Military Review

Light carbine S&W 1940: wanted the best

49

[center] Mk. I. Light carbine "Smith and Wesson" М1940
[/ Center]


Weapon and firms. It happens, and very often, that the desire to do "what is best" turns against the one who wished, and in the end it only turns out worse. This was the case, for example, with the Smith & Wesson lightweight carbine, developed in the United States at the very beginning of 1939. Their weapons turned out to be interesting, outwardly even beautiful, but they were never accepted into service. Why? And here we will tell about it.

Light carbine S&W 1940: wanted the best

The same: left and right views

And it so happened that the British government at the beginning of 1939 turned to the firm "Smith and Wesson" with a request to create for the British army something like a light carbine chambered for the 9 × 19 mm Parabellum pistol cartridge, suitable for mass use. The British did not stint and allocated one million dollars for the production of the carbine soon after receiving its prototypes, which were assembled on the basis of a patent application dated June 28, 1939. However, tests of the supplied samples showed that they had a serious problem. The fact is that in England these cartridges received a slightly different equipment than in the United States. As a result, when firing a British cartridge in the chamber, pressure was created for which American carbines were not designed. The result is a breakdown of the receiver after the first thousand shots. Naturally, the British government immediately demanded that the weapon be modernized so that it could withstand at least 5000 rounds.

The company naturally responded to this requirement and reinforced the receiver with an additional outer casing. Such carbines with a reinforced receiver were called Mk. II, and the original version was accordingly named Mk. I. Despite the amendment, the British government decided to terminate the contract for the production of these carbines, having received only 60 prototypes and 950 serial ones, of which 750 belonged to the Mk. I, and about 200 - to Mk. II. Five samples were kept for museums, including the Tower, and the rest were disposed of. Well, the S&W company almost went bankrupt due to a failure with this carbine.


Mk. I with belt. The right-side fuse, the bolt handle and the magazine located in the receiver are clearly visible

Despite the setback, Smith & Wesson continued production, and the carbine was tested by the US Army at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. However, the army rejected this design, primarily because it was designed to use a non-standard cartridge. There was a discussion about its possible modernization so that the carbine could conduct automatic fire. Words are one thing, but production is quite another, and it was stopped after 1227 carbines were made. One of the reasons for the stop was that the weapons were considered unsuitable for sale to civilians under the National Firearms Act. A total of 217 units remained at Smith & Wesson until its status was cleared by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 1975.

Firearms collectors subsequently acquired 137 Mk. I and 80 Mk. II. However, there seem to be documents that 4300 of these carbines arrived in ... Sweden and were hidden there in the warehouse of the Ministry of Defense. Apparently, the Swedish government purchased them in March 1941, along with 6,5 million 9mm rounds. For some unknown reason, these light carbines were never given to the troops, and they are still there in the boxes in which they were delivered. Along with them, the Swedish government also purchased 500 Thompson M1921 submachine guns (1928 model) and 2,3 million .45ACP rounds for them. Since .45ACP cartridges were never produced in Sweden, the weapons were quickly transferred to low priority units. Then, in the 50s, most of these submachine guns just disappeared and rumor has it that they were sold to Israel.


Mk. II with a belt, the safety lock is clearly visible

What exactly were these pistol carbines bad for? Yes to everyone, because the company, surprisingly, tried to make them "as good as possible." Everything seems to be simple there: a free breechblock, shooting is in progress, fire is fired from an open breechblock and for some reason only single shots. In Mk.1, the striker is movable, and comes forward from the shutter mirror only when it has taken the extreme forward position under the influence of a special lever. This was already a clear excess, and on the Mk.2 model, the drummer was made fixed in the bolt.


