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RIA: Walther/Heinemann Toggle Lock Sporting Rifle

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In 1928 and 1929, the Swiss Rheinmetall company produced about 50 examples of a toggle-locked rifle designed by Karl Heinemann. It was tested by the United States among other countries, but never found military acceptance. This particular example is a Heinemann rifle in sporting pattern, made by the Walther company. I do not know […]

RIA: Japanese Army Pedersen Copy Trials Rifle

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The Japanese military was interested in finding a new self-loading rifle to adopt in the 1930s. The development project began with a request to retired General Kijiro Nambu who designed a gas-operate,d rotating bolt rifle but could not bring it up to the standards demanded by the military and opted to abandon the project […]

RIA: 1929 Simson Prototype 9mm

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In the late 1920s, German Ordnance hinted at an interest in replacing the P.08 Luger pistols with a less expensive handgun design. This prompted a number of submissions from hopeful companies, including this design from the Simson company of Suhl. It is chambered for the 9×19 Parabellum cartridge (as requested by Ordnance) but is […]

RIA: Thompson Model 1923 Autorifle

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One of the very early entrants into the United States Ordnance Department’s semiauto rifle trials was the Auto-Ordnance Company, makers of the Thompson submachine gun. For the rifle trials, they designed a .30-06 rifle using the same Blish-locking principle as had been applied to the SMG. Since the Blish principle doesn’t actually work, this […]

RIA: CZ Model S Prototype (1929)

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This CZ Model S rifle is one of many prototypes made between the world wars in Czechoslovakia in an effort to develop a military semiautomatic rifle. Similar efforts were underway in most other countries at the same time (basically every place that had a mature arms industry), and a huge variety of ideas were […]

RIA: Walther A115 Prototype Rifle

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The Walther A115 was one of the semiauto rifles developed in pre-WWII Germany. Apparently only three were made, and it uses a neat combination of sheet metal construction with a rotating bolt and annular gas pistol like the later G41 rifles. This particular example was examined by Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1955 (you can […]

RIA: Japanese Trials Gas-Operated Pedersen Rifle

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The Japanese semiauto rifle trials of the early 1930s had a total of four entrants – Kijiro Nambu and his company, Tokyo Gas & Electric, the Tokyo Army Arsenal, and Nippon Special Steel. This rifle is one of the third iteration of the design from Nippon Special Steel. It is a design based originally […]

RIA: T3E2 Trials .276-Caliber Garand

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By 1932, the competition for the new US emiautomatic service rifle had been narrowed down to just two designs: John Pedersen’s delayed blowback toggle action and John Garand’s gas-operated action. Both rifles were chambered for Pedersen’s .276 caliber cartridge, and used 10-round en bloc clips. Twenty samples of each were made and sent out […]

RIA: Bendix-Hyde Second Model Prototype Carbine

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In late 1940, the US military opened a competition for what would become the M1 Carbine – a rifle that needed to use the .30 Carbine cartridge and weigh no more than 5 pounds (2.27kg). No fewer than 9 companies and designers entered the first round of competition in April 1941, including John Garand, […]

RIA: Japanese Type 4 Garand Copy

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Partway through 1944, the Japanese Imperial Navy began a program to provide their infantry units with better firepower than was afforded by the bolt action Arisaka rifles. The initial experimentation was based on rechambering captured US M1 Garand rifles for the 7.7 Japanese cartridge, but an incompatibility of American en bloc clips with the Japanese […]