe cleaners help here and in the gas port. e. Dont be bashful about asking for cleaning materials when you need em. Theyre available; get em and use em. f. Check your extractor and spring often; if they are worn or burred, get new ones ASAP. g. Lube your rifle using only LSA. Thats the best. A light coat put on with a rag after cleaning is good. Functional parts need generous applications often. Put a very light coat of LSA in the bore and chamber after cleaning.



(U.S. Army M16 handling card issued to troops in Vietnam, 1968) Present-day reports on the rifle indicate its length is cumbersome for use in vehicles, and it may be replaced by the shorter carbine or Commando version, as battle ranges in urban areas rarely exceed 100 yards, and vehicles are used to move troops around urban areas. The illustration shows (top) the original M16, and (below) the M16A2 de-

sign, modified to fire NATO ammunition, with a three-round burst capacity and a heavier barrel. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 mm M193 or NATO Length: 39 in Weight: 6 lb 5 oz Barrel: 20 in (6 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 20- or 30-round box (but see notes above) MV: 3,110 fps Rate of fire: 800 rpm



AUSTRIAN STEYR ASSAULT RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

Perhaps best known as a photogenic and futuristic rifle (often seen in films), the Steyr AUG (Armee Universal Gewehrarmy multipurpose rifle) was first issued in 1977. It is part of a series of weapons designed to have interchangeable parts (rather like the American Stoner system). The Austrian Army named the weapon the StuG77. It is a bullpup with a synthetic casing, with interchangeable barrels, receivers, and firing mechanisms, enabling it to ap-

pear as an assault rifle, a carbine, a heavy-barreled light machine gun, or, very rarely, a submachinegun. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 mm M193 or NATO Length: 31.1 in Weight: 7 lb 15 oz Barrel: 16.02 in (6 right-hand grooves) Magazine: 30-round detachable box MV: 3,182 fps Rate of fire: 650 rpm



COLT M16 WITH ATTACHED M203 GRENADE LAUNCHERWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

The M16 rifle was the military version of the Armalite AR15, and has become famous throughout the world, although it is often criticized as vociferously as its Russian counterpart, the AK47, is praised. The most important aspect of the original Armalite design was its lightness. This development, with the M203 grenade launcher strapped below the barrel, illustrates that military designers will always add weight to a weapon to make it more effective. Putting the grenade launcher onto the original

weapon did not increase its weight beyond a sensible limit (altogether it was 11 lb), but did improve the accuracy of delivering a 40 mm grenade at an effective battle range (150 m for point targets, 350 m for area targets). The details of the weapon are identical to those of the standard M16 rifle. The M203 fires a range of 40 mm grenades, including HE, HE Dual Purpose, HE Air Burst, and Training Practice rounds. Special sighting equipment for the launcher is bolted to the left side of the rifle.



M16A4 CARBINE/COLT COMMANDO 5.56MM RIFLEWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK

This weapon was designed to be more portable in vehicles, although it also was used by Special Forces. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 mm NATO Length: 33 in/29.8 in (butt extended and retracted)

Weight: 5 lb 13 oz Barrel: 14.57 in (with 6 right-hand

twist grooves) Magazine: 20- or 30-round box MV: 3,022 fps Rate of fire: 700 rpm




This illustration is copied from official documentation on the H&K G3A3 rifle to show the myriad of parts that go into making the modern assault rifle. As shown, there are no fewer than ninetynine parts in the rifle, all of which have to be manufactured under strict engineering tolerances. Each part must function in all weather conditions, be strong enough to withstand handling and battle use, yet be easily replaced if a breakage occurs. The rifle itself has to be functional when fouled with residue from firing, be easily maintained and cleaned in the field, and maintain zero (or stay accurate) as long as it is handled reasonably carefully by the rifleman using it. The modern assault rifle is ages away

from the weapons of World War II, and light years from the rifles of the nineteenth century in concept, but design standards have remained the same, with designers and the firearm makers striving to deliver a weapon to troops that will not let them down in the field. Not all weapons have passed this test, however, and the SA80 and M16 (for example) have demonstrated faults that should not have occurred. The crudely manufactured AK47, however, has demonstrated that a good design will overcome these problems, partly because of the simplicity of the design and the self-cleaning mechanism of interior clearances that let dirt fall away from the working parts.




Ammunition designers have always faced two major problems with their product: how to get rid of the empty cartridge when fired and how to expel heat, generated by firing the cartridge, from the interior of the weapon. The Heckler and Koch G11 was designed to solve the first problem, but failed to remedy the second. The cartridge fired by this compact weapon is caseless: the bullet is surrounded by the propellant powder (with primer integrally inserted), but there is no brass case to be ejected. Magazines for the rifle contain forty-five caseless rounds that are fed by a rotary mechanism into the breech. This means that once the cartridge is fired, the weapon merely replaces another round ready for firing and no extraction of the empty case is required. However, when the rifle was tested, it was found that sus-

tained use on the battlefield would probably lead to problems, one of which was that the rifle became too hot to handle after firing a few rounds. Nevertheless, the caseless round continues to be used in present-day combat, and as soon as a heat sink can be developed, or some other heat dispersion method designed, the round will almost certainly become the round of choice for all armies. Cartridge: 4.73 x 33 DMI (special round) Length: 29.53 in Weight: 8 lb 1 oz Barrel: 21.26 in (4 right-hand increasing grooves) Magazine: 45-round box (preloaded) MV: 3,051 fps Rate of fi r e : 600 rpm (3-round burst 2,100 rpm)



M16 RIFLE IN POLICE SERVICECourtesy of David Westwood

As a reflection of contemporary society, this modified M16A4 was seen, carried by policemen, on Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange in autumn 2003. The rifle is used by many police departments in the United States and has a forward pistol grip with an extension, a fitted Maglite flashlight below the barrel, and the typical telescoping butt. The picture shows that police forces throughout the world (including the

British) are now far more willing to patrol the streets armed with high velocity rifles, which can fire bursts. One might question the use of military assault rifles in a civilian environment. Indeed, this raises the issue of whether society is safer because weapons provide protection, or whether society suffers when the line becomes blurred between keeping the peace and instituting martial law.



IRON SIGHTSRoyal Armouries

As weapons increased in sophistication, so too did the method of sighting. Rifles were seen as an increasing source of long-range fire, especially against an enemy assembly area or a mass of advancing troops. The sights shown here are typical of the way in which longrange rifle fire was initially seen as valuable, but which declined in importance with the arrival of the machine gun (particularly the tripod-mounted medium) and the mortar. The Martini-Henry sight is a rather inaccurate vertical leaf sight, with the ranges marked on the sight frame. It could be aimed up to 1,000 yards with only marginal accuracy beyond 300 yards, but a company firing at a fixed area at 800 yards could deliver a heavy

barrage of fire in and around the aiming point, causing an enemy to disperse. This principle was continued in the British Army as well as the German Army into World War I. The LeeEnfield No. 1 and the Mauser Gew 98 sights shown were both calibrated up to 2,000 yards and, with the improved ammunition supplied, were slightly more effective than the Martini-Henry. However, as noted, machine guns were soon substituted for rifles as longer ranges and the concept of effective battlefield ranges were presented. It was obvious to most military personnel and weapon designers that the rifle was better used at ranges up to 400 yards when it could be expected to deliver one-shot hits, rather than spraying



indiscriminately at 2,000 yards. The problem of ammunition fired at targets beyond the visual range of the firer was better left to the machine guns, together with the problem that rounds wasted at 2,000 yards were then not available when the attack came in from 300 yards and at shorter ranges. The British No. 4 rifle was still sighted up to 1,300 yards originally, but it was soon discarded as rifles became equipped with battle sights zeroed at 200 yards.

The latest innovations in iron sights were applied to weapons such as the British SLR and the U.S. M16. Maximum ranges for battlefield firing were set at around 400 yards, although many U.S. rifle-using conservatives thought that 600 yards was the absolute minimum battle range for the average infantry soldier. In fact, the average soldier is very lucky to be able to hit a target at over 200 yards with consistency, and hits at 600 yards are better left to snipers.



SINGLE POINT SIGHTWith Permission of the Infantry and SASC Weapons Collection, UK



The British Army carried out a number of trials after World War II to evaluate iron sights compared to optical sights. The army concluded, as did other services, that a simple optical sight carefully zeroed and with a single aiming point would aid infantry in increasing the accuracy and therefore the effectiveness of their firepower on the battlefield. One of the earliest single-point sights was fitted to the EM range of semiautomatic weapons. This was a metal sleeve into which the optics were fitted. Align-

ing the sighting eye to the tube gave a narrow field of vision on the target area, and the aiming point was a pointed post. The user merely needed to align the tip of the aiming post with his target and fire. No longer did he have to coordinate front and rear sights, nor did he have to adjust the range. This simple principle has, with more modern sights, increased the effectiveness of British infantry fire greatly, and marksmen are now the rule rather than the exception in the British infantry regiments.


Authors Note: The Mordecai report was a survey of European weapons and factories that had been involved in the Crimean War. Alfred Mordecai graduated from West Point in 1823, first in his class. He was appointed commander of Frankford Arsenal (Philadelphia) in 1836, and then, as a member of the U.S. Ordnance Board, visited Europe to examine the weaponry of the Crimean War. His report was of great significance, even more so because it had bound with it an important extra: a paper written by Captain J. Schn of the Royal Saxon Infantry. In this report Schn examined the European situation with reference to rifled weapons. This report is of such importance that it is partially reproduced below, with linking comments to aid continuity. The report begins with an appraisal of the problems associated with smoothbore and rifled weapons: The improvements and discoveries recently made in infantry arms are mainly the result of endeavours to diminish or entirely eradicate the chief defects of the arm hitherto used, which, in the smooth bore, are the limited range, and in the rifle, both that and additional difficulty in the loading. Before entering on a minute examination of these improvements and discoveries, it is proper to advert to the causes of the defects just referred to. The smooth bore has a considerable windage [i.e., the bore diameter is greater than the ball diameter] to facilitate the loading, which prevents the ball, when in its place, from filling the bore, and admits currents of the generated gas at its side. This occasions a pressure of the ball against the side of the bore opposite, and not only causes it to assume an irregular rotary motion, but makes it describe a path not coincident with the vertical plane through the axis of the bore, to the great detriment of its accuracy. In the rifles, it is true, the windage was destroyed [which means eliminated here] by the use of a tight ball; but this retarded the loading [muzzle loading is described here], and made it so laborious as to make the firing much slower than with the smooth bore. Besides, in prolonged use the




strength of the men was too much tasked to admit of a steady aim. The shape of the ball was also injured, which has a vital influence on the accuracy and range of the missile. These defects of both species of arms became the more obvious as the effort was made to increase their range and accuracy without, at the same time, greatly increasing the charge or elevation. The question propounded at this day is to find a system that shall combine the advantages of the smooth bore and rifle without having their manifest defects, to which end the following chief requisites are to be kept in view: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Increased facility of loading. Increased accuracy and range. The charge. The inclination of the grooves. The diameter and form of the ball.

As the first two conditions depend on the last three, it will be proper, before presenting the solutions which each of the systems offers, to examine more closely what depends upon the grooves. The use of [rifling] grooves has so much advanced the accuracy and force of small arms, that for the last half century they have been used in increased proportion for purposes of warfare; and a weapon which had formerly but an isolated existence, has attained, through improved construction, and the adoption of the pointed ball, universal favor. It is worth while, therefore, to trace more minutely their origin, and to examine their peculiar adaptation to service arms. The grooves in use in Germany in the latter half of the fifteenth century were the result of endeavours to augment the accuracy of the arms then in use, in which, on account of the great windage of the ball, they must have been extremely defective. Cartridges not having yet come into use, the bullet was not then, as now, enveloped in the paper of it, which would have assisted in destroying the windage, but was attached by its sinking head; nor did the wooden drift or rammer avail much in this respect. The bore was, therefore, furnished with a certain number of furrows or grooves running straight along the borethat is, parallel to its axis; the ball being at the same time adapted more nearly to the diameter of the caliber. The accuracy was, however, so little increased by these means, the improvement being only sensible at short distances, as to have but little advantage over that of the smooth bore, whilst the loading became so difficult from the increased caliber of the ball as to be nearly impracticable after a few rounds. By the introduction of the straight grooves the discovery was made, however, that the ball obeyed the grooves, and followed in its flight the direction of the axis of the bore. These observations may afterwards have caused a certain inclination to be given to them, the twist of which the ball must equally follow in the bore and retain after quitting it. The ball



which in the straight grooved barrels received but one motion, that of progression, had thus a second motion impressed on it, the rotary or screwlike movement, by which it overcame with greater ease the resistance of the air. The ball was again reduced in its diameter; but in order to retain the advantage of the small windage, resort was had to greased patches, in which the ball was enveloped before loading. With the greatly increased accuracy attained through the grooves, various weapons of the kind made their appearance, bearing such names as target and deer rifles, &c., and adapted rather to the pleasures of the chase and the pastimes of target shooting than to actual service, for which they were also unsuited by their costliness. Not until the end of the sixteenth century do we find these arms (Zielbchsen) in small numbers in the arsenals of fortresses, and used only for defense. It was not until a later day, and first of all in Germany, that this weapon was much esteemed among the gentry; and not until the close of the eighteenth century that its merits caused it to be placed in the hands of a few troops. The great popularity it has attained in later times is to be ascribed chiefly to the use of the pointed ball. Let us now examine the different kind of grooves, and what is required of them in a service arm. We have seen that the inclination of the grooves impresses on the ball, whether round or elongated, a motion other than the forward one produced by the action of the generated gases, which is one of rotation, in a degree greater or less, according to the inclination of the grooves. Fr o m this it would seem to follow that as the inclination or twist of the grooves is increased, or, which is the same thing, the angle diminished, the rotation of the ball would increase in the same ratio, and the accuracy of the arm improve in like measure. Theory would undoubtedly lead to this conclusion; but here another circumstance interposes unfavorably, which is the force of the gases themselves which act upon the ball. With too great a twist to the grooves, the ball which, in consequence of every impulse, endeavours to advance, cannot overcome the opposite and increased force of friction with sufficient celerity. We must also add that the lead which has been driven into the grooves in loading, in the shape of little ridges that serve as guides to the ball, is not strong enough to oppose the resistance to the impulsive force of the gases, necessary to keep the ball in the grooves. As a consequence the lead is torn off, leaving the ball without the direction required to produce rotation. A too great twist in the grooves diminishes also the initial velocity by the friction engendered, and consequently the range. Hence it is evident that the degree of inclination has its limits, beyond which the advantages of twisted grooves are lost. The inquiry next arises as to what inclination is most suitable. Here, however, estimates founded on theory are indeterminate, there being too many causes, such as charge, length of barrel, depth, breadth, and even the kind of groove, which exert a greater or less effect; and hence it is that rifles of such various threads give



results almost identical. This question can only be determined by actual experiments, in which the length of barrel and weight of charge must be prominent considerations, the latter being so regulated with reference to the former, that its inflammation may be complete when the bullet reaches the muzzle. So much is, however, certain, that too great an inclination of the grooves is prejudicial to the range and the penetration. We must endeavour rather to give the ball a lower and hence a more extended trajectory, and on this the shape of the ball has the greatest possible influence. Let us next examine the accessory circumstances which exert an influence; and first, the charge. In the determination of the charge we must reflect, in the first place, that the combustion of the powder, and consequent development of its strength, should be complete when the ball has reached the vicinity of the muzzle; a consummation influenced by the length of the barrel, quality and kind of powder, inclination, number, and depth of the grooves, not forgetting that too heavy a charge may force the ball over the lands. In the second place, the accuracy and penetration must be the greatest possible. On this point it has been pretty well established, by experiments independent of each other for the purposein France under Colonel Pontchara, in 1835, and in Belgium under Colonel Timmerhans, in 1839that a medium charge, comprehended between four and six grammes, (sixty-two to ninety-three grains,) insured an adequate range and accuracy with a good barrel. A smaller charge than this is not desirable, as it makes the elevations too great and incommodes the aim. And, thirdly and lastly, the recoil is to be considered, which, while it cannot be entirely avoided, exercises a certain influence on the accuracy, and must not be made excessive by a large charge. This again requires a medium charge. A suitable angle for the butt, and a proper weight for the weapon, assist in diminishing the recoil. The charge best suited to attain great range and accuracy being ascertained with some certainty, regard must next be had to the length of the barrel, which must fulfill the conditions for a military weapon; that is, must be of a length and strength to admit of the fire of two ranks without danger to the front rank, and to form with the bayonet an offensive weapon which may be used without over fatigue. The grooves differ in respect to the kind of twist, and in their departure, in a greater or less degree, from an uniform depth. They are classed into three kinds: the common, the parabolic, and the progressive grooves. The common grooves proceed (supposing the bore to be developed) in right lines at a given angle from beginning to end. These are in general use, and recommend themselves especially for service arms by the ease with which they are constructed. The parabolic grooves, under the same supposition in reference to the barrel, exhibit, on the other hand, a line of increasing curvature; that is, they begin at the chamber with a slight inclination, which increases to a given angle at the muzzle. The end proposed by this is to impress an increased rotation on the ball by degrees, and thus



avoid forcing it over the lands. They are only used in fancy arms, and seldom even then, the fabrication being attended with considerable difficulty. According to experiments instituted, the parabolic curve, even with a light twist, in which the first part departs but little from a right line, gradually assuming a greater twist, is inferior to the common groove. The explanation of this is, that the lead of the ball which has been pressed into the grooves must change its shape at each moment of the advance of the ball, if it keeps in the grooves; it is hence easily forced over the lands to the detriment of the range. The progressive grooves are those which are deeper at the breech than at the muzzle, where they almost disappear; but they preserve an uniform twist throughout their length. They have lately been adopted into the Mini system with advantage. Their object is, by the advance of the ball, to make it take a stronger hold on the grooves, an object undoubtedly attained. Grooves, besides, vary essentially in their cross-section, being either square, triangular, rounded, or saw-teeth. The square grooves form on either side, where they meet the lands, straight sides and sharp edges; and their defect is that the ball is forced into them with difficulty, and experiences great friction. Besides, they permit the dirt to accumulate in the angles, whence it is removed with difficulty. The triangular grooves have the cross section of an isosceles triangle, and are used only in sporting arms. The rounded grooves have the shape of a quadrant, the land being where two adjacent grooves are separated by a narrow strip, which serves as a sufficient guide to the ball. These are best adapted to service, because, in the first place, the bullet in ramming more easily enters the grooves; secondly, because the sides do not create friction in the same proportion as the sharp ones; and, thirdly, because the dirt does not readily lodge in them, and is more readily removed. The saw teeth (crmaillre) grooves present on the one side an abrupt face, and on the other die away on the land; that is, they offer a square edge to the rotation of the ball, whilst the opposite side meets the land at a very obtuse angle. They have found favor in scarcely any service. The hair grooves need no explanation, as they are not at all adapted to military uses. As various as the form is the number of the grooves. Formerly it was the belief that an accumulation of grooves gave greater accuracy. This is, however, not found to prove true, as they produce friction, which, by diminishing the initial velocity, shortens the range; and, by being narrower, they also become more difficult to clean. The number formerly ranged from six to twelve, but is now reduced to from four to six, a limit recognized as most suitable for military purposes, since it admits of loading easily, without interfering with the desired accuracy. An odd number is affirmed by some to be most conducive to accuracy, for the reason that in this case there will be a land opposite to each groove, thus avoiding long and short transverse axes alternately, which will not be the case with an even number. For the same reason such a barrel will be more easily loaded, and the center of gravity of



the ball less readily deranged. But their construction is more difficult and tedious, for which reason they are seldom used. The proper depth of the grooves is quite as important a consideration to the effectiveness of a rifle as any of the foregoing. With grooves too shallow the ball is no longer secure in its direction, and the slightest excess of charge will force it over the lands. Equally prejudicial is too great a depth, which prevents the lead from being driven to the bottom of the grooves without crushing the powder and disfiguring the ball. The grooves not being well filled, it follows that a portion of the gases will seek to escape, thus exerting, in the first place, an unequal pressure on the ball; and, in the second place, losing the effect of a portion of the gas; both of which will have an injurious influence on the trajectory of the ball after it leaves the piece, since the ball at the instant of quitting the muzzle is unequally acted on, and the gas escaping at any point throws the ball to the opposite side. These causes impair both the accuracy and the range. A depth varying from 0.011 inch to 0.019 inch may be assumed as most suitable for the pointed ball, loaded without patching. This, on the one hand, will not require the ball to be too heavily rammed, and, on the other, secures adequate control over it, so that it does not strip. The diminution in the number of the grooves introduces the consideration of the relation between breadth of grooves and lands. In earlier times, when the ball was driven home by the aid of a mallet, a land narrower than the grooves was introduced, it being thought that the ball thereby took a better hold on the grooves. This consideration was applicable then when a greater inclination of the grooves was used, which would be likely to cause the ball, under the effect of a heavy charge, to strip. Now, however, that the twist of the grooves, as well as their number, is diminished, it is the better opinion that a groove narrower than the lands is in many respects preferable, for the diminished number has, in the first place, widened the former, and, in the second place, the repairs incidental to an arm in service, such as rerifling, &c., might soon make them too wide. . . .

II. THE SYSTEM OF DELVIGNE As early as 1828, a French officer, Captain Delvigne, not satisfied with the principles prevalent throughout Germany relative to the rifle loaded with the tight fitting ball and patch, proposed a new system, and thereby gave the first impulse to the essential progress recently made in the armament of infantry. His system was as follows: the bore had twelve shallow grooves of pretty rapid twist, the breadth of which nearly equaled the lands, and the breech . . . was chambered in such a manner, as to leave a rim projecting ab[ove] the bottom of the bore. This chamber, the diameter of which was thus smaller than the bore, served to receive the powder without, however,



being filled by it, whilst the rim prevented the ball from being rammed down on the powder. The windage allowed the ball to enter the bore freely. A further advantage of this rim, combined with the limited windage, was, that the center of the ball had a position in the axis of the bore. With three blows of the rammer the windage disappeared, and the lead was driven into the grooves. This method of loading required no exertion of strength, nor any aid such as hammer and drift, but it entailed other injurious consequences. The upper part of the ball was flattened under the blow of the rammer, whilst the lower was driven into the chamber, thus greatly changing its shape, and by the forcible projection into the chamber crushing the powder. The latter circumstance, too, took away the required empty space between the powder and the ball. These injuries to the powder and ball, must necessarily have impaired the accuracy of the weapon, and the entire closing of the chamber increased the recoil. Delvigne maintained in a publication made in 1843, Sur lemploi et les effets des projectiles cylindro-conique vides, [The use and effect of the cylindro-conoidal bullet] &c., that the flattening of the ball increased the centrifugal force, and thereby its accuracy. How far this opinion is well founded, we will not now enquire, merely remarking that the flattening of the ball causes it to take up an unsteady tremulous motion.

III. THE SYSTEM OF PONTCHARA To obviate the flattening of the top of the ball, Captain Delvigne countersunk or cupped the head of the rammer spherically . . . and to prevent the ball from being driven into the chamber, Colonel Pontchara added a wooden cylindrical sabot, which was hollowed out at one end to receive the ball, and enveloped at the other by a greased patch coming half way up its sides. This was to facilitate the loading by removing the dirt. These contrivances only partly fulfilled their object however; for, the bore not being well cleaned by the patch, the sabot either stuck fast or was broken in the ramming, causing still a change of figure in the ball. New shapes of balls were thereupon proposed by Colonel Thierry and Captain Delvigne, experiments with which gave still less favorable results. The ball of the former was cylindro-spherical. It was at first approved, but experiments instituted at St. Omer being highly unfavorable to it, the common infantry cartridge, with a charge of seven grammes, (108 grains, troy,) was substituted, to be in its turn abandoned. Delvignes ball was cylindro-conical. Both these new balls had a cavity extending from the center of the base upwards, partly, to prevent the intrusion of the ball into the chamber, partly to diminish its weight.



In September, 1841, experiments were made at Lige, by a board of Russian and Belgian officers, with a Delvigne rifle with the cylindro-conical ball, a French arm with the Thierry ball, finally an English two-grooved rifle with the belted ball, the results of which were highly favorable to the system of Delvigne. Soon after, experiments were also made in France with the Delvigne rifle and its cylindro-conical ball, as well as with the Pontchara ball and sabot, before described, which, however, did not result to the advantage of the former, and made way for the adoption of the latter. The causes which prevented these balls from giving results more satisfactory were in the first place the erroneous position of the center of gravity, which lay too far back, causing the ball constantly to deviate through the action of the grooves, and oftentimes to fail in reaching the mark point foremost; and second, the little resistance opposed by the cylindrical part to the air. Resort was then again had to the Delvigne-Pontchara system, despite its known defects, and it was adopted in France, Belgium, and Austria, and, with some modifications, has been retained in the service last named.

IV. THE DELVIGNE-PONTCHARA SYSTEM This arm, known as the chambered rifle, with which ten battalions of French troops were armed in 1840, was of the following construction: The barrel was 30.44 inches long, had four grooves, 0.23 inch broad and 0.019 deep, with one eighth of a turn in the length of the barrel, or an inclination of 89 44' 15". The caliber was 0.669 inch, the breech-pin had a chamber with a depth of 2.05 inches, and a diameter of 0.55 inch, which held 61 grammes, (96.43 grains,) and, the rim of the chamber projected 0.027 inch beyond the lands. The ball had a diameter of 0.64 inch, and weighed 395 grains, and its windage 0.029 inch. The length of this arm, without sword-bayonet, was 47.58 inches, and the weight without bayonet 9.918 pounds. The breech sight consisted of a fixed or standing sight and a leaf with several notches for different distances. In 1842, this model, having stood the test of service but indifferently, was changed for the following: Length of barrel 33.92 inches, caliber 0.688 inch. The chamber in the breech-pin was the same as the foregoing, and there were the same number of grooves, with the same breadth, depth, and turn, or an inclination of 89 44' 39". The diameter of the ball was 0.669 inch, and its weight 452 grains; the charge was 96 grains. About the same time, when the experiments with these rifles had resulted successfully, the Belgian light infantry were provided with a rifle of this sort, the barrel of which was 36.03 inches long, its caliber 0.669 inch, and it had six shallow grooves. The chamber was 0.57 inch diameter, the windage was the same as that of the French model of 1842, the charge 66



grains. The cartridges for the French and Belgian rifles were pasted their whole length, and also over the ball and sabot; the latter has a patch, the former lies in contact with the powder.

The Delvigne-Pontchara System, as altered by Baron Auguslin In Austria this system was received with equal attention; but it was so modified by Baron Auguslin as to dispense with the wooden sabot. The breechpin, instead of having the rim heretofore used, was so reamed out as to give the ball a firm bed, without impinging on the powder, from which it was separated by a considerable space. The preservation of this space is essential, as it conduces to the complete ignition of the powder instantaneously with the movement of the ball, every point of which is thereby equally pressed. As a consequence of this equal and central effort of the gases, the ball follows the grooves more smoothly, and is not so easily driven over the lands. The barrel of this Austrian chambered rifle is twenty-six inches long, and is terminated by a breech-pin bored out to a diameter of 0.487 inch, and a depth of 1.557 inch. The bed of the ball is reamed out to a depth of 0.11 inch. The empty space between powder and ball is 0.229 inch. The bore has a caliber of 0.713 inch, with twelve grooves, which have half a turn in the length of the barrel, or an inclination of 88 43' 19", and a depth of 0.014 inch. The breadth of the groove is nearly equal to the lands. The ball has a diameter of 0.701 inch, and a windage of 0.014 inch, (Fig. 6, a, b.) The charge is sixty-two grains. The ball shown at Fig. 6, c, weighs 309 grains, and is loaded without patch, being, however, first greased in a leathern bag. It may here be observed that, in 1841, the Austrian infantry received the Consol or percussion primer lock, as altered by General Auguslin, in place of the flint lock, from which it differed, as well as from the subsequent percussion lock. In this arrangement, the barrel has no touch-hole; but in place of it, a horizontal projecting cylinder, which contains the vent, and which rests on a pan similar to that of the flint lock, fastened to the lock plate. This pan is closed over the cylinder by a spring lid, having a hole in the top, and a plug passing through it; the plug having something like a screw head, and tapering to a square end. As soon as the primer is inserted, and the lid closed down on the pan, the plug rests lightly on the match by its own weight. The hammer being heavy, descends with great force on the head of the plug, driving it into the priming, which is thereby exploded. The primer (Z n d e r) is itself made of thin sheet brass, simply rolled together, which contains the priming of fulminate of mercury. This little tube is 0.81 inch long, and 0.08 inch diameter. One end of it is pinched, and receives a fine brass wire, by which it is handled and fastened to the cartridge.



V. THE OVAL RIFLE Meantime similar endeavors in Germany to improve the arms of the infantry became known. In 1831, Major Berner presented a new system in Brunswick, which was to unite the advantages of the smooth-bore and riflethe ease of loading of the first with the accuracy of the second. To this end, he gave the barrel a length of 39.64 inches, and a caliber of 0.62 inch, with two opposite shallow grooves 0.02 inch in depth, having a twist of three fourths, or an inclination of 88 56' 6". The breadth of these was so arranged as to be 0.54 inch wide at the chamber, and for a distance of 5.153 inches. From this out they were only 0.287 inch wide, and were a flat oval, (Fig. 7, a b c.) The windage was 0.01. The barrel, furnished with a standing sight and three leaves, was closed with a patent breech. The balls for this arm were, first, patched balls; and, second, rolling balls. Both at first received an oval form. They were formed in the same manner, of two parts, not quite hemispheres, the largest diameter being for the patched ball, 0.66 inch, and for the last, 0.59 inch; and the smaller diameter for the first 0.61 inch, and for the last 0.56 inch. In spite of the somewhat favorable results of experiments, these forms were soon abandoned for the simple sphere. Then the patched ball had a diameter of 0.61 inch, and the rolling ball, 0.59 inch. The charge for the first was sixtyseven grains, and for the last eighty-four grains. The weight of the arm, without bayonet, was 10.31 pounds. The experiments were also pretty favorable with these balls, though inferior, especially with the rolling ball, to those of the oval ball. The cartridge of the patched ball (the paper of which was red, while that of the rolling ball was blue) had a wad between the powder and the ball. The patches were carried separately in a pouch. This arm known by the name of the two-grooved Brunswick infantry or oval rifle has the advantage that it can be used as rifle or musket, and excels the common and the Delvigne rifle in range and accuracy; but has itself been surpassed by the still greater accuracy and symmetry of action introduced in the construction of later systems. In England, where, in 1837, the light brigade was armed with a weapon of this kind, known as the two-grooved rifle, the barrel is 30.04 inches long, with a caliber of 0.704 inch. The two rounded grooves are 0.314 inch wide, and 0.039 inch deep, and have a twist of eleven hundredths, or an inclination of 89 42' 26". The breech sight, a simple steel plate, is 0.117 inch high, and 3.53 inches from the breech, while the bead is 0.786 inch from the muzzle. The charge is 2.82 drams; the weight of the ball, 557 grains; and that of the rifle, without bayonet, with a length of 46.67 inches, is 9.7 pounds. Instead of the pitched ball, they use the belted ball, which measures over the sides 0.696 inch; but over the belt, (which is 0.306 inch broad,) 0.752 inch, making the projection of the belt 0.028 inch. The windage of



the ball in the lands is 0.031 inch, and that of the belt in the groove is 0.04 inch. A greased patch of good brown Holland is used with the ball. In consequence of the small windage, which is further diminished by the patch, the loading is as difficult as it was with the rifles heretofore used in Germany with ball and patch. This circumstance probably gave rise to the regulation that each rifleman should carry only twelve of the belted balls, and beyond that the common infantry cartridge with the spherical ball. After a variety of experiments in Hanover with the oval arm, in 1834, others were instituted in 1842, on a larger scale, with 200 of this species of arm, the barrels of which were 39.71 inches long, and the caliber 0.646 inch. The two grooves, with nearly a full turn in the length of the bore, (fifteen sixteenths,) or an inclination of 88 59' 48", had a depth of 0.028 inch, and a breadth of 0.258 inch. The charge was seventy grains, and the weight of the arm, without the bayonet, was 9.94 pounds.

VI. THE BREECH-LOADING SYSTEM A. The Needle Gun Prussia had, in the meantime, applied herself with great secrecy to the improvement of her infantry arms; and, though not unmindful of the systems heretofore, and which remain to be noticed, and actuated by the same motives which led to those, she instituted and perfected a system totally different from anythe system of breech-loading. This arm is known as the Prussian needle gun. As the mechanism of this arm is not so well known, it will not be out of place to enter into a somewhat detailed description of it. The principle of the needle gun, viz: to insert the charge at the breech, with a view to ease and facility of loading, is by no means novel, it having been employed in the amusette of Marshal Saxe, the arms of Montalembert, of Robert, and of Lefaucheux, as well as in the wall pieces of the French, and in the chamber-loading gun of the Norwegians. The inventor of the present Prussian needle gun is Mr. Dreyse, manufacturer of arms at Sommerda. As early as 1835 he sought to attain the advantage of ease and facility of loading by closing the breech with two screws behind each other, having a space between them. In this space there was a spiral spring, which carried a needle, working through the middle of the inner screw. A simple mechanism enabled this spring to be drawn back; and when let loose, the penetration of the needle into the fulminate caused the ignition of the charge. The cartridges with spherical balls used with this arm were at first inserted at the muzzle, and had a priming of fulminate at the bottom, which frequently exploded prematurely when rammed too hard, or when the needle projected beyond the inner screw. The windage, too, had to be in-



creased to secure sufficient ease of loading, which prevented the ball from taking a sufficient hold on the sides of the bore. These objections induced the projector to insert the cartridge at the breech, as was done in Norway, and hence arose the new Prussian needle gun. In reference to the Norwegian breech-loading gun it may be briefly remarked, now, that the barrel is open at the rear, and there is a separate chamber for the charge, with a caliber somewhat larger than that of the barrel. The ball is cylindro-conical. In the Prussian needle gun the cartridge is inserted at the rear; the ignition is produced by the intrusion of a needle into the fulminate attached to the cartridge, and the closing of the open barrel is effected by the fitting of the front end of the chamber to the rear of the barrel. The barrel, the rifled part of which is 36.06 inches long, has a caliber of 0.606 inches, with four grooves, having a twist of five elevenths in the length of the barrel, or an inclination of 88 6' 17". The breadth of these is 0.243 inches, and their depth 0.03 inches. The unrifled portion at the rear makes a kind of chamber, or bed of the cartridge, the diameter of which is 0.69 inches, or several hundredths greater than the bore, and the length nearly the same as that of the cartridge. The bed of the cartridge enlarges slightly to the rear so as to admit the cartridge easily after repeated discharges; the enlargement must, however, be limited, otherwise it would interfere with the central position of the cartridge. Where the bed of the cartridge unites with the grooves and lands, which latter project on account of the smaller caliber of the bore, there is a gradual slope to prevent too sudden a compression of the ball into the bore, and to facilitate its passage. To the same end there is a slight enlargement of the lower part of the bore for the distance of 6.17 inches. The rear of the barrel terminates externally conically, and is called the mouth-piece of the barrel. The advantages of this arm are: First. The simplicity of the mechanism, which can be taken apart without screwdriver, spring vice, &c. Second. It can be safely and easily cleaned. Third. The convenience and rapidity of loading in every position, especially in the contracted space of loop-holed walls and on horseback. Fourth. The certain and uniform filling of the grooves since the ball has a diameter greater than the caliber. Fifth. The reduced charge consequent on the entire consumption of the powder. Sixth. The disuse of the rammer as such. On the other hand the needle gun has its defects, among which the following are prominent: First. A waste of ammunition from the ease and rapidity of loading, which can only be guarded against by putting it in the hands of good



and experienced marksmen, who know the value of a good and welltimed shot. Second. Weakening of the spiral spring from constant use. Third. A possibility that the needle may not penetrate to the priming, when the powder is packed too closely, or the spiral spring too weak.

B. The Norwegian Breech-Loading Rifle This arm, several times before referred to, was the forerunner of the Prussian needle gun. It is not, like that, fired by means of a needle, but with a cap, and the mechanism is quite different. The two have only the principle of breech loading in common. The ball, which is a cylinder, terminated by an ogee, has but one shallow groove, and is 1.137 inch long, and 0.696 inch diameter. Its weight is 787 grains. The cartridge is commonly of writing paper, and wound twice. One end laps over the groove of the ball, and is tied with a thick greased woolen thread, and the other end is turned down over the charge, which is 70 grains. The arm just described must not be confounded with the breech-loading rifle constructed by First Lieutenant Von Frilitzen, and given to the Swedish marine in 1851. That differs from the Norwegian in having a sphero-conical chamber, which prevents the cone from going through, the metal being thicker, and obviates the deepening of the chamber, and the consequent accumulation of dirt. There is also on the inner face of the cone a small copper plate to prevent the direct action of the gases, and a cross-piece to the heel plate to guard the rear end of the chamber against sand, &c. Instead of the screw to the eccentric there is a bolt which admits of an easier removal of the cylinder and eccentric. A projection on the side of the frame protects its side as well as the lever from external injury. Finally the mainspring, which, in the Norwegian, is almost wholly exposed, lies within. The dimensions of the bore are likewise different, the length of the Swedish being only 35.71 inches, and its caliber 0.514 inch. The six grooves are 0.015 inch deep, and have a half turn in time length of the bore, or an inclination of 89 15' 10". The diameter of the chamber is 0.566 inch. The ball weighs 538 grains, and the charge 77 grains. The hausse [rear sight] is a leaf bent at right angles, and movable about an axis at the anglethe short arm serving for a distance of 300 Swedish ells, (195 yards,) the other for 500 ells, (325 yards.)

VII. THE SYSTEM OF WILD In 1841, an engineer in the service of Zurich, named Wild, started, like Delvigne, with the proposition that it must be an error to drive the ball into the grooves, as was the custom with rifles, with such force as to injure its



sphericity and to crush the powder under it. He aimed, likewise, at increased range and accuracy, combined with ease of loading. With this view, he gave the bore six to eight shallow grooves, with a slight twist, and the ball a windage of 0.018 inch to 0.027 inch. The charging was done with loose powder or with cartridges. The cartridge had its ball and patch attached to its end in such a way that, when the cartridge and ball were placed in the muzzle, the patch, which was gathered over the ball by a string through the edges, could be opened again. In loading with the powder loose, a piece of paper must be placed on the powder to prevent its adhering to the patch and burning it. When the patch is not greased, the bore is moistened with water to soften the dirt adhering from the previous discharge, and facilitate its removal by the next one. For this purpose a flask, holding perhaps three ounces of water, is carried. A contrivance at its mouth, when the flask is placed on the muzzle, supplies, with a slight pressure, the water required. To apportion to each caliber and length of barrel the proper modicum of water, the following rules are observed: If the bore is wet at the muzzle after the discharge, there has been too much water; and if it be dry and covered with deposit from the powder, there has been too little. It should be nearly dry and quite clean after each discharge. The ball is only moderately rammed. The rammer has a shoulder near the top, which prevents the ball from being rammed beyond a certain point; the powder cannot, therefore, be crushed. Although the experiments instituted with this rifle in Switzerland in 1842, and later in Baden, gave favorable results, since, at 600 paces, (515 yards,) the balls were still effective, and more than 100 rounds could be fired out of the same piece without cleaning, it has been adopted in but few services. In Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Wurtemburg, ten men in each company are armed with them.

