TFB’s Rifle (And Subgun) Weight Omnibus – How Heavy is Your Rifle? PART 3 OF 3: Analysis

In Part I and Part II of the TFB Weight Omnibus, we published the weights of 58 rifles and submachine guns, and their magazines. Now, we’re going to take a look at that data, and do a little analysis to them to see what we can learn. First, my methodology when doing the weighings was somewhat flawed, and so we’ll have to compensate for that. Chiefly, I was inconsistent in whether I weighed rifles with or without their slings. In some cases, the slings of some of the rifles were old and delicate, and I did not want to remove them, but time constraints and a certain absentmindedness on my part were the larger reason behind this. To compensate, I’ve created four categories of slings which, while they won’t exactly match the weights of the slings actually mounted to the rifles, will be a close enough approximation. They are:

M1907 Leather Sling – Weight, 0.320 kg. For weapons mounting actual M1907 slings or reproductions.

Foreign Leather Sling – Weight, 0.160 kg. For weapons mounting any leather sling other than an M1907, as they are much lighter.

Cotton Web Sling – Weight 0.126 kg. For weapons mounting any cotton web sling, with one exception.

M1 Carbine Sling – Weight 0.100 kg. For the M1 Carbine, which has a considerably smaller sling than normal.

For the analysis, these values will be subtracted from the measured weight for any weapon weighed with an applicable sling. While this does introduce error, it makes the data more meaningful than if raw data was analyzed for all weapons, regardless of whether they were weighed with a sling or not. Further, even major percentage errors in sling weight estimates are a very minor percentage of the overall weight of most weapons.

The weapon weight data will be organized into 10 categories, those are:

1. All Weapons

2. Intermediate Caliber Rifles

3. 5.56mm and 5.45mm Rifles

4. Other Intermediate Caliber Rifles

5. Full-Power Semiautomatic Rifles

6. Full-Power Detachable Magazine Semiautomatic Rifles

7. Full-Power Fixed Magazine Semiautomatic Rifles

8. Bolt-Action Rifles

9. Bullpup Rifles

10. Submachine Guns

For each category, there will be produced charts of all the data in that category graphed on axes of the weapons and their weights, with one graph showing weapons with no magazine (if detachable), and weapons with affixed empty magazines. For the major categories, graphs of rifle weights on an axis of year of introduction will be created.

Values for the lowest weight, highest weight, difference between highest and lowest, mean weight, median weight, and standard deviation will be produced.

With all that out of the way, let’s begin:

1. All Weapons

Lowest Weight: 1.980 kg, M1 Carbine

Highest Weight: 4.798 kg, M1A1 Thompson

Difference: 2.818 kg

Mean Weight: 3.675 kg

Median Weight: 3.704 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.584 kg

Lowest Weight: 2.058 kg, M1 Carbine

Highest Weight: 5.036 kg, M1A1 Thompson

Difference: 2.978 kg

Mean Weight: 3.820 kg

Median Weight: 3.862 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.590 kg

2. Intermediate Caliber Rifles

Lowest Weight: 1.980 kg, M1 Carbine

Highest Weight: 4.478 kg, RPK-74

Difference: 2.498 kg

Mean Weight: 3.498 kg

Median Weight: 3.600 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.522 kg

Lowest Weight: 2.058 kg, M1 Carbine

Highest Weight: 4.786 kg, MP.43

Difference: 2.728 kg

Mean Weight: 3.659 kg

Median Weight: 3.714 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.552 kg

3. 5.56mm and 5.45mm Rifles

Lowest Weight: 2.828 kg, MR556 SBR

Highest Weight: 4.478 kg, RPK-74

Difference: 1.650 kg

Mean Weight: 3.558 kg

Median Weight: 3.604 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.418 kg

Lowest Weight: 2.950 kg, LE6920

Highest Weight: 4.696 kg, RPK-74

Difference: 1.746 kg

Mean Weight: 3.722 kg

Median Weight: 3.743 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.435 kg

4. Other Intermediate Caliber Rifles

Lowest Weight: 1.980 kg, M1 Carbine

Highest Weight: 4.394 kg, MP. 43

Difference: 2.414 kg

Mean Weight: 3.278 kg

Median Weight: 3.298 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.756 kg

