In his next project, the German designer decided to test a new version of automation, capable of independently preparing weapons for the next shot. Systems with a moving barrel did not prove to be at their best, which is why the new project implied the use of rigid fasteners for this unit. Only the shutter and some other details had to move when recharging. In modern classification, the applied automation is designated as a semi-free shutter with braking with the help of swinging levers.
The next project of a self-loading rifle was developed in 1906, which gave it an appropriate name. Further development of the project continued, resulting in the emergence of a new prototype with some improvements. By year of production, he received the designation M1908. In addition, the rifle of the new model is sometimes referred to as the Mauser 06-08. Two projects differed in the design of some parts and the technology of their production. Otherwise, they were almost the same.
Mauser rifle "06-08". Photo Sportsmansvintagepress.com
The M1906 semi-automatic rifle outwardly should have differed little from other weapons of that time, such as the serial Gewehr 98, etc. It was planned to use a long barrel, designed to use a relatively powerful rifle cartridge, a wooden box for installing all the necessary parts, etc. Thus, the fundamental external differences between weapons and existing systems were absent. At the same time, however, there should have been some characteristic features of exploitation.
The refusal of automatics based on a rolling barrel allowed the use of a finished part borrowed from serial weapons. Thus, the new rifle could be equipped with a rifled barrel caliber 7,92 mm 800 mm long, designed to use the cartridge 7,92x57 mm. Now it is possible to keep various parts on the outer surface of the barrel, intended for connection with other units, aiming devices, etc. At the same time, however, the breech breech lost its locking systems as a set of stops due to the use of the semi-free gate.
The breech of the trunk was to be connected to the front of the receiver and rigidly fixed on it. The receiver itself was a unit of complex shape. Its upper part had a front cylindrical block for connection with the barrel chamber, behind which there was a window for the release of ammunition. The back of the receiver received a rectangular shape and was equipped with a removable lid. A comparatively narrow casing of the firing mechanism, in front of which there was a magazine case, was placed under the upper receiver unit, containing the main parts of the automation.
In front of the receiver, at the store level, there was a channel to install the shutter. The shutter of the M1906 rifle was a rectangular large extension block with a straightened head. There were no means of locking the barrel on this part of the bolt. Inside the gate, a channel was provided for the installation of a drummer with a combat spring. On the upper surface of the shutter there was a small handle for reloading. In the forward position of the bolt handle was on the edge of the window for the release of sleeves. With the bolt pushed back, the handle support entered into the corresponding cut-out of the receiver cover, and, according to some data, could be fixed in this position.
Behind the shutter were the systems of its return to the neutral position, as well as the braking system. Below the longitudinal axis of the gate was a twisted return spring with a guide rod. She was responsible for moving the shutter forward at the end of the recharge cycle. In the compressed form, the spring did not extend beyond the front end of the rod, and also completely fell inside the corresponding channel in the gate.
The new weapon was intended for the use of a relatively powerful rifle cartridge, which did not allow the use of automation on the basis of a free gate. In the design of the rifle should introduce some means of braking the shutter, able to absorb part of the recoil pulse. Without such systems, the author of the project could not count on achieving acceptable dimensions, weight and operational characteristics of the weapon. To solve the existing problem, P.P. Mauser proposed a braking system based on two levers.
The braking system of the bolt, which can also be considered the means of locking the barrel, was located in the rear of the receiver. Its main parts were two levers of relatively great length, equipped with curved head parts. The levers were fixed with the help of a hinge at the rear of the receiver and could swing inward, towards each other, or outward. In the fully divorced position, the levers were almost completely inside the longitudinal channels of the walls of the receiver boxes. The reduction of the levers inwards, in turn, ensured the deceleration of the shutter when fired.
To control the operation of the lever in the design of the rifle was introduced a special part-slide. It was a movable cylindrical device with a narrowed front part and a thickening in the middle. During firing, the slider under the action of inertial forces or with the help of other parts had to move to different positions, controlling the operation of the levers. Also, the slider had the opportunity to fully enter the inside of the longitudinal channel of the shutter.
