POTD: Experimental Snabb Semi-Automatic 1917 Conversion

   08.13.21

POTD: Experimental Snabb Semi-Automatic 1917 Conversion

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! In 1938 an engineer by the name of Snabb (I could not find a full name) developed a conversion system in which almost any bolt action rifle could be converted to semi-automatic fire. This is interesting to me because these sorts of conversions make me think of ones done before and during World War One when every military was trying to find the best, easiest, cheapest, arms available for their military. Although when I think on it further semi-automatic rifles really were not all that big of a mainstay in the world yet. Yes, they existed and the designs around by 1938 were good enough, to say the least it makes sense that making a cheap conversion to existing guns may still be appealing. Rock Island Auction Company goes further in-depth below.

“Snabb Alteration make it possible to modify any military Mauser, Springfield, Enfield or Mannlicher into a semi-automatic weapon. A long gas trap is fitted to the muzzle, which runs to a gas tube, driving an operating rod. The original bolt of the weapon has been altered to accept this rod, with the handle shortened, a safety screw installed into the firing pin hole, and a dust cover installed on the rear of the receiver, which encloses the bolt and the new mechanisms. An extension has also been installed on the magazine, a safety switch on the right side of the cover, and the trigger mechanism has been fitted with an extended trigger bar and a disconnecting sear for semi-automatic fire. Stock is American walnut in a thumbhole pistol grip configuration, with sling swivels and a checkered buttplate. Well balanced with a simple, rugged design, the Snabb was intended as a low cost alternative to replacing large stocks of bolt action rifles with new semi-automatics. Though mechanically successful, the higher than anticipated price, coupled with the outbreak of the Second World War, ruined the Snabb’s chances. The rifle is complete with lengthy copies of the history of the rifle in French.”

Lot 1960: Eddystone 1917 Rifle 30-06 [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #51, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved August 12, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/51/1960/eddystone-1917-rifle-3006

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