Thursday, July 20, 2006

Polish Training Rifle

After I wrote about the Enfield trainer, a commenter told me about a Polish WZ48 trainer. It's made to look like the M38 Mosin Nagant, only made to shoot .22. And today I had a chance to shoot one.

What? Well, I... Oh, alright, I didn't just shoot one, I BOUGHT IT! Are you happy, dammit? Gerry, I blame you for this. You told me how neat it was. YOU told me how well it shot. YOU didn't care about my budget, oh no, and now it's blown and...


Where was I? Oh yes, after the bastard told me about them, while browsing around I checked the site of Military Gun Supply in Fort Worth. Clicked on 'New Arrivals' and there it was.

About the size & weight of a M38, but it's not as simple a change to .22 as the Enfield. There, they a: bored a barrel for .22, b: modified a bolt head to work the rimfire cartridge, c: took the spring & follower out of the magazine to catch the empties. Here, it's based on the MN action but...
Here's the barreled action out of the stock:

See that long, shiny bar attached to the trigger? That's the sear & trigger spring, with the sear pivoting on a pin through the spring just ahead of the trigger. The trigger is not set into the receiver like the MN; the spring holds it in place and it simply bears on the receiver. You pull the trigger, it flexes the spring and sear down until the striker releases.

Speaking of the bolt, it looks much like the MN bolt, but while the striker is offset for the rimfire cartridge, there is NO extractor or ejector as part of the bolt mechanism. Instead, riding in a slot in the bottom of the receiver is this:

It's somewhat similar to the extractor for the Martini; the bottom half of the breech face is milled out, and the extractor piece is shaped to match. In this case, to load you place the nose of the cartridge into the chamber and the rim over the extractor piece like so:

and close the bolt- it cocks on closing- and fire. When you open the bolt, as it rides back it pulls the extractor with it which extracts the empty and ejects it. Ejection is vertical and very positive.

The front sight is the MN-style round hood with a post inside. The rear sight

is much like the MN, only calibrated for .22. Lowest setting is 25 meters, longest is 100. And it is well-calibrated.

So how's it shoot? I tried two brands today, Federal Champion and Eley Sport, my two standards. I found that this is one of the few rifles I've tried that did not like the Eley, but it very much got along with the Federal. Set the rear sight for 50 meters, and here's the first ten shots at 50 yards:

Then I tried the Eley, not good. So I went back to Federal and a smaller target(I'd run out of the 3" bulls), and here's the next 5:

Not bad at all. So after I took care of some other things, I moved to 100 yards and fired ten:

Counting the one pulled off to the right, exactly 4". Not counting it, the other nine are in 2.5" by my caliper.

So it's a basic 'train the recruits' rifle made in 1954, and it shoots like this. I'm happy.

There are a few small dings in the wood, otherwise the stock is in great shape, and while the bluing is worn around the muzzle, stock bands and trigger guard, the rest of the metal is in fine condition. And the bore is spotless.

I'd never fired a Polish-made arm before. If everything they made is like this, I want more. Stands to reason; if you'd spent that long with Russians on one side and Prussians/Germans on the other, you'd want your arms up to snuff.

So my budget is blown. Do I care? Well, yeah. Sorry I grabbed it? Hell, no. As various people have written about, it's a terrible feeling to see something you really like, decide to think about it 'just a little bit', and when you go back it's gone. I decided not to wait till too late this time.

Damn you, Gerry, I STILL blame you.


Unknown said...

I just got one of these fine little guns, It is just a ball to shot and feels like a battle rifle in your hands. And its a whole lot cheaper to shoot than 8mm .

Firehand said...

No kidding on the cost. And you just reminded me, I haven't fired mine in a while...