Headspace-Operated Prototype Rifle – Yeah, it’s as Weird as it Sounds – Forgotten Weapons
Firearm invention in the early 20th Century was weirder and wilder than today. Today we benefit from a great deal of hindsight and the advances in machining technology and computer prototyping. One need only look at Brandon Herrera’s AK-50 project to see that they are able to skip a lot of development work simply on the basis that they have numbers to work with and computers to work with them.
When the Army Ordnance Corps and similar interested parties started looking at auto-loading rifles they started with the M1903, naturally. That trend would continue throughout the century.
We can see the obvious influences of the 1903 on the Garand at the behest of the Army, namely that it was 30-06 and in a familiar size and shape to the M1903. Then from the Garand to the M14 we continue to see the lasting legacy that stretches back to the US copy of the Mauser.
The M16 was the radical departure (that everyone else had already taken with the AK, FAL, and G3/CETME) in small arms but the developmental inertia always ties back to what is known and familiar.
That isn’t a negative trait, far from it. But it is something that must be considered with a critical eye as to whether keeping a habit is worth foregoing other benefits. As we enter 2021 the AR-15 remains the undisputed people’s champion and any rifle that could be called “better” in both objective and subjective senses borrows AR-15 elements ergonomically.
SIG’s NGSW, and the various service rifles in 5.56 and 7.62 of today as well, are perfect examples of just how influential the AR has been. It defined the latter half of the 20th Century designs in the way the Mauser and the 1903 defined the former half. Iconic milestones in development.
But they certainly spawned highly interesting one-offs as Ian goes through in the video. Weird. Cool, but weird.
Also Ian is nearing 2 Million Subscribers, let’s see if we can get him over the line. 2 Million for 2021!