Military Review

Blum Training Machine Gun

The desire to save on the training of soldiers usually always goes sideways, especially when soldiers have to participate in real combat, rather than receiving a specialty in a year to go headlong into civilian life. However, sometimes there were also quite rational decisions that really allowed to save quite a lot of money on training, without prejudice to the final level of training of the fighter. The most striking example of this is the use of small-caliber pistols of similar design with full-fledged samples. Replacing full-fledged ammunition with small-caliber .22 cartridges led to a significant reduction in the cost of firing, and although such pistols did not allow to fully train the handling of normal weapons, they helped to get the initial shooting skills, which could only be fixed with that gun and cartridge, which were in service. This method of training was used not so much in the army as for training law enforcement officers, since for them a gun or a revolver has always been and will be the main weapon. In the army, however, short-barreled samples never had the status of a primary means of dealing with the enemy and were rather an auxiliary weapon, and now they have begun to lose their relevance, receiving the status of a weapon of last chance.

The topic of the relevance of short-barreled weapons in the modern army is certainly interesting, but this time we will not talk about it, but how the idea of ​​replacing a full-fledged ammunition with a small-caliber cartridge for training soldiers was developed (perverted). Consider this question on the example of a rather interesting, but, in my opinion, useless Blum machine gun. I just want to make a reservation that I have nothing against the designer himself and his own ideas. In this case, the gunsmith just had to perform the task set before him, not quite a smart task, with which he quite successfully coped, as it seems to me.

The fact that the machine gun is a very effective weapon was understood a very long time ago, the only overrun of ammunition was considered the only drawback of the machine gun, which made it difficult to advance this class of weapon. But in the end, common sense won out and the machine gun became for some time the main weapon of any army. Weapons due to which victory was achieved. Nevertheless, the toad did not cease to choke individuals, and it was apparently stifling strongly. In addition to a sufficiently large expenditure of ammunition in battle, it was also necessary to somehow train machine-gun crew, and it was clearly not possible to do this in words or directing a weapon with the words "tra-ta-ta". It was then that the idea of ​​using small-caliber cartridge for training machine gun calculations came. Anyone who has tried at least once to determine empirically the maximum distance for using a small-caliber rifle, understands how crazy this idea was. It's one thing to use the .22LR cartridge for learning to fire a pistol or a revolver, and it is quite another thing to use this ammunition to train machine guns.

Despite common sense, the designer was tasked with creating such a weapon. In principle, there was nothing difficult in the task, and at the moment anyone would have coped with it, but then it was only the end of the twenties of the last century and the designer had to use a fair amount of effort to ensure that the weapon corresponded at least with the rate of fire of full-fledged machine guns, Particularly machine gun DP, adopted recently in service. On the other hand, these efforts consisted only in the correct calculations, since the dimensions of the weapon made it possible to use a very long stroke of the shutter, which made it possible to vary the rate of fire within fairly wide limits.

Given the fact that .22LR munitions are very, very weak, it is not difficult to guess that the designer used an automatic shutter circuit. In order not to bother with the trigger mechanism, it was decided to sacrifice the accuracy of the first shot, so the shot comes from the so-called open shutter. In other words, the designer made the simplest submachine gun under the small-caliber cartridge .22LR in the form of a full-sized light machine gun. The length of the weapon was 645 millimeters, with a total length of 946 millimeters. The weapon had a kilogram weight of 3,3, to which was added the weight of a disk magazine with a capacity of 39 kilogram 1,1 cartridges. The rate of fire was 600 shots per minute, the trigger mechanism allowed only automatic fire. The weapon had folding bipods and sights similar to those on the DT machine gun, but calculated for the characteristics of the .22LR munition. In total, 3698 units of these weapons were produced, and they were quite actively used for training machine-gun crews.

