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The granddaddy of the famed M16/AR-15 family, the AR-10 was developed in the 1950s by Eugene Stoner, following the trend at the time of select-fire battle rifles firing full-power rifle rounds. Chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO, the AR-10 featured a conventional layout, with a straight-line stock and barrel design optimized for automatic firing, elevated sights, and was made from aluminum, weighing just 6.95 lbs empty.
The AR-10 was offered as a replacement for the M1 Garand when the US sought to adopt a battle rifle. During trials, prototypes proved favorable, until an unfortunate design flaw caused its barrel to explode.note The flaw was fixed, but in the end, the US military adopted the M14 rifle instead. A design they were heavily biased in favor of anyway,note so the burst barrel simply gave them an easy excuse.
After design issues were ironed out, the AR-10 entered the market. The rifles were sold to and license-produced by some countries, most notably Sudan and Portugal, the latter of whom used it in the Portuguese Colonial War. Most users found the weapon to be both accurate and reliable, but in the end, no country officially adopted the weapon, and sales were limited.
In 1957, the AR-10's design was scaled down and updated for a smaller .223 caliber. This new design was the AR-15, and it and the AR-10's rights were eventually sold to Colt. This newer weapon soon caught the attention of the US military, who found that their large-caliber M14s were heavy and difficult to control, and in 1964, the design was adopted as the M16, and the rest is history.
The AR-10 continues to be produced today for the civilian market, though the newer rifles are based on an AR-15 design scaled back up to .308, rather than the original AR-10 design. Like its descendant, a variety of aftermarket accessories are available.
Anime and Manga
- A customized AR-10T target rifle is used by Kohta in High School Of The Dead, after getting it from Rika. According to the author's notes, Rika convinced an American soldier to smuggle it in via his military connections.
- SPECTRE trainees can be seen training with AR-10s in From Russia with Love.
- AR-10s are used by the Marines defending the White House in Superman II. In the Richard Donner cut, Zod also briefly uses one after picking it up.
- Appears a couple of times in The Professionals. In one episode, an AR-10 is mocked up with a drum magazine and laser sight (making it somewhat resemble an American-180 submachine gun)note as the "A180 .22 calibre assault rifle", supposedly a prototype weapon.
- Some are used by the soldiers in Sheena.
- Tony Soprano receives a customized AR-10 for his birthday in The Sopranos. Strangely, in some episodes, the rifle appears to be an AR-15 with a large magazine, while in other episodes, it's an actual AR-10.
The performance of the gun is rather a matter of great debate among the gun community. Initially, allied WWII propaganda films portrayed it as an incredibly inaccurate gun due to its high recoil, a story that's given credence due to the fact almost all battle rifles that came later in history shared this problem, but those few who had the luck of handling the FG 42 (notably including Ian McCollom) tell the exact opposite story: that the gun is notable for being one of the only battle rifles in history that are truly controllable in full-auto — not exactly comfortable to shoot, but controllable nonetheless. But this came at the cost of a hollow stock, a necessity to house the buffer mechanism responsible for lowering the recoil, making it rather fragile. In fact, the whole gun was fragile, as it was made to be as light as possible. The important components in the receiver were so delicate that non-stop full-auto fire could totally destroy the action; the action would later be the basis for the M60 machine gun, which also acquired a reputation for literally beating itself apart as it aged.
Since malfunctions and weapon durability are seldom portrayed in First Person Shooter games, however, this gun tends tends to instead be depicted in WWII video games as a supergun, able to fire accurately in semiauto while still being effective when firing full-auto bursts. Interestingly, this actually fits with the initial perception of the FG 42 by US Army staff when they studied it after the war, simply because it fit better with their pre-conceived notion of what the ideal infantry rifle would be than the unfairly-dismissed-as-useless but far more effective StG 44.note It's also often mistakenly classified as a light machine gun, when it is actually a rifle.
