Barnekov Greene Prototype 1870 Open-Bolt Army Rifle

Patented by Kiel V. Barnekov of New York in 1870, this is a toggle-locked, single shot, open bolt rifle. It was entered into the US 1872 rifle trials which would ultimately select the Allin “Trapdoor” conversion of the Springfield as the next US serve rifle.

Barnekov’s design was intended to be simple and foolproof, although it had real problems in terms of safely carrying and accurately shooting. One would cock the action open and manually insert a cartridge into the chamber. When the trigger was pulled, the action would slam shut, two extractors would ship over the cartridge rim, and it would fire. When the action was then manually re-cocked, the extractors would pull out the empty case and drop it through the open bottom of the receiver, and the gun would be ready to have another round loaded and fired.

Trial records show that the Barnekov rifle was withdrawn from the 1872 testing, and it never appeared elsewhere afterwards. This carbine appears to be a prototype of the system in .45 caliber – perhaps a pistol cartridge. In the formal trials, a full length rifle in .50-70 caliber was submitted.

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Hey guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons calm I’m Ian McCallum and I’m here today at the Rock Island auction company taking a look at A really cool prototype single-shot open Bolt firearm this is a barnacle Greene Carbine and it appears to be one of the Prototypes of the barnacle green system This is a rifle well this is a little Teeny carbine this was entered as a Full-length infantry rifle into United States Army testing in 1872 this is the Testing that would ultimately result in The adoption of the trapdoor Springfield Rifle or more properly the Allen Conversion but in this trial there were Literally dozens there were nearly a Hundred submissions from companies Private inventors I mean you can imagine This is 1872 this is just a few years After the end of the u.s. Civil War Industrialization has taken the American Continent by storm and you have a ton of Entrepreneurs who are looking for the Next big thing and what could be better Than getting a contract for the new US Army rifle so tons of people entered Rifles Arnica patented this design in 1870 it’s Sometimes called the Barnack of Greene I Don’t have any data on mr. Greene but I Am presuming he was the financier who Supported Varna cough who was the Inventor this is by the way he’ll kie

L/v Barnack of who lived in Cornwall New York at the time and what he created his In fact a single-shot open-bolt carbine Let me show you up close this is another Example of if you are going to invent Something weird put your name on it so That people in 150 years will know Exactly who made it this is a little Difficult to read it’s pretty heavily Worn but that top line says Varna cough Green gun second one is KL barnico of Patent 1870 there’s a date in there February June honestly I would have to Look up the patent the patent number is By the way 104 1 0-0 was patent in 1870 And this has a u.s. marked but play Don’t take that to mean that it was Actually a US issued rifle this was Presumably built using the stock off of A surplus US issue rifle and that’s Where that marking came from all right On to the good stuff this thing is very Simple to operate which is one of the Key elements that Barnack have made a You know tribe made light of in his Patent so you simply grab it here [ __ ] It open and then you put a shell Manually in the chamber this is a Centerfire see the giant oil fire in Pinhole there this is a centerfire System in trials this would have been Submitted in 50 70 this one is 45 Caliber but I don’t know exactly what Cartridge it would make sense to me if

It were a 44 or 45 caliber pistol Cartridge but I don’t know for sure At any rate once you have it open put The cartridge in and then it’s like an Open bolt single shot gun when you pull The trigger this thing is going to drop Under spring pressure like so the breech Block here is going to close note that This pin right here is our firing pin as The breech block closes these two Extractor hooks are going to snap over The rim then you can see that this Surface right here is going to push the Breech fully into battery like that once That is all the way in battery and down Then the last bit of travel has this lug Hit the firing pin right there push it Forward and fire the gun now once it’s Closed like this this thing acts like a Toggle lock well this is a toggle lock So pressure pushing backwards is going To actually hold this in the closed Position the only way you can open it is To physically grab this and lift it Upwards so when I pull back there’s a Toggle pin here I’m pulling above it Therefore I am creating an upward vector Of force and lifting this thing up you Can see the toggle linkage right there That connects these two pieces so much Like a Luger or maximum or perhaps more More appropriately Like a Winchester thing is toggle locked When it’s closed so once you pull the

Trigger drop this whole thing and fire The cartridge it then just sits there Until you [ __ ] it open again and what’s Going to happen then is those two little Extractor claws are going to hold the Empty case out and then drop it now you Might be wondering how exactly is that Supposed to all work well there is a Clever element built into the gun if you Notice right here there’s a little Recess cut in the side of the receiver And there’s a matching one on this side And those two recesses actually Interface with these two extractor claws So when the breech block is closed here Those two claws and you can’t really see It very well those two claws are forced Inward and forced over the rim of the Cartridge when it opens as soon as those Claws clear into this section these are Able to expand outward just a little bit Enough to remove pressure yeah you Really can’t see it happening on this One but the idea is they expand open Which releases the pressure on the Cartridge and the empty cartridge case Falls out the bottom of the action it’s Nice and open for exactly that purpose By the way here is the underside of the Thing when it’s actually locked up so You can see that this lug right here Locks pretty thoroughly against the Breech block and pushing back on this is Not going to cause this to rise because

It’s actually under the level of this Toggle pin so the harder you push the More this stays locked I do want to Comment briefly on the sights on this Because it actually has them however I’m Not quite sure that on this carbine you Were supposed to be able to use them When you [ __ ] the breech block open There’s a little notch in it right here Which does sort of Gizzi give you Visibility down the sight line but it’s Not quite low enough so this doesn’t Quite clear deep enough to get your Sight picture now maybe it could on the Full-length rifle I’m not sure not One of those here to look at but you Have to have that breech-block Up when you’re firing because that’s how The thing works it’s an open bolt design When looking at how this system works There are a number of potential problems That come to mind of course one is you Can’t see the sights although that may Not have actually been an issue one is Even if you can see the sights it’s Gonna be very hard to fire this Accurately for the same reason as all Open bolt guns there is going to be a Significant delay between when you pull The trigger and when this actually fires And the bolt slamming forward like this Is going to jar the gun and probably Throw your aim off however one of the Most substantial issues that came to

Light in the actual trials was the Difficulty of carrying this in a safe Manner so the trials rifle reportedly Had a half [ __ ] notch to it where this This action does not but the idea was One way or another you could load the Thing and then put the rifle at half [ __ ] and like I said this one doesn’t Actually have a half [ __ ] notch the Problem was that wasn’t really a very Good solution it was still difficult to Do potentially unsafe apparently to do And just generally not well-liked so That’s the the particular issue that I Have seen documented about it in actual Trials so the trials report from the US Army testing in 1872 reveals that this Or rather this system the full-length Rifle that was submitted did not in fact Finish the tests it was withdrawn which Probably means it was having significant Trouble it was never our en turd in into Any contests and to the best of my Knowledge it never went anywhere else Except for that trial which makes sense Because this is frankly sorry mr. Barnico not a very good idea it is However a fascinatingly cool idea to Look at because well really because who Would have thought well iron ACOG would Have thought so hopefully you guys Enjoyed the video got a chance to see Something brand new that hopefully You’ve never seen before if you’d like

To see more stuff from Rock Island you Can take a look in the description text Below you’ll A link to their YouTube channel down There as well as their Instagram page Thanks for watching

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