Berdan Rifle

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Russian Berdan No.1 (M1868) Infantry rifle - 10.67x58mm R
Russian Berdan No.2 (M1870) Infantry rifle - 10.67x58mm R

Berdan rifles were two Russian Army service rifles, desinged by Hiram Berdan with the assistance of Russian officers Gorlov and Gunnius. Berdan No.1 (M1868) had a trapdoor breech block and was very soon replaced with a bolt action Berdan No.2 (M1870) that was the main rifle of the Russian Army until Mosin Nagant M1891 was put into service. It existed in full-length Infantry rifle, shortened Dragoon and Cossack rifles and a carbine. Both Berdan models used the same cartridge of .42 caliber ("4,2 line" in old Russian measure system). Except Russian Empire, Berdan M1870 rifles were used by Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Mongolia and some other countries.

In early 1900s a lot of surplus Berdan rifles were converted into bolt action shotguns in caliber from 16 to 32 Gauge. Such guns were known as "berdanka", and this nickname became a common Russian name for all bolt action shotguns.



Berdan No.2 Rifle

(1870 - early 1920s}

  • Type: Bolt-action rifle
  • Country of Origin: Russian Empire
  • Caliber: 10.67x58mm R
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs (4.2 kg)
  • Length: 51.2 in (130 cm)
  • Barrel Length: 32.7 in (83 cm) (Infantry rifle)
  • Capacity: 1

The Berdan Rifle and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:


Title Actor Character Note Date
The New Babylon French revolutionary Berdan No.2 1929
Frontier (Aerograd) Boris Dobronravov Aniky Shabanov Converted shotgun 1935
The Golden Taiga (Zolotoye ozero) V. Tolstova Marina Converted shotgun 1935
White Fang Indians Berdan No.2 1946
Heroes of Shipka (Geroite na Shipka) Russian and Bulgarian soldiers Berdan No.2 1955
Heroes of Shipka (Geroite na Shipka) Russian Cossacks Berdan No.2 Carbine 1955
1918 (Vosemnadtsatyy god) White Cossack Berdan No.2 Carbine 1958
Dersu Uzala Kasym Dzhekibayev Dersu Uzala 1961
Hussar Ballad (Gusarskaya ballada) Russian and French soldiers Berdan No.2, mocked up as flintlock musket 1962
Wedding in Malinovka (Svadba v Malinovke) Mikhail Pugovkin Yashka the Artilleryman Converted shotgun 1967
Dersu Uzala Maksim Munzuk Dersu Uzala 1975
The Lost Expedition (Propavshaya ekspeditsiya) Boris Smorchkov Aleksey Kumanin Berdan No.2 1975
Aleksandr Kaidanovsky Kirill Zimin
Nikolay Olyalin Silantiy
The Evil Spirit of Yambuy (Zloy dukh Yambuya) Rodna Yeshonov Kararbakh Converted shotgun 1977
Cold Summer of 1953 (Kholodnoe leto pyatdesyat tretego) Andrei Dudarenko Mikhalych Converted shotgun 1987
The Turkish Gambit (Turetskiy gambit) Egor Beroev Erast Petrovich Fandorin 2005
The Turkish Gambit (Turetskiy gambit) Russian soldiers 2005
Piranha (Okhota na piranyu) Aleksey Gorbunov Kuzmich 2006
Piranha (Okhota na piranyu) Bolot Bairyshev Evenk 2006


Title Actor Character Note Air Date
The Adjutant of His Excellency (Adyutant ego prevoskhoditelstva) Yuri Medvedev Nikita Converted shotgun 1969
Andrei Petrov Nikolay Sirotin
Born by Revolution: Assault (Rozhdyonnaya revolyutsiey: Napadenie) Russian revolutionaries Seen in documentary footage 1974
Lenin...The Train Russian soldier Berdan No.2 1988

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battle of Empires : 1914-1918 Berdanka 2014
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 Not usable 2017

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