The weapon was to be an universal gun, merging the capabilities of machine gun, SMG, and precision rifle. It was to be fitted with a bipod, scope, a spike bayonet, and a grenade adapter, a true IKEA Weapon. The WWII designers working on the project even came to joke that their superiors in High Command demanded "eine eierlegende Wollmichsau" (an egg-laying woolly dairy pig), and the Heer (Army) flatly refused to participate in the development, declaring that a gun meeting the Luftwaffe's specifications could be found only in Utopia.
In 2011, Smith Manufacturing Group (a small gunsmithing operation in Texas) began producing a semi-auto FG 42 reproduction for civilian sales. While they spent more than twice as long developing their clone as the Germans spent developing the original, resulting in a more reliable weapon than what the Fallschirmjäger actually carried, this new version is every bit as rare (if not more so) on account being made by a small company and selling for a whopping $5,000. An unrelated German company has started to offer it's own semi-auto version of the FG 42, including a variants with modern modular attachment systems.
Anime and Manga
- The FG42 is noted in some entries of the Kerberos Saga as an alternative choice for Kerberos members in place of the standard MG42. In Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Fuse at one point meets other members of the group sporting the original model.
- Seen in the first, third, and fifth Call of Duty games, typically with the ZF-4 scope and depicted as a hugely powerful selective-fire weapon accurate at long range; in the first game it's basically the game's BFG-equivalent. In World at War it's one of the most versatile weapons of the machine gun class, if not the entire game, being able to fit its intended role of a machine gun (decently-sized 32-round magazine that works well with the bipod's semi-Bottomless Magazines effect) as well as working well as a short-range spraying weapon (incredibly high rate of fire with the fastest reload of its class) or a long-range marksman's weapon (it's the only machine gun that can fit a scope, and despite the fire rate has low recoil).
- Appears in the second Brothers in Arms game, used by members of the German 6th Parachute Regiment.
- All but replaces the MP40 as primary weapon as soon as it appears in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, incredibly versatile between its full-auto capability, integrated scope and abundant ammo thanks to sharing with the Kar98.
- Seen in Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII. It's also in Battlefield V as an LMG used by the Support class.
- Germans may choose it in Day of Defeat, but only in a paratroopers teamnote . The recoil is faithfully reproduced, that is, outrageous: the second bullet in a burst can only hit what you're aiming at from point-blank range; the scope variant is useful because you can't have normal binoculars in the game, but not for aiming.
- In Day of Infamy, the original model FG42 is available for use by the Wehrmacht Support class. It's fitted with a bipod and can take a ZFG-42 scope. It's semi-realistically only featured in maps that the Fallschirmjäger infantry can be played in, but in the interest of fairness you don't actually need to have a Fallschirm outfit unlocked to use it, and it also shows up in battles they took part in before the weapon finished development, like the Battle of Crete from 1941.
- Wielded by Nazis in BloodRayne, but it's called the "Blitzgewehr32" here. Rayne can use it one-handed, and can even dual-wield two of them.
- Available for Panzer Elite's Fallschirmjäger infantry in Company of Heroes.
- Carried by German Fallschirmjäger units in Men of War.
- Appears in Sniper Elite 4 in the hands of Support Jager infantry units. Unlike most secondary weapons, Fairburne cannot start out with this weapon, although he can pick one up from the aforementioned units when they're killed.
- In Foxhole, the storm rifle is actually an A.K.A.-47'd FG-42, while named after the Sturmgewehr 44. It's also actually a rarity in the game's battlefields, having been too difficult to produce and falling out of favor for the bolt-action 7.62mm rifle. Building them requires having an advanced war factory.
German snipers, however, took a liking for its larger, quickly-replaced magazine and semi-automatic action, especially since snipers tend to take better care of their weapons than regular soldiers and thus would have less issues with it (about all they preferred from the Kar98k was the inherent greater accuracy at more extreme ranges from being a bolt-action with a slightly longer barrel). In 1944 the weapon was renamed the Karabiner 43, owing to the fact that it was similar in length to the Kar98k (the barrel was only five centimeters shorter than the 98's, though the overall weapon was two centimeters longer); as such, the K43 is really only a "carbine" when compared to the original Gewehr 98's ridiculous length, and is of comparable size to the semi-auto rifles used by the various Allied nations. The only physical differences between the Gewehr and Karabiner versions are whether the letter stamped on the side of the receiver is a G or a K.
