The Thompson Autorifle was a semi-automatic rifle that used a Blish Lock to delay the action of the weapon. It was chambered in .30-06, with the 1923 model in 7.62×54mmR Russian rifle rounds.
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge, 7.62×63mm in metric notation and called ".30 Gov't '06" by Winchester, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized; it remained in use until the early 1980s. The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet in inches. The "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted—1906. It replaced the .30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and .30-40 Krag cartridges. The .30-06 remained the U.S. Army's primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO and 5.56×45mm NATO, both of which remain in current U.S. and NATO service. It remains a very popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers.
The 7.62×54mmR is a rimmed rifle cartridge developed by the Russian Empire and introduced as a service cartridge in 1891. Originally designed for the bolt-action Mosin–Nagant rifle, it was used during the late Tsarist era and throughout the Soviet period to the present day. The cartridge remains one of the few standard-issue rimmed cartridges still in military use and has the longest service life of all military-issued cartridges in the world.
Several prototypes of the Autorifle were submitted by Auto-Ordnance to the military for the semi-automatic rifle trials, but it was not adopted. The Autorifle Model 1929, in .276 Pedersen, was tested in a competition with the rifles by J.D. Pedersen (delayed blowback) and John C. Garand (gas-operated), which culminated in the adoption of the M1 Garand.
Auto-Ordnance is a U.S. arms development firm founded by retired Colonel John T. Thompson of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department in 1916. Auto-Ordnance is best known for the Thompson submachine gun, notorious as a gangster weapon of the Roaring Twenties and famous as a military weapon of the Allied forces in World War II.
The .276 Pedersen (7×51mm) round was an experimental 7 mm cartridge developed for the United States Army. It was used in the Pedersen rifle and early versions of what would become the M1 Garand.
John Douglas Pedersen was a prolific arms designer who worked for Remington Arms, and later for the United States Government. Famed gun designer John Moses Browning told Maj. Gen. Julian S. Hatcher of U.S. Army Ordnance that Pedersen "was the greatest gun designer in the world".
On the positive side, the Autorifle action avoided the complexity of recoil-operated and gas-operated actions. On the negative side, the Autorifle required lubricated ammunition for proper functioning and the ejection of spent cartridge casings was so violent as to be hazardous to bystanders.
For reloading, the Thompson Autorifle uses an interrupted screw delayed blowback operation where the bolt has 85° angled interrupted rear locking lugs that have to overcome a rotation of 110° ( 90° to unlock before the angle blend of 70°/40° and 6°) that delays the action until the gas pressure drops to a safe level to eject. The bolt cocks the striker on opening (a la Mauser) and fires from a closed position. When firing the trigger when pulled pushes a lever connected to a sear to fire the weapon. The receiver is of a round section with the safety switch at the rear along with the rear sight. The magazine is stripper fed holding 5 rounds and lubricated by oiled pads, later prototypes used 20 round M1918 BAR magazines.
An interrupted screw or interrupted thread is a mechanical device typically used in the breech of artillery guns. It is believed to have been invented in 1845. The system has also been used to close other applications, including the joint between helmet (bonnet) and breastplate (corselet) of standard diving suit helmets, and the locks of diving chambers.
The BSA Autorifle was a British automatic rifle designed by Birmingham Small Arms Co. This rifle was manufactured by BSA under their licensing agreement with the Auto-Ordnance Corp. It was offered for British Army trials during the 1920s.
The weapon was an improved derivative of the Thompson Autorifle that could be operated manually if the two curved 'shutters' around the bolt head are moved into the down position, the mechanism is disconnected and the rifle can be used as a manual loader. This facility was a requirement in self-loaders offered for British trials at this period. The weapon took part in trials during 1927 against a Colt made Thompson, an 'improved' BSA Thompson, A gas operated BSA and the Farquhar Hill. Although in 1928 reports it narrowly beat the 'improved' BSA and the Farquhar Hill in the third place, It never advanced past prototype stages as none were found acceptable and development of the BSA Autorifle waned.
BSA Guns Ltd, a licensee of protecting the patents of the Thompson Autorifle made a handful of the 1923 model Thompsons as 'heavy rifles' with folding bipods and finned barrels. Surviving examples suggest there were Rifle and Light Machine Gun variants and 6 of both types were manufactured. The first examples were made in 1924 and an 'improved' variant in 1926. The 'improved' BSA Thompson had a shorter operation with a straight pull cocking handle installed at the rear of a cocking sleeve.
The BSA Autorifle is a delayed blowback operated rifle chambered in the .303 British round and fed from a removable 10 round box magazine. Much like its predecessor, it uses a bolt with 85° angled threads delayed by a 90° twist to unlock from a bronze nut until the gas pressure drops to a safe level to eject. The bolt cocks the striker on opening (a la Mauser) and fires from a closed position. When firing the trigger when pulled pushes a lever connected to a sear to fire the weapon. The receiver is of a round section with the safety switch at the rear along with the rear sight.
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of self-loading rifle whose action will automatically cycle a new round after each shot, but needs the shooter to release, then pull the trigger again, to fire another shot; thus, only one round is discharged with each pull of the trigger. I.e., the gun's trigger must be depressed and released for each shot fired.
Bolt action is a type of firearm action where the handling of cartridges into and out of the weapon's barrel chamber is operated by manually manipulating the bolt directly via a handle, which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon. When the handle is operated, the bolt is unlocked from the receiver and pulled back to open the breech, allowing the spent cartridge case to be extracted and ejected, the firing pin within the bolt is cocked and engages the sear, then upon the bolt being pushed back a new cartridge is loaded into the chamber, and finally the breech is closed tight by the bolt locking against the receiver.
