M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle
The Browning Automatic Rifle is a family of American automatic rifles and machine guns used by the United States and numerous other countries during the 20th century. The primary variant of the BAR series was the M1918, chambered for the.30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge and designed by John Browning in 1917 for the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe as a replacement for the French-made Chauchat and M1909 Benét–Mercié machine guns that US forces had been issued. The BAR was designed to be carried by infantrymen during an assault advance while supported by the sling over the shoulder, or to be fired from the hip; this is a concept called "walking fire" — thought to be necessary for the individual soldier during trench warfare. The BAR never lived up to the original hopes of the war department as either a rifle or a machine gun; the U. S. Army, in practice, used the BAR as a light machine gun fired from a bipod. A variant of the original M1918 BAR, the Colt Monitor Machine Rifle, remains the lightest production automatic firearm chambered for the.30-06 Springfield cartridge, though the limited capacity of its standard 20-round magazine tended to hamper its utility in that role.
Although the weapon did see some action in World War I, the BAR did not become standard issue in the US Army until 1938, when it was issued to squads as a portable light machine gun. The BAR saw extensive service in both World War II and the Korean War and saw limited service in the Vietnam War; the US Army began phasing out the BAR in the late 1950s, when it was intended to be replaced by a squad automatic weapon variant of the M14, was without a portable light machine gun until the introduction of the M60 machine gun in 1957. The US entered World War I with an inadequate and obsolete assortment of domestic and foreign machine gun designs, due to bureaucratic indecision and the lack of an established military doctrine for their employment; when the 1917 United States declaration of war on Germany was announced on 6 April 1917, the high command was made aware that to fight this trench war, dominated by machine-guns, they had on hand a mere 670 M1909 Benét–Merciés, 282 M1904 Maxims and 158 Colts, M1895s.
After much debate, it was agreed that a rapid rearmament with domestic weapons would be required, but until that time, US troops would be issued whatever the French and British had to offer. The arms donated by the French were second-rate or surplus and chambered in 8mm Lebel, further complicating logistics as machine gunners and infantrymen were issued different types of ammunition. In 1917, prior to America's entry to the war, John Browning brought to Washington, D. C. two types of automatic weapons for the purposes of demonstration: a water-cooled machine gun and a shoulder-fired automatic rifle known as the Browning Machine Rifle or BMR, both chambered for the standard US.30-06 Springfield cartridge. Browning had arranged for a public demonstration of both weapons at a location in southern Washington, D. C. known as Congress Heights. There, on 27 February 1917, in front of a crowd of 300 people, Browning staged a live-fire demonstration which so impressed the gathered crowd, that he was awarded a contract for the weapon and it was hastily adopted into service.
Additional tests were conducted for US Army Ordnance officials at Springfield Armory in May 1917, both weapons were unanimously recommended for immediate adoption. In order to avoid confusion with the belt-fed M1917 machine gun, the BAR came to be known as the M1918 or Rifle, Caliber.30, Browning, M1918 according to official nomenclature. On 16 July 1917, 12,000 BARs were ordered from Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company, which had secured an exclusive concession to manufacture the BAR under Browning's patents; however Colt was producing at peak capacity and requested a delay in production while they expanded their manufacturing output with a new facility in Meriden, Connecticut. Due to the urgent need for the weapon, the request was denied and the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was designated as the prime contractor. Winchester gave valuable assistance in refining the BAR's final design, correcting the drawings in preparation for mass production. Among the changes made, the ejection pattern was modified.
Since work on the gun did not begin until February 1918, so hurried was the schedule at Winchester to bring the BAR into full production that the first production batch of 1,800 guns was delivered out of spec. The initial contract with Winchester called for 25,000 BARs, they were in full production by June 1918, delivering 4,000 guns, from July were turning out 9,000 units per month. Colt and Marlin-Rockwell Corp. began production shortly after Winchester got into full production. Marlin-Rockwell, burdened by a contract to make rifles for the Belgian government, acquired the Mayo Radiator Co.'s factory and used it to carry out production of the BAR. The first unit from this source was delivered on 11 June 1918 and the company's peak output reached 200 automatic rifles per day. Colt had produced only 9,000 BARs by the time of the armistice due to the
The TT-30 is a Russian semi-automatic pistol. It was developed in the early 1930s by Fedor Tokarev as a service pistol for the Soviet military to replace the Nagant M1895 revolver, in use since Tsarist times, though it ended up being used in conjunction with rather than replacing the M1895, it served until 1952. In 1930, the Revolutionary Military Council approved a resolution to test new small arms to replace its aging Nagant M1895 revolvers. During these tests, on 7 January 1931, the potential of a pistol designed by Fedor Tokarev was noted. A few weeks 1,000 TT-30s were ordered for troop trials, the pistol was adopted for service in the Red Army; the TT-30 was manufactured with about 93,000 being produced. But as the TT-30 was being put into production, design changes were made to simplify manufacturing. Minor changes to the barrel, disconnector and frame were implemented, the most notable ones being the omission of the removable hammer assembly and changes to the full-circumference locking lugs.