VIII. THE SYSTEM OF THOUVENIN The Delvigne-Fontchara system did not at all answer the expectations formed concerning it in France, notwithstanding the manifold and carefully conducted experiments made. The causes of these unfavorable results were sought for in the change of figure from round to flat, which the ball undergoes in loading. A return was therefore made by Captain Mini to the cylindro-conical form of Captain Delvigne, before described. It had now, instead of the cone, an ogee at the top. It terminated below in a truncated cone. Between these there was a groove, filled with a woolen thread steeped in tallow. The cavity from the base upwards was retained. These balls, however, were not approved for the rifles in use, notwithstanding the favorable results of experiments.



Meantime, Colonel Thouvenin, of the artillery, had endeavoured to remedy the ascertained defects of the Delvigne-Pontchara systemwhich were partly the difficult fabrication of the cartridge and partly the breaking of the wooden sabotby removing the sabot entirely, and by simplifying the construction of the cartridge, without abandoning the facility of loading with a given windage, or the correct position of the ball in the bore. For this purpose he adopted, instead of the chambered breech-pin, the usual one, with a steel pin or stem projecting from the middle of it of half the diameter of the bore, and placed exactly in its axis. This permitted the ball to be rammed without disturbing the powder poured around itthe pin being long enough to project a certain distance above the powder. The stem or tige, at the same time, forced the ball when rammed into the grooves, and caused them to be filled. Still the system did not obviate the disfiguration of the ball by the rammer, nor the consequent evils of diminished range and accuracy. The resistance of the air would still cause irregularity in the trajectory. These considerations determined Colonel Thouvenin to adopt the cylindro-conical ball as invented by Delvigne, and altered by Captain Mini, and with far better results. In subsequent experiments the ball was altered, on the suggestion of Captain Tamisier, by abandoning the conical termination of the ball, and making the cylinder complete; and by using, instead of the one circular groove about it, a number of smaller angular grooves or cannelures; and above all, by placing the center of gravity nearer to the point of the ball. Captain Tamisier had observed in some experiments with Delvignes ball with but one groove, that it deviated much less from the true trajectory than the ball with smooth cylinders, and concluded that this must be due to the effect of the air on the lower sharp edge of the groove. The adoption of this cylindro-conical ball made it necessary to cup or countersink the rammer head. The successive alterations of the cylindro-conical ball need not be a matter of surprise. With the adoption of this form of missile arose many considerations relative to the resistance of the air, the weight of the ball, its range, and accuracy; all of which had a much smaller degree of influence on the round ball, where, when the caliber of the bore and the ball and its weight were given, nothing remained to be fixed but the charge and the elevation. The chief consideration which weighed against the spherical and in favor of the elongated ball, and which experiments have verified, may be stated generally as follows: every ball assumes two motions, viz: a forward motion due to the impulse of the gases, and a rotary motion impressed on it by the grooves. The forward motion is prevented from exerting its full effect by the flattening of the ball, and the resulting increased atmospheric resistance; that is, the greatest range due to the impulse is not attained. The elongated ball was then hit upon.



Advantages of Thouvenins System. 1. It is more easily and therefore more quickly loaded than the old rifle with patched balls. 2. The powder cannot be easily crushed in ramming. 3. Greater accuracy, ascribable in part to the ball not being flattened, nor the powder crushed, and in part to the pointed form of the ball. Defects of this System. 1. The cleaning of the bore about the tige is very difficult. 2. The ball will not always fill the grooves, which will cause irregular shooting. 3. The necessarily heavy ramming of the ball unavoidably forms a projecting ring on its conical part, which cannot but be prejudicial to the flight of the ball. 4. The occasional bending of the tige by use, which throws it out of center. 5. The accuracy is too dependent on the proper ramming of the ball. It being now incontestable that the tige rifles, of the system of Thouvenin, with the ball of three circular grooves, satisfied the conditions of increased accuracy and range in a greater degree than any of the prior systems, some of the arms which had been altered to the Delvigne-Pontchara system were changed, by substituting for the chambered breech-pin, a solid one with a steel tige 1.49 inch long, and 0.35 inch in diameter, screwed into it. The bore 34.16 inches long had a caliber of 0.70 inch, greater by 0.011 inch, than the model of 1842. It had four grooves 0.275 inch wide, and decreasing in depth toward the muzzle, being 0.0196 inch at the bottom, and 0.0118 inch at the top. The twist was changed so as to have four tenths of a turn, or an inclination of 89 14' 19". The breechsight, consisting of a leaf and slide, was graduated to a distance of 1,300 meters, (1,422 yards.) The weight of the arm was 8.8 pounds, weight of ball 725 grains, and its greatest diameter 0.676 inch. The charge was sixtynine grains.

IX. THE SYSTEM OF MINI Of late years endeavours have been made particularly in France, to dispense entirely with the chamber and the tige, still retaining the advantages already attained in the facility of loading, the preservation of the shape of the ball and of the grain of the powder, as well as those of increased accuracy and range.



The grooves in this system are progressivethat is, they diminish in depth from breech to muzzle. The breech-pin has neither tige nor chamber. The grooves are 0.019 inch deep at the breech, and 0.011 at the muzzle. The ball is cylindro-ogival in shape, has three angular grooves (cannelures) on the cylindrical part, and a cavity conical from the base upwards, which is closed with a sheet-iron culot shaped like a cup. Its diameter, which is less than that of the bore, permits it to drop down easily on the powder the more easily, after repeated firing, from having the cannelures filled with tallow. The rammer is countersunk to suit the shape of the ball. The following are the theoretical advantages which experience has fully confirmed: That the gas evolved in the inflammation of the powder forces the culot to the extremity of the cavity, by which the sides of the ball are pressed out and driven into the grooves. As these may not, however, always be completely filled, they are, as already stated, made shallow towards the muzzle, thereby securing absolute contact between the lead and the surface of the bore, and producing the required rotation of the ball about its longer axis. Besides, the force of the powder, by its more direct action on the center of gravity of the ball, forces it to retain its original tangential position to the trajectory. The system has, moreover, the considerable advantage that the ball retains its shape unaltered, as it is not rammed, but only pressed down, which is not the case with the other systems, (if we except the Prussian and the recent Swiss;) in all of which the effect of the rammer on the upper part of the ball is first to change the taper very appreciably; and, secondly, to form a shoulder theoretically injurious in its influence on the trajectory; since the air, instead of moving smoothly along the surface, meets with resistance there. . . . General Paixhans presents, in his Constitution Militaire de la France, page 40, the following results of experiment with the new rifled carbine, with a charge of only four grammes (sixty-two grains) to a ball almost double the weight of the old round ball. At a distance of 200 meters, (218 yards,) a target two yards square was hit 100 times in succession with this new musket, while the ordinary smooth-bore only made forty-four hits in the same number. At 600 meters (656 yards) there were twenty-five hits at the same target, while the smooth-bore did not reach it at all, and a field piece only hit it six times in the same number of rounds. At 1,000 meters, (1,093 yards), at which distance a field piece generally deviates five to six yards from the target, there were six hits in 100 shots with the new musket, and at this excessive distance it was found that a skillful marksman put three out of four shots in a moderate sized target. The advantages of this system are 1. The ball retains its shape entire after loading. 2. Quick and convenient loading.



3. Less accumulation of dirt, and more easy cleaning, than in the arms of the system of Thouvenin. 4. Any smooth-bore arm may be changed to it without materially weakening the strength. Its disadvantages are 1. Great inequality in the effect of the iron culot. 2. The separation of this latter from the ball in loading, which exposes men in the vicinity to injury, and produces uncertainty of execution. 3. It requires a charge somewhat heavier than the system of Thouvenin. 4. The elevations are greater, and, consequently, 5. The dangerous space is less. 6. Should the sides of the ball be too thin, it happens not unfrequently that the force of the gases separates the hollow from the solid part, and leaves it in the gun. For the purpose of instituting extended experiments with this system, four regiments in the French service were supplied with the arms. The adoption of the system was, however, deferred to a later day. Like experiments were instituted in Baden, in 1852, but with a smaller caliber. The ball was 0.883 inch long, and the cylindrical part had three grooves and a diameter of 0.506 inch. The interior conical cavity was 0.558 inch deep, with an inferior diameter of 0.36 inch, and a superior diameter of 0.307 inch. This cavity was closed with a close-fitting sheet-iron culot. Two battalions of fusileers, fifth and tenth, were armed with these weapons for purposes of experiment. Since then a part of the smooth-bore arms of the infantry, as well as the carbines of the artillery and the holster pistols of the cavalry, have been altered to this system. In Nassau, also, where the rapid fouling of the barrel was found to be very troublesome, since it admitted but ten to twelve successive discharges in warm weather, attention was turned to the system of Mini, and experiments, with a view to its adoption, were set on foot in 1853, with his balls. The stem or tige was removed, but the grooves remained unchanged. The trials resulted favorably to the system, and showed that the arms, with Minis balls, became much less dirty, and could be fired thirty to forty times in succession. The charge however, had to be increased 7.71 grains. The tige was hereupon removed from the breech-pin, the grooves having already the required diminution of depth towards the muzzle. The ball which was the subject of these experiments has a cylindroogival form, is 0.663 inch in diameter, and 1.2 inch long. The conical cavity closed with a sheet-iron culot, is 0.608 inch deep, and at the base 0.442 inch broad. The weight is 703 grains. In England, also, in 1851, many experiments were instituted with this system at Woolwich. They were begun at a distance of 200 yards, and pros-



ecuted to a distance of 400 yards, with good results, the majority of the balls being in the bulls eye or the vicinity of it. Even at 600 yards, it is said, a great number of the balls hit the target, the dimensions of which are, however, not given. The arm with which these experiments were made (of which 23,000 were ordered in consequence) was of the following dimensions: The length of the bore was three feet three inches, and its caliber 0.702, (subsequently reduced.) The four grooves, 0.25 inch wide, had something over half a turn in the bore, or an inclination of 89 10' 37", and had a depth of 0.02 inch at the breech and 0.01 inch at the muzzle. The charge was two and a half drams, (68.35 grains.) The breech-sight, like that of the French, was 4.7 inches from the rear end of the barrel, and graduated for distances from 200 to 900 yards. The ball, originally like the French, was, after some experiments, altered to a sphero-conical shape, with the omission of the grooves. It is 1.03 inch long, and has a diameter at the base, where it is greatest, of 0.69 inch. The conical cavity is 0.54 inch long, and 0.4 inch in diameter at the base. Like the Mini ball, it is closed by a culot, and weighs 22.66 drams, or about ten to the pound. The weight of this arm, with bayonet, is ten pounds eight and three quarter ounces. The height of the trajectory above the line of sight was three and a half feet in the middle, for a range of 200 yards, and for 900 yards, 110 feet. There are ten men in each company armed with these arms. During the year 1852 endeavours were made to substitute a smaller caliber for the large ones which had hitherto been preserved with the adoption of the Mini ball. This would enable the soldier to carry a large supply of ammunition without overloading himself. The shape of the ball was also to be modified, the conical part having hitherto been too great and giving the ball too little hold on the barrel, causing it more readily to assume an oblique position. With this view a commission was in that year assembled at Enfield, who were to submit to ample experiment models furnished by the most noted gunmakers. The arms thus presented were: 1. The two-grooved rifle. 2. The Mini arm, adopted in 1851. 3. Purdys rifle, with a length of bore of 39 inches, and a caliber of 0.65 inch. The four grooves had not a uniform inclination; but started at the breech with a twist of 0.5427 of a circle in the length of the barrel, which, at the muzzle, was increased to 0.6842. This arm had two balls, one of which was 1.05 inch long, and 0.543 inch in diameter over the rim at the base. The cavity was closed with a metal plug, in lieu of the culot of Mini, and was in the same way to effect the spreading of the ball. This ball weighed 610 grains. The other ball





6. 7.



weighed only 487 grains; was 0.91 inch long, and 0.634 inch in diameter. Both were, in other respects, essentially like the English Mini ball, and the cavity in the second was closed by an iron culot. The charge was over two and a half drams of fine powder, and the weight of rifle and bayonet, nine pounds one and a half ounces. Lovells rifle: its length of barrel was 39 inches, and its caliber, 0.635 inch. There were two balls, the length of one being 1,145 inch, its diameter 0.63 inch, and weight 686 grains. The length of the other, 0.95 inch, its diameter .628, and its weight 562 grains. Greeners rifle, with seven sorts of balls, the results obtained with which being not favorable, are not given. The barrel had a caliber of 0.621 inch, and one of the several kinds of balls weighed nineteen to the pound. Richards rifle was equally unsuccessful. The caliber was 0.577 inch, and the ball weighed twenty-four to the pound. Lancasters rifle, which differed from all the others in the peculiar construction of the bore. It was 39 inches long, and had no grooves; but was smoothly and elliptically bored out. This elliptical bore had an increasing twist and a diminished cross section as it approached the muzzle; the smaller axis, which is to be regarded as the caliber, being 0.543 inch at the breech, and 0.540 inch at the muzzle; while the greater axis, which takes the place of the grooves, was 0.557 inch at the breech, and 0.543 inch at the muzzle. The twist was half a turn in the length of the bore. The ball was cylindro-spherical in shape, 1.125 inch long, and 0.532 inch in diameter. The conical cavity at the base was closed by a plug somewhat larger, which spread out the lead the further, it was driven up. The cylindrical part had three sharp grooves. Its weight was 542 grains, and the charge two and a half drams. The weight of the rifle and bayonet was nine pounds nine ounces. Wilkinsons rifle, the barrel of which was also 39 inches long, and it had a decreased caliber toward the muzzle, where it was 0.530 inch, against 0.531 at the breech. It had five grooves, with half a turn in the length of the barrel. It weighed nine pounds five ounces. Its ball, of cylindro-conical form, was solid, 1.075 inch long, and 0.537 inch in diameter. The lower cylindrical part had two deep sharp grooves, filled with tallow. It weighed 500 grains. A rifle made in the Royal Armory, at Enfield. The barrel was 39 inches long, with a bore entirely cylindrical, of the caliber of 0.577 inch and having but three grooves, the twist of which was one half in the length of the barrel, or an inclination of 9 19' 17". The depth of the grooves was 0.014 inch, and their breadth 0.262 inch. The weight of the rifle and bayonet was nine pounds three ounces. The ball adopted for it afterwards was not solid, but like Mini, provided with a cavity, of limited depth, however. The length of the ball was 0.96 inch, its diameter 0.568 inch, and its weight 520 grains.



As before observed, the chief object of these trials was to determine on an arm with smaller caliber, which would enable the soldier to carry the customary sixty rounds of ammunition without fatigue. This could not be done with the Mini arm of large caliber heretofore in use. It was also to present the advantage of greater strength with less weight of metal. It was, in addition, the province of the commission to ascertain the influence of the number of grooves, to obviate the use of the culot, and to modify the objectionable shape of the ball, which was too conical; and, finally, to construct a breech-sight less faulty than the one in use on the Mini rifle. On the second point, whether an even or an odd number of grooves is most advantageous, the experiments led to the conclusion that the latter was preferable in point of accuracy, as an odd number gave a land opposite to the groove, causing the groove to fill more readily; and when a small number of grooves only are to be used, three is a better number than four, as better preserving the cylindrical contour of the ball, which, with four grooves, inclines to become a square. Whether the last conclusion is well founded may be doubted, when we inspect the ball fired from a threegrooved bore. It has much of a triangular shape, and a greater number of grooves would produce a much better appearance. The adoption of a smaller caliber infers, of course, a corresponding diminution of the weight of the ball, when it is not made disproportionately long. The balls submitted were, however, in their form and arrangement, for the most part, entirely unsuited for field service. As it was one of the prominent objects of the commission to determine upon a suitable form, and the Mini ball heretofore used did not take sufficient hold on the barrel, from its too conical shape, it was agreed to alter it, the lower half being made wholly cylindrical, the upper part remaining unchanged. The trials with these balls gave far better results. While at short distances, the elevation had to be somewhat greater than for the former balls, at 700 yards they were equal. The experiments at Woolwich, on the projecting culot, and whether any culot is advantageous, showed less accuracy by one third for the ball without culot. These experiments also elicited the fact that the Mini or expanding ball gave better results when separated from the cartridge in loading than when united to it; and in the latter case, still better when the envelope was well greased. It was also thought that no small influence was exerted on the expanding ball by the grain of the powder, the coarse grain giving the better results. This was ascribed to its slower inflammation, which put the ball more gradually in motion, giving time for the full expansion of the lead. . . .

XII. THE SYSTEM OF LANCASTER The peculiarity of this system, which of late has attracted great attention in England, and is adopted into the artillery of that nation, relates to the inte-



rior conformation of the barrel, which is neither round nor grooved; but the interior cross-section is an ellipse, and the bore has a certain turn in its length. At the breech the twist becomes nearly rectilinear, but soon assumes the increasing inclination, which is uninterrupted to the muzzle; both axes of the ellipse, however, undergo a diminution, the greater of 0.066, the less of 0.029 inch. The system thus proposed by Lancaster seems to be partially borrowed from the American smooth bore, with the addition of the expanding ball, which, enlarged by the action of the gases on the conical plug, retains its cylindrical part entire, unchanged by the increased twist, and only alters when the point has left the muzzle. Strictly speaking this twisting ellipse is nothing else than the parabolic grooves before described. As the American system is the basis of Lancasters it deserves a passing notice. It adopts the principle of the parabolic grooves, and a small twist; that is, the grooves do not, as usual, retain a fixed angle from breech to muzzle, but beginning with a direction nearly parallel to the axis of the bore, they assume a greater and greater inclination to it as they approach the muzzle. This species of grooves, which is called a gaining twist, by impressing a gradual motion of rotation on the ball, effects the purpose of preventing the ball from stripping, or being forced over the lands by the first impulse of the gases. The followers of this system claim for it increased accuracy and diminished recoil; assertions which are somewhat doubtful as regards the elongated ball, in which the cylindrical part encounters increased frictiona friction yet further augmented by the continued change that part undergoes from the ever increasing twist. In Denmark, balls other than the round have for some years been in use. . . . both balls were sometimes of the same caliber. The cylinder was tied above the small ball, and in the groove of the plate.

CONCLUSION In taking a retrospect of what has been accomplished in the systems heretofore treated, . . . the improvement of infantry arms must be kept in view. These were, first, increased facility of loading; second, increased accuracy and range; third, the charge; fourth, the inclination of the grooves; fifth, the diameter and shape of the ball. The first two can, it is evident, be attained only through the last three, which are to be regarded rather as the means to an end. Such has been the process in all the systems proposed since 1820, and facility of loading and increased accuracy have been, though not always in an equal degree, attained. In the systems introduced from Delvigne to Thouvenin, the round ball



was retained, but with such diminished diameter, as to secure, through the increased windage, facility of loading. Delvigne, for this purpose, gave his balls a windage of 0.027 inch, the powder being kept from crushing by the use of a chamber, with a diameter less than the bore, upon which the ball rested. In loading, however, the ball was considerably disfigured, as, on the upper side, it was flattened by the face of the rammer, despite the concavity of the latter, and on the other it was forced into the chamber. The results obtained being unsatisfactory, Pontchara, to preserve the shape of the ball, introduced a wooden sabot, which, with a patch, partly enveloped the ball. This did not wholly prevent the disfiguration of the ball, besides introducing new difficulties. This system in this state was, however, adopted in France, and attempts made to improve it by lengthening the barrel and diminishing the twist of the grooves, still retaining the same charge of ninety-six grains. The chief obstacle, however, to improved results, still lay in the disfiguration of the ball, which greatly increased the resistance of the air, and thereby diminished the range. The system of Wild gave much better results. In this the round ball was still retained, with a considerable windage, which was diminished, as desired, by a thicker or thinner patch. The preservation of the spherical shape of the ball is here, too, a condition; and this, with the method of loading, whereby the accumulation of dirt was avoided, showed, in the experiments of Baden and Hesse in 1843, the superiority of these rifles, both in accuracy and penetration over any of the systems then known. They were also observed to require a less elevation for the greater distances. With the appearance of Thouvenins and the accompanying pointed ball, the rifled arm assumed a different aspect, since the range of its execution was limited only by the extent of human vision. No longer can artillery, when opposed to infantry, take up its position and securely discharge its rounds of grape and canister, secure of immunity from any but a random shot from its adversary. At this distance it is now at the mercy of the rifle of the foot-soldier; hence, when covering the artillery, the rifled arm becomes a much more efficient support than formerly, when it was not always in its power to afford the needful protection. How profoundly these improvements have been felt and acknowledged, is shown by the speedy and general adoption of this system, which none other has supplanted without presenting the same defects. Facility of loading is attained in this system by a sufficient windage, and increased accuracy, range, and penetration, though the charge is diminished and the weight of the ball augmented, by the use of the pointed ball. In France, for example, the charge has been reduced from 96 grains to 68 grains, whilst the weight of the ball has increased from 452 grains (the round ball of 1842) to 725 grains. The reasons for this are, in the first place, that the powder is kept by the tige from being crushed; secondly, that the powder is fully burned by the time the ball quits the muzzle; and, thirdly, the effect of the form of the ball and its grooves, (cannelures.) The great influence of



these three points is shown in the fact that rifles, formerly loaded with round balls after the old method, when brought into this system unchanged except by the introduction of the tige, acquire greatly increased accuracy and range. Still, one circumstance operates unfavorably on the latter of these two propertiesthat is, the partial disfiguration of the ball by the rammer, which both changes the point of the ball and forms a rim there more or less marked. This defect has been attempted to be remedied by giving, as in Prussia, to the lower part of the hollow in the rammer-head an increased width. The ball, too, when the cylindrical part is too long, may take too strong a hold on the grooves, when these are somewhat deep, by which the direction of the ball will, indeed, be secured, but the augmented friction will be injurious to the range. In spite of all attempts to guard against deforming the projectile, it has not yet been attained; and this system must be regarded as that of constant disfiguration of the ball, to which all that we have treated of belong, except that of Wild. While in the system of Thouvenin the ball is forced into the grooves by the aid of the rammer and the tige, the same is effected in that of Mini by the expansive force of the gas, which fills up the cavity of the ball and presses it equally outward. This system does not essentially increase the accuracy, and the range is diminished; but it attains two advantages, viz: a still greater facility of loading, and the preservation of the original form of the ball. An apparent contradiction is here asserted, viz: that, did the disfiguration of the ball not take place, the system of Thouvenin would insure still greater range and accuracy, while the Mini system, in which the ball retains the shape which theoretical principles have assigned to it, gives no greater accuracy, and a range even inferior. The explanation of this anomaly is to be sought in the fact that, in the Mini system, the culot does not always correctly fulfill its functions, but is separated from the ball at the moment of loading; or else, being turned edgeways, causes the total loss of the shot. The diminished range may be accounted for by supposing that a portion of the gas escapes before the ball has completely filled the grooves. These defects were sought to be remedied, in Belgium, in the ball of Timmerhans, and in a great degree successfully; but still the charge had to be augmented nearly eight grains. A further peculiarity of this system consisted in the progressive grooves, which were not, however, indispensable, since grooves of the shallow and rounded kind gave the same result, namely: a certain and easy filling of them. The system of Wilkinson was founded on principles similar to those of Mini, in effecting the filling of the grooves through the action of the gases; not, however, as in the latter, by pressure from the interior outwards, but by pressure from behind on the conical part, the cylindrical part being provided with deep grooves, which permitted its constituent rings to move forwards, before the inertia of the solid anterior part was overcome. Thus



much is evident, from the experiments at Infield and in Austria, that arms of this system surpass nearly every other in accuracy, range, and penetration. Ease of loading, security against crushing the powder, and preservation of the figure of the ball, are in this, as in Minis system, prominent principles. The Swiss system fulfills, in an equal degree, all the requirements of an excellent arm for service. The loading is here effected with as little difficulty, as in the other systems, the ball being shoved down to a given point only, so as to leave a space between the powder and the ball; but the filling of the grooves is effected differently. As in the system of Thouvenin, it is accomplished by the aid of the rammer; in those of Mini and Wilkinson, by the operation of the gas on the ball; so it is here brought about by the use of a greased patch, which surrounds the lower part of the ball. This system also differs from the others in having a remarkably small caliber. These peculiarities are by no means detrimental to the effectiveness of the weapon, since, in the qualities of accuracy, range, and penetration, it excels all systems yet reduced to practice, without a resort to excessive charges or high elevation. On the contrary, in the latter respect it has the advantage of the other systems. . . . There remains, finally, the breech-loading system, including the French wall piece, the Norwegian breech loading, and the Prussian needle gun, all of which differ materially from each other in their mechanism; the first two having the ordinary percussion cap, whilst the latter is fired by means of a needle, which enters the priming. This system differs from all the foregoing, in that the ball is first forced into the barrel by the gases. It is decidedly the easiest and most expeditious in loading, and equals that of Thouvenin in accuracy and range. The only disfiguration that the ball suffers, is the elongation which the cylindrical part undergoes by its forcible entry into the bore, which is of little consequence. In all the recent systems where they have not been ingrafted on old arms, there has been a diminution in the inclination of the grooves formerly deemed necessary, except in the Prussian needle gun, the Swiss Stutzer, and Jger rifle, as also the Mecklenburg-Thouvenin rifle.


The following section lists by originating country all the rifles referred to in the text and also includes many that are not as significant in the developmental scheme that this book has followed. These rifles are all listed, because they were at some time in the military service of their country or were serious contenders for that role. The most significant of these rifles are emphasized, because they were forerunners in the mechanical progression from rifled muskets to the modern assault rifle. Most of the terms and abbreviations used are quite clear, but some of the abbreviations require clarification. Cartridge: In almost all cases, these are composite cartridges, made of brass (or similar metal), and they contain in one unit the primer, propellant, and bullet. Cartridge dimensions: 7.62 x 51mm NATO means the caliber is 7.62mm and the total length of the cartridge is 51mm; this was a standard NATO cartridge at the time. There are oddities such as the .30-06 U.S. cartridge, which has a .30-inch caliber; this design was finalized in 1906. See also the note about Spencer cartridges under United States: Spencer. Rifling: The number of grooves and the direction of the spin. Rh means right-handed spin and lh the opposite. Magazine: There are three types of magazines: integral meaning that the magazine cannot normally be removed from the weapon; box meaning that the boxlike magazine can be removed; and tube meaning the magazine holds the cartridges from tip to base in a line. Note that there were also a number of external cartridge holders fitted near to the breech on some British weapons, which were not true magazines, as the weapon was still loaded manually. M/v: The muzzle velocity of the weapon, or the speed at which the bullet emerges from the barrel. Fps means feet per second, m/s meters per second.




Rate of fire (or cyclic rate): This is often theoretical, but it is the maximum number of rounds that can be fired from the weapon if the ammunition supply were continuous and the weapon did not overheat. Readers will note that muzzle energy, maximum range, and similar facts are not included. This is simply because they are of little real value to the rifleman on the battlefield unless he is a sniper. Dates of manufacture are given wherever possible, but where an M precedes a date, this is the given model number and year of adoption by the state mentioned. Other dates are the year of issue or adoption and are shown at the start of an entry. In a few cases dates have been approximated. Manufacturers names are given whenever possible. State manufactured arms are also noted. In the latter case, the state owned arsenal was the designer and maker of the weapon described. Those models followed by an asterisk (*) were slightly, not fundamentally, modified. Reliability is not a factor that can be readily quantified, but by consulting the text the faults of service rifles can be seen. Although often covered by a mass of figures and propaganda, the constant need for any new equipment to be adequately tested before issue is paramount. Soldiers must be given weapons and equipment to enable them to perform their duties at least risk to themselves; after all, war and combat are risky enough without having your rifle quit on you!

ARGENTINA Ballester Rigaud Hafdasa 1946. Semi-automatic carbine. Cartridge: 9mm Parabellum. Length: 33.5in (850mm). Barrel: 12.6in (320mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 54-round box. M/v: approx. 1250 fps (380 m/s). Fara FARA 83 Assault Rifle Ca. 1983. Gas operated, selective fire. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length, butt extended: 39.37in (1000mm). Length, butt folded: 29.3in (745mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). Barrel: 17.9in (452mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3166 fps (965 m/s). Rate of fire: 750rpm.



M1891 Rifle Improved Turkish M1890. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (3.99kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2133 fps (650 m/s). 1891 Cavalry Carbine As rifle. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 7lb 4oz (3.28kg). Barrel: 17.6in (448mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1893 fps (577 m/s). M1909 Rifle Similar to German Gew. 98. Made in Argentina after 1942. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 49.2in (1249mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.07kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2706 fps (825 m/s).

ARMENIA State Arsenal K3 Rifle 1996. Bullpup design with a Kalashnikov-type gas-operated system. Cartridge: 5.45 x 39.5mm. Length: 27.6in (700mm). Weight (loaded): 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 16.34in (41.5mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2952 fps (900 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm K11 Sniping Rifle 1996. Bolt-action. Cartridge: 5.45 x 39.5mm. Length: 36.2in (920mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (3.5kg).



Barrel: 16.34in (415mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2952 fps (900 m/s).

AUSTRIA (INCLUDING AUSTRIA-HUNGARY) Frwirth Gendarmerie Carbine M1872 Bolt action, tube magazine beneath barrel. Cartridge: 11 x 42R Werndl. Length: 40.9in (1038mm). Weight: 8lb 2oz (3.69kg). Barrel: 22.4in (570mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: 978 fps (298 m/s). Kropatschek 1881 Gendarmerie Carbine Bolt action, tube magazine beneath the barrel. Cartridge: 11.15 x 58R Werndl. Length: 40.95in (1040mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg). Barrel: 22.4in (570mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round tube. M/v: 1007 fps (307 m/s). Mannlicher M1885 Rifle Straight-pull bolt action. Clip-loaded magazine. Cartridge: 11.15 x 58R Werndl. Length: 52.3in (1328mm). Weight: 10lb 8oz (4.8kg). Barrel: 31.8in (808mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1444 fps (440 m/s). M1886 Rifle As M1885, new sights. Cartridge: 11.1 5 x 58R Werndl. Length: 52.2in (1326mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 31.7in (806mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1444 fps (440 m/s).



1886/90 Rifle M1886 rifles converted to fire 8 x 50R Mannlicher cartridge. M/v: 2035 fps (620 m/s). 1888 Rifle M1886 rebarreled. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Austrian Mannlicher. Length: 50.4in (1281mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.4 kg). Barrel: 30.2in (765mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1755 fps (535 m/s). 1888/90 Rifle Model 1888 with new sights for M88/90 cartridge. M/v: 2028 fps (618 m/s). 1890 Cavalry Carbine Straight-pull bolt. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Austrian Mannlicher. Length: 39.6in (1005mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 19.61 in (498mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1886 fps (575 m/s). 1890 Gendarmerie Carbine 1892. As cavalry carbine. Details: as M1890 Cavalry Carbine. M1895 Rifle Straight-pull bolt. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Austrian Mannlicher. Length: 50.4in (1280mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.78kg). Barrel: 30.1 9in (765mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2030 fps (620 m/s). 1895 Short Rifle Straight-pull bolt. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Austrian Mannlicher. Length: 39.49in (1003mm). Weight: 6lb 13oz (3.09kg). Barrel: 19.68in (500mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1902 fps (580 m/s). 1895 Cavalry Carbine Similar to short rifle. Details: the same M1914 Rifle As German Gew. 98 but with a different stock. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Austrian Mannlicher. Length: 50.19in (1275mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 30.7in (780mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2034 fps (620 m/s). Steyr AUG (Armee Universal Gewehr) Rifle 1977. Designed to Austrian Army specifications for assault rifle. Adopted by them as StuG 77. Bullpup design. Modular weapon system. Gas operated rotating bolt, selective fire. Adopted by the armed forces of Australia, Ireland, Morocco, Oman, and New Zealand. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm 93 or NATO. Length: 31.1in (790mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.6kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3182 fps (970 m/s). Cyclic rate: 650 rds/Min AUG Carbine Ca. 1977. As rifle, but with shorter barrel. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M93 or NATO. Length: 27.16in (690mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 16.0in (407mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3133 fps (950 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rds/Mn S5G69 Sniping Rifle 1969. Bolt action. Rotary (Schoenauer pattern) magazine. Number of versions. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO or .243 Winchester. Length: 44.9in (1140mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.90kg).



Barrel: 25.56in (650mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round rotary M/v: 2822 fps (860 m/s). IWS 2000/AMR 5075 Anti-Materiel Rifle. 1990. Smoothbore, long recoil, semi-automatic firing pinstabilized projectiles. Cartridge: 15.2mm AMR. Length: 70.9in (1800mm). Weight: 39lb 11oz (18kg). Barrel: 47.2in (1200mm), smoothbore. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 4757 fps (1450 m/s). Wnzl 1866 Infantry Rifle Lifting-block breech-loading conversion system of earlier muzzleloading rifles. Cartridge: 14 x 33R Wnzl. Length: 52.32in (1329mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.27kg). Barrel: 34.84in (885mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1280 fps (390 m/s). 1866 Short Rifle Conversion of light infantry percussion rifles to the Wnzl system. Cartridge: 14 x 33R Wnzl. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.7kg). Barrel: 26.0in (661mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1240 fps (378 m/s). M1866 Carbine As M1866 rifle, but shorter. Cartridge: 14 x 33R Wnzl. Length: 41.61in (1057mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.1 3kg). Barrel: 24.1in (611mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1224 fps (373 m/s). Werndl 1867 Infantry Rifle Single shot, rotary block breech. Cartridge: 11.5 x 58R Werndl. Length: 50.3in (1278mm). Weight: 9lb 12oz (4.4kg).



Barrel: 33.66in (855mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 430 fps (436 m/s). M1867 Carbine Action as rifle. Cartridge: 11 x 42R Werndl Carbine. Length: 39.0in (99 1mm). Weight: 7lb 0oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 22.4in (570mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 978 fps (298 m/s). 1873 Infantry Rifle Improved mechanism. Cartridge: 11 x 58R Werndl. Length: 49.8in (1265mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 33.1in (840mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1430 fps (436 m/s). 1873 Carbine Improved mechanism. Cartridge: 11 x 42R Werndl Carbine. Length: 39.5in (1004mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 22.8in (580mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 984 fps (300 m/s). 1877 Infantry Rifle As for the M1873 with an improved cartridge. As M1873, except M/v: 1476 fps (450 m/s). 1867/77 Rifles and Carbines M1867 rifles and carbines rechambered for new cartridge. Details: new M/v, rifle: 1476 fps (450 m/s). M/v, carbine: 1007 fps (307 m/s). 1877 Carbine Replacement for 67/77 conversions. Details: as 1873 Carbine, except M/v: 1007 fps (307 m/s).

BELGIUM Albini-Braendlin M1867 Infantry Rifle Converted smoothbore muskets or muzzle-loading rifles to Albini trapdoor breech system.



Cartridge: 11 x 50R Albini. Length: 53.07in (1348mm). Weight: 10lb 1oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 34.76in (883mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1360 fps (415 m/s). M1873 Infantry Rifle Lifting trap-door breech. Cartridge: 11 x 50R. Albini. Length: 53.0in (1347mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.49kg). Barrel: 34.72in (882mm), 4 grooves, rh. 1873 Short Rifle As Infantry Rifle but shorter, for Gendarmerie and cavalry. Cartridge: 11 x 42R. Length: 45.1in (1145mm). Weight: 8lb (3.64kg). Barrel: 26.77in (680mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1165 fps (355 m/s). Comblain Hubert-Joseph Comblain (18131893), armourer and designer of the dropping-block rifle patented in 1870. Manufactured by the Petit Syndicat de Lige. M1870 Civil Guard Carbine Falling-block breech operated by an underlever. Cartridge: 11 x 50R Albini. Length: 47.2in (1200mm). Weight: 9lb 13oz (4.46kg). Barrel: 31.8 in (808mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1410 fps (430 m/s). FN Fabrique Nationale dArmes de Guerre of Herstal, Belgium, a world-famous arms manufacturing company, has been in business since 1888 as the Belgian national arms manufacturer. M30 1918. Similar to U.S. (BAR). M1918. Made in 7.65mm caliber for Belgium, 7.92mm for China, 7mm for Chile. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53mm (and as noted above). Length: 45.27in (1150mm). Weight: 20lb 8oz (9.3kg). Barrel: 22.0in (560mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 1890 fps (620 m/s). Rate of fire: 500 rpm. Type D 1920s. Based on U.S. M1918 BAR. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser (and others). Length: 45.1in (1145mm). Weight: 20lb 5oz (9.2kg). Barrel: 19.7in (500mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: up to 2500 fps (762 m/s). Rate of fire: 480 rpm. Model 1949/SAFN Design begun mid-1930s, completed in late 1940s. Gas operated, semiautomatic. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 44.0in (1116mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 22.3in (590mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). FAL Model 50-00 1953. Improved M1949 mechanism. Selective fire or semi-automatic only. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 42.9in (1090mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 20.98in (533mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. FAL Model 50-64 Ca. 1953. As FAL 50-00, but with a folding steel stock. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length, butt extended: 43.1 in (1095mm). Length, butt folded: 33.27in (845mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.90kg). Barrel: 20.98in (533mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm.



FAL Model 50-63 Ca. 1953. The Paratrooper Model of the FAL Model 50-64. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length, butt extended: 40.2in (1020mm). Length, butt folded: 30.3 in (770mm). Weight: 8lb 4oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 17.1in (436mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2657 fps (810 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. FAL Model 50-41 1958. As standard rifle, but heavier barrel. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 45.3in (1150mm). Weight: 13lb 3oz (6.0kg). Barrel: 20.98in (533mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. CAL 1966. Reduced FAL. Too early for the military, who had not yet received the 5.56mm message. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M93. Length: 38.5in (978mm). Weight: 6lb 8oz (294kg). Barrel: 18.46in (469mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 3200 fps (975 m/s). Rate of fire: 850 rpm. FNC Rifle 1976. Replacement for CAL. Gas piston, bolt carrier, and rotating bolt. Selective fire with three-round burst control. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length, butt extended: 39.3in (997mm). Length, butt folded: 30. 6in (766mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg). Barrel: 17.68in (449mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3166 fps (965 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. FNC Carbine 1976. As FNC rifle but shorter barrel.



Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length, butt extended: 35.9in (911mm). Length, butt folded: 26.77in (680mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 14.3in (363mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 3117 fps (950 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. Model 30-11 Sniping Rifle 19701990. Last Mauser bolt-action rifle built by FN. FN-MAG machine gun bipod could be fitted. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 43.98in (1117mm). Weight: 10lb 11oz (4.9kg). Barrel: 19.76in (502mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2790 fps (850 m/s). M1889 Infantry Rifle 1892. A new small-caliber design with a one-piece bolt. Charger-loaded integral box magazine Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (3.99kg). Barrel: 29.1 3(740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2133 fps (650 m/s). M1889 Civil Guard Rifle The infantry rifle but with the bolt handle turned down. Details: as M1889 Infantry Rifle. 1889 Cavalry Carbine As infantry rifle but shorter. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 34.8in (885mm). Weight: 6lb 10oz (3.0kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1837 fps (560 m/s). 1889 Dismounted Troops Carbine A short rifle rather than a carbine. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53M Mauser.



