RUSSIAN BERDAN RIFLE
This Americanized breech-loading arm has a fixed chamber closed by a movable breech-block, which rotates about a horizontal axis at ninety degrees to the axis of the barrel, lying above the axis of the barrel, and in front. The piece is opened by drawing back the locking-bolt to its full extent, thereby cocking the piece, and then throwing the breech-block upward and forward by the handle on its side. It is closed by shutting the breech-block, and is locked by the friction of the rear face of the breech-block against the recoil-shoulder on the locking-bolt guide, against which the longitudinal motion of the hinge-strap slide, to which the block is attached, allows it bodily to slide under die influence of the discharge. It is also held in place by the entrance of the locking-bolt into the counter-bore of the firing-pin hole when the piece is fired. In drawing back the locking-bolt to open the piece it compresses the spiral mainspring which surrounds it, and riding over the point of the spring-sear is caught by it and retained against the tension of the mainspring when the support of the hand is withdrawn. When released through the trigger in the usual way it is impelled against the firing-pin, and so discharges the piece. Extraction is accomplished by an extractor swinging on the joint-screw and struck above its center of motion by the forward end of the breech-block near the completion of its movement in opening. Ejection is caused by accelerating the movement of the extractor by the ejector-spring.
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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