Best weapons / optimum calibres

HE117

LE
Thank you... excellent animation!

IMHO the EM2 was the only bullpup that solved the "wobbly trigger linkage" problem by having the sear at the front of the bolt carrier..

In most automatic designs, the sear lies to the rear of the bolt either working on a hammer or connecting with a striker release at the back of the bolt. In a bullpup, this creates a problem because the rear of the bolt is always behind the magazine well when the trigger is at the front of it so that the trigger linkage has to get back past the magazine well to get to the sear. The cross section of the receiver is always at it's thinnest at the side of the magazine in order to minimise the outside thickness of the action. As a result the trigger link has to be even thinner to fit in the space, hence the tendency to wobble..

Apart from the EM2, all bullpup triggers are at the spongy end of cr@p. Most let-offs are about as crisp as wet yogurt...!

Also the Tokarev flap locks do not suffer from the "forward assist feature" of ARs caused by the rotating cam at the end of the stroke.. Gene, you were a brilliant engineer, but you got that bit wrong!
 
Thank you... excellent animation!

IMHO the EM2 was the only bullpup that solved the "wobbly trigger linkage" problem by having the sear at the front of the bolt carrier..

In most automatic designs, the sear lies to the rear of the bolt either working on a hammer or connecting with a striker release at the back of the bolt. In a bullpup, this creates a problem because the rear of the bolt is always behind the magazine well when the trigger is at the front of it so that the trigger linkage has to get back past the magazine well to get to the sear. The cross section of the receiver is always at it's thinnest at the side of the magazine in order to minimise the outside thickness of the action. As a result the trigger link has to be even thinner to fit in the space, hence the tendency to wobble..

Apart from the EM2, all bullpup triggers are at the spongy end of cr@p. Most let-offs are about as crisp as wet yogurt...!

Also the Tokarev flap locks do not suffer from the "forward assist feature" of ARs caused by the rotating cam at the end of the stroke.. Gene, you were a brilliant engineer, but you got that bit wrong!
. . . still not keen on the reciprocating cocking handle, though.
 
It's often said that the EM2 was just too complicated and expensive to make yet the EM2 as we know it isn't really the finished product. So does anyone know what scope there was in the experimental design for simplified or cheaper parts?
 
It's often said that the EM2 was just too complicated and expensive to make yet the EM2 as we know it isn't really the finished product. So does anyone know what scope there was in the experimental design for simplified or cheaper parts?
Looking at that animation, quite a lot.

The cross section of the receiver is always at it's thinnest at the side of the magazine in order to minimise the outside thickness of the action. As a result the trigger link has to be even thinner to fit in the space, hence the tendency to wobble..
plus the linkage tends to have to move out from the centreline (where the trigger is) out to the side (past the magazine) then back to the middle (striker, hammer etc). The perturbation doesn’t do much for the stiffness of the linkage.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Apart from the EM2, all bullpup triggers are at the spongy end of cr@p. Most let-offs are about as crisp as wet yogurt...!
You are far more polite than I.

Also the Tokarev flap locks do not suffer from the "forward assist feature" of ARs caused by the rotating cam at the end of the stroke..
Degtyaryov surely ?

Gene, you were a brilliant engineer, but you got that bit wrong!
But very much the gentleman.
 
IMHO , I reckon they could do the bolt differently in the EM2, a little less complex and easier to clean in the field without umpteen parts and springs within springs.
The cartridge certainly would have served us well. The Russians did very well with their 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R for the best part of 40 years, we could have used .280/30 and 7.62 NATO. Hey ho.
 

HE117

LE
It's often said that the EM2 was just too complicated and expensive to make yet the EM2 as we know it isn't really the finished product. So does anyone know what scope there was in the experimental design for simplified or cheaper parts?
You could pick up the core design features and no doubt develop them into something that could be produced using modern CNC machining techniques..

The EM2 was basically designed for manufacture on early 20th C machine tooling such as gang millers and turret lathes, with a bit of stamping and bending to form magazine parts and trigger guards etc..

The AR 15 was designed to be made using high quality injection castings in light metal that the US aircraft industry had developed during the war. By using a design that locked the bolt head into the end of the barrel, few stresses had to go through the receiver, reducing the required strength and hence weight. The trick of running the gas from the gas port back to the top of the bolt carrier also reduced the need for precision fitted parts and such things as push rods etc. and milling channels in the body castings..

