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Trapdoor Militia Carbine
By Imperator-Zor   |   Watch
15 1 879 (1 Today)
Published: February 16, 2015
© 2015 - 2019 Imperator-Zor
This weapon is the most widely produced of it's time, with more than fifty six million units being made over a forty one year period. The reason for this is the internal politics of the nation which produced it. This weapon is the product of a federation of city states in which had, for the first 170 years of it's existence a political system which divided it's population into Citizens and Denizens. Denizens had some legal rights and enjoyed protection under the law, but were barred from holding political office and voting as well as a few other restrictions and some general discrimination. To be a Citizen one had to be male and either...
  • Pay an annual citizenship tax equivalent to about half the average annual income of the average denizen
  • Be awarded citizenship for some exceptional deed
  • Serve for ten years in the army or navy

Citizens were also required to keep arms and be trained with them and serve in defensive militias if able bodied, a relic of an earlier era. Despite this a large political movement among the Denizen class eventually managed to gain citizenship for all men, followed a couple decades latter by citizenship for all adults thanks to feminists.

However, the requirements for citizenship were not dropped. Beforehand every citizen was able to afford his own weapon or kept his old service rifle. This switchover meant the citizen section of the population grew to five times it's former size and latter doubling. Most of whom could not afford weapons. To deal with this the Federal Militia Armaments Bureau (FMEB) was created. The army could not produce enough service rifles to meet the needs. At first they supplied surplus rolling block rifles, cap and ball revolvers and rifled muskets (some of which having been converted to trapdoor rifles) and even a few flintlocks, but these were insufficient for the needs and were mostly obsolete. To arm the populace the Militia Carbine was born.

The Militia Carbine is a simple trapdoor gun firing a 8mm cartridge designed for the (then new) bolt action repeating service rifle. The one word which describes this weapon is "cheap". It cost about 30% as the service rifle to make, but did so by cutting numerous corners. On top of it's far simpler mechanism, it's stock is made of two pieces of wood held together with screws, it's barrel is short, not as finely made or machined and initially it lacked a safety catch (though after 26 years of production this was amended). It's maximum effective range is about 300 meters and it has a rate of fire of up to twelve rounds a minute in the hands of a skilled user. Each of these guns came with a cheap old fashioned socket bayonet. Public schools had a month class on basic marksmanship and gun maintenance and each citizen had to spend two afternoons a year drilling until age 60. Most of these weapons were government property so guns could be re issued if their owner died, though a few were exported as low cost hunting rifles.

The general strategic idea for this weapon was that with the entirety of the adult population armed and trained in weapons use (even if the guns were inferior to service rifles), the standing army could be kept small as militia forces could handle defenses. When the Federation was invaded forty years latter, these weapons were put to the test. The results of the militia carbine were mixed. While they did mean that partisan activity was higher than the invaders expected (which did tie down a decent number of their forces in anti partisan work), many civilians did surrender to the invading forces regardless due to the fact that they had not only military grade semi automatic rifles, but also SMGs, machine guns, mortars, grenades, AFVs, air power and artillery support. In areas where resistance was high, this was countered by brutal tactics being employed and a very high civilian death count. In one particularly disastrous instance a force of forty six thousand militia was almost completely wiped out by an enemy division along with a number of surrounding towns which were bombarded or bombed, killing an additional thirty five thousand civilians over the next week, inflicting only 328 casualties. Though the enemy was repulsed, production of the militia rifle ended shortly after the war began in favor of low cost SMGs. But neither militia carbines nor militia SMGs were of much use against starvation as supply lines were disrupted and farms were either held by the enemy or devastated by fighting. The Invasion cost the federation about 9 million people, devastated much of it's infrastructure and a fair number of military historians and generals have remarked that the resources spent on the Militia carbine project would have been better spent on new tanks, artillery and more planes. During the war it is estimated that some 26 million militia carbines were either destroyed or lost, among which were some 17 million which were confiscated and recycled by the invading army. Even so, a fair number of militia carbines remain in circulation, mostly as hunting and sporting weapons.

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Tevo77777Student Writer
Really cool design.
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