US Marines Raising The Flag on Iwo Jima
The story of how they built 1,500 'Charltons' here in NZ and how their design was also taken-up in Australia is brilliantly told by Forgotten Weapons.Com. - just click on the link eh:
- Sadly nearly all of these interesting firearms were destroyed in an armory fire and only very few survive in museums.
Note: Christchurch dealer Gun City were recently offering a replica for NZ$7,000. I don't know if they still have it.
P.S. Rod (the Retiree) has added this extra meat to the Charlton story from the 'deep
Hi Marty, I have been researching the Charlton for the past 40 years. There are only about 9 – 10 originals known to exist in the World today. I have examined or seen 6 of them and currently own two of them. The very few that survived the Palmerston North fire were gas-axed by the Army and dumped.
An example recently sold at the Wellington Branch auction for $5800 but is believed to be a reproduction. I was not there to examine it but I can tell from the photos that there are inconsistencies with the originals I have examined over the years.
Although that parts were made on a production basis during WW2 by a variety of companies in the North Island, the guns were hand assembled and tuned. Consequently they were never fitted with truly interchangeable parts as is usual with military weapons.
I knew an old WW2 armourer who was tasked with accepting them into service and he told me they needed constant tuning to keep them running. The handbook said that full-auto fire should only be used in emergencies. He told me that too much full-auto fire caused the gun to speed up until the bolt head fractured. Apparently the various friction adjustments loosened up when the gun warmed up. They remain an interesting stop-gap example of ingenuity!