- Cool Accessory: The weapon is frequently seen with a ZF4 4x optic scope in fiction. The scope, however, was notoriously fragile (and originally intended for squad marksmen rather than specialized snipers), and the cheaply-manufactured scope mount wasn't stable enough to hold a zero (owing to manufacturing shortcuts/defects made by some factories, especially those who tended to use prisoners-of-war as slaves) meaning they weren't that often used in real life compared to fiction.
- The weapon was used by the Big Bad (played by Frank Sinatra of all people) in the 1954 film noir Suddenly as he said he prefers it over a Tommy Gun in a plan to assassinate the President. This rifle had a twenty round magazine, a ZF4 scope, and a custom bipod to keep the rifle steady.
- Medal of Honor has consistently featured it with the ZF4 scope since Underground. Often serving as the Evil Counterpart to the American Springfield.
- Call of Duty first added it with the United Offensive expansion pack to even out the playing field between the Americans (who had both the M1 Garand and Carbine since the base game) and the Germans (who had no comparable weapons), in turn heavily contributing to the expansion's noticeably-higher difficulty because it deals so much damage even in an NPC's hands. It returns for Finest Hour as a dedicated sniper rifle, 2 in both regular and sniper versions (though the sniper version is rather glitchy, including the singleplayer HUD misidentifying it as the Springfield), and 3 as a regular rifle again. It's also available in World at War as the second semi-auto rifle unlocked after the SVT-40, featuring very similar characteristics with the difference that it can unlock rifle grenades and gets a proper suppressor rather than the usual louder flash hider.
- The first weapon you receive in Sniper Elite. The weapon reappears in Sniper Elite V2, Sniper Elite III, and Sniper Elite 4 (anachronistically so in III, considering it's set in 1942). The Gewehr 43 boasts a higher rate of fire (it's semi-automatic after all) and a better magazine capacity than the bolt-action rifles, along with a powerful scope, but it has low muzzle velocity (amplifying the effect of wind and gravity) and low stopping power.
- Wehrmacht snipers and Panzer Elite infantry use this rifle in Company of Heroes
- Red Orchestra and its sequel Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad both featured the G43's predecessor, the Gewehr 41 (specifically Walther's variation, as there was another G41 designed by Mauser). The first game also has the G43 proper with both scoped and un-scoped variants.
- Commandos 2 and 3, in the hands of German snipers. The Sniper and Natasha can take them from the enemy if they don't start the mission with a Sniper Rifle. It's incorrectly depicted as a bolt action rifle, since all sniper rifles have a single animation.
- Men of War features the G43 in both rifle and scoped variants, usually in the hands of Wehrmacht specialist units like the Fallschirmjägers, Brandenburgers and Panzergrenadiers.
- In Day of Infamy, the G43 is the Wehrmacht's semi-auto rifle available for the Officer, Radioman, Rifleman and Sniper classes. The Sniper class can equip the ZF4 scope, while racking up kills and headshots with it nets the player a worn veteran and cloth-wrapped skin respectively.
- The Weapon of Choice for Waffen-SS snipers in Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway.
- The Gallian rifle family in the Valkyria Chronicles is inspired by the Gewehr 43, but has a few differences like an under-barrel gas cylinder (the gas cylinder on the Gewehr 43 is mounted above the barrel) and a receiver cover to keep mud out of the action. Also notable is that each variant series always start with a short rifle and somehow end with a heavy long rifle.
However, the rifle never saw combat, because the JSDF was focused on domestic defense, and until recently have not been given the authority to operate outside of the Japanese islands. When compared to the US M14 rifle (which, incidentally, the Type 64 shares the same magazines as), the Type 64 was superior in practical accuracy and control (likely due to the reduced-power cartridge). However, the Type 64 was also infamous among JGSDF personnel for being overly complicated, gaining an overall unreliable reputation.
