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Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:00pm

A question for our firearms experts

How suitable would the Winchester 1907 and Remington model 81 be for use by an army?


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:04pm

In which calibers?


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:06pm

Being in 351SL and 30-30 I assume they could use either original ammo or rebuilt to accept an military intermediate round


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:16pm

They're not bad rifles, IIRC, and decent for hunting; but I think they'd not be the best choice for an army rifle. If memory serves, some of the Winchesters were used in WWI and the Remingtons were used by the Texas Rangers. My concern would mainly be dust and grit causing jamming in the action; hunting rifles are designed to tighter tolerances than many military rifles would be (to improve accuracy) and won't handle the elements quite as well as a military rifle. I think performance would depend a lot on the weather and ground conditions and also on the training of the riflemen. Troops who do good maintenance will probably get good results; but troops who don't much bother with maintenance will probably toss them away for a good Mauser the first time they find one. (To be honest, I'd probably prefer a bolt-action Mauser to an early semiauto.)


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:21pm

The Winchester really isn't up to an intermediate round, it's a blow-back action weapon. It was certainly USED during WWI, though, not uncommonly as a weapon on aircraft before synchronized weapons were possible on Allied planes.

The Remington Model 8/81 could be, though, when you consider the loading added in 1940: the .300 Savage.


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:31pm

Hm, forgot the Winch was a blowback weapon...


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 6:52pm

Why would being a blowback be a problem for a military rifle?


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 7:04pm


Originally posted by Vukovlad
Why would being a blowback be a problem for a military rifle?

Straight blowback firearms are generally used for pistols and submachine guns, where accuracy isn't as much an issue; when the round fires, the reaction pushes the bolt backwards and the casing goes with it - but this is happening at the exact same time the bullet is still in the bore going out the other end of the gun. As the casing ejects, you lose the seal inside the chamber/barrel and thus rob the bullet of velocity.

This is why most successful military semiautos and autos have that long gas rod that connects all the way out at the end of the barrel. The bolt stays closed and the casing in the chamber until the bullet has reached the muzzle and the gas pushes back the rod - only then does the bolt go back and eject the empty casing. Higher muzzle velocity, more accuracy. A reason bolt-action rifles have always been and always will be more accurate than semi-autos: there is no blowback whatsoever, and no moving parts, and every bit of the gas pressure keeps pushing on that bullet until it's out the barrel.


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 7:11pm

Thanks for the explanation


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 7:35pm

There's another reason why straight blowback actions aren't really useful for more powerful rounds: the spring gets too strong and the breechblock weight gets too heavy to easily be operated, since they're all that's keeping the case from rupturing when it's extracted too early. Straight blowback, which is what the Winchester used, is really only useful in low pressure rounds.


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 9:19pm

Ok, is it a big thing to change a rifle from blowbak to delayed blowback?


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 9:30pm


Originally posted by Vukovlad
Ok, is it a big thing to change a rifle from blowbak to delayed blowback?

In simple terms, yes.

Though it depends on the rifle, the cartridge, and the design of the delayed blowback mechanism. Some rifles with a simple blowback system may convert fairly easily, but I don't think it'd be half as easy even as rechambering a rifle. Hrolf might be able to tell you differently, but I'd guess it's not an economical use of an existing rifle.


Thursday, October 15th 2009, 11:10pm

It's not feasible, really. You'd need space inside the receiver, the forend, somewhere, that the design wouldn't have (because it wasn't needed). For a prototype, where you don't care about things like ergonomics and failures because of dust, dirt, or flesh in the workings, maybe. For a weapon to be used, no.


Friday, October 16th 2009, 7:05pm

The reason I ask is because i thought of using the mentioned rifles as emergency SLR´s for an irregular force but regular boltaction rifles might be better


Friday, October 16th 2009, 8:02pm

They'd be more expensive than bolt actions,, too (no one has thousands of surplus rifles of those types to be given away).


Friday, October 16th 2009, 9:21pm

I was thinking more of the way KLA bought .50 hunting rifles to use as sniper and antimaterial rifles ie to buy civilian rifles for use as battle rifles