Q&A #14: Recoil, Nerf, and Forced Air Cooling

Today’s question topics:

0:00:58 – Factors affecting recoil in machine guns
0:04:57 – Revisiting/remaking old videos
0:05:58 – Is the MP5 still relevant?
0:06:47 – Am I excited to film different guns?
0:08:12 – Vintage vs modern tooling and production
0:15:28 – Nerf guns
0:15:58 – Koborov video at some point?
0:16:55 – Military surplus gear, good and bad
0:19:38 – Worst US service rifle and pistol
0:22:05 – Most uncomfortable firearm I have fired
0:23:54 – Adding “gravitas” to a basic gun collection
0:26:54 – Most difficult guns to disassemble or reassemble
0:28:48 – Fluted chamber vs lubricated cartridges
0:29:51 – Double barreled pistols
0:32:03 – Shooting guns at the Julia auction house
0:36:22 – Closed bolt vs open bolt
0:39:12 – Kiraly lever-delay in a service rifle
0:40:17 – Spanish Civil War domestic production arms
0:41:49 – Vickers booster as muzzle brake
0:43:15 – FG42 development in intermediate cartridges
0:46:02 – Forced air cooling in machine guns
0:47:20 – Manual safeties or not in military pistols
0:49:50 – Would a US Army lever action have prevented bolt action adoption?
0:52:04 – Why is the PKM the best GPMG
0:53:54 – Why no modern water cooling?
0:56:11 – Restoring collectible guns
0:58:36 – British & Japanese semi autos before WW2
1:00:56 – Punt guns
1:02:45 – Best small arms implementation in WW2
1:04:12 – Most undeserved poor reputation in a service arm?

Want to submit a question for the next Q&A? Sign up to help support Forgotten Weapons on Patreon!

 

50 Comments

  1. Regarding aerospace firms getting into the gun business, one of the earliest was the Fairchild-Republic aircraft company in the 1950s. It was the parent firm of Armalite, and Eugene Stoner designed tooling for machining aircraft landing-gear struts out of aluminum-magnesium alloys before designing the AR series of rifles and shotguns. (The “AR” in “AR-15” does not stand for “Automatic Rifle”- it stands for “ARmalite”.) The AR-15 upper receiver has more in common with the hydraulic strut on a light trainer aircraft than you might think.

    As far as the worst U.S. service pistols, you have to go back to the flintlock/percussion/early cartridge era. One example was the U.S. Model 1818 Springfield, a .69 caliber smoothbore flintlock that weighed nearly five pounds and still kicked like a mule. Survival rate of the 1,000 or so made is very low, because most soldiers issued them “lost” them ASAP.

    Another such was the U.S. Springfield Model 1855 .58 rifled pistol-carbine, intended for cavalry and dragoons. It was a nearly perfect example of how adding a shoulder stock to a pistol does not equal a practical shoulder arm, especially if the pistol is something of a dog to begin with. Mostly, what the shoulder stock did was bring the blast and shock and report of what was basically a sawn-off .58 rifle-musket right next to the shooter’s nose. According to Edwin Tunis in Weapons (1954), “The dragoons used it as a pistol on horseback, but dismounted, used it almost entirely as a shoulder gun and liked it. The cavalry tried to use it as both pistol and gun, never got the hang of it either way, and cordially detested the thing.” I’m still trying to figure out what the dragoons saw in the thing.

    Then there was the Trapdoor Springfield pistol. Yes, it was an official U.S. development. No, it is not a hoax. Yes, there are fakes floating around and have been for at least three-quarters of a century (I first saw them as a kid in the Sixties). Only eight total “authentic” ones were ever made, chambered for a short .50 caliber cartridge similar to the .50 carbine round that preceded the .45-60 Springfield Carbine round.

    And yes, they were intended for “European-style” cavalry warfare in the “proper” manner, as opposed to the “aberrations” of the Civil War and the Indian conflicts. Even in the 1860s and early ’70s, much of the U.S. Army’s upper ranks were still mesmerized by Napoleonic tactics and “grand maneuvers”, and saw cavalry as a “prestige” arm intended to be impressive more than anything else. (Wellington; “The purpose of cavalry on the battlefield is to lend tone to what would otherwise be merely an unseemly brawl.”) to them, the saber was the correct weapon to use, and a firearm was purely a last-ditch backup to it. Revolvers and repeating carbines did not fit into the concept, in their minds.

    If you want to know who to blame for all this nonsense, thank the British. The Royal Navy and Royal Army both issued muzzleloading pistols and even one pistol-carbine of these types, that were built around musket and rifle-musket locks, mainly to simplify production and maintenance and of course save money. Their soldiers and sailors did the same thing ours did with beasts like this- they “lost” them.