Length: 41.1in (1045mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 21.65in (550mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1919 fps (585 m/s). 1889 Mounted Gendarmerie Carbine As cavalry carbine but fully stocked. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 34.8in (885mm). Weight: 6lb 12oz (3.1kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1837 fps (560 m/s). M1935 Short Rifle Bolt mechanism based on Gew. 98, magazine inside the stock. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 43.4in (1107mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 23.4in (595mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2346 fps (715 m/s). M1889/36 Rifle Conversion of M1889 rifles to the M1935 specification. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 43.1in (1094mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.77kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2346 fps (715 m/s). M1922 Rifle Commercial 1898 bolt mechanism with internal magazine. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.7in (1237mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.1 3(740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2575 fps (785 m/s). M1924 Rifle Commercial short rifle to replace the M1922 for export. Made in various calibers.



Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 42.91 in (1090mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8.3kg). Barrel: 23.27in (59 1mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2379 fps (725 m/s). M1935/46 Post-1945 conversions of M1935 rifles to U.S. .30-06 cartridge. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 23.2in (590mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2740 fps (835 m/s).

BOLIVIA M1895 Rifle The Argentine M1891 rifle. M1907 Rifle The Mauser Gewehr 98 as exported, firing the 7.65 x 53mm cartridge. M1950 Rifle The Czech Model 1924 in 7.65mm caliber and with some minor changes.

BRAZIL Imbel MD2 1985. A 5.56mm rifle based on the FN-FAL, made under license. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193 or NATO. Length, butt extended: 40.5in (1030mm). Length, butt folded: 30.1in (764mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 17.8in (453mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3150 fps (960 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. MD3 1985. As MD2, but fixed plastic butt. Details: As MD2 but weight: 10lb 1oz (4.6kg).



M1894 Rifle Similar to Spanish M1893. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb l4oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.0in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (700 m/s). M1904 Rifle As the German Gewehr 98 except caliber. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 49.2in (1249mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.0in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (700 m/s). M1908 Rifle Details: as M1904 rifle.

CANADA Diemaco (Colt license holder in Canada) C7 Rifle 1984. Canadian version of M16A2. No 3-round burst capability. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length: 40.15in (1020mm). Weight: 76 4oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 20.0in (510mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3035 fps (925 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. C7A1Rifle 1990. Improved C7 with optical sight. Details: as C7 rifle. C8 Assault Carbine 1984. Compact C7, with a telescopic butt and a shorter barrel. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length, butt extended: 33.1in (840mm). Length, butt folded: 29.92in (760mm). Weight: 5lb 15oz (2.7kg). Barrel: 14.6in (370mm), 6 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2952 fps (900 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. C8A1 Assault Carbine. 1990. C8 with telescope sight. Used by Netherlands special forces. Details: as C8. Ross There were two types of Ross rifles: the 1905 and the 1910. Both used straight-pull bolts. Rifle, Ross, Mark 1 1905. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 48.63in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.64kg). Barrel: 28.0in (711mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5 round integral box. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). Rifle, Ross, Mark 2 1909. As Mark 1 but with improved sight, modified bolt cocking on opening, and chamber dimensions to British service standard. Details: as for Mark 1. A number of variations were made. Rifle, Ross, Mark 3 Improved 1910 pattern. Rifle, Ross, Mark 3* As Mark 3, with small changes to improve the locking. Rifle, Ross, Mark 3B Ca. 1918. The only Ross rifle to be formally accepted into British service (the others were used by the Canadian Army). It was the Mark 3 or 3* with the addition of a Lee-Enfieldstyle magazine cut-off. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 50.56in (1285mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 30.2in (775mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5 round box. M/v: 2600 fps (790 m/s).



CHILE M1895 Rifle As Brazilian M1894. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.5in (1232mm). Weight: 8lb l4oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.1in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). M1895 Short Rifle Shortened rifle, bolt handle turned down. 1895 Carbine Bolt and magazine as the rifle, but shorter than short rifle. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 1825in (464mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2600 fps (790 m/s). M1904 Rifle As the Brazilian M1904.

CHINA State Arsenal 19121925. Based on German Commission Rifle M1888. Bolt action, Mannlicher-type clip-loading magazine. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 49.3in (1251mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 29.3in (743mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: cc 2067 fps (630 m/s). Generalissimo Chiang-Kai-Shek Rifle 19361949, based on the Mauser M1898. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 43.8in (1111mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: cc 2690 fps (825 m/s). Type 56 Carbine 1956. Exact copy of the Russian Simonov SKS. Type 68 Rifle 1968. As Simonov SKS but uses Kalashnikov bolt system. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet. M1943. Length: 40.5in (1030mm). Weight: 71lb 11oz (3.49kg). Barrel: 20.5in (521mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 15-round box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. Type 79 Sniping Rifle 1979. Exact copy of Russian Dragunov SVD sniping rifle. Type 81 Assault Rifle 1981. Improved Type 68. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet M1943. Length: 37.6in (955mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. Type CQ Assault Rifle Ca. 1988. Chinese copy of the M16A. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 38.9in (987mm). Weight: 7lb loz (3.2kg). Barrel: 19.9in (505mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 3248 fps (990 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. Type 56 1956. Similar to AK-47. Type 56-1 Ca. 1956. Similar to AK-S. Type 56-2 As Type 56-1 but with skeleton folding butt.



Type 56-C Ca. 1956. Uses plastic furniture as AK74. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm M1943. Length, butt extended: 30.1 in (765mm). Length, butt folded: 22.2in (563mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (350kg). Barrel: 13.6in (345mm). 4 grooves. rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2296 fps (700 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. M1904 Rifle Steyr rotating bolt action, clip-loader. Sold to China. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.2in (1225mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 28.5in (725mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2247 fps (685 m/s). 1895 Rifle The Chilean M1895. Model 21 Short Rifle Post-1924. Chinese-manufactured copy of Belgian M1924 in 7.92 Mauser caliber.

COLOMBIA M1891 Rifle The Argentinian M1891. M1904 Rifle The Brazilian M1904.

COSTA RICA M1895 Rifle The Chilean M1895. M1910 Rifle Based on Gew. 98. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.8in (1240mm).



Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2494 fps (760 m/s).

CROATIA APS95 Assault Rifle 1995. Based on the Israeli Galil. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length, butt extended: 38.6in (980mm). Length, butt folded: 28.7in (730mm). Weight: 8lb 2.5oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 17.7 in (450mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35-round box. M/v: 3002 fps (915 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. E992 Sniping Rifle 1995. Bolt-action. Iron sights and telescope mount. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 47.8in (1215mm). Weight: 141lb 5oz (6.5kg). Barrel: 22.2in (565mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2854 fps (870 m/s). EM992 Sniping Rifle 1995. As E992 but chambered and rifled for the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge to give extra range and power. Cartridge: .300 Winchester Magnum. Length: 49.0in (1245mm). Weight: 14lb 9oz (6.6kg). Barrel: 22.8in (580mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 4-round box. M/v: 3395 fps (1035 m/s). MACS Sniping Rifle 1990s. Single shot, bolt action. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: 57.9in (1470mm). Weight: 25lb 6oz (11.5kg). Barrel: 30.7in (780mm), 8 grooves, rh. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s).



CZECHOSLOVAKIA ZH 29 Rifle 1929. Semi-automatic with piston. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 45.5in (1155mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 21.5in (545mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10- or 25-round box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). ZK 420 1946. Similar to AK pattern. The vz 52 was preferred. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 41.3in (1047mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 21.0in (533mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). vz 52 1953. Semi-automatic, gas operated. Cartridge: 7.62 x 45mm. Length: 40.0in (1015mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 20.5in (520mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2440 fps (743 m/s). vz 52/56 Ca. 1952. Vz 52 rebarrelled to fire WarPac standard 7.62 x 39mm cartridge. M/v reduced to 2705 fps (825 m/s). Details: as vz 52 except for M/v. vz 58 CZ Ca. 1958. Composite AK-47/vz 52 designs. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm 1943. Length, butt extended: 33.2in (843mm). Length, butt folded: 25.164 (640mm). Weight: 6lb l4oz (3.1 kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2330 fps (710 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm.



CZ 2000 Assault Rifle 1995. Newly developed for the 5.56 NATO cartridge. Gas operated. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length: 33.46in (850mm). Weight: 6lb 9oz (3.0kg). Barrel: 15.0in (382mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2985 fps (910 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. CZ 2000 Short Assault Rifle 1995. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length: 26.6in (675mm). Weight: 5lb 12oz (2.6kg). Barrel: 7.3in (185mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. M96 Falcon Anti-Materiel Rifle 1995. Bolt action magazine rifle. Cartridge: 12.7 x 108mm DShK. Length: 54.3in (1380mm). Weight with 5 rounds: 32lb 4oz (14.92kg). Barrel: 36.5in (927mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 2- or 5-round box. M/v: 2789 fps (850 m/s). M1898/22 Rifle 1922. Based on Mexican M1912 rifle; M1898 bolt action. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.8in (1240mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 29.1in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2854 fps (870 m/s). 1898/29 Short Rifle For export M1924 short rifle. 1924 Short Rifle Shorter M1898/22t. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser.



Length: 43.2in (1098mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 23.2in (590mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). 1933 Gendarmerie Carbine Shortened M1924 rifle. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 39.2 in (996mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 17.9in (455mm), 4 grooves, d1 Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2510 fps (765 m/s). M1954 Sniping Rifle Assembled from selected M1891/30 actions for the the Type D heavy ball bullet cartridge. Optical sight. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 48.4in (1230mm). Weight: 11lb 7oz (5.2kg). Barrel: 28.7in (730mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2640 fps (805 m/s).

DENMARK Bang Soren H. Bang developed a number of rifles using a muzzle cap to trap emerging gas to drive an operating rod to open the breech. Tested between ca. 1910 and 1930 by various countries, but none was ever accepted for service. M1889 Rifle Bolt action. Cartridge: 8 x 58R Danish Krag. Length: 52.3in (1328mm). Weight: 10lboz (4.6kg). Barrel: 37.4in (950mm), 6 grooves, lh; increasing magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 1968 fps (600 m/s). M1889-08 Rifle 1908. As M1889, but sighted for a new cartridge with pointed bullet. M/v: 2460 fps (750 m/s).



M1889-10 Rifle 1910. As M1889, but with 4-groove constant pitch rifling. M1889 Cavalry Carbine Modified M1889 rifle. Cartridge: 8 x 58R Danish Krag. Length: 43.3in (1100mm). Weight: 8lb l4oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 6 grooves, rh; increasing magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2035 fps (620 m/s). M1889 Engineer Carbine As cavalry carbine, but can take a bayonet. Details: the same M1 889-23 Cavalry Carbine 1923. As M1889 Cavalry Carbine but fitted for a bayonet. M1889-24 Infantry Carbine 1924. Built from converted M1889 rifles, or manufactured to the same specification. Cartridge: 8 x 58R Danish Krag. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 6 grooves, rh, increasing; or 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2035 fps (620 m/s). M1889-24 Artillery Carbine 1924. As 1889 Cavalry Carbine, but with turned down bolt handle. M1928 Sniping Rifle 1928. Based on M1894 Infantry Rifle with a free-floating heavy barrel. Cartridge: 8 x 58R Danish Krag. Length: 46.1in (1170mm). Weight: 1lb 13oz (5.4kg). Barrel: 23.0in (585mm), 6 grooves, rh, increasing; or 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2460 fps (730 m/s). 1877 Marine Carbine Short rifle. Dropping block breech with operating lever above the breech. Tube magazine under the barrel. Similar in appearance to the Martini.



Cartridge: 11.7 x 42R rimfire. Length: 37.5in (952mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 20.1in (510mm), 5 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 1148 fps (350 m/s). Madsen M62. Light AutoMatic Rifle (LAR). Gas operated, selective firer. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 42.3in (1074mm). Weight: 10lb 9oz (4.8kg). Barrel: 21.1in (536mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2651 fps (808 m/s). Cyclic rate: 600 rpm. M1867 Rifle Rolling block action. Cartridge: 11.7 x 42R Danish Remington RE. Length: 50.4in (1280mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 35.71 in (907mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 1230 fps (375 m/s). 1867 Carbine As rifle, but short stock. Cartridge: 11.7 x 27R Danish Remington Carbine RE. Length: 36.0in (915mm). Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 21.1in (535mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 870 fps (265 m/s). 1867/93 Marine Rifle M1867 rifle rebuilt to fire centre-fire cartridges. Cartridge: 8 x 58R Danish Krag. Length: 36.0in (1022mm). Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 21.1in (740mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1980 fps (605 m/s). M1867/96 Cavalry Carbine M1867 carbine rechambered for the 11.7 x 51R centre-fire cartridge. Details: As M1867 Carbine, except Cartridge: 11.7 x 51R Danish Remington and M/v: 1345 fps (410 m/s).



Schutz & Larsen 1942 Police Carbine Rotating bolt action repeating rifle. Cartridge: 8 x 58R Danish Krag. Length: 43.6in (1108mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.93kg). Barrel: 22.6in (575mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 4-round integral box. M/v: 2133 fps (650 m/s).

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Carbine M2 1953. Similar to Beretta Model 1938 sub-machinegun. Cartridge: .30 U.S. Carbine. Length: 37.2in (945mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 16.2in (412mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25- or 30-round box. M/v: 1876 fps (572 m/s). Rate of fire: 580 rpm. Rifle M62 1962. Gas-operated semi-automatic rifle. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 42.5in (1080mm). Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.72kg). Barrel: 21.3in (540mm). 4 grooves, U1. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2705 fps (825 m/s).

EGYPT Misr 1950s. Copy of the AKM, with very minor differences. ARM 1950s. Misr converted to semi-automatic fire only. Haki Maadi 1955. Manufactured in Egypt, modified Ag42B, and fired a more powerful cartridge. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser.



Length: 47.6in (1209mm). Weight: 10lb 10oz (4.8kg). Barrel: 23.2in (590mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2854 fps (870 m/s). Maadi 1960. A completely Egyptian model of the Ljungmann, chambered for the Soviet 7.62 x 39M cartridge. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39M 1943. Length: 42.4in (1077mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg). Barrel: 22.4in (570mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). M1868 Rifle Rolling block. Cartridge: 11.4 x 50R Egyptian Remington. Length: 50.3in (1278mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 35.0in (889mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 860 fps (390 m/s).

FINLAND Helenius APH-RK-97 Anti-Materiel Rifle 1996. Single shot with vertical sliding breech block operated by handgrip. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: 52.4in (1330mm). Weight: 30lb 14oz (14.0kg). Barrel: 37.0in (940mm), 8 grooves, rh. M/v: 2723 fps (830 m/s). M 1924 Infantry Rifle Rebarreled M1891 ex-Russian rifles. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 51.18in (1300mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 32.2in (818mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2830 fps (863 m/s).



M1927 Short Rifle Shortened M1924. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 46.7in (1185mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 26.97in (685mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2428 fps (740 m/s). 1928 Short Rifle Another short version of the M1924 with a new system of rifling. Details: as for M1927, except Weight: 9lb 3oz (4.2kg). M1928/30 Short Rifle M1928 shortened with improved magazine and a new backsight. Details: as for M1927, except Weight: 9lb 10oz (4.4kg). M1939 Short Rifle New design, but the same as the M1927. New rifling and larger bore diameter for a new heavy ball bullet. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 46.65in (1185mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 26.97in (685mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2297 fps (700 m/s). Pelo Maker unknown 1950. Self-loading, recoil-operated. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57 Mauser. Length: 43.3in (1100mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.19kg). Magazine: 6- or 10-round fixed box. M/v: 2460 fps (750 m/s). Sako Originally a government factory; now amalgamated with Valmet. TRG-2l 1960s. Bolt-action repeater. Telescope sight mount, emergency iron sights. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 45.3in (1150mm).



Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.7kg). Barrel: 26.0in (660mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2821 fps (860 m/s). TRG-41 1990s. The TRG-21 chambered for the .338. Cartridge: .338. Lapua Magnum cartridge. Length: 47.2in (1200mm). Weight: 1lb 4oz (5.1kg). Barrel: 27.1 6in (690mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2998 fps (9 4 m/s). M90 1980s. Improved Kalashnikov; action refined and lightened. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet 1943. Length, butt extended: 36.6in (930mm). Length, butt folded: 26.6in (675mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 16.4in (4 16mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm. Valmet M1962 Assault Rifle Based on Kalashnikov AK mechanism. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet M1943. Length: 36.0in (914mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 16.5in (419mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). Cyclic rate: 650 rpm. M1971 Assault Rifle Revised M1962. Very similar to the AK-47. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet M1943. Length: 36.5in (928mm). Weight: 7lb 15oz (3.6kg). Barrel: 16.5in (420mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). Cyclic rate: 650 rpm.



1976 Assault Rifle Improved M1971 Assault Rifle. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet M1943. Length: 35.94in (913mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 16.5in (420mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 15-, 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). Cyclic rate: 650 rpm. 1978. Long Rifle Heavy-barrelled M1976. Bipod and carrying handle. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet M1943. Length: 41.7in (1060mm). Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.7kg). Barrel: 22.4in (568mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 30-round box. M/v: 2460 fps (750 m/s). Cyclic rate: 650 rpm.

FRANCE Berthier 1890 Cavalry Carbine Bolt action carbine. In 1901 resighted to 2000m due to adoption of Balle D. Cartridge: 8 x 50R. Lebel. Length: 37.2in (945mm). Weight: 6lb 11oz (3.0kg). Barrel: 17.9in (453mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: cc 2000 fps (609 m/s). 1890 Cuirassier Carbine As Cavalry Carbine. Details: as Cavalry Carbine, except Weight: 6lb 10oz (2.98kg). 1890 Gendarmerie Carbine As Cavalry Carbine. Details: as Cuirassier carbine, but Weight: 6lb 13oz (3.1kg). 1892 Artillery Musketoon The 1890 Cavalry Carbine with bayonet.



1902 Colonial Rifle Light rifle for use by native troops in French Indochina. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 44.3in (1126mm). Weight 7lb 3oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 24.92in (633mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: (Balle D) 2274 fps (693 m/s). 1907 Colonial Rifle As 1902 but larger to suit taller Senegalese troops. Bolt action. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 51.4in (1306mm). Weight: 8lb 7oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 31.61 in (803mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: 2300 fps (701 m/s). 1907/15 Infantry Rifle 1915. Designed to replace the Lebel M1886. The 1907 Colonial Rifle with a straight bolt handle. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 51.2in (1303mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 31.4in (798mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: 2350 fps (716 m/s). 1916 Infantry Rifle The 1907/15 rifle with an enlarged magazine loaded with a 5-round clip. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 51.2in (1303mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 31.4in (798mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2350 fps (716 m/s). 1892/16 Artillery Musketoon Model 1892 Musketoon redesigned to take the 3-round clip. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 37.2in (945mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 17.8in (453mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: 2090 fps (637 m/s).



1907-15-34 Rifle Basically, the 1907/15 rebarrelled and modified to fire the 7.5mm 1929 cartridge. Magazine: Mauser integral pattern, charger-loaded. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French M1929. Length: 42.5in (1080mm). Weight: 8lb 2oz (368kg). Barrel: 22.8in (580mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2674 fps (815 m/s). 1902-37 Short Rifle The 1902 Colonial Rifle firing the 7.5M caliber round. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French M1929. Length: 42.32in (1075mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.65kg). Barrel: 22.4in (570mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2674 fps (815 m/s). Daudeteau M1896 Rifle Bolt action. Issued to French Navy in 1896, withdrawn 1905, replaced by Lebel rifles. Cartridge: 6.5 x 53.5SR Daudeteau No 12. Length: 50.7in (1287mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). Barrel: 32.5in (825mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2526 fps (770 m/s). Gras 1874 Rifle Single shot, bolt action with straight handle. Cartridge: 11 x 59R Gras. Length: 51.4in (1305mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 32.3in (821mm), 4 grooves, lh. M/v: 1443 fps (440 m/s). M1874 Cavalry Carbine As rifle but shorter, turned-down bolt handle. Cartridge: 11x 59R Gras. Length: 46.26in (1175mm). Weight: 7lb 13.5oz (3.6kg).



Barrel: 27.6in (702mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1404 fps (428 m/s). M1874 Mounted Gendarmerie Carbine MAC Chatellerault, MAS & MAT As cavalry carbine but fitted for bayonet. Details: the same M1874 Dismounted Gendarmerie Carbine As cavalry carbine but fitted for bayonet. Details: the same M1874 Artillery Musketoon Shortened infantry rifle. Cartridge: 11 x 59R Gras. Length: 38.98in (990mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 20.1in (500mm). 4 grooves, lh. M/v: 332 fps (406 m/s). Ml 874/80/14 Rifle Conversion of old Gras rifles to 8mm caliber to fire the Lebel cartridge. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 51.4in (1305mm). Weight: 9lb (4.1kg). Barrel: 32.3in (820mm), 4 grooves, lh. M/v: 2296 fps (700 m/s). 1878 Marine Rifle Steyr bolt action, tube magazine beneath the barrel. Cartridge: 11 x 59R Gras. Length: 48.98in (1244mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 29.3in (743mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 1493 fps (455 m/s). 1884 Infantry Rifle French version of Kropatschek M1878 design with increased magazine capacity. Details: the same, except Magazine: 8 rounds, Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.26kg). 1885 Infantry Rifle Cartridge: 11 x 59R Gras. Length: 48.98in (1244mm).



Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 29.6in (75mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 493 fps (455 m/s). Lebel Lebel created the first modern military rifle, being the first to use smokeless powder and a small-caliber bullet. 1886 Infantry Rifle Bolt-action, tube magazine in the fore-end. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 51.45in (1307mm). Weight: 9lb 3oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 32.1in (815mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 2067 fps (630 m/s). 1886/93 Infantry Rifle Improved M1886. M1886 R35 1935. M1886/93 rifle shortened to provide weapon for motorized infantry until production of the MAS 1936 started. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 37.72in (958mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.77kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 3-round tube. M/v: 1985 fps (605 m/s). MAS (Manufacture dArmes de Saint-tienne) Mle 1917 Gas-operated semi-automatic, using a piston to rotate the bolt. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel. Length: 52.4in (1331mm). Weight: 11lb 9oz (5.3kg). Barrel: 31.4in (798mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2350 fps (716 m/s). Mle 1918 Improved Mle 1917. Used the standard issue cartridge charger rather than a special one. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Lebel.



Length: 43.1in (1095mm). Weight: 10lb 8oz (4.8kg). Barrel: 23.1in (586mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2200 fps (670 m/s). Mle 1936 Infantry Rifle Bolt action repeater, bolt locking into the receiver behind the magazine. Bolt handle slopes forward. Slab-sided receiver, two-piece stock, sling ring, foresight on nose-cap. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French 1929. Length: 40.2in (1020mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.78kg). Barrel: 22.6in (573mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). Mle 1936/CR39 Short Rifle 1939. Short-barrelled Mle 1936 with a hinged butt. For parachute and mountain troops. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French 1929. Length, butt extended: 34.9in (886mm). Length, butt folded: 34.3in (617mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 17.7in (450mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2560 fps (780 m/s). Mle 1949 1950. The result of development work started in 1944, this rifle was issued to troops in 1949. Gas operated, semi-automatic fire only, tilting block. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French 1929. Length: 42.4in (1076mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.07kg). Barrel: 22.8in (580mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2788 fps (850 m/s). Mle 1949/56 1956. A later version of the Mle 1949, the main change being a NATO standard muzzle for grenade launching. A special grenade sight was also fitted. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French M1929. Length: 40.2in (1022mm).



Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 22.8in (580mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2750 fps (838 m/s). Mle 1962 Replacement for the Mle 1949 and Mle 1949/56 firing the 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge. Approved for service as the Mle 1962, then replaced by the FAMAS 5.56mm weapon (see below). Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 40.8in (1035mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 22.8in (580mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2758 fps (840 m/s). Mle FR-F1 Sniping Rifle 1964. Bolt action, pistol grip, box magazine. Bipod. Normally used with telescope. Originally in 7.5mm caliber, many were later made in 7.62mm. Cartridge: 7.5 x 54mm French M1929. Length: 44.8in (1138mm). Weight: 11lb 7oz (5.2kg). Barrel: 21.7in (552mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2795 fps (852 m/s). Mle FR-F2 Sniping Rifle 1984. Improved FR-F1. Details: as the FR-F1. Mle FR-G1, FR-G2 1995. Variants of FR-F2. The FR-G1 has no thermal sleeve, a wooden fore end, and a fixed-angle bipod. The FR-G2 is the G1 with an articulated bipod. Details: the same. FAMAS F-1 Assault Rifle 1980. Bullpup, selective fire, delayed blowback. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm French. Length: 29.8in (757mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 19.2in (488mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25-round box. M/v: 3 150 fps (960 m/s). Cyclic rate: 950 rpm.



FAMAS G-2 Assault Rifle 1994. Updated export version F-1. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193 or NATO. Length: 29.9in (760mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (380kg). Barrel: 19.2in (488mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3035 fps (925 m/s). Cyclic rate: 1100 rpm. Meunier Rifle A-6 1916. Semi-automatic, recoil-operated, rotating bolt. Integral chargerloaded magazine. Limited use in World War I. Cartridge: 7 x 59mm Meunier. Length: 50.9in (1293mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 28.35 in (720mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2608 fps (795 m/s). PGM (Manufacturer) Model UR Intervention Sniping Rifle Bolt action repeating rifle, bipod. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 40.5in (1030mm). Weight: 12lb 2oz (5.5kg). Barrel: 8.5in (470mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Model UR Commando Sniping Rifle As UR Intervention Model but with a lighter barrel and a folding butt. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 40.6in (1030mm). Length, butt folded: 29.1in (740mm). Weight: 11lb 3oz (5.0kg). Barrel: 18.5in (470mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Model Hecate Anti-Materiel Rifle Bolt action repeater, heavy barrel, bipod. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: 54.3in (1380mm). Weight: 30lb 7oz (13.80kg).



Barrel: 27.6in (700mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round box. M/v: 2788 fps (850 m/s).

GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (FORMER EAST GERMANY) Years of manufacture coincide approximately with the appearance of the original Kalashnikov model (see Kalashnikov). MPiK Copy of the AK-47; no cleaning rod under the barrel. MPiKS Copy of the AK-S; no cleaning rod. MPiKM Copy of AKM. Cleaning rod. MPiKMS Identical copy of the AKM-S but without shaped muzzle. MPiKMS-72 As MPiKM. Has metal butt-stock. KKMPi69 As MPiKM. A training rifle chambered for the .22in. Long Rifle rimfire cartridge.

GERMANY Commission Rifle This rifle was a mixture of ideas from Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher and others working as a military commission to propose new rifle designs. M1888 Infantry Rifle Bolt action, clip-loading, with the Mannlicher clip and magazine. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 48.80in (1240mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8 1 kg). Barrel: 29.13 (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2100 fps (640 m/s).



M1888 Cavalry Carbine 1890. As M1888 rifle, but shorter. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 37.4in (950mm). Weight: 6lb 1 3oz (3.10kg). Barrel: 17.12in (435mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1886 fps (575 m/s). M1888/05 and M1888/14 Infantry Rifles Some M1888 rifles were converted to charger loading in 1907 as an economy measure, and more in 1915 as an emergency wartime expedient. Details: as M1888 rifle. M1891 Artillery Carbine As M1888 Cavalry Carbine. Details: as M1888, except Weight: 7lb 2oz (3.2kg). M1907 Rifle As M1888 Rifle, but changes to bolt. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 47.95in (1218mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 27.95in (710mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). Gustloff Volksgewehr VGI-5 1945. Semi-automatic, delayed blowback. Few made. Cartridge: 7.92 x 33M Kurz. Length: 34.9in (885mm). Weight: 10lb 2oz (4.62kg). Barrel: 14.9in (378mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2150 fps (655 m/s). Haenel MKb 42 (H) 1942. Prototype selective fire assault rifle to fire the 7.92mm Kurz cartridge. Gas operated. About 8,000 made. Cartridge: 7.92 x 33M Kurz. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 10lb 13oz (4.90kg). Barrel: 14.37in (364mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2100 fps (640 m/s). Rate of fire: 500 rpm. MP43 (StG 44) 1943. Improved MKb 42 (H). Shorter gas cylinder and longer barrel. Cartridge: 7.92 x 33M Kurz. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 11lb 4oz (5.12kg). Barrel: 16.46in (418mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2125 fps (647 m/s). Rate of fire: 500 rpm. Heckler & Koch G3 Rifle 1961. Adopted by German Army. Selective fire. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 40.2in (1021mm). Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 17.72in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Rate of fire: 550 rpm. G3A1 Rifle 1963. G3 Rifle with retractable butt. Details: As G3 Rifle except Length, butt retracted: 31.50in (800mm). Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.7kg). G3A2 Rifle 1962. G3 with free-floating barrel. Most G3s were rebuilt to this standard. Details: as G3 Rifle. G3A3 Rifle 1964. New flash suppressor/muzzle brake to NATO standard for grenade launching. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 40.35in (1025mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 17.72in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Rate of fire: 550 rpm.



G3A3ZF Sniping Rifle 1964. Specially selected G3A3 Rifle fitted with a telescope sight. Details: as G3A3 Rifle. G3A4 Rifle 1964. Retracting-butt G3A3. Details: similar, except Length, butt retracted: 33.07in (840mm). Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.7kg). G3A6 Iranian-manufactured version of the G3A3. G3A7 MKEK. Turkish-manufactured version of the G3A3. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 40.16in (1020mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. G3A7AI MKEK. Turkish-manufactured version of the G3A4. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length, butt extended: 40.16in (1020mm). Length, butt folded: 33.07in (840mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. G3SG/1 Sniping Rifle 1973. Specially selected G3A3 rifle fitted with a set trigger and telescope sight. Details: as G3A3, except Weight, with sight: 121lb 3oz (5.5kg). PSG 1 Marksmans Rifle 1985. Specially built, using standard action but self-loading only; telescope sight. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 47.6in (1208mm).



Weight: 171lb 13oz (8.10kg). Barrel: 25.56in (650mm), 4 grooves, rh, polygonal. Magazine: 5- or 20-round box. M/v: 2723 fps (830 m/s). MSG90 Sniping Rifle 1987. Less costly PSGI, using standard action with self-loading only, heavy free-floating hammered barrel, no iron sights, telescope sight standard, and adjustable butt. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 45.9in (165mm). Weight: 14lb 2oz (6.4kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 20-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). MSG90A1 Sniping Rifle 1997. MSG90 with added iron sights and windage adjustment. Developed for U.S. Department of Defense. Details: as MSG90, except Weight: 141lb 11oz (6.67kg). MSG3 1987. As MSG90, with similar dimensions and standard iron sights as well as telescope mount. Developed solely for the German Army. HK32A2 Rifle 1965. Variant G3A2 chambered for the 7.62 x 39mm Soviet M1943 cartridge. Not made in quantity. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39M943. Length: 40.2in (1021mm). Weight: 71lb 11oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 5.35in (390mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-, 30-, or 40-round box. M/v: 2360 fps (720 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. HK32A3 1965. Retracting-butt HK32A2. Details: similar, except Length, butt extended: 37.0in (940mm); Length, butt retracted: 28.7in (729mm); Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.49kg). HK32KAI 1965. Short-barrelled, retracting butt carbine version. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm 1943. Length, butt extended: 34.0in (864mm). Length, butt retracted: 26.4in (670mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg).



Barrel: 12.67in (322mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-, 30-, or 40-round box. M/v: 2295 fps (700 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. HK33A2 Rifle 1965. G3 firing 5.5mm cartridge. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 36.2in (920mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.65kg). Barrel: 15.35in (390mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 40-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. HK33A3 Rifle 1965. As HK33A2, but with retractable butt. Details: similar, except Length, butt extended: 37.0in (940mm); Length, butt retracted: 28.9in (735mm); Weight: 8lb 12oz (3.98kg). HK33KAI 1965. Short-barrelled, retracting butt carbine version. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 33.97in (863mm). Length, butt retracted: 26.774 (680mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (3.98kg). Barrel: 12.67in (322mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 40-round box. M/v: 3008 fps (917 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. HK33EA2 1985. Improved HK33A2 with ambidextrous selector/safety. Rifling to suit either type of 5.56M cartridge. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193 or NATO. Length: 36.2in (920mm). Weight: 8lb (3.65kg). Barrel: 15.35in (390mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. HK33EK 1985. Retracting butt, short barrel carbine version. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193 or NATO. Length, butt extended: 34.14 (865mm). Length, butt retracted: 26.6in (675mm).



Weight: 8lb 12oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 12.7in (322mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. HK33 SG/1 1985. Sniping HK33 with telescopic sight. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm 193 or NATO. Length: 36.2in (940mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 15.35in (390mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 25-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. HK36 Rifle 1971. Experimental rifle for the 4.6 x 36mm cartridge. Fixed magazine loaded from prepacked box. Selective fire burst-fire facility giving 2, 3, 4, or 5 rounds as required. Roller-locked, delayed blowback operation. Development abandoned in 1976. G11 preferred. Cartridge: 4.6 x 36mm Lffelspitz. Length, butt extended: 35.0in (890mm). Length, butt folded: 3.4in (797mm). Weight: 6lb 4oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 15.0in (381mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 281 fps (857 m/s). Rate of fire: 1,100 rpm. HK53 Short Assault Rifle 1973. Very compact carbine. HK33K with a shorter barrel and special magazine. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M93 or NATO. Length, butt extended: 29.72in (755mm). Length, butt retracted: 22.1 6in (563mm). Weight: 61lb 11oz (3.1kg). Barrel: 8.85in (225mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 40-round box. M/v: 2460 fps (750 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. G8 Rifle 1985. Was originally the HK11 machine gun, but was redesignated as a rifle after border guard requested changes. Modular weapon system. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO.



Length: 40.5in (1030mm). Weight: 7lb 15oz (8.15kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box, or 50-round drum, or belt. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. G8A1Rifle 1985. G8 rifle, but will not accept the belt-feed modification; restricted to use with magazines. Details: the same. G11 K3 Rifle 1990 (in service). Caseless cartridge rifle. Gas operated, rotating chamber breech mechanism. Has overheating problems still not completely resolved. Cartridge: 4.7 x 33 DM11. Length: 29.5in (750mm). Weight: 8lb (3.63kg). Barrel: 21.26in (540mm), 4 grooves, rh, increasing. Magazine: 45-round box. M/v: 3,051 fps (930 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. Three-round burst rate: 2,100 rpm. G36 Rifle 1995. Designed for the German Army to replace the G11 after a bad report by Special Forces. Gas operated, rotating bolt locking. Cartridge: 5.56 x 43mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 39.29in(998mm). Length, butt retracted: 29.8in (758mm). Weight: 7lb 9oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 18.9in (480mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. G36K Short Rifle 1995. Issued to German Special Forces. Short version of the G36. Cartridge: 5.56 x 43 NATO. Length, butt extended: 33.78in (858mm). Length, butt retracted: 24.1in (613mm). Weight: 6lb 14oz (3.13kg). Barrel: 13.0in (320mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2789 fps (830 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm.



G36E and G36KE Assault Rifles 1995. Export versions of the G36 and 036K with optical sight of 1.5x power. Details: the same as G36 and 036K. G41 Rifle 1985. Improved HK33, firing SSIO9 NATO standard cartridge. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length: 39.3in (997mm). Weight: 9lb loz (4.10kg). Barrel: 16.92in (430mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3,150 fps (960 m/s). Rate of fire: 850 rpm. G41A2 1985. G41 rifle with retractable butt. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 39.2in (996mm). Length, butt retracted: 3.7in (806mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (4.35kg). Barrel: 17.71in (450mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3150 fps (960 m/s). Rate of fire: 850 rpm. G4IK 1985. Retracting butt, short-barrelled carbine member of the family. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 36.61in (930mm). Length, butt retracted: 29.13in (740mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 14.96in (380mm), 6 grooves, lh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3000 fps (915 m/s). Rate of fire: 900 rpm. Mauser M1871 Infantry Rifle Bolt action, single shot. Bolt handle straight. Cartridge: 11.15 x 60R Mauser. Length: 52.95in (1345mm). Weight: 10lb 1oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 33.66in (855mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1411 fps (430 m/s).



1871 Light Infantry Rifle 1876. As M1871 rifle, but a shorter barrel. Cartridge: 11.15 x 60R Mauser. Length: 48.8in (1240mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 29.5in (750mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: (418 m/s). 1871 Carbine 1876. As M1871 rifle. Bolt handle turned down. Cartridge: 11.15 x 60R Mauser. Length: 39.2in (995mm). Weight: 7lb 9oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 19.9in (505mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1280 fps (390 m/s). 1879 Border Guards Rifle As M1871 Carbine, but a two-position flip rear sight. Details: the same M1871/84 Infantry Rifle 1885. Modified 1871 rifle as a repeater. Tube magazine under the barrel and a lifting mechanism below the bolt. Cartridge: 11.15 x 60R Mauser. Length: 51.1in (1297mm). Weight: 10lb 3oz (4.61 kg). Barrel: 31.5in (800mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 1411 fps (430 m/s). 1888/97 Infantry Rifle 1895. Based on the Commission Rifle M1888, but with various Mauser ideas incorporated. The army would have adopted it, but Mauser then brought out the Gewehr 98, a far better design. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 48.8in (1240mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.98kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2067 fps (630 m/s). 1898 Infantry Rifle (Gewehr 98). Mauser military design; three-lug bolt, charger-loaded integral box magazine, large receiver ring, recessed bolt face, and a short-travel firing pin to give fast locking.



Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 49.2 in (1250mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.09kg). Barrel: 33.66in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2854 fps (870 m/s). 1898 Carbine (Karabiner 98) 1899 Pattern, adopted 1900, withdrawn 1902. Gew. 98 action. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 37.2in (945mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 17.13in (435mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 1854 fps (565 m/s). M1898 Carbine (Kar. 98A) 1902 Pattern, withdrawn 1905. Gew. 98 action. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 37.2in (945mm). Weight: 7lb 9oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 17.12in (435mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2608 fps (795 m/s). M1898AZ Carbine (Kar. 98AZ or Kar. 98a) 1908. Attept to provide an all-arms carbine without excessive muzzle blast. Flattened bolt handle, turned down. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 42.9 (1090mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (3.71 kg). Barrel: 23.2in (590mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). 1898b Short Rifle (Kar. 98b) 1920. Refurbished Gew. 98 rifles issued to the Reichswehr in 1920 1921. Details: as Gew. 98. 1898k Short Rifle (Kar. 98k) 1935. Standard issue to the Wehrmacht. As Kar. 98b, but shorter. Gew. 98 action, turned down bolt. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 43.7in (10mm).



