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Shooting the RSC-1918 and RSC-1917 French Autoloaders

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The day has come to do some shooting with an RSC-1918 – and an RSC-1917 as well! The 1917 was the first selfloading rifle to see substantial combat use, with just over 85,000 manufactured in 1917 and 1918 and used on the frontlines by French troops. The 1918 pattern is an improvement of the design, with a shorter barrel, improved gas system, and using the standard Berthier 5-round charger clip.

In practical terms, the 1917 is the more comfortable gun to shoot, because of its greater size and weight. The 1918 is substantially handier, but requires the shooter to keep a solid grip on it – as would any carbine this size firing a rifle round with a 200-grain projectile! We did find during the course of this range session that the clips were originally meant to be disposable for a reason – they become deformed to the point of causing malfunctions after just a few uses. So owners of original RSC clips, be aware!

Special thanks to Silverdale Gun Club in Ontario for use of their range, and to Paul for letting me use his rifles. Check him out on Instagram:

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