Breech-loaders V. Muzzle-loaders

On Saturday, July 31st, a very interesting competition took place in the presence of Major Sir C.S.Paul Hunter, Bart., between Corporal Bainbridge and fourteen picked men of the battalion using long Enfield rifles and three men using the Soper direct-action breech-loader.

The Soper Rifle

The rifle invented by Mr. W. Soper, of Reading, was one of the number sent for the recent competition at Woolwich, and was rejected on the ground of “complication of breech arrangement.” In this rifle the breech-piece is formed of a block of steel, working freely up and down in a vertical slot at the rear of the barrel, and secured to a lever fixed at the bottom of the lock, which is placed in the center of the stock. The striker is mounted inside the breech-piece, and works easily without any spring. The cock is also secured to the breech lever in such a manner that the breech-piece and cock are worked simultaneously.

The Soper Rifle Factory – In Liquidation

Mr. George Russell Butler has received instructions from the Trustee of Mr. William Soper’s Estate to Sell by Auction, at the above Factory (which adjoins the Great Western Railway Station at Reading), on Wednesday and Thursday, the 6th and 7th of July, 1881, at 11 for 12 o’clock punctually each day, and exceedingly valuable and complete Machinery, Special Tools, Stock in Trade and Effects, comprising the entire contents of the factory and of the retail shop in Friar-street.