Patent for the Smith & Wesson carbine dated September 3, 1940


"Mechanics" of the carbine "Smith and Wesson" under the patent dated September 3, 1940


All sorts of small clever devices described in the patent, which in the end only only complicated the design of this weapon

The Mk.1 fuse was in the form of a lever, which was placed to the right and behind the trigger so that when it was moved to the forward position, it would block it. In the Mk.2, instead of a lever on the receiver, they installed an original cylindrical clutch, something like a "sleeve", on which there was a horizontal slot. The cocking handle, which was rigidly attached to the bolt, passed through it. By turning this clutch, which has an external notch, the slot was removed from the path of the handle, and the bolt was locked in the front or rear position.


And this is how the store had to be inserted into the receiver ...

But, perhaps, the most unusual solution in the design of this carbine was its receiver for the store and the way in which the spent cartridges were ejected. The receiver was installed under the barrel, as it should be, but made it twice as wide as the store itself. The fact is that it consisted of two compartments at once, front and rear, but only the front was actually the receiver. It was open in the front and just in the front, not at the bottom, and a 20-round box magazine was inserted into it. The magazine latch was placed in the lower part of the receiver, on both sides of which cutouts were prudently made to make it easier to remove it. But the back of the receiver was open from below and served as a channel through which spent cartridges were thrown!


Device layout

When firing, the shutter rolled back, carried the cartridge case by the magazine, and the ejector threw it down into a long channel located behind the magazine, from which it then fell to the ground. The solution was innovative and original. It is clear that in this way the sleeve could not hit the shooter or his neighbor in the eye, in the sleeve or behind the collar. But, on the other hand, such a technical solution both complicated the weapon and made it heavier, albeit not much, and most importantly, created great difficulties in eliminating delays in firing due to the fact that spent cartridges happened to simply clog this channel.

And this happened because many shooters used to push the magazine into the ground when firing. It is convenient, they are accustomed to this manner, it increased the stability of the weapon when firing. But in this case, it was impossible to shoot like that, since the spent cartridges accumulated in the magazine receiver, which again could lead to delays in firing.


Scheme MK. I. Numerous "grooves" on the barrel are clearly visible, facilitating it and at the same time serving to cool it. But the low-tech solution for wartime weapons was obvious

The design of the sights was also clearly overcomplicated. It had an adjustable rear sight that allowed a smooth setting of the firing range from 50 to 400 yards. Initially, the carbine had a wooden buttstock with a semi-pistol neck, but the British equipped some of their carbines with a metal pistol grip and a removable buttstock, developed at an arms factory in the city of Enfield.


Carrying behind the back

The manufacture of carbine parts was also difficult and expensive. All parts were milled and blued. In addition, the barrel was too original. Twelve longitudinal grooves were made on it. This solution provided the barrel with good cooling and increased strength, but made it extremely low-tech and expensive to manufacture.


This is how it should have been held while shooting.

That is, outwardly, the weapon turned out to be beautiful and elegant, but terribly low-tech, complex and expensive to manufacture, and not very convenient to use. The same “Thompson” was both cheaper and much more efficient ...
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  1. Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 27 September 2020 06: 26 New
    +9
    Something I doubt that he was more expensive than Thompson. Thompson sold for $ 225, which is about $ 5000 now. For comparison, the Ford T sold for $ 1925 in 520. And even wealthy Americans could not afford to buy such expensive Thompson assault rifles for the army and were forced to arm their soldiers with much cheaper M3s.
    1. Mister X
      Mister X 27 September 2020 10: 23 New
      11
      Quote: Kot_Kuzya
      Something I doubt that he was more expensive than Thompson.

      hi
      Model 1940 cost $ 1047 / unit.
      At one time, I studied the topic in detail, and published an article.
      Link below
      *
      https://topwar.ru/45710-karabin-m1940-raritet-ot-smith-wesson.html
      *
      1. Kot_Kuzya
        Kot_Kuzya 27 September 2020 10: 38 New
        +5
        Quote: Mister X
        Model 1940 cost $ 1047 / unit.