Lowest Weight: 2.058 kg, M1 Carbine

Highest Weight: 4.786 kg, MP.43

Difference: 2.728 kg

Mean Weight: 3.426 kg

Median Weight: 3.298 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.817 kg

5. Full-Power Semiautomatic Rifles

Lowest Weight: 3.616 kg, SCAR 17S

Highest Weight: 4.756 kg, G.41(M)

Difference: 1.140 kg

Mean Weight: 4.224 kg

Median Weight: 4.282 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.291 kg

Lowest Weight: 3.858 kg, SCAR 17S

Highest Weight: 4.770 kg, SIG AMT

Difference: 0.912 kg

Mean Weight: 4.364 kg

Median Weight: 4.470 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.267 kg

6. Full-Power Detachable Magazine Semiauto Rifles

Lowest Weight: 3.616 kg, SCAR 17S

Highest Weight: 4.474 kg, SIG AMT

Difference: 0.858 kg

Mean Weight: 4.107 kg

Median Weight: 4.143 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.256 kg

Lowest Weight: 3.858 kg, SCAR 17S

Highest Weight: 4.770 kg, SIG AMT

Difference: 0.912 kg

Mean Weight: 4.334 kg

Median Weight: 4.339 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.278 kg

7. Full-Power Fixed Magazine Semiautomatic Rifles

(Note that for this category, any rifle is included that was designed to be loaded with the magazine fixed, regardless of whether the magazine is readily removable or not)

Lowest Weight: 4.018, Pedersen PB

Highest Weight: 4.756, G.41(M)

Difference: 0.738

Mean Weight: 4.359 kg

Median Weight: 4.399 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.226 kg

8. Bolt-Action Rifles

Lowest Weight: 3.624 kg, M1903A3

Highest Weight: 4.030 kg, M1917 Enfield

Difference: 0.406 kg

Mean Weight: 3.858 kg

Median Weight: 3.856 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.146 kg

9. Bullpup Rifles

Lowest Weight: 3.600 kg, Steyr AUG A3 and Tavor

Highest Weight: 3.694 kg, FS2000

Difference: 0.094 kg

Mean Weight: 3.640 kg

Median Weight: 3.633 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.041 kg

Lowest Weight: 3.706 kg, Tavor

Highest Weight: 3.800 kg, FS2000

Difference: 0.094 kg

Mean Weight: 3.751 kg

Median Weight: 3.748 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.041 kg

10. Submachine Guns

Lowest Weight: 2.618, MP5

Highest Weight: 4.798 kg, M1A1 Thompson

Difference: 2.180 kg

Mean Weight: 3.274 kg

Median Weight: 2.983 kg

Standard Deviation: 0.762 kg

Lowest Weight: 2.740, MP5K-PDW

Highest Weight: 5.036 kg, M1A1 Thompson

Difference: 2.296 kg

Mean Weight: 3.489

Median Weight: 3.231

Standard Deviation: 0.789 kg

Finally, The Thrilling Conclusion:

So what did we learn here? Well, most obviously, the Thompson submachine gun is incredibly overweight, and it’s difficult to justify in retrospect the fielding of such a weapon during the latter part of World War II, when obviously better options were available. In contrast, the early model M1 Carbine is absolutely jaw-droppingly light, handily beating the next-lightest gun (the MP5) by almost three-quarters of a kilogram (almost a pound and a half)! We discovered that bullpups and early full-power selfloaders all pretty much weigh the same as their stablemates, but that there is rather a lot of variation within the 5.56mm/5.45mm camp. Surprisingly, plotting weights versus the year of introduction of the design didn’t yield any immediately obvious trends. It seems as though the lightness of the rifle probably depends more on the talent of its designer than the materials available to him.

Of course, 60 rifles was a lot for one guy to weigh in just a day and a half, but even so the sample sizes were pretty small for many of the subcategories, and it would be further enlightening if those were expanded.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.

• DW

M1 Carbine masterrace?

• Giolli Joker

“Tags: \$100, Analysis, bullpups all weigh exactly the same, data, history, i am probably using excel wrong, lol i can into statistics, mass, oh who am i kidding i am way too cheap for excel apache all the way, Weight”

LOL

• Ronaldo Olive

This reminds me of the Brazilian LAPA bullpup rifle of the early 1980s, the prototype of which weighed 3.4 kg, and the production models were expected to take that figure down to 2.8 kg. Loved that thing…

• Major Tom

So all the bullpups and all the bolt actions weighed very similarly to others in their category.