Blum Training Machine GunWell, in the end we will try to figure out what exactly can teach such a sample of weapons and how much benefit from it. Given the fact that the design of the weapon is completely different from the design of a full-fledged machine gun, such a model can not give a normal training on maintenance and eliminate delays when shooting, and this is no less important than the ability to accurately hit the enemy. Due to the completely different characteristics of the ammunition, with such a machine gun a person will not know the real capabilities of his weapon, he will not fully be able to use aiming devices even at medium distances using weapons, not to mention long-range weapons. Of course, this can be quickly learned in the process, when you squeeze and learn to breathe under water, there is no dispute, but the time for which someone could die from his comrades is back, and perhaps the machine gunner himself, without understanding how to shoot at greater distances than those for which he was taught to shoot. Separately, a very interesting moment is noted, which says that thanks to the Blum machine gun, it is possible not only to reduce the cost of ammunition, but also to reduce the landfill area. Brilliant thought. Perhaps the only thing that a given machine gun can teach is to take breaks in shooting, and even then, for those who cannot do this and for whom the only signal that a shot is enough is a kick to a known place, this sample weapon is not suitable, since I strongly I doubt that something negative can happen with a machine gun even if you land a long line at all 39 cartridges. I am already silent about the actual lack of recoil when shooting and stuff.

Thus, it is not at all difficult to conclude that from such weapons there is more harm than good. If we take into account the fact that such a machine gun will be used purely to obtain the initial skills of shooting from such a weapon, then as a result, a person will have to relearn when a full-fledged sample falls into his hands. Such a machine gun would be useful somewhere in school, for firing on pre-draft training lessons or something like that, if it still exists, but in the military environment, it seems to me, such a weapon does not belong.
Photos used:
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. avt
    avt 17 May 2013 09: 17
    I didn’t know what it was. Author + for educational program. The same case when simplicity is worse than theft. They wanted it simpler and cheaper, but as a result, a machine gun with a machine gunner.
    1. Hudo
      Hudo 19 May 2013 20: 35
      Quote: avt
      I didn’t know what it was. Author + for educational program. The same case when simplicity is worse than theft. They wanted it simpler and cheaper, but as a result, a machine gun with a machine gunner.

      Would it be difficult for you to express your words to the artillery officers at the VAP (rifle artillery range), as well as to the tank officers practicing a 14,5mm extension barrel simulating a shot of a tank gun. Also, as a motorized infantry officer, with considerable pleasure, I would listen to your lecture on the dangers of using the PUS-7 in the training of RPG-7 grenade launchers.
      From SW. hi
      1. Lopatov
        Lopatov 19 May 2013 21: 07
        I would not call UAP a particularly good preparation tool. The same shooting "on record"
        1. Hudo
          Hudo 19 May 2013 22: 11
          As for VAP, you are a pushkar, you know better. But, still not to no avail. And about the vocational training and the supplementary - there is a sense, especially when learning the basics.
      2. dustycat
        dustycat 23 June 2013 17: 30
        And you imagine if they imitated a shot from a cannon firing through a barrel from a 9x19 cartridge.
        14,5 at least imitates the trajectory of a real projectile.
        And here...
        The machine gun has a completely different meaning and the aiming method is obtained.
        You can learn to shoot from TOZ-8, but you can become a combat sniper only when firing weapons with the same characteristics.
  2. report4
    report4 17 May 2013 10: 34
    To the campaign, the author is far from the concept of training weapons.
    To a man who had never seen a gunshot in his hands only such toys and to give them some kind of shooting technique, and even if the ballistic of the bullet is a multiple of the ballistics of normal ammunition, then training in shooting from it is very useful. I recall AK with a magnitude of ballistics / 10 and tracer bullets mounted on anti-aircraft guns, for training these same anti-aircraft gunners.
    Again, inculcate initial skills in servicing weapons.
    1. scrabler
      17 May 2013 11: 23
      Let's think logically. The design of the apparatus differs from the design of the original machine gun, that is, using this model you cannot learn to maintain a full-fledged model. We talked about reducing the length of the polygons, it turns out that in general, full-fledged machine guns then will not fall into the hands of the fighters? There is nowhere to shoot. And another example. A person can perfectly shoot from SVD, serve with his eyes closed, but will his skills be used if he is given a self-loading SWR? I agree that he will learn to handle her much faster than a man from the street, but he will still need time to adapt to a weapon, and this is a lot of ammunition. Plus we will add errors in application, when the head and hands are "sharpened" for a different sample and have not yet been rebuilt for a new weapon. So the place for such a machine gun is somewhere in the school in the shooting range, and not in the hands of a soldier.
      1. bazilio
        bazilio 17 May 2013 12: 23
        Quote: scrabler
        Let's reason logically.

