Original Belgian Brass-Framed M-1870 Comblain Infantry Falling Block Rifle
Original Item: One Only. Invented by Joseph-Hugo Comblain, a Belgian Gun designer from Liege, this is a single short falling block weapon of ingenious design. It was adopted by Belgium, Brazil and Chile, but was up against the British Martini Henry Rifle of even better design that dominated most of the 1870s. It is marked on the side of the receiver with:
It was described by W.W Greener in his 1871 book Modern Breechloaders: Sporting and Military (page 214):
This rifle is called No.2, to distinguish it from the first Comblain, which is a modification of the Snider principle. The Comblain no 2 has the vertical sliding block and guard lever of the Sharp rifle; but the arrangement for exploding the cartridge is different.
The mechanism of the lock is fixed in the breech block, which consists of the ordinary main-spring acting upon a tumbler by a swivel. The tumbler and striker are made in one piece; the sear and trigger are also in one piece . By depressing the lever the breech block is brought down, the cartridge-case extracted and the rifle is cocked. A fresh cartridge being inserted, and the lever returned, the rifle is ready for firing.
The hinge screw can be removed without the aid of a turnscrew, which arrangement allows the breech block and lock to be taken out for the purpose of cleaning.
The breech arrangement is strong and simple. It is used by the Belgian volunteers, and has been severely tested both at Liege and Wimbledon.
This example bears serial numbers 2252, and is in truly excellent condition. Any Comblain rifle is hard to find today, however BRASS framed Comblains are exceedingly rare. This is only the second Comblain Brass-Frame that IMA Director Christian Cranmer has had the opportunity own, the last time being almost half a century ago. In that time he does not recall seeing another brass frame available. The brass frame may have been intended for the tropical climate of Brazil, but this one was put into service in Belgium.
This example is FABULOUS, in just wonderful condition and was obviously never issued to be used in combat and remained as a "specimen" in various collections ever since. Almost impossible to find and ready to display
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