Well I can tell you from experience an M91/30 Mosin-Nagant would fit neatly into that range for the bolt actions. It’s a pig heavy 3.5ish kg long rifle without bayonet, unloaded and sans sling. The all-steel bayonet adds on like at least another .5 kg, but then again the M30 bayonet is basically like a railroad spike.

• 2hotel9

Why no love for the standard config AK? Shouldn’t be leaving people out, hurts their feelings! 😉

• ostiariusalpha

He didn’t have an Artillerie Inrichtingen AR-10 either. It would have masterraced the “Full-Power Semiautomatic Rifles” and “Full-Power Detachable Magazine Semiauto Rifles” categories.

• Yes, an AI AR-10 would have creamed the competition. I also failed to get Alex’s M16A1 which would have been a worthwhile addition.

• I missed the M16, too. :

• Charles Conway

Hey by the way. Thanks! Weight is something not usually considered when looking at new purchases. I love my Springfield M1A but sometimes I secretly think of replacing it with the nice light little 30 carbine. Then I remember I AM MAN and must therefore carry the largest loudest boomstick I can find. 🙂

• iksnilol

Just chop the barrel of the carbine and it will be the loudest boomstick.

• DW

Loud enough for ATF to notice…

• iksnilol

Hey, he wanted the loudest boomstick.

• BrandonAKsALot

I really would have thought the HK33 would have outweighed everything in the 5.56/5.45 category. It just feels so unwieldy.

• HK33 is the third highest in that category, behind two light machine guns with milled steel receivers, so you’re not really wrong.

• Green Hell

Can you guys at TFB make a review of M1 Carbine? I’m curious about both rifle and cartrige, how it’s effective and accurate it is on different distances and maybe how it works against body armor. This gun with a paratrooper stock sounds like good home defence option, espetially considering it’s weight.

• I am working to make that happen, but we’ll see!

• st4

And M2!

• Isaac Shank’s review of the M1 Carbine: It’s light, and points nice. Seems to have killed a good amount of people in history. Chances are, if you need to shoot something under 200m, it’ll more than likely do the trick!

• Blake

TNOutdoors9 has several video reviews of it: https://youtu.be/iRM9nGPsPgs
he also does some ballistic tests.

• The_Champ

M1 carbine and Vz58 for the light weight win!

• Hells yes. I love my Vz, looks like its time to add an M1 to the safe

• ostiariusalpha

Oh, this has been a truly excellent series of articles! You’ve done a fantastic job, Nate, and I’m not just talking about your tag-fu. My grandfather always talked up the M1 Carbine, wishing he had one of them instead of his 1911 “brick” that he was issued. The only thing that would have made the series more perfect would be to include firearm weights with loaded mags, because that’s how they’re actually carried. Don’t forget the discussion around how the 6.5 Grendel effects the weight of a gun versus 5.56 in magazines that are the same size.

• See, I have an ammunition weights database, which means there could possobly be a Part 3.5…

• Riot

I’d of contrasted weight with barrel length.

I knew the Thompson was heavy but not by that wide a margin.

• That’s a good suggestion. There are a lot of interesting metrics I can sort the data by, but the article was ungainly enoygh as it is. Oh well, leaves room for a Part 4, maybe?

• Hensley Beuron Garlington

I concur. Fine data and a fine series.

• A Fascist Corgi

“So what did we learn here? Well, most obviously, the Thompson submachine gun
is incredibly overweight, and it’s difficult to justify in retrospect
the fielding of such a weapon during the latter part of World War II,
when obviously better options were available.”

Not everyone cares about weight (lucky for you). From what I remember reading about small arms use during WWII, most allied soldiers chose the Thompson submachine gun over any other firearm when they went on raids. But I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that you’re willing to completely rule out an otherwise excellent firearm simply because it weighs a little bit more since you think that the 6.5 Grendel isn’t a viable military round because it weighs a couple ounces more per magazine…

• 5kg for a weapon that shoots pistol bullets? I’ll pass, thanks.

• Evan

That’s heavier than the full size infantry rifle (of the time)…

• 2hotel9

Funny, Jarheads and GIs were quite happy to have them, the only ones complaining were Japanese, Italians and Germans.

