WWI .303 semi-auto


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Harry Paget Flashman
January 2, 2007, 07:24 PM
Came across this at www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/rifles/armaslr.htm and thought it might be of interest.

"Rifle .303 inch Mk III (Experimental Self-Loading)

One of the early attempts to convert the No 1 rifle to semi-automatic action during the First World War. Although it appears a rather clumsy attempt, it shows all the same fundamental characteristics as the modern types."

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Coronach
January 2, 2007, 07:30 PM
A WWI rifle with a tacticool foregrip, complete with finger-grooves.

Nice.

Mike :D

WarMachine
January 2, 2007, 07:36 PM
Self-loading? How exactly does this thing operate :scrutiny:

Deer Hunter
January 2, 2007, 07:46 PM
Warmachine, Ditto. I'd like to know as well.

And even if it does work, that thing must weigh a ton.

Dave Markowitz
January 2, 2007, 08:25 PM
I am pretty sure (not 100%) that is a Charlton Automatic Rifle conversion, which was made in New Zealand during World War 2, not WW1. About 2000 were made for issue to the NZ Home Guard.

IIRC, it's gas operated. Gas is tapped into the tube on the right side, which actuates a piston that works the bolt.

Sunray
January 2, 2007, 08:30 PM
Everybody and their brother tried to convert their existing PBI rifle to semi-auto. Cheaper to try that than design a whole new rifle.

Hoppy590
January 2, 2007, 08:45 PM
looks liek a Palmer paintball gun. palmer specializes in the old art of pump gun conversions, so theres all kinds of gas pistons and hoses all over the place
http://www.palmer-pursuit.com/
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=50365&stc=1&d=1167785243

GREAT paintball guns though. top quality, have wanted one for years.

Fosbery
January 2, 2007, 09:22 PM
This is a Howell conversion done by the British during WW1. Basically the same thing. Worked well mechanically but was too cumbersome.

http://cybershooters.org/Royal%20Armoury/Howell.JPG

Trebor
January 3, 2007, 03:31 AM
I am pretty sure (not 100%) that is a Charlton Automatic Rifle conversion, which was made in New Zealand during World War 2, not WW1. About 2000 were made for issue to the NZ Home Guard.

Those pics don't look like any of the pics or drawings of teh Charlton I've ever seen. I think this is a different design.

Prince Yamato
January 3, 2007, 03:51 AM
Hey, do the guys at calguns.net know about this yet? They can use their enfields as "off-list" lowers. :neener:

Hutch
January 3, 2007, 11:17 AM
Man, that us Uh-Uh-GLEE. Like a shaved ape. <shivers>

Regarding semi or full auto conversions, I saw a line drawing of a winchester lever gun (94 or 92, I disremember) with a whack-looking doo-dad that looked like a large washer just ahead of the barrel to trap escaping gas and operate the lever.

captonion
January 3, 2007, 02:08 PM
There was a 303 semi spoting rifle made by Globe industries out of Quebec Canada.A bit on the heavy side but they did work well.

Dionysusigma
January 3, 2007, 03:56 PM
Wouldn't a Steyr M95 or Swiss K31, with their straight-pull (self-rotating) bolts, be easier to convert? Especially the K31 with its detachable magazine...

Also, a minor nitpick with the FG-42 description just below the Enfield SLR entry on the linked page... their spelling of Fallschirmjäger is WAY off, and if they find it surprising that more weren't produced, then they've never fired/carried one. Also, IIRC, the later versions had vulcanite (plastic) furniture, not stamped steel. The Germans didn't hate their paratroopers that much... :uhoh: And finally, where is the trigger group? :scrutiny:

Irwin
January 3, 2007, 07:19 PM
Dionysusigma- It might be easier converting a k31 or a m95 to semi auto but a few reasons they didnt do it with them is because one the enfield was the service rifle for the British army at that time also it would be quite expensive for the us to buy rifles from switzerland and it wouldnt be on to buy rifles from the enemy aka Austro Hungaria plus if it aint broke why bother tring to fix it?

Fosbery
January 3, 2007, 08:34 PM
I'd love to see a semi-auto conversion of a K31. Shouldn't be too difficult either...

harvester of sorrow
January 3, 2007, 10:57 PM
I saw a line drawing of a winchester lever gun (94 or 92, I disremember) with a whack-looking doo-dad that looked like a large washer just ahead of the barrel to trap escaping gas and operate the lever.

John Browning's first prototype of a fully automatic weapon was exactly what you describe (although he used a slotted spoon-type of gas trap, I believe). He made it to establish that gas operation could work. He utilized gas operation for his first production machinegun, the 1895 Colt "potato digger."

Famaldehide Face
May 31, 2008, 11:52 AM
The likes of a K31 would be easy, But id like to see an M1903 Springfield converted, Has any attempts been made?

Vaarok
May 31, 2008, 12:30 PM
Pedersen device, as well as about a million shop-project inventions in the twenties that the War Department tried one by one and vetoed just as fast.

DMK
May 31, 2008, 02:43 PM
Oh man. :(

Imagine what that Enfield would have been worth if bubba didn't try to convert it to a semi during WWI?

DMK
May 31, 2008, 02:49 PM
What's interesting is notice how both Enfields have a guard contraption on the stock? That must be there to prevent someone from putting their face there and getting the bolt stuck in their skull.

Sunray
May 31, 2008, 03:29 PM
"...made by Globe industries..." That was a Russian SVT40. Globco converted them when there was no 7.62 x 54 ammo available. Most of 'em have bad headspace and aren't safe to shoot. They're considered to be junk.

Tony Williams
June 1, 2008, 03:30 AM
The best British attempt at a self-loading rifle in WW1 wasn't a conversion, but the purpose-designed Farquhar-Hill .303. This was gas-operated and used a 19-round drum magazine. It was tested at various times during WW1 and finally accepted as suitable for production at the end of 1917. Authorisation for manufacturing an initial batch of 100,000 was given early in 1918, but production hadn't started when the end of the war came and the project was cancelled.

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