The Type 64 was officially replaced as standard-issue in Japan by the Type 89 in 1989. However, the rifle still sees use today, especially among the Japanese Coast Guard and second-line JSDF units that do not expect to see combat, due to SDF budget restrictions. For a short while, the Special Assault Team and the Coast Guard's Special Security Team also used scoped Type 64 rifles as sniper rifles note .
Due to Japan's strict anti-hardware laws, this rifle, like its successor, has never been exported.
- Trivia: While as noted above it is designed for a reduced-load 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge, the Type 64 can in fact use NATO-standard cartridges (which saves massive headaches on logistics since there are many US military bases in Japan that stock loads of 7.62x51mm NATO ammo), and the rifle was even designed with a gas regulator setting for full-power ammo. While doing so causes the rifle to wear down substantially faster, at least the weapon won't explode.
Anime & Manga/Light Novels
- In Sword Art Online, the Type 64 is shown as Klein's weapon of choice when he plays in Gun Gale Online in both the main storyline and the video game continuity.
- The primary weapon of the Library Defense Force in Library War as well as its live-action film adaptations. Kasahara's actress, Nana Eikura, received training in the operation of an actual Type 64 rifle at JGSDF Camp Iruma for her role.
- The most commonly used rifle in Gate despite the fact that the story takes place in the 21st century, years after the Type 89 became the standard-issue firearm of the JSDF. It's justified in-universe as due to the fact that an expeditionary force investigating a much less advanced world should take along older weapons, since they are still more than enough to subdue any threats from a medieval society, and it's less of a financial and logistical loss should any equipment have to be abandoned there.
- A very prolific weapon in Japanese media, especially the franchise about the trope codifier for Kaijus, appearing in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla 2000, and Godzilla Tokyo SOS, all in the hands of JGSDF personnel.
- The first and third Gamera movies have this rifle appear, again, in JGSDF hands; the second movie features the Type 89 assault rifle instead.
- Appears slightly anachronistically in The Man in the High Castle, which is set in 1962. The Type 64 (probably under a different designation) is replacing the Arisaka as the service rifle of the Japanese Imperial Army, but is so new that only the Imperial Guards accompanying the Crown Prince have them yet. Given that it's an Alternate History, it's plausible that the weapon was developed a little earlier. It appears more often in season 3 in the hands of IJA and Kempeitei personnel, indicating that procurement is ongoing.
- Alliance of Valiant Arms has this weapon appear, although keeping in with the No Export for You regulation, the rifle along with the succeeding Type 89 is only available to Japanese players.
- Shows up in Siren 2, due to the presence of JGSDF soldiers both as playable characters and among the ranks of the shibito. Major Takeaki Misawa uses a scoped variation as his Weapon of Choice, befitting him being older and more experienced than Private Yorito Nagai, who's generally stuck with the newer Type 89.
- Available in Girls Frontline as a five-star Assault Rifle. Befitting the real weapon having never been exported, she's presented as being a somewhat sheltered girl who's frightened by, but also curious about, the outside world.
- The Type 64 is available in Parasite Eve once the player unlocks New Game+. It's in the Chrysler Building.
The MAS-49 was the culmination of a nearly 50-year quest by the French Army to issue every soldier a semi-automatic weapon. With development slowed to a crawl by lack of funds and interrupted by the World Wars, it wasn't until the 1950s that the goal was achieved. By that point, having a standard-issue semi-auto was no longer revolutionary at all (with America, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany all having at least one similar weapon before or during WWII; the Nazis even made two of them during the war, although they were delicate weapons compared to other countries' offerings). The MAS-49 only saw limited production before being replaced by the shorter, rifle grenade capable MAS-49/56.note It utilized a tilting bolt system similar to the FAL, and a direct impingement gas system like the later M16. The MAS was beloved by French soldiers for its ability to go for weeks at a time with only the most rudimentary cleaning,note even in the harshest desert and jungle conditions; ironic given the reputation the more famous M16 gave to direct-impingement systems like it a decade or two later. It also uses a unique system of having the magazine catch on the magazine instead of on the rifle. No one else has ever used this odd system on a standard-issue weapon,note but it works well enough.note
An interesting addendum to the rifle's history is that nearly the entire production run was later exported to the United States for civilian sale. As the rifles are cheap, powerful enough for use in hunting, easy to fit scopes to (if the 49/56 variant), are almost always in like new condition, reliable, can easily be bored out to the common .308 roundnote , and legal without modification in almost all states, they've developed a small but rapidly growing fandom.
