Cool Guns/Rifles

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Winchester lever-action rifle

AKA "The Gun That Won the West", the Winchester [1] is the quintessential lever-action rifle seen in numerous westerns. In real life, the unique design was for its main utility as a horseback gun; the shorter barrel and the repeating lever made it easier for horseback soldiers to fire off of a speeding horse. While The Wild West is long gone, the Winchester rifle and its lever-action cousins are still used today for hunting.[2] In movies, the model in question will almost always be the Model 1892 carbine, due to the ubiquity of the "Five-in-One" blank cartridge. A Model 1866 (with a brass or "yellowboy" receiver) will often have the forestock removed and do double duty as a Civil War-era Henry rifle (the Winchester's immediate predecessor), as until recent reproductions came onto the scene, the "Yellowboy" Winchester was much more readily available.

Film

Live-Action TV

Video Games

  • Vincent can use three Winchester rifles in Final Fantasy VII. In addition to a standard Winchester Model 1894, he has access to a "Mare's Leg" version called the "Shortbarrel", and the "Sniper CR" which is simply the Shortbarrel with a sniper scope attached.
  • Smokin' Guns has 1866 Model as the cheapest rifle (it has lower rate of fire than Colt Lightning, but otherwise as good).

M1 Garand

Any World War II movie featuring Americans will feature this rifle. One of the first semi-automatic weapons fielded by a major army, it fired 8 rounds of .30-06 from its internal clip-fed magazine[3], and continues to be a sticking point among people trying to explain the difference between a clip and a magazine, as one of the few examples of a clip being physically inserted into a weapon. Legendary durability was a plus, too, though the gun had a nasty snap to it's action that lead to a common complaint known as "rifleman's thumb" or more simply "M1 thumb." Modern shooters and those who dealt with the scoped variant note the M1 is quite an inaccurate rifle.

Commonly said to have the "disadvantage" that the ejecting en-bloc clip made a distinctive ping when it hit the ground; in practice this was not nearly as large a problem as is often believed, since the ping was usually drowned out by gunfire, only occurred on hard surfaces, and the rifleman with a Garand reloaded more quickly and fired faster than any opponent with a Mauser-derivative could hope to. Not to mention the fact that war is not fought as a one-on-one duel, and it's generally unlikely for the entire squad to run out of ammo at the same time. In fact, some riflemen took advantage of this quirk, whereby they would intentionally make the pinging noise to tempt enemies out of cover. Some Italian versions (the Beretta BM 59) with detachable box magazines were produced after World War II, and for a time were the standard rifle of the Italian Army. With the advent of automatic rifles, the American military tried to convert the M1 into into the M14 battle rifle. Even by changing the ammo from .30-06 to .308 Winchester / 7.62x51 NATO, it turned out to be too much dakka. This was noted, sadly, after it was instituted as a standard rifle round. Italy had the same problem with their full-auto BM 59 models, meaning that in practice only semi-auto was actually used. The M1 itself stayed in service through Korea and was still in limited use in Vietnam, especially the M1D sniper variant with a fitted scope. Garands served with other military elements well into the 70s, and are still used by military drill teams even today.

Today the Civilian Marksmanship Program sells surplus Garands to qualifying civilians, available in both 30.06 and 7.62 NATO. Their age, "featureless" appearance, and low capacity makes it one of the few 50 State legal semi-autos, and easily one of the more popular for those living in them. According to John Garand himself in the September 1943 issue of American Rifleman, it is not pronounced "ga-rand", but rhymes with errand.

  • Cool Action: The Garand literally has a cool action; you're guaranteed to see close-ups of it cycling if the movie focuses on anyone firing it even slightly. Coolest and most exaggerated is the ejection of the empty en-bloc clip as the last round is fired, which in a movie will typically produce an almighty "SHIIIING!" noise almost as loud as the actual gunshots.
  • Cool Accessory: Like most main infantry rifles of its era, it could be used to launch rifle grenades with a blank cartridge. The ability to launch a variety of payloads made it quite popular, particularly the anti-tank grenades which were less clumbersome than a bazooka with most of the range and power while letting you keep a rifle and capable of indirect fire. Initially a cumbersome conversion to do under fire, by late war this was refined enough one could quickly switch between grenade fire and semi-auto fire.

