Oldest rifle still in service?


#1

Regular viewers of InRange TV will be familiar with Ian and Karl’s comments about “obsolete” and “obsolescent” firearms, as well as their shared admiration for the American M17 Enfield rifle.

As far as I can make out, and I have not found any evidence to the contrary, this rifle - designated M/53-17 - is still in field service with the Danish armed forces’ Slædepatruljen Sirius (Sled Patrol Sirius), a long range reconnaissance patrol unit based in, and responsible for the security of, the wastes of Greenland.

This appears to be due to the rifle’s reliability in the adverse conditions encountered in the Arctic. As Stephen Howarth observes in passing in his book ‘To Shining Sea; A History of the United States Navy 1775-1991’ [Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1991]:

“If they [the M17s] froze, the breech could be kicked open.”

I believe that units in Canada which had retained Enfields for similar reasons have now replaced them with Sako rifles. So, my question.

Can anybody think of an older rifle design that is still in field (i.e. not ceremonial) service with any of the world’s developed nations?


#2

Lee Enfield Ishapore is still in service in India…it is another example of the Enfield still in service…so, actually I guess I just really re-stated what you already stated…

From the source of all current knowledge…Wikipedia (lol):

“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.”


#3

The Colt C19 is a licence-built, Finnish-designed Tikka T3 CTR bolt action rifle modified for the Canadian Rangers. The C19 replaces the longer and heavier Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifles in service since 1947.
they haven’t been 100% replaced yet as there are some issued that have developed with C19.


#4

I know the yemen hot spot may not count as “developed.” I few years ago the was a rebel (?) carrying a 1871/84 Mauser which was reconfigured to the 1938 Turk pattern.


#5

I don’t know if it exactly qualifies as a Rifle.
But what about the M2 Browning?
Entered service in 1933.


#6

not sure how many are still around as compared to ones that are still in service.where as the Enfields were made in the mid and late 40s.