Technical Notes on Small Arms Design


This publication was created as an instructional aid for Rock Island Arsenal when the weapons design functions of Springfield Armory transferred over to Rock Island Arsenal and personnel with no prior experience in the task were suddenly tasked with the task.

Covered are such topics as gunpowder types, locking lugs, firing mechanism design, spring design, weapon dynamics, gas systems, silencer types, delayed blow back, formulas, charts, chamber pressures, trigger geometry, liquid propellants, etc. The principles discussed are applicable to all types of small arms from pistols and rifles to machine guns and crew served weapons.

These are PDF uploads and this website only handles a few megs at a time, so it is necessary to install it a series of files.





Please register and give feedback, thanks.

BTW, coming soon in Forums, one of the best texts ever on the topic of Machine Guns.


I am pleased to report the acuisition of a PDF copy of all 5 volumes of LTC Chinn’s once Confidential and fairly scarce, scholarly, official US Navy Ordnance publication on the history of machine guns from the 1880s through the 1980s. Every major weapon of every major government is covered. From early Marlins and Gardeners through GE Chain guns and Soviet weaponry. Japanese designs and Nazi designs and Swedish and Italian designs. And on and on.

The biggest issue on putting the five volumes up is the sheer size of the publication. Volume V alone is 1.4 Gigs. I have been breaking the PDF files up into something that can be managed here and for the most part initially I will just focus on uploading fragments of volume I until it is done, then I will move on to volume II, etc.

As stated the bulk of the upload will be in the free forums, but I will leave you with a teaser extract from Vol. 1, Ch 3. Again, please register and comment. Or upload Volume II or III while I focus on Volume 1. LoL


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