        Ahrenet! The US Army purchased the Sherman tank at a price of 45 to 50 thousand dollars, depending on the modification. For example, the purchase price of the main small arms of the American army
        by American standards, the M1 was considered a fairly technologically advanced and inexpensive weapon to manufacture: each copy cost the army $ 45, despite the fact that the purchase price of the M1 Garand rifle was $ 85, the Thompson submachine gun - $ 209 at the beginning of the war and up to $ 45 towards the end, the pistol Colt М1911 - about $ 12

        If we consider that then the dollar was backed by gold, and the gold content of the dollar then was 0,9 g of gold, then 1047 dollars is 940 g of gold, that is, we can say that this PP has a value comparable to the weight of gold!
        1. Mister X
          Mister X 27 September 2020 11: 12 New
          +7
          Quote: Kot_Kuzya
          Ahrenet! Tank "Sherman" the American army bought at a price of 45 to 50 thousand dollars

          Yeah...
          And armed with an M1 Garand carbine, which cost $ 45
          1. Kot_Kuzya
            Kot_Kuzya 27 September 2020 11: 31 New
            +6
            Unsurprisingly, the generals opted for the $ 1 M45, rather than this $ 1047 pistol cartridge wonder. And that the generals dropped the M3 with a purchase price of $ 20.
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 27 September 2020 15: 41 New
              +4
              Kotu greetings from Kota. hi
              ... the M3 was dropped with a purchase price of $ 20.

              And its modification M3A1 was even more technologically advanced and cheaper, after they removed the shutter cocking handle and began to cock it with just a finger.
              1. AllBiBek
                AllBiBek 27 September 2020 17: 17 New
                +5
                Nevertheless, "butter can" was produced in circulation in hundreds of thousands, and Tommy - in millions.
                The Britons generally have a strange logic in their firearms, they go from extreme to extreme: either a really gold carbine for the price of a Luger cartridge, or a "plumber's nightmare" in giant series.
                They are strange.
                1. Catfish
                  Catfish 27 September 2020 17: 34 New
                  +2
                  So Thompson began to be produced in the early twenties, and during the war it was unprofitable for many factories to change over to new production, so they drove the same Tommy.
                  1. AllBiBek
                    AllBiBek 27 September 2020 17: 43 New
                    +3
                    Uh ... Was it produced in many factories?
                    1. Catfish
                      Catfish 27 September 2020 18: 26 New
                      0
                      And as it happens in wartime - "everything for the front, everything for victory!" smile
          2. Catfish
            Catfish 27 September 2020 15: 34 New
            +3
            Good afternoon, Michael! hi
            Yes, for sure, the M1 beat Smith's miracle in all respects, and as for the "beauty" of the samples, few could compare with it in elegance, and certainly not this freak.
            It's enough just to look:
            1. Mister X
              Mister X 27 September 2020 15: 49 New
              +3
              Quote: Sea Cat
              Good afternoon, Michael!

              hi Hello, Konstantin!
              Quote: Sea Cat
              Yes, for sure, M1 beat Smith's miracle in all respects

              At exactly bully
              By the way, in my article about the S&W 1940 there is a description of modifications that the author of today's article did not indicate. wink
              1. Catfish
                Catfish 27 September 2020 15: 53 New
                +2
                And this is interesting, I'll see it now.
              2. Catfish
                Catfish 27 September 2020 16: 02 New
                +2
                I read it and decided to "borrow" a couple of photographs from you for a clearer idea of ​​this creation of Smith and Wesson.

                1. Mister X
                  Mister X 27 September 2020 16: 43 New
                  +4
                  Quote: Sea Cat
                  for a clearer picture of this creation by Smith and Wesson.

