Military Review

British automatic under the intermediate cartridge EM-2

Everyone knows that the Second World War brought a lot of new developments in the arms world and even made it necessary to radically reconsider some moments of military operations, just as it changed the view on weapon soldier. Due to the fact that the Germans showed the effectiveness of the intermediate cartridge and the weapons under it, the idea that lived in the heads of the designers materialized into quite real and effective ammunition. In this article we will try to get acquainted with the patron and the submachine gun under it, which were to become the main means of destroying the enemy for the army of Great Britain, but for a number of reasons not belonging to the world of weapons by any side, which did not become widespread.

As you know, Germany was the first to realize the idea of ​​an intermediate cartridge in a more or less serial model, which proved to be effective, while the rest of the countries, although they had quite successful designs, still conducted the process of working on weapons very slowly. After the end of the Second World War, Great Britain, like many other countries, came to grips with the development of an intermediate cartridge and weapons for it. Looking ahead, immediately worth noting that the result was very good, if not excellent for that time.

I think it’s worth starting with an ammunition, since it is he who sets the main characteristics of the weapon. After the Second World War, the British had just two ammunition, which claimed the place of the intermediate cartridge. Their caliber was .270 and .276. Since it was rather costly to develop in parallel, a cartridge with a thicker bullet, namely, an .276 caliber cartridge was chosen. Subsequently, the caliber of the ammunition "rounded", and he became known as .280 British, although the real caliber was 7,23 millimeters, the bullet was also packaged in a sleeve length 43 millimeters. We can not say that the development of the ammunition went smoothly, in order to achieve an excellent result, experts from the Belgian company FN were invited, and even Canadians were involved. In general, they did not disdain any help and for what reason.

British automatic under the intermediate cartridge EM-2Despite the apparent success that the ammunition expected, one country with a name of three letters was not satisfied with the fact that it was the British cartridge that could become mass, and not the one that was produced from them. At first, the United States flatly refused to accept ammunition in caliber smaller than 7,62, to which the UK decided to try to find a compromise and change its ammunition, fitting it to the requirements of the picky "ally". There was even an attempt to use the bottom of the cartridge case T65 (7,62x51), but could not be persuaded. In the end, the United Kingdom adopted the .280 British armament for all, despite the pressure of other countries, and after a short period of time removed it from service and passed on the well-known 7,62x51. It is noteworthy that in the subsequent ammunition 7,62x51 was considered excessively powerful and 5,56x45 appeared. But what is even more interesting, the modern 6,8 Remington, which is considered to be much more efficient compared to the 5,56, is similar in its characteristics to the British patron. It is clear that a completely successful ammunition was not abandoned, and it was produced for the same civilian market in various variations, but the army did not receive it. Here is such a squiggle.

No less interesting was the weapon that was designed for this ammunition. Strangely enough, but the first model, which was designed, was in the layout of the bullpup, and the British began to fashion this layout. It was designated as EM2. Developed a weapon under the direction of Edward Kent-Lemon in Anfield. The basis of the weapon was the automation with the removal of powder gases from the barrel with a long piston stroke. Locking the bore before firing was done with the help of two diverging into the sides of the lugs, which entered into the clutch with the receiver of the weapon. Locking occurred due to the fact that inside the bolt after it was stopped in the forward position, the firing mechanism under the influence of the return spring continued to move. It was he who put forward locking stops. When fired, the piston first moved the trigger back, the stops were removed, and after that the shutter itself began to move. It cannot be said that the system is new and revolutionary, but interesting enough. Such an automation system, when the shock trigger was placed in the full body of the bolt, contributed to the high reliability of the weapon with dirt, since the dirt simply could not get inside, respectively, the reliability of the device was quite high with the proper approach to production, which is already a “plus” for this sample .

In addition to the automation system, an interesting point in the weapon can be considered as the fact that the main sight was a small-scope optical sight, although along with it there were also open sights, which were “just in case”.

The total length of the weapon was 889 millimeters with a barrel length 623 millimeter. The weight of the device was equal to 3,4 kilogram. The guns were fed from magazines with a capacity of 20 cartridges, which were spat out at a speed of 600 shots per minute. Effective fire could be conducted at distances up to 650 meters.

