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Old July 26, 2012, 03:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 10, 2006
Location: I go where the oilfield jobs go.
Posts: 344
Why no inventor built a simple automatic weapon during the War Between the States?

One thing that I simply CANNOT understand, is that why no Southern inventor or tinkerer have come up with a simple blowback operated automatic weapon during the Civil War.

I have inspected the machinery of Civil War era firearms like the LeMat, Henry, and Whitworths, and compared them to the machinery of WWII era submachine guns like the PPS-43. Guess what? The machinery in the Russian automatic pistol is far more simpler than the workings of a LeMat revolver or Henry magazine rifle.

The firearms available in the 1860s were very sophisticated machines. Just look at the LeMat revolver. Over 10 different moving parts that drive/power other stationary parts that work simultaneously in timing and locking the gun for firing. A simple blowback weapon has just a trigger/sear, a bolt, a bolt guiding rod, and an ejector stud. It does not even need a grip/handle. Utilitarian? Yes, but it gets the job done.

The shooters of the 1860s are obviously well familiar with the concept of recoil. There are also many, many cartridges such as the .56-50 Spencer and .44 Rimfire that were being captured in large quantities by Confederate raiders. And on top of all that, there were hundreds, if not thousands of inventors feverishly working on weaponry that would help the Confederacy win the war. Submarines, electrically-detonated torpedos and mines, balloons, timed explosive devices, etc...

The one thing that could have delivered a serious advantage to the war effort would be a cheap, mass produced blowback operated automatic weapon chambered in .44 RF or .56-50 that can be delivered to every infantryman or at least elite units like mounted raiders and commandos operating behind enemy formations.
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