Original Dutch Beaumont-Vitali M1871/88 Bolt Action Magazine Conversion Parade Rifle with Bayonet - Dated 1875
Original Item: Only One Available. This Dutch Infantry Rifle was made by Stevens in Maastricht in the Netherlands, and is actually dated 1875. The model M-71 was a single shot 11mm rifle that was converted to a bolt-action magazine rifle with a capacity of four rounds in 1891. This particular example has had the bayonet and all metalwork polished and buffed bright for parade use. It does not look to have had any plating applied.
This example does not have a serial number on the left side of the barrel nocks form, nor on the butt plate, so it looks to have been purpose made as a parade or sample rifle. It does bear conversion numbers T / 40 on the bolt components, above the chamber on the receiver, as well as on the magazine floor plate. This is normal for the converted rifles, as the action had to be rebuilt. The barrel is dated 1877, and the receiver is faintly marked P. STEVENS / MAASTRICHT. It is in nice condition overall with a roundel stamp in the stock showing a Crown over W surrounded by MAASTRICHT and a faint 1876 date.
The rifle is in very good overall condition, with all metalwork bright and shiny. There is a bit of oxidation in some areas, probably due to there being no finish on the steel. Repeated polishing and cleaning has worn some areas slightly. All components are solid and the bolt moves crisply, though it is slightly stiff, as is the magazine cutoff. The cleaning rod is present, and polished bright as well. The bore is in very good condition, with crisp lands and grooves and a mostly bright finish.
The wood stock is quite nice, with some light curl in the grain, especially in the butt stock and wrist area. It doesn't look to have seen service, and also looks almost unfinished in places. It does have a crack near the magazine, a common occurrence, as adding the magazine removed a lot of wood from the area. Still, this is definitely one of the best stocks we have seen.
The included cruciform-blade socket bayonet is something we rarely see, as they were usually discarded. It is in very good condition, polished bright like the rifle, and fits great, with no issues removing it.
Still in use by the time WW1 came in 1914 but was much outclassed by the Mauser and Enfield rifle systems introduced in the late 1890s.
An unusual system, the bolts spring is in fact housed inside the bolt handle, from an era of great firearms development worldwide, the dawn of the breach-loading period this is unusual and not easy to find. Ready to display!
History of the Beaumont:
Created in 1871 by a Dutch engineer named Messerecht, the Dutch Beaumont rifle was one of the first metallic cartridge bolt-action rifle to be adopted by any military. Firing an 11.3x50mm cartridge it was single shot only, meaning the user had to insert a new cartridge after every shot. Unlike other rifles, the mainspring of the Beaumont was located within the bolt handle, an exact copy of the Mauser Norris rifle, which would also be copied by the Japanese with the Murate rifle. This same feature, however, made it impossible to turn down the bolt on cavalry and carbine models.
While the Beaumont was state of the art for its day, by the late 1880's it was obsolete as repeating rifles became all the rage in Europe. To make up for the Beaumont's deficiency, the Dutch added a magazine to the rifle, the same type of magazine used by the Italians when they converted their single shot Vetterli rifles into repeaters. Since the Beaumont was outfitted with the Italian Vitali magazine in 1888, it was redubbed the Beaumont-Vitali Model 1871/88. The Vitali magazine held four rounds and was reloaded with an en bloc clip made of cardboard. When the clip was empty, an attached string was pulled to remove it from the magazine, no kidding.
Despite the upgrade the Beaumont-Vitali, much like the Italian Vetterli Vitali, was obsolete by the time it was introduced. By 1890 nations began to adopt smokeless powder designs which used smaller caliber high velocity cartridges firing conical shaped spitzer bullets. Eventually the Dutch phased out the Beaumont-Vitali and replaced it with the M95 Steyr-Hembrug.
Year of Manufacture: 1875 - converted later
Caliber: 11.3mm x 51R Dutch Beaumont
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 32 Inches
Overall Length: 52 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 4 Round Magazine
Blade Length: 20 1/2"
Blade Style: Cruciform Socket
Overall length: 23“
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