This redesigned pistol was the TT-33. Most TT-33s were issued to commanding officers; the TT-33 was used by Soviet troops during World War II, but did not replace the Nagant. Externally, the TT-33 is similar to John Browning's blowback operated FN Model 1903 semiautomatic pistol, internally it uses Browning's short recoil tilting-barrel system from the M1911 pistol. In other areas the TT-33 differs more from Browning's designs — it employs a much simpler hammer/sear assembly than the M1911; this assembly is removable from the pistol as a modular unit and includes machined magazine feed lips preventing misfeeds when a damaged magazine was loaded into the magazine well. Soviet engineers made several alterations to make the mechanism easier to produce and maintain, most notably the simplifications of the barrel's locking lugs, allowing fewer machining steps; some models use a captive recoil spring secured to the guide rod which does depend on the barrel bushing to hold it under tension. The TT-33 is chambered for the 7.62×25mm Tokarev cartridge, itself based on the similar 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge used in the Mauser C96 pistol.
The 7.62×25mm cartridge is powerful, has an flat trajectory, is capable of penetrating thick clothing and soft body armor. Able to withstand tremendous abuse, large numbers of the TT-33 were produced during World War II and well into the 1950s. In modern times the robust TT-33 has been converted to many powerful cartridges including.38 Super and 9×23mm Winchester. The TT-33 omitted a safety catch other than the half cock notch which rendered the trigger inoperable until the hammer was pulled back to full cock and lowered manually to the half cock position. Many imported variants have manual safeties added, which vary in placement and function; the Wehrmacht captured a fair number of TT-33s and issued them to units under the Pistole 615 designation. This was made possible by the fact that Russian 7.62 mm Model 1930 Type P cartridges were nearly identical to the German 7.63×25mm Mauser cartridge. Therefore, German ammunition could be used in captured Russian arms, but not vice versa. Due to much higher pressures, the Russian cartridges should never be used in the German Mauser pistols.
Such use could be dangerous. Interarms marketed World War II-surplus Russian-made Tokarevs in Europe and the United States as the Phoenix, they had new wooden grips with a phoenix design on them and were overstamped INTERARMS on the barrel. Gun laws banned their sale due to their lack of a safety. In 1949 a silenced variant was produced. Uniquely, the silencer is attached to the barrel bushing rather than the barrel itself; the combined weight of the suppressor with the slide prevents semi-auto cycling of the action, forcing the user to manually cycle it in the same manner as pump action firearms. It would be replaced by the PB pistol in 1967; the TT-33 was replaced by the 8-round, 9×18mm Makarov PM pistol in 1952. Production of the TT-33 in Russia ended in 1954, but copies were made by other countries. At one time or another most communist or Soviet bloc countries made a variation of the TT-33 pistol; the TT pistol was copied in China as the Type 51, Type 54, M20, TU-90. Norinco, the People's Liberation Army's state armaments manufacturer in China, manufactured a commercial variant of the Tokarev pistol chambered in the more common 9×19mm Parabellum round, known as the Tokarev Model 213, as well as in the original 7.62×25mm caliber.
