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The Alexandrov M1917 is a semi-automatic rifle that was designed by Mikhail Alexandrov and manufactured by the Alexandrov Armory. It is a heavy modification of the earlier M1906 bolt-action rifle, and is one of the first semi-automatic rifles to see combat.

The Alexandrov M1917.

History:

During World War I, the Imperial Russian Army used the Mosin-Nagant M91 as their main standard issue rifle. Although the weapon was good enough for combat, it was rather jam-prone (that'll be for the M1906) and it also had a slow rate of fire due to the fact that it was bolt-action. Mikhail Alexandrov, an engineer and soldier in the IRA, decided to remedy the issue of having a slow rate of fire by creating a new rifle, with design starting in early 1917. Instead of creating an entirely new rifle due to time constraints, he took his bolt-action M1906, modified it to make it semi-automatic instead, included the use of a fixed magazine, and the end result was the first semi-automatic rifle originating from Russia; the Alexandrov M1917. In June 1917, it entered testing to be used as part of the new army of the provisional government that overthrew the House of Romanov and the Russian Empire. Because the military was desperate for more rifles, the weapon was adopted into use with very minimal testing. Because of this, the weapon's reliability was completely unknown to the military, and it turned out the M1917, while accurate and had a good fire rate, had a tremendous amount of complaints saying that the rifle frequently malfunctioned, with the blame centered on the unproven and unrefined firing mechanism as well as the rifle being particular about ammo quality. It's poor reputation for reliability made the weapon quickly unfavorable among soldiers, and claimed that they preferred the Mosin-Nagant, Winchester M1895, and even Alexandrov's own M1906. After Georgy Korsakov officially took over the Alexandrov Armory, he began to refine the weapon's gas system in an attempt to resolve the M1917's unreliability. In 1919, upgraded M1917 rifles debuted during the Russian Civil War, where the weapon's reputation was significantly more positive when compared to the early-model versions.

The weapon last saw combat during the Winter War of 1939-1940. It was succeeded by the SVA-43 rifle.

Facts:

  • Barrel is 23.7 inches long.
  • Chambered for the 7.62x54mmR cartridge, and is fed via 5-round stripper clips into a 10-round fixed magazine.
  • Designed in 1917, produced from 1917 to 1935.
  • Effective range is around 750 meters.
  • Rate of fire: Semi-automatic.
  • Weighs 8.3 pounds.
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