Fedorov Avtomat

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Fedorov Avtomat Rifle
Awtfed.jpg
Fedorov Avtomat
TypeAssault rifle
Place of origin Russian Empire
Service history
In service1915 - 1945
Used byRussian Empire, Soviet Union
WarsWorld War I, Russian Civil War, Spanish Civil War, Winter War, World War II
Production history
Designed1915
ManufacturerKovrov Arms Factory, (Now V.A. Degtyarev Plant, OJSC)
Produced1915 - 1924
Number built3,200
Specifications
Weight4.4 kg (Loaded; 5.2 kg)
Length1,045 mm
Barrel length520 mm

Cartridge6.5x50mm Arisaka
Caliber6.5 mm
ActionShort recoil operation
Rate of fire350-400 Rounds/min[1]
Muzzle velocity2,145 feet per second (654 m/s)[1]
Feed system25-Round detachable box magazine
SightsIron sight
 
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Fedorov Avtomat Rifle
Awtfed.jpg
Fedorov Avtomat
TypeAssault rifle
Place of origin Russian Empire
Service history
In service1915 - 1945
Used byRussian Empire, Soviet Union
WarsWorld War I, Russian Civil War, Spanish Civil War, Winter War, World War II
Production history
Designed1915
ManufacturerKovrov Arms Factory, (Now V.A. Degtyarev Plant, OJSC)
Produced1915 - 1924
Number built3,200
Specifications
Weight4.4 kg (Loaded; 5.2 kg)
Length1,045 mm
Barrel length520 mm

Cartridge6.5x50mm Arisaka
Caliber6.5 mm
ActionShort recoil operation
Rate of fire350-400 Rounds/min[1]
Muzzle velocity2,145 feet per second (654 m/s)[1]
Feed system25-Round detachable box magazine
SightsIron sight

The Fedorov Avtomat (Russian: Автомат Фёдорова) was an automatic rifle, considered by some the first assault rifle[2][3], designed by Vladimir Grigoryevich Fedorov and produced in Russia in 1916. A total of 3,200 Fedorov rifles were manufactured between 1915 and 1924 in the city of Kovrov. In 1919, after 500 had been built, production was increased. The weapon saw combat in World War I in 1916[4], in the Russian Civil War, and later in the Winter War with Finland in 1940, when some were withdrawn from storage and issued to elite units of the Red Army. The Fedorov Avtomat is considered to be an early predecessor to the modern assault rifle, due to its relatively light weight, large detachable magazine, intermediate powered cartridge and selective fire capabilities.[5]

Contents

Development

The Fedorov Avtomat is a short recoil operated, locked-breech weapon which fires from a closed bolt. The bolt locking is achieved by two dumbbell-shaped locking plates, mounted at either side of the breech, latching barrel and bolt together through lugs on the bolt. Those plates are allowed to tilt slightly down after about 10 mm of free recoil, unlocking the bolt. A bolt hold-open device is fitted and the firing mechanism is of hammer type.

Fedorov mechanism schematic
Fedorov Avtomat captured during Winter War.

Captain V. Fedorov began a prototype of a semi-automatic rifle in 1906, working with future small arms designer Vasily Degtyaryov as his assistant. A model was submitted to the Rifle Commission of the Russian army in 1911, which eventually ordered 150 more rifles for testing. In 1913, Fedorov submitted a prototype automatic rifle with a stripper clip-fed fixed magazine, chambered for his own experimental rimless 6.5 mm cartridge, called the 6.5mm Fedorov. This new rimless ammunition was more compact than the rimmed Russian 7.62x54mmR, better suited for automatic weapons and produced less recoil. This experimental cartridge fired a pointed jacketed bullet weighting 8.5 grams at an initial velocity of 860 m/s with a muzzle energy of 3,140 J (as opposed to the 3,600-4,000 J muzzle energy of 7.62x54mmR ammunition).

6.5mm Fedorov rifles were tested late in 1913 with favorable results. Since production of a new cartridge was not feasible, the decision was made to convert 6.5mm Fedorov rifles to use the Japanese 6.5x50mm Arisaka ammunition, in this particular firearm's case having a muzzle velocity of only 654 m/s because of constrained barrel length.[1] The ammunition was also produced in Great Britain, which had purchased Arisaka rifles for the Royal Navy during World War I. The fixed magazine was replaced by a detachable, curved 25-round box magazine.

Production

Vladimir Grigoryevich Fyodorov, the designer of Fedorov Avtomat

In 1915, the need for lightweight automatic arms led the Russian Army to order the manufacture of Fedorov automatic rifles with larger-capacity detachable magazines. Production of the new cartridge was out of question so it was decided to convert 6.5 mm Fedorov rifles to use the Japanese 6.5x50SR Arisaka ammunition which was in abundance, having been purchased from Japan and Great Britain along with Arisaka rifles. The change of ammunition involved only minimal changes to the rifle, including a chamber insert and a new range scale for the rear sights. In 1916, the Weapons Committee of the Russian Army made a decision to order no less than 25,000 Fedorov automatic rifles. In early 1918, the order for Fedorov rifles was limited to 9,000 weapons, but as result of turmoil of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent civil war, only 3,200 Fedorov rifles were manufactured in the city of Kovrov between 1920 and 1924, when production was finally stopped.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c The Machine Gun volume 2, George M. Chinn, 1952, pg. 30
  2. ^ Williams, Anthony (6-Feb-2012). "Assault Rifles and their Ammunition: History and Prospects". http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Assault.htm. Retrieved 4-Apr-2012.
  3. ^ Болотин, Давид (1995). "Глава 5. Автомат Фёдорова и унификация стрелкового оружия на его базе" (PDF). История советского стрелкового оружия и патронов. СПб.: Полигон. pp. 156–165. ISBN 5-85503-072-5. http://www.shooting-ua.com/dop_arhiv/dop_2/books/Istor_sovet_orujiya.pdf. (Russian)
  4. ^ Советская военная энциклопедия в 8 томах. М.:Издательство Министерства обороны СССР, 1976—1981, статья Автомат (Soviet military encyclopaedia, article "Assault rifle (avtomat)")
  5. ^ Fowler, William; Sweeney, Patrick (2008), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rifles and Machine Guns: An illustrated historical reference to over 500 military, law enforcement and antique firearms ... and automatic machine guns, a comprehensive guide, Lorenz Books, p. 68, ISBN 0-7548-1758-X

Bibliography

External links