The 9mm model features a safety catch, absent on Russian-produced TT-33 handguns. Furthermore, the Model 213 features the thin slide grip grooves, as opposed to the original Russian wide-types; the 9mm model is featured with a magazine well block mounted in the rear of the magazine well to accept 9mm type magazines without frame modification. The Norinco model in current production is not available for sale in the United States due to import prohibitions on Chinese firearms, although older handguns of the Model 213 type imported in the 1980s and 1990s are common. 7.62×25mm ammo is rather inexpensive and locally produced or imported from China made by Norinco. Hungary rebarreled the TT to fire 9×19mm Parabellum as the M48, as well as an export version for Egypt known as the Tokagypt 58, used by police forces there. Tokagypts differ from the original Tokarevs by an external safety leve
Stevens Model 520/620
The Stevens Model 520 was a pump-action shotgun developed by John Browning and manufactured by the J Stevens Arms & Tool Company between 1909 and 1916. Stevens was sold to New England Westinghouse on 28 May 1915 and production of civilian firearms was reduced; the company was renamed the "J Stevens Arms Company" on 1 July 1916 and New England Westinghouse used their manufacturing facility in Chicopee Falls, MA to produce Mosin-Nagant rifles under contract for the Russian Czar during World War I. After the war, Stevens was sold to Savage Arms on 1 April 1920 and full production of civilian firearms resumed. Under Savage ownership, Model 520 production continued until 1939 when it was replaced by the Model 520A which ended production in 1948. Stevens further modified the design when they introduced the streamlined Model 620 in 1927; the Model 620 was internally similar to the Model 520 and was produced until 1939 when it was replaced by the Model 620A which ended production in 1955. This shotgun is a hammerless, pump action, take-down design with a tubular magazine which holds 5 shells.
All models can be slam fired: the shotgun has no trigger disconnector and shells can be fired one after the other by working the slide if the trigger is held down. John Browning filed a patent for a “hammerless” shotgun with a unique take-down barrel and locking breech block on 10 Jul 1903, it was approved on 7 Feb 1905 and along with a separate 27 Aug 1907 patent, that applied to the connection between the slide arm and the fore end, became what would be the Stevens Model 520. Browning sold this design to the J Stevens Arms & Tool Company in Chicopee Falls MA; the first Stevens 520 appeared in Stevens' 1909 Catalog No. 52 and was offered for sale in the fall 1909 Sears & Roebuck catalog. It is recognizable by its "humpback" double receiver, it has a round slide release knob on the left side of the receiver, a visible breech locking bolt on the top of the receiver, base models have a rounded pistol grip on the butt stock. The fore grip is uniform in size; the trigger housing is retained with three screws and the safety is a lever located inside the trigger guard in front of the trigger.
The cartridge stop is a rocker design with a set screw on front right side of the receiver. There were other models including a Model 522 trap gun and the 525, 530, 535 with increasing levels of engraving and stock quality and fore grips. Internally there is an inertial slide release block, affixed to the inside of the receiver; this inertial release uses the recoil of a discharged round to unlock the breech. The action was designed to only unlock after firing or with use of the slide release and not by dry firing like many modern shotguns. All model 520s were only offered in 12 gauge until 1928. Around 1918, Stevens provided a 520 trench gun prototype to the US military for service in World War I. Several examples were made but no known examples survive, it had a unique two piece heat shield-bayonet lug. When Savage Arms purchased Stevens in 1920, the Model 520 was updated, incorporating several design changes that were emerging prior to 1916; these include a relocated slide release button, moved from the left side of the receiver to the left side of the trigger plate, a redesigned inertial slide release, incorporated into the design of the trigger plate.
In 1925, the Model 520 first appeared as a store branded gun when it is sold as the Ranger Repeater Model 30 by Sears and the Western Field Model 30 by Montgomery Wards. Around this time the inertial slide release blocks were removed and replaced with a spring that provided forward pressure on the slide release. Guns made. In 1928, the first sub-gauge Model 520 was introduced, it was followed in 1930 by a 20 gauge Model 520. The Model 520 last appeared in a Stevens sales publication in 1928 and 1929 but remained in full production until 1939. During this time it was sold under Stevens' budget line Riverside Arms; the shotgun went through several design changes during this period. Most notably was a redesign of the cartridge stop in 1933 and the relocation of the safety, from inside the trigger guard to behind the trigger in 1937. Model 520 production ended in 1939 and it was replaced by the improved Model 520A in 1940; the redesigned Model 520A was related to the Model 520, utilizing the same takedown action and locking breech block.