Based on the foregoing, it is safe to say that not only we had gunsmiths who were ahead of their time, and not only we really buried good and effective samples. However, in this case it may even be quite good.
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  1. makarov
    makarov 19 November 2013 08: 46 New
    interesting review material from the history of weapons.
  2. avt
    avt 19 November 2013 10: 07 New
    Interesting historical excursion good . But the trunk is creepy in appearance, where it is to Korobov’s development. Here are the western designs. As a result, the giants of arms thought of the small Britain turned to the Germans to make them rolls.
  3. Aleks21
    Aleks21 19 November 2013 12: 10 New
    Very dangerous competitor AK-47. Ballistics at almost equal momentum was 40% flatter than that of 7.62X39. Take this cartridge into NATO armament and release the G-3, FN-FAL, M-14 just under it. It would be hard for Kalash to compete with him, even with his super reliability. Thanks, the Yankees helped with their arrogance :)
    1. vkrav
      vkrav 19 November 2013 20: 27 New
      Quote: Alex21
      it is under him G-3, FN-FAL, M-14

      And the Germans made G3 under 7.62x39 cartridge - G32 was called a small batch ... The testers gave rave reviews ... But the owner of the nat said 7,62x51 - which means 7,62x51 ...
  4. Ch0sen1
    Ch0sen1 19 November 2013 13: 50 New
    Everything new - well forgotten old winked less than half a century as they say, and gunsmiths again once again begin to introduce cartridges of caliber 6.5-6.8 mm.
    It's funny that the British, developing quite decent prototypes, adopted their L85, compared with which the state M4 is recognized as a model of reliability winked
    1. luiswoo
      luiswoo 20 November 2013 03: 19 New
      It's funny that the British, developing quite decent prototypes, adopted their L85, compared with which the state M4 is recognized as a model of reliability winked

      The abundance of stamped parts in SA80, as it were, hints that it is more technologically advanced and cheaper than EM2. And the British are tight-fisted. As for the reliability of SA80: according to the wiki, Heckler and Koch worked with it and "everything was fine" ©.
  5. alex-cn
    alex-cn 19 November 2013 14: 55 New
    Cyril, as always, dug up something unusual. it’s just not clear how the trigger mechanism moved there, maybe, all the same, only a jerk?
    It is interesting that our and German intermediate cartridges are somehow widely known, I hear little about others, I heard about the Aglitsky 280 only as a scorcher, and they still had one, tell me who knows this thing well.
    1. scrabler
      19 November 2013 14: 58 New
      smile Indeed, zaraportovalsya drummer)
  6. bazilio
    bazilio 19 November 2013 16: 13 New
    Thanks Kirill for the article.

    The sample is extremely interesting. The first English bullpap. and the cartridge for it is very good. But there are a number of questions.
    Reliability - EM-2 automation seems more reliable than automation with gas removal directly to the bolt group (like the M-16), but, as it seems to me personally, the reliability of AK family automation is higher. Recesses in the receiver, into which the EM-2 locking elements must enter, can also become clogged (but it is not clear how much), which can lead to incomplete entry of the app. element into the recess, and as I understand it, app element will block the drummer. Of course, on this issue, the tolerance value must also be taken into account. Another point is the lack of a preliminary radial shift of the shutter (rotation around the longitudinal axis) when locking / unlocking. In AK, a preliminary radial shift before extraction helps to relieve pressure and normal extraction of deformed and melted sleeves.
    1. alex-cn
      alex-cn 19 November 2013 16: 23 New
      Well, for example, the SCS does not have a radial shift either, but reliability is at a height, these are design issues, but from what is written, it seems that it is more reliable than the L85, it’s good that it didn’t go into the troops
      1. scrabler
        19 November 2013 16: 46 New
        L85 did not appear very soon, after EM-2, which was never used, was FN-FAL
        FN FAL - L1A1 SLR with a telescopic SUIT British version
      2. bazilio
        bazilio 19 November 2013 18: 02 New
        Quote: alex-cn
        Well, let's say the SCS has no radial shift either, but reliability is on top, these are design issues,

        These are questions not only of the design but also of the quality of the ammunition)))))
    2. scrabler
      19 November 2013 16: 41 New
      Good afternoon, for some reason I first remembered the DP-27, if you are guided by the automation system smile It seems that there were no delays, it was with the automatics that were connected, critical for the apparatus, and they checked it in combat, so that a suitable system is not the best, but suitable yes Well, in general, you can always find what is best.
      1. bazilio
        bazilio 19 November 2013 18: 10 New
        Quote: scrabler
        Good afternoon, for some reason I was the first to remember the DP-27, if you were guided by the automation system smile It seems like there were delays in the device, it’s not connected with the automation, but it was checked in military operations, so it’s a good system,

        so I did not say that it was worthless))) is definitely better than the M16 system)))))) these were all my thoughts out loud)))
        1. anomalocaris
          anomalocaris 23 November 2013 01: 24 New
          With M16, not everything is so simple. Although with what to compare ...
          There are a lot of units having locking by breeding of combat stops. Almost everyone indulged in this scheme. The only drawback of this scheme, in my opinion, is only the significant dimensions of the receiver.
    3. pasha1713
      pasha1713 19 November 2013 21: 01 New
      The same locking scheme was used in Degtyarev machine guns, and their reliability, in my opinion, does not cause
  7. Kir
    Kir 19 November 2013 17: 46 New
    Thank you for the article, by the way, for me, the appearance is very normal, But the bayonet of the knife is more precisely its fastening with the blade down, something is wrong, roofing felts out of habit, roofing felts something else.