The problem with the AR 18 was however that the alloy body castings needed a lot of fettling and were not that quick or cheap to produce. Most of this work had to be done by hand, adding a significant cost even in the 60s. An alternative technology, which had been pioneered by the Germans during the war, was stamped and welded bodies, which could be manufactured very quickly on modified automotive technology and needed very little finishing work. From this came the AR 18 (or AR 180 Semi auto) which was a value engineered AR 15 using stampings instead of castings, but using basically the same bolt as the AR 15.

The problem with the AR15 was a general lack of a mass market. It was produced under licence in Japan by Howa (originally a loom maker, but who made Arisaka rifles during the war..) and Sterling in UK. Sales were patchy as nobody was particularly looking for bulk military weapons at the time, although a significant number of AR180 were made for the US domestic market (... and hence to NI via Noraid!). What is significant is that it was a Sterling AR 18 that was the genesis of the SA 80.. but enough!

To return to the original question.. the answer is both yes and no!

Yes, with the advent of efficient CNC and modern materials, you could develop the design into a good, ambidextrous bullpup if that is the way you want to go. In my opinion the concepts within the EM2 design is probably the best implementation of a military bullpup.

but... You would need a national player to pony up for the development and production cost, and given the hash the Enfield lot made of the last one, I regrettably think this unlikely. We no longer have a national small arms manufacturer.. the skill base was probably lost in the 60s and RSAF was basically a zombie after that. If you want a small arms design capability, you need to keep designing small arms! As Gun Jesus points out, it is simply not good enough to get a bunch of GS engineers together and get them to design a gun from a standing start. Designing guns is a niche subject and you need to find and nurture people that can do it! The Enfield Muppets, even with a proven design as a starting point managed to royally screw it up!

Designing guns is a mugs game.. only a handful of folk have ever made much money from it.. Sam Colt, JM Browning and Bill Ruger and not many more!
 
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HE117

LE
Degtyaryov surely ?
...of course! - Wrong Russian (In my defence I lent my copy of Chinn Vol 3 to someone last week)

...and Yes, very much a gentleman!
 

HE117

LE
plus the linkage tends to have to move out from the centreline (where the trigger is) out to the side (past the magazine) then back to the middle (striker, hammer etc). The perturbation doesn’t do much for the stiffness of the linkage.
Yup..

I have just been doing a repair on a Walther G22.. Now let it be known that I do not usually let such plastic abominations pass the threshold of my workshop, but I was interested in this one, as it is an example of ze chermans designing a bullpup, albeit a .22RF.

It is well designed, and a good example of using modern engineering.. but same old, same old long wobbly trigger link/pushrod problem. What they did do however was reverse the action, so that instead of the rod being pushed, it was pulled, removing some of the runout potential..

But yeah it still had to resort to a flat strip to get around the mag well!

What is interesting is that the whole breech/mag well mechanism is contained in a metal cassette which clamps to the end of the barrel. It reminded me of a Werder, so there may have been a bit of Bavarian blood (..or beer!) in it!
 
You could pick up the core design features and no doubt develop them into something that could be produced using modern CNC machining techniques..

The EM2 was basically designed for manufacture on early 20th C machine tooling such as gang millers and turret lathes, with a bit of stamping and bending to form magazine parts and trigger guards etc..

The AR 15 was designed to be made using high quality injection castings in light metal that the US aircraft industry had developed during the war. By using a design that locked the bolt head into the end of the barrel, few stresses had to go through the receiver, reducing the required strength and hence weight. The trick of running the gas from the gas port back to the top of the bolt carrier also reduced the need for precision fitted parts and such things as push rods etc. and milling channels in the body castings..

The problem with the AR 18 was however that the alloy body castings needed a lot of fettling and were not that quick or cheap to produce. Most of this work had to be done by hand, adding a significant cost even in the 60s. An alternative technology, which had been pioneered by the Germans during the war, was stamped and welded bodies, which could be manufactured very quickly on modified automotive technology and needed very little finishing work. From this came the AR 18 (or AR 180 Semi auto) which was a value engineered AR 15 using stampings instead of castings, but using basically the same bolt as the AR 15.

The problem with the AR15 was a general lack of a mass market. It was produced under licence in Japan by Howa (originally a loom maker, but who made Arisaka rifles during the war..) and Sterling in UK. Sales were patchy as nobody was particularly looking for bulk military weapons at the time, although a significant number of AR180 were made for the US domestic market (... and hence to NI via Noraid!). What is significant is that it was a Sterling AR 18 that was the genesis of the SA 80.. but enough!

To return to the original question.. the answer is both yes and no!

