POTD: Poppenburg’s Horizontal Sliding Action Breechloader

Back in the mid-1860s most of the world’s militaries began to clamber to adopt breech-loading systems following the success of the Prussian Dreyse Needle Rifle during the Prussian-Danish War. The Dreyse breechloader had given the Prussians a tactical advantage over the Danes who were still using muzzle-loading percussion rifle muskets.

In 1865, the British Army began looking for a new breechloader. They trialled dozens of designs including one submitted by Johann von der Poppenburg.  Poppenburg’s gun used a sliding breech action actuated by lifting up a lever on the top of the action. Here’s a gif showing how it worked (full video here):

The Benson-Popenburg’s Horizontal Sliding Action

Poppenburg’s gun was beaten by Friedrich von Martini’s action and Alexander Henry’s barrel, which when combined became the famous Martini-Henry, adopted in March 1871. If you’d like to know more about the breechloading trials, Poppenburg and his rifle, I’ve written more about it here.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Originally posted on The Firearm Blog