This is a fabulous example of a very rare John D. Pedersen designed, Self-Loading Rifle manufactured by the Vickers & Armstrong company; England circa 1930. In 1923 the Army hired J.D. Pedersen to design a semi-automatic, replacement rifle for the Model 1903 and Model 1917 rifles. The first Pedersen Self-Loading Rifle was chambered in .276 caliber and was approved for testing in 1924. In the mid-1920s John Garand developed his own version of his early rifle also chambered in the .276 caliber. In 1927, Springfield Armory manufactured twenty Pedersen rifles for initial field testing and to also be tested concurrently with the, .276 caliber semi-automatic rifle developed by John C. Garand; both intended as a potential candidate for replacing the 30-06 cartridge in the 1903 Springfield. In 1929 John Pedersen also contracted with the Vickers-Armstrong company to his Self-Loading Rifle for commercial sales. In 1932 the Army selected the M1 Garand rifle in 30-06 for limited procurement and consequently stopped all further development of the Pedersen rifle. It is estimated that approximately 200 Pedersen Self-Loading Rifles were ever manufactured by the Vickers-Armstrong company mostly for testing by China and Portugal. This example is chambered for a .276 caliber cartridge as tentatively approved in 1927 by the U.S. Army and features a delayed blow-back action with toggling breechblock design that uses a 10-round, enbloc clip similar to that used in the M1 Garand Rifle. The left side of the receiver is roll stamped "PEDERSEN SELFLOADER PA/VICKERS-ARMSTRONGS LTD", with a small "Thai or Chinese" mark towards the rear of the receiver. The serial number, "164" is located on the right side of the receiver, and the top of the receiver ring is stamped with a circled "C2" marking. The rifle has a distinctive half round barrel with spiral cooling fins that are covered by a steel hand guard/heat shield with fourteen cooling holes on each side and is fitted with a Model 1917 type pattern upper barrel band. The bolt toggle has a sliding bar safety marked "REDY" on the left side of the bar and "SAFE" on the right side. The rifle is fitted with a one-piece walnut pistol grip stock with finger grooves on the sides of the forend with a series of cooling holes on the underside of the forend that extend from the upper barrel band to the trigger guard. The rifle is equipped with a unique, fully adjustable rear sight, that uses a rotary-drum mechanism for elevation adjustment with a sliding-bar/rear sight aperture for the windage adjustments. Both are graduated in half-minute of angle adjustments. Any examples of a Pedersen Self-Loading Rifle should be considered very rare and certainly a center piece of any British or early U.S. martial rifle collection. This beautiful rifle comes with one enbloc magazine clip.
Excellent with 99% of the original parkerized finish overall with just minor edge and high spot wear. The stock and hand guard are both in very fine condition with only minor light scratches on the sides with some very light thinning of the stock finish on the sides above the trigger guard area from general handling. This rifle is in the same configuration and caliber as those tested by the U.S. Army and should be considered as a early, advanced competitor against the M1 Garand.
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