        Cyril, I'm sorry, but you do not take into account such a factor as the Red Army’s stake on the mass of the armed forces. I agree that, ideally, it was necessary to teach soldiers immediately on military weapons, but if for a small army this would not be so burdensome in economic terms, then for a mass army it would cost a pretty penny. In addition, add here the state of the economy of the USSR for that period. I think that after the war, the machine gun was no longer used. So for its time, this sample was a kind of half measure. But still, if we discard the time factor and consider the idea of ​​a machine gun for training, then I agree with you, this machine gun will be good for preparing pre-conscripts, but not for soldiers, whose training you can’t save on, because as Napoleon said, who doesn’t want to feed (and in this case - maintain and train) his army, will feed someone else's.

        PS Thanks for the article, I have been waiting for a review about the Blum machine gun for a long time, since I was sure that there would be a storm of discussion)))
        1. dustycat
          dustycat 23 June 2013 17: 43
          I remember how Uncle Misha (a driver who was called up in 1939 and was demobilized due to shell shock and a serious wound (burned badly) in 1945) told how their shooter (obviously trained on this machine gun) did not know what to do when there was a delay in shooting.
          The poor fellow was simply shot in the early days of the war for cowardice when during the battle he was able to shoot only 5 rounds from the DT store. Although he yelled that he was not taught to shoot from such a thing, only from a similar one.
    2. dustycat
      dustycat 23 June 2013 17: 35
      For those who have never held weapons in their hands, there is pneumatics and small things like TOZ-8.
      But in order to become a sniper - you need to shoot at least with weapons with comparable ballistics.
      And here - DT has its own mechanics, and this training one has its own.
      And damn those that come out.
      This is not AK and PC.
  3. avt
    avt 17 May 2013 10: 39
    Quote: report4
    To a man who had never seen a gunshot in his hands only such toys and give them to put up some kind of shooting technique,

    It was quite costly in the DOSAAF system for pneumatics and small things, and Kalash in every school was like a manual, but for combatant units - complete nonsense. By the way, in those days, distant, now almost epic, in fact, they immediately taught the possession of a three-line and maxim and this is correct.
    1. report4
      report4 17 May 2013 10: 50
      Quote: avt

      It was quite costly in the DOSAAF system for pneumatics and small things, but for combat units, this was complete nonsense.

      And now we read the name of the weapon "Blum's Training Machine Gun". In essence, the same little thing, only rapid-fire. Or do you propose to practice shooting from a closed position or flanking fire from a small car?
      Everything has its place, it is clear that you cannot practice shooting at maximum distances from this "weapon", but with a sensible organization of the educational process, these toys allow you to save a lot of cartridges and this is much more obvious than learning to shoot at the board, without shooting at all.
      1. avt
        avt 17 May 2013 11: 01
        Quote: report4
        Or do you propose to practice firing from a closed position or flank fire from a small fry?

        Who were you going to teach this? To conscripts or specific fighters? And then again to retrain to combat weapons ?! The trouble is that we are saving on combat training, there is still not enough ersatz weapons for complete "happiness".
  4. _KM_
    _KM_ 17 May 2013 10: 50
    A curious machine gun. I heard about this, but did not see. I think that its practical value is really extremely small.
  5. report4
    report4 17 May 2013 11: 21
    Quote: avt
    Quote: report4
    Or do you propose to practice firing from a closed position or flank fire from a small fry?

