Friday, December 16, 2016

Winchester Model 70 Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle- 1936
A later pre-1964 design.

Following up the 54 was the Type 70, a bolt-action, center-fire rifle. With it's production running until 2006, it's actually been picked up again and is still going in some areas of Belgium.

It was created by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, based off of the civilian Model 54.

It's conventional wooden stock and pistol grip greatly appealed to the public as a sporting rifle. Quite a bit about it was normal for rifles of it's time, with the trigger under-slung and the vital metal pieces inside the wooden body. It had adjustable rear iron sights, but could even have a telescopic sight. It also offered multiple barrel lengths to the customer, with lengths of 22, 24, and 26 inches. The barrel length could change the weight of the weapon, so it weighed somewhere in between 6 and 8 pounds.

It's two-lug design, with a claw that held the bullet before it was fired, it typically held five cartridges.

It became popular with both the military and Law enforcement as a sniper, with some 373 rifles being taken into stock.  It saw use against the Japanese during World War II, and also was used to train people for more powerful weapons.

Ithaca Model 37- 1937
Note the shorter barrel and bayonet.

After many failed attempts at success, Ithaca's designer Harry Howland modified the Remington's firing pin and ejection mechanism in 1931. This paved the path for the Model 37 to be released in 1937.

Borrowing from the work of Browning and Pedersen, the weapon could have a full shoulder stock or have that swapped out with a tactical pistol grip. The military typically used the pistol grip for it's maneuverability. With an exposed barrel ahead of the receiver, It had a tubular magazine under the pump action slide. It had a port under the receiver that the user could load into. It also doubled as the ejection port. It was simpler than other guns, with varying barrel lengths and caliber forms. It could be 12-, 16-, 20-, and 28-gauge. It sported a length of 39.37 inches, with 29.92 of that being the barrel, and had a weight of 7.28 pounds.

When it was introduced as a civilian model, it was called the "Featherlight", though it still weighed quite a bit. The "Ultrafeatherlight" actually had a lighter form with an aluminum receiver that cut the weight almost in half. Many forms of it were used for hunting, with various modifications and nicknames like "Deerslayer" and "Turkeyslayer."

The "Stakeout" edition was the military and police version, incorporating the pistol grip, and appeared many times in various movies and television shows.

M1 Thompson- 1938

An American soldier holding a Thompson.
Named for General John T. Thompson, the design director of the Auto-Ordnance Corporation that designed the weapon, it's production actually started around 1916. Thompson himself envisioned a machine gun that could be held in one's hands. A "trench-sweeping" system that could be operated by a single soldier. However, he met challenges when it came to simplifying the design and creating a weapon that was reliable, yet small enough to fit in the average infantryman's hands.
The M1921 was the first Thompson model to be produced, but didn't catch on very well with civilian or government markets due to it's high price. It actually found popularity among gangsters during the prohibition area however, and the police forces whose jobs were to handle them took to the weapon as well.

It saw use in 1938 as the M1, a simplified version of the M1921. Germans already had their own sub-machine guns, and the United Kingdom began it's own use of the Thompson.

The Thompson also appeared in the Korean War and Vietnamese War. It bore a boxy appearance, with the rear sight dominated the read of the weapon. The barrel was fitted with a forward sight at the end. The ejection port was to the right side on top of the weapon. With a length of 32.01 inches, 10.51 of that being the barrel, it weighed a pretty hefty 10.58 pounds. It fired .45 ACP rounds and fired with a "Blow-Back" system. It could use a 20- or 30- round box, or simply a 50-round drum. It could fire 700 rounds-per-minute up to 656 feet (219 yards).

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