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Turner Light Rifle Prototype (2nd Model)

Sold for $16,100.

Cool Forgotten Weapons Merch!

Russell turner was a gunsmith and inventor in Pennsylvania who submitted a rifle design to the US Light Rifle trials (which would culminate in the adoption of Winchester’s design as the M1 Carbine). Turner’s entry into the first trial was a distinctive piece with a tubular metal stock and hand guard. This was criticized by the testing board, and his followup rifle in the second trial instead used traditional wooden furniture.

Unfortunately for Turner, the ammunition he was initially supplied for his development was loaded with IMR 4227 powder, and the ammunition used in the trials was a second lot made instead with Hercules 2400. While the two lots had the same maximum pressure, they had different burn rates and pressure curves and the trial ammunition did not run reliably in Turner’s rifle. Turner had not bee informed of this change, much to his disgust – he claimed that it would have been simple to adjust his rifle’s gas port location to work with the trials ammunition, and said that the gun ran perfectly with the ammunition he was supplied.

The Turner rifle is a pretty simple and handy design. It uses a long stroke gas piston and a side-locking tilting bolt, somewhat like the Czech ZH-29. It has a very simple trigger mechanism, and weighs in at 5.25 pounds unloaded. The safety copies that of the M1 Garand in operation, and the sights are a simple fixed aperture and front post. Had it not been for the pressure curve issues, it could have potentially been a real contender for adoption in my opinion.


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