Today we are looking at a unique rifle in the National Firearms Centre collection – at first glance it appears to be an AK in a full-lenght rifle cartridge, using a Bren gun magazine. A closer look will show that it is actually a bolt action rifle, and a careful inspection just makes things stranger.
The entire weapon is manufactured from scratch, not using scrounged parts. While the magazine looks like aBren magazine and the bolt looks like a P14 Enfield, both are actually handmade. The “gas tube” is entirely decorative, and the “cleaning rod” is fake; both too short and too large in diameter to fit down the barrel.
Intriguingly, the caliber of the rifle is a bit of a mystery – it is crudely marked “7MM”, but the barrel is larger than 7mm in diameter. The most likely cartridges for a rifle from this area of Afghanistan or the Khyber Pass / Darra region of Pakistan would be 8mm Mauser, .303 British, or 7.62x54R – and none of these fit. Since the filming of the video, a chamber cast has revealed that the cartridge is 7x57mm Mauser. It is entirely possible that the rifle is intended to be just a decoration. I would certainly not want to the the first person to try firing it…
Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of this rifle-like object, don’t miss the ARES companion blog post!