Pedersen gun pr0n- The WWI superweapon that (almost) won the war

Here we see a beautiful Springfield Armory 1903 MK I .30-06 SPRG caliber rifle with an uber rare and original Pedersen device.

Springfield Armory 1903 MK I .30-06 SPRG (R18854) caliber rifle. Springfield 1903 with Pedersen device
Mr. Pedersen’s device was a very simple top loading, blowback-operated pistol without a grip. Its barrel was the exact size, shape, and length of the standard .30-06 M1906 cartridge case. All the soldier had to do was pull out the regular turnbolt of his Springfield and any .30-06 ammo, insert the Pedersen Device, attach the device’s 40-round magazine, and let her rip. The device used the host rifle’s trigger group, sights, barrel, and stock. The device would cycle new rounds, and eject spent cases through a small port cut in the side of the rifle.

Other modifications to the rifle were to the sear, magazine cut off, and trigger to allow the regular bolt or the Pedersen device to be used interchangeably. In tests a trained infantryman could rip off two full magazines in less than a minute—a 500% increase in the Springfield’s rate of fire.

Springfield Armory 1903 MK I .30-06 SPRG (R18854) caliber rifle. Springfield 1903 with Pedersen device overallTo accommodate the device’s short action (it had to fit completely in the space occupied by the Springfield’s original bolt), it fired a short .30 caliber pistol sized round. This 7.62x20mm round, a cross between .32 ACP and the WWII-era .30 Carbine loads, held a 80-grain bullet over 3.5 grains of bull’s-eye powder which gave a blistering 1300fps out of a rifle barrel. This allowed the Pedersen device rounds, although pipsqueak in size, to still be lethal and accurate enough to reach out to 300 yards.

Springfield Armory 1903 MK I .30-06 SPRG (R18854) caliber rifle. Springfield 1903 with Pedersen device 1919 RIA marked bolt pouchOverall, the device added 1.75 pounds to the weight of the standard Springfield rifle, but, best of all, all the all the infantryman in the field had to do to convert back over to .30.06 was pull out the device and insert the regular bolt and ammo. Two guns with the weight of one!

Of course, WWI ended before the Pedersen could be fielded in great numbers, and the lean peacetime Army brass decided it wasn’t worth keeping so most ended up smashed or burned in the 1920s, hence their great rarity today.

All images via Collectors Firearms, where the above gun is available for just $39,999

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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