C&Rsenal Tackle The Mythical Pedersen Device

    Othais and Pedersen's wonder weapon!

    Episode 65 of C&Rsenal’s landmark rundown of the weapons of the Great War covers something very, very special – the Pedersen Device.

    John Pedersen’s ‘device’ has an almost mythical reputation as a World War One wonder weapon that could have been. It could be inserted into specially adapted M1903s (Mk1) and M1917s (Mk2), turning bolt actions into semi-automatic rifles. Firing the .30 Pedersen pistol round the weapon used a blowback action and fed from a 40 round magazine which was inserted into the device at an angle to the right of the gun.

    C&Rsenal’s brilliant photographs of a Pedersen Device-equipped M1903 (C&Rsenal)

    The US would order over 133,000 US Automatic Pistol, Caliber .30, Model of 1918, as Pedersen’s device was designated, but just 65,000 were delivered. Envisioned to give American troops fire superiority and enable walking fire the device was never issued. In the episode Othais explains just how ingenious the design worked – disassembling the device to give us a look inside.

    Of course as always Othais delves deep into the development history and the context of the device’s adoption and explains its fate while Mae is lucky enough to put some rounds through it at the range. An earlier video from C&Rsenal’s Anvil series explains how the team got a non-operational Pedersen Device back into working order in time for filming, check that out below:

    Here’s the full 1 hour 15 minute long episode in all its glory!

    I won’t give spoilers but its well worth watching for Othais and Mae’s personal opinions on how the Pedersen Device would have actually performed in the field!

    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]


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