Film

  • Any WW 2 movie featuring the Americans; the Garand is if anything a little too common, often displacing the Springfield M1903 rifle which was still issued in fairly high quantities.
  • During the Omaha Beach scene of Saving Private Ryan, special closeups are given of M1-equipped members of The Squad returning fire, complete with loud empty-clip ejections.

Reality TV

  • Whenever they need a gun with some serious power, the Mythbusters will often use a Garand, as it avoids California's many laws.

Video Games

  • Videogames often reproduce the peculiar "ping" noise when it runs out, but almost always make the mistake of attributing it to the weapon's mechanism, so the gun pings when it fires the last bullet rather than when the empty clip hits the ground... and as such it happens even when the player is standing on soft terrain.
  • In videogames, it's the weapon most likely to not follow the One Bullet Clips rule, and will usually be impossible to reload without shooting off the entire en-bloc clip first. Truth in Television, as it was notoriously hard to insert cartridges into the magazine while under any kind of pressure, and American soldiers were typically instructed to simply fire off any remaining rounds rather than try. While ejecting a partially-spent clip was possible using the clip latch, the Manual of Arms for the weapon stipulated that the soldier should instead fire until the current clip was empty and reload a fresh one.
  • Vietnam examples are a little rarer since the M16 tends to take the spotlight; a rare videogame example appears in the Vietcong games, with the player able to choose the M1D sniper version.
  • Every World War II-based Call of Duty game features this extensively. World at War includes the sniper-scope attachment in multiplayer. It also faithfully reproduces the complex reload-from-partially-empty-clip nature of the weapon (the other games don't let you manually reload it at all), making it take longer to reload from that state than to just fire off the last 2 or so rounds and then insert a fresh clip.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas it can be acquired as a unique weapon, named "This Machine". Unsurprisingly, it's a virtual Game Breaker, firing the .308 round, and having a good fire rate, clip size, and accuracy. The Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC (re)adds in the non-unique version known as the "Battle Rifle".
  • Available in the 1.13 mod for Jagged Alliance 2. The in-game gun website even lampshades the ridiculousness.
Cquote1.svg

If you have an M1 Garand for some reason, here's some ammo for it.

Cquote2.svg
  • One of the weapons available for player use in L.A. Noire.
  • Day of Defeat - used by Allies in Rifleman class (without bayonet, but with Butt Stroke as Secondary Fire). "Ping" is here, even the Ammo indicator pictogram shows open clips. Damage is less than for K98, but rate of fire is much better.
  • Featured in the universally standard Hard Life mod for 7.62 High Calibre. While it is inaccurate for a battle rifle, but will likely be found in better condition than comparable long-guns early in the game.

M1 Carbine

The almost-assault rifle, before assault rifles were cool.[4] - one of the first weapons for an intermediate cartridge that were mass produced and became popular. The M1 Carbine fires a bullet with the inventively named caliber of .30 Carbine, which was designed to cover the gap in effective range between .45 ACP SMGs and the .30-06 M1 Garand. Amusingly, initially it was intended as a longer sidearm, rather than as lighter and faster infantry weapon. Utilizing a short-stroke gas system devised by a no-shit convict, 15, and later (post-war) 30 round detachable box magazines (when the British Lee-Enfield had only 10, and the iconic Garand had a mere 8) and its own proprietary .30 caliber round, the weapon was a favorite of paratroopers, officers, and vehicle crews. The Nazis also loved captured M1 Carbines. A variant with a pistol grip and a folding stock (the M1A1) was actually developed for paratroopers so that they could have a longarm from the moment they hit the ground instead of having to assemble their weapons while people were trying to kill them. It saw extensive use in Korea (where it obtained a significant Hatedom due to its perceived lack of stopping power, mostly caused by people firing the M2 variant in full auto from outside its effective range, causing most bullets to sail far over the enemy; at close range, the .30 Carbine from the M1 has significantly more power than the .357 Magnum out of a standard revolver, which nobody has ever accused of being deficient in stopping power), and unambiguously its terrible reliability even in clean conditions. Despite this the high production numbers (6.5 million) and light weight (even loaded with a sling it fails to reach 6 pounds, which is particularly impressive given the lack of plastics) ensured it saw use through to the end of Vietnam, as well as use by nearly every western European military (the French Foreign Legion particularly adored it) and the nascent State of Israel (where it remains beloved by police units to this day). The M2 variant was full-auto, and the one issued in Korea, and the M3 version saw one of the world's first night sights (which was incredibly bulky).

