• WordNet 3.6
    • n breechloader a gun that is loaded at the breech
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Breechloader A firearm which receives its load at the breech. "For cavalry, the revolver and breechloader will supersede the saber."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n breechloader A firearm loaded at the breech. The term is generally confined to small arms, whether used in hunting or in war, large guns being usually referred to as breech-loading cannon. The earliest European firearms were made to load at the breech; but as soon as accuracy of aim and long range were demanded this plan was abandoned, as the mechanical appliances of the day did not allow of accurate fitting and quick working of the breech-piece. Since about 1840, however, breech-loading firearms have been made successfully, and have gradually come into general use for all purposes. Rapidity of firing, ease of cleaning, and close adjustment of the missile to the bore, excluding windage, are the advantages of this form of arm.
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In literature:

When he saw my breechloaders, the first he had ever beheld, his admiration was unbounded.
"Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier" by James Inglis
But there was no denying that the late Colonel Werf's seventy-guinea breechloaders were good at their filthy job.
"A Diversity of Creatures" by Rudyard Kipling
The battery carried consists of ten five-inch quick-firing breechloaders, six six-pounders, and two Colt automatic guns.
"A Gunner Aboard the "Yankee"" by Russell Doubleday
The professor's rifle was a breechloader.
"Blown to Bits" by Robert Michael Ballantyne
I carried a smooth-bore breechloader charged with the largest buck-shot in one barrel and with a bullet in the other.
"Round About the Carpathians" by Andrew F. Crosse
Then, in 1855, England's Lord Armstrong designed a rifled breechloader that included so many improvements as to be revolutionary.
"Artillery Through the Ages" by Albert Manucy
Some one made him a present of a Purdey breechloader, and he uses Eley cartridges.
"Middy and Ensign" by G. Manville Fenn
But I tell you what acts best, only you can't do it with a breechloader.
"Rob Harlow's Adventures" by George Manville Fenn
Then, unable to withstand the fire of our breechloaders and the effect of our shell, they fell back to the hills.
"Our Soldiers" by W.H.G. Kingston
They also inquired eagerly for percussion guns, but breechloaders were still unknown to them.
"The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II" by A.E. Nordenskieold
These artless bales were packages of breechloaders, with bayonets to match, wrapped in sail-cloth.
"Romantic Spain" by John Augustus O'Shea
What a clumsy thing that old flintlock fowling-piece would appear now beside the modern breechloader!
"Highway Pirates" by Harold Avery
If so, why at the instigation of the Continent order 100,000 breechloaders?
"Charles Lever, His Life in His Letters, Vol. II (of II)" by Edmund Downey Charles James Lever
All these were well armed with modern breechloading rifles.
"Life of Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O." by J.G. Millais
The natives had already acquired a wholesome dread of the formidable-looking breechloader.
"In Search of El Dorado" by Alexander MacDonald

In news:

This Odd Breechloader Saw Widespread Use During Our Civil War.