    RE FG42 pattern rifles, the Swiss built a prototype in 7.5mm in the late Forties, complete with folding bipod. It was never adopted because it was very expensive to make. Later, in the early Seventies, TRW adopted the FG42 layout for their .223 Low Maintenance Rifle, intended for supply to Second and Third World armies under MAP.

    The major reason lever-actions were superseded by bolt-actions for military use wasn’t so much high-intensity cartridges and box magazines(the Savage Model 99 and Winchester M95 had both those factors covered) as it was purely tactical; it’s difficult to shoot prone with a lever-action rifle without having to raise your head up high enough (while working the lever) to get your head blown off. This was quickly learned by the U.S. cavalry in the Indian wars with the Spencer.

    The first U.S. martial bolt action that actually worked, the Remington-Lee in .45-70, was in fact adopted by the Marine Corps in 1879, and in various calibers remained in limited service even after the Krag-Jorgenson was adopted. Its last campaign was in .30-40 Krag caliber Model 1896 form, at the legation defense in Peking during the Boxer rebellion in 1900, right alongside the 6mm Lee-Navy “straight-pull” made by Winchester.

    Regarding weapons that get undeserved bad raps, the booby-prize winner is the M1 Carbine. Compared to a rifle like the Garand, it has a lot of drawbacks. But it was never intended as a replacement for a rifle. The 1940 RfP states it was to replace “submachine guns, pistols, and some shotguns”.

    It is lighter than most SMGs even today. It has a 15 or 30-shot magazine, exceeding the capacity of most pistols even today. It is more compact than most shotguns. In M2 form, it is selective fire.

    And its cartridge, firing a 110-grain .30 caliber pistol-type slug at 1850 f/s, has over 900 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, meaning it has more killing power at close range than any handgun or SMG of the day, even the .357 Magnum revolver. At 300 yards (its practical maximum range) the slug retains over 450 foot-pounds, meaning it is still hitting harder than any .45 ACP or 9 x 19mm SMG does at the muzzle.

    The carbine is a superb weapon for not just “cooks and truck drivers” but also for specialist troops expecting to engage in close assault raids by small detachments.

    That sort-of includes SWAT teams. Given the choice between a brand-new MP-5 and a brand-new M2 Carbine for “tactical” duty, I’ll take the carbine every time.

    NB; The standard military FMJ load will penetrate ‘soft’ body armor and trauma plates that will stop a 9mm or .357 Magnum slug. Just FYI.

    cheers

    eon

    • “(…)And yes, they were intended for “European-style” cavalry warfare in the “proper” manner, as opposed to the “aberrations” of the Civil War and the Indian conflicts. Even in the 1860s and early ’70s, much of the U.S. Army’s upper ranks were still mesmerized by Napoleonic tactics and “grand maneuvers”, and saw cavalry as a “prestige” arm intended to be impressive more than anything else. (Wellington; “The purpose of cavalry on the battlefield is to lend tone to what would otherwise be merely an unseemly brawl.”) to them, the saber was the correct weapon to use, and a firearm was purely a last-ditch backup to it. Revolvers and repeating carbines did not fit into the concept, in their minds.(…)”
      Similar case was in 19th century France, namely Pistolet Modèle 1822 T bis Construit Neuf dernier modèle, rayé d’origine
      http://www.pistol3d.com/percussie_m1822tbis_neufRO/m1822tbis_neufRO.html
      was produced from ~1845 to ~1866, it was used in Franco-Prussian War (1870).
      Itself was derived from older Pistolet Modèle 1822 Construit Neuf.
      On the other hand French Navy adopted metallic-cartridge (pin-fire) revolver yet in 1858.

      • Granted it has that whole “black gun mystique” thing going, but I doubt it could do anything a folding-stock M1A1 “paratrooper” carbine couldn’t do just as well or better.

        Incidentally, the M1A1, while most identified with U.S. paratroops, notably the 82nd and 101st AB, was not originally designed for them.

        The folding stock version was originally designed at the request of the Transportation Corps, who wanted something easier to stow in a truck cab and maneuver in and out of same.

        cheers

        eon

    • “That sort-of includes SWAT teams. Given the choice between a brand-new MP-5 and a brand-new M2 Carbine for “tactical” duty, I’ll take the carbine every time.

      NB; The standard military FMJ load will penetrate ‘soft’ body armor and trauma plates that will stop a 9mm or .357 Magnum slug. Just FYI.”
      Anyway MP5 is the weapon against which most other modern sub-machine guns are now measured.
      Cartridge, somewhat similar to .30 Carbine and sub-machine gun for it were developed in Russia, namely ГЕПАРД
      http://www.nnre.ru/voennaja_istorija/strelkovoe_oruzhie_rossii_novye_modeli/p42.php
      This cartridge was 9×30 мм (you can see it on 2nd drawing from top), however this sub-machine gun was designed in fashion allowing fast and easy changing to other calibers, with swapping of few parts.

