Archival E.M.2 Footage: Slow Motion and Janson Doing Mag Dumps

Thanks to Jonathan Ferguson and Royal Armouries Archivist Philip Abbott, we have a compilation of some archival video of the E.M. 2 testing circa 1951/1952. This is mostly high speed video clips showing reliability testing, plus drop tests and other “rough handling”. At the end, there are a series of clips of test-firing rifle grenades (the framing unfortunately crops out the grenades themselves), and then the coolest part – Stefan Janson himself dumping about a hundred rounds through an E.M. 2 as fast as he can.

Janson, of course, was the rifle’s designer. A Polish expatriate working in the UK, his was born Stefan Januszewski, but Anglicized his name when he lived in England.

Interested in the E.M. 2 and the rBritish bullpup rifles? Now is your chance to pre-order a copy of Headstamp Publishing’s second book, “Thorneycroft to SA80: British Bullpup Firearms 1901-2020”!


  1. Fascinating footage! One observation though – in the initial footage the ejected cases look more like 7.62×51, not 280 – the original chambering for EM-2. Also, at 4.45 the rifle appears to show severe recoil in contrast to the footage of Janson doing “mag-dumps” I know the last attempt to appease the US Board of Ordnance was to chamber the EM-2 for 7.62×51,so, is this footage actually of an EM-2 chambered in 7.62?!!

  2. The advent of filming, indescribably made life easier for gunsmiths. Many problems can be diagnosed.
    Although this film demonstrates the almost normal functioning of the system, other problems of the EM2 project become apparent.
    I noticed a discharge of exhaust gas back to the shoter.
    Insufficient locking stiffness.
    And beating off a finger with a trigger.

    I do not think that these were critical problems (most of them) that destroyed the system. But that clarifies a lot about how it works.

    Thanks for the interesting video.
    I want more!

  3. Love how Janson swapped trigger fingers at one point. Was he tired, or just showing an optional possibility for those that like the idea?

  4. Interesting, though not surprising, that Janson was using the weak hand as control hand and using the strong (right) hand to perform magagazine exchanges with a design where the mag automatically released the bolt. A drill that works better with bullpups than the usually-trained weak (left) hand mag change.

    The automatic bolt release on mag change is a groovy feature that should have been retained later. It’s irrelevant on an AR platform, but should be automatic on a bullpup.

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