an1472aFrench issue 11mm Model 1866 Chassepot needle fire bolt action service rifle by St Etienne.



French issue 11mm Model 1866 Chassepot needle fire bolt action service rifle by St Etienne. Octagonal bolt action signed to the top left flat MANUFACTURE IMPERIAL ST ETIENNE Mle 1866 for manufacture at the French Government armoury at St Etienne. Bolt with manually operated cocking piece retains firing pin needle and India rubber obturating ring to the front. Walnut stock with regulation pattern steel furniture including two spring retained barrel bands and clearing rod to the underside of the barrel is struck with French issue / inspection mark to the right side. Round barrel with octagonal breech is fitted with a ladder rear sight graduated to 1000 meters and bayonet bar to the right side of the muzzle. The breech struck with various French issue and inspection marks next to manufacture date of 1869. A contemporary of the British Snider along with the German Dreyse rifles the Chassepots were among the first breech loading arms to be adopted around the world as the major powers rushed to update their obsolete muzzle loaders after the superiority of breech loaders was demonstrated during the Franco Prussian war. While the paper cases and tendency to leak gas from the bolt made needle fires far inferior to the centre fire rounds adopted by the British the Chassepot was none the less more powerful than the German rifles prompting the development of improved Dreyse rifles incorporating features found on the Chassepot. In very good condition with good bore and mechanics, nice sharp well marked stock with nice patina all over not having been touched or cleaned probably for years.

Kings Shilling Antiques,
Fultons Building, 
Bisley Camp, 
Surrey         GU24 0NZ

Telephone 07710 427138