Film

  • Almost every WWII movie, ever. Usually seen anachronistically with post-war bayonet lug and upgraded sights, as M1 Carbines that escaped the upgrades are comparatively rare.
  • Indiana Jones (and various mooks) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes.
  • Almost everyone in The Green Berets.
  • Infamously, was the weapon wielded by Patty Hearst, when she was brainwashed into aiding the Symbionese Liberation Army. Also, Ebony magazine once published a famous photo of Malcolm X covering a window with one, when his split with the Nation of Islam turned nasty.

Video Games

  • Unlocked for multiplayer in Call of Duty: World at War at level 65, or level 1 for players who pre-ordered the game. It has the highest damage and magazine capacity of its weapon type.
  • Day of Defeat - depending on the version, used by Allies (American with more than 2 team sets) Staff Sergeant/Paratrooper Staff Sergeant (as M1A1)/Rocket classes. Rate of fire is so high that it's almost as fast as SMG if you mash the button.

Simonov SKS Carbine

The SKS was designed and fielded in the last days of World War 2. Firing the intermediate 7.62x39mm round (which is known for being the same caliber used by the AK-47), it was soon replaced by AK pattern weapons and ultimately forgotten in the Soviet Union. It went on to have quite a long career in the People's Republic of China, the Democratic Peoples' Republic of North Korea, the Democratic (later Socialist) Republic of Vietnam and numerous other former Soviet client states, and it is still quite a popular gun around the world today. Visually, it is very similar to the SVT-40, although not quite as pretty, a good bit lighter, and 8 inches shorter. The SKS features a fixed magazine with a capacity of 10 rounds which can be filled either by clips, or one at a time. The SKS is slightly more powerful and accurate than the AK because it features a longer barrel and better sights. Most have bayonets that fold underneath the barrel, or at least originally did; some (especially from China) had the bayonet removed prior to import. When the Communist Bloc fell, all of a sudden, it was suddenly available for very cheap with crates of Soviet and Chinese ammunition (Soviet variants qualified for "Curio and Relic" status, as do Yugoslavian ones (most of which have an attachment for firing rifle grenades via blank ammo, which is mostly useless since grenades are illegal but which has spawned a popular golf ball launcher attachment), along with the ultra-rare East German[5], North Korean and Vietnamese versions, which bypassed some restrictions, and the fixed magazine meant that they were not at all affected under the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban of 1994), and a large number of people found that the ballistics matched up nicely with those of the .30-30 Winchester 1894 (the "poor man's deer rifle" of the previous century). Frequently susceptible to being "bubba'd" with optical sights (The rifles are accurate out to 400M, although putting scopes on them is rather pointless), "tactical" accessories (or "tacticool", as some disparagingly call them; these include jam-happy aftermarket detachable magazines) and camo paint. Now it's a favorite of both hunters, as well as mall ninjas on too low a budget for an AR-15. It is also a moderately popular choice of Home Defense weapon, being easy to use, easy to bring to bear, and firing a relatively more powerful round than handguns, shotgun pellets, and the AR-15. It has significant popularity in Canada as it is not a variant of a restricted firearm and lack of import restrictions render Chinese examples extremely cheap.

