Fedorov Avtomat

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Fedorov Avtomat M1916 (unloaded) - 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka
Fedorov self-loading rifle M1913 with 15-round detachable magazine (1915/1916 modification) - 7.62x54mmR

The Fedorov Avtomat ("Автомат Фёдорова", Avtomat Fyodorova) is a Russian short recoil operated, magazine-fed select-fire carbine, and arguably one of the first examples of the assault rifle concept. It was designed in the early 20th century by Colonel Vladimir Grigoryevich Fyodorov (anglicized as "Fedorov" or "Federov"; for simplicity's sake, this page will always use "Fedorov").

The first Fedorov automatic rifle was a semi-automatic design presented to the Rifle Commission in 1911, but it was not adopted. In 1913, Fedorov developed the semi-auto M1913, which had a 5-round internal magazine and was chambered in 7.62x54mmR and 6.5mm Fedorov (an experimental rimless cartridge designed by Fedorov). In 1915, Fedorov developed his 6.5mm M1913 into an automatic weapon; their firing mechanisms were modified to allow for full-auto fire, they were converted to 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka (this cartridge was produced in Russia for imported Arisaka rifles), their lengths were shortened to carbine length, and 25-round detachable magazines were added. Fedorov dubbed his new 6.5mm automatic a "handheld light machine gun" ("ручное ружьё-пулемет"), while his superior General Nikolai Mikhailovich Filatov is credited with dubbing it the "Avtomat" (literally "automatic", in the noun meaning), a word that would go on to be used as the word for assault rifles in the Russian language. (e.g. Avtomat Kalashnikova).

During World War I, Fedorov's rifles were issued to a company of the 189th Izmail Infantry Regiment in 1916, who were armed with eight 6.5mm M1916 automatic rifles and 45 7.62mm M1913 self-loading rifles, with some of the latter being equipped with 15-round detachable magazines (interchangeable with the Madsen) and being converted to select-fire. 20 rifles were also equipped with sniper scopes (copies of the Goerz design, produced by the Obukhov plant), which in fact made the Fedorov Avtomat also the first official Russian sniper weapon. Production of the M1916 Avtomat ended with the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, with only about 100 weapons produced at the Sestroretsk weapon factory.

Contents

Specifications

(1915-1917, 1919-1925)

  • Type: Semi-auto rifle (first models), Light machine gun (role issued), sometimes regarded as an assault rifle
  • Caliber: 7.62x54mm R (M1913), 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka
  • Weight: 4.4 kg (Loaded; 5.2 kg)
  • Length: 41.1 in (104.5 cm)
  • Barrel length: 20.5 in (52 cm)
  • Feed System: Fixed 5-round magazine (M1913), 15-round detachable magazine (M1913/1916); 10, or 25-round detachable box magazine; 50-round pan magazine (M1922 Fedorov-Degtyaryov machine gun)
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto (M1913); Semi / Full-Auto (350-400 rpm)

Fedorov Avtomat M1919/M1923

Fedorov Avtomat M1919 - 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka. This earlier model had a less curved magazine, different sights, and had no bolt catch.
Fedorov Avtomat M1923 - 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka

The post-WWI M1919 and M1923 models of the Fedorov Avtomat are the variants most commonly associated with the Fedorov Avtomat name, and are commonly misidentified as the WWI-era M1916. The M1916 design was "rediscovered" by Soviet Russia in 1919 and manufactured in small numbers from 1919-1925 at the Kovrov weapon factory. The M1919 featured the addition of a cooling jacket and a vertical foregrip (which is actually not a forend, but a palm rest), which the M1916 did not have.

Much as it resembles an assault rifle, it was seldom issued as one during its main notable service in the 1920s: in standard use, it was employed as a mobile support weapon in a similar manner to a light machine gun, issued to a two-man team of a gunner and an ammo carrier, who was issued an Arisaka rifle for ammunition compatibility. Due to fast overheating during prolonged full-auto shooting, the weapon was intended primarily for firing with single shots, and each Avtomat was only issued with three box magazines, the spare ones were primarily used as a reserve in case of the need to rapid-fire. In standard use, magazines were intended to be refilled using stripper clips (for this role, additional 10-round magazines were usually issued). Overall, the Avtomat functioned similarily to the "walking fire" principle of weapons like the Browning Automatic Rifle; this happened precisely from the lack of LMGs in the Red Army in the 1920s.

Before the 1923 modernization, because the magazines were hand-fitted to the gun they were intended to be used with and the Avtomat suffered from poor quality control, there would be no guarantee a magazine from one gun would physically fit in another, and spare parts were often similarly weapon-specific. In 1923, a modernized version of the weapon with a new magazine and other elements was designed, with previously produced guns being sent back to the plant for refurbishment. About 3,200 were manufactured before production ceased in 1925, when the Soviet Union decided to cease using weapons firing foreign ammunition. 1,118 Avtomats were upgraded to the M1923 standard by December 1924. In an attempt to meet the new requirements, Fedorov returned to the 7.62mm cartridge and created the M1924 rifle (which in many sources, including the original Soviet ones, is incorrectly indicated as M1912), but it lost to the designs of Simonov and Tokarev.

The Fedorov Avtomat saw use in the Russian Civil War, and was officially removed from service in 1928. In 1940, during the Winter War, surviving Avtomats were removed from stockpiles for use by the Red Army already in the role of an individual weapon, due to a shortage of submachine guns.

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battlefield: 1918 2004
Deadfall Adventures "Fedorov" 2013
World of Guns: Gun Disassembly Fedorov Avtomat 2014
Battlefield 1 "Fedorov Avtomat" Added in "In the Name of the Tsar" DLC (2017) 2016
Call of Duty: WWII "Automaton" Added in "Days of Summer" event (2018) 2017

Fedorov-Degtyaryov

Fedorov-Degtyaryov light machine gun with Maxim-type water-cooled jacket and standard 25-round magazine - 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka
Fedorov-Degtyaryov light machine gun with air-cooling and 50-round pan magazine, equipped with bayonet - 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka. It was this version that became the predecessor of the DP-27.

The Fedorov-Degtyaryov (alternately anglicized as as Fedorov-Degtyarov and Fedorov-Degtyarev) is a series of prototype machine guns based on the Fedorov Avtomat tested between 1921-1926, developed by Colonel Fyodorov and his student Vasily Alekseyevich Degtyaryov.

The Fedorov-Degtyaryov prototypes were tested in the role of light, aviation, and tank machine guns, with various cooling and feed systems (the most notable of which, perhaps, is the triplex aircraft model 139/3). None of these samples were adopted for regular service, but the version of the Fedorov-Degtyaryov air-cooled light machine gun with disk magazine became the prototype of the subsequent DP-27.

Alongside the Fedorov-Degtyaryov, Fedorov during this time additionally developed several Fedorov-Shpagin machine gun prototypes with his other student, Georgy Semyonovich Shpagin. One Fedorov-Shpagin design with two barrels and top-loading magazine was developed into the short-lived "ball-mount" Fedorov-Ivanov dual tank machine gun, which was equipped to the first BA-27 armored vehicles, and the MS-1 and T-12-1 tanks (they were later replaced by one 7.62mm Degtyaryov DT machine gun).

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battlefield 1 Model with water-cooled jacket and 25-round magazine 2016


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