The name of Hiram Berdan is most well known for the development of the primer that bears his name, but he also designed a hammerless “trapdoor” breechblock rifle in 10.67x57R designation (also called the .42 Russian Berdan) in 1868 that was to become the standard issue rifle by the Russian Army until 1891 when the move to smokeless powders basically rendered all large calibre, paper patched lead bullets obsolete with the change to smaller calibre rifles and Russia‚Äôs subsequent introduction of the 7,62mm Mosin Nagant.

The Russian Army introduced two versions of the Berdan Rifle. The first design, called the Berdan 1 is known as the Model 1868 and was manufactured as an infantry rifle by Colt.

The second version was known as the Model 1870 and was manufactured initially by Birmingham Small Arms in England but later by various Russian factories in four different versions, from infantry rifle to cavalry carbine.




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