• Which is why post-war, both services dropped the M1 and M1A1 like a bad habit and switched entirely to the M3 for their subgun needs, right?

• Bill

No, they did that for ease of manufacture and subsequent lower cost. If you compare the metalwork and machining that went into a Thompson and that of an M3, you’ll see that there’s no comparison.

• Wait, post-war, after production of the M3 and M1 had both ceased, they dropped the M1 because the M3 was cheaper to make? Huh!?

• Bill

Which M1? Regarding the Thompson, and any other weapon for that matter, sheer weight isn’t the only factor that makes it a “good” gun. You cannot possibly put a Thompson, particularly a pre-war original, next to an M3 or s Sten and to notice a significant difference in manufacturing, hence cost and weight. An Omega Seamster weighs more than more Casio, but that doesn’t make the Casio a better watch. It’s a great cheap beater, but it’s no Omega.

If you are going to reach back to the 20’s how about including the BAR and Reising? They’ll tip your scales.

• M1 Thompson.

The Reising’s nowhere near as heavy as an M1 (it’s also not a very good gun, however). The BAR in its original M1918 form weighed only a couple kilos more than a Thompson… While having a much longer barrel and chambering .30-06!

I’ve shot both M1 Thompsons and M3 Grease Guns (actually shot a Grease Gun about a week ago, in fact). The Thompson is not a better weapon. It’s actually a very disappointing one, with crappy sights and uninspiring everything else. The M3 Grease Gun is not terribly inspiring, either, but it’s far, far lighter and more compact, while not being any worse.

• Bill

The M3 was the “improvement?”

• It certainly isn’t any worse. You ever fired either?

• Bill

Both. Though never a M3 with that curved shoot-around-a-corner thing.

• YMMV, but I much prefer the M3.

• Bill

Okay, but this is sort of like guys arguing over which classic car is “best.” My appreciation for the Thompson goes into the craftsmanship in making it, much the same as a vintage Colt SAA, not that I plan on actually using one to fight with, until I become Immortan Joe.

Studebaker Golden Hawks Rule.

• Yeah, see, you’re still talking about the classic 1921 and 1928 Thompsons, not the M1/A1. The M1 series’ build quality is nothing special.

The M3 is clearly a much better gun than the M1, which is why it got used for far, far longer.

• 2hotel9

See!?!? You can lead a horse to water. Whether it drinks or not is up to it.

As for “dropping” the Thompson, that did not happen in October of ’45, they were held in TO&E well into the ’50s and it was a troop favorite during the Korean War. And M3? That was still being issued to tracked vehicle operators in Field Artillery and Engineer units into the 1980s, I know, I qualified on Grease Gun while serving in 8inch howitzer battalion in ’81-’82.

This compression of history is a habit you should work at dropping, it is a major problem when trying to hold things in proper perspective.

• It was substitute standard for Korea because of materiel shortages, same reason the M1 rifle went back into production.

As for it being a “troop favorite”… That is something often said about the Thompson and rarely ever supported.

• 2hotel9

And the old adage is proven yet again, makes one wonder how many horses have died from dehydration whilst standing in front of a full water trough.

As for “troop favorite”, please dredge up the evidence that troops hated it and no one wanted to use it. All the WW2 and Korea vets I have known during my life had nothing but praise for the Thompson.

• Bill

While I like light guns as much as the next guy, the Thompson had a FAR higher quality of build than its WW2 counterparts. No none is claiming that it’s a “modern” weapon comparable to an MP5 or 7

• Sure, it wasn’t a glorified piece of plumbing like the Sten or Grease Gun, but neither was the Beretta 38, despite being like a kilo and a half lighter.

• iksnilol

Don’t forget the ammo. .45 acp has similar weight to 308 whilst 9mm has similar weight to 5.56.

• iksnilol

Well, the Thompson despite its cool image is a pretty bad weapon.

You can carry twice as much 5.56 as you can .45 acp. The magazines are lighter and shorter. Most weapons chambered for 5.56 also weigh way less, as in you can carry a naked AR + 4 full 30 round mags for the weight of an empty Thompson. That’s pretty bad.

Granted, that’s an unfair comparison. So we will do an more fair comparison. The Bergmann MP-18 (first SMG) still weighs a kilogram less + its ammo weighs half whilst allowing about 50m longer practical range (9×19).

