The Vault

Polish wz.38M

The wz.38M, designed by Józef Maroszek, was the winner of Poland’s 1934 self-loading rifle trials. Production began in 1938, but only about 150 examples had been produced when Germany invaded and production was halted (the Germans decided not to continue production). Only 7 examples are known to survive to this day, in various conditions – 4 in the US, and one each in Poland, Russia, and Germany. The highest series number currently known is 1054, and all the known rifles are marked “Zrb.2″, indicating manufacture at Zbrojownia Nr. 2 (Arsenal No.2) in Warsaw. Mass production would have been done at the Radom factory, but it appears this was never begun.

Mechanically, the rifle uses a tilting bolt system reminiscent of the BAR, with a gas tube and pistol located below the barrel. It was equipped with a detachable 10-round magazine, but like many contemporary rifle designs it was intended to be reloaded with stripper clips, and spare magazines were not standard issue (or rather, would not have been, had the rifle gone into mass production). There is a safety selector above the trigger on the right side (safe/fire only, no full auto capacility), and the rear leaf sight is graduated from 300m out to 2000m.

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