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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Friday, October 9, 2015

S is for Soldier Magazine November 1951 - Belgian Spanner in the Works?

A month after the previous article (post above, if scrolling/'newer post' if browsing), this appears on page 23, almost hidden, getting only half a page and the constant 'the new rifle' phraseology of the last article becomes 'the British rifle' throughout this piece...notation is kept to a minimum, as it's all pertinent to part three...

October 1951, Soldier, The British Army Magazine
AND NOW A BELGIAN 7mm

After the British (•280 inch) rifle, described in last month's SOLDIER, come a new Belgian weapon of the same calibre.
It is more conservative than the new British weapon, it has a wooden butt, is longer and slightly heavier (eight pounds nine and a half ounces compared with eight pounds) and can be used for standard ceremonial drill. There is a folding handle on the barrel, so the weapon can be carried at the trail.

The new Belgian rifle is like the British in having a 20-round magazine which can also fit a Bren gun and in firing both bursts and single shot.

Instead of the British 7mm's optical sights, the Belgian rifle retains a conventional type, but there is a telescopic attachment for snipers. The Belgian rifle also has a bipod which can be fixed to the barrel when the weapon is used as a light automatic.

Unlike the British 7mm the Belgian 7mm has its cocking handle on the left which and the manufacturers claim this leaves the right hand on the pistol grip ready for firing. The change-lever, for selecting single shots, automatic and "safe" is also on the left.

At a demonstration near Antwerp, the Belgian rifle was fired at the rate of 76 rounds a minute, compared with the 84 rounds fired at a demonstration of the British rifle. At 1000 meters (just under 1100 yards) its bullets penetrated British-pattern steel helmets and a plank of 1.7-inch wood (which was about the same resistance as a human body at that range). It also fired perfectly after undergoing a "sandstorm" in a box.

Naturally, there are competing claims. The Belgians say their 7mm is as efficient as the British but simple in design, making it cheaper and less likely to go wrong. British experts say the British 7mm is a revolutionary weapon and more than a rifle; with its short barrel it can be used as a machine-carbine, taking the place of the Sten gun.


Thanks again to Andy Clarkson at Soldier Magazine

In part three (post below, if scrolling/'older post' if browsing), we move forward 16 months... 

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