                  The barrel and bolt box alone were worth what.
                  In terms of labor costs
              3. hohol95
                hohol95 27 September 2020 16: 53 New
                +3
                What did the British want in general?
                A light self-loading carbine for a pistol cartridge or a submachine gun?
                1. AllBiBek
                  AllBiBek 27 September 2020 17: 19 New
                  +2
                  I suspect a good kickback for ordering such a miracle at such a price in America.
                  The Americans, however, remained true to themselves, and made another milled cuckoo clock.
                  1. Catfish
                    Catfish 27 September 2020 17: 32 New
                    0
                    Well, they had simpler things, the same M3. smile And yet they did not take this miracle into service.
                    1. AllBiBek
                      AllBiBek 27 September 2020 17: 33 New
                      +2
                      So, in what year did the butter dish appear, and in what year is it a miracle?
                      1. Catfish
                        Catfish 27 September 2020 17: 37 New
                        0
                        Anatoly, you yourself know very well when the M3 was put into service - 1942, at the height of the war. And this "miracle" remained unclaimed, in the United States it did not go into service.
                      2. AllBiBek
                        AllBiBek 27 September 2020 17: 47 New
                        +2
                        They had another miracle).
                        Raising is called.
                        And now it seems to be cheaper, and simpler, and a little less genes from cuckoo clocks (only the shutter cocking through the cutout at the bottom of the forearm), but here you go, Tommy has hardly pressed in at all.
                      3. Catfish
                        Catfish 27 September 2020 18: 29 New
                        +1
                        So he has a barrel with ribbing, which is also not very cheap.
                      4. hohol95
                        hohol95 27 September 2020 21: 48 New
                        +1
                        Miracle is miracle. But this PP was in production until 1945!
                        Although it was not suitable for the war, it was useful to the police for which, in essence, it was created.
                        Operation in the police and rear units is much softer than the conditions on the front line.
            2. Icelord
              Icelord 28 September 2020 05: 42 New
              +2
              It is not clear what they wanted, but after three years they themselves made De Lisle's silent carbine. Based on a bolt from Lee Anfield, a Colt pistol magazine and a Thompson barrel. And although they released them a mere minuscule, they proved themselves very well
              1. hohol95
                hohol95 28 September 2020 10: 10 New
                +1
                The De Lisle carbine is a highly specialized weapon. And it was not intended for large-scale operation in the army. And he appeared in 1943.
                In the USSR, they did not bother with highly specialized weapons and simply developed the PBS "Bramit".
                1. Icelord
                  Icelord 28 September 2020 10: 58 New
                  +1
                  The British also had a Sten with a silencer in huge quantities. And for the delicate work of De Lisle. And the Mitins' muffler for the revolver demanded to grind down the front sight, and for the three-line it also generally required special subsonic cartridges, which no one made
                  1. hohol95
                    hohol95 28 September 2020 11: 06 New
                    0
                    Where our gunsmiths were before the British.
                    They were given other tasks. And their opportunities were completely different.
                    Perhaps such a weapon would be useful to the soldiers of the Red Army and the NKVD, but the cartridge was only 7,62x25. And the British took the American .45ACP!
                    9x19 did not suit them. How would the Soviet patron behave in such a weapon, alas, it is not given.
                  2. Icelord
                    Icelord 28 September 2020 11: 13 New
                    0
                    It would be bad. Initial speed is high. Therefore, there was a brahmit for Nagan, but not for TT. And Britts under 9 × 19 riveted a lot of walls with silencers. But they had subsonic cartridges. A 45 ACP is ideal for silent shooting
                  3. hohol95
                    hohol95 28 September 2020 11: 25 New
                    +1
                    Anything can be. But for war, 7,62x25 went well.
                  4. Icelord
                    Icelord 28 September 2020 11: 40 New
                    +1
                    Well, Duc they are close relatives with 9x19))) so the power is the same, the shutters are the same, and the idle ones for them are generally the same. Have a nice day. Sincerely, Igor
                  5. hohol95
                    hohol95 28 September 2020 11: 49 New
                    +1
                    And good day to you too! Sincerely, Alex. hi
  • The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 27 September 2020 06: 30 New
