Forgotten Weapons: The Pedderson Collection

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by lklawson, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    "by Ian McCollum <http://www.forgottenweapons.com/?author=1>

    John Pedersen was one of the more prolific and successful gun designers in American history, having even been described by John Moses Browning as "the greatest gun designer in the world". And yet, many people only know about Pedersen from his unsuccessful toggle-locked rifle or his WWI Pedersen Device that never saw action. In truth, Pedersen's work included a number of very successful sporting rifles and shotguns that many shooters would still recognize today. While looking through the guns at Rock Island on my most recent trip there, I realized that they had examples of virtually every one of Pedersen's guns - so I figured I should do an overview of the man's work:

    https://www.full30.com/embed/59fa7da46a067263106b340b5a5f1ab5

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  2. I remember reading that the M-1 Garand rifle originally had detachable 10 round magazines. Some high up idiots in the United States Army said they did not want the magazine to stick out below the bottom of the rifle stock. (I guess it looked too ugly?) They also said they did not want detachable magazines because they might get "lost" in combat and the rifle would be useless.
     

  3. papataylor

    papataylor Member

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    I love Pedersen's stuff. It would be a different world had the Remington model 51 had greater success in the commercial market allowing Pedersen's lock-breech design to gain popularity.

    I truly hope the R51 2.0 gives him his timely due.
     
  4. Not sure, but magazines present the same problem that lever actions do. When your flat to the ground you have to elevate for the lever to function. But back then the military put more emphasis on accuracy then dumping ammo. Plus the 8 round clips were cheaper than magazines, which many would be lost or damaged in combat. Much of the military budget went into building planes, and bombs. Loss of planes was much higher then compared to modern planes used.

    Today in that situation the soldier would just turn his carbine to the side and let it rip. The current AR's or M4 can have easily have sights mounted on the side.
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    My understanding of it was that the Model 51 had pretty good success but, because it was at the upper end of the price point in comparison with the competition, when the Great Depression hit people just didn't have enough money to buy them. This happened to a lot of products. Cars and car companies, along with half of the rest of the world product, just died because people couldn't afford them.

    I'm pretty hopeful. People with their ears to the ground are reporting some of the things Remington is doing with the new design and it sounds like they probably are. However, some of the solutions are reflective of the "affordable" price point. One notable that sticks out in my mind is that they are reportedly using frame-pins which are splined to prevent pins walking out instead of the more expensive method of using tighter tolerances. Of course, this reduces the number of times pins can be driven out and replaced before the channels are wallowed out.

    What this means for maintenance, gunsmithing, or "send it to mom" servicing, I really don't know.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    This, and then +100.

    The Army's emphasis on highly accurate fire over rate of fire for the Infantry Man cannot be over-stated. It gets harped on in every period military riflery manual from circa WWI to WWII.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  7. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    That kind of reasoning was actually why the Soviets fielded the SKS with its fixed magazine.
     
  8. I disagree. Magazines have proven far superior to the M-1 Garand clip rifles. The ten round magazine would have allowed for tactical reloads (which is the biggest problem with a clip fed rifle) and would not have protruded far below the stock. It was a mistake made by the Army going with clips over magazines. It would have been better for the soldiers.

    The M-14 rifle is the improvement over the M-1 Garand. It can be fitted with ten round magazines. The magazines do not protrude far below the stock very far at all allowing for prone shooting.
     
  9. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    The individual rifleman won't turn his rifle sideways and spray away. While we do use volume of fire, it still must be an accurate volume of fire. Because the enemy uses high-capacity fully auto weapons, too, we do have to gain fire superiority in order to suppress him enough to have freedom of maneuver. The Army still requires Soldiers to shoot accurately, and I would venture to say that ours are probably the best shots in the world, on average, when comparing conventional forces. Large volumes of fire are useless if not accurate.

    The idea of 8-10-round fixed magazines might have been a good idea back when our enemies used bolt-action rifles, but well placed single shots from such small magazines would not fare well against an equal number of bad guys armed with AKs.
     
  10. papataylor

    papataylor Member

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    Every time I hear tactical reload I barf in my mouth.
     
  11. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    True enough. The difference is that during the preeminence of the Bolt Action Infantry Rifle, the concept of "suppressing fire" for the Infantry Man was beyond actively discouraged. It was the mark of a poor rifleman. The Army semi-officially feared that the Rifleman would waste ammunition and not "make every shot count" if he wasn't drilled and initiated into a culture which frowned upon it.