Weight: 8lb 10oz (3.92kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2477 fps (755 m/s). Gewehr 98/40 1940. Mixture of Mannlicher and Mauser. Selected by the German Army due to a shortage of rifles, and the Budapest factory had capacity. Rifle was converted to 7.92 x 57mm caliber, and to the Mauser charger-loaded magazine system, but the bolt and the rest of the rifle were of the Mannlicher design. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 43.1 in (1095mm). Weight: 9lb (4.1kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2477 fps (755 m/s). M1915 Aviators Rifle 1915. Recoil-operated semi-automatic. Adopted in small numbers by aircraft observers. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 49.13in (1248mm). Weight: 10lb 8oz (4.7kg). Barrel: 26.6in (675mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10- or 20-round curved box. M/v: 2510 fps (765 m/s). M1918 Tank-Gewehr First anti-tank rifle; a large but conventional Mauser bolt action. Cartridge: 13 x 92SR T-Patrone. Length: 61.81 in (1680mm). Weight: 39lb 0oz (17.6kg). Barrel: 38.69in (983mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 3000 fps (913 m/s). Armour penetration: 25mm at 200m at 0. M29/40 Short Rifle 1940. Kar. 98k made by Steyr- D a i m l e r-Puch from parts for export. Based on the Polish Model 1929, the rifle was as Kar. 98k except for a different muzzle cap and slight differences in stock contour. M33/44 1940. The Czech M1933 Gendarmerie carbine made to suit German mountain troops.



Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 38.98in (990mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.78kg). Barrel: 19.3in (490mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2247 fps (685 m/s). Gew 41(M) Infantry Rifle 1941. Gas-operated, rotating bolt. Tested, but rejected for excessive fouling and weight. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 46.1in (1172mm). Weight: 11lb 1oz (5.0kg). Barrel: 21.65in (550mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2428 fps (740 m/s). StG 45 Assault Rifle 1945. Prototype only, to answer a demand for a lighter assault rifle than the StG 44. Cartridge: 7.92 x 33M Kurz. Length: 35.2in (893mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (3.71 kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2,100 fps (640 m/s). Cyclic rate: 400 rpm. Model SP66 Sniping Rifle 1976. Short-action bolt system with bolt handle near the front end of the bolt. Heavy barrelled repeating rifle. Telescope mount on receiver. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 44.1in (1120mm). Weight: 13lb 12oz (6.3kg). Weight with telescope barrel: 25.56in (650mm); Weight without brake, 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 3-round integral box. M/v: 2362 fps (720 m/s). Model 86 Sniping Rifle 1986. Short-action bolt system, free-floating heavy barrel with muzzle brake. Telescope mount on receiver. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 47.6in (1210mm). Weight: 10lb 13oz (4.90kg). Barrel: 30.7in (780mm) with brake, 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 9-round box. M/v: 2362 fps (720 m/s). Model SR93 Sniping Rifle 1993. Short-throw bolt action repeating rifle. Adjustable for right- or left-hand use without tools. Heavy barrel, bipod, telescope mount on receiver. Cartridge: .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Lapua Magnum. Length: 48.4in (1230mm). Weight: 13lb 0oz (5.90kg). Barrel: 25.59in (650mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box (.300) or 5-round box (.38). M/v: .300: 3238 fps (987 m/s); .338: 2998 fps (914 m/s). Mondragon Model 1908 Porfirio Daz Rifle Gas-operated semi-automatic. Designed in Mexico. Box magazine. Cocking handle has lock to allow manual operation. Adopted by the Germans for aerial use as the Model 1915, having been bought from SIG in Switzerland when their Mexican order was cancelled. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 42.1in (1068mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 24.4 in (620mm), 4 grooves. Magazine: 8-round box. M/v: 2050 fps (625 m/s). Rheinmetall FG 42 Parachutists Rifle Gas-operated, selective fire. Fires from a closed breech in semi-automatic mode, open breech in full automatic. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2,500 fps (761 m/s). Cyclic rate: 750 rpm. Panzerbuchse 38 Anti-tank Rifle 1938. Single-shot rifle with a semi-automatic vertical sliding breech block that opened on recoil and closed when reloaded. Cartridge: 7.92 x 94mm PzB. Length: 51.0in (1,295mm). Weight: 35lb 0oz (15.9kg).



Barrel: 43.0in (1,092mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 3,795 fps (1210 m/s). Armour penetration: 30mm at 100m at 60. Panzerbuchse 39 Anti-tank Rifle 1939. Simplified Panzerbuchse 38. Breech opened by manual operation of the pistol grip. Cartridge: 7.92 x 94MPzB. Length: 62.3in (1581mm). Weight: 27lb 4oz (12.4kg). Barrel: 42.8in (1086mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 4150 fps (1265 m/s). Armour penetration: 30mm at 100m at 60. Panzerbuchse 41 Anti-tank Rifle 1941. Solothurn design, made by Rheinmetall. Recoil operated. Cartridge: 20 x 138B Long Solothurn. Length: 83.0in (2108mm). Weight: 97lb 0oz (44.0kg). Barrel: 35.4in (900mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 10-round box. M/v: 2,400 fps (731 m/s). Armour penetration: 30mm at 250m at 0. Walther Gewehr 41(W) Assault Rifle Ca. 1941. Gas operated, semi-automatic only. Rectangular box magazine. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 44.5in (1130mm). Weight: 11lb 0oz (4.98kg). Barrel: 21.45in (545mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2365 fps (776 m/s). MKb 42 (W) Assault Rifle 1942. Designed for 7.92mm kurz cartridge, a gas-operated rifle. Curved box magazine. Cartridge: 7.92 x 33mm Kurz. Length: 36.65in (931mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 16.0in (406mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2,120 fps (646 m/s). Cyclic rate: 600 rpm.



Gewehr 43 Assault Rifle 1943. Improved Gew. 41 (W) with changed gas system; conventional piston and cylinder. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 440in (1117mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (24.3kg). Barrel: 22.0in (559mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2448 fps (746 m/s). WA2000 Sniper Rifle 19851990. Advanced sniping rifle. Semi-automatic, gas-operated, rotating bolt. Cartridge: .300 Winchester Magnum. Length: 35.563in (905mm). Weight: 15lb 5oz (6.95kg). Barrel: 25.59in (650mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 3238 fps (987 m/s). Werder 1869 Infantry Rifle Bavarian. Lightning rifle. Dropping block similar to the Martini-Henry, but opened by a lever inside the trigger guard and closed by an external lever on the pivoting shaft. Cartridge: 11 x 50R Werder. Length: 51.18in (1300mm). Weight: 9lb 10oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 35.0in (890mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1463 fps (446 m/s). 1869 Carbine As rifle, but firing a shorter cartridge. Cartridge: 11 x 41R Werder. Length: 37.8in (960mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 21.65in (550mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1148 fps (350 m/s). 1869M Infantry Rifle M1869 rifle action with a Mauser-pattern 11mm caliber barrel and chamber to give standardization. Cartridge: 11.15 x 60R Mauser. Length: 51.9in (1317mm). Weight: 9lb 3oz (4.2kg).



Barrel: 34.8in (885mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1,378 fps (420 m/s).

GREAT BRITAIN Accuracy International Company is based in Hampshire, England. Formed in the 1970s, they developed the sniper rifle adopted by the British Army as the L96A1. Accuracy International Sniper Rifle 1985 Bolt action. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 47.0in (194mm). Weight: 14lb 5oz (6.5kg). Barrel: 25.78in (655mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2788 fps (850 m/s). AW Sniper Rifle Adopted as Psg 90 sniping rifle by Sweden in 1996. Reliable in sub-zero weather conditions. Bolt action. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51 NATO. Length: 47.3in (1200mm). Weight: 14lb 5oz (6.5kg). Barrel: 25.56in (650mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 9-round box. M/v: 2788 fps (850 m/s). Boys Anti-Tank Rifle Named for Captain Boys, one of the design team at Enfield Lock, which designed this weapon. Mark 1 Anti-tank Rifle 1937. Bolt action. Cartridge: .50in Boys. Length: 63.5in (1614mm). Weight: 36lb 0oz (16.6kg). Barrel: 36.0in (914mm), 7 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 3250 fps (990 m/s). Armour penetration: 21mm at 300yards at 0.



BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) BSA was in business until 1973 in England. They made many service rifles, as well as aircraft cannon, during World War II. P.28 Experimental, submitted to British Army ca. 1950. Chambered for .280 round; was rejected when the .280in cartridge was abandoned. Gas operated. Cartridge: .280 British. Length: 42.2in (1072mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 22.2in (565mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2525 fps (770 m/s). Sterling Armament Co. Ltd. Located in Essex, England, Sterling is best known for making submachine guns. De Lisle carbine A Lee-Enfield bolt action attached to a .45in barrel contained by a large and almost completely efficient silencer. Specially produced for issue to airborne troops and commandos during World War II. Cartridge: .45 ACP. Length: 35.5in (901mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 8.27in (210mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round box (Colt 9 AI). M/v: 853 fps (260 m/s). Enfield Rifle, magazine, .276in, Pattern 1913 1913. Mauser bolt action, integral magazine, charger loading. Cartridge: .276 Enfield. Length: 46.2in (1173mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 26.0in (660mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral M/v: 2785 fps (849 m/s). Rifle, magazine, .303 in, Pattern 1914, Mark 1e Remington 1916. This is the Pattern 1913 rifle mass-produced in .303 chambering to meet wartime demands. Due to lack of full standardization of



parts, American production was divided into three sub-Marks; the Mark 1e was made by Remington ArmsUMC at their Eddystone, Pennsylvania, factory. Other weapons were made by Winchester at New Haven, Connecticut, and Ihon, New York. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 46.16in (1172mm). Weight 9lb 2oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 26.0in. (660mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral M/v: 2525 fps (770 m/s). Rifle, magazine, .303 in, Pattern 1914, Mark 1w* (T) 1918. Selected Mark lw* rifles fitted with Aldis P1918 sighting telescopes in a high mount above the bolt. All Pattern 1914 rifles were placed in storage in 1926 and re-introduced into service as the Rifle No 3 Mark 1 on 1 December 1941. Rifle No 3 Mark 1 1926. Pattern 1914 Mark 1 rifles of any manufacturer were given this title upon the renumbering of British rifles in 1926. Rifle No 3 Mark 1* 1926. Pattern 1914 Mark 1* rifles of any manufacturer were given this title upon the renumbering of British rifles in 1926. Rifle No 3 Mark 1 (F) 1926. Pattern 1914 Mark 1 or 1* rifles fitted with fine-adjustment sights were given this title upon the renumbering of British rifles in 1926. Rifle No 3 Mark 1 (T) 1926. Pattern 1914 Mark lw* (T) rifles were given this title upon the renumbering of British rifles in 1926. Rifle No 3 Mark 1 (T) A 1941. Nomenclature allotted to a small (less than 100) number of No 3 Mark 1 or 1* rifles fitted with low-set Aldis sighting telescopes. U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30, M1917 1917. This is the Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle redesigned to accept U.S. .30-06 cartridges and adopted as substitute standard to alleviate the shortage of Springfield M1903 rifles in 1917. This rifle was identical to the Enfield P14. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 46.30in (1174mm).



Weight 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 26.0in (660mm), 5 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2750 fps (838 m/s). Rifle, .280in, E1 1947. Bullpup. Gas operated, roller locked. Cartridge: .280in Enfield. Length: 35.98in (914mm). Weight 10lb 2oz (4.66kg). Barrel: 24.5in (622mm), 5 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2330 fps (771 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. Rifle, 7mm, No 9 Mark 1 1949. Originally known as EM2. Bullpup. Gas operated, locking by hinged lugs. Introduction rescinded in 1951. Cartridge: .280in Enfield. Length: 35.0in (889mm). Weight: 7lb 13oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 24.5in (622mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2530 fps (77 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. L85A1SA80 1986. Gas-operated, rotating bolt, selective fire bullpup design. Infantry version fitted with SUSAT (Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux), optical sight as standard. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length: 30.90in (785mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 20.4in (518mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3084 fps (940 m/s). Rate of fire: 650800 rpm. L85A2 Late 1990s/early 2000s. Modified version of the SA80 by Heckler and Koch, which at last fulfills some of the promise of 20 years ago, and which will function in climates other than Salisbury Plain and Catterick. Details: Modifications by Heckler and Koch, but essential details as SA80.



L86A1 Cadet Rifle Ca. 1986. Modified. L85A1 with manual bolt. May be fitted with a .22in RF adapter for indoor range shooting. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length: 29.8in (755mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 19.5in (495mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 3084 fps (940 m/s). Lee-Enfield Note: asterisks after a rifle type denote that minor changes had been made to a previous model, but not enough to justify a new Mark Number. This became rather confusing during World War I, especially as some rifles boasted as many as three or four asterisks. Rifle, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1 1895. As the. Lee-Metford Mark 2*, differing only in the rifling. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.19kg). Barrel: 30.2in (769mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2200 fps (670 m/s). Rifle, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1* 1899. No cleaning rod or fittings. Otherwise as Lee-Enfield Mark 1. Rifle, Charger, loading, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1* 1907. Conversion of Lee-Enfield rifles Mark 1 and 1* or Lee-Metford Mark 2* with the addition of a charger guide, new magazine and new backsight. Details: as Rifle, magazine, Lee-Enfield Mark 1, except Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1 1903. A rifle that could be used by all troops. Lee bolt action. Charger loading, using guides formed on the bolt head. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 44.6in (1132mm). Weight: 8lb 2.5oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 25.27in (640mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: cc 2000 fps (610 m/s).



Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1* 1906. Improved magazine. Details: as Mark 1. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Converted, Mark 1 1903. Converted. Lee-Metford Mark 1* with new sights, a shorter and lighter barrel, and charger loading. Only one made. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Converted, Mark 2 1903. Converted. Lee-Enfield Mark 1 and 1* and. Lee-Metford Mark 2 and 2* with new sights, shorter and lighter barrels, and modifications to allow charger loading. Details: as Mark 1. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Converted, Mark 2* 1906. Improved magazine. Details: as Mark 1, except Weight: 8lb 7oz (3.8kg). Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 3 1907. As SMLE Mark 1 sights improved. Weight: 8lb 10.5oz (3.94kg). Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Converted, Mark 4 1907. Modified to SMLE Mark 3 standard. Weight: 8lb 14.5oz (4.1 3kg). Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1** 1909. Issued to the Royal Navy; converted SMLE Mark 1 rifles with SMLE Mark 3 foresight and rear wing-gauge sight. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Converted, Mark 2** 1909. Naval-only conversion, as the Mark 1**, but performed on the SMLE Mark 2 rifle. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Converted, Mark 2*** 1909. The third naval conversion, as before, but applied to the SMLE Converted Mark 2*. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1*** 1914. A conversion from the SMLE Mark 1* by fitting a wind-gauge with U notch to the rear sight and a new blade foresight to suit Mark 7 ball ammunition. Rifle, Short, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 3* 1916. A wartime model differing from the Mark 3 in having the magazine cut-off omitted.



Rifle, No 4, Mark 1 1941. Similar to the short magazine Lee-Enfield, but with an aperture rear sight hinged at the rear of the body, the muzzle exposed for about 3 inches and fitted with lugs for the spike bayonet. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 44.4in (1128mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.10kg). Barrel: 25.19in (522mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: cc 2440 fps (743 m/s). Rifle, No 4, Mark 1(T) 1942. The Rifle, No 4, Mk 1 fitted with a tangent rear sight and prepared for a telescopic sight; the butt was fitted with a check rest. Rifle, No 4, Mark 1* 1941. Similar to the Mark 1 pattern, but a simplified method of removing the bolt. Most of these Mark 1 rifles were made in the United States or Canada and are stamped U.S. PROPERTY or LONG BRANCH. Rifle, No 4, Mark 2 1949. As Mark 1, but with a new trigger mechanism. Rifle, No 4, Mark 1/2 1949. A No 4 Mark 1 modified to Mark 2 by having the trigger rebuilt. Rifle, No 4, Mark 1/2 (T) A No 4 Mk 1 (T) with the new trigger mechanism. Rifle, No 4, Mark 1/3 1949. A No 4 Mark 1* with trigger modified to Mark 2. Rifle, No 4,T/W3 Mark 2 1956. Specially selected No 4 Mark 2 rifles fitted with a No 32 Mark 3 sighting telescope. Rifle, No 5, Mark 1 1945. The Jungle Carbine. A short rifle using the bolt and magazine of the No 4 rifle but with a short barrel, short fore-end stock, muzzle flash eliminator, and rubber butt pad. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 39.5in (1003mm). Weight: 7lb 2.5oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 18.8in (475mm), 5 grooves, lh.



Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: cc 2400 fps (731 m/s). Rifle, 7.62mm, L39A1 1960s. A modified Rifle No 4 firing the 7.62 NATO cartridge. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 46.5in (1180mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 27.5in (700mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: cc 2758 fps (841 m/s). Rifle, 7.62mm, L42A1 1960s. Conversion of the Rifle No 4 Mark 1 or Mark 1* (T) sniping rifle to fire the 7.62 NATO cartridge. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 46.49in (11 8 1mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 27.5in (700mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: cc 2750 fps (838 m/s). Carbine, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Mark 1 1902. Carbine, magazine, Lee-Metford, Mark 1 fitted with Lee-Enfield barrels. Carbine, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Cavalry, Mark 1 1907. Lee-Metford Carbine Mark 1 with Enfield rifling and improved sights. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 39.9in (1014mm). Weight: 7lb 7oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 20.8in (527mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 6-round single-column box. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). Carbine, magazine, Lee-Enfield, Cavalry, Mark 1* 1899. As Mark 1 Cavalry Carbine, but without cleaning rod and fittings. Lee-Metford The Lee-Metford rifle was introduced into British service in 1888, under the official designation of Rifle, magazine, Mark 1. The rifle has the rotating bolt action and magazine of James Lee, and a rifled barrel designed by William Metford.



Rifle, magazine, Mark 1 1888. Bolt-action rifle, with a removable box magazine and a cleaning rod inserted into the fore-end beneath the muzzle. In August 1891, the designation of this rifle was officially changed to Rifle, magazine, Lee-Metford Mark 1. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 30.2in (769mm), 7 grooves, lh. Magazine: 8-round single-column box. M/v: cc 2200 fps (670 m/s). Rifle, magazine, Lee-Metford, Mark 1* 1892. Improved Mark 1, with several modifications found desirable after the rifle had been put into service use. The only safety was now the half-cock position. The sights were modified to cater to the ballistics of smokeless propellant (Cordite), adjustable to 1800 yards. Details: as Mark 1, except M/v: 2000 fps (60 m/s). Rifle, magazine, Lee-Metford, Mark 2 1892. Magazine changed to hold 10 rounds in two columns. Details: as Mark 1, except Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.3kg); Magazine: 10-round box. Rifle, magazine, Lee-Metford, Mark 2* 1895. This differed from the Mark 2 in that the bolt was lengthened by 10in (25.4mm) and fitted with two grooves for a safety catch, and the cocking piece was also lengthened and carried the safety catch. Rifle, Charger-Loading, magazine, Lee-Metford, Mark 2 1907. Converted Mark 2, with a bridge charger guide across the boltway and a new magazine. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 30.18in (766mm), 7 grooves, lh. Magazine: 10-round double-column box. M/v: 2060 fps (628 m/s). Carbine, magazine, Lee-Metford, Mark 1 1894. A short rifle issued only to cavalry. As the Mark 2 rifle but differed in minor details. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 39.9in (1014mm). Weight: 7lb 7oz (3.37kg).



Barrel: 20.8in (527mm), 7 grooves, lh. Magazine: 6-round single-column box. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). Martini-Enfield Rifle, Martini-Enfield, Mark 1 1895. Conversion of Martini-Henry Mark 3 rifles with a new shorter barrel rifled to the Enfield system. Very few made. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 46.5in (1181mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.77kg). Barrel: 30.1 87in (767mm), 5 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 2000 fps (610 m/s). Rifle, Martini-Enfield, Mark 1* Post-1895. As Mark 1, but fitted with adjustable barleycorn foresight. Few made. Details: as Mark 1. Rifle, Martini-Enfield, Mark 2 1896. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 2 (as Mark 1). Details: as Mark 1. Rifle, Martini-Enfield, Mark 2* 1903. The Mark 2 fitted with the adjustable foresight as for the Mark 1*. Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Mark 1 Martini-Metford Carbine rebarrelled to Enfield standard in 1903. Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Artillery, Mark 1 1895. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 3 with a shorter barrel rifled on the Enfield system. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 37.31 in (948mm). Weight: 7lb 4.5oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 21in (533mm), 5 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 1800 fps (610 m/s). Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Artillery, Mark 1* 1899. Differs from Artillery Mark 1 by the omission of cleaning rod and fittings. Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Artillery, Mark 2 1897. Converted Martini-Henry Carbine Mark 1 and 3 with new fitting barrels.



Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Artillery, Mark 2* 1899. Converted Artillery Mark 2 omitting cleaning rod and fittings. Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Artillery, Mark 3 1899. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 2 with new .303in barrel. Details: as Mark 1. Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Cavalry, Mark 1 1896. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 2 with .303 inch barrel, but omitting bayonet fittings. Details: as Artillery Mark 1, except Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.26kg). Carbine, Martini-Enfield, Cavalry, Mark 1* 1899. As Cavalry Mark 1, but omitting cleaning rod and fittings. Martini-Henry Martini falling block action and a barrel rifled on the system of Alexander Henry, which involved the gradual deepening of the rifling grooves for about 11 in from the breech face before they attained full depth. Rifle, Martini-Henry, Mark 1 1874. Lever-operated dropping block, steel barrel. Cartridge: .67/450 Martini-Henry. Length: 49.0in (1245mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 33.2in (843mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 1315 fps (400 m/s). Rifle, Martini-Henry, Mark 2 1877. Similar to Mark 1, but better trigger pull. Details: as Mark 1. Rifle, Martini-Henry, Mark 3 1879. Improved Mark 2. Details: as Mark 1. Rifle, Martini-Henry, Mark 4 1887. Longer lever to give more powerful extraction; the breech-block reduced in thickness and fitted with modified extractor. Cartridge: .67/450 Martini-Henry. Length: 49.4in (1254mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 33.1in (840mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 1350 fps (411 m/s).



Carbine, Martini-Henry, Cavalry, Mark 1 1877. A short rifle. A reduced-charge carbine cartridge or the rifle cartridge could be fired. Cartridge: .67/450 Martini-Henry Carbine. Length: 37.68in (957mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 21.4in (543mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 1100 fps (335 m/s). Carbine, Martini-Henry, Artillery, Mark 1 1879. As cavalry carbine but fitted for a bayonet. Details: the same, except Weight: 7lb 10oz (3.46kg). Martini-Metford Rifle, Martini-Metford, Mark 1 1889. Normal lever-action Martini-Henry design but with a .303in Metford-rifled barrel. Not produced. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 49.69in (1262mm). Weight: 9lb 6.5oz (4.27kg). Barrel: 33.19in (843mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 2200 fps (670 m/s). Rifle, Martini-Metford, Mark 2 1900. As Mark 1. Only issued to British colonial forces. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 33.19in (843mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: 2200 fps (670 m/s). Carbine, Martini-Metford, Artillery, Mark 1 1892. Conversion of Martini-Henry Artillery Carbine Mark 1 by fitting a new .303in barrel, chambered and rifled as for the Lee-Metford rifle. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 37.625in (956mm). Weight: 7lb 12.3oz (3.1 5kg). Barrel: 20.6in (522mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 2000 fps (610 m/s). Carbine, Martini-Metford, Artillery, Mark 2 1893. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 2, fitted with .303in barrel. Details: as Mark 1, except Weight: 7lb 1oz (3.2kg). Converted short butt rifles:



Length: 36.8in (936mm). Weight: 6lb 5oz (3.16kg). Carbine, Martini-Metford, Artillery, Mark 3 1894. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 3. Long butt, fitted with .303in barrel. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 37.625in (956mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.26kg). Barrel: 21.0in (533mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 2000 fps (610 m/s). Carbine, Martini-Metford, Cavalry, Mark 1 1892. Converted Martini-Henry Mark 1 Cavalry Carbine with a .303in barrel. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 37.625in (956mm). Weight: 81lb 1.5oz (3.67kg). Barrel: 20.6in (527mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 2000 fps (610 m/s). Carbine, Martini-Metford, Cavalry, Mark 1* 1893. Fitted with foresight protecting wings. Carbine, Martini-Metford, Cavalry, Mark 2 1892. Converted from Martini-Henry Artillery Carbine. Details: as Mark 1, except Weight: 8lb 4oz (3.7kg). Carbine, Martini-Metford, Cavalry, Mark 2* 1893. Foresight protecting wings. Carbine, Martini-Metford, Cavalry, Mark 3 1893. Converted Martini-Henry Rifle Mark 2, with short .303in barrel. Cartridge: .303 British. Length: 37.6in (956mm). Weight: 6lb 12oz (3.1kg). Barrel: 21.0in (533mm), 7 grooves, lh. M/v: cc 2000 fps (610 m/s). Parker-Hale (Gibbs & Parker-Hale) Parker-Hale produced three sniping rifles that were adopted by various military forces. The company sold its rifle business in 1990, after which the Model 85 was manufactured in the United States by the Gibbs Rifle Company.



M82 Sniping Rifle 1982. Bolt-action repeater with Mauser 98 type action. Heavy barrel, fore-end rail for bipod or hand stop. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 45.8in (1162mm). Weight: 10lb 9oz (4.80kg). Barrel: 25.98in (660mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 4-round integral box. M/v: 2821 fps (860 m/s). M83 Sniping Rifle 1983. Bolt action, single shot, with Mauser 98 type action. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 46.7in (1187mm). Weight: 10lb 15oz (4.98kg). Barrel: 25.98in (660mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 4-round integral box. M/v: 2821 fps (860 m/s). M85 Sniping Rifle 1985. Further improvement on the M82/83 pattern. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 45.27in (1150mm). Weight with telescope: 12lb 7oz (5.564kg). Barrel: 27.6in (700mm), 4 grooves, 1h. Magazine: 10-round integral box. M/v: 2855 fps (870 m/s). Snider Jacob Snider was an American, but his system was never used in the United States. Pattern 1 Rifled Musket 1866. Sniders conversion of the Enfield Rifled Musket Pattern 1853. The conversion was the insertion of a side-hinged breech block with firing pin, converting the previous muzzle-loading rifled musket into a breech loader. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length (with bayonet): 72.5in (1841mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 39.0in (990mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1240 fps (378 m/s). Pattern 1* BSA, Enfield & LSA 1867. As Pattern 1, but with small changes.



Pattern 2** BSA, Enfield & LSA 1867. With a new extractor, the underside of the block was truly circular so as to support the entire base of the cartridge and improvements to the hammer. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length: 54.3in (1378mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 36.5in (927mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1240 fps (378 m/s). Short Enfield Rifle P60 1867. Snider conversion to the Pattern 2** standard. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length: 48.7in (1237mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 30.5in (775mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 1200 fps (365 m/s). Artillery Carbine P61 1867. Snider conversion to the Pattern 2** standard. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length: 40.3in (1022mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 21.5in (546mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 1004 fps (306 m/s). Cavalry Carbine P61 1867. Snider conversion to the Pattern 2** standard. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length: 37.4in (950mm). Weight: 6lb 10oz (3.0kg). Barrel: 19.3in (489mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 995 fps (303 m/s). Naval Rifle P58 1867. Snider conversion to the Pattern 2** standard. Constabulary Carbine 1867. Conversion from Rifle, Short, P56, for Royal Irish Constabulary. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length: 41.1in (1044mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.32kg). Barrel: 22.5in (57mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1020 fps (310 m/s).



Rifle, Pattern 1853, Snider, Improved Action 1868, Interchangeable, Mark 3 1869. As Enfield Rifle Pattern 2**, but steel barrel instead of iron. Carbine, B. L., Rifled, Snider, YeoManry, Mark 1 1880. Converted from the Snider 1853 Rifle, used the Mark 3 action. Cartridge: .67 Snider. Length: 37.9in (962mm). Weight: 7lb 0oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 21.63in (549mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 995 fps (303 m/s). Swinburn Model 1875 Rifle Lever-action dropping block similar to the Martini-Henry action, with a longer operating lever. Cartridge: .67/450 Martini-Henry. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 33.0in (838mm), 7 grooves, rh. M/v: 1350 fps (411 m/s).

GREECE Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903 Rifle Bolt action, rotary magazine. Cartridge: 6.5 x 54mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer. Length: 48.2in (1225mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.77kg). Barrel: 28.5in (725mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round charger-loaded spool. M/v: 2231 fps (680 m/s). Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1905 Cavalry Carbine Shortened M1903 rifle. Cartridge: 6.5 x 54mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer. Length: 40.35in (1,025mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 20.67in (525mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round charger-loaded spool M/v: 2,057 fps (627 m/s). Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1903/14 Rifle Improved M1903. Details: the same, except Weight: 8lb 7oz (3.8kg).



Mannlicher-Schoenauer M1905/14 Cavalry Carbine Similar modifications as rifle. Weight: 7lb 14oz (3.6kg).

HUNGARY Gepard Gepard M1 Anti-Materiel Rifle 1990s. Single-shot heavy rifle with interrupted-lug breech block attached to the pistol grip. Telescope mount on receiver. Cartridge: 12.7 x 108mm DShK. Length: 61.8 in (1,570mm). Weight: 41lb 14oz (19.0kg). Barrel: 43.4in (1,100mm), 8 grooves, rh. M/v: 2,756 fps (840 m/s). Gepard M1A1 Anti-Materiel Rifle 1990s. Gepard M1 rifle mounted on a Bergen-type frame that doubles as a mounting. Details: as Gepard M1 rifle except Weight: 48lb 8oz (22kg). Gepard M2 Anti-Materiel Rifle 1990s. Semi-automatic. Cartridge: 12.7 x 108mm DShK. Length: 60.2in (1530mm). Weight: 26lb 7oz ( 2.0kg). Barrel: 43.4in (1100mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 10-round box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). Armour penetration: 15mm at 600m at 0. Gepard M2A1 Anti-Materiel Rifle 1990s. Shorter M2 for airborne and mobile troops. Cartridge: 12.7 x 108mm DShK. Length: 49.61in (1260mm). Weight: 22lb 1oz (10kg). Barrel: 32.68in (830mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 10-round box. M/v: 2592 fps (790 m/s). Gepard M3 Anti-Materiel Rifle 1990s. M2 rifle chambered for the Soviet 14mm cartridge. Cradle contains a hydraulic recoil buffer. Cartridge: 14.5 x 114mm Soviet. Length: 74.0in (1880mm).



Weight: 44lb 1oz (20.0kg). Barrel: 58.27in (1480mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 10-round box. M/v: 3280 fps (1000 m/s). AKM-63 1963. As AKM, but forward pistol grip beneath the fore-end. Weighs about 5oz (20g) less than the Russian AKM. AMD-65 1965. AKM-63 with a short barrel and side-folding metal butt. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm M1943. Length, butt extended: 33.5in (851mm). Length, butt folded: 25.50in (648mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.27kg). Barrel: 12.5in (318mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2296 fps (700 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. NGM Assault Rifle 1990s. Hungarian AK74 chambered for the 5.4mm cartridge for export. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193 or NATO. Length: 36.8 to (935 mm). Weight: 7lb 0oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 16.2in (412mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2953 fps (900 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. M1935 Short Rifle Short rifle based on Rumanian M1893, but firing the Hungarian 8 x 56R M31 cartridge. Rotating bolt, clip-loaded, box magazine. Cartridge: 8 x 56R Hungarian Mannlicher. Length: 48.8in (110mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). 1943 Short Rifle Redesign of German M98/40 (see Mauser), using the Mauser- t y p e charger-loading magazine. Mannlicher bolt. Cartridge: 8 x 56R Hungarian Mannlicher. Length: 43.0in (1092mm). Weight: 8lb 10oz (3.92kg).



Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s).

INDIA INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) Assault Rifle 1993. Gas-operated, selective fire, rotating bolt, based on Kalashnikov. Cartridge is based on the Belgian SSIO9 but is not NATO standard. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm. Length, fixed butt: 37.2in (945mm). Length, extended butt: 37.8in (960mm). Length, folded butt: 29.5in (750mm). Weight: 7lb (3.2kg). Barrel: 18.26in (464mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3,000 fps (915 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm.

IRAN (PERSIA) Model 1310 and 1317 1931. These were Czech M98/29 rifles and short rifles. Model 1328 Czech M1898/29 short rifle with changes to the sling attachments. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 38.2in (970mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.90kg). Barrel: 18.1 in (460mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2379 fps (725 m/s).

IRAQ Al-Kadisa Al-Kadisa Sniping Rifle 1980s. Russian Dragunov SVD sniping rifle manufactured under license. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54mmR. Length: 48.4in (1230mm).



Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 24.4 in (620mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2,723 fps (830 m/s). Tabuk 1980s. Copy of the AKM with slight manufacturing differences.

ISRAEL Galil 7.62mm ARM Assault Rifle/Light Machine Gun Current. Kalashnikov-type system with a Garand-type firing mechanism. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 41.3in (1,050mm). Length, butt folded: 31.9in (810mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 21.1in (535mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25-round box. M/v: 2788 fps (850 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. 7.62mm AR Assault Rifle Current. As the assault rifle, but without bipod. Details: as ARM, except Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). 7.62mm SAR Short Assault Rifle Current. Shortened AR. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 36.0in (915mm). Length, butt folded: 26.6in (675mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25-round box. M/v: 2,625 fps (800 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. 5.56mm AR Assault Rifle/Machine Gun Current. Reduced model 7.62mm ARM to fire the 5.56mm cartridge; magazine curved instead of straight. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 38.5in (979mm). Length, butt folded: 29.2in (742mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (4.35kg).



Barrel: 18.1 in (460mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35- or 50-round box. M/v: 316 fps (950 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. 5.56mm AR Assault Rifle Current. As AR, but with no bipod or carrying handle. Details: as AR, except Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). 5.56mm SAR Short Assault Rifle Current. Short AR. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 33.07in (840mm). Length, butt folded: 24.7in (614mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 13.07in (332mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35- or 50-round box. M/v: 2953 fps (900 m/s). Rate of fire: 650700 rpm. MAR Micro Assault Rifle Current. Very short AR for special forces. Folding tube stock. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 27.16in (690mm). Length, butt folded: 17.5in (445mm). Weight: 6lb 8oz (2.95kg). Barrel: 7.68in (195mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35-round box. M/v: 2,330 fps (700 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. Galil Sniper Current. Standard Galil rifle with special modifications: bipod, heavy barrel, muzzle brake, telescopic sight mount on receiver, two-stage trigger. Semi-automatic fire only. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 43.9in (1,115mm). Length, butt folded: 33.07in (840mm). Weight, with bipod and sling: 4lb 2oz (6.4kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2,674 fps (815 m/s).



ITALY Beretta Beretta P30 Carbine 1957. Similar to American Winchester M1 carbine. Selective fire. Cartridge: .30 U.S. Carbine. Length: 37.3in (946mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.26kg). Barrel: 17.91 in (455mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 1,968 fps (600 m/s). Rate of fire: ca 500 rpm. BM59 Infantry Rifle 1960. Garand M1 type with a 7.62mm barrel; also can fire automatic. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 43.0in (1095mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 19.30in (491mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. BM59 Alpini Rifle 1960. Modified BM59 for mountain troops. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 43.2in (1097mm). Weight: 10lb 1oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 19.30in (49.1mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. BM59 Parachutist Rifle 1960. As Alpini, even shorter barrel. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 43.7in (1110mm). Weight: 9lb 10oz (4.46kg). Barrel: 18.4in (468mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). Rate of fire: 810 rpm. BM59 Mark 4 Squad Automatic 1964. Heavy-barrel version, heavy bipod, and handguard.



Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 48.9in (1242mm). Weight: 12lb (5.4kg). Barrel: 21.0in (533mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2730 fps (832 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. AR70 Assault Rifle 1970. Gas operated. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 37.6in (955mm). Weight: 7lb 10oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 17.8in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3116 fps (950 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. SC70 Assault Carbine 1970. Assault rifle with folding butt. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 37.80in (960mm). Length, butt folded: 28.9in (734mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 17.8in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3116 fps (950 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. SCS70 Short Carbine 1975. Shorter SC-70. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 32,28in (820mm). Length, butt folded: 23.5in (596mm). Weight: 8lb 2.5oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 12.6in (320mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2903 fps (885 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. AR70/90 1990. Improved AR70. Takes M16-type magazines. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length: 39.3in (998mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (3.99kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 6 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3050 fps (930 m/s). Rate of fire: 625 rpm. SC70/90 1990. Folding butt version of the AR70/90. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 38.81 in (986mm). Length, butt folded: 2980in (757mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (3.99kg). Barrel: 7.8in (450mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3150 fps (960 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. SCS70/90 1990. Short barreled SC70/90. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 34.5in (876mm). Length, butt folded: 25.5in (647mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 13.9in (352mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2952 fps (900 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. SCP70/90 1995. As SCS70/90, but with gas regulator and attachable grenade launcher. Details: as SCS70/90. Sniper Rifle 1985. Mauser-type bolt action. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 45.9in (1165mm). Weight: 12lb 7oz (5.5kg). Barrel: 23.07in (586mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: ca 2854 fps (870 m/s). Bernardelli B2 Infantry Rifle 1985. Rifle proposed to Italian Army. Beretta preferred; development ceased in 1990. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 38.5in (979mm).



Length, butt folded: 29.2in (742mm). Weight: 8lb 9.5oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 18.1in (460mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30- or 50-round box. M/v: 3002 fps (915 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. B2S Assault Carbine 1985. Short-barreled B2. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm. Length, butt extended: 33.5in (851mm). Length, butt folded: 24.7in (614mm). Weight: 8lb (3.65kg). Barrel: 13.1in (332mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30- or 50-round box. M/v: 2756 fps (840 m/s). Rate of fire: 720 rpm. Breda Model PG 1935. Gas-operated rifle. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 43.9in (1115mm). Weight: 11lb 9oz (525kg). Barrel: 17.9in (455mm), 4 grooves. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: cc 1885 fps (575 m/s). CEI-Rigotti 1900. Gas-operated selective fire. Operation similar to U.S. Winchester M1 carbine. One of the earliest selective-fire rifles which worked (Hogg). Cartridge: 6.5 x 52mm Mannlicher-Carcano. Length: 39.4in (1000mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 19.0in (483mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-, 20-, or 50-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). Mannlicher-Carcano Mannlicher clip-loading magazine and a simplified one-piece bolt developed by Salvatore Carcano of the Turin arsenal. M1891 Rifle Rotating bolt, clip-loading.



Cartridge: 6.5 x 52mm Mannlicher-Carcano. Length: 50.8in (1290mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg). Barrel: 30.71 in (780mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). 1891 Cavalry Carbine Short M1891. Cartridge: 6.5 x 52mm Mannlicher-Carcano. Length: 37.52in (953mm). Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.16kg). Barrel: 17.8in (451mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2083 fps (635 m/s). 1891 ITS Special Troops Carbine Another short M1891. Cartridge: 6.5 x 52mm Mannlicher-Carcano. Length: 37.52in (953mm). Weight: 7lb 2oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 17.8in (45mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2083 fps (635 m/s). 1891/24 Carbine As M1891 special carbine, but with rifle sight. Details: as 1891 Cavalry Carbine. M1891/38 Short Rifle M1891 Rifle remodeled to correspond to the 7.35mm 1938 rifle in appearance but firing the 6mm cartridge. 1938 Short Rifle M1891 adapted to fire the new 7.35mm cartridge. Cartridge: 7.35 x 51mm Carcano. Length: 40.16in (1020mm). Weight: 8lb 2oz (3.68kg). Barrel: 22.13in (562mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2477 fps (755 m/s). M1938 Carbine M1891 Cavalry or TS carbine rebarreled to fire 7.3mm ammunition. Details: as originals except M/v: 2378 fps (725 m/s).



