Over recent weeks Kalashnikov Media, of Kalashnikov Concern’s media department, have been treating us to videos looking at some very interesting and historically significant firearms including Mikhail Kalashnikov’s automatic pistol prototype and the PP-71 SMG.
The latest video looks at arguably one of the earliest assault rifles – the Fedorov Avtomat. Not only is there video but also an image gallery. High resolution photographs of the Fedorov are almost impossible to find so its very exciting that Kalashnikov have provided some great images.
Sadly, Kalashnikov Media’s video and photographs do not show the Fedorov’s 25-round magazine, possibly because they no longer have one.
Developed by Vladimir Fedorov, with the assistance of Vasily Degtyaryov, the first prototypes were completed in 1907 but suffered from failures to extract. Fedorov refined his design and submitted it for testing in 1911. The improved Fedorov fared well in trials against a design by Fedor Tokarev and the Imperial Russian government ordered 150 rifles for troop trials.
In 1913, Fedorov began working on chambering his automatic rifle in the smaller Japanese 6.5x50mmSR cartridge in order to make the weapon more controllable and reliable. Despite the outbreak of World War One the Avtomat Fedorov was ready by 1916. The eruption of the Russian Civil War in 1917 caused massive upheaval and Russia’s exit from the War. Fedorov sided with the revolutionaries who commissioned him to build 9,000 Avtomats.
Production proved slow and only 3,200 Avotmat 1916s were made. Fedorov’s guns entered service in the early 1920s before being placed in reserve in 1928, due to the 6.5×50 round complicating the supply chain. They again briefly saw action during the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939-40.
For a more detailed history of the Fedorov check out my colleauge Max Popenker’s article on it here.
Check out Kalashnikov Media’s video: