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RIA – Swiss Model 1893: A Mannlicher Cavalry Carbine

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The Swiss were the first country to adopt a bolt action repeating rifle with their Vetterli, and followed this by changing to a straight-pull design in the 1880s. The straight-pull Schmidt-Rubin system was quite good, but one potential flaw was that it was a quite long action. This became an issue when the Swiss […]

Swiss SK-46 Prototype Semiauto Rifle (Video)

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The SK-46 was one of several post-WWII experimental self-loading rifle designs developed for testing by the Swiss military, or for commercial export. It was manufactured by SIG at Neuhausen in both 7.5mm Swiss and 8mm Mauser. The rifle is gas operated, with a rather complex tilting bolt action. It uses 5- or 6-round detachable […]

SIG KE-9 & M29A Prototype Rifles (Video)

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The SIG KE-9 and M29A were several in a series of developmental rifles made by SIG in Switzerland and designed by Pal Kiraly. These ultimately found no commercial or military sales, although the related KE-7 light machine gun did have some limited success.

Mondragon 1908 Semiauto Rifles – 4 Different Examples (Video)

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Best known as the first semiautomatic service rifle adopted by a mainstream military force, the 1908 Mondragon was designed by Mexican native Manuel Mondragon, manufactured by SIG in Switzerland, and adopted by the Mexican Army (Ejercito Mexicano). The adoption was short lived, however, as the guns proved unreliable with the low-quality 7mm Mauser ammunition made […]

Mondragon 1894 Bolt Action Rifle (Video)

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Manuel Mondragon was a talented lifelong gun designer born in Mexico. He worked extensively at the Swiss SIG factory, and was the man behind the first military-issue semiautomatic rifle. Before that, though, he designed this series of unique straight-pull bolt action rifles that featured a 3-position safety and “automatic” setting.

Today I’m taking a look […]

Swiss Prototype: N33 (Video)

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The N33 is one of a series of Swiss prototype semiautomatic rifles developed between WWI and WWII (the “33” refers to 1933). This particular design is interesting because it fires from an open bolt, a feature generally seen on light machine guns. An open bolt rifle typically is more difficult to shoot accurately because of […]

SIG Prototype 1924/1925 Semiauto Rifles (Video)

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The Swiss SIG factory was one of the earliest producers of semiautomatic military rifles, having produced the M1908 Mondragon rifles for Mexico. They continued to experiment with self-loading rifle designs, and in the mid 1920s came up with these two examples. They are extravagantly complex, and it is quite clear why they did not become […]

Swiss ZfK-55 Sniper at RIA

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The Swiss military began experimenting with scoped sniper rifle during WWII, with the K31/42 and K31/43. These use periscopic optics permanently mounted to the side of the receiver, and were both found less than ideal. Experiments continued after WWII, and the periscopes were replaced with tradition style scopes on quick-release mountings.

Eventually the idea of […]

Differentiating Models of the 1894 Mondragon

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I recently had a chance to examine 4 different examples of the 1894 Mondragon straight-pull bolt action rifle. These rifles were the predecessor to the self-loading Mondragon design which would be adopted by Mexico in 1908 as the first such rifle adopted as a standard arm by a national military. The 1894 also has a […]

Furrer M1919 Double-Barrel SMG

Furrer M1919 double barrel subgun (Photo courtesy National Firearms Centre, Leeds UK)

 

We have looked at one of Adolf Furrer’s M1919 submachine guns before, but this one is a much different implementation. The model 1919 Furrer designed was basically a chassis for converting a Luger pistol into a carbine. He lengthened the barrel, added a booster to help it cycle, and replace the gripframe with a […]