Vetterli 1870 Infantry Rifle Rotating bolt action single shot. Cartridge: 10.4 x 47R Vetterli-Vitali. Length: 52.95in (1345mm). Weight: 9lb 13oz (4.12kg). Barrel: 33.9in (860mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1410 fps (430 m/s). M1870 Short Rifle Shortened M1870. Cartridge: 10.4 x 47R Vetterli-Vitali. Length: 43.1in (1095mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1345 fps (410 m/s). 1870 Cavalry Carbine M1870 rifle action, short barrel. Cartridge: 10.4 x 47R Vetterli-Vitali. Length: 36.6in (929mm). Weight: 7lb 13oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1230 fps (375 m/s). M1882 Naval Rifle M1870 rifle with a tube magazine in the fore-end. Loaded through the open action. Cartridge: 10.4 x 47R Vetterli-Vitali. Length: 47.64in (1210mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 28.7in (730mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 1312 fps (400 m/s). Vetterli-Vitali Adapted original single-shot Vetterli rifles to include a box magazine system designed by Vitali. 1870/87 Infantry Rifle M1870 rifle converted by the insertion of the Vitali box magazine. Cartridge: 10.4 x 47R Vetterli-Vitali. Length: 52.95in (1345mm). Weight: 9lb 3oz (4.12kg). Barrel: 33.9in (860mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 4-round box. M/v: 1410 fps (430 m/s). 1870/87 Short Rifle Converted Vetterli short rifle to Vitali magazine rifle. Details: as original model. 1870/87 Cavalry Carbine Conversion to Vitali magazine. Details: as original model. 1870/87/15 1915. M1870/87 Infantry Rifle reconverted to a Mannlicher-type cliploaded magazine and rebarrelled for the standard 6.5mm cartridge. Cartridge: 6.5 x 52mm Mannlicher-Carcano. Length: 52.95in (1345mm). Weight: 10lb 3oz (4.62kg). Barrel: 33.9in (860mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s).

JAPAN Arisaka Meiji 29th Year Rifle 1896. Bolt-action rifle. Cartridge: 6.5 x 51mm SR. Length: 50.0in (1271mm). Weight: 9lb (4.1kg). Barrel: 30.98in (787mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2493 fps (760 m/s). Meiji 30th Year Rifle 1897. Similar to 29th Year Rifle. In British service, 191521, as Rifle, magazine, 0.256in, Pattern 1900. Cartridge: 6.5 x 51mm SR. Length: 50.16in (1274mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0.3kg). Barrel: 31.1in (789mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2542 fps (77S m/s). Meiji 30th Year Cavalry Carbine 1900. Shortened 30th Year Rifle.



Cartridge: 6.5 x 51mm SR. Length: 37.9in (962mm). Weight: 7lb 7.5oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 18.9in (480mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: cc 2360 fps (720 m/s). Meiji 35th Year Infantry Rifle Koishikawa. 1902. Improved 30th Year Rifle with a better bolt and a new tangent sight. Issued to the Japanese Navy. Cartridge: 6.5 x 51mm SR. Length: 50.19in (1275mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 31.1in (790mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2542 fps (775 m/s). Meiji 38th Year Infantry Rifle 1905. Improved 30th Year Rifle with simplified bolt and improved extractor. British service, 19151921, as Rifle, magazine, 0.256in, Pattern 1907. Cartridge: 6.5 x 51mm SR. Length: 50.19in (1275mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.12kg). Barrel: 31.45in (799mm), 4 or 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). Meiji 38th Year Cavalry Carbine 1905. Short version of the 38th Year Rifle. This carbine was employed in British service, 19151921, as Carbine, magazine, 0.256in, Pattern 1907. Cartridge: 6.5 x S1SR. Length: 37.9in (963mm). Weight: 7lb 6oz (3.35kg). Barrel: 19.2in (487mm), 4 or 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral M/v: 2250 fps (685 m/s). Meiji 44th Year Cavalry Carbine 1911. As 38th Year Carbine, but with permanently attached bayonet. Cartridge: 6.5 x 51mm SR. Length: 38.5in (978mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 18.5in (469mm), 6 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2250 fps (685 m/s). Type 99 Infantry Rifle 1939. Redesigned 38th Year Rifle to fire the new 7.7mm cartridge. Cartridge: 7.7 x 58mm Arisaka. Length: 45.0in (1143mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.9kg). Barrel: 25.8in (654mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). Type 0 Parachutists Rifle 1940. Experimental Type 99 rifle with interrupted screw thread joint between barrel and receiver for dismantling. Type 1 Parachutists Rifle Nagoya 1941. Variant of the Type 38 Cavalry Carbine with a side-hinged butt; interim design for paratroops. Type 2 Parachutists Rifle 1942. Variation of Type 0 Parachutists Rifle with a sliding wedge joint instead of the interrupted screw joint. Cartridge: 7.7 x 58mm Arisaka. Length: 45.27in. (1150mm). Weight: 8lb 1 5oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 25.4in (645mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2368 fps (722 m/s). Howa Type 64 Rifle 1964. Gas-operated, selective fire. Muzzle brake. Straight-line layout, pistol grip. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm. Length: 38.97in (990mm). Weight: 91lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 17.71 in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2296 fps (700 m/s). Rate of fire: 500 rpm. Type 89 Rifle 1989. Gas-operated, selective fire. Muzzle brake. Replaced Type 64 in Japanese forces. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO.



Length, fixed or extended butt: 36.1in (916mm). Length, folded butt: 26.5in (673mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 16.54in (420mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. Type 97 Anti-tank Rifle 1997. Gas-operated, full-automatic fire. Cartridge: 20 x 124mm. Length: 80in (2035mm). Weight 152lb (68.93kg). Barrel: 47in (1195mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round vertical box. M/v: 2000 fps (609 m/s). Rate of fire: 350 rpm. Armour penetration: 12mm at 200m at 0. Murata Meiji 18th Year Rifle 1885. Final version of a design based on Gras and Mauser rifles purchased by Japan, perfected by Major Murata. Bolt action, single shot. Cartridge: 11x 60R Murata. Length: 50.2in (1276mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.09kg). Barrel: 32.0in (83mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1427 fps (435 m/s). Meiji 22nd Year Rifle 1889. Improved 18th Year Rifle as a smaller caliber magazine weapon. Cartridge: 8 x 53R Murata. Length: 47.52in (1207mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 29.52in (750mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 1853 fps (565 m/s). Meiji 27th Year Rifle 1889. Bolt and magazine as 22nd Year Rifle, but the magazine tube is not exposed. Cartridge: 8 x 53R Murata. Length: 37.5in (952mm). Weight: 6lb 14oz (3.1 kg). Barrel: 19.3in (490mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: 1706 fps (520 m/s).

KOREA, NORTH Type 58 1958. AKM copy. Type 68 1968. AKM-S copy.

KOREA, SOUTH Daewoo K1 Carbine 1982. Based on U.S. Colt M16. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 30.9in (785mm). Length, butt folded: 23.0in (585mm). Weight: 6lb 5oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 10.35in (263mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2730 fps (832 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. K2 Rifle 1987. Gas operated. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 38.6in (980mm). Length, butt folded: 28.7in (730mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.26kg). Barrel: 18.30in (465mm), 6 grooves Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. KIA1 Carbine 1987. Shortened K2. No gas piston. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 32.68in (830mm). Length, butt folded: 25.4in (645mm). Weight: 6lb 6oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 10.35in (263mm), 2 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm.

MEXICO 1895 Infantry Rifle Spanish M1893, but without recessed bolt face. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1234mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.0in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). M1895 Carbine Shortened M1895 rifle. Bolt handle turned down. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 37.5in (953mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 18.3in (465mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (700 m/s). M1902 Infantry Rifle As M1895 rifle, but with an 1898 bolt. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1234mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.01 kg). Barrel: 29.1in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). 1907 Infantry Rifle Made in Austria by Steyr. As M1902, but with a pistol-grip butt. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.78in (1239mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 29.0in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (700 m/s). Mondragon Model 1908 Porfirio Daz Rifle Gas-operated semi-automatic with a rotating bolt. Designed in Mexico,



made in Switzerland by SIG. Box magazine. Gas cylinder exposed at front of fore end. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 42.04in (1068mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 24.4 in (620mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round box. M/v: 2050 fps (625 m/s) (see Germany). M1910 Infantry Rifle M1902 rifle manufactured in Mexico from 1913. Details: as for the 1902. M1912 Infantry Rifle Problems manufacturing the M1910 led to a further order for rifles from Steyr. These were similar to the M1907 design, but most of the production went to the Austro-Hungarian Army. 1924 Short Rifle Belgian M1924 rifle in 7mm caliber. 1936 Short Rifle Mexican-manufactured rifle that combined the Mauser 1898 bolt and Springfield cocking-piece. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 42.91 in (1090mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.78kg). Barrel: 23.2in (590mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (715 m/s). M1954 Short Rifle 1936 altered to fire the .30-06 cartridge. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 44.1in (1120mm). Weight: 9lb 10oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2772 fps (845 m/s).

THE NETHERLANDS Beaumont 1871 Infantry Rifle Bolt action single shot rifle.



Cartridge: 11 x 51R Beaumont. Length: 52.0.in. (1320mm). Weight: 9lb 10oz (4.38kg). Barrel: 32.67in (830mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1328 fps (405 m/s). M1871/88 Infantry Rifle Model 1871 modified to take a Vetterli magazine, firing an improved cartridge. Details: as 1871, except Weight: 10lb (4.5kg); Magazine: 4-round box; M/v: 47 1895 Infantry Rifle Turning bolt action, clip-loaded magazine. Cartridge: 6.5 x 54R Dutch Mannlicher. Length: 50.98in (1295mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 31.1in (790mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2428 fps (740 m/s). 1895 No 1 Cavalry Carbine Action as 1895. Cartridge: 6.5 x 54R Dutch Mannlicher. Length: 37.5in (952mm). Weight: 6lb 3oz (3.10kg). Barrel: 7.7 in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2050 fps (625 m/s). 1895 No 2 Gendarmerie Carbine Similar to the cavalry carbine. Details: the same, except Weight: 7lb 1oz (3.2kg). 1895 No 3 Engineer and Artillery Carbine As No 2 Carbine, but with a long handguard. Details: the same, except Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.1kg). 1895 No 4 Bicycle Troops Carbine As No 3 Carbine, but with the handguard the same length as the stock. Details: the same. 1895A5 Carbine 1930. Issued to the Dutch Air Force. A cut-down M1895 rifle. Cartridge: 6.5 x 54R Dutch Mannlicher.



Length: 37.8in (960mm). Weight: 7lb 13oz (3.6kg). Barrel: 17.9 (455mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2050 fps (625 m/s).

NORWAY Jarmann M1884 Rifle Bolt-action, tube magazine beneath barrel. Cartridge: 10.15 x 61R Jarmann. Length: 56.95in (1345mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 32.6in (828mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 1362 fps (415 m/s). M1884/87 Rifle As M1884 but with new sights to allow for newly adopted powder and bullet. Details: the same, except M/v: 1625 fps (495 m/s). Krag-Jorgensen M1894 Rifle Bolt action. Special magazine. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 49.61 in (1260mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 29.92in (760mm), 4 grooves, rh, increasing. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). M1895 Cavalry Carbine Action rifle. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 39.96in (1015mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 20.47in (520mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral M/v: 2100 fps (640 m/s). M1897 Artillery and Engineer Carbine As cavalry carbine except for fittings.



M1904 Engineer Carbine Cartridge: 6.5 x 53M Swedish Mauser. Length: 39.96in (10 15mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8 kg). Barrel: 20.47in (520mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2100 fps (640 m/s). 1907 Artillery Carbine As M1904 Engineer Carbine except for fittings. M1912 Short Rifle Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 43.5in (1106mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2330 fps (710 m/s). 1923 Sniping Rifle Pistol-grip stock, free-floating heavy barrel. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 44.0in (1117mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2330 fps (710 m/s). 1925 Sniping Rifle As M1894 Rifle, but with heavy barrel. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 49.7in (1262mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s). 1930 Sniping Rifle Free-floating heavy barrel, micrometer rear sight. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 48.0in (1219mm). Weight: 11lb 7oz (5.2kg). Barrel: 29.5in (749mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2625 fps (800 m/s).



Krag-Peterson M1877 Marine Carbine Short rifle, dropping block breech with lever above breech. Tube magazine under barrel. Cartridge: 11.7 x 42R rimfire. Length: 37.5in (952mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4kg). Barrel: 20.1in (510mm), 5 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 1148 fps (350 m/s). Vapensmia NM 149S Sniping Rifle 1960s. Mauser M98 bolt action repeater. Telescope mount on receiver. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 44.0in (120mm). Weight: 2lb 5oz (5.6kg) with telescope. Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s).

POLAND Beryl Beryl Model 96 1996. Kalashnikov-type AK-47 design. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm. Length, butt extended: 37.13in (943mm). Length, butt retracted: 29.2 in (742mm). Weight: 7lb 6oz (3.35kg). Barrel: 1 8.0in (457mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s) (NATO 5.56). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. Mini-Beryl Model 96 1996. Short-barrelled Beryl Model 96. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm. Length, butt extended: 28.7in (730mm). Length, butt retracted: 20.66in (525mm). Weight: 6lb 10oz (3.0kg). Barrel: 9.3in (235mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 2526 fps (770 m/s) (NATO 5.56). Rate of fire: 700 rpm.



M28 1928. Based on U.S. M1918. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 47.83in (1215mm). Weight: 20lb 15oz (9.5kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2788 fps (850 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. PMK 1960s. Copy of AK-47. The same title is applied to a copy of the AK-S. PMK-M Copies of both the AK-47 and AKM-S are covered by this designation. Tantal 88 1988. This is the Polish version of the AKS-74. Cartridge: 5.45 x 43mm. Length, butt extended: 37.13 (943mm). Length, butt folded: 29.2in (742mm) Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 16.65in (423mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. Tantal 89 1989. As Tantal 88, but chambered for 5.45 x 4mm cartridge. M/v: 2953 fps (900 m/s). Marosczek 1935. wz/35 Anti-tank Rifle Bolt-action repeating rifle. Muzzle brake. Cartridge: 7.92 x 107mm Marosczek. Length: 70.0in (1780mm). Weight: 19lb 8oz (8.9kg). Barrel: 47.3in (1200mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 4198 fps (1280 m/s). Armour penetration: 20mm at 300m at 0. State Manufacture 1898 Infantry Rifle 1920. Polish copy of German Gew. 98 Infantry rifle.



M1898 Short Rifle 1920. Polish copy of the German Kar. 98AZ. M1929 Short Rifle 1930. Based on Czech M1924 rifle. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 43.4in (1102mm). Weight: 9lb (4.09kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2477 fps (755 m/s). Onyx Type 89 1989. Polish version of the AK74 SU. Cartridge: 5.45 x 39.5M Length, butt extended: 28.35in (720mm). Length, butt retracted: 20.256in (519mm). Weight: 6lb 6oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 8.2in (207mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2296 fps (700 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm. Type 91 1991. As Type 89, but chambered for the 5.56 x 4mm cartridge. Details: the same, except M/v: 2330 fps (710 m/s).

PORTUGAL Guedes M1885 Rifle Breech block operated by trigger guard. Single shot. Cartridge: 8 x 60R Guedes. Length: 47.91 in (1217mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.10kg). Barrel: 33.27in (845mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1706 fps (520 m/s). 1886 Infantry Rifle Bolt action, tube magazine. As French M1878 rifle but with a new bolt and cartridge elevator mechanism. Cartridge: 8 x 60R Guedes (M73). Length: 51.97in (1320mm).



Weight: 10lb 1oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 31.6in (802mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 755 fps (535 m/s). 1886/89 Infantry Rifle M1886 rifles for colonial troops. 1886 Fiscal Guard Carbine Short M1886 rifle. Cartridge: 8 x 60R Guedes. Length: 45.9in (1165mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 25.9in (657mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: 1558 fps (475 m/s). M1886 Cavalry Carbine A short version of the infantry rifle. Cartridge: 8 x 60R Guedes. Length: 40.256in (1025mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 20.5in (521mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round tube. M/v: 1394 fps (425 m/s). M937, 937A Short Rifle 1937. Very similar to Kar. 98k. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 43.4in (1103mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (3.96kg). Barrel: 19.69in (500mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2428 fps (740 m/s). Mauser-Vergueiro M1904 Rifle Mauser action, but the bolt itself is more like the Mannlicher. Cartridge: 6.5 x 58 Mauser-Vergueiro. Length: 48.7in (1223mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg). Barrel: 29.1in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2345 fps (715 m/s).



RUMANIA AK weapon copies. Dates of manufacture correspond approximately with appearance of the original. AKM Copies of Russian AK and AKM-S are both found under this designation. AKM-R Compact copy of AKM. Short barrel ending at the front sight, smaller magazine. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm M1943. Length, butt extended: 29.5 in (750mm). Length, butt folded: 21.65in (550mm). Weight: 6lb 13oz (3.10kg). Barrel: 8.1 in (305mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2854 fps (870 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. AK-74 As Russian AK-74, but the front handguard extends all the way to the end of the gas cylinder. The fore-end has usual Rumanian handgrip. Cartridge: 5.45 x 39mm. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 16.34in (415mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. M1892 Rifle Rotating bolt, clip-loading box magazine. Cartridge: 6.5 x 54R Rumanian Mannlicher. Length: 48.31 in (1227mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 28.54in (725mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2395 fps (730 m/s). M1893 Rifle Improved M1892. Changes to the bolt to prevent it from being incorrectly assembled. Details: as M1892.



1893-03 Carbine Short M1893 rifle, with a turned-down bolt handle Cartridge: 6.5 x 54R Rumanian Mannlicher. Length: 37.5in (952mm). Weight: 7lb 4oz (3.29kg). Barrel: 7.7 in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2312 fps (705 m/s). 1879 Peabody-Martini Rifle L e v e r-action dropping block, single-shot rifle, based upon the Turkish M1874. Cartridge: 11.4 x 60R Peabody-Martini. Length: 49.0in (1245mm). Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 33.26in (845mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 1492 fps (450 m/s).

RUSSIA (INCLUDING ALL PARTS OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION) M1868 Infantry Rifle Also called the Berdan 1 Rifle. Lifting block type. Cartridge: 10.6 x 57.5R. Length: 53.0in (1346mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 32.5in (825mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1450 fps (442 m/s). M1870 Infantry Rifle Also called the Berdan II Rifle. Bolt action, single shot. Cartridge: 10.6 x 57.5R. Length: 53.35in (1355mm). Weight: 9lb 9oz (4.35kg). Barrel: 32.80in (833mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1433 fps (437 m/s). 1870 Carbine Short M1870. Adopted by Bulgaria as M1880. Cartridge: 10.6 x 57.5R. Length: 38.0in (965mm). Weight: 6lb 3oz (2.80kg). Barrel: 18.7in (475mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1187 fps (362 m/s).



M1870 Dragoon Rifle Variant of M1870 Infantry Rifle. Cartridge: 10.6 x 57.5R. Length: 48.7in (1237mm). Weight: 7lb 1 4oz (3.6kg). Barrel: 28.35in (720mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1263 fps (385 m/s). M1870 Cossack Rifle As Dragoon Rifle, except Length: 48.0in (1219mm); Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.38kg). M1895 Three-Line Berdan Nagant Conversion of M1870 Infantry Rifle and Cavalry Carbine to fire 7.62 x 54R cartridges. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R (rifle version only). Length: 52.1in (1322mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 31.6in (802mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 985 fps (605 m/s). Degtyarev PTRD Anti-tank Rifle 1941. Bolt action, single shot. Cartridge: 14.5 x 114mm Soviet. Length: 78.7in (2000mm). Weight: 38lb 2oz (17.29 kg). Barrel: 48.30in (1227mm), 8 grooves, rh. M/v: 3320 fps (1010 m/s). Armour penetration: 25m at 500m at 0. Dragunov (Russian State Factories) SVD Sniping Rifle 1963. Kalashnikov mechanism but short-stroke piston. Semi-automatic only. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R Russian. Length: 48.22in (1225mm). Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 24.5in (622mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2723 fps (830 m/s). Federov AVF Avtomat 1913. Short-recoil selective fire, full-stocked, integral magazine.



Cartridge: 6.5 x 51SR Arisaka. Length: 49.4 in (1253mm). Weight: 10lb 2oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 31.5in (800mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2400 fps (730 m/s). AVF Avtomat 1916. Improved and reduced in size. Forward handgrip, curved detachable magazine. Cartridge: 6.3 x S1SR Arisaka. Length: 38.4in (973mm). Weight: 9lb 13oz (4.45kg). Barrel: 20.47in (320mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 25-round box. M/v: 2313 fps (703 m/s). Kalashnikov All Kalashnikov military rifles operate with the same basic gas-piston and rotating-bolt system. Features for recognition are the short fore-end and handguard, the gas cylinder above the barrel, and the curved magazine. AK-47 1949. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm M1943. Length: 34.2 in (869mm). Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 16.3in (414mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2329 fps (710 m/s). Rate of fire: 775 rpm. AK-S 1950. As AK-47, but with a folding wire butt. Details: as AK-47 except Length, butt folded: 27.5in (699mm). AKM 1959. Modified AK-47 with manufacturing shortcuts. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm M1943. Length: 34.49in (876mm). Weight: 8lb 7oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 16.3in (414mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2329 fps (710 m/s). Rate of fire: 775 rpm.



AKM-S 1960. As AKM, but with steel folding stock as AK-S. Details: As AKM, except Length, butt folded: 25.9in (657mm); Length, butt extended: 35.2in (895mm); Weight: 7lb 13oz (3.5kg). AKM-SU 1975. Shortened AKM-S for armoured infantry. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm M1943. Length: 28.4in (722mm). Weight: 7lb 6oz (3.35kg). Barrel: 8.9in (225mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2116 fps (645 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. AK-74 1974. Reduced caliber AKM. Cartridge: 5.45 x 39.5mm. Length: 36.5in (928mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2953 fps (900 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. AKS-74 1974. Folding-stock version of the AK-74. Details: the same, except Length, butt folded: 27.16in (690mm). AK-74-SU 1980. Reduced caliber AKM-SU with folding butt. Cartridge: 5.45 x 39.5mm. Length, butt extended: 26.6in (675mm). Length, butt folded: 16.61in (422mm). Weight: 5lb 15oz (2.7kg). Barrel: 8.11in (206mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2411 fps (735 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. AK101 1996. Similar to the basic AK-74. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length: 37.1in (943mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg).



Barrel: 16.34in (415mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2985 fps (910 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. Mosin-Nagant M1891 Infantry Rifle Bolt action, charger-loaded box magazine. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 51.9in (1318mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 32.3in (820mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 985 fps (605 m/s). M1891 Dragoon Rifle Shortened infantry rifle. The Cossack rifle was the same weapon but with a slightly different cleaning rod. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.93kg). Barrel: 29.92in (760mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1968 fps (600 m/s). M1907 Carbine As 1891 rifle, but a shortened weapon. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 40.16in (1020mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 20.1in (510mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1805 fps (550 m/s). M1891/30 Rifle Sovietized M1891 rifle. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 48.4in (1230mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). Barrel: 28.7in (730mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2641 fps (805 m/s). M1938 Carbine Shortened M1891/30 rifle.



Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 40.16in (1020mm). Weight: 7lb 10oz (3.45kg). Barrel: 20.1in (5 10mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2575 fps (785 m/s). M1944 Carbine As M1938. The last adopted carbine in the world. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R. Length: 40.35in (1025mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 20.47in (520mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 985 fps (605 m/s). Simonov AVS-36 1936. Gas-operated semi-automatic. Muzzle brake, box magazine. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R Russian. Length: 48.1in (1220mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 24.4in (620mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 15-round box. M/v: 2550 fps (776 m/s). SKS 1946. Gas-operated, semi-automatic. Wedge-shaped box magazine. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet 1943. Length: 40.2in (1022mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 20.5in (520mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2410 fps (735 m/s). PTRS4 1 Anti-tank Rifle 1980s. Semi-automatic, gas operated. Clip-loaded magazine, muzzle brake, bipod. Cartridge: 14.5 x 114mm Soviet. Length: 84.0in (2006mm). Weight: 46lb 0oz (20.96kg). Barrel: 48.0in (121 6mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 3320 fps (1010 m/s). Armour penetration: 23mm at 500m at 0.



Tokarev SVT38 Rifle 1938. Gas-operated semi-automatic, selective fire. Muzzle brake, short curved box magazine. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R Russian. Length: 48.10in (1222mm). Weight: 8lb 10oz (3.95kg). Barrel: 25.1in (635mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2725 fps (830 m/s). SVT40 Rifle 1940. Improved SVT38, same action. Full-automatic capability but not adopted. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R Russian. Length: 48.10in (1222mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 24.6in (625mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2725 fps (830 m/s). SKT40 Carbine 1940. Short SVT40. Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R Russian. Length: 41.93in (1065mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.65kg). Barrel: 18.5in (470mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2445 fps (745 m/s). SERBIA 1878/80 Rifle 1880. Basically the German Mauser M1871 single-shot rifle with rifling designed by Major Koka Milovanovicz of the Kragujevac arsenal (also called the Koka Mauser in contemporary reports). Never repeated due to manufacturing problems. Cartridge: 10.15 x 63R Serbian Mauser. Length: 50.71in (1288mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.47kg). Barrel: 30.71 in (780mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1673 fps (510 m/s). 1880/06 and 1880/07 Rifles 1906. M1878/80 rifles converted to 7mm caliber and fitted with a box magazine.



Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 50.7in (1288mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 30.71 in (780mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2330 fps (710 m/s). 1885 Cavalry Carbine Bolt action and tube magazine of the German M1871/84 rifle in a carbine. Cartridge: 10.15 x 63R Serbian Mauser. Length: 37.6in (955mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 18.31in (465mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round tube in fore-end. M/v: 1525 fps (465 m/s). M1899 Rifle Two-lug bolt, similar to the Chilean M1895 rifle. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.4in (1230mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2329 fps (710 m/s). M1910 Rifle As Gew. 1898 except for fittings. Cartridge: 7 x 57 Mauser. Length: 48.7in (1238mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2329 fps (710 m/s).

SIAM/THAILAND M1902 Rifle Gew. 98 adapted for a rimmed cartridge. Cartridge: 8 x 50R Siamese Mannlicher. Length: 49.1in (1247mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2050 fps (625 m/s).



1923 Short Rifle M1902 Rifle rebuilt for a new cartridge. Cartridge: 8 x 52R Siamese Mauser. Length: 41.93in (1065mm). Weight: 8lb (3.65kg). Barrel: 22.0in (560mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2100 fps (640 m/s).

SINGAPORE Chartered Industries SAR-80 1980. Gas-operated, selective fire. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm 193. Length: 38.2in (970mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 18.1in (459mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 20-round box. M/v: 3182 fps (970 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. SR-88 1988. Improved SAR-80. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 38.19in (970mm). Length, butt folded: 29.37in (746mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.66kg). Barrel: 18.07in (459mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3182 fps (970 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. SR-88-A Rifle 1990. Further improved SR-88. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 37.8in (960mm). Length, butt folded: 31.9in (810mm). Weight: 8lb 2oz (3.68kg). Barrel: 18.1 in (460mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3084 fps (940 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm.



SR-88-A Carbine 1990. Shortened SR-88-A. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 31.9in (810mm). Length, butt folded: 25.98in (660mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 11.5in (292mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2730 fps (832 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm.

SOUTH AFRICA (REPUBLIC OF) Westley Richards Martini-Richards Rifle 1895. Slightly modified British Martini-Henry Mark 4 rifle action. Cartridge: .67/450 Martini-Henry. Length: 49.5in (1260mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 33.3in (843mm), 7 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 1350 fps (41 m/s). Mechel (manufacturer) NTW 20 Anti-Materiel Rifle Current. Bolt action. Bipod attached to receiver. Heavy barrel with muzzle brake. Side-feeding box magazine. Cartridge: 20 x 83mm G151. Length: 70.7in (1795mm). Weight: 57lb 5oz (26.0kg). Barrel: 39.37in (1000mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: 2362 fps (720 m/s). NTW 14.5 Anti-Materiel Rifle. Current. Re-chambered NTW 20. Cartridge: 14.5 x 114mm Soviet. Length: 79.3in (2015mm). Weight: 63lb 15oz (29.0kg). Barrel: 48 in (1220mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 3-round box. M/v: 3543 fps (1080 m/s).



Vektor R4 Rifle 1982. Modified copy of the Galil rifle to suit the larger stature of South African troops. Gas-operated, turning bolt, selective fire. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 39.6in (1005mm). Length, butt folded: 29.1in (740mm). Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 18.1 in (460mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35-round box. M/v: 3215 fps (980 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm. R5 Short Rifle 1980s. Short R4, adopted by the South African Air Force and Marines. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 34.6in (877mm). Length, butt folded: 24.2 in (615mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 13.1in (332mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm. R6 Compact Assault Rifle 1980s. Even shorter R4/R5 for use by vehicle crews, paratroops, and others needing a personal protection weapon. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 3 1.69in (805mm). Length, butt folded: 22.2in (565mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.67kg). Barrel: 11.0in (280mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35-round box. M/v: 2706 fps (825 m/s). Cyclic rate: 585 rpm. CR21 Assault Rifle 1998. Gas operated, rotating bolt, selective fire. Bullpup. Built-in optical sight. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length: 29.92in (760mm). Weight, loaded: 8lb 6oz (3.80kg). Barrel: 8.1 in (460mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 35-round box. M/v: 3215 fps (980 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm.



SPAIN Berdan M1867 Infantry Rifle Breech-loading conversion of rifle muskets with a trap-door breechblock hinging up and forward. External hammer. Cartridge: 14.5 x 41R. Length: 54.7in (1389mm). Weight: 9lb 7oz (4.28kg). Barrel: 3622in (920mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1197 fps (365 m/s). M1867. Light Infantry Rifle Conversion of M1857 percussion rifle. Cartridge: 14.5 x 41 R. Length: 48.4in (1230mm). Weight: 8lb 7oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 30.31 in (770mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1100 fps (335 m/s). M1867 Carbine Conversion of M1857 Engineer Carbine. Cartridge: 4.5 x 4R. Length: 48.4in (1230mm). Weight: 8lb 5oz (3.77kg). Barrel: 30.3in (770mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 97 fps (365 m/s). Cetme (Centro de Estudios de Materiales Speciales, Madrid) Model 58 1958. Similar to Heckler & Koch G3, but fired the 7.62 x 51mm NATO cartridge with a reduced propellant charge. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm Cetme. Length: 39.37in (1000mm). Weight: 11lb 5oz (5.13kg). Barrel: 17in (432mm). 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2493 fps (760 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. Model C 1965. Improved Model 58 for the standard NATO cartridge. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 39.96in (1015mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 17.72in (450mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5- or 20-round box. M/v: 2560 fps (780 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. Model L 1984. Chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length: 36.4in (925mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 15.8in (400mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12- or 30-round box. M/v: 2870 fps (875 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. Model LI 1985. Export version of the Model L. Took the U.S. Colt M16 and similar magazines. Model LC 1984. Carbine version Model L with a telescoping stock. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 33.9in (860mm). Length, butt folded: 26.2in (665mm). Weight: 7lb 0oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 12.6in (320mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12- or 30-round box. M/v: 2730 fps (832 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. Model R Firing port weapon. Fires automatic only. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 26.2in (665mm). Weight: 14lb 2oz (64kg). Barrel: 12.0in (305mm). 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2263 fps (690 m/s). Rate of fire: 600 rpm. National Armouries 1891 Infantry Rifle Based on Turkish M1890, with bolt action and exposed magazine. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Belgian Mauser. Length: 48.7in (1238mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg).



Barrel: 29.13in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2067 fps (630 m/s). 1892 Infantry Rifle Similar to 1891, but with internal charger-loaded magazine, new extractor, and improvements to the bolt. Chambered for a new cartridge. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Spanish Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 29.0in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2198 fps (670 m/s). 1892 Cavalry Carbine Action as M1891 rifle, turned-down bolt handle. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Spanish Mauser. Length: 37.12in (943mm). Weight: 7lb 4oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 17.5in (445mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 1837 fps (560 m/s). 1893 Infantry Rifle The first Mauser with a charger-loading magazine within the stock. Bolt action as M1891 rifle. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Spanish Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). Barrel: 29.1in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2231 fps (680 m/s). 1895 Cavalry Carbine Shortened M1893 rifle, turned-down bolt handle. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Spanish Mauser. Length: 37.1in (943mm). Weight: 7lb 1oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 17.56in (446mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2165 fps (660 m/s). M1913 Short Rifle As 1895 Cavalry Carbine, but fitted for bayonet. Troop trialed. Details: as N11895 Carbine.



1916 Artillery Rifle Replaced earlier carbines on adoption of a new, more powerful cartridge. M1891 bolt, bolt handle turned down. Cartridge: 7 x 57mm Spanish Mauser. Length: 41.34in (1050mm). Weight: 8lb 4oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 21.69in (551mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2707 fps (82S m/s). 1943 Short Rifle Essentially the German Kar. 98k. Straight bolt handle. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 43.5in (105mm). Weight: 8lb 10oz (3.9.3kg). Barrel: 23.6in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2460 fps (750 m/s). M1870 Rifle Remington manufacture. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 50.31in (1278mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 35.12in (892mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 1365 fps (416 m/s). 1870 Carbine As rifle but shorter. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 42.13in (1070mm). Weight: 8lb 10oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 27.16in (690mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: 1148 fps (350 m/s). 1870 Short Rifle Spanish-made M1870. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 46.9in (1190mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 32.3in (820mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1296 fps (395 m/s). Model 1871 Infantry Rifle Standard pattern breech. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington.



Length: 51.8in (1315mm). Weight: 9lb (4.1kg). Barrel: 37in (940mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1312 fps (400 m/s). Model 1871 Short Rifle Shortened M1871 rifle. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 42.5in (1080mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 27.95in (710mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1214 fps (370 m/s). M1871 Cavalry Carbine Action as 1871. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 37.9 (963mm). Weight: 7lb 4oz (3.28kg). Barrel: 23.2in (588mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1171 fps (357 m/s). 1871 Artillery Carbine Shortened M1871 rifle. Cartridge: 11.15 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 37.91in (963mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.47kg). Barrel: 23.2in (588mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 1171 fps (357 m/s). Rolling block. Shortened 1871 rifle. Cartridge: 115 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 46.26in (1175mm). Weight: 8lb 11oz (3.95kg). Barrel: 31.6in (802mm), 6 grooves, rh. M/v: 453 fps (443 m/s).

SWEDEN Bofors CGA 5 (Ak5). 1986. Modified Belgian (FN). FNC with special winter trigger- g u a r d . Three-round burst removed. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 39.6in (1005mm). Length, butt folded: 29.5in (750mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg).



Barrel: 17.71in (450mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3051 fps (930 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. CGASB (Ak5B). 1993. Fitted with the British Sight Unit, Small Arms, Trilux (SUSAT). Details: as CGA 5 (Ak5). CGA5D 1995. CGA 5 with iron sights. Details: as CGA 5 (Ak5). CGAS5-C2 1993. Short CGA 5 for use by vehicle crews and others requiring a short-barreled weapon. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 32.09in (815mm). Length, butt folded: 21.9in (553mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 9.8in (250mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. Carl Gustav M21 1920s. As U.S. M1918. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55 Mauser. Length: 44.0in (1117mm). Weight: 19lb 3oz (8.7kg). Barrel: 26.4in (670mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2460 fps (740 m/s). Rate of fire: 500 rpm. M37 1937. As U.S. M1918, but with recoil spring in butt. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55 Mauser. Length: 46.1 0in (1171mm). Weight: 20lb 14oz (9.5kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2460 fps (740 m/s). Rate of fire: 480 rpm.



FFV (Forsvarets Fabriksverken) FFV-890C 1983. Based upon the Galil. Fired the FN SSIO9/NATO 5.56mm cartridge. Not selected for service. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45 NATO. Length, butt extended: 33.9in (860mm). Length, butt folded: 24.6in (625mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 13.4in (340mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 35-round box. M/v: 2730 fps (860 m/s). Rate of fire: 650 rpm. Ljungmann Ag42 Rifle 1942. Gas-operated semi-automatic, detachable box magazine. Cartridge: 6.5 x 35mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 47.9in (1216mm). Weight: 9lb 11oz (4.4kg). Barrel: 25.1in (637mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2460 fps (750 m/s). Ag42B Rifle 1943. Improved Ag42. Steel gas tube, changes to bolt and firing mechanism, magazine modified. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 47.8in (1215mm). Weight: 10lb 6oz (4.7kg). Barrel: 24.5in (623mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: JO-round box. M/v: 2450 fps (745 m/s). M1894 Carbine Two-lug bolt and integral magazine of Spanish M1893 rifle. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 37.4in (950mm). Weight: 7lb 5oz (3.3.3kg). Barrel: 17.32in (440mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2132 fps (650 m/s). M1894/17 Carbine As M1894, but bayonet fitted. Details: as M1894.



M1896 Rifle Action and magazine as M1894 carbine but in a full-length rifle. Cartridge: 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser. Length: 49.5in (1256mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.07kg). Barrel: 29.1in (739mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2378 fps (725 m/s). M1939 Rifle Modified German Kar. 98k with an 8mm caliber barrel to fire the 8 x 63M Browning cartridge as used in the Swedish machine gun. Cartridge was too powerful. M1940 Rifle M1939 design fitted with a muzzle brake. Not kept in service very long.

SWITZERLAND Grunel Sniping Rifle 1988. Based upon a match rifle. Electronic trigger mechanism, heavy barrel, muzzle brake. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 45.27in (11 50mm). Weight: 1lb 11oz (5.3kg). Barrel: 25.56in (650mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). 1893 Cavalry Carbine Straight-pull bolt action. Clip-loaded box magazine. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M1890 Schmidt-Rubin. Length: 40.0in (1016mm). Weight: 6lb 13oz (3.1kg). Barrel: 21.65in (550mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 1837 fps (560 m/s). Milbank-Amsler This was an adaptation of the American Milbank side-opening trap-door breech block, with a hammer and with the firing pin in the block, modified by Amsler of Switzerland and used to convert earlier percussion muzzleloading weapons to breech-loading.



