Modelling > Engineering Dept.

Guns, guns, guns?

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If this is in the wrong place could the moderators move it to the proper location

Hello all esteemed members of the forum, I have a scenario and question to put to you.

I, in the guise of the leader of a small modern military force arrives on Earth, the UK, in the latter part of the 19th century.  My force and I need to train and equip a regular army unit, battalion size, for an upcoming mission. However, the General staff and the War Office instead give me a less than adequate battalion sized unit to get into shape.
Now we can get this unit fit to fight, but circumstances dictate there is a lack of weaponry for them, caused either by the reluctance of the General staff to issue weapons to this unit or an unexplained shortage. But, I am allowed to either procure weapons for my unit outside the military process OR produce my own, through third parties. One other thing, I have also brought with me a complete listing, data and blueprints of every rifle, machine gun and sub-machine gun made between 1900-2020. I need around 1100 rifles and 200-250 SMG's for my force. The time limit? How does 2 months sound?

So using my database, what type of rifle and SMG, could be built quickly and in sufficient volume within my short time frame?
The fixed point is calibre. The rifle needs to fire the early .303 round nose bullet in British military use in that era. There isn't time to develop a pointed nose bullet of a new round to fit the rifle of choice. As for the SMG, I'm erring towards 9x19mm, but I could consider .455 Webly or 7.65mm Mauser as an alternative.

Here is an example of what I'm on about as relatively easy to produce weapons.
Rifle,- AK-47, FG 42, Sturmgewehr 45, Sturmgewehr StG44, Fort Ellis XR-86, TWR LMR Low Maintenance Rifle, L1A1/FN-FAL.
SMG,- STEN, M3, BSA Experimental, EM-2, PPS-42, Uzi, Owen Mk.1-43.
What are your thoughts, opinions, etc?

The timing of "in the latter part of the 19th century" makes things tricky. Most of the small arms you're looking at involve stamping and spot-welding components. Modern-style stamping machines were becoming more common in British industry by the 1880s but work on resistance spot welding only began in 1885. Spot welding in industry doesn't seem to have been all that common until the 1930s.

If I'm right about the above, you might be safer going for weapons made with more conventional gun-making techniques. Since your character has the blueprints, he'll know to anticipate Enfield adapt the contemporary Lee–Metford to the coming smokeless powders (and adapt rifling accordingly).

On pistol rounds, my impression was that 455 Webley Automatic rounds didn't exist until just before WWI. If it has to be an existing round, .32 ACP was being produced by FN by 1899. Can't go wrong with Parabellum, of course. For the SMG, construction techniques of the times suggest a future-gazing MP18 or similar type.

You have 2 months?
You are not going to design, build, modify - and test - it. You are buying off the shelf.
Whatis already in existence for the .303 British?

Even if you had the necessary machine tools, you won't accomplish it in 60 days.

You can pretty much forget about an SMG, the powder and cartridge technology
would be borderline and the machining of the parts would not be a fast process.

Basically much of what you're talking about would be period bleeding edge tech
and thus very expensive.

Plus a semi-modern equipped battalion for what "mission"? There's no realistic
threat in period that would require that kind of firepower.

First off thanks for the response. 60 days was an arbitrary figure, as I was thinking that would be a minimum amount of time to get a group of unfit soldiers into a credible fighting force. So here is the background.

This group is made up of mainly British Army (BA) soldiers, with a sprinkling of Canadians, Irish and Indian military nationals who have been convicted of misdemeanors in their own regiments and countries, that could've resulted in either demotion in rank, jail time, dishonorable discharge or all three. Instead, these 'convict' soldiers are offered a chance to serve out their time in a sort of 'Penal Battalion' still attached to the British Army but separated physically and literally, on the Isle of Man.

This is the 1st Battalion Isle of Man, AKA 'the misfits/British Foreign Legion' garrisoned near Douglas IoM. These soldiers spend their time reflecting on their misdemeanors, and waiting for their 'sentences' to end so they can return to the mainland without the stain of a prison record or the stigma of a dishonorable discharge.
That's why they don't have any decent weapons. Any rifles contained in the armouries are either worn out, serviceable or just too dangerous to use, so these weapons are for drill and practice only. That's why the Army General Staff (AGS) and the War Office are refusing to let them have anything from the regular army stock, as in spite of my assurances that the soldiers have been 'rehabilitated' and ready to go.

So that's where my problem lies. I cannot purchase the sort of rifles used in BA or RN service, as mentioned above or buying 'foreign weapons' (i.e. European) as it isn't really an option as the 1st Batt. is strictly speaking listed in the BA ORBAT. One option though could be buying North American made rifles, possibly Winchesters for instance.

How can I pay for them? Well I am from the present day, armed with knowledge of metallurgy, technology, medicines, music (?), etc that would be useful to just about anybody who showed an interest and an open cheque book. I wouldn't be too fussy.

I can stretch the time-span to 3-4 months at a pinch, so for instance, any stamped metal guns could be produced like the ones I mentioned in my first post.

One final thing is the significance of the era 'the latter part of the nineteenth century', should've been a big clue.

the 'mission' jcf?..........ULLA!!!


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