SA80 Replacement on the distant horizon ?

Pedantically, the EM2 was briefly adopted as the Rifle, No. 9 and AFAICT it was home-grown.

Another What If...?
The BSA 28P
 
The thing is complex machining of steel parts of steel blocks was rather Enfields thing hence why they took to making the FN FAL so happily after pointlessly making it Imperial....I digress! I do think it was tragic that they had their hands on so much advanced German stamped receiver guns that were truly cutting edge but totally rejected the technology. Ironic considering in Russia a cutting edge gun using a stamped receiver was being accepted into service...OK maybe too cutting edge as it was replaced by a variant using a milled receiver pretty rapidly....maybe Enfield was right then?
Enfield didn't have the stamping presses and welding equipment to make a stamped gun. They did have the lines of milling machines to make a machined gun though. They would have needed major investment in the factory to make a stamped gun, even if they outsourced most of the stampings to auto parts makers.

A machined receiver was a reasonable decision for the immediate post-war era. However it needed to be a much simpler machined receiver.
 
Mr. Kalashnikov always denied being influenced by the STG 44. On his deathbed, however...
Kalashnikov never denied being influenced by the concepts behind the Stg-44. The Soviet army specifications for a new avtomat was based on the concepts around it, so all the dozen or so rifles which were entered into the competition were inherently influenced by it. You could say the same thing about every standard infantry rifle in service today, to at least some degree.

The actual design of the Kalashnikov rifle itself however was completely different from the Stg-44. If you are looking for design influences, then Kalashnikov himself said his design was most influenced by the Garand rifle. If you google for it you can find multiple articles from reputable sources showing the design similarities.

Garand by the way was heavily influenced by the French RSC self loading rifle of WWI. He had worked on a project for adapting the RSC for US production (which wasn't completed) so he was quite familiar with it.
 
The BSA 28P
That site makes an interesting comment on the failure of the EM1. Which was down to problems with the stamped parts of the weapon.

Does this suggest that British industry at that moment in time have problems with stamped parts for some industries ?
 
The original AK mit stamped receiver suffered v. much from having the wrong sort of captive German slave labourers "helping" the process. It was only once they were shot on Stalin's orders, and they'd got the new batch making the milled-receiver version for a while, were they able to crack another stamped-receiver version which actually worked.

Then that got binned in favour of the AKM/AKMS.
People who have looked at the actual factory records said that there was no evidence that any of the German prisoners did any work on the AK rifle. The rifle was classified as "secret" and anyone who wasn't a Soviet wasn't allowed anywhere near it, nor even into the secret parts of the factory.
 

TamH70

MIA
People who have looked at the actual factory records said that there was no evidence that any of the German prisoners did any work on the AK rifle. The rifle was classified as "secret" and anyone who wasn't a Soviet wasn't allowed anywhere near it, nor even into the secret parts of the factory.

Actual factory records. Written by the Russians. I'd believe them though thousands wouldn't.
 

tiv

LE
Enfield didn't have the stamping presses and welding equipment to make a stamped gun. They did have the lines of milling machines to make a machined gun though. They would have needed major investment in the factory to make a stamped gun, even if they outsourced most of the stampings to auto parts makers.

A machined receiver was a reasonable decision for the immediate post-war era. However it needed to be a much simpler machined receiver.
There was considerable investment to make the L1. They purchased six Weatherley Oilgear Vertical Broaching Machines, the installation of which required the construction of six deep concrete pits. They were used on a number of operations on the receiver which came in as forgings.
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
Kalashnikov never denied being influenced by the concepts behind the Stg-44. The Soviet army specifications for a new avtomat was based on the concepts around it, so all the dozen or so rifles which were entered into the competition were inherently influenced by it. You could say the same thing about every standard infantry rifle in service today, to at least some degree.

The actual design of the Kalashnikov rifle itself however was completely different from the Stg-44. If you are looking for design influences, then Kalashnikov himself said his design was most influenced by the Garand rifle. If you google for it you can find multiple articles from reputable sources showing the design similarities.

