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Naval cannons suffered from one major problem. The period of intent to fire and actual firing could vary by several seconds depending on the length of fuse or the steadiness of the hand of the gunner using a portfire to touch off the charge. As the ship rolled even slightly, this time delay could determine whether the cannon made a hit or miss
The subject of Japanese Swords is an area of arms collecting that is so specialized, complex and intense that it defies even cursory coverage in this magazine. Enthusiasts spend their lives on the nuances of the subject and often have to become reasonably conversant with the language itself
It is said that, “when one door closes, another one opens.” One type of rifle action, proposed as a Martini replacement, was produced in England only briefly and in small numbers as part of a young man’s first venture into industry.
Why do gun collectors collect guns? They do so because they simply like guns; but there are powerful secondary motivations. Many collectors are intrigued by technical innovations, and others by “Historical Firsts”. The Mondragon rifle fits both these categories. It was the first self-loading rifle devised for military use (i.e. using military strength ammunition) and it was the first self-loading rifle ever issued and used by troops in a combat situation.
One of the more advanced breech loaders of the mid-1800’s and a clear forerunner to the legion of bolt action arms that followed was the British Calisher and Terry system. It was the design of William Terry who patented it in England on April 12, 1855.