The Vault

Early Semiauto Rifles

As soon as the self-contained cartridge was successfully developed, the door was opened to the possibility of a practical semi-automatic firearm. There were early successes with large mounted machine guns and with handguns, but the shoulder rifle was more difficult. Inventing a design that was durable enough to fire a full-power rifle round and yet also light enough to be a practical shoulder arm was a tricky proposition.

Many of the early automatic rifle designs show very innovative features, and are fascinating to study. We currently have information on:

Italian Breda PG
Dutch semiauto conversion
British Farquhar-Hill
French Halle
French Hagen
German Luger rifle
Italian Scotti
Japanese Pedersen
Mexican Mondragon
Polish Wz 38M
Spanish Modelo 32

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