Garand by the way was heavily influenced by the French RSC self loading rifle of WWI. He had worked on a project for adapting the RSC for US production (which wasn't completed) so he was quite familiar with it.
You are missing out a bit of the history, yes the AK47 is nothing like the STG44 beyond it having a stamped receiver but the AK46 that preceded it is pretty much a STG44 with a rotating bolt. The AK46 was also rejected for further development and it was only through a fair amount of nepotism that Kalashnikov was allowed to enter a new design....a new design that was suspiciously similar to the Bulkin AB46, the rifle that made it to the final round of trials against the AK47.

Kalashnikov AK46 stripped:
ak46_2.jpg


Bulkin AB46 stripped:
AB46.jpg


Kalashnikov AK47 prototype:
AK47.jpg
 
You are missing out a bit of the history, yes the AK47 is nothing like the STG44 beyond it having a stamped receiver but the AK46 that preceded it is pretty much a STG44 with a rotating bolt. The AK46 was also rejected for further development and it was only through a fair amount of nepotism that Kalashnikov was allowed to enter a new design....a new design that was suspiciously similar to the Bulkin AB46, the rifle that made it to the final round of trials against the AK47.

Kalashnikov AK46 stripped:
View attachment 596084

Bulkin AB46 stripped:
View attachment 596086

Kalashnikov AK47 prototype:
View attachment 596090
I have seen both photos before and I'm aware of the connection between the Kalashnikov and the Bulkin.

Here is a post from me in 2014 in which I posted that exact same photo of the early trials AK-46.

Here is another post from me in 2018 in which I posted that photo of the AK-46 plus that exact same photo of the AB-46. I also explained the relationship between the two (as well as what was borrowed from the Sudaev AS-44, which was the design they were originally going with except Sudaev became ill and died).

So, yes, I'm quite aware of the history, as no doubt are a number of others who may recall the subject being discussed on this site before.

There were roughly a dozen rifles in total which were in the comparative trials. The trials went through multiple rounds and the entrants were told at each stage to make certain changes. At the end of the trials the authorities decided that overall they liked the Kalashnikov the best but they liked some features from the Bulkin. So, they told Kalashnikov to produce a rifle with the specified changes and to submit that for final approval. The final result was the AK that was adopted. The designs were the property of the state owned arsenals and design bureaus so there were no problems with patent rights.

The breech loading rifles which came out of the UK arsenal system were also generally a mash-up of features from different sources, which is why we know them by names such as "Martini-Metford" (the Peabody rifle from the US improved with a new firing mechanism by Martini in Switzerland and with Metford rifling added in the UK). So long as they paid the royalties to the patent holders there wasn't a problem with this.

As for the relationship of the AK with other rifles outside of Russia, as you said it had a totally different bolt system from the STG-44. The bolt and trigger group were heavily influenced by the Garand, which is something that Kalashnikov himself has said is the case. Garand himself was influenced by previous French designs.

Like most successful rifles, the Kalashnikov didn't spring out of thin air. It borrowed judiciously from previous successful designs, combined them, and polished the result.

The thing the AK-47 didn't copy though was the STG-44, beyond the general concept. It wasn't Kalashnikov who decided to borrow the concept however. That came down as a requirement from the military armaments planning staff who looked at the STG-44 and decided that it was the right concept for the submachine gun portion of the new weapons system (rifle, submachine gun, and LMG) all using the new intermediate cartridge, which in turn was motivated by the German cartridge (although the Soviets had, like everyone else, been thinking about it for years). The multiple entries in the trials were broadly similar because they were based on the same set of requirements and were all using the new cartridge which was part of the specifications.

The SKS was adopted as the standard infantry rifle, while the AK was the new SMG. In the UK a similar process led to the EM-2 as rifle and SMG, and the Taden as MG.

All major arms producing countries very actively acquired copies of weapons from other countries, put them through trials, compared them, and analysed the results in order to derive lessons they could apply to their own weapons.
 

TamH70

MIA
I have seen both photos before and I'm aware of the connection between the Kalashnikov and the Bulkin.

Here is a post from me in 2014 in which I posted that exact same photo of the early trials AK-46.

