Roller Locking Wonder

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Century International Arms’ Outstanding CETME

A delayed, blowback, roller-locking system for small arms was a radical concept in its day. Invented by Mauser engineers during WWII and incorporated in part as the locking system for Germany’s superb MG42 machinegun and a prototype assault rifle, the StG-45, some of those same Mauser engineers with their roller-locking designs next popped up in Spain in the 1950s at the government’s Centro de Estudios Tecnicos de Materiales Especiales (CETME) in Madrid.

CETME, as a preeminent Spanish research facility, has been the hotbed of many intriguing firearms and ammunition designs over the years, most of which were never placed into full commercial production.

By 1952, the Spanish and German engineers working at CETME had developed a prototype for a new rifle made largely from stampings and incorporating the Mauser retarded blowback, roller-locking action of the StG-45. In 1954, after developing the initial design, Spain turned to the German firm of Heckler & Koch to assist them in setting up production and refining the CETME design for international licensing.

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