The Fedorov Avtomat battle rifle

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The Fedorov Avtomat is possibly the first (see comments) an early firearm used in action that would classify as a true self-loading battle rifle.

Photo by Semen Fedoseev

It weights in at about 4.4kg compared to the 7.7-8.8kg of the BAR: much closer in weight to that of a battle rifle (rather than a light machine gun).

3200 were produced and it saw action during the Russian civil war and WWII.

More about it at Wikipedia and

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 12 comments
  • Steve A Steve A on Jan 17, 2012

    As a former draftsman this rifle intrests me greatly. Does anyone out there know where, or how, a set of scale drawings might be found for it? I would really like to see exactly how this weapon worked.

  • Andres Andres on May 26, 2012

    While I do not claim to be an expert on firearms, I am compelled to remark that the Fedorov Avtomat is definitely not an assault rifle. While it clearly meets 3/4 of the requirements to be categorized as an assault rifle, its cartridge disqualifies it outright. While it is a good point that the 6.5x50mm Arisaka rifle cartridge was weak and underpowered (it absolutely was), facilitating assault-rifle like automatic fire, the definition of an intermediate cartridge excludes pistol cartridges and those from standard rifles or battle rifles. Obviously the 6.5x50mm Arisaka round was from a standard service rifle. This prevents the Fedorov from being an assault rifle. However, as originally designed by Vladimir Grigoryevich Fedorov in 1915, the prototypes were chambered in a new, truly intermediate cartridge; the 6.5mm Fedorov round. Production Fedorovs beyond the prototypes and those not converted to 6.5mm Arisaka are not assault rifles but the prototypes as intended by Fedorov's design most certainly were.
    TL;DR: The first prototype Fedorov Avtomats were the first assault rifles, but they were converted and produced in 6.5x50mm Arisaka and instead turned into battle rifles.
    P.S. The Mondragon was a battle rifle and the Ribeyrolle 1918 is an assault rifle.