Now moving to WW2 whilst the US stuck with the Thompson the world had way better stuff. The Beretta M38 with with 3 30 round mags still weighs a bit less than an empty Thompson. An MP-40 is similar. Even the PPSH is lighter, and is chambered for a vastly superior cartridge.

• DW

You forgot the Suomi, that thing is also heavy, but is also good enough to justify the weight. Well, sort of.

• iksnilol

Eh, Suomi despite being somewhat heavy still weighs noticeably less.

• A Fascist Corgi

I wasn’t really trying to defend the Thompson submachine gun. I think that both the MP 40 and the M3 Grease Gun were superior. But it was probably the best firearm for urban combat that the allied forces had easy access to. I also don’t agree with the weight obsession trend. Don’t get me wrong, all things being equal, I’d choose a lighter gun over a heavier gun. But often you get increased performance with that added weight, making the trade-off worth it in my opinion. Despite the relatively heavy weight of the Thompson, allied soldiers still fought over who got to carry one. So, obviously they cared more about the overall performance of the gun than the weight.

When I see people crying over an assault rifle or a submachine gun weighing over 7.5 pounds, I think of my father who carried an M60 in Vietnam. He never complained about the weight even though it weighed over 25 pounds loaded. Stop being wussies.

The obsession with light weight firearms is a relatively recent trend. Go look up the weights of various military firearms throughout history. They were almost always heavier than modern firearms. Soldiers simply adapted to the weight. Your muscles grew and you became less of a pansy.

• The_Champ

Heavier firearms in the past? Maybe a little. But by the time you slap an ACOG, M203, flashlight, and IR laser onto your AR it isn’t all that light any more is it?

Soldiers today tend to be burdened with a lot of extra equipment that didn’t exist in WWII, Korea, or even Vietnam. Hard plates, a half dozen kinds of electronics(and the batteries to power them), weapons accessories, and the list goes on.
Finding ways to cut weight for over burdened soldiers is a legitimate and useful endeavour, and has nothing to do with modern soldiers being “pansy’s”.
You are correct that weight added often means added durability, controllability, etc. But modern design and materials can help retain some of those attributes and also lighten things up.

• You’re absolutely right, Champ. Further, you don’t even need to use new design techniques to create a weapon that is lightweight, strong, and reliable. A lot of the modern designs, sadly, have totally ignored sound design practices and created weapins that are no cheaper, no more capable, and up to a kilogram heavier in some cases.

For “heavy is good, heavy is reliable” crowd, they’re absolutely right that a 2″ wide piece of square steel bar stock is both heavier and stronger than a 1″ piece of the same length. Considering their attitude, however, I sometimes wonder how they would react if shown the mechanical properties of an I-beam.

• iksnilol

We could make an even bigger I-beam!

This is a game changer.

• Actually, most often you get decreased performance for your trouble, e.g. the ARAK-21. In fact, one could say an architecturally heavier weapon necessarily has reduced performance for a given configuration weight because it would have to be fitted with a lighter and/or shorter barrel to match the mass of a weapon with lighter architecture.

I’m not against heavier weapons if they bring something worthwhile to the table. You’ll notice I didn’t say anything negative about the very heavy RPK-74, that’s because it’s bringing a long heavy barrel and bipod to the party.

• iksnilol

Not really, even in the 1800s there were lighter and smaller weapons made for cavalry and whatnot. Only reason pistols were first made was to have something handier than a rifle. 2-4 muzzleloader pistols weigh less than one musket whilst providing much more firepower. The only reason they fought over the Thompson was because they didn’t have anything else that was automatic except for the BAR. And the BAR makes almost anything seem lightweight.

I do somewhat agree with you, whining about a rifle weighing 3.5 kg instead of 3 is one thing I agree with you. Doesn’t mean I don’t go for as light as possible.

• 2hotel9

Really? All actual evidence and historical record to the contrary. Thompson was the proper tool for the job at hand and the only bad thing about it was lack of numbers when it was desperately needed.

• So then why’d they stop making it in 1943?

• 2hotel9

You are really hung up on 1943. Exactly what happened then that has you so uptight? Thompson was held in TO&E long after it was no longer being produced and it was a troop favorite even at the time it was withdrawn. So was the BAR. That you don’t like it because it was “heavy” is irrelevant to the actual facts, troops liked it. Did they want something lighter? Sure, we always want sh*t to be lighter, does not change the fact that you use what you have and often like it.

