US S&W M1940 Light Rifle

  • World War II
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Possibly one of the "worst" shoulder fired weapons ever made during World War II, The Smith & Wesson Model 1940 Light Rifle was commissioned by Great Britain. The need for mass produced weapons to fight Germany was a pressing concern for England. Under the terms of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Lend-Lease Program", massive amounts of War Materials requests were made of American manufacturers. Why the reputable American Gunmaking Company Smith & Wesson attempted such a shoddy firearm, is a question best known to History. England sent exacting specifications for a Light Rifle that was cheap, yet rugged. The Model 1940 was what they got.


Unlike most partially automated  (Factory) produced weapons they required hand finishing. Cheap Black steel was used to make the major weapon components exclusively. Poorly fitted, they often needed to get "finished" or hand filed by Armorers in England. An oversized round clip was designed to hold 30, 9mm rounds. The clips feed spring wad under-strength and feeding into the receiver was often jammed. At 34-inches long and 15-pounds in weight, The Model 1940 was anything but "Light". These issues, as well as it being effective only up to 200-yards, causes most Models being completely destroyed by 1942.