Chassepot

From Academic Kids

The chassepot, officially known as "fusil modèle 1866," was a military breechloading rifle, famous as the arm of the French forces in the Franco-German War of 1870 and 1871.

It was so called after its inventor, Antoine Alphonse Chassepot (1833—1905), who, from 1857 onwards, had constructed various experimental forms of breechloader, and it became the French service weapon in 1866. In the following year it made its first appearance on the battlefield at Mentana on 3 November 1867, where it inflicted severe losses upon Giuseppe Garibaldi's troops. In the war of 1870 it proved greatly superior to the German needle-gun.

The breech was closed by a bolt very similar to those of more modern rifles, and amongst the technical features of interest were the method of obturation, which was similar in principle to the de Bange obturator for heavy guns, and the retention of the paper cartridge.

The chassepot was replaced in 1874 by the Gras rifle, which had a metal cartridge, and all rifles of the older model remaining in store were converted to take the same ammunition (fusil modèle 1866/74).

General characteristics

  • Calibre: 11 mm (0.433 inches)
  • Weight: 4635 g (9 lb 5 oz)
  • Length with bayonet: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Charge (black powder): 5.6 g (86.4 grains)
  • Bullet (lead): 25 g (386 grains)
  • Muzzle Velocity: 405 m/s (1328 ft/s)
  • Sighted to: 1200 m
(from an old encyclopedia)fr:Chassepot modèle 1866

pl:Karabin Chassepot Mle1866

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