- A French sailor in GoldenEye is armed with a MAS-49/56.
- In The Day of the Jackal, French soldiers have MAS-49/56 rifles, while gendarmes carry the older MAS-49.
- The Battle of Algiers has lots of French soldiers carrying the MAS-49. Despite being set in 1966, there are no MAS-49/56s to be seen.
- The Vietnamese first-person shooter 7554 (the name comes from the date 7 May 1954, when North Vietnam defeated the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu) includes the MAS-49 and, anachronistically, the MAS-49/56.
- The MAS-49/56 shows up in Wargame: Red Dragon, and is used by the French Reservistes unit. Since the basic French rifle squad, the Chasseurs, don't actually use a riflenote , the Reservistes actually have better range and accuracy than them.
- The weapon was implemented in an update in Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, as a weapon for the NVA and VC factions. It comes in 3 variants: the standard variant for NVA Scouts and VC Guerillas, a sniper variant for VC snipers, and a variant that fires rifle grenades for VC Sappers.
The M1941 Johnson rifle was an American rifle that was designed by Melvin Johnson prior to World War II, to arm the American Army with a semi-automatic rifle to compete with the M1 Garand that was chosen to be their service rifle. Rather than a gas system like the Garand has, the rifle's action was recoil-operated. The weapon is fed with stripper clips on the side into the internal, rotary magazine. While it had a slightly larger magazine of ten rounds which could be topped up as needed (even with the bolt closed and a round in the chamber), the action's basic nature required a moving barrel which gave the weapon a rather wide vertical dispersion, and which would malfunction if a soldier were to attach a full-size bayonet to it; a reduced-size "tent spike" bayonet was produced for the gun as a result, which was widely derided as being useless (since it could still negatively effect the moving barrel mechanism when thrust into a target, and the fact that "spike" bayonets have no facility for use when not attached to a rifle).
Ultimately, the US Army kept the M1 Garand rather than replacing it with the Johnson rifle. While the Army didn't adopt it, it was adopted by the US Marine Corps. Due to being unable to replace their Springfields with Garands until late in the war when every Army order had been filled, they managed get their hands on small quantities of this weapon in the Pacific Theater. As they were in need of a more contemporary rifle (the fact that Johnson was a Marine Corps Reserve officer probably didnt hurt, either). The rifle had a few shipments to the Dutch East Indies ordered by the Netherlands, but remaining shipments were cut off due to the Japanese invasion.
Johnson was able to redesign the rifle to become a light machine gun, which he was able to sell in similarly-small quantities to British and Canadian Special Forces. The LMG variant fed from a detachable box magazine and featured an integral bipod. Johnson also added an ingenious recoil buffer system to the LMG, resulting in the humpback-shaped stock and greatly improving its controllability. The weapon had many parallels to the FG 42, fed with a side-mounted horizontal magazine and operating in both open-bolt for full-automatic fire and closed-bolt for semi-auto; the primary difference was that the Johnson LMG utilized a single-stack magazine, thus making it longer (and more unwieldy) than the FG 42's double-stack one despite the same capacity, and that the Johnson's fire rate was adjustable from 200 to 600 rounds per minute. Despite the similar strengths and weaknesses, neither were influenced by the other and it was mere coincidence that the two ended up so similar. It also came in two variations, similarly to the FG 42, although the differences between Johnson LMG variants were slightly more visible - the original version, as pictured, used a wooden stock and metal bipod, while a revision in 1944 swapped for a tubular steel stock and a wooden monopod. The light machine gun variant was the signature weapon of the 1st Special Service Force or "Devil's Brigade", which was a joint-commando force between the United States and Canada that operated from July 1942 to December 1944.
