10 Comments

  1. This gas tap looks like inherent weakness of otherwise brilliant rifle. It forces gas flow into awkward 90deg path thus looking lots of pressure to operate piston. Also, this gas screw must have been filled with sooth rather quickly. I know, it is easy to knock on pioneering design; later designers learned their lessons.

  2. I suspect that the idea was to;

    1. Make cleaning the gas block in the field easier; a brush soaked in solvent would clean out any crud.

    2. Make it possible to use the Vivien-Bessiere (VB) cup discharger grenade launcher. By simply removing the screw, you disconnect the gas system, and you can fire grenades without excessive back-pressure damaging the piston assembly. Any excess gas just vents to atmosphere.

    Still, some sort of retaining lanyard and ring or etc. on the screw would probably have been a better idea. Maybe having it rotating in the end of a flat stamped swing arm about 7cm in length that would allow it to be folded forward and up into a recess on the underside of the nosepiece?

    cheers

    eon

    • User-friendliness is always a good thing to have. Unfortunately, some later designs from much richer organizations tossed out end-user-friendliness for sheer coolness and performance in perfectly clean lab conditions (I’m looking at you, US Army Ordnance Corps and British Army “procurement experts”). But back to this rifle: yes, a few things could have been improved, like having a retention arm for that tap-screw as suggested. No need to accidentally drop (and then rummage in the trench mud for) something vital to the operating system of this weapon! Some improvements were done later (clip compatibility and bolt-hold-open latch), and one wonders if making a charger-loaded version in 7.5×54 would have saved France a whole lot of trouble in 1940. Then again, maybe not, as better strategy was lacking.

  3. I am genuinely delighted to have been with this channel long enough to see the man Ian McCollum grow to statistical significance. and then remake himself and his channel in a way that preserves full worth, but allows vital R&R and the kind of more economic logistics that carries a campaign though many years ahead. Well done mate.

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