The Breech-loading Gun
Shortly after the percussion cap came into use a great change was made in the design and construction of the gun which made the fine, quick-firing guns of the present day possible and this included two separate and distinct inventions each of which was dependent on the other. The earliest type of breech-loader is shown in Fig. 16.
These two inventions were (1) the breech-loading gun and (2) the cartridge which contained the charge. To make the gun so that it could be loaded at the breech it had to be broken, that is, the barrel had to be hinged at the lock in order to load a cartridge into it.
The cartridge was made of a flanged brass case in which the fulminate cap, the powder and the ball were placed. The cap was in the center of the back of the cartridge and when the firing-pin of the hammer struck the cap it exploded by percussion.
Collins, A. Frederick. Shooting, for Boys,. New York: Moffat, Yard and, 1917. Print.
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