    +1
    Indeed, a very overcomplicated design.
    But the article is very interesting. I have never heard of such solutions as the said store.
    Thank you, Vyacheslav Olegovich.
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 27 September 2020 06: 56 New
      +2
      Once again, I join the words Nazariy - an extravagant little thing, and even only with a single fire!
      I just want to add "woe from wit"!
      1. kalibr
        27 September 2020 07: 30 New
        +2
        Well, people decided that "it should be so." Many people think that since they are "so wonderful" they decided it will be so. And here are the figurines. Therefore, in the same PR in the first place is the RESEARCH of the problem, the exact clarification of WHAT IS NOT ENOUGH, polls of people, what they want and only then ... the product is created. Then, apparently, they did not understand this, they say, the specialist said - that's it!
      2. kalibr
        27 September 2020 07: 52 New
        -1
        Some patient, Vladislav, broke through to us ... With a friend!
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 27 September 2020 15: 46 New
          -1
          Hi, Vyacheslav! hi
          From this, only one conclusion can be drawn - the exacerbation is not only spring, but also manifests itself in the autumn. Moreover, it has an infectious nature for a certain contingent of experimental subjects. laughing
          1. kalibr
            27 September 2020 16: 13 New
            0
            Good afternoon, Constantine! I suspect that these are "fighters". There is a category of "citizens" for whom I am like a guest in the throat. And so they are fighting with me, and those who say "thank you" to me. Yesterday one such fighter was proving everything to me that it was I who suggested to the Poles a story with the soldiers, that I could think of such a moron, and in the end wrote that his comments were "counter-propaganda". Oh how! But at least this one wrote ... And there are, probably, those who cannot afford it, but "-" to put the very thing.
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 27 September 2020 16: 19 New
              +1
              Well, of course, we are all Russophobes, trilobites with an anti-Soviet bias. laughing I do not cease to be amazed at the wretchedness and paucity of this contingent with a clinical bias. wassat
            2. hohol95
              hohol95 27 September 2020 22: 00 New
              +2
              What did the British want in general?
              A light self-loading carbine for a pistol cartridge or a submachine gun?
      3. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins 27 September 2020 08: 11 New
        -1
        Who threw this cons for you? Not otherwise, "fans" got hold of?)))
        1. The leader of the Redskins
          The leader of the Redskins 27 September 2020 08: 29 New
          0
          However, for me, too, someone "ran" and half a thousand "licked")))
          1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
            Kote Pan Kokhanka 27 September 2020 18: 49 New
            0
            They love you and me, right up to hiccups in their livers !!!
            1. The leader of the Redskins
              The leader of the Redskins 27 September 2020 18: 59 New
              -1
              I then "my" couple - the three I know))) It seems, adults, but in the mind - either black or white, but always in their language!
              1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
                Kote Pan Kokhanka 27 September 2020 21: 55 New
                0
                I have a whole synonym of them, each creature has a pair, there are even those who are not mentioned in the sue, as the holders of this resource and small quarrelsome and vindictive people !!!
                A couple of times I was even betrayed, although there are much more good people, especially I value friendship with the Authors and members of the forum. Yes, and the Leader of the KV-2 tribe with you, we apparently found a common language and understanding.
                And so, from the sly, on the small and without arguments, here many suffer! Especially a number of sycophants !!!
                There is nothing to break through!
                1. hohol95
                  hohol95 27 September 2020 22: 03 New
                  0
                  So you can see the dish is small and not large.
                  Allows you to distract yourself and take a look at one or another. And think about whether to put a minus or not ... drinks
                  Will live...
                  1. Icelord
                    Icelord 28 September 2020 17: 47 New
                    +1
                    While you were thinking that someone had minus you well))) It's not me)))
                    No, well, write with what I disagree. In quiet, why?
  • garri-lin
    garri-lin 27 September 2020 20: 28 New
    +3
    Looking at the last photo, I can feel the hot sleeves pouring down my sleeve.
  • LastPS
    LastPS 28 September 2020 09: 54 New
    +1
    The gloomy British genius, even when ordering from the Americans, got some bullshit.
    1. Icelord
      Icelord 28 September 2020 11: 00 New
      +1
      Yes, no, they are normally penny and reliable as a hammer, Walls with a silencer riveted