While the weapon was ultimately unsuccessful in defeating or even really complimenting the Garand, it nevertheless managed a similar legacy. Whereas a copy of a lend-leased Garand's bolt inspired the bolt for the post-war AK and its various progeny, the AR-15 and its descendants likewise utilized a bolt whose design was initially adapted from that of the Johnson, as well as copying the Johnson LMG's recoil buffer (Melvin Johnson was a mentor to Eugene Stoner).
- Trivia: Melvin Johnson had a habit of giving "pet" names to his designs. The Johnson Rifle was nicknamed "Betsy", while the Johnson LMG was "Emma". The rifle was the weapon of choice for Medal of Honor recipient Robert Dunlap, who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima. The light machine gun was also the weapon of of choice for Communist revolutionary Che Guevara in the Cuban Revolution.
- Bucky Barnes uses a scoped Johnson Rifle as his other primary weapon in Captain America: The First Avenger. It's inaccurately depicted as a bolt-action rifle rather than a semi-automatic.
- Communist sharpshooter Jiang Maocai uses an M1941 Johnson Rifle against Kuomintang forces in the 2007 Chinese war movie Assembly. It's one of the most accurate & extensive depictions of the Johnson Rifle in media, showing off its semi-auto capability and unique side-loading clip. A Kuomintang sniper also uses one with a scope mounted on it.
- In the pilot episode of The Pacific, a few Marines can be seen using the Johnson Rifles, which is period accurate as the Marines wouldn't be able to field Garands for every man until later in the war.
- The LMG version is available for the player to use in Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault for those who purchased the Director's Edition.
- The Johnson LMG appears as an easter egg in the Battlefield 1942 mod Forgotten Hope. It's only available to the Canadians.
- Both rifle and light-machinegun configurations of the M1941 Johnson appear in Men of War in the hands of specialist American units like the US Army Rangers, US Airborne and the US Marines.
- The Johnson LMG shows up in Call of Duty: WWII, however it's been mislabeled as a Rifle, confusing it for the rifle variant.
As a reverse-engineered copy of the Garand, the Type 4 is extremely similar to the American rifle, but chambered in the Japanese 7.7x58mm round. One major exception, however, is that since the en-bloc clip would not reliably function with the 7.7mm round, the Type 4 instead has an enlarged magazine (visibly protruding from the bottom of the receiver, compared to being flush with the wooden furniture on the Garand) which is loaded with a pair of 5 round Arisaka-type stripper clips. The Type 4 also uses the Arisaka-style tangent sights and bayonet lug.
The Type 4 ranks among the rarest of World War II firearms, as complete sets of parts for only about 250 examples are known to have been made. Many of these sets were never assembled - it's estimated that only 100 or so were actually built, including those put together by the US Army for testing after the war.
However, this has not stopped the weapon from being portrayed in fiction, most commonly in video games as a Japanese counterpart to the Garand. Note that these depictions are frequently inaccurate, generally showing the rifle as either a carbon copy of the M1 with Japanese markings, or at best as (correctly) having a 10 round capacity, but feeding from a detachable magazine (which should have been detachable only for cleaning) or from an en-bloc clip.
- The Battlefield series was the first media franchise in existence to acknowledge the rifle even existed:
- Battlefield 1942 features a Type 5 modeled with a detachable 10 round magazine.
- The prologue of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 features a Type 5 modeled with chrysanthemum marking and incorrect rear sight (basically identical to the standard Garand's except with a more squared rear aperture, although that's probably more acceptable than the ridiculously-tiny aperture the real thing had), feeding from an 8 round en-bloc clip.
- It shows up again in Battlefield 1943, with the same model and characteristics as in Bad Company 2's prologue.
- Call of Duty: WWII joins in by adding the weapon in its Blitzkrieg event. Like in BF1943 and BC2, it is erroneously loaded like its American counterpart with a 10-round en-bloc clip instead of two 5-round Arisaka stripper clips.
- Type 4 was added to Girls Frontline as a 4-star RF T-Doll, with stats similar to the Garand befitting the real weapons' relation (Type 4 gets lower health and lesser damage in return for better accuracy and evasion). In-story, she's a mangaka who draws a manga that is apparently very popular among other T-Dolls.