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(Forum Home)--->(Hunting Stories)--->(.30 Pedersen device ammo)
Thread Admin: c3shooter (38-0-0) (Last 10 Posts) Posted: 12/01/2010 at 22:00:54
Total Posts: 7
Thread Title: ".30 Pedersen device ammo"

Many of you have heard of a strange little side trip taken by US Ordnance in WW I- The Pedersen Device- replaced the bolt of an 03 Springfield, and suddenly you had a semi auto rifle- that now fired what was roughly a .32 pistol cartridge.  A few days ago, was chatting on another forum about this rare little instrument, and mentioned that I had ONE cartridge of the ammo- and it had a cracked case.  Today I returned from some errands to find I had been visited by the FedEx Fairy.  One of the gents on the forum sent me a care package- with SIX pristine rounds of .30 Pedersen ammo.  Packed on the canvas magazine pouch that was issued with the Pedersen device!  Yes!  I am a happy boy! 

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Seller: oldmanjeffers(185-0-0) Post#1 - Posted: 12/02/2010 at 00:07:56

What a neat idea!

Seller: Elitist(145-0-0) Post#2 - Posted: 12/02/2010 at 15:27:14

I actually got to handle a Pedersen device, many years ago, in the Pattern Room in the UK.  Nearly all of them were destroyed after WW One, and none of them were actually used in combat.  Probably a good thing.  The cartridge was about as wimpy as a .32 ACP and the Debice was pretty fragile.  It wouldn't have lasted long in the trenches.  But it was sort of the father of the submachine gun concept.

Buyer: 5thcommjarhead(68-0-0) Post#3 - Posted: 12/02/2010 at 23:47:17

Elitist - Can you imagine dragging that rifle though a tangle of barbed wire? 

Buyer: brainaxe(19-0-0) Post#4 - Posted: 12/03/2010 at 08:00:13

Does it block the sights, as it appears to in post one? Undecided  Or is it off-set?

Seller: Elitist(145-0-0) Post#5 - Posted: 12/03/2010 at 09:03:59

The magazine is offset at an angle, and doesn't block the sights.

It was intended to be used for "walking fire," i.e., the troops would be advancing in a line abreast, firing as they went.  You would think that after a few years of frontal assaults against machine guns and barbed wire that resulted in 50-60% casualty rates, the planners would know better, but I suppose at that point anything that MIGHT have been able to break the stalemate would get consideration.

By the time US troops got into serious combat, though, tanks had done that and the warfare was much more open and there was more maneuvering than 1914-17 had seen.  The BAR and the Lewis gun gave them the firepower needed for advancing against the Boche, and this gadget never saw combat.

BTW, Pedersen was probably second only to Browning and Saive in his skill as a designer, having many guns to his credit in the commercial world, including the model 10 Remington shotgun and the Model 12 rifle.  Like the Device, they were hallmarked with Pedersen's quirks as a designer: needlessly complicated with far too many small parts that could easily be lost in routine disassembly for cleaning or maintenance (anyone who's taken down a Model 12 knows what I mean about little bits that fall out when you least expect them to!).  That wasn't too much of an issue in civilian life but in a combat weapon it would have been a serious situation. However, the concept did lead to the submachine gun and eventually to the assault rifle of WW Two, so the Pedersen device was a significant development in the evolution of small arms and tactics for using them. 

About 65,000 of these were built and nearly all were destroyed.  probably no more than 100 have survived in any condition, if that many.  The Pattern Room's is the only one I have ever seen "in the flesh," but I've seen others offered for sale at auction houses.  They go for big bucks.  The Springfield 1903 was modified to use them, and issued as the "Mark I," with an ejector opening in the left receiver rail.  These are far more common than the devices they were intended to use.

Buyer: 5thcommjarhead(68-0-0) Post#6 - Posted: 12/03/2010 at 11:01:08

The BAR didn't see much action, having arrived in France only two months before the Armistice.  It reputedly did some pretty good work during the final American offensives of the war, though.  They certainly were a great improvement on the Chauchat, which Dr. Bill Atwater, former head of the Aberdeen Ordnance Museum, called "the worst piece of crap ever foisted off on the American soldier".  It was terribly prone to jamming, mostly because it had an open-sided magazine so that you could see how many rounds you had left to shoot after you had cleared the damned thing.  It also fired 8 mm Lebel ammo so that the machine-gunners had to get different ammo than the riflemen. 

Buyer: brainaxe(19-0-0) Post#7 - Posted: 12/03/2010 at 14:52:17

Thanks for the great info, E and 5th! Smile

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