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Old 02-07-2003, 03:40 PM
eds eds is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Default Which Military?

Dear Col:

I'm still trying to stump you. My last military is french. It was in my dad's family for a long time. It is a rifle and has a bayonet and scabbard. It is what I would call a needle fire. There is a protrusion (needle?) on the front end of the bolt. It looks like it would fire a paper cartridge. On the side of the breech it says St Ettiene Mle 1866. It says S1873 MA on the other side of the barrel. The is also a hole drilled on the side of the stock-where a left hander would put his cheek. Around the hole are concentric rings stamped in. It says B.S.Avril 1873P. The serial number is P64669 and it is on about all the parts There are a bunch of what I would call inspection marks. The stock is also stamped J M France.

Housekeeping wise, this one has some surface rust. Is there a gentle way to handle this?

Again, thanks for your help.
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Old 02-08-2003, 03:23 PM
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colmurph colmurph is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1969
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Let me get back to you on that one, but offhand I'd have to say that you have a Dreyse Needle Fire Rifle. Didn't work out too well as the corrosive primers (located in the base of the bullet) would weaken the firing pin and the guns were only good for about 200 shots before the firing pin had to be replaced.
The weapon fired after the firing pin passed completely through the powder charge and impacted on the base of the bullet. Not a really great idea for a weapon design. I think that this was the first bolt action rifle that the French adopted.
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