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What is an official revoler? My guess, this being Balkan is that Gasser is very popular, but it is nearing the end of useful life. Officers probably have private purchase Chamelot Delvigne or copies (like they did historically). Replace it now (with Swedish/Serbian Nagant being probably the choice) or wait to see if those new "automatic pistols" are any good?

Edited by bojan
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Why? Poor steel or the gain twist rifling? Both are fixable. You can order new barrels from say Mauser or barrels with normal rifling. Anyway, the rifle is less complicated to manfucture(minute 22).

 

 

 

Heresy warning: Is the average conscript enough of a marksman that the difference between this or that bolt action makes a difference?

Edited by Markus Becker
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...The Cavalry may elect to abstain from the initial tranches of the Mannlicher-Mauser Model 1908 if they feel that it does not suit them.

Cavalry will have to learn to take it and shut up, since it is way less important than other branches. :P

 

The Cavalry does not appreciate depreciation from the unwashed hobos and goat herders of the infantry.

Yet, things are getting dicey.....a wealthy landowner who is also a reserve troop commander has on his own accord (and out of his own pocket) privately purchased a small batch of 6,5x53,5 SR Daudetaeu carbines and ammo for his troopers.......

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The lack of industrial base is why Standard Rifles are imported (just like Romania or Greece) and why Reserve Rifles are rebuilt domestically using parts from OWG. We will no doubt try and substitute components as we develop local means of production, probably starting with furniture and small fittings with the eventual intention of producing major components. It also gives us a useful pool of components to cannibalize in case of supply disruption.

 

OWG produced Peabody-Martinis so it's well within their ability.

 

I really don't see Tankovia producing Standard Rifle (or any turnbolt) domestically before 1914 comes around. I'm happy producing 7mm Mauser ammo!

Edited by Simon Tan
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The lack of industrial base is why Standard Rifles are imported (just like Romania or Greece) and why Reserve Rifles are rebuilt domestically using parts from OWG.

 

I really don't see Tankovia producing Standard Rifle (or any turnbolt) domestically before 1914 comes around. I'm happy producing 7mm Mauser ammo!

 

I'm just saying be careful what you import. The technologically most refined might not be the best choice in the end. Hm, there could be a lesson ahead.

 

No argument about the path to a domestic production and just in case the straight pulls might turn out a bit too costly/complicated for comfort:

 

 

In 7x57 of course.

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I'm still not seeing the lost magazine as a problem that actually occurred with later Enfields. Both the US and Germany came up with high capacity non detachable trench magazines and the latter issued them in some numbers. From recollection, the second five round clip was slightly harder to load, but I never recall that mentioned as a problem and, if extant, it surely would have been much more of one with a trench mag. I can sort of see putting the mag on a chain helping if you intend not to exchange magazines to reload, but going to detachable magazine loading woukd obviate the one mag per rifle loss problem altogether.

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Smith & Wesson No.3s in .44 Russian are still probably the most commonly issued Tankovian revolvers in 1908. The local agent for S&W (and other US brands) has been very active and quite successful. His shop in Tankograd has many of the latest S&W wheelguns on display, including the brand new .44 Hand Ejector First Model or 'New Century' which is chambered for the smokeless successor to the .44 Russian, the .44 Special. Unfortunately the price of one of these magnificent guns is prohibitive for general issue. The rep is generally pushing a .38 Hand Ejector for government procurement.

 

Tankovian officers are permitted to purchase their own sidearms providing they are in an appropriate calibre from an approved list (which is quite flexible).

 

Handguns are a low priority item since they are usually secondary weapons.

 

As long as they retain their issued weapons, the War Ministry is quite relaxed about officers financing their own 'evaluation samples'.

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Was not a problem since they were never issued! It was decided NOT to detach the magazines at all and depend entirely on stripper loading. So the standard manual of arms does not involve ejecting the magazine at all.

 

As far as a larger capacity magazine, you can just design it to allow the easy loading of 10 rounds but that will probably extend a little past the trigger guard. One of the myths has always been that the gun needs to be off the ground. It does not but it made longer mags unpopular amongst some policy makers.

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Problem with Carcano is that barrel life was only about 3000 rounds until at least mid-20s. I was one of the worst rated rifles in post ww1 tests*** here. Low barrel life means you can not train enough (or you can, but then you go into sliding economic scale that favors something better), which means your infantry will suck. It's action would also be marginal for 7x57mm probably (it certainly was for 7.9x57).

Realistically, Mauser was simplest rifle that could be produced and still be top notch. Mannlichers, even Romanian pattern turn-bolt are actually more complicated in a number of details. That was a real Mauser genius.

