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Barnekov Greene Prototype 1870 Open-Bolt Army Rifle

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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Trial records show that the Barnekov rifle was withdrawn from the 1872 testing, and it never appeared elsewhere afterwards.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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