Original Imperial Russian Model 1870 Berdan II Dragoon Carbine with Faded Crest - Dated 1880

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very rare and hard to find Imperial Russian BERDAN II DRAGOON Carbine dated 1880. The carbine is 38 1/2" inches in overall length having an 18" barrel. This is exactly what the Cossacks carried strapped across their backs as they rode. No provision for cleaning / ramrod. These were obsoleted in 1895 after the adoption of the M-1891 Moisin Nagant Rifle. This extremely scarce Imperial Russian Berdan M.II Single Shot Dragoon Carbine, Dated 1880 is a very impressive Imperial Russian infantry bolt action rifle designed by US Army General Hiram Berdan.

Hiram Berdan was one of the demigods of American rifle lore. During the American Civil War he organized Berdan's Sharpshooters, one of the first specially trained sniper units. But after the war he was an influential weapon and ammo designer. But like so many inventors during the late 19th century, he was virtually ignored in his homeland and found success and fame abroad. The 10.75mm round he developed featured the first modern centerfire rifle primer, which became the standard European primer pattern (by contrast the American Boxer primer was invented by a British Army officer who was equally ignored in his own country). The round and the bolt action single shot rifle that accompanied it were adopted by the Imperial Russian Army in the late 1860s, and these remained in service until the late 1890s.

The model of 1870, or Berdan II, is a single shot bolt action with a distinctive short, pear-shaped, bolt handle. The bolt handle serves as the only locking lug for the action, and when closed, points upwards at a 30 degree angle, rather than horizontally. The Berdan II was produced in four variants: an infantry rifle, the lighter and slightly shorter dragoon rifle, a Cossack rifle with a button trigger and no trigger guard, and a cavalry carbine. Infantry and dragoon rifles were issued with quadrangular socket bayonets. Initial production of the Berdan II was at Birmingham Small Arms in England. The rifles were later manufactured in large numbers by Russian factories at Tula, Izhevsk, and Sestroretsk. Estimated total production of all models is over 3 million. The rifle was known for its accuracy, simplicity and reliability.

The rifle was patented in USA in 1870, and was adopted as a service weapon by only two states, Russia and Bulgaria. At the time, Berdan II was among the most powerful service rifles in the World. Berdan rifles were still in use during the World War One, as a secondary weapon. Many Berdans were captured by Austro-Hungarians and Germans, and consequently, were reissued to their armed forces.

This example has a faded Imperial Russian Double Headed Eagle across the chamber ring and Cyrillic letters. Different serial numbers are stamped on the barrel (34770), bolt (10922), indicating that the rifle was in service for a long time, as parts were swapped at arsenal during refits. No serial numbers are present on all the remaining parts, as is correct for this model of rifle.

The top of the barrel is nicely marked in Russian Cyrillic (translation-) Imperial Tula Armaments(or Firearms) Factory 1880r.

All metal parts are fine dark gray patina in overall very good condition, with almost no pitting visible. Bore shows lands and grooves, however it is quite dark, with a lot of uncleaned powder fouling. The action is strong and functions correctly.

In good sound condition and fully working order having been cleaned and serviced. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1880
Caliber: 10.75×58 mmR
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 18 Inches
Overall Length: 32 1/2 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: Single-Shot

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