A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 19

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The following are examples of fencing rifles that were used by the United States and Great Britain. The first two illustrations show examples that are the same length and weight as the 1903 Springfield. The second illustration is a close replica of the SMLE used by Great Britain.

This bayonet drill rifle has no markings but is probably Eastern European and possibly East German. The design of the sling mounting seems to be similar to the Russian Mosin. The end of the barrel has a padded knob and the shaft is spring loaded.

The bayonet fencing rifle shown below was made by the English firm of Webley & Scott in 1914. It has Canadian markings on the barrel assembly. The long forward extension is spring loaded and retracts into the barrel assembly on impact.

M14 Training Rifle

Very little information has surfaced relative to this training rifle. This skeletonized rifle is made of aluminum and closely resembles the M 14 military rifle. A photograph exists that shows these rifles being used by Marines for bayonet drill practice. It has no moving parts but can carry the standard M6 service bayonet. It seems unusual that it was not supplied with a special padded bayonet if it was specifically designed for bayonet drill. The rifle is unmarked but was probably made between 1957 and 1963 when the M 14 was being used by the US military. Since this training rifle is made of aluminum, I would suspect that it was also used in situations where the rifle would be subjected to wet conditions. It is also possible that an aluminum casting was the most economical way of producing a training rifle for whatever the need might have been. There is an additional rod below the barrel that is not typical of the M14 rifle. I suspect that this rod was designed to reinforce the rather slender aluminum barrel which would have been susceptible to bending. The cut outs in the aluminum stock appear to have been made and located to replicate the weight and balance of the M14 military rifle.

Although this rifle does not meet the general requirements of a training rifle, it may have met very specialized training needs. I will classify it as a bayonet drill rifle rather than a training rifle until further information surfaces.

From the paper, Non-Firing Drill and Training Rifles, by By Malcolm MacPherson

The next installment: The Swift Training Rifle

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