Here is another post from me in 2018 in which I posted that photo of the AK-46 plus that exact same photo of the AB-46. I also explained the relationship between the two (as well as what was borrowed from the Sudaev AS-44, which was the design they were originally going with except Sudaev became ill and died).

So, yes, I'm quite aware of the history, as no doubt are a number of others who may recall the subject being discussed on this site before.

There were roughly a dozen rifles in total which were in the comparative trials. The trials went through multiple rounds and the entrants were told at each stage to make certain changes. At the end of the trials the authorities decided that overall they liked the Kalashnikov the best but they liked some features from the Bulkin. So, they told Kalashnikov to produce a rifle with the specified changes and to submit that for final approval. The final result was the AK that was adopted. The designs were the property of the state owned arsenals and design bureaus so there were no problems with patent rights.

The breech loading rifles which came out of the UK arsenal system were also generally a mash-up of features from different sources, which is why we know them by names such as "Martini-Metford" (the Peabody rifle from the US improved with a new firing mechanism by Martini in Switzerland and with Metford rifling added in the UK). So long as they paid the royalties to the patent holders there wasn't a problem with this.

As for the relationship of the AK with other rifles outside of Russia, as you said it had a totally different bolt system from the STG-44. The bolt and trigger group were heavily influenced by the Garand, which is something that Kalashnikov himself has said is the case. Garand himself was influenced by previous French designs.

Like most successful rifles, the Kalashnikov didn't spring out of thin air. It borrowed judiciously from previous successful designs, combined them, and polished the result.

The thing the AK-47 didn't copy though was the STG-44, beyond the general concept. It wasn't Kalashnikov who decided to borrow the concept however. That came down as a requirement from the military armaments planning staff who looked at the STG-44 and decided that it was the right concept for the submachine gun portion of the new weapons system (rifle, submachine gun, and LMG) all using the new intermediate cartridge, which in turn was motivated by the German cartridge (although the Soviets had, like everyone else, been thinking about it for years). The multiple entries in the trials were broadly similar because they were based on the same set of requirements and were all using the new cartridge which was part of the specifications.

The SKS was adopted as the standard infantry rifle, while the AK was the new SMG. In the UK a similar process led to the EM-2 as rifle and SMG, and the Taden as MG.

All major arms producing countries very actively acquired copies of weapons from other countries, put them through trials, compared them, and analysed the results in order to derive lessons they could apply to their own weapons.

Yup, for about five minutes until Cousin Ivan worked out that it would be a better idea to equip his whole military with the AK, starting first with the front-line troops then working his way on from there, eventually relegating the SKS to ceremonial use. Apparently, it's more than a bit heavy and the magazine capacity was seen as abysmally low. Something the Chinese fixed on their versions, which can have a detachable thirty-rounder fitted.

BTW, and as a for instance, they never actually called the AK the "AK-47", just the AK, then when the modernised stamped version got worked on further, it became designated as the AKM and kept on trucking until they jumped on the smaller calibre cartridge bandwagon with the 5.45mm AK-74.
 
Yup, for about five minutes until Cousin Ivan worked out that it would be a better idea to equip his whole military with the AK, starting first with the front-line troops then working his way on from there, eventually relegating the SKS to ceremonial use. Apparently, it's more than a bit heavy and the magazine capacity was seen as abysmally low. Something the Chinese fixed on their versions, which can have a detachable thirty-rounder fitted.
With respect to the Chinese rifle, I think you are referring to the Type 63. It is actually a sort of hybrid between the SKS and AK.

BTW, and as a for instance, they never actually called the AK the "AK-47", just the AK, then when the modernised stamped version got worked on further, it became designated as the AKM and kept on trucking until they jumped on the smaller calibre cartridge bandwagon with the 5.45mm AK-74.
Both the names "AK" and AK-47" were used internally on original Soviet period documents.
By Any Other Name

ak%2Bmanual.jpg
 

TamH70

MIA
With respect to the Chinese rifle, I think you are referring to the Type 63. It is actually a sort of hybrid between the SKS and AK.