    Who were you going to teach this? To conscripts or specific fighters? And then again to retrain to combat weapons ?! The trouble is that we are saving on combat training, there is still not enough ersatz weapons for complete "happiness".

    Do you know how many times conscripts are shooting now? The word "retrain" sounds like a silly joke. It is better to take them to the training ground 10 times and let them shoot all the exercises from this toy at least once, than to show everything on the board and then take them once a year to the training ground, where they, with a loud waste, will release the ammunition due to nowhere ...
    1. scrabler
      17 May 2013 11: 27
      Do not press on the sore spot ... That there are draftees, when and during the passage of an urgent service of shooting for a soldier, the holiday is almost like a birthday, because it is also once a year.
  6. smprofi
    smprofi 17 May 2013 13: 57
    Thus, it is not at all difficult to conclude that such weapons do more harm than good.

    in vain so. now they beat a tambourine and joyfully perform a jig around electronic simulators. and if for flyers or tankers it is somehow justified and useful, for shooters (machine gun / machine gun / grenade launcher) - complete nonsense. I, for example, having a fair experience of shooting from the PM at an open shooting range, received a fair shock from the first shot in a closed shooting range (basement with a ceiling height of 2 m and a width of 4 meters, no more): a rumble and a sheaf of sparks from the barrel - this is not the case at the shooting range feel it.
    Ideally, yes. you have to shoot with your regular weapon. and in different conditions. and a lot to get skills and bring them to the level of reflexes. for example, anti-terror is mandatory for French special forces minimum shot 40 per year. if you want more, please.
    although ... again from life experience, there are people who are given a talent for shooting. but there are such instances that it’s better not to give weapons in hand.

    but we need to remember Mikhail Nikolaevich Blum. difficult fate Man. and he was a good constructor. and it’s not his fault that his offspring either did not go into the series, or are not very famous