    Frankly, based upon what I read of Riflery doctrine in old texts, I shocked that the Pedderson Device was even seriously considered, nevermind made it as far as it did. I suspect (without confirmation) that the reason is because it was considered to be able to create a dual weapon so that the Rifleman would still have his slow-rate-of-fire, hard-hitting, highly accurate, long-range, battle line 30.06, and be able to advance the trenches with an extremely light weight and small pistol caliber round in the Pedderson Device. The best of both worlds, so to speak, and soothing the fears of old-school brass who insisted on the Rifleman having precision, hard-hitting, firepower.

    For another interesting merger of hard-hitting, high precision, with high rate-of-fire, check out the British "Mad Minute."

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  12. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    That is, indeed, an interesting bit of historical doctrine right there. It influenced the Enfield bolt's design, in fact. By cocking on closing, it made for faster bolt manipulation, facilitating that high volume of fire needed to suppress the opposing trenches before going over the wall. I have an Ishapore MkIII 2a Enfield, and that is probably the smoothest operating bolt-action rifle I've used.
     
  13. The Pedersen Device was an act of desperation. The bolt action was obsolete for warfare by then, but it was what they had to work with and the Pedersen Device was a way to salvage existing stocks of arms.

    Many in the military at the time knew that if the Pedersen Device was used in combat, that many or most of the rifles would never be used as bolt actions any time soon. The bolts would have been lost.

    Only the French and Germans were able to figure out that the Sturmtrupen tactics was the only way to do modern warfare. But never to them were able to fully implement it nor rearm for it.
     
  14. Or guys armed with bolt actions and MG42s.

    Or worse yet, guys armed Strumgeweher and MG42s. Then the front line troops follow the fastest route to get west of Gen. Eisenhower.
     
  15. I like the Strumgeweher 44 rifle. It had a decent caliber (7.92×33 millimeter) that was effective to around 400 meters. By present standards the rifle was heavy (10.2 pounds unloaded) and the magazine was a bit too long. A 25 round round magazine would have cut down the length a little bit.
     
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Most of them were not very good for trench fighting. The short subguns we're pretty good but anything longer was a no go. Even something as long as an AK was probably too long. Trenches were just really really different. Now no man's land, over the trench, is a different story.

    Peace favor your sword (mobile)
     
  17. Over the trench mass attacks with any infantry leads to about the same number of killed as even when not using bolt actions.
     
  18. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure I agree with a lot of the ideas being pushed here.

    Magazines being lost...the BAR had 'em. Wasn't an issue.

    Magazines protruding...nope, it's not that bad.. I have the FN 49 and the Hakim, both run 10 round mags...the toe of the stock is lower than the mag.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Slow aimed fire, and lack of suppressive fire in the doctrine? Nope. Ok, maybe in training, as opined by the General Staff, but not in the field. General Terry Allen was famous for the "Find 'em, fix 'em, fight "em" quote. And his idea of fighting included a heavy flanking movement, covered by semi frontal attack, which you know was suppressive, in order to "fix" 'em. Remember, a semi auto 30-06 fired at 2-4 second intervals would be darned effective at keeping a guys head down, two guys working together could keep that up for nearly an hour with a typical load out, a squad could do it with no real effort at all, as the rest of their platoon worked for position.;)

    Another thing...anyone ever seen the 50's TV show "Combat"? Lots of those actors were vets, and they were blowing off rounds like crazy on TV!:p

    Many guys took in the 80 round belt, plus two bandoleers, plus the 8 in the rifle, so they'd carry 184 rounds, that's more than I was issued to protect nuclear weapons! If they knew they were headed to a fight, they'd carry more. Some vets talked of filling up canteen holders, pants pockets, and doubling up on bandoleers. BAR gunners and their A-gunner had 500 rounds in mags between them.

    Some Pacific vets would drop everything but the rifle in the landing craft, then if they lived through the surf to hit the beach and get off, they'd pick up what they needed, as they knew there would be plenty on the beach.

    Anywhoooo....Men are men, and overthinking things isn't always the best way to go.;)
     
  19. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    The StG 44 wasn't a riflemans weapon. It was a shoot and scoot, "assault" weapon, for forests, cities, and house to house work. You shot it on the move, from the knee or hip, not prone.

    The G43 was the rifleman's weapon...oh yeah...10 round box mag!:D

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

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    I definitely don't buy into the slow-aimed fire theory having been pushed for maneuver operations, either. As mentioned in my previous post fire superiority is the only way to gain freedom of maneuver.

    Nevertheless, while I don't have a collection of definitive statements on the subject of fixed vs. detachable magazines for individual riflemen, I would not be surprised if some of the more parochial senior leaders had concerns about them being lost. Don't forget that during the Civil War our senior leadership didn't want repeating rifles issued because the troops would blow through too much ammo. The same kind of thinking could easily have affected their acceptance of rifles with fixed magazines, only.

    As far as the BAR goes, that was a less densely distributed weapon, with a specialized purpose. They probably could have stood for a weapon like that having a detachable magazine.