Thursday, October 20, 2011

Okay, that's pretty interesting.

I've been doing the gun thing, both as a hobby and for a living, for a reasonably long time now. It's gotten to the point that it's a pretty rare occurrence for me to see a firearm and exclaim "Huh! I had never even heard of such a thing before!"

With that being said, "Huh! I had never even heard of such a thing before!"


Bram said...

My kid's nerf gun has the same action.

Bob said...

Mebbe we could have a game like the old Tonight Show when Johnny Carson hosted. We'll call it Stump the Tam.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Y'know, thinking about it, it's not really that terrible a concept. It does allow the soldier to keep both hands in firing position, unlike the bolt actions that were more common at the time.

I also like the unusual adjustable rear sight, and the gizmo to let the shooter know how many rounds were left in the magazine - two more neat concepts.

It's kind of a shame it was never adopted for military use.

Turk Turon said...


Anonymous said...

I had never heard of it either.
That's kind of unusual.

Anonymous said...

There are 1001 ways to semi-manually move a cartridge from a magazine into the chamber and out again in a firearm.

Experience has shown that 994 - or so - of them are one (or more) of expensive to make, too complex, unreliable, dangerous to the user , slow , require far too much manual cleverness on the part of nervous and stupid recruits , or are just stupid way of doing something.

The remaining mechanisms are "least bad", sometimes rising to "will work reliably" given: correctly made and shaped ammunition, good machining, a decent operator and a little luck.

Like the Wankel cycle engine, when I see something new/old and relatively weird my first reaction is: probably has a fatal flaw.

Matt G said...

Anonymous 10:27 puts it pretty much the way I see it (sign your posts, person!). But you hope. You hope that THIS one really is Something New Under The Sun, that works.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why it failed. I suggest that it's either:

1. It didn't work very well;

2. "Hey! That doesn't look a damned thing like the guns everybody else is using, so it CAN'T be good!"

I'm giving a slight edge to #1, but I'm certainly not ruling out #2.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

@ docjim505:

Honestly, given the time period when it was designed (between 1911 and 1918), I would give #2 more of an edge than #1. Bolt actions were fairly well established at that point.

I can see a couple of potential flaws, though. The way the front and rear of the rifle are connected only by the bolt and chamber creates a structural weak point compared to a more conventional bolt action, which would be a significant negative in a combat weapon. Another is that the hole for the magazine indicator would allow dirt and debris into that mechanism, so it would have to be designed in such a way that if the indicator plunger jammed it wouldn't jam up the feed mechanism as well.

I'm sure there are others, but those two are the first ones that popped into my head. Neither is unfixable, though the first one would probably require a significant re-design.

Anonymous said...

Jake (formerly Riposte3),

It seems that we are thinking along similar lines. Given how hidebound most military establishments are and the fact that EVERYBODY was using bolt guns during the period, I can just see Mexican military officers dismissing the rifle out of hand in favor of a Mauser of some sort. (I can readily imagine US Army officers circa 1905 turning their noses up at an M-14).

As for the design in question, I agree on the potential weaknesses. Further, it just looks fragile: it looks to me like this thing would break in half after being used to deliver a stout buttstroke to the head.

Hobie said...

Neither had I, until now. Thanks!

Kristophr said...

The Springfield 03 Mauser met a lot of resistance from dinosaurs in Army Ordinance.

That magazine cut-off was added to make them happy. No one could possibly need to shoot faster than a trapdoor .45-70, after all. That's just wasting ammo.

Cybrludite said...

Heck, I hadn't heard of this thing until now, and that's saying something. I'm usually the one pointing out things like the US Marines in "The Wind & The Lion" should have 6mm Lees instead of .30 caliber Krags

Tam said...


"That magazine cut-off was added to make them happy. No one could possibly need to shoot faster than a trapdoor .45-70, after all. That's just wasting ammo."

When we adopted the '03, we'd been using the magazine-fed Krag for years. Of course, it was also equipped with a cutoff. So were the M1886 Lebel and the Mk.III Lee-Enfield.

Mag cutoffs, with the magazine held in reserve for 'final protective fire', were popular among countries who had experience of relatively small detachments of troops fighting mobs of howling savages at the ends of long and tenuous supply lines.

Incidentally, the British Webley Self-Loading Mk I autopistol can be operated as a single-shot with the magazine held in reserve...)

Jerry said...

I don't mean to go off-topic, but thanks to your links and such, I happend on t0 a cool wiki link.

Might help some folks,