      • Basic for cartridge from http://russianguns.ru/?p=6045
        Cartridge: 9х30 мм Гром (Thunder)
        9 mm adjective(avtomat) cartridge with bullet with steel core
        ГЕПАРД launch 6,42 – 6,55 g @ velocity of 600 – 610 m/s

        9 mm adjective(avtomat) cartridge with AP bullet
        ГЕПАРД launch 6,70 – 6,74 g @ velocity of 590 – 600 m/s

    • Regarding the MP5 vs. the M1 Carbine:

      I have been in situations where I was armed with an MP5, and wished I was armed with the old M1 Carbine instead. The police force I worked for had both. The Carbine was airdropped for the Resistance in WWII, and later utilized by the police (or so I’ve been told). I liked the ergonomics of the M1 far better. It is simply a much “friendlier” rifle to shoot and carry. The MP5 is surprisingly clumsy and boxy. That magazine really sticks out, which can be a pain when driving and exiting a patrol car. The Carbine was never in the way, and I’ve jumped on and off boats, helicopters and whatnot with it. You can carry a Carbine all day and not notice it. Not so with a MP5.

      /Erik den Røde

    • “I’ll take the carbine every time.”
      Me too, I have a Plainfield m1 carbine(with the retractable stock, not the under folder) with 30’s and it has been there when I needed it, my carbine has been with me longer than my p7m13(good riddance, says my hand)

  2. I am going to re-iterate my suggestion of poking Mr. Maksim Popenker of (former) world.guns.ru. He is currently a PR officer for The Kalashnikov Concern, but he started as an Internet guy and he watches FW videos regularly. Now, Maksim is not associated with Tula, where Korobov worked, but he’s been on trips into their museums, as evidenced by photographs of very rare prototypes on his blog. Send him e-mail, he knows who you are.

  3. “Koborov”
    Korobov or Коробов or in full version: Герман Александрович Коробов.
    There was article in “Оружие” magazine which is titled
    “ВТОРОЙ” ведущий за собой “ПЕРВЫХ”
    this mean, if I manage to translate it right: “Second [one]” leading “First [ones]” that is his works inspired/help others designers to create leading weapons (hence 1st), but himself remained in background/shadow (hence 2nd)

    • Also it should be noted that Korobov worked several years in weaponry area, according to http://bratishka.ru/archiv/2003/4/2003_4_8.php
      He finished university in 1937, after which compulsory service started, he was trained as gunner of SB [i.e. ANT-40], after he was familiarized with ShKAS he concluded that can redesign to change RateOfFire from 1800 to 5000 rpm. His solution was same as found later in revolver cannons. He created drawings of this solution and send it to Headquarters of VVS [Soviet Air Forces] in Moscow.
      Decision was to not develop it, but they appreciated knowledgeable and witty aviator, so they offered him joining of Design Bureau – ЦКБ-15 (Moscow) or ЦКБ-14 (Tula), choice was that second. This happened in 1939. Article says that He work there to our days, notice that article is dated April 2003 [Korobov died in 2006]. Last design described in article is ТКБ-0111, which was one of competitor of «Абакан» (Abakan) which eventually ended in choice of design by Nikonov (AN-94).

  4. I like how the video goes from recoil reduction to recoil boosters. 🙂 On greying out, moving your head that rapidly probably affects blood circulation, but increasing muzzle blast has to make your eyeballs vibrate like a microphone.

  5. Here’s a couple cents worth of observations:
    0:19:38 – Worst US service rifle and pistol?
    My vote for worst service rifle would be the rifled .69 caliber version of the Model 1842 smooth-bore percussion musket? I mean it was found to be more accurate than the M1841 Mississippi rifle using patched round balls with 7-groove rifling, but the recoil was and is off the charts… I think the Ordnance department in the U.S. Civil War deserves much scorn heaped upon it… Not just for retaining the M1861 and M1863 Springfield rifle muskets–hey, there was a war going on, so like the French in WWI, the cludgy old rifle that works, albeit not that great, should probably remain in production. For me it was the inability to harness superior Northern manufacturing for more effective and easier to use munitions, or breech loading mechanisms.
    0:22:05 – Most uncomfortable firearm I have fired?
    Gosh. Maybe an 8x56mmR Stutzen or the Lee Enfield jungle carbine?
    0:26:54 – Most difficult guns to disassemble or reassemble
    See above, M95 Steyr Mannlicher straight pull? What a perverse mechanical device the bolt seemed to be… On the other hand, I did manage to shoot more than a few bits under spring tension off and away… Like my SVT-40 Tokarev, before I had completely understood the process. Any firearm that requires “three hands” to disassemble.
    1:02:45 – Best small arms implementation in WW2?
    Well, for me it would be the M1 carbine program what with a bunch of non-firearm companies completing 6 million plus ahead of schedule in 1944… The USSR PPSh41 Shpagin SMG production… some praise for the Sten, insofar as the UK had no SMG to speak of in 1940…
    1:04:12 – Most undeserved poor reputation in a service arm?
    From the list, I’d opt for the M1 carbine… But I think I agree with Ian that the Carcano gets short shrift… I know T. Mullin thought so as well in his _Testing the War Weapons_ book. I think it is far more common for service arms to get undeserved good reputations, frankly. That is over-rating seems more common than under-rating. The Gew.’98 in WWI vs. the K98a, for example. Or the Springfield 1903. Why do people dismiss the MAS Mle. 1936, but then turn around and praise something like, say, the Mosin-Nagant in either its 91/30 or even M44 carbine iterations? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got examples of all three in my collection… But anything with a rimmed cartridge after, say, 1918 was probably not a “well laid plan.”

