Sunday, May 7, 2017

This rifle was one of the early competitors of the 1922 era test/prototype rifles that were considered as semi-automatic service rifle of the U.S. Government. These test trials were held by the U.S. Army starting in 1921 that ended in 1922/23.

It is the Model 1923 Auto-Rifle as designed by the Auto-Ordnance Company and manufactured by Colt Firearms Company. The Colt Firearms Company and the Auto-Ordnance Company had a working relationship in the development and manufacturing of the 1921 Thompson Submachine Guns. So this rifle was an outgrowth of that partnership.

It appears to actually be a bolt action design with a very long action and corresponding bolt body with a short bolt handle on the right side. When you lift the bolt handle it follows a large slot in the top of the receiver that cams the rear of the bolt to unlock the two rows of six opposing locking lugs found on the rear of the bolt body. It has a heavy tension coil spring concealed inside the bolt body which drives the bolt forward into the locked position. It looks like a combination of several period rifles; the front half is patterned after the 1903 Springfield with a pistol grip stock. It has a long one-piece trigger guard/floor plate similar to the 1917 pattern rifle with a unique two-piece receiver/action, joined in the center of the receiver.
It holds 5-6 rounds of 30-06 ammunition in a conventional box magazine, again similar to the 1903/1917 rifles.


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