This is a long-recoil operated rifle using military cartridges, but is of very complicated design.
The barrel stays locked to the breech mechanism for the full length of the unlocking strode. The breech mechanism is then caught and held automatically by a special catch while a barrel-return spring starts moving the barrel forward to closed position. The extraction, ejection and feeding of the new cartridge takes place during forward move-ment of the barrel; which requires that the only time the action is really open is when the barrel is in forward motion, or is fully home.
While this system has been employed successfully on automatic shot guns such as the Remington and the Winchester, it has operated successfully in production of rifles only in the Remington self-loading rifle invented by Browning, and the Belgian Browning.
The action is much more complicated and not nearly as satisfactory for high power rifle ammunition as the short-recoil type in which barrel travel is halted after short travel, and the action opens to extract and eject on the rearward movement and to load on the forward movement of the breechblock.
This Mauser Model 1902 has a true barrel which moves back and forth in an outer barrel or barrel casing. It is locked by two symmetrically placed lugs in the breechblock which are in vertical position when locked in their recesses in the rear of the barrel chamber.
The locking lugs are carried on the front of the breechblock. As the rifle recoils when fired, the barrel and breech mechanism recoil locked together compressing the recoil spring within the receiver.
At the end of the rearward stroke, the breechblock is caught and held by a catch, while the barrel is thrust forward by its return spring. This pulling motion of the barrel drawing with it the revolvable head of the breechblock, causes the head to turn until its lugs unlock from their seatings in the barrel behind the chamber. Thus the barrel can start forward over the top of the magazine with the empty cartridge case held firmly in the grip of the extractor in the bolt head. As the case clears the forward moving barrel, it is hit by the ejector and hurled out of the rifle.
The holding catch is then automatically released, permitting the breechblock to run forward and chamber a cartridge, meanwhile producing through feathers a helical movement. This turning movement of the bolt head causes it to engage it in its locking recesses behind the base of the cartridge. The firing mechanism is of the familiar striker type.
The Model 06-08 while externally the same as the other semiautos, was issued with three different lock designs, as shown in the following pictures and drawings.
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