The same age as "His Majesty Mauser" (part 1)

The same age as "His Majesty Mauser" (part 1)
The same age as "His Majesty Mauser" (part 1)
Anonim
The same age as "His Majesty Mauser" (part 1)

"The smaller the caliber, the better the rifle, and vice versa."

(The History of the Rifle. Written by F. Engels late October 1860 - early January 1861. Printed in The Volunteer Journal, for Lancashire and Cheshire and in Essays Addressed to Volunteers. London, 1861)

Personally, I do not like writing at all because they pay for it. They pay well for a lot … However, only when you try to convey something to others in writing, you yourself - firstly, you understand it well, and secondly, you learn a lot of things that you did not know before or did not pay to this attention. That is, teaching something to others, you simultaneously learn it yourself, analyze, compare, and that's why you become smarter. Well, it's not for nothing that Lobachevsky came up with his own system, teaching dumb tsarist officials in higher mathematics, and Mendeleev - trying to teach chemistry to sloven students. Here it is with me …

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The photo is called “Heads of Turkomans”, and it is better not to consider the foreground carefully. It is difficult to determine the nationality of the murderers standing behind, but it is clearly something oriental. But what they have in their hands is worth a look. A whole arsenal! Werndl rifles with crane bolts, behind - Martini-Henry, and here are some rifles (or carbines) with curved bolt handles, perhaps even Mauser, but even with a magnifying glass it is very difficult to see exactly.

I knew, of course, about the 1895 Winchester, moreover, I fired from it myself, I knew about the Mauser rifle (well, who in Soviet childhood did not read Louis Boussinard?), But … I did not know everything that I learned (forgive the pun !) when I started preparing material about Mauser. And, of course, I "held on" for all of them. Of course, for all the rifles I will most likely simply not be able to “hold on”. But it is quite possible and necessary to compare the information that is available today, and just such a comparison is the topic of this article. But what are we going to compare with?

And here's what: rifles, one way or another, that appeared at about the same time as the very first rifle of Paul Mauser, that is, with the M1871 rifle in an interval of no more than 10 years, since this is a huge period for military affairs in those years. That is, those that appeared from 1870 to 1881. It is clear that all the "non-Mauser" of this time were potential competitors of the "Mauser" itself. And, of course, their creators wanted to "surpass" the talented German. The only question is, did they succeed or not?

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Single-shot rifle Hotchkiss 1875, patent No. 169641.

First of all, it must be said that the advantages of a sliding shutter with a reciprocating motion were at that time completely unclear to either the designers or the military. The best confirmation of this is the Martini-Henry rifle, which was put into service in England in 1871, which was described in some detail here on TOPWAR. Moreover, this rifle in 1914-18. in Turkey, it was converted to Mauser cartridges of caliber 7, 65 mm, that is, it turned into a Martini-Mauser rifle and was used in battles in the Caucasian theater of operations.

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Hotchkiss patent for a rifle with a magazine in the butt in 1876 No. 184285.

The idea of ​​multi-charge was not so obvious either, although it was gradually making its way. So, in 1870, the American arms company "Winchester" released an interesting sample of a rifle with a sliding bolt and a magazine in the butt for six rounds of Hotchkiss design.It is clear that the gunpowder in them was smoky, a cylindrical lead bullet with an oil seal and a paper wrapper, which was typical of that time. Moreover, since the military demanded a store switch on such a weapon, it was installed on it. However, despite the presence of this switch, the rifle was ignored in both the United States and Europe.

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The device of the Hotchkiss rifle in 1877 with a magazine in the butt.

The 1867 model rifle, designed by Joseph Werndl (1831-1889) and Karel Golub (1830-1903), was in service with the Austro-Hungarian army, and it seems that it does not belong here. But the fact is that it underwent modernization twice in the specified decade: the first time in 1873 and the second in 1877. Moreover, until 1877, about 400,000 rifles and 100,000 Verndl M1873 carbines were produced, and about 300,000 rifles of the 1877 model, and their production was stopped only in 1886, when the Steyr-Mannlicher rifle of 1886 entered service. And these rifles also participated in the First World War, since the belligerent countries did not have enough modern weapons.

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Rifle Werndl 1867 Stockholm Army Museum.

The rifles of the first releases used cartridges of caliber 11, 15 × 42 mm R, and since 1877 it received a new cartridge 11, 15 × 58 mm R. In this regard, the old rifles received new barrels and markings М1867 / 77 and М1873 / 77, respectively …

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Rifle cartridge for Verndl 11, 15 x 42R.

The rifle had a so-called crane bolt of a very simple device. In fact, it was a cylinder rotating on an axis and with a recess on it for the cartridge. In it, a channel was made for the drummer, on which the trigger was hit and that was all! It is believed that up to 20 rounds per minute could be fired from such a rifle. However, her hammer was cocked manually, which required an extra hand movement, which was not required in bolt-action rifles! The rifle was produced in two versions: rifle and carbine. That is, when the Germans already had their 1871 Mauser in service, the Austrian soldiers still … fired from their rifles with crane bolts, which indicates … the non-obviousness of the advantages of the Mauser system for the Austrian military. Or maybe they just felt sorry for the money invested in this construction? After all, after all, it was made by their own, Austro-Hungarian subjects!

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Crane bolt of the Verndl rifle.

Interestingly, in the same Austria-Hungary in 1871, the Fruvirt carbine was adopted exclusively for Austrian cavalrymen, gendarmes and border guards, which had a six-round magazine and two cartridges on the feeder and one in the barrel. The bolt of this carbine was sliding with a curved grip, just like that of the G98 Mauser, but its cartridges were rather weak, although their caliber was 11 mm. All of these eight rounds could be fired in 16 seconds, and the magazine could be reloaded with six rounds in 12!

