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Shooting the EM-2 in .280 British

Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of the guns in this video, don’t miss the ARES companion blog post:

I had 10 rounds of .280 British ammunition to work with today, so I opted for several rounds in semiauto (including some slow motion shots) and then one burst at the end. The .280 cartridge is less powerful than the 7.62mm NATO, but in my opinion the EM-2 remains a rifle much better used in semiauto than full auto. In semiauto I feel that it gives an excellent balance of power and recoil impulse, and is a very comfortable rifle to shoot.

I have previously had a chance to fire one of the EM-2 rifles in 7.62mm NATO, and the difference in feel between the two is notable. The NATO cartridge really does show its power, and the EM-2 just isn’t really designed for that. I expect the same difference would be quite evident in early FAL rifles that used the .280 cartridge, which would be much better balanced weapons than the FALs ultimately adopted in 7.62mm.

Two of my rounds were damaged by feed malfunctions, unfortunately – but this rifle has been fired extensively as part of the Shrivenham working reference collection, and 60+ years will take a toll on a prototype rifle! I am grateful to the School for allowing me this chance!

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