M1851/67 Rifle Conversion as noted. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody rimfire. Length: 49.6in (1260mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 29.5in (750mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1362 fps (415 m/s). M1856/67 Rifle Conversion from Jger rifle. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody rimfire. Length: 51.93in (1319mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 34.1in (865mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1443 fps (440 m/s). 1863/67 Infantry Rifle Conversion as noted. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody rimfire. Length: 54.3in (1380mm). Weight: 10lb 4oz (4.65kg). Barrel: 36.45in (926mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1476 fps (450 m/s). 1864/67 Short Rifle Conversion as above. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody rimfire. Length: 49.49in (1257mm). Weight: 10lb 1oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 29.6in (752mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1362 fps (415 m/s). Neuhausen M1889 Rifle Conversion from Vetterli rotating bolt to SIG-Neuhausen straight-pull bolt for Swiss Army trials. Box magazine. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M Schmidt-Rubin. Length: 51.2in (1300mm). Weight: 8lb 14oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 30.3in (770mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round tube. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). Schmidt-Rubin 1889 Infantry Rifle Straight-pull bolt. Box magazine. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M Swiss 1890.



Length: 51.26in (1302mm). Weight: 10lb 11oz (4.9kg). Barrel: 30.71 in (780mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round box. M/v: 968 fps (600 m/s). 1889/96 Infantry Rifle Improved bolt version of M1889. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M Swiss 1890. Length: 51.18in (1300mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.5 1 kg). Barrel: 30.71 in (780mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round box. M/v: 1968 fps (600 m/s). 1897 Cadet Rifle Shorter, lighter 1889/96, with improved bolt mechanism. Single-shot only, no magazine. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M Swiss 1890. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 7lb 13oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 23.3in (592mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1853 fps (565 m/s). 1900 Short Rifle Shorter, lighter version of the M1889/96 with reduced-capacity magazine. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M Swiss 1890. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 23.3in (592mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 1853 fps (565 m/s). 1905 Cavalry Carbine M1896 action carbine. Cartridge: 7.5 x 53M Swiss M1890. Length: 42.12in (1070mm). Weight: 8lb (3.63kg). Barrel: 21.65in (550mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 1805 fps (550 m/s). M1911 Infantry Rifle Stronger bolt system, smaller magazine. New rifling. Cartridge: 7.5 x 55M Swiss M1911.



Length: 51.65in (13 12mm). Weight: 10lb 2oz (4.62kg). Barrel: 30.71 in (780mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2600 fps (790 m/s). M1911 Carbine Short rifle with the same action. Cartridge: 7.5 x 55M Swiss M1911. Length: 43.4in (1100mm). Weight: 8lb 10oz (3.93kg). Barrel: 23.3in (590mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2500 fps (760 m/s). M1931 Short Rifle Straight-pull bolt; the magazine just in front of the trigger guard. Cartridge: 7.5 x 55M Swiss M1911. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.01 kg). Barrel: 25.7in (655mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round box. M/v: 2550 fps (775 m/s). SIG (Schweizer Industrie Gesellschaft) SK46 Rifle 1946. Gas-operated semi-automatic, box magazine modelled upon the Schmidt-Rubin rifle. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser (and others). Length: 44.3in (1125mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 23.63in (600mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 10-round box. M/v: 2700 fps (823 m/s). AK53 Rifle 1953. Unusual selective-fire rifle with the blow-forward system, with fixed breech-block and a moving barrel. Large curved magazine with slot showing contents. Cartridge: 7.5 x 55mm Swiss 1911. Length: 39.37in (1000mm). Weight: 10lb 12oz (4.9kg). Barrel: 23.63 in (600mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2450 fps (750 m/s). Cyclic rate: 300 rpm.



Stgw 57 Assault Rifle 1957. Delayed blowback, selective fire; uses the roller-delayed breech system from the Mauser StG 45. Folding bipod. Cartridge: 7.5 x 55mm Swiss 1911. Length: 43.4in (1102mm). Weight: 12lb 5oz (5.6kg). Barrel: 20.47in ( 520mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 24-round box. M/v: 2493 fps (760 m/s). Cyclic rate: 475 rpm. SG510 Assault Rifle 1960s. As Stgw 57 above but for export. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO (and others). Length: 40.0in (106mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 19.8in (505mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2592 fps (790 m/s). Cyclic rate: 500 rpm. SG530 Assault Rifle 1970s. Reduced Stgw 57 chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge, but changed to gas piston operation. Too expensive to produce; replaced by the SG540. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 37.0in (940mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.45kg). Barrel: 15.5in (394mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3000 fps (912 m/s). Cyclic rate: 600 rpm. SG540 Assault Rifle 1980s. Designed by SIG, manufactured under license by Manurhin of France, of Portugal, and FAMAE of Chile. Gas-operated, selective fire. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, fixed or extended butt: 37.4in (950mm). Length, butt folded: 28.35in (720mm). Weight, fixed butt: 7lb 3oz (3.26kg). Weight, folding butt: 7lb 1oz (3.2 kg). Barrel: 18.1 in (460mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3215 fps (980 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm.



SG542 Assault Rifle 1960s. As SG540 but chambered for the 7.62 NATO cartridge. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length, fixed or extended butt: 39.37in (1000mm). Length, butt folded: 29.68in (754mm). Weight, fixed or folding butt: 7lb 13oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 18.31in (465mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). Cyclic rate: 650 rpm. SG543 Assault Carbine 1980s. Carbine version of the SG540. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, fixed or extended butt: 31.69in (805mm). Length, butt folded: 22.4in (569mm). Weight, fixed butt: 6lb 8oz (2.95kg). Weight, folding butt: 6lb 10oz (3.0kg). Barrel: 11.81in (300mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 2870 fps (875 m/s). Cyclic rate: 750 rpm. Stgw 90 Assault Rifle SG550 1986. Replacement for Stgw 57 as a 5.56mm weapon. Improved the design of the SG540. Selective fire with three-round bursts. Light bipod. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 39.3in (998mm). Length, butt folded: 30.256in (772mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 20.79in (528mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3215 fps (980 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm. Stgw 90 Assault Carbine SG551 1986. Short-barrelled Stgw 90 rifle. No bipod. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 32.5 in (827mm). Length, butt folded: 23.68in (601mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 14.6in (372mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3018 fps (920 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm.



SG550 Sniper Ca. 1986. Semi-automatic Stgw 90 assault rifle, heavy barrel. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 44.5in (1130mm). Length, butt folded: 35.56in (905mm). Weight: 15 lb 8oz (7.0kg). Barrel: 25.59in (650mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3215 fps (980 m/s). SIG552 Commando Late 1980s. Very short semi-automatic SG551 SWAT arranged for use by left- or right-handed firers. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 28.7in (730mm). Length, butt folded: 19.8in (504mm). Weight: 7lb 1oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 8.90in (226mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-, 20-, or 30-round box. M/v: 2379 fps (725 m/s). SIG-Sauer. Short-throw bolt action (as Sauer 80/90 sporting and target rifle). 1990s. Non-rotating bolt has hinged lugs that are driven out by cams to lock into the receiver as bolt handle is turned down. Heavy barrel with muzzle compensator, no iron sights. Produced in various calibers. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 47.63in (1210mm). Weight: 14lb 8oz (6.6kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 4-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). SIG-Sauer SSG 3000 Sniping Rifle 1992. Based on Sauer 200STR target rifle, with cam-locked bolt (as above). Modular system. Heavy barrel with muzzle compensator, no iron sights, adjustable bipod. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 46.45 in (1180mm). Weight: 11lb 14oz (5.4kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2690 fps (820 m/s). Solothurn S 18/100 Anti-tank Rifle Current. Recoil-operated semi-automatic.



Cartridge: 20 x 105B Short Solothurn. Length: 69.3in (1760mm). Weight: 99lb 3oz (45.0kg). Barrel: 35.40in (900mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 10-round box. M/v: 2500 fps (762 m/s). Armour penetration: 27mm at 300m at 0. Vetterli 1869 Infantry Rifle Bolt action repeater, tube magazine. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 51.97in (1320mm). Weight: 10lb 4oz (4.66kg). Barrel: 33.1 in (841mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 2-round tube. M/v: 1427 fps (435 m/s). 1870 Cadet Rifle Bolt action as 1869 but single shot only. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 45.27in (1150mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 2677in (680mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1312 fps (400 m/s). M1871 Carbine Shortened 1869 Rifle. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 36.69in (932mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 18.5in (470mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: 1230 fps (375 m/s). M1871 Carbine As 1869 Rifle, but shorter. For light infantry. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 49.61 in (1260mm). Weight: 10lb 3oz (4.63kg). Barrel: 30.90in (785mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round tube. M/v: 1410 fps (430 m/s). M1878 Infantry Rifle Improved 1869 but with the same action.



Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 52.2in (1326mm). Weight: 10lb 2oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 33.1 in (841mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round tube. M/v: 427 fps (435 m/s). 1878 Short Rifle Infantry rifle fitted with a double set trigger. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RF. Length: 52.2in (1326mm). Weight: 10lb 3oz (4.62kg). Barrel: 33.1 in (841mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round tube. M/v: 1427 fps (435 m/s). M1878 Carbine Shortened rifle. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 36.5in (928mm). Weight: 7lb 4oz (3.3kg). Barrel: 18.5in (470mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: 1230 fps (375 m/s). 1878 Border Guard Carbine As M1878 Carbine. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 37.2in (945mm). Weight: 7lb 6oz (3.34kg). Barrel: 19.09in (485mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: 1230 fps (375 m/s). 1881 Short Rifle Action as 1869, improved sights, improved trigger mechanism. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE. Length: 52.0in (1321mm). Weight: 10lb 3oz (4.62kg). Barrel: 33.1in (840mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round tube. M/v: 1427 fps (435 m/s). M1881 Infantry Rifle M1878 with improved sights and trigger. Cartridge: 10.4 x 38R Swiss Peabody RE.



Length: 52.2in (1326mm). Weight: 10lb loz (4.6kg). Barrel: 33.1 in (84mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 12-round tube. M/v: 427 fps (435 m/s).

TAIWAN Type 65 Assault Rifle 1965. Similar to the U.S. M16, but uses the rotating bolt system of the ArmaLite AR18 rifle. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 38.97in (990mm). Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3248 fps (990 m/s). Cyclic rate: 750 rpm.

TURKEY 1874 Peabody Martin 1 Rifle Made by the Providence Tool Company in the United States, and almost identical to the British Martini-Henry Mark 1 rifle. Cartridge: .450 Turkish Martini. Length: 49.0in (1245mm). Weight: 8lb 12oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 33.2in (843mm), 5 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 1263 fps (385 m/s). M1887 Rifle Mausers perfected black-powder design. German M71/84 tube magazine rifle chambered for a 9.5mm cartridge. Cartridge: 9.5 x 60R Turkish Mauser. Length: 49.3in (1251mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.19kg). Barrel: 29.92in (760mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 755 fps (535 m/s). 1890 Rifle Similar to Belgian M1889. Box magazine. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 48.7in (1237mm).



Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 29.1in (740mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2132 fps (650 m/s). 1890 Cavalry Carbine Action as 1890 rifle; turned-down bolt handle. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 39.2in (995mm). Weight: 7lb 11oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 19.68in (500mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1886 fps (575 m/s). M1893 Rifle Similar to the Spanish M1893. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 48.6in (1235mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 29.0in (738mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2132 fps (650 m/s). M1905 Carbine M1903 action; short barrel. Turned-down bolt handle. Cartridge: 7.65 x 53 Mauser. Length: 41.1in (1045mm). Weight: 8lb 4oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 21.7in (550mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2083 fps (635 m/s).

UNITED STATES Allin-Springfield Erskine S. Allin (a firearms inspector and master armourer at the National Armoury in Springfield, Mass) was asked in 1864 by the U.S. Chief of Ordnance (then Gen. Alexander Dyer) to find an efficient way of converting existing rifle-muskets to breech loaders. His system used the lifting trap-door principle, patented by Allin in 1865. M1866 Infantry Rifle Conversion of M1863 percussion rifle. Cartridge: .5-70 U.S. Government.



Length: 56.0in (1422mm). Weight: 9lb 14oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 36.6in (929mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1260 fps (384 m/s). M1873 Infantry Rifle New manufacture 18731878. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 51.92in (131 9mm). Weight: 9b 3oz (4.7kg). Barrel: 32.4in (822mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1320 fps (402 m/s). M1879 Infantry Rifle New manufacture 18791881. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 51.8in (1308mm). Weight: 9lb 2.4oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 32.4in (822mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1320 fps (402 m/s). M1879 Carbine As M1879 Infantry Rifle but shorter. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 41.30in (1049mm). Weight: 9lb 3oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 21.9in (556mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 1200 fps (365 m/s). M1884 Infantry Rifle New manufacture 18841889. Details: as M1873. M1874 Carbine New manufacture 18841889, changes as rifle. Details: as M1879 Carbine. M1889 Infantry Rifle New manufacture 18891892. Details: as M1879. Armalite AR-10 1957. Gas-operated, selective-fire. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 40.51 in (1029mm).



Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2772 fps (845 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm AR-15 1957. Became the U.S. Military M16 (see Colt M16). Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 39.0in (990mm). Weight: 6lb 5oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3240 fps (988 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. AR-18 1964. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 37.0in (940mm). Length, butt folded: 28.98in (736mm). Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 8.26in (464mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-, 30-, or 40-round box. M/v: 3280 fps (1000 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. AR-18S 1970. Short version of the AR-18. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 30.1 in (765mm). Length, butt folded: 22.0in (560mm). Weight: 6lb 13oz (3.1 kg). Barrel: 18.26 in (257mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 2560 fps (780 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. Barrett M82A1 Light Fifty 1983. Semi-automatic, recoil-operated, rotating bolt; fitted with telescopic sight. Cartridge: .50 Browning (12.7 x 99mm). Length: 61.0in (1549mm). Weight: 44lb (13.4kg). Barrel: 29.0in (737mm), 8 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 11-round box. M/v: 2798 fps (853 m/s). M82A2 1992. Smaller version of the M82A1, bullpup. Cartridge: .50 Browning (12.7 x 99mm). Length: 55.47in (1409mm). Weight: 29lb (12.24kg). Barrel: 29.0in (736mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2798 fps (853 m/s). M90 1990. Bolt action bullpup. Cartridge: .50 Browning (12.7 x 99mm). Length: 45.0in (1143mm). Weight: 22.0lb (9.98kg). Barrel: 29.0in (736mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2798 fps (853 m/s). Blake John Blake of New York Citydesigned bolt-action rifle 1890. Bolt action, detachable rotary magazine. Submitted for military tests, 1893, but refused. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 9lb 10oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 30.0in (7.62 mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round rotary. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). Browning Browning Automatic Rifle 1916. A light machine gun, not a rifle, although originally it had no bipod. Cartridge: .30-06. Length: 47.0in (1194mm). Weight: 16lb 0oz (7.26kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). Rate of fire: 550 rpm. M1918A1 1927. This model was fitted with a bipod and selective fire. Cartridge: .30-06.



Length: 47.0in (194mm). Weight: 18lb 8oz (8.4kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm). 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). Rate of fire: 550 rpm. M1918A2 1939. The sturdy, simple version of the weapon that served throughout World War II. Cartridge: .30-06. Length: 47.8in (1214mm). Weight: 19lb 6oz (880kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). Rate of fire: 450 or 650 rpm. Burton Lee-Burton Enfield Experimental, submitted to the British Army, 18821887. A modified Lee bolt action and a large hopper-type magazine. Cartridge: Same .4 Enfield-Martini. Length: 50.18in (1274mm). Weight: 10lb 4oz (4.65kg). Barrel: 30.2in (767mm), 7 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round hopper. M/v: 570 fps (478 m/s). Ward-Burton An experimental rifle, submitted to the U.S. Army, 18701872. Burtons bolt action single shot mechanism. Rejected in favor of the Allin-Springfield conversion. Cartridge: .5-70 U.S. Government. Length: 51.9in (1318mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 32.63in (829mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1250 fps (381 m/s). Chaffee-Reece 1882. Experimental bolt-action rifle with tube magazine in the butt. Unsuccessful in troop trials. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 49.0in (1244mm). Weight: 9lb 3oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 27.9in (708mm), 3 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5-round tube. M/v: 1300 fps (396 m/s). Colt Firearms M16 1962. The military designation of the Armalite AR-15 rifle (see Armalite) upon acceptance into U.S. military service. M16A1 Rifle 1967. M16 with a forward bolt closing plunger. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 39.0in (990mm). Weight: 6lb 5oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3250 fps (988 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. M16A2 Rifle 1982. Rifling changed to suit NATO standard 5.56mm bullet, optional three-round burst device, with a heavier barrel and improved muzzle compensator. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length: 39.37in (1000mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 20.0.in. (508mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3110 fps (948 m/s). Rate of fire: 800 rpm. M16A3 Rifle 1980s. As M16A2 but with removable carrying handle and optical sight mount on receiver. Details: as M16A2. M16A4 Carbine 1980s. Shortened M16A2 with telescoping butt-stock. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 33.0.in. (838mm). Length, butt retracted: 29.80in (757mm). Weight: 5lb 13oz (2.64kg). Barrel: 14.6in (370mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 3022 fps (921 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm.



M231 Firing Port Weapon 1980s. Specialized M16 rifle for use from armoured vehicles through firing ports. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm NATO. Length, butt extended: 32.3in (820mm). Length, butt folded: 27.95in (710mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 14.5in (368mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3000 fps (914 m/s). Rate of fire: 1100 rpm. Evans Old Model Rifle 1872. Lever action, rolling block breech. Submitted to U.S. Army, but rejected. Cartridge: .4 Evans Short. Length: 47.3in (1200mm). Weight: 10lb 2oz (4.6kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 24-round helical. M/v: 850 fps (260 m/s). New Model Rifle 1877. Slight modifications to Old Model. One thousand purchased by Russian Navy in 1878. Cartridge: .4 Evans Long. Length: 43.3in (1098mm). Weight 9lb 10oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 26.0in (660mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 26-round helical. M/v: 443 fps (440 m/s). Gallager Richardson Single-shot Carbine Made during the Civil War; most were percussion breech loaders. Trigger-guard lever slides the barrel forward to load. Cartridge: .6-52 Spencer. Length: 41.0in (1040mm). Weight: 8lb 3oz (3.7 kg). Barrel: 22.3in (565mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 900 fps (274 m/s). Garand U.S. Rifle M1 1932. Semi-automatic, gas-operated, rotating bolt, clip-loaded integral magazine.



Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 43.5in (1103mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.37kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 8-round integral M/v: 2740 fps (835 m/s). The following modifications appeared in subsequent years: US Rifle M1E1 M1 with changes to the bolt and the operating mechanism. US Rifle M1E2 M1 rifle adapted for optical sights. Few made. US Rifle M1E3 M1 with changes to the bolt and the operating system. Few made. US Rifle M1E4 An expansion chamber inserted into the gas system to ease operation. Few made. US Rifle M1ES Shortened version with 18.0in (457mm) barrel and folding stock. Excessive muzzle blast. Abandoned. US Rifle M1E6 M1 with offset telescope sight for use of iron sights in emergency. Few made. US Snipers Rifle MIC M1E7 M1 with telescope sight M73 (Lyman Alaskan) or M73B1 (Weaver 330). Flash hider. US Snipers Rifle MID M1E8 M1 with sight M81, M82, or M84 on block mount. US Rifle M1E9 Variant of the M1E4 with a tappet system of gas operation. US Rifle T26 Short version of the M1 demanded by the Pacific Warfare Board in June 1945. Some were made, but the project was abandoned when World War II ended. US Rifle M14 1957. The clip system was abandoned, replaced by a charger-loaded 20-



round box, firing the 7.62 NATO round and turning it into a selective fire weapon. Far too powerful a round for automatic fire. A waste of effort and replaced very quickly by the M16. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 44.1in (112mm). Weight: 8lb 9oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 22in (559mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2800 fps (853 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. US Rifle M14A1 1957. The squad automatic (LMG) version of the M14 rifle, with selective fire. Bipod and muzzle compensator. Cartridge: 7.62 x 5 NATO. Length: 44.30in (1125mm). Weight: 12lb 12oz (5.78kg). Barrel: 22.0in (559mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2800 fps (853 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. US Rifle M21 1950s. Sniper version of the M14, fitted with Leatherwood telescopic sight. Details: as M14. Harris & McMillan M87R Sniper Rifle 1987. Bolt-action, magazine, anti-materiel rifle. Box magazine, heavy barrel, muzzle brake, bipod. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: 53.0in (1346mm). Weight: 21lb 0oz (9.5kg). Barrel: 29.0in (736mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2798 fps (853 m/s). M92 Sniper Rifle 1992. Modified M87R, bullpup. Same barrel, bolt action and muzzle brake. Bipod. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: cc 35.0in (890mm). Weight: cc 21lb 0oz (952kg). Barrel: 29.0in (736mm), 8 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2798 fps (853 m/s). M93 Sniper Rifle 1993. An improved M87R. Details: as for the M87R. Hotchkiss Winchester-Hotchkiss M1879 Bolt-action, tube magazine in butt, loaded through trap. Purchased by U.S. Army and Navy. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 48.6in (1234mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 28.65in (728mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round tube M/v: Up to 1300 fps (396 m/s). Winchester-Hotchkiss M1883 Improved model; magazine loaded through open action. Tested by U.S. Army, but rejected. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 51.8in (1314mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 32.0in (813mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 6-round tube. M/v: Up to 1300 fps (396 m/s). Johnson M1941 Recoil-operated, semi-automatic, rotating bolt, rotary magazine. Used by U.S. Marines, Dutch East Indies Army and U.S. Special Forces in 19411945. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 45.5in (1156mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 22.0in (558mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round rotary integral. M/v: 2650 fps (807 m/s). Joslyn Model 1862 Carbine Single shot, side-pivoting breech-block. Cartridge: .6-50 Spencer. Length: 39.5in (1003mm).



Weight: 8lb 7oz (2.92kg). Barrel: 22in (558mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 900 fps (274 m/s). Model 1864 Carbine As Model 1862 but with hooded firing pin. Details: as M1862. Keene/Remington-Keene M1880 Bolt action with tube magazine beneath barrel. Tested by the U.S. Army and Navy but rejected. Small number issued to Indian Agency police. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 48.5in (1232mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 8-round tube. M/v: 1275 fps (388 m/s). Lee James Paris Lee developed both rotating bolt and straight-pull bolt actions, together with a box magazine. Lee M1895 Navy Rifle Straight-pull bolt. Small fixed magazine ahead of trigger guard. Cartridge: .26 Lee U.S. Navy. Length: 47.0in (1194mm). Weight: 8lb 0oz (363kg). Barrel: 27.3in (692mm), 5 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2400 fps (732 m/s). Remington-Lee M1879 Rifle Rotating bolt, full-stocked, removable magazine. Adopted by U.S.Navy. Cartridge: 45-70 Government. Length: 48.5in (1232mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 29.5in (749mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1320 fps (402 m/s). Remington-Lee M1882 Rifle Rotating bolt, removable box magazine. Tested by U.S. Army but refused. As M1879, but an improved version.



Remington-Lee 1885 Rifle Further improved M1879. Removable magazine, a separate bolt-head with improved extractor, and an enlarged cocking-piece. Adopted by U.S. Navy. Cartridge: .45-70 Government. Length: 52.0in (1321mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 33.5in (851mm), 3 grooves. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 1350 fps (411 m/s). Palmer Bolt action carbine. First U.S. military bolt action. Some 1000 purchased in 1865. Short bolt handle at rear of bolt, side-hammer. Cartridge: .6-52 Spencer. Length: 38.5in (978mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 900 fps (274 m/s). Peabody M1868 Rifle Lever-operated dropping breech-block, single shot. Cartridge: .6-50 Spencer. Length: 54.1in (1373mm). Weight: 9lb 15oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 35.9in (912mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1230 fps (375 m/s). M1868 Carbine Action as rifle. Cartridge: .6-50 Spencer. Length: 38.19in (970mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 9.96in (507mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 984 fps (300 m/s). Pedersen T2E1Rifle 1932. Delayed blowback, toggle system, semi-automatic. Also built under license as Vickers Automatic Rifle in Britain, 19301932. Cartridge: .276 Pedersen 12. Length: 45.0in (1143mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.10kg).



Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2500 fps (762 m/s). Remington The only Remington rifle to see extensive military service was the rolling block model. The system has a rearward-pivoting breech-block that is enhanced by a conventional hammer. The block cannot be opened unless the hammer is cocked, and when the hammer falls, it interlocks with the block to prevent opening. USA 1870 Navy Rifle Standard rolling block breech with hammer and smaller spur for opening the block. Cartridge: .5-70 U.S. Government. Length: 48.6in (235mm). Weight: 9lb 1oz (4.1 kg). Barrel: 32.6in (828mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1275 fps (388 m/s). M1870 Carbine Action as rifle. Not accepted for service. Cartridge: .5-70 U.S. Government. Length: 38.5in (1235mm). Weight: 7lb 13oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 23.3in (590mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1100 fps (335 m/s). M1871 Army Rifle Similar to Navy model, but the breech mechanism is fitted with the locking action in which the hammer drops to half-cock when the block is closed. The rifle has to be fully cocked before firing. Cartridge: .5-70 U.S. Government. Length: 51.8in (1314mm). Weight: 9lb 5oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 36.0in (914mm), 3 grooves, rh. M/v: 1315 fps (400 m/s). M40A1 Sniping Rifle Ca. 1965. Bolt-action repeating rifle. The Remington 700 sporting rifle militarized for the U.S. Marine Corps. Heavy barrel, telescope mount. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 43.98in (1117mm). Weight: 14lb 8oz (6.6kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2550 fps (777 m/s). Robar RC-50 Ca. 1980. Bolt action rifle. Bipod, small box magazine, muzzle brake, telescope sights only. Used by U.S. forces. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: 55.0in (1397mm). Weight: 25lb 0oz (1.34kg). Barrel: 29.0in (736mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2723 fps (830 m/s). Ruger Mini-14/20GB Infantry Rifle 1982. Military version of the commercial Mini-14 carbine. Gas-operated, rotating bolt, semi-automatic, based on the Garand system. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M193. Length: 37.4in (950mm). Weight: 6lb 6oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 18.5in (470mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-, 20-, or 30-round box. M/v: 3297 fps (1005 m/s). AC-556 Selective Fire Weapon 1984. As Mini-14/20GB with a three-position selector giving single shots, three-round bursts, or automatic fire. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length: 37.74in (984mm). Weight: 6lb 6oz (2.9kg). Barrel: 18.5in (470mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-, 20-, or 30-round box. M/v: 3470 fps (1058 m/s). Cyclic rate: 750 rpm. AC-556F Selective Fire Weapon 1984. Shortened AC-556 with folding steel stock. Rifling changed from one turn in 308mm to one turn in 254mm. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M193. Length, butt extended: 32.1in (815mm). Length, butt folded: 23.7in (603mm). Weight: 6lb 15oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 13.0in (330mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-, 20-, or 30-round box.



M/v: 3470 fps (1058 m/s). Cyclic rate: 750 rpm. KAC-556, KAC-556F 1986. AC-556 and AC-556F in stainless steel instead of blued steel finish. Details: the same. (Note: In the following models, the figures given for Spencer cartridges do not refer to the caliber of the weapon but to the dimensions of the case mouth and base; most calibers were .5in.) M1861 Rifle External hammer and operating lever forming part of trigger guard. Pivoting breech-block with tube cartridge magazine inserted into the stock via the butt-plate. Cartridge: .6-56 Spencer. Length: 47.0in (1194mm). Weight: 10lb 0oz (4.5kg). Barrel: 30in (762mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 950 fps (290 m/s). M1861 Carbine Action as M1861 Rifle, but shorter barrel. Cartridge: .6-56 Spencer. Length: 39.0in (991mm). Weight: 8lb 4oz (3.7kg). Barrel: 22.0in (559mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 930 fps (283 m/s). 1861/67 Carbine Conversion Converted M1861 carbine by Springfield Armory, sleeving the barrel to .5 caliber. Details: similar, except cartridge: .6-50 Spencer; Rifling: 3 grooves; M/v: cc 1075 fps (327 m/s). M1865 Rifle As M1861 Rifle, but chambered in .6-50. Details: as M1861 above, except M/v: cc 1125 fps (343 m/s). M1865 Carbine As M1861 but chambered for the .6-50 cartridge. 1865 Contract Carbine Identical to M1865 Spencer-made carbine, but with 3-groove rifling.



M1867 Rifle Identical to M1865 rifle but marked M1867. About 7,000 were made, some fitted with Spencers patent magazine cut-off, which was attached to the top of the breech-block. M1867 Carbine Spencer As M1865 but usually with Spencer magazine cut-off on breech-block. New Model Rifle Spencer 1868. Identical to M1867 rifle but marked N.M. New Model Carbine Spencer 1868 As M1867 carbine, but marked N.M. M1871 Rifle Conversion Rebarreled M1865 carbine. Cartridge: .56-50 Spencer. Length: 49.5in (1257mm). Weight: 10lb 10oz (4.8kg). Barrel: 32.5in (825mm), 3 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 1120 fps (341 m/s). Springfield M1901 Rifle Rotating bolt, Mauser design, integral charger-loaded magazine. Cartridge: .30 1901. Length: 49.3in (1251mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.3.3kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (701 m/s). M1903 Rifle Similar to M1901 but shorter. Cartridge: .30-03 Springfield. Length: 43.4in (1103mm). Weight: 8lb 8oz (3.85kg). Barrel: 24.2 in (615mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2300 fps (701 m/s). (Note: In 1906 the improved .30-06 cartridge was adopted, increasing the M/v to 2805 fps [855 m/s]). 1903 Mark 1 Pedersen Device M1903 rifle converted by removing the bolt and inserting a blowback



pistol mechanism, feeding from an obliquely mounted box magazine. It fired a pistol-type cartridge and was intended to deliver constant firepower during an infantry assault. Scrapped in the 1920s. M1903A1 1929. M1903 rifle with a pistol-grip buttstock. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 43.5in (1105mm). Weight: 8lb 0oz (3.9kg). Barrel: 24.2 in (615mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). 1903A3 Remington & Smith-Corona 1942. Re-designed M1903A1 for mass production. Aperture sight adopted. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 43.3in (1098mm). Weight: 8lb 13oz (4.0kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 2 or 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). 1903A4 Remington Sniper version. Various types of telescope fitted. Cartridge: .30-06 Springfield. Length: 43.2 in (1097mm). Weight: 9lb 2oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 4 grooves, lh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2805 fps (855 m/s). M1892 Rifle Bolt action, loading trap. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 49.14in (1248mm). Weight: 9lb 6oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). M1896 Rifle As M1892 but new sights. Magazine cut-off. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 49.1in (1245mm). Weight: 8lb 15oz (4.3kg).



Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2000 fps (610 m/s). M1896 Cavalry Carbine Action as rifle. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 41.2in (1045mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.51 kg). Barrel: 22.0in (559mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 1750 fps (533 m/s). M1898 Rifle Action and general appearance as M1892, but with sights graduated to 2000 yards for new higher velocity ammunition. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 49.13in (1248mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 2200 fps (670 m/s). 1898 Cavalry Carbine As the M1896, but with high-velocity sights. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 41.15in (1045mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 22.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 970 fps (600 m/s). 1899 Cavalry Carbine Modified M1898 Cavalry Carbine. Details: no significant difference, except weight: 7lb 14oz (3.6kg). Philippine Constabulary Short Rifle Ca. 1900. Conversions of various models of rifle to provide a suitably short rifle for the Philippine police. Cartridge: .30-40 Krag. Length: 41.15in (1045mm). Weight: 8lb 1oz (3.6kg). Barrel: 22in (559mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral. M/v: 750 fps (533 m/s).



Stoner M63A1 Rifle 1963. Modular rifle system that was something of a milestone in development. Designed by Eugene Stoner and made by Cadillac Gage, the system had 15 modules that could be assembled into rifle, carbine, and light machine gun format. The basic operating system was direct gas impingement, with a gas tube above the barrel and a bolt carrier and rotating bolt. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M193. Length: 40.3in (1023mm). Weight: 7lb 12oz (3.6kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3250 fps (988 m/s). Cyclic rate: 700 rpm. SR5O Anti-Materiel Rifle 1996. Semi-automatic, gas-operated, rotating bolt. Long barrel with muzzle brake. Side-feeding magazine, bipod. Cartridge: .50 Browning. Length: 58.4in (1483mm). Weight: 31lb 7oz (14.28kg). Barrel: 35.5in (902mm), 8 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: cc 2887 fps (880 m/s). Triplett & Scott Repeating Carbine, Long 18641865. Barrel and breech pivot on the face of the butt action so as to revolve the barrel to align with the tube magazine in the butt. Central hammer. Cartridge: .6-52 Spencer. Length: 48.0in (1220mm). Weight: 9lb 0oz (4.1kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: 1025 fps (312 m/s). Repeating Carbine, Short 1864. As long weapon but with a shorter barrel. Cartridge: .6-52 Spencer. Length: 40.0in (1016mm). Weight: 8lb 6oz (3.8kg). Barrel: 22.0in (558mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 7-round tube. M/v: cc 1025 fps (312 m/s).



Warner Carbine 1860. Single shot, lifting breech-block. Hammer fired. Thumb lever alongside hammer releases breech-block. Cartridge: .6-52 Spencer. Length: 38.0in (965mm). Weight: 8lb 2oz (3.63kg). Barrel: 20.0in (508mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: cc 900 fps (274 m/s). Carbine 1860. As above model, but some minor manufacturing changes. Details: the same. Whitney 1873 Rifle (Mexico) Rolling block single shot mechanism similar to the Remington. Cartridge: 11.5 x 57R Spanish Remington. Length: 50.5in (1282mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.3kg). Barrel: 35.0in (889mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 450 fps (442 m/s). 1873 Carbine Rolling block single shot, action as rifle but shorter. Cartridge: 11.15 x 58R Spanish Remington. Length: 36.0in (1282mm). Weight: 7lb 3oz (3.26kg). Barrel: 20.5in (521mm), 4 grooves, rh. M/v: 1312 fps (400 m/s). Winchester M1873 Musket Well-known 1873 lever-action for a musket has same butt and breech mechanism, central hammer and trigger-guard lever as any other Winchester lever-action, but a longer barrel. Cartridge: .4-40 Winchester. Length: 48.3in (1227mm). Weight: 9lb 8oz (4.3.3kg). Barrel: 30.0in (762mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 17-round tube. M/v: 1300 fps (396 m/s). M1895 Musket Variation of the M1895 Browning-designed lever-action carbine, but has a box magazine ahead of the trigger guard. Russia bought over 200,000 in 19151917; many of them were taken to Spain in 19361937.



Cartridge: 7.62 x 54M Russian. Length: 43.2in (1097mm). Weight: 7lb 9oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 24.0in (610mm), 6 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round box. M/v: 2810 fps (856 m/s). US Carbine I 1941. Semi-automatic, gas operated, rotating bolt. Box magazine, flip aperture back sight. Cartridge: .30 U.S. Carbine. Length: 35.6in (904mm). Weight: 5lb 3oz (2.35kg). Barrel: 18.0in (457mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 15- or 30-round box. M/v: 1970 fps (600 m/s). US Carbine M1AI 1941. As M1, but with a pistol grip and metal folding stock. Cartridge: .30 U.S. Carbine. Length, butt extended: 35.563in (905mm). Weight: 5lb 9oz (2.5kg). Barrel: 18.0in (457mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 15- or 30-round box. M/v: 1970 fps (600 m/s). US Carbine M2 1941. M1 modification giving selective fire capability. Cartridge: .30 U.S. Carbine. Length: 35.6in (904mm). Weight: 5lb 3oz (2.4kg). Barrel: 18.0in (457mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5- or 30-round box. M/v: 1970 fps (600 m/s). Cyclic rate: 750 rpm. US Carbine M3 1942. M2 specially adapted to mount an infrared Sniperscope lamp and sight.

YUGOSLAVIA M70BI 1960s. Copy of AKM. Has a grenade sight on the gas port, which, when raised, redirects the gas flow for grenade launching.



M70AB2 1980s. Copy of AKM-S. M76 Sniping Rifle 1976. The AK with a long barrel and wooden fixed butt, chambered for the 7.92 Mauser cartridge, iron sights and a mount for optical or electro-optical sights, semi-automatic only, small straight magazine. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 44.68in (1135mm). Weight: 9lb 4oz (4.2kg). Barrel: 21.65in (550mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). M77B1 1977. Long-barrelled AK, straight magazine. Chambered for NATO standard 7.62 x 51mm cartridge. Intended for use as an infantry rifle. Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO. Length: 38.97in (990mm). Weight: 7lb 8oz (3.4kg). Barrel: 16.34in (415mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 20-round box. M/v: 2887 fps (880 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. M80 Chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge 1980. Very similar to AK-47. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45M Length: 38.97in (990mm). Weight: 7lb 9oz (3.5kg). Barrel: 18.11in (460mm), 6 grooves. Magazine: 30-round box. M/v: 3182 fps (970 m/s). Rate of fire: 750 rpm. M80A 1980. Folding-butt M80. M85 1986. Copy of the Russian AKS-74U, chambered for the 5.56 x 45M cartridge. Folding stock. Cartridge: 5.56 x 45mm M193. Length, butt extended: 31.1in (790mm). Length, butt folded: 22.4in (570mm). Weight: 7lb 1oz (3.2kg). Barrel: 12.4in (315mm), 6 grooves, rh.