 

***Tests, and ratings:

 

Suitable (in order of preference):

Serbian 1910, German 98, and Austrian 1912 Mausers - main problem was length which was seen as trivial to solve

Romanian Mannlicher 1893 - length and rimmed ammo

Lee-Enfield - main problem - shortest sight base, not suitable for very high pressure ammo, rimmed ammo - while it got lowest score notes say all of those are good and that differences minor and not in favor of one or other in any significant way.

A-H Mannlicher 1895 - length and rimmed ammo

 

Partially suitable:

Mosin (best accuracy of the all tested, but nothing more to commend it)

Serbian 1899, Spanish 1893, Turkish 1890 and Mausers - lesser strength of action, somewhat marginal for 7.9x57mm which was already decided on as future cartridge

Berthier with 5 rounds - hard to convert to 7.9x57, long, rimmed ammo, weak action;

 

Not suitable

Berthier with 3 rounds - too little ammo, convertible to 5 round configuration however, weak action, hard to convert to 7.9x57

Carcano - barrel life only 3000 rounds, weak action, long, hard to convert to 7.9x57

Lebel - obsolete tube magazine, rimmed ammo, weak action, non-suitable for conversion to short rifle

8mm Kropatschek - same + very weak action

Vetterli (does not say which one, but I suspect 1915 conversion, since all other rifles were small bore smokeless) - nothing positive was found out.

Vetterlis were only ones to be scrapped (or possibly given/sold to Albania), and considering that Werndls and other single shots were kept it says a lot about it...

 

More on topic - Serbian tests before adoption of M.80 Mauser-Milovanovic included 29 various designs (with total of 92 different rifle configurations tested).

Tests before adoption of M.99 included two different Mauser designs, Mannlicher 1890 straight pull, Gew 88, Mannlicher 1892/93 turn-bolt, two versions of Krag (Norwegian and unknown one), Lebel 1886, Berthier 1892, Mosin, Remington (no idea which one), Winchester (also no idea), Carcano, Swiss G89, Lee-Enfield) plus two unknown rifles (one Belgian and one British), ditched in very early phase of tests.

Cartridges tested concluded that choice is between 6.5x55 Norwegian, 7x57 Mauser and 7.65x53 Mauser. In the end 7x57 was chosen as the rifles could be available fastest.

I don't think I ever got to shoot 2,000 rds out of a service rifle in normal training combinded.

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Smith & Wesson No.3s in .44 Russian are still probably the most commonly issued Tankovian revolvers in 1908. The local agent for S&W (and other US brands) has been very active and quite successful.

 

Which is no surpsise at all given that the Supreme Commander is one of his best customers(and Colt‘s, and Winchester‘s). Back in the day when His Majesty was still His Royal Higness he did a very brief Gand Tour of Europe before going straight to the New World. And when I say New World, I mean Wild West: Buffalo Bill, Whyatt Earp, Tombstone, Calamity Jane, the Black Hills…

 

Why do you think the Horse Guards carry Winchesters?

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Was not a problem since they were never issued! It was decided NOT to detach the magazines at all and depend entirely on stripper loading. So the standard manual of arms does not involve ejecting the magazine at all.

 

Simon, I said later Lee Enfields. The magazines on all Lee Enfields were detachable, but not intended to be exchanged to be reloaded. I handled and used a lot of No4s in the cadets and never recall a magazine getting lost. Even if one did go astray, they were not exactly expensive. You could easily keep a spare at section level. All I was thinking was if you design the mag release to be more readily accessible and the mags to a bit higher capacity the alleged problem goes a way. Detachable magazines were the wave of the future and Lee started it. You dont see many military rifles with five round integral magazines these days 🙂

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I'm still not seeing the lost magazine as a problem that actually occurred with later Enfields....

 

 

Reason Britain wanted to go with smaller-non detachable mag for P13 was a fact that in service protruding mags were sometimes damaged.

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Why? Poor steel or the gain twist rifling? Both are fixable. You can order new barrels from say Mauser or barrels with normal rifling. Anyway, the rifle is less complicated to manfucture(minute 22).

 

 

Heresy warning: Is the average conscript enough of a marksman that the difference between this or that bolt action makes a difference?

Both, plus bolt was wonky, safety almost useless etc. It was kinda sorta OK rifle, but just like Mosin it was a bottom shelf even for WW1. As for production, Mauser was actually pretty simple, and Serbia estimated that it would be possible to produce rifles domestically in about 1919-20 (but "war were declared"...)

 

As for marksmanship, there is a limit what can be done, but there is a huge difference between abmisal marksmanship training (majority of Austro-Hungarian and Italian troops) and decent to good (Serbia and Bulgaria). Austro-hungarians noted that Serbian first call troops were excellent marksman (they were trained to fire 15 aimed shots per minute @ 300m***) and that long range shooting skills surprised them more than once, making manuevaring to a contact problematic.