Film

Video Games

  • A very good long-range rifle in 7.62 High Calibre, including permanently attached bayonet.
  • Appears in Battlefield 3's multiplayer mode as a mid-range sniper rifle, equipped with just about every single one of the aforementioned "bubba" accessories.
  • Featured in 7.62 High Calibre. It is more prominent in the Hard Life mod thanks to its new license system: Permission to own normal capacity magazines in the government controlled areas requires extensive favor with the police and its clip feeding is far faster than juggling 10 round magazines. Compatibility with common Soviet scopes and high accuracy also contribute to its effectiveness.

Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield (SMLE)

Widely regarded as one of the best bolt-action rifles ever made, though this was not always the case. At the time of its introduction, it was considered to be far too inaccurate as well as unreliable for combat; there was also resistance to the idea of a magazine rifle from top brass, with fears of wasted ammo and the detachable magazine[6] being lost. Early rifles often had the magazine chained to the rifle's body and were fitted with a "magazine cutoff," a panel that closed over the magazine and turned the rifle into a single-shot breech-loader; soldiers were ordered to use the magazine only in emergencies, an order which was so universally ignored that the cutoff ended up being deleted altogether as a cost-saving measure.[7] It turned out however, that the SMLE was not as bad as was thought. In fact, it was just about one of the best rifles ever made; the problem in the Boer Wars was the ammunition, not the rifle. It was accurate, reliable, and most notably, fast: every British soldier was expected to be able to do the "Mad Minute," firing not less than fifteen aimed shots in sixty seconds; most were drilled until they could manage thirty (and thus also reload three times during that time)[8]. This had quite an effect on the enemy; at Mons during World War 1, German soldiers reported with horror to their superiors that every British soldier was armed with a machine gun. This was helped by the fact that the rifle could carry ten rounds of ammunition at at time, double that of the rival German Mauser. Lest the Enfield be thought of as a superweapon, the design was mechanically much less sound than the Mauser or Mosin-Nagant designs; repeated firing of .303 British caused the receiver to stretch out over time, necessitating longer and longer bolt heads to be installed over the life of the weapon; good thing they designed the bolt head to be detachable. This is why, while the Mauser 98 action is used for all sorts of super-magnum big-game hunting rifles, the Enfield action was rarely used for sporting rifles. The British Army as well as the associated Commonwealth states, would continue to make use of this rifle all throughout World War I and World War II, with Lee-Enfield sniper rifles lasting all the way into the 1990s. And in India, they're still in use as police weapons to this day. A little-known fact is that despite being the quintessential British rifle, the design of its basic action, James Paris Lee, was American. After decades of minimal interest in his designs from the US Navy and none at all from the Army, he sold his latest rifle, the Lee-Metford, to the British military. An improved barrel resulted in the Lee-Enfield long rifle, followed by a succession of improvements leading to the SMLE in 1904, less than two months before his death. Another odd side note in Lee-Enfield history was Turkey's use of the rifle. A fair number of them were captured from British, Australian and New Zealand troops during World War I at Gallipoli, both of the "Long Lee" and SMLE varieties. Turkey had far more Mausers than Enfields, so at first the Enfields were just stored as emergency reserve weapons. But in the 1930s, Turkey decided to rebuilt their existing rifles[9] to match their new Model 1938 Mauser in configuration, and that's when things started to get strange. The modifications for all their other rifles were fairly straightforward, but the Enfield is quite different from any Mauser, and the conversion resulted in something unique. The Turks called the resulting hybrid[10] the "English rifle", but today's collectors know it as the Enfauser. There are estimated to be less than 30 of them in the United States, with an uncertain number still in Turkey.[11]

Film

  • Anything set in World War 2 and featuring the British should feature this weapon, though sometimes they are shown using American weapons instead.
  • Features in Kokoda which is to be expected considering it's about the Australian forces on the Kokoda Track during WWII.
  • The Desmond Bagley novel Flyaway has a lengthy scene where an accountant who's never handled a weapon in his life works out how to fire an SMLE, whereupon he blows the Big Bad's head off.

