The .276 caliber Pedersen was the primary competitor to the Garand as the first US military self-loading rifle. It used a Luger-style toggle action. Its main flaw was that it required lubricated cartridges. This lubrication came in the form of a thin and hard wax coating which was not obvious to the casual shooter, but it was made a significant argument against the Pedersen and for the Garand rifle. The Pedersen also was heavier and used more parts than the Garand design.


Vickers-Armstrong Handbook of the Pedersen Self-Loading Rifle (English)
Vickers-Armstrong Handbook of the Pedersen Self-Loading Rifle (English)


Pedersen letter
Letter from John Pedersen to Captain E.B. Porter with sample rifle



US Patent 1,062,604 (John D. Pedersen, Gun-Operating Cartridge, May 27, 1913)

US Patent 1,123,362 (John D. Pedersen, Cartridge, January 5, 1915)


Vintage news clippings, plus Aberdeen Proving Ground photos (click here to download the whole gallery in high resolution)

Original 10-round clip of .276 Pedersen

Resources has an excellent two-part article on the Pedersen, with dozens of photos. You can see it here: Part 1Part 2


  1. john pedersen was my great grandfather! i never got to meet him but im having fun reading up on him and his past. my uncle pat moneypenny has alot of his old army stuff and his original browning 1911 which was a gift from john browning himself! i also have some old photos of my great grandfather with browning on a few hunting trips. do you know where i could get pedersen device parts? my family has no parts or pieces except some sketches and designs. the only relative that has any information doesnt want to talk, his grandaughter, my great aunt.

  2. Mr. Gardner, may I suggest you go to a high class gunsmith or engineer with your schematics and see if he can build a copy of one for you. It won’t be worth too much, but it may be the only chance you have for getting one, as a recent auction for a Pederson Device and a few cases of ammo went for around $60,000(if memory serves). You would need to find a proper M1903 Mark I to use the Device and a few cases of either the original .30-18 ammo or get some French 7.65×20 Longue ammo (they are nearly identical)

    Also if I may inquire, do you know of any remaining Pederson Rifles or even an en-bloc of his .276 ammunition that are on the market, as I would love to acquire one at some point

  3. Hello Mr. Gardner,

    I’m actually looking for some more information myself. I personally have two Mark 1 rifles with all the correct parts to accept a Pedersen device. I also have a Pedersen device which may have belonged to your great grandfather. The device I have came with a presentation clip that was given to your grandfather and has never been separated from the device. I’m looking for more information pertaining to this device because Remington has nothing on file having to do with Pedersen Device serial numbers.

    I’m also looking for an En-Bloc for my Pedersen rifle.

  4. Pedersen’s rifle patent’s number is 1737074 titled as “Magazine Rifle”.

    On this rifle, Pedersen’s “Just ready to go locked” approach used his R51 pistol
    is roughly present. Toggle arms with a center axis below the front and rear supports
    on known guns like Luger is not present however, instead, there is moving support
    points at fore and back, lenghtening the opening time throught precisely cut contact
    surfaces, and breechbolt needs very little backward motion for reaching mentioned
    movable support points. Centre contact between two toggle arms called conrod and
    crank is also movable.

  5. It seems that, Pedersen’s rifle is one of the most misunderstood mechanism ever
    made. Intriqued parts is realy confusing and retarding action can only be understood
    by carefuly reading the patent of SN 1737974 text. Appearently, Mr Pedersen had
    provided the retarding action, simply via rising the front support of conrod, or the
    front toggle arm. Centre toggle axis was made with two loose axis which formed in a
    shape that, the recoiling thrust coming from the conrod would force the crank all the
    times upwardly to open side of the connection. When the cartridge is fired, recoiling
    stoke catches the front toggle deep at its front and after a very short rearward
    travel in which the centre axis crossing through below, zero and above of the lock
    points, the front toggle contacts the breechblot at upper support line that the
    height of which should be precisely computed via experiments as providing necessary
    delay for the projectile to reach nearly to the exit of the barrel. Holding that
    height thereunder would cause to open the toggle rather rapidly and holding that
    height thereover would cause to lower the centre axis joint under the front and
    rear supporting points as locking the toggle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.