Original French M-1822/1869 17.55mm Tabatière Brass Breech Loading Conversion Rifle
Original Item: Only One Available. The U.S. Civil War was a time for invention: hundreds of new better types of firearms were developed. In addition conversions of older weapons to work with new technology resulted in many brilliant ideas. The Americans, the British, and many other countries throughout Europe took full advantage of these changes.
The British, with a large Empire to protect, developed the SNIDER Breech loading Rifle, although Jacob Snider was an American. The French developed the "Tabatière Rifle", called that because the new breech resembled a "Snuff Box" (tabatière literally means "snuff" in French). The Tabatière breech loading system was first designed in 1857. It was adopted in 1864 but conversions were slow to start.
At the same time, the French flirted with the Chassepot Needle Fire Model of 1866. By 1870, the Tabatière was considered inferior to the Chassepot and was abandoned. The French had converted 358,000 Rifled Muskets from Percussion to breech loading, leaving an amazing 1.4 Million in their original percussion state. In the 1880s the French Government disposed of most all of their Tabatière Rifles, mostly to Belgium for conversion into half stocked 12 gauge shotguns for the African Native trade in the Belgian Congo. Original military Tabatière Rifles are very rare and command serious prices.
Most of the Tabatière Rifles were converted from the 1857 French back action Percussion Rifle and were designated the Model of 1857/1869. A much smaller quantity were converted from the original French Modèle 1822 Flintlock smooth bore muskets, which had been converted themselves into percussion in the 1840s, and had been fitted with RIFLED Barrels.
What we offer here is the best of all worlds, it is an original French Model 1822 Musket that started life as a SIDE LOCK Flintlock, was converted to Percussion in the 1840 and fitted with a rifled barrel. It was then transformed a second time to an early TABATIÈRE RIFLE using a BRONZE Breech system. The Lock retains traces of the frizzen spring location as well as the pan. There is a bit of a proof mark, but otherwise the lock is unfortunately unmarked. There breech block is marked on the underside with 16978.
This rifle came from a Museum Collection in London and is in very nice collectible condition. The metalwork is in great shape, with a bright finish and just a bit of pitting. The bore shows clear lands and grooves, though also has a lot of surface corrosion. Stock wood is very good, and has a great patina, though there are a good amount of small dents and dings.
The missing link in French arms development. Just gorgeous and Ready to Display
Years of Manufacture: circa 1830 converted c.1869
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 39 inches
Overall Length: 56 inches
Action: Side Action
Feed System: Single Shot hinged Breech block.
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- This product is available for international shipping.
IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to possess, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.
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