Choosing a Firearm
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Choosing a Firearm

Choosing a Firearm




      

Choosing a Firearm


Choosing a Firearm

A good military arm is a good sporting arm and for the purpose of selecting the best or most effective the two classes may be considered together. The author's models of rifle, carbine and revolver embrace the same features and differ only in calibers and minor features. In selecting or contriving the best arm, the following considerations are of first and vital importance:

1 For safety, it is important that the working parts of the gun be made strong; that the breech-bolt be well supported and completely locked before the firing-pin can reach the primer; that the firing-pin be well backed, or supported, 'to prevent the same from being blown out to the rear, by the escape of gases from defective shells or primers. The firing-pin should be retired from the front face of the breech-bolt in the first movement of the extracting mechanism, at each discharge of the rifle, and held back from the front face of the bolt, until the gun is loaded and the action completely closed; the action of the firing spring should be strong and quick.

2 The magazine mechanism should be arranged so that double loading from the magazine be made impossible; the magazine feeding mechanism should be simple, and free from tendencies to jam when the gun is being operated; the feeding mechanism should be such that jamming or clogging of the rifle when in use, is rendered impossible.

3 The extracting mechanism should be powerful; the extractor hook should be so arranged that the hook will not ride over the cartridge heads under a heavy pull; and the hook should have sufficient purchase on the shell to extract the same from the gun when it is heated. The extracting force should be multiplied at least one to ten; that is to say one pound exerted on the bolt, to exert a force on the empty shell, or cartridge, equal to ten pounds.

4 The ejecting mechanism should be so arranged as to positively expel the shell before the loaded cartridge can be fed up from the magazine; or before the loaded shell can be inserted in the breech opening. The mechanism of the gun should be so arranged, that when the action is opened, and the cleaning rod inserted in the barrel, the cleaning rod cannot produce any disorder in the operating mechanism of the gun.'

5 The gun should be so constructed as to be capable of being used alternately, as desired; either as a single loader, or as a magazine gun, at the will of the operator; and should also be arranged so that the gun can be used as a single loader, while the full magazine is held in reserve. The magazine should be so constructed, that a single loaded shell, or a succession of single loaded shells can be inserted in the magazine at the will of the operator, without the necessity of completely filling the magazine with loaded shells. The gun should be capable of being instantly used, at the will of the operator, as a magazine gun or as a single loader or as a single loader or magazine gun alternately.

6 Indicators should be provided to show at all times the number of cartridges in the magazine.

7 The loaded cartridges in the magazine should be held by their rims from end thrust, to prevent the bullets from being jammed on to the powder, thus creating dangerous pressures.

8 Mechanism should be provided to prevent gases in case of defective primers, or defective shells, coming back into the face of the operator; or driving any of the firing mechanism into the face of the operator in case of accidental explosion.

9 Simplicity always results from a small number of parts, with as few screws, springs and small pieces as it is possible to have.

10 Since the conditions of military service are such that the soldier may desire to replenish, or complete the loading of the magazine, from which loaded cartridges may have been drawn or used, it is important that the magazine can be partially charged with loaded shells; so that the gun may be alternately used as a single loader, or as a magazine rifle at the will of the soldier. Mechanism to show whether the gun is cocked, or in safety position should be provided.

11 The gun should be arranged so as to be protected, as much as possible, from inclement weather and dust; and so built as to be capable of being dismounted and assembled with ease.

Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.

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