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GUNS Magazine July 2012 Digital Edition - Page 36
HOLT BODINSON surPLus LoCKer hat are the most widely distributed, automatic, small arms operating systems in use today? By the sheer number of arms produced and fielded, the winner would have to be the gas driven piston-bolt carrier- rotating bolt system seen most commonly in the AK-47 and its derivatives and in the M16/AR-15 family. Coming in a strong second would be the retarded, blowback, rollerlocked system, refined by engineers working at Mauser during WWII, and incorporated in such well known designs as the CETME, G3, MP5, HK91, HK93 and others. Century International Arms originally brought us a semiautomatic CETME in 7.62 NATO. CIA has now downsized the design in the more popular 5.56 NATO caliber and designated it the Model, C93. Heckler and Koch did something similar when they downsized the G3 to 5.56mm caliber dimensions and imported it into the United States as the semi-automatic Model HK93. Between 1974 and 1989, approximately 18,000 HK93s were imported into the US. The retail price of an HK93A2 (fixed stock) in 1985 was $599. If you can find one today, expect to pay $2,000 to 3,000 for the privilege of ownership. A matching bayonet will fetch up to $150. Or you can buy a Century International Arms C93 with an original G3/HK91 bayonet for approximately $550 at your dealer or on Internet auction sites like Gun Broker. The C93 sports a new receiver and barrel, but most of the other parts are derived from original HK33 parts kits. The C93 is simply a terrific bargain as well as a neat handling and accurate milsurp era 5.56mm firearm. The history of the roller-lock, retarded, blowback operating system is fascinating. The system design was perfected by Mauser engineers and incorporated in part as the locking system for the German MG42 machine gun and a prototype assault rifle, the StG-45. Being a recoil W CIA’s C93. The C93 comes with a genuine HK bayonet, adding value to the whole package. operated system, rather than gas operated, the system is simplicity itself and reliable. Yes, it’s simple but deceptively complex from an engineering perspective. The roller-locking bolt of the C93 is composed of two interlocking assemblies—a hollow front unit that incorporates the bolt face, extractor and two rollers—and a heavier rear unit that holds a spring loaded firing pin retained by a rectangular piece that carries two sloping cams. The rear assembly slips into the hollow housing of the front bolt head, and the bolt head is rotated to lock both assemblies together. As the front section of the bolt picks up a cartridge and chambers it, the heavier rear assembly is slammed into battery by the mainspring. The The C93 is a tough, robust battle rifle and an exceptional milsurp value. 36 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J U LY 2 0 1 2