The receiver had a flat top and squared-off back end. The safety was moved to the receiver tang and the trigger housing was redesigned to use a coil mainspring instead of a flat bar mainspring; the 520A continued to be sold under Stevens' budget line Riverside Arms. The 520A was never shown in a Stevens sales publication, it only appeared in Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Wards catalogs and in Stevens component parts catalogs. Stevens halted civilian production in 1942 to make weapons for use by the US military during World War II. Civilian Model 520A production resumed after World War II, again as store branded guns, continued until 1948; the Model 620 was introduced in 1927 and is a streamlined version of the original 520. The safety was located inside the trigger housing just like the Model 520 but by 1929 it had been changed to a cross-bolt located behind the trigger; the stock was attached by a bolt connecting the receiver and trigger tangs through the grip of the stock. The 620 was only offerd in 12 gauge but a 16 gauge followed in 1928 and a 20
The SVT-40 is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle. The SVT-40 saw widespread service during and after World War II, it was intended to be the Soviet Red Army's new service rifle, but its production was disrupted by the German invasion in 1941, resulting in a change back to the older Mosin–Nagant bolt-action rifle for the duration of World War II. After the war, the Soviet Union adopted new rifles, such as the SKS and the AK-47. Fedor Tokarev created the basic design for the SVT rifle in the early 1930s. Tokarev gave up his previous experiments with recoil-operated self-loading rifles and pursued a gas-operating mechanism instead. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had a great interest in semi-automatic infantry rifles, the army held trials of automatic rifle designs in 1935; the winning rifle was designed by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov, was accepted into service the next year as the AVS-36. However, problems with the AVS became apparent, both Tokarev and Simonov submitted improved designs to further trials.
This time, Tokarev's rifle was accepted for production, under the designation SVT-38 with hopes that it would become the new standard issue rifle of the Red Army. Ambitious production plans anticipated two million rifles per year by 1942. Production began at Tula Arsenal in July 1939; the SVT-38 is a gas-operated rifle with a short-stroke, spring-loaded piston above the barrel and a tilting bolt. This configuration gained wider acceptance later. There is some dispute about who first developed this operating principle, as the SVT's mechanism resembles Dieudonné Saive's design of 1937. Soviet small arms were of simple and robust construction, designed for use by poorly educated and sometimes poorly equipped soldiers; the SVT-38, in contrast, had been designed with weight-saving in mind, including its wood stock and action. It was a gas-operated action with a gas-cylinder cup, not accessible, it was complex by Soviet standards, was not suited to handle corrosively-primed ammunition without frequent cleaning.
The SVT-38 was equipped with a 10-round detachable magazine. The receiver was open-top, which enabled reloading of the magazine using five-round Mosin–Nagant stripper clips. Advanced features for the time were the adjustable gas system, muzzle brake, telescopic sight rails milled into the receiver; the sniper variant had an additional locking notch for a see-through scope mount and was equipped with a 3.5× PU telescopic sight. This instrument was shorter than the otherwise-similar PU scope used on the Mosin–Nagant M1891/30 sniper rifle; the SVT-38 saw its combat debut in the 1939–1940 Winter War with Finland. The initial reaction of the troops to this new rifle was negative. Among the issues were that the rifle was too long and cumbersome, difficult to maintain, the magazine had a tendency to fall out. Production of the SVT-38 was terminated in April 1940 after some 150,000 examples had been manufactured. Subsequently, an improved design, designated the SVT-40, entered production, it was a more refined, lighter design incorporating a modified, magazine release.
The handguard was now of one-piece construction and the cleaning rod was housed under the barrel. Other changes were made in an effort to simplify manufacturing. Production of this improved rifle began in July 1940 at Tula, at factories in Izhevsk and Podolsk. Production of the Mosin–Nagant M1891/30 bolt-action rifle continued, it remained the standard-issue rifle to Red Army troops, with the SVT-40 more issued to non-commissioned officers and elite units like the naval infantry. Since these factories had experience manufacturing the SVT-38, production geared up and an estimated 70,000 SVT-40s were produced in 1940. By the time the German invasion began in June 1941, the SVT-40 was in widespread use by the Red Army. In a Soviet infantry division's table of organization and equipment, one-third of rifles were supposed to be SVTs, though in practice they achieved this ratio; the first months of the war were disastrous for the Soviet Union. To make up for this, production of the Mosin–Nagant rifles was reintroduced.