Both the names "AK" and AK-47" were used internally on original Soviet period documents.
By Any Other Name

ak%2Bmanual.jpg

Interesting. Not seen that one before, but as a guy in the comments section said, it wasn't the case when the gat came out.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Mr. Kalashnikov always denied being influenced by the STG 44. On his deathbed, however...

More likely the AS-44, and the Kalashnikov used a rotating bolt like previous Russian automatic rifles, the Stg44 used a tilting bolt, a technical dead end.

2C46A6F0-6DF9-40D0-9396-21C119F82ABD.jpeg
 
Nope.

Phased plasma rifle, in the forty-watt range.

Or I could introduce you to a personal friend of mine. This is an M41A pulse rifle. Ten millimeter with over-and-under thirty millimeter pump action grenade launcher.

We've got nukes, sharp sticks, harsh language...
 
Interesting. Not seen that one before, but as a guy in the comments section said, it wasn't the case when the gat came out.
I think the point is that both names were around from the beginning. As the first poster notes, there was a theory in Poland that the name "AK-47" originated in the US, because it wasn't typically known by that name in Poland until after 1989 when Western influence became more common.
Many years ago, in Polish language part of internet, exist a theory that "AK-47" designation was invented in... USA.

As the blog article itself shows however, both names were used in the same Soviet document in 1951, so both names appear to have originated in the Soviet Union in official documents.
The AK is subject to a number of ongoing raging discussions, one of which had to do with its name. Some claim that there was no such thing as an AK-47, with the name of the gun being simply AK, later replaced with the AKM. Sound logic, but it is not confirmed by documents, which use the name AK-47 extensively. For instance, the manual.
The context of the blog post itself is with regards to the debate of where the names originated and whether the name "AK-47" was ever an official designation or if it was something dreamed up by pundits, collectors, or popular culture.

It is pretty common for collectors of various items, including firearms, to invent names that had no historical basis but are convenient from the modern collector's point of view. As the post shows, that wasn't the case for "AK-47". That name has genuine historical provenance.
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
There were roughly a dozen rifles in total which were in the comparative trials. The trials went through multiple rounds and the entrants were told at each stage to make certain changes. At the end of the trials the authorities decided that overall they liked the Kalashnikov the best but they liked some features from the Bulkin. So, they told Kalashnikov to produce a rifle with the specified changes and to submit that for final approval. The final result was the AK that was adopted. The designs were the property of the state owned arsenals and design bureaus so there were no problems with patent rights.
Frankly that is the sanitised version of the story that Russians like to portray. The AK46 is radically different from the AK47 and it was rejected for further development in the Phase1 trials. It was only through Kalashnikov appealing to his mentor Vasilii F. Lyutyi who also happened to be running the trials process that he was allowed back in. In the time he had left his team did a complete redesign producing a gun that is mechanically the same as the gun that had succeeded to make it to Phase 2 trials the AB46. The AK47 cannot be called in any sense of the word a minor revision of the AK46,
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
Whilst I think the right gun won out in the end with the AK47 as proven by its very successful long term career in multiple variants I do think Kalashnikov has built up this aura about himself of being some kind of savant firearms genius which is totally unearned. He is a average at best inventor fresh out of a rail workshop in Kazakhstan operating amongst a pool of very talented engineers, the final AK47 development work was by all accounts more down to people who operated within his team than any stroke of genius by himself. He was by all accounts rather put out that his AK46 was rejected and Lyutyi transferred a talented firearms engineer from the acceptance trials team and council Major Vladimir Deikin to help work on the AK47 redesign which is telling.
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
I must admit I do wonder if there is the firearms equivalent of "Godwins law" in that 'Any discussion about the SA80 weapon system will always end up about the AK47"...
 
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TamH70

MIA
I must admit I do wonder if this the firearms equivalent of "Godwins law" in that 'Any discussion about the SA80 weapon system will always end up about the AK47"...
Mainly because of the old saw, "The Kalashnikov was designed by a genius to be used by idiots, and the SA80 was designed by an idiot to be used by geniuses."
 

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