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Original French Model 1866 Chassepot Needle Fire Rifle - Dated 1867

Item Description

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.

The Chassepot rifle of 1866 was a single shot bolt-action rifle and was among the best of it's 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Martini-Henry, and was obsoleted in 1874 with the introduction of the metallic cartridge Gras Rifle that was in turn superseded in 1886 with the Lebel Rifle.

Our example here is dated 167, was manufactured in LIEGE, BELGIUM, and is in fine condition with a polished steel finish, un-blued, as it was originally issued. The rifle comes complete with cleaning rod and with at least 1/2 inch of the original "needle" firing pin in the bolt head still present that is unusual. The rifle is serial numbered 7110.

The rifle bears Belgian proofs including the "Tower of Liege" stamp and the well known E.L.G. in shield under a crown stamping. The bolt is also Belgian marked but is not matching. There are no French military markings or acceptance markings. The very early date of 1867 would indicate a possible French contract perhaps because of the increasing problems the French and the Prussians were experiencing which of course led to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. We have never seen such an example previously.

This is a wonderful and unique example of a rare ignition system making it a rare and sought antique rifle.

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