Video Games

  • Another weapon featured prominently in the Call of Duty games. Like the Garand, it is one of the few weapons not to follow the same One Bullet Clips rule as the other rifles, due to carrying double the ammo.
  • Day of Defeat - British Rifleman (with bayonet, as Secondary Fire) and British Marksman (with scope, as Secondary Fire) use them.

Mosin-Nagant

The Russian analogue to Mauser-based designs, this 7.62mm bolt-action rifle was originally designed by Sergei Ivanovich Mosin, with details taken from a competing design by Léon Nagant. It was originally rolled out in 1891 and was designated at the time the "three-line rifle".[12] and is still in limited use today by militias and insurgents; it was replaced Russia as a general issue weapon by SKS and later AK pattern weapons and as a sniper weapon by the Dragunov. Known for crude construction, a "safety" that is non-intuitive and unknown by most owners of the weapon[13], and firing the rather powerful 7.62x54R round, this rifle was used by the Soviets in WWII, and by both sides in the Russian Civil War and the Russo-Finish Winter War (the previous two leading to the gag that the rifle has "fought itself and won every time;" the Finnish version used 7.62x53R ammunition, though the difference was mainly just in name). Said to be the weapon of legendary snipers like Vasily Zaitsev, Ivan Sidorenko and Simo Hayha, the latter credited with 505 confirmed kills with the Finnish M28 variant. In less than a year. With no scope (Häyhä didn't trust them to not fog up in the cold). A massive number of these rifles were made (estimated at over 17 million) and many were packed up by the Soviets to prepare for World War III. When that never came, the crates were bought up by Americans and the rifles is now very common on the surplus market for under a hundred dollars, though prices of the carbine versions have spiked to around $250. One particularly unusual, ultra-rare and totally unofficial variant was the "Obrez" pistol, a Mosin-Nagant with the stock and most of the barrel sawed off to form a highly concealable but dubiously practical weapon, which are known to have been used to some extent during the Russian Revolution.[14]

Film

  • Most movies and videogames that feature the Soviet Union during World War 2 will feature the Mosin-Nagant. Often also a first choice weapon for Cold Sniper characters, sometimes to emphasize their distrust of modern technology. Which is mostly not true, given that Red Army had a lot of SMG before German invasion, and by the end of war was saturated with them, sometimes too much.
  • Has a big role in Enemy at the Gates. Naturally, since the movie is about Vasily Zaitsev.

Literature

  • In the underground you can meet only rats (memoirs of Pyotr Grigorenko) described a scene late in the war (in Hungary) when an Old Soldier the author assigned as his bodyguard repeatedly refused to take a submachinegun because it's useless at mere 200 meters, and on the open before the enemy is close enough for SMG, he can pick off "them all" - and then backed it up with marksmanship. He stopped a counterattack on his own, by shooting enemy soldiers without haste, "one shot - one hit", deliberately going for light injuries only. With complete impunity, because they all carried SMG, too. Starting the second magazine, he commented on what sustained rifle fire without misses does to the troop morale. On the third magazine, everyone in his sector was squeezing into the ground.

Video Games

  • Famously unbalanced as a sniper weapon in the original Call of Duty due to being the only scoped rifle to reload with a stripper clip (in real life the scope placement prevented this). Even the basic rifle had the best iron sight in the game.
  • The sniper rifle used by The End in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a modified Nagant with a pistol grip and folding stock, modified to fire tranquilizer rounds.
  • One of the first rifles available in 7.62 High Calibre. It's very powerful and accurate, even compared to later rifles, but features a very long refire time (1.8 seconds in a game where less than 1 second is the standard) and an equally long reload time, to reflect the bolt-action nature of the gun. Also available in the Mosin-Nagant 1944 Carbine, with permanently attached bayonet, and the unbelievably common Sawed-Off Mosin-Nagant 1944, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin (and also less powerful and less accurate, while being just as slow-firing and slow-reloading).
  • In the Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 games, extremely common weapon for the Soviet forces . Standard riflemen also have the option of the shorter M38 or M44 carbines, while snipers can use a scoped version.
  • Loads of variants, including the Obrez, appear in 7.62 High Calibre