    • “1:02:45 – Best small arms implementation in WW2?
      Well, for me it would be the M1 carbine program what with a bunch of non-firearm companies completing 6 million plus ahead of schedule in 1944… The USSR PPSh41 Shpagin SMG production… some praise for the Sten, insofar as the UK had no SMG to speak of in 1940…”
      Considering circumstances, Australian OWEN sub-machine gun should be praised high. It was first sub-machine gun produced Australia and it is not inferior to most other sub-machine gun, including that nations which have prior experience with that type of weapon, of that era.

    • “dismiss the MAS Mle. 1936, but then turn around and praise something like, say, the Mosin-Nagant in either its 91/30 or even M44 carbine iterations”
      First was new (from scratch) design, when second and third were alteration of rifle already in production.

    • “anything with a rimmed cartridge after, say, 1918 was probably not a “well laid plan.””
      There was several attempts at replacing 7,62x54R cartridge in Russia, but to not avail.
      There was even rimless sibling of 7,62×54 R cartridge
      http://papkin1.livejournal.com/53696.html
      tested in 1928, together with self-loading rifle (винтовка Рощепея) which worked well but was turned down as using non-standard cartridge.

  6. Punt guns as industrial wildfowl killer is a myth. The shooter had to paddle slowly and quietly into a shooting position (and, from the few accounts I have read, do it whilst lying face down using paddles like wooden spoons). He would almost certainly rarely fire the gun more than once in a day.

    I am fairly sure Peter Scott (British naturalist and artist; son of Scott of the Antarctic) wrote about punt gunning in his autobiography (The Eye of the Wind) but cannot check at present.

    • Another firearms myth concerns Leonardo da Vinci. He was noted for his superior eyesight (today we’d say he probably had about 20/10 vision in both eyes), which was what allowed him to sketch the movement of birds’ wings as they flew.

      He was also noted for hunting birds with a rifle, firing a single ball rather than a load of shot. Some historians take this to mean he was such a skilled wing-shooter that he could knock a bird out of the air that way.

      Sorry, it wasn’t like that at all. “Wing-shooting” birds like duck, geese, and etc. wouldn’t be invented for another century and a half. In da Vinci’s time, hunters bagged birds by waiting patiently at their feeding places (or scattering grain as bait) and when they sat down to eat, shooting them while they were sitting quite still on the ground.

      Leonardo may have been a good shot, but he didn’t need to be Ad Topperwein to pull that off.

      cheers

      eon

  7. Stoner intended the carry handle to be that (and a place to put the rear sight) from the X03 prototype of the AR10A. You could even see the scope of the X02 prototype as a carry handle but I am not sure it is sturdy enough.
    Only when the AR10B switched from a charging handle on the side of the bolt carrier to a non reciprocating top mounted charging handle, then the carry handle also doubles as a protection for the latter.

    An integral gas key was present on all these prototypes with side mounted gas tube. Gas key had to became a separate part when the tube was moved on top.
    I could not imagine an economic way of making it integral on a machined part without getting an entry hole for a tool to close afterwards. And I won’t trust a cast carrier.

  8. Both fluted chamber and lubricated cases are not intended to extract the swollen emtpty shells from the chamber of containing high pressure inside. Tha main purpose for them should be to manage the residual gas pressure inside the barrel in appropriate time in which the slowed down breech closure’s opening as to pick up sufficient power to cycle the action. IMHO.

  9. Hey Ian! You need to get an introduction to Maxim Popenker: I’m sure that he in turn could get you into some of the FSU arms museums. He co-wrote a couple of books w/ Anthony G. Williams, and runs a firearms encyclopedia website in English, so I suppose he speaks both Russian & English.

Leave a Reply to Daweo Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.


*