In contrast, the SVT was more difficult to manufacture, troops with only rudimentary training had difficulty maintaining it. In addition, submachine guns like the PPSh-41 had proven their value as simple and effective weapons to supplement infantry firepower; this led to a gradual decline in SVT production. In 1941, over one million SVTs were produced, but in 1942 Ishevsk arsenal was ordered to cease SVT production and switch back to the Mosin–Nagant 91/30. Only 264,000 SVTs were manufactured in 1942, production continued to diminish until the order to cease production was given in January 1945. Total production of the SVT-38/40 was around 1,600,000 rifles, of which 51,710 were the SVT-40 sniper variant. In service, SVTs suffered from vertical shot dispersion; the army reported that the rifles were of "flimsy construction and there were difficulties experienced in their repair and maintenance". Many rifles were poorly seated in their stocks; this led to a field modification that selectively shimmed the stock with birch chips at the rear of the receiver and near or beneath the barrel band.
The stock, made of Arctic Birch, was prone to cracking in the wrist from recoil. This w
The Karabiner 98 kurz (German:. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles. Although supplemented by semi- and automatic rifles during World War II, it remained the primary German service rifle until the end of the war in 1945. Millions were captured by the Soviets at the conclusion of World War II and were distributed as military aid; the Karabiner 98k therefore continues to appear in conflicts across the world as they are taken out of storage during times of strife. In February 1934 the Heereswaffenamt ordered the adoption of a new military rifle; the Karabiner 98k was derived from earlier rifles, namely the Mauser Standardmodell of 1924 and the Karabiner 98b, which in turn had both been developed from the Gewehr 98. Since the Karabiner 98k rifle was shorter than the earlier Karabiner 98b, it was given the designation Karabiner 98 kurz, meaning "Carbine 98 Short". Just like its predecessor, the rifle was noted for its reliability, great accuracy and an effective range of up to 500 metres with iron sights and 1,000 metres with an 8× telescopic sight.
The desire for adopting new shorter barreled rifles and the introduction of the Karabiner 98k, featuring a 600 mm long barrel, were reasons for changing the standard German service ball rifle cartridge. The 1903 pattern 7.92×57mm Mauser S Patrone produced excessive muzzle flash when fired from arms that did not have a long barrel like the Gewehr 98. It was found that the s. S. Patrone designed for long range machine gun use, produced less muzzle flash out of rifles that had a shorter barrel and provided better accuracy; because of this the S Patrone was phased out in 1933 and the s. S. Patrone became the standard German service ball cartridge in the 1930s; the Karabiner 98k is a controlled-feed bolt-action rifle based on the Mauser M98 system. Its internal magazine can be loaded with five 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridges from a stripper clip or one-by-one. The straight bolt handle found on the Gewehr 98 bolt was replaced by a turned-down bolt handle on the Karabiner 98k; this change made it easier to operate the bolt, reduced the amount the handle projected beyond the receiver, enabled mounting of aiming optics directly above the receiver.
Each rifle was furnished with a short length of cleaning rod, fitted through the bayonet stud. The joined rods from 3 rifles provided one full-length cleaning rod; the metal parts of the rifle were blued, a process in which steel is protected against rust by a layer of magnetite. Such a thin black oxide layer provides only minimal protection against rust or corrosion, unless treated with a water-displacing oil to reduce wetting and galvanic corrosion. From 1944 onwards phosphating/Parkerizing was introduced as a more effective metal surface treatment; the impractical "Langevisier" or "rollercoaster" rear sight of the Mauser Gewehr 1898 was replaced with a conventional tangent leaf sight. The Karabiner 98k rear tangent sight was flatter compared to and does not obstruct the view to the sides during aiming as the Langevisier; the Karabiner 98k iron sight line had an open-pointed-post-type front sight, a tangent-type rear sight with a V-shaped rear notch. From 1939 onwards the post front sight was hooded to reduce glare under unfavourable light conditions and add protection for the post.
These standard sight lines consisted of somewhat coarse aiming elements, making it suitable for rough field handling, aiming at distant area fire targets and low-light usage, but less suitable for precise aiming at distant or small point targets. It is graduated for 7.92×57mm Mauser s. S. Patrone cartridges loaded with 12.8 g s. S. ball bullets from 100 to 2,000 m in 100 m increments. The sight line of early productions rifles have the ranging scale copied at the bottom of the tangent aiming element for setting the range whilst lying down; the Karabiner 98k has a 500 mm sight radius. Early Karabiner 98k rifles had solid walnut wood or from 1943 some had solid oak wood one-piece stocks. From 1937 onwards the rifles had laminated stocks, the result of trials that had stretched through the 1930s. Plywood laminates are stronger and resisted warping better than the conventional one-piece patterns, did not require lengthy maturing, were cheaper; the laminated stocks were, due to their dense composite structure, somewhat heavier compared to one-piece stocks.