 

***IIRC Serbian normative was 300 rounds for training, compared to 150 for Austro-Hungarian and 90 for Italians... Plus 180 for second and third year of service, vs 90 for Austro-Hungarians (no info for Italians). This used rifles a lot (even if a lot of older rifles were used for marksmanship basics), but gave quite an edge early in the WW1.

Edited by bojan
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When I am asked why the Horse Guards carry Winchester lever carbines, I usually reply 'Plevna.'. Just a lot simpler for Europeans. Their Model 1892s are chambered in .44 Russian and these are a special run done specifically for Tankovia, though they are often mistaken as 'Russian contract'. They are able to generate a lot of fire even when mounted, ideal for their escort duties. There has also been some trials of the newer Model 1894 using the .30-30 smokeless cartridge which combines very decent ballistics with a handy carbine package. It would however add a new calibre to our already extensive ammunition requirements so it remains a proposal.

This has been supplanted by a new proposal following our adoption of the 7x57mm IS cartridge which proposes a Model 1895 lever-action carbine/short rifle using a box type magazine fed from stripper clips. It is understood that a small batch of these rifles are already en route to Tankovia, destined no less than for HM's personal armory at the Palace with additional weapons being made available for testing by other parties.

 

I see a big cavalry showdown in 1909.

 

Edited by Simon Tan
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Simon, Winchesters played no significant role at Plevna, whole thing was concocted by a French book, written by a journalist sitting in the Paris, then it got stuck in the literature.

Memoirs of Osman Pasha note no significant use of Winchesters among defenders, except in the last days when it was issued to artillerymen and officers (who had no rifles previously). He even dedicates whole chapter to the "Winchester myth"

 

Thread on the Gunboards forum:

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?662474-Turkish-Winchester-1866-Musket

Most relevant quote:

"It is therefore not true that the infantry was using Winchester rifles as the author says"

 

But myth gets repeated, since... well, "when a legend becomes fact, print the legend".

 

As for 1895, if it was trialed in Serbia (surviving documents only state "Winchester") it did not impress anyone, other than slightly higher rate of fire in the first minute (but practically all rifles met 15 rounds per minute requirement) it was not found to have any advantage and was second worst scoring rifle (after Lebel which was only one dismissed w/o real trials, my guess due the tubular magazine). It was noted that field clearing is especially complicated and that disassembly process is "obscure".

Edited by bojan
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Both, plus bolt was wonky, safety almost useless etc. It was kinda sorta OK rifle, but just like Mosin it was a bottom shelf even for WW1. As for production, Mauser was actually pretty simple, and Serbia estimated that it would be possible to produce rifles domestically in about 1919-20 (but "war were declared"...)

 

:blink: ...Who'd expected that. So no Carcano. How much more complexity does the Mannlicher straight pull action add?

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I understand that making good detachable mags was tricky for some time. Since poor mags make a gun malfunction fixed was considered superior, correct?

 

Yes. To this day detachable magazines are a source of problems. bent feed lips, bad geometry, sloppy quality control...

 

 

 

 

I'm still not seeing the lost magazine as a problem that actually occurred with later Enfields....

 

 

Reason Britain wanted to go with smaller-non detachable mag for P13 was a fact that in service protruding mags were sometimes damaged.

 

 

Also this. Sheet metal can get bent out of shape and cause malfunction. I think this is also the reason the M1 Garand has a flush fitting magazine so as to have nothing sticking out and getting damged.

 

Also the Brtish Army found five rounds in the rifle sufficient for the p13. After the first volley of ten you have to reload from stripper clips anyway and have no adavantage in sustained fire.

 


 

 

a lever-action might look cool for cavalry, but as bojan points out, the 1895 (why winchester and n ot Savage 99 for a fullpower rifle cartridge?), the rifle is a clockwork and hard to service and repair. And western movies are not really a thing yet. ;)

 

 

 

Just cut the barrel short on your service bolt action. Except for the shorter wood stock and barrel you can use pretty much the same parts. Be really progressive and introduce a general issue unified short rifle for all troops, greatly simplifying logstics and training.