Mauser Bolt-Action Rifle Series

A series of bolt action military rifles (the two most triumphant examples being the Gewehr 98 and the Karabiner 98k, the infantry weapons of Germany during the World Wars) beginning issue in 1871 and still in limited use today[15], the Mauser rifles have at one time or another been the standard infantry weapons of Germany, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, Israel and many more. Mauser copies were also the standard infantry weapon of Nationalist China and even the United States (as the M1903 Springfield; the US actually paid royalties to Mauser until the Treaty of Versailles) and Britain (their brief flirtation with replacing the Lee-Enfield came in the form of the Mauser-derived Pattern 14 during World War I; the US also used this rifle, adapted to .30-06 as the M1917, alongside the M1903 during WW 1[16]), and the Japanese Arisaka also drew heavily from the Mauser (though the bolt was internally rather different, the magazine and stripper clip system were a direct copy). Czechoslovakia and Belgium also made numerous Mauser 98 clones for export between the World Wars, when Germany was prohibited from making military weapons, and to a limited extent resumed this practice after World War II. The Mauser design, although not as fast to operate as the Lee Enfield due to its cock-on-opening action, featured a third locking lug and was one of the strongest bolt-action designs of the time, and counts almost every current-production bolt-action rifle as a descendant. Very common on the military surplus market, and sporterized versions are a common European hunting weapon. And not uncommon as an American hunting weapon as well. The Mauser action is also commonly used in factory-built civilian hunting rifles.

  • Cool scope: The standard German scope reticle is most often associated with sniper versions of the Kar 98, and after the Dragunov's PSO-1 is probably the most recognizable rifle scope reticule in media. It consists of a horizontal bar with a break in the middle and a vertical one which goes from the bottom of the scope to the middle, with a triangular top. You'll often see a Cold Sniper staring down one of these in a World War 2 movie or a Mafia hit.

Film

  • The Gewehr 98 and Karabiner 98k are iconic mook weapons for movies set during World War I or II. Somewhat less commonly, Gewehr 98's are seen as an IRA weapon in movies depicting the Irish Civil War (Truth in Television).

Video Games

  • The World War II iterations of the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty video game series feature the 98k quite heavily.
  • In Public Enemies, Christian Bale carries a Model 98 Sporter.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade features the Spanish Mauser, as well as the Czech vz. 24 model. The latter was commonly used by the real-life Nazis after they conquered Czechoslovakia; since it was the same length as the K98k and many of the parts interchanged, for once their affinity for captured weapons didn't introduce another logistical nightmare.
  • The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperor features the Chinese Type Zhongzheng licensed copy.
  • Day of Defeat - Karabiner 98 is carried by German Grenadier (with bayonet, as Secondary Fire) and Scharfschütze (with scope, as Secondary Fire) classes.
  • Appears in 7.62 High Calibre mod Hard Life. Its proprietary ammo and several other problems render it questionable even early game.

Mannlicher-Schönauer Full Stock Carbine

Although based on a military rifle designed for export and adopted by the Greek Army by 1906 (why the chronically underfunded Greek Army adopted a rifle that every other army regarded as too expensive is unclear), this superb hunting bolt-action rifle-carbine had been built directly for the civilian market beginning in 1903. It had a complex action with rotary magazine and split receiver and fired proprietary Mannlicher ammo, either 6.5x54mm (M1903), 8x56mm (M1908), 9x56mm (M1905) or 9x57mm (M1910), though non-proprietary chamberings like 7x57mm Mauser and .30-06 were eventually offered. It acquired a brilliant reputation as a hunting rifle either in the Alps, British Isles or Africa, fired by such figures as Ernest Hemingway and WDM "Karamojo" Bell and proving it could take even the largest African Elephant with a well-placed shot. The action was the smoothest bolt-action in recorded history and the features that made the gun instantly recognizable also betrayed it as an "aristocratic" weapon: short length, full stock, very straight bolt operation, flat bolt handle and precise triggers told the gun has been aimed to be carried in a saddle sheath and used in hunting on horseback, like upper class hunters did. It stood in production until 1972.