Magazine: 20- or 30-round box. M/v: 2592 fps (790 m/s). Rate of fire: 700 rpm. Model 1948 A copy of the German Kar. 98k. Cartridge: 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. Length: 42.90in (1089mm). Weight: 8lb 0oz (3.9.3kg). Barrel: 23.3in (592mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 5-round integral box. M/v: 2600 fps (792 m/s). Zastava Arms M59 Rifle 1959. Exact copy of the Simonov SKS made under license in Yugoslavia. Details: as for that rifle. M59/66 Rifle 1967. Yugoslav-manufactured and improved Model 59; integral grenade launcher. Cartridge: 7.62 x 39mm Soviet 1943. Length: 44.1in (1120mm). Weight: 9lb (4.10kg). Barrel: 24.3in (618mm), 4 grooves, rh. Magazine: 10-round box. M/v: 2410 fps (735 m/s).


accuracy The ability of a weapon to hit the target at the point aimed at; lessens with range and is dependent upon the caliber, power of the cartridge fired, the weapon used and its sighting system (telescopic sights offer greater accuracy at longer ranges), climatic influences, and the user. ACP Automatic Colt Pistol (.45 ACP or .38 ACP). Originally designated cartridges for weapons chambered in these calibers. action The mechanism of a firearm whereby it is loaded, fired, and unloaded. This may be a simple lock mechanism (such as the flintlock) or more complex, such as a bolt or an SLR action. The bolt/SLR actions are self-contained and contain within them the firing pin and spring and the spent cartridge extractor. AP Armor piercing. AP/T Armor-piercing tracer; a type of ammunition. aperture sight A rear sight with a small circular hole through which the foresight is centered when aiming. Succeeded notch and V rear sights that were less easy to use for the rifleman. assault rifle A small arm that uses a rifle-type round that is smaller and lighter than a rifle but larger than an SMG. Usually has selective fire and almost always fires a lower-energy round than a true rifle. automatic The firing of a succession of rounds when the trigger is held down. Often used to fire a burst. back sight The rearmost sight on a rifle, also known as the rear sight. Originally no more than a V or U with no range gradations, it later became very complex with graduated sights for firing at ranges from 200 yards to 2,800 yards. back thrust The pressure exerted on the breech block/bolt head by the cartridge case when fired. ball The original name for a lead ball fired by a musket or by early rifles. Cylindrical in shape and solid. ball cartridge A military full-metal jacket composite round. ball powder A nitrocellulose propellant that is manufactured as small balls of compressed powder, sometimes also known as granular powder,




which is in the form of grains of powder. Often produces more chamber and barrel deposits than tubular propellant. Gives less chamber pressure but increases muzzle pressure. ball round A jacketed bullet normally lead cored; it may contain some other metal parts. ballistic coefficient A number indicating the efficiency of a bullet in overcoming resistance of air and other obstacles in its trajectory. ballistics The science of projectiles. Now divided into interior, muzzle, exterior, and terminal and wound ballistics. ballistite A smokeless propellant used mainly to propel a grenade or similar weapon from the muzzle of a weapon. It is more powerful than blank powder and tends to burn longer. barrel The tube that directs the projectile. May be rifled or smoothbore. It extends from the fore end of the chamber to the muzzle. barrel life The expected lifetime of a barrel, normally expressed in seconds or at most minutes; tells the user how many rounds he may expect to fire at sustainable accuracy by the division of barrel life by barrel time. barrel time The time taken for a bullet to travel from the instant it starts to move out of the neck of the case into the chamber to the moment it leaves the muzzle. This is on the order of .0009 of a second, plus or minus .0002 in modern weapons. beaten zone An area on the ground into which a succession of bullets fired from a weapon will fall. Used at longer ranges for interdiction fire by platoons or even companies up to World War I in particular. Superseded by machine gun fire. bent A recess, normally in the breech block or the firing pin housing, into which the sear fits. When engaged, the firing pin or the breech block is prevented from moving, normally forward. bipod A two-legged support placed under a weapon to support its weight in order to allow more accurate shooting. Often seen on sniper rifles. blank A cartridge or shell, without a projectile, intended to produce a noise when fired. The propellant is normally of a fast-burning variety to compensate for lack of bullet resistance. boat tail The tapered rear end of a bullet. The form of the bullet allows a better ballistic flight with less tail drag from air. bolt The rotating mechanical device used in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to load and unload a rifle. Consisted of the bolt lever, the bolt itself, the firing pin, firing pin spring, sear, and extractor. Still in use today in some military rifles, especially for sniper use. In the assault rifle it is the component that holds and supports the base of the round while it is being chambered, fired, or extracted (see breech block). bolt action Any rifle using a rotary bolt. bore The hole running down the length of the barrel through which the bullet is projected.



breech That part of the rifle that is open to allow the introduction of cartridges to load or reload the weapon, or closed when the rifle is either safe or loaded and ready to fire. It is located immediately behind the chamber. Sometimes the term is used to signify the chamber, but this is strictly inaccurate. breech block Normally this component houses the bolt, adds mass to the recoiling parts, and provides the bent recess. breech loader Any weapon that is loaded at the breech, or rear, end rather than at the muzzle, or front, end. breech pressure The internal breech pressure exerted by the cartridge on the bolt face when fired. Not to be confused with chamber pressure. bullet drop (fall) The drop caused in a bullet in flight due to gravity. bulleted blank A training cartridge used in automatic weapons. The bullet is made of soft wood to allow gas pressure to build up to operate the weapon but disintegrates very rapidly after leaving the muzzle. Still lethal at short ranges. burst A specific number of rounds fired sequentially on one application of the trigger. Some assault rifles have a burst-control mechanism allowing them to fire, say, three rounds at one time. The Heckler & Koch G11 caseless round rifle fires three-round bursts at a much higher rate of fire than normal. caliber The nominal internal diameter of the bore, measured from land to land, or the nominal diameter of the projectile. Today caliber is expressed as the first part of the whole cartridge description, so the 7.62mm x 51mm NATO cartridge has a caliber of 7.62mm and a cartridge total length of 51mm. cannelure A groove on the rear body of a bullet normally used to ensure a good grip by the cartridge case after crimping. cap The portion of the base of the round that contains the primer compound. carbine This is usually a rifle that has been cut down both in length of barrel and in weight in order to make it easier to carry (U.S. tradition has it that a carbine has a barrel length of 22 inches or less). Originally intended for use by cavalry, carbines were also issued to gun crews. In World War II and subsequently, carbines were issued to all front-line troops who were not riflemen, such as drivers, officers, radiomen, and so on. cartridge Originally a paper container for the powder, which also served as wadding. Nowadays it signifies the complete assembly of primer, case, propellant, and bullet that goes to make a round of ammunition, the composite round. case The container component of a cartridge that is filled with the propellant and has the primer fitted to it. caseless ammunition Ammunition that has no outer material to contain and protect the propellant. Used in the Heckler & Koch G11 rifle. As



yet, problems of weapon overheating are proving hard to solve, but this type of ammunition will be seen in the future. center-fire The discovery of the center-fire principle led to the development of the bolt. The cartridge primer is located in the center of the base of the cartridge case. chamber The rear part of the barrel into which the cartridge is loaded and where it is fired. chamber pressure The pressure created in the chamber by the expanding gases caused by firing the weapon. These gases force the bullet along the barrel and can be tapped to provide extraction and reloading energy in the breech block. Pressures reach 55,000 pounds per square inch or more. charge Another name for the propellant. Also, as a verb, to load, in antiquity. charge mass The amount of propellant contained in the cartridge case. With different types of ammunition the charge mass varies (see ballistite). closed bolt The time at which the bolt of a bolt-action rifle is completely closed, and the bolt is either cocked with a cartridge in the chamber or the bolt is safe, with or without a cartridge in the chamber. Also, modern semiautomatic and automatic weapons firing from a closed bolt have a round in the chamber before the trigger is pressed. cock Alternate old name for the hammer of a flintlock of percussion weapon. Nowadays it denotes the working part that strikes the firing pin when a weapon is fired. cocking The process of making a weapon ready to fire, normally by moving the working parts to the rear by means of a cocking handle. compensator A muzzle brake whereby some of the propellant gases following the bullet are diverted to lessen the upward jump of the muzzle on firing, especially in automatic or burst firing. Also seen on anti-materiel rifles to reduce the recoil to a small extent. cook off The firing of a round due to the chamber inducing enough heat in the cartridge propellant to cause spontaneous combustion. See also hangfire. core The internal component of a bullet. Often lead, it is surrounded by the jacket or bullet casing. crimp The lip created at the neck of a cartridge used to hold the bullet firmly in the case. cyclic rate The number of rounds that a weapon will fire in 1 minute given a continuous supply of ammunition (also known as the rate of fire in this text). It is a theoretical figure. cylinder The rotating part of a revolver mechanism that houses the chambers holding the rounds. Damascus (Damascene) barrel A barrel made by twisting two or more strips of steel around a former and then hammer-welding together. Common on older weapons, particularly shotguns and expensive military firearms.



danger space/danger area The range from a weapon during which the trajectory of a bullet does not rise above the average height of the target. Also, the space around the bursting point of an exploding shell dangerous to the target. deflection Any external object or force causing a bullet to depart from its trajectory causes deflection. Can be caused by wind, foliage, armor, or the human body. disconnector Part of the trigger mechanism of an automatic weapon to prevent the gun from being fired unless the action is fully closed, or to prevent the firing of more than one shot for each pull of the trigger. dispersion The spread of bullets on a target; see group. double action The type of firing action whereby pulling the trigger not only cocks but also fires the weapon. Applies only to revolvers and some pistols. double base See propellant. drag Air resistance to the bullet in flight. drift Sideward movement of a bullet in flight due to the rotation caused by the rifling. Usually compensated for in the zeroing of the sights of the rifle. Dum-Dum Correctly (but very rarely) a bullet made at the British Arsenal of that name in India; commonly a bullet that has its jacket cut, drilled, or deformed in such a way that the core of the bullet expands on hitting flesh to cause severe wounding. The same effect at short range can be achieved by reversing the bullet in the case before firing, but this can cause jamming. effective range The range at which the average military rifleman may be expected to hit a target with his first or perhaps second shot. Dependent upon the weapon and the firer. In musket days the range could be as little as 30 yards; today it can be taken to be a maximum of probably 300 yards or less. ejection After extraction, the method whereby the empty case or unused round is thrown clear of the weapon. ejector Normally a fixed stud in the bolt or breech block housing (the rifle body) that is hit by an extracted round on its base that causes the case to be thrown away from the breech. elevation The vertical adjustment in sights that allows firing at various ranges. erosion The wearing-away of the bore by gas, chemical, or mechanical action. All barrels suffer from erosion when fired, and excessive erosion degrades accuracy to such an extent that the weapon needs to be rebarreled or discarded. expanding bullet See Dum-Dum. extraction The withdrawal of an empty case or unfired round from the chamber. extractor The device fitted to the rear of the chamber in earlier weapons, or integrally to the bolt, whereby the cartridge is gripped for extraction.



falling block Falling-block rifles have a breech block that moves up and down, down on extraction and up after manual loading. Normally they are pivoted at the rear to allow access to the chamber for reloading. The Martini-Henry is such a rifle. field of view What is seen through an optical/telescopic sight. The higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view. Snipers generally work at 6x magnification to give good target viewing as well as a reasonable field of view. figure of merit A British measure of the dispersion of a batch of ammunition. The smaller, the better. Ammunition needs to be able to hit the target aimed at by an average shot. For snipers much more accurate ammunition is provided. The ammunition is tested for accuracy and consistency at the manufacturing site. firing pin The part of the firing mechanism of the weapon that strikes the primer and causes the propellant to ignite. flash hider/eliminator An attachment to the muzzle of a weapon that hides or eliminates the flame that exits the muzzle. In fact, in daylight today there is little or no flash (and no smoke with smokeless powder), but at night flash is still very evident even when the weapon is so fitted. On semiautomatic and automatic weapons breech flash is also apparent in the dark. flash hole The hole in the base of the cartridge case through which the flame from the primer passes to ignite the main propellant charge. fouling The deposits created within the chamber, barrel, body, piston housing, and so on of the modern rifle, in the barrel and chamber in older weapons, which can cause jamming, misfires, and other failures. Caused by the propellant failing to be completely consumed on firing, and often seen as a shower of sparks at the muzzle in older weapons. furniture The parts of a weapon that make it comfortable to hold and carry. The term derives from the fact that most early weapons used wood to form the butt (stock) and the fore end. The butt allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder; the fore end protects the firers hands from excessive heat from the barrel. gain twist Rifling that increases its twist as it nears the muzzle. The subject of experiments, particularly in the nineteenth century, that have never proved any conclusive benefit. gas The product of firing the propellant charge. The gases expand at a phenomenal rate and impart energy to the bullet to drive it along the barrel. gas-operated Any weapon that uses tapped propellant gases to operate the loading/reloading cycle. grain An old measure of weight, used in the precious metal industry. An average ounce weight equals 437.5 grains. Greenhill formula A formula developed by Sir Alfred Greenhill to determine the correct rifling twist for stability. groove Rifling consists of grooves and lands. The grooves are cut into the



barrel, and the lands are the metal left between the grooves. Caliber is measured between lands. group The area into which a number of rounds aimed at the same point arrive. Grouping is a test for new riflemen to see how firmly they hold the rifle and how good their weapon control is. A floater is an errant round. A small group is proof of good musketry, whereas a wide group shows the opposite. gun Any weapon that fires a projectile. Loosely applied to all manner of weapons; a generic term. gunpowder The earliest propellant, a mixture of charcoal, saltpeter, and sulfur. Also known as black powder from its color. Granular, very prone to dampness. hammer Originally, the external hammer activated by the trigger that strikes the frizzen and causes a spark to ignite the powder in the pan; also, hits a percussion cap that fires the propellant charge in the chamber or delivers a blow to a firing pin. hand gun A pistol, revolver, or other weapon capable of being fired when held in one or both hands. Nowadays it applies only to pistols and revolvers, but formerly applied to rifles as well. hangfire A greater delay than is expected between the striking of the cap and the ignition of the propellant. The delay may be infinite (the primer did not work, there is no main propellant, etc.) or of unspecified duration. With rifles the normal drill is to expel the unfired cartridge as carefully as possible and carry on firing. On the range, however, and in training the rifle is often isolated for a specific time before extraction. It is very noticeable when firing old-fashioned flintlocks. headspace The distance between the breech face and the face of the bolt, between which is sandwiched the cartridge rim. Rimmed cartridges normally extend behind the breech face to an extent, whereas rimless cartridges can be held within the chamber. ignition The primer initiates ignition, and ignition takes place at about 500C. ignition time The time that elapses between the firing pin striking the primer and the bullet starting to move. Compare hangfire. individual weapon An assault rifle or rifle, seldom required to engage a target beyond 600 yards. Today battle ranges rarely exceed 300 yards except for snipers. Ingalls tables Tables developed by Colonel J. M. Ingalls in the nineteenth century to calculate trajectory, velocity, and time of flight, in relation to caliber, charge, and rifling. jacket A casing that forms the outer covering of a bullet. Usually made of copper, steel, or gilding metal over a lead core. A full-metal jacket covers the core completely, but in expanding bullets (unlawful militarily) the jacket is cut or removed at the tip of the bullet and allows the core to mushroom on impact, causing dreadful wounds.



jam A stoppage caused by an object becoming jammed within the working parts of a rifle, or by fouling preventing the smooth operation of those parts. Jamming can be caused by sand, dust, rust, or foreign material as well as by deformed rifle parts and faulty or malformed cartridges and cartridges that misfire. All military weapons training includes much instruction on how to recognize jams and how to clear them. jump The movement of the muzzle of a weapon due to the effect of the weapons initial recoil while the bullet is still in the barrel. Normally caused by the firer. keyhole An elongated hole made in a target by a yawing bullet that, due to insufficient spin, arrives at the target sideways or partly so. killing power A rather inaccurate term for the ability of a weapon or its projectile to effect lethal force on the target. Sometimes used by those in awe of a particular weapon, such as Dirty Harrys .44 Magnum. lands The raised portion or ridges between the grooves in a rifled bore. lead The gap between the front of the chamber and the commencement of the rifling (sometimes called the leade). Also, a term meaning to aim in front of a moving target by a specific amount. light machine gun (L M G) An automatic weapon portable by one man, normally with a bipod, changeable barrel, firing from an open bolt, capable of more sustained fire than a rifle, out to the range required by a section (600 yards). light support weapon (L S W) Normally a rifle with a longer and sometimes heavier barrel, fitted with a bipod for the same tasks as an LMG, but with less need for sustained fire. Such weapons have been found to be more trouble than they are generally worth, especially if magazine fed. The British Army has at last seen that the Minimi LMG is a far better weapon at section level than the very unreliable LSW, which is based on the SA80 system. line of fire An imaginary straight line continuing down the axis of the bore when the weapon is fired. Also signifies the area in front of a weapon that is visible to the firer and in which he can visually obtain and engage targets. line of sight A straight line from the weapon sight to the target, which is a visual, but not a ballistic, line (see trajectory). lock time The time between the release of the sear and the detonation of the cap. Not to be confused with hangfire. lot number Applies to ammunition. A code number that identifies a particular quantity of ammunition when it is manufactured. Special ammunition (such as that issued for sniping) is always well identified. machine gun A firearm capable of sustained automatic fire, normally from a bipod or tripod, and belt fed. machine pistol What is now known as a submachine gun or pistol-caliber weapon designed for close ranges. Previously also applied to weapons such as the Mauser pistol when fitted with a stock.



magnum A term implying a cartridge loaded with a greater propellant charge, giving higher-than-normal velocity. maximum range The range at which a bullet is no longer effective in wounding. mean point of impact (MPI) The center of a group of shots; see group. medium machine gun (MMG) A crew-served automatic weapon, not as portable as an LMG, normally fired from some form of mounting, belt fed, and with good sustained fire capacity and a greater useful range, perhaps even out to 2000 yards. medium support weapon (MSW) Similar to an MMG. misfire The failure of a round to fire properly or completely. Often caused by faulty primers, misfires rarely occur due to propellant failure. mouth The opening at the front end of a cartridge that is formed at the neck. muzzle brake An attachment secured to the muzzle of a gun and using the propellant gases to cut down the recoil. Compare with compensator. muzzle energy The kinetic energy of a round on exit from the muzzle. High muzzle energies mean longer ranges and increased penetration of bullets (i.e., increased killing power). muzzle loader Any weapon that is loaded via the muzzle. muzzle velocity The speed at which a bullet leaves the muzzle of the rifle, measured in feet per second (fps) or meters per second (m/s). neck The front portion of a bottleneck cartridge case that is reduced in diameter and into which the bullet fits. See also cannelure, rim, and cartridge. nitrocellulose The base for modern propellant powders made from cotton impregnated with sulfuric and nitric acid. obturation The sealing at the breech end of a barrel to prevent any rearward escape of high-pressure gas. An obturator is a seal for this purpose, and in the Chassept rifle the obturator was made of cork, which had a very short life. open bolt Weapons that fire with an open bolt or breech, have the working parts held to the rear before firing thus ensuring that no round is in the chamber until the trigger is pressed, at which point the working parts move forward to chamber the round. pin-fire Composite cartridges that are hammer fired. The hammer strikes an integral pin in the cartridge that in turn strikes the internal primer. pistol Used to denote semiautomatic as opposed to revolver handguns. Often used in error to denote the latter. pitch The angle of the rifling helix to the bore axis. powder See gunpowder. primary extraction The initial rearward movement of the empty case in order to unseat it from the chamber. Caused by the gases in the barrel and/or by a short rearward movement of the bolt. Extraction follows. primer An easily initiated explosive to be found in the cap of a cartridge.



There are two main types, the Berdan and the Boxer. May also be held in the rim (rimfire cartridges) in small-bore cartridges. projectile Any object fired by a gun. A bullet becomes a projectile at the moment it leaves the barrel. propellant The charge used to propel the bullet along the barrel and its trajectory. range The distance (normally in yards or meters) between rifle and target. rate of fire The practical number of rounds that can be fired from a given weapon. In this text used to denote the cyclic rate of fire. rate of twist The distance moved down the barrel for the bullet to make one complete revolution. receiver The metal part of the gun that houses the breech and firing mechanisms, sometimes called the frame. Also called the breech on earlier weapons. recoil The rearward movement of the gun due to the energy created on firing. recoil-operated A firearm that uses part of the recoil energy to reload and recock itself. revolver A repeating handgun having a number of chambers in a rotating cylinder that are indexed around by pulling the trigger. Most revolvers index, then fire, a very few vice versa. A single-action revolver is one in which the hammer must be cocked manually before the trigger can release it. rifle A long-barreled, rifled weapon, fired from the shoulder, used for accurate shooting to 600 yards or more. Rifles are still found that are bolt operated, but they are few and far between, mainly reserved for sniping work. Today the AK-47 is perhaps the most recognizable rifle in the world, closely followed (in proliferation) by the Heckler & Koch G3 and the U.S. M16. rifling The system of grooves cut into a barrel (or today formed by hammering or pressing cold steel) that spin the bullet so that it maintains its stability in flight. rim The part of a round of ammunition that allows the extraction of that round from a chamber. A cartridge may be rimmed (have a rim that is of wider diameter than the base of the cartridge), rimless (the rim being cut into the cartridge base, reinforced for this purpose), or semi-rimmed (a mixture of the two techniques). Modern military cartridges are all rimless, as this ensures better feeding with semiautomatic and automatic weapons. SA Acronym for small arm or single action. sear A catch in the firing mechanism of a gun that engages in a bent in the breech block or restrains the firing pin, thus inhibiting firing until the trigger is pulled. self-loading A firearm that automatically extracts, ejects, and reloads another cartridge ready for firing. Also known as auto-loading. The term



also applies to self-loading rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, submachine guns, and machine pistols. semiautomatic The same as self-loading but single shot only. SF Acronym for sustained fire, or continuous machine gun fire from a tripod. shoulder The tapered portion of a cartridge case, between the body of the case and the neck holding the bullet. sighting in See zeroing. sights The means of aiming the weapon. Normally a rear (back) sight and a fore (front) sight combine to increase accuracy. Sights may be rudimentary (V and blade), complex (adjustable apertures rear and fore), or a mixture of the two. Aperture rear sights are standard but are being supplanted by single-point optical sights (where the firer sees an arrow or other indicator in the sight tube). Sighting systems are becoming more and more complex, but more dependent upon batteries, which must be a disadvantage. Optical sights are of value, but only if they give an adequate field of view. single action Normally, in a revolver, the weapon must be manually cocked before it can be fired. SLR Self-loading rifle. small arm Generally a weapon that is portable, firing a flat-trajectory projectile of 12.7mm or less. Also includes anti-materiel weapons of larger caliber, as these weapons now go up to around 20mm caliber. smokeless powder Discovered in 1832, perfected in 1884, it is neither smokeless nor a powder, but actually a solid nitrocellulose monopropellant with or without oxidizing and/or fuel plasticizers. submachine gun (SMG) This is a term seldom used today, having been replaced by personal defense weapon (PDW) but covering a weapon between a handgun and a rifle. terminal velocity The velocity of the bullet at the end of its flight. time of flight The time taken from leaving the muzzle to the end of its flight. trajectory The parabolic flight of a bullet or projectile from leaving the muzzle to the end of its flight. Due to gravitational and other effects, a bullet cannot describe a line of flight that is exactly the same as the line of sight. It actually travels above the line of sight in a parabola until it reaches the actual aiming point (as opposed to the firers perceived aiming point, which may be completely different). When the bullets path to its aiming point is below the average height of a man, it is said to create a danger zone. trigger The part of the firing mechanism pulled or squeezed that releases the hammer or firing pin. tumble (tumbling) The effect of bad design in bullets can cause them to tumble. This causes inaccuracy but can also cause very serious wounds. vibration Small but rapid, rhythmic vibrations in barrels on firing; occurs while the bullet is in the barrel.



whip The sudden movement at the moment of emergence of the bullet from the barrel. Often caused by incorrect barrel length in relation to rifling. windage Allowance for wind when aiming. Also, in muzzle loaders particularly, gaps between ball and barrel wall allowing propellant gases to escape past the ball on firing. yaw The angle between the tangent to the trajectory and the longitudinal axis of the projectile at its center of gravity. Often produced by bad bullet design. zero/zeroing The adjustment of the sights so as to ensure that bullet impact is on the point of aim.


Allen, W. G. B. Pistols, Rifles and Machineguns. EUP, London, 1953. An important contribution to the science of war. Major Allen looks at the principles governing the operation and use of military small arms in the period 1939 to the 1950s, with historical material to explain the development of these weapons. Allsop, D., et al. Military Small Arms. Brasseys, London, 1997. This is a technical book dealing with the design and operation of military small arms. It contains a lot of important diagrams explaining all aspects of the subject, including ammunition and ammunition magazines and belts. It also shows very clearly how weapons work. Allsop, D. F., and M. A. Toomey. Small ArmsGeneral Design. B r a s s e y s Land Warfare Series No. 6. Brasseys, London, 1999. This book contains a wealth of detail on how and why weapons are designed. It is a valuable complement to the previous volume, both of which are part of Brasseys Land Warfare into the 21st Century series. Army Field Forces Board, Fort Benning. Report of Joint Test of United States and United Kingdom Lightweight Rifles. Typescript copy, 1950. The joint tests in 1950 led eventually to the United States adopting the totally inappropriate and useless M14 in place of the M1 Garand, and to the British adopting the SLR instead of the promising 7mm EM-2. This report has the details of the tests and the results and conclusions. At best these tests were an uneasy compromise, especially with the United States being controlled by Colonel Ren Studler, of doubtful ability. Ball, Robert W. D. Mauser Military Rifles of the World. Krause Publications, Iola, WI, 2000. This is essentially a list book but contains a wealth of detail on the countries that adopted the Mauser designs. There are numerous good color photographs of the weapons.




Barnes, Frank C., M. L. McPherson (eds.). Cartridges of the World. Krause Publications, Iola, WI, 1965. This is a comprehensive treatment of civil and military cartridges, and has a good section on military cartridges. Bergsteffel, Alois. Die Repetier-Frage. Chronica 20. An article on the repeater rifle question, first published in the nineteenth century. It summarizes developments up to the 1890s and has some good line drawings. Bilby, Joseph G. Civil War Firearms. Combined Books, Conshohocken, PA, 1996. A good book on the subject, bringing out the enormous range of weapons used by both sides in the U.S. Civil War. There are also many comments on tactics and operations. Blair, Claude. A Further Note on the Early History of the Wheel-Lock. Journal of the Arms and Armour Society 4, no. 9: 187, 1976. This is a good article giving further details of the wheel lock and its history. Blair, Claude, ed. Pollards History of Firearms. MacMillan, New York, 1983. This is a book that no self-respecting historian of firearms should be without. It is full of the sort of detail needed, and is exceptionally well illustrated with line drawings and photographs. Bosworth, N. A Treatize on the Rifle. Redfield, New York, 1846. Important because it covers manufacturing methods in the period before the U.S. Civil War, and also poses a few questions about these methods. Good background material. Cline, Walter M. The Muzzle-Loading Rifle. Standard Printing and Publishing, Huntington, WV, 1942. An examination of the muzzle-loading rifles of the nineteenth century in the United States. Of no great significance to a military study, but has some value in its comments about the U.S. tradition of carrying firearms. Cole, Ralph D., and W. C. Howells. The Thirty-Seventh Division in the World War 19171918. 37th Division Veterans Association, Columbus, OH, 1926, pp. 387ff. This history includes an important comment on the Springfield 1903 rifle. Council of the NRA (UK). Automatic Rifles, and Report on the Trials of Automatic Rifles. NRA, 1904.



These papers relate to the semiautomatic competition that was carried out between 1904 and 1906 in the United Kingdom, and also gives the results of the tests on the various rifles submitted for the competition. Daw, George H. Daws Gun Patents. G. H. Daw, London, 1864. Deane, J. Deanes Manual of the History and Science of Fire-Arms. Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts, London, 1858. This is a delightful history of the development of firearms and should be read for pleasure, although there are certain sections on chemistry that are very valuable. Dugelby, T. B. EM-2 Concept and Design. Collector Grade Publications, Toronto, ON, 1980. A very good examination of this significant weapon and its development. . Modern Military Bull-Pup Rifles. Collector Grade Publications, Toronto, ON, 1984. A listing of modern bullpup rifles that is superficial, but does contain some interesting photographs. Ezell, Edward Clinton. The AK-47 Story. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA, 1986. The story behind the development of the famous rifle, including Kalashnikov himself, the way he thought out the principles of the weapon, and how he then got the rifle into manufacture. It is a fundamental book. . The Great Rifle Controversy. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA, 1984. This is a book that must be read to understand the problems of the U.S. Army in its search for a new semiautomatic rifle after World War II. The author pulls no punches, is straight down the line on the M14 fiasco, and has little time for the 600 yarders, who argued against the smallcaliber cartridge that Armalite was proposing. Compulsory reading. Fremantle, T. F. The Book of the Rifle. Longmans Green, London, 1901. An early but extremely important work that looks at the rifle at the turn of the twentieth century. There is a very valuable section on military rifles, and much of the history of the development of military firearms is included and well illustrated. Fuller, Claude E. The Rifled Musket. Bonanza Books, New York, 1958. A good series of line drawings complements a detailed book on early U.S. rifled muskets.



German General Staff. Merkblatt Anleitung zur Ausbildung und den Einsatz von Scarfschtzen. Official Mil Publication, OKH, 1943. This article covers the K98k telescope-version sniper rifle and is a technical manual. Gould, A. C. Modern American Rifles. Bradlee Whidden, Boston, 1892. A book of lesser importance, covering sporting and some military weapons around the turn of the century. Greener, W. W. The Gun and Its Development. Reprint. New Orchard Editions, Poole, Dorset, UK, 1988. Another of the must have books on rifles. A complete examination of civilian and military weapons, with important background information and a wealth of line drawings to illustrate the points made by the author. Hallahan, William H. Misfire. Charles Scribners Sons, New York, 1994. This book complements Ezells Great Rifle Controversy, but goes much further back. The descriptions of the corruption and sheer inefficiency at Springfield Armory, and the machinations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the arms business in the United States, defy belief. This first-class book reads well and easily, but is a warning of things that are probably still happening: the interests of firearms manufacturers who are suppliers and their underhanded methods to keep their contracts make chilling reading on both sides of the Atlantic. Hartink, A. E. Encyclopedia of Rifles and Carbines. Rebo, Lisse, The Netherlands, 1997. Another listings book, of no great significance, but with good photographs. Hayward, J. F. The Art of the Gunmaker. 2 vols. Barrie and Rockliffe, London, 1963. A first-rate academic study of gun makers in Europe from the fifteenth century. Perhaps a little dry for the gun-nut, it is nevertheless of real value in tying in the weapons and those who created them. H. M. Government Committee ReportsOrdnance Select Committee Reports 18641865. The official report on the breech-loading trials and the arguments that surrounded them in the UK from 1864 to 1866. Interestingly shows that there was no serious intention of providing British troops with the most modern weapons, but rather just to appear to be doing something constructive! Hicks, James E. Notes on French Ordnance. Private publication, 1938. A series of notes on various French guns and rifles.



Hobart, F. W. A. Janes Infantry Weapons. Janes Yearbooks, London, 1975. The first edition of a seminal work. This book is at the heart of any history of small arms from the mid-1920s to 1975 and includes all the details one could wish for, as well as many illustrations and line drawings. Later editions do not have the very important historical material of this volume, which was the first of the series. Hogg, Ian V. The Greenhill Military Small Arms Data Book. Greenhill, London, 1999. A first-class assemblage of data by a master who really knew weaponry. His tables are of particular importance, and the data on the weapons is of great value. . The Worlds Sniping Rifles. Greenhill Books, London, 1998. A short compilation that is not significant, but has some good photographs. House of Commons (UK). Defense Committee Report. The SA80 Rifle and Light Support Weapon. HMSO, 1993. The argument about the SA80 and official reaction to the many reported faults and failings of the weapon. For many years the British Army was issued a second-rate weapon, which was only sorted out after Heckler & Koch modified it significantly in recent years. It says little on the surface, but begs the question as to whether British Aerospace had any real interest in making the weapon one that British soldiers could trust. Huon, Jean. Military Rifle and Machine Gun Cartridges. Ironside International, Alexandria, VA, 1988. Another cartridge book that contains an in-depth treatment by caliber of the military cartridges. Hutton, M. N. Geoffrey. Small-Caliber Ammunition: The Way of the Future for NATO. Military Review (October 1979): 26ff. A discussion by a serving officer of the Canadian Army on the small-caliber cartridge and its significance to the military at the time when the wrangling over the Armalite weapons was at its height. Kahn, Lessing A., et al. A Study of Ineffective Soldier Performance under Fire in Korea, 1951. U.S. Operations Research Office, 1954. An analysis of North Korean and Chinese soldiers reactions under fire, and a sideline on which weapon systems were operated effectively by United Nations troops. Knapp, Brian. Breech Loading Rifle Competition 1867. Parts 1 and 2. Guns, Weapons, and Militaria, 1996.



Two articles on the facts of the competition, covered elsewhere in much greater detail. Korn, R. H. Mauser Gewehre und Mauser Patente. Akademische Druck und Verlagsanstalt, Graz, Austria, 1971. An academic treatment of the early Mauser patents. Law, Richard D. Backbone of the WehrmachtThe German K98k Rifle, 19341945. Collector Grade Pubs., Cobourg, Canada, 1998. Exhaustive treatment of the German Army short rifle (shorter than the original Gew 98, anyway). The sheer depth of the treatment is rewarding. A first-class book, as are most of the Collector Grade publications. Long, Duncan. AK-47 The Complete Kalashnikov Family. Paladin Press, Boulder, CO, 1988. A good paperback account of the development and service of this extremely well-known if not notorious rifle. Lugs, Jaroslav. Firearms Past and Present. 2 vols. Grenville, London, 1973. Two books invaluable in any firearms library. Volume 1 contains the text of a detailed history of the development of firearms, including revolvers, pistols, rifles, submachine guns, and machine guns. Volume 2 contains first-class line drawings and photographs to illustrate the text. These stand alongside Pollards History of Firearms and rank on a par with that book. Majendie, V. D. Military Breech-Loading Small Arms. Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, 1867, pp. 2ff. An interesting look at the situation in Europe after the Crimean War, containing an important supplement to Schns analysis in Mordecai. Marchington, James, ed. The Encyclopedia of Handheld Weapons. Brasseys, London, 2002. One more of the list books that seem to be available from so many publishers. Marshall, S. L. A. Men against Fire. Peter Smith, Gloucester, MA, 1978. This book has come in for so much criticism, yet the main thesis seems quite tenable. Not many men in battle do more than perhaps make a noise with their individual weapon, and some just hide. The reason for the criticism seems to be that Marshall wrote the unpalatable: he argued that most men under fire do not do the John Wayne/Sylvester Stallone thing, but take cover and stay out of harms way, without firing their own rifle. Logic suggests that this is true for most men, so why should Americans be different? It is no reflection upon courage, but rather an observation that in a firefight most men are paralyzed by enemy fire and want



to survive. It is worth reading despite the criticisms levelled against it, and the conclusions require thought rather than outright dismissal. Marshall, William P. On the Principal Construction of Breech-Loading Mechanisms for Small Arms. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1871, pp. 92ff. More analytical writing from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, who have much interest to the military historian in their Proceedings. Much can be gained by scanning the index of these publications, and the drawings in this article are very clear and useful. Mordecai, Alfred. Report of the Military Commission to Europe. U.S. House of Representatives, 1861. A fundamental source of information on the armament industrys state in 1860. Mordecai traveled extensively in Europe and visited the manufacturers in all the European countries. His report is of great importance in seeing what was going on at the time. Appended is Schns report on small arms, part of which is reprinted in this book as Appendix A. Moss, G. M., D. W. Leeming, and C. L. Fa r r a r. Military Ballistics. Brasseys, London, 1995. A scientific, but not incomprehensible, treatment of ballistics. Valuable in understanding recoil, feed mechanisms, and interior and exterior ballistics of the bullet. Myatt, F. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 19th Century Firearms. Crescent Books, New York, 1979. Major Myatts work covers the development of firearms during the period of the greatest improvementsfrom flintlock to bolt-action weapons. Well illustrated with some good colour cut-way drawings. Norton, Charles B. American Inventions and Improvements in BreechLoading Small Arms etc. Chapin and Gould, Needham Heighs, MA, 1880. As the title says, the book deals with excellent line drawings to illustrate the text. Officers of the Ordnance Department, U.S. Army. Small Arms for Military Service. Nicholson, Washington, DC, 1859. Contains exhaustive detail on tests carried out from 1853 to 1855 to establish the best weapon for use by the U.S. Army. Many ballistic tables. Pegler, Martin. Powder and Ball Small Arms. Crowood Press, Marlborough, UK, 1998. A short but effectively illustrated history of the firearm in the age of



powder and ball by an acknowledged world-class expert, Martin Pegler, curator of firearms at Royal Armouries in England. Petrillo, Alan M. The Lee Enfield Number 4 Rifles. Excalibur Publications, Tucson, AZ, 2001. Details of the No. 4 Lee-Enfield Rifle, which came into British service during World War II and continued until 1958, when it was replaced by the SLR. Very fine illustrations. Purdon, Charles J. The Snider-Enfield. Runge Press, Ottawa, ON, 1990. A short but good treatment of the Snider version of the Enfield rifle, with some good plates. Reynolds, E. G. B. The Lee-Enfield Rifle. Herbert Jenkins, London, 1960. A detailed and very good book on the Lee-Enfields that served the British Army so well. Top-class three-dimensional drawings complement a good book. Rinker, Robert A. Understanding Firearm Ballistics. Mulberry House Publishing, Apache Junction, AZ, 2001. Roads, C. H. The British Soldiers Firearm. Herbert Jenkins, London, 1964. A well-written analysis of the development from the British 1851 pattern musket to the experimental weapons of the 1860s, and including Westley Richards weapons issued to the cavalry. Ross, Steven T. From Flintlock to RifleInfantry Tactics 17401866. Frank Cass, London, 1996. A change from the standard text in this bibliography, but this book centers on the tactics, particularly of line and skirmish, and the changes forced on the infantry by the arrival of the rifle on the battlefield. Royal Military College of Science. The Small Calibre Concept. Chapter 12 of Principles of Infantry Weapons, Shrivenham, Swindon, RMCS, 1968. A paper on the whole idea of reducing the service caliber to 5.56mm from well over 7mm. Of importance because of its source: the British Military College of Science at Shrivenham. Rywell, Martin. Sharps Rifle. Pioneer Press, Union City, TN, 1979. A good book on the Sharps rifle, which deals with the subject very well. Scoffern, J. Projectile Weapons of War and Explosive Compounds. L o n gmans, Brown, Green and Longmans, London, 1858. Scoffern writes about the science behind rifles and cannon, and also looks at the chemistry. Gives a good picture of the state of the art 150 years ago in Europe.



Senich, Peter R. The German Assault Rifle, 19351945. Paladin Press, Boulder, CO, 1987. A complete coverage of the German assault rifles that appeared toward the end of World War II. Senich deals with all the important facts and the book is a good complement to Hitlers Garands and other texts dealing with these firearms. Sharpe, Phillip B. The Rifle in America. Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1946. A good overall look at U.S. rifles that comments on sporting as well as military weapons. Skennerton, Ian. Special Service Lee-Enfields: Commando and Auto Models. Small Arms Identification Series, no. 13. Privately published by the author, 2001. This pamphlet covers the modified Lee-Enfields, including the shortened semiautomatic and self-loading version experimented with during World War II in particular. Smith, W. H. B. Basic Manual of Military Small Arms. Military Service Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, 1943. The first of the now famous books by W. H. B. Smith, this was first published in 1942 to enable enemy weapons to be used by U.S. soldiers. It is a really enjoyable how to book. . Small Arms of the World. Stackpole, Harrisburg, PA, 19431962 and later. This book is often referred to as the bible of firearms; its depth and compass make it deserving of such an accolade, and early editions are preferred over later ones that were sometimes printed on low-quality paper. Covers just about everything up to the era of the M16, the Kalashnikov, and early EM and IW rifles. Smith, W. H. B., and Joseph E. Smith. The Book of Rifles. Stackpole, Harrisburg, PA, 1948. A concentration of material from the above text, well worth reading for the concentrated nature of the information. Smith, Walter H. B., Mannlicher Rifles and Pistols. Military Service Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, 1948. More from Smith, this time on the Mannlicher rifles that were rightly famous as sporting weapons. Smith, Winston. The Sharps Rifle. William Morrow and Company, New York, 1943. Another good treatment of the famous Sharps. Well illustrated.