• Exactly what happened then? M1 Thompson production stopped, in the middle of the biggest war of all time… Because it’s an expensive, overweight gun and the M3 is better.

It’s the only major US small arm to be discontinued during WWII. If it was so much better than the M3, then why?

• 2hotel9

And yet the Thompson was held in inventory and issued well into the 1950s. Facts, they really are pesky little things.

• iksnilol

Oh yes, proper tool… doesn’t mean that there weren’t tools that did the job better, cheaper and more easily.

But the Thompson is a holy cow, you can’t really say anything negative about it lest you be crucified and fied to damnation itself… Just like the M14 is a holy cow.

• RealitiCzech

I really wish the 1923 Thompson with it’s .45 Remington-Thompson cartridge had been adopted instead. It would’ve been even heavier, but you’d have something with a bipod and the same power as a .44 Magnum, which would be an interesting take on the intermediate cartridge idea.

• The_Champ

Not sure how accurate this is, but I’ve seen the SVT-40 listed at 3.85 kg which is very favourable compared to its contemporaries, and more modern full power rifles as well.
I’ve got an SVT-40, M1, SAFN, and AG42 and I’ve got to say that balance counts for a lot. Even though the SAFN is on the heavier side, it is much better balanced than the others, and much more comfortable to shoulder. Feels more like shouldering an SKS.

• Blake

Thanks a lot for the detailed testing, Nathaniel.

Ya know what I’d really like to see? A modernized M1 carbine chabmbered in .327 federal magnum. The two cartridges share very similar dimensions…

What would be the advantage over something like the KelTec SU-16 at 2.1kg? Almost the same weight as an m1 carbine but in 5.56 and a 16 inch barrel.

• DW

And a bipod doubling as handguard

• Blake

(& a Kel-Tec (or anything else black w/lots of plastic) is most assuredly not 🙂

• iksnilol

Eh, an M1 Carbine chambered for the common intermediate cartridges of today (with their common magazines) would be interesting. There was something similar to an M1 Carbine in .222 made. Winchester LMR it was called.

Imagine something in 5.56 or 7.62×39 (or even 6.5 Grendel) that weighs as much as a lightweight PCC. Sure, we have the KelTec SU-16, but more options is nice.

• ostiariusalpha

It would only be just & right for someone to bring back the entire family of Williams’ action firearms. A true Williams’ Carbine (the M1 Carbine was only partially what David Williams envisioned) chambered for .30 Carbine, .22 Spitfire, and whatever pistol or PDW cartridges you’d care for; the Winchester LMR for the the standard 56-58mm COAL intermediate cartridges; and some version of the Winchester G30R for common short or long action cartridges. The LMR and G30R might not be quite as light as their trials versions were, due to some perhaps necessary reinforcement in certain critical areas (both guns had durability issues that sank them), but with polymer stocks you could offset that somewhat.

• The Winchester LMR was based on Williams’ carbine, not the M1 Carbine. It was chamneted for .224 Winchester E2 not .222 Remington.

• Zugunder

I thought RPK is a machinegun.

• Yes, it is, but adding 14 extra characters to the title just for one weapon seemed a little silly.

• Zugunder

Oh, ok, sorry.

• No need to apologize!

• 2hotel9

I have a Romanian RPK semi, love it. Take off the crappy bipod and it is a nice shooting rifle, what with the longer, heavier barrel.

• Don Ward

While you’re at it, can I get the average phone number in the Yellow Pages?

• tb556

My Sig 556 Classic weighs 7.8lbs unloaded. I have the standard hangaurd and folding colapsing stock.

• Are you suggesting M1A1s were not used in multi-day assaults?

Look, nobody’s saying you can’t kill someone stone dead with an M1A1 Thompson, but it was a needlessly heavy, needlessly expensive gun. That’s why it was discontinued as soon as the US Army had access to something better.

• Bill

“Better” being lighter, cheaper and capable of being made by anyone with a basic knowledge of welding. I’m not a Thompson proponent, but the M3 wasn’t exactly a wondergun. Besides, what’s the point, with the array of subguns available today? Even though we have decided that they are really niche weapons that fill a very narrow niche.