Film


  1. specifically, the 1866 and 1873 models, although the later Model 1892 (another John Browning design) is the one most frequently seen in movies, due to it having been in production during the Golden Age of Hollywood
  2. The Winchester Model 1894 is the American deer rifle, and remained in production though 2006, then was brought back into limited-edition production in 2011. The competing Marlin Model 1894 and Model 336 remain in full production to this day.
  3. The original design had a 10-round clip, weighed a pound less, and fired a 7mm cartridge called .276 Pedersen. But Douglas MacArthur, at the time the Army Chief of Staff, decided that replacing the literally billions of .30-06 rounds already in the inventory would be too expensive (given that it was the middle of The Great Depression, he had a point) and ordered that the Garand be redesigned to fire the existing ammo.
  4. Not a true assault rifle until M2 and M3 variants, since the basic model has no full-auto capability.
  5. Most of which are reputed to currently be in a warehouse in Croatia, of all places.
  6. Detachable only for cleaning; the rifle was not designed to be loaded by swapped magazines
  7. Magazine cutoffs were a fad in turn-of-the-century rifle design. Experience in actual warfare proved the idea to be pointless at best, but it took a while for the generals to realize it.
  8. Unlike most other bolt-action rifles of that period, the SMLE cocks the striker on the closing motion as opposed to the opening motion, which uses the stronger muscles of the hand and arm
  9. A variety of Mauser types, Gewehr 1888 Commission Rifles and Enfields
  10. Mauser-style internal magazine and barrel, but Enfield buttstock and modified Enfield bolt; basically a Mauser in the front and an Enfield in the back
  11. Adding to the mystery is that nobody really knows how many Enfields were captured in the first place. But they're not as expensive as you might expect given the rarity, if you can find one. The reason being that the Enfauser is also an obscure weapon.
  12. The liniya (line), a measurement in common use in Russia at the time, is exactly 1/10 of an inch - i.e. the Mosin-Nagant is a .30 caliber rifle.
  13. Among Mosin-Nagant owners the standard response to people asking about the safety is to adopt your worst Russian accent and say "Safety? Is not safe! Is gun!"
  14. Here's an NFA-registered copy of the Obrez: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNFsUvh078I
  15. The early black powder Gewehr 71 and 71/84 rifles fired the 11x60mm Mauser round. Once smokeless powder came onto the scene, Mauser military rifles were primarily made in 7.92x57mm (aka 8mm Mauser), 7x57mm (aka 7mm Mauser) and 7.65x53mm (aka 7.65mm Mauser or 7.65mm Argentine). 8mm Mauser was used by Germany and most other European and Asian users of Mauser rifles. 7mm Mauser was used by Spain, Yugoslavia, Mexico and most South and Central American nations, and was also (and remains to this day) highly popular for use in hunting rifles, especially in Europe. 7.65mm Argentine was used by Belgium, Argentina and Turkey, along with more limited use by several other South American countries. Sweden went their own way, and used the 6.5x55mm (aka 6.5mm Swedish Mauser) round, which no other nation's Mausers were chambered in (but Norway's Krags were). Spain, Yugoslavia and Turkey all switched to 8mm Mauser, with the latter two converting their 7mm and 7.65mm rifles to fire that round. After World War II, many non-Communist nations converted their Mausers to .30-06 or later 7.62 NATO in order to take advantage of the large amounts of American ammunition being provided as military aid.
  16. The M1917 was actually the most common US rifle in World War I, as the government arsenals weren't producing enough M1903s, but after the war the M1917 was relegated to a reserve weapon.