In addition to the use of walnut and beech laminate, elm was used in small quantities. The butts of the semi-pistol grip Karabiner 98k stocks were not uniform; until early 1940 the stocks had a flat buttplate. After 1940 some stocks had a cupped buttplate to prevent the separation of the butt stock. All stocks had a steel buttplate; when issued the Karabiner 98k came accompanied with assorted accessory items including a sling, a protective muzzle cover, for field maintenance a Reinigungsgerät 34 or RG34 kit. Introduced in 1934, the Reinigungsgerät 34 consisted of a flat 85 mm wide by 135 mm long sheet metal container with two hinged lids carried on the person, which held an oiler, a take down tool for removing the floorplate and cleaning the receiver of the rifle, an aluminum barrel pull-through chain, a cleaning and an oiling brush, short lengths of tow u
The Gewehr 41 known as the G41 or G41, is a semi-automatic rifle manufactured and used by Nazi Germany during World War II. By 1940, it became apparent that some form of a semi-automatic rifle with a higher rate of fire than existing bolt-action rifle models was necessary to improve the infantry's combat efficiency; the Army issued a specification to various manufacturers, Mauser and Walther submitted prototypes that were similar. However, some restrictions were placed upon the design: no holes were to be bored into the barrel for tapping gas for the loading mechanism. Both models therefore used a mechanism known as the "Bang" system. In this system, propellant gases were captured by a cone-shaped gas trap at the muzzle, which in turn deflected them to operate a small piston which in turn pushed on a long piston rod that opened the breech and re-loaded the gun; this is as opposed to the more common type of gas-actuated system, in which gases are tapped off from the barrel, push back on a piston to open the breech to the rear.
Both included fixed 10-round magazines that were loaded using two of the stripper clips from the Karabiner 98k, utilizing the same German-standard 7.92×57mm Mauser rounds. This in turn made reloading slow; the Mauser design, the G41, was the only one of the two. The end result was an overly complex, unreliable and heavy rifle, it incorporated a familiar control arrangement to the standard Kar98k rifle. The G41 was striker-fired, rotating-bolt locking and featured a traditional bolt handle/charging handle that automatically disconnected the bolt assembly from the recoil spring should the rifle be used in manual mode; the flag-type safety blocks the striker. Only 6,673 were produced before production was halted, of these, 1,673 were returned as unusable. Accuracy issues were noted since the front sight was mounted on the gas tube in front of the barrel, producing play after sustained fire. Most metal parts on this rifle were machined steel and some rifles later examples, utilized the Bakelite type plastic hand guards.
The Walther design was more successful because the designers had ignored the last two restrictions listed above. Lacking a bolt, the receiver area was much cleaner than the M version. However, both the Walther and Mauser versions suffered from gas system fouling problems, since gasses at the muzzle cool down and deposit solid carbon fouling; these problems seemed to stem from the muzzle trap system becoming excessively corroded from the use of corrosive salts in the ammunition primers. The muzzle assembly consisted of many tight-fitting parts and was difficult to keep clean and maintain in field conditions. G41 rifles were produced at two factories, namely Walther at Zella Mehlis, Berlin-Lübecker Maschinenfabrik. Walther guns bear the AC code, WaA359 inspection proofs, while BLM guns bear the DUV code with WaA214 inspection proofs; these rifles are relatively scarce, quite valuable in collector grade. Varying sources put production figures between 145,000 units. Again, these rifles saw a high attrition rate on the Eastern front.