    Blum’s 12,7 mm anti-tank rifle. The prototype of 1939

    Blum’s 14,5 mm anti-tank rifle. The prototype of 1942

    Mikhail Nikolaevich worked at the weapons factory in Kovrov together with Degtyarev and Fedorov and developed anti-aircraft and aviation, artillery systems, as well as light machine guns. One of the developments, the so-called pinwheel - a drum machine gun with a high rate of fire (about 6000 rounds per minute) passed state tests and was adopted by the commission, chaired by Marshal M.N. Tukhachevsky, who awarded Mikhail Nikolaevich a motorcycle for this development. Then, in the light of known events, all this had dire consequences: Tukhachevsky was declared an enemy of the people and shot. Military developments under his leadership were declared sabotage, and employees were dismissed or repressed. Mikhail Nikolayevich was fired from the Kovrov plant and banned from developing combat systems. He left for Moscow and again began to work as a shooting instructor.
    1. scrabler
      17 May 2013 14: 14
      Perhaps he didn’t accurately put it, but Blum as a designer is really very talented, he was simply given an inadequate task, in my opinion, but he did it quite successfully. After all, the weapon was fired, it was reliable, and therefore there could be no complaints about the designer himself.
      1. smprofi
        smprofi 17 May 2013 14: 32
        with such a statement - I agree
      2. carbofo
        carbofo 17 May 2013 20: 31
        Forgive me for the minus, but do not put negative accents in the articles.
        There was a war and it was necessary to prepare not 1000 a year, but 100 people, if you calculate the consumption of ammunition, an impressive figure is obtained, but they were not enough for some time at the front, and the supplies of small things were pretty good.
        Moreover, the emphasis was not on learning the basics of ballistics, but on tactics and firing, identifying sectors, disguising, choosing a position, etc.
        That is, they taught only the basics of survival and the proper arrangement of a firing point, they will live longer for more sense, more damage to the enemy, and of the fundamental importance of which ballistics the ammunition was not used, they still ran around in the war for a couple of fights, and developed their own manners of shooting.
        It was more difficult for gunners, their ballistics a key part of training.
        By the way, he was making some kind of machine gun so the bolt part there was simply inserted into the original case, but the liner and voila, the ersatz decision was made well, I used this technique in the PTR and artillery, but I don’t remember in more detail.
        1. scrabler
          18 May 2013 00: 18
          Oh well, minus-plus, what's the difference by and large, not in the ranking of happiness wink War, by the way, then one ended, and the other has not yet begun. To teach the basics of camouflage and the choice of position is just possible without shooting, and here again the original machine gun would be more appropriate because of the weight and size. Just, in my opinion, saving money on training fighters is a crime. Whatever the economic situation was, but any country, first of all, should take care of its army. Think about what kind of savings, at least in theory, from the use of such machine guns and whether it was worth it that a person would later make mistakes when using full-fledged weapons. After all, for someone, this machine gun was really the first weapon in life, and the fact that the first one is not just forgotten, but is well remembered in a critical situation. In other words, a misaligned cartridge in a full-fledged sample can already cause a panic, because a person remembers what to do with a training machine gun and everything seems to be the same with a full-fledged weapon, and as a result, a stupor due to the fact that the picture looks a little different. . No, you can not save in any case, very sad result of such savings can be. Well, this is my opinion.
          Understand correctly, everyone had mistakes and in our past, unfortunately, too, but we blocked others here for others. And then, only the one who does nothing is not mistaken. wink
          1. carbofo
            carbofo 18 May 2013 00: 45
            I can’t say with certainty what our commanders and commanders were guided directly on the spot when choosing this training option, this will probably remain a little misunderstanding.
            But in such cases, the economic principle usually works, in the end I think it is very hypertrophied during execution, this often happened, and it still happens.
            The savings in the army of one and a half million, I think, are quite large in monetary terms, but I am not aware of the prices for ammunition of those times.


            The following number of machine guns were delivered to the armed forces of the USSR during the war (including weapons from pre-war stocks, as well as Lend-Lease supplies):
            II half year 1941 of the year - 45300 manual, 8400 machine, 1400 large-caliber;
            1942 year - 172800 manual, 58000 machine, 7400 large-caliber;
            1943 year - 250200 manual, 90500 machine, 14400 large-caliber;
            1944 year - 179700 manual, 89900 machine, 14800 large-caliber;
            I half 1945 year - 14500 manual, 10800 machine, 7300 large-caliber.

            Actually now imagine how many people had to be prepared for handling a machine gun and, accordingly, ammunition consumption, there is already an account for millions, and this is already normal money!
            Moreover, it was released how you wrote 3698 pieces, though you did not indicate the year of adoption.
            By the way, write more about similar developments in the field of training ersatz tools, it would be interesting to read, just please do not emphasize, we are more interested in the technical and practical part than the reasoning about its meaning.
            Sorry if I drove harshly, but criticism is criticism! :).
            1. carbofo
              carbofo 18 May 2013 01: 20
              Regarding the last thesis that: // whoever does nothing is not mistaken //
              This is true, for example, it is a pity that no more attention was paid to the developments of Bekauli and some other developers, although the practical value of the developments was often zero, but for the accumulation of technical and statistical material, they were not useless.
              For example, the Germans made a mouse, we almost dismantled it, and we liked many technical solutions from it, only other tank concepts did not allow us to use their best practices. But the materials remained so if for example someone needs it, as for a recent article about an electric transmission tank with a 140 mm gun.
            2. scrabler
              18 May 2013 09: 01
              Well, I'm not Hitler, to take offense at criticism laughing According to the training options for weapons I will look for materials, there were a lot of such samples, mainly for short-barreled weapons, which is of little interest, due to the primitiveness of the design, but there were others.
            3. dustycat
              dustycat 23 June 2013 17: 58
              And what principle works when unused ammunition with an expired shelf life is not spent on the landfills by those who serve, but stupidly spend it until self-destruction?
              And who said that in the 1930s there was no stock of ammunition with an expiring shelf life?
              Oh yes, fatigue, the height of the trunk ...
              So in DT, the barrel is interchangeable. It was easier for training firing a cheaper barrel to come up with. Not for 20000-50000 rounds, but for 1000-2000.
        2. Region-25.rus
          Region-25.rus 19 May 2013 13: 42
          Quote: carbofo
          the bolt part was simply inserted into the body of the original, and in the barrel an insert and voila,

