Original French Model 1866 Chassepot Camel Carbine Converted to Gras in 1880 with Bayonet
Original Item: Only One Available. Despite the fact that the French needle fire Chassepot rifle was far superior to the needle fire Prussian Dreyse rifle, the French took a swift and decisive beating in the war of 1870-71. In fairness to the French, the defeat was due to Napoleon III's foolhardiness in allowing himself to get captured at the Battle of Sedan and the show was then over.
No sooner had the defeat occurred the French started fighting among themselves specifically with the forming of the "Paris Commune" in 1871. It was a disaster for France with Frenchman fighting Frenchman and is the basis tale of the theme for the Broadway musical "Les Miserables". The fighting was basically all done in 1871 culminating in the "Bloody Week" when as many as 17,000 Communities were slaughtered. The rebellion spread to many cities in France and everywhere was ruthlessly put down over course of the following 18 months.
This lovely little brass mounted CAMEL carbine with short Gras bayonet was issued for "Colonial Service" indicted by the brass mounts was originally a needle fire Chassepot, the French ignition system introduced in 1866. In 1874 the self contained cartridge Gras system was introduce and this carbine originally made in 1873 was updated to a Gras in 1880 as indicated by the date markings on the right side of the barrel. The carbine retains all its matching serial numbers of 81156 on all externally marked parts, stock, barrel, bayonet stand but not the bolt. Offered in very good condition, all you need is GARY COOPER from BEAU GESTE.
The left side of the received marked MANUFACTURE D'ARMES CHATELLERAULT 1866-74.The Chassepot rifle of 1866 was a single shot bolt-action rifle and was among the best of its kind in 1866. It was quickly surpassed, principally by the British Martini-Henry, and was obsoleted in 1874 with the introduction of the metallic cartridge Gras Rifle that was in turn superseded in 1886 with the Lebel Rifle.
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