The Thompson was the nipples at the time, which happened to be 1920 something to 1950 something. It’s a great example of gun-making didn’t involve stampings or CNC machinery. Big piece of worked steel weigh a lot. Granted, it didn’t have a wire stock that you could pull off to undo the barrel, but this is sorta like complaining about having to carry around a jerry can of water for your Maxim: we don’t use these things anymore, but at the time they were the best.

I don’t know which Thompson you shot, and I’m not a historian, but my experience with a 1930’s vintage PD gun was extremely interesting. I’m not trading in an MP5/7 for it, let alone an M4, but it was an impressive piece of gunmaking.

• That is interesting, because we are talking about the M1/M1A1 Thompson, which began production in 1942. By which point they were obsolete except for being the only subgun available to the Americans.

• By no means was i saying that; just simply that i think you’re placing more emphasis on it’s weight than the actual military did. Procurement may have been staved after better guns were developed, but isn’t there evidence of it being issued out up until and in Vietnam?

• KestrelBike

Sweet jesus, someone buy this. A FAMAS popped up on gunbroker, currently at \$8,000 BuyNow at \$13,000. http://www.gunbroker dot com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=539519874
Paging AlexC, buy this gun and do a Run & Gun.

• I sent him a text, thanks for the heads up.

• KestrelBike

Awesome!

• Blake

How is a semi-auto rifle worth that?

• KestrelBike

Purely for the collector-factor. There were apparently a max of 100 of them ever imported into the US. if I had the disposable scratch, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. (then again, I’m fascinated by the French Foreign Legion, sooo)

• Cap’n Mike

Another great article Nathaniel
Amazing that a GI could carry 2 M1 Carbines for the weight of one Thompson.
Makes you wonder what that thing weighed in “Chicago Typewriter” configuration with a 100 round drum magazine.

• scaatylobo

GREAT IDEA ,now if you could have printed it so we could all READ it ,that would have been even better.
Shame to post so much information that is not readable to most.

• Right click -> Open Image In New Tab. 🙂

• Core

Have you seen all those pictures of the”boys” with Para M1 Carbines with skeleton stocks strapped to their jump gear? Did you have a para carbine to weigh or standard? Not sure which one would be lighter, considering the full size wood stock is pretty light. I’ve worked on walnut stocks and the weight can vary a lot depending on the wood.

• RickOAA .

My only 5.56 rifle is 10.5 lbs with a 1-4x optic. These graphs are going to force me to strip it down and rebuild as a lightweight!

NOT!

Weight isn’t everything, but it makes for an interesting pictorial reference on something most of us already know.

• Hensley Beuron Garlington

Nobody said it was everything. But its pretty important when measuring efficiency.
Sure, a big block V8 is impressive, but it isn’t efficient for getting from A – B, which is the purpose of a vehicle in its most basic sense. We are talking about weapons, not “classics”. We are talking about weapons. The whole point of this article is strictly laying out weights of firearms for us to compare and discuss. Why anyone, and you’re not alone, is jumping in here making an pro argument for heavier weapons is absurd. A broadsword was a pretty awesome and beautiful weapon, but a katana it ain’t.

• RickOAA .

Wholly depends on the purpose.

It’s a 16″ SPR and if I don’t mind carrying it around, what does it matter?

• Hensley Beuron Garlington

If it doesn’t matter to you, why are you commenting on an article that shows us weight comparisons and shrugging it off?

I don’t care if you want to use a 25 lb sledge to do a 15 lb sledge job. You might like the all steel handle compared to the carbon fiber, to each their own. But to a lot of us, weight is a huge factor in choosing any kind of gear because we often picture carrying other gear and a person can only carry so much in any given scenario.

• RickOAA .

The weight is where it matters; the barrel.

Yes, application and preference.

Mine’s a heavier, more precise hammer.

I used to carry heavy stuff so I’m okay with it.

I comment because I can.

Heck, my .177 airgun is 9.5lbs.

I’ll build a lightweight for the wife.

• Hensley Beuron Garlington

So, you’re overcompensating. I get it now. You win.

• RickOAA .

Sure. Being a machinegunner means I don’t mind the weight and being a multi award expert shooter means I like a consistent gun.

• Hensley Beuron Garlington

So you’re overcompensating. I understand you now.