Original Belgian M-1870 Comblain Infantry Falling Block Rifle - Serial 64437

Item Description

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 number 64437, and is in very good condition. The action is bare steel, and is marked with additional serial number 28003, which matches the internal components. Possibly this was re-worked at arsenal. The barrel has a lovely blued finish with some peppering from age. Butt Plate, Nose Cap and hand guard screws are brass, while the bands and trigger guard are steel. The three piece wood stock, butt, fore end and hand guard are in fine in condition and nicely polished. Comes complete with the original cleaning rod.

Bore is in very good condition, with clear lands and grooves, and a mostly bright finish. Just a small amount of darkening is present in some of the grooves. There are proof marks on the receiver and other parts of the gun.

Hard to find and ready to display.


Year of Manufacture: circa 1870. Pre-1898
Caliber: 11×50mm R Comblain
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 51.2 Inches
Action type: Falling Block
Feed System: Single Shot

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