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they are only firmly held there when this portion of the stock is replaced and re-bolted. But besides the lumps brazed on to the under part of the barrels, and cut to the proper form for the purpose of taking the bolts, the breech end is also chambered out carefully, so as to receive the cartridge case of the size intended to be used with freedom, but at the same time not too easily. The rule is, that so long as the cartridge will not fall out by its own weight, it cannot be too loose, and the pinch should be most at the end farthest from the breech. In other words, the chamber should be slightly conical, and its shoulder should be bevelled off at an angle of about 45 degrees. Barrels for breech-loading guns do not require to be much opened behind, the difference between the diameter of the cartridge and that of the barrel being nearly sufficient to detain the charge until all the powder is burnt. This probably is one reason why the recoil is so slight in proportion to the increased charge of powder, for though it does not appear that the breech-loader actually “kicks" less than the muzzle-loader, as is affirmed by many, yet its recoil is not certainly greater in proportion to the extra powder. A slight "relief” will be necessary to obtain a good pattern, and most of these guns are so bored for about six inches from the muzzle, but this is regulated in each case according to the shooting on trial at the gunmakers' iron plate.

The cartridge case is next to the barrel in importance, though not being an actual part of the gun, it might at first sight be considered as an accessory only. Still the breechloader is wholly useless without it, and therefore it is better to consider it as an essential. It consists of a cylinder of stout brown paper, about two inches and a half long, open at one end and closed at the other by a brass capsule which overlaps the sides for a quarter of an inch, and is lined by a pasteboard wad Iths of an inch thick. In the centre of this wad is punched a hole of an oblong-square shape, lined with brass, and passing through the edge of the capsule and throngh the substance of one section of this wad is a small brass pin, one extremity of which stands up for half an inch above the level of the outside of the capsule, and the other enters the little chamber in the wad, where it has a percussion-cap fitted on it. By this arrangement, a blow on the outer end of the


pin explodes the cap, which is prevented from giving way by the firm surface opposed to it, consisting of the side of the hole in the wad, which is, as before described, lined with brass. The pin also, in passing through the wad, is held so safely that no gas escapes, and the whole of the gaseous contents of the cartridge are driven out of its open end, where they at once enter the cylinder of the barrel.

These cases are only made of two sizes—12 and 16-whatever may

be the gauge of the gun they are intended for; and although the numbers 15 and 14 are stamped upon the cases sold by those gunmakers who are fond of mystifying their customers. They are chiefly manufactured in France, where most of our gunmakers obtain them with their names stamped to order. Eley now sells a considerable number of his own inake, really turned out of hand by machinery in this country, but as at present sold, they are more apt to stick in consequence of bursting than those of French make. The price is 50s. per 1000 for 16-gauge, and 31. for 12, and as they contain a substitute for the cap of the ordinary percussion gun, the cost of these must be deducted, so that the actual additional outlay is, as near as may be, a halfpenny per shot, if a stock of these cartridges is laid in. Now, putting the average value of each head of game at 2s., if only two per cent. additional are killed, this increased expenditure will be paid for, and as I think it cannot be denied by those who have tried these guns that this estimate is too low, instead of occasioning a loss, they are really entitled to be considered as producing a saving. Few sportsmen would probably regard the trifling extra cost, even if it were not reimbursed, but as I believe that even on this ground the system can be shown to be advantageous, it is quite as well to state the question as it really stands.

The locks of the Lefaucheaux gun are necessarily made " back actioned,” because there is no room for the bar, the place of which is occupied by the lever and bolt. I have already stated that the bar-lock is now preferred by most sportsmen, but the disadvantage of the back action is so trifling as to be scarcely worth mentioning. The hammers are slightly lighter and the springs weaker than those of the percussion gun.

this part.

The stock not being placed with the butt on the ground when loading, does not require a heel-plate. In general shape it resembles that of the ordinary gun, that is to say in length and in the amount of bending and casting off. But it is completely divided in the middle from the necessity for an iron support for the false breech and bolt, which will be presently described together.

This false breech and bolt are so arranged as to connect the stock with the barrels at the will of the shooter, and they must be of sufficient strength to resist the strain which is put upon

There are several modes of making the connexion, but the most common is that represented in the engraving at page 256. Here a lever is placed beneath the stock, and by turning it to the right the wedge-shaped hook is drawn out of the notch which it previously occupied in the lower part of the barrels close to the breech end. Another plau has recently been introduced in Belgium, and if it can be kept dry it promises well. I have no means of knowing how far it performs the promise held out by its inventor, having only seen it in the rough. In this plan the barrels are hinged in the same way as in the mode already described against a corresponding false breech, but there is no bolt to keep them in their places. This is effected by two screws of a slightly larger diameter than the chamber, which are forced into them from behind by turning a lever just in front of the trigger guard, something in the same way as in Needham's needle gun. This lever moving a cogged wheel a quarter of a circle, by its means turns both the screws, which are thus projected forward into the chambers, and are said to form a closer joint than in the ordinary plan of Lefaucheaux. In doing this the cartridge is driven forward to the same extent, and the barrels require a deeper notch for the pins; but as the chambers are made of a proportionate length these are not thereby rendered more difficult of removal. This closure completely does away with all possibility of an opening occurring during the explosion, which is asserted to take place by the opponents of Lefaucheaux's gun. I do not myself believe in this weak point, but the arguments in favour of it are maintained by some people; and if a plan can be discovered which will do away with the

objection, it is so much gain to the cause of this breech-loader. I believe that the ordinary bolt is so strong that it makes this breech almost as solid as that of the old-fashioned gun; and the non-occurrence of any escape of gas, as proved by the absence of any stain on the metal, shows that this view is correct. Whether this is effected by the aid of the cartridge or not is of little consequence, for the fact remains the same that the breech, when put into use, stands the test to which it is exposed.

Such are the various parts of this very ingeniously-contrived piece of mechanism, which when put together forms the most useful sporting shot gun hitherto invented, as far as I know. It is capable of being packed in a guncase exactly of the same shape as the ordinary kind. In order to take the barrels out of the stock for this purpose, the slide is removed in the usual way, which releases the piece of wood corresponding to the front end of the stock, and thereby takes away a part of the hinge. By now turning the lever to the right the socket in the barrels may readily be lifted off the hinge bolt; and in replacing them the reverse method is to be adopted. Some little knack is required in doing this; and if the sportsman is not possessed of an average amount of mechanical skill, it is better to take a practical lesson before making the attempt.

BASTIN'S BREECH-LOADER. Another modification of the plan of closing the breech adopted in the Lefau


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cheaux gun, has been very lately made in Belgium, its chief peculiarity being part of a patent taken out some years since in the name of Count Chateauvilliers. It is now known as Bastin's breech-loader, and was tried under that name recently at the Field gun trial held at Hornsey

Wood House, where, however, it performed badly. The arrangement has, however, nothing to do with the shooting, but only with the closing of the breech; and I am informed by the gentleman who sent it, that it has since shot extremely well. The improvement has been suggested by the objection which has been

made to the crutch gun of Lefaucheaux, that in the explosion it is apt to open between the

barrels and the false breech. The Bastin principle is also said to obviate the wearing away of the bolt or hinge connecting the two most important parts, which would of course, if it did take place, occasion an open joint between them, and consequent escape of gas. A third advantage is contended to exist, in its being so made as to withdraw the cartridge case after each discharge, by the act of opening the barrels to load either of them afresh. Whether all, or indeed any, of these praiseworthy intentions are successfully carried

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