Ishapore 2A1 rifle

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RFI Rifle 7.62mm 2A/2A1 (aka Ishapore 2A/2A1)
Ishapore 2A1 Enfield with P1907 bayonet.jpg
Ishapore 2A1 rifle with mounted Pattern 1907 bayonet.
TypeBolt-action rifle
Place of originIndia
Service history
In service1963–present[1]
WarsIndo-Pakistan Wars
Production history
DesignerRifle Factory Ishapore
Designed1962
ManufacturerOrdnance Factories Board
Produced1962–1974[1]
No. built250,000[1]
Variants
  • 2A (2000 yd sights)
  • 2A1 (800 m sights)
Specifications
Mass4.7 kg (10.4 lb), unloaded
Length44.5 in (1130 mm)

Cartridge7.62×51mm NATO
ActionBolt action
Rate of fire20–30 rounds/minute
Muzzle velocity792 m/s (2,600 ft/s)
Effective firing range800 m (875 yd)
Maximum firing range2,000 m (2,187 yd)
Feed system10- or 12-round magazine, loaded with 5-round charger clips
SightsSliding ramp rear sights, fixed-post front sights

The Rifle 7.62mm 2A/2A1[2] (also known as the Ishapore 2A/2A1)[2] is a 7.62×51mm NATO calibre bolt-action rifle adopted as a reserve arm by the Indian Armed Forces in 1963. The design of the rifle – initially the Rifle 7.62mm 2A – began at the Rifle Factory Ishapore of the Ordnance Factories Board in India, soon after the Sino-Indian War of 1962.[3]

The Ishapore 2A/2A1 has the distinction of being the last bolt-action rifle designed to be used by a regular military force other than specialized sniper rifles. While they are no longer in service with the Indian military, the rifle is still used by the Indian police.[1]

Development[edit]

Delhi Police officers march during Republic Day in 2009 with 2A/A1 rifles and mounted Pattern 1907 bayonets.

Production of the 2A/2A1 started in 1962 after the SMLE Mk IIIs* was phased out of service with the Indian military.[1] The Indian-made SMLE Mk IIIs are known as the Type 56, made between 1956 and 1965 although any rifles made in the latter are rare due to the transition to the 2A.[4]

Externally, the Ishapore 2A/2A1 rifle is based upon (and is almost identical to) the .303 British calibre SMLE Mk III* rifle, with the exception of the distinctive "square" (10 or 12 round) magazine[5] and the use of the buttplate from the 1A (Indian version of the FN FAL) rifle.[3]

The 2A was designed to allow the British Pattern 1907 (P'07) sword bayonet used on the SMLE MkIII to be attached. Other difference included the use of improved steel (to handle the increased pressures of the 7.62mm NATO round),[6] and a redesigned extractor to cope with the rimless round.[3]

The original (2A) design incorporated the Lee–Enfield rear sight which has graduations out to 2000 yards. The re-designated "Rifle 7.62mm 2A1" incorporated a more realistic 800 meter rear sight[3] in 1965.[2] The stock is recycled from the No. 1 Mk. III armory stock, with the addition of a cross screw forward of the magazine well.

Some stocks were salvaged from existing surplus and show artificer repairs where rotted or damaged wood has been replaced. This repair is especially evident with the recoil draws (the area the receiver contacts when recoiling after the shot) that often failed over time due to the rifle being rack-stored butt down / muzzle up, which allowed oils and grease to migrate downwards into this critical area.

The weapon was produced at a rate between 22,000 and 115,000 rifles annually, averaging 70,000 a year.[1] Around 250,000 rifles were made in total[7] before production ended in 1974.[1]

Variants[edit]

Ishapore 2A rifle[edit]

The original production rifle has a sight range of 2000 meters.[3]

Ishapore 2A1 rifle[edit]

A second production variant with a sight range of 800 meters.[3]

IOF .315 sporting rifle[edit]

No. 2A Tanker Carbine[edit]

An aftermarket modification by installing the 20-1/2 inch barrel with a fore-end shortened and nose cap.[8]

No. 7 Jungle Carbine[edit]

The 2A1 can be converted to be a No. 7 Jungle Carbine.[9] This is mostly done as an aftermarket conversion.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Karp, Aaron; Rajagopalan, Rajesh. Small Arms of the Indian State (PDF). p. 3.
  2. ^ a b c http://weaponland.ru/load/vintovka_ishapore_2a_2a1/160-1-0-961
  3. ^ a b c d e f http://www.firearms.net.au/military/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83&Itemid=147
  4. ^ http://rodandgun.netfirms.com/ishapore/RFI.pdf
  5. ^ Skennerton 2007, p. 370.
  6. ^ Skennerton 2004b, p. 5.
  7. ^ Skennerton 1993, p. 345.
  8. ^ a b https://webpages.uidaho.edu/stratton/en-page/fakes.htm
  9. ^ https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30035403

Bibliography[edit]

  • Skennerton, Ian (2007). The Lee–Enfield. Gold Coast, QLD (Australia): Arms & Militaria Press. ISBN 978-0-949749-82-6.
  • Skennerton, Ian (2004b). Small Arms Identification Series No. 18: 7.62mm L42A1 Sniper, L39A1, 2A & Lee–Enfield Conversions. Labrador, QLD: Arms & Militaria Press. ISBN 978-0-949749-48-2.
  • Skennerton, Ian (1993). The Lee–Enfield Story. Gold Coast, QLD (Australia): Arms & Militaria Press. ISBN 978-1-85367-138-8.