Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.
Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Dale, Apr 2, 2002.
Does anyone know when the bolt action rifles came into being and who was the first manufacture?
I think the first practical one was the Dreyse needle gun. The modern bolt action rifle did not appear all at once, various features were developed over hundreds of years.
I believe the origin is Europe because in the US we were still using various breech loaders until the lever action came along.
I think Klaus is right the Needle gun was first in Prussia
That makes sense...I was just sitting here and wondered about that...thanks guys
Didn't Hiram Berdan develop a bolt action rifle for the Russian Army called the Berdan 1? I don't know when that happened, though.
I found a nice site with some photos of the early bolt actions. The 1835 Dreyse Needle Gun does seem to be the first. Mauser later perfected the action and adapted it to a modern centerfire cartridge. http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/rifles/armssbar.htm
According to Smith's "Smallarms of the World", the first true bolt-action metallic cartridge rifle was the Swiss Vetterli. The Berdan and Needle gun's weren't quite there, though they certainly pointed the way. The Vetterli used a rimfire cartridge that was still sold as late as the thirties, due to popularity of the rifles. They were inspired by the American tube-magazine designs, but the Swiss wanted a non-lever design that was more useful for prone shooting. The American lever-actions were better for the mounted shooter, but difficult to use when prone.
Like I said, the features of the modern bolt action rifle did not come all at once. Dreyse was the first to make a bolt action rifle that used a cartridge. Your definition seems to be the first with a metallic cartridge. Someone else may define it as the first to use a metallic centerfire cartridge with a box magazine. The needle gun was the first to use a bolt and a cartridge and pioneered most of the features of the modern bolt action rifle.