PP again. Mauser decided to abandon the hammer-type firing mechanism. The original system of braking the shutter occupied the entire back of the receiver, because of what there was no room left to accommodate the trigger. For this reason, the trigger gun M1906 was built on a shock map. In the course of the movement of the gate, the striker was cocked, which was fixed by the sear, connected with the trigger. Provided non-automatic fuse blocking the work of the trigger mechanism.
In the new project, a boxed, integral shop already used and tested in practice was placed under the receiver inside the box. In the case of the shop were spring and pusher. The dimensions of this product made it possible to transport ready-to-use ammunition of five rounds. The equipment of the magazine could be carried out either manually with one cartridge, or with the help of standard clips. To install the cage should use the front slot cover the receiver.
The semi-free-bolt rifle received a standard wooden box, modified due to the need to install a new receiver with automation components. The lodge had a great length and served as the main bearing element of all weapons. There was a standard butt with a pistol protrusion. From above the trunk was covered with a wooden lining of a curved profile. Under the barrel in the box there was a cavity for placing the ramrod.
Together with the barrel rifle received from the predecessors open sights. Next to the muzzle cut was a protected front sight, and a frame-type sight was located above the chamber. The standard sight of the Gewehr 98 rifle was marked up for firing at a distance of more than 2 km, but in practice it could only be used for pointing weapons at distances of no more than a few hundred meters.
The main parts of the weapon, top view. Photo Sportsmansvintagepress.com
Mauser M1906 rifle was different from other weapons of the time principles of preparation for shooting. To perform basic operations, it was necessary to perform several unusual actions, for which, according to some data, in the first version of the project even had to open the receiver cover. In the future, the implementation of these operations is slightly easier.
To equip the store should open the shutter. For this, it was necessary to take the slider of the braking system to the forward position with the help of a special rod. Passing between the front parts of the braking arms shifted inward, the slider spread them apart. After that, it was possible to pull the bolt handle and move it to the rearmost position, compressing the return spring and cocking the drummer. Then it was prescribed to insert into the magazine cartridges, one by one or a clip. After removing the clip, it was possible to return the bolt forward, which led to the automatic reduction of the braking levers. Turning off the fuse, the shooter could make a shot.
During the shot, the rifle received a rather powerful recoil impulse, throwing it in the direction of the arrow. In this case, the shutter was not able to move out of its front position due to the braking levers. Whereas the rifle moved backward under the effect of recoil, the detail-slider of a relatively large mass sought to maintain its position and therefore moved by inertia relative to other parts. This movement forced the slider to spread to the sides the front ends of the locking levers, placing them in the grooves of the receiver. After this, the shutter was released, which was able to move backwards.
Leaving back, the bolt pulled out a cartridge case from the chamber, and then threw it through the upper window. Squeezing the return spring, the bolt ran into the slider, which entered its internal channel. Also at the same time, the firing mechanism was cocked. In the rearmost position, the bolt fully compressed the return spring and stopped by the wall of the receiver.
After the recoil pulse was fully absorbed by the weapon parts, the return spring was able to begin moving the bolt forward. At this stage of the recharge cycle, the upper cartridge was seized from the store and then fed. Moving forward, the bolt released the slider, which moved to the rearmost position and allowed the braking arms to converge again. Returning to the starting position, the levers propped up the bolt and allowed a new shot to be made.
In 1906, the Mauser factory assembled a prototype of a new weapon that was planned to be used in tests. Checks showed the performance of the original mechanisms and the possibility of their further use in new projects of small arms. However, it was not without drawbacks of both technical and operational nature. For example, the proposed PP Mauser shutter braking system was too complicated and not reliable enough in comparison with analogues.
