Sunday, April 9, 2017

Standard Arms Semi-Auto Rifle

In April of 1906, Morris Smith was granted a patent for his gas-operated semi-automatic rifle design. Capital backing was acquired and shortly afterwards the and Standard Arms Company was incorporated. Standard Arms started production of their Model G in Wilmington, Delaware, plant in September 1909.
The rifles were offered in the then-new Remington family of rimless cartridges in .25, .30, .32 and .35 calibers. 

It had the interesting option of allowing the shooter to disable the gas system. 

A port near the end of the barrel channels propellant gas through a valve into a long cylinder, which was often mistaken by those not familiar with the rifle as a magazine tube. A piston inside the cylinder is connected to dual action bars which in turn are connected to the breech bolt. Turning the valve to its “off” position prevents gas from entering the cylinder, allowing the rifle to be manually operated as a slide action.

The fragile mechanical arrangement was prone to breakage and thus not reliable. This plus being in competition with the Remington Model 8 and the Winchester 1905/1907 Self-Loader, both of which sold well, proved to be the downfall of the rifle. The Standard was pretty much a flop.
Standard attempted to gain market share with other models and options but the company folded in 1912. The company was restarted in 1913 as Standard Arms Mfg. Co., and closed in April, 1914.
Nearly 5,000 various model rifles were manufactured at the actual factory. At the time the plant closed, approx. 2,200 rifles were in various stages of production, and a supply of parts remained. These were primarily purchased by Numrich Arms, made into complete rifles, and sold.

Standard submitted a variation of their model G to the U.S. Military Board for trials at Springfield Armory on April 8 and June 16, 1910. The rifle used a special .30/.40 short cartridge made by Frankford Arsenal. The board declined the rifle as not sturdy enough for military use, being too complicated and for needing a non-standard cartridge.

The pictured rifle is said to be one of the military trial rifles, or a prototype of the same, that has been restocked as a sporter at some point in time. (the Military Model had a full length stock and handguard). You will note the rifle has the military charging handle arrangement, otherwise the receiver and general configuration are that of a Standard Arms Co. sporting rifles.

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