The Rimfire Report: The Romanian M69 – Full-Sized 22LR Military Trainer

Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its various types of guns, gear, ammunition, and history. Last week we talked about the Volquartsen Summit straight-pull rifle. This nifty yet expensive rifle is “near perfect” when described by those who own it but I think what holds a lot of us back from purchasing one is just the sheer upfront cost of one. The Volquartsen Summit is already $600 or more for just a completed receiver. However, I’ve seen people spend way more money on far less refined products within this industry so don’t let me influence your purchasing habits, I’d probably have one too if I had the money! This week, we’re diving back into a bit of both history and affordably priced firearms – the Romanian M69 full-sized 22LR military trainer rifle. Military trainer rifles chambered in 22LR are nothing new but I’ve often heard examples of some of these fairly old and fairly simple rifles outperforming a lot of modern dedicated 22LR designs. While I was out in Finland, I got to talking with my buddy Calvin who runs the YouTube Channel Firepower United. Some of you who’ve been here for a while will remember him from his collaborations with TFBTV’s Alex C in the early days. Calvin and I got to talking about gun collections and it turns out he has a litany of 22LR military trainers and this week he’s graciously allowed me to use one of his as an example for this edition of The Rimfire Report. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel and Instagram if you like humourous takes on some of gun culture’s biggest jokes and tropes.

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Independent Arms Designers in the Soviet Union: Foma Yazikov

A  little over six months ago we published an article about an independent Soviet firearms designer named Firs Barkanov and his firearm designs. Today we will tell about another such arms designer – Foma Yazikov. This exclusive content was published by the Kalashnikov Guns Magazine. Mikhail Degtyaryov, the chief editor of the KGM, kindly gave us permission to use the content.

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CIA Agent's Memory Sketch of the Kalashnikov Rifle

Kalashnikov Media has recently published a scanned copy of a quite an interesting drawing. It is said to be the hand sketch of a CIA agent who first saw the AK-47 rifle in 1953. It was a part of a report which told that during a demining operation in Leningrad and Novgorod oblasts (administrative division) the soldiers of Krasnoselsk infantry regiment were spotted with a new submachine gun. According to that report, the recruits of the mentioned regiment were equipped with PPSh submachine guns whereas the more experienced personnel was carrying a new gas operated firearm.

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Independent Arms Designers in the Soviet Union: Firs Barkanov

In the Soviet Union, arms designing was almost exclusively done in government armories and design bureaus. And only on very rare occasions, individuals could be licensed to design firearms. This article tells about one of such independent designers – a gentleman named Firs Barkanov. The article is based on the story published by the Kalashnikov Gun Magazine. Mikhail Degtyaryov, the chief editor of that magazine, kindly provided us the rights to use the content.

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Fire Support of the Soviet Infantry: The Mighty PKM Machine Gun

For better or worse the PKM GPMG has been in constant service since 1961 and is considered by many to be one of the best machine guns in its field. Comparatively light, very reliable, and disgustingly simple to maintain and operate, the machine gun has found much favor among good guys and bad guys alike across almost every region of the world. In this episode we look at some of the features of the machine gun, what made it so successful (and fun to shoot) in all of its belt-fed, fully automatic glory.

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Forgotten Soviet PP-71 SMG Designed by Dragunov

Sometimes there is virtually no way to see images of long-forgotten Soviet firearms that were not ever adopted. Even if any samples of such firearms exist, they are most likely gathering dust in some vault. Thanks to the video and description released by Kalashnikov Media, we have a chance to take a look at one of these firearms called PP-71.

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Kalashnikov vs. Schmeisser: Myths, Legends, and Misconceptions [GUEST POST]

The following is an article that was originally written in Russian by TFB contributor Maxim Popenker, and Andrey Ulanov, and translated to English by Peter Samsonov. With their permission, I have replicated the text here, and edited it, for the enrichment of you, our readers!

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Kalashnikov Conspiracy Theories and How to Refute Them, Part 2: Schmeisser vs. Mikhtim

Continuing on from where we left off yesterday, in this article we’ll address the arguments that center around the Sturmgewehr’s designer – Hugo Schmeisser – and his career in Izhevsk. Let’s get on with it:

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Modern Historical Intermediate Calibers 020: The 7.62x45mm Czech

After World War II, the nations of the world retired to lick their wounds and rebuild, but their arms engineers also began thinking about the next war. The war have brought forth a storm of new technologies and inventions, and one of the most significant in the field of small arms was the finally mature assault rifle in the form of the Nazi-developed “Sturmgewehr”, and its intermediate 7.92x33mm Kurzpatrone cartridge. One nation that took notice of this new weapon and its ammunition was the newly reconstituted Czechoslovakia. That nations engineers quickly took to copying and improving the 7.92 Kurz caliber, producing by the early 1950s a short-lived but unique round called the 7.62x45mm Kr.52, or more popularly the 7.62×45 Czech. The 7.62×45’s projectile was a near copy of the Kurzpatrone’s stubby, steel-cored one, but its case was much longer, while being slightly thinner, and having a greater internal volume. This gave the Czech round an additional 250 ft/s muzzle velocity versus the German 7.92×33 when fired from the barrel of the rifle that was designed alongside it, the strange but wonderful vz. 52.

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The Krinks that never were, AKSU trial rifles

Following close on the heels of our other articles about the development and use of the AKS74U “Krinkov”, we now bring to TFB an article specifically about the prototypes that were entered into the design competition, that would later turn into the standardized AKS74U. Many of these did not see any sort of service after the competition, but they were extremely interesting and innovative designs that were indicative of forward thinking when it came to small arms technology in the 1970s. To put things in a competing design perspective with the M16, there wasn’t any long lasting successfully standardized extremely short version of the M16A2 from that time period. Of course there prototypes and limited fielding, but none of these came close to the sheer numbers of production and usage that the AKS74U saw in Afghanistan in the 1980s (as a result of the trials in the 1970s). The M4 really didn’t start getting into full issue until the late 1990s, and before that it was the CAR15, a somewhat perfected carbine that really only saw use among American special operations forces and some select few government agencies.

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In Defense Of The Mosin Nagant: The Nerd's Milsurp

A week ago, Alex C. and Miles Vining pitted the Russian Mosin-Nagant against the German Mauser Gewehr 98 in a battle royale shootout to see which was the best rifle. Unsurprising to some, and outrageous to others, Paul Mauser’s masterpiece took home the gold and handily beat the Three Line Rifle, scoring more hits more quickly in all the shooting sessions.

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Berlin Crisis, 1961: The Beginning of The End of The M14

In 1957, the T44E4 rifle was formally adopted by the United States Armed Forces as the United States Rifle, 7.62mm, M14, but this only marked the beginning of the rifle’s troubles. After numerous delays and production crises – including the rejection in December of 1960 of 1,784 of H&R receivers (about ten percent of the receivers that had been made up to that time) that could not withstand the pressure of firing due to a steel mix-up – Robert McNamara made a famous speech on the rifle program in June of 1961, stating: “I think it is a disgrace the way the project was handled. I don’t mean particularly by the Army, but I mean by the nation. This is a relatively simple job, building a rifle, compared to building a satellite or a lunar lander or a missile system.” At that time, there existed a grand total of only 133,386 M14 rifles, despite the type having been adopted four years prior.

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