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Berdan Rifle

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Russian Berdan No.1 (M1868) Infantry rifle - 10.75x58mm R
Russian Berdan No.2 (M1870) Infantry rifle - 10.75x58mm R

Berdan rifles were two Russian Army service rifles, designed by Hiram Berdan with the assistance of Russian officers Aleksandr Gorlov and Karl Gunnius. The Berdan No.1 (M1868) had a trapdoor breech block and was very soon replaced with the bolt-action Berdan No.2 (M1870) which was the main rifle of the Russian Army until the Mosin Nagant M1891 was put into service. It existed in full-length Infantry, shortened Dragoon and Cossack, and carbine configurations. Both Berdan models used the same .42 caliber cartridge ("4,2 line" in the old Russian measurment system). Severe rifle shortages would see the Berdan actively fielded in World War I. Besides the Russian Empire, Berdan M1870 rifles were used by Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Ethiopia, Mongolia, and Korea, with World War I captures seeing use by Austria-Hungry, Germany and the Ottomons as reserve rifles, while Finland would inherit many rifles after their independence, still fielding them in 1939.

In the 1880s, magazine-fed versions of various types were tested, both with tubular and box magazines. However, all of them were recognized as insufficiently reliable. Finally, the Mosin M1885 rifle was recognized as the best model, with the magazine placed in the buttstock (what prevented the possibility of "chain fire"). About 800 were produced for extensive military trials, however, some shortcomings were identified that required correction, and the appearance of Lebel 1886 with smokeless gunpowder ammunition the following year, and subsequent innovations required the development of a fundamentally new weapon. Ultimately, the brand new Mosin-Nagant Rifle was adopted in 1891.

In the early 1900s, many surplus Berdan rifles were converted into bolt-action shotguns in 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 - 1891)

  • Type: Bolt-action rifle
  • Country of Origin: Russian Empire
  • Caliber: 10.75x58mm 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, from 4 to 12 (experimental variants)

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 Queen of Spades on the wall 1916
The Murder of General Gryaznov (Arsena Jorjiashvili) Russian police and Cossacks Berdan No.2 carbine 1921
Miss Mend American police officer Berdan No.2 carbine 1926
A watchman in Stern's estate Converted shotgun
Khaspush Persian soldiers and Khaspush rebels Berdan No.2 Infantry, Dragoon and carbine 1928
The New Babylon French revolutionary Berdan No.2 1929
Dzhulbars Nikolay Teleshyov Beggar Converted shotgun 1935
The Golden Taiga (Zolotoye ozero) V. Tolstova Marina Converted shotgun 1935
Fighting Film Collection No. 6 (Boyevoy kinosbornik No. 6) Partisans Berdan No.2 1941
White Fang Indians Berdan No.2 1946
Mysterious Discovery (Tainstvennaya nakhodka) Pomors 1954
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
Personally Known (Lichno izvesten) Revolutionaries Berdan No.2 1958
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
Peasant Son (Krestyanskiy syn) A Red partisan 1975
The Evil Spirit of Yambuy (Zloy dukh Yambuya) Rodna Yeshonov Kararbakh Converted shotgun 1977
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
The Red Ghost (Krasnyy prizrak) Vladimir Gostyukhin Ded Converted shotgun 2021
Konstantin Simonov Kostya


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
Riches (Bogatstvo) Ivan Kokorin Sergey Blinov Converted shotguns 2004
Kamchatka reservists and volunteers
His Majesty's Secret Service (Sekretnaya sluzhba Ego Velichestva) Alina Van Orton Lyuba Converted shotgun 2006

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Battlefield: 1918 w/bayonet 2004
World of Guns: Gun Disassembly "Berdan Rifle N2" w/bayonet 2014
Battle of Empires: 1914-1918 "Berdanka" 2015
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 Not usable 2017
Tannenberg "Berdana obr. 1870G Berdan II" 2019
Enlisted Berdan No.2 M1870 2021


Title Character Note Date
Golden Kamuy - Season 3 Sofia "Revolutionary" 2020
Hyakunosuke Ogata "The Border"
Orok hunter
Golden Kamuy - Season 4 A Karafuto Ainu Ep. "Cinematograph" 2022-23

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