This is the fantastic story of an application of the elementary turning door-bolt which made military history. It is the story of how the German Nicholas Dreyse recognized and utilized the idea of applying the push-and-tum-down principle of the common door-securing bolt to lock a cartridge in the firing chamber of a rifle. So secure was this new lock, that an entirely new form of military rifle was evolved which literally changed the face of war.
It is the story of how two lowly German gunsmiths, Paul and Wilhelm Mauser, seized upon and perfected the elementary application of Dreyse and used it in conjunction with a newly developed metallic cartridge to produce the first truly successful German rifle.
From that point on the simple story of the door-bolt rifle enters the ramification of world history. From his first crude design, Paul Mauser evolved the bolt action magazine rifle bearing his name. This rifle was to remain the standard arm of the German forces through two World Wars and was to become the standard military arm of practically all the smaller nations of the World, while its modifications were to be adopted by most of the remaining nations.
Paul Mauser devoted his entire adult life to the further development and evolution of military arms in the interests of his Fatherland. The effect those weapons have had on history is much too great to be assessed in a work of this nature. But there is no corner of the globe in which power on the one hand and violent death on the other has not followed in the footsteps of the Mauser salesman. The sale of sporting Mausers has always been purely incidental, they were merely modified military arms.
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