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The mere 23 years between 1865, when the development of the dependable metallic cartridge case finally allowed military breech-loaders to seal in a practical manner, and about 1888, when most European nations were adopting "smokeless" powder, sub-calibre (that is, 8 mm!) ammunition, was a dramatic age of innovation and transition for the small arms of the world's military forces.   At that time, there was no consensus regarding the rifle of the future, especially what kind of action would emerge as the dominant form, which had been the cap lock's for nearly the previous century.  Indeed, during this turbulent period, there were no fewer than two dozen distinctly different rifle action types (and a great many lesser variants) adopted by front line armies and gendarmes throughout the world; not experimentally, but readied for war.  Europe, Central America, South America and Japan were political cauldrons during this era, with imperialistic rivalries at home and around the globe, and bona fide arms races engaged in by virtually every government on the continent.  It was a time of turmoil, and, of course, a time of wonderful, creative innovation!

General Information and Links Regarding Certain Selected Rifle Action Types