Auto-Ordnance Carbine (Prototype)

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A firearm commonly referred to as the "Auto-Ordnance Carbine", that was submitted by Auto-Ordnance for testing in the US Light Rifle Trials in 1941. The rifle was chambered in .30 Carbine. It ultimately was never adopted.

The Auto-Ordnance Carbine was a prototype recoil-operated carbine designed by a Mr. Bergman(?) for Auto-Ordnance Company around 1941 and submitted to the US Light Rifle Trials that same year. As with the other entries to the trials, it was chambered in .30 Carbine. It is radically different from Auto-Ordnance's other submission, their Thompson Light Rifle, which was essentially a Thompson SMG converted to .30 Carbine. Unfortunately, that firearm was too heavy to even be given a serious look.

Design & History

This carbine was one of the final submissions to the US Light Rifle Trials, which lasted from 1940 to 1941. It was designed by a Mr. Bergman(?) and used a short recoil action where the barrel moves back slightly to unlock the bolt.

The first tests on the rifle took place on May 22nd and May 23rd of 1941, but it was damaged beyond repair and was taken back to the factory. The military found the Thompson rifle to be too complex and have too many small parts. In fact, these problems also existed with the Savage Carbine.

On September 8th, Auto-Ordnance Company sent a revised model on September 8th, 1941. It held a few substantial differences, found in the section below. Unfortunately, this revised version suffered from the same issues as in the previous test.

Mr. Bergman and Auto-Ordnance were not able to solve the design's core issues, and the rifle was removed from the military trials.


First Model: Submitted May 22nd, 1941. Select-fire.

The second "refurbished" version of the Auto-Ordnance Carbine that was submitted to the US Light Rifle Trials. It had several differences to the original, including the removal of select-fire, and an interesting mechanism that automatically ejects empty magazines and the like. Ultimately, it suffered from the same issues as the original.

Second "Refurbished" Model: Submitted September 5th, 1941. Select-fire capability was removed. Two barrels were submitted, one standard and one with a compensator. Magazines also received a curved shape for more reliable feeding. It also held open on the last shot, as well as automatically closed the bolt when a new magazine was inserted. Magazine would be auto ejected on empty.


  • Caliber: .30 Carbine
  • Action: Short recoil
  • Overall Length: 35 inches
  • Barrel Length: 15.6 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs (first model), 5.66 lbs (second model).
  • Magazine Capacity: 5 to 30 round detachable box magazine.