HC Deb 27 March 1885 vol 296 cc832-3

asked the Surveyor General of Ordnance, Whether any Report has been received as to the jamming of cartridges in the rifles in action in Egypt; whether any steps have been taken with regard to a rifle, 4 calibre, with solid cartridge case, described in the daily papers in November 1883, the principal object of which was to remedy this defect; whether the same ammunition is in use for the small arms as for the machine guns, or whether it is true that some of the machine gun cartridges were found in the men's pouches after Abou Klea, or at any other time; and, whether, if these cartridges had been put in the service rifle and fired, the rifle would be disabled for the time?


In answer to the first part of the hon. and gallant Member's Question, I can only repeat what I have before stated, that we have received a telegraphic communication from Lord Wolseley complaining of the action of the service cartridge at the battle of Abu Klea. The new rifle for the Army is still under consideration. The same ammunition is not in use for small arms and for machine guns, nor has any report been received of machine gun cartridges having been found in men's pouches, either at Abu Klea or elsewhere. A few machine gun cartridges have, as an experiment, been fired from the service rifle last Thursday. Judging from the results of the experiment, it is very unlikely that the rifle would be disabled thereby; but, as only a limited number of cartridges have been fired, it cannot positively be stated that no jam would occur.