Friday 5 June 2015

Browning Defects

"To Armoured Forces Chief, Major-General Solomatin
April 6th, 1942

I report to you that the American "Browning" machineguns that have arrived exhibited a large amount of defects and misfires during trials.
  1. When firing at full auto, the bolt carrier breaks in the place where there are slots for the wedge to lock. The metal around the break crumbles. Upon careful investigation, it was discovered that the carrier is made up of low quality (brittle) metal and cannot bear the pressure caused by gases forming in the chamber when the gunpowder charge burns. The design of the bolt carrier is also insufficiently robust. Upon recoil, the full force of the blow hits the locking wedge of the bolt carrier, but since the bolt carrier is insufficiently robust and made from brittle metal, it breaks. In total, 4 breakdowns of the carrier occurred in the 416th Independent Battalion, in the following machineguns:
    1. Machinegun #46173, discovered on February 12th, 1942, while removing factory grease.
    2. Machinegun #126514, discovered during shooting on March 22nd, 1942. The machinegun shot 185 times.
    3. Machinegun #240565, discovered during shooting on April 1st of this year. The machinegun shot five (5) times.
    4. Machinegun #238003, discovered during shooting on April 4th of this year. The machinegun shot two (2) times.
    5. Machinegun #15571. The extractor head broke off due to a weak design. The head has an opening for a directing rod, which weakens it. The metal is also poorly hardened. The same machinegun had a broken case mount. When the extractor is broken, it is lowered more than usual, and when the bolt moved forward it hits the case mount and breaks it.
  2. Springs deform due to low quality of materials and poor hardening.
  3. The sear nose spring broke due to a weak design.
  4. The trigger plunger breaks due to a weak design (the thread is carved too deeply).
  5. There are frequent jams due to splitting cases."

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