Early bolt action rifles


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Eric F
May 14, 2008, 03:38 PM
what were the first bolt guns? I have seen in movies military bolt guns with no magazine. What could those have been? Also in the movie Zulu they had the martini rifles but they also had some bolt guns any clue what those were?

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Ash
May 14, 2008, 03:43 PM
Vetterli's were among the most early, as was the Gras/Chatelleraut , Beaumont, Dryse or Mauser 1871, etc. The needle-fires like the Chatelleraut and Dryse (and others) look like bolt-action rifles, and they are, but they work a bit different. The Gras, Beaumont, Mauser, Vetterli's as well as the Berdan II and Japanese Murata, all look very similar. Some are single-shots while others have magazines either as part of the original design or as upgrades.

Vaarok
May 14, 2008, 03:50 PM
Don't forget the Remington-Keene, Palmer, and Greene rifles of the American Civil War. They're so primitive it's debatable what came first, and the Europeans were also experimenting at the same time, but the Dreyse, Chassepot, and Palmer were likely the first.

Ash
May 14, 2008, 03:53 PM
Yeah, Chassepot, not Chatelleraut, even though the Chassepot was made by Chatelleraut. Get those two French names confused at times (and that is not an anti-France statement).

Ash

Molasses
May 14, 2008, 08:25 PM
Don't forget the Remington-Keene, Palmer, and Greene rifles of the American Civil War. They're so primitive it's debatable what came first

Remington Keene was post CW, by a fair piece. The earliest patent date I can find on mine is Feb'y 24, '74.
4th ed. Flayderman's Guide gives production dates as "c. 1880-1888".

oneshooter
May 14, 2008, 09:00 PM
The 8mm Krupachek rifle was a early mauser design. Started as a single shot, was upgraded to a magazine rifle.

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

Vaarok
May 14, 2008, 09:35 PM
The Kropatschek is just a modified/contract version of the Gras, which is an upgraded Chassepot.

During the 1870s, the French and Germans were very competitive both before and after the Franco-Prussian war, so there's a lot of equivalency and chicken-and-egg argument over who came up with which feature first when both rifles have similar technologies.

Ash
May 14, 2008, 09:42 PM
Very true.

Ash

hank327
May 14, 2008, 09:53 PM
Also in the movie Zulu they had the martini rifles but they also had some bolt guns any clue what those were?

The bolt guns used in the movie "Zulu" were either Lee-Metfords or early model Lee-Enfield rifles. These were pre-SMLE (Short, Magazine, Lee, Enfield) issue where there was a long barreled version for infantry use and a carbine model for the cavalry. With the SMLE, the British were able to issue the same weapon to both the infantry and cavalry, thus simplifying their logistics.

By the way, neither the Lee-Metford or the Lee-Enfield had been invented in 1879, the year of the Zulu War that is the setting for the movie. I believe they used the Lees in the movie because of a lack of Martini-Henrys. Notice that there is never a scene where there is a close up of an actor with a bolt gun.
They only use the bolt guns in those scenes where there are masses of soldiers in volley fire situations.

32-20
May 14, 2008, 10:46 PM
The Palmer carbine used in the Civil War was a single shot bolt action. It used the Spencer ctg.

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