M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon
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|M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon|
Original USAF M6 Survival Rifle/Shotgun
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Ithaca Gun Company, Springfield Armory|
|Caliber||.22 Hornet or .22 LR/.410 bore shotgun
.45 Colt/.410 bore shotgun
The M6 Air Crew Survival Weapon was a specially-made firearm issued to United States Air Force aircraft crews to help forage for food in the event of a plane crash. It was issued to U.S. Air Force aircrew from the late 1950s until the early 1970s, replacing the World War II-era M4 Survival Rifle. Plans to replace both with the MA-1 never came to fruition.
The weapon was a superposed ("over-under") combination gun, with a rifle barrel located above the shotgun barrel. The rifle barrel fired a .22 Hornet bullet and the shotgun barrel was chambered for a .410 bore shell.
Being a military firearm, a number of manufacturers have made versions of the M6. The originals were made by the Ithaca Gun Company, and sold only to the US military. The standard version, as used by the military, has a 14-inch barrel version, and folds in half to a minimum size of 15 inches. The 14-inch version requires federal registration and is taxed in the United States as an Any Other Weapon by US federal law.
Most notable of the civilian importers is Springfield Armory, Inc., which made three versions. An 18-inch barreled version called the M6 Scout is free from special restrictions. The Springfield Armory M6 Scout and pistol has been made in .22 Hornet/.410 bore calibers and alternately in .22 Long Rifle with .410 bore. The prototype M6 pistol built for Springfield Armory was a version of the M6 which could fire a .45 Colt cartridge in the .410 bore.
In 2010, Chiappa began marketing a version of the Aircrew Survival Weapon called the Chiappa X-Caliber. It is an evolution of the Springfield Armory M6 Scout, which had the major failing of disassembling by removing a pin to take the gun down into two easy to stow parts. If the pin was lost, the gun could not be reassembled. The Chiappa X-Caliber is designed to fold in half by pushing one locking lever. In addition, it comes with adapters that allow up to a dozen different calibers of cartridges and shotshells to be used, one at a time in each barrel.
- Military Survival Rifles at the Wayback Machine (archived September 4, 2007)
- S. P. Fjestad. Blue Book of Gun Values, 13th Ed. Blue Book Publications.
- http://survivalcache.com/survival-gear-review-m6-survival-rifle/. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- http://fabweb.org/2016/06/27/check-out-this-survival-shotgun-that-can-fire-12-different-calibers-and-fits-in-your-bug-out-bag/. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- The Athens Arms & Ordnance M6Scout
- The M6 Survival System
- New Survival Gun, Combines Rifle and Shotgun 1951 article at bottom of page 107
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