Breech loading rifles

The most marked improvement in the construction of fire-arms for sporting purposes, is that known as the breech-loading gun. The advantages of this invention are the extreme facility, quickness, and great additional safety in loading, the increased rapidity or sharpness and strength of shooting, absence of foulness, recoil, and less liability to be affected by wet or damp. The rapidity of loading may be imagined, when twelve shots can be fired in a minute; and no foulness accumulates - the remains of the burnt powder being driven through the barrel with every succeeding shot, as the thick elastic wad which fits in the breech end is two sizes larger than the muzzle; and, consequently, after the thousandth round the barrels are as clean and free from lead as they were after the first discharge. In using the breech-loading gun, place the stock under the arm, and with the right hand pull the lever back, and ease down the barrels with the left hand. Take out the exploded cartridges with the thumb, or should they be rather tight (which is rarely the case,) tap the pin with a loaded cartridge, or draw them out with the small instrument made expressly for the purpose. When loading, pour the powder and shot into a basin. Use the small brass measures, and first put in a measure of powder, then a felt wadding, next the shot, and card wadding, and turn the end of the paper over, to secure the wadding, with a screw-press socket. For cleaning, on returning from shooting, wipe out the barrels with dry towel, then grease them slightly with an oiled rag, taking care not to bruise the breech end of the barrels by placing them on stones, as the nicety of fitting may be destroyed. The barrels need not be taken off the stock in cleaning. For safety, quickness, cleanliness, and execution, no gun can compare with the breech-loader.

Return to Boys Own Book of Outdoor Sports