The Walther rifle was redesigned in 1943 into the Gewehr 43, utilising a short-stroke piston copied from the SVT-40 rifle and implemented a conventional detachable box magazine. "New German Semi-Automatic Rifle," Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 27, June 1943. Forgotten Weapons: Mauser Gewehr 41 Forgotten Weapons: Walther Gewehr 41 Gewehr 41, Handhabungs- und Behandlungsanleitung, vom 26.5.41 Gewehr 41, Handhabung und Behandlung, vom 16.2.43
The Nagant M1895 Revolver is a seven-shot, gas-seal revolver designed and produced by Belgian industrialist Léon Nagant for the Russian Empire. The Nagant M1895 was chambered for a proprietary cartridge, 7.62×38mmR, featured an unusual "gas-seal" system, in which the cylinder moved forward when the gun was cocked, to close the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, providing a boost to the muzzle velocity of the fired projectile and allowing the weapon to be suppressed. Its design would inspire the m1893 Pieper Steyr 1893 revolver. Léon Nagant and his brother Émile were well known in the Russian Tsar's court and military administration because of the part they had played in the design of the Russian service rifle, the Mosin–Nagant Model 1891; the Nagant M1895 was adopted as the standard issue side arm for the Imperial Russian Army and police officers, where it replaced earlier Smith & Wesson models such as the Model 3. Production began in Belgium; until 1918 it was produced in two versions: a double-action version for officers, a cheaper single-action version for the ranks.
It continued to be used after the Russian Revolution by the Red Army and Soviet security forces. The distinctive shape and name helped it achieve cult status in Russia and in the early 1930s the presentation of a Nagant M1895 revolver with an embossed Red Star was one of the greatest honors that could be bestowed on a Party Member; the common Russian name for the revolver, наган became synonymous with the concept of the revolver in general and was applied to such weapons regardless of actual make or model. As early as 1933 the M1895 had started to be replaced by the Tokarev semi-automatic pistol but was never replaced until the Makarov pistol in 1952, it was still produced and used in great numbers during World War II and remained in use with the Russian Railways, postal service, some remote police forces for many years. In the Russian Federation, it was only retired from use with postal security service in 2003, from bailiff security service in 2009. Revolvers have a small gap between the cylinder and the barrel to allow the cylinder to revolve.
The bullet must "jump" this gap when fired, which can have an adverse effect on accuracy if the barrel and chamber are misaligned. The gap is a path for the escape of high pressure gases. Expensive revolvers such as Korth and Manurhin are hand-fitted. Mass-produced revolvers may have a gap as large as 0.25 mm. The M1895 by contrast, has a mechanism which, as the hammer is cocked, first turns the cylinder and moves it forward, closing the gap between the cylinder and the barrel; the cartridge unique, plays an important part in sealing the gun to the escape of propellant gases. The bullet is seated within the cartridge case, the case is reduced in diameter at its mouth; the barrel features a short conical section at its rear. By sealing the gap, the velocity of the bullet is increased by 15 to 45 m/s This feature eliminates the possibility of injury from gases escaping through the gap, which can damage a finger if the user holds the gun with a finger positioned beside the gap; the disadvantage of this design is that Nagant revolvers were laborious and time-consuming to reload, with the need to manually eject each of the used cartridges, reload one cartridge at a time through a loading gate.
At the time the revolver was designed, this system was obsolete. In England the Webley revolver used a break action that ejected all six spent cartridges. However, the Nagant design did have the advantage of requiring less machining than more modern designs; the Nagant M1895 was made in both single-action and double-action models before and during World War I. Production of the single-action model seems to have stopped after 1918, with some exceptions, including examples made for target competition. Most single-action revolvers were converted to double-action, making original single-action revolvers rather rare. Whether fired in single action or double action, the Nagant M1895 has a markedly heavy trigger pull. Enthusiasts have been able to adjust the pull by adjusting the V shaped spring, either by grinding it or shimming it; the M1895 revolver was used extensively by the Russian Imperial Army and by the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution. In Russian service, it was known for its extreme sturdiness and ability to withstand abuse.
As one former Imperial Russian officer stated, "if anything went wrong with the M1895, you could fix it with a hammer". It was employed by the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, as well as its Soviet successor agencies, the OGPU and NKVD. Seven Nagant revolvers were used by communist revolutionaries to execute the Russian imperial family and their servants in July 1918. In the police role, it was seen with a cut-down barrel to aid in concealment by plainclothes agents. Despite the advent of the more modern Soviet TT pistol, the M1895 remained in production and use throughout World War II; the Nagant's sealed firing system meant that the Nagant revolver, unlike most other revolvers, could make effective use of a sound suppressor, suppressors were so