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The device of the Verndl rifle, model 1873.

In the same 1871, a rifle designed by Edouard de Beaumont with a sliding bolt chambered for 11 mm came into service with the Dutch army. (11, 3x52R) with a lead bullet. The rifle had a length without a bayonet - 1320 mm, with a bayonet (the infantry had a needle, and the naval model had a yatagan bayonet of the French model of 1866) - 1832 mm. She weighed 4, 415 kg, with a bayonet - 4, 8 kg. The length of the barrel itself is 832 mm. Sighting range of a shot from an infantry rifle model M71 was 803 meters (model M71 / 79 - 1800 m).

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The bolt of the rifle Edouard de Beaumont. A noticeably more voluminous, in comparison with others, shutter handle and a locking screw on it are clearly visible.

The design of this Dutch rifle, especially its bolt and barrel, shows ideas borrowed from the French Chaspo needle rifle arr. 1866 and … again at the German Mauser arr. 1871 year. But, no matter how we talk about borrowing, this rifle had its own, moreover, a completely unique zest, namely, its combat V-shaped spring was placed by the designer … in a massive, but empty inside the bolt handle, which was screwed from two halves! The solution, for example, is more than original! The spring is very well covered, this is, firstly, secondly, the design of the bolt, if you look at it in section, is very simple. But at the same time, it is also very complex, low-tech and needs a high production culture. The spent cartridge case reflector is located on the bolt itself, and is not mounted in the receiver, as is usually done.That is, the bolt must be unscrewed, and this is always fraught with the fact that the screw will be lost, and you will no longer assemble it and in the end you will be unarmed. Therefore, removing the bolt, even in order to clean the rifle, was undesirable. There was no fuse, as well as a safety platoon, on the Beaumont rifle!

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Exploded view of the Beaumont rifle bolt. Isn't it original?

Interestingly, the rifle stock and device are borrowed from the French Chasspot rifle. Moreover, exactly three years later, Captain Gras took the Beaumont system as a model when creating his own rifle of the 1874 model. Therefore, they have a lot in common.

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Beaumont infantry rifle receiver.

Like the German Mauser, the metal parts of the 1871 Beaumont rifle were not oxidized, but sand-treated to give them a matte sheen. But rifles sent to the Dutch colonies in Indonesia had surfaces oxidized black.

Experts noted that, in general, the Beaumont rifle surpassed the 1871 Mauser in a number of indicators and, at least, was not inferior to him. But … the Mauser 1871 later turned into more advanced models, but the Beaumont rifle … too … but in a very winding way. In total, from 1870 to 1892. more than 147 thousand Beaumont rifles were produced. But again … why the Dutch cavalry used Remington carbines with a folding bolt, first under the Remington cartridge, and only on later samples chambered for the Beaumont rifle. These are the zigzags of military policy. But … the infantrymen, sailors, and cadets had their own rifle - a Dutch one!

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Beaumont rifle with Vitali's magazine.

It is interesting that then, already in 1888, the Vitali system store was adopted for this rifle, and it turned out that Beaumont's single-shot rifle was very easy to convert into a store rifle. The main thing that had to be done was to insert a magazine for four rounds into the box and attach to the receiver the traditional cut-off of cartridges for loading it “one cartridge at a time”. The clip was of a rather archaic design, had a wooden base, and was removed using a short rope tied to it. This Beaumont rifle was also not bad and even quite convenient, but only in 1888 it was clearly outdated - after all, it was in the same year that Paul Mauser designed his epoch-making Geweer-1888.

However, in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy there was at least a centralized power. In Germany, in Saxony, the Werder rifle (model 1869) was in service, in Bavaria - Podeville (the same year), and only in Prussia the Mauser rifle was adopted, which only eventually spread in Germany, so to speak, everywhere.

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Greek rebels in 1903 with Gra rifles.

How did the French who lost the Franco-Prussian war act at the same time? Urgently and without further ado from the evil one, they adopted a rifle of the Gra design of the 1874 model with a sliding bolt of 11-mm caliber. That is, they took out a German Mauser model of 1871, an English rifle "Martini-Henry", tested our Russian "Berdanka", as well as all other rifles, and everything that was good in them was combined into one gun! The bolt was taken from the Mauser (!), But improved by its size, possibly due to which the rate of fire of the Gra rifle was slightly higher than the Mauser one. Accordingly, all the old stocks of Chaspo rifles were converted in 1874 to the model of the Gras rifle. That is, the barrel in it remained the same, as well as the caliber, but the bolt received a locking larva and was thrown away. The alteration turned out to be successful, cheap, and, therefore, practical, and in terms of rate of fire, this rifle was not inferior to the Gra model.

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Murata rifle, Type 13.

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Murata rifle, Type 13, bolt and bolt carrier.

In Japan, in 1875, the Murata rifle was created on the model of the 1871 Mauser, even the upper bolt washer was retained on the bolt.That is, everything in it was like that of Mauser, except that all the details in it were facilitated as much as possible! So the Japanese rifle turned out to be more elegant than the German one, but in general it was a copy of it! But what they didn’t think of was… caliber! They have the same, that is, 11-mm, like most European rifles. But they could have taken it and reduced it, well, let's say, even to 8 mm. The same pure lead bullet in a paper wrapper … but not 11, but only 8 mm! What's bad? She would kill in the same way, but the rifle would be much lighter, and the soldier would take more cartridges with him. But … "someone else's experience obscures the eyes" (and the Japanese obviously did not read F. Engels), so he prevented them from thinking independently.

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