During World War I, the United States secretly developed the Pedersen device attachment for the M1903 Springfield rifle that allowed it to fire a.30 caliber pistol type cartridge in semi-automatic mode. This attachment was developed to allow an infantryman to convert "his rifle to a form of submachine gun or automatic rifle" in 15 seconds. Production of the Pedersen device and modified M1903 rifles started during 1918. However, the war ended; the contract was cancelled on March 1, 1919, after production of 65,000 devices, 1.6 million magazines, 65 million cartridges and 101,775 modified Springfield rifles. The devices, magazines and rifles were subsequently placed in storage, declared surplus in 1931. To prevent them from falling into the hands of the lawless, nearly all of the stored devices were destroyed by the Army except for a few examples kept by Ordnance Department. Fewer than 100 Pedersen devices escaped ordered destruction to become rare collectors' items. Prior to the United States' entry into World War I, John Pedersen, a longtime employee of Remington Arms, developed the Pedersen device.
His idea was to increase the firepower available to the average infantryman. His final design replaced the bolt of a modified Springfield M1903 rifle with a device consisting of a complete firing mechanism and a small "barrel" for a new.30 caliber pistol like cartridge. In effect, the "device" was a complete blowback pistol minus a receiver-grip using the short "barrel" of the device to fit into the longer chamber of the M1903 rifle; the mechanism was fed by a long 40-round magazine sticking perpendicularly out of the rifle at a 45-degree angle to the top right, could be reloaded by inserting a new magazine. Each magazine had cut-out viewing slots facing aft so the rifleman could observe the number of unfired rounds remaining; the system required an ejection port to be cut into the left side of the M1903 rifle's receiver and the adjacent stock cut away to allow clearance for spent cartridges being thrown from the action. Sear and magazine cut-off required modifications which did not limit the ability of Mark I receivers to function in the normal bolt-action mode.
Pedersen traveled to Washington, D. C. on 8 October 1917 to conduct a secret demonstration for Chief of Ordnance General William Crozier and a selected group of army officers and congressmen. After firing several rounds from what appeared to be an unmodified Springfield, he removed the standard bolt, inserted the device, fired several magazines at a high rate of fire; the evaluation team was favorably impressed. To deceive the enemy, the Ordnance Department decided to call it the US Automatic Pistol, Caliber.30, Model of 1918. Plans were put into place to start production of modified Springfields, which became the US Rifle, Cal..30, Model of M1903, Mark I. The Army placed orders for 800,000,000 cartridges for the 1919 Spring Offensive. General John J. Pershing requested 40 magazines and 5000 rounds of ammunition be shipped with each device and anticipated an average daily ammunition use of 100 rounds per device; the use of the Pedersen device in the 1919 spring offensive was to be in conjunction with the full combat introduction of the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle.
The US Patent Office issued U. S. Patent 1,355,417, U. S. Patent 1,355,418, U. S. Patent 1,355,419, U. S. Patent 1,355,420 to Pedersen for his invention; the United States Army paid Pedersen $50,000 for rights to produce the device and a royalty of 50 cents for each device manufactured. The Army paid for all necessary machinery required to manufacture the device, Remington received a net profit of two dollars for each device and 3 cents for each magazine. A Mark II Pedersen Device was designed for the US Rifle, Model of 1917, a similar prototype was made for the US Rifle, Model of 1916. Neither of those was put into production. Production of the device started in 1918, along with the modified rifle that December, after the war ended; the contract was cancelled on 1 March 1919 after production of 65,000 devices with 1.6 million magazines, 65 million cartridges and 101,775 modified Springfield rifles. Each device was to be issued with a belt including a stamped, sheet-steel scabbard for safely carrying the device when not in use, a canvas pouch to hold the M1903 rifle bolt when not in use, canvas pouches holding five magazines.
The device with two pouches of loaded magazines added 14 pounds to the infantryman's standard load. Remington subcontracted magazine production to Mount Vernon Silversmiths, the carrying scabbards were manufactured by Gorham Manufacturing Company. Canvas pouches for magazines and for the rifle bolt were manufactured at Rock Island Arsenal. Ammunition was packaged in 40-round boxes sufficient to fill one magazine. Five boxes were packed in a carton corresponding to the five-magazine pouches, three cartons were carried in a light canvas bandolier holding 600 cartridges. Five bandoliers were packed in a wooden crate. Ammunition produced by Remington is headstamped "RA" with the years "18", "19", "20". After the war, the semi-automatic concept started to gain currency in the U. S. Army. By the late 1920s, the Army was experimenting with several new semi-automatic rifle designs, including the Pedersen rifle firing a new.276 rifle cartridge. However, the Pedersen rifle lost to a new semi-auto rifle designed by John C.
Garand. The Garand was developed for.30-06 cartridge and converted to the new.276 cartridge. After the.276 Garand rifle was selected over the Pedersen rifle, General Douglas MacArthur came out against changing rifle cartridges, sin
Dmitry Dmitriyevich Minayev was a Russian poet, journalist and literary critic. Minayev was born in Simbirsk to the poet Dmitry Ivanovich Minayev, best known for his translation of The Tale of Igor's Campaign. After studying in 1847-1851 at the Konstantin's Artillery military college and three years of working as a clerk at the Simbirsk treasury he moved to Saint Petersburg and joined the Russian Foreign Ministry. After retirement in 1857 Minayev became the professional literary man and started contributing to numerous magazines, including Sovremennik and Russkoye Slovo. Working for in Iskra, he became a successful parodist, satirizing among others liberal authors like Afanasy Fet, Apollon Maykov, Nikolai Shcherbina and Vsevolod Krestovsky. Among the works of the foreign authors he translated were those by Dante Alighieri. After Dmitry Karakozov's attempt at the Tsar Alexander II's life, Minayev was arrested, accused of working for "magazines noted for their dangerous Socialist inclinations, notably Sovremennik and Russkoye Slovo" and spent four months in the Petropavlovskaya Fortress.
In 1887 Minayev returned to his native Simbirsk. Two years on July 22, he died after prolonged illness