Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 410: Vickers & Armstrong Manufactured Pedersen Self-Loading Carbine

Auction Date: December 6, 2019

Rare Vickers & Armstrong Manufactured Pedersen Self-Loading "Carbine" Serial Number 240

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $11,000 - $16,000

Rare Vickers & Armstrong Manufactured Pedersen Self-Loading "Carbine" Serial Number 240

Manufacturer: Vickers & Armstrong
Model: Pederson
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 276
Barrel: 22 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1232
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 222
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This is a rare example of a John D. Pedersen Self-Loading "Carbine" as manufactured by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. circa 1932. The Pedersen Self-Loading rifles/carbines were developed due to interest shown by the U.S. Army in adopting a semi-automatic infantry rifle following WWI. In 1923, the Ordnance Department awarded Pedersen a contract to develop such a rifle. In 1928, the Ordnance Department tested his design and recommended them for adoption. So in 1930, Pedersen contracted with the English firm Vickers-Armstrong to manufacture a small quantity of rifles and carbines, estimated at approximately 200 rifles and 50 carbines total, for testing, all chambered in his .276 rimless Pedersen cartridge. However, in 1931, after initial testing the Infantry Board recommended that the Army develop the T3 Garand semi-automatic rifle manufactured by Springfield Armory rather than the Pedersen rifle. After the Army's reversal, only a very limited number of rifles and carbines were produced with most sold to China, Portugal and Japan. Japan was the only country to actually produce and test prototype semi-automatic rifles based on this delayed-blow back toggle mechanism. The rifles/carbines all have the following distinctive features: (1) 10 round box magazine loaded with en-bloc clips, (2) a fine adjustable, 1/2 minute rear sight, (3) unique 22 inch barrel with spiral cooling fins, (4) perforated metal hand guard and (5) sliding bar safety in the bolt, (6) and the short "carbine" length stock. The metal components have a dull military blue finish, and the one-piece, black walnut stock is oil finished. The left side of the receiver is roll-stamped: "PEDERSEN SELFLOADER PA/VICKERS-ARMSTRONGS LTD." in two lines. The serial number "240" is stamped on the right rear of the receiver. The top of the sliding bar safety is marked "REDY" on the left side and "SAFE" on the right side. An encircled "C/2" is stamped on the top of the receiver along with an early Birmingham nitro proofmark (used until 1925) stamped on the top of the front edge of the bolt and the left, rear side of the receiver. This is a high quality, well-finished carbine with finely milled components. It is complete with a British Broad Arrow proofed tan colored web sling and a box of original .276 Pedersen Lubricated Ball ammunition (20 rounds total). The Pedersen Self-Loading rifle and carbine were the primary competitors to the T3 semi-automatic rifle developed by John C. Garand and is a key piece in the development of the M1 Garand rifle. This Pedersen Self-Loading carbine would be an important addition to any advanced collection of U.S. military or British rifles.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 98% of the original Vickers-Armstrong metal finish with only very minor edge wear, with the internal components still in the white as originally manufactured. The markings and proofs are all clear and sharp. The excellent one-piece walnut stock shows minor handling marks on the sides mixed with a few minor pressure dents. An excellent example of a very scarce early John Pedersen semi-automatic test carbine.

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