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Original French Model 1866 Chassepot Needle Fire Rifle Dated 1873 - Matching Serial No Q 15217

Regular price $1,195.00

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Martini-Henry, and was obsoleted in 1874 with the introduction of the metallic cartridge Gras Rifle that was in turn superseded in 1886 with the Lebel Rifle.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 S.1873, and is marked on the receiver: MANUFACTURE D'ARMES St-Étienne Mle 1866, indicating manufacture at the government arsenal at St. Etienne. The Chassepot was the first rifle to be produced at their "modern" steam-powered factory built there in 1864. The rifle 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 what appears to be a fully intact needle, though the leather sealing washers are missing. The rifle is serial numbered Q 15217 on all major parts of the rifle, including all parts of the bolt, receiver, barrel, stock, cleaning rod, and bayonet stand. The buttstock screws, trigger guard screws, tang screw, and barrel band are marked 0

The rifle bears French proofs along with French military and acceptance markings! These are present on most of the metal components of the rifle, as well as a stock makers mark below the trigger guard. Also, the original date cartouche on the buttstock is still present and legible.:


Bore is excellent with a bright finish, and shows clear lands and grooves. The stock does have some dents, scratches, and chips, but this all appears to be honest service wear. Stock has been fully cleaned and has a wonderful chestnut color. This is a wonderful and unique example of a rare ignition system making it a rare and sought antique rifle, and it appears to have not been parts swapped or arsenal reconditioned.

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

Shipping Restrictions

    This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.

Legal Information

  • 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.

    These antique guns are not sold in "live" condition. They are sold as collector's items or as "wall hangers". Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.

    Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required, allowed to ship to almost any deliverable address across the globe. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

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