Stevens, R. Blake, and Edward C. Ezell. The Black Rifle. Collector Grade Pubs., Cobourg, Canada, 1994. The story of the development of and opposition to the M16 rifle, which replaced the completely useless M14 after only four years of service. This rifle is still in service and is perhaps almost as recognizable as the AK-47. A really detailed book that proves that the opposition to this weapon was not above trickery and cheating. Temple, B. A., and I. D. Skennerton. A Treatise on the British Military Martini. Private publication by the authors, Burbank, Australia, 1983. The Martini-Henry rifle was issued to the British Army to replace the Snider and was then itself replaced by the first of the Lee designs. A single-shot rifle at the time German and France were already using bolt actions, which shows how slow British military thought progressed in the nineteenth century. Thompson, A. L. The Sturmgewehr 44 Assault Rifle. Military Review (September 1992): 84ff. An analysis of the German assault weapon that so impressed observers toward the end of World War II. Germany might have been near to being beaten but could still come up with new and good ideas. Thorburn, A. W. SA80 A2: The Weapon of Choice as the General Service Weapon for Use by UK Armed Forces. Army Doctrine and Training News, no. 18 (Winter 2002/2003): 2ff. An apology for the underperforming SA80 and a propaganda note in favor of the A2 version. The original had been a questionable weapon, often unwilling to perform, and which should not have been issued to troops until its reliability was beyond doubtespecially in the minds of those who had to use it. It took Heckler & Koch to reinvent itself free of British Aerospace and take on a reevaluation of the weapon before it could be put right. Whatever the Ministry of Defense has to say, it questions the ability of British industry to design and perfect weapons. Treadwell, T. D. Metallic Cartridges. Government Printing Office, Wa s hington, DC, 1873. A detailed inspection of the metallic cartridge and its various types, with many line drawings to clarify a good text. United States Army. Silencers: Principles and Evaluation. Frankford Arsenal (Report R-1896), 1968. An official look at the sound modifier or silencer, rarely used on military rifles but rather on low-velocity pistols and SMGs. Unknown. The Sjgren Automatic Military Rifle. Engineering (25 December 1908): 38ff.



An article about this rifle that Engineering published when automatic rifle designs were beginning to appear with some frequency. Van Rensselaer, Stephen. American Firearms. Century House, Watkins Glen, NY, 1947. A comprehensive listing of rifle manufacturers and patentees in the United States to 1945. Wallack, L. R. American Rifle Design and Performance. Winchester Press, New York, 1977. Concerned with civilian rifles, the book nevertheless has a lot of information on rifle components and cartridges that is of general application. Walter, John. The Greenhill Dictionary of Guns and Gunmakers. Greenhill, London, 2001. A really good compendium of significant weapons and the makers of weapons, with much historical information. Of great value to any researcher. Walter, John. Modern Military Rifles. Greenhill, London, 2001. A pocket book with details of many modern military rifles, but with no historical content of real value. War Office. Reports on Breech-Loading Arms 1868. Eyre and Spottiswood, London, HMSO, 1868. Two reports relating to the trials carried out for the British Army with breech-loading weapons that led to the adoption of the Martini-Henry rifle. . Textbook of Small Arms 1929. HMSO, London, 1929. A first-class textbook on the history and development of military small arms, particularly but not exclusively issued to British and European armies. Covers all significant weapons up to 1928. Weaver, W. Darrin. Hitlers Garands. Collector Grade Pubs., Cobourg, Canada, 2001. Another of the excellent Collector Grade series, this volume deals with the G41 and G43 SLRs developed by the Germans to increase infantry firepower on the battlefield. Whelan, Townsend. Small Arms Design, vol. 1. Wolfe Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 1940. An excellent work, it contains an important chapter on ammunition that is comprehensive and invaluable. Wilsey, Robert. The Italian Vetterli System. Unpublished manuscript, 2004.



A manuscript that the author kindly allowed me to read before publication, it covers the early Vetterli bolt-action rifles produced by the Italians. Winant, Lewis. Early Percussion Firearms. Bonanza Books, New York, 1959. Of particular value because the author writes in detail about muzzleloading and breech-loading percussion systems as well as Forsyths invention of the percussion cap. Well illustrated. Wood, J. B. The Gun Digest Book of Firearms Assembly/Disassembly. DBI Books, Northbrook, IL, 1991. This series of books covers many weapons and how to strip and assemble them. Only really of value in the United States owing to restrictive European gun-control laws, but the book shows the components of many firearms that have been issued to military personnel.


AB Svenska Vapen och Ammunitionsfabriken, 135 Abel, Sir Frederick, 96 Aberdeen Proving Ground, 118 Adolphus, Gustavus, 27 Afanasyev, N. N., 150n. 50 Aim, 7, 8 AK47 rifle, xii, 38, 40, 122, 140, 227, 232, 235236, 235 (figure), 249, 252, 254 AK74 rifle, 140, 151n. 51 AKM rifle, 140, 151n. 51 AKSU rifle, 151n. 51 Albini, Augusto, 50, 62n. 16 Albini and Braendlin rifle, 5051, 50 (figure), 186, 186 (figure) test, 57 Ammunition in Crimean War, Mordecai report, 7984, 80 (figure) expenditure, 115116, 118 shortages, 16 technology, 118 See also Bullets; Cartridges Angelucci, Angelo, 89n. 12 AR-5 rifle, 39 AR-10 rifle, 39, 241, 241 (figure) AR-15 rifle, 39, 239, 252 Archers, 84 and flight stability, 14 and long bow, 146 Armalite Division, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, 39

Arquebus, 7 Arrows, as weapons that fired, 3 Artillery, 7 and empty battlefield, xii vs. long bow, xii vs. machine gun, 146147 Assault rifle, 3738. See also specific models Austria infantry weapons in Crimean War, 8182 rifle as military weapon in, 88 Austrian Army, and percussion system, 70 Austro-Prussian War, 93 Automatic priming systems, 6768, 68 Bacon, Roger, 23 Baker, Ezekiel, 2122, 86 Baker ball, 164, 164 (figure) Baker rifle, 2122, 87 Baltic Lock, 18n. 26 Bartley and Sillom system, 181182, 181 (figure) Bavaria, rifle as military weapon in, 88 Bayliss system, 183, 183 (figure) Beaufoy, Colonel, 86 Beaver, John, 27 Beck, Johannes, 99 Beck needle rifle, 99 Belted bullets, 22, 40n. 6 Bent, Stephen V., 103 Benson and Pappenburg system, 184, 184 (figure) Berdan, Hiram, 3031, 185




Berdan system, 37, 185, 185 (figure) Berselli, Domenico, 71 Berselli system, 71 Berukov, I. I., 137 Bethel Burton rifle, 95, 176, 176 (figure) Birmingham Small Arms Company, 96 Bismarck, Otto von, 93 Bite the bullet, 15 Black Berthold, 3 Blast furnace, introduction of, 1 Blunt, Stanhope E., 104 Bode, Major, 97 Bolt-action rifle, 91113 British Army, 9599 caliber reduction, 9596, 9798 cartridge, 97 Danish Army, 105 French, 102103 German, 99102 invention, 91 magazine-type, 103106, 113 Norwegian Army, 105 trigger mechanism, 98 (figure) United States, 103113 World War I, 110, 113 See also Repeating bolt-action rifle; Rifle; specific models Bott, Sergeant, 56 Bow, 1. See also Long bow Boxer, Edward Mounier, 31, 33, 41n. 26 Boxer primer system, 37 Braendlin, Francis Augustus, 5051, 62n. 16 Braendlin and Albini rifle. See Albini and Braendlin rifle Brass-headed cartridge, 29 Brauning, Karl A., 135 Breech-loading carbines, 30 Breech-loading rifle, 32, 3335, 4361, 171172, 171 (figure) British Army, 4757 Revolutionary War, American, 4345 safety, 43 special ammunition, 76 See also Rifle; specific models

British Aerospace, 245 British Army bolt-action rifle, 9599 breech-loading rifle, 4757 percussion system, 6970 See also Great Britain British Intermediate Cartridge, 151n. 53 British Royal Society, 116 British School of Infantry Practice, 84 British Small Arms Committee, 95 British War Office, 22, 40n. 10, 88 Brown Bess weapon, 88 Browning automatic rifle, 125, 126 Brunswick rifle, 16, 22, 24, 40n.10, 40n. 13, 83, 88, 89 Buffington, Adelbert, 107 Bullet molds, 1920 design, 20 soapstone, 20 Bullets cylindrical, 2325 cylindro-conoidal, 20, 2426, 32, 69 development, 3233 expanding, 2223, 26 fouling, 22 ogival, 32 windage, 2225 See also Lead ball; Mini bullet; Musket ball; specific bullets Bullpup design, xii Burnside cartridge, 33 Burton, Bethell, 50, 52 Burton rifle, 5152, 51 (figure), 204, 204 (figure), 209 (figure), 210 test, 57 Caliber, 9596, 9798, 132133, 142. See also Cartridge Cambridge, Duke of, 59 Cannons, 3 first appearance of, 16n. 3 and nation-states, 1 Carbines, 22, 40n. 10, 88. See also specific carbines Carl Axel Theodor Sjogren design, 135



Carter, Henry, 206 Carter and Edwards system, 206, 206 (figure) Cartridge SA Ball Magazine Rifle Mark I, 96 Cartridges, 1516 brass-headed, 29 case, 37, 37 (figure) center-fire, 3536 combustible, 29 expanding, 34 linen, 28 military, 3133, 3739 paper, 2728 percussion cap, 29 pin-fire, 29, 35 reloading, 28 rim-fire, 35, 41n. 24 self-consuming, 27, 32 standardization, 39, 141144, 243 test, 37 test report, 3337 World War II design, 3740 See also Caliber; Composite cartridge; specific cartridges Cary, Lucian, 142143 Cavalry, 7 Center-fire cartridge, 3536 Chassept rifle, 48, 9394, 93 (figure), 99, 147 cartridge, 30 (figure) Chaumette, Isaac de la, 43, 62n. 2 China cannons, first appearance of, 16n. 3 firearms, first appearance of, 1, 16n. 3 and gunpowder, origin of, 2, 16n. 3 Churchill, Winston, 130, 143 Civil War, U.S., 41n. 24, 73, 77n. 13, 165, 169, 174 Clothyard arrow, 7 Colt, Samuel, 27 Colt M16, with M203 grenade launcher, 252, 252 (figure) Colt revolver, 74 Combustible cartridge, 29

Composite cartridge, 2731, 28 (figure), 33 invention, 71, 116 metallic, 29, 3132, 48 as special ammunition, 7476 Consol ignition system, 89n. 6 Continuous fulminate primer strips, 6768 Cooper system, 194, 194 (figure) Snider-type, 188 (figure), 189 Copper priming cap, 67, 76n. 5 Cordite technology, 99100 Council of Florence, 3 Crimean War infantry weapons and ammunition, Mordecai report, 7984, 80 (figure) Criminal classes, and firearms, 1011, 17n. 19 Crossbows, 1. See also Long bow Crozier, William, 107109, 220 Cuba, Spanish rule in, 106107 Cumberland, Duke of, 86 Curtis, Tony, 77n. 14 Custer, George, 73, 103 Cylindrical bullets, 2325 Cylindro-conoidal bullets, 20, 2425, 32, 69 Czech ZH-29 SLR, 117 Danish Army, bolt-action rifle, 105 Davis, Jefferson, 79 Daw, George Henry, 30, 33, 41n. 26, 6970 De Nobilitatibus, Sapientiis et Prudentiis Regum (On the Duties of a King; Milimete), 5 Dead fire guns, 11, 17n. 21 Degtyarev, Vasily Alekseyevich, 134137, 140 Degtyarev machine gun, 134 Degtyarev SLR Model 1930, 137 Delvigne, Gustave, 22, 32, 40n. 7 Delvigne system, 22, 22 (figure), 26, 40n. 1, 82 Demin, V. S., 150n. 50



Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik (DWM), 109 Daz, Porfirio, 117 Dine system, 190, 190 (figure) Dragunov SVD, 151n. 51 Dreyse, Johann Nikolaus von, 29 Dreyse needle rifle, 9193, 92 (figure), 99, 177178, 177 (figure) cartridge, 29, 30 (figure), 91, 93 description, 9192 firing method, 9293 loading, 92 Dreyse rifle, 84 Dunclift, A. W., 142 DuPont powder, 108 Durs Egg, 62n. 4, 161 Duryea, Dan, 77n. 14 DWM. See Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabrik East India Company, 24, 40n. 13 Edward III, 4, 5 Edwards, George W., 206 Egg, Joseph, 67 Elizarov, N. M., 122 EM rifle, 128, 130 EM1 rifle, 39 EM2 rifle, 39, 128, 130, 133, 141143, 144, 145, 242, 245 Empty battlefield, xii Enfield L85A1 rifle, 245246, 245 (figure). See also SA80 rifle Enfield musket, 47, 83 Enfield rifle, 39, 87, 110, 111113, 242, 242 (figure) cartridge, 39 Pattern 14, 111 English Pattern 1842 musket, 25 English Royal Chamber and royal armory and arsenal, 4 English Wardrobe Accounts, 19, 39n. 1 Espinar, Alonso Martinez de, 86 Europe, and gunpowder, origin of, 2 Expanding bullet, 2223 self-expanding, 26

Expanding cartridge, 34 Ezell, Clinton, 130 Fabrique Nationale, 3940 Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, 39 FAL (Fusil Automatique Leger), 128, 243, 245 Falschirmjaegergewehr 42, 229, 229 (figure) FAMAS rifle, 102, 238, 238 (figure) Farquhar-Hill, H. J., 217 Farquhar-Hill SLR, 141, 217, 217 (figure) Federov, Vladimir Grigorevich, 134137, 150n. 41 Federov Avtomat rifle, 135, 136, 137, 218, 218 (figure) Ferguson, Patrick, 43, 61n. 4, 161, 162 Ferguson rifle, xii, 4345, 44 (figure), 160161, 160 (figure), 162, 162 (figure) demonstration, 45 Ferguson-type system, 207, 207 (figure) Ferrara, Duke of, 10 Firearms and criminal classes, 1011, 17n. 19 definition of, 12 earliest examples, 45 earliest records, 4 first appearance, 1, 16n. 3 first manufacture, 4 modern creation, 6 reliability, 6 before 1300s, 13 1300s1400s, 38 1500s, 812 ways of holding, 5 written history, 34 Firearms, 1617n. 6 Firepower, and manpower, xii Firing systems, 68 difficulties, 56 See also specific systems Flagler, Daniel W., 103104, 106107 Flieger Selbstladerkarabiner: Airmens



Self-Loading Carbine, Model 1915. See FSK-15 Flieger-Ballon-und Zeppelin Truppe Model 16, 117 Flight stability, and archers, 14 Flintlock system, 1314, 13 (figure), 15, 65, 156, 156 (figure) cost, 15 as synonymous for snaphance, 14 Flints, 15, 18n. 28 suppliers, 15 Flobert, Nicholas, 30 Flobert cartridge, 30 Floyd, John B., 79 FN FAL rifle, 130, 141, 143 FN rifle, 143 FN short rifle, 141 FN SLR, 128, 129, 135 Forsyth, Rev. Alexander John, 6566 On certain useful properties of the Oxygenated Muriatic Acid, 65 Forsyth scent bottle, 66, 66 (figure) Fosbery, G. V., 50, 200 Fosbery rifle, 52, 200, 200 (figure) test, 58 France bolt-action rifle, 102103 infantry weapons in Crimean War, 8283 rifle as military weapon in, 88 Franco-Prussian War, 89n. 5 Frankford Arsenal, 34, 104 Frizzen lock, 66 FSK-15, 117 Fulminate of mercury, 6566 Furniture of weapons, 1415 G43 SLR, 123 Gabbet-Fairfax rifle, 141 Garand, John, 123, 124125, 127, 149n. 19 Garand M1 rifle, 114, 123, 127, 129, 131, 149n. 33, 151n. 52, 213, 222, 222 (figure), 239, 239 (figure), 240 sniper rifle, 119, 223

Genschow, Gustave, 148n. 7 Germany bolt-action rifle, 99102 infantry weapons in Crimean War, 84 rifle as military weapon in, 8788 self-loading rifle, 118123 wheel lock, 11 Goering, Hermann, 229 Golden, William, 29 Great Britain infantry weapons in Crimean War, 8384 rifle as military weapon in, 8889 self-loading rifle, 141145 weapons design, xii See also British Army Green, William, 49 Green Brothers system, 191, 191 (figure) Greene, James Durrell, 193 Greene rifle, 192 (figure), 193 Greener, William W., 22, 40n. 10, 88 Greener expanding bullet, 2223, 23 (figure) accuracy test, 23 windage, 23 Gulf War, 144 Gunpowder, 23 mixture, 2 origin, 23, 16n. 3 Gunpowder weapons, impact on society, xvi Gunsmith, and wheel lock, 9 Haenel firm, 119122, 230 Hall, John H., 4647, 62n. 7 Hall breech loader, 4647, 46 (figure) interchangeable parts, 4647 Hall (Donald L.) SLR report, 132133 Hallahan, William, 106 Handguns, 3 Hanson, John, 29 Harpers Ferry, 47 Harquebus, 7 Harrington-Richardson, 131 Harrison system, 187, 187 (figure) Harry Potter books, and gunpowder, 23



Hayha, Simo, 212 Heckler and Koch, 27, 32, 245, 254, 255 Heckler and Koch G11 rifle, 255, 255 (figure) Heckler and Koch G3A3 assault rifle, 254, 254 (figure) Heinemann SLR, 148n. 7 Henry, Alexander, 50, 5859, 62n. 18 Henry, Benjamin Tyler, 62n. 18, 7172, 74 Henry rifle, 35, 41n. 32, 52, 53 (figure), 7475, 180, 180 (figure) action, 75 (figure) description, 74 lever action prototype, 173, 173 (figure) special ammunition, 7475 test, 5859 Henry VIII, 19 Herstal, 40 Heurteloup, Baron, 40n. 11 Hitler, Adolf, 121122, 123, 234 Holek, Vladimir, 117 Hoovers Gap, 73 Hotchkiss bolt-action rifle, 103 Howe, Sir William, 45 Hudson, Rock, 77n. 14 Hundred Years War, 4 Hunt, Walter, 170 Ideal Caliber Panel, 142 Imperial Guard ball, 82 Infanterie-Gewehr M1871, 99 Infanterie-Gewehr M1871/84, 99 Infantry rifle development, 2 Infantry weapons in Crimean War, Mordecai report, 7984 Infantryman vs. knight, 1 and new era of warfare, 7 Inventors, xiixiii and military contracts, xii Inventors Collective, 137 Iron sights, 257258, 257 (figure), 260. See also Sights Italian Lock, 18n. 26

Jacob, John, 24, 40n. 12 Jacob cylindrical bullets, 2426, 25 (figure) Jacobs Horse, 40n. 12 James I, 88 Janson, Stefan, 141, 142 Jennings volcanic rifle, 170, 170 (figure) Jorgenson, Erik, 105 Joslyn, Benjamin Franklin, 50 Joslyn/Newby rifle, 54 test, 58 Kalashnikov, Mikhail Timofeyevich, 99, 122, 136, 139140, 150n. 41, 150n. 50 Kar 98k, 113, 228 Karabiner 43, 123 Kent-Lemon, Noel, 141, 142 Kerr, James, 196 Kerr, John, 196 Kerr system, 196, 196 (figure) Kharkov, V. A., 150n. 50 Knights, 3, 7 demise of, 1 Kolesnikov rifle, 150n. 47 Konalov rifle, 150n. 47 Kongsberg Armory, 105 Korean War, 149n. 33 Kotter, Augustus, 85 Krag, Ole, 105 Krag-Jorgenson bolt-action rifle, 103, 105, 105 (figure), 106107, 109 Mauser patent infringement, 109 test, 107 Krupin, V. V., 150n. 50 Krutsch system, 197, 197 (figure) Kryakushkin, A. D., 150n. 50 Kubk, M., 11 Kuznetsov, A. I., 137 L1A1 SLR, 143, 243, 245 Lagatz weapon, 71 Lancaster, Charles William, 27, 30, 59, 84 Lancaster system, 84



Landgraf of Hess, 8788 Landsknecht stocks, 8 Lead ball, 19, 40n. 2. See also Musket ball Lebel rifle, 102103, 102 (figure) cartridge, 103 Lee, James P., 94 Lee bolt-action magazine rifle, 94, 9596, 95 (figure), 97 (figure), 103 with Bethel Burton magazine, 95 cartridge, 96 test, 94 Lee-Enfield Mark I rifle, 96, 97 (figure) Lee-Enfield rifle, 100, 113 Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 1, 146, 216 Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 4(T), 214, 214 (figure) Lee-Metford rifle, 96, 97 (figure) Lee-Speed rifle, 96, 97 (figure) Leetch system, 198, 198 (figure) Lefauchaux, Casimir, 29 Lefauchaux rifle, 35 Leonardo da Vinci, 10 Lever-action repeating rifle, 7176 design description, 72 invention, 71 as sporting rifle, 71 See also Rifle; specific models Linen cartridge, 28 Little Bighorn, Battle of, 103 Loading methods, 7, 8 development, 1516, 18n. 29 Local warfare weapon, rifle as, 146147 Long bow vs. artillery, xii vs. machine gun, xii as modern battlefield weapon, xixii vs. rifle, xixii, 146 See also Bow Lorenzoni, Michael, 71 Lorenzoni system, 71, 158 (figure), 159 Loshult gun, 5 Louis XIII, 88 Louis XIV, 12 Louis XV, 16 Lounge rifle, 30

M1E5 rifle, 223 M14 rifle, 39, 130, 131133, 136, 142, 143, 147, 239, 239 (figure), 240, 240 (figure), 243 M16 rifle, xii, 39, 133, 140, 145, 147, 151n. 52, 229, 239, 241, 243, 245, 249250, 249 (figure), 254 instructions for use, 249 with M203 grenade launcher, 252, 252 (figure) in police service, 256, 256 (figure) M16A2 rifle, 249250, 249 (figure) M16A4 carbine/Colt commando rifle, 253, 253 (figure) M74 rifle, 140 MacArthur, Douglas, 127, 148n. 12 Machine carbine, 119120 Machinegun, 115, 116, 123124 vs. artillery, 146147 and empty battlefield, xii vs. long bow, xii vs. rifle, 146147, 257258 Magazine invention, 116 tube magazines, 36, 41n. 32 Manchuria, 117 Mann, Anthony, 77n. 14 Mannlicher, Ferdinand von, 101102, 117 Mannlicher rotary magazine system, 100 (figure) Mannlicher short recoil SLR, 116 Mannlicher sporting rifle, 102 Manpower, and firepower, xii Manton, Joseph, 67 Marshall, S. L. A., 132 Martini, Freidrich von, 50 Martini rifle, 5455, 54 (figure) test, 58, 59 Martini-Henry rifle, 5961, 95, 147, 171172, 171 (figure) cartridge, 36, 36 (figure) Mary Rose (vessel), 20 Matchlock system, 7, 8 (figure), 8 (figure), 10, 15, 154, 154 (figure)



Mauser, Peter Paul, 99, 108109 patent suit against U.S. government, 101, 108109 Mauser bolt-action rifle, 99101, 100 (figure), 104, 106107, 109, 111, 113 Mauser cartridge, 101, 114n. 7 charger-loaded, 100, 114n. 6 Mauser G35 SLR, 117 Mauser G41(M) SLR, 118 Mauser G41 SLR, 121, 226, 226 (figure) sniper telescope, 228, 228 (figure) Mauser G43 SLR, 119 Mauser Gew 98, 100, 103, 113, 146, 213 Mauser Gew 98k, 118, 211, 211 (figure) Mauser Waffenfabrik, 114n. 8, 226 Maxim, Hiram, 96, 104, 116, 146 Maximilian I, 10, 14, 18n. 27, 88 Maynard, Edward, 67, 68 Maynard tape primer, 28, 68, 81, 166167, 166 (figure) Sharps-fitted, 168, 168 (figure) McKinley, William, 108 McNamara, Robert S., 131 Mechanical firing, 6 Mensuration, 19 Merrill, James H., 195 Merrill system, 195, 195 (figure) Merz company, 120 Metallic cartridge, 29, 3132, 48 Metallurgy, 19 Metford, William E., 59, 87, 9596 Mexican Army, self-loading rifle, 116 MG42 SLR, 118, 121, 226 Midvale Steel and Ordnance Co., 111 Mikhailovsky Artillery School, 134 Miles, Nelson A., 106 Milimete, Walter de De Nobilitatibus, Sapientiis et Prudentiis Regum (On the Duties of a King), 5 Milimete gun, 5 Military cartridges, 3133, 3740 contracts, and inventors, xii technology, and impact on society, xv and wheel lock, 1112

Military development, and social development, 1 Military rifle, 22, 88, 89 vs. long bow, xixii, 146 Mini, Claude-tienne, 23, 26, 32, 165 Mini bullet, 20, 2627, 27 (figure), 32, 48, 69, 80, 8283, 84, 89n. 8, 165, 165 (figure) windage, 23 See also Bullets Miquelet Lock, 18n. 26 MK42(H) SLR, 120 MK42(W) SLR, 120, 121 MK42 SLR, 120123 Model 1841 muzzle-loading rifle, 47 Model 1916 Avtomat, 135 Mondragon, Manuel, 116 Mondragon rifle, 117 Mont Storm rifle, 52 Mordecai, Alfred infantry weapons and ammunition in Crimean War report, 7984, 80 (figure), 89n. 1 Mordecai report, 7984, 80 (figure) and Schne report, 89n. 1 Morse, George W., 30 Morse cartridge, 3334 Moscow Proletarian Rifle Division, 137 Mosin, S. I., 134 Mosin-Nagant Model 1891 rifle, 135, 137, 150n. 39 Mosin-Nagant rifle, 134, 212, 212 (figure) cartridge, 137 MP40 SLR, 118 MP43 SLR, 121123, 148n. 10, 230 MP43/1 SLR, 122 MP44 rifle, 123, 230, 231, 231 (figure) MP44/StG, 118 Multi-shot musket system, 157, 157 (figure) Musket ball accuracy, 21 bullet molds, 1920 design, 20 firing, 21 first reference, 19



loading, 20 original, 19 powder, 21 range, 21 reloading, 21 trajectory, 20 windage, 21, 40n. 5 See also Bullets Muskets, 16, 88 Muzzle-loading rifle, 48 accuracy, 43 Napoleon I, 89n. 10, 160 Napoleon III, 89n. 10 Napoleonic Wars, xii, 160 Nation-states, and cannons, 1 NATO. See North Atlantic Treaty Organization Needham system, 201, 201 (figure) Needle rifle, 29, 81, 89n. 5, 147 Nessler ball, 7980, 83 Netherlands Lock, 18n. 26 New York Times, 104 Newby, Edwin Henry, 54 Nobel firm, 96 Norris, Samuel, 99 North, Simeon, 47 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), xii, 3940, 130 cartridge standardization, 141144, 243 Norwegian Army bolt-action rifle, 105 Ogival bullets, 32 On certain useful properties of the Oxygenated Muriatic Acid (Forsyth), 65 OPERATION BARBAROSSA, 118 OPERATION GRANBY, 144 OPERATION TELIC, 145 Optical sights, 260. See also Sights Owen Jones magazine rifle, 95 Pan cover, 8 Paper cartridge, 2728

Paper tapes of percussion powder, 67 Pauly, Johannes Samuel, 29, 6667, 76n. 4 Pauly breech-loading system, 67 (figure) Peabody, Henry O., 50 Peabody rifle, 5556, 56 (figure) test, 58 Pedersen, John D., 124, 125 Pedersen device, 220, 220 (figure) Pedersen rifle, 145, 149n. 21, 219, 219 (figure) Pedersen SLR, 124126 Peeter ball, 2627 Pellets, 19 Peoples rifle, 234, 234 (figure) Percussion caps, 29, 165, 165 (figure) Percussion musket, 81 Percussion system, 6570 Austrian Army, 70 British Army, 6970 Persian Gulf War, 145 Petrarch, 17n. 9 Petronel, 85, 89n. 5 Pig Board tests, 125, 149n. 23 Pikes, 1 Pin-fire cartridge, 29, 35 PK machine gun, 151n. 51 PKM machine gun, 151n. 51 PKS machine gun, 151n. 51 PKT machine gun, 151n. 51 Polte firm, 118 Poncharra, Lieutenant Colonel, 23 Pottet, Clement, 29 Powder, smokeless, 103104 Powder flask, 1920 Prince, Frederick, 203 Prince system, 202 (figure), 203 Pritchet Ball, 8384 Prussia, infantry weapons in Crimean War, 81 Prussian needle rifle, 147 Pushin, V. N., 150n. 50 Recoil, 7, 8 Reloading methods, 7, 8, 16



Remington, Samuel, 50 Remington and Sons, 57, 99 Remington Arms Co., 111, 112 Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co., 111, 112 Remington rifle, 56 (figure), 57 test, 58 Remington Special, 39 Repeating bolt-action rifle, 9495 cartridge, 94 magazine design, 94 See also Bolt-action rifle; specific models Retreat from Mons, 146 Revolution, Mexican, 117 Revolution, Russian, 135 Revolutionary War, American breech-loading rifle, 4345, 88 Rheinmetall, 148n. 7, 229 Rhenish-Westphalische Sprengstoff, 148n. 7 Richards, Westley, 59 Rifle as infantry weapon, 146147 as local warfare weapon, 146147 vs. long bow, 146 vs. machine gun, 146147, 257258 as military weapon, 8789 reliability, 147 World War I shortage, 109113 See also Bolt-action rifle; Breech-loading rifle; Lever-action repeating rifle; Self-loading rifle Rifle, 17n. 6 Rifle No. 9, Mark 1, 242 Rifling, 14 first appearance, 85, 89n. 12 forms, 86 fouling, 86 history, 8487 invention, 85 muzzle, 163, 163 (figure) straight vs. spiral, 8587, 89n. 13 turns, 8687 wadding or patching, 86 Rigby firm, 59

Rimfire cartridge, 35, 41n. 24 Ripley, James, 74, 77n. 13, 77n. 15, 77n. 17 Rock Island Arsenal, 109110 Roosevelt, Teddy, 107108, 109 Roshchepei, Yakov Ustinovich, 150n. 39 Roshchepei rifle, 133134 Rounds, number carried, 16 Royal armory and arsenal, 4 Royal Artillery, 31 Royal Engineers, 27 Royal Small Arms Factory, 96, 141 RPKS74 rifle, 151n. 51 Rubin, Eduard, 97 Rupert, Prince, 116 Russell report, self-loading rifle, 132 Russia infantry weapons in Crimean War, 7980 rifle as military weapon in, 88 self-loading rifle, 133140 weapons design, xii Russo-Finnish war of 19391940, 135 Russo-Japanese war of 1905, 150n. 44 SA80 rifle, 133, 140, 144145, 147, 242, 245246, 245 (figure), 254 Schleswig-Holstein War, 81 Schmeisser, Hugo, 119, 121 Schmeisser, Louis, 119 Schneider cartridge, 33 Schne report, 89n. 1 Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft (SIG), 117 Scinde Horse, 40n. 12 Scotland, 19 Scott, Walter, 205 Scott system, 205, 205 (figure) Sear lock, 78 Sears system, 199, 199 (figure) Self-consuming cartridge, 2728, 32 Self-expanding bullet, 26 Self-loading rifle (SLR), 102, 113114, 115147 action, 247248, 247 (figure)



British, 141145 caliber, 132133 cartridge, 118119, 122, 123125, 135137, 139, 140, 141144, 148n. 16, 149n. 18, 149n. 19, 150n. 44, 151n. 53, 243 development, 116118 German, 118123 Hall report, 132133 invention, 116117 locked-breech recoil system, 116 mechanical recoil system, 116 Mexican Army, 116 Pig Board tests, 125, 149n. 23 Russell report, 132 Russian, 133140 standardization, 128131, 141142, 243 test, 126, 128129, 142 United States, 123131 World War I, 117 See also Rifle; specific models Self-spanning wheel lock, 11 Semi-automatic rifle, 101102. See also Self-loading rifle Semi-automatic Rifle Board, 125 Semin, B. V., 122 Service rifle, 125 Sestroretsk Weapons Factory, 134 Sharps, Christian, 27 Sharps 1848 rifle, 35 Sharps carbine, 34, 73, 83 Sharps lever-action carbine Maynard tape primer fitted, 168, 168 (figure) Sharps rifle, 34 Sharps system, 2829 Shaw, Joshua, 67, 76n. 5 Sidorenko, Ivan, 212 SIG. See Schweizerische IndustrieGesellschaft Sight Unit Small Arms Trilux (SUSAT) sight, 144 Sights, 115, 144 development, 7, 8, 14 iron, 257258, 257 (figure)

iron vs. optical, 260 single point, 259 (figure), 260 Simonov, Sergei Gavrilovich, 134, 137, 139, 140, 150n. 41, 227 Simonov Automatic Rifle Model 1936, 137138 Single point sights, 259 (figure), 260. See also Sights SKS rifle, 227, 227 (figure) SKS45 carbine, 139140 SKT 40 carbine, 221 Slow match firing, 6 SLR. See Self-loading rifle Small Arms Committee, 96 Smith, Horace, 30 Smith, Philip, 95 Smoothbore muskets, 8182 Snaphance, 1213, 12 (figure), 18n. 24 flintlock as synonymous for, 14 Snider, Jacob, 30, 47 Snider ball, 164, 164 (figure) Snider cartridge, 33, 36 Snider conversion rifle, 30, 31, 4749 Snider rifle-musket, 33 Sniper telescope rifle, 119, 215 (figure), 216, 223, 228, 228 (figure) Snipers, xii, 216 Soapstone, bullet molds, 20 Social development, and military development, 1 Spanish Lock, 18n. 26 Special ammunition, 7476 Speed, Joseph J., 96 Spencer, Christopher M., 45, 71 Spencer carbine, 73, 77n. 13 Spencer lever-action repeating rifle, 7173, 77n. 13, 103, 169, 169 (figure) action, 72 (figure) design description, 72 Spencer rifle, 35, 41n. 32 Spiral rifling, 8587, 89n. 13 Sporting rifle lever-action repeating, 71 and wheel lock, 10, 11 Spring lock, 78



Springfield Armoury, 35, 47, 69, 71, 103106, 109110, 116, 123, 126, 131, 142, 151n. 54, 219 Springfield Model 1842 percussion rifle, 6869 Springfield Model 1901 rifle, 108 Springfield Model 1903 bolt-action rifle, 103, 108109, 108 (figure), 109113, 116, 146, 149n. 21, 213, 213 (figure), 220, 223 DuPont powder, 108 Mauser patent infringement, 101, 108109 semiautomatic, 124 sniper rifle, 113 Standing armies, 17n. 14 Stanislaus, Charles Louis, 6768, 76n. 6 Steel bow, 1. See also Long bow Stewart, James, 77n. 14 Steyr assault rifle, 251, 251 (figure) StG 44 rifle, 37, 121123, 122, 141, 230, 232233, 232 (figure) Stocks, 7, 8 Stone guns, 11 Stoner, Eugene, 39, 41n. 35, 132133 Straight rifling, 8587, 89n. 13 Stuart, Jeb, 73 Studler, Ren, 128, 130, 133, 141142 StuG77 rifle, 251 Submachine gun, 119120 Sudayev, A. I., 140 SVT 38 rifle, 221 SVT 40 rifle, 221, 221 (figure) Swedish National Historical Museum, 5 Switzerland, infantry weapons, 79 T25 SLR, 128, 130, 142 T44 SLR, 130 T47 SLR, 130 Talcott, G., 76n. 5 Tamisier, Captain, 32 Textbook of Small Arms 1929, 116 Thirty Years War, 16 Thompson, A. L., 122 Thornton, William, 46, 62n. 7

Thorpe, Stanley, 141 Thouvenin, Louis E. de, 23 Thouvenin tige rifle, 81, 82 Thouvenins tige, 23, 24 (figure) Timmerhans, Colonel, 83 Tokarev, Fedor Vasilevich, 135, 136, 150n. 43, 221 Tokarev, Nikolai Fedorovich, 221 Tokarev rifle, 136, 137, 221, 221 (figure) Torgau, Battle of, 16 Touch hole, 8 Tower of London, 4 Townshend, Lord, 4445 Treadwell, T. D. cartridge test report, 3337 Truman, Harry, 130 Tube magazines, 36, 41n. 32 Turkish Army, 116 Turning bolt, 125, 149n. 20 Under-hammer system, 6768, 68 United States bolt-action rifle, 103113 bolt-action rifle, magazine-type, 103106 breech-loading rifle, 4345 rifle as military weapon in, 88 self-loading rifle, 123131 weapons design, xii See also Civil War, U.S.; Revolutionary War, American; Vietnam War; World War I; World War II Uraznov, D. V., 137 U.S. government Mauser patent infringement, 101, 108109 U.S. Infantry Board, 39 U.S. Ordnance Department, 79, 94, 126, 130 VG1-5 rifle, 234, 234 (figure) Vickers automatic rifle, 219 Vietnam War, 39, 132 Vojensk historick muzeum (the Military Museum), 11



Volcanic Arms Company, 74 Volcanic Repeating Firearms Company, 170 Volcanic rifle, 72, 170, 170 (figure) Volition Ball, 170 Volsgewehr rifle, 234, 234 (figure) Waffenamt (Weapons Office of the German High Command), 119120 Walker, Money, and Little, 94 Walther, Carl, 117, 120 Walther A115 SLR, 118 Walther manufacturing, 117, 120, 226, 230 Walther SLR, 117118 prototype, 230, 230 (figure) War of 1812, xii Warfare, and infantryman, 7 Weapons and blast furnace, introduction of, 1 evolution, xv impact on society, xvi rifle as infantry, 146147 Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) impact on society, xvi Weapons technology impact on society, xv Welsh archers, 7 Wesson, Daniel B., 30 Westley Richards firm, 59 Westley Richards rifle, 6061, 179, 179 (figure) Wheel lock system, 912, 9 (figure), 1112, 11 (figure), 155, 155 (figure) accidental ignition, 12 cost, 15 description, 910 German, 11

and gunsmith, 9 invention, 10, 17n. 19 self-spanning, 11 social repercussion, 1011 as sporting gun, 10, 11 Whitworth, Sir Joseph, 27, 59, 87 Wilders First Mounted Rifle, 73 Wilkins, William, 76n. 5 William III, 88 Winchester 73 (film), 77n. 14 Winchester carbine, 224, 224 (figure) Winchester M1A1 carbine, 225, 225 (figure) Winchester M1873, 77n. 14 Winchester Repeating Arms Co., 111, 112 Winchester rifle, 41n. 32, 74, 106, 116, 131, 174175, 174 (figure) action, 75 (figure) Windage bullets, 2225 Greeners expanding bullet, 23 Mini bullets, 23 musket balls, 21, 40n. 5 Winters, Shelley, 77n. 14 WMD. See Weapons of mass destruction Wola, Stalowa, 141 World War I, 150n. 44 bolt-action rifle, 110, 113 rifle shortage, 109113 self-loading rifle, 117 World War II bolt-action rifle, 110, 113 cartridge design, 3740 self-loading rifle, 118123 Wrttemberg State Arsenal, 99 XL 65 E5 assault rifle, 41n. 34


D AVID WESTWOOD, PhD, is CEO and managing director of Military Library Research Service Ltd., Derbyshire, England, and a freelance military historian concentrating on the German Army from 1933 to 1945. He has published a number of works on the organization of the German Army and on the campaign in Russia, as well as a history of the German Type VII U-Boat.