March 30, 2013

7.62 EM-2

About a year ago, the glorious Gun-Nuts at Forgotten Weapons got hold of an actual, honest to gawd EM-2.

For those unaware, the EM-2 was a British Assault Rifle designed in the late 1940s that took into account all the 'lessons learned' from World War 2. The rifle had design input from Poles who had had the unpleasant experience of tangling with the German 'storm guns'. It was a bullpup, which made it very compact and had something akin to an ACOG sight. The gun was designed around a new 7mm round that was intermediate in power between the very heavy 7.62mm and the varmint sized 5.56mm NATO rounds. In other words exactly what the lessons from current unpleasantness in Asia would seem to indicate is ideal.

In tests, the rifle wiped the floor with US, Belgian, French and Swedish weapons besting even the FN-FAL in reliability and accuracy.

It was adopted by the UK but was withdrawn in part because the US ignored the tests and forced NATO to adopt the .308 Winchester round (as 7.62 NATO)*.  The Belgian gun was better suited to the larger round and  was also much cheaper to manufacture so the EM-2 never enterd full production and only saw very limited use in Burma and Malaya before it was consigned to the dustbin of history.

What I did not know was that there was actually a small lot of EM-2 rifles made in 7.62 NATO....and here one is, courtesy of the Forgotten Weapons crowd.

That's AWESOME! I want one of those shooty culverts in MY basement.
Also: I want a basement.

It should be mentioned in passing that aside from a superficial resemblance in layout this excellent weapon was in no way related to the disastrous SA80/L/85 design which until recently bested other rifles only in ease of dis-assembly...and then only as an unwelcome surprise.

With so much of our kit worn out after a decade of fighting we could do far worse than dusting off this old UK design. In fact, we probably will.

*this is somewhat ironic. In the 1920s and 30s the US Army had determined the best rifle/machine gun round would have ballistics nearly identical to the 7mm British, and in fact officially adopted the .276 Pedersen for the M-1 Garand. However the financial crunch of the Depression meant that the army had to make due with the obsolete .30-06 round, the Garand was re-chambered and the lessons learned were, it seems, lost. With hindsight it seems that the Springfield armory of the 30's and Enfield in the 'late '40s were both completely right.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:30 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I've long been interested in bullpup rifles.  They seem easier to handle in confined spaces, and just look "kewl".  If my gun-nut friend ever succeeds in convincing me to buy a semi-auto rifle, I will probably get bullpup, such as the new Israeli-designed, American-assembled Tavor.

Posted by: Siergen at Sat Mar 30 22:16:05 2013 (Ao4Kw)

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