          This principle was practiced even in the tsarist fleet) A barrel with a breech from an anti-mine 152 mm gun was inserted into large-caliber guns (it seems from 47 mm and higher) So they practiced! But, the sailors themselves were rather skeptical of such a practice. But what was to be done? One shot from 12 inches cost thousands of tsar’s rubles! And the barrel resource was a little over 200 shots!
          Such firing was called "stem" in those days! hi
    2. dustycat
      dustycat 23 June 2013 17: 52
      Electronic simulators teach tactics and strategies more. They are for this.
      But even there, a return simulator is an obligatory option.
      And at the same time, the ballistics are played out by the computer clearly.
      In the same product, neither the mechanism nor the ballistics of reality correspond.
      Because it is sad that the outstanding gunsmith was forced to engage in nonsense.
  7. Larus
    Larus 17 May 2013 14: 44
    Yes, they always save money on soldiers, but then they start stupidly destroying stocks that have expired. This is a paradox of our reality.
  8. carbofo
    carbofo 17 May 2013 16: 32
    These machine guns were used to teach methods of shooting, so as not to spend expensive wartime cartridges of normal caliber.
    No other meaning was invested in them, the materiel was studied on a normal machine gun, the final firing was carried out with normal machine guns, and these ersatz machine guns were only to study the tactics of using a machine gun, the calculation life and the effectiveness of the application depended on it.
    1. dustycat
      dustycat 23 June 2013 18: 01
      Even when shooting from 7,62 machine guns and 12,5 there is a very big difference in shooting techniques and aiming.
      And here we were taught shooting from a completely different weapon than was planned for combat conditions.
  9. combat192
    combat192 17 May 2013 19: 43
    In the NNA GDR, the KK-M Pi-69 submachine gun chambered for 22.LR was very well used for educational purposes. They fired from it at the mini-range at reduced targets at reduced distances.
    1. understudy
      understudy 18 May 2013 00: 43
      Perky was a machine. She had an amazing rate of fire. wink
    2. carbofo
      carbofo 18 May 2013 01: 21
      Quote: combat192
      In the NNA GDR, the KK-M Pi-69 submachine gun chambered for 22.LR was very well used for educational purposes. They fired from it at the mini-range at reduced targets at reduced distances.

      Specially selected little soldiers :))
      1. combat192
        combat192 18 May 2013 03: 15
        Ironically in vain, dear. Until now, the army has the practice of using mini-ranges, though without firing. Although no, I’ll get better: gunners shoot, but instead of using heavy artillery systems, they still use the existing ZIS-3 or AGS-17 guns or even small-caliber small arms. Motorized riflemen and paratroopers on mini-ranges are practicing training exercises, which require moving across the battlefield (of course at a reduced distance) and aiming in movement at a reduced target (again at a reduced distance).
        1. carbofo
          carbofo 18 May 2013 11: 44
          Quote: combat192
          Ironically in vain, dear.

          Well, a bit of humor won't hurt :).
          As for the scale of the polygons, I can’t say there is definitely no field experience, but on the Internet this topic is somehow not much covered.
          But as far as I know, compact polygon sites are made almost everywhere, the scales are normal there, only the density of target and object placement is high, for example, special forces training camps, etc.
          So I think the point is not to scale the range in size in absolute terms, but rather to seal the war zone.