In firearms terminology, an action is the mechanism of a breech-loading weapon that handles the ammunition or the method by which that mechanism works. Actions are technically not present on muzzleloaders, as all are single-shot weapons with a closed off breech. Instead, the ignition mechanism is referred to
The M1 Garand is a .30-06 caliber semi-automatic rifle that was the standard U.S. service rifle during World War II and the Korean War and also saw limited service during the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to U.S. forces, though many hundreds of thousands were also provided as foreign aid to American allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely used by civilians for hunting, target shooting, and as a military collectible.
The FG 42 is a selective-fire automatic rifle produced in Nazi Germany during World War II. The weapon was developed specifically for the use of the Fallschirmjäger airborne infantry in 1942 and was used in very limited numbers until the end of the war.
Mauser, begun as Königliche Waffen Schmieden, is a German arms manufacturer. Their line of bolt-action rifles and semi-automatic pistols have been produced since the 1870s for the German armed forces. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Mauser designs were also exported and licensed to a large number of countries which adopted them as military and civilian sporting firearms. The Mauser Model 98 in particular was widely adopted and copied, and is the foundation of many of today's sporting bolt action rifles.
A semi-automatic firearm, also called self-loading firearm or autoloading firearm, is one that not only fires a bullet each time the trigger is pulled, but also performs all steps necessary to prepare it to discharge again—assuming cartridges remain in the firearm's feed device. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. To fire again, the trigger is released and re-pressed.
The M1903 Springfield, formally the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, is an American five-round magazine fed, bolt-action service repeating rifle, used primarily during the first half of the 20th century.
The Gewehr 41, commonly known as the G41(W) or G41(M), is a semi-automatic rifle manufactured and used by Nazi Germany during World War II.
A repeating rifle, or repeater for short, is a single-barrel rifle capable of repeated discharges following a single ammunition reload, typically by having multiple cartridges stored in a magazine and then fed into the chamber by the bolt via either a manual or automatic mechanism, while the act of chambering the rifle typically also recocks the action for the following shot. In common usage, the term "repeating rifle" most often refers specifically to manually-operated weapons, as opposed to self-loading rifles, which use the recoil and blowback of the previous shot to cycle the action and load the next round, even though all self-loading firearms are technically a subcategory of repeating firearms.
A fully automatic firearm is said to fire from an open bolt if, when ready to fire, the bolt and working parts are held to the rear of the receiver, with no round in the chamber. When the trigger is actuated, the bolt travels forward, feeds a cartridge from the magazine or belt into the chamber, and fires that cartridge in the same movement. Like any other self-loading design, the action is cycled by the gas expended from the round, hence the necessity of a gas system; this excess of gas sends the bolt back to the rear, ejecting the empty cartridge case and preparing for the next shot. Generally, an open-bolt firing cycle is used for fully automatic weapons and not for semi-automatic weapons. Firearms using advanced primer ignition blowback inherently fire from open bolt only.
Blowback is a system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains energy from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gas created by the ignition of the propellant charge.
Gas-operation is a system of operation used to provide energy to operate locked breech, autoloading firearms. In gas operation, a portion of high-pressure gas from the cartridge being fired is used to power a mechanism to dispose of the spent case and insert a new cartridge into the chamber. Energy from the gas is harnessed through either a port in the barrel or a trap at the muzzle. This high-pressure gas impinges on a surface such as a piston head to provide motion for unlocking of the action, extraction of the spent case, ejection, cocking of the hammer or striker, chambering of a fresh cartridge, and locking of the action. The first gas-operated rifle was designed in 1883–1884 by Karel Krnka.
Rotating bolt is a method of locking used in firearms. Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse developed the first rotating bolt firearm, the "Dreyse needle gun" in 1836. The Dreyse locked using the bolt handle rather than lugs on the bolt head like the Mauser M 98 or M16. The first rotating bolt rifle with two lugs on the bolt head was the Lebel Model 1886 rifle. The concept has been implemented on most firearms chambered for high powered cartridges since the 20th century.
Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher was an Austrian engineer and small arms designer. Along with James Paris Lee, Mannlicher was particularly noted for inventing the en-bloc clip charger-loading magazine system. Later, while making improvements to other inventors prototype designs for rotary-feed magazines, Mannlicher, together with his protégé Otto Schönauer, patented a perfected rotary magazine design, the Mannlicher–Schönauer, which was a commercial and military success.
The Pedersen Rifle, officially known in final form as the T1E3 rifle, was a United States semi-automatic rifle designed by John Pedersen that was made in small numbers for testing by the United States Army during the 1920s as part of a program to standardize and adopt a replacement for the M1903 Springfield.
The Farquhar–Hill rifle, a British design by Moubray G. Farquhar and Arthur H. Hill, was one of the first semi-automatic rifles designed in the early 20th century.
The Volkssturmgewehr is the name of several rifle designs developed by Nazi Germany during the last months of World War II. They share the common characteristic of being greatly simplified as an attempt to cope with severe lack of resources and industrial capacity in Germany during the final period of the war.
The StG 45(M) sometimes referred to as the MP 45(M), was a prototype assault rifle developed by Mauser for the Wehrmacht at the end of World War II, using an innovative roller-delayed blowback operating system. It fired the 7.92×33mm Kurz intermediate cartridge at a cyclic rate of around 450 rounds per minute.
Cadet rifles are generally .22 caliber, bolt-action rifles used by military cadets and others for basic firearms and marksmanship training. They also come in semi-automatic versions. And, they are often miniature .22 caliber versions of standard issue service rifles. Older 19th century cadet rifles were simply smaller and lighter versions of standard issue service rifles designed to fire reduced power cartridges.