French 1866 CHASSEPOT Bolt Action NEEDLEFIRE Rifle
Guns International #: 101274701 Seller's Inventory #: 8606
Category: Antique Rifles - Cartridge - Military Rifles - Non-US

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Seller: AncestryGunsLLC
Company: Ancestry Guns LLC
Member Since: 11/3/16
State: Missouri
Zip: 65203
Country: United States
Phone: (314) 707-7373
International Phone: 314-707-7373
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Seller: FFL Dealer
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.

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French 1866 CHASSEPOT Bolt Action NEEDLEFIRE Rifle

St. Etienne Made Franco-Prussian War Period

Here we present an antique Model 1866 Chassepot Bolt Action, Needle-Fire Rifle, made in 1871 at the arsenal at St. Etienne. These were interesting times for France in 1871, having just lost the Franco-Prussian War, the Second Empire came to a close with Napoleon III captured in battle and the second-ever elected French President Adolphe Thiers signing an armistice with Prussia. Paris was taken by radical socialists calling themselves the Paris Commune. It took over two months to put them down.

This rifle gets its name from the inventor, Antoine Alphonse Chassepot. His third iteration, featuring the needle fire system similar to that of the Prussian Dreyse, was adopted by the French military, and subsequently used in the Franco-Prussian War. This was the very beginning of the bolt action rifle era, and soon virtually every military the world over would be armed with long arms along these lines. The Mauser brothers were on the cusp of making their appearance internationally as this small arms race between France and Germany heated up. The Prussians, the victors of the nearly year-long conflict, would go on to replace their needle-fire, bolt action rifle, the Dreyse, with the Mauser Model 1871/84. The French would update the Model 1866 to accept metallic cartridges and also adopt the new Gras in 1874, the Lebel in 1886. This would continue through the Great War and beyond.

This specimen is marked “St. Etienne” in script and “Mle 1866” on the left side of the receiver. The right side of the barrel is marked “S.1871”, the year it was made. Various proof marks are also here and can be seen in the photos. The rear of the right side of the butt stock bears a circular mark with an insert, which reads B.S. JUILLET L 1871”. The metal insert is marked “ME”, as is the right side of the barrel. The stock is also marked with several acceptance marks.

The overall condition is very good. The metal surfaces are quite dark with age. The numerous markings on both the stock and the metal are clear and legible. All serial numbers match on the rifle, including the bolt, stock and barrel. The stock is very nice, featuring all of the clear markings, dates, etc. It certainly tells a story. The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. The action is excellent.

Barrel is 32 inches in length.

Caliber: 11mm Chassepot

Overall condition as seen in photos.

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Price: $995.00

Antique: Yes