Yes, with the advent of efficient CNC and modern materials, you could develop the design into a good, ambidextrous bullpup if that is the way you want to go. In my opinion the concepts within the EM2 design is probably the best implementation of a military bullpup.

but... You would need a national player to pony up for the development and production cost, and given the hash the Enfield lot made of the last one, I regrettably think this unlikely. We no longer have a national small arms manufacturer.. the skill base was probably lost in the 60s and RSAF was basically a zombie after that. If you want a small arms design capability, you need to keep designing small arms! As Gun Jesus points out, it is simply not good enough to get a bunch of GS engineers together and get them to design a gun from a standing start. Designing guns is a niche subject and you need to find and nurture people that can do it! The Enfield Muppets, even with a proven design as a starting point managed to royally screw it up!

Designing guns is a mugs game.. only a handful of folk have ever made much money from it.. Sam Colt, JM Browning and Bill Ruger and not many more!
I was thinking more of at the time it was first mooted but of course modern methods change things dramatically.
For example the receiver seems to be a very expensive and tricky thing to machine but to my (admittedly non-engineers) eyes it looks like it's essentially two superposed steel tubes. Would it have been possible and easier to machine two tubes separately and then weld them together or locate them within a stamping?
 

HE117

LE
I'd love to see one done of the TADEN, so we could see "what might have been" for the well-dressed 1950s infantry section... are there any decent-resolution videos or images of them?
This is the only film I am aware of ...


I think there is one "under the car park".. Shriv did not have one!
 
never heard of the machine gun variant
I think it was more a new (-ish it was apparently Bren derived) machine-gun designed to use the 7mm cartridge than a version on the EM2. It seems that all of the surviving images of it show a tripod mounted weapon with spade grips rather than an LMG/GPMG with stock, pistol grip and bipod. Whether there was a plan to make a GPMG version with those features seems a bit hazy.
They could have just planned to redesign the Bren for the new cartridge as was ultimately done to produce the 7.62 LMG. This would have attractions as it would allow them to stick to the tried-and-tested WWII practice of having the rest of the section carry ammo for the MG in stripper-clips that could be used in either rifle or MG.
 
It's often said that the EM2 was just too complicated and expensive to make yet the EM2 as we know it isn't really the finished product. So does anyone know what scope there was in the experimental design for simplified or cheaper parts?
Britain had a national service army, which meant it needed a lot of rifles. If you are going to manufacture a lot of rifles, they need to be designed to use high volume manufacturing techniques.

Machining is expensive and capital intensive. That means you want to minimize the number of machining operations.

The EM2's receiver was way too complex to manufacture cheaply. It's one big chunk of machined metal.

Cutting edge high volume manufacturing technology at that time was steel stampings. A reduced cost EM2 would need to have been redesigned to be able to use a stamped receiver.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Cutting edge high volume manufacturing technology at that time was steel stampings. A reduced cost EM2 would need to have been redesigned to be able to use a stamped receiver.
Something even the Russians struggled with at first
 

TamH70

MIA
Something even the Russians struggled with at first
Well, not so much a struggle as a complete trainwreck that necessitated an almost immediate (as far as Russian timescales go anyway) switch straight back to milled and machined receivers for their AKs which lasted several years until they got themselves some better German PoW machinists. (Other sources of skilled slave labour were available, check local listings for details, all rights reserved.)

I'm pretty sure that if we had pursued the new hotness of stamped receivers and other bits for the EM2, we would have run into the same trainwreck.

And thanks to the new Tory government and the American idiots who wanted a tarted-up .308 Remington calibre battle rifle, even if we had fixed all the problems with the stampings, it would still have been cancelled and we would have ended up with the FAL anyway.
 
@terminal - hang on ,a milled reciever is present in the FAL as well. It's hardly machining free as a rifle.
 
Machining is expensive and capital intensive. That means you want to minimize the number of machining operations.
It is also the quickest way with the least investment to make a high tolerance shape in metal.
That’s true even today. 3D printing is great, but you need a machining operation if you want a decent finish or screw thread.

You get on to high volume methods when you get to high volume production, and you don’t really want to go there until you have the design overall shape etc. sorted.
 
@terminal - hang on ,a milled reciever is present in the FAL as well. It's hardly machining free as a rifle.
The FAL also traces its lineage back to the 1930s, via the SAFN-49, whose prototypes were developed pre-war.

The FN has a machined receiver, and its design is probably well suited to the type of equipment already installed at Enfield and many other national arsenals. However, if you compare the receivers of the FAL and the EM2, the former is much simpler. This probably helps account for why the FAL was cheaper to make.
 

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