Edited by Panzermann
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The thing is, sustained fire with stripper clip rifles was a doctrinal artefact of its time. When infantry tactics changed I the latter stages of WW1, along came the trench magazine. If you watch Ian's videos he notes that the added magazine capacity of the Stgw meant units could undertake attacks where having to reload half way through would have been prohibitive. Some protruding magazines may indeed have been damaged, but I never recall that being a problem and it would be easy to overcome by carrying a spare at section or platoon level. As for the Garand, the error of its loading method (which was great for sustained prone fire) was noted and several attempts made to create detachable magazine versions prior to the adoption of the M14. The P13 was created to satisfy the whims of a target shooting clique. It and it's successors are lovely things (I have shot a P14) but too long and with an action that was significantly slower than the No4. The Lee Enfield was also significantly faster than either the Manlicher or Schmidt Rubin straight pulls, the former because of trigger position and the latter because of longer bolt travel meaning you had to remove your head from the path of the bolt for every shot. I suspect the Lee woukd also be significantly faster than the Winchester M1895. I have no direct experience of the latter but the entire thing basically comes apart with each operation of the lever. There is a lot going on there. For cavalry use I'd like to see a mid length Lee derived rifle in 7x57 or something like a Winchester M1894 in .30-30 or similar intermediate cartridge loaded with Spitzers but adapted to a side loading detachable magazine like the FG42. You might well be better off with one of the early direct blowback operated Winchester rifles in combination with M1897 shotguns.

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The Commonwealth never issued spare magazines despite the Lee-Enfields being designed to take them. The Swiss also have a DBM.....but they don't issue spares either. As far as individual rifles (as opposed to an automatic like the BAR), the earliest mass fielding of detachable box magazines is probably the SVT38. Yes, it is the future, but quite distant.

 

The chance of getting any British Lee-pattern rifles at all is nil. See the Canadians.

 

The first 7mm Mauser spitzers appear in 1913, when the Spanish decide to switch over. Many countries spend the entirety of WW1 with round nose cartridges. When Tankovia makes the switch, it will require replacing all the rear sights. This is why we are standardizing barrel lengths and sights for the Standard and Reserve Rifles. Still waiting on the cavalry to buy into the Standard Rifle which is already set up for side slings.

 

Both the standard Mannlicher M95 and Schmidt-Rubin have bolt handles significantly further from the trigger than the Lee. Contemporary straight pulls like the Browning Maral, Blaser and Merkel Helix all put the bolt handle right next to the trigger. The M1908s will have straight bolt handle like the M95 but these can be turned down as some sporterized rifles or replaced with a dogleg type. This requires replacing the bolt body with a new milled forging but all other components can be reused/ Thus it will be possible to upgrade these relatively easily.

 

Since we do not fire in ranks, nor do we fight in close order, volley sights are pretty much pointless and so there really isn't any good reason to have ridiculous long rangeladder sights. Thus I propose to simplify it to simpler tangent sight.

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:blink: ...Who'd expected that....

 

Mauser genius was making rifle that had strong action, while it was reliable, with action well shielded from the dirt, while it was at the same time still reasonably simple and cheap.

All that did not come for free, final design was in 1898 (1903 if we consider "safety breach" used on Serbian/Yugoslavian examples), while Mosin and Carcano were 1891, L-E was really same action as L-M, so 1888, Mannlicher latest was 1895 etc.

Edited by bojan
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The thing is, sustained fire with stripper clip rifles was a doctrinal artefact of its time. When infantry tactics changed I the latter stages of WW1, along came the trench magazine. If you watch Ian's videos he notes that the added magazine capacity of the Stgw meant units could undertake attacks where having to reload half way through would have been prohibitive. Some protruding magazines may indeed have been damaged, but I never recall that being a problem and it would be easy to overcome by carrying a spare at section or platoon level.

Fair enough but that's the future you are talking about. For an unindustrialized country at the turn of the century flush, five round mags look like the better choice to me. And you can modify the rifles later, can't you?

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And one more thing to remember. Getting things perfect, right away wasn't the norm.

 

Britain needed a few decades to get to the SMLE, Germany and the USA made less than ideal choices initially and Japan's Type 30 had room for improvement.

 

As long as one avoids really bad mistakes like 8mm Lebel one can recover from them with more or less difficulty.

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And one more thing to remember. Getting things perfect, right away wasn't the norm.

Britain needed a few decades to get to the SMLE, Germany and the USA made less than ideal choices initially and Japan's Type 30 had room for improvement.

As long as one avoids really bad mistakes like 8mm Lebel one can recover from them with more or less difficulty.

Interesting is that only Mauser, Arisaka and Swiss G89 had substantial improvements of the action, most other did not touch that since inicial construction. All 3 could work even in intial versions (Belgians used their model 1889 whole war w/o much trouble), but improving things was Mauser way. They were also very open to suggestions and customer requests.

 

...The chance of getting any British Lee-pattern rifles at all is nil. See the Canadians....

It was offered to Serbia, it is not clear what exact pattern it was, but most probably CLLE, since it was not kicked out of competition (clip loading was mandatory, reason why Lebel was not even considered seriously).

 

 

The first 7mm Mauser spitzers appear in 1913, when the Spanish decide to switch over. Many countries spend the entirety of WW1 with round nose cartridges...

Swedes switched to spitzer in.... 1938.

Edited by bojan
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