The Fraser Rifle

Source: Glasgow Herald, 13 June 1881

Towards the end of last year an effort was made to revive the drooping spirits of the few Scotchmen who loved the small-bore rifle. It was unanimously agreed that there was no use to face targets in the Elcho match unless all the men were armed with breech-loaders, and used the back position; and the dilemma was what rifle were they to use. It was, of course stated that a rifle made by a Scotchman would have the preference if in all other things equal; and at this juncture Messrs. D. & J. Fraser, of Edinburgh, stepped forward to clear the air.

For some time past Mr. D. Fraser, who, it will be remembered, used a Henry Breech-loader in 1874, had been turning the matter over in his mind, and he has invented a new breech-action which for simplicity and effectiveness is equal to any of the others yet before the public. It has various merits all of its own. One objection to many of the blocks already in use is their weight and space occupied. Many of them take up about four inches, while Mr Fraser’s is all confined to a space of about two inches, and the weight thus saved is added to the barrel. He has adopted the concealed hammer, and retains the old mainspring, and the action is worked by a side lever. It has a very efficient safety bolt, and the limbs are exceedingly strong, and not likey to get out of order. Another benefit is that the whole of the works are concealed both when thebreech is open and when it is shut, and being so compact it will be very useful for attaching to rifles for sporting purposes. It also enables him to give much better lines to the rifle, which altogether presents a beautifully artistic as well as a thoroughly useful weapon. Another improvement is the recess in the stock, which is a perfect case for the back sight when not in use. In all other rifles tha back sight is screwed on, and is turned back when the rifle is being cleaned, so as to save the knuckles from being skinned while the cleaning-out operation is being performed, but the sight is apt to be broken should the butt of the rifle be put to the ground while bent backwards. All that is avoided by Mr Fraser. The sight never needs to be removed, and is thoroughly out of the way when the rifle is being cleaned. The barrel has six shallow grooved on the Snider principle, which is now recognised as the best for giving accurate results, and the turn is made in about eighteen inches. Along with the rifle there are several implements of an interesting kind. One very ingenious contrivance is that for ejecting the used caps from the shells by hydraulic pressure, and the same tool answers as well as a shell cleaner, re-capper, shell and bullet sizer, and also as an efficient wad seater. Altogether, the rifle and its appurtenances are most complete, and from the trials which have already been made with it the best results are anticipated.