Scheme of work automation. Above and in the middle - the shutter in the front position, fixed with levers. Below - braking levers are divorced, the shutter is shifted back. Figure Sportsmansvintagepress.com
A separate reason for criticism of the project was an extremely inconvenient recharge. To prepare the M1906 rifle for shooting, it was necessary to consistently retract the slide and the shutter to the required positions, for which it was necessary to simultaneously work with both hands. Then it was proposed to equip the integrated store, which was also quite a difficult task. Thus, the preparation of weapons for firing was unacceptably difficult and lengthy. It was obvious that in the course of modernization these shortcomings should be eliminated.
Despite the identified problems, it was obvious that a semi-free-action self-loading rifle with automatics has certain prospects, and its development should continue. Therefore, P.P. Mauser continued work and in 1908, he introduced an improved version of the M1906 product. The new “06-08” rifle had some technical and technological differences from the base model, but it was based on the same principles and used some ready-made parts.
At the design stage, several versions of the updated layout of the shutter braking system were considered, but in the end a slightly modified mechanism of the M1906 rifle was used. First of all, the shape of the levers, which were now straight and did not have curved parts, changed.
By changing the shape, size and design of individual parts, the designer managed to a certain extent to improve the reliability of the automation. In addition, measures have been taken to simplify the operation of weapons and are of particular interest. During the test rifle arr. 1906, it was found that the existing one-piece shop is difficult to equip even with clips. For this reason, in the M1906 / 1908 project, it was proposed to use both a standard integrated store and a detachable box construction.
In the latter case, the receiving shaft of the store with a set of fasteners was fixed in place of the built-in store in the box. Especially for the Mauser 06-08 project, a box-shaped two-row magazine with a capacity of 20 cartridges was developed. Despite some imperfection of the design, this version of the ammunition system eliminated many of the problems that the M1906 rifle had.
The Mauser M1906 / 1908 self-loading rifle differed from the base model in enhanced performance, improved usability and other advantages. After some minor modifications such a weapon could be launched into a series and delivered to the army. However, the new weapon of PP Mauser was not considered and not tested by the military. As a result, there was no opportunity to take part in the rearmament of the army.
The problem was the specific views of the army. Back in the middle of the first decade of the 20th century, several years before the 06-08 rifle appeared, German army specialists studied the state of domestic developments of self-loading weapons and, quite expectedly, learned that the first projects were not distinguished by high characteristics. Instead of supporting the development of promising projects and eventually starting re-equipment, the command decided to abandon the self-loading rifles, preferring to the existing shop rifles.
The development of the M1906 and M1906 / 1908 projects was completed, after which the new weapon passed the necessary tests and allowed to determine the future of various ideas and solutions. Nevertheless, such weapons in Germany had no real prospects. For this reason, P.P. Mauser and his colleagues continued to work towards the creation of self-loading weapons, but until a certain time they remained at the level of preliminary theoretical research.
The German command understood its mistake only after the start of the First World War. Already the first battles vividly showed all the prospects of automatic and self-loading weapons. Soon after, an official order followed for the development of advanced self-loading rifles, which as soon as possible should be put on the front. The firm Mauser, which was already fulfilling orders in the interests of the warring army, responded to the new call of the command.
In the shortest possible time, the designers reworked the 06-08 project and some developments based on it, resulting in a new version of a self-loading rifle, known as Mauser Selbstlader M1916 (Mauser, self-loading, 1916 model). This weapon was able to reach the small-scale production and operation in the army. However, Peter Paul Mauser never found out that his weapon finally found practical application and fell into the army. The designer passed away on 29 in May 1914, a few months before the outbreak of the First World War. The development of the project Mauser Selbstlader was conducted without him.
During the next project of the self-loading rifle P.P. Mauser proposed an original design of automation, which, however, was not immediately able to meet all the existing requirements, due to which improvements were needed. Upgraded version of weapons arr. 1908 was different with a number of improvements and could well become a regular weapon of the army. However, by this time, the military had given up on self-loading rifles as promising weapons. Only in the middle of the next decade of the development of PP. Mauser in a promising direction could reach the limited use in the army, but the designer did not see it.
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