Rifles used in World War 1 now used in New Mexico competitions
Albuquerque, New Mexico - While in New Mexico for the 2012 National Police Shooting Championships, we ran into one-time NRAblog correspondent Patrick Hernandez. Patrick, if you remember, wrote about his club — the New Mexico Military Surplus Rifles and Pistols Shooters.
That's when it hit NRANews producer John Popp ... who better to perform a Curator's Corner on the fly then Pat? With the invitation extended, Pat ran home home and brought a few of his firearms for the NRANews cameras and crew.
First on the list was an 1886 Lebel Rifle.
"The first smokeless military rifle in the World," Hernandez beamed.
First seeing action in 1887, this bolt-action french firearm weighed in at about ten pounds, carried an eight round tubular magazine and fired an 8x50mm round.
Next was an 1891 Mosin-Nagant.
"The Nagant was used by the Russians on the Eastern Front," said Hernandez.
Initially put into service in 1891, the Mosin-Nagant has seen action in everything from the Russo-Japanese War to the Cuban Revolution to the War in Chechnya.
"It shoots a 7.62×54mm round," explained Hernandez. "What's interesting about that is that round is still used for the Dragunov sniper rifle of today."
As Patrick pointed out, both rifles come fully equipped with bayonets in tact. Though not as useful today, the bayonet was essential in the trenches of World War I.
"During the Great War, the trenches were only 50 to 100 yards apart so they would run across and take to the bayonets. The invention of the machine gun put a stop to that."
To see these rifles (along with a pistol owned by a member of the World War I 503rd French Tank Regiment) up close, and hear Patrick's french pronunciations, tune in tonight for Curator's Corner on NRANews and Sirius/XM Patriot.